yikes! where does the time go! commentary on EATING DVD by Mike Anderson

I wrote this last week. +++++++++++ So I'm sitting here in a waiting room waiting for my daughter. She's having the very first massage therapy experience of her life! And with one of the most loving, kind and wise women that I know! YIPPEEEE! I'm so excited for her. I decided to bring my laptop and write out some stuff for my blog since I've been thinking about it for several days now. Lots of things to write about but for now I'll write about the workshop last night at Hunger Mountain Coop. My daughter and I made a peach cheeze cake the day before. I made hazelnut milk lightly sweetened with vanilla and agave and took the leftover mash and made fudge balls with it. So we got to the coop and went up to the new conference room (Love the new room, by the way!) We set up the computer with the speakers and put the goodies out. People started arriving and I said a short introduction and put the DVD on. Last night we watched Eating - a DVD by Mike Anderson. I'm not too sure what to call it. I guess it would fall in the lines of a documentary. To me it is very powerful and I want everyone to see it. I acknowledge that for some, the message might be a little too much to receive but for me it totally isn't... I was thinking last night whether or not I would describe Mike Anderson as radical or progressive, say if I had to describe him or his movies to someone. Certainly, I think people from my hometown would describe him as radical although he doesn't really fit the full mold of that word/connotation. People around here in VT might consider him progressive but again, he doesn't look like that kind of person either... "Progressive" definitely has a better tone to it than "radical" does. I would want to say that if I want to describe him as a "radical", then I welcome him in as I do any "radicals" in history that helped bring about better changes (but not the ones that harmed people or themselves for some greater good.) For me, if we didn't have "radical" people putting out their "radical" ideas, we wouldn't have things like women's rights, rights for African Americans, children's rights, animal rights, and so on. So to me, I don't see radicals always as fitting the bill of insane or harmful, which sometimes the word depicts, although I do acknowledge that is the fear behind that word... So maybe let's play with the word "progressive" and use it to describe what Mike Anderson is doing. Well, he looks ordinary enough and even drives a sports car in the movie. Sports cars aren't all that progressive, at least not how I think of them as gas guzzling and inefficient although shiny and nice to look at. Hmm... He's an older man and I get the sense that he has grown up in middle America somewhere. I think he's trying hard to get his message out that he feels passionately about. I think Mike Anderson's life has been radically changed by what he chooses to put in his mouth, plain and simple. He is putting out his word of what he's experienced with his DVDs like Eating and Healing Cancer from the Inside Out and his little book called The RAVE Diet (all 3 of which are great for getting the ball rolling to think differently about what one may be eating/doing.) Of the three things listed that I've read or seen, I particularly like the Eating DVD the best. I think he's trying to encapsulate many many books into an 88 minute DVD. And I think that seeing a DVD for 88 minutes has the ability to say his message better than if we were to write a big laundry list of books to read like: The China Study or Fast Food Nation or books on Mindful Eating or Eat to Live or Spiritual Nutrition, etc and so forth. This video uses graphics and visual quotes and his own and others voices to drive his message. Some of the graphics are difficult for me to view close up and I apologized before we began at the workshop for them. They are meant to stir emotions and for me, they certainly do. But I don't think that's a bad thing. Whatever it takes to wake a person up, so long as it harms no one. :-) We watched the DVD and ate the raw food goodies and had a very short discussion. Next time I will stop the DVD at a certain point and then have more opportunity for a longer discussion. To me, it's the discussion that is what is so rich. People's initial experiences and reactions come out. Last night the discussion came out about how rigidly one has to adopt the kind of change Mike Anderson is talking about. I love when people express their feelings of almost dread when they see something that makes them go, "Oh My God, there's so much - even too much that I need to do. Where do I begin?" For me, that is a brilliant question. THAT is where you begin. WIth that question. One step is what you take when you decide to take your life or health in what you consider to be a positive direction. I love the "radicals" or "progressive" people out there that show their 100% unequivocal, undying, unwavering focus and direction on why doing what they are doing works. With Mike Anderson in his movies, he says in no uncertain terms, going to a 100% plant-based diet helps you in your health, in your life, helps the planet, is the "greenest" way to live and he gives you COUNTLESS ways of proving it. I love that. But does that mean that you are going to take this information and tomorrow wake up and say "I am going 100% plant-based today." For a few, yes, it will. For others, it will be a definite "NO, I still need more proof." Or maybe it will be "OMG! I can't do all that, that's too overwhelming." And maybe nothing will change right away. Maybe that person will need to see more movies or (better yet) talk to more people living/eating this way and see that they are functioning people in society and they are still breathing! :-) (Feel free to contact me! I'll let you know that I'm still alive and I don't eat meat or dairy! :-) ) Maybe some people will watch the movie and get totally turned off by it. Maybe still others will watch the movie and say, "I'm going to stop eating meat one day out of the week and see how it goes." OO! Maybe someone will be so bold as to say "I'm going to try this raw food thing for 30 days and see if there's any bullshit here!" That would be fun. I typically love the person at the workshop who has their arms folded saying, "Yea, just TRY and convince me that this 'healthy' food tastes good." Or something like that. It's great fun to see their arms lower and relax and then their eyes open when they try a bite of my food! So anyway, I am still quite eager to hear what people have to say about their experience after seeing this DVD. Even a day (or a week) after viewing it. What affected you? What did you find most interesting? What part(s) caught you and made you go "hmm... never thought of it like that." What are you willing to try differently with your life or your health or your diet? For me, a few parts make me giggle. Even the way he blatantly puts things together makes me giggle because he's being REALLY clear with his message here! At least he's not trying to be subtle like in advertising. My favorite line is when it goes, "It's pretty ridiculous. We're the most overweight nation, we eat like horses and yet we are scared that we're going to have a protein deficiency that can only happen when you are literally starving." My son's favorite part was when there was the picture of the cow and it said that it cholesterol was like the animal's revenge for humans eating meat - he thought that was funny and saw a picture of it in his head. He saw another picture in his head and I'm asking him to draw it so I can post it up here - it was something about having a part of the animal with you all the time when you eat it. I posted the picture at the bottom of this blog post. The most significant thing for my daughter was the realization of how dirty meat actually is. That one will stick with her for a long time, me thinks! I also loved some of the pictures and the quotes - milk = liquid meat. Drinking 3 glasses of milk = 21 slices of bacon. Eating 1 pint of ice cream = 24 slices of bacon in terms of cholesterol. I love the numbers put up there - how many tens of thousands of gallons of water does it take to produce 1 lb of ground meat? The differences between chicken/fish and red meat... It's great stuff! So, that's enough from me. I'd love to hear other people's reactions to this DVD. I'm going to schedule it again, show less of it so's we can talk more and of course we'll have raw vegan goodies to eat while we watch. Thank you to everyone who showed up that evening to watch this. I'm so very grateful.
animals stay with us
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Tuesday, August 25th at 5:30 pm - come and watch this documentary!

What: EATING documentary/discussion Where: Hunger Mountain Coop, Montpelier When: 5:30 - 7:30 pm How: RSVP with Krystal or Robin at info AT How much: $5 for members, $7 for non-members Why: Because it's hella important! What else: We'll have raw food snacks to eat while we watch, discussion will follow! Here's a description of this documentary. It's even better than the Healing Cancer from the Inside Out DVD, in my opinion:

Eating DVD - 3rd Edition*

by Mike Anderson

Eating DVD"Thank you. You've done us all a major service." - John Robbins, Diet for a New America

Join over 20 million people throughout the world who have watched this award-winning film. It covers a lot of ground very comprehensively - and all within 88 short minutes. Among the many highlights are interviews with Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Dr. Neil Pinckney, Dr. Ruth Heidrich and Dr. Joseph Crowe.

Dr. Crowe and Dr. Esselstyn are from the world-famous Cleveland Clinic Foundation and know something about heart disease. In fact, Dr. Esselstyn directed the longest and most successful heart disease reversal program ever. These interviews will convince you that cardiovascular (heart) disease, the #1 killer in America today, can be reversed by switching to The Rave Diet. What you will get is a virtual one-on-one consultation with some of the world's leading authorities on heart disease reversal. Dr. Pinckney and Dr. Crowe both reversed severe heart disease by adopting The Rave Diet.

If you know someone with heart disease - who doesn't? - this will probably be the most valuable film they will ever watch - and from authorities with impeccable credentials. And if you eat to prevent heart disease, you will also prevent the other major chronic diseases that are plaguing Western nations. You will also hear from Dr. Heidrich who, after surgery, treated her breast cancer without chemotherapy, radiation or any other conventional treatments by following The Rave Diet.

The Eating DVD is used in wellness clinics throughout the world to motivate people to change their diets and restore their health.

Other topics include:

  • Why we have an epidemic of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other diseases.

  • Why following federal nutrition guidelines will kill you.

  • Why the government promotes foods that shorten lives.

  • Why almost everyone has cancer by the time they're fifty - and don't even know it.

  • Why our top two nutrition worries should be our last.

  • Why doctors treat symptoms of disease, not causes.

  • Why our most deadly diseases were rare before 1900.

  • Why most school-age children already have heart disease.

  • Why there's no difference between white meat and red meat.

  • Why Americans are constipated.

  • Why American men are impotent.

  • Why Americans have weak bones.

  • Why politicians are America's dieticians.

  • Why farm animal feces is standard fare in meat today.

  • Why our eating habit is like smoking, but more lethal.

