My 10 Day Raw Food Experiment

Byline: Seraphina Sharif.

10 Day Raw Food ExperimentIt’s spring time! And what a great opportunity for us all to take inspiration from the renewal in nature and explore new paradigms, grow into new life approaches and new foods.

For me, this shift started last year with a small raised garden a good friend built for me and a video clip of someone by the name of “Markus Rothkranz” posted by a Facebook friend late June of 2013. I had never heard of Markus R. before then. I watched the video clip and at first glance it reminded me of one of those gimmicky sales pitches that most of us dread. 

I was skeptical to say the least. The “Life Scientist” in me, however, kept nudging me along to learn more about this guy, his life story and Raw Food. I have a background in Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese medicine, and going completely raw goes against some of the key paradigms and principles of my practice, the foundations of which go back thousands of years.

Nevertheless, I was drawn to reading the e-book and leaped at the opportunity to experiment without any specific commitment to the new approach. The new approach, I decided, had my attention for 10 days, not one day more, not one day less!

And here I am, almost 10 months later and the “experiment” gradually became my way of life. I can’t see myself going back to the way things were before. Needless to say, the change came like a big whirlwind and rearranged one thing, then another and had a ripple effect in every aspect of my life. 

About 20 pounds lighter in weight, feeling energized, more than 1/3 of my closet donated, every room and drawer in my home uncluttered, car loads of stuff donated, list of Facebook friends cut by half and mentally clearer and lighter than I have ever felt in my entire life. Not to mention lower monthly gas bills, as cooking is no longer required. 

As well as, grocery bills that are cut by at least 1/3 if not more without all the packed and processed food.

I walk around my home asking myself: How can I SIMPLIFY more and optimize how I live to truly enjoy life?

Is there anything I have missed that I could donate and minimize? That’s all because getting lighter physically, mentally, and emotionally feels so good and natural. 

Simplicity: when LESS is truly MORE! As in our natural state, going back in time during the first 9 months of gestation, when from a tiny spec of human plasma we grow and we have everything we need.

And so the Journey of a Thousand Miles started with 10 simple steps…

10 Day Raw Food Experiment Must-Haves

I Invested in a Slow Juicer, a Blender (Must-Have) and a Food Dehydrator (Optional).

Before starting the Raw Food approach, I kicked off my body’s “self-clean” button with a 36 hour water-fast to allow the body to clear any prior build up. As I understand, our bodies when inefficient do not absorb nutrients well due to build up. We may get hungry more often and the new nutritious food may go more to waste instead of getting properly absorbed. Similar to pouring expensive Fuel and Oil in a rusted antique car!

Step by Step 10 Day Raw Food Experiment

  1. First thing in the morning every other day: Water enema to clean the “sewage pipes” (or a colonic done by a professional for those who may be new to enemas)
  2. Start the day off with a physical activity of Choice for 45 minutes: Stretch, Yoga, Dance, Boot-camp workout, Mini-trampoline Jumps, Shadow box, Swim, etc.

    A really good $3 Google app can helped me build variety called “You Are Your Own Gym”, which allows you to build your own workouts or follow pre-set workout variations.
    If nothing else, I challenged myself on the mini-trampoline jumping up and down to get the lymphatic system going with some awesome music blasting in the background!

  3. Squeeze lemon/lime juice in a glass of water and add few drops of Nascent Iodine twice a Day (morning and later afternoon) to help detoxify and increase digestive juices to optimize digestion and absorption and minimize waste.
  4. Remain in a relaxed state: Breathe Deeply and Walk in the Sunshine
  5. No TV, No News for the 10 Days – (I listen and read news since then, but during the 10 days, I focused internally as much as I could)
  6. Drink one Smoothie for breakfast (Half Fruits PLUS Half Greens in some kind of liquid or water).
  7. Drink Juice (Half Fruit/Veggies PLUS Half Greens). Between 12 pm and 6 pm, I drank as many juices as I liked.
  8. Eat one Big Super Salad before 6 pm. Cut off for eating and juices is 6 pm or 4 hours before going to bed by 10 pm.
  9. Green or white teas mornings and nights. Avoid caffeine.
  10. Warm bath with Epsom salt. I took Epsom salt baths every night during the 10 days but now only when I feel like I need one. And went to bed by 10 pm the latest to allow the organs, body and the mind to rebuild itself.

