My Raw Vegan Story Started with My Grandmother in 1921


I was brought up in a family with my vegetarian father, Sol, and my mother, Naomi, who ate the animal foods so popular in the 1950s and 60s. My paternal grandmother, Celia, who often lived with us, was a vegetarian who believed in and practiced Natural Hygiene and the raw food diet. In the 1920s while in her early thirties, she was extremely ill, suffering from severe asthma and emphysema. She was hospitalized, and the doctors gave her six months to live. There were no medical “cures” for asthma and emphysema at that time. A brother of hers advised her to become a vegetarian and gradually to move toward a raw food diet. She was able to get Professor Arnold Ehret’s The Mucusless Diet Healing System and one of Dr. Herbert Shelton’s early health and nutrition books, and began her journey to a healthier life. Grandma Celia shocked her doctors and lived another forty-five years.

My grandmother would talk with me, telling me how important it is to eat fruits and vegetables, and how we as humans are not meant to eat animals or anything that came from them. My grandmother and father seemed fanatic and eccentric to me when I was eight or nine because they ate differently, never went to doctors or used medications, and had unique thoughts and opinions about how the body worked. And they had a respect for animals and Nature no one else seemed to have! They felt strongly about our relationships with the other creatures sharing this world, and this love has always remained strong in my heart.

I give gratitude to my grandmother and father who taught me how to question and inspired me toward a passion for a healthy lifestyle and a religious connection I feel toward Mother Nature.

My grandmother wrote the following little poem for me on my third birthday:

Greetings, greetings, Karen dear,
On your birthday of your third year.
May happiness be your guiding light,
Making your life gay and bright.
Should you chance to walk on Nature’s road,
Health and strength will be your reward.
All in all, have a joyful day,
And continue to bloom like a flower in May.

Your loving grandma,


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One Day Super Vegan Book Deal with Buck Books


buckbooks vegan event

With so many reasons to go vegan these days: to eat real food, to thrive on a plant based diet, to live a more compassionate existence, to reduce our footprint on the planet. It’s a helpful and delicious idea to turn our attention to raising healthy families and looking at what we’re preparing in the kitchen to ramp up our culinary expertise!

On May 12th for 24 hours only, Buck Books will be featuring 14 titles, including my Creating Healthy Children: Through Attachment Parenting and Raw Foods– for $0.99 – $2.99 to add to your collection or help you embark upon a journey of meat-free and highly satisfying lifestyle.

Buck Books

If you haven’t heard of Buck Books before, they are a great source for discount eBooks and audiobooks spanning multiple genres, both fiction and nonfiction, with a variety of new releases and best sellers. They have regular events featuring specific topics. Their next event, on May 12th is vegan inspired.


During this event you can get books like:
1. Dr. David Klein’s, The Vibrant Diet: The Timeless Guide to Eating Our Natural Biological Diet!
2.The Love-Powered Diet: Eating for Freedom, Health, and Joy by Victoria Moran!
3. Frickin Rawsome Recipes by Chris Kendall!
4. Raise the healthiest children possible with Karen Ranzi’s, Creating Healthy Children: Through Attachment Parenting and Raw Foods!
5. Healing Diabetes with Fruit by Tasha Lee!
6. No Meat Athlete by Matt Frazier

These and 10 more titles, like the ones above await you!
Click on the link and subscribe to Buck Books for these and other phenomenally priced books!

You don’t need a Kindle to enjoy Kindle books. You can download the Kindle app to any smartphone or tablet. So be sure to grab yourself some great books at a STEAL of a price and be sure to let all your friends and family members know so they can take advantage of this deal too!!

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Obesity Understood

According to the Harvard School of Public Health, “Childhood obesity has been called ‘one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century,’ and with good reason. Obesity can harm nearly every system in a child’s body – heart and lungs, muscles and bones, kidneys and digestive tract, as well as the hormones that control blood sugar and puberty – and can also take a heavy social and emotional toll. What’s worse, youth who are overweight or obese have substantially higher odds of remaining overweight or obese into adulthood, increasing their risk of disease and disability later in life.”

High Protein Diets 10358141_10152084490906316_403068677304046434_n


As Western fast foods, including factory-farmed animal foods and processed foods, are replacing traditional foods in developing countries, obesity rates continue to soar worldwide. Inhabitants of many nations are experiencing unprecedented rates of debilitating chronic diseases that are inextricably linked to obesity, thanks to current commercial Western eating policies and choices.

According to FRAC, Food Research and Action Center, “Obesity rates have more than doubled in adults and children since the 1970’s (National Center for Health Statistics, 2009).”

Whereas weight loss diets don’t work in the long run, improved nutrition through a raw vegan lifestyle offers lifelong health benefits, including ideal weight. Life in our foods communicates with life in us, but, unfortunately, this vital aspect is lost once foods are heated and processed.

White, refined foods are addictive – their eaters will endlessly eat more, hoping to find that satisfying spark of life that is no longer there. It was destroyed in these foods, ironically, to give them a longer shelf life.

Children will not be obese when their parents uphold a strong conviction about the benefits of fresh raw vegan foods. These parents will teach the health promoting aspects of fresh fruits, leafy greens, sprouts, and vegetables to their children. When foods are whole, ripe, fresh and organic, they contain vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that satisfy us. We’ll benefit from the essential fiber that keeps us feeling full, but this will never be an incapacitating full feeling such as that following a standard holiday dinner. Remember that unpleasant full feeling after big cooked holiday meals? But now, after fresh raw vegan meals, there’s no longer the sensation of having a stomach. Now, feeling full simply means satisfied – energetic.

green soup with blueberries


Animal foods are devoid of fiber, but the essential fiber, contained in all fresh vegan foods, has powerful cleansing benefits. When food is refined, processed, denatured in packages, its nutritive characteristics are sadly no longer intact. The eater will not feel satisfied, and the feeling of craving something else will linger. In an attempt to obtain essential nutrients, the craving for more will persist, but refined foods will always lack what the body needs – overeating of nutritionally empty foods ensues and becomes habitual.

10 worst foods - glutinous grains


Such “empty” eating habits result in vitamin / mineral deficiencies and obesity. In addition to being unaesthetic, obesity lays the groundwork for myriad diseases.

Whenever there is excess body fat, there is an accumulation of toxins in the fat cells that must be diluted in water. The fat cells thus become bloated, heavy, and all bodily functions become more difficult, resulting in diseases based solely on eating disorders; in reality, the disorder is nothing more than eating empty foods that have been destroyed by heat, chemicals, and many processing techniques before arriving on the plate. Paradoxically, the obesity victim is really starving for nutrients found only in fresh vegan foods.

Commercial interests selling acrylamide, a carcinogenic plastic resulting from high temperatures in contact with foods that are fried, baked or roasted, further facilitate excess fat gain. A study done at the University of Stockholm, Sweden in 2002 demonstrated the toxic effects of high cooking temperatures. For example, potatoes when cooked at high temperatures in boiling oil get coated with the potent cancer-causing plastic compound called acrylamide, especially prevalent in French fries or chips. Acrylamide, easily recognized by the golden brown surface on foods, combined with the polyunsaturated oils used in cooking with canola, soybean, safflower, corn and other seed and nut oils, produce toxic amounts of free radicals, causing aging, inflammation, fat gain and cancer.

Junk Food


In her article, “Turning Up the Heat on Acrylamide,” in the FDA Consumer Magazine (U.S. Food and Drug Administration), January – February 2003, Linda Bren explains: “Acrylamide was not found in uncooked or boiled food – studies indicate that it appears to form during certain high-temperature (greater than 250 degrees Fahrenheit) cooking processes, such as frying and baking, and that levels of acrylamide increase with heating time. Acrylamide is classified as a potential human carcinogen, as well as a genotoxicant, a substance that can mutate and damage genetic material.”

Animal foods contain cholesterol, which with time builds up to clog blood vessels. Leafy greens, vegetables, sprouts and fruit are 100% cholesterol-free. Since our livers make all the cholesterol we need, there is no dietary requirement for cholesterol. Animal fat is solid at body temperature, whereas fruit and vegetable fat is liquid. Unfortunately, obese children are clogging their arteries, laying the foundation for future diseases that are unknown in countries where people remain, fortunately, too poor to eat animals and their byproducts.

10 worst foods - cheese


The milk of the different species varies in protein and fat content according to how fast the infant of that species grows. The bovine calf grows 4 times faster than the human baby, which explains why cow milk is 20 per cent protein and human mother’s milk is only 5 to 6 percent protein….a true indication that cow milk is meant for calves, not for humans. Cow milk is meant to grow a calf into a 1000-pound plus animal. Is that what we should be doing to humans?

Even vegan children become obese when white foods are eaten: white flour, refined sugar, salt, white potatoes, starchy, sugary refined cereals, white rice, crackers, breads, rolls, cookies, cakes, etc. Baking and frying require high temperatures. Not only are the heated oils and shortening toxic to the point of becoming carcinogenic, the resultant acrylamide (a deadly golden brown plastic), albeit crunchy to taste, becomes yet another toxin that gets stored in the fat cells and must be diluted with water and held in solution – hence obesity.

Refined sugars, especially high fructose corn syrup and aspartame absorbed by means of guzzling sodas, whether diet or regular, cause an inflammatory response, preventing weight loss.

When the precepts of fresh plant nutrition are fully lived, obesity will no longer be an epidemic; it will be impossible.

Bren, Linda. “Turning Up the Heat on Acrylamide.” FDA Consumer Magazine, January – February 2003.

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

By Karen Ranzi, M.A.

Award-winning author, international lecturer, raw food coach and certified raw food chef, Karen Ranzi is the author of Creating Healthy Children: Through Attachment Parenting and Raw Foods and Raw Vegan Recipe Fun for Families. Karen can be reached at

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Help Nepali Children and Schools Rebuild Now with Dr. T

Hello Friends,

I am sending you truly important news on Nepal from Dr. Adiel Tel-Oren. I hope you will donate to his cause to begin rebuilding what has been destroyed and to help the Nepali children. Dr. T has spent years building up the schools in Nepal to protect children from sex and drug trafficking. As you know, the earthquake in Nepal has destroyed the big cities, but even moreso the rural villages that we do not hear about. I totally support Dr. T’s work and encourage you to do the same.
Please read and forward.