  • Why the most disturbing death statistic of our time is so little known - and it comes from the Surgeon General.

The Eating DVD also examines the consequences of our eating habit to global warming, the environment and animal agriculture.

Here are the chapter numbers for the DVD (missing chapter numbers indicate minor chapter markers):

1 - Introduction

2 - Heart Disease

3 - Cancer

4 - Calcium Brainwashing

5 - Lighter meats?

6 - Dairy Products

7 - Food Politics

8 - Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet

9 - Environmental Impacts of the standard Western diet

16 - Animal Agriculture (factory farms)

17 - Infectious Diseases

18 - Conclusion

19 - Credits

*Changes in the 3rd Edition:

Subtitles in Spanish, French, German, Dutch and English (for the deaf).

New section on reversing adult-onset diabetes.

The role of diet in the destruction of the Amazon

The role of diet in global warming (and why Al Gore ignores it)

A small section showing graphic images of farm animals was deleted. The topic is more effectively covered without those images.**

Testimonials with people who reversed diseases by following the RAVE Diet were deleted. Those testimonials are online at this web site.

Significant editing throughout. It is now 88 minutes long, a 20 minute reduction in total running time.

Instead of the main menu having chapter choices, you can skip forward to the various chapter markers using your remote.

The DVD is encoded for use on all region players throughout the world.

** Here is what one viewer said about this change: "I watched the 3rd edition last night and found it to be quite effective in it's presentation. You did a great job. I thought that you had taken out more of the animal cruelty than you did before I watched it, but you had left enough in to make an impression - and that's what gets to the minds and hearts of a lot of people - to actually SEE what is done to the animals."

Another viewer writes about the 3rd Edition: "I just ordered 10 more copies of Eating 3rd edition after watching it last night. I didn't think it could be any better than the 2nd edition, but I was wrong. I'm so glad you added the information on Global Warming and Al Gore. Amazing!"

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a time line on what led me to the raw food world... (my raw food transformation thus far - plus a bit of Matt's)

