AKASHA FOOD & NUTRITION
Our food is not the kind of food that looks pretty in photos, it's the kind of food that heals your gut, improves your digestion & absorption of nutrients & cleanses gently. With the support of Dr Elena Toma MD specialist in Integrative Medicine we have designed a colourful menu balanced in carbohydrates, good fats & proteins, essential minerals.
Food that is varied, delicious and easily digested but deeply nourishing, sustaining, healing and energy-boosting.
Our aim is that you'll pick up good habits from being on retreat and that you'll continue to live a healthy & balanced lifestyle back home using essential principles about food & nutrition that are easily applicable in our daily lives.
Here's a sample daily menu. Each day is different and each day you'll get to experience a different mouthwatering dish that not only tastes good but does good too!
Eating organic is about avoiding chemical additives and genetically modified organisms. Eliminating an unnatural, potentially harmful component from your health equation. Organic produce grows slowly because that's how nature intended it, unaltered by pesticides and chemicals designed to prolong shelf life. Organic is also about supporting & encouraging your local farmer & fruit & veg supplier. It's how our grandparents used to eat, it's how our ancestors used to farm. And when you eat organic you also eat seasonal, you become aware & appreciate what's available now, rather than all the varieties you could have instead. You appreciate the food by what it is, when you have it and how much more nutrient & flavour it has when it's eaten & cooked fresh. We visit the farms we work with, we look at how farmers produce our food and we only choose sustainable & certified organic produce.
By whole foods we mean eating unprocessed, as nature intended. Raw honey, whole grains not white grains, as much of the fruit or veg possible, eaten fresh and hence the highest nutrient content available. Although we don't advocate a complete raw diet, we believe in minimising the time & regulating the temperature under which food is cooked and hence maximising nutrition, live flora, natural enzymes & fibre as well as flavour. As a rough guide our daily lunches are 60% to 80% raw.
Gluten is not a deadly enemy unless you are seriously intolerant or celiac. And for the rest of us, there is an increasing amount of fact based medical research & evidence both scientific and anecdotal that daily consumption of gluten can lead to mild inflammation of intestines, bloating and fewer nutrients being absorbed by the digestive system. If you're eating super nutritious healthy food you need to encourage your system to absorb all of it, not just some and we believe eliminating gluten alone can have a significant impact on your health straight away. As for dairy, milk is truly only intended for baby calves. For us humans, dairy is one of the biggest sources of saturated fats and one of the hardest elements to eliminate, it's addictive. About 75 percent of the world’s population is genetically unable to properly digest milk and other dairy products — a problem called lactose intolerance. In addition dairy doesn't benefit sport performance and can contribute to a range of health problems altogether. Eliminating it is hard, we all like cheese & ice cream, but not impossible.
There are two types of superfoods we use, those that we use every day with naturally high phytonutrient level such as cauliflower, broccoli, kale or quinoa. And those that are more like herbal medicines, that we often use in smoothies & shakes. The Superfood powders we use are all organic and vary from maca, camu camu, spirulina, lucuma & wheatgrass. We all know what a dull day that is when you have a sweet craving and you're on a diet. As we don't believe in diets we don't believe in boring, bland food days either. Neither do we recommend or encourage our guests to eat sweetened foods and even some fruits. But we do use natural sweeteners such as stevia, coconut sugar, raw honey, brown rice syrup & Barley malt syrup in some of sweets. These are lower in glucose and release into the blood stream more slowly thus producing much less of an insulin spike.
The cleansing part of your diet not only comes from what you eat but also what you drink, how much of it and what you eliminate as part of a detoxifying retreat. Hydration is an essential part of you maintaining optimal health during a retreat and not only that but it is a partner in weight loss.
NATURAL SPRING WATER
APPLE CIDER VINGAR, GINGER & LEMON
HERBAL TEA BLENDS