After the 10 days, I felt great and I decided to stay on this approach “just another week”, and then “another week” and then “another week”.

By late summer/fall of 2013 and winter of 2014, I experienced more changes: I lost about 10-15 lbs in first couple of months.

Total weight loss has now stabilized to around 20 lbs; clarity of mind, increased energy and better sleep; did not suffer ANY flu or cold symptoms since summer of 2013, while everyone else around me was sick with some kind of flu or cold over fall and winter; my Blood Pressure went from 120/90 which is in the normal range to 113/72 which is in the “ideal” range.

To my family doctor’s surprise, my Heart Rate dropped from 90 beats/min to 72 beats/min pointing to the cadio-vascular system working more efficiently; Sun and skin allergies which I suffered from since childhood ARE GONE!

I am pleased to say that I can now easily sit in sun for a long time, tan beautifully without eczema or rashes. Markus argues that it is not the sun that causes cancer. It is the sun that pulls the TOXINS in our body to the surface that causes cancer. I think he may have a point here.

In my last visit at the optometrist, I was told that my vision had in fact improved in BOTH eyes. So the optometrist was asking what I was doing differently?

At the end of this, I encourage YOU to NOT take my word or anyone’s word for it.

Be it 3 days, 10 days or a month; 90% Raw, 80% raw, 50% raw; Give this approach a try and listen to your body and see the changes that you will manifest in your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual lives.

SSS2 - CopySeraphina Sharif, MBA, RMT/CST
Seraphina has a an educational and professional background in Business and Finance, Energy Trading, Foreign Languages, Acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Massage Therapy, Energy Healing and Information Technology. Her hobbies include classic shadow-boxing, body weight training, learning a new language, astrology, the tarot, dream interpretation and remote viewing/perception.

Raw Food Gift Buying Guide for the Holidays

If you eat lots of raw food, or know of someone who does then this list will help you pick the perfect gift this holiday season. This easy to follow raw food gift buying guide will come in handy this Christmas season.

One thing to keep in mind though, is that people who eat more raw food or are into environmental causes prefer to tread lightly on the earth. So only buy them something if you know they will appreciate the gesture. :)

Raw Food Books & Stocking Stuffers

Great Raw Food Books that make great Gifts


Alright, so I’m a huge book worm. If you’ve watched any of my more recent videos you know what my bookcase looks like. I personally love looking through raw recipe books for inspiration and to spice up my kitchen routines.

That being said, always check to make sure the person you are buying a gift for doesn’t already have the book you’re getting them. :)

Here are a bunch of great raw themed books that will be a sure hit this Christmas!

Dry Skin Body Brush


If you’ve read my post on the benefits of dry skin brushing then you’ll know that most raw food lovers will enjoy this gift.

Here’s the gist of it: dry skin brushing is great for removing toxins from the skin, allowing for lymph circulation, reversing cellulite, and getting smoother skin.

I recommend the Purest Palm Body Brush, it’s the one I use every day.

Salad On the Go Containers


This makes a great gift for anyone, regardless of whether or not they have kids. It’s a great container that you can bring with you whenever you travel, or even if you’re out and about for the day.

The lid allows you to store a salad dressing, and you can pack a delicious salad in the main compartment. Never worry about leakage or soggy salads again! Get the Aladdin Chill & Go for yourself, or for the health conscious friend who is often on the go.

A Case of Larabars


When I asked what makes a good gift for fellow raw foodies on Twitter, @LuvSchweetHeart recommended a case of Larabars. I thought it was a brilliant idea, and with so many flavors to choose from you can’t go wrong.

My favorite type of Larabar is the Cashew Cookie. It’s just got the best balance of chewiness and the flavor isn’t too overpowering. You can buy a whole case of Cashew Cookie Larabars online and have them shipped before Christmas!

Handmade Raw Chocolate Treats

Gnosis Chocolate offers a variety of handmade raw chocolate bars. You can order online, and have mouth watering chocolate in time for the holidays!

Shazzie’s Chocolate bars are full of superfood goodness, and are perfect if you live in the UK. There’s a flavor for the goddess in you and for the goddess in your raw food friend or partner.

