Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Step Three on The Raw Vegan Hero's Journey

3. I Am Open and Willing to Change
Inspired by the mythical Hero’s Journey first compiled in The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell (photos are of famous, recognizable characters on their own journeys)

You say you want to go raw because it sounds good. Who doesn't want perfect health? Who doesn’t want to be free of physical pain? Who doesn't want to wake up in the morning fully alert, refreshed, and ready to create a wonderful day? If you’ve been a raw vegan for even a few weeks, you’ve experienced those things. But then you fall off the wagon.

First, if you are not “thinking from the end” and have not written your core values, go back. Without clarity, the raw journey is a muddy one filled with stops and starts.

If you have completed Steps One and Two, then ask yourself, “Am I really open and willing to change?” Are you truly ready to live in alignment with your values? Are you terrified of breaking out of your comfort zone?

In the archetypical Hero’s Journey, the hero lives in his ORDINARY WORLD (Dorothy quietly lives in Kansas; Luke Skywalker, restless, lives on a farm on Tatooine; Shrek lives alone in his swamp).

Marlin and Dory in Finding Nemo

But there’s always a backstory. In Finding Nemo, Marlin’s wife and all of their unborn children, save one, are killed. After that one fish, Nemo, is born, Marlin is an understandably overprotective father. Marlin’s Ordinary World is the anemone. Never, ever leave the anemone. When Nemo is kidnapped, Marlin receives his CALL TO ADVENTURE. He must travel outside his comfort zone. What is at stake? His only child. Marlin wants to REFUSE THE CALL, because he is a RELUCTANT HERO. Marlin is “facing the greatest of all fears, terror of the unknown. 1.”

Go back to Step Two, I Align Myself with My Core Values.

Answer these questions:
1. What are you afraid of?
2. What is at stake if you do not pursue a raw vegan lifestyle, even partially?

I suffer from yeast-related health problems. I am afraid of never healing myself. I am afraid of feeling less-than-optimal for the rest of my life.

What is at stake? My relationship with my husband and children, family & friends, books, and teaching will never rise to their highest level. Living a raw vegan lifestyle is now personal.

Jamal and Latika in Slumdog Millionaire

Being open and willing to change is a concept Louise Hay writes about in You Can Heal Your Life. In movies, the protagonist is usually a reluctant hero, forced to leave the Ordinary World (Dorothy is transported to OZ via tornado; Luke’s aunt and uncle are killed; Shrek’s swamp is overrun with fairy tale creatures).

Health problems often force us to change our lives. They are a Call to Adventure. The adventure is a healing one. My yeast issues are persistent, and INSISTENT. They will not disappear with a magic wand. I have to ACT. But I have to be willing to act.

Say as often as you need to: “I am open and willing to change.” A thousand times a day is reasonable (smile). I’m serious.

Look around and see where you have not been willing to change in terms of raw food. Are you willing to make your juices and smoothies at night, so you can enjoy them in the morning?
Are you willing to try new recipes?
Are you willing to consider a one-day juice or smoothie fast?
Are you willing to invest in new appliances?
Are you willing to get support?

Being “open and willing to change” opens the windows of beautiful healing adventure to you.


1. The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Volger


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Step Two on The Raw Vegan Hero's Journey

2. I Align Myself with My Core Values
Inspired by the mythical Hero’s Journey first compiled in The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell (photos are of famous, recognizable characters on their own journeys)

Ruth and Walter in A Raisin in the Sun

Becoming a raw vegan is an inside out job, which I don’t think people realize until they are on this journey. We eat some a-frickin-mazing raw food, and think, “I am raw for life! This is awesome! I can do this.”

But as soon as the smell of your favorite cooked food wafts across your nostrils, sending you into stupor, you then think, “Bump that raw stuff. This mac and cheese is calling my name!” And off you go. The next morning, you wake feeling as if a bus hit you. Your eyes are full of icky crackly crud. Your nose is stuffy. You have a headache. All of your muscles ache. Then you think, “I’ll never eat cooked food again.”


Then we hear stories of people who went from cooked to raw overnight. The rest of us are like, “If they can do it, what’s wrong with us?” Feeling like losers, we stuff ourselves with chocolate fudge brownies, washed down with soy milk.

What to do?

Lion, Scarecrow, Dorothy, and Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz

Steve Barnes, a novelist and teacher I greatly admire, recently wrote in his LifeWriting newsletter, “…we should have a clear sense of our morality, ethics, and values. You just can't overstate the value of knowing who you are and what you believe when you are writing...or living."

