The Art of Live-Food Preparation

The ART OF LIVE-FOOD PREPARATION is a joyful interplay between
your intuition and the principles and conceptual frameworks elaborated
in this book. These recipes are starting points for you to use
your intuitive understanding to create recipes that are perfect for you.
In the recipe section I am primarily concerned with how each recipe affects
your individualized constitution considerations, including the Ayurvedic
dosha and metabolic/autonomic type and the recipe’s seasonal effect.

An important focus of my concern in the evolution of these recipes was
the preservation of both the taste and energetic qualities of the original food.
I have developed the recipes to bring out the energetic interplay of individual
foods in conjunction with the properties of herbs. At the same time,
they have been created to be tasty, artful, interesting and practical for helping
the reader individualize the diet to his or her own constitution. There
is also a brief section on how various herbs affect the Ayurvedic doshas
including whether these herbs are heating or cooling.

The Conscious Eating recipes lead us to a slightly new twist on food
combining. Traditional food-combining concepts were concerned with
such issues as not combining fruits with vegetables, carbohydrates with
proteins, etc. In the Conscious Eating approach, these traditional concerns
still have some importance; however. we are now adding the
doshas and metabolic/autonomic considerations. For example, from the Ayurvedic
perspective, one does better not to combine two heavy foods.
Although avocado is a fruit and theoretically could be combined with other
fruits, if it is combined with banana, another heavy fruit, it will cause an
imbalance, especially for kaphas. For a pitta person, one tries not to combine
foods that are all pitta-unbalancing. Foods with major opposite actions,
such as milk and flesh foods, are best not combined. On the other hand,
one may choose to combine foods and herbs that modify each other’s action.
For example, garbanzo beans, which unbalance vata, can be eaten with
tahini, garlic, and lemon, which balance vata—making a good combination
that we enjoy as hummus. By adding warming herbs (which activate
the digestive fire) to vegetables that normally unbalance vata, we are able
to broaden the range of foods a vata person can eat without being thrown
out of balance. The same principle applies to the kapha and pitta doshas.
From an autonomic and metabolic perspective, our concern about food
combining is the ratio of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats (which should
be the same with each meal). These ratios vary according to one’s constitution
as a fast oxidizer, slow oxidizer, parasympathetic or sympathetic type.
In this context, food preparation becomes an artful endeavor.

The recipes are entirely composed of live-food preparations without the
use of refined oils, sugar, or dairy. In the recipes there is an occasional use
of miso, which although derived from cooked soybeans, becomes enlivened
by a beneficial nonalcoholic fermentation process that creates a great number
of enzymes. Miso is very high in many minerals, adds a salty taste, has a
strong yang energy, has specific anti-irradiation effects, and is an excellent
nerve and stomach calmer and balancer for vata. It has a neutral effect on
kapha, and if taken in small quantities by pitta, does not cause an imbalance.

Occasionally honey is suggested in the recipes. Although honey comes
from bees and hence does not fit into a strictly vegan concept, honey is
highly recommended in the Ayurvedic system as a food specifically indicated
for balancing the kapha dosha. Paavo Airola, in his book Worldwide
Secrets for Staying Young, reports some very interesting longevity research
conducted by famed Russian experimental botanist Dr. Nicolai Tsitsin. Dr.
Tsitsin, who is Russia’s chief biologist and botanist in the bee industry, surveyed
approximately 150 Russian people who were all greater than one hundred
twenty-five years old. He said:

“All of the 150 or more people past 125 years old in Russia, without
exception, have stated their principal food has always been pollen
and honey—mostly pollen.”
The honey these Russians ate was not the store-bought, pasteurized,
and filtered honey that many of us are familiar with, but an unpasteurized,
unfiltered, unprocessed, raw mix of honey and bee pollen found at the bottom
of the honey containers. Interestingly enough, many of these Russian
centenarians turned out also to be beekeepers. In Worldwide Secrets for Staying
Young, Airola claims that honey boosts calcium retention, increases red
blood cell count for nutritional anemias stemming from iron and copper
deficiencies, and has a beneficial effect on arthritis, colds, poor circulation,
constipation, liver and kidney disorders, poor complexion, and insomnia.

The fact that honey and bee pollen are rejuvenating foods was known
long before the Russians discovered it. Pythagoras, the Greek spiritual teacher
and mathematician, used raw foods for healing and recommended honey
for health and long life as far back as 500 B.C.

