Tuesday, May 22, 2012

[Article] Supplements

This fantastic article has been revised and moved to Raederle.com -- click here to read it.

PS: All my content is moving to Raederle.com, slowly but surely. Everything is getting a face-lift, including any out-dated or mis-informed information that may have been present in a couple articles.

Give me a hip-hip-hurray for new updated information!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

[Q&A] What's wrong with eating beans?

Photo by Raederle Phoenix, 2012

  • What's wrong with beans? 
  • What foods are good for stomach ulcers? 
  • What vegetables are high in protein? 
Question: I would have to eat almost one and a half gallons of chopped watercress in order to get the protein I receive from ½ a cup of black beans. Isn't it more logical to have a diet that includes beans?

Answer: You're absolutely right it would take an absurd amount of watercress. 

However, most Americans have serious digestive problems from eating so much toxic garbage (aspartame, corn syrup, agave nectar, splenda, MSG, colorings, artificial flavorings, hydrogenated oils, canola oil, and so on and so forth). These digestive problems make eating something like beans tantamount to disaster.

A weak digestion can not pull apart those dense proteins. "Dense proteins" are the kind found in meat, beans, nuts, seeds and grains. Proteins that are not "bound" or "dense" that are in the form of amino acids are present in vegetables, sprouts, and fruits.

Anyone with acid reflux, candida, weight issues, high toxicity exposure (like a smoker), IBS, diverticulitis or any colon complications should not be eating beans until healed. Healing fully from one of those conditions can take many years.

I've met few people in my travels of the U.S. who doesn't have at least one digestive problem. Even the Paleo diet does not recommend eating beans.

To understand why beans are so hard on the digestive system it is important to know about how long it takes to digest various food types.

Foods have different digestion times. 

Fat alone takes the longest of mono-form foods (only oils are 100% fat). 

Complex foods that contain protein, fats and starches take the longest (beans).

Average digestion times for a very healthy digestive system (multiply up to 4x for unhealthy digestive systems): 

Beans take six hours; 
Meats, diary, nuts, avocados, seeds and eggs take around four hours;
Vegetables take around two  hours; 
Most fruits take about one hour; 
Melons take around twenty minutes.

(The above, of course, is altered somewhat by the volume of the given food consumed.)

It's very important to let your stomach be empty between meals. 

Problems that can arise by eating when your stomach already has food in it: gas, acid reflux, lack of nutrient absorption, stomach cramping, inability to lose weight, inability to gain muscle, hormonal imbalance and more.

If you mix fruit and beans at the same meal then the entire meal will take six hours or more to digest and will likely give your body a very hard time. 

Someone with stomach ulcers, IBS, severe candida, etc, should not be mixing any of the above food groups in general, except with a few things like lemons and lettuce which can be added to almost anything safely.

When you're not done digesting when you go to bed you don't sleep well. Personally I get circles under my eyes if I am not done digesting before I go to sleep. Also, best sleep is generally done starting at three hours after sunset. If the sun sets at 7pm then you want to aim to be asleep before 10pm for optimal sleep. This has to do with hormonal cycles.

Without good sleep we don't release hormones to heal, build muscle and burn fat. If we eat before bed we digest food instead of healing resulting in fatigue, sore muscles (that didn't recover/heal) and so on.

If someone really needs some more "dense" protein that is already bound up because they are absolutely too busy to eat enough vegetables then I'd recommend boiled amaranth eaten as a mono-meal, or soaked chia seeds added to dips, smoothies or wraps. If you have a dehydrator, then you can soak chia seeds, put them in at 105 degrees overnight and you've got awesome healthful crackers with a great Omega-3 to 6 ratio, plenty of iron, and calcium, healthy fat and protein.

However, all of that said, it is important to know that dense proteins are bound and have to be broken into amino acids and then rebuilt into proteins again in the body. When you consume amino acids that are not bound into proteins then you absorb them immediately and easily. The difference this makes for people with a weak digestion, or for athletes trying to build muscle is tremendous. Many vegan athletes are going raw these days because of the enhanced recovery time and the quicker muscle building. There are raw athletes who eat nothing but fruits and vegetables and incredibly strong and healthy.

Question: I haven't come up with anything about the human digestive system being unable to process the protein in beans. In fact almost everything I read said that in order to be healthier we should eat more beans. Am I looking in the wrong place?

Beans are great for people with absolutely no digestive problems who are very active. Native peoples who are out and about all day along, on their feet, and don't eat any processed foods whatsoever can eat beans daily if they like. Native peoples are also likely to know to soak their beans thoroughly and rinse them several times to remove all the enzyme inhibitors (which are present in all seeds to prevent them from spoiling before it is time to sprout).

Question: Isn't it true that a person needs fats in their diet, and that without fat the body starves?

Answer: Absolutely. You need around 10% of your calories from fat minimum, and around 7% of your calories from protein minimum. For the average person I recommend 15%-25% calories from fat, and 9%-12% calories from protein. I personally consume 20% calories from fat and 10% from protein on average. This is assuming a diet that is 1800 to 2300 calories. Someone eating a higher calorie diet may need lower percentages as they could still get the same amount of grams of fat and protein with a lower percentage.

Now, keeping that in mind:

Average fruit: 5% calories from protein, 5% calories from fat
Average vegetable: 20% calories from protein, 10% calories from fat

Some fruits that are far away from the average:

Pomegrantates: 11.8% from fat, 6.8 from protein
Avocados: 77.3% from fat, 3.9% from protein
Olives: 88.1% from fat, 2.4% from protein
Apples: 2.7% from fat, 1.7% from protein
Pineapple: 2% from fat, 3.8% from protein
Cucumber: 5.9% from fat, 10.3% from protein
Zucchini: 15.7% from fat, 17.4% from protein
Mulberries: 7.5% from fat, 11.1% from protein
Kiwano Melon: 24% from fat, 13.6% from protein

Some vegetables that are far away from the average:

Cabbage: 3.3% from fat, 12.5% from protein
(Cabbage juice is partly so great for stomach ulcers because the low fat and protein is easy on a distressed stomach.)
Watercress: 7.6 from fat, 50.7% from protein
Spinach: 14.1% from fat, 30.1% from protein
Beet Greens: 5% from fat, 24.4% from protein
Potato: 1% from fat, 7.3% from protein
Alfalfa Sprouts: 25.1% from protein, 42.3% from protein
Fresh Rosemary: 37.5% from fat, 6.2% from protein

So the above examples are far from the averages I gave in either fat or protein or both. However, most fruits and vegetables we commonly find at grocery stores land within 3% of the averages I gave. Combine those averages with a few of the select exceptions above and it is very easy to get a minimum, good or excessive amount of protein or fat in the diet.

Adding olives and avocados daily to other fruits and vegetables could easily result in consuming more fat than is required or healthful. (Not that these are not healthy fats, they are!)

Adding sprouts to each meal can help an athlete get the amount of protein they need, as well as eating salads with spinach, watercress and kale instead of lettuce. If more protein is desired one can even emphasize protein-rich fruits such as mulberries (available dried and raw from Nutiva's Naturals), zucchini (a great base for a raw hummus), cucumber and so on.

I have compiled the nutritiounal information from the USDA on hundreds of produce items in comparison charts that compare things by their type (fresh herbs is one chart, cruciferious vegetables another chart, root vegetables another, and so on). It is way more information than one can simply memorise, but I can assure you that you can get 40% calories from fat and 25% from protein on a diet that is 100% raw fruits and vegetables if you so desired and get all of your nutritional requirements met. If you are interested in getting a copy of these charts they are available when buying my Meal Plans & Recipes package.

Comment: People tried to survive the winter on a diet that didn't include enough fat, and while they would still have enough food to eat, their bodies would shut down and they'd die. This was called "Rabbit Starvation" (named after rabbit farmers who tried to survive with only rabbits as their main source of food - rabbits have almost no fat).

