Rowena Jayne, The Joy of REAL Food

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Part I: caryn-in-caliCaryn talks about returning back to New York after being away for a month, the REAL anniversay, The “no-poo” method, planning dinner parties for guests, the Paleo diet and Gluten, referring to the recent New York Times article, The Myth of Big, Bad Gluten.

Part II: Rowena Jayne, The Joy of REAL Food
rowena-jayneRowena Jayne is a Leading International Yoga Instructor, Raw Food Chef and Wellness Presenter. She is a qualified Naturopath and Nutritionist and has studied Ayurvedic Medicine. Jayne has been a yoga instructor for 10 years and has helped with international Yoga Teacher Training. She is a two time Australian Yoga Asana Champion (2007 & 2010.) Jayne has contributed to the transformation of thousands of lives across the globe through her classes, workshops, retreats and published articles. She has lived in India and Singapore and currently resides in Australia.

Transcription Part I:

Hello, everybody. I’m Caryn Hartglass. You’re listening to It’s All About Food.

How are you today? I’m home, and I can’t tell you how good that’s been. So, as you may know, I’ve been in California for a month, just got back a week ago. And, it’s so good to be home. And it’s this lovely summer weather. Fortunately, it hasn’t been too crazy humid, at least not yet, anyway. And I’ve been enjoying the summer breeze, makes me feel fine… And, it’s just been really lovely.

But you know what’s been the best part about coming home? The best part is coming home and finding my kitchen. And getting in my kitchen and making the food that I love.

So let’s talk about that a little bit. I have a blog post. You may know about it, it’s called What Vegans Eat. And there I post all the good things that I’ve been eating, because it’s a lot easier. Actually, it’s not easy, it’s kind of challenging to do this. Every day I photograph and remember what I’ve been eating. But, when people ask me what do I eat, this is it. It’s long been documented, you can just go here and see for yourself. And then, if you want to know more, you can always email me at info@realmeals.org . But this is it, the real food that this real vegan is eating. Very simple.

But it was great to come home, and especially to celebrate July 4th, which is kind of a special day here, at Responsible Living headquarters. Because myself and my co-founder, Gary De Mattei. A couple of things happened in July for us. One is that we launched our non-profit Responsible Eating and Living in July. And the other thing is, we have our own little romantic anniversary on July 4th. So it’s a very special day.

And if you look at our What Vegans Eat post for July 4th, you can see what we had, and I’m kind of looking for it right here. Oh yeah, there it is, Day 145. I had requested one of Gary’s wonderful tofu scrambles. And he makes them like no one else. If you go to Responsible Eating and Living and go to our What Vegans Eat Day 145 page, you can see. I kind of want to lick the page, just looking at it. But he makes it really gooey with a lot of flavor, and some great baked home fries on the side. That was great for a July 4th.

And then, later in the evening, he made a really lovely sangria from really fresh fruit, strawberries and oranges and pears, and a lovely red wine. And diluted just enough so it was cool and refreshing. And we just kind of snacked on celery and carrots and guacamole, and a great cheese sauce made from beans, believe it or not. We’re really moving into these cheesy kind of nacho sauces that are made from beans. Maybe with a little cashew throw in for fat. And then some great seasonings.

I am so over cheese. And if you want to get over cheese, you might want to turn this way. I don’t know if we posted any of these recipes, these bean-based cheese sauces yet, but stay tuned. You should see them soon.

Yeah, so we founded Responsible Eating and Living, and we’ve been celebrating since we’ve been home, making our own food, and I’m feeling good about it.

Now, something I’ve been wanting to mention for a really, really long time. Well not that long, maybe a few months. But, this isn’t exactly food-related, but it is food related. You know how I take about personal care products, and I personally want to know that the things that I put on my body are things that I could actually eat. Not that I would want to eat. But when you put things on your skin, they go into your skin, and it’s just like eating those things. So you want to be careful about what you’re using. And the latest thing that I’ve tried is the No Poo Method. Now, have you heard about it? A lot of people have been bloggin about it, but I actually tried it, and I wanted to give you my spin on it.

So the No Poo Method is not using shampoo on your hair, and the most popular items that are being used either together, or separately, are baking soda and water, and apple cider vinegar and water. Now, I love baking soda, I clean a lot with it. I use it in my baking products. It’s terrific, and I make a lot of my salad dressings with apple cider vinegar as a base. And I also use apple cider vinegar in my baking products. So, I’ve got plenty of both ingredients, and I love the idea that I can clean with them. And clean my body with them, because I eat them, it’s that simple. And also, it’s kind of lighter on the environment if you use these products, because you’re not getting those extra plastic bottles.

So, I tried it, and I love it. Now, I have to say that I’m one of these people, I have dry, curly hair. And it’s easy for me to go a longtime without using regular shampoo or washing my hair. I know some people can’t go without a day of washing. So that’s the first disclaimer, that I can go a few days without washing, and sometimes even two weeks, my hair’s that dry. But you know, there are times when I want to feel clean, and I really enjoy this No Poo method. Now I’ve been reading that maybe the baking soda isn’t the best thing for hair because baking soda, especially when you add with water, is very alkaline, with a pH of about 12, which is very high.

And maybe you’ve seen, back in the old days, shampoos used to say, “pH balanced.,” because we learned that shampoos really should be on the acidic side, with a pH of less than seven. And vinegar is an acid, with a pH less than seven, and I love what the vinegar does. It is magical. Now some people would think, “Ew, I don’t like the smell of vinegar.” I actually think apple cider vinegar has a nice, fruity smell, it’s from apples, actually. And I find that, this is the crazy part, I find that I have no more tangles. “See how shiny and manageable my hair stays now.” I don’t know if you remember that tagline, I don’t even know which hair product that was from, decades ago, but the little girl was like… Oh it’s from No More Tangles, that’s where it’s from. “No more tangles. Mommy just sprays it on, and no more tangles. See how shiny and manageable my hair stays now.”

So that’s what the vinegar does. It makes my hair shiny, manageable, and I have no more tangles. So that’s what I wanted to report on the No Poo Method.

Now, I have to apologize here, because I’m right by a park. It’s very noisy, and I’m going to try and close the windows here. I’m going to shut them, it’s not going to be as cool. Bear with me, there we go. That’s nice, now that’s a little bit quieter. I’m not exactly sure why young people feel the need to scream, but I suppose it’s better for them to get it out in the park, than take it out violently on others. I actually read some articles about that, about how in schools, the children that are allowed to roam around and have recess, get out their extra energy and all that stuff, they end up behaving better when they have to sit down. So, I’m not going to mind those kids that are screaming, but we just don’t need to hear it right now, do we?

Okay, let’s move on. People have been asking me about meal planning, and what to make for special dinners. Now, at Responsible Eating and Living, we put up a number of menus, and you can actually look at the few menus that we have put up. We put up one specifically for Thanksgiving. We have a winter Christmas dinner. Putting together some of our fancier, more complicated recipes for elegant dinners. But you don’t have to do fancy, elegant menus for dinner. It really depends on you and your style, and who’s coming. And I want to underline the who’s coming, because that’s really important, and I have a story to tell.

I lived in the South of France for four years, and I was a vegan, as I am now, I’ve been vegan for almost 30 years. The French people found that I was kind of an odd curiosity back then, in the early 90s. But they were really great, my friends, in supporting me.

So, I had no problem eating there. And I did make dinner parties. And the thing is, back then, I would create things, make up things that I had never tried before, and I would typically do it when I was having new people over for dinner. And I really don’t know how I had the balls to do that kind of thing, because it didn’t really always work out. And I give those polite French people a lot of credit for eating what I served them, because sometimes it wasn’t the best thing. I was always trying to do more, or I don’t know what I was trying to do, actually.

Because a lot of people in France, especially, like plain, simple foods, and that’s what’s elegant. So you could make a plain green salad, you don’t even have to add any other vegetables in it. Toss it with a lovely vinaigrette, that’s your salad. And then vegetables prepared simply, sautéed with a little olive oil and garlic. And most of them love that kind of stuff.

And if you’re planning a meal, let’s say for people who aren’t vegetarian or vegan, I think it’s really best to present simple foods, foods that everyone knows, that maybe they don’t realize that you can make an entire meal around foods that they’ve already eaten. It’s really not that complicated.

And then one time, this was the disaster story of all. Some of my French friends, a family, one of the daughters was living in New York for a brief time with her husband, and her dad was coming out to visit, and her brother was coming. And I invited them all for dinner. And I remember having conversation about food with her father who was really traditional French. He would tell me about foie gras and how the birds would love to get the tubes shoved down their throat to get all this food, they would run to the farmers to have this process. He just wouldn’t believe that there was really any cruelty involved and that the animals were unhappy. So we would have some pretty lively discussions.

But the one thing I knew about this family was that they really liked simple foods, foods that were clean, not mixed-up too much. And for some reason, when I was thinking about what I was going to prepare for them, I just went in the 180 degree direction of what I should make for them, and I don’t even remember what it was that I made. But I knew that it was something that was breaded and fried and complicated.

And one thing that I learned when I was in France was that the traditional French don’t really like cinnamon. Now I don’t know if that’s true or not, and I don’t think it is, but it could be for certain areas. And for some reason, I’m planning this meal, and the recipe that I picked out called for cinnamon. So I put together all the things in this meal that I knew these people wouldn’t like. Now this was a long time ago, and I would never do that again. But I’ll tell you, I don’t know what I was trying to prove, but they were polite and we all laughed. And in the end, I really didn’t convince them of anything, other than I was some crazy vegan.

Now, when I make dinner for guests, I know who I’m cooking for, so if I’m having some vegans or vegetarians come over, first of all I ask them what they like and what they don’t like. And it’s really clear if they’ve got food allergies or whatever. Because you don’t want to make the people uncomfortable when you’ve made something for them, and then find out they have an allergy or can’t eat it. Everybody feels bad. So it’s really good to find out ahead of time what it is they like.

