3 Years – Am I Still Raw?

right now rawIt has been quite some time since I sat still long enough to post on my blog! This negligence is caused by the unbelievable beautiful mountain town I live in, seriously, it is hard to stay indoors! I also adore the church in our community, but my new distraction is the cutest little guy in the world, Wolf, our grandson. I never thought he would live ten minutes from us. I sometimes find myself crying on the way home from their house just because when you receive something that you never thought you would have; life becomes all the more precious! right now raw

Another unbelievable nostalgic thought process for me at the moment is that I just celebrated my 3rd year a raw vegan. WOW! Right? So, my absence does not mean I have been stuffing my face with unhealthy food. (just in case you were wondering)

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I am currently reading, How Not to Die, by Dr. Greger. This book has plenty of research and data to prove that a whole plant-based diet is the best for optimum health. You know, I LOVE this! Ironic thing about not being able to put this book down…… I recently placed a hot glue gun down on it to cool off after finishing a project, of course, I unplugged the gun, then 12 hours later I went to get my cherished book, come to find out — I unplugged the fan not the gun! Ugh, I think I need a new chapter on how not to die from burning your house down!!!!!

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One thing I read in the midst of all this information was, Don’t let the perfect stop you from the good. That is still ringing in my ears. I don’t want to leave any stone unturned when it comes to my health. Dr. Greger has valid points on the benefit of plant protein and the super antioxidants in these powerhouse legumes. I am so convinced after reading this book and studying through the clinical trials presented in his research that I am adding cooked beans to my diet.

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No, I will not be smothering these with tons of salt or eating them out of a can. I will soak, cook, and toss these organic babies in my salad. Raw hummus is my first choice, but if I can’t find it raw I will purchase organic cooked hummus.

I hope the raw foodie community does not kick me out……maybe I should change my name to Right Now Mostly Raw? The best part of a lifestyle change is making changes for a healthier lifestyle. I love the pioneers of raw-veganism, they have taught me how to consume huge mono-meals, and how to thrive on a hclfrv diet. I no longer eat 30 bananas a day, but what I am consuming continues to heal my body. I LOVE whole raw real food. I am sharing a list of what my average day looks like. I have learned a lot and with that learning comes ch-ch-changes!

I am excited for another healthy raw year. It is a great thing to learn about nutrition, but to understand and put it into practice is even better! I hope you will make a change today that will improve your health, like click the image below, and read this book!!!!!

Right Now ♥ Mostly Raw






2 Years a Raw Vegan

right now rawI love that my birthday and my raw birthday are so closely entwined. Yes, I am hitting 54 and the exciting news is; I hit 2 years of an entirely raw diet! The energy gained by this lifestyle is off the charts amazing!

I am a believer in baby steps, taking small steps in the right direction is way better than leaping forward, skipping tons of steps, only to recognize you are not in a healthy spot — then going back and starting over. Lifestyle change happens slowly. Making healthy choices throughout your day is how it becomes a reality, it’s about believing in yourself, and loving yourself enough to change. I always seem to rush into something thinking one thing and then realizing it was not what I thought at all.

The view of Providence has once again proved trustworthy,  I was certain I was running in my 50’s to feel awesome in my 60’s, but now I am pretty certain it has something to do with the 30+ steps I meet with everyday. The best training we can do for ourselves is to train for quality of life, this focus will keep us ready for whatever comes our way!

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Living in the mountains is definitely a dream I never thought possible for us. We have gone backwards more than forwards over the past 7 years. Now, as I am much older and healthier, I cherish the small steps that helped open my eyes to a better life. Seeing the stairway stripped off of our little cabin in the woods was something to rejoice over.

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Small steps are better than no steps, (no steps are really scary) secure steps are the best, (you can run on them), but most importantly, realize that the steps of a good person are ordered by the Lord. He created our bodies to be healthy, enjoy a better life by choosing healthy food with every meal.

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Loving the Adventure ♥Right Now Raw


Raw Grandma

right now rawThe best bit of advice I grabbed ahold of when I started this blog was to be consistent. I knew that to connect with readers I needed to be consistent. I feel that this summer I have broken my attention to consistently posting 3 days a week— due to the crazy busy turn my life is going in. (sorry)

Although, I have been inconsistent with my posting I have remained steadfastly adherent to my raw lifestyle. If you have wondered where I have been; let me assure you, I have not been stuffing myself with cooked foods. Bananas and fresh juice remain my top food when time is an issue.

The most exciting thing happened on July 22nd, our first grandchild was born, Wolf David Barnes. Tipping the scales at 7 pounds 15 ounces. I can not describe with words how incredibly happy Little Wolf has made our family. The California side of the family longs to hold this cute little guy, but we are so grateful for FaceTime, smart phones, and a caring Arkansas family that keeps us updated with photos.

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This raw marmee is in awe of how good God is. Whenever I steal away and watch videos of our grandson (over and over) I am reminded of the plans God has for us and the absolute certainty that His loving kindness is everlasting.

If this summer has you a little inconsistent, don’t fret— be consistent on what matters most.Choose health by making right choices with every meal, spend time with the people you love, and celebrate all the good things in your life.

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Loving Life ♥Right Now Raw



Never Too Old To Change

Nothing puts a halt on life like sickness. Once again, I found myself in the hospital for four days, but this time I was the visitor. Our precious nana had a 10 pound benign tumor removed from her abdomen. At 76 years old, she went through her surgery like a champ. Her room was filled with family which meant that laughter echoed down the hall from her room. Her care was excellent, her doctor was dreamy, and her nurses were efficient. All of this put her on a great path for recovery.

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This path of recovery is not always the most pleasant to travel on, with it comes humility, dependence, and quite often pain. The best companion for this well-traveled path is Patience. When we let her have her perfect way — completeness comes with no lack. This is much easier to say than do!

I have learned that in sickness, I must choose health. Even our omnivore nana refused the hospital food. In my opinion, every food tray that was delivered was void of nutritional value. I can’t believe that a clear liquid diet consist of jello & Sprite.

I have loved taking care of our nana because my hospital visit still lingers in my thoughts. A valuable life lesson for me has been to not get so caught up in my everyday life that I forget that people are in need. I watched my family rearrange their lives to take care of me and now I want to pass that on to others.

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Breakfast with nana has become a highlight of my day. She has so many questions about the way I eat and she wonders why I only drink organic teas. This opened up great conversation as I was able to explain about the importance of eating foods high in antioxidants, what a GMO is, and how important it is to eat organic food. When you have been a trusting consumer for so many years it’s not always easy to change, but it is necessary!

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The best part of this recovery path is the rethinking that automatically helps your mind process how to feel better. In Nana’s case, realizing how fortunate she is, she is determined to never give up eating meat, but she is going to buy organic and grass-fed beef. Also, she wants to eat more salads for dinner. Small steps in the right direction can benefit your health.

We have always tried to stay off the beaten path, but sometimes sickness causes us to travel where we don’t want to go. Wherever you find yourself, be patient and choose health. Quality of life is worth every bit of effort!

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Patiently Living ♥Right Now Raw

Unhealthy or Unlucky

right now rawI’m sure that everyone who heard that I had been admitted into the hospital with a perforated  appendix must have at least once thought… Maybe it’s her raw diet? I know I did!!!! Both of the doctors that we talked to pretty much said the same thing, It has nothing to do with your diet; it has everything to do with you being unlucky! One went as far as to say that… It sounds crazy, but you are too healthy, your blood work gives no indication that there is anything wrong with you.

right now rawThen the next question that every medical professional asked me during my 6 day hospital vacation was, “WHY, did you wait 3 weeks?” To answer this honestly, I thought I pulled an abdominal muscle. I was convinced that if my pain was serious I would not be able to run, climb, or continue my P90X3. I was WRONG!!


Five different rooms in six days, taught me life lessons, I pray I never forget! My ER room taught me how awesome it is to have friends in high places. Our friend is a PA, he happened to be working the night we arrived in the last place I wanted to be. He made sure we were taken care of, he even sat with us when his shift was over, talking with us trying to divert our thoughts. Friends like this are priceless!!!!!!

