3 Biggest Mistakes of a Raw Vegan Diet


3 Biggest Mistakes of a Raw Vegan Diet

For almost a decade, I had been using (and still do) raw foods as a tool to forward my sadhana (sanskrit word for spiritual cultivation). Watching and coaching many others, clients and friends alike to do the same, I could say there are 3 big mistakes to avoid if you are serious about making raw foods work for you:

1. Not enough quality plant Fats

Fats, are important for us on almost every level. We need fats to hold and cushion our internal organs against impact. We need fats for proper absorption of essential minerals, for proper skin, bone and hair formations. Essential fats also ensure a smooth transmission process between brain neurons i.e. thought and cognitive processes.

Over the years of coaching, we had seen people undertaking a low fat raw vegan diet, leading to less than optimal states of functionality. Some of them include character instability and emotional fluctuations; the moment we added good raw plant fats into the diet, the person stabilizes and grounds back.

So, don’t skimp on the raw fats. Include lots of ripe avocados, coconuts, coconut oil, organic olives into your diet.

2. Not enough Chlorophyl

In our raw food pyramid, greens form the base layer. Chlorophyl is the most healing substance on Earth. Superior to any anti biotics, pain killers, anesthetics and other synthetic medicines, Chlorophyl is a natural gift from Mother Nature. Thus it does not create problems like synthetic meds do.

One noteworthy point, is to make sure digestion is not compromised. Most people can’t take large amounts of raw greens. If this is the case, good options would be to blend, juice and marinate/ferment the greens. If these options are not available, then taking a quality concentrated form of Chlorophyl like liquid plankton or a super green powder is a best choice.

3. Not maintaining a Sattvic dominant diet

Citing wisdoms from ancient Yogic texts, which exists thousands of years BC, there are essentially 3 natures of matter – Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic.

Briefly, Sattvic means fluid, lucid, light natures; Rajasic means passionate, activity driven, desires and energies of movement; while Tamasic means natures of heaviness, dullness and darkness.

Our universe is made up of these 3 categories of matter, and they consistently combine, separate and recombine towards equilibrium.
For our human body to function optimally, the diet has to be that of a predominant Sattvic nature. When any one quality is increased, the other 2 natures automatically recede.

If you are practicing Yoga and want to refine your Sadhana, a diet dense in Sattvic foods is useful. Some examples of Sattvic foods include raw greens and vegetables, fruits and sprouts.

Examples of Rajasic foods include spices, or anything that excites the taste buds and makes the heart rate increases. Tamasic foods include meat, flesh products, alcohol, and other heavily cooked/processed foods that weigh the mind and spirit down.

Balance is very important, regardless of the diet we are using. If a raw vegan diet is suddenly too much Sattvic, it could cause certain imbalances too, especially if the person is living in the city, and the body is not yet ready for quick transformations. In this case, using spices to slightly reduce the Sattvic nature, increasing the Rajasic nature, could bring much balance to the person’s life.

Photo credit: http://aetherforce.com/vegan-no-more-by-alex-jamieson/#post/0

Organic Chia Seeds: the Humble Mighty Nutrition Powerhouse from Mother Nature!








Organic Chia Seeds are the most precious parts of the desert plant Salvia Hispanica that grows in Mexico. These super nutritious seeds were used for their medicinal properties in the Mayan & Aztech civilizations.

It was said that Aztech warriors went to battle with a pouch of Chia Seeds & water; just a spoonful of Chia Seeds could sustain a person for 24 hours!

Apart from its perfect combination of Omega 3-6 fatty acids, it is also super dense in antioxidants, making it more durable than Flax seeds.  

The best way to eat Chia Seeds is to soak them in water before using them. Place 1/2 Cup Chia Seeds in a Bottle with 2 Cups filtered water. After 30 min, the solution turns into a gel, use whatever amount you require and keep the remaining in the fridge. Chia gel stores up to 5 days in the fridge.

Benefits of eating Chia Seeds:

♥ Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids to keep the organs, skin & hair healthy. Omega fatty acids are essential to health! 

♥ Abundance of soluble fibers to keep the bowels smooth, prevent constipation and prevents Diverticula (colon disease).

♥ Excellent weight loss food due to its ability to slow down sugar metabolization, therefore keeping you full & reducing cravings for unhealthy foods.

♥ Perfect for athletes who train long hours. Chia Seeds, when consumed in gel form, acts as a slow hydrator by releasing moisture to the organs over a prolonged period of time. Add Chia Gel into your smoothies to give it that extra work out boost!

♥ Stabilizes sugar levels in the blood, making it a suitable food for diabetics. 

More info: http://lightlovelaughteracademy.com/online-store/super-foods

(C) Light Love Laughter Pte Ltd

The Magical Raw Cacao: the Food of Gods!

Chocoholics alert! This is a must read for all chocolate lovers, health enthusiasts, anti-aging warriors and beauty fanatics!

Cacao Debrief:

The Cacao plant was considered a sacred plant in the Mayan Civilizations. Prized as a mighty plant that brings vitality, fertility, beauty & youth, these beans were even once used as money! 

The cacao fruit contains clusters of seeds with white juicy flesh covering each seed. These flesh taste like a cross between soursop & mangosteen, and the seed is what is used to make what we commonly know as chocolate. 

♥ Raw Cacao Beans / Nibs

Raw Cacao Beans are the seeds of the Cacao Fruit. Purple in color when fresh, these beans turn dark brown or black when fermented & dried. Cacao Beans can be eaten just as they are; you can make trail mixes with Cacao Beans, Goji Berries & Raw Pumpkin seeds. When crushed, they become Cacao Nibs, which are great to use as toppings on fresh fruit, ice-cream or yogurt. 

