Archive for Ideas & Inspiration

A Must See Heart Warming Turkey Rescue

 All I know, is that if I were a turkey, Karen Dawn can rescue me anytime! Her amazing voice can put me right into a trance. She reminds me of Snow White, but who is now all grown up, living in CA and rescuing some very LUCKY turkeys every Thanksgiving. What an inspiration!

This video hits home, as once upon a time, I had a Cockatiel named Sunny Bird who lived with me for 15 years. He showed me first hand how smart and sensitive birds can be. His favorite thing to do was enjoy a warm blow dry after a spa treatment ;) So I know that feeling of caring for God’s special animals. There is little that is more rewarding than helping to make someone feel safe, happy and loved. Sunny Bird would close his little brown eyes and just sit there, just like the turkey in the video, until he was all dry. I miss that little guy. 

My Sunny Bird

Memories of blow drying Sunny bird is the closest I will get to rescuing a turkey this year, well, if you don’t count our adopted Turkey from Farm Sanctuary. We love doing that every year!

I hope Karen’s video inspires you to have a kinder holiday season and to inspire those around you. Maybe it helps to see turkeys in a different light?

I have never enjoyed Thanksgiving as much as I do now. It took having that little something more to celebrate which is bigger than myself, to realize how much more meaningful it can be. I love celebrating life.  I know per history we are supposed to be celebrating having food to eat, but luckily most of us never have known what it’s like to not have food to eat. So without knowing that contrast, the genuine grateful feeling can come from showing mercy to another by not cooking it and shoving stuffing up it’s arse. I know this contrast well, because as a researching vegan, I see the horrors on a daily basis. It’s definitely kindness that makes this holiday special now. Heck, it makes every meal special. I am sorry to say, that I haven’t always shown mercy, but I didn’t know better back then. Now I do and act on it. One day, when I get to those pearly gates, I certainly hope to be forgiven.

What’s on the menu this year?

Well, we will enjoy a mini feast starting with cranberry pesto crostini, a wonderful green salad with avocado, cranberry, almonds, chopped apples and balsamic dressing. A gardein stuffed roast, orange grand marnier cranberry sauce, garlic and rosemary mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy, rosemary and garlic green beans, sweet potato casserole with pecans and then if there is any room left, we will stuff in some pumpkin pie topped with coconut whipped cream. Boy, I better get started in the kitchen , huh?  One thing is for sure, we LOVE food around here and are grateful for every delicious vegan bite.

If you need any recipe ideas, perhaps being a last minute throw it together kind of person like myself (I still haven’t gone grocery shopping… that’s tonight’s adventure right after I post this) check out my Pinterest Holiday Table or these old posts from last year:

New Traditions: 24 Holiday Worthy Plant-Based-Vegan Main Dishes

New Traditions Part 2: Holiday Side Dishes and Our Thanksgiving Menu

My Thanksgiving Review

I hope you have a wonderful and kind Thanksgiving!

~The Karmatarian

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The Loss of Ajabu

July 2013 watercolour - Ajabu

Glancing at the phone first thing this morning, all I saw was the number 22, as in today’s date. I had an instant thought of uh oh… death. I can’t explain it, and I know it’s not positive or uplifting for a first thought, but it was a split second intuitive feeling. I also know the number 22 to be a great spiritual master number, besides what the 2’s have also come to represent in my experience… the possible passing on of someone you know.

Trying to wake my brain up, I thought I’d check my email. The very first message was horrible news. Indeed someone passed on. It was our sweet baby elephant that we foster named AJABU. She was being cared for at The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust which “is today the most successful orphan-elephant rescue and rehabilitation program in the world and one of the pioneering conservation organizations for wildlife and habitat protection in East Africa.” ~The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Now I was awake and sad to start the day with  such bad news. I stumbled into the walk-in closet (which was dark) only to be startled by my husband using his cell phone as a flashlight to find something to wear. He is very sweet not to want to wake me up by turning on the actual light, but what a scare!  We both started laughing… and then I started sobbing. He didn’t know what to think. I could barely blurt out the sentence…. “Our elephant died.”

Learn what happened to Ajabu here

Trying to make sense of the grief, I was thinking… is my sorrow really about my relationship to the elephant herself? After all, I’ve never met the little one. Or is it about me? My loss?

I am pretty sure it’s about the hope which I had for her. The prayers that I prayed for her. And yes, it is about me and my goals surrounding the day I fostered this sweet soul. I wish to do more good in this world and she was a part of my bigger plan. I guess you can’t help but feel a million ways. I remember how excited I was the day we fostered Ajabu and how my 5 year old at the time excitedly painted me a beautiful elephant picture. I’m emotional that this brief fostering experience had such a sad ending. I dreamed of visiting a healthy Ajabu in Kenya one day. After all, she seemed to be thriving.

My grief may have to do with all of those things above, but one thing I know for certain is that I am grieving for humanity and how cruel humans are acting out of greed, and that this baby elephant even needed to be rescued by an orphanage to begin with. Elephants are being poached at the rate of One every 15 minutes with a prediction of extinction by the year 2025! Elephants hold the most light on our planet along with dolphins according to spiritual teachers. Could that be why this is hitting me so hard?  The fact that elephants are so intelligent, have such close bonds with their families and stay with their young into their teen years and beyond is amazing. They are also known to grieve as deep or deeper than humans… that is incredible to me. Imagining the heartbreak of Ajabu’s surrogate mum named Sonje who loved Ajabu and the heartbreak of the keepers who were so close with her brings tears to my eyes. Although, I Imagine what an honor it must be to be a keeper at the elephant orphanage and to work closely with these magnificent Elephants. The keepers are heroes every day!

Right now, more light than ever before is entering the planet shining the spotlight on darkness and bringing it to our attention. These are things that we need to fix and address such as poaching of our wild elephants and rhinos for their ivory. It’s pathetic and all for what? A carved trinket! I feel so deeply about our wildlife right now and what they go through at the hands of lost human souls. I feel that sensitive souls like myself are being put through hell at the moment with animal exploitation stories at every turn. But I am strong. I am able to look at what most people would look away from. I am willing to make changes where they are needed, such as going vegan. I am willing to be a voice for the voiceless, and support where I can. I am also willing to be a role model for others. But being strong doesn’t mean it doesn’t get to me… indeed it does. I think this path I’m on is meant to build my character and it is not easy!  I would never judge sensitive souls as being weak or inferior. Far from.

We also ALL have something else to contend with, and that is all the energy swirling around as of late, helping us to release and rebuild for the new world. It’s a bit much. I’m not going to pretend that it’s not, and it’s affecting all of us in crazy ways. I now see that my lesson is to get through discouragement. I have had to take breaks from blogging and posting when I feel discouraged and then I pick myself back up and move forward again. I would love to work through this once and for all, so that I am only moving forward. Here is a great post I read today on Spirit Library  (I love Spirit Library, btw) by Sarah Varcas, that explains a lot about the recent energy and why the ups and downs are happening right now. We will all get through this and be better for it. I am keeping this hope.

As for today, I will be thinking of little Ajabu and keeping positive thoughts. I am praying that her soul is with her mother in heaven, although they don’t really know the fate of her mother, with poaching as it is, chances are they will be reuniting. My thoughts wander toward thinking this is the best place for her. Earth is a tough place for animals right now.  So I am a bit relieved. Our foster-ship will transfer over to Sonje and I’m more than happy to keep helping these elephants. If  youRemembering Ajabu

would like to do more, please visit iworry to find out about the October 4th walk for elephants and to sign the petition.

Here is a SUPER cute video of our baby Ajabu –  May she rest in peace

Read more on the Orphans project with The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Do you feel the intense energy lately? What is your recent spiritual learning experience as an animal lover/vegan?

May you be filled with hope along your journey,

~The Karmatarian

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Raise the Roof Sweet Potato Lasagna – My Review

Raise the Roof Sweet Potato Lasagna

If you happen to be plant-based savvy… you may have seen this recipe, tried it, or thought about trying it. It’s featured in the “Forks Over Knives” original handbook, Engine 2 Kitchen Rescue dvd and on the Engine 2 Diet website and possibly more places.

My post is a little story about our Christmas holiday that goes along with my review of this recipe, which I couldn’t wait until I had a reason to make.

As you may know from my earlier post, our family survived the flu this year, thankfully without antibiotics, and I am grateful for that. I am upset we got it at all. Don’t you think Vegans should be exempt?! All of these super bugs stemming from factory farms which we voluntarily choose to disconnect from! This is why us vegans spread the word! Everyone is affected by factory farms. Back to my story, the bottom line is that we had too much crazy energy happening in the weeks prior to Christmas and I believe it was due to the energetic alignment and 12/21, but it sure had us caught off guard. Luckily, we got over the flu before Christmas and we had energy to clean our house before our friends arrived from out of town. We were pretty excited that good friends of ours were staying with us for Christmas!

I will refer to our friends as T and G… because I have no clue if they want to be named in my blog.

Our friends are so dear to us. We have shared many dinners together, great conversation and a million laughs. We are so grateful to know such good-hearted people like T and G!

My husband and I met our friends when we lived in Raleigh, North Carolina, roughly 6 years ago. We were their first American friends, and what an honor! They had just moved to the U.S. from Croatia and we were happy to welcome them. We made sure that they experienced many of our traditions, including Halloween and an all American Thanksgiving.

Times have changed for us… well… food-wise that is. I still dress up for Halloween!

Our family is now a vegan family and T and G are known to eat similar to their culture in Croatia, where dining might as well be the national sport. And because of this, I was trying to come up with a meal plan (being a holiday with no restaurants open) that  everyone would like. I originally thought that I could make something for them that they would enjoy (meat dish), and something that we would enjoy (vegan dish).

The more that I thought about it, the more I could NOT bring myself to do it. It just affirmed for me how far I have come with this vegan thing. It was by no means out of stubbornness or trying to make a point. I just can’t bring myself to purchase meat and bring it into my home. I really feel it’s a bit of a vibrational/energetic/spiritual thing. I have also conditioned myself to cook the opposite of how I used to. I don’t even really remember how to cook meat. I really don’t want to remember how to cook meat. I prefer my kitchen and my body to be light with energy and my counters free from dangerous bacteria. And then there is the whole plant-based nutritionist thing I have going on… feeding meat to my friends would be criminal in my mind and that’s without even touching upon animal rights.

But what would I make? How can I keep everyone happy? Did I mention that T is almost 7 feet tall and and a good sized guy? He will be the first to tell you, he likes his meat and has to have it.

Racking my brain, I remembered this sweet potato lasagna recipe which has been said to be a winner in the plant-based community according to Rip Esselstyn.  Well, if it’s good enough for firefighters, then it has to be filling and satisfying! I also remember that my Dad made this recipe a while back and he told me it was worth all the work involved. He had so much food left over – this is what I wanted!

I narrowed it down. My menu for the few days our friends were visiting consisted of a beautiful salad, this sweet potato lasagna, a raw pecan pie that I made from the Cafe Gratitude recipe book, Whole Foods brand vegan blueberry and pumpkin pie (hey, it’s the holidays) as well as their 12 grain artisan bread. The next day I added spinach and “cheese” stuffed shells to the menu, using the recipe for the cheese from my Gluten Free – Spinach and “Cheese” Lasagna Bites post, but stuffing jumbo shells instead of making it a lasagna. For breakfast, I baked vegan pumpkin bread two mornings in a row as requested!

The menu, I thought would be filling. I wasn’t thinking at the time that the dinners would be two pasta sauce dishes and I should mix it up a little more, but it turned out that they tasted totally different from one another. I also took a huge leap of faith that this lasagna would be great. For I had no back up plan.

Luck has it and to our surprise, when our friends showed up, they announced that they had given up Dairy products! YESSSS!!!! That was half the battle right there. See? Just another example of how people are surprising me left and right. Smart people are catching on! We had even more to talk about!

The lasagna ended up to be a bit of work, but enjoyable work as I visualized the outcome while preparing it. And Dad was right, totally WORTH IT! I cheated just a smidge. I used a sauce that was not exactly Engine 2 approved. It was a Trader Joe’s Garlic Marinara. I know it to have a lot of flavor and a little bit of oil. I also added a touch of Himalayan sea salt to the veggie mixture because I wanted to be sure this was bursting with flavor. It was perfect and I have to say, it didn’t need the salt. That is how much flavor it brings on it’s own!

My suggestion… When you make this, just pick a sauce that you KNOW has good flavor, oil or not, as the sauce is so important in a dish like this. I also used gluten free lasagna noodles. I feel that they cooked up on the firmer side because I was cutting it close on sauce. Two jars are not exactly enough to cover the noodles. I think 2 jars plus 1/2 would be perfect. I also bought a throw away lasagna tray from the grocery store that was DEEP.  You are going to need that with all these layers. I realize now, that I need to invest in a good lasagna pan!

This lasagna was healthy and satisfying. Full of texture and flavor. It is hard to really explain the end flavors but they go so very well together. T said that he doesn’t usually like sweet potato. Surprise!!! He doesn’t even like lasagna, either! But he just loved this! Phew! Everyone wanted more and we happily ate it for lunch the next day, too!

Not to leave G out, she really enjoyed the meals as well and she got right in my kitchen to help with the dishes. What a doll!

The vegan cheese shells were super filling as well. You really only need to eat a few. Having salad first, bread and then dessert after, we were stuffed.

A million sweet compliments from our friends confirmed that I made a good choice. T said something along the lines of…ya know, I usually have to have meat, but these past few days I really enjoyed everything and haven’t missed meat at all… What a compliment! I hope I influenced them to look at a plant-based diet a little differently and know it can be very satisfying.

We ended up at PF Chang’s on the last night of our visit. I will never forget the nice comment from T. He said, “this food here at this restaurant is good and everything, but it’s nothing like yours, Christa. Look… just the way you cut your carrots vs. theirs…. It’s just different, and so much better”.

When you put love and intention into your home cooked dishes, there is a difference. How many restaurants do that besides some vegan/raw? There is an energy there, and if you are in tune, you can’t deny it. But aside from that, lucky for me, T and G appreciate home cooking, as that is how they were raised. I am not trying to brag here, of course their kind words felt really, really good and it’s always nice to have people appreciate your efforts and support what you do, but much credit goes to Engine 2 Diet for a fantastic recipe!

It meant so much to me to have been able to please our guests and knowing how honest they truly are, I trust that they really enjoyed everything. Food was a small part of the visit of course, we had such a great time catching up and just relaxing. It was so heart warming to hear that this was one of the best Christmases they ever had.

A successful Vegan-Croatian-American-Christmas in the books!

Here are a few pics of the pie. I have made it twice and dream of this one often…

Enjoy the Journey,

~The Karmatarian

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My Thanksgiving Review

Now that I have had a few weeks to rest after clocking 18 plus hours in the kitchen prepping our vegan holiday meal, I wanted to write a quick review and share a few things that I learned. Of course I want to share my photos too ;) I had more fun “digesting” everything in the days after Thanksgiving, (especially the leftovers) because things are always nuts when you are playing hostess!

Check out some of my photos of our dinner together…

How it all went down~

As far as appetizers go… The artichoke spinach dip was absolutely FABULOUS! It’s my new favorite and I will make it often, definitely for Christmas. We found ourselves all fighting over the last cranberry pesto crostini, so those were a hit as well. The stuffed mushrooms were really great, but not as good as I planned. I made the filling the night before to save time. I learned that red onions turn a funny color and turn the filling a bit purple when left overnight! They still turned out looking good but that freaked me out a bit. Next time, I will make these the day of. I also used panko crumbs, but I will stick to using regular bread crumbs for this. They tell me that these were fabulous too, but the cook is always her worst critic.

The soup recipe for butternut squash apple was the Holiday Soup recipe from of the awesome Vitamix cookbook. It was really delicious, but I felt it was a bit too heavy on the nutmeg and not sweet enough. I just made this again two nights ago and tweaked it with more apple, less nutmeg and less white pepper, and it was perfect!! No complaints on Thanksgiving. As far as food, we could have stopped here after the soup. We were so full at this point!

The sweet potato casserole was perfect. The recipe called for a little orange juice concentrate which I had never added in the past. I really liked the flavor boost.

Stuffing… I am not a huge fan to begin with. I liked the fruit and toasted almond stuffing idea, as it was fancy shmancy, but it was SO MUCH WORK and unexpectedly the day of. Maybe I could have made it the day before and let it soak in the veggie broth.  I took the tinfoil off near the end of baking to give it a crispier outside. I guess I prefer mushy stuffing and this wasn’t the best idea. Thinking about what it is… stuffing, I have no desire to be stuffed – and that is all that these extra carbs do. Stuff ya! I’ll skip this next year.

