Karen Knowler Shares Her Insights into the Raw Food Realm

This is an interview with Karen Knowler. Karen is currently undertaking a virtual book tour and we’re honored to have her share her wisdom with us! You’ll find links to her new book at the bottom of this article, so sit back and enjoy!


1. What is the most important change you’ve noticed in yourself after going raw?

I’m not sure that it’s the most important change necessarily, but the biggest change I’ve experienced has been in my consciousness for sure.

2. How do you help people who turn to raw foods as a way of dealing with an eating disorder?

When I first started coaching in raw foods, I did work with people who had eating disorders, but I learned pretty early on that everyone has a different reason for having an eating disorder, and also that the disorder can be minor or significant, simple or complex. As such, I learned that coaching people around eating disorders is a very specialized skill, one I do not have, and so I decided not to coach people around this as usually they needed counseling or therapy first. For those whose situation is minor and fairly straightforward, raw food coaching can work so long as the client is consistently honest about what’s going on for them and is genuinely ready and in a position to make progress.

Because eating more living food is such a powerful upleveling for every aspect of ourselves, sometimes it is not quite as easy for those with an eating disorder to handle as we would like to hope, as it will initially increase any emotional issues, meaning that they will have to be quickly and efficiently dealt with. The irony of this is that the lack of dealing with emotional issues is often what brought about the eating disorder in the first place. Having said all of this, with the right approach from both coach and client, raw food coaching can be a very powerful catalyst for major breakthroughs, but the client must be really ready to transform and go at the pace that suits them.

3. What inspired you to turn your passion for raw food into a business?

My career in raw foods actually began when I took over the running of The Fresh Network from its founder, Susie Miller, in 1998. Through running that organization, I got to see clearly what was needed in the market and over time I learned that coaching and teaching raw foods was my favorite thing to do and the thing I received the most positive feedback about. Since making a success out of my passions, I’ve moved into coaching and training others to do the same, which has been incredibly fun and rewarding.

4. Any words of advice for people just starting to transition to a raw diet?

Of course! First of all, work with the pace that suits you. Some people go raw overnight and stay there successfully, but this is by far the exception rather than the rule. Most people do best with the slow and steady approach, although that is not to say that the journey has to be slow or even feel steady! In my own journey I had times where I felt like I was running with it, and other times when I felt like I was actually going backwards. This is very normal. The most important thing is to have ongoing compassion and support for yourself as you make this switch and be really clear on why you are doing it.

5. What’s your current favorite raw recipe?


Hmm! That’s always a really tricky question to answer as it changes all the time, like it does for many people. At the moment it’s my nori rolls. You can get the recipe and see me making them at Karenknowler.tv. They’re delicious, nutritious and super quick and easy to make. They’re a perfect lunch, but I enjoy them at any time of day, especially with sunflower greens. I think these will be one of my favorite recipes for life honestly.

Onto the book tour…

For more information about Karen’s new book Raw Food Made Simple, click here!

Please be sure to check out the other stops on the Raw Food Made Simple book tour, Russell James The Raw Chef, Steph Rice Fitness, and Yummy Plants.

If this is your first time at Raw Foods Witch, head over to the Library to get all sorts of goodies.

How to Organize Your Raw Food Kitchen Like a Pro in 9 Minutes or Less

Today I’m excited because we’ve got a special video from my friend Melody Granger, who is an organization pro. But she isn’t just talking about organizing closets today (though she’s awesome at it!), she’s walking us through a raw food kitchen! You see Melody has helped her sister who teaches raw food classes locally, to organize her kitchen to make eating raw easier.

I can’t tell you enough how important it is to have things prepared ahead of time, and having a clean organized kitchen is one of those things that makes everything run smoothly. So please watch while Melody shows us the ropes of organizing a raw food kitchen for maximum efficiency. You’ll definitely learn a few tricks, I know I can always learn new ways to arrange my kitchen to make eating raw more streamlined. :)

Without further ado… here is Miss Melody Granger, and her sister’s raw food kitchen organization video:

Let us know if you have any raw food kitchen organization questions below in the comments!

Melody Granger helps women through the organizing process, eliminating clutter & simplifying spaces, so they create an enjoyable environment that promotes clarity, confidence, & peace of mind as they go after the lifestyle they want. Melody is the creator of “Closet Chat” and the “Get It Done!(TM) Yourself” private coaching program. Get started clearing out your space at melodygranger.com. For free!

Sick of Eating Rabbit Food?