When fresh, the seed is actually purple in color. Besides being abundant in Magnesium, Zinc, & PEA (feel good hormone), the Cacao bean also carries flavonoids & antioxidants which helps us fight aging. 

♥ Raw Cacao Powder       

Cacao Powder is the concentrated part of Cacao Beans which are void of fat. Cacao Beans are put through cold mills to extract the fat, separating concentrated Cacao Powder in the process. Cacao Powder is great for making Raw Organic Hot Chocolate Drinks, Ice Creams & a wide variety of healthy Snacks. 

♥ Raw Cacao Butter

This is the fat portion of Cacao Beans. An excellent source of saturated fat (humans need a small percentage of saturated fat in the body to function optimally), Cacao Butter is used to make healthy Raw Cacao Bars, Cookies and even Skin Creams! Just a little dab of this butter on the skin goes a long way to keep you hydrated, moist & glowing! 

All chocolate bars, candies, nougats and other derivatives are made from the super-power almighty cacao bean, which are harvested from inside the cacao fruit. Yes, chocolate grows on trees!

If you have noticed how chocolate balances your hormones, appetites and moods (perfect for that after-break-up-cheer-me-up!), you are not alone, and you are very close to the divine truth.

The Cacao, is what I would call a SUPER food – the ancient tribes used it as a sacred offering, some pray to it, some use it in concocting medicines for healing various diseases, others use it as a secret beauty trick.

There is not only something special in the cacao bean; but MANY special properties which enable it to have healing, rejuvenating, anti-aging, immune-boosting, hormone-balancing, slimming, beautifying and strengthening impacts on a person after consumption.

1) Hundreds of Chemicals for Health 

Besides a truckload of beneficial nutrients for health, cacao is especially high in magnesium, sulfur, iron, chromium, tryphtophan and anti-oxidants. Each of these is indispensable in the pursuit of health, longevity and lasting youth.

2) Incredible Minerals for Beauty

The top beauty mineral contained in abundance is Sulfur – which gives beautiful hair, strong nails, young and radiant skin. On top of it all, it makes the liver and pancreas function optimally. No wonder the Mayans worshipped it!

3) MAO Inhibitors

This stands for Monoamine Oxidase Enzyme Inhibitors. Studies have shown that these MAO inhibitors which are present in Cacao beans helps to diminish and control appetite and cravings. The famous Dr Gabriel Cousens has also confirmed that MAO inhibitors encourage anti-aging effects and rejuvenation in an experiment conducted in 2008.

4) Contains PEA and Anandamide

PEA stands for Phenylethylamine – which is the chemical we produce when we are in love. When you eat cacao, you become constantly in love! Remember how we become all charged up, feeling nice and romantic whenever we fall in love? Imagine all the rosy cheeks, radiant skin and shining eyes, youthful looks constantly for the rest of your lives regardless of whether you are single or not!

Anandamide is a blissful chemical produced naturally by our bodies when we are feeling happy and great. Cacao enzyme inhibitors keeps this chemical in our body around longer, while adding onto it its own natural reserve of Anandamide. When a person feels blissful and happy, he does more good, makes more peace, shares more love. No wonder the ancients say cacao is a spiritual food!

(And do you know that the Sanskrit word for Bliss is “Ananda“? It was an interesting finding for me when I saw this; seems like the ancient Indian ascetic masters knew quite a few things about all these age-reversing and youth-boosting advantages too!)

5) Boost metabolism, increase fitness stamina, and aids natural weight loss

Try it on yourself! Raw cacao speeds up the body’s natural metabolism, and makes you burn fat even while resting. And when you take it before exercise, you can literally feel the energy swoon to the sky!

Having said that, it is important to note that only raw cacao has this benefit. The conventional roasted and processed chocolate products piles on more fat than it helps to burn because of the sugar, milk and hydrogenated fats.

Some important pointers to look out for while consuming Raw Cacao: 

1) Only go for Raw Cacao

The conventional chocolate products have been roasted, cooked, processed and modified to be very far away from what Nature intended for us to consume.

First of all, cacao has what we call theobromine (same family with caffeine, but different substances and has effects). This is also what perks us up when we eat cacao. Studies conducted have shown that raw and roasted theobromine has very different results on the body!

Experiments conducted on myself presented the same facts. I feel the greatest on raw cacao. There is an unmistakable feeling of “congestion” even if I were to eat the purest, finest quality, natural almost 100% dark chocolate bar. The ingredients in this commercially sold chocolate bar is only cacao butter, cacao powder, and nemera sugar (a kind of natural pure sugar). Almost, I would say, raw. But of course, we all know that it was roasted.

2) Go for pure and natural dark chocolate if Raw Cacao is not available to you

Have you noticed that there are more and more dark chocolate with lesser and lesser sugar, addictives, milk etc on the market today?

Yes, our world is evolving. Of course, these are still far away from my best choices; but when raw cacao is really not available to where you are located, then opt for the most natural and least adulterated chocolate options.

Milk and dairy not only spoil the benefits of pure raw cacao; but these are substances which the body has to eliminate. A food should enhance the energy of the person after consumption, not take away.

Read your labels carefully when shopping for conventional chocolate.

But fret not! Raw cacao is now available in Light Love Laughter Academy, in Singapore. You can now experience the power of raw cacao without traveling to the States! 

