junglegirl: living live in the wild world

Banana Wall

Photograph from La Mariposa at Flickr.

Even though David Jubbs has perfectly convincing evidence against bananas as an acceptable food and I don’t eat bananas often, I do eat them occasionally and when I do I enjoy them, (as well as carrots and beets oh no! Hello, sugar blast. Oh well, one step at a time.). David and Annie Jubbs are the first raw food ‘authorities’ I encountered when I began and their information has proven to be the best suited for my own healing and well-being. I generally regard almost anything they say as the very best knowledge around anything having to do with ‘life food’, as David Jubbs calls it.

Yet, I give you bananas. It’s just such a great photo of an art exhibit in NYC. And someone emailed me this banana ‘fact’ sheet (used entirely without permission because I don’t know where it was sourced by the person who email it to me and neither do they…so, thank you, anonymous contributor!) that has some compelling information to support the occasional indulgence as not too bad a thing, providing you are basically healthy and on top of your internal flora.

Eat a Banana stay healthy —– Never, put your banana in the refrigerator!

Bananas contain three natural sugars – sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber.  A banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy. Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world’s leading athletes. But energy isn’t the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.

Depression: According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.

PMS: Forget the pills – eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.

Anemia: High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.

Blood Pressure: This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it perfect to beat blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit’s ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.

Brain Power: 200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research showed that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.

Constipation: High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.

Hangovers: One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey,
builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.

Heartburn: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.

Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.

Mosquito bites: Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing
the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it
amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.

Nerves: Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.

Overweight and at work? Studies at the Inst of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and crisps. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carb foods every 2 hours to keep levels steady.

Ulcers: The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicler cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.

Temperature control: Many other cultures see bananas as a “cooling” fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. In Thailand , for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood enhancer tryptophan.

Smoking &Tobacco Use: Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. The B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.

Stress: Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body’s water balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby
reducing our potassium levels. These can be rebalanced with the help of a high-potassium banana snack.

Strokes: According to research in The New England Journal of Medicine, eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%!

Warts: Those keen on natural alternatives swear that if you want to kill off a wart, take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart, with the yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with a
plaster or surgical tape!

So, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills. When you compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrate, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one
of the best value foods around So maybe its time to change that well-known phrase so that we say, “A banana a day keeps the doctor away!”

By the way, the green bananas spell out “Self-confidence produces fine results.” : )
La Mariposa


Our Body’s Conscious Voice

One of the things I love about living on raw food is that one’s body increasingly devolops a very strong voice. It begins, with absolute perfection, to inform you of precisely what it is best served by, and that is amazing to me. While I have been very fortunate to have always been in touch with this awareness, on live food it is that much clearer. For example, I experience some of this ‘extra’ clarity as an even greater awareness of plant consciousness and animal consciousness. They are equally communicative when you are aware enough to listen. Like a best friend, my body consciousness ALWAYS has my very best interests at heart, and in a way I can embrace. I love it! As with any consciousness outside of your self, with plants and animals you will have to exercise your best judgment in communication with them. They are conversations, after all. Plants, for example, or maybe it’s Mother Earth (?), will work you nonstop if you don’t set boundaries with them, (really!), as I found out while gardening on an organic farm. It is FASCINATING! And this is only one example of the fruits of expanded consciousness.

Many people try to force themselves into this consciousness with drugs, which will do it, but it must be understood that there is a price levied for that type of service. It’s very important to be very clear on what the price is before you go that route. I’ve found that it’s not a price that supports my desire to embody my lightbody in this lifetime. To let my consciousness expand gently, naturally and at it’s own pace is what I’ve been guided to understand is what will bring me to my expanded potential sooner and ‘more cleanly’ than trying to take the shortcuts, which are not sustainable. Sometimes the slow route gets you there sooner than those who are still paying whatever their particular ‘price’ was for the experience. They do gain an certainty that more exists, and the intoxicating feeling of power that comes with such knowledge as well as the simple comfort of ‘remembering’ our souls purpose, but at some point, the work of embodying God must simply be done in real time, without drugs. Creating an optimal temple for one’s consciousness – clean, pure, wholesome, with needs abundantly met, in partnership with whichever form of meditation works for you, is a wonderful way to maximize your life on every level, safely and honestly.

