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this week's Q & A on cancer

this question wasn't directed to me personally but to a whole group of people. I did respond to it and wanted to post it here. I'm hoping it is helpful to the questioner and potentially to others as well... QUESTION: Anyone know of any good resources for supplements/herbal medicines/foods/anything else that can support you while you're taking chemo? My aunt has just been diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma of the lymph nodes and starts chemo next week. ANSWER: Hi there, This is an interesting email for me to see personally and I'm going to speak candidly here from my experience and what I would do if I was in your aunt's shoes and then in your shoes. My journey to food, health etc began when I watched my mother have cancer, be on chemotherapy, radiation and not yet FDA approved drugs also while watching my neighbor and who I considered to be a "surrogate second dad" on the end stages of diabetes simultaneously. To answer your question below, I'd recommend herbs that support the liver first and foremost, however, being on chemotherapy is literally taking poison in one pill and then taking other drugs to make sure that vital organs don't shut down so that the poison can do its thing. So adding herbs to the mix will take a lot more care and planning so that they really support and don't complicate matters. Since this is in the lymph system, more care needs to be directed to draining/caring/supporting the immune system and the lymph. I'd actually recommend having her get a "scholarship" and going to Hippocrates in Florida for their healing program but if she doesn't want to, she can do many things to support and care for herself. I recently met a woman who refused chemotherapy - she's a fellow "jersey girl" who now lives in VT if your aunt wants to interview her. Her doctor gave her 3 months to live and told her to take chemotherapy. She refused. She did have surgery though and she supported herself with herbs and food and other modalities. She used things like essiac tea for the liver and still takes it and swears by it to this day. That was 15 years ago for her. I love her story. If your aunt wants, I can connect her to you. Her doctor who had threatened to refuse to be her doctor because she refused treatment then asked her to go "on the road" with him to universities to show how alternative treatments can be more than complimentary. I also am friends with a woman who, on her 2nd bout of breast cancer and while on radiation went on raw/living food. Her oncologist told her that fresh fruits and vegetables were bad for her while on radiation. She not only made it through 30+ days of radiation and still was able to function and work (and felt good which is something people say is not possible while on radiation - even her oncologist was floored), she has continued on over 6 years now in a healthy body. She says her body is alkaline now and no disease can enter because her inner environment is no longer conducive for disease to thrive. I can connect you to her as well. Her story is also amazing because she did the mainstream modalities along with her own and has succeeded (and then some!) She's in her 50s and has more energy than me! Other than that, I'd recommend greens superfoods for the supplement question - something like VitaMineral green or Pure Synergy (although Pure Synergy has potent herbs in it.) I'd recommend eating fermented miso and eating seaweeds to help pull the junk out of the body. I'd recommend green juices/smoothies to be on the top choices for food support and HEALTH. Not eating sugar, meat, dairy, stimulants or refined anything would be top on the list too. Meat/dairy acts as a fertilizer for disease, illness, obesity, heart disease, etc (please refer to "The China Study" for the longest, largest and only peer reviewed nutritional study out there.) Sugar and refined foods and processed foods also feed/fuel cancer cells (and other illnesses, too.) It's something like 1 TBSP sugar shuts down the immune system for 2 hours so if you ever want to know where your cold or flu came from, check your diet first... Cultured veggies are good but in a cancer environment, it's recommended to keep the cultured veggies simple (only fermented cabbage or only fermented radishes but not mixing them into a kim chee type thing.) Diet would have to change. People can say that that is too hard for them but for me, cutting me open or giving me pills with horrific side effects is too hard for me. My head/heart tells me I'll do a green juice fast first and feel uncomfortable in the short term because it is the least invasive thing that might/would produce long term benefit. It's also the cheapest medication/treatment/prevention, out there. A wise elderly woman recently stated at a showing we did of Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead that she always thought organic food was too expensive until she went to the hospital and got a $10,000 bill - she said, "suddenly organic food seemed cheap to me!" It's all about choices and priorities and more choices. :-) If this were me, I'd do this first before invasive and potentially devastating "therapies" like chemotherapy. (I had always said that I would eat raw/living foods if I ever got cancer and wondered why I would wait until a major illness set in to begin. So I began my living foods journey 10 years ago... We all have cancer cells in us so why wait until we've fertilized and flourished them to then decide to change and have that change be that much harder? Saying this, though, whenever the change is made is ultimately the right time to make it.) All this being said, whatever you aunt chooses to do is *her* choice and the best thing for you and her family to do is to fully support her in whatever she chooses to do. Your loving email and concern for her is just lovely to see and I wish you all the best in this journey. It was difficult for me to watch my mother's "buy in" on western medicine only. I watched my conservative brothers and I try to get her to juice and try things like shark cartilage (we never were raised on this, although we were raised on food from scratch and local foods.) I was impressed to see my one brother do research for her on complimentary medicine. He actually pointed me in that direction, bless him. My mother's full trust was in western medicine only. She could swallow the horse chemotherapy pills but choked and gagged on supplements, vitamins and juices. I'm saying this because a person's openness and beliefs plays a big important role here. My mother, it turned out, was resigned to die and she picked out the dress she was going to be buried in from the moment she was diagnosed. That was her choice and when we finally let her be in her choice, the journey for her was a lot more graceful and honoring. I obviously don't know you or your aunt. I don't know what her wishes are or her openness or willingness to try other things and it's not in anyone's best interest to push things on her that she doesn't want. It's not easy (and I speak from much experience here) to offer things to family/friends as alternatives and then just let them be to do whatever they choose to do. I'm doing this with my family all the time and I'm not always successful in the letting them be part. If your aunt wants this, she will find it for herself, and then you can help her in whatever ways it aligns with you the best. I hope this helps. I'm here to help and not harm. I always realize that my lifestyle can be "threatening" to a good many people and I email/speak from the place of my heart and my own experiences. Everyone is free to do what they want. Free will. With any and all recommendations that I write here, they are best made when the person needing the information does their own research and makes their own decisions. That's better than taking what I or others say as the be all and end all of everything. I wouldn't want anyone to do exactly what I say. Your aunt's situation is specific to her and her body and she needs to find out what will work best for her. My best to you, Linda
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cinnamon bun recipe by request