Reply: This is absolutely true again. If someone ate nothing but apples and sweet potatoes (both under 4% fat) they'd kill themselves. That is certain. In certain climates and historical situations it was absolutely necessary to hunt animals for their fat, or to store up vast amounts of nuts for winter survival. However, in a tropical location, or in an urban location we are now able to eat entirely fruits and vegetables and get ample fat and protein because of the selection available to us.

Question: Are you suggesting that someone with digestive problems should be aiming for low protein in their diet (based on your comment about cabbage juice)?

Answer: Yes. Or at least, minimum, which is around 9% calories from protein on a 2000 calorie diet. However, more protein could be consumed safely for someone with digestive problems as long as it is all coming from fresh fruits and vegetables. However, foods like beans, nuts, seeds, grains and animal products would hinder healing.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

[Article] Cravings

Cravings are real and powerful. Just about everyone gets them, and many of us struggle with them. I have struggled with them personally my entire life.

Often we call our cravings "hunger" but that isn't really true. When you're "hungry for pizza" but want nothing else but pizza, that is a craving.

Cravings are a design of our mind that is intended to help us seek out foods that benefit us. Unfortunately (as the videos I posted below explain), our cravings can not direct us accurately because our body is not designed to handle processed complex foods.

Animals in the wild each large meals of one whole raw food at a time. A bunch of leafs and fruits from a single plant, or a bunch of worms together, or lots and lots of grass or grain together. They do not mix nuts, fruit, meat, diary and vegetables all in one meal, and many common dinners do include all of these.

Growing up, dinner looked like this in my household:

  • 1 cooked vegetable (frozen peas, canned corn or string beans were common options)
  • 1 bean dish or pasta dish (buttered egg noodles, re-fried beans with molasses, chili stew or lima beans)
  • 1 meat dish (pork with sauerkraut, ham with applesauce, steak with carrots, hamburger with bun and tomato slices, etc)
  • 1 bread-type item, potatoes or starch (squash, baked potatoes, spaghetti with store-bought sugared sauce, etc)

And sometimes this was followed by a rich dessert loaded with white sugar, fruit and white flour. You'd never, ever see an animal in the wild consume a meal that loaded with sugar, that devoid of nutrition and fiber, or that complex.

Our bodies are not designed to handle this type of food, physically or emotionally. Cravings are a way to tell us what we need, but our cravings system is broken.

I've created a one-page Cravings Reference Chart for figuring out what your cravings really mean and what you can eat to help combat the craving and get what you really need. The causes are often both physical and emotional, which is why I've included both on the chart.

I recommend printing the chart out and hanging it up somewhere where you can review it daily when you're having a craving. You could keep it folded up in your back pocket and refer to it any time you're feeling that "need" for a fatty food or a sweet food coming on.

My goal is to empower you with information so that you have the strength to fight your way to health.

Also, check out the following short videos. Each one is only a few minutes long, and each one gives you an interesting insight into ways to combat and understand cravings and where they come from:

Dr. Ritamarie explains the basic principle of cravings and why they happen:

Motivational speaker Markus Rothkranz explains why it is okay to cheat on your diet when you have cravings:

And, for a very creative idea in fighting cravings:

Why is sugar, in particular, so addictive? This video explains:

Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope you've learned something useful on your journey to healthier living.



Sunday, February 26, 2012

[Blog] Awesome Things Are Happening

Hello friends, family and fans!

I attended a raw potluck and presentation tonight that had over fifty attendees! It was one of the largest raw potlucks I've ever attended. Photos, as always, will be posted in my facebook albums, which you should be able to view even if you are not 'friends' with me on facebook, and, if you are not friends with me yet on facebook, then friend me already!

 And whether you want to friend me on facebook or not, it'd be super cool if you visited my facebook fan page for "Chef Raederle" and clicked the little "like" button.

In exciting news, my husband and I, after saving for months and months (since around September 2011) have finally bought a professional camera. We're very excited about this. Over the next couple months you can expect more and more incredible food photos, as well as other photos as we are going to be traveling!

The trip is only made possible by a lot of financial help from various family members and friends, all of whom we are very grateful to have in our lives. We'll be traveling by car through Kansas, Georgia, Florida and North Carolina. After approximately two months we'll be returning to Buffalo, New York to get planting in our garden. We were able to grow quite a bit of food last year and are looking forward to seeing the herbs we planted last year come back.

As some of my readers may remember I used to use what I call my "Musings" blog my "Travel" blog. That blog is essentially for everything I want to share with the world unrelated to food, fitness and healing. It does cover the topic of becoming emotionally healthy and happy from a mostly mental perspective however. In any event, it will once again my travel blog while we travel. I'll write about interesting things I notice or see on the trip that don't have to do with food there.

In other interesting news, I've started making hand-crafted versions of my recipe book.

The recipe book contains thirty pages of "getting started" information, 22-days of nutritionally complete days of recipes, Nut-Free Raw Recipes (my first recipe book), thirty pages of nutritional charts (completely unique)  -- all of which are included in my "Mastery Deal" which can be bought digitally as .pdf documents (which you can print out for your own use at home).

These unique hand-bound editions however are more than just the content. They're works of art. Each one has a unique theme and flavor, and my poetry and artwork are included as well as hand-written uplifting messages. I've made five thus far, each taking about seven hours to create.

In the above photo I'm holding the edition that is themed "Kittens and Puppies." The white spots on the left-hand page of the right-hand photo are bits of my poetry. The cover of this particular edition is made with very heavy weight high-quality semi-gloss colored card-stock.

Each page is cased in a sheet protector so that you can use these in your kitchen without staining the recipes!

What the heck am I going to do with these time-intensive works of art?

I'm not honestly sure. At the moment, they're only available if you make a bid or if you run into me in person and I have one on me to show and sell. I'll probably only make a total of twenty or thirty of these in my lifetime.

In other recent exciting developments, I was fortunate enough to serve fresh juice at a screening of a documentary about the horrors of the fur industry at a local book store. I honestly cried and cried throughout the film. I always have been into veganism for health and nutrition. It was a matter of "meat is inefficient in nutrition" and "animal fats have toxins" and "cooked animal protein is hard to digest" and so on.  Sure, I've known that animal torture happens and I'm against factory farming of course... But to actually see the suffering that many animals go through day after day... So that we can wear fur? It's wasteful and needless.

In any event, it was great to serve lots of people who are in the process of "opening their minds" fresh juice made from celery, carrots, cucumber and lemons.

Speaking of juice, I recently posted a page full of juice recipes that are great for a masticating juicer which was inspired by someone asking me a question about the "nutritionally optimal juices" they could make with that kind of juicer.

There are more juice recipes on my Food Pyramid page as well.

And, in a last bit of news, my facebook group Raw Foodies is a great place to share your favorite raw recipes, health articles, and ask health questions and get good answers. Anyone who has a positive attitude is very welcome to join!

The divine being in me recognizes, loves and accepts the divine being in you,

~ Raederle Phoenix

PS: And I almost forgot to mention this(!!!): My husband and I have started a radio show! Unfortunately, we won't be able to record more episodes until we're back from our trip, but these first two episodes are really jam-packed with information. Enjoy!

[Article] Raw Food Testimonials

Raw-Food Testimonials

New! (2012) I've compiled a bunch of "before and after" photos of raw vegan transformers. You can check them out on Raw Vegan Before & Afters Pinboard. (The site I put together the 'pin board' on is essentially a photo-gallery tool that I highly prefer to any photo-gallery tool I've ever used before.)

Dave: Lost over 200 pounds, cured his diabetes and more by going raw!

In 2008 Dave weighed over 430 pounds.  He was taking over 25 prescription medications and suffering from colon cancer, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, failing kidneys, and a myriad of other health ailments. He could literally feel that he was dying, and he began to resign himself to that dismal fate.

