From Homeless Heroin Addict to Malibu Mogul — How One Man Turned Around His Life with Superfoods
Category: Superfoods
Tags: Inspiration Superfoods

By Carolanne Wright

Contributing writer for Wake Up World

Looking at Khalil Rafati, the 46-year-old owner of the juice bar chain SunLife Organics, you would never guess his life history. Born in Toledo, Ohio to a Polish Jewish Mother and Muslim father of Palestinian origin, his childhood was peppered with trauma. In a bid to escape sexual abuse and have a fresh beginning, he left his hometown and drove nonstop to Southern California. Through diligent hard work, he climbed the social ladder and began a sports car detailing business — with clients ranging from actors Elizabeth Taylor and Jeff Bridges, to the guitarist for Guns N’ Roses.

But Rafati wasn’t satisfied, and started investing his earnings in the drug trade. Eventually, he fell victim to heroin and began a downward spiral of drug addiction, homelessness and time in prison. After reaching “the bottom of all bottoms,” he had enough. As luck would have it, this wasn’t the end for Rafati, but the beginning of an extraordinary success story fueled by coming clean with superfoods.

Thirteen years ago, Khalil Rafati was addicted to heroin, homeless and living in Los Angeles’ infamous Skid Row. Covered in ulcers, and weighing in at 106 pounds, he was emaciated and sick.

Today he’s a multi-millionaire.


Rafati is now sharing his story to inspire others, chronicling his incredible journey in the book, “I Forgot to Die.”



Heroin Overdose and Near Misses

By the late 1990s, Rafati was selling ecstasy at raves and smuggling the surgical anesthetic ketamine across the Mexican border. It was around this time that he also tried heroin and became hooked. In 2001, he intentionally overdosed on IV heroin at a house party in Malibu and nearly died. Paramedics saved his life, but Rafati had another close call the very next year when armed intruders shot through the door he was hiding behind, while he was shooting up drugs in the bathroom. Several times he ended up in the Los Angeles County jail. He said withdrawals there were “the worst ever. On a cold, cement floor, just horrible.”

He finally hit bottom when the seizures became too much, along with the abscesses and his teeth “literally rotting out of my head.” His physical condition “really drove me to kind of have the realization that, like, my time is pretty much up if I don’t make a change.”

Coming Clean — Once and For All

In mid-2003, Rafati went through his last detox from drug addiction. “There was no more digging left to do; all my shovels were broken. I was done.” After finally getting clean, he started various odd jobs — yard work and cleaning houses. Steady jobs followed, and then investments. A friend subsequently introduced him to juicing and superfoods.

from-homeless-heroin-addict-to-malibu-mogul-how-one-man-turned-around-his-life-with-superfoods-3He later established Riviera Recovery in 2007, a sober living house in Malibu, California, where he created what was to become SunLife’s signature smoothie — the Wolverine, a drink based on dates, bananas, maca, bee pollen and royal jelly.

“It was meant to rejuvenate and strengthen the patients,” he told the New York Times, “and give them some much-needed strength. Lethargy in early sobriety is pretty brutal, especially if you’re coming off a long run with hard-core drugs.”

He also began to make juices for patients and staff. Soon enough, word spread beyond the walls of the center. Before he knew it, outsiders from Malibu came to Riviera Recovery just to enjoy the smoothies. “It even became a bit embarrassing since many of these people were not part of the Riviera Recovery program,” says Rafati. But he saw firsthand how the juices and smoothies were making a real difference in the health of the patients.

In due course, Rafati began to seriously focus on marketing his nutritional drinks, and, with the help of CDs and DVDs by motivational speaker Tony Robbins, his entrepreneurial spirit blossomed. With ruined credit, Rafati instead used $50,000 worth of gold coins that he had stashed away to start his first juice bar. Together with his girlfriend, and financial support from a professional gambler, SunLife Organics was born. His mission was simple, he wanted to “love, heal and inspire.”

from-homeless-heroin-addict-to-malibu-mogul-how-one-man-turned-around-his-life-with-superfoods-1In just five years, SunLife Organics has expanded to six locations throughout the Los Angeles area. Each sell 32 kids of juices, protein shakes and smoothies, along with acai bowls, coffee, healthy sundaes and frozen yogurt.

Although he’s been sober for over a decade, Rafati admits he sometimes still thinks about getting high. But the life he has now is reason enough not to slide back into drug use — a thriving health and wellness business with roughly 200 employees that rely on him.

“The addict in me is what I bring to this operation,” he said. “This relentless pursuit of greatness and pure, authentic self-expression, that’s what it’s all about. So what I bring to the table is, yeah, being nuts.” [source]

When questioned if his superfood empire and healthy way of living has become his new drug, Rafati replies, “This isn’t just my new drug,” he said. “This is my anti-depressant, and it’s the greatest anti-depressant I’ve ever tried, and I’ve tried ‘em all.”

And when CBS News correspondent Mireya Villarreal asked, “What is that advice that you give to, maybe not just recovering addicts, but also people out there who have the dream that you had of owning a business?”

