Deb from Tanglewood Wellness Center, located in Panama (headquarters in Maryland), recently sent out this testimonial of her experiences participating in a supervised fast. We think many WLIR readers will find some value in Deb's experiences.
Two weeks ago I finished a 21 day water fast and 1 week refeeding retreat at Tanglewood Wellness Center, a fasting center and raw food community. At 5'5" and 116 pounds, I didn't think I had a lot of "reserves" to give up. I thought it would actually be more difficult for me than it was. I really wasn't "hungry". Yes, I could feel the "emptiness" of my stomach, but as Rumi has written, "There's hidden sweetness in the stomach's emptiness." It was not uncomfortable, just an awareness. And yes, there was a sweetness there for me, an absolute awareness that I had not known before now. Another very profound part of my experience was when I started refeeding. The simplicity and beauty of eating, not for hunger, but for the sensation of taste alone, was absolutely breathtaking for me. It brought tears to my eyes on my way back to my room.
Tanglewood Wellness Center is located in the beautiful, tropical mountains of Panama , 30 minutes from the closest beach. Since we are located up on the mountainside (approx. 1800 foot altitude), the climate is much cooler than at sea level. You can comfortably wear shorts and flip flops every day and sleep comfortably every night without air conditioning. The air is pure and the breath of tropical plants at the center is aromatic for the sensitivity usually gained after fasting. You can actually see the Pacific Ocean from the property. I am from Colorado where the climate is very dry. I've also lived on the East Coast with very high humidity levels. I was surprised that where Tanglewood is located is not as humid as the East Coast. I find it pleasantly between Colorado and Connecticut humidity levels.
Via NPR News:
On May 15, 1915, in the posh new Hotel Alexandria in Los Angeles, a cadre of California farmers gathered to decide the fate of a new crop.
The ahuacate, a pebbly-skinned, pear-shaped fruit, had been a staple food in Mexico, and Central and South America since 500 B.C. In the 16th century, Spanish conquistadors fell in love with the fruit after observing its prized status among the Aztecs.
Until the early 1900s, the ahuacate had never been grown commercially in the United States. By 1914, however, hotels in Los Angeles and San Francisco were ordering as many of the fruits as they could and paying as much as $12 for a dozen.
But the farmers faced a marketing problem. First, ahuacate was too hard for Americans to pronounce. Worse, it was the Aztec word for testicle, named for its shape and reputation as an aphrodisiac. Then there was the other unappealing name: "alligator pear."
The farmers came up with a new name: avocado. They informed dictionary publishers of the change -- and that the plural was spelled "avocados," not "avocadoes" -- and named their own group the California Avocado Association.
The approach worked. Today, California accounts for nearly 90 percent of all avocados grown in the United States.
Keep reading at NPR.org
I just signed up for an appointment for Live Blood Cell Analysis. I've never had this process done, but I've heard a lot about it and I'm curious how my blood will score.
I have full intention of recording the entire process and writing a blog posting about it afterwards. Let's see if this is something readers of WLIR could benefit from having done.
Question: Has anyone had this done before?
Here's an email I just got from Live Live, the raw food organization, located in New York City, that's hosting the Live Blood Cell Analysis session with Nutritionist Rick Panson, a Nutritional Microscopist and Research Associate of Dr. Young.
Following are some dietary recommendations for the best results of your test. They are not rules, they are guidelines.
FOODS/DRINKS TO AVOID 12-24 HOURS BEFORE
- Sugars, starches, and carbohydrates (these inhibit the immune system'sactivity of the white blood cells).
- High sugar fruits and roots or veggies (also avoid fruit smoothies or juices... too much sugar).
- Acidic foods/drinks (except lemons, limes and sour grapefruit is ok) No vinegar of any kind.
- All animal products (including bee products).
- All dairy products.
- All nuts (especially p-nuts, cashews and pistachios).
- Any processed foods (anything that is not found in nature).
- All caffeine and junk food.
FOODS YOU CAN CONSUME FREELY 12-24 HOURS BEFORE
- Lots of Purified water (with lemon or lime if you like).
- Vegetables and vegetable juices or veggie smoothies.
- Salad greens (no vinegar, substitute lemon juice instead).
- Avocados, raw tomatoes, cucumbers are all alkalizing.
- Salt and oil (olive, coconut, flax, primrose) are OK.
- Live sprouts, wheatgrass and sea vegetables.
- Green powdered drinks.
A friend of mine who's been eating almost all raw for the last month shared a recent challenge he's been experiencing:
"Dhru, I've had such an abundance of energy recently (through the raw food), that I'm having trouble going to sleep! I end up laying in bed for one to two hours just sitting around. Any thoughts or techniques that you've found that work? Have you, or anyone you've known, been through similar issues?"
