A couple of months ago in my "Intense Stretch" yoga class, a student stopped by to drop off an immensely rich German chocolate cake that she prepared for the teacher's birthday surprise gift.
Suddenly, after an hour and a half of extreme poses, the faint smell of dark chocolate fudge seduced me to check it out. I found out that this student, who seemed to have pretty good flexibility, was a gourmet chef. She works with top celebrities, CEOs, and leading-edge medical doctors. Having studied at eCornell, this former stand-up comedienne who appeared on all the late-night talk shows, including a 10-minute stint/stunt on Johnny Carson, peaked my interest. Who is this lady who claims she bakes without any of the standard ingredients and prepares unprocessed, mostly raw food (vegan)? In fact, the initial cake was prepared for our yoga instructor without wheat, dairy, salt, oil, sugar, and most of all, without animal products.
This talented Chef AJ is the reason why I decided to finally, once and for all, change my addictive eating habits. After decades of dieting ad nauseum, and the upcoming fear of flying into my next decade an old, worn out, and post-middle-aged fatty, I was determined to finally do something about it, with ease, joy, fun, and freedom from yo-yo diets. I was tired of watching my other fellow-post-menopausal boomer babes try everything from the Master Cleanse, to the HCG super diets and the old-standby Atkins, or the new 'miracle' shakes, tonics, and elixirs guaranteed to make you slim and void of sensual pleasures.
I decided that if sixty is the new sexy, then I was going to have to find a way to enjoy food and the sybaritic pleasures of life, once and for all.
Chef AJ invited me to her raw food beginner's class and after one bite of her ice-blended chocolate shake filled with kale and other greens (which were undetected by my refined palate), I was in! She suggested that I take her 30-Day Challenge and become a part of a "live" community of fellow health-seeking foodies who were all discovering a pathway to beating their addictions to the poor excuses of food. Of course, Chef AJ seduced me with a sampling of that German chocolate cake and I was hooked. Each week we would co-mingle at her intimate abode and learn about the keys to wellness through eating whole, unprocessed, raw food. After all, she is a maven who works with the top MD's from True North Health Center (a detox clinic in Santa Rosa, CA), with notable names such as Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyne, Dr. Doug Lisle (Forks over Knives
, the movie) Dr. John McDougal, Dr. Goldhammer, and Dr. Fuhrman (check out PBS for his special on vibrant health). Much of this information was based on The China Study.
Chef AJ is the fulcrum to her programs where she leads the way to eating well by demonstrating ingenious ways to health via her magical recipes. Just like the mesmerizing lady in the movie Chocolat
, who spins a web of magic and brings people together to enjoy the sweetness of life and discover the realm of the senses, Chef AJ is the Pied Piper to feeling great and losing weight.
In our thirty-day Challenge, we have the support of daily e-mails and the bonding of strangers who are now friends, where we share our deepest secrets and celebrate the victories of overcoming addictions to processed foods, sweets, and fats. We are taught that the food industry spends millions of dollars to make sure we become addicted to their products, compounded by the pharmaceutical drugs that keep us addicted to their quick fixes (with which the side effects are sometimes worse than the curative effects). Many in the group are on their second round, and have beaten the clock by eliminating life-threatening diseases through detoxing from the poisons they were consuming. Chef AJ was one of us, and cured herself of a precursor to cancer, so she is living proof that this works, and she is committed to helping anyone and anyone who is willing to take on this challenge. From diabetes to high blood pressure, to depression to severe addictions, to sugar (alcohol) and fats, many of her students go on to further their education and become the leaders of their own groups.
As America becomes one of the fattest countries on the planet, we are also the most malnourished. If each person wakes up to the toxic world we live in and eliminates just one addiction, they will marvel at the baby steps and awaken to the miracle of health.
I am on my own journey, and although I want to stand on the rooftop of my townhouse in Hollywood and scream out to my 'hood the benefits of eating this way, I know how it feels to have someone proselytizing their way to salvation. At the risk of being obnoxious, suffice it to say that I will BE the example the day I finally can fit into my skinny jeans (the old non-stretchy kind, circa 1991) without lying down on the floor and sucking my stomach in and eliminating my breathing for a couple of hours. This time I am doing something to eliminate my aches and pains, from so-called hereditary bouts of arthritis, fibromyalgia, and years of starvation which left me lacking in nutrients. Now I am eating my way to wellness, and although this is a thirty-day challenge to detox, I am convinced I will adopt this way of life as the norm, because I am free of cravings and satiated beyond desire.
For many of my friends, eating meat and dairy is still a "necessity," so I will not preach this way. Every BODY is different and one must follow his or her own inner guidance on the road to wellness. After all, this is the 21st century! I keep hearing the line from Jim Morrison, "She's a twentieth-century fox" and I've changed the words to "twenty-first."
Here are a few links for you to explore:
1. Chef AJ:
2. Check out Bill Clinton's new diet, which saved his life.
3. READ the book Forks Over Knives by T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn Jr., watch the groundbreaking movie,
4. True North Health Center
5. The China Study
6. Optimum Health Institute, in San Diego, CA
Optimum Health was the first step for Chef AJ to help her cure herself: "...where I was able to detox without having the pressure of being at work at the same time. So while I did go through some withdrawal, I was in an environment where I was actively learning about what foods caused disease and being nourished with the foods that could reverse the disease."
Explore the vast network of wellness sites and you can change your life right now!