I have been inspired by so many people in the raw food community, but one amazing woman has really been particularly inspiring to me. I love her mission! I'm honored she has taken the time to do this interview for us, while she was on vacation in the Bahamas no less....
The amazing, talented, loving..Stacy Stowers!
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
....think “Super Nanny” meets Raw Food Nutrition! I travel our country living with a new family each week. My job is to show my families how to add more raw nutritionally rich foods into their diets while providing plenty of yumminess for a supremely enjoyable eating experience.
I help my families form their own plans for healthy living, a personal plan designed to work for them as unique individuals. Each week I look forward to the challenge of recreating my family’s favorite foods like my Bush family’s Lasagna, my Cioffi family’s favorite “Sarah Bernhardt Cookies” to Miguel’s “Cheatos”!!!
How did you get involved in raw foods?
At 22 years old I was struck with Valley Fever, a fungal infection that attack’s the body’s immune system. I dealt with the debilitating aftermath of this for 16 years to the point of not being able to get out of bed, on pain medications, sleeping pills, coffee and alcohol daily to deal with the chronic pain and fatigue. In 2007 I realized a remarkable recovery though eating raw foods.
My plan was to only eat raw foods and water for one week as a cleanse. I felt the pain leaving my skin and kept going until day 10 when I found myself pain free and touring my city of Chicago on foot with my best friend Susie. By the end of the day only my SMILE muscles were hurting!!!
What inspired you to create your business?
I didn’t come to this amazing life looking for a “business”. I simply set about selling my home full of possessions and packing my car to travel our country sharing freely with others the healing powers of raw foods. I began my tour January 1, 2010 and by the end of the year, when the finances would run out, I was supposed to settle in one spot and get a J O B.
My tour was so successful that families started to hire me for in home instruction. I am so happy I followed my heart and went with the flow of doing exactly what I love....feeding people and most importantly, teaching people how to feed themselves. Now I will never work another day of my life.
How do you come up with recipes?
My families are who inspire my recipes. I look through the kitchen cabinets, listen to them carefully about what they like and begin the recreation of their favorite sauces, dressings, dinners, desserts and snack foods. Then I carry those creations to my next families and I perfect the taste with each new family’s input. It is very important for me to keep my recipes simple with as few ingredients as possible, while keeping everything rich and flavorful.
What's the best way for a raw newbie to get into raw or vegan foods?
So many people have made their own changes towards a healthier direction by simply adding in one thing to their diets....the “Happy Shake”! The Happy Shake is a Super Food SALAD in disguise as chocolate soft serve ice cream. Best part.....it makes you HAPPY. The recipe can be found at http://stacystowers.com/ . Feel free to make your own adjustments to fit your personal taste.
What is your typical day like and what would you eat?
I don’t think I ever have a typical day. I am either in travel, meeting my new family or visiting my dear husband....who happens to be my strongest advocate. Even the times I am home, feels like a special occasion. I adapt well to every environment which means, I can always make happiness and good food happen wherever I am.
A favorite day would start with a “Happy Shake” for breakfast, a little work done in the “office”, organizing and throwing away stuff (always gives me a sense of accomplishment), a yummy salad “creation” for lunch, a fresh green juice, a good walk through my city and some seared tuna or salmon with a fluffy green salad for dinner, accompanied by great company and good conversation.
What's one thing that most people don't know about you?
Most people find it odd that I did not know my way around the kitchen before coming to raw foods. I failed homemaking in high school and I was known in my past as the “microwave bandit”.
When I did come to raw food, I found the recipes all very daunting or they just tasted too “healthy”. I had to watch a DVD three times before I could work my food processor. I did however find my creative chef side when I started playing with all these new foods that gave me back my health and vitality. Today it is hard to keep me out of the kitchen!
Do you think it's vital to be 100% raw or 100% vegan?
NO & NO.....with all the food controversy out there about food, I have come to believe 2 things:
1. We must get ourselves and our children off of processed foods.
2. Raw Food Heals.....so add in more raw foods, especially GREENS!
Most of us know this, but the problem is after you have purchased that bag of kale......what do you do with it?? This is where I come into my family’s lives. I show them how to do this in easy and tasty ways, so no one has to feel deprived or miss their favorite comfort foods.
Have you experienced any deficiencies on the raw food diet?
YES. Two and a half years into following a raw vegan diet, I felt my energy begin to decline. With just a little investigation, I found I was becoming deficient in vitamin B12. Since I did not come to raw foods to belong to a group of people or save the animals.....although I do love animals, adding some eggs and fish to my diet was an easy decision for me to make. Today my vitamin B levels and energy are great without taking a supplement!
What does the optimum raw diet consist of and do you take any supplements?
I think the optimum raw diet is what works best for YOU. What makes YOU feel ALIVE?? For me, I feel really happy when I am adding in plenty of green leaves, raw sauerkraut, sprouts, algae, sea vegetables and fresh juices. I don’t fill up on to many nuts or dried fruits. I love fresh juicy fruits....berries are my favorite. Even though I feel really really great, I do regularly get my blood tested. I do supplement with a Vitamin D.....which most of us in our country, raw, vegan or not, are deficient in.
Do you ever get sick?
In my past if anyone sneezed next to me I knew I was headed for the worst flu and a trip to the emergency room. I caught every “bug” in my vicinity and my reproductive system was shut down, so no chances of ever conceiving. Since coming to raw foods, the only time I have been sick was one evening last year while throwing a dinner party. By the time the last guest left I had 101 fever and into bed I went. I spent the whole next day resting and drinking coconut water.
The following night, I was down in Manhattan for a dinner party with friends and had a great time! Today at 44 I could have plenty of babies. But right now I have a lot I want to accomplish with my new amazing life!I learned from this experience good health is not simply dependent on good food. It also has to do with a life style and stress. Even the good stress of letting go and falling in love.
How is your spiritual life in conjunction with the raw foods lifestyle? How does it all relate for you?
I feel there is a balance in caring for ourselves spiritually, physically and emotionally. I am always striving to keep this balance. I don’t feel raw food makes you a more spiritual person. Although, I personally have become more aware of our environment through learning about and eating raw foods.
If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
Growing up, “Jeanie” was my favorite super hero in PINK!!! I would have the power to wish for coconuts, go “bink” and voila.....two island coconuts in hand!
If aliens came by, (ya know the aliens that have "never" been to Earth before), what would you feed them first?
That’s easy.....the first thing I feed all my new friends, the “Happy Shake”! Because we do want HAPPY Aliens : )))
What’s in store for Stacy Stowers 2012?
I have some really amazing families lined up for 2012 from the east to the west coast. Much FUN to be had! I also am so very excited to share with your family, a book filled with all of my favorite recipes and the families who have tasted, tested and inspired them! Coming by the end of this year.
I would love to invite you to come meet the families who feed my soul. I just created a new “fan page” on Facebook where I will be featuring my weeks with each new family and the foods we create together. I hope you “like me” : )))