The Third Awesome Rawsome Giveaway

Diet MythI had just about settled on this month’s giveaway but I didn’t want to do two in a row where I required people to post recipes to enter. This time, I wanted to make it different. Several months ago, I was sent a book, The Raw Food Diet Myth by Ruthann Russo, PhD, MPH, to review. I’m going to do that tonight and offer it as the giveaway for the month of September, 2009. First, let me level with you. The problem I have with this book is the author first heard of raw food in March, 2007. She published the book in 2008. I have been eating raw food for over four years now and I don’t feel I am enough of an authority to write a comprehensive tome on the subject. That being said, let’s get started.

Myth BackOne of the reviews on Amazon states it is well-researched. In a way, I agree. It takes a lot of what you can find on the Internet and puts it in one book. In another way, it is very narrow in its scope. It makes no mention whatsoever of Dr. Douglas Graham or Dr. Rosalind Gruben-Graham. There is a brief paragraph alluding to Victoria Boutenko but if there’s any more about her than that, I couldn’t find it. To me, any book about raw food that talks about the pioneers and doesn’t even acknowledge the Grahams’ existence is lost on me to begin with.

The book is well-organized. I have to give the author that much. “The myth is that raw food is not just a diet, it’s a lifestyle.” Huh. I didn’t know that was a myth. I thought that was common knowledge. However, I haven’t read the whole book. It’s in a virginal condition. If she had given the Grahams their due, I would have sat down and given it a go. She didn’t and I didn’t.

It’s divided into three main parts, The Basics, The Food, and The Lifestyle. Then there is the Conclusion and Appendices. One of the chapters in The Basics is Your Story and it is set up as a self-assessment. I guess I did that on a more public level with my blog.

The leanings are more into high fat, low carb raw food. If the publicist had read my blog in any depth, it would have been obvious that I don’t subscribe to that philosophy. Google raw food and you can come up with hundreds, maybe thousands of raw food blogs and they picked mine?

She uses candida as a reason for her not eating fruit. The real myth is that fruit exacerbates the growth of candida. The truth is, it’s the combination of fruit and fat that’s the culprit.

I believe, as does Dr. Graham, that raw food should not be made into a religion. Chapter 13 is titled “Spirituality”. To me, that doesn’t belong in a book about eating raw food.

Bottom line, there’s a lot in this book that does belong, a lot that doesn’t and a lot that’s left out that should be there to make it complete. Win it, read it for me and let me know what you think. I challenge you!

The rules for the giveaway are, as usual, posted on the forum. The winner will be announced two three weeks from tonight.

See the updated rules for the new deadline and explanation.

Note: If you want to read a more in-depth review of the book, click here.

26 Responses to The Third Awesome Rawsome Giveaway

  1. ShariV September 7, 2009 at 12:12 am #

    When you say “…any book about raw food that talks about the pioneers…” who (or is it whom) did she mention? Herbert Shelton? Is she talking about Natural Hygiene pioneers? Or 21st century pioneers?

    This sounds like an interesting book even if it’s just to throw another wrench in the works!


    • Tommie September 7, 2009 at 1:13 am #

      She starts out with the Essenes, then goes to Bircher-Benner, Gerson, Walker, Wigmore, Kulvinskas, Shelton, Cousens, Fuhrman, David Wolfe, Boutenko, Clement, Meingaillis, Engelhart, David Klein, Soria, Dagger, Rose, and Jubb. She also talks about the Tree of Life, Woody Harrelson, Brenda Cobb and Carol Alt. Quite a mix. She doesn’t really go into any of that in much detail, though. It’s just sort of a sketchy history.

  2. Valerie September 7, 2009 at 1:39 am #

    this seems like a fascinating read!

    • Tommie September 7, 2009 at 8:18 am #

      Two comments already and neither of them qualify! Read the rules and follow them!

  3. Zucchini Breath September 7, 2009 at 1:19 pm #

    Ugh. Sounds like someone trying to make a buck on pop culture. I’ve been striving to eat a large percentage of raw food for about a year now. There is NO WAY I could write a book at this point. I can barely keep a blog!

  4. Sharon September 7, 2009 at 8:33 pm #

    My Raw Food Experience

    I love raw food and the idea of a raw food diet. I understand it and want to embrace it. But oh my goodness it is so hard! I once did really well. I went for 9 days straight on raw food. That was awesome for me. And I was feeling fantastic and my skin was starting to clear up and I had people commenting on how wonderful I looked. All that in only 9 days!

