The Raw Glow Blog

Posts from — June 2009

Getting Water From the Source


Lately in the raw food webisphere (that should be a word!) I been have noticing that people are seeking out natural springs to get their water. So when on our way back from The Raw Union Festival when the chance came to get some water at Mt. Shasta Headwaters, I jumped at the offer!

springwaterUnlike a spring, where the water comes from deep within the earth and usually is accessible through some sort of pipe, I was able to bottle water coming right out of the rocks. The Mt. Shasta headwaters is from the melted snow on Mt. Shasta that is filtered down through the rocks and comes right out of the mountain. We asked at the information center and a park ranger for the location of the water and if the water was safe to drink. They said that as long as we bottled it right as it came out of the mountain (NOT IN THE STREAM) that is was cleaner than most bottled water and that it’s tested regularly. It was also reassuring to see others filling up their bottles as well.

It tasted amazing! It tasted like melted snow. It was also the first time ever that I have drank water right from the source, how our ancestors did! It blew me away to think that in 32 years that this is the first time I drank water from a natural source. It really was a connected to nature moment and I definitely understand why people are so excited about finding natural springs.

For more information about spring water check out these two links:


Question of the Day:
Have you ever experienced getting water from a natural source? What was is like? Please answer your question in the comments section.

June 28, 2009   9 Comments

Cecilia’s Raw Coconut Cream Pie Recipe


-This recipe is modified from the I Am Grateful: Recipes and Lifestyle of Cafe Gratitudeé Gratitude Cookbook

 This is my all time favorite raw dessert!


2 and ½ cups dry coconut flakes (If you can, make your own. I use a grater pictured to the left)
1 vanilla bean seeds scooped out
½ cup well packed finely chopped dates
1 tablespoon coconut butter or oil (optional)

Put everything except the dates in the food processor with the S-blade on and add the dates slowly until the crust sticks together. Press crust into a coconut butter greased, 9 inch pie pan.


2 cups young coconut meat (about 4 young coconuts)
1 cup young coconut water
3 tablespoons non gmo soy lecithin granules
¼ cup Artisana Coconut Butter
¼ cup coconut oil (I like Nutiva Brand)
1 tablespoon soaked and chopped Irish moss (optional)
1 vanilla bean seeds scooped out
1 cup dates soaked

Blend the Irish moss with the coconut water in the blender until smooth. Then add all the other ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour into the pie crust and let set in the fridge or freezer for at least one hour.

Optional Garnish

Banana Lime Sauce
(Darell whipped this one up)
Blend a banana in the blender with juice from ½ lime and pour on top of the pie
and or
¾ cup dry coconut flakes to sprinkle on top of the pie 



Question of The Day:
What is your favorite raw dessert? If possible, post the recipe below in the comments section.

June 28, 2009   19 Comments

Raw Union Raw Food Festival Part 2


This is a continuation of my last post about my experiences at The Raw Union Festval in Oregon . . .

To skip this post and go directly to all the Raw Union pictures click here.

First off I want to start out by saying what a beautiful job the volunteers did at the festival. They decorated the alter with flowers, shells, branches, crystals, and young coconut husks with flowers inside of them. It looked magical and created a beautiful natural organic wedding ambiance.

brideThe ceremony started out with a poetry reading/rap accompanied by a didgeridoo. Afterwards a singer songwriter sang a beautiful and touching song while playing his guitar. Then a lady came out and in the most beautiful operatic voice and sang Ave Maria while Angela walked up the alter with her father. She was wearing a sea goddess like dress in cream and seafoam green with long draping cream sleeves and she wore a beautiful bluegreen seed beaded circular headband reminiscent of a chakra!

David Wolfe officiated the Ceremony with his usual charisma and charm. The vows were absolutely touching. My favorites were:

“. . . to love and to hold from this day forward for better or for the best ever” (There was much laughter at this one!)
“I will cherish our union and love you more each day than I did the day before”
“From this day forward we open together our sacred hearts”

When they were pronounced husband and wife the opera singer sang Climb Every Mountain and rose petals were thrown on the couple as they kissed. I couldn’t help but tear up. I cry at most all weddings, but being surrounded by so many wonderful people in the raw food movement made it feel extra touching.

