Real Food Reboot

Real food rebootHi there!

It’s been awhile since I wrote to you, and a lot has been happening behind the scenes at the Raw Foods Witch and in my personal life.

Since starting this website and business in 2009 I’ve…

  • Tried every type of raw food eating plan out there
  • Done some detoxing, rebounding, and hot yoga-ing
  • Traveled across North America to attend events and learn more about food and business
  • Started a second business focused on my strengths in technology and business strategy
  • Gotten married to my incredible man Robin (you may remember him from some of the kitchen demo videos we did together)
  • Moved from Canada to New York
  • Started experimenting with new ways of eating for my body’s health

It’s truly been a whirlwind experience, and none of it would have been possible without tapping into my witchy side and starting this whole thing.

But like with everything in life, there are seasons of change.

When I started the Raw Foods Witch I was just out of college, and most of my nutrition know-how was self-taught. I had a handful of clients and I mostly wrote about my experience going from a junk-food lifestyle to a raw food one.

The website took off, and soon people were asking me about my web design skills and how to start a business online.

So I took a detour, listened to my intuition and went on to build a thriving business strategy consulting and coaching company.

Sadly, this meant that the Raw Foods Witch website and brand had to be put on hold. And it started to show some wear around the edges… I just didn’t have the time to dedicate to it anymore, and along the way I started to experiment with different ways of eating.

I realized that the biggest benefits of eating raw food were that I stopped eating processed food. I started working with a naturopathic doctor to uncover some of the symptoms I had started to develop over the years, and together we realized that my body needed more protein to balance out my sweet tooth.

I gently started eating organic, grass-fed, free-range meat and eggs. We worked together to identify what foods were causing issues, and which ones were helping me feel like an energetic 5 year old again.

The big discovery? That real food was the magic ingredient that I had known about all along, and that including a wider range of real food actually made me feel better, too.

That’s when I knew that it was time to come back to the Raw Foods Witch and lend my new-found know-how and experience back into this site.

Real Food Reboot

It’s reboot time!

And we’re rebranding to Real Foods Witch – because even though I haven’t donned my witch’s hat in awhile, I still love our carrot-flying logo, and the focus is now on real whole foods.

On the brand new Real Foods Witch website we’ll still have a ton of useful articles about staples like green smoothies and juices, real food recipes, and healthy living resources.

We’ll also be starting to publish new recipes, articles, and more books on Kindle in the weeks and months to come.

So let’s kickstart this brand reboot with a little celebration!

Head over to our newly rebranded Facebook page for a little socializing.

Thank you so much for your attention, for being here on this journey with me over the years, and for your commitment to trying something new and constantly being on the lookout for the best way to take care of yourself!

Here’s to you!
-Nathalie aka. Real Foods Witch

Winners Announced + Something’s Brewing…

Contest Winners Announced

I had a really hard time choosing the summer wrap up contest winners. That’s why I brought in my magickal assistant Christina to help me decide on the winners. (And so I could be held accountable too!) We went with our intuition, and relied on people’s passion as our selection process.

It was tough! But here are the two raw food book winners:

  • DianeB
  • Faithfulsteed

I’ll be contacting these two shortly.

And now for something that’s been on my mind a lot lately…

Something’s Brewing at Raw Foods Witch HQ

somethings-brewing

Last week I left off after telling you I had a big “diet” epiphany.

Sorry about leaving you hanging, I got lots of comments asking me what was brewing over at Raw Foods Witch HQ.

Here’s the thing…

This summer something really clicked for me, and it completely changed the way I think about food, lifestyle, and health. I’m talking BIG paradigm shifts here.

I was going to write a huge article about it, film a video, and really shed some light on this whole thang.

But I realized that even though it’s a big deal for me, it might not be what you really need help with.

So before I go ahead and put tons of time and effort into this, I want to know what YOU need from me.

Here’s What I Want You To Do

If you support the spirit of this blog and have gained anything from my writing and videos…

… then I’d really appreciate you giving me an opinion on something.

It will take like 3 minutes.

The first question is: “What free product would you LOVE for me to create *just* for you?”

Anyways, if you fill out the survey then the Raw Foods Witch circle of faeries and pixies will shower you with happiness and wonderdust for eons to come.

Thanks so much. I’m really grateful.

Love, Nathalie

Summer Personal Update + Contest

Important: Please read to the end of this post for a special summer wrap up contest! It’s super easy to enter, so read on!

It’s been awhile since I wrote a personal update about what’s going on in my life. A lot has changed in these past few months, and I wanted to give you a little glimpse into my summer.

I Traveled, and I Met Mother Nature

miami-trees

In June I went to Miami with Robin, where we went scuba diving for the first time. It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life! It shifted both our opinions on fish and sea creatures.

