Vitality anyone? Begin new….for the new year!!!


Happy Chinese New Year to all!!!

Yes indeed, 2012 is a great year to clean house, inside and out; I cannot just sit  and wait for things to develop, I have to make things happen for the world to change.

I think it’s Gandhi who said:” Be the change you wish to see in the world”

Liliane and I opted for change, back in December, with a spiritual fast at the TREE  OF LIFE   in Arizona, a great way to detox the body, learn a few new things, get vitality and clarity of mind.(more on that later)

But first a lot of  NEW and exciting projects to start the new year!!!  

Make sure to link to our web site and see the NEW things we are offering:

I have started to work with Living Foods (yummy lasagna and falafels,pates, crackers etc….) and am making it all available for you; this comes from our experience at the Tree of Life and the discovery of what healthy, vibrant Live foods can do for you. You will simply love it all!

  • Also NEW: we are offering a combination, at discount, of nutritional consultation followed with a 3 hour cooking class, the whole thing tailored to your specific needs,
  • Also NEW, in addition to that, you can get 5 one-hour private yoga classes designed to help you develop your own home practice. For those who do not know, I have been trained in the Iyengar tradition of hata yoga, and operated a yoga studio in Sylva for 10 years.
  • Also in the making with more details to come: a three day introduction to spiritual fasting for those interested in deep internal change;  a monthly Living food dinner at our house to help you make the right dietary changes and supporting those changes with community support.
  • Also in the very near future:  the AMA (Asheville Macrobiotic Alliance) will be offering some lectures and cooking classes to further support healthy changes and transitioning to a vegan diet. For new and seasoned practitioners as well.
  • Do not forget about my services to you as a Personal Chef: I am keeping the same amazing discount prices, a great deal  for those who do not have enough time to cook healthy organic food, who want support in their daily life or are planning a party etc… Guaranteed to be a bargain and cheaper even than buying things on the go at health food store. And, of course, no comparison when it comes to freshness and tailoring to your needs. Again check my web site. for details…
  • Remember that the AMA is starting its now popular monthly book club again, in February. Join and call Marcia Reisman and Erica Rand at 258 305 89 490 for all the juicy details!!!…
  • And if that’s not enough, Jane Stanchich is running workshops and seminars every week at Jubilee, all designed to empower you and guide  towards better heath and well being…
  • Final touch and not the least: come and share your wonderful culinary creations with us at our monthly macrobiotic potluck: delicious,  plenty of food and fun for $5.00. Can you beat that?

I hope I did not forget anything: who says nothing is happening in Asheville?      It’s not all about  beer!!!…

Okay, what is a spiritual fast?

Well, when we signed up , that was back in November, for a two- week fast at the spiritual community of the Tree Of Life we had no clue — or not much– what we were up to; We just had a  hunch  that it was what we needed over the Holidays to set up our new year with clarity, energy,and a healthy start…

We tried to stay calm, as you now how it goes with too many expectations! But we could not help been excited about the adventure, the unknown and the possibilities that awaited us over there in Patagonia, which is near Tucson….

I, myself do not remember ever being able to go for one day without eating, and being as thin as I am, it seemed quite daunting to expect to stop eating for 14 days!!!

Well I made it for 10 days, and I only stopped because it was suggested to me . The staff there is very supportive and helpful with all your detox symptoms, and you are guided with great care along with daily green juices to achieve your quest without too much trouble….

I was happy to stop after 10 days so I could get more chances to taste the delicious vegan Living Food served at the Tree…. The vitality of the staff there is amazing!!!            Vitality! that’s the magic word in our days of too much stress, too much poor nutrition, too much exposition too pollutants of all kinds etc…

Do you know that our food chain is so depleted in nutrients,  that even if we have a great organic diet, we are still  depleted and tired most of the time; Do you know that even if you took all the right supplements, your body might be so  saturated that it would still not be able to absorb the nutrients properly? do you know that you absorb only about 25% of the nutrition that is left in the food you are eating ?  do you know that there are not many ( if any) places on hearth were you are not  affected by exposure to pollution, depleted nutrition, and lack of access to vital air and vegetables; do you know that because of conventional farming, and the use of pesticides and toxic additive the quality of our top soil is getting worse every day…

I’ll stop here for the gloom and doom ;  But  you understand why  I said that we cannot sit around waiting for things to change!!!!

