Wednesday, November 30, 2011

So What's YOUR Bucket List?

So have you seen the movie "The Bucket List" with Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicolson? Where they both are diagnosed with terminal diseases and share a hospital room together and vow to live out dreams they wrote on their "bucket list" to do before they die and then go out and do them?

What's on YOUR bucket list?

I started my bucket list in my late teens. I wanted to travel the world, learn a foreign language, get and STAY married (my parents had been married multiple times), pay off my house (which I did by the time I was in my mid-30's--only to go and buy another one!), and live with integrity (that one will be a living commitment that never gets fulfilled--it's a day to day goal).

I've hit all of my goals. I've traveled to almost 40 countries, learned enough spanish to get by but wouldn't say I am fluent, paid off my house and both cars, and try to live each day with integrity and will hit my 20-year anniversary next May.

I need new goals. So here goes:

1) Buy a piece of land and grow my own food and be fully self-sufficient.

2) Write at least one book if not more.

3) Travel MORE of the world. :) (It's in my blood. I LOVE to travel)

4) Touch people's lives for the better. Have other's feel that their lives are for the better for having had known me.

5) Be in the best possible shape ever.

6) Get my degree in Natural Health.

So, your turn. What's on YOUR bucket list? And what's holding you back from doing it? If you haven't done it yet, why not? When are you going to start? What action plan do you have?

There are the proverbial 3 types of people:

1) Those who MAKE things happen

2) Those who watch things happen

3) And those who ask "What Happened?"

What do you need to do to put yourself in the first category? It starts with written goals.

It progresses with making a plan and then breaking it down into workable steps.

And then it goes to MAKING A DEADLINE--and a commitment to someone else--to provide incentive to get started. Procrastination is the bane of any'll get done tomorrow....

Let's start right here, right now, sharing what your bucket list dreams are, and committing OUTLOUD to doing ONE THING on your action plan towards fulfulling that dream.

So, starting tomorrow, I am doing my 30-day juice/smoothie feast. I actually started a week ago, but so what? Eating healthy is always better done MORE, not less.

I am saving up to travel, and I will commit to writing Chapter 1 of a book by the end of December. I am learning to grow stuff indoors as well as growing my fruit trees in my backyard and garden, so I am preparing for when I have more land. And I will do one book and one test per week towards my degree.

Your turn, how 'bout you?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Blending Versus Juicing: Which is better?

When it comes to health, there are a lot of opinions. Some are established in fact, where as a lot are established in belief.

When it comes to whether to blend or whether to juice, we have to look at it from a few different angles to come up with an answer....sort of.

My general rule of thumb that I have found out from personal experience in trial and error:

1) I blend my fruits and lettuce greens

2) and I juice roots like carrots,beets and hard leaves like cabbage, celery and cucumber.


Well, I noticed that my blood sugar was way off when I drank fresh fruit juices. I needed the fiber to slow down the absorption.

I also noticed that when I did juice fasts that there was no fiber to keep my bowels moving, which didn't feel right. I like the fact the smoothies provide enough bulk so that enemas are not necessary like they are when one juices exclusively.

Drinking green smoothies enables one to take in way more leafy greens than they otherwise would "chew" in a salad. Leafy greens are such an important source of nutrition it's ridiculous.

Entire groups of big powerful animals power their physiques eating exclusively greens. When people ask me where I get my protein from, I always say "the same place gorillas, elephants and giraffes get it--from leafy greens." Greens provide more protein per calorie than meat does. And lots of iron, B-vitamins, folate, magnesium, calcium and vitamin A and C and some varieties, Vitamin E.

Fruits provide very important soluble fiber that we need.


When we juice, we take out part of the very important nutrition.

That said, I don't think vegetable juices are bad for us, especially since most of us have eaten such nutrient-poor diets.

Even Dr. Max Gerson later amended his program to include way more vegetable juices than fruit juices particularly for diabetics.

So, ideally, we can use our veggie juice for the base of our smoothie instead of water and then add in our whole fruit, whole leafy greens and BLEND the two together to make a nutrient AND fiber packed smoothie that fills us up without filling us out.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Why RAW and why REAL?

When thinking about what to title my blog, I knew I wanted to talk about raw food because I know it's so vital to health, but I also knew I didn't want to label myself any particular type of "raw" because there's enough hair-splitting in the raw food world as it is.

