What I learned at SXSW 2010

Bear with me while I gush about my experience attending SXSW Interactive in Austin, Texas this past week. This post is mostly for me, to preserve this feeling of total gratitude and expanded possibilities.

SXSW Gratitude Video

(Click here if you can’t see this video.)

SXSW Is All About The People

Before I went to SXSW, I knew that it was going to be all about meeting my cool online friends in person. I also thought the panels might be interesting.

Some panels were definitely great, but I want to reiterate that meeting people was by far the best part of my SXSW experience!

Here’s a quick rundown (in no particular order) and a big THANK YOU to all the amazing folks I met up with at the conference. If I didn’t get a chance to meet you, please comment and we’ll make plans for next year. :)

Commence Major Geeking Out

Photo by Maya

Chris Garret was a total blast to hang out with (and contrary to this, he didn’t suck!). We talked about the differences between England and America where muffins and cupcakes are concerned.

We shared some laughs with Sonia Simone about getting to know people online, and I admired her pink hair in person. :)

Deb Ng and I bonded over stories of Chinese relatives-in-law. I thought I was the only one with funny Chinese related stories!

I got to meet and hang out with copywriting masters like Brian Clark, Taylor Lindstrom, and Kelly Parkinson. Their knowledge of copywriting and online business is incredible, and getting to know them personally was even more awesome.

We grabbed a green juice with Nora at The Daily Juice, and talked online business with a touch of law of attraction, and lots of raw chocolate – yum!

Photo by Maya

Hung out in the bloggers lounge and met with Muhammad Saleem, Darren Rowse, and Aliza Sherman. I had a nice chat with Jonathan Fields and love what he’s up to! The caliber of these folks still blows me away!

On my way to Austin I had a layover in New York and I sat 2 rows away from Sarah Cooley. I recognized her from Twitter and mustered up the courage to pass her a note, then we got to sit down together and have a heart to heart.

I spotted Chris Pirillo on the first day and was too shy to go over and introduce myself. But my little geekgirl heart leaped when I recognized him.

In the “How Not to Be a Douchebag at SXSW” panel I met Violet Blue (NSFW), and laughed at her jokes. Then nodded at her growing concerns as a famous blogger.

We had a great time at the SOBCon party, meeting with Liz Strauss and Terry Starbucker. There’s a joke in there about Terry being unable to find a starbucks.


Had lunch with Erica Douglas and her boyfriend Richard. I was totally star struck on the first day of SXSW. These people are so totally awesome in real life, it’s not even funny. :)

At Chris Guillebeau‘s meetup I met Eileen and her husband, and it was awesome to hear about her background. There’s only so much you can learn from someone through their online presence, but one thing is for sure – they are both so awesome in person!

I got to hang out with the super smart Ali Hale, who just rocked my world with her devilishly cute British accent. Now I know why I like her so much. :)

Another great person that I finally got to meet in real life is Charlie Gilkey and his wife Angela. This man is so authentic and bright, it was just awesome to get to know him. Next year, more conversation time!


In the bloggers lounge I also met my dear friend Maya! It was a coincidence that we tweeted each other about being on the 4th floor of the ACC, and it was great to hug in real life!

Saturday night I was so stoked to meet Chris Guillebeau, who as it turns out is also even more amazing in real life. He is so generous with his time and advice, and I’m so happy we got to connect. Really looking forward to his book tour now. :)

Coincidence had it that I was able to catch Elizabeth Potts Weinstein for lunch. We chatted about business managers and our time belly dancing with pitas.

Belly Dancing at SXSW

Some of us ladies of SXSW got together to take an awesome belly dancing class! It was a new type of female bonding experience that took us all away from our iPhones and texting devices. Not to mention that it was a great work out and really fun to be dancing like this!

Speaking of dancing, I got to watch Carl Nelson in action at the New Orleans party. Definitely look him up if you want to up your dance skills!

Kyeli and Pace Smith – Freak Revolutionaries

One reason why SXSW was so incredible was thanks to these two lovely ladies: Kyeli and Pace Smith! They let me sleep on their comfy couch and hang out with their three adorable cats. They also taught me the meaning of the word barnacle, along with a few other funny words. ;)

We had some of the best conversations between midnight and 3am, and I am super duper grateful for the honor of meeting them in person and getting to hang out!

