The Make Your Own Rules Diet book is a beginner’s guide to eating healthy, practicing yoga and mastering meditation. Author Tara Stiles utilizes her knowledge, expertise and enthusiasm to present fun ways to stay fit and live better.
Owner/founder of Strala, the revolutionary movement-based system designed to encourage free movement, Stiles has channeled her passion for yoga into a successful, globally-franchised brand – and the first yoga program to be universally offered at a major chain of gyms.
In this 312-page book, Stiles applies the same laid-back, free-spirited voice and principles that made Strala so popular. After teaching readers some guiding principles and empowering them to follow their hearts, nurture their bodies and sooth their souls, Tara lays the foundation for all-around better living with tips, tricks and the following components:
- A progressive goal creation process so readers can figure out their focus and map out a plan for success.
- A week-long Jump-Start Guide, plus a 30-day plan for a total lifestyle transformation.
- Six full-length yoga routines specially designed to boost energy, quell hunger, shed inches and promote inner-peace.
- Eight respiring exercises and meditation practices to put readers at ease.
- 50 quick and easy plant-based recipes.
The Good & The Bad
In general, Make Your Own Rules Diet was easy to get into and a pretty good read. Here are the three biggest strong points of the book:
- Interesting and easy to follow. Diet and exercise books can sometimes be difficult to get into – but Stiles’ exuberant personality and easygoing demeanor shine through in her narrative. She keeps the chapters flowing with colorful insights and encouraging words for her readers. She genuinely seems to practice what she preaches and deeply believes how these healthy habits can help shape happy lives.
- Fresh take on old tactics. None of what Stiles covers could be considered groundbreaking. After all, yoga is an ancient practice that has been around for 5,000 years now. However, she breathes new life into age-old routines, focusing on fun and relaxation instead of the pain and discomfort that often comes with perfecting yoga poses.
- Thoroughly explained yoga routines. Learning yoga through a book is decidedly more difficult than receiving real-life training from a skilled instructor. However, Stiles places herself right there with the readers, easing them into new poses and pulling them through entire routines with simple instructions, insider tips, helpful pictures and most importantly, encouragement.
- Not enough good recipes. While Stiles is a master of motivation and a skilled yoga instructor, she’s definitely not a nutritionist and the recipes in her book make this very clear. There are technically 50 different recipes in Make Your Own Rules Diet – but there aren’t very many for filling, nutritionally-rounded meals. Instead, the vast majority of these formulas are for fruit and vegetable smoothies that provide a lot of healthy carbohydrates, fiber and other essential nutrients, but don’t deliver much protein. This is incredibly disappointing, considering that protein is an essential nutrient for muscle growth, recovery and repair – especially if you’re performing the yoga routines Stiles recommends.
- Mediocre meditation tips. Stiles’ meditation tactics are just okay. There are some good suggestions but no clear explanation for what purpose each exercise serves or helps achieve. There also doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of research or educated support behind the meditation tactics she suggests – it all seems to solely be based upon what has personally worked for her.
Who is This Book For?
This would be a great introductory book for someone who wants to get into yoga. Stiles is an impressively qualified instructor and her laid back demeanor makes her a pleasure to learn from. However, it should be noted that many of the poses and routines in this book are not geared toward every age and fitness level.
The poses are technically introductory level – but only if you are moderately young, mostly in shape and flexible. If you are older, overweight, inflexible or particularly prone to injury, these yoga positions may not be achievable for you.
If you’re unsure of whether or not these routines will work for you, consult your doctor before starting the new exercise regimen.
Also, since the recipes in the book are weak, this book is definitely not for someone who wants to start a serious diet or lose a lot of weight. Since Stiles is not a nutritionist, she doesn’t really instill you with the right principles for eating for weight loss.
She herself is a vegetarian so she presents her personal beliefs and principles, encouraging you to find your own and “write your own rules” so to speak. If you also happen to be a vegetarian or simply love smoothies and are looking for delicious ways to add more fiber to your diet, then you might find some useful material here.
Final Take on Make Your Own Rules Diet
Tara Stiles is a renowned yoga instructor, fitness enthusiast and a talented author as well. Her book Make Your Own Rules Diet is a great gateway into yoga and in general, into healthier living. The strength of the book are definitely its descriptive, easy-to-follow yoga routines, supplemented with Stiles’ positive energy and empowerment of her readers.
However, despite the fact that the book is titled Make Your Own Rules Diet, the “diet” described in this book is easily its weakest aspect. The recipes are mostly for green smoothies – not actual meals – and few provide the protein required to satisfy an active individual’s daily requirement.
In her defense, Stiles is not a nutritionist, so she’s only sharing what has personally worked for her. This is nothing to discount the content of the book entirely; readers should definitely make their own rules – instead of following Stiles’ suggestions on the diet part.
In conclusion, pick up the book for some fun, easy yoga routines and the inspiration you need to start down a healthy path. Take Stiles’ nutrition recommendations with a grain of salt – listen to your body, understand what it needs for nourishment and make your own rules when it comes to the diet.
We hope you enjoyed our Make Your Own Rules Diet review and if you have any questions about the book or want to leave your own personal review, please leave a comment in the section below.