Transition to Raw Foods with René Oswald - Raw Food Magazine Transition to Raw Foods with René Oswald - Raw Food Magazine

Transition to Raw Foods with René Oswald

Rene Oswald teaching a raw food class in Sacramento, California

Rene Oswald teaching a raw food class in Sacramento, California

Sara:            Hello and welcome, this is Sara Grove with Raw Food Magazine and today you guys are in for a special treat. I’m here with René Oswald, and, if you have not attended one of her courses or seen any of her online videos, you’re definitely going to enjoy this. René Oswald is a Registered Nurse and an Advanced Practitioner of Health through Diet, Nutrition and Exercise. But probably she’s best known for the work that she’s completed over the last decade in forming the course of transitioning to living cuisine. And she’s coached hundreds of individuals, helping them transition and establish a healthy, maintainable lifestyle that they can really enjoy with raw foods. We’re going to get to talk to her a little bit about, how to transition, how to corporate more living in raw foods into your diet, how to set attainable and achievable goals for this new year instead of going down the path to frustration and failure, and I’m really looking forward to talking to her. René is real, practical, motivating and has coached hundreds of people just like you. Welcome, René, thanks for being here today!


René:            Thank you so much for having me. I’m so excited to be here, Sara.


Sara:            It’s such a pleasure. To get started, I would love to hear a little bit about your background; I know you’re a Registered Nurse and you spent many years working in a hospital setting so …


René:            Right


Sara:            And out of curiosity, as a nursing student, what were the requirements for education in nutrition?


René:            It was very little. Back, this is back in the late ’70s, I’m going to age myself here. But back then, we basically were told ok, “This is the diabetic’s diet, this is the cardiac diet, when they have a heart attack, this is what we feed them” and it was so basic. There was very little, really, in nutrition and I found that even as I went, as I furthered my career and I went to deeper levels of nursing, I went and I worked at a big community hospital, I mean a big teaching facility in Missouri. I was at the point that I could start taking med students’ class. I could go to any class that a med student went to, free of charge, and I felt like, “Oh I can advance into the nutrition” because I was so interested in nutrition


Sara:            Right


René:            But I was so appalled that what they were teaching them, it was so basic. I just wanted to learn and I was not learning anything. I said, “Oh my gosh, this is terrible!” And so I didn’t learn anything about nutrition until I got sick myself.


Sara:            Yeah, let’s talk a little bit about that. I know you were diagnosed with an auto-immune disease called, Mastocytosis. Can you tell us a little bit about that experience?


René:            Many people don’t even know how to say that word because it’s such a rare illness. As a nurse, I was getting sick, really sick. For about six years I kept … my body was deteriorating so fast and no one could figure out what was wrong with me. I was going to all these specialists and, you know, I went to hospitals where I knew the doctors and they just kept telling me they didn’t know what it is and I just became really stressed out because I had four little kids, I had twins


Sara:             Oh, wow


René:            Within seven years I had four kids, you know and I was working hard. Anyways, after six years, they finally figured it out, they did a biopsy on my esophagus and said, “Wow, you have Mastocytosis, this is really rare. And, you know, I was so excited that I had a diagnosis, because after six years of suffering …


Sara:            Right


René:            You know, I was down to 85lbs at this point and I wasn’t digesting my food, you know, just, half of the time, I couldn’t sleep …


Sara:            Oh, wow.


René:            Just a wreck, you know and they said, there is nothing we can do for you, you’re going to die, nothing, we don’t know how to cure this, don’t know how to fix it, there’s nothing we can do but give you about 20 different medications to help with the symptoms


Sara:             Minimize pain


René:            Yeah, and I was like, wait a minute, what are these medications? We got like steroids here, all kinds of awful drugs that had terrible side effects and I said, “No, I think I’m going to look for another alternative …”


Sara:            What was that like for you and your family to be faced with that sort of diagnosis?


