In this issue of Vibrant Living there’s an article on the importance of Choosing Quality when shopping, a shopper’s guide to pesticides, a Tasy recipe by Early Girl, an article on the relationship between good oral health and overall health, 9 Reasons to Give up Drinking Soda Pop (I know you don’t, but you may want to pass this on to those that do), and a few other tidbits to stimulate the mind. Please enjoy!


If you would like me to cover a particular subject or if you have questions please write and let me know. :-)


Early Girl’s Favorite Smoothie Recipe

Navel oranges (2 large)

Figs (2 ounces dried or a basket of fresh)

Romaine (half large head or 2-3 hearts)

Tatsoi or other dark, mild greens (like nettles, mizuna, mache, baby bok choy, or spinach - 2 ounces)

If using dried figs, soak first, ideally overnight. Peel the navel oranges and place those, along with the figs and soak water, in a blender. Top with as many of the greens as will fit comfortably in your blender jar. Blend, and add more greens as you make room. If it's too thick, add some more water. Blend until smooth, and enjoy.

The figs and oranges are Hugh's favorite combination in a smoothie,and ever since he introduced me to it, they've become my favorite as well.


Stoic philosopher (and former Roman slave), Epictetus, in The Enchiridion: “We cannot choose our external circumstances, but we can always choose how we respond to them.”


Since caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant, the people in this country are electrified: always on, brains jazzy as neon, bodies humming like generators. Unfortunately, quite a few of them also end up electrocuted. The Country of Caffeine is America, of course. And many of its highly caffeinated citizens are nervous and irritable and can't get a good night's sleep. They have headaches, queasy stomachs, and daytime drowsiness. And they may be putting themselves at risk for osteoporosis, heart disease, and possibly even certain types of cancer. All because of caffeine.

- Bill Gottlieb, Alternative Cures: The Most Effective Natural Home Remedies for 160 Health Problems


Whenever Possible Choose Quality

My main article this month is on a subject that I have really come to appreciate over the past few years. The quality I’m talking about pertains mainly to anything that goes into or on your body, and could extend to clothing, bedding, furniture, etc., but let’s focus on things that go in the body right now. I’ve come to realize how very important it is to give these wonderful bodies (and minds and spirits) of ours the very best quality nutrition possible.

In terms of food I’m talking about the freshest liveliest organic food available. The best would be right out of your own garden, from garden to plate in minutes. Next best would be from your farmers market and then your local market, the one that takes great pride in putting out the best, freshest produce in town. Even at that you have to look over your fruit and veggies to see if they really are fresh. Are the lettuce leaves turning yellow or wilted, are the bottoms brown? Are the fruits too hard or green around the edges?

I feel it’s best to eat locally with the seasons. Here in California tomatoes don’t grow during the winter so I don’t eat tomatoes during the winter. The ones we see in the stores are picked weeks prior to being ripe and the gassed to “ripen” them once here in the states. The point is that these tomatoes are not good quality fuel for our bodies, and actually create problems for us. Most fruits that we see in the markets out of season have the same story.

Now to be honest I do eat bananas, but they are one of the few fruits that continue to ripen naturally after being picked. Avocados are another such fruit.

Another thing to remember is that if you find yourself looking at some old shriveled organic fruit, and just behind you is some conventional fruit that looks fresh, then that would be a better choice at that time. And don’t be afraid to throw out produce at home if it’s past its prime; after all, what’s really more important, the few dollars you spent on the produce or the damage to your body you’ll avoid by tossing out the produce that’s past its prime?

When choosing supplements it’s the same thing: high quality natural whole food supplements may cost more, but ultimately they provide great dividends to your health bank. I often see people spend money on supplements that will actually cause greater damage to them. In fact most of the supplements out there, yes even the ones in the natural health stores and the larger natural grocery chains, are poison - even the expensive ones that claim to be otherwise. Bad supplements put a burden on our organs just as any toxic substance because they need to be disposed of as quickly as possible.