Since having that cute little video out that Mister Monarch did, it's obvious that there's very little one can say in a 5 minutes clip about our raw food transformations. So I wanted to do a little time line. Well, it's a big time line really and I'm sure I'll elaborate on things with other postings, but for now, wanted to get a start here... I will begin by saying as a kid I was tall, overweight and wore glasses forever. In the 4th or 5th grade we read AS A CLASS the book "Blubber" - I was mortified as the fat chick's name in the book was Linda. UGH! We read it in CLASS! What a nightmare - thanks evil 4th/5th grade teacher - wonderful sensitivity you had there! hahaha So anyway, the timeline begins with me being OVERWEIGHT since about 1st or 2nd grade. :-)
1970s-85 Overweight with many many allergies. Allergies so bad at some points that my parents would think I'd have to go to the doctors for tubes in my ears or whatever but then I'd get better (I think I was most allergic to doctors!) :-) Moms put me on various diets throughout my childhood but nothing really helped me lose weight. I was definitely an emotional eater from the word go. Had various illnesses as a kid that weren't much fun either: the usual things like colds/flus and tonsilitis but other things, too like mono and rocky mountain spotted fever. I used to go to the doctor for strep throat and other throat infections quite regularly in my early teens. Me and antibiotics were pretty good friends and I became a connoisseur of the ones I preferred. Same for codeine/tylenol for the throat stuff. That stuff was trippy!
1985 Lost (or should I say "shed") 55 lbs in the summer between freshman/sophomore year. Sat in my seat in homeroom and someone told me "you can't sit there, that's Linda's seat." I happily replied, "I AM Linda!" Great to not be recognized in that way! (p.s. the way I lost weight this first time was just reducing portion sizes, swimming in the pool and doing a lot of visualizations.) People definitely treated me differently when I was thinner. Very amazing to see how vain a lot of folks were. And I became quite vain myself. Suddenly pretty for the first time ever, it was cool to have attention. So lots of ups and downs for that first weight loss program that I did totally on my own. Health-wise, still with allergies and throat problems. Still taking antibiotics whenever doctor treated me. Indigestion was always a problem for me. But I was thin for the first time in my life!
1989 Kept weight off in HS, went to college and ballooned up very nicely, thank you. The freshman 15 was more like freshman 40 for me! Then just for good measure I gained another 20 pounds while I was partying my ass off and eating huge, whole calzones all by myself... Still had allergies although not as severe as they were when I was a young kid. Failed out of college the first time 'round - totally too interested in the parties vs. the studies. :-) Still had problems with indigestion/heart burn. Began the rolaids regime in my later teen years.
1990 Decided it was time to get the weight off again. I wanted to get a jump start so I went on a medically-supervised fast for 40 days. I lost about 30 lbs or maybe 40lbs with that fast. I was TOTALLY missing the texture of food by the end so I broke the fast by eating macaroni and beef. I remember thinking how glorious it was to CHEW! I lost the rest of the weight at first by using Nutrisystem and then just doing smaller portions on my own. Overall, I considered my health to be good however I was still quite the partier (not during the fast though!) :-) Still had indigestion, allergies, colds/flus, throat infections, etc.
1991 Stopped drinking when I turned 21 - the thrill of getting into the bars underage was over so what was the point in going? :-) I considered my health to be good although had random allergies and seasonal colds/flus and always was a bit of a binge eater - definitely ate to feel better emotionally. Never got into binging/purging, thankfully, but I used to be consumed with guilt after binge eating. This is really throughout my life, not just at this time. I became a vegetarian here but was definitely an ovo-pesca-lacto-vegetarian, meaning I ate eggs, fish and dairy. Meat never seemed to digest well and I hated all red meats except for the occasional burger.
1994 Moms got diagnosed with non-small cancer of the lung (she wasn't a factory worker and not a smoker, nor in a house with 2nd hand smoke for long periods ever and at the time, she was an anomoly. Unfortunately this isn't the case so much anymore - more people are statistically getting lung cancer who don't smoke or work in factories, etc.) and neighbor's health took a turn for the worse after years of being Type 1 diabetic. I watched him going out in parts as various organs began to fail him, circulation started to fail for his limbs, eyesight began to fail, kidneys began to fail, etc. and so forth. One week he'd be in the hospital and then the next, my moms would be. At the time my oldest/dearest friend and I wondered why this was all happening - we didn't know anyone else who was in their early 20s with such sick parents. We ended up being hella grateful to have each other for support ever since and even during. It became understood right away that our families had a lot of compassion and empathy for what the other was experiencing. One of my brothers and I started researching alternative stuff individually. My brother bought a little juicer and started juicing fruits and veggies for my mom (although knowing what I know now, I wouldn't have had her drink sweet fruit/veggie juices for cancer patients.) I heard a show on Pacifica Radio talking about lung cancer having a possible link with prolonged vitamin deficiency and this somehow clicked with me for my mom - years and years of allergies meant years and years of compromised immune system. If her immune system was compromised, what did that mean for all the allergies I had as a kid up until that point? I started reading all kinds of books on healing foods. My mom was not too interested in alternative or homeopathic routes. She believed, as many people did/do, that her doctor had the best method of treatment for her so she obliged us a bit with our juices and supplements but not so much. (She actually choked on a vitamin we gave her but swallowed the chemotherapy pills with no difficulties.) She suffered greatly but with amazing grace. I watched my mother's health severely deteriorate as she went through chemotherapy, radiation and then did what was then an experimental drug in a 10 month time frame. She said that she felt like a sewer when she took all the chemotherapy pills. Her lung collapsed, she had swelling in her arm that made it so she couldn't write. She had a tumor in her eye that made it so she couldn't read, she had a tumor in her head, her lymph nodes, her bones. After a while we asked her to stop checking with various doctors to check for cancer. She took prednisone, she was on blood thinners, she lost her breath quite frequently, she became frail and weak. Her quality of life in the 10 months from diagnosis to death was terrible and that's just what I saw - I can't imagine what she herself felt/experienced inside her own body. Needless-to-say, I gained about 20 lbs from emotional eating. And I got a full education on the effects of chemotherapy, radiation and experimental drugs in that 10 months. (And hospital visits and hospice, etc. I actually began working for the VNA of Central Jersey working in their mental health, continence, hospice, and assisted living departments a year or so after she died. Also volunteered for a non-medical hospice place when we were in the DC area...)
1995 Moms died and our neighbor died. I made a promise that whatever I could do to help myself naturally, I would try first before anything else medically. I had a deep sense of thinking that my allergies that were always brushed aside as "normal" were something to look into more deeply. Strengthening my immune system was a mission.
1998 Skip ahead a few years (and several tried/failed diets: the Zone, South Beach, you name it, I've pretty much tried it.) Pregnant, living in CA and gained 65 lbs with first pregnancy. Still had that 20 lbs on me from when my moms was so sick. (I took "eating for two" a little too literally!) I also began eating meat again for the first time in 7 years with that pregnancy. I was literally sniffing out barbeques and so I thought that this meant I needed the meat or iron or something. Matt also gained probably about 40 or so lbs. We were so round, how gross, but the pregnancy was healthy. The doctor kept warning me that my weight gain of 4-5 lbs per month vs. the 3 or so lbs that they call normal was dangerous. I asked "Where is this information coming from?" They said it's gathered from avg sizes over the country or maybe even from a broader world average. "Do I look like I'm an average sized woman?" (I'm 6 feet tall.) I told them if I'm not worried about it, don't worry me about it. Still they warned me about toxemia and gestational diabetes, etc. I loved being pregnant - what a great feeling it was. Thankfully I remained very healthy although in this pregnancy, I experienced yeast infections each month and got sick with colds quite a lot. It was after this pregnancy that I began noticing problems with the foods I was eating, showing a lot more allergies again and sensitivities to foods. I had wicked acid reflux with this pregnancy and it subsided only a little bit after the baby was born. (Son was 9 1/2 lbs at birth - was hoping he'd be more like 30 so I wouldn't have to work so hard getting this weight off!) :-)
1999 At some point in this year, Matt and I looked at ourselves with disgust and thought it was time to lose the baby weight. We borrowed my neighbor's weight watchers books and Matt & I lost about 45 or 50 lbs using their point system. This was a very difficult transition for us because we had done a super great job of becoming virtual gluttons. We were living in CA at the time within walking distance to many a burrito place. There was one place we went to almost daily and ate these unbelievably HUGE burritos (ONE BURRITO PER PERSON! And here we were living in the poverty level not even sharing this monstrosity of a meal!) that were bursting with sour cream, guacomole and cheese. One of my brothers came to visit us and we took him to eat there. I don't think he could believe the size of the things we were eating for lunch. (Dinner, we probably took him to get chinese or something when he wasn't even hungry. ee-gads!) No WONDER I was eating rolaids so much!
2000-2001 We moved to MD and found out I was pregnant again! (While in the hospital that we stayed in for 40 days as we were looking for a house to buy, mind you!) :-) This time around I craved tofu and vegetables and my weight gain was about 30-35 lbs. This was a blissful pregnancy and the birth was blissful too. My daughter was over 10 lbs at birth and she was a fierce nurser. I lost that 30-35 lbs within a couple weeks of her birth but remember I was still a good 35 lbs still over weight. I'm tall and I've always been told I carry my weight well but I definitely know the weight I like to be at and that wasn't it. (My 20 lbs is like everyone else's 10 lbs) :-) I also had some kind of injury to my hip joint with the pregnancy or birth. Not sure which. I had x-rays done but refused the MRI because I just didn't want to do it. I went to several chiropractors and physical therapists - all but one (mentioned WAY down below there in 2008) said that I would be in pain for the rest of my life. One doctor wanted to give me shots to help with pain because everything was painful (I never took any shots or medications for my hip.) I had sciatic pain down both my legs and an arthritic or some other "itis" pain in my hip. Basically, I couldn't sit, stand, walk, lay down or anything else without great pain. The sciatic pain would come and go but the pain in my hip was super bad. I couldn't exercise and I lost all flexibility in my hip (I was once so flexible and did yoga quite a lot. My dancer friend used to remark that I was more flexible than she! I see flexibility in my body again, don't you worry!) My daughter continued to be a fierce nurser and only wanted to nurse for the first 17-18 months of her life despite me trying to give her food at about a year old. She was a huge baby and the doctor said that "typically we'd like to see a baby eat solid foods by now but we can't say that she isn't thriving." (SHE WAS HUGE AND TALL AND SUPER STRONG AND HEALTHY) It was at this point that my health became something that I needed to pay attention to more. My food allergies and sensitivities got to the point where I was having hypoglycemic tendencies, yeast infections, candida, acid reflux. I basically would eat lunch and then would be sunk for a few hours afterwards. I could barely pick my head up off the table or couch and taking care of a toddler, an infant and doing my freelance work was totally unbearably difficult. I was visiting my homeopathic doctor quite regularly who put me on an allergy-elimination diet and then a candida diet. The problem was that these are heavy meat-based diets. I told you before, I never really tolerated meat well. The acid reflux I had was terrible and I was literally taking shots of baking soda and water while being treated with the candida diet. I was on a yahoo group for unconventional mothering. I was (am) totally into wearing my babies, extended breast feeding, aware parenting and democratic discipline, non-violent communication, eating locally and seasonally, community supported agriculture, using homeopathy, making our own baby foods, cloth diapers, cloth menstrual pads (my friend Linda's products are the shit!), etc. This group was great because I didn't feel like a freak (particularly because people were doing things WAY more "out there" than me!) :-) I complained about my total lack of energy, the supreme tiredness, the yeast problems, indigestion problems on this group and the moderator turned out to be a raw food dude! I never heard of this at all and asked her what eating a raw food diet meant? She explained briefly and took an interest in what I was eating. She pointed out all the refined sugars and flours I was eating and asked if I'd like to be her guinea pig as she was hoping to start doing some raw food consulting for people. I was desperate and said "Sure, I'll try anything." Sara was her name and I'm eternally grateful to her. She gave me recipes and told me what to read. At that time, there wasn't a lot of books on the subject of raw foods. I started doing searches for raw foods and found only a few sites. I read everything. I followed her diet and things started changing SO rapidly for me that I actually started eating cooked foods because I couldn't deal with the detoxing and transformation! I was detoxing heavily and was doing enemas to help with the detoxing. That helped quite a lot. I noticed the acid reflux was the first thing to go. I started having energy and was able to make it through the day without loads of naps. Yeast issues totally cleared up. But MAN! I had so much fear around this way of eating. I made a promise to myself that I would go slowly and gradually. I gave myself 10 years to get 100% raw. I didn't want to experiment with my kids on this diet although as I started to feel better, I wanted to give them these delicious foods that I was eating. I noticed that my moods were greatly improved with the more raw foods I ate. It became like a game, I saw quite easily how I felt an hour after eating raw food vs. an hour after eating cooked foods.
2002 I took an online raw food course to learn a lot and have the opportunity to as questions with Jinjee and Storm out of CA. I figured as a mother of 2 young babes, I wasn't going to be able to take off for a week or two for training anytime soon. Plus I didn't want to shell out a couple grand to do that sort of thing. I was still experimenting with food. I easily released weight initially when eating more raw foods. I was noticing a LOT of addictions I was having to foods and the emotional pull they had on me. I would eat really well and then binge on various things particularly around my monthly cycle. I was addicted HEAVILY to dairy and starches. This was the beginning of me learning how to be gentle with me.
2003-2004 I fell into a nice groove with what I considered to be a transitional raw diet. I was getting some prepared things made for me which helped me curb my food cravings/addictions and help me feel like I didn't have to do it all myself. I didn't enjoy making food for myself which was different than what I was making the rest of the family so I found that dinners were the hardest for me to eat raw. I took a weekend class close to home with my raw food Wonder Woman, Lynda Carter. This class was incredible and I learned a LOT of stuff that seemed daunting at that point. Dehydrating and gourmet recipes were like a nightmare to me. As soon as I came home, I began making all kinds of glorious things! We moved to VT in 2004 and I was feeling pretty good on my transitional diet and I was about 20 lbs thinner. I have to say that while I saw great improvement in many ways adopting a raw food lifestyle, I kept really putting it on the back burner. I was afraid to highly specialize my diet. I saw my moms cut out a lot of foods from her diet and I felt that restricting wasn't the way to go. However, she was cutting out a lot of plant-based foods because she said she couldn't eat them. When I was younger, I got tested for allergies and had the same as she did. She had the foresight to tell me to keep eating them but she chose to avoid them. For a while since finding out about raw foods, I said, "This would be the perfect diet if ever I was very sick. I'd do this diet in a heartbeat." But it wasn't until about a year later that I asked myself "Why would I wait until I was really really sick before I tried to do something to make myself healthier?" (keep on reading.) :-)
2004-2005 in the first year of living in VT, we were seduced by all of the VT foods - breads, cheeses, creemies, meats, etc. I moved there being about 65-70% raw and very quickly went to being about 80% cooked with dairy and breads as my staple. It was very easy to go back to eating these things and eventually I stopped eating fruits/vegetables/nuts/seeds/sprouted grains/seaweeds for several weeks. Remember, these foods are my strongest addictions! By the time 2005 rolled around, I was about 20-30 lbs heavier just by eating this LOCAL food, the acid reflux came back, my happiness and overall well-being was beginning to sink, I started to feel crappy again but THIS time I began having peri-menopausal symptoms! Hot flashes and weird weird periods and insomnia, panic attacks, heart palpitations and other crazy things. I went to the doctor (who initially said "Wow! a 35 year old who isn't on any medication!") and she then preceded to try to put me on anti-depressants to help with the panic attacks, sleeping pills for the insomnia and birth control pills to regulate my hormones and periods. I said "No Thanks" to the meds except I did take a couple sleeping pills because I was pretty darn sleepy. (They freaked me out though. Couldn't take them.) I actually went on Jenny Craig at this time, too. I was totally in a state of desperation. I really can't fully describe what this all felt like and I look back now and wonder what the hell I was doing. I had a dream that told me to go back to raw foods and this time 100%. Wild, right? Well, I listened and again the acid reflux was the first to go. I lost about 20 lbs very easily, the hormones/hot flashes and panic attacks and insomnia went away within 2-3 weeks. My periods became regular and PMS stuff went away. I still had major pain in my hips but this was totally CLEAR SIGNS that this was the right things for me to be doing. I took a five day class with Alissa Cohen, not really knowing why - I had no interest in teaching and I felt I learned a lot already just by reading, experimenting and taking the classes I already took. It was the first time I was away from the kids ever since they were born. It turned out to be great medicine for me in many, many ways. I met wonderful people there (several of which healed things like cancer with their raw food diets), learned great recipes from everyone and affirmed in myself that this was the right thing for me to do. I was bitten by the raw food bug BIG TIME! For me, it was clear that this was a great way for me to release guilt and shame from my life and my food. This, I felt, was the real shift in the journey for me.
2005-2006 Began teaching classes, challenges, making food for people, and doing workshops primarily so that more people could do this with me and I wouldn't feel so alone up here in VT! hahaha In 2006, I had a thought about making an internet cafe in Worcester and incorporating some raw foods. We found a house and bought it for that purpose. We started Vermont Fiddle Heads in 2006. Physically, I was feeling abundantly good and healthy although still finding it hard to release weight and still not being able to exercise because of my hip pain. I was going to a massage therapist now who was helping me deal with the emotional stuff that I had until then saved for food. :-) She tried to massage my hip, to release lactic acid or whatever was built up but she couldn't touch it or I'd cry out in pain. Still, I was having fun making so much raw food and was playing around with nuts and cacao and everything that was beginning to come out on the market. I started gaining weight on raw food! Don't anyone tell me that you will starve away to nothing on raw food - I found out a way to gain weight on it! hahaha I finally got clever and decided to a 30-day raw food challenge with Matt. For years, I'd make various raw food meals and put it in front of him. He'd love what he ate and then I'd ask him if he would like to eat this way forever. He said, "Um, no - not really." And the cycle continued like this. After I got back from Alissa's class, I went to Matt during the summer and said, "How would you like to do a 30-day 100% raw food challenge with me?" He surprised me and said "OK." We did green smoothies from our garden and made a slew of meals to eat each and every day. Matt still had his coffee though - he could only do this challenge if he had his coffee. After the 30 days was up, I made him a cooked dinner and he said, "What are you giving this to me for? I'm not interested in this." YIPPEE FOR ME! YIPPEE FOR MATT!
2007 Still the same - great energy but still not at my ideal weight and still not able to exercise although I wasn't in as much pain as I used to be. It was still regular enough that it kept me from even walking. I used to try and walk and by the 1/4 mile mark, I needed Matt to pick me up in the car because I was literally crying from pain. I began making raw food for sale in stores and this was such a fun story, I'll save it for another time. Went to a David Wolfe weekend and that dude is hella fun. I was totally glad to hear what he said. I read his book Nature's First Law years ago and absolutely hated it and wanted nothing to do with him because of that book. I told him that, too along with saying how glad I was that he was saying something VERY different than repeating/reiterating "cooked food is poison" with each and every chapter. He was totally agreeable on that one. :-) Matt was beginning to notice differences while he was experimenting with his own eating... cooked vs. raw, etc. The kids too became more aware of what they ate and how it made them feel. YAY! (Although my kids rebel in such cute ways with me on raw food.) They are such cuties and they eat really really well when at home!
2008 Started going to a chiropractor who actually helped me with my hip. She was the ONLY one who told me I wouldn't be in pain the rest of my life. I also went to see a craniosacral therapist who was SOOOOO wonderful and helpful. I can't even begin to tell you how great she was for me. I was doing physical exercises that was helping me to be flexible again. I did some hip opening exercises that made me release into tears for no reason. It wasn't pain or sadness, it was just release. I started taking small walks every now and then. Still wasn't getting past that certain weight that I seemed to be stuck at but I really felt like exercise was going to be the key. Imagine having so much energy but not being able to burn it off! This was me! By now, I was selling stuff in stores and via the website. I was doing regular workshops and occasional classes when I wanted to or had time. I have been routinely showing health and raw food related DVDs and saw Healing Cancer from the Inside Out and then read The China Study. Well, this really brought a lot of clarity to me on so many levels. It definitely resonated with what I experienced with my mom and my neighbor and it made me know that a whole-foods, plant-based diet is the way to go (majority raw, that is!) I don't care if people choose a little (TINY EENSY-WEENSY) bit of animal products in their diet (ONLY IF THEY HAD TO FOR SOME WEIRD REASON) :-) and I quite frankly don't care too much what anyone wants to do so long as they are harming no one. I'm not here to yuck anyone's yum! I'm just writing about me and my family peeps here. The other movie that is a life-changer for so many is Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days with Gabriel Cousens, MD. We were still working to get the internet cafe up and still just having fun with daily life. I should say that it's very rare to have the things like colds and what is the flu or allergies. :-) These things that were a part of my normal routine of life became so clearly not familiar anymore, thankfully! I was also totally feeding my kids about 60-70% raw by now because there was just no other way about it. I prefer them to be vegan but they eat meat when visiting family or friends, much to my pleas and requests to NOT feed them the stuff. :-) The kids have been dairy free since my daughter was in kindergarten and her wheezing greatly improved by that and my son's eczema went away just by doing that small thing. I did learn other things: I had a good 3 month binge with raw cacao that was hella fun and probably my most productive 3 months ever. But health-wise, I started feeling a little bit off to what I now experienced as my normal health, energy & vitality. I learned that for me, there's still a lot to this emotional detoxing thing! (more in future posts, I'm sure.) :-) I was also experimenting with various ways to eat raw foods and see if I could implement it like a "diet" - I used a variety of methods to do this...
2009 This has been a big year for me so far. My friend back in NJ told me about Joel Fuhrman because she loved his books so much and he was her family doctor which I thought was pretty darn cool. He was mentioned in one of the DVDs listed above so I had heard of him. She gave me her favorite book to read, as she bought several just to give them away to people (another cool thing!) I read the book and for me it was super great to have guidelines. I totally took this book and made my own program for raw food that sooooooo did the trick for me. SUDDENLY no more hip pain and I began walking 4-7 miles each day. Like really - within a month of switching things up a bit. Then I started doing the exercise bike again with no pain. Very quickly and easily I started releasing weight - it's been about 40 pounds and counting. My friend Natasha wrote and published an excellent book on detoxing which reinforces what I've been doing myself and she paid us a visit up in Burlington. Matt Monarch and Angela Stokes paid us a visit in Montpelier and totally reinforced soooo many things that I'm doing and thinking and feeling and being. Our internet cafe passed state inspections and now we're working to get the physical store open. We're still doing quite a lot to add more products that we already have onto the website. Matt also realized this year that he hasn't used his inhaler for quite a while and his exercising and weight loss has been great as well! How awesome after nearly 30 years of asthma, he's breathing full and fine now! He attributes it to how he is eating for sure! YAY! Good for you, Matt! In May we took a trip to NJ and he was using it as a test to see how his lungs would be with the pollen and he was totally fine! Same for June when we stayed at my relative's house with their cat! BRAVO!
- And that gets us (somewhat) up to date! :-)-
me at 39
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been loving these wraps the past few nights

