The Jungle of Food Choices

by Lance Ekum on · 56 comments

Today it’s an honor to have Nathalie Lussier, the Raw Foods Witch, as our guest writer.  Nathalie writes much about the foods we eat, and how we can make small changes to improve the healthy choices in our diet. Her focus is on the foods that come naturally to our world.  Fruits, vegetables, nuts.  Those foods which can be naturally grown. 

Now the real question: what kind of witch is she?  When I think of Nathalie, I think of only the best kind of witch, in a fun, fun way (think Glinda from the Wizard of Oz).  Her tagline says it all:  "Taking the Spooky out of Raw Food Magick"!  Now that sounds pretty nice, doesn’t it!  And it’s not about being perfect in your eating, it’s about the journey toward a healthier you.  And that’s a direction I hope I’m headed in.

A recent example of some of the great material Nathalie has is 21 Ways To Sneak More Vegetables Into Your Diet .  That’s a winner in my book!

Nathalie’s material will give you practical changes you can make to live a healthier life!  Keep up with her by subscribing to the Raw Foods Witch blog.  You can also keep current with Nathalie by following her on Twitter.

And with that, here’s Nathalie to help us all navigate through what sometimes seems like a jungle when it comes to our food choices. 

 

The Jungle of Food Choices

 

 Haul I
Creative Commons License photo credit: jordanpattern

"Did you ever stop to taste a carrot?  Not just eat it, but taste it?  You can’t taste the beauty and energy of the earth in a Twinkie." ~ Astrid Alauda

 Every one of us has more food choices than we’ve ever had before. We can eat an avocado from Mexico, a pineapple from Costa Rica, and lychees from China all in the middle of winter. We’ve also got a slew of other food choices. You know, the ones that tend to dominate our thoughts (via intrusive ads) and diet: processed foods. Did you know that the number one source of calories in the United States is via soft drinks? The average American drinks 60 gallons of this sugary drink per year. Companies spend billions (with a B!) on advertising to ensure that you get hooked on their brand of soda, snacks, and desserts. Contrast the number one source of calories with that of our closest primate relatives the Bonobos, who are 80% frugivorous where most of their calories come from fruit. Interestingly enough, there are no degenerative diseases observed in wild chimpanzees like the bonobos. "No cancer was observed among diseases of wild apes" (Chultz, 1967)

Re-Evaluating Our Bounty of Food

We’ve essentially fabricated most of the food that you’ll find at the supermarket. I always recommend that you walk the edges of any grocery store and stay away from the middle aisles. The middle aisles are the ones that will kill you, even if it doesn’t look like a lion chasing you down for dinner. You’ve got tons of companies fighting each other to appear on those shelves to entice you to try their brand of sugary cereal, pasta, or chips. Walking the “alternative route” of the grocery store, I let fruits and vegetables fight it out the natural way: through smell, looks, and taste. 

Lettuces
Creative Commons License photo credit: di_the_huntress

When I go to a farmer’s market or just browse through the organic produce section, I immediately feel pulled toward certain fruits and vegetables. Those pears smell really good. Maybe that broccoli’s color is just so alive that it makes me want some. That watermelon sounds really juicy when I lift it and tap the side. These are the types of signals that we might have grown up learning, had we not been plugged into the world of modern day fast food advertising. I admit it, I was a McDonald’s junkie as a kid. I begged my parents to take me there any chance I got. It wasn’t the food, it was the toys. My parents didn’t know what hit them. They never imagined I would turn out to be a “health nut” and resolve to eating a diet made up predominately of fresh fruits and vegetables. Now that I’m older, I know that I was under that advertising spell (and it wasn’t a nice lovey-dovey spell either!). Of course the trail goes deeper than that, because these processed foods are a socially acceptable and reinforced habit. If I’m out and about I’m supposed to stop and eat at that local fast food joint. I’m not expected to have prepared my own healthy meal or snack to bring along. That would just too “out there” for some people…

The Jungle We Grew Up In vs. The New Jungle

Things are changing, I’m not sure if you’ve felt the shift. People are starting to realize that eating tons of processed food really isn’t the best thing for health and well being. So now that we’re aware that we might need to make changes, a whole new set of challenges present themselves. Who do you trust? What is “healthy food” and what’s just marketed that way? Call it green washing, call it health or even “antioxidant washing”. It exists and it’s happening. It’s important when we’re feeling overwhelmed to take a step back and return to basics. What would we be eating if we hadn’t created this massive network of processed foods? Probably lots of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, with the occasional small animal or fish. We’d be eating more berries than we could likely afford at today’s supermarket prices.

Blackberries
Creative Commons License photo credit: threelayercake

Berries are almost unlimited in the summer, and they’re so easy to pick and eat. (Plant a berry shrub and you’ll know what I mean!) We’d be eating locally, and we’d likely migrate during the winter to survive. This is when our transportation technology comes in handy. Now comes the tough part: how do you fit all of these healthy foods into your day to day life? The idea is simple, but one we’re all reluctant to try. (I was too!) Remove some of the stuff you’re currently eating and replace it with fresh fruits and vegetables. There, I said it.

Now I want to hear where you’re at in your journey through this not-so-wild but still unruly jungle of food?

If you’d like a little help along the way to removing stuff that doesn’t serve you and adding stuff that does, you can find me at my blog The Raw Foods Witch. I help people live an enchanted life, by taking the spookiness out of eating more fresh raw fruits and vegetables. You can also sign up for my free program called Feel Light – Take Flight, and watch your energy soar.

Lance writes stories from his heart, aiming to inspire and motivate, as you align more fully with YOUR true peak. When he's not here, you can find him hanging out with his family, riding a bike, or just generally acting goofy.   Sign up for the Thoughts from the Treehouse newsletter and get additional inspiration in your email inbox!
Lance Ekum
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{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }

Carla August 25, 2009 at 1:10 pm

“That would just too “out there” for some people…” I can totally understand that! Though I live in an area where my food choices more or less fit in with many of my neighbors and peers, occasionally, I may come across someone that think sea veggies and fermented foods is gross, soy is healthy and eating a grain-free diet is otherworldly.

All we can do is take care of ourselves and try to educate others in the process.

Great post!
.-= Carla´s Last Fabulous Post ..“Are you close to your family?” =-.

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Nathalie Lussier August 25, 2009 at 3:04 pm

@Carla: Absolutely Carla. I definitely admire your steadfastness, and also envy your location. 😉 I know when I lived in the SF/Bay Area there were people asking me if I’d been to that raw vegan restaurant… you know the one? Cafe Gratitude. It was delightful!

Thanks and keep up the awesome work!
.-= Nathalie Lussier´s Last Fabulous Post ..21 Ways to Sneak More Vegetables Into Your Diet =-.

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Carla August 25, 2009 at 3:06 pm

@Nathalie – I love Cafe Gratitude (though I’m not raw or vegan!). I will miss it when we move in a few weeks.
.-= Carla´s Last Fabulous Post ..“Are you close to your family?” =-.

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Verena Fischer August 25, 2009 at 3:14 pm

5 months ago I was diagnosed with coeliac disease, meaning: eating gluten (contained in crops) will kill me in the long run and it was the reason why I had so many stomach problems. Secondary to it my stomach is not happy about milk products either. This means that I have to be really careful about what I eat. Every product I buy is carefully inspected and the ingredients list carefully read … usually twice. Even little diet mistakes will make me tired and sick for a week! You can imagine that I’m usually too lazy to read the long ingredient lists of processed foods! Therefore I mainly buy tons of fruit and veg and only eat processed foods when it’s something special: a chocolate treat or a relish that makes my stew tastier. It is so much better though to know exactly what is in your meal! “Natural” strawberry flavouring is made out of wood shavings! Would you eat wood shavings?
.-= Verena Fischer´s Last Fabulous Post ..Healthy Balance and Fitness Challenge =-.

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Matthew | Step into the Flow August 25, 2009 at 3:35 pm

I tend to eat more Macrobiotic. To me this is balanced – a large emphasis to local foods, with some gentle meats. I like the philosophy of the “yin/yang” balance of macrobiotics, which is a different way of looking at something that essentially works out the same as good nutrition anyway.

My partner Karen (at Polaris Channeling) is doing a raw food diet now. I don’t think I’d recommend it in the winter in the north though!

For me local always trumps organic. If anything, the feel at going to a small farmer’s shop just makes the food so much more vibrant. I don’t tend to like farmer’s markets with a lot of PR and overhead, though.

I’m also good at finding ways to cook healthy with a minimum of effort. My favorite trick: stick a medley of brown rice, vegetables, some meat sometimes, and strong oriental flavoring into a large rice cooker. It takes 5 minutes to prepare, then I just wait until it’s done. Healthy food that takes less of my time than going for fast food.
.-= Matthew | Step into the Flow´s Last Fabulous Post ..Forgiveness =-.

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Caity August 25, 2009 at 3:41 pm

Great choice of guest bloggers! Thanks!

This past Friday marked six weeks since I changed to a vegan diet. I’m still new to the veg lifestyle but I have really been enjoying it and have been looking for inspiration. I am definitely going to stop over The Raw Foods Witch’s blog for some other tips. This was a fabulous post!
.-= Caity´s Last Fabulous Post ..Some personal blog ideas. =-.

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Nathalie Lussier August 25, 2009 at 4:15 pm

@Carla – Aww me too, it’s one of the places I miss the most! They keep expanding, but so far only in the state of California. 😉

@Verena – Youch, wood chippings in strawberry flavoring, eh? I personally skipped a lot of the label reading stages when I went raw, but going back and reading labels of what I used to eat kind of scares me. Like you mentioned, it’s so much easier to opt for whole fresh foods, and not worry that the manufacturer didn’t list that the food may have been in a plant that contained wheat or something.

@Matthew – It’s interesting that you mention the yin/yang balance of macrobiotic eating. I went through a stage where I needed to limit the amount of “cold foods” I was eating, and I was able to do so even on raw food. (It’s not just about the temperature of the food, as you probably already know. 😉 My “in laws” (we’re not married, but have been together long enough for me to consider his family as my family) are Chinese and big on the hot/cold foods as well. So I definitely keep that in mind whenever I make meals.