Dave was introduced to raw foods; to green vegetable smoothies in particular.  With guidance Dave was able to lose over 230 pounds in less than one and a half years. And in fact, after only four days on that diet, he was able to stop taking all of his diabetes medications! Today, Dave is healthy, happy, and only taking one prescription medication (which he plans to stop taking soon!)

And besides that, if you watch any of his videos or visit his site, it's quite obvious that Dave is having fun and living life to the fullest.

 Rawkin: Lost 62 Pounds by going raw.

  "I spent the long winter of 2007 feeling sad and depressed... And no wonder! I was eating junky foods and drinking a silly amount of beer, gaining a bunch of weight, and experiencing all sorts of physical and emotional manifestations of pain. After a long and dark 5 month period, something in me finally said ENOUGH, and that is just what I'd been 'dying' to hear. Through support, determination, and a whole lot of reading and researching, I managed to transition painlessly into healthy living, returning to the (mostly) raw lifestyle I was enjoying before I rudely interrupted myself."

A lovely woman who calls herself "Rawkin" on her blog, shows her photos of her progress into raw foods on her blog, displaying her loss of 62 pounds!

Tim VanOrden is a raw vegan and is one of the top mountain runners.

He says;

"Moving to a raw vegan diet was the best choice I've ever made as an athlete. My endurance has dramatically improved, and I recover from hard training and races in less than half the time. I've had to stop doing upper body workouts at the gym, because I now build muscle too quickly, which slows me down as a runner. My asthma is gone and I'm no longer troubled by joint pain."

Bob Mionske is a former national champion cyclist. He stopped eating meat as a teenager and later in his life he removed chicken and fish from his diet. Later he switched to raw foods and described “raw foodism as a natural progression on the ladder of healthy eating.”

Some of his accomplishments include finishing fourth in the Seoul Olympics at the Olympic trials in Spokane, WA and winning the 1990 National Road Championships in Albany, N.Y. He also competed in Barcelona in 1992 as a teammate of Lance Armstrong.

"I had an amazing epiphany. I think that I'm just coming to a real awareness of what the Raw Vegan Diet is. It really did not matter that much to me in my twenties. I felt fine but everyone around me felt pretty good also for the most part. I kind of coasted through my thirties with no real awareness or connection between the Raw Vegan Diet and my over all health. My forties were pretty much the same I just felt really good, but for the most part I was focused on my art career. It wasn't until I hit my middle fifties that I began to realize that something really strange was happening. I became a Raw Vegan in 1972 and after my initial excitement the novelty wore off and because I was catching so much heat from everyone around me I just stopped not only talking about it but even thinking about it. I just mainly did it out of habit.

"Now that I'm in my 57th year I'm really starting to think that maybe this Raw Vegan Diet might be the fountain of youth. Scientists will tell you that there is no scientific basis regarding any of the claims made by Raw Vegans and in a way they may be right. But in order for them to do long term testing if the Raw Vegan Diet is valid or not it would take anywhere from 50 to 100 years of testing groups of people and animals. In short all of us would be dead before the verdict was in." ~ Storm

Jinjee, 7 months pregnant with Adagio - Jinjee with Adagio, 10 days old

"Living food is the yummiest food on earth. It is where all the other flavors come from. It is what they use to spice and season the cooked stuff. It is impossible to top! The basic flavors were given to us by the natural kingdom that also gave us the basic colors, musical tones, and amazing scents. All of these things have something divinely perfect in their essence. And they seem to me to have been provided as building blocks for us to work with, to be creative and fill the world with all kinds of beauty. We have done amazing things with colors and tones and scents. And I think that with the advent of the raw-vegan culinary arts we are coming into an age of sumptuous orchestrations and true masterpieces to please not just the palate, but to invigorate the whole being – palate, mind, body, and soul!" ~ Jinjee

"My long time friend was on his deathbed. He walked out of the hospital 7 days later after I started bringing him food and telling the hospital to stop feeding him. This "miracle" if you can call it that is because of your [Markus Rothkranz's] book. Your book gave me the specifics I needed to be fully educated. Fully aware. My friend is alive and active as ever. Cancer is not a disease, it is a direct result of our toxic environment and poor nutrition. I know this now. Knowledge is power!

"Please allow me to sing your praises just one more time. I am a window washer by trade and am around the affluent and middle class in their homes all day every day. One lady was dying of cancer. She kicked it about 4 times prior due to western medicine's nuke treatments and chemicals. Gee, whattayaknow? It returned... again and again and again. She read your book cover to cover. 3 weeks later she canceled her chemo appointment and prepared to hang up her wigs forever. She is now cancer free and has a new lease on life. She's got a cute little spiky haircut now and jokes to me when I do her windows. You know what still makes her upset though? Still makes her buckle at the knees in anger and tears? That her husband died 3 years ago of the same ailments.

"He'd probably be alive today if they'd have known."

-- Terry Kannedy, Terry's Window Washing Laguna Niguel, CA

"Over 3 years ago I never thought I could be a size 4 again. THAT to me was an absolute miracle." (Lost 60 pounds by going raw. Her blog is a great read.) ~ Miranda Martinez

"As of August 10, 2009 I have lost twenty-six pounds eating raw! I never considered myself heavy, but my midsection has disappeared. At age 43, I now weigh exactly what I did in college over twenty years ago, 150 pounds!" ~ James Reno

James Southwood is a Salvate expert (French kickboxing expert). He has been on a raw diet since 2004. He needs no introduction among the martial arts crowd and burst onto the scene in 2006 when he won his first international bout in the World Savate Assault Championship. He was also undefeated in the British rounds for the entire year of 2006. About the raw diet he states, "Being raw is a light, clean and pure way to live. Exercising and competing in this physical state is the only way I would choose to do it."

"I have not had any money except for the daily money the hotel owner gives me when I work here, which is not much. When I do get money, I have resignedly been spending it on fast food, just to quickly and easily survive. Tonight is the first night I have gotten good raw food from the store in a very long time, and it really does make a difference. Already, my attitude is much more optimistic." - Andy Pope

"Raw! It’s a powerful word in the world of food." - William Rice

I like to stress that it's not about how long you live, but how well you live. If your life is long, but full of miserable aches, pains, illness and inability to do the things you love, then it's those extra years are just more years of suffering. But what if you lived a very long time and lived very well.

Take raw foodist, Bernardo LaPallo who celebrated is 109th birthday August 17th 2010.

This blog post about him says:

At 107, Bernardo LaPallo is a vibrant, articulate, inspirational centenarian and the author of “Age Less/Live More: Achieving Health and Vitality at 107 and Beyond.” In this slim volume, he passes on the wisdom he learned from his father, a physician, who set him on his course in life that has lead to both longevity and a very high quality of good health. And while it’s true that both of his parents lived long, Bernardo cautions against complacency – “Good genes can only take you so far,” he says confidently. “You also have to take good care of your health; that’s your responsibility.”

The news report says;

Bernardo looks younger than most people I know in their 70s and 80s! He is a living example at just how powerful diet and a positive outlook in life can be.
109 years old! Let's put that into perspective. Birth year: 1901. Bernardo is still very much alive and kicking, and was born before Lou Gehrig, Charles Lindbergh, Bob Hope, George Orwell and 13 years before World War I.

