Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Health is the ultimate wealth. Mental, physical, etheric/spiritual, emotional... it is wholistic. Our inner state of being (health) is projected and reflected in our outer reality. Creating a balance is key. I began my journey into the vegetarian, holistic health realm in high school. I remember people passing out those PETA pamphlets and having been raised in part by a Seventh Day Adventist parent, there were already a great number of foods that were taboo for us anyway. As I grew in awareness, a natural foods diet and way of life started to make the most sense. During the course my 17 year journey to wellness, I have run the full gamut: vegan, lacto vegetarian, ovo vegetarian, alkaline diet, food combining, raw foods, fasting, juicing, internal cleanses, colonics, herbs, aromatherapy... etc. I strive to remain on the vegan vegetarian side of thing, for experience and my body have both shown me that is what WORKS BEST FOR ME. Some of the reasons I hear from people that have poor eating habits, and by poor I mean cleaving heavily to the SAD (Standard American Diet), for not eating "healthy" are: "It's too expensive to eat like that." "I don't like vegetables." "I don't like the taste of water." "I can't live without meat." "I won't get enough protein" and the one that is probably the most prevalent "I don't know how to eat like that." Some think being a vegetarian relegates you to a life of salads and veggie/fruit trays. This is so not the case. There are plentiful vegetarian and vegan options; we have to be creative and open ourselves up to foods from different regions of the globe. We are to eat to live, not live to eat. The vegetarian diet is the most natural; as vegetables, fruits, legumes, herbs, etc. are ready to eat as is. There is nothing "natural" about processed, preservative laden food. The "fast food"/USDA food pyramid mentality has programmed us into thinking that in order to be healthy, we have to eat things that make "taste good" yet in turn make us ill. Hypertension, Diabetes, Cancer, Heart Disease, Obesity ARE ALL CAUSED BY DIET!
Please note that I use vegetarian and vegan interchangeably. VEGETARIANS by natural definition are those that eat VEGETATION. These are the original "vegans". If you eat eggs, dairy, chicken, fish YOU ARE NOT A VEGETARIAN. This is my personal preference and view and may or may not be reflective of others that do not eat animal flesh and by-products. Be that as it may, because the food and medical  industry are about money, they created things like "lacto/ovo ( dairy and egg) vegetarian and "orintho" (turkey and chicken) vegetarian and "pesca" (fish)  vegetarian to keep those industries thriving. You MUST read the labels on EVERYTHING processed. Things with eggs and dairy are being sold under the label vegetarian, so make sure before you purchase something labeled "vegetarian" if you do not consume animal products.
By definition, VEGANS  do not eat any animal products: NO DAIRY, BEEF, PORK,CHICKEN, FISH, EGGS, HONEY (some do).  Many vegans also do not wear or use anything that comes from an animal. There are many that are VEGAN in food consumption, yet still wear leather, etc. Rather than have to explain these things to people, request VEGAN food when in doubt if you want to avoid any of the above.


The problems are evident, so I will focus on solutions. How can you modify your diet to incorporate healthier, moor balanced and vegetarian food choices? Here are a few things that I have applied to my life with great success:

1. Drink more water. Pure, spring water, alkaline water (Kangen), artesian well water. Reserve distilled water for fasting/cleansing purposes. Increase your daily intake of water. Proper hydration is KEY and a cornerstone of good health.

2. Limit or eliminate consumption of : WHITE FLOUR, WHITE RICE, WHITE SUGAR, IODIZED SALT. These items, not calling them foods, are heavily processed and lack nutritive value, even when enriched. The natural vitamins and minerals are BLEACHED out, then "enriched". Sounds like POISON to me. Avoid them!

3.  Get at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular/heart rate raising exercise per day.

4. Incorporate meditation, breathing exercises, quiet reflection, prayer, etc. daily for mental/spiritual balance. Even five minutes of one of these daily can work wonders.

5. Look into proper food combining and the difference between alkaline and acid foods.

6. Include a regimen of fasting on a weekly, monthly, seasonal basis. Give your body/temple/vessel a break from working constantly to DIGEST food. Fasting reverses the aging process.

By now, you're probably asking "Ok staHHr, what CAN I eat then?"