We need your support in this situation. Most funds to Nepal get spent in the big city. Many villages at the epicenter are remote and don’t get any help from anyone… Ecopolitan, Dr. T’s organization, and the organization he set up for Nepal, Everest Learning Academy (ELA), can help them because they have worked with them for years. Now those people have nothing and are at great danger. And they have been hit the most! Many villages and schools are completely destroyed!

Please have an open heart and understanding. We can help them rehabilitate, but they need funding – and every dollar will go to its destination most efficiently and sustainably. Imagine, for only about $500 it is possible to rebuild one of their houses.

Thank you for your help,
Karen Ranzi

If someone wants to join Dr. T on his “ECOPOLITAN EXPEDITION OF HOPE” May 6-13 you can join him only if you succeed in raising $10,000 (as a minimum) toward rebuilding our communities. These Gorkha and Lamjung villages and schools can only count on ELA/Ecopolitan to save them – nobody else works there regularly, no one ever becomes involved.



1. KARE 11 News appearance:

2. YouTube (part 1):

3. YouTube (part 2):

Link to the following page for donations:!donate/c1oyc!donate/c1oyc

If someone wants to join Dr. T on his “ECOPOLITAN EXPEDITION OF HOPE” May 6-13 you can join him only if you succeed in raising $10,000 (as a minimum) toward rebuilding our communities. These Gorkha and Lamjung villages and schools can only count on ELA/Ecopolitan to save them – nobody else works there regularly, no one ever becomes involved…
Please see a short summary after this detailed update from Dr. T
​​Nepal’s Catastrophe: An Update from Dr. Adiel Tel-Oren,
Founder of Everest Learning Academy (ELA) &
Ecopolitan Eco-Health Community (EEC)
An American 501(c)3 Nonprofit honored as an International NGO by Nepal’s Government
I still can’t believe it. Just 4 weeks ago I was sitting with my group members in the “teachers’ lounge” at the second floor of the dilapidated high school of Muchok, in the mountainous Gorkha district of Nepal.

I was guiding the group on a humanitarian trekking expedition in the Himalayas, as I have been doing twice a year since 1999 while working with another Nepali non-profit. The group was introduced to the many remote destitute communities and schools that my organization, Everest Learning Academy (ELA), has been supporting since 2010. ELA receives all of its funding from the American nonprofit Ecopolitan (EEC). Together with the villagers – and in full partnership with them – ELA creates the infrastructure that increases the attendance in schools, supports a healthy environment and wholesome nutrition, builds community centers, educates illiterate parents, and provides better socioeconomic opportunities. This sustainable approach is the MOST EFFECTIVE, PREVENTIVE approach against child trafficking, in a country so poor and neglected that every year 15,000 of its children are taken away into prostitution and slavery, especially in neighboring India. ELA eliminates this tragedy, while creating a healthy, thriving future for tens of thousands of children in hundreds of schools and community centers within many districts of Nepal.

But now, 2 of these districts, Gorkha and Lamjung, with their hundreds of villages and community schools nestling among steep, fragile mountain slopes, have been hit the hardest. They were at the EPICENTER OF THE EARTHQUAKE. But most of us don’t hear about them – they are not easily accessible and most of the world’s attention is given to the capital of Kathmandu, where densely populated large old buildings collapsed, killing thousands. The remote villages are again neglected in favor of the big polluted city. But they suffered much greater devastation!

Many of our schools there were destroyed. In our Muchok high school, where we built a science lab and provided educational supplies, the second floor collapsed during a teachers’ meeting – killing 7 of our teachers and principles. The school in Kalabari, Lamjung – where we built a new roof, improved the school grounds, and were in the midst of building new classrooms – lost most of its buildings as they collapsed into the steep valley. The school in Kharibot, where we have created a child care center, provided furniture, and celebrated and danced twice a year with the local community, has been completely destroyed. 100% of the houses in some of our villages, where my groups visit regularly – are gone, totally gone, with all their stored food and and domestic animals buried under the rubbles. NOTHING is left of Kharibot, and Olang, and Apun – villages that hosted us so generously and graciously 4 weeks ago, showering us with gifts they can’t afford to give. Over 70% of the homes belonging to the kalabari people, who gave us shelter for 2 nights when we were caught in a rainstorm during our trek of October 2013, have been destroyed.

