Sunday, September 30, 2007

LET'S GET REAL!

Have you been reading the blog "Raw Food, Right Now"? You need to read it "right now".

I recommend Heidi and Justin's blog because of their common sense approach to a raw lifestyle, and because of their continuing support of The Raw Divas.

Like all lifestyles the raw foods "movement" has its fanatics. These are people who feel you're going to hell if you don't eat 100% raw. Sure, its possible, but unless you're going to adopt a monastic way of life its not easy to change. Its not easy to make the commitment.

About 5 years ago I spent a week at a Buddhist retreat in Estes Park, Colorado. It was a retreat hosted by Thich Nhat Hanh. He explained that people shouldn't turn their backs on their religious background. I came away believing that Buddhism is a practice to help people embrace, and enhance their lives. I have grown to realize that this teaching doesn't apply to just our spirituality, put applies to all portions of our lives, including what we eat.

It would be wonderful if we could turn our backs on cooked foods, and embrace raw foods without ever giving a thought to cooked foods. But let's get real!

In my case I've got a 50 year history with cooked foods. When I was growing up I ate lobster, roast beef, and all types of animals. Should I look at back at that person as evil? Of course not. It would be like cutting off my hand because of a hangnail!

I could go on, and on, about the lunacy of some in the raw foods movement. We need to remember that we are all on a search for health, that leads us down different paths. Some are longer paths, and some are shorter paths, but they lead to the same end. Don't walk away because you can't live up to someone elses expectations. Adding even a little raw foods to your diet is much better than eating an all cooked diet!

So make sure to check out "Raw Foods, Right Now". I love it when they rant.

Oh, and don't forget to listen to Heidi's first Podcast with THE RAW DIVAS! Tera and Amy are really doing great things for people who want to add more and more raw foods to their life. They realize the necessity of communication and community. They realize that we are all searching for a better life. The Divas realize that there are no correct answers to our questions, except those answers we find for ourselves.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Yes Honey, You're Right, I'm Wrong....

Isn't it hard to admit when we're wrong? It shouldn't be. There's absolutely nothing wrong with being wrong. When we realize that we're wrong, we turn the corner down the right path.

Well, I was wrong, and I owe my wife an apology. She was right.

We were in Youngstown, Ohio the other day, and she'd misplaced some weapon that she uses for knitting, and threatening my continued existence with at other times.. She said, "I haven't lost it, I just haven't figured out where I put it yet."

Five minutes later I stopped my head from spinning over the perceived insanity of that statement, and got the car back under control. Unfortunately, my headache lasted for the rest of the night.

People can be really dense, and I'm among the densest at times. It took three days for me to realize the importance of her message.

Today I came out of the local co-op. I was buying what I needed to make the spinach stuffed meatloaf recipe that Teri posted on The Daily Raw (drool). I crossed the street without becoming road kill along with some neighborhood squirrels. There were two posters stapled to the telephone pole. Two families had lost their cats and were offering substantial rewards.

I've been in one of those mellow, a little more laid back, moods. I thought of these two families who had "lost" someone they loved that were a part of their lives.

I then proceeded to bash my head against the pole. I had an epiphany.

Our society has developed an attitude that things end. Our lives end. Our job ends. Experiences end, etc., etc. etc.

But do things really end? Not really. Our bodies don't end, they change. By saying we've "lost" something we've declared an end to some thing's existence.

The term "lost" is not as positive as "I just haven't remembered where I left it". My wife's approach to what she couldn't find at the moment was a much more positive and a much more mature approach to life in general.

No "religion" (provide your own definition for that one please. I'm not touching it.) that I know of, preaches an end to life. Life doesn't end, life changes. The body doesn't really die, it changes.

We don't lose friends, we gain new friends.

Think of how much fulfilling our lives can be if we shift the way with think from a life of loss, to a life of searching for the changes that we place around us every day.

Will you find what you thought was lost, or might you find something that far exceeds your expectations. That my friends is part of the lesson, and the real crux of the journey.

How does this apply to raw foods? How doesn't it apply to raw foods.

Take the first step, and trust your instincts by answering this question on your own. Don't lose things anymore, change your lives and the way you think. Start your journey anew.

You might even surprise yourself....

Sunday, September 23, 2007

I HAVE SINNED!


So you blew it. You fell off the wagon. You ate cooked food. You might have even eaten of the body of another living creature.

Now you’re miserable. You’re shuffling around the house, causing others to think how to easily end your suffering.

Well, I really love telling you this, but SO WHAT? Who have you hurt (well, there is the animal flesh that had to come from something living, but I'm going to guess you didn't kill something)? What you ate didn’t cause a bomb to go off. It didn’t result in some child going hungry in a third world country.

