Zucchini Pasta Marinara

What' you'll need:
Food Processor (or blender)
Julienne Peeler(or knife)
Saladacco Spiral Slicer

This recent dish has been my favorite raw food meal lately. The great thing about this particular meal is that it's very quick. I know a lot of times when making our green smoothies, raw chocolate smoothies and other items; they can take a lot of time. This recipe does not require a dehydrator but it does require a Saladacco Spiral Slicer. Don't worry they are about $25 bucks and well worth it.

So many times, especially as we are transitioning to a raw food diet, we try to make our raw food dishes "appear like" and have the same texture as cooked food. Lately I've been shying away from that idea. Raw food is not cooked food. We're probably never going to have that warm soft bread again. We should stop trying to mimic that taste and texture. Now I'm not saying it's wrong or bad, it's just that we need to be happy about and get excited about what we are eating. It's different for sure, but it's not worse. You don't see any traditional cooked food chefs trying to get their food to resemble raw food do you? We're like the little brother copying what the big brother is wearing. We need to do our own thing and be happy with what we are eating and preparing.

So with all that being said. I wasn't planning on the taste or consistency be like traditional spaghetti at all. I was resigned to the fact that at least it looked like spaghetti or pasta and it smelled great. But when I actually ate it, it was the closest raw food meal I've had that actually comes close to the original. The raw desert which is the raw mint chocolate chip ice cream I've made before comes pretty close to real ice cream too.

I like to warm mine up in the dehydrator before eating it. Another tip you could do is run the noodles under hot water and put the marinara sauce into a bowl on the stove just to warm it up a tiny bit. Make sure you monitor this as you don't really want to be "cooking" your sauce and undoing all the work of keeping the enzymes in tact. Just heat it up a little bit for a few minutes. You also might want to take out a portion or bowl full of pasta in the morning and let it get back to room temperature before you heat it up and eat it.

For the Marinara Sauce: (Process in the food processor)
1 bell pepper
A handful of sun dried tomatoes (soaked 2 hours)
4 or 5 or tomatoes
1 clove garlic
Basil (chopped)
Oregano (chopped)
A dash of Salt
A dash of olive oil
Cayenne Pepper
Black Pepper
1/2 cup soaked almonds (I add these because I like the marinara sauce to be "meaty")

For the pasta noodles:
You'll need about 4 or 5 big straight zucchinis.
Peel off the sides with a Julienne Peeler.
Cut in half evenly.
Use your Saladacco Spiral Slicer and you're good to go!

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How to read 5-6 books per month

Poll: One in four adults read no books last year. Don't be one of them. You're better than that.

“The difference between where you are today and where you’ll be five years from now will be found in the quality of books you’ve read.” ~ Jim Rohn

We all know that reading is important. But do we really know how important it is for our growth, development and success as individuals? I have always been a reader but not to the extent that I am now. Recently I've discovered a system that allows me to read about 5-6 books a month in about 30 - 40 minutes per day. I've tried a few of the speed reading courses out there. I also remember doing the mega memory program by Kevin Trudeau around about the same time. But honestly I still like to read at my own pace. I like language and how an author uses language to make their points.

“No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.” - Confucius

To me part of the reading experience is sitting down, away from all distractions of things going on in my life and getting really into something of value that another person wrote about. It's just as much of an escape from something as it is moving towards learning something new. Why would I want to speed up that process, it's relaxing. Personally I'd rather get more meaning and value out of a single book than blow thru 30 books in a month. That just doesn't sound fun to me. But I've always wondered how can I read more, in the manner that I want but also be able to get thru all the books that I'd like. Hopefully what I share will help you as much as it has me.

“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island.” - Walt Disney

Before I get into my actual strategy, I'd like to share a couple tips that I have picked up recently. When I get to a section in a book I really like, I'll put a sticky note on that page. After I am done with the book (at any point), I'll type in my notes for that book. This makes my retention level of that book triple. I don't use this strategy as often as I'd like but when I do use it, it works really well for me. One other point you might want to consider is, don't waste time reading books you don't like. We're taught to finish what we start and never to quit. In my mind if you force yourself to finish a book you don't like it not only robs you of your love for reading and your passion for reading but it also robs you of something you could learn and be inspired about reading something else. Time is our biggest asset, if you're not learning or passionate about what you're reading, move on to something else. Don't waste your time and more importantly don't stick with something just because you feel like you have to. Who put that idea in your head?

“Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.” - W. Fusselman

I'm sure you were like me when it came to reading. When you have a great book, you can't get enough of it and you blow right through it. But if you're reading something you don't like it can take forever to actually finish. Then you become so uninspired that in the meantime (while you're still finishing the book you don't like) you can't find another book you want to read. So what do we normally do? We either don't finish the one we started, or if we do finish it, we take a huge break and don't read for a while. It's interesting how when you're reading something you don't like, no new books seem to come to you, but when you're reading something you love, more good books seem to come your way, interesting.

“A writer only begins a book. A reader finishes it.” - Samuel Johnson

There are a couple points I'd like to make which allows me to be able to read this many books per month. The first thing that I had to get really good at is time management. The second thing I had to improve on is my discipline. The third aspect I had to get better at was my planning.

“So please, oh PLEASE, we beg, we pray, Go throw your TV set away, And in its place you can install, A lovely bookshelf on the wall.” - Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Time management:
In order to really get good at reading this many books, I had to focus on the things each day that mattered. I didn't need to waste hours and hours watching television. I do watch TV but not nearly as much as I used to. I hardly ever watch the news anymore either. I might watch a basketball game and some financial shows and that's about it. Once I got better at focusing my time on things that mattered, suddenly there was actual time for reading. What is the number one objection for people not reading? They just don't have time. It's funny I used to say that too. I had the time, I just didn't spend it the right way.

