PHENOMENAL FOOD ~ Chap. 13 ~ Unlocking Our Superpowers
2. Holistic Pleasure
3. A Variety of Viewpoints
4. The Bliss of Eating!
5. The Power of Cleansing
6. Sacred Water
7. Soaking and Sprouting
8. The Goodness Gracious Salad
9. The Goodness Gracious Smoothie
When we eat, we are quite literally transforming a substance that was previously “outside” of us into new cells of our physical bodies. This is a miracle! Eating is considered sacred and central to essentially every human culture.
Evolutionarily, foods that give us pleasure are compatible and beneficial to our physiology. This is Nature’s way of guiding us to a healthy diet. If a food does not give us pleasure, then our bodies probably won’t benefit much from it.
So, what does “Pleasure” truly mean?
I prefer using the concept of “Holistic Pleasure” which includes a food’s total effect on Body, Mind, and Spirit – not just a good flavor. Holistic Pleasure also takes into account the many qualities of the foods you ingest, Before, During, and After eating. Also, rather than a Diet, which contains the word “Die”, I prefer to call the variety of foods I eat a “Live-it”, which contains the word “Live” and fills me with vitality! Since this terminology is probably new to you, I will usually write “Diet / Live-it.”
Here are some criteria to consider when seeking “Holistic Pleasure.” First let’s take a look at the qualities of the food Before you eat :
1. Was it grown Organically? Locally (within 100 miles of your home)?
2. Does it smell appetizing?
3. How close is the food to its Natural State?
A food in it’s most Natural State is fresh, unprocessed, and free of manmade chemicals, pesticides etc. I like to imagine a Spectrum ranging from the most Pure Natural state on the left, to the most Artificial (made in a sterile laboratory) on the right.
On this big Spectrum, each food is ranked between a Natural State and an Artificial, Laboratory-made State. A fresh, ripe apple would be at the far left side of the Spectrum, and a neon green apple flavored lollipop would be at the complete opposite side. The closer a food is to its Natural State, the more raw, life-force energy it has. As you move across the spectrum, the foods usually lose life-energy as they are processed in factories. Foods that are made in totally synthetic environments such as Laffy Taffy contain essentially zero natural life-force energy. Most artificial foods require more energy for your body to process. Thus, you are actually losing energy by eating these foods.
Rating your foods on this Spectrum is a powerful tool for integrating lots of natural and organic foods into your life.
Now let’s look at the qualities of the food During and After eating :)
4. Was the food prepared / cooked with love and attention?
5. How are the flavors, colors, and texture combinations?
6. What effect does the food cause in your mind and body? Upliftment? Deep satisfaction? Comfort? Grounding? Does this food remind you of childhood, or a fond memory from your past?
7. Do you feel more energized or less energized after the meal? Do you experience any unusual sensations after i.e. headaches, sluggishness, brain fog?
8. During the following 24 hours do you have healthy bowel movements?
These are all important aspects to explore in achieving a unique diet / live-it that works for you and provides you with the utmost Holistic Pleasure :)
A Variety of Viewpoints
There are many different philosophies for discovering what foods are most beneficial for our unique bodies. I have explored several of these, and I invite you to explore them as well. I’m not going to be overly assertive that one is better than another. The important thing is to discover what works for you, and in this dynamic and evolving world, what works for you is often changing too.
It has taken me a lot of exploration and experimentation to find my personal connection with the foods that give me Holistic Pleasure. To be honest, it has been challenging for me to discern the ideal Diet / Live-it for myself. I deeply resonate with Veganism, which I followed 99% for about 7 months in 2016. I feel a greater sense of mental clarity and spiritual connection when I don’t consume a lot of animal products. On the other hand, my body seems to feel stronger, and more grounded, when I follow more of a Paleo lifestyle.
