25 episodes

I share my own stories as well as other women's, to hopefully entertain, encourage and inspire others. The world needs more stories, and I love true, human stories best of all. Often the women's stories are linked to something that they're doing with their lives now, be it in their personal lives or in business. And I love finding and sharing a 'clean food tip' with a fruit, veg, spice or other culinary tidbit that could have 'saved the day', or just come in handy in that particular situation. We learn, but we also have a lot of fun!

Clean Food, Dirty Stories Barbara Fernandez

    • Alternative Health
    • 5.0, 2 Ratings

I share my own stories as well as other women's, to hopefully entertain, encourage and inspire others. The world needs more stories, and I love true, human stories best of all. Often the women's stories are linked to something that they're doing with their lives now, be it in their personal lives or in business. And I love finding and sharing a 'clean food tip' with a fruit, veg, spice or other culinary tidbit that could have 'saved the day', or just come in handy in that particular situation. We learn, but we also have a lot of fun!

    CFDS Episode 025: Playing With Spirits

    CFDS Episode 025: Playing With Spirits

    How I almost found myself possessed by the god of thunder, plus how to increase intuition and psychic sensitivity
    Hi everybody, I'm Barbara Fernandez, the Rocking Raw Chef, here with my Clean Food, Dirty Stories: one to entertain, the other to inspire.

    I help people stamp out stress, depression and fatigue over at RockingRawChef.com, and today's title is:

    Playing With Spirits

    In addition to this story, at the end of this episode I'll share with you some top tips to increase intuition.

    OK enough hints from me, let's get on with the story.

    A pretty crazy story

    First let me say that when I say playing with spirits, I'm not talking about Ouija boards. And I don't mean playing with them as in being disrespectful. This story is all about their power, how they can help and how that relates - yes, surprise, surprise - to food.

    Off to California

    This story begins when I decided to go out to the San Francisco Bay area to live there for a while. I was in a bit of a mess, as I'd just gotten ejected out of a relationship in a very painful way. This included a cry-for-help-disguised-as-a-suicide-attempt and a hospital stay which I talk about in last week's episode.

    So to say that I was a bit fragile would probably be an understatement. However I knew that I would meet some amazing people in the Bay area, and I couldn't wait to reconnect with one of my favorite people in the world. She's one of my dearest friends and has been since college, and she was like, "Come and stay! I'll help you settle in". Well, I couldn't resist that offer. Her name is Francesca and her story is incredible. In fact Francesca overcame depression as well, and we share her story in Episode 12, From Depression To Diva.

    Anyway I got on a plane and went to Oakland California, where luckily my friend helped me land a job through a temp agency. I don't even remember what I did there, I think it was something in marketing and I know it involved a computer, but the rest of it is pretty much a blur. I do know that I made a big effort to dress really nicely every day. For some reason that's the one thing I remember. Superficial perhaps, but true - although I did get pleasure out of looking nice. Even though on the inside I was still a bit fragile.

    A clothing-optional weekend, with Santeria

    Fortunately for me I made friends really easily through Francesca. And shortly after I had arrived, Francesca invited me to come along to a clothing-optional weekend where we'd attend some ceremonies. One was a sweat lodge, which I've talked about in Episode 19, and the other was a ceremony in a tradition called Santeria. Plus as the weekend was going to be clothing-optional, well that alone was going to be a new experience for me. And of course I was up for it.

    I'll talk about the clothing-optional aspect of the weekend in another episode because that alone was really interesting. This week I want to focus on what happened between me and the spirits. First though, let me tell you a little bit about Santeria.

    A simplified definition of Santeria

    Santeria means 'way of the saints'. It's an Afro-Carribean religion that originated in Cuba and was traditionally practiced by descendants of West African slaves. Practitioners replaced the slave owners' Catholic saints with their own spirits, called the Orisha. The Orisha are the go-betweens, if you like, the way in which we can connect with the one energy linking everything in the universe, which in Santeria is called Olorun. So kind of like using saints to interact with God, except you're using Orishas. That's way oversimplifying this, but this is just to give you an idea. I'll link to where you can find out more about Santeria in the show notes.

    Anyway I went with Francesca to a beautiful place in California called Harbin Hot Springs. Harbin has been a very strong spiritual center for people...

