Real and Raw in the UK: An Interview with “The Juice Lady.”

Food, Interviews, The Sacral Chakra

Raw goodness in the UK?! Yes, indeed! And not just your typical,  run-of-the-mill veggies – Sarah’s Holistic Health blog, raw food recipes, juice cleanses, and detox retreats, are just the beginning! Watch-out, Britain! The Juice Lady is coming – and she’s got raw food cakes, fresh juice, and a whole lotta’ lovin’!

And we wanted to be the first to tell you about it!

That’s why we asked “the Juice Lady” herself (a.k.a. Sarah Hook), owner and creator of Juice Rehab, to stop by Chakra Center and fill us in on what she’s been up to over there in the United Kingdom.

Sarah shares how raw food has changed her life, and how you can be apart of the goodness.

(This is way more important than the Olympics, after all!) 😉

Enjoy! And cheers to good health!

How did you get interested in raw foods/health?

At the age of 19 I suddenly experienced poor health. I was getting headaches each day, fatigue where I would wake up each morning feeling like I had a hangover, my skin was showing signs of rosacea and I was struggling with acne for a too. I thought I had a virus,  as these symptoms came on very quickly, but after two months (and lots of doctor’s visits), I still felt the same. No diagnosis was made,  and  I was feeling very low and helpless.

A colleague of my mum’s lent her a book on the anti-candida diet; they had experienced greater health from following it and my mum said I should give it a go. I read through it and realized I had all the symptoms of a candida overgrowth. All the antibiotics I had taken for my skin and the birth control pill  I took to control my Endometriosis and skin problems had contributed to the cause.

After two weeks of following the diet, (cutting out all sugar, including fruit, cutting out bread, wheat, dairy, all processed foods), I felt so much better. My daily headaches went away, and I could get up in the morning without having to literally drag myself out of bed. After a month of following the diet and adding probiotics and other supplements to help balance my healthy gut flora, my health got better and better.

That was just the start, as I had experienced first-hand how much food affects our health!

I followed a whole food diet for years, sometimes falling into bad habits but always coming back to it when old symptoms returned. I had managed to reverse all of my symptoms from Endometriosis, which made my cycle much more pleasurable and I didn’t need any medication for it anymore.

What are some of the benefits you have seen in your own life from eating raw?

At the age of  24 I found raw foods. I was still trying to clear my skin, as this was still temperamental depending on my food intake. I tried 100% raw diet for a week, mainly on fruits and salad, and felt amazing!! My energy levels were great, mood was great, and I had a glow to my skin I had never seen before. I was hooked. I knew it was the missing link. Raw Greens!! Green juice, green salad, green foods!

From that point on, I have been  mostly High Raw,  and I have done many Juice cleanses. I love the amazing affects of a daily green juice, which helped me work out a way to clear my skin 100%. I have lifted my depression that I struggled with for years, by combining raw food with moving my body! Movement of the body is so important!

I found my passion, helping people have the tools to live a healthy life, combining high raw foods, gut health, movement, meditation and juicing 🙂

Tell us a bit about your business. What are you up to over there?

My business is called Juice Rehab. I make and deliver bespoke Juice cleanses to people’s home or work, nationally in the UK. I also deliver raw food lunches called “Lunchbox Detox” to the local area of  Milton Keynes in the UK.

I run workshops and do one-on-one raw food coaching and uncooking lessons. I also work as a health coach helping people to reach their health and life goals.

What is your favorite raw food recipe to make?

I love Green Juice! My favorite combination is cucumber, apple, lime and mint. So refreshing!

What is the best part about owning your own business? 

It is very rewarding, especially because it’s something I believe in so passionately. It’s great to put my creativity to work.

How can people experience your raw food goodness?

My website is being worked on as we speak, and will be running very soon!

www.juicerehab.co.uk

Until them I am using

http://thejuicelady.wordpress.com/

You can contact me there for the Juice Cleanses and Health Coaching.

You can also visit me at :

Sarah’s Holistic Health https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sarahs-Holistic- Health/161429700617007 and

Juice Rehab https://www.facebook.com/pages/Juice-Rehab/243243042380650

Flash Questions

 You’re stranded on an island with only one book, which book would it be?

Ooooh…that’s a hard one, I have so many books!

