LOS ANGELES, May 19, 2014 — Chris Kendall is an expert in live a raw food lifestyle. Kendall credits switching to a better diet for pulling him out of bad time, both emotionally and physically. Now feeling better, Chris Kendall shares what he has learned with other like-minded people via his website, The Raw Advantage, as well as festivals and retreats that feature the Raw diet, as well as yoga, surfing and skateboarding. Chris Kendall took some time to speak with Punk Rock Foodie regarding his transition from meat eater to raw food connoisseur.
Scroll below video to read the interview.
KW: What made you go from carnivore to herbivore?
CK: Well well well, in my teens I was indeed a vicious carnivore, the greasier, cheesier, meatier the better, I literally drank gravy and one of my favorite dishes was poutine. By the time I was 17, I was drinking and smoking, weed and cigarettes, quite heavily. My ambition, energy, focus and sense of well-being got so low that I really actual hated myself and wasn’t excited about living. I often wished for an end. Knowing I had to do something, really to have energy to be able to skate more and heal faster, I started researching. This led me to yoga, which pointed out a vegetarian diet. Intrigued, I found a book called, “Fit For Life.” It went over many concepts I hold high today, such as natural hygiene, food combining, holistic health, and vegetarian, raw and vegan diets. Shortly after that, I went vegetarian. By 22, I enrolled in my schooling in Holistic Nutrition at CSNN. I went Vegan and, at age 24, raw vegan.
It was a gradual transition over five to six years, slowly to a vegetarian diet and then when I decided to go vegan it was over night. About a half a year after that I went 100% raw, despite a few slips off the wagon and a few bouts of compromise, it has been ten years as a raw food vegan now.
For clarification I would consider myself and our dietary nature Frugivore or Frugivorous, as many anthropologists also deem our closest genetic cousins, the Bonobo, or Pigmy Chimpanzee.
KW: What was the hardest thing for you when you first made the switch?
CK: At the beginning of going meat free, it was simply hard to find options when going out. Fifteen years ago, there was a lot less to choose from at restaurants and in super markets unless you ate whole fresh produce! Now, it is so, so much easier. When I first went Raw, I actually found it easier food wise than any other diet, heck if it wasn’t whole, fresh, raw, and ripe, it wasn’t for me. With time what I found to be challenging was coping with the emotional and physical detox that comes from such a high vibrational, low digestively, taxing diet. The other challenges were social events as well as being well stocked at home and traveling.
KW: Did you notice any changes to your health right away?
CK: When I first went veggie, I did notice some big changes in my general well-being, as well as recovery time, but I will say since it was gradual it wasn’t as black and white. When I went whole foods vegan, it was more pronounced, I simply felt better, lighter and more happy in general. I can honestly say though, when I went Raw I experienced the most poignant shift in my health, happiness, athletic prowess and spiritual connection in my entire life. It may sound cheesy, but it was seriously huge, this shift completely changes my focus from health for myself and skateboarding to health for the service of other people and living beings on the planet.
KW: What was the response from your friends and family like?
CK: I have generally had nothing but support, interest and love. Some have made huge changes, some laugh, some say they wish they could and others dive right in. I feel blessed to say I really feel in most cases it has brought more honest and clear communication over all.
KW: Have you converted any of them to eating raw food?
CK: All of the adults in my family have tried at least one month raw, many have done a few months. They now eat much more raw food and plant based foods than ever, usually going raw if they feel under the weather or before a vacation that they may take their shirt off. More than a few of my friends have went vegetarian, vegan and raw vegan from our connection.
KW: What are the advantages of eating all raw foods as opposed to cooking the food?
CK: Wow, I have a list of over 30 things on my homepage on my website http://therawadvantage.com . Namely feeling better, looking better, smelling better, tasting better, recovering faster, having a lower more lean body weight, higher strength per pound ratio, increased blood flow for all functions, yes, even naughty ones, balancing of hormones, less physical toxemia, regulates blood pressure, better digestion and elimination, sharper focus, reversing all manners of degenerative diseases and the list goes on and on.
In short, when we put fire to anything it chemically changes, proteins become denatured, carbohydrates caramelized, fats rancidified; these reactions can cause a burden to the body as well as leave toxic residues. If we need to cook a food to make it palatable or digestible it simply isn’t a natural or first tier food for us. When we eat a simple, low fat, high carbohydrate raw food diet based in our true health foods, fruit and greens, we simply get the most well rounded and balanced nutrition per calorie with the least amount of digestive energy, chemistry and time.
KW: What would you suggest people do when they are preparing to go raw?
