Friday, December 31, 2010

[Video Blog] My Daily Workout

April 11th 2010, I made this video:

Mid December of 2010, I made this video:

See the difference in my body? It's freaking incredible.

Yesterday I went for a two-hour walk with my husband, and this morning we walked to the grocery store and then carried the groceries home. When a moved here (not even a year ago), I couldn't walk half way to the grocery store without being in a lot of pain. My sides would get stitches. My head would get dizzy. I'd get gas pains. Etc. Now, I can walk the entire way there, walk back carrying things and still have energy to put groceries away.

It's amazing.

Life is so wonderful when you finally have energy to live it!

Andy Pope wrote me this response after I sent him to this page:

"My thoughts are very positive tonight. I do not consider myself a raw foodist as of yet, although I am considering becoming one. Maybe half of my diet is raw. I rarely pay attention to diet. I do consider myself healthy, yes. I consider myself healthy because I feel healthy, I have good genes and excellent vital signs, I exercise regularly and vigorously, and I rarely if ever fall ill. I have not had the flu since January of 2001. I also have never gotten a flu shot. I would like to see more reader's comments on this blog, and yes, I will be back. No, this is not too many questions. (You know me.) As an addendum, I must add that I do not consider myself particularly *mentally* healthy, as I am an extremely mercurial person, prone to moods and what-not. Perhaps a raw food diet can address that aspect of health as well. Thank you for letting me share."

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

[Video Article] Raw Milk

Qutequte says;

We should start of a series of law suits against "organic" milk since...

#1. Artificial hormones aren’t natural (genetically made)
#2. Antibiotics fed or jabbed aren’t natural (man-made)
#3. Cows let free for five to ten minutes everyday to graze on nutrient-deficient or pesticide-laden grass isn’t exactly organic

In fact, milk interferes with absorption of magnesium. Without magnesium, the human body has to “steal” magnesium from bones just to digest and absorb calcium. Technically, milk causes osteoporosis.

As if this isn’t bad enough, imagine you may just be drinking milk with pus and blood from sore udders of cows, kept constantly expressed for milk and the poor cows standing all day long like some unpaid security guard!

Not to mention milk industry actually encourages cruelty to cows and bulls and is closely related to asthma and cancer (published in medical journals previously).

I responded to Qutequte's post:

There is another side to this story. What about the fact that almost all cow milk that is consumed is also pasteurized! The pasteurization process kills off all the enzymes. Enzyme activity is what allows the milk to be digested. Without those enzymes nobody digests their milk at all, leading to bacteria in the gut and intestines to feed on all the undigested milk. This is what causes most cases of lactose intolerance.

A lot of people recommend "enzyme tablets" without ever realizing that enzymes come in every raw, uncooked natural food item on the planet. So even if there were no puss, even if the cows were not given hormone-shots, even if the cows were treated well and feed healthy grass, the milk would still be unhealthy if it's still pasteurized.

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I, personally, choose not to drink any milk at all, but my husband will drink milk -- as long as it is raw milk. This isn't something that he decided to do because I went raw in September 2010. Rather, this was something he was doing before he met me. Why? He believed he had become lactose intolerant, and so did two of his siblings. It turns out that all three of them react horribly to pasteurized milk, but have no negative reaction to raw milk.

The Raw milk that is sold legally goes through vigorous testing and is held up to high standards. It's incredibly unlikely to become sick from drinking it if it is being sold legally at a store. Unfortunately, it is difficult to pass the inspection to legally sell raw milk, and many places are unwilling to sell it due to the stigma. In many places it is point-blank illegal to sell raw milk entirely.

[Blog] Heather Haxo Phillips

I stopped by Heather Haxo Phillips's website and noticed the "Ask Heather" feature. Thinking, with a pleasant smile, of my own "Ask Raederle" tab (labeled FAQ), I decided to ask a question.

The Question & Heather's Answer:

Question: If you were to suggest including three cooked foods (meals/dishes) to supplement an otherwise 100% raw diet, what foods would you suggest (from an entirely nutritional standpoint)?

~ Raederle Phoenix

Heather's Answer: I am not a nutritionist, but Raw Bay Area is lucky enough to have certified nutritionist Krissa Schwartz on our team. Krissa and I put our heads together.

You don’t need cooked food in order to get great nutrition, but if you want some cooked food, go for these three:

  • Legumes such as black beans, garbanzo beans, lentils, and split peas
  • Specific whole grains such as brown rice and quinoa
  • Lightly steamed vegetables

Beans are an excellent source of complex carbohydrate and fiber. They have micro-nutrients the body needs: folic acid, iron, protein, magnesium, manganese and potassium. In order to get maximum nutrition, sprout your legumes for a day or two before you cook them. Brown rice and quinoa are wonderful and versatile grains able to complement practically any food. Brown rice is rich in B vitamins and also has a good supply of protein and trace minerals. Combined with beans, you have a complete protein (all nine essential amino acids). All grains, should be rinsed thoroughly under cool running water to remove any dirt or debris before cooking.

Some quick serving ideas are:

  • Combining cooked kidney beans with black beans and white (navy) beans to make a colorful three-bean salad. Mix with raw tomatoes and scallions and dress with olive oil, lemon juice and black pepper.
  • Sprout and cook your beans. Mix the warm beans – and grains – into finely chopped kale. This will wilt and soften the kale but not cook it. Add a great raw sauce that you like – my favorite is tahini-basil. Guacamole and salsa are great sauce options too.
  • Cooked brown rice and quinoa make a nourishing breakfast porridge or dessert pudding. First cook your grain well with lots of extra water. Then add a raw nut milk of your choice, cinnamon, nutmeg, raisins and honey.

Beans and rice, lentils and rice, peas and rice – all of these combination can be wonderful together for many people. They are relatively easy to digest, filling, and most importantly, nutrient dense. Just make sure you do not add on unhealthful or processed dressings or sauces that contain processed sugars, MSG, low quality fats or extra salt.

~ Heather Haxo Phillips

I suspected that she would recommend beans, lentils and brown rice, but her reply did offer a little bit more than vaguely suggesting those, wouldn't you agree?

One thing I am not worried about is potassium. I drink coconut juice almost daily as well as eating bananas nearly daily as well.

I am wondering if I need more iron in my diet. As a woman, I'm losing a lot of iron on a monthly basis, after all.

My tastes for vegetables is limited, and I have been wondering if I should supplement my diet with a small portion of cooked foods for certain nutrients (and always have a large salad or vegetable wrap first to provide the essential digestive enzymes.)

I found this piece of advice somewhat surprising; "All grains, should be rinsed thoroughly under cool running water to remove any dirt or debris before cooking." I've never washed my rice prior to cooking it (in the past, when I used to eat brown rice several times a week.) Does it really matter if you're cooking it anyway? Dirt does hold nutrients, and it can't be much...

I'm hesitant to have any rice in my diet for the same reason I can't have bread in my diet. I get ravenous cravings after having only a little. I begin to wonder if I have some strange allergy to grains. I've read connections between allergies and food addictions, and considering that grains make me bloat and crave food with horrendous ferocity, it makes me suspect that.

However, I've met plenty of people who eat one slice of bread, and then want another, and then have a third, a fourth, and then decide to just finish the loaf while they're at it. I have not seen the same trend with brown rice as prominently as with bread, but most bread offers the double-blade of also containing sugar.

And so, I'm hesitant to add any brown rice back into my diet because I don't want to start craving it again after I have managed to get to a place where I no longer crave it. Still, I believe Heather's answer is pretty sound. Brown long-grain rice is a huge step up from the white minute-rice, and an even larger step up from a frozen-dinner side or a canned soup-something-or-other.

