Conscious Food

Religions (including Buddhism) and commercialized marketing tend to impose unnecessary food restrictions, artificial food, or excessive consumption. Zen masters simply say to eat conscious food consciously.
What does that mean? In part, conscious food means avoiding extremes such as long term fasting, trendy diets, protein bulking, carnivore keto, veganism, raw fruitarianism, or overly processed food such as fast-food or lab grown meat.

Ultimately, you can eat whatever you want! But what do you really want? Surrounded by false advertising and “experts” with an agenda, it can be a challenge to fully enjoy food.

The following food suggestions can be a basic starting point for conscious, whole, balanced… food. It might seem like common sense, but it’s surprisingly easy to stray from natural intelligence. The following basic guidelines are based on well-established, well-respected, scientific nutrition research, including the Mediterranean Diet ranked ‘Best Diet’ in the world four years in a row, and Blue Zones research – the longest living human populations studies. Still, even research can be misleading. What can you rely on?

The basic essence of conscious eating is: Enjoy REAL, beautiful food like a creative art or celebration.

Is it okay to eat animal products such as eggs, milk, fish, pork…? The longest living Blue Zones sure did! (In moderate amounts.) Clearly, animals aren’t conscious at the same level of humans and don’t carry ideas about death like people do. But animals can still suffer, such as in factory farms. There’s a way to farm, process, and consume animals products that is conscious – not mindless or heartless. Caring for animals and the planet is caring for ourselves; we aren’t the same but we’re interconnected.

‘Dining Rituals Of Enjoyment’ can increase your quality of life exponentially.

If possible, consider eating whole natural food from organic, grass-fed, free-range, small-scale farms to cover the body’s daily required nutrients and avoid chronic disease. Food should taste AMAZING and ALSO make you feel good in mind, body, and soul. If it doesn’t taste GOOD, it isn’t healthy! And vice-versa. Think in terms of HEALTHY PLEASURE.

When the body AND taste buds are fully satisfied, you don’t have to eat so much or force unnatural diets. Cravings disappear, while true flavor comes ALIVE.

Feasting At Home – Click Here for Beautiful Recipes

What Should You Eat?


Fiber, B-Vitamins, Zinc,
Iron, Magnesium, Manganese. Antioxidants. Polyphenols, Stanols, Sterols to prevent disease.

Whole Grain Pasta, Durum Semolina Pasta, Maize/Corn Tortillas, Oats, Quinoa, Red, Black, White or Brown Rice, Couscous, Farro, Amaranth, Millet, Buckwheat, Bulgur, Wheatberries, Traditional Sourdough, Freshly Ground Whole Grain Bread: Barley, Rye, Pumpernickel

{Many are sensitive to agriculture chemicals or genetically modified seeds, not necessarily gluten unless celiac disease. Traditional sourdough is made with lactobacteria, not commercial yeast. Start with white rice or white bread until digestive microbiome is well-developed.}
1 1/2 cups per day, well-cooked, or 1-2 slices bread per day


The #1 Longevity Food
Protein, Fiber, Minerals. May lower LDL cholesterol, blood pressure, inflammation.

Black Beans, Pinto Beans, Black Lentils, Spanish Lentils, Mung Beans, Chickpeas, Black-Eyed Peas, Kidney Beans, Fava Beans, Soybeans, Soy Milk

{Avoid GMO, Isolated Soy, Soy-Based Vegan Products}
1/4 cup – 1 cup per day, well-cooked until easily digested


Natural Occurring Nitrates for Heart Health, Minerals, Vitamin K1 for regulation of blood-clotting. K2 helps activate proteins. (The body makes K2 from K1.)

Wild Greens, Collards, Red Chard, Mustard Greens, Kale, Spinach, Beet Greens, Turnip Greens, Napa Cabbage, Purple Cabbage

1-3 cups per day, raw or steamed, or any way you like them


Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Minerals

Summer Squash, Winter Squash, Yams, Sweet Potatoes, Purple Potatoes, Asparagus, Artichoke, Purple Carrots, Broccoli Sprouts, Shiitake Mushrooms, Mushrooms grown in Sun, Cultured, Fermented Vegetables

1-3 cups per day, raw or steamed, or any way you like them


Omega 3 EPA/DHA for calm, happy neurotransmitters, brain health. Vitamin B-12. Taurine for healthy blood pressure, bile acids. Zinc, Selenium for immune system, thyroid. Choline for healthy hair, skin, nails. Essential Amino Acids. Heme Iron.

