Monday 5 January 2015

Review: Make Your Own Rules Diet

Like many people I suspect, I’d love to be as slim and fit as I was 10 years ago. The start of the New Year is the traditional time to consider that kind of thing, but again I suspect I am not alone in needing something to inspire me to make the necessary lifestyle changes. And one of the things that has inspired me is a new book called Make Your Own Rules Diet.

Now, the first thing you need to know about Make Your Own Rules Diet is that it isn’t actually a diet. At least, not a diet in the sense of a precise food regime to lose weight. Only about a third of the book is even about food and it certainly isn’t about calorie counting – quite the opposite in fact. It is about eating more healthily – particularly plenty of fruit and veg – but also about eating things that taste nice and make you feel good. Mostly, the books is about ways to use yoga and meditation feel healthier and enjoy life more.

Author Tara Stiles is a yoga teacher and has previously published Yoga Curesand Slim Calm Sexy Yoga.Here she offers simple yoga and meditation practices as part of a daily routine for exercise and stress reduction.

Now, while Make Your Own Rules Diet isn’t actually a diet, it is a guide to learning to make your own rules. That’s what I particularly like about it. Tara points out that every one of us is different and the secret to happiness is learning what we want – which is, of course, a very Wiccan way of viewing the world. The Wiccan Rede is “An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will.” That’s pretty much the advice Tara offers for getting healthy and happy.

One of the first chapters is Rules of You and includes a meditation for contemplating how we feel physically and emotionally throughout the day and how that affects our normal habits – particularly eating habits. Tara teaches techniques for learning to be more in touch with how we feel and how to develop routines that work with us rather than against us.

Building yoga exercises and meditation – even just a few minutes a day – into our everyday lives can help us generally feel better so we don’t lean as heavily on things like caffeinated drinks and sugary, fatty snacks.

In the parts of the book that are about food, Tara encourages juicing fruit and making smoothies at home. She also offers recipes for main meals, snacks and sweet desserts that are tasty and filling as well as providing the energy we need to get through the day. I would point out that this is an American book, so some of the ingredients listed are less easy to find in the UK, but seeing as this is about making your own rules, you can always substitute a few healthy recipes from other sources - maybe something like The Deliciously Conscious Cookbook.

Publisher Hay House says on its website: "In Make Your Own Rules Diet, Tara Stiles introduces you to easy and fun ways to bring yoga, meditation and healthy food into your life. Tara stresses the importance of practising with ease - leaving the discomfort and tension behind - because what you practise is what you manifest. You will not only learn to create your own rules but also to understand when something isn't working any more, so you can update your rules as circumstances change. Her approach takes readers from the kitchen, to the mat, to the cushion, in an effort to help them get to know themselves."

One of my resolutions for 2015 was to get back into yoga again - and the techniques suggested in Make Your Own Rules Diethave already inspired me to dig my yoga mat out of the back of the wardrobe and try a few simple stretches. I think the next step is to dig my food processor out of the back of the kitchen cupboard and make myself a nice smoothie. Small, easy steps - but possibly the start of a journey to getting into clothes I haven't been able to wear for a decade.

Links and previous related posts
Make Your Own Rules Diet

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