Moon Phases: Moon in Scorpio

Move Like WaterGreetings beloveds,

Today’s moon is waxing gibbous in Scorpio. A Scorpio moon is all about subconscious desires and drives. You may find yourself drawn to creative ways to express these drives and if you cannot you may find yourself having some very interesting dreams tonight. Do not forget that there is a tremendous amount of creative energy in sexual activities so if you cannot think of any other way to express yourself that’s always an option. Be mindful though that Scorpio rules the sexual organs so be kind to yourself during this time. Make sure you are practicing safe sex practices always loves. If you find you have issues with anything related to your reproductive system this is also an excellent time to seek assistance from an expert to address your concerns.

All I know is that I am quite tired so I’m off to bed early today.

-Rose

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Moon Phases: The First Quarter

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Today the Moon is in Scorpio and the first quarter. We have moved firmly into the underworld as we begin to dive deep into the psyche. The energy of the first quarter has been termed “The Crusader” by Steven Forrest in The Book of the Moon. Today I feel compelled to plan for the future. Perhaps this is due to the tension that exists between the idealism of the crescent phase versus the reality of the gibbous phase. The waxing phases of the moon move us from introspection to outward creation. Here we find ourselves bringing the ideas and dreams that we became aware of during the darker phases of the moon into the light of fruition with the full moon. Where do you want to be? What are you fighting through the dark to create? What are you willing to sacrifice everything for? This is the time to use the momentum of breaking free of the shell to propel yourself forward to success.

I spent today figuring the numerology for the rest of this year and the next five years to begin the creation of a five year plan. This includes the personal year number, then the period number which divides the year into three equal segments, ending with the numbers for each month. This provides an overview of the general numerological energy for the next five years. From this I will begin to map out a plan of when are the best times to move forward with different aspects of my plans such as vacations, business, and relationship work. There are some golden months in each of these years. Hopefully, I may be able to offer this as a service in the future.

So off to finish my write up. Cheers!

 -Rose

Moon Phases: Waning Crescent in Libra and the South Node in Libra

 

autumn moments (1)

Greetings beloveds,

Before the Moon moves into Scorpio, here are the qualities of the Moon in Libra. Beauty, perfection, partnership, balance, and justice are key words associated with Libra. When the Moon is in Libra, we find ourselves feeling drawn towards finding and expressing our personal expression of beauty through many forms such as adornment, art, or dance. You may also feel like developing closer partnerships through friends, family, business, or with nature. Be mindful of avoiding conflict in an effort to maintain the peace as Libra’s are notorious for repressing anger, frustration, and other feelings that they do not believe aligns with their beautiful nature. Lastly, you may also find yourself contemplating what perfection means to you. Accepting that you are perfect as you are right now will make this time much easier especially before the Moon moves in Scorpio taking us deep within our psyche. Libra Moon’s call our attention to the hips, kidneys, and bladder so be mindful of what you consume during this time that can either negatively or positively effect this organs and body parts. Great ways to care for yourself during this time include drinking lots of water and gentle hip opening stretches.

It is fairly easy to find the position of your North and South Node. You can use a general natal chart program, I personally use astro.com, or you can find a list of the dates where the NN was online by googling it. This will not let you know what house your Node was in though so it is worth it to use a program that will allow you to see your full natal chart. Accessing your chart will also let you determine what moon phase your SN is in.

My North Node is at 2 degrees Aries in the first house and my South Node (SN) is 2 degrees Libra in the seventh house with a moon that is 23 degrees Leo in the fifth house. All of this might sound like mumbo jumbo to you but it does serve a purpose. Earlier we found that I was born in the Waning Crescent phase of the Moon cycle with my Moon 281 degrees out from my Sun in Libra in the 7th house. The same system can be used with the nodes of the moon to see where the SN is in relation to the Moon. By counting counterclockwise from the placement of my SN to my Moon we find that my Moon is also in the Waning Crescent phase 214 degrees ahead of the SN. What does all this mean? My SN indicates that I have learned the value of relationships, partnerships, and the importance of justice. Now it is time to learn how to balance that life lesson by understanding the gifts that Aries energy brings about being a solid individual who is able to express and fully know themselves. My energetic journey is shifting from we to me in a healthy manner specifically about sovereignty and expressing anger. Basically, take the attributes both positive and negative of the sign and house that your Nodes are in and this will let you know what lessons you have already learned and the ones you need to learn during this life time.

-Rose

Moon Phases: The Nodes

Greetings beloveds,

Sometimes it takes me longer to “get” things. I circumvent the issue looking at all the moving parts while not focusing on the central issue. It just feels to real sometimes to look things head on. But I know that eventually the orbits will cross paths and an eclipse will occur. Things will be shaken up which could be catastrophic or miraculous. You never know what the outcome will be but you know it will change everything. I hang on to this. To the hope that things will change for the better with the reality that they may not loosely floating around in the back of my mind.

How to cope with change and not let the world around us decide who we are or will be is just one of the lessons we learn over time. I am feeling this energy deeply right now as the Moon is Waning Crescent in Libra. My Sun, Mars, and South Node. Looking at the bigger picture of what could be and what we are here to learn serves as the perfect introduction to the Nodes of the Moon, When I first heard about a North and South Node I was like, oh Lord another thing to learn about. Honestly, it was a bit confusing and I did not really “get” it. So, I sat on it. I did not push myself to understand what this new concept meant or how it might affect my life. Yet, since dedicating myself to a full cycle of self-reflection while connecting with the moon, topics that felt like they were too much seem more approachable. With that being said, let’s talk about the Nodes.

The Nodes of the Moon are points where the Moon’s orbit crosses the ecliptic or path that the Sun rotates on which creates a plane that we use to reference other planets orbital paths called the ecliptic plane. When the Moon’s orbit crosses into the northern part of the ecliptic that is the point labeled as the North Node. The same goes for crossing into the southern portion of the ecliptic creating the South Node. We see the Nodes change constellations about every year and a half as they move around the Earth.

The Nodes are seen to represent our past and our future. The astrological sign that they North Node falls in shows us how we can move forward and grow. The qualities, behaviors, and ideas that we are here to learn. Our North Node is the map to the next step. The South Node shows us what we have already learned, experienced, and done. It is point A on this current trip holding all the energy of where we have been with all the possibilities of where we can go. You may or may not believe in karma, as you may not follow the practice through which karma exists. If you do, our South Node expresses the qualities of our karma, or what we have carried forth with us over our lifetimes.

Tomorrow I’ll look at what my nodes mean and the energy the Moon in Libra brings to us.

-Rose

The Flow of Your Space: Water in the Home

Copy of Move Like WaterGreetings beloveds,

Summer time and the living is EASY…well it might not be easy but it definitely is hot. There are so many ways to utilize the element of water in our lives. During the summer, we gravitate to this element even more as the intensity of the heat makes us crave water as it refreshes and cools us. Here are some ways to include water in your home and space:

  • water fountains
  • fish tanks
  • pools
  • images of water

But you can also take the time to connect to the element personally and see how it would like to be included in your space. For me, I have mermaids, seashells, blues, greens, teals, and my water altar jar. What are your favorite ways to connect to the element of water in your living space?

-Rose

Moon Phases: Waning Crescent Part IV

autumn moments (1)Greetings beloveds,

Today the Moon remains in the Waning Crescent phase moving from Virgo to Libra. This morning came with a sense of calm and peace. As someone with their sun and mars in Libra, I find Libran energy to feel like home. Things just seem to be falling into place. It helps that I went to bed early, went for a walk before work, had a productive day, napped before dinner with my fellow priestesses and then held a tarot event. I fed the energy of perfection and productivity gifted to us from Virgo and Libra into a beautiful schedule for the day. It has been lovely and balanced which placates all the dimensions of Libra.

Here’s a bit of music to set the mood for the moon in Libra – Ambient Music.

Have a blessed evening,

-Rose

Moon Phases: Waning Crescent Part III- The Moon in Virgo and the Drive towards Perfection

Greetings beloveds,

Today the Moon is still waning crescent fully in the sign of Virgo. The Moon in Virgo takes on the energy of needing to fulfill goals and exceed expectations. Virgo’s are perfectionists by nature as they understand the importance of having a discriminating eye. This does not mean judging right versus wrong but being able to see clearly what is the best option and how to get there. These are the producers of the Zodiac so they are goal driven. There are always projects to get done which will advance them towards their never-ending journey towards…you guessed it the best life possible. This means today and tomorrow you may be feeling pressure to DO ALL THE THINGS. Those summer projects you had planned, those 2017 goals, that milestone you wanted to hit before your next birthday, these may all be screaming for your attention right now. So do what Virgo’s do best and make a plan. Then do what Virgo’s do not excel at, take a minute, slow down, and make sure that you are taking care of yourself.

Virgo’s drive to be in the best possible position also applies to their bodies. You might be taking a second look at your body goals today as well. Try to keep your criticisms to a minimum and focus on the day to day activities that you can do which make you feel alive and healthy. If you feel sluggish after consuming or doing an activity perhaps trade that in for a meal or exercise or activity that makes you feel energized. Above all else take care of yourself today and tomorrow. Virgo energy can push us to ignore our physical needs which can set us back further than we would like in achieving our goals due to illness or strain. As the Moon in Virgo may impact our digestion and intestines it is best to be kind to these systems so that they are not over taxed which can lead to weight gain, diarrhea, or pancreas issues. Stay focused on your goals but make sure that your self-care is ranked as number one.

I mentioned earlier a list of foods and herbs that are associated with the moon. Many of these herbs can be found in a loose cut form or already in a tea. Test out what blends work for you and brew up a cup while you take a moment to watch the sunset, take a bath, light some incense, play with your kids, chat with friends and loved ones, read a book, watch a movie, clean your house, or whatever brings you peace. You will succeed in all that you put your mind to. Make sure that includes your own well-being.

Herbs: Arrowleaf, Chamomile, Chickweed, Evening Primrose, Iris, Marshmallow, Mugwort, Orris, Passion flower, Purslane, Pumpkin, Gooseberry, Geranium, Witch Hazel, Hibiscus, High Mallow, Star Anise, Violet

Oils: Jasmine, Lotus, Geranium

With love,

-Rose

Raw Food Diets: A Brief History

Greetings beloveds,

Summer time calls up desires for fresh food, cool sweets, and delicious water during these hot days. As such I wanted to share with you all a bit of my academic work on a topic I am passionate about: Food, Spirituality, and Identity. Here’s a bit of work I did on the Raw Food eating practice that covers a bit of its’ history, theoretical basis, and praxis. Enjoy!

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Raw food is a relatively unknown subject that has had little research conducted on the subject however, research on this topic is increasing (Hobbs 272; Turner-Mcgrievy 738). Hobbs noted that out of the 24 published research on raw diets in 2005, 15 of the studies were conducted in Finland with only two having occurred in the U.S. (272) There were only two scholarly texts to my knowledge that focused specifically on raw diets and their effects on individuals not in direct comparison to diets that included cooked foods or meat consumption. I will provide detailed information on these studies so that the sparse amount of academic research on raw diets can be understood. This limited amount of research illustrates the depth of how unexamined raw food is and why my thesis will help to fill this gap. Following these two articles I will cover research that included a raw food diet as a factor of their study but may not have focused singularly on raw food since their concentration was aimed more so on the specific foods in the diet, nutritional value, and health implications of following this particular type of diet

The first portion of this review will provide a brief overview of the information that these studies stated about raw food including definitions and rates of occurrence. After that I will focus on the scholarly work that examined raw foods in relation another form of eating such as cooked vegan, vegetarian or omnivore diets. Then I will include theoretical texts that will provide an overview of the various ways in which studies on food, culture, nature and the economy have been studied academically. These scholarly texts deliver a basis to evaluate and analyze the information that is provided by the subjects of this study through their Youtube video blogs. This portion of my review of literature will provide a foundation to understand various theoretical perspectives towards food studies and why raw food is an untapped research topic for those areas. The final section will outline a few of what I consider to be the most pertinent pieces of literature that explore raw food from those who advocate this lifestyle.

The first study is the only study to my knowledge that focused specifically on the attitudes, perceptions and lifestyle of those who self-identified as consumers of a raw diet is Suzanne H. Hobbs’ “Attitudes, Practices, and Beliefs of Those Who Follow Raw Food”. Hobb’s procured her data through non-experimental, qualitative semi-structured interviews from 17 individual’s subjects who were leaders of the raw foods community to Hobbs (Hobbs 273).  Hobbs located her subjects by calculating prominent reoccurring names of authors, lecturers, and retreat leaders of print books, newsletters, magazines, flyers, conference agendas, and internet raw food communities (Hobbs 273). The interviews were conducted over the telephone and taped so that verbatim transcripts could be created (Hobbs 273).

The results of Hobbs research covered the demographics and ideologies of the sample. The demographic characteristics of the sample had a mean age of 46 years old with a range of 31-69 years of age (Hobbs). 11 of the participants were male, 13 were college graduates and 9 held advanced degrees (Hobbs 273). Respondents were physically active and had weight within the normal range according to BMI standards with  men’s BMI ranging between 20-25 with a mean of 21.5 and women’s BMI ranging from 17-26 with a mean of 20 (Hobbs 276). Health care was considered by 59% to be nature, myself or none was sought. 18% used chiropractor, 12% had a practioner (Hobbs 276). The perceptions of the sample in relation to why they participated in a raw diet was because of health advantages, protection from disease, faster healing times, weight control, and more energy (Hobbs 275). There were few challenges associated with following a raw diet but some did find issues with social pressure to eating cooked or non-raw food, getting used to the actual diet, and location (Hobbs 275).

The perceptions of the subjects about raw food diets included what the definition of a raw diet was and how that 18% of the sample identified as raw vegan, another 18% labeled their diet as consisting of raw vegan living foods, and 29% described their diets as 100% raw (Hobbs 273). The average length of time being raw was 13 years with a range of 3-32 years (Hobbs 273). How the subjects defined being raw though was just as diverse as their self-identity labels. A variety of percentages were included in the amount of raw eaten in their diets were completely vegetarian with no consumption of raw meat, fish, or poultry (Hobbs 274). Eighty eight percent stated they were vegan but generally the participants ate a vegan diet for the majority of the time “by not consuming dairy, eggs, meat fish poultry, commercial sweets or conventional, sweetened desserts, or alcohol in a typical week” (Hobbs 274). A consensus of the definition of a raw food diet is that it includes no cooked foods (Hobbs 275).  Some respondents went further and stated a specific temperature that foods could not be heated, enzymes had to be intact, and one said raw foods still contain their life force (Hobbs 275). Most agreed that the definition hinged “on the intention of the dieter” (Hobbs 275). The definition of a living foods diet ranged from one where the foods are still alive when eaten, to depending on time from harvest to consumption (Hobbs 275). Finally 38% said raw and living diets were the same while 31% said a living diet was one step up from a raw foods diet with more enzymes, energy, and life force” (Hobbs 275). In conclusion, these results lead for Hobbs to conclude that Health practitioners could use her results to better understand clients who are raw or aspire to become raw (277). Hobbs asserted though that further research needed on larger raw populations, food handling and preparation practices (277).

The other study that focused solely on raw food was that of Lilli B Link and Judith S Jacobson’s “Factors Affecting Adherence to a Raw Vegan Diet”.  Link and Jacobson conducted an analysis of participants who decided to follow a diet similar Anne Wigmore’s consisting of fruits, vegetables, and wheatgrass juice through the Hippocrates Health Institute (55). An adherence model was used as the theoretical framework which lists that dietary adherence is affected by numerous variables, such as self-efficacy, perceived control over one’s health, perceived severity of the illness social support, readiness to change, past adherence, and sociodemographic graphics to guide their data analysis (Link and Jacobson 53). Link and Jacobson used a pre and post questionnaire as their form of data collection (55). The results of Link and Jacobson’s study indicated that after their time in the program those who adhered to a raw diet increased from 8 pre-questionnaire to 14 post (56). Subjects who stayed with the vegan diet after the program was most closely associated with the factors of having followed the diet beforehand, level of education, “severity of comorbidity disease,” and self-efficacy while being negatively associated with the amount of close social connections and state of physical being (Link and Jacobson 56). In conclusion, five factors were found through the open ended questions could either be helpful or a hindrance in being able to continue on a raw diet after leaving the institute (Link and Jacobson 57). These were 1. Having the means 2. Social support 3. Supportive environment 4. Faith in the program and 5. Emotional state (Link and Jacobson 57). Link and Jacobson felt that a raw vegan diet may assist those who has received a severe medical diagnosis but results suggest that it is difficult to maintain this diet outside of the conditions of the program (58).

Raw Versus Cooked

The argument for raw over cooked food is that cooked food destroys nutrients and enzymes, changes the physical and chemical structure, and when digested cooked food can release harmful by products (Link and Jacobson 53). The other most frequently attributed reason for eating a raw diet is based on thermodynamics and entropy according to Hobbs, focusing on the amount of energy that is available in foods which is considered to be diminished when food is cooked or heated over a certain temperature (276). The opposing viewpoint argues that cooking some foods can be beneficial. Carmody and Wrangham argue that anthropologists generally state that cooking has been used to broaden the foods that could be consumed while others find that the purpose of cooking is to serve as external additional form of digestion to make the process easier (379). Although Link and Jacobs state that non-cooking activities such as soaking, germinating or fermenting may also make those enzymes inactive (54)

Nutrition Value

Nutritional deficiency is a concern in particular for a raw food diet diets because while vegetarian diets has specific nutrients that they may be low in such as iron, zinc, and vitamins E, B-12, and D (Dunn-Emke 1443; Garia et al; Turner-McGrievy 743). The high intake of mainly fruits and vegetables was found to be the reason why it was difficult to absorb nutrient such as carotenoid (Garcia et al 1297). The amount of fat was central to the levels of these nutrient concentration (Garcia et al 129). Research has found more information on the nutrient absorption levels and nutrient intake patterns of those who engage in plant based diets some of these concerns have been alleviated (Dunn-Emke 1443; Lampe 482S). Studies have asserted that low nutrient adequacy is not a concern as long as one consumes a variety of foods and perhaps even some that are fortified (Dunn-Emke 1442-3; Su and Arab 1401; Turner-McGrievy 745).

Plant Based Diets

Variety of ways in which vegetarian or vegan diets can be organized makes it difficult to categorize and discretely label different groupings of vegetarians (ADA 1267). The American Dietetic Association has released an official statement of their opinion about the vegetarian form of eating. As a leading authority of health, eating habits and American dietary culture I have included the beginning of their stance in its entirety.

“It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the lifecycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes” (ADA 1266).

With this statements those who have conducted research on plant based diets have similar opinions on the subject. Vegetarians were classified into vegetarian for those who ate a primarily plant based diet and vegan or those who ate plant based but refrained from the consumption of plant products (Fung and Hu 7; Hobbs 272; Keys et al 520S; Koebnick 705; Turney-McGrievy et al 739) Much of the research that has been conducted when the subject matter centered on primarily plant based vegetarian or vegan diets suffered from small sample sizes which limits the ability to generalize the results of the study (Hobbs 277; Lampe 487S; Link and Jacobson 58). Small sample sizes also lesson the validity of the results because there would not have been enough data gathered to be able to really assess the benefits, consequences, and attitudes of those who consume plant based diets (Hobbs 277; Link and Jacobson 58).

Health

Physical body structure health was studied much often than any other form of health. Key et al researched mortality rates of vegetarian and non-vegetarian’s and found that vegetarians had the lowest mortality rates in relation to ischemic heart disease (Key et al 522S). No difference was found in the mortality rates between non-vegetarians and vegetarians for colorectal cancer although previous studies had found a connection between the consumption of meat and colon cancer (Key et al 522S). Another physical health conclusion was found from a study on hip fractures of American women and Chinese women by Anderson. Anderson suggests that Western nations may benefit from shifting to a plant based diet but cautions that it is important to maintain calcium levels although calcium is in no way the only factor that affects bone health (541S). Lastly, Ganss et al found that those who consisted of primarily a raw food diet had a significantly larger amount of visible signs of erosion, such as grooves, compared to those who ate cooked foods (79) No direct causal links were unable to be determined though between diet and tooth erosion since other factors such as saliva composition may have played a part as well (Ganss et al 79). There may have been limited research on this topic but the physical state of the body is at times affected by what specific kind of diet one eats. Psychological and mental health was assessed even less in the literature as will be shown next.

Psychological health was only addressed in one work on the relationship between eating disorders and vegetarianism (1523). Authors asserted that young individuals may describe themselves as vegetarian so as to conceal their disordered eating habits but that does not mean that they are actually vegetarians nor that being a vegetarian lead to their eating issue (Robinson et al 1523). Vegetarian diets may help to keep one from developing an eating disorder by limiting energy intake and decreasing risk of becoming obese (Robinson et al 1523).

Weight-loss

Raw foodists decide to pursue that lifestyle for health or for weight loss or live in a more “natural” way (Hobbs Koebnick et al 70). In many of the studies of those who either were on a raw diet or switched to a raw diet experienced weight loss (Hobbs, Koebnick et al 70, Carmody and Wrangham 380). Carmody and Wrangham in their study found engaging in a raw diet that did not include caloric restriction still resulted in weight loss so weight loss cannot be directly attributed to the intention to lose weight and not eating enough calories as some researchers have tried to argue (380). Participants of plant based diets that include cooked foods were found to gain more weight and have higher performance levels than raw plant food consumers (Carmody and Wrangham 380).

Gender and Race

Gender differences between women and men were limited. Men were only singled out as having experienced an increase in the amount of nutrients in Su and Arab’s work on the results of salad consumption because they included more salad dressing on their salads (1402) It was hypothesize that this may have increased the palatability of the food, larger portions when there was more dressing, and greater absorption of carotenoids due to the oil (Su and Arab 1402). Also men’s reliance on food for nutrients was thought to have lead for men to have access to micronutrient biomarkers as opposed to women who reported using supplements to meet nutrient recommendations (Su and Arab 1402). As for women, low levels of energy intake are noted in women as being associated with menstrual irregularities or a decrease or menstrual issues such as amenorrhea (Carmody and Wrangham 380). Koebnick performed a study on the difference in effect of either a low fat cooked or raw diet on women’s menstrual patterns. The group was divided into three different groups to find that those who ate large amounts of raw food in addition to having low BMI’s were also those who suffered from partial or total Amenorrhea (Keobnick 74).  No relationship found between those who ate cooked vegan and vegetarian diets and amenorrhea (Koebnick 74).

Race was only mentioned in a few of the studies. It is not obvious if this is because the studies were not racially diverse or because there were not any differences noted often. Su and Arab’s study on salad consumption reported Non-Hispanic Whites are generally known to have more healthful lifestyles than compared to other groups (Su and Arab 1402). African American’s were found to consume more refined grains such as white bread, cereal and biscuits which hold higher glycemic levels which are associated with CAD and serum lipids. Su and Arab recommend that this load can be lightened by replacing refined grains with whole forms (357).

Theoretical Sources

The first source that I will provide is that from a portion of Jane Bennett’s Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of things. This is a work that explores the human understanding of things, being, and politics through an evaluation of various situations. For my thesis I will focus on the chapter titled “Edible Matter,” (Bennett 39). Bennett places food not as an object but as a body of subject that reacts and causes reactions (39). Assemblages are the form by which interactions between different bodies (which Bennett argues can be anything that causes a reaction or could have an action placed upon it in this case the human and nonhuman body) result in various circumstances. In this case the assemblage Bennett focuses on is that of “American consumerism” and the resulting “effect of the ‘crisis of obesity,’ which transitions the discussion. Bennett then moves to discuss scientific research on the subject of food and early theoretical understandings of the human relationship to edible entities and consumption (39-40).

Fat is described by Bennett as an actor of its own volition and a receiver of action (43). When looking at the issue of obesity Bennett states that there must be an “index not only [of] the large humans and their economic-cultural prostheses…but also the strivings and trajectories of fats as they weaken or enhance the power of human wills, habits, and ideas,” (43). This assertion is related to this work in two ways. First directly towards the process of an analysis of food culture and practice, Bennett’s work influences the idea that when studying food to be cognizant of food as an entity that acts and is acted upon. Food rather raw or cooked causes actual physiological, physical, and chemical reactions on all those who come into contact with it be it the grower, the harvester, the distributor, or the consumer.

The second way in which Bennett’s work will be used in this work is in regards to the understanding of food as an independent agent as an angle upon which the attitude and understanding of food for those who participate can be understood. For if food is seen as an active being, this can be applied to the living status of food that is not cooked for those who follow a raw food diet and assist in exploring and explaining how a living food can affect the emotional, cognitive, and physical state of those who consume that food. Moving further into the theory of food in relation to others, Bennett discusses Nietzsche and Thoreau’s perspectives towards foodstuffs. This provides the context upon which the specifics of diet can be addressed because Nietzsche found that food, vegetables in particular, were not sustainable edibles while Thoreau held the viewpoint that eating animal flesh was vile and that vegetables brought about states of creativity. The final aspect of Bennett’s to be used is that of her discussion of the slow food movement. The slow food movement focuses on the moving away from the immediate gratification and fast services of the McDonaldlization of society towards a form of eating that relishes the taste and pleasure that can be derived from paying attention to the food that one consumes, where it comes from and how this affects the world (Bennett 51).

The following two texts that I will be using although represented in two separate texts cover the same topic of the creation and evolution of eating practices within the United States. First, is Hungering for America: Italian, Irish, and Jewish Foodways in the Age of Migration by Hasia R. Diner. This work focuses on the influence that the multiple identities of the specific groups known as Italian, Irish, and Jewish races as immigrants who were becoming a part of the American population (Diner). The native foods that these groups consumed in relation to their class status from their respective previous location were at times incorporated into the group of foods that eventually became a part of the American diet while at other times may have been eliminated in favor for other foods (Diner). The other text that has a similar topic is Laura Shapiro’s Perfection Salad. Shapiro’s work focuses specifically on the process by which the modern American diet began to be formulated (Shapiro). Outlining the role of gender, work, race, class, and nationality, Shapiro provided the means by which eating and food in American transformed from a household duty to that of a manufactured, processed, indicator of one’s stance in society (). Both of these texts provide the a history of how American food eating, cooking, and preparation practices came into being which will be beneficial to being able to understand why raw foodists may view the American diet, food industry and food related institutional agencies and ideas as they do.

A raw food diet is considered by many raw food advocates as the exclusive consumption of mostly uncooked vegetables and fruits with nuts and at times oils for fat (Boutenko, Graham, Rose, Steven, Wigmore). One can eat a gourmet raw diet of elaborate salads, cashew cheesecakes and many forms of zucchini pasta with “cheeze” which is a cheese substitute created by combining a nut base and nutritional yeast with various spices (Boutenko). Raw dairy products are sometimes included in the eating practice but because there is often a vegan/animal welfare dialogue that is incorporated with this eating style as well, even raw dairy products are avoided (Graham, Rose, Wigmore).  The term raw does not always explicitly mean that food has never been heated but is more so understood to indicate that the items to be consumed have not been heated above a temperature of 115- 118 degrees Fahrenheit (Graham, Rose, Steven, Wigmore). Heating substances for consumption past that temperature supposedly will destroy or make less potent the nutrients of the food (Graham, Rose, Steven, Wigmore). By nutrients I mean the enzymes and vitamins that exist in all food which nourish our bodies and help for them to function (Afua, Boutenko, Graham, Rose, Wigmore). To preserve these nutrients advocates of an exclusive raw food diet believe that one should consume the food as soon as possible after harvest (Afua, Boutenko, Graham, Rose, Wigmore).

