Very excited today as I always am on Friday when I get to highlight amazing people doing amazing things in the raw food world! We have an awesome interview from Barbara of Rawfully Tempting, sharing her story and her journey of healing from several diseases! I hope Barbaras story inspires you as it has me! ~~~~~Lori
What Inspired You to Create Rawfully Tempting?
When this journey began I had no idea where the road would take me. I never started out trying to create anything. I thought it would be fun to journal my experience while exploring my experience with living food, and track some of the recipes I was preparing. My original blog was actually called “Not2RAWnchy.”
Since I was never 100% raw, I thought it was a cute name, however my daughters both thought the name was truly raunchy, and while I had all of 8 Followers (most of them my family), when the name “Rawfully Tempting” came to me, I knew it was THE name, and the Rawfully Tempting blog was born.
Can You Tell Us a Little Bit About Yourself?
My biggest accomplishment is being Mom to 2 beautiful daughters and Mum Mum to 1 precious granddaughter! While I love being a Mom, I never anticipated the deeply intense feelings that being a Grandmother would stir in me. WOW!
I was diagnosed with a debilitating disease called Interstitial Cystitis over a decade ago, and told it was “incurable,” and I’d have to learn to live with it. Of course there were a host of meds offered to “help” make the situation more “bearable.” While devastated by the news, I refused to allow myself to buy into such a limited belief system, and while the journey has been a long one, it’s been a rewarding one.
When I started taking responsibility for my own healing and adopted a vegan lifestyle, I found myself pain free for the first time in years, so I KNOW the body can heal itself. It was wonderful, but sadly, I stopped paying attention, got caught up in some of life’s drama, and was not living in a way that nurtured my body. This went on for several years, and I surely paid the price.
Six years ago (at age 49), I suffered a life threatening heart attack. Having lost my Dad when he was 48, this hit much too close to home. Two stents in my chest, a year of medical treatment, and a slew of prescription drugs, I finally looked at my cardiologist and declared, “No more meds!”
I may have survived the heart attack, but the statins and other meds had me feeling like I was 90 years old. This was no way to live! Once again, I opted to take responsibility for how I treated my body and what I put into it. Masking symptoms, while creating other side effects was not an option for me.
When I discovered raw living food about 2 years ago, my life took an amazing turn. Having worked in the corporate world for most of my adult life, I’ve had to leave that behind. I am re-creating Barbara, and oh, what an amazing journey this is! While some of the chronic auto-immune illnesses still lurk and I’m still struggling with weight issues, my body has radically transformed.
My blood sugar, triglycerides, cholesterol and other readings that were once abnormally high are now within normal range. Acid reflux, insomnia, and chronic sinusitis…gone! It took me decades to get to this place, and will take some real dedication and commitment on my part to eliminate some of the deeper physical issues I deal with.
While food is a HUGE part of maintaining good health, there are other factors involved. W and I both lost our moms in the same year and there were some unresolved family issues that literally ripped the rug out from under my feet. While I LOVE healthy eating, I’m working on healing some of the emotional booboos that have truly slowed down my progress.
My heart is open…and the sun has begun to shine again. With this combination, I can only get better and better! Meanwhile, I cannot overlook all of the amazing health benefits that I experienced almost immediately.
Getting back to being the CREATOR in my life has truly changed my life. I have found joy in eating living food, drinking living food, preparing living food, and teaching about the preparation of living food. As I immerse myself in this lifestyle, I’ve rediscovered my love of writing, teaching and coaching. I am currently working on the first in a series of recipe books, teaching classes, and working on an exciting new product line that is currently available through my on-line Café.
How Do You Come Up With Recipes?
I used to work for a company that manufactured a line of fine art products. I’m not an artist and had no art background, but I was diligent in learning about each of the products and what they could or could not do. I applied the same principle when learning about raw vegan ingredients. I had to let go of any fear and allow myself the freedom to make mistakes.
Once I became familiar with these new ingredients and understood their texture, color, flavor, and ability to mix with other ingredients, it was fairly easy. When I want to achieve a specific end product, I dip into my palette of raw ingredients and select products I know can do the job at hand.
There is definitely a learning curve and the results are not always perfect. I learned through trial and error, but I also believe I was led through a series of circumstances that helped me discover my passion and desire to create. If I had not taken ill, I would probably would never have discovered this talent, or known the joy that I now receive when creating “decadent, delicious and nutritious” living food.
