August 2007 Issue

FOOD FUN FACT: "Raw For 30 Days"
CHRISTI'S COMMENTARY: Your Next Food Experiment
FOOD CORNER: Raw Fruity Crisp
UPCOMING EVENTS: Holistic Moms Network Open House


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"Raw for 30 Days " the Movie

This upcoming movie takes a refreshing look at what happens when we make good food choices.

"Raw for 30 Days' is a documentary about choosing a healthy life over diabetes. I think of this movie as the opposite of Morgan Spurlock's "Supersize Me" film.  Instead of eating McDonald's for 30 days like Morgan did, "Raw for 30 Days" participants eat a raw food diet... and notice dramatic changes in their health!

Check out the movie trailer.




Your Next Food Experiment

My husband, Ben, and I are on Day 10 of our raw food experiment. For two weeks, we've vowed to eat only raw foods. That basically means:

- raw fruit

- raw veggies

- raw nuts and nut butters

- olive oil and coconut oil

- water

Our normal diet includes animal protein, beans, grains, and other assorted "goodies"... AND we normally cook the majority of our food... so this food experiment is a pretty dramatic change for us.

Since fresh produce is readily available in the summertime, this seemed like a great time of year to try the raw food way of eating. 

Our Experiment Rules

1. We're in it together - Ben and I are doing this at the same time because we know the experiment will be challenging, and we want to support each other.

2. We'll commit to 14 days and then re-evaluate - we may continue eating raw foods after the two weeks are up, we may tweak the experiment a bit, or we may abandon it with glee.  We won't know until we're done!

3. We're sharing the meal preparation so that neither one of us goes bonkers chopping all those veggies.

4. We can eat raw food from restaurants and health food stores, so we don't have to prepare 100% of what we eat.

The Results So Far

The first three days were pretty easy for both of us. Speaking personally, I actually had a ton of energy, and my mood was great.  I wasn't craving foods (although the wine bottle on my counter was looking awfully tempting at night when I finally got Evan to bed). Actually, I learned that wine is allowed on the raw food diet, but we decided to stay away from alcohol for these two weeks to give our systems a total break.

By day four, I'd started getting sick of raw foods.  I wanted something cooked. ANYTHING. I wasn't craving hamburgers or anything, I just wanted some cooked butternut squash, or cooked edamame, or anything that had some substance to it.  I wanted anything BUT fruit, veggies, and nuts.

I was glad that Ben was doing the experiment with me, because we motivated each other when it got tough.

Our first weekend was challenging because we had some social situations that were challenging (Ben went on an ocean fishing trip on Saturday... and we went to our friends' house on Sunday to swim).  But we made it!


We've Also Noticed...

1. We usually cook a lot of our foods!  Except for fruits, smoothies, and salads... we don't normally eat a lot of raw food.  Eating the raw food feels really good and really clean.  I've also been amazed that food prep time is cut in half (since I don't have to cook anything!).  It's been delightful to avoid the stove during these hot days of summer.

2. We can be satisfied without feeling that "full" feeling.  We'll often turn to each other during the day and say, "I can't tell if I'm hungry or not?"  We're not hungry, but we're not stuffed, either.  It's a strange in-between feeling that we're not used to yet.

3. We crave cooked food.  It's strange... even the same foods seem more appealing when they're cooked at this point... but we think this addiction will go away the longer we're on the raw foods.

4. We've gotten used to eating very little on a raw diet... and eating a lot of food in one sitting (or even a complex type of raw dish) now makes us feel gross.

5. My tummy gets gurgly and gassy when I consume a lot of nuts... so this may not be a good long-term way of eating for me.

6. I'm definitely de-toxing something - my face has broken out and I've noticed an increase in yeast in my system.

6. Personally, this experiment has helped me confirm that I still use food as a distraction or as a reward when I've had a tough day or moment.  Ever since becoming a mom, I've been felt more stressed and out-of-my-element than I used to, and food has become more of a friend than it used to be before Evan was born.  I've learned that it's difficult to use raw food as a reward or distraction... it's just not appealing enough to me!  So, the last two weeks have opened my eyes to just how much I ask of my food... and how I use it for more than just fuel.

