Know Any Literary Animal Lovers?

Hi there PureJeevan readers! We wanted to let you know that Jim's new novel CHROO is available on Amazon. It's a crazy adventure involving a billionaire heiress, her Chihuahua BFF ("Chroo") and a host of human and animal characters. Find out more on Amazon! Here are some links:

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?To keep all of you inspired while we are away, we've asked some

remarkable individuals to share their raw food stories with you. Enjoy!

From early childhood, I suffered from persistent, unexplainable intestinal problems. Although many doctors were consulted and performed every known test, there was never a clear diagnosis other than the vague IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), which never responded to traditional medical treatment. At 15, I contracted a severe case of mononucleosis, which ultimately led to a breakdown of my immune system. This compromised immunity opened the door to multiple allergies, asthma, eczema, skin problems, reoccurring urinary tract & yeast infections and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, otherwise known as Epstein-Barr virus.

Due to a past riddled with chronic health challenges, I became interested in natural health by the time I reached my late teens, when I finally became disillusioned with the promises and failures of modern medicine. By the age of 22 my passion for natural healing therapies was further fueled when I began working with and studying under Dr. Joel Robbins, MD & ND in Tulsa, and I enrolled in his Natural Health & Optimum Nutrition continuing education program. I earned my Natural Health Educators degree in 1992, but still found that I was struggling with elements of my own yo-yoing weight, less than optimum health and depression.

Fast forward to 2005 .While preparing for a family vacation, I realized that something had to change. Topping the scale at nearly 200 pounds, I was in tears at the thought of having to try to squeeze into a bathing suit. While out shopping with no luck, I wandered into a bookstore and happened upon Carol Alt's book, Eating in the Raw. Since the 80 s, Carol Alt had always been a role model of beauty and health, so I decided to purchase the book for a light vacation read. Little did I know at the time, but the information within Carol s book would cause an awakening which would soon begin to dramatically change my life.

Although I had tried nearly every fad diet on the market, once I read the penetrating truths within the pages of the book, I was resolved to try one more time. I felt as though I had already tried everything else to get healthy and lose weight, so I might as well take Carol s sensible advice and eat in way that could enable me to live my life fully alive where I m not just eating to survive. With the blessing and support of my husband Gordon, I jumped into the raw food diet overnight. Within the first week of a 100% raw diet, all of my lifelong irritable bowel syndrome symptoms were completely gone. Within the first six weeks, I lost 15 pounds without reducing the amount of food that I was eating.Gordon & I were dining on wonderfully healthy, raw foods as much as we wanted, and the weight was still falling off.

Obviously there was a learning curve in which I had to relearn everything about preparing foods for myself and my family. Once a gourmet cook, I had to figure out how to make the shifts and changes necessary in order to successfully transition to this new way of approaching food preparation. Over a period of months, the Shelton s kitchen was transformed into a healthy, raw and living environment of delicious experimentation.I had to learn to shop all over again. Although at times it was a bit intimidating, it was a challenging but fun process to find an entirely new groove to meal planning and food preparations.

Almost 4 years have passed since going on a raw diet and I am still as passionate about raw & living foods as ever. Although I don t boast of maintaining a 100% raw diet religiously, I do follow a very high raw regimen that primarily consists of organic fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and sprouts. I have also kept off a total of 35 pounds. This journey that started with a decision to make a change in diet has ended up being a catalyst that has opened the door to many exciting opportunities for learning, growing and healing on many different levels.

Penni has an impressive list of accomplishments:

  • In 2007, her story of transformation was published in Carol Alt s second book, The Raw 50.
  • In 2008, she completed a 92 day juice feast, which was a deeply life enhancing experience in which all of her lingering eczema & asthma has completely disappeared. She often refers to her three months on just juice as the icing on her raw cake.
  • Penni facilitates raw food education through lecturing, counseling, coaching and she's passionate about helping to build a sense of community within health conscious circles, both locally and beyond.
  • She promotes the raw food lifestyle locally through my meet up group, Real Food Tulsa.
  • She serves on the board of her local chapter of Buy Fresh Buy Local and lectures regularly on health & wellness at Whole Foods.
  • Most recently, Penni has launched Go Green, a self written whole food education program which is targeted at students, faculty and parents and is currently piloting at several area schools.
  • Since 2007, Penni has been able to reach a much larger international audience as an avid blogger on Real Food Tulsa. She has written for We Like It Raw and is a co-administrator for Raw Fu.
  • Penni's presence is also found on a number of social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook and Give It to Me Raw.
  • Penni's first book, Real Juice Daily, is nearly complete with an early spring release planned.

You can reach Penni by email at realfood.tulsa [at] or to find her online:

Original Comments

Below, we have included the original comments from this blog post. Additional comments may be made via Facebook, below.