I do believe it’s very important to incorporate lots of living foods close to their Natural State into your diet / live-it, whether you are eating Vegetarian, Vegan, or Animal Products. It’s always key to get a good dose of vitamins, nutrients, fats and proteins. I encourage you to do your research to find a diversity of sources for these. My favorite Plant-Based fats and protein sources are avocados, coconuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and hemp seeds. Yummy :)
If you are enthusiastic about incorporating more Plant-Based foods into your life, there are wide variety of resources online. Firstly, I recommend watching some of Ralph Smart aka Infinite Waters’ YouTube videos on Veganism. Secondly, there are many books which can guide you through the transition process into a more plant-based Diet / Live-it. With all that said, I am not 100% convinced that an entirely Vegan Diet / Live-it is ideal for everyone. Here are some other Diet / Live-it philosophies which myself or close friends of mine highly recommend :
- Eating according to your Blood type : www.dadamo.com
- Macrobiotic : www.kushiinstitute.org/what-is-macrobiotics
- Paleo : www.Paleoleap.com
- Vegan : www.veganhealth.org/articles/intro
The Bliss of Eating!
In the modern world there are often distractions which hinder our ability to be present while cooking / eating. How can we use our Evolutionary Instincts to follow pleasure if we are not fully present and aware of the sensations in our body while we are eating?
Here are some tips for bringing more awareness, sensation, and bliss into your meals!
1. Set aside extra time to prepare / enjoy your meal, so you can eat slower and really taste each bite.
2. Try eating in an environment with very few distractions.
3. Set down your utensil in between bites.
4. Become more conscious of your breathing while eating ( many ancient traditions recommend this too ). This infuses your food and digestion with fresh air and prana / energy.
5. Chew with your eyes closed and also chew thoroughly ( to break down the food, so that you receive the most nutrients ).
6. Experiment with making sounds to express your authentic pleasure while you enjoy your food. Mmmmmmm :)
Because many of us have become disassociated and disconnected from our food, we have become confused about what foods give us true Holistic Pleasure. We have created substitute desires and pleasures. Also, we often attempt to meet other basic Human Needs through food. Here are some examples :
1. We crave Excitement / Adventure and substitute these things with eating at a restaurant, or with very spicy and flavorful foods.
2. We crave Intimacy + Human Connection, though we substitute this with sweet, fatty comfort foods and desserts.
3. We crave Aliveness + Mental Stimulation and substitute this with very sweet treats or stimulating superfoods, which often lead to a crash or a dependency.
4. We desire Spiritual Connection + Fulfillment, and try to fill the void by overeating.
5. We fear the intensity of emotions like fear, loneliness, anger, sadness, etc. so we distract / numb ourselves by eating and snacking.
------- I have explored all of these habits at different phases of my life, and although I’ve made a lot of progress on my path of Holistic Pleasure, I still often meet challenges. It takes a lot of self-love and discipline / blissipline to reprogram yourself towards Holistic Pleasure.
How do we address these Substitute Desires and Distractions?
1. Awareness is the main key. I recommend “Tracking” your eating habits and patterns, and journaling regularly if that resonates with you. You can also utilize the “Personal Transformation Map” from the Healing Process chapter.
2. Having friends and family who are also cultivating Holistic Pleasure is very beneficial. This way you can make meals / eat together and support each other’s successes while also discussing the challenges you are each experiencing.
I am extremely grateful for Charles Eisenstein and his book “The Yoga of Eating,” which laid much of the foundation and inspiration for all that I share around the topic of Holistic Pleasure. I highly recommend you check out “The Yoga of Eating” as well the 2 hr. Audio seminar on his website : www.CharlesEisenstein.net/project/yoga-of-eating-seminar-2006/
The Power of Cleansing
From age 0-18 or so, I pretty much ate whatever my parents and friends were eating, without tuning into what my body was truly asking for. Over the past 6 years, I’ve slowly gotten to know my deep desires and what makes me feel optimally healthy. Fasting and cleansing has supported me in “re-setting” my system and purifying the many organs in my body. After eating a lot of junk food and artificial ingredients, these cleanses are basically like cleaning the pipes of your body.
For the past few years, I’ve aimed to do a 2-3 day cleanse once each season ( Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer ). Doing this helps the body to have a clean slate for each new phase of the year.
As usual, I invite you to explore the variety of cleanses available at your local Health Food Store to find what resonates with you. I’ve had success with several relatively simple cleanses :
1. 3 Day Water and Laxative Cleanse : Simply drink water and 1-2 cups of Smooth Move Tea (Traditional Medicinals) to totally empty out your intestines, and give your digestive system a break! Whew! The sense of emptiness can be scary at first, but I’ve come to love the feeling of having no food in my body.