There are very few supplements that are of high quality and they usually do cost more. On the other hand, you’re actually getting nutrition your body can recognize and use so in the end you’re money ahead, not to mention your improved health. It’s as plain and simple as this: if we take good care in picking the very best quality food and natural whole food supplements that can be broken down into useable nutrients, we will be rewarded with great health.


"It's bizarre that the produce manager is more important to my children's health than the pediatrician." - Meryl Streep


The Shopper's Guide to Pesticides ranks pesticide contamination for 50 popular fruits and vegetables based on an analysis of 96,000 tests for pesticides on these foods, conducted from 2000 to 2008 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the federal Food and Drug Administration. The 49 fruits and vegetables analyzed in the guide are the top 49 most consumed fruits and vegetables, as reported by the USDA, with a minimum of 100 pesticide tests between 2000 and 2009. Nearly all the studies on which the guide is based tested produce after it had been rinsed or peeled. Just another reason to eat organic food whenever possible, but if your only option is conventionally grown produce then you’ll have an idea of what to stay away from. Here’s the list:

1 (Best)Onions

2 Avocado

3 Sweet Corn (Frozen)

4 Pineapples

5 Mango (Subtropical and Tropical)

6 Sweet Peas (Frozen)

7 Asparagus

8 Kiwi Fruit (Subtropical and Tropical)

9 Cabbage

10 Eggplant

11 Cantaloupe (Domestic)

12 Watermelon

13 Grapefruit

14 Sweet Potatoes

15 Honeydew Melon

16 Plums (Domestic)

17 Cranberries

18 Winter Squash

19 Broccoli

20 Bananas

21 Tomatoes

22 Cauliflower

23 Cucumbers (Domestic)

24 Cantaloupe (Imported)

25 Grapes (Domestic)

26 Oranges

27 Red Raspberries

28 Hot Peppers

29 Green Beans (Imported)

30 Cucumbers (Imported)

31 Summer Squash

32 Plums (Imported)

33 Pears

34 Green Beans (Domestic)

35 Carrots

36 Blueberries (Imported)

37 Lettuce

38 Grapes (Imported)

39 Potatoes

40 Cherries

41 Kale / Collard Greens

42 Spinach

43 Sweet Bell Peppers

44 Nectarines

45 Blueberries (Domestic)

46 Apples

47 Strawberries

48 Peaches

49 (Worst)Celery

If you want more info go to http://www.foodnews.org/


Protect Your Teeth to Save Your Life

According to Dr Russell Blaylock, M.D. the single best thing you can do to protect your teeth and gums is to follow a healthy diet, and the two worst things are eating sugar and using tobacco. Sugar feeds the bacteria that can lead to both gum disease and tooth decay.

Chewing gum that contains sugar is especially bad because the sugar is constantly in contact with the teeth and gums. Tobacco, whether smoked or chewed, also damages the gums and leads to tooth loss.

Because of the growing and convincing link between gum disease (infections) and cancer, atherosclerosis, heart disease, and strokes, it is important to practice good oral health, which includes a good diet. One of the best ways to clear up gum disease is to use an antibacterial elixir like the one below.

• Mix one ounce of hydrogen peroxide with one ounce of purified water in a paper cup.

• Dip your toothbrush in the mixture and brush your teeth and gums thoroughly, making sure you brush all surfaces. Repeat this several times. You will notice bubbling where your teeth meet your gums. Let this bubble for about two minutes but do not swallow the mixture.

• Rinse your mouth with purified water.

• Repeat daily until your gum condition clears, then treat your gums weekly.

