Sunday, December 30, 2007

So you wanna give raw food a try...

You may have a lot of questions, but here are some sure-fire tips to help you along the way.

1) Eat a lot or at least when you feel hungry. You may feel hungry when your stomach is empty, and even though it isn't true hunger, if you are like most people, the only time you allow your stomach to empty out is during sleep, so this may be somewhat uncomfortable to you.

2) Eat lots of FRUIT. Bananas are really filling and satisfying. Blend several bananas with water and ice for an amazingly simple banana shake. You'd be surprised how good this tastes and how filling it is. Sometimes blending fruit makes it easier to eat in larger amounts, if you cannot eat fruit whole.

3) Have a well-stocked kitchen. The day before the you start, which will probably be on January 1, hit the produce section and get LOTS of fruit and salad fixings. Buy some raw nuts and seeds as well. Go to the store hungry so that you will buy the raw food that looks good to you.

4) Aim for ALL raw. Some people say they will just do 80% or 90% raw, but that leaves the cooked door open and cravings will happen. So try going all raw and see what happens. At best, you will feel light, full of energy and lose weight quickly, at worst you may experience some detox symptoms.

5) Allow whatever raw you want for the first 2-3 weeks. Even though a lower-fat diet is healthier in the long run, you need the first few weeks of transitioning time to be easier on you, and if you have to eat extra nuts or avocadoes then don't beat yourself up about it. True there are people who start out eating a fruit and greens based diet, but not eveyrone can do that from the beginning. If you need to use bottled salad dressing because you are not used to eating your greens naked or making your own dressing, that is okay. If you need to use sea salt on something, that is okay. As long as you are focusing on being raw, that is the important thing.

6) Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning and in the middle of the day between meals. This not only helps to curb hunger but will assist in the detoxification process. If you develop a headache or any other detox symptom, drink a glass or two of water. I like to drink cool water without ice - it goes down more quickly that way. You don't want to overload on water, but have enough to take you through the first few days.

7) Move ahead - keep moving forward and don't worry about those slip-ups that might occur. Dont' forget, the long time raw fooders slipped up many, many times before their footing took hold so don't let a night of pizza or a cooked vegetarian dinner stop you in your tracks, just get right back on your horse.

8) Detox means it's working! You may get a slight headache or be down with full-blown flu symptoms - this means that your body is detoxing some old matter. Work through it and don't be tempted to go back to your old diet. Drink and rest lots and in a few days you'll feel amazing again.

9) Dont obsess over nutrients. If you weren't worried about where you got your potassium, protein and B-12 on your past diet, don't start now. After a month or so you'll be able to pick your diet apart, but for now just concentrate on STAYING RAW. Enjoy all the fruits and vegetables, try new ones and different ways to prepare them.

10) Keep it to yourself. I say this from experience. Dont' shout from the rooftops that you are now raw and that everyone is killing themselves with their knives and forks. You will be met with resistance and even some backlashing, and people will ask you where you get your protein or will tease you about eating like a monkey or eating rabbit food. If you can help it, don't eat out for the first week or two and if you do have to eat in a social setting, have a simple entree sized salad or fruit plate and if met with questions, just say you don't feel very hungry and leave it at that.

Most of all, just have fun!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Slipping up...

Some words of wisdom from Richard Blackman

You can find out more about Richard Blackman here:

and here

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Ruby Jewel

It's a great time for a recipe isn't it? And this one is not only delicious and beautiful, but it's seasonal!

This is so wonderful, tangy, sweet and refreshing - you are going to love it!

Ruby Jewel

2 Pomegranates, seeded

3-5 Ruby Red Grapefruits, peeled (depending on how much juice you want to make and the size of grapefruits - should yield about 2 or more cups of juice)

Put through a juicer and enjoy!

This is really a recipe for your juicer, but if you don't mind it on the pulpy side, you can certainly blend it up (and/or optionally strain it).

The important thing, though is you need to de-seed the pomegranates. You don't want any rind in there, as it will make the drink bitter. It seems more tedious than it actually is, but takes no more than a few minutes to do.

Check out this a sure-fire way to de-seed a pomegranate:

Here's another way which I haven't tried yet but looks even easier!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

President Abraham Lincoln's 1863 'Thanksgiving Proclamation'

A beautiful reminder of what our holiday represents. Our family will be reading this tomorrow before our meal...


Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation
Washington, DC—October 3, 1863

The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added which are of so extraordinary a nature that they can not fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict, while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well as the iron and coal as of our precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battlefield, and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the imposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the divine purpose, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity, and union.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.


Monday, November 19, 2007

Ruffling Turkey Feathers

As the 2007 Thanksgiving holiday in America approaches, I am reminded of social eating once again. I think if anything, this holiday is the most focused on food as that’s what it seems to be all about – The Food.

The main meal – the Turkey Dinner is in the foreground while the real meaning is in the background for most people celebrating it.

My hope is that people needing some insight will read this in time – it addresses some social eating issues with raw and vegetarian eaters. Many people handle themselves quite well around others. They do not let pushy friends and relatives get to them. They happily do and eat what they want to do and don’t place blame on anyone or guilt on themselves. But there are those who either feel guilty or defensive and those feelings are much more intense during a shared Thanksgiving Dinner with loved ones.

I have found with my own history and background, that I myself have been pushy and judgmental plenty of times before embarking on my own journey to health. I have thought that people eating and doing different and healthier things than I was strange and I never understood it. I can chalk a lot of that up to immaturity and ignorance, and an unwillingness to learn and explore anything outside of my own box.

Not to ruffle any feathers, but it seems to me that a lot of folks, who tend to allow themselves to be bothered by others around them, may have themselves been over-critical and not understanding of others at one time in their lives. Now that the tables are turned on them being the different ones, they have a hard time dealing with people.

One of the things that cause a lot of stress, in myself, is my mind constantly setting up a situation before it happens. Some people may call it a “monkey mind" or "monkey chatter" but I just think of it as brain thought overload!

I may start thinking of a particular event that I am going to experience, and with that event all the things that could go wrong. I could be thinking about a certain friend or relative who will probably be saying this and that to me, and all the things I should say and do in response.

Even 10 times worse, I would tend to think about something after the fact:

“Why did s/he say that to me?”

“Gosh they were so pushy with me, they made me eat something because I was so annoyed at their behavior!”

“He really embarrassed me by what he said – he didn’t have to broadcast my diet to the whole table!”

“Why did I give in to her constant prodding? I should have just told her ‘no thank you’ for the 5th time and she would have finally gotten the picture! Now I am going to wake up with a cooked hangover, and probably have to deal with really bad cooked food cravings for a whole week!”

“I should have told him that I just feel great eating this way and leave it at that. Why did I have to get in a big debate over the evils of dairy?”

The kicker is that all of these people I was thinking about, probably weren’t even thinking about me. They were likely happily home and in bed, or wrapping up their evenings in their own way, not worrying or going on and on about what happened between me and them.

You see how the stress of the holidays, are more of an inner stress that can fester inside of us! It's a "welcomed" stress that we create all by ourselves.

As a child, were you ever stressed out about such things? I wasn’t! I can remember my mother getting very, very stressed, getting ready for Holiday Company. I could never guess why she would yell at me.

As I became a mother, I found myself yelling at my own, and getting *myself* stressed out when we were expecting company, and the time was getting closer to their arrival. I'd be scrambling around, trying to get everything "done" before it was time. Over the years, I did get a handle on it, but when I’m not organized, I tend to get stressed again.

Well, we cannot go back in time and become children again, now can we, and why would we, because with age comes experience and you wouldn’t want to undo all the experience you’ve accrued over the years.