“Effective readers, even at their earliest levels, read in five to seven word phrases rather than word by word.” - Richard L. Allington, "What Really Matters for Struggling Readers" (2001)

Being disciplined is key. This is a skill you must develop in order to be able to do this. You have to want to reach this goal of reading this much. If it's late at night and I haven't done my reading, I do it, there are no exceptions no matter how late it is. I've been up at 3:00 am before getting my reading done.

“You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.” - Ray Bradbury

Because I get most of my books from the library I have to plan when I'm going to be done with one book so I can make sure I get the next one and have it ready so there is no downtime. I don't need to have big gaps of time being wasted when I could be getting more reading done. I'm getting better at the timing of all this and it's going much smoother. If you don't get your books from the library, you can still use the same approach. Maybe you buy them from Amazon. Just make sure that they'll arrive when they are supposed to so that there is no big time gaps in your reading schedule.

“ “The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.” - Dr. Seuss, "I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!"

Okay so on to my strategy. The strategy is so simple I'm surprised I've never got into it before. Here it is: I always have 2 books going at once. I have a primary book and a secondary book. I read once when I wake up and once before I go to bed. Each time I read I only read for about 15 to 20 minutes. In my primary book I read 10 pages each time and in my secondary book I read 3 pages each time. That totals about 780 pages per month! If an average book is about 200 pages, that equals 3.9 (let's round up for fun) or about 4 books a month.

“A man is known by the books he reads.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Perhaps you're saying to yourself that your schedule doesn't allow for you to read morning and evening. Then maybe you could read your 20 pages in one sitting in the evening or morning. Or you might be pressed for time so you can only read your 10 pages in the evening. Think about that though, you'll be reading a book a month or perhaps almost 2 books a month depending on the amount of pages. And if you factor in audio books, that puts you at about 3 to 4 books a month. You simply can't beat that. It's not an all or nothing deal. Just do what you can but develop a system or habit and stick to it.

“We shouldn't teach great books; we should teach a love of reading.” - B. F. Skinner

If we want what everybody else has then we just do what everybody else is doing. But if we want something different, we must do something different every single day. Whenever I go for my runs or walks down by our local beach, I never see people sitting on their patios reading. I see people watching TV. It's time to start developing our minds. Never regret the money or time you spend on your own personal education. As a side note, something I have been looking into recently is the Amazon Kindle. After reading all the reviews, I'm going to wait for the Kindle 2.0.

“I was born with a reading list I will never finish.” - Maud Casey

You might be asking how do I read the other books? Well I don't actually "read" them. I've learned over the years that I am primarily an audio learner. Each month I buy about 2 to 3 books from Itunes and download them to my iPod. As Jim Rohn would say, I turn my car into a "mobiel classroom". I listen to them while I spend time in the kitchen, when I workout, while I run, drive etc. This is being very conservative, if I wanted to I could probably listen to a lot more than that.

“Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.” - Harry S. Truman

I started this program in August of 2008. It is now December 2008. I've been keeping to my plan for almost 5 whole months and I've read 27 books since then. I guess you could say I'm averaging about 5 and a half books a month. Not too shabby for somebody who only reads about 40 minutes per day.

“The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read.” - Mark Twain

Think about it, In one year you could be an expert on anything you want. How many books did you read in college? Did you read just enough to get by? How about high school? In one year on this program you could read 60 to 80 books. Let's say you stay on this program for five years and one of your friends hasn't seen you in that amount of time. Since the last time you saw them you will have read 300 to 420 books. That's if you read 5 books and/or 7 books a month for that amount of time. Most people don't read that in a lifetime. For a meager 30 to 40 minute investment in yourself and in your time per day, that's minimum optimum at its finest. Imagine what kind of person you'll be 5 years from now if you were to read that many books?

“A book is the most effective weapon against intolerance and ignorance.” - Lyndon Baines Johnson

Wanna know what inspired this reading transformation? This article was inspired by listening to The Challenge to Succeed by Jim Rohn.

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If I Had Cancer

Note: This article is in no way intended as a cure for cancer or meant to be used as a treatment for cancer. These are
just my personal views about what I would do if I had cancer. It is my hope
that I can point you in the right direction so that you can use some of the
resources contained in this article as a springboard for further exploration.
My goal in this article is to take the most humble approach possible. I hope
you enjoy.

Two great cancer downloads ** (PLEASE DOWNLOAD THESE!):

  • Cancer PDF

  • Spiritual Immune Tonic System (SITS Program)

  • Being diagnosed with cancer can be a very frightening thing for most people.
    I know it would be for me. If I were to get such a diagnosis, the first thing
    I would do is pray. Because I am a Christian I believe in the healing power
    of prayer as well as how powerful prayer can be. Many books have been written
    about the healing power of prayer but I would suffice to say this is the first
    thing I would do. The next thing I would do is see if there are any parts of
    my life that are out of balance. I believe sickness and diseases have a spiritual
    component to them. I believe sickness can be one of the ways God tells us to
    slow down and stop living how we are living and take stock of our lives. If
    this is true, unfortunately we can be so stubborn this might be the only way
    God can get our attention. After praying about it, and getting my life more
    in balance by considering what is important, I would then free myself of all
    chemicals and toxins in my living space. This seems to make the most sense to
    me as we can greaty reduce the amounts of toxins and poisins we are exposed
    to rather easily by buying different products that work just as well.

    I've been thinking lately a lot about the subject of cancer. It seems as though
    more and more in my life I have been touched by this disease. As a result I've
    done quite a bit of cancer research over the years. Let me share a little bit
    about how cancer initially affected my life. When I was about 22 years old my
    mom was diagnosed with what would be the first of 3 bouts with cancer. At that
    time we followed a standard American diet in our family. We didn't know anything
    about this disease, how to treat it or how she came to be diagnosed with it.
    That might have been the turning point in my life as I look back. My mom was
    diagnosed with stage 3 Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and given a 10% chance to live.
    As a family we didn't know what to do, so we explored alternative cancer treatments of all kinds as well as conventional treatments. As a result of supporting my
    mom thru this disease, my life was foreve changed. It was extremely difficult
    watching her lose her hair along with her will to live by getting ungodly amounts
    of chemotherapy pumped into her veins for a whole month at the City of Hope
    in Los Angeles.

