Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Raw Vegan Diet Weight Loss: An amazing story with Angela Stokes-Monarch tells it all! PLUS A FREE BOOK GIVEAWAY!

Introducing Angela Stokes-Monarch. She has a an amazing weight loss story with raw foods!

Just recently married with a lot of on her plate traveling the country lecturing and teaching, Angela takes us back to the days when the weight and the health issues were taking her vitality away and how she flipped it all with raw foods!

NK: First how is married life?

ASM: Blessed and blissed, thank you – we seem to unfold deeper into love and enjoyment of each other each day :)


NK: Please tell our readers your story with raw foods? How and why did you first starting learning about this lifestyle? What life circumstances prompted your choice.

ASM: Prior to choosing a raw food lifestyle, I used to weigh nearly 300lbs – I was morbidly obese, always ill and miserable. I was introduced to a raw food lifestyle when a friend lent me the book 'Raw Family' by the Boutenkos, in May 2002. I read the whole book in one night and went 100% raw the next day. I released 160lbs in the first two years of this journey and the excess weight has stayed off ever since. My life has gone on to shift in every way imaginable, far beyond simply the physical weight release – emotionally, spiritually, socially, mentally – my life is pretty much unrecognisable now from my pre–raw days ;)


NK: You've lost a lot of weight with raw foods. There are a lot of people who want to lose weight permanently. How can raw foods serve as a lifestyle to keep weight off?

ASM: From my perspective, eating and living raw is all about coming into alignment with our true selves – our true nature – and part of that involves shedding off excess lbs. Especially in the US, many people seem to be overfed and undernourished from other–than–optimal food choices that have very little nutritional value. When we give the body fuel that it can actually use, rather than the empty calories of highly processed, refined foods, the body finally has something to really work with and excess pounds simply melt away and stay away. It's not rocket science – lol – it's simple: eat the foods provided straight from nature, especially water–rich, fresh, organic veggies and fruits and your body will naturally take you towards optimal health.


NK: I think this question might actually be more for me than others, but how can people like me who want to gain weight, gain weight on a raw foods diet?

ASM: There are a number of things that may help someone GAIN weight while eating raw, these include: eating plenty of denser foods such as sprouted nuts/seeds/grains/greens, daily nut/seed milks and smoothies made with them, avocadoes, bee pollen, hemp protein powder, durian, spirulina/chlorella, young coconut, etc. You may also like to look into doing a parasite cleanse, as internal parasites may be preventing you from gaining/holding weight – the Intestinal Parasite Formula from Healthforce is great. You may like to also take enzymes with your meals to increase nutrient assimilation. Getting into regular light weight lifting/endurance/resistance exercises can help build up muscle too. Eating late at night and poor food combinations also often encourage weight to stick on people, these aren't necessarily the healthiest lifestyle choices though ;)


NK: I find that a lot of women more so than men gain weight on a raw foods diet eating a lot of nuts and sweets. In my brain, this just sounds impossible. How does this happen? Do you think there is another cause to this?

ASM: When many people first go raw, they eat masses of food, including nuts and dried fruits and still release weight. This is primarily because of what they are NOT now eating – i.e. they have stopped eating all the junky, refined, processed foods and are instead eating whole, raw foods; they might even be eating bags of nuts a day and still releasing weight because they are finally giving the body fuel it can use (I know this was true in my case). HOWEVER, over time, the body adapts to the new way of eating, the bloodstream and digestive tract get cleared up and we find ourselves more efficient at assimilating nutrients from food. At this point, if someone continues to eat large amounts of food, they can easily re–gain weight, or stay at a 'plateau'. The body is always working towards optimal health and efficiency and most people find that over time with a raw lifestyle, they gravitate more towards greener, 'cleaner', lighter food combinations and meals. If for some reason (emotional or otherwise) a person at this point is not willing/ready yet to consistently eat smaller amounts and instead eats a lot of packaged/dense raw food, they often end up carrying more weight than might be optimal for them. Food = calories, even if it is raw food and if you're overburdening your body with more food than it needs, you're likely to carry extra lbs, even if the food you're eating is raw ;)

NK: What's on your plate today?

