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  • Writer's pictureSpira

Carina’s Japanese Cucumber Salad

Yoga is not just exercise; it is a lifestyle. Exercise alone will not keep you healthy. For optimal health, you need yoga exercise combined with daily mindfulness practice, meditation, and mindful nutrition. You may have wondered what keeps the Spira yoga teachers looking so vibrant, and healthy into their 40’s and 50’s. Here is your answer in three short bullet points!

  1. We feed your mind: i.) We meditate and practice mindfulness daily!– Check out 200-hour Self-Enrichment, 40 days, and Making Friends with Stress Workshops under “Yoga Beyond Asana” tab on our website. ii.) We read! Check out our book recommendations: or read our reflections:

  2. We exercise daily – Take a Spira Power Yoga class 3-6 times a week.

  3. We eat right – nourishing home cooked food made from scratch!

Spira’s Soulfood blog is dedicated to giving you weekly recipes from your yoga teachers kitchen. Nothing staged, nothing artificial in our food or our presentation. What you see on this blog is what we eat at home. We cook it, we take pictures, and we share it with the community.

Our main contributors are:

Carina: She follows an Ayurvedic vegetarian diet that works for her body.

Dora: She had lifelong chronic gut inflammation that she finally got under control with a Low Carb, Paleo, Keto diet. (No grain, no legumes, very little starch of any kind)

Keri: Who is a darn good cook of all scrumptious dishes.

Des: Who is a new mom, figuring out meals that work for her and her baby.

YOU? – Wanna contribute? Write to us:

Carina’s Japanese Cucumber Salad

This week’s recipe comes to us from Carina. We all know her as one of Spira’s lead teachers, but did you know she is an amazing cook?

From Carina:

“This is my take on the Japanese cucumber salad, which is quite refreshing and perfect for the summer. I tweaked it a little bit to make it healthier than the traditional version.

Instead of using sugar, I used local, raw, unfiltered honey, which is more natural and less processed. I always buy local honey because it helps me with seasonal allergies. BTW Did you know you can buy local honey from Spira? Kathi, Spira’s 6 am practitioner, has a honey bee business in her West Seattle garden, Spira buys honey from Kathi, but you can go directly to the farmer, check out info at the front desk! Now that is as local as you get!

I also replaced the traditional Japanese rice wine vinegar with apple cider vinegar, due to the medicinal properties of the latter. Even though apple cider vinegar is an acid, it alkalizes the body. Naturally fermented, unfiltered, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar is rich in vitamins, beneficial enzymes, and amino acids. New medical research suggests that the ingestion of apple cider vinegar may help acid reflux, lower blood pressure, improve diabetes, and support weight loss.

Last but not least, I used coconut aminos instead of soy sauce. I avoid using soy sauce because it is usually highly processed, even when it is organic and GMO free. Additionally, soy sauce typically has wheat gluten, while coconut aminos is gluten-free. Even if you don’t mind consuming the gluten, here is the main advantage of using coconut aminos: It is made from coconut tree sap and sea salt, with no other additives. Better yet, it’s raw, so all of those living nutrients, amino acids, and enzymes from the tree sap are captured and passed directly along to you.



  1. 2 cups thinly sliced Japanese cucumbers*

  2. 1/2­ teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)

  3. 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  4. 1 teaspoon local, raw unfiltered honey

  5. 1 tablespoon coconut aminos

  6. 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

  7. 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

  8. 2 teaspoons sesame seeds

*Japanese cucumbers have several advantages over regular cucumbers. They are more slender, thin-skinned, void of developed seeds, never bitter and entirely edible. You can also use English or regular cucumbers to make this salad, but they will need to be peeled, cut lengthwise, seeded, and sliced into thin half moons.


  1. In a large bowl, combine cucumbers, salt and pepper, mix well.

  2. Add honey, coco aminos, vinegar and sesame oil and mix well.

  3. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and mix.

  4. Let marinate for 20 minutes before serving.

  5. Adjust seasoning before serving.”


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