Georgina Campbell's Book Reviews

Raw CoverRAW Recipes for Radiant Living by Bernadette Bohan (Gill & Macmillan hardback 204pp photography by Neil Hurley.

Judging by images on the cover and throughout this handsomely presented book, Bernadette Bohan is her own best advertisement for the healthy eating plan she so passionately advocates.

And why wouldn’t she want to share her views so others can also benefit from the healing powers of food that she has experienced herself - looking at this beautiful woman glowing with health, it’s hard to credit that she has recovered not once, but twice, from cancer. And then you also learn that she is 60…wow is the only word that comes to mind.

All this gives her message great credibility, of course, and her previous books have also touched a nerve, especially the best-selling Eat Yourself Well, which explains how she decided to take charge of her own health following the second cancer diagnosis, mainly by making major changes to her diet - and how this led to a full recovery.

This time around the emphasis is on the hands-on business of what to eat (mainly plant based food), what to avoid (processed foods, sugar, dairy, coffee and meat), what to shop for and what to do with it.

'It's not the food in your life but the life in your food' according to Bernadette, who says her health improved greatly, her skin glowed, her energy exploded and her waist shrank following her change of diet.

In this book, Bernadette explains what raw, living foods are, gives a shopping list for essential foods (some of which may be unfamiliar), and explains the equipment needed for best results - including juicers (including a ‘masticating juicer’ which is quite an investment but does all kinds of amazing things including making pizza bases and pie crusts), a dehydrator, a power blender, sprouting jars and, of course, a vegetable spiraliser for making all kinds of things including vegetable ’pasta’.

The shopping list includes replacements for the usual sweeteners and seasonings - including celery salt (see recipe below) as a salt substitute, something we grew up with as my mother was an early advocate of health foods.

As the title suggests there’s an emphasis on cold food in the recipes - juices, smoothies, salads, snacks and dips - but there are some hot dishes too, including comfort food (anyone for carb-free spaghettit with sweet pepper pasta sauce?), and - just in case you’re thinking this all sounds too virtuous to be true - a whole chapter on Yummy Treats & Sweets...

You may have to learn a new food vocabulary to ‘go raw’ but it’s great time of year to make a change and Bernadette’s way could be the answer for many people - including those who just want to lose weight, or are addicted to sugar.



Most juices contain fruits, but it's green veggie juices that alkalise the body. When the body fluids contain too much acid, it is known as acidosis. Acidosis occurs when your kidneys and lungs can't keep your body's pH in balance.

This juice will neutralise and alkalise the body as it contains alfalfa sprouts and apricot kernels. All sprouts - alfalfa, sunflower, pea, broccoli, buckwheat - alkalise pH levels. I use black dinosaur kale, but if you can't source it, curly kale will do nicely. Black dinosaur kale has long, dark green leaves and can be sourced in all major supermarkets. Root ginger has numerous health benefits, too.

This juice is a wonderful way to boost immunity, as you are drinking the blood of the plants.


— Handful kale
— 2 handfuls alfalfa sprouts
— 1 cucumber
— 2 celery stalks
— 5 apricot kernels (optional)
— Ginger, to taste


1 Process the kale and sprouts through the juicer.

2 Then add apricot kernels, celery, cucumber and ginger.

3 Return the pulp to the juicer to squeeze out more juice.




'Each year, food companies use an amount of salt that is every bit as staggering as it sounds: 5 billion pounds.' - Michael Moss

Why not try making your own (salt-free) celery salt? It really is simple. Why bother? Well, table salt (sodium chloride) has been linked to heart disease, muscle cramps, arthritis, diabetes and cancer. It contains bleaching agents, synthetic iodine, and, last but not least, the dreaded sugar. I know, it's hard to believe.

Eating excess sodium can also be harmful to people with hypertension or high blood pressure, and it causes fluid retention. Also remember that convenience foods and ready-prepared meals are high in sugars and salts.

Celery, on the other hand, is loaded with potassium; you can vary the flavour of the salt by adding garlic or onion, or make them separately. It's a fabulous way to use up wilted celery.


1-2 bunches celery


1 Chop the celery into small chunks and place on dehydrator trays.
2 Dehydrate overnight until the celery is dry and mince in a blender. How cool is that?

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