Monday, December 29, 2008

Do you see any happy people?

We were at the mall today, picking up items with our various gift cards from Christmas. We didn't get too far when the kids got hungry and we stopped for something to eat. It is extremely difficult for anyone to find healthy food in a mall food court, but if you search it out, there are some healthy choices. I like to get a fresh salad, with lemons as my dressing, or else you can get a Booster Juice; my favourite is the Green Hornet, with parsley, spinach, celery and carrots. I do find that they put in too many carrots, but it's the greenest offering on the menu other than the wheat grass shots. So usually I have a shot of wheat grass then follow it with a Green Hornet.

While we were sitting there, I smiled, thinking about what most people were ingesting and hoping that one day they too would see what these food choices were doing to them. For example, I asked my husband: Do you see any happy people? Here we are in the middle of the holiday season, and everyone looked angry, sad, disappointed, or indifferent. They were there with their families, the most important people in their lives. They were probably buying stuff they really felt they needed or wanted. They probably just got a bunch of stuff as well, and they think that maybe buying more will help them find the happiness they are searching for.

The only people I heard laughing - rather loudly at that - were two groups of people. One group was a number of people who obviously had mental challenges, yet they were super happy and laughing about something. Even with all their challenges, they were SO happy and showing it. Then there were two girls, walking along laughing really loudly about something one of them just said. EVERYONE else was in some sort of negative emotion. I found that rather sad myself, but feeling so happy and blessed at that moment, let the sad feeling be felt and pass.

While eating raw and living foods, I have never felt so alive, and happy in my entire life. The moment I eat anything that doesn't fall under that category, I begin to see fear, anger and sadness re-enter the picture. If everyone would just eat better, the billions of dollars we spend on shopping therapy, drug therapy and other therapies would slowly decline, I am absolutely sure about it!

Here's to a healthy and happy New Years for you and your family. We'll talk more about resolutions next blog entry...I'm working on a few, to be sure, but this year I am looking at them more as goals, instead of resolutions. I'll explain next entry!

Eat raw, live well (and happy)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Presents

What an amazing holiday season. We are so blessed in our family and our children are certainly spoiled. They are the only grandkids on both sides of the family and they were very fortunate to get some incredible gifts. My personal favourite was a gift that will not clutter the house and that they are super excited about asking each day if we can go...a visit to the Planetarium here in Vancouver. They have never been and outer space is a place they both love and want to see more of.

Anyhow, my husband is always worried about what to get me at Christmas. He knew that I spent my winnings (from an office pool) on a new digital camera, but wasn't sure what HE could get me. He is so worried that I may not like it and be thrilled. This year though, he was super excited about the two gifts that he bought me. He would not stop talking about them! So Christmas morning he was so excited to give me my gifts. was a pair of boxing gloves. You may not think this is very romantic, but he got them so that we can work out together on his heavy bag. He's always complaining that he has no one to punch the heavy bag with and that he'd love it if we could work out together. Now that's romantic. :) Hey, they are even girlie pink! :)

Then for the drum roll.....the big present he got me was a bar fridge. Now you may ask yourself, why would he get me a bar fridge, well, here's how he explained it. He wanted to be thoughtful and supportive, he wanted me to have my own space for my raw foods. This was his answer. The logistics, as to where we'd put it came later, but we've since found a mutually agreeable place for it in the family room just on the other side of the kitchen wall. SO, now I have a place to put my nuts in their mason jars, somewhere to put my greens, etc. It's actually a great gift, and one I never would have thought to ask for. It was very thoughtful. Thanks hon!

I was somewhat out of commission with a toe nail that I ripped almost all the way was showing signs of infection, but I think with some hydrogen peroxide bathing it's on it's way to recovering just fine. I also laid in bed last night willing it to heal, sending healing vibes that direction. Power of thought!

Even with all of the foot and a half of snow, we still had our family gatherings, it's nice that we all live so close together. We also managed to get to a party on the 26th that was in our neighbourhood. It's amazing how much snow fell again, another foot! It's been 37 years since we had such a snowfall!! I'd love to be able to play in it all, but my toe has kept me mostly indoors and sitting! I have sat outside, watching the kids LOVE and PLAY in the snow!

It's raining today and we have a slushie out there presently...with more snow expected. Blessings to you and your families.

Stay tuned for some things I've been working on...

Monday, December 22, 2008

-10 degrees and a foot of snow

It's cold. I'm cold. I've been sleeping more with the cold weather. Some sort of hibernation perhaps? Vancouver can get cold, but not usually for this long, and at these temperatures. The snow is blissful though. I LOVE snow and had an amazing time outside with the family today.

I find it funny that in the summer everyone is out and socializing and having a great time. Neighbours are always on the street talking and such. Then the rainy fall season hits and we all begin our winter hibernation. The only time I really see my neighbours in the winter is if we have a gathering - like our annual Solstice Party - or if they have a gathering at their talking on the street and loitering in the driveways and byways of the neighbourhood.

That is until the snow arrives. In Vancouver we get about two to three snowfalls each winter season. In recent years, these snowfalls have stayed a day or two. Last year there was snow on the ground for most of January - I remember in mid February there was still snow when we had a pony party for my daughter and had to walk on it.

This current snowfall - over a foot of the white stuff...has been piling up for over a week now and it's great. Cold temperatures have kept it from melting and we're going to have our first white Christmas in a very long time. How exciting.

I love the snow for the reason that it gets people out of their hiding places inside and forces them to go and shovel, I see neighbours helping each other with their driveways, sidewalks, getting their cars to move over the huge pile of snow the grater left behind. Having a common goal or need brings us together again. The kids are all out in force, sledding, snowballing, building forts or snowmen or huge snow slides. Smiles are on everyone's faces - well mostly everyone! Spirits are up and it's amazing to be outside again. I believe that the more time spent outdoors in the winter, the less chance you have of catching a virus. Of course eating well and staying away from simple sugars is also extremely helpful. How many times do you go socializing and blame someone else for the "cold they gave you". Think back to how you ate at that event, think about what you drank...possibly if you'd refrained from simple sugars and a bunch of alcohol your body wouldn't be having to work so hard to rid itself of the virus that was also present.

Eating simply in the winter is helpful. Staying away from simple sugars, refined flour products, baked goods and the like can be extremely helpful. Most people won't completely refrain, but limiting it as much as possible is going to help you in the long run. If you do get sick, realize it's your body's way of getting things out of the body that it does not want there and be sure to eat and drink simply and it too shall pass (more quickly).

Now, if only I could get my sick husband to listen to this advice. That is another funny thing. I can talk until I'm blue in the face, but unless he hears it from some reputable source on the internet he's not likely to try it. If I could only get Men's Health Magazine to write about it...there's a challenge.

In white winter wonderland, eating my green goodness (current favourite is anything I can stuff into a nori roll!)


Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Gifts

As a teacher we sometimes receive gifts for Christmas. I have a lovely stash of candles, mugs, chocolates, etc. Every once in a while you get a gift that really speaks to you, lets you know that the child is taking in what you talk about, knows you well and relays that to his or her parents. Last year it was a gift certificate to Booster Juice, where I can get freshly made juices. This year a family really went out of their way and it was so thoughtful. They were extremely generous in that they gave me a Starbucks gift card (I still get tea there...), a home made bird feeder, and a bath bomb. The part of the gift that really struck me was a home made sprouting jar with a package of seeds in it! Not only have I been talking about the courses I am taking and plans to do this type of thing in my home, but this child is listening and taking it all in as well as talking about it at home. I was really impressed by this as sometimes I wonder if this guy is really listening. Just because they aren't actively listening doesn't mean that they aren't taking it in!

So, I'll keep on talking and who knows what the ripple effect may be.

Here's to making waves.

Eat Raw, Live Well.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Green Smoothie Goodness Experiment

Here's what I wrote the Raw Divas regarding the CHIdiet home study course that I won in their Mother's Day contest...

After having a couple of months to begin to digest the information I've studied so far in this course, I know that I have only scratched the surface of all it entails. The information is very detailed and wide in scope. It begins with talk on enzymes, chlorophyll, and the life of Ann Wigmore. It goes on to talk about how to set up your raw food kitchen, benefits of this lifestyle, as well as how to transition to a living foods diet. Eating simply and sleeping well, drinking pure water and the power of thought are all touched upon...and this is just the beginning.

