Diet Guidelines

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Whether you are suffering from chronic illnesses or preparing for a Spiritual Ceremony, the following General Diet Recommendations is very helpful in enjoying a favorable connection to plant medicine. These restrictions on your part will show your commitment to the plant kingdom and they will be more then happy to share their wisdom and earthly gifts with you.

The following may seen very difficult to follow for Westerners, however I can vouch from my own experience, the healing and cleansing are absolutely helpful and your body will thank you with enormous amount of energy and vitality. The risk of a serious negative reaction between Ayahuasca and certain foods or drinks is less severe than the risk of such occurring with the drugs, herbs and supplements listed on the Medical Guidelines page.

So many people feel confused in regards to what to eat when preparing for a ceremony. My general rule of thumb for myself is this: If the food you choose has been tempered in any shape or form and no longer looks like the way it grows in the soil, question it. For example, someone asked me the other day if they could have almond milk. My answer is YES if you make it yourself and NO if you buy it from the store. If you look at the package and the ingredients list, you will find additives that are not from the soil, thus anything added to it maybe a potential problem for you in ceremony. Same goes for coconut milk, if you take an actual coconut, pierce the 3 holes at the top and drink the coconut water eat the inside, then I would say yes, but stuff you buy at the store is likely to contain additives so be choosy. Don Enrique in Peru always said that simpler is better. Your diet preparation is meant to cleanse you, raise your vibration, and free your digestive system so that the medicine can do her healing and open you up to your inner visions/wisdom. Your preparation is to show respect to the plant and is meant to feel like you are giving comfort and rarely feels easy at all, especially if you are hooked on coffee, sugar or other stimulant to give you energies. The more preparation you do, the more Grandmother medicine appreciate your effort. She is super powerful in vibration and most of us have a lot to learn about raising our vibration.

What Foods Can I Eat ?

It is my opinion, the following food choices are safe to eat up to the ceremony. However, we are talking fresh and not dried food. Grains should be soaked for 24-48 hrs to help digestion. It is a good choice to eat light food or fast the day of the ceremony to allow foods to pass down the elimination channels. think of it this way, eating like a baby with easy to digest food is much better.

Fennel, green onions, red/yellow/orange/green peppers, parsnip, summer squash/zucchini, carrot, kohlrabi, sweet potato, yam, turnip, alfalfa sprouts, artichoke, bamboo shoots, celery, romaine, plantain, string beans (yellow or green)
Coconut, rhubarb, pomegranate, purple plum, persimmon, cherry, apricot, fig, dates, papaya, cranberry, lemon/lime, melons, cantaloupe (ALL fresh NOT dried)
Catfish, eggs (happy ones, no hormone or antibiotics), chicken (OK if no hormones, no antibiotics and grass fed)
Chamomile or Peppermint tea (Real herb, no mixed or bags)
Grains & Legumes
White rice, lentils, Azudki beans, amaranth, quinoa, millet, black bean, buckwheat, white kidney beans (Cannellini – had these daily in Peru)
Pine nuts, pecan (Careful with these the week prior due to high oil content)
Chia seeds

Acceptable ideas for seasoning your foods

  • Fresh herbs (basil, thyme, sage, dill)
  • Mild spices (cumin, coriander, dill, sage)

General explication as to why you cannot have certain foods 

Combining an MAOI with foods high in tyramine, tryptophan or levodopa can potentially lead to hypertensive crisis, serotonin syndrome or psychosis. These do NOT mix well with MAOI’s (Monoamine Oxidase) such as the Plants used in your ceremony. MAOI’s open the GUT barrier and travels to the brain to raise the levels of Serotonin and Dopamine. This is the reason why we want to refrain from eating foods that will raise these before a ceremony. Some people have more addictions to food then others. Sugar, caffeine, alcohol are big ones. Address these gently since they will raise a whole bunch of emotions. Be strict with your foods the last week prior to your ceremony. In the Jungle, we often eat simply with four choice of foods such as: Eggs, Rice, Yam, and oatmeal. Remember, you are giving up comfort so that you can cleanse your body and raise your vibration to meet grandmother medicine. This is NOT a comfortable journey but very rewarding with lots of energies.

Foods High in Tyramine.

Tyramine is a naturally-occurring compound found in many foods and beverages. Many of these are likely favorites and may be difficult to let go while preparing for your ceremony. High levels of tyramine can cause blood vessels to narrow. This can lead to very high blood pressure, a severe headache, and possibly bleeding.