I love her advice at the end; "Just make sure you do not add on unhealthful or processed dressings or sauces that contain processed sugars, MSG, low quality fats or extra salt."

Of course, she doesn't know it, but I would never dream of touching those things. While I may have the very, very occasional cooked serving of food in the future, I wouldn't even nibble or sip something with mono-sodium-glutamate, lab-altered sugar, etc. The stuff is so toxic... Wish I could force feed a 2-liter of soda to the people running the FDA every day for two months: see if they still consider it safe for consumption then!

Friday, December 17, 2010

[Blog] Three Months & Two Weeks Raw

Raederle enjoying some greens in November 2010 in her kitchen, photographed by her husband Jay Paul Jacot.
Anyone care to comment on my choice of clothing...?

Six Benefits
Of Going Raw

Some Entirely Unexpected
My Personal Experience From 15 Weeks On Raw Foods

It has been three months and two weeks since I embarked on the journey of transferring to a wholly raw diet. There have been benefits, which was to be expected, but some have been unsought and curious in their arrival.

  • 1. Soreness & Stiffness Vanished

The benefit that showed itself the most prominently and immediately was the elimination of soreness. I used to wake daily with neck pains and a sore back. Almost immediately after the switch to a raw diet I began to wake completely free of stiffness and soreness regardless of activity or lack thereof the day before.

  • 2. Recovery Time Shortened To 10% Of Former Time

The second benefit that showed itself to advantage within the first couple of weeks is the quick recovery time. Where it used to take days to stop feeling sore or tired from hard activity, now it takes mere hours, or a little extra sleep. Where thirty minutes of walking used to call for an hour of rest, now I find that I can walk for twice as long and continue to be on my feet.

I want to make it clear that I have always been lacking in energy and muscle tone, my entire life. I have more energy now than I did as a toddler. I have always been so lacking in energy that I have never developed the muscle mass required for any real sport or heavy activity. To suddenly jump from an hour session of yoga leaving me sore all week, to being able to do an hour session of yoga on a daily basis is not a coincidence or a gradual build up. It was directly coinciding with the switch to raw foods, and incredibly unmistakable.

Last December I was working on a regime of doing push-ups in order to build up muscle in my arms. I was diligently following the 100-push-up-plan and seeing some result. I was doing the push-ups from my knees, but I found myself plateauing and unable to continue the plan at the suggested rate when I reached week five of the program in December of 2009.

The program suggested repeating a week if you could not progress smoothly to the next one. I repeated week five three times, without finding that I could go beyond it, and lost interest. I was tired of my arms always being sore and to so little perceivable benefit.

On September 3rd, 2010 I transferred to a wholly raw diet, unless you count cooked tea (which some people do), which I have a about six cups of a week. (Green tea generally, I have forgone black tea in the past couple months.) I expected more energy, but the ability to continue to gain muscle each time I work out, with less and less recovery time required, and more and more result without plateauing, I hadn't imagined.

[If you wish to see what a "wholly raw diet" looks like, I invite you to visit my Raw Food Log which contains logs of what I eat as well as extensive photography of my meals.]

  • 3. Constant, Unrelenting Energy

Energy was something I did expect, but I didn't quite comprehend how different it would be to have so much energy. It is not the same as a sugar-rush when you are bouncing off the walls with useless hyperactivity that soon degrades into melancholy at best, a migraine at worst. It is not the same as a burst of energy that comes from the happiness of a gift, or a unexpected visit from a loved one.

This type of energy is constant. It doesn't ebb away on you all of the sudden. It doesn't rush up and flood you and make you feel like you're going to burst. Instead, there is just the constant feeling that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.

There is energy to do a work-out, walk to the grocery store, carry the groceries home, put them away, wash fruits and vegetables, chop them up and make a gorgeous salad and/or smoothie, eat and enjoy them, clean up and then do another work-out before checking your facebook or retiring with a book. This is monumental when before there was barely energy to make the meal, much less walk to the store to fetch it and add in work-outs at any given opportunity.

And if, by chance, that energy seems to fade, it is so easily recaptured by throwing vegetables in the blender with lots of water and then drinking them. (Incidentally, I have found a way to make green drinks more palatable by half. Adding cranberries seems to take the edge off, for one, adding more water helps tremendously, for two, and for three, straining out the pulp and then using the said pulp to make crackers in the dehydrator also helps a bunch.)

  • 4. Mood Boost

I have always known that my mood was affected by what I ate. I didn't know it quite so well as I know now, however. Certain nutrients, such as Omegas and B-Vitamins are very vital to how your brain is functioning and how you are feeling. Other factors, such as toxins and parasites can also affect how you feel.

One particular girl in my eighth grade class made this apparent to me. She was a sugar-addict. And I do mean addict. She was hyper-crazy one moment, and tired and complaining the next. She ate candy through every single class of the day. She was often seen in front of the vending machine to get another pack of starburst candies or skittles or twix, or whatever. She drank soda constantly as well.

I remember her because she took an interest in me. One minute she was pretending to be my friend, trying to get a dollar out of me so that she could buy some candy, and the next minute she was professing how ugly I was, how stupid I was, and how she was so, so, so much better than I. I was, of course, insulted, but I also was very timid at that point in my life and didn't want to fight, and so I answered anything she said quite meekly or not at all.

She became of interest to me. I started to watch her patterns. She drank a soda and ate her stores of candy throughout the beginning of the day, and she was happy, hyper and smiling. Then, shortly after she ran out she became vicious, angry at everyone, and continually had her hand on her head declaiming that she had a headache and ought to be excused from class. This pattern repeated almost every single day, every single class. When she came to school without her candy or soda, she complained from the start, but didn't have the headache.

And so, I've known all along there was a connection, but the connection is so very deep and complex and different from person to person that it can not be so easily capsulized. Especially because some foods lift your mood just because of an emotional response that is barely connected to the chemical reactions of the food itself within your body.

However, all of that said, I've found a combination of raw-vegan foods that contain some omega and b-vitamins, potassium and other important things that really, really does a number on my mood. While my entire mood has been improved since going raw to a degree I had not foreseen, I still have normal slumps whenever something unpleasant occurs or whenever I eat the same thing too much and let myself get out of balance.

My cure: A banana smoothie with these very particular ingredients: Two bananas, a dram of coconut juice, a little water, around a quarter cup of raw cocoa nibs, around a quarter cup of ground flax (or whole flax seeds), a few fresh berries (generally blueberries) and sometimes a little bit of a kale leaf. Sometimes I make these same ingredients into pudding or crackers. It depends on how wet you make it as to whether or not it is a smoothie or a pudding or crackers. (Turning it into a cracker requires drying it, and I do not find that the crackers lift my mood in the same way, although they taste great.)

  • 5. Expanding The Horizons Of Tastebuds

I've always been a very, very picky eater. I didn't like any meat with my cheese or any cheese with my meat, at all. I rarely liked home made cheesy pasta dishes. I didn't like broccoli plain and raw, nor did I like it steamed, but if it were cooked for an hour and then slathered with butter I would eat it. I would not eat canned corn, but liked it on the cob with butter and salt. I would not eat meat raviolis, but liked ravioli stuffed with cheese. I didn't like sandwich meats, but I did like bacon, lettuce and tomato with miracle whip atop wheat bread. I didn't like scrambled eggs, but I would eat them sunny-side up with a side of buttered toast. And never, ever did I want a salad, unless of course it was a fruit salad.

How did I manage to go raw with such picky tastes that didn't even include much of any vegetables at all?

If you've read my story then you understand that my diet began to change long before I discovered raw-foodism out of necessity. My entire diet was making me ill, and so I sought relief from the multitudes of things that were wrong with me.

