The Raw Glow Blog

Category — Raw Food Events

Interview with John Kohler + Santa Rosa Raw Health Expo 2010

The Santa Rosa Raw Health Expo was a huge success last year and is happening again this year July 31st and Aug 1st. This time it will be in Sebastopol, Sonoma County California not too far away from last years location!

I was lucky enough to talk to the founder of the Santa Rosa Raw Health Expo, and long term raw foodist, John Kohler. We talked about:

  • The Santa Rosa Raw Health Expo 2010
  • Why it’s so important to grow your own greens and how to get started
  • How to be a successful long term raw foodist
  • What he eats on a daily basis and what supplements he takes
  • Plus he shares with us some of his upcoming projects

John Kohler

Interview with John Kohler long term raw foodist and founder of The Santa Rosa Raw Health Expo 34:38 minutes

Best of all he is offering a discount to the Santa Rosa Raw Health Expo to all Raw Glow Readers!

Get 20% off The Santa Rosa Raw Health Expo by entering the coupon code:


Please Click Here to Purchase Tickets to the Santa Rosa Raw Health Expo!

Discover The Secrets To Thriving On A Raw Food Diet at the Santa Rosa Raw Health Expo

Santa Rosa Raw Health Expo
July 31st and Aug 1st
Saturday 11-7 p.m Sunday 11-7 p.m 
Sebastopol Community Cultural Center Complex
425 Morris Street
Sebastopol, CA 95472 

Over two dozen of today’s most talented raw food teachers will teach you how to:

· Grow your own food
· Prepare delicious raw recipes
· Make the raw food lifestyle sustainable for the long term


· Discover cutting edge secrets that can change your life
· Make connections and friendships that can last forever
· Learn the healthiest way to live the raw lifestyle

Other exciting events happening at the Raw Health Expo:

· Certified Farmers market less than 1/2 mile away (Sunday)
· Conscious Eating Exercise – Learn to Eat Consciously.
· Raw Health Speed Dating – Meet sexy raw food singles
· Guided Networking Event – Make friendships and business connections with like-minded people
· Best Fruit and Vegetable Contest- Bring your home-grown produce and you could win!

The Raw Health Expo has Attendee Friendly Pricing that makes it affordable for you to attend the expo so you can learn what you need to know about living and raw foods.  It is the lowest cost Raw Expo you will find! 

Purchase your tickets early to save with early bird specials.

Get 20% off The Santa Rosa Raw Health Expo by entering the coupon code:


Please Click Here to Purchase Tickets to the Santa Rosa Raw Health Expo!

See You At The Expo!


July 2, 2010   2 Comments

Monday Night Live All Access Pass

Monday Night Live All Access Pass

  • Do you need some extra motivation, inspiration, and information to stick to your diet and health related new year’s resolutions?
  • Would you like access to almost 100hrs worth of raw food and health related information from a variety of sources for a one time reasonable fee?

If so, I have an incredible offer for you.

For those of you that live in Northern California you’ve probably heard of Monday Night Light at Cafe Gratitude Healdsburg, if you haven’t, let me tell you about this exciting event. Last year Shea Lynn Baird hosted a special Monday night event at a well known (and loved) raw food restaurant, Cafe Gratitude. She invited all the top raw food teachers to give a 1 hour talk every single week for most of the year in 2009 and she plans on doing the same thing again this year in 2010!

I was lucky enough to be asked to speak twice last year and again this year. I also try to come to the event when I can and last Monday it got started off with the amazing Daniel Vitalis! Shea made the announcement that she is making the videos of all of last year’s talks (almost 50 hrs of video) available for a reasonable price!

She is also offering the same for 2010 (although since it is the begining of the year the only one available so far is Daniel Vitalis, they will be added weekly as the year goes on) and a DEEP DISCOUNT if you want to have access to both Monday Night Live 2009 and 2010 videos and downloadable audio!

A PARTIAL list of 2009 presenters included:
Matthew and Terces Engelhart, Happy Oasis, Elaina Love, Cecilia Benjumea-Kinzie (me), Laura Fox, Dr.’s Rick and Karin Dina, Lydia Kindheart, Kevin Gianni, Cheri Soria, Dr. Doug Graham, Paul Nison, John Kohler, Melissa Mango, Sacred Steve Adler, Abeba Wright, Don Weaver, Dina Knight, Matt Samuelson, Gabrielle Brick, Matt Monarch, Angela Stokes-Monarch, Bunny Berry & Jah Levi!There was also 2 Raw Chef panels, a Raw Doctor panel, and a Raw Athlete panel!

A PARTIAL list of 2010 presenters includes:
Daniel Vitalis, Chaya-Ryvka, Michael Bedar (of “Simply Raw’ the movie), Dina Knight, Frank Giglio, Shiroko Sokitch & Sivan Garr, Abeba Wright, Dr. Michael Klaper, Dan McDonald (the Life ReGenerator!), ‘Sproutman’ Steve Meyerowitz, DreamingBear Baraka Kanaan, Kevin Gianni, Singing Bear, Nomi Shannon, Ronnie & Minh, Bunny Berry, Elaina Love & Matthew & Terces Engelhart! There will also be several panels. So far: TrueNorth Fasting Center, Dhyana Center (discussing Ayurvedic principles and the Raw Food Diet), a Cacao panel, a Superfoods panel, a Cleansing Panel, a Breast Heatlh panel – and several more to be scheduled!

I can’t believe how cheap the price is considering you get almost 100 hrs of video and downloadable audio for your ipod. Some raw food membership sites charge almost the same amount per month! Once you pay the the one time fee you have access to the videos anytime you want.

This is a great investment because in order to stay on a healthy path we need inspiration and information to keep us motivated and to give us the skills we need to succeed. I really hope you take advantage of this incredible offer.

To learn more about The Monday Night Live All Access Pass and to see the different pricing options please go to:

Monday Night Live All Access Pass


*I’m an affliate for MNL All Access Pass and I also purchased the program for myself and it is with no reservations that I recommend it to you.


February 18, 2010   9 Comments

The Santa Rosa Raw Health Expo


This past weekend I was at the 1st annual Santa Rosa Raw Health Expo. It was a great event and even more impressive was that it was its very first year. About 400 people attended and some really great speakers showed up including: Paul Nison, Victoria Boutenko, Nomi Shannon, Cherie Soria, and Kevin and Anne Marie Gianni. There were about 29 speakers in total including myself! I did a smoothie and juice demo and talked about, “How to Transition to Raw Foods with Ease and Grace” My talk was well attended and I got a lot of good feedback. I’m pretty pleased considering I was running on very little sleep. The week before the event I was putting the event program together and busy marketing the event online and in my local community. This expo was maybe only the fourth raw food event where I manned my booth the whole time, so the week before, I was putting together everything I needed for my talk, food demo, and booth, hence the sleep deprivation. During the event I was the official MC and got to announce which speakers were speaking every hour on the hour. When I wasn’t doing that, I was having fun talking to people at my booth, so much so, that at the end of the event I lost my voice!

vendorhallMy friend John Kohler, of 8 years, was the organizer behind the event, hence how I got involved in doing some of the behind the scenes work. I knew it had always been a dream of his to put on a large raw food event, and it hit me during the opening ceremonies that this was the realization of his long time dream; I broke out in tears during my introduction speech and I looked over at him and he was in tears too! I guess you could say we’re both pretty passionate about the healing power of living and raw foods, and sharing it with people is really special.

Some of the highlights of the event:

  • During cleanup I overheard John talking to one of the clean up crew from the event venue about the healing power of raw foods. It was after the event and I knew that, being the organizer and giving three talks on the same day, that John must’ve been exhausted, but he still had the time and energy to talk to this guy. The garbage man definitely seemed interested, or at the very least, intrigued.
  • A highlight for me was getting to know some of the fellow people in the raw food movement a little better. Paul Nison is hilarious, Kevin Gianni is a super nice and humble guy, and I’ve always though the world of Nomi Shannon, she has that east coast vibe and personality I like.
  • I bought these cool chewable chlorella tablets from Paul Nison. I like the taste of them and, as I pleasantly discovered, so does my dog, I feed them to her as a treat!
  • Someone from the Violiv violet glass products booth gifted me this really cool violet glass container for my smoothie. According to Violiv,  it’s an ancient Egyptian technology that is used to store light degradable foods, water, herbs, oils, and seeds. The glass blocks visible light but allows in beneficial violet and infrared rays. Supposedly you can leave a cherry tomato in one for 7 months and it will come out looking fresh. I’m excited about the possibilities. I think they would be great for nuts, seeds, and if you make your own oils, this would keep them from going rancid. I’m excited to experiment with my new violet glass container. Click here for more information.
  • I stocked up on all different types of seaweed from my favorite seaweed company:,  Including silky sea palm, nori, wakame, sweet kombu, and bull whip kelp. Yum!
  • There were a few people that approached me and told me they liked my website and even one woman wanted to take a picture of me. I was so honored. One lady was like, you’re getting married soon right? I was surprised that someone that I didn’t know read my journal! I really have no concept of that.
  • It was awesome just talking to people all day. It was great to see just how many people showed up for the event. We did get many local Sonoma County people but we also got people from all over the Bay Area. San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, and some from outside of the Bay Area like Lodi and Sacramento. I know the raw food movement in the S.F. Bay Area isn’t as big as in Southern California but it’s definitely alive and kicking and growing everyday. I’m so happy to be part of it:)

The event was such a success that it is definitely going to happen again next year, so mark your calendars for July 24-25 2010.