You can also do a self-administered Enema on the nights of day 2 and 3. This helps to clear out anything stuck inside your intestines / colon. I bought the “Faultless Goodhealth Douche / Enema Combination” kit from CVS. You can find this exact one or a similar version at essentially any Drugstore.
Here’s what I wrote shortly after a Colon Cleanse on August 21st, 2014 @ 2:21pm :
I am currently in a state of ecstatic gratitude and awe at the miracle of existence. I've been doing a Colon Cleanse for the past 4 days, and HOLY CANOLI !!! My first 2 self-administered enemas were nothing short of glorious. It feels like ancient muck and toxic sludge has been released from my being, and replaced with profound mental and bodily clarity, ease and grace. I'll be celebrating this cleanse for all eternity.
2. Paragon Cleanse and Candigon Cleanse : Both of these are approximately 40$ kits that you can purchase at most Health Foods Stores. Paragon is highly effective at killing parasites in your gut, and Candigon gets rid of Candida, which is an unhealthy fungus that often grows in the intestines if you eat a lot of processed foods and/or animal products.
Both of these Cleansing Kits are made by a company called RenewLife, and renewing life is exactly what they do! I prefer to use “OregaMax” pills from the Company called “North American Herb and Spice” rather than the pills that come with the Paragon / Candigon kit. I’ve experienced tremendous transformation through using these kits, and felt a huge shift in mental clarity, and peace within my body.
3. Psyllium and Bentonite Cleanse : Bentonite Clay is usually made of Volcanic ash, and is used to absorb and pull toxins out of the body. It also has an abundance of minerals such as magnesium, copper, iron, and potassium. Psyllium Husk powder is pure fiber and acts as a gentle laxative, to pull the clay through your system, leaving your insides cleansed and purified :) I recommend mixing 1 tablespoon of each in 4 oz. of water before bed every night. If you are doing a specific cleanse, you can add this epic combination in, to amplify your results. The brand Yerba Prima makes high-quality Bentonite Clay and Psyllium Husk powders.
4. Hulda Clarke Liver Cleanse : This is a simple, yet powerful cleanse developed by Dr. Hulda Clarke. I’ve done it at least 4 times, and every time, I feel so much lighter and clearer afterwards. I generally follow the steps given online. Here’s an overview of what I do :
I fast with only water or tea for usually 48 hours. When I am getting close to bedtime on the 2nd day, I mix 2 tablespoons of Epsom Salt (laxative) with some kind of juice — usually Orange Juice or Coconut Water. I drink this, then repeat the same thing 2 hours later. Then I drink ½ cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil ( preferably refrigerated to reduce the taste ) with 10-20 drops of Black Walnut Extract ( to kill parasites coming from the liver ) and a bit of Orange Juice to balance the flavor. The Olive Oil flushes out the many toxins and “stones” made of bile contained within the liver. Then I go to bed, and let this brew work its magic inside of me.
If you decide to do this cleanse, prepare to visit the toilet many times during the night after you drink the Olive Oil. If it is your first or second time, you may see little green “stones” in the toilet, which are condensed bile and toxins that have been stored in your liver. Yum! On the 3rd day, you can ease back into eating foods. I recommend steamed veggies and/or a light salad to begin with. I encourage you to research more online if this cleanse intrigues you. It has been a major gamechanger for me!
5. Black Cumin Seed Oil (Deva) : This is one of the most powerful Antioxidants on the planet! In all my experimentation with supplements and Superfoods, this is one of the absolute best. It is great to ingest a small amount daily and especially to use in conjunction with a cleanse. Black Cumin Seed oil has been used for centuries, and can be traced back to Ancient Egypt ( aka Kemet ). It has been studied extensively and been shown to aid in treating a huge variety of ailments from indigestion to cancer. I recommend buying a variety of Black Cumin Seed Oil that is 100% Vegan ( many brands are not ) from a brand called Deva. Wow, this stuff is truly amazing!