Being a teacher by trade, my thoughts kept turning back to how I could introduce this lifestyle to my students without turning them off the idea of eating healthier. They are a group that lives on sugar, processed foods, and the traditional SAD diet. I have a new class this year and they were not fully aware of how I eat, or why. I am very open about what I eat and they see me in class, eating my raw, fresh, ripe, organic fruit and salads. They also see me with various concoctions - warming chia pudding, and the like. Something they haven't seen me eat is my green smoothie. I began bringing my green smoothie jar to the school instead of drinking it at home in the mornings...I wanted to pique their interest, and pique it did! They've always been curious about how I eat and I always tell them, if they ask.

The green smoothies were really the turning point! Every day they'd ask what I put into it and wanted to smell it and were so extremely curious about the whole idea of eating a drink that was so green. In fact one student asked if I had my "Shrek" drink, when it was missing from the desktop that day. We'd been enjoying "Fruitful Fridays" each week, where I bring in a different fruit for the students to try. The students bring in fruit to include in our Friendship Fruit Salad and we all have our class meeting while learning about a new fruit each Friday as well as enjoying a great fruit salad that we all made together. The first week we did that, the students made me swear not to tell their parents that they "enjoyed eating healthy" or else they'd be made to do so by force instead of choice...a valid point! However if you make this type of food available and tasty, they are bound to make a good choice!

Because of their interest in the green smoothie, I decided last Friday morning to bring my Vitamix to class and have a demo on how to make a green smoothie. The students were aware that I was going to do this and were full of anticipation when I opened the classroom door that day. First, they could not believe how huge the blender was, then their eyes became as big as moons when they saw how much kale I had ready to put into the drink! It was amazing how interested they all were! They are so impressionable at this age and this seed of an idea that was planted that day will reap rewards in the months and years to come.

I told them about the benefits of each food that I put into the blender. We made a very simple smoothie. Here's the recipe I made which fed the class a small dixie cup each:

2 cups blueberries
2 bananas
2 apples
1 stick celery
4 huge leaves of kale
3 cups of water (or more to assist in blending)

The blueberries made the smoothie more blue than green, however the colour helped a lot of them around the idea that there was so much green in there in the first place. We talked about the blender as well, and how it breaks up the cell walls and does the "chewing" for us so that the nutrients are more bioavailable.

Then it was the moment of truth: The Taste Test!!!

I began pouring the drinks, not really knowing what to expect but figured the great taste of the smoothie would encourage even the most finicky in the class. Some comments made include:

"I can't believe there's like a whole salad in here, you'd never know it!"
"It doesn't taste bad at all!"
"If I didn't see you put those greens in there, I'd never know they were there, it tastes so good."
"I have to get the recipe!"

There were so many positive comments made that morning that I had each student write a testimonial on a cue card for me to reference. Here are some of what the cue cards said:

"I was not nervous to try (the smoothie) but it was better than I thought it would be." - Rhylan, Grade 7

"When Ms. Gill was putting in the fruit, it looked pretty good. But when she blended it it looked bad. It smelled like bananas and when I took a sip it was very good." - Kody, Grade 7

"Before I tasted the smoothie, I was concerned about what it would taste like. After I tasted it, it was delicious! It tasted like blueberries and bananas with a hint of a peppery taste. I would like the recipe" - Michael, Grade 7

"I would ike the recipe! Watching it blended, I almost didn't try it, it looked slightly unappealing. And well, it kinda was. Drinking it tasted ok but there was a bit of an after taste. Overall, pretty good!" - Rozi, Grade 7

"When I saw my new teacher eating a raw green smoothie I thought 'Wow, what is she eating?' So we asked her and she said she was a raw foodist. Now if you told me I would be trying some, I wouldn't have believed you. So I was pretty nervous when I got a cup full of "slush". I took a sip...tasty, but yet kind of bitter. I love my smoothie. Yes I would like the recipe." - Mitchell, Grade 7

"While I was watching Ms. Gill make it, it kind of looked like "unmentionable" and I also thought it would taste like that, but when I tasted it, it was "greenalicious", yummy, yummy! Yes I would like to try it again!" - Simran, Grade 7

"I really liked this drink because it was really good and I would love to get my mom to buy the ingredients so I can have more." - Matt, Grade 7

There were only two students out of 29 that said they really didn't like the smoothie but would be open to trying different combinations if we ever did this again...which we are!

As you can see it was a very successful endeavor. Afterwards, the students asked if we could do a green smoothie every week. I said we could call it our "Smoothie Start to the Week". The students will bring in 25¢ every Monday morning to help offset the cost of the ingredients and we're going to have a green smoothie each Monday morning to get our week off to a good start. So in our class, we will begin the week with a green smoothie and we will end the week with a fruit salad. Baby steps, is all I keep thinking. As I absorb more information through the CHIdiet course, I will slowly incorporate this in my teaching in a fun and informative way.

The message to take away from this is that children are open to trying these things in the right circumstance, but the long term change has to include the the whole family. I especially liked the comment Matt made about getting his mom to buy the ingredients so that he can have more. It's true, I can plant the seed, but kids need encouragement and help at home too. I can only hope that his mom WILL buy him the ingredients and that he will enjoy green smoothies for a lifetime!

This gave me another great idea! Get the parents involved! That leads me to my next adventure...the PAC (Parent Advisory Council) meeting. Stay tuned and we'll hear how that one goes.

In closing, here's a short poem I wrote in honour of Ann Wigmore:

Raw and Living foods
Ann Wigmore knew it the best
Green simplicity

In simple green goodness,


Sunday, November 9, 2008

TRAWvelling on the Road

Raw on the Road.  I got a crash (not literally) course in this during our summer vacation.

Here are some things that I did in order to stay raw on the road:
Buy a great cooler

Bring along my juicer (if at all possible) and for sure I bring along the blender

Google the places we will be driving through.  I look for juice bars, raw food restaurants, vegan restaurants, farmer's markets and organic stores to shop at.

Pre make a number of my favourite recipes to pack up and bring along.  Dressings and desserts are my favourite to pre make.

Nuts and dried fruit packed and ready to go.

Lots of fresh fruit!  

We went on three road trips this summer.  Our first was to Vernon, B.C.  for four days.  After only three days at home, it was off to Powell River, B.C.  Lastly we travelled for nine days through the interior of B.C. over the Rocky Mountains to Calgary and eventually Drumheller, Alberta.  It was much easier to be successful than I had originally thought.  It just took a little planning on my part.

Let's start with Vernon, B.C.

I ate prepared foods and fruit during our drive up.  The universe aligned for me in that our motel was walking distance from a Booster Juice.  I did not have my juicer on this trip so I was thrilled to have a place with wheat grass juice and other juices so close.  The first day I arrived there to get my juice, their juicer broke!  It would be out of service until further notice.  At least I had a wheatgrass juice.  The second day I came in and they were out of wheatgrass!  So that was the end of that!  

I did get a chance to use my blender though.  Vernon has an amazing farmer's market, it's huge! We got greens, organic fruits and I was blending my lunches up with green smoothies.  So great.  I ate salads mostly in the evenings and some nuts/simple veg and fruits for snacks.  I did not do any eating out there.

Powell River, B.C.:

Five hours, two ferry rides and about 2 hours on the actual road.  Again, I did the pre pack of many items like I listed above so that I could be able to eat on the road.  Once in Powell River I knew that I would be set up for juices as there's Big Robbies Hemp Products and Juice Bar.  His address is 4691 Marine Ave. and the phone number is 604-485-7671.  They have a wide variety of juices as well as wheatgrass juice.  Shop for some great hemp clothing while you sip on your drink.

I was able to blend foods for meals and eat salads for dinner with prepared dressings I had made.  Again, easier than I thought!

Road Trip to Drumheller, AB:

Here's where things got a little more tricky!  More on that next time...

Friday, October 24, 2008

"Relentless Hope" Conference in Hope, B.C.

A day of incredible alignment!

Two weeks ago I was trying to decide which conference to attend during this Professional Day for teachers.  I decided to attend "Relentless Hope:  Educating for a Better Future", the PAGE (BC teachers for Peace and Global Education) group put this on and it had a raw food presenter so my interest was piqued.  

