Wednesday, December 10, 2008

New Years Resolution Widget Needed

I really wish someone would create the following control- I call it ResolutionKeeper.

Something I can insert in a page:

It would allow someone to create graphs:
How many miles did I run each day?
How many servings of fruits and vegetables did I eat each day?
What percentage of my daily intake was raw?
That kind of thing....

I could add it to a page at to show how many days I ate raw/ what perecentage of my food was raw.

Family Menu (is for the non-raw) Spring

Postscript: We did eat from this menu- but I never made a raw carrot muffin. Whew, that was ambitious.


  1. Daily GVJ- just celery juice or spinach, celery, quarter of an orange blended in a Vita-Mix
  2. Chopped sprouted & dehydrated almonds, blueberries, sunflower seeds, nutmylk
  3. (Hot oatmeal with cinnamon, and grated apple)
  4. Raw almond butter and banana w dehydrated sunflower seeds or Banana and nutmilk "shake"
  5. Raw carrot almond muffin


  1. Salad with lemon juice/olive oil dressing, and sunflower seeds or coleslaw
  2. (Legume-based cooked salads: three-bean, chickpea, lentil)
  3. Soups: raw carrot-ginger, (cabbage based- vegetable, black bean, lentil, split pea)
  4. Raw Hummus w dipping veggies
  5. (Kids have left-overs, lentils and brown rice with vegetables, PBJ sandwiches & fruit)

  1. Pasta marinara: zuchini noodles on top of Russell James almond polpetta
  2. (Baked vegetables: eggplants and tomatoes are not in season- but you can use it if you have some canned) Raw cauliflower macaroni and cheese from Mathew Kenney's book, (my family wont eat even homemade real mac n cheese) Califlower is in season though- baked cauliflower with vinagrette on top, served with brown rice
  3. Vegan pinto beans w sautéed bell peppers (bells are not in season) onion, zuchini
  4. Gratitude raw almond-dill dip with crudite
  5. Admundson vegetable stir-notfry
  6. Raw Food Real World spicy indian cauliflower samosas and lemon tahini
  7. Homemade Pizza from Raw World


    Glass of water to start, more GVJ, more soup, cucumber/carrot/bellpepper plate w raw hummus, (apples, bananas, not-too-sweet-flax-oatmeal cookies)

must make juice

It's 6:20 am, must make juice.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


The site redo for feels disastrous for me. I'm trying to trust their motivations for the redesign but- the site is so much less usable.

Correcting Course

It has been about three months that I have been off course. It seems amazing- how could this happen, knowing what I know? I have not been preparing foods that support my perfect blood sugars and my raw journey.

Lessons learned:

1. Things may fall apart during times of transition and stress. (Nilsu had to go back to school. It was a major shift around here.)

2. The issue is not what I am eating- but what I am preparing. If I get up and make cooked oatmeal for the kids- I eat cooked oatmeal. If I make baked oatmeal cookies- I eat baked oatmeal cookies. If I have fresh blueberries around, and a salad ready for dressing waiting in the fridge- I will eat blueberries and salad.

3. I still have this issue- mostly in my head- that raw "costs too much." And, "takes too much time."

So- we begin again....

I have been reading Philip McClusky's blog, and it so inspiring and beautiful.

He was recently in San Luis Obispo- a place I've spent plenty of time- and I can't believe his adventures there: "Brandie owns Smiling Dog Café, and works there along with AmyRuth. Smiling Dog Café is a branch off of Smiling Dog Yoga Studio, and did I mention it’s raw!" I am really happy for him, curious about the raw food scene in SLO. I can't wait to go there!

So- again- we begin again.

I so desperately need some time to myself. From 6:30 am - 8:30 pm I am on mommy-mode, and then I watch a little television or read. I so desperately need an hour alone. I can't remember the last time I had an hour alone. Well- at least I have a party to go to this weekend, and a date with my husband coming up. But- that's not exactly time alone.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

O.K. - Wow

I have had this amazing experience- after the Yoga Family & Friends weekend I was introduced to a friend of a friend who long story short introduced me to Mithra and Adya.The class was held in a pale golden room filled with flowers, greenery, unscented candles and a golden sculpture of a woman. I found myself sitting for hours- something I had never done before, and contemplating God. It was officially a Reiki workshop- but truth be told I just showed up because I - I don't know. I was just drawn to be there.

My husband took me to lunch today and he said- "That yoga last weekend (it's Wednesday) was really good for you. You seem so relaxed and happy." My face tends to look pintched and a hundred years old when I haven't had any sleep- and that makes me look grouchy. Uhhh-huuh. Well, I didn't do any yoga last weekend but that's beside the point. You know- today is the same as Wednesday last week- the babies were waking up all night long, etc. And I feel relaxed, peaceful and energized. And nothing has changed with my sleep schedule. And I think that my face looks a little more open and bright. And I don't want any coffee, and I don't want any sweets, or bread or meat, etc, etc. I don't need any "quick energy to get me through." It is suddenly so easy. In fact- reading through past posts- they seem awfully silly. Which is not a judgement that they are silly- I just can't relate to having written them because it (perfect blood sugars/healing) feels so easy right now. I am really OK with me having had those challenges- because anyway I think that's what most people choosing to heal themselves with diet and alternative healing (along with the work I do with my "western medicine" doctor)- it's what we all go through.

Mmmmm... possibly a little insight. Before it was as if I felt like I was fighting "the culture," "tradition aka Halloween Candy and Christmas Pumpkin Pie" and "Madison Avenue" and whatever else- it felt like that was on one side- and I was lucky enough to have my little support crew on my side and there was a struggle. How can I say this? My body is healing- and the whole universe is supporting this. The whole universe is on my side. And there is no struggle- because all time is collapsed and the healing of the entire planet is inevitable and present.

Now- how to maintain "no expectations" about this new beingness?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Cool Stuff I missed my opportunity to learn to surf.

On an unrelated note:

Go to to learn more about Caroline. to find out more about Kristen and Caroline's Family & Friends Sangha Weekend.

Yes, it's that Propaganda

When people want to know why I am opposed to the majority of meat eating, I show them this:

I've been hearing that there are producers that are more humane. That gets into- how humane is it to eat another sentient being? But- O.K. I don't have so much of a problem with that. But current factory conditions... Most of us have this fantasy cultivated in childhood (I cultivate it in my own children, even now) that the pigs and cows live happily on farms with benevolent farmers looking after them. (This is their idea, I imagine, as they move their little wooden animals around in the recycled pink plastic barn.)

I'm guessing this "humane meat" is that stuff that sells at Whole Paycheck for $400 a pound. Well- if people did buy that meat and then use it to "flavor" stir-frys and salads- then it would probably be a huge step forward for health and sanity. But- I honestly just don't have much of a taste for it.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


After re-reading my last post. Well- I certainly have not given up fruit. But I eat fewer apples. I used to have grated apple, blueberries, sunflower seeds, banana and nut mylk for breakfast. But just blueberries, nuts and seeds works better for my sugars, and I've gotten used to it now and it is totally not a big deal. I've been doing some cooked whole foods- brown rice, lentils- doesn't work for me in large amounts. I've been eating some meat dishes- especially those prepared by Nilsu which are delicious and filled with veggies- great blood sugars, and high satiety.

Tomorrow I go to Yoga Camp where it'll be four days of raw foods, meditation, and yoga. Plus just a lovely time with my little yoginis. I will meet Sage and spend a little time with the powerful women, Caroline and Kristen, who put this thing together. I hope this coming weekend is beautiful and gentle and relaxing. When the kiddos wake up in the middle of the night and I'm not getting as much sleep as I like- Bikram can feel impossible. I've been drinking so much coffee. Tomorrow it's probably cold-turkey on that. I guess I better start glugging water now! We're having gorgeous hot weather, maybe the kids will get to play outside.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

There is a Cure for Diabetes

A letter to the universe straight from my heart-

Aaaarrrrghhh.... I'm loving the book There is a Cure for Diabetes. But- the cure really doesn't allow high-glycemic fruits???

I just had an apple with some raw sesame butter. Delicious. If that had to be celery with sesame butter- I think I would need something to balance the bitterness (mix some stevia into the sesame butter?)

Anyway- I am serious about doing this. I generally feel so healthy and energized. But it is really hard. And- it is all hard. No coffee is hard. No fruit is insanely hard. It comes down to vegetables, nuts and seeds. (He has a few recommended grains and beans- but for me those are only sometimes foods. See my earlier posts regarding whole foods to know why. I have already gone that route and my blood sugars were not perfect.)

I have a big glass or two of juice every morning: celery, cucumber, spinach, parsley, ginger and a big salad with everything for lunch. I've been eating "whole food, but often cooked, for dinner." I'm OK with that- but see myself mentally preparing to move away from it. But - no fruit? What the hell? (OK- so he allows blueberries and raspberries, etc) but short of placing raspberries on a real homemade shortbread crust topped with a layer of sugary raspberry jam, and serving it with a cup of coffee to cut all that sweetness- this is feeling like major deprivation. Just saying. Aaarrrgghh...

I wrote to Russell James and told him how much I appreciate him for creating the beautiful food he does. (He doesn't know me.) But- he is such an inspiration!!

I really want to do this and it's going to require some major shift.


When I feel like yelling "sh*t" I should just yell SHIFT!


P.S. If someone is serious about curing their diabetes through raw foods- actually there is a lot of support out there. Dr Gabriel Cousins book is wonderful. My husband is so awesome!!! He is phenomenally supportive of me (he just called me from the store, they are OUT OF CELERY.) My friend Vanessa- thank you for turning me on to this in the first place. My dearest Josie- again- just holding the biggest possible vision for me. My dear brother- totally supportive. I have to say- in that I am so lucky. It is sicko to read reviews of There is a Cure for Diabetes at Amazon where people say their family and friends are not supportive. Time for new friends, time to talk about support!

I'd love to offer support to anyone on this journey, and make some more wonderful friends who are living these choices- I know I am drawing that to myself right now...

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Another Tasty Combo

Makes two 12oz glasses of juice- tastes great!

Have the fruit and veggies cold from the fridge.

1 red bell pepper
1 cucumber (peeled if not organic)
2 stalks celery
1 small Braeburn apple

Kids also gave this a thumbs up!

Two are so much friendlier than one...

I feel GREAT about eating any food that is lovingly prepared by someone else.

I love the cooked vegan dishes made by the folks at Cafe Flora and Carmelitas.

Juicer vs Vitamix

The irony is that what they are saying makes a juicer better than a Vitamix (there is no pulp in the juice, so it passes directly into the bloodstream) is exactly what makes it worse than a Vitamix.

