Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Hi there! Sorry I haven't been posting much lately, though I do have what I consider to be a good reason... See, I like to post delicious food pictures for you all, to keep you inspired and make sure you know how scrumptious raw food is. But I haven't been making too much scrumptious food recently, because nature's been making it for me, in the form of all the different varieties of incredible summer fruits.
And the one I've been loving the most is figs! Aside from the fact that figs are ridiculously yummy and also good for you, around here, they're FREE!

Here is me, in the fig tree that's in our garden. Well, the actual tree is growing just the other side of our back fence but as you can see, I am within our property (on the roof of the guinea pig enclosure, to be exact) in this shot. But that's not the only place I get free figs. There are 2 other trees within 2 minutes walking of our house, which I frequent regularly. All 3 are different varieties of figs, though I'm yet to figure out exactly what variety. There are really fig trees just about everywhere! And I love it!
I will get some close-up fig pics for you soon, to get everyone drooling. Oh and I do have a brand-new, scrummy recipe planned, so I'll post pics of that too!
Have a great day everyone!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

My Etsy Shop
HI there, just a quick post to let everyone know that I have created my own Etsy shop to sell my Raw Recipe e-Book and a few other things. You can find it here:
Freedom Productions Shop

Hope everyone is having a great week - there are big things going on here and I'm busy, but I'll get back with a proper post soon!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

My Raw Mum
There's something I've been wanting to share with everyone for a while, but I couldn't... but now I can! For just over two months now, my Mum has been walking the wonderful path of a raw vegan! Here is her story, as I recently posted it on the Raw Pleasure forums:

Well, my Mum is officially a raw fooder ... in fact, she has been for 3 weeks now! As you might know, I was in Adelaide from the 10th to the 23rd of December; when I was in the car on the way home from the airport with my parents, Mum started to try and tell me something. She was kind of beating around the bush so eventually Dad said "she's gone raw!" I couldn't believe my ears! I'm going to share Mum's story with you now (and yes, I've checked with her and she doesn't mind!)

Mum has had digestive problems for over 20 years. She has had in excess of 7 abdominal surgeries, the main ones being: appendix removed, one ovary removed (due to cysts), gall bladder removed, 4 feet of excess bowel removed. When the bowel was removed, the remaining bowel was stitched together and stapled to the wall of her abdomen. That staple is still there.

For many years she (and the Drs) thought Mum had IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). Over the years she gradually ate less and less variety, searching for things she could digest without pain and discomfort. She never tested positive for lactose intolerance but started giving up dairy anyway when I was about 9 or so (10 years ago now). She removed overt dairy (eg glass of milk, slice of cheese) from her diet but still ate bread, biscuits etc with dairy in them. Plus she loves chocolate and would occassionally indulge.

Many foods gave her terrible wind, some of the worst ones being brassica vegetables like broccoli and cabbage. She also couldn't have any high water content foods (eg lettuce) because they made her feel bloated. She couldn't pass the wind and had to lay down and massage her stomach to get it out; she described this like a ball of lead in her abdomen.

Mum has always drunk lots of water and the only hot drinks she enjoyed were herbal teas and the occasional hot chocolate, so no caffeine addictions there.

I clearly remember that by the time I was in about year 8 at school (2001) almost every night of the week Mum would say "what I am going to have for dinner?" Dad and I would chant "chicken, rice and peas," and we'd all laugh, but clearly Mum longed for some variety and flavour. The plate of plain grilled chicken, boiled rice and peas never looked very appealing!

I"m not sure whether it was before or after this that Mum discovered 'adhesions' - only through the glory of the internet did she find out about this condition, where the scar tissue that results from any major surgery does weird things in your body. Apparently certain people have 'adhesion skin,' making them much more susceptible to this condition. In Mum's case, the scar tissue has effectively formed little bands around her intestines so things can't move through them normally.

All the internet literature on adhesions says that the best way to deal with them is to eat a really low fibre diet, as the bulky fibre jams up the intestines where the adhesions exist. So from then on it was white bread, white pasta, white rice... you get the picture. Mum was concerned about the fact that she probably wasn't getting many nutrients from her diet but at least she could digest it.

Mum decided to become vegetarian after reading a lot of my animal rights literature (I was already vegan by this point)... it was September 2006 I think, or maybe it was 2005. Anyway, this didn't have any noticeable effects on her health (when you're only eating plain grilled free range chicken, I can see why) but it did serve to limit her food intake options even more.

Since I went raw last July, I've believed it could 'cure' Mum. I am a passionate believer in raw food... I would put 100% of my trust in it, always. I have read stories of people who have dissolved cysts, tumours and warts... why, then, could Mum not dissolve her adhesions? The hardest thing for me has been that Mum agreed that the raw diet was the best way for humans to live. She sees the truth behind it all. But she always said "my body has been unnaturally altered by doctors so I don't believe this natural diet can help me now."

As this year has progressed, I have seen Mum's condition deteriorate... this was because she had an office job and sitting down all day was affecting her stomach muscles. She quit that job and got another one that involved home assistance to people with disabilities/illnesses ... she was using an upright vaccuum cleaner and a floor washing thing that both hurt her stomach muscles.

A few times I outright suggested raw foods, juice fasts etc... I also dropped subtle hints. Eventually I realised I was going to make Mum angry, push a wedge between us. If Mum wanted to raw, it had to be because she wanted to.

Then I went away for two weeks and whaddya know, I get home and she's raw! Lol.

There was a reason for this though. A couple of months ago she decided to try going gluten free (she has done this before) and so for a few days she ate heaps of gluten free crackers, bread pasta etc... most of which are corn based. She was an absolute mess after that, in agony. So she decided she was allergic to corn and tried to eliminate corn from her diet... you have NO idea how hard that is! It's in EVERYTHING! So she settled to just minimise the amount of corn she was eating.

On the first day I was away, Mum was preparing dinner for Cherimoya (one of my gorgeous ratties) which included scraping fresh corn off the cob. Some corn juice squirted into Mum's eye and she had a terrible allergic reaction to it - the eye swelled up, itched, watered etc etc for over half an hour. From then on she decided that all the corn had to go. And the only way she could find to do this, was to go raw!! (And the rest of the time I was away, Dad was chopping corn for Cherimoya, lol!)

It is still a HUGE learning curve. We have also figured out that Mum has a salicylate allergy and dehydrated foods do NOT agree with her at all. But she is generally enjoying her food and said that she hasn't felt so good in 20 years. I can definitely see that 'raw glow' all around her.

Viva la RAW!!! yahh ohyeah yahh

So anyway, what I'm saying here is - give people time and space. Let them make their own decisions. Be gentle. Just offer what they ask for and maybe a bit more. Don't push too hard. I KNOW it's hard to see people you love suffering.

Here's me and Mum a few weeks ago. Don't we look great? Glowing rawbies!!

Have a fabulous day!

P.S I have been meaning for a while to give a big shout-out to my lovely Nanna, who has been reading my blog for quite some time now. I love you Nanna!!