Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Lighter Side of Raw: Chi & Qi Energy Food Workshop

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.

The rawk star and the groupie!

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!

The class

Smoothies galore! Counterclockwise: Almond milk, spirulina hemp milk and almond choco-blueberry milk.

Buckwheat porridge with lots of spirulina. Tastes like oatmeal!

Mango butter! Seriously, you have to try this!

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!

The last time I wore this apron? Way back in HELE days! Check out the ruffles!

That's me in action! My chef dad should be proud!

Japanese glass noodles!

Our group's cabbage salad with miso tahini sauce.

Watching Asha cut the spring rolls. Can you see my drool somewhere?

Spring rolls! Ilabas na ang miso cheese, please!

Impatiently waiting for lunch break. So camwhoring muna!

Spring rolls (far above), Japanese glass noodles (in the middle), sake broth (individual bowls surrounding the glass noodles) and our very own salad with tahini miso dressing.


Photo opp muna bago lunch!

Check out the tahini in between chocolates!

Fudge tahini choco sandwich with nuts!

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!

Mixing the ingredients...with luuuurve! Until Fristine asked me to use both hands instead.

How come Imee looked delightful when trying to get a forkful of zucchini? I looked pitiful until Fristine saved the day!

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.

Autumn dumpling leaves inspired by Elaina Love

Bok choy salad with turnip pasta with a light sesame sauce

Our group's Lo Mein noodles

Tahini energy balls! Sige nga, look for the ones with hazelnuts!

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.

Need proof of my lens-radar? I can bore you with more proofs if you like...


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!

Kapha - 56

Pitta - 91

Vata - 140

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. true vata fashion, I shall hug and forgive myself. In 5, 4, 3, 2...

Photos by Ingrid Dimaculangan and Krizia Lucero (with watermark).


  1. hihi! I'm proud of you mare! :) let's keep on rawkin'! *hugs*

    Btw, it's GERD :D

  2. the mango butter looks a total ewwwness but I bet ts delish!

  3. Thanks, Fristine. You continue to inspire me to get better and healthier.

    Rome, you have no idea how heavenly mango butter is! I'll try to prepare one and let you try it. Ack. Pressure! :))

  4. Mmm nommy! Just make sure you're getting enough calories! fruits and veggies alone don't have many so you have to eat lots extra- lots of nuts will help (Mmm.. cashews...)

    "While raw food preparation may require less amount of effort compared to actual cooking"

    haha, really? i find raw food to take a lot more energy than cooking.

    hey- maybe you'll be vegan soon ;-)

  5. Hi, Heather! Yes, I'm having lots of almonds...and even rice. Now I want some cashews!

    Well, that's a kitchen ignorant's statement right there. It felt easier to prepare raw meals than heating ingredients and other stuff. Haha!

    Yes, I shall be a vegan really soon! With my recent discovery how acidic cheeses can get and cruel the milk industry is, I feel I'm ready to drop dairy products. Thank you for your support.

  6. Wow mars! Great job on getting raw! I'd really, really love to try that sometime. I'm ready to take it to the next level, perhaps I'll be vegan soon as well. :)

  7. Go ahead, mare! There's an abundance of cheaper veggies there in Baguio. What's holding you back? *hugs*