Today is my birthday!!! I have always loved birthdays---my own, as well as those of my friends and family members. Some people don't make a big deal out of birthdays, but I think they are super special! For me, celebrating a birthday isn't about the cake and presents; it's about the focused attention that is given from one person to another.

Welcome to Makin' It Monday, Guest Raw Chef edition. Today, Dave Sokulski of www.BirchCenter.com and www.FoodUnderFoot.com gets a little silly while making some delicious raw cacao treats! Enjoy the video:

We're not ready, yet, to announce one of our big exciting projects that's going to be coming to life very soon. However, we're working on something for it and we'd love to hear your opinion about it. So, if you are up for some quick fun this evening, please send me an email (wendidee ? @ ? purejeevan.com).We'll then share something with you that we've been doing and ask for your opinion!?

We'll need to receive an email from you tonight by 10:00pm EST to know you're interested in helping us. Then between 10:30-10:45 you'll receive a link to see something exciting (in which you'll learn the inside scoop on a very big project!) and you'll be asked to send us your opinion by 11:15 pm EST. It shouldn't take more than five minutes for most people.

So, are you in? If so, send me an email and you'll receive the link this evening!! I'm super excited about the thing we're working on this evening. It's a lot of fun!!!

Hi everyone! Jim here with a really special treat for you today. I'm interviewing our friend Joe Prostko, who we've known for a good year or so through the Pittsburgh raw food meetup group. You may remember Joe from our cacao pod video a while back.

We just had a big raw food potluck costume party here, and Joe showed up as an Oompa-Loompa. At first, I admittedly did not get the deeper part of this joke. I simply thought it was a novel costume because it was a character from the Willie Wonka book / movie. Later, however, it really sunk in, as I decided to flip through the Willie Wonka book to read up on Oompa-Loompas. Here's a quote from Willie Wonka author Roald Dahl:

Next weekend I'll be at the Green Festival in Washington, DC. helping Natural Zing at their vendor booth (I'm completely in love with Natural Zing because of their honest business ethics and commitment to having the highest quality products available---and the president is a truly beautiful individual). My dear friend RawBin will be picking me up next Thursday for a RAWsome weekend and I'll fly back on Monday!

Here's a list of some Green Festival facts from their Web site:

Jim here... Since many people have asked me how she liked the surprise gift, here's a quick, unedited video taken last Saturday on Wendi's birthday. We had gone to the park that evening to hang out and catch some fresh air. I took a few minutes to ask her about her day, and thought I'd share this with you.If I showed you the video of her receiving the gift that morning, I'm afraid all you'd see would be tears all around the dining room table. (We were all rather emotional about it.) So, take a look at this video for now. Wendi said that she wanted to write something here as well. So, that will no doubt be coming soon.

By the way, at the end of this video, Wendi mentions another video of a man we interviewed earlier that day on Wendi's birthday. I was going to edit some of that in, but we decided to run that video here on its own this Thursday because it addresses a question Wendi gets quite often. You'll love that video, as it's a great testament to the power of raw foods. For now, I hope you like the above vid (even though there's a fair amount of dog posterior that I should have edited out - LOL).

Jim here... Thought I'd cross-post a discussion I put up on Give It To Me Raw yesterday.

Recently, I saw an article advocating a ban on banana consumption based on the premise that, if you don't live in the tropics, you have no business eating tropical fruit. Pointing to transportation costs and the related environmental impact of such transportation, the article argues that, by eating bananas, you're contributing to the destruction of the environment.

Just a quick post on what may or may not be considered "weird" for our inaugural "Weird Wednesday" post. According to a few web sites I checked, around 3% of the population (and I'm assuming this means U.S. population) is vegetarian. It looks like maybe 1% (possibly a little more) is vegan. Of every 100 vegans, how many do you suppose are raw foodists? (Actually, I'm asking; I didn't find any solid answer to that.) Maybe 1 of every 100 vegans? What do you think?

Here's a painfully unscientific, yet still slightly educated guess:

This is Part II of a two-parter on raw food restaurants. Yesterday, we listed a half-dozen challenges that one might face when opening a raw restaurant. Today, we're focusing in on the more enjoyable side -- the potential advantages that opening raw restaurants offer over their cooked-food counterparts.

Let's dive into it... Here are six things we believe are advantages!

Hi all-? Jim here from Pure Jeevan with our next eipsode of "Know Your Food."? This is "Episode 2 (salvaged): Turnips."? As far as that "salvaged" parenthetical... This relates to the story I told in our first episode -- about how we're planning to upgrade our video equipment, audio equipment, video editing software, and more. I hope you like it, though. Still working on getting them down to 3-4 minutes. This one's just over 5 minutes. If you're wondering how Wendi became strong as Xena Warrior Princess, you'll have to watch this vid!

So, to summarize:? Turnips are great for the root portion (the turnips, proper) or the greens. (Here at Pure Jeevan, we like to use turnips as shells for rawvioli, or simply sliced and served with a little salt. The greens are great juiced!)? Turnips are starchy, but not as heavy as potatoes, and are a great Vitamin C source. They contain fiber, manganese, pantothenic acid, thiamine, potassium, folic acid, copper, niacin, B6, E, riboflavin, and more. The greens of course have calcium, and are a particularly great source of folate (esp. important for pregnant women) and many of the vitamins and minerals listed previously, along with Vitamin A.

Jim here... We know a lot of people who exist on a high-raw lifestyle, and many others who aspire to eat a 100% live food diet. I don't believe there is an exact threshold that makes one a "raw foodist." That term is more or less just a general description you might use about yourself or anyone. Aside from the labels, though... If you want to talk about recommended levels of raw intake for optimal health, quite a number of web sites and health books seem to recommend shooting for around 80% of one's intake to be raw, with a careful eye on the other 20%. We certainly agree with that as a good starting goal, adjusting upward or downward as you gain feedback from your body.

Of course, most of the people who do follow a high-raw diet are usually by definition highly health-conscious about any non-raw foods they eat. I've yet to meet, for example, a raw foodist who occasionally eats Burger King Double-Whoppers ?(although, I'm sure that seemingly odd combination must exist somewhere).