Oh, and I love local foods too! I’m so lucky to have had a great harvest from my backyard garden this summer, and my town just started up a small farmer’s market every Friday. 🙂

@Caity – Congrats on your 6 weeks on a vegan diet! How are you feeling? I have many friends who feel much better after making lifestyle changes like going veg*an. 🙂 Thanks again for stopping by and glad to see you at The Raw Foods Witch too. 🙂
.-= Nathalie Lussier´s Last Fabulous Post ..21 Ways to Sneak More Vegetables Into Your Diet =-.

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Tess The Bold Life August 25, 2009 at 5:11 pm

I grew up on a produce farm. I did and do really taste vegtables. We used to eat tomatoes and watermelon for breakfast. In fact we ate our way through the day eating whatever we were picking. I love love love fruits and vegtables and miss the Farmers Market in MI. In AZ they don’t know what a real one is.
.-= Tess The Bold Life´s Last Fabulous Post ..Did You Know? =-.

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Vered - Blogger for Hire August 25, 2009 at 5:16 pm

It often makes me sad that we are so drawn to junk food, when nature offers so much goodness. I have to admit that if you place berries next to cookies, I will be drawn to the cookies even though the berries are so delicious.
.-= Vered – Blogger for Hire´s Last Fabulous Post ..Visiting Vancouver =-.

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Lynn August 25, 2009 at 5:27 pm

I like to eat seasonal fruits and vegetables and love the idea of eating locally grown food. It can be done, but is expensive around the area I live. I will check out your blog!
.-= Lynn´s Last Fabulous Post ..Messy fun, broad hint and exclamation =-.

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Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord August 25, 2009 at 7:01 pm

Hi, Nathalie and Lance!

Two months ago I saw the movie Food, Inc. and ever since, I’ve been hyper-conscious about the foods I put in my body. It’s actually gotten me off of everything with corn syrup – not just high fructose corn syrup, but all corn syrup.
I also started visiting farmers markets twice a week, only buy organic vegetables and fruits and have stopped eating all meat except for free-range eggs.

Everything about my body and energy feels better – lighter!

I loved this post, and think it’s such an important topic. Thank you for taking the time to address it.
.-= Megan “JoyGirl!” Bord´s Last Fabulous Post ..What My Buddy The Body Teaches =-.

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Nathalie Lussier August 25, 2009 at 7:42 pm

@Tess: Aww it’s so cool you grew up on a produce farm. I can only imagine what great fruits and veggies you ate growing up. 🙂 And yes, farmer’s markets are awesome, too bad your new town doesn’t have such a good one.

@Vered: I think it takes awhile for us to get “unhooked” from processed foods. A lot of it has to do with memories of good times eating those foods, and just creating patterns in our life. I know what you mean about cookies vs. berries. If you have a taste of the berries though, it’s always such a surprise how good they are. (It’s almost as if we forget that somehow.)

@Lynn: The price can be higher for local foods. Though when I see a cheaper apple that flew all the way around the world, I know there are hidden costs that someone else is paying for. (Who knows how that might pan out?)

@Megan: Way to go getting off corn syrup! There is so much corn in processed foods, it’s scary. It’s so awesome that you’re feeling better too! Isn’t that all the proof we need that our diets have gone off track? When we return to a more natural diet, it’s like giving your body permission to feel great again. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your story, it’s just wonderful!
.-= Nathalie Lussier´s Last Fabulous Post ..21 Ways to Sneak More Vegetables Into Your Diet =-.

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Keith August 25, 2009 at 9:05 pm

Great article! My family always had a garden as I was growing up, in fact my father still raises one in his back yard. Right now we are overloaded with fresh tomatoes and I LOVE IT! There isn’t anything like that wonderful fresh tomatoe…mmmmmmmmmm
.-= Keith´s Last Fabulous Post ..Weigh Anchor! =-.

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Jan Lundy August 25, 2009 at 9:52 pm

‘Right on!’ as we used to say in the 60s. My husband and I have been eating this way—mega consciously—for years now and we are both healthy as horses. Our minds are clear. Which helps is be focused, calm, more wise. I really believe this…because there was a day when I ate pretty much anything and felt everything! Negative, that is. In fact, for 5 years we published a natural health magazine, spreading our passion for high vibration living by eating natural, organic, meatless, and as low on the food chain as you can go. Many blessings to you as you continue to spread the word about eating wisely. And thanks Lance for having her! Blessings to all.
.-= Jan Lundy´s Last Fabulous Post ..Letting Go with Love: A Mom’s Tale =-.

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JenX August 25, 2009 at 10:08 pm

i lost 50 pounds of baby weight last summer and gained 15 back. so, i’ve been trying to shed those pounds, now. i’ve noticed that the more i cut refined sugar out the better i feel. i’m also trying to think more about slow food. food has always been my enemy of sorts, even though i love it!!!! great post.
.-= JenX´s Last Fabulous Post ..win one of four I ? DIRT t-shirts! =-.

