Cherie Soria and Dan Ladermann

Elizabeth. DAN LADERMANN: Thank you. We look forward to
having you back. CHERIE SORIA: We do. And we’re so fortunate, because
everywhere we go all over the world we are able to
meet up with former students of our again, and hear their
stories about their transformational experience. And when I was talking to
Elizabeth a few minutes ago, I was telling her that one of
the things that’s really interesting to us is that our
graduates, when they see us– it could be 10 years later,
12 years later– they remember the foods that
they made, the teachers that they had, the students
that were in the classroom with them. And they say that it’s
just something that they’ll never forget. And so, it’s so great to be able
to see you again and hear your stories. And we’re really happy
to be here at Google. We’re going to make this really
brief, because I know that we only have you
until one o’clock. So we’re going to try and cut to
the– two o’clock, I mean– we’re going to cut to
the chase here. I’ll tell you, just briefly,
the reason that I got into raw food. Dan will tell you
his brief story. And then we’d like to talk about
what our research has told us are the best
foods to eat. We want to make this really
simple and really fun. If it’s not simple and fun,
you’re not going to do it. So we’re really going to make
it as simple as possible. What foods to eat, what
foods not to eat. And also, what foods we
eat on a daily basis. Because we’re really
busy people. We own four businesses. We have 40 employees. We’ve written a lot of books. We travel all over the world. And we need to keep
our energy up. And a lot of people think as
you get older, your brain function starts to diminish
a little bit. And for many people, it
does, because it all catches up with you. So we need to make sure that
our brains are working top-notch all the time. And so I think it would be
helpful for you, probably, to know what we eat. And actually, I don’t think
that we need to wait. We can just pass these around
right now, because I don’t think they’re going to get
better by sitting for another half hour. What do you think? Help yourself. There’s going to be plenty. If somebody wants to pass them
around, or just pass them. You can have as many
as you want. This is a small group. I know you already had lunch,
but you have this recipe on your chair there. And in the interest of time,
I’ll go through the recipe really briefly, but I don’t see
any need for you to sit and watch a blender stirring. I think it’s more important for
us to talk about how we build those kinds of flavors
and how to incorporate that kind of food into your life. So my name is Cherie Soria, and
I’m the founder of Living Light Culinary Institute. I started the school
15 years ago. I’ve been teaching vegetarian
culinary arts for 40 years. I’m going to be 66. And so I’ve had a lot of
experience with vegetarian cuisine in my life. 20 years ago, I changed to a raw
food diet, and that took me to the next level of being
energetic and vibrant and has really slow down aging, because
I have seen other people in my family who have
continued aging at an accelerated rate, compared
to myself. So I know for sure that I’m
getting the nutrients that I need, and it’s foremost
in my mind. But I originally changed to a
vegetarian diet because of really horrible health
conditions in my family. Most people in my family, even
young people, were getting cancer and heart disease. My grandmother died of
heart disease when she was in her 30’s. My grandfather died of cancer
when he was in his 50’s. My sister died when
she was 10. My mother died when
she was 24. And so it was very frightening
to me. And I was very sickly
all the time. And I didn’t want these things
to happen to me. So I started studying about
health at a really young age. And I was a natural. I was a foodie. I liked great food. And so I started studying from
different kinds of chefs. But then I put my own healthy
spin on it, once I moved away from home and my parents weren’t
telling me that I had to eat meat or I would die. And in those days, people
did think that. So anyway, long story short, I
got healthier and healthier, and I kept reading more and
more about health, and I started teaching others
about it. And then when I was about 45 or
so, I started to study more about raw foods. And then I opened Living
Light Culinary Institute 15 years ago. My husband, Dan, and I have
written four books. And we just have a brand
new book out. And we’ll talk about that
in a little while, too. So I want to tell you that
I’m a really busy person. I get up about 5 o’clock every
morning, and I put in a good 12 to 16 hours a day. We’re pretty much on 24/7,
because we have 40 employees and they all have questions, and
we’re hands-on managers. But what we eat is really
important, and we want to share that with you today. DAN LADERMANN: And my background is totally different. I’m a recovering internet
technology guy from Silicon Valley. I started out– CHERIE SORIA: Some of you
can relate to that. DAN LADERMANN: I started out
with an electrical engineering degree and then got a Master’s
in Computer Science and worked for the government with both
Unix and communications, even before it was called TCP/IP
protocols, before the internet grew up. And then I moved to California
in the late ’70s, and was involved in a number of start-up
companies in the internet, and pioneered both
Unix and internet when it was a handful of computers
on the internet. And now it’s just amazing and
makes room for places like Google to do amazing work. And so I lived here
in Silicon Valley. I worked within four different
locations over time, within a two-mile radius of here. So this is like returning home,
on San Antonio Road. And so it’s really great. But I was living the really
good life, the fast life. I had the red sports car and
all the fun things, and ate too much and drank too much, and
had about 35 extra pounds of weight that I didn’t need,
and had back problems and allergies and all sorts
of things happening. And then in about ’95, I learned
about raw foods. And so I started a transition
to going from– and I grew up in Ohio. I was meat and potatoes. So I went from meat and potatoes
to mostly raw, and then to vegan, and really
saw amazing results. And then in ’98, I want to
