Raw Food Author and Chef Experiences Working at the Hippocrates Health Institute

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Kevin: Well Nomi, welcome to this program. I'm excited to have you.

Nomi: Hi Kevin, it's good to be here.

Kevin: Why do not you start very quickly for those people who might not know who you are, just tell a little about yourself.

Nomi: OK, I'm Nomi Shannon, I have a book called, "The Raw Gourmet" which is kind of the raw food bible for people who are just starting. Especially because if you read the whole book from cover to cover you'll know everything you need to know to have a raw food kitchen. I have a new book called, "Raw Food Celebrations" and that book is for people who want to have like a celebratory meal. The book has menus so you have an Italian Italian menu for example or an entitle Thai menu. It's set up so that you can prepare most of your food in advance which is an unusual thing for raw food. So that if you work from Monday through say Saturday or Friday, you can do most of the prep and then have your event on Saturday, Sunday without feeling like all you did was work.

Kevin: Right and putting together these amazing recipe books is just one part of your experience. You started out at Hippocrates correct?

Nomi: Yes, yes I worked for quite a few years at Hippocrates Health Institute which is really wonderful, beautiful raw food retreat. The food there is very gourmet and I really am comfortable and familiar with all the aspects that come along with a raw food diet. Cleansing, healing, homeopathically, supplementation that kind of thing. People think of me as a chef and as a cater and as a creator of recipes but raw food is on continuum from therapeutically to gourmet and really Hippocrates and places like it, such as Optimum Health Institute in San Diego, cater to the therapeutic aspects of It. When people are wanting to become well, improve their health or prevent ever becoming ill. There's a whole range that I'm familiar with and able to teach.

Kevin: Tell me a little about what kind of people that came in to Hippocrates, what kind of things helped them and how they left.

Nomi: OK, I left Hippocrates in '95 so it's quite some years since I've been there, although I've gone back quite a few times to teach because one of the things they have is a regular three-week program, they Also have a nine-week health educator program which is learning a little bit about a lot of different subjects. It's great for people who want to be in the alternative health field to help them learn all the range of things that are out there and then when they leave there they would maybe choose one or two subjects, maybe iridology which is study of the eye of The strengths and weaknesses of the body or there's just probably 15 or 20 subjects that we cover lightly and then if they want they see what they want to learn more about. So I ran that program.

The normal person that attends Hippocrates, people come there from all over the world. It is an expensive program which is why I also mention Optimum Health Institute, there's one in Texas and one in California. There's a place in Puerto Rico called The Anne Wigmore Foundation, essentially the same program. The other places I mentioned are far more affordable. I have literally seen people from every single country in the world attend these places. People have come there that were very, very ill with maybe various kinds of cancer. People have come there who have already undergone surgery, radiation, chemo, maybe became well and then a few years later something came back and they decided to take a natural route. There's another institute in Mexico called The Gerson Institute which while it's not exactly like this, they do a few different things. It's very world renowned. They are able to do things that can not be done in this country, that's why they're in Mexico. There are places in Germany, there's places all over the world. Alternative health really is what it is. There's lots of people who are completely well that go there to learn the program, to clean up their act, their nutritional act. Unfortunately it's very, very often that someone's already sick. To go to a place like Hippocrates, it's not a hospital, it's not a clinic, you can not be in bed sick. You have to be well enough to be able to take care of yourself.

Kevin: OK.

Nomi: Features of the program are wheat grass juice, sprouts; They teach you how to grow these things. You juice the grass, you drink it, that kind of thing. What sets Hippocrates apart from the other places, are the food is truly gourmet and the quality of the classes, that kind of thing. You can even learn this from books. I like people if they can, especially in the beginning, especially if they have a health challenge and they do not know much, rather than sort of unfortunately trying to cobble together the information, especially if they're already panicked that they've Gotten a diagnosis that frigtens them, I'd like to see them go to one of these places. Let somebody else make their food for three weeks and they have classes all day long which they can attend and learn how to do it. They're immersed in it so they're simultaneously cleaning and healing and learning what to do when they go home.

It's just easier than try to talk to someone on the phone and then you do this and then you make this and they're not well and they're panicked. I'm like, "You know what? What's more important you're health; take a few weeks off from work, unpaid. Yes, it's a sacrifice."

Kevin: Yeah.

Nomi: But get yourself into the program, especially if you're very ill. Take that three weeks to rest and relax, you'll get plenty of cleansing done in three weeks. Then you actually know what you're doing when you come home.

Kevin: What are some of the things that you find that most people just need? Whether it's supplements, or it's food or things that universally will help people get on a healthier track.

Nomi: Yes. Well the whole fast food thing, everyone seems so, including me, rushed and busy, even if they're at home all the time. With the Internet and all that, people are, even a generation or two ago people made most of their food at home. Now they're getting it out. It's hard to have good nutrition when you're not making your own food and so the transition even is not from a person who makes pasta on Monday and roast beef on Tuesday and beans and franks on Wednesday. They're actually eating at home and so what their transition is, OK I'm just going to make different food. The transition now is, learn how to boil water, almost. You're not really boiling water literally when you're eating raw food but the joke is I can not even boil water to make an egg. I do not even know how to do that. The people, the generations that are coming up now, have never made food.

Kevin: Yes.

Nomi: Let alone learning how to do it at home. That's the biggest learning curve. And then people are always worried about time. So I have really, and a lot of people in the raw food movement, have figured out ways to have really great nourishment in a really small amount of time. Like you guys, I shared a smoothie with you before we turned the camera on that you had thrown together in your blender, a green smoothie. And that is, there are, they have to learn that, that's the sort of universal thing that people are learning. How to create really healthy food for themselves in a quite short amount of time. That is the biggie.