On February 10, 2009, rubyvroom wrote:

Wendi & Jim...Thank you for your love and support and for having the desire to share my story with your readership. It is a blessing to know you and I hope your vacation is a slice of heaven. We miss you & will be looking forward to hearing all about the much deserved getaway!

On February 10, 2009, Sunshine wrote:

Girl, I didn't believe you in ATL when you said you had lost weight (I just really couldn't believe it). You GO girl! :D Just when I thought you had fully inspired me, you go on to inspire me even further! :D

On February 10, 2009, Dianne wrote:

Wow,Penni,I never knew you were on the chunky side like many of us.So when I see your face then I can bet you that you heard this : You are so pretty.And way down people were saying but if you lost weight you would look good (better).And you are pretty and a great roll model.I so thank you Penni for inviting me into the RawFu community when you did.It enhanced what I was already teaching myself.

Now I know this because I have heard this myself about me.I have a chunky belly area and OH Penny I can so relate.I am so loving this journey and I one day will be a positive influence for folks wanting to lose weight and increase their health too.
Hello, Wendy Dee

On February 10, 2009, debbiedoesraw wrote:

OK GORGEOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I just love the new you, although I would have loved you any old way.. but you look freaking amazing and you are.. amazing!
love you Penni!

On February 10, 2009, Lauren wrote:

Wow Penni! You are remarkable!! I love your "story" are such a great asset to the raw community!

On February 10, 2009, Mila wrote:

Wow, you're one incredible gal :-)

aka Raw Radiance

On February 10, 2009, Wendilou wrote:

Penni, you look fantastic!

On February 10, 2009, tinainthepink wrote:

Penni - you look fabulous and are an inspiration! Love it and can't wait for your book sweetie!

Hugs, Tina
aka tinainthepink and tinaintheraw

On February 10, 2009, earthmother wrote:

...the Shelton s kitchen was transformed into a healthy, raw and living environment of delicious experimentation.

LOVE that and it comes through in every recipe, photo, and story you share on your blog.

You have been such an inspiration and bright, beautiful Light on my raw journey toward health and healing.

Much, much gratitude and love you to rubyvrooooooooom!


On February 10, 2009, Moms Raw wrote:

That's my home girl - Penni, you have been and continue to be an enterprising and effective leader and blessed inspiration for women, in healthy cuisine as well in developing a path of faith and peace despite obstacles.

On February 11, 2009, Robyn wrote:

Awesome story Penni! Thanks so much for sharing. You're such an inspiration. I feel blessed to have someone like you to look to on this raw food journey. Love and light to you!

On February 11, 2009, rubyvroom wrote:

Thanks to all for your encouragement, support and love. I feel very blessed.

On February 11, 2009, Tanisha Marshall wrote:

Thanks for sharing your story, you look great Penni.

On February 11, 2009, langelbleu wrote:

Penni you totally rawk! You are a Goddess!
Thank Goodness for that fateful moment when you picked up Carol Alt's book.
I am so glad to be sharing this amazing adventure with you.

On February 12, 2009, RawBin wrote:

An amazing and impressive list of accomplishments, and our beautiful Penni has only just begun!!! I'm proud to have met you, Penni. I hope to meet up with you again soon,

On February 13, 2009, purejeevanblog wrote:


You are very welcome. Thank YOU for being a part of this amazing series!
I've received many emails from people who have continued to be inspired by
the many raw stories being shared. You are such a beautiful, giving person
to open your heart and share with everyone!

Our vacation was great. I'm back in chilly, sunless Pittsburgh and missing
the Florida warm sunshine. It was a coconut-filled vacation and I feel
fabulous. It was fantastic to get away and be unhooked from everything for
a while.

Thanks, again!

Lots of love to you,


On February 14, 2009, Pixywinks wrote:

Thanks for sharing your story, Penni. You are amazing, wonderful and always inspiring. XOXO
Pixy Lisa

On February 15, 2009, rawprincess wrote:

Penni, Your story has given me hope I can move forward in the raw foods and overcome the hard times.

Thank you for sharing what you've learned with schools and whoever still suffers. You are a caring person and I hope you can develop a livelihood with this as well. I'm interested in your upcoming book! Best wishes. Cindy

On April 26, 2009, bitt wrote:

oh my gosh i didn't know about your mono and epstein barr. same thing here. you're amazing. i am learning so much from these stories.

On October 23, 2009, Seattle HCG weight loss wrote:

That's an impressive change! I've met fat hopeless people before, some of my friends have this condition. Most of all these people don't want to be lied about wonder diets, the failure it a big burden for them and it keeps them from trying again.

On November 24, 2010, Jonybkk wrote: