If you want to look great, have lots of energy, move with ease and rarely get sick, then STRALA yoga founder, Tara Stiles, can help you. The NYC-based queen of all things easy-going and feel-good has a saying, “who made the rules?” This is transcribed into her food philosophy.

Newsflash: Diets are unsustainable. Just kidding, you already knew that because you’ve likely attempted one or two.


Photo by Kristine Mahan

If you want to stop slipping in and out of diets and fads so easily, here are a few of Tara’s principles to get you started with the freedom of making and breaking your own rules.

Get Sensitized: Live in the “feeling mode,” experiment with what feels good or not and note how your body responds. When you’re in this mode you stop stress from ruling your world. Stress affects the body and mind so make time for self-care.

Move: If you’re not moving you can’t flourish. Even if it’s not a fun session of STRALA yoga, some sort of movement with ease is necessary for cultivating the freest, healthiest and happiest you.

Nourish: Learn to love your kitchen and feed your body whole, real foods. When you feel well you want to eat well. And remember, an indulgence once in a while is perfectly OK!  Make Your Own Rules Diet comes with a grocery list to help guide you.


Photo by Kristine Mahan

Forget About the Burn: If you’re eating real, whole foods, you should have no reason to count calories. When you’re counting, you’re forgetting to feel and connect with your body. Sure, you might lose a few pounds but it surely isn’t sustainable.

Have Fun: You’re in charge, you have choices, your rules should be fun!

Stiles’ version of making her own rules is vegan, in-line with traditional yogi values. If plant-based is not for you, that’s OK, just try to eat real, whole foods, while staying in touch with your body.


Photo by Kristine Mahan

Want to start tomorrow? Start with her Maple French Toast and a Green Dream Smoothie.

I started following the #makeyourownrulesdiet more than a year ago, and it has been incredibly sustainable and fun. Hashtag your creations and progress on Instagram to add to the growing community of rule makers & breakers out there.

Some recipes that will help you start making your own rules too: