Monday, December 21, 2009

b.grateful end of the year review; b.excited 2010 preview and b.gifted a Christmas holiday recipe

Only a few more days until Chrismas and the end of an exciting year full of joy, amazing connections and experiences. I am at my parents house in the South of Germany, surrounded by snow covered forests and medieval rooftops; a good time to stop for a moment and look back:

This has been a very exciting year for me during which I have been connected with so many beautiful people that supported me on my journey of sharing my passion in preparing highest quality, organic, sustainable, gourmet raw foods and practicing balancing body-work. We are coming towards the end of the first decade of the new millennium, truly one of the most exciting, most inspiring and most rewarding periods of my life and I would like to use this newsletter to express my deepest gratitude to some of the people that came into my life in this period:

  • Dickon Walker from Aviva Water in London, who pointed me to Gabriel Cousins and the Tree of Life during a very brief meeting in London about 4 years ago
  • All the people from the Tree of Life and the amazing chefs of the Tree of Life Café, who made the last 3 months of 2008 the most transforming, empowering, informative and fun months of my life and have shown light on a path that only started this year.
  • Freelance Writer and recent mother Kimberly Bradley, who wrote an article on b.alive! in the New York Times.
  • Patrick Bolk, who recently opened a great green fashion store in Berlin, Every Day is Like Sunday, published a heart touching article on me on his Blog on Eating Out Organic and Sustainable Food in and around Berlin:
  • Josefine and Nico from Kulau, Berlin based organic coconut company, who have been supplying me with the best available cold-pressed, extra virgin and truly raw coconut oil and coconut water and sometimes fresh young coconuts to make some very special treats for my gourmet dinners
  • Jean-Christian Jury, Christiane Rade and head chef Bjoern Moschinski from La Mano Verde, Berlin’s only organic, gourmet vegan restaurant, who have been a great inspiration and moral support during my short time working for them during the summer this year.
  • My personal coach for self-employment Jens Korz, who has been helping me a lot on a personal level with his Pitstop concept, a great therapy for burning out syndromes and any other personal problem as well as his professional guidance on all questions concerning my business.
  • My friend Denise Welch from Geneva based NGO The Gold Standard, who has helped me hosting two wonderful gourmet raw food dinner events in Geneva, and Amy Webster, raw food chef and coach, who helped me big time in promoting the events via her network and blog Simply Raw
  • Steve Brenner from The Beehive Bed&Breakfast and Holly Vernon from the macrobiotic restaurant Tidiro in Rome, who hosted 3 successful dinner evenings in Rome.
  • Robert Stock and Robert Echtermeyer from Tres Cabezas Organic Fair Trade Coffee in Berlin, who supplied me with their highest quality, truly sustainable and fair trade shade grown coffee from the Tierra Madre Project and who will be co-organizing my first retreat in Costa Rica in the coming year (
  • Simone Powers, ex Café Gratitude dessert chef, who taught me a lot about her gourmet raw food cuisine during my month long chef work for the Radiantly Alive Yoga Teacher training in Ubud, Bali.
  • Olivia Scheibel, founder of Love&Light in Denmark, who has been an amazing friend and supporter over the past few years and who facilitated an amazing retreat in her house in the beautiful forests outside Copenhagen this year in September, as well as her friend Mette, who facilitated a wonderful raw food dinner on her organic farm in the North of Denmark.
  • Gereon Pilz van der Grinten, co-founder of The KEYto International Event for Green Fashion, Sustainable Lifestyle and Culture in Berlin, who has been the most frequent guest in my gourmet private dinner club in Berlin and initiated the idea to offer b.alive! raw food catering during his fashion show in January
  • Lucie Beyer, my acroyoga teacher, who introduced me to a great acroyoga community in Berlin and helped me promoting my events in this community
  • Andreas Herrmann from Wamos Zentrum, Berlin, who facilitated 2 great Sunday raw food workshops and started raw food podluck dinners, bringing together a great little community in and around Berlin.
  • Sidhamo Anand, my Ayurvedic Yoga Massage teacher (, who empowered my massage and healing skills and further deepened them during my time in Thailand this February.
  • Eric Schwarz and Sarah Bolton, who spent 2 weeks in Berlin around the 20 year fall of the wall celebrations to collect footage for a documentary of which I will be part of :-) Check out their facebook page Children of the Wall to follow their Berlin shootings.
  • And of course all the amazing people who came to my numerous dinners, events and retreats and gave me great support, feedback and inspiration and so much love.

Looking back on all these amazing encounters, it seems almost impossible to top, but things are shaping up to an even more exciting year 2010 with many great events already in their planning stage:
  • A New Year Raw Food Preparation Weekend Course on January 9 and 10, in which I will teach the 101 on preparing easy to make gourmet raw food dishes even at your home. There are still a few open seats, so be quick and get your early sign up bonus if you sign up before the end of the year. See here for all details on the course:
  • Catering of the press conference at the KEYto International Event for Green Fashion, Sustainable Lifestyle and Culture in Berlin 20-23 January
  • 3rd Sunday Raw Food and Yoga Workshop at Wamos Zentrum Berlin on the 14th of February, Valentine’s Day Special
  • 3rd b.alive! in Geneva exclusive gourmet dinner beginning of March this time in the sleepy, cozy village of Gez 20 miles outside Geneva in the private house of my friends Gwendolyn and Jack with stunning views to the mountains and nearby lake from their top floor lounge
  • PURAw Vida: 10 day raw food, yoga and massage retreat in Costa Rica, May 17-27, 1010

    Together with Robert Stock from Tres Cabezas Fair Trade Coffee in Berlin and Olivia Scheibel, founder of Love&Light in Denmark, I will hold a 10 day retreat in the surroundings of the beautiful tropical beaches of Santa Teresa on peninsula Nicoia in Costa Rica. These 10 days will be a life-changing experience: Daily Yoga Classes, deeply relaxing and chacra opening ayurvedic yoga massage treatments, transforming and healing Body Self Development treatments, raw food preparation courses and 3 gourmet organic raw food meals daily will lift your energy to completely new levels and help you transform into a new self. Optional surfing, dance workshops, movie nights and music performances will complement the program and make these 10 days an unforgettable experience. More details will be up soon on

    The price is not completely settled yet, but it should be no more than 1500€ for the complete package, including accomodation, gourmet organic raw food meals, yoga classes and massage treatments.

    Early reservations qualify for a discount, so make up your mind early and don’t miss out on this opportunity.
  • Another project should be the opening of the b.alive! Café in Berlin some time in 2010. The idea is out, but nothing more yet, so let me develop this a little more and you will hear more about it once there is a more solid plan ;-) However, any feedback from your side on location etc. is more than welcome anytime!!
  • I have also extended my selection of products recently. The chocolate making workshop at Wamos Zentrum in Berlin on the 2nd advent Sunday made me experiment with a lot of chocolate and 3 amazing truffle creations came out of this as well as some scrumptious spreads. You can find them now on my website in the shop section on:

With all these exciting things coming up, I am looking forward to a challenging and empowering and fun New Year and start of a new decade full of change and development.
But now it’s time to enjoy the upcoming holidays and spend some time with our families and nurture our close relationships.
As a little holiday gift, I would like to share my ChoCocotella (raw nutella) recipe with you, so you can include a little raw food into your diet even during the Christmas Season :-)

ChoCocotella (b.alive! “nutella”)

200 g hazelnuts
1 cup agave
1 cup Kulau coconut oil
3-4 Tablespoons raw cacao powder
¼ t pink himalaya salt

Blend the hazelnuts in a Vitamix to a fine powder (or use a grinder to make a very fine flower). Put the coconut oil, melted at very low temperature, agave syrup, cacao powder, ground hazelnuts and salt into a blender and blend until smooth. Adjust sweeteners, cacao and coconut oil to taste (all quantities are approximate only). You can play with other spices like nutmeg, chili, cinnamon and maca to achieve different flavors.
Pour into a jar and store at room temperature (it will become too hard in the fridge). Spread and dip and enjoy with your favorite bread, fruit, ice cream and more.

Happy holidays to all of you and a wonderful start into a new exciting decade.

b.loved – b.joyful – b.alive!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Will it blend? Blender Show Down at the First Rawsome Sunday in Berlin

This past Sunday, my friend Alex from Wamos Zentrum organized the first Rawsome Sunday in Berlin, an entire day of workshops, talks, showcases, samplings and information around raw food. It was a great event with almost 30 attendees, "wheatgrass messiah" Piter Caizer from L.A. was giving lessons on juicing and making Essene bread and raw burgers and I was teaching how to make delicious smoothies and raw nutella. A full synopsis of the workshop can also be found on (in German).

One central part of the workshop was the ultimate blender test. See also this article on on this issue. This Sunday 4 blenders were tested:
  • my commercial Vitamix "Vitaprep 3" (about 800€ in Germany)
  • the famous K-Tec (about 600€)
  • Omni Mix (Taiwanese Vitamix imitation) (about 250€)
  • Saro Omni Blend V (K-Tex imitation) (about 250€)
The test was a simple orange, carrot ginger smoothie, blending oranges, carrots, ginger, cashew nuts, vanilla, dates and coconut oil.

The blends were rated based on smootheness and the results were rather obvious.
The winner was the Vitaprep 3, followed by the K-Tec. The cheaper Taiwanese imitations are not getting close to the consistencies these commercial high speed blenders can achieve.

One test, I would not have even dared to do in any of the other blenders was making the most healthy and delicious raw nutella. For this I blended hazelnuts to a flour first in the dry Vitamix, then added dates, raw cacao and coconut oil and blended the whole on highest speed using the tamper to push things down constantly. This creates a very thick and sticky cream, impossible for any household blender. AND the challenge was even higher, since I assumed that the dates, Alex handed me were already pitted... well... they weren't, I figured when I heard the sound of the blades meeting the hard date pits... :-o
BUT the Vitamix even coped with this and broke them all down!!

So, my resume: I think the Omniblend is an ok alternative for people who want to start on a raw food diet and want to experiment with smoothies, raw soups, patés and alike and don't want to spend the extra dollars for the professional brands.
However, as soon as you want to do more with it and use it very frequently, especially in commercial environments, I would not try to save any money here and go for the well established brands that have been tested for years and used in raw food restaurants all over the world. There is a reason, why all raw foodists swear on their Vitamixes.

Oh, and I do NOT take any responsibiliy for any damages due to householdblender testing with date pits inspired by this artice ;-)