With the pulp or fiber removed, the nutrients do not have to go through the long and energy-consuming process of digestion... thus the nutrients can pass directly into the blood stream. It is almost like intravenous feeding! The most important thing to remember about juicing is that the very purpose of juicing is to remove the pulp or fiber so the nutrients can go to work immediately without going through the digestive process. Advantages in bypassing the digestive system are that this allows for very minimal loss of the nutrients before they reach our cells, and also this saves our body from expending energy for digestion.

So where does the "Vita-Mix" fit into what we have been talking about? First of all, IT IS NOT A JUICER! Listen to their own words in a recent ad: "The 'juice gurus' on television claim that their juice extractors provide phenomenal nutritional benefits. A recent laboratory study reveals that juice extractors actually decrease the number of vital nutrients you get from fruits and vegetables. That's because they extract and discard the most nutritious part - the pulp.... You'll easily get 4 to 6 times more fiber by drinking Vita-Mix Super Juice instead of regular juice!"

Actually, the "VITA-MIX" is nothing but an expensive, glorified blender that blends the juice and pulp into a thick mush, to which you have to add water in order to drink. Listen to their own words again: "Only Vita-Mix makes 'total juice' which includes the cholesterol-lowering fiber... What is 'total juice?' It's made by pureeing whole fruits and vegetables to the consistency of pudding." But what they don't tell you is that because there is pulp in the juice, the nutrients cannot pass directly into the blood stream as does pure juice from a juicer, and thus must go to the stomach and through the digestive process. Because this blended pulp and juice is in a liquid form, it does not get chewed in the mouth where the digestive enzymes would normally be released as when whole raw foods are chewed. And so this "puree" goes directly to the stomach without the digestive enzymes and becomes a difficult substance for the body to deal with.

Chef Russell James

If you want more raw chef inspiration- see what Russell James is (un)cooking up at All of his recipes are raw and vegan.

If you take his three question survey (regarding how he can serve people in the raw community better) you can download PDF versions of his Marbeled Chocolate and Orange Tavoletta, Chocolate Raspberry Cake with Ginger Chocolate Mousse, and Fennel and Cherry Tomato Tart with Macademia Cheese. He gives what looks like very thorough directions.

I have been wanting to try the Tavoletta for a while but am intimidated. He mentions using a high power blender for the mousse. I'm looking at it- wondering how this would work out with my $30 blender. I could substitute raw almond butter for the cashews in the marbeling. The rest of the recipes- I think may be doable with my blender and $30 food processor. (It cost $60 for the two appliances together at Costco. I mention this because one criticism of some raw (un)cooking is that it requires expensive equipment.)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Monday, April 21, 2008

Chef Matthew Kenney

Chef Matthew Kenney:

I am annoyed by one review of the Kenney book, Everyday Raw. The person reviewing on Amazon complains this book makes raw food complicated. One can grab a handful of nuts and an apple and call it breakfast, or have a big salad and call it lunch. Do you need a book to tell you that raw can be simple? I think the opposite is true- most people need a book that shows them amazing raw food.

Kenney is an incredible chef who elevates (un)cooking food to an art form. Given the love and creativity that goes into Kenney's preparation of raw food I can't understand why any raw foodist would scorn his book. Does this person not understand that reviews affect book sales? If that person wants to eat a very simple raw diet- go for it- but why spoil the fun for others who enjoy a gourmet raw experience?

The recipes in the last two of Matthew Kenney's books I bought turned out great every time I tried them. (I have his first book. It is cooked and carnivorous.) He puts a lot of careful work into preparing these books. And, the books also have gorgeous photography.

Friday, April 4, 2008


I found a great site called Herbivoracious. The guy who writes it interned at Cafe Flora. He appreciates wonderful, beautiful vegetarian food. There are lots of recipes and lovely food photos to inspire you!

Link to Herbivoracious from the links section.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Touching Base with a Friend

A couple of my friends who do it have told me to take a couple of days to get hydrated before starting Bikram.

My brother took back his fantastic Omega 3000 juicer that he had loaned me. He warned me that in the past he had a Jack la Lane Juicer bought at Costco that was very difficult to clean- and he thought that if I bought one of those I'd wind up not using it. So I haven't been juicing.

I have blended spinach, celery, cucumber, ginger and a little orange or apple for breakfast. I make blended salads/raw soups using my blender but it's nothing fancy and leaves things very pulpy. Which I like compared to pure juice, I think it slows the sugars absorption into my bloodstream and is better for diabetics.

If you don't want to spend $400 on a Vitamix (which blends, but the pulp is finer than in a cheaper blender) then juice in a $40 juicer and then blend some pulp back in using a $30 blender. The blender will come in handy elsewhere and the finished product is much more palatable than if made in the blender alone.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


I wrote: Bringing awareness to that is like waking up out of a dream. There are so many things we do that are just sleepwalking! or worse, being in some kind of nightmare-loop. Here I am doing it again.

When I re-read it something came to me.

I had the insight before that the most boring thing I do is to fall short of my measurable goal. (Probably the most boring thing I do is be more interested in myself than I am in other people, but I digress.) So- instead of being totally inspired- as I am by the lives of some of my friends- and many strangers- I get this flat experience. Wouldn't it be exciting to live the fact that we can cure diabetes? So, what stops me?

If I can really see how- getting into that loop- (for the purpose of a reader who stumbles across this blog understanding what I'm saying- a loop might be birthday parties must be celebrated with coffee, cake and ice-cream) doing this thing that is so conditioned- blows me off track because diabetics are really set-up to then crave more carbohydrates after eating some (even a very small portion.) Then I don't do the thing (cure my diabetes, help others do the same) that had me all excited. Boring.

