eating for yoga: a teacher's advice

P: What is your best early morning wake-me-up?
R: A green tea with lemon!

P: What type of breakfast do you have on the weekend?
R: The weekends are all about taking a little extra time on preparation and eating. This will usually be scrambled eggs with chives, slices of avocado, spelt toast with homemade hummus and a chai tea.

P: Are there any particular foods you have before a yoga lesson?
R: I wouldn't recommend eating anything too soon before practising - usually an hour before is good. I find a small health energy bite (in love with Dynabites® at the moment!) or I make my own energy balls with dates, almonds and raisins, dusted with cacao or coconut. A banana is also a good option.

P: If the conversation is there to have with them, do you suggest foods to your students?
Yes! During practice you will be detoxifying and purifying the body, so it helps to ensure the food you are eating supports that and ensures that the body is kept in balance.

P: What are your five foods to a calmer soul?
Mint (add to hot water or smoothies), ginger (add with hot water, cardamom, cinnamon sticks, lemon and little honey for a comfort drink before bed), blueberries (add to Greek yoghurt or to coconut water), butternut (add some cinnamon and pepper when roasting) and sweet potato (sweet potato brownies! Yes - they are delicious). These are all lovely foods to mix with other simple ingredients to create a calming and comforting recipe!

P: What five things do you always get on your daily shop?
Lemons, limes, spinach, almond milk and coconut water. These are always on my top hit list of things to have in the house as I use these daily.

P: What food have you learnt to avoid since becoming a yoga teacher?
I tend to stay away from sugar since becoming a yoga teacher. I have worked on using other more natural sweeteners to get the fix and have discovered many other foods and ingredients to use instead! Honey and agave are good alternatives.

P: If you have a family, what are the best ways to get the whole family eating healthily?
By preparing food together using fresh ingredients and really appreciating the textures of the individual item. Fruit and vegetables all have unique characteristics, colours and flavours so it is great to spend the time together appreciating them and coming up with ideas for mixing ingredients together.

P: What is your mantra on cooking healthily?
Colours! Allow yourself to be colourful with your food, trying different items together.

P: What has yoga taught you about eating healthily?
It has taught me that connecting to your body is key in ensuring you stay healthy and energised for the day. Finding what works for you and nourishing the body, not just filling the body. Good, clean eating is pivotal to keeping up your immune system and feeling strong within your body.

Eating by colour
The Rainbow Diet is set around the premise that you should try to eat as many colourful foods as possible. This will increase your intake of different vitamins and nutrients, which can see improvements in your health and immune system.

Calling it a ˈdietˈ is actually a bit misleading, as it doesn’t require you to cut down your eating or limit how much you eat. It only encourages you to try more colourful foods. So instead of filling your plate with yellow and brown foods that are quite dull and often lack nutrients, it recommends adding more vegetables and fruits to make your plate pop with colour!

Red (for a healthy heart and good memory)
Red apples, pomegranates, red onions, strawberries and tomatoes.

Yellow/orange (for vitamin C, antioxidants, and to strengthen the immune system)
Yellow pepper, mango, oranges, sweetcorn, sweet potato, lemons.

Green (for better eye health and a better immune system)
Avocado, lettuce, kiwi, green apple, artichoke, celery, broccoli, green grapes.

White (for a healthy blood pressure)
Mushrooms, bananas, garlic, white peaches, potatoes.

Blue/purple (for antioxidants and a healthy cardiovascular system)
Purple grapes, blueberries, plums, eggplant, purple cabbage.