René:            It was horrible because like I said, my kids were so little, they were, you know, really young, my youngest was a newborn and I thought, you know, I’m going to die and leave my kids and I was looking for a wife for my husband


Sara:            Oh, wow


René:            It was horrible. And so, I started just searching on my own and I then kept coming back to diet and nutrition and reading, you know; back then, this was in the ’80s, the late, late ’80s, and early ’90s, and you know, we weren’t even using the internet much, you know, there were about I don’t know, ten alternative books on nutrition and now I’m like wow, now we have so much information, was so unexpected


Sara: That’s so wonderful


René:            Yeah, it wasn’t a lot back then and so, I just started talking to people who were vegetarian or vegan or macrobiotic and learning about all these different diets, and how people were dealing with all these different illnesses with diet. So, I started with macrobiotics and then I went vegetarian and then vegan, and every step I took, I found that, the more I gravitated toward a raw, plant-based diet, the better I felt and the faster I could feel my body healing and retaining the nutrients that I hadn’t been doing for so many years. That’s how I got involved in this, healing myself and then over the last fifteen years, I, my goal in life has just switched around the medical hospital life and really seeing, really witnessing true healing. You know and so, it was so rewarding, compared to what I was doing, you know because I work in all different fields, I worked in Psychology, I worked in adults intensive care, I worked in Pediatrics, ER, you know, every different area and looking back on that, and remembering how the people would keep coming back, they weren’t healing, they were just maintaining, and especially cancer, I mean those people always came back and it was just horrid.


Sara:             I’m sure it was very discouraging as a nurse, as a medical professional trying to help these people and them continuing to stay sick. So as far as Mastocytosis is supposed to be incurable, so for all practical purposes, you consider yourself cured?


René:            I don’t feel like I’m cured, I still have, if I’m not real careful with how I eat and I am real careful with how I eat, but I am a 100% raw and I do occasionally eat steamed vegetables. But if I don’t if I don’t maintain the optimum nutrition, I do feel like I could slip back into it so for that reason, I don’t like to use the word cured, like to use the word, living a healthy lifestyle


Sara:            Not living under a death sentence


René: Yeah, and the healthiest I’ve ever been in my entire life and as a child, you know, I wasn’t sick as a child until I got healthy and I was like wow, I wasn’t healthy even as a child


Sara:            I know, you never can tell how good you can feel until you get there. So you, I mean obviously you’ve wrestled with this illness and you’re very passionate about raw living foods and have devoted so much of your life to that. What other benefits have you like experienced or your students, I mean what makes you so passionate about this way of life?


René:            Just the fact that everyone that I’ve helped has benefited from this. It’s not like, if you take a drug, you might have a better or you might not or have side effects. It’s not that way with this, everyone benefits and it’s not totally, in some way or another, increased energy, weight loss, put more clarity in their life and I mean a lot of people go into the one reason, but then find there’s twenty other benefits that they raked from this and that’s just, you know, just really exciting and it’s really great when I see someone going into this with a husband who is going along with it, just to support them and then they start to have all these amazing benefits they did think about


Sara:             Like, wow this is great!


René: Yeah, it’s really great


Sara:            That is


René: It’s something that everyone can do, it’s not rocket science


Sara:            But that’s a huge misconception, because I think for a lot of people, the idea of veganism, let alone raw veganism, sounds scary, it sounds complicated, it sounds time consuming, it sounds restricting and so especially this time of year, people are making their resolutions, we have people setting goals from losing weight to managing their diabetes, to, a lot of our readers, they report that they just want to live an overall more joyful life and that is why they’re pursuing this lifestyle and learning more about health and nutrition. In your perspective and with your course, it doesn’t have to be that way


René:                  Right, yeah definitely with my experience when I first started eating this way, it was, I had to I was forced on, to live on, and then when I started, you know, following the task and realizing there was so much to do: sprouting, dehydrating, all this stuff that I had never done and it overwhelming and I reach the benefits of doing it but I was so exhausted at the beginning because I wasn’t well yet, I was just healing. Then I felt, okay I got to figure out a way to make it an easier path because I can’t do all this, physically I couldn’t do it so I started, I love cooking you know as a child I always loved cooking , baking, preparing food. So I have that benefit, you know, that a lot of people don’t have and I knew how to create and so I figured out a way to make, it’s really simple, really easy, less time consuming and the big thing too, it’s less expensive, you know, because, I don’t know if you’ve read a lot of raw food books that, some of the websites and these books and recipes are just so, not only labor intensive but expensive.