I want to talk about someone who is not boring- who is exciting and inspiring to me. Her name is Kandace and she posts recipes at And I am a receiver for this light that she is putting out there. Anyway- it is a sacred moment seeing how we are all connected and how one person's choices can be a gift to many.

Berenstein Principal

PostScript to Original Post:

Simply put, I am convinced that the Bernestein Diet saves lives. If I'd have found out about it within a year of learning I had Type 2 diabetes, I believe I could have reversed my diabetes (since I am still only borderline.) You CAN reverse diabetes (if you catch it in time.) I am really hoping (trying to believe) you can cure it at anytime. Curing it is defined by a year of perfect blood sugars (as was defined by Dr Mehmet Oz on an Oprah show.) People (the medical establishment that has a stake in you being unhealthy) say you can't cure diabetes because you will always have this faulty pancreas. But the point is that it isn't the faulty pancreas that causes problems- it is out of control blood sugars. If you maintain perfect blood sugars then you can live as healthy a life as anyone.

The Berenstein Diet is about seriously curtailing your carbs and filling out your menus with protein. But, I am allergic to milk and I seriously want to throw up at the smell of eggs. O.K. so I love crisp bacon, but I don't really want to eat a pig that never harmed anyone and is at least as smart and loving as a guide dog (or my worthy dog, who has never worked a day in his life.)

Anyway- I am trying to find a way to do Berenstein without it being an eggs-meat-cheese-fest. I don't know that I actually believe there's any benefit to eating your vegetables raw. What I do know is that when I am doing a lot of green vegetable juicing- I get compliments- so you know, it works with my vanity! And, when I eat like this I have no cravings for food that raises my blood sugar. Perfect blood sugar just feels so good.


Original Post Begins Below:

Again, it is important to note that diabetics cannot go wild eating fruit or starchy vegetables even if they are eating a completely raw diet. (And this is in contrast to the teachings of most raw food practitioners.)

Berenstein says

Avoid sweet fruit entirely, although many people doing his plan eat small amounts of berries, a slice of tomato in a salad.
Remember that lemons and grapefruit are sweet fruit by sugar content, it is a bitter flavor that makes them seem as if they are not.
Eat the non-sweet fruits (plants with pits and seeds that people don't usually consider fruits.) Eat eggplant, summer squash, cucumber, green and red bell pepper, avocado.

Restrict your amounts of starchy vegetables to 1/4 a cup per serving.
Corn is not a vegetable, it is a grain.
Restrict your overall amount of vegetables to no more than two cups of salad, or 1.5 cups of cooked vegetable per meal.

Nuts- eat small quantities. Learn which nuts are lower in carb

How can I combine what I know of Berenstein, with Raw? It is completely within the bounds of a berenstein-raw diet to start the day with a green juice made of two cups of spinach, a squeeze of lemon, a slice of ginger. A few hours later have two thirds of a cup of nuts in the shell for a snack. Then a few hours later have up to two cups of raw green salad (for example spinach, celery, red bell pepper, cucumber, raw mushroom) with a quarter of an avocado and a raw oil and raw vinegar, for lunch. Then have a dinner which incorporates a small amount of vegetables and nuts (such as Ani Phyo's 'That Chicks' Pate with Spanish Vegetables'.)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Making the Connection

Yesterday I had coffee and wine, ruining the eleven days of keeping my commitment to not do either.

I have also been eating a lot of cheese. But no meat. Cheese on whole wheat bread is a food that seems good to me, and so it's easy to miss that it is not.

My blood sugars have been perfect. So it was easy to rationalize that, in fact, I broke my word to myself not to do these things for one month.

Anyway- beginning again...

Continuing with this a couple of days later-

I can definitely see how I turn to eating crap whenever I have a high degree of conflict with a particular close friend. It is like (to paraphrase Ekhardt Tolle) I have a pain body that wants to maintain itself. Whenever I go into victim mode, eating is a way to nourish the pain body and to return to the familiar place of poor blood sugar- to build up my ego through a negative identity as a diabetic and also through the drama of not keeping my word to myself.

Of course- I am also paying very close attention to the things that are triggers for my pain body. MY trigger is feeling that I am being judged. I am not being loved unconditionally. And I have to be even more right about what I am saying- I have to criticize and judge and be rigid about being right. That is my ego protecting itself- defining itself- making itself superior. Then seeing myself as something less than radiant and wise, I go straight into feeding the pain body.

Making some slow progress perhaps- if awareness really is progress...

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Doing It Differently

What I could have had off the Dahlia Lounge menu instead:

Glass of French Pinot Noir
Curried vegetable samosas

Garlic Butter Button mushrooms
Sauted Pea Vines
Water- Water- Water


It's not vegan or raw. Still it would be a step in the right direction, and it would be a kind of moderation that could allow "80% vegan and raw" to deepen into more over a lifetime.

It's a chance to look at the power of the meat and dessert habit.

Recommended February 2008

Raw After Thirty

I succeeded in following the guidelines I set for myself on December 26, 2007. I was raw for thirty. I ate an exclusively vegan diet, and an eighty percent raw diet. It felt great. I didn't lose any weight. I also didn't gain weight- on a diet heavy with avocados and raw almonds etc. My blood sugars are very good, without medication.

