Raw Foods and Spirituality: What’s The Connection

by Phaedre Suriyai Christ

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*Want to go raw for a week? See the raw vegan menu, grocery list and recipes below!

What Does Spirituality Mean

The goal of spirituality is to understand who we are. Not who we are in terms of our names, our jobs, the neighborhoods we live in, or any of the other data that we commonly identify ourselves by…but who we Really are. Who we actually are, each and every one of us, are sparks of God. We are the same energy that is God/Absolute Mind/Source, focused for this lifetime inside a suit we call the human body. To come to a realization of this requires going beyond where the intellect can carry us. Although intellectually understanding our connection, our “oneness” with God is helpful to truly knowing ourselves, to begin to experience ourselves as this omniscient, omnipotent energy requires that we hold a high vibration.

 Explanation of High Vibration

raw food and spirituality image What is a “high vibration”? The best way to explain it is: Next time you’re in a really happy mood, laughing, not a care in the world, notice what’s happening inside. The lack of worry thoughts. Feeling good, however that plays out in your system. That very feeling is a high vibration. There are even higher, better feeling vibrations than where you can get to with a round of laughter, but it takes practice and dedication to live in those states. Keeping ourselves in our highest vibration is one way of plugging into Source energy. But how do those of us who don’t have a comedian sitting under our desk stay naturally high?

Being a raw foodist is one way. Most people who are ready to dedicate their bellies to their spiritual growth have many other practices as well, such as yoga, meditation, prayer, etc., but raw foods is definitely a powerful method. And when I talk about raw foods, I’m talking about raw veganism. Vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, nothing cooked, no animal products. Uncooked foods grown in the earth have the energy of being alive in them. This lifeforce energy becomes a part of your body when you eat them.

There are people who eat raw meats and raw dairy products but I don’t have experience with that path. This is not to say I don’t comprehend eating meat. I was a meat eater most of my life. I ate meat and other animal products at most meals, in fact dinner wasn’t dinner without meat or fish. Not everyone who eats raw is doing it primarily for the spiritual healing. I decided to experiment with vegetarianism because I felt sluggish and old. I noticed myself using the bannister to pull myself up the stairs, and dreading the climb. I picked up a book about blood types which claimed my type comes into balance when we only eat meat as a condiment. That’s right, a little dab of meat on the side of my plate instead of my usual prime rib or plateful of fried chicken wings.

How I Went Raw

raw food and spirituality image3I went raw overnight, without trying. In fact, it was actually a mistake. I mentioned the blood type book and the fact that I was planning to try vegetarianism to a friend of mine who owned a raw foods delivery service. He brought me over a week’s worth of raw vegan samples to try. Although I would have never thought I could easily transform from an everyday meat eater to the most extreme form of vegetarianism in one step, I got hooked. It wasn’t just the brighter, more alive taste of the delicious foods he served me, it was the fact that before the week was over, I climbed a mountain. I wasn’t trying, I was just out in nature and there was a mountain in front of me and I had all this boundless energy. So I walked up it, when a week earlier I hadn’t wanted to climb the stairs in my house.

Soon I noticed that there was a different feeling in my body after eating a raw meal than the feeling I was used to. My normal meals had sat in my stomach and all I was fit to do after eating was rest or watch tv. These raw meals seemed to go directly to my internal organs and energize them like pure sunlight. I felt happier. My life felt more meaningful. Areas that felt stuck in my life changed, rapidly. I couldn’t have explained it, but my vibration was rising.

Living Life, Eating Raw

Recently my best friend started eating raw. The week before Christmas, I stayed at her house and prepared raw meals every day. Before I left, I wrote her out a grocery list and several of my favorite raw recipes that would take her only five minutes each to prepare. I shouldraw food and spirituality image add that she’s a top executive who travels a lot and eats whatever she wants at gourmet restaurants seven nights a week. On top of that, I’ve known her since ninth grade but never seen her cook. In fact, I have rarely seen food in her refrigerator.

