Monday, March 30, 2009

My Raw Food Class Rocked the House!

Me and Tahisha before the class

I got through it. Tahisha pulled me down off the cliff many times before we had this class and the run-through last week. I honestly thought about canceling many, many times. I am so thankful I did not. The class went great! Everyone loved the food. And because Tahisha and I did a dry-run on March 21, this class went more smoothly for both of us.

I learned that I need two people as assistants. One person to clean the untensils and appliances and one person to take the food away and bring food for the next dish. We prepped and chopped and labeled food the night before, and that's why this class moved better.

I have even more respect for the stars on Food Network. Talking and making food at the same time is harder than it looks!

The sundried-tomato sushi about to be rolled in a nori roll. Shanna, my friend and class participant who had to leave early, said this on Facebook:"I loved the class!! I was skeptical about the raw sushi, but man . . . it was the BOMB!!!"

The strawberry cheesecake. tastes as good as it looks!

The apple crisp. Sonia was about to take it home. That's why it's in a tupperware bowl.

Are these raw tacos pretty or what?

Sonia, Tahisha, and Amaadi. Happy and full of raw food!

Shanna, the next day.
Here's what folk had to say:

I am sooo glad I was able to be included in this class. Althea created MANY dishes in record time and using very affordable appliances. (Witnessing the effortless and speed the dishes formed before my eyes, truly gave me an idea that I could possible cater my own function) Ha! Fat chance...wake up Carol. The experience was great and the food was YUMMEEE!!! I fluctuate between a 50-95% raw food life.This class helped me to increase the percentage of raw food in my life. The green juice, I've heard so much about and never had the courage to make was incredibly good. 5 minutes or less and you have this satisfying, tasty and healing drink. Also extremely Tasty!...the cheese cake with the strawberry sauce, the tacos, the spinach salad, the.....okay, okay. K.I.S.S. (Keep it short and simple). Me want more Raw cuisine -NOW!

Me want more Raw cuisine-Now campaign!
(She took the class last week!)

Just to follow up on yesterday's wonderful event, I wanted to say thank you for teaching the class. It was so healing.

I had a WONDERFUL time yesterday. Eventhough i think i'm coming down with a cold- it was enjoyable for me. I am in the house all day to day to make sure-i can recover. Please add me to your blog and keep me in the loop for future classes. Thanks again!!!
(Thank you ladies!)
I'm recovering from all this excitement with a Week of Green, as I call it. Everything I consume is green. I still have to give you all the recipes for the strawberry cheesecake and chocolate! I haven't forgotten. That's coming up next! Thank you all for your love and support. Whoo Hoo!


Monday, March 23, 2009

My Raw Food Class Dry Run

from l. to r.: (back row)Tamara, Tahisha, Candice, Wanda (front row) Althea, Carol.
Not pictured: Tara, Titi, and Darrell

I taught a "dry-run" of my first raw food class on Saturday, March 21. I was SOOOOOOOO nervous and anxious, so Tahisha, the hostess and my assistant, suggested I do practice class to calm myself down. I did not sleep at all the night before.

But they LOVED it!! YES! I am so glad I did a practice run before the March 28 class. Tahisha and I saw what we needed to do before the class and how to make it run more smoothly the next time.

from l. to r.: (back row)Tamara, Tahisha, Candice, Wanda (front row) Carol, Tara.

The class loved the food. Here are some testimonies:


It was my pleasure attending your "dry run" for your raw food class. I started out thinking I was not going to like going raw, but you certainly turned me around. The experience really showed me how do-able it is with planning. The food was very tasty, the juice and smoothy were surprising delicious!! I am going to phase in a meal or two to begin my journey.

I really enjoyed yesterday's class. I can't wait to make my juices with lots and lots of greens.

I am positive I will be able to reduce my insulin dosage and manage my Diabetes better eating a raw diet.

Good luck with your future classes.


Hi Althea,

That class was just what I needed. The pull of raw food has been getting stronger and stronger. Thank you for your delectable, quick and easy dishes. They really stimulated my creativity and sense of "I can do this". Most of all thank you for the green drink and the green smoothie. I'd tried them before but with less success, so I really hadn't made them a part of my life. Now I'm inspired to get some spinach and apples tomorrow and to "go to town". Peace and Blessings, Wanda

Whoo Hoo! (And the Rock Star shirt is Tahisha's. A last minute addition to the class. Maybe I'll wear it again next time :-).
See you there. Here's the info again:
The cost has been reduced to $85.00. Everything else is the same!


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Embracing Perimenopause

Karyn Calabrese, owner of Karyn's Fresh Corner Cafe in Chicago, Illinois, age 61, raw vegan for 25+ years

On Monday, March 16, I called my mother. I was a stressed-out mess. My period had ended yesterday, but I was still cramping. In fact, the cramps had stopped two days before, and had come back. I was in pain and confused. Four minutes into the call, I started crying. I said, "I'm cramping. I'm tense. I'm in pain. I'm anxious. I have no idea what is going on with me." My mom said, "That sounds just like me when I was thirty-seven." I cried a bit harder. Then she said, "You'll feel better when you're sixty."

WTF??????????? I don't want to wait until I'm sixty!! I want to look like Karyn Calabrese. I want to age gracefully!

I really started crying then. As she talked, her list of perimenopausal symptoms mirrored mine. I knew we had similarities, but I didn't know my mom had given birth to her twin. That would be me.

Age 11:
first period

Age 19:
first gray hairs

Age 30:

first baby
adult onset acne

Age 31:
first hot flashes
night sweats
mood swings
not feeling like myself

Age 32:
second baby

Age 34:
tubal ligation
super heavy periods

Age 36:
irregular periods
cramping after period ends
joint pain
mysterious bruising on thighs

Age 37:
memory loss
dry skin

Age 11:
first period

Age 19:
first baby

very irregular periods
mood swings

Age 29:
second baby
tubal ligation

gray hair
fuzzy thinking
mood swings
bloating mysterious bruising on thighs (which is a circulation problem, btw)

And it gets better. I also learned that my mom is not officially in menopause yet. A woman is in menopause when 12 months have passed since her last period. My mother will be 56 in two weeks. It's only been eight months since her last cycle. Fifty-six?? I was flabbergasted. We had both assumed because our menstrual cycles started when we were eleven that we'd be in menopause around 50-52 years of age. Not so. And then...yes, there is more...she says that we are estrogen-dominant, meaning we have too much of it in our bodies. The usual remedies, such as flaxseed, will not work for us. Great.

[insert curse word]

After our conversation though, my mom found a website that talks about estrogen dominance, what foods and herbs increase the amount of estrogen in the body, and the importance of liver cleansing:

These Minniepauz comics are funny, but I'm not the grandma in the comic. I'm the daughter, holding the baby, and is the one who cannot remember anything. I cannot remember any frickin' thing these days. I go upstairs and can't remember why I went up there. I'm forgetting names. I'm forgetting conversations. I sit down at the computer and can't remember why I'm here. The memory loss is what prompted my admission to myself that I am indeed in perimenopause.

A good list of perimenopause and menopause symptoms are here:
Women to Women.

I struggled with even sharing this publicly. I once saw an episode of The Golden Girls (one of my favorite 80s shows) in which Blanche thought she was pregnant. It turned out she was menopausal. She was scared and ashamed because she was taught menopause was a curse. Women did not discuss "the change." I don't get that.

But even now, I was like, should I tell everyone? Are they going to think I'm crazy or not believe that a woman in her thirties could really be perimenopausal? Or are all the changes women go through scary in and of themselves and therefore hard to deal with? Why? Because it makes us look vulnerable and/or unstable.

I decided to share because I know I'm not the only one going through this. Stress is the number one issue in my life. I've talked about my stressors many times, and they can't be ignored. I've started exercising at the gym, almost everyday.

Next, I had to look at my diet to see where I could improve. I've still been stress eating with rice, cake, and chocolate (the EFT didn't hold). What perimenopause is telling me is that being a raw vegan is the best thing for me, and to take it even more seriously.

Greens, greens, and more greens.

I've focused on gourmet raw food, which is fine. The food has to be interesting or it will get boring. But now I realize that I need healing. If you go to Karyn's website,, she offers a promo DVD for free. On it, she says that she never suffered from any menopausual symptoms. I believe her. Karyn is an Ann Wigmore protege, and had the privilege of studying with Wigmore when she was alive.

Everything always goes back to living foods. I'm on the right track with the wheatgrass, but my diet continues to need an overhaul. Before I do the two-week cleanse, as laid out in the Ann Wigmore Home Study Program and one anyone can do at
The Creative Health Institute, I'm adding more vegetable juices and salads to my diet. I'm in the middle of growing my own wheatgrass (the first batch I made didn't work, at all), and I've ordered soft wheatberries to make Rejuvelac. The process has begun to overhaul my kitchen.

Perimenopause is teaching me is that I have to place my own health first. Every mom puts tons of energy into her family while neglecting herself. That is a universal experience of mothers. But at some point, momma has to care for herself, or she will break down. Then the family suffers because of it. A lot of women do not want to place themselves first because they feel it's selfish. It's not selfish. It's self-care, and it's self-care for the family too. What good is a sick, broken-down mom to her family? None.

I have made a strawberry cheesecake and a "milk" chocolate fudge. Both came out great, and I'll have pictures for my next post. But after that, I'll focus on more green drinks, green foods, sprouting, Rejuvelac, and healing.



Sunday, March 8, 2009

Wheatgrass in the house :-)

Raymond holding a flat of wheatgrass.

Last week I bought a tray of wheatgrass from Adam Kandel, Baltimore's very own "Sproutman." I have the same type of Lexen juicer that I gave last month, and I finally had the chance to use it. It's a manual juicer that requires a lot of cranking, but I felt it was worth it. And it's $100 cheaper than an electric wheatgrass juicer.

My first time out, the photograph above shows how much of the wheatgrass I used.

That much grass created this much juice. It was about two ounces. If you're new to drinking wheatgrass, start with 1-2 ounces per day. It tastes like sweet grass and is POTENT. I mixed it with 4 ounces of apple juice. The last time I had it straight (four ounces which is too much for a first-timer) I nearly threw up. Wheatgrass is a heavy detox. I've been blowing my nose for days.
I've started growing my own wheatgrass. Let me get through my first tray and see if it works! If it does, I will document my second tray to show you all how I did it!
If you want to know more about the miracle of wheatgrass, go to the site of the woman who started it all: the late Ann Wigmore.

And speaking of Ann Wigmore, I received my Home Study Program! Yipeee! It's so, so much information that it's overwhelming. The folks at say that you'll never need to buy another raw food book again, and I can see why. There is a newer, even more packed version for sale now. Here's the link: It's worth checking out.
To your health!



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