Edwin Luckhoff-Amador. Healing Diets Graduate. Iridology and Healing Diets Online student, Essential Oils + Reflexology Grad, participant in Colorado 2019 Iridology and Healing Diets Immersion shares from his sustainable community. Read how he transformed the nutritional requirements for 20 people.

“I live in rural Colombia serving as practitioner and therapist in our community and for visitors we host, definitely an enriching experience for case study opportunities to integrate with my studies in the Healing Diets program. The twenty community members share all meals on the farm so for everyone to feel nourished based on different constitutions, I created a diet plan of a transition diet of whole plant based vegan foods as a base with everyone free to supplement as needed. We all take turns in kitchen teams of three creating daily meals with shift changes offering a nice variety of flavors and dishes as shared here: Breakfast: Papaya pineapple fruit salad with a side of soaked oats. Snack: Salad: veggies, quinoa, seed sauce and guava and spirulina juice. Lunch: Steamed/baked vegetables with rice and lentils Dinner: Squash, potato soup.

Portion sizes have been the main challenge to meet a basic caloric intake. A year ago we noticed we were underweight, many the lowest weight we had ever been, and also experiencing weakness and fatigue. As I explored, I discovered we had a low caloric intake for the rigorous physical labor pf community living. I discovered a Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) calculator online and calculated an average TDEE for the farm only to find daily calories based on the average age, weight, height and activity level calculated on a communal TDEE x 20 = 50,000, and our numbers were more than 10,000 calories short.

As I worked on out how to bulk up caloric intake to meet the community’s needs, I landed on two ideas, the first being portion sizes. Cooking for upwards of 20 people is no easy undertaking so we needed portions that were easy to organize when we cook and in proportion to appropriate daily baskets for food. We got better at knowing how much food to prepare depending on the amount of people on the land. This made meal portions more consistent and leftovers made it easy people who needed more food, and no one was left hungry. When I was calculating the TDEE I noticed the majority of our calories came from grains, nuts, seeds and starchy vegetables (Rice, Quinoa, Oats, Peanuts, Sesame seeds, Chia seeds, Lentils, Beans, Chickpeas, Potatoes, Yuca, Platano) providing over 75% of caloric intake. Manipulating them in small quantities can make a big difference in a healing diets program.

Calories are important and interesting, but not the only point of focus for our culinary reform. Abundant colors and varieties of vegetables and fruits are crucial to receiving needed vitamins, minerals, sugars and phytonutrients. More green salads, super fruit juices, and colorful plates are now on the menu. Along with this I began to implement culinary herbs and spices into our meals. I have grown very fond of a lovely spice shop in a town near by with high quality native and exotic spices, so we now receive benefits of all healing herbs and spices in teas and cooked and raw foods. We also integrated a ritual of sharing herbal tea together every morning! A beautiful practice.

Another part of the initiative consists of implementing fermented living foods with rejuvelac, kefir and sauerkraut. We function fully on solar panels, which has its benefits, however we do not yet produce enough electricity to have a refrigerator which can be a challenge in fermentation. The kefir is a hit and we have a large production we are consuming everyday. It is very refreshing to drink when we are working outside, and it fills us with bubbly probiotics! I have also been experimenting with sauerkraut recipes, however sometimes this can be tricky and a lot of work to make it right and to know when it is ready.

Ultimately what I am working on is to bring into the community to an embodied way of interacting with food as medicine, seeing the kitchen counter and the dining table as altars of nourishment and sacrament. Planting the idea that the kitchen is a sacred space in which simple dishes can be blessed with love and care, and creating medicine in the most humble of dishes has inspired spearheading the construction of a permanent kitchen.

I organized a fundraiser and we raised over $8,500 with over 200 people donating to the construction of our kitchen temple. We currently have the main structure done and are now finishing the floor. There is still much work to be done, but in recognition that the journey is the reward, I bow in gratitude to this Healing Diets path and the opportunity to share and lead and live this conviction with a community who believes as I do and offers the platform for me to share my practice and studies to visitors from all over the world.

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