Let’s talk main dish ~The roast. I had to have this while I was out shopping one day. Just to try it. It looked so good! It cooked up beautifully. It definitely needs gravy. Thankfully, I made the impromptu mushroom gravy for the potatoes and it was amazing. The roast itself was really good, but with a heavy sausage flavor. I can’t complain because that was as described on the package. It was a little too heavy of a dish for my liking. We had all of this other home cooked food to choose from, so to eat the roast just threw the vegan meal off for me. We don’t do to many mock meats anymore AND I was also way too stuffed for such a heavy dish. When you eat plant-based, you are used to eating lighter and your body is used to being lighter. I don’t regret this choice though. I could have done without it that night, BUT it was AWESOME for leftovers with gravy (when we were hungry) the next few days. The Timbales turned out great per usual. I really love making them and they are a yearly tradition for us now.

Dessert! The cheezecake was sooo very rich, we always love this. The pumpkin pie was heaven with rice whip cream topping. I had a little mishap with the crust though. It stuck to the parchment paper and I wasn’t aggressive enough getting it out when I served it. I know! It could have been that much better had I served it with crust! I discovered this the next day and enjoyed eating just the crust. Extra crust all for me… kind of the best part! The baked pears were fun! Also great with rice whip topping. Although, I was in a hurry to get them out of the oven and they could have baked for much longer. They were still quite firm. Maybe that is how they are meant to be? Still delicious as could be.

My only slight complaint about the holiday was that our dessert guests got lured into eating dessert where they had their Thanksgiving dinner earlier, and came over with full stomachs! That was truly disappointing, oh well, what are you going to do? It only left MORE for us to enjoy later!

What else???  I guess everything else is straight forward.

To choose vegan, it just takes conscious effort. It’s EASY, kind, responsible, and it’s very enjoyable! Replace the butter and dairy milk with something like Earth Balance margarine or coconut oil, almond, rice or coconut milk… There are also numerous raw vegan dessert recipes that will totally rock the show and can be found on the internet.

When you can present a special meal that is colorful and delicious with all the flavors of the Thanksgiving holiday such as Thyme, Sage, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Rosemary, etc… why do you need to add the violence? And so what that you don’t have Turkey. You are STUFFED by the time dinner is over and you don’t miss a damn thing. I promise you. The artist in me loves the creative challenge of vegan cooking and it will never grow old. The rebel in me loves the idea of showing the world it can be done a different and kinder way. Screw the traditions that include violence, ill health and destruction. It’s so not necessary. Turkey for protein you say? We had a protein overload without it! But who is really worried about protein intake on Thanksgiving? You are really looking for flavor and that is easily achieved without any animal exploitation. It may not have been the ultimate healthy meal but I sure felt the healthiest eating it, compared to any other  “traditional carnivorous Thanksgiving” that I have ever eaten in the past. Besides, when you do something with intention, it makes it that more enjoyable. Our intention was a vegan dinner that compared to what anyone else was eating, but better. We achieved it in my book. However, next year it’s a vacation or take out from the Chicago Diner. Cooking can be exhausting! I cook almost every night, so I could use to be treated out once in a while. Or better yet, maybe one of you will invite us to your next vegan feast!?

The recipes that I picked to make are certainly acceptable to make again for Christmas dinner and that is right around the corner, so I figured it is not too late to share my reviews in case anyone out there wants to try the recipes. You can find my holiday menu by clicking here or find these and more on my Pinterest page. I am thinking of raise the roof sweet potato lasagna by Engine 2 for Christmas. It’s also in the Forks over Knives handbook.

To sum it up, everything turned out wonderful. We enjoyed counting our blessings and sharing a peaceful evening together with delicious food. Everyone enjoys their own recipes and traditions and your own holidays are special and memorable, but it is my hope that more of us will think outside the box, outside of ourselves, and make the holidays enjoyable, memorable and kind for all beings on this planet. Especially factory farmed animals.

I hope you enjoyed a beautiful Thanksgiving day! Please share some of your own traditions, recipes and ideas for a cruelty free, healthier holiday with me in the comments or on my Facebook page.

Now it’s off to plan Christmas dinner and I am hosting two this year, but they will be much lower key! At least I hope, but I know me. I am a bit tired just thinking about it, but I am excited to figure out the menu.

For now, we have one of our trees up and are enjoying the ambiance. I just love getting up early in the morning and turning the lights on!

...And our cat, Cosmo checking out the tree? :)

…And our cat, Cosmo checking things out :)

Enjoy the Journey,

~The Karmatarian

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New Traditions Part 2: Holiday Side Dishes and Our Thanksgiving Menu

(Photo Courtesy of Farm Sanctuary) Adopt a Turkey this Year and Start a New Tradtion. Visit http://www.FarmSanctuary.org

“If we could live happy and healthy lives without harming others… why wouldn’t we?”~ Edgar’s Mission

I’d like to add… and eat awesome food!!! I spent the entire day yesterday pinning more side dishes and desserts up on my Pinterest page! I was also planning our menu for Thanksgiving. I think I have it nailed down. There are just so many amazing vegan dishes to choose from that it took some time! If anyone claims a vegan diet is boring then they don’t know food and they certainly don’t know how to cook. Luckily it’s a learned skill. You can do it! Take a look at my Vegan Holiday Table board. I’m drooling!

I am not going to list all of the side dishes that I found, that will take too much time and I really just want to get a quick post out. So I am going to share my Thanksgiving menu with you. I am so excited!!

Here goes…

Appetizers:

Cranberry Walnut Pesto Crostini- Festive and delicious. The original recipe is on my Pinterest page under Pumpkin Gnocchi with Cranberry Walnut Pesto. It can’t be found right now because the website seems to be down. I have the recipe. If you are interested, let me know in the comments and I will share it with you. I plan to do crostini with this pesto or serve with delicious crackers. Although it would be good with a spoon alone! I made the gnocchi and it was an epic fail. This pesto turned out to be my favorite though and it’s so pretty!

Traditional Stuffed Mushrooms – You know, the smaller mushrooms with the crunchy, buttery flavored bread crumb filling with  flavors of garlic, basil and parsley. Yum!

Creamy Artichoke Spinach Dip – I love the idea of cashews here.  Looks creamy and delicious. How will we ever make room for dinner?

Soup:

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup –  This is the closest recipe I could find to the one I am actually making. This one can be veganized by using margarine and vegan sour cream or using cashew cream for garnish. I am going to make the Vitamix Holiday Squash Soup. No fuss, right in the blender! I have a feeling I am going to run out of stove space so this will be perfect. Soup heats up right in the machine.

Salad:

Apple, Pecan, Cranberry and Avocado Spinach Salad with Balsamic Dressing – The picture in this link has cheese in it but it does not call for cheese in the recipe. I assure you, I won’t ruin it with cheese. This salad will be perfect, unless I run out of time… in that case, I’ll toss together mixed greens with sliced almonds and dried cranberries and top it with vegan poppy seed dressing! Voila, fast and festive and if I can’t much done ahead of time, this might actually be what happens!

Bread:

Gluten Free Sweet Corn Muffins – Can’t forget the bread, muffins or vegan crescent rolls. I tried the Trader Joe’s crescent rolls and they were a bit too sweet for my liking. I was thinking pumpkin muffins, but I don’t want to over do the pumpkin as pumpkin pie will be one of the desserts. I might make my corn muffins or just run out and grab an already baked garlic and rosemary Artisan bread. Mmmm.

Main Dishes:

Mushroom, Lentil and Wild Rice Timbales – A favorite! I have made this a few times for Thanksgivings past. Delicious traditional holiday flavors, great presentation!

Impromptu Vegan Mushroom Gravy – This can be found under the same post as above. I love this gravy!

Hazelnut Cranberry Roast En Croute  – I was shopping at Whole Foods the other day and I had to have this! Maybe I was hungry, but I just figured I would try it along with the tried and true Timbales, just in case… More food for leftovers. Because this girl is taking a break after this!

Sides:

Grand Marnier Cranberry Sauce – I have made this before. It’s baked, not boiled and I add orange zest. Delicious! Can be made days ahead!

Fruit and Toasted Almond Stuffing – The picture says it all. It sounds like an updated classic and there is nothing wrong with that.

Garlic and Rosemary Mashed PotatoesThis is pretty straight forward. Use vegan margarine like earth balance or the olive oil it calls for and almond milk instead of regular milk. I am imagining lot’s of leftovers. This will be perfect with the Timbales and gravy.

Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping – I usually make this type of casserole every year, one version or another. Vegan of course. I am thinking to add vegan marshmallows. Why not? I have some here.

Green Beans with Walnuts and Rosemary – Simple ingredients. Modernized tradition. Quick. How could you go wrong?

Phyllo Wrapped Asparagus – I am excited to veganize this with crushed walnuts and lemon zest. Olive oil or margarine instead of butter. It’s a choice between this or the green beans. I already have the phyllo in the freezer… this might be the winner. Or just make both!?

Desserts:

Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie with Praline and Coconut-Pecan Crust – Mom eats gluten free and since she will be here for dessert I would like to make this!

Or… Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake –  I could always make the crust from the recipe above to make it gluten free.

Raw Lemon Cheesecake with Berry Sauce – This is a recipe from the Cafe Gratitude recipe book (minus the berry sauce). I have made it before and it gave me my confidence back for making vegan cheesecake. Holy Cow is it amazing and the texture is way better than real cheesecake in my opinion.

Baked Pears with a Buttery Baked Crumble Topping –  To veganize, just use Earth Balance (margarine) and Agave instead of honey. Top this with rice whip cream. I broke down and spent the 5 dollars on rice whip a few weeks ago. It is SO GOOD. Perfect for the holidays. It’s by Soyatoo.

Well, there you have it… I think I am in over my head with this menu! But it will be so much fun. I will take a lot of pictures and share on Facebook. Thankfully, a lot of these recipes can be prepared a few days ahead. I guess I better get started. I am off to Whole Foods now…

See these photos and recipes that I have I found, visit my Pinterest page.   Also check out my last post, part 1, with many holiday main dish ideas.

I would really love to hear what vegan dishes you are serving up this year…

Happy menu planning and hoping that your holidays are gentle and kind.

Enjoy!

~The Karmatarian

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New Traditions: 24 Holiday Worthy Plant-Based-Vegan Main Dishes

“Now is the Thyme to start a new Thanksgiving tradition: Adopt a turkey!”
~Farm Sanctuary

“When a sense of consciousness informs our actions, when our intentions reflect kindness and nonviolence, when our thoughts turn to someone else’s needs rather than our own desires, there is no denying that something profound takes place. In the absence of suffering, there is peace. In the presence of compassion, there is joy.” ~The Vegan Table

Hey everyone, meet Thyme. One very lucky turkey. Notice the heart on Thyme’s neck? He’s my son’s choice for our annual adopt-a-turkey tradition through Farm Sanctuary. I had my eye on a cuter turkey, but when I expressed my opinion, my son quickly scolded me “NO he’s the cutest!”. Ok! And there you have it…

Thanksgiving~  Such a tough holiday for many of us, knowing the grim outlook for 46 million of these gentle spirits. Exactly how did turkeys become the centerpiece for a holiday of thanks and gratitude? We do have so much to be grateful for and a beautiful feast helps us to express that, but there are no rules. Traditions can be altered and improved.

99% of turkeys are factory farmed birds and have absolutely nothing to be thankful for. The conditions are grim. The truth is brutal. Click this link to meet your Butterball turkey and witness your typical store bought bird’s life experience before making it to your plate. Warning: the video is disheartening and will make you angry. You certainly don’t have to watch it, but a good rule of thumb to remember is, if it’s not good enough for your eyes, it should not be good enough for your stomach.

Did you know…

Although the turkey as the centerpiece of of the holiday dinner is deeply entrenched in our society, diners at the original 1621 Pilgrim’s feast made no mention of turkey as part of their meal. In fact, turkey only became popular as a Thanksgiving staple in the mid-twentieth century, after decades of MEDIA PROMOTION and breeding of the white, domesticated turkeys exploited by factory farms today.

~ Farm Sanctuary

…Ok, so we were pushed into this tradition of serving up turkey, so why not opt out? We have plenty of information about the truth of factory farming and the ill affects of meat in our diets. While Thanksgiving might not be the day for optimal healthy eating, it can still be held consciously and kindly.

I have learned one thing throughout the past few years being vegan, which has lead me to actually enjoy this holiday.

HONOR SELF.

GO WHERE YOU ARE CELEBRATED, NOT JUST TOLERATED. And that is a general lesson. Life is too short and just because most of society celebrates one way, figure out a way that makes you happy. Or find a compromise. It’s a tough holiday for an ethically minded vegan. No doubt about it.

I am excited to be hosting Thanksgiving this year for my husband, my son and a dear friend and her daughter (who are new to choosing vegan). We have decided to compromise by enjoying a kind holiday feast and then head separately to our family’s homes for dessert.

Dessert is easy to veganize and bring along quietly, without anyone even suspecting a thing, and dessert makes everyone happy. See? I don’t give family a reason to antagonize me about my Tofurkey, nor do I have to listen to them rave about how juicy their dead bird is this year, compared to last.

Being thankful for the life and abundance we are given is not dependent upon how juicy the turkey is. It’s just not. But sadly it has come to something like this here in the USA.

Actually, I don’t do Tofurkey.  But I appreciate the alternative choice that it represents. Maybe I cooked it wrong? Who knows? It didn’t turn out well for me. I love all the newer options from Gardein and Field Roast.

I put together a list of home cooked meal ideas for you from around the internet. I have found some wonderful main dishes that not only have the traditional flavors of the holiday, but are appealing to the senses.

Meat free main dishes are important and take more effort to plan out. Side dishes and desserts are easy. Many of which are your own family traditional recipes that are surprisingly easy to veganize with some thoughtful substitutions like earth balance in place of butter, egg replacers, and your choice of non dairy milks that are on the market.

A main dish on our plate expressing the idea of something special is what I was looking for, not every day meal kinda stuff. I am also not worrying about perfect “healthy” oil free dishes for the holiday. After all, in general, it is a holiday known for a few more heart attacks. Shame on society. But luckily for us with a vegan menu, nothing in these main dishes would send you to the emergency room. See? Peace of mind… and heart.

Ok, here we go…

24 Holiday Worthy Plant-Based/Vegan Main Dishes

1. Mushroom, Lentil and Wild Rice Timbales with Impromptu Vegan Mushroom Gravy – This is my favorite! I have made this recipe twice. Beautiful presentation, with all the traditional flavors of Thanksgiving.

2. Baked Acorn Squash with Chestnuts, Apples and Leeks – I might be making this one.Looks like a winner!

3. Sweet Potato Lenti Pie – Adorable single serving pies  with good combination of textures.

4. Butternut Squash Ravioli with Garlic and Sage Sauce – A recipe I have wanted to try for a while now

5. Seitan Roulade with Chestnut Stuffing – Unique and sure to impress

6. Flaky Harvest Vegetable Squares – Be sure to brush with olive oil instead of egg

7. Baked Apples with Wild Rice and Quinoa – Make sure the mushroom broth is vegan, sub vegan cream cheese and ditch the optional cheddar. I am sure these will be fabulous.

8. Raise the Roof Sweet Potato Lasagna – My Dad made this one recently. It’s a little bit of work but worth it!!!

9. Maple and Rosemary Roasted Butternut Squash with Tofu, Raisins and Walnuts – This is one of my personal creations. It will fill your home with the best aromas, very inviting for your guests this holiday

10. Jeni’s Lentil and Mushroom Loaf with Savory Potato Filling – A lot of fun textures and a nice meal centerpiece

11. Nava’s Hearty Lentil and Mushroom Shepherd’s Pie – It’s all in one for a simpler holiday. Very pretty.

12. Millet Loaf – I love millet! I am thinking to add sage and pecans in place of sunflower seeds on this one.

13. Celebration Pot Pie with Pumpkin Biscuit Crust – Wonderful and comforting. I know my son would LOVE this one!

14. The Smoky Tofu Sweet Potato Stacker – Looks impressive with different textures. Reminds me of a Cheescake Factory dish.