ASM: Today I am mostly on juice: watermelon juice, greeeeen juices, freshly–made goji berry juice, plus some bee pollen, a little energy soup, some flax crackers and soaked Incan berries. You can see everything that I eat on a daily basis as a 100% raw foodist over at my blog: http://rawreform.blogspot.com.

NK: What are your favorite foods?

Mmmmmm...durian, sunflower greens, cherries, papaya, bee pollen.


NK: How do you find that a raw foods lifestyle has affected your life spiritually? Do you have more peace, balance, in your life? What are your moods like?

As a young child, I felt very connected to 'Spirit' and had multiple 'psychic' experiences, however I shut down most of that connection, as I felt awkward about it socially. After going raw in my early 20s, I experienced a dramatic resurgence in my 'spiritual' life, especially in terms of the connection to my chakra system. Without doubt my life feels more serene, relaxed, balanced and flowing these days than prior to eating raw. I read my old diaries form my pre–raw days in shock – I was so incredibly angry and bitter at the whole world back then – my outlook on life was very 'negative'. These days I am happy to say things are very different: I feel compassion, a connection to all of life and a willingness to be open and honest that I never experienced before. I feel very blessed.

NK: When you first started eating raw, what was your experience like? What were your challenges?

ASM: When I first went raw my detox was HUGE, as I was nearly 300lbs at that point and very unhealthy. I went 100% raw overnight and was detoxing heavily. It actually felt like too much for me at that point, so I took a step back to about 70–80% raw and that's how I ate for the first couple of years on this journey, during which time I released 160lbs of excess weight. The weight loss was so fast and dramatic that I felt like I could see new aspects of myself every time I looked in the mirror. I changed 10 clothing sizes and all my jewelry was falling off.
Emotionally and socially I often felt quite challenged in the beginning: people around me were used to seeing me eat plate after plate of pasta, pizza etc and suddenly I was eating raw – my friends didn't know what to make of this shift and many 'teased' me at first, before they started to see the changes in my life ;) I also felt awkward socially at first as I released all the extra weight and came into a smaller body, as I felt people 'expected' me to now be someone who I felt like I didn't know how to be...I was used to 'hiding' in an anonymous 'fat friend' role and suddenly it seemed like men were interested in me and women were seeing me as 'competition' – it felt very odd and unnerving for me and there was a lot to breathe into and release. I was also living at that time in a village of about 100 people in the countryside in Iceland, so I felt isolated at times – monthly raw food potlucks in Reykjavik were my lifeline back then ;)

NK: What advice do you give to those who are brand spanking new to raw? What do you tell people who have no idea as to even how to put together a salad or who say to you its too expensive or complicated?

ASM: I usually encourage people to start out eating at least 50% raw and to take it from there, towards 100% raw, if they ever take it that far. This might mean that they eat a raw breakfast and lunch and a 'cooked' meal in the evening, or maybe it means that at every meal they enjoy at least 50% raw foods. Many people find green smoothies a good breakfast to start with, or fruit salads, grawnola mixes with nut/seed milk and so on. Lunches might include a big yummy salad with greens, sprouts, healthy fats like avocado/olives and seaweeds, or maybe nori wraps/lettuce wraps with some kind of simple seed cheese/pate and veggies. Snacks might be fresh fruit, pre–packaged raw bars, home–made raw truffle balls, soaked nuts/seeds/trail mixes, chopped veggies with a dip and so on.
Eating raw can be as 'expensive' or 'complicated' as you like – one could purchase the most costly items and create lavish gourmet raw dishes, or pick and eat some wild greens and berries straight from the wild – there is no exact 'protocol' for eating raw ;)
In terms of purchasing any new kitchen equipment, I feel getting a high–speed blender (e.g. Blendtec) is usually the ideal first choice for most people, as so many things can be created: smoothies, puddings, cake and cookie mixes, ice creams and even juices if you have a nut milk bag too...
I recommend people aim to drink at least one green drink a day, plus eat seaweeds and sprouts daily. Making the choice that everything sweet going into your body is going to be a raw food can revolutionise peoples' health journeys.
I thoroughly recommend getting support from others who have gone down this path before you – whether in your local area or online. Be prepared with your own foods when you go out in public, keep yourself motivated by reading raw books/watching raw vids on YouTube/DVD, visiting websites, connecting with raw friends etc and above all...ENJOY ;)

