American Harvest Food Dehydrator – Review

The American Harvest® line of food dehydrators is produced by Nesco, and is their exclusive line of products. Nesco, which has been manufacturing kitchen appliances for over 70 years, acquired the assets of the American Harvest company of Chaska, MN early in 1997. Nesco now manufactures and markets their food dehydrators under the American Harvest® brand name.

Known for their increased speed and even drying, American Harvest food dehydrators are some of the best on the market, providing a well rounded line with models for every lifestyle and budget.

nesco dehydratorThe patented Converge-a-Flow® heating system in American Harvest food dehydrators produces even drying from top to bottom without tray rotation, which is often required with other food dehydrators. The top-mounted heating system and fan not only force air downward, evenly drying all trays, but also horizontally, speeding up the drying process through efficient air flow. This also ensures that flavors don’t mix and that no condensation drips into the heating unit, which is what happens with many standard food hydrators with bottom-mounted heaters.

Raw food dishes often depend on dried recipes for certain ‘gourmet’ elements like raw breads, crusts, crackers, chips, dates, and herbs, so speed and evenness are extremely important. Higher grade American Harvest Snackmaster and professional grade Gardenmaster food dehydrators are the most effective and efficient of the brand, helping raw foodists turn raw ingredients into sophisticated culinary concoctions.

The top of the line model is the FD-1020 Gardenmaster Digital Pro food dehydrator. It is digitally controlled, has 1000 watts of power, and expands to 20 trays – it is definitely a professional grade machine.

However, if your needs are not so grand and you want to get the most for your dollar, the FD-75PR Snackmaster Pro 700-watt food dehydrator is the way to go. There is no digital timer but you can expand to 9 trays and it comes with recipes and accessories that make drying food easy and fun – all with 700 watts of time reducing, even drying power. For the money, the American Harvest food dehydrators by Nesco are definitely a great buy.


Supercharge Me! 30 Days Raw – Review

Supercharge Me Documentary Poster

Have you had a chance to sit down and watch the raw food documentary Supercharge Me! 30 Days Raw? I finally have, and here’s my review…

It’s essentially the opposite of Morgan Spurlock’s documentary Super Size Me. Instead of eating McDonalds for 30 days, Jenna Norwood attempts to go on a 100% (turns out to be 99.9999%) healthy, raw vegan diet.

Here’s how the film is described:

“Jenna Norwood takes us on her journey to see what happens when she enrolls in a raw food detox center and consumes only organic, raw, enzyme-rich foods for 30 days.”

Raw Food – Supercharge Me! 30 Days Raw – Trailer

This is the YouTube video trailer for the movie…

You can get your own copy of the highly-acclaimed, award-winning DVD right now from Amazon – click HERE. – shipping worldwide and NTSC viewable in ALL regions.

My Thoughts On The Documentary

I actually quite enjoyed the documentary. A lot of Jenna’s experiences growing up I can relate to. And a few of the frustrations and concerns some of the other people in the film have, about food and health, I can also relate to.

Jenna has her bloodwork taken at the beginning of the “experiment” to get a baseline, and then again at the end. I didn’t want to stop watching because I couldn’t wait to see the results.

And, although I enjoyed Super Size Me, and truly hope that it offered a reality check to some people, it still put too much emphasis on the negative aspect of eating.. while Supercharge Me! 30 Days Raw sheds a positive light on health and nutrition…

…and putting emphasis on the positive aspects of eating (i.e. moving towards health) is more my speed. Because I believe what we focus on is more apt to become our reality. Ok… that’s it for the philosophical stuff, back to the review 🙂

Lots of great information, and entertaining at times.. but this documentary wasn’t all good (everything has it’s flaws right?)…

…at the very end there was a bit where I felt a little let down, where I was not provided with some information that I really felt I was going to… what would have provided an interesting bit of knowledge straight from the lips of David Wolfe (raw food author and speaker), but it didn’t happen. Read on to find out what I’m talking about.. but as luck would have it, I researched and wrote an article on that very thing just the other day so I will link you to it.

Interesting Info From The Documentary

Baseline Tests

Jenna’s doctor suggested the following baseline tests before embarking on the raw food detox… thyroid, blood sugar, kidney/liver function, cholesterol (good and bad) and triglycerides. Her doctor said he felt that there would be changes to her levels after just 3 weeks on a detox diet.

Also, before the detox, Jenna weighed in at 152 pounds.

A list of Jenna’s health related concerns pre-detox include: overall health, low energy, high stress, tight chest (sometimes to the point where she feels a heart attack is imminent), frequent colds, constant back and neck pain, shallow breathing, restless sleep, extra weight, stiff achy joints, unhealthy diet (eating out or on the run about 90% of the time), carb and sugar junkie, bruise easily, lack of exercise (pain in Achilles), and unhealed thumb sprain from a year and a half prior.

30 Day Raw Food Detox

Jenna went to a detox center in San Diego (Optimum Health Institute) for the first 21 days of the detox, then did 7 days at home.

Optimum Health Institute (OHI) is a non-profit organization. Weekly prices range from $700 – $1,100.

Raw Meetup Group

Before leaving, Jenna started a raw food meetup group on to help stick with raw foods after coming back home.

Raw Detox Diet At OHI

“It is easier to change a man’s religion than to change his diet.” – Margaret Mead

  • No meat
  • No dairy
  • No fish
  • No eggs
  • No bread
  • No pasta
  • No pizza
  • No sugar
  • No salt
  • No coffee
  • No alcohol
  • No cooked food

“You cannot solve your problems with the same mind that created them.” – Albert Einstein

Detoxification Defined: The metabolic process by which the toxic qualities of a poison or toxin are reduced by the body.

