Hi Everyone in our Conscious Cafe. What are the essential things to consider when switching to a planet-based conscious diet? Here below are 20 tips from Trinity's Conscious Kitchen (Trinity has supported many Openhand events as retreat chef over the years). I think there's some great advice here, but there will certainly be more to consider. Do share your questions and views in commentary below...
- Watch your sugar intake: Refined sugar is one of the most undermining, harmful food substances in our world today, contributing in some way to virtually every illness in the modern era. It is found in most processed foods and often tempting to use in home made products. Use fresh fruits, dried fruits and healthier alternatives such as apple juice, coconut sugar or brown rice syrup. Less processed alternatives can really jazz up your cuisine, although they are still best used in moderation.
- Radically reduce or eliminate your intake of meat, diary and eggs: Or better still go vegan! Eating a healthy vegan diet has consistently proved itself to be optimal for a healthy mind, body and spirit. A diet without animal products frees up a lot of energy so that the body can get on with other important functions, such as repair, cleansing and rejuvenation. I know people who have totally regained their health during life threatening illness or crippling arthritis by eating consciously and going dairy-free, vegetarian or vegan. It’s good for you, it’s good for animals and good for the planet!
- Go wheat-free and reduce your gluten intake: Gluten is not exactly the most vibrational raising substance! It is a 'gluey' substance (‘GLU’ten) and to put it bluntly, can wreak havoc with our vibration. It is found in many grains, the worst culprit being wheat (which has been radically hybridised for the high yielding commercial market). Many people find less glutenous grains such as spelt, kamut, rye and barley easier to digest.
- Meditate or do something energetic as an alternative to comfort eating: Heavier foods often act like a kind of anaesthetic, lowering our vibration and de-sensitising us to the world around us. Whilst this is entirely understandable at times, if eating comfort food is a habit, then consider meditation, yoga, deep breathing or some sort of physical activity as an alternative as soon as you feel the cravings start to kick in. Summon up the energy, take yourself off for at least a few minutes and let go into a meditation focusing on the rhythmic rise and fall of your breath. You’ll soon find endorphins flooding in, reducing the emotional need to fill the space with heavy foods. Your vibration will rise and you’ll feel much better for it in the long run.
- Drink pure water: Water is essential for health, although it can be challenging to find a pure source of it. Avoid naked tap water. Ideally, you would put it through a reverse osmosis filter to remove impurities and chemicals before using it for drinking or cooking. If possible, find a local spring or purchase spring water from a reputable source harvesting from clean organic lands. It’s a tricky one to get the balance right on this, but do what you can. Pure water is vital for health and vitality.
- Eat organic: Local organic, fresh food is without a doubt brimming with a vibrational-raising life force not to be tampered with. Pesticides and chemical control is an unsustainable and disrespectful practice with a plethora of negative consequences for wildlife, mother earth and ourselves. Find your local organic markets and enjoy the high vibrational vegetables and fruits available from local producers. Buy in season to avoid high prices. If it does happen to be a little more expensive than its chemical laden equivalent, see it as an investment in your health and evolution.
- Grow your own food: There are few things more satisfying that gathering and eating your own fresh fruits and produce. If you have a garden, then the limit is your imagination. If you don’t have that luxury, then plant a few things such as herbs and leaves on your windowsill or balcony, or else consider joining a local gardening group and helping someone with their garden in return for some veggies. You’ll be saying ‘wow - I can’t believe how good this is’ with every mouthful! Perfect high energy food, honouring the whole cycle.
- Buy a good foraging book and become an wild foodist: Wild foods are exceedingly high in prana. Enjoy the high vibration of food as mother nature intended it to be. Once you start looking a little closer, you’ll find a vast array of edible wild foods on your doorstep (well, you might have to venture a little). Buy a good foraging book or better still, attend a local foraging workshop.
- Avoid GMOs at all costs: Genetically modified foods are the real ‘Frankenstein’ of the food world. Apart from the common sense factor of ‘not messing with nature’, there is a growing body of evidence showing how GMOs are radically denaturing ecosytems, harming wildlife and causing damage to our bodies. Certainly not designed for a natural healthy body.
