We're heading out of town again! This time we'll be visiting Leela Mata at her Peaceful Valley Ashram, the location of the first raw food spiritual retreat I held last year.

Here's a video I took of Leela Mata last year:

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Thanks to Bitt, yesterday, for pointing out that one possible misinterpretation of yesterday's post (on celebrity weight loss) could be that "thin = healthy." I'm sure that, while there are countless wonderful benefits to being a famous actor, one of the less wonderful aspects of that life must be the pressure to remain young, thin, attractive, etc. It would seem realistic to me to assert that, additionally, women are held to even more objectified standards than are the men out there (although, in fairness, note that 6 of the 11 stars profiled in the Yahoo feature linked to yesterday were in fact men).

In any case, the post's intention was never to imply that one's weight is necessarily the best indication of one's overall health. After all, we all know thin people afflicted with serious health challenges.

Here's a picture I took at Portland's Saturday Market last week. We've been pleasantly surprised to find that artichokes grow rather well here in the Pacific Northwest. We don't recall seeing them much back East, but many of our neighbors grow them (both for the artichokes and, I suspect, as ornamental plants).

I suspect that some raw foodists tend to overlook artichokes because they're so traditionally linked with the image of something steamed, stuffed with breadcrumbs, and drizzled in butter -- so, "cooked," "breaded," and "dairy" all together in one recipe! Being half Italian, I grew up eating them this way. My mother almost never said "artichoke"; she always called them an Italian word that sounded like "ga-GO-che-lee." ?She made them just a few times per year, and they were always a huge treat (and we'd often fight over the hearts -- by far the best part!).

Here's another brief video from our travels. Since time for editing is limited, I think I'll just run some more of the shorter vids this week and then get into the longer, more in-depth interviews next week. So, this is a short, fun conversation I had with Steve, who tends the raw juice and smoothie bar at Cousin's Incredible Vitality raw restaurant in Chicago. Here's the vid:

Jim here...? Ahh, yes, you noticed, didn't you ? We'd started posting a video series called "Know Your Food" recently, promising to shoot for it being a DAILY series -- only to have its presence totally disappear as though Harry Houdini himself had taken control of our blog.
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Well, we just wanted to post a quick explanation for you. Short answer: Know Your Food is coming back SOON!? We've been at work on so many amazing projects here at Pure Jeevan, a few of which we needed to complete prior to officially launching Know Your Food in a big way.
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To put it metaphorically, Pure Jeevan can be thought of as an enormous hang glider. With hang gliding, you have to make sure everything's in order before jumping from the cliff and soaring freely above the landscape. (Ummm, not that we've ever actually hang-glided. What IS the past-tense of hang-glide, anyway )? So, we're just checking the rigging and so forth right now.
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When we do step off that precipice, though... wow, you won't believe the cascade of huge announcements we'll have for the raw foods community. Know Your Food (which will return soon, prior to all of the huge announcements we have in store) will return in all of it's YouTube-esque glory very soon. So, thanks for your patience in that matter!
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One more thing:?

Our friend Kevin Gianni is turning 30 this weekend. When you do the math, that means he was born December 7, 1978, which was pretty much the apex of the disco era in America.It's no wonder the man struck the above pose in our back yard; dude's got the Village People in his blood! So, it would be really nice if you boogied down to his site, www.RenegadeHealth.com, and wished him a happy birthday. He's also on Twitter -- cast a shoutout to: @KevinGianni.

This experiment isn't looking so great, right now. I'm gaining weight.

I've cut fat out of my diet until my evening meal. Here's what I've eaten over the past few days:

Here's Wendi in Portland interviewing Wes Hannah, one of the owners of Blossoming Lotus, a vegan restaurant that also serves a lot of delicious raw foods. Wendi said it's worth a trip to Portland just to eat there!

[Sorry about the video quality there. I was having some trouble editing this on an old machine. Wendi took the good one with her on the trip!]

Today, and every day, I am thankful for lovely Mother Earth. Where would we be without Mother? May we always care for her in a gentle and loving way.

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All this week we're continuing to feature a variety of answers to the question "Are Raw Foodists Crazy " from various friends of Pure Jeevan. If you're just now tuning in, please read the back story and introduction to this, as posted on Monday.But, for now, let's continue with posting more of the excellent responses sent in! Enjoy!! :-)

Charles Balcer

New Jersey City, NJ

Started dabbling in raw foods in late 2006 and got more serious about it in 2007.

Welcome to the very first Take the Time Tuesday entry! What's Take the Time Tuesday, you may ask? Well, it's a time to meet someone special. Each Tuesday we'll introduce you to an individual or business we think might be of interest to you. So, who's in the spotlight for this very first Take the Time Tuesday entry? Pure Jeevan, of course!

Take the Time to Meet...

Today, we thought we'd share another non-diet-oriented explanation of obesity. It's from Rhonda Byrne, author of the international multi-media phenomenon known as "The Secret," which provides readers with in-depth philosophical explanation and instruction with respect to the Law of Attraction.

Wendi and I have The Secret on CD, and often enjoy listening to it. I think, in fairness, we both have a few legitimate criticisms about certain aspects of it (and I'll share one or two, below). However, on the whole, many of the ideas within resonate deeply for us and we find much of the underlying message profoundly uplifting and empowering -- especially (for me) much of the discussion regarding maintaining a healthy, positive, optimistic attitude and practicing gratitude.