I have released four recipe books so far:

The Best of the Sunny Raw Kitchen
The Best of Raw Freedom Community
Delightfully Raw and
Deliciously Raw

These feature some of the most delectable creations to have come out of my raw kitchen and will appeal to anyone interested in a healthier diet, regardless of their level of knowledge and experience. From easy one-step everyday fare to more elaborate and involved gourmet dishes and layered cakes, they offer something for everyone and every occasion. Incredibly tasty smoothies, creamy and comforting warm soups, sexy salads, delicious nut cheezes, satisfying entrees and scrumptious guilt-free desserts...

Healthy food never tasted so good!

To learn more about my recipe books, click here!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Health Video Update - Part X

It's been a very loooong time since I've posted anything on my blog. I suppose that's partly because of our not having internet connection at home; our lives have been revolving mostly around, well, 'real life'.  I must also admit that for quite a while the news of my gut issue wouldn't have been that great so I figured you were best not knowing what's happening at my end.

Anyhoo, after spending a quiet winter in our little cabin in the woods here we are again, out of hibernation, safe and (mostly) sound. Before I go ahead and give you a video update of how I've been feeling health-wise, here are a few pics I wanted to share with you first.

Winter Style
Our cabin is heated by a wood stove so Mr. Donnie had to look after our firewood supply. As the wood pile grew smaller over the months, by Spring he had to get on all fours and go into the 'igloo' that had been created by the frozen and snowy tarp.

Throughout the cold months Don diligently continued to do the Five Tibetan Rites every morning. Unfortunately after years of doing them with him I had to eventually give up since my weak wrists (from carpal tunnel) prevented me from performing 2 of them. One morning, as he was stretching I happened to glance over and noticed Miss Da Pu (yes, that's short for 'Puss', which is short for 'Pussycat') in virtually the exact same position! he he

Settling Down
OK, so now fast forward to when Spring was well under way. Here's the humble cabin that has become our home. For the first time in 4 years we have officially turned the page on our nomadic lifestyle and have settled down. We've decided to sell the fifth wheel trailer and truck as it had become obvious that we weren't going to go back on the road anytime soon.

Plus we are totally comfortable here. The cabin is a little quirky, but then so are we! lol More importantly it's located in a quiet area with access to a nice walk, just a short drive from the nearby town so we can check our emails every few days, the landlords are really sweet and rent is reasonable. What more could one want!

A Garden At Last
One of the major perks of this place is that previous renters had set up several beds as well as a green house. They obviously really knew what they were doing as the soil looks nice and rich and is filled with earthworms; a sure good sign! Unfortunately many renters after them weren't into gardening so the beds were all grown over. Preparing them wasn't an easy job but now we're so glad we did! Visiting the garden, tending to the plants and watching them grow have quickly become the highlight of my days! Actually, my little garden routine has become a bit stressful lately since a mature black bear started to make his rounds in our neighborhood about a week ago. He's a bit too brave and even aggressive, so I doubt he'll be around much longer; he'll either get shot or taken away by wilderness services. In the meantime I sing out lout whenever I go to the garden to make sure he knows I'm there.

Since I can still only eat very few veggies, I didn't want to go too overboard, planting a bunch of things that I wouldn't be able to enjoy anyways. In the greenhouse we have several tomato plants (I can't do them at the moment but am crossing my fingers that I'll be able to by the end of the summer...), basil, a few bell peppers (which I can have roasted, peeled and de-seeded), and a couple of cucumbers. We've also planted several bunches of Sweet Alyssums in the hope that they will attract bees.

Given my restricted diet we have mostly planted potatoes as they're one of my main staples. Plus Donnie has always been a huge fan of them. We also have a few beets and carrots, spinach (which I can thankfully eat! Yay!), green onions, chard, kale and lettuce. I'm not ok with beets and the last three greens yet but again, who knows... (And Donnie will enjoy them at least!)

Interestingly, we learned that the previous renters had a profitable grow op happening here for a number of years. No wonder they had a green thumb! lol And so we discovered several more beds on the property, hidden under tarps. Woo hoo! Thankfully the going was a lot easier since these had been protected by the plastic.

This is me prepping one of the new beds. Notice the slight belly! ;-) I lost several pounds in the aftermath of the colonoscopy in January, but thanks to my diet high in carbs I've put them all back on and then some! I'm now 113 lbs which is the most I've weighed since going raw back in 2001.

Two more potato patches.

We've got carrots, beets, green onions and zucchinis in the front bed and, you'll have guessed it, more taties in the one at the back. All together we've planted over a hundred potato plants!

Floral Beauty
There were already a couple of circular beds right by the cabin which I have used for herbs and flowers.

