By Shannon Leone
I MET CAROLINE MARIE DUPONT at a Raw Festival 3 years ago and was instantly inspired by her beauty and grace. She has been 100% raw, and has settled into a regime of high-raw that feels peaceful. Her raw diet is balanced by a dedication to her inner life. She has learned to attune to her emotions which are so tied to our eating, and now she teaches others to do the same. Otherwise, she admits, most people will not succeed on a high-raw path without this inner work. Caroline is the mother of 2 children, both university students and elite athletes, raised as vegetarians from birth. She is a holistic nutritionist, meditation and yoga teacher and author of the book Enlightened Eating and the soon-to-be released DVD by the same name, as well as 3 meditation CDs. In addition to her private practice and lecture schedule, she teaches for the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. See www.carolinedupont.com
Caroline’s recipe book is great for everyone because it is balanced with raw and nutritious cooked recipes. I was happy to give a testimony and have shared this book with my grateful clients.
Here are some of the sections that you will find in Enlightened Eating:
- Nutritional Guidelines That Apply to Everyone
- Digestion: Differentiating Diet and Nutrition
- Supplementing a Whole Foods Diet
- Living Foods
- Enlightened Eating: A Self-Realization Diet
- Making Changes: Practical Advice on How to Start
- Dietary Transitions
- Stocking Your kitchen
- Meal Ideas
- Sample Menus
- 200 Recipes (half are raw)
What others have to say:
This is more than a cookbook, or a collection of amazing recipes with thought provoking quotes. It’s a loving, inspiring gift. Caroline’s spirit shines through on every page. -Sandra Entwistle
Her practical approach to vegetarian and raw food is contagious and her recipes can be easily replicated – no fuss required! -Evelyne Gharibian
It contains healthy cooked and raw food choices, which distinguishes it from nearly any other recipe book out there. -Shannon Leone
The sincere and absolute commitment she has to being an example of aliveness and total health is an inspiration to us all. -Jill Hewlett
Here are 2 of my favourite winter recipes featured in ENLIGHTENED EATING:
This is a versatile and satisfying winter breakfast or light lunch or dinner. So simply but it works!
1 apple or pear, cubed directly into a good sized soup bowl
2 celery stalks, cubed and placed in the same bowl
couple TBS dried fruit (raisins, chopped apricots, figs, cranberries, dried blueberries, etc.)
chopped nuts or seeds to taste (walnuts, pecans, almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, etc.)
juice (from an orange)
Great Earth Bowls I have loved:
- apple – celery – walnut – raisins – apple juice
- apple – celery – pecan – chopped apricots – orange juice
- pear – celery – pecan – fig – cherry juice concentrate (diluted)
- pear – celery – almond – cranberries – apple juice
This salad is basic fare but very special in its own right, and has become one of my personal favourite raw salad meals. It can be made with winter vegetables that most of us have on hand all the time. Serves 4 to 6. Notice the six flavours that make up a satisfying combination. Sweet: carrot, honey, apple, currants. Sour: apple, vinegar. Salt: celery, Celtic sea salt, cheese. Bitter: broccoli, cabbage, parsley. Astringent: apple, broccoli, cabbage, walnuts. Pungent: onion, cabbage.
2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 Tbs olive oil
1 1/2 Tbs hemp or flax oil
1 Tbs honey
1 -2 tsp Celtic sea salt
1/2 tsp ground fennel
2 cups green cabbage or broccoli, chopped medium fine
3/4 cup red cabbage
1/4 cup sweet onion, chopped fine
1 rib celery, sliced fine
1 carrot, quartered lengthwise and sliced
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 apple, cored and diced small
1/2 cup currants or raisins
1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped, or 3 Tbs pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup raw cheese, diced small (optional)
Combine dressing ingredients in the bottom of a large salad bowl. Add vegetables and toss to combine. Keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR FIRST EXPERIENCE OF HEARING ABOUT RAW, AND WHO INSPIRED YOU AND HOW RAW DID YOU GO?
I first heard about raw when I started studying nutrition 20 years ago. I was immediately drawn to vegetarianism and along the way came across a book by Ann Wigmore which had some of the first raw recipes that I tried (aside from the usual salads and fruit). I was very inspired by the living food principles. However, at the time I had just become a vegetarian, was a new mother to 2 little ones and for me it was quite a stretch to raise my children without meat and dairy and eggs (remember this was 1990) let alone cooked food. And so although I was impressed enough to include alot of raw in our diets it felt most comfortable to also include cooked grains, legumes and vegetables, as well as high quality dairy products. Later, as my kids got older and I adjusted to a plant-based diet, I started including mroe and more raw. Although I have gone over 6 months on 100% raw, today, I eat anywhere from 60 – 100% raw. I tend to listen to my body rather than impose a particular percentage. In addition to loads of living food, I enjoy steamed vegetables and gluten free grains like brown rice, millet and quinoa. Occasionally I crave legumes in the form of dahl or in a soup. I am committed to doing my emotional work through a disciplined spiritual practice and can easily say that I feel more balanced, and am more content with my eating choices, than ever.than ever as a result.
YOU ALREADY GAVE ME 2 OF YOUR FAVE RECIPES…ANY MORE? (I know I’m greedy! Haha)
Lately I’ve been making alot of cultured vegetables, both the traditional way in a crock pot and also the ‘quick’ way as outlined in Donna Gate’s Book The Body Ecology Diet. One of my favorite simple salads is mixing a cubed avocado with a cup or so of cultured veggies, plus sunflower sprouts. Tonight I mashed shredded kale into the avocado and then added the cultured veggies, some halved cherry tomatoes and some sliced red pepper. Yum! I had a side of steamed Brussels spouts wth this and Mineral Broth with miso. Another recent favourite is Cacaochia Pudding. Make almond milk, using 1 cup of soaked almonds to 4 cups of water, and add cacao or carob to the blender as well as 6 fresh pitted dates and honey or agave to taste. Blend and strain. For one cup of almond milk add 3 Tbs Salba (chia seeds) and let sit for 1/2 hour in a bowl. Voila – it’s like tapioca except that it’s completely raw and so satisfying.
WHAT TRICKS OR TIPS DO YOU HAVE FOR MOMS TRYING TO GET THEIR KIDS TO EAT MORE RAW?
My kids are now both away but when they were home I would always cut up fruit for breakfast (sometimes that was enough, other times they would want toast or cereal as well). In their lunches in addition to the ‘main course’ which was often primarily cooked (soup, stew, rice and bean salad, sandwich, healthy pizza), there was always an apple, a container of raw veggies, and a container of raw fruit (grapes, pineapple, pomegranate seeds, melon, etc.). When they got home from school, again I would make plates of raw veggies, fruit and nuts for them to snack on. Nut butters are great to dip the fruit or veggies into. Of course hummus or baba ganouj are great raw veggie enticers. Fresh juice, citrus or vegetable, is also a favorite of my children’s and I always add a little apple and lemon so that they really enjoy it. Also, green smoothies of course are a great to way to pack a lot of raw goodness into them. So spinach, kale, pear, banana, juice, blueberries, spirulina or wheatgrass powder, ground chia seed are the ingredients of a typical smoothie.
ANY ADVICE FOR WIVES TRYING TO ENTICE THEIR MEN TO GO RAW?
All of the things that I mentioned in the last answer would be great for husbands. Mostly, I think it’s important to enjoy what you’re doing and let the rest of the family come along at their own pace.
A RAW BEAUTY SECRET OF YOURS?
There’s nothing like regular fresh pressed green juice to brighten up and clear the complexion. Also avoiding dairy, flour products, coffee and alcohol. I don’t drink coffee or alcohol but if I have the rare dairy product - (depending how much and what type – I do enjoy raw goat or sheep cheese occasionally) or flour products, I notice it on my face the next day as pastiness and fatigue.
HOW MUCH SLEEP DO YOU GET, FROM WHAT TIME TO WHAT TIME?
I tend to get 7 to 8 hours sleep every night. I like to go to bed before 10 and get up around 6. I also nap for 12 minutes every afternoon. I don’t time it, it just happens - I love my naps and feel quite refreshed after!
HOW MUCH WATER DO YOU DRINK DAILY?
I drink 4 glasses of water or so plus a few cups of herbal tea, plus a fresh juice, and maybe a cup of mineral broth (which I make by boiling ‘older’ vegetables in water for a couple of hours and then draining.
WHAT IS A TYPICAL BREAKFAST LIKE FOR YOU, AND AT WHAT TIME?
I might eat my first food anywhere form 9 to 11 in the morning. It’s almost always fruit. Today it was a glass of fresh orange juice and later a cut up grapefruit. I eat the Earth Bowl every few days or so as well. Sometimes when I want something hardier, I eat Buckwheat Grawnola (the recipe is in my book). Often, I will make a green smoothie for a little later in the morning.
HOW LATE IN THE EVENING DO YOU FEEL IS OK TO EAT?
I sleep best when I stop eating a few hours before I go to sleep. It doesn’t always work out that way but that’s what I try to do. Sometimes I crave something sweet in the evening so I might add honey to my tea, or make almond chai,
WHO DO YOU ADMIRE MOST OR ARE INSPIRED BY MOST IN THE RAW MOVEMENT TODAY?
I admire Victoria Boutenko for her sincerity and Gabriel Cousens for his spiritual depth.
WOULD YOU CARE TO SHARE ANYTHING ABOUT YOUR SPIRITUAL PRACTICE?
Thanks for asking about that, Shannon – it is a cherished part of my days. If I’m know I’m not taking a yoga class that day, I will do a yin-style (postures held for a long time with a meditative attitude) practice first thing in the morning lately while listening to recordings of Adyashanti, an important spiritual teacher of mine. I follow that with 30 to 45 minutes of meditation. I walk in nature 4 or so times/week and I consider this to be part of my spiritual practice. Singing/chanting with my guitar often works its way into my day as well. I usually meditate again in the late afternoon or early evening. When my kids were home I would send them off to school and then do my practice before going to work myself. I would often meditate in the car while waiting for them at their various activities. Where there’s a will there’s a way!
Besides my book and meditation CDs, I am just about to release my first DVD ‘Enlightened Eating – Easy Eating for the Body, Spirit and Planet’ This is a very personal project, shot in my home with the collaboration of family and friends that highlights my holistic approach to nutrition that has evolved over the past 20 years of living, teaching and loving the natural lifestyle. Also I’ve recently started offering Silent Retreats which I’ve found so valuable for my own deepening. In the early summer I’ll be offering a Silent Retreat and Cleanse which will include a lot of raw food. Food and silence are such a powerful combination!
WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU LOVE TO TELL RAW MOMS?
In my journeys, I have met many raw food experts and advocates, as well a people who aspire to adopt this lifestyle for various reasons, and have attended and lectured at raw food events. I have taught dozens of raw food preparation classes in my home. So all of this is to say that I love my vegetarian and mostly raw food diet. But I do not recommend people go too fast when transitioning to a raw food diet. I should also add that, although I don’t like to speak in terms of ‘percentages’, I am currently 60 to 100% raw on any given day. At one point I maintained 100% raw for seven months and for a couple of years was 90% raw. I’ve been a vegetarian for 20 years.
All foods are made up of energy of varying levels of vibration. The lower vibration foods would be processed foods, foods that contain chemicals, foods that contain elements of human or animal suffering, or that damage the planet in their production. The highest vibration foods are unprocessed, raw in many cases, whole, organic, locally grown, prepared and eaten with love and gratitude. If we have been used to eating low vibration foods (which the vast majority of people have) and switch too rapidly to a high vibration diet (say 100% raw) we are in for some intense physical and emotional detoxification to the extent that it can do more harm than good, and set us back in our soul growth.
Here’s why: emotions also hold a vibration in our bodies. We all store emotional imprints in our bodies from the multitude of experiences we have encountered since birth and absorbed on our journeys. These emotional imprints can be seen and felt as dense pockets of energy in the human energy field. If we adopt a high frequency diet too quickly the lightness in the body causes the dense emotions to rise to the surface into our awareness, through diffusion, at a pace that can be beyond our current ability to deal with. Also, it’s pretty clear that most people’s dietary choices come from an emotional place rather than true need. On adopting a raw foods diet, many, if not most of our food-based emotional crutches have been taken away. How will we now deal with these emotions? Don’t get me wrong, it’s a beautiful process to unearth old emotions, to move through them and let them go, in the process revealing more and more of our shining authentic beauty. But, for most it takes time, and by that I mean years, to develop the grounding, the spiritual practice and the emotional stamina to both maintain a very high vibration diet and stay balanced.
When I work with clients my recommendation is to start with 30 to 50% raw and gradually increase, while developing a steady daily meditation and spiritual practice. I encourage them to let their level of balance and joy be the gauge. Rather than imposing a certain amount of raw on ourselves or our children, we can let the process be fluid and joyful. Our bodies will surely tell us when to increase raw foods, and also when we need more cooked or dense food because we may be going through particularly accelerated spiritual growth which always includes emotional letting go. We need to give our children this same trust in their body’s ability to choose appropriate and health supporting-foods.
A few other things I’d like to mention …
- A living food and vegetarian diet makes us far more sensitive to surrounding energies which is why many raw foodists seem to live in the country. If you live in the city this needs to be considered. Again, it takes time to strengthen the energy field through spiritual practice to be able to withstand the effects or artificial lighting, electricity, radiation, traffic, noise, etc.
- I love eating primarily local foods and one of the reasons I eat less raw in the winter is that it doesn’t feel right to consume so much imported, unripe, irradiated foods.
- Raw vegetables can be hard to digest for many people. In that case steamed vegetables and gluten free grains are a wonderful choice.
- Given the questionable quality of many foods nowadays, even organic, I think it’s wise to give children some denser cooked foods to help them to feel grounded and satisfied.
Our food choices are supporting the soul on this incredible journey called life … may we trust and let joy be our guide!
Tags: shakaya leone, shannon leone
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