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My second room began to fill up with flowers and visitors. I don’t think of myself as having many friends, but this room showed me how many I have. My girls always wanted my guest to stay until I had my morphine, I guess I’m funny? Visiting friends make dark days pass quickly. I’m truly blessed!

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The third room reconnected me to an old friend that works at the hospital, she saw on FB that I was there. She visited me often and I have learned that friends don’t stop being friends just because years fly by with no interaction. I realized how much I missed her. Just her presence caused the staff that was working with me to take it up a notch. Old friends are great friends!

My fourth room reminded me of how much my children can light up a room, make me laugh, and are always there for me! The twins never stop singing, laughing and caring. Although, after they finished painting Luke’s nails, (he lost a bet) they wanted to write DNR on my forehead with nail polish, then they wanted to hide me and put their brother in my bed to surprise my nurse. This is to list only a few of the things they came up with. I love my kids, I love the energy and life they bring to difficult times. The support of my family is a thing I treasure most!

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The maternity floor was where my fifth room was, overflow rooms were set up and I was quickly taken down to the very floor where I had all six of our children. I was happy to go because my roommate in room four was seriously sick and needed a private room. This turnabout refocused my thoughts and gave me a fresh perspective on my own health. I am fortunate!

I have avoided surgery and I am getting better. Thank God! How can your appendix burst and you not have surgery? In my case, which my doctor says is rare, the surrounding structures, mostly intestine, walled off the seepage, visceral fat was drawn to the inflammation to contain the infection. If my body failed to responded to antibiotics, I would have had to go into surgery and my appendectomy would have included removal of part of my colon.

In closing, I am still blown away at how unbelievably lucky I am to have Wonderful Husband, I may seem unlucky in health, but I am feeling pretty fortunate and blessed as I look back over the events of this past week.

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 Trying to Mend ♥Right Now Raw


Brides, Babies, and Blogs

right now rawAge is a wonderful thing! I love growing healthier with each passing year, but the life stages that I go through with this fleeting life brings many emotions. Like my relationship with my children, when you’re in the parent/child relationship it seems like forever awesome, then the shift of parent/adult relationship hits, and it is a whole new world! Parent/adult connection last a lot longer! Be prepared, influence while you can, and take hold of hope keeping it ever before you.

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I am thrilled that I am going to be a marmee (grandma,♥Little Women) and in the same year, our middle daughter, Jessie, is going to marry the love of her life. These are great times! I am treasuring them, but this is also the time when I freak out and think,…Oh my gosh! I never taught her how to do laundry, and a million other things that creep into my mind and make me feel insecure.

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Recently, I returned home from a busy day and to my surprise, Jessie had cooked an amazing dinner for the family. She is a great baker, but she has never really cooked dinners. My first question was, “How did you do this?” Her response, “I went on your blog and pulled up this recipe.” I was so proud of her, the dinner was amazing, she made a raw salad for me, and she burned the bread! (Barnes’ tradition) That dinner did wonders for the negative thoughts that were trying to take up residence in my mind.

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I am thankful for the opportunity to share on my blog the things that can bring positive health for myself and others. I love that my daughter wants to start her married life as a healthy cook. She is dedicated to being a vegetarian, you hear me talk about vegan daughter a lot, well, Jess is my veggie daughter, and I am so glad that she cares about what she eats.

If you are anything like me, clearly seeing a myriad of your mistakes and time racing by, encourage yourself that it is never to late to influence others for good. While my nest is emptying out I am determined to let positive thoughts fill my mind. Eating right and daily exercise helps me keep a positive outlook on each day. Most importantly it helps negative thoughts not cloud my outlook. Give a healthy lifestyle a try, it WORKS!

right now rawTreasuring the Moments, Right Now Raw

Kitten the Juice Pirate

right now rawOver two years ago I started this journey of health and I am so thankful that I did. It can be discouraging to change your lifestyle if you don’t have support. I have a wonderful family that has been there for me and cheered me on, but my other support came from an online community. Every morning I would wake up, eat a healthy breakfast, and read everything rebootwithjoe had on their site. I read EVERY success story and they gave me the courage to change. Of all the stories I read, Kitten’s story stuck with me, naturally I began to follow her. (so should you) She just reached her goal of losing 255 pounds! That is something to celebrate! Following her story made me feel that if she can do it, I might be able to reach my goals as well. Now, without anymore rambling from me, meet Kitten the Juice Pirate.