Fuschias... apparently a favorite of hummingbirds, which we soooo love!

Osteospermum; hum, how can such a pretty plant have such a weird name!?!


Yours truly posing with our flower basket.

In Pu World
Miss Puss absolutely loves it here! She strolls around all over the place, from the cabin all the way to the other end of the property where the garden is located. Although these days she, too, has to stay on high alert because of the visiting black bear.


Yoga Power
In March I was reintroduced to kundalini yoga. I practiced it briefly when I first went raw but then let it drop in favor of the Rites. I found myself deeply resonating with its combination of physical poses, breathing techniques, meditations and the use of mantras. It's caused me to experience such a dramatic raise in my energy levels that within just a few weeks I felt like a different person! At last I was no longer in survival mode and my life didn't only revolve around my gut issues. Yippee!

On average, I've been doing 1 1/2 hours of kundalini yoga when I get up for the last 3 months. Don has even incorporated a few exercises into his own morning routine. hehe He says about the Tibetan Rites that you must work for them for a few minutes and they work for you for the rest of the day. I find that this is also true of yoga; a very wise investment of my time indeed! I probably wouldn't have been able to do all of the work involved in preparing the garden beds if it hadn't been for it!

Ego Eradicator

Bridge Pose

Gut Report
As for the health department, as I should have known, the endoscopy and colonoscopy exams I had at the end of January were a very VERY bad idea! The combination of laxative prep and actual procedure traumatized my gut so much that now, four months later, it isn't back to how it felt before them! *sigh*  

Let me tell you more about how I've been feeling since in this video:

On The 'OK' Food List
For those of you who might be interested to know more details, as I was mentioning earlier right now my diet remains very restricted. I still suffer from an intolerance to fructose so must limit my intake of fruits and sugar. Also my gut is overall more sensitive than it was prior to the scope so I must stick to very soft, non-fibrous foods and can't have any spices, pepper and even certain herbs. At least I can have a teeny bit of raw; I have a smoothie in the morning (banana, blueberries or strawberries, nut milk, sometimes spinach and avocado) with a handful of walnuts or pecans, and I always start my lunch with a raw cucumber and celery juice (thank goodness for that!) 

But mostly my diet revolves around the few things I can eat... Eggs, (very occasionally) chicken (not much lately), lactose-free cheese, white rice, rice pasta, potatoes, carrots, roasted bell peppers, and my gluten free baked goodies (breads, cookies and all sorts of yummy low-sugar desserts). I can also have cashews, macadamia nuts and almonds so lately I've been making cultured nut cheezes and raw sauces that I can enjoy on grains or bread. Woo hoo!

Unfortunately I'm no longer able to enjoy a lot of things that I could prior to the scope exams, such as quinoa (boo hoo!!!), oats, young coconut, celery, mushrooms, broccoli or cauliflower (these cause pain so I eat them only once in a while and in moderation), sweet potato and squash.

As for supplements, I have continued to take digestive enzymes, betaine HCL (when I have chicken), probiotics and a combination of slippery elm, marshmallow root powder, licorice root powder and NAG (N-Acetyl Glucosamine) based on Jini Patel Thompson's "Mucosa-Heal" formula which is said to help heal the gut's mucosal lining. Oh, and l-glutamine for the same reason.

The one thing that is relatively new is my being able to take a multivitamin powder. I use this one from Youngivity as well as their Liquid Beyond Osteo FX (for minerals) and EFA Plus for essential fatty acids.

Other Topics I mention in this video:

Dangers of Colonoscopies: This link and this link

So this about wraps it up in terms my news...

Hope you guys have a wonderful Spring and Summer!


  1. Please seek out information from Susun Weed at the wise women's university. Please open to hearing something else. here is a recent blogtalk episode with her.

    I have worked with raw food/juicing as a part of my practice and work for many years. This last winter I felt at a loss for feeling nourished and finally reconnected to my herbal roots and eating truly nourishing food- feeling healing in all ways
    please check it out!


  2. Hello Carmella,
    So sorry for all your health issues... Did you got informations about the kind of "treatments" used at the Hippocrates Institute ? It seems that most of the food you eat (and of course you need to eat !) are perhaps not so good for reversing these issues... What about LOTS of green juices ? you don't talk about them. Big loving thoughts to you !

    1. Hi Colette,

      I did a juice fast with a big emphasis on greens early on but it actually further irritated my guts, plus made me loose tons of weight. I looked more into it and learned that greens contain toxins which can indeed be irritating, especially if you already have a sensitive gut.

