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The word detox is thrown around so often nowadays in health and celeb-watching lingo, I’m sure most of us are used to hearing about the latest fad. Unfortunately, the focus in our popular culture tends to be on fast weight loss and getting so-and-so’s abs with the new fat flush diet, rather than achieving optimal health. Although you may have heard about the latest detox fad, do you really know what detox means? Detoxification is a key function of the body which happens naturally that involves elimination of metabolic waste and toxins via our bodies’ major eliminatory organs: our skin, kidneys, colon, lymph, lungs, and liver. Toxins in our bodies’ are in the form of the toxic by-products of our own metabolism, the foods, drinks, and drugs we choose to consume which includes alcohol, cigarettes, prescription and recreational drugs, our household cleaning products, environmental pollution, and the effects of emotional stress and mental pollution.
We live in a toxic world, so obviously encouraging detoxification is a good thing, and keeps the body light, renewed, and refreshed. Our SAD (Standard American Diets) leave the majority of us overloaded with animal protein, saturated and trans fats, and all the other aforementioned toxins. In our natural state the body is designed to be able to flush out unwanted substances. But due to the toxic overload, the bodies’ natural ability dampens, and toxins end up getting stored in our tissues. To counteract this our bodies’ surround this toxic waste with mucous (which later can become dis-ease) and guess what, FAT. Which is why when you opt for a diet that is cleansing the weight or “waste” seems to just fall off. Detox diets are designed to encourage, support, and facilitate the toxin elimination process. Some examples of regimens that encourage detoxification are juicing, juice fasting, and the raw food diet. The removal of cooked and processed foods from your diet for a period time, or the absence of solid food altogether, gives your body a chance to rejuvenate and flush out old waste.
Below are some of the awesome reasons why you should consider incorporating a regular yearly detox into your lifestyle. And…available for purchase beginning March 11th on a blog near you is Raw Girl’s 7 Day Detox. I’m excited about sharing this plan with you, which will include a power juice guide with recipes and nutritional benefits of ingredients, a shopping list and budget, a detox schedule which you can follow daily for a full week, and a manual which includes tips to make your cleanse stress-free. If seven days is too long for you to handle, a shorter 3 Day Detox Plan will also be available as a starter to The Acne Free Diet. Stay tuned! -XoXo Raw Girl
Benefits of a Detox:
- Releases addictions to processed foods
- Flushes out toxins from the body
- Balances hormones
- Boosts energy levels and increases circulation
- Improves digestion
- Strengthens immune system
- Lowers risk of dis-ease
- Improves concentration
- Improves quality of sleep
- Clears skin problems and acne
11. Encourages regular bowel movements
12. Detoxifies the organs
13. Reduces stress
14. Boosts libido/ Increases sex drive
15. Encourages weight loss and maintaining healthy weight
The picture to the left is what introduced me to Annette Larkins years ago. If you’ve read my past posts you know that I am a coconut fiend! I would have one a day if I could. So when I saw this photo of a FAB woman sipping on coconut water, I needed to know who she was immediately. I had been meaning to get around to writing a post on her, but it slipped my mind until recently a friend messaged me the video of her below, and a reader posted a comment on the blog about her.
Who would not want to be in their seventies and have youthfulness and vitality that surpasses that of some in their thirties? The woman has had NO PLASTIC SURGERY, and often times gets mistaken for the daughter of her husband who is around her age! When I imagine my ideal self at seventy I look at someone Annette Larkin for inspiration to fuel the dream. Yes, I plan to be that size four wearing, head turning grandmother who still gets cat called in the streets. Annette began her journey as a vegetarian, while her husband owned a meat shop! She then transitioned into raw and has been 100% for over 20 years. As you will see in the video she eats primarily from her own garden, and drinks rain water. That I thought was super cool and interesting. She has authored a two-part booklet series called Journey to Health that can be found on her website via the link below.