I personally use a hydrogen peroxide based product called Essential Oxygen, mainly because I find it easier because it’s ready to go. I use it first thing in the morning and again before bed. My dentist says my gums are in great condition so I must be doing something right. lol

I also use a product called OraMD for brushing my teeth after each meal, and of course I floss regularly. If I eat and I’m out someplace I floss right away then brush with the OraMD which is basically essential oils in a little glass jar so it’s very convenient. I don’t care if people stare or what they think, all I know is what’s best for my health. I know they'll get over it. lol

Finally, despite what you have been told, fluoride is dangerous to not only your dental health, but to your overall health:

• Fluoride actually destroys the enamel of teeth.

• Fluoridation of drinking water has no dental benefit, and is also a poison that accumulates in the body, damaging numerous organs and tissues.

• In addition, topical fluoride damages the gums and jaw bone and increases the risk of oral cancers. One of the best things you can do for your overall dental health is to avoid fluoride toothpastes, mouthwashes containing fluoride, and fluoride treatments — especially fluoride varnishes. A quick internet search will give you reams of material on the subject.


“With the proper diet, no doctor is necessary. With the improper diet, no doctor can help.” - Dr. Gabriel Cousens


If you know anyone still drinking soda please pass this on to them.

9 Reasons to Give up Drinking Soda Pop

• Diabetes. Not only does being overweight increase the odds of developing Type 2 diabetes, some researchers at Rutgers believe that high-fructose corn syrup, an ingredient in most sugar-sweetened sodas, may start a series of events in the body that leads to diabetes.

• Osteoporosis. Phosphoric acid, which give drinks their "bite," leaches calcium from the bones.

• GI problems."Sodas contain an array of chemical acids as additives, such as acetic, fumaric, gluconic, and phosphoric acids, all of them synthetically produced," Dr. Judith Valentine told the Global Healing Center. "Drinking sodas, especially on an empty stomach, can upset the fragile acid-alkaline balance of the stomach and other gastric linings, creating a continuous acid environment. This prolonged acid environment can lead to inflammation of the stomach and duodenal lining which becomes quite painful. Over the long term, it can lead to gastric lining erosion."

• Dental problems. Phosphoric acid, which causes bone loss, also causes tooth enamel to erode."Dentists are reporting complete loss of the enamel on the front teeth in teenage boys and girls who habitually drink sodas," said Valentine.

• Brain disorders. More than 92 side effects are associated with aspartame, a sugar substitute used in diet sodas. They include brain tumors, emotional disorders, and epileptic seizures.

• Pancreatic cancer. Drinking two or more soft drinks a week increases the risk of developing pancreatic cancer by two-fold compared to people who do not drink soft drinks, says a recent report in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. “The high levels of sugar in soft drinks may be increasing the level of insulin in the body, which we think contributes to pancreatic cancer cell growth,” said Mark Pereira, Ph.D., and senior author of the study.

• Reproductive health. Additives in soft drinks can interfere with the body's delicate hormone balance. And a recent Danish study found that men who drank a quart or more of cola daily had sperm counts 30 percent lower than in those men who didn't drink soft drinks.

• High blood pressure. A study found fructose — a form of sugar found in soft drinks and junk food — raises blood pressure.

• Kidney stones. The same phosphate that rots teeth and leaches calcium from the body has been proposed as a contributing factor in the formation of kidney stones. And a study published in the journal Epidemiology found that drinking two or more colas daily — regular or artificially sweetened — doubled the risk of chronic kidney disease.


“Life is not complex. We are complex. Life is simple, and the simple thing is the right thing.” - Oscar Wilde


If you would like to share one of your favorite raw food recipes please send one in and we'll post it in the next newsletter. And of the greatest importance, I value your opinion so please feel free to send your comments or questions to hugh@raw-foods-diet-center.com


Be Well and Wonderful, Hugh




The contents of my website and my newsletter are gleaned from my experiences and observations, meant only for educational purposes and not intended to replace medical advice, consultations, or treatment of any kind. I recommend you see your professional health care provider if you suspect you have an illness or disease of any kind. I’m not medically trained, and I would never suggest or imply that I know what is best for someone else’s body or overall health, ultimately each of us is the only one who knows what’s best for us.

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