As we become older, we become better equipped with wisdom in how to deal with certain situations. And it is inevitable that something will bother us and fester from time to time. But knowing how to deal with things does help:

  • Be happy and not defensive. A smile or a laugh always helps when answering a question. As hard as it may be when the time comes, smile and find amusement in the situation you are in!

  • You don’t have to succumb to anything you don’t want to. Especially if you know eating something could make things unpleasant and uncomfortable to your body. Just like an allergy or other health condition, you shouldn’t eat something that disagrees with you or causes a severe reaction in you. Your eating lifestyle should be no different than someone who can't tolerate certain foods from an allergy or a diabetic steering clear of cake.

  • If there is an exchange or words that make you uncomfortable, try to be in control of the situation. Try not to let it fester and bother you later on. Make a quick turn-around by thinking of something funny that will erase that bad memory. Or pray for the person who made you uncomfortable. Or even give that person a hug. Turn around the situation quickly so you aren’t left to mull it over in your head the rest of the evening.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Burt's Bleach?

Okay all you Michael Jackson fans, have we got a face cream for you.

I've been using Burt's Bees skin and body products for many years now.

Once in a while (I admit) do use Clorox bleach but all my other cleaning products are either natural or homemade.

So I didn't know what to make of things when I discovered that Burt's Bees sold out to Clorox for a cool $925 million.

Should I be looking forward to a day when cleaning product companies are going to be putting the public's health and well-being at interest?

Should I be put off that a natural product that I've trusted over the years might change their formula?

Should I be happy that I soon might find the line of products at my local Wal-Mart?

If they come out with a new age spot hand cream or highlighting shampoo with a lemony fresh scent, should I be concerned?

I wish I was a fly on the wall at that meeting in the Burt's Bees headquarters.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Fun Announcement!

~ Do you go back and forth with your raw eating?

~ Are you looking for a small and intimate group of like-minded folks to support you on your journey to ulitmate health?

~ Are you ready to spend less time online at message boards but still communicate, get insight, inspiriation and your questions answered?

I just created a discussion and support group for us "steppers" who are stepping up to raw (or taking raw step by step)!

A perfect group for anyone new or wise to the idea of raw food, but would like to give and receive support on your journey.

Come join us -

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Eating Raw Socially II

This is part II of Eating Raw Socially - The Food Part.

There are many situations you will find yourself in that will challenge your will to eat. You may throw up your hands and eat a cooked meal due to a few factors:

Cravings - Along with hunger and limited options, most people are prone to go off their diets, whether it is a cooked diet or raw.

Make sure you never leave the house hungry, or never go to a restaurant, person's home or an event really hungry. Leave the house on a full stomach, and bring some snacks or fruit along with you just in case you decide not to eat.

Guilt - Often people "break" their diets because they are made to feel guilty for not eating someones special recipe, or a meal set before them that has been paid for by someone else. Many times they will use the excuse that they are being a good guest, but a good guest should not really be eating anything they are allergic to or eat food that will harm his or her health. This is no different than eating something that isn't raw if you are commited to a raw food diet.

Lack of freedom - the best eating situations are those which will give the eater a choice of foods, such as a buffet, an open menu in a restaurant, or a pot-luck. The times when many of us feel a bit stuck or end up not eating altogether, or even give in to eating cooked food, is usually when we are a guest at a sit-down predetermined meal, or in the rare case of a restaurant not having fresh food.

There are ways to get around this. One of them is to let the host know you are on a special diet ahead of time, and that you'll be bringing a large salad or fruit plate along to share. If this is met with disagreement, you can tell the host that you'll be bringing it for yourself, since this is what you are able to eat. The host might want to make you a meal that you can eat, in that case be very specific.

I once told someone that I was vegetarian for health reasons (I wasn't all raw at the time) and they made me a special chili relleno casserole. It was loaded with cheese, and they are notoriously made with eggs - full of cholesterol. So be specific. Tell them you eat fresh, uncooked fruit and vegetables but be prepared - not everyone understands this and you might find cheese, croutons and meat on your salad. You might find whipped cream with your fruit or your fruit suspended in Jello. This would be the extreme case here - most people I know would not do this.

In the case of a wedding with a preset sit-down dinner, my personal thoughts are to bring some food along in a nice gift bag or purse. I have heard of some people calling the caterer ahead, but I wouldn't do this, knowing that they are juggling over 100 guests in most cases, and the last thing I want to put on the bride and caterer is having to worry about the one raw fooder.

Many times I have seen untouched dinner plates, so I wouldn't worry about not eating the mass-produced food at a wedding as much of an issue. It is easy to avoid sitting in front of your plate - getting up to mingle or walking around is a way to avoid eating, or just getting engaged in a conversation with someone else at the dinner table.

Here are some ideas of things to bring along just in case you are hungry:

  • Dates

  • Nuts

  • Bags of grapes

  • 2-3 Bananas

  • Apples

  • Oranges

  • Raw crackers

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Eating Raw Socially I

Right now is the perfect time to address this huge issue amongst raw eating. We are about to enter the holiday season where temptation and social eating situations are right around the corner.

The social eating dilemma is very complex. It is not a “one situation fits all” as we deal with different personalities and different food service situations.

After pursuing the raw diet over 6 years now, I do have to say that the social aspect of it is one of the most, if not, the most challenging aspect of the raw diet. Personally, I will not change my diet under a social situation, but there sure can be plenty of obstacles when it comes to conversations and situations in which I’ve found myself.

This will be in two parts. I will address the first part of social raw eating that has to do with communication and answering questions, and getting out of some possibly uncomfortable debates!

Let’s look at all the different facets on eating raw socially:

Most importantly - what kind of person are you?

Person A

Do you feel like you have to ‘adjust’ to the crowd so you don’t stand out or make yourself feel open to questions, comments and criticism?

You may be the type who cannot handle answering questions or concerns so you’d rather not eat differently than others. You will often give up your raw diet easily because it is more important for you to feel accepted by others, and because you cannot handle “being yourself”, you feel that doing what everyone else is doing will make it easier to blend in

Person B

Do you have absolutely no problem eating what you want around others, but feel like you have to be prepared to answer questions?

1. You may be an argumentative type of person, desiring to be noticed for being different, but ready to put people in their place or change others to your way of eating. You may often find yourself in a heated argument with others or being very defensive or backed into a corner. You may constantly feel a lot of judgment from friends and family. In the back of your mind, you may not feel completely at ease with your diet choices, or you may be new to raw foods.

2. On the other hand, you may not be the type of person who wants to be in the battle-zone about your food choices, but you just want to be left alone and in peace with your meal. You might just need some tips on phrases to say when met with questions and objection, to nip in the bud a conversation that might get uncomfortable to you.

Now, try to see which category you fall into. Most people are going to be an A or a B1 or B2. The reason I believe this, is because those who are in the C category are the ones who can easily handle themselves in social situations or really don't care (and have little need to read this!)

Person A – this is for you

You need validation to eat how you feel is the most healthy for your body. You will never be able to reach your goals if you are constantly trying to flex yourself to be like everyone else.

Think of this.

Not everyone likes the same things. Do you think 50 people would all eat the same flavor of ice cream at Baskin-Robbins? Of course not. Everyone will want a different flavor, and you know that there is a possibility that some of them will not even be able to tolerate the ice cream; they’ll be eating sherbet or nothing at all. And there are actually people in the world who just don’t like ice cream. One of my husband’s friends does not eat dairy, he just plain doesn’t like it. Now just suppose 30 of those 50 people all order chocolate ice cream, do you think those 30 people will argue with and judge the other 20 people for not getting the same flavor?

