Jim here... While browsing a thrift shop for a smaller belt yesterday, I was reminded to make a few quick points here at our blog about the raw food diet and weight loss.

Many people are initially drawn to raw foods for the weight loss aspect of this lifestyle. Where most other diets ultimately fail in this area, raw foods usually brings wild success. So, for anyone considering a raw foods diet specifically for the purpose of weight loss, here are a few quick tips centered around the theme of "letting go of your expectations."? You may be wondering, "Why should I let go of my expectations for weight loss " Well, here are two big reasons:

Today we welcome Leela Mata from the Peaceful Valley Ashram (www.LeelaMata.com) for another episode of Pure Jeevan's Makin' It Monday "Guest Raw Chef" edition. In this episode, Leela demonstrates how to make a delicious summertime chutney.

Since Marigolds are seasonal, and likely available only in certain areas, please consider them optional. Perhaps substitute another edible flower of your choice (and let us know if you do!). Aside from making this tasty recipe (which we later enjoyed on a salad), Leela also makes some important points about intuitive eating and intuitive recipe creation. Here's the vid:

I was sitting here today thinking about all of you, our lovely online friends who visit this blog. You follow what's going on with us, learn from us, find inspiration in the things we share, and even offer support to us in many ways.

Some of you reach out by leaving comments, many of you send emails, and a larger majority of you are quiet friends who haven't made contact with us, yet. Each and every one of you means so very much to me (and to Jim, too).

We don't keep this blog for ourselves; we keep it for all of you. It is our desire to share all that we've been through, and what we've learned, in order to help you with your own journey. Most of all, however, my personal desire is to inspire you to live the life you truly want to be living (in more ways than just through what you eat).

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Perfected Raw Vegan Potato Pancake Recipe!"][/caption]

I've done it, I've done it, I've DONE IT!!!? I've perfected a recipe for raw vegan potato pancakes! My friend Melissa shared her potato pancake recipe with me and, like always, I had to play around with it (I rarely go by a set recipe). Had it not been for her original recipe, I wouldn't be writing this post! So, thanks, Melissa!!

In the next day, or two, I'm going to type up the recipe and send it out to all of our subscribers. So, if you haven't signed up recently for either our newsletter or the two free eBooks, do it soon! In addition to the potato pancakes recipe, I'm going to share another amazing recipe I created for Jim's birthday this past weekend: Raw Vegan Ice Cream Cake!! YUM!

Jim here... We're at an interesting juncture here at Pure Jeevan. For the moment, we're still living a little more "in the box" than we plan to in the near future. One example of this is my personal excitement about Fridays. Oh, I suppose Fridays will always seem special to me somehow. But after years of the corporate routine, Friday remains the most welcome weekday.

Friday signifies the end of the five-day stretch during which most people do whatever they happen to do to pay the bills, to keep (raw!) food on the table, and a roof over their heads. While I know of and admire many people for whom the work week is generally meaningful and rewarding, I suspect that the majority of people go through it simply for the money. Sure, many "like" their job (or, perhaps more aptly, "don't hate it"), but I have met too few who absolutely love their jobs. (Come to think of it, I've met quite a number who actually do hate their work!)

Last time on Raw Foods 101 we answered the question, "Why should you soak nuts / seeds before eating them."? Naturally, many readers then asked the next logical question, "How LONG should I soak them before eating " Great question!

Don't forget:? You're soaking the nuts and seeds to "wake them up" as would happen in nature. When seeds are soaked in the springtime rain, they wake up and begin to sprout. When this happens, the nutritional content of the nuts and seeds changes (they become an even greater powerhouse of nutrients).

Is low fat more expensive? When I was eating a lot of nuts and seeds, in the back of my mind I kept saying, "Someday you'll eat less of these nuts and seeds, and you'll save a lot of money." I really believed that to be true because organic, raw nuts and seeds are outrageously expensive.

For one hundred days, I'm transitioning to a lower fat raw diet. I'm down to fats only in the evening, and for the next ten days those fats will only come from avocados, young coconuts, and possibly some hemp seeds. If I'm not hungry for the fat, however, I'll go without it. That hasn't been the case yet, though. By dinner time I'm ravenous and wanting to eat heavy, dense foods to calm the hungry beast in my belly. Even though I've been including some fats in the evening, I'm eating significantly less than I normally would if not doing this challenge. So, I've been eating more fruits and vegetables to get the calories I normally received from nuts and seeds.

In this special five-part series, Joanna Steven uncovers where some top vegetarian athletes get their protein. Here's part one, focusing on Tim VanOrden's take on this issue.

When alternatives to the Standard American Diet are discussed, protein is on everyone's mind. There are many reasons why someone might want to eat a plant based diet, whether for allergy concerns, health reasons, or more variety. But nagging doubts often come up;? Are plant proteins adequate for athletes and body builders ? Are they really the preferred protein source of the human body ? Are they better than animal based protein or are they just consumed for environmental reasons ? To answer these questions, why not ask the experts:? triathletes, professional dancers, bodybuilders and extreme sport racers ? Here are the answers from some of the most competitive athletes in their respective fields.

Patty and Denny

Last year when I organized a raw food spiritual retreat at an ashram, I met some very lovely people. Two of those individuals were Patty and Denny (you can visit their blog to say hello to them). They were new to gourmet raw foods, so they were enthusiastic learners at the retreat. When they returned home after the blissful weekend, they began using their new raw food knowledge. Here are some excerpts of emails I have received from them since the retreat last year:

Well, you said you're motive in putting on this retreat was simply to pass on this valuable information and to help others; you were very successful where we're concerned - it is no exaggeration to say that you have changed our lives forever.

We've been almost 100% raw since the retreat. ... We're so excited about this new way of eating that we bought a new Vita-Mix. ...We can actually say that this has been our most notable and enjoyable dining experience - ever, in our entire lives! No one would ever put that much work into something if it were just for money; it is obvious that you did it from your heart. We feel blessed to have received such a gift.

A few weeks ago, we hosted a Diabetes Awareness week here at Pure Jeevan. This was our contribution to the larger Reversing Diabetes Naturally movement that we blogged about. We wanted to let you know that the package of bonus materials offered to people who purchase the Simply Raw DVD is quite amazing! (See this post for details.) We reviewed all of the materials ourselves, and it's just a ton of great information.

The original deadline for receiving the free bonus materials was the end of April. However, the deadline has been extended through Friday, May 8. So, if you know anyone who has diabetes who could benefit from either the ?Simply Raw? documentary and/or the companion film, ?The Ultimate Enyclopedia of the Raw Food Listyle," simply point them to http://tinyurl.com/pj-diabetes.

To help keep all of you inspired, we ve asked some

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