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,