The rawest year of my life

One year ago today I discovered (the hard way) that my husband and business partner was having an affair with one of our very young employees.  It wasn’t a one-off fling but a full-fledged, calculated extramarital affair that had been ongoing for 2 years – right under my nose. And naive little me didn’t see it coming.

Of course I had every reason to trust him. “Markus” took his marriage vows seriously and swore (swore!) to me often that he would never ever cheat. “People who cheated were disgusting and immoral” he said. He was there for my son and I for the long haul, for better or worse, and he intended to honor his vows to the end. For 10 years, we lived building our life together, raising Mischa, and sharing our passion for healthy living, outdoor sports, hiking, nature, and the raw vegan lifestyle. I trusted him implicitly, never even thinking to think otherwise. And yet, within moments, everything that I believed in came crashing to the ground.

To see everything that you’ve worked at for so long crumble at your feet, all because of someone else’s act of selfishness is truly devastating. It took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that the clean cut  vegan “family man” who asked my father’s permission for my hand in marriage had been carrying with our staff, lying to me for years, breaching his fiduciary duties and putting our corporation at risk. I felt as though I had been stabbed in the heart twice.

To add to this, I discovered that my business was being mismanaged and pilfered from. The turmoil that I was left with was overwhelming, the legal battles unending. At times, I wondered if I would be able to go on. Not only I did I have to rebuild my business and manage a staff of 12, I was forced to clear out the accumulated matrimonial clutter from our home, stage the house, and list it on the market — all single handed —- while trying to be there for my son. I considered walking away from my business and giving up on my dream, my aspirations and life mission.   It hasn’t been easy – especially that he never admitted or explained his actions to myself or to his stepson (my child!) of 10 years. (This being hardest for us both to process)) Instead he took the cowardice way out, vanishing from our lives, never to be seen again. Except for in court.

I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank each and every member of my community for your thoughtfulness, kindness, support and friendship over the past 12 months. Thanks to you, Mischa and I have picked up the pieces and are in the process of rebuilding our lives. And life is good. :)
Never underestimate your own strength. You were born for a purpose and are blessed with the power to achieve it!
With so much love & gratitude,


A new way to eat spirulina


On the road this holiday season?

Spirulina Crispies are a fun, new way of getting more nutrients into your precious body. You can sprinkle them on salads as a topping, added to soups, smoothies, and trail mix to transform your standard fare into a superfood-studded nutritional powerhouse!

We at SimplyRaw Express even enjoy them straight out of the bag. And I like mine with extra cayenne. :)

Spirulina is high in protein, chlorophyll, iron, vitamins B-1, B-2, B-3 & B-6, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin A and vitamin E. It is also a source of potassium, calcium, chromium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, sodium and zinc.

Drop in and try out a bag for yourself!


Get your chlorella on!


In case you haven’t noticed, I’m very BIG on greens.  Why?  Because greens  are an amazing source of minerals, chlorophyll, antioxidants, and phytochemicals. They also offer a full spectrum of amino acids, and can nourish our cells and bodies. I eat various forms of algae, however lately I’ve become hooked on chlorella.

Chlorella is a single-celled, water-grown algae and is an unbelievably powerful detoxifying whole food.  It contains the most directly available chlorophyll per gram than any other plant making it highly alkaline AND is an incredible source of protein containing 60% pure, digestible protein (animal protein is only 18-30% and is in a non-digestible form). Chlorella is also loaded with vitamins (high in B, C & E), minerals (high in iron & calcium), amino acids, folic acid, beta-carotene, lysine, iodine, essential fatty acids, digestive enzymes and polysaccharides.  The broken cell wall of Giddy Yoyo raw chlorella makes it 100% bioavailable and absorbable for the body.  Chlorella has the ability to neutralize heavy metals in the body, increase brain and liver function, improve digestion and elimination, protect against radiation, decrease inflammation, strengthen the immune system, and support healthy weight loss.

Chlorella  can also help increase energy levels,  increase alkalinity in the body, and maintain and repair tissues in the body. It can even boost ones mood and reduce depression, as well as help diminish blood sugar dips.  Personally, I love to chew chlorella as is n the form of tablets to  savor the flavor, but you can swallow them whole or add them to any smoothie, soup, salad, water, juice, or even dessert.

The optimal time to enjoy chlorella is before a meal and exercise since it will help to digest food and detoxify the body, respectively.  Another favourable time is with probiotics because chlorella is able to help probiotics multiply at four times their normal rate!

As with any amazing green food, if your body is not used to it, try introducing it gradually into your daily diet allowing time for the body to become adjusted to its healing effects.

Conscious Consumer Caution: Once you start enjoying this amazing alkaline food it is highly likely you will not be able to stop!

ENJOY like my lovely vibrant friend and apprentice Breanne does. Just be sure to bring a toothbrush along with you!


It’s ALL green

HealthForce-Vitamineral-Green-500grPeople often ask whether I supplement my diet with any green powders.  Besides daily fresh wheatgrass juice and Bio Superfood, Vitamineral Green™ is one of my favorites sources of concentrated greens — especially while I’m in a rush or on the road.

Vitamineral Green™ is an amazing, nutritionally dense, robust green food powder.  Composed of a mixture of land and sea vegetables, lake algae, probiotics and digestive enzymes, it is packed with a full spectrum of naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, all the essential amino acids (protein), antioxidants, chlorophyll, soluble and insoluble fibers, trace elements and phytonutrients.  Due to its superior ingredients, this product helps cleanse the body, balances blood sugar levels, strengthen the immune and circulation systems as well as other major organs, including the liver, kidneys, bones, colon, pancreas, muscles, and brain.  Although taken in a powdered form, Vitamineral Green™ is a food, not a supplement.  It is a 100% raw, vegan, gluten and yeast free food with no synthetic or isolated nutrients and has no fillers (grains, beans, maca, fibers, fruits, fillers, seeds/chia/flax).  It is ALL green. Plus, it’s delicious!

So how do you take it? Start by mixing 1 teaspoon of Vitamineral Green with water, fresh juices, smoothies — or even sprinkled on food. Since this food is highly cleansing for the body, start slow and work your way up to 2 heaping tablespoons over 2 weeks. Once your body is accustomed to these delicious super greens, enjoy as much as you want.  I sure do!

Currently, I’m on day #47 of my juice fast and I’m  just loving the extra boost of nutrition. It always makes me feel grounded. :)

Smoothie on the Run (from my book, The SimplyRaw Detox Manual)

  • 2 cups purified water
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • handful mixed organic greens
  • 1 tsp – 2 TBSP Vitamineral Green™
  • 2 TBSP hemp seeds
  • 1 TBSP raw maca

Blend & enjoy!

For my friends in the Ottawa area, Vitamineral Green™ can be found at SimplyRaw Express in Hintonburg.








I’m back in Wiggie Land and loving every moment of it.  It’s been far too long (4 years) since I’ve last been here! I used to visit annually, but recently began exploring other health institutes including Hippocrates, Optimum Health, and Gerson. Although they all have their strengths, I keep coming back to Ann Wigmore’s simple yet transformative Puerto Rican center. Plus it’s located on the beach which is an added bonus — especially for us Canadians!

Life here is as usual: laid back, quirky, a little bit disorganized, sunny, and very green. Needless to say, I’m feeling right at home. If you wish to learn more about the Ann Wigmore Institute, read past blogs here & here.

As many of my friends already know, the past 8 months have been intensely busy for Mark & I having recently launched  SimplyRaw Express juice bar & takeaway. As you can imagine, running a restaurant (no matter what size) keeps you running around the clock 24/7.  And as if that isn’t enough, with Mark’s encouragement and support, I signed on with Arsenal Pulp Press for another book — this one is recipe book, with lots of delicious pictures.  The SimplyRaw Kitchen will debut in September, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, I’m kicking back with friends, enjoying Dr Ann’s energy soup, Rejuvelac, and wheatgrass juice. I am so grateful to Mark for holding down the forts!


The (very) green house


Queuing up for wheatgrass juice


It sure is popular around here!


So is Energy Soup:

a complete balanced meal made from sunflower & buckwheat greens, sprouts, dulse,  and Rejuvelac


which I have been eating (& chewing very thoroughly) three times a day.


The weather is beautiful


 and I’m really getting good at


 balancing work with play.

swimming hole

I’ve been exploring local places like this swimming hole (warning: very cold water!)


picking mangos from the tree


discovering cacao at the farmer’s market

(the fruit is sweet & delicious, nibs are not!)


visiting fruit stands with my beautiful Russian friend, Elena

who is an amazing massage therapist and healer.

(that’s a jack fruit by the way)


and drinking my favorite thing in the world:


fresh young coconut water


with plenty of time for beach play, naturally.


This week I made my debut making energy soup in Ann Wigmore’s simple kitchen

(the students loved it)


with my lovely friend Debra Secunda, from Raw Food DVD


and Omar, who works here.


We shared many giggles as we washed, chopped and blended

in our dainty dresses


with some nibbling too.


Even sweeping was a blast!


Come & get it ….(Energy) soup is on!

today’s food log:

  • water
  • 8 ozs wheatgrass juice
  • energy soup with sauerkraut, papaya and flax cream
  • cabbage rejuvelac
  • energy soup with seed cheeze, sauerkraut and dulse
  • coconut water (lots)
  • 8 wheatgrass juice
  • energy soup with avocado, sauerkraut and dulse
  • cabbage rejuvelac


Who wants some chocolate?  ME!  Chocolate smoothie?  Sure.  Chocolate bar, chocolate macaroon, chocolate covered almonds?  Absolutely.  What flavor soup do I want?  Do you have chocolate flavored?  Raw salad… Does it come with chocolate flavored dressing?  Tea?  Hmmm, how about mint chocolate?

Yes, I love chocolate.  But it is a problem.  I have an addiction to chocolate.  I’m pretty good with most ‘potential’ addictions.  I don’t drink, and even when I have the odd drink (twice a year), I don’t want more. Never done drugs, and wouldn’t be interested.  Don’t smoke – tried it and thought it was gross.  I can’t think of any other addictions that would tempt me.

But chocolate I just never get sick of.  I’m realizing though that it is making me sick.  Although most people who know me might not see it, I am feeling fat and out of shape, and I know chocolate plays a big role in this.  For some reason with chocolate the word moderation escapes my dictionary.

It’s not like I’m tempted each and every day though at SimplyRaw Express:

Goji ChocolateGoji Chocolate.  Have you tried this stuff?  It is rich, decadent, smooth, delicious!

Chocolcate MacaroonsChocolate Macaroons – crunchy on the outside, chewy inside; dehydrated raw vegan ingredients that are even good for you!

RawtellaRawtella.  Seriously, a jar of deep rich smooth chocolate sauce that you can eat with a spoon.  Mercy!

Now I’m certainly not knocking the wonderful desserts we make at SimplyRaw Express!  They are much healthier than typical desserts, using high quality organic ingredients – in fact with the ingredients we use, they are good for you… IN MODERATION!

This is where I fall flat on my face.  I have no self control with chocolate.

I do love the taste of chocolate, but it’s also an emotional food for me.  Never thought I’d say that, as again, I’m not akin to addictions, and I have really good self control with a lot of things in my life.

But I am faced with a lot of stress  and during low times in particular I struggle with chocolate as a temporary fix or band aid.

I know how good I can feel without chocolate though.  In October I spent a week in Honduras scuba diving with my good buddy Nick.  Leading up to the trip I kicked the habit for a week, and while I felt like crap for the first few days, after a week I felt amazing.  Then I returned to an even more stressful environment, and bam – chocolate was there waiting for me.

I’ve never made a new year’s resolution.  I don’t believe that you need to wait for the start of a new calendar year to make changes in your life.  So, I’m resolving to beat my addiction starting right here and now – Saturday Dec 29, 7pm.  (I just downed my last bag of chocolate covered walnuts).

I know that kicking a lifelong addiction is not as easy as just saying go.  This is part of the reason for my post – to share my struggles, my challenge, and my resolve.

I’m also planning to shift my attention to other areas of focus – improving SimplyRaw Express, which I am very proud of, and want to see continue to evolve and grow with greater advocacy and support for a plant-based diet – my most passionate belief.  It’s also a great time to get outside and enjoy some crisp winter air… I plan to spend time unwinding by snowshoeing and cross country skiing whenever I can.  I need it, badly!

Any advice you’d like to offer?  Are you facing or have you faced a similar challenge?

Thanks for reading.


Work-Life Balance

To say that summer flew by is an understatement. These past beautiful sunny months, we’ve been incredibly wrapped up with SimplyRaw Express so we haven’t been spending as much time doing our regular thing outdoors. In case you haven’t heard, Mark & I took the leap and opened SimplyRaw Express – Ottawa’s only 100 % plant-based AND gluten-free  restaurant back  in May. And boy oh boy, have we come a long way!

Our unique, mostly raw menu is full of fresh flavor, with rave reviews.

From our popular raw Taco Fiesta Salads


Portabello Steaks with Cauliflower Mash

and naturally, desserts

including the best dehydrated Lemon Pie Macaroons

our famous line of SimplyRaw Cheezecakes

and yes, raw vegan cupcakes too.

We have been blessed with fabulous regulars who light up our days

day after day –

many whom are known figures (and dear friends)  in the community;

and some who bring special treats of fresh, home-grown goji berries.

Our staff has grown to 6 outstanding fresh darlings;

and we have been gifted with the most extraordinary Kitchen Angels

including my incredibly energetic 85 year young mother, Ilse

loved by all.

And though we’ve been pulling in 16 hour+ work days these past 4 months

we’re starting to find more downtime

for outdoor activity and  fun

with a bit of rest & relaxation

tossed in

here & there.

It is, after all,

just a matter of balance. ;-)

Yesterday’s food log:

  • 4 ozs e3live
  • firewater
  • teecino tea
  • bio superfood algae
  • 2 peaches
  • watermelon (lots!)
  • nori with avocado
  • blended gazpacho soup

I recently came off a fast and am still taking my time easing back into solids. Loving the tomatoes this time of year! :)


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