Some of the villagers died – we don’t know the full extent of the tragedy yet. But we do know that the entire population of survivors, without food or shelter, aggregated in our schoolyards and wept and slept there for 2 days, fearing further collapse during the aftershocks. Community leaders from Gorkha, who work closely with ELA and Ecopolitan, have called our ELA headquarters (in the district of Chitwan, within the flat Nepali lowlands that were not heavily affected), crying with desperation over the total loss of all their village’s homes and all their meager possessions. Krishna Dhital and his wife Mira from Kharibot, who hosted and fed my group members just a month ago, have lost everything, just like their fellow villagers. Thakur Pandey, ELA Program Coordinator, has lost his Gorkha home that has been owned by his family of social workers for several generations. Now his son, Ananda Pandey, ELA’s Chairperson, was given the task of going to Gorkha to send detailed reports of the devastation, to provide encouragement to the villagers, and to help me plan the best course of action to save our mountain communities and protect their thousands of children from starvation, neglect, disease, and worse of all – child trafficking.

We are limited in resources. But we MUST ACT FAST to get things done BEFORE MONSOON RAINS make life for many thousands of homeless victims even closer to hell, and new construction almost impossible.

ELA is in a unique position to make a real difference in the lives of these villagers – since it is well known and trusted by the communities and has strong connections with the leaders and elders of each village, many of whom are teachers and principles in our schools. We are proven insiders, and the Nepali government supports our work in spirit, cooperating with us on several projects. Other organizations that may try to get into these remote districts – where they have never worked before – are not likely to succeed and their financial support might not be effectively utilized. ELA’s assistance can more readily reach those needing it most, with minimal waste of resources, thanks to our deep contact with these local communities and our track record of working with them for many years, even BEFORE the recent earthquake.

Many expeditions arrive in Nepal to help the victims of this disaster (mostly in Kathmandu), but most of them arrive too late to help the injured in remote villages, and in our mountain districts the disaster area is too wide-spread and too inaccessible. Almost all the money donated for disaster relief by large corporations will be spent in the Kathmandu valley – easily accessible and visible to the world. Much of the money will stay in the hands of corrupt public officials and corrupt local organization leaders that will pretend to support the Nepali people. BESIDES ELA’S SUPPORT, VERY LITTLE MONEY WILL GO TO SUPPORT THE RURAL VILLAGE AREAS OF NEPAL – AT THE EPICENTER OF THE EARTHQUAKE WHERE THE GREATEST DESTRUCTION OCCURRED (SEE PICTURES). ELA HAS BEEN WORKING IN THESE AREAS SUCCESSFULLY FOR YEARS, AND HAS THE BEST ABILITY TO HELP THE VILLAGERS AND PROTECT THEIR CHILDREN.

People who are called to help are welcome to visit our disaster zone and offer their skills, but the most important support they can offer now is direct funding of rescue operations (food, shelter, and health care for survivors) and construction activities. The large financial investment in airplane tickets and supplies for just ONE expedition can be enough to partially rehabilitate several villages. Therefore the most effective assistance is to contribute financially to the remote communities via a recognized, respected local organization that knows the members of the community and their true needs. ELA will transfer the entire donation toward rescue and prevention efforts, and support sustainable rehabilitation into the distant future.


We must provide immediate supplies, food, and temporary shelter to the thousands of homeless villagers in our mountain communities that were destroyed by the earthquake’s epicenter.
We must build shelters and homes QUICKLY BEFORE MONSOON SEASON turns everything into mud and strong rains interrupt operations. Mudslides are a big risk in the mountains, especially after a big earthquake.
We must rebuild our many destroyed Gorkha and Lamjung schools – and use them also as Community Care Centers for our Mothers’ Groups, Adult Literacy Programs, and health & hygiene support centers.
An urgent-care / first-aid / community clinic must be built for these remote rural areas to assist in the recovery now and into the future. We (EEC, on behalf of ELA) have already acquired the land for this.
A large guesthouse for volunteers, emergency shelter, and disaster-relief workers must be built near the clinic, to support the disaster recovery into the future and to assist in similar situations that inevitably will arise. The rural areas of Nepal have no infrastructure of this kind, yet they are the majority of Nepal, where most Nepali reside! Kathmandu, the capital, gets all the attention and money, but the people in greatest need during catastrophe are the remote mountain villages!

Donate Today!!donate/c1oyc

Many of our remote villages and schools in the mountainous Gorkha & Lumjung Districts, where I have volunteered and ELA has operated for many years, are totally gone, some of them have not even one house standing. The homeless survivors and their children, in the thousands, urgently need supplies, food, and shelter. They sleep outside in our destroyed schoolyards and are running out of basic survival items. They are at immediate risk, including that of child trafficking. Earthquake-related orphans must be brought into our orphanages in Tanahun and Chitwan districts, where our many schools and communities are still intact. They will be adopted by ELA and taken care of until adulthood (get food, education, health care, and nurturing with our family of dedicated social workers – for many years to come).
Almost no money and support are available in those remote, inaccessible areas – most relief organizations are focusing on Kathmandu (the capital city of Nepal) and those who try to help the rural villagers have no experience working with them or access top their communities. ELA is in a unique insider’s position to help them sustainably rehabilitate from this disaster in the next few weeks as well as the next few decades.
We need at least $250,000 to help villagers rebuild their homes (that will be enough for 500 homes – about 5 villages that were totally erased, see terraced picture below), BEFORE monsoon season takes over! We need another $250,000 to re-build the schools, and to build the permanent clinic and community health center.
Large donors will get special recognition, contributing to the legacy of their parents or families, and will be honored in various ways.
All the charitable contributions are tax deductible and will FULLY support the recovery efforts in the neglected areas of rural Nepal near the epicenter, where ELA’s humanitarian projects have been significant even prior to the earthquakes. We are there for extended duration, for the long term rehabilitation, not just for a quick “moment of glory” until media coverage moves elsewhere.
EEC (Ecopolitan Eco-Health Community) is a is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Tax ID #85-0474926

Several large corporations (Google, Microsoft, Oracle, Boeing, and more) have a matching gift program supporting EEC with matching funds whenever an employee makes a donation to our cause.