I’d have to say, 365 Power Sayings, by Louise Haye. I read one every day. They are a great start to the day!

Private concert – who’s playing?

Another hard one, I love all kinds of music, depending on my mood. I do love Ben Howard at the moment!

Worst fear?

Sharks! Ever since Jaws, I was scared to sit on the toilet seat! I’ve got over that now, but I still get scared when swimming in the sea.

Favorite movie?

Crash. When I saw it at the cinema I was blown away. I found it very powerful!

Pet Peeve?

Moaning Minnies 😉

Best meal?

Right now I would have to say watermelon! It’s so hot here, it’s the perfect summer food.

Sarah Hook (a.k.a “The Juice Lady”) is a Holistic Health Coach, and owner of Juice Rehab. She is passionate about helping people feel and look their best, and she’s on a mission to get the world to drink Green Juice. She lives in the UK.

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The Magic of Tonic Herbs: An Interview with Brandon Gilbert

Interviews, The Solar Plexus Chakra

I started taking tonic herbs about two years ago. I had randomly stumbled upon a YouTube video about herbal elixirs and thought I should give it whirl.

That’s one whirl I’m glad I took!  Tonic herbs are the first supplements I’ve taken that have a noticeable, almost immediate effect on my energy levels — and it’s an energy that is subtle and sustainable.

Since then, I’ve been a huge advocate of herbalism, and hands-down, the best quality, most potent herbs I’ve found on the market are  from Hyperion Herbs.

Not only does Hyperion Herbs have unbeatable quality, Brandon Gilbert (owner) offers some of the most well-researched, extensive, and comprehensible information out there. His podcasts, YouTube videos, and extensive newsletters on tonic herbs, has given me an education in herbs I never dreamed imaginable.

Because I love what he is doing, I asked Brandon to share some of his story, favorite supplements, and info about Hyperion Herbs.

Enjoy!

How did you get interested in Chinese tonic herbs? 

I became interested in tonic herbs when I learned of their deep connection with Taoism and martial arts. Both are things that have been interests of mine since a very young age. Also, the intelligence that these herbs contains and can confer to us is extremely fascinating  and rare. In my eyes, herbs of this class are truly gems, gifts from nature.

What is the difference between tonic herbs and regular herbal supplements?

A tonic herb, by definition, must meet a few criteria in order to be classified as tonic. First, it must be safe to consume for the long term and be free of any side effects or toxicity. Second, it must benefit or tonify at least one of the three treasures (the three treasures being jing, chi, and shen). Lastly, it should  be dual directional and regulatory in its effects. Meaning it doesn’t serve as a stimulant or a depressant, but both when needed.

This means that if you take an herb like gynostemma first thing in the morning, it can even out your energy so you feel more energized and ready to go. Yet you can also take it at night, and it would be gently calming and help you relax and wind down. This is what makes an herb dual directional and intelligent.

In my eyes, this represents the real future of diet and medicine. Most people consume things that aren’t intelligent or dual directional. This typically produces side effects or even toxicity over time.

Some supplements could fall under the tonic category, yet many do not. For that reason it’s important to understand and realize the distinction between a tonic substance and a remedial or medicinal substance.

What role do you feel tonic herbs have in the body’s overall health?

I think the major role is that the herbs can help the body handle stress more easily and effectively. We all deal with stress every day and this isn’t likely to change. Thus something that can modulate and improve our ability to handle stress should be regarded as extremely valuable and useful.

Tell us some of the benefits you’ve seen in your own health as a result of using tonic herbs.

I have experienced, and am still currently experiencing, some pretty profound transformations. In short, I’ve seen my energy levels greatly increase while also vastly improving my immune system. These herbs have truly assisted my growth on all levels. Mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual.

If you could only take one herb for the rest of your life, which one would it be?

That is a tough question, but probably wild ginseng, reishi mushroom, or schizandra.

Your videos use a lot of Chinese and Taoist philosophy. What appeals to you about the Eastern approach to life vs. Western?

I’m at the point now where I realize labels are inherently misleading and limiting. Take Taoism for example. Let’s say we gathered 10 people off the street and then 10 Taoist monks and we asked each person to describe what Taoism is. I’m willing to bet that we are going to get 20 different descriptions of the “same thing.”

