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Yoga and Veganism…

Adopting a plant-based (vegan) diet not only makes sense for both our health and the environment, many yogis interpret Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras (one of yoga’s primary texts), as indicating veganism as a practice that leads to self-realization. These yogis believe that diet is one of the primary keys to the practice of Ahimsa, one of the principles outlined in the Yoga Sutras. Ahimsa, or non-harming is the first of five yamas, or guidelines for self-restraint. To these practitioners, veganism is looked upon as Ahimsa in practice. Ahimsa is all about being kind to others (including animals and other sentient beings), to the planet, and to oneself. Veganism is not simply about restriction, it’s a way of eating and living that can generate happiness and joy.

From a yogic perspective, the purpose of foods is to assist your body to cleanse, revitalize, repair and strengthen your immune system. A traditional yoga diet consists of mainly plant-based foods which are eaten in as close to their natural state as possible and which cause the least amount of harm to the environment.

Yoga Journal’s latest “Yoga in America” survey, conducted by Sports Marketing Surveys, shows that 8.7 percent of Americans are practicing yoga (that’s 20.4 million Americans). Sadly, in spite of these impressive numbers, it is estimated that only about 1.3% of the United States population follows a vegan diet. The average American consumes a minimum of 31 animals per year, contributing to and supporting the financial success of the cruel and violent meat and dairy industries. This contrast between the percentage of yoga practitioners and vegans in America clearly reveals how many people attempt to reap the physical benefits of asana while hypocritically ignoring yoga's peaceful philosophy. Hopefully, by reviewing the important connection between yoga and veganism throughout history, meat-eating yogis will be encouraged to reflect on their ethics and give a plant-based diet a try.

Yoga is not just about losing weight and toning up. The practice of yoga is thousands of years old, originating in India. Furthermore, Patanjali is believed to have compiled the Yoga Sutras around 200 B.C. to serve as a framework for integrating Yoga into the practitioner’s daily routine while living an ethical lifestyle. Realizing the true value and benefits of Yoga practice serves as a means of attaining enlightenment.

So, the question arises, why is it that so many yoga practitioners tend to turn a blind eye to Patanjali's peaceful philosophy? Well it seems that most people dismiss veganism as a lifestyle/dietary option because they believe it will be too much of a hassle and/or because they lack the discipline to alter deep-seated eating habits. The unwillingness to adopt a vegan diet/lifestyle is a mistake that results in people missing out on the awesome philosophical and spiritual benefits of practicing yoga. When people only observe the practice of asana (physical postures); then they are not truly experiencing yoga and their practice will remain partial and incomplete.

Yoga and Veganism…

In summary: Our yoga practice will be enhanced by selecting and eating food that promotes health, happiness and overall wellbeing for both ourselves and our environment, plus we’ll discover a better quality of life and insure the sustainability of the planet. Whenever we see that our food choices are causing suffering and disease (to ourselves and/or others), we ultimately contribute to our own demise. If this is the case, perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate what we are eating.

Stay tuned…Coming soon, “Athletes and Veganism”

Rae Indigo is ERYT 500

Transitioning from Vegetarian to Vegan…

Most vegans agree, it's more important (and easier) to change your diet one step at a time; if you are currently a vegetarian you probably have already realized that. First you went vegetarian and stayed with that for a while. Plus you learned how to make it work for you, including smart shopping, cooking, eating out, dealing with awkward social situations, etc.

Now, you can do almost exactly the same thing, it’s still a gradual transition, but it just takes it another step further. Going vegan from vegetarian is actually quite easy.

But let’s make sure we're on the same page. "Vegetarian" means you had to say goodbye to any foods for which an animal had to actually give up its life, which meant meats of all kinds (yes, including chicken and fish) and any foods which contain products or byproducts of these animals (a few examples include some soup broths, pasta sauces, lard and fish oil).

As a "vegan" you will necessarily need to give up all the other animal products, even those which the animals did NOT have to lose their life for, including eggs, dairy products (milk and cheese), and honey. So the real challenge mission, if and when you chose to accept it, is to go vegan which means saying farewell to these things also.

You have probably already taken the biggest step, and that is the proper attitude and mindset necessary to make these positive dietary changes. Keep in mind; you have already accomplished this on the road to becoming a vegetarian.

Transitioning from Vegetarian to Vegan…

Now to go Vegan, here is a recommended “step by step” way to proceed:

1.Remove the eggs in the diet first. Eggs are easy to remove from your diet. Tofu is a great replacement for eggs such as in scrambled tofu and faux egg salad. And foods like pancakes and French toast are delicious and nutritious with the simple substitution of flax eggs. You can always resort to a vegan egg substitute like EnerG Egg Replacer

2.Next, remove the dairy milk and replace with non-dairy milks. There are so many out there to try, including almond milk, oat milk, rice milk, cashew milk, and the list goes on. I recommend you buy a few different brands and types of non-dairy milk and do some taste testing to find one you like.

3.Learn to live without butter (and without margarine). There’s a great dairy-free vegan butter substitute called Earth Balance (organic/whipped). It tastes quite rich and buttery, has a smooth consistency and is reasonably priced. As an added bonus, it is also gluten-free, non-GMO, and, unlike most margarine, it has no hydrogenated oils. It is also possible to make your own vegan butter, just go to this site.

