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When you are off the beaten path and living la vida raw, it is necessary to find motivation to help you go the distance. I personally have always felt reinvigorated and inspired to continue my journey when I hear the stories of living examples who are reaping the benefits of their lifestyle well into their golden years. If you followed the first season of my radio show Healthy Living in a Toxic World, you may remember my longevity series which focused on interviewing HEROES and SHE-ROES who are on the raw diet, and remaining youthful over seventy. I interviewed two of my anti-aging she-roes Mimi Kirk and Annette Larkins, as well as Bernando LaPallo who was 109 years old at the time of interview. This amazing man turned 111 years old last year. Check out the video below for a sneak peak of how a raw vegan lifestyle has worked for him and if you haven’t listened to my radio interview with him yet, which is full of many nuggets of wisdom, check it out now online: Longevity Series: Bernando LaPallo. -XoXo Raw Girl
So last week we introduced the miracle tree, Moringa Oleifera. As extensive as that article was, we barely skimmed the surface. If you haven’t read part 1 I suggest you check out the first blog post on Moringa here. In addition to the nutritional benefits of Moringa like the fact that it contains more than 92 nutrients and 46 types of antioxidants, moringa is extremely beneficial for slowing the aging process and guess what, killing parasites! If you are a regular reader of this blog, you should know how much I love any natural product that I can add to my parasite killing arsenal.
If you don’t know, antioxidants are key in slowing the aging process because they neutralize free radicals. The combination of superior nutritional value, which in includes providing all eight essential amino acids and 18 of the 20 amino acids absolutely essential for good health, seven times the Vitamin C content of oranges, four times the Vitamin A of carrots, four times the calcium of milk, and three times the potassium of bananas, high amounts of iron, along with 46 antioxidants makes moringa probably one of the strongest natural sources of antioxidants. In the O.R.A.C. rest (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) test, moringa was tested against and beat out superfoods like acai, dark chocolate, garlic, blueberries, goji berries, pomegranate, red wine, and baobab for the most antioxidant capacity.
In addition to the powerful antioxidants, moringa leaves contain healthy amounts of cytokinins, which are naturally occuring plant hormones that induce cell division, growth, and delay aging of cells. Clinical studies have shown that this compound also called Moringa YSP produces anti-aging properties in humans and caused new skin cells grew faster than the older cells died. This resulted in an almost miraculous reduction of wrinkles on the face and other parts of the body. Sound better than botox? I think so.
Now lets get to the parasite killing properties of this other worldly plant. Moringa not only kills parasites, it kills their eggs as well! This is really important to note because in most parasite cleanses, even ones you buy over the counter you have to take cloves in combination with black walnut hull and wormwood to effectively combat both the worms and their eggs. The cleansing effect cause by taking moringa has been used by traditional people to combat worms for years and years. It can effectively help to get rid of waste and parasites while also providing enough nourishment to rectify any imbalances caused by the worms as they leave your body. I am very excited about incorporating this tree into my diet long term for nutrition and to combat parasites and plan to grow it. Last week, I bought some moringa powder and I’m testing out this particular brand. I plan to find the best, most potent brand of leaf powder and continue ongoing use. Will most definitely report back my results! If you want to check out what I am using now, go the Raw Girl Store, and you’ll see it under super foods. Below is the recipe for my first moringa smoothie. -XoXo Raw Girl
Ingredients: 2 bananas, 1 cup to 1.5 cups of frozen mango, 1 tablespoon moringa powder, 1 tablespoon flaxseed, Young thai coconut water and meat or almond milk.
Put all ingredients in blender. Blend, serve, enjoy!
The picture to the left is what introduced me to Annette Larkins years ago. If you’ve read my past posts you know that I am a coconut fiend! I would have one a day if I could. So when I saw this photo of a FAB woman sipping on coconut water, I needed to know who she was immediately. I had been meaning to get around to writing a post on her, but it slipped my mind until recently a friend messaged me the video of her below, and a reader posted a comment on the blog about her.
Who would not want to be in their seventies and have youthfulness and vitality that surpasses that of some in their thirties? The woman has had NO PLASTIC SURGERY, and often times gets mistaken for the daughter of her husband who is around her age! When I imagine my ideal self at seventy I look at someone Annette Larkin for inspiration to fuel the dream. Yes, I plan to be that size four wearing, head turning grandmother who still gets cat called in the streets. Annette began her journey as a vegetarian, while her husband owned a meat shop! She then transitioned into raw and has been 100% for over 20 years. As you will see in the video she eats primarily from her own garden, and drinks rain water. That I thought was super cool and interesting. She has authored a two-part booklet series called Journey to Health that can be found on her website via the link below.
The power of the RAW vegan lifestyle is real, and stories like this continue to reinvigorate my inspiration for leading this lifestyle. It can be tough when people constantly question your choices or simply taunt you for being a vegetable lover. Know that if you choose this path, just like Annette, you will have the last laugh, although by then it may not be too funny. Annette’s husband who now regrets not joining her on her health quest years ago now lives with the help of medication. There’s nothing funny about watching loved ones and friends suffer from diseases or lack of mobility as they get older, but we each have one life to live. What you do with yours, is your choice. EAT TO LIVE. -XoXo Raw Girl
To learn more about Annette, please visit her website: http://www.annettelarkins.com/
How many grandmothers do you know that can still turn heads in the streets? Yesterday, I came across a lovely article about 72-year-old raw foodist, Mimi Kirk. She was named the Sexiest Vegetarian over 50 a couple of years ago. A grandmother of seven, she decided to become a vegetarian in her thirties and then in 2008 went raw and has stayed on the path. Mimi is the author of Live Raw, and remains incredibly vivacious through diet and positive energy. More power to Mimi, I’m coming for her title in a several decades! Check out the videos and the article below. -XoXo Raw Girl
My next Anti-Aging She-ro is supermodel Carol Alt. Despite being at the height of her career in her thirties, Carol found herself lethargic, depressed and looking for a road to optimal health. She found raw foods and never turned back. Having a modeling career that has spanned 27 years, and branching out to authoring books, acting and even directing, this raw renaissance woman has manage to retain her vitality and beauty at the age of 50.
Carol is not a vegan, as she does eat animal products, but her diet is raw. Most raw followers avoid meat and dairy, but Carol apparently eats sashimi (raw seafood), carpaccio (thinly sliced raw beef, veal, or tuna), and raw milk cheeses. I think she’s a great example that different bodies require different diets. Incorporating raw foods does promise vitality, but how one goes about it is a unique journey. Carol said in an interview published online that she found out through a holistic doctor, what her “type” was and ate accordingly.
Carol’s venture into the raw lifestyle caused her to branch out with authoring several Raw Food books including: Eating in the Raw and The Raw 50, and most recently launching Raw Essentials, a line of raw skin care products made with absolutely no chemicals (I am definitely going to test out this product). At the age of 48, she posed nude in Playboy, which she called a platform to show how raw foods have kept her body young. In the article she was quoted: “I believe God wants me to speak about this like I’m a born-again Christian…and I needed a platform, which is why I’m in Playboy. Nobody loves the female form like Playboy, and there’s no better way to show women you don’t have to live with getting old.”
In another interview she discussed that her doctor told her that her skin was too thin to ever get a face lift, and since then she’s been committed to keeping her skin youthful naturally. I’ll pass on a bare-it-all shoot in Playboy, but I am definitely down for NEVER going under a knife, so more power to her for being living proof in this age of Botox-fixes-it-all that youthfulness can be achieved at any age through the raw lifestyle. – XoXo Raw Girl
For more about Carol visit her site:
For more about her skin care line, Raw Essentials, visit:
Tomorrow, Wednesday January 25th 2012 @ 5pm EST, tune in to hear my interview with Bernando on Newd Radio! Just to refresh your memory, I thought I would repost this entry that features a video on Bernando. Anyone can listen via www.newdradio.com. It is a pre-recorded show, so any comments or questions can be directed to the Raw Girl Facebook page or to firstname.lastname@example.org. My show Healthy Living in a Toxic World will only be airing for the next five weeks, so catch it while you can! -XoXo Raw Girl
Can you imagine turning one hundred and nine, and still functioning better than some people in their sixties and seventies? For Bernando LaPallo this is reality. Today I stumbled across several videos and the Fox News interview of him, just after his birthday and was astounded. The man not only still has his health and vigor in tact, (he has never had any terminal diseases or sicknesses that plague our aging population) he is also pursuing goals of authoring additional books and opening a restaurant.
Apparently he has been on a primarily raw diet since before it was even a fad, and continues to maintain a highly raw diet, only eating meat once a year. That, he says has been the key to his longevity. I found some videos of him on you tube showing his morning “superfood” smoothie that consisted of fruit, Echinacea extract, a superfood powder that he helped formulate with essential nutrients, and garlic. If this isn’t proof of how natural foods can enhance the quality of life, I don’t know what is. Check out Bernando’s interview below, it might give you some fuel to jump on the raw bandwagon. As for me, I’m on board for life. -XoXo Raw Girl
For more on Bernando LaPallo and a link to his book, “Age Less, Live More” check out his blog:
Up until now, I have not had the pleasure of interviewing any of my Anti-Aging She-roes, simply because I don’t know them or have direct access to them. I am excited this week to highlight model Pat Evans, who’s fierce look caused quite a stir in the world of fashion, and who is still gorgeous, as she has aged gracefully.
