I did not grow up vegetarian or vegan. I was eating a standard American diet for all of my life until I turned 21. Then I went from eating at Mc Donald’s to 100% raw virtually overnight. What triggered the change was an interview I heard on the radio with David Wolfe. After listening to the interview I was really motivated and read a couple of his books as well as other books and I was really motivated to change and I did it straight away. I have been raw vegan for about nine years.

What David Wolfe was talking about in that particular

interview on the radio was really from a nutritional base. That appealed to me and I would say that my initial impetus to become vegan/raw was based on health benefits and nutrition. But then as I learned more it became about the other things as well, like compassion for animals and the environment in which case I very quickly realized that we are a part of it as well.

With Rawvolution we’re trying to add to the infrastructure. The underlying message to everything is that we’re trying to promote the raw food lifestyle, vegetarian lifestyle, eating organic food and living in concert with the planet rather than rallying against it. Euphoria Loves Rawvolution is just one other way of doing that. We want to serve the people who also want to do this and make it a part of their everyday lives. They can come and get food every day, which hasn’t always been the case. When I moved to Santa Monica there were no raw food restaurants and there were no raw prepared foods in any of the supermarkets. We want to tell people to do it, encourage people to do it and then somebody has to make it easy and facilitate the lifestyle.

The benefits that raw foods have over cooked vegetarian food are usually three main things. Firstly: water content. You can eat a ton of cooked food and not only is the food not contributing to the water intake for the day, it’s also dehydrating you further, in your body’s attempt to digest it. Raw food contains all the natural water that it started with. When you are cooking food the steam that you see is the water leaving the food. The second would be enzymes, which are talked about a lot in raw food literature. Enzymes are responsible for every metabolic process that happens in the body so cooked food destroys 100% of the enzymes and raw food has all of them intact. That’s pretty substantial. Nutrition is the third thing. Cooked food can have 85% less nutrition than the same food eaten in its raw state. The fact is that you’re getting so many more vitamins and minerals eating the same food raw as you would if eaten cooked.

I think the transition or change should be taken as you’re comfortable. Certainly be in the process of moving forward, if you decided that’s you’re goal. Always move toward the goal but don’t be attached to how it happens. In other words, it’s all about including more raw food and even if it’s a small amount. If it was more than yesterday, it’s a great step and you can constantly be in the state of moving forward and before you know it you’re doing a lot better. It’s also a self-fulfilling prophesy because you start to feel better the more raw food you eat so you don’t need a lot of discipline when you naturally feel better so it’s easy for people to realize, oh wow, when I eat that I feel great and when I eat this I feel kind of crappy. Of course you’re going to go eat more of what makes you feel good for the most part and really research what support systems are out there. There are food delivery services, there are restaurants and there are books. You can get any supplement and food product delivered to you in the mail and there’s really lots of help out there these days.

I absolutely think it is possible for anyone to live this kind of lifestyle and eat organic foods. I ate organic food when I was living in Ontario, Canada nine years ago. I couldn’t find everything organic but whenever I could I bought it. And the more you buy organic, the more you support organic agriculture, the more accessible it becomes for everyone and it should be the case that it’s cheaper than conventional food, because right now we’re paying for what we’re not getting, which is the chemicals, so if everyone started eating organic today, it would be cheaper. It’s also an unfair advantage because conventional produce is subsidized too where organic is not. Beyond that it’s not just a matter of what’s expensive, it’s an investment in your health and you can’t afford not to eat organic food. If you want to save a little money and eat pesticides then that’s one choice, but I think a better choice is to invest in your health and the return on that is incalculable. Basically you’re going to pay now or pay later. So, pay a few cents more for organic which oftentimes is actually the same price as you can sink it into health insurance and medical bills, and not only that you’re also going to feel terrible not doing it.

Rawfoodism and veganism are following the same pattern that trends follow where it gets a lot of media attention and a lot of high profile people get interested in it. It is being talked about a lot and people are trying it out, but trends can last decades, and the best ones do, and a trend that is sustainable to the planet, fantastic for people nutritionally, and tastes good, there’s no reason that it shouldn’t stay around. And the growth that I’ve seen not only in the last nine years but in the last few years is specifically such that we’re just setting up a lot of infrastructure and making it a lot easier for people to do it and people are having good results so there’s no reason that it should go anywhere. It should only grow and there’s no shortage of people that need to be turned on to this whether they eat 100% raw or not. The entire population of the country, or North America, or the world can benefit from it. It can only grow.

It’s getting easier to eat out being raw. Around here there’s a bunch of other raw food restaurants so we can go there. In other cities there’s raw food restaurants. We were just in Florida visiting my wife’s family and there’s a new raw food restaurant in Saint Augustine, Florida, which is great. They’re becoming more present everywhere. Otherwise when you do have to go to a regular restaurant, there are things you can do. You can get a salad in any restaurant, and it’s not always organic, but for as often as it comes up it’s not really a big deal.

I guess the karmic aspect of eating meat goes to most people’s philosophical or spiritual beliefs but for me I can choose to eat something that doesn’t include killing a living creature or I can eat things that do. For me it is a pretty clear choice. A lot of people will have a harder time doing it if they actually had to kill the animal themselves. In fact, I would venture to say that most people wouldn’t be able to do it, especially in such a way where they do it without being upset. When a tiger kills something, it’s just a part of its physiology and it’s geared to do that mentally and physically but we don’t typically enjoy death. It’s more natural for people to encourage life, and I feel really good that I’m able to eat without causing death. And I definitely believe in karma, and the karmic effects of eating or not eating living creatures or contributing to their death by supporting an industry that operates that way.

Karma is really just the new age way of saying cause and effect. Cause and effect is not a new age concept it’s an undeniable fact of existence. If you do one thing, something happens; you do something else and something else happens. I guess everyone does have a different opinion of what things are good and what things are bad, but there is an effect and most people are eating cooked food, and most people are not eating organic food, and most people are eating non-vegetarian food, or animal products, and we have the world that we have today, which is a failing ecosystem. We’ve done more damage to the planet in the last 100 years than has ever been done in history, and there are wars, there’s poverty, there’s unhappiness and depression and maybe if we tried something else we’ll get another result. What’s for sure is that if we keep doing this same thing we’re going to get the same result.

A lot of the products that go into landfills are used cooking implements and the implications of eating meat on the planet. It takes many thousands of gallons of water to produce one pound of meat, much more than it takes to produce vegetables, or grain or other vegetarian choices. Most of the grain grown on the planet goes to feed livestock, which goes to feed people, so it’s just shortening that chain, getting closer to the source of your food.

In my opinion the raw diet is the thing that everyone’s been looking for. People are always hearing about diets. Oh, this is the new way to lose weight, or this is really going to make you feel good. This isn’t a product and this isn’t a diet. This is a way of life that makes sense. It’s based on science, it’s based on common sense, and it’s how every other animal on the planet lives with the exception of domesticated pets. They are the only animals that don’t eat a raw diet, and they’re the ones that experience diseases the way that people do, so it’s pretty obvious what the correlation is. And it’s easy to do, it’s getting easier, and it’s great. The food tastes fantastic, super fresh, and you feel great from doing it. There’s no down side. You spend a little more money for a little while, and eventually you end up eating less food anyway and better things always cost more. If you want to eat the best food in the world, which I don’t see why you wouldn’t, you should be okay with spending a little more on it, at least for the time being until as I said it becomes the norm and everyone does it and it’s just the way things are.
Matt Amsden
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