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Book Reviews

  • Raw Snacks by Caroline Fibaek

    Raw Snacks is a new recipe book from Danish writer, nutritionist and chef, Caroline Fibaek. Try this recipe below, and if you like it, you can find the book here, for more delicious treats.

    Dream Bar
    A chocolate bar full of power and nourishment – a bit of paradise.
    Make a tray full and keep in the fridge.
    Makes 5 bars

    60g cashew nuts
    60g Brazil nuts
    2 tablespoons unsalted pistachio nuts
    45g mulberries
    2 tablespoons goji berries
    80g cocoa butter
    1 teaspoon vanilla powder
    1 tablespoon sunflower lecithin
    1 tablespoon agave syrup or coconut sugar
    3 tablespoons raw cocoa powder
    1 tablespoon mesquite or lucuma

    Chop cashew and Brazil nuts coarsely. Mix with
    pistachio nuts, mulberries and goji berries and pour
    the mixture into a brownie tin in a layer approximately 1
    cm thick. Gently melt the cocoa butter in a bowl
    in a bain-marie. When the cocoa butter has melted completely
    mix in vanilla powder, sunflower lecithin,
    agave syrup, cocoa powder and mesquite. Mix thoroughly
    and pour the chocolate sauce over the nuts
    and berries. Leave to cool in the freezer or fridge.
    When the chocolate mixture is set, it can
    be cut into bars.

    Must be kept cool.

    BRAZIL NUTS are among the most
    nutritious nuts on earth. They contain
    much of the immune stimulating antioxidant
    selenium, which contributes to preventing cancer,
    heart diseases and premature ageing. Selenium
    is also beneficial for sight and healthy
    hair and skin. Brazil nuts also contain
    zinc, magnesium, calcium, gluthation
    and iron, Omega-6, B1 and biotin and is very
    rich in protein.

  • 21 Days Raw Ebook from Joanna Steven

    Tired of Wondering “What’s For Dinner?”
    Would Ready-Made Menu Planners Make Your Life Easier?
    With FULL Recipes? Including Breakfast, Lunch, Snack, & Dinner?

    Our new eBook has you covered! Over 20 experienced chefs have contributed time-tested, nutritious recipes you’ll find yourself making over and over again!

    21 Days of Raw Vegan Menu Planners – A Collection of Full Raw Food Menus with Recipes Designed to Give You the Glow – was created just for you, the busy bee who is juggling many responsibilities and doesn’t need food to be an added source of stress!
    This eBook contains 3 full weeks of delicious, nutritious menu plans with complete recipes. It was designed to give you plenty of ideas and inspiration so you never have to wander in your kitchen, opening the fridge a dozen times, waiting for a recipe to manifest itself.

    With contributors ranging from published authors, popular bloggers, TV personalities, raw food entrepreneurs, and much more, you are sure to find several menu plans that fit your mood!

    GOOD NEWS! Unlike most eBooks and print books, this one is available for only $2.99! It is our gift to you, to simplify your life, and take the stress out of mealtime! Click here to find out more, and to purchase.

  • Book Giveaway


    We are giving readers the chance to win a copy of Saskia’s gorgeous new recipe book, Raw Freedom:  Look Great, Feel Great – Quick and Delicious Raw Food Recipes for Everyday Energy.

    Saskia Fraser is a raw food and mind body spirit coach based in Bristol, and her book is packed full of her easy and inspiring recipes, all with beautiful full colour photos.  Saskia makes raw food super-accessible for everyone, with tips on incorporating raw and healthy cooked foods so it’s easy to feed yourself, family and friends all in one meal.

    First prize is a hard back signed copy of her book, with the runner-up getting an electronic version that looks beautiful on ipads, Kindles and all other electronic reading devices.

    To enter the competition, simply email or send your answer to Magic Competition, 9 Albert Parade, Bristol, BS5 9EH, UK with the answer to this question:

    What is Saskia’s website called?

    All entries must be received by 5th Oct 2014

    Terms and Conditions: Entries must be received by 5th Oct 2014 and the winner will be notified by email no later than 10th Oct 2014.  No purchase necessary. By entering the competition you agree to be added to Saskia’s mailing lists, you may unsubscribe at any time.  Privacy is important to Saskia – your details will never be passed or sold to anyone.