Yet every change I made before I discovered raw-foodism was a struggle. I was always giving up something. It was one sacrifice after another without anything to replace the eliminations with. I knew I had to give up sugars, and so I tried to fill in the gap with fruits. I knew I had to give up pasta, so I tried to fill it in with brown rice. I knew bread had to go, so I tried to substitute with corn chips. I ate more rice and chips as a result of not eating meat. Salads barely crept into my diet, but it was still with resentment. Before I discovered raw-foodism, I was at a loss. I felt miserable about my options and I felt deprived.

Then I went to a raw food potluck for the first time in the spring of 2009. To my astonishment, I liked almost everything that was served. This, from a very, very picky eater, was baffling. I was used to liking one or two dishes out of twenty, so to be presented with twenty-five different entirely new foods and to like around fifteen of them was a completely new experience.

I've found this to be true at every raw potluck I've been to. I like nearly everything on the table, all except for one or two dishes, instead of barely liking one or two, as was my previous experience with family gatherings and parties. How could this be? What was the difference?

People who become raw-foodists are not just ordinary people. They have generally been through a tough health struggle that led them to find answers. They are seeking something more from life, seeking more from their bodies. Suddenly bereft of the food they grew up they become very creative, inspired and driven in the task of inventing new dishes and discovering amazing things to do with food. The ultimate result is high-quality dishes bursting with creativity, inspiration, love, compassion, quality, flavor and nutrition.

When I make a dish for a raw potluck I'm looking to do several things: To impress. I love to show off what I can do, don't we all? To nourish. The whole point of this diet is to give the body what it really needs; you should feel good after you eat, not bad. To be creative. I want to do something new and different as often as possible, and express my creativity in the flavor and arrangement of whatever I bring.

I think that everyone must feel the same when they put together what they are bringing to a potluck. They all want to bring a flavorful, impressive, nourishing, creative and delightful dish. The result is that everyone experiences something new, everyone is left full, satisfied and deeply nourished, and everyone is in an excellent mood. It makes a great gathering that feels like family, even among strangers.

I wasn't looking to discover new foods and new ways of eating when I started trying to fix my health many years ago. I wasn't planning on it when I decided to go raw over three months ago now. And yet, since I started really exploring raw foods six or seven months ago, and especially since I've "gone raw" I've discovered countless new ways to prepare food, countless new edible fruits and vegetables, and countless combinations pleasing to the eye, mouth and belly.

  • 6. Beautified Experiences

I didn't expect this one, at all.

Fresh foods are colorful. Bright red (peppers, strawberries), blood red (beets, cheeries), pink (raspberries), blue (blueberries), orange (mangoes, carrots, kumquats), yellow (lemon, pineapple, bananas), dark green (chard, kale, spinach), medium green (lettuce), light green (celery, cucumber), etc.

Cooked foods are not. Most everything above will turn brown when cooked, excluding only a few, and the few that do not turn brown still lose some color except beets. Besides cooked foods, other things which are not healthy tend to come in shades of brown, white, and cream. White flour, white sugar and the various shades of breads, sugars, pastas, etc.

Fresh foods are naturally more beautiful. The way things are in nature is naturally more aesthetically appealing. To compound the phenomenon, I have been photographing much of what I eat which makes me very conscious of the aesthetics of the plate of food I am about to eat. Even when I'm not going to take a photo, I now automatically try to arrange each plate in a pleasing manner. It's become habit.

I wouldn't have ever thought about it previously, but now it occurs to me that it is much more pleasant to always be eating such a beautiful meal. It's very delightful for each and every plate to be a work of art. It's the same as feeling good because you are in a beautiful room or viewing at a lovely vista. It is soothing to the soul to see something of beauty, which is why we are forever seeking a mate who is not just kind, but also attractive in our eyes.

We crave beauty. I begin to believe that part of why the raw food diet leaves me so much more satisfied might very well have to do with the innate beauty of everything I am eating, and the art I create on each plate before I devour it.

While I am an artist, and thereby this may have more of an effect for me than for some, I do not believe this effect is lost on others. In general, people respond positively when presented with something beautiful, even if the dish is not all that good, even if it is not what they wanted. It takes a truly exceptionally well-flavored dish to overcome a poor presentation when it comes to presenting someone with something unfamiliar.

Luckily, when working with raw foods, it's quite easy to make a dish very appealing and beautiful, even if you are not an artist.

~ Raederle Phoenix An Lydell West Jacot

PS: I'm currently preparing for a major awesome event that I'm hosting with a yogi-friend of mine. It is taking place in San Fransisco on January 9th 2011. It will include a raw food banquet, a class on nutrition, practices to strengthen your internal organs, creative expression that is hands-on, as well as a chakra-based free-form interactive dance. For details, click here.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

[Article Blog] Panic Attacks

I've just read about some of the most common symptoms of panic attacks, and found myself intrigued because used to experience all of them, but no longer experience any of them.

  • Rapid heart beat, pounding heart or palpitations

I experienced this frequently between the ages of eight and sixteen.

  • Excessive or inappropriate sweating

I experienced this frequently as far back as I can remember (around six years old is as far as I recall well) until the age of nineteen.

  • Shaking visibly or inside

I experienced this often throughout my life, but the most often was between the ages of nine and fifteen.

  • Choking sensations or lump in throat (Globus Hystericus)

I experienced this a lot in my life, but mostly between the ages of eight and fifteen.

  • Smothering or shortness of breath sensations

I experienced this very often between the ages of seven and seventeen.

  • Chest pains

I experienced chest pains on a nearly daily basis from the age of nine to fifteen, and around twice a week from sixteen to eighteen, and around monthly at the age of nineteen and twenty.

  • Nausea, bloating, indigestion or abdominal discomfort

I felt this on a daily basis from the age of fifteen to seventeen, and on and off between the ages of eighteen and twenty.

  • Dizziness or unsteadiness

I experienced this nearly constantly from the age of eight and twelve, and quite frequently from thirteen to seventeen, and every now and then at eighteen.

  • Feeling light-headed

The sensation of being light-headed was nearly constant for various smatterings of time ranging from a week to a few months at a time throughout the ages of nine to sixteen.

  • De-realization (feeling unreal or dreamy)

I felt this so often from six years old to twelve that both my parents and my teachers seriously wondered if I was all there. It was speculated that I my have an autism-spectrum disorder, or some other learning disability or handicap.

  • Depersonalization (feeling outside yourself or like you don't exist)

I felt this especially intensely from nine to thirteen and from fifteen to sixteen.

  • Fear of losing control or going crazy

I had an acute fear that I was losing my mind from nine to eleven. This makes perfect sense when you consider everything else I experienced during this time period. I began to come out of that at the age of eleven (ironically) because of a guy I met online (twenty years older than myself) who I began to have a several-hour long weekly conversation with. Having an adult to consult with who was outside of the situation, who was my friend (and not my teacher or parent) and who I could have innocent fantasies about, to confide in helped me pull out of my suicidal tendencies. Counselors, teachers, and family just couldn't pull me out of it.

  • Paresthesias (numbness or tingling sensations) in face, extremities or body

This was frequent in my feet from before I can remember until the age of fifteen.

  • Chills or hot flushes

I had chills and flushes of heat frequently, but it's hard to say that these were not confined to times when I was most certainly ill or not, since I was ill so often.

  • Skin losing color

It was often remarked that I looked "pale" or "sick" or "pasty" by teachers, family and 'friends' up until the age of seventeen.

  • Blushing or skin blotches

This occurred often from the age of ten to thirteen.

  • Urgently needing to urinate or defecate

This was very common for me throughout my life, and I didn't have much control over it (despite trying to hold it as long as I could many, many times to help 'enlarge my bladder') until the age of nineteen or twenty. Although this one I still moderately experience to some degree, it's no where near to the degree I used to.

  • Inappropriate/Disturbed thoughts

Disturbed just doesn't cover it. My thoughts were morbid and obscene and frightening and often entirely out of control from the age of nine to fifteen, and often disturbed before and after, even if not to the same degree. Sometimes, on rare occasion, I now have a bout of 'disturbed thoughts' but they are not very intense and my newest treatment for them (raw chocolate banana pudding with no added sweeter whatsoever) is highly effective.

  • Muscle pain, especially in neck or shoulders

This began in earnest when I was in eleven, and didn't improve at all until I was nineteen.

I'm curious as to whether or not there has ever been a connection drawn between diet and panic attacks before.

These symptoms were often in combination with "stitches" in my side (sharp pains running through the sides, somewhat forward from the direct middle of my sides).

When I told my mom about some of these symptoms she became very concerned. I told her about it at length at the age of nine, I believe. She told me that chest pains could be very serious, and that if I ever felt them I should sit down immediately and calm my breathing. She told me that if I didn't, it was possible that I could die (depending, of course, on what the pains meant.)

I grew up believing more and more firmly that I had a serious disease that I would die from at a young age. Around the age of eleven my mom began to suspect I had lupus, but the doctors wouldn't credit her theory.

At the age of sixteen I told my mother that I didn't really believe I'd live past the age of twenty-seven. The number "felt like" it had "significance," and I believed that feeling meant I would die at that age. Secretly I hoped that meant that I would find prince charming at that age, because after-all, that would be a much more enjoyable outcome even it meant waiting so many years for it to happen.

As it turns out, when I began to change my diet at the age of sixteen many of the symptoms began to go away. The dizziness came less often, and the splitting headaches began to lessen, the side pains lessened.

I became encouraged to do more food research to see if I could eliminate some of my symptoms. Today, after six years of altering my diet in stages (based on more and more continual research on a nearly daily basis for several of those years), I never randomly feel dizzy. My heart doesn't just begin to hurt out of no where anymore. I don't suddenly feel like I can't breath anymore. As well as many other issues I used to have dissipating.

This leads me to believe that many other people with "panic attacks" could be cured the same way I was. Through food.

If changing the diet of someone with Panic Attacks as completely as I did over the course of the past six years doesn't cure them, then -- and only then -- would I consider it something they would have to permanently live with.

Although, if it were me, I'd still keep searching for an answer through exercise, food and mental/emotional techniques.

To read more about the horrifying chronic illnesses I had throughout my life, and how I recovered from them, click here.

On a related note, something else that has helped me besides diet is an excellent book I read, The Art of Happiness. I wrote a blog entry about that. Click here to read it.


Monday, November 22, 2010

[Blog] Thanksgiving Feast

Raw Pumpkin "Cheesecake" Pie

This page has moved to -- click here to see it.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

[Blog] Workout Counting

 I designed a fitness system for myself based on the following:

I've tried a lot of fitness plans in the past, but was never able to keep the motivation up.

I am constantly wanting to go back to the kitchen and grab another apple.  My husband pointed out this is probably caused by two things: cravings for something sweet, and lack of exercise.

I am a writer and artist, and I spend a lot of time reading as well.  This means there is nothing in my daily routine that forces me to exercise.

I get bored with exercise plans easily.

The Plan's Inspiration

This idea started with the concept that I'd eat less apples if I had to work a little bit for them. I decided that if I did one hundred crunches for every half of an apple that I ate, it would be reasonable.  But after trying that, I figured, why stop there?

Hunger vs. Cravings

This plan is good for combating cravings.
Hunger is when you're weak and tired.
Cravings are when you desire chemical reactions in your gut or brain to make you feel good, relieve stress, or when parasites in your gut are sending you messages through your spine that make you want to eat unhealthy foods.
Sometimes I think I'm hungry because I feel weak, but actually I just need exercise. Staying stationary for long periods of time will make you feel weak and tired.


I often give in to my cravings and then sit there feeling guilty about it.  That guilt builds up over time and eventually the self-torture makes you snap and you stop caring abut whether or not your actions are healthy.  Since I began this plan, I've stopped feeling guilt about what I eat entirely.

The Plan

The concept is that every non-vegetable has a number assigned to it that is a multiple of 20.  The numbers are higher for less healthy things, or highly sweet things, or things I simply crave a lot of.  The number represents interchangeable exercises that can be decided at the time.  One crunch, or one-sit-up or one leg-lift are all worth "one" even if the difficulty of the crunch is increased.  This is so that I don't have to change the numbers as I get stronger, and so I can do harder crunches or leg-lifts if I have more energy, or do the easiest ones if I'm tired without stepping outside of the plan and feeling like I've failed.  Push-ups are worth five (either from the knees or the feet.)


Because I get bored easily, I try and do as many variations as possible.  This not only keeps me interested, but it's more effective as well. I have a short article about crunches variations here.

And the actual numbers I've come up with are as follows:

An orange20
A date20
Two figs20
Three raisins20
A grapefruit20
An avocado20
A spoonful of Almond butter40
A quarter package of seed chips40
A handful of pistachios40
A kiwi40
A banana60
A raw bar80
Half of an apple100
Half a mango100
A fruit ball120
Raw Potluck Meal160

Some notes:

I don't count the almond butter if it's on celery, since that's the only way I'll eat celery, unless it's in a green drink.
I do the full number even if I'm sharing with my husband, or not finishing until later.
I count up all the things individually that go into a raw dessert and do them before I have my first serving of the dessert, even if I'm splitting it with my husband and not finishing it until the following night.

 I started this plan on September 14th 2010, and I'm writing this on September 22nd.  I'm already noticing a difference in how toned my stomach is.  I've done a lot of exercise before, but never have I built muscle this fast.  Based on what I've read, an all-raw diet causes faster muscle gain due tot he influx of live enzymes which are amino acids, which build proteins. You can read my article about protein on a raw diet for more information on that topic as well as an interesting video.

I have a lot more energy from this plan than anything else I've tried.  Because I generally eat four to seven times during the day, I end up exercising four to seven times.  And once I've started exercising, the hard part is already over: I started.  It's getting up the resolve to get onto the mat and start that takes so much will power for me.  When I have the motivation of wanting to eat behind it, it's so much easier.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

[Article] Calories

Raederle Phoenix, 2004 to 2011
Click To Open In New Window: Click Again To View Full Size

Eat less, exercise more.

That's what they keep telling you. Have you tried it? Did it work for you?

Or were you simply left starving, depleted, tired, or possibly even gained weight?

Anyone who has tried to lose weight using the age-old formula of "eat less, exercise more," is aware that this doesn't work. Even if you successfully lose weight, that's all that you gain. You don't get more energetic, happy, or cure the chronic issues that pain you. If anything, you create more problems.

Eating less and exercising more is intended to create a calorie deficit, where the body is using up more than it's taking in.

As Julia Ross writes: "The idea is to coerce your body into burning stored fat, but for many people low-calorie dieting ends up burning them out long before the fat is gone. This is not because of a lack of self-control or willpower. It happens because the very fundamentals of low-calorie dieting are downright wrong.

"For people trying to lose weight by cutting calories, food suddenly becomes the enemy instead of a means to genuine health. Hunger pangs become a sign of success instead of a sign the body is craving nourishment. This kind of twisted reality - a world where we desire starvation to maintain a healthy weight - is contributing to modern disease and misery."

