Week 7: Body Types and Healthy on-the go

Can you believe it's week 7 already?! How are you going? 

Write down and think about whats good and new with you? Relish in the goodness and think over the not so good. Is there anything you would like to share with the group?

How did last week go in regards to listening to your gut instincts? What have you discovered? Write this all down, this journey is very important for you and I know you will refer back to your notebook in the future.

Positive psychology and gratitude

Head down to your nearest mirror, gaze into your own eyes in silence. Say out loud something beautiful you have noticed about yourself.  If you laugh, you need to reset and say it again like you mean it. Look right into your own eyes and appreciate yourself. Enjoy.

You could also try this with a friend or partner, or even your child.  Everyone benefits from positive self talk, and we all know how wonderful it feels when someone else compliments us. It's nice to be told lovely things and it's also nice to share the generosity and remind people about the beautiful things inside and out that you appreciate them for. It's even more awesome when it's completely random. If you are not used to doing this, try sending someone an email or a text message telling them something you love or really like about them.

Now do it for yourself again too. Who says we can't love on ourselves?! I'm not suggesting you make a banner and wear it above your head saying "I'm awesome" (by all means go for it if you like!) What I am suggesting however is that you own your self love and self trust. No one knows you better than you know yourself, so listen to the person who knows you the best and hear what they are saying. YOU! yes, YOU can tell yourself what is beautiful about yourself, inside or out, it doesn't matter. Everyone has many many qualities and signature strengths and it's time to shine and love them.  So, head to the mirror and tell yourself something wonderful about yourself. It can be big or small. I know you can find something.

TASK 1:

Here are 3 different exercises you can do in your own time this week. As I have said above, they will help you in so many ways, as well as helping others! There is nothing better than the feeling of being able to help someone else. Its also important to learn more about yourself and what your strengths are. This way you can play on them when you need to offer support and advice, and you can also work towards bettering the other strengths in life. Food for thought! I am looking forward to hearing how your exercises went. Even if you only find the time for one of them. Go on, do it!

Food Concept & Body types

Right, we are going to kick straight into it this week. I need to first of all ask you an important question, which is; Are you ready for something new? I need open minds and a holistic approach from each of you here.

Ayurvedic medicine evolved in India, and is considered to be the world's oldest healthcare system. It is named for the Sanskrit word Ayurveda, meaning the "science of life."

If that sounds like an all-encompassing definition, it is. Ayurvedic medicine is entirely holistic. It's adherents strive to create harmony between the body, mind, and spirit, maintaining that this balance prevents illness, treats acute conditions, and contributes to a long and healthy life.

Ayurvedic medicine (also known as Ayurveda) is India's primary healthcare system. More than 90 percent of the continent's population use some form of Ayurvedic therapy, including following its dietary principles, practicing traditional or "grandma's medicine," or seeking professional help from trained Ayurvedic practitioners. In the New Zealand, and many other developed countries Ayurveda is considered a complementary healthcare option or 'alternative healing', with many people employing Ayurvedic elements such as massage, meditation, or cleansing therapies.

So what is the Ayurvedic perspective?

Ayurveda is not a "one-size-fits-all" system. Instead, its regimens are tailored to each person's unique prakruti (Ayurvedic constitution), taking into account his or her needs for nutrition, exercise, personal hygiene, social interaction, and other lifestyle elements.

Daily routines, called dincharya, and seasonal regimens, called ritucharya, are recommended. Following these individualized plans help users of Ayurveda attain robust physical health, as well as mental and spiritual harmony.

If you are interested in finding out where you fall on the Ayurvedic line, First of all I would like you to fill out this Ayurvedic questionnaire to establish your main dosha.  If you find that there are more than one quality which resonates the most with you then please select the one that you feel strongest about.

What is a Dosha?

From the five elements, the three doshas are derived—Vata,Pitta, and Kapha. Known as mind-body types, the doshas express particular patterns of energy—unique blends of physical, emotional, and mental characteristics. 

In Ayurveda, health is defined as the dynamic state of balance between mind, body, and environment. It is possible for each of us to achieve and maintain a vibrant and joyful state of health by identifying our mind-body type and then creating a lifestyle that sustains and nurtures our unique nature.   

Dosha results from your questionnaire are found here.  

