Friday, February 19, 2010

Car Accident

Hi Everyone:

I was in a car accident yesterday @ 5:00pm. I was rear-ended. I've never been in an ambulance before, nor in the ER as a was an experience. Nothing is broken. But my neck and back are sore. I will be off-line until I can type comfortably. I will be seeing a chiropractor regularly.

Thanks and love,
Althea ◦

Thursday, February 18, 2010

My interview!

One of my lovely readers, Laquita, interviewed me for The Examiner.
I think this qualifies as my first interview!


Monday, February 8, 2010

Steps Five and Six on the Raw Vegan Hero's Journey

5. I develop a spiritual backbone.
6. I have allies, supporters and mentors.
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).

Celie and Shug in The Color Purple

Comments you’ll hear when you go raw:

From your brother:
“What are you eating for dinner tonight? Lettuce?”

From your friend:
“We’ll have carrots for you at my birthday party.”

From your dad:
“What is that pie made from? Cashews? You must be kidding me. I’m not eating that.”
Or my favorite:
“Aren’t you going to die if you don’t eat meat?”

From acquaintances:
Blank stare……

If you can’t handle comments like these, keep your rawness to yourself. But a better way to handle disparaging comments is to grow a spiritual backbone. It’s time to grow a very thick skin.

Raw food is not even close to being mainstream. America is very much, still, a meat and potatoes country. Even vegetarians and vegans have to deal with the oft-asked question, “Where do you get your protein?” Tell doubters that even fruit has protein in it; and that eating meat is a second-hand way of ingesting protein.

The reasons why I say grow a “spiritual backbone” is that you have to have faith in one, two, or all of these things:
-a Higher Power
-other people

Faith is required in order to be successful. When it comes to raw food, you have to have faith in yourself that you will indeed read all the books you can, study, learn, and grow. As you eat more raw food, you will feel amazing. Your faith in the food itself and its healing, transformative powers will grow. And while faith in God is highly personal, I have experienced feeling more connected to a Higher Power when raw. Take time to think about what you truly believe in, and why.

Woody, Buzz, and the rest of Andy's toys in Toy Story 2
The raw path can be lonely, which is why Step 6 is critical: “I have allies, supporters, and mentors.” No one succeeds alone. In his book Outliers, author Malcolm Gladwell puts a new spin on how people really become successful. I highly recommend this book. The rugged individualism myth of America is fiction. Everyone needs community. And every person needs at least one other person who believes in him. Others’ faith in you reinforces the faith you have in yourself.

In the archetypical Hero’s Journey, the HERO needs ALLIES and MENTORS. Some well-known examples:
-Luke Skywalker’s allies: Han, Princess Leia, Chewbaca, C3PO, R2D2, Obi Wan Kenobi (mentor)
-Dorothy’s allies: Glenda the Good Witch (mentor), The Lion, The Scarecrow, the Tin Man
-Shrek’s allies: Donkey, Princess Fiona, Puss in Boots

I went to the Internet Movie Database to see the Top 10 Worldwide movies of all time.
1. Avatar (2009) $2,209,344,204
Titanic (1997) $1,835,300,000
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) $1,129,219,252
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006) $1,060,332,628
The Dark Knight (2008) $1,001,921,825
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001) $968,657,891
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007) $958,404,152
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007) $937,000,866
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009) $933,956,980
Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999) $922,379,000

I’ve seen them all except Avatar. The other movies follow the Hero’s Journey to the letter. Except for The Dark Knight/Batman myth, the hero has allies and mentors. But even Batman had his butler Alfred as an ally. Bruce Wayne needed someone to take care of him while he was out saving Gotham City. Remember that the Hero’s Journey is a metaphor for real life. The Hero cannot win his battles alone. Those who think they can live life all alone become sociopaths.