And the fun continues…

On my second night in Austin, I got to be present for the Maple Syrup inside joke that took place between Jeff Moriarty and Melle! The price of my flight was worth it just for being able to see Pace Smith laugh so hard.


I got to hang out with Johnny B. Truant, and hear his new droid phone make funny noises. Oh, and his business cards made the rounds and totally made him even more famous than he already was. Rock on.

Speaking of rocking, we played Rock Band until two or three in the morning one night. Most fun I’ve had playing video games since I was a teenager! I now understand why The Beatles got so popular. “It’s about charity!”


The night before I left we held a birthday party for Cath Duncan and Kyeli! We scared the living daylights out of poor Cath by pretending we left and then jumped out screaming “Surprise!”. Happy birthday my dears!

I got to connect with Andy Hayes, whose accent is very misleading by the way. It was great getting to know him and talking business, travel, and life!

It was great meeting Tzaddi Gordon, a fellow Canadian, and talking about web design. It was so cool to meet her because I had seen her site before and really admired the designs she had!

I finally met Karl Staib of Work Happy Now, and it was great talking about business and life together. His sincerity and joy-of-life really shines through!


I finally got to meet Martin Whitmore (the man responsible for my awesome witchy logo) in person! This guy has such a fun personality, and we took full advantage of the Bing photobooth.

You can read about his adventures wearing a kilt here too. Oh, and yes I did escape without getting eaten, or turned into a zombie of any kind. I’m a witch after all!

It was fun talking to Robert Dempsey about our businesses, and what it’s like being a multi passionate entrepreneur.

I also had the pleasure of meeting and hugging the super sweet Adam Baker. I’m really impressed with all he’s done for himself online and it was great meeting him in person!

Brunch with Colleen Wainwright revealed more awesomeness about the lovely Communicatrix. Also I learned about a new non-martial martial-art called Nei Kung. Sweet stuff!

During the Freak Revolution meetup I got to hang out with the ever lovely Lynnivere. It was great to connect with her in person and hear her raw food journey story.

That’s also where I met Chris and Cherie from Technomadia. I was pleasantly surprised to see their trek across America and I invited them to come visit me in Toronto! :)

Gala Darling, Nathalie Lussier, Molly Crabapple

On the first day of SXSW I was a total fangirl and asked to get my photo taken with the super sweet Gala Darling and Molly Crabapple. I love these ladies.

More Awesome People…

Naomi Dunford – Photo by Maya

I got to hang out with the ever flavorful Naomi Dunford and Megan Morris. These ladies launched some stuff during the conference and they were just rocking it! Big hugs – *muah*!

More Toronto-ish peeps I got to meet include Scott Stratton, and Melanie Baker. Yay Canadians! ;)

Kelly Kingman was a total sweetheart and pleasure to hang out with. She also let us have parties at the swankiest pad ever, and we got down to the nitty gritty of online business together!

Another New Yorker I had the coincidental pleasure of meeting is John Keefe. It was fun talking about specialists vs. generalists and I’m eager to see what he is up to!

It was also really awesome to meet Andrea Ramirez and her husband Mark. Andrea and I really connected because of our shared passion for health and online biz, woohoo!

I also met Michelle and her husband Matt. Her sense of style is definitely wicked and I loved trying to anticipate what color her hair would be the next time I met her! We talked comics, biz, and blogging, woohoo!

The same night I first hung out with Michelle and the gang, we visited the Marble Cows. We also got to hang out with Steve Spalding and Nathan. Everyone was running low on sleep, so we came up with some hilarious book titles!

Talk About a Whirlwind Experience

Last but not least it was awesome almost-meeting TheGirlPie!

I’m sorry if I missed you at SXSW, or if I met you but forgot to include you in this post. Leave a comment or tweet me and I’ll rectify that immediately. :) I blame lack of sleep and too much awesomeness for that.

So what did I learn at SXSW? That life is short and there are too many awesome people to meet. Also, that writing this post is a great way for me to not-forget everything as I move my business and blog forward!

