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Raw Journal

I started this journal in hopes that my life could help or inspire someone else. Enjoy!


July 2006


stevia plant

Stevia Plant

Hi Again. Okay so I'm cheating it's not July anymore but I'm going to pretend it is and tell you all what happened:) I haven't written much and it's a long story but basically I decided I was going to put my journal on one of those fancy blog sites and once I started using it I realized that it didn't have enough flexibility for me and uploading pictures took sooooo long. So anyways I've decided to go with the low tech version. Anyways now I have no excuse to not write!


So July started out in Vegas baby. My partner and I were at the NNFA show. It's basically a small natural foods trade show, much smaller than the Natural Products Expo West in March. They had some great speakers. I went to one talk on sweeteners and learned a thing or too. The guy talked about all the different sweeteners on the market and their qualities. The lecturer said that Stevia was safe and after doing some research on my own I believe that Stevia in small doses is safe. The Argentines and Paraguayans have been using Stevia leaves to sweeten Yerba Mate Tea for hundreds of years. Stevia is so sweet that you only need to use a little bit and it doesn't effect your blood sugar or candida because it doesn't get metabolized by the body. We have some of the leaves growing in our front yard and use them occasionally for tea or as a sweetener in smoothies or dressings. People have been asking me where to find the Stevia plant starts and I'm happy to report that my partner spotted them at the Santa Rosa Whole Foods. I'm sure with a little bit of looking you can find them at a nursery. They are super easy to grow. They die in the winter but new plants have always come up for us in the Spring.


raw cheeseburger

The Raw Cheeseburger at Goraw Cafe

In the lecture I also found out that Xyitol is a sugar alcohol made from corn husks but if you eat too much it can cause stomach cramps. (50 grams or more) He said that 99% of Xyitol is not GMO. I use it to wash my sinuses out with because it doesn't let bacteria adhere to your mucus membranes. You can find Xyitol at your local health food store.


The lecturer also said to avoid artificial sweeteners at all costs. They are highly toxic and carcinogenic! He also said than non organic maple syrup is usually treated with chemicals in processing. He mentioned date sugar which I have never tried making but I don't see why you couldn't make your own. I imagine that you could just dehydrate dates until they're really dry and them put them through the food processor with the S-blade. If anyone has tried this let me know. I know you can buy date sugar but I 'm not sure if it is raw and many times they use an anti caking agent such as oat flour. Of course you can always just blend fresh dates in the blender or food processor. I still think dates are a great sweetener because they are a whole food and contain many beneficial properties such as minerals and fiber. No matter what anyone says they are an ancient food and I just found out that they germinated a 2000 year old date seed!


raw tomato soup

Raw Tomato Soup at Goraw Cafe

Of course if you are craving a lot of sweets it's probably because you are not eating enough fruit. I heard someone say that your chocolate craving is just your bodies call for fruit!


The next speaker we went to was a Doctor who uses vitamin and mineral therapy, infrared sauna detoxing, and the macro- biotic vegan diet to heal her patients instead of western medicine. She had so many fascinating things to say. Her name is Dr. Sherry Rogers and she has a few books out including Detox or Die. One of the most disturbing bits of information I got from her talk is that when they tested new born babies umbilical cords they found over 200 chemicals including what she called "plasticizers" from our everyday contact with plastic. She went on to say that plasticizers are the number one toxin in our blood streams and are related to cancers of the reproductive organs, hormone imbalances, early onset of puberty among girls among other things. It has really made me think about all the times my food is in contact with plastic everyday. Little by little I'm going to try and eliminate plastic from my life. So far I've been using mostly glass bowls or ceramic plates to eat my food off of. I bought a wonderful 26 piece glass set from Pyrex at Costco. I also use bamboo cutting boards and have recently switched over to using organic unbleached cotton sprout bags instead of the Nylon ones I was using. I also need a new water bottle. They make stainless steel bottles and of course I could always use glass. These are some baby steps but I know I have a long way to go. Plastic just seems like it's everywhere. Let me know if you have any good ideals for eliminating plastic from your life.


raw sushi

The goraw cafe sushi platter

Another disturbing thing about Dr. Rogers lecture was these pictures she had taken of a patient. The patient had recently switched over from the standard American diet to a vegan macrobiotic diet. As part of her detox she started to have this purple gel ooze out of the skin on her neck, her stomach, and hands. She even showed us a picture of her pillow case that was stained purple. As it turns out the patient recognized the purple gel as the same hair dye she had used for years. It was finally coming out of her body. It really made me think about all the times I have died my hair and it made me want to never die my hair again. It makes you think about all the things us women have done in the name of beauty. What are the long term affects of these so called beauty treatments?


raw collard wraps

A half order of the collard wraps

Speaking of beauty treatments, one beauty treatment that I think is a crime is to wear heals. It is such an unnatural posture and it has to have a long term affect on our bodies. I will wear heels for dancing Flamenco or Salsa but most of the time you'll find me in flats or my Earth Shoes. They have this reverse heel technology and I find them really comfortable. Probably the closest thing to being barefoot. They also have Vegan models made from microfiber. Definitely my favorite shoe:)


Of course our trip to Vegas wouldn't have been complete without a visit to Las Vegas' own raw restaurant, Go Raw. There are two in Vegas one on Windmill and the other in the Lakes neighborhood. I like both. The windmill location has a great selection of books and a salad bar. The lakes location has a view of a lake, a cozy atmosphere, and sometimes live music is playing. The best thing I like about Go Raw Cafe is that they don't skimp on the portion sizes. When you leave you'll definitely be full. My favorite thing on the menu is the Cheese Burger. I swear it tastes like it has cheese on it. It's super filling and the pattie is super moist. I never regret ordering it. However, I decided to live on the wild side and I ordered the Tomato Soup and a side order of their wraps. I think they used an almond pate and wrapped it in a large collard leaf. Both were really good. The lady next to us ordered the sushi platter which she liked and was gracious enough to let us take a picture of it. Everyone was so full that no one ordered dessert. That usually never happens.


When I came back home I was busy getting ready for my class. It went absolutely wonderfully. Everyone liked the strawberry banana pie I made and the banana carob pudding. If you live in the area I hope you'll join me at my next class!


See you in August;)


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