4.Now a tough one perhaps? Cheese! Many people claim they could never give up cheese, some insisting they’re addicted to it. Could this be true? Yes, bovine lactation fluids are addicting. Believe it or not, when samples of cow's milk have been analyzed, it is found to contain traces of morphine. Cows actually produce this chemical (along with codeine and other opiates) in their livers and it can (and usually does) end up in the milk. Anyone can discover how to live life without cheese! As a cheese substitute in cooking try nutritional (good tasting) yeast (aka “nooch”) it’s packed with nutrition, particularly B-vitamins, folic acid, selenium, zinc, and protein) or miso (use instead of salt and in place of cheese in pestos and soups. You can add it to quiches, sauces, etc. Always add miso toward the end of cooking, since heating miso can kill its wonderful enzymes). Additionally, every day more and more vegan cheese substitutes are available on the market.

3 additional tips:

1.Read this blog article on Vegan Nutrition –

2.Give up honey, many don’t realize it’s an animal product (the fact is that honey is made from nectar the worker bees regurgitate, which is a polite way of saying bee vomit) – replace it with a plant-based sweetener.

3.One last subject of concern: “The protein myth…” Should you believe the hype about vegans being deficient in protein intake? This is almost a joke! Why, because it’s ridiculously easy for a vegan diet to meet all the recommendations for protein by simply maintaining adequate calorie intake. Strict planning or food combining is not necessary to insure ample protein intake. The key for vegans is to eat a varied diet. Almost all plant-based foods except for alcohol, sugar, and fats provide some protein. Vegan sources include: Legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas, peas), tofu, tempeh, seitan, peanut butter, non-dairy milks, almonds, mushrooms, rice, quinoa, whole wheat bread, potatoes, broccoli, dark leafy greens (spinach, kale, Swiss chard, collard greens, etc.) and the list goes on. Additionally, store-bought meat substitute products and veggie burgers are also quite high in protein!

Stay tuned…Coming soon, “Yoga and Veganism”

Rae Indigo is ERYT 500

Dining Out – A Vegan guide…

If you’re looking for vegan options while travelling or information regarding vegetarian/vegan-friendly restaurants close to where you live, this article will help.

Vegan Dining at Local Eateries:

At the onset, it’s good to note that as a general rule, keep in mind the fancier the restaurant the more accommodating it will be to special requests. We’re not living in the 1980’s anymore, so almost any competent chef will know exactly what a vegan is, and all upscale restaurant kitchens should have plenty of vegan ingredients on hand to make a terrific meal.

There certainly were, and in some locations still are, countless restaurants that offer little to eat for vegetarians, let alone vegans. But now restaurants that serve great vegan food are popping up everywhere, and their numbers continue to grow every year. Even if there aren’t any vegan restaurants near you, it’s good to learn about the relative vegan-friendliness of different restaurants and cuisines.

Types of Dining Establishments (from the worst to the best):

  • Steak and Seafood Restaurants – without question the two categories of restaurants that are the worst of the worst for vegans.
  • Fast Food Restaurants – most are disappointing when it comes to offering acceptable vegan options, but there are a few exceptions. The restaurant industry considers burrito places like Chipotle, Qdoba, and Taco Del Mar to be a step up from conventional fast food, and from a vegan perspective these places are incomparably superior.
  • Casual Dining, Chain Restaurants – the industry refers to restaurants like Applebee’s, TGI Friday’s, Denny’s, and Olive Garden as “casual dining.” Vegans commonly have less flattering terms for these establishments as the meatless options are generally swimming in cheese. One of the dirty little secrets about casual dining is that most of their meals are pre-packaged frozen food that the restaurants “chefs” merely heat up and neither the wait staff nor the kitchen staff will have the any idea what’s in it, since the actual food preparation is not done at the restaurant.
  • Ethnic Restaurants – some ethnic cuisines are remarkably vegan-friendly while others (particularly Korean and French) are practically devoid of vegan recipes. Without a doubt, the most vegan-friendly cuisine is Middle Eastern. Mexican food and Italian food can and should be remarkably vegan-friendly but you may need to have your server check with the kitchen to make sure that there are no eggs, dairy or animal fat (lard) used in preparation.
  • Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurants – naturally, you’re in good shape if there’s a veggie or vegan restaurant near you. Caution though for strict vegans: it’s easy to drop your guard at a vegetarian restaurant and unwittingly eat something with dairy products or eggs. The good news is that most new veggie restaurants opening today are vegan rather than just vegetarian.

*Tip: To help restaurants change to more plant-based, animal friendly menus, know that they are always seeking new business, so if you can clearly and politely request better vegan options, you’ll be surprised at how many will be receptive. But keep in mind that their wait-staff doesn’t have the power to push through change. You’ll need to communicate with the manager or owner.

So never forget, even if your town is not yet vegan-friendly, one day it will be. And you can be a motivating force to speed that change.

