2004 International Festival of Raw & Living Foods
Review by Alex Malinsky (Pictures courtesy of Joe Custer, www.ksirrawfoods.com)

portland festival, raw festival
The view from the plane!

Wow! I had the best time ever at the Portland Festival! The fun began Thursday when I woke up at 8am. I checked if I had everything and was headed to the airport. By the way...the only food I had with me was coconut flakes and peeled cacao beans, (which I am going to sell at the festival). I also brought a few bottles of Trinity water with me. Anyway. the plane ride was about 5 ½ hrs. It was a bummer but I still had the best day ever! I was getting a little hungry so I opened some of my coconut and cacao. I mixed both of them up and ate it with a toxic plastic spoon. It was heaven! The person that was sitting next to me was interested in what I was eating. So, I gave her some. She loved the cacao so much that she bought a ½ lb. bag of it. The movie on the plane was “Mean Girls”. It was ok. After the movie, I was feeling a little tired. I did some plane yoga, took a couple of deep breaths and fell asleep. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz......cacao.....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz :)

When I arrived at the Portland airport I sat down and waited for my ride to pick me up. While I was waiting a couple walked up to me and asked me, “Are you the raw guru?” I was like...”Maybe...hehe” They were going to the festival too. We exchanged hugs and they were on their way while I was still waiting for my ride. Meanwhile, Frederick Patenaude just got off the Delta plane with Angela (a friend of mine) and both needed a ride to the the hotel. My ride, Joe Custer (www.ksirrawfoods.com) and his nephew Preston finally arrived and we headed to our hotel. I was happy to meet Frederick and I guess he was happy to meet the rawguru! Haha! We arrived at the Red Lion, where a lot of the raw folks stayed at and couldn't fall asleep. We were all very excited about the event!

It was almost noon time and my stomach started rumbling. I checked out the other vendor booths and saw many of them had free samples of food. I went over, introduced myself and got some free food! It was all very yummy. My favorites were from the raw family, Smartmonkey foods, NFL's chocolate milks made by David Steinberg, It's Alive (they sell the best sauerkraut I have ever tried!) and a number of others.
After I unconsciously overate on all that dehydrated “food”, I headed to see my good friend Paul Nison do a food demo and brief lecture. Paul is very funny. He has a lot of raw jokes and puns that will make anyone laugh. He made red banana smoothies and everyone loved them!

The next morning, I awoke, put on my “got cacao?” t-shirt and headed down to do meditation with Gabriel Cousens. Meditation was held in the ballroom. It was really cold so I left and took a walk outside where it was nice and warm. I took a tour of the vendors while they were setting up and I saw Tony (Tony Thorpe) rolled up in a sleeping bag under the NFL booth. I gave him a sample of my coconut flakes and we chatted a bit. Tony T. is one of the healthiest raw foodists I have seen in a long time. He's also a great guy to hang out with.

A huge selection of books at the NFL booth.

Tony Thorpe and David Steinberg rawk! Sorry...no
David Wolfe. :(

It was almost noon time and my stomach started rumbling. I checked out the other vendor booths and saw many of them had free samples of food. I went over, introduced myself and got some free food! It was all very yummy. My favorites were from the raw family, Smartmonkey foods, NFL's chocolate milks made by David Steinberg, It's Alive (they sell the best sauerkraut I have ever tried!) and a number of others.
After I unconsciously overate on all that dehydrated “food”, I headed to see my good friend Paul Nison do a food demo and brief lecture. Paul is very funny. He has a lot of raw jokes and puns that will make anyone laugh. He made red banana smoothies and everyone loved them!

My good friend Paul Nison doing a food demo!

Paul lets everyone know that not all nut butters are
created equally.

Yummy banana tahini smoothie!

Me about to hand out smoothies!

Next, I headed to the vendors to sell my products. I was a walking booth, I carried with me a few pounds of cacao beans and coconut flakes. I bumped into Cherie Soria and Dan Ladermann from www.rawfoodchef.com. Once Cherie tried the coconut flakes and the cacao she bought all of it. I was left with 2-3 bags in my hotel room and sample baggies. I was really happy she bought all of it, cause I didn't want to carry everything on my back.
I then went to talk with Victoria Boutenko from the Raw Family. I talked with her in Russian and it was great to see her again. The Raw Family is the best!
After walking around and meeting great people I figured I would go see Frederick Patenaude's lecture on teeth, I basically knew everything about it but wanted to support him all the way!

After the lecture Joe, his nephew and I headed to the lake. We went out there and had the best time ever. The water was perfect, the weather was just right and it got only better when we spotted wild ripe juicy blackberries. We ate and ate until we had enough and went for a swim. After the swim we rubbed mud on our bodies and walked around to let the mud dry. It felt so nourishing and revitalizing. We then washed all the mud off and were on our way back to the festival.

ooo, awww!

Tents at the fairground...probably cooked food spies

Back at the festival we sampled more raw foods and then went to see Gabriel's Shabbat ceremony. It brought back a lot of memories hearing him pray and being with Shanti (his wife) and Philip (The Tree of Life manager). Shanti made challa (Jewish bread) and we fed the bread to each other while Gabriel was telling us a story. Afterwards we meditated for 30 or so minutes and then went to our hotel room to rest. It was a long day and we were all tired.
The next day (Saturday) we (Joe, Preston, and Me) awoke and headed down to the ball room to do yoga with Shanti and Gabriel. It was very relaxing and woke us up pretty quick. I was lucky to be included in today's food demo with Philip Madeley.

A view of most of the booths!

More booths!

Philip, Libby (apprentice at the TOL) and I were setting up for this event from 8:00am in the morning. We carried all the produce (nuts, cacao, veggies, and seasonings) and all the equipment down from Philips hotel room and began to start prepping our food station down by the tents. Our demo was at 1:30pm so we had plenty of time to make everything. While Libby and Philip got everything started I headed to the vendor area to find items they would just give for our food demo raffle. I went around and asked for anything and everything people wanted to donate. We had books donated by Frederick Patenaude, Gabriel Cousens, The Raw Family and a few other people. We also had food donated by The Raw Goddess, It's Alive, Maine Coast Sea Company, RawGuru (that's me!), Smartmonkey Foods, Chad Sarno from Vital Creations, and some other folks. Plus we had Tony donate The Healing Waters Band CD (which totally rawks!), Nutrition Magazine, www.rawschool.com, and some other stuff I can't think of the moment. If I missed someone, please let me know!

Look at the crowd at our demo! Over 100 people
showed up!

Our demo started off with Philip Madeley telling everyone about the Tree of Life and setting the intention for this rawsome demo. Philip made chocolate almond spice milk by adding some cayenne pepper for some kick. It was delicious. He blended some almonds with water, added some peeled cacao beans, soaked raisins, nutmeg, cinnamon, and some salt. Then strained everything through a nut milk bag and that's it!

Philip starting off the demo with chocolate milk!

We knew our food demo was going to be the best ever! And it was because I was in it. No, just kidding, it was rawsome because we all had our own part in it. This was all video taped and I highly recommend you see the video when it's available, it is very funny and informative!

Behind the scenes. Alicia Ojeda, Me (pouring the
chocolate milk) and Philip Madeley

Libby made an Australian Country Bread out of flax and almond flour, zucchini, fresh herbs, tomatoes, lemon juice, and salt. Then she made “I can't believe it's not butter!” to go with it. Another apprentice from the TOL made some yummy tahini dressing with some fresh greens. In the midst of all this, Philip and I were picking names for the raffle. The grand prize was a copy of Rainbow Green Life Food Cuisine, signed by Gabriel Cousesns, Shanti Cousens, Chad Sarno and Philip Madeley plus a half pound bag of RawGuru's Peeled Cacao Beans! We had over 125 people come see our demo. It was phenomenal!

Libby doing her part in the food demo!

Libby brought up an audience member to help her out!

I am ready to make chocolate brownies!

Next after the salad, it was my turn to make Double Chocolate Decadent BLISS Brownies. I had only 5 mins to make it all. Everything was already prepped up, I had in front of me, a bowl of mesquite pod meal, carob, coconut flakes, raisins, Brazil nuts, coconut oil, pecans, cinnamon, agave and some salt. I was just throwing everything in the food processor cause we had to serve everything asap. So, without realizing, I put in ½ cup of the cinnamon powder which I thought was mesquite. OOOPS. I realized this just as I put it in because the air picked it up I fel the cinnamon scent hit my nose. When I told the crowd it was cinnamon they were all saying, “Ohhhhh, NOOOO!” I kept it cool and when I tasted it, it wasn't all that bad. We then served everyone premade brownies and they loved it. The lesson I learned from all this, is not to be too serious; if you make food with love (which is the secret it tastes soo darn good!) and laughter there is nothing to worry about. The food will always turn out great and if it doesn't add more cacao! Hehe. We ended our demo with the grand prize raffle and received a standing ovation from everyone! It was a blast!

I am putting everything in a blender. Very exciting! :0

Afterwards, we went to the lake! We were all so tired and hot, that the lake seemed like the perfect plan to cool us off! It was RAWmazing! We ate wild ripe blackberries that were washed by the morning rain for us and then scurried to the tepid lake. We then rubbed our body's with the clay-mud mixture. NUDE! After washing all the mud off, the clouds opened up and presented us with the most vibrant rainbow we have ever seen. The yellow, green, and violet were so radiant! It was a sign to head back to our hotel and get some rest.

The path to the lake!

Yummy wild sun ripened blackberries.

I am in heaven! Blackberries are the best food ever!

Philip is in LOVE...her name is Black Berry!

Philip, Alex and Preston! RAW! Mud is the best
toothpaste on the planet!

On Sunday, it was raining pretty heavily. All I could think of was some hot cacao. When I get cold, I always try to make myself a hot (not exceeding 115 degrees F) hot cacao. Not this time. :( This time, I headed over to my friend Chad Sarno who hooked me up with 2 little jars of the hottest rawest hot pepper sauce ever! It was like a sauna in my mout.

Next, I headed off to see Valaya and Sergie, my other Russian family. They were doing a dry food demo, (cause it was raining and they couldn't get all the food out on time) It was very funny and informative.

Later on in the day. I went to see the 1st Annual Wheatgrass Challenge. It was a lot of fun! There were about 9 contestants, one of them was a woman (my friend Angela!) The others that I could remember were Jameth Sheridan (the dude that created Vitamineral Green and all those other good products), his employee, and some other folks. The event was all about competition. Everyone started out with 2 oz. of straight wheat grass. The first 6-8 oz. was a breeze. They mixed the juices up with beet, and kale. Everyone was feeling fine, until I told them to eat some chocolate in between. (What a mistake! Haha!) by the way, the chocolate was provided by the Raw Goddess. The first one to throw up was Angela, she says the chocolate did it. Then some other dude threw up, and another, and another, until there was 2 left. It was against Jameth Sheridan and his employee Bill something? They were going head to head. Shot after shot after shot, until Bill threw up and Jameth was the wheatgrass champ! Jameth was very competitive throughout the competition and in the end won the whole thing!
After the event Joe and I went to a health store to buy some veggies for a salad. The vendor food was expensive and we knew we can make some great salads, and so we did. We made the best salad ever, put it into bamboo plates and walked around the vendor area, where everyone asked us ,”where did we buy that?” It was great. It was getting kinda late and the vendors were getting ready to close up. We hugged all of the raw friends we made and went to our room to pack up for our flight tom.

In the morning, we all awoke and walked around the vendor area to help them clean up. Afterwards, I got onto the train and was on my way to the airport. At the airport, I bumped into Frederick Patenaude. It was unreal! He missed his plane and was getting on the same plane as I was going to Atlanta. We were so lucky that got to sit next to each other. We talked for the first 3 hrs. about “raw secrets” and other raw gossip. It was fun and we learned a lot from each other. He was telling me about his days working at NFL and I was telling him about some of my current projects and book deals. The last hour of the plane ride, we decided it was time to go to sleep. While Frederick was sleeping, I took out the mycotoxin coated peanuts that the flight attendant gave me and with my black toxic smelling sharpie wrote POISON right on the package and gave it back to her. She looked at me and I just gave her my business card. HAHA!
When we got off the plane Frederick walked me to my gate and we parted. I was on my way to Florida and he was going to Canada.

In conclusion: The Portland Festival was all worth it! I met a lot of great folks, sold all my cacao and had the best time ever! I would recommend it to everyone and anyone! You will love it! Next year I will have my own booth with my book and other goodies! Hope to see ya there! Peace and Love!

Today is the best day ever!


Copyright © 2004, RawGuru®. All rights reserved. To contact Alex please email alex@rawguru.com