Big hugs everyone!
Love, Nathalie

Happy Virgo Birthday Moving Sale

Alternative titles for this post include…

What, you mean I need to buy furniture?!


Boo, no more backyard gardening.

So, it’s my birthday, and I’m moving.

To commemorate this huge transition in my life, I thought I’d invite you to join the fun. What better way than to have a sale? Here are the deliciously magickal details:

The sale ends on September 4th, which is the day before I move. Because I can’t be expected to reply to email or schedule calls when I’m packing up my dehydrator and juicer, now can I?

You can buy your coaching sessions with me, and book them any time between now and October 31st. So even if you’re not ready to up your raw intake, at least take advantage of these discounts before prices go back up!

Funny Inside Story about my Move

Before I get into the story, I just need to mention my newfound addiction to the Soul Garden daily horoscope videos. Blame the lovely Gala Darling for getting me hooked.

Both Gala Darling and I are Virgos, and for the next 30 days we’ll be wrestling with the persona we want to bring out in the world. Becoming the Raw Foods Witch and living that truth is definitely part of the journey for me.

By the end of 2009, Virgos who did their “deep spiritual work” will be rewarded with 30 years of great living. I know my spiritual work is to help others, to put myself out there as a resource, so this sale is just another way for me to make myself accessible to more people.

Now onto the story of my new place…

Of Bats, Bat Caves, and Castles

Around 11:30pm on a warm night in July, I was dreaming. In my dream there were strange fluttering noises. I tried to ignore them, but soon I was awake. Still in that drowsy in between state.

I heard the weird fluttering again.

Oh, it must be the wind brushing plants against my window.

This time I heard the noise in the inner corner of my room. It wasn’t coming from outside. It was quiet for a moment. Then I heard it again, and felt a gush of air near my face.

It was in my room! I froze, fully awake now, adrenaline coursing through my body. I stayed there for a minute trying to regain my composure.

I got up and walked into the living room. That’s when I saw it fly around in a large circle: it was a bat! I ducked when it flew over me, and I couldn’t control the shriek that escaped my throat.

“Dad, there’s a bat!” This wasn’t new territory for my dad, we usually had a bat or two every summer in our house when we lived in the country. But we weren’t living in the country anymore, and we’d never had a bat here before.

He fetched his net, swung a few times, and finally managed to take the bat outside where it could at least get some food and find it’s friends.

To this day we’re still not sure how it got in the house.

Flash Forward to Today

My Alchemist Man and I have an inside joke about Batman and Robin, probably because we’re big comic geeks. (Some people have also called us the Mr. and Ms. Smith of the office when we worked together.) There’s even a “bat signal” for his workplace, that we could see from his bedroom window.

Naturally when trying to come up with a fun name (a la Havi Brooks’ Hoppy House, or Naomi Dunford’s Barn of Bliss) for our new place, I thought of the bat cave. Ignoring the fact that our new apartment is on the 25th floor and not home to lots of bats (at least I hope!), it might work.

I also like the idea of a castle. Witches sometimes live in castles, right? Though I really want to emphasize that I’m a good witch, and my castle would be one with rainbows, raw treats, and good Feng Shui.

Onto my 24th Birthday and my Own Castle

Come join the celebration, take advantage of the discounted coaching options until September 4th, have a slice of raw cake, and help me get through the next 30 days of being a Virgo.

Have a magickal week, and Happy Birthday fellow Virgos! :)

Love, Nathalie

Raw Food Gratitude Circle #2

Stories, people, and blog posts I’m grateful for. Read and savour the gratitude with me!

Photo by Celeste RC

The other day I received an email from a gentleman named Don, from Florida who tells me he is eating about 60% raw.

Don is 68 years old and does not take any medication. He feels great and can work like when he was 45! He mentioned it is nice to grow old in a healthy manner, and that health is top priority.

Way to go Don, you’re an inspiration for me and for so many others now as well. Thanks for sharing your story with us.

Linda of Linda Eaves: I wanted to commend Linda for making a choice that’s having an ripple effect in her life in many ways. Linda had weight loss surgery on March 4th, 2009. Since then she has been meticulously providing her body with what it needs to heal. She’s also been eating more raw foods, and I just wanted to share my support for her publicly. You’re doing great Linda! Follow @LindaEaves on twitter.

