Healthy Transitioning from Processed Pasta to Real Food

Zucchini Linguine

As a child growing up, I loved Ronzoni spaghetti covered in a thick cooked tomato sauce which came from a can, and then I added a few heavy sprinklings of parmesan cheese. Pasta and bread were the most difficult processed food addictions for me to give up when I turned to the raw food lifestyle for my sustenance. The night before going 100% raw, I consumed an entire loaf of almond butter and jelly sandwiches on whole wheat bread!

The processed and cooked starches in pastas and breads can only provide empty calories since their enzymes and vitamins have been destroyed by heat, and their minerals have been removed in the refining process. Pastas and breads are acid-forming, devoid of electrical charge or life force and require cooking and processing in order to be eaten. A diet consisting for the most part of cooked starches can cause Candida, chronic fatigue, diabetes and an array of other physical problems. Pastas, breads and chips are so de-mineralized, regular consumption of these processed foods does not permit enough minerals such as calcium to be absorbed.

Instead of the Ronzoni spaghetti I grew up on, for the past 16 years living on raw foods I eat zucchini pasta instead. The zucchini pasta is made by placing chopped zucchini chunks in a small child-friendly piece of kitchen equipment called the saladacco, and cranking out zucchini linguini. A variety of sauces can be added to give it the familiar pasta and tomato sauce, pasta and alfredo sauce, or pasta pesto. Below are a couple of my favorite raw veggie pasta recipes with different sauces that are simple to make and fun to eat. If I want a parmesan cheese I will grind up pine nuts or cashews in a food processor or Vita-Mix blender to get a very tasty nut version of my old favorite to sprinkle on my fresh, unprocessed pasta:

Fresh Veggie Thai Pasta

Use a spiral slicer to create the linguini from the zucchini or yellow squash, and then add this simple sauce:

4 medium zucchini sliced into linguini-like pasta
Small bunch soaked sun-dried tomatoes, chopped and added to bowl of linguini pasta

Thai Sauce:

1 cup freshly-squeezed orange juice
2/3 cup soaked almonds (1/2 cup unsoaked)
1 tsp. curry powder

Soak ½ cup almonds overnight. Blend all ingredients until smooth and stir into zucchini linguini.

Zucchini Linguini with Tomato Sauce

Use a spiral slicer to create the linguini from the zucchini or yellow squash, and then add this simple sauce:

4 medium zucchini sliced into linguini-like pasta


2 large or 3 medium ripe tomatoes (vine ripened if you can get them)
6 sun-dried tomatoes (without sulfur dioxide)
2 soaked dates
7 fresh basil leaves
A sprinkling of fresh oregano leaves

Blend the sauce and stir into the zucchini linguini.


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Probiotics for Babies?

Probiotics are microorganisms or friendly bacteria that we need in our gut, crucial for healthy intestinal health and digestion.

Do we need to give babies probiotics? Can they get probiotics from mother’s milk and later, from the food they eat?

margrieta. attachment parenting

Fruits and veggies themselves have been shown to be great prebiotics. In fact, if you are eating raw fruits and veggies, your bacteria population is always great.

“Babies” are a whole new situation. If a baby is born by C-section, science has shown that they lack proper gut flora. This is due to Caesarean Section babies not going through the birth canal. And if babies are fed cow’s milk, bacteria is totally out of whack down in the gut.

But nature has these wonderful ways to make everything right. Take a look at this wonderful article in the journal Nature on how babies get the bacteria they need.

Know that if your baby is getting all the breast milk they desire, mom is giving them all the friendly flora they need.

When babies are given proper food (mother’s milk) then it all works out as it was intended in nature. When kids eat fruits and veggies in the raw state, then there is no bacteria problem. Cooked fruits and veggies do not give the prebiotics that raw fruits and veggies do. This is why raw fruits and vegetables need to dominate our family diet.

fruit and vegetables heart



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Baseball and Junk Food Season Coming Soon

french fries at baseball game

I recently attended a professional baseball game at a large stadium. I hadn’t been to a game for many years and was horrified to see fast food offered at every stand. French fries, meat balls, pizza, cracker jacks, cotton candy, pretzels, soft drinks, beer, hamburgers, hot dogs and other fast foods were everywhere.

When I grew up in the 1950’s and 60’s I remember purchasing french fries which came in a small white pocket. Neither my friends nor myself made a whole meal of french fries. This day at the baseball game I saw people eating huge amounts of french fries served on a large plate. A very important Swedish nutritional study, completed at the University of Stockholm, revealed when starches form a golden-brown crust, such as in french fries, after being heated at high temperatures, they undergo a chemical reaction forming a carcinogenic plastic known as acrylamide.

