Tuesday, May 31, 2011

[Blog] Cleaning My Parents' Kitchen


My father and brother are laughing like hyenas. It's so hysterical to listen to that despite not knowing the cause I can't help but grin ear to ear. I can hear them through the floor.


Whopping 82 degrees here in Buffalo today. I spent around half an hour sunning my legs with the rest of me out of the sun. My legs rarely see sunshine at all, and I expect it's probably good for my vitamin D levels as well as the skin on my legs. Sure, burning is harmful. But it does seem that if you sun yourself just a little, not enough to get a noticeable tan (and never enough to burn), that it has a positive result.

The Kitchen Of Doom

My husband and I have been cleaning my mother's kitchen essentially all day.

It's so vital to read ingredients.

My mother, whose always thought she was eating "fairly healthy" has a kitchen chocked full of things loaded with mono sodium glutamate, hydrolyzed soy protein, white refined conventional sugar, corn syrup, dextrose, sucralose, etc, etc. The only things she's successfully avoiding which are toxic: soda, cheap candy, and aspartame.

Read the spice labels too! I was so shocked to find that "mono sodium glutamate" is listed in plain English as one of the first three ingredients on many of my mother's "spices." Things labelled "Chicken Seasoning" or "Beef Marinade" or even "Italian Seasoning" contained a shocking amount of pure chemical garbage.

The really surprising part about this is that my mother knows that sugar makes her arthritis act up. She knows it's been proven to cause multitudes of ailments, from cancer to candida to diabetes. She knows that she's been diabetic in the past and resolved that through avoiding sugar. And yet, and yet, and yet...

Just by not reading the labels, she's got one out of three things in her kitchen containing sugar. Rice-flavoring packets, noodle-flavoring packets, cereals, spices -- most of these things advertised as savory-type dishes. But yes, tomato puree, dried raisins, packaged dates, chicken broth, etc, may all contain refined sugar or corn syrup.

Of course, I'm saying this all in the present tense, but actually, as of today, 95% of the items containing msg, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oil, hydrolyzed soy protein, bleached white flour, dextrose, maltodextrin, etc, are now in the trash on the curb.

I'm going to start doing the cooking around here, even though it does mean cooking. My mother has been away for a week at a convention running an art show with some friends. While she was gone I had the brilliant idea to clean her kitchen and make dinners for my brother, husband, father and myself in her absence.

Sit-down dinners have not happened in this house in a long time, and the downstairs dining room (my parents' dining room) is a disaster, so I've been hosting the dinners on the second floor in my apartment.

I've written an e-mail to my mom explaining my desire to take over the grocery shopping and cooking. It's too painful to watch my family poisoning themselves daily and then griping about their pains day in and day out. My brother is always getting his spine out of alignment, and spraining his ankles. My father, whose never had a pot-belly in my childhood, now has acquired one.

My mother actually passed out a couple months ago. I don't know if the cause was known; it happened shortly before I moved back to Buffalo. I just got the cliff notes.

My plan is to make meals that seem to be like their ordinary meals, but slowly change them. So, they're used to eating a lot of potatoes, pasta, rice, meat, canned beans, etc. So, sure, I'll still use a lot of that stuff that is in the kitchen (that doesn't contain added sugar, msg, etc), but I'll add vegetables, always serve a salad with dinner, often serve vegetable-fruit juice with dinner, etc.

Over time, the cooked part of the meal will become the side, and the raw portion will become the main course. Eventually the meals will be entirely raw several days out of the week.

I doubt my brother and parents will go 100% raw, or even 100% vegan. Not even likely that I can get them 100% vegetarian. But, I find it likely than I can get them 60% raw, 30% quality vegan cooked food, 10% S. A. D. junk, within a year.

Me, Myself & I

I'm doing alright. I think I've given up on juice-feast for now. It's unfortunate, I suppose, but the truth of the matter is that I'm going through a fed-up-with-food phase. It doesn't happen to me often, but this is how it breaks down for me right now:

I'm tired of apples, oranges and bananas.

I'm no longer making any exceptions for bread, of any kind, despite the high quality organic local bakery being so close by.

