Thursday, June 17, 2010

Radiantly Alive

One month has already passed, since I arrived on Bali beginning of May, and with it an exciting and inspiring time, creating indulgent gourmet raw food meals for about 35 eager students of the Radiantly Alive Yoga Teacher Training. This month long program is probably one of the world's most comprehensive yoga teacher trainings available at the moment. Each day seems like a day in paradise. Starting with Meditation and Pranayama at 5:45, followed by 2 hours of invigorating yoga practice, instructed either by Daniel Aaron himself or one of the many guest teachers, the students get their first raw food highlight of the day: a bright, tropical breakfast. For me personally, the highlight of every breakfast were the 5-6 varieties of tropical fruit we offered each day. Local staples like enzyme rich papaya, dark yellow mangoes and the juicy super-food/fruit mangosteen were only topped by occasional treats such as jackfruit, which became one of my new favorite tropical fruit. The mere size of an outgrown, ripe jackfruit literally threw me for a loop ;-) The meat is gooey and sticky and when you have it on your hands it has sort of the same effect as the rinds of a pine tree, leaving some stickiness on your fingers. The taste and texture of the fruit when its ripe is outstanding, just like juicy candy gum, but all natural. Yumm. Of course, fresh tropical fruit was only one part of breakfast. The chef's challenge was to come up with chia coconut porridge with daily changing flavors (chocolate banana, chai spice, papaya, vanilla, etc.) and superfood smoothies with flavor profiles such as a passion fruit spirulina maca blend or mulberry chocolate.

Now this was only the humble start of the day. Together with chef Matt Samuelson, who has taught for many years at Living Light Culinary Insitute in Fort Bragg, California, our motivated international kitchen crew (from left to right) Japanese chef Sayuri, who also caters other retreats, myself (b.alive!), German apprentice Anna and becoming raw chef Lucie from the Czeck Republic created some outstandingly rawluscious lunches and divine dinners. Some of my personal favorites were:
  • the Mediterranean themes with Hummus and Dolmas, in which the rice had been replaced with a delicous mix of rice shape cut zucchini, pine nuts, raisins, orange juice and olive oil wrapped in flat rolled marinated romaine lettuce leafs.

  • an Indian Dinner theme with fermented chapati bread, palak paneer, delicious vegetable curry and mango and coconut mint chutney
  • our Asian Style lunches with ad-hoc creations like my Thai Style cucumber kaffir lime "noodles" with wilted spinach.
During one month of such amazing energizing food and invigorating yoga practice with world class teachers in a truly magical environment of religious rituals and Balinese traditions, surrounded by lush jungle, endless rice fields with tremendous views and dramatic sunsets an amazing group of people including organizers, teachers, kitchen staff and students alike are truly undergoing a life-changing transformation and I can say for myself that I have made quantum steps towards radiantly alive. Go and see for yourself :-)

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