On March 6, Wendi and KDcat arrived around dinner time at their next location, Grants Pass. We've known their hosts as online friends, so it was a real treat to meet them in person. Rebecca Leaverton, her hhusband Dominic, and their twins Aubrey and Sebastian live in a beautiful home in one of the more beautiful places W&K have visited in Oregon (and that's saying something, as EVERY location in Oregon has been absolutely beautiful). Grants Pass is surrounded by the most breathtakingly gorgeous mountains, close and ever-present no matter where you are in the city. If we ever do decide that city living isn't for us, Wendi said she'd love to live in the mountains surrounding Grants Pass!

Here's some video... In the first clip, Wendi shares a raw traveling trick she came up with -- kind of a high-energy, super-fast sandwich. Then Rebecca (aka SuperfoodGirl -- from www.SuperfoodGirl.com) demonstrates one of her favorite pieces of kitchen equipment, the V Slicer. (Wendi loved it and says we need to save up and get one when she returns from the trip.) And then we couldn't resist a few moments of footage of Rebecca's twins out exploring the kale and wheat grass in? theback yard.

Yahoo recently ran a photo series on their "omg!" channel entitled "Celebrity Slim-Down Secrets." It actually has a nice set of before and after photos of celebrities who have lost weight. The set is here.Featured are Kelly Osbourne, Seth Rogen, Jennifer Hudson, Jerry Ferrara, Kirstie Alley, John Goodman, Jordin Sparks, Jason Segel, Drew Carey, Sara Rue, amd Kevin James. ?Most reported using personal trainers, changing up their diets, and getting more exercise (or some variation of those three).

We didn't read any reports of raw food diets in the story, but looking at before and after pictures is probably always a good idea, if only for visual inspiration. It's nice to see a broad range of people turning their health around, too. Some are younger celebs; others in their 40s, 50s, and 60s. So, it's nice to know that major changes are possible at any age.

I thought I'd put another fun week together here at Pure Jeevan while Wendi is away (although, actually, ALL of our weeks are fun-filled here!). This week, I thought I'd discuss herbs, spices, and essential oils. Of course, I can't cover those enormously important (and huge) subjects in-depth over the course of just one week, so I created that little banner (above) so that we can re-use it from time to time.

Herbs are fascinating, aren't they? Sometimes, you don't even consciously know why you use the ones you do but, invariably, there's a reason. Sure, sometimes recipes call for a specific flavor. But, often, there are other reasons as well -- such as to support digestion, or to provide a warming or cooling sensaiton. This type of thing is critical in ayurvedic principles, as we touched on recently on this blog, where the spices could be present for digestive or medicinal purposes, or of course as a preservative.

Yesterday's smoothie was superlatively tasty, eh? ?It was clearly something out of Elvis' more energetic younger years, I think. You're probably wondering: ""How does one follow an Elvis smoothie!" I know... it'll be tough to do.

Well, there are at least a few good reasons to name a smoothie after Donald Trump. Love or hate the man as you will, but his name is synonymous with opulence, wealth, and all things monetary. So, not only is the following smoothie highly "rich" tasting, but it's also fairly expensive to make! (In addition to those two reasons, I suppose some may think of ?The Donald as a rather cold personality at times, and this one will certainly chill you with its frozen ingredients!)

It's not much longer before I'll be serving all kinds of delicious foods to those attending the 3-Day Raw Food Spiritual Ashram Retreat! I've been working on the recipes and taking pictures to include with the bound materials going home with everyone attending the retreat.

Wow, could this really mark 800 raw food blog posts ! ?We must be obsessive orthorexic raw foodies to have achieved that level of focused health editorial journalism! Post #800 deserves to be something really useful (not that the others aren't or do not deserve this), so we'd like to pass along a fun idea. I guess all of that talk of Donald Trump yesterday got me thinking about making deals. We make deals with others, of course, but I think we also sometimes can make them with ourselves.

I'm so glad to be out of the corporate business world these days, but I did pay attention while there, and perhaps even learned a thing or two. Today's post is related to that in a way. You see, I was once at a sales training seminar when the speaker advised following a "this job / next job" strategy with clients. What that means in business is that, when you're in the middle of one job working for someone -- say, for example, you're a printer working on a brochure for a company -- you would make a point of saying something like, "Hey, this brochure is going great. I was wondering what else is coming in the near term so that we can make sure to be ready for it."

"... a warrior's life is not about imagined perfection or victory; it is about love. Love is a warrior's sword; wherever it cuts, it gives life, not death."

~ Dan Millman, The Way of the Peaceful Warrior

Today we welcome Shea Lynn Baird from Monday Night Live. As you may recall from a few weeks ago, Wendi and KDcat visited with Shea and her husband Stephen during their 2010 Trip. While there, they all attended a raw food meetup, and Shea brought a wonderful Thai salad. She shared this delicious creation with all of you in this special guest raw chef edition of Makin' It Monday, below:

Recently, the wife of a friend of ours decided that she wanted to lose 20-25 pounds. As far as we know, she follows pretty much a "Standard American Diet." We've heard that she doesn't care for red meat, but she does eat other meats, plus a good deal of dairy (which, we believe, she regards as a healthy food choice). She's apparently tried a number of exercise regimens, and a few fad diets, with no luck on losing these 20-25 pounds. (Frankly, we haven't seen her many times, but would not have guessed that she had 25 pounds to lose. But, we'll save "self image" as a topic for for further posts.) In any case... Frustrated, she decided to see a hypnotist!

Our friend accompanied his wife to the initial consultation. He said it was actually interesting. The hypnotist basically sits you down and walks you through some fundamental psychology, demonstrates a few of the primary principles of suggestion (e.g., showing you how easy it is to, say, imagine the sourness you would experience when biting into a slice of lemon), and then lays out how the program works.

Jim here... As I hinted at last week, I decided to try changing things up a bit and seeing what I thought of it. The salad you see above included the first cooked food I've had in more than two years. If you look closely, you can see that I sprinkled on a few spoonfuls of black beans. Also, in the upper left corner, there's a small spoonful of quinoa. I don't want to give the wrong impression here: ?This blog will certainly remain a major go-to source for raw food nutrition information. It's just that, today, I want to talk about experimentation a little bit.

First, I think it's generally healthy to experiment with your diet -- especially when you get the sense that something isn't working in your current diet. The fact is, diet is a dynamic thing, not a static aspect of your life. It has to be this way because so many factors affect our physiology on a day-to-day basis. Off the top of my head, these include the facts that:

For many people, a change in diet is largely a mental issue. You *decide* that you're going to do something different, and then commit to it. You may shop a little differently than before, but quite often that is the extent of any action taken (other than preparing and eating the new foods rather than the old ones).For many, the commitment aspect is the trickiest part. ?Books could be written on this subject alone (and we're sure we've discussed this at length here on the blog).

Today we want to share a super-easy tip to help with the commitment side of this: Keep your fruits and vegetables VISIBLE.