One of the communications I hear is that my body wants very simple food right now. I do very, very well on blender food. Since I love to understand as much as possible I automatically wonder what the reasons for this are, which is the question, and immediately comes the answer, (an answer which expands exponentially to where one is in the process, I’ve discovered): my digestive track is healing from years of an imbalanced cooked food diet. It just so happens that my digestive system has always been sensitive, and from this and many other indications, I know I was born to take the raw food path. Is this true for everyone? I don’t even try to answer that question. Just Be; Living your own truth. So, even though I’d been eating a primarily vegan, macrobiotic diet full of daily greens and seaweeds and squash and organic grains for years, which is a very healthy diet, my body wanted the absolute BEST and events conspired to bring it to me in a way that I could accept. Thank God.

I feel very good about finding and activating at least ONE of my soul’s code’s, that I know of. This is where some of the deep peace I feel comes from. I am working through what might normally be acutely stressful situationzzz! at this time, yet am in such a place of equilibrium, due in part to the clarity one gains from the raw food life. Pretty sweet. My meditation practice goes hand in hand with this state of being as well, of course. Together, they contribute to an increasingly stable sense of well-being regardless of external circumstances; (circumstances that are totally personal, so there is no way for me to be in denial about them, haha!). I am simply in a very healthy place mentally with what is.  Again, thank God.

This type of mental gain is reason enough to devote oneself to really becoming educated in the language of the body. If you are already feeling the call to include more live food in your diet, then you are already practicing that awareness. The more you honor it, the louder and clearer it will become. It’s a co-created state of being between listening to your body, and mastering your child-like attachment to the known and familiar comforts regarding food and habit and ‘happiness’. The pay off is a super-human health and consciousness boost. The symptoms of healing crisis’ that are likely to arise are par for the course and should be recognized and celebrated for the signs of progress they are. Woohoo!  By now there is so much excellent information on how to handle those events online and from experienced raw foodists, that they should not present too great an ordeal for anyone. There is nothing to be afraid of with information now widely available on how to handle any healing crisis. The first key of personal responsibility is to recognize that you are having a healing crisis, and it becomes much easier after that. It’s a little light in the dark, that simple awareness.

The knowledge that cravings present themselves as we are releasing them from our cellular structure is extremely helpful to remember as they come up. Last night I was laying in bed when I was suddenly suffused with the aroma of a Dagoba Chai bar, haha! (I remember that last bar, because I did not enjoy it at all the way I used to.) And it did make me smile, instead of infusing me with desire. Knowing exactly what was going on made it an effortless moment. There was no delusional ‘craving’. That info, I have others to thank for, because chocolate has had a giant impact on my life, and so I would never have been able to heal my relationship with it on my own, it has too much of an effect on me for me to see myself clearly in relation to it.  Knowing that it was part of my release is exciting instead of traumatic.

I very much want to write a post all about my relationship to chocolate very soon, because it is quite MAJOR, and I know others will be helped, as I have been. Basically, chocolate makes me clinically depressed. And it does so for many other people as well, so pay attention to what is going on in your body!   It can be an issue of life and death, for some people. Ok, this post is long enough, so, if it’s an issue in your life, or the life of anyone you know, then stay tuned for an upcoming post discussing this aspect of chocolate.

Wow, Wow, Wow. Mountain Wingsuiting!

A friend just emailed me this video and it is INCREDIBLE! It’s nothing to do with live food, but is definitely a benchmark event for human evolution! Just incredible.

