“7 Secrets to Living Raw Foods” author Chef Allie Kent Dishes on Healthy Food Choices for the Kitchen

Allie frontprint

ShelfLife@Texas sat down with Chef Allie Kent, University of Texas at Austin alumna (English ’86), to discuss her new book “7 Secrets to Living Raw Foods” and her tips for a healthier lifestyle.

What inspired you to write “7 Secrets to Living Raw Foods”?

I was tired of being tired all of the time, of being overweight, of getting “4-5” colds a year consistently, and as I am getting older (in my 40s now) I knew that I had to make changes now in order to have the quality of life I’d would wish for in the future – a life free of prescription drugs and walkers or wheelchairs, with my mental faculties intact.  By changing my lifestyle, I lost over 70 pounds, I’ve regained energy – feeling like I did in my 20s, and I believe that my health is better than it has ever been, indicated by great readings on blood pressure, and more.

Can you explain to our reader’s who might not know what a raw diet is?

A Raw food lifestyle, for it is a lifestyle change, is simply incorporating food as nature intended it, food for our bodies as the human species has evolved and adapted for over eons of time.  When raw food is well prepared, people who are used to eating SAD (Standard American Diet) will enjoy it equally well, and it’s SOOOO much better for the body, especially in the long-run.

What do you think the greatest benefits are to eating a raw diet?

From my own experience, and that of my students and clients, the greatest benefits to adopting a raw food lifestyle are the boost in energy, weight loss to each person’s natural level without having to think about it, healthy readings on medical tests, and there is more – the flavors, textures, and vibrancy of the food blossoming on the tongue, and for the eye.  Why eat just anything, when it can be this good, and good for you too?

What advice might you offer to people who are interested in incorporating more raw food into their diets?

My advice to people who are interested in incorporating more raw food into their lives is to go at your own body’s pace; some of us transition overnight (I did), and others do better taking small steps of adding more into their diet over time.  Easiest first step is to replace breakfast with a non-dairy based green or fruit smoothie.  One of my favorite combinations is: 1 c water, 1 mango (peeled/seed removed), couple handfuls of spinach, 1 scoop of Mila, and a banana, all blended.  It’s easy, it’s quick, it tastes great, and it’s filling.  Best next step is to replace dinner with a salad and/or blended, non-heated soup – there are all kinds of recipes for these.  Taking a class to learn how to set up a kitchen and how to prepare the foods is also very helpful.


31 thoughts on ““7 Secrets to Living Raw Foods” author Chef Allie Kent Dishes on Healthy Food Choices for the Kitchen

  1. Eating more of our food raw is a great way to improve our health.
    Just be sure it’s free of the toxins our commercial food industry loads our systems with.

    Do you have any recomendations for restaurants serving lots of raw foods?

  2. I am really starting to think that this whole “weight loss” focus is wrong. We need to be focused on “healthy living” and then everything else will follow…(like natural weight loss, longer life, cleaner arteries (heart health), better skin, and generally happier life) That, to me, makes a whole lot more sense! Thank you so much, Kristen K.

  3. Hi, Loved the blog. Do you know which herbs and plants are helpful to the relief of hemorroids? Any info would be appreciated.

  4. Yes, Kristen, I would agree that it is really is about the ‘healthy living’! As food is really just chemistry, impacting our body chemistry, it can either clog up the system, like bad gas in a vehicle engine, or add energy, life to the system. Eating the very best fuel that we can, impacting our body chemistry, makes the difference in how we think, feel and act.

    And, Kirk, turnip greens, according to Dr. N. W. Walker, are helpful for the relief of hemorrhoids. He used them in juicing primarily.

    I invite you, or anyone interested, to come interact with me via my new blog: http://www.askchefallie.com ; I’ll be responding to questions and helping people through that channel now.

    To Your Very Best Health, Chef Allie

  5. My favourite is raw broccoli. I have it almost every day for dinner along with a salad.

    I think starting gradually was the key for me (like mentioned above) or else I’d never have been able to keep it up.

  6. I would love to be able to eat more raw food as nature intended, but I find it too difficult except in hot weather. It always leaves me feeling hungry and depressed. I think I may have a ‘Yin’ constitution, as the Chinese say. They eat no raw food at all, and of course the Macrobiotic system too recommends only a little raw food. On the other hand I’ve found that people with a Yang constitution really thrive on a raw food diet. It helps to balance them and is especially good to get rid of skin eruptions like acne.
    Linda Lazarides

  7. I won’t ever go completely raw but I love starting my day with a smoothie. It really does make me feel great helps to counteract some of the more “sinful” things I eat. 😀

    Great article!

  8. Interesting but that’s quite a claim – there’s no scientific proof that diet and acne are linked though i accept more research is needed.

  9. This is a great article! I agree it’s about lifestyle and balance. Food is one aspect and there are many others that are just as important, like exercise, quality sleep, and meditative time.

    If you are in Austin please come by Beets Cafe (www.beetscafe.com) for a great meal.

  10. Who knows what enzymes are? Or how fiber can help us lose fat? It doesn’t matter if you know these answers or not, you can still reap the benefit of endless health benefits, things science has yet to discover, by eating these foods….