6. Silence Fast : This is a bit different than the other types of fasting and cleansing. For this one, you simply abstain from speaking for a specific period of time. I recommend attempting to go for at least 24 hours. I have had countless revelations while doing Silence Fasts. It is a great way to view your “Mental Advisors” because they begin to chatter a lot when you’re in a social situation, and not speaking as you normally would. It is also fun to observe how other people behave from this silent perspective. Some people may get very frustrated that you won’t talk to them - haha. Of course, use your best judgment to discern where and when to do a Silence fast. I recommend finding a day and activity where you will be around friends in a relaxed, yet social environment. I usually signal to people that I’m not speaking by either whispering in their ear, having a small piece of paper to write on, or by hand gesturing that my mouth is shut. Most people will figure it out pretty quickly and respect what you are doing. Overall, it’s a very fun experiment and a good change of pace :)
With any fasting or cleansing, I encourage you to use your Internal Compass and your level-headed judgment. Be gentle with yourself during the process. I recommend getting lots of rest, and not engaging in too much social or work activities while doing a fast. May you enjoy the glorious transformations ahead of you through fasting and cleansing :)
Our bodies are made of approximately 75% water, which mirrors the fact that our planet is covered about 75% with this same sacred substance. Personally, I advocate that we all revere water, and strive to ingest the best quality possible. From many years of exploration, I have found a few key elements that I feel are most important to have in water.
1. Fluoride Free : If you do a small amount of research, it becomes pretty obvious that Fluoride does far more harm than good, and the bottom line is that we don’t want to be drinking it. Therefore, it is a top priority to filter out the fluoride in your water and/or find a source that never had it added in the first place.
2. Spring Water / Alkaline Water : Spring water is naturally alkaline, meaning that is a pH value above 7. Alkaline water is a powerful antioxidant that contributes to the vibrant health of all your organs, tissues, and bodily functions. Spring water is also naturally Fluoride free - yay :)
If you can find a Spring close to where you live, that has been tested to be safe to drink, then you are blessed to experience “Pure, Living Water!” There is an awesome website designed exactly for this : www.findaspring.com
3. Filtering Systems : In all my research, I have found two Water Filters that stand above the rest. The first is the Kangen Water Machine, which uses Electrolysis and Filtration to make regular tap water purified, alkaline, and ionized, all of which create both delicious and nutritious water. The Kangen Water Machine also causes the water to form into a “Hexagonal Structure” at a molecular level. I don’t claim to fully understand all the science behind this, but intuitively, I sense that the process of Electrolysis brings the water molecules to a higher vibrational state, where they mirror the 6-sided Flower of Life, which is the geometrical pattern underlying essentially all patterns of nature.
The other system that I have tried and enjoyed is called the “Echo H2 Water Filtration System.” This is another Electrolysis system that dissolves molecular Hydrogen into the water, which has been shown to convert the toxic free radicals into benevolent water molecules in the cells of your body. I have a few close friends who swear by the Echo H2 system, and said that they could feel their body detoxing and upgrading in the first weeks of drinking this filtered water. I have yet to drink only this water over an extended period of time, though I am quite confident that this is one of the best filters on the market.
If you’re not able to afford one of these 1000$+ filters, I recommend a Berkey filtration system, which are only a couple hundred dollars. Until I live near a bubbling spring or purchase a Kangen or Echo Machine, I will primarily drink bottled Spring Water. I would prefer not to use so much plastic, though it feels like this is the best option at the moment. I do recycle all my bottles, and I trust that this water is fueling me to put my energy towards creating a more holistic, healthy, and harmonious world for future generations to come :)
4. Trace Mineral Drops : Regardless of what type of water you choose to drink, I highly recommend adding ConcenTrace “Trace Mineral Drops.” This product contains over 72 naturally occurring Trace Minerals from the Great Salt Lake with 99% of the Sodium removed. You simply add a few drops to your water, and you receive a wide variety of natural vitamins and minerals such as Manganese, Selenium, and Chromium (just to name a few). Another alternative to the Trace Mineral Drops is to add a sprinkle of Pink Himalayan Salt to your water. :)
Overall, water is extremely sacred for me. May the waters inside us and outside us continue to flow, and may we all bow in reverence to the rivers, streams, oceans, and every drop in between :) There are 2 songs about water that are near and dear to my heart. I invite you to check out both of them :
1. “Yawanawa” by Chances R Good : www.chancesrgood.bandcamp.com/album/earth-tones
2. “Water Blessing Song Grand Invocation” by Nalini Blossom (and Loli Cosmica) on YouTube
Soaking and Sprouting
Only in the past year, have I fully “digested” the benefits of soaking and sprouting many of the foods I eat. Upon research, it is pretty obvious why soaking and sprouting makes so much sense. In the natural world, seeds and nuts are protected by certain natural enzymes, which protect that seed from early germination. This is an evolutionary advantage, because the plant (say a sunflower) can spread its seeds through the natural world, without them growing instantly. This way they can propagate and travel to a nearby ecosystem through the wind, a stream, or in the belly of a Robin.