What you did was make a choice. Most importantly, it was your choice. No one forced you to eat what you ate. There was no gun to your head, and there was absolutely nothing wrong with what you did. Honestly, I’m glad you ate what you did.

OH GOD! You’re happy that I ate something bad for me?

Not in the least. I'm happy that you made a choice. If you didn’t want to eat whatever it was that you ate, you wouldn’t have put it in your mouth.

Haven’t you got the idea yet? I’m not about to take the responsibility for what you’ve done. I’m not going to give you that “out”. Wake up and take responsibility for your actions!

But you’ve got so much responsibility already, I hear you whine. I hear you say that you don’t need the extra stress.

Do you really think that handing something you could do yourself to another person to make the decision for you doesn’t create even more stress? If you’ve got someone looking over your shoulder, you’re going to be more concerned about making them happy, than making yourself happy. Who is more important anyway?

Think about this. When you take responsibility for what you put in your body, you wind up giving yourself the foods you need to make yourself the happiest you can be. When you take the chance to plan your meals, you make informed choices. The more informed you are, the better choices you'll make in the future. Its a nice vicious circle that will help you, not hurt you.

Nothing that you do on your journey through life is wrong. If what you do was wrong for you, you wouldn’t have done it to begin with. You eat when you eat, to nourish your body, mind and soul. Even when you make the decision not to eat something because it doesn't agree with you, you've nourished your body by taking the healthier path!

There is no wagon to fall off of as you travel a raw path to health. Some people might try to convince you otherwise. They might tell you that you've sinned against some higher power if you haven't followed their proven path to a raw lifestyle, but I'll bet you that they're trying to sell you something at the same time.

Just remember that some of your steps may be forward, some may be backward. What ever steps you take, make sure that they’re your own steps, for only you know what path is the right path for your life!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

What Have You Got?

This is 1968 Dearies, not 1948!
What the hell you got 1968?
That makes you so damn superior?
(And gives me such a headache!)
Well if you really want to know 1948!
I got life Mother
I got laughs Sister
I got freedom Brother....
I GOT MY HAIR!
-I Got Life

I remember bringing the soundtrack from Hair home, and playing the song "Sodomy" for my mother. I think that was the year she gave up on me, realizing that I would someday fall from grace by becoming a lawyer.

I was twelve years old when these words were first sung in New York City, and audiences gasped as men and women bared their souls (and asses) on stage.

To me the song highlights the differences in generations. The people of 1948 had lived through a world war. Millions had died, and our world had stepped back from the brink of disaster. For the first time in recorded history the United States had used a nuclear weapon against their fellow human beings.

Where are those men and women who danced in the mud at Woodstock. Where are the voices who called for an end to slavery, and inequality. Where are the people who called for religious freedom, and the right to love those they wished to love.

Its been almost forty years. A lot of those people are paying $100.00 a week to fill their Hummers, and sending their children, and children's children off to die for their right to drive the beast.

They're counting their 401Ks, and making plans to retire to a community in Florida or some other warm region of the world.

Those men and women have relinquished their rights and responsibilities, popping their pills, and shrugging their shoulders.

Those people are the walking dead.

Are you mad at me? I hope so! I planned it that way. I'm tired of the people who sit back and don't take responsibility for their actions. I'm tired of the people who clamor for the pill so they'll be assured of an erection when the "time is right"!

How many times do you have to hear the words "YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT"?

Are people who claim to be raw foodists much different than the "flower children" of the late 1960's? Some are, some aren't.

Just like the 1960's there are the Pied Pipers, saying follow me, throw me your alms!

There are those who wear the buttons, and hats, like the hypocrites who go to church, temple, mosque, or whatevah, and then ignore the teachings the other six days.

But then there are the people who honestly believe in this lifestyle. We don't claim perfection, nor do we claim to have the answers. We know that we are human, and are on a magical tour that can open doors if we are strong enough to turn our backs on the conventional.

Many of you might have heard the teaching "If you meet the Buddha on the road kill him". I'm sure you'll find many explanations for this saying. The one I like the best is that the true answers lie within each and every one of us. When we listen we'll come to the realization that being a raw foodist and taking responsibility for what we eat, also requires us to take responsibility for our living conditions, our thoughts, our actions, and our environment.

As a raw foodist we can't sit back and let others make our decisions for us.

If all you want to do is change what you eat, and not what you think or do, you might as well go back to your old way of eating.

In a little over two months it will have been forty years since 1968. Let's not forgot where we've been, and make a conscious effort to change the next forty years for the good of the world...

I hope that the majority of you realize that what I've written might just have a shred of truth to it, as you are already making the changes in your life. You're thinking about what you eat, and the impact of your diet on your world. Seek out those that you are comfortable with, and share ideas, recipes, and life!