NK: You are originally from the UK. Do you find that a raw foods diet can be enjoyed in any climate and in any culture? Or do you find that the lifestyle is more of a trend or more of a cultural thing?

ASM: My sense is that people can live and eat raw wherever they are – it is always simply a choice. I actually went raw when I was living in Iceland back in 2002 – if I'm still here 7.5 years later, I believe people can do this anywhere ;)
I always like to bring things back to nature and simplicity; I do not see any wild animals eating cooked or processed foods, no matter where they live on the planet. I've never seen a zebra for example say "Mmmmmm, no, raw food doesn't work for me, I'm going to have some pasta instead." I feel that eating raw is the optimal way to fuel the human body, in the same way that all other animals in the wild fuel themselves. However, that being said, I am also aware that many humans seem to currently have major emotional/social/cultural attachments to food that make it very challenging for them to choose a raw lifestyle. There are also some important things to consider if you're in a colder/damper climate, such as supporting your spleen (perhaps with beneficial herbs), getting Vitamin D somehow if not from the sun and so on...


NK: What do you have coming up for you? Any books, classes, lectures that you would like to share with our readers?

ASM: My most recent book 'Raw Emotions' just came out earlier this year – it is all about re–structuring our emotional relationships with food, handling cravings/overeating patterns and so on. My partner Matt Monarch and I are on very big tours all over the USA at the moment, giving raw food talks, signing books and so on.
We have a new monthly raw food radio show at TheRawFoodWorldRadioShow.com, where we interview well–known raw foodies, plus we do a daily raw food 'TV Show' at TheRawFoodWorld.TV.
We are very excited to get down to our land in Ecuador sometime soon and get started there with growing our own food, starting a family and feeling more connected to the land.

NK: Going back to the nut issue, a lot of people are allergic to nuts? What substitutes would you suggest to them? Also what would you recommend to those who have allergy issues to certain foods?

ASM: Dr. Ann Wigmore suggested that all illnesses and 'allergies' are the result of either an excess of waste/toxins in the system (toxemia) or deficiencies. It may be that some people who believe they have allergies to certain foods/objects, find that once they start eating more raw and clear out some of the waste in their systems (especially with colon cleansing), they can now tolerate foods more easily that caused them issues before. This might not be something people with potentially fatal nut allergies might be excited to play around with though ;)
In that case, I'd suggest to focus on seeds, sprouted grains, algaes, coconuts, durian, leafy greens and so on instead for denser food sources. Most long–term raw foodies don't eat many nuts anyway, so this need not be a stumbling block to eating raw ;)

NK: You travel a lot. How does this if at all does this affect your meal planning and diet?

ASM: Mmmmm, yes, my partner and I actually live on the road at the moment, doing raw food events all over the US...and I've been on the road for most of the last 13 years or so...so, for me, eating raw and living on the road are not so much of a challenge to combine, as that is simply the way I live ;)
We do our best to be prepared at all times on the road in terms of food – we travel with dried raw foods such as seaweeds, chia seeds, nut/seed butters, dried fruits, algaes, bee pollen and so on, plus we have a cooler with ice packs with us for fresh foods. We manage to eat totally raw wherever we are; there is always somewhere to find fresh produce and this combined with our dried supplies gets us through, wherever we are...where there's a will, there's a way ;)
We travel with a Blendtec blender and currently we often make a green vegetable juice in the mornings using the blender and a nut milk bag, then just before we set off on the road for the day, I will blend a little 'energy soup' and we'll eat that with crackers or something, as we start our travels. Later in the day we'll have more juice if we can find it, or maybe chlorella tablets, handmade goji juice or smthg similar and I might have a very light meal like a couple of apples with some bee pollen. That's about it for the day, besides water: we've both been eating raw for quite a few years and we eat pretty simply these days. Our intakes are always changing though, depending on where we are and how we're feeling, so if you want to know exactly what I've been eating lately, you can always check that on my blog, where I put my daily food intake every day: http://rawreform.blogspot.com ;)

