Depression and Mental Illness – 7 Foods That Heal Depression and Mental Illness

It is basically boils down to what you put in your body. Depression and Mental Illness is, among other things, a disorder of chemicals inside the brain. If you not nourishing that body of yours it will be sick. it will not cope any more. It will be depressed. Think about it this way – if you do not water a plant and give it some compost it will not function properly and not yield fruits.

During the big depression (not the one that might be coming on us now, the one in the 30s) a lot of people in southern United States ate a lot of corn which is very low in tryptophan. Tryptophan is converted in the body to niacin. Niacin has been proven many times to treat people with serious cases of depression and mental illnesses. Most of those people suffered pallegra which is lack of vitamin B3. Among other things they suffered dementia, schizophrenia and psychosis. They all had been seriously affected by it and it was discovered at some stage that vitamin B3 niacin is the answer. Once a little niacin was added to their diet – 90% of them were cured. This is just one example of what the right nutrition can do to chronic illnesses. Here are 7 more:

  1. Eat raw! Here is an exercise. Take a whole month and eat fresh raw food in that month. That is not to say you should make it a vegetarian month, by all means take your protein from meat but do not cook your vegetables. Eat lots of fresh salad that is made of fresh uncooked tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, lettuces, capsicums, brown button mushrooms, avocadoes, sprouts, red onion, garlic, salt, pepper, lemon juice and tons of extra virgin olive oil. And in the end of the month see if you feel better.
  2. Consume lots of fruit. And organic is better.
  3. Swallow niacin. If you are depressed and consume 250-500mg of niacin you will probably feel better within 15 minutes. Niacin has been proven time and again to treat depression. You will have a flush, but that is OK, do not worry about it. And if you do not feel better after 15 minutes – then take more niacin.
  4. Immerse your body with lots of vitamin C. Vitamin C will help create some chemicals, ie brain chemicals (see beginning of article) that will improve your mood.
  5. Eat food with tryptophan. Cashew, chicken and turkey and generally nuts are all high in tryptophen. A couple of handful of cashew nuts will treat the body for depression, naturally, the same as a prescription dose of prozac. Cashew nuts are fattening, I know, but cashew nuts are a meal by themselves, you will not be hungry after eating two handfuls of cashews. And besides, who cares about getting fat if you can get rid of depression. And that leads me to nutrition number 6:
  6. Exercise. Exercise and exercise. Do not abuse the body, 3-4 hours of exercise per week will do wonders to your body and workout all those cashew nuts.
  7. Combine all the above. There is a way to heal depression, and you have to work for it, nothing is instant and there is no magic pill. In fact all those pills you are taking for depression will magically kill you. Depression is a serious illness and it has to be treated naturally to have high chance of success.

Raw Food Diet For Beginners – Top 5 Essentials You Must Know!

Now that you are finally convinced that Raw Food makes sense, and ready to make some changes, it is time for action! Whether you are using raw foods to heal from a chronic health condition, for its beauty enhancing properties, or just to lose a few pounds and get back in shape, there are some tips to help you succeed when you first embark on the journey:

1) Take Baby Steps

Remember: small changes on a sustainable basis go a long way! It is better to start with a small change every day which you can keep up, rather than dive nose-deep into a totally new diet only to spiral into a binge on junk processed food again.

For newbies, you can start by replacing one meal a day with fresh fruits & vegetables. I would suggest having an all-fruit breakfast. You can have anything – apples, papayas, mangoes, bananas etc. Just take note to eat enough to last you till lunch. Most people will not eat enough fruit and they get ravenous before lunch. Because of the high water & fiber content of fruits, you can not eat much of them at one go. But because they are relatively less calorie-dense (compared to your conventional breakfasts of cooked noodles, corn-flakes, breads etc), you become hungry pretty soon again. The trick is to incorporate more bananas, mangoes and other more calorie-dense fruits to fill you up. If I'm forced to choose only one type of fruit, I would go with bananas. They charge you up with simple sugars, make you full, and can keep you going indeed! Do you know you would have enough fuel to run 10 km just on 2 medium bananas?

If it is possible for you, another way to start is to have fresh fruits before every meal you eat in a day. Now this is definitely going to benefit you! When you eat fruits on an empty stomach, the vitamins & nutrients are assimilated properly by your body and you reap all the benefits. As an added bonus, it also takes up some stomach space so that you will not over-eat the main course.