As a raw vegan it is crucial to have allies, mentors, and supporters. Going this journey all alone steps you up for failure. You are going up against your emotional eating, limiting beliefs, fast food on every corner, family & friends critical opinions, and holiday feasts. Don’t you, the Hero of your life, want to have allies along the way?

-Host potlucks
-Search to see if there are raw groups in your area
-If there are none, start one yourself
-Create a separate email account for all raw food email
-Subscribe to raw food yahoo groups
-Befriend raw foodies on Twitter and Facebook

-Join Ning social networks dedicated to raw food
-Subscribe to raw food blogs
-Get a raw food coach
-Call your raw food friends, often
-Read, read, and read more books


Recommended reading:
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Step Four and Four and a half on The Raw Vegan Hero's Journey

4. I study to become a fantastic raw food chef
4 1/2. I learn where my food comes from
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)

Prior Steps:

Julia in Julie and Julia

I know I was on hiatus from blogging for a month, but something hit me today. An important step in the journey is studying how to make delicious raw food. It sounds obvious, but it's not.

The Raw Vegan Hero's Journey is a work in progress. It's alive and flexible while I get the steps in order. I realized today that becoming a seasoned raw food "chef" is important. I put "chef" in quotes because not everyone is going to culinary school; but "cook" is weird because we're not cooking. We're creators, preppers...something. So for lack of a better word, I'm going with "chef."

I love food. I am a true foodie. I dream about food. I dreamed about eggs last night (go ahead and laugh...I did too. :-) I ran downstairs to make scrambled eggs from Mark Bittman's book How to Cook Everything (which I do not own, but he wrote an article that I'd saved from a magazine). I tasted them, then gave them to my husband. I said, "Oh my goodness, these are fantastic." Rom said, "They're okay. They taste like regular scrambled eggs to me."

I said, "I'm the Remy to your Emilie! You can't taste how awesome these eggs are? And I don't even eat eggs!" If anyone has seen the Disney/Pixar movie Ratatouille, then you know what I mean. If you haven't seen it, it's another Oscar-winning movie from the geniuses at Pixar.

And I'll admit here that I am a Pixar Uber-fan. Total Pixar geek. I watch the credits looking for the people who work in the story department. If you've seen the Intel commercial where geeks go nuts over the guy who created the USB port, and at the end it reads: "Our rock stars are not like your rock stars," then you understand how I view the Pixar people. The only thing I appreciate more than good food is good storytelling. I'd work there for free just to learn how to write a great story.

But I digress.
Remy in Ratatouille

Frustration can build when you transition to raw because the food may not taste great, depending on where you learn. But with raw, you are preparing the freshest ingredients possible. You only have to learn how to put the ingredients together.

You must possess an unrelenting desire to learn how to make great food that is tasty and doesn't cost a fortune. Raw food books are everywhere. And like anything else, you'll find a couple of stinkers amidst the winners. But that's okay. Don't give up.

Check out books from the library first. That is what I do. I won't pay for a book unless I feel it's worth it. And if your local libraries don't carry raw food books, request them. Three years ago, my local library had zero raw food books in circulation. A librarian told me to write down what I wanted. That way, the library would know my interests and may possibly buy those types of books. Today, there's six raw books in circulation, with many more in libraries across Maryland.

Classes abound. DVD's are everywhere. Get serious. Start investing your money in these things so that the food you make keeps your interest. That was my revelation. My food should be awesome to me. Until I get back to
Chef Carolyn, or trek to Oklahoma to study at 105 Degrees Academy, then I've got to keep learning the basics of raw food preparation.I'm still working my way through Light Eating for Survival. I have added:
Everyday Raw by
Matthew Kenney
Incredibly Delicious (the Rawsome Recipes section) by Gentle World Publications
Have Your Cake and Eat it Too! by
Monique Bastien

I don't own, yet:
Raw Food Real World by Matthew Kenney and Sarma Melngailis
Living Raw Food by Sarma Melngailis

Sweet Gratitude by Matthew Rogers and Tiziana Alipo Tamborra

But I'm working on that. (If anyone would like to gift me early birthday presents, feel free! My birthday is March 7!!!). I see these books as textbooks. I am in training to learn how to make awesome raw food. Anyone serious about their raw journey will do the same thing.
I consider this Step Four and a Half: I learn where my food comes from.

