|Written by RawGuru|
|Saturday, 17 July 2010|
A) What are some raw food staples in your current diet?
I have three main staples: greens (including sprouts), spirulina, and green juice. Fresh greens and sprouts are a daily staple for me: I have a big salad for lunch and sometimes even for breakfast. I feel they're the basis of a balanced raw food diet. Green juice is another staple which I drink every day. I usually have a non-glycemic juice made from cucumbers, celery, greens, and lemon either in the morning or in the evening, depending how I feel that day.
Almost three years ago, I was on a 60-day Juice Feast and suddenly began feeling magnetically drawn to spirulina. The odd thing was that I had not really ever had it before, all I can gather is that my body suddenly knew what it needed. After I finished my Juice Feast, I hit the ground running with my spirulina consumption and haven't stopped since. I eat tons of it.
B) Are you 100% raw?
It depends on the time of year. Most of the months of the year I am, mostly because I feel imbalanced with cooked food when it's warm or hot outside. In the winter, I sometimes choose to eat steamed quinoa or warm miso soups, but even that is only a couple times a month. I don't tend to focus on percentages; it can create feelings of control and deprivation that I don't enjoy, so by not paying attention to the percentage but rather paying attention to my body and energy levels, I keep balanced fairly easily.
C) How did you start?
The very first introduction to anything in regards to natural health or dietary choices was that I saw Supersize Me; simply because it was popular at the time. I was a fast-food-fueled varsity swimmer and water polo player, so it was definitely not an initial interest to me! Over the course of the next year, I learned more about organic foods and natural health through books and the internet, and stumbled upon the book The Food Revolution, by John Robbins. I went vegan immediately; I didn't even have a vegetarian phase. A few months after that, I discovered Eating for Beauty by David Wolfe and began playing around with raw food and frequenting the only raw food restaurant in Utah, which was in Salt Lake City where I was going to college.
Question #2: How did you get involved with the Tree of Life?
I had known about Gabriel Cousens, M.D., through his books, for a year before I found out about the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center. I had been feeling drawn to complete immersion in learning about and practicing the diet and lifestyle with many people around me who also had the same passions. Additionally, I had begun to be interested in meditation, yoga and other spiritual practices and was also drawn to community support in that area. I sort of accidentally discovered the Tree of Life online, not previously knowing that Dr. Cousens had a center. I applied to join the team there and was hired. That was a little over three and a half years ago.
Question #3: Can you describe to us what true hunger is? And how does one deal with overeating/binging on raw foods especially dry fruits and fats?
Overeating and bingeing commonly happens when people transition to raw foods. This is a topic that many pages could be written about. First off, true hunger is waiting until the body is asking for fuel and replenishment to eat, not because it's mealtime, a social event is happening, or there is something that looks good. For many, transitioning to a raw diet means transitioning to foods that don't numb, distract, or damper unfavorable feelings within ourselves or realities in our lives. So, those things come up and often people try to push them back down again with the heaviest foods they can get to, which are fats and dry foods. They're the most emotionally filling for most people. Physiologically, overeating those foods can be due to a transition from the body's addiction to processed sugars and fats, and so it's just a stabilization period. Greens and green juice and alkalizing foods are the best for balancing those cravings, as well as a willingness to examine what is beneath the desire to use food for emotional and compulsive reasons.
Question #4: How is your spiritual life in conjunction with the raw foods lifestyle?
Raw food has given rocket fuel to my spiritual life. Eating a clean and nourishing diet clears the blockages in the body as well as gives it true cell-food so it can run like the incredible bio-computer that it is. When the body is working well, the spiritual energy has clearer channels to circulate through as well. On a more practical level, a raw food diet allows for easier and deeper meditations, as well as more ease in other spiritual practices such as yoga. In the beginning for me, it was all about the food and the body and the health, and it's turned into being all about developing myself as a person, deepening my conscious awareness and my feeling of connectedness to something bigger... and raw food is just a support for that.
Question #5: How do you come up with a recipe?
The recipe always comes after a bunch of experimentation with simply what I like to eat. My favorite recipes to create are for are superfood, herbal and medicinal based foods and drinks, since my normal 'eating' tends to be simple - salads, green juices, etc. I love making recipes that incorporate items like cacao, maca, bee pollen, medicinal mushrooms like chaga and reishi, and other herbs. I also love creating low-glycemic recipes that don't taste like they are. After I've thrown something together on intuition and taste test several times, I'll write it down (usually because someone else wants to try it!)
Question #6 Can you share with us a favorite recipe or dish?
I'm loving a 'coffee' drink I make sometimes, which consists of equal parts concentrated chaga or reishi mushroom tea and some kind of nut or seed mylk (I like almond, brazil and coconut mylk best). After that's together, add a sweetener such as honey, xylitol, stevia (or a combo of all). Toppers that I also put in are cacao powder, cacao butter, lucuma, maca, vanilla powder, and if you want to get sassy - cayenne pepper. You can really adapt it to your liking.
Question #7: What are your thoughts on fasting? Water and/or Juice.
In my experience, fasting is the most profound healer. The profundity of allowing the body to rest and repair rather than digest, of simply getting out of its way, is unparalleled. I have done many kinds of fasting, including water fasting, green-juice fasting, and green and fruit Juice Feasting. They all have different purposes and contexts with which they are best used, and I would return to each of them in the future. Water fasting tends to be what I choose when I want a fast based on spiritual clarity and deepened internal states. Green-juice fasting is what I choose for deep cellular cleansing and nutrition, and I choose Juice Feasting with fruit and green juice when I want to do a long cleanse and I want to be able to run around and exercise and work just as I normally do.
Question #8: Do you take any raw supplements or super foods?
Yes, I have some supplements and superfoods I take on an ongoing basis, and others I take when I feel I need them. My ongoing ones are MSM powder, Polar Mins (water from the south pole; very high in minerals), Pure Radiance C Powder, Spirulina, E3 Live, B-12, Omega-Zen, kelp, digestive enzymes and HCL, L-tryptophan, and some kind of green powder like Vitamineral Green. Supplements and superfoods always make a big difference for me in my feeling of balance and harmony in my diet. The tricky part is finding out exactly what you need, which is mostly a process of research and experimentation.
Question #9: Where do you see the raw food movement heading?
I continue to see raw food reaching more diverse groups of people and age ranges. In this, there will continue to be some distinctions in groups who believe different things within a raw food diet, and that's just what happens. The important thing to remember for everyone is that the focus is healing and quality of life. It's a healthier diet to help people reverse their diseases, feel energetic and inspired, and be able to focus on their life's contribution and purpose. For seasoned raw fooders, I think and intend that we'll see people taking things past the food and starting to say, "Ok, I feel amazing, I'm totally healthy and energized. Now that this food provides me with such support, what do I want to do with that?" I think we'll see people expanding beyond the world of food and health into other passions, using food as a catalyst.
Question #10: Can you please tell us about some of your current projects you're working on and/or developing?
I am currently working on long and short pieces of writing exploring the relationship between eating disorders and emotional eating, nutrition and supplementation, and spiritual practices. I'm really interested in how nutrition, supplementation, and spiritual understanding can be a support for those healing eating disorders and emotional eating patterns. I am also getting up a website called "Spirulina Junkie", which will be a fun site for spirulina lovers, or rather, junkies, like me, and a place for people to learn about what spirulina is and how it can contribute to succeeding on a raw food diet and feeling balanced within it, long term. It will bring sexy, fun and healthy to algae like has never been done before!
Keep track of Courtney through her site Radical Radiance!
|Last Updated ( Monday, 13 December 2010 )|
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