Tis the season when you start hearing people say ‘I’m going on a diet after Christmas, I’m going to start eating healthier after boxing day/holidays and I’m going to join the gym in January’ or, my New Years Resolution is too…?! It’s interesting, as I’ve never heard anyone say ‘I’m going to change my nutrition NOW, I’m going to adopt a plant-based diet NOW, let me find out how a plant-based or raw food lifestyle can enhance my life NOW’? I have never heard anyone say that and if I’ve ever heard anyone say they’re going to ‘go vegan’ they’re usually following the trend and go into it half-heartedly and fail just as quickly as they started. I will applaud anyone who has started the plant-based journey and stuck to it, as well as making the effort to find out more about the lifestyle and adopt it into their everyday life. The following inspiring story is about a lovely woman who was inspired by another inspirational woman to try a raw food lifestyle and now, well, she’s incorporated it into every aspect of her life and has become hugely successful by sharing what she loves with the world!
I’ll let Dorothy tell her story…
Hi everyone! My name’s Dorothy. I’m an author, traveller, ‘nutrition nerd,’ knowledge seeker, dancer and infinite being. I love sharing knowledge and inspiring others to thrive and be happy. Through this website, I hope I can inspire you to eat more healthily and to focus on the positive aspects of life; like the relationships we keep, the stunning destinations in our world and the beauty of simply being alive.
What inspired you to become a raw foodist? The lady that inspired me is called Maya. I meet her in Thailand 3 years ago. She was a raw foodist and she told me all about it and how it helped her to heal her cancer, as she was battling cancer at the time when I met her. I was very intrigued and I did more research which got me started on the raw food journey.
How long have you been a raw foodie? I’ve been on a raw food diet for 3 years now, since August 2013 and I’m not fully raw. I usually eat 1-2 fully raw meals per day and the rest is cooked.
What was your nutrition like before you became raw? My nutrition before I became raw was not that bad actually. I was very careful about what I ate even before 2013. I didn’t eat a lot of processed foods at the time because I was very aware of the damaging effects of processed foods. So I mostly cooked my own food and I didn’t eat a lot of processed meat or animal products; I really minimised that, and the main reason was because my dad is a homoeopathic practitioner and a very good role model when I was growing up, in terms of eating healthy. He didn’t force his opinions on me and my sister, but I watched him over the years and that helped me to make good food choices.
Are you 100% raw? I’m not 100% fully raw, I usually have 1 cooked meal per day and 2 raw meals per day. At this moment in time, I am on 1 raw meal per day and 2 cooked meals per day and that’s because my body’s craving a little bit more warm food at this moment in time.
What are some raw food staples in your current diet? 1. Bananas – are an absolute must, I must have bananas at home at all times, firstly to snack on and secondly to freeze to make banana ice-cream and thirdly to make either pancakes or oat cookies.
2. Green smoothies – I must have a green smoothie every other day as it makes my skin look beautiful and I feel nourished when I have green smoothies.
3. Cocoa powder- I love chocolate, I love the chocolate taste, and I have to have cocoa powder at home.
4. Chia seeds – because I love to thicken foods with chia seeds and it also has a nice crunch.
5. Fruits – you’ve got to have a good stash of fruits in your house because they are the perfect snack, satisfying and nourishing.
Is living a raw food lifestyle challenging? No, not really to be honest. I think the transition period was a bit of a challenge, 3 years ago because I was in the dark. I did a lot of research beforehand. I did a lot of reading and watching Youtube videos, but when you’re doing it, sometimes you make mistakes as usual. I would say one of the main mistakes I made when I switched was eating too many dates all at once, sometimes I would eat 50 dates and I thought that was healthy because they were raw, but It had a lot of negative effects on my body, like farting like crazy. So, that was challenging. Also, I had very low energy when I transitioned, so I guess that was one of the detox symptoms, but over time it’s become really easy because when your new cells that keep forming in your body, when they are made up of raw nourishing foods, that’s what they crave and our cells are always replacing themselves, so if you make it a habit of eating raw food eventually you will start craving raw foods. That’s the beauty of it and it becomes really easy.