    Then what happened? Well – friends and family happened. My mother in particular doesn’t want me to follow a raw food lifestyle. She went to a talk from Matt Monarch and Angela Stokes. Matt managed to scare my mother stupid. So my mother now makes sure there is chocolate around when I visit her and gets upset if I don’t eat the food that she prepares.

    I still do my best to consume raw foods – and I am eating a lot more then I ever used to. But getting 100% raw when I have friends and family that want to sabotage me is near impossible.

    I still read this blog every week though. 🙂


    • Tommie September 7, 2009 at 8:55 pm #

      Not in those particular words, ZB, but I thought the same thing. A quick way to make a buck?

      Thanks for that, Sharon. Keep on trying! I know there can be a lot of pressure but eat all the raw you can.

  5. ShariV September 7, 2009 at 10:01 pm #

    I’ll get real tired of writing about my raw food experiences. Guess I already blew my “perfect” attendance here anyway. Oh well. So let me get this straight for 15 days you want me to write about my raw food experiences? I cannot write about other people’s experiences because they are theirs, not mine.

    Don’t know how I ever got started in raw. I just know someone walked up to me in our local co-op and said “Victoria Boutenko is going to be in Seattle and you need to go.” I did. I went every Sunday for 8 weeks and was given a certificate that says I’m a raw food chef and we never even touched any food! That was more than 10 years ago and oh my, how we all have evolved.

    Can I save the rest of the story for tomorrow night?


    • Tommie September 8, 2009 at 5:54 am #

      Yes. You don’t have to make it long or involved but you can write about cravings you have or your successes or whatever. ZB wrote about her experience in one sentence. “I’ve been striving to eat a large percentage of raw food for about a year now.” I just don’t want comments like “I want the book”.

      That’s interesting about how you got started. You’d never told me that. I don’t remember your ever posting that in your journal. You ARE a raw food chef so that certificate must’ve done something… 😀

  6. Janice September 8, 2009 at 11:24 am #

    I began eating raw almost one month ago – it will be one month this Thursday! I went raw overnight, no slow transition. Its been great. I have just now added green smoothies into my diet (well, anout 2 weeks ago).
    More later!

    • Tommie September 8, 2009 at 6:24 pm #

      That’s great, Janice! You did it more quickly than I did! Woohoo!!

  7. ShariV September 8, 2009 at 9:53 pm #

    I dearly wish I could have been one of those “overnight wonders”. I have struggled all these ten years to stay raw. I will go for a period of time, think I can handle “just one bite” and before I know it I’m wondering where my rawness went.

    I’ve tried it all, classes, challenges, on my own, just juice, fasting……….but I guess if I stop trying is when it all falls apart.

    Melons are huge in my diet right now. Got some fabulous melons from Nora and am enjoying orange honeydew and spinach. My vanilla shake!


  8. Sharon September 9, 2009 at 1:35 am #

    Oh my goodness Janice – how did you just change overnight?
    Tell me – what are you eating each day? Do you get hungry?

    I find it hard work during winter. I get so cold and I love to consume something hot. How does everyone manage raw during winter?


    • Tommie September 9, 2009 at 6:30 am #

      Shari, I’m eating lots of melons, too. I got a honeydew the other day but it will be some time before it’s ready. I’ve had a golden honeydew but not an orange one. As for staying raw, I knew at the first if I took one bite of cooked it would all be over. I didn’t allow myself. When I DID eat a cooked meal some eight months later, the results were so bad I wished I hadn’t and have never done it again.

      Sharon, I don’t find it hard in the winter but it’s much more restrictive. As for hot foods, try blending your veggie soups until they are warm. If I could, I’d go South for the winters but that isn’t possible. During that season, I eat lots and lots of nanners. 🙂

  9. Janice September 9, 2009 at 11:05 am #

    Hi guys! I am loving reading this – THIS is what I’ve wanted, just real conversation.