I think this part is a gift, and while I worked very hard to learn all that I could about raw living food, much of what I do comes so naturally. Sometimes, I awaken in the morning with a completely new recipe idea in my head…and then go to the kitchen and create it. It’s fun!
How is Your Spiritual Life in Conjunction with the Raw Food Lifestyle? How Does it All Relate for You?
Creation is a gift. CREATING any-thing from almost no-thing is what makes humans unique and sets them apart from other species. We are born to create. We come into this world by way of creation, and go through our lives in search of the very thing that ignites our soul. When we find it, and begin to birth it, we seem to radiate a magnificent, glowing energy! You recognize the glow of a woman, pregnant with the creation of her soon to be born child.
I suppose we are all pregnant with the energy to create, and when that creation comes from the heart, we feel joy, and we glow. Some people create on canvas, others with words on paper, or musical notes that fill the air. Some create with a healing touch, a dance, participation in theater, etc.
Finding your passion and creating from that passion, is the key to igniting and keeping lit, the spark of bliss that lies within us all. When I step into the kitchen and begin to select and work with magnificent, living ingredients, I am stoked. I feel connected to Earth Mother. When I see the faces of my friends and loved ones tasting one of my living creations, I feel a sense of joy.
I believe in living mindfully, which means being present and taking the time to feel and express gratitude for the blessings that are all around us. Ingesting and CREATING raw living foods, helps me be more present. Creation brings us into the moment, and the more in the moment we become, the more joy we experience.
I try to show gratitude in my life. Prayer before a meal only takes a moment, but it sets the tone and enables me to fully experience the totality of it all. (The source of the food, the presence of God or Spirit in my life, the connection to Mother Earth, loved ones, etc.) It may sound a bit hokey, but if you open up, and allow yourself to experience these moments, it will change you.
Living food contains LIVING ENERGY. It’s not dead. It does not contain the energy of an animal that has been treated unkindly or fed antibiotics, chemicals, or genetically modified food. Living foods are miraculously packed with living nutrients and enzymes. Everything in life is made of energy, but different kinds of energy vibrate at different frequency levels.
I’m not a scientist, but I do know what I feel and how my body reacts to what I feed it. Living foods energize me. Cooked and processed foods with dairy, grains and sugar can often make me feel lethargic and sluggish.
Are you 100% Raw?
Sometimes yes…sometimes no. It’s not a goal that I have to attain, unless I choose to for a period of time - for healing purposes. Do I feel better when I eat a higher percentage of raw? Absolutely, but there have been times in my healing that my holistic physician has asked me to eat something cooked, in order to help open up a blockage. Whether you believe in this or not, is your personal choice. I try to eat intuitively.
The cleaner I eat, the keener my intuition becomes and the easier it is to make wise choices. Until I get there fully, attitude is everything. BLESS the food, whatever it is. Be gracious and enjoy whatever it is. Tomorrow is another day. Let go of the judgment and negativity. If it is the dead of winter, and I crave a HOT soup and eat it…I make sure I enjoy it! Any guilty, negative feelings or judgment cannot be a good thing.
Early on, I was setting myself up for failure with expectations that were just too high. If I were with friends and family and ate cooked food, I’d feel like I did something really wrong. I decided that how I feel about the food I eat is at least as important, if not more so, than what I actually eat. So many people write about “hating themselves” the next day or feeling guilty and sick.
If I eat cooked food and I don’t feel great the next day, I honor that, and openly observe it, knowing that the next time; I’ll choose a better choice from a place of wisdom and won’t experience any sense of lack or loss. Let my body learn and evolve in this lifestyle, rather than beating myself up or letting others make me feel guilty.
It seems like there has been an unspoken judgment, if you were not 100 percent raw, than you were not a “REAL” raw foodie. As my daughter used to say, “Whatever!” Do what works for YOU! If you find yourself judging others for the style of life they have adopted…look deeply into yourself. Usually whatever it is that irritates us in another person is a reflection of some issue we have not yet healed within ourselves.
If people are interested in learning how to add food that vibrates at a higher frequency into their lives, and seeing the benefits that can bring, I can give them tools to make the transition enjoyable, but I don’t preach or push anyone to do anything they are not ready to do, other than make it fun.
Not everyone can be a Great Chef or Spend the Time Preparing Food, What Suggestions Would You Give for the Simple Person?
The best advice I can give is don’t set yourself up for failure. Start slowly. Begin adding ONE living meal a day into your lifestyle. Perhaps you can prepare a delicious green smoothie for breakfast or a really nice salad for lunch.
