Eat ‘Live’ And Live Well – The Raw Food Way

What are some of the misconceptions about veganism and raw veganism you’ve encountered in your line of work and what do you say to dispel them?

That it is expensive and boring. BIG misconceptions! Firstly, shopping for fresh foods at the market is far more economical than shopping at the supermarket. It’s even better if you can grow a few fruits and veggies of your own. That way you also control what exactly is used to grow your foods. Secondly, pound for pound, fruits and vegetables – and especially legumes, beans and lentils – are a lot cheaper than meat and fish. Lastly, the vegetarian, vegan and raw food industry is exploding with different companies, celebrities and resources offering different meal ideas to get people interested. For example, the Meatless Monday global campaign is such a fantastic initiative that has been getting people to consider eating meatless meals at least once a week, not just for their good health but for the good of the planet, also. Check out the website for delicious recipe ideas, tips and global happenings. I love their site! The plant-based dishes we can create when we just put our minds to it are limitless and amazing. And it doesn’t even have to take a lot of time, which is another misconception many people have.

Personally, being raw or vegan is more than just food, it is a lifestyle. It is holistic. It is not just about what I put inside my body but also what I put on the outside, too (i.e natural body care), exercise, managing stress, spiritual practice, getting quality sleep, and maintaining a positive attitude (most of the time, anyway). And last but not least, when it comes to true veganism, we have to consider how we are treating our planet and the other animals we share it with. At the heart of veganism – which we often overlook – is non-harm to all of creation for food, clothing, body care or otherwise.

From your experience, are Jamaicans become more receptive to the idea of ‘eating clean?’

The truth is people living in the Caribbean actually consume a lot more ‘raw foods’ than we think. Jamaica is blessed with so many wonderful tropical fruits that most people enjoy without having to heat or cook – and many of which grow and can be picked right there on their property. Not to mention the variety of natural juices that comes from these tropical fruits. This is one way of eating and enjoying raw food. The more of this we can incorporate in our diet, the better.

I wouldn’t describe it as popular yet, but many people have come to know more about “clean eating,” raw foods and veganism. Whether from friends, restaurants, or social gatherings, we are seeing more vegetarian options being offered, and along with that, more raw food such as salads, juices/smoothies, raw desserts, etc. It is definitely becoming more accepted. And of course the Internet has played a huge part in this!

There is a growing awareness taking place surrounding all things to do with health and wellness. Social media is flooded with photos and posts of green smoothies, ‘clean eating’ recipe ideas and which latest celebrity has become a vegan. Economically speaking, it is also now big business (part of the 300+ billion dollar health and wellness industry).

In the past 5-8 years, I have noticed more and more people in Jamaica beginning to equate a raw foods diet to better health – or are simply incorporating more raw foods into their diet. Many people, especially the sick, are turning to fresh foods and herbs for healing because they are dissatisfied with traditional medicine and pharmaceuticals. It is true – a diet high in raw foods can be very healing for the body and an aid to strengthening and maintaining the immune system. This also helps to prevent any future illnesses and diseases because the body is in a more alkaline state (it is when we are more acidic that we become sick).

Click here for two of Nakawuki’s signature recipes.

Nakawuki, who is currently working on her recipe book, will be hosting a “Live Dinner & A Movie” event in Montego Bay tomorrow in honour of International Raw Food Day. She also hosts a bi-weekly Sunday Brunch & Open Mic Poetry at Adwa Vegetarian Restaurant in City Centre, Montego Bay. Next up is a 10 Day Kemetic Yoga Retreat in Negril later this month and a wellness live food brunch at Mynt Retreat in Montego Bay with an inspirational guest speaker who survived cancer five times (Pat Wright) on Sunday, July 26th. Like her Facebook page for all the details.