    As she was going through this disease, I figured there must be a healthier
    less invasive approach that could be just as effective. That is pretty much
    where I left it for about 5 years. I left it in the back of my mind thinking
    there had to be a better way. At that time I didn't know what that way was and
    to be honest, I was too busy starting out my life to do my own cancer research.

    That is a little about the background of how cancer initially came into my
    life and affected our whole family. As the years have gone by, we have been
    associated with dozens and dozens of people who have been diagnosed with cancer
    in one form or other. Some of our friends lived, and some passed away. As you
    can tell, cancer has left it's mark on my life. Personally, I knew I needed
    to change my diet as well as make sure my mom didn't have her cancer come back.
    With so much information out there what was I to do? As fate would have it a
    friend of mine gave me the book Fit For Life and that changed everything for
    me. It was exactly what I needed to hear. It is like the saying goes, "when
    the student is ready, the master appears." In this case the master was that
    book and that book started me on the path of raw foods.

    I realize this might be a presumptuous post to make about cancer but I knew
    it was something I needed to do for my own personal growth and future reference.
    Like Jim Rohn would say, "Set lofty goals, for what they will make of you to achieve them."

    Since then I've read many books on the subject and soaked up any and all information in any way possible. I'm not going to even begin to think that somehow this
    article is going to be a definitive guide on cancer. It is my hope and intention
    that it can merely serve as a help to somebody who may need to read it. I like
    to think of it as a springboard to help you learn about some great cancer resources
    that might have an impact on healing from cancer. I would like to reiterate,
    I am not saying this is what you should do. This is just what I would do if
    I had cancer. If there is not enough of an explanation about one of the alternative
    cancer therapies I mention below, feel free to look up this info online. I understand
    that each persons cancer journey is their own and is unique to their own specific
    situation. Sometimes people will do alternative cancer therapies while they
    also pursue traditional cancer therapies. Some people choose to go 100% holistic
    in their cancer treatments. It seems as though one can get all the conventional
    cancer treatment info from their doctors. I am only offering another approach
    that can be used in any way you see fit. I also want to say that the alternative
    cancer treatments I list below is in no way an exhaustive list. The world of
    alternative cancer treatment is a huge one. The information I list below is
    a partial list at best. If I had cancer what would I do first?

    Join a community and make friends...

    I would join a community, there are dozens of great forums online. By joining
    a forum you can ask questions, develop friendships and get much needed support
    and inspiration. By joining these fun, free and uplifting forums you can connect
    directly with people who have been touched by cancer as well as cancer survivors.
    The people you'll meet there are also willing to help you and answer your questions.
    Imagine that! My two favorites are:

    Cancer Centers:

    Helpful Cancer Related Websites:

    * The second link there is highly recommended.
    The monthly fee is well worth it. On that site you can download audio mp3 files
    that you can listen to on your ipod. You will learn more than you could imagine.

    Saturate yourself with knowledge. Once you signup for the site, you'll be able to download tons of audio lectures. I highly recommend signing up for this website. If you have any questions about it, please let me know. You'll be amazed at how much you'll learn and how much you didn't know about health.

    Dietary Changes

    We all know cancer can be related to our diet. We also know that cancer has
    an emotional component as well. But for the purposes of this article we will
    be focusing on increasing our education and how cancer relates to diet. Here
    are some general principles I have picked up over the years concerning cancer.
    I would do my best to keep a low sugar or no sugar diet that is high in minerals,
    keeps my blood alkaline, while also avoiding meat. I have read that cancer uses
    sugar as its food source. If I had cancer I would stop feeding it by not eating
    sugar in any form. I would also eat foods that are high in minerals like organic
    green vegetables. I would eat wild foods like sea vegetables of all kinds. I
    like to use kelp, dulse and nori. I also like to drink wheatgrass grown from
    ocean water. Ocean grown wheatgrass can contain all 92 minerals, the only food
    on earth that can uptake that many minerals! Raw uncooked celtic sea salt is
    high in minerals as well. You can find out about ocean grown wheatgrass from
    Grow Greens. If I had cancer I would also focus on getting my body more alkaline. You can find out more about getting alkaline here: PH Miracle Living and also from Dr.Bob Marshall, who is mentioned above. I would also eat more fermented foods like Rejuvalac and Noni. If I had cancer I would also get onto the top 5 or 10 superfood and super herbs. I would also do a liver cleanseat the beginning. Below is a list of some foods I would eat more of:

  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli (Broccoli Spouts, Onion and Mungbean Sprouts) *
  • Dark Leafy Greens *
  • Avocados
  • Cayenne Pepper *
  • Superfoods (Cacao, Maca, Goji Berries, Green Powders, Bee Pollen, MSM, Noni, Spirulina, Fresh Aloe Vera, Blue Green Algae, Marine Phytoplankton, Camu Camu Berry Powder)
  • Herbs (See Below) *
  • Seaweeds (Powdered Kelp, Dulse, Nori and more) *
  • Flax
  • Onions
  • Garlic *
  • Coconut Oil
  • Brazil Nuts (Selenium, small amounts)*
  • Ginger
  • Grape Seed Extract
  • Chaparral *
  • Angstrom Silver and Angstrom Gold *
  • Laetrile * (Apricot Kernals)
  • Missle Toe

  • I would take the approach of "stacking the odds in your favor." By doing this
    I would be managing this from many different angles. It is not any one thing
    that would cure cancer. The idea is to get some systems in place where you would
    be able to let your body do the healing. God willing, your body will heal itself,
    if you give it a chance.