Regular fasting is a great way to give your body and mind a chance to rest and clean out some or most of the  “compost” (term used at the Tree to define the accumulations of toxicity,mucus and fermentation accumulated over time) stocked in your intestines. Do you know that just after a week or two of fasting you are able to absorb 70 to 85% of the nutrition that you put in your body!!!

Fasting is a way of life at the Tree, and every time you do it, you increase your awareness, and become more attuned to your body’s need. It’s easy to believe that fasting is about losing too much or not enough weight, curing your sickness, going out hungry for days at a time, increasing or losing your stamina….. We all have our ideas about what a fast is, and I had my own agenda; Nothing ‘s wrong with that but I was not prepared to face something!!!….

After making it successfully thru 10 days without eating, I did not expect to have to make it another 10 days to come back from the fast. You see, I thought I would be able to enjoy  the food there, after a couple days.  But the reality is: the stomach as become much smaller than your appetite, and any excess, your body will make you pay for it!!!

I do not want to go into details, but it was a good lesson for me and I will be more ready next time .  I understand now fully that as many days you fast, you have at least the same amount of days to break the fast…. As soon as I started eating again all my old eating habits resurfaced in my mind, I want more of this, I want more of that…They did warn us at the Tree that the way you break the fast is actually as if not more important than the fast itself in terms of lasting results.

This is probably one of the more profound experience we’ve ever had, Liliane and I. We are very enthusiastic and excited about the future…. We have been eating mostly living foods since our return, and without suggesting that it is the only way to eat, we both think that more living food principles can only benefit any healthy lifestyle. Incorporating it is very beneficial to vitality and the preparation is creative, different, fun and delicious!!!…

Liliane does not like to call it raw, because there is actually quite a bit of cooking: marinating, soaking, dehydrating and blending are  involved, which are all forms of cooking or transforming…. so Living Food or low temperature cooking is more appropriate. The important idea is not to destroy the enzymes and to keep as much nutrients as you can while preparing your meal.

I want to share with you one of our very first favorite recipes. Breakfast can be daunting, as we often hear: ” what am I going to eat for breakfast now!!!”


Note: If you do not have a dehydrator, know that you can get a very good one for less than $200. I am waiting impatiently for my new EXCALIBUR …. In the meantime, I could not wait to get started on some of those new recipes, so I have been using my oven on the lowest temperature; it is not perfect, as the setting is still  a bit too high, but quite yummy, and we call it “slow cooking” perfect for living in the south…

Here is what I do: I make plenty as it saves very well ( several weeks) in your cupboard (not in your refrigerator.. that would make it stale).

  • In the morning soak 6 cups of mixed nuts and seeds of your choice in water:(almonds, walnuts, pecans, pumpkins, sunflowers, hazelnuts ETC…macadamias do not need to be soaked) I keep them in my freezer so they do not go rancid.
  • In the evening drain and pulse in your food processor to get little chunks ( you are not trying to make butter!)
  • Place in a large mixing bowl.
  • Clean and cut in chunks 3 apples and pulse also in the food processor to get small pieces ( you are not making apple juice)
  • Add to the bowl with 1 or 2 tsp of cinnamon, 1 tsp of vanilla, mix well with your hands, place on 2 large trays layered with parchment paper and place in your low temperature oven. Go to bed and wake up in the morning to the wonderful smell of rawnola!!!
  • Let  it cool  completely before putting up. Enjoy with your favorite seed milk or make your own if you have a super blender.
  • Add  only low glycemic fruit  such as berries if you desire fruit so as to avoid blood sugar spikes and lows.  Enjoy!

About Changing Seasons

Changing Seasons Personal Chef service offered by Chef Didier Cuzange. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine offered by Dr. Liliane Papin. Serving Western North Carolina in the Asheville, NC area. Blog posts about vegan cooking, acupuncture & macrobiotics.

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