A raw food cham­pion vis­it­ing the Healthy Liv­ing Show swears by the power of green smooth­ies.

Element - - Lifestyle -

Rus­sian raw food guru Vic­to­ria Boutenko is health­ier than she’s ever been. At 57, she doesn’t colour her hair or wear glasses and feels health­ier than she was in her 20s.

In 1990 the Boutenko fam­ily em­i­grated to the US from cri­sis-stricken Rus­sia. Ar­riv­ing to the ‘land of op­por­tu­nity, and de­lighted by the abun­dance of food avail­able, they were “com­mit­ted to try­ing all Amer­i­can food”. Their health de­te­ri­o­rated and their weight sky­rock­eted. Vic­to­ria was di­ag­nosed with ar­rhyth­mia, her hus­band suf­fered from rheuma­toid arthri­tis and hyper­thy­roidism and her chil­dren de­vel­oped asthma and type-1 di­a­betes.

Some­thing had to be done. “I didn’t have a choice… We were so ill, we could barely work. We were new im­mi­grants with two small chil­dren. We had to work very hard to sur­vive. I couldn’t af­ford to pay med­i­cal bills.” In 1994, Vic­to­ria met a raw food ad­vo­cate who claimed that the diet could cure di­a­betes.

The fam­ily em­barked on ‘the raw food fam­ily’ jour­ney in 1994 based on veg­eta­bles, fruit, nuts and seeds. Her hus­band’s health prob­lems ceased. Her daugh­ter’s asthma dis­ap­peared. Her son never went on in­sulin.

For 12 years the fam­ily ate a 100% raw food diet, shed­ding ki­los. But af­ter seven years, Vic­to­ria be­gan to notice symp­toms of de­fi­ciency. In 2003, the fam­ily re­placed nuts and seeds with leafy green sal­ads and green smooth­ies, and their health im­proved. Greens pro­vide plenty of pro­tein, says Vic­to­ria, but ad­vises sup­ple­men­tary sources of Vi­ta­min D, Omega 3 and B12.

Vic­to­ria also in­sists on sea­sonal, or­ganic food – even if it can be more costly. “I could save money on my shoes, my fur­ni­ture. But I do not want to save money on food. In the end, if I get sick I will spend more money on doc­tors and medicine”. Not ready to ditch meat? Vic­to­ria stip­u­lates that only the high­est qual­ity, or­ganic, free-range meat should be eaten. “Not like the ones that are avail­able in stores ev­ery­where that are kept in cap­tiv­ity and in­hu­manely treated.”

Above: The Boutenko fam­ily trans­formed their health through raw food.

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