Saturday, June 1, 2013

Chakra Cafe, a focus on healthy eating

Imagine taking a bite of from your mushroom burger panini while waiting for your past life therapy session. Or maybe just indulging in a bean burrito while waiting for your turn in a spa that uses organic products.

Yes. You read it right. Mushroom Burger Panini. Past life regression. Bean burrito. Organic spa products. Not your typical food, not your typical form of therapy and maybe not your typical kind of spa product. Definitely, the word typical is not an adjective that would describe The Third Eye Wellness Center where Chakra Café is located at and where I was invited a few days ago.

Chakra café is part of this holistic wellness center that serves vegetarian food, one that follows a philosophy that living food (veggies and fruits) is good for the body because it contains nutrients that can improve the overall condition of the body. Moreover, this kind of food also nourishes our chakras.

But what are chakras exactly? Chakras came from the Sanskrit word meaning wheel and are usually referred to as the different energy centers of the body. Chakras are claimed to facilitate the flow of energy within our body and if it is blocked we may experience discomfort or illness. These are also usually blocked if we have some internal issues we have to resolve like an issue on stability, creativity, love and others.

However, according to the founder of The Third Eye Wellness Center, Sanaiyah Keswani-Gurnamal, eating the right food can help you improve the state of your chakras and keep it balanced so you are at your optimal health.  

Below is their guide on how to nourish our chakras or energy centers:

The Root chakra represents security and is located at the base of the spine. It can be nourished with root vegetables, tofu and beans.

The Sacral chakra represents creativity, intimacy and is located at the navel and the pubic bone. It can be nourished with tropical fruits, nuts and seeds.

The Solax Plexus chakra represents control and power and is located at your abdomen. It can be nourished with fiber, whole grains and yellow-colored foods.

The Heart chakra represents love, acceptance and forgiveness and is located at the center of the chest. It can be nourished with vegetables like salad and sprouts.

The Throat chakra represents communication and self-esteem and is located at the base of the throat. It can be nourished with sea plants, soups, juices and fruits.

The Third Eye chakra represents intuition, direction and inspiration and is located between the eyebrows. It can be nourished with herbal tea, blueberries and fruit shakes.

The Crown chakra represents unity and spirituality and is located at the top of the head. It can be nourished by balancing the other chakras and cleansing your body through detox, yoga and exposure to sunlight, moonlight and fresh air.

And in line with that, we were served food that corresponded to nourishing a specific chakra. However, I got to taste only part of it because I got in late, I got lost in the BGC area. My bad. Still, I was able to try a platter of their food selection after the talk they've given us. 

First up is the Oriental Noodle Salad. I liked that the veggies like thei carrots were not overcooked and still had a certain crunch. Paired with their pancit canton like noodles, it was a different take on the salad. Then I sampled their Banana Loaf bread which surprisingly didn't lack in flavor, something you’d sometimes expect in a vegan restaurant. In fact, it tasted a little better than your usual banana cake, maybe because it was baked fresh and wasn't wrapped in plastic or kept sitting on a shelf for a long time.

But my favorite so far is their Bean Burrito. Though, I only got a small portion, it still made me sit up and wonder how this simple wrapped pita bread with rice and refried beans almost had the same flavor as a regular beef burrito. And I know my burrito because I love eating them, wrapped pita with rice, meat and veggies. What’s good about this Bean Burrito is that since it was made mostly with veggie ingredients, I felt lighter after compared to eating the usual rice and meat studded burrito.

Then while waiting for my ride home and out of curiosity, I ordered one of their bestsellers, their Shrooms Burger Panini. Slightly lathered with pesto, the mashed mushrooms inside was topped with cheddar cheese and pressed to make a Panini. It was like eating a light burger, with the fine mushrooms substituting a beef patty and the pesto replacing the perennial tomato, lettuce garnish,  thereby adding a nice, fresh flavor to it while the melted cheese provided an appetizing,contrasting flavor with its tad of salty sharpness.

It was a filling meal indeed even if its ingredients was veggie based. And its salad siding of lettuce and olives drizzled with lemon dressing was crisp and refreshing. Overall, their Shrooms Burger Panini with its siding of salad and low-fat chips have the heft and the flavor of a good meal but less of the guilt than when you indulge in your usual processed meat burger.

Moreover, one of the exciting treats I also tried in Chakra Café was their Raw Juice. You see I've always wanted to try that green liquid, Catherine Banner, Rene Russo’s character in The Thomas Crown affair was chugging in some parts of the film. And Chakra Cafe has a juice that was similar in color, emerald green  and an amalgamation of pressed juices of pineapple, malunggay, banana and other fruits and veggies.

So I tried their version of Raw Juice in Banana flavor. And it tasted better than it looks, honestly. It didn't taste like weed or grass (not that I would know) but normal juice with a slight banana essence. I'm also thrilled that this green drink was meant to cleanse my body and yes, even more thrilled that I got to taste this green drink like Catherine of  The Thomas Crown affair, yey!

Okay, I’m not a vegetarian and I don’t know if I will be because I can’t give up a good steak but lately, I've been eating more veggies and more fruits if it's available because I felt that it had made a difference in terms of my digestion. So I guess I know where Chakra Café is coming from and what it is striving for, to convince people to eat healthier food for a healthier body. To persuade them to eat more veggies and fruits to counteract the unhealthy effects of processed food especially now that we are leading busier lives and munching on more fastfood and ready-to cook meals.

Don’t get me wrong, I still indulge in fastfood and sumptuous pork and beef dishes in restaurants. But it’s more about conscious eating, being aware of what your are about to put into your mouth like what Chakra Café is advocating. You have to discern the various healthy alternative food choices for your body not only in the office or on the road but especially at home when you have a family who you want to live healthier lives too.

So this event, this enlightening visit in Chakra Café was quite an eye-opener for me. It was a validation that it pays to eat your veggies and fruits because it will not only make you feel lighter but it can nourish your chakras, your energy centers so you can achieve your optimum health. And more than that, the kind of food you take aptly speaks how you are treating yourself, your body. Do you treat it with respect by eating nutritious food or don't you care about it at all and swamp it with preservatives? Your choice. Because as they say you are what you eat.

To end, more than the chance of trying the healthy, refreshing food of Chakra Cafe, this visit to the Third Eye Wellness Center (which also includes the Transcend Spa) have been one of the more interesting places I've been in for a while. You only have to have an open mind going in, what with their unconventional and alternative healing therapies like past life regression, crystal healing and Angel Card reading coupled with their indomitable drive on using organic products in their spa.

It was fascinating to witness their dedication on creating an environment that will provide their clients with a relaxing and holistic wellness experience. I wouldn't mind going back there again and happily munch on a Bean Burrito while waiting for an intriguing past life therapy session or Angel Card reading. Not your typical activity indeed.J

Happy healthy eating, everyone J

The Third Eye Wellness Center (Chakra Cafe and Transcend Spa inside)
Unit 600-A, 6th Floor, 20th Corporate Drive Center (behind Essensa Condo)
20th Drive, McKinley Business Park, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig

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