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Read on for the recipe for this raw pomegranate cream cake.
Read on for the recipe for this raw pomegranate cream cake.

Get raw

The Raw I am about to discuss has nothing to do with Monday nights, carpaccio or Eddie Murphy.

The "Raw" I am referring to indicates a dietary lifestyle choice gaining popularity from its reported health benefits, celebrity endorsers and more recent mainstream availability. I’ll call it "raw veganism," but it has all sorts of offshoots and variations.

When raw first intrigued my food/health/wellness curiosity, it was basically a further restrictive version of veganism. Vegan describes a dietary choice of eating no meat, no fish, no poultry, no game, no eggs, no dairy of any kind from any animal and even no honey. Pure vegans neither consume, nor use, nor wear any animal products. 

Raw vegan takes it to the next level. The kicker is that food cannot be heated above a range of 104  to 118 degrees. Techniques such as chopping, massaging, dehydrating, food processing, juicing and blending are used frequently.

Milwaukee Holistic Health Professional, two-year raw foodist and organizer of the Raw Milwaukee Meetup Group Anita Fisher explains, "raw means foods that are prepared under 118 degrees Fahrenheit, as that is the temperature at which enzymes in foods deteriorate."

Most raw foodists believe that these enzymes are essential for health and that eating foods abundant with enzymes are easiest to digest.

In recent months, there has been a trend toward an even more extreme (but, I’m not saying non-beneficial) version of raw called the 80/10/10 Diet or High Carb Raw Vegan Diet.

Popularized by Dr. Douglas Graham’s book "The 80/10/10 Diet," there is no shortage of believers displaying their daily meals on social media. The 80/10/10 designates daily macronutrient goals of 80 percent carbohydrate, 10percent  protein and 10 percent fat. 80/10/10 is in essence, fruitarianism – a diet mostly consisting of fruit, some leafy greens and very little fat. 

Before all the Paleo and Atkins people get their protein powders all shook up over those percentages, let’s be …

Lindsay and her brothers Noah (center) and Jesse.
Lindsay and her brothers Noah (center) and Jesse.

Heroin is hell

I really hate heroin. I do. There is no other way to say it. And the vendetta is personal.

The irony has not lost me that two weeks after I posted a story of triumph over addiction, I have been faced with two drug deaths in the news; one, a Milwaukee man who was childhood friends with my family and the other, who has of course made international headlines, actor Philip Seymour Hoffman. Tragically, these stories pepper print, radio, online and television reports far too often. According to a 2013 Journal Sentinel article, heroin deaths in Milwaukee surpassed those attributed to cocaine. 

I can barely stand to hear, type, view or utter the word heroin. My life forever changed the day my brother’s ended from an overdose of it on Sept. 20, 2010. 

It’s no longer a dirty secret that opiates have invaded the suburbs of every little hometown, USA and tethered their powerful grip on our children, brothers, sisters, parents and friends. You most likely know someone, whether you realize it or not, that is or was struggling with addiction.

Heroin sinks its talons in so immediately, so deeply and it never lets go. There is no real or permanent escape from its grasp. It seems as though the very few that do prevail over it’s horrific seduction still live with daily reminders of their addiction, often having to medicate to keep the demon at bay.

My brother’s death changed me. Most notably with the rage that consumed me and drove me to pursue the lowlife(s) who provided the drugs to my brother the night he died.

These recent deaths have resurfaced a lot of those feelings. Especially when I heard an NBC report that Hoffman withdrew about $1200 at an ATM the night he died. It doesn’t take a detective to deduce where that money went.

All I could think about when I heard that was that there was an accessory to this death. There was someone else involved – the provider of the drugs.

I’m not trying to pass the buck or take the blame off of the user. My brother, Hoffm…