So, how do you feel about your Ayurvedic body type? Did your intuition suggest any of this anyway? Did you have a gut feeling towards some of these results? Can you see how your intuition really does know best.

TASK 2:

How do the three body types relate to you?

Please share in forum which Dosha/body type you fall into, then we can connect and move forward with people who fall into the same Dosha, we can work together to create ways to stick to some of these lifestyle changes, ways to implement them, and just generally discuss how you feel about some of them.

Are you learning a lot more about yourself now?

Isn't it amazing how deep everything goes, when you take a step back and enjoy the universe from a new perspective. Suddenly we start to see ourselves as whole beings, influenced by all the other factors in life. You start to realise that those stomach cramps are not purely just because you ate some pasta or too much chocolate!

By now you should be starting to understand why you chose to eat too much chocolate (was it Yin/Yang imbalance? Did you forget to eat protein for lunch? Are you tired? etc) and is it actually the pasta that is making you cramp or is it stress and an inability to relax while you eat to chew properly, sit down for a second and let it digest?!

Here are some food suggestions for your body type. You will have a main dosha from the questionnaire above that you filled out, now find your type and see what you discover!

Food suggestions of your Ayurvedic body type

Vata:

If you fall into the VATA category its really important that you speak to myself or a nutritionist if you are vegan or vegetarian to make sure you are receiving all the supplements and nourishment required for your body type. A basic meal plan recommended for you include:

Breakfast

Breakfast is a critical meal when vata is elevated. After an overnight fast, vata needs real nourishment and a hearty breakfast is generally very stabilizing.

  • A power-packed meal of eggs and buttered toast is always a winning choice for vata and can be served with sautéed veggies or avocado, if desired.
  • Hot Cereals – things like oatmeal, rice pudding, cream of rice, and cream of wheat – are also excellent choices. For a richer, creamier breakfast, the grains can be cooked in milk (or a substitute), or you can add a bit of hot milk after cooking. To make this meal even more vata friendly, garnish it with ghee, sliced almonds, and flax seeds, sweeten it with honey or maple syrup, and add warming spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and cardamom.
  • Another delectable breakfast is a date and almond shake, made from soaked dates, soaked and peeled almonds, and boiled milk (or a substitute) – blended together with warming spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.

Lunch

  • Ideally, lunch is the main meal of the day, meaning it’s the largest and the most nourishing of the three. Hearty grains, steamed and sautéed vegetables, appropriate breads, soups and stews are excellent building blocks for lunch. This is also the best time to enjoy a small salad, if you must have one. Try something like:
  • Split mung dal with basmati rice, sautéed okra with shredded coconut, and naan. If you like, garnish this meal with cilantro, cucumbers, and a dash of yogurt.
  • Rice pasta or gnocchi with pesto, black olives, pine nuts, cheese, and a side of marinated beets. If you like, add a small green salad tossed with an oily but stimulating dressing – like lemon-ginger vinaigrette.
  • Potato-leek soup with baked tofu, a hearty bread, and a side salad.

Dinner

  • Dinner is ideally a bit smaller and lighter than lunch. But to soothe vata, it needs to offer adequate nourishment. Soups, stews, or a smaller serving of lunch often fit the bill. Try:
  • Carrot soup with quinoa, asparagus, and a buttered tortilla.
  • Baked and buttered sweet potatoes with French onion soup, and green beans.

Kapha:

Ideally you want to look at a meal plan like the following:

Breakfast

Breakfast is often somewhat optional when kapha is elevated. Kapha benefits tremendously from the unforced, overnight fast between dinner and breakfast. If the appetite has not returned upon waking, it’s likely that a light breakfast of fresh fruit or tea will suffice. If breakfast does feel important to you, consider:

  • A substantive serving of fresh fruit: stewed apples, a fruit salad, a fruit smoothie, or some freshly juiced fruit.
  • Need something more? Hot cereals, like grits, millet, or hot barley cereal, are excellent choices. You can even add a little dried fruit or a dab of honey to the mix, if you like.
  • Another option would be muesli with warm rice milk and a slice of rye toast.
  • Add herbal, green, or black tea to any of these breakfasts but be careful not to over-decorate them; a dab of honey and/or rice milk is likely enough.

