Sunday, December 30, 2007


Well, its the last Sunday of another year. Some of us might be laying around like bloated walruses because of too much celebrating. You might be laying on your back on the couch, staring at the ceiling, as you listen to whatever you've indulged in crawling slowly through your intestinal track, the chemicals from the processed foods leaching though the walls into your system.

Slowly, your body wakes up, and manages to put up natural barriers to the garbage you've poured into your bloodstream. The body is reacting differently to each new chemical. It is happy one second, and taking a nose dive the next moment, trying to shut your brain down into a sleep induced state to protect itself from further assault.

Many of you have been engaging in our national pastime of the "New Years Resolution", aka "setting yourself up for failure".

I did something last night I should have done at the beginning of my vacation. I started to read a book by a teacher. You've read about my teacher, Thich Nhat Hahn, before. He is the Vietnamese Buddhist Monk who lead the Vietnamese Buddhist Peace delegation to the Paris Peace talks.

One of the meditations he teaches is "walking meditation". I'm far from an expert in the practice, but the idea is to just walk. Yeah right, that's simple. No, its far from it.

Normally when we walk our mind is at odds with the practice of walking. We think of buying the groceries, arguing with our partner, what we didn't do, what we have to do, or what we don't want to do. We don't walk. We don't feel our foot as it connects with the ground. We don't feel the weight of our body as it applies pressure to the ground through our foot. We don't feel our body settle in position for the next step. We don't really walk.

The purpose of "walking meditation" is simply to become one with the walk. Instead of thinking of everything else in our lives, we should be doing nothing but walking, and being in the place we are at the moment.

I heard David Wolfe talk once about how he uses every moment of his life to the fullest. When he eats a meal, he'll read a book, cramming as much of his life as possible into that moment.

But can we honor the author of the book by also eating? How can we honor the chef by splitting our thoughts between the book and the food? In my opinion we do a disservice to both by splitting our attention.

Like walking meditation, we should practice to live in the moment by honoring that act we are participating in the moment before us.

When we take a bite from an apple we should think of the taste of the apple. We should savior the the juice as it rolls off our tongue, and realize everything contained within the small piece within our mouths. The apple is not just a fruit, it is the people who nurtured the apple to its ripeness. It is the tree, and the ground from which it grew. The apple is the rain, the clouds, the sun, and the stars. When you ingest the apple you ingest a small portion of the universe to nurture yourself, and become one with all that exists...

Whatever you do, make sure in the coming year that you honor the act. If you're preparing a raw food meal, leave the kitchen television turned off, and give yourself totally to the preparation of the food.

If you're eating your meal, just eat. Make sure that you start digesting your food before you take the next bite. Give honor to the food, and realize where it comes from, and who has made the food you eat.

Realize how we are interconnected with all that is, and for the upcoming year, try just living. You might just discover how fun life really is when you go with the flow.

When I spent a week in Estes Park, Colorado several years ago, at a week long retreat with Thich Nhat Hahn, he taught us a mantra, or prayer, which helps me to center.

I have arrived, I am home,
In the here, in the now,
I am solid, I am free,
In the Ultimate I stand.

May you discover the peace and happiness that is your birthright in the upcoming moments of life.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


A good chef, be they raw, or cooked, are only as good as their utensils. A dull knife is good for mashing, not slicing, a tomato.

How many knives do you really need? I'm one of those people who believe that one really great knife is all you need for a kitchen. That's why I bought a Global 10" Chef's knife.

I got my knife from This is one fantastic internet supplier. My purchase was shipped the very next day, and delivered right on time. I called customer support because I lost my email showing the shipping date. I was out of town at the time, but they were able to tell me that the knife had been delivered! is listed by Global's U.S. supplier as an approved Global dealer.

But what about my nice little paring knife for small things? Use the tip of the blade! You don't need to have a drawer full of knives. You need one really great knife.

Oh, and a first aid kit. The first aid kit is really important. Yes, that's a bandage you see on my index finger. Didn't even feel the blade slice through the fingernail, and take off a small piece of the finger. It was a nice bright red to go with the holiday season, but I didn't feel much of anything. A great knife, and a first aid kit will make for a great holiday for your budding Chef!


Sunday, December 23, 2007


Just a real short update for the holiday season.

If someone gives you a knife, thank them.

If you've never used a real knife before, take it slow. You're probably not the same caliber as an "Iron Chef".

Even if you're an "Iron Chef" learn your knife before you decide to play Speed Racer.

Keep the band-aids in the kitchen.