Thus, in order to replicate the germination process (which normally happens in the moist soil), soaking and sprouting are very beneficial. This process removes the “protective shell” in the form of certain enzymes like phytic acid, which can wreak havoc on your digestive system. Soaking and sprouting also multiplies beneficial Vitamins and Enzymes within, and makes them more bio-available (meaning your body can receive it).
Aside from this “scientific” side, they simply taste awesome! The key is to get raw, high quality nuts and seeds (and some beans / grains too), and soak them (in high-quality water), according to the charts you can find online. (Search “soaking nuts and seeds chart”.) I primarily soak Sunflower Seeds and Almonds. I soak almonds for about 12 hrs., whereas Sunflower Seeds only need 6-8 hrs. I rinse the water 3 times throughout the process, to remove all the stuff I don’t want in my belly.
Sunflower seeds are pretty easy to sprout, which releases even more natural goodness. You simply drain the water and leave them in a bowl or jar (covered by a breathable cloth) for 2 days, stirring them with a spoon twice a day, until the sprouts pop out! If you have a dehydrator, you can preserve your new creations, and add different spices to them. Personally, I haven’t delved into the world of dehydration yet, though I have friends who swear by it.
THE GOODNESS GRACIOUS SALAD
This salad has totally revolutionized my relationship to food over the past 2 years. After my morning exercise, I love to nourish my mind body and soul with this magnificent medley of yumminess. I’ve eaten some rendition of the Goodness Gracious salad essentially every day ( except when I’m fasting ) since April of 2014, and it still fills me with bliss, gratitude, vitality, and Holistic Pleasure! The key elements of the Goodness Gracious Salad are :
It’s composed of almost entirely raw, sprouted, or fermented ingredients. I prefer essentially every item to be labeled USDA Organic. The main 3 items that are usually non-organic are avocados, green powder, and hemp seeds.
This salad must be delicious enough to make you say “Goodness Gracious.” This sets it apart from all other salads, because it will fill you with nourishment and pleasure. The salad combines an assortment of colors, textures, shapes, and flavors and results in a stupendous synergy of deliciousness!
Here are the steps to crafting one for yourself and/or a friend :
Acquire a large, deep bowl to mix everything together without spilling. Grab a fork, spoon, sharp knife, cutting board, measuring cup, and tablespoon.
Add dressing ingredients into bowl and stir thoroughly. The goal is to create a nice, creamy texture :)
Chop all the veggies how you like them. I highly recommend using a Kyocera Ceramic Knife.
Add to bowl, mix thoroughly for 1-2 min. so all the veggies are smothered in dressing. Next you can add toppings.
Enjoy this flavorful and nourishing blend - goodness gracious!
1/8 cup Red Wine Vinegar ( I prefer Napa Valley Naturals )
1/3 cup Water
1/2 TSP Himalayan salt
3 TBSP Chia Seeds ( soaked in water in fridge overnight )
2 TBSP Tahini
1 TSP Turmeric and 1 TSP Black Pepper
1 TBSP Green Powder ( I prefer Perfect Food Super Green Formula )
1 Bunch Romaine Hearts ( chopped )
1 Handful of Arugula
1 Chopped Green Onion
1/2 Sliced Cucumber ( I always peel off the skin, which often has wax on it )
1 TBSP of Sauerkraut ( I prefer Farmhouse Culture’s Horseradish Leek )
2 Chopped Radishes
Handful of Alfalfa Sprouts
2 Tablespoons of
Sunflower Seeds ( Usually that I’ve soaked and/or sprouted )
Pumpkin Seeds ( I prefer GoRaw’s Sprouted version )
--- Feel free to shift the portions of ingredients as you experiment and find your unique version of the Goodness Gracious Salad. The key is to make it extremely delicious and nutritious, so keep experimenting until you find your favorite style!