15. Harvest Stuffed Portabello Mushrooms Beautiful

16. Vegan Stuffed Mushrooms – Another Portabello recipe. Portabellos are hearty. Use baby or large mushrooms for this.

17. Tofu Stuffed with Brown Rice and Mushroom Dressing – Another hit from the Fat Free Vegan Kitchen

18. Squashducken – Elegant and sophisticated but remember to substitute Earth Balance for the Butter

19. Black Bean and Pecan Butter Sauce over Grilled Eggplant and Sauteed Spinach – Gorgeous and another “meaty” texture like portabellos.

20. Holiday Ham Recipe from Caribbean Vegan – Festive!

21. Pineapple Glazed “Ham” – I have always wanted to try this recipe. It looks so pretty on the platter.

22. Field Roast Celebration Roast – A store bought vegan roast, but I like this company! Their other products taste great so this is bound to as well. Definitely not gluten free.

23.  Currant-Maple Citrus loaf – Which is just a Celebration Roast (above) with Zest! Looks much prettier than the plain roast.

24. Holiday Roast by gardein – Who doesn’t love gardein? It’s sure to be wonderful for someone who doesn’t want to fuss. They also have single servings for those having a low key celebration.

 …And I bet I could find a million more great recipes out there. One thing a vegan has is an abundance of great food!

I love to see photos of food! You can view the wonderful mouth watering photos of all these links  here on my Pinterest page. Follow me there as well. I will be adding more photos and a part 2 blog post with side dishes and desserts in just a few days, so be sure to check back!

Check out these wonderful short videos, both turkey rescues that will warm your heart and remind you that there are good people out there in the world.

Rescued Turkeys

Turkey Rescue

Here is a heart warming family documentary to watch that will change your views forever about wild turkeys, watch this PBS special “My Life as a Turkey” by Joe Hutto  I felt that it was really touching and well done.

My Life as a Turkey

“The symbolism surrounding the Thanksgiving turkey, much like the modern domestic turkey himself, has been largely manufactured by cynical commercial interests. There is neither compelling historical precedent nor meaningful rationale for associating the butchered carcass of a turkey with our national day of thanksgiving.”

~ Farm Sanctuary


Read more about the history of Thanksgiving here

See all of these recipes in one easy place on Pinterest

Enjoy the journey,

~The Karmatarian

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A Message from Hurricane Sandy

So many good hearted people want to change the world… as long as they don’t have to change themselves. Therefore, not much changes. But it seems that Mother Nature has had enough. To the earth, we humans are like fleas on a dog and she is in dire need of a flea bath. In order to remain as an inhabitants on this big old dog, we are going to have to change our outdated ways and evolve for the benefit of all, not just a few greedy corporations.

Meteorologists claim that hurricane Sandy is the biggest storm in modern US history! Scientists warn that because of global warming, we have set a new trend helping to create monster storms like hurricane Sandy become the new norm.

Think about it… it was the BIGGEST storm to hit the US!! Are we listening now? Hurricane Sandy’s message seems loud and clear. Change needs to happen.

But is Sandy a result of global warming or could this be God’s will to wake us up and make us work together, take heart and help our fellow humans? Could this be related to the numeric energy of 2012 being a 5? Remember my post at the beginning of the year, predicting record breaking weather events?!

If you do not believe in global warming, as it seems controversial, with a little research you will certainly believe in “intelligent” human beings absolutely destroying our planet’s non-renewable resources, producing massive pollution, species extinction, deforestation, land erosion and water contamination and much more.

It’s very real, whether it warms the globe or not.

I don’t disagree with global warming, but I have my suspicion that this storm is spiritual and energetic and perhaps one of the changes predicted that will help to awaken our planet as we move into the golden age of Aquarius. I also believe our individual energy plays into the energy of the whole. Our everyday choices build up and contribute to the consequences.

Global warming or not, it is going to be impossible for us to keep up at our desired standard of living with the rate of our population expansion. And I am no scientist. It’s common sense. Something has to give!

People automatically think that I am vegan for the animals… others understand that I also enjoy the lifestyle for the amazing health benefits and delicious food, but most people don’t have a clue that veganism is the future, I am just ahead of the game, and it’s eventually going to be mandatory for our mere existence on this planet. Veganism has a very small carbon footprint compared to that of meat eater and even surprisingly smaller than Prius owner.

Veganism heals the planet from our destruction.

The United Nations report titled Livestock’s Long Shadow concluded that the meat industry causes almost 40% more greenhouse gas emissions than all the world’s transportation systems.. All the cars, trucks, SUVs, planes and ships in the world combined. The report also states that factory farming is one of the biggest contributors to the most serious environmental problems at every level, local and global.

Based on this report, senior U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization official Dr. Henning Steinfeld stated that “the meat industry is one of the most significant contributors to today’s most serious environmental problems and that urgent action is required to remedy the situation.”

How many “Hurricane Sandy’s” will we have to endure before the majority finally make the connection? I am a little scared, aren’t you? This storm along with many other freak weather patterns is most likely the result of systematic consequences related to our everyday choices; diet being our most important choice having the biggest impact on our environment. Period.

When change is eventually thrust upon us all at some point in the near future, I bet many will be wondering if it wouldn’t of been easier had we done it on our own terms…voluntarily? Don’t expect the government to do too much at this point as the food industry is so interwoven in and around greed throughout our politics. Change is up to us as individuals. Unfortunately, we are a reactive culture and change usually results in response to catastrophes. So hold on tight. More is surely heading our way!

I highly recommend education and the internet. The internet is the coolest place with truth being revealed anywhere and everywhere you are willing to see it. Take one month and dedicate it to researching food production and animal exploitation regarding food production and then please let me know when exactly it was that you became vegan as a result. That is if you are courageous enough to be the change. It’s important to be educated about these topics as we certainly don’t learn this stuff in school.

Sometimes we need to be moved with our senses, so don’t just take my word for it. Listen to this passionate 10  minute speech by Phillip Wollen, the former CEO of Citibank. I posted this before, but in case you missed it, here is another chance to catch it. It is powerful, educational and will get you thinking. It is worth every minute.

We have to start somewhere. If it’s not by my inspiration, please let someone inspire you who is helping to make a positive impact on the world. Ask yourself what you can do and then do it. And always know that I am here along with 600 million others who choose vegetarian or vegan, so you are not alone in being part of the solution, not part of the problem.

Eating greener and kinder is an easy, wonderful and fulfilling lifestyle. There is not just one reason to go vegan, there are 101 reasons to go vegan!

Be the change you wish to see.

Many prayers, love, and light go out to the victims of Hurricane Sandy, the largest storm that in my opinion served a huge purpose. I am listening.

Do you believe in global warming? What is your take on the message that hurricane Sandy delivered this week? Spiritual? Energetic? Cyclical?

Enjoy the Journey,

~The Karmatarian

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A Powerful Vegan Speech with WOW Factor!

If there is suffering on your plate… there is suffering in your future.

~ Unknown

If this isn’t the best speech I have heard in a long time! Wow Wow and WOW! Feel this man’s passion!!! It gives me chills each and every time I listen to it. Don’t let the title scare you. Hear and learn in ten minutes what I have been learning about for the past 5 years! Really take in what this man is saying with an open mind. I wish this was me up there at that podium! This explains so much about my path and my passion and the passion of so many like minded people.

This is more than a fantastic reminder of why to choose plant based! I hope Phillip Wollen’s speech helps you as much as it did me, to remain STRONG on this path. This couldn’t of come at a better time. This week, there has been a bit of a questioning in my soul as others questioned me and caused me to second guess my choices. I am grateful this happened because it made me ask. I received an answer and it strengthened my character just that much more.

It absolutely never fails… when I quietly ask God, the universe, infinite intelligence or the higher power (or whatever you choose to call it) to show me an answer to my question, and when I let it go and forget about it, I always wake up to the answer within a day or two. It usually hits me SMACK across the face! This video was my answer. It appeared in my experience after I asked WHY? Why did I wake up to the mess we have created here on earth, while so many others are still asleep? It’s not an easy path at times. Why do I have such strong convictions for peace on earth? More importantly, why am I questioned by those who wish and choose to remain in the dark and continue to contribute to the mess? Shouldn’t I be questioning them? How is it that I am extreme? People kill emotional, thinking and feeling beings by the billions per week. Aren’t they really the extremists? What is so wrong with having and showing compassion for those with no voice? Why is it a sign of weakness to the opposed when someone shows mercy for the planet and animals? Why am I holding strong, choosing vegan and feeling the push to educate? Why me… when I could easily remain ignorant too.

“Let’s just call things what they are. When a man’s love of finery clouds his moral judgment, that is vanity. When he lets a demanding palate make his moral choices, that is gluttony. When he ascribes the divine will to his own whims, that is pride. And when he gets angry at being reminded of animal suffering that his own daily choices might help avoid, that is moral cowardice.”

~Matthew Scully

Choosing vegan is not always easy and (unfortunately) it makes you different. People don’t like when someone they know is being or acting different. People naturally want others to be the same. This point has been used against me, too and I get it. But the way I see it… anything on the flip side of choosing vegan and choosing peace, when those choices factually and clearly cause suffering on so many different levels only contribute to the death energy of our culture. How is this good and how can it be defended in any way at all? Except for the fact that we were born into it. But now we have the opportunity to get educated and do what we can to stop contributing to the disaster. It has been confirmed by Cornell and Harvard that the amount of animal foods we need in our diet for good health is precisely ZERO.

Veganism isn’t a religion, it’s based on cold hard facts. I believe that humans are inherently good and this is still true of carnivores, for which I was once one. But this is why vegans educate. We won’t get anywhere in our evolution towards peace by being silent about things that matter. The world needs educators. This world needs vegans. Until all religions practice what they preach, I guess we the vegans are the preachers! So be it.

“If we all understand that animals can use their eyes to see, ears to hear, noses to smell, mouths to eat, legs to walk, feathers to fly, fins to swim, genitalia to procreate, bowels to defecate. I’m always perplexed that most people don’t believe that they can also use their brains to think.

~Gary Yourofsky

My questioning goes further…Why do I feel such opposition to something that is so wanted by so many people… Peace on earth? They say they want it… But how are they going about creating it? Actions speak louder than words.

I do feel that I am on the right path, but why is it so damn frustrating at times? Should I give in and just give up on peace? My answer was clear. NO. “The stone age didn’t end because we ran out of stones”. We evolve…. we are still evolving and we are heading into the age of Aquarius – the Golden Age – when peace is finally at the forefront. This revolution needs pioneers. I guess I was picked to be one of them. I really hope to see vegans out number the unconscious at some point in my lifetime and I hope it’s before the year 2048 when the oceans run dry and my son and his children have to deal with it. Pass the buck… hasn’t this been the way all along?

This FACT about destroying our waterways and ocean was confirmed by Cornell University’s Oceanography Professor, Bruce Monger, who lectured in my plant based nutrition course. It’s Cornell! Not some unknown, credit-less university. We also had David Pimentel, Professor of Ecology and Agricultural Sciences from Cornell teaching us the facts and how we are destroying the earth with our Western diet choices! So if you have to, forget optimal health, forget animal suffering. This planet is going down, simply due to food production, and that’s enough reason on it’s own to preach a plant based diet! The good news… Over 600 Million vegetarians and counting. It is comforting for me to know that among this group, we all have one thing in common and it’s found within our hearts. Peace.

If you know anything about quantum energy and how it works – by contributing to bloodshed, it just creates more bloodshed. Human bloodshed, animal bloodshed… Blood is blood. There’s nothing peaceful about it. What’s more is that the greed of people on this planet is beyond reasonable. “The Earth can produce enough food for our need but not enough for our Greed”. Perfectly stated. Thank you, Phillip Wollen. Follow his Facebook Page to keep up with this amazing hero! I also found his website. There is something fascinating about a man who exudes confidence and compassion and a has a burning passion in his heart to end suffering and bring peace. A man who is also fearless in spreading the word of peace even though he knows he will be greatly opposed… Uh…kinda reminds me of Jesus, wouldn’t you say?

Too often, I am afraid of speaking my mind on my own damn blog for fear of offending someone. Well I am over it. I should be the one offended by those not taking the free education that I offer and then choosing better. It’s not hard. Where we are heading is going to be a lot harder. I am also a bit fed up with those who choose to debate me but who refuse to educate themselves on the topic. They just all of the sudden become an expert nutritionist or biologist. I actually study this stuff for a living. I wasn’t born vegan. It was an educated choice. It was the smartest choice I saw fit for the best in health for me, my family and everyone around me who benefits from my choices. I should be thanked, honored, and rolled out a red carpet. To be and do different (in the name of peace) in this world takes bravery. Period. If I reflect to those a lack in ability to live up to their fullest potential to be and do their best in this lifetime, instead of perceiving this as a threat of some kind, use this reflection to take a closer look at the ways in which you can do better. For your best health and the world around you.

Let me please share and clarify where I stand. At first, when my eyes were freshly opened to our food production system. I was horrified. I did open my big mouth on Facebook and post a lot of animal rights issues. My friends may have branded me for that. I do not apologize for it by any means BUT I have come to learn that people don’t respond well to animal suffering for whatever reasons that their egos use to protect them. I have however, for my own sanity, switched my main focus back to health because animal suffering is not a fun topic… and what do you know? I’ll say it again… It has been confirmed by Cornell and Harvard that the amount of animal foods we need in our diet for good health is precisely ZERO. So my education in plant based nutrition only solidified that I was on the right path from the start. When we honor ourselves and eat whole plant based foods. Everyone wins. Studying nutrition and becoming certified in plant based nutrition has helped to shift my focus from shock and awe of animal abuse back toward helping people beat and avoid horrific diseases that are coincidentally only caused by animal foods. This is a win win! I still haven’t forgotten the animals and I never will. Why? Because we are all one. We are all connected. Because that animal who suffers is you… and me.

Inevitably, there will be more peace energy on this earth when the majority finally decide to eat the way that God intended. That damn flood had to go and ruin everything! Give people an inch and they take a mile… in this case they are taking down the whole damn planet!

In this weeks conclusion, I settled back onto my path with stronger convictions than ever before and I was reminded of a few amazing quotes –

“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident”

~Arthur Schopenhauer

And when this day comes, where truth is all of the sudden self evident to those who question and oppose me now, I will have to write another blog post about how pissed off I am that at times it felt like my quest for peace never existed in this equation in the first place… even though I stood here all along beating this BIG ASS DRUM! Lol

The most important thing to remember for those of us who strongly choose to light the way… let it be by way of education and living a great example, even a good debate every now and then but NO judgment…. Even still, your opposition will try to knock you down. Just get back up! Because for every one who can’t see the light, there are ten others who will, and it’s because of the torch we carry.  The good news is, that we are all to start waking up. 2012 is just the beginning. If you are one on this vegan path, I just want to say thank you for adding to the collective energy that will shift this dark planet into the light! I have no doubt this is right where I belong.

So take a few minutes to hear one of the best speeches toward peace on earth and leave me your thoughts in the comments below!

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

~Martin Luther King Jr.

Enjoy the journey,

This rant brought to you by…

~The Karmatarian

PS. If you subscribe via Email, you may be missing some of the photos and videos so please visit my site and please join me on Facebook so we can light this world together!

PSS. The recipe didn’t win out this week. Lol… Next week! I try to write this blog organically, what is strong in my experience at the time gets put out there into the universe, as there must be a reason for it’s timing.

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My Visit to the Chicago Health Freedom Expo

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results ~ Albert Einstein

That’s not insanity; it’s bad memory ~  Marilu Henner

I consider learning fun. Guess I’m just a little weird like that. I was able to attend the Health Freedom Expo over the past weekend and it was packed with information on, you guessed it… health and freedom. Lol. I attended with my mom (She’s the beautiful woman on the left… I am so lucky to have a mom like her) and we always have a lot of laughs and a bit of adventure. We made some fun memories. Did you know that memories are almost always connected to adrenaline? Good or bad. If you have adrenaline attached to the experience, there’s a much better chance that you will remember it.

Marilu Henner gave a high energy talk about how to makeover our memories. We can use our past to better shape our future… if we actually remember what happened! I hear more and more people talk about how they just can’t remember anything anymore, including myself. I joked with my mom about the fact that I hear people say all the time – I just don’t want to remember the past because the past is the past. Well guess what? Every day lived, you create more memories which become the past. If you tell yourself you don’t want to remember the past, then you surely aren’t going to remember a damn thing! Our intentions are quite powerful.