During my time in undergraduate studies, I was a fashion design major, and made it my mission to also study the history of people of color in fashion. In fact, I wrote a thesis on just that, focusing on the time period between 1950 and 1980. The images that I came across of Pat, were inspiring to me, she had shaved her head completely bald and was incredibly stunning. Needless to say, it was a great honor and pleasure to interview her, she is a beautiful example and inspiration for all of us that we can create and uphold our own standards of beauty. -XoXo Raw Girl
What are the most important factors you believe can help with aging beautifully? Growing old is mandatory, acting your age is optional. I still play games with 4 yr old children! I’m very active and I don’t like to be what is called starched. I love laughter…it keeps me healthy and it is good for the spirit.
What is your skin care regimen like? I wash my face with facial gel and then I rinse it thirty times with very warm water and after with cold water. I use a good moisturizer as well.
What is your exercise regimen like and do you think it plays any part in how great you look? I was a martial artist when I was in NYC, I studied Seido Karate, I was a dancer for a very long time, and now I am a lead dancer at Pow Wow. I am Nanticoke Lenape Native American.
Your look really took the modeling industry by storm in the late sixties, how did you manage to stick to your own perception of beauty despite naysayers and racial barriers? And I’m also curious to know…what in particular made you decide to shave off all your hair? Was it planned or a spontaneous decision? Racial Barriers sometimes can be people of color not accepting you. Some people have become hair worshipers and believe it holds their entire being. I’ve known women that would not go out if their hair did not look great. My thought was “What if there were no hair?” Hair is NOT your crowning glory.
How would you define natural beauty? Natural beauty is a great smile and a good heart and spirit.
What advice would you give to aspiring models of color today? My advice to any model: KEEP YOUR MORALS.
A dear friend and mother of three who has mastered the art of looking youthful (she doesn’t really have to try), and raising healthy (not to mention insanely talented) vegan children, Khepera Fleming is a beautiful soul residing in the Brooklyn area. If you’re wondering if her picture is airbrushed, that answer is no–that’s how stunning she is live and in the flesh. I caught up with her to find out how she stays on track with her diet and to glean advice that may be helpful for parents to hear about raising children on a vegan diet.
How long have you been a vegan? If you were a meat eater previously what made you decide to change your diet? What were some of the benefits spiritual mental or physical you received by changing your diet?I have been vegan for 18 years. As a child I suffered with constipation and poor digestion due to a diet of heavy starches and my inability to digest animal protein. In my teenage years I was very lethargic, consistently depressed and suffered painful menses. I became sick and tired of being sick and tired so I began a search which brought me to Chinese Herbalogy, I purchased and took a 14 day cleanse that shifted my paradigm. I was renewed with crystal clear understanding that I could not go back to my old eating habits. I realized my diet was killing me. For many years I felt imprisoned in a body that caused me a great deal of stress and as I removed the animal proteins, the denatured grains and introduced juicing and more living foods I emerged from the fires with joy, energy, conscious awareness of self in relationship to the plant animal kingdom and great deal of spiritual strength knowing that the power to heal myself is within me. There is wisdom in the phrase “Heal Thyself Know Thyself.”
What are staples in your diet? What are vegan dishes your kids enjoy? Greens of all sorts are a main staple, quinoa, sea vegetables. My children love lentils and beans. They love all the fabulous dishes that one can make with beans and lentils. Bean burritos or tacos with lots of veggies brown rice and plenty of guacamole. Chick pea or lentil patties, kale salad with seaweed, Tofu, whole grain pancakes with fresh fruit, power shakes with sea moss, spirulina, veg protein.
What supplements do you use regularly, if any?
Flaxseed oil, B-complex, Spirulina
What crucial advice would you give to mothers who want to raise their children vegan? Do your research and stay away from processed foods. There are a variety of vegan-packaged foods, which are quite inviting but are loaded with sodium, sugars and preservatives. You will have to put time and energy into food preparation and meals should be made from whole foods giving precedence to organic. You must keep in mind that children are growing and it is my belief that whole foods are best and if given a variety you don’t need lots of supplements. In our modern world we have come to rely on fast foods, which include packaged foods, and microwavable foods and both are deadly to the growing children as they are simply denatured. Keep it simple plenty of dark leafy vegetables, root vegetables, lots of seasonal fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts (watch out for allergic reaction to some) oils, etc. Most importantly teach your children so they carry the legacy of eating well and they do not succumb to peer pressure. Also, remember food is medicine so as a mother you’re also the healer in the family especially if you’re responsible for the meals so the healthier the meals the healthier the children.
Were you vegan during all of your pregnancies? How did your diet or supplementation change during this time? I was vegan throughout all three pregnancies with no cravings for animal protein. I always get asked that. The only difference is I ate more because my body demanded it. I ate basically the same but I included a prenatal vitamin and I increased my greens and liquid intake to increase my energy and flush my system.
