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on June 13, 2003
I've read quite a bit lately on raw foods, and this book is different from them all. I finished it in one sitting because I couldn't put it down. The Boutenko's welcome us into their lives and share their journey from dire illness to raw foods as a family.
Written in such a way that each family member's voice is included, this book chronicles their introduction to raw foods in 1994 when Sergei, then in 3rd grade, was diagnosed with "incurable" juvenile diabetes. Following her instincts, his mother Victoria refused to put him on insulin, instead beginning to research the effects of diet on health.
Amazingly, the whole family went raw together a short time afterward, and this story includes all the thoughts and feelings, all the changes they experienced as a result of their live food diet. Reading it does something that other more technical raw food manuals and cookbooks cannot do: it allows the reader to actually see what life might be like as a raw fooder.
Though the Boutenko's and their children were experiencing health problems due to their diet and lifestyle which strongly influenced their desire to go raw and encouraged them to stick with it, their story offers hope that making the transition with older children is indeed possible.
This is an inspiring book, and it includes a small recipe section and some before and after photographs of the family. A gem!
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on August 25, 2001
This is an excellent book for inspiring people to try a raw foods diet. Excellent prose are not needed to accomplish this; all that's needed is the heartfelt words of the authors. Here's the benefit I've derived from this book and the Boutenko family: After 13 years as a vegetarian (usually at least 10 pounds overweight the whole vegetarian time - rarely overweight that much before becoming a vegetarian, except for the year before), the most effective route for me has been the 100% raw foods route. I've lost ten pounds in 15 days on this diet, and plan to stay with it to shed several more overweight pounds. I include 3-4 times of 1/2 hour - 1 hour of exercise (Stairmaster, t'ai chi, one round of weights minimum every other day). I had the benefit of being convinced to try this raw foods diet without intent when (1) meeting the Boutenko raw family and (2) knowing a trustworthy acquaintance who knows well and vouches for the reliability of the Boutenko's claims (e.g., that the mom shed away her 280 lb. frame on raw, her son lost his juvenile diabetes, her husband lost his serious thyroid condition, and her daughter lost her asthma). I'm doing a simple raw diet. To make it easier to eat raw all day rather than going frustrated with a lack of time or recipes, I have not used any machinery (juicers, dehydrators, blenders, food processors). Besides, summer is a great time for an abundance of delicious raw foods at reasonable prices (including tomatoes, cucumbers, avocados, bananas (year round), the broccoli family, summer fruits (melons, plums, nectarines). In colder weather, there remain numerous vegetables, citrus (I eat citrus daily), dried fruits, winter fruits, raw nuts, and transported tropical fruits. In this short time, I'm feeling better overall. My body feels cleaner. I don't feel the sniffles that I often had a few times a week for at least an hour. My cravings for un-raw food are slim to none. Jon Katz,
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on September 9, 2003
I love this book. I found it inspiring, truthful, concise, and obviously born of a mothers love. My husband, a lifelong meat-and-potatoes man, read this book and literally became a raw foodist overnight. This book taught him in one read what I had been unable to in 7 years. This book very well may inspire you and your family to become healthy, happy, and harmonious. Beautifully sincere and possibly life altering book!
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on May 13, 2003
This book is a treasure. First of all, it's just a good read: It's an engaging narrative with a good story behind it. Secondly, it'll make you smile. Thirdly the few recipes in this book are AWESOME, especially the generic salad dressing. Fourthly, the book is a fast read. Finally, this book is a story of transformation (Four transformations, actually: in mom, dad, son and daughter) that can inspire us on our own path to health.
I'm buying another copy, because I keep loaning mine out.
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on March 8, 2007
Get this book. It will change your life. It is fun & easy to read. Well written. You will not get this information from your traditional doctors and pharmacists! LOL! Take control of your health, be good to yourself! Learn a new way of living. Eating food shouldn't make you feel sick, it should leave you feeling energized and happy. try it. you'll like it! I'm not 'raw' yet, but I am moving there. Her new book is also fantastic, "Green for Life". She is motivational and encouraging.
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on September 5, 2002
I just love this book. I read it in one sitting and then read it again. The story of the Boutenko family is heartwarming and inspiring. It will make you start eating raw now! Since I had the incredible luck to spend 5 days with the family in Ashland I can tell you that they really have this incredible love and energy that you can almost feel from this book. Awesome book, even if you don't consider raw foods you should read it. I recommend it to everyone.
Olesja
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on January 14, 2008
This is a very short book, but gives a good autobiographical story of a family that started learning about raw food. It was written in journal format - several family members traded off in different sections, and we see their thoughts and feelings. I like that it explained how and why the family made their food choices, and how it affected their health. All the family members are battling illnesses or disease at the start of the book, and all are healthy and not under a doctor's care by the end.
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on April 18, 2002
The story of this family was a complete and total inspiration to myself as well as other members of my family. It was awesome and when you start reading it you can't put it down. At least that's what happened to me and three other members of my family. Get this book it will motivate you!
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on January 16, 2004
Your whole family is an inspiration but Victoria, you have really inspired me. Your motherly love to heal your son and hence the rest of your family plus your determination to find a method to help people stay raw is AMAZING. I have devoured your books, 12 steps, Raw Family, and your children's cookbook in the past week. The 12 Steps was exactly what I needed.
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on September 24, 2014
A strange story that more shows how obsessed this lady is with making her entire life about raw food and simplicity. I'm not saying her food philosophy doesn't work; it does. But do you need to hike across the country in sandals w your children to find yourself? I just question the wisdom of putting their family in that much danger, not the journey itself.

If you want the real info, read her other, far more instructional book, Green for Life. Like making your own salads, it can get tedious and it's easy to get lazy and quit, but man, I feel great when I'm doing the smoothies.

Warning: a lot of her other books repeat a lot of the same information! Green for Life is the best one, methinks.
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