 Vegan Dining on the Road:

Many vegans fear that adapting a plant-based diet can make travel more stressful or less enjoyable, but that’s not necessarily the case. Most of us never thought we’d see the day when Burger King or Denny’s offered veggie burgers, but now that they do, the millions of omnivores who eat there can see that choosing meat-free meals is both easy and tasty. Nearly every restaurant has at least one vegan-friendly dish. By asking the server for assistance and then making educated choices, dining out can be a delicious (and a cruelty-free) experience!

For comprehensive listings of vegetarian restaurants worldwide, check out these dining guides: Happy Cow, Veg Dining and VegGuide. These sites show vegetarian and vegan restaurants plus meat serving establishments that are vegetarian/vegan friendly and they can all be navigated by continent/country and in the USA by state/city.

Two other sites worth mentioning for vegans located in North Americans are Eating Vegan: The Fast Food Edition and Eating Vegan at National Restaurant Chains

Stay tuned…Coming soon, “Supporting Evidence for Vegans”

Rae Indigo is ERYT 500

Cauliflower – A Versatile Vegan Delight is In Season…

Enjoyed cooked or raw, cauliflower is a great addition to your Healthiest Way of Eating, and now it's available year-round. While green vegetables may contain more chlorophyll, cauliflower is also rich in nutrients and, like its cousins, cabbage, kale, and broccoli, provides health-promoting compounds not found in many other vegetables.

The following chart graphically details the % of Daily Value that a single serving of Cauliflower provides for each of the nutrients for which it is a good, very good, or excellent source…

Cauliflower – A Versatile Vegan delight is In Season

Cauliflower provides extraordinary nutrient support for three body systems that are closely connected with cancer development as well as cancer prevention. These three systems are:

  1. the body's detox system
  2. its antioxidant system
  3. its inflammatory/anti-inflammatory system.

Additionally cauliflower supports cardiovascular and digestive health.

Do not to overcook cauliflower. Sautéing and baking cauliflower is preferred rather than the more traditional methods of boiling or steaming, which makes it waterlogged, mushy and lose much of its flavor. Here are some awesome recipes using cauliflower:

Cauliflower Fried Rice


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 3 cups cauliflower 'rice'
  • splash of Braggs Aminos (tamari or soy sauce)
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • 2-3 green onions, chopped for garnish


  1. Cut the cauliflower into florets, discarding the leaves, stems and tough inner core. Working in small batches, pulse the cauliflower in a food processor until it breaks down into rice-sized pieces.
  2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.
  3. Sautee onion for 3-5 minutes until soft then add cauliflower 'rice' to the skillet,
  4. Add salt, pepper per taste then allow it cook for additional 10-15 minutes until they are soft.
  5. Garnish with green onions right before serving.

Easy Pan Fried Cauliflower Recipe


  • 1 Large Head Cauliflower
  • 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil (or olive oil)
  • 1 Large Shallot (finely chopped)
  • 3 Large Garlic Cloves (finely minced or grated)
  • 1½" Piece Fresh Ginger (peeled and grated)
  • ¼ Teaspoon Red Chili Flakes
  • Curry (to taste)
  • Cumin (to taste)
  • 1 Lime
  • Sea Salt


  1. Chop cauliflower into small, evenly sized pieces (no larger than 1" x 1").
  2. Thoroughly rinse cauliflower and set aside to drain.
  3. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat.
  4. Once oil has melted add the shallots, garlic, ginger and chili flakes to the pan.
  5. Sauté for several minutes (5-7 mins), but don't let the ingredients brown. If it seems like everything is cooking too quickly, turn the heat down.
  6. Add the cauliflower, curry and cumin to the pan. Give everything a good stir so that it's coated, If the pan is too crowded (you should be able to see the bottom of the pan in spots), remove enough from the pan so that you can see the some of the bottom of the pan.
  7. Turn the heat back up to medium or medium high.
  8. Let the cauliflower cook, undisturbed for 3 minutes. The stuff on the bottom should be brown in spots. Toss and let sit for another 3 minutes. Continue doing this until you get the doneness you like.
  9. Squeeze lime over top of everything and give a good stir.
  10. Top with a generous pinch of large grained sea salt.
  11. Serve.

Roasted Curried Cauliflower


  • 1 bunch cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • ½ large yellow onion, finely diced
  • 3 Tablespoons coconut oil, liquid
  • ½ tablespoon curry powder
  • ½ tablespoon garam masala
  • ½ tablespoon fennel seeds (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. Combine oil and spices (curry powder through ground pepper) and toss with cauliflower and onion until all pieces are well-coated. Place cauliflower on parchment paper in a baking dish and roast for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring once for even cooking. The cauliflower should be crisp-tender and golden brown when done.
  3. This dish can be slowly roasted in a covered non-stick fry pan (low/med. heat), stir or turn occasionally.

Sriracha Roasted Cauliflower


  • 1 head of cauliflower, sliced or chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon roasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons Bragg’s Aminos
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha
  • ½ tsp. cumin


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.  Cut the cauliflower into flowerets. Combine all other ingredients and put in a large bowl with cauliflower and gently toss until well coated. Arrange the cauliflower on a lined baking sheet (II use parchment paper) and roast for 20-30 minutes, or until tender.