Hippocrates in West Palm Beach and took a health educator
program. And what I found after seeing
all the healing that happened on a vegan raw diet is, I
decided that I wanted to do education about health and
vitality versus go back into technology. So I came back, started a
nonprofit called the Institute for Vibrant Living. We started one of the– before
meet-up groups existed, before Google Hangouts existed, we had
a raw food community that had to use list servers. But we had about 1,000 people on
our list, and really one of the more active raw food
communities right here in Silicon Valley. CHERIE SORIA: One
of the first. DAN LADERMANN: One of the
first, and the biggest. And we ended up putting
on events. We had, at one point, almost– we had 800 people in San
Francisco in ’99 at a big raw food conference. So really pioneered a lot
of things from the internet into raw foods. And so it’s been really great. I eventually hooked up with
Cherie, and brought what I had been doing with events and
education and my background in with what Cherie had
with the school. And that’s really allowed us to
really grow Living Light. And it’s been so great to have
people come to our school, people like Elizabeth. And it just feeds us when we can
see the impact we have by teaching one person, to have
them be able to come something like Google and the campus and
have a restaurant serving raw foods to the Google staff. So that’ll keep us going for
another couple more days. It’s that type of thing that
really, really feeds us. CHERIE SORIA: And students come
from over 55 countries to our school, because the raw
food revolution is really hitting everyone in the world. Anyone who has embraced the
Western way of life is experiencing a health
crisis, just like we are in this country. And so that’s why raw food has
become so popular, and why the publisher Wiley Publishing asked
us to write this book, “Raw Food for Dummies.” DAN LADERMANN: So it’s been
really good for me. I’ve really found, with
raw foods, much more energy and clarity. I’m getting younger
every year. Next month is my 60th birthday,
and just getting more vibrant and healthier every
day, more energy in the afternoons, a lot more
productivity in my life. And so it’s great
teaching that. So what we want to share today
is some of that, that we put into our books, in particular
in “Raw Food for Dummies,” about how to make it
really simple. Because a lot of people are
interested in raw food, they like the benefits of raw food,
but don’t necessarily know how to go about it or think it’s too
much work, or don’t have the right balance that makes
it really doable. So we like to think of
it as a lifestyle. It’s a change in the
way you live. And once you get into
it, it becomes very easy and very rewarding. CHERIE SORIA: And it needs to
be fun and delicious, and it needs to be simple. Otherwise, you’re not going
to do it, right? Dan and I are busy
all the time. I love to be in the kitchen. I could be in the kitchen and
play all day long, but I don’t have the time. So I need to be able to make
food that tastes really great, because I am a foodie and I
like big, bold flavors. If you notice that about the
hummus that you just had. My flavors are big and
bold and lively, and that’s just like me. Not big, maybe, but definitely
bold and lively. So what we want to talk about
now is what we’ve learned, a little bit of what we’ve
learned, about what to eat to have the most nutrient
dense kind of diet that’s really easy. We’re not going to talk about
expensive super foods that have to be brought over here
from Brazil or Thailand or anything like that. Really, you can buy foods
in the supermarket– well, we like to buy organic
foods, and we do recommend those– but foods that are pretty simple
to get ingredients in most places. So we’re going to talk
about the colors. DAN LADERMANN: The colors. And the first thing to start
out with is you want fresh, ripe, raw produce. CHERIE SORIA: Organic. DAN LADERMANN: And organic,
because that’s going to give you the maximum nutrition
in the produce. And the reason we like to have
it raw is as soon as we cook and process food, we start
killing off the nutrients that make it so valuable, the
antioxidants, which are phytochemicals, things that
fight off free radicals, which are always running around
in our body trying to destroy ourselves. And when we add the antioxidants
that we get in our produce, it’s just one of
the phytonutrients that helps balance that and helps
keep us healthy. CHERIE SORIA: And
phytonutrients, the word phyto is Greek for plant. You can’t get phytonutrients
from anything other than plant foods. And so, if you’re eating a diet
that is really low in plant foods, you’re not getting
enough protection, because you’re not getting
those phytonutrients. DAN LADERMANN: And the easy way
to think about raw foods is if you eat a color of the
rainbow, the spectrum of the rainbow– different plants with
different colors have different phytonutrients. So if you eat everything from
the dark blues to the oranges to the yellows to the greens and
reds, you’re going to get a full spectrum of these
different phytonutrients. And the nice thing about a raw
food diet is it’s not about counting calories. It’s not about worrying did
I get enough protein. If you’re eating enough
calories, if you’re sustaining your lifestyle, you’re going to
have a naturally balanced weight, you’re going to have
natural energy, you’re going to get all the protein, all
the calcium, basically everything you need, with the
exception of B-12 and Vitamin D, if you’re not
out in the sun. Those are the two things– CHERIE SORIA: And probably a lot
of you are going to need some Vitamin D, right, because
you spend a lot of time at your computer. I know we do. DAN LADERMANN: The light
from computer monitors just doesn’t do it. CHERIE SORIA: It
doesn’t count. DAN LADERMANN: That
doesn’t do it. So Vitamin D supplements and
B-12 are really important. CHERIE SORIA: And B-12, because
we’re eating primarily a plant-based diet, but also
because the soil has become so depleted that a lot of organisms
can’t even live in the soil anymore. And that’s where B-12 comes
from, from the life cycle of these organisms that
live in the soil. So those are only two
supplements that we really take on a regular basis. We just make sure that our foods