Pretty cool that Marilu Henner grew up in Chicago and said that she loves us Chicago folks, as we are the curious ones! and she’s also a fellow vegan, I loved that Marilu Henner threw out the concept of eating healthy in her talk about creating a healthy memory. Our bodies work together with the brain and she said, what is good for the body, is good for the brain. She suggested a plant based diet and if you are not there yet, then at least do meatless Monday. She actually remembers the exact day and time that she gave up dairy because Marilu Henner is one of only 12 documented cases of Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory in the world! She can remember the exact day and time of all kinds of events that have taken place in her life and doctors are studying her brain to better help understand such things as Alzheimer’s disease. Marilu told me that she was not going to let her parents die in vain as they both experienced early deaths. She realized why they died so young…. the standard American diet!

There are three parts to a memory according to Marilu Henner and her newest book Total Memory Makeover: Anticipation, Participation and Recollection. Recollecting is the most important part of the memory process and as a child she learned this from her dad who stressed this idea to her. She believes that her amazing ability is part nature and part nurture. She claims that we can do it too! She suggests that every night while brushing our teeth for two minutes, go over every part of our day. This will help to embed those memories into our brains for better recollection.

There are four types of memory retrieval: Horizontal, Vertical, Mushrooming, and Sporadic. These are helpful to know, so that you can use the ones that work best for you. I can’t go into detail here, but these are all in the new book. Marilu also reminded us of our senses and how we each use different senses to recall memories. It was fun to think about how we personally recall memories when she asked what works for us. I am a little of everything…. no wonder I have trouble remembering!

There is also an interesting way in which we recall a memory. It’s either in the first person or the third person. We either relive the memory as us going through it or we watch ourselves doing it from an outsider type perspective… Which way do you recall a memory?

Having a good memory by way of training it, was something that I never really stopped to think about. But I too, want to live an unforgettable life! I love new ideas and concepts and I can’t wait to start reading her newest book. I hope to give you a better review of it when I am finished.

As for my mom and I and the rest of the expo… we visited every booth, talked to really cool people and we also listened to Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr. speak on reversing heart disease. I will share bits and pieces of that with you later. It was very insightful. We ended the day with our heads spinning! One thing for certain, throughout the day the words plant based diet was stressed from all different educators. It’s catching on folks! Slowly but surely.

Oh, don’t be afraid of a so called scary memory. The fear of remembering it is far greater than the memory itself. Take that memory and do something positive with it and you will do your future self a big favor!

I had such a fun day at the Expo and it was so wonderful to meet Marilu Henner. She has such a wonderful spirit! I will leave you with a couple quotes from Marilu Henner’s new book. And remember… memories matter!

Memory is the mother of all wisdom ~ Aeschylus

We cannot change our memories, but we can change their meaning and the power they have over us.

~ David Seamands


Enjoy the Journey,

~The Karmatarian

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Tips on Avoiding Oil

I have to confess, I really don’t feel like doing aaaaanything, including blogging.  There’s not much inspiration stirring in my kitchen these past few days either. All I want to do is enjoy summer. Even though I don’t feel like doing much, I find that I have been busier these past two months than I have been all year! What’s up with that?! The way I am feeling right now, I hope I am not heading for burn-out. I need to have some fun here.

I have been thinking about fun (and how I could really use some) and I had an unexpected surprise the other day… Someone contacted me regarding hair styling for a Cirque du Soleil event. It’s still work mind you, but it’s a little play too, as tickets to the show are involved. YAY! Now I am visualizing that everything works out effortlessly and comes to pass so I can take my little guy to a circus with class and without the animal cruelty. The way it should be! I find it crazy that I just finished watching the documentary “Earthlings” which was a bit tough to handle, but a must see for everyone and I kept thinking about the traditional Circus vs. Cirque du Soleil. Then what do you know? I attracted Cirque du Soleil into my experience. Coincidence… or the power of the mind?

I’m always in the mood to be entertained and inspired. Have you seen Cirque du Soleil? Where was it? What’s your review?

Photo by Ed Schipul

Avoiding Oil

Come to think of it, avoiding oil can seem like a challenging circus act. To change the subject here, I just want to share with you the ways in which I am trying to avoid oil. Why? Oil is the reason we are fat, according to Dr. Doug Lisle. Oil is concentrated fat calories and they are everywhere in the standard American diet! I posted earlier about oil and it’s harmful effects and I have been a lot more conscious about oil in my day to day diet. When I read labels, specifically being mindful of oil, I find it everywhere! From veggie burgers to granola cereals to crackers and more. You can’t escape the oil. Unless you work at it. Read those labels!

Each time you omit unnecessary fat calories, it adds up, and you end up slimming down without much effort.

Here are some ideas that are quite simple, but just take habit forming effort:

Make homemade salad dressings –  Salads are a part of a healthy diet but not so much when they are smothered in fat. Out of pure laziness, I used to buy pre-made “healthy” salad dressings. After reading the Forks over Knives handbook and trying some of their simple recipes, I was amazed by the difference. There are dressings that you can make in advance to keep on hand and they taste FRESH, light and clean. Or, just squeeze lemon over a salad for something refreshing.  (I will post one of my favorite recipes from the FOK book at the end of this post).

Switch what you dip – I am ashamed to say that for a while, we had a blue corn chip addiction here. I was noticing that chips and hummus were becoming a pre-dinner snack once or twice a week, so we switched to baked chips. Better than that, now I am on to veggies… I know it sounds so simple and obvious but veggies seemed like more work than ripping open a bag of chips and I am busy  like everyone else. How funny. I just had to re-create the habit of having fresh cut veggies ready to go. Somewhere along the line, I fell off that wagon. Since it is summer, I find that I am all about cucumbers which are cold and refreshing. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower never really striked my fancy but once you know how important they are in fighting breast cancer and other hormone related cancers, you’ll be reaching for these, like I am now.

Make your own Hummus – My recipe is coming soon! Hummus has to be a vegan’s favorite staple food item! I whipped up my own roasted red pepper hummus the other day for an event I had here and someone asked my husband if I made it… he said no (because we have been on a bad track of buying store bought). I was so mad because YES, yes I did make it for the party. It was so easy in my Vitamix and oil free! It tasted just as good (much better actually) as anything we ever purchased and from now on, I will always try to make my own. But if ever in a hurry, I’ll be looking for a fat free/oil free hummus at the grocery store because oil is usually always involved in hummus dip.

Ditch the mayo, Veganaise, Nayonaise etc… – Hopefully by now, you have moved on from regular mayo with all that egg cruelty and onto vegan brands such as Veganaise. But Veganaise still has a lot of fat. It is a good idea to omit the extra fat on your sandwich (because it all adds up). Try something natural, lighter or homemade. I am using hummus, mashed avocado or homemade vegan mayo on my sandwiches lately. I made this homemade Tofu-Cashew mayonnaise from the Fat Free Vegan Kitchen and I really like it. I added a touch of black salt for that egg like flavor. I am now experimenting with different twists on this dressing as Author, Susan Voisin suggests.

Cook your vegetables in vegetable broth or water, not oil – Most of us are so guilty. It’s the way we were brought up. First you grab your pan, heat the oil and add your veggies. If we stop and think about it. It’s so unnecessary! Vegetables cook up just fine using water or vegetable broth. You may need to add more liquid as it cooks off, you just have to watch it a bit closer is all. You can also roast veggies in the oven that are soaked in broth instead of smothered in oil. Save yourself some inflammation!

Replace oil in baked goods- You can use applesauce, banana, tofu or flax just to name some ideas

Use parchment paper for baking food instead of greasing the cookie sheets – This is pretty self explanatory.

If you have to use oil… For example, pancakes – I use a good non-stick pan, but I will still use a bit of coconut oil. I put about a 1/2 teaspoon in the heated pan and then wipe it around the pan with a paper towel. It get’s evenly coated with a light, barely there bit of oil. This helps reduce the fat and oil but helps the cakes from sticking.

Search for a fat free pasta sauce – This was a little tough for me. I like to have a good pasta sauce on hand. As much as I like the idea of Muir Glen organic brand, I found the sauce to be lacking in taste. I also tried Walnut Acres brand… it’s not for me. It also lacks. I should confess… I have a tiny salt addiction, ever since I was pregnant (just for dinner food though.Weird). It’s salt I crave. I try to keep it to my Pink Himalayan sea salt which is healthier in nature but this salt thing is something I should kick. Whether it be salt or flavor… I searched the shelves at Trader Joe’s and discovered their fat free organic spaghetti sauce with mushrooms. It’s my new favorite. It has taste! My dad cans his own tomatoes and I would love to learn this craft. Right now, I am a girl on the go and I use jar sauce. I’m also not very Italian. Just a little tiny bit Italian. Not enough to offend my ancestors by using jarred sauce :)

Don’t butter your bread – We used to slather our toast in earth balance first and then top with jelly. We had to stop that. I am now just topping my son’s toast with natural preserves or nut butters. Possibly a drizzle of maple syrup or a sprinkle of Sucanat. We don’t miss the butter. We just had to break the habit. I still have Earth Balance on hand but it is lasting an eternity now that I rarely use it. This is a good thing! Same thing goes for waffles or my favorite organic sprouted Ezekiel bread. No more oils…

Here is one good resource for substitutes and techniques for fat free cooking.

As promised, one of my new favorite salad dressing recipes is Raspberry-Orange Vinaigrette. This is from the Forks Over Knives handbook and Anastasia St. John. It’s very refreshing for summer and so easy.

You’ll need

  • 1 Cup Orange Juice
  • 1/2 Cup fresh or frozen Raspberries, thawed
  • 1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • Freshly ground Pepper

Directions

Puree the orange juice, raspberries and balsamic vinegar in a blender until smooth. Add black pepper to taste

I’ll plan to share a good recipe next week…. for now, it’s Friday and I’m off to the pool! I want to wish a wonderful Father’s day to all the great dad’s out there! Enjoy your weekend. Ps. Follow me on my Facebook Page… I just shared a great beet burger recipe (for your weekend bbq) that I found today!

Do you have any ideas on avoiding oil and fat? Please share your comments

Enjoy the Journey,

~The Karmatarian

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Understanding the Transition to a Low Fat Whole Foods Plant-Based Diet

One of my favorite presentations during my plant based nutrition certification through the T. Colin Campbell foundation was by Dr. Doug Lisle regarding what is known as The Pleasure Trap. This helped me to understand why people would constantly say to me, “you eat vegan? I could NEVER do that!”. This is also why people start their transition into a whole foods plant based diet and then quit just shy of success.

There is a hidden force that undermines our health and happiness. It is something called the Motivational Triad. This will explain how food cravings can both serve and mislead us.

When you understand how the pleasure trap works, then you will have the power to beat the system and reach success. We can now expect the process and push through until our body adjusts to the healthier food and we truly end up enjoying it!

Why is it, that when we know what the right thing is to do, (the right foods to eat, in this case) it’s so hard to do?

 “If you do the wrong thing it feels right and when you do the right thing (after having been doing the wrong thing) it feels wrong.”

~ Dr. Lisle

Our evolutionary instincts (guidance system) are to EAT – SURVIVE – REPRODUCE

 The Motivational Triad is as follows:

  1. Pleasure (Feels Good!)
  2. Pain (Feels Bad!)
  3. Energy Conservations (Be Efficient!)

We all have the same motivational triad. We are all hard-wired to unconsciously make decisions using this triad. By nature we seek out pleasure, try to avoid pain, and attempt to do both by expending as little energy as possible.

The pleasure trap occurs when you take someone and put them into an environment they were not designed to handle. This explains why FOOD is now the #1 pleasure trap among us.

What are some of the most popular foods? Chocolate, hot dogs, cheese, French fries, chips, burger, pizza and donuts of course!

Sugar, fat, and salt… foods that we were DESIGNED to seek out (but not as they are today) These processed foods have a very high caloric density unlike whole fresh plant foods. These calorie dense foods are much more attractive biologically because they support the Motivational Triad by giving us pleasure, quickly eliminating anxiety that accompanies hunger, and by being so calorie dense they give us the BIGGEST bang for our buck which supports our biological need to conserve energy.

The most important thing to realize is that we quickly become addicted to processed food and when we eat this food it triggers a pleasure response in our brain, however this pleasure response deadens with time and the same exact junk food does not taste as good to us as it originally did. This makes us want/need a little bit more and a little bit more and… Think about a time when your senses were dulled. Perhaps someone walking into your home and smelling something good cooking but you can’t smell it because you are right there in it… and your senses have been dulled.

When we try to eliminate fat, sugar, and salt from our diet, we will most likely go through a painful withdrawal. Whole unrefined foods are not going to taste very good to us initially because our senses have been dulled. Fortunately, we now understand the process

This process takes 8-12 weeks for our bodies to reset what pleasure is. At first there is a reduction in pleasure. Be aware! Then our taste buds adjust to enjoy the new diet. Our bodies are designed to crave this kind of foodwhole plant foods!

FAT

Dr. Lisle believes that the leading cause of weight gain is OIL. For example, Apples are 300 calories a pound. Oil is 4000 calories a pound. Oil is a huge part of a standard American diet!

Here is an interesting statistic – Between the ages of 20 and 40 women gain about one pound per year. NOT by massively overeating, but by systematically eating a LITTLE bit too much at a time.

There are only 3 species on the planet with weight problems; do you know what they are?

1.Dogs

2.Cats

3.Humans

It’s rather troubling that these three species are found within our homes and are fed by us.

Conversely, in NATURE when food is abundant, animals still do not get fat! Animals follow the Law of Satiety which states that Animals eating to full satisfaction (satiety) in their natural habitat will – over time – eat neither too much nor too little for optimum health.

Dr. Lisle believes that weight problems are NOT because of psychological issues, but weight problems can CAUSE psychological issues.

If you are overweight you are eating foods that are too concentrated.  Simple as that.” 

~Dr. Lisle

When there is fiber deficiency and fiber damage the result is over consumption of calories due to artificial concentration in our diet.

Which is more filling: A pint of Ice Cream…. Or a half-gallon of raw salad, three ears of corn, two baked potatoes, and a pound of cherries?

If we are trying to lose weight, the key is not deprivation, but eating plenty of the right kinds of foods so that we eat to satisfaction with a large amount of whole, unprocessed foods. So the key to losing weight doesn’t mean, NOT eating as much as we want!

If we eat an appropriately calorie dense diet of whole unprocessed food our body will take us where we need to be… we do not need to try and consciously eat less.

Trying to deprive ourselves of the proper volume of food will lead us to problems in that our biology will kick in and push us to seek those calorie dense (fat, sugar, salt) foods that we need to avoid. WE MUST NOT GO HUNGRY or we will set ourselves up for failure.

Dr. Lisle suggests that we take these steps when we sit down to eat and make this our new religion:

1.     Eat our salad first

2.     Then eat our veggies

3.     Then eat our concentrated carbohydrates

To successfully escape the pleasure trap and transition into a whole foods plant based diet we can try the following:

1.     Eat a low fat plant based diet for 70-90 days and let nature readjust our taste buds

2.     Fast – do a water fast for a few days and we will be dreaming about carrots!

3.     Juice for a few days, omitting salt, and fat leaving only carbs to reset the taste bud receptors and heighten our taste bud sensitivity

4.     Go to prison… meaning a medically supervised health center where they will be strict, but help us to fast through the addictions (when all else fails)

All of the above methods take our fat, salt, and sugar receptors offline and essentially reset them.

The other important thing we can try is to get ourselves really hungry, go all day without food and then sit down to a healthy meal that we know we liked before and this will really reset those taste buds: Monday morning, don’t eat for a while. Go all the way to Monday night. What will happen is that the sensitivity of our taste receptors will increase, our motivation for eating is going to rise, and then once we have a meal that we know is healthy and that we have liked before, we increase the likelihood that we will actually enjoy that meal. So getting hungry is a quick way to try to move through this trap.

The ideas in this post are all part of Dr. Lisle’s theory. You can read more about Dr. Lisle’s theory in his book, “The Pleasure Trap: Mastering the Hidden Force that is Undermines Health and Happiness.” Click here to purchase from the Karmatarian store… it helps support this site. Thank you!

Watch Dr. Lisle as he talks about How to lose weight without losing your mind! It’s fascinating information that everyone needs to know, but settle in, it’s a little over an hour in length!

Enjoy the Journey,

~The Karmatarian

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Oil – Harmful or Helpful?