Tomorrow will be February 10, 2007. I would like to set another thirty day goal. Going forward I would like to maintain my earlier guidelines (raw, vegan at home) (cooked vegetarian at restaurants) (free pass for anything served at a monthly dinner event I attend) and to cut out coffee. I don't mind my raw breakfast juice and salad for lunch, but I need better dinners.

Also, I need to plan a bunch of munchies (that aren't fruit, or more nuts.) I need something to eat for times when absolutely everything is challenging at work/home. Comforting and fast food is a good thing. I really love a bowl of hot soup (especially during the winter.) But, what can I do that supports me being raw? There are some good recipes at, I'll try some of the ones marked "easy."

(*) For the last six years I have planned and cooked a set weekly menu. It simplifies shopping, planning, cooking. Some of the following recipes can be found on

Mon- Kale wraps with avocado and dates
Tue- Taco Salad, Cirtus Ginger-ade (Citrus is mis-spelled at goneraw)
Wed- Asian Marinated Mushrooms in cabbage and Tomatoes layered with macadamia cheese
Thur- Falafel Balls or Hummus, Veggie Sticks
Fri- Red Root Wraps, Blue-ants on a Log
Sat- Red Cabbage and Apple Soup, Sunny Salad, Apple Cookies
Sun- Zoodles in Asian Dressing with Cashews

Dahlia Lounge

Yesterday I had one of the best meals of my life at Dahilia Lounge.

We shared a dry, oaky French style Pinot Noir with the appetizers of scallops. For my entree I had crab cake with pastrami hash and a very light sauerkraut. With this I drank a big, juicy, fruity Pinot Noir. For dessert I had coffee and coconut cream pie.

Great company. Perfect atmosphere. Good conversation. Delicious pairing of the wine and food. Lovely evening. NOT perfect blood sugar.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Game of Life

If I count "wins" such as January 23 post- does that mean that set-backs are "losses?"

Do I want to live my life seeing everything that happens as either a win or a loss?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Turkish Coffee

I am in the habit of drinking Turkish coffee in the late afternoon. I enjoy the ritual of preparing it. It smells delicious. I love the pretty little cups in which I have it. It tastes delicious. And, three o'clcock seems to be the time I want a pick me up. I enjoy the quiet restful time during which I prepare my coffee. I love talking on the phone with my friend as I drink it or sitting in my wingback chair alone to drink it. I love my chair. I love my friend. I love how the drink is hot, while it is cold here. I love how sharp my mind feels after drinking it.

I would like to find something to substitute for this, and Pero is not cutting it.

Every time I find a reason not to drink Turkish coffee, I'll write it here:
February 8, 2008 - My teeth are turning yellow!
Postscript- Well on Feb 14 I got sick and so giving up coffee was easy!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


A few days ago I whacked my thigh very hard against a modern boxy-style wooden chair. The thing is as solid as a tank. I was expecting a bad bruise. I was in pain, and if I were a cartoon character I would have been seeing stars dancing around my head. I have no bruise or soreness. I credit all the spinach I've been eating with this healing. The body heals itself, and does so quicker if we don't encumber it with toxins.

Also a few nights ago, I awoke from sleep and felt like doing some yoga. I surprised myself by getting much more range of movement and deeper stretches than I have had in years. My body felt quite warm, and I felt deeply peaceful and relaxed before, during and after the yoga. My friend, who was a yoga instructor, said about this amazing experience "Where the mind goes, the body will follow." That day, I had been watching Shazzie, another raw foodist, on a YouTube video practicing yoga.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Ellen G White

When I was a child, my mother had a copy of Counsel on Diet and Foods by Ellen G White. She is one of the founders of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. The book was red leather, embossed, and the lettering was gold. To a six year old, this book was obviously important. It has been more than three decades since I read it.

The fact that I remember reading the book, and think I remember its' message shows what an impression the book made on me. I would like to pick up a copy at the library to check and see if my memories are true.

Let me start with this disclaimer. Recently I did a search on Ms. White and came across several sites calling her a false prophet- and a plagiarist. . An article on her in Wikipedia, quoting, has this to say about those who wish to discredit her by calling her a plagiarist: "Adventists assert that it became increasingly normative to cite sources during her lifetime, and that Ellen G. White subsequently revised her books, changed passages to include quotations from authoritative writers, and at times deleted passages when an author could not be found."

Ms. White was a vegetarian and an advocate of not combining too many types of foods at one meal. She believed it was taxing for the digestive system. She thought most people should eshew milk and eggs. She suggested a breakfast of porridge, a midday meal of vegetables, and a supper of bread and vegetables.

Obviously, one has to consider that reading the book at such a young age impressed my subconscious in a way that has made my new eating habits easier for me. Adventists have strayed from Ms. White's teachings on the subject of diet.

Jamie Oliver

Note to self- get a copy of the New York Times article about Jamie Olivers' plea for better treatment of farmed animals in England.


Sample Menu from a Real Day

1/2 apple with heaping tablespoon raw almond butter
glass of Green Juice

diced zuchinni and button mushrooms in ginger soy sauce
1/2 bananna

espresso cup of coffee
2 small date paste balls, rolled in unsweetened coconut

Second Snack
10 olives
raw coconut, just out of the shell

salad with red bell pepper, alfalfa sprouts, ginger tahini drizzle, topped with almond slivers
Cubed tofu (not raw)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Fruit and Nuts

This morning I woke up wanting to have something other than Green Juice. I had a sixth of a coconut and a sixth of a mango (another breakfaster was having mango and insisted on sharing). Two hours later- I had perfect blood sugar.