    Book Description:

    In this stunning recipe book full of mouth-watering photographs, Saskia Fraser introduces you to more than 80 easy-to-make raw food recipes for energy, health, weight-loss and detox.  With quick and delicious recipes for breakfasts, soups, pates, pastas, main courses, and desserts such as raspberry cheesecake and chocolate orange mousse, you will be amazed by the flavours and luxurious textures possible with raw food.  Saskia’s recipes are designed for normal people with busy lives, so they are simple and quick to make with the most basic kitchen equipment.  Saskia advocates eating high raw (which means lots of raw food, but not all raw food) and has a very inclusive approach that is accessible to everyone trying to find a better way to eat.  She includes chapters on how to incorporate raw and cooked foods together, how to introduce your family and friends to raw food, as well as lots of other practical and inspiring information on the raw food lifestyle.


  • Simply the Best eBook

    Author and health expert Anna Rodgers, has compiled this stunning ebook containing over 100 raw recipes. She asked all her favourite chefs to contribute, including Raw Living's own Kate Magic. Each recipe is illustrated with a full colour photo, making the book a delight to browse through and get your creative juices flowing.

    It contains over 300 pages of drinks, breakfasts, savoury & sweet snacks, soups, fermented foods, lunches and dinners, side dishes, ice creams, pies, tarts, cheesecakes, and more!

    You can purchase the book for the great price of £9.95 and read more about it here.

  • The Milky Way: The Ultimate Guide to Breastfeeding on a Raw Diet

    This ebook is available to purchase by clinking the link above. We are also running a giveaway! Send your email address to with Milky Way in the subject line & we will pick two winners to receive the book. Closing date for entries Dec 31st 2013.
    If you delve into most mainstream guides on breastfeeding, one of the running core themes is that a lactating mother should be aiming to eat a diet rich from certain food groups (think iron rich proteins such as meat as one example) in order to ensure that her milk is of the best quality it can possible be when feeding her baby. But, what if you are a new mum who happens to also be following a raw food lifestyle? Is it really possible to successfully breastfeed and provide your baby, infant or toddler, with all nutrient rich milk, whilst eating raw foods, especially one that is most likely vegetarian or vegan based? Well, the quick answer is yes. And in her new book, 'The Milky Way: The Ultimate Guide to Breastfeeding on a Raw Food Diet', raw food advocate and breastfeeding supporter Joanna Steven shows you - in wonderfully detail - exactly how.
    If you typically associate raw food recipes as being fussy, complicated and just too long, then think again. The recipes provided here are quick and varied, just what is needed for mums juggling their own food and care around that of their new baby. The abundance of recipes fall into one of the following: juices & infusions, smoothies & shakes, breakfasts & puddings, soups & entrees, chips breads & crackers, dips dressings & sauces, salads, and sweet treats - plenty to satisfy savoury and sweet taste buds alike. An interesting idea that Joanna adopts in the book, is where a recipe is provided by a contributor, there is often a short preamble explaining the recipes origin (from ideas stumbled upon as an antidote to flagging energies during night time feeds to a way in which to ensure that chocolate (raw of course) stays on the menu) and/or the overall benefits of an offering. Contributing raw chefs include Rene Oswald, Karen Ranzi, Eva Rawposa, the books author, Joanna Steven, and Raw Living's very own Kate Magic. Although there are not many photographs provided to illustrate the many food and drink treats, this isn't really missed as there is just so much information covered.
    This is a perfect book on breastfeeding that should adorn the bookshelves of mums to be and new mums alike as well as those who do and don't primarily follow a raw food diet. This is part recipe book, part baby care book and part one-stop breastfeeding guide, expertly presented in one flowing package. It is packed with so much detail and information that any reader will become deeply - and satisfyingly - engrossed. There is excellent coverage given to vitamin intake and breastfeeding (refreshingly, Joanna is happy to discuss the use and place of supplements and even recounts her own vitamin supplement intake whilst breastfeeding her son). Some of the more detailed breastfeeding information provided covers chlorella for breastfeeding, vitamin D, probiotics, vitamin k, super foods (naturally) and galactogogues for breast milk production. Joanna is willing to share of lot of her own personal experience of embracing the raw food lifestyle whilst breastfeeding as is shown through her food journals charting her time spent breasfeeding her son Franklin. As mentioned, baby care is well covered, with sections on the first year of baby's life as well as baby and sleep.
    At the end of the book, Joanna includes a short collection of inspiring tales of women from various backgrounds who, for a variety of reasons, struggled with breastfeeding their babies initially. These recollections are not necessarily driven by anything raw food related, but the bare and truthful 'pain' and success of breastfeeding through various ailments and predicaments is uplifting. From my own personal experience as a new first time mum, I can acutely recall those painful early days of breastfeeding issues and the internal (with myself) and external (with health practitioners and even family) battles that are still all too vivid. If 'The Milky Way' had been around when I had given birth, then this is certainly a book I would have loved to have had. As it is, any mums to be or new mums, raw food devotees or otherwise, would be wise to invest in a copy. They wont be disappointed.
    written by Devona Anidi
  • Recipe for Disaster