The power of the RAW vegan lifestyle is real, and stories like this continue to reinvigorate my inspiration for leading this lifestyle. It can be tough when people constantly question your choices or simply taunt you for being a vegetable lover. Know that if you choose this path, just like Annette, you will have the last laugh, although by then it may not be too funny. Annette’s husband who now regrets not joining her on her health quest years ago now lives with the help of medication. There’s nothing funny about watching loved ones and friends suffer from diseases or lack of mobility as they get older, but we each have one life to live. What you do with yours, is your choice. EAT TO LIVE. -XoXo Raw Girl
To learn more about Annette, please visit her website: http://www.annettelarkins.com/
My coconut craze phase has gone on for quite some time. I eat them several times a week and love consuming all parts of the coconut. At this point I’m a life long coconut fanatic…but I had yet to really test the long-term benefits of using coconut oil. For the past three months or so I starting using extra virgin coconut oil on my skin daily. It works wonders!
Coconut oil has been used since the dawn of history as food and medicine. In Polynesia, it is used cosmetically to maintain soft and smooth skin, and also medically to relieve stiffness of the joints, and rheumatism and back pain by rubbing on a specific area. Polynesians also mixed coconut oil with turmeric to treat sick newborns and apparently also massaged coconut oil on the abdomen on pregnant women to move a baby from breach in to normal position. In India, coconut oil has been used in their healing system Ayurveda for thousands of years as well. In Ayurveda, when used as food, coconut oil is known to nourish the body tissues, improve sexual health, improve intelligence, support respiratory and urinary systems, and calm Vata and Pitta. It is also applied to the scalp to improve length, shine, texture, and overall length of hairs. It is also applied topically on skin and wounds, and also heated with herbs which strengthens the healing properties and benefits of the herb.
Coconut oil is a saturated fat that mostly contains chain fatty acids which have amazing health giving benefits. The various fatty acids give coconut oil its immune boosting properties because they have anti-viral, anti-microbial, and anti-fungal qualities. Coconut oil actually contains no cholesterol and when consumed regularly can help to lower your cholesterol, stabilize blood sugar levels, and it doubles your body’s ability to use omega three fatty acids. Because of its amazing health benefits, and its fabulous ability to moisturize dry skin, and add luster to hair, coconut has been used in a wide array of beauty products including lip balm, shampoos, conditioners, face creams, lotions, body scrubs, and more. But the best part about coconut oil is that it can be used alone as a multi-purpose beauty aid.
Now for a few beauty remedies you can try at home. Make sure that you purchase extra virgin coconut oil to get the nutritional and beauty benefits. First off, you can actually use coconut oil as an all-body moisturizer, as it is safe to use on skin, hair, and scalp. As I said earlier, use directly on the skin can actually fade or prevent stretch marks, wrinkles, age spots, and acne if used consistently over time. It also will assist in improving any skin conditions such as keratosis–which involves rough skin and bumps on the back and other areas of the body. For dark under eye circles, you can increase circulation in the area by using a small amount of coconut oil to massage under the eyes and keep the skin from wrinkling. For a leave in conditioner, simply melt coconut oil, apply to scalp and leave hair in a shower cap over night. This is also an effective treatment for those with dandruff. To top all of this off, don’t forget you can eat it! Coconut oil is the best oil for cooking because it does not turn rancid like other oils. If you aren’t yet convinced that you must have some coconut oil in your life, check back for the next post which will feature ten ways coconut oil can be used for beauty. -XoXo Raw Girl
My next Anti-Aging She-ro is supermodel Carol Alt. Despite being at the height of her career in her thirties, Carol found herself lethargic, depressed and looking for a road to optimal health. She found raw foods and never turned back. Having a modeling career that has spanned 27 years, and branching out to authoring books, acting and even directing, this raw renaissance woman has manage to retain her vitality and beauty at the age of 50.
Carol is not a vegan, as she does eat animal products, but her diet is raw. Most raw followers avoid meat and dairy, but Carol apparently eats sashimi (raw seafood), carpaccio (thinly sliced raw beef, veal, or tuna), and raw milk cheeses. I think she’s a great example that different bodies require different diets. Incorporating raw foods does promise vitality, but how one goes about it is a unique journey. Carol said in an interview published online that she found out through a holistic doctor, what her “type” was and ate accordingly.