I wasn't really hungry at eleven, but sat down and had a lunch after unpacking the groceries. I had a 4oz cup of cherries, one fourth of an avocado sprinkled with a few grains of sea salt. I snacked on the above, and finished with a tablespoon of raw almond butter.

I know that some would consider the above food combination scary. According to food combining theory in the book The Raw Life, by Paul Nisson; the cherries are fruit (and should best be eaten alone), the avocados are considered fat, and the nut butter is considered protein. Either the fat or protein might have been eaten alone or with greens, but not together.

Reasons of health aside, food combining eliminates gassiness. For three weeks I went along fine, eating what I wanted with no problem. Then one night I had a banana, raw hazelnuts, some greens with a little oil and vinegar, and a glass of red wine. My stomach hurt! It was no joke.

Herbert Shelton's book Food Combining Made Easy seems to be the accepted authority on this- so that's on my to-read list. Paul Nisson recommends strongly that you eat mono-meals (just one thing or one kind of thing at a meal, even fruits are divided into sub-groups such as acidic fruits, sweet fruits, etc.) I might add that many of the long-time raw foodists interviewed for his book agreed.

But, I also read in Nisson's book The Raw Life that Morris Krok, said "You might have an apple with your almonds. Although this is not the best food combining practice, the almonds are dry but the apple is juicy." The message I get is to do what works for you and not become obsessed in a way that stops you from continuing on your path .

Also- there are raw food chefs out there making amazing dishes which sometimes combine nuts and fruits. If you don't go wild eating too many different things at once, I think these inspired dishes can bring good health as well as pleasure.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Pretty Packages in the Mail

I recently discovered that offers giftwrapping. It's $10 a pop, but the papers are beautiful. The sort of paper that can turn a jar of raw chocolate spread or some raw blondies into an appropriate "thank you for being lovely."

Raw Food Real Cooking

Raw Food Real Cooking is a cookbook by Matthew Kenney and Sarma Mengalis. I have the cooked cookbook Big City Cooking by Matthew Kenney, and it is really good. I was intimidated by this raw cookbook, and so only recently bought it. I wish I had bought it sooner.

Like the other book, this book is filled with sumptuous pictures that show you how the finished dish will look. Like the other book this includes a Shopping Directory at the end because the authors believe that good food begins with good ingredients. (And in the world of raw foods, it's very helpful and informative.) New to this book is a bit of friendly chattiness and the voice of co-author Sarma that I think works well.

I don't have a lot of fancy kitchen tools; I have a blender and food processor combo that I bought together for $60 at Costco. But I have been able to make everything in this book that I've tried. So my nut milks are a little nutty and therefore not as smooth as what the authors acheive. In places I have substitued ingredients either because the authors suggest it, or because I gained the confidence to improvise from Big City Cooking. Everything comes out delicious.

I can't even wait until I have a proper dehydrator, blender, etc.I gave myself one month of being raw before I invested in these items. Guess what? I feel so great. Sarma does not lie when she says this raw food will get you feeling amazing. I LOVE having this beautiful book, and it's elegant recipes to take raw foodism beyond rabbit food. I can serve a Mango Macadamia Milk Lassi for brunch and my guests reaction is "Wow."

Buy this book if you want to go raw- OR- are looking for many recipes that even non-raw foodists will enjoy. There is plenty here to try even without any fancy equipment.

There's a new Matthew Kenney Cookbook- Everyday Raw.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Raw Milk

In answer to the question- Don't raw foodists drink raw milk?

See yesterdays' post- Most Raw Foodists are Vegan. Simply, most don't consume animal products at all. Even consuming honey or bee pollen is controversial. I would not drink raw milk, or eat unpasteurized cheese. This is because I don't think cow (or goat) milk is the best human food.

Sixty percent of people have lactose intolerance. It is particularly common among Hispanics and African-Americans. This can take the form of gassiness or stuffy nose, or more serious reactions such as a swollen face after drinking milk.

I remember that when I was in school the teachers had charts with four squares. Meat (pictures of hams and sausages and eggs), Dairy (ice cream featured prominently in this group), Fruits & Vegetables (Lumped together) and Breads (including white bread and soda crackers). We were told these foods were good for you. Maybe schools should have to get permission slips from parents before children are exposed to these lies. Not for sex education, but for the other garbage they teach in health class.

Raw milk is not the most radical idea, and I keep reading about how some people think it is good for you. Our grandfathers regularly drank unpasteurized milk. In France, cheeses are not pasteurized. Many people feel that the government should not make this decision for people. But, I know someone who got sick from drinking raw milk. I don't think it is wise to drink raw milk.

Monday, January 14, 2008

What's to Eat?

Here is what I have been doing for the past three weeks.

Breakfast is anywhere from 5am to 9am. Breakfast is a drink that goes by many names. I've heard it called Green Lemonade, Glass of Fresh, Green Juice and the Drink-Made-by-Dr-Mehmet-Oz-on-the-Oprah-Show!