Surinam Cherrys, aka: Pitangas

Surinam cherries are very odd to me.   They taste sweet and tart like a regular cherry, but with a lighter flavor and a deeply permeated, inherently perfumed flavor much like quince or violet and rose flavored desserts.  I find these cherries only barely palatable, even though I generally love perfumed desserts.  I think with these, it’s just that I haven’t yet figured out quite how to use them.
Here, a trio in various stages of ripening hangs from the branch on the tree behind the house.   They hang from a stem and with their glowing translucence, look just like little Chinese lanterns for tree fairies, lit from within.  Really beautiful!
Not knowing what to do with them didn’t stop me from noticing that they were coming into season and so I set up an old ladder between the branches, balanced a bag between tree limbs and began to collect them, trying hard to maintain consciousness while breathing in the most deliciously dizzying fragrance ever.  Tree breath, mmm.   It’s almost as if they were happy to see me because they literally fell into my hands as I reached for them.   I hope I do them justice.   What comes to mind is some sort of vinegar preparation. Hmm…Possibly a fruit leather would be very interesting as well.   Ok, now I am beginning to see some inspiration take hold.   I’ll take a longer look at it and post an update at some point…
Very striking color, though these are far lighter than most I see.   Usually they are nearly the color of Bing cherry’s, which are a dark reddish-purple close to black.   There are several varieties and of course, the old adage proves true: the darker the berry, the sweeter the fruit, haha!   The darker ones are also very high in lycopenes, which help keep cholestorol levels healthy.  Surinames, or Pitangas as they are called in their native Brazil, are distinctively translucent however, regardless of color.  Though of the lighter, more tart variety, the fruits of this tree are fully ripe: juicy and soft.  This one was very tart, though, wow, and with that fascinating ‘perfumed’ flavor.   If you let them sit on the tree when they’re ripe, but not yet dark, then bugs and birds get to them very quickly so I’ll just need to be creative in deciding how to use them.  Hmm…I might try pickling them!
It is quite nice to be up in the tree branches, surrounded by the most beautiful fragrance and fruits and blossoms everywhere.   If you haven’t climbed a tree lately – and we forget how great this is all too soon after becoming adults – then I highly recommend you seek out a tree that looks like it would be manageable and give it a climb!   Hanging out there among the leaves is just so nice, it really is.  You should try it.
This is the typical size, quite large and juicy, with a thin, delicate skin.   I paused in writing this and have just pureed the bunch I picked to turn into fruit leather and then realized that I am out of agave.   I think yakon syrup would work well too, but I don’t have that either, so it will keep in the fridge until tomorrow.   I found that even sitting for one day, many of the perfect-when-picked cherries had already begun to soften, so the puree was a good idea after all.   I’ll post an update on the fruit leather in days to follow.

Honor Thy Self…While Keeping an Eye Peeled for the Divine Other : )

February 14, 2008


Drunk Monkeys, or, How Humans Allowed Themselves To Become Intoxicated By Food.

Now this is interesting!

The concept of using food as a drug and a substitute for, or to avoid feelings first came to my attention through macrobiotics and a book that I’ve since lost (and would love to find, so please let me know if you know which one I’m talking about, thank you!) It described the emotional attraction of specific foods and why we gravitated towards them as a sort of grown-up pacifier. Potato chips, for example are a stress reliever because the severe crunch on one hand is a mildly aggressive act that throws off tension and on the other hand, the act of chewing stimulates the body’s production of serotonin, producing a pleasurable association. *** (I’d like to find the reference but it can be Googled.)

In a world full of people who have never been informed of how to sit and face their emotions and who are terrified by the very prospect, it’s no wonder the chip aisle in even the tiniest grocery store has an enormous selection. Go into a conventional supermarket, and the vast wall of ‘grown-up pacifiers’, ie: chips will make you laugh out loud. Or cry, as the case may be!   I hadn’t been in a conventional supermarket in ages, having the most fortunate priviledge of early exposure to healthier alternatives, and so learned to shop in healthier places, but the last time I was stuck for something random like batteries and went to the local supermarket, I nearly fell over when faced with the the size of the chip isle.   It was both funny and sad.  Most definitely S.A.D..

I would suggest that the next time someone you know who eats the S.A.D (Standard
American Diet) is chomping through a bag of chips, try asking them how everything is going for them and they’ll likely tell you about whatever challenge it is that is sending them into a bag of chips. Listen to their tale, and then as a gift, make them a healthy, raw-crunch substitute and just offer it up. No need to say anything about the emotional mechanics of it all, just give them the gift of say, a bowl of beautifully prepared carrot sticks and spicy avocado dip or cashew hummus. ***See my other blog, http://www.thelivingkitchen.wordpress.com, for recipes.

I love how this video, at the very end, makes the connection that the human attraction to fermented fruit is what probably cued us into sedating ourselves with cooked food.   And of course, I find it very understandable that the first humans would gravitate towards pleasure over health, because until one masters simply living for sheer survival it is very difficult to resist any form of comfort – especially heat, if you’re freezing cold and haven’t yet invented down comfortors and double-paned storm windows – and especially if you have yet to develop an intellectual understanding of what is best over what appears to be best.

