Why I left Koh Samui, Thailand and Why I moved to Tel Aviv, Israel

This is a question I get asked A LOT, and I’m excited to share the answer with you! Read on to find out why!

When I first left my engineering job at Merck to cycle around the world more than 13 years ago, people told me I was crazy. They said I was committing “career suicide.” They said no one would ever hire me again and after traveling for so long. Luckily, I didn’t care what people thought and I did what I wanted to do. I traveled and cycled my way around SE Asia, New Zealand and Australia for 3 years and eventually settled in Koh Samui, Thailand after battling with my own illness and deciding to dedicate my life’s work to helping other people reverse disease and heal themselves naturally. It didn’t take long for people to change their tune and start to say, “How did you do it?” and “I want to live your life!”

The beaches of Tel Aviv are clean and quiet, especially during the week!

In Samui, I worked relentlessly day and night, learning and offering Iridology analyses, helping clients on their detox programs, teaching health and nutrition class, building a website from scratch all on my own and developing contacts all over SE Asia to present workshops and work in various countries. In 6 years, I don’t remember even having 1 day off. Clients came to my house at every hour of the day and night asking for detox support and health coaching services. Because I cared so much about each and every client’s health and success, I had a hard time learning how to say “No.”

The southern end of Tel Aviv beach looks over to historic Jaffa

Why I left Koh Samui, Thailand

I learned so much in the time that I was in Samui and I am forever grateful to all of my clients and colleagues for co-creating a fantastic destination for fasting, detox, yoga and health and wellness. And I LOVED living in Thailand. But eventually, it was simply time for a change. Not only did I feel like I wanted and needed new challenges in my life, but I was also craving a “regular” environment where people worked hard all week and then had time to enjoy their life on the weekends, just like everyone else. I realized that I wasn’t really helping my clients if I left nothing for myself. I knew that I needed to have time fill my “cup” too and also to make time for a loving relationship. And ok, I imagined a world where I could simply eat a meal in a restaurant where no one would approach me to show me a picture of their shit (yes, that happened a lot!) and then I realized, I think it might be time to leave Koh Samui!

In Tel Aviv, you can find fresh juice and smoothie bars everywhere, year-round

Why I moved to Tel Aviv, Israel

In the 2 years before leaving Samui, I traveled a lot and I visited many places, including Dubai and Israel. I knew I wanted a warm climate and plenty of fresh, organic foods available year-round as well as a place that was near the beach. I first went to Israel to attend the Gabriel Cousens green juice fast, and I can honestly say that I fell in love with the place! The climate was just perfect and the desert foods were such a welcomed and exciting change to my diet. For a raw foodie, Israel is a really easy place to live. I went on to visit Israel another 3 times and on my last trip, I met my boyfriend, an Israeli. Suddenly, I had a lot more interest in the idea of moving to Israel!

A delicious Acai Bowl from the juice stand at Ben Gurion and Dizengoff, Tel Aviv

My boyfriend wound up coming back to Thailand with me and we stayed there together for a few months before I finally packed up my bags and left. It was a very silent tip-toe departure mainly because I didn’t want to answer the questions, “Why?” and “Where will you go?” before I even knew the answers myself. We decided to take our time traveling and exploring some areas of the world that I considered moving to including Panama, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Colombia, and Ecuador. After more than 1 year of traveling, we just didn’t find exactly what we were looking for: beach, organic food, nice people, good friends, high speed internet and enough safety to go for a run or walk on my own.

You can find organic produce at farmer’s markets in Tel Aviv or better yet, get it delivered to your door!

We arrived to Israel in July 2013 and since then, we’ve been slowly settling into life here. We live in Tel Aviv, 300m from the beach and a 3-minute walk from an organic market. We receive an organic CSA food delivery every week to our door, we have friends, and every day I can walk or run for miles right along the Mediterranean Sea.

The Yin and Yang

It’s definitely a unique cultural experience to live in Israel. Sometimes people ask me, “Why do you live in Israel if you are not Jewish?” or “How could you choose to live in such a dangerous place?” (In the same way that you don’t have to be Hindu to live in Bali and you don’t have to be Buddhist to live in Thailand, you also don’t have to be Jewish to live in Israel.)

The port of Tel Aviv is lined with cafes all along the Mediterranean Sea

I can say that in general, the city of Tel Aviv is very safe and not reflective of what you see on the news. There is a very large gay community in Tel Aviv. Recently, the city itself was voted #1 for nightlife by Lonely Planet. In the last 2 years, there has been a huge vegan movement that has swept over the city and most restaurants now offer a regular Meatless Monday dish on the menu. There are a lot of young people living here, it’s right on the beach and you can walk or ride a bike anywhere you need to go.

In short, I think the citizens here just want peace but the government leaders can’t seem to agree. Isn’t that the case pretty much everywhere in the world?

You can walk or cycle for miles along the footpath next to Tel Aviv beach

As much as there is conflict in certain areas of Israel, in other areas you can experience such amazing waves of transformation, spirituality, light, consciousness, and love. Next to the dark there is always light. Next to yang, you must have yin. If you come to Israel and focus on the yin, you can feel a deep spiritual awareness like something you have never felt before.

