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.