Hello! I’m a raw food chef from Italy.


I studied architecture in Venice and worked for 3-4 years in a company of light as a designer. I never liked the idea to spend my life in front of the computer and always had a passion for a healthy lifestyle. When I started to eliminate meat and fish, step by step I started to eat more raw food and my passion came alive.


I studied this philosophy with books and practices. And as I witnessed amazing benefits in my own life, I decided to start teaching others about raw food. Art and creativity has always been part of me and I try to put my inspiration on the plate, using lots of colors to encourage the appetite with different tastes.


Italy has always been known for good food. Italians love to eat. Italian tables are full of fresh flavored food. With every main meal there is always a large fresh salad. Italy is rich in diverse vegetables and fruits, Italians are known to eat a lot of vegetables. In recent years there is a growing interest in raw food, fruitarians, 80/10/10 diet – it’s alive everywhere.


There are many social gatherings and dinners based on raw foods. Raw food is now amongst nutritionists, natropaths, doctors, personal trainers who inform others about the many benefits of this lifestyle; people who tell their stories of sustainable consumption and healthy living.


This is a general Raw menu in Italy:


Breakfast: Juice of carrots, beetroot, apple and ginger with carrot cake.
Snack: Dried fruit
Lunch: Radicchio with dried tomatoes and sunflower seeds
Snack: Raw tart with blueberries
Dinner: Pappardelle pasta of carrots with ricotta seeds
Dessert: Peach sorbet


How Italy loves pasta! We are always in demand for recipe’s which will show how to make raw bread or a typical Italian dish (pasta, ravioli, rice). I want to present this recipe to you from the south of Italy “Taralli”.

is a special Apulian recipe, a genuine snack for adults and children. Taralli can be sweet or savory. Savory Taralli may be flavored with onion, garlic, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, fennel, pepper, chili or just salt. Taralli are oval shaped about 1 to 1.5 inches in circumference. This recipe is great when traveling, when you are not able to buy fruit.


This is a savory Pictureversion:


1 cup millet flour (millet flour makes “Taralli” crispy)
1/2 cup pulp sesame
½ cup soaked buckwheat
1 cup of green olives
½ cup water or less
salt is not needed because of the salty olives


Put all the ingredients in a food processor until the dough forms into a rough mass. Pinch walnut-sized pieces of dough, roll first between your hands, and then against the wooden cutting board, so that the dough forms a thin rope, about ½ inch (1 cm) in diameter and 4” long (10 cm). Shape each rope into a ring, and seal the edges together by pressing lightly, then set aside the Taralli rings on a teflex sheets. Season with cumin and put in a dehydrator at 42 degrees for 12 hours or until perfectly crispy.


Enjoy the flavors of Italy!


Neli Todorov writes an active blog http://nelisraw.blogspot.it/ and shares news of workshops and events on her facebook page


PictureGekko interviewed Oksana Sokol, an Australian yoga teacher who lives on Bali to whom yoga and healthy lifestyle practices brought a more meaningful existence. We have all dwelled in that dark place of not knowing what is our direction, or purpose in life but having sensed there is something bigger and better out there for us. Oksana changed her life dramatically, she moved to Bali and has been helping others make positive and conscious lifestyle choices. Creating a yoga program for disadvantaged children at the Bali Global Foundation and organising yoga and raw food retreats several times a year.


Oksana: I was living as a successful film technician’s life working in the TV and in the Film industry. Life was in the fast lane. I was busy making a name for myself, hopping from one big job to the next, money fame and fortune was always just one step ahead of me.


But at the end of the day, what became quite apparent to me was that I was living a really unfulfilled and not so happy life. I just knew there was something else for me but I didn’t know what it was.


After a set of crises one day I woke up realising that I was lost. Most of my relationships where dysfunctional and I had no idea where up or down was.


My first yoga practice was not asana, it was meditation and energy work. This is how I begun healing myself. I became involved with Master Chao Kok Suis’ work with pranic healing. I began to learn how to approach life differently as the old ways weren’t working for me. In fact when I looked around it wasn’t working for many people around me so I had no role models that had it all pulled together. I started to explore, learn and push boundaries that were all new to me. I detoxed the body,  I read and learnt about new ways of living and practices.


My whole perspective on life shifted. I stopped watching TV, and started participating in conscious conversations.


I came to Bali to do yoga teacher training over 4 years ago and I never left. I whole-heartedly embarked on this journey ever since. I created a yoga program for disadvantaged children at the Bali Global Foundation which gave me a platform to put things into action; the path of service to others. Doing something outside of ourselves, for others less fortunate, unconditionally is an amazing tool to shift our perspective – especially if we think we don’t have ‘enough’ of something in our lives.


Gekko: How do yoga student s benefit from their practice? What changes do you notice in students?
Yoga is actually a science, a path to learn about and develop your inner self. If you do certain things in a particular way you get certain results. As Pattabhi Jois said: Practice. Practice. All is coming.


Everybody’s yoga journey is unique, some people come to yoga to get a work out, others come with injuries or discomforts that need attention, and some are looking to find peace and stillness in their hearts.


Whatever it is that attracts us to the practice, at the end of the day it’s a vehicle for us to appreciate the connection that already exists within is.


We come to a realisation that the physical body and the mind are connected to everything and everyone else – as big as that seems to be.


Changes can happen immediately or they can happen more subtle with time. From feeling more flexible and at ease with our bodies to being able to control our emotions and reactions to things – yoga is such a wonderful tool.

Gekko: What makes you happy?
Oksana: I consider myself to be very lucky to be living a life I could have only dreamt of. All the things that I do in life make me happy, and I keep my focus on the things that make me happy. It’s interconnected.


The connections that I have now with my friends, my family, with my community trough my yoga practice all contribute to this. I finally feel like I have a sense of belonging, in my own skin and on this planet. This wasn’t always the case but it has been a wonderful journey so far and I can only look forward to all the future adventures that life has in store for me.


Posted by Iva Tarle from Gekko Retreats