Favorite Foods

If you love healthy food, then you already have the best reason ever to visit Israel. Everywhere here you can find large vegan salads and fresh juices. You can even order green smoothies at some juice bars too! There is plenty of organic food and also great Middle Eastern food like tahini, hummus, grilled eggplant (baladi), parsley salad (tabouleh), lentils and rice (mujadara) and tons of other vegan and vegetarian options.

Fresh olives alone are a reason to visit Israel!

Did I mention the dates? Yes, truly raw food heaven! And you can taste them for free!

A warm climate means many restaurants are outdoor in Israel – this one is just opening for the day

Nothing is Permanent!

I’m now enjoying set working hours and designated days off every week and feeling much more balance between my work and private life than I did while living in Koh Samui, Thailand. I enjoy living near the beach and I am proud to say that we now eat 100% organic food at home. They always say that when we trust and let go of fear, the universe falls into place and that’s exactly what happened to me when I got a new book deal within 1 week of arriving to Israel last year! So, will I stay in Israel forever? Or will I be off to a new destination and another adventure? Well, you’re going to have to stay tuned because I have no idea! One thing I do know is nothing is permanent in life; you just have to enjoy every day as it comes!

More on Traveling Raw:

International Directory of Detox, Juice Fast, Healing Centers and Retreats

From Food Matters

Detox, Juice Fasting Retreat and Healing Center Directory

World Destinations for Detox, Juice Fasting, Healing Clinics

USA and Canada

Gerson Institute – San Diego, California
Gerson Therapy is tailored to treat cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and arthritis using natural treatment methods such as organic foods, juicing and detoxification.
www.gerson.org

Hippocrates Health Institute – Florida
The Hippocrates Health Institute provides a tranquil haven for peace and health restoration. Guests are treated with enzyme-rich vegan food, educational classes and exercise facilities.
www.hippocratesinst.org

An Oasis of Healing – Arizona
An Oasis of Healing offers natural options for treating cancer, whilst promoting immune strengthening and health restoration.
www.anoasisofhealing.com

The Kushi Institute – Massachusetts
The Kushi Institute is an international expert authority on the macrobiotic lifestyle for health and well-being, offering residential educational programs.
www.kushiinstitute.org

Creative Health Institute – Michigan
The Creative Health Institute is a learning facility designed to help people reclaim health through raw food nutrition and detoxification.
www.creativehealthinstitute.com

Holistic Medical Clinic of the Carolinas – North Carolina
This holistic medical facility uses combined conventional and natural therapies to provide integrated mind-body-spirit healing for a wide variety of diseases.
www.holisticmedclinic.com

Optimum Health Institute – San Diego; Austin
The Optimum Health Institute aims to rejuvenate physical, emotional and spiritual health through vegetarian raw food, juicing, lymphatic exercise, colon hydrotherapy and prayer.
www.optimumhealth.org

The Issels Foundation – Arizona
The Issels Foundation offers alternative therapies for cancer and chronic illnesses, with the dual aim of treating disease and preventing its recurrence.
www.issels.com

Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center – Arizona
Under the guidance of world-renowned health and spiritual practitioners, The Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center is a healing haven for a wide range of diseases. Expert teaching on raw food nutrition, spiritual growth and natural living is also available.
www.treeoflife.nu

Rudolf Steiner Health Center
- Ann Arbor, Michigan
This program is designed for ambulatory individuals with chronic illnesses, or anyone seeking a restorative regimen. The Health Center follows the Anthroposophic medical guidelines of Austrian scientist-philosopher Rudolf Steiner.
www.steinerhealth.org

Weimar Institute – Weimar, California
The Weimer Institute offers nutrition and lifestyle guidance, imbued with a strong spiritual focus, to remedy disease.
www.weimar.org

Oxygen Life Spa – Texas
The Oxygen Life Spa offers a spiritual space for healing through the use of Ozone saunas, Chi Tables and Tesla Coil Photon Generators.
www.oxygenlifespa.com

Rest Of Your Life Health Retreat – Texas
Under doctor guidance, guests may fast and detoxify in a remote country environment. Education about natural hygiene and raw-food healthy living is also provided.
www.roylretreat.com

Yoga Oasis – Hawaii
The Yoga Oasis offers intensive yoga and detoxification programs, with food preparation classes and nature excursions also available.
www.yogaoasis.org

Ann Wigmore Foundation – San Fidel, New Mexico
An educational and healing retreat, the Ann Wigmore foundation prescribes live, organic vegan foods and natural detoxification methods for health and recovery.
www.wigmore.org

Dr Gonzalez – New York
This clinic is headed by medical doctors who offer treatments for cancer, autoimmune diseases, allergies and chronic fatigue.
www.dr-gonzalez.com

The Center for the Improvement of Human Functioning – Kansas
This clinic founded by Dr Hugh Riordan uses the approach of finding the cause of illness and to correct it rather than just treating the symptoms.
www.brightspot.org

Canada

New Life Retreat – Ontario, Canada
Situated on a lush organic farm, New Life Retreat has an interactive, practical approach to teaching eco-friendly and healthy living. In addition to a fresh, organic vegetarian diet, guests will benefit from meditation, relaxation, juicing, fasting and exercise in nature.
www.newliferetreat.com

Nonpareil Natural Health Retreat – Stirling, Ontario
This natural haven provides a range of services for detoxification and health rejuvenation. Raw-juice cleansing, nutrition counselling, colon therapy, mud baths, yoga, relaxation in nature, reflexology, reiki and meditation are available in their programs.
www3.sympatico.ca/nonpareil/