I received a request for some cinnamon bun recipes. I found two online that look very interesting so I'm adding them here. Please try them and tell me what you think. Which turns out to be your favorite? I should say that I haven't tried either of these recipes and so I am not adding much of anything or changing them. I've got the links to where I obtained the recipes. If I ever get a free moment to make these, I'll post on what I did, etc. :-) ++++++++++

Raw Cinnamon Buns


  • 5 medjool dates
  • 1/4 C Water
  • 1 C Ground Flax
  • 1 1/4 C Almond Flour (use almond mash leftover from making nut milk)
  • 1 C Spelt Flakes (use raw oats if you can't find these)
  • 1 C Chopped Pecans (chopped fine)
  • 2 t. Cinnamon
  • 3 T. Olive Oil (use coconut oil)
  • 1/4 C Agave
  • 1 C Water

Soak dates. Blend with 1/4 C water to make a smooth date paste. Set aside.

Combine flax, almond flour (I use the dehydrated almond pulp left over from making almond milk), finely chopped pecans, and Spelt flakes. In a separate bowl, combine date paste, olive oil, 1/4 C agave and 1 C water. Mix wet ingredients into dry. Spread in a rectangle on a non-stick dehydrator sheet. You want this to be a little less than 1/2 inch thick. Dehydrate at 145 for 30 minutes. Flip onto screen, peel off dehydrator sheet and dehydrate at 115 for another 20 minutes. While the bun is dehydrating, you will want to prepare the filling.


Soak Almonds and Cashews for at least 3 hours to soften. Place in vitamix blender with remaining ingredients except raisins, process until smooth. Stir in raisins.


Place “bun” on parchment paper. Spread filling on bun. You can spread to the edges on the long sides but leave an inch or two on the short sides. Gently roll up the roll. Slice and top with icing. Makes 12.


  • 1 C Raw Cashew Butter
  • 3 T Maple Syrup (not raw)
  • 1 t. Cinnamon
  • 3-4 T Water

Mix all ingredients except water. Add water 1 T at a time to desired consistency.

++++++++++ Raw Gooey Cinnamon Buns by Anne Marie Gianni (if you click on her name, you'll be taken to her recipe) Ingredients: 1 1/4 cup almond meal 1 cup ground flax seed 1 1/4 cup soft pitted dates 1/4 cup water or more if needed 1/4 cup softened coconut oil 1/4 cup raisins 1/4 cup chopped pecans 2 tablespoon cinnamon 1 tablespoon coconut butter 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 pinch sea salt Preparation: Fold the almond meal, ground flax seed, 1 Tbsp. cinnamon, pinch sea salt, and pinch of vanilla in a bowl. Set aside. Process dates, 1/2 of the raisins, water and vanilla into a paste in a food processor. Then remove half of that paste mixture and add it to the dry ingredients, along with the coconut oil. Mix these ingredients with your hands until it forms a dough. You may need to add a little water or oil if it is too dry. Spread the dough out on a piece of parchment paper, and shape it into a 1/4-inch thick rectangle. Take the rest of the date paste left in your food processor add the remaining raisins, 1 Tbsp. of cinnamon and coconut butter. Process until smooth. Then, spread a thin layer of the paste onto the dough. Using the parchment paper to help hold everything together, carefully roll the dough into a log. Chill in the refrigerator, and then slice into about 1-inch thick rounds. These cinnamon rolls can be eaten right away or warmed in a dehydrator. Optional: Cashew Whipped Cream By Nomi Shannon 1 cup cashews, soaked at least 2 hours 4 dates – soaked at least 2 hours vanilla bean water (enough to yield a light fluffy mixture) Blend in the vitamix blender and drizzle over the top of the cinnamon buns.
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homemade moisturizer recipe

