In this Issue:

1.      Raw Family Green Soup

2.      A “Polar Bear” Puzzle from Victoria

3.      Ann Wigmore’s Wisdom Revived

4.      Camel, the Green Smoothie

5.      About the Free Book for Libraries

6.      “How My Family Eats”, by Victoria

7.      Be Safe While Enjoying Wild Edibles by Sergei

8.      Last Chance for the Educational Package

Raw Family Green Soup



1 large handful of greens (kale, spinach, chard, or any other)
1 bell pepper with seeds (or 2 tomatoes, or 1 cucumber)

Juice of two or three lemons

½ one large (or one whole small) avocado

Add water as needed and blend to a desired consistency.  We like to eat it with dulse leaves, grated carrot, or sprouts.
Serves: 3-4

A “Polar Bear” Puzzle from Victoria


 As I mentioned in my previous newsletters, I start my day with jumping into ice-cold water. One day, several months ago, without any reason, I weighed myself before and after taking a cold plunge. The scales showed about 300 grams drop after the cold bath. Then these 300 grams returned within an hour. I started checking every day and the same happens every time. It is interesting that after the hot bath my weight increases by about 250 grams and also normalizes within one hour. I asked other people to participate in my experiment but I wasn’t been able to find many interested parties, maybe because the water has to be icy cold. Two other persons did the same, and had similar effect of cold water on their weight. While I can understand what is happening after the hot bath (some water retention), I completely cannot find any explanation of losing some weight from the cold plunge.

I think maybe I am the first one discovering this phenomena, because who would think of carrying the scales to the ice-hole? You can try it and see the results for yourself. Do any of you have a scientific explanation?

Ann Wigmore’s Wisdom Revived

When I was watching the old video of Ann Wigmore at the recent Raw Film Festival in Hollywood, I was moved to tears. On one hand, in our age of snappy possibilities brought by YouTube and modern technology, Dr. Ann’s simple presentation did not compete. Through scratched up, 30+ year old film, she praised “the new Black and Decker blender” while making energy soup and other raw goodies. On the other hand, we were witnessing one of the pioneers of the entire raw food movement. I even recognized Hiawatha Cromer and some other young faces in her film audience as today’s raw lifestyle leaders.

I am so glad that Jim Carey, longtime researcher of Dr. Ann’s work, has been taking these videos out of archives, restoring them and presenting them to the world, often for free. Jim Carey has a free newsletter that comes every Saturday, which is always informative and inspiring. Now he has put together a packet of a home study course based on Ann Wigmore’s teachings. If you are interested, you may read more about it by clicking: HERE

Live Interview with Victoria, May 1st

On Thursday, May 1st, 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time (8 p.m. Eastern Time), Jim Carey is hosting a live interview with me online. Together we will be talking about Dr. Ann Wigmore and how her teachings changed our lives. We will also answer questions and Jim Carey will give away a free Home Study course to one lucky listener on the line. To participate for free, please click here.

Green Smoothie the Camel

One of the world’s well known spiritual leaders, Avatar Adi Da Samraj, has recently read the book “Green for Life” and is now recommending green smoothies to all his devotees. In the ashram in Fiji where he resides, the chef Allan George now makes fresh green smoothie twice a day for more than 100 people. This week we received this message and photograph:

“Last night a new baby camel was born (April 23) in our zoo at the Mountain of Attention Sanctuary in Lake County. Adi Da named her “Green Smoothie”.   He said she has all kinds of food names in her family line, all un-straight (bad food). So this introduces some healthy food into the family line.

Green Smoothie's lineage of camels here on the Sanctuary includes (by name): a very sweet "Muffin", a rich, dark "Jelly Baba", a huge, wooly "Peanut" and a mysterious, decadent "Smokey Joe"!

When I wrote Green for Life, I never knew how popular it would become!

About the Free Books for Libraries

Dear Friends,

We have received hundreds of your requests for the old version of “12 Steps to Raw Foods”.  