Europe and the UK

Paracelsus Klinik – Switzerland
Paracelsus Klinik is an integrative conventional/complementary medicine clinic, treating a wide array of diseases.
www.paracelsus.ch

Vortex Vital – Spain
Vortox Vital is a resort-style health retreat providing fasting and numerous other detoxification programs.
www.vortexvital.com

Detox International – Spain, Portugal
Detox International provides 7 day holistic detox retreats supported by a team of nutritionists and therapists.
www.detox-international.com

Australia and New Zealand

The Vita Centre – Edgecliff, New South Wales
The Vita Centre offers a holistic, integrative blend of conventional and complementary therapies for a wide range of diseases.
www.vitacentre.com

Yarra Vallley Living Centre (home of The Gawler Cancer Foundation), Victoria
This clinic has a combined orthodox and mind/body medicine approach to treating disease, utilising treatment advice from medical doctors and natural health practitioners. Set in 40 acres of natural bushland at the foot of rolling hills, they host Wellbeing retreats in a nurturing and peaceful environment.
www.gawler.org

Fountainhead Organic Health Retreat – Maleny, Queensland
100% organic health retreat focusing on stress, detox and fitness programs.
www.fountainhead.com.au

Asia

The Farm – Phillipines
The Farm is a lush eco-friendly resort, with medical doctors that tailor individual detoxification and healing programs. Guests are luxuriously pampered during their program.
www.thefarm.com.ph

The Spa Resorts – Thailand
This Spa Resorts provide detoxification programs, fasting, massage and reflexology in the lush comfort of resort accommodation.
www.thesparesorts.net

Kamalaya – Thailand
Kamalaya is a luxury resort that offers detox and yoga retreats in Thailand. Their Wellness Sanctuary offers colonic irrigation and speciality detoxes including weight loss, sleep enhancement, optimal fitness and stress & burnout.
www.kamalaya.com

Atsumi Detox – Thailand
Atsumi Retreat Healing Center is a natural detox & therapy education facility in Phuket, Thailand where people come to fast and cleanse their systems of toxins.
www.atsumihealing.com

Julia Jus’ Innergetic Health Rejuvenation Retreat – Bali, Indonesia
This 7-day retreat provides a comprehensive detoxification program involving raw-food cuisine, pilates, meditation, colonic irrigation, detox baths, massage, ozone therapy, nutrition/lifestyle counselling and infra-red saunas.
www.juliajus.com

Central and South America

Gerson Plus Therapy – Tijuana, Mexico
Dr Dan Rogers is a trained Medical Doctor and Naturopath. He has been treating patients using integrative medicine since the late 1970’s. Dr Rogers believes in the use of the Gerson Plus therapy which is a nutrition based form of detoxification and healing from within.
www.gersonplus.com

An Oasis of Hope – Playas de Tijuana, Mexico
This is an integrative medical facility specializing in conventional and complementary cancer treatments.
www.oasisofhope.com

Sanoviv Medical Institute – Baja California, Mexico
This is a holistic medical facility offering integrative treatments for numerous chronic or general diseases.
www.sanoviv.com

Health For Humanity – Ecuador
Provides information and services for QHM technology and cancer treatment.
www.cancercuredresearch.com

Farm of Life (Finca de Vida) – Costa Rica
This remote eco-lodge is a natural sanctuary for the exploration of health-fulfilling activities such as yoga, raw food/vegetarian eating, eco-adventures and self-improvement. Farm of Life is a smoke-meat-alcohol-free environment.
www.fincadevida.com Read my article on Finca de Vida!

Pacha Mama – Costa Rica
This retreat offers numerous healing services such as yoga, detoxification, colonic irrigation, reflexology, acupuncture, nutritional consultation, meditation, spiritual teachings, juice fasting, massage and reiki.
www.pachamama.com Read my article on Pachamama!

Ann Wigmore Institute – Puerto Rico
This is an educational health retreat that practices Ann Wigmore’s methods of detoxification and raw-food health restoration.
www.annwigmore.org

Africa

Detox International – South Africa
Detox International provides 7 day holistic detox retreats supported by a team of nutritionists and therapists.
www.detox-international.co.za

Cancure.org
A valuable resource for investigating natural therapy clinics worldwide and considering treatment options.
www.cancure.org

If you know of other reputable spas, fasting retreats or healing centers around the world, please let me know!

More on Traveling Raw:

Recipe: Raw Food Healing ‘Jamu’ or ‘Love’ Juice from Indonesia

Finally! A new video featuring our favorite Ms. Ta, my dear Thai friend and raw foodist from Thai Organic Life. With Ms. Ta, we never know what we will get, and on this particular day I rang her up to say hi and she told me to come over for some Jamu Juice. So I brought the camera and that was that. Totally unplanned. That’s just how we roll :)

The Jamu Juice was taught to Ta by her friend from Indonesia. It’s not something that they normally drink in Thailand, although we have all the ingredients here. Later I found out that this juice was featured in ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ as the juice that healed Elizabeth Gilbert (Julia Roberts) during her time in Bali. Some people call it the ‘Love Juice.’

The ingredients for this delicious raw food creation are: fresh turmeric, fresh ginger, fresh wild ginger, Thai leaves, what I swear is betel nut but Ta says is not (you can decide) and raw honey. It’s a medicinal juice that cleanses the body and is a great blood purifier and mini-detox for the liver.

