South Central WI Archive
  • South Central Wisconsin
  • July 2016
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The raw movement — Celebrate life-infused food with Legacy Lifestyle Centre

When it comes to the health and nutrition industry, there are a lot of buzzwords. Descriptors like gluten-free, dairy-free and processed sugar-free are recurrent and understandably focus on the less than ideal components the food is without. But when it comes to the delicious dishes coming from the kitchen at Legacy Lifestyle Centre in Porterfield, the emphasis is on what the meals are packed with.

Owner Judy Boehmke has made it her life’s mission to educate about all that encompasses raw veganism — that is, “a diet that combines the concepts of veganism and raw foodism. It excludes all food and products of animal origin, as well as food cooked at a temperature above 118 degrees Fahrenheit.” She specializes in creating meals that are as delicious as they are nourishing, focusing on nutrient-dense ingredients: fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds and expertly combines them to produce a wide range of delectable recipes.

Not only that, she revels in teaching and supporting others to do the same while immersing themselves in a peaceful, healthy environment. She has created the quintessential resort-style space with everything necessary for body, mind and spiritual well-being.

“The question, ‘What can I do today to be healthier than I was yesterday?’ is so profound for me,” Judy says. “Everybody starts on their journey at a different place and I want to support them.”

A space to promote health and wholeness

Judy’s path to raw veganism began when she experienced little success with traditional medicine after becoming ill with an autoimmune disease. She turned elsewhere and discovered the lifestyle that would forever change her life’s course. At the time, she was lacking energy and found herself needing to take a nap each day. After her friend suggested incorporating green smoothies into her diet, a path started to form.

“I started with a food processor so the results were chunky but palatable,” she laughs. “I always tell people about it because I want them to know where I started — you can do this too!”

Judy consequently converted to the vegan lifestyle in 2008, became a certified raw food chef and began teaching raw food classes. Paired with her story of success and the commitment to share with others, she and her husband Tom turned their idyllic log home in the country into what is now known as Legacy Lifestyle Centre.

Located on 34 acres in northeastern Wisconsin, the space can only be described as a sanctuary. A large deck overlooking wildlife and the serenity it brings is expansive. The countryside is calming and natural, and encourages a sense of self-awareness when it comes to your life — and health. In addition to Judy’s knowledge and support, it creates the perfect space for a renewed sense of priority and taking responsibility for overall well-being.

The lower level of the home is used for teaching, exercising, relaxing, group activities, casual conversation and quiet time, and opens up into the atrium. Sky lights, a large sauna, abundant plant life and a peaceful waterfall fill the tranquil area to promote personal growth.

“Being able to get away and embrace the lifestyle in a stress-free environment is ideal,” Judy says.

The raw movement

An open kitchen with state of the art appliances also welcomes you at Legacy Lifestyle Centre, but it’s noticeably missing one thing: an oven.

“We don’t ‘cook,’ we call it food prepping… it does take some getting used to not using that word because that’s what we all grow up doing,” Judy laughs. “I use my dehydrator to warm soups and make almond toast and Italian crackers but I keep everything under 105 degrees so everything maintains their vitamins.”

“Everyone always asks, ‘Where do you get your protein and calcium if you don’t eat any meat products? Raw food has protein, calcium and many other nutrients that are the best for your body. Meanwhile, without heating the food, the enzymes in the vegetables are preserved longer.”

It’s nutrient-dense, but also mouthwateringly delicious. The vegan food industry has come a long way, but Judy finds herself continually updating and improving what’s there and is determined to create only the best, most enjoyable meals.

“I fix a lot of others’ recipes!” Judy laughs. “I have students who have tried vegan food in the past and say, ‘I really appreciate what you do now!’ I take it to a whole new level and go out of my way to make it taste good.”

The food is gluten-free, dairy-free and plant-based raw living foods. During visitors’ stays (see sidebar for more information!) and every other week in the evenings, Judy teaches a series of food prep classes ranging from beginner to advanced.

Class menus always include a smoothie or juice, soup, salad, entrée and dessert, along with various miscellaneous recipes and include kale chips, dairy-free cheese sauce (a crowd favorite made with cashews), tomato basil bisque, avocado soup, walnut pate, pesto pasta, and desserts like a date nut torte and key lime pie.

“And that’s just the first class!” Judy beams. “You definitely don’t have to worry about being hungry. The first week I demo everything so people can see how quickly you can do this and incorporate it into your life.”

She urges to do what works for your family, and to incorporate more techniques and foods as progression is made. Legacy Lifestyle Centre’s mission is to help people take responsibility for their health, and to begin their journey to their best self. Judy will be there with support and unwavering dedication every step of the way.

“As you go through classes and get to know people, you develop relationships. We all become friends. And when I can impact people’s lives it’s very emotional for me,” she says. “It’s a passion. I truly want to help you on your journey.”

Legacy Lifestyle Centre is a resort in itself

— a spacious log cabin complete with sauna, atrium area and outdoor space. It offers a variety of programs to embrace the raw, healthy lifestyle in which Judy has grown so accustomed. The programs range in duration from a weekend to 1 to 3 weeks to fully support those intrigued and interested in the raw vegan lifestyle to do so in a healthy, safe way.

“The Weekend Retreat is Friday, Saturday and Sunday… we do food prep and use essential oils using different techniques,” Judy explains. “If people don’t want to be so involved and they just want to relax and soak it all in, they’re welcome to do that too.

“In the Cornerstone Program, each week we focus on different things — body, soul and spirit,” she adds. “I want people to have the whole experience.”

She uses the Raindrop Technique, “a sequence of anointing oils and laying on of hands that brings structural and electrical alignment to the body in a relaxing and invigorating manner through the power of essential oils” in the Premier, Supreme and Ultimate programs (within the Cornerstone).

“It is a one of a kind experience,” Judy says.

All packages in The Cornerstone Program include:

  • Accommodations
  • Daily meals
  • Education and lectures from a variety of sources
  • Hands-on training, planning and preparing meals
  • Sprouting and juicing
  • Experience in the benefits of essential oils through the Raindrop Technique
  • Daily exercise
  • … and more!

Support and education for the community

Judy utilizes the research of trustworthy professionals in the health field to support the benefits and science behind raw veganism, and recommends books and DVDs to further education. Among her favorites are Dr. Barbara O’Neill, author of “Discovering Good Health”; Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, authors of “Forks Over Knives”; Dr. Gabriel Cousens, author of “There is a Cure for Diabetes”; and Dr. David Permutter, author of “Grain Brain.”

“We are doing a movie series in Marinette for the community sharing a lot of their material — how nutrition can help heal you,” Judy says. “When we incorporate the right ingredients like fresh air, sunshine, exercise, healthy food and water then disease cannot take root.”

Legacy Lifestyle Centre

W6887 Two Mile Road, Porterfield


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