I’m thinking about the little children who lost their home, school, and communities, even their parents. We must protect their fragile lives and eliminate the risk of child trafficking. We must give hope to their destroyed communities.


From Above Links:

Please watch Dr. T’s video: Earthquake Destroys Rural Villages In Gorkha, Nepal (Part 1)
Please watch Dr. T’s video: Rural Nepal Disaster – Earthquake’s Epicenter (Part 2)
Dr. T’s KARE 11 News Appearance
Click HERE to make Your Tax-Deductible Donation Today!!donate/c1oyc

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Kids Go Crazy for Banana Splits

Banana Splits

Kids seem to love raw food finger foods. When a fruit or veggie is taken, sliced lengthwise or widthwise, and topped with a sauce, nut or seed butter, or dressing, it makes for a very creative and interesting treat that kids can’t resist. My son loved having Banana Splits and Strawberry Sauce (above) as a special snack or even as a fruit meal. This is a quick, energy-packed delight that takes no longer than 5 minutes to prepare:

Banana Splits with Strawberry Sauce

2 bananas
8 strawberries
2 to 3 dates, soaked 3 hours (optional; My son Marco loved this treat without the dates)
Shredded coconut

Slice the bananas lengthwise and lay down on a plate. Blend strawberries and optional dates until a smooth red sauce. Pour sauce over the bananas lengthwise to coat. Sprinkle with shredded coconut.

The above recipe and 114 more easy and delicious fun recipes are in my book Raw Vegan Recipe Fun for Families.


Check out the Tropical Fun Raw Food Finger Foods I prepared at the Hawaii Woodstock Fruit Festival. If you live in or visit a tropical place, you can prepare Banana Splits with Chico Sauce. Chico is also called Nispero. We ate it in Hawaii, but have also had it when we have visited my husband’s home in Colombia, where Nispero is plentiful. Nispero is a Sapote, and has such a refreshing yet sweet taste when blended with just a few dates (optional) and poured over the sliced bananas. I personally love the taste of the fresh fruit blended without the dates, but either way it’s super fun. Here is the video of the tropical finger food recipes I prepared at the festival along with my daughter Gabriela’s help:


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Celebrating Life and Camaraderie at the Hawaii Woodstock Fruit Festival

The Hawaii Woodstock Fruit Festival the week of April 12th, 2015, on the North shore of Oahu, was beyond any of the attendees’ wildest expectations of paradise and co-living with other low fat raw vegan lifestyle followers.

For a full week, low fat raw vegan pioneers, longterm raw food lovers, and those new to the lifestyle wanting to connect and learn came together from points all over the globe to celebrate health, fitness, compassion, and camaraderie…people from all over the United States, Netherlands, Australia, UK, Philippines, Brazil, China, Japan, and many other countries.

This festival in Hawaii boasted a theme of fun, activity, socializing, relaxation in the sun and beauty of the beaches and mountains, and travel to spots all over Oahu to experience the wonders of the island.

Hawaii Fruit Fest- Pillbox Trail mountains #2


Yoga classes and running with the ultimate marathon runner, Michael Arnstein, were daily morning activities.

Local fruit consisted of banana, papaya, and pineapple as staples with tastings of other tropical specialties added each day, such as guanabana (soursop), rambutan, longan, dates, and Hawaiian grown organic durian. I personally loved the apple bananas! Yum! We were blessed to have nice, ripe apple bananas and Williams bananas. Greens as celery, cucumber and lettuces were always available to combine with the fruit if desired. Fruit was available all day. Some imported fruit was also available, such as apples and tangerines. I especially loved the “banana ice cream with sweet sauces and puddings.”

Hawaii Fruit Festival - Longans

Hawaii Fruit Fest- Banana ice cream and sweet dessert

Michael Arnstein, organizer of all the Woodstock Fruit Festivals, spent hours chopping and opening large green local coconuts at the coconut station, along with festival volunteers, to offer to those who love that delicious sweet coconut water. A special Hawaiian crew with a sugar cane crusher arrived daily to prepare original or ginger infused sugar cane juice for us each morning. What a delectable treat!

Hawaii Fruit Festival Michael with lei

Hawaii Fruit Festival - chopping coconuts

Hawaii Fruit Festival - Marco chopping coconuts


Early evening main meals were big salads with tasty and well-combined dressings. My favorite was Mexican Night when the salad bar contained large local lettuces or mandolined zucchini slices as wraps, Malibar spinach, cucumber, celery, corn taco salad, guacamole, and tomato salsa. Awesome and so very satisfying!