Photo courtesy of: http://www.heatheronhertravels.com/

It dawned on me that I’ve been bouncing between the ideas of three different diets and nutritional lifestyles. When it comes to the idea of oil, each diet is different. Oil has been a conditioned staple and part of my cooking process FOREVER, so the idea of giving up oil for optimal health has been a bit of a struggle for me. I wasn’t ready to hear or accept why I should. But I finally grasp why it is important to avoid oil and I gathered a bit of information below that helps me to better understand the “WHY” and if it helps me, I hope it will help you, too.

One of the diets I like, the raw food diet, happens to be very high in fat and oil, It seems the raw foodists are turning up their noses at the advice of nutritional scientists and doctors regarding how much fat we actually require. The other diet, the general vegan diet just avoids animal products (for that alone, I am a huge fan) but for many it remains an unhealthy diet filled with sugar, processed food, fat and oil as part of an everyday menu. But the whole foods plant based diet is totally scientific, optimal health focused and does not condone sugar, processed foods or oil at all!  No oil. ZIP. This is the ultimate healthy diet in my opinion and in the opinion of many modern nutritional scientists. This is what I strive for. I love raw foods but I accept that I will never be 100% raw. I love to cook. I find myself eating mostly raw all day long and cooking a vegan/plant based dinner in the evening. This is my happy place right now. Cooking food is just fine and you can reach all of your health goals with cooked foods too, no matter what the raw food community tries to tell you.

The WFPBD is the diet I have studied more prominently and became certified in through the T. Colin Campbell foundation. But, I find that I still try to make my way through the opposing studies, one side saying oils such as coconut oil, olive oil, flax oil and hemp oil etc… have health benefits and the other side saying they have nothing to offer but premature aging, blood vessel damage and added fat onto our thighs to name a few things. I’m trying to figure out if I can still partake with a tiny bit of oil because I have no known health risks or if I should just steer clear.  So here we go….

How oil consumption is harmful

First, I must point out the obvious, oil is 100% FAT. Period. Extremely high in calories and every one of them = pure fat!

Oil has zero fiber which would otherwise help ease this fat into our system. Instead it gets dumped in and it messes with our pancreas. So in other words, extra fat in our diet especially in the form of oil, lends a very big hand to diabetes and offers us a very good chance of some form of a sugar metabolic disorder.

“It’s rather simple but as everyone knows, oil is a lubricant, oil coats things and if there’s more fat in our bloodstream than we’re designed to handle, it not only coats the blood sugar molecule, it also coats the insulin. Well, when the insulin is coated and the sugar is coated, it’s very hard for the insulin to link up with the sugar. They don’t recognize each other. Not only that, but the portal where sugar exits the bloodstream becomes clogged with fat, so it’s hard for sugar to get out again. Well, the blood sugar level continues to rise and eventually, more insulin is produced and the insulin’s job is to find sugar. So, eventually it’s going to, but now there’s twice as much or three times as much insulin in the bloodstream as there is supposed to be and eventually your blood sugar crashes.

~Dr. Doug Graham, Author of The 80-10-10 Raw Foods Diet (Interview with Natural News.com)

The average American, eating roughly 40 percent of his calories from fat when the world authorities are recommending 10 percent as a maximum. And if we keep doing that we will all become diabetics. The raw fooders, I thought, we’re doing far better until I started keeping track, and after interviewing about 5000 raw fooders, I feel pretty comfortable in giving averages, and the average raw fooder consumes 65 to 70 percent of their calories from fat.”

~Dr. Doug Graham, Author of The 80-10-10 Raw Foods Diet (Interview with Natural News.com)

When oil enters into our stomachs, due to it’s condensed nature and lack of fiber, the receptors and regulators, namely the Hypothalamus, are not properly informed. Our stomach’s stretch receptors are not triggered properly and neither are our body’s nutrition receptors (think toxic hunger). Both can cause us to over eat.

Free Radicals

When oil is heated, it becomes denatured, oxidized, and rancid. Oils increase our need for Vitamin E and Antioxidants because of the free radicals they produce and free radical damage such as premature aging, cancer and disease result along with deficient levels of Vitamin E. Free radicals attack our cells and tissues setting the stage for cancer, and initiate the buildup of plaque in our blood vessels by triggering mutations of our cells DNA/RNA strands. Free radicals also set us up for auto-immune diseases like arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Alzheimer’s and Cataracts.

“Excess consumption of vegetable oils is especially damaging to the reproductive organs and the lungs—both of which are sites for huge increases in cancer in the US.”- Dr. G, All about Wellness, Blog

“Every mouthful of oils and animal products, including dairy foods, initiates an assault on these [cell] membranes and, therefore, on the cells they protect. These foods produce a cascade of free radicals in our bodies, especially harmful chemical substances that induce metabolic injuries from which there is only a partial recovery. Year after year, the effects accumulate. And eventually, the cumulative cell injury is great enough to become obvious, to express itself as what physicians define as disease. Plants and grains do not induce the deadly cascade of free radicals. Even better, in fact, they carry an antidote. Unlike oils and animal products, they contain antioxidants, which help to neutralize the free radicals and also, recent research suggests, may provide considerable protection against cancers.”

~ Dr. Esselstyn, page 38 of “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease”

Fat

Polyunsaturated fat although deemed the healthier fat, still has the potential to turn into saturated fat in our bodies.

Fat, no matter the type, in excess, can be stored on our butts, thighs and hips etc. Be careful with supplementation of things like Omega 3.

We require as little as 10% of our total calories to come from fat. Yet the standard American Diet consumes an average of 40% fat and the raw food dieters can consume up to 70%!

Fat stimulates the production of hormones. If we want to avoid hormone related cancers, diabetes and disease etc… it is important to stick to a low fat plant based diet.

The more fat a person consumes, the more competition there is for the enzymes that convert ALA to DHA (Omega 3) therefore causing an Omega 3 deficiency.

A high fat diet consisting of oils (including and especially fish oil supplements) seriously increases Vitamin E deficiency. This is due to the free radical damage promoted by the oil and our body’s requirement of antioxidants and Vitamin E to fix the problem.

I would have to agree with Dr. Doug Lisle who believes that the leading cause of weight gain is oil. Consider apples which are 300 calories a pound.  Oil is 4000 calories a pound. Oil is everywhere in the standard American diet!

As a woman, I particularly agree with this next quote:

“Here is the reality for breast cancer patients. Most breast cancers are estrogen positive, and most women receive treatment for their cancer that an increasing number of doctors are starting to acknowledge is overkill.

Estrogen levels are easily lowered for most women by consuming a low-fat, high-fiber plant based diet, exercising, and by achieving and maintaining optimal weight and body composition. Women should be given this information both as a means of preventing breast cancer, and certainly as a primary means for preventing recurrence. Dietary excellence and optimal habits are considerably more effective than tamoxifen without the negative side effects.” 

~ Pam Popper, ND

Can oil consumption be helpful?

After reading the above information, it’s hard to see what could be helpful about oil at all. It just seems much more beneficial to eat the whole food with fiber and antioxidants intact.

Having attended Dr. Gabriel Cousens’ spiritual nutrition workshop and reading about the health benefits of coconut oil and other oils around the internet, it’s easy to be left confused.

If there are any healthful properties or phyto-nutrients in oil, they are certainly destroyed with cooking. Oil should be consumed raw, cold pressed and never refined if it ever is to be consumed. What took me a while to realize when comparing raw food diets to the other diets and what makes the oil different for each diet is cooking the oil versus not cooking it. However, oil is still pure fat and very high in calories. The only way I see it being beneficial is if you are an extremely high oxidizer and require more energy as fuel. As long as you know you are going to burn it, you may need the extra fat in your diet.

Olive oil supposedly lowers blood pressure and cholesterol and coconut oil has a million healthful properties. Oils such as hemp, and walnut have high vitamin E which are better because the other types of oils rob our bodies of vitamin E. Flax oil is very great for Omega 3 but low in vitamin E which makes for a short shelf life (oil and ground seeds). It still makes more sense to add a scoop of ground flax, the whole food, to your morning breakfast rather than coat a salad in just the fat. I personally prefer Chia seeds for Omega 3 along with their hydrating properties and amino acid content.

So, where am I now in all of this?

I get it! I have cut back drastically on oil and fat. Oil has pro inflammatory properties. I can feel the difference and see a difference in my skin. Yet I still don’t see giving up oil 100% at this time. But as far as cutting drastically back on oil, it’s a conscious transition and an effort. I have no health issues that I know of and I am not trying to lose any weight. I do however want to avoid diabetes which runs in the family and I never want to experience breast cancer. Also, who wants to pre-maturely age? So I am cutting out the excess fat and as much oil as I possibly can. I am reading the labels as I always have and avoiding added oils. If I cook with oil, it’s mostly coconut oil sometimes grape seed but I’m ditching the olive oil, especially for cooking. As you may realize this blog was started a long time ago, before I became certified in WFPBN. There are recipes on this blog of varying kinds including those with oils and processed vegan foods with healthier and healthier recipes to come as I have grown on my journey.

If we try our best to avoid oil, we won’t feel as guilty when we happen to find ourselves enjoying it, in say a raw dessert for example. This is my view anyway. Rip Esselstyn said in his Engine 2 Kitchen Rescue DVD, something along the lines of…  after you avoid oil for a while and experience it again, it just tastes like man made goo. This has not happened to me yet. If you are one to adhere to a strict whole foods plant based diet with zero oil, awesome! It should be the goal for us all. You might have even learned of this diet while being lucky enough to skip over the other diets which taught me and plenty of others bad habits. Your life may depend on avoiding oil, especially if you are overcoming illness, so keep up the amazing health crusade!

People generally don’t know how to moderate very well, that is why I feel oil is not recommended at all whatsoever for a whole foods plant based diet. What is a little oil to one person is a lot to another and vice versa. And it would most likely be cooked which is a bad idea. And don’t forget, we are talking about a lot of seriously ill people that a WFPBD is trying to fix. I like to believe that I have a handle on the oil. Lol… sure, right, don’t we all?  Would I recommend oil to you for your daily diet. Nope. I wouldn’t. But if you partake every now and then like me, I guess we are all just eating at our own risk. So do what you will with this information. I hope it at least convinces you to cut WAY BACK on the oil.

I will be sharing some good ideas to help you cut back on oil in my next blog post. So keep a look out for it. *Update- the post is up, check it out Tips on Avoiding Oil

Thanks for reading and enjoy the journey!

~The Karmatarian

Some great articles and references for this post:

Dr. Doug Graham – The 80-10-10 Raw Foods Diet and How Much Fat to Eat (Part 2)

Patient information – Health Benefits Of Oils

Coconut Oil Benefits: When Fat Is Good For You

Dangers of Vegetable Oils

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Number Energy for 2012 – Why I Choose Vegan

Happy New Year to all of my friends and readers out there! Welcome 2012… this is the year it will finally be revealed to us the true reason we came into the world at this precise time in the human journey. At least this is the consensus among spiritualists and meta-physicists out there.

For those who know me, know I am a big numerology fan. I have been calculating the number energy and vibrations for years and I find it fascinatingly right on the money more than anything else, metaphysically speaking. It’s right so much so, that I am about to hang a pink neon flashing sign in my window and offer readings. I think I could make a far better living.

Do you know what energy vibration the world is encountering in 2012? Brace yourself! We are in a 5 vibration. We are due for some dramatic changes here on earth and it will all be happening this year. This is the year for change, freedom, travel, learning from mistakes, diversity, different cultures, chance, variety, choice, different belief systems, the unusual, the physical, the sudden and unexpected… think wild card here because anything can and will happen this year!

We are now at the halfway point of an entire nine-year cycle. The events of the ‘middle’ year show us the difference between the old, the present and our potential. It is an unsettled time because unexpected events that will occur help us to make decisions that will lead the way for the next four years of the numerology cycle. Choosing to stay focused as best as we can during these swift changes is so important this year. If we don’t stay focused on our goals we can find ourselves in the grips of some very reckless energy that the 5 year tempts us with. The damage done by choosing this reckless path can be irreparable! Look out for headlines in the news with much more divorce, overdose, gambling, corruption, fraud, pornography, and very unexpected things. Be prepared to be surprised.

People will become highly social this year and many will over do it on food and drink! As if we are not fat and unhealthy enough already! Sad Fact.

Of course with numerology there are positives and negatives to any number vibration, it is up to us which energy we will help to bring forth. The 5 year provides us new directions that are totally different than any we have taken before. The best way to approach this journey is with a totally different attitude. ADAPTABILITY. Be fluid like water! This is my mantra I say to myself on a daily basis lately because not only is the world energy a 5, my own personal year numerology is a 5. Double Whammy! I am a little scared to be honest, but love over fear is what I need to stay focused on and it is love energy that will direct me onto the best path this year. This holds true for ALL of us now.

Regarding world energy, each of us need to set our intentions. In which camp will you reside? Fear and greed or love and kindness?

How do we want the next four years to look and feel on earth? How about beyond the next four years? This is the year we decide our fate. I really believe that us souls here in human form have an inclination of what we will choose going forth in this HUGE dimensional shift taking place. But due to free will and the 5 energy which lands us right in the middle, it is our free will that is going to push us forward into the age of peace OR backward into death and darkness. I believe it is our very last chance to make our decision.

The good news is that the 5 energy brings us new ways of seeing and doing things and shows us how we handle our problems so that we can choose to handle them differently in the future. We have to learn from what is being shown to us and we must be adaptable. For the people who dislike change, they will have a big problem on their hands. If you are unwilling to adapt and go with the flow, you will be stuck behind in the death and destruction of the old. If you are adaptable, most likely you will follow your higher self, which always wants to reside among love and kindness. I believe if we choose love and kindness over fear and greed and that includes our own fear and greed, we will be blessed with all that the new world has to offer. There will be rewards we have never even dreamed possible. Heaven on earth, if you will.

I am going to tie this into diet here, of course, you know me. Why? Because food production is a HUGE part of the mess the world is in now. This can’t go on. Peace cannot exist with all the bloodshed happening to feed people food that only turns out to be making us sick and weighing us down with the old heavy energy. Most of us desire change and now more than ever we need to be the change!

We can only set our goals for 2012 and beyond by first gaining knowledge about what is going on in the world right now and this includes food production and any other reasons we exploit animals. There are so many great books and internet articles out there that will shine the light on these topics for you. Google it!

Let’s talk energy for a minute. Digestion of food is how we extract energy from our environment and how this energy works through us helps to create what is happening. Everything is energy. Should we consume death energy or life energy? That depends on what we want to create. What will our future look like?

I often get asked this question “why are you vegan?”. I usually don’t have a few hours at that random moment to catch people up to speed. Nor do I want to waste my time doing so if the question is insincere. But I am happy to share this answer to this question for you now with some pictures and great music. I ran across this video by EVOLVE! Campaigns and it’s certainly not as shocking as I would prefer, but a good start to fill people in none the less. I can do without “oh what a feeling Toyota” dude jumping in the one scene as my vegan cheese-o-meter went off for a second, but other than that its a good video. Not only does it answer the question it is also meant to help YOU decide what goals to strive for going into 2012.

If you are not a vegan and you want to remain not a vegan. Know why. Be proud of it, if it’s possible to do so. Next time you are annoyed by a vegan, stop and educate yourself on why they are a vegan and what they are doing to help change and improve OUR world. Anyone else on the brink of going vegan. Keep educating yourself and inundating yourself with the reasons why. It strengthens your convictions and your character and you will be honoring yourself, your family, your friends and our world by going vegan, plant based or whatever you choose to say. 

What will you help collectively create in this new world? Will you contribute to fear and greed or contribute to love? Are you part of the problem or part of the solution?

2012 is about raising our consciousness and evolving. It’s about adaptability and change. Our best health depends on being adaptable. We can’t do the same things we have always done and expect different results. Who cares what the hell your neighbor or your friend is doing. What are YOU doing?

Watch this clip, set your intentions and be the change in 2012! Will I see you in the 5th dimension where love and peace abounds? I hope so, because that is certainly where I plan to be!

Then end of this clip asks a question. I want to know why you choose vegan. Please post your answer in my comment section below. Even if you plan to do it slow and gradual. I thank you! The new world thanks you!


Only the best wishes for you in 2012!

~The Karmatarian

Further Reading:

The Numerology of 2012

The Year 2012: The Turning Point

Find your personal year numerology here at Creative Numerology

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Type 1 Diabetes – Another Reason to Ditch Dairy


photo courtesy of http://www.notmilk.com

Fun Fun on a Saturday afternoon! I hope your day is fantastic. This is a press release I had to create today for my plant based nutrition class regarding chronic disease. This is quite informative so I’m sharing it on the blog. Enjoy!