There is much more going on when you eat than calorie intake. There are sensations. The simple act of crunching is releasing endorphins in the brain that cause you to feel less stress. Sugars are absorbed directly through the roof of your mouth and go into your brain -- which is why it is so very important that they are not refined, man-made garbage sugars. The flavor indicates to your mind how much nutrition it is getting. Complex flavors indicate to your body that you're getting the nutrition that you need, making you feel like you're eating what you need. If it turns out that this complex flavor isn't actually satisfying the nutrient deficit you'll continue to crave more and more of it.

And that's only the tip of the iceberg of all the things going on when you eat. Tiny micro-organisms in your intestines often cause people crave things that are bad for them so that they -- the parasites -- can thrive. Many people's horrendous and insatiable cravings are caused by parasites who eat most of the food, leaving you empty and tired even after eating a nutrient-dense meal.

Millions of cells are being created every hour. What will they be made out of if you're starving yourself?

And worse yet, if you're working out more then you'll need plenty of nutrition in order to build muscle. The nutrition will be pulled out of your teeth, your bones, your eyes, your stores of energy, out of your brain in an attempt to rebuild stronger muscles as you pull and stretch and strain them during your work outs.

Exercising your muscles is the process of tearing and breaking down your muscle. Recovery time is the amount of time it takes your body to rebuild that muscle stronger than before. The soreness you feel after a workout is how much you've torn up those muscles. How will you rebuild better muscles when you're basing your diet on calories?

Calories are about as meaning as it gets in the world of nutrition, diet, exercise, fitness, and food. They are an obsolete tool, and a waste of your time.

If you've been decieved by something such as Weight Watchers, then please read this article which expounds upon calories and why they are neutral to your weight and health.

I can tell you personally, when I lost weight (30 pounds in one month), it was without adding any exercise to my life, and I didn't pay attention to how many calories I consumed. All I did was cut the poisons I was eating out of my diet.

Today, I'm aiming to get my diet to be balance as the food pyramid below indicates. I can't say I've yet succeeded. I still don't reach eight servings of vegetables everyday because I don't like most vegetables. I play a game of continually finding a new way to hide them in my food. If you don't like vegetables, you may want to check out this guacamole recipe I designed for myself to hide vegetables I dislike within.

The Raw Food Pyramid
for 100% Raw Foodists or for detoxing

Created by Raederle Phoenix

Click To View Fullsize

I didn't recover from a lifetime of continual illness, chronic stomachaches, endless fatigue, depression, serious sleep disorders, skin problems, and a laundry list of conditions by counting calories.

It's as I said in my poem:

You don't have to go hungry.
Natural items come in sundry.
Leave the calorie quandary,
Enter the quantity of quality,

That comes with internal harmony.
You are what you eat.
Would you like to be concrete?
Or would you rather be a bloom?
Wouldn't you like a habitable womb?


Saturday, November 13, 2010

[Recipe] Guacamole

Food Blog

I have a lot of trouble getting enough vegetables in to me. Raw or not, I've never been much for vegetables in general. It's not nearly as difficult to give up a food you like as it is to make yourself eat something you don't like. I've learned this lesson ten times over.

So how could I make myself enjoy vegetables? Since I've gone raw and gotten into inventing and discovering new foods, I've found a dozen different ways to sneak vegetables into my food without making the dish less enjoyable. The following recipe is designed so that you can hide a raw vegetable you dislike in the guacamole and never notice it's there.

For me, I jumped my largest hurdle yet. I added an entire package of sprouts to this and couldn't taste that they were there at all. This was huge for me. The smell and taste of virtually any sprout makes me feel sick on the spot, and always has. But now I can eat them and enjoy the meal.

If you have a vegetable you really can stand, but know you need (Kale, Cabbage, Chard, Bok Choy, Nori, etc.) then you may find this just as amazing as I did. If you're not struggling with getting half of your diet to be vegetables, then perhaps you don't need to try and hide anything in this and can just use one of the many vegetables you like.


Pay close attention to the directions. Using these ingredients may not have as good as a results as mine if you throw them together in any random haphazard way.
Four lemons with peels and seeds entirely removed
Eight cloves of garlic
Three hot peppers, with seeds included (more or less, to taste.)
One large onion, or two or three small onions
Three avocados
One stalk of basil
Two stalks of favorite herb (Dill, Cilantro, Oregano, Rosemary, etc)
Two heirloom tomatoes
Four tomatillos
Two large bell peppers, or four to six small ones
Five spoonfuls of soaked seeds
Chosen vegetable to disguise (about three cups worth)


Peel the lemons and cut them into sections. Be careful to get out every single seed. If you have a citrus juicer you can use that to remove the seeds. Although, I use all the lemon pulp in mine.

Put the lemons into the food processor first and blend them until they are more like "lemon glop" rather than "lemon chunks."

The lemons are very important because they are what keep the avocado (perhaps with the help of the onion) from browning. For each avocado, use one lemon, or four lemons per three avocados.

Peel the garlic and chop into fairly small chunks. Add them along with the lemon and blend. Not until it's entirely smooth, but until all the pieces are fairly tiny.

Wash your hot peppers and cut off the tops. Cut them into large sections. Test with your tongue how hot they are. Depending on personal taste you may want to use more three hot peppers. The given recipe above comes out moderately hot. If you have a sensitive tongue to spicy foods, perhaps one or two hot peppers will be plenty.

Put in the hot pepper pieces and blend for a few seconds to get them into very small bits.


Peel the onion. You may want to run it under water for a moment so it doesn't burn your eyes terribly, if you're sensitive to onions. (Something about the water keeps the onion vapors from attracting to the moisture in the eyes.)

Put half the onion in the food processor. Leave the other half for a bit later.

Sunflower Sprouts

Take the vegetable you want to disguise and add half of its washed bulk to the food processor. Blend for a couple of seconds.


Peel and pit the avocados. Test small portions of the avocado. Add any parts that are slightly under-ripe or over-ripe into the food processor. Leave the pristine-perfect parts of avocado for a bit later.


Take your (washed) herb stalks (including the Basil) and take the leaves off the stem (unless it's a very soft-stem herb). Add a little more than half of the herbs to the food processor. Set aside the rest with the avocado, disguised vegetable and onion.


Peel the tomatillos and wash them along with the heirloom tomatoes. Cut them open and remove the center-top area where there is hard white fiber. Remove any spoiled parts. Any parts that are under-ripe, add to the food processor. Leave about half (or whatever is left) with the avocado, disguised vegetable, onion and herb leaves.

Heirloom Tomatoes

Wash your bell peppers and cut off their tops. Cut them in large pieces and throw about half of them into the food processor. If any parts of shriveled, make sure those parts go in rather than waiting beside your half onion, disguised vegetable, avocado, leaf herbs, tomatoes and tomatillos.

Bell Peppers

Add your five spoonfuls of soaked seeds. Also feel free to throw in a little spirulina algae, nori, or some other nutritional additive in small quantity.

Black Sesame Seeds

Blend all the ingredients (already) in the food processor for five to fifteen seconds. Everything should be in very small pieces, but not entirely mush. Add the rest of your herbs and "vegetable to disguise" and a little more onion and pepper and blend a few more seconds.

Photo By Raederle

Chop the remaining ingredients into small chunks and stir into the blended mass from your food processor.

Sides, Serving, Adjusting & Eating

Photo By Raederle

Eat on top of butter-leaf or romaine lettuce.

Photo By Raederle

You can add cranberries, blackberries or pomegranate over the top (or anything else that floats your boat of course).

Photo By Raederle

You can use a "seed crust" as a base.

Photo By Raederle

Don't forget to include spinach, lettuce, cabbage or another leafy green while eating your guacamole. It's important to get plenty of roughage. (Because raw leafy green stuff should be a major part of all of our diets, regardless of whether or not we choose to be vegan, or raw, or whatever. Green leafy things are indisputable.)

