By day, Eminé can be found at Psychologies magazine where she is the Beauty & Wellbeing Director but by night Eminé is busy working on her latest venture, The Balance Plan. With twelve years experience in the wellness industry under her belt, Eminé has now embraced the ancient tradition of Aruveyda and her first book and the supporting website named The Balance Plan decodes this practice for busy over-stressed urbanites.
I love Ayurveda. It’s holistic – which means all advice takes the effect on body, mind and spirit into account; it believes that food is medicine (it is); it believes that the best diets are individualistic (because one size does not fit all); it is completely seasonal, because eating out of season can really imbalance the body, and it has really sensible food combining ideas, which help keep our digestion strong and stomachs happy. What’s super cool though, is that Ayurveda knew (even 5000 years ago!) that our guts and our food also affect our mind. Eating Ayurvedically most of the time has allowed me to boost my immunity, level out cravings and also feed myself more intuitively.
Breakfast: Running late for work today, so grabbed the Living Kitchen Buckwheat Granola from the cupboard and took to work to have with Rude Health's Almond Drink. I do not ordinarily eat fruit with my food (Ayurveda says that fruit is best eaten on an empty stomach), but my daughters left these strawberries at breakfast and I really fancied them!
Lunch: I have a simple veggie rice dish that my husband made for our girls on Saturday. My husband, who’s Food Editor for the Balance Plan does a lot of the cooking and we get most of our fresh ingredients from our weekly Abel & Cole box. This rice dish today is with fresh artichokes, olives and dried mint dressing (olive oil, lime, dried mint, sea salt, shake & serve).
Snack: I packed a Living Kitchen Lemon Cheesecake in my bag and enjoyed this at 4pm. I don’t normally eat raw food as its quite difficult to digest and Ayurveda thinks our stomachs and health thrive when we give our systems an easier, not harder, time. I tried a raw diet for a magazine two years ago, and got very sick after just one week!
Dinner: The warmer weather had us craving a hearty (but still cooked and warm) salad for dinner. We had a golden beetroot, saffron and turmeric barley salad served with lentils, roasted red onions, mint, feta, sumac, toasted cumin and sesame seeds. As it’s all cooked, it’s easier to digest, and the wonderful mint, cumin, turmeric and sumac amp up digestive juices too.
Breakfast: I am in London today, for meetings, and have a quick mushroom omelette before I leave. The morel mushrooms are seasonal (best in spring) and local, from a little Kent farm near us, and great at the moment, so it felt like a fitting start to the day.
Lunch: I have meetings at Cowshed Primrose Hill, and have lunch there too. The smoked chicken and roasted veg salad is nice because roasting the veg makes it easier to digest, and poultry is a good choice in spring, when we should try to eat less dark and red meat, and more lighter, grilled meat. It’s big and filling – important for me, because I always eat much larger lunches than dinners, which is in keeping with Ayurveda. Our digestive fire is very strong in the middle of the day, so by eating larger lunches (I like to eat at least 2 courses), our stomachs digest it better than they would at dinnertime (or breakfast), and you’re also fuelled up for the working day.
Snack: I order the gluten-free chocolate brownie at Cowshed afterward. I really fancy it and enjoy it. No guilt – the loveliest thing about Ayurveda is how humanistic it is. This is about balance after all!
Dinner: My husband has made spelt pizza for all of us for dinner, and he makes it with a wholemeal spelt base. We eat quite a bit of spelt at home, and haven’t had issues digesting it in the way we often do with wheat (my girls are both good with spelt too). My bit has sheep’s cheese, leeks, basil, mushrooms, courgettes and mint on it… yum.
Breakfast: I am working from home today, so have coconutty tahini toast, which I spread with tahini, sprinkle with coconut and drizzle with raw honey. Sesame is quite heating on the system, which is great for ‘vata’ types, who are always cold, and have poor circulation.
Snack: If I have toast for breakfast, I always get hungry earlier. Come 11am I am really peckish and Paul’s just whipped up a lovely cannelini bean hummus which I have with some lovely thick spelt crisp breads.
Lunch: I am still feeling a bit cold today, so decide to heat the body up again with sweet tomato soup which I whip up from the very ripe summer tomatoes we harvested, pureed and froze last year. Tomatoes are classed as ‘sour’ and add fire to the system. I counter the slight acidity of the tomatoes with some of my coriander pesto on toast. I do go off-piste with the halloumi. I just really fancy it, despite nightshades (tomatoes, peppers, aubergine etc) not being ideal with cheese. I take some D-Mix for good digestion afterward, a blend of seeds and leaves that help dispel gas.
Dinner: A light and simple dinner of voriander ginger noodles with chinese leaf. The heart of the chinese leaf is water-packed, so feels really soothing and hydrating when you eat it.