So the past few nights I've been enjoying wraps for dinner. *STOMACH GROWLING* I'm excited to have this tonight again. I'll include ways today to make this 100% raw although the wraps I've been eating these wraps that AREN'T 100% raw the past couple nights. (OH NO! Hopefully the raw policeman isn't out there reading this blog post!) hahaha - just joking really. I vary between 100% raw and like 90% raw. I don't really care too much about the details. I am 100% vegan though and for me, that's what works the best. So here's the ingredients for the wrap: sprouted grain tortillas - (or collard leaves if 100% raw) whole dulse micro greens sunflower sprouts cooked lentils (or sprouted lentils if 100% raw) green olives RAWking A-1 sauce fresh basil fresh tomatoes (optional) Now follow the photo assembly instructions
sprouted grain tortilla (use a fresh collard leaf if 100% raw) - put your collard leaf or sprouted grain tortilla on a plate and fill it with green sprouts.
now add your cooked or sprouted lentils to the wrap
add some RAWking A-1 sauce - if you'd like add a dollop of raw vegan cheeze
now add some red pepper stuffed green olives
now add some whole dulse and fresh basil to the mix. feel free to add whatever else is your favorite topping like fresh tomatoes, cukes, orange peppers, anything!
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tax free day is August 22nd here in VT

I just found out about this - how cool! So there is this day coming up (August 22nd) where you can purchase something that is typically taxable but get charged no tax! Vermont is pretty cool. So if you are looking for a dehydrator or a VitaMix blender or a nut milk bag or a tee-shirt, or a spiral slicer, (or anything else on the website) contact me and we'll set it aside for you to pick up on Saturday, August 22nd! Happy Tuesday everyone! love and big hugs, Linda
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writing about the weekend last weekend with natasha kyssa of simplyraw in canada