In between, we also had to pay heed to the beloved ‘Durian Ban’ or ‘House Durian’ that was calling out to me from behind the camera. The smell was distracting me into a happy durian raw food bliss! A bit of durian and a yummy detox juice makes for a healthy moment shared between friends. Hope you enjoy!

More on Juicing and Smoothies:

Green Smoothies for Dummies

Yep, I wrote the book! Get your copy here for the best Green Smoothie recipes ever!

What’s the best detox retreat for raw food, yoga, juice & meditation in Thailand?

Detox is great for the body & mind!

I receive countless emails asking me this question. Choosing a detox holiday can be overwhelming when you start to see how many resorts there are. In Koh Samui, Thailand alone there are more than a dozen places to choose from. So what is the best retreat for fasting, wellness, raw foods, de-stressing, weight loss and healing?

Asking me that is like asking me what house you should buy. How can I answer that question based on only knowing that you want a house? If I don’t know what you are looking for – how many rooms, what your budget is, etc., there is simply no possible way I can help you.

When you think about your destination for cleansing, first decide on your budget. Know how much you have to spend on the program itself and your room accommodation, and then decide if you have any extra cash for yoga classes, massages and private healing sessions. Figure out how much time you have for your program – 3 days, 5 days, 7 days, 14 days, 21 days or more….that will also help to narrow your search.

One benefit of Detox: Weight Loss

It’s then very important to sit with yourself and decide what you expect to achieve from doing a detox retreat – do you want to lose weight, rest, relax, cure yourself from disease or illness, learn more about nutrition or how to manage stress, take cooking classes, eat healthy food, learn better habits for going home, have access to yoga or fitness gyms, and also work on your spiritual and emotional healing as well? Maybe the answer is Yes! to all of the above! Haha…well, please go back and remember what your budget is too. A lot of times people want it all, but they don’t want to invest the money to do it.

Be realistic with your expectations if you choose a low-budget resort. You can still benefit from any detox you do, so whatever you choose, know that it’s the right one for you at this point in your journey. If you are not comfortable with juice fasting, choose a program with a raw food menu or gently cooked foods. That can still be a great gentle detox for people, especially if they are older, sick or living very high-stress lives.

Reboot

Are you hoping to ‘reboot’ and quit smoking, drinking alcohol, doing recreational drugs or eating junk food? Do you have an existing eating disorder or have you battled with anorexia/bulimia in the past? Will you need extra emotional support and additional therapies, such as hypnotherapy, NLP or EFT to help you with your addiction? Being honest with yourself will only benefit you in the long run. Let the retreat center know what you need and ask if they offer support. Buy some inspiring books full of success stories and read them during your cleanse.

Colon Cleansing

Some detox programs offer colon hydrotherapy as part of their package and some don’t. The colon cleansing can be called colemas, colonics or enemas – they are basically different versions of the same thing, which is cleaning the guts of that old toxic filth that you used to eat in your former unhealthy days. Personally, I would highly recommend choosing a program with this option included. When you combine colon cleansing and detoxing, you can release more toxins in a shorter period of time. It’s that simple.

Raw food, cooked food or no food?

Fresh Juice rebuilds Minerals

Herbal supplements or no? Just fresh juice or coconuts or both? Candida program, parasite cleanse, heavy metal detox, gallstone liver flush?? Just remember this: you have to start somewhere, and any detox is better than none. Don’t stress out too much over the details….just pick something within your budget that has most of what you want and preferably some colon cleansing too. Check out Trip Advisor for the latest reviews of any detox resort that you choose. Sometimes that’s the best way. Go with how you feel and embrace the fact that you are making time for a healthy holiday – to improve your health, body, mind and soul. It’s the best gift you can possible give yourself. Whatever you choose, don’t forget to book your Iridology Session with me. I can help you personalize your detox and make a long-term plan for positive change when you return home. I hope to see you soon!

Detox resorts in Koh Samui, Thailand:

  • New Body and Mind – near Lipa Noi
  • Natural High Retreats – Thong Krut

Detox resorts in Phuket, Thailand:

More on Traveling Raw:

Raw Food Diet for Detox and Cleansing – Success!

Are you suffering from headaches, constipation, irregular periods, infertility, fatigue, heartburn, arthritis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or insomnia?

Did you every think that your ailment could be caused or related to the foods you are eating??

Raw Food is a Healing Diet

If de-vitalized, processed and chemically-altered foods can create dis-ease, then surely natural, whole and pure foods can reverse it.

Raw foods especially are excellent for cleansing the body and bringing it back to it’s natural state because they are full of natural enzymes, minerals, vitamins, fiber and chlorophyll – all the elements that the body needs to heal!

Mother Earth has given us everything we need.

Consider trying a raw food diet as a cleansing diet, even on a temporary basis. Even 1 month of 100% raw organic fresh fruits and vegetables can do wonders. With nothing to lose and so much to gain, I can’t see why everyone wouldn’t give it a try!

You can even consider taking a raw food holiday – book a 1-month retreat in a warm, tropical climate (hmm…think Thailand!), take a Raw Food Class (ummm…perhaps Jennifer?) and then get chopping and start creating your very own Raw Food Cleanse!

It’s all possible. All we need is you!

I now offer one-on-one Raw Food Coaching to support you through your Raw Food Journey. Contact me to get started today!