    How we lost the joy of eating by Michael Pollan (copyright).

    Do you love your food? Why the energy we invest in our food is just as important in sustaining and nurturing us as the nutrition it contains.

    Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. That, more or less, is the short answer to the supposedly incredibly complicated question of what we humans should eat in order to be maximally healthy.

    Perhaps you're suspicious of an approach that can be summed up in just seven words - but that injunction to "eat food" is not quite as simple as it sounds. It used to be that food was all you could eat, but today there are thousands of foodlike substances in our convenience stores and supermarkets. Brightly coloured packages boast of their low-fat, no-cholesterol, high-fibre credentials. Ingredient panels for once-simple staples such as bread, mayonnaise or yoghurt have been swollen by lengthy lists of additives - what in a more honest age would have been called adulterants. The result is not just confusion, but a dangerous belief that scientifically endorsed "nutrients" are inherently superior to fresh, unprocessed food.

    No other animal has such difficulty deciding what it should eat. True, as omnivores the "What to eat?" question is somewhat more complicated for us than it is for, say, cows. Yet for most of human history, we have navigated the question without expert advice. To guide us we had, instead, culture, which - at least when it comes to food - is really just a fancy word for your mother. What to eat, how much of it to eat, what order in which to eat it, with what and when and with whom was a set of questions long settled and passed down from parents to children without a lot of controversy or fuss.

    But over the past several decades, mum lost much of her authority over the dinner menu, ceding it to scientists and food marketers and, to a lesser extent, the government, with its ever-shifting dietary guidelines and food-labelling rules. Think about it: most of us no longer eat what our mothers ate as children or, for that matter, what our mothers fed us as children.

    My own mother grew up in the 1930s and 1940s eating a lot of traditional Jewish-American fare, typical of families who had recently emigrated from Russia or eastern Europe: stuffed cabbage, offal, cheese blintzes, dumplings filled with potato or chicken liver, and vegetables that were often cooked in rendered chicken or duck fat. I never ate any of that stuff as a kid, except when I visited my grandparents. My mother, an excellent and adventurous cook whose own menus were shaped by the cosmopolitan food trends of New York in the 1960s (her influences would have included the 1964 World's Fair, the food writers Julia Child and Craig Claiborne, Manhattan restaurant menus and, of course, the rising drumbeat of food marketing) served us a rotating menu that each week completed a culinary world tour: boeuf bourguignon or beef stroganoff on Monday; coq au vin or oven-fried chicken (in a Kellogg's Cornflakes crust) on Tuesday; meat loaf or Chinese pepper steak on Wednesday; spaghetti pomodoro with Italian sausages on Thursday; and on her weekend nights off, a Swanson's TV dinner or Chinese takeaway. She cooked with Crisco or Wesson vegetable oil rather than chicken or duck fat and used margarine rather than butter because she had absorbed the nutritional orthodoxy of the time, which held that these more up-to-date fats were better for our health. (Oops!)

    Nowadays I don't eat any of that stuff - and neither does my mother, who has moved on too. Her parents wouldn't recognise the foods we put on the table, except maybe the butter, which is back. Today in America, as in much of the western world, the culture of food is changing more than once a generation, which is historically unprecedented - and dizzying.

    What is driving such relentless change? One force is a multibillion-dollar food-marketing machine that thrives on change for its own sake. Another is the constantly shifting ground of nutrition science that, depending on your point of view, is advancing the frontiers of our knowledge about diet and health or just changing its mind a lot because it knows much less than it cares to admit. Part of what drove my grandparents' food culture from the dinner table was official scientific opinion, which, beginning in the 1960s, decided that animal fat was a deadly substance. The food manufacturers, meanwhile, stood to make very little money from my grandmother's cooking, because she was doing so much of it from scratch - up to and including rendering her own cooking fats. Amplifying the "latest science", they managed to sell her daughter the virtues of hydrogenated vegetable oils, the ones that we're now learning may be, well, deadly substances.