    So I went raw overnight in part because it was SO easy. Just fruits and salads. We had a lot of local squash and zuccini here at the time so I made some simple mixes of cut veggies and I had fresh fruit and nice green salads with lots of carrot and onion. And I wasn’t hungry. And I felt GREAT. It was the feeling great that hooked me. I felt a lot of energy. I NEEDED that. And I truly am not hungry most of the time. There have been one or two times that a particular dish looked good to me, but then I thikn about how I”ll fee after I eat it and so I don’t indulge. In the alsmot one month I have not had a fully cooked meal. I have TASTED a bite (literally one bite) of this or that along the way. And I travelled last weekend and did eat a salad that had grilled chicken in it (I ate part of the chicken and took the rest off, packed it and took it home for the family that isn’t eating raw) and a salad that had bacon bits. So I’m not 100% raw – I’m about probably 97-98% raw. I use some products that aren’t raw – rice wine vinegar, soy, and chili oil. I also use a little bit of soy milk on occassion in a fruit smoothy. I use honey on occassion – those things aren’t raw. I am working on raw substitutes for a lot of that. Oh and I also ate one bit of bread the other day. lol I don’t freak out over tasting this or that….eating is a bonding thing I think. So when my son (age eight) is really enjoying something and begs me to take a bite (like the homemade bread the other day) I do. And I move on. I haven’t eaten anything (yet) that pulled me into a splurge. Its not that it doesn’t appeal to me, it has just lost some of its pull on me.

    I don’t know if any of that makes any sense.

    Some of the books I’ve read say that you can gently warm foods if you are really misisng the warm – gently heat up to 100 degrees, no more…something like that. So far I haven’t missed hot. but on occassion I may drink some warm water or warm tea or something – this winter maybe. We are going into fall here so the readily available food for me may change a bit. We shall see. 🙂

    Oh, I also try to remember that there are some foods from my past that are essentially raw. Carrot salad, cole slaw, broccoli salad – I may modify them a TINY bit, but I think maybe eating some familiar things on occasion keeps the entire thing from feeling too strange.

    I also eat some raw nuts from a health food store, I think those are great because they are ‘rich’ and probably help curb cravings of other foods.

    I probably need to get a dehydrator because the other thing I occassionaly eat that isn’t raw is WASA crackers. With raw almond butter and a touch of honey. Maybe every few days I”ll have one. The crunch is great.

    OK, that’s it for now! I think I’ve written half a book here – sorry!

    • Tommie September 9, 2009 at 5:25 pm #

      No problem, Janice! You need to find your way to the forum and sign up. It’s free and there are people there who understand.

      Dr. D says you can warm something as long as you can stir it with your finger. Actually, 100 degrees is ‘way lower than the temperature where foods are dehydrated.

  10. Sharon September 9, 2009 at 6:53 pm #

    I always find raw eating easier in summer. It has just reached Spring here at the moment. And I HATE the cold. Going south for winter – would be rather silly here. 🙂
    I would rather migrate north for the winter (Australia – everything is backwards!).

    What I really find hard is that I work in an office that is very air con’d. It can be 35 outside (hot!) and everyone inside will be shivering and needing jackets. I don’t think that office work is great for a healthy mind and body. But it is great for paying the bills.

    I would also like to get a dehydrator. I recently purchased a juicer – love it!

    Janice – I am interested in your cole slaw. What dressing (if any) do you use?
    And I have never heard of a broccoli salad.


  11. ShariV September 9, 2009 at 10:45 pm #

    Well, I’m here to tell you eating raw seems to be easier the more I eat in the staff room with the instructors. Sheesh! I come in with the biggest Tupperware bowl I own full of watermelon and a fork. “Is that ALL you’re going to eat”? – the reading instructor. “Where is your protein?” – the nursing instructor “WOW, I wish I had some of that!” – my running coach and the tech instructor. My chef has become much more accepting and actually told the kids I’m a raw food chef – in class! So some things never change and when I least expect it, I get a compliment from the person I least expect it!!

    At least I’m not working (this year) with the woman who would literally gag when I drank a green smoothie. It was so bad I finally started bringing it in a stainless steel bottle so she couldn’t see it.

    I hear you on inside work Sharon. My classroom does not have one window!! I keep telling myself it’s only this year, it’s only this year. But I’m more concerned right now with off gassing of the new carpet, new paint, new everything…..guess maybe eating raw will help flush the poison out of my bod?

    Got to run do a couple things before bed.


    • Tommie September 10, 2009 at 6:18 am #

      I’ve quit eating with the other employees in the break room because all of them cast a baleful eye on my smoothies. (Multiply your gagging woman by four or five.) Plus, it’s hard to eat a big container of watermelon in 30 minutes. And when I say “eat” I mean ME eat it. It sounds selfish but after I finish giving out samples to most of the people, I am missing a lot of my lunch. I feel like saying, “Pardon me, but I don’t hear you asking so-and-so for part of her pork chop.” They don’t share each other’s lunches for the most part—it’s mostly mine if I have something they like.

      Raw shouldn’t give the poisons from the carpet, etc., anything to cling to. Keep it up, Shari! Rah, rah, Sys! Boom! Bah!!

  12. ShariV September 10, 2009 at 9:21 pm #

    Crappy, crappy day at school. Came home and dove right into a *$^%&((@)% fill it in for yourself. I think that is the #1 most frustrating thing about myself. When I’m angry, upset, or breathing, I eat something I know I don’t really want but I remember it tasting so very good and I want it so I’m going to eat it. And then I feel just like I did when I came home only now I add guilt to it.

    Think I’ll eat a peach and go to be. After all it is almost 6:30 p.m. PDT!!


    • Tommie September 10, 2009 at 10:30 pm #

      I take it this wasn’t a good day at all. Sorry about that, Shari. Emotional eating? Tomorrow is another day. Get a good night’s sleep.

  13. ShariV September 12, 2009 at 11:20 pm #

    Survived the first week of school. The instructor was more annoying than any of our students. She is so very self-centered and down right rude. But, she does do a good job teaching the kids about culinary arts. I just have to find my stride and let it go and not dive into a bag of chips when she really tees me off!

    Today was a glorious day. The sun was out and I was up and out the door at 5:30 a.m. to head for Seattle. A bunch of us from school ran a 5k at Greenlake with 3,000 other women! I walked it with another woman who is not into running. Running is better for my silly foot, but I’d rather walk with her. We just chatted up a storm the whole way and before we knew it we had walked around the entire lake and the finish line was in sight.

    I had a watermelon/spinach smoothie before I left the house, about 4:30 a.m. and by 7 I was starving!! I to settle for an old apple in the bottom of the Starbucks cooler. Oh well. When I got home I sat down with the rest of the watermelon I had cleaned for the smoothie and ate until I thought I would burst. Then I just ran to the bathroom the rest of the morning!

    Tomorrow I have to remember to check the neighbors’ Italian plum tree. The wife only likes them stewed in sugar water and the husband only likes them when they are just barely turning purple. I like them falling off the tree. I could eat pounds of those things. Yummyyy…

    Picked up our order of nectarines and peaches today and the owner of the orchard was telling the lady in front of me about freezing peaches, nectarines, and apricots – whole! She said a friend does it and when she takes them out and thaws them the skins come right off and the meat doesn’t stick to the pit very much. I thought what a clever idea, except I like mine in smoothies and don’t take the time to thaw them! But for people who can, I think this would be an option and would keep them from the sugar syrup you use to can.

    Anyway, my bed is calling to me…………zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz……….Shari

    • Tommie September 13, 2009 at 7:49 am #

      Woohoo! You had an all raw day! Sounds good, too. Someone remarked yesterday that there are very few sunny days in Seattle but when I was there, it sprinkled once one day out of seven…

  14. Janice September 18, 2009 at 1:00 pm #

    Wow, sorry, I dropped off here!

    The coleslaw we typically make is green cabbage that we shred. The sauce is simply a little bit of mayonaise (not raw) and then some vinegar and sugar substitute.

    I just discovered a new ‘dressing’ that is so simple its silly! I took raw mustard and mixed it with just a touch of raw honey. YUMMMMMMM. For some reason just a little bit of honey can make the mustard really runny. Then it goes over greens very nicely.

    I also make a sauce of a tiny bit of peanut oil, chili oil, ground up ginger, and a dash of rice wine vinegar. I put that over shredded zuccini and squash. YUM. sometimes I vary the ingredients a little.

    Next up is to figure out a curry sauce. I love curry. I think sometimes eating spicey foods replaces the ‘hot’ of temperature. (for me)

    I don’t drown anything in sauce, I just put a little. Generally the cut up veggies will produce some moisture of their own, so I don’t need a lot of sauce. Keep leftover sauces in fridge for a few days to a week.

    hmmm, what else can I say today…

    Did I mention I made my first ‘meat’ kind of thing? I ground up raw almonds, raw walnuts, then added some rolled oats, some powdered flax (I think thats what it was), a touch of oil, some sea salt……it gave a different texture than what I had been eating. I wrapped it in nappa cabbage leaves. mmm. very tastey!

    • Tommie September 18, 2009 at 7:50 pm #

      Wow! That’s almost like a recipe post! I’ll have to put these on my recipe page…

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