Time to meet Chris Kendall AKA ‘The Raw Advantage’. He’s a raw foodist who is all about spreading the message of positivity, living foods, and high energy vibes. He does this through his youtube channel, his Costa Rica Retreats, his e-books, and his speaking engagements. His excitement for the raw food lifestyle is contagious, even through social media. After going through a period in his life with poor lifestyle choices and bad injury recoveries, he decided to make a change. At 18 he started making major lifestyle changes and by 23, he switched to the raw food lifestyle and never looked back.
I have so many questions to ask Chris because he’s such an inspiration when it comes to the raw food lifestyle!
Hooked On Plants (HOP): At 18 you came to the conclusion that you needed to change your lifestyle. What was the catalyst for this change?
Chris Kendall (CK): Really, the catalyst was being burnt out, depressed, and having a harder time physically in terms of recovery and energy, to skateboard. The first thing I found was yoga, which helped immensely and pointed me in the direction of healthy, compassionate living.
HOP: How long did it take for you to see the benefits of the raw food lifestyle?
CK: Over a period of 5 years I vastly increased the amount of raw food in my diet, starting with a fruit breakfast and going from there. At 23 I jumped into an all raw food diet and experienced the biggest leaps and bounds in my health, vitality, mood, spiritual connection, endurance and passion. These changes happened virtually over night for most, and within the first week for the rest.
HOP: What were the main changes you saw in yourself, and ones that people could expect to see in themselves if they decide to focus on raw foods?
CK: In those first 24 hours my heart centre literally blew open. I felt such a deep connection to the spark within and recognized it in everyone and everything around me, this was more than profound. I felt a deeper connection to my purpose and gained a clarity in my life path that I hadn’t experienced. My joy and lust for life increased and I simply felt bouncier and more prone to move and enjoy myself. Each person’s time line of experiences and shifts is different and fully dependant on their previous lifestyle and particulars. I had been steadily improving my diet and had fasted numerous times before going raw, so when I did it was like rocket fuel.
HOP: I’ve yet to go to the Woodstock Fruit Festival, but this raw food festival looks like a blast! How many times have you been? Will you be prepping the raw-food for all of the attendees this year?
CK: I love love love the Woodstock Fruit Festival, it’s such a great time with so much opportunity for connection, education, fitness, great food and more! I have been a part of every single one (flowing as chef / speaker / yoga teacher) since its conception in 2011. This summer will be their 8th festival including the one in Hawaii. Together with Naturally Ashley we will be making 3 sauces / dressings per night to accompany the daily salad bar 🙂
HOP: You met Dr. Douglas Graham at a Vegan festival in 2004, and went 100% raw overnight! What did he say to you that inspired you to do so?
CK: I first met Dr Graham at “A Taste of Health” Vegan festival in Vancouver B.C. It was as much of what he said as what I picked up from him. I went to 2 of his 3 lectures on the first day, one recipe-based and one nutritional-based. The science driven but common sensed style of his approach really hit home, and it felt like the last piece of a puzzle that I had been looking for finally fit. Beyond that he was literally glowing, in my past I ate lots of magic mushrooms and would sit in nature, at times able to see aura’s around trees and people, seeing Doug glow when I was straight and sober really left me feeling like he had something to offer.
HOP: Dr. Graham’s 80/10/10 lifestyle is one that so many people are thriving on. Even professional athletes, like the ones below, have been seeing amazing results in recovery and performance:
- Mac Danzig: UFC Fighter
- Michael Arnstein: The Fruitarian (ultra-marathoner)
- Tim Van Orden: Running Raw (5 or 6 time runner of the year!)
- Mike Vlasity: Fruit and Strength (raw weightlifter)
Many aren’t familiar with the 80/10/10 lifestyle, which is 80% carbohydrates, 10% fat, 10% protein, mainly coming from raw fruits and vegetables. Can you enlighten everyone on the benefits you’ve seen with this lifestyle?
CK: Absolutely, plus I’d like to point out these numbers are guidelines over the week month and year and not set hard rules for every meal or even day. Generally stating for optimal health, it is good to aim to get 80% or more of total calories from carbs and 10% or less from protein and fat.
- I’ve personally become a lot clearer in my head and heart, and found renewed passion for living and growing with my purpose in loving service.
