3.9.11

Download Rocking Body Raw Food - The 14 Day Raw Food Diet and Cleanse

Click Here to Download Rocking Body Raw Food - The 14 Day Raw Food Diet and Cleanse



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Raw Foods and Grains, Legumes, Breads and Scones

By Kevin Gianni
Expert Author Kevin Gianni

In this article, Cherie Soria shares on grains, legumes, breads and scones in a raw food diet. Cherie Soria teaches raw food "cooking" classes and is the author of The Raw Food Revolution Diet.

Kevin: Do you prefer legumes to grains or grains to legumes? Because I've heard a lot of people don't like to eat sprouted legumes just because they're...

Cherie: Legumes, a lot of people when they first go raw really feel a need...they have a fear of not getting enough protein. And so having some legumes just helps them to alleviate that fear and feel like they're getting enough protein in their diet and indeed my new book, "Raw Food Revolution Diet," I wrote it with two dieticians and they did a lot of research to see how the raw food diet, how it measures up to what the RDArequirements are. A lot of raw fooders stay away from nuts because they think they're too rich, they stay away from legumes and they stay away from grains and all of those do have protein so they've got to make sure they're getting plenty of grains in order to meet those RDA requirements. Now, plenty of raw fooders don't do that and they get along just fine.

So it's kind of like weaning people. In the beginning we give them cereal, raw, sprouted cereal but still cereal, with a nut milk and fruit and everything. Later on that's not something that we would be giving them because we would teach them that that's not the best food combining. Yes, they're used to that, their bodies have become accustomed to it but as they lighten up and detox and listen to their bodies and recognize how their bodies speak to them when they're eating foods that are harder to digest and some of those of kinds of things could just be a little bit less clear in their thinking or a little bit more tired in the afternoon or needing a little more sleep than they would really have to if they had eaten lighter. Doesn't necessarily mean they would get sick.

There are a lot of levels of health and the first one is staying without symptoms, not being symptomatic with disease. But the next one would be how much vitality, how much energy do you have, how much work can you do, how much can you accomplish and how happy are you and how connected are you to the world around you? As you lighten up and as you detox more and more you feel that connection to yourself, to your needs, to the world around you and all your relationships to nature, to animals, everything.

One of our goals is to meet people where they are. We don't make any judgments about how raw people are. To me, raw is not a religion. It's a choice that we make. Yes, it can help us to be more spiritual beings but it's not God.

They really were skeptical when I first came to them and asked them if they would consider writing this book with me. They said, "Well, we don't know if there's been enough peer reviewed research." Because they will not put their name on anything unless the studies are proven in peer reviewed journals. So I said I'll take my chances. Let's do it and see. Because I've had enough experience, it's all anecdotal, it's all from the thousands of people who have come through our schools and the stories that I've heard from them about their healing journeys but I really believe that we can get everything we need and beyond -- can exceed our needs and heal in detox.

So they were willing to give it a try and indeed it took us about three years to finish that book. We put a lot of time into it and it's about half recipes and the other half is really excellent material, research material, about the raw-vegan diet and they are swayed, as you call it, swayed now, have incorporated probably 80% raw diet themselves.

I'm 61 years old which is... most people are surprised to hear that.

Kevin: Yeah, I'm surprised.

Cherie: I've been on a primarily raw food diet - I hate to say percentages because I'm 100% raw most of the time but not 100% 100% of the time. When I travel I might be 50%, so it's hard to say. But I'm certainly primarily raw and have been for 16 years. So that motivated them enough to give it a try in their own lives and they felt a difference. Vicanto came to the school and did the whole training and she got to meet people and watch their journeys and she journaled it and she heard their stories about why they were there also. That's still all anecdotal, but that made her want to find that research and we did some lab studies of our own. We studied a green smoothie and a green drink and we were able to analyze. They have all the computer programs so they could analyze my recipes and put them together in menus to see exactly what we are getting.

We didn't use some of the new studies that haven't yet been in the peer review journals, like what happens when you soak almonds for example. The word right now is that when you soak almonds, because of what happens in the transition between the fats becoming amino acids that are easier to digest, that they're not as high in fat. Well, we didn't use those studies because they're not peer reviewed yet. So when we said almonds, we said almonds in their raw state before they've been germinated and therefore they're this much fat. So we had to really work with all of that. So we worked with the normal what they say this amount of nutrients for kale, whether it's organic or not. If it's organic, I believe and I've read, that there's more nutrients in organic but there's not enough peer reviewed study for us to prove that.

It's not a diet really, it's a lifestyle. But if you need to lose weight quick and you need to heal, here are some guidelines that can help you to do that. So at least you feel like you've got support. We've got all kinds of support in there including how to set up your raw food kitchen and how to buy your produce and how to rotate your fruits and vegetables so they're always ripe and how to store them and all that kind of stuff that I mentioned that we can't possibly get into in a one-hour interview.

Kevin: We're going to try! You mentioned breads and breads to me are something that we don't experiment with at all. We do sprout some buckwheat and some sunflower seeds and make a little almost granola out of them but how would you turn something like that into a bread that's actually hearty and something that's real tasty?

Cherie: Well, the ancient Essenes did it over 2000 years ago. They took the sprouted grains, it was wheat or some relative or hybridized wheat, and they sprouted it, they soaked it, they ground it, they formed it into loaves and they put it on the hot rocks of the desert and they baked their bread that way. So it was moist inside and has a crust on the outside and that's what we do but we use a dehydrator and rather than using rocks to grind the sprouted grain we use a food processor and we pulse it. So we do it a modern way. We can add other things to it if we want, if you want to balance out the sweetness of it, because it's actually quite sweet when you sprout wheat. And I actually prefer kamut, they're a sprouted unleavened grain bread that has been slightly ground, not totally pulverized because then it would be too gooey and mushy and not so great, but still has texture. And then you put it in a dehydrator, turn it up enough, maybe an hour at about 135 just so it gets a nice crust on it, then you turn it down to 105 for about another 5 to 6 hours. So you can break it and it's chewy and you can spread yummies on it. [Laughter] Whatever you like to spread on your bread or make a sandwich out of it and it's quite delicious.

Kevin: Oh.

Cherie: I don't know, when you were at our Vibrant Living expo, if you had any of our sandwiches, but we make a thin bread also using kamut, and you can put all kinds of herbs or onions or anything that you want in it. Spread it out almost like you would a cracker but a little bit thicker, and then just dehydrate it for a few hours and slice it. Cut it and you have bread that looks like slices of bread, an unleavened, pumpernickel kind of bread.

Kevin: Like a German bread.

Cherie: Yeah, like a German pumpernickel, and it's quite delicious. But we also make breakfast breads out of it like scones. You want to add some pecans and dates and orange peel or orange zest or something like that or cranberries in it and make scones. And those are delicious. You can make cinnamon rolls. It's basically the same thing, but you just shape it any different way you want and add any other ingredients that you want.



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Cut Out Salt For Raw Food Weight Loss

By Swayze Foster
Expert Author Swayze Foster

When I receive emails from frustrated and often desperate readers asking why, oh why they can't lose weight even though they are following a healthy raw food diet, the very first thing I often ask is...

Are you still consuming salt?

This sneaky substance so popular within the raw food movement is a common reason why many raw foodists hold onto excess weight.

Here's the simple explanation:

When you consume rock salt of any kind - sea salt, table salt, kosher salt, fleur de sel, etc. - the salt draws the precious water from your cells out into your bloodstream and skin (even killing the cells in the process).