So for me, I am more interested in simple natural principles that produce results. Some may call that Taoism, Chinese Medicine, Chinese Shamanism, Five Element Theory, etc. To me, if it’s real and legit, then it’s just basic natural principles that we can all easily observe. I believe that really the original “Taoists” were not “Taoists” and likely couldn’t be bothered with such labels or definitions.

What is your favorite herbal elixir to make? 

One of my favorites is Kombucha mixed with my new schizandra extract. It’s quite simple and incredibly delicious!

Tell us a bit about Hyperion Herbs – what makes your product different from other herbal supplements on the market?

In short, quality and attention to detail. What I mean by that is that I personally sourced everything myself. I did this firstly because I am an enthusiast and connoisseur of herbs, so obviously I want to absolute best for myself. This benefits my clients because this ensures that they are able to get the best as well.

Any book recommendation or suggestions for good resources on tonic herbs?

Definitely http://hyperionacademy.com!

I’ve just launched this site and it is a continually growing wealth of empowering and actionable strategies. It represents a real solid blueprint for creating lasting transformations. The blueprint is solid because it addresses the whole picture, not just one little piece. The whole picture being exercise, diet, breathing, meditation, and then the whole emotional/spiritual/psychological side of things.

Flash Questions

You’re stranded on an island with only one book, which book would it be?

I Ching

Private concert – who’s playing?

Alive: Deftones
Dead: Jimi Hendrix or Beethoven

Worst fear?

Not living on purpose

Favorite movie?

The Social Network or The Matrix

Pet Peeve?

Stagnation

Best meal?

Beef Chilaquile from a local restaurant called Mayan Cafe

Thanks for stopping by, Chakra Center, Brandon!  We wish you continued success and health!

Cheers to tonic herbs!

Brandon Gilbert has a passion and a love for Chinese Tonic Herbs. He is the founder and owner of Hyperion Herbs

For more info on Hyperion Herbs, visit http://hyperionherbs.com/

Or visit Brandon’s YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/herbgardner00?feature=results_main

You can also check-out the live interview I did with Brandon early this year. In this interview, Brandon shares details about his own personal story, how he got into tonic herbs, and how they have changed in life:

Finding Purpose in the Past: An Interview with Teal Swan

Interviews, Teal Scott, The Heart Chakra

‎”Oh yes, the past can hurt. But, you can either run from it, or learn from it.”     -Rafiki, (The Lion King)

“What is my purpose?” It was the name of a Teal Scott video I randomly clicked on YouTube. The question was pacing my mind just moments before the title appeared, so I took the synchronicity as a sign. I knew nothing of Teal Scott. Yet that was all about to change…

But let me back up.

I had just arrived in the States after spending six months in Italy – a place I thought would be a permanent residence, until one afternoon while meditating upon a particularly mournful cloud wandering in the Florentine sky, Spirit said to me: “Go home.”

Home?! What home? Prior to Italy I had spent the past 10 years in Portland, Oregon – the weirdest and most liberating place I had ever been. Portland is full of tall trees, wide rivers, and farmer’s markets – plus it’s considered the most “un-Churched” city in America – my favorite part about it.

Apart from grey skies, I could handle going back to the land of hipsters and hippies, but Portland wasn’t the Spirit’s call, and I knew it. My insides tightened at the thought of what was coming…Utah. The word hung in the air like the moody cloud drooping above my head. How could God want me back there?!

Don’t get me wrong, Utah is not a bad place. The mountains possess a noble, native magic, and the summer skies are full of violent purple, and thunderous mountain tops. But the vast, dry valley carries my own shadows, and memories I’d rather avoid.

My father was a Mormon polygamist.  Between three wives he managed to have 16 children (of which I am the youngest).

Mainstream Mormons do not practice polygamy, so my family history was not exactly dinner conversation with friends. The Church of the First Born convened in Mexico (where polygamy was legal) but a bloody religious war had caused my family to go into “hiding” in Utah.

The killings happened before I was born, but my dad (then an apostle of the church) and family were on a hit list. That’s all I ever knew about it, but I still have memories of church members coming in and out of our house, hushed whispers, and that constant, uneasy feeling that some foundational part of our lives had been shaken.

My mom left the church (and my father) when I was quite young. Luckily she found a small, Christian church to attend, and with it, a relationship with Jesus.

