Ashley Verma, Founder of DEFINE.London, talks us through her daily diet.
Physical exercise is undoubtedly the core aspect when it comes to our fitness, but the work we do in the gym forms just part of the overall job.
Whilst working out will push you past your plateaus, enable you to achieve your goals and provide you with the distinct euphoria that follows an empowering session – you would be wrong to think that this was the sole way to achieve optimum fitness.
Truth is, fitness without the right diet is an injustice to yourself. Working out and eating right go hand in hand, and it’s important to make sure we look after our diet just as much as we look after our physical fitness regimes.
Believe me when I say that I have tried every fad diet possible before I finally said enough is enough. These fad diets, promising ‘quick weight loss’ through what is usually an unhealthy and unbalanced diet, target people who are in a hurry to lose weight. But whilst they claim to make you lose fat, the reality is you are predominantly losing water. Fad diets created a monster within me that didn’t allow me to learn of what my body truly needed.
I believe it is all about ‘trusting your gut’, in literal terms, and being at one with nutritious foods to supplement your physical workouts – without the need for the gimmicky, ‘revolutionary’ fad diets.
Whilst our diet is of vital importance when it comes to our fitness, I also think it’s important to enjoy life, and for me this includes enjoying your food. I don’t believe in starving yourself through diets as it has failed me so many times. As I have grown with age, I have found that it is critically important to feel comfortable within your own skin. It took me a while to realise this, and I think it’s something that affects a lot of women, but it feels amazing once you reach that stage. Balance is key for me, and I know that the minute I restrict myself to a bland, tasteless diet, I will massively fall off the wagon. It’s all about finding that happy medium of good tasting, nutritious food.
My daily diet
I can always tell when I’m dehydrated by my skin condition and mood, so when I wake up, I make sure to drink a substantial amount of water. I also talk a lot during my sessions and need my chords to be fully hydrated and replenished. I do love my coffee as well, however over the years I have noticed that I can’t handle more than two cups a day. I have one cup in the morning and that is usually enough to set me up for the day – the last thing I want is to be jittery during my sessions, so I avoid overdosing on caffeine.
Typically for breakfast I have an egg white omelette with swiss cheese, spinach and red onion. Spinach contains twice the iron content of most greens and can act as a substitute for non-meat eaters to get certain nutrients. It’s also very versatile so I would advise trying to incorporate it is as best you can – even in a juice.
For lunch I often eat a Greek chopped pita salad. As fancy as this sounds, it’s a combination of lettuce, crumbled feta cheese, half a cup of canned garbanzo beans and half a cucumber sliced. Add one whole pita bread chopped into slices and 2 tablespoons of low-fat vinaigrette and the salad is complete.
For a snack, I have carrot sticks with red pepper hummus, various fruits or pine nut falafel.
For dinner I try my best to incorporate a range of nutrients and minerals. It’s important to have a balanced mix throughout the day, so I cap the day off with a protein filled meal as a result of a dairy and carbohydrate dominated lunch. I prepare a grilled chicken and sweet potato dinner with a mixture of greens such as asparagus, broccoli and spinach.