I was supercharged with energy when I awoke today.  I was so excited to be driving up to Hope (1.5 hour drive from my home)  on my own.  It made me think about all the road trips I took in the past.  How my road trip eating habits have changed!  In my pack I had three apples, 2 litres of water, my chia seeds (dry) and some smoothie mixed up to soak the chia in.

Driving along the highway I was shocked at the amazing colours of the leaves!  They were so orange, and colourful and beautiful against the dark green of the evergreen trees and grass fields.  I had Neil Young playing on the stereo the whole way up, just one CD that went that long.  It also brought me back to my past road trips down the pacific coast down to Oregon, California and beyond.  I was in such a good space and had such a good feeling about the day.

I got there late as I couldn't leave before Michael Byers presentation was just ending when I arrived, unfortunately I didn't see enough to comment on it.

My first session was the raw food presentation.  So we waited 15 minutes.  And waited...and finally got in the room only to find out that in fact the presenter was a no show.  I was somewhat disappointed but knew that this must have happened for a reason.  So instead I went to the "What Would Gandhi Do?" presentation by Pummy Kaur.  She has written a book by the same name which I have added to my bookshelf of must reads.  

I really appreciate her "realness".  I know it's not a word, but she was so real, taking ideas from the people in the session regarding what we think are major problems in the world today.  We had an extensive list!  Then she asked us to label them with an A (for those that we are directly influence) B (for those in which we indirectly influence) and C (for those over which we have no influence).  I could see that in every aspect, we could directly influence every one of those problems in some way.

Asked, "If you could do one thing to stop your negative influence on all of this, would you?"  Well of course we would (so long as it was easy and didn't ask us to give up anything we love)

In my mind I said "DIET" and also wrote it down.  That one thing, if most people changed small things to the large things...that would have a profoundly positive impact on all the negatives currently being experienced in our world today.

OK...then she goes on to talk about her "raw vegan thanksgiving" dinner that she made for her family.  I knew then why my first presentation had been cancelled, because I was supposed to be here in this session with Pummy!!  

She gave us a potato chip example.  Think about what goes into creating a bag of potato chips.  Really think about the impact that every stage has.  It is mind boggling what type of energy, waste and all sorts of awefulness goes into making this item.  That could be any type of processed food in reality!!

The closer to raw that we are, the closer we are to a more sustainable world.  Hard to refute a truth like that!  We talked about how just making little changes can have a ripple effect - like the slogan for a couple of high school students I was talking to from Mission.  As Gandhi says, "Be the change you want to see in the world".  

I got her book because I want to delve into this more and think she's got some really amazing things to say.  I can't wait to start reading it.  I also met a couple of teachers from Coquitlam and one of them is into the raw foods lifestyle, amazing.  I hope that we can stay in touch as it'd be nice to go to Gorilla Foods out in Vancouver with someone who will actually fully appreciate the food!!  

I was totally pumped even before I ate my chia seed soaked in smoothie.  Here's the I think I wrote the recipe here before, but it's from

1/4 cup chia seed

1 banana
1 date
1 cup of water
nutmeg (you decide how much)
cinnamon (to taste)
4 brazil nuts (but have used small handful of pecans, almonds, walnuts, etc.)
Blend all together except the chia.  Pour blended drink over chia seeds and allow to set for 15 to 20 min.  Then it's like tapioca pudding!  LOVE it!

The afternoon session was great too!  The Art of Living Wellness presented a great session on how to find calm and peace so that you may be stress free.  I'll have to write about that at another time as my eyes are telling me enough computer time!

Also further posts...Rawkathon 2008!  It rawked!

Thursday, October 9, 2008


These guys have the right idea. Their video shows the power of consumers when we band together for the right reasons! Environmentally friendly solutions with mass purchasing. Collective mind is at work here...

Carrotmob Makes It Rain from carrotmob on Vimeo.

Raw Nogg

Oh, my...did I ever come across something delicious today! I've been reading all sorts of recipes and decided I needed something tasty tonight and decided to make a shake. I wanted to make something that would sustain me for my workout tomorrow morning. I have been going to bootcamp in the mornings now as it's the only way to fit it into my busy day. When the workout starts at 6am, I get up at 5:30am but there is no way I can eat. I have been eating something around 9pm so that I can work out in the morning and have energy throughout the strenuous workout. This is what I put into the blender:

1 frozen banana
1 tsp pure vanilla
2 tbsp. macadamia nut butter
1tbsp. honey
couple shakes of nutmeg
dash of sea salt
1 cup water

What came out was the most amazing taste sensation! I could not believe how much it tasted like egg nogg. It was exactly like it, even the consistency. I'll have to get my parents to try this one. My husband doesn't like bananas or egg nogg but agreed after tasting it (with much coaxing from me!) that it did in fact taste like the dairy version of egg nogg.

Perfect timing of course! I'll have to whip this one up for our Solstice Party in December.

Time to go nogg off, in health and wellbeing,


Thursday, October 2, 2008


Word is spreading like wildfire regarding Kevin Gianni's newest venture...Rawkathon is a free seven day event that Kevin will be hosting, and it starts October 19th. It's FREE! Now is the time to join in the fun. You can join by going to Rawkathon.

You will hear from the likes of:
Victoria Boutenko
Angela Stokes (who was recently profiled on CNN - also big news this week.)
Matt Monarch
Dr. Gabriel Cousens
Dr. Douglas Graham
David Wolfe
Mike Adams
Viktoras Kulvinskas
Nomi Shannon
Cherie Soria (who is coming to Vancouver to share her chef skills in a class she's offering...more info to follow)
David Rainochek M.A
Frederic Patenaude
Dr. Rick Dina
Karen Knowler
Dr. Jameth Sheridan
Happy Oasis

What a line up! I'll be quite busy that week, listening in on all of these knowledgeable people. You can watch on the net (webcast) or listen by phone. It's FREE. You also get the Health Book Summaries...another amazing free service that provides great, easy to read books about health and raw and living foods. It's like a Coles Notes version of these amazing books!

Don't wait any longer. You'll really be glad you listened to these. Let me know how you enjoyed them!

In health and rawness,


Friday, July 25, 2008

Summer and Blueberries

So I'm loving summer, the sun, swimming, lots and lots of kid time, heat, fresh, ripe fruit and being able to relax without work constantly on the mind.

I'm juicing daily, doing smoothies daily and trying to keep my sugar (ie dates, honey, dried fruit etc.) to a minimum. I've also been back at 100% raw now since July 19th. It isn't as rough going 100% now, since I've done it many times before but I still get some detox like symptoms, like some minor acne, body odour, coated tongue, bad breath but these are occasional and not constant like the first time I went up to 100%.

I've also been back to bootcamp. It feels good to get some great exercise. Walking and such is great but this is where I can push my limits. I have also enjoyed swimming almost daily at our community pool. I am concerned about pool chemicals but so far don't seem to be experiencing any ill affects that I can detect. Excersise is great and making time for it is SO important. When I get stressed that seems to be the first thing I let go of, and then it's what I put in my mouth...not always the best option.

Summer has been great for me though and I love spending so much time with the kids. They amaze me daily with their reflections on life and our world. I'm going to start a blog up with all of their little daily insights and will post more on this in the near future.

I've also begun the Ann Wigmore home study course. That's another blog unto itself, so keep an eye out for that in the very near future.

There are a couple things of note in the raw food world. The website is releasing more of Ann Wigmore's home study course, that was not the original plan but after much coaxing it looks like this will happen soon (if it hasn't happened already!).

Also, Gabriel Cousens is putting on a "Reversing Diabetes" workshop which you can check out HERE. Even if you just watch the "Raw for 30 Days" trailer that they have there, it's worth a look. It's a definite if you are pre-diabetes or diabetic already, it will be really eye opening and give you some options other than insulin.

Blueberry season is upon us. I've already started eating too many berries! They are in my smoothies, my raw ice creams, whole berries, and so much more. I ate so many the other day that I woke up with a bluish black tongue and wondered what had happened...thinking maybe it was a totally random and weird detox thing...then my husband asked me how many blueberries I'd eaten...and that was it, my colourful tongue was due to the amount of blueberries I'd eaten!

Anyhow, that's all for now.

In raw summer goodness,


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Before and After...