Fish. Salmon, Scallops, Sardines, Mackerel, Herring, Oysters, Anchovies, Tilapia, Icelandic Cod, Pollock, Shrimp

(Fish free from heavy metals, PCB’s, pollutants, as much as possible)
3 oz fish 3x/week

Chicken, Duck Eggs

{Organic, Free-Range, Pastured}
1 egg 3-5x/week

Dairy: Raw Milk Cheese, Sheep or Goat Milk Pecorino, Feta, Greek Yogurt

{Pasteurized dairy is associated with multiple health issues, and unfermented raw dairy may not be safe.}
1/4 cup 3x/week

Poultry, Pork, Red Meat

{Grass-Fed, Free-Range, Organic, Local Small Farms. Avoid Factory Farmed Sources.}
2 oz 5x per month


Vitamin C

Raspberries, Strawberries, Black Plums, Cantaloupe, Papaya, Plantains, Bitter Melon, Mango, Peach Palms, Dates, Pomegranate, Lemon, Lime, Tomatoes, Sweet Peppers, Eggplant, Avocado

Size equivalent to 1 apple per day


Antioxidants, Iodine for Thyroid Energy

Onion, Garlic, Scallions, Fennel, Turmeric, Black Peppercorns, Black Cumin Seed, Black Mustard Seed, Coriander, Sage, Marjoram, Seaweed, Kelp: Dulse, Nori, Wakame, Arame, Laver

Season to taste. 1/4 tsp turmeric per day, no more than 1 tsp per day


Vitamin E for Healthy Skin, Omega-3 ALA, Non-Heme Iron

Almonds, Walnuts, Sunflower Seeds, Black Sesame Seeds, Flax Seeds, Chia Seeds, Nut Butter

Up to 1/4 c or 2 oz per day


Polyphenols, Flavonols for Longevity, Life Enjoyment

Olive Oil or Flax Oil

{Unrefined, Cold Pressed, Premium. Avoid Deep Frying. Oil not necessary, not restricted unless Heart Disease}

Red, White, Sparkling Wine

{Organic, No Added Sulfites, Wine from Grenache Grapes}
1 -2 cups wine 3x/week, no more than 1 – 2 cups per day

Cocoa Powder, Raw Cacao

1-2 Tbl per day


Antioxidants, Flavonoids for prevention of major disease including heart disease and cancer.

Himalayan Green Tea, Black Tea, Ginger Tea with Fennel, Milk Thistle Tea, Tea Blend: Rosemary, Wild Sage, Dandelion

60oz day of fresh spring water or filtered water. Coffee may be beneficial for some people.


Glucose for Energy, Joy

Raw Honey, Maple Syrup

4-7 tsp per day


Vitamin D for immune system, healthy bones/teeth, mineral absorption, prevention of anxiety, depression, prevention of major disease

The Great Outdoors

{Morning sun remedy for depression. Avoid tanning salons and UVA rays which are class 1 carcinogens and can lead to skin cancer such as melanoma.}
20 min daily sun exposure or 2,000 – 3,500 units per day of Vitamin D3 supplements without exceeding 10,000 units per day long term.
Roasted Chile Rellenos from
Roasted Chile Rellenos from Feasting At Home

How Much? When To Eat?

Your body tells you how much to eat, when to eat, and what to eat. Food cravings may indicate nutrient deficiency or starvation – even if overweight.
“But if one observes, one will see that the body has its own intelligence; it requires a great deal of intelligence to observe the intelligence of the body.” — Jiddu Krishnamurti
You can (casually) use a food tracking app such as Cronometer (free version available) to ensure your body gets all daily required nutrients to thrive and feel happy through a variety of food and drinks.
Religions, family traditions, culture, or diet plans may have trained you to ignore your body’s signals. It might take some practice to start listening to your body’s prompts and symptoms, which may be subtle at first until you become aware.
NOTE: Eating at the same time every day may support your body’s natural circadian rhythm, which allows you to sleep well at night. Automation can also make food prep easier and faster.
Sample eating schedule:
  • 6AM: Coffee
  • 9AM: Brunch
  • 12PM: Shake, Smoothie, Water
  • 3PM: Happy Hour, Dinner
  • 6PM: Tea
  • 9PM: Bedtime or Snack

A Typical Plate

A typical plate might look something like this:
  • 1/4 plate grains
  • 1/4 plate protein
  • 1/2 plate favorite greens and vegetables
  • Top with fruit, citrus, fresh herbs, spices, nuts, seeds, sea vegetables, special sauce
Most importantly, create a beautiful plate of food you absolutely LOVE according to personal preference, health status, time and budget, and accessibility.

