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  • Today, The World Suddenly Got Alot Smaller

    To all the multi-tasking mamas who are the peacemakers, the boo-boo kissers, the tear wipers, the lull-a-bye singers, the grocery shoppers and menu makers, the domestic engineers and working Wonderwomen, the visionaries who see the best in our children and work tirelessly, invisibly…the list of our titles and duties goes on and on…

    wish-banner-slimTODAY is International Woman’s Day! And I invite you to join with me and about 10,000 other women around the world, in a celebration of our womanhood! We are gathering like women have done since time immemorial to tell our stories, share our collective wisdom and concerns, offer support and solutions, and have communion- united communication in the spirit of building community.

    Tera and I have been excitedly working together to produce the biggest, most world-class event of its kind to celebrate Women’s Day. It’s called WISH Women’s International Summit for Health.

    If you enjoyed the raw Mom Summit you are going to love this!

    We have included over 40 of the world’s most sought after speakers for this, in and outside of the raw community including Marianne Williamson, Dr Mercola, David Wolfe, Janet Attwood, Tonya Zavasta, Marci Shimoff, Victoria Boutenko, and many, many more!

    We discuss all the things on the minds of modern women today: Finances, Health, Beauty, Relationships, Self-Worth, Parenting, Sustainability, Spirituality etc etc and yes, it is available for FREE over the next 10 days.

    WISH Women’s International Summit for Health

    They say it takes a village to raise a child, well, the global village just got smaller because we are bringing a stellar line up of world speakers right to you. With this online banquet of delicious topics and speakers, all made with love for you to be lavished with and enjoy, my hope is that you feel as I do, that the world is getting smaller and that women are getting closer. Our connection regardless of our physical proximity is enhanced when we can come together in the spirit of celebration and empowerment, and that is what WISH is all about.

    christine_aruyloThese people I interviewed and their contributions just opened my world to so many things, it is truly a gift that will keep on giving as I continue to assimilate everything I learned. For example, I’ll leave you with this teaser which came from one of the calls that just blew me away that will be made available as a BONUS~

    One of the key distinctions I became aware of just this week which has actually CHANGED MY LIFE came as I interviewed Christine Arylo who wrote the book Choosing Me Before We- It is that Self-Esteem is NOT the same thing as Self-Love…Do YOU know the difference? Overwhelm and exhaustion are sure signs you may not…Please post your answers below.

    Happy Women’s Day!


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    ‘Tis The Season…for Persimmons

    by Lisa Bolard

    persimmonI’ve long heard about the benefits and wonders of persimmons, but when I’ve tried them in the past, I found them to taste awful.  Now I know why.  I did some research, and realize that I had been trying an astringent variety before it was ripe enough to taste good.  Since it is now persimmon season, and I’m quite serious about eating raw over the cold months, I thought it was time to do some research on this fruit.  So here is what I found out about persimmons:

    First, I thought let’s see what all the fuss is about nutritionally, and how to know what I am buying.  Below is what I gleaned from several sources.  Persimmons come in many varieties, but there are 2 categories of the fruit – astringent and non-astringent.  These different types have different nutritional benefits and are eaten in very different ways.

    The astringent types account for about 90% of the market (at least in the US), and they include such varieties as the Hachiya, Eureka, Saijo, Tamopan, Tarenashi, and Triumph.  The non-astringent types include the following varieties of Fuyu (Fuyugaki), Gosho, Imoto, Izu, Jiro, Maekawajiro, Okugosho, Suruga.

    permissionsAstringent varieties should be eaten only when fully ripe, which means they should be soft and mushy.  They are usually eaten peeled, and should ripen at room temperature.  Once ripe, they are only good for 1-2 days so eat them right away, and don’t buy in bulk unless you have capacity to consume them quickly.  These tend to have a sweet, date-like consistency which makes them suitable for raw puddings, pies, in smoothies with nut milks, or just by themselves.  If you want just the pulp, crush it through a colander or food mill to separate the pulp from the seeds and skin. The most common variety of the astringents found is the Hachiya persimmon.

