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March 20, 2013

Meatout Day—Celebrating Veganism.

Since more than two centuries ago, March 20th has been thought of as “Meatout Day.”

Today we celebrate veganism with the aim of sharing the miraculous benefits of a diet free of animal or animal derived produce and rich in vegetables and fresh fruits.

Days like today can be used as a perfect excuse to experiment, try something new, and even create a new recipe—all of which can inspire our minds, bodies and soul to reflect upon the way we eat.

In honor of veganism, diets free of animal derived produce, including eggs, butter and honey, I invite you to explore spirulina, a micro-algae or unicellular organism, known as the most nutritionally complete food on earth.

Before the Spanish arrived to the Americas, the Aztecs and Native Americans already consumed large quantities of spiruline, known by the name of “tecuitlatl.” Its discovery was in Mexico where it grew in Lake Texcoco, but history narrates that likewise it was also consumed in the area of ​​Lake Chad in Africa and its popularity grew hand in hand with the industrialization of the 20th century.

Spirulina’s protein richness and essential amino acids exceeds 50 percent of its content. Its miraculous power is based on its high content of vitamins and minerals, especially iron. This micro-algae has become a superhero for many societies with alarming levels of malnutrition, and today is one of the best solutions to the overwhelmed meat consumption in our Western diets.

So for now, I will share spirulina as a great alternative to balance out vegan diets, as well as some reflections about the principles of Ahimsa.

In Sanskrit Ahimsa means nonviolence; himsa, the first of five restrictions (Yamas) of the eight steps of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, popularly promoted by Mahatma Gandhi during the 20th century.

Ahimsa invites us no to be violent with our planet—applicable between humans, plants, animals and especially to ourselves. The way we eat, the way we come to know ourselves, to observe our actions and reflect our personality to others, the way we live, the way we educate our senses, the way we evolve as the needs of our planet change.

Western industrialization has increasingly indoctrinated a deep rooted violation to the principles of Ahimsa, especially the massive exploitation of our ecosystem, particularly our agricultural soils and animals, the way we are chemically producing food at extreme speed regardless the externalities we cause to our limited natural resources.

So a vegan diet follows the principles of Ahimsa in all senses. It reduces harm to ourselves by lowering the risk of cancer and cardiovascular problems, multiplying our energy, and also reduces harm to our ecosystem by nurturing and recycling our natural resources and giving a break to the use of soil, water , forests, biodiversity, and especially respecting animals’ lives.

It is never too late to research and discover that we are surrounded by a paradise of fresh fruits and vegetables that has become invisible due to the heavy weights of industrialization.

Gandhi wrote that “Ahimsa is the highest duty. Even if we can not practice it in full, we must try to understand its spirit and refrain as far as humanly possible from violence. ”

I believe we are responsible for educating our own palate and nourishing our body in the most ethically way possible.

More information on Meatout Day here.

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