I'm trying to cut back on the cold-pressed organic olive oil I love slathered on my salads.

I'm trying to cut back on the amount of seaweed and celery salt I like with my salads.

I'm not crazy about salad without the salty seaweed and celery salt.

I've been eating so much watermelon that it seems to be making me feel slightly sick each time I have it now. Don't know why, since I still love the flavor.

Every tomato I buy, despite being organic or organic heirloom, for some reason, is tasting like complete crap.

I'm tired of smoothies and juice.

I'm tired of making a dessert filled with lots of dates to bring to a potluck and then eating way too much of my own dessert and feeling like I ate a brick of lead.

I'm tired of going through so much effort to make myself a meal that is both healthy and delicious and then it not even being delicious much of the time because I'm trying too hard to make it perfectly healthy. Of course, a lot of the time it's just because I've gone and bought something out of season.

I'm enjoying the home-grown edibles more than anything else. Fresher is so much better. I think it's just making everything else seem drab. But yesterday all my sunflower sprouts were moldy and that was really depressing.

So, my obsession with food is on vacation today. I've been essentially water fasting today. It feels really good, honestly.

While that list of reasons why I'm not interested in food today seems very depressing, I'm actually in a much better mood today than I have been for a few days.

I went to an "Encounter Meeting" yesterday where everyone at the group opens up and talks about things bothering them.

The point is to focus on your emotions and revile in having everyone full attention. Part of the exercise to provide eye contact and sit still while the others are speaking. It's incredibly powerful to have all those attentive eyes on you. It's very rewarding, really.

I think my ten minutes of spewing did make me feel a lot better. I actually cried, which was embarrassing, but only two people in the group didn't cry.

My "confession" so to speak, was about how I feel a lot of self-pressure to be incredible. I can't stand the idea of being an ordinary person. Perhaps I'd be okay with being ordinary if I didn't feel there was so much important work to be done. I want to captivate and inspire people to live better lives.

All that self-pressure can be hard to take when there are so many mundane things I must accomplish in the immediate months that prevent me from pursuing my larger quests. Sure, mundane things must be done too, but the monstrous amount of tasks I have ahead of me before I can get to the really rewarding tasks is very daunting.

But after talking about that last night, and crying about it openly... I feel relieved. I feel this sense that things will move along better than I expect and that I will achieve my goals in good time.

Perhaps time has been wasted before, but it's just wasting time to dwell on past losses.

My future is full of beauty. I just have to be open and feel.

Yours Truly,


-- Thanks for reading. *smiles*

Saturday, May 28, 2011

[Blog] Juice Feast: Day #6

I'm completely failing at juice-feasting.

I have so many events in my life that I'm at for hours and hours and I need to eat while I'm at these events or I go completely rabid. I become this crazy person who is obsessed with food if I go somewhere and have not brought any food with me.

And so, while I'm drinking lots of juice and eating much, much less "chewy" food, I'm still eating chewy food.

On the plus side, I seem to have weened myself off of a bad habit I had: eating three to six apples a day blended with oats, dates, lemon juice and cinnamon. Sure, it's delicious, but not suitable to eat twice a day, everyday. Perhaps four to six times a week, but not seven to sixteen times a week. It was just absurd, and strangely addictive.

I've stopped craving the apple-based dish, but my desire for spinach in non-juice form is still raging. I can't seem to get through more than a day and a half without a salad. Even if I juice dandelion leaves, kale, chard and spinach with fruits, I still desire the salad tremendously. It's probably because my body has not learned to identify juice as an equally good source of nutrients as salad. My body has learned that salad calms my entire system and makes me feel good, so the craving is extremely strong.

I believe, in time, after I've been juicing for months, that I might have an easier time of trying to juice feast.

This reminds me of when I tried to do the "three week water fast" that turned out to be a "three day water fast" because of so many unexpected problems. But, my three-day-water-fast ended up being the beginning of going 100% raw for several months, 99% raw for several months after that, and 95% raw up until today. I'm leaning back towards that 99% raw now. Just a small bite here and there of some wholesome cooked food.

I asked a friend of mine a couple days ago: "Would you want to join my commune once I found it?"

