I’ve been dehydrating all day, while I’ve been cleaning, and playing on the computer (okay, that’s work, too – I’ve been writing, studying, planning….) — hey! I am on vacation, yes?

So, anyway, I took some leaves out of the dehydrator this morning, but I decided to wait until the Magic Bullet jar was dry (rather than dry it, duh!), and wait until the rest of the trays were dry as well.  So, anyway, when I got around to wanting to grind up those leaves, they were damp – it was like they saw it was raining outside and they decided they were thirsty. They were all wilted, so I had to put them back in the dehydrator for a while (I won’t do that again!)

Well, now, after a whole day of dehydrating, I got about 2 tablespoons more of powder, and I had to graduate to a quart jar.  Of course, since I had just scrubbed the floor on my hands and knees, mind you, I spilled some on the floor!  Never mind! When I open that jar, it smells really good (and I am that girl who does not like salads!)  

I’m thinking of grating up some radishes and turnips and adding them to the mix.  Or maybe I will just start another kind of jar, and mix them when I’m using them.  I keep thinking about Spike , my main seasoning – it’s a salt-free mix of an assortment of dried vegetables (I think it was originally intended to help people reduce dietary salt, although there is a Spike with salt)  So, anyway, if I grate up some vegetables and put them in the dehydrator, and then grind them up into powder and mix them up… well, hey! I could have my own Spike mix going.

Since this green powder I have going smells so good, I am starting to think that I could put 3 or 4 T into hot water and have an ultra-healthy “salad” soup. Add some cashews for creaminess…. who knows?  I am very grateful for my Healthy Homesteader class that woke me up to this idea.  Not only have I learned a lot, I have also become aware that many people who enjoy preparing foods in the way I do call themselves homesteaders. Thus have I been opened to a whole new network of like-minded people.  When I was offered the opportunity to take a Tera Warner course, I chose this one more or less out of the blue, never imagining how much it would allow me to expand my horizons.

I have a tray filled with 5 large white turnips-worth of grated turnips (I processed them in my food processor to a coarse grind – think chunky applesauce texture) and spread them on a teflex sheet placed over the plastic tray of my dehydrator



change your life

POST #913
I’ve always liked Penni Shelton’s work at RAWFOOD REHAB.  Just now I’ve seen that she has a new program, April Wellness Initiative,  that might work for a lot of people.  Check it out. (btw, I get no kickback for telling you about this – I just think it is a good opportunity.)  Participating in group work is often quite fulfilling. Penni has priced this program at a highly reasonable price, to make it available to more people.

NEW ACQUISITION: Richter’s Nature the Healer

After I had acquired Vera Richter’s Mrs. Richter’s Cook-Less Book, I was pleasantly surprised to discover Nature-The Healer, a 1936 book written by John and Vera Ricther, for a very reasonable price on Amazon. You may recall that John and Vera Richter operated a raw food restaurant from the 1920s to the 1940s.
This book is probably not anything you need. Written in a question/answer format, it addressed a number of health issues and dietary concerns, with an eye to how they might be healed via nutritional methods. It is, essentially, the precursor of such books as Linda Page’s Healthy Healing and Phyllis Balch’s Prescription for Dietary Wellness. As I am very interested in raw vegan nutrition, this book is interesting to me because it is quite possibly the first such book written in America, and, very likely, the rest of the world, as well. Furthermore, it may well be the first known book on nutritional healing – my copy was originally owned by an MD in Los Angeles, who was, apparently, interested in nutritional healing (I am not usually privy to the names of previous owners of the books I collect, however this MD’s name and office address are stamped in several places in the book).
I am looking forward to studying this wonderful book, which Dr. Richter wrote in 1936, when he was 84, just 2 years before he transitioned.

BENEFITS OF A RAW VEGAN DIET: with an eye to how to make it actually work for you

POST #822
my post here is derived from a post I received from fitonraw.com
That post was interesting and useful, but, as I am given to giving specifications, rather than allowing my clients to run wild with a few ideas, I have some things to add here.