Wikipedia states, “Advertising campaigns for fast food restaurants have changed in their intent over time. Many modern campaigns stress the availability of healthy options after years of criticism for the harmful effects of a fast food diet. The rise in awareness of healthy eating and obesity has negatively impacted the business of these establishments, and their marketing campaigns have attempted to rectify this.” From what I was viewing while walking around the stadium, this did not seem to be a reality. There was no mention of any nutrient dense fruits or vegetables anywhere. The obesity rate in that one venue was alarmingly high. Animal-based and processed and refined foods served at the stands were advertised numerous times on the large centrally located stadium screen. It was easy to see that the meat and dairy council as well as processed food distributors have a large monopoly over what gets sold at athletic games. You would want to think that good forms of exercise should coincide with the healthy foods that create healthy bodies. Fruit is known to enhance athletic capability and performance but it was nowhere to be seen.

Unfortunately for the children of today, most fast food chains target advertising at children and teenagers. This is where they make a large percentage of their money. I still recall the many years of beef jerky, donut holes, and potato chips provided at my children’s weekly soccer and baseball games. There were the occasional orange slices but these weren’t viewed as the fun snacks. One time I brought a big bowl of fresh organic strawberries for the end of game snack and the children devoured them, but it didn’t lead to other parents bringing the same kind of healthful snack when it was their turn to bring snack.

Strawberry Raisin Soup

As the benefits of a raw food lifestyle become more widely recognized, the hope is that the general public will understand fruits and vegetables are the foods that provide energy, stamina and long term health.

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Caring about the Creatures Who Share Our Planet

Turkey and goat 1472838_450297141743496_1031780720_n

Dr. Gabriel Cousens reminds us, “Pythagoras once said, ‘as long as we’re eating meat, we’ll never have peace.’ When you eat meat, you take on that violence and fear. The blood contains the soul of that being.”

One way to get your children to understand our connection to other creatures is to involve them in Nature. Then your children will have a strong connection to animals, and the plants and trees around them. I believe when we choose to be vegan and not harm animals, we gain a closer connection with them. I remember as a young child watching my vegan father sit for hours in the backyard with squirrels approaching him, and eating nuts out of his hand. I always felt they clearly understood his connectedness to animals.

When my daughter Gabriela was eight, she went to a nature and hiking oriented day camp. The camp questionnaire inquired if she had any pets. She wrote, “Oh yes, I have chipmunks, squirrels, groundhogs, skunks and all sorts of other animals.” She considered the beautiful free wild animals that live their lives the way they were meant to be lived, to be her pets.

By not eating animals and products made from them, nor abusing animals in any way, we open ourselves to beautiful relationships with the creatures of the world. How wonderful to share this with our children! Why should we relate to dogs and cats but not care about cows, pigs, turkeys, ducks and chickens? A neighbor who loved her dog and cat once told me she felt guilty about eating farm animals and products made from them, but she just didn’t have the discipline to give up eating meat and animal products. “Each year approximately 26 billion cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys and fish, each a unique individual capable of experiencing happiness, joy, loneliness, and frustration, are killed to satisfy America’s appetite for animal flesh, milk, and eggs” ( Every day, more than ten million animals are killed in the United States for food. I have heard author Matthew Grace emphatically express: “What if ‘filet mignon’ were called ‘Dead Cow?’ Maybe then people would listen.”

Every year on the weekend following Thanksgiving, we have a big Thanksgiving gathering called the “Thanks Living Celebration” at our home to cherish the life of the beautiful turkey at a horrific time when millions of turkeys have been slaughtered. We adopt one or two turkeys at the Farm Sanctuary of Watkins Glen, New York, to have proper care and food provided for those turkeys for that year, and encourage others to do the same.

Turkey Adoption

Inside my favorite metal frame, engraved with animals, the saying is: “The Goal of Life is Living in Harmony with Nature.” I believe by eating the fresh vegan whole foods given to us by the Creator and spending time in Nature, we can live a more spiritual and divine existence. A treasured plaque contains a quote by Albert Schweitzer: “By respect for life, we become religious in a way that is elementary, profound and alive.” Belief in the connectedness of all creatures and love for Nature is very deep and spiritual, deeply religious.

Karen Ranzi, M.A. Copyright 2010 Creating Healthy Children

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Teenagers, Young Adults and the Raw Food Lifestyle: Their Decision

Gabriela and Mom- Raw Living Expo 2013
Karen and young adult daughter, Gabriela

Children raised on raw vegan foods may begin experimenting when they become adolescents. I never recommend isolating children from activities in which they would be confronted with conventional foods, and I donʼt recommend isolating your family.

