Interview with Natalia KW - Author of Pure Pleasures - Luscious Live Food Recipes from the Glowing Temple Kitchen
This hub is a part of a series of hubs interviewing women entrepreneurs who have managed to set up and run successful small businesses while managing a family and a full time job. My aim is to share their success stories and provide inspiration to moms looking to start their own business.
Meet Natalia KW, the author of Pure Pleasures - Luscious Live Food Recipes from the Glowing Temple Kitchen. Natalia calls herself as a "girlie who loves all things clean, green and fabulous" and believes that the raw food lifestyle is "hip, sexy and full of pleasure".
Q1. Natalia - tell us a little about yourself and your book “Pure Pleasures - Luscious Live Food Recipes from the Glowing Temple Kitchen”?
I am a raw food chef on a mission to show the world that pure foods are full of pleasure! About 4 years ago I ventured into the raw food lifestyle as a means to heal a massive candida problem I had been dealing with for far too long. After being over medicated and under-treated by professionals, raw food became my answer to self-healing. As grateful as I was to heal on a physical level, the most profound changes came to me in my emotional and spiritual life. To put it simply, my entire life brightened. After stripping out processed, lifeless foods and replacing them with pure, living, organic foods (especially greens!) it was like a veil was lifted and my life’s purpose became clear. I felt truly nourished and joyful. At that time, knowing just how powerful a clean diet can be, I knew that I had to make my work about sharing the joys of this lifestyle. In 2010, I published Pure Pleasures, a compilation of luscious recipes that I had been working on since I first discovered raw foods. It’s been a wonderful journey and it is my absolute pleasure to know that my book is inspiring people across the globe to eat healthier and live happier.
Q2. What inspired you to write Pure Pleasures?
During my healing journey, I had experimented with many special diets before discovering raw foods. Not only was I vegetarian, but I also tried gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free & allergen-free. Throughout it all, I was constantly trying to create foods that were not only in line with the diet, but also very delicious and satisfying. I always wanted to write a cookbook to share my recipes because I knew firsthand what a challenge it could be to come up with suitable meals when you are feeling restricted by your diet. When I made the switch to raw foods, I spent countless hours, challenging myself to come up with amazing and also accessible dishes. When my recipe list was complete with my favorite drinks, salads, dressings, entrees and desserts, Pure Pleasures was born.
Q3. How do you define “raw and living food” and what are their benefits?
The raw and living food diet is primarily a vegan lifestyle built around fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds & sprouts. Raw foods are those that are uncooked or kept below 115 degrees during any processing. Living foods are those that have been sprouted and are therefore alive. These foods are rich in vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll, antioxidants and more. Since the foods are uncooked, none of these elements are lost to heat and our bodies can readily assimilate them. Those that increase their consumption of raw and living foods (I always stress greens!) often find an increase in energy, immunity, joy and overall well-being.
Q4. Can raw and living foods be incorporated within an everyday diet (along with cooked foods)?
Though my current lifestyle includes and all raw diet, I always stress to people that it does not have to be an all or nothing game. The more fresh, raw, organic plant foods you can add to your diet, the more you can have the benefits I shared above. Many people will eat high percentages of raw foods along with cooked whole foods and find that this balance works well for them. I always encourage experimentation to find your perfect dietary balance.
Q5. Would you like to share one of your recipes with us today?
Of course! My success with raw foods involves having sweet treats like this on hand for when chocolate cravings arise! These are so simple - just keep them in the freezer for those moments when you need an instant pick me up!
Super Quick Cacao Clusters
Makes 16 pieces
- 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
- 1/4 cup raw agave nectar
- 1/3 cup cacao powder
- A pinch of Himalayan salt
- 1 cup walnuts (soaked and dehydrated if you've planned ahead)
- 2/3 cup coconut flakes
In a medium bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, agave, cacao and salt. When the chocolate is smooth, add the walnuts and coconut to the bowl. Mix well to coat all of the nuts and coconut. Use a spoon to create clusters about 2" in diameter and place onto a wax paper lined baking sheet. Freeze 30 minutes or until the chocolate has hardened.
Q6. You were an artist/designer. What made you realize your passion for developing recipes?
I’ve always been a foodie, but cooking was merely a hobby for me. When I discovered raw foods, I began to realize how much joy it brought to my life when making and sharing new dishes. I was spending all of my free time (away from my Textile Designer job) playing in the kitchen and researching health and healing through raw foods. One day I truly had an awakening to follow this passion into a career. It is my belief that everyone deserves the ecstatic feeling of being nourished by pure foods and I want to reach as many people as possible.
Q8. “Living naturally” to you means...?
Living naturally to me means taking a look at your entire life and cleaning up the pieces one by one. It can be overwhelming to make such dramatic lifestyle changes, but in the long run, the benefits are so worth it. Once you’ve cleaned up your diet, take a look at your beauty products. Be very aware that what you put on your skin is being absorbed into your body. Next make a change in your cleaning products. When you’re eating clean and living pure, you do not want to surround yourself with toxic chemicals. We are blessed to be living in a time where natural products are becoming more available everyday, so take advantage of this and support the companies that are taking a stand for healthier living. This isn’t a time where we can live with “ignorance is bliss” anymore. We have to be aware, do our research and make the highest decisions for the health of ourselves, our families and our planet.
Q9. What is the one thing that makes your book unique from the rest?
Pure Pleasures fuses gourmet flavor with simplicity. I want to change the paradigm that raw foods have to be inaccessible to the masses and super time consuming. I love to hear from my readers, sharing that they are having lots of success with the recipes - that they are easy and absolutely delicious. That was my ultimate goal when writing the book. Also, my book includes a photo with every recipe - giving you a good idea of how the recipe should turn out!
Q10. What are your plans for the future? Any new books in the pipeline?
Yes! I actually have 2 books coming out this summer! I am so excited! Pure Pleasures includes a little bit of everything, but these books are much more focused on specific recipe topics. Keep a watch on www.NataliaKW.com and check me out on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/PureNataliaKW) for the details, coming soon!
Recipe: Sesame Ginger Lettuce Wraps by Natalia
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