A Fresh Review And Giveaway

I so thoroughly enjoyed Fresh: The Ultimate Live-Food Cookbook by Sergei and Valya Boutenko that I devoured it, cover to cover, in one sitting. To say it is just a cookbook, would be selling it far short. Sure it contains more than 250 raw, vegan recipes, but the real meat of the book is found within its first 50+ pages where Sergei and Valya cover such topics as:
  • social situations where everyone is eating differently than you
  • encouraging kids to try new foods and embrace healthy eating habits
  • traveling raw
  • benefits of green leafy vegetables
  • foraging for wild edibles.
While many raw foodists can come across as preaching or even fanatical, Sergei and Valya are anything but. In fact, I found their playful approach to food preparation, a breath of fresh air. I also had to marvel at the apparent wisdom they possess, far beyond their years.

For those who are not familiar with this dynamic duo, their own story is a compelling one. The two siblings from the Raw Family, have been eating living foods for 15 years. Their parents had a host of serious medical conditions – the father suffered from severe hyperthyroid and rheumatoid arthritis, and the mother was morbidly obese and had developed arrhythmia – but it wasn't until Sergei was diagnosed with Type I (juvenile) diabetes at the age of nine, that their journey toward health and healing began. Determined that her son would not spend the rest of his life on insulin and endure the debilitating effects of juvenile diabetes, Victoria searched for a natural way to manage Sergei's disease.

As the medical doctors threatened to contact social services and have the children removed from the home, Victoria put her whole family on a raw diet. Eight-year-old Valya, who had suffered nightly asthma attacks, would never experience another one from that day forward. Slowly, the rest of the family began to regain their health and reverse chronic life-threatening conditions. Sergei's diabetes vanished without a trace.
Both developed a real passion for raw, living foods and went on to train at the Living Light Culinary Arts Institute. The recipes contained in Fresh span appetizers through desserts and for the most part are clear, concise, easy to follow and prepare (although at times, vague in preparation techniques). Most ingredients are readily available at traditional grocery stores or a whole foods market. If something can only be found in an ethnic or farmer's market, they tell you AND how to properly select and clean it (example: tropical or Asian fruits).

Despite their formal culinary training, it's evident these two have been playing with food since they were kids. They really encourage creativity, experimenting with different ingredients and improvising recipes.

Do you have to be a raw foodist to enjoy or benefit from this book? Absolutely not. If you are experiencing a health challenge, I would strongly suggest you take a look at this book. I'd also recommend it to anyone who wants to incorporate more fresh fruits and vegetables and less processed foods in their diet.

I am giving away a new copy of Fresh. All you have to do to enter is answer the question below in the Comments of this post. You have until midnight EST, Sunday, February 15. I'll use a random number generator to select a winner to be announced on Monday.

Question: What's your favorite fresh fruit and vegetable?

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