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Mindful Mimi August 26, 2009 at 2:01 am

Hi Lance and Nathalie,
Great post. I started rethinking my food intake when I got pregnant. I have two boys now and want to give them healthy food and get them used to vegetables. I can never totally keep them from eating ‘fancy food’ of course, nor do I want to. My my sons love broccoli and I’m proud of that 🙂
Mimi
.-= Mindful Mimi´s Last Fabulous Post ..In Summer the song sings itself – William Carlos Williams =-.

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David Cain August 26, 2009 at 6:47 am

Hi Nathalie,

Thanks for the delicious post, you’ve got me thinking fresher this morning. My diet has been evolving over the years, and I can see now that vegetarianism is on my horizon. A plant-based diet just seems to be unarguably healthier, by all accounts except those of meat producers. Ethical issues aside, I’m starting to realize that meat consumption is out of control and is devastating the environment and our bodies.

That the US’s number one source of calories is soft drinks is appalling but I have to say it doesn’t surprise me. When I worked in a grocery store, I couldn’t believe that most carts had a load of Pepsi and potato chips, as if it were a staple. I guess it is!

I’m off to eat some strawberries.
.-= David Cain´s Last Fabulous Post ..People and Fire =-.

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Colleen August 26, 2009 at 7:46 am

We kinda cheat when it comes to making sure we are consuming a variety of fruits and vegetables. We juice! Every day we’ll have at least one blender full of the good stuff. It’s amazing how quickly and effortlessly a Kitchenaid blender will liquify a bunch of fruits and vegatables. The taste is often times bland, but not bad.
.-= Colleen´s Last Fabulous Post ..Kennewick, Richland, and Pasco Package Properties =-.

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Marelisa August 26, 2009 at 8:25 am

Hi Nathalie: I know what you mean about certain fruits and vegetables practically calling out to you. I’ll often go to the store where I buy my fruits and vegetables looking for one thing, and end up leaving with lots of other things. I’ve been making myself a lot of guacamole lately. 🙂 I’ve gotten a lot better at cutting out sugars from my diet, although there are some other things I need to stop eating. I’m getting there!
.-= Marelisa´s Last Fabulous Post ..The Key to Success: Resourcefulness (Creativity + Determination) =-.

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Nathalie Lussier August 26, 2009 at 8:51 am

@Keith: Isn’t it amazing to enjoy the literal abundance of a home garden? There’s nothing like a freshly vine ripened tomato. Yum! (Ours are still a little green, but they’re coming along.)

@Jan: Wow, that’s so awesome. I can totally relate to the high vibrational living, what you eat certainly affects how you think and feel. Thank you so much for sharing your story, as well as more information about your publication. It’s so awesome!

@JenX: Way to go on reducing/cutting out refined sugar! Our digestion systems are really related to our entire health, and making small adjustments can lead to all kinds of incredible results. 🙂

@Mimi: Yay for your sons who love broccoli! I wasn’t into vegetables (or at least cooked ones, or those that came from a can) when I was growing up, so I’m glad you’re starting your kids off with an appreciation of vegetables. 🙂

@David: You’re so right about plant based diets being shown as a healthier alternative everywhere except by the meat industry. One time during grocery shopping I saw a woman and her daughter with a case of coke, and some chips in her cart. He daughter ran over to the strawberries and asked if they could get some. Her mom said no, that they were too expensive… all the while keeping the super processed foods instead? It pains me to think about it.

@Colleen: Now that’s what I call an unfair advantage. 😉 Though there’s nothing wrong with developing an unfair advantage, I juice and blend daily too. It sounds like you’re making green smoothies in your blender, had you heard the term before? 🙂

@Marelisa: Way to go on cutting out sugars! I love guacamole, and I’ve noticed I go through phases of what I like to eat, too. Like right now it’s fresh peaches. I know I’ll move on to apples when those are at their peak. Isn’t it fun? 🙂
.-= Nathalie Lussier´s Last Fabulous Post ..Happy Virgo Birthday Moving Sale =-.

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Karl Staib - Work Happy Now August 26, 2009 at 9:12 am

I like how you say to stay out of the middle aisles of the super market. I agree, it’s where all the processed foods are.

I’m not completely a raw eater. Who am I kidding I love bread. I am changing my ways. I’ve learned to eat a lot more non processed foods than I used to. I used to avoid salads, now I eat one a day.

The more I read your blog the more motivation I have to eat more raw.
.-= Karl Staib – Work Happy Now´s Last Fabulous Post ..10 Part eCourse to a Happier and More Successful You =-.

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Audra Krell August 26, 2009 at 11:33 am

I have tremendously enjoyed this post and your blog, as well as several of the comments this morning! I’m dying to run out to a Farmer’s Market right this minute. But that could be because I live in Scottsdale, and all we have is the “Saturday Morning Scottsdale” version of a Farmer’s Market. High priced, fancy wrapped products along with a fruits and vegetables. Our market even sells expensive purses!
Anyway, the organic section at Safeway is going to have to due, I simply must go out and get some berries now! Thanks Lance for hosting and Nathalie, and thank you Nathalie for all you do to educate and support folks in making healthy food choices.
What are your thoughts on “Go Greens” brand packets for water?
.-= Audra Krell´s Last Fabulous Post ..Back to School Unreadiness =-.