The main focus of the Hawaii Woodstock Fruit Festival was on exploring the tropics and getting out there and being active. This festival truly was an adventure a minute! This super active focus got all of us grouping together organizing a variety of trips to unforgettable mountain trails with gorgeous waterfalls and lush tropical forests, scenic magnificent beaches where sea turtles and monk seals are resting, surfing communities with funky fun shops, glider and sky diving experiences, and visits to local farmers markets…And we all gathered together, filled cars following other filled cars. What a great way to get to know each other!

Hawaii Fruit Fest- Manoa Falls #2 Hawaii Fruit Fest in Bamboo ForestHawaii Fruit Fest- Marco with Sea Turtle and Monk Seals


See my son Marco above, after a long run with Michael Arnstein, lying down on a rocky beach with a large sea turtle and two monk seals.

Hawaii Fruit Fest Pillbox Trail


We enjoyed impressive fire dancers in the evening, nightly drumming circles around the campfire, hula hoop lessons, speed dating, group social games, talent show, and much more. Roy Rozman was our humorous Master of Ceremonies for the week, and he knew how to get everyone involved.

Hawaii Fruit Festival- Fire Dancers


Raw food preparation classes were taught by myself and my daughter Gabriela (Tropical Fun Raw Food Finger Foods), Chris Kendall (Sundried Tomato Pesto and Pad Thai), and Megan Elizabeth and Ryan Louis (Varieties of Coconut Smoothies). I loved the way the children would gather around the food preparation table and excitedly want to try all the new treats being made.

Hawaii Fruit Festival- Karen's tropical raw food demo


The few lectures during the week were given by Dr. Will Tuttle (“The World Peace Diet”), Anne Osborne talking on “Fruit Foraging,” John Kohler talking on “20 Mistakes Not to Make When Going Raw Vegan,” Megan Elizabeth talking on “Fruit Makeup,” and myself talking along with my 27 and 24 year old kids, Gabriela and Marco Ranzi, on “Raising Healthy Raw Vegan Children.”

Hawaii Fruit Festival Karen, Marco and Gabriela workshop

Kristine Glick and family with Karen

The true emphasis of the weeklong Hawaii Woodstock Fruit Festival was on love and support of all those raw food lovers attending, no matter what level of health or experience with a fresh plant-based diet. The second to last evening of the weeklong event, Lori, a lovely woman who had attended previous festivals, wanted to dance at the talent show despite her severe arthritis. Lori danced with great enthusiasm with all the happiness and energy she received from everyone and the uplifting activities she experienced during the empowering week. Her dance sparked excitement and support from the audience of 250 raw food campers, all jumping up to dance and be with Lori in her shining moment. The talent show turned into a major dance party with Lori, attendees of all ages dancing into the night. As one of the final fruit festival activities, this dance was a major highlight showing all the camaraderie, love, spirituality, and enlightenment that blossomed during the week of this “Happy People” Festival.



Karen Ranzi, M.A.


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Nonviolent Communication with Children

A parenting class on nonviolent interactions with children was offered in New York City with Inbal Kashtan, speaker, teacher and author of articles on nonviolent communication. She explains in an article titled “Compassionate: Nonviolent Communication with Children,” in Mothering Magazine, that she wants her son to be “deeply connected to himself and others, to become interdependent as well as independent.” She feels by practicing attachment parenting, she and her partner were creating a lifetime of trust and connection with their child. Kashtan believes: “Attachment parenting means nurturing independence and interdependence by prioritizing babies’ needs.

Although we may practice skin-to-skin contact with our baby, sleeping together, and holding them, as they get older, it is often more difficult to understand how to respond in respectful ways that create trust. Nonviolent communication deals with these values beyond attachment parenting. NVC has been used worldwide among families, and in prisons, schools and war-torn countries.

Book Picture Mexico IMG_0719


Book Pictures Mommy and Kids Feb 2009 007

Inbal describes NVC’s teachings on how a parent can convey three key things to the child:

1. I want to understand the needs that led to your actions.

2. I want to express to you the feelings and needs that led to mine.

3. I want to find strategies that will meet both of our needs.

By bringing up children in a compassionate way, without authoritative force, we will be helping to create peaceful people who can solve conflicts in a nonviolent way.

Marshall Rosenberg is the founder and education director of the Center for Nonviolent Communication. He wrote the book Nonviolent Communication.