Keep it simple, but make it something you truly enjoy and look forward to. Be positive and not impatient. The love you put into your preparation will lift your spirits and make it so much more healing! As you being to ingest living food, try to be more present. Feel the energy of the food and connect with it.
Starting something new is always an adjustment. As you become more comfortable with this, add another meal. If you started with the smoothie, add a salad for lunch, or visa versa. Let go of your old eating paradigm and pay attention to your cravings. In addition to adding one raw meal at a time, decide to give up dairy or processed grains, or sugar.
As you remove one habit, replace it with something amazing! When I gave up sugar, I made it a point to explore raw vegan desserts. What a TREAT! I never felt deprived. I could eat rich and satisfying food that was healthy for me! Start to explore recipe books or online recipe sites. Collect a few recipes that you would like to try and save them in a folder. In addition to this, start a shopping list of ingredients that you want to explore.
Yes, in order to adapt to this NEW lifestyle, you will have to branch out and try some new ingredients and techniques. Think of it as adding colors of paint to your palette. You don’t want to take on too much at one time, but you also don’t want to get bored. Notice how your taste buds celebrate these new foods and enjoy!
What are some raw food staples in your current diet?
Organic…Hemp seed, flax seed, chia seed, cacao powder, cacao paste, cacao butter, raw nuts and seeds, Medicine Flower extracts, raw honey, Himalayan pink salt, grade B maple syrup(not raw, but it’s my preferred sweetener), young Thai coconuts, sproutable grains, lucuma powder, mesquite powder, coconut oil, dulse flakes, spirulina powder, nut butters, Irish moss(sea moss), sprouts, kale, dandelion greens, collard greens, parsley, celery, apples…and tons of fruits and veggies.
If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
I’d love to be able to fly at will. I’ve had dreams about flying since I was very young and I’d wake up sad when I realized it was only a dream. To lift my arms and take flight with no fear…nice!
Can you share with us your favorite recipe or dish?
My favorite raw dish is probably the one that I made when I was asked by Andrea Beaman (host of Fed Up) to compete in her “Unlock the Taste of Summer” Tour Cook-off. This was an exciting event and I was the only raw chef, up against two traditional chefs. My entry, “Champagne Mango Cream Sauce on Zucchini Pasta” was selected as the winning dish. It’s easy to make and very popular, even with people who are not used to raw vegan main dishes.
"Raw" Champagne Mango Cream Sauce With Zucchini and Summer Squash Pasta
- 1/4 cup RAW cashews - (preferably soaked for 2 hours & rinsed)
- 1/2 cup water (or coconut water)
- 1/2 cup young Thai coconut meat (or 1/2 cup desiccated coconut)
- 2 Champagne mangoes (or 2 regular mangoes - set ½ mango aside for garnish)
- 1/2 Tablespoon honey or liquid sweetener
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tsp nama shoyu (or tamari)
- 1 teaspoon ginger, grated
- 1/2 Tablespoon lime juice
- pinch cayenne (optional if you want to make it zippy)
- 2 medium zucchini spiralized or cut into noodles using peeler.
- 1 Yellow squash spiralized (or use 1 more zucchini)
- 1 champagne mango, thinly sliced
- 1/4 red bell pepper chopped
- 1/2 cup broccoli sprouts or your favorite sprouts
- shredded desiccated coconut
- 1 Tablespoon black sesame seeds
Champagne Mango Cream Sauce
Blend cashews, coconut meat and coconut water until creamy. (Add more water as needed)
Add honey, sea salt, mango extract, nama shoyu, ginger, lime juice, cayenne and blend until creamy. Taste for sweetness or zippiness and adjust. Set aside.
Place a mound of zucchini and summer squash noodles on plate.
Drizzle Champagne Mango Cream Sauce over center of zucchini. Add garnish and serve.
Note: Check out the Rawfully Tempting Online Café for some amazing treats. Each morsel is hand created and charged with LOVE. New creations are in the works, so check back frequently!
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Wow! Thanks Barbara!
This is such a powerful story of healing and transformation. If you have found yourself in a similar situation, my hope is that you begin a journey into healing for yourself, take control and responsibility for your health!
Consider participating in the upcoming cleanse with tons of people across the country at http://www.cleanseamerica.com and really jumpstart your journey into health!
In love and health,
Lori Clayton, LMT, CHHC