This process of osmosis, although necessary to balance the level of salinity in the body, is what leads to water retention (i.e. puffy skin!).

Don't believe me? Then let me regale you with a little salty story of my own...

Salty Dinner Salad and Super Inflated Swayze

Late last year, I began adding salt to my nightly salads. I'm not really sure how it happened...

I just noticed the sea salt on the counter while preparing my dinner one evening and decided to add a dash to the dish. I knew it wasn't healthy to eat rock salt, but it tasted pretty good and I figured it couldn't harm me that much, right?

I kept up these salty charades for a couple of weeks until I noticed my clothes fitting a bit tighter. I was having a hard time fitting into some of my shirts. I didn't notice the connection between the weight gain and salt yet and so I was a bit perplexed.

Then I saw myself in the raw pie video I posted Thanksgiving morning of '09...I looked all puffy! I went to weigh myself and couldn't believe it: I was 5 POUNDS HEAVIER than my usual weight!

I knew immediately what the culprit was: SALT!

No More Salty Salads!

The salt - even just a dash of it - was clearly making me retain water. I decided to eliminate the dash of salt from my diet that day and had a completely salt-free salad that evening.

And you know what? I was completely surprised that my salad tasted just as good! Better, in fact, because I could actually taste all the different nuances of the ingredients in the dish instead of just salt, salt, and more SALT.

Even more surprising? I weighed myself the next day to test my theory and had already lost 3 WHOLE POUNDS. I had known that salt lead to water retention, but 3 pounds in one day?! That really surprised me.

In addition, I had been waking up each morning slightly nauseated for the past couple of weeks, which was sometimes accompanied by a slight headache. This would last for about an hour or so and then gradually disappear.

Again, I didn't see salt as the culprit.:roll eyes:

But the morning after my salt-free salad...no nausea OR headache AT ALL!

So not only did that little bit of rock salt in the evening make me gain an entire melon's worth of water, but it also made me nauseated and headache-y!

And it didn't even enhance the flavor of my food...it just made it salty.

Oh, one other side effect of eating salt...it made my sweat super stinky!

Moral of My Salty Story

Salt is really, really, REALLY addictive.

This is not the first time I have introduced salt back into my diet and each occurrence has the same results:

I try the salt, I love it immediately (even though I haven't eaten it in many, many months), I continue to use it to enhance my food for a few weeks, I gain weight and/or my joints start to hurt, I give it up and wonder why, oh why I ever introduced it to my diet in the first place!

But this time was a bit different.

The nausea and headaches were definitely new and I usually only gain a pound or two, not FIVE!

Plus, I usually really struggle with giving salt up again because plain savory raw dishes just don't taste as good anymore. As mentioned above, the salad tasted just fine without it and I forgot all about salt pretty much immediately, which was great.

How to Stick it to Salt

While I usually recommend a gradual transition away from unhealthy foods, salt is sometimes an exception to the rule.

If you are still struggling with weight loss and can't stop sneaking in and soaking up the salt, the best thing to do is to simply get rid of it completely. You will be surprised how quickly your cravings for this sneaky substance subside.

It really only takes a few days to a couple weeks at most and then you won't even think about salt anymore. After only about a week of no salt, the thought of adding any to my food honestly made be feel nauseated...and it still does!


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5 Common Mistakes Made on a Raw Food Diet

By Swayze Foster
Expert Author Swayze Foster

So you've been on a raw food diet for a while now and you feel stuck. You have cravings all the time, you have low energy, you haven't experienced the health and vitality that everyone talks about, and you definitely don't have "the glow".

You aren't alone. There's a reason you and so many like you are dismayed by your results (or lack thereof) from your switch to raw foods. You're doing it all wrong.

But don't worry, it's an easy fix. Take a look at these 5 common mistakes made by raw foodists to see if one, two, or even all of them can be blamed for your raw food woes.

Mistake #1: Eating Too Much Fat

By far the biggest mistake made on a raw food diet is overdoing it on fat. You may think this is hard to do on only raw foods, but you are mistaken. Avocados, nuts, seeds, olives, and oils are all comprised mostly of fat (75%+)

What's the problem with too much? For one, a diet high in fat is the true cause of high blood sugar, but it also interferes with the transportation of oxygen through blood and has been linked to several mental and physical ailments.

Plus, fatty foods just are not satiating. Even if you get enough calories, you will likely still experience tremendous cravings for foods like bread and pasta because your body need carbs. Lacking fuel, fatigue will set in as well.

*Remedy*: Limit your fat intake to no more than 10% of total calories. It's okay to have some days that are higher in fat, but the average should be 10% or less. This typically means one to two ounces of nuts/seeds or half to three quarters of a medium avocado.

Mistake #2: Eating Too Little Fruit

The reason it's so hard to maintain a diet of mostly fat (raw or not) is because your body naturally craves sugar-rich carbohydrates. Your entire body runs on sugar and everything you eat, carbohydrate-rich or not, has to be converted to simple sugar before it can be fully utilized by the cells.

Now, I'm certainly not telling you to go chow down on pasta or garlic bread. Grains should definitely be avoided for optimal health. What I'm saying is that you need to eat more fresh, whole, ripe, raw, sweet, delicious, nutritious, and simple sugar-rich fruit.

If you want to succeed on a raw food diet, you have to get the majority of your calories from fruit.

*Remedy*: Eat as much fruit as you want for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Make sure all the fruit you eat is good quality and at the peak of ripeness.

Mistake #3: Eating Too Much Salt

Besides eating far too much fat in the form of avocados, nuts, and oils, raw foodists are known for consuming waaaaay too much salt.

Ever wonder why you hands and face swell up and your heart races after eating a particularly salty meal? It's because salt is a toxin. Your body is doing its best to completely eliminate it from your body.

If you REALLY want to see your health soar, you need to completely eliminate all salt (yes, even "healthy" sea salt) from your diet. You can get all the minerals you need, including sodium, from fresh fruits and greens.

*Remedy*: Eliminate all rock salt from your diet. Instead, turn to ingredients like sun-dried tomatoes, lemon juice, and mild herbs to add great flavor to your savory raw salads, soups, and sauces.

Mistake #4: Eating Too Many Refined Foods

Even though many raw foodists love to claim that they eat a 100% raw and natural diet, the simple fact is that the vast majority of them eat way too many refined foods. Dried fruit, dried nuts and seeds, and refined sweeteners are used in abundance to make everything from flax seed crackers to chocolate mouse.

Remember, this is a RAW food diet we are talking about here. Refined foods, even if they are only sun-dried, are no longer truly raw.

*Remedy*: Keep refined foods like dried fruits to a minimum. The bulk of your calories should come from whole, fresh foods.

Mistake #5: Eating Complicated Recipes

Finally, a huge mistake in the raw food movement has to do with complicated recipes that ignore food combining. To show you what I mean check out this popular raw dessert:

Raw Brownies

Brownies

1 cup ground pecans
1 cup dates
1/4 cup cacao powder
1 teaspoon agave nectar

Icing

1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon avocado
1 tablespoon agave
1/2 tablespoon cacao powder

Not only is this recipe high in fat (over 50%!), but it's very poorly combined. It's full of sugar (dates and agave) and fat (pecans, coconut oil, and avocado) which do not digest well together.

It's okay to have a complex recipe with multiple ingredients every once in a while. But these should never make up the majority of what you eat.