One lucky duck treats are great if you live in New York City, but they also offer shipping. Why not treat your raw foodie with some delectable desserts and hand made cookies.

Nut Milk Bags & Sprouting Bags

I’m a big fan of making your own nut milks, and sprouting your own sprouts. If the raw foodie in your life has yet to explore these new ways to “cooking” then getting them a nut milk bag is the way to go!

You can buy the kind of Nut Milk Bag that I buy here, they are handmade in Vermont. I met the lovely lady who makes them, and it really made my day to know I’m helping local people every time I make some nut milk or sprout some mung beans.

Raw Food Appliances Make Very Generous Gifts

When I surveyed Twitter, @NaomiNiles recommended kitchen appliances and tools, and I totally agree! Some of my kitchen appliances came as gifts and I couldn’t have been a happier little witch. :)

The Cadillac of Blenders: The Vitamix


The Vita-Mix or sometimes known as the Vitamixer is definitely a top of the line blender. I know several people who are asking for one from Santa, too.

I got my first brand new vitamix this year and I cannot see myself going back to my old blender.

Yes, it’s expensive. But if you’re spending money anyway, you might as well get something that will last. The vitamix comes with a crazy 7 year warranty, a 30 day no risk money back guarantee, and they’re even offering a 3 payment plan.

The best thing about my vitamix is that I can make green smoothies for skeptical people and they love them. The secret: no chunks!

The greens go down smooth, and I know I’m contributing to someone’s health without forcing them to gulp something down uncomfortably.

Also, I get this question a lot – the Blendtec and the Vitamix are very comparable blenders, and I definitely recommend you get whichever one you personally prefer. Either way, you’re getting a high end blender that’s going to last you for years to come.

Food Processors That Make Tasty Meals

I happen to have a Magic Bullet, but to be honest since I got my vitamix I haven’t used another type of food processor. It’s enough to handle my blending and processing needs.

That being said, after getting a blender, I think it’s a good investment to have a food processor. If you are shopping for a new raw foodie who doesn’t yet have a food processor, I recommend the Cuisinart Prep 11 Plus Food Processor.

Raw Food Dehydrator for Crunchy Treats


This is the cadillac of food dehydrators, it’s the Excalibur 3900 Deluxe Series 9 Tray Food Dehydrator. I’ve had mine for a few years now and I love having it to make raw crackers, cookies, breads, kale chips, and other dehydrated snacks.

You can also buy them second hand, or opt for a cheaper smaller version. Most dehydrators don’t come with a temperature setting though, but the Excalibur does.


Fresh Juicer for The Juice Loving Raw Foodie

I picked up a Breville Juice Fountain about a year ago and I love how quickly it juices and how easy it is to clean. One of the benefits is that it’s a good quality juicer, for a pretty fair price.

It also has a wider opening, so you don’t need to cut fruits or vegetables as small to get them juiced. It’s also super quick, so you don’t need to spend 20 minutes a day juicing, and it’s also easy to clean and assemble.


The juicer I own is the Omega J8005 Nutrition Center Single-Gear Commercial Masticating Juicer. What I like about it is that you can use it to make green juice, and other treats like nut butters, raw fruit sorbets and ice creams, and baby food.

It’s got a heftier price tag, but because it uses a mastication system you’re actually getting more juice for your buck. Before I got this blender I always cringed when I saw how much juice was left in the pulp. Now the pulp is totally dry.

Pasta Making Spiralizer & Spiral Slicer


One of the easy and delicious raw recipes that gets a lot of raw foodies excited is raw pasta! This type of pasta is usually made from spiral sliced vegetables like zucchinis or spaghetti squash.

After using a spiralizer, you get angel hair pasta! Or at least something that imitates the texture and look of pasta, but tastes light and delicious.

If the raw food lover in your circle doesn’t have a spiral slicer yet, you can go with a basic Saladacco Spiral Slicer or a more advanced Tri-Blade Plastic Spiral Vegetable Slicer.

The Homemade Icecream Maker


Okay, so you can make raw ice cream using a vitamix, an omega juicer, and a food processor. Why do you need a specialized icecream maker you ask? Well apparently, we raw inclined folks like to collect kitchen gadgets… Just kidding!