that we choose to eat are nutrient dense. DAN LADERMANN: So if we start
out with dark blues and purples, things like
blueberries. Blueberries are a perfect
super food. And they don’t have to
be imported from all around the world. They’re really healthy. We’ll try to get them
fresh, if we can. If we can’t, frozen is good. They’re picked really
ripe and frozen. You lose a little bit of
nutrients, but you have them there to be able to
use in your food. All sorts of different types
of berries, plums, black mission figs, things that
are deep, dark colors. So those are really
going to be good, have their own spectrum. And in the “Raw Food for
Dummies,” we have a table that shows what different
phytonutrients and what they do in different plants. But you really don’t need to
worry about which ones they are, just get a spectrum. So that if you want to get
things like your carotenoids and things, you get that from
your oranges and yellows, oranges, yellow bell peppers,
carrots, peaches, mangoes. CHERIE SORIA: Apricots. DAN LADERMANN: Whether it’s a
fruit or a vegetable, they have that color, and
that tends to have a particular spectrum. And there’s a lot of overlap,
because there’s a lot of these different phytonutrients. But it’s the synergistic effect
of having them all and the way they work together,
which is also a key. CHERIE SORIA: And then
there’s red. And red, of course, tomatoes,
red bell peppers, watermelon. And so they contain lycopene. You might have read
about lycopene. And maybe if you read about
lycopene, you might have read a big controversy that you don’t
get enough lycopene from tomatoes unless you cook them. Not true. All you have to do is break
down the cell walls by processing them. So when we make a tomato sauce
in the blender and it’s raw, or we put it in the food
processor, we’re making a marinara, or we’re dehydrating
a tomato and then making it into a powder– and you can
buy the powder, as well– those cell walls are broken and
you’re getting really good quality, bioactive lycopene. DAN LADERMANN: And the core
foundation of a raw food diet is our favorite color,
which is green. We love all the recycling and
the bins you’ve got here, because being green for the
environment, all the green cars, electric cars outside,
it’s really nice. Unfortunately, we drove down
in our RV, but we do have solar on it. So we generate some of our
own solar power when we’re doing a big trip. But our other car’s a Prius, so
we try to balance them out and dive the Prius 99% of
the time and the RV the rest of the time. But green for the environment,
green in your foods. Dark, leafy greens, kale,
spinach, those vegetables have more protein, pound for
pound, than steak. So they’re really rich. And they’re rich in calcium. They’re rich in a lot of
the minerals we need. CHERIE SORIA: And even omega-3
fatty acids, which you need for your brain. Really important. Brain and nerves. DAN LADERMANN: Brain
and nerves. So green really rounds
out the spectrum. And omega-3’s, as Cherie said,
are very important. And we get those from
our greens. We get them from chia seeds,
hemp seeds, a little bit from walnuts, but they still have a
balance of omega-6’s, which is the fat that we get whenever
we have processed foods. Whenever you have processed
foods and processed oils, you’re going to get omega-6’s,
and omega-6’s cause inflammation, omega-3’s bring
down inflammation and also build the things you need around
your nervous system and your spinal cord to make
your nerves and your body really work well. So it’s really important to get
lots of omega 3’s and cut down on omega-6’s. CHERIE SORIA: The balance of
omega-3’s is somewhere around two to three, so a ratio of two
to one, with omega-3’s and omega-6’s, just because we
do get so many omega-6’s. Omega-6 isn’t a bad thing. It is an essential fatty acid. You need to have some. It’s just that we get way too
much, because of all the snack foods that we eat. And a lot of people, even with
raw food, are eating a lot of seeds, and there are omega-6’s
in seeds, other than, as you said, hemp and chia and flax. So that’s why raw fooders like
their flax crackers and they like their chia, because it’s
giving us that brain power. And really, omega-3’s are
important also to support a lot of other nutrients, just
like Vitamin C is a really important support vitamin. Without Vitamin C in your
body, you’re not really going to– a lot of your other nutrients
are really not going to work. You’re not going to build as
much collagen as you need to. And collagen is important for
your eyes, your skin, your connective tissue, your
bones, everything. And so without enough
Vitamin C, you start to become kind of– not only does your immune system
drop, but you also become more weak in many ways. And I’m not talking so much
about strength, but in terms of the quality of your tissue
and everything. So foods that contain Vitamin
C, all the citrus, all the berries, kiwi fruit. But even broccoli and a lot of
the greens do contain Vitamin C. So if you’re eating a diet
that’s really high in greens, you’re getting a lot of other
nutrients, as Dan says, minerals and even Vitamin C. As
well as, people ask us all the time, on a raw vegan diet,
where do you get your protein? We get it from the same place
that the majority of the strongest animals on the planet
get their protein and calcium, from greens. So if you look at the majority
of the strongest animals on the planet, they’re not the
carnivores, actually. They’re the grazers. They eat the leaves and
they eat the grasses. And they’re plant eaters. And really we can learn from
that and benefit from a diet that is dark green, also. Not the only color we need. We do need other colors,
as Dan said. DAN LADERMANN: And the other
thing we can learn from them is the things not to eat. The more you eat of raw
foods, the better. But it’s also a function of when
you eat raw foods, what you’re replacing that people
might be eating or you might have had on a standard diet. And as things that are cooked,
devoid of nutrients, where the phytonutrients, the enzymes
have been killed off. The minerals tend to stay,
because they’re not heat-sensitive. But everything else that’s in
our food, when we heat it or process it at high temperatures,
goes away. CHERIE SORIA: That’s definitely
true of the phytonutrients and the
antioxidants like Vitamin C. They’re very heat and