What is perceived as “peer pressure” in the teen years seems intense. Children often feel a strong desire to “fit in” with their teenage friends. Food choices are a very important part of “fitting in.” Children who have been living a healthy raw food lifestyle from a young age are aware that what they put into their bodies will determine their future state of health, but good health just doesnʼt seem that important an issue at this time of their lives.

When children are young, we as parents are the center of their universe, and they believe the messages we give them. From ages 3 and 5 until 11 and 13, my children enjoyed preparing raw food dishes and loved the taste of natural foods. Over the years, they delighted in all sorts of fruit and large green salads with delicious homemade dressings, green juices, and special raw vegan treats we prepared together. They thoroughly enjoyed preparing food and eating the results. But as the teen years approached, it became more and more difficult for them to feel comfortable with their peers. I also think they grew gradually tired of some of the raw foodistsʼ obsessive talk exclusively about food.

One thing I have learned after living a raw food lifestyle for many years is health involves so many different aspects; raw vegan foods are definitely important, but family togetherness, a low stress environment and fun are right at the top with nutrition.

Whatever my children choose to eat away from home, I know Iʼve provided them with the knowledge of what causes illness and what creates health to keep with them for the rest of their lives.


I think most children will eventually become influenced by the cultural values they perceive. The goal of creating raw and living foods communities around the world would be the solution to raising children healthfully and with support. I always dreamed my children could grow up in a raw vegan intentional community where they could have adult and peer support for living a healthy lifestyle. Since most of us donʼt have this kind of support for a healthy live food lifestyle, we must realize at a certain age, our children may stray due to cultural pressures. As time goes on, there is a developing awareness and growth of the raw food movement within the civilized world that should positively benefit families attempting to live a natural life. By increasing public awareness that disease need not be fought with drugs but prevented through healthful eating and lifestyle, I hope eating raw foods will eventually be considered normal. Today, with loads of new books extolling the benefits of the raw food lifestyle, itʼs easier to proclaim the choice.Iʼve come to believe once weʼve taught our children the powerful information about raw foods, we need to let them make decisions for themselves, no matter how painful it might be for us as parents. As much as we want to lead them to do what we feel is best for them, they need to be in control, or it wonʼt work for them in the long run. It is their path, not ours, and living in a culture in which chicken nuggets, pizza, French fries and chips are portrayed as healthful foods, teenagers will still need to find their own way without us guiding them at every step. We must nurture our childrensʼ decisions while continuing to make our homes as healthful as we possibly can. It is sometimes a hard balance and frustrating to a parent who believes strongly in the raw vegan lifestyle for a healthy future.

If spouses do not support each other on eating raw foods at home, this can create significant stress in everyday family life, and there will be a much greater chance the children will want to experience the foods of the other parentʼs diet at some time. It would be important to discuss these lifestyle beliefs prior to having children, as friction can arise when parents donʼt see eye to eye on nutrition.

Cover-3d of raw vegan recipe fun for families for website

Children who are raised to taste real fresh fruits and vegetables from the garden or organic farm and learn to forage for wild foods will usually return to this food from Nature even if they should stray for some time. My daughter remained vegetarian but experimented with cooked and processed foods for eight years before she realized the impact of her choices on her body, her mind and her environment. She began to listen to her own inner wisdom rather than simply following the crowd. She compared how she felt on raw foods when growing up at home to the standard dietary indoctrination surrounding her away from home. Her return to feeling wonderful on raw foods has given her a deep insight – fresh fruits and vegetables are the optimal “species specific” foods for humans.

Copyright December 2013 Karen Ranzi

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Father’s Role as Support Giver to His Wife and Children

Margrieta's Family

Of major importance to parents choosing a raw pregnancy, homebirth and raising children in the raw foods lifestyle is spousal support. A relaxed, happy and supportive relationship is one of the most important aspects for a successful pregnancy and childbirth, and for a happy and healthy family life. The father’s care has a great influence on the mother’s wellbeing. When parents differ in their belief systems in these areas, much stress and anxiety can result. It is crucial that parents-to-be discuss their plans for pregnancy, childbirth and raising children, so both are on the same page in these areas.

Fathers, who help in preparing meals, and show care for mother and baby, help to create a healthy family. The maternal instinct is very strong, and mothers who are respected in their attachment to their babies will feel happy, relaxed and loved. Many men in contemporary North American culture expect women to go back to work soon after birthing. Women who stay home in the United States to raise their children are often looked upon as “doing nothing” because they’re not contributing to the family income. This is in sharp contrast to the Swedish policy of giving mothers eight years of salary to stay home to raise their children. In the long run, this has shown to be the most positive investment in the country’s future. Men are not left out. They have the option of receiving up to two years of 90% of their salary for staying home to raise their children.