Now let’s look at this from a ‘healthier’ point of view. What if you were at a big slumber party and everyone went to sleep without brushing his or her teeth? You try to go to sleep, but you feel uncomfortable, you have a bad taste in your mouth, and your teeth don’t feel clean and smooth? You are lying there feeling really gross and nobody else cares, they are all nodding off to sleep but you alone are lying there and can’t stand it. You know you can get up out of your sleeping bag and go right to the bathroom and brush them. You have your toothbrush and toothpaste with you so that’s not an issue. What’s stopping you?

So now what if you were invited to dinner somewhere and you were very allergic to wheat and dairy. Lasagna, garlic bread and salad are being served. If you were allergic to wheat and dairy it is obvious you would be foregoing the lasagna and garlic bread anyway. When people have been eating raw long enough, having dairy and wheat is a recipe for disaster and a shock to the system. This is something to seriously think about if you are planning on “going with the flow” when you eat socially.

When you are eating and staying raw through all functions, you do want to keep in mind that your body may not very well tolerate anything other than raw, fresh food. Using yourself as a guinea pig in a social situation would in fact be a recipe for disaster and may make others uncomfortable should your body have some kind of reaction to a food its being reintroduced to. After all is said and done, you may end up being the center of attention after all.

Person B – this is for you

You want to eat the way you want to eat around others. The problem is, can you handle yourself when faced with questions, comments and criticism?

The very best route to take here whether you fall under the 1 or 2 category is to avoid any back and forth discussion. If you already answer someone’s question and then get hit with another question, do you see the way the conversation is going here? So by the second question or challenge, it is your responsibility to put an end to the discussion. There are so many variables here, depending on the person or intention of the discussion, we will address a few:

You (to the wait staff) – I will have a large entrĂ©e salad with everything on the side please
Dining companion – Is that all you are going to eat?
You – Yes, I feel good when I eat this way.
Dining companion – What way do you eat?
You – I love eating fresh food.
Dining Companion – What do you mean by fresh food?
You – You know, fruits and vegetables.
Dining Companion – Where do you get your protein?
You – I don’t know, but I feel great eating this way.

Here I wrote everything that “you” say to try to end the conversation, but if you’ll notice the Dining Companion keeps asking another question. In most situations this won’t happen, but if you keep going back to how you like eating this way, and how great it makes you feel it would be very rare for the conversation to continue.

Here are some other “comebacks” to try to diffuse the conversation:

Them – Oh, you like rabbit food?!
You – I love it! I feel great eating this way!
(You could return the joke with “Oh - you like vulture food?” depending on the mood of the day, but that’s not always safe)

Them – Do you eat this way all the time?
You – So far, yes! I feel great eating this way!

Them – Would you like a slice of cake?
You – no thanks, I just ate

I learned the “no thanks, I just ate” courtesy of Dr. Douglas Graham. It always works. I’ve had people say this to me, even when I am only offering a glass of water (and I know they are not vegan nor raw).

Them - Why do you eat this way?
You – My doctor prescribed this diet for me, and it’s wonderful (when you include something about your ‘doctor’ there’s very little resistance to the idea).

How about when folks want to know more about your diet? And you are not comfortable discussing it right then and there at the dinner table or when you are all eating? Here are some simple things to say.

Them – I’m dying to know what you’ve been doing - you look great!
You – Oh, thank you! I’d love to share it with you. Can I call you or get your e-mail address? I have a ton of information I can give you.

Them – So tell me about this diet you’re on.
You – Oh, it’s so simple! Can I call you or e-mail you the information? Let’s write down your contact information, I have a piece of paper in my purse somewhere…

Them – I heard you are on a new diet…I’m dying to hear about it.
You – Oh I can’t wait to tell you! When can we chat about it?

Do you see how this diffuses the conversation and will give you opportunity to share or discuss (or maybe even debate) later, one-on-one with your friend?

Hopefully some of these tips have helped with prickly and just plain curious people. Next we will discuss how to handle the actual food part of social raw eating!

Friday, October 05, 2007

The Milky Way

Here's a great chart that compares plant based milks to cow's milk. Notice how many of the nutrients are fairly equal.

Take note that none of the plant based milks contain cholesterol whereas the animal milks contain anywhere from 5 to over 30 grams of cholesterol in an 8 oz serving. This was not included in the chart.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Does it anger you that foods like meat, junk food, dairy, grains, etc. are so affordable while fresh fruits and vegetables seem to cost so much?

Don't you think that with the current education and research out today about Cancer prevention (ie eating lots of fruits and vegetables), it should really be taught in schools, not only through education, but by actually offering fresh, whole plant foods to children - instead of special programs giving out detrimental animal products and processed foods, which are hard on growing bodies, robbing them of essential nutrients?

Do you believe that there should be more ads about plant foods building bones and providing essential protein via necessary amino acids (along with other important nutrients that can't be provided from a Flintsone vitamin), instead of the meat and dairy industry constantly bombarding the public with false nutritional claims?

You may know a child whose future could really benefit from the Farm Bill. This could also deeply effect the American public. Please review the information in the following link and pass it on!

Monday, September 24, 2007

"You can do anything you want to do as long as you make up your can do it..." Dick Hoyt

Chances are you have seen this very inspiring and touching video. Many times lately I have watched this and even had the song from the video running around in my head for days on end.

But did you know the story behind the father, who was never a fit athlete, never ran more than a mile, and even had deteriorating health (he called himself a "porker") was for the love of his son that actually helped him to be in the best shape of his life.

This article shows a different perspective of the story, where you get a deeper understanding of how someone can turn his life around, not for himself, but for the love of a child.


I try to be a good father. Give my kids mulligans. Work nights to pay For their text messaging. Take them to swimsuit shoots.
But compared with Dick Hoyt, I suck.

Eighty-five times he's pushed his disabled son, Rick, 26.2 miles in Marathons. Eight times he's not only pushed him 26.2 miles in a Wheelchair but also towed him 2.4 miles in a dinghy while swimming and Pedaled him 112 miles in a seat on the handlebars--all in the same day.

Dick's also pulled him cross-country skiing, taken him on his back Mountain climbing and once hauled him across the U.S. On a bike. Makes Taking your son bowling look a little lame, right?

And what has Rick done for his father? Not much--except save his life.

This love story began in Winchester , Mass. , 43 years ago, when Rick Was strangled by the umbilical cord during birth, leaving him Brain-damaged and unable to control his limbs.

"He'll be a vegetable the rest of his life;'' Dick says doctors told him And his wife, Judy, when Rick was nine months old. ``Put him in an Institution.''

But the Hoyts weren't buying it. They noticed the way Rick's eyes Followed them around the room. When Rick was 11 they took him to the Engineering department at Tufts University and asked if there was Anything to help the boy communicate. ``No way,'' Dick says he was told. ``There's nothing going on in his brain.''

"Tell him a joke,'' Dick countered. They did. Rick laughed. Turns out a Lot was going on in his brain. Rigged up with a computer that allowed Him to control the cursor by touching a switch with the side of his Head, Rick was finally able to communicate. First words? ``Go Bruins!'' And after a high school classmate was paralyzed in an accident and the School organized a charity run for him, Rick pecked out, ``Dad, I want To do that.''

Yeah, right. How was Dick, a self-described ``porker'' who never ran More than a mile at a time, going to push his son five miles? Still, he Tried. ``Then it was me who was handicapped,'' Dick says. ``I was sore For two weeks.''