    I would read the book called The only answer to cancer:

  • Drink plenty of green vegetable juice. If you would like you can read my
    article about juicer comparisons. Most people like the Green Star Juicer because you can make ice-creams, wheatgrass and mock meat with them as well as green juice.

  • Drink hightly structured spring water. There is a machine called the Vitalizer Plus
    that spins and structures water. You can learn more about it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQ4qvGaZDv8

  • Electronic Medicine:

    Above: The Terminator 2 Zapper

    The Magnetic Pulser

    Oxygen Therapy:

    Otto Warburg won the Nobel Prize for showing cancer's relation to oxygen.

    Otto Warburg's Cancer Information

    Urine Therapy:

    Herb Companies:

  • Dragon Herbs
  • Moutain Rose Herbs
  • Mushroom Science
  • New Chapter Host Defense

  • Top Herbs :

  • Pau d'Arco

  • Goji Berry Tea

  • Reishi

  • Cats Claw

  • Shizandra

  • Ho Shu Wu

  • Agaracus

  • Astragulus

  • Maitake

  • Cordeceps
  • Chaga

  • Enzymes with high levels of protease.

    If you would like more information about protease and its relation to cancer
    you can do some searching online. Protease is able to break apart the outer
    cell wall of cancer cells making them susceptible to your immune system and
    your white blood cells.The Beauty Enzymes that are put out by David Wolfe are excellent. There are also some put out by Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez that are great. He also recommends a Nutricology Enzyme put out by the Allergy Research Group.

    Full Body Massages:

    Getting full body massages is a good way to let the body relax and increase
    circulation. Circulation is always a good thing when it comes to cancer. Cancer
    likes to live in a stagnant oxygen deprived host and getting massages can help
    increase circulation.

    Sweat Lodges and Saunas:

    Sweating is a way to release toxins from the body thru the skin and pores. Ancient
    American Indians would use this practice as a ceremonial practice for healing.
    They would also use sweat lodges for rites of passage amongst other things.
    By sweating it allows toxins to be released that cannot come out other ways.
    Again this won't "cure" you but it another way of stacking the odds in your

    Magnetic Therapies:

  • Sota Instruments

  • The Barefoot Miracle

  • The Bio Mat

  • Colonics and Colon Cleanses:

  • EJUVA Herbal-Intestinal Cleanse

  • Arise and Shine Cleanse

  • Dr. Natura Colon Cleanse

  • Colon Health Network

  • Cancer Related DVD's:

    Books Related To Cancer:


    People all over the worls have had tremendous results with doing yoga. There
    are many different types to try like, Hatha, Kundalini, Bikram, Vinyasa and
    more. You can checkout more about yoga here. Also here is a really good yoga program to check into. It is one of my personal favorites. It's called Yoga For Beginners


    Excercise is critical for increasing oxygenation of the blood, increasing circulation,
    decreasing stress, building muscle mass and the list goes one. The 3 pilars
    of excercise I suggest a) flexibility (yoga), b) strength training (with weight),
    and c) cariovascular training like walking or running. Also the benefits of
    rebounding are tremendous. You can learn about rebounding by researching it
    online if you like. Below is a link to one of the better rebounders on the market

  • Needak Rebounder

  • Deep Breathing:

    Getting the maximum amount of oxygen into your lungs is one of the keys to good
    health. Deep breathing is imperative to do this. In this audio book Dr. Weil
    talks about the benefits of breath work as well as giving some really good breathing
    exercises that you can do anywhere, for free. I enjoyed this lecture a lot and
    learned a great deal about just how important it is to breath correctly.

  • Breathing, The Master Key To Self Healing

  • EMF Protection:

  • Qlink EMF Protection Pendant

  • Cancer and health related videos:

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    Why You Shouldn't Try To Eat 100% Raw

    I realize that the title of this particular article might make people think that I'm not promoting the idea of eating all raw food. That couldn't be further from the truth. I completely understand all of the unhealthy affects that cooking has on food these days. Notice that the title didn't say "Why You Shouldn't Eat 100% Raw", I have the word "try" in the title. What I am saying is that at the beginning, you shouldn't place too much of an emphasis on a certain percentage. Place more of an emphasis on developing better, smarter and healthier habits.

    NOTE: I am assuming that the reader does not have a life threatening illness that requires an immediate shift in dietary practices.

    I've been seeing on a few forums around the raw food community for quite some time now about how much of a percentage of raw food people are eating. Don't get me wrong I am all for eating 100% raw, I do so myself and have for quite some time and have never felt better. In the Rich Dad, Poor Dad book series the author talks about how to get smarter by making finer and finer distinctions about different subjects and ideas. The more distinctions one can make, the more they can drill down to the heart of the matter and come to a more educated conclusion.

    The first point I'd like to consider is distinguishing how they come to the conclusion of determining an actual percentage. How are people even defining 100% or 75%? I have never been able to figure this out. Do they mean 75% of each meal? Does that include snacks? Or is it 75% by weight? I've heard some people defining their percentage by weight if you can believe that. Now I don't know about you, but I'm not taking a scale to my local restaurant and weighing the meal making sure there is only 25% cooked food on the plate. I have also heard (and I think this is probably what most people mean) that the percentage is based on actual food volume, not weight. Now I don't know about you but this is just too much thinking for me. As raw foodists we think about food too much as it is, we don't need to also be thinking about weighing the food or worrying about how much of the volume is raw by percentage or not. Imagine, if you sit down for lunch and get a smoothie at a juice bar but the base of that smoothie is cooked fruit juice and the rest of the smoothie is raw. Then you have a salad with some ranch dressing and perhaps a raw sandwich and a 75% raw cacao chocolate bar for dessert. How the heck are you going to figure that out? In my mind, don't try to and don't worry about it. If you choose to eat it, eat it with thanksgiving, happiness and love.

    If you're interested checkout my thoughts about Starting a raw food diet.

