(all pictures from outletforfoodpicturesocd)
Today I have a very awesome post to share.
The other day a commenter left a comment on my blog and I clicked through to find her blog outletforfoodpictureocd.
There I saw such things as this:
I read through all the archives and was extremely inspired.
I found that this blogger, by name of Natalie, is a vegan who eats mostly raw and her blog is full of pics of all the extremely healthy and fresh looking food and green juice she makes and musings on her extensive reading about raw foods and the power of leafy green vegetables.
There was just something about this blog–it had a kind of magical infectious spirit. The pictures were so vibrant and light filled. I started feeling like, why aren’t I doing this. I could do this…..Well, before I knew it I was asking to interview this woman.
Some backstory: for a while now a desire has been percolating in my mind. The desire to be vegan. Well, I am only vegetarian now, but as I learn more about animal rights (recently I have been watching a lot of films and videos of disturbing and sad things relating to animals), I really want to go fully vegan again. I have also been inspired by the adorable guy I am dating who drinks like a fridge full of vegetables for dinner every night to eat more vegetables. His green smoothies taste really good, but I’ve made some pretty bad smoothies in my life. My smoothie confidence was at an all time low.
I am thrilled to be able to offer you this interview. This interview cleared up many of the questions I had been dying to know answers to and had even tried to google…but with no results.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Some quick things I learned from the interview before letting you read the whole thing yourself:
1. Don’t wrack your brains thinking about how you can GO Vegan all the time. Simply, try eating healthier and you may be almost vegan before you know it.
2. Eating Raw does not have to be super complicated. Drink a green juice for breakfast and eat a salad for lunch and you have two meals out of the way.
3. Get Victoria Boutenko’s book “Green For Life” about green smoothies, and check out Ani Phyo or Matthew Kenny (people and books Natalie recommends)
Well without further ado, as I always say, I am honored to present to you My Non Leather Life’s (the new name of this blog if you hadn’t noticed) first interview.
And check out Natalie’s blog for more in depth musings.
hi victoria! thanks so much for checking out my blog! and thanks so much for the questions! ^_^ xo natalie
1. What is your name, and how did you get into your diet? Have you always been this healthy or did you one day decide to make a big change in your life and change everything.
my name is natalie and my diet has continuously evolved since slowly going vegetarian 14 years ago. i still marvel at how i used to make fun of my vegetarian friend in high school as the concept was so alien to me, and now that i’m a mostly raw vegan, i remind myself that this diet is quite alien to most others! i started eating raw foods almost exclusively (and recognizing my eating habits with a “raw” label) about 2.5 years ago. and funny enough, i found myself working in a raw restaurant a few days after realizing my diet shift. at first, it began as a challenge and curiosity, but it became mostly a more conscious approach to my eating. working at the restaurant, i was surrounded by holistic nutrition students who i learned so much from. and i was eating and drinking incredible things while on shift, constantly inspired to try new things at home and share with people i was working with and meeting. i felt enlightened and though i had already been lessening my use of chemical products, i started to eliminate use of anything on my skin or body that i wouldn’t eat.
2. Was it hard to transition into your mostly raw, vegan, green juice drinking diet or was it easier than you thought. Did you have trouble knowing what to eat, and where did you learn about green juicing and how to make your meals.
it wasn’t a hard transition for me as i had been slowly changing how i was eating for years. i had worried about how i could “go vegan” for years but didn’t realize how unhealthy i had been eating as a vegetarian! i now just try to vary my fruits and vegetables as much as possible and if i am craving something (vegan!), i eat it! i really got into green smoothies earlier this year when i read victoria boutenko’s book “green smoothies for life”. she wrote about the very same raw food “plateau” i felt (feeling i needed to eat heavy foods like nuts at night, not feeling sick but not feeling super healthy because of, possibly, an imbalance of omega3s vs 6s) and her explanations for why we needed to drink our greens, and what greens are (not supplements, not broccoli, not necessarily vegetables – leaves! leafy plants!) really resonated with me. i did 30 days of green smoothies with my boyfriend (recipes documented on my blog!) and i noticed, just like victoria, my nighttime cravings disappearing. drinking a blended greens/fruit drink in the morning was as satisfying, if not more so, than anything i would consider for breakfast. that’s not to say, however, that i always do the same thing. in fact, this morning, i had some chia toast with coconut oil and a smoothie! i just go with my gut for what to eat. (ha!) i generally drink one green smoothie per day and i feel like i am getting so much more nutrition by consuming my greens in this way. i feel less anxious than i was feeling before i started the smoothies and my skin has cleared up again.
