Saturday, February 15, 2014

Intelligent Eating: La Inteligencia Organica en Sistema de Desintoxicaccion

Last weekend was a special treat here in Barcelona as I attended a day-long workshop that two friends run combining the deep energetic cleansing of Life Alignment therapy, which is facilitated by Juliana Simoes, with intelligent eating, which is made possible by cook and nutritionist Gara Benitez.

Having had a deep emotional release during the workshop, there is heaps to say about Life Alignment and the work that Juliana does--one that I hope to write more about in on(e)love. The Life Alignment process goes beautifully and practically with the presentation of how our body can absorb energy and cleanse itself based on the kinds of foods we eat. Juliana and Gara make a beautiful pair and a strong argument for developing healthy eating and drinking (water, lots and lots of clean and also positively charged water) habits into our day to day life. 

The workshop takes a slightly more esoteric turn when coming into the particulars of Life Alignment (a truly powerful healing system), but it's made accessible by the practicality of that which is a normal everyday part of our life: eating and drinking water, which really grounds the essential message, that we have the power to heal our bodies. Food and water is as good as any medicine; that by simply eating consciously, making smart decisions about what we eat, eating the right combinations of food, we, in essence, maintain good health and promote self-healing. 

What was interesting for me, as well, is that the lunch menu was a detox meal. And yet resembled not anything that I would have imagined as a detox meal at all.

Now, I've been on some detox-centric retreats. The benefits are awesome, I always enjoy the end results. But I must be honest, fasting is not my favorite. I have a slight build, a fast metabolism and usually am engaged in a lot of activity. Like most people, I get hungry when I don't eat. And light eating is a little like not eating, for me anyways. Most detox diets I've come across include raw food, juices and green smoothies--more or less liquid or solid salad, leafy or chunky, but a salad is still a salad!

What Gara prepared was a hearty combination of raw and cooked food. Fresh herbed cabbage leaves were served with artichokes steamed with lemon and possibly garlic. Brown rice and wild rice was reheated in the artichoke broth. Fresh orange with cinnamon was a delicious sauce for the cabbage and artichoke. Adzouki bean, unpasteurized miso and agua del mar made the tasty protein paste. Gomazio (ground toasted sesame with sea salt), fresh sprouts, endive leaves and one delish turnip-like root veg that I can't seem to remember but was so crispy and slightly sweet added different layers to the meal. Detox food has never been so good. All ingredients were organic. 

     What's more is that all of the dishes are so brilliantly simple that any of us participants regardless of cooking ability could replicate the meal--though, perhaps not quite so delicately flavored. I went home a little more inspired to cook healthy. It was an important reminder that eating healthy and creatively doesn't have to be a laborious process, but one that required most of all love: love of the food which gives us so much, love of the creative process of cooking, and the love for eating!

Thank you Juliana Simoes and Gara Benitez for a truly delicious experience. Compliments to the chef! The photos below say it all...

Also rich in antioxidants, cabbage is high in Vitamin C and is a
good source of fiber. Though technically a flower bud, artichokes
are supposed to have more antioxidants than any other vegetable. 
Orane sauce. Adzouki bean paste. 

Gomazio! Yummm. I can sprinkle this just about on anything.
Tasty, sesame seeds are also good antioxidants.  

My plate! I was a happy bunny!

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