Sara:                  Yeah, full of exotic ingredients.


René:                  Right.


Sara:                  And so hard to come by so


René:                  Money, or really high dollar ingredients, twenty-five dollars a pound, you add up this pie recipe, I’ve done this before and added up the cost. That pie cost $50! $50 to spend on a pie, you know.


Sara:                  Yeah.


René:                  Every recipe in my book is really cost effective, I use the lower dollar recipes which are more beneficial and more nutrient-dense.  You really get the nutrition value and they are 2-3 dollars a pound instead of $25 a pound.


Sara:                  So that’s really what we are going for is trying to make this accessible and practical for someone especially someone that’s a busy person, I mean I know you, it was overwhelming at first and you also had four small children.


René:                  Right.


Sara:                  And so that’s a lot to contend with, but say I’m just a total beginner and I want to move in this direction and want try and eat more raw living foods. What would be your first step for me?


René:                 That’s a great question because that’s where I always start with everyone, where they’re at and most people are in that situation where they’re overwhelmed when they look at a book and they read all these different things in them, take it one step at a time and that’s why I wrote the book on levels, it has seven levels. First level is so easy it takes five minutes a day to make a green smoothie and they can drink them in the morning or in the afternoon, in the evening or whenever it’s good for them and I teach them how to make a smoothie in a really easy way by buying frozen fruits to start off with or freezing the fruits and buying grains already pre-washed, bags of spinach or whatever greens they’re using. So it’s so simple, so super simple that they will do this every day and I tell them just do this one thing for the first 30 days, it’s a lot of reasons I do it that way but one is that I don’t want them to be overwhelmed, you know when people start to make New Year’s resolution, I’m going to do these 20 different things and by February  1st or sooner it’s all over because they are just overwhelmed and I find it so much better if people will follow one small change very easily for 30 days  and then after they’ve gotten into this routine of making the green smoothie for  thirty days  they’re  ready to do  something new, they are ready to add something new to their life and they are also excited because  that one change makes such a difference in  their life. They’re starting to have more clarity, they have more energy, they are happier and their bowels are better and that’s a big one because, once your digestion is better so many things change in your life. One of the reasons for that is that when we start eating more grains it cleans out the intestinal tract and that’s what the serotonin receptors are, it’s in the intestinal tract and if your intestines are being clogged up with white flour and white sugar and tasty stuffs for a long time, you get crust and are not cleared and when you make that cleaning, you do that cleaning with the green smoothie.  Usually after 2-3 weeks people will feel in no time, “Wow I’m just so happy , feel so healthy!”


Sara:                  Yes.


René:                  And that’s why.


Sara:                  I know, that is a beautiful thing, you can eat yourself to happiness.


René:                  Yea it is so great, and then a lot of times they’ll say, “Can I eat something else, can I add more?”


Sara:                    What’s next?


René:                  It’s for the 30 days, stop drinking coffee, stop smoking?  I’m like yeah go ahead.


Sara:                  Yeah go for it, I really like that.  Much more accessible New Year’s resolution or goals set for yourself are maybe to have just one each month and just starting by adding.


René:                  Right.


Sara:                  One green smoothie a day and what I also love about the first stage of your program is that you also use green smoothies and the soups. Because I think something intimidating in the winter time is like, oh I don’t want to wake up and have a cold green smoothie first thing in the morning but you can also make one of those raw soups and have that for lunch or incorporate that.


René:                  Right.