3. Did you notice any large changes in your mind set or physical well being? And if so, what were they? I’d love to know!
as soon as i went “raw”, i definitely started thinking a lot more about the “big picture” of the food and pharmaceutical industries. i became more concerned about what i was supporting with my money. i want to support local and organic as much as possible.
when i started eating “raw”, i marveled at how much “lighter” i felt, in that i felt a lot calmer but vibrant and i couldn’t believe how much of a “buzz” everything had for me. i felt like i didn’t need much sleep and i felt like my skin radiated purity. after about a year and a half, however, i was starting to snack a lot at night and i started feeling that “non-organic and/or cooked foods are poison” was not the healthiest position to take. everything in moderation, right? i started to feel that maybe some things were okay cooked and that i should switch things up a bit and try some foods i had avoided. so, now i eat more cooked things (some foods like tomatoes and spinach are supposed to be better for you cooked anyways!) and have relaxed my exclusive diet. though i definitely always prefer a raw meal or smoothie!
4. Do you have any tips or ideas on how someone who is looking to eat more raw foods and green juices could do it? (Any books or websites or methods you would recommend?)
ani phyo has been my go-to for many recipes and ideas. her recipes are super accessible. i like to take raw food books out of the library to try out before buying. i also like to google ingredients i have and get ideas from other people’s recipes. i post experiments or recipe adjustments on my blog so that i have a record if i want to try it again. i love how truly simple eating raw can be. you can keep things how they appear in nature and they taste delicious. i almost always do a smoothie (blended fruit and leafy greens with a bit of water) in the morning and have a salad for lunch at work. 5 minutes or less to prep! i was never a great cook; i mean, i can cook, but i struggle following recipes exactly and i tend to cook quite blandly. i don’t do many elaborate raw food meals but they almost always taste amazing! trial and error works so well in raw food. in a smoothie, if it’s too green or spicy/pungent (ie mustard greens!), i keep adding fruit. if my soup doesn’t turn out, i dehydrate it into a crumble to sprinkle on salad. if my crackers don’t turn out, they become topping for something else. having a mix of tastes and textures is always pleasurable, is it not? there is no burning my arm on the oven with raw food. there is no burnt pot of rice on the stove while waiting for it to “finally” cook. raw food can totally work for the people not totally conscious in the kitchen and it has a strange way of creating a consciousness in what you eat. and i find chopping vegetables super grounding and cathartic.
5. What is your favorite meal to make?
i love doing a raw chili (like ani phyo’s or matthew kenny’s) and topping it with avocado. avocado in and on everything, for sure! i make salads (er, chopped veggies) basically every day for work and i always look forward to eating them. i don’t use dressing, though sometimes i top them with raw sauerkraut. i love the tanginess with the creamy avocado. leek flower or green onion and/or fresh basil on top is heaven.
6. Please feel free to add anything you would like to share or add!
i think food should be enjoyable but also that we as a culture need to adopt more consciousness to how and why we eat. i still often eat when i’m not “officially” hungry. it seems crazy to keep pumping gas into a car that has a full tank, you know? when i first started eating raw, i thought it was all about soaking and sprouting and dehydrating and a million steps to make one meal. but really, a salad is a wonderfully nutritious meal and is so quick to prepare! and i think once you take a couple steps to simplify your diet (like eating less processed and more “real”, simple foods), the change keeps happening. like once you start drinking green smoothies, you begin to want less fruit because the leafy greens start to become sweeter on your palate. well, except maybe the mustard greens. ^_^
thank you so much for agreeing to be interviewed. You are inspiring me, and I am sure others too, and that was so much fun.
Off topic: If anyone wants to stay in touch on Facebook and discuss things, ask questions or see the cool animal vids and animal related articles, you can like MyNonLeatherLife on Facebook.
Have a good TUES!