Praise for Dr. Fuhrman's "Eat to Live" which advises a primarily raw food diet, with no dairy or meat:

"Before I read Dr. Fuhrman's book I weighed 205 pounds and had diabetes for seven years. The information enabled me to lose 60 pounds and get rid of my diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol without medication. My LDL cholesterol went from 168 to 73 in five months, and I successfully dropped my weight to 143 pounds. The most amazing thing is that my ophthalmologist had told me that I required laser surgery to treat diabetic retinopathy, but after changing my diet he found that the damage was no longer there and I didn't require surgery." -Martin Milford, Santa Rosa, California

"I was desperate when I went to see Dr. Fuhrman. I had been diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis and had suffered from open skin lesions and full body itchiness for years. I followed his advice to the letter. He put me on a special eating plan, and, after about three months, I started to get better. My legs and arms cleared up first. My body healed from the extremities inward, and six months later my psoriasis was totally gone. My doctors are amazed. Today my skin is completely clear with no itchiness or blotches, and I have no more arthritic pain. Recent blood tests show I no longer have the blood test markers that show inflammation." -Jodi O'Neil, Cary, North Carolina

Karen Knowler looks unbelievably younger at age 34 than she did at age 25. We’ve seen it time and time again that eating a primarily raw food diet can change the course of your aging. There are hundreds of videos, photographs and live people to testify to this.

Knowler is now a raw food coach and chef. She is teaching others how lose weight, get healthy, and improve their energy levels by eating a raw food diet.

Markus Rothkranz: 100% Raw Food-Vegan, Age 46 in this photo

Markus eliminated his allergies, his need to wear glasses, began building muscle and feeling great by switching to a fully raw food diet.

"Not only have I dropped some excess weight, my energy is through the roof!"

Kathleen Gage, The Street Smarts Marketer

In praise of a Raw Foodist named Yuri's book on raw foods:

"I was about 100 lbs over weight from stress and lack of exercise. I thought I was eating healthy and juiced occasionally. However, your well-researched book showed me otherwise. I am trying to do at least one green juice a day.

Within the first week, people were commenting to me that I had lost weight. Also many women are telling me how beautiful my skin is. Now I am doing two juices a day - one fruit and one green veggie and have discovered that I am not as hungry.

Part of your program is helping me reduce time spent in other areas. For instance, I am juicing more which means less cooking and more time for exercise and other activities. I never thought about it before but my vita mix is really my stove.

I know that once my results are significantly better, people will ask “how did you do it?” Weight Watchers? Atkins? South Beach? None of the above - I am going to shout Yuri's Eating for Energy! I feel great!!

Thanks so much for your book."

Martha Vaughan (Morehead City, North Carolina)

"I started at 195 lbs and am down to 183 lbs already and feel great. I have been at this weight since my last child was born 12 years ago and have been trying everything. In my heart I knew raw food was the way to go but didn't know where to start."

Valerie McNally (Oak Park, USA)

What Dr. Fred Bloem has to say:

A healthy diet is essential for optimal health. If you are not currently experiencing the level of health that you desire, are suffering from fatigue, weight gain or other health concerns, chances are you can significantly improve your life by learning to feed your body the foods it is best designed to handle.

How would you like to get healthier while eating delicious, satisfying foods? You can accomplish this by bringing the healing power of raw and living foods into your life.

Notice in this paper about one medical practice that fights cancer and tumors, removing meat and fluoride from the diet is a must, and eating all raw fruit and vegetables is part of the regime.

Do you want your story on this page? Contact me any way that you choose and give me a one or two paragraphs telling how much of your diet is raw (60%, 90%, 100% or whatever it is roughly), how long you've been on your diet, and the results you've seen, or any incredible experience you've had related to this subject that you want to share. Provide a link to a page or site about you or your cause that you want to have linked, and please include your real name.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

[Article] Response: Stop Spreading RawVegan-Untruths

So, I just read an article called The Raw Food Diet: A Raw Deal, by Christopher Wanjek. The author has a few good points, but mostly he is not educated about the real benefits of a raw diet and continues to spread many misnomers about the raw vegan diet. I'd like to take a moment to go over these misnomers. Whenever someone says this it annoys me a lot, because it's not really true:
"Humans have evolved to eat and survive on a wide range of diets."
We have adapted. We're great at adapting, but very little evolution has taken place. Humans 4000 years ago (or 10,000 years ago) are much the same as humans today when it comes to how the body works. After all, less than 1% of DNA is different from apes... How much have we really changed? Yes, DNA is changing all the time. Yes, we can adapt to many different diets, including diets that are primarily meat-based and diets that include no meat at all. We can eat a primarily cooked diet or a completely raw diet. However, just because we can adapt to something does not make it ideal. I'm on a mission to find what is ideal for my body, not just what I can adapt to.

 ‎"Fire foraging was quite natural and helped secure our survival. This is how we developed the taste for cooked food."

That is an absurd claim. Nobody can claim to know where we got the taste for cooked food. Sure, it probable, likely even, but we can't know that for sure.

It's a heck of a lot more certain that the raw diet cures cancer if caught early enough than when we developed a taste for cooked food and how.

"...advocates is that heat (from cooking) destroys enzymes in the food. Enzymes are proteins that serve as catalysts for specific biochemical reactions in the body. There are indeed many forms of enzymes. There are plant enzymes, digestive enzymes and metabolic enzymes, for example. And, yes, heat can destroy enzymes. "...plant enzymes, which raw dieters wish to preserve, are largely mashed up with other proteins and rendered useless by acids in the stomach. Not cooking them doesn't save them from this fate. Anyway, the plant enzymes were for the plants. They helped with the plants' growth, and they are responsible for the wilting and decomposition of plants after they are harvested. They are not needed for human digestion. Human digestive enzymes are used for human digestion."

What he says about enzymes is partly correct in a way, but I've done more than twenty hours of reading on the topic of enzymes, and it is way more complex than the average raw vegan makes it sound and much more complex than what this guy says as well.

It is true, of course, that the enzymes are in the plant for the plant, not for us. But, then, so is everything in the plant, so it is kinda an inane statement.

To make some points: The human body does generate some digestive enzymes, but it does not produce all of the enzymes required by the body for optimal function. The human body can become damaged so that it produces less enzymes. Food enzymes play a lot of roles: Vitamin C actually contains an enzyme and this is why cooking destroys vitamin C. On that topic, vitamin C is not just ascorbic acid. That is something I write about in a nother article however and kinda off-topic.

"Raw foods certainly aren't safer than cooked food, as some claim. Most commercial chicken and a good deal of beef and pork, sadly, are loaded with bacteria and parasites."

Well yes, this is why it is a raw vegan diet (see my food pyramid to see what the diet includes and what it does not), not a "raw meat and raw greens" diet. And it is safer, because toasting, baking, and frying create free radicals and toxins such as acrylamide. That is a well documented fact.

‎"...surprising sources of food-borne illness, however, are raw sprouts, green onions and lettuce. These must be washed thoroughly before consumption."

Yes, sure, they can be loaded up with bacteria. But we eat bacteria all the time. We absorb things through our skin all the time. Coming into contact with plastic causing hormonal imbalances in the body that are directly linked with breast cancer. Polyester clothing is plastic. And people wear polyester bras!

To worry about the bacteria on lettuce, a plant which actually provides the nutrition and antioxidants we need to defend against bacteria, is rather silly.

And of course you should wash all store-bought produce. You never know if its been rolling on the floor or been touched by someone who just picked their nose...

‎"Raw (unpasteurized) milk is dangerous and mostly illegal to buy; trust your source."

Yes, and cooked milk gives everyone an intolerance to milk. My husband can drink raw milk without any problem but becomes horribly sick from pasteurized milk. Lactose intolerance is often not related to lactose, but actually a problem with digesting milk that has had its enzymes denatured. And again, I don't advocate just any raw food, and most raw gurus do not. Most raw foodies are raw vegans, as I believe they should be.

‎"Raw (sprouted) kidney beans are poisonous."

Indeed. I actually believe nobody should eat kidney beans at all, even cooked.

‎"Despite major flaws in the raw diet philosophy, one needs to question why a so-called natural diet leaves the dieter dependent on pills for B12 (impossible to get without animal products, such as meat or eggs) or zinc (very hard to get on a raw diet)."