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When I was at my heaviest I weighed around 18 stone (250 – 255 pounds). Kitten, a single mother from Colorado, US has lost approximately that same amount of weight since she starting juicing in May 2011.Kitten says on her Facebook page that she lost herself a long long time ago. She says “I lost my health and spent the majority of my life depressed , sick and my heart hurting. The scared little girl in me did not know how to become the woman I always dreamed of becoming.”Kitten left a painful relationship a broken sick woman who thought she was going to die. Kitten’s mother found “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” and Kitten says the documentary saved her life.
"Juicing Gave Me a Second Chance at Life" - Kitten Achieves 250 Pound Weight LossNatural Juice Junkie: When did you first start juicing and how did you first learn about the idea?Kitten the Juice Pirate: I first heard of Juicing when I moved back to Colorado. My marriage ended, my health was out of control and my mother was worried about me. She was afraid I was going to die and told me to move home. I took my cubs (children) and moved to start fresh andtry and work on getting my self healthier.  At the time my folks found out my Dad was very sick and diabetic. Mom is super researcher and didn’t want to lose us and she came across Joe Cross’ movie [Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead] and the benefits of juicing.

“I could no longer fit behind a steering wheel”

Natural Juice Junkie: What made you decide to start juicing?

Kitten the Juice Pirate: My weight and health were in a terrible condition. I was 438 pounds and walking on crutches.  My left leg was swollen, the skin purple and even the slightest touch from a sheet shot the most horrible pain through my leg. I could not put any weight on the leg at all.

I could no longer fit behind a steering wheel.

I had terrible headaches living off Advil, couldn’t sleep, couldn’t breathe good. Hair falling out, skin [covered in] rashes. I did not want to live like that any more. My Cubs needed their mom.

The horrible stares I would get in public and because it was hard to walk up and down steps I chose to stay home and not leave my house.

I was ready for change I couldn’t bare the way my life and health was and my Cubs deserved better.

Natural Juice Junkie: Did you follow a specific program, if so which one?

Kitten the Juice Pirate: I didn’t do any one particular program. Mom, Dad and I started our juice reboot after watching Joe Cross’ movie “Fat Sick and Nearly Dead”.

We juiced together for 42 days. We followed some Joe Cross recipes and Jay Kordich recipes, also mom researched and found a bunch of recipes that we used till we found our favorites.

Kitten the Juice Pirate with Joe Cross from Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead at Camp Reboot

“Juicing gave me a second chance at life”

Natural Juice Junkie: What have you found to be the biggest changes / benefits you’ve experienced since you started juicing?

Kitten the Juice Pirate: The biggest change is I am now aware of what is in processed foods and the importance of eating plants to get the nutrients we don’t get when consuming processed foods.

I never knew that there was no nutrition or food in the food.

I learned that our body wants to heal and thrives off the nutrients from plants.

Juicing has done so much for me. No more headaches, no more crutches.My leg is normal, my skin cleared up, no more mood swings. I can now walk with out struggling for breath. I can now ride bikes with my Cubs and slide down water slides with them. I can go camping and hiking with them.

Juicing gave me a second chance at life.

Natural Juice Junkie: Since you started juicing what have you found most challenging and how did you deal with this challenge?

Kitten the Juice Pirate: The biggest challenge was being social. Once I got practice at pre-making my juices I could take them anywhere and still visit with friends and family. 

Natural Juice Junkie: What was you weight before you started juicing and what do you weight now?

Kitten the Juice Pirate: I was 438 pounds when I started and now my weight floats around 180 – 190 pounds. My goal is dropping another 50 pounds.

