The first time I heard The Lighter Side of Raw will conduct a raw food workshop on energy, I immediately said yes, yes, yes! to the Universe. After all, the primary reason I opted to slowly switch from heavy flesh-food to 80% raw food diet is to regulate my ever-fluctuating energy levels and perform well in all commitments and advocacy I engaged my heart into. While most people suspect it's all about the roseate image of weight loss and possibly reinforced by recent changes in my body, I consider that a potential by-product of conscious, healthy living. And it's all because of the wellness concerns I detailed here. Why only potential? I'm convinced I can never escape what my bone structure had destined my body to be. And I'm not complaining.
This is my second time to attend Chef Asha Peri's raw food workshop. The first time was before Christmas last year. I remember inviting my best friend Fristine to join and, due to unexpected events like gerd attack, she ended up dragging her husband Alvin with her. Now, she's a complete rawk star in the raw food and sustainable living community. She takes great pride and joy in sharing how this lifestyle change immensely changed her life for the better.
For breakfast, we had a demo of smoothies and buckwheat porridge with mango butter (otherwise known as kaduling pudding). Per Asha's research, buckwheat is high in iron, protein and manganese, making it an excellent regulator of blood sugar. My mother should take this in high dosage!
For lunch, we were divided into groups to do hands-on work. We were asked to bring our own apron, kitchen towel, chopping board and medium-sized knife. I brought mine out and met up with my groupmates to make our assigned meal: salad with tahini miso dressing (inspired by Matthew Kenney). The others were to create Japanese glass noodles (inspired by Sayuri Tanaka), spring rolls with miso cheese, sake broth with coconut noodles (also by Matthew Kenney) and fudge tahini choco sandwiches for dessert. Yum!
By the time we need to prepare for dinner, I already felt my eyelids grew heavier. Have I told you I had a quick shower after the previous night's shift and went straight to Creative Space for the workshop? Worse, I woke up too early before my own alarm clock asked me to. As mentioned here, it's been my sob story the entire workweek.
But try saying the word "dessert" or "tahini energy balls for dessert" and any human being who's been up for the past 25 hours would definitely wet his/her lips and get an instant boost. Again, we're divided into groups for our own raw food creations, namely, Bok Choy salad (inspired by Matthew Kenney), Chinese dumplings with hoisin sauce and Lo Mein noodles (both inspired by Elaina Love). Since I've helped prepare salad for lunch, I wanted to do something new this time. With my stunted motor skills, I didn't dare to sign up for the Chinese dumplings. Lo Mein noodles, it is! The challenge was to use zucchini instead of kelp noodles. I worked on chopping the ingredients like shitake mushrooms to have it marinated right away. I wanted to try using the spiralizer for the zucchini, but then again, I'm too clumsy to do so. Next time, I will!
Needless to say, I had moments of inadequacy. I wished my father obliged me to spend more time in the kitchen than in the dining table when I was younger. I felt - and I still feel - that I have a load of catching up to do. While raw food preparation may require less amount of effort compared to actual cooking, I seriously need to be acquainted to the tools and the ingredients. That night, I learned that peeled zucchini tends to water on its on own and salting it is the way to go.
Any raw foodist would tell you that they can indulge now and never experience sluggishness later. The fullness is always just right. After today's back-to-back fest, I felt light and rejuvenated. Though I recognize the mounting desire to crawl to my bed, it is rather manageable than what I used to experience when I remain up and out on Saturdays after my Friday shift.
Imagine my surprise when Asha herself told me, "Ang cute ng energy mo! Parang high school lang," Wow. High school is like...the peak of high energy - raging hormones, fangirl madness and everything! Am I the last to realize I looked like a rabbit who keeps going and going that evening? Looking back, it must be my famed cam-readiness that made her say that.
The best part of that day's workshop? When we all sat down to discuss body-mind constitutions and how we can personalize our diet based on that. Based on the chart they provided for our review, there are three main doshas, namely, vata, pitta and kapha. Upon seeing that big-framed people whose elemental image is water are typically kaphas, I skipped the other two and convinced myself that I'm likely a kapha. When Asha was done discussing the entire dosha constitutional types, I was quick to label myself as a kapha-vata. Without taking the test on Gabriel Cousens's book.
The results shocked me. I'm a vata-pitta!
While I'm extremely grateful for this discovery, I am somehow affected that I allowed my body size determine my dosha and, in turn, define who I am. My body may be unconventionally vata, but my core is. It felt as if I'm no different to people who easily judge big people as lazy, overindulgent and undesirable. And it bothers me.
And...in true vata fashion, I shall hug and forgive myself. In 5, 4, 3, 2...
Photos by Ingrid Dimaculangan and Krizia Lucero (with watermark).