Photo By Raederle

If you choose to dip seed chips in your guacamole, or use any dehydrated snack along with it, remember to drink plenty of water. The body is mostly water. It needs to be mostly water to function. Water, water, water!

Photo By Raederle

If your mix didn't come out as spicy as you want, stir in a little cayenne pepper or chili powder. If it came out too spicy, chop up an additional bell pepper, tomatillo and heirloom tomato and stir them in.

Photo By Raederle

Thanks For Reading!

For more of my recipes, click here.

The photos for the ingredients are not photos taken by me. The photos of the finished products are photos I took of dishes I made and ate (and enjoyed) after photographing.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

[Article] Canola Oil & MSG/GMO

The MSG & Canola Oil Song

MSG is proven to cause brain damage over time.

Here is a good video reference which I found very informative: Dr. Russel Blaylock discusses how our food today is adulterated with excitotoxins.

Always contain MSG:

(E 620)
Glutamic acid
(E 620)
Monosodium glutamate
(E 621)
Monopotassium glutamate
(E 622)
Calcium glutamate
(E 623)
Monoammonium glutamate (E 624)
Magnesium glutamate
(E 625)
Natrium glutamate (natrium is Latin/German for sodium)
Calcium caseinate
Sodium caseinate
Textured protein
anything "hydrolyzed"
any "hydrolyzed ... protein"
Yeast nutrient
Yeast extract
Yeast food
Autolyzed yeast

Often are hidden names for MSG:

Malted Barley (flavor)
Natural Flavors, Flavors, Flavoring Modified food starch
Barley malt
Citric acid
Reaction Flavors
Rice syrup or brown rice syrup
Malt Extract or Flavoring
Natural Chicken, Beef, or Pork, Flavoring "Seasonings" (Most assume this means salt, pepper, or spices and herbs, which sometimes it is.) Lipolyzed butter fat
Enzymes anything
Maltodextrin, dextrose, dextrates
Soy Sauce or Extract
"Low" or "No Fat" items
Caramel Flavoring (coloring)
Soy Protein
Corn syrup and corn syrup solids, high fructose corn syrup
Soy Protein Isolate or Concentrate
Citric Acid (when processed from corn)
Cornstarch fructose (made from corn)
Milk Powder
Flowing Agents
Dry Milk Solids
Wheat, rice, corn, or oat protein
Protein Fortified Milk
Whey Protein or Whey
Anything enriched or vitamin enriched
Whey Protein Isolate or Concentrate
Protein fortified "anything"
Enzyme modified proteins
Gums (guar and vegetable)
Ultra-pasteurized dairy products
Dough Conditioners
Protease enzymes
Fermented proteins
Yeast Nutrients
Gluten and gluten flour
Protein powders: whey, soy, oat, rice (as in protein bars shakes and body building drinks)
Amino acids (as in Bragg's liquid amino acids and chelated to vitamins)
Algae, phytoplankton, sea vegetable, wheat/ barley grass powders

Canola Oil

The FDA seems to think Canola Oil is okay; allowing canola labels to claim it supports heart health and reduces the risk of coronary heart disease. Even Whole Foods Markets is on board with canola oil, and most foods on their hot bar are swimming in it.

Proponents point out that canola is inexpensive, tastes good, and has the lowest saturated fat content of any common edible oil. Some health experts suggest a daily consumption of 1 1/2 tablespoons of canola oil.

Of course, you can stop right there with the "lowest saturated fat content." As soon as someone says "low fat" in any way, it's time to blow the whistle and call bull on what they're telling you. You won't find health, happiness, vitality and a healthy weight by eating things that advertise "low fat." Take avocados for example; high in fats, and not bad for you at all.

Mounting evidence is that canola oil actually promotes heart disease. Leading experts on oils and fats see canola oil as a victory for a food processing industry that will not be happy until all traditional, real foods have been replaced by imitation foods.

Food "Technology"

The fact is that Canola oil is a product of food technology; a hoax on the public rivaling the promotion of margarine. If you don't know about margarine, here's all you need to know: Take a stick of margarine and put it in your back yard. Nothing will eat it. Nothing will grow on it. It won't decompose. It's one short molecule step from being plastic.

Peanut oil comes from peanuts, and soybean oil comes from soybeans (most of which are owned by Monsanto, and are thereby GMO, so avoid that too), but there is no such thing a canola.

Canola is a marketing name derived from Canadian-oil. Canola oil comes from the rapeseed plant (Brassica napus). As we know it today, canola oil is the result of the hybridization and genetic modification.

Oil from the rapeseed plant as nature created it has been used in China, Japan and India for thousands of years as the poor man's cooking oil. The oil contained a long-chain fatty acid called erucic acid which was irritating to mucous membranes, and glucosinolates which taste so bitter that animals will not eat feed containing it.

Consumption of the original rapeseed oil was associated with high incidence of fibrotic heart lesions, known as Keshan's disease, as well as disorders of the central nervous system, lung and prostate cancer, anemia, and constipation. These were the characteristics that Canadian geneticists diligently tried to get rid of in their efforts to morph rapeseed oil into canola oil. Some health professionals believe there is still too much erucic acid present in the oil for safe use.

History of Manipulating Consumers

The food technology business operates on the Hegelian Principle. First a problem is created and blown out of proportion, and then a solution is offered. This is the same principle that criminal groups have used throughout history, and some still do today. They'll break into your home, steal from you, assult you: shake you up and make you miserable. Then, pretending to be a different group of people (perhaps different members of the same group, or perhaps they were masked during the thefts/assaults), they come along and say "We notice you need protection. We'll do that for $____ per _____." And if you say, "Oh, no, I don't need protection," then you get robbed/assaulted or whatever again.

Is the food technology business criminal? I think it is.

Food technologists got started right after World War II. One of their first efforts was to turn people against butter so they could be sold a concoction known as margarine. Eventually people woke up to the ill effects of margarine, and the food industry promoted their latest creation, polyunsaturated oils, as the new "healthy" alternative. But it quickly became clear that polyunsaturated oils, especially corn and soybean oils, caused numerous health problems.

Since the food industry had so effectively turned everyone against saturated fats, their only solution was to embrace the use of monounsaturated oils, with olive oil becoming the new darling. It was an easy switch, because the benefits of olive oil were documented in research and were associated with the health and longevity of people who ate the Mediterranean diet. The problem was that olive oil simply pressed from olives required no technological intervention, and olive oil was too expensive to be used in processed foods. The result was the birth of canola oil, newly named for the country where the majority of rapeseed plants are grown.

The name was not the only thing new. Genetic modification has made the already hybridized new rapeseed into a plant tolerant of the herbicide Roundup, a product of Monsanto. This modification reduces the amount of chemical needed for weed control in the fields where the hybridized plants are grown making rapeseed a cheap crop to produce. Because all proteins are removed from oil during processing, canola oil made from genetically modified rapeseed plants is claimed by its promoters to be the same as canola oil produced from conventionally grown rapeseed plants; however, some countries have banned the sale of oil made from genetically modified seeds.

Paying Murderers

And even if you say "to hell with my health" and don't care about yourself, there is still yet more reasons not to use it.

When purchasing this product you're supporting a corrupt industry, inflating an already overly-powerful corporation network that has no moral fiber whatsoever. You're giving money to murderers when you buy Canola Oil.

Beyond that, the way these large monocrops function (especially the GMO crops that use tons of chemicals such as RoundUp) is killing the bee population. We're looking at a crisis of dying bee colonies. It should be headline news, but instead we get advertisements for the newest phone, and holiday "treats" loaded with high fructose corn syrup.