We have fulfilled all of the requests and shipped the books to all of the libraries you mentioned and most of the personal requests.

Some people emailed me saying, “Oh good, I wanted to buy your new book but now please send me your free old one.” I would like to clarify something. The new 12 Steps book is a thousand times better than the old one and I proudly consider it to be the best book I ever wrote. It is well researched and some of the conclusions in it are opposite to the conclusions I made in the first book. Also, it is about 80% larger. So, I would not recommend the old version instead of the new book. Yet there are still people in this world who would benefit from this basic information about raw food who really have no option to purchase the new edition. For those, I would be happy to ship cases at no charge. I was especially happy to send boxes of books to Africa, the Philippines, Russia and other countries. We sent a whole case to an orphanage in Africa.

I still have several more cases; if you know of places where the books will be helpful, please let me know. We are sending the books by the slowest cheapest mail. I have paid for about $400 postage; I appreciate several people who sent me small donations towards the postage.

Below I have placed an excerpt from the new book, “12 Steps to Raw Foods”, for your enjoyment.

Thank you for your help!

In Health,


Excerpt from the book “12 Steps to Raw Foods” by Victoria Boutenko


How My Family Eats

"In this plate of food, I see the entire universe supporting my existence."  
-A Zen blessing at mealtime

Is it expensive to stay on raw food?  Yes and no. Let me explain. In order to be understood correctly, I am going to pull out my receipts and share in detail exactly what I spend. For my family of four, I spend on average $45 per day. That comes to $1,350 per month; but if divided by four, it is only $338 per person. I would like to clarify that we spend so much money on food, not because we are very rich, but because we do not have health insurance; and we consider our health to be the priority among all of our expenses. My intent is to not save money on nourishing the body. I am aware that I need to receive adequate nourishment not only for today’s performance but also to make up for thousands of days in the past when my body was malnourished. I would rather reduce spending on other things: furniture, clothing, household chemicals, fancy cars, and surely health insurance.


There were times when my family didn’t have much money. Once, for two years, the four of us lived on a total budget of $900 per month. That was including car insurance, gas, and the rest of our expenses. My children like to remember the Christmas of 1997 when Valya received a hair band for a present, and Sergei got a pencil. For some reason, they cherish the memory of that holiday more than any other. Even then, we managed staying on a high quality raw food diet. We discovered many different ways of obtaining good produce for little money or at no cost at all, we just had to spend more of our time sorting or gathering produce, rather than buying it. Igor built a special attachment to our van for growing sprouts in jars, in two large coolers. We constantly had an abundance of fresh sprouts for the cost of pennies. We approached different organic farmers and offered our help in exchange for fresh fruits and vegetables. We bought marked-down organic produce from the health food stores. We learned to arrive at farmers’ markets at the end of the day to get the best deals on their goods. By attending several wild walks with experts, we acquired foraging skills and started gathering wild edibles during most of the year. We went to countless U-picks and gathered anything from cucumbers to peaches. Finally, we offered help in picking fruit to owners of fruit trees who did not have time for harvesting. Many times, people were curious about what we were going to do with so much fruit and were quite surprised that we considered persimmons or cherries to be an important part of our diet. We ran into families that lived in big mansions but who ate very poorly. We were poor, but we sure ate like kings and queens, or I should say, as “educated kings and queens.”


           Today all four of us work and we are happy to be able to buy all our food from health food stores and farmers. I am committed to obtaining only the best quality, fresh, organic produce, preferably seasonal and locally grown. During the warm seasons of the year, we buy most of our produce from farmers. I love talking to organic farmers. I consider them all to be heroes for their dedication to natural gardening despite tremendous challenges and hard labor involved.


I am fortunate to have a health food store two blocks from my house that I visit every other day or 3-4 times a week and buy food for my family. My husband and children like to help, but I do most of the food shopping. Typically, I bring with me several cloth bags that I fill with produce. In the wintertime, I alternate buying a case of apples or pears every week, to always have fresh organic fruit on hand at the house. Buying in bulk saves me twenty percent of the retail cost.

When I began consuming green smoothies and was looking for ways to increase a variety of greens, I went to the growers’ market and spoke to at least ten farmers. I offered to pay each one of them $20 for bringing me a large box of edible weeds the following week. I believe that wild edibles are our true super food. Two farmers became interested. Both of them have been bringing me chickweed, stinging nettles, lambsquarters, thistle, plantain, dandelions, purslane, and many other different edible greens on a weekly basis since then. Because of this supply of the most nutritious greens, I stopped buying greens from the store almost completely from April to October. Encouraged by my support, these farmers offered edible weeds to our local co-op; and I was pleased to see these most nutritious greens there for sale.

 During the rest of the year, I usually buy eight bunches (two days worth) of different greens from the store, including but not limited to the following: dandelion, kale, chard, spinach, romaine, cilantro, parsley, scallions, collard, arugula, frisee, escarole, and endive. Once a week, I purchase a bag of baby greens mix. For two days’ consumption for my family, I usually buy 12 avocados, 8 ripe, bright yellow lemons, and a bunch of bananas.

I consider that the fruit variety is not perfect in any of the stores because most of the fruit has been picked unripe. I also find it frustrating that I cannot enjoy seeded grapes anymore. I always buy the fruit that is the ripest of all, and sometimes I ask the produce manager if he has riper fruit in the back. Typically, I buy one pound each of 3-4 different fruits, such as mangoes, pineapples, papayas, grapefruits, kiwis, figs, persimmons, or whatever is in season. I always buy a lot of berries, as they are less hybridized, riper than other fruit, and rich in many essential nutrients. I usually buy 4-5 pints of different berries. I almost never buy watermelon, except when it is in season, because I only buy the best organic seeded watermelons directly from farmers.

            I usually buy a dozen ripe tomatoes, 2-3 firm cucumbers, and a couple of red or yellow bell peppers. I never buy green bell peppers, as they are unripe. Once or twice per month, I buy several carrots or beets to shred them in our salad. Approximately once a month, I buy a bag of dates, choosing a different brand each time.

About every other month, I place a bulk order for a 5-pound bag of sunflower seeds, a 5-pound bag of almonds, a 2-pound bag of chia seeds, and a 25-pound bag of flax seed, that is a lot but we share a large portion of our flaxseed crackers with friends.

I do not buy chocolate or raw cacao beans. I also do not buy any kind of salt but only sea vegetables: kelp, dulse, nori, arame, and others. I do not buy oil, as we stopped using oils altogether a while ago. However, I cannot guarantee that we will stay away from oils forever. In my family, we are following our intuitive guidance rather than other people’s recommendations. We attempt to consume fats in a more natural form rather than using oil, for example coconuts, avocados, occasional durians, and a small amount of seeds and nuts. I especially enjoy sea buckhorn berries that I pick in August through September in a local garden. I consider sea buckhorn berries to be a wonderful source of healthy oils, folic acid, B-vitamins, and many other important nutrients.

Often people ask my family to describe what we eat in the course of a day. I will tell here what I eat.

I always have one quart of green smoothie for breakfast, around 8 A.M. If I remember, I snack on a piece of fruit around noon. In other cases, I get so busy with work, which I love, that I forget about my snack.

We have a tradition, almost a ceremony, to eat green soup with our friends and family every day at 2 P.M. in the afternoon. Whether at my office, or at home, one of us quickly prepares green soup in a Vita-mix blender, which consists of just four ingredients.* This soup is incredibly satisfying, and it is the most essential meal of my day.

When I come home at 7 P.M., I have another smoothie accompanied by either a bowl of greens and veggies without any dressing, or a bowl of fruit. Another option for my dinner is a bowl with a pint of berries topped with a spoonful of raw almond butter, which we grind ourselves. I really would like to not eat anything else, but I do eat an apple or two later in the evening.