She replied: "I can't answer that at this time but, I have to say that it sounds like a really amazing idea. . . . I feel that you are a special little gem, placed here to help the world and
it's people heal, so I know you will do something."

I replied today:

It will indeed take much research to choose a location for the commune. I think of it as my 7-to-10-year goal.

The juicing is coming along great -- but I have not be able to stick to 100% juice because I go to so many events where I can't go the entire time without eating/drinking something and I can't take my juicer with me everywhere even if I wanted to...

So I'm drinking a lot more juice than usual and eating much less solid food than usual, but I'm not actually doing a juice feast as intended. I might plan a week-long-juice-feast for a time when I have no events scheduled during the summer and try again for a month-long-juice-feast during the winter when less is going on.

Can I be a special large gem? How about a whole bag of gems?


Ideally I'd like two communes: one in Western NY and one in North Carolina. That is probably a 11-to-15-year goal. With two communes I could directly run a truck that goes two or three times a year between the communes transporting somewhat-out-of-regional-seasonal food, and various other things that it may be prudent to move.

I could move back and forth between the two communes at will, wherever I was needed, or wherever I wanted to be. North Carolina is where some relatives of mine live, and it is closer to Jay's parents in Georgia, so there are practical reasons for it family-wise as well as weather-wise.

But I need to establish one here successfully for several years before I try to open a second far-away location.

I'm having an excellent day today. Besides my friend giving me such a large compliment, today I "hosted" my second rawvegan potluck picnic in the park. Despite being Memorial Day weekend, we still had a total headcount of twelve people. It was a great time.

~ Raederle

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

[Blog] Juice Feast: Day #2

I mentioned to someone yesterday that I was in the first day of my Juice Feast and she asked me; "So is there a reason you are avoiding solids?"

I knew that the person asking was genuinely curious, and genuinely clueless as to why, so I began sketching out a full explanation in my mind, which turned out to be detailed enough to make a full blog post.

I wrote my friend:

I'm embarking on a detox.

I had really poor health as a child, which is why I got into nutrition (when doctors couldn't help me), and while I'm now more healthy than the average American by far, I'm still not nearly where I could be. I still have a lot of progress I aspire to. I want to be able to run a mile (which is an astounding goal when the vast majority of my life I couldn't walk a mile.)

I've done detox-like regimes for a while now. Raw food in general is a detox of sorts, but various things slow down the process, such as not completely chewing one's food.

Chewing food is actually the first step of digestion, and it's rarely done efficiently. By juicing or blending food first, it's chewed thoroughly. In addition, when blending or using something with blades, the cell walls are often ruptured. This is good and bad. It's good because it means many nutrients that would be otherwise unavailable or hard to digest, become readily available. It's bad because some nutrition is lost in the process.

With juicing, using a blender the smushes the food into mush (instead of slicing it with fine little blades), the cell walls are not ruptured in the same way, preserving more nutrition, while still removing the fiber and creating a smooth easy-to-drink juice.

There are several advantages to this. Many plants have virtually indigestible fiber, such as wheatgrass. If you didn't juice wheatgrass, but instead, put it on a salad, you wouldn't benefit from it, and may even develop an upset stomach (or so I'd led to believe; I have not tried it).

Another benefit of juicing is the easy-to-drink aspect. It means you can turn a large amount of hard tough bitter greens (like kale, chard, collards, etc) into a small little shot of green juice. Or better yet, you can juice some delicious fruit with the vegetables. Either way, you've turned a bunch of greens that would have made your jaw sore from chewing into something that takes moments to consume. You can make a small straight-green shot and "get it over with" or juice some mango, frozen blueberries, apples, oranges, etc, with it and make it a delightful juice where you can't even tell you're consuming vegetables.

For people who already love vegetables (and I'm not one of those people) it may seem like that isn't a big benefit, but no matter how much you love vegetables, we all only have so much time to chew, chew, chew, chew. I know some tricks (that I'd be happy to show you at some time) for making less of a chew-fest out of tough greens (without cooking them), but regardless, I find juicing the most effective way to painlessly consume multitudes of fresh greens.

The other benefit of juicing, and probably the biggest and most important benefit, is that fiber-removal.