- I have found it incredibly easy to maintain muscle mass, put some on if I want and stay at a low body fat percentage.
- Feeling lighter, bouncier and more energetic I am able to go faster, push harder and recover faster than ever before.
- I love that I don’t smell like I used to, in the bathroom or after working out.
- My skin tone and appearance has improved and I have been told countless times I look much younger than my age.
- Clean up time in the kitchen is so much easier and I have found such a joy in creating raw food meals and dishes.
- Fruit and fruit hunting has become a real joy in my life, as has traveling to exotic places and enjoying time with other fruit hunters.
- The biggest benefit by far though has been seeing the ripple effect around me as more friends family and acquaintances improving their diet and being more conscious of their spirit and power.
HOP: There have been countless people that have improved their digestive, adrenal, thyroid, and overall health with a raw food lifestyle. Not to mention those who have reversed diabetes, heart disease, obesity and cancer by eating raw foods. Who are your favourite, inspirational examples for this?
- John Kohler is amazing and reversed major issues with raw food
- Megan Sherow reversed stage 3 brain cancer within months
- Janette Murray-Wakelin reversed cancer in her 70’s and went on to set a world record for consecutive marathons (366 in a row every day)
HOP: I find myself eating mostly raw foods, especially throughout the daylight hours. Most people see the raw food lifestyle as extreme. Can you give 3-5 ways to make eating this way easier, more convenient and seem ‘normal’;)?
- Think about the fact that all animals eat the foods they are designed to eat one food at a time, in its whole, raw, natural state until they’re full. They don’t worry about nutrition, they simply eat what they are designed for. We, like our closest living relative the Bonobos, are designed to eat fruits and tender greens
- Start with breakfast, fruit is best eaten on a completely empty stomach, so breakfast is the easiest way to do it. Make a big smoothie, fruit salad or green smoothie and enjoy all you care for then a few bites more. With raw, low-fat, fruit based meals, its really tough to over eat, so it’s better to err on a little more rather than a little less
- Read raw recipe books to get inspiration for new recipes, then once you find 4-6 recipes you love, the lifestyle gets so much easier
- Look for inspiration in Youtube videos, books and by connection with coaches / other raw foodists to share experiences, ask questions and make the transition easier. In my coaching practice I often find 1 hour can make the difference between years and, in some cases, decades of struggle as opposed to streamlined growth and ease. I offer coaching by donation 🙂
- Realize that this is all as big of a deal as you make it. For example, I know it is a big deal health-wise, environmentally, and for the animals, but also know I do not need bring that up all the time or judge others for their choices. Being calm confident and happy while simply being the example leads to more people being curious and receptive than any lecture.
HOP: What is your favourite music right now? Who’s your favourite band?
CK: I love most forms of music although wouldn’t consider myself a music person, it’s rare I pick up a new band or search for new music, in fact I am not a avid concert goer either. I like the classics like Bob Marley, Neil Young, The Doors, and newer stuff like Fantan Mojah. Lots of old school hip hop and some new too, but mostly rock and reggae!
HOP: When is your next retreat and how many are you doing this upcoming year?
CK: My next set retreat is March 3rd – 10th, 2018 at The Farm of Life in Costa Rica. It will be another Raw Food n Yoga Surf Adventure retreat, everything but the raw food is optional hahaha:) I plan to do 1 this year, and if it fills up quick I may do another.
HOP: What’s you’re next big project you’re working on to spread the Peace, Love and Seasonal Fruit message?
CK: I always have things on the go. I have a few new books coming out, new shirts, and a huge update on my free raw recipes app for iPhone. I’m always looking at ways to grow the TRA Dream, a charity I created to actualize donation-based healing and educational raw food permaculture and yoga centres / communities around the world.
HOP: What is your favourite spring (or maybe camping) raw food recipe?
CK: I would have to say simple banana pudding as you do not need any tools other than a bowl and your hands.
Raw Advantage’s Simple Banana Pudding
Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2-4 people
- 12 bananas
- 3/4 cup raisins
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 stalk celery, minced (optional)
- Peel 10 – 11 bananas and place them in a bowl
- Mash bananas well using your hands, a fork or a potato masher.
- Add the raisins, cinnamon and optional celery, mix and enjoy!
Optional additions: carob powder, dried mulberries, date bits
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