If you are interested in a plant-based diet, whether it’s the basic details of how, or the reasons why, or what that even really means, I couldn’t recommend a better resource (other than here of course :D ) than Victoria Moran. Besides being the founder of the Main Street Vegan Academy for Vegan Lifestyle Coaches of which I am a graduate (go here if you are interested in a little coaching help! :) ), she is a prolific and beautiful writer. Her last book, Main Street Vegan, contains practical and patient tips, and encourages jumping in where you are, and never judges for not necessarily being ready to go 100%.  Victoria has just released a new book, The Good Karma Diet, which focuses not only on why this vegan way of eating is good for you physically, but also mentally and for your karmic slate in the world, while also providing a long list of practical tips on little ways to make this lifestyle easier, even healthier or just more joyful.

Check out below for an except on the idea of eating raw – something I don’t talk about much but has definite benefits if done right, and I know no one better than Victoria to explain how to do it in a sustainable manner.  And following that, a recipe for raw Pie in the Sky – nom nom nom nom nom!

After enjoying the deliciousness enter to win a giveaway of the full book by letting me know in the comments if you’ve seen this diet show up karmically in your life and how, or if you’re still dreaming about going plant-based, what one thing can I do to help share the karma?  :)  Also share on facebook and/or twitter and leave a separate comment for each letting me know you’ve done so for extra entries. Entries will close in one week, Wednesday June 17th at midnight EST.  Good luck!!

The Good Karma Diet vegan book cover


When my daughter, Adair, was a tween and teen, we devoted two weeks every summer to

eating only raw food: fruits, salads, crudités, and sprouts; dressings, dips, pâtés, and cheeses

made from nuts and seeds; vegetable juices and creamy smoothies. When a friend asked her

why we did it, she said, “Because everyone deserves to be gorgeous at least two weeks a

year.” She was talking about the clear eyes, luminous skin, and well-known “glow” that

come from eating fresh, raw foods.

But wait a minute: everyone deserves to be gorgeous all year long, every day and

every decade. This is what happens with Good Karma dining, upgraded with lots of color

(much of it green) and fresh foods that have never seen a processing plant or a cooking pot.

Impressive results show up quickly: weight loss, plenty of steady energy, a rested look so

people ask if you’ve been on vacation. You’re eating foods that grew. Foods that are, for

the most part, in season, so they nourish you right now. Foods with vivid colors that don’t

start with “FDC#.”

The phytochemicals and overall nutrient density of greens, berries, fresh juices, and

other unheated plant foods can take you light years beyond a typical, mostly cooked diet

that includes lots of packaged and convenience foods, even when you’re eating vegan or

close to it. (People who’ve tried that and didn’t like it can try this and see what happens.)

The color and liveliness of raw food has long appealed to me. I recall an incident,

only a couple of years into being vegan. I was in my kitchen making dinner and some prep-

ahead dishes for later in the week. They represented the monochromatic fare nearly

everyone with an interest in natural foods was eating back then: brown rice and brown

bread, lentil soup and onion soup, walnut loaf and wheat germ cutlets. My husband called

and asked what I was doing. I replied, “Killing food – uh, I mean, cooking food.” With a

slip deserving of Dr. Freud, I’d stated where my heart was in terms of bodily sustenance,

although I didn’t know what to do with this information.

I was aware even then that there were people who ate mostly raw, but they were the

ascetics of the vegetarian world. They ate fruit for breakfast and that was all. Undressed

salad and nuts for lunch. More salad – lots of sprouts! – and maybe a baked potato for

dinner. If they were going all out, they’d put some avocado on the potato. I don’t know

about you, but when I think of the culinary good life, that isn’t it.

It would be years later, when clever raw chefs began to create actual cuisine from

uncooked fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, that I seriously looked at “raw” as something

that might be for me. I soon realized that for many people, myself included, an all-raw diet,

even a delicious one, can be too restrictive. And other than for a short cleanse, the whole

thing can seem bizarre, with the wheat grass and Himalayan berries and recipes that begin:

“Break a young Thai coconut with your machete.” Besides, from November to May, raw is

just plain cold. As a result, lots of folks dabble in it, but most of them give it up. I’m here to

rescue the dabblers and suggest that you eat a veritable cornucopia of uncooked vegetables

and fruits, especially in warm weather, and the very best cooked foods, too. It’s about color

and comfort, about living foods and living life.

The sweet spot for wellbeing comes from finding the ideal balance of bright,

brilliant foods just as they come from the orchard and garden, while allowing for cooked

foods, as well, with their variety, leeway in social situations, warmth in the winter, and

some comforting nutrient insurance.

Beans and whole grains are rich in certain minerals, amino acids, and B vitamins

that can be tricky to get with all raw food; and a few phytonutrients – the lycopene in

tomatoes, for instance — are actually more accessible when you eat the food cooked.

Grounding cooked dishes provide staying power and needed calories that fruits and

vegetables don’t always have, and that you don’t want to get from an excess of high-fat

foods – nuts, seeds, avocado – even though these are highly beneficial in moderation.

An appreciation of raw foods, but without taking any vows or signing any pledges,

qualifies as person as a “raw enthusiast.” That’s the category into which I put myself and to

which I extend you a cordial invitation. It’s easy to be enthusiastic about raw foods because

eating them gives you a huge vitality boost. And once you recover from the “palate

perversion” most of us developed from eating greasy foods and too-sweet sweets, the flavor

burst from a perfect peach or a savory salad can be borderline orgasmic.

Excerpted from THE GOOD KARMA DIET: Eat Gently, Feel Amazing, Age in Slow Motion by Victoria Moran, with the permission of Tarcher/Penguin, a division of Penguin Random House. Copyright © 2015.

Pie in the sky slice


Pie in the Sky

Crust Ingredients:

1 cup pitted dates (if too dry, soak in warm water 20 minutes and

1 cup raw hazelnuts, pecans, or walnuts, soaked 4-6 hours,

rinsed and drained


Replace 1/2 cup nuts with 1/2 cup unsulphured, unsweetened, dry

shredded coconut

Filling Ingredients:

2 medium ripe avocados

2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla bean

1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest

2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/3 cup maple syrup or 1⁄2 cup pitted dates

1 cup raw cashews, soaked 4 hours, rinsed and drained


1 cup berries (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries,


2 cups seasonal fruit slices (apples, peaches, pears, plums,

cherries, etc.)

Loving Preparation:

1. Combine dates and nuts (and coconut if using) in a food

processor until a ball forms. Nuts should be chunky.

2. Cover a 7 or 8-inch pie dish with plastic wrap and press the

date-nut mixture evenly into the pan. Refrigerate while preparing

the filling.

3. Pure the avocados, vanilla, lemon juice, lemon zest, and

sweetener in a food processor until creamy. Add the cashews and

continue to blend until creamy.

4. Pour or scoop the filling mixture into the prepared crust. Wiggle

and whack the dish on the countertop to spread the filling evenly.

5. Freeze for 4 hours or overnight. Remove plastic wrap and place

on a serving dish before decorating.

6. Before serving, decorate with toppings, piling the fruit high.

7. This delicacy thaws quickly, so it can be served frozen, half-

frozen, or completely thawed as a custard pie.

Makes one 7 or 8-inch pie

Excerpted from THE GOOD KARMA DIET: Eat Gently, Feel Amazing, Age in Slow Motion by Victoria Moran, with the permission of Tarcher/Penguin, a division of Penguin Random House. Copyright © 2015.

Photo and recipe by Doris Fin, CCHP, AADP.

Pie in the sky raw vegan

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