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Conscious Eating Paperback – April 11, 2000

4.4 out of 5 stars 78 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"In this book, an expanded revision of his 1992 work, Cousens endeavors to make his readers aware of how their food choices affect their bodies, minds, emotions, and spiritual life. He emphasizes there is no one-diet-fits-all approach, but rather a consciousness on the part of the individual of what works. He includes information on the oxidative, autonomic, ayurvedic, anabolic-catabolic, endocrine, blood-type, and acid base diet systems. In personalizing a diet, the individual needs to answer these questions:

• Am I emotionally stable after eating?
• Do I have increased physical energy after eating?
• Am I craving any foods?

"Cousens details studies where poor diets were fed to indigenous groups such as the Kurds, Yemenites, and Zulus. The indigenous people studied had been introduced to highly refined carbohydrate foods and suffered from degenerative conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. He points to a diet of fast, frozen, and processed foods, adopted by Americans and peoples of most industrialized nations, as one that is inadequate. He characterizes this diet as one loaded with refined sugar, white flour, and pesticides.

"The author establishes guidelines for healthy eating by recommending that people consume natural, whole, and organic foods and that the diet be primarily fresh, live raw foods. He advocates a high-complex-carbohydrate, low-protein, and low-fat regimen with attention to receiving adequate sunlight. Deep breathing, bathing, and contact with nature in the form of gardening or hikes all have therapeutic effects.

"In this era where so many things are condensed or encapsulated, reading a book with 850 pages is a daunting task. In this case, it's worth the effort. In Conscious Eating Gabriel Cousens has compiled a handbook that emphasizes the benefits of a raw food diet. He has woven together many philosophies from around the world and incorporated them into a body-mind-spirit program that will be beneficial to the individual and to all mankind. The book is a valuable reference tool that belongs in every vegetarian's library."

About the Author

Dr. Gabriel Cousens, M.D. is an internationally celebrated spiritual teacher, author, lecturer, world peace worker, and physician of the soul. He is the world’s foremost physician promoting live food nutrition for physical health and spiritual growth. He received his M.D. degree from Columbia Medical School in 1969, and completed his psychiatry residency in 1973. As a leading researcher and practitioner in the field of rejuvenation, he specializes in the healing of many chronic degenerative diseases. To the healing process he also brings experience as a homeopathic physician (M.D. (H)), Diplomate in Ayurveda, family therapist, and live-food nutritionist.

Dr. Cousens is also a Doctor of Divinity (D.D.), a Rebbe who has received rabbinical initiation, a student of Ecstatic Kabbalah since 1986, a certified Senior Essene Teacher in the Kabbalistic tradition, a recognized Yogi, a four-year Sundancer adopted into the Lakota Nation, and the White Buffalo Spirit Dance Chief.

He is the author of a number of titles, including Rainbow Green Live Food Cuisine, Spiritual Nutrition, Depression-Free for Life, Creating Peace by Being Peace, and Tachyon Energy: A New Paradigm in Holistic Healing, co-authored with David Wagner, the creator of the Tachyon process. Dr. Cousens presents seminars worldwide on many topics including health and nutrition, psycho-spiritual healing, meditation, and spiritual awareness.

Dr. Cousens founded and directs the Tree of Life Foundation, Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center, and Tree of Life Health Practice in Patagonia, Arizona. He is a frequent guest on popular radio talk shows, and has published articles in health journals and popular magazines on a number of health, nutrition, and social topics. Visit his website at www.treeoflife.nu.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 880 pages
  • Publisher: North Atlantic Books; 2 edition (April 11, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1556432852
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556432859
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 1.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #119,271 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gabriel Cousens is the author of seven internationally acclaimed books including Spiritual Nutrition and Creating Peace by Being Peace. Known worldwide as a spiritual teacher and the leading expert in live, plant-source nutrition, Dr. Cousens functions as a holistic physician, psychiatrist, family therapist, and cutting edge researcher on healing diabetes naturally.

He holds an M.D. from Columbia Medical School, a doctorate in homeopathy, and diplomas in Ayurveda, clinical acupuncture, and holistic medicine. His multi-cultural background as an ordained rabbi, an acknowledged yogi, and a four-year Native American sundancer, adds insight to his "whole-person enlightenment" teachings.

