I love food and cooking. When I travel, trying different local foods and doing culinary tourism is part of the whole fun. It is as important as sightseeing for me. I consider myself as a foodie and flexitarian. Sounds funny, but that actually exists. Flexitarians have a mainly plant-based diet, with occasional inclusion of animal products.

My only concern before I came to Epicself was if I could stick to the raw vegan diet. The idea of trying out a vegan diet was appealing to me. I was curious to look into it, and I took it as a challenge for me. I know that my body does not deal well with dairy and digests meats very slowly. I had consumed much more of these foods (PLUS sugar) as I usually do due to a stressful schedule and my goal was to get off that wheel again.

The hard part was the raw. First of all, I didn’t really know much about that kind of lifestyle. As a chocolate lover and chocolatier, I had experimented with raw vegan desserts before, which I enjoyed. But in terms of food, salads, salads and more salads was all I could imagine we would be able to eat. I’m happy that I was proved wrong!

Spending time with Amber in the kitchen was great. I learned a lot about raw vegan food preparation, proper food combination and how to make certain foods more digestible. The funniest technique ever was massaging the salads! It softens for example collard greens and makes them easier to digest by breaking their cell structures. It totally makes sense!

I enjoyed learning new recipes for sauces and salad dressings, something I hadn’t really incorporated much into my cooking skills yet. Making dehydrated foods and preparing meat replacements (like in the taco recipe here) was super cool! I couldn’t believe how much walnuts and miso together tasted like ground beef! It actually tasted much better!!!

I loved spoiling Epicself staff with my vegan chocolate creations and learning about probiotics. I live in the tropics and they are very hard to come by here. I was super excited about the coconut yogurt we made. So easy and delicious. The best – it helps digestion and stocks our intestines up with good bacteria that support our immune system. I am carrying some of those capsules home for sure!

Here are the main benefits and lessons I took away from tapping into the raw vegan world:

  • Separating and pin pointing foods that caused me indigestion, bloating and an unhappy stomach. I know which ones to stay away from completely and which ones I have to combine properly so they don’t cause inconveniences.
  • Eating less and loosing weight. I used to stuff high quantities of food into my mouth and was always hungry. My portions get smaller and smaller and I know exactly when I’m satisfied. I can go much longer without being Hangry (that info will make my friends happy)! I lost 10 pounds this month and I’m back to my ideal weight! Yay!
  • Cleansing my body and skin. I certainly have a softer and cleaner skin with a pretty glow to it. My body is still detoxing, but I feel much lighter in any aspect. I became a fan of my new breakfast – plain green juice with lime! I won’t miss out on it ever!
  • Having a new skill set. I’m ready to dive into making raw vegan desserts!
  • Recognizing my needs and limits. I know now that a cooked meal once in a while is necessary for me to connect with myself and stay grounded. The high energy from raw foods can take me up to the clouds at times and I lose focus!
  • Being energized. I came to Epicself really tired and burned out. I have found my energy and glow back!

I am a foodie and this was a very interesting excursion for me. I take a lot of knowledge, impressions and experiences home and I’m very grateful for it. What I want to keep up is proper food combining, staying away from dairy, and including more fermented and probiotic foods into my diet. My goal is to have two raw vegan and one cooked meal a day.