Health coach Erin Volentine has published 3 fully raw recipe books, showing us that a raw vegan diet can be simple and delicious! She’s now on her way to becoming a certified Nutrition Coach with the mission to share the benefits she’s received throughout her journey with others.
In her interview with DYLN, Erin shares her insight and useful tips on how to improve your health through living a more natural way of life.
DYLN: When did you decide to start your raw vegan diet journey and why?
I first learned about the raw food diet around 2009. I stumbled upon it while searching for healthy vegan dessert recipes. From there I met a few friends who ate a fully raw diet and got more exposure that way. I eventually adopted a high-fat raw diet a few months later and felt great. However, about 8 - 9 months after that my energy and vitality began to decline and that's when I learned about a fruit-based diet. It took me many years to stick with 100%, but I knew from the very beginning that it was the healthiest way of eating I'd tried so far because I was feeling better after eating fruit-based for just a week or two.
DYLN: You have published books with rawlicious recipes. Could you talk a little bit about them?
I have 3 fully raw recipe books: FruitFully Raw Recipes, 21 Days Raw, and A FruitFully Raw Holiday. They are all filled with fully raw low-fat recipes that are made with easy to find ingredients.
My goal in creating the recipes in FruitFully Raw Recipes and 21 Days Raw was to find the balance between simplicity and deliciousness. I wanted to create recipes that were simple enough for anyone to make, yet delicious enough to satisfy our desire to eat delicious satiating meals.
The recipes in A FruitFully Raw Holiday are a little more complex. They are recipes that are reminiscent of traditional holiday recipes. Things like pecan pie, veggie casserole, brownies, spinach dip, and green bean casserole. They are hearty, flavorful, and comforting – what most people want during the holidays so they don't feel like they're being deprived, but also aren't sacrificing their health.
DYLN: At DYLN, we are strong proponents of a plant-based diet and alkaline water. What do you think about these choices for those who are seeking a healthier lifestyle?
I think there is no doubt that plant-based is the way to go. There are more and more studies coming out all the time that prove that it's the healthiest diet. I haven't looked much into the effects of drinking alkaline water, but I know that keeping an alkaline balance in the body is an important part of staying healthy and preventing disease.
DYLN: Based on your experience, what are the 5 things people can do to start seeing significant improvement in their health?
1 - Lighten up. I think most of us, myself included, often take life too seriously. One thing the longest-lived cultures all have in common is that they take a light-hearted approach to life. For me, this means taking time to rest and relax, spending time in nature sitting in my hammock or taking a walk, enjoying the company of friends and family, and always remembering that getting upset when things don't go exactly as planned never makes things better.
2 - Eat a whole food plant-based diet including an abundance of fresh juicy fruits.
3 - Get some sort of movement on a daily basis. I don't think that there is any perfect type of exercise so I think there's room for doing whatever it is that brings joy to you. Proper movement keeps us physically strong and mobile, improves digestion and our mood.
4 - Connect with others. We are social creatures and our well being, in my opinion, is dependent, in part, on fulfilling this evolutionary need we have.
5 - Get daily sunshine. Vitamin D is so important for our health in multiple different aspects.
DYLN: You are an inspiration for many people around the world. However, we are curious to know who are the people that inspire you. Could you share some names and tell us why?
Thank you! My husband Kyle inspires me every day to be more present in the moment, more childlike, and to let go of judgment. He is a very kind, loving, and accepting human being. In general, I'm inspired by real people. Salt of the earth type people who aren't afraid to get their hands dirty, break a sweat, and don't get their feelings hurt if someone disagrees with them. I'm also inspired when I see people who have the courage to share their shortcomings and mistakes with others. In my eyes, that takes a lot of courage and is something I am continually working on myself.