October 3, 2003    100% Raw


It is the morning after, when clarity strikes as the dew gently breaks. There are thoughts of many things. There are visions of what is and what should be. I awake with a fury, with an excellency, with a need just to do. It is with these words that I start. That I yell, I scream. I am enthralled just to be up at 5:21 am, not by accident but by choice. I am up with a tremendous vigor of energy that has no limitations. I am up to write, to share, to be read.

About four weeks ago I made a dramatic switch in my on going process of living a raw food lifestyle. After five years of eating a mostly raw diet on a 90%-95% consistent basis, I made the switch. Why, I do not know. I looked up, I looked down, I was caught in a web of inconsistency. I used food as a crutch, as a source of emotional support, as a thing to grab hold when all else failed. The food was raw, the food was mostly uncooked, the food nevertheless was an emotional attachment that strangled my hours of freedom in determining what is important, what is real, and most important who I am.

Having passed the stages of the booze, the coffee, the meat, the sweets, the vices of almost every addictive food except one or two. It was these foods, that made me forget who I was, and wanted to be. The French fries, the potatoes, the one cooked nutritional bar which when I tasted, I was lost in a sea of gluttony, of wanting more. That one bite, hot cooked, like alcohol, made me feel free.

So I write with that joy, with that newfound conviction, with that newfound strength, with a difference, that for the past thirty days, I have been 100% raw. I dare not take one bite, one nibble, not even a sniff, (well maybe that ) of cooked food, of French fries, a teeny weenie taste of something as innocent as maple syrup. I kicked the habit.

Not just for today, or thirty days, not as of now, my feet stand straight, my body erect, I am committed, one moment, one hour, one day. It is a journey, my major accomplishment since changing over, happened yesterday. I am beside myself; I am in joyous jubilation I am humbled by the feat. I should keep my mouth shut to keep from bragging, that I, Arnold, was able to swing across the monkey bars for the first time in forty years!

As great as the deed appears to be, it's shadowed by an even greater task, a greater will to succeed. A greater task that seemed so improbable. That when it happened, I who felt so proud of myself felt even prouder being able to witness this miracle. All these words were prelude to Claudia, one of my customers. Claudia, who had a serious case of M.S. could barely stand up without looking totally out of strength. Claudia, who came to my store with a cane on a fast train to something much worse, discovered the raw food lifestyle. Not so much for the food, but for the hope, for the vision that everyday is a blessed event, every moment is a gift from the universe. Everyday we give thanks for another breath of air. It is with these words that she carried her determination not to let M.S. get the better of her. It has been 8 months since she with her cane, used every bit of strength to walk up the eight steps that led to my store. The two-second walk that would not even be a thought in the average customer, from her car to the steps. To Claudia, the steps were an achievement of the highest accord. It was a victory for herself, for her path, for her fight against this wicked disease. I have watched Claudia for months in her quiet determination. Never a drop of self-pity, never a tear of "why me?". This is not Claudia. This is not her way.

The Sunday that past she took her normal walk from her car to the steps. Slow, but sure and determined as she always does. She climbed each step very slow, very deliberate knowing it was a step up not only for her, but also to those all around.

When she entered my store, Claudia was in pain. She just finished an exhausting training program, that was, for lack of a better word, boot camp. It was a program designed for acceleration and rejuvenation of one's body. It was a program that, no matter how hard it seemed at the time, Claudia was determined to finish. It was about getting out of the safety zone. The program could have been handled with a little more diplomacy, a little more conscious consideration. It was a program that appeared as work. Claudia, for the first time, in our store, walked without a cane. Claudia was standing straight. I literally thought I was seeing a miracle, and everything I did, saw, up until that moment, was so insignificant to this occurrence. No monumental homerun, no slam dunk, no football throw comes remotely close to watching a woman with so much will and determination to fight M.S. in her body and win after so many years of being in that continual battle. I was among the privileged that watched Claudia set aside her cane and begin to walk.

I end on this note. Tell the ones you know, spread it with speed, with urgency, with what it takes to realize that we are blessed, not because of what we own, or what we do or what we have. But who we are. We are given precious moments to live in a world that makes no promises, just opportunities to feel blessed by its own presence.

I thank you for your time.


Monthly & Weekly events: there is a lot going on.

Arnold - every Saturday morning from 8:15-9:45 I give free breakfast and talk on raw food healing, pre-registration is required.

The last Saturday of the month, same time, a food prep class. Pre-registration required Michelle Lawrence- newest member of our staff, amazing and determined, is giving more classed then I can remember.

Every Monday and Thursday-Yamona Body Rolling. It's the latest buzzword in those who know. It's like having your private masseuse all the time.  9am-10am $12.00 drop in class

-$2.00 gift certificates

Every Monday and Thursday - 6:15pm - 7:15pm yogalates $12.00 drop in class.  All classes required pre-registration Classes will be cancelled if minimum is not attained *yogalates- a combination of yoga and pilates-focus on relaxation, meditation and stretching.

More of Michelle's Classes: Natural beauty and skin care workshop. Thursday October 2, 7:15pm - 9:30pm. Pre-registration required workshop is $30.00. Featuring skin and hair care, natural products, learn how to make your own beauty products.

This workshop is designed for women of all ages. It will also include simple exercises for toning, strengthening and lengthening your muscles.

Believe it or not Michelle is having more classes Every Monday in October 7:15pm - 8:45pm, Vegan and raw food preparation Recipe/taste learning and experiencing Raw food classes $25.00 each

Monday Oct.6-savory soups and salads

Monday Oct 13- sandwiches, sides, fries

Monday Oct 20- delights of Asia

Monday Oct 27- sweet eats and Halloween treats

There's more. What we see, what we hear and what we believe becomes clearer more focused and more alive when we eat right, when we breathe right.

Other Classes:

Chi Gung and raw food seminar- Sunday Oct.12 at 6pm. Cost: $20.00

Find out why those who know live the code. Pre-registration is required