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J.D. Meier August 26, 2009 at 12:07 pm

> What would we be eating if we hadn’t created this massive network of processed foods? Probably lots of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, with the occasional small animal or fish. We’d be eating more berries than we could likely afford at today’s supermarket prices.
Well put. It’s great to test assumptions against a pragmatic backdrop.
.-= J.D. Meier´s Last Fabulous Post ..6 Personality and Work Environment Types =-.

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Evita August 26, 2009 at 12:27 pm

Hello Lance and thanks so much for having Nathalie on your site!!!! I read the title and thought, what!? I love the balance you write about and no discussion is complete without healthy eating, aka taking proper care of our physical bodies, of which as you know I am a huge proponent of.

Nathalie, thank you for being here today and as someone who is eating vegan, mostly raw, I completely second the advice and wisdom you offer here. My grocery trips are fast and easy. Why? Because they consist of the outer aisles, well actually just one quarter of the store 😉 LOL

But seriously enough, yes there is a movement on the planet today towards not just healthier eating, but ultimately more conscious eating. It is not a coincidence that the number of raw foodists, vegetarians and vegans is growing daily. So I applaud your work and all the best to you on your own journey of health!
.-= Evita´s Last Fabulous Post ..Interview With Akashic Record Reader: Akemi Gaines =-.

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Nathalie Lussier August 26, 2009 at 1:00 pm

@Karl: Aww, it warms my heart that people get motivated through reading the articles. That’s the plan, man. 😉 And it’s all about meeting yourself where you are, sometimes we need to take it one step at a time.

@Audra: Too bad there aren’t any farmers’ markets running at the moment, I know what you mean though. Lots of inspiration to run out and get some fresh yummy stuff! I checked out the “go greens” packets for water and here’s my take: these are great if you’re not able to get your intake of fruits and greens. (Like when you’re traveling or something.) Though if you can, try to get the real deal. Green smoothies can lead to that goal quite easily, and they taste good too.

@J.D.: Thanks. I think going back to basics has helped a lot in more than one aspect in my life, so it only made sense to apply it to food too. 😉

@Evita: Don’t you just love the fast and easy shopping trips? It’s one thing that I can say for sure, because I don’t need to walk around the entire store. 😉 I really like what you said about not just healthier eating, but more conscious eating. What a great distinction. Thanks again for sharing your views, it’s great to see other vegans and high raw eaters sharing the love!
.-= Nathalie Lussier´s Last Fabulous Post ..Happy Virgo Birthday Moving Sale =-.

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avtcoach August 26, 2009 at 1:30 pm

Oklahoma City is going to have a new Raw Foods restaurant and academy opening soon! I cannot wait. Since OKC is the “fat” capital of the US we really need this type of option and opportunity.

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Nadia - Happy Lotus August 26, 2009 at 2:22 pm

Hi Nathalie and Lance,

I have been a vegetarian for 20 years and a vegan for the last 8. When my mother was dealing with cancer, I discovered raw foods and it was an eye opener. As a result, I went more raw and read up on food. My husband and I now eat about 75-80% raw foods and it has made a huge difference. I feel happier, younger and would recommend it to anyone.

Many people are put off with this kind of diet but the food that is sold now in most stores just is not food anymore. Most of it is all chemicals and no wonder people are getting heavier.

Nathalie, your passion for raw foods is obvious and I love your site. And Lance, thank you for bringing awareness to an issue that is dear to my heart. 🙂
.-= Nadia – Happy Lotus´s Last Fabulous Post ..Sunday Song For August 23, 2009 =-.

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LifeMadeGreat | Juliet August 26, 2009 at 2:34 pm

Hi there

What always concerns me is the quality of fresh produce these days. So much of it is genetically modified or covered in pesticides or picked too early. It’s definitely better than the junk food but, unfortunately, it’s not like it used to be. (that does make me sound old)

Juliet
.-= LifeMadeGreat | Juliet´s Last Fabulous Post ..The Test of Three =-.

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Sami - Life, Laughs & Lemmings August 26, 2009 at 2:39 pm

Well, as a relatively recent convert to eating organically, shopping on the outside of the aisles and buying locally as much as possible, you are preaching to the converted with me!

Thank you so much Nathalie for spreading this message and contributing to the shift. Thanks to you too Lovely Lance for introducing us to Nathalie!
.-= Sami – Life, Laughs & Lemmings´s Last Fabulous Post ..The Before & After Shots =-.

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Nathalie Lussier August 26, 2009 at 3:07 pm

@svtcoach: I heard about the academy opening up there soon, how exciting! I wasn’t aware that OKC is the “fat” capital though, yeow-za.

@Nadia: Wow, it’s great that you’ve been on the vegetarian path for 20 years and then discovered raw foods. I have heard from many people what a difference there is between vegetarianism and raw foods in terms of energy, and feeling young too! Isn’t it just awesome? Congrats to you and your husband.

@Juliet: I couldn’t agree more! The produce we buy in stores is definitely not what it used to be, or could be if we were picking it ourselves from a home garden, etc. I highly recommend community gardens, home gardens, community supported agriculture, and food co-ops as good alternatives.