Oh, my other favorite line from Hair?

"Shit....I ain't dying for no white man!" (or clown, King, girl with pigtails, or any other Madison Avenue creation!).


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A VERY MERRY UNBIRTHDAY TO ME!


Just call me that Mad Hatter, but I'm really crazy about this WHOOPS!, almost said the "s" word!

So what is the picture? Its a raw birthday cake, what else? I was challenged by a Raw Diva who was looking for a special birthday cake that would fit the Body Enlightenment System program.

So what is the recipe? There's only 3 ingredients. Watermelon, bananas, and strawberries (I'm not including the candle since most people tend to not eat it because of the waxy build-up in their stomachs!)

Ready? Got your crayons and paper? OK. Take one seedless watermelon and cut it into the shapes you want to serve your guests. Take enough bananas and strawberries and shove their bodies in a blender. Blend their corpses (making you really hungry aren't I?) until you've got an icing. You might have to add more bananas if the icing is too thin. Then assemble your cake by using the banana-strawberry icing, and your watermelon as you would any layer cake!

This only took me 5 minutes, and passed the "Keely Taste Test". Keely's my tester. If she'll eat it, anyone will.

Keep it simple, and use your imagination! You don't really need a lot of ingredients for a delicious meal!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Bonjour Viet Nam



So Bob, two posts in one day. What's up with this? Don't you have any type of a life? Yes, and I'm loving it!

Here's my first try at creating a raw food recipe. Its based on one of my favorite Vietnamese dishes called "Spicy Lemongrass Tofu". Not a bad first try. Go ahead and see what you think. I'd value your feedback! Just watch the peppers. They can be vengeful!

Spicy Lemongrass "Tofu Zucchini"

Makes 2 servings (or one large)
One of my favorite cooked Vietnamese dishes has been Spicy Lemongrass Tofu. I tried to figure out something to use instead of tofu to make this a raw dish. Since the tofu is usually deep fried, I went with the zucchini instead of eggplant. Zucchini has a light flavor, like tofu, and stays crisper.

1/4 cup lemongrass, finely chopped
3 tablespoons nama shoyu
2 teaspoons thai bird chilies, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon tumeric
1 tablespoon agave syrup
12 ounces zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
2/3 cup basil, loosely packed and shredded.

1. Combine the lemongrass, soy sauce, chilies, turmeric, agave and green onion, and garlic, in a bowl.
Add the zucchini and turn to coat them evenly. Marinate for at least 1 hour.

2. Drain off all but about 3 tablespoons of liquid. Place in a bowl into the dehydrator for at least 2 hours at 100 degrees. Serve warm.

Note: If you don't like it spicy, cut back on the chilies! If you can find Asian Basil, then use it. Regular Basil can be substituted, as can cilantro.

Oh, and don't forget to check out The Raw Test Kitchen. Teri has posted some great pictures of one of her most recent recipes! Thanks Teri!

Homicide or Suicide, Which is More Socially Acceptable?



These are our friends Katie and Kara. No, they have not killed each other, or us, nor are any of us planning on doing any of the aforementioned acts of violence to each other, as the title of this blog might suggest.

OK, so get to the point Bush, what mental exercise are you playing this time. Well, the four of us got together recently at a local tea house. Katie started the ball rolling wondering what a squirrel's tail felt like. Of course Keely had to chime in, and the four of us decided that the tail probably felt like a guinea pig's fur (if you could get the squirrel to sit long enough to feel the tail. They tend to be more worried about burying their nuts about now. WATCH IT!)

Anyway, Kara then asked the question, "Which is more socially acceptable, homicide or suicide?", and we were off to the races.... (Our conversations tend to be as far reaching as our imaginations. Really magical!)

How much of a difference is there really between homicide and suicide. Both are the taking of a life. I think that most of use would agree that life is precious, and something that we don't really have a right to end.

Let's take a look at suicide. When we commit suicide, we take our own life though the introduction of some substance meant to end our breathing and the rest of our body's functions. Do we have a right to commit suicide? Why not? It is our body...or is it?

There is a thought that we actually have more control over our lives than we like to admit. Some beliefs hold tight to the thought that we control the moment of our birth and death, and that there really is no such thing as a victim. Terms like "the devil made me do it" are nothing more than a easy way out of taking responsibility for our actions.

Don't worry, I'm getting there.

So how does this apply to a raw foodist? Like I should have to tell you?

Think back to the time you went through your first detox, after switching from dead foods. Remember looking at a tree, and seeing how detailed the leaves were? Remember how much brighter the sun was, and how everything around you felt alive?