Detox Symptoms: Cravings, tiredness, irritability, headaches and more.

Sample of 1 Day’s Routine At Detox Center

Start the say with exercise, then breakfast, then learning about the program, sprouting instruction, sauerkraut instruction, juicing instruction, lunch, tools for change, life is a gift (gratitude), mind/body connection, more exercise, dinner, relaxation and pain control.

An important aspect to the detox in cleansing of the colon. At the OHI, Jenna was required to do enemas.

Enema Defined: The injection of a fluid into the rectum to cause a bowel movement.


They were also required to do wheatgrass juice implants which are injections of wheatgrass into the rectum which is extremely healthy for the colon.

Wheatgrass juice is made from sprouted wheatberries and has the same 7.4 acid-alkaline balance as human blood.


On the second day, Jenna took 2 classes on elimination.

Elimination Defined: The act of discharging or excreting waste products or foreign substances from the body.

Jenna described her busy days at OHI which included: Appointments for massage, colonics and chiropractic. She prepared wheatgrass juice 2x a day.

Elimination Timeframes

  • Dead cow – 3 days to pass through our system
  • Raw veg – 15 hours
  • Raw fruit – 6 hours


Colonic Defined: Warm water pumped into the colon so the residues of fecal matter and other deposits can be cleared.

During the film, there is a segment with a live colonic demonstration.

What happens during the colonic is water begins filling into the first 2 inches (the rectum), then the sigmoid area to the sigmoid flexure, up the descending colon to the splenic flexure, through the transverse colon to the hepatic flexure, down the ascending colon, to the secum area where a lot of parasites sit.

In this segment we learn that digestion begins in the mouth…

…and that an implant puts good bacteria and flora back into the bowel tract, but with wheatgrass it energizes and feeds the bloodstream, goes direct to the blood, direct to the liver.. the bloodstream takes it throughout the entire body…so every cell in your body gets it..


During digestion class, Jenna learns that the human body can heal itself given the right circumstances. There are 300 billion new cells that are created each day. When we cut ourselves we heal naturally, which is the same with the rest of our body. When we become ill or have other injuries, including internal injuries, our bodies are designed to heal these sorts of things, again, given the right tools and circumstances.

She learns that eating less will help us to live longer. The more good food that we consume, the less food that our bodies need. People feel more hungry after consuming foods that are nutrition-deprived.

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates (Father of Modern Medicine 460 B.C. – 370 B.C.)

David Wolfe About Raw Food

He says… the main thing about raw food that is unique is that it has life force in it, a cooked seed won’t grow, a raw seed will…

… raw food is enzymatically active – meaning there is some kind of catalyst in raw food that is not present in cooked food – raw food will continue to ripen while cooked food will decay.

He explains that… vitamins and amino acids alike are degraded by heat. 50% of protein is degraded by heating food – so, have to eat twice as much.

Vegan Protein Sources

Nuts, seeds, avocado, sprouts, beans, sprouted grains, goji berries, spirulina (blue green algae), spinach, kale, broccoli, and any vegetable in general.

David Wolfe says… the most concentrated source of protein in the world is spirulina – it fed some of the greatest civilizations on Earth including pre-Columbian Mexico city.. they ate spirulina as their primary source of protein for 1000’s of years.

He says…when raw, protein is highly absorbable, and you get all the protein, not just 50% like when cooked.

Juice Fasting

During the juice fast at OHI, Jenna has a choice from 2 different juices. One is the ‘hypo juice’ which is great for diabetics, hypoglycemic or those fighting sugar addictions or candida.

The hypo juice has low sugar content and consists of juiced cucumber, celery, cabbage, sprouts and zucchini.

The sweetened juice has either beet juice or carrot juice added.

Sample Solid Meal

As a sampling of solid meals Jenna was able to choose from, there was vegetable soup and apple sauce. The vegetable soup was for people avoiding sugar. The soup was served with essene crackers which are made from dehydrated sprouts and seasonings.

Jenna’s Update

At one point during the film, Jenna gives an update on how she feels. She reports increased flexibility, more energy, feeling happier, Achilles not hurting, thumb is not painful any longer and has strength back…

…also, very interesting, 8 months prior she was prescribed glasses for a slight astigmatism in both eyes. She had to always wear the glasses or her eyes hurt. She claims not needing the glasses at all while staying at the detox center.

Jenna underwent about 6 colonics in her 3 weeks at the center. She discusses her “release” of 15 pounds at the last day. She prefers not to say “lost” because she doesn’t want to “find” them again 🙂

“There’s nothing half so pleasant as coming home again.” – Margaret Elizabeth Sangster

Doctor Checkup

After the 30 days Jenna’s weight was 137.75 pounds (a release of 14.25 pounds). Her blood sugar dropped 10 points, HDL cholesterol dropped 53 points, LDL cholesterol dropped 37 points and triglycerides dropped 12 points. However, she developed a bit of anemia. Her iron and B12 levels were low.

Jenna called her “raw guru” David Wolfe. He suggested some options to get her iron back up: consuming more green vegetable juices (parsley, dandelion and spinach), and eating cherries.

In the film, they failed to show the discussion about B12, which was disappointing.. perhaps the info was just too in depth to get into in the timeframe they were going for.. I don’t know, but I would have liked to hear what he had to say on the topic. I felt like I was left hanging. But not too worry, I summed up some important info about B12 in this B12 article here that you can peruse at your leisure.

Overall Rating: 9/10

I found the film to be very inspiring and educational. Highly recommended.

Get a copy of ‘Supercharge Me! 30 Days Raw’ right now from Amazon – click HERE.