Melinda Cooked...
Melinda Raw

Before Raw food...and after one year eating a high raw diet. My skin tone also seems different. My eyes are brighter and I am truly happier than I have been in ages! I still have to work on the "Chandler" smile!

I was looking for before and after photos this week to send to Paul Nison for use on his website...and it took me a long time to find a photo. I never liked people taking my photo because I knew that I was overweight and unhappy about that. I found this one which is a photo from March 2005. This was the heaviest I was ever at...probably around 215. I had given birth the week before to my second baby, my son. I had never broken the 200 pound mark with my daughter's pregnancy, but never lost all that baby weight and had started heavier than I should have even with that first pregnancy, not to mention the second.

So then came this photo. I also have one from December 2007 where I had leveled off from my juice fast that wend for the month of September. I gained about seven to ten pounds back after losing 25 that month. So I weigh about 135 lbs. in the Dec. photo.

Just an amazing realization of what raw food have done for me. Who knows what I'd look like or feel like had I not discovered raw foods.

Keep an ear posted about International Green Smoothie Day, which is August 15th. The Raw Divas are declaring this and I'm joining in! Green smoothies daily for a month again. I'm also doing a green juice a day for a month as well. Put those two things together and I'm powered by green. Lean Green drinking machine!

In great green goodness,


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Kids say and do the Darndest things

I've been listening in on my kids' play whilst cleaning or making meals. Other than the usual squabbles, there has been some really interesting vocabulary coming out of their mouths.

They were playing with some of the play food and they were arguing about what this brown pattie like item was. In the cooked food world we'd know it as a hamburger pattie. Well, these two were arguing about whether it was raw fudge or raw chocolate cookie dough. They had this argument for a few minutes and finally decided that it was raw fudge. I love it!

I always lay with my kids in each of their beds, for a few minutes after we've read our evening books and given thanks for our day and we talk about our favourite moments of the day and those which we found challenging. The other night my daughter commented how she has trouble getting to sleep sometimes...maybe because we've put her to bed earlier than her normal time (as was the case that particular evening). I taught her what I do each night when I lay down and upon waking. I do a breathing exercise that I learned in David Wolfe's book The Sunfood Diet Success System. It goes like this:

Deep breath in (to the count of six)
Hold that breath (to the count of six)
Exhale all the breath out (to the count of six again)
Hold all breath out (for the count of six)


I do this pattern 20 times.

I taught her how to breath like this and she did it with me that evening as a practice.

Well, I had completely forgotten about this little teachable moment and today in the van she said to me, "Mommy, I did your breathing exercises last night and I hardly did any and I was asleep." My heart was so full of love when I heard that statement!

My son used to love green smoothies but more recently has not taken to them. I haven't had one for over a week (YIKES!) and made one last night. He got all excited and clapped his hands and begged for a sip. It was only bananas, hemp seed and spinach...but he liked it and kept asking for more. They also love the raw strawberry shortcake from Storm Talifero's site. He has a Youtube video for it, click here if you'd like to see it. It is delicious, especially with local, ripe, organic strawberries!

My daughter commented the other day that I'm like the leaf eating dinosaurs. Well, she's not wrong in that thought...

She says that she wants to be a raw foodist when she gets older, like eating this way is a profession or something. It's so cute. She also says that she wants to eat like me, more often.

They both go to the grocery store and ask for me to get dinosaur kale (black kale) and my son did a happy dance when I put it in his mini cart. They know more fruits and veggies than most my 7th grade students for that matter. They talk about durian and love to watch me open one and then look repulsed by the smell and go running from the room. Speaking of running from the room, this has become a new game whenever I am preparing food in the processor or in the blender. They scream, run into the family room and shut the door. The blender can be especially loud when it gets going.

They really are watching and taking it all in. If that isn't motivation to eat well and to feed my family well, I don't know what is.

There are challenges though, being raw in a cooked food family. My husband is concerned that I will want the whole family to go raw. I am learning that people need to find their own way to this way of eating. I just have to keep being the good example! I will always offer and make raw items that my family enjoys.

In the meantime I have cauliflower ears, listening in on my kids' play as raw food words are incorporated into their every day vocabulary.

In playful fun,


My Most Amazing Day

I've been thinking a lot about what the most amazing day in my world would include. David Wolfe's book, The Sunfood Diet Success System talks about this in a way and he has a website called "The Best Day Ever". I also hear Kevin Gianni talking about the "Perfect Day" and "Perfect Weekend" recently and have written down some thoughts on this for myself.

I am sure these things change over time but as of the last three months when jotting things down, this is what I have come up with so far. This is in no particular order either. Just a stream of consciousness.

Fresh air
Lots of outdoor time
Clean, organic, raw food
Playing and learning with my kids
Seeing the wonders of the world through the kids' eyes. They are amazing!
Talking and spending time with my husband
Other forms of exercise
writing my book
Decluttering my space
Business planning
Journal writing
Breathing exercises
Dry brushing
Green Smoothies
Computer time (limited to neccessary items)
Bath time
Time and conversation with friends
Having a positive impact on the people I meet
Teaching kids to have the best day ever, and to become lifelong learners
Of course I'll try to squeeze in some sleep in there too!!

We all have 24 hours a day, it's just how we decide to spend them.

What would your perfect day look like?

I'll add to this from time to time as things come to mind. In the meantime I'll strive for an amazing day. It may not include all things on my list but it would come close!

Write down a few things you'd really like to spend time doing in your day. Are you doing any of them? If not, why? If so, what things can you add to make it even better?

Have the Most Amazing Day tomorrow and for all the tomorrows after that!


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Paul Nison's Visit to Vancouver

Wow, how can you tell that reports are done, the sun is shining and Melinda's never at home enough to blog...but finally I'm going to talk a little bit about the talk that Paul Nison gave in Vancouver at the end of June.

In a few words...inspiring, amazing, incredible! I am always buzzing after a raw food talk but never like I was that night. Filled with new information and ideas I actually ended up driving another attendee home and we talked the whole way about how we'd incorporate some of Paul's ideas into our lifestyle.

I had an number of favourite the one where he just "happened" to move to West Palm Beach Florida so that he could get healthier. He talked about a van with a word he didn't know how to pronounce and I knew immediately he'd moved near to the Hippocrates Institute. No coincidence there, me thinks! The universe was obviously working towards getting Paul close to the institute so that he could heal and then help spread the Raw Food Word!

I also appreciated the "knowledge without action means very little" comment. It has been ringing true even before this lecture, but especially since I heard him say it. It's one thing to think it but a whole other thing when someone puts it directly to you. Acting on new knowledge is so important. Making sure our values and beliefs are in line with our actions helps to bring balance to our lives. I've been noticing this in all areas of my life in the past year, not just in eating but in relationships, and much more.

He also hit on a couple of other pieces of information that I have been thinking a lot about:


Even eating a mostly raw food diet I still tend to eat too much and too late in the day. I have more energy so tend to go to bed later. I also have trouble sleeping if I eat nuts or seeds late at night due to the energy they give me, but pay for it the next morning when I have more of a "roll over day in stead of a roll out (of bed) day". I wasn't listening to my body really well in this area until this information was brought to light for me, again, by Paul that night.

So here are some things I have tried to incorporate into my life since that night.

I now subscribe to Paul's Blog. You can here. There's a subscription box on the top right.

I am eating less than I did before, and trying to be more consistent in this area.

I am not eating late at night and will try to bring the time back from 9pm, to 8pm to 7pm each month. Paul actually only eats two meals a day. One around 9am and one around 3pm or a bit earlier each day. He calls it the NDD or No Dinner Diet. It gives the body's digestive system a break and allows the body to do the cleansing it really needs to do. I tried it for two days and noticed a HUGE exit of toxic buildup from my body and decided that it was too fast for me, plus emotionally I was not ready for such a drastic change so I have gone back to eating dinner and a light snack around 8 or 9pm. 9pm is still too late for me. When I first made this change, I saw a difference and now, a few weeks later I have to be careful about what I eat at that time or it keeps me awake. So I may try 8:30pm for a while and see how that goes.

I'm also eating slower, chewing well and trying to eat in a calm state. This is challenging with a 5 and 3 year old at the table but doing my best. It is also good for them to see slow eating. They tend to inhale their food and not chew well but with practice we're making some headway!