*Remedy*: Keep recipes simple by limiting the number of ingredients used (the fewer ingredients, the better) and always remember to follow proper food combining rules.

Staying Raw is Simple

If you want to see fabulous results and succeed long-term on a raw food diet, you've got to limit your intake of fatty and dehydrated foods, cut out the salt and poorly combined recipes, and increase your consumption of fruit. Only then will you start to see dramatic and lasting health improvements.

Go raw and be fit,


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A Detox Fasting Paradise - Pristine Private Island - Coconut, the Tree of Life and Organic Raw Food

By Leeann Cruz

Dedicated to my wonderful island coconut trees, the trees of life.

I am often asked, "What encouraged you to follow your inner child guides to a pristine private island paradise to live the rest of your life surrounded by coconut, the tree of life?" Here is my story.

At age 36, after traveling the globe extensively, I had a strong vision to settle down in my own pristine Shangri-la with many coconut trees. I was then on a 16 year world sojourn, traveling together with my English partner Mark. Our adventures had taken us to some of the world's most pristine, rugged, serene, remote tropical wilderness and animal reserves, plus canyons, rivers, lakes and island paradises fringed with coconut trees. Though shy and uncomfortable with people since a little girl, I was totally relaxed in Mother Nature, particularly in the tropics near a cleansing sea and eating organic tropical food from the wild.

During my adventures, short-term travelers would often ask questions about my long unusual journeys. Amazed myself that many of my wild dreams came true, I would tell them I was blessed to have among others, Peter Pan and TinkerBell as my mystical spiritual friends. I came to believe it and live by my mystical tropical island dream.

My 'vision to settle' was not your typical 'Buy a house in the country and settle down'! My dream was a pristine paradise somewhere in the tropics far away from people. It was private and had a lush tropical jungle backdrop. I could see an island surrounded by blue crystal clear water and a nearby coral reef, teaming with fish, with a long white-sand beach fringed with coconut, my trees of life.

Amazingly, I could still see mountain peaks, caves and grottos in the picture, too. I could see myself growing my organic garden, learning how to eat coconut in many varied ways, sprouting my organic seeds in my own kitchen, eating cleansing raw food and having pets to nurture and love, but I was still unsure if I would live on a pristine island beside a tropical turquoise blue sea or on some mystical mountain.

Most people would say this was an irrational fairytale fantasy; to me it was real. I knew it was out there and I had to search. And with the help of Peter Pan and TinkerBell as my mystical guides, find my pristine paradise and my coconut trees, I did!. Like a coconut washed to a far distant shore, I started from an organic tropical coconut seed on my tropical soil, and then I grew my tropical island roots. Later I would grow my sturdy trunk, my huge green leaves and fruits to share, growing strong with the trees of life surrounding me.

Finding the Soil to Plant the Coconut Seed

Mark had airline tickets back to Australia, suggesting we look for a place in tropical Cape Tribulation, Northern Queensland, another paradise we both loved. However living in the West did not fit my mystical journey and my way of life. I could feel my need of a paradise in the East, far away from what most call 'normal' civilization. Still Mark was my partner; we had traveled together for more than 14 years, sharing much love, joy and experience. He would often suggest I wake up to reality and I would struggle with questions like: Why did I, at 36 years of age, still believe such a fantasy fairytale about an exotic paradise with a white-sand beach and coconut trees existed? Would I be searching my whole life for an unobtainable mystical island dream? Could there really be gods, goddesses, fairies and spiritual guides and a remote island paradise I could live on?

While traveling through Malaysia on our way back to Australia, I was sharing my far-fetched private island dream with a Swiss couple while sitting at a small street-side restaurant in Penang. Immediately both said that my vision sounded like the pristine area they had just left, the spectacular bay, cliffs and white-sand beaches of El Nido Palawan, Philippines.

Immediately I heard bells in my head and felt Peter Pan beside me again saying the words "what are we waiting for?" l looked at Mark, who, though amazed with my mystical adventures, agreed to add yet another detour into our plans to get back to Australia. Weeks later after trekking off the beaten track through rice paddies and waiting days in a crocodile infested riverside village for a weekly market boat, we found our way to the unforgettable shores of Bacuit Bay, home of 21 pristine islands, with coconut fringed beaches and the main town of El Nido.

After just two weeks here, surprising even me, I was adamant that I would find my island dream in one of these exotic gems. Mark had not the heart to share my dream, yet I heard myself tell him, "I will manage it alone from here and find my pristine coconut fringed island." We said goodbye, he thinking I would come to my senses with time and experience. I knew I was here for life. Four months later, together with Peter, I was shown the unforgettable shores of my destiny. As if my friendly spiritual guides had waved their magic wands, almost all of my wishes were in front of me on this tiny magical island of Malapacao. It was my exotic, mystical place here in Asia. It was a gem surrounded by other gems, a pearl in a pristine place. It was a tropical island surrounded by blue crystal clear water, a nearby coral reef..teaming with fish... It had a long white-sand beach fringed with my beloved tress of life.It had a lush tropical jungle backdrop... It had many rugged mountain peaks, a cave and a grotto for meditation... Turtles visited the shore often to lay their eggs and exotic tropical birds shared space with colorful butterflies, dragonflies, lacewings and my trees of life.

If all of this was not enough, it had a carved small pool just on the shore that I could use as my wishing well for future diva dreams. I was ecstatic and in love. Finding my vision had taken all of three months. Now making it my tropical paradise home and becoming self sufficient on coconut and organic food was going to be the dedicated work of my life, a challenge like moving a mountain!

It was September 1987, over 23 years ago, when I was washed to these shores with Peter Pan and TinkerBell, arriving with almost no savings left. Few westerners lived in our area, few locals had met a foreigner and fewer spoke English. Even though I was well traveled, living among people from such a simple culture was like stepping back in time 50 years or more. I was ever-so green!! I had not even thought it through, how I would survive eating my beloved coconut, what I would do for funds. My family (though not close) believed like Mark did, that one day I would return to my senses and come back to Australia; there was no way I was going to ask them for any financial help.

Growing my Delicate Coconut Roots

Home for me was here, with these coconut trees, there would never be another in this lifetime. I had made the forever, life commitment. I had to trust Peter Pan and TinkerBell as well as my new island gods, goddesses and fairies to show me the way I needed to follow. There was nothing in my head saying "NO"; that it might not or would not work. I had been born a Leo, in the year of the Rabbit, and luck was my middle name. I would mesh with the local islanders and balance this most important shift in my life. I would grow like the coconut tree and learn new skills to live closely with nature. I learnt to make young coconut jelly, coconut brittle, coconut biscuits, crunches, coconut oils, coconut cheeses, coconut champagne and coconut honey. I would adapt to this tropical island lifestyle, as I believed the answers were here with the trees, and as long as I asked, all would be revealed. Looking back, I see this as my saving grace.

Thinking rationally rarely allows someone to start a tropical island adventure such as I did! Yet in hindsight, I can not help but be surprised by just how irrational I was 23 years ago! Like others starting their 'Robinson Crusoe lifestyle', I planted more coconut trees in my garden for my millionaire's salad, grew my sprouts and explored the lush natural vegetation. I found lot of ways to add coconuts to wild vines, green leaves and shoots for my cleansing raw food organic diet. I started a farm to grow and then sell things so I could survive here.