In the way that everything is always perfect, taking the concept of right time/right place into account allows for the fact that this was simply one of a long stream of elements in human evolution and we are each only responsible to what optimizes our Selves. We can’t speak for anyone else.  Of course not.  And here’s a thought: who’s to say that the percentage of raw humans to cooked humans hasn’t always been exactly the same?  The internet helps bring all like-minded beings together and that is great.

Having said that, I feel that it definitely helps if a certain amount of base comfort is established in order to create the breathing space for well-being to develop itself. And so, it’s only natural that those humans who have reached that degree of basic-needs-met for themselves now go on to refine their food choices to support even deeper health, and sharing this information as we go with all who are interested. We who are participating in this shift are extremely fortunate and as such really must never judge or be unkind in our veiw of how people eat.

Seeing that we no longer need to rely upon food to express our emotions, we now realize that we have the social and physical structures in place to begin optimizing our choices for nourishment instead of strictly comfort. We are now supported enough to gain our comfort directly through our inter-personal relationships with each other and can learn to express our emotions properly through, gasp! direct communication.
Yes, it’s a brave new frontier!  Yippee!

It’s a fascinating development in human evolution, really though, isn’t it?

Some Surprising Benefits of the Transitional Period

There comes a point for many people, in their switch to live food, when they bounce back and forth between raw and cooked. I am in that place right now and find that by simply allowing it and not making it too much of a big deal, I have been blessed with some very useful insights about why this is happening. This is so often true during any struggle. When we simply let go and allow the process to unfold, paying close attention all the while, a sort of healing alchemy occurs and we end up with an optimal experience instead of a painful and unproductive one.

Even though my body fully recognized the superiority of an all raw/live diet immediately, I have occasionally felt like eating something cooked. There are interesting reasons why that is, aside from the detox response*, and one of them is that when I suddenly feel like eating a particular cooked meal, which will spring up out of nowhere, with my body then making it very clear how unsatisfactory that actually was.

It has become clear that what is happening is a sort of reprogramming of my old ‘go-to’ instincts for feeding myself. As I allow myself to feel my response to a cooked meal after knowing how well I feel after eating a live meal, whatever it is within my body that tells me when and what to eat is being re-programmed or re-educated by it’s knowledge of the fact that something more optimal is available. It is incredible to witness this consciously. I really do feel like a sort of computer programmer in a deeply organic realm of mind/body consciousness. We have all heard the refrain,” you are what you eat” so many times and to be connected to what that means in a literal sense, from a level of conscious re-programming, is really fun and fascinating.

*the detox response happens when the body is cleansing. One will often crave precisely what the body is detoxing from your organs and fat cells. This can be specific things like favorite s.a.d foods or even chemicals from literally years ago.  Recently I could not get the smell of a certain commercial talcum powder, that I used to cover myself with from head to toe as a teenager living in the very hot south, out of my nostrils!

commitment and raw love

commitment to real food, real health and real love

I was inspired to write this post after reading the rawmodel’s commentary on raw lovers. Some of the commenters also had some interesting things to say. Like everything, editing your choice of lovers based upon the mutuality of your lifestyles seems to be a very personal choice.

And so without further ado, I’ll join the frey to say that there appears to be a connection between commitment to a relationship and the way people approach integrating raw food into their lives. How committed one is to a change for the better in diet, and that’s not necessarily about all raw, appears to be related to ones capacity for commitment. Or at least, it’s an interesting mirror of where one is with regards to commitment as a general concept in the moment at hand. I came to this observation by way of noticing the way other live food people commit on all levels within their lives. Taking the time to consider this interesting insight is a factor in my need to make and commit to choices in other areas of my life as well, which I have found to be a personal challenge lately.

When I first chose to go raw, in 1999, it was a 100% effortless choice. I simply chose to commit and it was what it was from then on. I did no research; there was virtually nothing on the web then, anyway. The inspiration came over me and it felt completely right and so I simply put every vegetable there was into the blender with some avo, a spoonful of miso and some water and drank that and that alone every day for the next 4 months or so. I’ve picked up a few recipes since then, haha :D

Then I made a major move to another state; began eating solid food like salads and nori wraps and began a relationship with someone whose interest in raw actually helped to inspire my own journey. But by the time we entered into a relationship, he had sunk deeply into meat and junk food and, in retrospect, was a very inappropriate lover for me to have taken on but, alas, I did… And – this is where it gets interesting. As soon as we broke up – a year later – is when raw began to be very difficult for me. I felt it creeping in while we were in our relationship, but the challenge really hit me by the time we’d broken up. I was still vegan, as I had been for years, and still eating more healthfully than probably 90% of the human population, in America anyway, but what had been an effortless joy became a feeling of depletion and struggle. My question is: did I transfer my relationship woes into my relationship with food? It certainly looks like it from afar. I wonder, though, so let’s take an exploratory gander at it, shall we? I think it’s very interesting for a number of reasons.