Food Plan For Infants and Children

To ensure adequate growth, brain, and muscle development in infants and children:

  • Breastfeed at least 2 years and up to 4 years or use a commercial infant formula as last resort
  • Avoid homemade infant formula [IMPORTANT]
  • Start introducing solid foods at 6 months age when iron stores in breastmilk start running low
  • Start with iron-rich vegetables, mashed as well as iron-rich infant cereals, or other source of exogenous iron
  • Add well-cooked beans at 7 months
  • Include a wide variety of vegetables and legumes
  • Infants and young children need more concentrated calories and more essential fatty acids in diet than fully developed adults past age 30
  • Vitamin B-12 is absolutely necessary, including for mother when breastfeeding; deficiency can result in irreversible brain damage
  • Avoid dangers of folic acid supplements, especially for pregnant and breast-feeding women. Plenty of healthy folate can be obtained from leafy greens such as collards as well as broccoli.
  • Vitamin D drops
  • Find more info from Brenda Davis, Registered Dietician and Nutritionist

Weight Loss

To lose weight naturally in a healthy, sustainable way, there’s no need to deprive yourself of favorite foods. Instead, consider adding (eat more) whole, natural foods that taste good to you.
When both your taste buds AND your body are satisfied with real food, junk food and fast food restaurants (and restaurants in general) start losing their appeal. You can walk down the junk food aisle at the grocery store and not feel tempted at all. Not even a little. Artificial food starts to smell repulsive, which it is.

Eating Disorders

If you struggle with eating disorders, consider relatable support and inspiration from Registered Dietician Abbey Sharp in your journey to relax and enjoy food.
Watch for orthorexia or too much healthy food or ‘clean eating,’ which can be just as damaging as junk food.

Best Source Of Water?

Over 3 decades of research on drinking water has found municipal water systems that use chlorination or chloramination (such as the U.S. and Great Britain) contain more than 600 disinfection by-products (DBP’s.) Chlorination interacts with natural organic matter from the water’s source and produces DBP’s.

Further studies show the association of DBP’s and a clear excess in risk of bladder cancer, especially in men, as well as birth defects. Studies that link DBP’s to other illnesses and disease have been inconclusive.

Bottled water isn’t found to be any better than tap water and includes risks of microplastic contamination or possible bacterial contamination, especially after bottled water has been opened and not refrigerated or stored in cold temperatures. In rare emergencies, bottled water may be a viable solution if not used long term.

Reverse osmosis may perform best at removing contaminants, but also removes vital minerals needed from water.

Water filtration pitchers and systems are effective at removing the vast majority of contaminants while preserving minerals, although some filters such as Brita do not hold up as well toward the expiration date as other filters such as Pur. Look for a water filter that publishes independent lab results and does not remove precious synergistic minerals. Also, be sure to change the filter before or by its expiration date as an expired filter can harbor bacteria.


The body needs sodium but not sodium chloride which makes up all the different salts available including table salt, Celtic Sea salt, Himalayan salt, etc. Sodium chloride may damage endothelial cells which can lead to hypertension and heart disease. Evidence shows too much salt can raise blood pressure. High blood pressure may be the body’s way of removing excess salt. The Yanomami Indians in the Amazon Rainforest have a healthy blood pressure level of about 100/60 and do not consume salt.

A common flavor enhancer in processed foods is sodium chloride which can alter the taste of natural food and lead to passive eating and overconsumption; excitatory flavor enhancers can overpower or cover up natural satiation and the body’s signals that it has had enough food.

High sodium chloride intake is also associated with the risk of developing cancer. Foods including pickled foods, salted fish, and processed meat is also associated with stomach cancer.

Miso, certain sea vegetables, seaweed seasoning also provide iodine, and may be quality sources of sodium. Moderate amounts of healthy sources of sodium can bring out or enhance the natural flavor of food, rather than alter it.

Foods with natural sodium are perfectly balanced with potassium. Your food tracking app can tell you if you’re consuming adequate levels of sodium, potassium, iodine, and other minerals.

Phytonutrients and Antioxidants

Phytonutrients or phytochemicals such as flavonoids, carotenoids, glucosinolates, and phytoestrogens are the super nutrients in the world of food. They’re loaded with benefits that prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease. They reduce inflammation, enhance the immune system, and naturally detoxify. You can find them in vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts, tea, and spices.