light sensitive. DAN LADERMANN: And depending
on how we cook it. If we’re cooking starches and
potatoes at a high temperature or in bad oil, we’re also
adding carcinogenic substances. If we’re not eating organic,
we’re adding GMO’s, which no one knows yet what the long-term
effect of GMO’s are. So these are all things that
as we add more fresh fruits and vegetables to our diet,
we’re displacing these other cooked foods that have
detrimental effects. They also have a high calorie
density, which means when you cook them and you pack them
down, that burger or different foods really have so many
calories in a small amount, it’s easy to overeat. And that’s one of the
things causing– that and a lot of sugar in food
is why people are gaining weight and having diabetes
is rampage. Everything else in the standard
American diet, in the normal population– and one of the nice things about
raw food is, and people interested in it, and congratulations to all of you– you’re willing to step
out of being normal. Because no one should
want to be normal. Normal people are
dying too early. Children are getting diseases as
infants that didn’t used to happen until people were at
least adults or in older age. And the normal is
just not good. CHERIE SORIA: And we have
such an issue with health right now. And so many people try to
get the magic bullet. They go to the doctor, and the
doctor tells them they need to take this pill. And if any of you have ever
watched TV, if you can get away from your computers long
enough, and you watched any television commercials, you’ll
see that all of these pharmaceuticals come with very,
very major side effects. I mean, some of them will tell
you if you have thoughts of suicide, or if you have
a heart attack, don’t take this drug. DAN LADERMANN: It may just
cause sudden death. CHERIE SORIA: It could cause
sudden death, seriously. Those are the side effects
of some of these. And going into the hospital is
a very scary proposition, because hospitals are one of the
most dangerous places on earth, more dangerous really
than going out on the freeway. They have done a study recently
that said that one out of seven people who are
treated in hospitals are harmed or killed as a result
of their treatment. One in seven. That’s like Russian roulette. How many of you are
going to do that? But you go into the hospital. Even worse than that, I saw an
article in AARP magazine that said the number of people who
are killed in one year in a hospital as a direct result of
hospital error is equal to 4 jumbo jets crashing
every week. Can you imagine what would
happen to the airline industry if four jumbo jets crashed
every week? I wouldn’t get on a plane. But people go to the hospital,
rather than making changes in their diet. And it doesn’t have to be hard,
and they don’t have to give up the flavors
that they love. That’s what we’re here for. Our goal is to make healthy
living delicious. Believe me, if it’s not
delicious, I’m not going to eat it, because I want food
that tastes great. And if it’s not easy, I’m not
going to spend all my time making it, not because I don’t
like to, but because I don’t have that kind of time. So we want to share with you
some of the ways that we get around that on a daily basis. DAN LADERMANN: And one of the
keys to making food go from just raw food, and what both
of us experienced when, 20 years ago, 17 years ago, we
got into raw foods, it was pretty plain and boring. And people basically wouldn’t
stick with it, which is why we both got into educating people,
and Cherie got into learning how to make basically
gourmet food, which is taking it to the next level. And that’s by balancing flavors
the correct way, so that when you make a soup or
make a smoothie or a salad dressing, it’s got the
right balance. So it’s just right on. And we teach people in our
school how to do that. And that’s part of something
like that Elizabeth got. Even in the first week of
training that she was there, we teach classes in flavor
balancing and dynamics, so you understand as well, it needs
a little more brightness. Or, it’s too spicy. What am I going to
do with that? The garlic’s too strong. It’s too bitter. How do you bring that
to a maximum level? So when we talk about the things
we eat which seem very simple, one of the keys, though,
is everything has really great balance, has great
flavors, have depth of flavors and has a variety
of textures that make it extremely pleasing. And those things aren’t hard to
come by, they just take a little more knowledge. CHERIE SORIA: And I could talk
a little bit about what those flavors are, just to give you
a little thumbnail of things to think about when you’re
putting foods together. Because really, if you
understand those flavors, you can open up your refrigerator
and you don’t have to worry about having a recipe,
having all the ingredients in a recipe. But opening up your refrigerator
and say, oh, I have some of that, and I have
some of that, and I have some of that, and these are the
flavors, and I can make something great out of those. And that’s the kind of education
that we like to impart on people, so that they
really have a freedom of not having to follow recipes,
but are able to make great tasting foods. But let’s go ahead and just
tell people what we eat. And as you’ve said, it sounds
really simple, but we have texture, we have flavor, we
have contrasts of texture, creamy and crispy
and all of that. And we have contrasting flavors
and big bold flavors, and also, beautiful food. It’s got to be beautiful. And we want to definitely
preserve the colors of the food. Sure, you can put all kinds of
different colors together and you’re still getting the health
benefits of it, but visually, it’s got to look
beautiful to be appealing and to want to eat it. So appearance is really
important, too. So flavor, texture and
appearance, those are things that we care about. DAN LADERMANN: So when we start
our day, the first way we start our day, other than
some water to make sure we’re well hydrated, because hydration
is a really key. And that’s one of the benefits
of a raw food diet, is you’re eating things that are full
of moisture and water. CHERIE SORIA: Thank you
for reminding me. DAN LADERMANN: Yes. So our first thing we have in
the day is a green smoothie. So a green smoothie is– the