That day changed Rick's life. ``Dad,'' he typed, ``when we were running, It felt like I wasn't disabled anymore!''

And that sentence changed Dick's life. He became obsessed with giving Rick that feeling as often as he could. He got into such hard-belly Shape that he and Rick were ready to try the 1979 Boston Marathon.

``No way,'' Dick was told by a race official. The Hoyts weren't quite a Single runner, and they weren't quite a wheelchair competitor. For a few Years Dick and Rick just joined the massive field and ran anyway, then They found a way to get into the race Officially: In 1983 they ran another marathon so fast they made the Qualifying time for Boston the following year.

Then somebody said, ``Hey, Dick, why not a triathlon?''

How's a guy who never learned to swim and hadn't ridden a bike since he Was six going to haul his 110-pound kid through a triathlon? Still, Dick Tried.

Now they've done 212 triathlons, including four grueling 15-hour Ironmans in Hawaii . It must be a buzzkill to be a 25-year-old stud Getting passed by an old guy towing a grown man in a dinghy, don't you Think?

Hey, Dick, why not see how you'd do on your own? ``No way,'' he says. Dick does it purely for ``the awesome feeling'' he gets seeing Rick with A cantaloupe smile as they run, swim and ride together.

This year, at ages 65 and 43, Dick and Rick finished their 24th Boston Marathon, in 5,083rd place out of more than 20,000 starters. Their best Time? Two hours, 40 minutes in 1992--only 35 minutes off the world Record, which, in case you don't keep track of these things, happens to Be held by a guy who was not pushing another man in a wheelchair at the Time.

``No question about it,'' Rick types. ``My dad is the Father of the Century.''

And Dick got something else out of all this too. Two years ago he had a Mild heart attack during a race. Doctors found that one of his arteries Was 95% clogged. ``If you hadn't been in such great shape,'' One doctor told him, ``you probably would've died 15 years ago.'' So, in a way, Dick and Rick saved each other's life.

Rick, who has his own apartment (he gets home care) and works in Boston, and Dick, retired from the military and living in Holland, Mass. , always find ways to be together. They give speeches around the country and compete in some backbreaking race every weekend, including this Father's Day.

That night, Rick will buy his dad dinner, but the thing he really wants to give him is a gift he can never buy.

``The thing I'd most like,'' Rick types, ``is that my dad sit in the chair and I push him once.''

From and

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Here's a fun and flashy video!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

90 Days From Today...

There are a little over 100 days until the end of the year. Here are some very inspiring words of wisdom and encouragement. If you have been struggling with making a decision about your health, just think of how much you can do while enjoying those last few days of the year with a new & improved you!


If you want to make a change, read the following, and then make a decision, take an action, and let the next 90 days be a journey you'll never forget!

90 Days From Today it is possible to have lost a significant amount of bodyfat, enough so others see what they perceive to be a radical change.

90 Days from Today your energy can be exponentially higher than it is right now, and if you make some simple shifts, you'll be able to command the energy you need at will.

90 Days from Today your sense of well being and the confidence you feel both when you're alone and in the presence of others can be at an unprecedented peak. The question, "How are you?" can be answered simply and sincerely, "awesome!"

90 Days From Today you can be lean, toned, and muscular if you so desire.

90 Days From Today you can be shopping for new clothes enjoying the reflection in the dressing room mirror.

90 Days From Today you can move with greater ease, handle the daily routines of life effortlessly, and surprise yourself with a new vitality.

90 Days From Today, while you will chronologically be older, you can actually be living in a body that is biologically younger and better than the one you live in right now.

90 Days From Today you might also be less conditioned, increasingly tired, maximally stressed, distraught, and wondering why you're so "stuck." Get unstuck!!!!

90 Days From Today will be here . . . in precisely 90 days whether you like it or not. Why not like it? You have the choice, but in order to gain control, in order to make certain 90 Days From Today leaves you smiling from ear to ear, begin with a decision and an action.

90 Days From Today will arrive. Design your outcome, or roll with the tide. It's your call.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Shopping Cart Content Conundrum

A funny thing happened to me at the grocery store... how the joke goes.

Yesterday I was nearly out of bananas, so I went to a couple of stores to pick up some bananas and other produce.

First I stopped into Whole Foods, and I was buying about 20 ripe bananas. The checker was happy to see someone buying so many bananas, then asked if I was planning on making banana bread. Before I paid my bill, the checker learned how to make the most delicious banana ice cream ever.

The next place I went to was Sam's Club. I purchased three 3 lb. bags of ripe bananas, and this time the checker didn't seem to be as thrilled to see me buying so many bananas. She warned me that if I didn't eat all those bananas I would have to make banana bread.

Sometimes I will glance at someone's shopping cart and notice all the "stuff" they are purchasing. At Sam's Club I saw some ladies buying several packages of white hot dog buns. I didn't bother to ask them anything about their purchase. I didn't think to ask them why they were buying all those buns, or if they eat them all, what will they do when they'll be all stopped up for days to weeks.

Sometimes I notice lots of meat items in people's carts. I don't think to ask them if they have a flock of vultures or a den of lions that they are going home to feed. However, I've had friends have checkers ask if they have rabbits or horses, when they buy lots of carrots.

It makes me think how far society is removed from a natural food diet, when it is okay for someone to comment or question a customer with lots of fresh produce, but not okay to comment or question a customer with lots of processed and packaged and animal products.

Sometimes I wonder if I bump into someone I know, and they see some items I'm buying for my family who isn't 100% raw, what they might think. Do they realize that I'm buying this 'stuff' for my family and not for myself. Do I need to explain this to them?

I read an article about why people look at other people's grocery carts. The answer was that people are generally nosey and bored when they are in line at the check out stand.

I guess what it boils down to, is that we will all probably be looking at each other's carts, and sometimes what we see will make us shake our heads. It is up to each of us to use a little common sense and courtesy when bringing up the subject of another's shopping cart contents, and also not to be too quick to judge that the person pushing the cart isn't always the person that is going to eat everything inside of it.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Gimme a break....

The other day I got a mailer from the local grocery store about a new product. It is called "Active Lifestyle Fat Free Milk". Here's the description:

"It's the heart-healthy new fat free milk that's fortified to help reduce cholesterol levels when you drink two servings a day with meals. Active Lifestyle Fat Free Milk has plant sterols like those found in small quanitites within many fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and other plants. Active Lifestyle Fat Free milk gives you an easy way to help lower your cholesterol, deliciously!"

In the flyer is a picture of the milk, yogurt and smoothies which also has plant sterols in it.

There is something so wrong with drinking milk to get the goodness in a plant food. Why would anyone want to do that when they can enjoy a variety of delicious and wonderful juicy fruits, delicate veggies and greens and rich nuts and seeds?

Notice how the last sentence says " lower your cholesterol delciously" it doesn't say naturally. If cows eat vegetation one would think that the sterols are getting in the milk already but obviously it doesn't.

The truth is that regular milk consumption contributes to a myriad of health problems. Especially drinking processed, homogenized milk with hormones and added vitamins and....surprise!....there already IS cholesterol in milk and all dairy products, even fat-free dairy.

I guess the dairy industry is desparately trying to get their revenues up, hence the suggested 2 serving dose per day. Also there is no disclaimer anywhere about how this product is not meant to cure any disease. If you notice on all products claiming a health benefit this has always been the case, the FDA demands this statement, however the dairy industry seems to get away with making health claims without disclaimers. Hmmmm, I wonder why?

The dairy industry was recently challenged and ordered to stop advertising milk as a weight loss tool, so now it looks like they are up something new.