I also wanted to keep it real. Raw food for real people. How do we eat healthfully in today's modern world?

 And I wanted people to eat REAL food. From the ground and not from a box or a jar.

We keep it raw because the sun has already cooked our food for us. On a hot day, you can literally cook an egg on your driveway. When fruits and vegetables are ripening on the vine or tree, they are being heated by the sun's rays to just the right state for our consumption.

The sun's energy is trapped in those foods to provide the raw materials for combustion inside of our bodies to be used as fuel. When we cook our food, the food reaches combustion outside of our bodies and thus is no different than putting ashes inside of a campfire circle and expecting to get a fire from it. We wouldn't do that, but instead we would use the fresh, raw wood that creates combustion when it is lit.

Same with our bodies. Raw food has all the nutrients we need. Some vitamins are heat sensitive and are destroyed while cooking. Cooking also deranges DNA in food and thus in our bodies. What happens to your hand when you hold it over a flame? You get burned, right? If it's a surface burn, and not too many cells are destroyed, the DNA within the body uses proteins to recreate new replacement cells to repair the hand.

However, if the burn is deep and severe enough then cell replication cannot take place and there is a permanent wound and scar.

The sun cooks our food to just the right temperature and no more. Our bodies do the rest.

Inside of a compost pile temperatures can reach over 100 degrees. We, too, have bacteria in our bodies that "composts" our food. We don't need to cook our food before we eat it. Our bodies cook it inside of us.

We keep it REAL by eating REAL food. The general public does not know what happens to real food during the refining process into fake food.

In the book "Twinkie, Deconstructed" the author takes each ingredient of a Twinkie, one by one, and explains how each ingredient is made. It is very eye-opening and actually disgusting. Some dyes to color our food  are actually made from bug bodies.When you know how your food is actually made, you would go raw overnight.

The other book I've been reading is "Fats that Heal--Fats that Kill". He makes the same point. Manufacturers actually use gasoline on seeds to break down the fibers to extract the oil. They also bleach the oil and do a bunch of other horrendous things to it which render it nutritionally void and tasteless, yet it now  has a long shelf life.

That's it in a nutshell folks: real food has very little shelf life and fake food lasts forever.

Has anyone seen the outtake of "Supersize Me" at the end of the DVD where they find a french fry from McDonald's under his car seat that's two years old and looks exactly the same as a freshly made one?

Long shelf life benefits the producer to minimize loss of inventory and not the consumer that puts it into their bodies and expects it to rebuild their health.

Real food is food that is ideally grown organically, from the soil and has nothing added to it and has not been altered in any way. Nor does it need to be because it tastes amazing as-is.

So, from here on out, let's keep it RAW and let's keep it REAL.

Straight talk, Awesome health. Real results.

Is Eating Healthy EXPENSIVE???

It depends. If you eat out several times a week, buy $5 latte's at Starbucks everyday and eat out for lunch often, you will most likely save money eating this way.

Plus, you need to add up all the prescription pills you take, doctor's and dental visit bills, etc, to tally up the "real" cost of eating unhealthy.

That said, I went shopping today to prepare to see how much this is going to cost each day. I wanted to share it with you because a popular refrain I hear is that "I'd love to eat healthy but it's just too expensive".

Here's the deal, folks. Eating healthy is not expensive---eating unhealthfully is. Just not up front. The true costs of lost work time, medical bills, lost quality of life, money spent on cosmetics, clothes and surgeries to fix poor appearance due to bad health---all adds up.

I remember seeing a group of people being interviewed in the movie "Food, Inc". A Mexican family was saying that they have diabetes because all they can afford is Fast Food.


Here's how much it's going to cost for my Juice Feast PER DAY:

Apples:             $1.96
Red Lettuce:     $1.48
Kale:                $ .98
Carrots            $ 1.56
Iceburg            $1.96
Cabbage          $1.60
Bananas           $.79

So for $10.31 a day, how much it would cost to eat out for ONE lunch or ONE dinner, I am getting ultra-nutrition each day. This is $310 a MONTH. Not bad.

I am full and satiated, like the way I look and feel and have tons of energy.

So about how much time it's going to take you. Yes, it's going to take time to juice and prepare your food. But again, not any more so than making most other meals from scratch. Microwave meals don't count.

