I was eager to experience the power of the Chaga!
by Gabriel Azoulay
I must admit that I was never really a supplement kind of guy. Between taking vitamins, to mixing powders, I always felt that I was ‘cheating’ on eating real food. In the back of my head I knew that this logic was incorrect. Today’s foods have 20% less nutrients than fruits or vegetables, and our body needs the needed vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants to boost the immune system and cellular structure. Through my two years of study at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition I learned valuable information about various approaches to eating, and was inspired by Joshua Rosenthal’s definition of Primary Foods, which basically suggests that what we put in our mouths is secondary to Exercise, Sense of joy in our Career, Connection to our Intimate partner, and our Spiritual view of our Higher Purpose.
As a Yoga practitioner since 1993, I learned on my own about the value of breathing and moving the body, the power of changing our diet to enhance physical strength and flexibility, by choosing to eat a more plant base diet. The physical difference between eating a vegetarian lunch compared to a meal with meat was immediate. My energy level was higher; I did not feel so lethargic and tired, and my yoga practice felt lighter and easier.
I was 20 when I changed my diet completely to a vegan diet, though when I was 23 leading a yoga teacher training in Costa Rica, I was shocked to learn about the consequences of modern agriculture on our fruits and vegetables, and more shocked to learn about the body’s need for fish oil, for brain function and immunity system. I tried to take fish oil supplements along with vitamin pills, but my travel schedule and surfing around the USA proved a challenge to maintain a regular consumption of these ingredients. I must admit that I did not see an immediate difference in my practice, over all well being, or day-to-day energy. I stuck to my vegan way of living.
When I settled back in the USA, I inquired about getting products to the USA and was invited to take part in trying the chaga for myself. I was thrilled. I was so excited when the box arrived, with my Chaga supply for 30 days, as well as other various Instant mixes for me to share with the new Yoga Studio I was introducing my Yoga Teacher Training program in.
I quickly boiled water and made a simple Chaga ‘tea.’ The taste was earthy, yet sweet, the flavor unique and the scent excited to my nose. I remember instantly feeling my body’s response. As if all my cells were thanking me for introducing something they had lacked. I had to fight the urge of drinking another cup almost instantly.
The Power of The Chaga
Over the next 30 days I experimented with drinking the Chaga mix on its own with hot water. Mixing it in my daily green juice, my evening orange juice cup. I poured the mix over my pasta or my cooked vegetables. I even took it to the local coffee shop a few times and had them mix it with my hot chocolate or my favorite white chocolate mocha. I posted pictures on Instagram and Facebook, I gave away individual packets to students, strangers and friends, and I found a whole new appreciation for the chaga.
Throughout the month I realized I was feeling healthier, stronger, and happier. The transition of traveling in cold winter throughout Europe, to the cold winters of Idaho was smooth and without any symptoms of illness or cold. Even as spring hovered in the door step, wavering between walking through the doors with warm sunny days, while keeping a foot on the other side with suddenly cold and rainy weekends, my body was calm, strong and energized.
I traveled to CA with my packets, and finished my 30 days on the island of Crete, mixing my Chaga with water, as well as enjoying it over the airplane rice and chickpea vegan meal choice.
Where once I was not sure about supplements, today I know that I will be enjoying Mushroom mixes for life. Thank you so much guys, you make life that much brighter and better.