Recently, a friend of mine wrote about her beautiful Ayahuasca experience, and all it entailed, from start to finish. It made me think about my own Ayahuasca journey, and how much effort I put into preparing myself for what was to come.
I felt a bit overwhelmed when I first discovered there were drastic changes I would need to make to my choices regarding food. No salt, no oil, no meat, no cheese… How would I survive? Don’t get me wrong, I love veggies and salads, but how was I supposed to cook anything without oil or salt? After a few days of experimenting in the kitchen, I discovered some exciting ways to make healthy meals without any of the forbidden ingredients (you can find a few of those recipes at the end of this article). I must admit, this takes more time and effort than preparing a “normal” meal and I sometimes asked myself,
“What’s the point of doing all of this? Will it even make a difference?”
Well, there is a *very* valid reason for la dieta, and it will make a huge difference. The purpose of this is to help the body detox as much as possible before taking the medicine which is meant to make you purge all the bad stuff out of your system.
As much as I am craving a bacon cheeseburger, if I were to eat one a few days before taking aya, I would have a much more unpleasant “purge” than if I were to adhere to this plan. In fact, disregarding the diet could cause you to feel extremely ill. But there is more to it than that. There is a spiritual reason as well as a medical reason.
Reading up on the purpose of the medicine and how the indigenous people prepared for the ceremony gave me insight into another part of this. Besides eating healthy foods to cleanse the system, there are other “vibrational” reasons for doing things this way.
Ayahuasca is plant medicine. The shamans believe that eating a plant-based diet will help one connect in an easier way to the message they are meant to receive. Plants have energy and resonate just like people do, so I can understand how this makes sense.
One part of this is to avoid salt. There are two reasons for this. The first is because salt is known to cure and preserve foods, which is the opposite of the intention on the dieta. Living, healthy greens and veggies are higher-vibration foods than anything that has been salted. Having a diet of fresh foods instills a “living” energy within you.
Another reason is because of the spiritual use of salt. As someone who practiced Wicca for a long period of her life, I totally get this.
Salt is used as protection, and it blocks other energies (or entities) from interacting or interfering with you. If you are taking a medicine to help you connect to something, you certainly don’t want anything to inhibit that connection.
Ayahuasca works with your body in major biochemical and energetic ways. So everything else put in your body (especially food) has to be looked at a certain way. Try to see how your diet choices will harmonize or clash with the natural medicine, and if they will benefit the work aya is trying to do inside your body and your energy field.
Now let’s get to the medical part of things.
Ayahuasca is considered to be an MAOI (monoamine oxidase inhibitor). As such, you will want to avoid all foods with a high tyramine content. Tyramine is found naturally in plants and animals, and occurs in foods during fermentation or decay.
“Foods containing considerable amounts of tyramine include meats that are potentially spoiled or pickled, aged, smoked, fermented, or marinated, and most pork.
Other foods containing considerable amounts of tyramine are chocolate; alcoholic beverages; and fermented foods, such as most cheeses (except ricotta, cottage, cream and Neufchâtel cheeses), sour cream, yogurt, shrimp paste, soy sauce, soybean condiments, teriyaki sauce, tempeh, miso soup, sauerkraut, kimchi, broad (fava) beans, green bean pods, Italian flat (Romano) beans, snow peas, edamame, avocados, bananas, pineapple, eggplants, figs, red plums, raspberries, peanuts, Brazil nuts, coconuts, processed meat, yeast, an array of cacti and the holiday plant mistletoe.”
It is best to avoid these foods completely, as they could possibly trigger a hypertensive episode. Also, anyone taking prescription MAOI’s should be off of them for a minimum of 30 days before attempting to try ayahuasca.
Again, sticking to a “living” diet will undoubtedly be safer and leave you with fewer questions than one filled with meat, cheese, and bread.
Of course, not being allowed coffee was probably my biggest struggle. You can substitute dandelion “coffee” for real coffee if you need a strong beverage in the morning.
I have gathered a few sources and written down the preferred abstinence breakdown so you know what to remove from your daily intake, and for how long.