Rom and I watched the DVD Food Inc. today. If you have kids, they need to see this too. I don't buy DVDs much. I'll rent them or get them from the library. This one I will purchase because I want my kids to watch it again as they grow up. Go get this movie TODAY!

From the official website:
In Food, Inc., filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation's food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government's regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. Our nation's food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment.

We have bigger-breasted chickens, the perfect pork chop, herbicide-resistant soybean seeds, even tomatoes that won't go bad, but we also have new strains of E. coli—the harmful bacteria that causes illness for an estimated 73,000 Americans annually. We are riddled with widespread obesity, particularly among children, and an epidemic level of diabetes among adults.

Featuring interviews with such experts as Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation), Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto) along with forward thinking social entrepreneurs like Stonyfield's Gary Hirshberg and Polyface Farms' Joel Salatin, Food, Inc. reveals surprising—and often shocking truths—about what we eat, how it's produced, who we have become as a nation and where we are going from here.

Go get this movie!


Monday, February 1, 2010

Carolyn's Raw Food

I went to Atlanta last week to visit my family. My sons and I were there for six days visiting my mother, stepfather, brother, and maternal grandmother. While I was there I got to see one of my line sisters (I pledged AKA in 1991) who I hadn't seen in 18 years. That's another healing story for later. I also was blessed to be able to take a raw food "Decadent Desserts" class with Chef Carolyn Akens. In four hours, she guided me in making four awesome desserts. We made Vanilla Ice Cream, Lemon Cheesecake Torte, Almond Joyous, and another cheesecake with a walnut crust.

Lemon Cheesecake Torte

I didn't watch Carolyn do a raw food demo. I made the food. She was my teacher, my guide, my Yoda, so to speak. Wise, witty, and wonderful, she lovingly helped me all the way. I was tired (because I had yet to recover from driving 15 hours to Atlanta, even though the class was three days later) but I was sooo happy to be there. We had a lot of fun together.

The Lemon Cheesecake was insanely good. Even my grandmother liked it, and she doesn't try new foods often. Don't you hate when you have to tell your family to back up off of your food?
That's what I had to do!

Vanilla Ice Cream

When I tasted this, I thought, "I wish everyone I love was here." This was so rich and creamy, no one would know it was dairy-free. It was bottom heavy, if that makes sense. Think of regular vanilla ice cream. It's thick, heavy, and creamy. So was this, but with a silkiness that regular ice cream does not have. I'm still thinking about this ice cream. I've got to get an ice cream maker!

Almond Joyous

These are coconut macaroons. They tasted like an Almond Joy candy bar, minus the chocolate covering. I loved these treats. They weren't too sweet. And they were perfect for my kids to eat and they both loved them. For anyone who is in Atlanta, definitely take Carolyn's classes. She is a wonderful spirit and an awesome chef!


On another note, I have decided to take a break from blogging for about 30 days, maybe less, maybe longer. I love you all. I love this blog. The Raw Mocha Angel is a joy in my life. However, I'm taking a break so I can get more organized. There's people I want to interview, but haven't been able to do so. There are books that need reviewing. I even have a Happy 101 award I have yet to accept! On a personal note, I have some healing to do on myself.

My 60-day gym saga revealed how important and needed raw food is in my life. I didn't stop working out, but I did hit the pause button. What I saw was that I still was not feeling my best. Only raw food has helped me feel energetic and clear. Nothing else comes close. With an emphasis on sprouts, energy soup, green juices, and green smoothies, I'm tending to myself and the home fires for a while. I will be back soon.




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