Lunch

Ideally, lunch is the main meal of the day, meaning it’s the largest and the most nourishing. Build your lunches around consuming lots of steamed and sautéed vegetables, and compliment them with beans, appropriate grains, non-yeasted breads, a suitable meat, or an occasional egg. Try something like:

  • Lentil vegetable soup, corn bread, and a side of steamed kale. Include vegetables like onions, garlic, broccoli, celery, carrots, green beans, or asparagus in the soup. Garnish the kale with olive oil, lemon juice, and black pepper.
  • Whole chickpeas and sautéed cabbage over quinoa. Sauté cooked chickpeas with a bit of ghee, a variety of spices, and some diced tomatoes. Cook the cabbage with a splash of sunflower oil, cumin, coriander, a medley of other spices, and lemon juice (if necessary, add water to prevent sticking). After cooking, add a dab of honey and salt to compliment the other flavors.
  • Green chile soup (non-dairy) with black bean tacos. Include black beans, sautéed onions and bell peppers, shredded romaine lettuce, cilantro, salsa, and a squeeze of lime juice and serve over steamed corn tortillas.

Dinner

  • Dinner is ideally significantly smaller and lighter than lunch. Soups and stews are often a wonderful choice because they are warm and nourishing, even when light. A smaller serving of lunch can often work, too. For some, especially when weight loss is indicated, it’s best to forego dinner altogether in favor of a healthy breakfast and lunch, or to eat a more substantial breakfast and make dinner the ultra-light meal of the day. Try:
  • Dal soup with sautéed asparagus, and a small serving of basmati rice.
  • Split pea soup and rye toast.
  • Potato leek soup with a small salad and a stimulating dressing – like tamari ginger.

Pitta:

Breakfast

Breakfast is usually not to be skipped when pitta is elevated. Workable choices are sweet, high in carbohydrates, and yet offer sustained energy. Consider:

  • A hearty fruit salad (apples, pears, red grapes, and blueberries), garnished with raisins and shredded coconut. This lighter meal will probably work better in the warmer months than in the dead of winter.
  • Oatmeal made with hot milk and garnished with raisins or chopped dates, chopped almonds (soaked and peeled), ghee, and maple syrup.
  • An egg white and vegetable omelet, served with avocado and whole grain toast.

Lunch

Ideally, lunch is the main meal of the day, meaning it’s the largest and the most nourishing. A wide variety of appropriate grains, beans, and vegetables are great building blocks for lunch, and can be complimented with suitable meats, if you eat them. Try something like:

  • Seasoned tofu and steamed collard greens over wild rice. Sauté the tofu in sunflower oil and stir in some of your favorite pitta pacifying spices. Garnish the greens with olive oil, freshly squeezed lime juice, ground coriander, and black pepper.
  • Split pea soup with buttered whole grain bread (use unsalted butter), sautéed purple cabbage, and a green salad. Add vegetables like carrots, celery, and onion to your soup. Sauté the cabbage in ghee with cumin, coriander, turmeric, lime juice, and a splash of maple syrup.
  • Whole wheat pasta, pesto, and fresh vegetables (like bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, celery, green beans, mushrooms, zucchini, or black olives). Garnish the pasta with crumbled chèvre, olive oil, and cilantro. Serve with a small green salad and soup.

Dinner

Dinner is ideally a bit smaller and lighter than lunch, but it also needs to sustain pitta’s active metabolism. A simple but nourishing meal, or a slightly smaller serving of lunch can work well. Try:

  • Mung dal with roasted asparagus and basmati rice.
  • Veggie (or Turkey) Burgers with sautéed mushrooms, goat cheese, lettuce, avocado, and a side of home fries.
  • Kidney bean curry, sautéed green beans (cooked with cilantro and coconut), and quinoa or flatbread)

I would like to thank Banyan Botanicals for their diet recommendations. You can check out www.banyanbotanicals.com for more information if you require it.

TASK 3

Try to follow your Ayurvedic dosha nutritional plan this week. It doesn't have to be hugely strict, but it will be interesting to see how you feel after eating and living the way your dosha suggests. I know when I follow my Ayurvedic path I am stronger, more energised, less lethargic and much kinder to myself and those around me. Its just brilliant and makes complete sense. Everything is in harmony, so why wouldn't it flow beautifully?!