    We're not trying to over think this whole process here, we're trying to have fun, enjoy life and develop healthier habits in the process, that's all. I think there is this myth that once I've attained the elusive "100% raw" level, the world will open up to me or something amazing is going to happen to me. Don't get me wrong, my world has changed immensely since changing my diet but the change has occurred from all the learning, reading and listening I've done over the years, as much as it has by what I have and have not been eating. We need to make sure we don't get into a trap of always trying to attain this goal or that goal and if we fail we beat ourselves up over it. I know I was a part of that trap for a few years, always trying and always failing. I finally gave up and I noticed the desire to eat healthier and eat raw just increased. But it only increased because I increased my knowledge and the more I increased my knowledge the more my desire to eat this way increased. It's a fun little cycle of success, subtraction by addition with no guilt.

    Another point I'd like to make is what type of 90% raw foods are you eating? Is it healthier to eat 50% raw (perhaps green leafy veggies) and the other 50% organic and vegan with enzymes? Maybe you're eating 90% raw but you're not getting any healthy fats and oils or you're eating primarily hybridized seedless non organic fruit. You say to yourself, "I'm eating 90% raw now, look at me I'm great!" You see it's not about the percentage at all. Perhaps you're eating 90% raw but you're way too acidic. There are many different aspects to health than just eating a certain percentage of raw food.

    Just remember the old saying: Slow and steady wins the race.
    I've written in other articles about how we oftentimes put a time frame on how long it takes us to eat 100% raw. Putting an unrealistic time frame on this puts an unnecessary pressure on us just as much as how much of a percentage we eat of raw foods. Let's be honest, for most of us we didn't come from a vegan, organic lifestyle growing up. Most likely, if we're Americans, we're trying to change 30 years of eating McDonalds 3 times a week. For most people giving up Pepsi or quitting smoking is a big deal. That is just getting up to level zero in my book. We're shooting for something way beyond that and we can't put unrealistic pressures on ourselves because we compare ourselves to other raw foodists.

    What we should be more concerned about is how we can make healthier choices and how those choices affect our planet and ourselves. And we need to give ourselves and our bodies a healthy time frame whereby we can reach that goal. Many times going 100% raw just isn't in the cards for certain people and that's okay. I've known and we all have people who have eaten garbage all their lives and they live to 100 or more. It is possible and I've seen it happen. The person who is eating 75% (IF you can even put a percentage on it) raw could be healthier and live longer than a person who is 100% raw. It is possible, in fact anything is possible.

    Eat raw to be healthy, not for a percentage label
    So in conclusion the point I'm trying to make is that focusing on a percentage is like a person going to the gym to lose weight so that they can look better and fit into their skinny jeans. I realize we all have a reason for certain things and sometimes vanity can be a reason. But what I am saying is that once the goal is met, whether it's losing 5 pounds at the gym and fitting into the sexy jeans, or it is being 100% raw, then what? We should ask ourselves, are we now actually healthier? Focus instead on living healthier and the percentage (if you want to call it that) will come with time automatically. Be patient, stay focused and you’ll get there and you won't even have to try. When I realized this in my own life I breathed a sigh of relief.

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    How To Eat More Raw Food

    So you're looking to eat more raw food I take it. As you all know by now, I'm a big advocate of that. I think that it's not only healthy but also leaves less of a carbon footprint on our environment. But the question many of you are probably asking yourselves is how do I eat more raw food? You might be dealing with sugar cravings and you might also be targeting that ever so elusive 100% raw goal. As I've been learning more and more about eating a living foods diet, I've read tons of books and have listened to hundreds if not thousands of hours of lectures and attended lectures as well. You can checkout some of the people I've learned from here.

    By getting a wide variety of viewpoints from many different angles you're able to pickup health tips from all over the board. One of the things I like to do when trying to incorporate more raw food into my diet is first to tackle one meal at a time. When I first started out, naturally I thought breakfast would be the first place to start. I read Fit for Life (that book is what started it all for me) and they talked about food combining and eating fruit only for breakfast up until noon each day. So I decided to do that. But how could I give up two big bowls of frosted mini wheat’s, two pieces of toast with peanut butter each morning? I mean c'mon I'm not Phillip at lovingraw.com, I can't just do this overnight. So I did it in stages, I did one piece of toast with one bowl of cereal for a few days. Then I did cereal only for another few days. Then I'd eat so much fruit until noon, it was crazy. But that's what I had to do. Goal number one, bam done. Now onto bigger and better things, like lunch. Wash, rinse and repeat. I did the same thing with lunch over the course of probably a year. At one point I was eating five to ten chocolate chip cookies and or a double chocolate chip muffin with my turkey sandwiches every day. The point is to realize that it took you years and years, decades really of eating one way and I don't think you should try to change that overnight. Why not, you say, other people have done it. First off, never compare yourself to other people, only compare yourself to yourself. Secondly there is a mineral trade out that happens when you start making drastic and sudden changes to your diet program. The point? do it slow, take your time and eat your greens as you transition.

    Now moving on to that last dreaded meal of the day, dinner. Before getting to that, many people are happy just doing the first two meals of the day raw and that's awesome. If you want to go all the way, which may or may not be a part of your goals, then this is going to be one of the hardest meals to tackle. This happens to be the case for a few reasons. The first reason is that this is the meal that is easiest to cheat on because it's the most social meal. When we go out with friends or family it's always for dinner and we tend to give into peer pressures or cravings that have not gone away. As you get more mineralized and cleaned out, the cravings tend to dissipate.

    If I want a pizza or a cookie I'm going to eat it!
    I know that that doesn't sound that great coming from a raw foodist. But we have to ask ourselves what the desired change is in our lives. Do we just want to eat more raw food? Or do we want to eat more raw food because we want to eat more raw foods? You see are we trying to change our desires here or our cravings? The master switches of our motivation. I'm reminded of Vince Vaughn's line in The Break-Up
    when Jennifer Aniston's character gets mad at him for not doing the dishes. He says to her, "Why would I want to do the dishes?" to which she replies "I want you, to want to do the dishes!" Classic guy, girl scenario but it's true. We want to not crave bad foods anymore. We want to crave good healthy foods. That is the goal. We are trying to change our cravings first then our actions second. It took you years and years of eating whatever you wanted, whenever you wanted to create those cravings. We all gave our cravings a lot of power. Don't think you can change them overnight. Be kind and gentle, soft and allowing.

