Raw veganism. As the name suggests, raw veganism incorporates the dietary restriction of no meat or dairy products, but all the fruits and vegetables that are eaten remain uncooked — or, in some cases, partially cooked. The lifestyle may seem extreme to some, but the health and spiritual benefits associated with it are bringing many people into its ranks.
When I came across Naisiae’s Instagram account earlier this year, I was fascinated by the images of beautiful fresh fruits and veggie dishes she shared on her stories. At the time, she was embarking on a raw vegan challenge for 31 days and nights. Watching her food journey from afar was inspiring, and after talking to her about her experience in private messages, it became apparent that it deserved to be shared with others. She graciously accepted my request for the following interview. Enjoy.
What was your relationship with food like prior to choosing the raw vegan lifestyle?
Well, before I took on a raw vegan way of life, I was conscious about what I consumed. It gradually started back in 2012. I was in an all-girl boarding school and, fortunately, our menu was well-curated. There were different food options for each meal. For example, a rice dish would be served with fried cabbage, meat stew, or collard greens. I found myself naturally gravitating towards the veggies.
When I went to university in 2015 is when I completely gave up meat and dairy products. I can confidently say that I wasn’t influenced by anyone or anything, but the more I became self-aware and truly got to know myself on a much deeper level spiritually, emotionally, physically, and mentally, the more I naturally started letting go of some of the things I was consuming in all respects.
I got heavy into reading and became curious about certain types of knowledge. Later in university was when I came across the late Dr. Sebi and some of his lectures on YouTube about the holistic science of life, foods, and herbs especially. Honestly, that was more of validation to me that I wasn’t crazy at all with my choice of lifestyle — even though the majority of people around me thought it was.
What made you decide to embark on a 21-day raw vegan challenge?
For a while, I had contemplated fasting. I wasn’t sure when to start, how to start, or even why I wanted to fast in the first place, but my Spirit felt it was needed. Prior to fasting, I remember my mom and I went out to the market and among other foods, we bought a bunch of fresh fruits.
Later that week, the fresh fruits were all I found myself eating. From smoothies to fruit bowls to biting into a juicy mango — you know! During that time, as crazy as it may sound to some, I felt so much more light and in tune with my mind, my body, and my environment than ever before. I felt that going back to consuming heavier cooked foods would not be as satisfying as I felt at that time.
Coincidentally, March was just around the corner and I saw it as a window to start the month off with the fast I felt I needed. But I didn’t know how to approach it since I had never fasted before. On March 1st, I decided, “You know what, I’ll start this month off by having raw salads and more fruit and see how my body will respond.” To be honest, that was the best decision I’ve ever made, as far as food is concerned.
How did you (and do you) decide what to eat every day?
I just use what I have in my fridge and my pantry at the moment. I strive to keep it as simple as possible. I use very few ingredients — basic everyday ingredients — and there are so many dishes you can come up with.
My relationship with food preparation goes way back. I’ve always enjoyed being creative with food ingredients and coming up with delicious meals since I was young. This has never been more simple because not much goes into creating a raw meal. I try to always have things like avocado, oils, and dry powdered herbs to add some flavor into meals — luckily, they go with basically everything! You can never go wrong with creating a raw meal.
What is the most difficult part of this lifestyle?
I always love to challenge myself to do something different. That is something that makes me happy and proud of my Self. I hate to even say that there’s any difficulty when it comes to eating raw because it is our natural food — something designed for us to eat. How much simpler can it be to just grab some fruit and eat it?
Although sometimes, there are certain things that you want to eat and enjoy, they cannot be consumed raw. For example, sweet potatoes and legumes. What I do with the sweet potatoes is boil them under low heat and have them with some tea, add them to a raw salad, or mash them up and add it to flatbreads (Chapattis), pancakes, or tortillas. For the legumes, I also would boil them under low heat, until I learned the art of sprouting — that right there was everything! I added them to soups, salads, and all kinds of wraps. There is always a loophole.
At what point, did you begin to feel the positive physical effects of eating only raw food? What were the effects?
Just like every other healing process, there are always some “ugly” parts that come with it. I say “ugly” because even before something positive happens, the negative has to be eliminated first before it’s replaced by it.
As far as detox goes, there was a lot of sweating involved. A week into the newly adopted lifestyle, my body was getting rid of the excess fats and oils — among other toxins. But it didn’t last long. It only went on for three days or so. Also, I noticed that I had lost some weight and this happened almost immediately — around 8 days into it. I noted that it reached a point during the first month that I no longer lost weight. Afterward, I began maintaining the weight that I had on.
This made my body feel light, much calmer, and I had a tremendous increase in energy levels. I also noticed that I had really good bowel movements. As compared to before when I had bowel movements once or twice a day, now I have them three to four times a day! My sleep pattern has improved, my meditation sessions are much more rewarding, and my hair has been growing at a much faster rate than before.
How has your sense of spirituality been affected by eating only raw foods vs. your previous diet?
Wow, this is a very good question. I say that because this experience has been eye-opening and inspiring for me. It’s almost as if I’m being re-introduced to perspectives that I wasn’t looking at enough. For example, I’ve realized that one doesn’t need much to have a sustainable lifestyle. It’s more about being content — you know? I’m at a point in life where I just want to be content with everything I do.