  11. This is great information. My mother was always a healthy person growing up and I got into raw food about a year ago. It has been incredible. I lost weight, my skin and hair got healthier, and I no longer have acid reflux.

  12. That about the hair is interesting. My husband also started to eat raw food – and he gets much thicker hair. I think there are a lot of advantages if you eat raw food but it also costs you quite an effort to do so…

  13. I really enjoyed your article about raw food living. I have two questions…How do you feel about raw seafood? Are you mainly focused on vegetables and fruits? Also I wanted to know if you take some kind of supplement?
    Thank you, Susan Smith.

  14. Hi I am very interesting in losing weight. I have a question, hope you can help me, I want to know how much time do you take you to lose 70 pounds? thanks

  15. The raw diet is a great concept. Going back to the root of the way we eat food. I know that portion control and exercising can be the best way to lose weight. This works with what we eat. I have read a lot about different weight loss programs latly

  16. Juicing is such a great way to pack a whole bunch of nutrition into your daily routine – it’s fast, easy, and you can have fun creating your own recipes!

  17. This is something I will inform my readers on. I believe in sustainable lifestyle changes to achieve a healthy weight.
    Thanks a bunch.

  18. hi – great article on Raw Foods. I’ve just written a blog on various acne treatments.

    Do you think that eating raw foods is something that will help acne sufferers?

    Best regards
    Christopher

  19. Hi,

    As a former acne sufferer, I run a website that provides a useful resource for acne sufferers.

    As prevention is much better than cure, I am interested in the effects of a whole body diet as a preventative measure against acne outbreaks.

    I know that opinion is divided over the inclusion of vitamin and mineral supplements in the diet, as most vitamins are already present in the food we eat. What are your thoughts on this?

    Is there any evidence or comment to support the assertion that the riggers of modern life can deplete the body’s resources and lead to onset of acne?

    Is there test kit available or rule of thumb indication that a person is vitamin deficient in one area or another?

    I would appreciate any comment on the regular use of lecithin as an aid to memory and recall.

    Best regards.

    Geoff Hamlin

  20. Juicing can be a great way to improve your health, not only is it healthy for you, but it tastes great.
    Plus you will be getting all your required servings of fruits and vegetables in a single serving and
    helping to prevent many common health conditions as well.

  21. Hi
    Really great and informative blog, it really is an eye opener about what raw foods can do and the impact it can have on ones body.

    Must also say that at times it is easier said and done but after trying it a few times I can see and feel a difference.

    Thank you again for this blog and reminding me about raw foods.

    Regards

  22. Considering the fact that our body haven’t changed for thousands of years but our food went from raw to processed, you really have to wonder… is it healthy for us?
    Raw food is the way to go. People really should eat more raw food.
    Great article btw.

  23. Thanks for your publish. I have usually noticed that most people are wanting to lose weight since they wish to look slim and attractive. Nevertheless, they do not generally realize that there are additional benefits for losing weight also. Doctors assert that overweight people are afflicted by a variety of diseases that can be directly attributed to their particular excess weight. The great news is that people who’re overweight plus suffering from various diseases can help to eliminate the severity of the illnesses by simply losing weight. It is easy to see a progressive but marked improvement with health while even a small amount of fat loss is achieved.

  24. I believe avoiding refined foods is a first step in order to lose weight. They will often taste very good, but packaged foods contain very little nutritional value, making you feed on more simply to have enough energy to get through the day. If you’re constantly eating these foods, changing to cereals and other complex carbohydrates will let you have more strength while taking in less. Interesting blog post.

  25. Thanks for the points shared in your blog. Something else I would like to mention is that weight loss is not information about going on a celebrity diet and trying to reduce as much weight as you can in a few months. The most effective way to shed weight is by consuming it gradually and following some basic tips which can allow you to make the most from the attempt to drop some weight. You may know and be following some of these tips, however reinforcing understanding never affects.

  26. Thanks for your post. I have continually seen that a majority of people are wanting to lose weight when they wish to look slim along with attractive. However, they do not generally realize that there are many benefits so that you can losing weight additionally. Doctors claim that over weight people come across a variety of ailments that can be directly attributed to their excess weight. The good thing is that people that are overweight in addition to suffering from several diseases are able to reduce the severity of their own illnesses simply by losing weight. It is easy to see a slow but identifiable improvement with health if even a minor amount of weight loss is reached.

  27. Thanks for your post. I have continually noticed that a majority of people are desirous to lose weight when they wish to look slim along with attractive. Even so, they do not constantly realize that there are many benefits so that you can losing weight as well. Doctors state that obese people have problems with a variety of diseases that can be directly attributed to the excess weight. The good thing is that people who are overweight along with suffering from several diseases can reduce the severity of their illnesses by means of losing weight. It is easy to see a gradual but marked improvement in health while even a small amount of weight loss is attained.

  28. Great post….When cooked, boiled, canned or pasteurized, many foods lose some of their vitamins. The consumption of raw foods improves bowel function and gives provision. And also beneficial for beauty: prevents the appearance of acne and leaves hair and nails stronger and brighter…its a good way to go.

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