The gorgeous lemon coconut wedding cake was brought out and they cut a piece in front of the crowd and declared that it was the best ever wedding cake!

weddingfeastThen we sat down at circular tables each with colorful tablecloths in the colors of blue, purple, and green. Each table had a different decoration made of flowers, petals, shells, and branches. John, Nova, and I sat at a table with a sweet young raw food couple and 2 other very nice raw food ladies. As we conversed and had a good time, the volunteers brought out the food. The wedding feast was amazing! We got to try a little of each and then go back for more! There was so much food! Our wedding plates included Ani Phyo’s Incan Berry Chutney, a Chinese flavored broccoli dish reminiscent of Au Lac’s Da Mama, a very light Thai flavored kelp noodle dish topped with jungle peanuts, A light salad with these amazing black sun dried olives, very hearty flax crackers, a bell pepper pate, a nut cheese, and a raw basil pesto! My favorite was the sweet Incan berry chutney, and the Thai kelp noodles that tasted like they had lime and fresh herbs such as cilantro and basil. Icelandic Raw Food Goddess, Solla orchestarted the raw food feast and the beautiful wedding cake was made by Chaya.

Then it was time for dessert! Not only could we try a piece of the lemon coconut wedding cake, but there was a raw chocolate layer cake, coconut cream pie, and, a chocolate pudding! My favorite was the coconut cream pie, it was the same recipe as Café Gratitude’s and I think that might be my all time favorite raw dessert. I do my own twist on it, and I’ll have to post the recipe soon.

John, Nova, and I talked and laughed as we enjoyed our desserts. We were all in amazement that we were at a wedding where there was so much for us to eat!

Update: The delicious wedding recipes from the Raw Union Wedding are now available as an e-book Click here to purchase the Raw Union E-book! You’ll find it when you scroll down to the bottom of the page.

My appreciation goes out to Angela and Matt for letting us be part of their wedding celebration and all the hoards of volunteers that made it happen!

It was the perfect ending to an inspiring life-affirming weekend.  It made me feel so grateful to be part of a movement that isn’t solely about the food, but that it’s about people taking their health into their own hands and not listening to the establishment about what they are supposed to be eating or what medicines they are supposed to be taking. It was about people really breaking through the imposed limitations of our society and deciding to choose life.

“We are choosing to shine as bright as we can. We are spiritual warriors, paving the way with our energetic machetes for generations to come.”

I always felt a connection to everyone around me, like we were already friends, and I noticed (like I always do at these raw festivals) that everyone just had a glow about them which is the original reason I named my website rawglow:)

Even though the raw movement has grown leaps and bounds through the internet, I urge you to get out once in an awhile and experience the positive energy and connection at one of these raw events which cannot be transferred through a computer screen!


To go directly to all the Raw Union pictures click here.

Update: The delicious wedding recipes from the Raw Union Wedding are now available as an e-book Click here to purchase the Raw Union E-book! You’ll find it when you scroll down to the bottom of the page.

Question of The Day:
What would your dream raw feast be composed of? Don’t forget to include dessert. Please answer in the comment section below.

June 27, 2009   8 Comments

Raw Union Raw Food Festival Part 1


Raw Union was a raw food festival hosted by Matt Monarch and Angela Stokes in Central Point Oregon at a beautiful retreat/farm called Angel’s Farm. It culminated with the wedding ceremony/celebration of Matt and Angela. Some of the more familiar speakers at the festival were David Wolfe, Elaina Love, Kevin and Annemarie Gianni, among other talented and dedicated speakers of the raw vegan movement. I was lucky enough to attend, and here is a brief summary of my experiences at this wonderful festival.

If you would like to skip this and just enjoy the pictures, I posted all the raw union pictures here.

rawntourageIt started out with a road trip with my two of my best friends, John who has been active in the raw movement for 14 years, and Novalee who is a dedicated dog rescuer and she brought one of her sweet foster dogs with us on the trip. I call them my rawntourage:) John filled up his biodiseal fueled jeep with 5 or so cases of coconuts, two coolers filled with greens from his garden among other raw foods to keep us satisfied on our trip. Half the coconuts were for the Raw Union wedding celebration coconut cream pie and the other half were for John’s coconut booth and coconut talk, both which proved to be very popular. We started out on our 6.5 hour trip to Medford, Oregon and stopped at Shasta Lake to eat our salads that we had brought. Nova found a mulberry tree and we snacked on delicious mulberries for dessert.

johnopeningcoconutsFirst Day of the festival John Kohler busily opened and sold young Mexican coconuts at his booth to many while Nova and I explored the speakers and events.