    • 22 min
    CFDS 024: From Suicidal To Sensational

    CFDS 024: From Suicidal To Sensational

    The story I've never told about how I know you can recover from being suicidal and go on to live a happy life. Plus food tips to get you started to beat depression.

    Hi everybody, I'm Barbara Fernandez, the Rocking Raw Chef, here with my Clean Food, Dirty Stories: one to entertain, the other to inspire.

    I help people stamp out stress, depression and fatigue over at RockingRawChef.com, and today's title is:

    From Suicidal To Sensational

    In addition to this story, at the end of this episode I'll share with you the best ways to use food to beat depression and help get your emotional life back on track.

    OK enough hints from me, let's get on with the story. It's a big one.

    My inspiration for this story

    A very short time ago - last week in fact - I learned that one of my favorite rock singers ever, Chester Bennington, committed suicide. And I was pretty shaken for days afterwards - not because I was close to him, because I wasn't. I never actually met him, although I was fortunate enough to see him live in concert about ten days before he died. Not because I didn't love his singing, because I did. But because I thought to myself, 'If Chester had known what I know, maybe he wouldn't have had to die'.

    So Chester this episode is dedicated to you. As well as to anyone who is experiencing the kind of debilitating sadness that can end in a life ended way too soon.

    So that's why I'm sharing with you a very personal story that I've never shared before. I want to tell you exactly why I can help people who feel they're broken. People who feel so unhappy, that suicide looks like the only way out. And I'm sharing this because if this even helps one person listening, then it will be worth it.

    This story is about depression, and about how you can absolutely one hundred percent overcome it. How you can kick it to the curb so that it never darkens your door again. Yes you can beat depression and I will tell you how to start.

    The first time I was depressed

    The first time I was very depressed that I can remember, I was about eight years old. All I remember is that I was sitting on the bed in my parents' room, holding my dad's revolver on my lap and wondering if I could pull the trigger. I must have seen TV shows with people shooting each other or something. I mean I don't know how else I could have known at such a young age how to use a gun. My dad never showed us how to use it. And I don't even remember how I knew the gun was in there. He must have taken it out at one point, I don't know.

    There's a lot from my childhood that I don't remember because although on the whole it was a happy childhood with travel and lots of animals and all kinds of very good things, parts of it were not so good. One event in particular when I was about three years old was blocked from my memory until many years later - but that's another story.

    Anyway I was sitting with this gun on my lap and obviously I didn't pull the trigger. But I can remember that I wanted to. I really wanted to - but I thought I wasn't brave enough. It took me many years actually to realize that by deciding not to pull the trigger was the brave decision. It takes a lot more courage to face your fears and try to move past them than it does to obliterate everything with a gun shot, a jump off a roof or whatever.

    Playing dolls house with a child psychiatrist

    At some point my parents took me to a child psychiatrist, because my teachers at school were worried about me. They were worried for good reason because I was crying all the time. At least, that's what they told me. I don't actually remember that, fortunately, but it must have been true. I mean, why would they lie, right?

    So I went to this child psychiatrist and we basically played with a dolls house for an hour and he'd talk to my parents afterwards. I remember him asking me to...

    • 23 min
    CFDS 023 Nikki Harman: From Homelessness To Mindfulness

    CFDS 023 Nikki Harman: From Homelessness To Mindfulness

    How Nikki Harman went on a journey from being homeless to practicing mindfulness. Plus the best food for mental clarity.

    Hi everybody, I'm Barbara Fernandez, the Rocking Raw Chef, here with my Clean Food, Dirty Stories: one to entertain, the other to inspire.

    I help people stamp out stress, depression and fatigue over at RockingRawChef.com, and today's title is:

    From Homelessness To Mindfulness

    In addition to this story, at the end of this episode I'll share with you the best food for mental clarity and focus. This food literally raises our brain function to its maximum and it's really easy to find.

    OK enough hints from me, let's get on with the story.

    I am super excited to be joined here today for our story by Nikki Harman, who has an amazing story to tell. Not only has she been through quite a lot in her life, but what she does now is super exciting as well. So I really can't wait to dive into it, and so let's do it!

    Nikki welcome to the Clean Food, Dirty Stories podcast!

