Posts tagged ‘True Story’

Healing With Nature

A few days ago I was walking back from a lovely dinner when I saw one of the most stunningly beautiful sights of my life: a double rainbow.  One of these extraordinary rainbows would have been gorgeous enough on its own, but the two together made me stop in my tracks – I was absolutely astounded by my gratitude for witnessing something so powerful (before I ran off to find the leprechauns with my pots of gold, of course).

Recently I’ve been walking around barefoot as often as I can, connecting with the Earth and experiencing an odd rock-induced foot massage wherever I go.  I watch the pink-orange sunset every evening and often experience the sunrise as well.  Birds flock to my windows and squirrels meander right up to me begging for food.  I feel like part of the scenery myself – part of the flow of nature; and I have never felt better.

Consider that until rather recently in the development of humanity, we spent most of our time outdoors, and there was no escaping nature.  What has it done to our bodies and spirits to spend the vast majority of time inside temperature-controlled, artificially lit buildings?  Is connecting with nature important?  Have we lost something by adopting an artificial world?

Though there certainly are advantages to the technological advances we have made, I believe that spending time communing with the natural world is essential for optimal health and well being.  One of the reasons I love raw food so much is that I am eating food closest to its natural state.  Animals in nature certainly don’t cook their food, why should I?

Getting some fresh air and sunshine is good for your body and soul – so wander away from your air conditioning and carpet when you get a chance and allow nature to astound and heal you.  When you eat your food, think for a minute about where it came from: a field with a breeze, sunshine and songbirds, perhaps?

Much love,

Lara

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August 21, 2010 at 6:05 pm Leave a comment

Community

Today I woke up early to the sound of a distant rooster crowing, wrote in my journal, read some great poetry, attended a group yoga class that made me feel amazing, and then shared a meal with a dozen other people who love live plant foods.  Paradise!  This experience has reminded me how lovely it is to be a part of a support system, regardless of what your individual goals may be.  As achieving high levels of health and well being is my personal goal, being in the midst of others pursuing the same transforms what would otherwise be a stressful and inconvenient task into a beautiful and effortless adventure.

After almost three years of eating only raw plant foods, I have certainly had experience of living consistently without any semblance of a raw community.  Though I have been blessed with a family that supports my strange dietary pursuits wholeheartedly (while teasingly offering me cheeseburgers), there is something very helpful about having others share in the process.

I did not truly have a raw community until I met my Vibrant Maine friends and we started getting together a few times a week for raw potlucks.  Having them in my life has been so incredible, and has made my raw journey significantly less lonely.  Bronwyn would whip up an amazing original raw soup, Alexis would have delectable salad, raw bread and a spread, Jaime would handle desserts fabulously, I’d make Blazin’ Hot Chocolate or a smoothie, and we’d all share homemade kefir and kombucha.  There would be laughter, and then more laughter.

What could be better than great conversation at a shared meal with friends?  Sometimes when we choose to pursue something unconventional, our old communities don’t seem to fit as well.  This is fine and natural – change and personal evolution is a beautiful thing.  Fortunately, we can find and attract new communities to either replace or supplement the old.  In my opinion, though when we are determined we can achieve something on our own, there is no reason to impose a solitary healing path upon ourselves.  We can gain new ideas from others’ unique perspectives and supportive understanding from those who share our values.  So reach out!  Find a group that already exists or create one in your area.  There is no good reason to do it alone.

With love,

Lara

July 31, 2010 at 11:00 am 3 comments

Mark Bittman on TEDtalks

For those of you who are not ready or willing to make extreme dietary changes at this point, this TEDtalk by Mark Bittman will probably appeal to you.  He does a really good job of laying the facts out of general health and environmental concerns while maintaining a rather moderate stance.  Not surprisingly, I am far more extreme in my views and actions than he is, but I still love this talk.  It is a great place to start.  He gives an amusing and easy to follow history of how we got to where we are today agriculturally and then gives some sound advice on how to start to make a difference in your life and the health of the planet.  If you like this video, consider buying his book, Food Matters.

Here is the video!

Lara

July 6, 2010 at 2:22 pm Leave a comment

Simplify the Daunting

The most common excuse people offer for not pursuing a healthier diet is that they could never give up a certain food.  Sometimes their guilty pleasure is cheese, other times chocolate cake, steak or bacon.  Regardless, the thought of letting go of this tasty treasure is too daunting and they are therefore unwilling to take steps toward a healthier diet.

Here is the secret: you never have to decide to give anything up forever.  All you ever have to do is choose to eat healthy things today.  Today’s choices have nothing to do with yesterday’s choices or tomorrow’s choices.  Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that we are free to choose a chocolate souffle tomorrow… but today we are empowering ourselves with organic, whole, vibrant foods.

It is my belief that eating well never has to be a question of willpower.  When I got to the point of eating 100% raw vegan foods, it felt like a relief.  I was so excited to feel better and could not wait to try out some new foods.  This only happened for me, however, after years of starting to include some healthier items into my standard American diet, and educating myself about the benefits of plant foods and the various scary side effects of processed junk food.  I started to notice how my body felt after eating one food or another, and as a result I naturally noticed myself avoiding the foods that made me feel worn down or poisoned.