And, as for grabbing a quick "bite on the run" can get to a supermarket store just as easily as you can go to a fast food store. Have a knive and tupperware in your car to cut up melons, etc. I have a lunch tote that I prepare each morning that has a bunch of bananas, a glass tupperware with cut up honeydew melon and a fork, and head of romaine lettuce in it. Each morning is a smoothie and each evening when I get home is another smoothie. That's my day.

If you've seen the movie "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead", you saw Joe had a juicer in his car and juiced in his hatchback while driving cross country.

So no excuses for eating healthy.

It's affordable.

It's do-able.

It tastes good.

It gets you the results you want.

Start on a Friday morning because if you've been eating junk, by Friday afternoon you're going to have a slamming headache. Go to bed when you get home from work Friday night and sleep most of the weekend.

Come Monday you'll still feel a little off, but by Tuesday or Wednesday, life should be getting good again.

You can do this.


There's a statement that I've seen made by a few of the leaders in the vegan and raw vegan movement: "People are dying, not so much from deficiencies, but from excesses".

I used to agree with this statement without question. I have since updated my viewpoint to include deficiencies as a very real issue that needs to be taken seriously.

I am studying to get my PhD in Natural Health, specifically, Natural Hygiene. The basic tenet of NH is that "all diseases are caused by toxemia". The theory basically says that we poison ourselves with drugs, both prescription, over-the-counter and recreational, as well as with foods that we are not biologically designed for such as animal foods, processed foods and fats such as oils and saturated fats in animal products.

While the above is absolutely correct, the theory causes it's adherents to be a bit myopic in view with regards to the need to "cleanse" the body of all toxemia and fasting is a popular method to achieve this end and fruit is seen as the ultimate cleansing food.

While we do need plenty of high water content foods for the body to cleanse itself of cellular and metabolic debri, the body also needs some fatty acids, vitamins and minerals that are ESSENTIAL--- in that the body cannot manufacture them itself and MUST attain them from the diet. If the body does not recieve those nutrients in adequate amounts, then it will not be able to rebuild the different cells of the body and repair itself adequately and the result is slower healing and compromised function of various systems.

Being vegan or being raw vegan is not enough, if it does not include the right types of foods in the right amounts with enough of all the nutrients that the body needs. It's possible to be a junk food vegan and focus only on macronutrients and ignore the need of the body for the micronutrients that are equally important. And there are many vegan and raw vegan foods that when eaten in excess, can lead to imbalances.

Deficiency diseases such as Beri Beri (a deficiency of Thiamin or B1), Scurvy (a deficiency of Vitamin C) and Pellegra (a deficiency of Niacin or Vitamin B3) are not common today like they might have been in the past.

However, did you know that the majority of the population are still deficient in these nutrients while not manifesting these symptoms because it's a matter of degree and symptoms don't show up until there's a significant deficiency? There is a continuum of deficiency starting with mild symptoms and then progressing to more severe and yes, these diseases can eventually end up in death.

Many people don't know that many of the B Vitamins can help a person overcome alcoholism and mental illnesses such as schizophrenia. All are needed, and a few play key roles. Many skin disorders are also affected by the B Vitamins which are refined out of processed foods.

Selenium and Zinc as well as Pantothenic acid are needed by people under a great deal of stress and Pantothenic Acid especially is needed for support of the adrenals as well as Vitamin C.

Vitamin E, an important anti-oxidant is especially hard to get on a raw vegan diet if one does not include either an enormous supply of leafy greens, mangoes or nuts and seeds.

The Essential Fatty Acids are crucially important in our diets for health and need to be in the right balance. Fruitarian diets can often have way more Omega 6's than Omega 3's unless one highlights melons, leafy greens and includes flax seeds. This often results in dry skin and inflammation problems of the joints and tissues.

The cleansing model of health has it's limitations and can even be dangerous if taken to extremes. Water fasting, especially for extended lengths of time and done repeatedly, can deplete the body of precious resources especially if one starts out already depleted after having eaten nutritionally depleted foods for many years.

A far safer alternative is feasting on fruit and vegetable juices or smoothies. I prefer smoothies because I feel that the fiber is an essential nutrient and keeps the bowels moving--something that doesn't happen most of the time during a water or juice fast. When one is eating a healthful diet of raw fruits and vegetables, enemas or colonics should not be necessary. The fiber and water in the foods makes for very complete evacuations that make extra "cleansing" unnecessary. The digestive tract is still able to rest, but the body is not stressed from the depletion of important nutrients and is able to rebuild an repair that which it has cleansed out. Rebuilding is equally as important as cleansing.