  • Strong or aged cheeses, such as aged cheddar, Swiss and parmesan; blue cheeses such as Stilton and Gorgonzola; and Camembert. Cheeses made from pasteurized milk — such as American cheese, cottage cheese, ricotta, farmer cheese and cream cheese — are less likely to contain high levels of tyramine.
  • Cured meats, which are meats treated with salt and nitrate or nitrite, such as dry-type summer sausages, pepperoni and salami.
  • Smoked or processed meats, such as hot dogs, bologna, bacon, corned beef or smoked fish.
  • Pickled or fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, kimchee, caviar, tofu or pickles.
  • Sauces, such as soy sauce, shrimp sauce, fish sauce, miso and teriyaki sauce.
  • Soybeans and soybean products.
  • Snow peas, broad beans (fava beans)and their pods.
  • Dried or overripe fruits, such as raisins or prunes, or overripe bananas or avocados.
  • Meat tenderizers or meat prepared with tenderizers.
  • Yeast-extract spreads, such as Marmite, brewer’s yeast or sour dough bread.
  • Alcoholic beverages, such as beer — especially tap or homebrewed beer — red wine, sherry and liqueurs.
  • Combination foods that contain any of the above ingredients.
  • Improperly stored foods or spoiled foods. It is best recommended to eat only fresh foods — not leftovers or foods past their freshness dates.

When these foods, high in Tyramine, are combined with MAOIS’s (Monoamine Oxidase), they can have a potential fatal high blood pressure. An extreme rise in blood pressure is quite dangerous because it can damage your body’s organs. And, if your blood pressure is not reduced quickly, you could experience some of the following effects:

  • Changes in mental status, such as confusion
  • Severe headaches
  • Sweating and sever anxiety
  • Change in visions
  • Nosebleeds
  • Shortness of breath
  • Stroke
  • Chest pain
  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Fluid in the lungs
  • Aneurysm
  • Eclampsia (occurs during pregnancy)

Rarely, a severe increase in blood pressure can lead to bleeding in the brain (hemorrhagic stroke)

Foods High in Tryptophan.

Amino acids help to create proteins that aid in neurotransmission messages to and from the brain. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that plays a vital role in this process. Tryptophan is a precursor of 5-HTP or serotonin which is acquired from dietary sources. Tryptophan combines with vitamin B6, transforming into serotonin and niacin in the liver. This helps to improve blood circulation, enhance memory and lower cholesterol, making tryptophan an essential amino acid to improve your overall health. You’ve all felt the relaxing effect of Trytophan after a big turkey dinner.

These are foods to avoid prior to your ceremony.

Milk and Milk Products
Traditional milk products, yogurt and soy milk
Mutton, venison, beef liver, calf’s liver, chicken breast, turkey breast
Halibut, cod, tuna, shrimp, mackerel, salmon, snapper, scallops
Cheese Cheddar processed cheese, cottage cheese, tofu, gruyere cheese
Apples, bananas, blueberries, strawberries, avocados, pineapple, peaches
Spinach, mustard greens, asparagus, eggplant, winter squash, green peas, kelp, broccoli, onions, tomatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, mushrooms, cucumbers, potatoes
Walnuts, peanuts, cashews, pistachios, chestnuts, almonds
Ground flax, sesame, pumpkin, fenugreek, sunflower seeds (roasted)
Mung bean, soybeans, kidney beans, lima beans, chickpeas
Wheat, brown rice, red rice, barley, corn, oats

What is Levodopa?

Levodopa is the precursor required by the brain to produce dopamine, a neurotransmitter (chemical messenger in the nervous system). People with Parkinson’s disease have depleted levels of dopamine.

The Link Between Too Much Dopamine and Addictions

Dopamine is the “reward” neurotransmitter that tells your brain you want more of something.

It’s released when we take an action that helps ensure our survival, such as eating, drinking, having sex, or making money.

Neuroscientist John Coates reveals in his bestseller The Hour Between Dog and Wolf that these natural activities temporarily raise dopamine by 50-100% over baseline levels, but addictive substances increase dopamine much, much more.

Nicotine increases it by 200%, cocaine 400%, and amphetamines by an astounding 1,000%.

All potentially addictive substances and behaviors — including caffeine, alcohol, sugar, drugs, shopping, video games, cell phone use, online porn, gambling, pursuit of power, and thrill-seeking — flood the brain with unnaturally high levels of dopamine.

But dopamine receptors are relatively fragile and this bombardment can damage them or even stimulate them to death.

So to protect your dopamine receptors, a process known as downregulation occurs.

Dopamine receptors become less responsive or even totally shut down.

But this means you will need more and more of your addictive behavior or substance to get a similar buzz from it.

You are now stuck in a vicious cycle of addiction, dopamine production, and downregulation.

Dr. Robert Lustig reports in The Hacking of the American Mind that as long as dopamine receptors are alive they can regenerate, but it can take 12 months or more to get them back to normal.

Dopamine-Boosting Foods & Supplements to avoid?

Potatoes, tomatoes, avocados, broccoli, oranges, spinach, and Brussels sprouts contain some dopamine. Bananas are a particularly rich source of dietary dopamine. However, the dopamine consumed in food doesn’t cross the blood–brain barrier and so has no impact on your brain. If you want to elevate your dopamine level with food, you’ll need to use a workaround. Dopamine is made from the amino acid l-tyrosine which is commonly found in protein-rich foods. Eating a diet high in l-tyrosine can help ensure you’ve got the basic building blocks needed for dopamine synthesis.

