I had the pleasure of seeing Tim VanOrden speak on Tuesday to an group of New England Raw Foodists in Walthum MA. It was much more of a sharing than a telling- we had to be kicked out of the building at 10 and I can't believe I spent 5 hours talking and listening to others around the topic of living foods. As a newcomer I was warmly welcomed, and before I even got inside the hall I was pleasantly suprised by a table of raw treats for sale from Aimee's Livin Magic.
I was blow away by the prices!! Here's what i got: 1 lb raw organic hazel nuts- 6.25. 1 lb raw organic brazil nuts 6.75. 5 oz organic sundried tomatoes $5. 8 oz organic raw cocao nibs $5, 8 oz chia seeds $5.
THAT IS SO CHEAP!!!!! Definitely buying more from them next time!
There was a delightful raw potluck beforehand filled with a wide array of organic living dishes.
Then Susan Allison, a certified raw chef and personal trainer demonstrated a Chia Gazpacho Soup, which was quite good, though salty, thanks to the addition of dulce and seat salt.
After our stomachs were satisfied, Tim came up to the podium to speak.
Tim (who resembles a much fitter and healthier Ben Stiller) travels around the world promoting an 100% raw vegan lifestyle for everyone, but especially athletes. He has a youtube channel in which he shows his athletic abilities eating only uncooked fruits and vegetables. He wants to provide those who are considering starting a raw diet with some back-up; something to show those who question the safety of undergoing such an "extreme" lifestyle change that a raw diet is a valid choice. Tim's discussion really struck me, and was very inspiring. He wasn't trying to sell anything, (he doesn't even have a book published) and his entire speal was about how positive energy, perception, and belief can change the way you live. He has such a deep passion for this subject, spending over 6 hours a day researching new scientific breakthroughs in physiology, genetics and nutrition, and then converting it into concepts the average person would understand. One field which I hadn't heard discussed in the scientific community is "Epi-genetics"- a field that believes that perception can manipulate genetic code. These implications are very exciting because it means that we are not bound to anything-that we have the power to change how we feel, look, and preform. I want to do more research on this subject, but it sounds like a very uplifting prospect!
He is big on the harmful affects of stress and the wonders of respect and love. Stress and fear, decrease digestions, kill cells and lower intelligence for one thing. We live in a society that feeds on fear. We are constantly being told of all the horrible things that are happening in the world and kept in perpetual cycles of fear. Fear sells things, happy people don't need things. (Right after this I watched Bowling for Columbine, which says much of the same things). Yet we live in a world that has such abundance, such wealth, and we have so much to be grateful of!
He emphasized that he is not a superhuman-no history of athleticism, no one in his family is athletic, but with the power of choice he turned his life around, from a depressed fatigued screenwriter in LA to an uber-healthy, ultra-athlete on a crusade to share his wealth of knowledge.
He eats just produce. No Supplements, no superfoods, a couple of nuts every once in a while. He's a huge fan of Green Smoothies (blended greens + a Banana + fresh fruit=delicious and nutritious. I think a huge testament to the nutritious aspect of living foods is that Tim only eats 1500-2000 calories a day to maintain his weight and preform at such high levels. Normally someone with his lifestyle it would be recommended that they eat 3000-4000 or more calories per day. Now I'm not saying you should follow right in his footsteps! He has taken several years to adjust his diet to his lifestyle and go through the detoxing process. Much more information is available on his website! Since he doesn't have any books out, I highly recommend checking out his website RunningRaw and his Youtube Channel.
I am not raw, but I love raw foods, and the energy that they bring you, in such a natural, unrefined, totally guilt-free way. I try to incorporate as much raw, living food in my diet as possible, but I don't see myself going 100% raw anytime soon. For those who are interested in the lifestyle, I highly recommend reading Alissa Cohen's "Living on Live Foods." There are so many resources available online and a variety of blogs (check out Gena at Choosing Raw Raw Epicurian and Gone Raw ) Going 100% raw is not for everyone, but there are many healthy foods that are raw, and delicious too! If you're in Boston, check out Grezzo Restaurant, and Pure in NYC is great! (I also love Cafe Gratitude in Berkeley!) But even if you don't want to or don't feel ready to adapt a raw lifestyle-Look on the Bright Side! You'll be much healthier, and happier!