Carol’s venture into the raw lifestyle caused her to branch out with authoring several Raw Food books including: Eating in the Raw and The Raw 50, and most recently launching Raw Essentials, a line of raw skin care products made with absolutely no chemicals (I am definitely going to test out this product). At the age of 48, she posed nude in Playboy, which she called a platform to show how raw foods have kept her body young. In the article she was quoted: “I believe God wants me to speak about this like I’m a born-again Christian…and I needed a platform, which is why I’m in Playboy. Nobody loves the female form like Playboy, and there’s no better way to show women you don’t have to live with getting old.”
In another interview she discussed that her doctor told her that her skin was too thin to ever get a face lift, and since then she’s been committed to keeping her skin youthful naturally. I’ll pass on a bare-it-all shoot in Playboy, but I am definitely down for NEVER going under a knife, so more power to her for being living proof in this age of Botox-fixes-it-all that youthfulness can be achieved at any age through the raw lifestyle. – XoXo Raw Girl
For more about Carol visit her site:
For more about her skin care line, Raw Essentials, visit:
Up until now, I have not had the pleasure of interviewing any of my Anti-Aging She-roes, simply because I don’t know them or have direct access to them. I am excited this week to highlight model Pat Evans, who’s fierce look caused quite a stir in the world of fashion, and who is still gorgeous, as she has aged gracefully.
During my time in undergraduate studies, I was a fashion design major, and made it my mission to also study the history of people of color in fashion. In fact, I wrote a thesis on just that, focusing on the time period between 1950 and 1980. The images that I came across of Pat, were inspiring to me, she had shaved her head completely bald and was incredibly stunning. Needless to say, it was a great honor and pleasure to interview her, she is a beautiful example and inspiration for all of us that we can create and uphold our own standards of beauty. -XoXo Raw Girl
What are the most important factors you believe can help with aging beautifully? Growing old is mandatory, acting your age is optional. I still play games with 4 yr old children! I’m very active and I don’t like to be what is called starched. I love laughter…it keeps me healthy and it is good for the spirit.
What is your skin care regimen like? I wash my face with facial gel and then I rinse it thirty times with very warm water and after with cold water. I use a good moisturizer as well.
What is your exercise regimen like and do you think it plays any part in how great you look? I was a martial artist when I was in NYC, I studied Seido Karate, I was a dancer for a very long time, and now I am a lead dancer at Pow Wow. I am Nanticoke Lenape Native American.
Your look really took the modeling industry by storm in the late sixties, how did you manage to stick to your own perception of beauty despite naysayers and racial barriers? And I’m also curious to know…what in particular made you decide to shave off all your hair? Was it planned or a spontaneous decision? Racial Barriers sometimes can be people of color not accepting you. Some people have become hair worshipers and believe it holds their entire being. I’ve known women that would not go out if their hair did not look great. My thought was “What if there were no hair?” Hair is NOT your crowning glory.
How would you define natural beauty? Natural beauty is a great smile and a good heart and spirit.
What advice would you give to aspiring models of color today? My advice to any model: KEEP YOUR MORALS.
About two weeks ago I caught a glimpse of the one and only Sade performing live on television, and I had to do a double take, because I thought perhaps it was old footage. Nope. It was definitely, 2010. She was singing her hit single “Soldier of Love” which I immediately added to my ipod after one listen. Sade is 51 years old, and seems to age like fine wine. The best part is that even though she looks like she could out-shimmy a lot of young girls, this woman still manages to create music that keeps her at the top of the charts without resorting to any of the tired age old tricks of skin baring and booty shaking. I have no idea what Sade’s diet is like, but she’s definitely got incredible genes. If you haven’t heard the album check it out: http://www.sade.com/us/home/– XoXo Raw Girl
A dear friend and mother of three who has mastered the art of looking youthful (she doesn’t really have to try), and raising healthy (not to mention insanely talented) vegan children, Khepera Fleming is a beautiful soul residing in the Brooklyn area. If you’re wondering if her picture is airbrushed, that answer is no–that’s how stunning she is live and in the flesh. I caught up with her to find out how she stays on track with her diet and to glean advice that may be helpful for parents to hear about raising children on a vegan diet.
How long have you been a vegan? If you were a meat eater previously what made you decide to change your diet? What were some of the benefits spiritual mental or physical you received by changing your diet?I have been vegan for 18 years. As a child I suffered with constipation and poor digestion due to a diet of heavy starches and my inability to digest animal protein. In my teenage years I was very lethargic, consistently depressed and suffered painful menses. I became sick and tired of being sick and tired so I began a search which brought me to Chinese Herbalogy, I purchased and took a 14 day cleanse that shifted my paradigm. I was renewed with crystal clear understanding that I could not go back to my old eating habits. I realized my diet was killing me. For many years I felt imprisoned in a body that caused me a great deal of stress and as I removed the animal proteins, the denatured grains and introduced juicing and more living foods I emerged from the fires with joy, energy, conscious awareness of self in relationship to the plant animal kingdom and great deal of spiritual strength knowing that the power to heal myself is within me. There is wisdom in the phrase “Heal Thyself Know Thyself.”
What are staples in your diet? What are vegan dishes your kids enjoy? Greens of all sorts are a main staple, quinoa, sea vegetables. My children love lentils and beans. They love all the fabulous dishes that one can make with beans and lentils. Bean burritos or tacos with lots of veggies brown rice and plenty of guacamole. Chick pea or lentil patties, kale salad with seaweed, Tofu, whole grain pancakes with fresh fruit, power shakes with sea moss, spirulina, veg protein.
What supplements do you use regularly, if any?
Flaxseed oil, B-complex, Spirulina
What crucial advice would you give to mothers who want to raise their children vegan? Do your research and stay away from processed foods. There are a variety of vegan-packaged foods, which are quite inviting but are loaded with sodium, sugars and preservatives. You will have to put time and energy into food preparation and meals should be made from whole foods giving precedence to organic. You must keep in mind that children are growing and it is my belief that whole foods are best and if given a variety you don’t need lots of supplements. In our modern world we have come to rely on fast foods, which include packaged foods, and microwavable foods and both are deadly to the growing children as they are simply denatured. Keep it simple plenty of dark leafy vegetables, root vegetables, lots of seasonal fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts (watch out for allergic reaction to some) oils, etc. Most importantly teach your children so they carry the legacy of eating well and they do not succumb to peer pressure. Also, remember food is medicine so as a mother you’re also the healer in the family especially if you’re responsible for the meals so the healthier the meals the healthier the children.
Were you vegan during all of your pregnancies? How did your diet or supplementation change during this time? I was vegan throughout all three pregnancies with no cravings for animal protein. I always get asked that. The only difference is I ate more because my body demanded it. I ate basically the same but I included a prenatal vitamin and I increased my greens and liquid intake to increase my energy and flush my system.
Is it difficult for your kids to interact with the other children who have S.A.D. (Standard American) diets? Their interaction can be difficult because my children’s views on animal consumption involve a conscious understanding of their relationship between themselves and the plant and animal kingdom. They can become physically ill if they watch friends or family members consume animal products. Holidays can be tough, although now we are thought of and something vegan is prepared for us. I’ve come to find that many of their friends eventual try and end up truly loving vegan food. My 9-year-old daughter, Ajahee, who is a model and aspiring actress, is very vocal with her friends about her vegan lifestyle and she says she never feels indifferent about it. She loves it.
What is your beauty/skin care regimen like?For years I used products from the health food store just whatever appealed to my senses. Most recently I was introduced to a skin care line that promised definite results so I tried it and fell in love with Arbonne International, which is now my home based business; I am an independent consultant and district manager in the New York area. Arbonne’s 450 products are botanically base, pure and beneficial. I use the NutriminC re9 system, which is the best product I ever used on my skin. It gives hydration, luster and youthful skin. I love it.
