Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Ann Wigmore (1908-1994): Her Life and Legacy

 The mother of the modern Raw Food Movement is Ann Wigmore, although many of us raw foodists, including myself, know little about her. The raw food story in modern times begins with her story, when she was born in Lithuania in 1908.   She moved to Massachusetts as a teenager, eventually married and lived a simple life about 10 miles south of Boston.
In 1940, while Ann was raising her family, a Danish doctor by the name of Kristine Nolfi was diagnosed with breast cancer.  She refused established medical protocol and successfully treated herself with an exclusively raw food diet.  When she was healthy again, she opened a health center called Humlegarden where she treated many patients with cancer and other diseases.  
Ten years after Dr. Nolfi reversed her cancer, Ann, in poor health and suffering from colon cancer, began to incorporate the lessons she recalled learning as a child in Lithuania from her grandmother, the village doctor, who treated wounded soldiers with herbs during World War I.  Using weeds and wheat grass, she also healed her body and reversed the cancer.  Witnessing the powerful   healing properties of wheatgrass juice and other vitamin and enzyme-rich foods first-hand inspired her to spend the next 35 years of her life studying and educating others about natural healing and optimum nutrition. 
Ann founded the “Red Schoolhouse” in 1956.  President Eisenhower’s personal physician, Dr. Paul Dudley White, a Harvard University-educated man, was also a member of the Harvard faculty and a founder of the American Heart Association.  He was one of Ann’s biggest supporters and sent patients to her farm who could not be cured using modern medicine. A fellow Lithuanian by the name of Viktoras Kluvinskas also became aware of Ann’s work through a Boston Globe article on the world-famous model Twiggy and the cleansing detox program she went through at Red Schoolhouse. The top computer consultant in the U.S. at the time, Viktoras’ services were coveted by institutions including Harvard, Smithsonian, MIT, and The Apollo Project;  he was also sick and dying from an autoimmune collapse when he came to the Red Schoolhouse to recover.  After three weeks, he experienced a personal revelation, and so when Ann offered him the opportunity to stay, he gave up his high-profile career and joined her to become the science and the brains behind the operation which, together they named and co-founded as Hippocrates Health Institute.
Initially, the diet at the Institute was vegetarian, which transitioned into vegan.  However, after noticing the positive changes that occurred from eating only raw and living foods, the permanent diet of raw, life-giving foods was incorporated.  Viktoras spent hours at the Harvard Medical Library, seeking to create a bridge between what they had been experiencing in regards to health and healing, and what was known in the medical and research community. 
Margaret Drumheller, after seeing her friend’s Multiple Sclerosis reversed with Ann’s guidance, invited her to move her healing center to her Boston Back Bay neighborhood.  So, in 1961, The Hippocrates Health Institute was opened in Boston.
For the next 25 years, Hippocrates was literally the face of the alternative health care movement. At their  weekly Sunday Open Houses, hundreds of visitors came to learn more about health and healing.  One such visitor was Brian Clement, a young raw vegan who had planned to eventually open a center in Oregon, but was living in Maine in the interim.  Curious about Hipppocrates, he made the trip in 1975 and never left.
Together, Brian and Ann traveled throughout Europe, hoping to seed the idea of raw foods as a cure-all for a disease-free lifestyle. The Hippocrates Health Institute eventually moved to Florida under the direction of Drs. Brian and Anna Maria Clement, PhD. They continue with Ann Wigmore’s mission today to help people radically change their health by trading nutrient-deficient, “dead” foods to a diet rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and plant based proteins.  In addition to expanding and fine-tuning the Institute’s curriculum over the years to include seminars on such topics as meditation, colonics, and homeopathy, they have also expanded its offerings by adding a chef’s kitchen for raw food preparation lessons, a cutting edge spa and therapy treatments, exercise equipment and classes, ozonated pools, and other healing modalities.
Ann Wigmore’s use of wheatgrass as a key dietary component began a revolution in the world of nutrition.  Hippocrates Health Institute has welcomed people from all walks of life to benefit from her teachings -- from people looking to improve their general health to those with terminal disease.  To date, hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children have visited the Institute and now share stories of recovery, healthy lifestyles, and a rejuvenated outlook on life.
Ann’s untimely death in February of 1994 was due to smoke inhalation from a fire at the Ann Wigmore Foundation.  Ann Wigmore’s contribution as a humanitarian, educator, writer, and tireless promoter of natural health lives on at Hippocrates, and other natural healing venues in the United States and elsewhere in the world. She is known for healing the natural way through a diet of organic, raw, living foods.  Through a diet of raw foods, sprouting, dehydration, and vegan living, anchored in weeds and wheatgrass juicing, she healed her colon cancer and promoted natural healing worldwide.  Truly she is the motivational mother of all of us who believe in eating fresh whole foods in as close to their natural states as possible, thereby maximizing our own health,  preventing the slaughter and death of countless animals, and contributing to sustainable thriving planet earth.
"I see a world without sickness, sorrow, or mental
disturbance in which we are living in perfect balance,
abundance, health and harmony." -- Dr. Ann Wigmore