Now try an experiment. Just a small one. Walk out the door, and walk down the street to the local carryout. Pick out that one piece of processed garbage that you used to revel in when you were growing up. It might be one of those banana cream filled things that never seem to age no matter the shelf life. It could be a box of cereal filled with different shapes, and tons of sugar.

Take your purchase and go sit in the park (pick a safe park please!). If you don't already know what will happen, open your purchase and take a bite. Now, wait and listen. Listen to your taste buds. Listen to your body. Listen to the world around you, the colors, the birds, the life. Listen to things slowing down, and wanting to run away from what you just did to your existence.

Did you just commit suicide? You probably destroyed some cells, and shortened your overall time on the planet, but I hope you found the lesson worth it. Sometimes we need the kick in the butt to remind us of the reasons for our journey. Would we cherish the rainbow as much without the storm? Do we cherish good health as much without the occasional reminder of how we feel without taking full responsibility for our actions. Our body is as alive as we are, and will will do everything it can to guide us down the right path if only we listen.

Don't think that you really have to conduct this experiment, especially if you are under a doctor's care. God forbid! The whole thing can be done in your mind. Just sit back and allow yourself to step back to that time in your life when you didn't realize the necessity of treating your body in a healthy and respectful manner. Then take a moment to tell that earlier you, to tell that person who is still trying to discover their own path through life, that they need not worry. Help is just a breath, and a mouthful, away.....

Our choices in life can be a form of suicide, or even homicide. We have a responsibility not only to ourselves, but to our body, and to those around us. Food is the most personal choice we have as it impacts our lives at the very cellular level.

Don't just eat. Think what you eat. Take responsibility by making healthy choices. Even eating raw foods can be bad if you don't listen to your body, and combine your food in ways to let your body live, and share in a life of joy!

Now I hope you got all that!

If you ever get to the Columbus area make sure you check out the place where Katie (without the glasses) and Kara (bet you probably figured out she's the one with the glasses already didn't you?) work called The Raisin Rack. Its the best independently operated health food store in Central Ohio! Say "Hi" to Jan while you're there too. We've known him for close to 15 years. He's a great person and a wealth of information (as are Katie and Kara too!).

(OK Don. Now you can put the gallon jugs of Organic Apple Juice on sale, as we're getting low! Of course I use bottled organic apple juice. Sure I'm cutting a corner, but are you going to really suggest that you'd rather I pick up an egg sandwich from some clown on the way into the hanger? No, its not as good as firing up the Champion Juicer at 5:30 in the morning, but its a lot better than the alternative, and I'm not perfect...just ask Keely, she'll tell you!)

If you found a typo, don't worry, it will soon disappear. My editor is still asleep. We were up late with the ladies of "The Raw Divas"! They started a new round of the BES last night, and we are so excited! Talk about a great group of people!

HEY CINDY! (She's my new Body Enlightenment System Buddy!)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Sigh.....



I wish I could say that I took the pictures, but I can't tell a lie. I swiped them from her site, Kristen's Raw. But its for a wonderful cause.

Halfway through the Body Enlightenment System, I was surfing the web, looking for new and exciting recipe ideas, when I came across a a Raw Chef that I'd never heard of before. Well, I must admit that the pictures were a wonderful hook to get me to look further (he says as he blushes and ducks the sharp objects heading his way from across the room). I couldn't find any pictures of this chef from her days as a bodybuilder, but I did discover that Kristen was a graduate of the Living Light Culinary Arts Institute in Fort Bragg, California. Now I was really excited.

Sure you say. Look at her! Sorry to disappoint you, but this is the man who is not afraid to admit that while other boys were running outside playing football, and chasing the neighborhood girls, I was glued to the TV watching Graham Kerr, "The Galloping Gourmet". I found the Westinghouse Cookbook more fulfilling that looking at copies of National Geographic behind the summer house. Yes, being an Associate Chef from a school that I would love to attend is exciting, and will get me to look further!

So, despite not being able to find out more about the bodybuilding background (OK, I'm not perfect!), I pulled out the old piece of plastic and downloaded her six e-books.... My heart be still.

Now normally I've tried to make at least one of the recipes before I talk about a book, but I also read a recipe book like I do a novel by Frank Herbert, Tolstoy, or Thich Nhat Hanh. To read a book, one must put oneself in the author's place. You must listen to the author's voice as they share their experiences.

You can do the same with a recipe book, and Kristen Suzanne's recipes are a symphony to enjoy! She has branched out and uses what many would consider non traditional ingredients. How many have used rosewater in a raw recipe, or any recipe? I have, and it is so good!

Her recipes are as simple, and sinful as "Almond Butter and Sweet Berry Jam on Chocolate Bread". There's Mexican Lasagna, and Bananas Foster, just to name a few! Oh, my heart be still!