And for people that aren’t vegan or vegetarian, something like a lasagna, something that they know. Something that’s familiar is easy to make and everybody enjoys it. And people can see that they’re not eating something that has flesh, at least for one meal. I think it’s good.

But we love entertaining and having people over and I think it’s a lot of fun. But the thing is, if you’re going to make something new, if you want to try something out on friends and family or a new dinner party, practice. Make it first. Make sure you know how to do it, and you like it, ahead of time. That’s really important, because you don’t want to be nervous, whether you’re going to like it, or it’s going to come out okay. Take it from me, who’s done it that way too many times, practice is so important.

And then I’m thinking of another story about when we were young, and my older sister was wanting to make a really special New Year’s Eve dinner for her boyfriend, it was going to be some kind of like steak and lobster thing. And she was doing it at home. Her plan was that everybody would be out of the house. I guess my parents were going to be out, and maybe I was going to be out I don’t know. But what happened was I got a stomach bug. And I was in my bedroom as my sister prepared this meal. Now we were not vegetarian at the time. And she was making this steak, and I found the smell so horrible, with this stomach virus that I had. It was just a miserable night. And we laugh about it today, but back then, and that evening, it was just horrible.

And then, shortly thereafter, I became vegetarian. Now my mom likes to say that she thinks I became a vegetarian because of that evening, because I had this stomach virus. And the smell of meat cooking, and I put the two together and decided I didn’t want to eat meat. That’s not what happened, but it makes for interesting stories.

And my sister doesn’t like to cook in the kitchen. And is it because of that particular event that that happened? I don’t really know, but you have to be careful when you’re entertaining guests, and who your audience is. And you want to make sure that you don’t have a little sibling that has a stomach bug in another room. Right?

Now, for those of you that are moving to more plant foods. You know, I’ve found that many people that say they don’t like cooking, it’s not that they don’t like cooking, it’s that they don’t know how to cook. And just like any other skill, it’s something that requires a little patience and a little practice, but it is not difficult, and the results are so rewarding.

Okay, now, I want to talk a little bit about Paleo diets. Now there tends to be a little animosity between those of us who are vegan and those who are Paleo. And we all get on our grandstands and talk about why what we eat is better than the other. But I just want to bring something up that I recently learned. Now, according to anthropologists that study nutrition, during the Paloelithic period, humans got between 100 and 150 grams of fiber per day. That’s a lot of fiber. Do you know what the minimum of fiber recommended today is? Thirty-two grams! Thirty-two grams. Apparently, in the Paleolithic period, humans got 100 to 150 grams and the recommendation today is 32 grams. Now, the average American today maybe even gets 15 grams of fiber, that’s half the recommended amount.

So, what’s going on here? What I want to know is, are Paleo people today, people following a Paleolithic diet, are they getting enough fiber? Are they getting 100 to 150 grams a day, like their Paleolithic humans back in the day, a long time ago? I don’t think so.

Now the good thing about Paleo diets, no question, is eliminating refined foods. Sugar, dairy, white flour. All those foods contain very little fiber. And we know dairy isn’t good for us, and I’m right there with them, with the fact that dairy products aren’t healthy. That’s a good thing.

But what do people on a Paleo diet eat? Well, they eat a lot of meat and eggs. I know some of them do, anyway. And there’s no fiber in meat and eggs. So, what I want to know is, if anyone’s Paleo out there, and diggin’ their Paleo diet, I want to know if you get 100 to 150 grams of fiber a day. So that you can be like your Paleolithic ancestors. That’s all I want to know, are you getting 100 to 150 grams of fiber a day?

And what I’m thinking is, that the vegan diet, which is based on all foods containing fiber, it’s a lot easier to eat a high fiber diet when you’re eating all plant foods.

So there’s some food for thought. Send me an email at info@realmeals.org if you want to comment on Paleo diets and fiber. Let me know how much fiber you’re getting.

We’re learning a lot about nutrition, and I like to say that there’s no one ideal diet. At least the science has not shown us there is an ideal diet. And the science does point to us eating more plant foods. Where am I going with this? Oh yes. We’re really guinea pigs. And as guinea pigs, we’re all experiments in nutrition. Now, we’re trying out things and I like to say follow your intuition and eat what feels good to you.

Now I had a personal guinea pig. You know I really shouldn’t use the ‘guinea pig’ expression. And you know where that comes from, the fact that we do animal testing, right. And we can do testing on guinea pigs, and mice and rats, etc. I don’t support any of that.

So, let me take all of that back. I recently, not intentionally, did an experiment. So, I was not eating a lot of soy foods recently, and normally I eat tofu, tempeh, soymilk, the minimally processed, organic, non-genetically modified soy foods. I believe they are healthy. In fact, if you go to responsibleeatingandliving.com, you can listen to my soy story. It’s one of our Real Good News In Review reports.

So, I’ve always been eating a lot of soy foods. I stopped eating soy foods. The reason being, we’re not very happy about Trader Joe’s lately, and I’ve not been shopping very much with them. I find that their business is not very transparent. I learned that from interviewing someone on this show, as a matter of fact, whose name escapes me right now. And we tended to buy our tofu or tempeh and our soymilk from Trader Joe’s because it’s the best price. So we weren’t getting any, and I wasn’t having any.

And guess what happened? Well, you may know a little bit about me, that nine years ago, almost, I was diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer. I had a total hysterectomy, and I put my body into early menopause, shocked my system. And my body’s been trying to balance all this time, since that event. And I’m happy to be here, I’m happy to be healthy. But I don’t have ovaries, and ovaries are what help women balance hormones and produce hormones. And I don’t have them, so my body’s kind of got to do it somehow, somewhere else.

Well, I have hot flashes as a result. And it’s been almost nine years now, and I still have them. I think they’ve gotten a little less intense since the beginning, which is good.

And I found that when I stopped eating soy foods, they became more intense. They became more intense on so many different levels. And this was from not eating any soy. And then, when I added the soy foods back, everything came back into balance again. Now this is an anecdotal story. I’m just sharing it with you because I was really amazed that it happened. And now I’m back putting soymilk in my cereal, and eating tofu on a regular basis. Tempeh too. I love these foods. And I’m glad I’m eating them.

And we are still shopping at Trader Joe’s a bit, although shopping at other places as well.

And that’s my soy story, and I’m sticking to it.

The last thing I wanted to bring up before I take a little break here, and get on to my special guest of the day. I want to talk about an article that just came out in The New York Times, it actually as in the Sunday Review. It was someone’s article as an opinion, actually. It was called, The Myth of Big, Bad Gluten. Did you get to read it?

You know what I love most about this article? And this isn’t usually true. What I loved about it were the comments. Now normally comments to an article, maybe not the New York Times, but from many other places, people just rant and rage about all kinds of ridiculous things. But I found that the comments were really intelligent and spot on against this ridiculous article. I didn’t like the article at all. And I think that the bottom line of this article was, if you don’t have celiac disease, get over yourself, there’s no problem with our wheat today.

A couple of things that were pointed out in this article that I want to bring up, and that is that the author was saying how people use as one argument, that both milk and wheat came into the human diet about the same time. And that we haven’t had enough time to adapt to these foods. Have you heard that? Well, his point was that we’ve had enough time with respect to milk, because he doesn’t think we have a milk problem today because more people have learned how to adapt.

The thing is, we have a lactose intolerance after being babies, and there have been a select group of people on the planet, Western Europeans, that have adapted to having lactose as adults. And it spread over different areas. And he was saying most Scandinavians now are not lactose intolerant.

So he was saying if it happened with milk, if we adapted to milk, why not wheat? And I’m thinking, “We haven’t adapted to milk.” Milk is the cause of so may illnesses today. And I was just really disappointed that he made that point, because milk is evil. I think milk is a lot more evil than gluten is on many, many levels. For animal cruelty, the devastating impact on the environment. But it’s also not healthy for us, and it’s linked to so many different auto-immune diseases, and cancer, and osteoporosis, and on and on.

The other thing I didn’t like was mentioning that some people say that wheat varieties today have more gluten than they used to, and he was saying that it’s been tested, and it hasn’t changed in nearly a century. But what he didn’t realize is that most commercial bread manufacturers today, if you read the label on your bread, they add in more vital wheat gluten. It’s added in, so there’s more gluten in it. And the processing that they do today to make bread is to maximize efficiency, a word that you know that I don’t like. It’s to speed up the process.

So, in traditional bread baking with a starter, the processor fermentation works. And actually breaks down some of the gluten. And there’s enough time to do that, and there’s less gluten in the traditional breads. But today, because speed is important, and we’re using these quick-acting yeasts, the gluten isn’t broken down, and they’re adding more gluten to the breads, so we’re getting more gluten. I’m not saying gluten’s bad for us, but too much of a good thing is not always good. And I just thought the article itself was poorly researched, and the comments were really worth reading.

So there you have it. Okay, let’s take a very short break, and when we come back, I’m going to be speaking with somebody I’ve been trying to speak to for months. And she’s going to be with us today, Rowena Jayne. Let’s take a short break and we’ll be right back.

Transcribed by Cindy Goldberg, 10/10/2015

Transcription Part II:

Caryn Hartglass: Hey everybody. I’m Caryn Hartglass and you’re listening to It’s All About Food. Thank you so much for joining me and I hope you are cool wherever you are. It’s a little warm here in humid New York but as I mentioned earlier, I am happy to be home since I’ve been away for about a month and just been home for a week now and still taking some time to get used to. But I’m happy to be here. Now I want to introduce a very special guest, Rowena Jayne. She’s a leading international yoga instructor, raw food chef and wellness presenter. She is a qualified naturopath and nutritionist and has studied Ayurvedic medicine. Jayne has been a yoga instructor for 10 years and has helped with international yoga teacher training. She is a two time Australia Yoga Asana Champion, 2007 and 2010. She has contributed to the transformation of thousands of lives across the globe through her classes, workshops, retreats and published articles. She has lived in India and Singapore and currently resides in Australia. I can’t believe we’re finally connecting! Rowena, how are you?