Men who decide to set their priorities toward the happiness of wife and children, supporting the mother’s instinct to remain close to her children as they grow, will enjoy the close relationships attachment parenting brings. In order to have a loving family experience, patience and understanding on the part of both parents are paramount. Parents who focus on the small details of life, such as a messy house, will deny their families a loving, calm and relaxing environment that is so important to the health and security of growing children.

Often, fathers who work during the day have a limited amount of time with their children. The family bed is a wonderful way for fathers to extend the quality of time they share with the family. Many families are able to work out arrangements with king-size beds, or mattresses and futons lined up on the floor, so everyone, including father, gets enough sleep. One of the many benefits of the family bed is that it helps fathers who are away from home all day to establish close bonds with their babies. As far as the marital relationship, the mother and father will need to be creative in finding their time together, such as when the children are napping, or when the children are fast asleep at night.

Boys, in particular, are expected to grow up very quickly and make an early separation from their mothers. Parents would benefit from taking a step back from what is considered “normal” in society, and meditate on their own beliefs and intuitions about the values that will best serve their children and family. Inner peace and confidence will give strength to live happily in the midst of others who are in disagreement with your style of parenting and choice of diet. At a time when some parents were telling me I was too attached to my son, I read a book called The Courage to Raise Good Men by Olga Silverstein. I learned so clearly that my intuitions as a mother were important and that I should listen to them and keep my little boy close to me, whereas so many mothers force early separation between themselves and their sons.

According to the American Psychological Association, “Psychological research across families from all ethnic backgrounds suggests that fathers’ affection and increased family involvement help promote children’s social and emotional development. As the modern day father comes in various forms, he is no longer always the traditional married breadwinner and disciplinarian in the family.” Modern day fathers play a much greater role in caregiving.

A study conducted by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) found that fathers were more involved with their children when they worked fewer hours and were well-adjusted people themselves. Other research showed a father’s love helps children develop a sense of their place in the world, which assists with their social, emotional and cognitive development and functioning. “Children who receive more love from their fathers are less likely to struggle with behavioral or substance abuse problems.” 3

Ranzi, Karen. Creating Healthy Children: Through Attachment Parenting and Raw Foods. Ramsey, NJ: Super Healthy Children Publishing, 2010.

Silverstein, Olga. The Courage to Raise Good Men. New York, NY: Viking Press, 1994.

American Psychological Association. “The Changing Role of the Modern Day Father.”

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Karen Ranzi Receives Peer-to-Peer Award for Service to Children’s Health at Raw Living Expo 2014

So exciting to be a speaker at the Raw Living Expo 2014! It was a great honor to receive the Peer-to-Peer Award for Service to Children’s Health at the Raw Living Gala along with the Peace award, and the award for 5+ Years Professional Simple Raw Food Chef.

Best of Raw Awards Karen Ranzi Service to Childrens Health Best of Raw Award for Professional Simple Raw Food Chef 5+ Years

The Raw Living Expo weekend from January 31st through February 2nd included top raw nutrition presenters, chefs, and vendors.

I had the opportunity to present on a panel focused on “Raising Healthy Children” along with my daughter, Gabriela Ranzi, who spoke about growing up vegan with fresh plant-based foods. Nathan Crane, father, organizer of the Raw Living Expos, and director of the Panacea Life School, joined us on the panel for an informative discussion.

Raw Living Expo Panel with Nathan Crane, Karen & Gabriela Ranzi

Many readers of Creating Healthy Children joined me at the Expo. Below, picture 1, I am joined by Imani Mamalution, picture 2, I am joined by Christine Roseberry, RN after my talk, and picture 3, I am joined by friends and fans at the Raw Living Expo. Picture 4 is
Tamar Reilly, Karen Ranzi, and Paca the Juicemaker at the Raw Living Expo Dinner Gala.
Picture 5 is Eco Raw Chef Dosa with Karen promoting Karen’s new recipe book at their speaking and raw recipe event at The Living Temple in Huntington Beach, California.
Picture 6 is Dosa’s delicious raw chia pudding made for attendees to our February 4th event.

Raw Living Expo Karen with Imani Mamalution Raw Living Expo 2014 Karen with Christine Roseberry Raw Living Expo group picture 1782456_570607966354965_769834173_o Raw Living Expo Gala of Karen with Tamar & Raymond Reilly

Dosa and Karen at the Living Temple 2014 #4 Dosa's raw food chia pudding at The Living Temple 2014

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Vitamin K2 in the Raw Vegan Lifestyle

Vitamin K is important for forming blood clots properly, while Vitamin K2 boosts bone density, reduces calcification of arteries and prevents certain cancers. K2 acts as chaperone for calcium, directing it to bones and not arteries. According to a 2001 research review published in Nutrition, the authors found that Vitamin K increases bone mineral density and reduces fracture rates in people with osteoporosis. They also point out that Vitamin K may be particularly effective when combined with Vitamin D, which is known to play a critical role in bone metabolism.

One of the most frequent questions I receive about raising healthy children on the raw vegan lifestyle involves Vitamin K2 — so important for growing bones.

Many recent articles attempt to show that Vitamin K2 can be obtained only from animal sources, and many vegans and raw vegans now question whether they can get proper amounts of K2 through their vegan lifestyles.

Because Vitamin K largely aids in the clotting of blood, symptoms of a Vitamin K deficiency include easy bruising, gastrointestinal bleeding, nosebleeds, difficult menstruation, and blood in the urine.

There are no known vegetables that contain Vitamin K2. Natto, a bad-tasting fermented soy product, contains the greatest amount of the vegan form known of K2, but this Vitamin K2 is formed during the processing and isn’t natural.

Interestingly, if the articles are saying this vitamin can only be obtained by eating animals and their products, and those animals are vegan plant-eaters, then where do scientists think these animals are getting the vitamin to give us?

It is not generally known that leafy green vegetables contain high amounts of Vitamin K. Kale alone contains over 1325% of our daily requirement of Vitamin K, in approximately two cups of this excellent leafy green. Our bodies are able to convert this Vitamin K1 to Vitamin K2. Spinach, broccoli, asparagus, collard greens, Swiss chard, bok choy, peas, parsley and lentils also contain high amounts of Vitamin K. Studies show that Vitamin K and its components are incredibly resilient and can withstand both cooking and freezing, although we consume more nutrients intact by eating fruits and vegetables raw. Bacteria in our intestines convert Vitamin K1 into Vitamin K2.

Many parents are concerned about their children’s Vitamin K requirements being met when they aren’t eating enough leafy green vegetables. However, there are also significant amounts of Vitamin K in fruits. This information was estimated by The numbers do not match exactly as the charts measure different amounts of the same fruit. measurements use the USDA database, which is based on 100 gram serving sizes, or 200 calorie serving sizes. The different serving sizes below help you to see how easy it is to get Vitamin K from fruits into a child’s diet:

27.8 mcg (micrograms) in 1 kiwi fruit, 28.6 mcg in 1 avocado, 28.5 mcg in 1 cup of fresh blackberries, 46.2 mcg in 1 pomegranate, 22.0 mcg in 1 cup of grapes, 9.6 mcg in 1 cup raspberries, 10.6 mcg in a cup of plums, 11.8 mcg in 5 medium figs,

7.8 mcg in 1 medium pear, 14.1 mcg in 1 mango, 6.9 mcg in 6 apricots, 4.9 mcg
in 1 cup of diced honeydew melon, 3.9 mcg in 1 medium peach, 4.4 mcg in 1
persimmon, 3.9 mcg in 1 cup of cantaloupe, 4 mcg in one medium apple.

There is 48.2 mcg in 1 cup of shredded Romaine lettuce and 11.7 mcg in 1 medium celery stalk. See amounts at:

Given that the U.S. RDI (Recommended Daily Intake) amounts of Vitamin K for children ages 1-3 is 30 mcg, ages 4-8 is 55 mcg, there does not seem to be any problem for children getting their Vitamin K needs met, even when not eating a lot of leafy green vegetables. The Japanese RDI amounts for Vitamin K for children ages 1-2 is 25 mcg, ages 3-5 is 30 mcg, ages 6-7 is 40 mcg, and 8-9 is 45 mcg.

According to the National Academy of Sciences, adult males 19 years and older should consume 120 micrograms of Vitamin K each day, while adult females 19 years and older should consume 90 micrograms. By including lots of fresh, leafy green vegetables, you should have no problem getting the recommended daily amount of Vitamin K.

Some reports have expressed fear that the conversion of K1 to K2 is insufficient through bacteria in the intestines. It never helps to come from a place of fear. Fear makes us rush to find quick solutions, and in today’s commercial world fear often leads to consumers succumbing to the propaganda of companies that pay for their own research to substantiate those fears in their interest for more profit.

It’s vital for consumers to trace the origin of research projects. Is the research study coming from a top university, or from an independent lab that can be directed by companies that stand to profit from the results? Companies even instruct these laboratories to find results in favor of the company but not the consumer.

Do the dairy and meat industries pay for the research that promotes their products?

In Creating Healthy Children, Professor Rosalind Graham states, “Vitamin K is routinely injected into (or orally administered to) newborn babies in an attempt to assist with clotting of the blood should any type of hemorrhage occur. We have learned the chance of a child developing leukemia resulting from this intervention is greater than that of a hemorrhage. For this reason we did not allow our baby to be given Vitamin K – something she created within her own body within a short time after birth, as nature intended.”

The best preventive measure should be our first priority instead of blindly giving a shot and believing it’s enough. If a shot were to be administered, Dr. Timothy Trader believes K1 would be the appropriate shot of choice for children low in Vitamin K, not K2, even when their beneficial bacteria count is low at birth. Dr. Trader points out, “The bottom line is that pregnant and lactating mothers need to have a high amount of green vegetables in their diet to overcome ‘Vitamin K deficiency bleeding’ that is expected to occur relatively soon after birth, usually rectified with a Vitamin K injection. Most average mothers are low in Vitamin K, Vitamin K has a hard time passing through the placenta, and Vitamin K can be low in mother’s milk. However, eating lots of leafy green vegetables can make all the difference.”

To tell if we have a sufficient amount of Vitamin K, we should get blood work done to examine the prothrombin time and the thromboplastin time, or go to a specialty lab such as Genova Labs for a Serum Vitamin K Assay.

Some studies show that Vitamin K2 is made by the intestinal flora, and the conversion to K2 can be difficult for some people if they have insufficient beneficial bacteria. However, it has been shown that most animals (including humans) convert the Vitamin K1 they get from plants (phylloquinone) to Vitamin K2 (menaquinone-4). Dr. Trader believes that when people show up deficient, they aren’t eating enough leafy green vegetables. He says he gets an average of over 1000% of the DRI of Vitamin K and doesn’t have a deficiency of Vitamin K2.

The following study demonstrates proof that Vitamin K becomes Vitamin K2 in our bodies, titled “Menaquinone-4 in breast milk is derived from dietary phylloquinone.” This study with breastfeeding mothers shows that supplementation of Vitamin K, giving phylloquinone supplementation to lactating mothers, raised both phylloquinone ((K1) and menaquinone-4 (K2).

Vitamin K2 can also be made in the liver, pancreas, and other organs, showing we do convert K1 to K2 and K4 as well as the remaining K vitamins. This is verified in the article titled “Conversion of Dietary Phylloquinone to Tissue Menaquinone-4 in Rats Is Not Dependent on Gut Bacteria.” The following article verifies the conversion occurs in the liver:$version=1.0&coi=1:CAS:528:DyaF3MXhtFahuro%3D&pissn=0028-0836&pyear=2010&md5=8bf3a2311d5aec5b2cdb9f28007454b6

Vitamin K is an essential vitamin necessary for protein modification and blood clotting. Studies show that Vitamin K plays a role in treating osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s disease, and eating foods high in Vitamin K help protect us from cancer and heart disease. Unless you take medications to prevent blood clotting, such as Coumadin (warfarin), there is no risk of Vitamin K toxicity, and we should be eating an abundance of the foods that provide it. The recommended adequate intake of Vitamin K taken in for each age group is listed below from:

The recommended adequate intake of Vitamin K you take in, both from food and other sources, follows. Most people get enough Vitamin K from what they eat.


Adequate Intake

Children 0-6 months

2 micrograms/day

Children 7-12 months

2.5 micrograms/day

Children 1-3

30 micrograms/day

Children 4-8

55 micrograms/day

Children 9-13

60 micrograms/day

Girls 14-18

75 micrograms/day

Women 19 and up

90 micrograms/day

Women, pregnant or breastfeeding


Women, pregnant or breastfeeding

(less than 19)

90 micrograms/day

75 micrograms/day

Boys 15-18

120 micrograms/day

Men 19 and up

120 micrograms/day

In addition to leafy green vegetables, Vitamin K is also present in fruits: plums, avocados, and kiwis are good sources of Vitamin K.

The body may be forced to take in more Vitamin K2 than it needs through supplementation, thus expending more energy to deal with getting rid of the excess Vitamin K2 it doesn’t need. By eating plenty of fresh, leafy green vegetables, you can insure to obtain more than adequate levels of Vitamin K, which enables you to make your needed amount of Vitamin K2.

Ranzi, Karen. Creating Healthy Children: Through Attachment Parenting and Raw Foods. Ramsey, NJ: SHC Publishing, 2010.

Tuck, Max.

Dr. Timothy Trader$version=1.0&coi=1:CAS:528:DyaF3MXhtFahuro%3D&pissn=0028-0836&pyear=2010&md5=8bf3a2311d5aec5b2cdb9f28007454b6


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Gifting Our Children with the Ability to Listen to Their Bodies

From my observations of working with families for two decades, when parents enjoy a lifestyle consisting of unprocessed, unadulterated, nutrient-dense fresh plant food, their children tend to follow along joyfully, often becoming leaders of health and wellness instead of followers of unhealthy lifestyles.

From a 2007 study, the journal Pediatrics reports the importance of the mother eating plentiful amounts of fruits and vegetables while pregnant and breastfeeding, as “Then baby will like them.” This study was designed to test the influence of early sensory experiences on the development of healthy eating patterns. Flavors from the mother’s diet are transmitted through amniotic fluid and mother’s milk. Therefore, a baby learns the tastes of specific foods when mother consumes those foods on a regular basis.

In an article from Science Daily, October 13, 2011, researchers report in the journal Cell, a Cell Press Publication, another good reason to eat your green vegetables:

“It turns out that green vegetables – from bok choy to broccoli – are the source of a chemical signal that is important to a fully functioning immune system. They do this by ensuring that immune cells in the gut and the skin known as intra-epithelial lymphocytes (IELs) function properly. After feeding otherwise healthy mice a vegetable-poor diet for two to three weeks, it was amazing to see 70 to 80 percent of these protective cells disappeared.”

In Science Daily of December 14, 2010, research published in the journal Public Health Nursing reported, “What and how mothers eat is the most direct influence on what children eat. Diets low in fruit and vegetables even at young ages pose increased risks for chronic diseases later in life.”

With all this said about the known benefits of a diet loaded with nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables, it’s also important to be aware that our belief system about foods directly affects us as well. Because of childhood established meal structures and coerced eating pressures from others who felt we needed to “eat everything on our plates because people are out there starving,” we grew up with a deeply instilled belief to follow these illogical patterns which harm us physically, emotionally and spiritually.

When eating pure food in its natural state, there is no need to call it “breakfast, lunch and dinner.” There were times my children were playing or exercising and were noticeably not hungry. To force the to the table to eat, going against their own inner clock and true listening to their body’s need for food, would certainly be detrimental to their overall health and well-being on all levels. During my health and wellness workshops, I have frequently experienced upset adults who expressed a history of food disorders due to early forced feeding which didn’t honor their own bodies in relation to “how much to eat” and “when to eat.”

Author Tonya Zavasta believes we should only eat when psychologically present. In Quantum Eating, she explains “Social eating leads to overeating and impaired digestion. Eating is personal. You can allocate other times for family gatherings. Use books – not spoons – to bring your family together.”

When children are young, this is the best time for parents to inspire healthy eating patterns. Children look to parents as the Center of their Universe, and believe the loving message of lifetime health provided by delicious fruits and vegetables. If the parent sets a good example of healthful eating, those actions will speak louder than words. If one of the parents is still eating unnatural and unhealthy foods, the children will be influenced by that parent.

Once we’ve established this early base of nutritional learning, we as parents can feel comfortable with the knowledge we have imparted to our children. As children grow up, they need to take responsibility for their own decisions.

Children who have been raised healthfully, with abundant fruits and vegetables, will learn to listen to their bodies in terms of the food that digest easiest and when they truly desire to eat. Because of “perceived” peer pressure, many children choose at some point to experiment with refined sugars and processed foods. With the years of healthful eating, the bodies of these children will have the vitality to feel the immediate effects. Often, discussing these reactions in a loving and gentle manner will help a child understand the direct link between the toxic food choice and the bodily reaction.

Vitamin and mineral deficiencies of diets containing largely cooked and processed foods have the potential to cause violent behavior and mood swings. Allergic/addictive food reactions are related to intake of refined sugars, fast foods and wheat. When the amount of cooked, processed food is decreased and the amount of fresh, raw plant food is increased, many chronic or non-responsive mental and physical symptoms can often be significantly reduced or even reversed. Fresh raw foods are needed to supply the body with essential elements not available in cooked, processed food.

Although we can clearly see the importance of good nutrition, we want our children to come to a place where they “own” this knowledge and are able to make good food choices on their accord. Therefore, as a child grows into adolescence, parents need to respect the child’s choices, within reason. If you’ve presented health and nutrition information early in life, and the child has been given consistent positive models for listening to his/her body when it comes to well-being, your input will no longer be needed, unless the child asks for it.