Cream of Mushroom Soup (W/Cauliflower)

Vegan cream of mushroom soup made with a secret ingredient. Thickened without flours or starches, too!


  • 2 cups cauliflower florets
  • 1⅔ cup unsweetened original almond milk
  • 1½ teaspoon granulated onion or onion powder
  • ¾ teaspoon Himalayan pink salt (or sea salt)
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil + 1 tsp. Earth Balance
  • 3 cups diced Cremini, Portabelo or white mushrooms
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast (reserve)
  • Dash of Bragg’s Aminos (reserve)


  1. Place cauliflower, milk, onion powder, salt and pepper in a small saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 7-8 minutes, until cauliflower is softened. Then, puree using a food processor, immersion blender or blender.
  2. Meanwhile, add oil, mushrooms and onion to a medium-sized saucepan. Sautee over medium heat until onion is translucent and beginning to brown, about 8 minutes.
  3. Add pureed cauliflower mixture to sautéed mushroom mix. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 10 minutes, until thickened, stir in reserved Bragg’s Aminos and nutritional yeast.
  4. Serve immediately.

Stay tuned…Coming soon “Vegan Nutrition – addressing your concerns”

Rae Indigo is ERYT 500

Stocking Your Vegan Kitchen (A Basic List)

If you’re a newbie to plant-based eating, there are several food items you should take note of and incorporate into a regular part of your diet. These staples will help you to create the bases for meals of all types, from breakfasts to desserts and everything in between.

Here’s an alphabetical list of basic food supplies that you will find in most well-stocked vegan kitchens. They are common, easily found items that are good to keep on hand. A few of these food products might be new to you, but most of these items will be appreciated. They include many of the basic ingredient substitutes for most recipes and food preparation. Not everything is on the list; items like salt, pepper and other common animal-free items are not listed assuming most homes would already have them…

  • Agave Nectar (replaces sugar and honey). Remember honey is an animal product.
  • Apple Cider vinegar – choose organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar (like Bragg’s) which also contains “mother,” strands of proteins, enzymes and friendly bacteria that give the product a murky, cobweb-like appearance.
  • Balsamic vinegar (great for a salad dressing).
  • Braggs Liquid Aminos (made from soybeans, a concentrated protein, flavor enhancer, great for salads, sauces, etc.). A great substitute for soy and tamari sauce.
  • Breads – Natural, organic, whole grain is best (although most authentic/old fashioned French/Italian bread is vegan.) Avoid honey and high fructose corn syrup as ingredients.
  • Butter substitute – The best dairy-free vegan butter substitute is Earth Balance brand (organic/whipped). It tastes quite rich and buttery, has a smooth consistency and is reasonably priced. As an added bonus, it is also gluten-free, non-GMO, and, unlike most margarines, it has no hydrogenated oils.
  • Canned or dried beans – garbonzo, kidney, black, red, pink etc…
  • Canned vegetarian/vegan – baked beans and refried beans.
  • Canola oil – organic only, about 93 percent of canola oil in the United States is genetically engineered, and only 7 percent is certified organic. Also avoid any canola oil products that are hydrogenated.
  • Coconut oil – Can actually be classified as a “superfood.” On top of being one of the healthiest oils known it’s also works well to soften and clear skin and recondition hair. Bonus; very good for high-temp frying.
  • Fruits – fresh, frozen and dried.
  • Garlic – fresh.
  • Garlic powder (granulated garlic. Avoid garlic  salt.
  • Grains and Whole Grain Flours:

    • Barley
    • Bulgur
    • Couscous
    • Millet
    • Rice (long-grain brown, basmati, arborio, quick-cooking, etc.)
    • Quinoa
    • Whole grain berries (like wheat berries, triticale, etc.)
    • Wild rice

*Whole grain flours (for baking)

  • Cornmeal
  • Specialty flours (quinoa, teff, rice, etc. – especially good for gluten-free)
  • Spelt flour
  • Whole wheat flour
  • Whole wheat pastry flour
  • Maple syrup – Buy organic only, regular commercial maple syrup often contains formaldehyde (used in the tap to keep the syrup from clotting and the tree from healing, and sometimes used to clean the lines).
  • Meat substitutes and alternatives – Vegan burger (click on: 12 Vegan Burger Brands), Tofurky, Seitan, Tempeh are all good. Many meat substitutes can be made from TVP (“soy-based” textured vegetable protein).
  • Nutritional Yeast (a deactivated yeast) – A must for vegans. A nutty/cheesy flavor. Sprinkle on salads, popcorn, casseroles, pizza, sauces and more. Makes into a great vegan cheese alternative!
  • Nuts – The healthiest being:

    • Almonds.
    • Walnuts
    • Pecans
    • Brazil Nuts
    • Cedar Nuts/Pine
    • Cashews
    • Olive Oil (choose organic, extra virgin, first pressing whenever possible). For basic cooking and salads.
    • Pasta – There are now plenty of gluten-free pastas for those who can’t tolerate gluten.
    • Peanut Butter – Choose “natural” peanut butter, either freshly ground in the store or a national brand. These usually just contain peanuts, although some do have a little salt. Avoid hydrogenated oils and sugars.
    • Popcorn – Especially good cooked in coconut oil and topped with a little salt and nutritional yeast.
    • Rice – Brown (long/short grain and basmati)
    • Salt – Keep in mind that salt is salt – it is 40 percent sodium. We need only 1,500 mg of sodium per day – far less than the average daily intake of five to six grams. Choosing a good additive-free salt is most important, taste a variety to decide which you prefer and buy only small quantities until you find the one you like. Confused? Click on: A Guide to Salt Varieties
    • Seeds for sprouting – Alfalfa, lentil and mung being the most common.
    • Soy milk (sweetened or plain for soups and sauces). Other dairy milk alternatives to try are almond, rice, coconut and hemp milks.
    • Spices – keep a variety on hand…choose from this list, click on: Spices For Cooking in Your Vegan Kitchen
    • Spike or Vegit type seasoned salt
    • Sugar (unrefined) – Like "Sugar in the Raw", Turbinado, or a brown rice syrup, unbleached cane sugar, etc….
    • Tahini (sesame seed paste) Used to make hummus, a great bread spread! Or you can just buy some hummus.)
    • Tofu – Of the store bought varieties many consider Nasoya Tofu the best; it is certified organic, non-GMO, made with 100% whole organic soybeans, and comes in five textures: Super Firm Cubed (pre-cut, perfect in stir-fry or atop salad), Extra Firm (ideal for stir-frying, broiling, hearty stews and casseroles), Firm (perfect for slicing, dicing and pan-frying), Soft (great for sauces, soups and salads) and Silken (a delicate tofu with a smooth consistency, excellent for blending into dressings, dips and creamy desserts). *Note: Trader Joe's brand is considered by some to be among the best 'store bought' tofu available.
    • Tomato Products, Canned:

      • Diced, in 14- to 16-ounce cans (try fire-roasted or Italian-style for extra flavor).
      • Crushed or pureed, in 14, 16, and 28-ounce cans.
      • Tomato sauce, avoid ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup and added sugars.
      • Tortillas – Versatile and delicious whole grain tortillas are high in complex carbohydrates and fiber, providing energy and supporting healthy digestion. Tortillas are a good source of B vitamins. The iron in tortillas helps blood move oxygen throughout your body.

      Stay tuned…Coming soon “Cauliflower – A Versatile Vegan delight is In Season”

      Rae Indigo is ERYT 500

Vegan Substitutes for Animal Products

One of the trickiest aspects of vegan (plant-based) cooking is finding substitutes for animal products and this applies to both the novice vegan cook and someone who has been doing it for a while. The good news is that it can be fun (and quite rewarding) to over-turn those long-held traditions when it comes to cooking and baking using cruelty free products and getting results that are just as good tasting and looking and usually healthier than their animal-saturated versions. Here’s a list of some common vegan substitutes that have worked well for me – listed by groups of the animal ingredients they replace:

*1 EGG (To replace more than one, just multiply):

  • 1 Tbsp. of ground flax meal + 3 Tbsp. of water. Very good for baked breads, cakes, cookies and muffins.
  • 1/4 cup tofu. Best to blend the tofu so it is smooth before using it, otherwise you might not be able to break up all the lumps. Tofu works especially well in quiches, pancakes and pastas. With a little turmeric added it is also a great replacement for scrambled egg dishes.
  • 1/2 banana. Only use banana when you want the recipe to be banana-flavored, as in banana cake.
  • 1/4 cup applesauce. Applesauce also makes a baked good really moist, allowing you to cut down on fat in the recipe. It works great in carrot cake.
  • Commercial powder substitutes like EnerG Egg Replacer Read the package instructions for correct measurements.

* MILK (With all the alternatives available, there is really no excuse to use dairy milk):

  • Soymilk
  • Rice Milk
  • Almond Milk
  • Hemp Milk
  • Hazelnut Milk
  • Cashew Milk

*YOGURT (Yogurt substitutes work great in Indian foods like call for yogurt):

  • 1 cup silken tofu blended with 2 tbsp lemon juice + 1/4 tsp salt = 1 cup yogurt, (use more or less lemon juice if you don’t want the yogurt to be too acidic.)
  • Coconut milk yogurt, Almond milk yogurt and Soy milk yogurt are becoming popular commercial yogurts. Commercial soy yogurts are also available in the United States as well as other parts of the world.) Look in the regular refrigerator aisle alongside regular yogurt.

*1 CUP BUTTERMILK (Buttermilk substitutes can be used in any recipe that calls for it, including cupcakes, pancakes and “southern-style” biscuits):

  • 1 cup soymilk or almond milk + 1 tsp vinegar (you can use any vinegar on hand, but the best is apple cider. Mix and set aside for a few minutes to curdle.)

*1 TBSP. BUTTER (Butter substitutes, like milk and yogurt substitutes, replace the bad cholesterol with healthy fats that are better for you. But be cautioned, vegan fats also contain the same number of calories as animal fats, so don’t overdo the use of fats of any kind.):

  • 1 Tbsp. vegan margarine or “butter” (I find Earth Balance is the best)
  • 1 Tbsp. flavorless oil
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable shortening (Crisco is a substitute for lard, and it's vegan; but it is basically 100% transfat).