On several of my trips to Manila (a 30 hour or longer cargo boat ride) I brought back 6 imported breeding sows, 2 boars, 80 egg laying pullets and 200 just born chicks, 100 Muscovy ducklings and 100 baby Australian Silver quail. Over time the pigs bred an average of 80 piglets every six months. I would sleep with the sows at their birth; clip their umbilical cords from their mothers and their eye teeth to prevent them from hurting mums teats. My island helpers even taught me how to castrate the young male piglets.

The chickens would lay approximately 60 eggs a day creating a small income and to this menagerie I acquired a few pairs of Campbell Road Runner ducks and a pair of Bengala guinea fowl. With the help of a homemade kerosene incubator, I multiplied my animals and my eggs one hundred fold.

To add to more excitement I bought 2 mother goats with 4 baby kids and 1 Billy goat. Life was full....lots of experiences......lots of daily happenings. I fed coconut in various forms to all my animals and at one point I had over 1000 of them to care for. I made salted, century eggs and balut from my ducks, sold quail eggs and created other interesting local delicacies. To provide better health for my young animals, I raised thousands of earthworms for their Vitamin B12 vermiculture. That is another story all on its own and to this day I am grateful to my humble earthworms in my organic garden supporting my cleansing raw food meals.

I sold young healthy pigs and if ever any got sick, their new owners would return them to me to doctor. I would feed them coconut, charcoal and green leaves; let them wander along the beach and under the coconut trees, until they got their energy again. I would even sleep with them; wrapping them in woolen scarves at night so they could feel warm and secure and I would massage and shampoo them with cleansing coconut oil. As is my way, I prefer not ask a person to do anything I would not do myself! Eventually I could not bring myself to kill my animals and slowly I become a spiritual vegan. It was a wonderful learning process and another step in my organic island way of life.

During that time a few other foreigners came into the area, but they seldom stayed long, finding life too challenging. I would rarely meet them, finding little common ground with people, more at home hugging the trees and rocks, dancing with the wind, snorkeling with the fish and eating coconuts and organic food. Using local folklore tales Peter Pan would help me weave fantasies of the island shapes, acknowledging the fairy guides. Inabuyatan Island in front of me, became The Princess who had cried herself to sleep hundreds of years ago, distressed with the world for allowing the Goddesses to be destroyed. Now with the help of her seven sisters, she had woken, aware that these strong women were on the scene again. A Mammoth Elephant leaning up against her as a symbol of Yin and Yang.

I, myself became a bit of a legend too - it was not hard to do here! Alone, celibate and a mystical spiritual diva who enjoyed strange dances on the beach (often nude) and with an odd cleansing diet, loving my life in nature. Foreigners and locals alike called me 'The Crazy Coconut Lady of Malapacao.' To those who knew me it was said in kind fun. However, most believed that in time, I would get lonely enough and give up my organic island lifestyle. Though several visitors asked me this question, my answer was always the same, "No, never!!"

In the early days life was about survival, with huge challenges. It was not a bed of roses that is for sure! Days and dramas were real and not for the weak minded. Living here can be like being in the Wild West and I had my hands full just trying to understand a culture that is so different from our world. There were days I admit I hit some mighty bumps and did buckle and bend just like the coconut tree does - it happens to all of us! But these obstacles were heaven-sent to make me a stronger diva. I believe one makes the most of what we have....I had what most people only dream of, it was a precious magical gift...how could I NOT put my heart and soul into it?

Still after four years of trying to survive, I failed to earn enough for basic needs with my farming venture. In 1992, with few facilities, I opened my doors to regular tourism, offering stretcher beds on the beach and visitors had to help me prepare meals and hot drinks on a wood fire. I had no towels, bed linens and knew nothing about bokashi composting toilet in those days. It was a rustic beginning with lots of coconut drinks and meals on my exotic menu and budget travelers loved it. Offering a tiny haven for passing yachties, I sold the coconut fruit, coconut oil, coconut champagne and veggies, other fresh fruits, green leaves and water, as well as offering refueling, laundry and garbage disposal services.

This led to an article in the Hong Kong magazine called 'Fragrant Harbor' and during the months of March and April before the Hong Kong changeover of 1997, groups of eight or sometimes twelve yachts would anchor in my spectacular bay. Their owners would shout from their boats, "Leeann, is it OK to come ashore for dinner? We are 14 of us, have you got some raw organic food for us, we are tired of tinned junk." "What about some coconut champagne too" Slowly, with better income, I created more cottages under the coconut trees, adding facilities, increasing my rates, services and sharing the benefits of cleansing raw food.

In 1996 my island view was chosen as the gem of all the 7001 Philippine islands by the author of the Lonely Planet Guide Book. Our Beautiful 'Princess' (Inabuyatan Island) also fringed with coconuts was on his front cover. Popularity brought more visitors and in those short-lived years, I was able to pay off many of the islanders who owned or claimed to own my part of the island.

Often I would accommodate thirty or more guests staying in-house daily. Supported by the help of the local islanders, we offered basic friendly services, raw and semi-raw food meals and unforgettable island adventure. The downside of more visitors was the difficult challenge of sharing my pristine environment with people who enjoyed things that I considered toxic and definitely not meant to be here in my mystical private island with my island guides.

To keep my delicate spiritual balance, the first to go off my island services was meat, followed by cigarettes, then alcohol and coffee and sugar. Having acquired an even deeper interest in the health benefits of coconut, making virgin oil as well as coconut flower honey and many other organic and herbal raw food, I would cringe at the amount of over cooked food I served on my table, including breads, buns and tarts, with not a hope in paradise to incorporate the benefits of food combining or not drinking with meals, plus what I had learned.

Like any business, one is obliged to serve what a customer wants or pay the price and lose business. In the face of much advice to the contrary, I chose the latter, adamantly believing money was not my driving force, love of my island and quality of life was! and I had to find a way.

Growing my Sturdy Tall Coconut Trunk

At this time I was completely cut off from the outside world in so many ways. No news, no radio, no newspaper, no TV, no Internet, no computer, it was just too much of a challenge to find the power. Magazines didn't exist here unless someone brought them in, and there was no music. And none of that mattered to me. YES!! even music!

When you are a child of nature, eating a mostly cleansing raw diet, you are content with the whisperings of wonderful elementals and divas. The many and varied sounds of the sea, the swishing of the fronds of my enormous trees above was, is and always will be my musical pleasure. These trees asked me to hug them, the heavens guided me to build sundecks to embrace the light; the sea beckoned me to swim in it daily. For me the wind offered fine vibrations within the coconut trees that I adored. I was and still am content with simplicity and the song 'All The Sounds Of The Earth Are Like Music' is so true for me. Along the way I was blessed to have visitors share their Gentle Arts. I learnt to practice yoga, tai chi, sword dancing, and do tarot and angel card readings too.

Sometime in mid 1997, an English couple, listening to me voice my current island dreams, suggested I was outlining a detox cleansing spa. All I knew then of Spas were hot water pools in Germany. Fortunate enough to be managing a detox fasting center in Puerto Rico, these two people had my full attention. Another important spiritual serendipity was in the making. A little later, a kind Austrian offered to create my first website for me; an Internet Cafe worker in Puerto Princesa agreed to check emails and send them up in printed state. I replied in longhand. So many rustic beginnings! Imagine notes traveling via a difficult local bus/truck ride over 400 kilometers of steep mountains up to El Nido, then waiting for a rare island boat trip. It was the same process to get the answer back down to Puerto Princesa. Some email replies would have been 10-15 days old before the sender would receive it! I can laugh at the journey, so different from now!

