My Journey to Health and Wellness
Until 2008, I was overweight, often felt bloated, had IBS and lacked energy. For
about 40 years I had tried every diet under the sun and although I did lose
weight, the process was unpleasant and the weight soon returned. Then, for the
first time in my life, I lost 23kg effortlessly AND kept it off for over 5
years! I was no longer ruled by food cravings. And the best thing? In all this
time, I did not feel deprived! I enjoyed delicious foods that nourished my body
including mouth-watering cakes, ice-cream, sorbets and chocolate. The Raw Food
lifestyle changed my life!
Before I changed to a raw food vegan plant-based lifestyle, with lots of vegetable juices
and smoothies, I never felt completely satisfied after a meal or a snack. Even when I
indulged in all the foods I loved: bread, cheese, pizza, lasagne, chocolates, crisps,
ice-cream, etc. I never really felt satisfied. I was always craving
“something” and food cravings ruled my life.
When a friend of mine who was following an 80% raw vegan plant-based lifestyle, invited me to be her
"Raw Buddy", my initial response was, "Are you nuts?" I thought she was crazy!
www.beautifulonraw.com Sharon introduced me to Tonya Zavasta and then I found
Victoria Boutenko and read 12 Steps to Raw and later Green for Life. I was inspired by both these ladies.
I learnt all about the role that enzymes play. I learnt about cravings and
what my body REALLY needs. I began really ENJOYING my food and feeling so
satisfied AND nourished after every meal. I found books filled with delicious
mouth-watering recipes. At first I used the equipment I had, but I found it very
time-consuming and the end result was not always so great, so I invested in an
Oscar Juicer. And a few months later, I added a Super Blender and Dehydrator to
my kitchen. Without this equipment, I’m not sure I would have been able to
sustain a Raw food lifestyle. With them, I was able to make delicious pâtés,
hummus, tahini, burgers, lasagne, crackers & breads, soups, nut milks, nut
cheeses, cakes, biscuits and yummy desserts like chocolate ice-cream and
chocolate mousse. I am so passionate about these amazing machines, that I am now
stock them in my shop in Northcliff and in our online store.
The best was that while I was enjoying all these absa–looo-tly delicious
dishes, I was losing weight and gaining energy! In about 10 ½ months I lost
23kg! And I went through menopause without any symptoms – no hot flushes! Before
I began my Raw journey, I craved chocolates and crisps and didn’t really enjoy
exercise apart from hiking & cycling when on holiday. Now, I wake up every
morning craving exercise, green juices and smoothies! I love cycling, and
rebounding every day and at 61, I have more energy and passion for life than I
had when I was 21!
In fact I love this way of life so much, and feel so strongly about the power
of raw food in one’s life, that I want to share what I have learnt with those of
you who also feel there is something missing in your diet/lifestyle. I was an
educator for 30 years. I left mainstream education to start RAW WORKS in order
to share the wonderful new possibilities that raw foods can bring to us. (This
doesn’t mean you have to be 100% Raw- I will show you the benefits of increasing
your intake of raw foods to 30% and then 50% and for those of you who would
like, to 80% or even100%).
When I moved to a raw food diet we did not have many of the books that are
now available – I had to read widely and bought over 20 recipe books! Today we
have the most amazing Raw Food recipe books to help you transition and sustain a
high raw food diet. Since I live in South Africa, I especially enjoy the Five
South African books available: Easy Living, written by a Cape Town couple,
Natalie and Noel; Rawlicious and The Magic of Superfoods by Peter & Beryn
Daniel; Recipes from Our Organic Garden by Antonia DeLuca of Leafy Greens Café
and Organic Flexitarian by Bev Wium
MY JOURNEY TO HEALTH AND RAW WORKS
I have been involved in Education in one form or another since 1978. I trained as a Secondary School English teacher; and later as a Montessori Facilitator for 3 to 6 year olds; I co-founded the first residential facility for Street Children in Gauteng (Project Education: Social and Educational Support) in 1984 and was involved in Teacher training with Education Support Project in the early 90s when we ran Matric support programmes and Teacher training in Sebokeng, Mamelodi and Katlehong. In 2006 I became Vice Principal for the Junior High school and worked with children who had been diagnosed with ADD and ADHD. I saw the importance of heathy eating and how processed foods, especially sugar-loaded ones influenced ALL the students and especially those with learning difficulties.
In 2008 I had a life-changing experience when I was told to give up wheat,
dairy and sugar and began following a 100% Raw Vegan diet. After the “mother” of
all detoxes, I began to feel so full of energy for life! A bonus was the easy
loss of 23 kg over 10 months. As a “bread-a-holic”, I never imagined that I
would be able to give up bread. To my surprise, my raw vegan diet filled me with
so many minerals and phytonutrients that I no longer craved bread and cheese and
very soon, I learnt the art of making dehydrated crackers and snacks.
I was passionate about sharing my new found knowledge, recipes and experiences with others, so that they too may benefit. In 2010 I left my career in mainstream education, to start Raw Works, which is dedicated to facilitating people on their journey to a healthier lifestyle.