  • 1 Tbsp. nutritional (good tasting) yeast (aka “nooch” – it’s packed with nutrition, particularly B-vitamins, folic acid, selenium, zinc, and protein)
  • 1 tsp. miso. (Use instead of salt and in place of cheese in pestos and soups. You can add it to quiches, sauces, etc. Always add miso toward the end of cooking, since heating miso can kill its wonderful enzymes).


  • 1 Tbsp. cashew cream (blend cashews with enough water to keep blender blades running)
  • 1 Tbsp. almond cream (blend blanched almonds with enough water to keep blades running)


  • There are commercial brands of vegan cream cheese and vegan sour cream (like Tofutti) that taste and act similar to the originals.


  • 1 Tbsp. agar agar flakes or powder.


  • 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. agave nectar (Delicious in almost any baked good. Agave nectar also has a low glycemic index and makes a healthy sugar substitute)

Stay tuned…Coming soon “Stocking Your Vegan Kitchen (A Basic List)”

Rae Indigo is ERYT 500

Yoga and Diabetes

The practice of yoga asana and pranayama is effective both as a preventive measure and also a treatment for Type 2 diabetes, where the causes are generally attributed to unhealthy lifestyle choices and stress.

Unlike any most other forms of exercise, yoga involves a unique set of poses (asanas), breathing exercises (pranayama), and meditation techniques that can help you deal with diabetes.

Here are just a few of yoga’s many benefits:

  • • Decreases stress, which may help make blood glucose levels more manageable in people with Type 1 diabetes or Type 2 diabetes
  • • Decreases the risk of injury from daily activities
  • • Helps promote relaxation and a feeling of wellness
  • • Improves balance, strength, and coordination
  • • Increases range of motion
  • • Keeps joints flexible and healthy

Yoga practice will also teach you how to cope with your condition because it gives you the necessary tools to put you in greater control of your diabetes. Breathing and meditation techniques can be especially powerful, enabling you maintain a positive attitude.

Yoga Asana Practice Speeds Nerve Impulses

One of the major problems for long term diabetes sufferers is nerve damage due to constant high sugar levels in the body. This nerve damage leads to the slowing of nerve impulses, decreased sensation, numbness of the feet (neuropathy), and poor bowel function.

How does yoga help? Scientists at Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital, in Delhi, India, studied a group of 20 Type 2 diabetic subjects between the ages of 30-60 years. Their goal was to see whether certain Yoga asanas had any effect on nerve conduction. The Yoga asanas included Suryanamskar Tadasan, Konasan, Padmasan Pranayam, Shavasan, Pavanmukthasan, Sarpasan and Shavasan. These asanas were performed for 40 minutes every day in succession for 40 days in the above sequence. The subjects continued their normally prescribed medicines and diet. Blood sugar and nerve conduction velocity of the median nerve (in the hand) were measured and then repeated after 40 days of the Yogic regime. Another group of 20 type 2 diabetes subjects of comparable age and severity (called the control group), were kept on prescribed medication and diet but only engaged in light physical exercises like walking. Their initial and post 40 day’s parameters were also recorded for comparison.

At the end of the 40 days, those who practiced the yoga asanas had improved the nerve impulse in their hands. The measurements showed hand nerve conduction velocity increased from 52.8 meters per second to 53.8 m/sec. The control group’s nerve function actually deteriorated over the 40 day period of study, indicating that diabetes is a slowly progressive disease involving the nerves. The authors conclude that yoga asanas have a beneficial effect on blood sugar control and improve nerve function in type 2 diabetics who have mild nerve damage. This study conclusively shows that yoga asana practice not only slows the progression of the disease but also increases nerve conductivity.

Yoga Asana Practice Lowers Blood Sugar in Diabetics

Certain yoga asanas, when practiced regularly, are now known to have a host of beneficial effects on human body including diabetes. Researchers at the University College of Medical Sciences, in Shahdara, New Delhi studied 24 patients aged 30-60 years old who had non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (aka, Type 2 diabetes). Type 1 diabetics require insulin, while Type II diabetics are commonly treated with diet, exercise, and oral medications that lower blood sugar. These researchers then evaluated the baseline fasting blood sugar levels of the patients in the study, and they also performed pulmonary function studies that measure lung capacity including the amount of air that can be exhaled within the first second of a rapid exhale.

After these basic tests were completed, yoga experts gave these patients training in specific yoga asanas. The yoga asana practice, which included breathing exercises (pranayama), was done for 40 minutes a day and continued for 40 consecutive days. These asanas consisted of 13 well known and common postures, always done in the same sequence. After 40 days of this yoga asana regimen, the testing was repeated. The results indicated that there was significant decrease in fasting blood sugar levels (from about 190 initially to 140) after the 40 day period of yoga asana practice. Fasting blood sugar in people without diabetes is normally 120 or below.

The pulmonary function studies showed an average improvement of about 10% in total lung capacity. These findings have shown that better blood sugar control and overall pulmonary function can be achieved in diabetics when they stick to a regular daily schedule of yoga asana practice combined with pranayama.