In fact I have had this issue. From my experience it doesn't last too long. It stopped for me once my body adjusted to the new found energy it had. After that, I just needed less overall sleep.
While it was adjusting though, here's a few techniques that worked for me:
What's worked for you?
From the Chicago Raw Food Meetup Group
On Thursday, 20th July, you are invited to Transitions Bookplace at 7pm for a free Author's Event and samples of recipes from the book, Celebrating Our Raw Nature. RSVP: 312- 951-7323
On Saturday, 22nd July, please join us for a hands on Raw/Living Vegan Food Preparation class also at Transitions Bookplace (next to Whole Foods Market) followed by a musical celebration of our intrinsic nature of "basic goodness"
For details please contact 312-951-7323 or visit www.serenityspaces.org
Raw Food Instructor: Dorit, is a Certified Living Foods Chef, visiting from Los Angeles
Mamta Jain, our good friend and fellow globe trotter, sends us her reader review of Matt Amsden's RAWvolution book signing and food tasting hosted at Santa Monica's Euphoria Loves RAWvolution.
Note: When reading emails like this you just can't help but to smile. Welcome to the world of raw food baby!
Thanks for last week's posting on WLIR re: Matt Amsden's new book and "open house" event on Saturday. I took my boyfriend (a raw virgin) and we had an absolutely savory meal. Thought you'd want to hear about our experience.
We started with the bok choy salad, a very crunchy and fresh salad. We also had the no-bean hummus --- Suman (my BF) la-la-la-la-loved the hummus and could not get over the fact that it was bean-free and 100% natural. We also tried two entrees -- the "Big Matt with Cheese" -- a non-traditional quarter-pounder slathered with cheese, ketchup, mustard, lettuce, tomato, and onion in between 2 slices of onion bread. This really hit the spot. It was filling but not too heavy, very tasty and filled with yummy greens. Suman loved it so much he decided to try the "Sloppy Joe" -- a nut and veggie pate in a rich, sun-dried tomato marinara, layered over crisp lettuce and served between two pieces of onion bread. We enjoyed it, but it wasn't as tasty as the rest of the meal. I've never left a raw joint without trying desserts and since Saturday was such a beautiful day on Venice Beach, Suman and I splurged on three after-meal specials -- chocolate chip cookie dough, apple raisin cookie, and coconut walnut fudge. By far, my favorite was the cookie dough. It wasn't too sweet, and the texture did me in. It melted right on my tongue leaving just a little crunchy cacao to chew. Second place was the apple raisin cookie.
We also picked up a copy of Matt's book. It's a beautiful publication -- the pictures make you want to eat everything right off the pages! More importantly, though, it's filled with a variety of recipes for every part of food preparation including breakfast, lunch, dinner, salads, appetizers, dressings and sauces, desserts, juices, and smoothies. It's very user friendly too -- each recipe is assigned a number (1-3) that correlates with the ease of preparation. Most were either a 1 or 2. I asked Matt how many recipes require a dehydrator (which I don't own), he estimated between 10-15%.
Not only was the food amazing, the people who work their are extremely friendly. Kam is my new Punjabi friend who eats about 80% raw, he made excellent recommendations. Amita, a Hungarian woman who has been raw for 17 years (and has also been to Vipassana), told me about some of the key ingredients in many of Matt's recipes (Nama Shoyu, a non-pasteurized soy sauce that shows up in a lot of recipes). The location is amazing -- it's a very funky, hipster area of Santa Monica just one block east of the Pacific Ocean, which you have a decent view of from the restaurant windows.
Granted I don't have the most critical taste pallet, but we had a great experience at Euphoria and Suman is officially a believer :).
Slate.com has an interesting article titled Why We're Fatter, which profiles 5 not-so-common reasons, highlighted in a recent study in the Journal Nature, that America is getting fatter: Surprisingly, many of the reasons jive with the raw food, natural, and holistic model of toxicity.
I've listed the reasons as follows with a blurb from Slate as well as our own 2 cents:
Overall the study is headed in the right direction. I have a feeling that the public and researchers are starting to ask questions they've never asked before. That being said, there is still much work to be done.
From WLIR Headquarters it looks like things are getting better and worse all at the same time.... which means only one thing: massive transformation is imminent.
SF Weekly profiles Alive, San Fran's raw food hot spot famous for its deserts
Raw food restaurants usually get a bad rap for serving food that's artful but less than filling. An exception is Alive!
LAist highlights Leaf, Culver City's Organic Oasis famous for its smoothies
No matter which location you pick, Leaf is going to offer you just what it's eponymous name refers to: leaves, rather... leafy greens.