In other words, get clear…about everything in your life. Steve writes a lot about the importance of core values. Know what they are. Write them down. Look at them daily.

Why is getting clear even relevant to the Raw Vegan Hero’s Journey? If you are not clear on why living a raw vegan lifestyle is important to you, you’ll never remain on the path. You’ll continue to fall off. And you’ll continue to beat yourself up for not have the “willpower” to stay raw. It’s not about willpower. It’s about clarity.

Here is what I did to get clear about what my core values are. Replicate the process. But remember, it’s about what is important to YOU, not anyone else.
1. Write down what you know for sure. Take a piece of paper. Write down every single thing that is important to you. And write down beliefs that you are concretely convinced are true, for you. My list filled every line of my paper. What you know for sure will look totally different. Here are some of my examples:
· I am the co-creator of my reality
· My family and my connection to them is important to me
· Raw vegan food is like sunshine in food form
· Being emotionally present for my children is important to me
· Experiencing perfect health is important to me

I had twenty-six of these. See if you can fill at least one side of lined-paper. It’s okay if you repeat yourself, or same the same thing a different way. Then look at the list. See if themes arise. Those repeated themes are your core values yelling back at you.

2. Take all the sentences you wrote, and condense them into FOUR core values.

3. Write “Why?” Again, take all those sentences you wrote to figure out why those four values are so important to you.

Elliot and E.T.

Here are my core values:

Living a raw vegan lifestyle.
“Being a raw began allows me to heal my body, feel the Universe’s love, connect with my family and friends, consciously co-create my world, increase my intuition & angelic connection, and improve my sleep & memory.”

Experiencing a loving, harmonious relationship with my husband, sons, and family.
“I chose my husband and my children chose me. They are my life, my joy, and reason for living. My family is an extension of myself.”

Being a published novelist and author.
“My novels are inspired gifts from the Universe and I honor my gifts. My non-fiction (Mocha Angels, raw food books, etc.) inspires and heals people.”

Being a teacher.
“To whom much is given, much is expected. Knowledge is meant to be shared. I choose to leave this Earth better than I found it.”

4. Whittle your core values down even further. You've got four clear sentences. Looking at those sentences again, I can say my core values are: union with Spirit, relationships, honoring gifts, and sharing.
5. Write, or type your core values twice. Keep one on your person (in your purse, or in your wallet). Frame the other one. Keep it in a place where you see it daily.

6. Write down the consequences of not living in alignment with your core values.

Now this one will stop you in your tracks. In short, your life will never look the way you want it to look. That is a sobering reminder that we are all responsible for our own lives. As adults, we have to develop the emotional maturity to handle life without using food, or other vices, as crutches. Living from your core, with diamond-like clarity, will help navigate your Raw Food Hero's Journey with grace.


Recommended Reading:
Steve Barnes' sites: and

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Step One on The Raw Vegan Hero's Journey

1. I Manifest the Life That I Want by Proclaiming it in the NOW
Inspired by the mythical Hero’s Journey first compiled in The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell (photos are of famous, recognizable characters on their own journeys)

Becoming a raw vegan requires letting go of the past. Unless you were raised by raw parents, then you’ve got some internal changing to do. You’ve got to release habits, and emotional attachments to food. Neither is easy to accomplish.

When I began this journey in 2004, I had no idea how hard it would be. Even though the first raw vegan book I read was 12 Steps to Raw Food by Victoria Boutenko, I didn’t get it. The first step, according to Boutenko is, “I admit that I have lost control of my addiction to cooked food and my eating is becoming unmanageable.” The word “addiction” distracted me, and turned me off from the book. Boutenko had gone overboard with that word to me. Six years later, I have a new respect for 12 Steps to Raw Food. Willpower is not enough to stay raw. The minute depression, exhaustion, or sadness hit you; you are ready to dive into your freezer for ice cream, or your pantry for cookies.

Princess Tiana in The Princess and The Frog

So what to do? I’ve come up with steps I see as necessary to becoming successfully raw. They may overlap, and that is okay. Life is not exactly linear, and neither is healing.

To me, the first step is “manifest the life that you want by proclaiming it in the now.” In other words:
· see yourself at your ideal weight
· open your refrigerator door and see it overflowing with produce, nuts, seeds, and sprouts
· see your ideal appliances on your kitchen counters
· feel the money needed in your palms
· see yourself at raw food potlucks
· see yourself feeling fabulous, fantastic, and full of energy

Don’t just see them. FEEL them. Feel how you would feel if you had all those things. You’d be ecstatic, right? Then be ecstatic! Who cares if your family is watching you? You are celebrating your healing! Go for it. Jump for joy. Say thank you. Feel the appreciation and gratitude flowing through your body!