Some of my guests wonder at my patience with the continual computer challenges we have here day by day now, but I know its all relative and I take nothing for granted. Though my library was minimal then, one book called "Touch For Health", written by John Thie, stood out prominently. I had carried this book on many of my travels, even to the base camp of Everest. Once here, I had placed it in a corner, forgetting it, having no partner to learn with or practice it. On a whim I wrote to John Thie's Foundation, hoping the 20 year old address might still exist and that my letter might reach them. My request to entice a 'Touch For Health' instructor to the island to teach me Kinesiology went off with a passing visitor. It was like sending a message in a bottle asking TinkerBell to deliver it. I never used the postal system.

I quickly learnt about mud/clay bakes, coconut body scrubs, seaweed wraps and various massage treatments. A Reiki Master sailing in a yacht anchored in my bay and I managed to convince her to stay longer, teaching me Reiki 1 and 2. Later I was blessed to learn about efficiency micro-organisms (EM) (AEM) and bokashi and started my organic garden under the coconut trees with these wonderful gifts of Mother Nature. I even belatedly learnt about the bokashi composting toilet, something still on my list of things to create.

My diva buds were expanding, spring was in the air and important groundwork was in progress. With the help of a few loyal visitors, I began building several rustic, comfy cottages with garden bathrooms, dreaming of my new 'Adventure Wellness' programs. In 1998, nature threw additional spice into my challenges. First global warming came, bringing ten months of drought with ancient tropical trees crashing down. Sea temperatures, generally only 26 -28 degrees centigrade rose to over 32, killing all the soft corals and much of our hard corals, all under my eyes with nothing I could do. It was a sad unforgettable time for our earth.

To cap off the year of 1998, on December 12th, with most of the construction of my new cottages almost completed, one of the strongest typhoons in 60 years ripped into us head-on. It was called 'Norming' and we were in the 'Eye' and in its wake as it went first one way, then the other it destroyed one third of my retreat, burying my beautiful white-sand beach under heaps of rubble, not to mention many small sea creatures. Almost all of my tall coconut trees were damaged, for one full year I would have no coconut fruits from my island trees. Where to continue, what to rebuild first...where were the funds to do it? I had $500 only in the bank, just enough to keep a US dollar account open. It had to go and more had to be found. Many visitors were booked to share my island paradise between Xmas/New Year, and would be deeply disappointed otherwise.

This was a huge challenge on its own; however on the heels of this, I had to ride out the aftermath of two political dramas during 1999 and 2000. These issues stopped tourism in its tracks for several years. My Adventure Wellness dreams went on the back burner. I had to survive with my coconuts...but how! Most Westerners involved in any commercial venture returned to their country to take on part-time work to maintain their Philippine lifestyle. I had nowhere to go and no money even if I wanted to leave, which I did not. I prayed to Peter Pan and TinkerBell for the answer, asking for change, asking for balance. My wonderful island spirits again heard my prayers and I managed to turn every difficult corner as I came to it.

Stretching my Limbs and Dancing my Huge Coconut Leaves

In 2002 a connection was made with the owner of Dharma Healing, Hillary Hitt. She graciously shared much information on fasting, detox, cleansing and self healing. I linked my web pages with those of Hillary's, but nothing moved. I clearly saw detox fasting programs as my future and prayed to know where and how to begin, but though 52 years old, I had never fasted a day in my life and had only the vaguest idea what detox fasting meant.

True to the rhythms of my mystical life, less than ten months later, a full of life 73 year old Norwegian man, Frank Jenson arrived, loved my coconut paradise and wanted to stay for 2 months or more. I asked what he did for a living. Frank replied that the was a "Touch For Health" (kinesiology) instructor.

So here was the person I had asked Peter Pan to send me five years before, sent off in note in a bottle! Frank also owned 'Monhos Velhos', a detox fasting retreat in the Argyle, Portugal and serendipity was knocking again. Frank got an almost FREE stay; a great trade off, and I was over the moon! You might call this luck; I called it as usual, my destiny. Like so much in life, our paths are mapped out.

Learning Kinesiology was fun, but what I appreciated the most was Frank sitting beside me in my office for a two full months, (mostly nude!), rebuilding his detox fasting website. I was his willing pupil. I learnt about fasting and detox and I learnt of life-changing journeys. We were using cleansing products Frank had brought from Portugal and without even looking into where or how I would get similar items, I started my detox fasting retreat adding more coconut products to them, converting my website totally to detox and transformation and my life simultaneously too.

It was a huge financial risk to convert from simple tourism to offering detox, fasting, cleansing programs at higher prices in this remote area, but slowly with the help of TinkerBell and her magic wand, everything came slowly together. I was and still am blessed to have had the opportunity with my guides, to find and then create one of the most beautiful paradises on earth for cleansing detox, fasting and self healing. I could think of no better way to support myself in this lifetime than to share my paradise with caring visitors, mostly women, seeking a quiet sanctuary like mine for their own cleansing self healing work and to find their own balance. Plus the thrill that people could be sharing their holistic alternative health knowledge with families and loved ones, and contributing just that little bit more to the healing of our world is an added bonus.

Like many of us that move into the alternative health care detox field, I too came with my own personal baggage of health challenges. Up until that time, I had buried many of these in the spirit of 'Just get on with it!' Peter Pan had told me to be strong, to even play a very masculine role in order to set the groundwork. Now was my own time for spiritual growth and healing, to explore my feminine energy; to nurture and transform ME. To share with love and ever growing understanding, I had to first listen to my deepest inner child awareness. These are the beautiful gifts of my island, my island guides and much serendipity. There is so much more than we will ever know about our spiritual destiny, we must just trust and walk our inner child path.

Appreciating and Sharing My Flowers and Fruits

As diva life has a way of evolving so gracefully, I was destined to meet my next mentor, Farida Sharan, the owner/founder of The School of Natural Medicine, Boulder Colorado. After years of personal study, practical experience and commitment in the field of alternative natural health detox and fasting, I earned my Diploma in Naturopathy and forged ahead on my tiny coconut island. Offering colon irrigation services long before many people in my part of the world had ever heard of it, added to the legend of Leeann 'The Crazy Coconut Lady of Malapacao'. When I began my fasting, self healing programs the flowers and fruits came into my life. As I speak they are in full strong blossom, blooming slowly more each year. Visitors now come to my pristine island from all walks of life and from every corner of the globe for guided full body detox parasite cleansing, colonics, organic raw food, coconut ology teacher training, as well as for Naturopathy, Alternative Health Care Practicum's.

Many on my visitors become open to detox cleansing usually after they have become burnt out from stress and an unhealthy diet. Many know what to do, but forget to listen to their bodies. Sadly many get sick and take toxic medications, especially for depression, or seriously ill with cancer. Many have had no luck with regular doctors and don't know what to do. Almost all have parasites and bacteria issues, many have sticky blood and acid pH.

Part of the process of becoming healthy is learning to love ourselves and listen to our spiritual inner child and our hearts; to learn to see our body as our temple. I feel so blessed to have my strong coconut trees and magical divas here with me every day. Ideally we should detox regularly and eat colorful living vibrant unadulterated organic food with lots of coconut, be mindful when and where we eat; spend time in nature and talk to the trees, love as many people around us as we can and enjoy and share the flowers and fruits of our labor. With this, appreciating our winding path of truth and growing inner child spirituality, becomes easier. This is my gift to the universe, to share my spectacular island with its beautiful white-sand beach with people seeking to love themselves more, to change, transform and to self heal, to find a way back to balance from a very toxic world through mother nature.