Sara:                  As kind of your raw meal during the day.


René:                  That’s right, and if they do want to have the smoothie they can have it in the afternoon, at least they’ll like it better in the afternoon, because it’s cold in the morning.  Another thing with that, so important is that people start with just one leaf of green lettuce if they have not been eating greens. I have one man who had not ever eaten any green for his entire life and he was 50 years old.


Sara:                  Wow!

René:                  So he had to start with one leaf of green because your intestinal tract is not used to greens and your body has to change or you’ll just have a major cleanse and so it’s best to start slowly and so I tell everybody, you know, especially if you’re helping somebody who is starting on this and you been drinking green smoothie for years and you put a half a pound of greens in yours and it may be fine for you; but, make sure you don’t do that with your friend.


Sara:                  Yeah.


René:                  It will just overwhelm their body and not only that, their taste buds too so they never want to have another one.


Sara:                  You make one green smoothie and they’re turned off, afraid of it for a long time.


René:                  So I say it’s a vast approach and they, if you need to sweeten it up for people who want sweet, you just put some raw honey in there, that really helps.


Sara:                 I’d love to zoom in on that a little bit more because I think there’s a lot of talk in the    raw food world when people just totally hop and change their diet about the healing crisis and having kind of this detoxification phase, where you get really sick and you get acne and you get the flu symptoms and it just sounds very nasty and intimidating. Does it have to be that way?


René:                    No not at all and I cover a lot of that in my book and that’s one of the reasons to take it slowly with just one green smoothie a day and starting slowly with the greens. You won’t notice anything and the big thing is to take it slowly at your own pace and not just say, I’m going to be doing 92 days of juicing. That’s not really unless you’re in the place you got terminal cancer, you’re going to die, you know, if you don’t do something and you’ll have to do things a little faster. But if you are just trying to get healthier, its best you start slowly, give yourself time to adjust to these changes, that’s so important.


Sara:                 What are some of the major challenges that maybe you ran into or you see a lot of your students run into when they’re first starting to adopt more raw foods?


René:                  Is craving for unhealthy things is a big one, they’d say, I really like the way it feels but I still crave all these foods.


Sara:                  Yeah.


René:                  And how we help people with that is to sit down with them, and find out what food that they love and then we sit down and try to, maybe they love cheese so we will make a cheese sauce and I show them that you actually take that cheese and make things that they are you are used to. For instance, pizza, we make an awesome, raw food pizza that is unbelievable and lasagna and spaghetti and meatballs and you know, all those things that they are craving.  If I can create a table stash of all these foods and fill their cupboards, which is what I love to do and I spend a lot of time past summers visiting California and Oregon, Colorado. I was going to some people’s homes and completely taking everything out of their kitchen


Sara:                  Yeah.


René:                    That was bad for them and put good stuff in. And so instead of chips they now have kale chips, crackers, raw food crackers and you know all these foods; you know they’re go-to food I call them. You know when you’re hungry, instead of, oh my gosh there’s nothing to eat what am I going to do.


Sara:                  Yeah, I’m so hungry.


René:                  So instead for some ice cream, I teach them how to make ice cream and teach them and you know, teach them how to make all those foods really fast in five minutes. Most of my recipes, all of my recipes take 15 minutes or less, and you know that you’re going to have food in 15 minutes.


Sara:                  Another thing is there is a misconception that raw food has to take forever, you have to sprout for days and dehydrate things for 10 hours and it doesn’t. I mean a lot of people end up going there searching for more variety and to experiment more, but especially starting out, that is not the most practical.