Fiber is essential and important for pushing waste from the intestines. Most people don't get enough. However, raw foodists generally get more than enough fiber since it is in everything within the raw natural kingdom of plants. Fiber isn't actually digested. It goes through the system virtually untouched. It's one of the few things that is virtually unchanged by cooking in terms of how our digestive system handles it because our digestive system doesn't interact with fiber. Fiber is just a broom going through the system.

The fiber broom takes a long, long time to go through the system. For some, they may have fiber in their system that they consumed three or four days ago, especially if they are not particularly healthy and active. It's not really a big problem that the fiber takes all that time to go through the system, especially when you consider that most people are carrying around fifteen to thirty pounds worth of undigested food in their intestinal track that is breeding bacteria (including Candida), and causing an array of discomforts.

All of that considered, imagine if you're not eating much of anything that has an issue making it through the system? Imagine it's all very completely blended/squished raw food that is absorbed readily due to high-enzyme activity and bio-availability: the need for fiber is eliminated. This means that one can reach a state where the intestines actually become empty. This is something that most humans will not ever experience in their lives. It can only be achieved through a liquid diet over a period of time.

The process, overall, not only empties the intestines, but it empties out toxins from the lymph fluid. We have roughly six times as much lymph fluid as blood. What's in the blood is directly correlated to how we feel at a given moment. If the bloodstream is natural and toxin-free, we feel great. If the pH level in our blood is a healthy alkaline, we feel great. But meanwhile, our lymph fluid (which is bathing our organs and keeping them moist and functional) can be toxic and damaging. Detoxing brings toxins out of the lymph and into the bloodstream, and finally out of the body. It makes people miserable for a time, but in the long run makes your whole life healthier.

Once the lymph fluid begins to reach a toxin-free state, it can pick up toxins from muscles, organs, fat, brain tissues (no kidding!), and anywhere toxins have been deposited in the body. Then it can move into the blood and out of the body.

This entire process takes a long time. It's like trying to clean a pot that has baked on grease by running water and juice over it and gently rubbing it with the skin on your fingertips here and there. Deep breathing helps because it massages the internal organs. Exercising helps because the contracting of the muscles causes toxins to be released. This is why some people try to exercise and quickly feel awful. Toxins are being released into the blood and the body has no quick solution to rid itself of these toxins.

People who love to exercise and feel great about doing it are people who are experiencing only the mildest of a detox. As active people, they are persistently removing toxins from their system. This is why very active people can often get away with eating so much junk for years and years before organs begin to give out. They sweat out, breath out, and excrete many more toxins than less active people.

This is all a giant amount of information to explain that I've been an unhealthy child, an unhealthy teen, and while being a raw vegan has made me healthier than ever before, I still feel sluggish sometimes after a bunch of exercise, and my skin still breaks out entirely too easily from eating dried fruit or from skipping a daily face wash, etc -- things that don't happen to many active raw vegans I've met. Since I know I can go so much further with my health, and because I've come so far, I'm excited to go further. I'm excited to rid myself of my lifetime's buildup of toxins and be lighter, freer and stronger than ever before.

It's also tough. I really want to chew, chew and chew on a salad. Chewing it quite addictive. The hardest part about my beginning months as a raw vegan was how much I missed potato chips. I had switched to plain salted organic potato chips at the age of seventeen, but I hadn't given them up altogether by any stretch. Then my husband and I got a dehydrator and I learned how to make my own raw kale chips at home and I was able to move past that body-wrenching craving for something salty and crunchy.

Crunching on something actually releases chemicals in the brain that cause us to relax. This is a large part of emotional eating.

Since we're talking so much about toxins, I ought to define "toxins".

Toxins are any substance that the body is not designed to make good use of. Anything that the body has to remove in order to restore correct function is a toxin. Anything that the body expels in order to prevent damage is a toxin.