If I know that I am in control of what I am putting in my body, and I know what it is that I am putting in my body, I don’t need to be wrapped up about what I can get out of it. I am content and my body is content and in tune with Spirit.
It has also given me the chance to experience life from an observer’s perspective — observing myself from the outside. That may sound crazy but it’s true. It’s allowed me to truly connect with Spirit in how I’ve mastered (and still in the process of mastering) my physical body to the point that I don’t depend on identifying with it anymore. There is more to life than just material. I especially realized this when I took on a 7-day water fast immediately after my 31 days of raw fast.
Why did you decide to continue the raw food diet?
“Let thy food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food.” — Hippocrates
I bet we’ve all heard or read this quote somewhere. I know the impact that food has — not only to myself but to us as humans — since it is a major source of body energy. I know from experience that the energy that someone has/holds as they prepare food is the same energy that the food will give back in return when they consume it. It’s the same principle of karma, “What you give is what you get” or, “What goes around comes back around.”
Holding this perspective, when preparing raw foods, there is no aggression involved. So when you consume the meal, you gain the same vibration as the vegetables or fruits. This is why the majority of society is so aggressive because people mostly consume meat. We all know what happens for one to have a piece of steak, ribs, or bacon on their plate. This can also be observed in nature where the animals of prey are aggressive — while animals that consume vegetation like zebras and deer are peaceful.
I chose to continue a raw organic way of life for both conscious and health reasons. I strive towards having a proper mindset — an original mindset similar to the one I would have had if I wasn’t under any influence about who I am in terms of my relation to nature. In other words, I strive to get in tune with my highest self and, to me, there’s no other way to achieve that than by living a naturally balanced lifestyle.
Preserving life is one of these conscious reasons. In addition to an original mindset, I prefer having an “eco” mindset over an “ego” mindset. Animals function biologically just like we do. They have a soul, a life force, just like we do. Think of it this way, we’re all drivers but we drive different makes of cars. The driver being the soul and the cars being our physical bodies. From plants to animals to humans, we all breathe oxygen. The difference occurs in whether we consume plants or animals. The plants still have oxygen even when you consume them and this is needed by the body. Animal flesh, however, is dead. It has no oxygen to be consumed.
For health reasons, to operate in my fullest potential, I have to unlock and activate my DNA fully. This has been scientifically proven. It deals with the electromagnetic formation of our DNA. To simplify this concept, the same way you need to fuel a car with oil and not water for it to function is the same way we need to “fuel” our bodies. We are electric beings. Therefore, it takes electric foods for us to properly function. Raw food raises my vibration. It’s almost as if being in a constant state of meditation since my mind and body always seem to be in harmony. And it is undeniable that raw food makes one look younger and live longer.
Lastly, I choose to eat the way I do because it’s one of the few things that I can control. Based on where I live, it is very easy to get organic food. This is one of the reasons why I continue to eat the way I do. There is so much that happens in the world in which we live. From genetically modified foods and seedless fruits to the chemtrails we breathe — there is so much negativity floating around and too many other issues that we cannot control.
How did your family feel about your new nutrition lifestyle?
Well, if anyone knows me they know that I’ve always been spontaneous with a lot of things. They had some doubts, but other than that, they have been very supportive throughout my whole journey and proud of how I challenge myself to live life authentically.
I was even surprised by how smoothly they took it. They had questions, of course, and some concerns but once they saw that how and what I ate was balanced and very nutritious, had no negative effects on me, that I enjoyed the whole experience of it, and it was something that was of my own volition, they came around. Even, time to time, they like to share some ideas with me on what to add to dishes and how to make other ones. That was and is very inspiring. Even though I follow my heart no matter what, their support means a lot to me.
What advice would you give to someone that is thinking about embarking on this lifestyle?
Just do it! If you’re already thinking about it, then why not just get to it? You should definitely research on your own to get answers to any questions you might have, but after weighing your options, go for it!
To me, it’s a better alternative to many holistic lifestyles. Even when you get stuck and don’t know what you’ll eat on a particular day, you can easily get inspiration from Pinterest or YouTube. You can search recipes or just get a bit creative with what you already have and make the dish on your own. You can simply grab some fruits and dice them all in one bowl/plate and there you have it — a very healthy, sweet, and satisfying meal. You will learn as you go.
Just like everything else in life, you’ve got to take the risk. Fear is the most dangerous thing on the planet so don’t be scared to be “different.” Strive to be happy and constantly challenge yourself and see yourself through those challenges.
I believe we’re all on different journeys. That is beautiful because you get to try out different things and, as you go on, you realize what does and doesn’t work for you. You will discover things like why your body reacts a certain way when you eat fruit in the morning versus when you eat it at night — whether you like salads compared to juicing, snacking on nuts more than having teas, etc. Those little things make the biggest difference. Don’t be afraid to not follow the status quo. Follow your heart. That is what’s satisfying.
Get in contact with Naisiae:
@_samura.i, @i.projectdesign, or her personal account @_vintage.soul. She is also on Facebook as Samuraeye Studios. Her website is samuraeyestudios.com.
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