  3. You look amazingly healthy with the extra weight. So nice to hear from you finally. You must be doing the right things for your healing

  4. Carmella, My heart goes out to you. I understand so well some of the feelings you were expressing about being disheartened and wondering how you can go on sometimes. I have been very ill for seven years now and in spite of trying very hard to heal, improvement has been minor. I often feel like I am in a maze of different ideas and suggestions about what could help. And I have tried so many things. The process can be confusing to say the least. I just wanted to encourage you to hang in there and keep trying. Listen to your body and keep believing that healing will happen. I will be sending you loving healing thoughts. Enjoy your beautiful garden. Never give up! Best...Greta

  5. Thanks for your update and all the videos you have so unselfishly made for our benefit. I followed your blog some years ago and tried many of your recipes loving most of them- such as peppercorn ranch, blissfully blueberry cheesecake and others. I had gone all raw for just 2 months and never felt better but got pregnant with my 5th child and was not confident enough to stay raw. ! year after his birth I was vegan for 1 year but have been SAD for the last year which brings me to today, Just the last 2 weeks I have been vegan and feeling better but always having doubts about what is best for my body as I can struggle with gut issues since a baby. I stumbled upon your blog quite by accident in just wanting to get updates on my top 3 raw bloggers, you being one of them of course :-) Interestingly I was planning on doing the liver gallbladder flush next week and low and behold I read every post and watched every video you have done since your flush. Just prior to refinding your blog as it has been 3 plus years, I had been surfing at my other 2 favorite raw food blogs only to find out both of them have gone omnivore. It made me think hard about what I need, what my body needs. I hate to do this as I know you have been given loving advise over and over and I am far from a knowledgeable health guru, nor am I a good writer, but it seems so intuitive that I checked your blog today perhaps for a much bigger purpose for both of us. Namely for me, that I need to hold off on a flush until when/if I am certain it is for me.. 2. I need to share with you something I just learned about from my fav blogger #2 who incidentally as I mentioned earlier is no longer raw, Kevin Gianni from renegade health. He has a course "complete blood test blueprint program". I think, if you have not already heard of it, it could be a good idea to look into. After watching your ordeal that you continue to struggle with and seeing my other followed bloggers make huge changes to their belief systems, it has enlightened me to keep searching and learning. I am confident Carmella that you will find what your body needs, it is not an easy road but there is no giving up, Take One day at a time. My prayers are sincerely with you, that you hold up and keep the faith. thanks again for kindness.

    1. I'm soooo glad that my personal experience has at least caused you to take pause and assess whether doing a liver flush is the right thing for you at this point. Yay!

      Light on your healing journey!

  6. You look amazingly healthy with the extra weight.

    1. Thanks Michael!

      If only I could feel as great as I look! I've been in relapse for the last 3 weeks now; back to being able to eat hardly anything. ;-(

  7. Hi Carmella. I love your cookbook I got with my new blender! I know how frustrating it can be when u eat healthy and u see others that eat rubbish with a cast iron stomach. I am intolerant to gluten dairy eggs corn and soy. If u r intolerant to gluten u r usually intolerant to other hard to digest proteins as well. But about 10 years ago everything made my stomach sore until a naturopath put me onto hydrochloride acid. I have had a few other friends swear by it as well. I still take one a day to keep my digestion in good working order. Have u tried that? Have u tried the anti candida diet and herbs? I believe everyone would benefit from doing this once a year for a month whether any candida symptoms r present or not. It helps rebalance good and bad bacteria and parasites. Also I had carpal tunnel syndrome for several years and my tendons in my feet used to strain easily from hiking until I took MSM (organic sulphur). I now just take one pill every two weeks cus it can give u insomnia if u take it too often. Im not a qualified anything but have used food, herbs and the odd supplement to heal all of my ailments and that of my children for the past 20 years. I'm 42 but I am often told I look 10 years younger. I hope this helps :)

  8. Oops I just noticed u r taking HCL. I would recommend trying another brand. The first one I took was like a miracle then when I ran out I fount a cheaper one and that did nothing!! The one I take is an Australian brand called Radience. Also another naturopath told me to eat my main meals for breakfast and lunch. At dinner eat a smothie or puréed soup so your gut can heal while u sleep instead of trying to break down anything solid. I do this at least 5 nites a week now even tho my stomach is healed. I also don't mix my proteins and starches 80 percent of the time. I eat them 2 to 4 hours apart. Both of these practices keep the weight down, make u more relaxed and help u sleep better too. I sincerely hope u get better soon :)

  9. Thanks Angela for the tips!

    I've been working with a Dr. of traditional chinese medicine/nutritionist for the last 4 months and am finally experiencing some gut improvement. Yay!

    My carpal tunnel is starting to act up so I'll give MSM a try!

    In light,