balance comes from– normally, we start out with some oranges,
some citrus, some bananas, other fruits from the
colors of the rainbow. We like our blueberries. We’ll try to add strawberries,
and maybe mangoes or peaches. So you can see, we’re building
that dynamics of the color of balancing that’s going to get us
our phytonutrients and some water, and then lots of
greens, leafy greens. Our favorite normally is kale. But if we don’t have kale,
sometimes we’ll have romaine or spinach, or whatever
is in the garden. And if it’s bitter, then we just
have to have something that’s a little sweeter,
maybe another banana, to keep that balance. And then, once we blend that up,
we like to have a little bit of extra insurance,
which is in some of our green powders. We love Vitamineral Greens,
which is a green powder that’s done by Health Force
Nutritionals, and Renew Me, which comes from Vision
Industries, the makers of E35, another product that we like. But these are plant-based
foods. So we like that extra balance
that we can get from that. Because as Cherie said,
we’re very busy. We had a very active life,
and those things are important to us. CHERIE SORIA: Yeah. And our morning is kind
of our time to get our green insurance. If we get plenty of greens in
the morning, then if we have other foods throughout the
day, even if we make some choices, some good, healthy
cooked food choices, we know we’ve had our raw leafy
greens in the morning. So having some of these super
food green powders, like Renew Me and Vitamineral Green, in our
smoothie just boosts the greens even more, because it’s
spirulina and chlorela and blue green algae and wheat grass
powder, and all these really wonderful greens. And also, we put chia seed. We really like this one
product called Mila. But any kind of ground chia,
so you’re getting even more omega-3 fatty acids. And sometimes, we’ll put another
omega-3 rich product in, called Friendly Fats. And Friendly Fats is just a
combination of flax and chia and hemp, and other kinds of
high omega-3 ground seeds. DAN LADERMANN: And what
we don’t put in. We don’t put heavy oils. We don’t put avocado. We don’t put coconut oil. We don’t put cacao, that some
people think, oh, these are things that should
go in smoothies. Well, our belief is, no, they’re
not things that go in our smoothies. It’s trying to get us off to
a good start for our day. CHERIE SORIA: Because we
want to stay light. If you put fats in with sugars,
for one thing, that can cause problems, because
fats take a long time to digest and sugars take very
little time to digest. So that can create problems
of their own. And I want to be really
energetic in the morning. I don’t want anything that’s
going to bring me down. I just had a good five or
six hours sleep, and I’m ready to go. And anything with fat in it at
that hour is just going to drop my energy level. DAN LADERMANN: And then
a green juice. We love greens. It’s another way to get
concentrated greens in. Because we can have a pile of
greens that we wouldn’t be able to eat as a salad, whereas
we juice them, we just get more and more greens. We’ve had our smoothie. We’ve had our chia seeds. So we’ve had our roughage. We’ve had our carbohydrates. And now we can get the greens,
which just boosts that. So green drinks or
green smoothies. Not smoothies, but complement
our green smoothie that we have. CHERIE SORIA: And usually,
that will be a couple hours later. Because we start out pretty
early in the morning, and so it’s a long time before lunch,
because we usually have lunch around one. So it’s a long time between five
and one, and so the green juice kind of fills in that
time and gives us another boost of energy. It’s so much better
than coffee. DAN LADERMANN: And one of things
we like to have along with our smoothie, or first
thing in the morning, is something called E3Live. It’s a frozen blue-green
algae. It’s harvested frozen fresh,
and then we get them shipped in. And it’s something we’ve been
sharing with our students at our school for 15 years now,
since you started the school. CHERIE SORIA: And all
of our staff. DAN LADERMANN: And our
staff get it, too. So we really love that. It’s very fresh and vibrant. And we don’t always get to
the school to have– if we’re working at the school,
where we have wheat grass and grow wheat
grass, we’ll have a shot of wheat grass. CHERIE SORIA: Also. DAN LADERMANN: Also. So green, green, green. And if that’s not enough green,
when it comes for lunch, guess what we have? CHERIE SORIA: Big fat salad. DAN LADERMANN: But lots
of times, it’ll have a lot of goodies. We’ll put sauerkraut on it,
which is a fermented food, so it’s rich in probiotics. CHERIE SORIA: And probiotics are
really important because, they really help you to
digest your food well. And if you have an imbalance
of coliform bacterias, it really helps to keep
all that in check. So you’ve got to have plenty
of probiotics. And fermented foods are a really
good way to do that. DAN LADERMANN: If you’ve ever
had antibiotics, antibiotics kill off bacteria. That’s what they’re
supposed to do. Along with killing off bad
bacteria, it kills off all the good bacteria that
our body needs. CHERIE SORIA: And so does tap
water that’s chlorinated. That kills friendly
flora, too. So that’s why it’s
so important to have filtered water. DAN LADERMANN: So salads. And once again, we’ll have
carrots and beets and maybe some lightly steamed broccoli,
maybe on our salad, which is basically a broccoli, just
pour hot water over it, softens it up a little bit. So it’s a little bit cooked,
a little bit raw. CHERIE SORIA: And this is
the time that we have more fat in our diet. We’ll have avocado, maybe some
nice seasoned seeds, like Elizabeth was saying. We actually dehydrate
our seeds. We season them and dehydrate
them, instead of roasting them, because roasting them
causes carcinogens and kills off some of the nutrients. So we use a dehydrator. I opened up that cupboard back
there, and there’s an Excalibur dehydrator, and that’s
our favorite kind of dehydrator. I don’t know where it came from,
but it made me want to make kale chips. DAN LADERMANN: –which
we might have. We might have a cracker, or
a chip, or some croutons. CHERIE SORIA: Several. Crackers, chips. DAN LADERMANN: –to
go with our salad. CHERIE SORIA: And
maybe a pate– DAN LADERMANN: –which adds