With a specialized ice cream maker you can blend up the raw ingredients you like, then add them to the ice cream maker to get fluffed up. This is very different from soft serve ice creams you can make with the vitamix, the juicers, and the food processors.

I rest my case. This is the Cuisinart Pure Indulgence Automatic Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet, and Ice Cream Maker.

(And no, this is in no way a hint to my boyfriend or family members. Ahem. Seriously, though.)

Raw Ingredients or Superfoods


Most raw folks love to create in the kitchen and these ingredients are so much fun to experiment with! If you’re not familiar with what types of raw ingredients or superfoods you should get the raw foodist in your family or friends circle, here’s a quick run down.

Gift Certificates to Raw Food Restaurants

If you live near a raw restaurant, or are planning to travel near one then gift certificates make a great gift! What better way then to try some fun new raw dishes than by eating out at a raw restaurant.

There are tons of other raw restaurants out there too, so do a google search or look at Happy Cow to find ones in your area!

Gifts for Raw Moms with Kids

Raw Recipe Book for Kids

Kid Friendly Raw Recipe Book

This is the perfect gift for busy moms who want to include more raw foods into their kids’ diet. It’s hard enough being a mom, let alone trying to come up with raw recipes your kids will love.

With this ebook you’ll get your kids to join in the raw fun, and get recipes like Chunky Monkey Ice Cream, Froggy Delight Green Smoothie, and Alien Slime Smoothie. Yum!

Give Monkey Mike’s Raw Food Kitchen a Whirl!


Kid-Engineered Snack Containers

These little Munchkin Snack Catchers are great when you’re on the go with younger kids. You can easily feed your kids munchables like grapes, berries, nuts, and seeds, without making a mess!

Your children can take out as many of the small snacks as they want, and there isn’t as much of a chance of spilling grapes all over the floor.

Giving Goodwill by Adopting a Family in Need

Master J. Begin wrote this short piece about giving to someone in need this holiday season.

This Christmas is going to be a real Christmas for us! Our group has decided to adopt a couple of families that truly are in need and the entire team will pitch in by donating gifts and food so they can have a wonderful Christmas.

The concept is easy: get in touch with a local childcare agency or church and ask if they know of a family that could use help this Christmas. Find out the number of family members and their gender, and voila you have your adopted family.

This concept can be used in your workplace or in any group. It is making this Christmas so exciting and fun for us! Imagine a wave of giving taking place across the nation… And it becomes a blizzard of goodwill!

Green & Eco Friendly Gifts

When I asked about green and eco gifts, @DRumbold had some great suggestions! Here they are. If you’re planning on hosting or would like a lovely eco-friendly bouquet of flowers, then Harmony Hill Gardens is the place to go.

Dorinda also recommended Eco Friendly Apparel from Green Changes. They’ve got some nice t-shirts that I’m sure some raw foodies would enjoy.

And of course you should check out some of Dorinda’s recycled green handmade soap. It’s just gorgeous, and will keep even the most adventurous raw foodies squeaky clean.

Another great gift idea for raw foodies is to buy JoeyFiveCents’ repurposed vintage jewelry. There are also a slew of other great small handmade gifts available on Etsy. I personally need to restrain myself from visiting the Etsy site, since there’s so much goodness there.

Another great place to shop for green and eco products is Carla Rose’s Green & Chic online shop. She’s got a variety of beauty products and other environmentally friendly gifts for the raw foodie in your life.

What Do You Intend to Give This Holiday Season?

Even though this gift guide is all about the material gifts we can give each other, I want to remind us that giving and receiving can take place in other ways too.

Being there for someone through thick and thin, providing love and support, being a good friend or family member, these are all great gifts! These are gifts that cannot be replaced by material things.

So go ahead, let us know what you intend to give this holiday season… no matter what type of gift it is. And feel free to share this list with those who could use some inspiration.

Love, Nathalie

Originally published November 2009.

5 Easy Raw Food Meals to Save Time in the Kitchen

This is a guest post by Laura-Jane the Rawtarian.