Type 1 Diabetes – Another Reason to Ditch Dairy

Modern nutritional science suggests that dairy products are extremely hazardous to our health. The weight of evidence from various studies show that the proteins and hormones in cow’s milk have been linked to numerous diseases and poor health conditions which zap our quality of life and leave us to suffer. This is contrary to what we have been conditioned to believe about milk… that it does a body good. But thankfully some of us know better!

The entire list of diseases and problems linked to dairy is outrageous and includes: Heart disease, Cancer, Leukemia, Chrohn’s Disease, Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, Hepatitis, Hyper and Hypo-thryroidism, Leaky Gut Syndrome, Parkinson’s Disease, Autism, Schizophrenia, Irritability, Restlessness, Hyperactivity, Headaches, Lethargy, Fatigue, Allergies, Muscle Pain, Mental Depression, Enuresis (bed-wetting). SIDS, Eczema, Otitis Media (inner ear trouble), Sinusitis, Wheezing, Asthma, Bloody Stools, Colitis, Diarrhea, Painful Defecation, Infantile Colic, Chronic Constipation, Canker sores, Acne, Gastroesophageal Reflux (GERD), Osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s and many more.

A biggie to note on this list is… Type 1 Diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes first starts in infants and eventually somewhere in early childhood robs the pancreas of creating insulin which in turn ruins the child’s life. This doesn’t have to occur when we understand nutrition and avoid animal products namely dairy in this case. Exposing young infants to cow’s milk (dairy derived formula included) exposes the body to “foreign invaders” one of which is a 17 amino acid sequence found in cow’s milk. The infant’s body creates antibodies to counteract this antigen or foreign invader and keeps itself safe. Because of the body’s ability to “remember” the body then recognizes this same pattern of amino acids on the cells of the pancreas which happen to be present if the child is genetically susceptible. The body attacks itself! The body destroys these healthy cells of the pancreas which appear as a threat. This leaves the child diabetic, unable to produce insulin for the rest of his/her life. Children who are genetically susceptible and are exposed to cow’s milk have an 11-13 fold increase risk of type 1 diabetes. That is truly huge! How do you know if your child is genetically susceptible? You don’t. The research hasn’t been established. So if we don’t know, is it really fair to gamble with our children’s lives? There is a profound difference between animal foods and whole plant based foods and their affects on health and disease documented by Dr. T. Colin Campbell and his extensive research with the China Study. It is safe to say dairy does a body bad. Really, really bad!

The American Academy of Pediatrics has seen the evidence of cow’s milk and its effects on infants and suggests that children under the age of 2 not consume cow’s milk. But should we start to give our toddlers cow’s milk at age 2 and throughout childhood? The protein casein in cow’s milk is considered the most relevant carcinogen of our time according to Dr. T. Colin Campbell. Casein fuels cancer growth. The stacking evidence against dairy and animal foods has lead us to a whole foods plant based diet for optimal health. Dairy should be a deal breaker in that it contains 60 active hormones, scores of pesticides, herbicides and powerful antibiotics, blood, pus and radiation. The numbers are only compounded when eating cheese because it takes ten pounds of milk to make one pound of cheese! What about IGF-1? IGF-1 is a powerful growth hormone that fuels cancer cells in humans and is found in all organic and regular milk and is not removed with pasteurization.

Breast milk is best for our infants.  Modern nutritional science also suggests a whole foods plant based diet throughout childhood is best to disease proof our children.

For more information read The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-Term Health by T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D. and Thomas M. Campbell II

Ditch Dairy!

Enjoy the Journey

~The Karmatarian

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Eat Your Way Out of the Matrix, Part Two – Spiritual Nutrition Workshop with Dr. Gabriel Cousens – My Review

Deficiencies on Vegetarian,Vegan and Meat Centered Diet

Welcome to part two of my review of Dr. Gabriel Cousens’ Spiritual Workshop. If you missed part one… the best diet for Spiritual Awakening, Click Here. The information in this post is intended to help you tweak your diet for optimal health and might help you put the puzzle together for yourself regarding differing views of the plant based diet from many teachers and doctors out there. After all, our human bodies work synergistically, like a symphony and need many different musical instruments working together in order to create beautiful music!

You many want to print this for reference, it’s a doozy!

*No one’s diet is sufficient enough for what is taking place in the world today. Supplementation is vital*

Mineralize- It’s Key!

Minerals are frequencies of consciousness, frequencies of light and frequencies of information needed for spiritual life.

Minerals are one of the deep secrets of Spiritual nutrition according to Dr. Cousens.

Ninety-Nine percent of Americans are mineral deficient according to the US Senate as early as 1936. The US Senate went on to mark that deficiency in any one of the more important minerals results in disease! Years later, things have only gotten worse as far as food production, mineral deficient soil, herbicides, pesticides and microwave ovens. Whether you are a meat eater or vegan, everyone needs to mineralize!

Minerals must be angstrom sized in order to be absorbed by our cells.

“Plants are able to take these minerals in, and break them down into angstrom-size, which they use. Once we understand that, we understand that the vegetables we eat transfer angstrom size minerals from the soil to us via the plants.” ~ Spiritual Nutrition, Dr. Gabriel Cousens.

We are able to use such products like Himalayan or Celtic sea salt with great results because they are angstrom sized minerals. Table salt and heated salt is covalently bonded. We cannot use it in the body and it gets stored as toxic build up in our tissues.

Iodine- Thyroid issues are HUGE! Seventy-Five to Ninety-Five percent of Americans have deficiency in Iodine. Iodine protects our thyroid. Vegans should pay more attention to thyroid function as it can be a bit lower. Eating meat, fish, dairy, etc… any food higher up on the food chain exposes us to high radiation and radiation destroys the thyroid. Iodine is the most powerful lymphatic cleanser there is! Iodine flushes out the top toxins which are Bromine and then Chlorine which are both bad for our thyroid and also Flouride. Iodine protects against radiation! We are all exposed to tons of radiation throughout a given day. 

Magnesium-  80% of the population is low in magnesium In 1936, the U.S. congress found that 99% of the U.S. population had some mineral deficiencies. It is clear there is a need for general mineral supplementation.

Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!

Your Brain is Shrinking!  Our brains shrink at 1% per year. By age 60 as much as 2 inches are lost! Our height also shrinks with age due to dehydration. By keeping yourself completely hydrated you can actually lengthen the spine as our discs are 3/4 water.  Supplementing with B12 also helps against brain shrinkage.

Which kind of Water is best?  Alkalized water is NOT the answer. It is NOT good for us. You need alkalized minerals to get alkaline, not water. Eating Live foods alkalizes you, alkalized water does not. Alkalized water does work short term but long term it can have detrimental effects!

Dr. Cousens jokingly said, spring water is best… if you live near a spring that is! The best water for drinking is distilled, mature water that is mineralized, crystallized and blessed if you are going the spiritual route. Crystals energize the distilled water. When you distill water, you free up the natural hydrogen so it can hydrate the cells.

*Healthy water with a TDS (total dissolved solids) of 50 or less increases alkalinity of our extracellular fluid and increases the acidity of our intracellular fluid. This is what we want.  When people (usually ones with cancer) are told they are acidic, it means they have high acidic extracellular fluid.

“Acid producing foods, such as meat, alkalinize the cytoplasm and actually deprive the DNA of the hydrogen ions that DNA needs for replication. Meat acidifies the extracellular fluid and alkalinizes the intracellular fluid, which is just the opposite of the direction we want to go”~ Spiritual Nutrition, Dr. Gabriel Cousens

As we age, we de-mineralize and cellularly dehydrate. Our thirst mechanisms often times don’t alert us and they lose the ability to do so with age. It is very important to drink at least two quarts of pure water each day. Even if you aren’t thirsty!

How do you know you are hydrated? Simply… If you pee every 1-2 hours then you are hydrated! If you pee every 3-4 hours, you are not so hydrated.

Blessing the Water- Water is living! Remember my article Saying Grace and Making the Bed? I talked about Dr. Masaru Emoto’s brilliant research regarding how water energy changes according to what energy it’s exposed to. Dr. Cousens also references Dr. Emoto’s findings in his book Spiritual Nutrition. In general, the findings are that beautiful crystals form in the experiment when water has been exposed to beautiful thought forms, classical music and prayer.  Beautiful crystals do not form when water has been polluted… such as tap water which has been chlorinated. But when that water is exposed to prayer and thought forms of love and gratitude, beautiful hexagonal crystalline form in the experiment. So it is very important to project love and good thoughts onto water as we are 90% water and when we send out those messages of peace, love, and gratitude to water, it is connected to all people and all of nature!

*Very Important to know about blessing our food! Any loving prayer works to bless our water to energize it, This is also true with our food… LIVE FOOD. Live food contains structured water which can hold the vibration of prayer. Cooked food is dehydrated and any left over water is disorganized by the heat!! This is important information that I did not understand fully when I wrote my article….. It makes complete sense to me now.

B-12 Deficiency

Everyone is deficient in B12!!! Vegans and vegetarians run higher risk of becoming deficient over a span of 6-10 years without supplementation. Our bodies store B12 and use it daily so it depends upon the individual as to when we will be depleted. Non vegetarians most likely have a poor B12 status because so many factors contribute to B12 deficiency including poor nutrition, radiation exposure, drugs, toxins, alcohol, smoking, oral contraceptives, fungal infections, iron deficiency, mental stress… and more.

*Contrary to belief, B12 originates from bacteria not from meat. So you don’t have to eat meat to obtain B12 supplementation or even get it from an animal source!

Hydrochloric Acid- With age we lose the ability to produce hydrochloric acid. Hydrochloric acid helps us to absorb B12. Dr. Cousens also recommends we supplement hydrochloric acid.

Carnosine- What is Carnosine? Two amino acids that bond together to act as a powerful antioxidant. Carnosine prevents glycoselation which is sugar that blocks cell function. Glycoselation is one of the main factors in aging. Everyone needs 1000 mg per day of Carnosine and non vegetarians would require eating 3 steaks per day to achieve this… we all know this is a bad idea, as meat is associated with chronic disease. We need to supplement Carnosine.

Vitamin D3-  Vitamin D protects against flu. It protects against 50-70% cancers, protects against diabetes, helps mothers have normal deliveries, and also promotes healthy brain function and cognition. Meat eaters and Vegetarians fall somewhere between 50-85% being deficient in vitamin D!

Vitamin D, K and A work together in the body. Vegans and meat eaters are low in K and 50% are low in Vitamin A. We should also supplement Vitamin K3 and Vitamin A.

We need healthy fats to be healthy!

Essential Fatty Acids

*Omega 3 deficiency may be a significant underlying factor of up to 96,000 premature deaths per year

We Need More FAT!!!  What?! Dr. Cousens recommends Higher Omega 3 essential fatty acids and saturated fat.  People are trained to fear fat but Plant fat is quite different than animal fat. Animal fat is where bad cholesterol comes from. Trans fat is the fat to avoid! Dr. Cousens revealed that his diet consists of about 40% plant fat! Some would argue that this is a very high amount.

Long chain omega 3 fatty acids- DHA The general population needs omega 3’s especially pregnant women. 90% of pregnant women are shown to be deficient! We need omega 3 long chain fatty acids. Fish oil has been the old go-to but fish oil is only 2%, it goes rancid and is contaminated with herbicides, pesticides and radiation. Coconut oil gives us at least 5%. And we are also lucky to have safe, adequate, non-oxidized versions that we get direct from algae such as golden algae. We can also get DHA from Purlsane herb and Blue Green Algae.

Short Chain Omega 3 fatty acids we can get from flax seeds, hemps seed and Chia seeds. We can convert these short chains into the needed long chains by adding coconut oil to our diet.

Medium Chain Omega 3 fatty acids like coconut oil increases the conversion of short chain to long chain omega 3 fatty acids by 3-6 percent!

*50% of our cell walls are made up of saturated fat! Our Brains require saturated fat to function properly.

*We need saturated fat and omega 3 saturated fat to maintain a healthy brain (this lack of healthy fat could explain some kooks out there!) and the release of GABA which protects against anxiety attacks, depression, panic attack. We need saturated fat for keytones that feed the brain which has become insulin resistant, fuel for the heart, protect liver from toxins, to lower cholesterol levels (in moderate amounts). If you have low cholesterol, that’s bad! People with low cholesterol run a risk of more suicides, and a brain that just doesn’t function right.

Dr. Cousens recommends coconut oil as neuro protective and as cardio protective! If you have low cholesterol he recommends high coconut oil. Coconut oil which is saturated fat is dramatically good for treating Alzheimers disease. The fat is converted directly by the liver to Keytones and then those keytones go right through to the brain and energize.

*People can be very damaged by a low fat vegan diet! 

*A low-fat vegan diet along with high sugar/ high complex carbohydrates is also VERY BAD!

~OJAS~

OJAS~ “is a Sanskrit word which literally means “vigor”. According to the principles of Ayurveda it is the essential energy of the body which can be equated with the “fluid of life”. Those who practice Ayurveda say that Ojas is the sap of one’s life energy which, when sufficient, is equated with immunity and, when deficient, results in weakness, fatigue and ultimately disease.” ~ Wikipedia

We need more Omega 3 fats for Ojas, according to Dr. Cousens. Coconut oil, seed milks, chia seeds, walnuts and flax…. Long Chain omega 3’s, Blue Green Algae and E3 live, bee pollen, spirulina and chlorella!

How do we build OJAS? Omega 3’s, minerals, plant protein, bee pollen, algae, coconut oil, hemp seeds, macadamia nuts, avocado, nut and seed milks, dharmic living, sleep, bhakti, sexual balance, moderate lifestyle, sense of control, etc….

Protein


Eat right for your type… are you a slow oxidizer or fast oxidizer?
– There is no difference between plant protein and animal protein. It all breaks down the same way into amino acids in our system and is reorganized by the body. Some people may however claim they need more protein. This may be true, but does not mean they need animal protein. They just need the highest quality plant protein such as chlorella,  spirulina, blue-green algae and E3 live. These are 60-70% protein with 40% absorbability. *Note* Meat, chicken and fish are only 14, 15, and 16% absorbable. Animal protein is less digestible and not easily absorbed when compared to plant protein. It is quite easy for people who need more protein to thrive on a vegan diet as long as diets are individualized.  But you need to eat according to your body type… If you are a slow oxidizer you may not get hungry for hours between meals. If you are a fast oxidizer you may be hungry very often. You may be someone who needs to eat more frequent smaller meals spaced throughout the day rather than 3 large meals.

What about the low testosterone myth on a vegan diet? There are plenty of herbs that can build up your testosterone if need be. According to Dr. Cousens. Resorting to adding fish into the diet for this purpose is a bad idea! Fish are way too polluted with mercury, toxins, radiation, etc… and it doesn’t matter where you get it from. Even the most so called “pristine” sources.

 Sugar

Sugar! Surprise surprise… it’s bad!  Not only does it contribute to diabetes, cancer loves an acidic environment which sugar helps create! Cancer cells need 50% more sugar to survive!

  • Sugar is the main cause of aging!
  • Protein breaks down to sugar in the body and this is why many people suffer from excessive protein.
  • Sugar pulls calcium out of the system!!!!!

Eggs

Eggs – A topic important enough that Dr. Cousens felt the need to discuss. What are eggs? Eggs are the menstrual product of the hen. When the egg is not fertilized it just remains as death. You don’t want to eat death! Spiritually, eating eggs is desecration of the divine feminine. That is pretty big spiritual karma right there… There are a million other reasons NOT to consume eggs, from allergies to cancer to salmonella and more. I posted his article about eggs below for further reading.

Detox

Detox Extremely important for everyone, especially the spiritual seeker.  It is better to detox doing shorter fasts than one long fast.This is true because toxins accumulate in levels in our bodies and that is how they come out. He suggests detoxing often but only 2 times per year as your longer detoxes.

 Let me interrupt you to share some *Random Notes*

70% of all chickens have Salmonella and after one year of life most all chickens develop cancer. “Dr. Rous, Nobel Prize winner and long-time researcher at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, states that 95% of the chickens for sale in New York City are cancerous. He also concurs with other researchers in stating that the chicken cancer is transmissible

Cows – 60% of cows in the world have leukemia that gets translated. People have 3% higher rates of leukemia on dairy. Pasteurization kills the leukemia virus. Dairy is linked to lung cancer and ovarian cancer. Raw milk is linked to bubonic plague.