Jack and Rose in Titanic

Thoughts are powerful, because they are THINGS. Your life, right now, is the outer manifestation of your inner beliefs. If looking around at your life, job, mate, and money scares the hell out of you, then you’ve got to change your thoughts.

Here are some suggestions:

· Create a Vision Board
Don’t just see and feel your ideal life. Create a visual representation of it. That’s what a vision board is. You cut up pictures and words from magazines that represent the life that you want. Tape them all to a huge poster board. Tape your vision board where you can see it every day! Make this fun!

Luke Skywalker and Yoda in Star Wars

· Write Down Your Proclamations/Intentions/Goals
Keep this simple, concrete, and in the present tense. Simple keeps you focused and grounded.
- I am a raw vegan now
- I weigh 125 pounds now
Look at those intentions twice a day. Burn them into your psyche. Those are just two easy intentions. Create intentions that resonate with you. Don’t get tripped up in the “how” those are going to happen. (“But I don’t have the money, the time, the support, the blah, blah, blah.” I know. I get it. However, if you keep declaring that you don’t have the time/money/support, then you will continue not to have the time/money/support. Get it?) Your Raw Food Journey has steps and actions you must take to make those intentions manifest.

· Exercise: I Deserve
Looking in a mirror, you say to yourself two to three times:
"I deserve to have (or be) _________________ and I accept it now." Say it two to three times.

How do you feel? Always pay attention to your feelings, to what is going on in your body.

If you have any negative feelings in your body, then go back to affirming, "I remove the patterns in my consciousness that prevent me from my highest good. I deserve to have (or be) __________________ and I accept it now."

Repeat the exercise until you get the acceptance feelings, even if you have to do it several days in a row.
-from You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay

Give yourself a few days for all these things. This is the beginning of the rest of your healthy life, so have fun with this. Don’t give up. To paraphrase Louise Hay, tomato seeds don’t try to hurry up their growth into tomato plants. Your seeds of a new consciousness, a new thought process, have been planted. Those new thoughts will manifest into a new life.


Recommended Books:
The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell
Hero with an African Face by Clyde W. Ford
The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Volger
You Can Heal Your Life by Louise L. Hay
The Power of Intention by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer


Monday, December 21, 2009

Light Eating for Survival Blog Project

"Light Eating for Survival" Blog Project a la the movie Julie & Julia.
1 Year. 481 Recipes. 1 ambitious mama.
Days 18-37
Out of 481 recipes, I have officially made 61! That leaves 420 to go! This photo is a cashew salad with Apple Dream Dressing.

Here's a closer look.

This lentil soup. Reallllyy good.

1 cup sprouted lentils
1/2 cup onion
1/2 cup celery
1/2 cup parsley
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 tsp. basil
2 cups water
kelp to taste.
I added salt to mine because I didn't have kelp. This is a tasty light soup.

I'm not sure which drink this is, but when I saw the beet juice float to the bottom and the apple and celery float to the top I had to take a picture :-).

I've made almost all of the vegetable juices. I haven't done the tomato juices yet, because I'm chicken. I never liked "V8" juice, and I'm scared I won't like the tomato juice, but I did like Green Blood. But I like tomato soup so...hmmm. I've made two-thirds of the fruit juices. Here's the juices I have made so far:
Green Leaf: celery greens, beet greens, turnip greens, watercress
Beet Treat: orange, beet, papaya
Cranberry Punch: cranberries, apple, orange
Cranapple: apple, cranberry, celery
Garden Cleanser: carrot, cucumber, beet
Constipation Blue: carrot, spinach
Potassium Juice: spinach, parsley, celery, carrot
Simple Punch: carrot, apple, beet
Alkalizing: cabbage, celery
Comforting: carrot, apple, comfrey
I've also made a fruit salad with cashew cream that was a hit. I have to make it again, because we ate it too fast! That will be next time!


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Getting Rawganized

It's been a while since I posted about food because I've been giving away cool prizes. And more are to come. My blog has grown more than I ever expected, and it (and myself) have experienced growing pains. I am behind on my book reviews, interviews, and haven't posted as much as I would like.

I realized I needed to get organized. My books, ebooks, notebooks, and DVD's were sprawled between my kitchen and top of the refrigerator. My friends kept telling me I needed a bookcase in my kitchen. I finally decided to use my children's bookcase, because the need was urgent. (I'll buy my kids another bookcase :-). The top shelf are my books I go to the most. The second shelf are bigger books, and ones I have to review. The bottom shelf holds my cooked vegan books.