B12 comes from bacteria in soil, not animal products. Animals roll in their own shit and this is where they get B12. If we rolled in our own shit we'd get plenty of B12 as well. I've edited 30-page essays on this topic written by vegetarian doctors. Vitamin B12 deficiency is serious stuff. I do take a supplement for B12 and for vitamin D. I write about these topics in detail in the raw vegan menu plans that I provide because it is essential to understand where these really come from, how animals get them, how humans get them, and how modern living has changed the availability of these "nutrients."

However, the part about zinc is just 100% false. I do nutritionally complete meal plans that are raw and vegan and provide all the zinc needed in a day (in accordance with the recommended daily allowances.)

‎"The macrobiotic diet is one of the healthiest around, actually, despite the strange philosophical baggage that accompanies it. And Americans would be a far healthier lot if we subscribed to it to some degree. "

The macrobiotic diet is a huge improvement over most diets. It emphasizes things like buckwheat noodles and long-grain brown rice which are far healthier than white rice and wheat noodles by far. I know many people who came to raw veganism through macrobiotics.

However, for someone like me, who developed such serious issues from the Standard American Diet and lifestyle, I feel that I require a raw vegan diet to build up strength that I would not be able to get from a macrobiotic diet.

‎"Similarly, we should welcome the take-home message of the raw food diet: Eating fresh vegetables, sprouts, nuts and seeds is good for you. But lighten up and light up the stove."

I've tried eating 10% cooked, and 5% cooked and 0% cooked for periods of time (I've tried each for at least a span of three months). I've found that I felt best with my diet 4% cooked or less.

I find that at 10% cooked I feel a decline in energy and that I spend a lot more time in the bathroom pushing stuff out of me that didn't want to move through me as easily as raw fruits and vegetables. This could have to do with my choices of cooked foods which include: boiled broccoli, boiled yams, boiled carrots, boiled red-skinned potatoes, boiled quinoa and boiled amaranth. I do not cook other than to boil because cooking without water creates toxins as items brown. Steaming veggies is fine though. I just detest steamed vegetables and would rather eat them raw.

And there you have my responses to the misnomers being spread by people who don't know better. Of course, I'm sure I've spread some misinformation myself. For example, the misconception that "enzymes die" is a common thing said among raw vegans and I myself have said it often. Technically the enzymes change structure, not die. Then again, when we die we are all the same cells that we were, just no longer alive. So perhaps it is accurate to say that the enzymes die.

But hey, the proof is in the pudding. My own transformation is all the convincing I need. I only keep researching to help others and because learning is fun.