Ladies & Gentlemen, buckle up and join me in this adventure into the Cacao WonderLand! There is no turning back, because we simply can’t imagine living any other way! ♥

More info: http://lightlovelaughteracademy.com/online-store/super-foods

(C) Light Love Laughter Pte Ltd

Raw Organic Cacao Crisps: Your Thrill Mix for Beauty & Longevity!

Now, you can indulge your taste buds without adding on the pounds!

Cacao Crisps Ingredients: Raw Organic Cacao Nibs, Sprouted Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Almonds, Cashews, Sesame Seeds, Goji Berries, Raisins, Raw Honey, Sea Salt, some Love & lots of Laughter!

WHY Raw Cacao Crisps are better than conventional snacks:

♥ Lovingly made with the finest natural ingredients from Mother Earth, these crisps are prepared at below 47°C where enzymes, vitamins and minerals are kept intact.

♥ All Seeds/Nuts are sprouted & dried with the appropriate amounts of time so that Amino Acids are ready for assimilation, giving you the maximum nutrient density.

♥ Sprouted seeds & nuts have enzymes to break down & assimilate fats, keeping you in good shape! 

Why sprouting is important? Un-sprouted seeds & nuts contain enzyme inhibitors (MAO) that interfere with digestion. Roasted or cooked seeds/nuts are actually harmful for health, and even makes us gain weight! With sprouting, the seed/nut is pre-digested, essential fats are ready for assimilation, and all the nutrients & minerals available to our body.

Great for:

♥ Increasing energy before a workout

♥ Enhancing skin radiance & elasticity

♥ As an excellent, healthful Tea-Break snack

♥ Essential Fatty Acids for optimal organ wellness

1) Raw Cacao Nibs: Nutrients-dense with an extraordinary amounts of antioxidants, flavonoids, zinc and magnesium to make our skin radiant & young with precious benefits for the brain and heart. Reverses & retards aging, revives metabolism, regulates hormone balance, enhances moods & helps in natural weight loss!

2) Sprouted & Dried Pumpkin Seeds: Helps prevent prostate & ovarian cancer, contains tryptophan to relieve insomnia, gives us strong nails and thick youthful hair with generous supplies of zinc, magnesium, manganese & copper.

3) Sprouted & Dried Sunflower Seeds: Truly alive & brimming with high quality amino acids, Sunflower Seeds give us fair skin due to its high Vitamin E content. Also helps prevent cardiovascular problems, asthma symptoms, inflammation & arthritis.

4) Sprouted & Dried Almonds: Contains Calcium, Phosphorus & beauty minerals to give us even skin tone, relieves constipation, helps lower bad cholesterol and keeps our heart in good condition.

5) Sprouted & Dried Cashews: Give us strong teeth, gums, hair & bones. Helps lower heart diseases, and contains copper to make our skin strong & beautiful.

6) Sesame Seeds: Generous supplier of calcium for strong bones, tryptophan to relief insomnia & fiber to cleanse the intestines. 

7) Goji Berries: A Powerful antioxidant-rich berry with 18 amino acids, 21 trace minerals and an excellent source of soluble fibre. They have more beta carotene than carrots, more iron than spinach and more than 400 times Vitamin C than that of oranges! Eating Goji Berries frequently makes our skin elastic & youthful, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, protect against diseases like cancer and it’s a powerful anti-fungal and anti-bacterial food.

(C) Light Love Laughter Pte Ltd

Avara Yaron – Living Foods Chef, Teacher & Cafe owner of Living Food Lab, Bali

Avara Yaron1. Where do you come from and where are you based now?

I was born and raised in Denver, Colorado.  I started college on the East Coast and transferred to Southern California where I spent the next 23 years.  I moved from LA to Southern Oregon where I lived for 7 years in the middle of a pristine forest.  During this period I traveled frequently, including trips to Bali every year for 13 years.  Now I live in Bali, Indonesia where I have 2 raw food cafes called Living Food Lab and teach about nutrition and raw food preparation.

2. How many times have you circled the sun?

This month, May 2014, I will turn 55 (but people always think I am 10-15 years younger than I am!).

3. How did you become interested in raw foods?

I chose to become vegetarian, to the confusion of my family, when I was 14.  I have been interested in healthy food for a very long time.  I have always loved going to health food stores.  I have also been a lifelong foodie and love serving people gorgeous food.  While living in Southern Oregon I learned about the raw food movement from friends in my community.  I was so passionate about cooking that didn’t think I would ever want to eat only raw food, but I took a raw food course at our local food co-op just to gain more information.  During that class, in one night, I went from raw curious to raw convinced!  Something clicked that night.  It made sense to me that if I put fresh, living food into my body it would be life giving.  As I left the course and walked to my car, it was as if every cell in my body was celebrating.  I was receiving an undeniable, full body YES!  I then did what I often advise people not to do, dove in head first and went 100% raw.  My life pivoted in that moment.

4. How long have you been a raw food eater?

That class at the Ashland Food Cooperative was on March 17, 2009.  I have been happily eating raw food ever since.

5. Do you eat a high raw or an all-raw diet?

The first two years I ate exclusively raw food.  At some point I tried eating a bit of cooked food at times, and still do now.  I travel often and it is sometimes very challenging to stay completely raw.  My body is certainly happiest when I eat raw.  My favorite cooked food is popcorn.  I still like popcorn and a movie, but I don’t do that often!

