Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

Raw and Rumi

May 31, 2010
Panaramic View from Deck

Panaramic View from Deck

What a fabulous meetup we had last night at Table for Life in San Carlos.   We were treated to an inspired evening of poetry and music with Eric Rumi Schneider and cellist, Elaine Kreston.

Eric & Elaine

Eric & Elaine in Concert doing Rumi

Our hosts, Michael and Anna Coulter, have a gorgeous home in the hills that has a panoramic view of the Bay Area, and the food shared by all attending was truly delicious. Again it reminds us of how good we feel when we eat a raw diet, and reaffirms our commitment to doing more. Beyond that, how grateful we are for the opportunity to meet with like minded individuals who are also on a journey within the raw food lifestyle.

Even though we’re not all 100% raw, we are each making our way and finding the benefits and challenges through the process. The super thing about meetup groups is that there are people who can answer questions and who can share their own journey, as well as wonderful recipes that are healthy and delicious. These monthly gatherings affirm the journey and often lead to friendships and learning about other things of interest.

Most incredibly, you note the aliveness of everyone participating. There is something about raw food that creates a glow that emanates from within and shines on the faces of those who have found this way of eating. I think it is the cells within the body all playing in symphonic delight, grateful for being given food that is alive and vibrant so that renewal can take place in the healthiest of ways. Steve has taken pictures of the food, and even won second prize for his delicious onion/mushroom crackers with cashew “cheese” spread.

Mushroom Onion Crackers with MocKotta Cheese

Mushroom Onion Crackers with MocKotta Cheese

If you would like to join or start a group in your own area, check out http://www.meetup.com for information. Just enter raw food groups in their search dialogue box, and see what’s available. If the groups in your area are anything like the ones in ours, they are well worth attending! (KJ)

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A Wonderful Food Day!

March 7, 2010

Living Bread Sandwiches

Living Bread Sandwiches

Raw Russian Pumpernickel Living Bread

This afternoon we took out the flatbread Steve made last night. It is the recipe for what is similar to a Russian pumpernickel – only dehydrated and without wheat. This is one of the great things for me, being gluten intolerant. I can eat so many of the things that are in raw food without worry. It makes is so much nicer not having to read every tiny ingredient to see if it is okay, and I realize what a gift the gluten intolerance has been to get me beyond the wheat cravings to journey toward raw food. I don’t know if I would have had the same enthusiasm before.

Igors Living Flat Bread

Igors Living Flat Bread

The flatbread is wonderful with spreads. We tried it with our homemade raw humus spread and cucumbers, red bell peppers, basil, and I put a little sauerkraut on mine. Later, Steve made “chocolate cake” that we will mold today into little dessert squares. More about that tomorrow.

Thai Wraps

Last night we had Thai wraps with a super sauce. Everything tasted so delicious and fresh, and my body hummed. This was a much better experience than my morning smoothie fiasco. Ingredients for the Thai wraps were butter lettuce for me, spring roll wraps for Steve. Included were: daikon sprouts, carrots, cilantro, raw cashews and pecans, coconut, avocado, red bell pepper slices, cucumber slices, jicama slices, scallions, and mint leaves.

Kathleen's Lettuce Thai Wrap

Kathleen's Lettuce Thai Wrap

To prepare, I poured a spoonful of sauce on the butter lettuce leaves and then added the veggies, topped with more sauce. Then I folded the leaves to make a lettuce wrap. It’s a good idea to look for strong butter lettuce that doesn’t fall apart or you’ll be patching your wrap together and eating a lot of it off the plate. For Steve’s version with spring roll wrappers, you just soak the wrap in warm water for a couple minutes and then put on a cutting board, fill with items you choose, and then roll and cut the wrap in half for easier handling.

Steve's Thai Wrap

Steve's Thai Wrap

We’re off to the Farmer’s Market now and am sure we’ll have another delicious Raw Daddy cone (see last Sunday’s BLOG). Yum! (KJ)

The Junk Food Experiment

March 5, 2010
McDonalds

McDonalds Restaurant

The other day I had to be out of the office all day. Long about 1pm I started to feel hungry and I was just then passing by a brand new McDonalds Restaurant.  My primitive brain must’ve taken over because I did an immediate U-turn and drove right into the spanking new parking lot.  Well, hey, I did have a need for the rest room, didn’t I?  How could I just march in there to use the restroom and not buy anything?

In the recent past I would’ve had a hot Big Mac!  I didn’t patronize McDonalds very often – maybe once or twice a month on average.  But now that I had gone mostly raw it didn’t seem quite right to keep eating burgers from McDonalds. What could I have without guilt that wouldn’t kill me?  Hummmmm. Let me see. I perused the entire menu while someone in line ahead of me was ordering for what seemed like a small army – to go.  Maybe they had to use the rest room too?

Morgan Spurlock

Morgan Spurlock

I finally decided on the Medium French Fries. The price was $1.89 – close to $2.00!  For that amount of money, I thought, I could buy an entire bunch of Kale or other fresh Greens!  Fried GMO potatoes vs. Organic Greens!  Such a deal!

Well I walked out with my fries and ate them without ketchup. That was a first.  They were waaaaay too salty but they did taste good.  What an indulgence I thought.

Later that evening we ate cooked grain burgers.  And then after dinner I bowed to temptation and had a few chocolate-covered peanut butter filled pretzels from Trader Joes. And then I had a few more. And then a few more!  I was on a binge and I couldn’t help myself for some reason!

