Julie Rawnsley is an Ayurvedic Practitioner from Ditchling, Near Brighton, East Sussex. Shes runs an Ayurvedic practice called Simply Ayurvedic. Here Julie tells us about her typical day.
A Day in the life of….
What gets me out of bed in the morning is a cup of Japanese green tea. Of course it’s full of immunity-boosting anti-oxidants, but what’s really important is that I love the taste.
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According to Ayurveda, when we are more or less in balance we will have healthy cravings; so by listening to our bodies we can stay on track. The tea is my early morning ritual and time for myself. To make a perfect cup of green tea, use a loose leaf tea and water at 80° rather than boiling as this allows the flavours to develop fully.
No ‘one size fits all’
In Ayurveda there is no one-size-fits-all diet. There are three constitutional types: Vata, Pitta and Kapha: each comprised of different elements and each with differing dietary needs.
As I am predominantly Vata (air and ether elements), I need more earthy, grounding food to balance: Carbs! I make my own sourdough spelt or rye bread which I love. These grains are much easier to digest than wheat and the sourdough process makes it even better.
This morning I had one with tahini and another with homemade blackberry jelly: Heaven! But if I’ve eaten late and I need a lighter breakfast I might have an Ayurvedic Green Smoothie instead.
Mung on the move
When I’m working in London I take a thermos of mung soup. This is filling but very easy to digest. A protein-based meal helps to stimulate the neurotransmitters which make you more alert, so it’s ideal for a working lunch.
As I’m often seeing clients back to back in London with breaks at odd moments I will generally need an energy bar as a snack. When I’m at home I have a larger lunch and prefer not to snack in between as it can weaken digestion.
I love my thermos!
Warm drinks support good digestion: Mine’s a roibos-based herbal tea.
“But why does our digestion need so much support?” I hear you asking.
Answer: Without good digestion, you can’t have good health.
I remember my first Ayurvedic Consultation:
“How’s your digestion?”
In fact it was anything but fine, but because I was so out of touch with my body I really had no idea. I would eat constantly, grazing, eating from boredom rather than hunger. No wonder I felt tired and out of sorts!
My evening meal
If I’m at home I’ll have my evening meal as early as 5.30 or 6.30pm as we eat with the kids. When you eat can be just as important as what you eat, and eating earlier allows your body plenty of time to digest before bed.
Carbs are definitely on the menu as they stimulate serotonin release, which helps you sleep well. We always eat together and I’ve never had problems with picky eaters. The kids love stir fry with basmati rice and eggy strips. Colourful, healthy and easy to cook: What more could anyone want?
My ten year old had great fun making these biscuits. Making your own deserts means you can eliminate white sugar, which is more or less banned in this house.
Having said that, I don’t have any blanket bans as such, because I find rigid rules can be in themselves quite unhealthy and we tend to desire the things we forbid!
The emotions aroused by food can be quite intense. However, the Ayurvedic approach can help you to become more balanced, so that you actually prefer to eat foods that are good for you. Then eating a healthy diet becomes effortless and joyful.
A note from Honey
Thank you Julie for that insight into the wonderful Ayurvedic way of life.
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