Rafati responded: “Never, ever, ever give up. That’s it. Never give up.”

Article sources:

About the author:

Carolanne WrightCarolanne Wright enthusiastically believes if we want to see change in the world, we need to be the change. As a nutritionist, natural foods chef and wellness coach, Carolanne has encouraged others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of organic living, gratefulness and joyful orientation for over 13 years.

Through her website, she looks forward to connecting with other like-minded people from around the world who share a similar vision. You can also follow Carolanne on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.


Health Benefits of HEMP Protein. KING of the PLANT Kingdom!
Category: Superfoods
Tags: 65% Edestin Albumin amino acids antioxidants Arginine Chlorophyl Cysteine Edestin protein Essential Fatty Acids fiber Gamma-Linolenic-Acid

Ergogenics Nutrition


Published on 25 Jun 2014

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Our Organic Hemp Protein is Water-Soluble and is an excellent source of Essential Amino Acids. It has a complete spectrum of natural organic proteins, with all 20 amino acids used in the human body, including all 10 essential amino acids. The proteins found in hemp are similar to proteins found in the human body. Soluble Hemp protein also provides essential fatty acids (EFAs) omega-6 and omega-3 in a healthy 3:1 ratio. Hemp is also an excellent source of dietary fibre and is very rich in vitamins and minerals.

Hemp protein is free of the trypsin inhibitors which block protein absorption and free of oligosaccharides found in soy, which cause stomach upset and gas. Approximately 65% of the protein in hemp seeds is made up of the globulin protein Edestin and is found only in hemp seed. Edestin aids digestion, is relatively phosphorus-free and is considered the backbone of the cell's DNA. The other 35% of hemp seed protein is Albumin, another high quality globulin protein similar to that found in egg whites.

The Amino Acids in Hemp protein serve a variety of functions in the human body such as acting as enzymes, antibodies, and the structural components of tissues, hormones and blood protein. The main function of dietary protein is to supply amino acids for the growth and maintenance of body muscle and tissue.

Learn more:


3 Inexpensive Superfoods
Category: Superfoods
Tags: Superfood Health Food

By Dr. Mercola

While food assistance varies from state to state, a typical family using the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the official name for food stamps, will have about $3.37 per person, per day, with which to buy food.1

Many families run out of food stamps after the first two weeks of the month and rely on food banks to fill in the gaps. On a budget this tight, fruits and vegetables are often purchased only if there’s money to spare, and often there isn’t.

In the documentary film Food Stamped, in which the filmmakers attempt to eat a healthy diet on a food-stamp budget, they visit food stamp enrollment clinics and tag along with low-income shoppers who tend to opt for the cheapest, most filling foods, such as white bread, factory-farmed ground beef, and ramen noodles.

In interviews with members of Congress who also took the food stamp challenge, even the elected officials – when forced to eat on meager budgets themselves – likewise fell prey to the allure of cheap convenience foods.

But while cost is one of the most often-cited obstacles to eating a healthy diet, there are low-cost superfoods available that contribute priceless benefits to your health. Further, research from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) found that eating a healthy diet costs only $1.50 more per day…

Healthiest Diets Cost About $1.50 More a Day Than Least Healthy Diets

Researchers from HSPH conducted a meta-analysis of 27 studies, evaluating the differences in prices per serving and prices per calorie for different types of food. Eating a healthier diet (defined as rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, and nuts) was found to be significantly more expensive than an unhealthy diet (rich in processed foods, meats, and refined grains).


However, the difference between buying food for the most healthy diet pattern or the least healthy diet pattern came out to about $1.50 per day.2 Part of what makes the processed food diet cheaper is the fact that the US government is actively supporting a diet that consists of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), soybean oil, corn oil, and grain-fed cattle, a direct result of their flawed farm subsidy system.

The junk foods are made even cheaper through the use of unhealthy filler ingredients and preservatives that prevent spoiling, with the end result being that the very worst foods for your health are often significantly cheaper to buy. The HSPH researchers reported that US food policies focus on:3

“‘Inexpensive, high volume’ commodities, which has led to ‘a complex network of farming, storage, transportation, processing, manufacturing, and marketing capabilities that favor sales of highly processed food products for maximal industry profit.'”

Adding to the problem, many on the most limited food budgets, such as those who receive food assistance dollars, live in “food deserts” – areas without grocery stores, and perhaps only a convenience store or a fast-food restaurant where they can purchase their food.

So while it’s certainly possible to eat healthy on a limited budget, this first requires that you understand what constitutes a healthy meal, and then that you have access to such foods, which is not always the case.

And as for cost, an extra $1.50 a day is a major hurdle for many, but for others for whom the cost can be readily absorbed, the extra investment will yield great returns for your family’s health. The researchers explained:4

“While healthier diets did cost more, the difference was smaller than many people might have expected. Over the course of a year, $1.50/day more for eating a healthy diet would increase food costs for one person by about $550 per year. 

This would represent a real burden for some families, and we need policies to help offset these costs. On the other hand, this price difference is very small in comparison to the economic costs of diet-related chronic diseases, which would be dramatically reduced by healthy diets.”



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