Photo by HaoJan Chang

Have you ever attempted to eat lower on the food chain, eat more raw food, eat more fruits and veggies? And somewhere around week 2 you just want to give up…

There’s a reason for that…

It’s called the Upper Limit Problem, and it’s a concept I learned in Gay Hendrick’s book The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level. (This book is awesome for anyone who has their own business, or wants to advance in their career by the way!)

The Big Leap

Here’s the premise for this Upper Limit Problem of ours: we as human beings are so used to struggling, that we’re not used to things going our way.

So when you’ve been on a roll, your eating patterns are effortless, and you feel great… you tend to do something to break this “lucky streak”. Sometimes you find yourself in a situation where there’s no healthy food, so you go back to an old favorite that sends you back for more.

Sometimes you think you need a “reward” and indulge in a food that gives you a hangover. And sometimes you just want to give up for some strange reason.

The Biology of Lifestyle Changes

So why do we manage to eat well for weeks at a time and then “crap out” around week 2? There’s a biology reason for that.

You see our cells are used to a certain environment. Say you eat lots of wheat, and suddenly you stop eating wheat entirely. Your body starts to change so that it can better accept what you’re replacing wheat with – say green leafy vegetables.

At this point, your cells are going through a re-arranging process and that takes lots of energy… that’s when we start to feel that uncomfortable feeling around week two. Your body is re-arranging itself to suit the new changes you’re making in your diet or lifestyle.

Except that’s when we usually give up. Because it’s hard. Because we don’t know what’s going on. Except now you know, and you know that if you push through that two week period you’ll actually have cells that are designed for your new lifestyle.

Click here to watch a short video that explains this whole process in full detail.

What That Means For You in 2011

This is revolutionary because it means that you now know how to make 2011 the year you finally do it. Whatever it is for you: eating more fresh fruit and veg, exercising regularly, or kicking your coffee addiction.

I want to help you do it. Join me now for the Cure Cravings Forever program, starting January 1st, 2011.

Love, Nathalie

Top 10 blog posts on Raw Foods Witch

Don’t have the time to go through the whole spellbinding archives? Start by the top 10 blog posts on Raw Foods Witch!

Why It’s Easier to Go Raw Than To Become Vegan

Who knew that going raw could be easier than just vegan? This post clearly explains that choosing a raw diet is not only easier, but also healthier than the common vegan diet.

7 Reasons I have a Love / Hate Relationship with Raw Food

There are always two sides to a medal, and having a raw diet makes no exception. Changing your diet can sometimes have an important impact on your everyday life. Discover the ups and downs of a life in the raw.

The Importance of Investing in Yourself & Your Health Without Giving Up

Changes towards a healthy lifestyle require commitment. By investing in yourself, you’re not only taking the first and necessary step towards a healthier self, but you’re also putting the basis of a sustainable self improvement.

9 Ways Raw Food Changed My Life

More than helping you to look and feel better, incorporating more raw foods in your diet can have surprising other benefits.

Set Yourself Up for Raw Success

Changing your diet can definitely bring some joy, but the road can also get rocky too. Avoid the common roadblocks of your journey to raw foods, and gear up for success with raw coaching. The group coaching session here might be already over, but personalized one on one coaching sessions are still offered.

21 Ways to Sneak More Vegetables Into Your Diet

Whether you’re a long-time raw foodist or just starting to take steps towards a healthier lifestyle, this post give you creative ideas to beef-up your daily vegetables intake.

Healthy Desserts: 28 Healthy Dessert Recipes in the Raw

Why do we love sweet food so much? It doesn’t really matter since you now have 28 healthy desserts you can eat everyday. This means 28 other delicious reasons to try raw food today!

How to Stay Raw When Dining Out at Restaurants

You don’t have to sacrifice your social life when committing to a raw diet. This post gives you great tips and ideas to eat raw at omnivore’s restaurants.

Why Food Allergies for Nuts, Gluten, and Milk are on the Rise and What to do About It

Food allergies and intolerances can silently sabotage your health. This video post clearly explains how food allergy works and what you can do to spot and prevent it to develop.

My Big Epiphany & Why I’m Eating Like a Dog


In the last few weeks I’ve been hinting at the big epiphany that has been changing the way I think about health and diet.

My realization came after I adopted Millie (pictured above, sticking her tongue out like she knows more than we do about healthy living). You see, feeding her made me realize how unbalanced our relationship to food can really get.

That’s why I believe we can all learn from dogs. I’m not saying we should lick our butts or chase cars, but that maybe the way a dog’s diet is structured has a lot to teach us.

In the wild a dog or wolf might hunt, eat grass, and find leftover scraps to eat. Domesticated pets have a much more regimented way of eating, and that’s what we can learn from.