Dr. Cousens is the founder and director of the Tree of Life Foundation and the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center, an innovative holistic retreat center for the renewal of body, mind, and spirit, based in Patagonia, Arizona. In his book, There Is A Cure For Diabetes, Dr. Cousens presents his rejuvenation center's program for reversing diabetes naturally.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is one of the best health books I've ever read, no question about it. It combines pretty much every diet fad you've ever heard about into a raw, living food diet.
In this book, Cousens teaches us how to follow the Ayurvedic principles through a 80-90% raw food diet. He also teaches us how to individualize our diets for our metabolic body types. This is one of the only books I know that teaches how to individualize diet for a vegetarian.
The book covers religion, meditation, toxins in our environment, and has a nice living foods recipe section in the back of the book. The nice thing about it, is that with the recipes, he doesn't try to offer dishes that are similiar to those which are cooked. I see a lot of vegetarian recipe books doing that. "Try our delicious all vegan pizza!" and of course, it tastes no better than a branch off of the Maple tree in my back yard. These recipes offer new tastes.
I like a particular section in the book where Cousens tries to explain the logic behind why people think he looks much more unhealthy now than when he did when he was a bulky college football player. We live in such an obesce society, that someone of a healthy weight appears too slim, or unhealthy. Because Cousens doesn't have a pot belly, and sagging male breasts, many people say he looks "thin and puny". This book teaches us that through living foods, we can sculpt and shape our bodies pretty much any way we'd like. He chooses not to be muscular anymore, because he feels he has no need for 30 extra pounds of muscle. Steven Arlin on the other hand, is 230 lbs, and likes to feel big and strong.
All in all, this book takes you on a journey through the fascinating world of raw, living foods. It could change your way of thinking.
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Format: Paperback
Gabriel Cousens is a trained physician who operates the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center in Arizona. I remember reading the first edition of "Conscious Eating" years ago. It was one of the first vegetarian books I read, and one that influenced me deeply. Gabriel explores food and its relation to health taking in consideration its effects on different levels: physical, mental, and spiritual, as well as each person's individuality. Gabriel Cousens tries to "Individualize the Diet" instead of saying that there is one diet ideal for everyone. I was more enthusiastic about these ideas when I first revised this book, but now I am not so impressed by all these theories anymore. Dr. Cousens has adapted the Indian health system of Ayurveda to vegan, raw food nutrition. The chapter on vitamin B-12 will be of great interest to all vegans and raw-foodists. Doubts about a vegetarian diets are dispelled. The part on Vegetarianism in world religions, and also the vegetarianism of Jesus are also fascinating chapters included in this part of the book. Part three is titled: "Transition to Vegetarianism," but is also about transition to living foods and the reasons behind such a diet. Gabriel outlines the best way to make this transition as easy as possible. The transition is in four stages, from a meat and dairy based diet to a vegan, raw food diet. The final stage of 95% living foods, a difficult step for most people that can be made easier understanding the psychology behind it. "Stage Four diet is more intense and more likely to be successful for those who are mature and balanced in all areas of their lives. For most people, it requires several years of experience and self-experimentation to become balanced and grounded with the full life-force power of this diet." Other chapters of interest in this part include information on pesticides in our food, and a list of the most sprayed fruits and vegetables. The book also contain many raw-food recipes.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book because I wanted to become a better vegetarian/vegan and gain a healthier attitude toward self-nourishing (without giving up coffee and chocolate!). I found the analysis sections extremely eye-opening, and learned that the high-carb vegan diet I was having such trouble sticking to is not at all suited to my body/metabolism. I've made some real shifts in my diet based on this book, especially including both more protein and more raw foods, and have a lot more focus and energy now.
I highly recommend this book, especially for people who want to move further toward or into vegetarianism. It will help a lot with that transition and guide you to finetuning what you eat to suit your metabolic needs. It will also change your perspective and understanding of food and how it affects mind, body, and spirit.
Unfortunately, some of the information is a little confusing: I couldn't always figure out how to apply or use what I'd learned. And while I personally agree about the spiritual dimensions of diet, others may find that focus (especially in the beginning of the book) a little too strong. I think Dr. Cousens would have done better to shift that focus to the second half, so he could gradually build up to it.
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Format: Paperback
As a Naturopathic physician one of the first issues I discuss with people is diet. What we eat is our life's fuel. I don't give the same advice over and over, because we are unique individuals who require unique diets. There is no "One Way" that is best for everyone. However, much of what Dr. Cousens writes about in his book would benefit all of us. Not only does he delve into detailed explainations of why raw vegan foods are healthier choices, but he backs it up with the most recent research available. Then he goes to great lengths explaining how simply bringing one's consciousness to the table can shift how that food is "taken in" by the body. As one who has both professionally and personally experimented with many types of diets, I find his writing to be a lovely blend of passion and science. By incorporating just a little of what Dr. Cousens recommends into your life, you will enhance your spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being whether or not you ever become vegetarian.
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