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Archive for the ‘Vegan & Raw Foods’ Category

What the Top Raw Chefs Really Eat

Monday Night Live

Monday Night Live

Monday Night Live at Café Gratitude in Healdsburg, California is a fun and informative forum for like-minded, health-conscious people to gather, dine and learn. One can enjoy a cooked or raw vegan meal while listening to the speaker of the night. Industry leaders like raw chefs, athletes, doctors, energy workers and motivational speakers have been enlisted to lecture. There is no cost; simply order a delicious, healthy meal, sit back, relax and allow the theme of the night to capture your attention and inspire your actions.

There is a new lecture series offered at Café Gratitude. Shea Lynn Baird, the brilliant mind behind Monday Night Live, has organized a series of panel discussions. Shea invited me to be a part of the first panel discussion, a raw chef panel, launching her series into high gear. The topic was ‘What the Top Raw Chefs Really Eat.’ I was on a panel with Cherie Soria, Gabrielle Brick, Kathryn Ackland, Cecilia Benjumea-Kinzie and Andrea Primm, what a powerhouse of speakers, all beautiful and influential leaders making big splashes in the raw food industry.

As raw chefs, we often create cuisine that caters to the mainstream market. The foods can be dense and highly seasoned. Pick up a raw cookbook, and one will find a variety of recipes to entice any palate. These recipes serve their purpose. They are perfect for transitional foods, offering meals to ease one away from cooked foods and into a raw diet; they are great fun for entertaining, because they showcase beautiful dishes layered in flavor, color and texture, and they are delicious tempters used to lure a cooked foodie into the utopia of a raw lifestyle. What they are not is a way of eating on a regular basis. Most long term raw foodies eat very simply. The recipes created by raw gourmet chefs should be used occasionally, not daily. Many people, first discovering raw food, buy raw cookbooks, hoping to dive right into the cuisine and experience all the benefits this revolutionary diet has to offer. The recipes in these cookbooks create a challenge for many, because eating heavy, complex raw foods will cause imbalance in the body, rendering a raw lifestyle physically unsustainable. So the question begs to be answered, what do the top raw chefs really eat? How should a raw foodie eat to support vibrant health, mental clarity, top performance and emotional/spiritual/physical equilibrium?

I will take the questions posed during this Monday Night Live panel discussion, and over the next few days, I will elaborate on my own answers. (To watch this discussion in its entirety, sign up for Shea Lynn Baird’s Monday Night Live newsletter, and gain access to the video.) Since there were five chefs on this panel, we each only had 2-5 minutes to answer each question, limiting the amount of information we could provide. Watch the video to get a broad view of how different raw foodies eat. But, allow me to share here, in more detail, my own diet and my personal journey with raw foods as I expand on each of the presented questions. Stay tuned as I post the Q&A from the panel discussion over the days to come…

Blessings in vibrant health!

Birthday Blessings

Birthday Blessings!

Birthday Blessings!

Life is beautiful, and I am in love with it. Today is my birthday. As I wake up and settle into this new day, I look back and realize, with deep gratitude, that I have been living every day like it’s my birthday. And why not?! You should do this as well, living life completely with a receptive heart, open and clear. Nurture yourself. Love yourself. Did you know that the simple words, thank you, will raise your vibration, for it is one of the purest prayers you could utter? Say, “thank you,” feeling the words reverberate within you. Thank you. I love you.

What are you grateful for? This is an inspiring question and the mantra of Café Gratitude. Last night, on the eve of my birthday, Laura and I went to the Café Gratitude in Healdsburg to listen to raw chef Melissa Mango speak for the Monday Night Live series. Melissa, I might add, is a wonderful spirit. She is absolutely vibrant.  Laura and I had a fantastic time, and I love the photo above of us- two friends mingled with deliciousness. Thank you.