The fact that it is summer means that I am eating simpler meals as well. I am blending, not juicing as much as I would like but am working towards one or two juices a day as I feel best doing that...especially after the 30 day juice fast I did in last fall.

I am cutting back my sugar intake. I used to think that eating six bananas a day was fine...and I could get away with that when I first went raw as I was no longer eating the processed sugars...but I have found some health issues creeping up this last six months and I believe it's because I got so clean with juicing for a month that all the natural sugars I was intaking has been a burden to my body, so I am again listening to what it's saying and also to Paul's suggestions and realizing that this must happen for me to live a long and healthy life. I am addicted to sugar and I just substituted refined sugar with dates, bananas (and other high sugar fruits), honey, and agave syrup. So I do indulge in these occasionally but not for every meal as before!

I am also going 100% raw again as I have not been as rigid with this in the last six months and also feel the effects. I am about 80 to 100% raw depending on the day and really feel much better after a few days at 100% so I there is the knowledge that I have to act upon!!

In health and happiness,


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Paul Nison and Durian

What a day! Coming down from the high of juice feasting (even if it was only three days!) is difficult, it is very emotional and my digestion is playing catch up today. I know it will be easier than when I did it for 30 days last September, but there is still an emotional and physical side to it all.

My moods were back and forth all day depending on the circumstance. Left my purse behind at a music class, thinking I'd left it at the soccer field I went looking there and then back to the music class where it was found safe and sound.

While shopping at Superstore today I met Melissa, an up and comer in jewelry design I believe. She mentioned that her business is called M3. She designs jewelry with inspirational words/sayings on them. Sounds great to me. I saw durian at the store for the first time in months (probably 8 months!) and almost hit a few people to get over to the produce area where I could pick one out. A nice lady asked me what it was and I told her it was durian. She then asked how I knew about durian and what to do with it. I told her about my interest in raw foods and she was with Melissa who is also a raw foodie! Wow, first one I've come across just by chance. We talked raw foods and bumped into each other a number of times, including the check out stand.

While reflecting upon this chance meeting (of course there is no coincidence!) I figured it was the universe's way of telling me not to eat the organic tortilla chips I had in the cart for the kids' Mexican dinner feast. Hmmm...I also realized that it wasn't just raw food that brought me to durian, but Paul Nison. His The Raw Life: Becoming Natural in an Unnatural World was the first I read on raw and living foods. I believe he is the self proclaimed Durian King! He talked so highly of durian that when I saw one in the market all those months ago I had to try it.

Durian is an acquired taste, but once you've had it a few times, there's no looking back.
I found this on Youtube, and it's got a lot of great info as well as a demo on how to open and eat a durian. Click here to see it. David Wolfe has a video about durian (mangosteen and jackfruit) as well. It's informative and interesting to listen to. Click here for his video. Can you believe it's banned in some motels in SE Asia because of it's smell!

If I could go back to my trip in 1998 when I travelled Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos I would eat durian there! I can't believe I never even tried it when I was there. Can you imagine?!

Anyhow, curious that durian has arrived in the stores and Paul Nison will be arriving in Vancouver next week. He has a few public dates. He'll be on CBC radio 102.7 FM from 1-2pm on Wednesday the 25th. He will be speaking in Vancouver also. Here's the info from Raw BC:

June 26: Paul Nison - Raw Food Health Lecture, "The Formula for Health"
We are excited to announce that Raw Foods Chef and Educator Paul Nison will be coming to town for a special lecture sponsored by RawBC at the Holy Trinity Church on Thursday, June 26th.
Paul's lecture will be focused on the contents of his newest book, "the Formula for Health", and can help you discover how to improve your health and live a disease-free life.
The more you understand the nutritional role in preventing disease and curing it, the easier it will be for you to eat healthfully, emphasizing vibrant, live foods.
This 3-hour lecture will provide you with sensible health information that can easily be applied to your life right away, resources to support you on your journey and help keep you on track, and a simple formula for health, along with a four-step program to enable you to achieve your goals.
Doors open from 6:00 p.m.
Date: Thursday, June 26th
Time: 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Location: Holy Trinity Anglican Church (main hall, upstairs), 1440 West 12th Avenue (corner of 12th Ave & Hemlock Street), Vancouver.
Cost: General Public $17
RawBC members* $12
*RawBC membership available at the event
RSVP: to reserve a ticket, contact RawBC. email: or phone: 778-737-8852

He will also be preparing a recipe on Breakfast Television (Ch. 13) sometime between 8:20am and 9:45am. I'm told it is going to be short but hey, it's on television and it's local, that's great!

I am not sure if I mentioned this before but Aaron Ash's sit down restaurant is now open! I'll be there July 7th for my anniversary dinner and can't wait. I don't believe he's had any time to update his website, but the info is there at It may not be a current menu but it gives you a good idea of what they are about and some idea as to the kind of raw foods they are able to prepare for you. They do catering as well.

I'm off to take care of my sick husband. I took the kids out for the day so he could rest and now it's time to give him some TLC. In the meantime...

Eat Raw, Live Well!


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Juicy Goodness and The Boulder

So, after a few months of back and forth I am again juicing for a few days to see how the body feels.  I need to make juicing a regular thing and to branch out and try some new juices.  This "mini" juice feast will be the start of that.  Ultimately I'd like to be juicing each morning (between 10:30am and noon) with some type of green juice to start off my day with.  Green juice is like coffee for me and it completely energizes me for the day.

Yesterday I had this green juice:

1 head of romaine lettuce
1 cucumber
2 apples (Golden Delicious)
1 lemon (I do take the skin off although others do not...I find it hurts the back of my throat if I leave it on but you can try it both ways and see what works for you.  Lots of goodness in the pith!

Yesterday I also had LOTS of water and LOTS of sunshine.  Finally we had a hot, sunny day in June.  This June has actually been the coldest (and wettest, in my opinion) June in recorded history here in the lower mainland!

The sunshine, juicing and good feelings were flowing yesterday!

Today the rain is pouring (again) and the juice is still flowing and my energy is lower than I would have thought but my body is in detox mode and with the things I've experienced since my last mini juicing episode, it is a wonder.

This is the last week we have all of our students.  We're writing report cards, finalizing stuff for next year and doing some clean up in the classrooms.  We're also writing a report and reference for our student teacher so things are extremely busy.  I'm looking forward to the beginning of summer when I can focus on the kids, the house, the yard and my new business ventures!

I actually spent about 80% of the day yesterday, outside.  A large portion of that was getting the front garden looking great...a little curb appeal.  We have lived here five years and I haven't done anything to get the yard looking great.  Well, with my mom's help we got all the new plants in the ground.  

I was digging the whole for the hydrangea and came across one huge boulder!  We weren't sure how big it was and my mom said just to give up and we'd plant the bush further back.  That wasn't what I was thinking though.  Dig, Dig, Dig.  Dig, Dig, Dig.  Now it was a matter of principle!  I wanted to see how big this boulder was.  Well, it budged and that's all I needed to keep going and then I wedged it until I could get my hands in there and pull it out!

It was a beautiful, huge boulder!  I loved it's shape and now it sits between the hydrangea and another plant in the garden.  A reminder that when moving towards a goal to never give up because the end result can be amazingly beautiful!  In fact, my husband said that when he arrived home this rock was one of the first things that caught his eye and he thought it was perfect.

In green goodness, Eat Raw and Live Well!


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Food Poisoning Scares

Seems that there's one scare after another regarding raw foods and salmonella and E. coli. I got an article in my inbox today that really spoke to me regarding this issue. I am printing it with permission and also will include a link to their blog at the end. I don't think I could have said it better so here it is:

First it was the spinach. Raw, conventional spinach.

This year it is tomatoes. Raw, conventional tomatoes.

Right now there is an outbreak of salmonella in certain types of raw tomatoes.

Since a similar situation like this happened two years ago with raw conventional spinach, and now with something as innocent as tomatoes, here are some tips on how to keep you and your family safe.

10 Ways to Cope When Salmonella and E.Coli Outbreaks Happen

  1. Get all the facts first. We have received worried emails from individuals who were frightened that they had tomatoes recently. When reports like this happen, try to get a basic handle on the situation. Read news reports from major media sources. Avoid reading reports from places that tend to over-exaggerate these situations. Get the facts first.