I have since completely changed my view of white flour, white rice and all refined foods. They are not foods. They have only MACRO nutrients, which are fat, carbohydrate and protein, but they provide ZERO, and I am not exaggerating here,  of MICRO nutrition: there is no Vitamin C, A, E or B vitamins in any of these foods. No minerals and no EFA's. This is what is meant by an empty calorie.

This is also what sets up CRAVINGS. When we get cravings while on a reducing diet, we often berate ourselves for lack of "will power". What is actually happening, is that the body, in it's wisdom knows it's not gettng an ESSENTIAL nutrient from what is being eaten and thus sends out a signal for more food. Overeating is nothing more than looking for more nutrients. Even emotional eating results from this. You will be amazed at how your moods and emotions even out and your blood sugar normalizes when you give your body ALL of the nutrients that it needs.

You will achieve a level of satiation and satisfaction that will surprise you. You will be offered "junk" foods and there will be no attraction whatsoever. Nil. Your moods will level out and your energy levels will be even.

Under-nutrition and Over-eating are kissing cousins. You are not bad, you are just mis-guided. And who can fault you? The information you are given is from doctors, most of whom had little to none nutritional schooling, the four food groups model from grade school, courtesy of the meat and dairy industry lobbyists, and commercials from giant food corporations that make claims about the nutritional food benefits of their foods that are very misleading. No wonder you are confused.

So, with this up-coming juice fast, I have put in hours of time researching which foods will give the RDA and ABOVE of all the needed nutrients and have carefully designed which foods will provide what my body needs.

I have spent the last few months looking into what nutrients help my specific symptoms and have noticed a change for the better.

I will be blogging about what I've learned and I hope that you benefit from the process and as and that it forever changes the way you look at the various "foods" offered to you.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Keeping it RAW, Keeping it REAL

We still have a population who's health is failing despite a multi-billion dollar health and supplement industry. The mindset is that aging is inevitable and that diseases just strike the unfortunate and that one has cope the best one knows how.

When we meet someone-- if we even have this priviledge-- who has aged well, we tend to attribute it to genes or reason that it's just a fluke. We don't want to believe that perhaps something that we've done to ourselves has caused us harm and that we have control over changing it. That's too scary. And yet at the same time, it's incredibly empowering if you think about it. You are in the driver's seat of your own life. You create the script, choose the actors, the backdrop and determine the outcome of your life. Even including the quality of your health and appearance. It's up to you.

We live in an age of volumes of information. This is good and this is bad. It is good since we can access knowledge that previously was unattainable to us from all over the world via the web. It is bad, however, because of the sheer volume. The conflicting information and the downright smoke and mirrors put up by those with ulterior motives of lining their wallets with our hard-earned dough, have created a confused public that knows no more about creating health than they did 50 years ago and it shows.

What is needed is real-life examples of how to live healthfully and successfully by those who are actually doing it. Not the examples shown by the rich and famous with their personal trainers and chefs. Not those who are retired and have tons of time on their hands and no responsibilities. But we need people with jobs, responsibilities, schedules to juggle, family and friends who eat unhealthily who tease them, and people who have had health challenges that they've dealt with successfully by nutritional means rather than with popping pills and surgeries to show us how they do it so we can copy what they do and get what they have.

After having been introduced to the documentary made by Joe Cross "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead" where he documents his journey of weight loss and recovery from a painful and embarrassing skin condition by fasting or rather,  feasting,  on raw fresh fruit and vegetable juices for 60 days and along the way not only getting ridiculously healthy himself, but inspiring a truck driver with the same skin condition and even more weight to lose to try it too, it dawned on me what was missing from the movie: was how to make this work in REAL life---both of the men were shown being able to sleep in bed and rest or take 30 days and just focus on getting better. Neither one were shown going to work everyday and having hectic lives to lead while making these changes.

The vast majority of people don't have that luxury and have demands on their time and energy that cause them to feel overwhelmed at making new changes in their diet and lifestyle and prevent them from finding the time to research their options and design workable alternatives.

That's why I wanted to start this blog. How do we make it work when we are BUSY, stressed, tired and just plain old overwhelmed?

We start by finding those who are doing it and then doing what they do. So I figured I would do a 30-day smoothie feast for the month of December while working full time.