    The non-Astringent varieties should be eaten crunchy, and with the skin.  These can be kept for several months when refrigerated, so buying in bulk is easier.  These are best eaten by themselves, or in fruit or vegetable salads, quartered.  The most common variety of the non-astringents found is the Fuyu persimmon.

    Nutritionally, there are differences, and I’ve chosen to focus on the 2 most common varieties available for simplicity’s sake:

    • Fuyu have more potassium and protein than Hachiya
    • Fuyu don’t have Vitamin C, but Hachiya is high in Vitamin C
    • Hachiya don’t have any Vitamin A, but Fuyu are high in Vitamin A

    The following are nutritional attributes that appear to apply persimmons in general:

    • Low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium
    • High in soluable fiber (which is especially helpful in preventing heart disease)
    • High in beta carotene, lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin, cryptoxanthin; the latter work against oxygen-free radicals that contribute to aging and some disease processes
    • High in minerals such as potassium, manganese, copper and phosphorus

    On the anti-oxidant front:  they contain catechins and gallocatechins, and an anti tumor compound betulinic acid; Catechins are known to have anti-infective and anti-inflammatory properties

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    Making Love in the Kitchen!

    by Jody Power

    I would like to share with you one of my favorite blogs, well, obviously besides the Raw Mom and Raw Diva’s sites, it’s called Making Love in the Kitchen.  It is a blog by Meghan Telpner, who is a certified nutritionist and holistic lifestyle consultant.  Her blog is very informative, but don’t worry it is definitely not dry – I’m hoping you already figured this out based on the blog name.  Whatever subject Meghan decides to tackle she does it in a fun, entertaining and sometimes quirky manner, which will keep you coming back for more! 

    For you transitioning mom’s and dad’s out there she also has a wealth of great recipes which are focused on whole food goodness which you’ll want to check out and add to your recipe arsenal to slowly wean your kids off that processed food.  For you raw mom’s and dad’s you’ll still find a wealth of information and some raw recipes.

    Just so you can get to know Meghan a little bit better below is the interview she agreed to do for us.

    JP: What lead you to become a certified nutritionist and holistic lifestyle consultant?

    MT: Like many people in this field, I had encountered a personal health challenge that was not being resolved by conventional medicine. After university, I went to travel in Africa where I became quite ill. I came back from that trip, began a career in advertising, all the while suffering terribly from digestive dis-ease. Going from doctor to doctor, I was desperate to find a solution. Three and a half-years and 19 doctors later, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. Rather than taking the conventional approach (surgery and medication) I chose a completely holistic approach that included acupuncture, yoga, meditation, herbs and natural, clean, whole foods. In a relatively short time, I was essentially healed of the symptoms that had plagued me for all those years and so inspired that I decided to go back to school to study nutrition. Three years later, I remain 100% symptom-free from an ‘incurable’ disease, and now work to inspire others that they too can take control of their health and empower them to heal through easy, simple and health supportive eating and living.

    JP: When you were trying to heal yourself what made you decide to go the holistic route?

    MT: The doctors hadn’t done much for me by that point, aside from make me feel fairly foolish for being so persistent. My mother has always been a big proponent of taking responsibility for our own health, so I suppose that was ingrained in me. The only options the doctor gave me were medicines that would likely have to take the rest of my life with the possibility of having a section of my intestines removed. The acupuncturist I met said that he could help me put the disease in remission. Of all the ‘experts’ I sought, he was the only person who gave me confidence that this was not a life sentence. The decision, at that point, was pretty easy.

    JP: How do you ensure you maintain a balanced lifestyle when things get hectic?