I received a post from Swayzie Foster, of fitonraw.com, and, while I agree that the ideas she presents are good, I must warn against the drawbacks (everything is good, but not all is best)

(along with the caveats)


Many people who adopt a raw diet notice that their digestion becomes better.  Indigestion often disappears within days.  Those who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome often notice improvement quickly after going raw.

On the other hand, if one does not follow the rules of food combining/natural hygiene, there will still be gastro-intestinal upsets .

Food combining, also known as natural hygiene, addresses the idea of eating foods which digest at the same rate together, and avoiding eating foods which do not digest with certain or other foods well.  What this means, basically, is that you can eat some foods together, and you can eat other foods together, but some foods you can only eat alone (this is why, sometimes, when you go to a raw vegan restaurant, you can come away with gas or other fun g-i upsets.

Many raw vegan recipe books touch on this subject and give charts. If you haven’t seen this idea in any of your recipe books, then go to:



By me, this is a top benefit.

Still, if you start eating raw vegan food, and try to reproduce all of the recipes which you can find out there which reproduce popular cooked foods, you may experience a problem.  Similarly, if you figure that you can eat all of the raw vegan desserts that you see in recipe books or find in raw vegan restaurants, you may not experience the kind of weight loss you wish to experience.

Yes, raw vegan desserts are guilt-free — they are made up of raw fruits/vegetables and nuts, but they do contain calories.

You just can’t eat desserts all day, unless you are counting an apple, a peach, a pear, a plum, etc. as you dessert.  Raw cheeze cake is delicious, but you just can’t have it every day.

A raw vegan diet actually makes it much easier to follow a high protein diet/low carb diet:  You can eat more vegetables on a raw diet than you can on a cooked diet (2 cups of spinach have only 4g of carbs).

For a good beginning weight loss program, check out Ani’s Fat Blast, which is actually a high protein, low carb diet.


Since a good raw vegan diet requires less energy to digest, your body has more energy available to it.

Even if you are only 75% raw, you are likely to notice increase energy.


Many people who undertake a raw vegan diet feel that they sleep better and awaken more refreshed than before.


This is a common claim from the raw vegan crowd.  Check it out for yourself. The concept is that, since you do not need to use a lot of energy to digest food, you have more energy to think.

My personal take on this is that, if you are eating sufficient protein, this will be true. If you do not eat sufficient protein, you will likely come across to others as an airhead – protein is a necessary nutrient for brain cells.


It is true: if you are eating only raw fruit and vegetables and raw nuts and seeds, you are adding into your system only the things that you need to have healthy skin.  Your diet must be balanced, however.


If you are eating a balanced raw vegan diet (I’m saying 40%carbohydrates/30% protein/30%good fats), then you should experience beautiful hair (by that, I do not mean that your curly hair will go straight, or that your straight hair will go curly, but that your hair will be shiny, healthy, and as thick as it can be (if your hair is baby-fine and straight, it isn’t going to go fluffy – sorry).


If you eat a strict raw vegan diet, the sugars and chemicals in non-raw convenience foods, sodas and other beverages, and prepared foods will not be present in your diet to negatively affect your teeth and gums .


Many people experience alleviation from such symptoms as anemia, restless leg syndrome, seasonal colds, heavy menstrual flow, and muscle cramps.

  • anemia
  • restless leg syndrome
  • muscle and joint pains in my legs and feet
  • seasonal colds about 3-4 times a year (pretty much whenever the weather changed)
  • the flu every couple of years
  • headaches
  • heavy menstrual flows and horrible cramps in my abdomen and lower back that left me in tears

Sorry guys, but that really is a big one for the ladies. 😉  If you are, in fact, doing at least high raw, you should expect that cramps and heavy periods would be alleviated.  As far as colds,  you might expect to have fewer, but, if you are in a highly-populated environment, such as a subway, or a classroom, you are still vulnerable.  If you have sinus issues, they may well clear up, but, then, again, they may not, particularly if you have late-onset hay fever, or if you have had nasal surgery. (I am speaking from personal experience)

Following a 40%carb/30% protein/30%fat raw vegan diet, you should expect to lose some weight, feel more healthy, experience fewer illnesses, and, thus, need to visit your doctor less, thus saving money.