More on Juicing and Smoothies:

Durian Fruit – Benefits of this stinky yet delicious favorite of the Raw Food World

Durian: smells bad but tastes great?

Durian: smells bad but tastes great?

Ahh, the blessed durian! Seems like people either love it or hate it. Durian is a fruit native to South East Asia and happens to grow all over the island of Koh Samui, Thailand.

It is the big brown spikey fruit that you may seem at certain times of the year piled high on little road stands around the island. Inside the durian is the soft, custard-like flesh of the fruit and it tastes delicious. If, that is, you can get over the smell! Yes, it is the durian fruit that is widely known for being the worst smelling fruit ever. The smell is often compared to rotten eggs, dirty socks, smelly armpits and even toe jam. And it’s true!

In many places around SE Asia, durian fruit is banned in hotel rooms, buses, taxes and public areas because the smell is so strong, it can linger for hours, even days.

But, just like an aged cheese that might initially smell uninviting, when you get to the flavor, it can be astoundingly good! Amazing good! Quite possibly the best raw food experience you could ever possibly have!

The Durian Fruit, a favorite amongst Raw Foodists

The Durian Fruit, a favorite amongst Raw Foodists

Durian is sold fresh, either as an entire fruit or conveniently opened up and packaged for you. They also make durian chips which are deep fried – it’s like a potato chip but slightly thicker and made from durian. Even though the chips are cooked and fried, they are certainly a better alternative to potato chips which are most likely genetically modified and most certainly contain preservatives.

Like cheese, some people like the fresh durian more firm while others prefer it more soft, like a custard. In the supermarkets here in Thailand, they will not let you touch the pre-packaged durian because everyone wants to poke it to see how it feels!

In Thailand, they also make durian ice cream and durian candies. Thai people love the fresh durian! They instinctively know the durian fruit is good to de-stress naturally, gain energy & make you feel happy!

Local, Organic Tropical Fruit - Durian!

Local, Organic Tropical Fruit - Durian!

Durian is considered to be ‘The King of all Fruits.’ The ‘Queen’ is said to be the mangosteen, which, interestingly enough, comes into season at the same time as durian. Many people say that to balance out the energy of durian, one should also eat mangosteen sometime in the course of the same day as eating durian.

There are many health benefits to the durian fruit. It is excellent for overall cleansing because it is a natural sulfur food. It is an excellent source of good fat which is important to the raw food diet. It is organic and locally grown, so especially is you visit Asia, you should be eating this fruit and not buying imported irradiated grapes from Brazil!!

Perhaps the best health benefit of the durian fruit is that it gives you a natural high. It is an excellent raw food for relieving stress naturally due to the high amounts of tryptophan in it. Tryptophan is a naturally occurring element in the durian known to relieve anxiety, depression, insomnia, pain and pre-menstrual conditions (PMT).

Freshly Cut Mon Thong next to Durian Ban

Freshly Cut Mon Thong next to Durian Ban

Just as there are different varieties of apples, there are several different types of durian. The ‘Durian Ban’ is the small round shaped durian and is more used for the seeds which are traditionally cooked and eaten in Thailand. The ‘Mon Thong’ is one of the most popular varieties. In Thai it means ‘Golden Pillow’ and it really does look like a golden pillow! This durian is know to be sweet and very tasty. Then there is the ‘Channee’ which is a bigger durian.

I encourage you to try them all and see which durian you like best! If you can’t make it to South East Asia for your durian, try your local Asian market. Many times they sell whole frozen durians. Ask around! Whatever you do, don’t miss out on trying this very special fruit!

More Raw Food Desserts:

Organic Raw Food Shopping in Koh Samui, Thailand

Have a look a a local Thai market at Lamai Beach, Koh Samui Thailand and see for yourself what kinds of fresh, local or organics fruits and foods you can buy. Jennifer shows you which fruits are imported and which ones are locally grown and also gives you an idea of how much each items costs so you are prepared for your raw food Thailand experience!

Also shown are some of the organic foods for sale at the market, including green mango, banana flowers, morning glory, fresh lemongrass, seeds, green papaya, gotu kola and more! Learn about the fresh fruits for sale including dragon fruit, Thai apple, pineapple, pomello, papaya, longan fruits and rambutans.

More on Organic Food:

Raw Food Recipe for Just Like Cheesecake – A Healthy, Delicious Dessert!

This is such a great raw food recipe – especially if you are trying to make a healthy dessert for non-raw foodists – believe me, they will be sold on raw foods after trying this fantastic creation! In fact, it really does taste Just Like Cheesecake!

This is a raw vegan dessert, and it really does taste Just Like Cheesecake!

When you make this at home, you might want to double the recipe and make 2 cheesecakes at once – they tend to preserve fairly well in the freezer and it saves you having to make it twice! I learned how to make this myself at the Raw Food Class offered by the Spa Resorts in Koh Samui, Thailand. Now you can enjoy this recipe from the comfort of your own home!

There are 3 parts to making this raw cake:
1) the crust, 2) the filling and 3) the topping.

Crust

Ingredients:

      Macadamia Nuts – 2 cups (soaked overnight)
      Dried Figs – 1/4 cup, chopped
      Raisins (white) – 1/4 cup, chopped
      Dried Coconut Flakes – 1/4 cup

Sprinkle the coconut flakes along the bottom of your pie plate. Blend together the macadamia nuts, raisins and figs in a food processor and create the ‘crust’ with this mixture, carefully molding into an even layer on top of the coconut flakes. Can refrigerate to let set while making the filling.

