Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Beautiful on Raw - Tonya Zavasta's Workshop & Green Pudding

Diseases are the price of ill pleasures.

This seems to be a good day to review and collect my thoughts on the Raw Foods Workshop I went to several weeks ago; I've got homemade cinnamon raisin bread in the oven. Well, let's just say I have my doubts about ever going all raw but the benefits are impressive, especially for those in need of physical healing (which really includes the majority of us).

Our family's health journey over the years has been a very gradual one, with each year doing something more healthful than the year before such as: Discontinuing the use of white sugar and artificial sweeteners, hydrogenated oils, msg products, soda pop (including diet soda) and high fructose corn syrup; Using Stevia and honey for a sweetener; Avoiding or limiting sweets; Reading labels; Not buying highly processed foods; Making more from scratch; Switching to all natural peanut butter and olive oil; Grinding my own wheat; Juicing carrots and fruits and vegetables; Growing our own vegetables; Drinking purified water; Limiting meats; and Eating more raw foods, etc.

Tonya Zavasta is 50 but looks 35. She has been eating ALL raw for the past 12 years, and claims she is perfectly healthy despite numerous hospitalizations for leg and hip surgeries to correct a physical deformity she was born with. These claims impressed me: no headaches in 12 years; no symptoms or signs of menopause yet; she wakes up euphoric every morning; perfect lab test results; and takes no supplements at all.

With youthful flair and mildly Russian accent, she energetically relayed humorous stories, emphatic quotes and a wealth of healthy information and tips that we could apply to our present lifestyles. One thing I will be eating is her Green Pudding recipe, as long as I can make it in my food processor, as my blender is not as powerful as a VitaMix which is preferred. Here it is, so yummy and healthy!!

Green Pudding

Fill bottom half of blender with greens like swiss chard. Add to this, cut up raw mango to fill the container. Blend till smooth. That's it!

It's a pudding consistency, made with no added water. A friend made it with several different greens from her garden and used banana, pineapple, and strawberries instead of the mango. She said it was delicious. Someone asked, "What about mixing fruits with vegetables?" Tonya's answer was that since the greens are not starchy vegetables it is OK to do so.

It was not so much a raw foods prep workshop as I had anticipated but I was encouraged by being there, which is really why I wanted to attend. One of the most impressive things she had to say was that her husband is an ordinary guy; he has not followed all raw like herself all these years and finds it very hard to do so. He was her helper that day and is a big (tall and wide) man. He pulled out his long tucked in belt that revealed his former larger size, relating to the 70 lbs he had lost in the past year. Another speaker may have been embarrassed by her nonconformist husband. She praised him and told us, "Why get rid of a perfectly good husband just because he doesn't see eye to eye or do everything like you do?" I decided I really liked her after that statement and realized they are like the rest of us - real people.

We sampled a number of raw foods but didn't see the preparation; I think the recipes were in her second book, but they were very tasty. One was this brownie like thing with a topping and would have been a good cupcake alternative. It's amazing what you can do with raw foods.

In another Cookin' in the Raw class I took one summer, we made spaghetti using raw zucchini that you put through a Spirooli that makes these awesome shaped noodles, and topped with a raw tomato sauce that was great. I think my boys would have to get used to it, but I LIKED it!

Tonya has astonishingly clear skin and bright eyes. She mentioned that the outer body reflects the inner body. The condition of our skin and clearness of our eyes and ability to function and even our mood tells a lot about our physical selves. Poor skin reflects organs struggling to do its job. It's hard to fake that facial glow that she says she can spot right away on a person who eats essentially raw. She's a perfect weight and proclaims that on raw the body will find its natural God designed size. Calorie restriction with optimal nutrition is what works, and eating raw fits the description well.

She also drinks no water, stating that she gets all the fluid she needs from her food and juice, but that when you don't eat all raw your body needs that hydration to compensate. She cautioned those that right away add a lot of raw to the diet and complain of gas and indegestion. What is happening, she says, is that the intestines are already in an acid state from past eating habits and when you introduce an abundance of alkaline foods you have a chemical reaction : gas and bloating. The digestive system is just too weak yet, and juicing is a great way to gradually add more raw.

Since my education as a nurse, I have always found the study of the human body intriguing and inspirationally marvelous. I am aware of it's healing potential and how extremely we have abused our bodies on the SAD diet (standard American diet). Tonya shared that eating the SAD diet makes for thick sticky blood, which is why anticoagulants are so often needed for heart patients. She says tests have proven that you can reverse this in three weeks as the body is very forgiving. From what I've learned, if we just give our body the nutrients it craves and take care of ourselves, it can reverse the illness toward renewed health.

I know of a local, elderly, diabetic gentleman that was so sick he was to have kidney dialysis. His wife searched and found the Hallelujah Diet After several months on this 85% raw and 15% cooked diet, he did not need dialysis and is doing well continuing this new eating routine. His doctor was amazed. It works!

Miss Tonya, who holds mathematics and engineering masters degrees is currently focusing on anti-aging research. Her book YOUR RIGHT TO BE BEAUTIFUL claims that everyone can be beautiful, and she does mean outside as well as inside (organs and all). We all have the potential to be strikingly beautiful, as God intended us to be, if we take responsibility for our own appearance and our health (including eating raw foods of course). You can see a photo of her and read her story at her website if you like:Beautiful on Raw

I'm going to finish reading her first book and use her vanilla scented natural facial cream and decide what additional changes I should make. There is much health related information out there and I'd encourage anyone to start digging. Another favorite place for health-wise Natural News is Mike Adams. Happy and healthy eating to all of us - and may you do something a little (or a lot) healthier this year than last.

Eating all raw is not for everyone - only the adventurous!
~ Tonya Zavasta

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