You might ask why you are seeing this, when most raw foodists give you glowing reports of amazing health benefits.  Truthfully, I would like to know that you experience all of the positive benefits, but, in some cases, you might only experience some of them — still enough to make you want to continue.  I have experienced great health benefits, but not necessarily all of the ones touted by many raw foodists. Still, the benefits I have received have always made it worthwhile for me to continue on this path.


POST #811
Have you heard of this?

I’ve used raw shiitake mushrooms in my food preparations for a number of years now (I do marinate my shiitakes in soy sauce and oil before I use them).  I have never had an issue with them.

A while back, however, it was reported that uncooked shiitake could have a toxic effect.

Uncooked shiitake have a starch-like substance, lentinan, which is used as an anti-cancer agent.  Sloan Kettering research showed the protein in lentinan, lentin, has anti-fungal properties, reduces the growth of leukemia cess, and suppresses HIV viral enzyme activity.

The lentinan, which is only broken down by cooking, and can apparently cause some people to have a toxic reaction to it.

This is not going to stop me from using shiitake, because I have never had an issue with them, and I like the health producing qualities they have.  Perhaps the marination in soy sauce prevents the problem – I don’t know.  I just know that I eat up to a quarter-pound of shiitake mushrooms a month because I like them quite a bit, and I can get them at a reasonable price.


TruthPublishing has quite a number of free health-related e-books available for the downloading!  (Isn’t that nice?)

I picked up on this opportunity from a posting on Facebook  (you’re on Facebook, right? – I mean, you just never know who is going to post what – it’s a heck of a lot easier than googling all day and all night to find out who is doing what).  Lots of my favorite websites and blogs are connecting to Facebook, so I can easily see what they are doing on  a regular basis.  (No, Facebook is not paying me to tell you this – I am just sharing some information I have found useful)


Choose the ones that say “free e-book” and download to your heart’s content.



Yesterday, I had the opportunity to participate in a“No Nuts” food preparation class presented by Raw Chef Dan, of Quintessence restaurant and traveling presentation fame.  The experience was very interesting on several  levels.  (Oh, I should mention that Quintessence is my favorite restaurant)

My first surprise was Raw Chef Dan’s Center for Conscious Living space.  Understand, please, that I live in New York City, and you can see all sorts of places when you go to presentations, lectures, classes, and other people’s homes.  Presentation, lecture, and class spaces can range from elegant to utilitarian to plain, and, in size, from tiny to quite spacious.  People’s apartments can be quite spacious, light, and airy, or, as most seem to be in Manhattan (where I had three different apartments before I opted for a place in Queens), some combination of tiny, airless, dark, and cramped.  As I live and work in New York City, and have clients who live in all five boroughs in all ranges of spaces, it is always interesting to see how a raw food kitchen can be fitted into the space available.

Raw Chef Dan’s space was probably a studio apartment when he took it.  It has high ceilings and one window, off the kitchen, which is at one end of the room, with the bathroom opening off it.

The kitchen is a standard one for a Manhattan apartment (I liked the arrangement of the refrigerator against the far wall next to the window, a small counter space, the sink, and the stove, which was covered over to create more counter space.)  Chef Dan has extended the counter space, which provides a nice oven height space for his 9-tray Excalibur dehydrator, and storage under it, and then he has added a counter out across  3/4 of the width of the apartment, which serves as a workspace, and presentation space, and could double as a dining space, when Raw Chef Dan is not working.  He has also built in wood shelves to provide more storage space.

The remaining half of the room had a couch at the far end, and was filled with 4 tightly packed rows of three folding seats each (I was in the front row – I have no idea how cramped those folks in the back were! I think there were about 16 of us, ultimately.)

Working with the high ceilings, Raw Chef Dan has built, over the rear third of the space, a “sitting height” loft, where we could see a desk with a computer, and, at one point, Raw Chef Dan sitting at the computer. (Being as our class was graced by the presence of three very relaxed and beautiful cats, I imagine that the loft is also a living space.)

This  description is given for those of you who fret that you cannot accommodate the equipment many people want to have in order to create delicious raw meals.