In North American culture, we are accustomed to eating because it tastes great, rather than eating for nourishment. When the average person hears the words “raw fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds” they cringe and picture dry carrots sticks and tasteless iceberg lettuce salads. In fact, to most people, the idea that healthy food can actually taste great and satiate sounds like a myth.

But if you’ve tasted any of the raw food recipes here at the this web site, you’ll know that healthy and delicious are not mutually exclusive!

Here are 5 easy raw food meals that save you time and taste great, too.

1. Raw pate

All raw fooders should have a standyby raw pate recipe in their raw recipe arsenal. And Nathalie’s Indian-inspired pate is one of the greats!

Raw pates are versatile, quick to make and, best of all, they keep well in the refrigerator. I make a batch of raw nut pate on the weekend so that I can easily pull together a raw meal quickly later in the week.

Raw nut pate can be served in collard wraps, in nori rolls, on raw crackers, on cucumber rounds, or, my personal favorite, eaten out of a small bowl with a crisp gala apple on the side.

2. Raw veggie burgers

If you have a dehydrator, raw veggie burgers are a great meal option. Make large batches of veggie burgers and be sure to dehydrate them thoroughly so that they can be kept in your pantry or refrigerator.

Raw veggie burgers are simply made by processing nuts, veggies and a binding agent (such as flax seeds), forming them into patties, and dehydrating them in a dehydrator.

I like to serve raw veggie burgers in romaine lettuce wraps. Serve with raw ketchup or raw mayonnaise for extra zip!

3. Your favorite raw salad

Every raw fooder should have a favorite raw salad that tastes great and is easy to prepare. My favorite salad recipe involves mesclun (wild greens) and tomatoes with a basic avocado and nutritional yeast dressing.

The trick to a good salad is to keep it simple. Don’t try to add every vegetable on earth into one salad. Keep it simple and enjoy just two or three flavors per salad.

Watch Nathalie make her Simple Raw Salad Recipe on video here.

4. Raw pasta and sauce

I love creamy tastes, and I absolutely love raw alfredo sauce served with zuchinni or kelp noodles.

Here’s my favorite alfredo sauce recipe:

  • 2 cups unsoaked cashews
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon thyme spice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Simply combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth! This recipe keeps in the refrigerator very well.

5. Green smoothies

I drink green smoothies for breakfast, snacks, lunch, dinner, and dessert! They are one of the quickest and easiest meals to prepare, and they can be altered easily to fit your mood or what you have in your refrigerator.

I usually start my green smoothies with one banana, a heaping cup or two of baby spinach, and then I get creative from there. Lately, I’ve been loving making raspberry lemon green smoothies. They are so tangy! If you’re looking for tips on green smoothie making, check out 13 witchy ways green smoothies make you feel great.

And, of course, any proper raw meal should be followed by a raw vegan dessert! Try pumpkin pie, raw ice cream or a plate of divine, crisp, fresh fruit. Want more raw dessert ideas? Grab Nathalie’s free e-book 28 Desserts You Can Eat Every Day.

Laura-Jane the Rawtarian is a raw fooder who loves eating simple, satisfying raw food recipes and inspiring others to change their lives with the raw food lifestyle. Looking for ways to help friends and family go raw, she recently launched a comprehensive raw food diet plan to make going raw easier than ever. Laura-Jane loves eating raw chia pudding, and she always keeps a wide variety of nuts and fruit stashed in her purse!

Raw Food Travel Tips for Frequent Travelers Who Want to Stay Healthy

One of the biggest sticking points I hear from people who start eating more raw food is… what about when you travel? How can you eat raw when you’re on the road, in the air, or sailing on the ocean? Or worse, what if you manage to eat decent food but come home feeling deprived from turning down so many new food opportunities that you just eat your heart out and feel horrible.

Well my friend and colleague Andy Hayes and I are putting together a special virtual get-together for you to get your travel and food questions answered. It’s called the Healthy Travel Lifestyle Happy Hour, where you get to hang out with us for an hour and get your healthy travel questions answered.

Does Your Frequent (or Aspiring) Travel Stop You From Trying More Raw Food?

If you’ve been dabbling with raw food, or are intrigued by the idea of it, but haven’t given it a real go because of your travel schedule… then this is for you. I truly believe that you can do anything if you want it badly enough. If you want the kind of health, energy, and vitality that eating more fresh food can bring then your travel plans shouldn’t stop you.