    Nikki: Hello! Thank you for having me.

    Me: You're very welcome!

    Nikki's story

    So you've got quite an incredible story and I'm actually quite honored that you're happy to share it with us and everything. I know that your story, I believe your story begins when your parents split up, is that right? And you were about eleven, is that right?

    Nikki: Yes, so when I was eleven my parents split up. And at the time just before they split up I was living in a really lovely six-bedroom Victorian house in a nice seaside town. My parents had good jobs and all was going fairly well, but they split up. And because the house we were living in came with the job that my dad had, we lost the house.

    Me: Oh!

    Losing everything

    Nikki: So we lost everything basically. My dad moved to London to go and find work, and my brother, myself and my mom moved into this temporary accommodation, a bed and breakfast.

    Me: How old was your brother?

    Nikki: My brother was eight.

    Me: Sorry?

    Nikki: I was eleven and he was seven. So it was from the age of eleven to twelve that we were in this temporary accommodation. For a year before we were rehomed into a council flat, so my brother was seven and eight.

    Me: Wow yeah. What did your father do during this time? Did he just like go to London and not look back, or...?

    Nikki: He came down when he could. Although he was working most of that time. And I remember only really seeing him every few weeks. Probably every four to six weeks, an occasional day trip down, a Saturday. Most of the time it was just me and my mom and my brother.

    Me: And so your mom, she wasn't at the time of the split...She was looking after you? Did she have any other work or a job?

    Nikki: No, she didn't work. It kind of broke her, this whole situation. She wound up having quite a significant mental breakdown over it. She became quite distant and disengaged with us. It was just really quite difficult because I remember what it was like just before we moved out saying goodbye.

    Packing your life away

    We had two beautiful cats and a couple of cockatiels and we had to rehome them. Just packing all of our belongings, packing everything away. Everything in my room, all my toys, my books, my stereo, my tapes, cassette tapes. All my music, all that kind of stuff, it all had to be put away. And I felt like I was packing away a part of me, really.

    That was my room, that was just me. So what it must have been like for my mom to pack everything in the house away and not know when next we might see it all.

    We were told initially that the law is that temporary accommodation means four to six weeks before you are rehomed. Clearly that doesn't happen now and it didn't happen then. And so we didn't really know how long it would be. It was kind of assumed at the time that it would be a short-term thing. But it became clear very quickly that that wasn't going to be the case.

    • 39 min
    CFDS Episode 022 The Body Whisperer: Adventure Was My Missing Nutrient

    CFDS Episode 022 The Body Whisperer: Adventure Was My Missing Nutrient

    How Fiona Robertson travelled the world on a shoestring, discovering her life path as she went. Plus the best travel food ever!


    Hi everybody, I'm Barbara Fernandez, the Rocking Raw Chef, here with my Clean Food, Dirty Stories: one to entertain, the other to inspire.

    I help people stamp out stress, depression and fatigue over at RockingRawChef.com, and today's title is:



    Adventure was my missing nutrient


    In addition to this story, at the end of this episode I'll share with you the best travel food I know. It's not only packed with nutrients and easy to carry everywhere, but it's also the best food to help eliminate parasites from the body.

    OK enough hints from me, let's get on with the story.

    I am super excited to be joined here today for our story by Fiona Robertson, the Body Whisperer, who helps people understand who they want to be. Fiona has travelled all over the world and has some amazing adventures to share with us which I think you will find very inspirational.

    So Fiona, welcome to the Clean Food, Dirty Stories podcast!

    Fiona: Yeah, thank you very much for having me. Thanks for inviting me. Nice to meet you here finally, face to face.

    Me: Yes, exactly! Cause we've known each other for a while, right? But it's been like an internet based...

    Fiona: An internet-based friendship, yeah, I know (laughs).

    Fiona's story

    Me: Super! So I know that you've got, you've had quite a lot of adventures, but I think you mentioned that your taste for adventure perhaps came from your childhood. Is that right? You said you felt quite different as a child, can you maybe explain why?

    Fiona: Yeah, 4 years old we went to South Africa to live as a family. We kind of grew up with no shoes. So basically just kind of playing with lizards and centipedes and understanding all about nature and just wanting to be outside climbing trees, being a tomboy.

