Day 10 of our family's 6 week challenge!

We finally have a new computer, thanks to my husband's wonderful family! I'm hoping to get back into the groove of blogging since I loved it so much, and it definitely helped me to stay raw. I say this because, the entire time I wasn't blogging, I was only eating about 30% raw, pretty much when Rory fed it to me. I gained a lot of my weight back while not being raw, which shows me just how easy it is for me to gain weight, and how important it is for me to stay on the raw path. When I went back to a cooked diet I started at 249lbs and I gained weight and ended up at 273lbs. Still better than when I started at 306 before raw, but I knew it would only be a matter of time until I returned to my original weight.

Today marks my day 10 of being 100% raw once again, and I've lost exactly 10 lbs. I'm not the only one in the house trying to lose weight though. Rory's brother in law, Aaron, is also on a 100% raw food diet beginning 4 weeks ago and he's lost over 40 lbs already! Rory's sister, Danielle, (who doesn't have much to lose) has lost 15 lbs in the last 10 days of being 100% raw.

And what's even more exciting is that Rory's mother, Sandy, has moved in with us! She did a 50% raw transition for 3 weeks before she moved in and lost 15 lbs during that. She can only be weighed at her doctor's office, so we won't know how much she has lost until she leaves, but she intends to stay for 6 weeks. We can't wait to find out the outcome! We've been filming her since we arrived and have created 3 videos so far of her experience.

This first one is an interview during her transition period.

The next video is her moving in day:

This last one is my favorite, Thanksgiving dinner!

I'm not in any of them because I am a bit camera shy, and someone has to hold the camera!

Yesterday was International Juice Feasting Day, and in honor of it we all juice feasted for the entire day. I lost 3 lbs during the feast, Danielle lost 2, and I'm not sure how many Aaron lost, but I know he lost some. Rory's mom was not able to stick with the feast, mostly because she didn't like the juices I was making. Rory was working all day so I had to play 'chef', and I guess I can't hold a candle to Rory's food making! haha

Eating 100% raw food really is a lot easier when you are doing it with others. In the past I had done it with Rory, but it was no longer a struggle for him because he's been 100% raw for a few years now. What I needed was to share the struggle with others, and that has really helped me. That's why websites like Rawfu and Raw Food Rehab are so great, because you can share your feelings, needs, wants, pains, and happinesses with others on those sites. Even blogging helps because I used to get tons of emails from people going through the same thing I was going through. Thanks to everyone out there that has helped me or someone else through any challenge by sharing it with them!

It's good to be back!


I hope to see you!

Okay, so do you really want to know what I have been up to? Or did you just forget about me? haha! I didn't forget about everyone else, but I've been focusing all of my energy on a fun new project I've been working on. I was in the shower one day thinking about my biggest phobia and wondering how I could solve it. Well instead of solving it, I decided to fantasize it and make it into a children's book (a 300 page-er). I have been working so hard on this book, and so far have read it to 3 children who absolutely love it. I am not even close to done, but I wanted to share that with everyone. When I am closer to finished, I will be able to fill you in on more details.

More excitingly, I will be traveling. Of course, mostly tagging along with Rory. Myself, my daughter, Isabel, and Rory will be at Raw Spirit Fest East on August 29-30th. Rory will be doing a raw food demo, selling a dvd (hopefully) and his e-book (hopefully) but certainly he will be selling smoothie jar bags and magnets. Isabel will be doing a raw food demo with her cousins in the children's section. She is super excited and super nervous.
On September 26-2th we will be in Prescott, AZ sans Isabel for the Raw Spirit Fest as well. I am really hoping to meet some of my new blogger friends at these festivals!

August 7-9th we will be in MA for the NOFA (Northeastern Organic Farming Association)conference where Rory will be doing a raw food demo there as well. If you are going, let me know!


The Story About Your Stuff

It's been so long since I have posted anything. The summer is upon us and I have been so busy doing anything I can to keep busy lol! One thing I've been doing is going for 4 mile walks sister-in-law and I and our children (they get to ride bikes) on our local walk way/bike path/green way. That's been a lot of fun. The best part is that the very first time we went, I lost 4 lbs! That was 1 lb per mile. Of course, I haven't been able to get those results every time, but it is definitely a great motivator.

My mother sent me a link to a wonderful video and website titled "The Story of Stuff". It's a 20 minute video that talks about the route that our "stuff" travels, from extraction to disposal, and everything in between. What's fascinating is how this cycle ever got started. In the video the writer, Annie Leonard, explains that the entire idea of consumerism was created on purpose, and why it was created at all. After WWII the government was trying to figure out how to boost the economy when a retail analyst came up with the idea of using consumerism. According to the video, she stated, "Our enormously productive economy...demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals. That we seek our spiritual satisfaction, our ego satisfaction in consumption...We need things consumed, burned up, replaced and discarded at an ever-accelerating rate." So that's where this all got started.

It's a wonderful video to watch and share with your friends and family. An interesting part in the video is when Annie Leonard displays how our pillows are doused in neuro toxins such as Brominated Flame Retardants (B.F.R.s) to prevent them from catching on fire, and then we use them to cushion our heads all night long! That's a scary thought!

In the end she discusses how we can change this route and create a new one. She also mentions how people are already in the process of making change. You know, I'd love to tell you more about it, but I really think you should watch it for yourself.

I posted the video from YouTube here, but the website has much better quality and more information for you to check out.



Liquid Tooth Soap short review

Things are going really well. Last night we hung out with the Giannis at Catch a Healthy Habit cafe in West Haven, CT. They even did a live video with Rory at the cafe that was just for fun. Rory and I received a bottle of peppermint Liquid Tooth Soap from them, and it's pretty amazing. According to the label on the bottle:

"It cleans teeth and gums perfectly. It does not coat the teeth with glycerin and rinses off easily in 2-3 rinses leaving the teeth ready to re-enamelize from nutrients in the diet."

Kevin Gianni suggested to put 2-3 drops from the dropper onto the wet toothbrush, and that should be plenty. He told me that the first time he used the tooth soap, he put a whole dropper full and his mouth foamed up like a rabid dog. That's of course when my daughter, Isabel, started barking a growling at him LOL!

So I put 3 drops on my toothbrush and put it in my mouth. I was worried that it wasn't going to foam up, but it definitely did. It's ingredients list saponified coconut, palm, extra virgin olive oils, filtered water, and pure essential oils. That's it. So when I started brushing I immediately felt and tasted the oils and was reminded of oil pulling. It was definitely different than the toothpaste I am used to, especially in texture. I am accustomed to toothpaste that is grainy and foamy. This was more like oily and soapy. That's a new feeling for my mouth, but not a bad feeling. I spit it out and rinsed 3 times, like suggested on the bottle. The peppermint flavor was not as strong as most commercial toothpastes and did not leave an aftertaste. Rory loved that because he is constantly making food and does not want a toothpaste that will alter his taste buds. My teeth actually felt VERY clean afterwards, slippery even. In fact, I did this last night and my teeth still feel very clean. The Tooth Soap says that it does not leave a residue of glycerin like other toothpastes and therefore allows the teeth to absorb nutrients on their own in your mouth. So next time I drink a green juice or smoothie my teeth will be able to absorb the nutrients directly!

Tooth Soap does have a high price tag, but it lasts for at least 4-6 weeks and you know that you will be getting more nutrients from your possibly high priced raw foods and juices. I hope you get a chance to check Liquid Tooth Soap out and let me know what you think of it! (BTW, I'm not selling any or making any money from this, just sharing my experience with you.)