I’ve traveled across Europe to Italy, Spain, France, England, Ireland, and Belgium. I’ve spent four months traveling in South East Asia spending months at a time in China, visiting countries like South Korea, Singapore, and Hong Kong. I maintained a healthy travel lifestyle throughout, and because of that I didn’t succumb to any travel related health setbacks. I can show you how I did it. And I know Andy travels even more extensively and has lots of tricks up his sleeves to share!

Don’t Let Your Healthy Habits Fall to the Wayside When You Travel

Another trend I’ve noticed is that people can eat well when they’re at home, but as soon as they’re away it’s like a food free for all. All the things that are considered no-no’s at home turn into “oh, we’re on vacation, who cares” items that add up and make you feel gross at the end of your time away.

One thing to keep in mind with this one is that I’m not against trying new foods and experiencing new cultures. I really think it’s about finding the balance between having that second piece of cake, and eating nothing but carrots.

If this is a topic that really stumps you and you want to know more, join me and Andy for the Healthy Travel Lifestyle Happy Hour on December 7th, 5pm EST / 2pm PST.

Get all the details here: Join us for the Healthy Travel Lifestyle Happy Hour!

Love, Nathalie

Are You Missing Out on Important Nutrients Because You Don’t Supplement?

Could your health be suffering because you don’t supplement with vitamins and essential minerals?

When I first went raw, I thought vitamins and supplements were for the birds. Or rather that we didn’t need them. After all, I had my blood levels checked after I went raw and everything was fine.

Since then I’ve done a lot more research into the benefits of supplementation with vitamins and minerals. One of my most shocking discoveries was that modern day food doesn’t have the same level of nutrition that it once had because of modern farming practices.

Another realization was that most of us are not absorbing as many of the nutrients from our food as we should be. So in my opinion, I think it’s a good idea to supplement with a quality product that is highly bioavailable.

Supplements: Which Ones, and Why

I often get asked what supplements I take, and whether people should take supplements if they embark on a raw diet. The answer will depend on you, but I think that most people can’t afford to go cheap when it comes to their health and wellbeing.

I used to believe that we could get all the nutrition we needed from whole foods. However, more and more research is coming to light proving that produce doesn’t have nearly as much nutrition as it did years ago.

If you’re buying organic produce, or growing your own food, then the quality of the produce will be far better. However, I think that most people can still benefit from supplementation where certain vitamins are concerned.

Most Recommended Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamin D3 is highly recommended, especially if you live in a cold climate where you don’t get at least 10-15 minutes of direct sunlight outside every day.

Vitamin D3 is synthesized by your skin when it is in contact with the sun. Vitamin D3 has been linked to cancer prevention and essentially tells your cells when to die after their lifetime is up – which is very important for cancerous cells.

Vitamin B12 is another vitamin that I think people should really consider. Since we’re mostly eating “sanitized” food we don’t get much B12 from our food. That’s why supplementing with B12 is important. It’s something that even meat-eaters should consider, since everyone is susceptible to a lack in Vitamin B12, not just vegans or vegetarians.

Vitamin C is super important for keeping your immune system strong, and can help with acne. I’ve seen really high recommended doses of Vitamin C, and it makes sense we would naturally get a lot by eating fruits.

There are tons of other vitamins and minerals out there too, but at a minimum these would be the ones to focus on.

Best Types of Supplements

Most people take supplements in solid pill form. However, the nutritional absorption of pills is very low… somewhere between 20-25% is actually absorbed into the body.

On the other hand, liquid supplements have a higher absorption rate of about 90-98%, and can be absorbed more quickly.

Think of liquid supplements as being very similar to juiced vegetables. The reason we juice vegetables is to get all the pure nutrients of the vegetables directly and bypass the digestion process. That’s why liquid nutritional supplements are ideal.

I think it’s really important to invest in a proven supplement, because not all supplements are made equal. I’ve tested several types of supplements on myself over the past year, and Vemma is the only supplement that I’ve gotten results with and can recommend.

There may be other great supplements out there, so definitely do your research.

Have An Awesome Day!

I hope this article gave you some food for thought on nutritional supplements.

Love, Nathalie