More milk deception:

The #1 way to get all the benefits of plants foods is by eating them, not parts of them injected into others foods.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Next Myth:

"All you need to do is eat raw and your life will change drastically."

Yes and no.

Changing your diet to raw will surely help your body make important and positive changes.

But doing this alone will not give you the level of health you are seeking.

There are a number of things to look at -

  • Are you getting any type of activity based on your ability, whether it is doing a chair work-out or going on a hike in the mountains, a slow walk, riding a bike for 30 miles a day, or working in the garden? Are you challenging yourself just a little bit? Are you overworking yourself even when your body is telling you to rest?

  • Are you breathing in fresh clean air from a clean environment? Are you getting fresh, clean outdoor air everyday? Is your indoor air as clean as possible, or are there unnatural deodorizers, chemical cleaners, etc. that you are inhaling on a daily basis?

  • Are you getting a clean source of water? Are you over-drinking or under-drinking your water? Could you be drinking a lot more than you need if you are eating a lot of water-rich fruit and veggies, or could you possibly be over-confident about the food you are eating and avoiding supplemental water, especially during the hot months and during and after exercise?

  • Are you getting sufficient sunshine? Are you avoiding the sun in fear? Are you going out in the sun too much during the peak hours of 10-12? Are you going out for at least a few minutes a day if you are sensitive? Are you going out in the sun with so much gusto that you are burning your skin?

  • Are you sleeping enough to allow your body to recover, detox, rebuild and repair? Are you feeling like you are a super-being and only need 3 hours of sleep a night, but lose energy in the middle of the day?

  • Are you under any stress, or living a peaceful life? Is your family supportive of you? Are you able to communicate yourself freely without getting into debates and arguments with others? Do you feel happy and loving toward others or do you feel defensive about what you do or about other elements in your life?

In The Perfect Health CD series, Dr. Douglas Graham talks about being only as strong as your weakest link. When your health is not improving, you have to look at the many lifestyle factors in your life, and even within those factors, for instance, are you getting too much or too little sun? Are you eating too many fats?

So YES, eating raw food is surely a step in the right direction, but NO it alone cannot bring you to the level of health you desire, or deserve!

Take a look at everything you are doing. Keep a list and note what needs improvement. Then slowly work on one factor at a time.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Next Myth:

"Eating raw is SO expensive. All those nuts, seeds, specialty raw foods, etc. is going to break my pocketbook"

Those things that cost so much - the oils, nuts, raw cacao, dried fruits, coconut, avocados, young coconuts, agave nectar, spices and seasonings - those are the things that should not be a regular part of the raw diet, or at the least should be eaten minimally.

Fresh produce is one of the least expensive things to eat.

As for the difference between a standard American diet and a fresh, raw diet, just compare a bunch of bananas to a box of snack cakes, the price is about the same but the nutritional difference is huge.

Remember also that when you are eating a superior diet, you are cutting down on other things that you don't use when you are experiencing optimal health, or just not eating as optimally:

  • You are cutting down on medications, medical and dental expenses.

  • Excessive amounts of cleaners, soaps, perfumes to hide body odor, lotions and potions.

  • Don't forget those times when you plunk down between $20-40 (or more with a family) to go "out" to eat all of the time.

  • With more energy, you won't be renting as many videos to sit around and watch.

  • You won't be going to the movies as much, spending oodles of money on concessions.

  • You won't be buying cinnamon rolls and pretzels at the mall.

  • You won't be buying lattes, specialty coffees and teas all the time.

  • You won't be buying girl scout cookies every year. You won't feel obligated to buy all those food coupons that the neighbor's kids, and friends children and family are trying to push on you for their fundraisers.

  • You won't be buying all those seasonal cooked foods, bakery goods and treats. Just think of all the money you'll be saving on eggs and candy at Easter; all the meat, buns, cakes, cookies, soda and beer on Independence day; the big turkey, stuffing, rolls, cakes, cookies and pies that has made you and your relatives so sick and tired on Thanksgiving; and the sugary baked goods and tooth decaying candy on Chanukah and Christmas.

  • You won't feel the need to buy big coupon books just so you can save going out to restaraunts.

  • When you go to the zoo or amusement parks or other outings, you won't need to buy junky cooked lunches.

  • When you go to a baseball game you won't be buying mystery meat hot dogs, pretzels, ice cream and beer.

  • When on road trips you won't need to be driving through fast food places.

It is amazing how little expenses on a cooked lifestyle add up. $5 here, $10 there for little things, just add up to hundreds and thousands of dollars over a years' time.

I just came across a great blog explaining how cheap raw has been for her family. A family of 6 eating organic produce at less than $200 a week! Wow - I am impressed! Below is the entry and a link after it:

I have gotten a number of emails from college students wondering how I stay raw in college and how I afford such a lifestyle. Also, I have had many ask me about my social life, family life, etc... well...this is my response:

I am going to be a junior at Rice University. I started 100% raw in one night 2.5 years ago in a single dorm with no kitchen, and I washed my fruits and veggies in the bathroom sink that 27 other girls used...ya tell me I am not passionate??

At first, I barely ate organic, and I would buy by the case (bananas, oranges, lettuce), and I would get most of my fruits and salads from the salad bar in the cafeteria. After a few months, I petitioned for organic greens, and Vanderbilt began to offer them. (This was before I transfered to Rice). The next year, I was asked to be in-charge of helping to get Vanderbilt's FIRST organic munchie mart on campus. I smile at this accomplishment.

After that, it was easy to get greens, but fruits was way out of my league....especially bc I was in Nashville...SOOO, I made a bargain with my parents. Because I was on a full-ride to Vanderbilt, I told my parents that I would work certain hours at the university if they paid for me to eat all organic. They agreed. However, finding fruits in Nashville is horrible, and I hate cold weather. Last semester, I transfered to Rice University, where there is warm weather and amazing fruits. Now, I know all the local/organic farmers and all the produce managers in my area, and I buy cases for my whole family....

I feed 6 people eating pretty much 100% raw for less than $200 a week...not bad eh? IT CAN BE DONE :) Oh, and we do not limit ourselves to bananas... to the contrary...when we eat what is in season, we find more variety than our taste buds can handle...

About being social in college: hmmm let's see...well I don't drink, don't smoke, and I definitely don't eat cooked foods. I have found that the people who really want to be your friends will flock to you and they will accept you for who you are, no matter what you eat or what you believe. My closest friends will either now eat raw with me, or they will sit there and laugh as I gnarl down my two heads of lettuce...they love me don't they?

I don't like to be around keg parties anyways...they bore me half to death, and I think people act so stupid when they are drunk. I love to go salsa dancing, and simply doing the things I love, I meet new and wonderful people every day. It's that simple~ Attract the people you want into your life. Family may take more time, but as I have been told by Dr. G and by Lennie...SHOW THEM. In order to truly effect someone, you must lead by example and SHOW them the change in you.

"Be the change you want to see in the world."

My family is now almost 100% raw. My sister is 100% raw, and it has taken my parents over two years to begin to embrace this. Only this past year have they switched to 2 raw meals a day and all of their other "foods" bought from the farmer's markets. A little bit of educating people about their choices and about their dollar can make a HUGE difference...and they will THANK you for how much better they feel!

I do miss Costa Rica, and I was living a dream there, but now that I am back, I can very well see that I am needed here to make a difference. I am going to do everything I can to encourage more raw and inspire more people. I know I have a ton of people standing right beside me.

