Tag Archives: raw food training

My Healthy Homesteader Training Experience

POST #918
It’s time I mention that I am involved in an on-line Tera Warner course called Healthy Homesteader.   Many of the things covered in this training are things I already know about (dehydrating, storage, sprouting, soaking nuts and seeds) or don’t intend to do (select meat, cook). Still, it is good to have to take the time to think about who I am and what I want to do in my kitchen (I have to keep a journal), and correspond with Kinderly, my course mentor (not sure what she calls herself exactly, but mentor seems to do the trick) about my homework (Yes, I have to do homework, too). Kinderly is a hoot!  No matter what I say, she comes right back at me with a serious dose of positivity and encouragement (I think she must be cracking up with every homework assignment I send to her- that, or else, she pities me mightily for trying to “homestead” in a New York City apartment with only 2 windows that get sunlight)

So far, we’ve covered cookware; knives and knife techniques; food storage; food combining; herbs and spices; soaking grains, nuts, and seeds; and setting up a drying station.

The part where I have gotten stuck is on the latest two lessons, which are about foraging.  Here in New York City, there are only the city parks for foraging, and I have been deathly afraid of those parks for the past 25 years (I’ve only ever gone to Central Park 4 times, and I have only been to Riverside Park once in all that time.)  I know that people go into our many parks all the time, but, for certain reasons, I am terrified of them.  So, with this lesson, I realized that I have to take some sort of action, regardless of the anxiety.  I’ve exchanged emails with Wildman Steve Brill , who runs foraging tours of the city parks, and am poised to possibly sign up for his next foraging tour into Central Park.  Oh, I am excited.  Mr. Brill is well-known in New York City (he must be, if even I have heard of him), and he was very welcoming and generous when I contacted him, so I feel as comfortable as I am going to about this upcoming new experience.

Then, on the Facebook communication page for my training, I found mention of this Foraging Prayer (from Holly Drake at wildblessing.com) :

My Foraging Prayer

Lord, open my eyes to behold wonderful things from Your world this day.  Psalms 119:18

Unlock just one more of Your secrets in hidden places for me.  Isaiah 45:3

Show me something that I can safely eat and prepared for my well-being and for those I love. Psalms 145:15-16

Teach me to be a wise woman who is in tune with your creation cycles, and the movement of Your Spirit.  Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11

Fill me with awe of Your magnificence, Your creativity, and Your goodness, vrom the shy violets on the forest floor to the stars that You breathed into existence and call by name.  Isaiah 40:25-28

May I never worship the creation but rather the Creator and Sustainer of all.  Romans: 1:20-24

Enlighten my mind with timeless truths that Your creation patiently proclaims to any who will be still long enough to listen.  Colossians 1:17

Bring my senses back from slumber to be fully awakened to each smell, texture, taste, nuance of shape and color, and even the faintest stirrings of life.  Psalms 46:10

Restore to me my heritage from generations of my forebears, who walked Your earth knowledgeable of Your bounty, and who reveled intimeately in Your presence.  Psalms 145:5

May every forage into the ‘green’ draw my heart closer to Yours.  Psalms 105:3



I went to Bonobo’s tonight to see and hear Brenda Cobb.  She’s in town for the Raw Food Expo, and making appearances in several spots before the Expo starts.  I like her book, and I was curious to see if she looked like her photo (Many people use photos that are, shall we say, older – of course, mine, which has not been Photo-shopped, looks exactly like me!)

Cobb’s talk was fascinating.  I was interested to learn that she uses DNA reprogramming and aromatherapy in her program. She also spoke of some “Raw Food Experts Summit” (that’s not the exact name she gave it), composed of some “big names” in raw food (the only one I recall is Gabriel Cousens), which meets from time to time and decides the fate of the raw world.  According to her this group has decided that 80/20 raw/cooked is the best way to go.  To tell the truth, I believe her about this “Summit”, as I from what I know, many of the “raw food experts” do include a good bit of cooked food in their own diets (although I think their waistlines show it).

I was also happy to see is that Cobb is now selling the workbook that she uses in her trainings.  It goes for a whopping $100, but, if you cannot swing the cost ($1800 – $4900), she says it is the same workshop/take-home guide that all her training attendees receive.


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….)

RAW SOUL: Unique New York City Raw Food Training

One of the best raw food training programs I have seen is the one offered by Lillian Butler, and her husband Eddie, through their wonderful restaurant, Raw Soul, in Harlem, in New York City.

I have followed a raw food lifestyle pretty much since the early 1970s. Among the earliest books I discovered on the subject were Ann Wigmore’s and Viktoras Kulvinskas’ books, so I have always felt fairly well versed in their theories.

I signed up for the Raw Soul program in the fall of 2006, as soon as I discovered it, as it was a Wigmore-based program, and, also, because it was the only raw food program in the City. Attending involved a trek to a new neighborhood for me (always a nervous-making experience – will I get lost? Will I arrive late? Will I be able to locate the place once I am in the neighborhood?) I needn’t have worried – Raw Soul is less than a block from the 145th Street Station on the E train,, and the Raw Soul sign is big.

That first lesson, an introduction to the living foods lifestyle, was very informative. While it was structured and targeted for people who might or might not understand the concept of living foods, and likely had little background, I found a great deal of inspiration. The materials Lillian provided (an extensive training manual, actually), were thorough and well-written. Lillian was a gracious and patient instructor… It would have been difficult for anyone not to be infected with and inspired by her joy and enthusiasm. I eagerly looked forward to the next lesson, even though I was giving up my beloved yoga classes to attend this program!!!

The program, delivered weekly, over four Monday nights, thoroughly covered the raw food lifestyle, and an added benefit was that we were all treated to a raw meal each time we came!!!!

There was homework not just reading, but actually doing!!! We even had to make Rejuvelac and bring it in for critique!!! As an instructor, myself, I was thoroughly impressed with how Lillian had managed to incorporate hands-on training into such a compact program!!! She somehow managed to not only get all of us to understand Rejuvelac and wheat-grass growing basics, but also to have a healthy knowledge of the various things that can be done with a food processor, a VitaMix, a dehydrator, and a spirooli (I had never heard of one before). Lillian even covered more esoteric program basics (like enemas– no, we did not have hands-on practice in class). In the last class, we received recipes, and all of the students worked cooperatively to make our “graduation dinner”. What a treat!!!!

One of the nicest things about the training, for me, was to meet, in a warm atmosphere, “real-time” people from all walks of life who are interested in a raw food lifestyle. That experience, alone, my first since I began to follow a raw food lifestyle, has been tremendously inspirational (I simply never knew that so many people were doing what I was doing).

There are no words to recommend the Raw Soul program highly enough. Lillian, like many others, took an Ann Wigmore-based training, yet she has been inspired to bring what she has learned to the community in which she lives, in an accessible, do-able way. I cannot thank or praise her enough for her work. There is, as far as I know, no other work such as hers. Her company is very aptly named “Labor of Love”.

While the price has risen since I took part in the program, it is still a bargain. Each night, participants partake of a delicious raw food meal before the lesson. This pleasant feature of the course offers students a chance to hobnob with classmates, and learn what each other is doing, has discovered, or wants to check out next. Those moments were priceless for me.

Raw Soul is located at:
348 W. 145th Street (btw St. Nicholas & Edgecombe Aves.)
145th St. Station on the E line.
New York, NY 10039
T: 212-491-5859
348 W. 145th Street
(between St. Nicholas and Edgecombe Avenues)
New York, NY 10039
T: 212-491-5859
email: rawsoul@rawsoul.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.