    MT: This is an increasing challenge as I get busier, but I also know that health must come first. I never compromise my diet. That is my main sticking point. I would hate to do something that would bring the disease back into my life, that is always somewhere at the back of my mind, so I am pretty good about checking in with how I feel physically. I am a workaholic. I love what I do with such passion that I often have a hard time taking a step back from it and stop taking care of everyone else, all my clients and students, and focus on my own health. I have now learned that if I am really going to keep things balanced, I need to schedule that time in. I do go for regular early morning bike rides by the water or long walks in the park, often before the sun is even up, I go to yoga a couple times a week, and will book weeks off here and there that are not to be used for work, just for fun. I have maintained my twice-daily meditation practice which is vital to me. This biggest lesson in maintaining balance has been learning to say no to things.

    JP: What is the one biggest mistake you see people making in their diets?

    MT: People worry about it all way too much. The stress we put on ourselves over what to eat, getting the right proportions or calories, getting enough protein or eating too much carbs. Trying to eat all raw, or all vegan, or all macrobiotic or whatever the chosen diet may be, is just incredibly stressful. This stress and worry around food is a greater challenge to our good health than what we are actually eating. I educate people on how to avoid foods that have had to pass through a processing factory or chemistry lab, to avoid foods that come in boxes with health claims. I try and inspire people to simply eat good, whole, natural, unprocessed foods as much as possible. If we stick to a whole foods and predominantly plant-based diet, the counting and balancing is removed and the joy comes back in to the dining experience. We can reclaim a connection to our food as our fuel, the people who grew it and the goodness it provides in our lives. There is just no need to bring any feelings of guilt into the kitchen and trying to achieve any kind of dietary perfection or fit into a specific dietary category, following all the rules to a tee, does just that.

    JP: What is your favorite kitchen gadget(s)?

    MT: I wish I could be original for this, but is there anyone who owns a VitaMix and doesn’t love it to bits? I use a magic bullet regularly to grind up nuts and seeds. A sharp knife and a bamboo cutting board are my essentials. I think a grain grinder will be my next kitchen gadget acquisition.

    JP: Do you believe in incorporating superfoods in your diet?  If so which superfoods are your favorite and why?

    MT: I sure do! I love superfoods and was even more inspired after spending a weekend with David Wolfe. I don’t eat all raw through the winter, far too cold in Toronto for that. So I like to think up creative ways to enjoy raw superfoods in some cooked meals. The staples in my pantry are whole cacao beans, goji berries, golden berries and coconut oil. I have recently fallen head over heals for maca which I’ll add to smoothies or mix in to oatmeal and sprinkle on to salads. Spirulina is my fave source of easy protein and again- a great one to add to smoothies, and to boost up juices. Chaga mushroom is the newest addition to my superfood collection which is an amazing booster for the immune system and grows on trees up near my cottage. Other superfoods I keep on hand include hemp seeds, golden berries, and always have sprouts sprouting. I suppose, now that I think about, I am a bit of a superfood junkie. As David Wolfe says, why wouldn’t I want to eat the best food ever? I do!

    JP: I know you don’t have kids but do you have any tips on how incorporate healthy foods into a child’s diet.

    MT: Hide them! That would be the easy way, mix some hemp seeds into their cereal, sprinkle some ground flax on their salads, or in sandwiches, mix some spirulina into their drinks. That’s the easy way. It would be ideal to start kids off on a healthy eating life, but if they are older and you are transitioning, transition them with you, though at a bit of a slower pace. Junk food should be removed from the home and never ever ever used as a reward for anything. Rewarding good behaviour with sweets is a nasty habit to form. The other suggestions are the basics, sit down and eat with them, they’ll eat what we eat, bring them in to the kitchen to help prepare and educate them on the food. Carrots make our eyes shine bright and powerful, almonds help our bones grow strong, kale builds muscles… Educate them on the positives of the healthy food without bringing stress, calories or any of that nonsense into it.

    JP: Can you share with us one of your favorite recipes that is also kid friendly?

    MT: Sprouted Nori Rolls are a great hands on recipe to get the kids in on the action. Have them grow the sprouts themselves. It’s a great little project for them to learn about the growing of food with the task of rinsing the sprouts each day as they grow. The rolls with the sprouts are great as mom or dad can slice up a variety of vegetables, the kids can choose from and use the sprouts they grew themselves. This gives them a sense of ownership and individuality over their creation. And it’s healthy!