It's a jumble out there

I am only a 6 hour driving distance from where I grew up and this place is like a foreign land. There is even a small language barrier! I was talking to my sister-in-law about sliding boards and she had no idea what I was talking about. I figured I must have spoke Greek since I thought everyone knew what a sliding board was! Rory had to be a translator and told her that a sliding board was the same thing as a slide. She was picturing something like a skate board/ slip in slide combo. Also, it's a lot more urban than what I am used to. I grew up near Lancaster, PA where all you see for miles is farmland. It's hard to get used to pulling out of my driveway into 6 lanes of traffic! But hardest of all is the trash, it's everywhere. Parking lots are covered in it, it's all over the roads, and even in our yard! Sure, there was trash in PA, but it always seemed to get cleaned up eventually. I'm not saying I don't like it here, I'm just getting used to it.

One good thing about having so many people around is that there is always something to do. My daughter and I were driving down the street today and we saw David Wolfe walking down the sidewalk in West Haven, CT. She yelled out the window, "Hi David Wolfe!" I think it was her first time to see a celebrity. Of course, Rory will be hanging out with him all night at Catch a Healthy Habit Cafe tonight since he will be doing a lecture there. Oh the life of a raw food chef!

Image from www.divavillage.com
Oh and another cool thing, we are going to start growing wheatgrass! We have everything we need except some oceangrown solution, which I will be purchasing tonight or tomorrow. I can't wait to share that with you! I learned that 2 oz. of wheatgrass juice is nutritionally equal to 5 lbs of fresh vegetables. That's amazing!


Still getting used to my new surroundings

Okay, so my last post was exactly 1 month ago. No, I didn't forget about my blog or raw food (for the most part). Actually, we are still not unpacked (Arrrg)and my computer broke! I've been using the teeniest tiniest laptop known to man. It's an HP 2133 Mini Notebook PC and it's okay but the screen is tiny and it has very few features. The battery only lasts about 90 minutes and it heats up so much that I constantly worry about starting a fire.

So this is what's going on in my new life. We moved to CT about 2 weeks ago and my life has been turned completely upside down. We moved in with some family, which is great because we can save up some money to start a business, but it's hard living with family, especially in-laws. My sister-in-law is a wonderful person, and so is her husband. They totally dig the raw foods and Rory has been commissioned to make a ton of food for them, especially desserts. They have 2 children that they also home school, so that works out wonderfully. And they only eat organic foods, so it's a perfect match! But I do miss having my own kitchen, and my own place in general. They live in a large home, so we do have the entire upstairs to ourselves, which includes plenty of storage, bedrooms, and a bathroom. So we pretty much only share a kitchen, but of course we spend a lot of time together anyway. I feel like I am in college again, but without all that darn homework!

Our home itself is beautiful. Long before I met Rory, he and his brother-in-law actually built much of the house, and they did a very good job! I only wish it was a little more sound proof! lol Out back we have about 1 mile of beautiful forest and a winding creek. We took a walk there the other day and I came back covered in ticks. I've since bought a natural tick repellent but I've been too chicken to test it. There are 3 local nature reserves that we can visit, plently of beaches around, and since we live only 10 minutes from New Haven, there is always something to do. Before we moved we lived next to a busy street, had no yard, and there were no public places. We are definitely having a great time. In fact, today is the first day since we arrived that we don't have any plans!

But, I cannot find any organic greens anywhere! We have gone into many, many stores looking for organic greens, and at most we can find small 7 oz boxes of mixed greens. No kale, collards, or anything to be seen for miles. I did find a Whole Foods about 45 minutes away, but the prices were very very high. Luckily we will be starting a garden, but in this climate we will probably only have fresh greens for a couple months. This is something I may never get used to.

I did join a gym the other day, just for fun. I'm excited about going because I met a few people there that I could really enjoy working out with. I got a good discount for the gym by signing up for 1 year, so hopefully I will keep up with it. It's only about 2 miles from my house, so I have no excuses.

As for the raw foods, well I've done better. Rory never fails to be 100%, but when I get stressed, I start eating cooked. Especially starches. I'm trying to get back to my ways, but it hasn't been easy. Hopefully the new 100 day RawFu challenge will inspire me to get back into the groove.


What Groceries We Buy Each Week, Video Courtesy of My Daughter

I just got home from our weekly Friday shopping trip and I happened to lay everything down on the table in preparation to put it all away when I thought, "this would make a great picture!" I pulled out my lovely digi cam and realized that it didn't fit in the pic! My daughter had the great idea of making a video instead, and she wanted to do all the talking as well.

As you can see, we buy a lot of bananas! I once assumed that I buy about 20 lbs of bananas, but I added it up from the receipt and it was 69. 72 pounds! What do we do with all those bananas???? I'm not sure either! LOL I know that I like to make a lot of banana ice cream. I also know that I put bananas in a lot of my green smoothies. I actually don't like to eat bananas plain, but about once a month I will eat some with Rory's raw cacao sauce. Rory likes to eat a lot of bananas in his breakfast cereal, and he eats a lot with his raw tahini as well. My daughter eats some in smoothies and also eats the ice cream. I guess little by little it all gets chowed down.

We do spend a lot of money on our groceries, but we don't break the bank. We feel it's justified since we are soooo much healthier now that we eat raw. I have lost a lot of weight, my husband has lost a lot more (150 lbs between us). I can see better on raw food, Rory's scars have nearly healed, his cavities no longer hurt and some seem to be going away. My daughter is happier and healthier looking, and never gets sick. To me, that makes it worth it to spend about $100.00 more per week on groceries.

So how much did we spend on all this? We went to 2 different stores, in order to get the best deals. The first store we spent $55.24 and the second we spent $86.28. So total we spent $141.52. This is actually a little less than usual since I was on a budget this week (since we are moving). We usually spend closer to $180 or $200 (for 3 people) in the Winter months. In the Summer we shop at farmers markets and that usually allows us to spend only half as much. Spring is on it's way!

How much are you willing to spend on good health?


Reduce, Reuse, Freecycle

Image from www.321now.org

This has been a crazy month for us getting ready to move. I have to admit, homeschooling is very difficult to do amid piles of boxes and lists of things to do. I've moved a ton of times in my life, but never so far and with so much stuff. Mostly I just moved from one dorm to another in college, and when I was a kid we moved as far as next door. Now we are moving about 7 hours, and we have to make sure we have everything packed and ready, plus we have to be able to somehow use our stuff while it's packed.

Oh and here are some tips for finding homes for some of your old furniture.

1. Put it outside with a free sign. We had the ugliest couch in the world, half of the upholstery was missing and what was left had stains and holes. The only reason we kept it was because we had a couch cover. I put that ugly thing outside without the cover and after 3 days it was gone. Hallelujah!

2. Freecycle it! Freecycle is a community of people that give away their old stuff for free to anyone who wants it. One warning though, don't put anything on freecycle until you are ready to part with it. I put my washing machine on Freecycle last night, thinking it would take a week or so to find it a home. This morning I woke to a ton of emails from people who wanted it. I felt bad, since it was my fault for posting it so early, so tonight someone is picking it up. Now I have to go the next 2 weeks without a washing machine! Luckily my mom lives close by and has one.

3. Network. I also have a refrigerator that needed a home. I talked to everyone that I knew, and they talked to everyone they knew, and so on. Someone a few degrees away from my mother is picking up the fridge the day we move. Another one bites the dust!

4. Used furniture and appliance stores. Now this is a place we didn't use, but we would have if we didn't find any other takers. Actually, this is where we bought a lot of our furniture in the first place, including our refrigerator. Many of these places will pick up your stuff for you, but not all of them.

My goal was to keep our stuff out of a landfill. I hate to see perfectly good stuff thrown out that someone else could use. In college my friends would go dumpster diving and find televisions, microwaves, stereos, etc. all in perfectly good condition! Since I've seen so much waste, and wasted plenty myself in my college days, Rory and I have decided early on to buy as much used stuff as possible and to buy as little stuff as possible. We don't collect knickknacks, furniture, or anything. We do receive a lot though from friends and family. It's amazing, I've noticed the less we buy, the more stuff is just given to us for free!
What are ways that you recycle your old furniture and appliances? What things do you do in your home to keep trash out of landfills?


Have you seen the show 30 Days?

Photo courtesy of www.fxnetworks.com

Okay, so each night for the last few weeks, Rory and I have been watching a show on Hulu.com called 30 Days by Morgan Spurlock, (The same guy that did Supersize Me) which originally aired on FX. The premise is pretty much someone who had a very strong belief about an issue has to then experience life in the opposite world for 30 days, or someone just had to experience something they never had before. For example, in one episode a pro choice woman moved into a pro life group home for 30 days, another episode involved Morgan Spurlock spending 30 days in a jail. Many of the participants had life changing experiences. We don't watch much television at all, in fact we have never even had cable. This show intrigued us, and when we found that we could watch it online for free, we decided to check it out.

I have to say, the show didn't change my views about anything, but it did open my eyes a little further about each topic they discussed. Of course, one that I really "enjoyed" was titled "Animal Rights". In this episode, an avid hunter moved in with a family of vegan animal rights activists. He had to demonstrate on the streets with them, and also work at an animal sanctuary. He learned a lot about animal cruelty and by the end of the 30 days he felt that he was an animal rights activist. He still planned to eat meat and hunt, but he believed that animals should be treated without cruelty.

Another great episode was titled "Anti-Aging". This episode involved a man going through a mid life crises and he decided that he wanted to look like he did when he graduated high school. He went to a doctor and was prescribed human growth hormones, steroids, and a lot of vitamins. He wasn't able to finish the 30 days because his liver was experiencing some problems, and his sperm count went from phenomenal to zero. That was an eye opener for me! What was interesting to me was the doctor kept telling him that the low liver count "had never happened before" but many people that Rory knew in high school and in their early 20s that took steroids also took milk thistle to prevent liver problems. Therefore, liver problems must be so common that young, uneducated people know about it. So why was the doctor so surprised?

To be honest, all 0f the episodes are great, and well worth the watch. Some of the titles seem less interesting than others, so to avoid skipping them, we decided to watch them in order. In the end, there wasn't a single uninteresting episode, they were all worth watching. Morgan Spurlock only did 3 seasons before the show was canceled, so we were bummed to realize that there would be no more 30 Days.

watch the film Super Size Me for free Morgan Spurlock spends 30 days eating only McDonald's food and experiences all the highs and lows.


Can't wait for Spring!

Yesterday was the end of my mini smoothie feast and exercise challenge. I didn't do 100% but I didn't fail either. Rory and I went on a trip to Connecticut to take a few of our belongings before the official move. We left on Friday for the 7+ hour trip, and returned home on Sunday. Driving all that way was so tiring for me. It was difficult to keep up with the challenge, and that's where I messed up. I'm not beating myself up about it though, since I have plenty of time to try again. I did tell myself, "no more challenges until we move". Our official move date is March 26th. Now is not a good time to try to test myself.

On a more positive note, I made some banana ice cream today. I haven't made any since Summer, so this was pretty exciting for all three of us. My way of trying to pull Spring in a few weeks early. To make this ice cream extra special, I added strawberries and kiwi on top. Rory recently made some raw chocolates so I chopped them up as chocolate chips. This was so yummy!


I'm Eve, and I'm Suffering from Cooked Food Addictions

I know it's been a week since my last post. I been feeling very melancholy this week, especially towards technology. Sometimes I wish I lived long ago before TVs, computers, phones, etc. I'm sure life was harder, physically, but every once in awhile I wish I could go there. I also wish it was warm out, I would love to take a walk in the woods and relax. In this temperature, I would probably get hypothermia if I tried taking a walk in the woods. So instead, I've been reading, playing Wii with my daughter, and packing. Just a few more weeks until Spring; I can't wait!

I just finished a book titled I'm Eve by Chris Costner Sizemore and Elen Sain Pittilo. It was an eye opening memoir about a woman, named Chris, struggling through life with multiple personalities. As a child she doesn't realize that she has a personality disorder, but only that another child comes and does bad things for her, or watches things she doesn't want to see. As an adult, Chris is diagnosed, and tries to eliminate the other personalities and figure out which is the real her. She can hear herself speaking, watch what her body is doing, but she is not doing it. She feels trapped inside a body that is inhabited by other people, some she doesn't even like. I think many of us can relate in some way. We may not have many personalities, but we often struggle through life trying to find ourselves. Sometimes, when we have it all figured out, we find ourselves lost once again. For many, it's a never ending battle.

This also relates a bit to raw food and it's nemesis, cooked food addictions. Or any kind of food addictions. When dealing with these kinds of addictions it seems that no matter what you tell yourself, your body does something different. Those potato chips on the dining room table, already opened and ready to be devoured? You know your not interested, you try not to pay much attention to them at all. Next thing you know, your chewing on something salty and crunchy. This tastes good! Then you realize what you have done, and you're mad at yourself. You told yourself you didn't want them, so why did you eat them? Before you know it, another crunch! Why are you doing this to yourself? What's making you do this? Why can't you just stop and move on with your life like all those other, more famous raw foodists? Sometimes you just feel like you have no control.

No one ever told Chris that she was doing it to herself, was causing herself to suffer from multiple personalities. All those years, until she was in her late 40s at least, she thought that the personalities where doing this to her. Her cousin, Elen, told her that she was doing this to herself, that no one, or no thing was doing this to her. When she realized that she was causing her own misery, she finally had the power to stop it.

Ending our addictions to unhealthy food is a challenge, and it's something that we have to do completely on our own. Sure, we can get support from others, but the real effort has to come from ourselves. No one can help us with that, because only we have the power. We are doing this to ourselves, no outsider is feeding us those potato chips. We have to find the strength within ourselves to defend us from...ourselves.


The Winner is...

Anastazia! Anastazia is a beautiful woman that I know through Rawfu who also happens to be a homeschool mom like me! Her and her daughter will be enjoying the book Food Additives: A Shoppers Guide To What's Safe and What's Not! by Christine Hoza Farlow, D.C. and hopefully learning a thing or two about food additives! This is seriously a great resource that everyone should have!

I wanted to send it to everyone, I really did. I honestly believe that the knowledge in this book should be shared and I hope that those who did not win will take the time to check it out on Amazon.com. Thank you to everyone who left a comment! It showed me that this is an important topic that many people are concerned about. When we learn what is really in our food we become angry, scared, and confused. Angry that someone would allow us to eat something like this. Scared because we don't know the long term repercussions for ourselves and our children. We are also scared because many of us just don't know what to do. I mentioned all of this to a friend today and she said that she didn't want to feed this to her children, but what else can she feed them? She felt like she had no choice and just gave up the fight.

We are confused as well. Confused because we assumed the FDA and the government had our backs. We assumed that the food in the cafeterias of our children's schools were good for them. Now we don't know where to turn, we don't know who to trust with our family's health. This is why so many people just give up.

This is one of the many reasons I turned to raw food. Raw food is the consumption of vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds in their living, uncooked, unpasteurized state. When you eat raw foods you are only eating the food in its natural form, so there would never be any ingestion of harmful additives. The transition to a vegan, raw food diet and lifestyle at any time in a persons life may help to avoid many of the harmful effects of food additives, artificial sweeteners, pesticides, herbicides, and herbicides, carcinogens, etc.
Again, thank you for all the wonderful comments! Congratulations to Anastazia!


What's In Our Food? Food Additives and Giveaway

I've been eating all raw lately, but that obviously wasn't always the case. Not even all raw will completely protect you for those "harmfuls" that are out there. Did you know that those little labels on our fresh produce tell you a lot more than what code to push in at the cash register? Here's what I found out:

~If there are only 4 digits in the number, then it is conventionally grown

~If there are 5 digits in the number, and the first number is 8 then it is genetically modified

~If there are 5 digits in the number, and the first number is 9, then it is organic

That's such great information! I wish I had that info years ago. Being an educated consumer is our first step to taking charge of our health.

