I've got an amazing opportunity to live and work in India while practicing Ashtanga yoga, but my job is cooking vegan and vegetarian food for the guests at a very nice yoga retreat. I've done this job before and I know what it available to me, and not much of it qualifies as paleo! I don't intend to be a vegetarian myself while there and plan to eat fish at least a couple times a week, as that is good and local. I've never eaten other meat in India and don't really want to!
I can get:
~coconut, coconut milk, oil, etc. but there are no jars of Artisana- more like hammering away it and attempting to wrestle out some coconut meat. The milk is in boxes or cans and I wouldn't be surprised if it's full of weird ingredients.
~eggs - I love to blend up raw eggs with coconut milk but not sure about safety in India.
~raw milk from the neighbors- but it's not exactly a pristine deep-green grassy pasture- more like a garbage-strewn ditch- so I'm not too sure about this.
~papayas, banana, pineapple, mango, jackfruit (yuk) or imported, old, radiated apples and whatnot that are horrible. ~a decent variety of vegetables although they usually seem kind of lifeless and nutrient-poor. beets, carrots, zucchini, cucumber, some organic leafy greens too ~grains~ different kinds of rice, and wheat flours (want to avoid) ~legumes~ mung, lentil, garbanzo etc. (need to avoid)
~ghee ~ nuts, cheese, curd, spirulina, bee pollen, are also available. So the question is, how can I make the most of this? I plan to emphasize coconut and make shakes of raw milk/coconut milk with raw eggs and honey or stevia, eat bananas, papaya, pineapple and mango, green smoothies with fruits and add spirulina, vegetables with ghee, and sneak out and pay for fish once in a while? I don't do well with nuts and want to keep the sugar to a minimum although I do like papaya and mango- and of course that is the local food. Is this a do-able paleo diet? coconut, tropical fruit, eggs and fish, basically? Also I will be pursuing during this an advanced ashtanga practice and need to keep the weight down and the energy up! Any advice is appreciated and thanks for bothering to read this long post!
As Melissa and Jack noted above, Aravind would be a great person to address this question. Aravind is a lacto-ovo vegetarian, and is Indian American as well. He eats Indian food every day. After coming out as a vegetarian at the Ancestral Health Symposium, his diet has popped up in some posts around the web such as this one on Denise Minger's blog.
But your message has reached him through other means apparently, and he sent me here to get you in touch with him, if you so choose. Let me know if you want to talk to Aravind, and I'll send you his email address. Now I have to go back to my low reward cave. Sorry for hiding the main point at the end of the message. Good luck!
Edit: Your diet in India looks to be close to this "Island Paleo" diet, with coconut, fish, etc etc. The answers to this hack might apply to your question.
Love, I have spent the last 3 1/2 years mostly throughout India. Unless your retreat prohibits meat, you can find it most everywhere. A lot of Hindus eat meat, some under the table. Muslims eat meat and together thats a lot of Indians. I found that even the veg Hindus will gladly cook meat and serve it to you. They were the sweetest of people. Otherwise, make friends with some Muslims and they can sneek you in some grass fed. I don't want to get you kicked out of your retreat by some peaceloving yogis so stay on the sly. This might be the time to become an insectavor. Offer to do some gardening.
Is there a reason you want to emphasise shakes so much? Why not eat cooked eggs? Anyway, you have ghee, fruit, vegetables, eggs, some dairy, and coconut, plus the fish. Seems like a decent amount of food, as long as your plan to sneak out and get fish every so often works out.
Where or how do I apply for a job! I'm a 38 year old chef/yogi who is going to teacher training soon, but would love to travel, cook good food for good people and practice YOGA! Scott Anderson 360-961-2144
Fish cooked with copious coconut oil sounds the ticket. Occasional mutton (very popular there from what I've been told by my Christian and Muslim Indian friends), and pork/chicken is almost always available somewhere.
I used to be an IT Trainer that trained help desks. I had some quite awesome experiences eating in American restaurants with 10-12 folks from Mumbai. You defiantly learn a lot from the culture just through food. I also was instrumental in teaching them American food is not just pizza and cheeseburgers - and now I'm sure there are about a dozen folks back in Mumbai trying to find where to get good Mexican food.
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