We often hear people complaining that fruits give them gas, or cause stomach upsets, and so they avoid fruits. Do you know why? Fruit gets a bad name here simply because they are eaten at a wrong time. When you eat a heavy meal consisting of meats, cooked fats & other processed stuffs, your body needs time to break them down. These foods move slowly in your digestive tracts. And what happens when you shove down that piece of fruit? It stays there & ferments while waiting for the rest of the earlier foods to digest. The process of fermentation produces gas, which is what usually people feel uncomfortable about. Furthermore, the nutrients of the fruit are not properly absorbed.

For anyone on a meat concentrated, highly processed & nutrient-void diet, any small change could save his / her life tomorrow or in future.

2) Exercise!

This is vital for anybody seriously looking to change to a healthy life-style! I'm not kidding – nobody can succeed on the road to health transformation without moving your body. Well nobody's saying you should run a marathon, but even a few minutes of running up the stairs can do you good. It's very simple actually, to incorporate just 15 – 30 minutes of brisk walking, or slow jogging everyday. If you can do 30 – 45 minutes of simple cardio 4 -5 times a week, even better!

For those who are really leading superman / superwoman lives with completely no extra time to work out, here are some tricks you may find useful to sneak exercise into your day:

o For drivers, park your vehicle at a fair proximity to your destination, and use that to do a fast walk to & from your car. Or try to leave the car on weekends, and take public transport to your travel points. If you travel with family or friends, you can take the time to catch up with them (interactions are more fulfilled since you do not have to watch the road!), If you are alone you can read or listen to your favorite MP3. Unless you really need the car for transportation purposes, you will enjoy the break from driving!
o This one is a no-brainer – take the stairs whenever you can.
o Busy moms may find this useful – when you move around the house, try to tie a small weight to each of your ankles. If you live in a house with stairs, even better! You will find that just 20 minutes of moving around or doing light housework with this little trick can bring your heart rate up & if you move fast enough, even work out a good sweat! (Just remember to watch where you step in case you trip.)
o Another one for busy moms – put on your favorite dance music when you do housework and dance to it. Have fun & work out at the same time!
o If everything else fails, remember – just taking a short brisk walk of 15 – 20 minutes a day makes a huge difference to someone who does not move his / her body at all!

3) Know how to Make 7 Easy Raw Recipes

This is when you are past the fruit breakfast stage. I love fruits and I can survive on them all day! However, you may not be able to get everything you need from a pure fruit diet, so you will need to eat other vegetables & some nuts / seeds.

I suggest 7 recipes because these is the minimum you need to know to sustain yourself. You can rotate a recipe everyday & not get sick of them at all. When you are ready to move on to the next stage, then you may want to learn about making raw gourmet treats to indulge yourself!

In order to be sustainable & practical – the recipes should meet the following guidelines:

o They must be easy to prepare, preferably under 15 minutes.
o They should include easily available ingredients which you can get everyday from your local market.
o Of course, they need to be tasty to satisfy you. Hey afterall, eating is an enjoyment is not it!
o They must be filling enough to keep you full until the next meal.
o You should be able to easily make more and store for your next meal. (Although I do not recommend this since it is much better to eat them fresh while the nutrients are still intact.) This is again for those of you who are already leading super-crazy lives.

4) Find a Support Buddy or Group

Humans are not designed to be alone! If you are lucky enough to stumble onto Raw Foods, chances are you are probably the only one in your family, neighborhood or even community. It takes tremendous strength & conviction to take on a change alone – and you already should be applauded for it! But also bear in mind that most people fall away because of peer and social pressure.

The solution to this is to find a Raw Support Group, or a Raw Buddy. Remember how gym instructors motivate us? And how exercise columns always advise us to find a work-out buddy? It's the same theory. You need to have some form of support along the way, otherwise you will almost definitely fail! When you first start out, I guarantee that you will meet with criticisms, sneers, and defensive people who are out to crush you. But you do not need to focus on that …. Rather, focus on the positive. Feed what you want to grow, and ignore what you want to die (starve it & it dies!). Keep your mind on your objective & most importantly, do not let others tell you what's best for your body. Go and feel it for yourself.

Surround yourself with the right people. If you can not find a raw vegan group, then surround yourself with encouraging, health – conscious people who are naturally more open-minded. Even if you can not talk about raw foods, their positive energy will do you good.