Lay down with your finger above your head until the dizziness passes if you're too stupid not to take it slow until you become familiar with your knife.

If one of your friends and family find the piece of fingernail that you cut off along with the tip of your finger, tell them that they won the prize, and hand them a $50.00 bill.

Make sure that you ask for a Global knife. I've never been able to dice, chop, or slice like I've been able to do with my new 10" Chef's knife. Global is great.

Time to change the band-aid. Blood is starting to seep through.


Merry Bah Hum...You got me what? Well....

I'll admit, as will Keely, that I just don't get into the whole Christmas thing anymore. Maybe its garbage on the radio like: "You can buy more Christmas with your money when you shop at ...". Maybe its due to all the crass consumerism. Maybe its realizing that all those that get together an smile one day will be back to their sniping and growling the next day.

Katie and Kara asked everyone not to buy them gifts this year. Emily, Rocky and Max sent homemade Christmas cards using the Internet to save paper, stamps and energy (and the insane trip, and wait at the post office too!) These are people that I really respect, and care for, because they're not afraid of stepping outside the box. (Besides, if there was a historical Jesus, does anyone really think that such an advanced soul really cares what the person behind the pulpit says you should do, as they pass the plate for more money? Jesus didn't need a multi-million dollar mega church with surround sound! No, the only message the Jesus I remember learning about as I grew up in the Methodist Church was a person who talked about loving each other, not about worshiping him as a deity!)

OK, Ebeneezer, get back on track.

I've got to go grocery shopping today. I'm not looking forward to this trip. I really could do a juice fast for the next few days, but no, friends of ours went and totally messed up my holiday. Well, they didn't really mess it up, I needed something to try out the Global 10" Chef's knife that I got for a holiday I don't really celebrate (Hey, I didn't say I wasn't a hypocrite! I'm Buddhist, not perfect! That's not right. We're all perfect. We just don't acknowledge it. But that's another blog.)

Yes, the woman who is responsible for throwing the economies of various third world countries into disarray with her eggless salad recipe has come up with a Christmas Recipe Book. Our little Holiday Elves, Heidi & Justin Ohlander worked overtime to get a new Christmas ebook out just in time for Christmas.

Keely would love to make everything in Heidi's book, but its just not going to happen, unless she goes shopping like I'm going to do in a few minutes, and makes it herself. But the Mango Cranberry Chutney looks so wonderful! No, you know my feelings on that issue, buy the book. I'm not publishing any recipe unless they say I can. I think we should all support this great people who are trying to advance raw foods, and their own lives at the same time.

I've got a couple of recipes that I've been wanting to make while I'm on vacation. I've got to make Rawcaroni Salad today or I'm going to start breaking things, and there's a Bok Choy Asian Salad recipe I found on I can't forget the Hazelnut Pesto Shredded Brussels Sprouts! But this recipe book will be getting a workout over the next few days. I've already made the cheese ball. No, I take that back. I've already eaten a large portion of the cheese ball....

Wait. Did I say I was on vacation? Yes, I'm hibernating until January 2, 2008 (or longer, depending upon the lottery!) I'm planning on sleeping, reading some great Buddhist manuscripts, and just being a royal pain in the tush to Keely (nothing new there). We're going to spend some time with Katie and Kara, and eat out (don't you dare assume that I'll be eating anywhere but Ha Long Bay!)

I'm also going to be fixing some of Kristen's Raw wonderful recipes from her holiday ebook (note to self, buy her new ebook "Kristen's Raw: The EASY Way to Get Started and SUCCEED with Raw Food". No, she didn't ask me to say that. Kristen does great work, and I'm always willing to help out a friend), and planning on taking part in the Raw Divas next round of the Body Enlightenment System set to start in January (more great friends. Even though one isn't sticking to the 10:30 rule. Send that picture lady!).

So, if you don't hear from me in the next week, don't worry, Thomas the Blog Rat isn't far away! (Yeah, who's the real rat in the family?)

OK, the baby doesn't have anything to do with raw Christmas recipes. But, just like ever child in the world, she is what Christmas is supposed to be all about. A child only knows how to love (I know, and fill a diaper!) Besides, you all need a reason to say: "Awww" if you already don't have a reason!

Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Nothing But Pictures! (Well Almost)

Keely and I were honored to spend Thursday night with our friends at Ha Long Bay Asian Kitchen in Columbus, Ohio. P.A. and his wife Christina fixed some of the best Vietnamese food to share with invited customers that you'll find outside of Viet Nam!