"Juicing Gave Me a Second Chance at Life" - Kitten Achieves 250 Pound Weight Loss

“Once I juiced longer than a few weeks I lost the craving for those [processed] foods”

Natural Juice Junkie: What do you believe was the biggest contributor to your weight gain? Was there a specific trigger?

Kitten the Juice Pirate: I was an emotional eater in a marriage that was ending and that was very hard. Also I had no knowledge about proper nutrition. I grew up thinking as long as you ate some greens and meat and milk you were getting enough nutrients . So being an emotional eater going through a rough spot the food choices were high starch and sugar.  Once I juiced longer than a few weeks I lost the craving for those foods.

Natural Juice Junkie: If you could go back in time and give just one piece of advice to your formal self, what would it be?

Kitten the Juice Pirate: If i could go back in time I would tell myself the importance of a plant based life style and how much it would benefit my Cubs and me. I would show myself what would happen if I didn’t learn about our foods and how I my family would be healthier if we stayed away from processed foods and started eating whole grains and beans and plants.

Natural Juice Junkie: Did you have any specific health issues before juicing and how have these changed since you started juicing?.

Kitten the Juice Pirate: After I lost the first 60 pounds my health issues stated getting better. After I lost my first 100 most all my health issues I was suffering with had cleared up and gone away. I know it was because of juicing.

“Juicing gave me my life back”

Natural Juice Junkie: How has juicing changed your life?

Kitten the Juice Pirate: Juicing gave me my life back. I can now get out and live the life I always dreamed about with my Cubs. I have more confidence.

Natural Juice Junkie: What has been your biggest juicing mistake and why?

Kitten the Juice Pirate: I can’t recall having a juicing mistake but one time we made a juice none of us could drink. After about 2 sips mom and I both threw up . Dad was able to drink most of it but we all thought it was horrible specially since it made mom and I sick.

Juicing gave me my life back. I can now get out and live the life I always dreamed about with my Cubs. I have more confidence.

Natural Juice Junkie: Which do you think is more essential to health and wellbeing, exercise or diet and nutrition?

Kitten the Juice Pirate: I truly believe the most important thing is nutrition and diet, and then exercise .

Natural Juice Junkie: How much and what kinds of exercise do you regularly do?

Kitten the Juice Pirate: I used to bike with my Cub but our bikes got stolen. Somebody gave me a bike but I have not had the extra funds to fix it up. Soon though I will get us back on some bikes. I walk about 3-4 miles every few days. Before losing my job I was gong to the gym everyday. I loved going and working out on machines and water aerobics.

Natural Juice Junkie: What do you eat / drink on a typical day?

Kitten the Juice Pirate: Now I have one green juice and one fruit juice and a plant based meal. I love soups with garlic they are my favorite.

Natural Juice Junkie: Is your diet completely vegetarian / vegan?

Kitten the Juice Pirate: Most of my family have been vegan since Thanksgiving and loving it.

Natural Juice Junkie: What are your thoughts on caffeine and alcohol?

Kitten the Juice Pirate: I rarely drink either. Once in a while usually socially at events and parties.

Natural Juice Junkie: What advice would you give someone who is thinking about adding juicing to their life?

Kitten the Juice Pirate: I would tell them how I truly believe it will change their life for the better. I feel it would be a great kick start in helping them start a healthier lifestyle . What do they have to lose?

Natural Juice Junkie: If you were stuck on a desert island with a working juicer and blender and an unlimited supply of just 6 ingredients, what would those ingredients be?

Kitten the Juice Pirate: I would hope to be stuck with pineapple, cucumber , orange, ginger, celery and grapefruit.

I love making a juice that has 2 oranges, half a pineapple, one grapefruit and an inch of ginger. Some times I throw in a cucumber.

Kitten the Juice Pirate

Want to hook up with Kitten?

For more information or to contact Kitten the Juice Pirate please visit:

Author: @thejuicejunkie

Natural Juice Junkie is Neil Martin. Since starting his health journey, Neil has lost over 5 stone (70 pounds) in weight and no longer suffers from asthma or any of the other health issues that previously affected his life on a daily basis. Want to know more? Read “Who Is Natural Juice Junkie?”

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