The other night I attended a lecture by John Kohler at a shop called Pure Health Foods. It's a friendly store with great deals on health products and a helpful staff. It was advertized by the local Las Vegas Raw Food Meetup, and he spoke to a full room of raw food enthusiasts.
John Kohler is a raw food coach who has two great channels on Youtube and is probably one of the busiest guys in the raw food world.
He started the lecture by telling his story. Here's a place where he tells it. The cleanse he mentions, "Arise and Shine," can be found here. We haven't tried it yet, but perhaps one day we will.
He made a couple of really great points. One point was that a lot of the raw recipe books include too much oil and salt in their recipes. I have to admit that many of the recipes I've tried and posted here included oil and salt, and the meals with more oil and salt felt heavy. We aren't ready to cut all oil and salt from our diet, but each week we try to set aside three days where we do not consume anything but fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds with no salt, oil, or cooked condiments such as tamari, agave or maple syrup. However, I do occasionally enjoy making a "gourmet" raw meal with these ingredients.
Another point he made was that we only really need one or maybe two handfuls of nuts per day. I have experienced the truth in this. When we consumed more nuts than that, it did affect my energy.
He gave some great tips on where to find certain raw foods here in Las Vegas. He mentioned Mariana's as a great place to find coconut because their turnover is high. Vons is a good place to find decent organic produce. Cowboy Trails Farm is a great local organic farm that offers a variety of fresh heirloom produce. One big surprise was the 99 Cents Only stores, which he said sells bags of organic spring mix for 99 cents. I can't wait to look into that!
He also said we should chew our food 200 times! He's right when you think about it. The nutrition in raw veggies, particularly greens, is contained within the cell walls of the plant. Most people probably just chew long enough to turn the food into a bolus that can be swallowed, trusting stomach digestion to do the rest. Unfortunately any nutrition still locked in the insoluble plant fibers will pass out of the body undigested. Victoria Boutenko, in her book, "Green For Life," says that we should chew our greens until they are of a creamy consistency in our mouths. John Kohler said that it can take him up to two hours to finish a meal.
One of the most useful tips he mentioned was about vitamin K2. K1 is found in leafy vegetables, so as raw vegans we are getting plenty of that. K2 however, is different. It's a bit harder to get that on a vegan diet. We produce it in our gut from bacteria, but the problem is that if you've taken antibiotics or if you are older, you might be at risk of deficiency. He mentioned natto as a good source of vitamin K2. He said that fresh organic natto is best, but if that's unavailable, then the next best thing would be in supplement form.
He also demo'd a great tool for getting coconut meat out of mature coconuts. He called it a coconut demeater.
He had a few copies of his recipe book available, but I didn't get one because there weren't enough there for all the interested people to get one. When I asked if they were available online, he said yes but he it can take a while for him to fill the order because he travels so much.
A shout out to John Kohler: It was a great lecture! Thank you! Maybe someday you'll have time to make your recipes available in a PDF download with a Paypal transaction? Please?