The first speaker I listened to was Dr. Doug ( not Doug Graham) There were so many nuggets of wisdom I received from all the different speakers,so I will leave you with a few from each one. If you vibe with their messages and want to learn  more, please click on their names and visit their websites.

Dr. Doug

  • Emphasized the importance of thinking positively
  • Recommended the book, The Biology of Belief by Dr. Bruce Lipton
  • Recommended muscle testing different foods and supplements for your body before you buy them
  • One method of muscle testing he taught was to put the food/supplement in the middle of your chest and if you lean forward your body wants it, and it if it leans back it doesn’t

Favorite Quote from Dr. Doug

“We can eat all the rawfoods and be a hater, but the hate will win.”

David Wolfe

It’s almost impossible to list all the cool things I learned from David, so please go to his website to learn more. Here are just a few:

  • Studies in Russia have showed that bee keepers live longer because of the consumption of honey
  • A great anti candida tea is Horsetail herb, Pau d’ arco, and Reishi mushroom
  • Supplements good for allergies are MSM, Nettle, and L-lysine
  • Medicinal mushrooms strengthen your immune system
  • It is important for our immune system to stand on the earth with our bare feet and be grounded

Favorite Quote from David Wolfe

“You do not have to suffer to be well”

Elaina Love

Elaina love talked about natural body care. Here are few cool things she recommended:

  • You can shave with honey
  • You can make a wash with honey and lemon to wash your body
  • You can use apple cider vinegar to wash your hair
  • Skin brushing is important

These are just teasers to demonstrate how much information can be gathered at a raw food festival. I highly recommend attending one, not just for the speakers, but also for the wonderful food and sense of community.

cathysilversboothThere were at least 5 food vendors selling all different types of raw food: smoothies, soups, raw salads, wraps, chocolate, and best of all, raw ice cream! One of the best raw food vendors was Cathy Silver who used to be on Happy Days. Pretty crazy huh? Not to mention all the product vendors that had  amazing superfoods and supplements, some that are very hard to come by, yet everything was at our fingertips. I discovered two new raw products that I’ll be writing about in an upcoming post! So exciting.

I was also privileged to meet some people in the raw food movement that I had admired from afar. Meeting them in person confirmed what wonderful people they are and what a positive energy they are bringing to the world! These people included Kevin and Annemarie Gianni, Bunny Berry, and Robert Cheeke.

Already the festival was proving to be worth the trip, and the wedding celebrations hadn’t even started yet! Next post I’ll talk about the amazing raw food wedding of Matt and Angela. To Be Continued . . .

If you want to see all my Raw Union pictures click here


Question for the Day:
Have you been to a raw food festival? If so, briefly share your experience in the comments section.


Speaking of raw food festivals be sure to check out the Santa Rosa Raw Health Expo which is coming up soon:


June 26, 2009   3 Comments

First Post

ceciheadshotThis is the first official raw glow blog post and I wanted to introduce myself. Some of you might have been following me at my website where I have had a journal for three years. I’m excited to change to this new modern blog platform and I hope that you will follow me. For those of you that don’t know me, here is a brief introduction: My name is Cecilia Benjumea and I’m a 32 year old California girl. A little about me: I’m madly in love with my adorable white Chihuahua, Dancer, and super excited about marrying my amazing finance/best friend in the fall. I spend my time enjoying nature, listening to Abraham-Hicks, creating easy and light raw food masterpieces:), running my raw food e-commerce site, writing raw food articles and e-books, teaching raw food classes, and hosting raw food events in beautiful Sonoma County, California.

dancertripI discovered the raw food’s diet about 7 years ago when I was desperate to find a cure for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  I was able to cure my asthma, depression, and Chronic Fatigue with a mostly raw food diet and positive thinking.  My healing transformation has been the motivation for me to share my experience with others.  If you want to learn more about me you can read my story.

My vision for this blog is to share my 7 years experience with the raw food’s lifestyle and healing with others such as tips, recipes, roadblocks, inspiration, interviews . . .and I’m sure with your participation, my vision will continually evolve and grow. Please join my vision by offering useful and positive comments. Thank you for your support!



June 17, 2009   6 Comments