    I write as an American and, because I know them best, I use many American examples, but the story I have to tell is no longer just an American story. The epidemic of chronic diseases - obesity, diabetes, heart disease and several types of cancer - that can be traced to the modern diet may be more advanced in the US, but today the American way of eating is spreading around the world. Rates of obesity in Europe are rapidly approaching those of the US, and increases in diabetes and cardiovascular disease are certain to follow.

    Sooner or later, everything solid we've been told about the links between our diet and our health seems to get blown away in the gust of the latest study. Consider a few recent findings. In 2006 came news that a low-fat diet, long believed to protect against cancer, may do no such thing - this from the massive, federally funded Women's Health Initiative, which has also failed to find a link between a low-fat diet and the risk of coronary heart disease. Indeed, the whole nutritional orthodoxy around dietary fat appears to be crumbling.

    In 2005 we learned that dietary fibre might not, as we'd been confidently told for years, help prevent colorectal cancers and heart disease. And then, in the autumn of 2006, two prestigious studies on omega-3 fats came to strikingly different conclusions. While the Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences found little conclusive evidence that eating fish would do your heart much good (and might hurt your brain, because so much fish is contaminated with mercury), a Harvard study brought the hopeful piece of news that simply by eating a couple of servings of fish each week (or by downing enough fish oil tablets) you could cut your risk of dying from a heart attack by more than a third. Taking their cue from Harvard, food scientists are now rushing to micro-encapsulate fish and algae oil and blast it into such formerly terrestrial foods as bread, pasta, milk, yoghurt and cheese.

    By now you're probably feeling some nostalgia for the simplicity and solidity of the first few words of this article.

    The story of how the most basic questions about what to eat got so complicated reveals a great deal about the institutional imperatives of the food industry, nutrition science, and - ahem - journalism, three parties that have much to gain from widespread confusion about the most elemental question an omnivore confronts. Humans deciding what to eat without professional guidance - something they have been doing with notable success since coming down out of the trees - is seriously unprofitable if you're a food company, a definite career loser if you're a nutritionist, and just plain boring if you're a newspaper editor or reporter. (Or, for that matter, an eater. Who wants to hear, yet again, that you should "eat more fruit and vegetables"?) And so like a large grey cloud, a great conspiracy of scientific complexity has gathered around the simplest questions of nutrition - much to the advantage of everyone involved, except the supposed beneficiaries of all this nutritional advice: the eaters. For the most important thing to know about the campaign to professionalise dietary advice is that it has not made us any healthier. On the contrary: most of the nutritional advice we've received over the past half-century (and in particular the advice to replace the fats in our diets with carbohydrates) has actually made us less healthy and considerably fatter.

    It is time to reclaim our health and happiness as eaters. To do this requires an exercise that might at first blush seem unnecessary, if not absurd: to offer a defence of food and the eating thereof. That food and eating stand in need of a defence might seem counterintuitive at a time when "overnutrition" is emerging as a more serious threat to public health than undernutrition. But I contend that most of what we're consuming today is no longer, strictly speaking, food at all, and how we're consuming it - in the car, in front of the television, and, increasingly, alone - is not really eating, at least not in the sense that civilisation has long understood the term. Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, the 18th-century gastronomist, drew a useful distinction between the alimentary activity of animals, which "feed", and humans, who eat, or dine - a practice, he suggested, that owes as much to culture as it does to biology.

    As eaters we find ourselves increasingly in the grip of a nutritional industrial complex comprising well-meaning, if error-prone, scientists and food marketers only too eager to exploit every shift in the nutritional consensus. Together, and with some crucial help from officialdom, they have constructed an ideology of nutritionism that, among other things, has convinced us of three pernicious myths: that what matters most is not the food but the "nutrient"; that because nutrients are invisible and incomprehensible to everyone but scientists, we need expert help in deciding what to eat; and that the purpose of eating is to promote a narrow concept of physical health. Because food in this view is foremost a matter of biology, it follows that we must try to eat "scientifically" - by the nutrient and the number and under the guidance of experts.