I also organized my ebooks. I divided them into bread, entrees, desserts, soups, salads & dressings, and cheeses. I further broke them down into lasagna, hummus, salsa, and guacamole, of which I had multiple recipes.

This is what one half of my kitchen table and kitchen corner looked like. It's so embarrassing to admit this. I was always in my books, hence the mess.

But even after I got organized, I realized there was more to the journey. Organization is a big step in getting a raw kitchen together. But it's not the first step. From this chaos came an epiphany. My thoughts about my raw journey have changed.

Even after I wrote my Courage to Be a Raw Vegan post in September, I was still struggling. I called Tanisha Marshall for raw food coaching, but she is in transition and won't coach again for a few more months. I decided to become my own best client.

I had started blogging about "Steps to Raw" last year. I looked at that list again and changed my mind. The first steps to raw are internal. They have nothing to do with external things that you do. You could have a state-of-the-art eco-friendly, fully equipped raw kitchen, but if you are not ready, that kitchen will go to waste. Look at folks with exercise equipment under their beds, or collecting dust in a corner. It's not about the machines. It's about what is inside you.

I came up with fifteen to nineteen things I feel are important. The first seven focus on internal emotions. After I post about my trip through Light Eating for Survival, I will start The Raw Food Hero's Journey.



Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Winner of UliMana Cacao Truffles

The winner of the sexiest chocolate truffles on Earth is......
D. Amaadi!!!!!!

You won! Congratulations!

The Mocha Angels love them too :-).

This anniversary celebration has been awesome, and it's not quite over yet. The next contest will have not one winner, but FOUR. I have to get back to blogging about raw food though! I've made so many things from Light Eating for Survival that I want to share with you all.

Thank you for reading.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

UliMana Raw Chocolate: Review + Giveaway!

UliMana's Awesome Dark Cacao Truffles

The day after Thanksgiving I was blessed to receive a sample of UliMana's chocolate treats. UliMana is a raw chocolate company in North Carolina that sells incredible products.

I received a small box which featured:
-lemon fig bar
-chocolate truffle
-hemp brownie
-date roll
-chia moon drop
-chocolate apricot nut

Me and Raymond couldn't wait. I ate the dark cacao truffle. I don't I've ever tasted a chocolate treat that tasted so phenomenal. That truffle was pure a moment in time I never wanted to end. It was hands down, the single best chocolate I have ever had. No chocolate candy bar on Earth can compare.

I had to share the rest of my samples with my oldest child (or did I?...I was nice to him. He does have an advanced palette for a seven-year-old). We both loved everything. The brownie was rich and fudgy. Raymond's favorite was the lemon fig bar. We liked the treats so much that we'd eaten them all before I could take a picture of them.

So I took a picture of the empty box....

I know, right?

If you think I was just hungry (I wasn't), read about the good energy that UliMana puts into their treats. From the "About Us" section of their website:

UliManaMana (UliMana is a shortened version) is a made up name whose origins come from the 35,000 year old
Huna tradition, a Polynesian/Hawaiian science practiced by the aboriginals of that region. In Hawai'i, this teaching was originally called Ho'omana (to make Mana or life force energy) and means Empowerment. The people who practiced these teachings and techniques knew that all power and all life force emanated from the One, I'o, the source of all life-- the source of all energy.

Uli is the name of the goddess from the Huna science who oversees the feminine domain and is also known as the 'Goddess of Serenity'. Mana means life force energy. When you have a lot of Mana, (as in ManaMana), you are healthy and vibrant. When speaking the name UliManaMana you are asking the goddess Uli for the blessing of life force energy and vibrant health. We wanted the name of our company to mean something positive and uplifting. So say it often as you eat our chocolate and have gratitude for the gifts bestowed upon you.

To feel that gratitude, go to the UliMana website, read more about these awesome people, and treat yourself to some incredible raw treats. You will thank me.

10+ out of 10 Mocha Angels.


One lucky person wins one jar of UliMana Dark Cacao Truffles. Sweet....

- Leave a comment at the end of this post. Answer the question: “What is your favorite dessert (raw or not)?"
- Leave a workable email address (important)
- Post your comment by 11:59pm EST, Monday, December 14, 2009.
- I will pick the winner at random. The winner will receive an email from me on Tuesday, December 15, 2009. I will announce the winner on The Raw Mocha Angel blog on that same day.- If I don't hear back from the winner in seven days, by 11:59pm December 22, another name will be drawn to win the chocolate truffles.




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