(NaturalNews) This is an excerpt from Victoria Boutenko's interview for the Raw Summit, a complete interview encyclopedia of cutting edge living and raw food knowledge. You can find the complete transcripts and audios at (http://www.RawSummit.com) and (www.RawSummitArchives.com) . In this excerpt, Victoria Boutenko discusses how she introduced raw food to her family and how to make the transition yourself.
Raw Food World Summit Interview Excerpt with Victoria Boutenko
Kevin Gianni: Hi everyone, this is Kevin Gianni, Optimal Health Expert, and I'd like to welcome you to another very special Raw Summit Teleseminar, which can be found online at (http://www.RawSummit.com) and (www.RawSummitArchives.com) . The purpose of the Raw Summit is to pass along cutting edge information about raw and living food technologies for you to reach optimal health, wellness, and success.
Today I have an incredible guest on the line. She is an author and speaker. She's an incredible resource and also very bold because in 1994, she decided to go totally raw and bring her family along. So, today's guest to the Raw Summit is Victoria Boutenko. Victoria, I want to welcome you aboard.
Victoria Boutenko: Oh, hello, it's my pleasure.
Kevin: I am excited about this call. It's such an amazing feat to take your family from eating regular food to raw food. So first, why don't you just tell us a little bit about your story and why you're here?
Victoria: In 1993, my family became very ill. We now like to joke that we were lucky to get sick altogether. My husband, my two younger children, and myself got very serious illnesses that the doctors couldn't help us with. My husband had rheumatoid arthritis and hyperthyroid. He had 12 surgeries in his body.
I was 120 pounds bigger than I am today and I had edema and I had arrhythmia, which is irregular heart beat and this disease is what took my father. My daughter was diagnosed with asthma and allergies, and she was coughing every night. And then my son was diagnosed with diabetes. And the doctors told him at the time that it was type 1 and that he had to go on insulin.
And we spent enormous amounts of money on insurance and medical visits and drugs. But then eventually the doctor told me, "Victoria, I don't think we can do anything else for you, you just have to pray now."
Victoria: At this point, I was only 38 years old. I didn't want to die. I started to look for an alternative and then I started to approach anybody who looked healthier than others and asked them about anything they knew about health. And, in two months, the universe placed in front of me the lady who I believe could be the only raw foodist in Colorado who lived there at that time. I lived in Colorado then. And so, when she told me about raw food I was really disappointed in her because who could believe that stuff - just eating carrots and celery could cure you? I mean, that does not make any sense. However, everything she told me made sense. She said, for example, the birds don't cook and I knew it, it was true. She said the snakes don't cook. She said, "Victoria you didn't come in to this world with a cooking stove attached to your belly." I said, "That's true." And, she said I've been doing it for 15 years and I got rid of my colon cancer which was stage-four 15 years ago. I said, "Wow," and I knew she was not making it up.
It took me another several months to put myself together to go on a raw food diet because, how would one go on raw food? How do you do this? At that time, 13 years ago nobody knew how to go on raw food. Nobody knew about raw food. Everybody would make square eyes and say, "What? Raw food? What is that?" They just didn't have a clue. How does one become raw? And then I was thinking. Well, my brother's birthday is in two weeks. I cannot go raw before that and then Christmas is coming and then after Christmas, sales are coming and then my favorite chocolate cake is on sale. I'm just... how does one decide when, what time is it - 12 o'clock, is it 8 a.m.? I'm like 'how does one go on raw food?'. How do you become weird and just stop having pleasure?
Kevin: What were most of the things that you were eating before?
Victoria: Before, we were eating everything and when we went on raw food it seems like we ate nothing.
Victoria: And because we didn't like vegetables, we are... we just bought fruit like banana and some of the most generic and basic fruit, like oranges and Washington, which is the apple and they were not even organic. But as soon as we became hungry, there were just piles of peels of bananas and oranges and very quickly I ran back to the store and bought every possible thing there was in the fruit section; and I just chopped and put a lot of oil or pepper and salt on them and we were just eating them like crazy. We were eating in style and within a matter of hours, we started to feel better. It's amazing that since January 21, 1994, when my family became a Raw Family which is our Raw Family birthday, the next morning, we felt better and my daughter never had another asthmatic attack since then.
Kevin: Are you serious?
Victoria: Yes. And I found my son in the morning in the kitchen pricking his finger with this blood sugar monitor and he said, "Oh my machine is broken." I said, "Why do you think it's broken?" He said, "Because it doesn't show the right numbers." I said, "What's the right numbers?" He said, "It used to be 270, 300 is my blood sugar and it is now 125."
Victoria: And it's never been that low. The change was so quick and my husband didn't have to do the surgery that they said without it, he will die in less than two months. And, I started to lose weight so easily. In three and a half months, my family ran a 10-kilometer race. So, from being desperately ill in January 21 1994, to three and a half months later, on memorial day weekend, we ran the Boulder Bolder Race with 40,000 other athletes; and Valya was only eight, Sergei was only nine, and we did it. At that point, we felt that the health, our health, is now enhanced and the next morning, I called my insurance and I canceled my medical insurance because now I knew that I could manage. I could monitor my health. And I was thinking I paid $550 every month. How many organic mangoes can I buy for that $550? And so since then, we've been on a raw food diet.
Kevin: Transitioning is such an incredible task. A lot of people that are going to be on this call either have family members who they would like to see eat healthier and maybe they are the mother in the family, the father in the family, they just want the health of their children to be better. How did you approach your family?