@Sami: Woohoo preaching to the choir is always fun, at least it’s a lot easier that way. 😉 I’m so glad to be able to meet new folks who are on this path too!
.-= Nathalie Lussier´s Last Fabulous Post ..Happy Virgo Birthday Moving Sale =-.

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Kaushik August 26, 2009 at 8:06 pm

Wonderful article, I will certainly check out your website. Thanks!
.-= Kaushik´s Last Fabulous Post ..Why we take a peculiar pleasure in suffering and how to stop =-.

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Zeenat{Positive Provocations} August 27, 2009 at 7:16 am

Hi Nathalie,
Your Passion for raw foods is amazing. Since i am in the field of Naturopathy…i am fully aware of the benefits and medicinal properties of raw foods. Treating serious diseases solely with natural alternatives has made me more aware. Its amazing that nature and all things it provides have a means for filling our stomach as well as healing us.
Loved this Post. Will be checking out your blog soon for my regular fix of nature 🙂

Lance, Amazing choice for a guest post, as always. Thanks for the intorduction to such a wonderful “raw foods witch” 😉

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Lance August 27, 2009 at 7:20 am

Nathalie,
My own personal journey down this road to eating a more healthy diet, has led to eating many more fruits and vegetables. Is it always easy? No way. There are lots of forces vying for our mouths. And those forces have lots of money behind them, to “sell” their product to us. What are you likely to see advertised on television – the local farmer’s market, or the latest sugary cereal (with a prize inside!)? What gets shelf space at the ends of aisles in grocery stores – fresh broccoli, or the “great” deal on soda? There’s big money in processed food, and that’s what makes it hard to pass that up sometimes – the advertising, the “special pricing”, the sugar, etc.

Eating healthy just costs more. Does it really, though? If we take a long-term perspective I believe it’s much, much cheaper to eat healthy. The short term costs may be higher. My thought, though – is what we save in $$ upfront by eating cheap processed food, we lose and then some – in potential for more $$ spent on our health as we age (more trips to the doctor, surgeries perhaps, medicine, etc). And that doesn’t even take into account that we just simply feel better when we make healthy choices.

Nathalie, thanks so much for sharing all you have here. You are a wonderful source of information on how to really incorporate healthy foods into our diet. And above and beyond that, you’re a great friend! Thank you for sharing as openly as you do! It’s an honor to have you here!

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Lance August 27, 2009 at 7:24 am

All – Thanks so much for the wonderful comments. You’re in great hands with Nathalie, she knows what she’s talking about, and she lives this every day!

And I’m inspired myself to continue down that path of healthy living – and it’s everyone of you, here and sharing your own journey’s – that makes that easier for me. And I think it probably makes that a bit easier for everyone who’s looking to make positive changes in the healthy food choices they make – reading the comments here is proof of just how “good” healthy living is for us!

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suzen August 27, 2009 at 8:33 am

YAY Lance! Natalie’s post is wonderful and I will be following her blog as well – delicious. I grew up on a farm and took it for granted. When dad moved us to the suburbs and mom had to shop in stores, she grimaced and said the food was tasteless – I thought she was insane at the time because she complained the chickens had no taste. Well, I was a kid. What did I know?

Surprise to me as an adult to realize how very right she was! It took one year with a huge garden about 25 years ago to taste for myself! (I didn’t have the chickens, much to my neighbor’s delight I’m sure!) Between that experience and some surgery, I need to eat small amounts frequently during the day and veggies/fruit fit the bill. I also eliminated sugar in January of this year and feel so much better for it. Meat is a rare fare here, used more for seasoning additive than total consumption.

I agree with all the people – and you – about the veggie/fruit section of the store, but MORE the farmers market, making me drool with anticipation. There is nothing like it!

Lance, superb choice – Natalie, a hug of thanks!
.-= suzen´s Last Fabulous Post ..Optimizing Life: Body, Mind and Spirit =-.

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Hilary August 27, 2009 at 9:26 am

Hi Natalie and Lance .. I love it Jungle of Foods .. fortunatlely we grew up with a large garden, grew all our own veg and fruit, and kept chickens, ducks (til the fox got them!) and pigs .. all fruits and veg imaginable .. pickling eggs, smoking the pork, making bacon .. you name it I think my parents did it …. we were so lucky.

I don’t eat a lot of meat, I do eat fish .. but I always have a salad for lunch .. hate packaged meals, I do resort to the odd sauce, but always eat fresh .. from the farm shop (pick your own) or from the local veggie shop that’s just opened down the road. I know what suits me, and the times of day – the opposite to what you’re told – but if you feel better, then do it .. & I’m here and fit. Cheese is my undoing .. but I’m on my way to change that .. September is lean, keen, thin month ..

Excellent fun post and lovely comments from everyone – we seem to be a healthy bunch ..

Thanks Lance and Natalie .. have good weekends ..
Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories
.-= Hilary´s Last Fabulous Post ..Aquitaine, Dormitories and a Crab … =-.

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Nathalie Lussier August 27, 2009 at 9:31 am

@Kaushik: Thanks so much, glad you enjoyed the post. 🙂

@Zeenat: I’ve been learning more about natural cures since I’ve been on this path myself. Isn’t it incredible what nature has available to us already? I love it.

@Lance: You’re so right about all that advertising money vying for our “mouth’s attention”. It’s actually a big problem for kids, since they are bombarded with (junk) food commercials from an early age, and really zero commercials about healthy fruits and vegetables. That’s bound to skew them toward the advertised foods. And like you said, it’s not easy to resist.

I definitely agree on the upfront costs vs. the long term costs. I’ve watched people in my own family suffer from heart attacks, diabetes, and obesity. I don’t wish any of these things on anyone, and that’s why I’ve made it my mission to help people get healthy.

And it was an honor to be here with you and your community. What a great group & a great friend Lance! 🙂

@Suzen: You’re very lucky to have grown up on a farm, indeed. I know what you mean, I didn’t think there was anything different about the food at grocery stores, but a large garden has convinced me otherwise. Thanks for sharing your story, and I totally appreciate what you mean about meat being more of a seasoning than the main part of the meal. Smart cookie. 😉
.-= Nathalie Lussier´s Last Fabulous Post ..Happy Virgo Birthday Moving Sale =-.

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Nathalie Lussier August 27, 2009 at 9:33 am

@Hilary: Wow, another one who grew up with a large garden and their own animals! How cool is that? Indeed you were very lucky. It’s so great that you know what works for you. And absolutely, by all means go for what makes you feel good, and if that’s lots of veggies, than all the better. 🙂 Thanks so much for the kind comments!
.-= Nathalie Lussier´s Last Fabulous Post ..Happy Virgo Birthday Moving Sale =-.

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Jannie Funster August 27, 2009 at 10:12 am

That’s just heart-bearking about so much soda pop being consumed.

I’m no sugar saint, as you well know, but I do taste carrots as if I were eating my last one each time I enjoy one. I bask in the subtle difference in carrot robustness from various geographic regions, owing to all my carrot-peeling contest championship experience, of course. A Portland ME carrot has got to be my favorite, followed by the Postland OR ones. And ones in portland cement can be good too.

And I sometimes have my donuts raw — does that count, Raw Foods Lady?
.-= Jannie Funster´s Last Fabulous Post ..Post-Vacation Contemplation =-.

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Jennifer August 27, 2009 at 2:07 pm

Nathalie, I enjoyed this. The older I get the more health conscious I become. I grew up in the south eating fried, fried and fried. Today, I eat a fruit and veggie smoothie almost every morning and a mashed avacado with tortilla chips for lunch most days. The evening meal is a bit heavier, but typically very healthy nonetheless – chicken, turkey or fish usually with some good vegies and fruit. Nuts are a staple around here for snacking. I know I could improve though. I guess there’s always room for that. I just wish that organic food didn’t cost so much!! Thank you for your post and for your great smile on the video on your site!
.-= Jennifer´s Last Fabulous Post ..Success or Failure? =-.

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Nathalie Lussier August 27, 2009 at 5:23 pm

@Jannie: I love the idea of tasting carrots as if each was the last. That’s something that I definitely didn’t do when I was eating cookies or chips, you’re just looking forward to the next batch or bite.. not fully enjoying the current. As for raw donuts, I know Ani Phyo has a great raw donut recipe! 😉

@Jennifer: Thanks so much for commenting and sharing your concerns and ideas Jennifer. Organic is expensive, but I tend to look at it from an investment point of view. You are worth that kind of investment. 🙂
.-= Nathalie Lussier´s Last Fabulous Post ..Happy Virgo Birthday Moving Sale =-.

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LisaNewton August 28, 2009 at 8:30 am

Good food choices are definitely easier if you look for the best available resources. I’ve discovered a great market for extremely reasonably priced fresh produce and my daughter belongs to a CSA.

My second daughter is a vegetarian. I was just talking to her about “missing” meat. She told me the only time she even thinks about it is at various family gathering, like Thanksgiving. But, the family totally supports her choice, so we always provide an alternative for her.

Food is very personal, but understanding everyone’s needs is a key ingredient.
.-= LisaNewton´s Last Fabulous Post ..A Mid Week Vacation Day at Laguna Beach in Orange County =-.

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Jewel/Pink Ink August 28, 2009 at 12:00 pm

Catchy website title! Makes me smile.

I was actually just about to break for lunch. This post reminds me to savor and not just eat food. In the Philippines where I grew up, I loved going to the outside markets, and just look around.

Thanks for the inspiration and have a great weekend!!
.-= Jewel/Pink Ink´s Last Fabulous Post ..Anonymous No Longer =-.

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Sara August 28, 2009 at 1:38 pm

Lance — Thanks for introducing Nathalie to us!

Nathalie — This post made me do a lot of thinking about how I eat. I have been eating better; more fruits and nuts, but I can’t quite up meat yet. I do limit it more now, but it’s a slow withdrawal:~)

It’s interesting how food choices differ by country. When I recently visited Switzerland, almost all the food is fresh. The taste was fantastic. My daughter, who lives in London, is into organic food and she’s able to find it easily, but then London a BIG city.