4 cups mix of Spinach and Romaine (some recipes use Kale, Parsley)
a few stalks of Celery (I actually don't like the flavor of Celery)
half a small lemon or 1/4 of a large one (some people use more)
half an apple (some people use more)
I've discovered that a tangerine tastes delicious
Sometimes a little ginger, but a little goes a long way
water to thin- my resulting mixture is 8 cups
(Ice makes it taste even better)

I rough chop the lettuce, and mince the other ingredients finely, leaving the skins on. I blend it up. I don't have a fancy blender but a stronger blender would improve this drink. Sometimes I have one glass, sometimes more. I drink less than half the mixture in a morning, and start with a fresh batch every other day. It tastes good, but I know you wont believe me if you don't try it for yourself.

I wait until noon for lunch, by which time I am hungry. Luckily as I am not on heavy drugs, my blood sugar has not plummeted.

Lunch is a salad. I eat greens and raw vegetables, and a vinaigrette. I often eat sprouted and dehydrated sunflower seeds. If it's all greens, I add some almonds or walnuts .

I've noticed that my energy slumps a little at four. Usually I have a small coffee with a large splash of unsweetened almond milk. Since we have family dinner at five thirty, I don't want to eat anything that will raise my blood sugar. But I need to keep my sugar from dipping. It's a question mark. Today I had a cup of the grain beverage Pero, and didn't test my sugars afterwards. On other days I've eaten a half an avocado or a quarter cup of olives. Again, I really should wait two hours and test to see what is happening there.

Dinner- to give this program a fair shot- I will start putting some effort into making half-way palatable dinners. So far the easiest thing is more salad with nuts, or a piece of fruit with nuts. We've also been eating some dishes I learned from Karen Knowlers' YouTube Videos- Avocado Massaged Kale, Stuffed Nori Rolls, Marinated Mushrooms, Chopped Raw Almonds with Blueberries and Almond Milk. I usually serve some cooked food and let everyone take what they want. (Guests love to try out the raw offering.)

Most Raw Foodists are Vegan

There are a lot of crazy things written about raw foodists. The craziest is that raw foodists eat raw meat. After reading many different books about raw foodism over the past year and a half, I can emphatically tell you that is not the case. Most raw foodists are vegans. I've seen two references to meat-eating in books. One author said something like "I knew a guy who got into that, and he got very sick. He's still sick. Don't do it." In the other case the author mentions that he's known a few meat eaters and says "But they are shunned." (Italics are mine, for emphasis.)

Again- just read any of the literature and understand the history of the movement- most raw foodists are vegans. Because this is becoming a popular diet among the general public, you may find some that eat very little cooked meat. A person who formerly ate a diet of mostly cooked foods, that enjoys going for sushi and continues to eat sashimi after becoming a raw foodist- is just doing what he did before. The person is not suddenly eating raw meat as a raw foodist.

Anyway, the idea is so crazy I almost didn't mention it. But, it is super important to fight this perception because it would be terrible if health care professionals believed this was a usual practice of raw foodists.

Testing for Piece of Mind

If you want to know what your blood sugar is doing- just test. If you have prediabetes and the glucometer isn't covered by insurance, you can buy one at the pharmacy. They are not that expensive. This devise gives you the power to adjust your course and maintain perfect blood sugar.

Today, more than ever, diabetics have the power to achieve perfect blood sugar. Many people will be able to do this through diet alone, without medication of any kind. If you haven't already, I suggest you read The Berenstein Principal by Dr. Richard Berenstein. It will give you so much useful information and reason to hope.

I want to know if I can successfully control blood sugars using raw food, as was done at the Tree of Life Rejuvination Center in the movie Raw for 30.

Transitioning to Raw

Depending on what you're diet is like now, transitioning to eating a whole foods vegan diet first can be helpful in transitioning to a raw diet. And when you're eating a raw diet, you're also continuing to eat only whole foods. Eating a raw diet means you just elinate cooked foods.

First- what is Whole Food? Can you imagine it growing in nature? Even a fish swimming is a whole food. (Some pople think a fish is food for a bear.) Artificially pink fish-paste with artificial onion flavor that comes in a tube to squeeze onto crackers is not a whole food, because you cannot imagine it existing in nature.
If you choose to eat grains (Berenstein thinks diabetics generally shouldn't,) the less processed the better. You might prepare brown rice or quinoa for a side dish. Eat a lot of vegetables, and make half of them raw salads. Find whole foods to replace special ocassion things you might have eaten before and you will completely lose your desire to eat processed, artificial food.

When you are ready, transition to raw foods. Begin the day with green juice and have a salad for lunch. Work up the courage to try some simple raw recipes for dinner.

If you are going to "fall off the all-raw-wagon" do it with whole food. Have slow-cooked oatmeal with organic apple grated in it and unsweetened almond milk for breakfast, a home-made vegetable soup with sunflower seed crackers for lunch, some brocolli salad with a side of carrots and cooked spinach in an almond butter sauce (also known as bathing rama) for dinner. These are good foods that help you transition back to raw because they do not throw your body as far off balance as much as highly processed, artificial, sweetened food.

Gestational Diabetes

If you have a family history of diabetes get tested for it before you get pregnant. Don't wait until late in the pregnancy when many doctors do the gestational diabetes test to find out. Controlling your blood sugar is an important part of having a healthy pregnancy.

Many years ago I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. I went to the bookstore and bought every book I could on gestational diabetes. The books were so frustratingly light on information. There is not one I would recommend. I do recommend asking for a visit to a nutritionist. If your insurance doesn't pay for this, you can find a nutritionist on your own. This is not very expensive, $60 or so.

