Finally summer is here and we are enjoying the weather and raw bounty from the farmer’s Markets and our own garden which is thriving. I hope that you too are enjoying life whether it’s summer or winter where you are.

This time of year always makes me so grateful for the food we have access to, and our ability to grow much of our own food. I believe growing one’s own food is of the highest calling and provides a wonderful connection to the earth and nature in general. Growing your own food not only promotes great health, but freedom and independence from government and corporate interests and interference, which is appropriate as we are celebrating independence day in the USA this month.

This issue of Vibrant Living has four new recipes with several more new ones on the website. There's an article discussing my take on vegan diets, info for The Raw Health Expo and a few interesting quotes. Enjoy!


The Raw Health Expo is this month on the 23rd and 24th in Sebastopol, CA. Gretchen and I will be presenting again this year and look forward to seeing many of you there. Please say hello and introduce yourselves if we've not yet met. If you’d like more info or want to purchase tickets visit Raw Health Expo link below.

Raw Health Expo.


“We cause our health, or we cause our sickness, through our mode of living!” — Dr. Herbert M. Shelton


We have many new yummy raw recipes this month.

Strawberry Apricot Smoothie

Strawberry Apricot Smoothie

Fresh Fig Smoothie

Tomato Cucumber Chowder

Yucatan Salad


"The health of your body influences what you experience in your mind. There is no split. If you can engage your whole spirit in the pursuit of total fitness - not just your intellect, not just your emotions - but instead everything inside you that is truly you, you'll discover what it is to be a whole person." David Patchell-Evans


Is a Vegan Diet for Everyone?

The other day when a small face book post came into my inbox stating Kendra Cruickshank (my daughter) is trying vegan, well I became just a little excited. I quickly shared the news with Gretchen then went to Amazon.com to send her a book on the subject. I sent ‘Diet for a New America’, one of two books that inspired me nearly 20 years ago to try veganism myself.

A little later I learned her new diet was only to be short term so her health practitioner could determine the extent of her allergies. Ah who knows, perhaps one day she’ll choose the vegan path for herself. I still remember a rather frantic call from her mother some years ago when Kendra was about 7 or 8 telling me that Kendra had declared herself a vegetarian, like her father. I of course was to get on the phone and tell Kendra this was a crazy idea, when I was really beaming from ear to ear and feeling quite good about the whole situation.

To help maintain the sometimes fragile relationship with her mother, my ex-wife, I told Kendra it was OK to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, but that she should listen to her mum and eat a wider variety of foods for the time being, and that later when she was a big girl (say 16 like she is now) she could follow the diet of her choosing. So when this recent post came in I was excited for Kendra and what I thought was a new beginning for her.

It’s so funny, even today in the information age many people are still concerned that vegans can’t get all the nutrients they need from their diet. Where do you get your protein? Where do you get your calcium? I wish I had a nickel for every time I heard these commonly asked questions. My friends Rick and Karin Dina teach a course titled the ‘The Science of Raw Food Nutrition’ in which they outline from intensive research that a raw vegan diet supplies ALL nutrients in more than sufficient quantities to support human life, with the possible exception of vitamin B-12.

The truth is we don’t need animal products in our diets to live a healthy life, however I feel everyone has the right to choose their own diet and that no one should tell another person how they should eat. Now sharing thoughts with another person, well now that’s the way of the world isn’t it, and what my newsletters are all about.

I think a person can be healthy on just about any diet as long as they are eating mostly whole unprocessed foods, not eating any junk food, and getting appropriate exercise at least 5 days per week. This also assumes they’re not over eating, or eating late at night. I just happen to feel that the vegan diet is the best for me, and is possible for anyone open to experimenting a little. I’ve shared before that prior to going vegan I ate a fair amount of meat and never dreamed I’d be a vegan, yet I turned on a dime and became just that.

It really started out as an experiment for me. After reading a book about vegetarian world class athletes and John Robbins ‘Diet for a New America’ I thought I would try it to see if I noticed any difference. I have to admit that at first I felt nothing more than a heavier pocket book because I was saving quite a bit of money not buying, meat, fish, eggs, cheese and yogurt, which wasn’t surprising because I was already quite healthy. After a few years though it became quite evident that I was becoming stronger and more vibrant and my health markers from medical tests backed that up, being very good for a lad of my age.

After being a raw fooder for more than a decade I can absolutely testify to the validity of the diet. Even though at first glance I may appear of slight build, my strength, stamina, agility, and vitality are superb for someone my age and I would not be afraid to match myself against anyone of any age. But this is not about me; it’s about the raw vegan diet and the many positive effects it can provide.

Today there are dozens if not hundreds of vegan and raw vegan athletes in the top tier of their sports, so if that's possible for them we should certainly be able to get enough protein and other nutrients in our diets.

A vegan or raw vegan diet can provide amazing benefits if it follows the same guidelines I listed above, eating mostly whole unprocessed foods, not eating any junk food, and getting appropriate exercise at least 5 days per week. I’ve seen many overweight and unhealthy vegans, and many people attempting the raw food diet fail because they continue their poor eating habits when they move to their new diet. It’s critical for anyone wanting to enjoy good health to change the behaviors that are counterproductive and destroy good health.

The habits that rob us of our good health offer only short term gratification, but long term pain and suffering. And like any poor habit or addiction, once conquered they hold no power and one wonders why one ever partook of such debilitating behavior. I can’t even imagine heading down the aisle at the grocery store looking for a bag of Tim’s jalapeño potato chips, or the artisan rosemary and olive bread loaf, but that’s just what I did almost weekly many years ago. Those types of foods no longer have a hold over me and my quality of life is so much better for it. So whether you partake of animal products, follow a vegan diet, or are on the raw food path, please look to the quality and healthfulness of the foods you put into your precious temple, the only one you will have for this lifetime.

And of course I would encourage anyone to look at the possibility of eliminating at least some of the animal products from their diet. There are so many reasons to consider it: health, animal rights, spiritual connection, and the environment. The production of animal products is the single most damaging environment factor in the world today. That’s air, water, soil pollution, and it’s devastating to human health, not to mention the E. colli and Salmonella outbreaks responsible for countless deaths around the globe.

For those becoming a vegetarian or vegan today there is so much support. You can choose from an array of books, videos, internet, even dating sites so you can meet others of the same persuasion. And of course you always have www.raw-foods-diet-center.com which supports healthy eating in general and a raw food diet specifically. There are many easy recipes to follow and tips for success whether you’re just starting out or have been on the path for years.

Every day there are more people trying vegetarian, vegan, and the raw vegan diet, so perhaps you or one of your loved ones will jump in and test the waters as well. And who knows, next month or next year we could have another vegan in the Cruickshank family.




Previously Updated Web Pages:

Please take a little time and share your raw food testimony. You need not be 100% raw to share a testimony; the fact is most people on the raw diet are not 100% anyway. Your story may inspire someone else, perhaps from the other side of the globe, to give the raw food diet a try.

Success stories.


Please send me your health questions, they can be submitted anonymously if you prefer, and you may help someone else improve their health and quality life. Your questions.

Please contact me with other questions, feedback and comments here.

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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