Come to think of it, a dog’s life is pretty awesome: lots of chasing of squirrels, long afternoon naps, and dog treats.

Isn’t that what we all want to be able to eat? No, not squirrels but human treats! Having a strong nutritional base with the freedom to treat yourself every now and then.

Just Because Someone Else Eats It, Doesn’t Mean You Should

In my previous post I talked about how you can’t trust your tastebuds. Dogs can’t either, really. They don’t know what’s good for them.

They watch everyone around them eat and think that this food must be good if everyone else is eating it. (Sound familiar?)

Take for example grains, grapes, or chocolate. All toxic or mildly allergenic for dogs. Yet dogs will happily eat these up if you or someone around them are having any.

That’s why as pet owners we need to keep these harmful foods out of a dog’s reach. So why don’t we do it for our own harmful food cravings?

The Pareto Principle

Looking at my dog’s diet, I noticed she was eating about 80% main food, and 20% treats. Now don’t get me wrong, these treats aren’t deep-fried Mars bars, they’re quite in line with her diet. (She’s a raw dog, and you can see what she eats here.)

So what can we learn from eating by the 80/20 rule?

My big realization is that if we all adhere to an 80/20 way of eating we won’t fall off the wagon, beat ourselves up, or feel deprived.

I also think that it’s important to recognize that 100% percent raw is not ideal for everyone. So this is a much better way to regain your health and vitality, without feeling like a loser if you eat something cooked.

Preparedness Trumps Spontaneity

I don’t look at my dog each morning and wonder what to feed her. She would probably starve if I didn’t have a plan and some prepared food on hand at all times. That, or she’d get all kinds of human food “leftovers” that aren’t any good for her.

So why do we fail to have planned or prepared food for ourselves?

When we don’t have a plan or any prepared food in the house, we reach for instant food and take out… which we know isn’t good for us. (This is different from treating ourselves, by the way!)

Everything starts with having a solid plan and foundation in place. Without proper grocery shopping skills or a nicely varied menu plan, you’ll start reaching for all those unhealthy instant meal fallbacks. And that would just skew the 80 to 20% balance.

What’s in the 20%?

Let’s look at what’s in the fun 20% food category. I recommend keeping to a gluten-free diet, so if you are going to have baked goods then keep them gluten-free.

Ideally you will want to eat raw desserts since they taste so good and are so low in sugar.

So what’s left to treat yourself with? You can treat yourself with some of the savory dishes that you miss. Think of including some cooked veggies, warm soups, steamed sweet potatoes, or cooked grains of the gluten-free variety.

These might not sound like treats to you, but it’s such a nice way to balance out an otherwise high raw diet that you’ll feel a lot more grounded and fulfilled.

If you’re coming from a conventional diet you can also use your 20% for meat, fish, or dairy products you aren’t ready to let go yet.

This doesn’t mean you can run out and buy doughnuts, chow down on doritos, and eat peanut butter sandwiches on white bread everyday.

The 20% is meant to give you more flexibility, in a way that doesn’t hurt your progress and health.

What’s in the 80%?

In the 80% food category we want to include lots of green juice, green smoothies, green salads, and some seasonal fruits like berries, apples, or peaches.

The trick here is to be honest with yourself about how much of the “treat foods” you’re really eating. So if you’re just having one apple per day and the rest of your meals are processed, then this is not going to work.

I’m not recommending that the 80% be uber healthy, while the 20% is completely unhealthy. Rather, both are healthy foods but you just don’t want to overdo the 20% ones.

What’s Does it Mean for You?

Well it means that this winter you can enjoy some warm soups, cooked squash, or warm millet, and still feel amazing in your body and mind.

It means you can be more inclusive with friends or family members who don’t quite get the whole “raw” thing.

It also means that you can be nice to yourself and stop all those longing looks at what other people are eating.

It means you can finally stop obsessing about food and live a little.

You might also wake up really early and ready to go for a walk in the park every morning. Maybe.

How I’m Going to Help You Do This

I never thought I’d say that I’d help people eat like a dog, but here goes! After asking you and other readers what would help you stay on the healthy eating path, and in line with my big epiphany I’m creating something free to help you.

I know you’re looking for simple & quick meals that are nutritious, presented in a way to save you time. You might also like a produce guide that focuses on the changing seasons.

So that’s exactly what I’m putting together, and you’ll be able to get your copy free if you’re on my newsletter.

If you’re not yet on the newsletter, click here to sign up for free. Expect some goodness in your inbox next week!

Woof, woof.

Love, Nathalie