Click here for some pictures I took during the event, enjoy!

Click here for some amazing pictures that a professional raw photographer took during the event.


Question of the Day:
Did you go to the Santa Rosa Raw Health Expo? What were some of your favorite moments?

August 1, 2009   6 Comments

The Importance of Raw Food Community


Making a change, any change, in your life can be hard. We are comfort seeking creatures of habit and often times, the longer we have held the same habit, the same pattern of thought, and the same routine, it is even tougher to change our old ways.  Changing eating patterns is no small task

Food is comfort, food is nurturing, food is tied to family, friends, and cultural traditions that are so ingrained in our sense of self, that to change our way of eating can often lead us into an identity crisis. If you have ever been to another country, you can surely understand the intertwining of food and culture. Some of my happiest memories growing up were sitting at a table full of friends, family, and a home cooked meal.

I have seen many people not understand the gravity of their decision to change their diet. It can feel as if they’ve been cast away to a desolate island, full of mango trees and coconut palms, but void of the company of their normal social routine. All of sudden, going out to eat becomes a booby trap, going out to a bar for a night of drinking no longer seems fun, and everyone around them is questioning them about a lifestyle that they are still unsure about. Sound familiar?

The good news is that eventually you will learn to dance between your two worlds without loosing your friends or your mind. And I promise that your friends will get used it; you might meet them in the middle sometimes; and eventually your new lifestyle will feel as comfortable as your old. (but better because you’re not sick anymore.) You’ll become full of energy and have a newfound zest for life, and anyone who loves you, will notice and be happy for you.

Until you get to that place of ease and grace, there is raw community for support. By raw community, I mean any raw food related event in your local area including: raw food potlucks, festivals, lectures, classes, parties  . . . If there are none in your area, then there are online message boards, online groups, e-mail lists, raw food telephone coaching. . . I would say that 75% of my clients who call for a coaching session just want to talk to someone doesn’t think they are crazy!

I organize a monthly raw food potluck and I am witness to the magic that happens each night. People leave energized with huge smiles on their faces. They thank me over and over again, when it is they who make the event special.  Attendees make connections, get a tidbit of information that they needed, get a boost of motivation, some extra confidence, but most importantly, they are surrounded by people who are making positive changes in their lives. Suddenly, they are no longer alone.

I have been organizing raw food potlucks for awhile and I never fully understood why more people didn’t come each night. What I realized after talking to people, is that most are afraid of being judged. Maybe they are “not all raw”, they have a skin problem or weight issue and they are embarrassed to show up, they still eat meat and are afraid that other’s will attack them, or some other similar fear. I can relate to their fears. I used to be afraid of going to the gym because I didn’t want to look out of shape.  When I finally got the courage to go, I realized that everyone was so concerned with themselves that no one paid any attention to me.

The truth is, that no one is perfect and, like I mentioned earlier, making any change in your life is really hard. We all need each other. We need support, laughter, friendship, and validation. We are not making positive changes in our lives to be perfect, we are doing it because we want to live, we want to be happy, we want to feel good, and, for most of us, feeling good is super connected to what we eat.

All types of people come to raw food events, all shapes, all sizes, newcomers, old pros, the curious, and the know it alls:) Raw food is for everyone, no matter what percentage of raw in your diet, there is no denying that fresh organic raw fruits and vegetables can benefit almost everyone at any age. So check your fears at the door and come explore the wonderful world that is raw foods. It can change your life or at the very least make it a little better, a little healthier. Believe me, no one is judging you except for maybe yourself.

Most of us that organize raw food events work long hours for little pay and little recognition. But we do it because every once in awhile someone will send us a testimonial how something we did helped them to get the information they needed to feel better; perhaps we have a miracle healing testimonial with raw foods, and we feel that it is our duty to spread the word; or maybe we had a raw food mentor or teacher that really inspired us and we are paying it forward. But even if we organize the most amazing raw food event in the world, it is nothing without the participants.

So go ahead attend that raw potluck in the next town over! Drive a little more than usual for that raw food speaker who is touring in a nearby city! Sign up for that raw food festival you’ve always wanted to go to! I bet you’ll get just the information, support, and inspiration that you need. You can thank me later:)


Question of Day:
Do you attend raw food events? What has been your experience?

July 21, 2009   4 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