    Nori Rolls with Ginger Sunflower Pate

    Ginger Sunflower Pate

    • 1 cup sunflower seeds, soaked overnight
    • 1 clove garlic
    • 1 tbs  lemon juice
    • 1 inch  fresh ginger, grated
    • Salt or tamari, to taste

    Blend until smooth in food processor.

    Topping Options

    • Sprouts (any kind will do)
    • avocado
    • carrots, sliced long
    • cucumber, sliced long
    • cabbage, shredded
    • cilantro
    • bell pepper, sliced long
    • pickled ginger, chopped
    • Tamari for dipping (optional)

    Rolling Nori

    Place Nori down on the bamboo mat. Typically, the shinier side is put face down.
    Layer filling in neat row, leaving about half an inch of space at the edge of the nori closest to you.
    Rub a bit of warm water on the edge farthest from you. This will help the two sides of nori stick together
    Holding the closest edge of the bamboo mat, roll the away from you.
    Tighten the roll as you go, the same way you would a rug to minimize excess space. Be careful not to make it too tight, however, or fillings may start to fall out.
    Once tightened, you should be able to unwrap the bamboo without the roll coming apart.
    Cover your roll with the bamboo mat and press your hands over it to further pack the roll.
    Move your full roll to a cutting board. Slice it first down the middle with a very sharp or serrated knife. From there you can cut it into sixths or eighths, whichever you prefer.

    JP: Anything else you want to share with our readers?

    MT: We have enough in our lives to worry about, so why not bring some fun into something we have to do everyday, at least three times a day. The kitchen should be a room of joy, warmth and community. What goes on in that room is the shared responsibility of every member of the family and it is a great way to incorporate more time together. Better in the kitchen than in front of the TV. If we can establish healthy eating and a healthy attitude towards food in our children when they’re young, though they may not fully appreciate it at the time, we are building a solid foundation and understanding that will be with them through life.


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    A True Story: How I Left My Family for 5 Days… And How They Survived

    molmI always do everything. I plan the meals, buy the food, prepare the dishes. I also do all the cleaning, all the bills, and generally just keep the family running. I do it all. My family could not survive without me.

    Well, o.k. They help a bit. … But I do most of it.

    So, when I decided to go to the Raw Spirit Fest in DC for 5 days, I came up with a plan of action to ensure that my husband and 12-year-old daughter could make it through this rough spot.

    Step 1. Panic
    Panicking is an important tool in every mother’s toolbox. If you start with panicking at the outset, then it doesn’t need to be done later. Just get it out of the way right at the beginning. Make sure to envision every possible thing that could go wrong, every accident, every poorly-combined meal, every dish left uncleaned. Fill your mind with visions of returning home to 3 inches of dust and dirt, with family members crawling helplessly around the floor, calling your name in desperation and sadness. Imagine the dog emaciated and dehydrated and the gerbils clawing at the walls of their cage. … OK. Got that in your mind? Good. Now let’s move onto Step 2.

    Step 2. Emergency Preparedness
    Does your family have enough Band-Aids, toilet paper, fruits, veggies, and other consumables? Do they have raw food recipe websites bookmarked? Are all the emergency numbers posted in the appropriate places? Are family members familiar with dish soap and toothpaste? Think through each crisis and make sure that resources are in place to avert any and all disasters. Talk often with each family member about your what-if fears and make sure that your fears become their fears. Wonder why your family is talking about you in hushed tones when you’re out of the room. Go to Step 3.

    Step 3. Travel… with Multiple Daily Check-Ins
    After completing Step 2, you can feel good that your family is well-prepared for any emergency that may arise. Try to breathe and enjoy your travels. Check-ins morning, noon, and night are recommended. Notice their voice inflections during each check-in: Are they trying to hide their sadness? Are they telling you everything? How are the gerbils and dog? How will you truly know if they’re doing well? Building in little surprise questions throughout the conversations help to test their survival and coping skills. Some examples could include: “So, what did you end up having for breakfast?… Uh-hungh. Hmm… And did the GERBILS enjoy their breakfast, too?” … or… “So, did you have that spinach with your dinner last night?… What?! You DIDN’T eat any GREENS?!?” Little reminders like these will be much appreciated throughout your time away from home. Proceed to Step 4.

