A wonderful opportunity presented itself to be part of three days of vegan cooking demonstrations and talks on veganism at Meet the Master Chefs expo with Kunal Kapur from India and Sashikumar Cheliah from Australia. Catherine Phillips, Director of the Vegan Society in KwaZulu Natal, invited us to participate in this international programme at Sibaya Sun Park in Durban. In conjunction with Sulosh Pillay and Ami Hughes, we had a Conscious Food exhibition for three days at Master Chefs dedicated to promoting the World Consciousness Alliance, ACT Foundation and Global Vegan Club.
These groups are inspired by, and based on, the teachings of visionary and trendsetting Mohanji. He is a confluence of various religions, traditions and cultures and does not belong to anyone religion. If he has a religion, it is that of nonviolence. The Mohanji way of life emphasises the innate human attributes of purity, faith, unconditional love and selfless service towards all species. His core teachings emphasise freedom from all bindings and concepts.
Each Conscious Cooking demonstration showed the simplicity and values of cooking vegan food, the health benefits and the spiritual reasons for adopting the vegan lifestyle. Many people find it challenging to embrace veganism, but with so many vegan food items in supermarkets today, it is very easy to replace dairy. Green leafy vegetables are high in calcium, and the correct combining of food ensures high protein intake is achieved by combining seeds + nuts, grains + pulses, beans + corn for all your body’s protein requirements.
“Let food be your medicine!” said Hippocrates. In Traditional Chinese medicine, food is used as kitchen medicine to nourish, heal and maintain health, vitality and longevity.
One of the interesting items on the menu was raw red vegan soup made with anything red in your vegetable basket, such as tomato, beetroot, red peppers, red cabbage, red onion, chillies, radishes, as well as celery, avocado, lemon, ginger, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper.
These vegetables are naturally high in nutrients such as vitamins A and C, omega-3, -6, and -9, carotenoids, lycopene, sulphur and L-glutamine. They build healthy red blood cells, improve oxygenation and energy levels, assist in liver detoxification and blood circulation. They ensure healthy skin, nails and hair and glowing vitality.
By simply peeling, chopping and then liquidising all the ingredients, a very nutritious, nutrient-dense soup is made that is high in soluble fibre, satisfies the appetite, balances blood sugar and keeps the colon regular. Raw vegan soups are high in enzymes, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that are not destroyed by the cooking process, and renew the body on a cellular level. There are an estimated 33.7 trillion cells in your body; cellular renewal takes place continuously as old cells die and new cells are created. By changing over to a plant-based diet, you can completely detoxify and renew your entire body on a cellular level!
The vibrancy of a vegan diet and raw vegan food rejuvenates the soul. Fresh, zesty flavours and live food that is high in energy and prana are natural and pure as nature intended for humans. A vegan diet creates vitality, radiance, energy and health with a clean conscience!
The ACT Foundation South Africa, in the last two years, has distributed 50,000 vegan meals to the homeless, orphanages, schools, old-age homes and community centres.
ACT embraces the principles of nonviolence (ahimsa). ACT is nondenominational and serves everyone irrespective of colour, class, gender or religion. Volunteers only serve compassionate food that is nonviolent and causes no harm to any living being. Peace on a plate is the starting point to bring about inner peace and the change that we so deeply need in the world, which is filled with violence.
The World Consciousness Alliance promote core values, to bring peace, compassion and enlightened living to humanity. The WCA’s religion is nonviolence; it cares for the well-being of all species as well as nature, and strongly objects to all kinds of violence. The WCA is about bringing an attitudinal shift emphasising responsibilities rather than rights. This stems from the awareness that a person’s inner richness is maintained by giving and sharing more than taking from this world. Living responsibly is the need of the hour. This means we live with the clear awareness that we cannot truly own anything that belongs to the earth; we are only temporary custodians of our positions and possessions. It also means that we are responsible for leaving a better world for the next generation.
The Global Vegan Club promotes compassionate vegan living. It is not just about diet; the club promulgates the adoption of a responsible lifestyle that encompasses every aspect of your existence.
Being vegan is about nonviolence in thought, word and action; and this starts with what you eat.
You cannot advocate peace in this world if you are eating food that has caused pain and suffering to other living beings. When you eat food that has inflicted death on another being, your body stores that violence and negative energy on a cellular level, and it becomes a part of you and your consciousness. A vegan diet cannot be enforced by anyone; it must come from a place of compassion and unconditional love for all life.
We thank the Master Chefs for visiting South Africa and allowing Conscious Cooking to share the stage with them. We can all walk the path to better health and self-mastery. Shamim and I had an interesting moment with Master Chef Sashikumar: while we were busy in the back kitchen, he quietly stood and watched us prepping Vietnamese spinach wraps and raw chocolate date fudge. Who knows, this might be the start of an international vegan Master Chef show!
It is up to each individual to be the change they want to see. We can all take responsibility for making the world a better place for our children and future generations.
Embark on your vegan journey with a day of compassion, and consider having at least one vegan meal a day, week or month. The first positive step towards change is the most important, no matter how big or small it is. Eat your food in a state of love and compassion; enjoy the purity and vibrancy of your food. Allow peace and joy to fill your day as you give unconditional love to yourself and to all around you.
Author: Sjarn Day-Mansoor
Sjarn is an active member of World Consciousness Alliance, ACT South Africa Foundation and Global Vegan Club member. For Vegan cooking demonstrations, talks on Being Vegan and Compassionate Lifestyle please contact Sjarn on +27 798710035