What has been one of your main challenges? Well, that’s it, eating dates. The transition period was my main challenge when I switched to a raw food diet because I was not informed about what I should eat and the routines to adopt in order to be successful, so I made a few mistakes here and there; like having too many dates or having too many sweet things. I would also say that keeping it simple is probably the best thing if you’re switching to a raw food diet, have your fruits as snacks, eat lots of mono-meals, drink your green smoothies, and eat your salads. When you have a lot of gourmet foods, which means foods that are dehydrated, that becomes challenging as these foods are very difficult to digest. So, stay away from them if you can!
What have been the main benefits of a raw food lifestyle? 1. I would say the quickest benefit you will see is clear and beautiful skin, that was the first thing I noticed.
2. without actually noticing this, I thought about it and I’ve almost not been sick since I switched to a raw food diet, my body just works naturally and is vibrant, energetic and you don’t even think about all those things you had in the past, like allergies. I don’t even think about that anymore as it’s just not there. Just feeling healthy. Also, having a really good digestive system, no constipation anymore.
Where do you get your raw food produce from? I usually get my raw food produce from the supermarket, unfortunately, I would love to say the farmers market. I get my fruits from the supermarket and most of my vegetables from the farm that is next door to where I live, which is mostly organic. So I get tomatoes, carrots, raw honey, potatoes, greens. Also, we have a little garden where I live, where we’ve planted spinach, kale and tomatoes, so I get those from there.
Do you eat organic raw food? I eat partly organic and partly conventional foods. The greens have to be organic. I almost never eat standard leafy greens that are grown conventionally. For me, leafy greens have to be organic, because they’re being sprayed so much. Also, berries have to be organic, so when I buy berries I almost always make sure they are organic unless I’m craving it and I don’t find organic. Basically, my rule is, the fruits and veggies where you will eat the skin should be organic and the ones where you don’t eat the skin can be conventional; for example, bananas I don’t mind if they’re not organic, or pineapples, mangoes, which I don’t necessarily mind if they’re not organic because they’re usually grown on huge trees and are not really sprayed that much. You’ve got to do a bit of research. I also don’t mind if avocados are not organic either, as I don’t eat the skin.
How do you come up with a recipe? I would say, these days I usually watch Youtube videos to get new idea’s or I follow food accounts on Instagram. Food accounts on Instagram are awesome because people share amazing pictures and they tell you the recipe for the picture and then you get inspired to create your own. So that’s how I mostly get inspired.
What is your favourite raw food meal? I would say at the moment its ‘nice-creams’, so just frozen bananas blended up with different kinds of flavours. So, mango and frozen bananas to make mango ice cream or cocoa and frozen bananas to make chocolate ice cream or peanut butter / almond butter and frozen bananas, mint and frozen bananas to make mint ice cream.
Are you satisfied with your current raw food diet or are there changes you would like to make? I’m very satisfied with the way things have been going, I would say one change I would like to make is to have more salads during the week at least 3 times per week and to have them along with my main meals as well. Apart from that I still have my green smoothies and I still have ‘nice-creams’ and fruit as snacks. It’s going well!
What advice would you give someone who was about to make the switch to a plant-based diet? I would change one routine first and once I make it into a habit then I would continue to with next habit or routine. In other words, rather than having many goals when switching to a plant-based diet I recommend changing breakfast to a plant-based diet, preferably raw as raw foods are much easier to digest especially fruits in the morning. I would also recommend for breakfast have foods that provide you with energy, even better a green smoothie. Once you have developed a good morning eating routine, then you can move on to lunch then dinner; so focus on one thing at a time to change when you’re switching to a raw food or plant-based diet. Developing a good routine helps!
What is one question people should never ask a raw foodist? The one question you should never ask a raw-foodist is, do you eat raw meat?! Someone asked me this on one of my videos and I was like duhhh!
If you feel inspired by Dorothy’s story, you want to learn more or just want to connect with her, check out all her social media and literature below.
Thank you, Dorothy x