I love the Arbonne natural foundation I bought from you! It’s so light and enhances natural glow. How do you define natural beauty? I feel natural beauty comes from ones soul. It’s a great feeling when you meet a pure soul I always walk away saying he/she is beautiful. Usually that person’s lifestyle explains their inner beauty; maybe they’re truly growing their souls through conscious eating, meditation, yoga, giving, loving but whatever it is it shows. Natural beauty defines itself there’s a certainty that whatever is good comes from nature (Neter) God/Goddess.
How long ago did you do a parasite cleanse and what did you do to cleanse? I contracted a severe parasitic infection upon moving to NYC and working long hours in Manhattan eating most of meals out even though I chose healthy meals. I did a parasite cleanse over 10 years ago. I was referred to a Naturopath in my area who put me a series of herbal flushes, a kidney liver flush every morning, followed by herbal tea concoction three times a day, followed by weekly colonic irrigation. I followed a strict diet of fresh squeezed green veg juices, whole grains, steamed vegetables and salads. I stuck it out for 30 days and was healed. I now maintain my body system with herbal bitters so I am not so susceptible.
What were your symptoms prior to cleansing?If you have never had one pray you never get one. Parasites rob your life force. I became lethargic, my skin broke out severely, I craved sugar, probably to increase my energy, my thinking was cloudy and I had itching in personal body parts. Not a pretty sight. I was IRRITABLE all the time.
I agree, it really is not pretty! How long did it take you to see improvements in your health?Following the protocol I saw results in two weeks and by months end I was completely healed. It’s not easy I had a great supportive friend at the time that helped through the rough periods. I remember taking relaxing baths and just seeing myself healed.
One of Khepera’s daughters: Ajahee, an insanely talented nine-year old who acts, models, dances, sings, and writes her own music and screenplays! Watch out world, this little vegan-in-training is going to be fabulous when she grows up.
Ajahee is currently represented by Product Model Management in New York.
Interested in finding out more about Arbonne? You can email Khepera at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Taking a raw girl vacay to start work on another film. Back on Monday with videos on sprouting, raw pancakes (yum!), and other goodies. Stay tuned!
– XoXo Raw Girl
Tonya Zavasta is an incredibly vibrant woman, fifty something years young, who went from almost permanently disabled to thriving on raw foods. Searching for a way to optimal health and beauty, she discovered raw in 1997 and never turned back. Since then she has authored numerous books including: The Right to Be Beautiful and 100 Days to 100% Raw and now sells products, books, and information via her website Beautiful on Raw. In the bio posted on her site she stresses that she believes that everyone has the right, and the means to become uniquely beautiful via the raw diet and she is dedicated to working towards transforming the lives of women. In addition to her diet, she also regularly practices hot yoga and advocates that practice in combination with a living foods diet for optimal health. All I can say is you go girl!
The best part of her site are before and after images of herself and other people who transformed themselves on the raw diet:
I actually don’t know exactly how old Lillian Butler is, but I know for a fact that for her age she looks incredible. The first photo on the left is of her at the age of 46, after adopting a raw diet! Below is a recent image of her and her husband.
When I first embarked on the idea of going raw, I took Lillian’s intro to raw crash course, which was extremely informative and gave me the tools to dive in.
Apparently, Lillian was a vegetarian for 10 years, but was not experiencing optimal health. After some time of incorporating more into her diet she decided to go raw, and sweetly enough, her husband Eddie Robinson (whose skin also glows like a light bulb!) joined her in beginning a new lifestyle. Together they opened a really lovely raw restaurant in the Bronx, Raw Soul, which also offers catering, meal delivery, and chef training. They have a wide range of INCREDIBLE desserts, and the regular courses are yummy as well.
For more info about Raw Soul, visit www.rawsoul.com