Toxins: white flour, refined flour in general, white sugar, refined sugar in general, msg, maltodextrin, hydrogenated oil, hydrolyzed oil (or anything hydrolyzed or hydrogenated), oil that is not cold-pressed (oil that has been cooked), many cooked foods but certainly not all cooked foods, cigarettes, alcohol, most anything considered a "drug," chemical house cleaners, many laundry detergents, many soaps, most toothpastes, many body washes/shampoos/conditioners/hair-dyes/sunscreens/sunblocks/suspect-things-applied-to-skin/etc, "natural flavorings," "flavorings," "protein extract," and the vast majority of things that have been powdered, crystalized or turned into syrup.

If it has a shelf life of more than three months then it has likely been refined in some way. The exception to that is seeds and nuts, but those are not things to chow down on. (My e-book is actually "Nut-Free Raw Recipes" because most rawvegans consume way too many nuts. Also, as a bonus, it allows people with nut allergies to get a good collection of nut-free ideas.)

Of course, now I feel I must explain what I mean by "refinement." Refinement is when anything has had a part of it removed -- including water. Technically, dehydrating is refining, even if it is the least harmful form of refinement.

Here is the horror of refinement:
Poppy Flower > Poppy Juice > Opium > Heroin
Cane Stalk > Cane Juice > Brown Sugar > White Sugar

Whenever you refine something three times it becomes a horrifically altered thing that the body has no way to cope with. White sugar literally damages the body like a hard drug. Studies that prove it, doctors throughout the ages who've known it, and more, are documented in a book called Sugar Blues and that said book cites hundreds of other sources for more information on the topic.

I'm sure that's plenty to digest for now.

Have a good one.

~ Raederle

And so, my letter to my friend made it's conclusion at last.

Thus far today I've made something on the less healthy side (trying to reconcile myself against the urge to eat something chewy)...

I soaked a cup with almonds, walnuts and macadamia nuts together and in a separate bowl soaked four dates in drinking water. I had my husband open a young coconut for us. I drained the nuts and rinsed them and added them to a bowl with the coconut "meat" of the young coconut. I added a cup and a half of frozen blueberries to the bowl and three bananas. I kept the dates in their water separate and the fresh coconut "water" in a separate glass. I grabbed a handful of grain sprouts and rinsed them and added them to the bowl with the nuts, coconut and blueberries.

Using the "blank" in the juicer (meaning that it just squishes everything, and doesn't separate fluid from fiber), I put the blueberries, sprouts, nuts, coconut and dates (without their water I soaked them in) through several times, getting them all thoroughly mixed. I also added cinnamon and cardamom. This made a delicious mash. I put aside three quarters of it on a decorative dish on the table.

With the last quarter of the mash I mixed in a couple handfuls of spinach, the water from the dates and the coconut juice and then ran it through the juicer again, this time with the juicer attachment. The result was a thin cloudy mild drink of uber-deliciousness. I drank most of the juice and gave my husband the larger portion of the mash. It was a very filling breakfast, and it didn't qualify as solid, but it certainly was not the best detox food.

I'm alright with this breakfast, but I don't intend to repeat it any time soon. Next time at the grocery store it'll be time for carrots, celery, cucumbers and other excellent juicing specimens.

~ Raederle

Monday, May 23, 2011

[Blog] Juice Feast: Day #1

I started my juice feast today.

I've been planning to start it today since Friday. I began to feel throughout the course of last week more and more confident in my ability to follow the rules I outlined in May 18th's entry.

For my first day I have not consumed any of my exceptions.

Allowed "exceptions" to the fluid-rule list for the 30-day juice feast: cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon, grapefruit, durian, pummelo (like a grapefruit) and at one point during the month I expect to eat a quarter of an avocado to ensure I get a small amount of healthy fats that isn't just from happenstance-juiced-seeds or durian (a fatty tropical fruit).
Since I'm starting on May 23rd 2011, and May has 31 days, the conclusion of this juice feast would be June 22nd 2011. I already can't wait. I'm totally craving the sensation of biting into a nori wrap filled with spinach, onion, tomato, avocado, hot pepper and kim chi.