Now, what better way to start the new year than with a raw vegetable and fruit smoothie feast?

I will blog my daily routine, my daily intake, my results and what challenges I face and how I overcome them.

You can post your questions and challenges down below and I will address them in future blogs.

I will keep it as real as possible and share tips that has helped me to not only change to eating healthier, but STAY eating healthier.

Here's what I promise:

Total transparency. I will let you know amounts of food eaten, and how much that food cost me.

I will let you know what time I get up from bed, how long it takes me to prepare my food and clean up and what time I go to bed.

My goals? To flood my body with nutrients from raw leafy greens and vegetables to replenish vitamin and mineral stores that when depleted, can lead to disease.

This, I believe, is the crux of disease actually, in addition to toxemia. While most of us eat way too much fat, sugar, white flour, coffee and saturated fats as well as Omega 6 oils, we also are depriving ourselves of much-needed micronutrients of vitamins and minerals that our bodies need to function and repair itself. They are the basic building blocks that the body uses to rebuild itself. When we deprive ourselves of those nutrients, the results are aging, slowed healing, low energy and disease. We are a nation of overabundance calorically, but deprived beyond even some Third World Countries nutritionally. In fact, despite many being obese, nutritionally, we are starving.

We need to feast on the plant kingdom to get what we need on a daily basis. That's what animals in the wild do and they are fit and healthy. We all KNOW we need to eat so many servings of fruits and vegetables a day, but virtually nobody does it. Why? We don't know anybody else who is doing it and showing us how. How many deer to you see in nature barbequeing their food?

I almost always get people wanting to try my mango slaw when I bring it to work. There are so many nutritious raw recipes that are delicious. People just haven't been shown how to eat this way. Blending dates, apples and cinnamon together makes a apple strudel that is to die for.

We are flooded with scare tactics in the mainstream media disguised as information that tell us that we are not getting enough if we are vegan, raw or if we delete animal foods from our diets. Eating junk food diets of white flour and soy burgers and french fries, even though vegan, IS unhealthier than eating a meat and potatoes with veggies diet---I know because I actually plugged in the numbers in a nutritional website and realized why some meat-eaters feel so bad when they go "junk food" vegan-- they are getting less nutrition than when they were eating meat. No wonder they go back.

Even some raw diets are way off on their nutrients: either way too high in Omega 6 fats, or not enough selenium, Vitamin E or Niacin. They start to get symptoms of deficiencies and then think they need to "detox" even more so they go on a water fast which makes them even MORE deficient. This is insanity.

We need good knowledge to make good choices and then we need to be shown ways of implementing them.

The plant kingdom has an abundance of colors, tastes and variety to choose from to delight the palate and provide raw materials for the body to use to heal.

We need to learn that what most of we put into our mouths on a daily basis is not FOOD at all----it's cardboard.  Plants, however, provide everything that a body needs to thrive.

Out of all the approximately 5000 mammals in the animal kingdom, roughly only 5% or 250 are carnivores. The others eat a predominantly plant-based diet and this not only builds, but fuels, their remarkably powerful bodies that never show the same signs of aging that humans do and they do not get overfat.

When you compare the sleeping requirement for those animals that eating mostly plants versus those that eat exclusively meat, why we are lagging in energy becomes a little more clear: giraffes eat only vegetation and sleep only 2 hours a day. Lions, who are carnivores, sleep almost 20 hours.

Dr. Max Gerson got even more spectacular results with his patients health than Joe Cross did with his juice feast with his skin: people who had stage 4 cancer and were sent home to die, were given a new lease on life through the daily ingestion of copious quantities of raw fresh vegetable and fruit juices on a daily basis  and consumed no vegetable oils, saturated fats or refined sugars or drinks.

We can mimic these same great results. Norman Walker lived into his 9th decade of life through drinking daily vegetable juices. And we know about Juice Man, Jay Kordich, who has shared this knowledge with thousands and  is vibrant and active in his eigth decade of life.

None of us wants to lose our health or vitality we had when we were younger. But few of us are living in a way to ensure that that will happen and it doesn't just happen through osmosis.

As Karyn Calabrese, who herself is in her 60's and deliciously vibrant, always says: "If you don't take care of the body you live in, where you gonna live?"

So, we'll talk about how to prepare and get started for the December 1st date and I'd love for you to comment below if you'd like to join me in my journey. :)