    A different way to grow up

    It was just a different way for me to grow up. And when we moved back to the UK, I realized I was just different. I wanted to be outside playing in different ways and not playing giggly, schoolgirl games.

    Me: So how old were you when you moved back to the UK?

    Fiona: I was nine. Yeah, nine, nine and a half, something like that. Just kind of old enough, over the formative years, you know, that I'd really got a different country and kind of life under my skin. You know, I'd learnt Afrikans, I'd learned there was another language, I'd learnt there were different things going on. We were in South Africa at the time of apartheid as well, so you get a lot of different experiences, you know? We travelled there too on holiday of course.

    You see, I didn't think it was different, but it is, you're in a game park for a holiday and there's cheetas walking in the car park. It's exciting! And that's what my story's about, I didn't realize that adventure was so under my skin.

    Into the military

    Me: And so you said that you signed up to work with American Express in the military, is that right?

    Fiona: Yeah, one of my first jobs when I finished college and school and everything, I didn't want to go on to be an interior designer. That was my dream. But when they mentioned to me that it was four years foundational course and then I could specialize, I was like, "You've got to be kidding me! I can't sit still for that long! I've gotta be out there doing something!"

    I was interested in travel and so I got a job with American Express and it was on the American Air Force bases in the UK. So I started in High Wyckham and I was basically doing their travel tickets, their military travel tickets, then I ended up going and reliefing on the other different air force bases. So Greenham Common, Huntingdon, the ones in East Anglia, and just travelling around and doing that. Going and doing my travel, my specialist travel stuff for the...

    • 43 min
    CFDS 021: How Not To Date As A Single Mom (And Still Find Love Anyway)

    CFDS 021: How Not To Date As A Single Mom (And Still Find Love Anyway)

    Description: Heather Craik shares with us some pitfalls of dating as a single mom, with some pretty crazy results. Plus a food that fills you up from the inside out

    Hi everybody, I'm Barbara Fernandez, the Rocking Raw Chef, here with my Clean Food, Dirty Stories: one to entertain, the other to inspire.

    I help people stamp out stress, depression and fatigue over at RockingRawChef.com, and today's title is:

    How Not To Date As A Single Mom (And Still Find Love Anyway)

    In addition to this story, at the end of this episode I'll share with you the best food to feel full, in other words, to fill you up from the inside out.

    OK enough hints from me, let's get on with the story.

    Our guest, Heather Craik

    I am super excited to be joined here today for our story by Heather Craik. Heather's going to share with us what it can be like to start out life as a single mom, explore dating on Tinder (which like I've never done) and have long distance relationships (which I haven't done either). So all that sounds super interesting to me! She now helps people solve a completely different kind of problem which we'll mention later.

    For now though, Heather, welcome to the Clean Food, Dirty Stories podcast! I've been looking forward to having you ever since you told me about your incredible, roller-coaster story!

    Heather: Hey, thanks for having me. Glad to be here.

    Me: You're so welcome. So I think if I understood it correctly that your story starts where you were with somebody and you got pregnant? And then you wound up being a single mom? Can you talk about how that came about, maybe?

    Heather's story

    Heather: Yeah, sure. I mean I'd been with this guy for about nine years or so and that's an entirely different story in and of itself. But what happened was I was in Canada when I fell pregnant. And because I wasn't expecting to fall pregnant in Canada, I didn't actually have medical coverage for that. So I came back home to the UK which is where I'm from. And you know a couple of months after that I realized that it was really not working out with this other guy.

    Me: The nine year guy.

    Heather: So that was just a bit entertaining for a while. I broke it off with him and went through the rest of my pregnancy, it was just me. My parents were there which was really helpful. But I was about 5 months pregnant I reckon when it ended.

    Me: That is so, I have to say that is just so, so brave! Oh my goodness. Like how did you...how did you feel like when you... I mean, yeah, how did you feel? I can imagine - I can't imagine, I mean I've been pregnant, I have two kids. But how did you feel when you just like made that, made that decision, you know? To...

    Heather: Well I think leading up to it was quite stressful. And I noticed that before the decision was actually made, I felt stressed for a lot of days, but once it was done and it was over I actually felt relieved. Which I think was really telling.

    Me: Wow. That's really telling. Especially like the situation you were in, right? Cause I know that for me, when I was pregnant in some ways I felt kind of vulnerable, you know? Because you're carrying this child

    Heather: Oh yeah, entirely. I was back staying with my parents even. So yeah. But they were great, by the way. My parents were fantastic from the word go.

    Me: Oh wow, that's really good. Well I'm sure that at the end of the day they just really want you to be happy, right?

    Heather: Yeah, they're really good that way.

    Rebuilding a business

    Me: So then you started out as a single mom, so was your son born when you were still living with your parents? I mean, were you working at all?

    Heather: Yeah, I was still with my parents for about 10 months after he was born, actually. So I was working, I had started work on my business at that point but it hadn't really fully taken off. I had my business before I fell...

    • 34 min
    CFDS 020 The One Thing Your Therapist Should Never Say To You

    CFDS 020 The One Thing Your Therapist Should Never Say To You

    My adventures of having a therapist and teacher who put us both into a bit of a situation. And the best food to soothe the gut and recharge your brain.

    Hi everybody, I'm Barbara Fernandez, the Rocking Raw Chef, here with my Clean Food, Dirty Stories: one to entertain, the other to inspire.

    I help people stamp out stress, depression and fatigue over at RockingRawChef.com, and today's title is:

    The one thing your therapist should NEVER say to you

    In addition to this story, at the end of this episode I'll share with you the best food to soothe the gut, recharge your brain AND bring you strength and connection to who you really are.

    OK enough hints from me, let's get on with the story.

    Right, so this story is a bit of a doozy and I've never shared it before except with a few close friends. So why not share it all over the internet, right? The reason I'm sharing this story though is because I feel it deals with a really important topic, and that is boundaries.

    Let's talk boundaries

    When I say boundaries, I don't mean fences or stone walls or anything like that. I'm talking about the boundaries that we all set that say to people, "You can come here but no closer". For those who don't know, boundaries are our (mostly unconscious) way of telling people what is and is not OK.

    So for example your boundaries with your friends are probably very different to those with your coworkers. Friends can most likely get closer to you, not only emotionally and mentally, but physically as well. You probably wouldn't move away from a friend in an elevator if they were standing fairly close to you, whereas with a stranger, you would. Right? We talk about personal space and that's one kind of boundary.

    Now why am I prefacing my story with talk about boundaries? Well, because this story is all about violating someone's boundaries - imposing upon them, in this case, mine - in a very intimate way...without even touching them. And this kind of behavior is just not OK, although it does make for an interesting story, as you'll see.

    It started in a bookstore

    This story takes place not in Paris as with some of my previous episodes, but in London, England. And it starts in a used bookstore.

    My son was very small - he was about a year old - and he and I often found ourselves in used bookstores, whether we wanted to be there or not, because his dad loves books. He wanted to browse and scour all the shelves searching for whatever books caught his eye. While my son and I were waiting, I spotted a flyer on a bulletin board advertising training in a particular method of therapy that sounded really exciting. I won't say exactly what it was because this isn't about name calling and the story involves the founder of that method and, you know, I don't want to use real names because the purpose isn't to name and shame, it's just to tell a story.

    I looked at the flyer and my intuition said, "You need to do this course. It's perfect for you". So I wrote down the phone number and the website address and looked it up at home. And sure enough, it looked fantastic. It was a full year of training in a small group to become a therapist using this method. I could even use my vocal skills, so I thought 'wow that really is perfect!'

    Very exciting...at first

    I signed up for the course and was very excited on my first day. Beforehand I had already read a bit about the method's founder, whom I'll call Chris, and I was really looking forward to learning from him.

    We were definitely a small group - there were twelve of us, plus Chris and his two female assistants. And the training was very intense. Chris told us that he wanted to 'break down the walls of our egos' (and if this sounds like something a leader of a religious sect might say, well yes you're right. How did you know?)

    So what followed were some very...

    • 18 min

Customer Reviews

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2 Ratings

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Hilariously informative

What a fab podcast! And a breath of fresh air in the topics of food and health. The stories are hilarious and how the food and health tips are brought into it is well done. I will definitely be keeping up with this one for inspo and a good laugh!

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