What Will Your Food Experiment Be?

Ben and I are thinking of trying the Nourishing Traditions/Weston Price way of eating next. It's the complete opposite of the raw diet - it involves lots of animal protein and cooked food!  To us, it seems like the perfect experiment for fall/winter time. That should be a very interesting comparison to the raw foods we're eating now.

I want to encourage you to try a food experiment of your own. I always ask my clients to do food experiments, because they quickly connect you to your body.

If you've never done a food experiment before, you should know that there is no "goal" other than to eat a certain way and pay specific attention to how your body, energy, and emotions feel.  A food experiment is NOT a diet - you are not going to stay on it forever if it doesn't feel right , and weight loss is not your primary goal. 

The fun thing is... you never know what the results of your food experiment will be.  You can try an experiment one year and feel yucky... but you may try the same experiment the next year and feel great. Because your body and life are always changing, it's important to do food experiments regularly... to double-check that what you're eating is what will work best for your body.

Some Food Experiment Ideas For You:

Here are 10 different food experiments you can try:

1. The Ancestor Experiment - eat like your ancestors (Italian, German, Chinese, etc.) You may want to ask your grandparents for their recipes, since the "Americanized" versions of these foods aren't usually the healthiest.  The rationale behind this food experiment is: since your DNA has been designed by the generations that came before you... your body will probably respond well to foods that your ancestors have eaten.

2. The Raw Food Experiment, like Ben and I are doing right now.  No cooked food at all...

3. The Simple Food Experiment - eat only one type of food at each meal (i.e. brown rice for breakfast, fruit for lunch, greens for dinner).  You don't have to do this all day - perhaps you'll eat one kind of food for dinner.  If you pick fruit as your food, you wouldn't eat a fruit salad... you'd eat ONE kind of fruit. 

4. The Chewing Experiment - eat the foods you normally eat, but eat them away from the TV, the computer, or a book. Eat with just you and the food, and chew each bite 30 times before swallowing.

5. The Greens Experiment - eat something green at every meal (broccoli, kale, cucumber, asparagus, green pepper, green beans).

6. The Protein Experiment - if you normally eat animal protein, take meat (or eggs, or dairy, or chicken) out of the equation and see what happens.  If you're normally a vegan or vegetarian, put some animal protein back into your diet to see how you feel.

7. The Soup/Smoothie Experiment - blend all of your meals, to allow for easy digestion.

8. The Water Experiment - if you normally drink fruit juice, teas, or lots of soda... try taking all of these out and drinking just plain old pure water.

9. The Flip Flop Experiment - try eating your breakfast foods for dinner and your dinner foods for breakfast.

10. The "No Guilt!" Experiment - let yourself eat a food that's been on your "restricted" list for a while.  Eat as much of this food as you want... and see what happens.  Yes, this means chocolate, ice cream, hamburgers, chips, french fries.  Just stay curious and open-minded and see what your body tells you.


There are hundreds of food experiments that you can do... and each of them will raise your awareness about how your body reacts to the food it eats. 

If you've been eating on auto-pilot lately, how about trying an experiment of your own?



If you got this far, thanks for reading...

If you loved the commentary, please let me know... your positive comments keep me going month after month.

If you hated the commentary, please let me know... your constructive criticism keeps me on my toes and helps me get more in touch with my readers.

I would love to hear from you. If you've ever thought of emailing me, please do!  If you've decided to do a food experiment, let me know what it is... and what the results are.



P.S. If you liked this issue of "Nourishing Nuggets" please forward it along to friends, family, and colleagues.  It's a great way to show people you care about their health.




FOR WHO: Moms, dads, parents-to-be, grandparents, or any practitioners interested in holistic parenting

WHEN: Tuesday, October 2 from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

WHERE: Advanced Health & Wellness - on Route 114 in North Andover


EXTRAS: Free chair massage and organic food for all!