I am providing this information only as a means of sharing and not as recommendation. Please do not try to copy me, keep in mind that it took me over 14 years to come to this way of eating and it is continuously changing. Follow your inner guidance and treat yourselves as if you were well-educated kings and queens.

* Please see the recipe above, in this newsletter.

I am providing this information only as a means of sharing and not as recommendation. Please do not try to copy me, keep in mind that it took me over 14 years to come to this way of eating and it is continuously changing. Follow your inner guidance and treat yourselves as if you were well-educated kings and queens.

This book is available at most book stores, at and at Raw Family Website

Be Safe While Enjoying Wild Edibles

By Sergei

While there are countless benefits associated with eating wild foods such as breathing fresh air, exercise, premium nutrition, and food diversity, there are also some risks. When you are harvesting wild plants for food, you are almost guaranteed that the edible plants will be sharing their living space with non-edible ones. These non-edibles may range in toxicity from mild to extreme. If you are like me, then you too would like to avoid any form of poisoning whether it be a mild headache or death. For this reason it is a good idea to first learn how to positively identify the edible plants and then exercise caution when gathering them for food. Doing so will help you to maintain your health and joy for life. In this article, let us look more closely at what defines a poisonous plant as well as some good techniques for properly identifying the edible ones.

Over the last year and a half I have been traveling around the globe giving presentations about edible plants.  From my travels I have learned two things… first, no matter where I go, people eagerly want to know more about weeds and wild edibles! Secondly, there is a lot of confusion about harvesting wild edibles, with people wanting to know how to differentiate between the edible and the poisonous ones. 

I have found that the term “poisonous” is very loosely defined and it is easily swayed by personal biases and medical backgrounds. For example, experts coming from backgrounds of toxicology, botany, and medicine claim that there are more poisonous plants than those experts who come from Native American teachings and the like. Unfortunately, these inconsistencies in opinion only add to the confusion about wild edibles as many edible plants are classified “poisonous” simply due to the author’s opinion.

Thus far, my research has lead me to the belief that out of thousands of healthful, edible plants in nature there are relatively few poisonous ones that should not be eaten. There are approximately 150 poisonous plants, give or take a few, that are not recommended for consumption. Out of these 150 plants there are only about 50 plants that are considered to be highly poisonous and may lead to death. The rest are classified as mildly poisonous. This means that out of 150 plants, 100 of them may cause nausea, headache, and /or stomachache, but will not kill the eater and only 50 have the potential for death.

I think that this is a very encouraging thought because it is relatively easy to learn to identify and stay away from 50 plants. This can be accomplished in less than a month if you were to learn two a day. Once you learn all 50, the chances of getting poisoned to death are severely decreased if not eradicated completely. Even if you ingest one of the 100 mildly poisonous plants, the side effects will not be extreme. Keep in mind, that many of the so called “mildly poisonous” plants are considered edible depending on which book you reference, therefore it can not be said that even these plants are without benefit to humans.

 Below is a list of the MOST POISONOUS plants in North America. If you are curious about wild edibles, then I suggest that you familiarize yourself with the ones that are most prevalent in your area. Enter the names of the plants into an Internet based search engine to see what they look like. 

Aconitum, Autumn crocus, Angel’s trumpet, Azalea, Bittersweet nightshade, Bleeding heart, Black locust, Black nightshade, Buttercup, Caladium, Caster Oil plant, Daffodil, Daphne, Darnel, Datura, Deadly nightshade, Deathcamas, Delphinium, Dogbane, Doll’s eyes, Dumbcane, European Holly, False Hellebore, Foxglove, Hemlock, Henbane, Horse chestnut, Ivy, Jequirity, Jerusalem cherry, Jimson weed, Laburnum, Larkspur, Lilies, Manchineel, Mayapple, Monkshood, Moonseed, Oleander, Poison-ivy, Poison-oak, Pokeweed, Privet, Southwest coral bean, Star of Bethlehem,  Water hemlock, White snakeroot, Yellow flag, Yellow jessmine, Yew.

