Friday, June 26, 2009

A Day With Rawumptious Author June Louks

June Louks had a lovely raw food workshop today at her family's house in Malibu. We began the day picking food from her incredible gardens, then enjoying the picked berries and greens in smoothies, then an incredible raw lunch of recipes her and her family, and kitchen helper Olga, have created. All which appear in Rawumptious!

What a blessing it was to be there! I was in raw food heaven. Her children were such a treat to meet- all raw and primarily home-schooled and all quite talented! Then there was the eco-friendly house that she designed- (she formerly worked as an architect.) So I was in bliss too with that- as designing my own eco-friendly home is also a dream of mine.

I think in June I may have met somewhat of a "soulmate" as my husband and I are also raw, we also plan to have gardens, raw kids, an eco-friendly house, and are already busy spreading the deliciousness and bliss of the raw life! Meeting like-minded people is so powerful and important for living your life's purpose-- and today I have received a dose of this magic! Surround yourself with those that are on your same path -and nothing less than magic is the outcome.

I took some great photos, so I will include a few so you can see the lovely food, gardens, and of course the beautiful raw food diva herself, June Louks. Here is the website for her book: which I highly, highly recommend! Thank you June from all of us who were lucky to be at your beautiful home today. Her next workshop is in September!
June picking lettuce for our salad.
Smelling the non-smelly compost!

June talking about the importance of greens in her transition to raw.

Stuffed red peppers and beet salad.
Raw Pizza with Sprouted Spelt Crust
Cucumber Salad and Avocado Slices for the Hummus/Buckwheat Crackers.

And as a final treat we got to hear beautiful songs as well as have an introduction to the yoga swing from her daughter Hailey!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Raw Mom Summit is Live and Free

What if you could gather together some of the most inspirational health leaders in the world and get them together in the same place for 9 days to discuss the subjects of nutrition, pregnancy, childbirth, parenting and other family health care issues? What if you could get YOUR concerns addressed about how to succeed on a healthy diet or how to feed your children the best food?

Raw Mom Summit! The evolution of motherhood has arrived!

"It's time to bring together the Leaders in our community and inspire women as the heartbeat of their homes, to be the change we NEED to see in the world. It's time that we tell the world that the Evolution of Motherhood has arrived!"
-Tera Warner, founder of

The first interview I have listened to was raw mom Andrea Nison's interview with her new 3 month year old and found out that they are NOT using diapers! Wow! You should listen to find out what they are doing instead...pretty cool stuff! There are still lots of great interviews to come and its free!

Monday, June 15, 2009

It's All About The Blender. . . the Blendtec or VitaMix that is!

For those of you that have not tried a Blendtec or Vitamix blender yet, wow- you don’t know what you’re missing!

Vegetarians, raw foodists and people who just want to eat healthier have a secret weapon that makes their lifestyle easy and enjoyable. In literally 5-10 minutes you can make a full soup, salad dressing, flour for bread, best-tasting smoothie, ice-cream, nut-milks, seed cheeses, sauces, dips and marinades- the list is endless…They are capable of doing the work of 10 different kitchen appliances.They can juice whole fruits and vegetables . . . cook steaming soup from garden-fresh ingredients . . . freeze low-fat frozen desserts . . . and grind vitamin-rich seeds and grains in just minutes.

For those of you that have been wondering how I’ve done this lifestyle for so long- this is it- it’s the blender!

Here is a list of reasons why having one of these high-performance blenders has been so integral to sustaining my healthy lifestyle:

Time: It basically throws all prep time out the window because all you have to do is wash your vegetables, herbs, fruit, etc., peel some things, have some soaked nuts and seeds around, then throw everything in the blender, flip a switch, and you either have your full meal or the most important part of a meal.

Optimal Nutrition: Only a high-powered blender breaks open the cells of the plant material in such a way that you are getting all the nutrients out of the plant in the most effective way possible. Valuable nutrients locked inside the pulp, skins and seeds of fruits and vegetables cannot be absorbed because the phytonutrients are trapped within plant cells which need to be ruptured.The Vita-Mix or Blendtec machine ruptures the cell walls of fresh, whole foods to make these phytonutrients more bio-available. Also, your body doesn’t have to work to try and break the food down, which results in more absorbed nutrients, better digestion, more energy left over from the digestion process, and improved health and stamina.

