Seems you can’t swing a Manolo Blahnik these days without hitting one of the stylish set that’s talking about their favorite health trend.  Admittedly, I’m guilty of it myself. I’ve tried my share from the South Beach Diet to the Four Hour Body to juice cleanses, looking for the perfect fit for my lifestyle–couldn’t be too complicated, nor could it be without flexibility.


So, I’m what I like to call raw food curious.  I turned to raw food approximately six years ago hoping for insight on the two food groups I otherwise shunned: fruits and veggies. I figured the raw foodies would have the best take on flavors because a plain celery stick is just ridiculous to me.


It worked so well that I incorporated raw foods into my life 25 percent of the time. But I knew that wasn’t enough, I still felt out of balance. Then, I discovered Ani Phyo’s book the 15-Day Fat Blast:The Kick Ass Plan to Get Lighter, Tighter, and Sexier…Super Fast. Not only did I lose an easy 7.4 pounds and some inches, I learned a ton about everything from thermogenic (fat burning) foods to what to eat pre- and post-workout for recovery. Now, more than a year later, I’m at a solid 70-80 percent raw. It’s my eating baseline. I’m not sure I’ll ever be 100 percent, because I love food and I’m not up for restricting myself.

Now if you’re thinking that’s a lot of raw food to do, it’s really not--a nutrient-rich shake for breakfast with a protein/fiber-laden salad for lunch and you’re nearly there.

When discussing the idea of integrating raw food into my blog with my editor Pam Daniel, she called me “disciplined” for maintaining this lifestyle. It's a word I’d love to own, but really, I can’t. I feel I’m more educated on what foods to eat and when. More than anything, I’ve discovered that eating well gives me sustained energy and I feel healthier. My big epiphany is that my health is a direct link to my happiness, something afternoon talk show hosts have been saying for decades. I’ve been wishing that French fries were the direct link all this time, but alas, they are not. Ironically, from one of those shows I learned that the No. 1 reason people stick with a healthy lifestyle is because they finally decided they were worth it. Powerful, right?


I’m not getting away from my love of style and fashion–in fact, I feel that eating healthy is stylish and you’ll look and feel better in your clothes. Just thought I’d introduce you to another interest of mine. In the future I’ll be peppering my insights and discoveries into this blog as I get deeper into the fascinatingly delicious world of raw foods, which is often misunderstood. I promise you, it doesn’t taste like dirt or bark. And it’s not just for hippies anymore.

To get you started, here’s my favorite pre-workout shake from Ani Phyo’s fabulous 15 Day Fat Blast–it powers me through a strong yoga class and Pure Barre, which I’ll talk more about next week. Don’t let the spinach deter you here – the only thing you’ll taste is chocolate.



2 cups  bananas

1 cup spinach

¼ cup almond butter, raw

1 Tbsp. cacao powder

1 tsp. spirulina powder

3 cups Thai baby coconut water, or filtered water

Add ice to taste and mix everything in a high-speed blender.


Rather have someone make a raw food dish for you instead?  Check out Ionie’s Raw Food Café at 1241 Fruitville Road in Sarasota, 941-955-4599.

Know of another raw food café?  Tell us about it in the comments below!  Or, send your favorite Raw Food pix to my Instagram, Facebook or Twitter accounts...

Click here to read Heather's Fashion I.Q. in our May "Best of Sarasota" issue.

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