crunch and fills it out. And pate would add those seeds
which are high in minerals. And so it creates a balance. And when we say a salad,
it’s like– if we were eating at home at our
salad bar, we’d take like two of the plates
you guys have. CHERIE SORIA: At least. Piled high. DAN LADERMANN: Or
we’d just take– the cafeteria tray
would work, too. But greens. So that’s our key. And that’s when we eat
the most meal. And by eating greens and salads
and not having the heavy foods, you stay
on all afternoon. I noticed you have
an espresso bar. That’s really nice. But if you feel you need the
espresso, that’s because something else has brought you
down, something that you ate, typically in the food,
something– so you need to bring
that back up. And then after a couple hours,
it just comes back down. So if you find yourself kind
of nodding off in front of your monitor, that says
let’s look at what you ate, a lot of times. And one of things that we think
is really exciting, and it’s great being able to come
to Google, is we can up the productivity of Google by like
10% just by helping people change what they eat. Can you imagine what that
would do to the bottom line of Google? They should be paying us– CHERIE SORIA: And each of you. DAN LADERMANN: And
each of you. They get a little more
productivity, maybe a better raise. A little bit, but it’s all
about what we eat. CHERIE SORIA: And it might sound
boring to have a big salad for dinner– or for,
sometimes for dinner, to– every day. But it’s never boring, because
there’s always different vegetables in season. You can make different flavored
pates, different flavored dressings. For me, I always look
forward to my salad. And when we travel, salads
and green juices are what I miss most. We travel with a
small blender. So we always manage to
have our smoothie. And we have our little green
powder, so that really helps. But having a really great
organic salad, oh my gosh, that’s what I’m addicted to. And the reason is, I’m addicted
to feeling good. That’s what I’m addicted to. And when I don’t have it,
I don’t feel great. But it has to taste good. And so that’s one
of the things. We have a little bit
of time left. Yes, for dinner, we sometimes
also have a salad or we have a green soup. And we have recipes in
all of our books. But of course, our newest book
is “Raw Foods for Dummies.” And in that book, as Elizabeth
was saying, we have a lot of little tips. And by the way, if you do
Facebook, check out Raw Food for Dummies Facebook page,
because a lot of those little illustrations that she was
talking about in the book, we actually have videos
for those. So you see me actually cutting
into that mango, and actually showing how to chiffonade kale
and massage it and make it into something that looks
and feels and tastes like it’s cooked. So if you go to Raw Food for
Dummies Facebook page, you can get a lot of free recipes and
other good information. And help yourself to more of
those samples, if you want. We still have more left. But I want to tell you
a little bit about not just that recipe– and I have everything set up
back here, but I think you would learn more from me telling
you what some of the flavors are that go into– I’ll come around here–
that go into making something like this. This is the red bell pepper– What is it called? Red bell pepper zucchini
hummus. That’s right. And one of the most important
things when you’re preparing food and you want to make it
taste great is to understand the flavors. And I’ve been mentioning
that a little bit. But here are the four flavors
that all chefs all over the world agree upon. Sweet, sour, salty and bitter. That’s pretty easy
to remember. Sweet, sour, salty and bitter. And to make a great tasting
sauce or a great tasting meal, all of those flavors really
need to be present. Most Americans don’t really
like the bitter flavors. Europeans do. But Americans really
prefer sweet. And so our dressings are usually
sweet, and we don’t necessarily think about adding something bitter to a dressing. We know we like sweet
and sour. And we know we like salty. And so most of our dressings
have those flavors present in them. But dressings go on greens,
and greens are bitter. And so there are all of your
flavors right there. Now in the raw food world, we
also separate another flavor. We call it pungent. And the reason we separate it
is because when you cook pungent foods, you
mellow them. Think about an onion. Take a bite of an onion,
it’s not so great. But if you cut it up and you
saute it, it becomes sweet. So with raw food preparation,
you have to treat onions a little differently. And we have a lot of different
ways of making them sweet, and taking out some of
the strength, the pungent juices of them. But one thing you can certainly
do is just use less. Or use onion powder, and that
gives you that little bit of an onion flavor without having
that big, bold strong onion. Same thing with garlic. Same thing with ginger, mustard
and horseradish. All those flavors are a
little bit strong if you don’t cook them. So with pungent flavors, you
just hold back a little bit. Now if something is too sweet,
you can add something sour. If something is to sour, you
can add something sweet. So that you just bring balance,
is what you’re looking for. Harmony. Think of it as a choir. Now with a choir, you want
to have different voices. Sometimes you want one to be
more in front of the others. You want something– maybe if you’re making a ginger
sauce, you want to taste the ginger. You don’t want it to blend
into the background. So ginger is going to be a
little bit stronger than all of the other flavors that
are there to support it. But if you make it too strong,
then it’s not really– it hits you over the head. It’s just not so much fun. So you do have to be careful
about how much of those stronger flavors you’re using. And that’s why we separate
those pungent flavors. So if you remember sweet, sour,
salty, bitter and then something pungent for drama. We love drama. And that’s what creates those
big, bold flavors that I said that I like. I like to layer them. Now in this recipe that you just
tasted here, this sweet bell pepper and zucchini hummus,
I actually took it another step. And if you look, you see
the recipe that you have on your card. I actually put a little bit of