1 – 2 weeks before drinking Ayahuasca, avoid:
– Smoking tobacco (of any kind)
– Drinking alcohol
48 – 72 hours before drinking Ayahuasca, avoid:
– Fried foods or excessive oil
– Sexual contact
– Spicy foods
– Fermented food
– Raw onion
– Non-fresh (canned or packaged) meat or fish products
– Liquid and Powdered protein extracts
– Brewers yeast or yeast-based supplements
– Dairy products
– Overripe fruits
– Processed sweets and refined sugar
– Excessive amounts of table salt
– Pork and red meat
24 hours before drinking Ayahuasca:
Fasting is usually recommended, since you will be purging a lot during the ceremony.
It is important to remember to drink lots of water during these two weeks of preparation. Keeping the body hydrated is good for your health, regardless if you are on la dieta or not. Also, it helps to flush the body of toxins.
Note: More than one of the sites I referenced for la dieta advised to avoid dried spices, so there are no seasonings in the following recipes. However, using fresh herbs from the garden is perfectly fine if you wish to add them. All ingredients listed are organic, and pesticide free.
The eggs used are cage-free and come from organic vegetarian fed hens. The fish used are wild-caught and locally sourced.
Southwest Dairy-Free “Quiche” with Salad
This is an easy recipe that is full of protein and flavour!
4 red potatoes (small – medium)
2/3 cup mushrooms
2/3 cup grape tomatoes
1/3 cup diced onion
1 ear of corn (cooked, with kernels removed and saved)
1/3 cup cooked black beans
1/2 romaine heart
a few grape tomatoes
Slice the red potatoes to a medium thickness and boil until they can be pierced easily with a knife. You don’t want them to be too soft, as this is the base of the quiche. Remove from heat and drain. Pat dry to remove excess moisture. Line a small casserole dish with parchment paper and place potato slices along the bottom of the dish.
In a medium bowl, mix 6 eggs. Add mushrooms, tomatoes, and onion. Pour mixture over potato slices.
Place in oven at 350F (175C) for 20 – 25 minutes.
Top eggs with corn kernels and black beans. Return to oven and continue baking until the eggs are no longer runny on top, 15-20 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Using the romain lettuce, cucumber slices, sprouts and tomatoes, prepare your salad.
Once quiche has cooled, cut into slices and remove from parchment paper.
Bluegill with Wild Rice and Yuca
6oz Bluegill fish
1 cup wild rice (cooked)
Yuca root (peeled and cooked)
1 tomato sliced into 6 pieces
After cooking your rice, and boiling your yuca, go ahead and slice your tomato. Take enough aluminium foil to make a packet for your fish and line the bottom with 3 tomato slices. Place the fish (rinsed and patted dry) on top of the tomato slices, and top with the three remaining slices. Wrap foil into a packet and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350F (175C) for 20 – 35 minutes, depending on thickness of fish. Bake until fish is white and opaque.
Once cooked, place fish and tomatoes on top of wild rice and serve with yuca.
Gulf Shrimp with Wild Rice and Cauliflower “Bread”
1lb Gulf shrimp (shells and tails on)
1 head cauliflower
1/2 onion, diced
1 cup wild rice (cooked)
1 sprig fresh rosemary
The cauliflower “bread” takes the longest, so start with that first. Remove the base of cauliflower. Place florets into a food processor. I used the “S” blade and left them in until they were crubmly, like rice.
Take the diced onion and saute in a non-stick skillet (without oil). Add in the cauliflower and cook for 10 minutes, to remove moisture.
Remove pan from heat and place cauliflower and onion into a mixing bowl. Add rosemary, diced.
Once mixture has cooled slightly, beat the eggs and add into cauliflower.
Line a baking pan with parchment paper and spoon the mixture onto the pan. Add more of the mixture to each spoonful and press down, creating pancake-type rounds. They won’t spread out during baking, so you can put them close together. Bake at 375F (190C) for 20 minutes. Gently flip over each round and return to oven for another 20 minutes, or until golden brown on both sides. Once browned, remove from oven. To crisp them up before eating, place one round in a non-stick skillet for a few minutes on each side.
If your shrimp has been refrigerated, place in a strainer and run cool water over them for 5 minutes. Then allow them to reach room temperature, or close to it.
In a large saucepan, bring 5 cups of water to a boil.
Add shrimp to boiling water. When shrimp turn pink and rise to the top of the water, they are done. Remove pan from heat and place a tight-fitting lid on top. Allow shrimp to steep for 2 minutes. Remove shrimp from pan and place in strainer. Run cold water over the shrimp to prevent further cooking.
Place shrimp on top of wild rice, and serve with cauliflower bread.
I hope you enjoy these recipes and this article!
Written by Raven Fon