I am grateful for the growing raw community in my area. It is such a blessing to walk into an establishment, as I did last night, and know so many sweet souls. We shared smiles, conversation and delicious foods. I sipped on an ‘I Am Succulent,’ a grapefruit apple celery mint juice, which was divine, sweet and refreshing. I dined on my favorite entree, ‘I Am Sensational,’ the pesto pizza with hemp seed basil pesto & olive tapenade- oh so good! And for dessert, the entire staff of Café Gratitude crowed around my table hopping around, dancing, and clapping while joyously singing, They Say it’s Your Birthday, by the Beatles. My cheeks blushed through big grins. The cake that was delivered, garnished with a single red lit candle, was amazing. It was a layered strawberry shortcake made of nut flour called ‘I Am Rapture.’ How appropriate; need I say more?! Thank you.

As memorable as this evening was, the true blessing was gifted to me much earlier in the day. Laura hosted a Reiki class, and I joined her for it. I love Reiki. The energy flow is soothing and enlightening. Though I have been healing and attuning others with Reiki for many moons now, I am still caught in the wonderment of it. There is so much that cannot be seen that exists. Reiki energy is powerful, no doubt. It heals the body and sharpens the ethereal body and intuition. Every time I work with this energy, I feel spiritually empowered. I received a healing attunement for my birthday. Though my birthday presents have yet to roll in, I am certain that the attunement will dwarf all other tangible gifts.  I felt intense energy all around me, hitting me in waves, rolling over and around me like a gentle warm ocean. I sank into a deep meditation, my ankle twitched, my third eye ignited. Thank you.

The third eye, often referred to as the inner eye, is the portal that leads to inner realms and spaces of higher consciousness. Lately, during my meditations, I feel intense pressure in my forehead at my third eye. Yesterday, my forehead was on fire, intensely pulsating with the Reiki. I felt an energy shift as “something” left me. Reiki attunements amplify healing energies, clearing blocks and aligning the Self to higher purpose. Since the healing works energetically, it deeply nurtures the body as well as the soul. This treatment enveloped me, and I glowed for hours afterwards, basking in my heightened lightness. I am curious to see how I unfold as the days drift by. I wonder what blocks left me during this session, what energetic resistances were whisked away by the Reiki healing. I am blessed. I see this. I truly know this. Thank you.

You, too, are deeply blessed. I want you to see and know this for yourself. Take the time to count your gifts, your blessings. What are you grateful for today? What treasures lie within your life that need to be picked up and polished, acknowledged and showcased? Smile for no reason. Enjoy the people around you with fresh eyes. Appreciate and earnestly love your Self. Give and receive without expectation. Open your heart. Live in abundance. Honor your truth and cherish your precious life.

Thank you. I love you.

Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca

Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca

Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca

By Chef Shana

 

Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca


4 large zucchini, peeled
2 large garlic cloves, minced
¾ c. fresh parsley, minced
½ c. fresh oregano, minced
½ t. Himalayan salt plus extra salt for step #2
1/8 t. red pepper flakes
1/3 c. cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
1/3 c. klamata or black olives, coarsely chopped
1/3 c. capers
3 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced

1) Peel the zucchini and spirulize it into spaghetti shapes. If you do not have a spirulizer, simply slice the zucchini into long ribbon-like strips with a potato peeler until you have a bowl of flat “noodles.”

2) Place the zucchini “pasta” in a mixing bowl and sprinkle with a generous amount of salt. Toss gently and set aside. The salt causes the zucchini to weep, riding the zucchini of excess water. If this step is omitted, the salt in the sauce will cause the zucchini to weep once the dish is assembled, creating an unwanted soupy consistency.

3) Mince the fresh herbs and garlic separately then heap together and mince together, blending the flavors into one another. Place the garlic herb mixture in a mixing bowl then stir in the remaining ingredients. Set aside.

4) Once the zucchini pasta has released its water (about the time is takes to complete step 3, gently squeeze and pat it dry with a cloth towel. Place the pasta in a serving dish and poor ¾ of the herbed mixture over it. Toss to completely coat. Top with the remaining mixture and serve.

Serves 2-4

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