50% of our water is polluted by animal agriculture!

There is much more carbon dioxide due to factory farming which leads to less oxygen. Less oxygen produces more cancer.

You cut 22 minutes off of your life for every hour of television you watch!

Dental issues on a raw/vegan diet – I was able to ask Dr. Cousens a few questions. I wanted to know why I hear of vegans and raw foodists having dental problems. He answered stressing the importance of a low glycemic holistic vegan diet to avoid so many sugars. Being sure to rinse your teeth often after consuming fruit and high acidic foods.

Soy-  This was my second question to Dr. Cousens, I wanted to know if there was anything good about soy from his perspective. He answered, Absolutely NOT!

A. It’s cooked

B. 92% of soy is genetically modified

C. It’s a top allergen

D. It destroys your brain

E. It’s severely anti-thyroidal

F. It blocks digestion

G. It’s cancer causing

H. It’s estrogenic

Diabetes

Reversal and Prevention

One person dies every 10 seconds from diabetes and forty percent of the world’s population are walking around in a pre – diabetic state. While there are many impressive things on Dr. Gabriel Cousens’s list, there is a major focus on Diabetes. Focus on the prevention of and the reversal of this chronic degenerative disease which is now a worldwide pandemic affecting about 300 million people!  If you are following the Standard American diet… YOU are at risk! The good news is that you can ditch that diet and eat in such a way that can reset your genetic expression. Yes, I said Re-Set!!! Not only can you avoid diabetes but a slew of other degenerative diseases as well.  At the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center, Dr. Cousens offers a 21 day intensive which is part of a one year long program that can reset a person’s genetic expression. According to Dr. Cousens there is a cure for Diabetes as well as other degenerative diseases. This includes eating living foods and adopting a holistic vegan diet that is also low glycemic!

You can eat to reorganize your genes to work right! Three percent of our DNA is genetic and Ninety-Seven percent of our genes are epigenic.  Epigenic means “affected by everything”. We are more in control than we think. Too many people use “oh,it’s genetic” as an excuse! Eating processed foods turn on genetic toxic programming. Dr. Cousens has seen miraculous transformations of body, mind and spirit at the Tree of Life, when people incorporate living foods into their life. In as little as 40 days on his program, most diabetics come off of their insulin and medications. We can all do this on our own as well but either way, in order to make this happen, we are gonna need a little self love!

“There is a choice. You have to be willing to change your life. You have to love yourself enough to heal yourself”

~ Dr. Gabriel Cousens

Dr. Cousens is extensively involved in humanitarian efforts dealing with diabetes prevention in various parts of the world such as Nigeria and Ghana as well as many other third world countries. At first I was confused and I thought why? And then he went onto explain that in third world countries they are starting to adopt the standard American diet. They now are exposed to diabetes and all of the problems associated with it! Dr. Cousens is right there to educate them about diabetes prevention, encouraging them to go back to whole foods! And it makes sense, being that they are only ONE generation away from living off the land like they used to do. He teaches them not to become slaves dependent upon on large corporations. I agree… go back! GO BACK!!!!

“In ancient times only three diseases existed, one of which was old age; but now since people have committed to eating flesh, Seventy-Eight new diseases have arisen.”

It all comes down to the Germ Cell!

The germ cell… the sperm and the ovary. It’s about survival of the species and rates of fertility. Ever wonder why rates of infertility are so high? Recent inter-generational research by Abram Hoffer, M.D. Ph.D, in animals and people has shown that on a uniformly poor diet, the offspring of each generation deteriorates more and more. Rats continue up to eight generations before they can’t reproduce. How many generations does it take people before they can’t reproduce? I guess we are already seeing signs of this happening now. I catch myself occasionally saying, “I think it’s coming down to survival of the fittest… those who take interest in their health and diet”. I was justified in my thinking when Dr. Cousens stated that we are destroying our germ cells with each generation of processed food.

…This ties into Allergies. The more our bodies are broken down, the more allergies we will suffer!

*Vaccinations  (which by the way all contain a little human flesh) work synergystically with herbicides and pesticides which interact  and overload the system. An overloaded system leads to cancer and allergies and many other problems!

Dr. Cousens states that the future of our planet depends on conscious holistic vegan awareness. In each generation we are given the right medicine and holistic veganism happens to be the right medicine for our ailing times!

“The doctor of the future will give no medication, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.”

~ Thomas A. Edison

Reasons to consider a holistic vegan diet

  • Preserve the germ cell and allow for healthy reproduction
  • Preserve personal health and energy
  • Feeds the hungry by cutting down dramatically the land that is needed to feed cattle and animals for meat consumption
  • Protects against anti-cruelty
  • Preserves ecology and global community
  • Maintains and protects bio-computer mind
  • More likely to maintain sovereignty due to our Standard American Diet and it’s “dumbing down” affects
  • Maintain yamas, niyamas and the 10 commandments
  • Inner peace
  • clear the Nadis and Koshas so we can become super conductors of the divine.

Eat your way out of the Matrix

The Matrix is the Death Culture… Are you stuck in the Matrix?

Break Out of the Matrix! After reading this information presented by Dr. Cousens, maybe you are able to put this puzzle together to see how we become stuck in the Matrix unable to see “beyond”. Our brains can’t function properly while consuming a standard American diet which consists of processed and animal foods full of chaos energy and cooked foods that leave us with very little nutrition. If our brains don’t work right, how can we ever see “beyond”?  Most of us don’t even realize we are in the Matrix! To add to it, the majority of Americans are taking anti-psychotics and anti-depressants which have horrendous side effects! People are in essence walking around with frontal lobotomy’s and lost moral connections. “We are destroying our germ cells with each generation of processed food” and reproduction of the human species is at risk.  Poor nutrition affects our brains.

We are stuck in a culture of death which is not of higher consciousness and not of proper thought processes.

Adaptability is so important!

And Again…My Two Cents

 Dr.Gabriel Cousens’ insight has helped me tremendously! I really admire his work. The fact that he is 68 years old, shows he knows a thing or two about longevity and how to live a vigorous healthy life! He is a very wise and accomplished man, therefore I definitely enjoyed his insight and look forward to finishing this book! I was sad to learn about Dr. Cousens perspective on Soy (but really, I have just been in denial). For many vegetarians and vegans, if you take soy away… what’s left?  I personally have researched good things about fermented soy in small quantities. Unlike Dr. Cousens who says soy is cancer causing (it could very well be, most likely, probably. I think it really sucks.) Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s work with the China Study shows that soy protein does not turn cancer “on”. Will I give it up? Not yet. I think it is a great transition food for a healthy person when consumed with that thought in mind and knowing your goal is to move away from it. The problem is that people who over ate meat and make the switch to veganism, some of them replace all  the meat they used to eat with soy products and totally over do the soy! If you can handle soy (and you should pay attention to how your body reacts after you eat it) and you choose only organic and fermented soy products like, Tempeh, Soy yogurt and Tofu, Tamari, Miso, etc… in very small  quantities and moderation, it certainly has to be a hell of a lot better that the alternative from the death energy perspective! I can’t give up soy just yet… move away slowly, yes. I will definitely be revisiting this topic soon, as it seems it needs a post all it’s own!

***I want to say a special Thank You to my very dear friend Maureen. For without her these articles would never of happened. I was invited by her to attend this workshop and we had the best time! I am truly grateful for our time together and all the ways in which she helps me grow on this journey! Another special thank you to Maureen’s dear friend Linda who was a raw food vendor at the workshop. She provided us an amazing raw food lunch. Check her out at Green Spirit!

I can’t say enough about Dr. Cousens book Spiritual Nutrition! All of this information along with the information from my post, part one is covered in much more depth! A must have for anyone wanting to become more attuned with the divine! Pick up your copy of the book at the Karmatarian E-Store and please help support me and my site! Thank you!

Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed this information

Enjoy the Journey!

~The Karmatarian

Further reading

Dr. Gabriel Cousens’ blog article: Deficiencies on a meat-based diet

Iodine- In researching for this post I came across a very interesting article, well worth the read….. It’s by Dr. Mercola. Kind of ironic that I would post an article by Dr. Mercola when discussing Dr. Cousens, but these two medical doctors can actually talk with one another as Dr. Cousens pointed out at the workshop. These two doctors have higher interests to actually heal people spiritually as well as physically. The article is called Avoid Bromine If You Want To Keep Your Thyroid Healthy.

WHY EGGS AREN’T A HEALTH FOOD – WHETHER ORGANIC, LOCAL, OR NOT you can read Dr. Cousen’s article here.

Hydrochloric Acid

The common ground between the primal Paleoists and the raw foodists

Coconut oil and medium chain triglycerides

There is a vegan version of Carnosine that we can obtain from Dr. Cousen’s website

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Eat Your Way Out of the Matrix, Part One – Spiritual Nutrition Workshop with Dr. Gabriel Cousens – My Review

Can you imagine what the world would be like if no one taught another what they knew? It would be a pretty dark place. I had the opportunity to attend the Spiritual Nutrition Workshop with Dr. Gabriel Cousens that was held here in Chicago at the end of September. I learned some eye opening information that I took the time to organize and now I’m passing it on in hopes that Dr. Cousens’ message reaches at least one more person who can benefit.

Most of the information below came from the workshop but I also took home Dr. Gabriel Cousens’ book Spiritual Nutrition so I was able to expand on some of his points using his book. I’m giving you mostly cliff notes here but it is information that everyone can use to empower themselves along with ideas about the evolutionary diet of our future as we move away from the culture of death into a culture of life and liberation, as shared by Dr. Gabriel Cousens. Seems to me that each point could easily have it’s own post but I want to give you all the info I learned up front. I could and still may break it down later but man will I be busy!!!

It seems there were three main focuses of attention at the workshop:

  1. Spiritual enlightenment through Holistic Veganism
  2. Serious deficiencies in our diets due to modern day agriculture and modern day pollution… such as radiation.
  3. Diabetes prevention

All of these topics affect YOU, ME and everyone else!

I am breaking this info down into two posts because it can be a lot to wrap your mind around. I also know that your never ending to-do list is most likely calling you! This first post focuses on diet for spiritual purposes and some of the interesting points Dr. Cousens makes regarding using diet to gain a better connection to the divine! I will post the second article in another day or two which will focus on deficiences in our diets no matter what we eat! Post two you will not want to miss! I will sprinkle in random profound ideas throughout both posts as expressed by Dr. Cousens and by the end you should understand why you and I would want to get the hell OUT of the matrix! I feel it’s a toss up which post is more informative, but that depends on how you view food. Be sure to read both and then let me know which one helped you!

Who is Dr. Gabriel Cousens?

For those of you unfamiliar, here’s a little background on Dr. Gabriel Cousens and what makes him extraordinarily credible. Originally from Highland Park, Il, he is the founder and director of the Tree of Life Foundation and Rejuvenation Center in Patagonia, Arizona.  Gabriel Cousens is a M.D., M.D. (H), D.D. (Doctor of Divinity), Diplomat American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine, Diplomat in Ayurveda which is considered the leading live-food medical doctors and spiritual nutrition experts in the world, and he is recognized as “the fasting guru and detoxification expert” by the New York Times. He is also a psychiatrist, family therapist, Ayurvedic practitioner, homeopath, holistic physician, acupuncturist, medical researcher, ecological leader, Rabbi, Senior Essene teacher, a recognized yogi who “has realized the innate perfection”, internationally celebrated spiritual teacher, lecturer, medical researcher, world peace worker and physician of the soul.  He is a bestselling author of books such as Spiritual Nutrition, Conscious Eating, Rainbow Green Live Food Cuisine, and There Is a Cure for Diabetes. I’m barely scratching the surface of Dr. Gabriel Cousens’ background and wisdom.  Read more about his impressive Medical and Spiritual Bio on his website.

Spiritual Awakening

We are able to merge heaven and earth with the help of live foods.  By eating foods that are Un-broken in their wholeness we can bring ourselves back to wholeness according to Dr. Gabriel Cousens

Dr. Cousens has a mission to help individuals and the planet heal physically, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually, by helping to make the transition from a culture of death and war to a culture of life and liberation through adopting a holistic vegan live foods diet as a basis for whole person enlightenment.

Dr. Cousens’ vision is that he wants to see everyone “wake up” and be healthy. To support whole person enlightenment and the Kundalini (the inner spiritualizing energy that takes us to the experiences of non-causal ecstasy, joy, peace, love and God awareness. These are our natural emotions in liberation), Dr. Cousens eats and promotes the very best diet for this spiritual evolution… Holistic Veganism. He has no problem stating that this is the best diet for this purpose and by eating this way one supports spiritual life and the ~flow~.

” When the body aches, the soul too is weakened and one is unable to pray properly; even when clear of sins. Thus you must guard the health of the body carefully.”

~Baal Shem Tov

There are six foundations for a successful spiritual life:

  • 1. Nutrition
  • 2. Building Prana (life force) such as with yoga and breathing practices
  • 3. Service and Charity
  • 4. Spiritual Guidance and Inspiration (expanding the mind with spiritual teachings and wisdom and spending time in the presence of spiritual teachers, people and community)
  • 5. Silence (meditation)
  • 6. Kundalini Awakening (the descent of grace).

These six foundations prepare us to awaken from the dream illusion of separation. These are ways of living. Gabriel says, of course one cannot eat or meditate their way to God… it’s all about Grace.

“There is never enough food to feed the hungry soul”

~ Dr. Gabriel Cousens

Gabriel sees food as a love note from God and functions as a live-food vegan peace worker reactivating the prophetic teachings of  Genesis 1:29:

“Then God said, I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.”

… It was ten generations later that Noah could not find plants to eat for immediate food once he left the ark that God said, “every swarming creature that lives shall be your to eat; like grass vegetation I have given you all” (Genesis 9:3) which was not a command to eat meat, but a dispensation for the immediate situation.

“As the Torah implies, people may not be ready for this evolved spiritual diet. In the time of Noah (pre- flood era) people were cannibalistic. At that point in time, the teaching was that the Divine lowered the moral standard dictating that people wouldn’t be cannibals, but could eat meat, which was a step down from killing and eating other humans. It was implied that at some point people would become morally and ethically refined to see animals have souls and move into a more evolved diet.”

~Dr. Gabriel Cousens – Taken from his blog post “Deficiencies on a meat-based diet”

 Eating meat – a violation of 5 of the 10 commandments

In Leviticus 3:17, the commandment is given that “it is a statute to time indefinite for your generations, in all your dwelling places; you must not eat any fat or any blood at all.”  Dr. Cousens reminds us that fat from flesh foods has been implicated in many degenerative diseases and is a major storage sight for pesticides, herbicides and other environmental toxins that enter the food chain. Each of the commandments that are broken as a result of eating meat was discussed at the workshop and it really does becomes obvious when another points it out to you (I just took poor notes at that moment and don’t have them to share with you regarding these 5 commandments… though, I am sure you could figure it out)

Here is a favorite excerpt that I found in the book Spiritual Nutrition from the Essene Gospel of Peace, Book one that describes the link to Spiritual Nutrition:

 “God commanded your forefathers: Thou shalt not kill. I say to you: Kill  neither men, nor beasts, nor yet the food which goes into your mouth. For if you eat living food, the same will quicken you, but if you kill your food, the dead food will kill you also. For life only comes from life, and death always comes from death. For everything which kills your foods kills your bodies also. And everything which kills your bodies kills your souls also (the link to spiritual nutrition). Therefore, eat not anything which fire or frost or water has destroyed. For burned, frozen, and rotted foods will burn, freeze, and rot your body also. Be not like the foolish husbandman who sowed in his ground cooked and frozen and rotted seeds, and the Autumn came and his fields bore nothing, and great was his distress.” ~ Jesus

*Studies show  an average of 200 herbicides and pesticides found in the umbilical cords of new born babies. 

*Vegans have less herbicides and pesticides than meat eaters as meat eaters eat higher up on the food chain and those animals ingest many more herbicides and pesticides along with Radiation with is higher in dairy, meat, fish, chicken, etc…

*Dairy is overall higher in radiation than other animal foods. Organic cows have even higher radiation due to all the grass they consume!

Is it ethical for a yoga teacher to eat meat?