- Embrace raw, loving, living foods: Incorporate fresh, living, vegan foods into your diet for an extra infusion of life force. A salad, fresh, ripe fruit on a daily basis will support higher vibrational living.
- Honour what really works for you as an individual: But be completely honest with yourself. It’s easy to slip into some sort of denial ‘my body is really craving that chocolate bar, so I’d better honour it’. Self honesty is key. Learn to tell the difference between an addictive craving for something and a genuine need. If you make a radical change in the way you eat, you are likely to go through an initial withdrawal period. Let it run its course first before lunging for those things that you know in your heart aren’t really that good for you.
- Compost your scraps: If you have a garden get a compost pile going, either home-made or bought. This really honours the whole cycle of life. Visit www.compostguide.com for tips, hints and advice.
- Compost your poop: This is a really ethical choice, honouring the complete cycle of life! Building your own composting loo opens up a whole new world of interconnectivity and respect for nature. It really is not as gross as it may sound at first and if done properly, generates awesome odorless compost to return to the land. Humans have become so sterile and removed from nature, but once you start reconnecting, it feels so rewarding to really embrace - what goes around comes around! This is real thanks giving.
- Buy local food: Whilst it is very difficult to avoid imported foods, it makes perfect sense to buy whatever you can locally as a first choice. It is usually fresh and doesn’t carry a karmic imprint of thousands of airmiles. Supporting local small-holdings, farms and independent shops is a vibrational raising act in itself. As more and more people shop locally, local communities will begin to flourish - something that capitalism and fast food has tried so hard to stamp out.
- Eat slowly and savour the taste: Sounds simple, yet its amazing how many people rush their food, chatting away. Switch off your phone and t.v. (if you have one) and really taste your food. Connect with the texture, flavours, vibrational life force and you will begin to embrace from a centred place of true experience. You will feel much more guided on how much to eat and what your body actually needs for optimal health.
- Get into food preparation/baking/cooking and share the fruits of your labour with friends: There is something innately satisfying about creating conscious meals for friends and family. It gets everyone excited about eating more consciously. Find a conscious kitchen recipe book that you resonate with or get creative and explore your own delicious inventions.
- Giving thanks: We are so blessed to be able to eat and savour food. Take a moment before you eat to close your eyes, connect with what you are about to eat and offer thanks (whether it is to Mother Earth, the Universe, God, Buddha or another deity)... the important thing is to connect with your food and allow a natural arising gratitude to permeate into the field around you.
- Minimise packaged bought products: At the moment, owing to the boom of capitalism and mass produced goods, it can be tricky to buy all of your food without packing, but do what you can. Food often comes package free at farmers markets and local independent health food stores. If bags are needed, then re-use them by bringing them back to fill up again each time you go to the store. Consider setting up a local food co-operative and buying stuff in bulk to weigh up in your own re-usable containers.
- Learn to listen to your body: The body really does 'talk', we just have to tune in to the right language. If we have aches, pains, illness or disease happen then the body is starting to scream. Learn to recognise denial, cravings and subtle addictions and move beyond them. If we learn to listen to our physical body by embracing as many of the above tips as possible, we start to hear subtle cues that will guide us... what to eat, how much to eat, where to buy it from etc. Our life becomes so much more flowing and satisfying once we start to flow with it in a way that serves our journey of optimal health and evolution.
- Learn to tune in to your soul: When we start to tune in to our soul, it’s amazing how powerful the guidance can be. It will guide us to make the most aligned choices, inviting change and evolution. It's not always the choices that we 'want' that it will show us, but always the choice in the best interest of our continued spiritual evolution. Profound self honesty is the key here. Tuning into the soul is perhaps the most important tenet to the success of eating consciously. Embrace it and honour the guidance it brings you.
(by Trinity Bourne...Trinity's Conscious Kitchen)
So what are your experiences in switching to a conscious diet?