Even though I’ve always had a fear of sharks from watching Jaws too many times as a kid… I remained calm when we met a shark underwater. It was kind of peaceful, go figure!

Canoeing

In August we went camping in the Algonquin park of Northern Ontario. We didn’t see any bears, but we did hear the loons. Let me tell you that it’s really beautiful to hear with your own ears, as opposed to watching it on TV.

night-sky

I Got Media Attention

The publishing world moves a little slower than the online world I’m used to. Even though I’ve known for awhile that I was going to be published in magazines like Viva, Tonic, and The Edge, the issues are just coming out now.

nathalie-press-to

I’ve become a regular contributor for Tonic, and I run the Inspired Living column in Viva magazine. I’m also featured as one of 25 passionate women entrepreneurs in the book “The T-shirt to Prove It”.

edge-tshirt

Oh, and I recently got nominated in the Best of Canada Natural Health Awards. Life is good.

(That’s what I call bragging, thanks for indulging me!)

I Adopted a Dog

cutie-millie

Millie is our little bundle of rescue-dog joy. She’s adapted really well to our apartment and the nearby parks. She loves to chase the geese, even though they’re bigger than she is.

give-millie-bath

I also got a taste of what having a kid is like between bath time, feeding, and bathroom breaks. Millie isn’t too keen on getting bathed, just look at that pouty face!

new-apartment-floors

With the new dog we also took the opportunity to re-arrange the apartment. It feels a lot more FengShui now. Even though Robin isn’t into that kind of thing, he likes the new arrangements too. ;)

I Programmed My Witchy Butt Off

2006 Programming

Even though I thought programming was behind me, I put on my software engineer hat and programmed my butt off. This is me in 2006 during my undergraduate degree in software engineering.

This summer I programmed something that’s really near and dear to my heart. It’s designed to make eating healthy super easy, and although it’s currently in beta I can’t wait to wave my programmer flag and show the world.

I MCed, and Hung Out with Raw Superstars

Bif Naked Raw Food

In June, I helped out at the Simply Raw Festival in Ottawa, where I MCed on the main stage. I had to improvise for an hour because one of the speakers was stuck in traffic. Luckily, I also took Improv classes this summer… so I was able to keep the crowd entertained.

I met one of my childhood music heroines, Bif Naked. She spoke at the festival about her journey with raw food, and we laughed about her dog’s bowel movements together.

david-wolfe-mushrooms

In August, Robin and I learned from the superfood champion himself, David Wolfe. He showed us how to identify different edible mushrooms, as well as mushrooms used in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

David walked barefoot in the woods, and we wore our Vibram FiveFingers. I swam in the nearby lake and munched on superfood chocolate. Yum yum.

Something Big is Brewing…

So while I was out there living my life, I realized that something had changed. All of these life experiences have led me to a realization. This is something that really revolutionizes the way that people will think about diet, raw food, and health.

It has nothing to do with juicing, fasting, supplements, superfoods, or will power (gimme a break!).

I’ll explain my big epiphany in the next post, so stay tuned!

Summer Wrap Up Contest!

Raw Food Made Easy
Ani's Raw Food Kitchen

Now that I’ve told you what I’ve been up to this summer… it’s time for you to let me know what you’ve been up to!

To sweeten up the pot a little, I’m giving away a raw food book to one lucky winner! And since I’m feeling extra generous, if we get over 75 comments, I’ll give away two.

So to increase your chances of winning a raw food book with super fun recipes, tell your friends and family about this site. Tweet it out on twitter. Post about it on Facebook.

The contest is over and the winners have been announced! Click here to see who they are!

Love, Nathalie

5 Conversations that Influenced Who I Am Today

Influential conversations

Me, getting ready for work

Recently I was thinking back on some of the people who have had the biggest impact on me as a person. We are all connected and we all influence each other more than we realize.

So here are a few of the conversations or sayings that have really opened up my mind, changed my perspective, and got me where I am today.

“Have you ever tried making cookies from scratch before?”

The situation: My instructor and I had just finished a grueling day-long Tae Kwon Do competition, and I was famished. I reached for a box of “home made” cookies and we both dug in. She asked me how I made the cookies and I gave her a puzzled look.

I had never made my own cookies from scratch before, I always bought the premade dough. These days I obviously make my food from scratch… all the way from whole mostly raw foods.

“Practice every day, so that you can make your weakest move into one of your best moves.”

I was training for the US National Tae Kwon Do competition, and I was practicing a tough pattern with my instructor. There was one move that was bringing me down.

The simple thought that I could practice this move until it became my best move changed my life.

I was able to stop fretting and start doing, which put me miles ahead of my competition. And more importantly, it showed me that I can do the same in other aspects of my life too.

“Oh, you just got those interviews because they need to fill their female quotas.”

During my first year of University, my female Software Engineer friends and I were discussing how many interviews for internships we got when a professor overheard us.

Instead of giving us any advice on how to ace those interviews, he made us feel like we didn’t deserve them by saying outright that companies had to fill their female interview quotas.

Luckily I didn’t take it personally, I just got even. I practiced a lot and asked for advice from more experienced friends. I aced those interviews and got a great internship right off the bat.

“Mandarin will become one of the most widely spoken languages on the planet.”

My grade 7 math teacher was awesome at teaching math, but he also introduced me to learning Mandarin. At the time I didn’t know the difference between Chinese and Japanese languages, let alone cultures. I was a small town girl with little “real world” experience.

After hearing that Mandarin was the next language to learn, I made it a goal. I already spoke French and English, so Mandarin didn’t seem too crazy.

My goal didn’t manifest right away, but bit by bit situations in my life arranged themselves for it to happen. In University I was able to take Mandarin classes, and in 2008 I traveled to China for 4 months with my boyfriend Robin.

“Are you sure you want to eat that?”

This question will probably haunt me (and possibly you too) for a long time.

As some of you know, I used to eat a 100% junk food diet… lots of processed stuff, tons of soda, candy and sugar like you wouldn’t believe. I ate cookies for breakfast. (Do you notice a theme with cookies yet?)

Well my Tae Kwon Do teacher couldn’t believe I was going to compete by fueling myself with nothing but fake food. At the time I didn’t get it. Now, I’m on board with the lesson… and I’m sharing it with you.

What conversations affected you the most?

We all have events and conversations that shape who we are as people today, share yours in the comments below!

Remember that no matter what, your actions and words do have an influence on others, so don’t be shy! Each word is a seed planted that might not grow today but that will help others over time.

Love, Nathalie

I’m a geek girl. There I said it.

Geeking out, computers, programming, graphics design, Joss Whedon, anime, video games… Yep I may share my healthy eating side on this blog, but the truth is that I’m a multifaceted person.

Just like you. :)

Geek-o-lantern
Photo by Neal Gillis

I’m a geek girl. Other terms I’ve associated with in the past include: nerd, freak, Software Engineer, and gamer.

I’ve got a thing for bad puns.

Okay, maybe not bad puns. But I like giggling over the choice of a word.

I like that this site can be read as Raw Food Switch and Raw Foods Witch. It tickles my geek fancy.

I’m also a book worm. Like woah.

I love reading. In 2008 I read 52 books. In 2009 I read 62. Who knows how much I’ll read in 2010. Honestly I’m trying to tone down the reading so I can relax a little… and be gentler on my overstimulated eyes.

In high school my two favorite classes were English and Computer Science. (Though Physics and Calculus rocked my knee-high socks too.)

In the end I picked a Computer Science related field for college, but the artsy literature part of me never went away.

I wrote geeky articles in college.

I’ve always had a thing for writing. From angst-driven teenage poetry to participating in NaNoWriMo in 2007.

One of my employers encouraged me to publish my poetry, but other than a few personal web sites I’ve keep a pretty tight lid on it.

I did muster up the courage to write a few geeky articles for my University’s MathNEWS publication. (If that isn’t geeky, I don’t know what is.)

One of them was even selected as best of issue, and I got some geek cred to add to my arsenal.

software-engineering-nathalie
Me and some classmates during frosh week.

I cry because of Joss Whedon. A lot.

A lot of my life has been influenced by the writing and works of Joss Whedon. He’s the creator of shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, and Dollhouse.

I may have over-identified with some of his characters while growing up. Willow the witch comes to mind here. If she had been raw, I think this site would make even more sense.

Last night my geeky boyfriend Robin and I were watching an episode of Firefly. And I cried.

Part of me cried because of the brilliance of the show. The characters, the emotions, the story. But part of me cried because I feel there is so much left to explore.

And somehow that just reflected my life and what I see out in the world. It feels like there is such a huge potential, but somehow it’s not being expressed.

I guess that’s why we live for more than a few hours… so we can truly express our potential and make a difference in other people’s lives.

Or make them cry. Thanks, Joss Whedon.

If there was a point, this would be it.

I would like to make this site a place where other geeks can come and giggle together. Over bad puns, tricky intellectual problems, or health tips. Who can resist laughing about bowel movements, anyways?!

I think there’s so much for us to explore, so much potential in each of us. In you.

This place is safe for you. It’s a geek’s haven. There’s no dogma, no judgement, just an open sharing of information.

Other Geekgirls I Love

Share Your Favorite Geekgirls!

Know someone who seems to fit my description? Wanna share your favorite geek girl crushes?

I’d love to connect with more like minded people. If you’re a closet geek girl let me know in the comments or @ me on twitter too. :)

Love, Nathalie