    If such an approach to food doesn't strike you as the least bit strange, that is probably because nutritionist thinking has become so pervasive as to be invisible. We forget that, historically, people have eaten for a great many reasons other than biological necessity. Food is also about pleasure, about community, about family and spirituality, about our relationship to the natural world and about expressing our identity.

    That eating should be first and foremost about bodily health is a relatively new and destructive idea - destructive not just of the pleasure of eating, which would be bad enough, but paradoxically of our health as well. The scientists haven't tested the hypothesis yet, but I'm willing to bet that when they do they'll find an inverse correlation between the amount of time people spend worrying about nutrition and their health and happiness. This is, after all, the implicit lesson of the French paradox, so called not by the French (Quel paradoxe?) but by Anglo-Saxon nutritionists, who can't fathom how a people who enjoy their food as much as the French do, and eat so many nutrients deemed toxic by nutritionists, could have substantially lower rates of heart disease than others on elaborately engineered low-fat diets. No people on earth, by contrast, worry more about the health consequences of their food choices than Americans - and no people suffer from as many diet-related health problems.

    I don't mean to suggest that all would be well if we could just stop worrying about food or the state of our dietary health: Let them eat Twinkies! There are in fact some very good reasons to worry. The rise of nutritionism reflects legitimate concerns that the world's diet has changed in ways that are making us increasingly sick and fat. Four of the leading 10 causes of death in the US and the UK today are chronic diseases with well-established links to diet: coronary heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer. Yes, the rise to prominence of these chronic diseases is partly due to the fact that we're not dying earlier in life of infectious diseases - but only partly. Even after allowing for age, many of the so-called diseases of civilisation were far less common a century ago - and they remain rare in places where people don't eat the way Britons and Americans do.

    That is the elephant in the room whenever we discuss diet and health: "the western diet." All of our uncertainties about nutrition should not obscure the plain fact that the chronic diseases that now kill most westerners can be traced directly to the industrialisation of our food: the rise of highly processed foods and refined grains; the use of chemicals to raise plants and animals in huge monocultures; the superabundance of cheap calories of sugar and fat produced by modern agriculture; and the narrowing of the biological diversity of the human diet to a tiny handful of staple crops, notably wheat, corn, and soy. These changes have given us the diet that we take for granted: lots of processed foods and meat, lots of added fat and sugar, lots of everything - except vegetables, fruits and whole grains.

    That such a diet makes people sick and fat we have known for a long time. Early in the 20th century, an intrepid group of doctors and medical workers observed that wherever in the world people gave up their traditional way of eating, there soon followed a predictable series of western diseases, including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer. They called these the western diseases and, though the precise causal mechanisms were (and remain) uncertain, these observers had little doubt these chronic diseases shared a common etiology: the western diet.

    What's more, the traditional diets that the new western foods displaced were strikingly diverse: various populations thrived on diets that were what we'd call high fat, low fat, or high carb; all meat or all plant. Indeed, there have been traditional diets based on just about any kind of whole food you can imagine. What this suggests is that the human animal is well adapted to a great many different diets. The western diet, however, is not one of them.

    Here is a simple but crucial fact about diet and health; yet, curiously, it is a fact that nutritionism cannot see, probably because that reductionist approach to diet developed in tandem with the industrialisation of our food. Nutritionism prefers to tinker with the western diet, adjusting the various nutrients (lowering the fat, boosting the protein) and fortifying processed foods rather than questioning their value in the first place. Nutritionism is, in a sense, the official ideology of the western diet and so cannot be expected to raise radical or searching questions about it.

    But we can. We can begin to develop a different way of thinking about food that might point a path out of our predicament. In doing so we have two sturdy - and strikingly hopeful - facts to guide us: first, that humans historically have been healthy eating a great many different diets; and second, that most of the damage to our food and health caused by the industrialisation of our eating can be reversed. Put simply, we can escape the western diet and its consequences. There are some simple rules of eating that are conducive not only to better health but also to greater pleasure in eating, two goals that turn out to be mutually reinforcing. For example, I'd suggest that you eat meals, not snacks; eat wild foods whenever possible; and avoid any product whose ingredients are unfamiliar, unpronounceable, or more than five in number.

    These recommendations (to which I shall return in tomorrow's G2) are a little different from the dietary guidelines you're probably accustomed to. I'm not interested in telling you what to have for dinner. No, these suggestions are more like eating algorithms, mental devices for thinking through our food choices. Because there is no single answer to the question of what to eat, these guidelines will produce as many different menus as there are people using them.