In the raw food community there is a major emphasis for food to be alive or living (Afua, Boutenko, Graham, Rose, Wigmore). Cooked foods are “dead” because their nutrients or enzymes have been heated to a point where they are no longer as vibrant as what they were because the heat has caused a reaction leading to the nutrients death (Afua, Boutenko, Graham, Rose, Wigmore). Although the human body creates its own enzymes, there is more energy required for the body to create enzymes then to utilize enzymes already present in foods that are still “alive,” (Steven). A raw food diet however is not only about the temperature that a food is cooked to. Those who practice eating a raw diet also frequently advocate eating primarily organic and unprocessed foods (Afua, Boutenko, Graham, Rose, Wigmore). Many of the raw food advocates experienced harsh health issues which lead to their participating in a plant based eventually raw diet (Afua, Bouteko, Wigmore). Wigmore began her personal journey towards health through raw living foods when she developed gangrene and almost had to have feet amputated but regained her health through eating the green grasses that she found outside (67-70). Bouteko began her journey towards a raw lifestyle when she notes that her entire family became gravely ill. Upon an adoption of eating solely uncooked food, Bouteko noted that her family began to experience rapid improvements in their health including more energy, less physical signs of aging, a decrease in desires for unhealthy (greasy cooked foods) and improvement in the blood sugar levels of her son (11, 21). Experience and personal concern for the health or themselves, their family and society

The general form of knowledge acquisition that Afua, Bouteko and Wigmore use to gain information about health, nutrition, and diet was experiential and anecdotal. For example, both Bouteko and Wigmore credit their grandmothers as playing influential roles in their path to a raw food diet. Having spent her earliest years in an Eastern Lithuanian village where she was raised by her grandmother, Wigmore credits with providing her with the knowledge of the healing properties of the environment and foods (VII, 1). Bouteko also uses informal means of information such as a participant in raw food and independent research to understand the way that the body digests food and the nutritional make up of food. In the Chapter Modern Science Studies Un-Cooking Bouteko begins to provide evidence for the positive outcome of adopting a diet rich in un-cooked vegetables from various health institutes, research studies and health journals which caused for Bouteko to come to the conclusion that greens are vital for one’s health and were even the “most important food for humans.”(12 Steps 16).

Lastly, several of the raw food advocates also make spiritual claims about the effects and influence of eating a raw food diet that ties into the similar argument of the interconnection that exists between all that womanism according to Maparyan makes (Afua, Bouteko, Wigmore).

Moon Phases: Waxing Crescent Part II

autumn moments (1)Greetings beloveds,

The Moon is moving from Leo to Virgo today. Do you feel yourself slowing down? Wanting to connect more with the physical world around you? Now is a good time to start being mindful of what you spend your energy on. What do you spend money, time, and attention on? We are still feeling pumped up and ready to shine but try to keep things light. Virgo energy might have you start examining your bank statements to see how you much you spent over the last few days. After which, you create a strict budget to get your finances under control. Or you start thinking about the food you ate over the past few days and how much you did (or didn’t) exercise. You realize you need to make some changes to your habits and start googling diets, cleanses, and checking your fridge to see if you still have that meal replacement powder. The key at this time is balance. Do not become obsessed with falling in line. You can make small adjustments to your behaviors and thoughts which will have long term results. Whatever plans you make or goals you set, think long term. Virgo’s are amazing at assessing what is in order to understand what will be needed for the future. Shift into this energy wisely.

-Rose

Moon Phases: Waxing Crescent Part I

Greetings beloveds,

The Moon is waxing crescent at about 3% illuminated still in the sign of Leo. I woke up today full of joy, hope, and a light heart. It felt as if the weight of the world had been lifted from me. This moon in Leo is powerful. It brings with it a positive energy to shift us from the heavy emotional energy of Cancer season concluding with resurrection through the waning crescent moon in Cancer. I want to create, be social, and active. Is this the energy of a new moon in Leo? Perhaps it is just the general energy of Leo season or a combination of these two energies. What I know is that if this is the energy of a moon in Leo, it is magnificent. I wonder how does it feel to have the crescent waning in Leo as it was when I was born. What is it to die in the light? We will know at the end of this moon phase. For now, let us bask in this energy of love and optimism. There is much to get done before the moon moves into Virgo and we begin to take account of what needs to be accomplished during this moon cycle. Get plenty of rest, drink lots of water, do something fun, and shine brightly loves.

-Rose