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,