On New Years Day she told me she’d decided to go raw for a month, as a cleanse. When I talked to her halfway into it, her voice sounded different, brighter. She’d prepared and eaten the raw recipes for two weeks straight. She said her energy was “through the roof”, that the food was “off the hook”, that an added bonus was she’d lost four pounds in the first week, and that she was thinking of making this a permanent change, perhaps eating meat only on the weekends. So I decided to share the menu, grocery list and recipes here with all who are inspired to try eating raw for a meal or a week or perhaps forever.

Bon appetit, and may your vibration rise!

*Note: If you don’t want to lose weight, eat extra bananas, soaked nuts and seeds, and avocados.

Shopping Lists, Menus and Recipes

PHAEDRE’S FAVORITE RAW VEGAN MEALS
(*blender required for some recipes)

***LE MENU***
Avocados Putanesca
Kale Salad
Sprout Salad
Sprout Sushi
Special Sauce
Phaedre’s Dream Burrito (aka Collard Green Wrap)

GROCERIES (This will make 5 meals including the Collard Wrap.)
-The first set of items must be bought fresh; the second set of items can be bought once and kept indefinitely.
-I put a + by the ingredients for the Collard Green Wrap, which you can leave off if you want a super easy prep week.
-If you spend 1/2 hour making the Kale Salad and Special Sauce and Sunflower Seed Powder, everything else (except pate for the Wrap) can be put together 3 minutes before you’re ready to eat.

THE LIST
3-4 avocados
1 bunch kale
2 containers sprouts (get the ones that are pea or bean-like, rather than grass-like)
1 container sliced mushrooms (or about 15 shitake mushrooms)
4-5 shallots or 2 onions
1 head garlic
1 lemon
+1 bunch collards
+a few cherry tomatoes or 1 regular tomato
+1 carrot (optional)

1/2 lb sunflower seeds (keep in fridge)
1/4 lb walnuts
1 jar or 1/4 lb olives
olive oil
soy sauce (low sodium* is good, or Nama Shoyu raw soy sauce)
mustard* or mustard powder
raisins
wasabi sprouts, wasabi peas* or wasabi paste*
Nori sheets (flat seaweed)

*not raw, but ok to use a little

THE RECIPES (remember, if you make the first 3 recipes at the beginning of the week, the prep time is 3 minutes for everything else)

SPECIAL SAUCE
2 shallots or 1 onion or 2-3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
2-3 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs mustard (or 1/2 tbs mustard powder)
2/3 cup water
juice of 1/2 lemon

Peel and chop shallots or onion or garlic. Put everything in the blender and blend it up. Add more soy sauce or salt and pepper if needed. DONE!

SUNFLOWER SEED POWDER
Put about 1 cup of sunflower seed in the blender or a nut grinder and blend to powder consistency. May have to shake the blender a few times. DONE! (Store in fridge.)

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KALE SALAD
1 bunch kale 2 shallots, sliced
Special Sauce lemon
mushrooms raisins
cayenne pepper
olives salt

1. Cover 1 cup sliced mushrooms with some of the Special Sauce to marinade.
2. Wash then shred kale into strips. This can be done in a cuisinart or by laying the whole bunch at once on a cutting board and starting at the top, cutting strips across.
3. Put shredded kale in a big bowl and sprinkle with salt, moving top pieces aside so it all gets lightly sprinkled. Massage the kale with both hands for about a minute (i’m not kidding!) until it gets wilted.
4. Squeeze 1/2 lemon into about 1/2 cup Special Sauce, and sprinkle in a little cayenne. Pour over the kale.
5. Add sliced shallots, mushrooms, about 1/4 cup each olives and raisins. Mix it up.
DONE!
*If you make wraps this week and have extra collards, you can slice them and use them in the salad.
**If you don’t have all the ingredients, that’s ok, it’s still really good as long as you have kale and sauce!