I experienced first-hand the peace that filled her heart (and our house) after her conversion. But some in my family were still attached to inherited belief systems, and with her death when I was 12, came fear among certain family members that God punished her for leaving the “one true faith.”

I didn’t experience the hell my siblings went through, but I resented the religious bondage I felt had been tied around our necks — and something about Utah always reminded me of it.

And now here I was, two weeks after arriving from the heart of the Renaissance, spending a pointless afternoon on the internet, aimless and lazy, and loathing my decision to ever come back.

Enter Teal Swan.

When I first heard her voice, my head tilted slightly sideways and up, the way humans tend to move when they listen intently. Something was familiar. Oddly familiar.

A couple weeks went by and I continued to watch Teal’s videos, incessantly trying to put my finger on what was so vaguely recognizable. Unsatisfied, I headed to her website and was shocked by what I discovered:

One: She grew-up in Utah.

Two: She was abducted into a religious cult at the age of six and ritualistically tortured for 13 years.

I contacted her that day.

Teal Swan was not like other children. It wasn’t long into her young life when it became apparent she had unusual abilities. Spontaneous healing, clairvoyance, clairsentience, clairaudience, manipulating electromagnetic fields, and communicating with entities, were all normal occurrences in her daily life. It wasn’t until word got out in the community, that she understood something about her was very different. And it was a difference she would  pay for.

Mormonism teaches authority to heal, receive direct messages from God, and other gifts Teal was demonstrating,  is only available through the Melchizedek priesthood. If a woman is exhibiting these abilities, the gift is believed not to come from God, but from the devil.

Living in the highly religious community of Logan, Utah, most neighbors became fearful of Teal’s abilities, and forbid her from entering their homes. Children were not allowed to play with her, and her parents received strange messages declaring their daughter was a sign of the second coming.

But there was another group who caught wind of Teal’s extrasensory phenomena. Unlike the Mormons in the area whose response was ostracization, this group (known as The Blood Covenant) believes it is their direct duty to rid the world of evil.

One of the leaders, a sociopath with an extreme case of dissociative identity disorder, infiltrated her family, abducted Teal at the age of six, and ritualistically tortured her for 13 years.

Teal was physically and sexually abused in religious rituals, forced to participate in sacrifices, repeatedly raped and starved, and made to have three abortions of children fathered by her abuser. Tied-up and left in a hole in his backyard, her abuser used her to be photographed for sadomasochistic pornography, prostituted her out of motels and gas station bathrooms, and repeatedly exposed her to electro-shock programming. And the list of abuse goes on.

Yet, despite the horror experienced at the hands of this man, Teal’s message is not one of revenge, but of forgiveness:

“…this book is dedicated to the man who ‘ruined’ my life. I find in retrospect you did not ruin it at all. I see now that we are only ever victims of victims. I am sorry for the pain I know you suffered in your life. I have stopped the cycle, and now I have you to thank because you were my greatest teacher (as difficulty always is). Without you, I would not have even thought to look for the happiness I now possess today. One day you will know that you are free.”

Those are the words Teal Swan wrote to her abductor in the  acknowledgement section of her book, The Sculptor in the Sky. I had read them just moments before she sat down with me for an interview at Café Supernatural, in Salt Lake City. The impact was still palpable.

“I was surprised to discover you lived in Utah,” I said, as  a waitress brought us our juice. “Something about you felt familiar to me the first time I saw one of your videos…but Utah must be it. I think I was picking-up on the Utah energy…”

Teal smiled. “Yes.” she responded, in a way that made me feel she wanted to say more, but thought better of it.

I wanted to say, “I know you from somewhere. I have this strange feeling we’re connected in a way I don’t quite understand. And I think you’re tied to the reason I’m in Utah.”

But what came out was:  “I’d love to hear more about your story…whatever you feel comfortable sharing…”

The details of Teal’s abuse are not the focus of her message. But just as it is difficult to see stars in the day, the backdrop of darkness is necessary to fully appreciate the intensity of her light.

She shared openly, demonstrating a graceful inner strength and conviction. For Teal, there is purpose in the abuse. To her, no part of the pain is meaningless. She sees past suffering as the very catalyst to give and experience healing.

But it shouldn’t have happened that way. It is said that severe psychological abuse is akin to death. In the face of extreme trauma, one is usually written off as irreversibly damaged. Doctors and psychiatrists who evaluated Teal after her escape declared her brain was “dismantled beyond repair.”