Many of us are still transitioning, or just looking into the health benefits of raw, so we are still eating prepackaged foods. My first weapon against food additives is that if the list of ingredients seems too long, then I don't buy it.
My second weapon of defense is a book titled Food Additives: A Shoppers Guide To What's Safe and What's Not! by Christine Hoza Farlow, D.C. It's a small book, so it fits in your pocket book easily. I bought mine at my local natural food store just last night, but you can get it on Amazon for $7.95. It is a wonderful resource that I am so happy to have! I honestly want to buy one for everyone that I know.

So yes, I do buy some prepacked foods because my daughter is not 100% raw. She still eats stuff like Cheerios, Uncle Ben's rice, rice milk, etc. So I have been wondering, what's so bad with Uncle Ben's wild rice? Or whatever she happens to be eating for lunch that day.

The ingredient list for Uncle Ben's Wild Rice Original Recipe:

Long grain parboiled rice enriched with iron, thiamin, and folate; whole grain wild rice; vegetables; hydrolyzed corn/soy/wheat protein; sugar; autolyzed yeast extract; salt; spices; smoked yeast; sunflower oil; natural flavors; tumeric

Most of these ingredients I pretty much understand, but just for the purposes of this experiment I looked up a few things. The first one was autolyzed yeast extract. According to the book, autolyzed yeast extract says "see MSG". So I looked up MSG, and this is what it said;

"causes obesity, addictive, makes you eat more, may cause diabetes, migraines, headaches, itching, nausea, brain, nervous system, reproductive disorders, high blood pressure, Autism, ADHD, Alzheimer's, retina damage, blindness; pregnant, lactating mothers, infants, small children should avoid; allergic reactions common; generally produced using GMO bacteria; May be hidden in infant formula, baby food, low fat and no fat milk, candy, chewing gum, drinks, kosher food, protein bars, protein powder, protein drinks recommended for seniors, most processed foods, wine, waxes applied to fresh fruits and vegetables, over the counter medications, especially children's, binders and fillers for nutritional supplement's, prescription and non prescription drugs, IV fluids given in hospitals, chicken pox vaccine, live virus vaccines, nasal spray flu vaccine, used in pesticides, fungicides, and fertilizers; being sprayed on growing fruits and vegetables as a growth enhancer (AuxiGro); proposed for use on organic crops."

Okay, so I always knew that MSG was bad, but I didn't realise how much stuff is was in! Not only is it in Uncle Ben's rice but I can't believe that it was proposed to be used on organic crops!

So I looked up the hydrolyzed corn/soy/wheat protein; "may cause brain and nervous system damage in infants; high salt content; contains free glutamates; MSG; may be genetically modified." So I looked up free glutamates; "may cause brain damage, especially in children".

So that was enough to make me not buy the rice anymore. Should I go on to another food? I shall. As a snack, I bought her Pete's Tofu2Go, Thai Tango flavor. Made with organic tofu and no preservatives. Sounds good to me.

The tofu itself contains calcium sulfate, which isn't that bad, when you compare it to MSG. The book says, "may constipate; can kill rodents". I'm not really sure what "can kill rodents" means in relation to humans, but I know it can't be good, and constipation is never good.

But what really concerned me was the sauce packet, used for dipping the tofu. It tastes wonderful, but it has xanthan gum, which "may cause gastrointestinal distress; extracted from Xanthomonas campestris by solvent extraction which may leave a toxic residue; may contain allowable amounts of lead, arsenic, and heavy metals; may be GMO". So if the amounts of metals are "allowable", how much do you need to eat of this product, and other products with xantham gum before it becomes unallowable???

So what can we do? A raw food diet is the most effective way to reduce and almost completely wipe out these foods from our lives. If you are not at that point, or you have children, like mine, who are not 100% raw, then my best advice is pay attention. Read the labels and become familiar with these additives so that you know what to look for. Decide where you will draw the line. For example, I may buy the Pete's Tofu2Go again, but I won't allow my daughter to use the sauce packet (she loves it just the same without the sauce). When I told her about the additives, she was completely interested in wiping these out of her diet as well. It's a great educational tool.
We don't have a lot of processed foods in our house to experiment with, but I would love to take this book to a friend's house, or someone else's and go through their cabinets! Or I could even go to the super market and look at the stuff I used to eat. I urge you to pick up this book. I only touched the surface of the information it contains.

In fact, I have an idea. So many people are doing giveaways lately, and I did say I wanted to buy this book for everyone I know. I can't get one for everyone, but I can get one for one person. So, everyone that wants a copy, just comment below and say so, and I will pull a name from a bowl and send you a copy. I would love to send you a copy! Today is Valentine's Day, and I love you ALL, so this will be my gift to you. I will wait about 5 days; on Feb. 18th at 11:59pm, I will pull a name and the winner will win the book Food Additives: A Shoppers Guide To What's Safe and What's Not! by Christine Hoza Farlow, D.C. Good Luck!

In the meantime, if you have an ingredient in your food that you really want to know about, just send me an email and I can look it up for you.

Happy Valentine's Day!


Fun Snack Recipes and Veggie Dip!

I have been really enjoying my raw food lifestyle the last few days! I just feel so free from cooking, making meals, planning meals, etc. This morning I woke up, and looking at the smorgasbord of fruit on our stove top, I decided to eat a tomato for breakfast. I added some dulse flakes and it was heaven. About an hour and a half later I made a giant green smoothie. I drank 85 oz of green smoothie and it lasted me all the way until dinner. I did sneak in a peach half way just for fun. Now, I am eating some pineapple, and I will retire with a big, giant salad.

I am always trying to mix up my salads, and in this season it's not so easy. So now I am mixing up my salad dressing. Some days I make a vinaigrette, some days I just use lemon. Rory made a really great dressing/veggie dip that I have been enjoying this week. It has a Mexican flavor to it, but what I really like is that it reminds me of something I used to love. It took me a really long time to remember what it reminds me of, but I finally figured it out. When I was just a vegetarian, way back, I used to make a salad and add eggs and cheese. This dressing gave my salad that exact texture and flavor, and it was fantastic!

Here's the recipe~

2 C. soaked sunflower seeds
1/2 C. of water
Juice of 1 lemon
approx 3 tbsps. of apple cider vinegar
2 dates (pitted)
1+1/2 to 2 tsp. salt

Blend thoroughly and toss in the following seasonings~

1+1/2 tsp. onion powder
1+1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2-3/4 tsp. of ground black-pepper
1+1/2 Tbsp. of oregano
1+1/2 tsp. of ground coriander
1/8th to 1/2 tsp. of chipotle powder (it all depends on how spicy ya like it!)
1/4 tsp. of cumin


Rory and I were about to watch a movie last night and I was complaining that I wanted some sort of snacky, junk food thing. I wanted it to be raw, but crunchy and salty like chips. I was so demanding, since I also wanted it to be nut free, and quick, no dehydrator. Haha! So I really put Rory to the test and he came through for me! He made me a delicious platter with carrots and cauliflower to dip into the same sunflower seed veggie dip. He also made this really great spicy/salty carrot chip thing and "to live for" salty cauliflower. He cut up some sweet watermelon and made a tropical blend green smoothie because, when someone usually has salty chips, they then crave something sweet! I enjoyed the food so much I could barely concentrate on the movie! He called the yummy cauliflower stuff Cheezy Cauliflower Nuggets and here is the recipe ~

1/2 a head of cauliflower broken into small florets and little pieces
1 tsp. of hemp oil
1 tsp. pulverized salt
1 Tbsp. of nutritional yeast


Here is the recipe for the carrot chips~

2 Lg carrots - washed thoroughly and cut into long diagonal slices to resemble a chip

Put them in a bowl and toss with the following~

A tsp. or so of hemp oil to get the flavorings to adhere
1 tsp. of mineral salt ground into a fine powder for even coating
1 Tbsp. of chili-powder
1 Tbsp. of nutritional yeast flakes

I pretty much ripped these recipes straight from his site if you want to check out the source.