In Dr. Cousens’s book Spiritual Nutrition, it states that certain Yoga teachers are now saying that one does not need to be vegetarian to practice yoga, but the Buddha expressed a CLEAR opinion on this in the Shurangama Sutra “After my parinirvana (enlightenment) in the final kalpa (time era), different kinds of ghosts will be encountered everywhere, deceiving people and teaching them that they can eat meat and still attain enlightenment”

“How can a bhikshu (seeker) who hopes to become a deliverer of others, himself be living on the flesh of other sentient beings?”

~ Hsuan Hua

Dr. Cousens states that the Ahaparinirvana Sutra sums it up: “The eating of meat extinguishes the seed of great compassion”. Buddhism was originally vegetarian and the Dalai Lama suggests we return to it.

Veganism itself dates back B.C. and is a diet related to consciousness. Whenever people moved away from the vegan diet along the timeline and started eating meat, there was war. Eating meat always goes hand in hand with war and history does prove it.

Veganism fulfills five moral precepts of the Torah (Five books of Moses)

  •  1.  Compassion and non cruelty to animals
  •  2.  Peace
  •  3.  Preservation of personal health
  •  4.  Feed the hungry
  •  5.  Preservation of the earth

Veganism is the spiritual blueprint preparing for the golden age of peace

To understand how diet affects us spiritually, it is important to understand that digestion of food is how we extract energy from our environment.

Chaos Energy- Beef, chicken, fish, dairy, eggs, etc… according to Dr.Cousens, all clog the chakras and are like sludge to the flow of Kundalini  which stops the flow of Vortex. This sludge which is compromised of death, cruelty, misery, pain, fear and anxiety energies, etc….all get taken into the system.  The energetic frequencies are chaotic in the mind when we eat higher up on the food chain.

“Flesh food (meat, fish, and poultry increases the animal frequency in the body and it brings into operation more animal-like tendencies such as the vibrations of anger, lust, fear, aggressiveness, and murderous impulses.”

~ Dr. Gabriel Cousens, Spiritual Nutrition, Chapter 17

The meat eater vs. non meat eater debate

 People can stack evidence up for their argument and they often go to extreme examples as if those examples are a regular occurrence. You also can’t have an argument about what people ate, say in the 1950’s and who happened to live a long happy life because times are different and the way we process food is so very different now. Dr. Cousens could care less about this argument.

Hear that? It’s your spirit calling….

  • What is your intention?
  • What is your purpose?
  •  What is your justification?
  • Do you wish to wake up spiritually?

These are really the questions to ask yourself, said Dr. Cousens who has a completely different agenda for his diet being whole person enlightenment. It takes the debate away because this isn’t about winning an argument with a meat eater. Perhaps a meat eaters goal is only physical. Meat eaters don’t see that their diets are connected to the whole. And while it’s wonderful to be conscious, it is important for us, the spiritual seekers, to realize that a holistic vegan diet is not about superiority, it’s just our spiritual calling. Also very important to note that this isn’t so much about religiousness as it is about liberation!

“Holistic Veganism is not about moral superiority, it’s about being responsible for the total impact of ones actions”

~ Dr. Gabriel Cousens

Adopt a holistic vegan diet to maintain Seven Fold Peace

  • Peace with the body
  • Peace with the mind
  • Peace with the family
  • Peace with community
  • Peace with culture
  • Peace with ecology
  • Peace with divine

Spiritual seekers should consider a holistic vegan diet to create Aparigraha.

Aparigraha = Non-Possessiveness, Non-Hoarding.

*Note Eating meat is habit that stimulates endorphins and becomes highly addictive.

Ok, here is where it gets interesting…

An 80% live foods diet give us the most energy and power

Our brains are very much affected by poor nutrition. What we put into our bodies, becomes our tissues, bones, and muscles that make up our body. Our bodies communicate inter-cellularly using electromagnetic communication. Live foods are filled with electrons that charge our battery= Literally! The difference between cooked and live foods is something called Bioluminesence. Observing our bodies’ cells on a regular cooked diet, there is no charge between the cells and cells cannot communicate like they were designed to. Cooking foods cook away the living enzymes and nutrition our bodies desperately need.

Biophotons- Light. All living cells of plants, animals and human beings emit biophotons which cannot be seen by the naked eye but can be measured by special equipment developed by German researchers. When you eat foods that have more light energy, you take in light energy and the healthier you are.

Dr. Cousens showed us photos of different foods photographed using such technology that we were able to see this “light energy” around the specific uncooked living foods. You should of seen the amazing light energy surrounding sprouts!!! Now I know why the raw foodies, myself included are lovin’ their sprouts!

If you choose not to cook food anymore, you can still enjoy warmed foods. Why not heat it to 110 degrees? No need to boil the soup!

“Harmony is accepting and surrendering to natures design”

~ Dr. Gabriel Cousens

Interesting note~ *Dr. Cousens noticed that he could be in the sun four times longer than average. Because he eats this way, he resonates with the light force of energy and is at one with it, he isn’t fighting it!

Eat Live Foods for Endurance!  Dr. Cousens doesn’t necessarily promote lab experiments on animals, he wanted to be clear about this but he shared with us some findings from other medical professionals and researchers such as the Russian Dr. Breckman. In Dr. Breckmans research, mice that were fed raw food versus cooked food had three times the endurance!

Come into more emotional balance in your life!

In general on a live foods diet, PMS is improved by 250%, mental clarity, depression and anxiety are improved by 300%. The immune system is improved by 90%! 

Under-Eat for Longevity! 

Telomeres (sequences of DNA – chains of chemical code) are lengthened by exercise, eating well and getting good sleep. Each time a cell divides, the telomeres shorten until they can no longer divide and then they die. This is associated with aging, cancer and high risk of death. Telomeres are a kind of like a ticking time bomb. The Queen and King of Longevity is exercise and good nutrition… But taking in less food to trigger longevity is also key. If you eat less, by ½ the calories, you activate an anti-aging affect in your genes!

Here is more good news! When you eat live foods, you can eat half as much as cooked foods because live foods are packed with nutrition (don’t forget about fiber) You feel full and satisfied. When you cook food, you cook all the good things away that your body requires so your body will then send messages of hunger in hopes you eat more food so it can try to meet it’s nutritional requirements. You also need less protein in your diet, especially when that protein comes from living foods.

If that wasn’t a mouthful… here are my Two Cents

I am one of the few who want to be whole even before I have the chance to become broken. I’m grateful. Too many people wait until they are handed an awful degenerative disease before they seek wholeness.  We must love ourselves enough to want to be whole. This is the first step in ones’ diet being a spiritual journey. If great health is your only agenda, then congratulations! If eating to be a become a better tuned in and turned on spiritual seeker doesn’t resonate with you, that is totally fine too! But if so, one will definitely feel the difference when giving this whole foods vegan diet a fair chance! I made a conscious decision to do things a bit different than the average mainstream. It has not been easy and at times takes great strength which I feel is part of character building for the advancement of the soul!  I have broken free from the Standard American diet and our culture of death. I feel extremely liberated so far and want to share it with whoever is listening!

Some people who try the diet give up too soon and say, oh no a vegan/raw food diet doesn’t work for me. I want to ask, did you do it right? Did you give it all you got? If you needed help, did you seek out a plant-based nutritionist’s advice rather than a conventional nutritionist who’s education is based in the greed of the large meat and dairy corporations? I know all about that! Did you eat enough Omega 3 long chain fatty acids? Enough fiber? Low sugar? I love how people will go visit a regular nutritionist and say, well, they told me to eat more protein = meat. Please do your soul a favor and seek out advice from someone who has the same ethical values or spiritual values that you have or are trying to live according to. Exhaust all avenues! Don’t look for a reasons/justification to give up and go the other way. Meat and dairy is an addiction, a habit that stimulates endorphins… just remember that. Ego’s die hard!

My view on Yoga teachers eating meat

They shouldn’t! This is my opinion. There are so many yoga studios popping up all over every town. On one hand, how terrific. People everywhere are slowing down, taking time for themselves and trying to attain some sort of inner peace. On the other hand, there are yoga studios popping up all over town!!!! Greed. People capitalizing on a trend. Of course they will need more yoga instructors and they are most likely hiring people who really aren’t that qualified but who just need a job. When I look up to someone be it financial educator or teacher, doctor or whomever is supposed to be in a position to mentor and educate and help lead the way, I want those people to impress me. I want to strive to achieve what they have achieved. If a yoga instructor and studio doesn’t know anything about plant based nutrition and how that plays a huge role in being the healthiest you can be in today’s world and how this helps you to be a super conductor to the divine, then I am so sorry. I am less than impressed.

I would love to hear from you regarding your opinion on Yoga teachers eating the flesh of sentient beings while helping others achieve enlightenment. Could Buddha be right?

Thanks for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it!

Be sure to keep an eye out for post two, because no matter what you eat you will be surprised to learn of the deficiencies in our diet according to Dr. Gabriel Cousens!

Read more with Dr. Gabriel Cousens’ book: Spiritual Nutrition ~ Six Foundations for Spiritual Life and the Awakening of Kundalini

Enjoy the Journey!

~The Karmatarian

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Saying Grace and Making the Bed

Have you noticed that most people don’t bother to say Grace anymore? Or they save it for special occasions, mostly holidays, sometimes weddings, but really I can’t think of many times I have said grace in a large group setting lately. Sad isn’t it? What about saying grace or expressing thanks when no one is looking, just for yourself. Then it becomes more than the mere act of reminding others of our religious intentions.

Saying Grace is kinda like making the bed. Why make your bed when you are probably not going to be home to see it all day. Your just gonna crawl back in it and mess it up later anyway. What are the chances of someone coming by and popping into your room to check it out? You might be more motivated to make your bed when guests are coming over because God forbid they wander into your bedroom, other than that, who cares right?

Lately I have been making my bed after a long stretch of just not giving a hoot and I have to say I am noticing a significant difference in my day. I realize that we don’t fix the bed just for the sake of fixing the bed. Sure it looks nice… and that feels good, but really fixing the bed is an activity or rather an opportunity through activity we can do every day to send an important message out into the universe and to our subconscious that says I am ready for this day. I am organized. I have my S@#t together! By making the bed we are really setting the tone for our day ahead. It’s really a feeling… a vibrational energy we put forth so we can attract like energy back. I wish I never fell off that bed making wagon! Feels good to be back and without a care of who sees the effort I put forth into fluffing my pillows or folding over that corner just so…

The act of  saying grace before sitting down to a meal or even putting that snack into our mouth is kinda like making our bed, it’s an amazing opportunity to set the tone and to lift our vibration multiple times per day. So why not just do it? Well, we are usually in a hurry, our mind is stuck on our pesky to-do list or the procrastinator in us thinks that we eat so damn often we can just say thanks later.  By actually setting aside a minute to say thanks, like making the bed,  it can help set the tone for our meal and even our entire day. Why not say grace at breakfast? Is it only ritual to say grace at dinner time? Either way we might actually remind ourselves to sit and mindfully eat our food. Kind of a foreign concept. When is the last time you ate ‘in the moment’ and savored every bite? Once in a while I catch myself standing next to the counter wolfing down my food… hell, I don’t even make it to the table on busy days!

Believe it or not, gratitude may have the power to change the molecular makeup of food!

Why do we want to lift our vibration you ask? because we want to attract more of what we are grateful for into our lives! Gratitude and love energy vibrate at the highest frequency and expressing gratitude can play an important role in our health! A great article by Diane A. Thompson called “An attitude of Gratitude has tangible health benefits”  talks about how being grateful affects our emotional and our physical well being.

From what I have learned, projecting gratitude onto basic things like food and water can impact our health. The human body is made up of 70-90% water along with our entire planet. Water is the source of all life. Did you know that it has been proven that molecules of water change upon projecting certain thoughts onto them? The documentary called “What the Bleep Do We Know” regarding  gratitude energy and quantum physics is a must see! This film features Dr. Masaru Emoto who extensively researches water around the planet.  He realized that it was in the frozen crystal form that water showed us its true nature. His experiments project thoughts or blessings upon the water and then the frozen crystals reflect back to us how that energy has affected and changed that water. He has gained worldwide acclaim through his groundbreaking research and discovery that water is deeply connected to our individual and collective consciousness.

I had the wonderful opportunity to see Dr. Emoto’s presentation live at Duke University a few years ago. I was absolutely blown away by his research and it sure made me think. I have blessed and thanked the water ever since!  Here is an amazing 6 minute video partially taken from “What the Bleep Do We Know” about Dr. Emoto’s findings.  Be sure to take in and enjoy the beautiful music midway to the end because Dr. Emoto also proves that music is a powerful energy changer as well…

If that video doesn’t totally motivate us to meditate than I don’t know what will! I posted another fascinating and even more informative video about Dr. Emoto’s work at the end of this post! I recommend watching that one too!

Tying all of this into food…

Now that physical proof exists that our thoughts and vibrations are extremely important ‘things’ that have the ability to change energy, if we are 70-90% water, how are our thoughts changing our bodies? How are our thoughts about food which is made up of water changing our bodies?!? I think of food as fuel for my cells and it’s harder to eat crap when you think this way.  But if we are still going to eat crap, could holding the vibration of gratitude over food we are about to eat actually change that food’s molecular structure for the highest good to be utilized by our bodies? It can do so for water! Food for thought huh? Did you see those before and after photos of the blessed water?! That’s all the proof I need!

Creating a Habit

Most of us mean well, and saying grace at every meal is probably just a matter of creating a habit. This is what I am working on right now in my life because my friends, I am sad to say, I often forget to say thanks.  I am guilty! Maybe I take gratitude for granted because I have never felt more grateful for the food I eat since going vegan and raw. More about that below, but sadly I realize that I rarely take the opportunity to be mindful while chowing down my food and express my thanks intentionally! We aren’t exactly clear how many days it takes an action to become habit but along with fixing the bed, Journaling my goals and gratitude each morning, daily meditation, repeating my attitude of wealth declarations, flossing, working out more consistently (motivation being summer!) and tons of others which are NOT easy, the best and most important habit I am trying to form, no matter how many days it takes, is to remember to say Grace… simply a thank you for this food!

At this stage in the game I’m still forming the habit and I forget often only to end up remembering half way through my meal or sometimes when I have swallowed the last bite. I’m human. Slowly but surely this habit will stick! Now I’m trying to send out my thankful vibes while preparing my food well before I sit my butt down in the chair to eat it. While chopping broccoli, not only will I be singing Dana Carvey’s famous song (in my head of course), I will be sending out my blessings to ALL and a thank you to God, the great spirit, Mother Nature, the sun, the land, thank you to the farmers and the workers who spend long hot days in the field, thank you to the producers, the truckers who leave their families for days to drive food to the stores and to the stores who bring us food for purchase, thank you for the fuel to move the farming equipment, my car to get me to the farmers market or store and thank you to the water, the rain from the heavens that helped grow everything…  so on and so on. That’s not even scratching the surface is it? Chop. EUH.

The Raw Food Vegan Diet and the Spiritual Seeker

When we eat, we are really doing more than just satisfying a hungry stomach. We are feeding our heart, mind, and spirit. Changing  to a vegan diet I now naturally have a heightened sense of gratitude for food that I never had before.  It could be because decisions about what to put in my mouth now are extremely conscious, maybe because it takes more effort to avoid animal products. I am not sure. What I do know is that junk food is SO abundant I just remember never thinking much about food in the past or where it came from let alone being grateful for it. Now I am an addict. Addicted to ethical food and the higher {{{vibes}}} of gratitude. I am forever changed!

Being a spiritual seeker, I seek to learn of the many ways I can keep myself in the highest vibration which is Love and Gratitude. Diet plays a HUGE part in this! Many great spiritual teachers recommend eating a vegetarian diet to enhance one’s spiritual practices. This is due to the effect the energy of raw, living foods has upon the energy of the human body. Dr. Gabriel Cousens, M.D., describes in his book Spiritual Nutrition that eating raw foods helps us clear away blocks that prevent us from tapping into our direct connection with the divine and our spiritual natures. Raw foods energize the body and turn us into human antennas that resonate with their high vibrating frequencies. Sounds pretty cool to me!

With all that we know about the power of gratitude, imagine the collective power of saying grace if millions of people would do this!

How do you express your gratitude for your food? Any favorite prayers or rituals? Do you pray at certain meals only? Do you make your bed… come on, you can tell me!

Enjoy the Journey,

The Karmatarian~
 

Wait, There’s More:

Further reading:

Diet and Spiritual Development

Fascninated by Dr. Masaru Emoto? Here is another video showing even more experiments!! I love this stuff! Enjoy…

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