René:                  Right, but the most and guess important part of my program that people always told me was learning how to make their table stash of foods. All right you have a jar of beans in your cabinet and you’re going to have to practice, soak those for eight hours and then drain them and then dehydrate them for at least a week so. You know you’re hungry now, not 12 hours from now that’s why the favorite dish is so important because what I do is teach people how to with all these seeds  and dehydrate them so that, in your cupboard now you have these seeds that are right there and ready for you to use when you want something to eat. Now you can make the recipe in five minutes because you have those seeds ready to go, which I like.  Comparing having flour in your cabinet to make the cake or having wheat dairy in your cabinet, where you will have to grind out the wheat to make your flour which is even more intense than that because you’re soaking it for eight hours and all that. Once you’ve created that staple stash, you only have to do that every two to three months because once the seeds have been grouted, all of the oil that’s on the outside of the seed is now gone, so the internal oil in the seed will not go rancid because it usually takes, can take three to four months before the seed would go rancid.


Sara:                  Wow!


René:                  Seeds that will last, I have three dehydrators and I make a staple stash that will last  two or three months and if you only have to do that six times a year that will make you save up cash. You get used to that, it like oh wasn’t that big deal, everyone says it doesn’t take long, you don’t have to watch your seeds soak for 8 hours, just leave them. It’s really cool, I mean, that’s been the biggest seller on this whole program, that is like so easy. It was, when my daughter was 11 years old, and she had her cavity so she wanted to go raw, because she wanted to heal her cavity. But when she would come home from school, she’s hungry.  So, I save the stash for her because she’s hungry now, she can’t wait to eat.


Sara:                  Yeah, she just wants to come home and grab something out of the cupboard and we are good to go.


René:                  Yeah right. She would make, her favorite was chocolate cream and it’s one of my favorite recipes too. It’s just I could  have things like veggies … she would throw that together in literally, three to four minutes, eating chocolates, it was so cool


Sara:                  That’s wonderful. Just out of curiosity, how much time now you think you spend in an average week on food preparation?


René:                  I eat very simple now, I don’t make all these recipes every day. To make salad dressings, that may take maybe two minutes to put together and chopping vegetables takes the longest time but I use the food processor and the blender for almost everything I do. So I say maybe 15 minutes to 30 minutes a day and that 15 minutes to 30 minutes a day is because I love to do it, you know, I do, I love chopping vegetable with a knife, I don’t like to use the electric motor for everything. You know the 30 minutes I’m spending is because I actually like to do it, and if I didn’t like cause some people just really don’t like it so they just use the food processor. Chop it up in the food processor and that takes far less time.


Sara:                  Are there any tools that you think are especially important to have as a beginner?


René:                  I do really advocate the Vitamix, that’s my most important tool and it’s because, especially as a new person you want to make sure everything turns out really good and really fast . I teach people how to blend up raw foods in the Vitamix and squeeze it through in a juice bag for their juice, so they don’t have to buy an expensive juice bag if they want to use that for juicing.


Sara:                  You use that for both?


René:                  Yeah, you can use it for both, it’s an expensive machine but it is so valuable. I use my vitamin five times a day; you know I can’t imagine life without it.  It’s a time saver and it’s so valuable.


Sara:                  So when you were first, and I mean I know you had to kind of totally jump into it because of your diagnosis, but the times when you start eating healthy it gets very exciting because you’re recognizing these positive changes, you feel better, your bowel movements are better, you are happier. And then a lot people kind of hit a wall or plateau or start getting discouraged. Did you experience that, like moments of discouragement where you wanted to fall off the bandwagon or maybe some of your students have?


René:                  I did and one of the reasons for that was I’ve eaten way too many nuts, not eating enough of the nutrient dense foods and I see that a lot with my students they go into the raw food movement and they start eating tons of this high on nuts dense food like the nut burgers and the pie and the cookies, you know they just start craving those kind of things and they find that, wow I’m not feeling so good anymore you know they have health issues often because when I sit down with them and really evaluate their diet and they said no I haven’t been eating any eating nuts really. What did you eat in the last week?  Often times 60% of fat from the nuts that they are eating, they’re not eating enough greens and once we change that around where more nutrients make food like your vegetable and greens and fruits, everything changes. That’s the most important factor I’ve seen in when people start to go off, you know besides them not feeling well but usually the factor they’re using oil is not for the big one. And people don’t realize when they eat olive oil, they have to be careful, a lot of time gaining weight is that when they start eating, they’re using the olive oil or any kind of oil way too much.