Though several years of therapy would prove that not only could Teal come back to a place of wholeness, but she discovered the techniques and visualization she learned through therapy were so successful, she was inspired to write The Sculptor in the Sky, as a guide to healing.

Teal now uses her unique abilities, her story, and her connection to the Source of Love, to inspire change. She’s coined the term, “Spiritual Catalyst,” to describe her work.  With her healing gifts, she acts as a medical intuitive to people with extreme physical conditions and diseases. She holds “syncronicity workshops” around the world to help people understand how to use their thoughts and emotions to raise their vibration and heal their life. She conducts personal consults once a month, and speaks out publically about the unproductive prison and jail systems, stating that “you can’t punish anyone into wellness.” Teal has devoted her life to help humanity heal.

Her story reveals our capacity to overcome, even the most extreme places of darkness. It shows us the way out of powerlessness. It gives a picture of life beyond revenge, and into a place of forgiveness and peace.

As we sat in Café Supernatural, I felt my bitterness toward Utah begin to dissolve. The anger from my own religious past simply faded in the glow of her overwhelming ability to love.

Later in our conversation I would admit I was unsure why I was in Utah. And Teal would respond:

“The reason you’re here is less of a mystery to me. There is a reason I wanted to meet with you in person. It will hit you.”

Watching someone face trauma with love, heal abuse with compassion, and take on anger with forgiveness, helped me let go of bitterness I held toward extremism. I was meant to come back to Utah. I was meant to see her video, and I was meant to talk to her that day. Teal reminded me that I chose Utah, even before I was born. There was purpose in all of it. Everything was exactly how it needed to be.

Teal’s ability to forgive showed me that I had the power to let go, and allow my purpose to be fully restored.

What happened that day when I stumbled upon Teal’s video,  was not a mere act of coincidence. It goes beyond synchronicity. It is bigger than this article, or Spirit’s reason for calling me back to Utah. What I saw that day with Teal, was me. Who I met that day, was myself.  I met  you. I met the whole of humanity, and I saw a glimpse of the future we are capable of entering.

If you asked Teal what healed her, I think she would say, ultimately, it was her faith. To believe beauty can rise from ashes is the impetuous that wills it so.

Every time an Olympic record is set, it changes humanity’s  belief about what is possible. Teal’s story sets a new precedent for the capacity of human love. She shows us we are capable of living beyond mere survival. We have the capacity to be fully restored to the light.

By choosing love, Teal did not only heal the darkness of her own wounds, she healed mine. She healed yours.

Don’t be afraid to open yourself up to the limitless capacity of love. Imagine what the world could be. Imagine what we could overcome.

And so it is with you…

For more information about Teal Scott, visit her website at http://www.thespiritualcatalyst.com/

Teal Swan ,”The Spiritual Catalyst” is a well known Esoteric,  Extrasensory who writes and speaks publicly about spirituality, the meaning of life, God, The Higher Self and the road to health and happiness. Teal is part of the first 1980s wave of indigo children.

Amanda Flaker is a freelance writer, editor, and creator of Chakra Center. She loves to travel the world and write about it.

Radiant Health, with Natasha St. Michael

Interviews, The Throat Chakra

Natasha St. Michael was born with a hole in her heart. Growing up with serious health issues and depression, she eventually turned to nutrition for help. What started as an experiment, turned into a lifestyle.

After healing many of her health issues naturally, Natasha began sharing her story, tips, and health regime with the world. Today, her YouTube channel, blog, and Juice Fast/Raw food challenges, are some of the most successful online health programs around.

We asked Natasha if she’d be willing to share her story with us.

Enjoy – and cheers to radiant health!

How did you get interested in raw foods/health/nutrition?

I got into natural health and nutrition when I was in my late teens. Since I was a young child I was constantly challenged by serious health issues. I was born with an Atrial Septal Defect (a hole in my heart) and had open heart surgery at the age of 5 1/2 years old.

Into my teens I was diagnosed with pre-cancer of the cervix, a few years later I was diagnosed with Osteonecrosis (a rare bone disease of the hip joint), and later in my mid twenties, I was diagnosed with Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome. It seemed that every few years I would go to the doctor for a check-up and get diagnosed with some crazy disease or illness!