What I hope to accomplish in my 30-day juice feast:
  • More muscle mass.
  • Loss of a thin layer of fat off of my hips, stomach and arms.
  • Increased energy.
  • Less temptation to spend days at a time preparing food and eating it (obsessively).
  • More control over my "cravings" and food-desires overall.
  • Shorter recovery time after shoveling a lot in the yard. (Already shorter than average, but hey, I love improvement.)
  • Two-day menstrual periods. (Already down to averaging three days of bleeding; why not aim for two days? I've heard of women on rawvegan diets who barely trickle any blood out because their systems are so clean there is no need to detox through bleeding!)
  • Longer endurance. (Up to being able to walk a couple miles and run a roughly two city blocks. I want to be able to run half a mile by Christmas.) (I was hardly able to walk as far as I can now run when I was a small child without being incredibly tired, cranky and uncomfortable.)
  • Learn what the juice-feasting buzz is all about!
  • Smoother, clearer skin.

Today's menu was as follows:

Breakfast: Juice made up of blueberries, mango, apple, orange and spinach.

Lunch: Juice made up of lemon, chard, peach, orange, apple and things picked from the yard: dandelions, strawberry leaves, chives, clover and sorrel.

Dinner: Juice made up of ginger, home-grown grain sprouts, lemon and apple (from the juicer) then blended with banana and cinnamon (in the blender) and then warmed to 100 degrees (on our induction hot plate which can maintain consistent temperatures.)

Snack: Green tea with a hint of the juice from dinner.

I feel very full and satisfied from these meals in terms of nourishment but I'm going crazy wanting to chew something right now.

I very much want to make a nori roll, as I mentioned above. I generally make a nori wrap every day. It most commonly consists of:

1 sheet of nori
2 handfuls of spinach
1 leaf of lettuce
2 fork fulls of kim chi ("pickled" vegetables)
2 spoonfuls of chopped red onion
1 spoonful of cold-pressed flax oil
2 sprinkles of celery salt
1 sprinkle of cayenne

And, several times in a month I like to add tomatoes and/or avocados and/or green onions and/or home-grown grain sprouts, etc.

But I'm resisting temptation. It seems like such an innocent temptation, but the whole point is to garner some self control, especially when it comes to my cravings to eat for the sake of eating. I certainly feel full. Something about juice and liquids in general makes me actually feel much fuller than solids. Perhaps because it can be consumed so quickly.

Put the pressure on. I need some peer pressure (support) to not give in and eat a nori wrap tomorrow.

~ Raederle Phoenix

Thursday, May 19, 2011

[Blog] Incurable

An old friend of mine wrote me today saying: "It's insulting for you to say that you think you know how to cure cancer. You've actually offended me."

I just smiled sadly. We're all so used to this pill-pushing, slave-making, consumerism-commercial society of sheep that the majority of folks believe that if western doctors say it is "incurable" than it is. And if the news says it is "incurable" than it is. It's heart-breaking at times.

I wrote the friend back:

It's a whole system of things to replenish the body from the inside out.

No chemical lotions, no chemical soaps, no lab-made food, no chemical cleaners, no toxic laundry detergents, etc, etc.

Lots of fresh air, plenty of exercise, tall glasses of fresh organic juice consisting of sprouts, greens and fresh fruits, preferably all freshly picked for highest enzyme activity. Also it's important to use a juicer that smashes the greens, not one that cuts them. Smashing preserves a lot of important elements that cutting destroys.

There are movies about it, books on the topic, and I've met countless people in person now who all know this same truth. Cancer survivors who lived not just a year, or two afterwards, but forty years or more afterwards without relapse.

It takes a complete natural approach. Even mental aspects must be addressed. If someone is sick in their heart (emotionally), then they may not be able to heal through food, exercise and extraction from a chemical lifestyle. Toxic thoughts are toxic to the body.

I'm not just spouting this as some random assumption, or because "so-and-so said so." Markus Rothkranz cured his father of cancer. The Gerson Institute and the Hippocrates Health Institute have been curing people of cancer for decades now. You'll read articles that say "there is no proof" or that "the patients who are supposedly cured don't exist" and yet documentaries actually go and talk to past patients and show the medical records.

There are hundreds of books on how to heal cancer by healing the entire body. If the entire body is being given what it needs then the body heals itself of all problems.

Do you remember how I could barely walk to Delaware Park and back? How I was dragging my feet and in a lot of pain during the walk back? I now walk to the Lexington Co-op almost daily and walk back carrying groceries like it's nothing. I would have been exhausted by that simple walk at any point in my life previous to becoming a raw vegan. Eliminating some of the junk from my diet as I did at 17 helped, but there is so much more that can be done aside from just eating less toxins.

You can't put someone in a radiation chamber repeatedly and tell them they are going to die no matter what and expect them to be in a frame of mind where they can heal. That's absurd. While people who do chemo therapy usually die anyway within five years at the most, people who heal naturally become healthier than they were before they had the cancer and stay that way and live long, healthy, happy lives and generally become an inspiration to many other people.

I really honest-to-goodness wish that someone would hand me twenty people with terminal cancer and ask me to cure them. It would be so gratifying to actually be a part of the solution like so many people I've met. It's amazing what some people are doing, and it's amazing how little media it gets.

There is this woman Toni I know in Buffalo -- she lives just a few blocks away from me with her husband. They're both raw vegans. They bike everywhere. They are both fit and healthy and gardening and building things and always smiling and happy. They enjoy life more than most people I've ever met. Both of them used to have serious health problems, and now, in their 70s, with grey hair, they no longer have health problems. They're more fit, active and happy than most people I know in their teens and twenties.

I haven't met any cancer survivors in Buffalo in particular, but I have not been networking the raw-vegan community of Buffalo for very long yet, and also, the Bay area around San Fransisco had hundreds and hundreds of raw vegans, whereas Buffalo has a handful of actual raw vegans and then about a couple hundred people who are "dabbling" with it.

But it's really not just the food. The food is a gateway to an overall healthier lifestyle.

Since both you are so active and because you eat a higher quality than most, you're not likely to ever "need" something so "extreme" to conquer your health, but a complete lifestyle change does work. And it works for everything -- diabetes, cancer, dementia, arthritis, migraines, ADHD, manic depression, chronic digestive issues, IBS, Candida, etc, etc, etc -- the same system works. This was first proven in America in the early 1900s, and it's been proven in other countries even earlier. I've been researching this for years, and been part of a community full of survivors of all kinds of "incurable" things for a year while in California. I'm not just making this up.

It's not some quacky conspiracy theory. The more I learn about it on scientific level the more it just sounds like common sense.

Anyway, I don't expect you to believe any of this, and that's fine, you're not in a position where you need to be convinced. My brother, on the other hand, is falling apart, and he's only 40. I had a serious talk with him today about the science behind a lot of different processes that take place during digestion of various foods. To my surprise, he seemed interested in the information, and said he was willing to try making baby steps towards my lifestyle.

Roy is having hard time denying that my new regime is effective. My mom has lost 15lbs since I moved back in. I have been giving her tips and making her fresh juice and salads. She's far from eating a raw vegan diet currently, but just the small changes are making a difference.

My mom reports that the more spinach she eats, the less her arthritis bothers her. Also, everyone who grew up with me is amazed in the change of my level of energy and endurance. I would have never been able to shovel heavy clay-laden dirt for five hours at a time in the bright sunshine a couple years ago. And I don't even wake up sore the next day.

I could sit here looking up a bunch of references to cancer survivors, testimonials, and the related, but I'm going to put together a data-base with my new research group fairly soon anyway and I can send you a link when it's up.

~ Raederle

I don't expect the letter to change his mind, but hey, you do what you can, when you can. There are plenty of open minded people out there who need help and who want help and who will accept help when they find it. It is that group of people I need to be there for. I look forward to having my own small establishment of healing some day.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

[Blog] No Time Like The Present To Wake Up!

Sometimes there isn't much point in saying it when someone else already said it:

The above video is of a man who I saw speak in person shortly before I went 100% raw vegan in September 2010. After hearing him speak in front of you it's hard not to get your act together.

Still working up to a thirty-day juice feast with only three exceptions to the all juice and smoothie rule: grapefruits, melons and durians. I expect to do something along the lines of the following (as this is what I'm moving towards in baby steps at the moment):

Example of a day's menu #1:

Breakfast: Smoothie made up of: bananas, frozen berries, water, seasonings

Brunch: Half a grapefruit

Lunch: Juice made up of oranges, water, grapefruit, lemon and some vegetable and/or other citrus

Snack: Smoothie made up of: bananas, mango, water, seasonings

Dinner: Juice made up of carrots, oranges and/or apples, celery and/or spinach

Example of a day's menu #2:

Breakfast: A large portion of a watermelon

Brunch: A smoothie with bananas, raw cocoa, mango and water

Lunch: Juice made up of watermelon and a small portion of vegetable

Snack: Smoothie made up of: bananas, plum, frozen berries and water

Dinner: Juice made up of carrots, oranges and/or pineapple, cucumber and some added vegetable

Full "exceptions" to the fluid-rule list: cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon, grapefruit, durian, pummelo (like a grapefruit) and at one point during the month I expect to eat a quarter of an avocado to ensure I get a small amount of healthy fats that isn't just from happenstance-juiced-seeds or durian (a fatty tropical fruit).

Expected start date: Monday, May 23rd 2011

What I hope to accomplish:

  • More muscle mass.
  • Loss of a thin layer of fat off of my hips, stomach and arms.
  • Increased energy.
  • Less temptation to spend days at a time preparing food and eating it (obsessively).
  • More control over my "cravings" and food-desires overall.
  • Shorter recovery time after shoveling a lot in the yard. (Already shorter than average, but hey, I love improvement.)
  • Two-day menstrual periods. (Already down to averaging three days of bleeding; why not aim for two days? I've heard of women on rawvegan diets who barely trickle any blood out because their systems are so clean there is no need to detox through bleeding!)
  • Longer endurance. (Up to being able to walk a couple miles and run a roughly two city blocks. I want to be able to run half a mile by Christmas.) (I was hardly able to walk as far as I can now run when I was a small child without being incredibly tired, cranky and uncomfortable.)
  • Learn what the juice-feasting buzz is all about!

*smiles and warm hugs for all*

~ Raederle Phoenix

Thursday, May 12, 2011

[Blog] Juice Feast Planning

My Omega juicer finally arrived. I've wanted to get one for at least six months. The model makes juice efficiently. It does have many parts but I don't find cleaning it too bad. My only complaint is that the feed chute is very small so that I have to cut everything up super tiny before putting it in. It's been my long-term plan to start a juice feast shortly after acquiring a juicer.

The plan, thus far, is to go thirty-days on nothing but fresh juice with a couple minor exceptions. The exceptions are: durian, melons and grapefruits. The reason being that these are all fruits, they digest fairly quickly, and if I don't chew anything at all I might go completely crazy. I'm already experiencing detoxification symptoms from all the vegetable juice I've been drinking since it arrived a few days ago.

 I've juiced dandelions from the garden, kale, collards, assorted herbs, apples, pineapple, oranges, lemons, watermelon, carrots (and their leafy green tops), a strange squash called chayote, etc. I've blended my juices in the blender with mangoes, bananas and home-made coconut kefir. I've blended vegetable juice in my food processor with apple chunks and oats as well.

 I love all the new options this opens up. It's amazing how much juice comes out of a water-melon rind! My detoxification symptoms have mostly consisted of moodiness (which my husband has been experiencing since beginning the juice as well), but I have also experienced some dizziness, fatigue and stomach upset. I know this has to be due to detoxification because I have not experienced these symptoms in a very long time, especially not all in quick succession.

 I have not noticed any positive results from the juicing yet, except for new and interesting flavors, but it's only been a few days and I've already been a raw vegan for nearly a year now, and I've been off the S. A. D. five years now. (Standard American Diet.)

 That first step is the biggest one: getting off of refined sugars. I don't expect I'll ever feel as dramatic of a change in my health from anything else I ever decide to do. But we'll see what thirty days of juice, juice, smoothie, juice, juice, a little melon, and more juice does for me.

 I expect to begin within a week. In other news: my edible garden progress is moving along. I've planted sunflowers near the already existing dafodills and tulips. I've been preparing the ground for the past week to build a natural stone-planter for vegetables and the ground is almost ready to start arranging stones. I'm going to have a smoothie and head out to the garden now.

 ~ Raederle