Victoria: It took the longest to talk with my husband in to that. At first, he told me "I am a Russian man and I cannot live or eat raw food", and he said, "I love my Russian borscht with pork," and he said, "If you go on the raw food diet, I am going to divorce you." But when the doctor really scares you, when the doctor actually told him these words, that "You're going to die from hyperthyroid if you are not going to do the surgery right now." And my husband said, "How soon will I die?" She said, "In less than two months."
Victoria: Then he said - then he replied to the doctor, "I am going to go on a raw food diet." He was ready to do whatever but his imagination was that he would just go on that diet for two weeks. It was like a fast for him and then he will get better and then he shouldn't have to this diet.
Victoria: Then we went on the raw food diet and two weeks later, we already didn't think about eating cooked food because we suddenly felt so great. We didn't want to go back. Then my children, they also threw a fit. Sergei told me, "Mommy, you should go to the school and look at the pyramid on the wall. I'm a growing organism. I need to use protein. Talk to my teacher. She will explain to you that. We really need to have grains and dairy and meat." And so, they really didn't want to do it and so I had to do lots of talking and lots of explaining and exploring to keep them in. And I had to use some tricks.
Kevin: What are some of the tricks?
Victoria: Yes. One trick that is my favorite, that worked truly well, is I started to go around the house, especially in the bathroom, and started to put cartoons up and I got everybody used to it. I have new cartoons up every single day. And then I started to replace some of the cartoons with some quotes from raw food books. For example, each can of Mountain Dew has 11 teaspoons of sugar. And sugar is the empty calories and it can do this and this damage. Just a small quote so that an eight-year-old kid could manage to read and understand it. And then my kids read them because they had the habit of reading those. And they would come back to me and they would say, like I remember when I put '80% of morning cereals is sugar' and they already knew how bad sugar is, and then my daughter just ran to me and said, "Mom did you know that 80% of morning cereals is sugar and how did you put me on them. How did you feed me those? I don't want to ever have them in my mouth." And that was something that really works because they got information. And I know that children are smart and they do not want to hurt. They do not want to get sick. And, I tried to never push anything on them. I never said, "You have to do this. You cannot eat that." I tried to give them an option. It was not very easy. Sometimes, my heart was bleeding when I'd send them to a birthday party and I was afraid that they will eat something there and they will become hurt. But as soon as they saw the difference in how they felt, at the age of eight and nine, they were able to make their own decisions and they saw obviously that it's a big change. It's like night and day. For example, Valya was never able to run because she would cough.
Victoria: She couldn't breathe. And suddenly she ran a quarter mile at school in the second grade and she was not the last, and she came home and said, "Mom I could run!" She was so thrilled that she could run and she was just like normal. And now, she was able to go to the swimming pool and before she couldn't and she was even able to play wind instruments, which she couldn't do before. So she benefited. And Sergei, he did not have to poke his fingers and measure his blood sugar and that was a big advantage to him because his blood sugar was now in the normal frame. So easily. I think he actually had type 2 diabetes, not type 1. But how many more kids are misdiagnosed and placed on insulin unnecessarily? And insulin is such a threat. It causes such damage to health and whoever is placed on insulin almost never could go back, you know, off it.
Victoria: And my husband never had to do another surgery and he became so strong. He started to become a runner, and I lost 120 pounds.
Kevin: Amazing, isn't it?
Kevin: You talked about the kids going to school and going to parties and going to birthday parties, how did you prepare them? You know, what did you give them for school? Do you pack their lunches? When they went to parties, you know, what did you say to them?
Victoria: I didn't know how to do everything and I was learning with them and I was learning from them. When they came home from school and they told me, I sensed from them that they felt inferior to other kids who had bright packages. I said, "We'll do a great job packaging now." We went to the store, we bought some nice cute zip lock bags, like tiny ones and with colorful stripes on them, and I started to package food in bright colored packages. For example, I will peel the mandarin and I put mandarin pieces mixed with the almonds, walnuts, and raisins. And then I would slice kiwi in certain ways then I will slice the star fruit and it looks spectacular. And then I would put the seeds of pomegranate in between and then I would just go and buy some cute water bottles because we were not drinking anything but water. And the water could come in all kinds of triangular, whatever, square bottles with different pictures and moving mountains inside. And so I made sure that their packages looked spectacular and unusual and nobody else has them. I am pretty sure Sergei became very popular and cool.
He started to be called fruit boy. People from the whole school would come to see the mango that he pulled out of his backpack or pomegranate and there were kids who never saw those things in their life and they hadn't tasted it. In a couple of weeks he said, "Mom you have to send me with two mangoes and two pomegranates because my friends eat it for me." He says, "I should have one for friends and one for myself." So instead of being suppressed and inferior, they turned out to be cool, special, and it was really good for them because they have learned how to be different because they didn't have a choice. They have learned how to be different, they wanted to be different.
And when the time came for the peer pressure when they were 11, 12, 13, 14, when their friends started to offer them drugs and alcohol and smoking, tobacco, they didn't have any problems saying no. Because they were not afraid to be different and they told me many times how much they appreciated it, the chance to be different. And not only this, in other ways like in any kind of political questions or any kind of social questions, they always have their own opinion. And very often they have different opinions from me and sometimes it was difficult and challenging but I respect it. Now I see that I cannot manipulate them, I cannot control my children but they are self-reliable and I understand that nobody will be able to manipulate or control them in their life.
Not their bosses, or spouses, or anybody in the world. They have their own opinion, their own will, and they are much more mature at their age than I was at their age, for example.