The precise mechanism as to how these asanas and controlled breathing interact with physio-neuro-endocrine systems affecting blood sugar and pulmonary functions remain elusive thus far.

10 Yoga Poses for Defeating Diabetes – a few poses to get you started from Rodale News, click on: 

Rae Indigo is ERYT 500

How to Use Thoughts to Vibrate at a Higher Level

Anyone who’s interested in personal development really needs to learn how to constantly emit higher levels of thought vibration; although we can conveniently call it something else like “happiness”, “peace of mind,” or an “abundance consciousness” for example.

There are several techniques that we use to get our thinking back on track when we’ve fallen into low frequency thought patterns including; depression, sadness, negativity, anger and/or apathy. First step is to find out what works and then keep doing it.

To learn to think regularly at a higher level of frequency is hardly ever an overnight change, instead, it’s a case of gradual improvement combined with frequent practice. Notice when you feel blue or down and then address it by trying some of the following ideas to pick yourself up.

Fortunately, the more we’re able to practice these techniques, the more happiness and higher levels of thought vibration will be our natural state of being. All we have to do is choose to operate at a higher level, in fact, even thinking about thinking at the higher level tends to get you there, how about that for a nice little coincidence!

Here are 5 methods to practice:

  1. 1.Visualization: Visualization may well be the fastest way to operate at a higher level of thought vibration. Simply relax, shut your eyes, and actually visualize yourself being as happy, positive and friendly as you can possibly imagine. Take note of how you feel and what you can see, hear and smell. Notice what sort of thoughts are running through your mind. Observe how people respond to you when you’re feeling like this. Realize how good it makes you (and those around you) feel. Enjoy feeling like this! Practice this for a few minutes every day for three weeks and your self-image and thought patterns will change dramatically.
  1. 2.Meditation: Meditation helps you the step out of the frantic, fast paced throes of modern life, and enables you to take time for quiet reflection, peace of mind and total relaxation. Naturally, this automatically helps you to raise your level of vibration.
  1. 3.Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP): NLP is loaded with tools to help you feel better about yourself and subsequently it can help you to increase your thought vibration accordingly.
  1. 4.Acceptance and the “Now” Presence: A powerful spiritual way of increasing your thought vibration is to practice being present in the present moment, and to learn to accept whatever comes across your path, as it comes across your path, without reacting to it. When you can get the hang of this, it may be far more powerful and transformative than the other options.
  1. 5.Gratitude: Gratitude is the 5th tip for raising your level of thought frequency. By being grateful for what you already have in your life you will establish a powerful practice and it will have an extraordinary effect on your thought vibration. Close your eyes and review all that’s good in your life, and really dive deep into the feelings of thanks. You’ll be amazed at how “win-win” this simple (but grossly overlooked) technique is!

Rae Indigo is ERYT 500

How to Raise Your Thought Vibration

First, we need to begin by determining whether a thought we are thinking is empowering or disempowering. We can check in with our thoughts by simply asking ourselves, “Are the thoughts that I am thinking empowering or disempowering?” When we change our thoughts, we can then change our feelings. Thoughts lead to feelings, feelings lead to actions and actions lead to results. This is basis of the “Law of Attraction.” If we practice thinking thoughts that have a higher vibration, we tend to get more of what we desire in life, plus we’ll feel better about ourselves too.

Ordinarily, thoughts that vibrate at a higher level are more likely to be strong, positive and empowering. On the other hand thoughts that vibrate at a low level are liable to be negative, harmful and disempowering.

The general consensus is that what we think about most is what we will manifest in our life; so if we’re operating from a higher frequency, we are more likely to attract the life we desire. We’re also more likely to be happier and in a better state of mind.

Recognizing High and Low Levels of Thought Vibration:

If we stop for a second and take a look at our own personal thought patterns, we may realize that we instinctively understand the concept of thought vibration, at least at a subconscious or even unconscious level. We begin to view all thoughts as energy, and good thoughts vibrate differently from bad thoughts. This will make immediate sense if we compare what being in a good mood feels like compared to being in a bad mood.

When we are “operating at a higher level of thought vibration”, it clarifies our thinking, making it positive and focused. We also tend to be in a more relaxed state and be more focused on opportunities than on problems. When our thinking is such, our whole body feels good, and positive emotions like excitement, anticipation and happiness become the norm.

Whenever we are in this state of mind, we may find that people (and even animals) tend to respond well to us. We’re less likely to encounter various problems, and we may even stumble upon a bit of good fortune that we wouldn’t normally anticipate. When we’re operating from a higher level of thought vibration, people may subconsciously pick up on the fact that we are sending out “good vibes,” and that’s all higher thought vibration is; good vibes.

Just the opposite is true when we are operating at a lower frequency of thought vibration, we are sending out “bad vibes” or perhaps we’re feeling sorry for ourselves, rehashing things that have already happened, feeling miserable and depressed, and emotions like anger, fear and discontent can become the norm. People will then subconsciously avoid us, or worse, will be drawn into conflict with us. This is a dreadful way to live; but ironically, many people will live like this for the majority of their existence.

The Benefits of Generating a High Level of Thought Vibration

Operating at a higher level of thought vibration is extremely liberating, regardless of how briefly we do it. Not only will we feel happier and more positive about life, but we are much less likely to be judgmental or disrespectful of other people, or to engage in worthless negative activities like gossiping and complaining.

We’ll experience a strange sense of heightened energy, which draws us to other like-minded people. In fact, we’re much more inclined to want to spend time with friends and colleagues. We’ll probably find ourselves meeting new and interesting people too.

So we need to smile more, laugh more and try not taking ourselves so seriously. When we are happy with the present moment as it is, and we won’t waste time and energy wishing we were doing something else.

We’ll be more motivated to achieve our goals, more positive about achieving them, and be genuinely happy and joyous, enjoying the wonder that life truly is. Good vibes are most definitely the way to go!

Rae Indigo is ERYT 500

Coming next, “How to Use Thoughts to Vibrate at a Higher Level.” So stay tuned…

How to Raise Your Personal Vibration

Modern science has concluded that everything that exists in the universe is made of vibration” – Hiroshi Doi-sensei…

Raising our vibration is an extremely effective way to insure we’re living a balanced and happy life It’s also a way to send positive energy out into the universe. Whenever we emit a lower vibration (or frequency), we block ourselves from truly arriving at the harmony and balance that’s necessary to experience a more peaceful and happy life. It is easy to observe how a life of discord/dissonance facilitates a lower vibratory energy, and sense its negative manifestation in today’s world.

It does take a bit of work however to raise our personal vibrations, so a consistent effort is required both to raise and to maintain these vibrations. The following tips have proven useful in the effort to raise our vibration.

Being mindful of our thoughts

It is vital to keep a close eye on the habitual negative thoughts and tendencies that arise. In the beginning it can be difficult to be aware of the seemingly endless thoughts that constantly bombard our minds all day long, but by noticing unwelcome or negative thoughts we can then start to replace them with a positive thought. We can introduce positive thoughts in our mind, thoughts that we know will make us happy, ones that we can substitute for any negative thoughts that comes into our mind.  The key here is to spend as much time as possible thinking positive thoughts, leaving less time to think negative thoughts. When we spend more time engaged in balanced, positive and rational thoughts our vibration level will be raised.

Always think before you speak

Thinking before speaking can be quite challenging for a lot of people. For instance, if you’re looking for a new relationship, resist saying things like “I’ll never find the right person for me.” If you talk like this, this is exactly what you will attract. You will likely get just what you say and think. By changing your words you’ll increase your chances to change your life in a positive way.

Beware of negative, ungrounded individuals

These types of people are running on a very low vibration level, and their low vibration can have an adverse impact on your vibration level if you allow it. Remember, a person’s bio-energy field (aka, aura) can extend out several feet from them. If you feel that another’s energy may have a negative effect on you and you can’t distance yourself from them, imagine being surrounded and protected by white light.

Spend time daily practicing meditation

Take a walk in the woods or through a nature center, away from the city and the noise. Find a place in the country and take a long walk, concentrating on the surroundings, keeping your mind off your usual thoughts. This is a great way to clear your head and subsequently raise your vibration. If you can’t get away, try listening to some relaxing music or ambient sounds and concentrate on the sounds.

Become aware of your thoughts, words and actions

Everything we do will come back to us in some way so it’s good to always be wary of how we treat others and how we act in different situations. How we treat others usually determines how we will be treated and by doing right by everyone we come into contact with will naturally help to raise our vibration prompting others to do the right thing by us. Treating everyone compassionately will attract positive people and provide many positive opportunities in our life.

Avoid TV, radio and media in general

It’s especially important to avoid most news programs because they often do much more harm to your vibratory level than good. When watching TV we end up taking in so much negative energy and it becomes confusing to our subconscious mind and some of that negative imagery and energy gets absorbed by your subconscious, triggering a feeling of fear from within. Most of the mainstream media relies on fear mongering, they want to shock you into a state of fear so you keep on watching and the more you watch, the more addicted you become. This can have a disastrous impact on your vibratory level.

Strive to remain as optimistic and as rational as possible

This can be difficult to do especially whenever a crisis arises, but when we are in a crisis situation, this is when it’s most important to stay positive. By remaining positive and rational, we’ll keep our vibration high, and when we are vibrating at a higher rate our challenges will be reduced much quicker or we may even find it wasn’t really a problem at all. Positive people, things and events are attracted to positive people. Surrounding ourselves with positive, sensible and rational people is a great way to arrive at (and maintain) a healthy state of mind.

Keep in close touch with your feelings/emotions

Feelings and emotions are our cosmic connection in regards to our entire life and the well-being of the planet. The universe understands the language of feelings and emotions. When we are feeling good about ourselves things residing on the same level of frequency will be the only things attracted into our lives. Our level of vibration runs parallel with our feelings, meaning we are in control of our life and the events that come into our life at any given moment. If there is one important point in relation to raising your vibration it would be to stay on top of your feelings.

Summary: Our personal vibration could be the one factor holding us back from a life of abundance, happiness and success. When we discover how to raise it, we can finally start living from the vibration of love, peace and joy.

Next: “How to Raise Your Thought Vibration” So, check back soon…

Rae Indigo is ERYT 500