The kids are in bed and it's quiet now so I thought it would be a good time to write a little bit. So I wanted to write about the wonderful weekend that we had Natasha here. Wow! Can't believe it was a week ago now! Natasha Kyssa is a glowing and healthy woman I met about 4 years ago at a class we both attended. I remember when I first met her, I thought she was so radiant that I totally wanted to know what she was doing because whatever it was, it had to be good! We've kept in touch a little here and there over the years. I was going to attend her SimplyRaw Festival a year ago but it just didn't work out for me at that time. I was totally bummed because I know it was great fun and I'm looking forward to when she has one again. I'm hoping to have my act together more so I'm fully prepared for doing these shows. (But probably I'll be winging it!) :-) Natasha bought several of our hemp nut milk bags to have at the festival and I'm super grateful for her support of what we're doing here at VT Fiddle Heads. She didn't do a festival this past spring/summer because she was putting out a BOOK! OMG! How freakin cool is that?! I was so excited to see it! It's absolutely beautiful - done so well with the 2 color printing inside and the full cover glossy cover (can you tell I've been into the whole corporate marketing thing? I was/am the marcom girl... LOL) You can totally check out the book via her facebook page.The name of her book is The SimplyRaw Living Foods Detox Manual and I'm so ordering some for my store and website! It's such a good book - user-friendly is the term we're all using here! So she said that she wanted to come to VT as a part of her book tour and would I mind helping her by doing a casual potluck and/or meet at a book store or health food store that might want to have her book. She wanted to be in Burlington so the natural place that I thought might be eager to carry her book was Healthy Living. I contacted them and they asked for a copy so I sent them one. (I bought a few copies just to have after Natasha graciously gave me one. I just wanted to have them around, ya know?) Turns out they dug the book and wanted to carry it! YIPPEEEE! So they made a date to have her there and told me it was all set. The book signing at Healthy Living was scheduled for a Saturday and then there was her request for a potluck. I haven't done a potluck since about February or March and yet I knew of this wonderful couple named Joshua and Carrie-Anne who have been putting them on for a few months right in Burlington! They've sort of teamed up with another woman named Geniel who also does raw food and who *also* is in Burlington! (Can't believe VT is getting more raw-conscious!) :-) I had been hoping to get to one of Joshua's potlucks since he started them and we'd been in contact here and there for a few months. I wrote to him one day saying that Natasha was coming and would he mind doing a potluck for her since she was going to be in Burlington. He asked Geniel about it and she said YES! This was so wonderful that the dates worked out and the timing worked out. Natasha sent us some posters and I posted them up around various towns with my kids - it made for a fun few hours. We felt like we were a in a band or something... :-) We also posted up the Matt Monarch and Angela Stokes posters up that same day. Saturday came and I arrived at Healthy Living to see where this book signing was going to happen. I thought they were going to put her in the middle of the store, kinda where the books are. NOPE! They put her right by the front door! Not what I was expecting but so totally awesome! Here's a photo from Natasha's FB page (I hope she doesn't mind! FULL Photo props to her husband for taking these pictures. They were just too nice.) There was raw food woman in the middle of barbeque stuff for sale! I loved that endorsement of health right there, smack dab in the middle!
Natasha Kyssa of SimplyRaw in Ontario Canada with her first book just out now!
It was great to see her again - she looked as wonderful and healthy as she did 4 years ago! We totally chatted. My friend Joyce was there too and we all chatted for quite a while. (Thanks for the patience of Healthy Living, our husbands and my kids for the 2+ hour chat at the front of the store!) Natasha had little samples of raw carrot cake (which was a recipe from her book) and you know it's good because my kids were asking for seconds! So if that wasn't cool enough, the next day was Sunday and the day for the potluck! I brought some of my RAWsome chili with the sour "creme" and brought it with me. The potluck at Geniel's house was absolutely wonderful. It was a great, relaxing setting to meet and chat with people about anything. The food looked incredible too and I was gifted by Fern and her hubbie some of their delicious fennel pesto! Joyce also made a gorgeous raspberry lemon pie (you can totally see it right there on her blog.) Everyone's food was gorgeous looking and I'm sure delicious tasting. I so wish I was hungry that day! Anyway, I got caught up a little bit with Natasha on the past 4 years and we totally agreed it would be hella fun to take a little road trip together (with PATTI -- another woman we met at our class.) It was a lovely social occasion for sure, all the way around. GREAT to meet Geniel finally - great to see Joshua and Carrie-Anne - great to see everyone faces there at the potluck!
three very RAWsome people! :-)
I also found out that night that Natasha was at other book signings at book stores in Burlington! Way to go, Natasha! That's very cool! I'm super pleased to know you and wish you many many blessings. You are very down to earth and you are doing good good things. Keep up the great work!
Joyce, Natasha and me at the potluck.
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My CSA newsletter from last week

Howdy! I wanted to post up a bit of the newsletter I got from my CSA last week. For those that don't know what a CSA is, it stands for Community Supported Agriculture and we've been into it for about 9 years now. How it works is that you pre-pay for a share of vegetables from a local farmer. It helps the farmer greatly and it helps you get some of the freshest veggies that you could get aside from picking and eating directly from your own garden. It's a way to get back in touch with seasonal eating from YOUR region as well as getting back in touch with your local farms/famers. You can easily find a CSA near you by going to this website: - there's a box there to key in your zip code to see what CSAs are in your neck of the woods. When we started using a CSA, we got a super great education on what it means to eat locally and seasonally! I totally took for granted getting any/all veggies that I wanted any time of the year in the supermarket and my eyes started to open on how much expense and fossil fuels are spent to fly/cart/drive/ship veggies from all over the world to my supermarket. While I'm super grateful for that accessibility and abundance, I also realized that it really helps the local economy to support local agriculture and particularly the small farmer who works SUPER hard to try to make a living. The other thing AWESOME that I learned about using a CSA was what exactly I was missing in terms of taste and quality by going to the darn supermarket! For example, it was mid-to-late-summer in Maryland when we were having fun with our first CSA shares (for this CSA, we had to actually work on the farm which was totally awesome and again, I learned a LOT.) We were getting some tomatoes in the share and I'll never forget looking at these different colored heirloom tomatoes: brandywines, green zebras, cherokee purples, sungolds, to name a few. (I don't think sungolds are necessarily heirloom but BOY do they taste good! Like candy! Also, what are the names of the large orange tomatoes? GOD THEY ARE SO GOOD!) Anyway, I took them home and ate the freshest, ripest, juiciest, plumpest, sweetest, most amazing tomatoes EVER! Now my uncle used to grow Jersey tomatoes back home and they were tasty - nothing beats a good beefsteak tomato, but OMG! These tomatoes were unreal! I made a vow that I would never buy a tomato off-season ever again. I totally went to the store and looked at the colorless tomatoes that get picked before they're ripe so they'll last the journey to the store and which are sometimes wrapped in plastic and placed on a styrofoam tray and I asked myself, "where's the life here?" "where's the vitality of this fruit?"
herloom tomatoes come in all shapes and colors
And trust me, the heirloom tomatoes they have in the stores don't taste ANYTHING like what you get from the CSA, farmer's market or your own garden. :-) I'm totally big on doing the local thing. Raw food localvore, that's me! So that's a bit of my own personal CSA experience. I wrote a bit more about CSAs in my little e-book on how to make eating healthy work on a budget: Now for what our wonderful farmer, Seth, wrote last week. It's a wonderful ditty following along these lines of why it's good to eat more local foods and support your local farmer... Enjoy. (And write your comments below. Would love to hear what you have to say on the subject... Seth, by the way is part of a dynamic duo that operates Worcester Woods Farm CSA...

.... I really believe that cost is ultimately the major obstacle for a local food production system to overcome in order to be a serious supplier to the majority of people. These days convenience might run a close second, but that seems an easier issue to address. I am fully aware that farmers deserve a decent income (believe me), and prices should reflect that, but if the guy making ten or twelve bucks an hour can’t afford the food, what does this say about the viability for the small- to mid-sized farm? One should not need a college education to have quality food be the staple of one’s diet. I would suggest that an over reliance on the terms “organic”, “gourmet”, “sustainable”, and “enviro-friendly” to justify charging ever-increasing prices is going to result in too many farms competing for a finite amount of people willing to pay 3 bucks for a head of lettuce or 20 bucks for a chicken. I’m sure I’ve touched on this subject in previous newsletters, but I feel it’s worthy of additional consideration.

The trick is for local food to be able to compete directly with the mass-produced stuff. If it could be made cost-effective for Shaws or Price Chopper to carry, or better yet, feature truly fresh food, then I think we could more optimistically use the word “sustainable.” One of my favorite ironies is to be in the produce department of some big super market, looking at a bunch of parsley that is pale, wilted and lifeless, and all of a sudden an automatic misting or “freshening” system comes on from above and sprays water over a bunch of crappy, two week old vegetables. No wonder you see a ton of fat people with carts full of Fig Newton’s and Lucky Charms and frozen pizzas. At least you know that stuff is gonna taste good. The fruits and vegetables are, for the most part, tasteless and unappetizing. If you had day old bright green, crunchy, vibrant, perky vegetables under that same nice misting system, at the same price or just a few cents more, people would walk by and actually smell food. They would feel good putting this beautiful green stuff in their carts. Maybe you could sell 50 heads of lettuce for 3 bucks a piece at the farmers market, but you could probably sell 500 head for $1.50 at Shaws. Somehow we have to find a connection between the two philosophies, thereby the downsides of each (i.e. over-priced vs. cheap crap) are lessened or eliminated. It seems the word “organic” has driven a wedge where one needn’t be. I use compost to grow broccoli, some other guy uses a bag of 10-10-10. It’s still broccoli, and the one you should buy is the one that tastes better and makes you feel better and hopefully fits into your budget. Five bucks is too much even if it’s top quality, and 99 cents isn’t worth much either because there is no joy in eating flabby, lifeless food. ....

I totally love receiving the perspective of others, particularly my local farmer dude on this subject.

Take care and have a lovely night. Go outside and view the stars if you can.



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Nut Milk Bags Abound! Talking about VitaMix and our Nut Milk Bags

Greetings! I'm back in the kick of keeping up with my blog. Keep your fingers crossed that I make a point to do this each day! If I keep it short and sweet, this will probably be the key to getting this done. Today I wanted to send props out to the GREAT GREAT companies and people that are carrying our nut milk bags. As you may have understood from yesterday's post, we've been selling our nylon 9 x 12 bags and 12 x 12 bags to Matt Monarch and his Raw Food World for a year or year and a half now which is totally RAWSOME! We've got our bags out there to a lot of places and I'll mention them each separately so's I can give them their due. They are all great people and great companies. Today I'm talking about VitaMix. Matt just sent me an email saying he finally found the link to our bags from the Vitamix website. YIPPEE! So I thought I'd post it for yas: - Makes sense the bags would be under the Accessories page! Here's the direct link so's you don't have to scroll down and aggravate the carpal tunnel in your wrist! :-) VitaMix is my absolute favorite appliance. I use it every day. I sell the basic model because that's what I use and love. I know people love the old ones they have and the even more fab new models. I haven't met a person yet who has disliked their VitaMix. So we were totally pleased as punch to work with them! If you've never used the VitaMix, you are totally missing out, man! Ask anyone who has finally decided to get one and they will tell you they don't know why they've waited so long. You can grind up nuts and seeds - even small seeds like flax - into fine flours, you make the CREAMIEST of dressings and smoothies. The VitaMix masticates greens so it's the only way to blend up greens. You can use the VitaMix along with our nut milk bags to make your own juices. You can use the VitaMix to make ice creams AND soups. If you keep the thing running for 4 minutes, you'll boil whatever you have there in the pitcher so for raw food dudes, you run it for a minute to heat things up. Let's see, what else does the VitaMix do - well, it won't change the oil in your car but it's my main tool that I use for everything I make in the raw world and it's a quick way to make me my healthy meals. OH yes, I make fruit leathers with it, dressings, puddings, smoothies, crackers, shakes, ice creams, flours, pastes, pates, condiments, sauces, soups. I've even made skin care products with it - blends up the CREAMIEST moisturizers! VitaMix is the muscle car of blenders. Very powerful. LOVE IT. SO YAY! Thanks Matt, for finding us on VitaMix! And YAY to VitaMix for their killer blender. Happy Day everyone! Take care, Linda p.s. look at the new and improved V-Shape bag - it's looks like our fair state so we are calling it the Vermonter!
Check out our NEW V-SHAPE BAG! We lovingly call it The Vermonter
SOME ADDITIONS: Added 8/14/09 - isn't that cool? They included a little recipe in there for you!
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Matt Monarch and Angela Stokes did a Raw Food Transformation Talk Last Night

OK, so writing about the event last night - Matt Monarch and Angela Stokes did a Raw Food Transformation Talk in Montpelier on Aug 11th at 6 pm...
Matt -n- Angela
We got to the church to set up around 4:30 pm. If I wanted to, I'd write about the EXCELLENT day I had the day before with Joshua helping me prepare for Tuesday. But for now, I'll keep it to just Tuesday and say THANK YOU virtually again to Joshua Pfeil for helping me so much. I was absolutely grateful. By the time we got there, Matt and Angela were already there. They had just finished setting up like FIVE tables or something crazy with all their inventory. It was totally amazing to see. They said they were wishing that every event could be held at the place we had - nice wide open space and plenty of room for chairs and tables. That was good to hear. This is definitely their livelihood and it showed that they've got this all figured out.
Ca you see the table of their inventory on the right there?
I set up my little table and I put up a table for Geniel Fife. She is the only other raw food lady making food for stores here in VT. She a grandmom and she's amazing! I just met her on Sunday at her potluck that we had for Natasha Kyssa. I just instantly liked Geniel. Geniel wanted to set up a table to put out samples and I said, "Absolutely!" On my table, I had a little section for my brochures and business cards, plus had some hemp nut milk bags for sale. We didn't want to bring any nylon bags because we figured the Monarch's would bring our nylon bags (turns out they didn't put out our nylon bags because they wanted us to sell ours! How funny!) So we just put the hemp out and only one size: the 9 x 12. I put out some cookies that Matt decided to bring - the hazelnut spice cookies. I put out some plates to hold the chocolate orange heaven cheeze cake that Joshua and I made as well as the VitaMinteral Green Cheeze Cake that I made. I put out some fudge balls that I made which Joshua rolled out in coconut flakes. Plus I had 3 gallons of nut milk in the coolers ready - 2 gallons of hazelnut milk sweetened with agave and 1 gallon of hazenut chai. Angela asked if I brought any of my god/goddess butters because she loved them so much. So we sent Matt home to get them as I didn't have enough space to bring the first trip around. OH! Also brought some tee-shirts but we had no real place to show them but at least I was wearing one, Emily was wearing one and Cat was wearing one! I gave one to Angela too so that she could represent as well! :-)
There's my table with raw food treats and Geniel's table with her samples
god butters and goddess butters
my raw chocolate almond FRUITS OF THE EARTH fudge balls! YUM! these are delicious!
Raw Chocolate Orange Heavenly Cheeze Cake
we at our little desserts and treats table!
So we were all set up and then we realized we forgot a sign for outside! Thankfully the church had a sandwich board and Cat/Emily went to the drawing board, got some poster paper and I gave Cat a marker to write out signs for the sandwich board. The two of them put that out on the street, we opened the doors and in came in the guests! We had 24 paid guests and if you included me and my worker bees, we had 30 people listening to what Matt and Angela had to say! That was so cool! Pat, my neighbor and friend, came and she took my little point-and-shoot digital camera and took many pictures which you can see posted on my fiddleheads facebook page:
There's our two greeters for the evening! (plus a little peeker!)
As we let the guests settle in and peruse Matt/Angela's table, we decided to start the talk. I said hello to everyone and welcomed our guests and we began. Matt started the talks. He talked about a wide range of raw food transformation - talking about many ways to adjust the diet for better health and vitality. Meanwhile, Angela was our first paying customer, buying a cup of chai milk and loved it. (YAYYY!) He talked about spirituality, colon hydrotherapy and various transformations that take place in the body when we clean up our diet. I saw a bunch of note taking happening which was way cool! I totally found Mr Monarch to be quite fun to watch as he spoke - he's a sweetie and he definitely has experimented with himself and read a WHOLE bunch along the way. He kept calling himself an extremist and I found myself chuckling at the things he was saying. I'm SURE some (or maybe a lot) of what he said was maybe the first time people heard of such things, but for me, it was like preaching to the choir... And I needed to hear the extra preaching to be honest. For me, I am finding that I JONES to hear what people are doing who have been doing raw food longer than I. I still find that I've got a lot of conditioning/mental programming around stuff that I know makes no sense really, but there's fragments still there... This is why I SO enjoy hearing what these guys are doing - totally validates that what I'm doing is along the norm. For example, I was listening to Matt talk about eating less and how the body goes through healing/detox and also how the body starts to feel really really good on less food. It's just a matter of finding the right amount of food that works for you. This is what I've been evolving to in the last 6 months or so. I don't eat a lot most days. Well, it seems like every other day I find that I'm hungry. Of course I have that conditioning in me like the 1950s housewife that goes, "three square meals a day!" And for me, that doesn't feel quite right in my body anymore. So when Natasha was here this past weekend, I asked her about it and she nodded and said, "that sounds about right." And last night Matt said pretty much the same thing. So, for me, who has been on this raw journey for 8 years now, doing it quite by myself (no spa retreats yet!) and happy to experiment, it's just nice to hear these validations. It was hella fun to just listen to all that he had to say and I was also THRILLED that these words were coming out of someone else's mouth for my kids to hear! YIPPPEEEEE!!!
Matt Monarch giving his Raw Food Transformation Talk, Aug 11, 2009
So back to the night. Matt talked for quite a while and answered a lot of questions. He announced it was time to take a break and so people got up and went over to their table to ask more questions and we had some visitors at our table, too. It was just fun talking with people and then Matt comes over with his little video camera and asks us if we want to be on his little TV show. Well, this is something that we weren't expecting! I was totally not prepared but it was still totally fun. I only hope he edits a bit because I was very silly sounding, I'm sure. But whatever! It's all good. Matt M. asked Matt W. about healing his asthma on the raw food diet and me about all the slew of things that I've reversed. I am not exactly sure how coherent I was. I was still pretty much like "NOT expecting this!" but like I said it was fun.
There he is with his little TV camera!
Here we are being interviewed for The Raw Food World TV Show. hahaha
Just added! A link to his TV show here: So then Angela's turn came up to talk and she talked about her own transformation going from being 300 lbs and morbidly obese to losing more than half her weight on the raw food diet. She talked about her journey, her favorite foods to eat, the foods that are best to eat each day, tips and tricks to how to eat this way while you are traveling, etc. She talked about her ideology and how it's changed as well as how her own emotions have changed on her raw food journey. She took questions. One of the best questions was "How many calories is in bee pollen?" And I loved the answer that Angela gave - she said she likes to equate things to nature so she said, "We're the only animals that think it's necessary to count calories. No animal in the woods is out there taking out a calorie counter and measuring his food." I love when the raw food dudes talk like this. David Wolfe does that too. It makes sense when you really think about it. She said (as others have) that no other animal puts fire to their food and yet we do and feel that it is best. To her, this is crazy thinking and I love that. Again, she talked like Matt Monarch did about "wild and crazy" things and yet to my ears, it was very much welcomed. I think it might have been a lot to digest (pun intended) for a lot of people and probably for some it was their first exposure to this kinda stuff but how great is that?! Everyone saw 2 people that are articulate and healthy looking talking about their own experiences. Wonderful wonderful!
Angela Stokes-Monarch giving her Raw Food Transformation Talk, Aug 11 2009
The night ended and people stayed and bought things or asked questions. It was a very inspiring night! Everyone left with smiles so we did something good, me thinks! The Monarchs had about 5 empty boxes from their inventory so hopefully they made some money to help them continue what they are doing. We helped them pack up their RAV4 full to the brim with alllllll their stuff, gave them hugs and sent them on their merry way. I was totally hoping they could check out lots more fun stuff here in Central VT but they were off to get to Buffalo for their next day's event.
from left to right: Matt Monarch, Linda Wooliever, kiddos, Angela Stokes-Monarch - YAY!
So that was the day! Pretty cool, right? P.S. I'll write more about the weekend with Natasha tomorrow! :-)
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pain free, asthma free! plus a recipe, food deliveries and other raw food haps

Hello Good People! I hope this newsletter finds you well and happy. Things have been busy busy with our nut milk bags! May has been a wonderful month so far. We made our first delivery of our 12 x 12 hemp nut milk bags to Vita Mix in the middle of April and are just so excited about that. Vita Mix is a great company and we're totally thrilled to work with them. We're selling our nut milk bags to lots of people/companies/places and SOOO happy to offer high quality bags so people can make their own juices, nut milks, seed milks and easy sprouts. And let me honor them now: Cafe Gratitude, our first wholesale customer; Matt Monarch, VitaMix, SimplyRaw, Rainbow Grocers, Catch a Healthy Habit, the Green Umbrella, Raw New England Community, Essene Health Bread/York Raw Food Group, and loads of other individuals, groups, stores. In fact, I really need to put a page on the website with this to show our deep gratitude and support. Great news also is that we've found a source for biodegradable bags! So all our products will be in biodegradable packaging - not just our food! YIPPEEEEEEEEE!!!! I have to tell you that I've had some serious spring fever (which is why you haven't heard from me in a month!) We've been having great weather (yay! Sunhine!) and I've been walking between 4-7 miles each day. This is major for me as even last year, I didn't have the ability to do this without great pain. I had an injury to my hip about 8 years ago and went to different health practitioners for it. One doctor told me that I was going to be in pain for the rest of my life. I said, "NO I'M NOT!" and went to a different doctor. In this past year, I've made great strides (literally and figuratively) with regards to my hip/leg pain and I'm WALKING AGAIN! I am so very grateful to have mobility, flexibility and to be pain-free, I can't even begin to tell you. For me the missing link was exercise and I can tell you that my *whole* self is happy to be doing this again. Other great news is that Matt's asthma is soooo gone! He's had asthma since he was a young kid and he said the other day that he's very happy to feel as if he has normal lungs again! This is great news. I always knew his lungs would be healthy and clear. This is a testament to the vegan diet - raw vegan with lots of healing greens. Low-fat, minimally processed, whole vegan foods. That's where it's at, baby! We're both just looking and feeling great and soooooo grateful in the process. Baby steps! This is a journey and it takes as long as it takes. It's all good stuff! ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ RAW FOOD HAPS THIS WEEK AND BEYOND • Raw food deliveries made to Hunger Mountain Coop and a St. J's Food Coop yesterday. .We now have our raw food in St. Johnsbury! Wonderful wonderful! They are even carrying my gRAWnola! Please support your local coops and ask for more raw food! • Our downloadable recipe book - over 70 smoothie, juices and soup recipes: • NEW IN STOCK: Healing Cancer from the Inside Out DVDs are here as well as their RAVE Diet books and EATING DVDs. This Mike Anderson guy is another guy that I'm happy is around doing what he's doing. Advocating for a low-fat, whole-food, plant-based diet is great. I saw his DVD on cancer and immediately wanted to support him. I've gotten calls and emails from people who want a copy for themselves, so I'm very happy to have that available for you. The China Study books are also in stock and are a must-read in my opinion... PACIFICA PERFUME, CANDLES AND LOTIONS ARE HERE!!! I'm sooooo excited for these. They smell great and the lotions are beautifully emolient. WiseWays Herbal products are also in stock! Sea Chi skin care products are here and are as gorgeous as ever!! And more new items are coming... Books and audio books by Dr. Joel Furhman as well as heavy duty 9-tray dehydrators in white. Please contact me if you are interested in getting any of these items. With everything we sell, items can be picked up or I can mail them to you. ALSO IN STOCK: Health Force Nutritionals, bulk nut butters, Artisana butters, Fruits of the Earth superfood powder, Maca Force Vanilla Spice, really raw oats, raw nori sheets, chia seeds, turkish mulberries, dandy blend, wasabi powder, kelp noodles, dandelion leek miso by south river, garlic red pepper miso by south river, Eating for Beauty by David Wolfe, Naked Chocolate by David Wolfe and Shazzie, Sun Warrior Biofermented Rice Protein powder (in natural and chocolate flavors), marine phytoplankton, lucuma powder, yacon slices, really raw cashews, artisana coconut butter, tibetan goji berries and Vitamix pitcher replacements. If you have an old vitamix blender, you might want to consider a new plastic pitcher to replace the one that was made with bpa plastic - it also comes with a new lid that stays on so your hand doesn't have to rest on top when you blend. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ FUN THINGS TO READ

• What are pea shoots? (They're in my recipe below) Well Mister Peter Burke can tell you about soil sprouting and how to grow them yourself! He's the man!

Matt has been updating the website: - althought this is tax week so bear with us... I updated the how-to use our nut milk bags pages: - how to make nut milk - nut mash recipes - how to juice - pros/cons of using hemp vs nylon filtering bags - care and use instructions The recipe page is up but doesn't yet look pretty so you'll just get a teaser on that one! :-p Also the sprout page will be updated SOON, when I come back from my little vacation... Please check out our Facebook page: - Become a fan and check out photos, events and notes. MM-kay? Also, check out the blog. It's pretty again!


AND NOW FOR THAT RECIPE So yesterday, I got a facebook message that someone wanted a heavy duty green smoothie. She wanted greens because I think she waas feeling under the weather. So this is what I made her (and Matt and myself.)

So Green it's Black Smoothie • 1 huge bunch pea shoots (check out link above to grow your own) • 2 bananas - very ripe • 3 shots wheat grass juice • 2 small pears • 1 rounded cup red raspberries • 1 rounded tsp VitaMineral Green (tons of greens, minerals, enzymes, probiotics) • 1 rounded tsp Spirulina (she said she wanted protein) • filtered water • 1 tsp agave (optional) In the VitaMix, place ingredients in the pitcher (you may have to pack the greens down) and fill with enough filtered water to fill to the 6 or 7 cup line. Blend for about 30 seconds or until everything looks to be very well blended. This will fill up almost the whole pitcher. Pour into your favorite glasses and enjoy! The red raspberries and the green greens make the smoothie turn very very dark in color. So it's not the prettiest smoothie ever but it's hella delicious and nutritious! TIP: Chew your drink and drink your food! Remember that digestion starts in the mouth and even though you are drinking, practice "chewing" your smoothie. Enjoy!


Have a great week and Please contact me for information or other raw goodies (both bulk and prepared.) in joy and in health, Linda Vermont Fiddle Heads 18 Worcester Village Road Worcester, VT 05682 802-223-2111 802-408-1000 (fax) P.S. Keep checking back on the shop. Adding products as we speak! P.P.S. Need some bulk food items? Or great reading/educational material? Hella awesome skincare products? We've got: Healing Cancer from the Inside Out DVD, Pacifica Perfume, Candles and Lotions, WiseWays Herbals, Sea Chi skincare, The China Study book, Joel Fuhrman books and audio, heavy duty dehydrators, new products by Health Force Nutritionals, really raw oats, raw nori sheets, chia seeds, turkish mulberries, dandy blend (a dandelion coffee substitute), wasabi powder, kelp noodles, dandelion leek miso by south river, garlic red pepper miso by south river, Eating for Beauty by David Wolfe, Naked Chocolate by David Wolfe and Shazzie, Sun Warrior Biofermented Rice Protein powder (in natural and chocolate flavors), marine phytoplankton, lucuma powder, yacon slices, really raw cashews, artisana coconut butter and goji berries. Please contact me if you are interested in getting any of these items. With everything we sell, items can be picked up or I can mail them to you.
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blenders and food processors - which are the best?

I got an email asking me my opinion for blenders and food processors. This comes up quite a lot so I thought I'd just post it here and I'll put on the blog as well... Why not, right? ++++++++++++++++++ The question was: Also, I'm looking to get a new blender and food processor. Can you please recommend a brand, and tell me what you like about it? I'm asking around so that I can make an informed decision... ++++++++++++++++++ My response: The only blender to get is the VitaMix in my opinion. It's an expensive appliance but well worth saving your pennies for. I sell the 4500, the basic model. ( I haven't yet seen a need to go up in price to their higher models. I've been using my VitaMix 4500 since 2001 and I use it every day - two-three times per day. The VitaMix does everything from making soups, nut milks, juices, masticating greens, blending creamy dressings/sauces/puddings, to making ice cream and grinding seeds into flour/meal. There's also a K-Tec/Blend-Tec and I've only heard 1 good recommendation on that blender in the many years I've been doing this. Most of the other things I've heard about the K-Tec makes me not want to ever get/use the thing. Waring is supposedly another good blender but I have no idea if it masticates greens like the VitaMix does - I'm not at all sure if it's in the same league as the VitaMix. Whatever blender you get, you'll probably be wanting to get one that has a high-powered motor to do the above-mentioned tasks. VitaMix also has a great plunging tool that comes with each blender to help push down ingredients when blending things that don't have a lot of water in them... With regards to the food processor, you just want one that works. I use Hamilton Beach because it's cheap and for me it works better and has lasted longer than others I've tried. I've tried kitchenaide, black and decker, cuisanart, hamilton beach and a few others that don't readily come to mind. The recommendations I've gotten over the years about food processors is that it really doesn't matter too much because the motors will burn on all of these whether you spend $150 on them or $50 on them. I'm afraid to say that this is the truth. I haven't seen any major difference in the food processors and I'm not about to buy a super high-end model for what I do. We've also been known to go to salvation armies/goodwills to get replacement parts for food processors that are no longer made which have broken. Replacement parts are always easy to get from the above-mentioned manufacturers, too. If you go with the Hamilton Beach, get the "big mouth" model since it doesn't have the dual function of shredding out the side that the smaller models do. This is a design flaw in the lower-end food processors, in my opinion, and I hate that feature. I have a small food processor that is a 1-2 cup jobbie that my husband got at goodwill. We've had that one for over 11 years now and like I wrote, we got replacement parts at other goodwills - that one is an OSKAR and it's good but it's not made anymore. I use that small processor for puddings and mixtures that don't have a lot of ingredients. Otherwise, I use the 14-cup big mouth food processor from Hamilton Beach. This last food processor that I got is about 2 years old and still working great. If you find anything in your own research, please let me know as I'm always interested in getting that information and using the best that's out there for the job at hand. Thanks and take good care, Linda
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newsletter dated 3/5/09 - March comes in like a lion and goes out like mud... plus new dehydrators, books, workshops and more

Greetings good people! Happy March! I don't know what March is like for you but it's the most intense month here in VT. Usually by March, people are pretty antsy for the snow and cold to end. We get more bright sunny days which further make us wait with anticipation warmer temperatures. And then things turn to mud so we'll get mud season soon and then it will be black fly time, etc. VTers are cute to have celebrations for such things. The seasons are serious business here! :-) Today I'm working on sorting out the archived recipes so be on the look out to more easily look up the recipes on my site. We are also adding more products as well. Please be sure to check the new products page regularly as we are trying like the dickens to get things up: - (As per usual, I have way more products in house than what is listed on the website. We are working to make the two more synchronous.) We also made deliveries to Hunger Mountain and Sweet Clover TODAY so please get your raw treats while the gettin is good! I'll be making a delivery to Healthy Living on Monday. Please check out our Facebook page! Become a fan and check out photos, events and notes. MM-kay? ++++++++++++++++++++++++++
++++++++++++++++++ RAW FOOD HAPS THIS WEEK AND BEYOND • Tuesday, March 10th from 5:30 - 7:30 - Healing Cancer From Inside Out, Part Two. This is part two of an award-winning two-hour film (part one shown previously). Part 2, Healing Cancer, shows how cancer can be successfully healed with dietary treatments and natural supplementation. It explains common misconceptions about cancer, shows how diets designed to fight cancer are more successful than conventional treatments, discusses startling cancer research findings with T. Colin Campbell (The China Study) and has interviews with people who have reversed cancers using diet. It also discusses supplementation and why attitude is important in reversing not only cancer, but any disease.We'll have some raw treats to eat while we watch this important film. Please pre-register with Krystal or Robin at or call them at 802-223-8004 x 204. Cost is $5 for members and $7 for non-members. I'm going to be serving green smoothies to drink while we watch Part 2. • Raw food deliveries have been made to Hunger Mountain Coop, Sweet Clover Market today and will be made to Healthy Living this coming Monday. So get your VT Fiddle Head raw food goodies while the gettin' is good. • Different varieties of my raw food has been a part of the local food order since January. This is a local group so if you are in the Montpelier area and are interested in local food, herbal remedies and crafts, please check with Montpelier Commonshare to be a part of this wonderful group. I'm having fun with some MYSTERY BOXES! Yes, i do mystery boxes - didn't you know? I LOVE them. Ask me how to get a box for yourself! • Tuesday, March 24th from 6:30 - 7:30 - Raw Food Quiche Workshop. Several of you have asked for it, so here it is. Join me for a fun hour as we learn how to make a delicious live food quiche which can be eaten any time of the day. Please pre-register with Krystal or Robin at or call them at 802-223-8004 x 204. Cost is $10 for members and $12 for non-members. • Fiddle Heads House Kim Chi is available and is delicious - made with local & organic: cabbages, turnips, shallots, leeks, carrots, radishes, garlic, fresh ginger and lots of love. This is hella good kim chi and it's pretty too - it's pink! (which is why it is the house blend) Comes in quart sizes and larger. $9.00/quart. Please contact me if you are interested in getting some. I'm also taking orders for Dill and Caraway Sauerkraut. This takes a month to make but worth the wait! Here's what someone has recently said about my kim chi: "Just so you know, I have been trying the different kim-chi month by month and by far prefer yours, so I am already ordering some! And yes, it is pretty - that is red cabbage, yes? As opposed to beets?" Thank you! And no, no beets were harmed in the making of this kim chi! hahaha (see the other great feedback on the kim chi ABOVE!) go on, read it again. It'll make you smile like it does me! :-) • gRAWnola available and is delicious - made with all organic ingredients: apples, hazelnuts, sprouted buckwheat, soaked pumpkin seeds, dates, cranberries, dry coconut, agave, vanilla, cinnamon, lemon juice, and Celtic sea salt. Can purchase in 8 oz and 1 lb bags. Please contact me if you are interested in getting some. • savory dill & fennel sauerkraut crackers available and are delicious - made with all organic ingredients: golden flax seeds and local cabbage turned into sauerkraut, dill seeds, fennel seeds, celery seeds, Celtic sea salt. Can purchase in 4 and 8 oz bags. Please contact me if you are interested in getting some. • our downloadable recipe book: over 70 smoothie, juices and soup recipes: - I've already started another in the series. Be on the look out for the breakfast recipes e-book! • NEW IN STOCK: Books and audio books by Dr. Joel Furhman as well as heavy duty 9-tray dehydrators in white. I have been reading up on Dr. Furhman's work and while he doesn't advocate 100% raw, he's a BIG proponent of majority raw food and vegan food. I am really liking what he has to say and it is helping me to really understand my own eating patterns better. My friend Gina gave me his book to read and I instantly felt a big YES about it so I am now going to carry some of his products. I also have some heavy-duty 9 tray dehydrators for sale as well as the kind that we have been used to. I always think it's good to have some options! Please contact me if you are interested in getting any of these items. With everything we sell, items can be picked up or I can mail them to you. ALSO IN STOCK: Fruits of the Earth superfood powder, Maca Force Vanilla Spice, really raw oats, raw nori sheets, chia seeds, turkish mulberries, dandy blend, wasabi powder, kelp noodles, dandelion leek miso by south river, garlic red pepper miso by south river, Eating for Beauty by David Wolfe, Naked Chocolate by David Wolfe and Shazzie, Sun Warrior Biofermented Rice Protein powder (in natural and chocolate flavors), marine phytoplankton, lucuma powder, yacon slices, really raw cashews, artisana coconut butter, tibetan goji berries and Vitamix pitcher replacements. If you have an old vitamix blender, you might want to consider a new plastic pitcher to replace the one that was made with bpa plastic - it also comes with a new lid that stays on so your hand doesn't have to rest on top when you blend. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ INTERESTING THINGS TO READ • - "A new report released by the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurement reveals that Americans' exposure to radiation has increased more than 600 percent over the last three decades. Most of that increase has come from patients' exposure to radiation through medical imaging scans such as CT scans and mammograms." (click on the link to read more.) • - "Alice Waters and Obama's 'Kitchen' Cabinet" (thanks Pat for sending fun stuff to read! ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ AND NOW FOR THAT RECIPE My breakfast So it's March and it feels like I want some oranges. Who knows, maybe the orange color makes me think I'm getting some sunshine somehow. YAY for sunshiney oranges! 1 head romaine 1 orange 1 cup blueberries 1 cup strawberries 2 Tbsp chia seeds lots of filtered water Blend with lots of filtered water. This fills the whole pitcher. Matt and I each had a quart of smoothie which is filling and DEEE-I-LICIOUS! Feel free to substitute your favorite greens in place of the romaine. Feel free to add a stalk of celery to the mix. YUM! I'm going to do that for lunch! :-) For many people new to green smoothies, using romaine gets them used to the "green taste." Remember that having smoothies gives you wonderful FIBER! Yay for FIBER! Hint for parents: Give a green smoothie to your kids to sneak in more greens. My daughter grows tired of having to have salads all the time. So I make her fruit and green leafie smoothies and she's very happy. She's also drinking WAY more greens than she could eat. ____________________ My lunch 1 head red leaf lettuce 2 stalks celery 1 1/2 cups strawberries 1 orange drizzle agave filtered water Blend with lots of filtered water. This again filled the pitcher. I am using the greens that I have in the fridge however I want you to remember to rotate the kinds of greens you have. I'm basically filling up on these and having small portions of other things that are not as power packed with fiber, water, vitamins and minerals. Believe me, you can really fill up on these smoothies! I'm totally loving having oranges with my greens. YUM YUM! ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Have a great week and please contact me for information or other raw goodies (both bulk and prepared.) in joy and in health, Linda Vermont Fiddle Heads 18 Worcester Village Road Worcester, VT 05682 802-223-2111 802-408-1000 (fax)
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