My Love Affair with Food by Denise Gerard, Raw Food Chef

I have the privilege to have been invited by my dear friend Robert to be the Raw Food Chef & Holistic Health Coach for his awesome website, I am here to serve you with recipes and articles I hope will inspire you to create a dynamic, balanced and healthy raw food lifestyle. My training taught me to respect and address the bio-individuality of each person. I look forward to hearing from you! I believe my articles will help you understand how I came to appreciate, and moreover, revere the power of whole food in my own life. I am sure that if you have landed here you too are seeking to understand this fundamental need and birth right — to eat and enjoy unadulterated whole raw foods!    –– Raw Chef Denise

My love affair with food began growing up in a large Italian family. Every night around the dinner table there was a wonderful sense of contentment! Delicious food and animated conversation nourished us on many levels. It was a time of innocence when “delicious” was the only criteria by which to consider food. My mother always prepared a balanced meal — meat, two vegetables, a starch and a salad. Our chickens were purchased alive and freshly killed by my grandfather. The produce was fresh from the 9th St. market in Philadelphia. The cold pressed olive oil came in great gallon containers from Italy.

On day things changed — the food changed. But nobody noticed. The oil was an insipid blend with no flavor. The butcher closed. Tubs of margarine appeared. Vegetables were frozen or in a can and everything came from a big corporate supermarket. The wonderful conveniences of modern living arrived – or NOT! Because what happened next is that my body also changed — all our bodies changed! My once delightful family meals suddenly caused unbearable stomach aches! As a child and I had no idea what was happening nor did my parents. All that I knew was that I was becoming ill. Eczema flared in my ears, I got my first flu.

All I wanted to eat was the romaine salad at the end of the meal. It felt fresh and easy on my body. Then in my early 20’s, I woke up looking like ET one morning – my eyes were creased and crinkled. My skin was flaking. All of my body felt wrong! I went to see a doctor, who sent me to a specialist and he sent me to another who sent me to yet another. I was seeing five specialists, who each gave me a different pill. With each passing day, I felt worse!

One day I found myself standing in front of a health food store. I went inside and wandered around, praying to understand what was happening to me. What happened next changed my life forever and led me to not only become a world class chef but to specialize in Raw Food. After wandering around the health food store for some time, the shop owner finally addressed me. I lifted my sunglasses and blurted my story. With great compassion, she suggested a holistic medical doctor. Out of desperation, I made the appointment. When I entered the office of Dr. Francesco Borella we began a two hour conversation. No doctor had ever spent that amount of time with me! At the end of the session he scheduled a series of tests, asked me to stop taking all the medications and handed me a recipe…a recipe?

Dr. Borella gave me a recipe instead of a prescription! Think about that with what we know today. The next morning I prepared Crème Budwig (recipe on right). It is a recipe created by Dr. Johanna Budwig, a German doctor and biochemist with a few more impressive university degrees. Whatever illness walked into her office, she always prescribed Crème Budwig.

On the fourth day I began to feel my brain fog lift. Then it continued to get better every day. When I went back to see the doctor my mind was clear! Under Dr. Borella’s care, I once again became the vibrant, energetic person that I had been before. He taught me that my best health insurance policy was to eat the best quality, organic, unprocessed foods, cold pressed flax and olive oils which had never seen the light of day in their extraction and a mostly raw vegetarian diet.

Whole raw foods nourish, cleanse, build a strong immune system and create a clear thinking, quick mind with a deep sense of peace and satisfaction. But the best thing is they actually taste better. I discovered that organic, whole, raw foods are not only packed with more nutrients, they’re packed with more flavor! As you begin to clear your mind and detox your body, something else amazing happens – you begin to clear your palate and discover all the amazing flavors associated with nutrient dense, organic live food!

So after a lifetime of enjoying whole, live foods I discovered that you cannot truly love food that has been cooked, processed, denatured and killed. If you feel you cannot live without bread, pasta, candy, ice cream, barbecue or whatever, that is not due to a true love of food – that is a food addiction! After decades of eating dead food your body has adapted chemically, down to the cellular level, to miraculously survive on dead food. Now you need it because changing the biochemistry at the cellular level requires months or years of detox — but like everything else in life, you cannot truly love something you need!

I became chef because I truly love great food. I am a raw chef because truly great food MUST be raw. To fully appreciate the intense, alive taste of real food it has to be a raw, whole, organic, live and unprocessed as possible! Of course, I’m not perfect, but I accept that when I have to eat some childhood comfort food that I am satisfying and nurturing some other part of my Self which is also important. But it is the whole, live, raw foods that are my one true love!

Raw Chef Denise formally trained with Chef Christophe, Rest. Bugnaux, Lake Geneva, Switzerland. Specializes on raw food, food as art and the spiritual, healing and medicinal attributes of food. Graduate of Inst. of Integrative Nutrition as a Holistic Health Coach. Executive Chef Experience includes Raw Kitchen (W. Palm Beach, FL), The Office (Delray Beach, FL), Le Rescatore. (Jupiter Island, FL), Casimir Bistro & Howard’s Market (Boca Raton, FL).  

Raw Chef Denise’s Recipe for Crème Budwig

Crème Budwig
This month I am sharing the recipe for Crème Budwig created by Dr. Johanna Budwig. She was a German medical doctor and bio-chemist who came to the conclusion that the majority of chronic illnesses are caused by mass produced foods and oils, poor nutrition and pesticides which destroy our electrons. Through her research, she determined that combining a high quality protein with high quality Omega 3 fatty acids, such as flax seed oil, makes the fats water soluble. This allows the essential fatty acids to reach far deeper on the cellular level. This in turn allows the electrons to receive and interact with the sun energy which allows a reactivation of vital functions.

What is very interesting is that the latest research on vitamin D. Though it is fat soluble when ingested through the mouth, Vitamin D is actually water soluble, when we get it through direct exposure to the sun! It becomes D-Sulphate and in this form reaches deep into our cellular level. So, the fatty acids clean up the cells and the vitamin D appears to fortify proper cellular function. I marvel at the visionary research and wisdom of Dr. Budwig!  And I promise you, if done properly, you will noticeably feel the effects rather quickly of this luscious breakfast.


Ingredients for one serving:
– Juice of ½ of a lemon
– 2 tbs. raw yogurt or almond milk
– 2 tbs. cold pressed flax seed oil
– 1 ripe banana
– 2 tbs. sprouted grain (just one grain, like quinoa)
– 10 soaked almonds
– 1 apple or pear diced
– 1 tbs. sesame seeds
– 1 tbs. sunflower seeds

Soak almonds, sprout grains. Mash the banana and mix it with the first 3 ingredients into a cream. Add all the other ingredients. It can be sweetened with a touch of maple syrup.



– 1 cup raw almonds
– Pure water for soaking
– 3 cups pure water
– 2 dates (optional)
– 1/2 tsp vanilla (optional)

Soak almonds in water overnight (at least 6 hrs.). Drain water & rinse almonds with more purified water. Discard used water. Blend 3 cups of water, almonds and dates until well blended and almost smooth. Strain the blended almond mixture using a cheesecloth or other strainer. Homemade raw almond milk will keep well in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.