Altered Nutrient Content

Researchers have discovered that industry claims are not true. A team from Food Quality and Safety Research in Peoria, Illinois studied oil derived from 12 different lines of genetically modified rapeseed varieties and analyzed each for phospholipids, tocopherols (Vitamin E), and phytosterols by various chromatographic techniques. As they have previously observed in genetically modified soybeans, there was a decrease in the content and composition of phosphatidic acid in three of the modified canola oils derived from the lines investigated.

Further analysis revealed variations in the phospholipid content of the major classes, despite few differences in their composition. Other data indicated that the molecular species distribution of phosphatidylethanolamine was significantly altered by genetic modification when compared to phosphatidylcholine. The impact of oilseed modification on the tocopherols content was variable. Phytosterol composition was markedly affected by genetic modification. Brassicasterol, campesterol, and beta sitosterol levels were consistently lower in one of the genotypes, whereas increased brassicasterol content was observed in another variety.

These findings mean that changes in composition resulting from genetic modification have significantly altered the synergy and balance created by nature. When natural balance is altered, the integrity of the plant is lost and it is no longer a proper food source. But this was no matter to a food industry that was thrilled with the new rapeseeds because they were loaded with monounsaturated fats, and low in toxic erucic acids and bitter tasting glucosinolates. And even better, the new rapeseed also contained about 10 percent omega-3 fatty acids. Canola oil was ready for marketing to a population that was just beginning to embrace healthy eating.

Canola Oil, like Soybeans, are generally GMO

Since its introduction in the fields of Canada in 1995, acreage devoted to the new rapeseed has steadily grown. Today more than 80 percent of the crop comes from genetically modified seed, making it illegal in Europe and a target of activists worldwide. Contamination of conventional rapeseed crops from neighboring genetically engineered fields has been a serious problem for Canadian farmers. In March, 2008, Monsanto's Canadian unit settled out of court for clean-up costs of $660 for the contamination of one farmer's field in a heavily publicized case of the little guy battling the corporate giant.

Regulation Manipulation

The next marketing challenge for the Canola Council of Canada was the fact that rapeseed was never given GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) status by the USDA. Before canola oil could be marketed in the U.S., a change in regulation was required. Much rumor and speculation surrounds how this was achieved. When GRAS status was granted in 1985, word was that it cost the Canadian government $50 million to buy it, but this has never been proven.

Soon recipes began appearing in books sponsored by leading health gurus, such as Andrew Weil, and by diet books and newspaper columns promoting canola oil as the equivalent of olive oil. Today, sales of the oil have soared in many parts of the world. Canola oil is found in spreads, and used almost exclusively in processed and packaged foods. It is the oil of choice for most restaurants and is the primary cooking oil in many homes. Unfortunately, the science does not support the enthusiasm for canola oil.

The Advice of Experts

Even though canola oil has GRAS status, no long-term studies of its effects on humans have been done. Animal studies using oil from "improved" rapeseeds have challenged the health claims made for canola oil as well as undermined what has come to be traditional thinking on the link between types of fats eaten and heart disease.

Sally Fallon and Mary G. Enig, Ph.D. are North America's leading experts on the subject of fats and oils. They have written extensively on the subject and many of their works can be found at the Weston A. Price Foundation website. The following is a summary of the research findings they consider relevant to the use of canola oil:

A study published in 1978 in the Netherlands investigated whether oil from hybridized rapeseed plants caused heart lesions in test animals. The scientists noted that in earlier studies, animals fed the high erucic-acid rapeseed oil showed growth retardation and undesirable changes in various organs, especially the heart, spurring development of hybridized versions of the seed. The results were mixed. Rats genetically selected to be prone to heart lesions developed more lesions on the hybridized rapeseed oil and also on flax oil than they did on olive oil or sunflower oil. This led researchers to speculate that omega-3 acids, not eurcic acid might be the culprit. But rats genetically selected to be resistant to heart lesions showed no significant difference between the oils tested, and the hybridized rapeseed oil was not shown to cause heart problems in mice, in contrast to the old, high erucic oil which induced severe cardiac necrosis.

In 1982, researchers at the Canadian Institute for Food Science and Technology looked at the interaction of saturated fats with rapeseed oil and soybean oil. When saturated fats in the form of cocoa butter were added to the diets, the rats in both groups had better growth and a significant lowering of heart lesions than when fed rapeseed oil alone. The results supported the conclusion that heart lesions in male rats were related to the balance of dietary fatty acids, not to cardio-toxic contaminants in the oils.

In 1997, after the appearance of the genetically modified rapeseed, Canadian researchers found that piglets fed milk replacement containing canola oil showed signs of vitamin E deficiency, even though the milk replacement contained adequate amounts of vitamin E. Piglets fed soybean oil-based replacement fortified with the same amount of vitamin E did not show vitamin E deficiency. This may be the result of the effects of genetic modification on vitamin E as documented in the Peoria, Illinois study.

In 1998, the same research group reported that piglets fed canola oil suffered from a decrease in platelet count and an increase in platelet size. Bleeding time was longer in piglets fed both the hybridized rapeseed oil and the new hybridized and genetically modified canola oil. These changes were mitigated by the addition of saturated fatty acids from either coca butter or coconut oil to the piglets' diet. Another study a year later again found that canola oil suppressed the normal developmental increase in platelet count.

Studies at the Heath Research and Toxicology Research Divisions in Ottawa, Canada discovered that rats bred to have high blood pressure and proneness to stroke had shortened life-spans when fed canola oil as the only source of fat. The results of a later study suggested that the problem was the sterol compounds in the oil, which made cell membranes more rigid and contributed to the shortened life-span of the animals. Sterols were shown in the Peoria study to be markedly impacted by genetic modification of rapeseed.

Fallon and Enig conclude, "These studies all point in the same directions, that canola oil is definitely not healthy for the cardiovascular system. Like rapeseed oil, its predecessor, canola oil is associated with fibrotic lesions of the heart. It also causes vitamin E deficiency, undesirable changes in the blood platelets, and shortened life-span in stoke-prone rats when it was the only oil in the animals' diet. Furthermore, it seems to retard growth which is why the FDA does not allow the use of canola oil in infant formula. When saturated fats are added to the diet, the undesirable effects of canola oil are mitigated."

In his book Young Again: How to Reverse the Aging Process, health advisor John Thomas links rapeseed with the outbreak of mad cow disease that led to the wide scale destruction of animals in Great Britain in the early 1990s. According to Thomas, rapeseed oil was widely used in animal feeds from 1986 until the outbreak of the disease. Reports at the time blamed the bizarre behavior of livestock on the viral disease, scrapie. However, when rapeseed oil was removed from animal feed, the disease disappeared.

Thomas believes that glaucoma is the result of insufficient blood flow due to agglutination (clumping together) of red blood cells and waste buildup on the cells and intercellular fluids. He suggests that the ingestion of canola oil over time may cause the disease as well as other vision irregularities such as retinitis. He explains how the clumped red cells cannot squeeze through the tiny capillaries in the posterior of the eye, resulting in an inability of oxygen to be delivered to the mitochondria of cells in the retina.

Canola oil is an acetlycholinesterase inhibitor. Acetylcholine is critical to the transmission of signals from nerves to muscles. When the enzyme that catalyzes acetylcholine metabolism is compromised, nerve fibers cannot signal muscles to respond as desired, he says.

Trans Fats

Although the rapeseed has been a source for oil since ancient times due to its ease of extraction from the seed, modern processing adds a whole different dimension. Fallon and Enig have vividly described the procedure during which oil is removed by a combination of high temperature mechanical pressing and solvent extract, usually using hexane. Following considerable refining, traces of the solvent remain. And like all vegetable oils, canola oil goes through the process of caustic refining, bleaching and degumming, all of which involve high temperatures or the use of hazardous chemicals.