Are you learning a lot more about yourself now? Isn't it amazing how deep everything goes, when you take a step back and enjoy the universe from a new perspective. Suddenly we start to see ourselves as whole beings, influenced by all the other factors in life. You start to realise that those stomach cramps are not purely just because you ate some pasta or too much chocolate! By now you should be starting to understand why you chose to eat too much chocolate (was it Yin/Yang imbalance? Did you forget to eat protein for lunch? Are you tired? etc) and is it actually the pasta that is making you cramp or is it stress and an inability to relax while you eat to chew properly, sit down for a second and let it digest?!

Primary Food: Exercise

Do you love it or do you hate it?

Exercise. some people can't make it through the day without movement, and some people just hate the thought of it.

The important thing here is to stop thinking of exercise as a chore. It should be movement in some form that you enjoy. Then you will find endorphins are released and you will start to enjoy yourself more and more. There are ENDLESS exercises that you can partake in. From gardening and bouncing on the trampoline with/ or without your children/grandchildren to bootcamp and pump class. Everyone is different. Lets find some great ways to get your moving.

And for those of you who still don't believe me, please read the Top 10 reasons to exercise here.

Everyone is different and everyone will have a different type and pace of exercise that suits them. If you would like to read up a bit more on some different workouts and ways to work out, have a look at some of our articles on movement. As I say, we are all unique, bio individuals who work in different ways, its really important to find an exercise regime that works for you and your lifestyle that you enjoy. It doesn't have to be the 'be all and end all' either. You can totally mix it up and find out what works for you!

TASK 4

Stop for a moment and write down your current exercise regime, if there is one. Or write down the last time you exercised.  Did you enjoy it? Do you enjoy the exercise that is part of your regime? Are you finding that you are getting the results you want from it?

This week I would like you to make a plan every second day to try some form of exercise. I would like one of those days to be something you don't normally do. Yoga, swimming, dancing, biking, walking, running, a weights class at the gym, HIIT, find a personal trainer and have a crack with them, surfing, diving, hiking, pilates, barre class, ballet, hip hop, skipping, ANYTHING you have always wanted to try but haven't yet done.

If you are an exercise addict, like many of us. Your task this week is to take 2 days off hard core working out. The days don't have to be consecutive and they don't involve lying on the couch, but what they do involve is light movement that is going to help restore your muscles and your immune system. So I'm talking about a light walk, a light yoga class, some thing lighter than what you normally do, then see how amazing you feel the next day and how much faster/stronger/better your workout is because you gave your muscles time to recover and repair.

It's hard. But you can do it!  Sometimes it takes more integrity to slow down than it does to try harder.

Share with the forum what you have done and how you have enjoyed or not enjoyed it! It's all about experimenting. Remember, if you are forcing yourself to do some sort of exercise that you loathe, there is no point! Life is too short, there are so many other fun ways to move and enjoy your time. Exercise is about you being free and getting your sweat on so you can enjoy the day more. Remember also, no amount of exercise can out train a bad diet, so no matter how hard you 'work out' it doesn't make the sugar and nasty fats disappear from the plate...they still matter towards your health.

Lifestyle: Busy lives

Okay, so most of you are suffering from needing to find more time in the day to create these delicious recipes you keep seeing pop up on social media and in the magazines right? As discussed above, yes time is a big player in everything. You do however, have the right to put your health first and make the time.  What may take time in the evening will save you time the next day, it will save you stress and it will save your health and immune system, which may mean saving time off for sick children (and money!) and it will mean saving time off for yourself when you catch the bugs after looking after everyone else! The best part about finding time to make treats that can be packed down is that you know exactly what is in the food and it saves so much money on all that processed, packaged junk you can buy on the run.

ON THE GO Food Suggestions:

You have all read the Grains sheet a few weeks ago. If we could just head back to that for a second, I would like to let you in on a little secret. You can cook grains once and eat twice or even three times! 