Main Pie Filling

Ingredients:

      Raw Cashews – 3 cups (soaked overnight)
      Freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice – 3/4 cup
      Raw Honey – 1/2 cup
      Coconut Milk (fresh is best) – 1/2 cup
      Sea Salt – 1/2 tsp.
      Whole Vanilla Bean (take out the seeds)- 1/2 each

Mix all ingredients together in a high-power blended (like Vita-Mix) or food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy. Pour this mixture evenly over the crust. You can add more fresh lemon or lime to taste, as desired. Place the pie in the freezer to let set while making the topping.

Topping

Ingredients:

      Fresh Strawberries – 2 cups (can use frozen as a substitute)
      Dried Figs – 1/2 cup, soaked overnight and chopped
      Raisins (white) – 1/4 cup, soaked overnight and chopped
      Raw Honey – 1 Tbsp.
      Sea Salt – 1 pinch.
It really tastes Just Like Cheesecake!

It really tastes Just Like Cheesecake!

Process all ingredients together in a high-power blended (like Vita-Mix) or food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy. Refrigerate the topping and pour this mixture evenly over the filling just before serving. Place the pie itself in the freezer to let set for at least 24 hours before serving. Can freeze the cheesecake for up to one week.

Enjoy this wonderful creation made from the healing foods of Mother Earth and blended especially with love!

More Raw Food Desserts:

Jennifer @rawfoodbliss ranked #1 on Twitterholics Top 100 based on Followers in Koh Samui, Thailand

#1 Bab-y!! :)

Jennifer @rawfoodbliss ranked Number 1!

Jennifer @rawfoodbliss ranked Number 1!

Jennifer on Twitter @rawfoodbliss

Jennifer on Twitter @rawfoodbliss

Thanks to all my followers, I have been ranked Number 1 on Twitterholics Top 100 based on followers in Koh Samui, Thailand.

Who says we can’t change the world one person at a time? Let’s continue to join together, share ideas, support each other, open up awareness in ourselves and in others to live a more natural, whole and pure life. We can make the world a better place for our health, our happiness, our environment…for all living beings on this wonderful planet!

Join in on the love…follow me @rawfoodbliss! Thanks to all my Twitter followers for your tweets, #ecoMondays, #FollowFridays, RTs, love and support :)

More on Raw Food:

Raw Food Recipe for Raw Energy Balls – Fast & Easy!

Raw Energy Ball - Pure Heaven & Good for You!

Raw Energy Ball – Pure Heaven & Good for You!

This is something that I just threw together with what I had at home.. You can use pretty much whatever dried fruits you like as long as they are soaked in advance. Don’t be afraid to try your own combinations and see what magical blend you can create!

Raw Energy Balls are great for kids, perfect for traveling, and make a nice desert for the entire family. You can also bring them to a picnic or share with your work colleagues – even people who are afraid of the raw food diet seem to love them :)

Always check your nuts and dried fruits for any signs of mold before you soak them. If you see any white fuzz or obvious mold, it’s best to throw out the whole container and buy fresh again. Mold is the biggest thing to watch out for in dried fruits. With raw cashews, always split the cashews in half and check the insides – that is where the mold usually hides. Again, if you see any mold, get rid of them!

Try to soak in a glass or wooden bowl!

Try to soak in a glass or wooden bowl!

Ingredients Needed:

      Raw almonds (peeled) – 1-1.2 cups
      Raw dried dates (pitted) – 15-20 dates
      Dries apricots – 8-10 apricots
      Fresh tamarind (or tamarind paste) – about 1/3 cup (paste – 1/8 cup)
      Virgin Organic Coconut Oil (3 Tbsp.)
      Himalayan salt or sea salt, to taste
      Organic Coconut Flakes
Once soaked, your dried fruits should look plump again!

Once soaked, your dried fruits should look plump again!

Soak Overnight:

  • 1 -1.5 cups almonds
  • 15-20 dates (pitted)
  • 8-10 dried apricots

After about 12-15 hours, rinse your soaked items and put aside. Start to take even amounts of almonds to date to apricot ratios and blend them up in your mini-food processor. I usually add a pinch of Himalayan salt or sea salt and about 2 tsp. of fresh tamarind to each batch. For the above amount soaked, I would add about 1/3 – 1/4 cup fresh tamarind in total.

Tamarind has a wonderful sweet and sour taste that adds a different element to the sweetness of the dates. (If you can’t find it fresh, try to look for a tamarind paste in your local Asian market.)

Mixing up some Raw Energy Love!

Mixing up some Raw Energy Love!

Once the whole lot is blended, put it back into a bowl, and add about 3 Tbsp. virgin organic cold-pressed coconut oil.

Mix all the ingredients thoroughly with a spoon. (Your blend should be nice and creamy with no chunks of fruit or nut. If it’s chunky, put it back in the food processor for another round.)

Energy Ball Love

Energy Ball Love

Have another bowl ready with dried coconut flakes, in total about 1 cup of flakes.

Take your blended mix and form into small balls with your hands, then roll the ball around the coconut flakes until covered. Continue all all your mix is gone.

Let the energy balls refrigerate overnight or at least 6 hours just to form well and to allow the flavors to blend.