Although honey, strictly speaking, is a bee product and not a plant product,
it is possible to find beekeepers who do not engage in an exploitive relationship
with their bees. Ideally they avoid such practices as taking all the
honey and feeding the bees sugar or antibiotics. Most often, the kind of beekeeper
that cares about the welfare of the bees will also sell honey and bee
pollen in its unadulterated, totally raw form. For one who adheres to a strict
vegan philosophy this may still not feel “correct,” but for others who follow
the living law of harmony, honey in this context may feel acceptable. As I
have discussed earlier, the principle of “harmlessness” is always a relative
one in a world where each and every organism takes life in some form in
order to survive. My ultimate guide is to eat that which enhances my communion
with the Divine and which also does not violate my own spiritual
sensitivities in light of the principle of harmlessness. The value and necessity
of using honey differ with constitutional type. Honey is drying, warming,
and astringent. Those with kapha constitutions are positively balanced
and brought into a higher level of harmony and health by the use of honey.
Pitta people, on the other hand, can become unbalanced by the use of too
much honey. In any case, in the few times where I recommend honey in
recipes, apple juice, dates, raisins, or figs can usually be easily substituted
without affecting the recipes significantly.

These recipes originate from several sources and have emerged as a
product of collaboration in a great number of cases. Some of them are used
in the Spiritual Nutrition Workshops that I developed. Other recipes were
developed independently or in collaboration with Eliot Jay Rosen, our first
live-food chef for the Spiritual Nutrition Workshops, and Pat Furger, a former
food preparation chef. I also thank Shanti Golds, who teaches vegan
and live-food preparation, for her generous help and contributions to this
recipe section. I extend my gratitude to Bobbie Spurr, a naturopathic and
Ayurvedic practitioner, and Kiana Rose, an Ayurvedically knowledgeable
yoga instructor, who double-checked the dosha balancing of these recipes.
I am particularly grateful for the generosity of Renée Underkoffler, co-author
of Have Your Cake and Eat It Too and The Raw Truth: the Art of Loving Food,
who sent me some of her special recipes with permission to adapt them for
this book. And finally, thanks to the chefs at the Tree of Life Café at the Tree
of Life Rejuvenation Center, where the final form of these recipes has evolved
and been put into practice. These recipes are truly living.

Information is provided above each of the Conscious Eating recipes
that indicates the overall effect of the combined foods on each dosha. In
designating the specific effects of a certain recipe, the word “balances”
denotes that the dish brings a particular dosha back into balance. The word
“unbalances” means that the dish causes a disharmony in that dosha. For
example, a pitta person tends to have his or her pitta energy more easily
unbalanced than a kapha or vata person by heating foods and herbs. Therefore,
pittas are more prone to be thrown out of balance by foods and herbs
that increase the pitta energy. A kapha person who is low in pitta energy
will often be brought into balance by the heating energy of the same food
or herb. Throughout the recipes, K means kapha, P means pitta, and V
means vata. Many recipes also suggest modifications that make it more balancing
for a certain dosha. Although the following recipes may be eaten in
any season, the times of the year in which a particular recipe is more balancing
for all three doshas are also provided.

Because metabolic and autonomic individualization depends on the
total carbohydrate, protein and fat intake for the whole meal this information
is not provided for each dish. In general, a fast oxidizer and parasympathetic
diet includes 50-55%protein, 30-35%carbohydrates, and 20-25%
fat at each meal. Parasympathetic types can have more grain than fast oxidizers.
Both of these types do best when minimizing high-glycemic-index
foods, such as white potatoes and white rice. Slow oxidizers and sympathetic
types do best with a ratio of 50-60%carbohydrates, 30-40%protein,
and 10-15% fat with each meal. Those with sympathetic constitutions can
even have less protein. The key is the ratio being the same at each meal, and
not the total amount of food. For example, a person who is a fast oxidizer
could eat 50% protein, but if they are not eating much food at each meal,
they will still have a low total protein intake. This is just fine, so long as the
ratio is balanced appropriately for their constitution. With this understanding,
we see that a fast oxidizer does not really need a high total quantity
of protein, just the correct ratio.

Most of these ratios are designed for one or two servings. My primary
goal is to create an appreciation of the different food and herb energies and
to give the reader a basic repertoire of recipes that represents patterns of
raw-food preparation so that he or she may begin to create his or her own
recipes based on the principles behind these “template” recipes. With a
proper understanding of these recipe patterns, one can develop a tasty diet
that consistently balances constitutional doshas, maintains a balanced pH,
builds or cleanses, and heats or cools the body as one chooses.

Sample Recipe