    These rules of thumb are also not framed in the vocabulary of nutrition science. Indeed, one of them is to avoid products that make health claims. Why? Because a health claim on a food product is a strong indication that it's not really food. Science has much of value to teach us about food, and perhaps someday scientists will "solve" the problem of diet, creating the nutritionally optimal meal in a pill, but for now and the foreseeable future, letting the scientists decide the menu would be a mistake. Most of what we need to know about how to eat we already know, or did until we allowed the nutrition experts and the advertisers to shake our confidence in the testimony of our senses, and the wisdom of our mothers and grandmothers.

    Not that we had much choice in the matter. By the 1960s or so it had become all but impossible to sustain traditional ways of eating in the face of the industrialisation of our food. In the US particularly, but to a lesser extent throughout the developed world, if you wanted to eat produce grown without synthetic chemicals or meat raised on pasture without pharmaceuticals, you were out of luck. Convenience stores and supermarkets had become the only place to buy food, and real food was rapidly disappearing from their shelves, to be replaced by those highly processed foodlike products. And because so many of these novelties deliberately lied to our senses with fake sweeteners and flavourings, we could no longer rely on taste or smell to know what we were eating.

    Forty years ago, escaping the western diet would have meant either escaping the west itself or going back to the land and growing all your own food. Not any more. Thanks to the resurgence of farmers' markets, the rise of the organic movement, and the renaissance of local agriculture, stepping outside the conventional food system is once more a realistic option. And the more eaters who vote with their forks for a different kind of food, the more commonplace and accessible such food will become.

    Eaters have real choices now, and those choices have real consequences, for our health and the health of the land and the health of our food culture. That anyone should need to advise people to "eat food" could be taken as a measure of our alienation and confusion. Or we can choose to see it in a more positive light and count ourselves fortunate indeed that there is once again real food for us to eat.

    © Michael Pollan 2008.

    - Extracted from In Defence of Food: The Myth of Nutrition and the Pleasures of Eating by Michael Pollan, published by Allen Lane on January 31 at £16.99.

  • Raw Magic Review

    Raw Magic Book (new updated edition)

    The reviews have started coming in for Raw Magic 2012, and we'll be posting them here so you can access them all easily. Here's one of the first from Ysanne Spevack of Organic Foodee.

    To read Organic Foodee Raw Magic Review click here.

    Also on the Organic Foodee site, you can read a review of the Omni-blend high power blender that we sell.

  • Raw Magic 2012 edition

    The new updated edition of Kate's superfood recipe book Raw Magic is nearly here. We will be taking pre-orders on the site very soon. For now, click the link below to view the jacket of the book and whet your appetite....

    Raw Magic_cover

  • Raw Living Books: Cellular Awakening by Barbara Wren

    Cellular Awakening by Barbara Wren

    Are you keen to learn more about natural health but feel a little confused or overwhelmed when trying to decide what to read or even just what superfoods and supplements to get?  Maybe you wish you had a knowledgeable and experienced friend who could pick out a handful of the best books and say to you, ‘Start with these.’  Raw Living have done this for you; they have made a selection of some of the best books out there which makes choosing a lot easier.  They have some real stand-out classics.  Some are helpful in a practical way if you want to eat more raw but aren’t sure where to start - any of Kate’s recipe books are good on that.  Others are great if you want to develop a deeper understanding of the theory and research behind the natural health movement, such as Conscious Eating and The China Study.  There are others that look at key issues, like enzymes and specific nutrients.  You could just browse through the list and see what jumps out at you as most appealing, safe in the knowledge that you’re not going to be disappointed, because there are no duds on this list.

    There are some books that come at you from a completely unexpected direction and give you a new and hugely enlightening perspective.  Cellular Awakening by Barbara Wren is one of the these.  It has given me a framework to help me understand all sorts of puzzles, problems and symptoms that I thought were unconnected but that turn out to be parts of a coherent bigger picture.  It’s a hugely relevant book for those healing from disease and for healthy people who want to get to the next level.