Breakfast: Paul sweats down these lovely sweet peppers, from our box, and sweetens them up further with cinnamon. The smell out of the kitchen is lovely. We have an egg each, with some spelt kamut sourdough.
Lunch: We’ve got quite a few potatoes to use up, so think up roasted tatties, kale and onion. Super simple, but very tasty, we have it with a big dollop of hummus, in lieu of cheese.
Snack: I’m still a bit hungry after lunch so whip up some almond and oat squish cookies. These came about accidentally – our weighing scales broke and I was trying to make some oaty muffins. I basically chucked oats, a bit of spelt flour and ground almonds, with coconut oil, chopped dates, cinnamon, nutmeg and jaggery (a great Ayurvedic sweetener, that’s malty in taste and very rich in B vitamins), into a bowl and realised it wasn’t going to work… so dolloped the mixture onto a baking tray and bake for 20 minutes. They come out very squishy and satiating. The spicing makes them warming and soothing too, and they’re lovely with a cup of Pukka’s Tulsi Tea (a fab mood-boosting brew).
Dinner: I feel the need for something very Ayurvedic, after a less Ayurvedic lunch. It’s grains and veg then. Paul makes artichoke speltotto and packs it full of the flavours we love, that really heal and balance the gut and mind.
Breakfast: I wake at 5.30am for a full day’s filming for a beauty brand, in East London and, because I did not sleep well, I actually feel nauseous when the alarm goes off. I know I won’t be able to stomach breakfast (also very unusual!) so take a small flask of homemade almond milk, with a sprinkle of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg, to quell the queasiness, but also to get my digestive fire optimised. It really works and within an hour I feel wonderful. I then have avocado and two boiled eggs on rye toast at the shoot.
Lunch: Lunch on the shoot is a variety of healthy, light and seasonal things to choose from. Everyone tucks into the mango salad with their chicken and tofu. I am rubbish at eating fruit with other food – it always gives me an upset stomach! So I play it safe with some lovely chargrilled tofu and lots of veg (including braised fennel).
Snack: Afterward there’s an amazing key lime pie that’s gluten- and dairy-free. It tastes like pina colada, so coconutty! I have a a slice at 4pm, as my energy levels start to wane.
Dinner: It takes 2 hours to get home because of a fire in London, so I’m spent, cold and very tired when I do . My husband has very sweetly made my favourite Soul Soothing Stew, with very soft mung dal (or yellow mung/split peas) and basmati, which is like medicine in a plate, with its wonderful turmeric, coriander, ginger, garlic and cumin warmth.
Breakfast: My daughters clamour for pancakes so I make buckwheat pancakes, with a few dark choc chips for fun. I also add cinnamon, chia and baobab, and use goat’s milk today, and they come out quite dense, but tasty.
Lunch: The sun is streaming through the windows and we get barbecue ideas and my eldest really fancies a burger. We each have these little cumin & coriander turkey burgers with and spelt flatbreads and dips.
Snack: I have a bit more of the coconut and spelt chapatis (a mix of coconut and spelt flour, made with desiccated coconut in them too), with some of the leftover tahini dip.
Dinner: I am not hugely hungry, so we have a very simple Ayurvedic dinner – chana masala, packed with healing spice power – cloves, nigella seeds, fennel, cumin, coriander, paprika. I finish off half a chapati with it, and do without rice.
Snack: I stay up late and really fancy hot chocolate and cinnamon almond milk. I warm up some cocoa, cinnamon, vanilla and jaggery with almond milk together in a pan and also have a almond squish cookie.
Before bed: Every night I drink one to two mugs of fennel tea, tulsi tea or yogi calming tea before bedtime.
Breakfast: Today my husband makes eggs and chard, with lovely soft and sweet caramelised onions. We had one egg each, as breakfasts shouldn’t be too big (it can overwhelm our digestion, as our systems aren’t firing on all cylinders in the morning), and I loved how energising it tasted – fresh and nourishing.
Lunch: We had family over and made quite a few dishes, but this cumin barley couscous, seasoned with cumin, coriander, cinnamon, sumac, lime, radishes, hazelnuts was my favourite. All seasonal. It’s a lovely ‘alive’ dish, singing with zing. The spices make it more digestible and also pack in tons of immune-boosting goodness (and of course bags of flavour).
Dinner: We ate leftovers from lunch – paprika hummus, the couscous, and some simple rocket salad.
I didn’t snack today - breakfast and lunch were so filling! Ayurveda is not big on snacks, simply because it believes that our digestive systems need a rest between meals. I used to graze all the time… now I tend to have just one snack, between lunch and dinner. But regardless of my schedule, I will always leave 3.5 hours between meals, to ensure my food is fully digested.
The Body Balance Diet Plan by Emine Ali Rushton is available online here