NK: How do you see the raw foods movement affecting the food industry and also the healthcare issue at least in the States that is?

ASM: I think there is enormous potential for the raw foods movement to have large and lasting impacts on the food and healthcare industries. It is very clear that the more people who are out there choosing to buy organic produce, for example, the more demand there are for organics, which can have knock–on effects for agriculture, healthcare, the environment and far beyond...
Personally, what I am excited to see unfold is more and more people getting to the land and growing their own food, taking responsibility for their own health and well–being, raising happy, healthy, 'unschooled' children in communities and so on. That is the path my partner and I are starting down, on our land down in Vilcabamba, Ecuador. My sense is that most people in modern, 'civilised' societies are vastly disconnected from nature and my desire is to instead strongly reconnect to the land, set up our own food forest, disconnect from the 'rat race' and grid and really live a life of abundance and flow in nature :) There is the potential for this kind of lifestyle to be replicated all over, if people are willing...

NK:Anything else that you would like to share with our readers about your journey please feel free to do so.

ASM: I truly feel that if I can do this, anyone can. Eight years ago I weighed nearly 300lbs, was miserable and pretty much eating myself into the grave. I started this lifestyle in Iceland (of all places) and I am still here 8 years later, happy, healthy and delighted with my life path. Eating raw is simply a choice, like everything else in life...and it is a choice that I absolutely love and wholeheartedly recommend ;) I wish everyone the very best with their own unfolding paths...

Angela has also offered to give a FREE book, Raw Emotions. Tell us why you would like to have a copy of the book and how it can benefit your health.

You can only qualify for the GIVEAWAY if you have not received a FREEBIE from us before.

Post your comment to our page along with your name, city, state, country, and email address. We will announce the winner on Monday, October 19th.

18 comments:

  1. Wow. I am now about 320lbs myself, and been trying the raw lifestyle on and off for a year. I finally came to a realization about a week ago, that it isn't a marathon, every bit of raw in diet is an amazing step toward better health, and I can DO IT!
    I actually went thru all testing, and preop stuff to get gastric bypass. I have been doing that since January. I was supposed to get my surgery date November 4th. But as of a week ago, when this really hit me. I realized I can do it without surgery, but need to get over my overeating issues, emotional issues with food, and I do have a bit of emotional issues - I am 320lbs after all...
    This book I think would totally totally help me on my journey!
    I live in Va Bch, and am planning on seeing them when they come in November! I am so ready to do this!

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  2. Sunday,

    Please send us your name, city, state, and email address. If you want you can personally send me your email address at nwenna@hotmail.com. Thanks so much!

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  3. Leah Lay
    Dallas, TX
    Leah_Lay@hotmail.com

    After thinking about how I could benefit from this book myself, I feel as though the commentor above could probably benefit more. While I have nearly the same issues with food, I am only 160 lbs, and I feel pretty equipped with knowledge from various raw food sources- you guys are such an inspiration. I feel as though my mind is ready for the transition, as I am about 50% raw, but my internal conflicts with emotional eating seem to block me from achieving 100%. Switching to these powerful foods has helped me stabilize a stomach ulcer issue, and next up is dealing with a toxic liver/severe acne. I hope the poster above can achieve a transformation as magical as Angela's. Good luck to everyone on this exciting new path!

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  4. Such a great interview.

    I have been going through the archive of Raw World TV shows, learning a lot, and enjoying the raw duo (Angela & Matt).

    My transition to raw has been in the works for just over a year. I would say I'm about 50% raw now (2 raw meals, and raw snacks daily).

    The part that I find most difficult are the emotions that pop up, and my cravings. They still seem to be in control, especially during times of stress. Angela's book "Raw Emotions" would be a great asset in this part of my transition.

    I'm looking forward to the day where food is fuel and nourishment, not a "party in my mouth" :)

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  5. Wow Angela, thank you l love following you and Matt daily. Even my son loves singing the song at the beginning of the Raw Food World. Most people believe that they need to way 300lbs before they change their lifestyle and become healthier. If we can begin to realize that it is emotions that take us on that journey of 200-300lbs than we could stop it before it starts. I myself know that i have a lot of emotional unresolved issues but I'm not overweight, lucky for me? or maybe not...
    I would love to read and learn from your book Angela not only to help my self and others as i am a nutritionist but also to help me better understand my family and how emotions play a part in the choices we make. Thank you Nwenna Kai for the interview. Let us finally begin to really live life. Love, Rose Ontario, Canada

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  6. Angela Stokes brought me to raw food 10 months ago. I don't even remember how that happend, but I was reading her blog and Mr. M's site also for 2 nights in a row. I'm usually not an overenthusiastic person, but I felt like "This is so me - the old me, and where I want to go with my life." So I went raw the next day, of course, 100%; I didn't want to believe the stories of how hard it would be. And it wasn't even in the beginning. I lost 20 pounds in 5 weeks and could run for more than half an hour. I was in heaven.
    Then my 69-year-old grandpa died of a wild plant toxification 2 days after I convinced him to eat more raw greens (he mistook meadow safron for bear's garlic) and I was through with raw foods. I wanted to stay on them, but I just couldn't hold in anything green for weeks. I even went off my vegan diet for a while. I couldn't handle the emotions.
    After 3 months I was making my way back to raw food - but then my husband wanted to kill me in a psychosis and again the emotions became too much, I had to move out and deal with everything.

    Right now, I finally start getting my life back in track and of course the raw food is part of that - when I went raw my thyroid condition as well as all my other hormone problems became so much better in a matter of weeks. As Angela, I felt connected to the world - sometimes too much though.. so it's where I want to go, only that right now I don't know how I will handle the emotions, the next blow, especially that I'm all by myself now.

    I have to admit that I'm saving up money to get all the ebooks and go deeper into the raw food world, but all my savings where consumed by the move and divorce. So this would be a great gift for me, for my health, for a new start - that would have to wait for another few weeks at least, but surely is to come.

    I'll email my adress, if that's okay - but I do live in Germany right now.

    Oh and of course I wish the two girls before luck. If someone wants to get in contact and share the journey - write me, I would be so happy.

    Eva

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  7. Thank you everyone for your posts! Keep em coming! I am enjoying reading them.

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  8. I am a 53yr. old female who is overweight and have gone from a size 14 to 18-20. I am not a big eater but a junkie eater. I gave up red meat about 15yrs ago with the intention of being a vegetarian. Of course I never took it that far. I was diagnosed with M.S. over 2yrs ago and viewed the Raw food diet as an overall change of life, a healthy change. It has been a struggle, however I am slowly making the change. I am concern about my health and want to leave a vibrant and not have the M.S.slow me down. I can not do any distance walking and I want to recapture this ability. I would love to have your book, however I am not working and can not afford to make this purchase.I need some support and guidance on this journey.(anw1741@aol.com)

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  9. Hi! I am new to your site recently, but have been keeping up with Angela Stokes-Monarch and Matt Monarch for about 5 months now. I have been eating a high-raw lifestyle for about 5 months now and am absolutely loving it! One thing I love about Angela's posts are that they are always so positive and uplifting and really help me to remember (on the days I seem to have difficulty) what I am loving about the raw lifestyle. It truly does feel like home, but on the days when my home is "cluttered," reading Angela's posts really helps to center/balance me. I'd really love to read her book and delve deeper into the emotional clutter in my life and ways to clean it up! Thank you for such a great interview!