    Step 4. The Return Home
    When you return home, brace yourself for all the chaos envisioned in Step 1, but act cool and casual as you walk through the door, reminding yourself that your family’s fragile self-esteem is in your hands. As you set down your bags, nonchalantly inspect each and every corner of the house, the weight and demeanor of the dog, the liveliness of the gerbils, and the contents of the fridge. Thank your family for their willingness to accept this trial by fire with open minds and hearts and… wonder how they learned to survive without you.

    Author’s Note: When I got home, I did indeed follow Step 4 and have to tell you honestly that what I was greeted with was an enthusiastic dog, a father and daughter that got some good bonding time in, and a fridge that was empty of all the raw vegan food I purchased. The house was surprisingly clean and nothing was ruined or out of order. The author is now looking into a 3-week trip to India… by herself.

    **Lisa Marie Lindenschmidt is a raw foods chef and teacher and owner of Rite Food and Company , which offers workshops on intentional and joyful eating. Lisa Marie and her homeschooled daughter, Mo, record a weekly podcast – called Sweet Peas Podcast – chronicling their raw foods journey together.

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    Handy Tips when using Plastic…

    By Jodie Power

    It’s back to school time which is a great time ensure your kids lunch containers are safe.  At home we try to use glass whenever possible, but that’s not going to work for school.   My kids are tough enough on plastic never mind trusting glass in their clutches at school.  Stainless steel containers are another option.  I don’t have any experience with stainless steel containers so I cannot comment on how practical or how well they hold up.

    A good article to check out if you do need to go the plastic route was put out by the Environmental Working Group, a non profit organization, .

    If you have time I would suggest spending a little time poking around on this site – you are bound to find other useful information on a number of other subjects ranging from the dirty dozen fruits and vegetables, to the best (and worst) cell phones.

    Basically some of the key points from this article, as well as from a couple of other articles:

    Stay away from anything marked 7 or PC, 3 or PVC and 6 or Styrofoam.

    Plastics marked with 1, 2, 4 or 5  do not contain BPA, and are considered better choices.  But beware, some say 1 is okay for single use only.  You’ll find a lot of the bottles you get your water in marked 1.    Other sites also note that plastics marked 5 are okay but can be hazardous in production.

    On most plastics you can find the number in the recycle sign that is usually on the bottom of the container.

    A couple of other points, which will not be an issue for those of you whose kids are all raw:  It is best not to put hot items in plastic, let them cool first.

    Never microwave plastic. I’m definitely anti-microwave – ours got the boot a couple of years ago.

    I’m not telling you to throw out all your plastic containers,  as I know replacing things can be expensive,  just be aware of what you have and which ones are preferable, especially as you buy new ones.

    Remember,  in the world we live in what’s safe today may not be tomorrow, especially when it comes to anything man made.  So whenever you want to take another inventory of what containers are the best, make sure you have the latest research.

    Try it!

    celery-rootIf you read my last article I mentioned a game of “Try It”.
    We’ve started this up again and this week we tried Celery Root (aka Celeriac).   Celery Root is high in dietary fiber,  manganese,  magnesium,  potassium,  thiamin,  vitamin B6 and vitamin C.  These are all good things, but you also need to keep in mind that it’s high in sodium and sugar.

    I’m not sure if the Celery Root I purchased was bad,  as we’ve never had this before, but it got 4 thumbs down.  Maybe it’s meant more as an addition to a dish than as the main star?
    If you’ve had success with celery root let me know.

    Take care,

    ** Jody is a Mom transitioning from Cooked to Raw and sharing her joys and tribulations with us.  Keep watching for further stories from the Transitioning Mom….

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