My heart and blessings to you, my reader! Many hugs and smiles,

~ Raederle Phoenix

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

[Article] Diet & Depression

Depression is not "all in your head." Depression is a body-wide debilitating condition which I've personally suffered from. From around age nine to age nineteen my life was one big ball of pain, anxiety and unhappiness.
But how much of that was circumstantial, how much of it was "in my head" and how much of it was related to my physical health?
I have a lot of personal conclusions and beliefs regarding depression, panic attacks, but before I talk about that I thought I'd give some concrete "evidence" that comes from outside myself.
The connection between diet, disease and depression (sources at the end of the entry):
  • Dr. Stephen Schoenthaler has published a series of studies conducted in juvenile prison systems and schools. In the prison studies, he found that improved diet plus the addition of vitamins improved behavior dramatically, reducing rule-breaking and violence 40% or more.
  • A study done by Michael S Donaldson in 2001 on the impact of a vegetarian mostly raw diet on people with fibromayalgia showed a decrease in general pain, and an increase in flexibility.
  • Zinc deficiency is known to trigger behavioral problems, including aggression (Ward 1990, 1997). Ward's research showed that children with a diagnosis of ADHD lost zinc faster than other people did when they ate foods containing food dye.
  • A study at Columbia University in New York in 2008 concluded that "A [1-3 week] stay at a raw vegan institute [Hippocrates Health Institute, FL] is closely associated with improved mental and emotional quality of life."
  • The Pfeiffer Treatment Center in Illinois has many years of successful experience helping children whose violent behavior is the result of nutritional imbalance.
  • In the 1970s and 80s, Barbara Reed Stitt was having remarkable success in helping parolees stay out of trouble. Most probation officers had success with only 15% of their parolees; Barbara's success rate was an unheard-of 85%. What she did: convince them to improve their diet. You can read about her work in the book Food & Behavior, a Natural Connection and  in an article called "A Different Kind of School Lunch." Her work is also used in the Appleton Alternative School in Wisconsin, a school for troubled teenagers.
  • Schmidt (1997) compared a diet eliminating all additives as well as most allergens with Ritalin for children with conduct-disorder as well as ADHD. 44% of them responded to Ritalin, while 24% responded equally well to the Feingold-type diet. He concluded, "dietary treatment cannot be neglected as a possible access to treating hyperactive/disruptive children."
  • Peter (1997) surveyed 100 young criminals and found that 75% of them had food allergies, food intolerance, and nutritional problems, compared to only 18% of the young non-offender population.
  • "The supplements just provided the vitamins, minerals and fatty acids found in a good diet, which the inmates should get anyway. Yet the improvement was huge." - C. Bernard Gesch
  • In 1998, Peter successfully treated nine children with persistent anti-social disruptive and/or criminal behavior by changing their diet to avoid the identified problem foods.
  • Gesch (2002) showed that antisocial behavior in prisons, including violence, are dramatically reduced by ordinary supplements of vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids (but not by placebo).
  • Weimar Institute in Northern California has demonstrated that a very low-fat vegetarian diet can also reverse diabetes.
A 2010 study by Dr Felice Jacka from Victoria's Deakin University found that what we eat can have a profound effect on our mental health, reducing the risk of depression and anxiety.
Jacka interviewed more than 1000 women regarding their diet and mental-health symptoms. What made this study different was that for the first time the whole diet of the subjects was looked at, rather than just the role of specific nutrients, such as omega-3, magnesium and folate, in relation to depression and anxiety disorders.
The study found that those subjects who had diets high in processed foods and junk food were more likely to suffer anxiety and depression disorders than those who – you guessed it – had wholefood diets high in vegetables, fruit, fish and other lean protein.
Jacka also conducted a study, published in September last year, on adolescents in relation to diet and mental health. With a quarter of young Australians already experiencing mental-health issues, she found that there was a strong suggestion that it may be possible to help prevent teenage depression by getting youngsters to adopt a nutritious, high-quality diet.
What's more, changes in the quality of adolescent diets over two years were reflected in the mental health of subjects. So the kids whose diets got worse over the two years had a commensurate deterioration in their mental health, as opposed to an improvement for those kids who adopted a healthier diet.
  • The Institute of Internal Medicine in Italty did a study that showed a gluten-free diet significantly reduced anxiety in coeliac patients.
  • In 1992 a study was done in Oregon that showed that a cholesterol-lowering diet improved the emotional state of all 305 subjects. There were reductions in depression as well as aggression.
  • "A raw food vegan diet has been shown to reverse heart disease, cure cancer, and solve digestive problems and depression." ~ John Wiley
  • In a 1994 German study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: A vegetarian lifestyle of twenty years or more was associated with a decreased rate of cancer mortality, a decreased rate in instances of colon cancer, and no deaths from rectal cancer.
  • Dr. Dean Ornish has demonstrated that very low-fat vegetarian diets (of 10% or less calories coming from fat) can reverse heart disease.
  • "I’ve been vegan since being diagnosed with breast cancer in 1982. I was very happy with that diet, but in 1999 I’d heard about a diet consisting of primarily raw fruits and vegetables. I decided to give it a thirty-day trial and then decide whether to stay raw. Well, the thirty days came and went and I stayed raw. Shopping and food preparation was simplified. My electricity bill went down. Cleaning up was almost nonexistent. There was certainly no boredom because I was eating a wide variety of foods. I had lots of energy for my triathlon running, biking, and swimming, and I felt just great! I also lost some weight." by Ruth Heidrich, Ph.D.
The above is just a glimpse of the proven effects of diet on disease and depression. Besides my my own struggle with suicidal behavior and depression, I have much personal second-hand experience with the effect of a raw vegan diet in particular.
I've written about the experience I've had with encountering raw vegans at potlucks, and how their upbeat attitude was one of my first inspirations towards a raw vegan diet. I most recently mentioned it in a conversation on my facebook wall, which I have edited down to it's basic components as follows:
Me: People are getting degenerative diseases younger and younger. However, the age to which we actually survive -- on average -- is getting higher and higher. In extreme short: People are becoming less energetic, less able, less sharp-witted at younger and younger ages, but still living longer and longer through artificial means. This means that the population of people who are not able to "contribute" is growing rapidly.
Friend: That's because our society has too much compassion and empathy.
Me: Not at all. It's because we have no compassion for ourselves that we completely disrespect our own bodies and take no heed of our own emotional health. That is a generalization, but I fully believe that it is justified.
People want to do their exercise "during television commercials" and eat one cup of lettuce (10 calories) under two tablespoons of dressing (200 calories) and then they berate themselves for not being sexy, healthy and beautiful. Then they let other people abuse them emotionally and let everyone else's opinion of them pull them down.
We put our happiness into the hands of other people and hope that the outside world will make us happy, but happiness comes from a wealth of love, compassion, health and truth that is within ourselves.
What society has is fear. We're afraid that if we don't support the weak that it would make us look bad. We're afraid that if we speak out against medicaid that it would make us seem cruel. We're afraid that if we take good care ourselves and make a fortune that someone will take it away. We're afraid that we don't deserve happiness. We're afraid of change, of being taken seriously, of loving fully, of touching someone heart to heart... We're afraid that if we don't help the 'needy' that we will be needy next.
If we had really compassion we would heal inwardly and inspire others to heal as well, and then we'd all be more able, more happy and a heck of a lot more useful to the world-wide community as a whole. We'd be able to help others better if we lived through love instead of fear.
Friend: The weak willed and weak minded should be slaughtered. That's how you build a strong society. Spartan law.
But more realistically, happiness is a mindset and no matter what your achievements in life are, we all have a built-in automatic reset to neutral. Soon you get used to what ever it is you accomplished, say getting to your perfect weight and you'll be back to feeling normal. Same you, just different appearance. This is just basic psychology.
Me: It's absolutely true that we return to a baseline, but that baseline itself can be raised up so that we always return to a feeling of contentment instead of dissatisfaction.
Friend: The media tells us that fit and thin equates to happiness but there are millions of depressed thin people.
Me: Absolutely, because thin does not equal healthy. Also, physically healthy makes it MUCH easier to become mentally and emotionally healthy, but it doesn't ensure it.
Friend: As for less energy, its not a health issue, it's social evolution. Why go out and talk to people when I can avoid social stigmas and meet like minded people online."
Me: I feel much the same way about going out and meeting people. However, now that I am healthy I love sunlight and nature and I do want to get out to be with plants... not people. When I was unhealthy I hated sun, bugs and being touched by most anybody. Now I don't mind bugs, I love sun, and being intimate with others. I enjoy being close to friends: hugging, exchanging back rubs, having a nice conversation where I can make eye contact. However, I don't like just going out to be out and to meet people. It can be very exasperating.
Friend: Forget date night I gotta go get married in WoW or skyrim. No crisis there, just social evolution.
Me: Nothing wrong with that. I played a lot of WoW for a long time, and enjoyed the heck out of it. I grew up playing Civilization, Colonization, Pharoh, Age of Empires, King's Quest, Caesar, etc.
However... Since I became a raw vegan and started helping others, growing food, spending more time drawing, etc... I'm finding accomplishment and satisfaction in the 'real world' and don't feel the same way when I try to play video games.
When someone can find accomplishment in their 'real life' then video-game accomplishments are less meaningful. I'm not trying to put down WoW -- I ran a guild with over 300 members that I built up from scratch myself, and I even met the person who took over my guild in person when I was traveling through Arizona. She was a nice woman and I was glad I was able to leave my guild in good hands.
It's not that WoW has no value, or that games are "not real." The investment you put into something is exactly what you get out of it... However, when I can invest in really helping other people, really healing them, it doesn't interest me very much to help them get through a raid or dungeon.
In some ways there is an evolution. I met my husband on the internet: that is evolution. However, when people choose to hide in their room doing nothing but smoking pot and playing single-player games, and working a 9-5 job that they hate... That is not evolution at all. There are many sides to the story.
Friend: Physical health only relates to mental health if ones condition is related to their appearance. IE: Me losing weight will have zero effect on my mental issues. I'm minoring in psych ... you need to give me some APA research in order to make a claim like that. If a person loses weight and is healed of mental illness then the issue was casued because of their own personal issues with their image. Real clinical depression is not cured by weight loss.
Me: Well, not by starvation-method weight-loss, no. I changed my diet to heal my ulcers, not to lose weight. I happened to lose 30lbs without trying. I never expected the depression to melt away and never come back either.
I've been depression-free since removing the toxic nonsense from my diet, and I hear the same thing from raw vegans I meet everywhere. Healthy equals happy, and healthy usually means thin/muscular. But I've met plenty of muscular or thin people who were unhealthy and depressed.
Friend: Personal experience can not be taken as scientific fact.
Me: Acidic pH residue caused by dairy, meat, most cooked foods and poison cause negative emotions through hormones. Toxins, like acrylamide in browned foods (fried, baked, deep fried, toasted), have to be removed with the use of nutrients and fats. This removal is exhausting, leaving people feeling lethargic, which does not promote happiness.
Nutrients get put on 'toxin control' and thereby are not put to their normal use. It's well documented than lack of b-vitamins causes depression to schizophrenia.
I have schizophrenia on both sides of my family and as a child it appeared likely that I would be diagnosed with schizophrenia as well. I have many relatives who 'cured' their schizophrenia by taking b-vitamin supplements (which I don't personally advise except in extreme conditions since it's easy to get plenty of b-vitamins from fruits and vegetables since they are so very plentiful in b-vitamins).
Even the Dalai Lama says that health is an important precursor to happiness.
Between b-vitamins, pH and the common sense (stomach aches make people unhappy), there is plenty of evidence. And what's more, those are not even all the different kinds of studies that have been done on it.
I use my personal experience as my foremost examples because my life is my own personal study. Other people's studies are their studies. My accounts of my own experiences will be more accurate than my fifth-hand account of someone else's experience.
One of the very largest reasons I got into raw veganism and stuck with it was because I at every raw potluck I went to I had live inspiration. People who've been doing raw food for a year or more glow with happiness and success.
It's such a common trend to hear someone say at a raw potluck, "Before raw food my life was a mess, but now I am doing what I love at work, at home, and I never get sick anymore." Of course, everyone says it in their own way, but the sincerity in people's eyes... I've met hundreds of raw vegans now. I hardly need any further evidence.
Maura Ann Simmonds-Price: Just want to add that being on a raw food diet has helped me mentally. I am less depressed, have less panic attacks, and am less uncontrolably angry. I think being physically healthy has alot to do with mental health.
Friend: I have tried living my life in so many different ways and did the vegan thing for over six months. I'm depressed no matter what I do or how I live: in a relationship, surrounded by friends and family, money or no money, working or unemployed, I have no cure for my depression and manic states. The only thing that seems to help is marijuana. I'm not knocking your experience, but mine clashes with yours so I have to view this as a case by case situation, not as a general fact for everyone.
Maura Ann Simmonds-Price: Raw food is very different from vegan. It may really help you.
Me: I went vegan and removed gluten from my diet without my depression going away. It helped a little, but it was the raw diet that made it go away fully.
Also, that kind of imbalance is hormonal (especially since you mention that pot helps), and it can take years to fully straighten out hormones. Hormones are affected by more than just food: breathing, sunlight, sleeping patterns and air quality all dramatically affect how hormones in the body function.
If you want some help that is purely mental/intellectual, two books have resulted in great increased to my "happiness baseline": The Mastery of Love and The Art of Happiness. These two books both made a huge change in my life each on their own. They are so good I've actually gone back to read certain passages over and over. I find myself using the information I gained from these books every single day of my life -- no kidding.
In my opinion, a completely raw, organic diet with only whole foods (no sweeteners) combined with the teachings from those two books would fully cure any individual of their depression, provided they were not actually mentally retarded at birth or otherwise severely damaged. I have confidence that you are not nearly that damaged, since you are clearly very intelligent and capable of empathy and emotion. I hope you never give up and that you find a personal truth.
Other connections to unhappiness are revealed in the book The Continuum Concept, which (for me) fully explains the sense of "longing" that most of us seem to share, and how to cure that longing.
From the evidence I started out with at the beginning of this entry, I think it is clear that it doesn't take a fully raw vegan diet to see improvement. The simple removal or reduction of toxins alone is tremendous.
Toxins include: brown and white sugar, corn syrup, canola oil, mono-sodium-glutamate, food colorings, hydrogenated oils, artificial sweeteners, 'natural' sweeteners, acrylamide and aflatoxin.
The reason why going vegan can have a big impact for some people is that animals store toxins their fat, as I go into detail about in my recent entry, "Why does a raw vegan who eats junk food get sick? Explained at last!", and removing that source of toxin intake is a relief for the body.
If you are suffering from depression, there are likely many contributors, but I believe dietary changes have the most lasting impact.
Thank you for reading.
~ Raederle Phoenix