I am ashamed that I have yet to make any of her recipes. I've been busy, and have stuck to the tried and true things like my Spicy Mango Salad. It is time to kick the old to the side, and strike out on a wonderful journey through Kristen's recipe books! I plan to wallow, and be like the lobster in Annie Hall. Just cover me with Peppermint Chocolate Mousse instead of butter please!

OH BOTHER! Do I start with the dessert book, or the entrees book? Maybe a nice salad, or a smoothie. No! Soup and a side dish!

I'm tired of trying to pick out a single book. ITS BUFFET TIME!

Just make sure you check out all of Kristen's recipe books at Kristen's Raw! She proves that a way to a person's heart is through their stomach.

Be good, hop to her site, and just maybe I'll publish one of Kristen's recipes in the next couple of days to try for yourself...if you're lucky! Yeah, maybe the Peppermint Chocolate Mousse! (its no Mickey Mouse Mousse either!)

Monday, September 10, 2007

Draw A "Get Out of Jail" Card Today!

Are you tired of that run down feeling?

Are you tired of carrying the extra weight?

Are you tired of your pimply complexion?

Well, don't pass go! Draw that "Get out of Jail" card and jump to the Raw Divas' website right now! You've just got a few more hours to sign up for the last "Body Enlightenment System" of this year!

Lets face it. The season is changing and you're going to be facing all the in-laws and out-laws during the holidays. So why not face the days to come with a fresh start and a new outlook on life!

Please take a moment, and check out the Raw Divas right now. Keely and I both feel that it was the best experience that we've had in a long time!

But don't believe me. Go ahead and find out for yourself. You've got nothing to lose but sludge that has built up in your system from years of a Standard American Diet.

Don't expect anything but honesty, support, and a great time out of Tera, Amy, and the entire community (especially from Gertruida Jacoba Maria Hof)!

Divas Rock the Raw World!

Now do I get that picture? (Private joke folks. Like my wife has learned, I'll say things in the blog from time to time that has no meaning to anyone, except for the person its meant for. Yeah, it drives the rest of you crazy, but that's life! Excuse me but Keely's getting ready to throw a sharp object so I'd better run......)

Sunday, September 9, 2007

An Honest Sunday

Before I delve deeper into a day of food preparation for the next few days of living, I thought I'd drop by and post something original. There is a thought that everything that is written, has already been done, and what we do today is just a variation upon the original theme. (There goes any thought of writing the great American novel!)

We graduated this last week from the Raw Divas' "Body Enlightenment System". Its been a wonderful 30 days, and we're not stopping. We've branched out, testing our bodies. We actually had a vegan "cooked" meal the other day, and learned what it was like to swallow a bowling ball whole. The food tasted great, but our bodies were sluggish, and rebelled in the most unpleasant of ways (which is not good on a hot day, with the car windows rolled up, and 150 miles to drive!).

We're learning that we do not control our bodies. We live in cooperation with our bodies. When we listen to the signals we are given, and treat our bodies as asked, it provides us with the support to enjoy our surroundings. It allows us to spread our wings and take flight.

We love the Divas! They realize that honesty in dealing with people is more important than anything else. They don't hide behind titles, and keep their hearts pinned to their shoulders for the people they deal with to see.

Like any movement, the Raw Food lifestyle has its gurus, rock stars, and charlatans. It is a "raw" movement, seeking its balance in a world gone awry. It is a powerful movement, energizing those who partake of its bountiful table.

Like all things in life, you must listen to your heart. Seek your own balance, and do what you feel is the best for your life and body. Not everyone will ring true, but all have a ring of truth embedded in their message.

The raw food movement it like an onion. Sometimes you have to peel back the layers to determine whether the onion is sweet, or fiery.

Like all things in life, do your research. If someone demands your attention, if they demand your respect, RUN LIKE HELL! No one is entitled to your respect. Respect is something that is earned.

Beware of those selling snake oil. You'll be able to tell them as they are wrapped in their own "bling".

The most important thing when it comes to your journey is to be honest with yourself. Never surrender your own innate ability to choose the path that is right for you.

You might ask why my blog is titled "Legally Raw". Remember, in my very first post I talked about the fact that I'm an attorney. I'm not in private practice, and when I'm away from work, law is the last thing I want to discuss. The Raw lifestyle is something that you can do without anyone's permission. It harms no one, and empowers those who have discovered the changes it can have on their lives. Being raw is something that is "legal" for anyone, hence the title "Legally Raw". The title has nothing to do with "law".

Oh, right, now to get serious! I picked up a new recipe book the other day called "The Raw Transformation" by Wendy Rudell. I haven't had much time to explore it yet, but when I start salivating over the recipes, I know its going to be good! Check her out! We've exchanged a few emails, and I'm very impressed with this lady!

