RAW in 2010 by Robyn Unrau

I started eating raw food seven years ago, when my Mom was first diagnosed with cancer. I’d heard of the healing miracles of eating raw, and I eventually convinced Mom to try a juice cleanse with me.

We started too late for my Mom, and after she passed away I spent most of the next year in personal reflection. I realized more and more that wellness needed to be sought for prevention, and not solely as repercussion from disease. As hard as it was to lose my mother, it changed me. I quit my job as an Aaccountant in downtown Calgary, and left shortly after for the Living Light Institute in Fort Bragg, CA where I became an Associate Raw Food Chef.

I started to have this dream take me over – like for the first time in my life I knew what I wanted to do – or maybe what I needed to do. It is amazing to read now, after the events of the past month, but here is an excerpt from an Epilogue I wrote over three years ago:

I have this dream and it consumes me. I have visions of a home of such beauty and tranquility, that anybody walking by will stop to take notice. There will be windows spanning the entire house, so that from every direction you will see the views of the water and the mountains.

It will be a raw food retreat centre and people will come from all over the world to be pampered, massaged, served raw food, and sleep in beds so soft they will be enveloped in them.

I hope you find me there some day, on the banks of a gently flowing river. I will name it RAW in support of the use of raw foods for healing, and in loving memory of my mother Jean Unrau.

Life events eventually caused me to leave Fernie, but I never forgot about my dream. I spent the past two years searching for the perfect space to create RAW, and I thought for sure I had found it in Sayulita, Mexico. Then in October I came through Fernie for a visit, and heard about the Elk View Lodge. I went up to see it, and there it was, my dream, with both a view of the Elk River and the Lizard Range mountains! There it stood in front of me, majestic and perfect…my dream in manifestation, and there was no way I could walk away.

My new venture is indeed RAW – an eco and environmentally conscious Retreat And Wellness experience. I have taken over the Elk View Lodge from John Merritt, a truly incredible space with the look and feel of a wilderness retreat, yet only 3 kms from downtown Fernie.

RAW offers eco weddings, romantic getaways, family gatherings, ski or bike vacations, and corporate retreats. RAW also offers the lodge as a B&B. There are six luxury bedrooms, and guests enjoy a gourmet organic brunch each morning of both traditional and raw foods. The rooms are transitioning to organic duvets and duvet covers, bamboo towels, hemp linens, and eventually organic mattresses.

Food is a huge passion for me. My emphasis at RAW is to provide fresh, organic, sustainable, local and free-range food. Besides a traditional brunch, I look forward to offering gourmet raw food, which is vegan, gluten free, sugar free, wheat free and trans-fat free. It is healing, alive, and nutritious – and probably not what you think it is going to be!

In the New Year I will be introducing raw food preparation courses at RAW. The raw diet is transforming for anyone – but especially for those struggling with food allergies, sugar or wheat intolerance, health concerns, or weight issues.

I feel that I – like The Alchemist – have once again returned “home”. Both my friends and the local businesses have welcomed me back with warmth, graciousness, and love, and I want to take this chance to thank everyone. I couldn’t have come this far without all of your support. What an amazing town we live in!