** I'm launching a North Shore Boston chapter of the Holistic Moms Network.  This group is completely separate from my Boston Health Coach business - I'm wearing my "mom hat" for this venture and leaving my "holistic health counselor hat" at the door. I've been looking for my local moms' tribe for a while. I finally realized that this group wouldn't start itself... it was waiting for me to start it.  I know there are lots of holistic-minded mommas in this area... hopefully, the Open House will bring them out of the woodwork!

I decided to make this a Holistic Moms Network (HMN) group because they have a strong national presence, and lots of fun opportunities for parents.  HMN is a non-profit support and discussion network for moms with an interest in natural/holistic and alternative health and parenting. Their goal is to provide a thriving community of holistic parents who share a wide range of interests: non-toxic living, holistic healing, whole foods, creating balance, natural childbirth, positive discipline, fighting consumerism, living green, stress reduction, and organic.

If this sounds like you, please join us at our Open House.  For more info, contact me or check out our HMN website.



I'm still taking a break from all other teleclasses to enjoy the sunny days of summer with my son, Evan, and my husband, Ben.   We're headed to the Cape for a delicious September week by the beach - I can't wait.  Summer isn't over yet!





If you are looking for inspiration around healthy living, please check out the archived copy of all past teleclasses that I keep on my website.








Do you ever feel intimidated by the health food store?


Are you looking for some new cooking inspiration?

Are you trying to convince your kids or spouse that healthy eating is the way to go?

If any of these questions rang true for you, I want to introduce you to a DVD that has helped hundreds of my readers.

My "Healthy Shopper" DVD is a fun, information-packed DVD that follows me through Whole Foods as I give a condensed version of my traditional health food store tour.

Curious? Want to learn more?

Here's the main DVD page, where you can find out all the details.

Here's a testimonial from a busy mom who bought the DVD:

"I was REALLY IMPRESSED with your DVD. It was not only full of great information and tips, but it was beautifully produced too. I was surprised by how professional it was!

Not only did I like it, but my 5 year-old-son and my 2 year-old- daughter loved it too! You're a celebrity at our house now. My kids want to meet you and "play at your house" (the highest compliment) but more importantly -- they want me to bring home some beets & daikon radish to try! (I bet you didn't even realize you were making a kid-friendly video!)."

- Sarah Zeldman, Solutions For Busy Moms

To learn more about the DVD or purchase your copy... click here.






RECIPE: Raw Fruity "Crisp"

In celebration of my raw foods experiment, I want to share a dish that I've relied on when my sugar cravings surface.

This delicious fruit "crisp" is great for breakfast, snack, or dessert.


- any kind of fruit (I love apple, peach, or strawberries)

- almond meal (you can buy this in bags near the flour at your health food store) - it's yummy!

- agave nectar or raw honey

- nuts (I use walnuts or macademia nuts)



1. Chop the fruit and put it in a bowl.

2. Add enough almond meal to cover the fruit.

3. Drizzle with the sweetener.

4. Sprinkle the nuts on top.

5. Mix up and lick your lips while enjoying this treat...


During the summer months, I prefer to eat this dish cold. However, in the winter I heat it up in a sauce pan for a few minutes, and sometimes I'll add organic butter if I want something a bit heavier.

Check out other

Delicious Summer Recipes!





Christi Collins, H.H.C., AADP, is a Certified Holistic Health Counselor accredited by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners.

**Are you wondering what a Holistic Health Counselor is?  This description may help!

Christi studied Eastern/Western nutrition and modern health counseling at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City and earned a B.A. in Honors in Communication Arts from Villanova Universty.

Christi's goal is to help people fall in love with "The Big Three": Healthy Eating, Juicy Living, and Guilt-Free Self-Care.

She works with very busy women who are struggling to eat healthy and take insanely good care of themselves... without feeling stressed or guilty about it.

Christi is a three-time marathoner and triathlete, an avid pianist, and a newly converted Red Sox and Patriots fan.

She is the author of the forthcoming book "You Don't Have to be Superwoman to be Healthy: 50 Ways to Reclaim Your Health."

To read more fun facts and stories about Christi, click here.

Christi can be reached by email or phone (978.494.0144).

To visit her website, click here.

Here are the latest pictures of Christi's baby, Evan!



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