When I first started out on a raw lifestyle in Singapore, I stood out like a sore thumb. People view me as a weirdo at best, and a lunatic at worst. Friends & family frown on my diet with disapproval. Social situations turned out extremely bad because I was still learning how to handle them. (By the way, you can manage family & social gatherings beautifully even on a raw lifestyle;) read my Socialization on a Raw Vegan Lifestyle – Top 5 Survival Tips You Must Know!) But guess what? I ignored the critics and listened to my own body, and I succeeded. And the reward for that is a list of amazing benefits which outnumbered the effort by far!

5) Observe Your Own Body

Last but definitely not in any way less important, you need to keep track of your progress! If you do not know how your body is reacting, what is going to keep you on course? And would you be even able to measure your results against your objective?

"Feel your body" is the most common advice I give to beginners. You need to listen to it and see what it is telling you, how it is coping, what you are doing, good or bad. Most of the time, we busy city dwellers do not know how it feels to connect with our body, and by the time the signs show, it is usually too late. I'm not asking you to sit cross-legged and "ohmmm" your way to try and levitate. I'm talking about simple daily observation of your body system. How do you feel when you first wake up, do you wake up with serious bad breath and a coated tongue, how do you feel when you eat your first meal, after various different meals, how do you feel after a particular food, how do you feel after a good work-out etc … these tells you volumes about yourself! Someone who ignores how donuts & coke is affecting him will continue to eat them for decades until he / she hears bad news about their health. And by the way, the same donut & coke fella will not know how these foods make him feel because the body is already numb to it. Put him on raw foods for a week and then ask him how he feels!

Depending on the foods you eat, you will feel different. Humans are able to survive on many kinds of foods, but to the extent of life quality, health condition, fitness & how good you look outside? They can greatly vary! I choose to eat Raw Foods because I want the best out of my life. I want to live long, live joyful, look beautiful, accomplish more things, and save some money on medical bills later in life! I want to run like never before, break my own records, realize my maximum potential & perform at peak every day. Because for me, life is simply too short to be "unliving";)

Remember to always have fun – whether in Life or with Raw Foods!

© Copyright, 2008 Linda Loo

Collinsonia Root for Varicose Veins

If you or someone you know suffers from varicose veins listen up. I have discovered something that works.

Collinsonia root, otherwise known as stone root, is a not very well known natural remedy. But it is a great remedy, and I personally can attest to its healing properties. I have tried many things to help varicose veins, and I have found only two natural things that work: the raw food diet, and collinsonia root. In this article I will discuss the benefits of collinsonia root, and how it can help your varicose veins.

Collinsonia root is an diuretic, tonic, and vulnerary. A diuretic means it increases the secretion and expulsion of urine. A tonic means it strengthens or invigorates an organ, or the entire organism. A vulnerary is something that is a healing application for wounds, a topical application. This is what most books say collinsonia root does. But somewhere, in a little whole in the wall health food store called "Atlantis Rising", a place that had a heated brick floor, and the employees were barefoot, and they played tripee music, and had all kinds of cool raw food books, herbs, and incense …. they had the biggest herb book I have ever seen in my life. Twice the size of the largest Bible I have ever seen. I was, and am still a little jealous. But it was just sitting there on a table for everyone's use.

In that book, I looked up the cure for varicose veins, this is a true story, and I found collinsonia root. I do not remember the property that they gave it in that book, but I glommed onto it, found a Naturopathic college that sold it that was close by, and began taking it. I took 2 capsules, 3 times a day, and did not change my diet, which was a pretty standard American diet, add a little more veggies and fruit. After six weeks I would wake up itching! My varicose veins had been shrinking, and I believe the itching was a sign of further healing. My husband and I were shocked at the improvement that just this one herb did for my varicose veins. We had tried other things on me, but nothing got these kinds of results.

One word of warning. Do not let anyone sell you the unground root. Buy it already ground, and put it in capsules yourself. The naturopathic college quit carrying the root because, well it's not called stone root for nothing: it broke several of their grinders!

Do a search on collinsonia root to find a supplier. It is a pretty inexpensive cure for varicose veins.

The Benefits of Feeding a Raw Food Diet to Your Dog

There are so many benefits to feeding your dog a raw diet that it can be an overwhelming amount of information to digest.

I find it easier to understand the benefits of feeding raw if you look at a couple of major benefits that are 100% accurate and applicable to every dog, then to look at specific benefits that may only apply to some dogs.

Major Benefits that apply to every dog:

A raw diet is nutritionally superior to any other type of food you can feed your dog. So whether you're feeding it to your dog because of a health problem or just because you want the very best thing you can possibly feed your dog raw food is a no-brainer. Kibble diets (even the premium ones) are highly processed with most of the vital nutrients baked out.
Because a raw diet for dogs is nutritionally superior it is also easily digestible which helps eliminate bloat, gas, and vomiting from inflammatory conditions like vaccinosis.
Since raw food is nutritionally superior and easily digestible it gives your dog more energy and helps your dog maintain a healthy weight which helps to prevent diabetes, hip dysplasia and other weight related problems. Your dog actually needs less food since it is more nutrient dense and those nutrients are easily absorbed.
All of the above benefits give your dog a longer higher quality life.
The raw food I feed, has all of these qualities and has the benefit of being organic.

Besides the Major benefits of feeding your dog a raw food diet there are many good things you may notice and appreciate:

Your dog will actually poop less (I am serious), which is less for you to clean up. This happens because your dog has less waste because the food has no fillers and is so digestible your dog uses most all of the food, unlike kibble.

Your dogs immune system will be strengthened which will mean less sickness and a higher quality of life with less vet bills.

If your dog suffers with allergies they may be reduced or eliminated all together, which makes for a happier dog and no expensive medications that have unwanted side effects.
Muscle tone is improved which is great for agility and show dogs.

There are so many ways you can benefit by feeding your dogs raw. Most people find raw food when trying to help their dog with health issue, and others want to feed the absolute best for their dog so they always feel the best they can.

All raw food is not created equal however, I have found the absolute best organic raw food that exists and it actually ships for No Charge to directly to your door.

Cabbage Soup Diet – The 7 Advantages and 7 Disadvantages

The Cabbage Soup Diet is a typical example of "magical" food diets. It is primarily based on the claims that the cabbages have special fat-burning abilities, though not yet scientifically proven. There have been many different versions of this diet but the traditional cabbage soup diet allows you to eat as much cabbage as you want. However, no authority claims to be the originator of the cabbage-soup diet.

Basing on a simple 7-day diet, the cabbage soup diet is very restrictive. It is a low-fat, high-fiber, low-calorie diet, directed towards rapid weight loss.

The primary foods allowed throughout the diet include large quantities of cabbage soup (as much as possible, at least once a day), vegetables, fruit, and beef, but not all of these together, distributed day to day. Alcohol is particularly not allowed, only water and unsweetened fruit juices when suitable.

Like any other diet weight loss programs, the Cabbage Soup Diet also has its advantages and disadvantages that we should know.

The 7 Advantages of Cabbage Soup Diet

The advantages of this diet are as follows:

1. You loose more weight as you eat more cabbage.

2. You can eat as much as cabbage soup as you want throughout the diet.

3. Cabbage soup has high water content, and water has been a proven way to keep your self well hydrated at all times.

4. The diet is known to be high in fiber and less in calories compared to others.

5. Because of the soup's composition, you will not be left feeling hungry.

6. This soup will not strip meat from your diet, since you will still be allowed to eat beef during the diet.

7. The diet only lasts for seven days.

The 7 Disadvantages of Cabbage Soup Diet

On the other hand, are a few disadvantages regarding the cabbage soup diet and they are as follows:

1. A reported side effect of this diet is that it is supposed to give a headache to those who undergo it.

2. The Cabbage Soup Diet is only effective for weight loss during the first week. It is not meant for a long term diet, that is why people who undergo the diet need to transfer to another diet regimen.

3. The diet restricts other types of drinks other than water or unsweetened juices. Curbing your cravings for alcohol, sodas and milky drinks may be difficult.

4. Instead of losing fat and water. The Cabbage Soup diet attacks your muscles and you end up losing precious muscle tissue.

5. Due to the restricted amount of calories, you may feel low energy levels throughout the diet.

6. Unlimited cabbage may not sound unappealing, especially to those who basically do not like cabbages.

7. The diet lacks the vitamins and minerals necessary for the preservation of a healthy body.

This diet is only a quick fix type of diet and should not be taken for more than the recommended duration. If you are looking to loose more weight than just the few pounds shed with the 'Cabbage soup diet', it is recommended that you seek the help of professional dietitians.

Examining the Pros and Cons of the Raw Food Diet

When embarking on any diet, it is very important that you are fully knowledgeable about the diet, the calorie counts, nutritional benefits of each item and so forth. Simply waking up one morning and deciding to try out a new diet is not enough. In this article we seek to examine the pros and cons of the raw food diet that vegans stick to.

It is very important to know the actual value of each vegetable and to be informed about what to eat and drink to replace milk and other dairy products. Eating raw foods is a very natural phenomenon for people and our bodies are made to respond to foods that are fresh and nutritious.

How do we classify raw foods? Basically raw foods are foods that are consumed in their natural form without cooking. Therefore all plant foods that are uncooked and unprocessed fall under this category. You are advised to seek out organic food stores to shop for your fruits, vegetables, grains, seeds, nuts, dried fruits and sprouts. Buy fresh fruit and vegetables and make your own juices, there is no shortage of recipes on the internet.

The raw food diet is based on the principle of eating living foods, which contain the maximum fiber you can possibly find in raw products. This fiber which is essential for our well being is reduced during processing and cooking. When food is easily digestible the fat does not stick to you but gets digested faster.

Be warned that you can eat a diet of 100 percent raw and living foods and still not be healthy. The reason being you need to eat the right kinds of foods and not keep binging on cooked or processed foods. Drink plenty of water all through the day in addition to your fruit juices.

Fruits and Vegetable High in Fiber – High Fiber Foods and Our Daily Routine Life

An important and complete diet is the most important element to stay healthy. Therefore one must be very conscious about his diet to maintain a good health. Generally a good diet is a composition of many different things, but the most important elements of a good diet are the vitamins and nutrients. And it is recommended that one should have a diet which is rich in both these elements. Similarly high fiber fruits and vegetables must be included in everyday diet.

The Importance of Fruits and Vegetable High in Fiber:

Fiber is one of the most important components of our daily diet and hence should be included in our daily food. The reason of fiber being so much important is that it provides nutrients to our body which helps us digest our food properly. No matter how old you are, how healthy you are, fiber is still very important to you because eating fibrous food helps you maintaining your health.
With the help of fibrous food, your digestive system works very effectively and hence you are easily able to get rid of our waste materials.

High Fiber Fruits and Vegetables:

As it is now known that fiber is the most important element of our diet but still the question arises that why do people still avoid fibrous food in their diets? The answer is simply that most of the people do not like its taste. And one other problem that people get fed up with eating all those grains and stuff. But what people do not know is that there are a lot of fruits and vegetables which are highly rich in fiber. Use of by vBulletin® Therefore these high fiber sources in diets hwy, they 're 'll get a lot of fibers for them.

There are some specific fruits which contain a lot of fibrous substance, their addition to our diet would be good and provide positive results. These fruits include avocadoes, papaya, apricots, cantaloupe, strawberries, kiwi and grapefruit. The most important aspect of high fiber fruits and vegetables is that they do not need to be cooked as their raw form provides us with nutrients and fibers in right quantities. We should try to get these sources of fiber in their raw form rather than its cooked form because the raw form contains more fiber than otherwise and the breakdown process of raw fiber works more effectively. Also fiber contents gained from the raw food are absorbed in the body quicker than the cooked food.

From above we have learnt that we can gain the fiber contents of food from certain fruits and vegetables too, therefore they should be a part of our daily diets

Raw Food Diet – Eat Well to Live Well

One of the largest grounds behind many families around the globe today moving their diet over towards eating raw food is the evidence available today indicating that simply by cooking the food we eat we are taking out so much of what we want from the meal itself and the reasons we eat it. Once you get to the 75% uncooked meals you’re at a point that is classed as living from raw food intact, by this time fruits and vegetables will make up a great part of your daily food intake.

Individuals who have turned to this way of life can still enjoy a great and tasty diet. Using a cooker known as a dehydrator you can still sit down to hot meals at the table without killing the cells in the meal that the body wants most. The soaking of nuts and drying of many fruits are used as well as juicing down of vegetables and fruits to prepare a health raw juice meal, a nice raw carrot in your lunch box is a great place to start this diet its much easier today to get your hands on really fresh food from your local store that are in the bag and read to eat.

With many saying it’s just too hard and time consuming to prepare it. organic foods have started to take over the reading in many papers when health and diet are involved but it’s not essential to eating the raw food manner meals. If you can get some or all your food from a trusted organic store then all the better but if not don’t worry. Raw foods in the diet will always be so much better for your health whether they are organic or not

Good and Bad Foods for Stomach Ulcers

Not all foods are good for the stomach. When the stomach is suffering from ulcers, it is but wise to know what are the good and bad foods for stomach ulcers.

Ulcers are sores in the lining of the digestive tract. Types of ulcers are identified where they occur. Doudenal ulcers are ulcers in the duodenum. Ulcers in the stomach are known as gastric ulcers and ulcers in the esophagus are called esophageal ulcers.

What Causes Stomach Ulcers

There are various causes for stomach ulcers to occur but all are linked to food and proper hygiene. Before, most doctors believed that ulcers are mainly caused by stress and by eating too much acidic foods. But that all changed after a laboratory experiment discovered that a bacteria called H. pylori causes the infection in the digestive tract forming sores. Acidic foods and gastric juices can only aggravate the sores by burning the digestive tract walls.

Ulcers in the stomach are also caused by some anti-inflammatory medicines. These medications are what doctors usually give to patients with arthritis. These can be corrosive to the stomach lining, so if taken for a prolonged period of time, can increase the risk for ulcers. Naproxen, ibuprofen and aspirin are some of the known anti-inflammatory medicines that may trigger stomach ulcers.

How to Treat Ulcers

As mentioned earlier, stomach ulcers are mainly caused by an infection. So the primary recommendation that your doctor will give you will be to treat the sores by killing the bacteria first. This medication will last for 2 to 3 weeks or until there’s no more trace of the bacteria in your stool. However, this treatment may not always be effective for people suffering from other diseases like diabetes and arthritis.

So to avoid any complication, why not treat stomach ulcers naturally?

The Bad Foods

Obviously, you wouldn’t want to experience its symptoms. You don’t want to feel the pain and see blood in your stool. Hence, you must avoid acidic foods that may trigger these symptoms. Alcohol, caffeine, spicy foods and high intake of sodium (or salt) can all contribute to this ailment. The first three increase the production of acids in the stomach while sodium can irritate its walls.

Sodium is not only contained in salt but most medicines and vitamin supplements contain sodium at a level unnecessary for our bodies. If you are taking some other medications, you must drink lots of fluids, especially pure water to help eliminate excessive sodium fast.

The Good Foods for Stomach Ulcers

Adding oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and halibut in your diet is very effective in treating ulcers naturally. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in high levels in oily fish, and studies show that Omega-3 increases the production of prostaglandins, a compound known to protect the walls of the digestive tract.

Antioxidants present in fruits and vegetables also help lower the risk of developing ulcers by protecting the lining of the stomach. They also help relieve symptoms when ulcers are already present. Dieticians recommend bananas, kiwi, apricots, raw cabbage juice, carrots and bell peppers.

Other good foods for stomach ulcers are almonds, whole grains, wheatgerm, cheddar cheese, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds. These foods are good sources of amino acids, the building block of proteins which are proven to help repair damaged portions of the stomach lining.

Raw Food Chef Ani Phyo Shares Tips on Gourmet Raw, What is in Her Pantry and the Best Blenders

In this article, Ani Phyo shares on gourmet raw, what is in her pantry and the best blenders for home and travel. Ani Phyo is a raw food chef extraordinaire and the author of Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen and Ani’s Raw Food Desserts.

Kevin: I am excited to have Ani Phyo with us today. Today’s going to be really fun. Why not introduce yourself and tell how you got into this whole arena.

Ani: Sure, okay. Let’s see. I was really lucky to have been raised on a lot of raw food. My father was a raw fooder. That was like the previous generation of raw. It was when raw food was really about the functionality. So my mom would make vegetable juices with everything that was ripe in the garden that day, without any consideration for visual color or look or flavor. It was more about “put everything in there because it’s good for you and hold your breath and chug it down and get it into your body because it was good for you.”

Then around the mid-90s when I was in San Francisco during the whole dot-com boom, explosion, the multi-media gulch, I came upon Juliano’s restaurant in San Francisco. For the first time I was introduced to a gourmet raw, this new wave of gourmet raw food, without really realizing that is was the same philosophy of what I had been raised with. As I started learning about that and discovering how it affected my body and gave me mental clarity and focus and kept me from getting sick and made my productivity very high, I started delving into it and making more of that food for myself. As I would have somebody over to dinner or go to dinner I’d be making more of it and sharing it. Everyone that would taste the food would be interested in it because everyone that I talked with wants to look and feel their best and get the most out of life and stay healthy and not be sick, all of that great stuff, be their ideal weight.

So I guess by the late 90s I had started doing more catering and events and dinners. When I went down to Los Angeles I was doing weekly dinners for 50-100 people, before there were any raw restaurants down here, really just as a service to the raw community because there were not restaurants. But also for selfish reasons because I needed to feed myself. It was like extreme gourmet. I would be soaking, dehydrating, marinating, sprouting. Really complex recipes. I don’t enjoy doing that when making the food for myself. It’s all about sharing it with others. So by having these events I could have a reason for making this food and then I’d have food to eat up to those events and then leftovers after the events. That would carry me through the week. So that’s really how I got started, for selfish reasons, to have food to feed myself.

Kevin: The book is on consulting. You’d done consulting for different companies, correct? The original book you wrote. The first book you wrote.

Ani: “Return on Design”?

Kevin: Yes.

Ani: It was an interaction, user-experience design book.

Kevin: How did you go into raw food chef? What made you flip the switch? Was it just, “Hey I need to do something different, I don’t like this anymore”?

Ani: I think what it was…I started off as a 3D modeler, animator and then a special effects person. That was the early 90s. As the web started happening in the early 90s and mid-90s, I sort of moved onto the web and doing multimedia online. Towards the later 90s it really became about the large corporations and eCommerce online. That was when I was doing the dinners on the weekends so I could have food to have to take with me into these corporate offices during the weekdays. I think it really just hit this plateau when I got down to LA and I was working with some of the studios and it was really heartbreaking for me to be in these environments because it was during the rolling blackouts and things and there was a shortage of energy, yet these huge corporate towers were really over-cooling the buildings to a point where employees were wearing like fall jackets to the office in the middle of summer when it was 110 degrees. They were wearing blankets over their shoulders at their desks. Our fingers were so cold I couldn’t type. So they were wasting that much energy and then also they weren’t recycling in the break room or whatever. They were drinking water out of Styrofoam cups. People would go and drink like three ounces of water out of a Styrofoam cup and then throw it away.

So being in that kind of environment was really challenging for me. By that time I had been several years of doing the catering and events. They were really taking off. I realized doing dinners 50-100 people every week, I was like, “Wow, this is really a viable business actually.” So I thought, “Why don’t I take a break from the convergence media and focus 100 percent on the food business?” That was really where my heart was. I could see how it was helping people. It was helping the community. It was helping people gain better health and getting more out of their lives and helping them feel better. So I just really believed in that. So that was when I made the switch from making large corporations more and more money when they weren’t really taking care of their communities or the environment, over to the raw food.

Kevin: Great. Well, we have a lot of questions here. They’re all over the map. We have a lot of great people who are listening and a lot of great questions. I’m kind of struggling as to where to start. Why don’t we start with this listener’s question? What are the top five things in your pantry?

Ani: That are in my pantry…

Kevin: Or that are in your arsenal?

Ani: The top five things. Well, right now I go to the Farmer’s Market all the time, when I’m at home. I love it. Peaches are just so amazing. So I always have the vegetables and the fruit in my kitchen, always. I really like the dark leafy greens like the kales and the chards and I like cabbages because they’re so alkalinizing. In my pantry I always have almonds and cashews and different kinds of nuts and seeds. Actually, in my fridge I have hemp and hemp protein. I always have my superfoods, like acai and my chia seeds and my maca and lucuma, all that kind of stuff, my goji berries. Then I have my greens like spirulina, E3live, Vitamineral Green, that kind of stuff, which I really love. So I think those things I would have on hand.

Then when I’m traveling I always have my personal blender with me and I just take the powders in one of the containers to make a smoothie. I’ll have my hemp protein or something. That way when I get somewhere I can just pick up a banana and blend it in. I have my hemp protein and usually I put in some of the powdered E3Live stuff and different superfoods and I make mix. That way in my hotel room every morning I can start with a smoothie.

Kevin: Great. What kind of blender are you using? Are you traveling with?

Ani: A personal blender from TriBest. It’s my favorite. I just love it because it’s so tiny. I used to travel with my food processor or my Vitamix, so now I have more room in my suitcase for my clothes and my books and things like that. It’s really tiny. I take my two-cup size container and it has the little blender top but it also has a storage top and it has a little travel top for it. It’s really versatile. I really love that blender.