Many cultures globally have diets that do not rely heavily on the consumption of animal flesh or by-products. Here are a few of my favorites:

 Infinite possibilities here. Falafel (fried chickpea patties) are a yummy protein alternative to flesh. They be eaten as is, on a salad or in a pita wrap with tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers and tahini dressing (Tzatziki sauce. probably mispeled that). Most groceries with an international foods section and farmers markets will carry falafel mixes or you can make them from scratch. Dolmas, (stuffed grape leaves) herb seasoned rice marinated in olive oil rolled in grape leaves. Tabouli/Tabbouleh is a grain based salad; usually made with bulgar wheat, (I had some the other day made with quinoa that was smashing though) tomatoes, cucumbers, lemon juice, parsley, red onions and olive oil. Hummus, a chickpea paste, can be used a dip, sandwich spread, or eaten alone.
You can usually find these and many more dairy, egg and animal flesh-free options at a Mediterranean restaurant.

Afrikan groundnut (peanut) stew is one of my all time faves. Served over fufu and coupled with akara (black eyed pea fritters) or spinach is a complete and delicious veggie meal.

Ethiopian food offers a great variety of vegan/vegetarian friendly options. The vegetarian food is also referred to as "fasting food", as the Ethiopian Orthodox Christian followers observe several religious fast throughout the year, as well as weekly fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays, in which they are to abstain from ALL animal products. Ethiopian food is served on injera ( a large "pancake" of sorts made from the mucus-less grain teff) which is used to scoop up the food with. Greens (gomen), lentils (wot ), cabbage, carrots, potatoes, and  berebere (pepper that is used in many of the dishes) are staples here.

Thai food, with its rich coconut milk bases and spicy curries, also cater to the vegetarian palette. Caution: They do have "fish sauce" and eggs in many of their dishes. Pad Thai often will have eggs in it, so if you are not preparing the dishes at home or at a vegan/vegetarian Thai restaurant be SURE to request no eggs or fish sauce.

In the Caribbean, there is "Ital" food, popularized by the Rastafari community. "Ital" food is largely unprocessed, and vegetarian/vegan. There are other specifications that are to be in order as well to be totally Ital, such as not having any salt, vinegar, grapes and certain preparation standards. The local vegetables, fruits and dishes such as cassava, callaloo, breadfruit, roti (veggie), patties, cabbage and carrot, rice and peas, poulourhie,  and wonderful variety to a vegetarian diet. A glass of sorrell is always wonderful as well.

Indian food has plentiful vegetarian and vegan options. Generally they do not use eggs. They do however, use cheese, yogurt and ghee in some of their food. Always ASK when dining out if you are unsure. Many dishes incorporate spinach (palak), lentils (daal), chickpeas, potatoes and cauliflower,(aloo gobi) masala, and curry, curry, curry. Yum!

Aside from these options, steamed or raw vegetable dishes, beans and legumes, grains like millet, couscous, quinoa, fufu, wild rice, sweet potatoes/yams, tempeh, seitan, tofu (sparingly), almond and hemp milk can be incorporated into the diet as you make your transition  to replace the canned and frozen veggies, white rice, white potatoes, animal flesh and cow's milk. You can also "vegetize" (I made that one up) pre-existing favorites by replacing the animal products with vegetarian substitutes. These substitutes are TRANSITIONAL foods, so you will want to consume them SPARINGLY. There are a host of "veggie burgers/hotdogs/deli slices" etc. and while "better" than eating flesh, they are HIGHLY processed and therefore can also contribute to decline of health. Healthy snacks such as fresh, organic fruits (with SEEDS), dried fruits, nuts (soak them first for easier digestion), seaweed (Nori sheets can be torn and eaten like "chips" and they are full of B vitamins, Iron and other minerals) can be used effectively in breaking ties with unhealthy snacks. Ultimately, I am striving to eliminate processed foods from my diet entirely and eat strictly organic, whole foods (vegetables, fruits, greens, some grains). This is a process, so be patient with yourself and when at all possible, connect with others that are also pursuing this goal. A good support system makes all the difference in the world. The vegetarian lifestyle also includes using natural body care products, as your skin is the largest organ you have and it "eats" whatever you put on it. It will require another blog to do that topic justice. Below are some yummy fruits and vegetables that will make you forget all about those burgers and fries. Lotus 5000. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


  1. I would like to say that you really made my day, it's wonderful when you just look around the web
    and find something like this, reminds me of that ''How to make a dinner for a romantic...'' by Elsa Thomas,
    you're a wonderful writer let me tell you!!! ñ_ñ

    James Maverick (
    3453 Rardin Drive
    San Mateo, CA 94403
    Project Manager

  2. thank you James. I appreciate your energy. I'll have to look up the book you referenced. Peace and love.