I was just telling Rory last night what my dream kitchen would have in it. You know those refrigerated buffet tables that you see in some restaurants and cafeterias? They hold different fruits and veggies, and keep them cool at the same time. I would love that! I would wake up in the morning and prepare all sorts off fruits and veggies and place them on the buffet. Then no one will be hungry or have cravings for cooked food. They could always be picking something nutritious off the buffet and eat whenever they need to! I think that would be great for children. Now where can I get myself a refrigerated buffet? haha

My daughter wants to make another raw food video, but this time on a raw food "buckwheat groat popcorn". Hopefully I can post that for you soon!


Kelp Noodles Short Review and Recipe

I know it's been a week since I posted last, but to be honest, I've been so busy! This week Rory and I pretty much spent all of our free time going through our old stuff and either re-purposing them, or sending them to a thrift store. I unloaded boxes and boxes of really great books to a local nursing home, who will sell them at their next charity event. I am so glad to see them go to a good cause. My daughter just found out that we cannot take our pet mouse with us, and she seems devastated about it. I feel bad, but so many places have a no pet policy. In fact, the place we live in now has a no pet policy, but we were able to use puppy dog eyes and keep our mouse here. I won't have so much luck next time.

So anyway, I finally made something with the Sea Tangle Kelp Noodles that were sitting in my refrigerator for a few months. These noodles are pretty much made with kelp and sodium alginate, which is sodium from brown seaweed. these noodles are very easy to prepare, just take them out of the bag and give them a quick rinse! That's my kind of noodle!

I was pleasantly surprised about their taste and texture. I just kinda invented the recipe on the spot.

1 bag Sea Tangle Kelp Noodles
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 Tbsp basil
1 tsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp onion
1 large kale leaf
1 carrot
2 tomatoes
2 Tbsp hemp oil
salt and pepper

Rinse the bag of noodles and place them in a bowl. Slice the kale leaf very thin and then massage it thoroughly to make it soft. Use a veggie peeler to peel the carrot, then dice it with a knife. Dice the tomatoes and onion. Add everything into a bowl and toss.

The recipe was great! The noodles themselves had no flavor, but easily picked up the flavor of the recipe. I did have to add a lot of salt, and I don't usually add salt to anything. It was as if the longer the salt was on the noodles, the less I tasted it. The noodles had a crunch to them, that I actually heard more than I felt. I barely felt any crunch in my teeth at all, but heard the sound when I chewed. It was also very filling, I couldn't finish my plate.

There is no real nutritional value to the noodles, except iodine. They're fat free, gluten free, low carb, and low calories. They are healthier than regular noodles, and a great way to transition to zucchini noodles. Also, I really think that children will enjoy these.

Overall, I definitely enjoyed the noodles, and I would buy them again. You can purchase them in bulk from their website, and I have found them in some Whole Foods and a few local natural food stores. They seem to last awhile in the fridge (we had them since Dec.).


Smoothie Feast Ends-My Conclusions and Zukay Live Foods Quick Review

I made it through my smoothie feast with no cheats! In fact, on Tuesday I saw a piece of pineapple on the table and put it in my mouth, then I spit it out remembering that I am on my feast. I feel my willpower growing with each challenge I present myself with.

The reason I went on this smoothie feast was because last week my husband and I had some company, and we made them some raw jalapeno burgers. We made this twice that week and I gained 7 lbs. I am trying so hard to lose weight, gaining 7 lbs on raw food was a big blow to me. I wanted to make sure I released those pounds quickly so that I could move on with my original weight loss goals. Before last week the scale said 251.8 give or take a few ounces. After last week it said 259!! I was horrified! So now today, I get to step on the scale and see what a 1 week long smoothie feast can do.

Drum roll please... and the scale says....251.6!! And the crowd goes wild! Yay! I completely released the 7 lbs and reached my goal! I am so proud of myself for working so hard, even when I wanted to give up and just eat. Thank you everyone for the support and love. I know I could not have done it without you!

So what conclusions have I made from doing a week long smoothie feast? Well for one, the first few days are the easiest. By mid week I was really craving solid food. But then, by the end it was easier again; it became habit. I definitely think anyone can do it. Plus, creating all those yummy smoothies was such a treat!

I also think that I cleaned out my intestines a little. The first few days I was releasing much more than what I was ingesting. It evened out by the end of the week.

You can definitely lose weight on a smoothie feast. Just about anyone can! I would definitely go longer if I could afford it.

It's a great way to share the gloriousness of green smoothies. You tell anyone you are on a smoothie feast and they almost automatically want to know more. Even kids enjoy learning about the smoothies.

You have to make sure that you are getting enough calories. It's so easy to sip a smoothie or two all day long and only get a few hundred calories. The last thing you want is to put your body into starvation mode. Drink about 4 smoothies, or more each day. I added an avocado or 2 each day in one of my smoothies as well.

Smoothie feasts are a lot of fun! It's easy to stay motivated when you are enjoying yourself!

If I did it again, and I probably will, the one thing I would change is that I would buy even more ingredients. I would buy more non sweet fruit, because sometimes too much sugar is just that, too much. I would buy more high calorie foods. And I may even drink more green smoothies, and less fruit only smoothies. I do think the banana milk that I added about mid week was a great idea!

The first meal I had today was a banana. It was the best banana ever. I also ate a pear, yum yum.

This morning when I went shopping the local natural food store was giving out samples of Zukay raw fermented live products. I tried garlic dill relish, horseradish dill relish, mild salsa viva, and hot salsa viva. It was all really tasty, and I especially loved the hot salsa viva (I love hot and spicy), so I bought some. It was $4.99 for 11.5 oz, which was a little out of my price range, but after the smoothie feast, the idea of trying something new was intriguing.

So when I opened it today, it started to bubble up, a lot. I tried putting the lid back on, but I could feel the carbon dioxide pushing on the lid. For fear of breaking the glass, I took the lid off and some of the salsa spilled over the side. Rory said, "I never thought I would want to eat a salsa that bubbled like that when I opened it". I grabbed a spoon and put a spoonful in my mouth. It moved around on my tongue, splashing and playing, it felt like it was alive. It had a wonderful flavor! If you ever had fermented foods (kombucha, sauerkraut, etc.) it has that distinct fermented flavor, mixed with fresh salsa. This has to be the best salsa I ever had! The best way to enjoy it, I found, was in small quantities. Just adding a spoonful to whatever you are eating gives it just the right touch.

We didn't know what we wanted to put it on. We had no bread or chips made, so I decided to just make a simple guacamole, and put that over diced tomatoes. So it was pretty much a thick layer of diced tomatoes, a thin layer of guacamole, and a spoonful of salsa. It was heaven!

I did some research on the site and found that it is not 100% raw, but high raw. The Zukay website states, "The relishes are almost completely raw. The salsas are also mostly raw, though they do have tomato paste for taste and texture." Even so, I do plan on buying these again for their taste and probiotic properties. If you get any, let me know what you think!

Again, thank you to everyone for your support. The smoothie feast ends here, but the raw food challenge is still very much on!


Smoothie Feast Continued and Rebirthing Session 2

I just wanted to check in here with my smoothie feast first. I have still been drinking smoothies all week, but I have only 1 new recipe for you. I liked some of the ones I already made this week so much that I am just repeating most of them! Although today I did have 2 new yummy creations. The first was a curry pumpkin soup that Rory made for me. It was a surprise, so I did not get the ingredients for it.