SPROUT SALAD
1 container sprouts olive oil and soy sauce
sunflower seeds mushrooms

1. Dice and cover 1/2 cup of mushrooms w/ about 1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil + a few shakes of soy sauce.
2. Add sprouts to mushrooms and sauce. Stir in enough sunflower seed powder until it has a wet sand consistency. Add salt and pepper. DONE!
**you can use 1/4 to 1/2 cup Special Sauce instead of olive oil and soy if you prefer.

SPROUT SUSHI (2 Rolls)
Sprout Salad Avocados
Nori sheets wasabi sprouts, peas or paste
1/2 lemon Soy sauce or nama shoyu
1 leaf of kale raisins
or collard, or lettuce

1. Mash 1 avocado with 1/2 lemon plus about 1 tsp wasabi paste or about 10 mashed up wasabi peas. (if using wasabi sprouts, sprinkle a few on sushi before rolling up).
2. Put a sheet of nori on a plate. Across one end, put a few strips of kale or collard leaf, or lettuce in a line about 2 inches wide. Spoon Sprout Salad over it. Spread half the avocado-wasabi mixture on top. Dot with about 5 raisins. Sprinkle with soy sauce. Roll it up.
DONE!
*The kale is just to keep the nori dry because it gets chewy if wet, but it still tastes good. So you can make this without greens, or with kale salad as the bottom layer instead.
**you can use a little mustard if you don’t have wasabi

AVOCADOS PUTANESCA (easiest gourmet meal you’ll ever make!)
1 Avocado
5 walnuts or 2 tbs sunflower seed powder
5 olives
10 raisins
olive oil and soy sauce or Special Sauce
1-2 cloves garlic, to taste

1. Cut the avocado in half, lengthwise. Remove pit.
2. Dice walnuts, olives and raisins. Put half in each hole where the pit was. Reserve what doesn’t fit into the holes. (use about 1/2 tbs sunflower seed powder in each hole if you don’t have walnuts)
3. Peel and dice garlic into a cup. Add 1/4 cup olive oil and 3 shakes of soy sauce. Stir it up or can be blended for a creamy version. OR use Special Sauce. Pour into the hole.
DONE!
*add reserved ingredients and more sauce as you finish eating what was in the hole.
**you can double or triple the garlic sauce recipe and keep it in the fridge. it gets better with time.

DREAM BURRITO aka COLLARD GREEN WRAP

1 collard green leaf
kale salad or lettuce
sunflower or walnut pate (recipe follows)
4-5 cherry tomatoes cut in half or 1 regular tomato, diced
raisins
olives
garlic sauce (see Avocado Putanesca recipe)

1. Make sunflower or walnut pate
2. Spread collard green leaf on plate, inner side face up
3. In a wide strip down the center, lay kale salad or lettuce
4. Spoon a layer of pate on top
5. Dot with tomatoes, raisins and olives and spoon on garlic sauce, salt and pepper to taste.
6. Fold top point of collard leaf in towards center, bring both sides in towards center.
DONE!

Sunflower or Walnut Pate
1 cup sunflower seeds or walnuts or 1/2 cup of each
1 shallot or 1/2 onion or 2 cloves garlic
1 grated carrot (optional)
1/8 cup olive oil
3 shakes soy sauce

Soak seeds (1 – 3 hours) or nuts (overnite) in a bowl with plenty of water (double as high as the seeds or nuts). Its not essential to soak them but it makes the pate creamier.
Put all ingredients in the blender or cuisinart. Add just enough water to blend to a semi-smooth consistency.
*This pate can also be served with kale salad as a meal.

ENJOY!!!

copyright c2007 Phaedre Christ

(You may use this article for your website as long as you do not alter it and you keep the author information and author’s live links intact. For other types of publication, please contact Ms. Christ at Phaedrelove@gmail.com )

About the Author:

Phaedre Suriyai Christ is a yogi and writer, best known for her clear explanations of various facets of spiritual growth.