Jonathan of Illuminated Mind: Jonathan and I have a lot in common, we’re both a little unconventional (Jonathan has been called a modern day James Dean), around the same age, and also into raw food. If you’re interested in making your dreams a reality you’ll want to check his blog out or follow him on twitter. @JonathanMead on twitter.

Lance of Jungle of Life: Lance has been a great supporter and friend since I started my first blog. He has the ability to write such touching posts over at his blog, and I really admire what he stands for. He’s also mentioned quite a few times that he’s eating more raw foods after reading Raw Foods Witch. Woo go Lance! @Lance02 on twitter.

Henri at @Henrijunttila on Twitter: Henri and I met through my other blog, and we’ve kept in touch via twitter. He’s been telling me he’d start a blog soon, and I’m still holding my breath. ;) I know that whatever he does will be incredible, because he has a deep appreciation for matters of health and personal development.

Chris from Art of Nonconformity: If you’re interested in world travel, then Chris is the go-to person. I’ve had a number of interesting conversations with Chris about airports and some of the countries we’ve both visited. I definitely recommend Chris’ blog for unconventional articles. It’s a bit of theme, in case you haven’t noticed. ;) @ChrisGuillebeau on twitter.

Raw Food Recipes From Around The Web

In addition to thanking people from around the blogosphere, I also wanted to highlight some great raw food posts I’ve seen lately.

Kristen’s Raw teaches us how to make sauerkraut via video. I’ve never made sauerkraut before, so I’m quite inspired. I might make mine with more of a kimchi flavor though. Yum!

Shernell Cooke shares her Luscious Cantaloupe Milk recipe over at Raw Experiences. With cantaloupes in season, this is bound to become a family favorite!

Gena from Choosing Raw shows us how to make a Raw B.L.T., yummy! I especially like how she uses a traditional squirt bottle, very creative.

Ingrid from Raw Epicurean shares a recipe for Carrot and Pistachio soup contributed by Omid. The photography alone is mouthwatering.

Sarma‘s got a new blog! You might enjoy reading her article about how good tippers make better lovers.

Last but not least, I’m very grateful to you for reading this! Let me know in the comments what you’re grateful for today, and we can all bask in the gratitude of it all! :)
Love, Nathalie

Set Yourself Up for Raw Success

Maybe you’re intrigued with the idea of raw food. But It all seems a little overwhelming at first.

Maybe your story sounds a little like mine.

I tried to go raw when I first stumbled upon the idea of eating only fresh uncooked fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.

I went out and bought all kinds of equipment: expensive blenders, juicers, dehydrators, slicers, and the list goes on.

Somehow, I thought all of these tools would help me go raw and stay raw. After all, investing in something usually means you are committed right?

I forgot what happens when your commitment is overcome by obstacles like:

  • Spending twice the money on groceries?
  • Too busy to make raw foods?
  • Resistance from friends and loved ones?

I’ve been there, and that’s why I’m putting together a group coaching program called Set Yourself Up for Raw Success.

Who, Where, What, When How?

Get all the details on how I can help you by visiting the services page.

We’re Having a Contest

So Raw Food Switch is holding its first contest! I’m so excited to be able to give away 4 of these special Eating by Choice sessions. I’m also really looking forward to reading the entries, and working with you to help you heal your relationship with food once and for all!

Eating By Choice Contest

What You’ll Win:

An hour long one-on-one Eating By Choice Session with me, Nathalie Lussier. In this session I’ll determine your three most defenseless “food decision” moments, and provide strategies for eating your best by eliminating those vulnerable moments before they happen.

Bonus: After the session, you’ll get a printable worksheet with customized steps you can follow to easily make healthy food choices tomorrow, no matter how you ate today!

How to Win:

Write one paragraph about your biggest healthy eating challenge (or if you’re into raw foods already, your biggest raw food challenge!) and post it on your blog or Facebook with a link back to /eating-by-choice-contest/. Then email [email protected] with your entry, OR just email your entry to [email protected].

Contest Rules:

Four winners will be chosen at random on April 17th, 2009. You’ll be contacted by me to schedule your session right away.

Photo credit: Hannah Webster

Watch The Video!