Now for the kitchen. I'm hoping to get to Kristen Suzanne's recipes this weekend. Now there's a woman with some creativity! I can't wait for her next collection of recipes! More on Kristen in the very near future! For now I've posted a link to her site where you can check out some of her recipes, and you can purchase her ebooks for yourself too!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

THIEF! THIEF!

OK, I'm plagiarizing! Well, I'm not really stealing anything. I'm being lazy. I've had a rough week. People have really been doing strange things, and I can't find the stinking eggplant recipe that I'd planned to make this weekend! It was an eggplant burger recipe that you put a marinade over to make it more like dead cow flesh! IT IS REALLY TORKING ME OFF!

So, in light of everything else, I'm going to take the easy route and introduce you to a woman from England. Her name is Karen Knowler. She's a "raw foods coach" (for lack of a better term). We heard her talk the other night as part of the Raw Divas "Sisterhood".

The thing I liked about Karen is her honesty. She's not into the "bling" or into being a raw food celebrity, with people fawning all over her. (OK, I like a little fawning myself on occasion). She doesn't want a flock of sheep following her. I really feel she just wants people to be happy in their own lives. That is what drew us to the Raw Divas.

So, without further introduction, I give you the obligatory statement, and then her most recent posting titled "What do You Need to Believe". Check her out please!


Ahem....

Karen Knowler, The Raw Food Coach publishes "Successfully Raw" - a free weekly eZine for raw food lovers everywhere. If you're ready to look good, feel great and create a raw life you love get your FREE tips, tools and recipes now at www.TheRawFoodCoach.com.

(Honestly, I couldn't have said that better myself.)

And now for the main event:

What Do You Need To Believe?

From Successfully Raw Issue 60:

Belief is one of the most powerful, if not THE most powerful, internal drivers in existence.

When we believe in something, both our head and our heart are engaged, and taking action becomes easy because we are already in alignment.

Belief also rides side-by-side with imagination, meaning that even though much of what we believe may not be visible to the physical eye, we can have such a strong faith and a passion in what we believe that the path ahead, although not always clearly visible, is nonetheless compelling, exciting and perfectly beautiful to us in our mind’s eye.

Natalie (name changed) came to our coaching call on Monday frustrated because despite being somewhat into raw foods she just couldn’t fully embrace it. Her main reason was already known to us both: Her health situation had brought her to raw because quite simply it was the only thing that had helped ease her issues, and yet she had found herself really struggling with going raw despite regularly surfing the web for inspiration, enjoying some of the recipes and knowing intellectually that it is what she needs to do.

This was the challenge that was presented to me during the short 15 minutes that we had together: How can I stop fighting the raw journey and learn how to love it and not resist it?

Speaking with Natalie it became clear from some of the things she was saying that not only was she resisting the present situation, but she was also wistfully looking back to the past and wishing she was there, at a time where she did eat anything and everything she wanted to without issues. It dawned on me then that our first priority was to bring her fully into the present, into her current reality and truth and also to have her looking more joyfully to the future. Upon asking Natalie if she generally spent most of her thought time in the past, present or future, she said “Mostly the past, sometimes the future, and rarely in the present”… this confirmed some of what I had already suspected to be at the root of the problem. We cannot make progress when we are not in the NOW and don’t own and engage with the present.

Further discussion revealed that Natalie also had an issue with being potentially called a “raw fooder” if she changed her diet to mostly or all raw foods. Me too! I have a distinct dislike of labelling people, especially according to their diet, and Natalie had subconsciously and consciously decided that as she didn’t want to be called a raw fooder she wouldn’t in fact eat like one most of the time!

Clearly not the best way to get the results that she wants and needs for her health when raw foods is the only way of eating that works for her and has been helping to heal her!

So there were two main resistances: wanting to stay mostly in the past and also resisting being labelled. Both very powerful blockages to her being where she wants and needs to be if she is to get well.

But of course Natalie was speaking to me for a reason: She DOES want to eat raw. Sure, mostly it is because she wants to be well, but she is also inspired, if a little in awe, at the stories of raw transformations that she has seen on the web and other aspects of raw food eating have intrigued her.

Well, quite possibly this was the only time I had ever had someone on a coaching call who was so very split in two as Natalie was. But being in limbo is not the best place to be for any of us for more than a short while, and when your health – your very foundation for a great life – is at stake then moving forward and working with what helps heal you is, of course, the only way to go.

So we returned to the challenge in hand: How can I stop fighting the raw journey and learn how to love it and not resist it?