You can check out other interesting entries from the blog here:

Monday, June 18, 2007

Raw Myths

There are so many misconceptions that are passed off as truth in the raw food world. I see it all the time. There are many experts out there who have been uncovering these for the good of the general raw interested public. I’d like to take a few that stand out and discuss them.

“Eat whatever you want, as long as it’s raw…anything that is considered raw is healthy.”

No way!

This is so far from the truth.

Some raw meals and recipes contain more salt and fat than a fast food meal. There are many “gourmet” meals that have had all the water dehydrated out of them, and miscombined (fats and sugars), over-salted and spiced, which has left many people who constantly partake in them, confused, unsatisfied and frustrated with their physical and mental results on raw, leaving many giving up the raw food diet.

The error with this myth, is that people are being advised to eat anything they want as long as it’s raw, so that they aren’t hungry, they are encouraged to eat as many pieces of raw pie, pizza, burgers, and raw “treats” etc. as they need to in order to stay raw. They eat practically no fresh fruits or vegetables for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

This may keep people from eating their old standard cooked diets, but it’s no healthier, and in many cases, far less healthy than what they were eating before.

In addition, the majority of people eating questionably fresh and healthy food, and overloading on raw fats, dehydrated foods and raw gourmet recipes rarely see the results they are looking for.

Truth be told, I haven’t actually witnessed, seen or heard of anyone who has met a health goal eating raw food this way. Please come out of the woodwork if you have! I’d love to know about it!

For the most part, they may feel a small difference in the beginning, as cooked food does take a toll on our bodies, and coming off those denatured and damaging foods initially will give people a small taste of a healthier feeling, but that soon dissipates if the person continues with non-fresh, heavy, dehydrated and/or mixed raw foods day in and day out.

This includes yours truly. I’ve been on and off raw several times, and let me say that eating a wildcard raw diet was the most effective the first time around – but going back on the raw diet with gourmet recipes goodies at every meal gave me no results and actually made me feel just as worn out and tired, if not more, than on cooked.

We have gotten so far away from real raw food, we should really be calling this diet the “Fresh Food Diet”, because the best foods are found in whole, fresh form, ripe and ready to eat, and not mixed up with a bunch of other foods, dehydrated, over spiced and concentrated (as in oils, nut butters, etc.) The very best foods, which should be the center of the diet, are fresh ripe fruits, vegetables, and greens complimented by small amounts nuts and seeds. Instead of making a raw pizza or a raw pie as a meal, the meal should be as many pieces of fruits and vegetables as needed to satisfy a person’s hunger.

Should people starting out on raw ever use gourmet recipes and fractionated processed “raw” foods? Only if necessary. In the beginning, people transitioning to raw may experience cravings for heavier, more complicated and more concentrated foods. But by making those raw recipes an everyday habit, it’s like trading one bad habit for another. The habit of eating unnatural food will never be broken if one never gets used to eating naturally.

You could be thinking: “But I really want to enjoy these gourmet recipes, because I’m not ready to eat that simply, all of the time”.

I hear you. That is a very valid place to be, and you are certainly not alone in those thoughts. You can have the best of both worlds.

Try this tip if you are in that recipe rut!

* Allow yourself just one heavy recipe/meal a day in the beginning, after you have at least 1 piece of fruit before the meal. If you can have more than 1 piece of fruit beforehand, great!

* After a couple of weeks reduce your heavy recipe/meal to 3 times a week for the next week, again make sure you eat at least 1 piece of fruit before the recipe or heavier food. Try not to wait more than a couple of weeks to do this,

* By now you should be comfortable enough to start eating more and more fresh food, but if not, in a month, drop the heavy, gourmet stuff to once a week.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Third Meal of the Day & Snacks

Usually your third meal of the day will be your evening meal.

There are a couple different things you may want to do:


If you are really, really hungry you may want to have a more heavy, satisfying meal.

This could be a large salad with some nuts, olives, or avocado.

Or it could be a more complex type of raw recipe if you are in a transitional phase.

If you are still eating cooked food, you may choose to eat some complex carbohydates like rice, potatoes and steamed veggies.


If you already had a heavy meal at lunch or just want something sweet, fruit is the perfect choice here.

You could have a lovely fruit pudding of bananas and mangos whirled around in the food processor. Optional: make it tropical by adding young coconut meat or sprinkling dried coconut on top.

Or you could do a nice fruit smoothie, or a cold fruit soup. Strawberries blended with orange juice, agave nectar, honey etc. makes a wonderful soup.

A bowl of grapes or sliced melon is another refreshing light choice.


When you don't eat enough to satisfy you to the next meal, and especially during transition, you will be prone to snack or even have smaller meals in between larger ones.

People tend to eat the worst when they are "snacking", whether it is a lick of something they are preparing for others, a bite of pizza, a cookie, a piece of bread, etc. snacks almost always are the cause of people "blowing" their diets. So, being prepared, mentally and physically with plenty of choices will help avoid these pitfalls.

Here are some suggestions:

~ 1 cup of dates

~ 2-3 bananas

~ Baby carrots or celery sticks with optional nut butter, guacamole or hummus

~ A handful of sun-dried raisins

~ Romaine hearts

~ 12 oz. fresh orange juice from 3-4 squeezed oranges

~ Sugar snap peas

If you are transitioning and want something a bit heavier or heartier:

~ Home made trail mix (nuts, seeds, dried fruit, coconut, etc.)

~ Homemade raw cookies, truffles, fudge or brownies

~ Just Corn (freeze dried corn by Just Tomatoes brand - great movie snack)

~ Sulfite and sugar-free dried fruit from the health food store, such as mango cheeks, pineapple rings, tart cherries, figs, prunes, apricots etc. These may not be techinically raw as they are dried under higher heat settings but work for beginners or transitioners.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Second Meal of the Day

If the first meal of the day was very light and juicy, then you might be wanting something a bit heavier for your next meal.

This varies from person to person, but for me, I sometimes desire something pretty filling, such as a dense fruit like bananas or mangoes, or a great big salad.

If you are not used to eating a lot of fruit in a sitting, then the salad following a plate or bowl of fruit would be a great idea. If only a salad is eaten for lunch, you may crave something sweet right afterward, so either a glass of orange juice, or some cut up melon or any other kind of fruit is ideal right before the salad.

This time of year is my favorite for fruit. Peaches, berries, melons and plums are available right now, and getting them during the peak of the season is the best thing on your palette and wallet. Any of these fruits would make a perfect lunch, either plain, in a smoothie or made into a luscious pudding or even a sorbet by freezing and running through the food processor.
However you choose to eat, enjoy your lunch with the freshest and ripest fruits and veggies and eat until you are completely satisfied!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

First meal of the day

Instead of moving on right away to second meal or lunch suggestions, I thought'd be a great idea to throw out some suggestions to those who might be finding the first meal of the day a bit of a struggle.

When you are used to waking up and eating heavy cooked foods, a lot of animal protein or even cold cereal like granola and almond milk, eating fruit can be a challenge.

So here are some ideas that you may want to think about.

1 - Variety - there should be lots of different fruit options available. So if you don't feel like eating half a melon, then grapes or pears (or whatever you picked out at the store) should be easily accessible. Make sure there are at least 3 different fruit choices for your breakfast.

2 - Abundance - there should be enough fruit around to get full on. Eating 2 oranges may not be satisfying for everyone - some people will want to eat 10 of them.

3 - Ripeness - Eating a hard pear or mango is just not very pleasing to someone who is very hungry. Bananas that are all yellow are very starchy and can be hard on a stomach. Fruit needs to yield to slight pressure and bananas should have spots on them. Some people can handle very ripe fruit while others don't care for the flavor, sometimes it gets some getting use to.