    Serena-Dupont, WA, USA
    serena.coleman23@gmail.com

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  10. Hello my name is Andrea and I have been following the work of Angela stokes Monarch for about a year now. I have incorporated Raw eating into my life, at first going full force into it, and finding myself having to cut back in my efforts simply because it was too much at once for me to attain.

    I have a history of an eating disorder, what the doctors call an "Eating disorder otherwise un-specified". In my case it has been a mix of Binge eating, followed by purging, which always seems to be triggered emotionally. I have never full over come my eating disorder and this also effects my raw food eating aswell, because when the emotions hit hard...I hit the food that will compfort me. Its something I've struggled with since I was 13 years old and I am now 23 this past september.

    I look up to you Angela because I know what it takes to change life ruining habbits, and conqour ones emotions. I myself however cannot say I have been successful in this yet, but I never give up.

    One day I hope to buy your book, but if I could win it in this offer that would mean alot to me. Thank-you for being an inspiration, and I wish the best for you and Mr Monarch in all that you do.

    Sincerely Andrea Leigh Martin.

    aurore.boreale.crystal@gmail.com

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  11. Over the past year or so, since I discovered Matt Monarch & Angela Stokes-Monarch online and regularly watch their "The Raw Food World TV Show"...I have learned invaluable tips, recipes and inspiration. I am alone on my Raw journey, yet feel so encoured by this daily contact. I realize we all have unidentified emotional issues dealing with food. Some are positive, some not. It is vastly helpful to recognize why we do what we do, then we have hope to retrain our minds and direct our bodies on a healthy path. This book, like Angela must be a gem, and I would be most honored to read it. To receive it as a gift, is humbling.
    Blessings of Love & Inner Peace to All.
    Love is All...Peace Everything Else!!!

    Amanda Thompson
    St.Petersburg,Fl
    email:AmandaSoarsFree@Yahoo.com

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  12. I stumbled upon raw food while becoming a vegetarian. I'm in pretty good health, but always want to take it up a notch. I never really thought of myself as a emotional eater, so I never thought I needed Amgela's book. Then the more I thought about it, the more I felt it would be a good read for me. I mostly get off track eating when I am bored. Can boredom be an emotion?! I realized one day when visiting my daughter's at college that I felt that any little special occassion was an excuse to get off track. A party, picnic, dinner out, special event, all those things were "special" so I was allowing myself to "cheat" as a special treat. Holidays don't seem so wonderful without the usual foods that go with them, like cookies at Christmas, etc. WOW, maybe I really am an emotional eater. Lynn

    LynnMcDermott
    Lancaster,PA
    binniebird@aol.com

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  13. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  14. Considering books as good friends, wanting to invite another friend (believing this is another great one) for personal and universal reasons. Simply loving to be aware what Angela has to say about raw food and e.mo.tions; and sharing this with others (on a need to know basis...). Carine from casa Quintessence in Costa Rica

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  15. It is so nice that you want to give away a copy of your book!
    I never thought I was an emotional eater. If I'm sad or really happy I don't want to eat. I have been a normal weight for my frame all my life, I decided to go raw about 3 months ago just to be healthier and more even tempered. I recently did a juice feast that was supposed to be for 10 days. I had to stop at 8 the emotional detox was just too much for me. Then today something happened that really stressed me out and I wanted to eat my son's Halloween candy. So for the first time in my life I realized that maybe I eat sweets under times of stress. i also realized that just because I'm thin does not mean I have a good relationship with food.
    Sometimes people who don't look like they would be emotional eaters are. I'm just not sure what to do next.


    I live in Texas

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  16. I’ve lost 5 kilos in my first week. I followed the diet with some protein as suggested. It is really like magic! It works. I’m not
    perfectly following the listed diet plan mostly), but the weight looses even on very little exercise. Give a try on this, this diet plan clearly works.

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