I'm so happy to be featuring my "Friday Person of the Week" again! This week, my dear friend Angela Elliot steps into the spotlight! I have to say Angela is one of the most energetic and adorable people I know! She has a beautiful out look on life and the cutest sense of humor! Her book Alive in Five has been a staple of mine for several years now. Every time I'm with Angela is a fun time! I'm honored to have her sharing her story of her journey in raw foods with us! One of my favorite answers was, to the question:
"What does the optimum raw diet consist of and do you take any supplements?"
So, heeeeeeere's Angela.......!~~~Lori
Angela Elliott is the author of Alive in Five, Holiday Fare with Angela, The Simple Gourmet, A Diva's Guide to Juices and Cocktails, and more books on the way! Angela is the creator of "Raw Nut-Free Cuisine" and "The Celestialwich™, and the owner and operator of She-Zen Ecological Cuisine
What inspired you to create She Zen Cuisine?
I have been known as Celestial Raw Goddess for about 12 years now and with the help of Tera Warner of THE RAW DIVAS, we decided to go in a new direction. I am all about Chinese herbs, life, the earth, being green, etc, so She-Zen represents that perfectly. SHIZEN means Mother Nature :-) SHE refers to the feminine divine linking me to women's health and my work with the raw divas. http://www.she-zencuisine.com/
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I am the author of Alive in Five, inventor of the Celestialwich, raw nut free cuisine, and I owned and operated the first vegan dog bakery.
How did you get involved in raw foods?
I was first introduced to raw foods when I was a teenager. I worked in a fabulous health food restaurant making juice. The people who owned the restaurant were absolutely crazy about me, so they invested in my health by sending me through Dr. Norman Walker’s Nutrition Program and Ann Wigmore’s program, so before I was 20, I was already educated on natural living.
I love juicing and have been juicing every day since I started working in the health food restaurant.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t completely sold on the whole raw thing, as far as taste goes, so I didn’t stick to 100% raw. I did however go back into when I was dying. I had an infection next to my brain and the docs told me I only had 2 weeks left, so I went to 100% raw and have been there ever since
You are the Goddess of so many things! What are you MOST passionate about with your work?
I've gone back to my roots as a Master Herbalist and enjoy making tonics more than anything else.
What's the best way for a raw newbie to get into raw or vegan foods?
Start by making raw food FUN. Focus on the positive and focus on your goal. Get your hands on a good recipe book, that is simple and straight forward. Clean out your cupboards little by little and replace those items with raw nuts, seeds, a healthier sweetener, coconut oil, olive oil, and a healthier salt choice like Himalayan salt or real salt.
Join Meet-ups to find out where raw potlucks are in your area. Start an exercise program so you are more likely to stick with raw foods. Find support wherever possible. Just add raw to your existing diet and before you know it, you will be feeling more energetic than you ever thought possible and will be replacing more and more of your diet with raw food and this way, it won't be so intense.
Think about it this way, you eat a salad or a piece of fruit even when you are eating cooked food and you don't even think about it, but in that moment, you were eating raw! :-))
Can you share with us a favorite recipe or dish?
This is a recipe from my book, Alive in Five and has been a favorite of everyone for years now. This is a classic recipe perfect for your holiday feasts and any day your family needs a healthy new twist on an old favorite!
Apple Pie Crust
Directions for the filling
How is your spiritual life in conjunction with the raw foods lifestyle? How does it all relate for you?
I've been spiritual all of my life. I started out as a Catholic and an Episcopalian and ended up as a Buddhist and for the last 8 years have been a Ramtha Student. I am no more spiritual as a raw foodist than I was as a life long vegan.
How do you come up with recipes?
Most of them come to me in my dreams and the others stem from a craving for something new and exciting.
What's one thing that most people don't know about you?
I used to paint rocks and sell them on Mill Avenue out in front of my parent's shop and my dad was convinced that I was an entrepreneur at an early age.
Do you think it's vital to be 100% raw or 100% vegan?
I don't know anymore about 100% raw. I was 100% raw for over 12 years and just recently added some cooked whole foods to my diet. I definitely feel it is essential for people to be 100% vegan.
IF you were to eat any cooked food you wanted what would you eat?
Vegan Chinese food!
I eat lots of fruits, vegetables, & greens. I drink at least 10 8oz glasses of pure spring water, I meditate, exercise, spend plenty of time in the sun, get plenty of fresh air and rest, and I dry body brush every day.
What is your typical day like and what would you eat?
I always start my morning out with fresh squeezed orange juice. Mid morning snack is green juice, and after my workout, I enjoy a green smoothie with raw protein and chia added. Lunch is usually a salad and dinner is something raw with a little cooked or just raw.
Have you experienced any deficiencies on the raw food diet?
No, never! I only recently added in some cooked whole foods, because I felt a little lonely eating by myself all those years and thought it would be a little more social and fun to be able to have the option of going out with my family to eat or sharing a meal with them.
What does the optimum raw diet consist of and do you take any supplements?
I think in order to have the most optimal raw food diet, one must get in enough calories. One of the problems with raw foods is they may be full of nutrients, which is AWESOME, but I really feel that it is impossible to get in enough calories unless you are striving to do that. With everyone constantly cleansing, a regular obsession in the raw world, people tend to just eat a salad or juice feast.
Then you have the raw junk food eaters, which at one time I fell into that category and all I wanted was dehydrated snacks, raw vegan ice cream, raw cakes, etc and even though there are quite a few calories there, it isn't a feel good diet at all-too much FAT. One of the ways we can obtain more calories is to make sure to eat enough.
My usual weight for my small bones is generally 98-105 pounds, but on raw foods I got down to 89 pounds-doesn't seem like that much of a weight difference, but it truly is and I just never felt like doing anything about it.
Now, I am on a plan where I actually count my calories to make sure I am consuming enough, I drink raw protein shakes, hike 7 miles daily and pump iron and I am starting to get excited about my results. Yes, I do take supplements-I supplement with my tonics, raw teas, MSM, superfoods, and medicinal mushroom blends.
What are some raw food staples in your current diet?
Green smoothies, green juice, protein shakes, and superfoods.
Are you 100% raw?
No, but was for over 12 years
Do you ever get sick?
Not everyone can be a great chef or spend the time preparing food, what suggestions would you give for the simple person?
Buy my book, Alive in Five-it doesn't get any easier than that! It even has a 7 day meal plan. Eating raw doesn't have to be hard, but it does have to be fun or you won't stick to it. Start by adding in some fruit, then move to salads and green smoothies or start with juices daily and work your way to green smoothies. Adding little by little will be easier and then everything else that doesn't serve you will just fall away.
What is the last book you read?
Markus Rothkrannz's book, heal your face
If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
I would be invincible
If aliens came by, (ya know the aliens that have "never" been to Earth before), what would you feed them first?
I wouldn't, because I wouldn't want to accidentally kill them, not knowing what their weaknesses might be on a foreign planet.
Thanks Angela for all your insight! (I LOVE the answer to the alien question! Good thinking!) For more info on Angela please see her website: http://www.she-zencuisine.com/
In love and health,
Lori Clayton, LMT, CHHC