FYI: Raw Chef Dan only used the dehydrator, a food processor, a blender (okay, it was a VitaMix), a small “personal blender”, and a knife to create all of the dishes he showed us.  He actually had the dehydrator, food processor, VitaMix, and personal blender sitting in a total space of approximately 18 cubic inches.  (Think you cannot accommodate the equipment now?)

Okay, enough of interior design (I’m so fascinated,  because I love to see how people accommodate full lives in tiny spaces which still look comfortable – not cramped – and I’m also fascinated with boats and boat-living.)

We watched Raw Chef Dan create a soup, some crackers, pizza, marinated vegetables, a salad dressing, bread, and an apple pie.  All of these dishes were created without nuts, although they did use flax seed.   It was very interesting to learn how a lovely pizza or pie crust can made with butternut squash (or, as we were told, yams).

Many times, food preparation demos can be a little tedious.  Not this one, though.  Dan (I feel friendly toward him) spiced up the presentation with interesting anecdotes, and answered all questions with alacrity, and humor  (allowing those of us who were paying attention at all times to even enjoy the questions from people who, from time to time, seemed to have their attention directed elsewhere)

At the end of the presentation, we all got to eat the dishes Dan had prepared before us (of course,  just as they do in TV food prep presentations, Dan had previously dehydrated  the bread, crackers, a pizza crust, and a pie crust).  The pizza was fabulous (I’ve eaten the pizza at Quintessence, but this was better – probably because I had watched it being made), and the apple pie was amazing (I want to make one this week).  The best thing about all this food was that it did comply, for the most part, with food-combining rules, for the most part, and so, even after I had eaten some of everything, I did not get that discomforting feeling that you can get when you go to a raw restaurant and want to eat some of everything and casually disregard everything you know about what goes with what.

If you ever have a chance to take one of Raw Chef Dan’s classes, do so.  Just do it. Find the way.  (I took off a day from work to take this class, and I would do it again in a heartbeat!)  Dan is very personable, and fun.  He is also very knowledgeable about the current trends and recent discoveries in raw food nutrition, and, although he does not claim to be a nutritionist, was willing to answer all sorts of questions about diet approaches, either by demurring (where it seemed that people were looking for a specific nutrition stance from him), or by sharing what he has learned.

To tell you the unvarnished truth, this has been one of the two most dynamic raw food classes I have ever experienced.  (yes, of course,  have been to at least three)


Aw, man! Another thing to add to my wish list! Raw Soul is doing a Raw Chef training,in New York City, and I just know it is going to be fabulous! The raw food training I attended at Raw Soul was so fabulous that I KNOW I want to do their Raw Chef training.

Since I won’t be able to attend the March training, which I believe is the first (because I will be attending another training at that time, as well as paying for my CSA membership for 2009), I am going to have to hope and pray that all goes well and that the training is a big success, so that there will be more, and I will, hopefully soon, be able to plunk down the $1800 investment. I hope that the word will get around — they don’t seem to be publicizing much — about this program, which I am sure will be fabulous.

Sadly, on my visit to check on this training, I see that, apparently, Lillian Butler has discontinued her fabulous Raw Food training. This was the only raw food lifestyle training available in New York City, and it will be missed. I imagine that their failure to publicize this program may have contributed to demise of the program. Hopefully, Raw Soul will find a way to publicize their programs more actively and widely, and soon.

I would also recommend Raw Soul’s new book, Raw Soul Health Journey, by Lillian Butler and Eddie Robinson, the powers behind Raw Soul.  I  have only had one opportunity to look through the book, but it looks like just about everything that Lillian presented in her raw food trainings is detailed in this book, in addition to a healthy selection of the recipes Raw Soul serves daily.  This book would be a good addition to anyone’s library of nutrition, lifestyle, and food prep books. (This is not available on amazon.com — you will have to go directly to the publisher, Raw Soul — although I do think I may have seen it at the Integral Yoga bookstore in Greenwich Village, in New York….)


Here is an interesting article from RAW FOOD RIGHT NOW, about how to save a raw food recipe from the garbage pail, i.e., what to do to save the day when a recipe turns out yucky.  I sure do wish I had known these things about 2000 recipes ago!