 While I urge you to take caution when harvesting wild foods, I do not want to scare you away from eating wild foods altogether. I think that harvesting wild edibles is like crossing the street in a cross walk, it is safe, but you still want to look both ways! It is best to avoid any sort of poisoning, be it mild or severe. Let us now consider a few tried and true techniques that will help to further minimize our chances of getting poisoned.

First, knowledge is power! The best way to stay safe is through good old-fashioned education! The Internet is an invaluable tool for this. Using the Internet, you can track down wild crafters in your general area and take a wild food workshop from them! I recommend the hands-on method because it enables the information you learn to stay with you longer. I have noticed that if I take time to really look at an edible plant; to notice how many leaves it has, what shape the leaves are, if it has any marking or discolorations, etc., I will remember this plant forever! During a wild foods workshop this is exactly what you will be doing, looking at plants and describing them.

Another way to stay safe is by purchasing a good book on wild edibles. I have purchased many of the books published on wild edibles and have been disappointed by most of them due to the poor quality of their photos and confusing descriptions. When purchasing a book, make sure that the book you settle on has clear, color photographs of the plants. It is also wise to think about book size, because ideally, you want a book compact enough to take with you when you go to harvest. Here are a few titles that I recommend: Fresh: The Ultimate Live-Food Cookbook by Sergei & Valya Boutenko J, Discovering Wild Plants by Janice Schfield, Edible & Medicinal Plants of the Rockies by Linda Kershaw, and Edible Wild Plants by Thomas S. Elias & Peter A. Dykeman.

            Lastly, another cheap method for identifying plants is to ask the Internet. For example, if I am hiking and I see a plant I am unfamiliar with, I will take a picture of it and describe it to when I get home. Since I do not know the name of the plant in this situation, I will start by telling the search engine what it looks like, i.e. four purple petals, two green leaves, etc. Then I might mention the geographical area where I found the plant: mountains, desert, by a lake, Northern California, Southern Oregon, etc. Then I hit the search button and pray for a miracle. On average, the search engine will generate anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 results. I look through the photos until I find one that resembles the picture that I took. Now I have a name, “Wild violet.” Just to be safe, I search “wild violet” in the same search engine to make sure that someone did not mislabel the plant. If at this point I see 2,000 more pictures resembling the one I took, then I can be pretty confident that I have positively identified the plant. However, my job is not complete for I still would like to know whether the plant is edible… Since I now know the name of the plant, I can either search for the answer online or consult a wild edible book, which is the better bet!

            As an educator I feel responsible not only for my own wellbeing, but for the wellbeing of those I teach. I would like to reiterate that harvesting wild edibles is fun, healthful, and safe when done properly! Please take the time to educate yourself and your loved ones! Finally, if you are ever in doubt about whether a plant is edible or not, please, please don’t eat it!


Sergei is back in town, exploring different trails every day, finding and bringing home wild greens such as miner’s lettuce and chickweed for our family smoothies. He’s polishing his schedule for the upcoming hiking season and coming up with new ideas to enhance the wild walks.

Check out his schedule here:

Last Chance for the Educational Package

May 1st  is the last day to order this special deal.  

Our Educational package is a 34% Savings.

12 Steps to Raw Foods (New!)
Green for Life
Raw Family - A True Story of Awakening
Eating Without Heating

New! Interview with Sergei
12 Steps to Raw Foods
Greens Can Save Your Life
Is Raw Food for You
Raw Gourmet Dishes Simplified
Spiritual Awakening with Raw Food

Two free bonuses with each Package:
One 9 oz pack of Igor’s freshly made crackers
One Poster, The Ten Benefits of Green Smoothies


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