Luckily, my doctor sent me to the Joslin Diabetes Center for nutritional counseling very early in my pregnancy. My diet was already good but the purpose was to learn how to count carbohydrates to keep my blood sugars steady. The other women in the group were at eight months before they'd been diagnosed.

We were asked what we regularly ate. The diets of this little group were so poor! The worst was of a woman who claimed she'd been living on nothing but ground beef, white rice and ice cream. The nurse stared at her in shock. Finally she said "You didn't know you had diabetes but you did know you were pregnant and that's not a healthy pregnancy diet for anyone."

I was eating a whole foods diet. Most of the recipes I used came from, Feeding the Whole Family. A typical dinner for me was a spinach salad with lemon-olive oil vinaigrette, a piece of wild salmon, some broccoli and half a small baked sweet potato. This diet worked well for me at the time.

During a later pregnancy, I was not able to tolerate carbohydrates (even the healthy kind) without insulin. I ate a whole foods diet again, and supplemented with injected insulin.

I hope you will make wise choices after discussing with your doctor about the use of insulin. Please do not let a fear of needles prevent you from using this treatment if you think it would be beneficial.

Ask your doctor if you are a high-risk pregnancy. If you are a high-risk pregnancy- because of your age, weight, health-history, having a pregnancy with multiples or any other factors, you need to know. Your doctor may refer you to someone who specializes in high-risk pregnancies. Managing your blood sugars is not something you can play at, the health of your child or children depends on you.

All three of my kids were born healthy, at term and at a perfect birth weight. My heart goes out to anyone who has a difficult pregnancy or difficult birthing. I realize that some women experience so much guilt, often for things that are truly out of their control with regards to pregnancy and birthing.

Food as Medicine

In the past year, a friend of mine used the Berenstein Principal to control her diabetes.

This opened up my mind to a new way of thinking about diabetes. I realized that after many years of having diabetes and doing what the doctors told me, my health could be even better if I knew more.

You may never have heard of the marvelous book The Berenstein Principal by Dr. Richard Berenstein. It is an absolute must-read for anyone who wants to live a healthy life with diabetes. It is filled with clear explanations of the science of managing your blood sugars.

Dr Berenstein was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes over fifty years ago- but he refused to accept ill-health. He used an early blood glucometer to test the effects of various meals on his blood sugar. He realized that eating a diet very low in carbohydrate controlled his blood sugars. When many in the medical establishment closed their minds to his findings, he became a medical doctor himself so that he could speak at medical conventions. He's still practicing medicine, showing people that it is possible to take charge of their diabetes.

I want to make it perfectly clear that although I think everyone with diabetes needs to know about Dr Richard Berenstein, I have never met him. Certainly, he has never heard of me. In no way do I wish to give the impression otherwise.

Well- the book taught me a lot and the diet worked for me in that it controlled my blood sugars. It didn't work for me long-term because I am gravitating towards a cruelty-free style of eating. I wondered, can blood sugars be controlled through vegan eating?

What is Diabetes?

If your doctor has told you that you have diabetes II, diabetes mellitus or pre-diabetes it is important that you realize you can be completely healthy with this condition.

Your pancreas produces the hormone insulin. That insulin starts working from the moment a bite of food enters your mouth to convert any carbohydrates present in the food into glucose. This glucose provides your cells with energy, and helps fat cells store fat.

Everything you take into your mouth is made up of carbohydrate, fat, protein, water and micronutrients. Fat, protein, water and micronutrients in normal amounts do not pose much of a problem. In fact some studies have shown that even dangerous "saturated" fats are not as unhealthy for diabetics as uncontrolled sugars. But, too much carbohydrate will raise blood glucose levels in a negative way. It makes you feel unwell in the short term. Left unchecked it can have serious long-term consequences such as blindness and stroke. And, meanwhile it will make you fat.

Some people don't even know when they are running high blood sugars. Having high blood sugars can be a little like having poor eye sight. It feels normal, until you put on glasses and suddenly realize what you were missing. When you get your blood sugars are under control, you will feel better.

Diabetes is a condition where your body is genetically predisposed to store carbohydrates as fat, more so than other people. This really benefits you in times of famine. Your pancreas is working perfectly- if your goal is to store as much fat as possible for the upcoming grain shortage. Although this is a situation you will work around- it is not different than having color-blindness or being left-handed. It is something genetically true of you- which in itself is neither good nor bad. In itself, it is not a cause for dis-ease.

Some people say "I am allergic to peanuts", or "I have lactose intolerance." to explain why they don't eat those foods. You can learn to say "Carbohydrates don't agree with me." Instead many people think of their diabetes as something wrong with themselves, and set themselves up for a lot of nonsense by trying to deny it and to live as though they don't have it. Of course, everything that is neither a fat nor a protein is a carbohydrate. Because you must eat some carbohydrates, and it isn't as simple as just eliminating peanuts or milk.

Again, diabetes is in itself neither good nor bad. All of the ailments that are supposed to go along with diabetes are ailments caused by uncontrolled blood sugars. You don't have to experience any of that! If you don't believe me - ask your doctor.

Raw for 30

I am inspired by the movie Raw for 30. You can see the trailer at YouTube

We've been eating raw food since the day after Christmas (the kiddos are still having a whole foods diet.) I'll write more later- but I've already encountered some serious misunderstandings about the raw foods diet. The kind that would be very bad for a diabetic.

The hardest thing for me was giving up coffee. It's been three weeks vegan & raw (I've eaten vegan & cooked three times during those three weeks) but the coffee is the last to go.