Sunday, January 22, 2012

[Article Blog] Raw Vegan Versions Of Comfort Foods: Why They'll Never Stick?

I just read Ela's entry Parsnip Rice BUT Why Raw Versions Will Never Catch On, which was an entry of interest to me because I've been having the very same thought.

Cooked Comfort Foods

My comfort foods used to be lima beans with butter, mashed potatoes, french fries, baked sweet potatoes with apples and sausage, peanut-butter with jelly on hot toast, buttered egg-noodles, white rice with chicken wings, sweat-and-sour chicken, salt & vinegar chips... And well, everything I ate. My entire diet was made up of "comfort foods" because I was depressed and I wasn't interested in food that wasn't soft or creamy or crunchy or salty or sweet. If it didn't meet an emotional desire than I didn't feel like eating it.

My Relationship With Food

My relationship with food is completely transformed now. With a lot of help from experienced raw vegans and lots of good books and articles, I now only eat for "emotional needs" one to five times a week, instead one to five times a day. And now my "emotional choices" are healthier than ever. I'm no longer blending up a new version of almonds-dates-oil every day. In fact, I'm no longer eating nuts or oil except at potlucks, and I'm rarely eating dates at home. This is huge for me.

Raw Comfort Foods

But how do I feel about those raw comfort foods?

I adore raw vegan pizza more than I ever liked "regular" pizza.

Also, I find that raw vegan desserts are easier to make than traditional baked desserts. And sometimes I like them better than the recipe they imitate. I never liked cooked pumpkin pie, but I love raw pumpkin pie.

I don't like traditional hummus, and I don't like raw hummus creations. I don't like most cooked soups and I don't like most raw vegan soups either.

I was never a fan of cooked brownies, but I absolutely love raw brownies.

I wasn't a big fan of chocolate bars, but I revel in my own home-made raw cacao creations. I also love raw carob even though I never liked any cooked-carob dish I ever tried in my life.

How To Name A Raw Recipe

I really dislike when people write "mylk" instead of "milk" just like I dislike "womyn" instead of "women" -- it just seems silly to me. However, if I say "Raw Vegan Cacao Milk Shake" to someone who eats a cooked omnivorous diet, they're going to scratch their head and say, "What does that mean?"

If I say, "Chocolate Milk Shake" that will give the wrong impression as well. If I say, "Cacao Shake" that may work, or they might say, "What is cacao?" The list goes on and on, but no matter how I name something it is never quite correct.

I want to "make up" a name for something... But if I make up a word, nobody will know what I'm talking about.

We call it a "raw vegan" diet because it is raw and it is vegan. Those words describe what we mean.

We call a raw vegan pizza a "Raw Vegan Pizza" because that describes the general appearance, flavor and ingredients involved... Except that everyone always asks me, "What is the crust made out of?" Which can be buckwheat, nuts, seeds, or even sprouted grains.

I find that most people are open to trying new dishes, but I have had complaints that "this shouldn't be called ______ because it isn't ________." But then, What would I call it instead?

Ela writes, "The same held when I brought a raw lasagna to a gathering one time. Everyone adored it, and everyone referred to it as a salad."

A raw vegan lasagna is a very specific type of "salad" ...and... "salad" is just too broad. I mean, you might as well call my raw vegan carrot-muffins a salad because they are made of carrots, raisins, dried apricots and seeds... Which does sound like a salad, until I put some banana-carob frosting on them!

"Cooked" folks & "Raw" folks

It will, of course, depend on the audience. Some people will adore a raw vegan version of something familiar who are "cooked" and some people who are "raw" will feel that the version is "just not the same" or "not worth it."

I think part of the wild success of kale chips is that they are their own thing -- a raw thing -- a veggi thing -- and a different thing. They aren't really a replacement for potato chips, they are something entirely different and new.

"Cooked" people love kale chips just like "raw" people do. And they can be made hundreds of different ways!

But honestly, I find kale chips to be a lot of bother. It's just easier to throw greens in my blender and drink them and get on with life.

I make 'fancy' things for fun, not for every-day consumption. And most 'raw versions' are fancy. They take lots and lots of time and effort in comparison to a simple salad, smoothie or juice. And I think that may be the real reason they won't catch on.

Fermenting nut cheese, creating a cashew cream, marinating vegetables, dehydrating mushroom slices, carefully slicing squash... All that stuff is very time consuming and completely not required for a very healthy raw diet. It's just something to do for fun.

I do make simple truffles often. However, that is because they're super easy and they impress "cooked" folks and "raw" folks alike. Especially when they are ginger-based or chocolate-based.

Final Thoughts

Raw food versions of comfort foods are great for people transitioning to the raw diet. However, only a small selection of these "raw food comfort foods" are really ideal for a wide audience of omnivores and long-term raw foodies alike.

I think that most raw vegan truffles will be loved by all, and that most raw vegan pizzas will be loved by all, but much of the stuff in between is just to allow someone to get past that tough spot in transition...  And for special raw vegan occasions.

~ Raederle

Earlier today: Why Raw Vegans Get Sick From Foods They Used To Eat: The Answer At Last!

[Article] Why does a raw vegan who eats junk food get sick? Explained at last!

"He who is drowned is not troubled by the rain." - Chinese Proverb

Many people who enter a raw vegan 'lifestyle' find that they can't eat the things they used to without getting sick. For example, they may have eaten fried shrimp each Friday night with pizza and a glass of bottled fruit juice. Now they might find that eating that same meal would leave them rolling in pain and misery.

I've heard it said before, "I can eat steak and feel great, but a raw vegan can't, thereby my body is stronger."

  • But is this reasoning correct? And:

  • Why does a raw vegan feel sick from steak?

I'd like to endeavor to answer these two questions to the best of my ability.

To understand why a raw vegan feels sick from "junk food" but a "regular American" does not, we must examine detoxification and what it is.


In short: 

Detoxing is when toxins move from the lymph fluids or organs into the bloodstream to be eliminated. This only happens when there is "room" for this to happen as well as "energy" in the body.