4 - Space - many people will throw their hands up and reach for a quick bowl of cereal if the kitchen is messy with dishes and junk all around. Make sure your dishes are done the night before and the counters are nice and clean. If you want, you can put a cutting board and sharp knife out to entice you to cut into your fruit first thing in the morning.

5 - Hesitation - many times we are not hungry when we first wake up. But then, if we wait, we'll often get so hungry that we are not in the mood for fruit, if we are unaccustomed to eating it on a regular basis as a meal. So if you are new to eating fruit in the morning, try to have some before you get hungry to curb your appetite. This way you won't make a mistake or get an insatiable craving for something you should not have. It really works. Once you get used to eating fruit for meals, it becomes so much easier to reach for it when you feel famished.

6 - Lightness - The feeling of a full, heavy stomach after eating is common to a cooked eater and bad food combining. It doesn't mean anything healthy to have a full feeling when you are done eating. If you aren't used to feeling light after a full meal, you may feel unsatisfied. These things take a while, they don't happen overnight. Once you get used to the way you feel after eating a meal of fruit you will really like that feeling, so allow an adjustment period.

7 - Boredom - if you get sick or board of eating fruit straight up, try using a blender, adding juice, or pureeing some fruit up in a food processor for a pudding. Sometimes it's more fun and satisfying to eat a banana-mango pudding than eating bananas and mangoes, or orange juice blended up with strawberries than eating the fruit whole. After a while you may want to eat the fruit whole and feel more satisfied doing so.

8 - Too Sweet - there aren't any hard and fast rules that you have to eat sweet fruit in the morning. You may want to eat bell peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, etc. or maybe you want to make a veggie juice or soup. Follow your palette.

I hope these ideas and suggestions gave some insight on eating your breakfast!

Monday, May 21, 2007

What Am I Supposed To Eat Then?

This is a follow-up to my last entry about eating too much fat. After reading this, many people new to the raw food lifestyle may be scratching their heads wondering what in the world can they eat?

First I'm going to preface this by mentioning that reducing your fat intake does not have to be a sudden thing. This may be a more difficult feat for some than others, so if drastically reducing an already high fat intake is a challenge, take it slow and steady. Log on to a free nutritional analysis site, like, or and put in everything you ate for a few days just to see your percentage.

If you ate a recipe, then enter all the ingredients in measurements and it will give you a percentage, even if you didn't eat the whole recipe, it is the percentage that you want to look at. If you ate over 60% of your calories from fat, then you are eating way more fat than is recommended, and you may want to aim for no more than 40% fat for the next few weeks to make things easier. You can start reducing it after that as you feel comfortable. Most health experts advise no more than 10%-15% calories coming from fat.

Just a note, that you do not have to keep entering your daily intake for more than a few days. Once you enter a few days' worth of food, you'll see what needs to be tweaked. The key is, that the more calories you eat in a day, the more fat you can eat.

If you weren't hungry at all but had a couple of handfuls of nuts, then you could be eating 70-80% fat, just because all you had were the nuts, and nothing to offset them. The amount of calories you take in is entirely up to you, but if you are very active, the amount of calories you should be eating is your weight x 10 plus what you are burning off in activity.

Example - if you weigh 150 pounds and are active, you'll want to get eat at least 1,500 calories plus extra to make up for the calories you burn in activity. However if you are not active or don't feel like eating anything, your calorie intake will vary. So this is just a guideline.

It is so common today that prepared raw foods, recipes, and products available to the public tend to be very dense and abnormally high in fat. Years and years ago, the pioneer raw foodists were eating fresh fruits and vegetables as meals, and smaller amounts of fats. This I believe was the ideal kind of raw diet. they weren't supplementing with superfoods and oils as many are today.

Now it is popular, even chic to be eating coconut oil, hemp seeds, pumpkin butter, superfood smoothies made with cocoa and a lot of fats.

There are many recipes out there that are loaded with nuts and fats. One in particular I've seen gain popularity is a cheesecake recipe. The main ingredients consists of lots of cashews, macadamia nuts and coconut oil and a liquid sweetener. Many folks were trying out this recipes and exclaiming how it tasted just like the real thing. However, this recipe contained over 65% fat. Whether you eat one bite, one piece or the whole cake, the percentage is the same.

Out of curiosity, I made half a recipe for the holidays a couple of years ago. I anxiously tried it and to me, it didn't even come close to a cheesecake. In fact, it tasted very fatty, as if I was eating a stick of sweetened frozen butter (it had to be kept frozen in order for it to stay firm).

While enjoying recipes are great, sometimes people with eating disorders or who may have a hard time with food addictions really need to take caution with some of those recipes. People were eating cheesecakes, puddings and pies for breakfast while patting themselves on the back for "staying raw". In my opinion, a bowl of natural cooked oatmeal would have been far healthier as a breakfast option.

Which brings me back to the original topic, "what am I supposed to eat?"

So for today's entry, we'll start with breakfast.

Many raw fooders believe that adding a fat to their smoothie is beneficial. It is not uncommon for people to add tablespoons of fat, such as coconut oil, flax seed oil, or flax seeds themselves to a smoothie.

There are many problems with this, the first being that most people don't require that amount of fat, especially when breaking a fast. In addition, mixing fat with fruit is a recipe for many problems, at the very least a bad case of indigestion and gas, and at the worst blood sugar problems which may contribute or worsen things like candida and diabetes.

Here are some ideas for breakfast:

  • Fresh squeezed orange juice

  • Young coconut water - this has a little more fat, but it's still under 10% calorically

  • An all fruit smoothie. You can use orange juice or plain water as the base, add bananas and mangoes for creaminess, then any other kind of fruit like pineapple, peaches, berries, frozen fruit and ice cubes if you like your smoothies cold. I prefer to keep the variety to a minimum, usually no more than 3 kinds of fruit.

  • Mono fruit. You can eat one kind of fruit such as several oranges, several peaches, kiwi, grapefruit, grapes or whatever you desire. Although this is simple, you will be surprised at how enjoyable the flavor is. Eat as much you'd like, but make sure you are hungry first!

  • Fruit salad - mixing 2 or more fruits. Bananas and berries, pineapples and oranges, peaches & pears, etc.

Most people prefer to skip breakfast, which is perfectly fine. Breakfast is only the most important meal of the day when you eat it properly. It is better not to eat at all if you aren't going to give yourself the appropriate type of fuel.

Sometimes I will just drink a big glass of water, which is a great way to cleanse the body after a night of detox. If you are waking up with a heavy head and a funny taste in your mouth, your body is in full detox mode and has worked hard the night before, so be gentle with it the next morning. Especially if you haven't done any kind of activity, there may be no real need to re-fuel. So eating light, or drinking water or juice may be the easiest on your body.

The next entry we will talk about lunch options.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Big Fat Debate

Over the years on a raw food diet, I've noticed that one of the many on-going debates is about fat intake.

Fat, fat, fat. It is a touchy subject for some. It's been discussed and over-discussed, and some raw discussion sites even prohibit fat from being discussed!

But we will discuss it here. There are 2 different types of eaters when it comes to fat, obviously, the low fat eaters and the high fat eaters.

The low fat eaters may be consciously eating low fat, or may be mono-mealing or just plain enjoying their food with very small amounts of fat.

The high fat eaters are either aware or unaware of the high amount of fat intake they are eating on a daily basis. The ones who are aware are usually doing it because they believe eating a lot of fat is really good for them. Or they could be those who know that over-eating fat is not so good for them, but they are in a habit of reaching for the higher fat foods. This is a problem I face at times. I will be eating really well, and then I can get sucked into the "fat trap", whether it is from a raw source or a non-raw source.