CK: Go to my website and buy three of everything…ahah okay, I would suggest simply adding in more fruits and vegetables, more bites of raw food means less of the other. This can be as simple as switching out Fruit for breakfast and adding a Salad before Lunch and Dinner. From there one can eat fruit for lunch as well and have a big salad and a simple cooked meal of Carbohydrates (Sweet potatoes, Squashes, Yams, Rice, Potatoes, Corn) and a bunch of steamed veggies. I would encourage everyone to read “the 80/10/10 diet” by Dr Douglas Graham and to grab my free ebooks by signing up to my mailing list on my site. http://therawadvantage.com/get-your-free-ebooks-here
KW: Do you find yourself spending more or less money on food now than before you went raw? Or is there not much of a monetary difference.
CK: My basic budget is about $5 – $15 a day, sometimes I go over, sometimes I spend less. Really in general I find that I end up spending less when compared to going out for lunches and dinners on occasion, spending money on beer and cigarettes etc. It’s amazing, but at first I was really hesitant to splurge at times and really treat myself to something exotic or expensive. I shook my head when I realized I used to have no problem doing so on items that were destructive to my health.
KW: You also do Raw Advantage retreats. Can you talk about that a little?
CK: I love to offer Raw Food and Yoga Surf Adventure Retreats! Yoga, Skateboarding, Surfing and Raw Food Cheffing are huge passions of mine that I love to share alongside the raw food diet. I have held specific Culinary skills retreats with more of a focus on the food and the social and emotional aspects of going raw and I also have held more adventure Surf Skate and Yoga retreats. I have held them thus far at CasaAxisMundi.com in Mexico as well as The Farm of Life http://FarmofLifecr.com in Costa Rica. The setting in Costa Rica is truly a paradise with a wild pure jungle setting, amazing organic food at a center that is really living breathing and teaching a natural holistic lifestyle. I find that full immersion, being around people who have lived the lifestyle long term can really help one integrate a ton more than any other way helping them to get a good head start into living the lifestyle themselves. I am excited to offer a Raw Food n Yoga Surf Adventure Retreat at the Farm of Life March 14 – 21, 2015
KW: When you plan the retreats, do you make sure to plan them around skating and surfing?
CK: Depending on the type of retreat, where it is held and what the retreat attendees really want to focus on they may be a big or small part of the retreat. Generally skateboarding takes a back seat to surfing and surfing takes a back seat to raw food and yoga. That said I have had fully different mixes at each retreat and lots of flexibility to accommodate everyone’s wants and needs.
KW: Where can people find your recipes?
CK: Well well well, bless you! Just for joining my mailing list there are three free ebooks, one is simple tips for leading a Holistic lifestyle, the other two are raw Recipes! http://therawadvantage.com/get-your-free-ebooks-here Beyond that I have two other recipe books “101 Frickin’ Rawsome Recipes” (more simple hygienic perfectly combined food recipes) and “TRA Retreat Treats” (low fat well combined raw gourmet) both available by donation as ebooks and at a set price for paper copies. I also have an Iphone App, “The Raw Advantage Raw Recipes,” that is free with 49 recipes, shopping cart, food combining chart and a really cool search function that allows you to search by ingredient or by the ingredients you have on hand. You can get the other 52 recipes from my 101 book for a $2.99 in-app purchase and the app version of TRA Retreat Treats for 4.99$. all available at http://www.therawadvantage.com/product-category/books/
KW: Is there anything else you would like people to know either about you or anything you are working on?
CK: Indeed, I would like to say health is our birthright. Virtually all of the degenerative diseases that are “plaguing” man today are self-induced! I have seen people with heart disease, cancers, diabetes (type 1 and 2), MS, Crones, Colitis, osteoporosis, depression, arthritis, candida, skin conditions, fibromyalgia and even autism clear up their conditions and come to the highest levels of health they can imagine. I have also seen top athletes in any field come to the height of their personal game, feeling and looking younger by years.
You deserve to feel your best, like anything it just comes down to what you choose to create, is it wellness or is it sickness and challenge.
On my personal side, I am excited to be a part of five major fruit and health festivals this year, teaching yoga, speaking on a range of topics.At one I will be teaching skateboarding, while at another acting as Head Chef. The first one coming up is in the London area late June, next is in Denmark in mid-July, then in late July in Slovenia, and then two weeks in the New York Area mid to Late August. The Last is in December in Borneo Asia, Details forth coming.
The last thing I really want to mention is my budding Non Profit, the “TRA Dream,” focused on creating Donation Based Healing, Educational centers and conscious communities based in Holistic Health, Raw Food, Yoga and Permaculture. It is my dream to have these centers around the world offering people service and help in applying and learning about a holistic lifestyle regardless of their financial means. Right now the paper work to make it a full blown charity is going through, you can expect to see more events, projects and announcements to raise awareness and funds to create means for the first center. There is a growing team of people working on growing this goal, you can learn much more about this and everything else surrounding a Holistic Raw Food Lifestyle on my site TheRawAdvantage.com. I also offer consultaion by donation.
Kevin J. Wells is the Sports Editor for Communities Digital News. He also writes about Major League Baseball, punk rock music and food. Kevin plays guitar in the Los Angeles punk band Emmer Effer. Follow him on Twitter @WellsOnBaseball