My Journey to Vegetarian Cooking
By Nayaswami Diksha
I grew up in Israel in a loving Conservative Jewish family. While my father worked, my mother stayed home to raise her five children and cook for the family.
We ate a very healthy Mediterranean diet. During the week we ate mostly grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, lots of vegetables, and fruits &ndash simple and mildly flavored.
On the weekends, we would eat fish or chicken, and a tasty homemade dessert. We rarely ate out. I don’t remember eating frozen or canned food until I was 20 years old and left home.
Since childhood I’ve been extremely sensitive and a picky eater. I couldn’t eat spicy foods or anything made with vinegar
Somehow I’ve always understood that food was meant to nurture and heal, never to be eaten simply for taste and entertainment. When offered chocolate, I would have a tiny piece. When we had ice cream at home, it was always served in a small bowl.
In 1976, after I graduated from high school, I met a young woman who had lived with her family in India for some years. She introduced me to Hatha yoga, meditation, and a vegetarian diet. I was so inspired by everything she shared that I decided to become completely vegetarian immediately.
I eliminated all meat, fowl, and fish from my diet, and ate more bread, cheese, and salads. After a short time, however, I started to feel weak and realized that my diet was not nourishing me properly. Gradually I have learned how to eat a balanced vegetarian diet, without any animal flesh foods.
Over the last 35 years, I have experimented with many different approaches to food, including a lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet, macrobiotics, veganism, raw foods, and Ayurveda. Drawing on my experience of the effect of these various diets on my health and well-being, I’ve developed my own style of vegetarian cooking, which emphasizes the consciousness-lifting qualities of natural foods, with attention to nutrition, good taste, and appearance.
When I moved to Ananda Village in 1993, I was given the opportunity to serve as one of the cooks at The Expanding Light kitchen Retreat. For the next seven years, I tried to cook meals that are light and nutritious to keep the guests energetic so that they can practice yoga and meditation.
I don’t consider myself a chef or a cook. I am a human being who uses food as a divine source of healing and nourishment. For example, I drink nettle tea to prevent pollen allergies. I will drink green tea in the early morning to take away a headache. I eat root vegetables with brown rice if I want to feel more grounded.
The more you eat what is right for you, the more attuned you will become to your body’s signals of what it needs. When you are out of balance, you will crave foods that are not good for you.
My goals in creating this on-line cooking show:
- To share how to use food as a source of healing and nourishment, and not for addiction and indulgence.
- To show how to attune to creativity and higher consciousness as you cook.
- To spread a vibration of love through cooking to the whole world.
- To share a message of health, vitality, and joy.
- To give hope and health to people.
- To share how to cook wholesome foods filled with vitality: meals that are light, easy to digest, low in fat, and which fill the body with energy and strength.
- To share the abundance of creativity possible with a plant-based diet, a diet rich in all the nutrients you need for health and vitality.
Whether you want to become vegetarian or would just like to incorporate more plant-based dishes into your diet, you will benefit from this program. As you watch the cooking videos and try the simple recipes, you will learn how to prepare tasty, nourishing dishes and easily create balanced, satisfying meals.
My best wishes for your perfect health,
Programs scheduled for Diksha McCord:
|19 – 25||Experience the Higher Teachings of Yoga
|6 – 9||Journey into Oneness: Practical Experience of the Yoga Sutras
|16 – 22||The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita
|23 – 30||Advanced Pranayama
|1 – 8||Ananda Yoga Vacation in Costa Rica
|29 – Jan 2||New Year Renewal: Relax, Recharge, Refocus
|7 – 19||Ayurvedic Healing and Yoga Retreat in Kerala, India
Programs Led by
- Experience the Higher Teachings of Yoga
- Journey into Oneness: Practical Experience of the Yoga Sutras
- The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita
- Advanced Pranayama
- Meditation Teacher Training
- Ananda Yoga Teacher Training
- Meditation Teacher Training Level 2
- Spiritual Counselor Training
- Ananda Yoga Vacation in Costa Rica
- New Year Renewal: Relax, Recharge, Refocus
- Ayurvedic Healing and Yoga Retreat in Kerala, India
- Anandi Cornell
- Diksha McCord
- Gyandev McCord
- Maitri Jones
- Mangala (Sue) Loper-Powers
- Mantradevi LoCicero
- Melody Hansen
- Savitri Simpson
- Trimurti Motyka
- Uddhava Ramsden
- Avital Miller
- Badri Matlock
- Barbara Bingham
- Bharat Cornell
- Byasa Steinmetz
- Carianne James
- Cheryll Barsic
- David Eby
- Devaki Soupios
- Dharmadas and Nirmala
- Dr. Peter Van Houten
- Ganesha and Saraswati
- Gopal Sims
- Jyotish and Devi Novak
- Kalidas and Melody
- Kalidas and Melody DIET
- Krishnadas LoCicero
- Lisa Fontaine
- Mandala Skillman
- Maria McSweeney
- Mary Kretzmann
- Mukti Deranja
- Nabha Cosley
- Naidhruva Rush
- Nefretete Rasheed
- Nicole DeAvilla
- Nitai Deranja
- Pranaba and Parvati Hansen
- Premdas Ghirla
- Sahaja Sims
- Santoshi Nancy Kendall
- Shanti Rubenstone
- Sudarshan Simpson
- Sundara Traymar
- Surana Van Alstine
- Swami Kriyananda
- Timothy Hickey
- Willow Kushler