The second was a cherry smoothie that I made:

2 cups cherries
2 bananas

Very simple, and very tasty!
I'm not searching in the fridge anymore, thankfully, so I am much more adapted to "smoothiehood". I am also not using the bathroom as much, so I may have adapted in other ways as well. As I promised, I did up my intake of calories the last 2 days. I've added more bananas and banana milk, which should bring me to about 1300 calories, give or take.

I am looking forward to a solid meal. I make food for my daughter, and a salad for Rory each evening, and I really am craving them. I crave solid food now more than I ever craved cooked food! I am really enjoying the smoothie feast, but at the same time, I can't wait for it to be over.


So Chris came over again this week, and I bravely did another Rebirthing session with him. It started out the same as the first time. I was in a lot of pain, especially in my shoulders, and breathing was a chore, like running a marathon. He kept telling me to keep going, and I hated him for that. I just wanted to stop. But I didn't, I stayed strong because I was determined to find what Rory found his first time.

Just when the session was about to end, and we both thought that I wasn't going to get "there" my breath slowed down, and I started to feel it. I have to say, it shocked me quite a bit, and I think that shock pulled me away from it a bit. I started to feel very light, and each time I took an in breath, I started to rise. I would breathe again, and I would rise another few inches. Then the room disappeared, and I was above the ocean. Each time I breathed, I floated higher on a wave. I felt so wonderful, and free. I honestly felt like I could just float away. Then, I started sinking, and the room came back. I realized I had to use the bathroom (darn smoothie feast!) and it was over.

I asked Rory if that is what he felt, and he responded, "not at all". Apparently I only got a small "drip" of what it could feel like. If only I could let myself go a little more, I would feel it so much more powerfully.

Ironically, Rory's second session turned out to be much like my first, which goes to show you that they can be different each time.

I'll let you know on Saturday the final results of my smoothie feast. I can't wait to step on the scale and see what I have accomplished. My goal is to lose the 7 lbs I gained last week from eating too many nuts.


What's My Caloric Intake on a Smoothie Feast?

Click this pic to make it bigger

I've been getting a lot of questions about my caloric intake while I am on this smoothie feast, so I decided to log into nutridiary.com to figure it out. I used my meal plan from day 3 as my example. I found that I am eating 1122 calories each day, 43 of them from fat. Here is a break down of what I found out:

Calories 1122
Calories From Fat 43

Total Fat 5g
Saturated Fat 1g

Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 459mg
Total Carbohydrate 282g
Dietary Fiber 42g
Sugars 161g

Protein 20g
Vitamin A 625%
Vitamin C 520%

Calcium 38%
Iron 61%

I realize the calories are low, but keep in mind that I am not exercising this week. I wanted this to be sort of an experiment (hence the title, "raw food experiment") so I didn't want to add another variable. I did some research (not too extensive, but just enough for these purposes) I found that to lose 1 pound per week, you should burn off, or limit your calories by 500. I was eating around 2,100 calories a day before the smoothie feast (except for the "way too many nuts week") so I am obviously eating too few calories. I'm not super worried about it since I feel fine, and I only have 3 more days left, but I do plan to drink more smoothies tomorrow to try to get my calories up. I know that if my body thinks it is starving, I will retain weight instead of lose it. That's the last thing I want!

So today I dank a grapefruit smoothie for breakfast. The first few sips were a little "surprising" because the grapefruit has such a strong flavor, but if you can get past that, it tastes great!

1 grapefruit, peeled
1 banana
water and ice

This was really good, and luckily for me, no one wanted me to share! lol It didn't last too long in my stomach, so I had to make another smoothie about 2 hours later.

1 large bunch of dandelion greens
4 oz spinach
3 bananas
2 cups strawberries

This was good, but dandelion greens can be strong, so a lot of people don't like them in smoothies. The first time I had it in a smoothie I spit it up. haha! But now I love it!

Rory made me another grapefruit smoothie while I was rebirthing with Chris. This one was a little different:

1 grapefruit, peeled
2 bananas
1/2 cup peaches
1/2 cup grapes

This was really good, but to be honest, I had no idea he added the other ingredients. I guess the taste of the grapefruit canceled them out.

Around dinner time tonight I had a savory smoothie. It wasn't as great as the others I made, but it was still good. At this point in the week, I am starting to run out of ingredients. I know I will make it through to the end, but I can imagine the food will be less and less flavorful.

1 avocado
1 whole romaine head
2 large celery stalks
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup onion
1 garlic clove
Italian seasonings

This was the first real fatty smoothie I made this week. The avocado blends so well in a savory smoothie, just remember to add it last since it doesn't do well with extended blending.

I would like to hear any one's opinion about the caloric intake. Too much, too little, just right, or maybe it doesn't matter since I feel great and it's only 1 week? Please, let me know.


Smoothie Feast Day 3 - Smoothie Side Effects

It's day three and I am still doing very well. Not too many cravings, but I am hungry if I don't have a smoothie to nurse. I've been drinking about 200 oz of smoothie a day.

Day Two meal plan
I woke up and I was already very hungry. Luckily I had made myself a smoothie and put it in the fridge.

2 dates
1/2 cup pineapple
1 handful blackberries
1 cup strawberries
1/4 lb spinach
1/4 lb romaine
enough water to make it blend

This was so tasty!

Later I made a really great savory smoothie (soup). I shared it with Rory and we both devoured it. He isn't on a smoothie feast, so he chopped up veggies to add to his.

2 Tbsp Dulce flakes
dash salt & pepper to taste
1 very large celery stalk (or 2 small ones)
3 tomatoes
2 carrots
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup onion
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 giant leaves of Swiss chard
enough water to make it blend

chop everything up, add some water and blend! This was a great treat, and very filling.

I also had another one of those delicious fruit smoothies from day 1. MMMMM

I felt really good yesterday, like I could run a Marathon. Instead, I decluttered and went through a lot of our old stuff to release some of it. I really do not like owning a lot of stuff, but we seem to have acquired a lot of books. Rory and I went through them and found over 100 lbs of books to take to a used book store. It feels really good to do that. When we move, we will not have the storage space for all those books, and even if we did, I don't want to lug them around for the rest of my life. We still have over 800 books, but I haven't gone through my daughter's collection yet.

We were up so late last night, that I started to feel hungry. I decided to make some banana milk:

3 bananas
2 cups water
tiny piece of vanilla bean pod
1-2 big handful of ice

Oh this was good!

Today I am not feeling as well. I am much more tired, drained, and unmotivated. Rory thinks that I could be detoxing. I hope so! I didn't want to get out of bed this morning.

I started out my day with a green smoothie. It took a lot of motivation to make it, since I was really feeling out of sorts. I was also really grumpy, and no one likes to be grumpy (or likes to be around grumpy people, apparently)

1/2 lb spring mix greens
1/4 lb spinach
2 bananas
1 handful blackberries
1 cup strawberries
enough water to make it blend

This was good, and satisfying. It did bring up my mood, but not 100%
I was still hungry after I finished that, so I made another smoothie

1/2 lb dandelion greens
1 cup strawberries
enough water to make it blend

This makes enough for a full blender. It was pretty tasty, and I shared some of it with Rory.

Around dinner time, I had more banana milk. I make mine thick and smoothie like, but if you add a little more water, it would be great over a raw cereal, or a cooked one even.

Side effects that I have noticed so far

I've been going to the bathroom a lot. The first day was the worst, I was doing #1 and #2 every 20 minutes. I was really shocked about the #2. Where did all of that come from??

Another side effect is that I am not sleeping quite as much. I am staying up later and waking up earlier. When I am awake, I have more energy, except for today. I wonder what tomorrow will be like?

My teeth get really grimey throughout the day. I feel like I need to brush them 4 -5 times a day. I thought that I wouldn't need to floss as much, but it's just the opposite, I need to floss more!

I am also looking in the fridge a lot. I'm not hungry, I just want something crunchy in my mouth. I guess this is taking awhile to get used to.

Lastly, I almost always need a smoothie in front of me to feel comfortable. If I haven't had any in about 30-45 minutes, I start to feel really hungry. I wonder if other people have felt like this?

Tomorrow I have another rebirthing session with Chris. If I am not feeling better tomorrow, I may have to cancel. I will see how I feel and let you know how everything goes.

Thank you everyone for so much support! I am really enjoying this smoothie feast so far, and I am excited to see how everything turns out in the end.


Smoothie Feast Day 1

Today was day 1 of my smoothie feast. I'm not hungry by any means, but my stomach feels "light". I can't really explain it, but it feels like my stomach isn't weighed down. I also feel really good. I know it's only day 1, but I feel like I have a little more energy today.

When I woke up I made an entire Vitamix full of green smoothie. That's over 60 oz.

1 whole bunch of parsley, including stems
4 dates
1 cup cherries
1 cup pineapple
enough water to make it blend

It wasn't the best smoothie in the world, but it was good. It took me about 3 hours to finish that. So I made a fruit smoothie around lunchtime.

1 1/2 cup pineapple
1 cup strawberries
1 cup peach
1/2 cup red grapes
1 banana
enough water to make it blend

This was so yummy! I had to make it twice since everyone else had some of it. I ran out of bananas for the second batch, and I have to say, it's much tastier with the banana.

For my "dinner" smoothie I settled for (everything is "settling" after that fruit smoothie!) another green smoothie

1/2 lb spinach
1 cup strawberries
1 cup blackberries
4 dates

This one was pretty good, but a little tart. I can't wait until our bananas our ripe!

I did catch myself opening the refrigerator a lot today, probably looking for something to chew. It's amazing how chewing becomes so addictive!

One downfall to this is that I am going to the bathroom...a lot!


Smoothie Feast Starting Saturday!

Since Jan 1st, I have been 100% raw with no bloopers, cheats, or cravings! Yay for me! I lost 8 lbs in the first week. I did learn something very important about myself this week though. We had a few friends over on a couple different occasions, which lent for making some tasty gourmet raw food. So we made Jalapeno burgers from The Sunny Raw Kitchen. I just love those burgers. I know, I know, I really cannot eat nuts because they give me a stomach ache, but these burgers are just so tasty! We made them twice this week, since we had so much company. Which means, I ate a lot of them.

I ended up gaining back 7 lbs. How annoying is that? I am finally 100% raw and I start gaining weight! Well, lesson learned. Now I know that I should definitely stay away from nuts. I still feel very bloated from the whole ordeal, which lead me to my newest challenge...

Starting Saturday, Jan. 24Th I am going to do a 1 week smoothie feast. I wanted to do a 2 week feast, but I just went shopping and spent waaaay too much money for doing it this week. I don't know if I will have that option next week. Well, anyway, it's my first time, so 1 week will probably be enough. Of course a juice feast is ideal, but even more expensive, and I'm not sure I am ready for that, physically.

Rory says that this feast will help me lose weight and give my digestive system a small break, which gives my body the energy to take care of other things. Digestion is one of the biggest energy drainers of the body, so this week I will have a chance to put that energy to use elsewhere. I imagine that I will have a lot of energy too, since smoothies usually give me a nice burst.

I don't think that I will have too much of a problem with cravings, since at this point I am drinking a smoothie for lunch and breakfast anyway.

Wish me luck! I will keep you posted on how it goes. I'm actually pretty excited, because I love the way I feel when I drink smoothies anyway. Woohoo! Can I start now? :)


Rebirthing with Chris

I had my first Rebirthing session with Chris on Monday, and I have to say that I'm curious to have another one. According to Leonard Orr's website:

"Rebirthing-Breathwork, aka Intuitive Energy Breathing or Conscious Energy Breathing, is the ability to breathe Energy as well as air. It is the art of learning to breathe from the Breath Itself. Rebirthing is perhaps the most valuable self-healing ability that humans can learn. We can not have disease and relaxation in the same space at the same time. Relaxation is the ultimate healer. Every breath induces relaxation. Therefore, breathing is the basic healer. Conscious Energy Breathing is the most natural healing ability of all. This ability involves merging the inhale with the exhale in a gentle relaxed rhythm in an intuitive way that floods the body with Divine Energy."

When I went into this, I really had no idea what rebirthing was. Chris explained to me that he was a trained rebirther and that I would not be the same person once I did it. Well, that wasn't much information, but I was up for a try.

We went into my room where I laid down on my bed while Chris sat on a chair beside me. He told me to breath very deeply, filling my lungs, and concentrating on my in breath. I had to be sure that the breaths were connected, that there were no gaps between the breaths. I did this for an hour, and it was exhausting at first, but the more I did it the deeper I could fill my lungs. I knew that something more was supposed to happen, I could feel it. I was blocking it for some reason. Chris told me that it was self love, I was protecting myself from whatever was supposed to happen. I felt exactly that, I felt that I was protecting myself from the unknown.

The session lasted 2 hours, and when it was over I was a little disappointed that I never felt what everyone said I would feel. Chris said that many people do not feel it the first time, and that we would do more sessions. I did however, feel like I could breath so much stronger, especially with my asthma. I felt refreshed and like it was a whole new day!

Rory was next, and his was much quicker, and completely different. He didn't seem to block himself at all. Of course, I can't explain what he felt, but I could see that he was feeling something. His hands and fingers twisted up and he could not control them and he had a constant smile on his face. I asked him to write a little about what he felt:

"My experience with the re-birthing breathing session is ridiculously hard to describe, if you'd have told me that I was gonna feel the way I did, I would've probably thought "Yeah right". I hear people talk a lot about being "blissed out" well by the end of the breathing exercises, I knew what the heck they were talking about! Amazing experience!! I'd really be at a loss to describe exactly how it felt for me, and as I told Chris, even if I had the perfect words to describe the experience, they wouldn't be able to come close to actually portraying it. Some words that I can throw together to paint a brief picture of what it was like would be, a relaxing yet totally exhilarating, release of physical and emotional tensions, shattering internal walls, and a general vibrating sensation around my heart. Amazing stuff!"

Rory hasn't been the same since. If you knew Rory in person, you would know that he is always happy and positive. Well, since his rebirthing, he has been even happier (if that's possible!)

I didn't have the same experience, but I do plan to do the rebirthing again and hopefully I will experience more the next time.


I just received the Kreativ Blogger Award!

I received this wonderful Kreativ Blogger award and I am so honored to have received it from my favorite artist, Lisa Cole (...seeing stars...)! Thank you so very much Lisa!

Now the fun part is that I get to tell you 7 things that I love, and then I nominate 7 other beautiful people for this award.

1. I love my daughter. I wake up every single morning happy to see her smiling face. I cannot think of a better way to spend my day than to spend it with her. She is such an amazing person and I am so proud of the very young woman she is turning into.

2. My husband, Rory. I love him very dearly. He is the one that holds me together. He always knows exactly what I need and he is always there for me when I need him the most. Rory is an amazing human being, so loving, caring, and especially honest. I trust him with my life, my heart, and my soul.

3. My friends. I have to say that I have some of the most amazing friends. I don't see them very often because of our physical location, but I know without a shadow of a doubt that if I needed them, they would be there for me. They have spread out all over the world since high school and college, so no matter where I go, I know I will have a friend nearby.

4. Music is so inspirational to me. I love music that has a positive message. Michael Franti, Bright Eyes, Aeon Spoke, Phish, and so many others. They all inspire me and show me that there is goodness in the world. There is one song by Bright Eyes that reminds me of my husband so much that it makes me feel so wonderful and loved, even when Rory is not around.

Bright Eyes - First Day of My Life

5. I love nature and the outdoors. I can't say that enough. I feel at peace when I am surrounded by nature. The color of green is so calming, and to be in the forest surrounded by beautiful shades of green, with streaks of bright sunlight caressing the leaves that are already dancing in the breeze...I can't really express how wonderful that is to me.

6. I love creating something that I can be proud of. Making something for a friend or family member that I put hard work into and just looks lovely is a gift to me. Whether it's a delicious raw meal for a friend, a birthday card for family, or a beautiful bag as a holiday gift, making these for other people makes me feel so good.

7. Last but not least, I love meeting amazing people on the Internet. I love that I can meet this wonderful, beautiful woman from Texas, which is sooo far away, and feel like I can have a real friendship with her. I love that I can meet wonderful artists like Lisa when I probably would have never met her otherwise. I love that there are forums like Raw Fu and Give It To Me Raw, where people can talk about their experiences and support each other. And I love writing this blog, in the hopes that someone somewhere might read it and feel inspired to share their story as well.

Well, that's my 7, but I have so many more left unspoken! There is so much in this wonderful world to love!

Now I get to nominate 7 other wonderful people!

1. The beautiful HiHoRosie has such a wonderful and creative blog about her journey with raw foods, and lately about her exciting pregnancy.

2. Earthmother has one of the most beautiful and inspiring raw food blogs I have found. It's just amazing!

3. LouLou has a very well written blog that I've only recently discovered. She takes really cute pictures and makes some great food for those who are transitioning to raw food, or don't plan to be 100% raw.

4. I found Paulina's blogs one day a few months ago and I thought they were both brilliant. The one that I am nominating is a blog that she uses to write amazing book reviews, which has inspired me to read more!

5. My friend Tawni Lay. She's new to blogging, but she has so much heart, and so much to share.

6. Nibbit is a young woman living in the Netherlands and she is sharing a very detailed, honest and personal story of her raw food journey.

7. Lastly, Rory's blog is very special to me. I never knew that he was such a wonderful writer until I started to read his blogs. He puts so much energy and love into his posts and that just makes me love what he writes so much more.

I was limited to only 7, but there are so many more wonderful people out there that I could nominate. Thank you Lisa for giving me this wonderful award!


Over the flu, and trying out Rebirthing-Breathwork

Well, I've been away for a few days because I had the flu. I don't get sick very often, and it doesn't usually hit me very hard, but this time I could barely get out of bed. I wonder if maybe I was detoxing a bit while I was sick? Or maybe it just happened to be a really mean bug. I'm better now and moving on from all that. I managed to stay 100% raw the entire time I was ill! Woohoo! Actually, being 100% is still very easy for me and I am so happy that I found a way that works for me. I know that when I tried to follow someone elses plan, it never worked. I really think everyone has different dietary needs and the best way to get raw to work, is to find out what works best for you.

So in my last post I said that my friend invited Rory and I to a little dinner party with a special guest. We had a blast, the food was great and the conversation was phenomenal! The special guest was Chris Carlton, who runs the website Purely Raw. Chris is an amazing person who went from 363 pounds on the SAD diet and switched to 100% raw and now looks fantastic at 196 pounds! His story was very inspiring to me. In fact, he shared with me some of the things that he learned along the way that helped him, and now I feel like I'm not alone and I can definitely do this. I've met, in person, someone else that has done it.

One of the very important things he told me was to only weigh myself once a month. He said that if I do it more than that, I will notice my plateaus and become discouraged. This is exactly what happened to me sometime in November. I was weighing myself every day and constantly losing weight. Then, all the sudden I wasn't losing anything and I pretty much gave up. Well, I don't know if I can go a whole month, but I will at least wait every 2 weeks. The last time I weighed myself it said 255 (Yay! that's - 51 lbs) so I won't weigh myself again until the 28th (I hope).

Another thing that Chris taught me about myself is that I have trained myself to breath poorly. For example, being over weight but a lover of the outdoors and hiking, I have often found myself in situations where I am out of breath while others are not. So what do I do? I try breathing differently to hide my wheezing. I have therefore trained myself to breath poorly when I exercise or do extraneous activities. Chris taught me a 20 connected breaths (check out this video for info) routine that I absolutely love and possibly later in the week he will do some Rebirthing-Breathwork with me. I am very excited, and if it happens I am sure to blog about it. In the meantime, I will definitely be more conscious of my breathing when I exercise.

Some other cool stuff happened last weekend before I got sick, but I don't want to cram it all in one blog. I hope no one else is feeling ill out there! I don't take medicines, so what helps me most are steamy showers, garlic, green smoothies, water, and ginger shots. Also, I noticed that if I am able to sleep with my face facing downward, then it doesn't turn into chest congestion. It's not comfortable, but much better than day after day of chest congestion. I would love to sleep on a massage table with a hole for my face!


I feel like a whole new person!

It's been 10 days that I've been 100% raw. Woohoo! I've lost 5.5 pounds and 3.5 inches in my waist in 10 days! I've also been drinking a lot more water, so much has changed for me this year!

Rory and I were watching a video by Freelea last week and she said that she drinks 1 1/2 - 2 Liters of water each morning. I said to Rory, "How could anyone drink so much at once? I can't even drink more than 1 cup without feeling bloated and sick." He told me that my bloatedness after such a small amount of water was not normal, and maybe I am chronically dehydrated. I rarely do drink much water, maybe 1 cup a day and sometimes less. I drink so much smoothie I barely think about water! We decided that I was going to start drinking a bunch of water each day. Starting out kinda small, we filled a 1.5 liter glass bottle of water and decided that I would start by drinking that each day. And I have! I actually do feel much better for it, except that I am going to the bathroom a lot. Rory thinks I am still adjusting to the sudden increase of water, and probably my bladder needs to grow as well. I'm sure in a few weeks I will feel normal again.

Another thing I've been doing different is I changed the way that I eat, completely. I've done this 100% thing before, but last time it was pure agony. I was always hungry, grumpy, tired, and craving cooked food. I seem to have low blood sugar, so when I am feeling hungry, I get really irritable. I would wake up in the morning and I had to cut up fruit and put it in a bowl with maybe some milk. It took time, and in that state of mind, I didn't have time. It really messed with me. It's always been easier for Rory because has has more options with raw food. I can't eat nuts and seeds, so everything I ate was different. So finally I would have my breakfast, but then a little bit later I was hungry again, so I did it all over again. When it was time to make food for my daughter, I was hungry and always ended up eating some of hers. I always felt like I was hungry on 100% raw food, and so I figured maybe it wasn't for me.

Oh, but it is! This time, I have done none of that. I don't have cravings, feel hungry, tired, or grumpy. I don't even want cooked food. In fact, the last time I even thought about it was when I decided to give up the food I was making for my daughter and just say no!

What I've been doing really isn't that amazing, or difficult, or anything. I pretty much wake up, grab a banana and some water. Then, about 1 hour later I am usually hungry again, so I either eat another banana or some other fruit. Around noonish I make a big blender full of green smoothie. I used to share it among my family and only have 1 glass, but now I am selfish and I drink the whole thing myself. This takes about 1 hour. I don't really feel hungry again until later in the evening, so then I make a big giant salad. I always liked salad, but I hate the same old salad. So I make different dressings, or I marinate something, whatever it takes to make it different. I eat a lot of salad, and usually Rory makes me some sort of yummy smoothie to go with it. This is really working for me. I just eat when I am hungry, stop when I am full. I have to eat much more often, but Rory says that I am going to boost my metabolism this way. Yay!

Of course, raw food has a reputation of giving a person a lot of extra energy. With all this extra energy, I've been exercising a lot more, and getting tons more done around the house.

Tonight Rory and I are going to a friends house for a raw dinner, with a special guest. I'm not sure who it is yet since it is a surprise, but I know that he lives in Britain and he is a raw foodie. He has a website, but my friend wouldn't tell me who it is so I can't relate it. When I find out, I will definitely post about it.

I hope that you are having a great weekend!