List of foods, drinks, & spices known to increase l-tyrosine or dopamine:

All animal products, almonds, apples, avocados, bananas, beets, chocolate, coffee, fava beans, green leafy vegetables, green tea, lima beans, oatmeal, olive oil. oregano, peanuts, rosemary, sea vegetables, sesame and pumpkin seeds, soy products, turmeric, watermelon, wheat germ

Fava beans, also called broad beans, are one of the few foods that contain l-dopa, a direct precursor to dopamine that is used to treat Parkinson’s disease. Foods high in natural probiotics such as yogurt, kefir, and raw sauerkraut can also increase natural dopamine production.

Supplements that raise dopamine levels naturally & s/b avoided before a ceremony.

These are often found in protein powders or supplements and may or may not be written on the labels.

L-tyrosine is the first dopamine supplement to considerThis amino acid is the precursor to dopamine.

Mucuna pruriens is a tropical legume that contains l-dopa, a dopamine precursor. Mucuna pruriens supplements are sold to enhance mood, memory, overall brain health, anti-aging, and libido.

Curcumin is the main active ingredient in the spice turmeric. It readily crosses the blood-brain barrier where it boosts levels of dopamine.

Ginkgo biloba is traditionally used for a variety of brain-related problems such as poor concentration, memory problems, headaches, fatigue, mental confusion, depression, and anxiety. One of the ways ginkgo works is by raising dopamine.

L-theanine is a unique compound found in green, black, and white teas. It increases levels of dopamine as well as serotonin and the relaxing neurotransmitter GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid).

Phosphatidylserine acts as your brain’s “gatekeeper,” regulating nutrients and waste in and out of your brain. It can increase dopamine levels and improve memory, concentration, learning, and symptoms of ADHD.

Why Avoid Salty, Sugary, & Spicy Foods?

From a shamanic healing perspective, intensely-flavored food creates the cutipado effect that obstructs the energy of the plant medicine. Spicy foods are less likely to offend the gods and more likely to offend your throat, sinuses and butthole as they come out. Salt and sugar tend to also come back out in a noticeably concentrated way, so that the honey sweetened tea you drank earlier, and ice cream you ate hours before that (which you are now so clear it has been pumped full of artificial flavors), appear to be regurgitating as a sickly-sweet, condensed syrupy vomit. These all affect the water /fluids of your body and we need all the water possible if the plant want to clean toxins out.

Why Avoid Animal Products?

These days, animal products are chock full of chemicals – from antibiotics, to hormones – and are raised and slaughtered in inhumane ways. Unless you are consuming organic, free range poultry, or wild game from the jungle, it’s best to avoid any industrialized animal products. One of the things I’ve noticed time and time again during ayahuasca ceremony, is that we consume not only the substance of our food, but the energy of it. So if you consume an animal that was pumped full of chemicals, spent the entirety of its life miserably crammed in a pen, only to finally be slaughtered, en mass, in a mechanized way, you also ingest the energy of that animal’s experience.

Foods high in tyramine, tryptophan or levodopa to minimize a couple of weeks prior to ceremony.

  • No salts (e.g table salts, soy sauce, fish sauces)
  • No sugar or artificial sweeteners (Stevia, aspartame, agave, honey, etc.)
  • No pork
  • No red meat (due to hormones and the length of time it takes to digest in your intestines)
  • No shellfish
  • No caffeine (coffee, green tea, black tea, soda, chocolate)
  • No animal fat (lard, butter. etc.)
  • No dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt)
  • No oil
  • No seaweed, kelp, dulce, arame
  • No hot spices, chilies, peppers
  • No ice cold or carbonated drinks
  • No dried fruits
  • No citrus
  • No fibrous fruits (mango or pineapple)
  • No overripe fruits
  • No banana peels
  • No broad bean pods
  • No vinegar or pickled foods
  • No fermented foods (kimchi, tofu, tempeh, sauerkraut)
  • No spinach or tomatoes
  • No onion or garlic
  • No avocado (3 days prior to ceremony)
  • No yeast or yeast extracts (eg. Marmite, Vegemite, simple unleavened, unsalted breads are okay)
  • No alcohol, wine, beer (including alcohol-free beer)
  • No recreational or prescription drugs (Speak with us about this)
  • No fluoride toothpaste
  • No sexual activities, including masturbation, kissing, watching sexual movies or FaceBook sexual images, and raising kundalini energy
  • No discordant music, reading, media, or movies
  • Avoid synthetic soaps, perfumes, toiletries, etc.

“There are all kinds of ways to challenge ourselves. Some people do it by climbing a mountain or scuba diving. The most profound and challenging ordeals is to drink Ayahuasca. It is in a way the ultimate adventure.” – Graham Hancock