Sara:                  And when you were first eating raw food were you kind of in charge of food prep for the family, or for your children?


René:                  Yeah my children were still eating cooked food, so I was cooking for them and preparing my food. You know, they were eating kind of healthy, but they weren’t into raw food diet.


Sara:                  And how did you balance that, you know, most of our, or a lot of our readers are moms and are in charge of food for the family. So that’s kind of a struggle we see a lot is how do I continue to kind of move myself to the direction I want to when maybe my family or my husband is not ready to, without exhausting myself having to do double time all the time.


René:                  Hopefully they are having help in the kitchen and that’s what I always advocate when I work with a family is to get the kids to be more responsible for their meals and help out in the preparation and then also if they’re resistant to trying the raw food and because it’s like a green component, they don’t like the green look. So I help a lot of people hide greens like with their toddlers, put it in a colored sippy cup, so they can’t see the greens.


Sara:                  Oh yeah.


René:                  And they’re like, they love the taste and eventually if you show them what they’re drinking, it’s that shock of the green color.  It happened to my daughter, her cup fell on the ground and the greens fell all over the floor, that’s my daughter, “What is that, what am I drinking?”


Sara:                  It must have been a shock, that’s great, just sneaking them in hiding them.


René:                  Yes, as much as you can and another way to sneak the greens in is to chop up the greens so they’re not, so you don’t give the recipe that green color and just chop the greens most of my recipes high green and high vegetable, like the veggie burger and the meat ball and all these things that we make are high in nutrient dense food and I often say, don’t overload them at first, just add some nutrition, make that recipe and add it to your burger recipe. So that it’s not something brand new that you just force on them and you don’t have to tell them about it. See if they like that, add 25% of your recipe in with your traditional recipes they won’t even know anything is different; that’s how I get people off of coffee too. Just add 25% of the coffee alternative and then 30% and then 50% till they come off the coffee gradually and they won’t notice. Your body won’t notice when it’s a gradual thing.


Sara:                  Because it’s so slow. Are there any coffee substitutes that you recommend or that your students have really enjoyed?


René:                  I don’t know the exact brand, but barley alternatives are really good and most are alkaline which is good There’s quite a few out there. Yeah the barley and they’re gluten free. And the other thing I suggest with kids, like, if you’re eating something new and they say, wow, I want to try that share and say how great it is.


Sara:                  This is so delicious.


René:                  Another thing that I do is take my kids grocery shopping and say, ok we’re going to make something you want to make, pick anything you want from the produce section.  They go and pick something. If they are more involved in the meal they are going to be more excited about it, and if you have you know one, going into my book, if you are going to make something with carrots or with eggplant or broccoli, you know, whatever they want, just make it fun, make it something that they want.


Sara:                  And did you notice, kind of your choices at the home start to impact your kids and your husband without you trying to force it on them?


René:                  Probably, because I started, I always asked the children to read the label on whatever we, I will always take them grocery shopping with me and, if it’s under five grams of sugar and cereals then you can have that. You know, different ingredients just make sure it has whole-wheat flour in it. So they are used to reading labels and they became more conscious of the different vegetables because I didn’t, we ate vegetables but we didn’t need all these different vegetables. You know when you’re only eating raw food and vegetables you want to have more variety so they started eating a lot of new foods that they have never had before prepared in different ways and everything, so definitely.


Sara:                  Wow. That can always be so fun discovering a new vegetable or a new fruit you never saw before, it’s like a discovery.


René:                  It was really incredible, when we moved to Florida and learned about these tropical fruits, it was fun.


Sara:                  Yeah I like that; that will be really fun. And so with your students that you coach are there any common threads are characteristics you see of the people who are like the most successful versus the ones who kind of fizzle out and give up?


René:                  Yeah, the ones that are most successful are like, it seems like are the ones that see the benefit right away, you know they start feeling good and they want to keep going. And the ones that take a little longer maybe they’re in a health situation, health crisis where they are also taking a lot of medications and they kind of felt soggy, they kind of have a mental fog from the medications they’re on and they’re not thinking very clearly, it’s a lot harder for them because they’re not, for one thing, feeling the benefits of that because they have all these other things going on in their body because of the medication they’re on. It’s just harder if they’re not feeling the positive result of such.


Sara:                  Need those little winds to keep you motivated and keep excited about the next step. What about you, were there any ah ah moments as you began learning more and more over the last 10 years?


René:                  Yeah, my big ah ah moment was, I had been eating this way for about four or five years and then all of a sudden I had this rash that was scaring me because I didn’t have insurance because of my auto-immune disease, I was not insurable, I had to go to a doctor to find out what it was and then I started seeing these growths on my eye and it was gross and it was spreading across my forehead, and oh my gosh I was so scared, I didn’t know what to do and I just get this feeling to juice.   And this was something very new.  When it happened and I was reading about it, in fact, this website just opened about a month before this happened. And so I started doing this juicing and after 17 days this growth completely went away on my forehead, completely gone.


Sara:                  Wow.


René:                  Just kind of chipped off and it was gone. And it was really gross and it was growing and I said, how can it vanish in just 17 days. And in another 17 days my vision corrected and I was fine I’ve never had any other problems from it.


Sara:                  Wow.


René:                  And I was amazed at how it healed my body and I’d done a lot of readings and I found that your body goes after the worst things first and when you do a juice feast before anything else.


Sara:                  Right.


René:                  So whatever it was must have been pretty severe for that to happen so fast, so I felt in that process to start doing more and more juicing so every year I will start juicing for at least  a month I will have good plan and I did one for 52 days  about three years ago.  And, on those 52 days of juicing, which is good because I loved it, I really love the way it makes me feel and I just thought well, we live in a toxic world, get those toxins out.  So after the 40th day of my juicing, I, my body immediately came off therapy drugs that I had administered back in the ’80s.


Sara:                  Wow!


René:                  And I just like, I couldn’t understand it, I mean, why this is happening and then I started thinking about it and back then I wouldn’t follow the protocol that they do now. Back in the ’80s all we did was wear gloves when we were getting chemo, that’s all we did. Nowadays they have these special double gloves that they wear, they have a special respirator mask they wear, they have, you know this full guard which completely covers their body, really looking like they’re hijacking, you know.


Sara:                  So those chemicals that you absorbed years ago working in the hospital were just starting to surface and be released.


René:                  They were coming out for three days they emitted through my skin, through my hearing, through you know, out my liver, it was amazing, Sara, and so it really opened my eyes up to, you know what we can accomplish like getting into a deeper cleanse like the juicing thing. Because I’ve being eating raw food for, I’m 100% raw for seven years, when I did this, but this is major, I mean I’ve been harboring these chemotherapy drugs in my body for almost 30 years. So now I help people to really do deep cleansing with the juicing thing and I wrote a book on juicing things, on juicing things for life, it’s an e-book. The protocol to use this, the website that’s my favorite branch where I do a great job, yeah.


Sara:                  So that could be an amazing goal or resolution for someone maybe that has been eating high raw, totally raw for some time now.


René:                  Right.


Sara:                  Is to really try and take the next step and experiment with a juice cleanse.


René:                  Yeah, and I do all different levels of juicing even someone who is brand new to this can add juice to their diet, you know first thing in the morning, you know an 8oz glass. It started out like everything else, starting off slowly and doing what your body is asking for, you know it’s all different levels, you know people go out anywhere from one day to 92 days.


Sara:                  Wow.


René:                  It’s just anything you can do with this.