During this processing, the omega-3 content in the oil becomes rancid and smelly, and the oil must be deodorized. The foul omega-3 fatty acids are cleaned up by being largely turned into trans fatty acids. Although the Canadian government lists the trans fat content of canola oil at a minimal 0.2 percent, research at the University of Florida at Gainesville found trans fat levels as high as 4.6 in commercial liquid oil. In a time when almost everyone is aware of the tremendous health hazards posed by trans fats, people eating canola oil have no idea of the presence of trans fat in the oil they are consuming.

When canola oil is hardened through hydrogenation as it often is when used in food processing, the trans fat level can go as high as 40 percent. Because canola oil hydrogenates better than corn or soybean oils it is the first choice of processors. Higher levels of trans fat translates to longer self life for processed food, and greater profits for the food industry.

You where you won't find any msg or canola oil or genetic modification? In your own carefully created organic garden. If you always wanted to start up one, quit the excuses and start now. The more edibles you grow, the more money you save on medical bills later.

If you're looking to make a healthy change in your life, I invite you to read my story, try my recipes and contact me with your questions.

Do your part and boycott Canola Oil and products linked to Monsanto.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

[Recipe] Pumpkin Pie

Hi there. My recipes have moved to -- my domain. Click here to see my new and improved recipe page.

Raw Pumpkin Pie

My recipes have moved to -- my domain. Click here to see my new and improved recipe page.

[Blog] 8 Weeks 100% Raw

Eight Weeks 100% Raw

Yesterday was the culmination of eight weeks on an entirely raw diet. Not a single mouth-full of cooked food for eight straight weeks.

I don't believe I've perfected my diet yet; on the contrary, I still think it needs work. Firstly, my ideal diet will be 70% fresh picked produce. Everything we eat is the most beneficial when it's directly off the planet. Biological processes begin taking place the moment the plant is separated from it's life-force; the moment you pull it away from it's roots. Just like when you pluck a flower, it wilts. Just like when you slice an apple, it browns. These processes are natural, and excellent for the Earth. However, for our bodies, it's ideal that we begin to eat something within minutes of picking it.

Unfortunately, due to the lack of sunlight on the balcony, I've had little to no success with growing edibles, and therefor everything I eat comes from the farmer's market, Whole Foods or Trader Joe's. I want to stress that this isn't ideal, and that you can't get the full results that the Raw Food Gurus get from store-bought food. Optimal health resides within the most fresh plants possible.

That said, I am still experiencing an array of benefits since I went raw eight weeks ago. For one thing, since then, I have not woken up with stiff muscles once. Not a single morning was my back stiff or sore. I'm really impressed by that.

Another noticeable change is how quickly I'm recovering from working out. I've never done so much yoga, walking and weight-lifting before in my life, and yet I rarely experience any discomfort in my joints or muscles, and when I do is very mild and lasts only for a short period of time.

My cravings for cooked foods are less and less, especially as I learn more and more new and exciting raw dishes. Today I made a raw pumpkin pie! It was surprisingly different from other treats I've made and incredibly satisfying. I suspect it left me feeling so full and satisfied is because pumpkin is not something in my ordinary diet. In fact, nothing in the squash family has been a part of my diet for a very long time.

Discussion with a friend:

My friend asks: Have you ever made/had Tabulee? Also, do you ever use Sugar in the Raw in any of your more dessert-like dishes?

I answer: I've never heard of Tabulee. And, definitely no sugar whatsoever. No xylitol, no splenda, no agave nectar, no stevia, no honey, no molasses, no syrups, no man-made refined-garbage. :D When you don't eat any refined sugar whatsoever, rea...l fruit tastes more and more sweet. Most people's taste-buds are completely out of whack with how nature actually tastes. That said, I was able to make desserts for my family while I visited that they liked without adding any refined sugar; I just used more dried fruit than I would have used for myself. :D So, what's Tabulee?

She says: I just wondered because I'm a fan of unrefined raw sugar myself.

Tabulee is a Lebanese raw dish made of chopped parsley, tomatoes diced really small, onions done the same way and bulghur (cracked wheat, far as I can tell) with a lemon over it. Had it today at one of my fav restaurants that does a lot of vegan food. Completely raw and totally delicious. Thought it was right up your alley.

I reply: The bulghur is probably cooked, although it may not be. It's possible they soak it until it's soft enough and then use it. I've not heard of any grain besides buckwheat being available and edible raw. That said, the Tabulee sounds like a generally healthy dish. Even if I may choose to avoid cooked foods, a little bit of a cooked food of certain things in reasonable portions is likely healthy.

I've been considering including one cooked serving of food per week after December 3rd. (12/3/2010 marks three straight months of 100% raw for me. I want to experience three full months of being 100% raw before I experiment with adding anything not-raw back in.) The cooked things I would be adding in would mostly be to supplement some nutrition I may be lacking due to the fact that I dislike a lot of raw vegetables that I do like cooked.

For example, I dislike broccoli and string beans raw, but like them cooked. So I may have a small side on my dish one night of the week that would include both of those things in a small portion. Another thing I might have is a chili made with a lot of various beans I wouldn't eat raw because I don't like sprouts.

The most major point of being raw is that the enzymes are 'alive' and able to allow full digestion so that we get all of the nutrients out of what we're eating, and not just a tiny portion. Whatever we don't digest gets eaten by bacteria and parasites in our intestines. Parasites in the intestines can cause you to be overweight, underweight, malnutrition-ed, and cause a variety of different forms of discomfort. Everyone has some, since we come into contact with them all the time, but the S.A.D. (Standard American Diet) fosters parasites.

By adding in one cooked serving a week of something that contains other minerals I need, but still eating lots of fresh raw foods around it I should still be able to fully digest it with the aid of the enzymes from everything else I'm eating around it. That's the theory at least. I won't know how it works out until I try it after December 3rd.

On the note of sugar: I first switched from anything with white sugar, high fructose corn syrup and so forth to only things containing small amounts of organic naturally milled sugar. Because my health was getting better and because I was paying close attention, I became acutely aware of the effects of everything I ate. I noticed rather quickly that even organic sugars still had a negative impact on me. When I want to sweeten something I use a fresh or dried fruit. In particular I use dates, dried currants, bananas and pineapples the most often to sweeten things. I also use coconut water quite a bit, but not really for the direct purpose of sweetening, although it is fairly sweet. (Yet to people who eat a lot of syrups/sugars coconut water doesn't taste sweet.)

[End Super Long Explanation Of Various Things]

~Raederle Phoenix

Green Drinks For The Win!

Not too long ago I started up a daily food log of everything I'm eating. I'm posting daily every single thing that I eat; breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and snacks, including what I have to drink (aside from documenting exactly how much water I'm drinking, although perhaps I ought to be including that too.) Also adding photos, but I'm adding those every handful of days, not with each entry as I post them since it would be pretty nuts to upload photos to my computer and to the internet each and every day.

If you have not already read it, or if you read it when there wasn't yet much of it, perhaps you may consider checking out my story. I've been adding information to it bit by bit over time, since there is so much information I want to include. My goal is to include every significant health issue I've ever had, and how I overcame it. One item that I recently added detailed the jaw cramps that I used to get, and how there was an entire day where I couldn't open my mouth because of it.

In other, not-food-related-news, I'm planning on taking up the NaNoWriMo Challenge; 50,000 words in the month of November this year for the second novel in my series. And while it's not much of anything to look at yet, I've put up the bare bones of what will be a blog about my art projects in the coming months. Because I'll be so busy writing in November, I probably will not actually make much progress on the art blog until December or January.