---- Salad Remix Options
I invite you to experiment and explore adding or subtracting various ingredients to find your personal favorites :
Add on’s / Substitutes for Dressing :
1 TSP Oregano
2 TBSP Almond Butter
2 TBSP Sunflower Butter
1 TBSP Coconut Manna
1 TSP of Organic, Vegan Pesto
Add on’s / Substitutes to Veggies :
1/2 an Onion ( sautéed in Coconut Oil )
1/2 Crown of Steamed Broccoli
3 Leaves of Kale ( steamed )
1/2 Beet ( steamed )
Add-on’s to Toppings
2 TBSP Flax Oil
Handful of mixed nuts / seeds
Whatever inspires you, and fills you with Holistic Pleasure :)
The Goodness Gracious Smoothie
I’ve been in love with smoothies ever since my childhood, when my mom would buy me a Strawberry Banana smoothie every time we would go to a festival Downtown. The combination of coolness, smoothness and sweetness filled every cell in my being with satisfaction. Ever since my youth, I’ve been studying, experimenting, and mastering the art of smoothie creation. I’m proud to announce that I’ve come up with an epic recipe for the Goodness Gracious Smoothie, which is supremely nutritious and delicious!
Key Ingredients :
8 oz of water ( refrigerated for coolness )
½ Scoop of Garden of Life Raw Fit Protein ( Vanilla Bean Flavor )
2 TBSP of Roasted, Salted Pistachios
4 Leaves of Organic Romaine Hearts or 2 Handfuls of Organic Spinach
½ Banana ( refrigerated for coolness )
3 TBSP Soaked Chia Seeds ( I soak and store them in the fridge overnight )
2 TBSP of Soaked or Sprouted Sunflower Seeds
Optional Yummy Add-on’s:
3 squares of “Green and Black’s” Dark Mint Chocolate
A couple dashes of Cinnamon
A big scoop of Almond Butter ( or your favorite nut butter )
¼ Scoop of your favorite Green Powder / Superfood powder
As with everything, I encourage you to experiment and explore to find the version of the Goodness Gracious Smoothie that resonates most with you. Besides the ingredients, all you need is a decent blender and you are good to go! I prefer this recipe because it’s delicious, sweet, creamy, and relatively low in sugar. It is also packed with protein, and ingredients in their Natural State, which fill me with good energy. Oh my goodness gracious I’m in love with these smoothies!
Overall, food is an integral part of everyone’s life. Food brings people together, and reminds us that we are nourished by a loving universe every time we eat. I invite you to develop one or more “Food Blessings” which you say before your meal to infuse love and gratitude into all the molecules of your food. Sometimes I will sing to my food and/or send Reiki energy into it. I usually pray that my food nourish a clear mind, a loving heart, and a strong, muscular body.
Rather than a “Die-t”, the tools outlined here can guide you towards a “Live-it,” which leads to Holistic Health and Vitality. There are countless philosophies on food, and I encourage you to explore them at your leisure. I also recommend trusting your Internal Compass to guide you to the amazingness of Holistic Pleasure. Remember to tune into the qualities of your food Before, During, and After eating to gain a full picture of how you are interacting with the food. Personally, I am most happy and healthy eating a mostly Vegan “Live-it,” with nearly 100% Organic Ingredients that are close to their Natural State on the spectrum I explained earlier. I am honored and grateful to receive this nourishment from Pachamama, the 5 elements, and all the stewards who contribute to this food reaching my kitchen. I also wish you well if you choose to pursue any of the fasting / cleansing recommendations listed earlier. These have truly transformed me from the inside out :) Also, I invite you to have fun experimenting with soaking, sprouting, and creating your own version of the Goodness Gracious Salad! Overall, I am grateful to share all that has supported and inspired me about Food, and I trust that you will find your own unique and beautiful relationship with the pillar of life that is the food you eat. The truth is that everybody is “you-nique” and requires “you-nique” foods and regimens.
May you have a wonderful journey with Phenomenal Food, filled with nourishment, vitality, and Holistic Pleasure! Enjoy the yumminess :)
To get your own personal copy of "Unlocking Our Superpowers," here is the link to Amazon : https://tinyurl.com/y8oj7zov