  2. Avoid buying the produce in question for a short time until facts are found. At the time of this article, even the FDA doesn't know exactly what types of tomatoes are causing the problem, but they believe it is only roma and large round tomatoes. When there is so little information out there, you might want to stay away from that one type of produce for a week or so until things are taken care of. This doesn't mean you need to avoid spinach or tomatoes forever...just focus your attention on the hundreds of varieties of greens and fruits and vegetables out there. Take a few weeks to discover the wide variety of foods to choose from.

  3. Buy local, preferably organic. Despite the media frenzy of Earthbound Farm having the E.Coli outbreak of organic spinach, it turns out it was conventional Dole Farm spinach instead. As far as we know, there has not been any salmonella or E.Coli contamination coming from organic produce. Organic and biodynamic is usually safer.

    And don't forget to buy local. When you buy from local farmers, you tend to avoid the situations where these crises can occur. Salmonella and e.coli outbreaks usually happen due to large animal farms being near where the produce is grown. When you buy from smaller farms, you can know where your produce is coming from. You may even be able to visit the farm where you buy your food, or at least be able to meet the farmer that grows your food. For more information on buying local, check out

  4. The more raw food you eat, the healthier you tend to be. Although this has not been scientifically proven, it seems that long term raw foodists tend to be healthier when it comes to food poisoning. Raw foodists may be healthier due to the amount of hydrochloric acid in their digestive systems.

    Raw foodists also tend to avoid food poisoning from salmonella and E.Coli because the foods they eat rarely come in contact with foods that cause salmonella and E.Coli. Food poisoning is usually related to meat, and occasionally dairy products. By not consuming these products raw foodists have a low chance of encountering food-borne illness.

    Note: This is not a suggestion to go out and blindly eat food that is considered contaminated with salmonella or e.coli. This is just pointing out the fact that raw foodists tend to be less affected by food poisoning.

  5. Grow your own food. This is a very do-it-yourself kind of tip. If you have a balcony to grow some herbs in pots, or a small plot of land in your back yard to grow greens and vegetables, go for it. This option is not for everyone, but if you have the time and the resources, growing your own food is a great way to know exactly where your food is coming from.

  6. Eat at home. Whenever possible, eat at home. Food poisoning in the form of salmonella, e.coli or other contaminants tends to happen at restaurants. This is usually not an issue for raw foodists who eat at home most of the time. For those people that do eat out, perhaps non-raw family members, they can take precautions by avoiding dishes with the produce involved and follow the other steps outlined in this article.

  7. The media tends to exaggerate things. Keep in mind that the media tends to go overboard with the news coverage of these sorts of events. There have been outbreaks of e.coli and salmonella in other types of produce in the past, but they are usually smaller isolated events in one state. Sometimes the media reports that these outbreaks are nationwide, when in reality they affect a small geographic area. That is why it is important to get the facts first.

    Right now the FDA is reporting that tomatoes grown in 18 states and 7 countries have not been associated with the outbreak. To look at the list of unaffected growing locations and types of tomatoes that appear to be safe, click here.

  8. Don't panic. Fear creates more fear. We have talked with people and received emails from others that they will never eat raw spinach again after the E.coli outbreak from 2006. Raw spinach no longer seems to be a problem, yet for some people, they will never eat these foods again because of fear. If you buy into the fear you may never be able to eat anything again. The list of "contaminated foods" will just keep growing and growing. Try to remain calm and continue with the rest of your life. Eat foods that you feel are safe, like ones grown from your garden or that you bought from the local farmers market. Do the best you can, and try to not overreact to these situations as they happen.

  9. If you have food poisoning symptoms, get medical attention immediately.

    "Not everyone who ingests salmonella bacteria will become ill." -

    Food poisoning from salmonella and E.Coli tend to affect very young children, the elderly, and those with a lowered immune system due to cancer or HIV/AIDS. If you or someone you love becomes ill from salmonella, e.coli or other food contaminants, get help. Determine if your symptoms match the descriptions of food-borne illness. Food poisoning can be dangerous but can be treated if caught early. Here are links to how to diagnose Salmonella and E.Coli:

    Symptoms and Treatment of Salmonella

    Symptoms and Treatment of E.Coli

  10. Keep Eating Raw Food. After all is said and done, we are all going to keep eating raw food. Even those who don't consider themselves to be raw foodists (aka "cooked foodists"). These outbreaks are not going to make the entire American public eat only food that comes out of a can. These outbreaks are a symptom of a larger issue of the growing and handling of produce, both here in the U.S. and around the world. These outbreaks will not last forever. Changes will be made. Improvements will be made. And we will all continue to eat raw food.

- Heidi Ohlander
Raw Food Right Now

Want to reprint this article on your website or blog?
You long as you link to this website:

Friday, June 6, 2008

Ann Wigmore Home Study Course

Well, it's arrived! The much coveted Ann Wigmore Home Study Course arrived at my doorstep (well, post office as I wasn't home to receive it the day the delivery was to be made) this week. I am so excited to dive into all the information it has to share, and I'll be posting info here as to what I've learned and how it's all put together. As well, the Raw Divas have asked me to share this learning journey with them and their clients. The details have yet to be worked out but I'll keep it posted here also. Info on how you can order the Home Study Course is here. You'll have to hurry as I believe he's taking the course off the market in a couple of days.

Hopefully I can also share this information through Raw BC with talks or info sessions. I spoke to Clive about it when we were on the wild edibles walk last week.

Let the fun begin!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Wild Edibles Walk

On Sunday I was lucky enough to be involved in a local "wild edibles" walk. We met at the Old Stewart Farmhouse for an amazing walk among the grasses and greens. Our guide, Linda Holley is a graduate of Dominion Herbal College. She also studied nutrition at Alive Academy. Her knowledge is vast and I only wish I had an ounce of her knowledge of herbs and wild greens in my own brain. It is an area that I have recently been interested in studying more. There is so much you can do with plants in our "own back yard" let alone throughout the world!

Here's some information I gleened from our walk. First and most importantly...get a knowledgeable guide! If you are ever in the Oregon area I would suggest getting in touch with Sergei Boutenko who runs Harmony Hikes. His website is also full of information on wild edibles as well, including photos, descriptions and some information videos. Here, Linda was extremely knowledgeable about plants and their uses and whether they are edible or not.

I was quite surprised at how many plants and greenery are NOT for eating! Good thing I didn't just run out and start harvesting greens after the talk that Sergei gave a couple of months ago! Of course, with his informative session as well as a hands on hike in our own local area I feel much more informed and knowledgeable about what I can and cannot eat. I'll have to talk another time about a "fiddlehead" experience I had and what I learned after the fact!

Our walk lasted about three hours, one hour over the original plan but we were learning so much. Certainly I will be on the lookout for a good chickweed plant near my home and start harvesting that one right away. It has more nutrition in it than a whole wack of greens you'd get from the store. In fact it is so nutritious that I would suggest to anyone that they need to begin adding this to their smoothies and salads right away.

It is important to be careful about eating anything new, however as anyone can have allergies to any plant and not know it yet because they've never eaten it. In fact maybe that was my fiddlehead issue. OK, I'll explain myself. I have waited about a year to do some fiddlehead harvesting and it was a late year this year but my mom got some on a hike she went on last month and brought them home to me. Not being one to cook things, my daughter and I ate some. She liked hers just plain while I put mine in a smoothie. She had no trouble whatsoever while I had intense stomach cramps and terrible gas about two hours later...and this didn't happen just once, it happened the next day when I added them to my smoothie (I added less and the effect was lessened as well). Hmmm. She seemed to tolerate them without a problem while I did NOT. Lesson learned. It will be some time before I try fiddleheads again.

Today my mom saw on the news that they are suggesting that no one eat fiddleheads RAW as two people have become sick from eating them this way on Vancouver Island. Interesting. So we'll steer clear for now.

Back to the hike.

Here's the link to photos that Diane so graciously posted for us all, along with a mini comment on each one.

Also, Sergei Boutenko has filmed a number of videos on wild edibles. Check out this link for his video on Wild Violets. He has one also on Miner's Lettuce. Or, check out the Dandelion one. They are extremely informative and entertaining! Thanks Sergei!