Already we had discussed how living in the past is not great for any of us on any level. Natalie agreed and also acknowledged that she had never really consciously realised that she was living there before. It certainly helped her understand where a large part of the resistance was coming from, and she happily agreed to consciously focus on bringing herself into the present moment and “living there” as often as possible because the former approach had definitely not been serving her.

As far as labels were concerned, it was time for the power coaching questions:

“What label would you like to put on yourself that will assist you and inspire you to continue on your raw food journey? OR -- What do you need to believe for raw foods to be a joyful experience for you?”

I shared with Natalie that as I don’t like being labelled a raw foodist either, I had come up with my own private “label” (a name I give myself) that I use to quickly and passionately align me with my needs and values that speaks to ME, inspiring me to be the highest version of myself on a daily basis. While I keep this name private, I shared enough with Natalie for her to recognise that her label doesn’t need to be about food at all, but simply needs to speak to her in a way that feels good and inspires her to embrace raw foods and enjoy them from a newer, much more expansive and excited place.

My coaching challenge to Natalie, as we neared the end of our 15 minutes, was to have a think about what she would like to believe about herself and/or the raw food journey for it to be a joy for her so that she could leave the past behind and move forward into all the pleasures and benefits that raw food can bring. This challenge really spoke to Natalie as already she was seeing that there was light at the end of the tunnel, now all she had to do was tap into herself and find out what would inspire her from within so that she could get well again.

A few hours later we had our second call of the day. Natalie was thrilled to announce that the answer to the coaching challenge had simply dropped into her mind as she walked home from work that night. She excitedly reported how it really spoke to her and had already created a shift inside her and how happy she was with what she had come up with.

I’m sure you’re itching to know what Natalie “got” as much as I was, right?

Well, Natalie gave me permission to share it with you, so you’re in luck!

At the start of Monday Natalie’s belief was:

“I’m being forced to eat raw food because of my health”

By Monday evening Natalie’s new, much more empowering belief was:

“Raw food has chosen ME!”

Quite a shift, I’m sure you’ll agree! Natalie loved the idea of feeling specially chosen by raw food, it really worked for her.

Since then I have heard from Natalie again via email reporting back on how her eating has changed this week:

“Just to let you know I am doing really well since our call even though I have hit detox! The words about being chosen are really working for me and I am repeating them through the day to help me. I have maintained about 90% raw which I am really pleased with and the cooked things have been vegan or vegetarian and whole foods so I am really pleased.”

“When I say 'raw food has chosen me' to myself, I emphasise the word 'chosen' in my mind more than the word 'me'. When I think about being chosen I get an image of my success being an inspiration to other people. That's a very powerful emotional image for me. Normally I fight detox symptoms but as you said on our call, I've learned to see them as a reward. (Who would have thought that mucous was a reward, but it is!)”

Wow for Natalie and a big wow for any one of you who have in the process of learning with Natalie recognised how your own beliefs about raw food may be holding you back!

Of course you know what my coaching challenge is going to be for you this week, don’t you? It’s the same one as I set for Natalie and here it is again especially for YOU:

“What label would you like to put on yourself that will assist you and inspire you to continue on your raw food journey? OR -- What do you need to believe for raw foods to be a joyful experience for YOU?”

If you feel that you are not quite “there” internally or externally with raw foods, specifically to the degree that intellectually or medically you desire, asking these questions of yourself can absolutely give you the breakthrough you need as long as you stay true to you and what matters in your life to YOU.

As above, it doesn’t even have to be about food necessarily, it simply has to be a belief about yourself that automatically requires you to eat more raw foods in order for you to fully realise and externally manifest the dreams or goals you have for yourself.

To get you in the groove here are a few other different examples of “labels” or beliefs that could/would work for people, depending on what speaks to them…

* Raw food is my medicine and I am on full time, full strength medication!

* Raw food is my lover

* I am a lean, green, fighting machine!

* I am strong, fit and healthy, running on living foods and loving it!

* As I eat, so shall I show up in the world

* Born to blossom

* My connection to the planet is everything to me

* I am the artist of my body, mind and soul and my palette comprises of raw foods, daily exercise and having tons of fun!

* Raw food and I are one

* I choose raw bliss

* I am crazy, sexy, cool!

* I ooze raw-ness : )

As you see there is no end to what you can come up with that might perfectly work for you!

I’d LOVE to hear from you about what you either already believe about yourself that keeps you in alignment with raw foods, or what you have now come up with to keep you aligned as result of reading this article.

As I hope you will have learned, and also as per the article of two weeks ago, those subconscious beliefs have so much power over us until we bring them up and out and consciously change them to something much more aligned and empowering for who we really are and who we wish to become.

And what’s more, the great thing about beliefs is that we can change them at any time! So you can tweak it, overwrite it, reinvent it or upgrade it at any point in the future as soon as it stops working for you or if you feel it doesn’t quite hit the spot. Very cool, huh?

