Raw food eating is a wonderful way of life. However, many of us are not ready to make a change like this.
What is important is that we incorporate as much live food into our eating as we can even though we may not be eating 100% live foods.
Ani Phyo, author of Raw Food Essentials, shares with us her experience and the importance of live food in our daily lives.
Her books are well known, her approach is easy to understand and her recipes are delicious.
Hi Ani, thanks for joining us. For many people, starting on a raw food lifestyle was a way to overcome a health issue, however, your start with raw food eating was a bit different. Will you share with us your living food Journey? How has it changed your life for the better?
Ani: I was raised on a high raw diet by a raw food dad who had turned to raw foods for health reasons. I was raised drinking what I describe as 'mud sludge' vegetable juices from our organic garden, fresh whole foods, and fermented foods from our Korean heritage. I call this the Raw Food 1.0 diet. One that was based on function.
As adult in mid 90s in San Francisco, I discovered what I now call Raw Food 2.0, a new gourmet style of raw foods. It gave me energy, mental clarity, focus. And I dove into it to learn more and started to make it for myself so I didn't need to sleep as much, was uber productive, and didn't get sick.
Now you are the author of several raw food eating books including your “Ani’s Raw Food Essentials.” Can you tell us a little bit about each of your books and why you decided to write your latest book?
There are many raw food chefs and books out there for people to learn from. What makes you unique in the Raw Food world?
Ani: We're all unique and have our own personal experiences and journey to raw foods. That's the beauty of what we do, there is no competition because everyone is sharing what worked for them, and it may not work for someone else.
I was raised on raw foods, and realize more and more how much of that comes from my ethnic heritage as a Korean American. I hope my voice is always approachable and compassionate, and never judging the path anyone else is on.
I believe anyone will benefit from adding more whole fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds into their diet, without being 100% raw.
I also tell readers if they are craving hot food to heat up my soups and recipes on the stove, to pan fry or bake my sun burgers if they don't have a dehydrator or don't want to wait 12 hours before eating. All food starts out raw, and heating up a soup made from whole fresh ingredients is much healthier than a canned soup option from the grocery.
Since raw food eating is not the norm in today’s world, what is the most challenging lifestyle issue you face and how do you overcome it? What suggestions do you have for others?
Ani: Add salads to any meal, add shakes and smoothies and desserts to add in more whole ingredients in delicious way.
Many people travel with their jobs and may find challenges when eating raw on the road. What suggestions might you have for them?
Ani: I always search to locate natural food stores and farmer's markets before arriving. Drop off luggage, then go shopping first. I travel with sea vegetables like nori and dulse, both take up small amount of space.
Flax crackers and trail mixes with nuts, seeds, goji berries are great too. Sometimes I travel with my Personal Blender and blend up drinks.
Thank you so much for your time, we certainly wish you the best with your book “Ani’s Raw Food Essentials.” In closing, what are your favorite “words of wisdom” you can offer us when it comes to raw food eating and living?
Ani: Remember how blessed we are, and give thanks for everything we already have. We're privileged to have access to this information, to choose organic, to decline food because it's not raw or vegan or organic. Let's keep perspective that people are starving to death in other countries.
Gratitude does go a long way. I really appreciate that Ani took the time to share with us. I absolutely love her book and enjoy incorporating raw food eating into my lifestyle (though not 100%).
My favorite recipes in Raw Food Essentials are Eggplant Bacon, Basic Cheez (made with cashews) and the Basic Cookie Dough with chocolate chips. All of them are tasty and very easy to make. My family and I thoroughly enjoyed these delicious and healthy treats.