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Turn Food Into Medicine

Turn Food Into Medicine

Almost four years ago, I met my raw foods teacher Tricia Barrett, who was running green juice detox cleanses like this one at the same integrative medicine center where I practiced medicine. Since my first green juice detox with Tricia, I’ve called myself a “raw vegan omnivore,” meaning that we often eat raw and frequently vegan at my home. My hubby Matt and I both drink four or five freshly made green juices per day, we love our green smoothies, I have a dehydrator I use to make kale chips and other such yummies, and I love shocking people at dinner parties with gluten-free vegan version of wild mushroom lasagna or “cream” of tomato soup. But when my BFF invited me to French Laundry, I indulged in duck, tuna tartare, homemade pasta, the cheese plate, and way too much red wine.

The way I see it, you’re much more likely to stay compliant with a healthy diet if you avoid words like “always” or “never.” Most vegetarians I know stop being vegetarian at some point in their life and then feel guilty or weak about it. What’s the point?

Suffice it to say that kale and I are BFF’s, and with the exception of the rare indulgence of the grass-fed, organic, free range filet mignon my mother brings me from Amish Country in Ohio, cows are pretty safe around me. This raw vegan omnivore diet has been part of a much more comprehensive personal Prescription for Whole Health, which includes not only my diet and exercise program, but also my spiritual journey, changes I’ve made in my relationships, how I’m healing my sex life, my professional leaps of faith, and more. (I detail my personal Prescription in my upcoming book Mind Over Medicine.)

My Personal Prescription

As a result of my personal Prescription, I’ve ditched all but one of my seven medications, I’ve lost over twenty pounds, I’ve completely transformed my professional life, I feel more spiritually connected than ever before, I’ve moved to a healing environment where the mountains and the redwoods meet the ocean, I’ve gotten jiggy with my sex life, I’m writing every day, I’m in the midst of creating a whole new body of art, I’ve earned more money this year than I ever did when I was practicing medicine in my previous stable conventional medicine job, and I wake up most days bursting with possibility, energy, and enthusiasm.

While my raw vegan omnivore diet is only a part of what has healed me to the core, it’s a big part that I want to encourage you to adopt.

Introducing Crazy Sexy Kitchen

This is why I’m so excited to announce that my spiritual sister and fellow Hay House author Kris Carr’s new book Crazy Sexy Kitchen just launched!  With Kris’s signature style, unbridled optimism, crazy sexy sense of humor, and that cute pink streak in her blonde hair, Kris partners with raw vegan chef Chad Sarno to bring you some of the yummiest nutrition available on the planet. (Your cells will be doing cartwheels!)

Last night I indulged in the “crab cakes” made from hearts of palm, and tonight, I’m pulling out my mandoline to make “noodles” out of zucchini so I can try out the Squash Pasta with Sage Pesto recipe.  (Don’t worry if you don’t have a mandoline – she teaches you to make the noodles with a veggie peeler.) Tomorrow, I think I’ll try the chickpea & root veggie tagine, and then I might have to try the beet “ravioli” with cashew cream cheese.

Doesn’t that sound yummy? See why the cows are usually safe around my family? When there are so many delicious, creative ways to enjoy vegetables, why not treat your body to what it craves most?

Of course, the book is also loaded with green juice and smoothie recipes, snacks you can prepare in a dehydrator, and loads of mouth-watering salad recipes, all accompanied by beautiful photography and lots of tips for how to get started eating raw vegan (what equipment you may want to use, what staples you’ll want in your fridge and cupboard, and education about why this kind of diet is preventative medicine, not just for the body, but for the soul.)

What It Takes To Be Wholly Healthy

For those of you who have seen my TEDx talk and have been introduced to the Whole Health Cairn wellness model I developed and will be showcasing in Mind Over Medicine, you know I believe that in order to be wholly healthy, we need more than a nutritious diet, a regular exercise program, enough sleep, avoiding bad habits, a vitamin regimen, and everything Western medicine has to offer.

While these aspects of a healthy lifestyle are important, even critical, they’re just part of a more holistic health plan that must also include building a strong social network, engaging in work you love and avoiding work stress, expressing yourself creatively, being authentic in your sex life, tapping in spiritually, surrounding yourself with a healing environment, coping with financial stress in healthy ways, and balancing all these facets of a healthy life upon the truth of your Inner Pilot Light.

It’s not enough just to eat a raw vegan diet, work out with a personal trainer, and get your 40 winks. But it sure does help!  While you’re aligning other aspects of your life with your personal truth, don’t forget to eat and drink your veggies as only Kris Carr knows how to inspire you to do.

Kris’s Crazy Sexy Kitchen helps you turn food into a pharmacy and transforms your toxin-laden cells into bursting-with-vitality detoxified morsels of human potential, just waiting to be bathed with health-inducing, stress-reducing hormones like oxytocin, dopamine, nitric oxide, and endorphins, which counteract stress hormones like cortisol, epinephrine and norephinephrine. Mix all this healthy goodness in a Vitamix blender and you’ve got the recipe for a long, happy, healthy life.

Not to mention that you’ll look and feel crazy sexy hot!

Are You Ready To Go Green?

What’s your diet like? Is a raw vegan diet part of your personal Prescription like it is mine? Will you be grabbing a copy (or three) of Kris’s new book? Tell us how raw foods fit into your wellness program and share your stories.

And just in case you’re feeling inspired, make sure you’re on the mailing list for the next round of thePink & Green Detox Cleanse Tricia Barrett and I will be hosting for the second time in January 2013. Kris will be proud of you (as will your cells!)

Love and veggies,


Lissa Rankin, MD: Creator of the health and wellness communities and, author of Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof You Can Heal Yourself (Hay House, 2013), TEDx speaker, and Health Care Evolutionary. Join her newsletter list for free guidance on healing yourself, and check her out on Twitter and Facebook.


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Lissa Rankin

Lissa Rankin, MD is a mind-body medicine physician, founder of the Whole Health Medicine Institute training program for physicians and other health care providers, and the New York Times bestselling author of Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself.  She is on a grassroots mission to heal health care, while empowering you to heal yourself.  Lissa blogs at and also created two online communities - and She is also the author of two other books, a professional artist, an amateur ski bum, and an avid hiker. Lissa lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband and daughter.


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5:32AM PST on Feb 8, 2013

Thank you Lissa, for Sharing this!

6:00AM PST on Nov 5, 2012


1:15PM PST on Nov 4, 2012

Noted, thanks for sharing.

11:51AM PST on Nov 4, 2012


8:30AM PST on Nov 4, 2012

Thanks for the recommendation!

11:51PM PDT on Nov 3, 2012

Sounds like an interesting book.
No need, as you say, to be dogmatic about a style of eating - each to his or her own (and I personally have a lot of respect for all those people who manage and thrive on wholly vegan / raw food vegan / gluten free vegan / strict vegetarian / etc.).
Thanks for sharing your ideas Lissa.

9:59PM PDT on Nov 3, 2012

You aren't a vegan, you're an omnivore. And personally, everybody I know who is a vegetarian and has been for years, would never even consider eating meat ever again.

9:52PM PDT on Nov 3, 2012

You totally rock Lissa :-)

8:54PM PDT on Nov 3, 2012

Food is medicine.

6:24PM PDT on Nov 3, 2012


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