The ones who seem to be eating a lot of fat really don't believe or feel they are, and they feel like purposely eating a lot of it is going to be healing and beneficial to them. The reason why they don't believe they are eating a lot of daily fat on a regular basis is because they don't look at their intake on a caloric level, they look at it on a meal level (some research found that raw food eaters commonly take in over 60% fat on a daily basis!)

Plus, when they eat a very fat-heavy meal or recipe, it can be enough fat for an entire week, but since it's only ONE meal or ONE recipe and the rest of the meals are moderate to low-fat, people tend to think that they are eating "well".

I have eaten raw so many different ways. And when I was eating a fat and recipe heavy raw diet, I hardly felt much different from eating cooked, because what I was doing was replacing the heaviness of cooked grains with the heaviness of fats.

Many raw food experts will say that this is perfectly fine, because the fat is still raw, but lets take a look at how fresh it really is, because the object of eating raw food is healing our bodies, correct? If we aren't getting fresh food into us, our bodies will react to the food differently than raw, as if we were still eating cooked, even though we think that food it raw.

Oils - Sometimes I wonder if we were even meant to be ingesting oils (and pure fats such as lard, butter, margarine, etc.) since really, it's not found in nature. Yes, oils are naturally IN things such as nuts, seeds and fatty fruits, but they are in perfect amounts in these foods. But oils are a form of extracted 100% pure fat.

I hardly use oil for eating purposes and when I do it is sparingly. And it is usually for external purposes, such as hair and skin. In the Bible, oils were used for burning candles and anointing, which tells me the purpose for oils is really external.

Nuts - There have not been too many people who haven't ventured into a raw food lifestyle and not over-consumed on nuts. I did, mostly in recipes, but I still did.

It is so very easy to overeat nuts, when there's a bag of conveniently shelled and supposedly "raw" almonds, cashews, walnuts, pine nuts, etc. right in front of you. They are not like this on the trees. I have not been privileged to eat a truly fresh nut, but I can imagine they take some effort to open and are soft inside.

In nature, it would not be probable that someone ready to eat a meal would sit under the nut tree, opening 100 nuts and eating them, as this would take half a day! The nuts that are available to us in bulk are void of any water, we don't know how long they've been sitting on shelves, and really, most of them may not even be viable, or sproutable.

We know that raw almonds are soon to be endangered, and most of us have been aware that cashews are heated at high temperatures to release them from their shells. Other nuts such as walnuts and pecans are hard to determine because I've never been able to sprout them myself.

Seeds - In nature, seeds are in fruits and many vegetables, and often we eat them intuitively, for instance in cucumbers and tomatoes. However, we hear how healthy it is to eat flax, pumpkin, sesame and hemp seeds. So many times we will overeat them in seed butters, oils, and seed milks. I tend to think that eating an abundance of seeds or seed products on their own is not even close to promoting health as eating fresh fruits and vegetables. As mentioned above regarding nuts, eating them in abundance seems to be un-natural.

Fatty Fruits - Some of the tastiest foods - avocados, fresh coconuts and other fruits such as the durian have higher amounts of fats in them. Usually these foods are very filling so it doesn't take much to satisfy, but these are probably the healthiest sources of fat as they are in the most natural state.

Olives - This is another tasty example of a high fat food, which would be hard to eat in abundance. In reality olives are quite bitter, so after the procedures of drying and salting, what remains is not very close at all to what came off the tree.

I hope that highlighting the main foods that people eating raw food eat, will help some think about where fat is coming from and how much one may be eating. The best fat is the freshest, least concentrated and processed and in small amounts.

Based on my own experience, when I eat concentrated raw fats or just plain higher raw fat recipes and meals, my intake of fresh fruits and vegetables drops dramatically. Since my appetite has been suppressed by the heavier foods, I no longer have hunger for the fresher, water rich, whole foods that are going to allow my body to heal. But the interesting thing is, when I do have those higher fat meals, I tend to want something "sweet" afterward. This is telling me I haven't had enough fruit during the day.

Some quotes about fat:

"Udo Erasmus, author of Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill, has
extensively researched the topic of fat consumption and health. What's more, he sells fat for a living. Yet in his book, he recommends we eat just 15-20% of our calories as fat." pg. 111 The 80/10/10 Diet, Dr. Douglas Graham

"The high-fat raw foods that well-meaning raw chefs, teachers, and authors promote are very likely to cause in raw fooders many of the same health issues that plague cooked-food eaters, including candida, chronic and intermittent fatigue, and even heart disease. These maladies result in large part from excess fat in the bloodstream, a correlation explained in Chapter 2" pg. 129 The 10/10/10 Diet, Dr. Douglas Graham

"Fat is not 'bad' either; we just consume too much of it. The average person needs to consume less than fourteen grams of fat to meet the daily requirements of essential fatty acids, which your body needs to synthesize a variety of important substances. Unfortunately, the average American consumes at least eight times that amount." pg. 255-256 Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease

"high-fat meals, in contrast to low-fat meals, can cause considerable increases in plasma triglycerides and plasma levels of blood coagulation factors which lead to a blood clot or thrombosis in the heart artery" Dr. McDougall Newsletter

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

A couple of interesting articles about dairy...


Dairy may cause weight gain

More misleading information that the Dairy Industry did not want you to know is now uncovered. They've been advertising that consuming dairy helps you to lose weight.

Not only have they misled the public in the past with their unscrupulous ads that it "does a body good" but now they can no longer claim that drinking it causes weight loss.


USDA and Dairy Industry Halt Misleading Weight-Loss Ads After Physicians Group Complains to Federal Trade Commission

Cheese and Milk Actually Likely to Cause Weight Gain, Doctors Say

WASHINGTON—In a victory for consumers, two national dairy advertising campaigns overseen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture will stop claiming that dairy products cause weight loss because such claims are not supported by existing scientific research, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced in a letter to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). The decision, which comes in response to an FTC petition filed by PCRM, will end misleading claims made in the “Milk Your Diet. Lose Weight” and “3-A-Day. Burn More Fat, Lose Weight” promotions.

In the FTC petition, PCRM charged that the dairy industry has used false and misleading advertising in its multimillion-dollar, celebrity-filled marketing campaign suggesting that consuming milk and other dairy products causes weight loss. In response, the FTC’s Division of Advertising Practices met with USDA staff and representatives of the National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board and the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board, who agreed to discontinue all advertising and other marketing activities involving weight-loss claims pending further research into the issue. The decision also applies to affiliated entities, including Dairy Management Inc.

“Milk and cheese are more likely to pack on pounds than help people slim down,” said Dan Kinburn, PCRM’s general counsel. “This case calls into question other advertising claims made by the industry, especially the notion that milk builds strong bones. Evidence shows it does nothing of the kind.”

The dairy industry’s weight-loss campaign was based largely on small studies conducted by Michael Zemel, Ph.D., a professor of nutrition at the University of Tennessee whose funding came from dairy industry sources. Independent research, including a recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, has found that dairy product consumption either has little or no effect on weight loss or actually increases body weight.

A recent study in the International Journal of Cancer found a disturbing link between dairy consumption and increased prostate cancer risk, something previously identified in two Harvard studies.

For a copy of the FTC letter or an interview with Mr. Kinburn or a PCRM physician or nutritionist, please contact Patrick Sullivan at 510-834-8680.

Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, especially good nutrition. PCRM also conducts clinical research studies, opposes unethical human experimentation, and promotes alternatives to animal research.