Rowena Jayne: Hi, good, how are you? I know, the third time lucky.

Caryn Hartglass: Yes, the third time’s a charm so people may or may not remember but I had Rowena scheduled twice already and due to difficulties far beyond our personal control, we had to cancel. It was a close call today but we made it.

Rowena Jayne: We made it.

Caryn Hartglass: Thanks to technology. So, how are you?

Rowena Jayne: I’m great, how are you? I heard you saying that it’s nice and humid in New York. It’s the exact opposite here, it’s cold. When you said warm and humid I was a little bit jealous.

Caryn Hartglass: Well I mean that’s what I love about being able to connect via the internet. It makes our planet really, really small.

Rowena Jayne: Yes it does, doesn’t it?

Caryn Hartglass: So is it winter time down under?

Rowena Jayne: It sure is. Just smack bang in the middle. It’s a cold snap at the moment.

Caryn Hartglass: So I’m going to talk about all kinds of foods for hot weather and you’re going to tell me what’s going to keep us cozy in the winter time.

Rowena Jayne: Yup.

Caryn Hartglass: But that’s okay. Now, my first question is you have this lovely book out, Real Food Yogi. Actually, I want to say that one of the things I like about it, it’s called the joy of real food. My non-profit is called Responsible Eating and Living and the acronym is R-E-A-L. That’s intentional because it’s about eating real food, not processed food and it is all about joy. I love the title and love what it’s all about. Thank you for that. It’s a lovely little book. So we’re going to be talking about that and I’m going to pull up all these notes that I made when I read this several months ago when we were first going to talk. So let’s get a little history about you because you had some health issues and a lot of pain.

Rowena Jayne: I did. A lot of pain; emotionally, physically and mentally.

Caryn Hartglass: Yes, physical and mental. And they’re connected.

Rowena Jayne: Well of course everything is connected, body and mind. So I was in the performing arts industry actually and life was going along pretty well I thought and then I guess I started struggling with an eating disorder. That really went on for 10 years and so I was starving and binging, starving and binging. When I binged it was bread, it was sugar and it was lollies and it was everything that was going to cause inflammation. Ill health in the body and I had constipation for a year, I had splitting nails, my hair was breaking and I was getting sick all the time. Then I woke up one day and I had rheumatoid arthritis which is an autoimmune disease. My left knee was swollen to the size of a football and I couldn’t walk. So that took away my whole life really. I mean I couldn’t dance, I couldn’t sing and I couldn’t act. So it was a stepping stone to starting to wake me up, I guess, and start to look after myself. I tried to detox and what not but I still was mentally ill, really, because I had an eating disorder. Until I sort of fixed that sort of mental stuff and then I end up with a bleeding colon. That was the real wakeup call. I ended up in hospital and they said we think you have Crohn’s disease. So I pretty much from that moment on I realized that I had to change my life. I went about doing that and found yoga. Yoga was the thing that helped my mind set. It just put me into this space of feeling really grand and really calm and happy and joyful and I had so much energy. It just made me want to eat well. For the first class I remember all I wanted to eat was pumpkin and so I completely shifted from junk food and sugar and packets of bread to wanting to eat vegetables. So that just started this whole new spiral of my life. I just started studying more and more, and learning more and more about the body and learning more and more about nutrition and healthy food. I started studying Ayurvedic medicine and nutrition and became a raw food chef and it’s just gone from there.

Caryn Hartglass: And listen to her. Listen to the energy and listen to the joy. I love stories like yours. For a lot of people, they may not have gotten as bad as some of what you tell us about what you experience. But a lot of people are not feeling good, not feeling healthy and experiencing discomfort in one way or another. That click, that change, it’s so difficult for a lot of people and it’s hard for us to even remember those who have made it to the other side. How we felt before and what was it that made it click for us?

Rowena Jayne: I think for me, I just remember, I really remember the pain that I was in when I was in the hospital with a bleeding colon. I remember lying in there because I had a whole night before the actual doctors came and spoke to me. I just remember and I couldn’t really sleep because I was just in agony. It was just this desperation of I just can’t do this anymore, just can’t do this to myself anymore. And then when they said to me you have Crohn’s disease, it was just this – it was like I just blocked everything else they said out, it was just this – I can’t do this anymore. I can’t do this. Is this going to be my life I have to turn it around? It was like this snap for me. It wasn’t like I hadn’t tried to heal myself in that whole 10 years. I’ve been desperately trying to heal myself but I don’t know, something just snapped inside of me. I don’t know whether it was a spirit talking to me because it was almost like I heard this voice say no, this is your wakeup call. It really was just a snap thing, my mind said, no, you can’t do it anymore and decision I think once I make a decision in my life, that’s it for me. A real decision, I think it was that real commitment to myself that I made in that moment. I think when you’ve really made a true, honest, authentic commitment, you’re just going to change. That’s how it happened to me. Everybody’s probably different.