smoked paprika to give the bell pepper a little more of a
roasted taste, and I added a little bit of chipotle. So you’ll notice that there’s
a tiny bit of heat in there that you wouldn’t
have otherwise. Now you could add cayenne
instead, if you wanted that heat. But chipotle has a little bit
of a smoky taste, too. And anything that’s smokey
also is bitter. So in this recipe, we had quite
a few sweet things, because we can call peeled
zucchini sweet. It certainly isn’t anything
other than that. It’s not sweet if you think
of it compared to candy. But on the flavor chart, it’s
more on the sweet side than anything else. The same thing with
bell peppers. Bell peppers are more
on the sweet side. And so we balanced
it by adding some lemon for our acidity. And hummus usually has a
fair amount of acidity. And the acidity also helps
to balance some of the bitterness, and also
bring harmony to some of that sweetness. For pungent flavors,
we added cumin. We added garlic. And as I said, we added the
chipotle spice and a little bit of paprika, which
is actually sweet. Paprika is sweet. But smoked paprika is bitter,
because any time you have something smokey, it’s bitter. So all the flavors are there. And the question is, how much
of each do you add? Well, it’s nice to start with
a recipe that’s proven. All the recipes in all
four of my books are time-tested recipes. That’s not going to be true
for all books, I know. But if it’s not true and you
choose a recipe that isn’t perfect, if you understand
flavors, you can taste it and say, needs a little
bit of acidity. And the acidity could come from
lemon, lime, could come from orange. It could come from pineapple. Any kind of acid fruit. It doesn’t have to be
whatever the recipe would have called for. So you can look in your fridge
and see what’s acidic. You could even use vinegar. Although I hesitate to use
vinegar, because vinegar can cause digestive problems. So if you notice that you get a
little bit bloated after you eat a salad, pay attention to
whether or not the dressing had vinegar in it. I personally can’t eat vinegar,
and so there’s no vinegar in any of my books,
because I do notice that my waist band gets a little bit
tight when I eat anything with vinegar in it. And it’s just not as
comfortable for me. And it does mean that I’m not
digesting my food as well. And digestion is an important
key to health. If you don’t digest your
food well, you don’t assimilate it well. And if you don’t assimilate it
well, that means you’re not getting all the nutrients from
it that you need to get. So that’s kind of the long and
short of the whole flavor balancing thing. If you ever do you decide to
come to our school at Living Light, you’ll find that one of
the first things that you do is you have a flavor tasting. So we set it up kind of
like a wine tasting. There are six categories on
a tray, with six different ingredients for each category. So there’s a salty category,
a sweet category, a bitter category, and so forth. And there’s also a category
for fats. And the reason is that fats
influence flavor. Now fat isn’t a flavor
in itself. In fact, every fat has
its own flavor. For example, sesame
oil is bitter. Olive oil is bitter. Coconut oil is sweet. Avocado oil is sweet. So they have their
own flavors. And when you’re choosing a fat
to go with a dish, you want to think about what flavor
that fat has. Also, be aware of the fact that
adding some fat will help to unite the flavors
and bring the flavors together in harmony. That doesn’t mean that you
necessarily want to depend on adding a lot of fat
to your diet. I’m not fat phobic, but keeping
your fat down to around 30%, not too much more
than 30%, which is not that hard to do, is really better for
your health than having a high fat diet. And that doesn’t mean
that you have to be afraid of eating nuts. I’m not nut phobic. You can have a nice little
handful of nuts in a day, and you can make it into cheese
or nut milk or just snack on nuts. Chew them well. So having a well balanced diet
and choosing foods that have nutrients are really
important. So try to stay away from the
foods that are empty calories, like pasta, fats. Oils are empty calories, and a
lot of calories there, that take the place of other foods
that could be nourishing you. So that’s really important. Pastas and pastries and
white bread, or any kind of bread, really. Gluten is not a health food. So you want to think about
removing some of those high gluten foods in your diet. It would definitely serve you. So anyway, at Living Light, we
teach you about a lot of this. We teach you about flavor
balancing, how to make healthy living delicious, and
how to really have fun in the kitchen. And in our book, “Raw Food for
Dummies,” we have a ton of information there for anybody,
whether they’re just starting out or whether they’ve already
been on a raw food path for a while, including menus. And we have one 31-day menu
that tells you, if you’re making, say for example, an
almond cheese, when you should soak the almonds and actually
blend them with probiotic powder, how long it’s going to
take before it’s cheese. And then all these wonderful
recipes and ways to use it. So in the menu plan, it tells
you how to prep in advance so that you don’t have to be in
the kitchen all day long, because you can do little
tasks here and there. And it can be really, really
helpful to show you how you can make this lifestyle easy
and, most of all, delicious. Because if it’s not delicious,
you probably would rather die than change your diet. And we don’t want
that to happen. And we have five minutes left. And does anybody have
any questions? DAN LADERMANN: Come
on our front. AUDIENCE: I’ve got a mike
up here actually. DAN LADERMANN: And I’m going
to pass around– we have a sign-up sheet here. You can sign up to get
on our newsletter. If you’re watching the video,
you can go to to get on our newsletter. We send out lots of great
information and recipes every month. CHERIE SORIA: And we’re going to
be giving away an Excalibur dehydrator, and also an Omega
high-speed blender. We’re going to be doing that
the first of August or so. DAN LADERMANN: We’re going
to do it at the end of this tour section. CHERIE SORIA: –which is
the end of July, 1st of August or so. AUDIENCE: Hi there. Thanks for the talk. I’m wondering, is there any
