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Home Ecology

For Roxanne and Michael Klein, living well means living in balance with the earth. From the food they eat to the materials they used to construct their home, the Kleins have a lifestyle that reflects their philosophy of honoring nature.

By Bonnie Monte

Roxanne herself eats only raw food—nothing heated above 118 degrees Fahrenheit. "Above that temperature, the beneficial enzymes in the food break down, and your body has to work harder to digest it," she explains. She finds that eating food as close as possible to its living state (what she calls "high-vibration") is energizing: "When I lived in France, I had to have espresso in the morning. Now I wake up totally ‘on.' And I have no dip in energy during the day." She also credits her raw diet with vanquishing her allergies. As a professional chef, though, she has an avid interest in other cultures' cuisines and will sample cooked foods when exploring them. But she often feels groggy and less sharp the next day—suffering from what she calls a "cooked-food hangover."

Besides affecting her well-being, Roxanne finds that food heated beyond the enzyme-zapping 118 degrees simply doesn't have the same intensity of flavor. "I experimented with different settings on the dehydrator. Once the temperature exceeded that number, the food's essence changed," she says. "It needed extra ingredients to bring out the flavor. I like to get as close as possible to an ingredient's pure essence, to let it speak on its own in its natural state." Still, she isn't out to convert everyone to an all-raw diet. "I don't preach," she says. "I encourage people to try eating one raw meal a day and see how they feel."

For Roxanne, her way of eating resonates with her yoga practice. "Just like I try to come closer to the essence of fruits and vegetables, my yoga practice is about connecting to my true self," she says. "Nine years ago, I took my first yoga class and everything started to unfold."

The crowning touch to the home is the detached yoga building, connected to the house by a covered walkway. It's here that she studies with Devorah Sacks of Open Door Yoga in San Francisco. Roxanne plans to add a mural to one wall. But even without that, she's supremely contented with the house and what it represents. "All the pieces have come together," she says. "This house honors the expression of how I want to live on this planet."

Green Home Resources

Bauwerk lime-based nontoxic paints

Forest Stewardship Council

Solar Energy International

Solar Living Institute

Toxin-free furniture

Bonnie Monte writes about gardens, homes, and decor from her perpetually under-construction home in San Anselmo, California.

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