Some people will find themselves attracted to a strict dietary lifestyle change, others will be more interested in a moderate approach.  Either decision can have a very positive effect on health and wellbeing.  Regardless, no one ever has to make a dietary choice for the rest of their life – just decide for today, for this meal, this bite.  The rest will work itself out effortlessly if you listen to your body and its true cravings.

Lara

July 3, 2010 at 4:46 pm Leave a comment

Ideas for Spring

Spring is a time for lovely new beginnings and inspiration. Clean your house, get some sun, plant a garden, smell the roses, eat some dandelion leaves, and…

1) Embrace the power of change

When I was growing up, I had an interesting and consistent method for releasing lethargic despair and becoming inspired and hopeful again: I would stay up late into the night and completely rearrange the furniture in my room.  When I woke up the next morning in what felt like a brand new room, it was like all the sadness that had been plaguing me had disappeared with the previous day’s furniture formation.  Changing seemingly insignificant aspects of your life can have a truly transformative effect on your state of mind, creativity, and can even motivate you to make larger positive changes in your life that may have seemed daunting before.  Moving furniture is one tried and true method – and here are some more ideas for you to ponder:

  • Take a new route home.  Even if it takes you slightly out of the way, driving in new places can keep you on your toes, introduce you to interesting places you did not know existed, and prevent you from getting so stuck in your typical routine that you stop seeing the several exciting possibilities life has to offer.
  • Write and send a snail-mail letter to someone.  Whether you choose a loved one you communicate with regularly, an old but distant friend, an acquaintance, or someone you have never even met, it is bound to be an interesting experience.  Let’s face it – most of us have not received a handwritten letter from a friend in about a decade.  It would be nice.  Find some stationary that appeals to you, sit down with the drink of your choice (herbal tea, green juice, straight-up vodka), grab a fun writing utensil, and start writing!  Maybe throw some dried flowers, photos, or a recipe to share in the envelope as well.
  • Try out a new raw recipe.  Perhaps try one of our delicious recipes – and please let us know what you think!

2) Learn something new

Today, I picked up a book on organic chemistry from the library.  Seriously.  I honestly have no idea what I am getting myself into, but I wanted to learn about something completely foreign to me.  Learning new things keeps the brain young – always an important goal, even at my embryonic age of twenty-four.  Your subject of choice does not have to be as, well, dry and frightening as organic chemistry might be – learning anything new will do the trick.  Here are some ideas to begin with:

  • Learn a new instrument.  Speaking from eight years of music teaching experience, it does not matter how old you are – you can pick up a new instrument and do well.  Though you are probably unlikely to be performing with the LA Philharmonic anytime soon, you can certainly experience the joy of creating a beautiful phrase.
  • Learn about kinkajous!  A relative of the raccoon, this adorable creature enjoys honey, fruit, and insects.
  • Learn about a different culture.  Consider studying the Yanomami who live in the Amazonian rainforest in both Brazil and Venezuela.
  • Learn about ridiculously enormous sea creatures.  Fascinating.  Scary.  Really super awesome.

3) Watch this video. Feel free to laugh.

Wishing you all the best of Springtimes,

Lara

May 25, 2010 at 3:03 am Leave a comment

Moosehead Lake, My Heart My Home

I have left my lovely Vibrant Maine friends down south and have gone  back home to Moosehead Lake for the summer. I will be working for my family at the Birches Resort. (Where I hope to implement some raw practices!) My boyfriend, Jordan, and I are staying in the cutest little cabin right on the lake. We’re planning to have an organic garden in our yard too! We’ll have all kinds of veggies, herbs, and big fat strawberries! The seedlings are sitting on porch just waiting to be planted. So with the gorgeous landscape and fresh veggies as bait, hopefully I can entice the other Vibras to visit all the time!


There I am standing on the dock and I look so small! You can see how vast the lake is. 

I will keep you updated, wish me luck with the garden

Jaime 

May 21, 2010 at 12:30 am 2 comments

Galactic Cake Party

When we read about Sweetly Raw dessert diva Heathy’s Ice Cream Cake Challenge we thought it sounded too delicious to pass up.  When dreaming up our ice cream cake we wanted something colorful and full of flavor that would keep us dancing and dreaming all night long.  We wanted a

Galactic Cake Party

Strawberry ice creamy sorbet flew in on her wild space machine to have a cosmic dalliance with spirulina lime green ice cream. But their sweetheart dance wasn’t complete with out the whipped blueberry frosting milky way jumping in to wrap them up in pure galactic bliss. Some blackberry clouds carried the beat.

THE HEART

OF THE

UNIVERSE

IS GREEN

So dance all night
through the galaxies of dreams!

Thanks Heathy for such a fun challenge!  We were plenty inspired by your always golden recipes and our galactic cake party was a blast!

If this cake had a soundtrack it would sound like this…

May 16, 2010 at 1:03 am 10 comments

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