This interview is an excerpt from Kevin Gianni’s Raw Summit which can be found at http://rawsummitarchives.com . In this excerpt, Rhio shares information on her book, Hooked on Raw.
Raw Summit Excerpt with Rhio, author of Hooked on Raw, speaker, radio host, actress, singer raw chef and eco-farmer.
Kevin: You are pretty much an innovator when it comes to passing along message. I mean starting your own radio station, you’re also a raw food chef and you had raw food potluck meals. Tell us about those potlucks and your recipes.
Rhio: So then I told my partner…I said Lee, “I’m going on raw foods.” And he said, “Well I’m not.” Because he had become a vegetarian after he met me. Six months after he met me, he decided himself that he was going to become a vegetarian. So he figured he’d done his bit. That was it. He wasn’t going to do anymore. So I’m telling you this long story by way of telling you how I came to have a book in the first place. I don’t want to force anybody to my view. It doesn’t work. So I’ve started looking at the kind of foods that Lee liked to eat. And I went to my kitchen. I started experimenting and I came up with substitutes to have the same flavor or similar flavors that he could enjoy. And so, I kept doing this and then through situations like for example if he was working late, I made dinner. He would come home. Is he going to start cooking now or is he going to eat this raw food?
Kevin: Right. Well that’s extremely male.
Rhio: So you know he’d eat the raw food. So it went like that and after a period of let’s say 2 or 3 years, I ended up with all these recipes and they were fantastic and I would be serving them at my raw food potlucks and people would go crazy for them. And Lee and the people would say you got to do a book, you got to do a book. And that’s how I got my book. It wasn’t something that I planned. It was something that just happened. I ended up with the recipes. But, also my book has a beginning section that is nothing about the recipes and I included that section in because I thought I needed to put all the things in there as to why it would be so important for people to think about adopting a raw food diet or at least incorporating more raw foods into their diet. You know what – give them all the reasons why. And that beginning section of the book, and again, I’m talking about how it is out there when you’re trying to get a book published. Two publishers came to me. They wanted the book, but they didn’t want the beginning section.
Rhio: They just wanted the recipes. And I said no. I said no, this book has got to go with the reasons why.
Rhio: So that’s another way. Now, somebody else, one of the publishers published a book from a friend of mine. She gave them what they wanted. What happened was the beginning part of my book, I think; it’s about 130 pages if I’m not mistaken. And one time I was talking to the editor. They had already sent me the contract and everything. I was ready to sign. I was talking to the editor and he said to me, “Can you possibly cut the beginning part down to 20 pages?” And I started laughing. I mean, it was incredibly rude I know. But it just…something struck me funny. I mean I had spent so many nights researching and you know making meticulously sure that checking my facts and rechecking.I couldn’t. I couldn’t. Now, the other lady that they went with, she did, she did a good job. But I couldn’t do it.
Kevin: Yes. It was similar to the theme of the media.
Rhio: Yes it is.
Kevin: That we discussed before. There are people who are sensing the information. And they may not be the health experts.
Rhio: Right. And then I had, when I was trying to get my book out to these publishers, there was like an agent, a literary agent that I had talked to. And I sent her the manuscript and she told me “Take all that personal stuff out of the book.” And I said, “This shows my experience and it will help people to understand.” And she said, “If you want to write a book about a memoir or something, you know, write a different book.” But she just didn’t understand. And I know that she didn’t understand because even though my book is self-published, I have had tremendous success with it and I have, you know thousands, of letters that people had sent me telling me how much that book has meant to them.
Kevin: It’s incredible.
Rhio: It was like a baby coming, you know. It had become, even my partner, Lee, and I love him, you know, but he was like putting the pressure on me to accept that deal from that one publisher.
Rhio: Because you can write another book. And I said, “Look, this is like a baby coming. It’s going to come the way it’s going to come.”
Kevin: What advice do you have to people out there who would listen to this, who have a book in them?
Rhio: Oh, I think they should write it. Because anything that you written from the heart, you know sometimes people tell me well you know all of these raw food books that are coming out now, isn’t it impinging on your sales? I said “That doesn’t matter.” What matters is that this information gets out whether they pick it up from my book or from somebody else’s book. I don’t care. Just write it from the heart. Get a good editor. And then, you know, shop it around. I mean some books are being published now from publishing companies who are publishing raw food books. Try to get them not to meddle in what you what to say too much.
Kevin: Yeah. What are some of the issues that we’re going to be facing in 5 to 10 years with our health, the media, and food industry? What are some of the main things that you think are coming?
Rhio: Well, I think it’s already starting to happen now. Number one, on a positive side, there are numerous raw food, living food outlets, teachers, potlucks, restaurants, all kinds of information is coming forth. I just find that so, you know, empowering and this is what I see in the future. That cooked food restaurants are going to start incorporating some of these stuff. Just like in the past vegetarian offerings had been made available in regular restaurants. Now they are going to make raw food offerings available. So that’s on the positive end. I just see the whole community growing by leaps and bounds.
The negative part that I see happening and starting to happen is that since the regular mainstream community doesn’t understand what raw foods are about and doesn’t understand how healthy they are, they look at it with some kind of trepidation. And so what happens is if a parent tries to raise their children on raw food some of these parents are losing their children to child services or because those organizations don’t understand what the raw food diet is about and so they think that the parents are like depriving or abusing their children in some way when they really are not. So this is a major problem that’s happening. I know a lot of families who have lost their children and other families that could come to their aide aren’t coming to their aide because they are afraid of losing their children.
So because of this problem, myself and another lady called Karen Ramsey who is writing a book now called Creating Healthy Children, and she is very involved with children and she raised her children on the raw food diet, her and I are trying to form an organization that will have two major goals. The first goal is like long term. It’s really big. It’s like we need to have in this country a constitutional amendment that guarantees us freedom of choice in health matters – freedom of choice in choosing how, if we have a disease, how we want to proceed with it? Not something that is forced on us like for example in California and many other states, there is only certain sanction like if you have cancer, there are only certain methods that are sanctioned. And if you go like a naturopathic doctor or any kind of alternative doctor and he gives you a different method that does not encompass like radiation, drugs and chemotherapy and surgery If you go try to do a natural system, it’s not sanctioned and it’s not legal.
Rhio: So, the doctor can get in trouble. Even the patient can get in trouble. So, I see that as a problem because as I said originally in the earlier of part of this tape is that we have to create within our community an understanding of what really constitutes and creates health. And once that idea is out there, and then more doctors, more even allopathic doctors are going to come over and understand that that creates health and there is nothing weird about it. And then they’re not going to report parents that are feeding their children like what they consider strange, you know.
Rhio: And so, that’s one part of this organization that we want to develop. We want to have this constitutional amendment. We should have been there originally, but it wasn’t. But, you know many of the amendments were added later anyway. We want to create a coalition of people, doctors, nurses, social workers, scientists, and researchers that will come to be aid of these families in trouble – these families that have lost their children. So, when a family is struggling, they will be a coalition of people that will come to their aid whether it’s in court, whether it’s in filing papers, whether it’s in backing up what they’re doing, you know to extract these families from this problem.
Kevin: Wow! It’s a pretty powerful mission.
Rhio: It is.