New store promotes raw food-based diet
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado
CARBONDALE – A dietary-based concern for her daughter’s health in early childhood ended up saving Kimberly Williams’ life.
Now, Williams is out to spread the word about the benefits of a raw food diet, and share some of what she has discovered through her new Carbondale food store, Nur-ish – Raw Living Foods.
Located in the Sopris Shopping Center on Highway 133, Nur-ish had a soft opening for the past few weeks, but has its grand opening this weekend, including the start of a series of free Saturday nutrition lectures.
The store features an organic juice and smoothie bar, organic raw groceries, and freshly made and packaged foods for lunch or dinner carry-out.
It all started 11 years ago when Williams’ daughter, Sedona, was born with severe food allergies. That led the former pharmaceutical and medical sales representative to find out which foods Sedona could tolerate.
“We had a lot of difficulty trying to figure out what it was at first,” she said. “But I happened to be in a natural foods store one day and started reading up on food allergies. Every one of her symptoms could be traced to food.”
She and her then-husband, Brandon Cohen, began narrowing it down one food at a time, until they had Sedona on a mostly raw, unprocessed, unpasteurized diet that worked for her.
“I just dove into it and started doing as much research as I could,” said Williams, who went on to earn a master’s degree in nutrition and began working as a nutritional consultant.
One day, Williams said she noticed rock-hard lumps all along the lymph nodes in her neck.
“My doctor told me that I was most likely on my way to lymphoma,” a type of cancer, she said.
“That completely reversed everything for me,” Williams said.
She started a 100 percent raw food diet the next day, and a year and a half later she had turned around the disease and all the hardened lymph nodes had disappeared.
“So, my daughter’s experience truly did save my life,” Williams said.
Her own raw food diet consists of raw eggs, raw unpasteurized dairy, raw meats, raw vegetable juices and some raw nuts and seeds.
It’s a far cry from the traditional American diet she grew up on back in her hometown of Flint, Mich.
“I grew up eating the most conventional of mainstream foods, including a lot of fast food,” she said. “In college, it was SpaghettiOs and Wonder Bread.
“It was true ignorance. Most of it was simply not knowing any better.”
It wasn’t until she met Brandon, who now runs the True Nature Healing Arts Center in Carbondale, that she learned about natural foods.
“I was 33 years old before I even heard the word organic,” she said.
After moving to the Roaring Fork Valley shortly after Sedona was born, the family started living a more healthy lifestyle.
Along the way, Williams also met Dr. Aajonus Vonderplanitz of Malibu, Calif., who is considered a guru of raw foods. It was through him that she learned that there are two types of raw food diets, raw vegan (no meat, poultry or dairy), and raw primal, which allows for raw varieties of those types of foods.
“Many people find their health changes for the better when they transition to a raw vegan diet, mostly because they are getting all of the crap out of their diet such as chemicals and overly processed foods,” Williams explained. “Unfortunately, many people then suffer a setback, because their body is so toxic and they are not able to rebuild quickly enough because they are not getting enough raw fats and raw proteins for rebuilding.”
Once they add raw dairy and raw animal proteins into their diets, though, “these people do amazingly well,” she said. “I tried the raw vegan diet myself, but I found I don’t feel good. I need the animal protein.”
The notion of raw eggs and meat and unpasteurized dairy does raise the obvious question, “What about bacteria?”
And, having worked in Western medicine herself, Williams said she had the same questions initially.
“We do have a fear about bacteria,” she said. “But, as I read more about it, it made sense to me. The bottom line is that we are too clean. Bacteria are actually nature’s way of breaking down toxins and degenerative build-up in our bodies.”
As Williams began consulting people about specific raw diets, people would ask where they could find such foods. So, she started a private, raw food co-op about five years ago.
“It was time to take it to a storefront, so Nur-ish was born,” said Williams, who is also looking to open a second location in Aspen.
Nur-ish provides foods for both vegan raw and primal raw customers, including ceviche, sushi, carpaccio and other raw meat dishes.
“There is actually a huge primal raw following in this valley,” Williams said
Nur-ish is also a pick-up location for raw, unpasteurized cow and goat dairy.
In Colorado, one must be a shareholder to legally purchase raw dairy, explained Williams, who works with a raw dairy out of Montrose.
In addition to the retail aspect of the store, Williams hopes to educate people about nutrition and the benefits of a raw diet. She will begin offering weekly lectures this Saturday at 4 p.m., and Dr. Vonderplanitz is coming to Carbondale to lecture in October.
Williams is also the author of the book “Raw To Radiant: The Secrets To A Long Life Of Radiant Health Through Raw Foods.”
The prep golf season came to a close on Tuesday with Aspen High School finishing ninth as a team in the Class 3A state tournament, held over two days at RainDance National Resort in Windsor.