  • For example, I will soak my brown rice overnight or through the day (and if I forget to soak it then it doesn't matter) then I will cook a HUGE batch of it for dinner, it can be added to pretty much every single meal. The kids eat it and the hubby likes, and its a great healthy grain it so its a win win. We will have a meal with it for dinner (easy to use if two different meals are required, because yes, my children are normal and we struggle to have them eat the same meal as us every night, and to be honest I can't be bothered wasting my time - if I know they won't eat it!) 
  • Once we have eaten I will pop the rice in the fridge and then we can use it the next day. I will either use it for a brown rice salad lunch or dinner (just add avocado, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, carrots, mung beans, whatever you normally put in a salad, but add it to the rice as well and you have an instant filling lunch) or I will use it for dinner again the following night by heating it up on the stove, chucking some veggies and meat at it with whatever oil I feel like using and creating a healthy stir fry for dinner. The leftovers of that can be eaten the following day for breakfast (I'm not really a stir fry for breakfast kind of girl, but it is the way to my husbands heart! so he is happy with it, and the kids love it too. Lots of butter..mmmm!)
  • You could alternatively add some coconut milk, cinnamon and whatever fruit or frozen fruit you like to it and have it as a breakfast cereal. Its just like oats, tastes equally as delicious. Play around! If placed back in the fridge and kept covered and under 4 degrees celsius the rice will keep for 2 days in the fridge. Please make sure you cook it thoroughly when re-heating.
  • See how this all only takes one cook? You can do this with many grains. EASY.
  • Another time saver is the one-pot or wok meals. So this is when you grab the protein you will be eating with (fish, meat, tofu etc) and cook it in the wok then grab all the vegetables you like, chop them up and throw them in the wok keep heating, then add your favourite flavoured sauces (preferably home made or no added sugar ones) and wham bam you have a delicious meal with one wok and one wooden spoon to clean at the end! Simple!
  • You can make soups on the weekend and freeze them down for nights that you are too tired or home late too even think about cooking. Break them into serving sized portions before freezing.
  • I often make spaghetti bolognese for my children and make a huge batch, then I freeze down the mince and veggies and when we arrive home late in the evenings I will pull one of them out (or have done it in the morning) and I just need to cook fresh pasta for them. So awesome. That's one of my favourite parts of cooking - how awesome it feels when you pull one out of the freezer knowing how healthy it is for them because you took the time to cook it when you had time!
  • A meal doesn't need to take hours - 20 minutes would be my maximum. You also don't need to make something difficult and different every night, forever. Pick your 5-7 favourite meals and have them on rotate! OR use them as the base for your meals and experiment with new flavours and spices. The only way you will learn new ideas is to experiment. Sometimes it will work, sometimes it won't. Have fun with it.
  • You can shop online and have your food delivered right to your door
  • You can even have your meals delivered to your door
  • You can eat raw food, or make a healthy antipasto platter and turn it into a fun picnic outside
  • Take the time to write a shopping list. Plan your meals and then when you are in the supermarket you won't become overwhelmed with what to buy, you will also save money and time as you know what you are there for and you must only stick to the list.

Here's an easy list to go to when you are writing the supermarket list out, Heathy snack list.

Primary food: Relationships

Now for the big one. How are your relationships at the moment? Think about that circle of life and maybe this will refresh your mind of one relationship that maybe needs some improvement.   A little bit of time and effort spent on it may make things much nicer for both of you.  

TASK 5

Take 20 minutes this week to spend some time with the person you think you could benefit from doing this with. Be it 20 minutes completing Task 1 where you need to tell them something beautiful about themselves, or be it simply picking up the phone to have a chat with an old friend. You could even spend some time in the kitchen with your spouse or children, killing two birds with one stone - prepping some meals and food to freeze down while having a chat with them. Have them help. Make it fun. You are not a slave to your family, everyone should be able to pitch in and help. You are worth it!

Quick re-cap:

This week you are going to tell yourself why you are so beautiful, it can be an inside beauty or a physical beauty. Remember those signature strengths - you can find one of those and delve deeper into that. Try some of the positive psychology activities and see how much better you feel after those selfless acts.

Up the exercise anti if you are not doing enough at the moment and drop it down a notch if you think your hormones may be being destroyed from too much cortisol running in the system.

Re-connect with someone who matters to you. Relationships are a vital ingredient to wellbeing. Snap up the order to connect and enjoy the special time with a loved one.

Pre-plan some meals, or make the time to write your shopping list out. Do something towards planning ahead so you can save time and money further down the track.

Stay in touch on the forum and have a beautiful week! Only 2 more weeks left!!

If you are able to find out your blood type this week it would be really helpful for next week as well. You can do this at your local doctors or blood station.

Keep it up, you are doing amazingly well.

Jess x

This weeks files:

Ayuervedic Body Types

Ayuervedic Questionnaire

Healthy Snack List

Top 3 Positive Activities

Top 10 Reasons to Exercise