Sara:                  That is, that is truly amazing, we feel good that we’re eating healthier and we are choosing these right, all these right choices and then people expect to never get sick again and I heard people blame like oh this raw food thing and like oh, I still got a cold or I still this or that and you also have to realize like where your food is actually coming from, where the produce is coming from. But also just the environment you’re in, just car exhausts, chemical cleaners and all sort of things that we are exposed to on a daily basis.


René:                  And the biggest thing is stress, that’s the biggest helper I think for poor health is stress and yep, so many people are so stressed out right now.


Sara:                  Oh yeah. And then you get stressed that you’re not handling you stress well and it just multiplies. What if for you, I mean, I can only imagine how stressful that time was for you, making all these changes and raising a family and facing a death sentence. Were there any kind of mechanism or techniques that you learned to use to keep yourself calm or keep yourself present?


René:                  Breathing. I get a lot of breathing exercises and I get some yoga and chigong, yeah, and EFT, yeah


Sara:                  You tried everything


René:                  Yeah and they all worked, I felt great, I felt what I focus on. I really love EFT I think that is such a valuable tool that anyone can use and it’s so easy to learn, inexpensive and free.


Sara:                  So then your experiences and some of your students as you cleansed your bodies did you feel more mentally calm and in control?


René:                  Oh yeah, totally and there’s a lot of reasons for that like I talked about the ____ receptors in digestive tract, but also your brain is getting the nutrients it needs so that makes you calm. And all the nutrients that you need through the blood brain barrier make you feel really good and then your energy goes up so that makes you feel good.


Sara:                  Feel like you can handle more, take on more.


René:                  Yeah.


Sara:                  What about for your kids, did you notice any changes as their diets changed?


René:                  Yeah, I breastfed all my children for years and I knew the value of that, when I had the twins, I nursed them to over two years and they were just so healthy from being breastfed and then continuing on with that by giving them healthy food. I never had any problems with the kids they were always real healthy. That was a good thing.


Sara:                  That is such a blessing.


René:                  Yeah.


Sara:                  With the people that you coach and console, and I know that you and your husband have travelled a lot to, to teach. What do you see is like the most common reason for people wanting to learn about raw foods?


René:                  I feel that the most common reason is that tired of being on pharmaceutical medications, they want to get off because there are so many side effects in the medications and they see you know, that it’s not helping them to stay on the path they’re on and to keep adding more medications to their life every year, they want to get off and that’s a big one. And also, the cancer rate is so high right now is so high and they’re seeing their loved ones with cancer and they want to avoid it at all cost, if something they can do with their diet, they want to make that switch.


Sara:                  That’s one that I’m so glad is becoming more accepted and at least there’s more information out there, that chemo is not your only option when it comes to treating cancer.


René:                  Another big one is the cardiovascular disease rate is so high and 50% of people that have their first heart attack it’s going to be failed and knowing that they’re accessible to it and in their family and all these reasons, they’re like, I don’t want to die of a heart attack.


Sara:                  Yeah.


René:                  I see people, I see young children with high blood pressure.


Sara:                  That is really wild, that’s shocking.


René:                  And the obesity rate in our children right now. I helped a lot of families to, that’s their struggle to try to stay healthy in an unhealthy world, when they’re going to school and have to decide what they are going to take, go to school with the children and you know, how they are going to handle those kind of issues because that’s a big problem, even if they take healthy foods to school, they can end up eating whatever.


Sara:                  All sorts of things, oh yeah I know, when I think back to the food I ate as a kid at school cafeteria I’m just really shocked. What, is that really what we ate?


René:                  Yeah.


Sara:                  But yeah things are changing slowly but surely. Before we go, do you have some top advice for how someone can stay encouraged and stay motivated, some key things that they can do to keep them motivated to eat raw foods?


René:                  Finding foods that you love, I think that is the most important thing, and never eat something because you think it’s healthy and you should eat it.  Make things you WANT to eat because they taste amazing and make you feel good.


Sara:                                    Great advice, thank you!


To learn more about René’s Transitioning to Living Cuisine program, visit her on the web at!


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