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Coconut Oil -- Nutritional Jewel

Some of you may recall a blog post of mine from last May about oil pulling and its benefits. In that piece I said the my preferred oil is coconut oil, because it has anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial properties.  As it turns out. there are many other reasons to use coconut oil.

For many years coconut oil was considered unhealthy because of its high content of saturated fat, and along with other saturated oils was linked to heart disease and increased blood cholesterol. In recent times coconut is praised as the healthiest oil found on earth.  Let's look at some of the good news.

1.  Coconut oil has medium-chain fatty acids which heighten metabolism and energy, thus stimulating the thyroid. It targets the harmful bacteria candida and kills it.  It also actually lowers cholesterol because of its lauric acid content that safegruards the heart by increasing good cholesterol and decreasing of total cholesterol. It also encourages weight loss, because there is no circulation of the medium-chain fatty acids in the bloodstream. Rather, the coconut oil goes directly to the liver and is then turned into energy.  The coconut oil's fat is therefore not stored as fat by the body, but is used for energy.

2.  Virgin coconut oil helps to control diabetes, because the amount of insulin in the bloodstream does not increase.  Also, in studies in the Pacific Islands, where the entire caloric intake included 30% abd 60% of fully saturated coconut oil, demonstrated that the people were free of cardiovascular disease. 

3.  Virgin coconut oil strengthens the immune system because of its lauric acid content.  It is also good for the skin when applied directly.  It makes a shielding antibacterial layer which protects the part of the body that is infected. It can quicken the healing of bruises, as it repairs damaged tissues. It's wonderful as a massage oil, and lip moisturizer.

4.  Virgin coconut oil also nourishes the brain, enhancing cognitive function.  It also reverses or stalls neurodegenerative diseases during the early stages.  Ayurvedic healers  have used it as a medicine for 5000 years, and residents of Panama drink it to guard themselves from health problems.

 N.B.  Coconut oil is solid at room temperature but becomes clear liquid at temperatures at temperatures higher than 78 degrees Fahrenheit.To avoid harmful trans fats, use only extra virgin cold-pressed coconut oil.Heating fats, including the wonderful coconut oil, produces carcinogenic free radicals and impair the blood's ability to transport oxygen by clogging capillaries with fat globules and congesting vascular walls, contributing to arteriosclerosis and other cardiovascular disorders. Heated fats can cause acne, impaired liver function, and unpleasant body odor.

Caveats aside, good coconut oil is a wonderful thing to incorporate into a health-seeking,
 life-producing diet.  For maximum advantages, do your best to buy brands that are known not to have heat treated the oil in processing. Enjoy!

Reminder, you can receive this email in your email box by filling in the box in the right side-bar.  I welcome your comments and suggestions, and encourage you to make it available to friends.  For lots more information about the healthiest sort of living go to  You can sign up for my almost monthly newsletter there, which always includes articles of interest and wonderful recipes.

Thanks for being here! Live Well ~  ~  Eat Raw!!....Jane

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Benefits of Fresh, Homemade Almond Milk

One of my Health Coaching clients and I made some fresh almond milk this week.  It's so easy, and so delicious, and so nutritionally superior, as well as easier on the pocket book than the "store-bought" varieties, I think the subject deserves a little attention.

The  first thing to notice is that packaged, cooked almond milk is now available in grocery stores everywhere.  It’s probably a sign of the times that more mainstream, Standard American Diet (SAD) grocery shoppers are now avoiding dairy when possible, (which is another story), and opting for heart-healthy almonds.  I’ve heard that it can even be used in place of milk in many cooked recipes. 

