From the Santa Cruz (CA) Sentinel… 50-year old woman finds a cure for Epstein Barr, mononucleosis, and hypoglycemia with raw foods…
Rx For Raw Recipes
by Peggy Townsend
Robyn Boyd says her symptoms began when she was 10 years old. She would have debilitating headaches that required shots of Demerol to calm. Then came bouts of hypoglycemia, Epstein Barr and mononucleosis that left her weak and exhausted, she says. Anxiety attacks followed and, finally, after a day spent painting the baseboards of her house with oil-based paint, she collapsed, poisoned by the volatile fumes it gave off, she says. Barely able to pull herself out of bed, the petite, sandy-haired woman turned to a cure that didn't come on any prescription pad: Food. Specifically, raw food.
Nine years later, Boyd is a cheerleader for the benefits of raw foods and the author of a cookbook called "RawSome Recipes," which is in its third printing. Standing in her modern, Soquel kitchen with its red birch cabinets and green quartz-style counters, the woman who says she was raised on junk food smiles and explains that while a strict diet of raw food saved her life, a person doesn't have to be a fanatic to reap the benefits of this way of eating. Simple changes in the way a person shops and eats can lead to more energy and a healthier immune system, she believes. "I like to teach people how to take everyday foods and make them fun and pretty, but doable," she says.
The 50-year-old former massage therapist and aerobics teacher has set out a mini-party of raw foods on her dining room table. There are Banana Fingers made up of slices of sweet bananas and chocolate pudding that she fashioned from avocados. There is a ranch-pesto dip made of soaked almonds and a yam salad that tastes like old-fashioned potato salad. She pours a cup of Rooibus tea from Africa, sweetens it with agave nectar and almond milk, and settles in to talk. Technically, raw food is never heated past 117 degrees, preventing damage to the enzymes that help us digest and assimilate food, she says.
But as a wife and mother in a world full of restaurants and fast-food joints, taking a hard line on raw foods doesn't always work, she says. "I want to be more practical," Boyd says. "Nourishment can come from cooked food, too." That's the reason her cookbook is named "RawSome." It has recipes with both raw and cooked foods and even includes recipes kids will like. For breakfast, Boyd says, she will make a smoothie out of almond milk, brewer's yeast, spirulina, flax seed and a banana. At lunch, she'll have a whole coconut or a lettuce-leaf wrap filled with guacamole, grated carrots and pine nuts.
Dinner will be a huge salad and maybe a warm soup or stew. Boyd doesn't even shy away from meat. She'll eat salmon and lamb. Organic, of course, she says. Food, she believes, shouldn't be a religion, but rather an intelligent way to nourishment and health. Filled with an easy energy, Boyd whacks open a coconut with a knife and offers the liquid to sip. Coconut, she says, is good for weight loss and has antifungal and antibacterial properties. She opens a cabinet and demonstrates how to make "spaghetti" out of raw zucchini, then zips to a storeroom to bring out crackers that she made herself.
Largely self-taught, Boyd talks about the hazards of cooking in a microwave, of storing food in plastic, of the benefits of spirulina. This month, she'll be teaching a class on how to ease raw foods into your diet and make an appearance at the Capitola Book Cafe. "People hear raw food and think it is scary and boring," she says. "But it's vibrant and exciting and good food."
Boyd will teach a class on her eating style from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 18, 2006 in Santa Cruz, CA. The $130 class will include making and eating 14 recipes, a full sit-down lunch and a copy of "RawSome Recipes." Call 689-0609 or visit Rawsome Recipes