Whole plant-based foods contain unique combinations of phytonutrients including asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, string beans, collard greens, mustard greens, kale, beets, carrots, okra, and peppers. Their phytonutrients and other benefits such as bile-acid binding abilities may be more accessible if they’re steam cooked rather than consumed raw.

Phytonutrients are plentiful among plant foods, but different nutrients are scattered in different plant foods. This is why it’s a good idea to eat each of the plant food types, rather than all fruit, or primarily grains, for example.

Antioxidants can be found in both plants and animal products. Antioxidants are crucial for healthy metabolism and they combat damage from highly reactive unstable molecules called ‘free radicals’ which lead to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is a major contributor to all disease and mental disorders.

In the case of vegetables, quality matters more than quantity to combat inflammation, although quantity is important too. It may be best to eat a variety of vegetable types such as roots, leaves, pods, and stems, if possible. Or, just simply eat different vegetables every week, as available. If only one vegetable is consumed, leafy greens provide the most benefits. Of the fruits, berries such as blackberries and raspberries, and citrus have a high level of antioxidants. Green tea and hibiscus tea are also very high in antioxidants.

Are Supplements Needed?

Many supplements do not provide additional benefits as nutrients lose their value when isolated from whole foods. The majority of supplements on the market are either ineffective or can be harmful. The risk of harm goes up if there’s an improper dosage.

However, if eating plant foods exclusively (not recommended), quite a few supplements may be needed. Vitamin B-12, Vitamin D3, Omega 3 DHA/EPA supplementation may be needed, along with other supplements such as protein, choline, calcium, zinc, and selenium.

While scientists have identified the micronutrients of any given food, qualified studies show that isolating micronutrients and consuming them in the form of a supplement often does not have the same effect as eating whole food in its natural form. And some vitamin supplements are known to carry some harmful risks, such as Vitamin A, folic acid, copper, and iron. The body must be able to convert various micronutrients on a vegan diet such as Omega 3 ALA to DHA/EPA; otherwise, whole food supplementation may be needed.

Whole, natural foods contain micronutrients working together in unique, complex relationships to produce a result greater than the sum of its parts. There’s much that isn’t yet understood in medical and nutritional science about their synergy. This is why it’s best to obtain micronutrients from food before supplements, if possible. However, for nutrients not obtained from sunshine or eating the microorganisms from dirt, the benefits of supplements outweigh the risks.

In summary, Vitamin B-12 supplementation is imperative if eating a vegan diet. Vitamin D is also necessary for people who do not get enough natural sun exposure.

Is Fasting Needed?

Everyone fasts every night during sleep. Extending that fasting period, for some people, can induce metabolic changes that are believed to promote health and longevity. For example, you might extend the nightly fasting period to 16 hours and only eat solid foods for 8 hours per day. Intermittent fasting may be beneficial for some people.

Making sure you’re hungry when you eat enhances the natural flavor of food, increasing life enjoyment.

Some people who are severely ill may benefit from a medically-supervised period of time to fast. Different types of fasting can be used to regenerate diseased or dysfunctional cells in the body much faster. Others may need a period of intentional hyper nourishing.

Autophagy “is the natural, regulated mechanism of the cell that disassembles unnecessary or dysfunctional components.” Medically-supervised fasting may be especially helpful if time is of the essence, such as in the case of advanced cancer or imminent disease. Otherwise, long periods of fasting may pose more of a risk than provide benefits for people without a diagnosed disease. Long term fasting can contribute to emotional disorder, eating disorders, or death from starvation if not medically-supervised.

Moroccan Salmon from Feasting At Home
Click Here for Recipes

Important Safety Precautions

Food is highly beneficial, but food can also be dangerous under certain conditions, especially as it concerns food production quality, pregnancy, infancy, or an already established disease. The following may be important safety precautions to consider when making food choices:

  • Infants and young children do not yet have the digestive capabilities to process raw plant foods and need to adapt very slowly, starting with easy to digest grains and very well-cooked, well-blended whole plant foods (not juices) with low glycemic load. Infants, children, and young adults may also need higher level of fats in the diet, as they are still developing.
  • Women who are pregnant may need to avoid foods that contain powerful antioxidants such as turmeric and chamomile tea which can have a detrimental effect on heart of the fetus.
  • Avoid more than 1 tsp per day of turmeric or avoid altogether if low blood pressure, high blood pressure medication, gallstones, kidney stones, or pregnant.
  • Those with a propensity for kidney stones, gall stones, low blood pressure, heart disease or on heart disease medication may need to avoid turmeric.
  • Too many high oxalate foods along with high calcium can contribute to calcium oxalate stones. Water with lemon juice may help dissolve stones.
  • Limit high oxalates such as spinach, swiss chard, and beet greens to 1 cup per day to avoid oxalate stones.
  • Avoid overconsumption of raw goitrogenic vegetables without adequate iodine intake.
  • Avoid excessive amounts of raw goitrogens and high oxalate foods such as spinach.
  • Those who are unaccustomed to eating plant based foods or are diagnosed with diseases of the bowel or inflammatory diseases may need to begin with well-cooked, well-blended, whole, low glycemic plant foods very slowly until gut microbiome is developed to process vital fiber. Add no more than 5 extra grams of fiber per week. Keep fiber intake within recommended limits.
  • Avoid white flour commercial products especially if diagnosed with chronic disease.
  • Potatoes, soy, wheat, corn, and grains in general may lead to intestinal issues for some due to genetic engineering and agricultural chemicals; fermented soy, heirloom potatoes, heirloom corn, ancient grains may be a healthy alternative
  • Fruit and vegetable juicing may lead to blood sugar spikes and other health issues when fiber is removed. Consider smoothies instead.
  • Rinse mouth after consuming vinegar or acidic foods to avoid tooth demineralization.
  • Watch arsenic levels in rice, especially white rice, due to production and agricultural contamination.
  • Limit fish to 10 oz per week to avoid pollutants, metals toxicity; some fish may be safer than others.
  • Mushrooms may need to be cooked for at least a few minutes to reduce inherent toxins such as agaratine and to assimilate their immense nutritional benefits. Gastrointestinal issues such as cramps or vomiting may result from mushroom toxicity. Use caution when identifying wild mushrooms.
  • Some mushroom powders are linked with liver damage.
  • You may want to avoid oils and excessive saturated fat if diagnosed with heart disease.
  • You may want to limit or avoid refined sugar or high carb diets if intestinal issues or disease.
  • You may want to avoid spirulina and blue green algae due to contamination from other algae; chlorella may be generally safe to consume.
  • Limit or avoid processed vegan foods such as refined flour or products with oil, sodium, sugar, or processed additives.
  • Avoid vegan products such as fake meat and cheese containing soy isolate and other additives.
  • Although some may thrive or heal disease on a whole food plant based diet, veganism is associated with a growing link to orthorexia, nutrient deficiency, excessive bloating, hormonal imbalance, early aging, and hair loss. Watch for toxic or cult-like behaviors, such as militant veganism.
  • Avoid fast food, soda, overly processed, artificial, convenience store food in general, but especially if pregnant or diagnosed with disease.

Symptoms of Nutrient Deficiency or Imbalance

• Declining health
• Nutrient deficiency, inability to convert or assimilate nutrients
• Disordered eating, restrictive eating patterns, food cravings, obsessions
• Chronic fatigue, metabolic syndrome
• Dizziness, feeling weak or faint
• Muscle loss
• Extreme joint pain
• Autoimmune issues
• Brittle teeth and bones, demineralization of teeth and bones
• Underweight or overweight with no resolution, skinny fat
• Digestive issues
• Prolonged or excessive bloating, bloated belly, skinny with bloated belly
• Deficiency of hydrochloric acid or bile to digest and emulsify fat, depletion of digestive enzymes through overconsumption of fiber or processed foods
• Cholesterol deficiency, deficiency in fat soluble vitamins
• Intestinal bacterial overgrowth due to high carb diet or too much sugar
• Bowel Issues
• Gassy
• Chest pain, gastrointestinal or heart disease
• Heart palpitations
• Cold extremities
• Low sex drive, excessive sex drive, erectile dysfunction
• Insomnia
• Memory loss, brain fog, poor concentration
• Loss of fine motor skills
• Mental health issues, mood swings
• Anxiety, panic attacks, paranoia
• Hot flashes, anxiety driven hot flashes
• Loss of period or excessive bleeding, infertility, early menopause, vaginal issues
• Hormone imbalance
• Thyroid issues
• Early aging
• Early hair loss, receding hairline, thinning hair
• Early onset gray hair
• Early onset wrinkles
• Deep facial labial folds
• Sunken eyes
• Dark under eye circles, eye bags
• Pale or gray skin
• Dry skin

“You are pure awareness, And your beauty is infinite! So why let lust mislead you?” — Ashtavakra Gita 3-4