Getting Your Greens Tastily: Many people avoid eating greens because of their taste and texture, thus missing out on all that valuable nutrition. Greens tend to taste bitter and large quantities are a bit tough to take for some people not used to it. The real problem, however, is their texture. The leaves are so tough that chewing greens to the consistency necessary to release nutrition is virtually impossible. Greens blended into a rich, creamy and delicious green smoothie solves both problems perfectly- and what's even more important is you're getting these in the raw state. The taste of the greens is also disguised with naturally sweet fruits like apple, blueberries, or grapes.

Getting What You Need: These blenders can be enormously important in making sure you are getting enough nutrition easily every single day. Sometimes plant material is never broken down in our digestive tract in the same beneficial way that a blender or high quality juicer will do (before it even gets to your digestive tract)! Yet unlike a juicer, blenders are so convenient to use, operate, and clean that people tend to use them every day, multiple times a day. Also unlike a juicer, you are not throwing out all the fiber, so the end result is actually healthier for you as part of a daily routine. You are still however getting the same benefits as using a cell-masticating, twin-gear juicer; for all the nutrients are being released from the plant cells. Now I still recommend having a high quality juicer, as juicing has its own place in a healthy lifestyle, but with one of these blenders you could easily get away without having a juicer!

Smoothies, Smoothies, Smoothies: The only way that I have been able to ensure that I get everything I need for optimum health is by making a superfood smoothie every morning as the most important meal of the day. Most of us have to quickly throw something together and be out the door in the morning, and the best way to do this is to make a smoothie-meal that can be taken with you and enjoyed in your travels to work/school, and in class/at work until the afternoon...and more than that be something of substantial nutrition so it really gives you enough to get through the day. These smoothies keep Mark and I going well into the afternoon with nothing much more than a flax cracker and nut cheese or other small snack at lunchtime. Between 3 and 5pm we enjoy dinner…and then another smoothie in the evening. That is our whole day!

Possibilities for total smoothie nutrition: hemp protein powder or seeds, goji berries or juice, chia seed, pumpkin seeds, spirulina, tocotrienols, Sun Is Shining green superfood powder, Sun Warrior Raw Protein Powders, coconut butter, maca, mesquite pod meal, marine phytoplankton, gold rush, liquid minerals...the list is endless! All these you can find in my shopping cart here.

On The Go: Smoothies just have to be poured in re-usable bottles that you take with you. This is incredibly convenient and easy. You just wash the bottles in the dishwasher or hand-wash when you get home and re-use them the next day.

Travel: Blenders are incredibly easy to travel with, especially the Blendtec because it is so small. Wrap the container in a towel, put this and the base in your suitcase or a carry-on bag, plug it in at your hotel, bring your superfoods with you and buy some fruit- and you prevent those traveling blues! What a great thing to continue while you are traveling- your morning smoothies. So you are getting everything you need, staying regular, keeping your immune system up, and can save a lot of money as well.

Disabilities: If you have disabilities that make it difficult for you to chop produce or stand in the kitchen, then using one of these blenders can help ensure that you can at least have powerful live-food smoothies and soups throughout the week. They can easily be operated from a wheelchair or with only one hand, but they also make it easier for helpers to quickly prepare something for you of real nutritional value. These blenders also make it possible to make food for the elderly and ill who have trouble chewing, and of course to make quick, fantastic, organic baby food!

People swear by both blenders, so it is really a matter of personal choice. Good links for trying to choose which blender is right for you:

The new Blendtec Wildside Container has a 4 inch blade and 3 quart jar, that is actually better now then the Vitamix as explained in this video:

Order the Total Blendtec Blender with the new Wildside Container with this link:

I now have the new and improved Vita-Mix 4500 on sale in my shopping cart, with free shipping! Also, if you are interested in the new Vita-Mix 5200, which I now have in my own kitchen and highly recommend as a good investment, use the link on this site on the right hand column for free shipping. . . a $30 value! I now own 2 VitaMix's and look forward to having a Blendtec someday too!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

How Cooking Made Us Human

I am in agreement with at least one of Richard Wrangham's theories, a professor of biological anthropology at Harvard, renowned primatologist, and author of the new book CATCHING FIRE: How Cooking Made Us Human. I agree with him totally that it was cooking, rather than meat, that made man what he is, and have written extensively about this in my new book...i.e.....that it was cooking that gave man the larger brain and ability to do other things besides just eat and look for food, not meat.