Howdy! I received a question about a moisturizer so here's one that I'm posting from a blog I found a while ago. If you make it, let me know how it turns out for you. Good luck and HAVE FUN! xoxo, Linda +++++++++++ Handmade Body Moisturizer Recipe Like fresh food, this will go bad after a certain period of time. If you don't think you'll use it within three months, store it in the refrigerator. Makes approximately 2 cups 1 cup filtered water, cold brewed tea, orange blossom water, or rose water 3/4 cup oil such as olive, almond, unrefined coconut, or avocado 3 tablespoons grated beeswax Optional: a few drops of essential oil of your choice, for fragrance 1. Set up a blender and pour in the water. Prepare clean, dry glass jars for packaging and have them nearby. 2. Put the oil and the beeswax in a Pyrex measuring cup. Place the cup in a pan or small pot and pour in water to reach about halfway up the cup. Bring the water to a gentle boil, and heat the oil and beeswax until the beeswax melts. You'll know when the wax is melted because you won't see it anymore. As soon as the wax is melted, remove the cup from the water and let the oil cool for 2 minutes. 3. Turn on the blender and start blending the water at medium speed. Remove the stopper in the blender lid so you can pour the oil through the top while blending. Slowly pour in the oil and the mixture will begin to emulsify. If there is still some water on the surface, turn up the blender and blend the mixture 30 seconds to a minute longer. If you're using essential oil, blend it in now. 4. With a clean rubber spatula, transfer the cream to the glass jars. Cover the jars with cheesecloth for an hour, or until they've reached room temperature. Placing the lid on the jar when this is warm will cause condensation to form under the lid, which will water down the lotion and form bacteria. When the lotion is cool, screw on the jar lids. Store at room temperature for up to 3 months, or in the refrigerator for 6 months.
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this week's ASK LINDA: top 10 foods