Why might someone lack the energy to detox?


Most of the energy burned by typical Americans is in the process of digestion. This takes a lot of energy when you eat something like beans. 

Beans can take over six hours to digest by someone who is reasonably healthy. They take even longer (up to three days!) in someone unhealthy.

The problem is that the nutrition of the beans never gets extracted in an unhealthy system. The sum of the extraction is empty calories and fat. 

The body pulls the fibers apart, the broken cooked proteins apart, and all the while the beans are moving through the digestive tract. What our bodies can't use ends up being a meal for bacteria in our gut, such as candida.

I think is is why the Paleo diet does not recommend beans.

This exhausting digestive process leaves no energy for detoxification.

Meat, dairy and eggs take two to four hours in a healthy digestive system. They can also take days in an unhealthy digestive system. 


The body requires digestive enzymes to digest food, and all enzymes are "destroyed" by cooking. These cooked foods (milk is cooked before being sold) are exhausting to digest.

A raw vegan diet is loaded with enzymes because everything is raw. The vegetables and fruits are loaded with everything needed to digest them already.

To get the details on enzymes and how they work, read this article all about the science of enzymes.

Fruits are the easiest foods to digest when they are eaten alone (but they are nightmare for your stomach when combined with dense food like beans, rice, meat, etc -- more details about food combination are on my page: "Food Pyramid"). 

Fruit can take as little as twenty minutes to digest in a healthy system! This leaves lots more energy for you.

Back To Detoxification

Your typical American breaths in smoke or smog or paint odor and they feel fine. They're currently working on digesting something. Most Americans are always working on digesting something. So the toxin can not be dealt with. The toxin has to be wrapped in fat by the liver and stored.

The moment you eat something cooked or fatty (meat is both cooked and fatty) you stop all detoxing because all the energy goes into digestion. Toxins take minerals and energy to eliminate. The easiest way to handle them is to store them as fat.

Raw vegans are always detoxing. They have the energy to always detox. 

But there is something key to understand about detoxing: 

What you feel is what is happening in your blood. If the level of glucose in your blood is low, you're tired. Likewise, if the level of toxins in your blood is high, you feel terrible.

A whiff of smoke comes into a raw vegan's body and then the toxins enter their blood so they can move through their body and be eliminated. The person then feels sick from smelling the smoke almost instantly.

If the toxin is stored as fat, you don't feel it. The smoker does not feel the toxins in the smoke. What they feel are the hormonal reactions. The toxins are wrapped in fat and sent to the organs or fat of the body. 

If you eat bad food all the time you don't necessarily feel nauseated all the time. You might be consuming toxic substances like hydrogenated oils and aspartame and feeling pretty decent. This is because most of the toxins are being processed by the liver.

When the liver can't handle all the toxins anymore, then you start feeling terrible. Or, when you try to eat a low-fat high-toxin diet. Fat-free yogurt, sugar-free gum, and I-can't-believe-it's-not-butter are a huge recipe for disaster. These items are loaded with toxins with no healthy protective fat for the liver to protect you.

What's worse is that animals store toxins in their fat just like we do. When we eat that fat we eat their toxins. It isn't the fat that makes us fat. It is their toxins stored in their fat getting re-stored in our bodies as fat. The fat of an avocado, olive or seed will not make you fat, but the fat of an unhealthy toxin-laden animal will. This is the real reason why some people lose weight by going vegan -- they stop consuming the toxins stored within animals.

But as long as you are getting enough healthy fat, or at least non-toxic fat such as organic olive oil, and your liver is working: you don't feel the toxins you consume. The toxins are not in your blood and you feel fine.

However, if someone who eats a raw vegan diet who is always detoxing ate the same foods, they'd feel terrible. Their detox may be slowed dramatically by eating the unhealthy food, but at least when they begin to eat their body is in detox-mode. This may cause a stomach upset, a headache, muscle cramps, dizziness, and so on. 

Eventually the bad food stops the detox entirely and they feel a little better. The next day they eat their healthy food again, like a green juice. This green juice begins the detox again and they finish detoxing from the unhealthy meal they ate last night and they feel very sick again in the process.

Bottom line: You don't feel it unless you detox it. It just keeps getting stored as fat.

This actually is what causes brain tumors. If the body runs out of places to put toxins, it'll put it in your brain.

Weight Loss

Anything toxic in your life causes weight gain, including stress. Hormones in your body trigger weight gain and weight loss.

putting on fat

  • Feeling fearful, angry, jealous, upset, etc, trigger fat gain. 
  • Not sleeping enough causes hormonal imbalances that cause fat gain.
  • Staying up late at night and missing your "power hours" causes fat gain and "aging."
  • Never letting your insulin drop by always digesting food triggers fat gain.
  • Eating anything toxic triggers fat gain, especially aspartame, white sugar, white flour, hydrogenated oils, animal fats and corn syrup.
burning fat and building muscle

  • The hormones involved in feeling good trigger fat loss. 
  • Exercising activates hormones for burning fat and building muscle even if you only exercise for a couple of minutes.
  • Detoxing from heavy metals and other toxins happens simultaneously with fat loss.
  • Sunlight exposure without burning balances hormones and promotes muscle building.
  • Foods rich in antioxidants such as blueberries and pomegranates assist in detoxification and thereby assist in fat burning.

Losing weight can feel terrible. As you burn fat you are also releasing toxins into the bloodstream.

That is why it can be very unhealthy to lose weight too fast. If toxins enter the blood but then they don't make it out of the body, they can get re-deposited in an organ, such as the kidneys. That can be very serious. 

This is why starving yourself to lose weight is really dangerous. That is burning toxic fat without having the nutrient intake to actually get rid of the toxins.


The liver wraps toxins in fat and stores them because it doesn't have the nutrition and vitality to send the toxins out of the body. To send the toxins out the body needs a modicum of hormonal balance, plenty of calcium, iron, magnesium, etc, it needs hydration (which comes from a balance of potassium, sodium and water), as well as enzymes and vitamins.

Not everyone who leads a toxic lifestyle is overweight. Toxins may be released by sweating, which can cause adverse skin reactions. With enough water consumption and exercise, many toxins are never really 'absorbed' by the body and pass through in excrement and sweat. A very smelly bowel movement is a sign of consumption of toxins.

You may notice that on very stressful days, or days when you breath in a lot of second-hand smoke, or on days where you pig out on a lot of sausages, you have a very unusually smelly bowel movement the next day. It is important to notice these signs in your body. Bad smells, just like pain, are warning signs flashing: something is wrong.


  • To have the healthy amount of fat for your body type and lifestyle you must not have exposure to toxins or you must detox from all toxin exposure.

  • A raw vegan feels sick from unhealthy junk foods because they detox immediately or very soon after instead of storing the toxins as fat.

  • A diet must be at least wholly raw for part of each day to detox. Being raw for breakfast and lunch would be enough to detox from breakfast (say around 7:00am) to dinner (say around 6:00pm), getting eleven hours of detoxing time each day (provided that there wasn't much fat involved. Nuts slow detox in small quantities -- like a tablespoons -- and stop detox in high volumes -- like a half measuring cup.)

  • Paying close attention to bodily reactions in combination with self education can bring you to a place where you can interpret your body's condition and be your own doctor. You can notice that your sweat smells terrible after eating fried soy and come to the conclusion that fried soy is toxic to your body. You can discover that you have metal poisoning by seeing if cilantro tastes like a penny to you.

Thank's for reading! I hope you feel empowered with new understanding after reading this entry.

Let your divine-self shine and honor yourself by treating your body with respect: give your body what makes it feel good, smell good and look good. When you honor yourself others will honor you!

~ Raederle Phoenix PS: Check out some of my raw vegan meals here in my facebook album called "Living Cuisine"