Caryn Hartglass: I like to tell people that they deserve to treat themselves well.

Rowena Jayne: Yes.

Caryn Hartglass: And a lot of people don’t feel like they deserve to be good to themselves but I want to tell everyone out there that you deserve to treat yourself well and that means taking care of your body and feeding yourself well. You mentioned a number of things; you don’t know what it was, a spirit guiding you or whatever. I think – I don’t know the answers but I like to think that we come with all the answers inside of us.

Rowena Jayne: Yes.

Caryn Hartglass: Our body knows. We just need to find a way to talk to our bodies. And then I also like to think, again, I don’t know what I believe. I’m not a religious person, I am a spiritual person. I like to think there are guides out there. I don’t know what that means but I see things or I hear things, intuition and you follow them and it leads you to a good place. It’s all about yoga probably encourages that. Getting quiet, being mindful and paying attention.

Rowena Jayne: Exactly. It’s funny you touched on it. I wrote in my book that it’s our birth right. I really believe it’s our birth right to be happy. It’s our birth right to be healthy. It’s just that matter of tapping into that and I think that’s how yoga helped me the most really. Just to keep it going once I made that decision because it does, it puts you into that space. You create a whole new relationship with your body too I think. When you start looking at your body as a temple, we’ve chosen to live in our body, it’s so easy for us to come home and want a nice clean house and yet our own bodies, we’re living in our body. Our soul is living in our body and we treat it like a garbage truck sometimes and we just shove all kinds of stuff into it. I think it’s just that awareness and that awaking of wanting to respect the void that’s helping us to live our life. It’s really the case that we’re using to experience life in all the various forms that we do while we’re in this lifetime I guess.

Caryn Hartglass: Yes, I highlighted some things that you wrote. I want to repeat “we either choose to respect the temple in which we live or we treat it like a rubbish tip. If we choose the former, then we can expect our body to respond with health, vibrancy and energy and we will exist with a far greater sense of inner peace. If we choose the latter, we can be assured that the body being extremely resilient will for many years do it’s damndest to function as well as it can given the circumstances however eventually the scale tips, something gives and it is our health.”

Rowena Jayne: Yup.

Caryn Hartglass: That’s it.

Rowena Jayne: That’s it.

Caryn Hartglass: And you’re right, it is amazing how much crap our body’s can manage.

Rowena Jayne: I know. It really is resilient, that poor liver. I’m sorry.

Caryn Hartglass: It is. We really need to be nicer to our livers. I think we should start a new campaign: “Be nice to your liver and you will live nicer.” I’m on to that, I like it. Okay, yoga is – I don’t like when I read an article saying how trendy yoga is. It’s not trendy; it’s been around for so long.

Rowena Jayne: I know, I hear you. It’s just become this fad. I mean look, it’s great, people are doing it but yes it has become sort of a fad, hasn’t it? You know, pop culture.

Caryn Hartglass: But once you learn how to do it and I don’t know – how did you learn yoga?

Rowena Jayne: Well I actually had studied a little bit of it during my performance art degree but I didn’t really enjoy it to be honest at the time. I didn’t really appreciate its value. After I got out of the hospital, I literally bumped into a yoga study, well accidentally, literally or whatever you want to call it, synchronously. So that’s how it started for me. I just ended up at this yoga studio and it was very much yoga therapy. I just kept going from there and just studying all kinds of various forms and what not.

Caryn Hartglass: I want to say that yoga is wonderful but just like anything in any other field, there are good yoga instructors and there are some that aren’t that good or some don’t get it.

Rowena Jayne: Yes.

Caryn Hartglass: I want to make people aware that if you find yourself in a class where it didn’t feel right and it didn’t feel good and you were being pushed or manipulated, you weren’t in the right class. I encourage you to find another. I learned from videotapes back in the day. We used videotapes and now they are DVDs. But I found what I like about it, I’m pretty disciplined, but what I like is I can go at my own pace, I can repeat what I didn’t understand and nobody was really bothering me. It was my own personal practice because that’s what yoga really is, your own personal practice.

Rowena Jayne: Yes, when you’re practicing in a class, it basically leads you to that position of personal practice and some people just prefer to keep going to class. I’m the same; I’ve really progressed to that point. I do love to go to class but it’s more about the community for me but I love to do my own practice now as well and just listen to what my body is telling me it needs on each given day. But you know in the early days, it’s obviously better to have an instructor so they can check your technique and obviously going down that path. But it’s funny because it does eventually lead you to that point of being able to do your own practice.

Caryn Hartglass: Yes. I’m not saying that people should learn on their own, it’s something that worked for me and definitely people need to have their form corrected because you could start doing a form and think you’re right and you’re not and that’s not a good thing. Now one of the things – you quoted Winston Churchill in your book. I pulled it out where you said Winston Churchill is famous for saying “failing to plan is planning to fail.”

Rowena Jayne: Yes.

Caryn Hartglass: And this is really true when it comes to taking care of ourselves and feeding ourselves properly. People say I work hard, I don’t have time, I have kids, and I have this and that. I have this excuse and I have that excuse. But it really comes down to is this quote: “failing to plan is planning to fail.”

Rowena Jayne: Yes. We do live in a world where we are just so busy. We’ve got responsibility after responsibility on our shoulders and so I think in this day and age, we really do just have to plan and just make that. I know you see people when they go to the market, they haven’t even planned a shopping list, they’ll just buy all kinds of stuff and they’ll always spend more money. This is when I’m talking to clients and their budget always goes out and where if they even just planned there list of what they’re going to make for the week, it completely helps their budget and all kinds of things. It’s amazing how just that small thing can make such a difference and it just helps them commit to what they’re wanting to do, really. It’s all down on paper too. David Wolfe spoke about this when he came to Australia and he was saying that anything that’s just in your head is never as powerful as if you’ve just written it down. It’s that whole planning. You’ve written it down and you’re accountable for it. It’s quite interesting, isn’t it? I think we’re all sort of preaching this saying. I don’t want to use the word preaching I guess but we’re all just sort of spreading the same in different words.

Caryn Hartglass: Yes, unfortunately we do look like religious zealots when we’re preaching the power of plants. Okay the last thing I want to bring up before we talk about your book and the recipes in it is I want to talk about hemp seeds. Now I didn’t know this but you wrote that hemp seeds are illegal for human consumption in Australia.

Rowena Jayne: I know. Can you believe that?

Caryn Hartglass: What is that!

Rowena Jayne: They are legal in every other country in the world except for Australia. When I first came back, because in as living in America and Canada so I was used to having them all the time and then I came back to Australia to the health food shop to buy some and they said no, we can’t have them here. I said what? They said we’re allowed to have hemp protein which is the grain protein and so it’s very gritty if you put it in smoothies so this is not the same. And then finally we’ve now got – it’s funny because they actually produce it in Australia, they can farm it here. They do have it in health food shops now but there is a massive sticker on the label and it says for pet consumption only. I think that the government believe that it’s promoting cannabis, you know? Not quite the same thing really. We’re madly trying to change that over here.

Caryn Hartglass: So have you eaten hemp seeds in Australia? Or shouldn’t I ask you that question.

Rowena Jayne: I am not going to say, I can get arrested if I say yes. Well I do have packets of them in my house and I don’t have a pet, that’s all I’m going to say.

Caryn Hartglass: When I read that, that was crazy. I remember hearing from someone else from Australia who told me that all of the sugar in Australia is vegan where as here in the United States, we filter a lot of sugar with charred animal bones.

Rowena Jayne: Oh really? I didn’t know that.

Caryn Hartglass: Yes, fascinating what we do to make a buck. Okay, so you put together a lovely, joyful little cook book.

Rowena Jayne: Thank you.

Caryn Hartglass: Yes, so do you eat entirely all raw?

Rowena Jayne: I’m about 80%. I mean in winter sometimes it goes to 70% but I do it predominately raw. These days, I have so much more juices and salads. I think the more you go down that clean living path the less you want to eat the heavy stuff. Some of the stuff in my book was stuff that I used to eat long time back but I might eat it once in awhile now but it’s not part of my daily routine so much anymore. I just find I eat more clean and much lighter foods. Especially I think the yoga contributes to that as well but I’m not entirely raw, no.

Caryn Hartglass: Okay now I was curious because you applied the concept of Ayurveda to your food and I’m familiar with Ayurveda but it’s not something that I subscribe to. I know that raw food really doesn’t jive with Ayurveda and vegan foods so how do you make that work?

Rowena Jayne: Well that’s how I made it work because as I said in the book when I first studied Ayurveda, my teacher was very anti – I think the raw food, the reason they say it doesn’t gel with Ayurveda or we think it doesn’t gel is because the fact that raw food is cold and damp and all the things. For a person of Ayurveda constitution who is a very light, typically, Ayurveda constitution is very light framed. They are going to have digestion issues, bloating always for them. They are going to have feelings of fear and anxiety so the Ayurveda believes that a lot of raw food will actually aggravate that condition. But if you look at the principles behind it, they need more oily foods and they need more nourishing warm foods and so if you are looking at the principles of raw, we don’t always dehydrate our food to the point to just sipping Crispin and light crackers and things like that. You can still just dehydrate, use the dehydrator as an oven and just keep making food nourishing and warm without actually having to cook it all the way, the way we cook it with ovens and all that. Normally, it just takes the enzymes out of it and we lose a lot of the nutrients which is a why the raw food, where the principle comes from. So you can combine the two, I really believe that. I think there is a lot of amazing stuff within the Ayurvedic system. From what I’ve observed just even with my own body, I used to get bloated all the time and all those things. So when I applied kind of both systems together, it works for me really well and just understanding that in winter you’re adding some ginger and you are adding some black pepper, cumin and spices like that and heating the body up and helping the cold and stuff like that. I think there’s a nice cross over there. I can see that it does look and it does appear that they are polar opposites but I think when you sort of merge and look at hang on, that’s that principle and that’s that principle, actually there are ways to sort of address both.

