Well the holiday season has come and gone and we are definitely in the middle of winter here in northern California. As much as I like the warm weather seasons there are some things to like about this time of year. For one, the farmer’s market is much less crowded, and many of my favorite fruits and greens are in abundance during this time of year. I also don’t feel guilty not going outside to work in the yard or around the house. The weather definitely gives me cover on that one…lol.

In this edition of Vibrant Living I touch on the growing GMO issue, discuss plant centered diets, provide some nutritional data for some of the fruits you may find this time of year, and have added a new recipe that is one of my winter favorites. Please Enjoy!!


Most days I’m posting health information, recipes, testimonies, etc on the facebook page of RAW-FOODS-DIET-CENTER.COM, so if you’re interesting in checking that out you can do that here.


If I'd known I was going to live so long, I'd have taken better care of myself. ~Leon Eldred


An Encouraging Trend

Consumption of meat in the U.S. dropped 12.2 percent over the past five years according to the Federal Department of Agriculture. Rising costs are one reason, but consumers are also eating more meat-free meals for health and environmental reasons. ~ This snippet via the New York Times.

I for one am so glad to see this trend on so many levels. I became a vegan many years ago for the health benefits, but fully embrace the low impact of the vegan footprint in terms of the environment and of course animal rights.

Clearly over the past 10 years or so it has been scientifically proven that an excess of animal products in the diet is associated with an increase in disease. Most of the old cultures most often cited for their longevity and great health consumed mainly a vegetarian diet, with small amounts of animal products taken a few times a week. Even Colin Campbell’s block buster, The China Study, showed that those who were vegetarian or ate small amounts of animal products were far less likely to contract diseases than those that centered their meals on animal products.

In terms of health the choice is clear; vegan, vegetarian, or very low animal product consumption wins out over animal product centered diets.

Everywhere you go today it seems people are concerned with being green and lowering our carbon footprint. Every product, idea, or directive from the government seems to include ways for you to be a better steward of the earth by buying their product or following their directive. Well the truth of the matter is the largest impact on the environment you can make is by eliminating or lowering your consumption of animal products. This far outweighs changing all your light bulbs, recycling everything, driving a Toyota Prius, updating all your home appliance to energy efficient, and everything else that is suggested.

Want to lessen your carbon footprint and help the environment? Then eliminate or eat fewer animal products.

The animal right issue has always been a quandary to me. So many stand up for animal rights, then sit down to a meal of dead animal flesh. For the most part I think it’s because consumers are so detached from where their food comes from that they don’t identify what’s on their plate with what once was a living creature. And of course many people just believe that animals are here to be our food, but I think part of that is just cover for the emotional feeling towards foods they love and are woven into the very fabric of their lifetime experiences.

Then there are the emotional ties I alluded to above. But trust me, as many of you know I lived in small logging towns for years and was an avid hunter and fisherman, never imaging in my wildest dreams that I would ever not consume meat, let alone eggs and dairy. One day I just decided to quit hunting. I didn’t want to take a life just to feed myself any longer.

Want to show your love for animals? Then eliminate or lower your consumption of animal products.

Now I understand this is not an easy step for many. Many of us were raised eating large amounts of animal products and we have all been brainwashed by the Cattleman’s Assoc, the dairy industry, the Dept. of Agriculture, and God knows who else telling us how important these foods are in maintaining good health, when nothing could be further from the truth.

Some would say that a meat based diet was our natural diet over tens of thousands of years, and I would agree that during the ice ages man may have had to adapt to eating animals because of a lack of plant life, but if you look at the disease noted in very young corpses excavated from that time, they were riddled with disease from that acidic diet. I believe man and his ancestors ate a plant centered diet for millions of years eating a few grubs and insects here and there as needed to fill up empty tummies.

Even if the Paleo Diet people are correct in their assumption that we evolved as meat eaters, I would like to think as we’ve evolved socially and emotionally over hundreds of thousands of years that our diet can also evolve to bring us to a point where we can enjoy great health (physical, mental, and spiritual). By embracing a plant centered diet, our planet can enjoy a resurgence of vitality and a pristine nature, and animals of the earth will not need to fear man as a predator.

The feeling I had when I decided not to hunt any longer, that awakening if you will, was the beginning of a deep change within me. That one lifestyle shift moved my life in an entirely different direction and opened up possibilities to me that were obscured from my sight before.

What possibilities do you suppose are waiting for you???


‎"To meditate for world peace, to pray for a better world, and to work for social justice and environmental protection while continuing to purchase the flesh, milk, and eggs of horribly abused animals exposes a disconnect that is so fundamental that it renders our efforts absurd, hypocritical, and doomed to certain failure." - Will tuttle


Here are some foods that you’re likely to see in your produce section this time of year. Listed are some of the benefits each has to offer.