Because I faced such challenges, it was important to me to take my health in my own hands and do what I could on my part to become healthier, stronger and more vital. I found myself gravitating towards studying and researching natural health, nutrition, alternative therapies and meditation as a means of exercising my options and improving the condition of my health and wellbeing.

What are some of the benefits you’ve seen in your own life from changing your eating habits?

The biggest benefit I’ve had from changing my diet and eating super healthy is actually the improvement of my mood. Since my early childhood, I suffered from severe depression. It always felt like I had a black cloud over my head. Everything always felt so heavy, and I found if I was constantly weighed down by my emotions, there was little else I was motivated or inspired to do. The more I took care of myself, which included having a healthy diet, the better I felt, and the more empowered and inspired I was. Little by little, this is what got the ball rolling, if I was in good spirit, than I felt I could do more, be more, and live more!

As I started eating healthier, my emotional health starting improving and so did my physical health, and in fact I was able to reverse many of the health conditions I was diagnosed with, naturally! For me, if my emotional health is off balance, everything falls off balance with it, so it is super important for me to eat well, sleep well, exercise daily, be creative, fill my days with fulfilling and joyful activities and surround myself with loving family and friends.

My diet is very important, eating healthy gives me balance, energy, vitality, strength and stability. I’m always amazed how the food I eat affects me. I used to be addicted to sugar and caffeine, and I was all over the place, up and down, bad skin, bad health, moody, and depressed. By eating healthy it helped give me stability and a strong foundation, where my health and mood became balanced and centered, so I could do more with my life, enjoy the freedom of good health, have great energy to be active and do things, and sharpen my mind to pursue my goals and dreams.

Tell us a bit about your juice fast/raw food challenges.

I created two online programs that I host every month, the 10 Day Juice Fasting Program and the 7 Day Raw Food Challenge. Myself, over the years I have done many juice fasts and I used to be on a raw vegan diet for several years, and I got such incredible results from doing these cleanses, that I wanted to share it and support others that were interested in doing these types of detox programs and cleanses. I am Health & Lifestyle Coach and I found from working with my clients that they were more successful doing these types of programs as a group, while simultaneously having a clear guideline as to what to eat and do.

I created these programs which include an eBook of guidelines, recipes, and an outline of the program, as well as daily videos that are 20-40 minutes long , that covers a broad range of topics, information, tips and advice pertaining to the programs. There is also a private online forum for each of the programs that participants can connect with one another from around the world as they are doing either the Juice Fasting Program or the 7 Day Raw Food Challenge, and I am actually on the forum daily answering questions and offering additional support and motivation.

The programs are great! They are clear and simple, and I find doing these types of programs as a group, having the forum to chat and me being there to offer additional support and guidance, really helps people to feel motivated and supported, and therefore ensures success! Doing a juice fast or a week on a raw food diet is a great way to jump start healthy eating. I find that once people do a week of juicing or eating raw foods, this allows them to let go of the caffeine, the sugar, the processed food, the junk food, etc.. And therefore after the program is completed they are much more motivated and equipped to continue eating healthy and taking care of themselves.

What advice would you give for those who are interested in living abroad and taking their business with them? 

Go for it! Make your dream a reality! If someone wants to live and work abroad, then start getting ready now– start planning, starts researching, start saving money, create a solid business you know you can run while living in another location, etc.. What holds most people back is doubt and uncertainty. If you really want something, make it happen! I dreamed for years to live abroad and now I have been living in Bali for almost 2 years. It didn’t happen overnight, but this is something I so strongly wanted to do, that I was prepared to do what it took to reach my goal. It involved a lot hard work, saving money, being organized and prepared– but it was worth it!

Give us your best tips for goal-setting (and following through).

I find by making goals where you have other people in mind– this is what sets you up for success. The biggest victories I have had were because behind my goal I wanted to inspire people, be an example and make a difference. When I faced health challenges, or had goals in my career or relationships, my goal wasn’t only to succeed for myself, but also to be an inspiration to others, to show that the impossible is actually possible. I’ve always strived to be that person that someone thinks about and says to themselves, “If Natasha can do it, so can I!” Personally, I believe every challenge, every obstacle, is one’s mission, and overcoming them is our personal responsibility to ourselves and others, to show just how far we can take our lives and the infinite amount of possibilities and victories life has to offer.

