Interview mit Mimi Kirk von www.youngonrawfood.com
Mimi, you are author of three books on raw food life style and have just agreed to write a 4th book. Furthermore, you won PETA’s “Sexiest Vegetarian Over 50” contest when you were actually over 70! I am very excited that you’ve agreed to answer some questions for my German readers.
When did you go raw and do you follow a highly raw diet?
MK: I went raw at the age of 69. I would say I eat only a small amount of cooked vegan food when traveling. Other than that, I stay raw.
Was there a particular reason why you have chosen this raw life style?
I’ve been a vegetarian/vegan for the better part of 40 years. I had been off it for a couple years eating a standard diet and a visit to my doctor’s office revealed my blood pressure and cholesterol were both high. I had also been feeling some arthritic pains in my joints too. When my doctor handed me a prescription, all I could think of was my family’s health history of cancer, Parkinson’s, diabetes, heart problems, stroke, Leukemia other ailments and diseases. They were all on prescription medication and I knew I did not want to go in that direction. I went home with a prescription in hand and started searching natural way to heal myself. Raw food kept appearing on my computer screen as it healed so many men and women of various diseases. I had to give it a try. 6 month later a visit to my doctors proved raw food and juicing cured all my issues. I’ve never had an arthritic pain since and my blood pressure and cholesterol normalized without any medication.
Do you feel the need to eat something warm, especially in winter, or if you have an appetite for pasta, curries etc.? If so, do you follow your cravings?
MK: I love warm foods. Many people think raw means all cold foods but that’s far from the truth. I use a dehydrator to warm foods as well as the stove top. I just make sure my food is warn and not heated over 115 degrees. I make warm soups, latte’s, main courses and feel very satisfied in colder weather. As far as pastas go, I love zucchini noodles and can make them with nut cheese sauce, curries, pesto and warmed sundried tomato sauce. I really don’t feel I’m missing anything. I seem to be able to take care of all my cravings including raw chocolate.
What changes did you notice mentally and physically when going raw?
MK: it was so obvious as I felt boundless energy. After a short time I could see I had slowed down the aging process and even thought I looked younger. My weight stabilized and I feel this is the healthiest way to eat. I eat for my health and my compassion for animals. I’m mindful what’s on my plate.
Tell us a bit more about self-love?
MK: I know I’m aging, birthday’s keep coming around every year, but I’m not getting old. I think old is a state of mind. I think being older gives you lots of life experiences. The things I use to be worried about no longer bother me. I know my strengths and have made peace with my weaknesses. When I look in the mirror I can see the lines on my face and maybe a little gravity has set in, but I can look at that person in the mirror and say I love you. Self-love and acceptance is so important. It brings so much happiness to know you cherish the person you have become.
What was the hardest challenge in changing your diet to raw?
MK: I really don’t think the challenge was much because I figured at my age if not now when? There wasn’t much time at 69 to say oh I think i’ll go raw someday. Now was the time so the challenge part didn’t cross my mind. I do cook vegan food for my long time boyfriend and if anything is a challenge I think it’s that cooking two different dinners is not so easy. What I learned is to make my meal first so I’m not tempeted to eat what I fixed him even though I know it’s health.
What would you like to say to a raw food beginner?
MK: Start slowly. It takes time to learn a new way to fix food. I think just stop eating processed foods and start juicing. Soon you will know the difference how food makes you feel. When you eat something unhealthy you will start to notice you don’t feel as good as when your eat something raw. You remember how good a juice or a big salad makes you feel and you will transition very naturally.
Which mistakes are often made when transitioning to raw?
MK: I find eating a raw food diet takes planning. You have clean out your cupboards and refrigerator of all the old foods. You have to shop and have enough healthy foods in the refrigerator so you can have the right food when you are hungry. Always have fruits an veggies in the house. Don’t be hard on yourself or make yourself wrong if you go off sometimes, just get back on and keep moving forward.
How do you stay raw while travelling?
MK: It can be a little more difficult but I’m finding more foods I can eat as time goes on. There use to be nothing in an airport as before even the salads had chicken or meat on them, but now I actually can find a variety of things. Even a green drink in the London airport. When on the ground wherever I travel I find a farmers market. I love shoping farmers markets in every country to see what different fruits or vegetables I can find. I think the only difficulty is I can’t always find organic. At home I eat all organic but when traveling it’s much more difficult. When I stay in one place for a while I can always track down an organic farmer.
Do you have a favorite raw food recipe? If so, which one?
MK: My favorites change all the time but I seem to love all kinds of wraps as they are so versatile. A cabbage leaf with raw mayo, avocado, tomato, sweet onion and cucumber with a pinch of good sea salt can’t be beat. So simple yet so delicious. I love raw desserts and always love raw chocolates. There are so many delicious foods I prepare it’s hard to narrow it to one.
Do you know the raw food scene in Germany? How do you see it’s future?
MK: I could not be any happier with what I’ve learned about the raw scene in Germany. It is growing so rapidly. I seem to spend a lot of time in Germany doing talks and workshops and wherever I go people are so interested in raw and vegan food. the turnout at my events always amaze me. Germany is very advanced in raw food and I’ve noticed in the last couple of years all the raw restaurants opening so I think the future is bright for Germany and raw food.
Thank you very much for your time Mimi. It was great meeting you personaly and participate to your workshop.