“There are no ‘incurable’ diseases. If you are willing to take responsibility for yourself and your life, you can heal yourself of anything.”

Dr. Richard Schulze

“The important thing is not to stop questioning.”

Albert Einstein

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”



Journal of Pediatrics 150 (2007): 12-17…Early determinants of fruit and vegetable acceptance.

Ranzi, Karen. Creating Healthy Children. Ramsey, NJ: SHC Publishing, 2010.

Science Daily, October 13, 2011, the journal Cell, a Cell Press Publication.

Science Daily, December 14, 2010, the journal Public Health Nursing.

Zavasta, Tonya. Quantum Eating. Cordova, TN: BR Publishing, 2007.



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Early Development and Food Imprinting for Longterm Health

The food a pregnant woman consumes will lay down the health and genetic code for her child for the rest of his or her life. What the mother eats and how she feels about herself, her emotional life, affects every aspect of the child’s development.

Breastfeeding follows Nature’s plan for children’s development. Human milk is perfect for the human baby’s digestive system, just as cow milk is perfect for the calf, and goat milk is perfect for the kid goat’s digestion. When animals suckle the milk of their own species, more energy is available for development of the offspring’s body and brain.

From a 2007 study, the journal Pediatrics reports the importance of the mother eating plentiful amounts of fruits and veggies while breastfeeding, as “Then baby will probably like them.” This study was designed to test the influence of early sensory experiences on the development of healthy eating patterns.

Flavors from the mother’s diet are transmitted through amniotic fluid and mother’s milk. Therefore, a baby learns the tastes of specific foods when mother consumes those foods on a regular basis. If babies like the tastes of a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, then we get them off to an early start of lifelong healthy eating habits.

Another article in Science Daily December 2010 reveals “a mother’s own eating habits, and whether she views her child as a picky eater, has a huge impact on whether the child consumes enough fruits and vegetables. What and how mothers eat is the most direct influence on what toddlers eat.”

It is fundamental that the infant receive mainly mother’s milk for most of the first year of life. The child should not be given solid food to chew until equipped with many teeth. When starting solid foods the mother should introduce a food similar to the protein in mother’s milk….fresh, ripe, organic fruit such as ripe banana. Children who begin eating before they’re ready often develop allergies.

Victoria Boutenko, in her article “The Imprinting of Eating Habits” writes: “Lifelong food preferences start to develop while a baby is still in the womb. The strongest pattern for future food preferences is formed during the ages of 9 to 18 months. At this time, everything connected with food intake leaves a strong imprint on the child’s brain.”

Diets low in fruits and vegetables at young ages pose increased risks for chronic diseases later in life.

We know smoking, alcohol, and caffeine are harmful to the human body but are we aware that diets high in cooked food, animal flesh and products, especially dairy, wheat and other glutinous grains, and processed and refined foods can all cause problems for us?

A healthy diet, loaded in nutrient density from fresh plant foods, can replenish, hydrate and nourish the entire body and skin from the inside out. The raw food lifestyle truly does create beauty from within.

Women and their relationship to food and their body are very powerful, greatly impacting the unborn child and the children in their life.

Those who significantly increase the healthful organic fresh plant foods in their lifestyle will see positive changes in their energy, mental clarity, and overall immunity. Research has shown that 50% of the protein and 70 to 90% of the vitamins and minerals are destroyed when food is heated. When food is heated above 115 degrees Fahrenheit, many of the vitamins, minerals, and amino acids begin to break down. You may be consuming many calories but they are essentially “empty” calories as you aren’t getting the nutrients your body needs to function properly.

Some people feel hungry after a big meal because they didn’t receive the necessary nutrients the body is craving.

In October 2011 in the journal Cell, it was reported that “green vegetables, from bok choy to broccoli, are the source of a chemical signal that is important to a fully functioning immune system. They do this by ensuring that immune cells in the gut and the skin known as intra-epithelial lymphocytes (IELs) function properly.”

And finally and most crucial, the human body requires high water content food as our body is 72% water from our blood and cellular tissues, and the water content needs to be continually replaced. Cooked and processed foods and animal products are depleted of water content. Only fresh uncooked fruits and vegetables provide the necessary water we need.

Are you ready to increase the fresh plant nutrients in your family diet for longevity and vibrant health?

Copyright 2012 Karen Ranzi

Karen Ranzi, author of Creating Healthy Children, motivational speaker, raw/living food coach can be reached at or (201) 934-6778.

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