I must share a few words about these recipes before you explore them. The three struggles that many people face when embarking on their yogic journey seem to be:
- Having an Integral practice, like Integral Yoga, increases the sensitivity of the subtle body, so many people often find they are more sensitive to late nights, drinking alcohol, eating simple carbohydrates and so on. They also become far more aware of which foods don’t work well with their bodies.
- They begin to feel they want to adopt a more ethical, loving and conscious approach to their nutrition. Living more holistically, they want to have a vegetarian or vegan diet, but lack the culinary know-how on how to do this.
- They have an interest in health and wellbeing but don’t know where to start. When they do begin to explore all the information out there, they wish they hadn’t started because they are left feeling more confused because they find so many contradictory, faddish and/or restrictive teachings.
The truth is that nutrition is not really scientific in my view, is it a philosophy, and nourishing your body properly requires firstly, effort and exploration, but ultimately, it requires enhanced intuition. These faddish diets, blanket rules and ‘one size fits all’ plans, yes, attempt to make things easier by simplifying, but mostly, I feel that they either have a limited purpose (i.e. weight loss) or that they prevent you from really exploring by providing you with inflexible guidelines (i.e. do’s and don’ts).
My Food Philosophy is Simple
- Eating predominantly a plant-based diet for ethical, nutritional, philosophical and environmental reasons.
- Eating a diet packed full of delicious, fresh, home-cooked whole foods. And a diet packed full of lots of delicious medicinal herbs, spices, roots and other seasonings that not only boosts the nutritional contents of your dishes, but also boost the flavour.
- Eating seasonal, organic, natural and locally-sourced foods as often as possible.
- Learning to eat more intuitively. For example, eating when you’re hungry; eating certain foods that nourish your mood based on your experience; enjoying and appreciating the nature of the foods. This involves listening to your body and eating foods that you know work for you energetically and not simply blindly following other people’s nutritional guidelines.
- Learning to eat more respectfully. Appreciating the ingredients, where they come from, how they arrive to you, how closely they are to their natural state (obviously the closer the better), and showing gratitude to the experience of being nourished, whether it be alone or in company.
Support For Making Transitions
When you start to reduce the intake of less healthy foods from your daily and regular food intake, you might feel like there’s nothing left to eat! I know it’s very daunting. I’ve spoken at length to many colleagues, friends and students who want to make these changes to their nutrition but have little experience in sourcing and preparing for meals that eliminate the most common foods we can get hold of in modern society. In addition, so much of our food intake is, for us, associated with socialising, sharing and companionship, nostalgia of childhood and national pride.
You may already have a healthy or simple plant-based diet. You may already have a passion for cooking and experimenting with local produce. Even so, making your chosen changes can be a challenge, even if you feel ready and motivated because practicalities interfere with how positively you can sustain them. So, I’ve designed some of my favourite recipes, all for you, to serve as a inspiration. I’ve lived in six very different countries over the years, and the local ingredients, particularly the ingredients that I believe add the character to the place (the herbs, spices, roots and other seasonings mostly) are always at the centre of my exploration when I travel and live in different places.
Another Note About These Recipes
- Most are vegan (only a few recipes contain free-range eggs, cheese or natural yoghurt).
- Most contain spices, roots & herbs etc. recommended as healing foods in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and/or Ayurveda Medicine.
- Most fuse healthy Eastern & Western produce (like organic extra-virgin olive oil from ‘The West’ and ginseng from ‘The East’).
- All are vegetarian.
- All are free from wheat flour.
- All are free from refined sugar.
- All encourage the use of fresh, natural and organic produce.
- All take into consideration food combining and acid/alkaline foods balancing in order to maximise the health properties of the ingredients (and create more stillness in the body).
- All preparation/cooking processes have been chosen to maximise the nutritional properties of ingredients.
And Most Importantly
All recipes are merely for inspiration. Please change, tweak, trial and test to suit your tastes, environment and needs. As always, listen to the signals your body sends you and let those signals be your guide when it comes to nourishing yourself (i.e. eating the right foods for you, eliminating foods etc.).
Enjoy these recipes. Enjoy the discoveries in your own body and mind. Please access the recipes right here: Integral Yoga World’s Vegetarian Recipes.