    Raw Food Health Tip:If you're still transitioning, and you're craving a pizza for example. Tell yourself you can have that pizza if you first have some type of healthy raw food like a smoothie or salad. That's what I do. This little tip has spared me from eating the junk food. You can fill up on the good mineralized food first then you can eat the bad stuff. Focus on adding foods in, not taking foods away! Pretty soon and before you know it, you'll have so many choices of good stuff there will be no time or room in your stomach for the bad stuff.

    It's simple, subtraction by addition.


    Raw Food Essentials

    In this post I want to give some basic information about what things you'll need when starting to incorporate raw foods into your life. These are the things that you'll rely on, on a daily basis. I'm not necessarily talking about physical things like raw food appliances or types of food but more than that.

    This is how determined you are to do this type of lifestyle. Do you want to be in the best physical shape possible and in the best health ever, or do you only want to overcome a short term physical illness or disease of some sort? Do you want to add a couple of raw foods into your life or do you want to become a raw food chef and go into business for yourself? It's important to figure out what exactly you want by eating more raw foods and to which level you aspire.

    Motivation is a little different than intention. Intention runs a little deeper than motivation. Here we are just trying to get at the root of not what you want by doing this but why you're doing it. What's going to motivate you to have a salad when you have really intense cravings for MacDonald’s with your friends? Many times people's motivation is to lose a few pounds or maybe even a lot of weight. When they do so they stop eating this way and go back to their old habits. It's important to understand that there is always a push pull happening to some degree. We are pushing ourselves away from something like obesity, diabetes and bad health, but also pulling ourselves towards something else. For each person that something else is their motivation that gets intertwined with intention runs deeper at the core. What's your motivation? What are you moving towards?

    Now that we have got all of the psychological mumbo jumbo out of the way, it's time to get educated. You will have people challenge you on what you're eating. "Really, You don't eat meat?", "But where do you get your protein?", "There's no proof that not cooking your food makes any difference" etc. You will get this from time to time. Most of the time their reactions to you are a person's inability to deal with their own lack. They don't want to deal with the fact that they would love to make changes but don't have the "discipline" that you have and that makes them feel insecure, so they start questioning you to make themselves feel better. In my opinion you have to want to eat this way because you love it and you love how it makes you feel. If you look at the top of this page you'll see a blue banner for a website where you can learn more than you can imagine. In 6 months you can become an expert in this subject if you want to. If the average book is 300 pages and you read 20 pages per day (for example 10 pages in the morning and evening) for 6 months you could read cover to cover about 12 whole books on the subject of raw and living foods nutrition. If you also factor into that time any lectures, seminars, videos, interviews and audio books or MP3’s you could listen to, you will have taught yourself more than the average person has ever learned about health and nutrition. The key is to figure out what your learning style is. Are you a reader? Do you like to listen to your ipod and lectures while driving or doing laundry? Do you learn best by watching videos or doing things hands on? Figure this out, and you'll be an expert in 6 months.

    Raw Food:
    Personally I like to have raw nuts of any kind on hand so that I can make nut milks. I love to have bananas to add to my green smoothies and raw chocolate smoothies each day. I like to have salad greens in case I like to make a green juice, a green smoothie or want to add them to a raw sandwich. I also love to have some raw cacao or chocolate around I can eat them as is or as snacks with goji berries or make anything I want with them. I also like to have some lemons to add to water. Having some sweeteners on hand is always helpful like yacon root syrum, xylitol, stevia, honey, dates or agave nectar. This helps tremendously.

    Raw Food Appliances:
    For the appliances I like to have a high speed blender like a Vita-Mix or any blender will do. I like to have a Breville Juicer around and a Excalibur 5 Tray Dehydrator.Nut milk bags are always good as well as a good mixing bowl. I also like to have a mixer as well. These are not necessary but only things I prefer to have if I can. Obviously if I'm traveling, I just stick to a more mono diet or do more food combining that's talked about in Fit For Life.

    Everybody's raw food path is different. You just have to figure out what yours is that's all. It is well worth it because you will never feel better than eating this way. Even if it is only making a few small changes, you will not regret it.


    Raw Chocolate Macaroons

    I recently picked up a few raw food "cook" books from Amazon and I HIGHLY suggest you check out these books! It's very helpful in my opinion to master a few recipes so you can have some sort of base of foods you can work with and make rather easily. For example some standard foods I know I like to eat everyday are salads, almond milk , green smoothies (fruit and chocolate), raw chocolate fudge and green juices. Then as snacks I like to eat pieces of fruit, (be careful not to over do it), veggies like pieces of cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, celery nuts, seeds and superfoods like chocolate or cacao nibs, goji berries etc.

    But on top of that I like to make things that I can learn in certain raw foods books. I like to have these snacks handy so when I get hungry they are there for me. These chocolate macaroons are one of them. I also like to make mint chocolate chip ice-cream with raw chocolate sauce. I also like to make breads, crackers and pates so I can make sandwiches or raw burgers with an avocado almond butter spread with sprouts. It's invaluable to have a few reference books around. My favorite three books are Raw: The Uncook Book: New Vegetarian Food for Life and Ani's Raw Food Kitchen: Easy, Delectable Living Foods Recipes

    By the way these chocolate macaroons are amazing and take about 10 minutes to make! All you have to do is follow exactly the Recipes in Raw Food/Real World which is my favorite out of the 3 raw food cook books that I have.


    What's Your Raw Food Goal?