room for grains in the raw-oriented diet? I’m thinking of things
like brown rice, and I like cooked amaranth. Are there ways to incorporate
these types of grains? CHERIE SORIA: Amaranth. So the question has
to do with grains. Is there room for grains
in a raw food diet? First of all, a raw food diet
doesn’t have to be all raw. You can make some good
cooked food choices. You can have steamed greens,
steamed grains. I recommend that they be
non-glutenous grains, just because gluten can create
inflammation in your body. See how it makes you feel. Amaranth is a great,
ancient grain. Quinoa is one of my
favorite grains. And I definitely eat it on
a fairly regular basis. I also eat some steamed lentils
and other legumes. And I’m not afraid
of cooked foods. I just make good,
solid choices. So if they make you feel
good, then I think that that’s just fine. And you can sprout grains. I know a lot of raw fooders
that sprout grains. Although brown rice, you
really can’t sprout. It doesn’t sprout. AUDIENCE: Another food
I like to is seaweed. Do you incorporate seaweed
in some of your dishes? DAN LADERMANN: Yeah,
absolutely. CHERIE SORIA: We’re definitely
in favor of seaweed, especially if you’re not eating
table salt, which I don’t recommend. I recommend eating really good
quality, like Himalayan crystal salt, because
it’s so pure, but you’re not getting iodine. And so if you include sea
vegetables in your diet, then you’re getting iodine. And that’s a very important
nutrient. DAN LADERMANN: And
we love seaweed. Our school’s in Mendocino,
right on the coast. So we’re at one of the prime
seaweed harvesting places. A lot of times, we’ll go out for
a walk on the beach, and we go out on a low tide and
we go out to the rocks and actually harvest the
seaweed and eat it right there, just graze. CHERIE SORIA: It’s really fun. DAN LADERMANN: So,
good questions. And our experience is that, as
we said, you don’t have to be raw 100% of the time. Even the leaders that were
part of a group, the international leaders that get
together, is 80 raw is basically good, clean
food and you’re watching what you’re doing. And the things you ask about,
like the grains and even the brown rice and seaweed, those
are all– and seaweed, most of the time, we eat it raw, too– are excellent things to
add to your diet. CHERIE SORIA: One of my favorite
cooked foods is steamed yams. Yams have a lot of
good nutrients. It’s an orange, yellow
food, which is great. It’s got the keratin in it. And you don’t have to
put anything on it. You don’t have to
put fat on it. You don’t have to
put salt on it. A little cinnamon
is kind of fun. But that’s a great food that
we love to eat in the wintertime when we want
something warm and nurturing. So I think our hour is up. AUDIENCE: Yes. I have one last question for
you before we close. I know when people hear about
raw vegan foods, they think, oh, what’s that? Is there a huge initial
investment? What are some key pieces of
equipment that you recommend people start with? CHERIE SORIA: Oh, that’s
a really good question. What equipment do you
need to get started on a raw food diet? And the most important thing is
a good knife, a good knife. And a blender, and it doesn’t
have to be an expensive blender, like this one
or like the Omega. You can start out with
a smaller blender. You just need to cut
things up smaller. It’s nice to have a food
processor, but that can come later. And a dehydrator is fun, because
you can make crispy, crunchy snacks, like
kale chips. And if you have a garden, you
can dehydrate all your extra fruits and vegetables, and make
crackers and breads and things like that. We have a lot of recipes
for those in our book. And you don’t need a stove. And you don’t need a steamer. You don’t need a frier. You don’t need a waffle iron. There’s a lot of things
you don’t need. But the most important thing,
I would say, is a knife and a blender. DAN LADERMANN: And we have,
in “Raw Food for Dummies,” there’s a whole section on
starting out simple, where the only thing you really need is
that inexpensive blender. Once you really get into it,
you’ll probably find a high power blender, like a Vitamix or
an Omega or a Blendtech, is a really handy tool to have. And when I went from cooked food
to raw food, I traded in my Webber grill for a Vitamix. And it was really
a great move. But you don’t have
to have that. The main thing is, get started
and get going on it. And there’s a whole section,
also in “Raw Food for Dummies,” about setting up
your raw food kitchen. So if you’re going to go into
this more as a lifestyle, what do you need to do and how do
you organize your kitchen? How do you shop? What are some of those strange
ingredients now that you might see in a raw food recipe book
that maybe you weren’t sure what it was before? So those are all in the book. CHERIE SORIA: And how do you
live in the real world? Like, what do you do
when you travel? How do you order when you
go to a restaurant? We covered all that stuff. So “Raw Food for Dummies” is
really for smart, busy people. AUDIENCE: That’s great. Well, thank you, Cherie
and Dan, for joining us here at Google. We’re just truly honored to
have you come visit us. CHERIE SORIA: And thank
you so much for inviting us to Google. We really love Google people. And what an amazing environment
this is for our creativity. DAN LADERMANN:
is our website. So if you want to learn more
about our school, order books, order some of the products,
that’s And also, our Facebook page,
for the “Raw Food for Dummies,” is Raw Food for
Dummies at Facebook. AUDIENCE: Great. Thank you. CHERIE SORIA: Thanks DAN LADERMANN: And look
forward to seeing you. AUDIENCE: All right. Thank you so much. CHERIE SORIA: Bye-bye. [APPLAUSE]

  1. Flax (as well as all plant-based omega-3s) isn't absorbed properly, so despite the omega-3 content of flax, humans don't get the benefit form such plant-based omega-3 sources. Fish is the only way out.

  2. I wanted to get the Authors take on this issue I've been seeing more and more about Cruciferous Vegetables.  They didn't mention anything about it in the video and it seems like they drink kale and spinach shakes daily.  What gives?

  3. She looks good for 66 ; youthful and healthy!!!! those people in the audience are dead..they need to recognize a gem in their presences.

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