Then, start to share your Raw Energy Ball Love!

This recipe makes about 15 Energy Balls. Preparation time: About 1 hour.

More Raw Food Desserts:

Recipe for Ta’s Raw Food Jungle Salad with Video Demonstration

This is the perfect salad for anyone who is looking to combine some great raw food textures and flavors and experience a mouthful of true healthy bliss!! Watch the video featuring my friend Ta to see how it’s done. The ingredients are listed below. If you are interested in buying a slicer for your green papaya, cucumber or zucchini pasta at home, I’ve got them available here at the Healthy Bliss Store! We have so much great info to share with you from Thailand, keep checking back for more recipes, inspiration and love!

Recipe for Ta’s Raw Food Jungle Salad

Mix together:

  • ~2 cups Shredded Green Papaya (slightly ripened). If you can’t find green papaya where you live, you can use shredded zucchini.
  • 1 Shredded Cucumber. Our favorite tool for shredding is the som tam slicer!
  • 1 Medium tomato, sliced.
  • Fresh young coconut meat (flesh), sliced (1 coconut).
  • 2 handfuls fresh Morning Glory greens. You can also use baby spinach or whatever greens you like!
  • 1/2 cup Kimchi (Ta’s is made with beetroot, cabbage and daikon)
  • 3-5 (or more!) fresh Thai chilies. You can replace with 1 fresh jalapeno.
  • 2-3 cloves fresh garlic (as you like).
  • 1 fresh lime, squeezed.
  • 2-3 fresh Tamarind fruits soaked in water for about 30 minutes. Use about 4 cups water to marinate. Add about 1/2 cup of this liquid to the salad.
Now that is some serious Healthy Bliss!!!

Now that is some serious Healthy Bliss!!!

Prepare the salad ingredients and have ready in a bowl. Mash together the chilies and garlic in a mortar & pestle, then add tamarind juice & lime juice and gently toss in ingredients. If you do not have a mortar and pestle, simply chop up the garlic and chilies, put in a small bowl, add the tamarind and lime juice. Stir to make your dressing, then toss the dressing into the salad.

Be prepared to enjoy this delicious, healthy jungle love!!

More Healthy Recipes:

The ‘New’ MSG – Is it even more deadly than MSG itself? Ribonucleotides & The Ribo Rash

I like to call this additive the ‘New’ MSG, or monosodium glutamate, because many food manufacturers want to be able to market their product as having ‘No MSG,’ but of course they have to add flavor somehow…so they are using these other flavor enhancers more than ever before. We are being led from one nasty chemical to another with these additives in our foods.

This additive is salty and savory just like MSG. It is found in many of the same foods as MSG. The chemical name is Ribonucleotide, and often the reaction people get from eating it is an extremely itchy, irritable rash which we call the ‘Ribo Rash.’ Below is my personal story of suffering from the ‘Ribo Rash.’

In 2004 I arrived in Australia and I started to develop a very itchy red rash on my body. It started under my arms, in my inner arms, on my lower back, on my breasts and around my eyes.

An unhappy sufferer of the Ribo Rash - - - Reclaiming my health (no more rash!)

An unhappy sufferer of the Ribo Rash – – – Reclaiming my health (no more rash!)

The rash quickly got worse. It seemed to spread like fire actually, itching like crazy and making me mental. I had never experienced anything like it before, and there seemed to be no rhyme or reason to what would trigger it. Creams seemed to make it worse – somehow they felt like they were ‘trapping’ the rash inside of me. I could not control my desire to tear my skin off from the itching; I especially enjoyed scalding my skin with hot water – what a sick feeling of relief that provided!! I also started getting heart palpitations…at any time my heart-rate would increase from 60 beats per minute to 140, and I had no history of anxiety whatsoever. I was generally eating quite healthy (at least so I thought); I didn’t smoke, barely drank, exercised (obviously), so how could I be so sick?

Friends told me to meditate. Doctors told me it was a simple case of excema. I had a complete round of testing done and everything came up fine. I was tested for heavy metal poisoning, various viral infections, standard food allergies (milk, wheat, eggs, gluten, etc); I had chest x-rays and EKG’s done – and they found nothing. The only thing that came up suspect during that time is my URIC ACID levels were high. The doctor suggested that I go on medication to bring down the uric acid; he said I was in danger of having gout. (I now know that food additive #635 Ribonucleotide can cause uric acid levels to rise.)

At the best of times, the rash was mainly around my eyes

At the best of times, the rash was mainly around my eyes

Eventually, out of desperation, I started my own ‘elimination diet’ in an effort to narrow down the possibility of it being a food allergy. I just had this feeling that the rash was being caused by something I was eating. I had tried all the changes of soaps, washing powders, etc etc, and I felt like I had no other option to even try. It was at least 1 year of suffering with the rash at this stage, not always as bad as the photos mind you, but always present and always itching like hell. The elimination diet was worth a try.

I started off by telling people at my new job that I was a celiac (i.e. no wheat or gluten). I also started keeping a food diary, writing down what I ate daily and when I had an outbreak. The wheat and gluten-free diet helped tremendously, and now I know it is because ribonucleotides are often found in products containing wheat. About once a month or so I would still have an outbreak, but it seemed manageable – I kind-of got to the point where I accepted the rash as a part of my life and decided I could tolerate it in the small amounts I was getting.