Created in love, living life in love, surrounded by love, encouraging love

Leeann

Leeann is a 58 years young, vibrantly alive Raw Foodist, living on a pristine private island she found with her spiritual guides Peter Pan and TinkerBell. Blessed to have her mystical paradise, she offers her wonderful home for affordable detox cleansing, fasting adventures and self healing transformation.

She suggests you escape the rat race, hectic schedules and bad habits. Transform, rejuvenate and balance your life with gifts from the coconut, raw food, and learn to heal naturally, holistically by connecting with your inner child guides, as nature intended.

Malapacao Private Island Retreat in the El Nido Marine Reserve, Bacuit Bay, Palawan, Philippines is a remote, exclusive, unforgettable, private island paradise. Personalized detox cleansing with high colonics, organic raw food programs; pampering daily therapies like massages of all kinds, clay bakes, coconut body scrubs, herbal soaks and many other tropical delights.

Together with island exploring, snorkeling, swimming, hiking, kayaking, jungle adventures, Malapacao Private Island Retreat with its white-sand beach, offers an great venue for self healing detox fasting. Overcome serious health challenges with powerful one on one Dr. Schultz treatments like "Hyperthermia Cold Sheet" acupuncture, moxa treatments and lots more.

El Nido, Palawan is an 80 minute flight from Manila with 3 flights daily most days. Malapacao is a 40 minute boat ride from El Nido.

The


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Raw Food Diet Weight Loss - 3 Ways the Natural Diet Slims You Down Fast

By Angela R Parker
Expert Author Angela R Parker

The incredible weight loss benefits of the raw foods diet stem from several excellent characteristics of natural food:

It's clean:

Raw organic produce is 100% free of the harmful toxins found in inorganic produce and all cooked and processed foods. A key way the body deals with an intake of too many toxins is by storing them as fats! It surrounds dangerous toxins with fatty membranes to protect the rest of the body and they end up on your belly.

It's packed with vital nutrients:

People waste so much time with "calorie counting." The most important thing isn't how many calories you eat but rather what kind of calories you eat. A meal of fresh fruits and vegetables might have as many calories as a slice of cake. But because the cake is deficient in vitamins, minerals, and essential amino acids, the body doesn't get a substantial dose of nutrients. In response your metabolism slows down and more of what you eat ends up being stored as fat.

Raw food has the opposite effect. Flooding the body with uncooked, unaltered vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals makes the body fire up your metabolism so you all nutrients go to energizing you immediately and you burn fat rapidly.

It digests itself:

The reason you hear raw food being called "living food" is because it's abundant of enzymes. These metabolic workers are industrious helpers to anyone trying to lose weight. They literally break raw meals down inside you so that your body doesn't have to waste its own enzymes.

When enzymes break down your meals and vital raw nutrients flood your body, virtually nothing is stored as fat - so you shed pounds effortlessly.

Why cooked food ends up on your waistline:

Unfortunately, all the wonderful benefits of natural-state foods are destroyed or even reversed in the cooking process.

Cooking foods creates harmful compounds that artificially stimulate appetite and encourage the body to store fat.
Cooking damages nutrients so that the body must store them before using them
Cooked kills all enzymes making foods harder to digest. It takes the 4 times longer to digest a cooked meal. This means more metabolic waste is created and more fat is stored.

The science behind raw food weight loss is rock-solid. Nature is really the best dietitian - ever notice that no wild animals are overweight? Struggling with your weight is just a result of eating damaged and deficient cooked foods.




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More Benefits of Living Raw Food

By Roxanne Vick

The great thing about raw food is that there are so many benefits. In my last article, I wrote specifically about the fiber and enzyme benefits. In this article, I will address the water benefit and the antioxidant benefits that raw foods so richly supply.

The water content of raw food, especially that of fruits and vegetables, especially is valuable, since their water is the purest available. It is comparable to distilled water, only better, because it has been "distilled" by plants, and is technically "living water", since fruits and vegetables are living, hence the term "living raw foods", or as in the title of my recipe book: Live Unfired Foods. Drinking this water (eating raw foods, or drinking their juice), is so beneficial because it not only hydrates us, but cleanses our bodies, is full of organic minerals , and it contains properties which many have claimed have brought healing. Organic minerals are simply minerals such as iron, that a plant has taken out of the earth, and made them organic, vs. inorganic. This is the best way our bodies can absorb minerals. Inorganic minerals can do us harm by hardening the arteries and harming our vital organs. I can personally to a great feeling of wellness that comes with even a relatively short period of time on a strict raw food diet, and I'm not saying that we don't need water, but I am simply saying that eating an abundance of fresh raw food will help greatly to keep us hydrated.

Before I get into why raw foods are the place to get your antioxidants, let me explain a little of what antioxidants do, and what they are, for a refresher. They protect us from heart disease, slow degeneration of our eyes, brain, and skin, and fight cancerous cells. An example of some antioxidants are Vitamins A,C, and E, lycopene, and beta carotene. Now, I must make a distinction here on the word degeneration. Some use the word "aging", instead of degeneration. From my personal study of this issue, degeneration happens when toxins are introduced, aging in itself is not toxic, if we are properly nourished. There are many studies (the Hunza people, or the China project) of people who live much longer, without the rapid degeneration Western people have due to the toxins in our diet. So, to put it another way, antioxidants help ensure our bodies keep working like they should. The other properties in raw foods help us to absorb these vital antioxidants, which over the counter pills do not provide. While red beans contain the highest amount of antioxidants per serving, raw fruits and nuts remain the easiest source for many to consume. You may want to refer to my antioxidant chart for a list of the raw foods highest known in antioxidants.

A study was done on the antioxidants found in more than 100 foods including cereals, breads, nuts, and spices, besides various other fresh, raw foods. The study appeared in the June 9 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, and was commented on by Researcher Ronald Prior, PhD, a chemist and nutritionist with the USDA's Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center in Little Rock, Ark: "A big factor in all of this is what happens in the digestion and absorption process. With some of these compounds, it appears that even though they have a high antioxidant capacity, they may not be absorbed." Here is where my opinion comes in: I suspect that many antioxidants are not absorbed, because the food is cooked, and devoid of enzymes present in the original raw food to help us to absorb it! You may want to refer to my last article, "The Benefits of Living Raw Food," to learn a little more about the role of enzymes, but basically, enzymes are present in raw foods, to help us digest those foods. So it makes sense to me that the enzymes in raw food will also help you absorb the antioxidants contained therein. Someday science may prove this exact point, but I don't want to wait, do you?

I encourage you to learn as much as you can, and enjoy the many benefits, known and unknown, contained in living raw food.

R


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Raw Food Success Story - How Raw Food Author Lost 160 Pounds

By Kevin Gianni
Expert Author Kevin Gianni

Kevin: I am so excited about this call because I think success leaves clues. And today we're going to talk about your success in your weight loss. So, why don't we just start what the landscape of the situation was when you started and realized that and said, "Hey I need to do something about my weight."

Angela:: Sure, yeah. I didn't come from a family where obesity was common, like this wasn't expected that I was going to end up as big as I did. But I did end up at my biggest I was nearly 300 pounds. So basically how that looked to me was I was pretty miserable.

I was ill all the time. And I had a fa├žade going on in my life. That everything was fine and everything was great. But really I was not enjoying life and it seemed like I'd pushed my body so far that I was
on the verge of developing diabetes.

Kevin: So what was the moment for you that just said, "Whoa, I need to do something about this"?

Angela:: Yes, so when I was 21 years old, I had a diabetes scare, which really rocked my
world. And I was really a mess. I was sleeping like for 18 hours a day. I was very lethargic. Always ill and I looked diabetes up in a medical encyclopedia. I literally had every single symptom of diabetes.

Kevin: Wow.

Angela:: And I was terrified. I knew I needed to do something different. I was the person at that point who, literally, couldn't walk past a McDonald's. I was magnetized into places. And I just lived to eat, that's what I did. Thousands and thousands of calories a day, and empty calories. The stuff that just like does not feed the body.

But I went for the test to see if I did have diabetes. And the result came back negative. And it felt like being given a second chance, you know? It was like wow, I pushed everything just about as far as I could and now I can take a step back from that and see what choice I want to make instead.

I had never had any interest in health or dieting my entire life. And I was like well what do I do, actually? You know how do I actually be healthy?

And so, and I was not going to speak to anybody about it because that was kind of my coping mechanism that nobody was allowed to speak about my weight or my health. It was like completely taboo.

So I just basically guessed what it was that I could do to start trying to be a bit healthier. I stopped snacking as much and I tried being more active. And I started to lose a bit of weight. I lost like
about 30 pounds.

But when you're 300 pounds and you lose 30 pounds, it doesn't really make that much difference. To be honest. So that was the beginning of my steps towards being healthier, but things didn't really shift for me until raw foods came along into my life.

Kevin: You said that your life basically revolved around food. I would imagine that's probably one of the most difficult things, to come to terms with one and then change. How did you go about that approach?

Angela:: Well, my whole transformation has gone through every single level of my being
without question. And for me it started with the physical for sure. So it started with literally the food itself. You know changing that.

My transformation carried on on every level because yes, I changed physically the food that was going into my body. And then emotionally and spiritually and everything else underneath that, shift needed to be made there as well. So I began to get into recovery work, to deal with the stuff that was underlying, surface addiction to those processed foods and cooked foods. It's like well, okay, yeah, that's kind of like the first thing is to put down those foods and to pick up something else instead.

And then what? Look at all this emotional turmoil that's bubbling away underneath that. Okay, now I've got to deal with that.

Kevin: Wow. So how were you introduced to raw foods? You said that you had just started to exercise and you started to eat less snacks. What else did you try? And then how did you come across raw food?

Angela:: Yeah, really for that beginning phase, that was really all I was doing was I was trying not to snack as much. Kind of more or less going vegetarian, vegan, something like that. Trying to be a bit more active. And I was living in Iceland at this point. And I don't know how many listeners are in Iceland or have been to Iceland, but the meat that was available was just so unappealing to me.

I mean it was like we're literally talking sheep's faces. Burned sheep faces. We're talking horse casserole, you know?

Kevin: It is an island.

Angela:: So, I mean I had always been fanatical about meat. Like if there is a meal that didn't have meat in it, I just kind of didn't see the point. It was just like meat three times a day for sure.

Things were starting to shift in my life and it just, being surrounded by those kind of choices around meat, it just helped me definitely to shift more and more into like being kind of vegetarian and then kind of vegan. When I was a meat eater, I couldn't understand why would someone be vegetarian? And then it was the same once I was vegetarian. What do vegans eat? But every time I took that next step, I got it. And I would kind of look back over my shoulder and think, "Why was I eating like that before?" So it kind of progressed like that. And as I said I lost about 30 pounds. But it was basically still in the same situation more or less. And that was the point at which raw foods came for me in the form of a book.

My best friend in the village I was living in in Iceland, she is a homeopath. And she could see the kind of state that I was in. That I was a mess physically and very closed down emotionally.
She could see that I was really unwilling to speak about any of this stuff. And yet she knew that she had some kind of healing tool with the raw foods that could help me. So she took this wonderful indirect approach with me.

One day she said, "Would you like to borrow a book?" And I said, "Well, yeah, all right." And, and she lent me like a stack of books. One of them in there was The Raw Family, by the Batanko's.

Kevin: Sure.

Angela:: And that was the beginning. For some reason, that was the book that spoke to me. I pulled it out and started reading and I couldn't stop. I just knew like this was it. This is the answer I've been waiting for. It was like well, yeah, of course. I get it. Why wouldn't I do this?

Kevin: That's an incredible story. Once you found this information, what did you start doing first? Take me through a couple of the steps that you went through from reading this book. How did you move into 100% raw? Or did you just jump right into it?

Angela:: Yeah. [Laugh] I kind of have a bit of an extreme personality. And yeah, so what happened for me was after reading that book, that night I had the most ridiculous wrangling in my head, with my mind, that whole night. The mind doesn't enjoy change that much. It just kind of wants
things to stay the same and I was like, "Well, you know I think I want to do this. I think I want to go raw." And when I looked at it logically, there was no reason why I couldn't try this out. I was working in organic greenhouses growing vegetables. I didn't have a kitchen or any kitchen equipment that I
suddenly was not going to use anymore. There was nobody else I was making any food for, like a husband or kids or anything. It was just me. I had nothing to lose but all this weight. So I woke up the next day and I went 100% raw vegan overnight. Which is a pretty insane thing to do actually, if you are coming from that kind of background that I was coming of so much toxicity. I mean we're talking 23 years of absolute toxicity in terms of my food intake. And the first week was quite some adventure. Because it was the most extraordinary time because it coincided with this adventure trip in the north of Iceland where there's not really any shops up there. And so I had to take with me all of the foods I was going to eat for the whole week. I had to take it with me. So I woke up that morning.
I was like wow, okay, yeah I'm raw. And I packed a bag of completely raw foods and I went off on this journey. And I was there with like celery, walnuts, raisins. I mean it was such a shock to my system. My jaw just ached because I was used to eating foods that was just like mush.

Kevin: Yes.

Angela:: There was no particular structure to it. And suddenly I was eating stuff I needed
to chew and my detox was just enormous. When you detox it's nice to kind of relax, and take some time out and, you know sleep more, maybe get a massage. I was on an adventure trip. So I was like whitewater rafting, I was out sailing, horse riding. I was 270 something pounds and detoxing at like a rate of knots. And it was not a pretty sight. It was a mess. That first week was crazy. But I could see that it was having an amazing affect on my body and on my life. And, and when I came back from there it was like, okay I want to carry on with this, but not this hardcore. That was really what it showed me.



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5 Know-How Tips For the Raw Food Beginner

By Swayze Foster
Expert Author Swayze Foster

Are you new to the raw food diet and finding it hard to maintain? Do you feel like a raw food newbie, surrounded by thriving veteran raw foodists?

Fear not, dear reader! These 5 know how tips will give any raw food beginner the confidence and the know-how to succeed on a low fat, raw vegan diet. You'll be a thriving raw foodist in no time.

#1: Know How to Pick Good Quality Fruit

This is #1 on the list for a reason. Knowing how to choose fresh, ripe, and delicious raw produce - as well as knowing how much food you need for the day and what fruits you enjoy - is a huge factor in your raw success.

My original decision to give low fat, high fruit raw vegan a chance was rather impulsive. I was sick and tired of feeling sick and tired and didn't know where to turn. I had been on what I thought at the time was the healthiest diet in the world: cooked vegan. The anemia, excess weight, and joint pains that plagued me screamed that the diet wasn't working and so raw foods seemed like the next logical step.

Unlike most of the decisions in my life, I just kind of went for it! I started by eating about 75% raw and saw results immediately. I had much more energy, experienced immediate weight loss, had more focus, etc. This got me so excited that I felt I had to go 100% raw right away!

Because I was still a new player in the raw food game, I had to go through a lot of trial and error. It became shockingly clear how little I knew about produce and what a newbie I was at choosing anything close to edible. I can't tell you the number of times I threw away wads of cash on rock hard, never to ripen, out of season, tasteless fruits and turned to cooked foods for sustenance!

My best advice to you is to take it slow. Gradually adding in raw, sweet fruit to your diet will allow you to learn as you go along without worrying about "slipping up" on cooked foods.

#2: Know How to Make Simple (Yet Tasty) Raw Recipes

Many raw food beginners feel that a low fat raw vegan diet is completely tasteless and way too boring. I understand that eating foods in their whole states can seem a little bland at first. Okay, maybe REALLY bland!

Well, that's where raw recipes come in!

To get started, I recommend that you experiment with fruit salads, fruit smoothies and green smoothies. A fruit salad is just a few different varieties of fruits mixed together. For instance, I love equal parts of chopped papaya, orange, and pineapple mixed together in a big bowl. So juicy and refreshing!

A fruit smoothie is a few different fruits blended together. In most cases, the base is a denser fruit like bananas, mangoes, or papayas. Smaller portions of other fruits are then added to the base. My favorite smoothie is 3 bananas, 2 oranges, and 1 cup of wild blueberries. How much water you add to your drink will depend on how thick you like it. I usually start with 1 cup.

A green smoothie is just a fruit smoothie with greens added to it. These are great to help cut the sweetness in your meal and help you get in your greens for the day. An always popular green smoothie is 5 bananas, 1 cup of blueberries, and 2 handfuls of romaine. When adding greens, start with small handfuls. Trust me, a grassy smoothie is not very appetizing.

I also recommend that you have at least one savory recipe that you really, really enjoy. Salsas with lots of tomatoes and celery are great and you can use them as a dressing over greens to give a heartier feel to the dish. You can also make lots of delicious raw soups or blended salads using saltier veggies as your base.

#3: Know How to Eat Enough

Yes, I know I harp on calorie consumption A LOT. That's because it's important! The best quality fruit and the tastiest raw recipes will do NOTHING for your success if you don't eat enough. It becomes all to easy to slip back into cooked food eating habits when you're running on empty.

So how do you make sure you are consuming the right amount of food? First, multiply your ideal weight by 10. This is your basal metabolic rate (BMR), or the calories you would need if you remained in bed all day. Second, add any calories that you burn during the day to your BMR. This is dependent upon your lifestyle. For instance, someone who works in construction will use many more calories than someone working a desk job. Lastly, add any calories you burn from exercise. Voila! Now you have a rough estimate of how much food you need per day.

It's important to remember that this is just an estimate. If you don't feel satisfied eating this amount, just gradually increase how much sweet fruit you eat during a meal. The general rule is that satiation should last between 3-5 hours after you have eaten.

#4: Know How to Move Your Body

Exercise can be a lifesaver if you are new to raw foods and struggling with cooked food cravings. Moving your body every day really helps to foster hunger and when your hungry, any food will do. I've never enjoyed my simple fruit meals as much as I do after an intense workout!

If you're new to exercise, don't sweat it (pun intended)! A simple jog around the neighborhood or a game of badminton or a dip in the pool can do wonders for your eating efforts. A little exercise goes a long way!:)

#5: Know How to Have Fun

Just this past month, I had a lot of fun produce shopping. Not only did I visit my favorite farmers market, but I also learned about a Hispanic market a few minutes from my house. I had actually known about this place for quite some time, but was hesitant to go there because it was in a not-so-nice part of town.

Anyway, I headed over there with my Dad and was amazed by the variety and quality of produce available. There were at least 10 different types of greens that I had never heard of!

But the really spectacular part was the produce. Not only did the store have sapodilla, mamey, guava, and my favorite mangoes, they carried JACKFRUIT! I could not believe it.

It really is so much fun to come across foods that you have never seen in person or never even heard of. I am constantly surprised and amused by all the different varieties of produce out there.

And even "normal" produce is exciting! Just look at some of the foods you will be dining on: bananas, oranges, grapes, apples, peaches, strawberries, cantaloupe, pears, kiwi, papaya, pineapple, tangerines, mangoes, nectarines, apricots, blueberries, watermelon, romaine, boston lettuce, bok choy, celery, tomatoes, bell pepper...all of which can be found at your local grocery store!

And don't forget all the fun you can have making (and eating) simple raw recipes with these ingredients. The combinations and taste sensations are truly endless.



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How To Keep Warm on a Raw Food Diet

By Swayze Foster
Expert Author Swayze Foster

I've just gotta be honest. Being a raw foodist during the winter can really suck sometimes. The summer sunshine is long gone, along with all the beautifully ripe fruits and veggies.

You head over to your local grocery store looking for some ripe fruit and all you find are rows and rows of green as grass bananas and rock-hard, out-of-season melons and mangoes.

Some days I could almost kill someone for just one ripe Red Haven peach.

*sigh*

But the worst part about a winter gone raw?

It's @*#&$^% cold!

As a raw foodist, one of the biggest issues you will come across is staying warm.

To help deal with the chilliness, most raw foodists try bundling up in clothing and blankets and sipping warm water. Many "raw" gurus out there even advocate eating steamed veggies and warmed broths to warm up.

Nonsense, I say!

You don't need layers and layers of underwear and you CERTAINLY don't need cooked food to keep warm.

There is a completely raw, completely easy, and completely effective way to keep warm on a raw food diet and you can bet your ice cold caboose I'm gonna give ya the scoop!

Oh yeah...and it's completely free, too!:D

Break a Sweat

Sorry couch potatoes, but the best way to beat the winter blues is to exercise.

Sure, you can take a hot shower, or put on some thermal underwear, or drink some warm water...

But these tactics take FOREVER and usually have fleeting results.

Taking a shower feels great. So great, in fact, that I don't want to leave. I end up wasting a lot of hot water just standing around and by the time I step out of the tub, I'm ice cold again!

Instead, I recommend moving your body. And I don't mean a full 60 minutes of intense exercise...since I know you're doing that already.;)

I mean just a few minutes of simple bodyweight exercises (i.e. push-ups, mountain climbers, pull-ups, squats, etc.)

Here's a simple Calisthenics routine that I like to do:

Jogging in place, 30 seconds
50 jumping jacks
10 push-ups
10 mountain climbers
10 body squats/calf raises combo (you squat, do a calf raise and repeat)

I usually run through this 2-3 times to get my heart rate up a little bit. It only takes a few minutes to perform and by the end of the routine, I'm super toasty for hours on end!

There's no exact science here. For instance, if I happen to be a little sore from weight training the day before, I'll just stick to aerobic moves like jogging in place, football runs, and jumping jacks.

Just pick your favorite moves and get to work!

Besides warming up those frigid fingers and toes, I'm sure I don't have to mention all the other benefits of exercise. Even just a few brief minutes of movement can have profound effects on your body AND mind.

It's a total win-win!

Go raw, be fit, and warm up,

Swayze



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