Denise Celdran talks on the evolution of vegetarianism and how achieving wholeness and wellness is all about feeding both the body and the brain.
Necessity often times compels people to rethink beliefs and change their way of living. For Denise Celdran, owner of The Good Seed All-Natural Café and Grocery and co-founder of the Mindworks Wellness Center, a lifestyle change was the answer to a very real problem that she faced some years ago. “I had a thyroid problem and I was depressed, but I didn’t know that it was because of my thyroid condition. I joined a meditation class and looked for different ways to get out of it, without the use of medication.”
Celdran’s search led her to The Art of Living Foundation, the biggest volunteer organization in the world with several programs that address, among others, achieving inner peace and alleviating stress. She became a certified teacher of meditation, made the change to vegetarianism and went through her own catharsis from her depression. She experienced first-hand how a change in diet improved the quality of her meditation and her overall health. Today it’s difficult to imagine that Celdran once suffered from “brain fog.” Not only does she run successful businesses, she is a teacher and practitioner of homeopathic medicine and meditation, does life coaching and brims with a contagious positivity.
Planting the Good Seed
Edgy Veggy opened in 2012 when she realizing that more people were looking for a healthier way of eating. This later became The Good Seed. It was part of the lifestyle shifts that she and her friends were undergoing as they became more involved with yoga and meditation. Celdran says that since those days, vegetarianism has evolved quite a bit. “Today, I could eat a pizza and have a beer and call myself a vegetarian. The rules haven’t necessarily become less strict, but because we know more about food and the effects it has on our bodies, it’s become more refined.”
Celdran talks of the necessity of awareness about the food sources and how it is integral to healthy living. “Neurotoxins abound in the air we breath, the water we drink and the food we eat; that’s why it’s necessary for us to eat clean food that is free of pesticides and chemicals, to avoid polluting our systems.”
The extensive menu at The Good Seed includes items such as Bulgogi Tofu Steak, longganisa, Risotto Balls with Marinara Sauce and even Vegan Laksa. “Before I became vegetarian, I loved eating those dishes. Now, I enjoy the versions we serve, which aren’t only meatless, but are actually healthy because we use ingredients that are good for the body like coconut oil and organically grown vegetables. The menu is so diverse because when I like a particular dish, I try to “veganize” it so we can serve it at the cafè.”
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Yes, You Can Have Your Sisig
“One thing I’ve heard a lot from our customers is that they wouldn’t mind becoming vegetarian if it meant eating the kind of food we serve.” Celdran says that studies done on health and food continue to change. It is now commonly known that sugar affects the body far more negatively than fat. The Good Seed menu features Gluten-free, Paleo-friendly, Lacto-ovo and Keto-friendly meals. It’s a matter of respecting what a person chooses to put in their body.
Recognizing that many would like to eat healthier meals but are daunted by the prospect of having to prepare it themselves, Celdran carries a line of easily prepared frozen vegan deli items like tapa, longganiza and sisig, plus ready-to-eat bottled dips and sauces like vegan bagoong and mushroom tapenade as well as dessert goodies such as Choco Coco Paleo and Energy Date Balls.
After opening the restaurant, she along with her father Dr. Miguel Celdran, a renowned pediatrician with a practice spanning 50 years, opened the Mindworks Wellness Center, a clinic for mental health. Dr. Celdran had observed that more and more kids were being diagnosed with various mental health disorders. In some cases, it resulted in their overmedication for conformity at school or in other social settings. The Celdrans felt the need for non-pharmaceutical intervention as a treatment option. Dr. Joseph Guan, Asia’s most prominent Neurofeedback practitioner and founder of the Brain Enhancement Center in Singapore, introduced the Celdrans to a technology called Neurofeedback Therapy, a kind of “brain training” that targets specific areas of the brain that are either under or over stimulated. Clients with anxiety or depression, sleep deprivation and other problems associated with the brain, claim Neurofeedback technology has helped them.
Since 2013, they’ve opened three more clinics and have added services offered including Food Intolerance Testing, Hypnotherapy, Health & Wellness Seminars and other complementary therapies. Celdran shares, “Mental health is something that I’m passionate about. Many families suffer from mental health issues and with Mindworks, I believe we’ve made a positive impact on those who’ve come to us for help.”
The Good Seed is located at 3 Brixton Street, Kapitolyo, Pasig. The Mindworks Wellness Centers are located at Unit 311, Narra Building, 2276 Chino Roces Ave. Extension, Makati