Sita is a yogini who dedicates herself to the benefit of all beings through meditation and yoga. She lives in a spiritual community in Industry, the Sat Manav Yoga Ashram, where they have yoga retreats, Kirtan concerts and weekly classes.
1. How long have you been vegan? Two years since joining Sat Manav Yoga Ashram.
2. What made you decide to go vegan? I had been vegetarian for 15 years before I went vegan. I was born and grew up in Brazil where I went to college for ecology. It was during that time when I realize the natural connection with the life web and that we shouldn’t be eating animals. During my time in college I went to a pig farm and saw the terrible conditions pigs lived in. There were hundreds of pigs at this farm. The pigs did not have much room, could not stand up, and they feed their piglets lying down. I decided after I went there I could not eat animals. I was still eating eggs and cheese at that time and then slowly phased out eggs. I came to the United States and to Bar Harbor at the College of Atlantic on a Fulbright grant to study human ecology and how it affects management of forest systems. I have a PhD in plant genetic resources and had my scientific data collected so because I needed a theory from human ecology to analyze the forest biodiversity conservation. I wanted to help increase life not decrease life when I was working in Brazil with the farmers. When I was here I visited the ashram and kept coming back during my vacation. When I moved to the community where I live now,it was a vegan community and a spiritual community. I did not want to take on the animal’s energy and its suffering when I was meditating and trying to expand life. I did not want to ingestion something that had suffered death to be part of my meditation practice. I wanted a clean connection between the sun directly giving energy to the plants and then eating the plants. There is nothing negative and everything positive in that practice. Our group’s intention is to emulate goodness so all beings though yoga, meditation and increasing our vibrations through our spiritual practice which affects the people (and all life forms) we are around. I wanted to be in a community with increased consciousness and wanted to the part of the change I want to see in the world.
3. What are the benefits eating vegan have done for you? Going vegan was a cleansing process. Without dairy it made my life 100% better… my circulation was better, my joints felt better, my digestive system was better and my mood was better.
4. What did you find to be the biggest challenge of eating vegan? I didn’t find any challenges because I was inserted into a community that didn’t have animal products (meat, eggs, or cheese) so it was a better environment for me. Also they have so many great recipes that would satisfy anything I might be missing. Now I eat 80% raw diet which means 2 1/2 meals are raw and half of one of my meals is cooked. I noticed that my tolerance for cold changed with a raw diet also. Eating something cold would cause my body would heat up and I could tolerate cold weather better. Cool food and cold water is very healing for joint inflammation.
5. What are your go to foods for breakfast, lunch and dinner? I’ll have a 24 oz juice every morning around 11:00 made of apples,, carrots cucumbers, beets, ginger, parsley, wheat grass, and celery. I have a snack around 2:00 that consists of a smoothie with three frozen fruits, bananas, mint, spinach, dates, and water. At 5:30 I will have dinner where half of my plates will be a green salad and the other half will be cooked. It could be tacos with corn,lettuce, tomatoes, beans, avocado, and cashew cheese.
6. Do you have a favorite cookbook, tip or recipe to share? I would like to share this mantra Om Narbhavi Swaha which means “Goodness is manifested to all beings”. My vision for the future is that humans will awaken to their true nature and realize that we are just a little cell on the planet and we are supposed to respect life, enhance life, be compassionate, to stop killing and harming others. It is about growth and connecting to each other. Care and help of all living beings resulting in life expansion is what we are supposed to be doing.