Puffed out after a nice anaphylactic reaction to #635

Puffed out after a nice anaphylactic reaction to #635

At the same time though I started to get more of an anaphylaxis reaction in addition to the rash, so when I had an outbreak, my lips and throat would swell. I started to take anti-histamines and I carried them with me where-ever I went. It is crazy to think back now how I just carried on living through all of that!

Finally the day of reckoning came to me. I hadn’t eaten anything the previous day and I made a salad using the cheap salad packets at work. About an hour later I started to feel the itchiness start in my face, eyes and lips. Somehow I just knew it was the salad dressing. I quickly did an internet search on ‘food additives itchy rash’ and instantly found Sue Dengate’s site. Actually I sobbed tears of joy while I read countless stories of others who had suffered with the SAME EXACT symptoms as me, and I KNEW that I was not crazy, I knew at that moment that I had found the cause of my suffering. There was no doubt in my mind that I was suffering from the Ribo Rash. I noted the list of foods on her site that contain 635, and when I checked my food diary, EVERY SINGLE TIME I HAD A REACTION I had eaten #635. Even on the wheat-free gluten-free diet, I realized that I had eaten seaweed-flavored rice crackers, the veggie burger at Hungry Jack’s (with no bread), cheap salad dressings, and other flavored tofu products which were causing my outbreaks. Sometimes when I try to tell people what happened to me, they cut me off and say, well I don’t eat any of that crap…and I say YOU HAVE NO IDEA THE CRAP THAT YOU ARE EATING!!

I was not eating junk food. If you think seaweed crackers are healthy you are wrong!! If you think flavored tofu is healthy you are wrong!! We are being poisoned slowly by these additives. It was 9 months into the elimination diet when I finally made this life-altering discovery.

This additive, can be ANY of the following 3 names or numbers on a food label and they are universal, i.e. the same in every country in the world:

Ribonucleotide – #635 – E635

Disodium Guanylate – #627 – E627

Disodium Inosinate – #631 – E631

It is often used in combination with MSG, monosodium glutamate or #621 (E621).

Foods to Avoid, All Containing Artificial Flavoring

Foods to Avoid, All Containing Artificial Flavoring

It took about 3 months from the time I eliminated #635 from my diet for the rash to go away entirely. It did not itch whatsoever during that time, it just slowly but surely started to clear up.

After 3 months I finally contacted Sue Dengate personally to thank her and tell her my battle with the Ribo Rash so she could include my story on her site. She told me I had one of the worst cases she had ever seen. Since then I have worked with her to help educate people to the dangers of this chemical. My photo is on her site and is also in her DVD entitled ‘Fed Up with Children’s Behavior – How Food Additives Affect Behavior.’

When the DVD was released in Australia in 2006, I was featured on Today Tonight, a 30-minute news program, to discuss my story.

NO ONE should go through what I went through. It it so obvious to me now that I was suffering from an extreme allergic reaction, and it angers me that doctors are so completely ignorant! How could any medical professional shrug off such an extreme reaction and say it was stress?? I went to many different doctors during that time. It is unfortunate that they are not being educated about the dangers of food additives.

It’s been 5 years now since I eliminated #635 from my diet. I have no rash whatsoever, not even the tiniest spot anywhere on my body. People often compliment me now telling me I have ‘amazing skin.’ Sometimes I tell them, ‘You have NO IDEA how much that compliment means to me.’ I think they think I’m crazy, but they just have no idea what I’ve been through. For 2 years I was embarrassed to go out in public; I felt unattractive and uncomfortable all the time. Now I have beautiful skin which radiates from the inside out.

I still have to watch labels and always be aware of what I am eating.

Eating Natural, Whole & Pure means NO RASH for me!

Eating Natural, Whole & Pure means NO RASH for me!

You can now imagine why the thought of an all-raw food diet started to appeal to me. Perhaps this allergy was a blessing in disguise for me because it was really after this whole experience that I decided to try eating all raw. In fact, I started to see the raw food diet in a completely different way – to me it now represents safe and healthy eating in a way that I could have never comprehended before. I now understand first-hand the poison that is in our processed foods and I am so happy to be able to make the choice to not continue to poison myself anymore.

On occasion I have been accidentally exposed to some ribonucleotide, especially when eating out at restaurants. It happens less and less to me now as I learn from experience what foods it is in and what foods are ’safe.’ But if I do have a reaction, I go home and immediately take about 10-12 charcoal tablets. That seems to absorb the toxins and chemical and usually after about 30 minutes I started to feel better. If after 45 minutes I still feel itchy or hot, I take another 3-4 tablets. It is much more natural on the body to do this rather than even think about taking any anti-histamines.

If you think you are having a reaction to ribonucleotides or you want to ask me specific questions about my rash, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Also please be sure to read Sue Dengate’s site and educate yourself on the dangers of all of the nasty additives.

If you know anyone who has a child suffering from ADHD or Autism, please refer them to this site as well; we are only now just discovering the links between food additives and behavioral problems in children.

If you have been affected by the ribo rash, please leave a comment and include your story below so that we can continue to educate others and hopefully prevent more suffering!

More information on what foods to avoid: List of foods that contain 635, 627 and 631.
To learn about food labeling, go to: The Truth in Food Labeling – Food Additives to Avoid & Hidden Sources of MSG

More on Food Allergies: