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Five minutes with Jasmine Hemsley

posted on Wednesday, 13th December 2017 | find under Nutrition
To celebrate the release of her first solo book, East By West we caught up with bestselling author, wellness expert and cafe owner (we can go on) Jasmine Hemsley to discuss Ayurveda, her new book and love of Taylor Swift over a slice of Buckwheat Banana Bread. Which was so good, we had to share the recipe here.

jasmine hemsley
Photo Credit: Nick Hopper

Can you tell us about Ayurveda?

Ayurveda is the 5000 year old ‘Science of Life’ originating in India. It's a philosophy for a healthy mind, body and spirit in balance and understanding ourselves as a part of nature. From the same roots as yoga, it recognises that we, like everything else in the universe are made up of 5 key elements, space, air, fire, water and earth.

We all have our own unique combination of the 3 doshas Vata, Pitta, Kapha. If we find the perfect balance we can go about creating a life using food, movement, mindfulness and the environment we’re in, to feel our very best.   
 
How did you personally discover Ayurveda?

Like many people, it all started with yoga. I took to the mat expecting to walk away feeling a little more flexible and a little less stressed. What I discovered was a practice where the power beyond the pose changed my life for the better. My time on the mat lead me to explore this ancient philosophy, which I interegated into my lifestyle to help me manage the ebb and flow of life.
 
Tell us about your new book East by West?

East by West is a snapshot of everything I learnt and found useful through my twelve year journey, presented in a way I hope others less familiar with Ayurveda will find accessible. First and foremost though it’s a delicious and super easy cookbook with 140 recipes so you can learn more simply by eating your way through it!
 
What kind of recipes can we expect?

Ayurveda classics like Kitchari and Golden Milk. Pus, traditional dishes from all over the world such as my favourite chicken soup, lamb hotpot with pink peppercorn and of course delicious everyday dahl's. Ayurvedic doesn’t mean Indian food - it’s not as hot and spicy. It's much more mellow comfort food, so you’ll find muffins, pancakes and waffles in the mix! It’s the opposite of deprivation and all about enjoying and savouring food.
 
If there is one recipe we have to try what would it be?

The Rasta Dahl. This was taught to me by my meditation teacher, who learnt it from a Rastafarian. Everyone who’s tried it loves it and goes back to it again and again.
 
Or something as simple as soft boiled eggs - this time with broccoli dippers and a sprinkle of cumin, it’s a game changer.
 
What 5 ingredients would we always find in your pantry?

Yellow mung dal (split mung beans), ghee, jaggery, my spice tin (I’m cheating on this one as it has 7 spices in it!) and sesame oil.
 
Tell us about your morning routine?

If I can get to bed at the right time then I’m definitely an early bird. I like to get a bit of time to myself in the morning before the phone and emails go off! I start with oil pulling, tongue scraping and a shower, then sipping on hot water, before at least 10 minutes of yoga and meditation. I think eat breakfast, before a dog walk (I've got 3) with my other half Nick in the park.

Describe yourself in 3 words?

Vata, Pitta and a touch Kapha. Want to know what I mean? Try the dosha test on my website here. 
 
What’s your favourite way to workout?

Yoga, walks and swimming in the sea.
 
What’s your guilty pleasure?

I try not to put guilt and food together as that’s just a recipe for disaster and not at all helpful. But I do feel a tad guilty if I eat the crusty bits off of cakes and bakes (basically the best bits) when nobody’s looking.
 
What about music? Taylor Swift is my favourite, in fact my spin class this week is called guilty pleasures with back to back insane tracks. 
 
What is your favourite quote of all time?

It’s a lyric but same same it’s the best. All you need is love. Love is all you need.
 
One piece of advice you’d give your younger self?

Stop worrying. Start living!
 
Finally, if you could be anywhere in the world where would you be?

On a beach with Nick and my boys and me Julie (reader, these are all dogs bar Nick)

Try Jasmine's favourite banana bread recipe here (you won't regret it). For 140 more recipes and information on the ayurvedic lifestyle try East by West: Simple Recipes for Ultimate Mind-Body Balance by Jasmine Hemsley (Bluebird Books).
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