6. How has your life changed after eating high/all-raw?

Raw food came into my life at a time of enormous change.  My son was in crisis at the same time that my businesses were in crisis.  Nearly all the structures in my life fell apart at once and came back together in new ways.  In the midst of this I became a devoted raw foodist and the raw food took over my life.  First was a period of detoxing which was much more emotional than physical for me.  Then new avenues opened and they continue to open.  I formed a raw food catering business, initially in Southern Oregon, and then moved it to Bali.  What I most appreciate about sharing raw food and education with others is that I feel 100% good about it.  I know this is 100% positive.

7. How do you handle temptation or social situations with people who are non-raw or even non-veg?

For the most part I do not feel tempted!  I love my raw food and the way I feel when I eat it!  At times I will try something if I really, truly want to.  I believe in giving myself what I truly want.  Most of the time what I truly want is raw, and most of the time when I try something, out of nostalgia about a certain food, it isn’t really that amazing.  I’m happiest with a lovely salad!

8. What would you typically eat on any given day?

I always start the day with a Green Smoothie.  Usually I have 2 big glasses.  If I am particularly hungry later, I have a chia porridge of some kind, but most days the smoothie is very satisfying.  I rotate the fruits and the greens in my smoothies.  Often I have a big salad at one of my cafes for lunch.  If I eat lunch late, then I may not be very hungry at dinner time.  Perhaps I’ll have another salad in the evening.  That might sound boring, but within the context of a salad I include a wide, alternating variety of ingredients including fermented vegetables and all sorts of improvised dressings.  For snacks if I want something in between meals I may have a protein bar or a sesame nori bar from Living Food Lab, a nut mix, some fruit or a vegetable.   I drink a lot of water, and coconut water, too.  When I am teaching classes, we prepare gourmet raw food which is appealing for newcomers.  It’s what we often call transition food, helping people enter into the raw food world by giving them raw versions of what they are accustomed to in the cooked food world.  The longer I eat raw food the less I crave these more complex foods.  Day to day I like simple raw food.  I do, however, love creating complex gourmet raw food for special occasions.  I do themed raw food events that are creatively satisfying and so successful that I’ll do several in a row.  They are super labor intensive and I end up exhausted after doing a few of them, needing to take a break for a while.

 9. Could you please describe for Rawfoodlifestyles readers your path to becoming a raw food chef/teacher?

From the early months of my raw food path people were asking me if I would offer classes.  At first I had no intention of teaching.  My focus was on sharing food I made, through special events, a home delivery service and as a private chef.  Making food for people is both an art form and an expression of love for me.

I am completely self taught.  When my body gave me the big yes to raw food and I dove in head first to being completely raw, I suddenly had to figure out how to do it.  I studied every raw book I could find and searched the internet.  Even though I already knew my way around the kitchen quite well, it was still like learning a new language.  It took a while to become fluent in raw.  My enthusiasm for the raw food was so strong that I was inspiring others to give the food a try, but I wasn’t sure I was qualified to teach or that my interest was in that direction.

When I moved to Bali it was with the intention of opening a raw food restaurant in Ubud, but within the first week there the general director of the Green School, where my daughter is a student, asked me to bring raw food to the school.  I started off with a little bamboo table in the Green School warung (small snack bar) displaying food I made at home. The requests for classes continued, so I created my first curriculum and started teaching.  One class led to another, including classes for the children at Green School, but I still saw myself more in terms of a chef providing food for people, and Living Food Lab was born out of that desire. First at the Green School and then in Ubud I opened small cafes devoted to sharing casual, nutritious food.  Initially I was hands-on with the food preparation on a daily basis and for every catering job, but over time my staff have completely taken over the food preparation unless I am introducing something new.  Along the way I have taught raw classes with increasing frequency and have now come to see that as perhaps the most important aspect of my work.  It’s the old adage that teaching someone to provide for them self is more beneficial than just handing them a meal.  I have found that I am passionate about teaching and sharing raw food information.  This is part of how I can be a beneficial presence on the planet.

10. What were some of your challenges when you first started your journey?

Two months into my new raw lifestyle I had what the medical world calls a heart attack.  That term seems off to me, as I know nothing attacked me and actually view it as a liberating experience.  It was part of my personal detoxing, as emotional or more so than it was physical, and certainly not indicative of what might happen to someone else.  The purity of the food was helping me to cleanse a very deeply buried subconscious fear.  It was more of a shamanistic rite of passage than an indication that something was wrong.  The level of cleansing, the totality of it, was staggering.  I had already been on a spiritual path for decades at this point and done much work on myself, yet eating such a clean, clear diet brought along the opportunity to get even more clean, even more free, on the inside.  I did not for one moment wish to back off from my raw path.  I only saw the raw food as supporting my evolution.

11. How did you overcome them and what strategies did you use?

The only strategy I know of is to keep going within.  The way in is the way out, as a song by my mentors Michael Beckwith and Rickie Byars Beckwith says.  I am devoted to my spiritual path, to my daily meditation, to my connection with the Holy Presence within me, within all.  After my heart experience I continued to eat raw and learn more about raw, to allow my subconscious fears to surface and integrate, to listen closely to my inner voice.

 12. What inspires you about preparing and eating raw food dishes?

The mere idea of fresh, organic plant based food thrills me.   I find it wonderfully exciting that we can germinate our seeds, initiate the growing process and take all that brand new life force into our bodies.  Creating all manner of food from tender leafy greens feels so right to me.  The greens inspire me.  Even the bitter ones, like dandelion, are deliciously life giving, and delightful in combination with other flavors.  Another thing that inspires me about preparing and eating raw food is that this high vibration, clean, clear diet, supports not only my physical body, but also my emotional and mental bodies, allowing the whole of me to sing!  I absolutely love to feed people and to be able to give others truly healthy food is a gift for them and a gift for me as well.

13. Is there a secret to creating truly delicious raw meals and if so, what is it?

Love.  Love is the essence of everything and the most important factor in anything.  If we bring love to what we do, even the most simple thing is elevated.  Everyone can tell when they are eating food that has been created with love.  In Bali, where I live, there is a culinary tradition of mixing food by hand, literally with their hands in the food.  They believe the human touch enhances the flavor.  We can infuse our food with soul when we make it consciously.  If we set an intention to make food that brings health and goodness to others, that impacts the flavor of the food.  The making of food is an art form.  Color and texture, aroma and beauty, all play a role as powerful as flavor.  Raw food is so colorful and inviting.  I enjoy creating complex flavors that activate all of our taste buds and I also like to make very simple, pure food.  Sometimes when people eat my food they tell me they feel like their mouth is having a party.  Some of the food just bursts with flavor.  Other foods are gentle or very subtle.  There can be many varieties of deliciousness.

14. What do you think is the best meal and/or recipe you’ve ever created and why?

This year I created an event with a friend that featured a 7 course gourmet raw dinner.  That must be the most ambitious meal I have created.  We called the evening Edible Prayer and it was an opportunity for the guests to literally ingest or embody the 7 chakras.  Each chakra has a color associated with it, a specific meaning and a mantra.  My co-facilitator is a kundalini yoga teacher who explained the essence of each chakra and led the assemblage in a meditation, chanting of the mantra associated with that chakra.  Then they ate a course of food presented on one plate where each element of the course was the color of that chakra.  The first plate was all red, the second all orange and so on.  The most challenging was the fifth, the throat chakra, which is blue.  Using purple cabbage already I dyed daikon blue and put a row of daikon slices together to form a blue rosette filled with a blue pate, surrounded by blue flowers!

15. Are you involved in other lines of work apart from practicing and teaching raw culinary arts?

For many years I designed jewelry, handbags and clothing, manufacturing in Bali.  I do a bit of commissioned jewelry design, infrequently.  I also rep a line of pure, organic food grade essential oils which I use with my food.  Mostly Living Food Lab, writing my book about food, taking care of my young daughter and practicing yoga fill my days.

16. You founded Living Food Lab – a raw vegan cafe in Ubud, Bali. Which year did you do that and what inspired you to do so?

Living Food Lab opened initially at Green School in May 2012.  Our Ubud location opened in June 2013.

I have long been amazed at the low nutritional quality of most school food.  How can we feed our children junk and poison, then expect them to focus and learn?  Living Food Lab is only one food option at Green School; there are others and everyone has a choice as to what they will eat.  I thought Living Food Lab would mostly appeal to the adults, but from the start the kids surprised me.  At first our raw chocolates were the big draw, though some children were going for green smoothies and kale chips from the start.  It didn’t take long before children were standing in line for salads along with teachers and parents.  That thrills me.

17. What are Living Food Lab’s goals and what does it offer to its customers?

Living Food Lab serves casual, accessible food of extremely high quality, as organic as we can get it.  We make eating well easy for people.  At Living Food Lab there are no wasted calories; our meals are nutritious and every sauce, dressing and dessert is nutritious as well.

My vision for Living Food Lab is global.  My intention is to inspire others to care enough about themselves to give themselves beautiful, nutritionally viable food.  Currently we operate cafes, do catering, are developing a product line and offer classes.  The classes encourage people to become conscious of their food choices and give them tools to up-level the quality of the food they eat.  The cafes give people easy access to raw food and are a working blueprint that could be replicated in many locations in many countries.  I have already taught in the US, Bali, Singapore and Australia.  This summer I will be teaching in the US, England, France, Italy and Portugal.  I see myself spreading the word internationally about the power of raw food and holistic healing, both through classes and retreats.  I have been a trained spiritual practitioner for nearly 20 years and have vast experience assisting people in transforming their lives.

18. What changes have you witnessed in your own life as a result of going raw (e.g. physical, spiritual, psychological, social, etc.)?

I was devoted to my spiritual practice long before going raw, and continue to be since becoming raw.  I have meditated every morning for many, many years, and now I do a short meditation before bed.  I see that the cleanliness of the food supports me in being in integrity with myself, supports metal clarity and emotional honesty.  I believe raw food holds a pure vibration and helps me to literally embody what I know to be true spiritually.  It keeps me uplifted and healthy.  I do not get sick.  I used to have energy dips where I would get tired in the afternoon, but my energy level is high and even all day long now.  I used to have emotional peaks and valleys, and would stumble into some deep emotional pits.  My emotional wellbeing is considerably more even now.  I am immensely grateful for this.

19. If you had to select a few high points of your raw life so far, what would you choose?

I love traveling and teaching.  The Indonesian Vegan Society brought me to Jogjakarta and Solo to present.  I facilitated an intensive in Singapore for mothers and their pre-teen daughters.  I led classes in the lovely Australian countryside town of Berry.  This summer I’ll be teaching in my home town for the first time at a yoga center.  Seeing the world while sharing my passion is my dream come true.

20. What kinds of experiences do you most try to evoke through your work and food?

I am interested in helping people wake up and get free.  I know how to help excavate and clear the subconscious.  This is extremely important.  We continuously recreate early traumas until we thoroughly integrate the emotions we ran from or didn’t know how to handle when we were young. Without clearing the emotional residue stashed and hidden in our subconscious, we cannot be truly free nor can we truly live our dreams.  I want to live the life of my dreams and help others to do the same.  Everyone matters and I believe in a world that works for everyone.  My heart knows this is possible.  I want to share this message across the globe.  It’s easy to receive when I’m also sharing raw chocolate truffles.

21. Could you please share with Rawfoodlifestyles readers about your vision for Living Food Lab?

Our modest mission:

living food lab… saving the world one meal at a time!

conscious food, healthy people, happy planet!

22. If you were to give one piece of advice to raw foodists or aspiring raw foodists, what would it be?

If you have not eaten raw food before, try eating something raw with each meal.  Focus on adding raw greens. They will help you eliminate sugar cravings.

If you have never done an entire day of raw food, try eating organic, raw, vegan food for one day. .

If you have been eating raw food… keep eating more of it!  You will be happy you did!


23. Would you be willing to share your favorite raw vegan recipe with rawfoodlifestyles readers?  


4 cups cashews, not soaked

3 cups oats

3 cups dates, pitted

1/2 cup flax seeds

1/2 cup goji berries

1/2 cup cacao nibs

1/8 cup chia seeds

1 cup sesame seeds, not soaked (or 1/2 cup white and 1/2 cup black)

1/2 cup pumpkin or sunflower seeds, not soaked

1/2 cup almonds, not soaked , chopped

1 tsp sea salt


Make the dates into date paste in a food processor.  Remove date paste into a large bowl.  Blend half the cashews and salt in food processor.  Pulse in remaining cashews, leaving the mixture chunky.  Add to the bowl with the date paste.  Stir in the rest of the ingredients and mix well by hand.  Press into a glass dish.  Freeze or refrigerate, then cut into bars.


Jonny Freesh – Raw Food & Rap Music Entwined so Sublime


Rawfoodlifestyles.com had started its first round of interviewing raw food chefs in Asia!

Drum roll … … … …

Our very first featured raw food chef is Jonny Freesh!

Learn more about Jonny and his raw food classes at Bali in the following interview ^_^

Get excited for his desserts, which are heavenly gourmet!


1. Where do you come from and where are you based now?
Canada. Bali.

2. How many times have you circled the sun?

3. How did you become interested in raw foods?
After becoming unhealthy during university I quit drinking and partying.

Despite 7 months of supposedly healthy living I still didn’t feel good. Then I met a raw food and juice fasting enthusiast while traveling through, ironically, Indonesia, and I never looked back.

4. How long have you been a raw food eater?
Just under 2 years – I’m still a bit of a newb 🙂

5. Do you eat a high raw or an all-raw diet?
High Raw – I use a few cooked ingredients (mainly spices and flavorings) and I like to eat a cooked meal every 2 or 3 days.

6. How has your life changed after eating high/all-raw?
I’ve become so much more in touch with myself, my passions, my emotions. I’ve got my energy back. I’m motivated and inspired. I feel much more creative.

7. How do you handle temptation or social situations with people who are non-raw or even non-veg?
I sneak delicious Raw Food onto their plates and wait for them to exclaim that it’s the best thing they ate! For real though I just stay very conscious of the language used when people try to engage me in conversations about my lifestyle. If I pay close attention I can usually determine the underlying reason as to why they’re asking me about it and then avoid any of those nasty angry lifestyle conversations that can pop up.

8. What would you typically eat on any given day?
1 Smoothie or Juice. 1 Salad. 1 more gourmet, heavier Entree, and 1 dessert 🙂 And then i’ll snack on whatever leftovers are lying around.

9. Could you please describe for Rawfoodlifestyles readers your path to becoming a raw food chef/teacher?

I saw an advertisement for RawFoodBali.com for sale on a Bali Expat forum when I was researching starting a business in Bali. This was a few months after I started eating mostly raw and juice fasting. I took it as a sign and jumped in the deep end. When I first bought it I organized classes with other chefs and assisted them, so I learned the ins and outs of teaching plus lots about the food. Then I took Elaina Love’s Raw Chef Certification course and started teaching after.

10. What were some of your challenges when you first started your journey?
Finding replacements for bread. That was my big unhealthy food craving.

11. How did you overcome them and what strategies did you use?
At first this really thick, fudgy Halva recipe that I make satisfied the craving. Then I learned how to make proper raw bread and that does the job!

12. What inspires you about preparing and eating raw food dishes?

Knowing that it makes me and so many other people feel better when they eat it.

13. Is there a secret to creating truly delicious raw meals and if so, what is it?
Raw Food always tastes better when good hip hop music is playing while it’s being made.That’s a fact, not an opinion 😉 Also, there’s no rules in my kitchen, and every Freeshing (that means to make raw food) session will produce tastier food if it’s a bit messy. Especially with chocolate.

14. What do you think is the best meal and/or recipe you’ve ever created and why?
This one Durian Passionfruit Pie because a Tantric Sex Teacher that ate it practically had an orgasm while eating it in the middle of a party of 20 people.

15. Are you involved in other lines of work apart from practising and teaching raw culinary arts?
At the moment no. Soon I will be moving more into music as I’ve just finished my first mixtape and am organizing concerts.

16. In 2013 you took over RawFoodBali. What inspired you to do so?

17. What is RawFoodBali’s goals and what does it offer to students?
Currently, I only use RawFoodBali at the moment as a site to promote my courses through.

Other than it’s main purpose is to provide free raw food information in Bali. My main focus is my new site, www.JonnyFreesh.Com, and the goal with it is to make Raw Food more fun, easy and accessible to the masses through delicious recipes and funky hip hop music.

18. What changes have you witnessed in your own life as a result of going raw (e.g. physical, spiritual, psychological, social, etc.)?
The usual physical ones, ie. weight loss, more energy, clearer skin and eyes. I’m much more sensitive to food now, in a good way. I can much more easily identify what food is good for me and what isn’t. Mentally I’ve recovered my intelligence, which I lost when I went to University. Emotionally I’m more in tune with my heart, though that is more attributed to the Men’s Circle I attend. Check out ManKindProject.Org if you’re interested fellows.

19. If you had to select a few high points of your raw life so far, what would you choose?
At first I though, shit, that’s a tough question. Then I remembered being served green juice out of a magnum champagne bottle in a bath tub filled with fruits, veggies and two beautiful girls at the music video shoot of my song All We Do (Is make Raw Chocolate). And then later on watching two more beautiful girls cover each other with liquid raw chocolate and lick it off each other. Every little vegan boy’s dream come true 😉

20. What kinds of experiences do you most try to evoke through your work and food?
Inspiration and tastiness. They go hand in hand. People eat something delicious that’s healthy and they feel inspired to follow suit. And most importantly, it’s always fun and easy. Eating and living healthy has to be fun mentally and emotionally for it to work.

21. Could you please share with Rawfoodlifestyles readers about your vision for RawFoodBali?
RawFoodBali is as it will stay for the foreseeable future. My vision for www.JonnyFreesh.com is it to be the ultimate resource for beginner and experienced Raw Foodies alike to find recipes, techniques, and most importantly, inspiration to live their ideal healthy lifestyle.

22. If you were to give one piece of advice to raw foodists or aspiring raw foodists, what would it be?
Everything’s better in a (W)rap. Seriously. Also, be easy on yourself. It’s okay if stuff happens that wasn’t part of the plan. It may end up being more valuable than stuff that was planned. Be really nice to yourself. You’ve chosen to change your lifestyle so that you feel better, not worse.

23. Would you be willing to share your favorite raw vegan recipe with rawfoodlifestyles readers?
I may have eclipsed this one since then but I haven’t moved all the recipes from my notebooks to my computer, and this one is definitely top 3 in terms of what I’ve got ready to share. I think you’ll appreciate it too, as a fellow Durian Lover 😉

Peanutbutter Durian pie

peanut butter durian pie


  • ½ cmacadamia nuts (soaked & dehydrated)
  • ½ c pinenuts (soaked & dehydrated)
  • ¼ cgojis
  • ¼ c driedcranberries pinch salt
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil


  • Filling ½ c durian flesh
  • ¼ c peanut butter (you can make raw peanut butter with jungle peanuts orreplace with almond butter if you don’t want to use roasted peanut butter)
  • ¼ c coconut oil pinch salt
  • ¼ c liquid sweetener of choice
  • ¼ c coconut meat
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup almonds (soaked & dehydrated) – ½ c inside, ¼ c garnish


    1. Blitz Macadamia Nuts and Pine Nuts in food processor until well crumbled.
    2. Add remaining crust ingredients and blitz until the mixture compresses between yourfingers.
    3. Wipe down Pie Tin (7.5″ diameter, 1″ high) with coconut oil and then press crustinto it.
    4. Blend all filling ingredients except almonds until smooth and creamy.
    5. Pour half the filling into the crust, followed by ½ cup of the almonds, and then therest of the filling on top.
    6. Use the remaining ¼ cup of almonds for garnish.

Jonny Freesh is a lover of Raw Food and Hip Hop, who shares his passions by interweaving them in a fun, tasty way.

He just finished his first Mixtape, teaches Raw Food Courses in Ubud, and is planning a tour of the world to share his

food and music through Raw Food Workshop Concerts.

Get in touch with Jonny via the following sites:




Contra-indications of the Living Foods Lifestyle

“Are there any side effects to your Raw Food Diet? Is it inconvenient or anti-social?”

Woman-holding-apple-beside-the-word-health-uid-1278829-600x400Yes plenty, and extremely inconvenient, I tell them! For the benefit of those who have been itching to ask, and never had the chance to, read on to pre-empt yourself. It’s good to know what you are getting yourself into before venturing further 🙂

1) Cell renewal rate shoots up exponentially. Your fingernails and toenails may decide to take on an entirely new speed of growth, sometimes even shocking! I now trim my nails every 5-7 days, and so do many of my participants, students and friends – they all report experiencing the same thing.

So, if you are not prepared to set aside 5 min to trim your nails often, forget about getting more nutrition into your body. Just stick with the junk, and the nails will grow at the same speed, and even slow down as you age and metabolism declines.

2) Hair growth speeds up like never before. You’ll get darker, fuller and shinier hair compared to previously. And plus, they grow faster, giving you a new task of trimming or maintaining them. Over the past 4 years, my hair has been steadily turning black (I’ve had white hairs since 10 years old), growing faster and thicker. My hairstylist has become one of my best friends now because I see him every 3 weeks once, and other than myself, he touches my head most frequently.

Those of you who prefers to have graying, thinning, slow growing, and flimsy hair, be informed that the living foods lifestyle cannot serve you well. This nutrient dense diet will feed and boost all your regeneration systems, the living Yoga practices will shoot extraordinary amounts of oxygen into each and every cell, that it is impossible NOT to regenerate rapidly.

3) Sudden drop in unwanted flab and cellulite. The only diet in the world, which delivers supreme nutrients, contains fair amount of fat, and taste divine, is the living foods diet. No starvation, so you indulge all your senses and taste buds; plenty of good essential fats so you feel satiated and have no cravings; and an end result of excess fat loss. The amazing part is that this happens so automatically, that you don’t even know what hit you.

Those who wish to hang onto the 5 years old cellulite because of sentimental value, or in order to fit into the fat jeans, be aware that this lifestyle may cause you to have to shop for new sexy clothing to compliment that new attractive physique of yours.

4) Shocking radiance and glow on the face and all over the skin. This dewy, beautiful shine is a result of detoxification and nutrient boost – both from raw foods and Yoga breathing. People may not recognize you; your friends may become jealous of your new-found youth, even the salon promoters feel intimidated to sell you anything because they feel your skin is better than theirs. And even this – some of your friends may jokingly complain, “Can you stop turning younger each time we see you? Its so irritating!”

5) Brain efficiency shoots up. Scientists say most people use less than 10% of our brains the entire lifetime. Seems like diet and lifestyle has a huge impact on this theory.

Incorporate the raw food lifestyle – with living foods and living Yoga, you’ll find yourself experiencing higher brainpowers. You discover all of a sudden that you can work at twice the speed you used to, and yet connect deeply with more people than ever. You may even find you can sing like a bird, write poems better than Casanova, or develop a keen interest in playing the piano.

Nothing to be alarmed about anyway – you have always meant to be a great being. We just forgot conveniently; and living foods lifestyle simply puts us back to our original mode.

Just like how we send a corrupted hard drive to the factory, do a re-configuration, and reset the settings back to default mode.

This is exactly what happens when a person goes onto a raw food lifestyle of living foods and Yoga.

So, to answer your question – yes of course there are disadvantages. There will be changes, because you now feel and look better, function better, you are truly ALIVE. You are more energetic, more beautiful, radiant, creative and talented. And so your current activities may not serve you any more. There will be peers along the way who do not believe in you, and what you do. So there may be inconvenience, in adjusting your mentality towards accepting them while maintaining your individuality.

Lastly, I wish to end with my take – actually, these are not at all disadvantages. In fact, all the above mentioned are valuable gifts which I’d found from the raw food lifestyle. I can never imagine living any other way. So why do I still call them “contra-indications”?

Because many people who asked these questions are actually looking for disadvantages. What do you get when you look for negatives? You get negatives of course! Person A can never see what Person B is seeing and experiencing if A stubbornly refuse to budge on his belief, and adamantly defends his view to death.

Wanna take a peek at how awesome life can be? Just give your body a chance to experience living foods, stop attacking the body, and marvel at how great you can be. 🙂

Cheers to a New World of Embracing Diversity!

© Linda Loo

Living Foods Transition – The Necessity for it

Woman-holding-green-apple-uid-1341769-600x4004 years ago when I embarked onto a Living Foods Dietary Lifestyle, I tried various methods – beginning with the “Cold-Turkey” approach, falling off the wagon, climbing on again, settling for a middle balance, and eventually grounding my foothold today.

Like any other positive change in lifestyle, it is not easy. Food, has so many hidden factors emotional, social as well as spiritual factors tied to it. All these are unseen and unknown by most of us until we experience the changes within.

Over time as I foraged my blueprint on a Living Foods Lifestyle while maintaining an urban life, the need for a transition became clearly obvious.

We have done so much unnaturally things to ourselves that in order to De-Program and Re-Program properly, we need to go through transitional phases.

How long these phases last, the intensity and individual progresses, will vary largely on the background of each individual, the physical biological climate, social conditioning, and even emotional situation.

Over years of experience in coaching and giving classes, I’m convinced that the vast majority of people cannot sustainably change overnight; the ratio of those succeeding on cold-turkey approaches is only about 1 is to 100.

There are so many changes going on in a person’s body when we implement positive dietary changes. Everyone thinks its just the body. In actual fact, it is much deeper than that.

Food, has an irrevocable, undeniable and probably not entirely understood, relationship with our emotions and spiritual progress.

Even when we so much as clean up the diet, (even before living foods!) things can start to happen on all physiological, mental and emotional dimensions.

When we stop feeding the body junk, our body reactivates, cleans up and starts to heal. The mind clears up junk thoughts, getting rid of negative ideas and lower negative emotions are eradicated.

Can you see how simultaneously many things can happen at the same time?

Now, this should sound like good news, isn’t it?

Well, it is! Except that we humans have been so conditioned to the negative environments that we get thrown off balance when things become better!

You see, even when we have progressed for the better, if we have not cultivated and adjusted ourselves to be ready for the new goodness, we reject this new well-being constantly.

This happens on all 3 dimensions – from physiological to mental to emotions.

On the physical dimension, the body goes through intensive healing. If we put it on an over-night hardcore change into pure living foods, the system can go into shock! Even a positive shock is a shock to the system; and while the body may be working on top form, the huge release of emotional baggage starts to seep in and create havoc.

The trick to transitioning, is to allow the body little baby steps in transforming. While keeping one foot in his/her usual diet and lifestyle, the person cleans up say half his diet mildly and adds in simpler foods over time. As the physical body cleans up gently and slowly, emotional energies are released bit by bit.

This allows the body to adjust to the new sense of wellness, the emotions to clear as they release – therefore not causing any repercussion or rebounds.

Transformation is the key to our Future – and I believe that this Transformational Process is closely linked to food, which is our key Variable in Life. Manage this Variable well to achieve freedom, both physiologically and emotionally.

© Copyright 2008-2014, Linda Loo