There is no doubt about it we have to change the food system in America and health expert Rich Goldstein, owner of Natural Epicurean Academy of Culinary Arts is trying to do just that one student at a time.
After learning the power behind food, Goldstein created a “healing cuisines” experience that improves health and wellbeing by incorporating natural foods, natural food practices and elemental experiences into everyday life.
The healing cuisines taught to students at Natural Epicurean are: Macrobiotics (whole grains), Vegetarianism, Veganism, Ayurveda (system of medicine and nature) and Raw and Living Foods (descriptions farther below).
Goldstein’s hope is the students at Natural Epicurean can take what they have learned and make a worldwide impact on food and health:
“Folks who continue to think of the Standard American diet as “normal” tend to see that the five healing cuisines are a departure from the way they are used to thinking about diet. Once they begin to have a deeper understanding of the power of cuisine to heal, and how personal that journey is, they begin to appreciate the potential of relating food to health.”
Now, for the first time, Goldstein is giving the public a look into the healing cuisines taught at the school and in turn hoping to change lives through food.
THE CHALLENGE: Live by each healing cuisine for at least two weeks. See which cuisine fulfills you the most by tracking your mood and taking note of your experience. Then, incorporate your fitting cuisines into your everyday life permanently.
GREAT FOR: individuals tackling cancer, depression, heart disease or any other range of diseases.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
- Physical benefits: vitality, energy, and lower risk of disease.
- Mental benefits: happiness, motivation and stableness.
- Social benefits: By addressing our choice of cuisine, we find that the benefits unexpectedly pervade much of our lived experience, resulting in a surprising increase in the simple joy and satisfaction of eating and sharing meals with your family and friends which are fundamentally health enhancing.
“When we transition into a healing cuisine we’re also transitioning into a commitment to relate to our food in a different way. We begin to prioritize our attention and focus our time on preparing food, sharing food with others, and reflecting on the effects of food that we can see, feel and personally experience. In our society we spend so much time using food to move away from our feelings and to distract us from our environments, that often this transition of awareness, mindfulness, contemplation, and practice is where we find the challenge.”
THE 5 HEALING CUISINES
- Macrobiotic Cuisines (whole grains)
Whole grains are unique because they combine both the fruit and the seed into an edible form in each grain, making them whole. When whole grains are combined with a good variety of other unrefined plant foods, all the elements that are necessary for human development become available to us. Once a healthy level of digestion has been achieved, embracing grains as the mainstay of our diet eliminates the problems of missing nutrients as well as cravings.
According to the Standard Macrobiotic Diet, one third to one half (30–60%) of the food humans eat each day (by weight) should be whole grains.
- Vegetarianism (plant-based diet)
Vegetarianism abstains from the consumption of meat in cooking. A balanced vegetarian diet consists of fruits, vegetables, plenty of leafy greens, whole grain products, nuts, seeds, legumes, eggs and dairy.
- Veganism (no animal products whatsoever)
Veganism abstains from the consumption of any animal products in the diet. Animal products, or by-products such as eggs, dairy and honey, are not used in cooking. A balanced vegan diet consists of fruits, vegetables, plenty of leafy greens, whole grain products, nuts, seeds, and legumes.
- Ayurveda (medicine and nature)
Ayurveda is a system of medicines native to the Indian subcontinent. Its theory is predicated on the balance of nature, and importantly, on our relationships with ourselves and with the environment around us. The Sanskrit word Ayurveda means science of life. Ayurveda is one of the oldest ancient healing systems of medicine, at almost 2,000 years. Ayurveda is an elemental system, where the qualities of the elements, combined into three doshas, inform how we view food, medicine, our bodies, the natural world and our place within it.
- Raw and Living Foods
Raw and Living Foods exclude most of the harmful fats, chemical contaminants, processed foods, refined sugars, starches, and excessive animal proteins found in the average American diet, all of which contribute to the declining health of our country. A raw foods diet generally consists of 75% primarily uncooked, unprocessed foods, which are foods that have never experienced a temperature above 118 degrees. Raw focuses on raw vegan diets, but raw vegetarian (includes use of raw eggs and dairy) and raw omnivorous diets (includes raw meat, fish, eggs and dairy) are also choices made by raw foodists, although the latter is particularly rare. Living foods are foods in which growth or enzyme activity is still present. Living foods also include fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurts, and cheeses.
Preparing Raw Foods
Raw food can be a complete lifestyle, but doesn’t have to be to receive benefits; the point is to add more raw organic fresh fruits and veggies to any diet, as well as sprouted or fermented ones. Techniques of preparing raw foods include: juicing, sprouting, smoothies/sweet and savory blending, fermenting, low temp baking and dehydrating.
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