Is it difficult for your kids to interact with the other children who have S.A.D. (Standard American) diets? Their interaction can be difficult because my children’s views on animal consumption involve a conscious understanding of their relationship between themselves and the plant and animal kingdom. They can become physically ill if they watch friends or family members consume animal products. Holidays can be tough, although now we are thought of and something vegan is prepared for us. I’ve come to find that many of their friends eventual try and end up truly loving vegan food. My 9-year-old daughter, Ajahee, who is a model and aspiring actress, is very vocal with her friends about her vegan lifestyle and she says she never feels indifferent about it. She loves it.
What is your beauty/skin care regimen like?For years I used products from the health food store just whatever appealed to my senses. Most recently I was introduced to a skin care line that promised definite results so I tried it and fell in love with Arbonne International, which is now my home based business; I am an independent consultant and district manager in the New York area. Arbonne’s 450 products are botanically base, pure and beneficial. I use the NutriminC re9 system, which is the best product I ever used on my skin. It gives hydration, luster and youthful skin. I love it.
I love the Arbonne natural foundation I bought from you! It’s so light and enhances natural glow. How do you define natural beauty? I feel natural beauty comes from ones soul. It’s a great feeling when you meet a pure soul I always walk away saying he/she is beautiful. Usually that person’s lifestyle explains their inner beauty; maybe they’re truly growing their souls through conscious eating, meditation, yoga, giving, loving but whatever it is it shows. Natural beauty defines itself there’s a certainty that whatever is good comes from nature (Neter) God/Goddess.
How long ago did you do a parasite cleanse and what did you do to cleanse? I contracted a severe parasitic infection upon moving to NYC and working long hours in Manhattan eating most of meals out even though I chose healthy meals. I did a parasite cleanse over 10 years ago. I was referred to a Naturopath in my area who put me a series of herbal flushes, a kidney liver flush every morning, followed by herbal tea concoction three times a day, followed by weekly colonic irrigation. I followed a strict diet of fresh squeezed green veg juices, whole grains, steamed vegetables and salads. I stuck it out for 30 days and was healed. I now maintain my body system with herbal bitters so I am not so susceptible.
What were your symptoms prior to cleansing?If you have never had one pray you never get one. Parasites rob your life force. I became lethargic, my skin broke out severely, I craved sugar, probably to increase my energy, my thinking was cloudy and I had itching in personal body parts. Not a pretty sight. I was IRRITABLE all the time.
I agree, it really is not pretty! How long did it take you to see improvements in your health?Following the protocol I saw results in two weeks and by months end I was completely healed. It’s not easy I had a great supportive friend at the time that helped through the rough periods. I remember taking relaxing baths and just seeing myself healed.
One of Khepera’s daughters: Ajahee, an insanely talented nine-year old who acts, models, dances, sings, and writes her own music and screenplays! Watch out world, this little vegan-in-training is going to be fabulous when she grows up.
Ajahee is currently represented by Product Model Management in New York.
Interested in finding out more about Arbonne? You can email Khepera at: email@example.com.
Taking a raw girl vacay to start work on another film. Back on Monday with videos on sprouting, raw pancakes (yum!), and other goodies. Stay tuned!
– XoXo Raw Girl
Tonya Zavasta is an incredibly vibrant woman, fifty something years young, who went from almost permanently disabled to thriving on raw foods. Searching for a way to optimal health and beauty, she discovered raw in 1997 and never turned back. Since then she has authored numerous books including: The Right to Be Beautiful and 100 Days to 100% Raw and now sells products, books, and information via her website Beautiful on Raw. In the bio posted on her site she stresses that she believes that everyone has the right, and the means to become uniquely beautiful via the raw diet and she is dedicated to working towards transforming the lives of women. In addition to her diet, she also regularly practices hot yoga and advocates that practice in combination with a living foods diet for optimal health. All I can say is you go girl!
The best part of her site are before and after images of herself and other people who transformed themselves on the raw diet:
I actually don’t know exactly how old Lillian Butler is, but I know for a fact that for her age she looks incredible. The first photo on the left is of her at the age of 46, after adopting a raw diet! Below is a recent image of her and her husband.
When I first embarked on the idea of going raw, I took Lillian’s intro to raw crash course, which was extremely informative and gave me the tools to dive in.
Apparently, Lillian was a vegetarian for 10 years, but was not experiencing optimal health. After some time of incorporating more into her diet she decided to go raw, and sweetly enough, her husband Eddie Robinson (whose skin also glows like a light bulb!) joined her in beginning a new lifestyle. Together they opened a really lovely raw restaurant in the Bronx, Raw Soul, which also offers catering, meal delivery, and chef training. They have a wide range of INCREDIBLE desserts, and the regular courses are yummy as well.
For more info about Raw Soul, visit www.rawsoul.com