Chapter 30 from Creating Healthy Children. Copyright 2010
By Karen Ranzi

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Love Raw Food & Yoga Eco Retreat in Costa Rica with Karen Ranzi

I met Jody and Brian Calvi over six years ago when they toured the U.S. to spread the word about their Farm of Life Retreat Center in Costa Rica. I had been in that same area of San Salvador, Costa Rica every winter visiting with friends for seven years and had also done a talk at Finca de Vida on “Creating Healthy Children with Raw Foods.” The thought of leading a retreat at this beautifully situated health and wellness center was very exciting, but didn’t come to fruition for me until close to seven years later. Starting with my retreat this year in 2015, I will now be organizing an annual retreat to Finca de Vida every year.

love raw food retreat finca de vida








In 2003, I wrote an article on research I’d done on “Raw Food and Costa Rica” for a Manhattan newsletter called The Raw Dish. There was an immediate stirring of interest in visiting Costa Rica following the publishing of the article. Several people, including some of my friends, wrote their stories of personal transformation for my book Creating Healthy Children: Through Attachment Parenting and Raw Foods, based on their moving from the cement jungle of New York City and other U.S. cities to the mountain rainforests of Costa Rica.

One of these people is my friend Amy Schrift. In August of 2003 while living in Manhattan, Amy underwent a profound change. She changed the way she ate, observing everything that went into her mouth. Like me, she decided to eat only foods from Nature, ripened in the sun and providing life force. Her internal compass pointed her towards thetropics, where she knew she could always enjoy her five favorite foods: bananas, coconuts, pineapples, papayas and mangos, in a year-round comfortable climate. Amy has lived simply in Costa Rica for many years, observing nature day and night, becoming aware of the moon rising and setting and its effects on plant growth and animals.

Amy Schrift

Visiting Amy on her 17.5 acre piece of land was part of my retreat activities this year. Amy spoke to my retreat group of 16 attendees. She spoke about her days alone in silence on her farm interrupted only by weekly trips to town for food and supplies, gatherings with friends or conversations in Spanish with two workers who help her on the farm a few days a week. She found the animals and plants to be her teachers and guides. From them, she learned to live in balance and harmony with her surroundings.

I wanted this week to be an opportunity for the attendees to my retreat to experience the awesome nature of this area of Costa Rica and to meet my friends who moved there, living so simply off the land. We stayed for a full week at Finca de Vida (Farm of Life) with Jody and Brian Calvi. I brought my group to see Amy, and another friend, Eric Rivkin, a permaculture farmer and raw food chef, who left Minneapolis to follow a path toward a natural life in Costa Rica.

love raw food retreat with eric and chris and jackfruit

Staying at the Farm of Life (Finca de Vida), my guests had the wonderful opportunity to bathe in a chlorine-free natural pool (cleansed by food-grade hydrogen peroxide), to practice sun-gazing with Brian Calvi at sunrise and sunset, to learn about all the wonderful vegetables, herbs and fruits grown right there at this magnificent farm, eating a variety of tropical fruits and lush greens grown there on the bushes and in their gardens.

love raw food retreat sun gazing circle

Some of the many wonderful tropical fruits we got to try include: mamey sapote, papaya, mango, jackfruit, nispero, noni, rollinia, mangosteen, the luscious water of the green coconut, plantains, really ripe bananas, pineapple, and many more.

Love Raw Food Retreat fruit bowls at Margarita's

The inside of rollinia tasted like lemon meringue pie!! This fruit is in the Annona family and is commonly known as biriba. I have never tasted any fruit so delicious as this rollinia!


Part of the weeklong retreat included visits to stunning waterfalls such as Nuyaca and an adventurous hike up the mountain along Costa Rica’s tallest waterfall, Diamante, to a cave at the top. We visited the pristine beaches of Hacienda Baru and Domenical. We spent time making sugar cane juice, eating rollinia, and talking about living sustainably when we visited Amy’s farm, and we hiked primary rainforest and toured Eric’s permaculture farm and waterfalls. The attendees were overwhelmed with the beauty, the clean air and water, the tropical fruit, and the creative fresh raw food meals prepared by a top raw food chef.

love raw food retreat beach at Hacienda Baru Love Raw Food Retreat Nuyaca

We enjoyed daily yoga, qi gong, musical dance, meditation, salsa instruction, and gong sound baths.

yoga 2

Both at the beginning and end of this glorious week, we stayed at Margarita’s Guesthouse in Alajuela near San Jose. Margarita was a delightful hostess, offering us delicious fruit and salad meals included in our stay there. What a great way to come in and leave Costa Rica!

Jody and Brian Calvi, owners of Finca de Vida, created such a truly wonderful experience for me to be able to offer to the attendees of my “Love Raw Food & Yoga Costa Rica Retreat” that I will be offering it again next year in March 2016.

Love Raw Food Retreat group photo

I am excited to have openings available soon. Those interested can reach me at 201-934-6778 or at Check out the comfortable cabins with beautiful views of the mountains and Pacific coastline at and my Costa Rica videos will be up on my youtube channel super healthy children. It turned out that the 2015 retreat was an adult retreat. The retreat is available for individuals and families. Next year I hope to also offer a separate retreat for families at another retreat center.