Great question this week: What are your 10 top foods in YOUR diet? Answer: This is a very fun question in that it helps me to reflect on what I love to eat each day plus it helps me to notice where I've come from and where I'm headed. Here's the list in the order of importance as it is to me presently. Please note that this list will probably change as I do. This list also is very different than the list of my top 10 must haves when I first started on this raw/living food journey. For example, raw nuts and flax seeds would have been first on the list in the beginning along with avocados. Raw nuts and seeds are #10 now and I almost didn't even include them although there are some good ones that I like to eat each day. The myth that people have (I think because I used to have it) is that you have to eat lots of nuts/seeds to survive and thrive as a raw vegan and that's not true. In fact, I think it's the sure fire way to get yourself fat and unhealthy if you kept eating lots of nuts/seeds each day. The myth is also that you have to find a way to exchange all that animal protein you once ate with vegan protein alternatives and while that is probably true in the beginning, it's not the way you'll be eating 10+ years from now for sure. 1) Greens, greens and more greens. This means green sprouts, kale, collards, spinach, lettuce leaves, wild greens (in the spring and summer), chard, etc. Anything green so this also means broccoli, celery, cucumber, too, to name a few. For me now, a meal doesn't feel like a meal unless I have greens in it. I have greens with every meal. The idea is to vary your greens each day, each week but if you can't then use a rotation of every week or two to incorporate different greens in your diet. Remember: variety is the spice of life and that includes greens! Eating loads of greens is what has helped me release around 50 lbs and got me back to walking/exercising after 7 years of pain and inflammation. I eat a LOT of greens. The entire plate at dinner is packed with greens and then I add other things on top of it. I'm serious when I say that if I eat something that doesn't include greens, it's not a meal to me - it is considered a snack. :-) 2) Seaweeds. Otherwise known as sea vegetables. This includes: irish moss, spirulina, blue green algae, dulse, nori, kelp, kelp noodles, kombu, alaria, arame, hijiki, wakame, sea lettuce, VM Green, etc. One or two meals per day contain some form of seaweed. I make crunchy, delicious nori snacks, I have blue green algae and other seaweeds in my morning smoothie, I make desserts with irish moss, I'll add dulse to meals, and so on. I don't do a lot of seaweeds but I do include a little bit of them each day. Seaweeds help my thyroid, help to get the junk out of my body, helps to give me iodine and other minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium and other good stuff (including Vit C and Vit K!) 3) Cultured Veggies/Fermented Foods: The list contains: kombucha, coconut kefir water, kefir puddings/yogurts (non-dairy), miso, sauer krauts and kim chis. (I'd add tempeh to the list but they are all pasteurized unless you make them yourself. Same for miso. Best thing to do is MAKE YOUR OWN CULTURED VEGGIES AND FERMENTED FOODS!) My morning smoothie contains some kind of fermented drink: when I make/have coconut kefir water, I use that in my smoothie each morning. If I don't have that, I use a bit of kombucha in my smoothie. I have some kind of cultured veggies in my meals each day. Lunch and dinner will have some kim chi in it. I learned how to make kim chi a few years ago and have been so overjoyed to make so much of it that I now sell it and use it in my cafe. Cultured veggies help to give me not only probiotics for healthy gut flora, but also to provide me with a slew of B and C vitamins and other things to help me digest all my food well. Each meal must have some natural probiotic food in it for me to call it a meal. 4) Fruits. Fruits are the cleansers and greens are the healers. That's what I learned and while I'm much more inclined to eat more greens than fruits, fruits are so freaking delicious, beautiful to eat and definitely part of the top 5 list. My smoothie contains fresh and frozen fruit each day. I can't tell you how amazing a big, crisp, crunchy apple tastes or a perfectly ripened pear. Gorgeous mangos and avocados and dates are proof that there is divinity in and all around us. I love dried fruits, too, but tend not to have a lot of them in a day or week. Fresh ripened fruits are where it's at. 5) Water Though technically not a food, it has to be in the top 5 for me. When I first started eating raw foods around 10 years ago, I noticed that I didn't need to drink my gallon or so of water each day because so much of the food I was eating was so hydrating. It was actually difficult for me to drink water because I wasn't ever thirsty (amazing to note because when I was eating my local/organic/cooked/whole foods about 10+years ago, I was always SOOOO thirsty.) I drink now at least 64 ounces of water a day plus my smoothie in the morning is 32 ounces and I use water in my smoothie vs. other types of liquid. I drink more water when I am exercising more. We have great water here but if you don't, it would be good to invest in a good water filter. 6) Bee Pollen & Coconut Oil: I add bee pollen to my morning smoothie each day. It is a perfect food, an excellent traveling food and so super nutritious. I'm grateful to the bees for attracting the stuff to their legs and bodies and for the safe way to get it off them so we can have some to eat. I found that when I ate bee pollen by itself, it is rather intense nutrition. I think that that's why it makes great travel food. A tablespoon eaten a day is a great pick me up. When I add it to my smoothie, it feels like I'm taking a multi-vitamin. Coconut oil is something that I find myself eating a little bit each day of, too. I take about 1 TBSP and add to my morning smoothie. Fats help to make things taste better and typically it's good to have fats from their whole foods vs. eating refined fats (meaning fats pressed out of the whole foods.) Coconut oil is a pressed oil so it is not a whole food fat as a nut, olive or avocado would be and yet I eat it and love it just about every day. Coconut oil helps me feed my brain and I also use it as a moisturizer every day to feed my skin both internally and externally. When I make a smoothie and forget the coconut oil, I can taste the difference. The smoothie goes from being good to f*ing incredible. (Pardon my language but it really does make a difference.) P.S. I should say that I love young coconuts: I love the water and the meat from them, however I don't live in a place where they are readily available to so I eat the coconut oil until I am able to get fresh (so I can make coconut kefir pudding and water. YUM!) 7) Green, Veggie Rainbow Juices. I am being honest when I say that I go in and out of the habit of making juices each and every day. When I am doing great, I am having a big satisfying smoothie in the morning and a juice in the afternoon. Of course the juice has a boat load of greens in it, a beet, a couple carrots and some ginger. Green & veggie juices are so nutritious. Whenever I drink them, I feel as if I have just had instant nutrition into my brain, body and blood stream. I don't think it could get any better unless I could some how have the green juices go in intraveniously! LOL Why do I get out of the habit? I don't know, to tell you the truth. I love my "rainbow" juices and yet I love smoothies more. I'm more apt to make an afternoon smoothie to drink than a juice. I'm working on it though. I want to have at least one 12-16 juice per day as my life long habit... and then I'll go from there. I can tell you that when I have one juice per day, I'm feeling so vital so it makes my top 10 list even if I might go a week or two without a juice. 8) Cooked Grains/Beans. About 3 or so years ago, I started incorporating some cooked grains and beans back into my diet and it was a super great inclusion to make. My meals became much more varied and satisfying. I was able to drop nuts/seeds from my dinner and that felt very good for weight maintenance. For those that are worried about the protein myths that abound in US culture, eating cooked (or sprouted) grains and cooked beans are jam-packed with protein. They also have good fiber in them and thus a little goes a long way to filling you up. I started adding 1/2 - 1 cup cooked grains in my dinner (wild rice, brown rice, quinoa, etc.) and 1/2 cup of cooked beans (black beans, chick peas, cannelini beans, hummus, etc.) I don't eat anything cooked before dinner. Right now that's what works for me. There are some nights when I eat all raw but I enjoy having a choice of adding some cooked things. Plus this also ensures that my kids and I will eat the same things at the dinner table and I don't have to make meals just for myself and meals just for them. I never imagined them being 100% raw, particularly as they are growing. 9) Cooked Veggies. There are a few vegetables that I enjoy and so I eat them. This includes sweet potatoes and broccoli and other potatoes too. I know how to make raw versions of everything cooked so I will marinate veggies to resemble a stir-fry and it is satisfying and delicious. However, I do NOT enjoy eating lots of raw broccoli, sweet potatoes or regular potatoes (and same goes for squash like butternut squash or acorn squash.) I don't mind a few nibbles of raw broccoli or raw sweet potato but I don't like a meal of them. I've tried many ways of doing them and it just doesn't suit my taste buds. SO, I will cook the broccoli and add it to my greens on the plate. I will bake a sweet potato and add it to my greens on the plate. I will bake some squash and other root veggies for a change and add it to my plate piled high with greens. These things don't make up the majority of my meal. Remember, my meal is mostly greens and a little of these added things go along way. I also don't do a cooked grain with a cooked root veggie together in the same meal. That's something I learned from Dr Fuhrman and it works for me. One 1/2 cup to 1 cup serving of a grain —OR— a cooked root veggie a day. Notice I didn't say in a meal! :-) Grains and cooked roots don't make up the majority of my daily intake. They are small sides to ONE meal and for me, that's dinner. 10) Nuts and Seeds. Like I wrote above, I almost didn't include nuts/seeds to the top 10 list however there are some seeds that I love to eat every day. The love list is hemp seeds and chia seeds. I will have 1 TBSP of either hemp seeds or chia seeds each day because they provide for me the omega fatty acids that are sooooo key for a woman my age. They are essential for everyone (hence the name: essential fatty acids!) I also include 1 tbsp of nut butter in my morning smoothie, particularly in the winter time. I make a lot of items in the cafe that have nuts/seeds in them. They are fun to make and they are very versatile. Nuts give texture and flavor to foods and they are brilliant and beautiful. Cashews contain Vit E, walnuts are good for the brain, almonds give you good magnesium, to name a few. So nuts/seeds are good to eat, but eat them sparingly. Make yourself a grand nut pate, dessert and share it with others or freeze into small portions to eat later.
p.s. here's what chia seeds look like!
So, that's the top 10 list. It will be fun to look at this list in a coupla years and see how it has changed/grown. Thanks for the question! I love questions that make me think. <3 <3 <3 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Ask Linda! Please feel free to submit your questions to linda AT Questions don’t have to be completely raw food related but please bring questions on health, recipes, diet, weight issues, nutrition, parenting, nursing, pregnancy, spirituality or whatever it is you’d like to ask. I’ll do my best to answer and will most certainly learn from this as much as I can give.
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ASK LINDA: a question about soaking almonds

QUESTION: Hi Linda, I just discovered a bowl of almonds I was sprouting on my counter has mold on them. I soaked them starting Friday night, drained them Saturday night and put a towel over them until tonight (Sunday night) to put them in the dehydrator but they are moldy! Should I throw them out? What did I do wrong? Thanks, P. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ANSWER: Hi there P.! You should soak almonds for about 8 hours, drain/rinse and then fill up with water again and stick in your fridge until you are ready to use them - they'll last 5 days this way but you'll want to drain/rinse/fill with fresh water each day. When you are ready to use the almonds, you'll want to drain/rinse the almonds one last time. OR you could soak them for 8 hours and then rinse, then put them in a bag in your freezer until you are ready to use. It's not as ideal but it's a great way to have soaked nuts ready for use whenever you are ready to use them! It sounds like the conditions were right to start some bacteria to grow on them. I wouldn't use them, I'm sorry to say and that's a bummer. Sounds like you have a warm kitchen! :-) Take care and hope that helps, Linda +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Ask Linda! Please feel free to submit your questions to linda AT Questions don’t have to be completely raw food related but please bring questions on health, recipes, diet, weight issues, nutrition, parenting, nursing, pregnancy, spirituality or whatever it is you’d like to ask. I’ll do my best to answer and will most certainly learn from this as much as I can give.
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ASK LINDA - a question about Vitamix

Question: what vitamix model should I buy? — S. Answer: Thanks for your question! I want to start by saying that I've been using my VitaMix blender since 2001 and I still have the same one I bought back then. It works great. I've been using the 4500 from day one and thought for sure that this would be the only model for me. It has an on/off switch and a high/low switch. It's a powerful blender and it blends everything like a dream. You just turn the machine on and its 2+ horse power blends anything and everything super fast and creamy. I haven't had any problems grinding grains/nuts/seeds with it, nor with making juices, smoothies, soups, pates, spreads, ice creams, puddings, and everything else in between. For me, the 4500 was going to be my one and only blender that I was going to carry.
I've just recently tried the VitaMix Turboblend VS, the one with the variable speed. I received this as a gift for submitting some of my recipes to VitaMix for their new recipe book. I received the blender in December so it's a new experience for me to use the variable speed. Because of that, I'd say it was a little difficult for me to get used to in the beginning. I think because I was so used to the 4500, I saw the variable speed initially as adding another step to the process and I wasn't quite "getting" the real use for it. Now that's it's been a coupla months since using the variable speed, I can say honestly that I do enjoy using it daily. I think it does an even better job of grinding nuts/seeds/grains. I think it makes quicker work of making creamy dips and spreads. It's less messy (and therefore easier/faster to clean) to use the VS when blending smoothies because the ingredients don't go shooting up to the top of the lid like in the 4500. I also think that it means not needing to use the tamper tool as much. So, I now love both the 4500 and the VS. I have never tried the 5200 but just from looking at it and reading it, it says that people should use the 5200 if they DON'T plan to grind their own grains. (Why on earth would you not grind your own grains?!?!) :-) There's also a grippy black handle vs. the other blenders that just have regular plastic handles. I'm sure it's a great blender, but I DO enjoy having the versatility of grinding my own nuts/seeds/grains as well as making ice creams and soups, smoothies, juices, creams, dressings, pates, spreads, etc. So my recommendations would be to save your pennies and get yourself a VitaMix - it doesn't really matter which one as you'll love it as soon as you blend your first smoothie in it. Get the 4500 if you want the base model (which is a really kickass model) - you'll save about $50 between the 4500 and the next model up. The VS and 5200 cost $449.00 and it's definitely has it's perks to using that variable speed. I don't want to discourage anyone from trying it at all. I love both models now and I think it's just a matter of preference. Make up your mind based on your budget and needs. I will end by saying that for $50 additional (for the VS), you'll not only get the blender with the variable speed, but you'll receive one of our hemp 12 x 12 nut milk bags AND the amazing recipe BINDER that has really awesome recipes in it. (All raw vegan recipes) - I really think that's special. So many people ask me what to do and how to get started and this really is a great kit to get you started on eating more health-fully.
So that's that! Thanks for the questions! Please email me back and tell me what you end up getting. xoxo, Linda +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Ask Linda! Please feel free to submit your questions to linda AT Questions don’t have to be completely raw food related but please bring questions on health, recipes, diet, weight issues, nutrition, parenting, nursing, pregnancy, spirituality or whatever it is you’d like to ask. I’ll do my best to answer and will most certainly learn from this as much as I can give.
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this week's ASK LINDA - question about sprouting & rejuvelac

QUESTION: Linda, Can u tell me if it is ok to use the kefired soaking water from soaking seeds and grains and such? Do I keep reusing it adding fresh water each time or do I toss it with each batch? Thank you so much! I am looking into takin one of your workshops to get a better sense of all this sprouting ;) Warmly, T ANSWER: Hi there! To be honest, I’m very knew to the kefir world. I’ve just made my first batch of coconut kefir water and fermented coconut meat pudding. I don’t use dairy products so I’m not going to make any kefir creams. Kefir is a culture that is added to water and sometimes sugar/honey is mixed in to feed the kefir culture. Here is a link for kefir: If you are soaking grains for making rejuvelac, it is the fermented water that you use for making your cheeses or soups or smoothies. You sprout the grains for a few days and filter out the grains (remembering to catch the fermented water in a bowl) then add fresh water to the grains to make a second batch of rejuvelac. Let the water stand for a couple days to ferment and then use that soak water as the rejuvelac liquid. You can get a coupla batches from the grains. Here is a link for rejuvelac: - My friend Natasha has some good rejuvelac instructions in her book SimplyRaw Living Foods Detox Manual. You can pop in anytime and check it out. Typically though, as far as regular hydroponic sprouting is concerned, you always want to rinse grains/seeds/beans and not reuse the soak water. The only time I’ve ever used soak water is when I soak raisins or dates or sun dried tomatoes. But not for sprouts (unless it is rejuvelac!) If you are just sprouting grains or seeds to have them to eat, you would always rinse out the water and not keep them in the water for sprouting. We have a link on how to easily sprout with our nut milk bags: - the idea is to keep the water away from the sprouts so that they can grow their little tails. You want to rinse the sprouts so that they will be kept clean. The rinse water goes down the drain for this type of sprouting. Hope that helps! Happy sprouting! Linda +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Ask Linda! Please feel free to submit your questions to linda AT Questions don’t have to be completely raw food related but please bring questions on health, recipes, diet, weight issues, nutrition, parenting, nursing, pregnancy, spirituality or whatever it is you’d like to ask. I’ll do my best to answer and will most certainly learn from this as much as I can give.
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this week's ASK LINDA: where can I find those happy shakes ingredients?

Question: Where can I find Stacy's Happy Shake ingredients? Answer: Great question! I've put together a lil page on my website with Stacy's recipe plus ingredient listing so you have one stop shopping. Here's the link: If you are familiar with Stacy Stower's happy shake, then you've come to the right place. Here we have her recipe laid out and if you scroll down below, you can order the ingredients right here on the same page. The Happy Shake - serves 1 by Stacy Stowers 1. The BASE: 3-4 cups fresh spinach.....GREEN is Glorious! 1/2 cup liquid.....water, juice, nut milk. it's your choice... 1Tbsp coconut oil...good fat won't make you fat! This is essential for a healthy happy body, keeping you satisfied and metabolizing the spinach. 1Tbsp Hemp Seed....protein! This can be sprinkled in after blending if you prefer. 3 drops Marine Phytoplankton 2. The "HAPPY" Part: 1/2-1Tbsp Maca....for stamina, endurance, mental clarity and peak sexual performance for both men and women 1Tbsp Raw Cacao (Raw Chocolate) it's Raw state chocolate is actually a valuable potent super-food loaded with nutrients and neuro-peptides very similar to the ones our bodies create when we are in LOVE! 1Tbsp a super GREEN RAW powder....GREEN is highly alkalizing. This is crucial! Very important for weight management and longevity! 1 Tbsp bee pollen (can be sprinkled on top at the end.) I package and bring the "Happy" part on the road with me for my families. You can also get your super foods from my super friend Linda Wooliever at Meet Linda right here on Face Book!!! 3. Add your favorite frozen fruit......bananas, berries, mango, papaya. 4. BLEND!!!!!......this is the"sludge" Now go out and have the Best DAY Ever!!!! +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Ask Linda! Please feel free to submit your questions to linda AT Questions don’t have to be completely raw food related but please bring questions on health, recipes, diet, weight issues, nutrition, parenting, nursing, pregnancy, spirituality or whatever it is you’d like to ask. I’ll do my best to answer and will most certainly learn from this as much as I can give.
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ASK LINDA: can a food processor work for making nut milk?

This week’s question came to me just a day or two ago (and then today). I love the nut milk/filtering bag questions! This is a two-parter - please keep your eyes peeled! QUESTION: I cannot afford a VitaMix machine right now, and only have a food processor with blender attachment. Will this be enough to make decent quality nut milk? I know it wont be of a VitaMix quality, but am hoping for something decent...Thank you very much!!! —T ANSWER: Dear T: Yes, use whatever you have. You might have to blend a little longer with the blender/food processor that you have but it will make a kick arse milk! Try it and see for yourself! Please let me know how it goes for you. QUESTION AGAIN: Thank you so very much for responding so quickly. I really appreciate this a lot!! I do, however, have 2 additional questions for you. This is my first undertaking with making nut milk and am VERY excited about all that this will bring to my healthy lifestyle. Which Hemp nut milk bag would be the best for me, the angled one or the regular one? I am looking at probably the 9x12 size. Also, can nut milk pulp be frozen for later use? I really appreciate your help and am again very excited about finding your site. Thank you and have a wonderful day:-) —T ANSWER: Hi again T! I think you'll get more bang out of your buck by using the 9 x 12 rectangle. The v-shape is great to use. I'm thinking, though, that with more surface area of the rectangle, you'll be able to use the hemp bag for sprouting and other filtering uses. And YES! you can totally freeze the pulp to use for future recipes! Hope that helps and have fun nut milk making! Remember, here's the link for how to use the nut milk bags including recipes for pulp and other goodies! Take care and happy unturkey day! :-) Linda +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Ask Linda! Please feel free to submit your questions to linda AT Questions don’t have to be completely raw food related but please bring questions on health, recipes, diet, weight issues, nutrition, parenting, nursing, pregnancy, spirituality or whatever it is you’d like to ask. I’ll do my best to answer and will most certainly learn from this as much as I can give.
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this week's ASK LINDA - onion bread

This week’s question came to me a couple week’s ago. This one is really fun and sweet. QUESTION: Hi! I love your Onion Bread. What's in it? (A few www searches showed flax, sesame and onion, but there must be more than that!) Thanks so much! — K.M. ANSWER: Dear K. M. Thank you so much for your kind words and I'm happy to hear you are enjoying my onion bread! My onion bread actually doesn't have sesame seeds in there! I use flax, sunflower seeds, olive oil, liquid aminos and onions. That's it - unbelievable, isn't it? So very flavorful! I don't use a lot of olive oil or liquid aminos which is different than other onion bread recipes out there (and I think that's what makes it taste so good!) If you make your own, have fun and let me know how it comes out! Take good care, Linda +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Ask Linda! Please feel free to submit your questions to linda AT Questions don’t have to be completely raw food related but please bring questions on health, recipes, diet, weight issues, nutrition, parenting, nursing, pregnancy, spirituality or whatever it is you’d like to ask. I’ll do my best to answer and will most certainly learn from this as much as I can give.
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This week's question came to me a couple week's ago. I submitted it to the RNEC newsletter but will post it here as it is a good question! Here goes: QUESTION: I got a question for "Ask Linda" of my families coming up has a 2 1/2 year old daughter with chronic constipation....what suggestions can I give this family? Anything I should add in or avoid when playing in thier kitchen? love Stacy ANSWER: Dear Stacy, Thank you so much for your email and your great questions. First thing I would want to know is how do they define chronic constipation. Is she going to the bathroom at all? Once a week? Once a month? Also, how long has this been occurring? I would want to know what she has been eating over the course of time that she has been experiencing this constipation. Is she having dairy? Does she have any allergies or sensitivities to foods that are clogging up her system? Does the child have any aches or pains? Has the doctor ruled out anything and everything that might be a health concern? How much does the young one eat each day? Does she have any good fats? Does she eat good fruits and greens? How much fiber is she eating? Is she eating food from scratch or highly processed foods? Is she eating meat? If so, how much per week is she eating? Does she exercise and move a lot (is she an active child?) Does she get outside in the sunshine a lot per week? Suggestions for the family would be: • Aside from the answering the above questions, the first obvious suggestion would be for the family to have her checked out routinely by way of physicals. She can visit a naturopath (ND) or MD but it's always good to get a baseline of health. I'm assuming that this has been done and she is healthy overall. • Have the parents keep a food diary for her to see what she is eating and see if there is any connection to constipation. Food diaries can help them see if they notice constipation related to food that she eats. Let's say she has pasta for dinner and is constipated the next morning. If they see a correlation over some time noticing that pasta = constipation, then they can experiment by trying a gluten free pasta to see if that makes things different (or eliminating it altogether). The parents can keep track of her bowel movement frequencies and times, too, in the diary. Most parents seem to know their kids' habits already but it might be helpful write it down and keep an eye on things for a month or so. They can also get books on allergy elimination diets and can do their own version of one (i.e. taking all known allergens out of the diet for a month like dairy, soy, corn, wheat and then putting them back in SLOWLY and one at a time over the course of several months to see if the body reacts to each possible allergen. It can seem time consuming, but easier to do with kids so they don't have to go through allergy testing by way of needles.) • Have the daughter drinks lots of water each day. I've read that young kids can drink about 1 1/2 oz per body weight each day. So if this toddler weighs 30 lbs, she could drink 45 oz per day. I would probably recommend starting with 32 oz and gradually working her way up (that is assuming she's not drinking lots of water.) Just present the child with a sippy cup full of water and remind her to drink it. Bring it with her for car rides and friends houses, etc. She'll get in the habit of drinking regularly. Stop giving the child cow's milk or juices, particularly juices that are from bottles in the grocery store. Juices from the grocery store don't provide any nutrients (even the health food store - it's a better choice but not worth the money) and milk can be avoided without worry of the child's calcium intake. If the parents want to give the child something to drink other then water, make it a FRESH juice they make themselves, nut or seed milks, or a smoothie of some kind. But water should be the staple drink for the child (and everyone) throughout the day. • Does the child have any fears or "holding on" that might be affecting her bowel movements? I don't know how long this child has been out of diapers (or if she is out of diapers) but I do know that sometimes with some kids, they can go through something during potty training - it's almost like they are trying to let you know that they aren't really ready to become "big kids" even when they say they are ready or they have shown that they were in the recent past. It's as if they were doing great sitting on the potty and then they go through a kind of regression where they actually stop themselves from going for whatever reason. If this is the case, know that this too shall pass. The child would do well to have some gentleness and appreciation from the parents for when they do go on the potty and over a short time, they will naturally move to using the potty very regularly on their own. If the parents show outward worry or tension when the child is stopping themselves from going to the bathroom, sometimes it can slow down the process and it will be no fun for everyone for a while. It's a wild thing, but if it helps, suggest to the the parents to see this as the child trying to learn their own autonomy and independence even though it can feel rather frustrating for the parent. This too shall pass. It really will. • Whatever food practices the parents decide to do for the child are more easily assimilated when the parents adjust their diets too. Keeping dairy out of the child's diet while the parents are scoffing down pizza (for example) isn't going to be easy to manage in the long run. Best for the parents to adopt these changes too. Keep in mind that when doing allergy elimination type diets to see if there is a food allergy or sensitivity is only temporary. If there is no allergy to dairy or wheat, for example, then the changes made are purely experimental with an "end sight" nearby. (Often the thought of cutting out a food FOREVER is too foreboding, so think about it being temporary. If there really is a food allergy, chances are great that when they reintroduce the food, they or the child will feel so yucky that eliminating it will have many more positive feedbacks vs. keeping it in... Plus there are so many yummy alternatives now that taste and feel way better than the originals...) RE: adding in or avoiding when playing in their kitchen It's always a challenge to fully answer a question when so many details are missing. I do think that when you are there with them, you can make as many fruit puddings and green smoothies for this toddler and that will be great for her in so many ways, not just intestinal. I would recommend limiting the amount of stimulants (like cacao, honey, agave) to this child. It might help at first with bowel movements but isn't necessary for kids to have lots of sugars and stimulants. It can throw them off in the long run. So fruit puddings, green smoothies, fresh fruit juices, green juices, fruit smoothies, frozen green pops. These are all great. I'm sure you have everyone making food with you when you are with them and so this little one can also help making her own stuff. Keep her banana intake to 1 per day as lots of bananas can be binding. If you'd like, you can add a bit of psyllium powder to her puddings for extra fiber. You can make chia puddings for her and let her have a small amount. Coconut oil would be helpful but she won't need too much of it per day. Avocados are perfect foods for small kids. Maybe in the short time you are with them, you'll be able to glean some insight to see if she has any allergies/sensitivities. This will be a good litmus test when you come in with your raw foods and see how that shift will be on her diet and her constipation problems. I've written all of this assuming that the child isn't eatings lots of fruits and greens already. In my mind, a little child would have 1-3 BMs per day if she was drinking lots of water and eating cleansing fruits, healing greens and good fats. If she still isn't, then some fine tuning would be in order - food combining, learning about possible allergies/sensitivities (including environmental), good fats are added, enough calories eaten each day, ample exercising and movement for this little one and overall checking in to see if there isn't some other unknown going on. Thank you for your question and have keep having fun with all your families! xoxo, Linda +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Ask Linda! Please feel free to submit your questions to linda AT Questions don’t have to be completely raw food related but please bring questions on health, recipes, diet, weight issues, nutrition, parenting, nursing, pregnancy, spirituality or whatever it is you’d like to ask. I’ll do my best to answer and will most certainly learn from this as much as I can give.
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ASK LINDA - question about nut milk filtering bags

This question came in my inbox on Oct 22nd. QUESTION: What do people most like to use your nut milk bags for? Do they blend in a Vita-Mix and then strain through the bag? If so, does this work better than using a Champion juicer, for example? —Marsha ANSWER: Dear Marsha, Thanks for your email! People use our bags for:
  • straining nut/seed milks
  • straining juices
  • sprouting
  • making beer
  • making kombucha and other probiotic drinks
  • making tempeh
  • apple cider press filters
  • making cheeses
  • making ice creams
  • making teas
  • bath herbal soaks
  • we've even had carpenters use our bags to collect saw dust from their equipment!
Yes, people do blend up veggies in the vitamix and then strain through our bags. People even use their regular juicers and then filter through our bags to get all the fiber and froth out. I have heard quite a lot of good feedback that our bags work super well with the vitamix - better than juicers. I notice personally that when you blend the greens in the blender, they are entirely masticated and processed whereas in a juicer, a lot of leaves just get spit out the other side without actually getting juiced. I also find that it's a much easier process to do with the blender/bag vs the juicer and it is SOOOOO much easier to clean. You don't have to deal with all those parts on the juicer. It's pretty great, all the way around. High powered blenders are expensive and juicers are expensive. From my perspective, I get more bang out of my buck using the vitamix vs. the juicer, because I can make SOO many different things with the blender than I can with the juicer... The champion doesn't juice greens, by the way. So if you are comparing using the vitamix/our bags with the champion, I would wholeheartedly say with total confidence that the vitamix/nut milk bag choice is far superior to the champion for juicing. Hope that helps! Linda +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Ask Linda! Please feel free to submit your questions to linda AT Questions don’t have to be completely raw food related but please bring questions on health, recipes, diet, weight issues, nutrition, parenting, nursing, pregnancy, spirituality or whatever it is you’d like to ask. I’ll do my best to answer and will most certainly learn from this as much as I can give.
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