Where I live, it’s not so easy. When Dairy Queen is still a favorite restaurant, good organic and unprocessed foods can be difficult to find. I enjoyed your post very much:~)
.-= Sara´s Last Fabulous Post ..Hullabaloo Muse =-.

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Laurie August 28, 2009 at 7:21 pm

I hate to say it but I’m…..yes, middle aged. Since I have come to that realization, I have been on a quest to prepare my body to be a tap dancing granny when I’m 80. I have been exercising and eating better. While I am a lllloooonnngggg way from eating raw, I am eating more veggies and less processed food. But, you know, I do love a good ol’ hunk of meat. I just don’t have vegan in me.

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Diane, Fit to the Finish August 29, 2009 at 6:09 am

I know I’m late to commenting, but just wanted to say how much I enjoyed this post. It reminds me of the book, “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” which I just loved. Eating local, eating fresh, eating mindfully.

Thanks so much!
.-= Diane, Fit to the Finish´s Last Fabulous Post ..Lessons From A Thin Friend =-.

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Tom Volkar / Delightful Work August 29, 2009 at 6:24 am

For the last two weeks I’ve done a complete overhaul moving 30-40 grams of fiber into my diet daily. Once I did that there simply was not enough room for much meat. I’ve grown berries all my life and you’re right – they are tops for many reasons. Love the scent of ripe pears as well. And slowly eating consciously without my head in a book is a whole new experience that I highly recommend. Good stuff here – thanks.
.-= Tom Volkar / Delightful Work´s Last Fabulous Post ..Ring The Authentic Bell And Win The Big Prize =-.

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Nathalie Lussier August 29, 2009 at 11:37 am

@Lisa: Way to go finding the right places to get your produce. I totally understand your daughter, “missing” meat is not an issue for me either. It only comes up at family events, or at old hang outs. 😉

@Jewel: Yeah! Savoring your food, and not just taking it for granted. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Food markets are certainly fun too.

@Sara: Thanks so much for sharing your perspective on the difference between countries. You’re so right! When I was traveling in Italy, there was a definitely emphasis on freshness. I think every place has a “foodie” atmosphere, but the focus just shifts from place to place.

@Laurie: No worries about admitting your age. 🙂 We’re all here to support each other, and if you don’t have vegan in ya – that’s no problem. I really found one of the keys to feeling better is to remove processed sugars and starches, meat is sort of borderline. (Though over time, I’ve really lost my taste for it.)

@Diane: Aww, thanks so much for your kind comments. Mindful eating is what it’s all about though isn’t it?

@Tom: Yes! I used to eat with my head in a book (or glued to a screen, either TV or computer) a lot. But now things are different and I can enjoy my food so much more. You’re so right that by adding certain things to your diet, you automatically make less room for others (like meat). Way to go Tom! 😀
.-= Nathalie Lussier´s Last Fabulous Post ..Happy Virgo Birthday Moving Sale =-.

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Bella August 29, 2009 at 11:45 am

Oooooooooooh, I *loved* this blog post so much! Thank you, Nathalie and Lance! ♥

I will definitely be checking out your blog, Nathalie
and it’s great to be back on yours, Lance ~ I’ve missed you!

Munching on some raw red bell pepper
and feeling the beauty and energy of the earth,
(btw ~ that’s an awesome quote up there…I think I’m going to put it on my fridge!)

Bella
.-= Bella´s Last Fabulous Post ..* ^ * ^ * Jumping For Joy * ^ * ^ * =-.

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Jannie Funster August 29, 2009 at 11:58 am

Oh my goodness, I think the meat Tom has ousted from his diet has found it ‘s way into my mine. Loving my meat. Is that so bad? I do eat lots of greens too, tho.
.-= Jannie Funster´s Last Fabulous Post ..Yes, Kids Do Say The Darndest Things =-.

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Liara Covert August 29, 2009 at 1:36 pm

Fresh fuits and veggies resonate high vibrations and stabilize and reinforce your own positive energy. This article and images get the juices flowing and inspire some home gardening!
.-= Liara Covert´s Last Fabulous Post ..Why let it happen? =-.

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Nathalie Lussier August 30, 2009 at 1:06 pm

@Bella: Yay! I’m glad you enjoyed the post. 🙂 I used to eat fresh raw bell pepper all the time, and sometimes my friends wondered what was wrong with me. Now that I’m raw, they just think it’s normal. Funny isn’t it? 🙂

@Jannie: That’s funny Jannie! Keep up with the greens, and just enjoy the journey. 🙂

@Liara: Fruit and veggies definitely do resonate high vibrations, and increasing their place in my diet has had big impacts on my whole life. Woohoo for inspiring some home gardening. 😉
.-= Nathalie Lussier´s Last Fabulous Post ..Happy Virgo Birthday Moving Sale =-.

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Sagan August 31, 2009 at 9:03 pm

Great post! It’s good to see the attention going to food. Interesting about the raw food; I find it so fascinating.
.-= Sagan´s Last Fabulous Post ..Vegan Challenge kick-off =-.

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Lance September 3, 2009 at 9:07 pm

Sagan,
Food, such an important part of our life – and yet, really – do we sometimes forget about it’s life-sustaining powers?

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