“Whenever you cook vegetables, you lose 80% of the nutrients that our body needs,” Boris explains during his 4-hour raw food workshop at the Vikasa Yoga Retreat on the coconut-treed island of Koh Samui, Thailand.
Working off the bike had its benefits. I was staying across the road from the retreat and while recording the voice overs for Kosta’s yoga videos and partaking in the daily yoga classes, Boris Lauser, master raw food chef (and the man who compiled the menu at Vikasa), was at the retreat conducting a raw food workshop.
And I’m not talking about blood-dripping steaks. Raw foods refer to vegetables, fruits and nuts that aren’t cooked. And if the need to steam or cook them arises, then it should be done at no more than 42 degrees so you don’t loose the nutrients that our body needs.
The benefits of a raw food diet are too numerous to list but the top ones (besides the nutritional value that your body gets) are that it’ll make you look younger, feel more productive, less tired throughout the day, does wonders for your skin tone and keeps you regular – on time every time – like an atomic clock.
We watched hungrily as he explained and demonstrated how to make a coconut and avocado mousse, blending it up in the mixer.
“We’ll let it sit in the fridge and have it for dessert,” he put the tray away and went on to explain a little information regarding tomatoes. “They contain lycopene which can only be accessed by breaking up the tomato in a blender,” he said. “Lycopene has been scientifically proven to fight cancer.”
He went on to demonstrate how to make Chinese dumpling fillings and wrap it in rice paper. We wrapped our own and went on to make rice paper spring rolls filled with Julian-peeled cucumber and carrot wrapped in a lettuce leaf with an added dressing of almond paste.
Next he demonstrated how to make pasta from zucchini and carrots.
“You can cut them into thin strips so that they look like pasta,” he explained while putting a zucchini through the motions. “Drain the water that will come out of it, add the sauce and voila, pasta.”
And it tasted damn good too.
I had been living on the raw food diet since arriving at Vikasa. Every now and then the menu would have the added seafood or chicken but there was no red meat. And, I gotta say, I’ve never felt more alive (and been more regular) without eating red meat. I’ve always tried to implement a salad in every meal I have. Usually, I’ll dice up an onion, tomatoes and cucumber, dress it with olive oil, a dash of salt and grounded black pepper. I do love a good steak every now and then. I can live without chicken and with fish… well it depends on the fish.
After sampling our dumplings and spring rolls, we topped off the workshop with a serving of the previously-made coconut and avocado mousse sprinkled with shredded coconut and cinnamon.
I had to sit down and savoir the moment.
Although based in Berlin of his native Germany, Boris conducts raw food retreats and workshops in Bali and other exotic locations around the world like Koh Samui in Thailand. His website, balive.org, contains recipes and more information regarding when and where his workshops are conducted.