Although the switch to almond milk is an improvement on dairy consumption, there is still a bif difference between cooked, packaged almond milk and fresh, raw, homemade almond milk.  The energy and life-force in the cooked milk is boiled out, whereas raw almond milk, most often made with soaked, germinated almonds is packed with this energizing life force. 
Additionally, and this is important, when you make your own almond milk, you are familiar with all the ingredients that you choose to add.  Almond milk can be as simple as just almonds and water, or you can add honey, dates, a dash of oil and salt, a little vanilla, cinnamon, raw cacao, etc.  Cooked almond milks contain stabilizers, thickeners, and flavor enhancers all of which are chemical additives that detract the pure nutritional value and add unnecessary toxins.
If you’re interested in this line of thought, try googling any common ingredient found on a package of cooked almond milk.  One fascinating article, for example, can be found at

Truly, good people, it’s a good thing to start making your own almond milk, and perhaps then other nut milks like Brazil, cashew, etc., and seed milks like sunflower, hemp, sesame, etc.  To start, enjoy the recipe below.  Once you do it once or twice, you won’t even notice the 5-10 minutes it takes to make it, and you’ll love the fact that you are providing yourself and your family the superior beverage.

Almonds are the only nuts that are known to alkalize the blood, while all others acidify blood.  Almonds are also highest of all nuts in arginine, an amino acid that boosts the immune system and inhibits tumor growth.
1 cup almonds –as raw as you can get them—soaked about 12 hours.
3 cups water
1 TBS raw honey or raw agave nectar
1.   In a blender or Vita-Mix, blend the almonds and water and sweetener until smooth.
2.   Strain through a cheese cloth, nut milk bag, or fine strainer, or use as is. 
Note : You can use other nuts such as Brazils, hazelnuts (filberts), cashews, or seeds, such as sunflower or hemp.

2 Tbs. raw almond butter
2 cups water
Pinch  of sea salt  

Place almond butter, water, and sea salt in a blender and pure`e until smooth. (Sweeten to taste with your favorite sweetener).

For more easy-to-prepare, delicious, nutritious recipes, go to
and opt in for the almost monthly newsletter, which always has 3-4 fun things to try.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Green Vegetables Protect the Heart

I know that there are other people who are as enthusiastic about drinking green smoothies as I am, but where I live, I really have developed a reputation as the Green Smoothie Lady.  It’s not a bad thing.  In fact, I like being so closely associated with such an important food group – dark leafy greens.  And here’s one reason why.

Green leafy vegetables are superior to other foods in their nutrient density, and unsurprisingly, greater intake of leafy greens is associated with reduced risk of and/or reversal of many diseases
and disorders.  One of these is cardiovascular disease, which accounts for a very high number of unnecessary deaths each year. Greater consumption of dark leafy green vegetables and  cruciferous vegetables are associated with lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease from all causes .  The cruciferous family includes many leafy greens, such as kale, cabbage and bok choy. It also includes broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussel sprouts.

A significant contributor to the development of cardiovascular disease is oxidative stress.  Our antioxidant defenses are a combination of dietary compounds and the body’s own antioxidant enzymes, and there is evidence that when we eat cruciferous vegetables, their phytochemicals signal the body to produce its own protective antioxidant enzymes.  They activate a protein called Nrf2, which can increase or decrease the expression of certain genes.  Essentially, Nrf2 is a messenger through which beneficial phytochemicals from the diet turn on the body’s natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory protection mechanisms. The bottom line here is that cruciferous vegetables are essential for excellent health and the promotion of maximum lifespan. 

The leafy greens that I’m always so excited about are worthy of extra mention, because, regularly drinking green smoothies, which have a high proportion of dark leafy green vegetables, is an easy sure-fire way to get this protection, not only from heart diseases, but a host of other diseases and ills  as well.  If you’re not on board yet with green smoothies, here is a recipe to get you started.  If you’d like to receive my Green Smoothie Guidelines sheet for additional suggestions, email me at, or contact me through my website at
Here’s to your great health and longevity!


Add this drink to your healthy-habit regimen.  It’s packed with cleansing nutrients and fiber to help  sweep you clean – a good thing after all the fancy food and holiday drinks.  Additionally, because it contains ginger and cayenne, it will have a warming affect in these winter months .  The heat will also help to speed up your metabolism.  Cayenne pepper helps increase circulation, which is an important aspect of a successful cleanse.  It also breaks up mucus in the body, helping dissolve and release toxic buildup.
1 cup or 3 leaves kale
¼ green apple
1 inch slice fresh ginger
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp real maple syrup
½ cup water, warm if you like
½ cup freshly made apple juice (or water) 

Add all  ingredients to the blender, pouring the liquids over the top.  Blend until everything is smoothly mixed.  Sip  it slowly.
From Best Green Drinks Ever, by Katrine Van Wyk