{ Please do read the full New York Times Review of the book, it's great. Also, I have not read the book yet, so what I write is based upon what I learned from the NY Times Review. Certainly I will have more to say once I read it, and this is just my first spontaneous response. And here are some more editorial reviews at Barnes and Nobles. }

I also agree with him that cooking is what ultimately forged relationships between men and women and led to marriage/monogomy, because humans, especially men, are not monogomous by nature. For example, because of cooking, humans would have begun to store food that could be cooked, and this would need to be protected as would the chefs and cooking area. If women became the chefs then the men became the protector and hunter in return for sex. A pretty good bargain that would have kept men and women together as a team for a purpose. Men then had a permanent source of sex, and women had a permanent source of food and protection. Furthermore, cooking food would have started to take people away from a hunter-gather lifestyle to stay more in one place, which would also allow for them to have more kids because they don't have to carry them everywhere. (This could also explain why so many marriages end in divorce today, because women don't need to give up sex for protection anymore, nor do they necessarily want to be in the kitchen cooking. How's that for an interesting theory! Yet, as a married woman, I still love the feeling of partnership and protection I feel from my husband, even if the times have changed!)

Anyway, as a 10 year raw foodist, I also know that his theory and so called "evidence" that the raw food diet cannot guarantee an adequate energy supply, and makes women stop menstruating is largely misguided. Hello! I AM a women and I still bleed every month, and I have MORE energy then I did before. Now, to be fair, the study he states says that 50% of women stop menstruating on such a diet, so I guess I would be in the the other half that still does, but as others have written already, the mistake is to associate a lack of menstruating with infertility. Furthermore, I have no way of knowing what kind of diet these women were put on in this study, because just eating a bunch of raw vegetables is obviously a pretty unbalanced diet, and to do a raw diet right you really have to know what you are doing. The fact is, most do not know anything about how to do it right. I will have to look into this, but I think there is also plenty written about women who don't menstruate but are still healthy and fertile and able to get pregnant. So, right now I'm like kinda wishing I was one of those women who didn't menstruate anymore!

Regardless though, I can tell you this. I would NOT want to be one of our ancestors searching for enough food to eat and victim to wild animals etc. I would think it would be really hard to get a balanced diet in the first few thousand years of our existence. I don't think life would have been as tough as we are taught to believe, but it still would have been difficult to get enough of everything the body needs. So I will give him that, but in modern times this isn't a problem anymore -unless you live in poverity and have no resources.

He also writes that "There is no way our human ancestors survived, much less reproduced, on it. He seems pleased to be able to report that raw diets make you urinate too often, and cause back and hip problems." (DWIGHT GARNER, New York Times Review, May 26, 2009). I don't know what "urinating too often" would be, but I have absolutely no problem with this. I also have a very large bladder, but still, I am certainly not always peeing. I also certainly do not have any hip or back problems, and have a fantastic, healthy yoga practice.

All my raw food friends that have been raw for a long time also do not have any of these problems. His attack on the raw food diet really looks pretty ridiculous from people who have been living it for a long time and are a living example of the opposite of what he says a raw diet creates.

In a lot of ways, his conclusions just show me that you can conclude anything using scientific studies. Furthermore, unless you really research each study itself, there is no way to know what a study really shows. Finally, if our anscestors could not have survived or reproduced without cooking, then tell me this......

How the hell did mankind survive for thousands of years before the discovery of cooking????

While I think Mr. Wrangham is on to a lot of things, and right about many, he needs to do a little more research about the realities of a raw food diet. However, even as a raw foodist, I agree that there are many advantages that came from cooking our food, but one, we need to be careful before we claim that eating a majority of our food cooked is healthier, or two, that necessarily everything that may be thought of as an advantage brought by cooking, is really truly advantageous to our species. I also am not totally against cooked food.... I just feel so much healthier and happier without it!


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