My 7-Day Rawvelation

Posted by: Janet on: January 23rd, 2013  »  13 comments

By Janet Podleski, Registered Holistic Nutritionist

I’ve just returned from one of the most interesting, transformative and rejuvenating vacations ever. Uh, actually, I would call it an “edu-vacation,” because I not only escaped to a warm, sunny climate for some much-needed R&R, but I also crammed a lot of knowledge and experience into this wee Polish brain of mine.

Remember good ol’ Hippocrates, Father of Medicine, of the famed Hippocratic Oath? Or his even more famous words of wisdom: Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food? Well, I’m fresh from a one-week stay at The Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach, Florida, where they take those words and put it into practice. Boy, do they ever!

The Hippocrates Health Institute has been a cutting edge leader in the field of natural and complementary health care and education since 1956. Folks come from all over the world to transform their health, and their lives, through the Institute’s innovative Life Transformation Program. Most people with serious health challenges stay for three weeks and some (like me), who just need a good “detox from life,” stay for one week. Short stay or long stay–either way–there was a whole lotta transformation going on!

The philosophy at Hippocrates is based on the belief that raw, living, enzyme-rich, antioxidant-loaded, plant-based foods—plus exercise, fresh air, positive thoughts and non-invasive therapies—are the optimum way to optimal health. It’s literally a 99% raw food diet when you’re there. They basically load you up with fresh sprout and vegetable juices, wheatgrass juice and heaps of colorful veggies and salads—a diet that’s beyond plentiful in alkalinity, oxygen and biophotons. (Biophotons are “light energy” from the sun that’s in living plants, or the “life force” of the plant, and that light energy is literally a spark plug for our very electric human cells.)

If you have a sweet tooth, get ready to have it yanked! There is NO sugar or anything sweet in sight. (Many with cancer are taking part in the program, and cancer cells feast on sugar.) You won’t even find fruit on the buffet table, and the only way you can get it is if the “nurse” writes you a “prescription” for it, based on your initial health consultation when you check in.  So someone with hypoglycemia or diabetes, for instance, might be allowed to have an apple in the morning so they won’t drop from low blood sugar. Oh, and there’s NO breakfast, either. That’s because the hours between 11pm and 11am are prime time for the body to repair, restore and rejuvenate, so you let the liver and its other organ pals go about cleaning house, free from digestion duties.

Upon rising, you drink only lemon water. At 10am, you drink green juice (celery, cucumber, pea sprouts and sunflower sprouts). Those particular sprouts are super-absorbable sources of protein that your body loves, loves, loves! Then for both lunch and dinner you eat from the raw buffet of vegetables and sprouts, all organic and local. Fresh sprouts, bursting with live enzymes are the main event on your plate. Live sprouts contain 10 times the nutrition of the best organic vegetable! Wow!

But the cornerstone of the wellness program at Hippocrates is wheatgrass juice. Did you know that just 2 ounces of wheatgrass juice is the nutritional equivalent to 5 pounds of fresh vegetables? It’s the richest source of chlorophyll, which is the “blood” of plants, and its molecular structure is very close to the hemoglobin molecule of human blood. The list of health benefits of wheatgrass juice is as long as Lance Armstrong’s list of lies and cheats—from boosting the immune system to building red blood cells to detoxing heavy metals to balancing blood sugar to weight loss to purifying the blood to promoting youthful, healthy skin and so much more. At Hippocrates, they have a wheatgrass juice hut, and every day, twice a day, you make your own wheatgrass shots. The wheatgrass is grown right there in mineral-rich soil, it’s cut, you juice it, you drink it, and voila! You charge your cells BIG time!

In all honesty, I’m not sure you could find a more optimal, more healing diet than what they’re serving up. I also have to admit that you probably couldn’t find a more bland diet. Flavor-wise and variety-wise, it was nothing to write home about. I’m a cookbook author, after all, and flavor matters! But the health benefits far out-weighed the flavor-factor for me this week. It only took a couple of days before I started to feel leaps and bounds better—way more energy, better sleep, better mood, clearer eyes, clearer thinking, clearer skin—clearly, something was going on. Oh, and as a gift with purchase, I effortlessly dropped five pounds! Sweet!

For over ten years, I’ve been incorporating lots of raw food and juicing into my daily diet along with healthy cooking, but I’ve never completely immersed myself 100% in a raw lifestyle before. Could I do it 100% all the time? Nah. Probably not. The raw food lifestyle takes some getting used to because it’s fairly time-consuming to prepare raw foods. As much as I loved eating this way, I can’t imagine finding the time to grow my own sprouts or to harvest trays of wheatgrass. But if I were Jennifer Aniston or Halle Berry, I would definitely hire my own personal raw chef and I’d have no problem eating like that most of the time. Let’s hear it for the joy of  not cooking! Raw! Raw! Raw!

Although I don’t eat a lot of meat, sometimes my inner, prehistoric carnivore just needs a little hint of animal protein. Might be my O blood type that calls for it. I dunno. And in the winter, when it’s minus a thousand degrees in Ottawa, where I live, some warm, cooked food seems like a basic physiological need. Warm food, shelter, clothing. Soup, chili, stew—Ladle Gaga! A diet that’s at least 50% raw and 50% cooked probably does the trick, and it’s sustainable and completely doable and realistic for the long haul. Since most North Americans are eating out of packages, boxes and bags—processed, man-made, chemicalized, “dead” foods make up the majority of meals—living in the raw more often (even getting to 70% cooked/30% raw) would be a vast improvement. For optimum health and longevity, go ahead and get eatin’ alive!