 Testimonial of Ronda Lutfey:

“I miss Costa Rica soooo much! I loved every minute of it! I’m going back next year…absolutely! It was an awesome awesome experience. I can’t believe how amazing it was…and I didn’t expect that…just feeling so blissful. I feel really vibrant and glowing after this week at your “Love Raw Food & Yoga Costa Rica Retreat” at Finca de Vida.

love raw food retreat karen and ronda



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Nutrition Champs Review

CHAMPS Front Cover_3


Nutrition Champs Review by Karen Ranzi

I’ve coached over a thousand people inspired to move toward a raw vegan lifestyle. One thing that I’ve observed is that many believe they can easily transition to a 100% simple raw food lifestyle but then it doesn’t work well for them. What I’m finding is that an easier more gradual transition works better for most people. In 2014, I was asked to contribute a couple of my favorite raw food recipes to this book Nutrition Champs by vegan dietitian, Jill Nussinow. I received the book this week and am very impressed with the wonderful variety of whole plant food recipes, mostly cooked but many raw as well.

For those weaning themselves from a meat and animal product diet, Nutrition Champs is a fabulous resource for excellent vegan nutrition. I contributed my recipe for Romaine Burritos on page 201 in the section on “Seeds and Nuts” and my No Bean Hummus on page 220. These are dishes I love adding to a large salad for a delicious raw main meal.

The Chapters include Cruciferous Vegetables, Herbs and Spices, Alliums, Mushrooms, Pulses, Seeds and Nuts. Although there are a few more complicated recipes, many of these vegan recipes are easy and will be extremely satisfying to the newly arrived plant eater.

Jill Nussinow is an alternative Registered Dietitian who is also the author of The Veggie Queen: Vegetables Get the Royal Treatment.

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A Dirty Word- Overweight Part 2

Growing up I was always the black sheep in my family. And by black, I do mean fat. I never really paid it much attention. Every family meal my mother used to subtly glare at me should I go in for seconds or thirds, and I would always just do my best to ignore it. Despite the fact that I had, up until my teenage years, led a rather active lifestyle, as I grew older I stopped. I’d stopped riding my bike through the park, stopped playing sports and grew sedentary instead. I can even remember the day my life of sitting down began.

I was ten and before this time my mom had never left me home alone; that means if I wasn’t at school or cheerleading or softball practice or one of the other numerous actives I’d participated in, I was with her. Whether it was running errands or going to the park, I went along. But then, one day, she asked me: “Nicole, do you want to come ride your bike while I rollerblade today?” (It was the 90’s, rollerblading was a big thing). I said “No.” No, I don’t want to go, and with that one word a world of eating opportunity came rushing up to meet me. When she would go to the supermarket, I would munch on school lunch snacks and when she was there and her back was turned, I would clandestinely crunch down on them. I craved sugar often and there were always saccharine snacks lying around the pantry. Slowly and surely, I gained weight. So slowly I didn’t realize it was happening and remained in a state of obliviousness for years.

I didn’t think of myself as fat. Not really. That word was reserved for other people. All those morbidly obese people on shows like “My 500 Pound Life” or “The Biggest Loser,” and I did not look like that. So I kept going the way I was going, and I would have two meals when I’d come home from school, then eat dinner (extra portions please) with my family. I ate pretty much everything, and nothing was off limits for my mouth. I seethed for roasted chicken and sausage and peppers and grilled steak and a heaping pile of pulled pork with barbeque sauce squirted on top. For years, I lived in a state of peaceful ignorance about how fat I’d gotten (If I’m going to be honest with myself, it was for well over a decade).

Nicole Before Picture

I made a decision one day to start watching everything that I ate with a critical eye, and I started to walk. Just walk. I had my dog for companionship, tagging along with me. Everyday I’d push myself a little farther; walk up that hill today, down that road the next. At first we would walk for a half hour or so, traversing the neighborhood. I’d wake up early in the morning, five or six am, and gradually the walks got longer. One day I found out that a path leading into the woods ended on my cul-de-sac. That walk was over an hour. That was the summer my life began to change.

There will, however, always be the saboteurs in a weight loss journey. My aunt always used to throw a big, end-of-the-summer party at her house. It had nearly become a tradition, and I went every year to see family I’d not seen for a while, and to eat. Of course, what’s a party thrown by Italians without great food? There was always anti-pasto with chunks of hard meat and tomato and basil, and let’s not forget about the inch thick slice of fresh mozzarella cheese hiding underneath. There was pasta with ground up sausage and broccoli-rab, smothered in oil and parmesan cheese.

Let’s not forget about the array of cookies and cakes and brownies and ice cream that would come out once the food was put away. Anyway, needless to say, I couldn’t eat any of this, as much as at the time I really wanted to join in (Really, really wanted to!). Naturally my Aunt was concerned. I explained to her that I was trying to lose weight, at which time she responded, “Well, a little isn’t going to hurt, right?” But the thing is, yes, a little would hurt.

I’ve always had a rough time with impulse control around food. If it tasted good (and it always did) I’d eat until I couldn’t eat any more. And I was so tired of being the ‘fat’ sheep in the family. I stayed strong on that day. Not to mention the many tribulations that were to come. It’s the worst thing… to be around people who are eating exactly what you want but you can’t have, believe me, I know. But staying strong, not caving in to your own desires, is it’s own kind of reward.

Nicole After Picture

By Nicole Martorana, Ramapo College Intern to Karen Ranzi, M.A.

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