    Barbara Wren writes in a way that makes a new (to me) idea easy to grasp without ever being patronising.  She explains how the body holds and creates light, and how disease and low energy relate to stagnation and a lack of light at a cellular level.  It makes sense of how illness progresses in an individual and how to tell symptoms that show an illness is getting worse from symptoms arising naturally from the healing process.  I found the section on how the seasons and the phases of the moon affect us interesting, as I find the full moon does affect me adversely.  There’s also a fascinating bit on how different organs are active at different times of the day and night, which helps us pinpoint what bits most need our attention.

    She does give practical steps for reversing stagnation in the body and getting the healing processes moving gently, along with some case studies to illustrate how poor health is created over a lifetime.  Some of the techniques she describes were already well known to me, such as colonics, enemas and flax tea.  But I still learned something new even about those, because she describes what they do on an energetic level.  But the main strength of this book is less in the practical suggestions than in the big picture it offers of how the body works in terms of energy.

    I think this book gives two gifts of huge importance.  One is that it teaches you how wise your body is and how it always works for you, never against you.  It gives you the gift of trusting your body and its innate wisdom, releasing you from the fear of future illness.  The other gift of this book is that it shows how our spiritual well-being can develop naturally from gaining good physical health and energy.  I have known for some time that this happens and have read and heard a lot of testimony to that effect.  But it was always hard to understand how better physical health creates a greater sense of spiritual connectedness.  This book clearly shows how a body that is clean at a cellular level, that has healthy energy flow and is full of light, connects us back to ourselves and to the universe.  The best word to describe this book – pun most certainly intended – is enlightening.

  • Raw Living Book Review

    Raw Living

    When I first went raw almost two years ago, I really had no idea where to start. I had read about the benefits of raw food on several websites but it wasn't until I started to delve deeper that I began to understand the philosophy behind it. Raw food is simply about getting back to nature and eating whole foods in their natural form. This way, you consume the maximum amount of nutrients and enzymes and gain maximum energy. And quite honestly, who doesn't want more energy?!

    I have always loved food. Even before I started eating more raw food, I would often find myself spending hours in the kitchen coming up with new creations and more often than not, you'll find me drooling over a recipe book of some kind. So when I got asked to review Raw Living by Kate Wood, I jumped at the chance. Kate has been living the raw lifestyle for nearly 20 years and has raised her three sons as raw vegans (which let's be honest is no easy feat!). What I love about the book is that it very much caters to the mum who wants to feed her children super healthy food but doesn't have the first idea of where to start. We all have limited time these days and Kate makes it as easy as possible for you to transition to eating a superior diet packed full of foods with higher nutritional profiles than we are used to. The very first chapter is choc-a-block with info on how to feed your kids, your (possibly fussy) partner, how to cater for kids parties as well as laying out some sample menu plans for you to use for meal planning. Good start to a book I say! So, on to the recipes.

    The first thing I made was Beetroot soup. I made this because this is a challenge for me. Not the making but the eating. I don't mind beetroot grated in a salad or in a juice but the idea of beetroot soup doesn't appeal so I was intrigued to taste it and be converted. Fortunately it was a winner and super tasty so I can give this a big thumbs up. The other ingredients used in the recipe really disguises the earthier taste of the beet.

    There are literally dozens of suggestions of soups, breads, cakes, crackers, dips, snacks and breakfast recipes. I also really enjoyed the Spinach and Mushroom Quiche, Mediterranean Stuffed Tomatoes, Coriander wraps and Love Burgers to name a few.

    One of the easiest ways to get friends and family into eating more living food is by introducing them to raw desserts. Most desserts can be made easily in 10 minutes by combining some nuts, dried fruit or sweetener, flavouring and some kind of fat like coconut butter or cacao butter. The person you are feeding won't know it's raw unless you tell them! And when you do, they'll have a hard time getting their head around the fact that it has no eggs, white sugar or flour!

    Next, I made the Superfood 'Cookie Dough' Balls from the guest recipe section only rather than roll balls, I made one big cake. This tasted good and was inhaled rather quickly by my hungry brother!

    If getting started with raw food, I recommend you have some raw recipe books on hand because if you're not sure how to create meals from scratch, you'll end up staring into your fridge wondering how to put all the delicious living foods together that you've just gone and bought. Trust me on this one - I have heard it hundreds of times!

    Having a plan of what you're going to eat and having recipes to stick to can make the difference between whether you succeed and experience the benefits with the raw food diet or get stuck on eating the same thing and getting bored. So if you don't have a recipe book yet, or want to add to your collection, I recommend buying Raw Living by the lovely Kate Wood.


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