Hi Jennifer, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m a detox specialist, raw food educator, motivational speaker and iridologist. I offer health coaching online via Skype to assist my clients with weight loss, fertility issues, digestive problems, skin problems, metabolic syndromes and chronic conditions like fatigue, foggy brain, migraine headaches, anxiety, insomnia and general malaise. My first book, Green Smoothies for Dummies by Wiley Publishers in New York, USA is due in stores this August 2014.
What are your top detox tips?
If nothing else, drink more water!
So what exactly is the raw food movement?
I am personally not in any raw food “camp”. I don’t judge anyone for wherever they’re at on their own journey, even if that journey involves eating meat or dairy or fried foods. More than 90% of my clients are normal people just like you. More than anything, I try to teach that the quality of food is of utmost important, including your variety of fruits and veggies as well as getting back in the kitchen and away from packaged foods. The idea of a movement can separate people, stir egos and create arguments. I try to teach that we’re all in this together, and we have to help each other improve our overall health and wellbeing. It’s the only way!
Why are raw foods so important to health and wellbeing?
Food that is not cooked about 118F or 48C is considered “raw food” because below that temperature, all the enzymes remain intact. Above that temperature, the enzymes are destroyed. Organic raw foods are in their most natural form, unadulterated by chemical flavourings, chemical colourings, preservatives or other additives. With the constant onslaught of added chemicals in processed and packaged foods, having even one raw food meal per day is a welcome relief to a tired, sluggish and overworked digestive system.
Can you tell us about your raw food journey? Have you always followed this lifestyle?
I’ve been a vegetarian for 22 years now and I started my raw food journey over eight years ago. It was a decision that I came to rather easily after struggling with itchy rashes all over my skin for two years. When I changed my diet, the rash disappeared forever. After that, I became sure that food affects your health, for the better and for the worse. No-one needed to sell the raw food diet to me. I now maintain a 90-95% raw food diet successfully with excellent skin, high energy levels, great sleep, a calm and peaceful mind and a healthy immune system!
How do you incorporate healthy fruits and vegetables into a busy timetable?
Make a green smoothie the night before work and keep it in the fridge overnight. That’s a fantastic on-the-go breakfast full of minerals, chlorophyll, fiber and alkalinity and a great way to start the day!
Image sourced via Healthy Bliss
What is the easiest way to introduce healthy fruits and vegetables into a diet?
In Asia, there is such an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the entire year and they’re readily available in supermarkets, in smoothie bars, from street vendors and most importantly, in your fridge. It’s actually just as easy to put good food on your fork as it to put bad food. The person controlling that is you!
What foods help increase collagen levels?
Aloe vera is a wonderful healing food for the skin and best eaten fresh or in liquid form. Edible aloe vera juice is available in any health food store. Do not use an over-the-counter aloe vera gel internally.
What are superfoods and what are their benefits?
A superfood is a food that is nutritionally dense for its size and shape. That means, compared to other foods the same size, superfoods contain more antioxidants, minerals, chlorophyll, protein or essential fatty acids. A high stress lifestyle combined with nutrient poor foods can leave a person deficient, making them more susceptible for dis-ease. Adding superfoods to your diet is a great way to high-boost your immune system and keep your body nutrient sufficient.
What are your top supermarket shopping tips?
As Michael Pollan says, stick to the outer walls of the supermarket. That’s where you’ll find “real food,” in the refrigerated cases. Choose local, fresh and organic whenever possible. Add more variety to your diet by eating different nuts, seeds, grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables.
What are the top beauty foods you can recommend?
When you’re eating for beauty, it’s more about what NOT to eat. Avoid refined sugar, wheat, dairy, fried foods and alcohol. Then, add more fresh fruits, vegetables and drink plenty of water. The high fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals found in natural, whole and pure foods and what give you natural beauty, from the inside-out!