I am Italian. I was born on the island of Sicily and came to the US before I was 2 years old. Food is an expression of my family’s love and care for one another, a creative expression, and a point of pride and honor. Sicilians enjoy food on a visceral level, and we want everyone we meet to have this same experience with food. We will cook for anyone and everyone because we simply have to. It’s in our DNA, handed down through generations.
I host many events and I am always compelled to feed people. I may be cooking for 50 folks at a kirtan music event, or planning a meal for a yoga or Reiki training. Even a simple bowl of trail mix and a cup of tea during a short visit feels like an important aspect of my relationship with another soul.
This summer I have offered Reiki Trainings at my home studio. I enjoy guiding people into a lifestyle that connects them to a deeper power, and gives them tools for navigating the ebb and flow of life. As part of these Reiki energy trainings, I include a Vegan lunch. I feel that I am nourishing my students energetically and physically with each carefully chosen menu item, and hope that by sharing meals they may be inspired to bring the love and appreciation of vegan foods to their own families.
When choosing my Reki lunch menu, I want foods that will be deeply satisfying, boost energy, provide an extra “kick” to the energy work we are cultivating in the training, as well as delivering grounding nourishment. Working with Reiki can make one feel light and sometimes scattered, so I focus on food sources high in B vitamins, fiber, fats, and protein that will stave off hunger and keep up one’s blood sugar level. Choosing foods for their B Vitamin, fiber, fat, and protein content is a good choice whenever you feel you need to feel grounded and boost your own energy and metabolism.
The Energy Boosting Meal Plan in Three parts: Main Course, Salad Side, and Dessert….
Dense Energy Boosting Ingredients
I often use a well treasured book to check the nutritional content of my meals: Rebecca Wood’s The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia.
One main dish I offered was a Vegan Potato salad. I knew this classic recipe is a comfort food to many Americans and packs many nutritional benefits. I enjoy Rich Roll and Julie Piatts version from their book The Plant Powered Way, a simple version with earthy organic potatoes, mixed with soy-free Vegenaise, dill, and pumpkin seeds! Potatoes are a complex carbohydrate, delivering long term energy, contain protein and B vitamins, manganese and potassium. This dish is also full of Omega 3’s from the Vegenaise and pumpkin seeds, which have been proven to improve memory and reduce depression, in addition to increasing immunity.
Another favorite offering for a main dish is Tempeh Salad. Crumbled Tempeh is mixed with Vegenaise, scallions, parsley, lemon, dill, relish, and celery. This a favorite dish made at my local food co-op! Tempeh is a high energy food with 19.5 percent protein, and is source of B vitamins which play an important role in cell metabolism and the metabolism of amino acids.
Hearty raw salads provide ample fiber content for digestion. Dietary fiber found in fresh fruits and vegetables prevents blood sugar crashes, cuts cholesterol, and helps us to feel full and nourished over a long period of time. A simple go-to favorite of mine is an oil-rubbed Kale Salad. Kale has an added benefit of providing a mental lift to boost energy through the amino acid L-Tyrosine. I snip a few lacinto Kale leaves from my garden, rinse and rip into small pieces. Kale is softened by rubbing the leaves with oil, vinegar, or lemon. I chose oil again, because it is heavy and I want to ground the light energy work. Add some lemon, apple, scallions, a few raisins, sunflower seeds, and salt for a fiber-filled, nutrient-rich side.
No meal is complete without dessert. The sweet taste is important in making us feel loved and nourished. This is partly why sweets are so addictive! Choosing desserts made from whole foods with fresh, unrefined ingredients is key to having your delicious dessert and to feel good about eating it too!
I think raw food desserts are the best. I served up a Reiki-berry raw cheesecake. (See recipe below). Raw nuts provide protein, essential fats and oils, and that sweet taste provides a sense of contentment that is grounding to the soul.
We each cultivate a unique energy and relationship with food. What we eat not only provides us with life supporting nourishment, but it also becomes a reflection of our relationship to the world around us. A reciprocal relationship develops between we the eaters, and the greater world. When we eat food that is nourishing, balancing, and wholesome, it supports and provides us with energy, one could even say it fills us with love that we in turn can give back to the greater world.
Reiki Berry Raw Vegan Cheesecake
In your food processor, mix until crumbled:
1/2 cup of almonds
1/2 cup of dates
a dash of salt
Press into a pie or spring form pan.
1 1/2 cups of raw cashews. *Everyone will tell you to soak these overnight. If you don’t have a vitamix, soak. Otherwise, blend cashews in the vitamix with about 1/4 cup water, and remaining ingredients until smooth (a few minutes).
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon
1/3 cup Agave syrup or Maple Syrup
1 tsp of Vanilla
Pour 2/3rd of the mix into your pan.
Then, blend about 1 cup of berries (raspberries or blackberries) with the remaining cashew mix. Pour that on top.
Top with fresh berries. Place pan in freezer for about 30 minutes, or until firm. Enjoy!
Hope you enjoy these energy-boosting foods!
Also by Angie: How to Spend 15 Minutes a Day to Feel Fantastic
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Photo: Angie Follenshall-Bee