Stop! Don’t Throw That Recipe Away!

Today, we are going to give you some really useful tips to save any recipe from becoming a disaster.

Have you ever made a recipe that you found online, or in a recipe book, that was a total disaster? Trust us, it happens, even to us when we’re experimenting with recipes. We’ve been sent a lot of raw recipe books to review on the blog, and after trying out some of the recipes in these books, we can say that at least 25% of recipes in fancy raw recipe books published by big publishing houses and found in bookstores have recipes that are disasters.

Some of these disasters could be a typo, but it could be just a bad recipe… you never know!

Maybe they listed too much oil or the wrong amount of spices, or maybe it asked for way too many bulbs of garlic and everything tastes like garlic no matter what you do!

We’ve been there. And after today, you will never have to face that sad moment of tossing out all of that hard work and money.

7 Tips For Saving Your Raw Recipe From Disaster-ville

  1. Too oily? A lot of recipes can be completely ruined by putting in too much oil. If this happens, it’s hard to go back unless you want to make a very large batch of whatever you are making by adding in tons of the dry ingredients. Try adding some good spices and flavors to turn it into a veggie dip or salad dressing. This way, you can have it for salads, or use it to dress up just about any dish.

  2. Too salty? This can happen just as easily with making something too oily. You can either add more of the rest of the ingredients, or put in something sweet to balance out the salt. A drizzle of agave nectar sometimes helps, but sometimes you have to salvage an extra salty recipe with honey, or even maple syrup.
  3. Too spicy? Ouch. The best way to balance out too much spicy heat is to add some sort of fat, be it a creamy avocado, or perhaps some coconut oil or olive oil, depending on the recipe. You could also try adding some sweetness and see if that helps. Another good trick is to add lemon juice or lime juice. This can help cut any spicy flavor to make it more palatable.
  4. Too sweet? Depending on if this is a smoothie or some other dish, adding salt can help cut sweetness. Try also adding more oil or fats. If it is too sweet and the recipe calls for leafy greens, you can always add a bunch more leafy greens and they will balance out the sweetness.
  5. Too thick? This is most easily fixed with adding water, although sometimes that may not even do it. This one is tricky. If you do add water, we suggest you add water in small amounts, slowly, so you don’t end up with some weird coagulated blob. Go slow on this one!
  6. Too much of one ingredient? Too much garlic? You can either up the other ingredients equally, or try adding in a fat to cut the garlic. We recommend avocadoes in this situation, depending on the recipe.
  7. Oh no! The ultimate disaster! If you’ve tried all the above tricks and you’ve still got something you can’t stomach… When all else fails, you can dump it all into your blender and keep adding something until it tastes palatable. Boom! Instant smoothie or soup.

    Our favorite to add to an ultimate recipe disaster is greens or fruit. If all else fails, at least you have a savory green smoothie…still nutritious and fulfilling!

that you know how to save any recipe from impending doom, you will never have to throw away all that time and money, not to mention emotional investment. You will feel like a master chef in the kitchen now, able to save even the most disgusting recipe into a decadent delight.

~ Heidi and JS
Raw Food Right Now


If you plan on reprinting this article on your website, please include the following credit and link:

Heidi & JS Ohlander are the creators of Raw Food, Right Now!, a website dedicated to making the raw food diet fun and easy for everyone. Heidi & JS help bring raw food to your world by offering tips, news, and information on integrating raw foods into your daily life.

Visit their site at http://www.RawFoodRightNow.com


Today, I did it!!! I finally took the plunge!!!! I sent off my tuition for the chidiet.com HomeStudy program, which is Ann Wigmore-focused. I have looked at a number of programs, both “on location” and homestudy, and about a year ago, I finally homed in on this program as the best one available for someone of my focus. (There are some others I hope to study, but I am happy to start with this one).

I’m looking forward to sharing what I learn here, as well.

I am really psyched now because I have something to look forward to in the New Year. One day soon, I’ll receive a package of materials to study. The idea takes my breath away.

I look forward to hearing some things I already know, and learning some new things right from the start. This is exciting.