Many times when I set a goal or I am dealing with a big challenge or obstacle, I imagine myself telling someone about how I overcame the obstacle or achieved the goal. I would do this over and over again, like I was rehearsing my victory speech, I would rehearse in my mind what I would say, how excited I would be and how happy and inspired the person or people would be from hearing my story. Not only would it inspire me to keep going and give me the optimism, courage and spirit to succeed, but it always ensures my success as well! Our victories are everyone’s victories!

What is your favorite raw food recipe?

Super simple: Apple slices with almond butter!

Flash Questions

You’re stranded on an island with only one book, which book would it be?

The Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman (I’ve been reading this book at least once a year for over 20 years!!)

Private concert – who’s playing?

Philip Glass – Solo Piano

Worst fear?

Having to drive a car and not knowing how.

Favorite movie?

Memoirs of a Geisha
Pet Peeve?

People spitting

Favorite thing about Bali?

My boyfriend, my orchid garden, and learning the Indonesian language.

Natasha’s personal goal and mission is to inspire and motivate as many people as possible to take better care of themselves, honor their lives and live to the fullest! She is qualified as a Certified Holistic Health Counselor by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and is a member of the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. She works fulltime as a Health & Lifestyle Coach, hosts monthly online Juice Fasting Programs7 Day Raw Food Challenges and a free educational & motivational video blog.”

 

Be sure to check-out Natasha’s website:

www.radiancecentral.com

Meet Vito Cortese, Italy’s Raw Food Pioneer

Interviews, The Root Chakra

Raw food – the Italian way!

Italy could arguably claim the title of “gastronomic capital of the  world” (though I’m sure the French would put up a good fight).

France certainly has earned its culinary fame, but it’s the Italians who are pioneering the plant world – rawawesome style!

My food experiences in the boot have been nothing short of epic (see my review on La Giostra  for a taste of the magic). 

But as my heart (and body) continually moves down the vegan/high raw road, what is a die-hard foodie living in Italy, to do?!

I found Vito Cortese.

Vito studied with America’s  celebrated raw food chef, Matthew Kenney, and has managed to capture the magic of Italian food, with a healthy/raw twist.

This talented chef is pioneering the limits of raw cuisine – Italian style!   He agreed to sit-down with me at the charming vegetarian café, Liberia Brac in downtown Florence to to tell me his story.

When did you first get into raw foods? 

Around February of 2009. I’ve been interested ever since.

What are the benefits you have seen in your health since making the transition to a high raw food diet?

I haven’t been sick in a long time. No “normal” problems like headaches, cold, flu, allergies – all the things I use to have often. Especially the headache. It hasn’t returned.

When did you first begin offering raw food classes in Italy?  

Halloween of 2009 was my first class, with the idea to repeat only once a year. But the class was such a success and people seemed really interested, so I began organizing classes around Italy from December 2009, on.

How have Italian’s received you? Very well. Most of my classes are sold-out. There is a max of 16 spots and I’m often overbooking! Italians seem to love it.

What is your favorite raw food recipe to make (main  course and dessert)?

My favorite main course is broccoli “au gratin” and the dessert is the “cassata siciliana” and the chocolate cake with the warm chocolate heart. I really enjoy making the desserts. They make raw foods more fun, and people are always surprised at what you can do with simple ingredients, without killing enzymes or using dairy and refined sugars.

Tell us about your business ventures/collaboration with Matthew Kenney: 

Matthew and I are really good friends with the same passion in common: we want to show people that it is possible to eat healthy and tasty in the same time! Now the biggest project is to open a raw food cuisine academy in Italy. It will be an interesting European project since we’ll be offering classes in different languages! We are also collaborating in training chefs and offering classes around the world!

How can people find out more information about your classes/ventures in Italy?

I built my business of Facebook, so on my page you can find out all information on my projects and classes, but very soon my website, www.nudocrudo.net, will be launched. Stay tuned!

For all you foodies who need a bit more Italian in your raw cuisine, Vito is your man.

…All I can say is, raw tiramisu?! Yes please!

Find Vito on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/chefvitocortese

*All photos in this article are Vito’s raw food creations, except the one below. That’s Vito and me at Libreria Brac. 🙂