    Many times we are really hard on ourselves. I believe this starts in our childhood. We are conditioned from a very early age to compete with other children in many or all activities. We are constantly being compared with our siblings on everything from our behavior to our grades. This is the society we live in. And it is not all bad. It's good to compete and to fight for things. But many times we don't necessarily check things. By checking something I mean, is the idea itself worthy of belief or is it just something we believe without really thinking?

    The reason I say this is because when we set a goal for something, if we don't achieve it in the time frame we have in our heads we've "failed." Or if along the way we "blow it" by eating something that isn't the best ever, we've "failed." This idea of placing judgements on food is what needs to be checked.

    I've seen many people over the years get so down on themselves because they get into that game. What I believe we need to do is create an entirely different mindset. Here are a couple of points to that mindset that concerns eating raw food:

    1. Be kind and gentle soft and allowing.

    You must realize that diet is the hardest thing for people to change. Don't be so hard on yourself. It's a journey.

    2. Focus on only the good things you eat each day, not the less than excellent foods.

    If you eat 6 great things in a day, perhaps a green smoothie, a fresh organic vegetable juice, a green salad, some raw chocolate, super foods and maybe some herbal tea, but you also have a slice of pizza or two. Don't worry about it. Focus on all the unbelievable nutrition you DID have!

    3. Keep the long term goal in mind.

    If you are for example 35 years old and are just starting out, you must realize that your body has been used to being poisoned for 35 years and to change your diet to a 100% raw vegan plant based approach in 1 year might not happen.

    4. Give yourself time to reach the goal.

    Don't worry about being perfect. The goal is not 100% or this or that. It's being consistent. Consistency over perfection. I always advocate to eat what you want. If I tell myself I cannot eat pizza that's what I'll have. If I want to have pizza I will eat it. To put yourself into the denial game will not work.

    So in the long term when you're looking at your diet program only compare yourself TO yourself. Don't compare yourself to anybody else. If you have gotten rid of milk and dairy products and added salad in once a day, that is amazing. Just keep doing that stay consistent, don't get down on other less than excellent foods you may have consumed. Be happy that you have the intention of consistency. Let that be your foundation and work from there.

    Some quick tips if you do eat food that is less then excellent:

    1. Have some supplements with it like Enzymes, Probiotics and Hydrochloric Acid.

    2. Have a salad with your meal.

    3. If you have meat, have some Cayenne pepper with it to help it digest or lemon on it or in your water to stimulate digestion and eat it before 2pm if possible.

    4. Try to food combine as much as possible.

    5. Don't drink too much water with your meals.

    Be more kind to yourself, soft and allowing. This will help you to be more successful in your raw food journey. Remember, consistency over perfection...


    Wheat Grass

    So you want to drink wheatgrass but for some reason cannot stomach the taste? I know it can be very very difficult to drink massive amounts of wheatgrass. I mean juicing and drinking 1 ounce of wheat grass per day is something almost anybody can do but how do you drink 8, 10 or 16 ounces of wheatgrass? Well I discovered what "to me" is the best single discovery in helping me to be able to drink as much wheat grass as I want per day. You may not like it as much as I do but several people I have talked to love doing this as much as I do. So here's my trick to drinking massive amounts of wheat grass:

    1. Double the amount of wheatgrass with good water. So say you have 4 ounces of wheat grass, put another 4 ounces of water in your glass.
    2. Add 1 packet of stevia or if you have liquid stevia, put in 2-3 drops to taste.
    3. Add 1 drop of peppermint oil.

    And that's it. The stuff is sweet, cold and tastes great. You could drink 3 glasses of that per day (assuming it doesn't detox you too much) no problem at all.

    Let me know if you try it and if you like it. Thanks for reading!


    Listen To Your Body

    It is my contention that one of the most valuable skills you can learn as somebody who is aspiring to eat more raw and living foods is the ability to listen closely to your body. The skill has really been lost in our culture of eating any type of cooked sugary food that they desire. Lost is the skill of really looking deep and trying to figure out if you really are hungry when the food cravings come along or if perhaps you are only thirsty. The ability to really tune in to your body and figuring out where your cravings come from either from a psychological, emotional or physiological level is extremely valuable. That is when we get back in touch with how we are supposed to be living.

    As a raw foodist this takes time and years to develop. By eating a standard American diet the closest we come to listening to our bodies is subjecting ourselves to the cravings for sugar that come from the parasites that live within us. You see, most of us is not us, most of us are organisms that live inside us. We as the host are being shared by more organisms then cells within us. So it really is hard to not only lose the cravings (and the parasites that drive them) but then get on the path of listening to our bodies many cries for water, minerals, vitamins and nutrients.

    Have a headache? Maybe your body is craving pure water? Have bloating or gas? Maybe your body is craving celery juice or a green smoothie to help create hydrochloric acid? But how would we know if all we did was pop some Advil if we have headache or ate only what we always felt like? This is all a part of being connected to the earth and to God. Animals will travel hundreds of miles in the wild just to be able to get at certain salts in the desert as well as magnesium.

    As a creature of habit and pre-raw I used to eat the same foods EVERY single day. It really didn't matter because I was being dominated and controlled by my taste buds and the parasites and worms within me. For breakfast I used to eat a few bowls of cereal with toast, for lunch some sort of turkey sandwich with cookies or chips, and for dinner I'd have a hamburger or pizza or pasta with chicken. Our bodies really are meant to do things in rotation. If you eat kale every day your body over time isn't able to fully utilize all the nutrients. It's the same idea with lifting weights. You have to switch it up very often or your muscles "get used" to the workouts and you stop seeing the same type of dramatic results.

    As I switched to raw I would stick to the same types of foods every day and at the same times. Green smoothie for breakfast with all the same ingredients, salads and chocolate super food smoothies around dinner etc. Now I try to listen to what my body really wants and try my hardest to eat different foods each day or at least switch the timing of them. I might have raw ice cream for breakfast and then an hour later have a green juice. Then a salad and a raw burger or raw sandwich or some soup. It's really easy to get into a rut. It takes time to start listening to what your body wants and not getting bogged down with the same 3-4 foods each day.

    So what I do when I go to the grocery store is to buy at least 1 new vegetable, fruit, super food, nut or anything else that I have never tried before. This forces me to keep trying new foods. There are literally hundreds of types of avocados as well as edible greens but our supermarkets and stores only carry about 10-15 greens and maybe 2-3 types of avocados. It's crazy!

    So I would challenge you to do your best to get rid of your sugar addictions and cravings so you can clean yourself out a little bit. You can even do some cleanses to help you in this way. Then try to switch your routine up a little bit and buy 1 new vegetable at the grocery store next time you go. Remember we don't need to have all the super foods every single day. It's better if you go on for a little while and then go off and then back on again.


    Sugar Addiction

    We all love sugar and sweet foods. We grew up on cupcakes and Twinkies and they taste great. And personally I must have inherited a very strong "sweet tooth". Until the past few years I was addicted to chocolate chip cookies and other really sweet foods. Now I couldn't even imagine eating them or having a snickers bar. The concentration of sugar would send me so far out of balance. One of the things I've really been trying to get a handle on is the level of sugar that is consumed on a daily basis. That includes carbohydrates like refined flowers etc. I've pretty much eliminated all refined carbohydrates, and now the only sugar I consume is fruit sugar and things like agave nectar and honey.

    Cancer has 6 times the receptor sites on them for sugar than normal cells. Sugar is literally a "cancer magnet." And sugar can be linked to all kinds of other dis-eases. So I'm going to share with you some good sugar replacements that can raise the level of sweetness without disturbing or altering your blood sugar levels too dramatically.

    Try to extend as far out as possible these sugars in your smoothies or other recipes and add only a very very tiny amount of agave or honey to round out the taste and flavor.

    So how would this look? Let's say you are making a fruit smoothie or a chocolate cacao smoothie. As your sweetener you could use a packet of stevia, a packet of xylitol and a half teaspoon of yacon root syrup. And if that still is not sugary enough or sweet enough, add a pinch of celtic or himalayan sea salt. That usually helps to bring out the flavor of sweetness. Then you could add just a little more of each one of the stevia or xylitol. And after that, if it's still not sweet enough, add just a pinch of agave or a half teaspoon of honey to help bring all the sweetness together. But try to rely mostly on the stevia, xylitol and yacon for sweetness and only as a last resort use the agave or honey as a treat. This little trick will help you keep it sweet without raising your blood sugar levels too dramatically.

    I would recommend staying far away from fruits that have no seeds. A lot of people recommend eating a no fruit no sugar diet. That might be good for a while to give your body a rest from sugar. But if you eat fruits you should aways eat the seeds of fruit (with the exception with maybe apples, although there is some debate as to whether or not the seeds of apples are actually dangerous for you). Seedless oranges, seedless grapes, seedless watermelons are particularly dangerous. Bananas and dates are really high in sugar as well. Bananas are 25% sugar! Great fruits are berries of all kinds. They are generally sweet, with low sugar and high minerals and high in antioxidants. Dried fruits are an even more concentrated sugar.

    A NOTE ON WILD FOODS:Seedless modified fruits are really pathetic weaklings and not
    natural and really don't provide the mineral content and vitamin content that we really need. If a fruit has to be coddled and taken care of every single day because any one of a host of molds or fungi could attack it in your garden, is this really something that is going to be healthy for you? So remember, something that can stand on it's own in your garden without being taken care of is a strong fruit or vegetable that his high in minerals and probably very healthy for you.

    Try substituting celery for carrots as the base for your vegetable juices. Or maybe use only 1 carrot instead of 3-4 carrots per vegetable juice. Also if you use apples in there for taste, use granny smith green apples as they are the lowest apples in sugar.

    Remember your addiction and lifestyle was something you were born with and something that you've been battling since you were just a little kid. Give yourself time to overcome these addictions. Be easy on yourself. Unless you are in a healing crisis and have a disease like cancer or diabetes. Then you have to be a little more cut throat about getting off of sugar.

    We do not want to completely get rid of sugar in our diets. But we have gone so overboard in how we eat as a culture and completely abused this food that is has overtaken everything we eat. Our brain uses glucose to help it run and operate. So I believe we need to have sugar every once in a while as a treat but it's just gotten way out of hand and literally people eat it 3 times a day and even in their snacks and wonder why they come down with every cold and flu that goes around. We just not sensible when it comes to sugar that's all.

    Stevia is an herb that grows naturally in south america as a small shrub mainly in Brazil and Paraguay. Stevia is a part of the Chrysanthemum family. It is incredibly low on the glycemic index and in some cases sweater than sugar making it a great sugar replacement. Although if taken in too high of a dose it can leave a slightly bitter aftertaste. The glycosides contained in it's leaves are called steviaosides and make up about 10% of it's sweetness and some brands are 30 times sweater than sugar!. Stevia also contains zero calories. Stevia can come in powder or liquid extract form.

    Xylitol is also a natural sweetener that can be found in plums, strawberries and raspberries. Most Xylitol is extracted from Birch bark and has about 40% less calories than sugar. Because Xylitol is granulated like sugar it serves as a great substitute for sugar in lots of recipes. There have been people even stating that Xylitol helps prevent tooth decay but I have not seen the evidence for this.

    Yacon root syrup is mainly fructooligosaccharide which means it absorbs into your bloodstream very slowly. It comes mainly from Peru and south america and is pressed from the root.

    Agave nectar comes from the inner part of the agave cactus plant that can be found in mexico. There are over 100 variates and blue agave is where the make tequila from. It is very sweet and tastes a bit like maple syrup and makes a great sweetener to smoothies and desserts and is very low on the glycemic index scale.

    Great Link about sugar addiction

    Here is a great video. I have link to buy this video at the top left of this page: