I Have Some Specific Problems

In a message dated 9/26/03 3:52:57 AM, Laura writes:

Hi Rhio:

I am looking for a very knowledgeable person in NYC that can help me incorporate more raw food dishes into my diet. I have your book, but I have some specific problems and I need more personal guidance. I have some intestinal problems that make most raw dishes I have eaten a problem for me. I can eat simple salads. I have a slight case of celiac and have had an irritated stomach and intestines, possibly dysbiosis and some sort of inflammation problem in my abdomen that could be radiating to my back. I have never been able to handle any of the yummy dishes that use lots of pureed sprouted nuts or the sweet dehydrated desserts. It's not just that they cause cleansing reactions like you mention in your book, but I get irritated inside. I also have to keep my salt and fruit sugar way down. All this severely limits me and the only meals I can eat are pretty basic and it gets boring after a while. To keep it interesting many raw food people eat lots of raw and dried fruit desserts; and many of the dishes I have eaten at restaurants are very high in sodium. I cannot handle that. I have problems with inflammation and edema and perhaps a yeast overgrowth. I am on a diet now of some animal protein, eggs, lots of veggies, a tiny bit of fruit, nuts and goat yogurt (maybe). Everything is simply prepared, but cooked, except my big salads. It has been soothing for me, but I would like to try and increase the raw portion.

I find that the whole thing raw thing is way, way to time consuming for me – so much easier to steam some kale and bake some Salmon – because I will have to make a separate meal for myself than the rest of the family. They might have steamed greens, but I will have to fix up a tasty raw green dish that includes tons of other ingredients. I will never be satisfied with a plate of raw kale. So, I need some understanding and encouragement, preferably from someone who has gone through this. Also, I have a 6 yr. old boy and I would like to try and find some kid-friendly recipes. I think it is close to impossible to get a 6 yr. old kid to be raw with no sugar, grain, ice cream or chocolate at all here in the city. We go out to big family dinners frequently. I know some claim to be doing it. I'm willing to try to slowly incorporate.

Finally, do you know of a place uptown (I live east side) who sells the coconuts you mention in your book? I used to have a health food store on the upper west side but they went out of business. Coconuts are not supposed to be good for O Blood types. Do you agree with that? I do think your recipes look wonderful and I'm hoping at least my husband will be a little tempted after seeing your great photographs.



Dear Laura,

I am sorry to hear about your health problems.

I am not a practitioner of any kind so cannot advise you concerning them. Please accept the following only as an exchange of information and ideas.

There are people that can help you incorporate more raw food dishes into your diet and you can find some of them by looking in my Raw Lifestyle Centers, Teachers and Practitioners – click Directories link on my website: www.rawfoodinfo.com

You will have to evaluate them yourself by calling and talking with them.

But the problem seems to be that your body is having difficulty digesting any food very well and that's the problem that needs to be addressed. Contrary to what you say, most long term raw food eaters do not eat lots of the concentrated nuts and sweets to keep it interesting. What happens over time on the raw diet is that the body itself starts to ask for simplicity. It becomes satisfied with less and with very simple meals. That has been my experience and verified by many others. That is not to say that we don't want a raw pizza or more elaborate meals occasionally, but on a daily basis, meals are what newcomers might not consider to be satisfying. I didn't really mention this evolution to simple eating in my book because I want people to feel that they will not be deprived of any of the flavors that they enjoy. The evolution to simple eating just happens over time and when it does the person is ready and feels comfortable with it.

In your case, you have some challenges to get through first. I would seriously suggest you go to one of the raw food institutes, either the Ann Wigmore Institute of PR or the Optimum in San Diego or Hippocrates in West Palm Beach. At any one of these places you will get the whole picture of the raw diet and lifestyle. Juice fasting has helped countless others in your circumstances to clear up most or all of their problems. It is easier to do a juice fast (or in the case of The Ann Wigmore Institute in PR , Energy Soup), when you are in a conducive, supportive environment such as exists at these institutes. I would also look into getting some help from a holistic healer. Dr. Baez (uptown, Westside) is listed in the Directories and has helped many.

It does take some time to prepare raw meals, there is no doubt about that. It takes some thought and planning ahead. You are the only one that can decide whether your health is worth investing this time.

As far as the raw kale dishes are concerned. Chad Sarno in his Vital Creations Workbook has a Kale recipe that is simple to prepare with only a few ingredients and very delicious. In my book I have a Marinated Collard Ribbons dish (good for other greens too) that can be made which lasts 3 days. It can be made plain or dressed up with some other ingredients that are suggested.

For your youngster, I suggest getting the book, Eating without Heating, which was written by two teenagers (the Boutenkos) who are raw eaters. Their recipes are very simple and satisfying to young palates. It is not possible to keep your child out of temptations way, but what is possible is to always feed him healthy foods at home which will give him solid experience and knowledge about the types of foods that lead to health. When he grows up (or even as he's growing up) he may stray, but if he gets ill, he will have that information to fall back on.

Try the "Toona" recipe from my book for your husband – most people really like that recipe as an introduction to raw.

The Green Water Coconuts mentioned in my book can be found at Huntspoint Market or at Best Organics where you can purchase them by the box. Best Organics 718 991-8394. Best Organics is also in the Bronx, right outside of the Huntspoint Market. I usually buy a box of something there every other week for juice, it could be apples, or pears or cukes. They also carry the green water coconuts by the box. I don't know of a store that sells them, except downtown at the Essex Market on Essex St., near Delancey street. Sometimes in NYC's Latin neighborhoods you'll see a truck on the street that sells them, as well as other produce. There is one of these stands at the exit of the Willis Avenue Bridge – Take that exit from the East Side Highway, after crossing the bridge, bear to the right, make a right hand turn at the gas station and go up a couple of blocks and the stand is on your right.

I do not believe in the Blood Type Diet Theories. They do not make sense to me, there is no scientific proof of their validity and they encourage meat eating as necessary for certain blood types. I am a type O and need no meat to feel at my best. My partner also is an O. I only recently found out my blood type. Prior to knowing, many people assumed I was a type A – supposedly the type that can sustain a vegetarian diet easily.

Coconut water from green water coconuts is good for everyone because it specifically supports kidney function. Fresh coconut meat is also excellent, but again, in your case, the problem of digestion needs to be urgently addressed.

I am holding a good thought for your complete recovery.

With blessings and peace,


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