CPAP Sleep Apnea Device

CPAP Sleep Apnea Device

That night Kathleen complained that I started in snoring again.  Since starting the mostly raw food diet I had ceased snoring. That was quite significant as I thought the next step might be having to get one of those Sleep Apnea breathing assist devices – called a CPAP Machine! I know at least two men that have to use them and it has to be a major inconvenience at best! So here I was starting in with the snoring again!  Not a good sign! And what I noticed was that I had a horrible case of acid reflux again which kept me up half the night. That is also something that had disappeared on the mostly raw diet.

I guess some of us have to learn our lessons the hard way. Lucky for me, I sometimes learn quickly!  So it seems the lesson here is that once you start sliding down that slippery slope the ride gets bumpier and then rougher very quickly. It’s better not to start in in the first place. I am not saying that eating at McDonalds is necessarily bad every once in a while, but it certainly can lead you to further temptations.

If my brief experience is any indication, you should take it as a warning to stay far away! And you certainly don’t want to do what Morgan Spurlock did. Morgan Spurlock was the star and director of “Super Size Me,” a film about a man living on McDonald’s food for 30-days straight. It’s not recommended.  He severely damaged his health and is now a vegan vegetarian!

– by Steve Freier

Mostly Raw

March 4, 2010
Lentil Brown Rice Veggie Burger

Lentil Brown Rice Veggie Burger

Last night we felt like having a warm meal. Steve made incredible veggie burgers that he created a recipe for years ago, and they were really good. We had them on a bed of arugula and julienne jicama, carrots, and daikon radish. For a side dish, we had Steve’s amazing orange curry coleslaw with curry sauce for the burgers. I also included some of the great Farmhouse sauerkraut, and the dinner was delicious.

I note that as I eat these meals with vibrant beautiful food, I want plates that show them off, so am going to hunt for just the right dishes this weekend. Funny that I never cared that much with “regular” food to have plates that would showcase the meal. Maybe that’s because it lacked the same vibrancy that raw food has. A theory, anyway.

Steve's Orange Curried Raw Slaw

Steve's Orange Curried Raw Slaw

The latest count is that Steve has lost about 16 lbs since we started this journey almost 3 weeks ago, and I’ve lost inches plus several pounds. The inches are what I’m noting, and think it won’t be long before I have to buy new clothes as mine are beginning to hang on me. Weight loss has not been my goal. I really am concerned about better health, so as we continue the journey, I’m observing subtle changes that I can feel already. Most important one to date is that I can feel my feet all the time now. They used to get an odd sensation that speaks of poor circulation. I wasn’t getting enough blood to my feet and noted that my toes on one foot were all jammed together and often looked and felt ice cold. Now, my toes are flexible, my feet are healthy looking, and that tells me that my circulatory system must be getting better.

I am amazed again and again how we have all been brainwashed to think we can eat things that aren’t food and believe that the body will be okay with that.

Most of us just shove things in our mouths that are non-foods disguised as something real while the truth is that they have no food value and are conglomerations of manufactured flavor enhancers that will hook us into craving them again and again. Then we suffer from degenerative diseases and chalk it up to being part of life, never knowing that we were designed to live healthy productive lives for as long as we are on the planet. We ignore the statistics for longevity by other cultures who eat real food, and shrug our shoulders when we have to take a pill for this and another for that. It’s all part of getting older, we sigh.

As a song by Peter, Paul, and Mary said long ago, “When will they ever learn…when will they ever learn?”  (KJ)

Miracle Connections

February 18, 2010

Steve again put on his researcher hat and found all sorts of You Tube videos about raw food and the effect raw food has on the body. He also found a raw food person who had gone one step beyond when she found that the body plateaus after a year or so on a raw food diet. She researched to find out what was missing in raw food, and found that the one thing needed was the deep leafy green vegetables like kale and swiss chard that are full of incredible nutrients for the body, but that are unable to be accessed through eating because of a cellulose barrier that protects the plant from insect invasion. Instead, by processing them with fruit in a blender and eating the pulp and all, the missing ingredients for vibrant health is restored, and the raw food lifestyle is able to provide a firm foundation of energy and good health. The green smoothies become one of nature’s healing modalities that enhance and replenish the body.

With this information about smoothies we set out on a Saturday morning to the local farmer’s market, and as synchronicity would have it, we came upon an organic vegetable stand at the same time as a young man who proclaimed the benefits of dandelion greens over kale. We asked him what he knew about juicing as we were just transitioning into a more raw food diet, and he practically fell over. “You won’t believe this,” he said, “I’m a raw food chef!” An older woman who was with him was chuckling as she held up the contents of her container to show us her green smoothie that he had prepared for her before they came to market. I saw this as a sign, and we spoke for a time, finding out that he had been the owner of a raw food restaurant we heard about after it had closed. He told us how hard the restaurant business was, and that expenses for rent and employees killed his dream, and that he was so dejected that he had completely turned his back on the raw food community until recently. As we spoke further and I explained how I had come to raw food, commenting about wheat allergy, another woman who was next to me at the stand said something, and I told her to join us in conversation. She explained that she had been put on a special wheat, dairy, sugar free diet because she had diarrhea for over a year, and I immediately flashed on my mother. I told her she needed to be tested for celiac disease, which she had not ever heard of. We exchanged e-mail addresses and I promised to send her information so that she could follow through. I told her she must become a vigilant reader of ingredients because gluten is in so many things that we would never expect. She saw me a bit later at another booth and told me I was an angel sent to her that day.