Most of the staff got to take the night off. It was great to just sit and talk with several of the wonderful staff. That's Annie on the left, Beth (aka "S&C" Straight and Curly") in the center, and Kim on the right in the front row. Of course we couldn't leave out Christina and Kim's sister!

Just when you thought you couldn't eat anything else, there's desert! Oh, My, God!

Boy, Chirstina loves having her picture taken doesn't she? Me? I hate having my picture taken, but who's that she's holding? I'M AN UNCLE! I'd say that's a little lady who will outshine her mother (and have her father standing guard at the door. Remember, that when she's old enough, and the little boys who'll be interested in her are old enough, her Dad owns a BIG Chef's knife, and I'm a lawyer. So treat her like the lady she is!)!

NO, NO! KEELY, GIVE THE BABY BACK TO CHRISTINA! I'm afraid I'll have to bail my wife out of jail one of these days!

Yes, Beth, we know you got your hair straightened. Yes Beth you're teeth are white! Yes Beth, you are the best waitress that Ha Long Bay has working for them!

Yes, Bob. Sera, Christine, Annie, and Kim are going to stuff you in the blender for that last line when Sera and Christine get back. But Fresh & Giggles went on vacation (Oh, I'm really dead meat now!) and we miss them. Face it ladies, you're all great. OK, Sera, you're the best! (Dad)

PLEASE, check out Ha Long Bay Asian Kitchen when you're in Columbus, Ohio. Of course call ahead if you've got a large group. You'll find them located at: 8489 Sancus Blvd, Columbus, Ohio. Their phone is 614.436.4087.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Its me, Thomas, your favorite Blog Rat. Bob's still not up to par. Right now he's laying in the middle of the floor looking like a seven day old Whopper that's been sitting in the sun because it got dumped out of the garbage can. His arms and legs are splayed out like a starfish. That boy's so rancid right now, I wouldn't touch him if he was the only thing left to chew on!

The good thing is that Bob's on the second day of the Raw Divas Three Day Green Smoothie Challenge. He's actually been really good. He's been having smoothies for all of his meals. The bad thing is that since everything goes in the blender, there are no crumbs for me around the house!

He's gone through so much spinach in two days, that even Popeye would be scared. There's a banana shortage in Columbus, and they have had to make 2 trips to the grocery for frozen fruit.

The Divas picked a great time for the Green Smoothie Challenge. Bob was getting more and more run down. Dr. Laura, the best Chiropractor (she'd have to be to put up with Bob) was shocked that in 24 hours he was just as bad as if he hadn't been there the day before.

Bob's learning the hard way that you can't play games with your body. If you give it mixed signals, it will jump up and slap you in the face. The body wants consistency. It wants good clean food. It wants rest, and a stress free life. Bob has a tendency to care about things when those in charge seem to be out in la la land. He's learning that jobs aren't really that important. Your health, friends, and life are more important. The job is nothing more than a means to an end. Luckily he's only got an overnight trip out of town, and then he has until January 2, 2008 before he feels he has to do anything. He's got his mega millions lottery ticket. The boy knows that before the reality there must be the dream! (If he'd only dream me up some cheese!)

Hopefully Bob will be back soon. I'm tired of playing stand-in for him. My little paws aren't that great on the keyboard, and there's no cheese in the house.

I think I'll nibble on his toes and see if that will get his butt in gear. No, forget it. He's too far gone right now, even for me to touch. Rats do have their limits. We're actually much cleaner and nicer than most would have you believe. Rats are people too, don't you know! Besides, he owes me for all the work I'm doing right now.

Don't forget to check out the Raw Divas. They've been a lifesaver for both Keely and him. Divas rule!

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Bob's rather under the weather this week, so I'll be sitting in for him as his alter ego. You can call me Thomas, I'm a little bit of a rat at times.

If you haven't noticed in your own life, the world appears to have sped up lately. We're running around like chickens with our heads cut off (that's one hell of a picture for a raw vegan to think about isn't it?). People seem more and more frustrated. Tempers are frayed, and those around you just might be participating in the most petty dramas that we've seen in years!

It's so easy to slide back into old habits and roll in the mud with those tossing the dirt. It's so easy to make pigs out of ourselves at parties, and partake of all sorts of sweets and foods with the idea that one day isn't going to matter. Oh, then there's that one day at the in-laws, and the one day at your best friends, and the one day at your church (or other place of worship), and the football game, and, and, and.......

Ever heard of Ben Stein? He was in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off", and does the Visine commercials. I just heard Ben say on television that based upon sales figures this might not be the best Christmas in recent memory. Earlier this week, I heard a commercial about how much more Christmas you'll be able to buy because of a store's low, low, prices.

Bob hit on this issue in his last blog. Christmas isn't something you can buy. It isn't based upon sales figures, or even whether you go to church or whom you choose to pray to. Christmas is a season where people get together to take a breather from life. It is a time to take stock of yourself and those around you. It is a time to extend the olive branch and seek resolutions, instead of starting revolutions.

Christmas is time for you to look at your own life and make decisions as to what you want for your future. Take a breather. Reach out to those around you, and thank them for a year of learning, a year of support, a year of life.

When you get together, its true that a piece of cheesecake, or a hot toddy won't hurt you in the overall scheme of things, but isn't fresh fruit shared with those you love much better.

Come together as this year ends to give thanks for yourself and those who take part in your play called life. Rejoice at all that you have given and to what others have given to you.

Just remember that a real gift asks for nothing in return.

Have a wonderful holiday season, and whatever you do, don't make a pig of yourself. Bob will be back later this week after his Green Smoothie Queen's Three Day Challenge.

Boy, Bob needs a good cleanse! Even the pigs won't go near him right now!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007



Did I just wish you a "Happy Holidays"? Why didn't I say Merry Christmas? I'm being unAmerican!

This time of the year is not just for Christmas, nor is it a holiday season that is
specific to just the United States (No, not everything revolves around my country. Just because my last name is Bush, doesn't mean that I'm trying out for one of Dorothy's escorts!). I haven't counted the number of different holidays, but one thing I know is that all the people who gather together to spend time with family and friends, all want one thing: Peace. So why shouldn't I wish everyone who gathers together during this time of year, and prays for "peace" a Happy Holiday, instead of a Merry Christmas? To me it just doesn't matter, one way or another, just as long as the end result is a lasting peace on earth for everyone, no matter your race, religion, culture or sexual preference. We are all interconnected, no matter our beliefs.

Besides, you forget, I'm Buddhist.

So, a happy
Dia de los Santos Inocentes on December 28 to anyone in Spain, or of Spanish decent. There's Boxing Day, which I believe is the day after Christmas in England. Happy Hanukkah of course. Then there is the Islamic celebration of 'Eid-ul-Fitr on December 16, 2007, and Kwanzaa. I can't forget my friends in Viet Nam (This is the correct spelling, for anyone questioning my ability to spell.). I wish we were with you for Tet this February! Whoops! I forgot Bodhi Day which honors the enlightenment of Siddhartha Gautama, who is also referred to as "The Buddha".

And to those of you who celebrate no religious holiday, but choose to celebrate your life and love for each other, our love especially goes out to the two of you, too, (and anyone else who have been discriminated against because of their love, and beliefs. Someday the injustice will be corrected. Of course in our hearts there is nothing but acceptance of that which is meant to be.).

To our old friends, to our new friends, and to our friends we have yet to meet, Keely and I send our love to you this holiday season. Remember the words of a wise seagull who once told a student:

If our friendship depends on things like space and time, then when we finally overcome space and time, we've destroyed our own brotherhood! But overcome space, and all we have left is Here. Overcome time, and all we have left is Now. And in the middle of Here and Now, don't you think that we might see each other once or twice?

(Thank you Mr. Bach for your wonderful book about a seagull who learns to fly!)

Yes, I'll stick with Happy Holidays to everyone! To me it seems the right thing to do!

What do you mean there's nothing about raw food in this post? Doesn't inner peace come from providing that which we inhabit with foods that are nutritious? Raw foods result in nothing dying. Raw foods are about peace and life!

Oh, yeah, the neat graphic is courtesy of Crystal Cloud Graphics (there, I've fulfilled their request for allowing me to use their wonderful clip art! Click on their name, and check them out!)

Remember, there's nothing better in the world than Peace. If you don't believe me, just ask a child...

Happy Holidays, and peace my friends.

Sunday, December 9, 2007


I received this wonderful email on Saturday!

"Ave, gentleman!

I miss you in the morning, I long for your sweet tender touch. If I
denied it, I'd be so remiss. I miss you in the afternoon, I long for your smile. Darling, I am waiting for you so much. I miss you in the evening, when the blue black curtain falls; I stare in your eyes and wish that you would kiss me. I miss you in the night time; I long to hold your arms. Please write to me, my only one, and fill my heart with love. I wrote this to you, These words come from my heart! I am looking for a soul mate! Find me here: "UKRAINE BRIDES ONLINE"

Waiting for your reply Sabryna B"

I feel so loved to know that my soul mate is just a click away in the Ukraine! Yeah, right. I didn't just get off the boat folks!

The Internet can be used for good, or ill. This email is a perfect example of one of the latter uses.

I don't know about you, but I'm tired of bride, Viagra, penis enhancing, multi million dollar offers. I'm tired of unsolicited emails offering the best vitamin enriched, sleep aids, or the best raw foods on the planet!

Yes, I used the words raw foods. Do you really think that our community is immune from the leeches that slither the electronic highways? No way! They seek out people to prey upon in forums, and chat rooms. They phish, and try every trick they can to empty your pockets of money!

Have I been ripped off? No, I'm careful of whom I deal with on the Internet. I've got my favorites like "The Raw Divas", "Raw Food, Right Now", "Kristen's Raw", "Freshtopia", "The Daily Raw Cafe", "Twitter", "The Sunny Raw Kitchen", "Gone Raw", "Karen Knowler", and my most recent find, "Give it to me Raw" (No, that last one is not a porn site! Its a great new site for people who are interested in a raw food lifestyle to connect with others of like mind. Check it out. After you finish my blog of course.). I've got many more listed on my companion site (still under construction. Sorry if I didn't list your name there, I'm working on it!).

Of course my favorite site is "Raw Diva Keely". Remember, my wife? Like any of you are going to be in front of her... unless you pay me of course! (That offer will get me a place on the couch for the night.)

So watch yourself this holiday season. Look to the left and to the right as you cross the Internet highway. We've got some great sites to support our raw adventure, but there are a few
(Note: if you didn't get that, the picture is the last word of the sentence. OK, I should have put more than one picture of a skunk to make it grammatically correct. Its a rainy Sunday here in Ohio!)

Sunday, December 2, 2007


Yes, I know, I haven't blogged since November 25Th. Its been a week to remember. I've got to learn that work is nothing more than a means to an end. Work is not my life, nor does it control my life. I'm in charge, and if anyone else thinks that they're in charge of my life, they're sadly mistaken. (Notice an undercurrent of dissatisfaction? Oh, I'm so impressed!)

So, how do I deal with those things in my life that upset me? I've fallen in love with a business book by Robert Sutton, a professor of business at Stanford. He wrote a wonderful book called "The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't". It talks about dealing with insufferable people, and conditions in your life.

Bob lists fifteen things he believes on his blog. I love #2: "Indifference is as important as passion." Of course #15 might just be the most important: "Work is an overrated activity".

Now that I'm done with venting, its time to turn to the most important thing in your life, your body. Well, to you its your body, to me its my body that's most important, but I hope you get
where I'm going.

There are two products we've rediscovered this week. One is from our favorite people, The Raw Divas!

Yes, you can now buy Diva Jugs! Oh, splurge and buy a pair of jugs! These jugs are green with wonderful uplifting sayings. If you buy now, you can take part in their new "Green Smoothie Challenge". To say that the Divas have been life changers is an understatement!

Then there's this ugly bag. Its from The Sproutman! It might be ugly but it holds tons of nutritious sprouts within a few days! Made of natural hemp, it provides a great medium to grow those healthy sprouts that you spend half of your weekly budget on at the market for just pennies.

So, if you're looking for something for Christmas (or whatever holiday you celebrate this time of year. Me? I wish I could be in Viet Nam for Tet. Some day. I hear its one hell of a party!) let your keyboard do the shopping with THE RAW DIVAS, and The Sproutman!

You can't go wrong by giving yourself and a friend a chance to participate in the next Body Enlightenment System, starting the first weekend of January 2008. The gift of health is always a great gift! The Divas will help you battle those cravings in 2008 too! So click on the highlighted links, and check out both the Sproutman, and THE RAW DIVAS!

Oh, I almost forgot. There's some great news from the Food Network. Emeril's prime time show "Emeril Live" has been canceled! Its just too bad that the people at the Food Network can't get interested in providing information on healthy nutrition. Except for Alton Brown at times, the Food Network is not about health, but about entertainment. (That as they say, is my own personal opinion! Yes Giada, we know that your teeth are straight and white! I've never known a person that can make a smile look like a grimace. She might be thinking of her grandfather, Dino De Laurentiis's movies! Then there's Paula Deen. I can't take a person who believes that mayonnaise should replace butter, and has a laugh that grates like fingers on a chalkboard!) Hmmm, maybe I should save this for another blog! I can be so catty!