Caryn Hartglass: Now, you have a lot of different recipes at the beginning of the book; smoothies and juices. I’m looking at one here right now that I really like a lot which is the creamsicle smoothie because it brings me back to when I was young and we had the ice cream man come along and we had these creamsicle pops with ice cream and orange. This is so much better and you get the same luscious combination of vanilla and orange and creamy and yummy.

Rowena Jayne: Yes exactly, without all the detrimental inflammation.

Caryn Hartglass: Yes, no inflammation please. It’s just good nutrients.

Rowena Jayne: That’s the good fats in there with the cashew milk for the brain health and for the skin and the nails and the hair. It’s just profound isn’t it, that we want to create these processed foods just to get the flavors. It’s crazy. You can get the flavors so much better when you just use real food. It flabbergasts me.

Caryn Hartglass: So you make some really interesting things in here like banana coconut pancakes.

Rowena Jayne: Yes. Yum!

Caryn Hartglass: How complicated is this?

Rowena Jayne: You know, a lot of raw food looks complicated because raw food tends to use a lot of ingredients so it’s really daunting when you first look at it but it’s easy if these things are staples in your pantry. It’s actually easy because you’re just using a blender and you’re just putting it all in the blender and then mixing it up and then literally using a spatula to put it on a dehydrator tray and then putting it in the dehydrator. It’s actually just as simple as making pancakes any other way. You don’t have to sit there when you’re making pancakes on the pan, you have to sit there and actually do the batter and turn it over and do the batter and turn it over. It can take you up to an hour to make a batch where you just literally blend it up, put it in the dehydrator tray, put it in there, turn on the timer and you come back and check it whatever, 10 hours later and it’s done for you. It’s actually, I find it, easier for you.

Caryn Hartglass: So you could plan a breakfast. It’s all about planning because if you fail a plan you fail. It’s easy to put together but it does take time to dehydrate.

Rowena Jayne: It does, that is the time consuming thing but if you have a 5 tray or a 9 tray dehydrator, what I did was make batches at once. So I come in a make a whole bunch, sometimes I double the mixture. The great thing is that they freeze really well or even just stay in the fridge and then you can add the fresh ingredients like the fruit or whatever you’re going to have it with when you actually want to have it. It’s easy. Just pull it out, bang, put on your fruit and there you go, you’re ready to go. Again it goes back to that planning.

Caryn Hartglass: Right, now one more recipe before we go because I can’t believe we’re almost done here is I’m a big fan of, and I never pronounce it right, but it’s the Vietnamese soup.

Rowena Jayne: Oh the pho.

Caryn Hartglass: Pho, which I pronounce “pho” but I’ve learned it’s pronounced “fuh”.

Rowena Jayne: Oh yes, I know. I just say pho. I’m the Aussie and I say it as an Aussie.

Caryn Hartglass: Yes, I like saying pho but you have a very lovely pho that you can serve here warm or cold and really, really good with coconut, lemon grass, miso paste and chili flakes. Yum.

Rowena Jayne: Yes, it’s pretty yummy. It’s good. I find I sometimes use that as a base and then put other things in there as well. But yes, it’s so easy. Again, it’s just all in the blender. It was actually inspired by Matthew Kenney when I studied and did my raw food chef training with him. We had a very complicated pho that we had to make. We had to dehydrate the broth. It was teaching us about making broths and about how to really deepen flavors of stuff so it was great. But I really loved it so much that I thought this was going to take too long for me, I just want to be able to put it in the blender and that just inspired me to play around with other ingredients and throw other things in and then just make it in a blender and it turned out, so yes!

Caryn Hartglass: Well Rowena, I can’t believe we’re out of time. I just want to say that I’m loving your book, The Joy of Real Food. If anybody just needs more convincing about the power of these healthy foods, you just need to look at the cover of this book. You are beautiful. You have long healthy, gorgeous hair and it only comes from good nutrition.

Rowena Jayne: Yes it does because it was pretty horrible before that!

Caryn Hartglass: Anyway, thank you for getting up early in the morning to talk with us here on It’s All About Food.

Rowena Jayne: Thank you Caryn.

Caryn Hartglass: Okay. I hope maybe we can connect maybe somewhere on this planet somewhere.

Rowena Jayne: For sure, for sure. I hope next year I will be coming to the States next year anyway so hopefully I can catch up with you.

Caryn Hartglass: Excellent, let me know. Okay everybody, thanks for joining us on It’s All About Food. I’m Caryn Hartglass and remember, have a very delicious week.

Transcribed by Stefan Pavlovic 8/21/2015

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