People rarely talk about these kind of thoughts, I know, but it is something I’ve noticed that bears looking into if only to see if it goes anywhere interesting. Do we, especially women, take on the imbalances of our lovers? Or is it only ever a reflection? I really wonder sometimes. It’s likely both, so we’ll look at a few perspectives here. I have a feeling that the answer is probably entirely dependent upon the person you are with and the dynamics of your relationship, so there will likely be no straightforward answer. If you’re still reading, heh, then let’s begin.

Upon reflection, I see that in some ways I did take on some of his food issues. It may be inevitable that women do this. It is one of the reasons why finding a lover who you really truly love is so important for women. Actually, more important is that he loves you. It’s because there is a LOT of work involved in being a woman. I haven’t had the opportunity to ask such a deep question of any men yet, but I wonder if they have this capacity for taking on the issues of their lover or is it strictly a female thing, based upon the dynamics of, um, the ‘bowl and spoon’ nature of sex inherent the male and female physique. Are ye following me?

I suppose gay men would have similar issues if this is true, but they are releasing into an area dedicated to, er, release, so maybe not. Whew! HEAVY stuff here, folks. Um, Hello? Is anyone out there still with me so far? If so, then Please comment (nicely) so that I know I am onto something here worth discussing! It can be lonely when you wander this far into um – analysis? [Wincing at the sting of such a pun. My friends:] I make my attempts at humor to bring a bit of light onto the scene, but it goes without saying that only a few hardy souls have the constitution for this stuff. I know. Perhaps with good reason, hmmm…

For me, it’s just more fun if I am consciously engaging my mind, body and spirit. And what I’ve noticed in my life is that live food gives you a great deal of clarity about life issues. How much of this is something that bears discussion is something that I suppose I am discovering in this moment, yes?, and I hope everyone remembers to be gentle and respectful with any comments to the contrary, if there are any because for me, this is about sharing my experience both for the sake of my own clarity and so that it will be easier and easier for all of us. And things like this come up. That is part of the human experience that we address as it comes instead of drowning it in some distraction like recreational drugs or, like a big bowl of food, cooked or not. It’s ok, it’s the mind. No need to be afraid or in denial of the inner brainiac, just recognize that and make adjustments as necessary for optimum truth and happiness.

In retrospect, after writing all of this, which I Shall post!, I’ve come to a conclusion that seems useful and true. When I moved, I stopped using the blender. Eating only whole food was not giving me the nutritional density that I got from blender food. Juice was too expensive to live on while I was traveling and also not dense enough for me. So the disintegration of my relationship was very representative of the disintegration of my nutritional profile. A simultaneous meltdown that could easily have been prevented with a bit more of a commitment to my self and a bit more knowledge about the need for nutrient density on my part. Actually, I knew that, but I allowed myself to be distracted by another person’s drama. And it was what brought me back into cooked foods for all the wrong reasons. Grounding, warmth and comfort, especially comfort. It had never been much of a food issue before I met him and honestly, I think I picked it up from him like some sort of viral meme.

And perhaps, when I took away the need for comfort food, I was allowed an example of just how lacking in nutrients my diet had become. A handful of nuts and salad from the organic deli bar, no matter how large the portion, is not even remotely enough nutrition to cover a major move and a new relationship, and I knew that, but I had forgotten, in the move and the relationship drama. This is how it happened for me. I hope that sharing this shines a bit of light on someone else’s relationship with commitment. Food-wise, it’s really about ensuring enough quantity with enough nutrition, at least while you adjust to what your new lifestyle requires of you. After that, remains to be seen in my case, but lately I crave simplicity and freshness over anything else, including diversity. And that leads to every other good thing. Like ‘The Vegetable Garden’, at which point diversity will happen naturally. And that is for another post, because I’d really like to reflect on the above for a while. Thank you for reading, and until next time ~~~

Hello world!

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