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What an Ayurvegan Eats 
by Joe Rakowski



Editor's Note from
Julie Cerrato: What does an Ayurvegan eat? I asked Ayurvedic practitioner Joe Rakowski this question and he provided me with the top 5 foods he eats and recommends for excellent, well-rounded nutrition. Check it out and see how healthy you can be. =) Thanks for the list and the recipe Joe!

There are always discussions as to where Vegans get their protein and general nutrition that many believe can only be attained through animal products. There happen to be many great plant sources that provide the essential needs and it is a lot of fun as well. Strolling through the local farmers markets, it's easy to see the plethora of rich and nutritive fruits, veggies, and grains that send my mind into a flurry of potential dishes.


Avacado is an addiction I will never kick, and living in California makes that addiction very easy to feed. Avocados provide nearly 20 essential nutrients, including fiber, Calcium, Vitamin E, B-vitamins, Iron, and folic acid. One cup of this creamy delicious fruit holds more than 4g of Protein,10g of Fiber and more Potassium than bananas. It also supplies a healthy dose of Omega 3 & 6, a good source of Monounsaturated fats. Avocado is great for strengthening the muscles, liver, skin, and makes a great oil. A very quick snack with many uses in a variety of dishes. A favorite among this Pitta type for sure. I love using them for Guacamole, sandwiches, purees, salads, and many other delicious dishes. K+ VP-.


Tempeh is primarily my meat replacement. I thoroughly enjoy the multigrain Tempehs such as the Trader Joe's brand as well as Light Life brands. Just 1 cup can contain as much as 30g of Protein and ample amounts of Poly and Monounsaturated fats. I choose the Multigrain types because they generally contain Cultured organic soybeans, organic brown rice, organic barley, and organic millet. The process by which to make Tempeh helps to release the hard to digest enzymes that would usually take our bodies extra time and energies to breakdown and assimilate. Along with Tempeh, Rice and Barley are a big staple by themselves. Both are sweet very nutritious grains that have many uses in the kitchen. VK+ P-.


Quinoa is one of the few vegetarian foods that provides all the essential amino acids. This super grain has a very nice nutty flavor and packed with more than a healthy dose of Fiber, Magnesium, and Calcium. Just one cup of Quinoa contains up to 8g of protein. There are many varieties that have shown up in the USA over the years. Depending on where it is grown, quinoa seeds range in color from black to red, gray, pink, yellow, purple, green, orange or any shade in between. I generally buy the sprouted Quinoa. It is very easy to cook and can be used in a spectrum of dishes including a nice refreshing cold salad mixed with a variety of fruits and veggies. A versatile Super Grain that is also Gluten Free. VP+ K-

Leafy Greens

Among my bounties of Veggies is the King of the Greens, Kale.
Kale comes in many varieties of which I've played around with many times. The most common are Curly , Lacinato (Dino Kale), Red Russian, and Kamome red which tends to be among the most bitter in taste. My personal favorite is the Lacinato Kale. It's not as rough as the others which makes it very helpful in juices, salads, and cooked dishes. This succulent plant supplies a very rich source of Beta Carotene, Vitamins K, A, C, B6, Iron, Fiber, Protein, and many other minerals essential to human health. I always enjoy steaming this beloved veggie and combining it with Quinoa, Tempeh, and spices along with a finishing dash of Raw Hemp seed to bring about a more nutty flavor adding to the nutritional value of the dish. VPK


Hemp is the absolute must have in my Vegan lifestyle. This is the super plant in every aspect. Cannabis Sativa, latin for " useful hemp ", has been cultivated for over ten thousand years. The Bhagavad-Gita called it "the healing herb".  A truly hearty plant with very few natural enemies, hemp can be grown easily without the use of Pesticides, Herbicides, and acts as natural weed suppressor. The fibers and pulp byproduct can make newsprint, cardboard, and stationery supplies. Hemp fibers will also strengthen and allow paper to be recycled more than 7 or 8 times, compared to 3 times for tree paper. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, 10,000 acres planted in hemp will yield as much paper as 40,000 acres planted in trees, and requires far less caustic chemicals in its manufacture than paper from wood pulp. Its potential use as an environmentally-friendly source of paper, including corrugated boxes, computer paper and stationery, as well as paperboard and particle board for furniture and housing construction, is enormous.

As a food source, this plant provides many uses. Hemp is highly valued for its high content of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFA). The plant contains the highest concentration of PUFA in the entire plant kingdom, the majority of which are the two Essential Fatty Acids (EFA), Alpha-Linolenic Acid (Omega-3), Linoleic Acid (Omega-6) and Oleic Acid (Omega- 9) .  A perfect 3:1 ratio of Omega-6 and Omega-3. Hemp contains the second highest amount of protein next to soy. It contains all 20 amino acids, including the 9 essential amino acids (The building blocks of Protein) that our bodies cannot produce. Just 30 grams (3 tbs) of Hemp seed contains 11 grams of Protein. Hemp seed protein closely resembles that which is found in the human blood, making it easier to digest than soy protein, whey, and other protein sources including meats. The plant also contains sufficient sources of Fiber, Magnesium, Iron, and Zinc.  The seeds can be eaten whole, pressed into edible oil, or ground into flour for baking.

Some incorrectly assume that Hemp is a drug because of its close association with Marijuana. Although Hemp and Marijuana are both from the Cannabis species, Hemp contains virtually no THC. If you smoke hemp you will likely get a headache, you will not get high. Its THC level is less than 1%. I regularly make Hemp milk with great joy and simplicity. Making milks such as this on your own cuts out all of the harmful additives we see regularly in non-dairy milks including Organic varieties. VPK

Recipe for Organic Raw Hemp Milk

    1 cup Raw shelled Hemp seed
    5-6 Cups of water
    2 tbs High Quality Maple Syrup
    1 pinch of freshly ground Cardamom
    Glass Mason Jar

Pour the water into a cooking pot. Bring to a boil and allow to cool until warm. Pour all of the ingredients into a blender and let soak for an hour. This allows the seed to soften a bit to make an easier breakdown and release of nutrients. Blend thoroughly for up to 2 minutes or more (Depending upon your blender type) on the highest cycle. Most people strain the mixture from the mixer to glass container. I generally do not do this for myself as I don't like to waste anything. If you desire a milk free of hemp particles, strain through a cheese cloth or the like. Squeeze thoroughly to get every bit of fluid. This will keep in your refrigerator up to 4 days. If you desire a thicker milk, add more seeds to the process. You can have a lot of fun with this milk. I've used Dates, Vanilla Extract, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Raw honey among a few others. Have fun, it's your creation.

~Love and Light


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About the Author

Over six years ago Joe Rakowski started on a journey of researching the entire spectrum of organic foods, the meat/dairy industries, factory farms, Vegetarian & Veganism. Herbalism and the holistic approach also played a large roll in his life. His need for information and self experiences set him on a course that would take him from his home town in Bucks County, PA to Phoenix, AZ and currently Oakland, CA where he is being educated in the ways of Ayurveda. His journey has taught him much. He's experienced loss, gains, and a true sense of self. He eventually became a Vegan not only for the health benefits, but for sustainability and the firm belief, backed by vast amounts of research, that we can do much better without the use of many animal products as we know them today. He's gone from a life of unhealthy ways, to a spiritual sense of self that will forever keep him on this amazing journey.

Contact Joe via email at Ayurvegan@gmail.com or visit his blog: http://ayurvegan-ayurvegan.blogspot.com.



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