Oranges – contain 170 different phytonutrients and more than 60 known falconoids. These are shown to reduce inflammation, shrink tumors, and inhibit blood clots. The Herperidin in oranges can help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Contain bioflavonoids, citric acids and pectin. It’s said oranges are good to eat for cancers, heart problems, strokes, constipation, the blood and nerves. Digestive support, calcium, vitamin C

Raspberries – said to lower bad cholesterol and inhibit certain cancer growth, antioxidant, vitamin C , vitamin K, vitamin E, folate, B5, manganese, copper, iron Apple – overall tonic and contain pectin, a fiber that’s good for the digestive tract, supports immunity, research suggests it lowers Alzheimer’s risk, vitamin C, copper, magnesium, potassium, iron, manganese, phosphorus, trace minerals Apricot – rich in beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, B5, copper iron, potassium, fiber

Blackberry – build bone density, suppresses appetite, enhances fat burning, phytonutrients ,vitamin C, beta carotene, folate, B5, vitamin E. vitamin K, manganese, copper, iron, magnesium, zinc , fiber

Blueberry – high in antioxidants & phytonutrients, good for urinary tract and brain rejuvenation, fiber, vitamin K, vitamin C, manganese, copper, iron

You can see more fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, sea vegatables, etc.



Raw Rice with Olives


The Fight to Label GMO’s and an Easy Way for You to Help

According to recent polling a whopping 93% of Americans support mandatory labeling of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s). If that’s so why is it so difficult to get these Franken foods labeled? It’s estimated that 80% of processed foods sold in the U.S. contain genetically modified organisms, yet no labeling is required when more than 40 other countries require labeling of foods that contain GMO’s.

In 2007 candidate Barak Obama said “Americans had the right to know what they’re buying” and promised to “let folks know whether their food has been genetically modified.” However, the Obama administration has ramped up approval of GMO crops, including alfalfa, sweet corn, sugar beets, corn for ethanol, and grass for lawns, and approval for GMO salmon is pending with the Food and Drug Administration.

There is essentially no testing or oversight of the production and safety, both short and long term of these genetically modified foods. Research sponsored by the Union of Concerned Scientists has shown that widespread adoption of GMO crops has led to an increase in the use of herbicides in the U.S.

The good news is that there is a huge pro labeling ground swell that cannot be stopped by even the largest influx of money by lobbyists into the coffers of politicians on both sides of the aisle. At present we in California are collecting signatures to get a labeling law put on the ballot for the 2012 election in November. And I know there are other states that are working on the same, Washington state for one.

This is huge, because we can see around the world in countries where GMO labeling is mandatory, the people vote with their dollars and quit buying those products. This is a nightmare scenario for companies like Monsanto who have billions and billions to lose so you can be sure that the propaganda will be hip wader deep leading up to the election. I just hope the masses are smart enough to vote for health and freedom, and not sickness and bondage.

Whether you agree with me that GMO’s are not safe for human consumption and that their use threatens the ecosystems of the earth or you simply think at the bare minimum we have the right to know what’s in our food, please join the fight in any way you can. We are at a crossroads with so many issues these days and this one is at the forefront. If we don’t act decisively soon then all could be lost for generations to come. If nothing else, with all the social upheaval, 2011 taught us that grass roots ideas and actions can change the world in unbelievable ways. Our fore fathers and the founders of the country encouraged us to be ever vigilant and to participate in the political process or else loose all power.

I would like to encourage you to talk to your friends and neighbors about the GMO issue, either in person or through social media. You can find more info on the subject by doing a simple web search on GMO foods.


Floss and Brush Flossing may be the ultimate key to good health, even more important than vitamins and exercise. Daily flossing can add 6.4 years to your life by reducing inflammation, improving immune function, and correlates with lowered incidence of cardiovascular disease.


Fresh air impoverishes the doctor. ~Danish Proverb


Discount Super Foods and Such

Although I believe strongly in a diet comprised mostly of fresh raw foods, I do supplement with super green powders, nuts, seeds, sea vegetables, and the occasional dried fruit such as goji berries. If you’re like me you’re always looking for a good deal on quality food whether it’s fresh from the farmers market or purchased online, so I thought I would share with you where I make most of my online purchases.

You may already be aware of the Raw Food World and their “at cost” specials, but if not here you go. When you go to purchase supportive foods like those listed above you can save money and get “at cost” special pricing by going to the link below and clicking on the “at cost” specials tab. This also allows you to save up to 14% on every order of their already good deals. The important thing to remember is that fresh is best and these products are supportive and should not be your mainstay. Enjoy!

The Raw Food World


Continuously Updated Web Pages:

There are a number of new testimonies at the website which I hope you will read and pass on to others when you feel they would benefit. And please feel free to leave your own story if you feel moved to do so.

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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