Have fun with this and please DO share! I’d love to share your answers with other blog readers, with or without your name as you wish and I really REALLY do mean that! Email me at karen@therawfoodcoach.com or post your thoughts, comments or realisations in the comments section below.

© 2007 Karen Knowler.

On a personal note. If you find yourself unable to locate that stupid Eggplant Burger recipe, try looking first in the recipe book you've compiled on your computer. You might just find it, after searching for about 5 hours, in the sandwiches chapter. #@$@!


Monday, September 3, 2007

Laboring My Day Away

Normal people would be out walking around the park, tossing the dog, kicking a football (or is that kicking the dog, and tossing the football?). Me? I'm fixing food for the next several days.

In the past 24 hours I've made "English Muffins" from a post on http:/goneraw.com. I've made "Oh My This is a Tuna!" which was recently posted on the blog The Sunny Raw Kitchen. Then there was the Spanish Scramble from Ani Phyo's book "Ani's Raw Food Kitchen".



I've still got the eggless egg salad from "Raw Food, Right Now", and some onion bread to make.

Oh, and then there's the "Eggplant Parmesan" that I made for lunch. I don't have the recipe ready yet to publish, but Keely said its a keeper! Here's a picture to tempt your taste buds!



This next weekend I'm planning (between Tai Chi, a wedding, and lunch out with a friend...WHEW!) to pick out a great recipe from one of Kristen Suzzanne's books, and report back next week. You can check out her books at "Kristen's Raw". I could make it easy and post her link here, instead of making you look under my favorite links, but there are some thing's that are worth the work, like "Kristen's Raw"! Oh, just click on the link on the right side of the page, fourth down, under my favorite links. OK! Here it is lazy! http://kristensraw.com

Until next time, don't forget to do your own research and listen to your body. Its been screaming about all the garbage you've been shoving in it since birth. Don't you think its about time to start listening?

Oh, and for people in Scotland and other parts of the world who aren't familiar with our strange ways (but know we're strange) in the States, Labor Day is a day that was declared by President Grover Cleveland at the end of a bad Pullman (as in trains) strike. Its a day when laborers celebrate their jobs (most of which are being outsourced) and their families. So we all hit the Labor Day sales forcing all of those working entry level jobs to wait on us... (I think I'm being sarcastic there, aren't I?)

Labor Day has nothing to do with motherhood. Hallmark's got Mother's Day, Valentine's Day, Sweetest Day, and a few days they haven't released to the general public yet, covered.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream, For Ice Cream!

video

For those of you who have been following my blog for the past couple of weeks, you've come to know how serious I can be at times. You know that I can be such a fanatic when it comes to raw foods. So this post might come of a little bit of a surprise to you.

Now that I've got you totally confused, you should be ready for the one, the only, Tanja Andrews! I can just hear Jay, standing next to Silent Bob saying "What the F is a Tanja Andrews?" Oh, now don't tell me that there's some people reading this blog who don't know who Jay and Silent Bob are? They're only the greatest comedy team since Laurel and Hardy, with mouths like Lenny Bruce! OK, so Jay sounds like Lenny Bruce. Bob's silent, more like Harpo Marx, hence the name Silent Bob.

Oh, yeah, better get back to Tanja. Tanja is the great host of Freshtopia! Right dear, explain everything, and leave nothing to the imagination. Freshtopia is a raw vegan web site with wonderful recipes, and fantastic videos! Tanja is not only beautiful, but is able to get her message across in a fresh, funny and informative manner.

Freshtopia.net has at least thirty-three videos showing you how to prepare raw foods. There's the raw vegan ice cream courtesy of another of my favorite blogs "Raw Food, Right Now!" There are also several videos dealing with environmental issues. These are professional, informative, and entertaining videos that I can highly recommend! You'll find a link the the Freshtopia web site under my favorite links.

Did I also tell you that you can download the videos? You can!

Now if I can only get Tanja to send me an autographed picture to brighten my dreary cubicle at the old World War II Boeing Plant, south of the runway at Port Columbus. Have pity on me Tanja! (Hate seeing an attorney grovel don't you? Yeah, neither do I!)

Tanja was kind enough to give me permission to post one of her videos. I went with a favorite of hers, the vegan ice cream. So, check her out, and get on that ice cream train. Just like the ice cream, Freshtopia is a really sweet site!

OK, I know I wasn't going to post anything for a few days, but I had the urge! (Don't go there please!)

Until next time, do something nice for someone, and don't say anything, just smile. The smiling might still drive them crazy! (I just hope Keely doesn't get any ideas and start smiling. I think she increased my life insurance last week.)