In wild edible goodness,


Dad II

After all the fuss and muss regarding the cardio aversion that my dad had you would think things would be fine...well, all's not well.  He had to go to the emergency regarding a very low heart beat and that his heart is again experiencing arrhythmia.  It is common that the condition cannot be treated with western medicine, but we were hoping for the best.  I wonder if he'll change anything about how he eats now that diet seems to be the only way he can manage this condition (as far as I believe...the medical community may not agree with that though as they said to "resume your normal diet" as soon as the procedure was done.

Disappointed but hopeful that this may be a stepping stone my father needs to reach higher intake of good foods!

More later about the CHI diet home study course!  I got a message in my mail today and I believe it's a package waiting for me but I have to wait until tomorrow to pick it up from the post office.

In green goodness,


Tuesday, May 27, 2008


My dad went in for a cardio-aversion procedure today. I went in with him, my mom, and my sister. My dad has had heart problems pretty much as far back as I can remember. He's somewhat active and quite athletic when he wants to be but does not choose his food very carefully. Unfortunately this has manifested in his body as heart issues. He had a heart attack about 8 years ago.

This was a huge wake up call for him and I've never seen him more motivated to eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables. He was also involved in a cardio rehab group. He was exercising like crazy and eating well and lost a lot of weight...and he's not heavy to begin with. He did so well for about two years, and then slowly the eating habits began to slip, and fried, fatty foods were again entering the system. He also loves his wine and beer, and sweet treats. You can encourage someone to eat a healthy diet, with many fruits and vegetables but you will have a hard time changing the wiring unless the owner of the house wants new circuits.

He has had tachycardia for many years as well, but it seemed to be in the background. He did join bootcamp with me in July of 2005. I needed to lose excess baby weight and he needed to get active. He loved it and was motivated and went about three times a week and beat me at every run we did together in those first two years. Since going raw, I beat him every time...60 pounds lighter and feeling full of energy, my athleticism is better now than when I was in high school!

Still, the eating habits have not been great for him. He's seen my dramatic changes but still not interested, even when I make him a green smoothie, he is polite and drinks some but it's not his thing.

He started getting tachy's every time we did bootcamp. We signed up for the Vancouver Sun Run and again, he'd get these tachy's each time we ran. It didn't seem normal but the doctors didn't seem alarmed...that was until my dad thought he was having a heart attack on Jan.28th of this year. He went to the hospital and they ran tests but found nothing abnormal. The did however refer him to a heart specialist.

There he was diagnosed with an "arrhythmia" where he was told that they would not even administer a stress test as that could cause my dad to go into cardiac arrest...and the night before and many nights before that we had been out running for an hour?!! Arrhythmia is what Victoria Boutenko ( was diagnosed with at age 38 and told that there was nothing else she could do for her health but pray! Her whole family went raw shortly thereafter due to a type one diabetes diagnosis for her son and they all benefited from it! Her arrhythmia is a thing of the past, naturally.

My dad was told that he had to have the cardio-aversion procedure done to help his arrhythmia. He was put on even more meds than he's already on and then told he had to wait a while to thin his blood enough so that he wouldn't stroke out when the procedure was done. WHAT?! I'd be feeling aversion to having this procedure too, no wonder it got it's name! So, it's now May 27th...exactly 4 months almost to the day that he got the procedure done. They put him out and basically reset his heart rhythm with an electric jolt. Not quite like you see in the movies with the paddles, but you get an idea anyhow.

I am actually reading Victoria Boutenko's 12 Steps to Raw food as it was re-released with a lot of new information. I am enjoying it this time round...and really relate to much of what she's saying. It's extremely informative and she's done a lot of research to back up her thinking. I was reading this in the hospital waiting room but couldn't really concentrate. Instead my sister, mom and I reminisced about all our past operations and our feelings around them and why they happened, and how things have changed so much in our thinking. For dad had his tonsils out along with two of his brothers because they were a nuisance. My mom, sister and I all have had ours removed. How would our bodies be different if we still had them I wonder. I didn't have huge issues with them but when I was six they flared up a little and it was like they were waiting for that to happen and they got me in and out they came, along with the adenoids.

These days it seems like ear infections are far more common than tonsils and that tubes in the ears is the "operation of the day". I only hope that it was in part due to my constant nursing that helped my kids steer clear of any ear infections. It is extremely common today however for kids to have this procedure.

So us three girls just talked and reminisced about operations, family, life, death and the circle of life for the three hours we were in the hospital. It was great bonding time as I know we were all nervous in some way about what dad was going through.

As my dad was being discharged, the nurse told him not to exert himself for 24 hours (no problem there if there's hockey or golf on t.v.!) and to stay away from alcohol for 24 hours (how about for a lifetime!?) and to resume his usual diet when he felt like eating again (I says pardon?!?! No telling him to keep away from fats, and sweets and processed goods and to focus on a more vegetarian diet...I questioned this and the response was that diet had nothing to do with it). I beg to differ. Food matters. More than we'd like to admit. So I'll continue to make him raw desserts, dishes, salads, smoothies, and hope that he'll eventually gain a liking for all things raw. I can encourage, but I cannot force.

Arrhythmia is supposedly genetic...all the more reason for me to continue eating a high raw diet!! I do not want to put my family through what we went through today with my dad.

Sleep's important too, so I'm off to bed.

In green goodness.
Eat Raw, Live Well.


Monday, May 26, 2008


I'm reminiscing by reading a journal that I wrote when I did my juice fast in September. When I first went "raw", I think it really swept me up. It's like a romance when you first start dating someone that you're drawn to everything they are. You talk about them constantly, think about them day and night, get heart palpitations when they touch you, or just when you see them across the room.

This is what it was like for me with raw and living foods. I do believe that I was probably quite overbearing about it all to begin with. I thought about it all the time, dreamed about it, lived it in every facet. I was telling people that they should go raw because when you feel that good you want everyone to feel that good...but most aren't in that space yet. It's like falling in love and telling everyone how wonderful it is and then telling them that they should fall in love too. How absurd is that?! Many things have to come together for someone to fall in love and I feel that it is the same with finding raw and living foods.

If I'd found it sooner, I too would not have welcomed it like I did in Jan. of 2007.

So, now I am much more subtle about how I eat. Most who know me know that this is how I choose to live. Others who do not know me see how I am and some even ask what I do to have so much energy and seem so alive! I wait for others to ask for my guidance, my suggetions, and this way I will not be as overbearing.

The last thing I want to do is turn others off of raw foods because of how I have approached the subject. If I have offended anyone in the past, I am truly sorry. In the future it's subtlety that I'll focus on.

In green smoothie goodness,


Sunday, May 25, 2008

Farmers' Market

One of my favourite times of the year is when the Coquitlam Farmers Market opens. It symbolizes the start of the summer season for me, even if the calendar does not. Each year there are more and more items available, and more and more people coming there to purchase their goods. If you'd like to visit their website you can do so HERE. They are in their 12th season this year. Hard to believe that I've only been going for four years. It's fun for the kids too.

This year I am going to ask the farmers about wild greens growing on their farms. This is something the Boutenko family did to reduce their costs on edible greens. Wild edibles are full of nutrition and usually they are just discarded by the farmers.

Speaking of wild edibles...Raw BC is holding a Wild Edibles Nature Walk in South Surrey this coming weekend. Here's the info from the site:

June 1: Nature Walk - Finding Wild Edible Plants in our own backyard, or close to it...
In March, RawBC sponsored a presentation by Sergei Boutenko, of the RawFamily, where Sergei spoke about the abundance of wild edible plants that grow naturally in the Wild.
Several of you who attended requested that we create a Nature walk here in the Lower Mainland, where we could go out and discover and identify plants that grow wild and are edible right here in our own backyard.
We are fortunate to have as our guide, Linda Holley, a graduate of the Dominion Herbal College ( and has also studied nutrition with the Alive Academy.
Date: Sunday, June 1st
Time: Meeting time 9:30 am. Nature Walk begins: 10:00 - 12:00 noon
Location: Historic Steward Farm, 13723 Crescent Road, Surrey
Meeting Spot: Parking lot by the Heritage Stewart House
Registration: Must RSVP to as space is limited.
Details, such as ride sharing, location map, what to bring, will be sent as soon as you are registered.
Cost: General Public $15
RawBC* members $10
*RawBC membership available at event, if arranged beforehand

I'll be there for sure, rain or shine as I live nestled at the bottom of Burke Mountain and have plenty of room to roam for wild edibles just outside my door! Hope to see you there.

Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to market I go...


Saturday, May 24, 2008

Food Matters

Well, it's gaining momentum, like I've said before...check out this trailer for an incredibly important movie that's set to come out soon.

David Wolfe (the cute curly headed one...) is looking great. I'm so excited to see he's a part of this movie! His book The Sunfood Diet Success System was one of my first raw food reads...and continues to be at my bedside for nightly reference. He also cowrote the book with the most impactful sentence I've read thus far: "Cooked food is poison". I had a hard time accepting that sentence, but as I get further into my studies and understanding of food I truly believe it to be a statement of truth.

Food Matters also has a website:

Food does matter, no matter how you look at it. BUT!! Even with this information, what percentage of the population would be willing to substantially change their diet???

Something to chew on.

In green goodness,




Two nights ago while casually writing in my blog, minding my own business I glanced through to see if anyone had commented on any of my recent blogs...and there were two comments on my Hiccups blog entry.

How shocked was I to see that I had won the Ann Wigmore CHI diet Home Study Course from the Raw Divas!! Oh my gosh, how exciting is that?!?!

I am completely THRILLED beyond belief that this course is coming into my hands. It is something I have contemplated purchasing, but could never gather up the funds to do so. It is going to be such an amazing tool! Not only will it help me on my raw food journey, but it will help me to continue to help others with their raw adventures. I really enjoy teaching and coaching people through their journeys and this course will further my knowledge and allow me to help even more people.

If you have linked here through the Raw Divas' site! Welcome, I am so excited to have you reading. I've blogged about my journey from the beginning of this year, reflecting back on the last year of my raw journey. I began in January of 2007 and continue to learn so much every day and will be learning so much more as soon as this course arrives in the mail.

I will be writing some updates for the Divas and will of course update here in the blog about what I am learning and how I am using the information to help others!

Thank you to Jim at:

And to Tera and Amy from the Raw Divas.

You can check out their Raw Diva blog at:

and the Raw Moms blog at:

So there's some great reading for you!

Thanks again to the Divas Tera and Amy! Thanks to Jim for all his tireless work and amazing effort in getting this important course together so that the work of Ann Wigmore can live on.

In green goodness,


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Oprah goes Vegan

Oprah is doing a 21 day vegan diet cleanse and she's apparently raving about it. Many raw foodies are talking about this and it's a huge thing for the world in the fact that so many people follow Oprah's lead and she has a huge impact on society.

She did raw food vegan in the past but felt unwell. Maybe this vegan cleanse will be a good transition for her to try raw's hoping! Check out her blog. Go to and look for it on her home page.

The wave is coming in fast. I can feel the momentum. Raw is today what veganism was ten years ago...

Had a green smoothie today...yum! Day two of the green smoothie challenge.

Did a hill training run tonight. It was intense. Bob's a great trainer and keeps us pushing ourselves. It did surprise me tonight when he said that he'd take it easy on us and would only do two of the final three uphills in the final set...but we all did three!

I have to remember not to eat about two hours before the training. I did feel a wee bit vomitous (is that a word?!) as I'd eaten up until 6pm and we began the warm up at 6:30pm.

OK. back to reality here.
In green goodness,


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Green Smoothie Challenge

Anand from Raw Power in Australia has two great things going on right now. The first is a huge green smoothie challenge. It's free to join! There is more info at this address:

I have signed up to be a part of this and to motivate myself to drink at least one litre of green smoothie a day. I find I am not enjoying them as much as I'd like as it seems I get bloated now when I drink them. I am going to tone down the fruit this time, and experiment with the larger variety of fruits now available (in May) as well to be sure not to over drink. Just like when you over eat, over drinking these smoothies too much or too quickly can lead to bloating, and a general tiredness. Simple is key I believe! No more than three or four ingredients at a time for your body to take in the nutrients from.

I'll talk more about his other initiative in a bit but first you have to watch this trailer on Youtube. I HAVE to see this movie. The cutie with the curls is raw food guru David Wolfe. Food does matter, and I am living proof of that!

Check it out:

If the link doesn't work just copy paste it into a new window. It's well worth the look and be sure to see the whole thing when it comes out in June! Can't wait!

Well, green smoothie dreams to you all. I'm fasting on water until 6pm tomorrow (another BES with the Raw Divas) and then it's green smoothie time!!

Day one of the Green Smoothie Challenge with Anand's group and up is the only way to go.

Eat Raw, Live Well!


Sunday, April 27, 2008



Timely that this suggestion would come today. After the disappointment of the last week and the bladder infection. Today is my birthday. Spirits are up. So what if I had a hiccup in my raw food journey. I've learned a great deal in this last week. As a card I received today says: "The next rock in your path might be a stepping-stone."

So, on the subject of's a new way that I have found to stop the hiccups in the body. Not sure if it's the breathing or the tapping, but it works. One day last week I just did this without even thinking and was surprised at how well it worked. Not only did it work for me this last week, but it also helped me stop my husband's hiccups just a few moments ago!

Sit up, tap on your sternum (chest bone) and breathe in deeply and out deeply while you are tapping. Usually it takes less than a minute to stop them. Mine stop even faster than that.

So, whether it be emotional hiccups, physical hiccups or a hiccup in your day, breathe deeply and know that this too shall pass.

Light, love and hiccups,


Friday, April 25, 2008

How'd this happen?


It's been a while again and this time I am asking for help to anyone who reads this!

This week has been the most disappointing week for me. I got a bladder infection. I have to admit that I was shocked that this happened. Any time I think I may be coming down with something I think positively, knowing that I eat a very high percentage of raw foods and that I will not have to worry about getting sick.

Well, not the case last weekend. I got a bladder infection like I've never had before. Blood in the urine. After watching the show House one too many times, I thought my kidneys were failing. I did have that urinary tract infection feeling, however so rushed to the hospital and of course they put me on antibiotics. I didn't know how else to help myself, so I took them. I didn't take the pain meds and made it through o.k. I want to know if I am in pain as that's an indicator that something's sense in turning that instinct off.

So for the week I have been extremely sad, angry, upset that this happened. No matter who you talk to they all have their opinions as to why something like this comes about...stress is the number one (although my stress levels are probably at their lowest in about four months), then there's what you eat - too many cooling foods - raw - can cause a damp and wet environment in the body, along with cold weather etc. I have been eating a lot of cooling foods this month, especially bananas which are also high in sugar. Candida is another possibility. But what really hits home with me is that all disease is the same, it is a toxic environment that allows it to live. Here I thought I had done a lot of detoxing, and maybe I guess I need to do more and really flush things out.

My body is working to do that, as my period came a week and a half early. My MD figured it was mid month spotting and didn't think it was my body detoxing the terrible medicine that I had put into my body. I think he thinks I have gone off the deep end with this! We also did many tests to see what may be going on inside of me. Specialist appointment...ya, two months down the road. I do NOT want to live this way for two months. I will be adding warming foods to my list of items to eat thanks to some recommendations of a Naturopath doctor named Dr. Rachel Stewart. I have only met her once but like her style. I am trying to keep a positive attitude and know that this is only temporary and that it too shall pass. Eating as well as possible and not eating what may trigger more issues. It's very difficult eating no sugar on a raw food diet. I depend so heavily on fruit and natural sweeteners in my daily diet. I am drawn to avocadoes and other cooling foods. I am drinking tea for now, with cinnamon and cloves - my body loved it. I am also doing some steaming of veggies - just so that they are warm, not really cooked, but probably above the raw standard.

It seems that those that are raw don't get problems like this, or maybe is it because they are hiding any issues that they have due to the fact that most of their livelihoods depend on people purchasing what they have to sell. I'm not sure about this one. I hope that they all lead very healthy lives. I know that every choice I make helps me create the great health I choose to experience.

Anyhow, just some thoughts I felt this week was at the beach in White Rock. It was super windy, very cold (I bundled up!) but so invigorating. It was my favourite experience of the week, that's for sure. Tomorrow it's off to Aaron's Gorilla Foods for a Birthday feast! I can't wait!