Last week, I met so many lovely and courageous souls who arrived at Hippocrates with various types and stages of cancer, or who were there to recover from chemotherapy. This was serious stuff. I was inspired and humbled and honored and grateful for the opportunity to talk to them, to hear their stories, and to witness the incredible progress and healing that was happening right before my eyes. I can tell you that they aren’t fooling around at this place! They know what they’re doing. The diet, the treatments, the lectures, the staff, the facilities, the lush, tropical location set you up for success and for achieving vibrant well-being.

If I ever had a major health issue, or if any one of my family members or friends did, I know this is where the compass would point. Even if you’re just in need of a deep detox, or stress relief, or you simply want to chisel off some cellulite, I guarantee you’ll leave feeling lighter in body, mind and spirit.

Hey, I’m no Trip Advisor, but for what it’s worth I give my eduvacation at the Hippocrates Health Institute five out of five stars!






Comments (13)

  1. Karen | January 23, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    Thank you for sharing. Can i ask what a week long stay there costs? I looked on their website but was unable to find their rates.

    • Janet | January 24, 2013 at 2:29 pm

      The cost for a one-week stay is roughly $5,000. Not cheap! But it also includes the consultations and lots of treatments.

  2. TraceyKingston | January 24, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    I love your the Looneyspoons Collection cookbook. I bought it in February of 2012 and cook at least 2 meals a week from it. I bought my 2 daughters the cookbook for Christmas this year. Even my husband is liking the variety (he is eating Quinoa, Barley & Lentils) I especially love your nutrition nuggets & food bites. Best cookbook ever!!!!! Thank you :)

  3. Denise | February 11, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    Hey Janet,
    I’m down the road from you, in Kemptville. I know the winters of which you speak! Happy freezing rain day! :)

    But I’ll tell you what. I was a vegetarian for 15 years. I bought your first two cookbooks and converted most of your meat-filled recipe into vegan, or vegetarian. In my house, your cookbooks are filled with my scribblings :) It can be done with great results. BTW, in my house, your Mulligatawnski has been renamed Mulli-Gontard-y in honour of my family name 😉 (and it’s vegan *lol*).

    Love you guys!

  4. John-Paul Betz | February 20, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    Just had Janet and Greta’s Borscht, wow, it was awesome. Thanks

  5. Marie-Christine | March 7, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    Hi Janet,

    I purchased your cook book The looney spoon collection, and it’s amazing. I’ve been trying at least 3 recepies per week for the last 2 month and their are all a big success in my house. I even manage to loose a few pound 😉 . Can you share a few juicing recipie you use. I’ve been trying to incorporating it in my diet, but can’t find a good recepie. Also do you use protein powder in yours?



    • Janet | March 7, 2013 at 4:49 pm

      Hi Marie! So glad you’ve been enjoying our book! As far as juicing goes, no, I don’t add protein powder. That’s better for a blended smoothie. For juice, there are a lot of options and you can just experiment with vegetables that you like. Something simple like celery, cucumber, carrot, ginger, parsley and apple is good. I like adding kale because it’s a nutrition superstar…but it’s a little bitter. You can try juicing pineapple, lime and pear and then adding fresh mint and coconut water. A sweeter treat. Even a quick celery, cucumber, mint concoction is nutrient-filled and refreshing and goes right to your body’s cells! Happy juicing!

  6. Emy | March 14, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    Bought my first J&G cookbook – Looneyspoons Collection last week. I just LOVE it! Am pumped up to cook because of the gush of healthy recipes, lots of nutrition infos, and… well of puns. Will share this with family and friends.
    BTW, I notice you always intruct to use cooking spray. Is there anything not so good with parchment paper?

    • Greta Podleski | March 19, 2013 at 1:53 pm

      Hi Emy! I don’t believe we always instruct to use cooking spray…are you talking specifically about baking?? I don’t have a problem at all with parchment paper. We make our own cooking spray by putting healthy oil inside a Misto oil mister :)

  7. Robert Thomas | March 18, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    I live in Sherbrooke QC. and finding a book in English can be difficult at times, I went to visit friends in Kemptville ON. last week and saw your cook book the looneyspoons collection cookbook, I started reading it and was so impressed by the simplicity of your recipes that I bought the book from them, :-) they will go get another one. my wife and I have been looking for a good book to healthier eating, and I think this may fit the bill, I made a chicken recipe last night and am doing a veggie dish tonight. you gals rock keep up the good work and thanks again.

  8. IreneJamieson | March 18, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    My mom just told me about a chicken pot pie you did which reduced the calories considerably. She mentioned it was in one of your Cookbooks. Apparently you used sweet potatoe and a few other things to make it reduce the Calories. Which cookbook was it in.

    • Greta Podleski | March 19, 2013 at 1:51 pm

      Hi there! The chicken pie is in our new cookbook The Looneyspoons Collection. Happy cooking!

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