Ndoema’s portrait by Phillip James. Food photography by Ndoema.
Jessica Nazarali of Live Healthy Simply interviewed me about my raw vegan/fruitarian diet. The Interview addresses a lot of the questions I’ve been asked lately so I thought I’d share it with you here on theglobalgirl.com. I discuss the benefits I’ve received transitioning form a cooked vegan to a raw vegan diet, what I eat on an average day and what I’d recommend to those seeking to improve their health.
What is your educational and business background?
I have a Bachelors Degree in Law from the Université Jean Monnet in Paris, France and received advance training in European and International Law from the Universidad Complutense in Madrid, Spain. I also have a Masters’ Degree in International Relations from the École Supérieure des Hautes Études Internationales Paris, France and a Master’s Degree in International Law from the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, Switzerland. I’ve also received advanced multilingual training at the Institut de Management et de Communication Interculturels (ISI) in Paris, France.
I wrote a preliminary PhD THESIS on The Transformative Power of International Human Rights Law, AIDS and Women’s Status In Developing countries and was invited to attend Harvard Law School as a research fellow. I’ve been involved a great deal in causes and campaigns related to human rights and women’s rights, basically issues of empowerment and human connectedness on a global scale in association with the United Nations and various international non-profit organizations.
I’m also passionate about film and filmmaking. I produced and starred in my first film “I’m not Britney” which won several awards and screened at a dozen film festivals around the country. I am a finalist of the Sundance Producing Fellowship and the co-founder of a new LA-based independent film production company that’s harnessing the power of entertainment to foster meaningful social change.
And I love fashion! My fashion adventure started out as an “accidental” model and culminated in me designing my own line and being invited to be a guest lecturer at the Parsons School of Design in New York. With the launch of theglobalgirl.com, I’m adding blogger to my fashion creds!
Why did you decide to start The Global Girl?
I started theglobalgirl.com as a creative outlet and a means of sharing my passions: Fashion, Photography, Film and Healthy Living. On my health journey, I have learnt from and been inspired by countless individuals who openly shared their experience and knowledge. I’ve tremendously benefited from their generosity and I am hoping to contribute a little as well.
Why did you decide to adopt a raw food/fruitarian diet?
It felt like the next logical step in my quest for optimum health. It hasn’t been an overnight decision. It’s been more of a gradual and natural progression. I had been a vegan for over 20 years before I transitioned to a raw vegan/fruitarian diet 5 years ago. For me it’s been more of a process of elimination that led me to feeling better and better along the way. My dietary decisions have always been guided by what I instinctively felt my body demanded and the validating reward of continually improving health. After years of eating a diet devoid of animal products and by-products, refined sugars, refined grains, refined and processed oils, packaged foods of any kind… I had achieved what seemed like an enviable state of health and in many ways it was. I hadn’t been to the doctor in over 15 years! Yet, when I transitioned to a raw food diet and basically eliminated grains and cooked foods entirely, it was a quantum leap in terms of health and wellbeing. This lifestyle is positively impacting my life far beyond the realm of diet and nutrition.
What benefits have you experienced from adopting this type of diet?
I have experienced drastic health, emotional and spiritual benefits from adopting this type of diet (which also includes daily juicing, regular juice fasts, colon and liver cleansing). Besides the complete elimination of the occasional ache and pain, it’s been like meeting a new person! I’ve gone from having a slow metabolism to a fast metabolism, from being always abnormally cold to feeling warm all the time! The list goes on… It’s also been and continues to be an incredibly transformative emotional journey. It’s an extremely alkaline-forming diet. Switching to a predominately alkaline diet tremendously improves our digestive health and over 60% of our body’s neurotransmitters are not in our brain, but in our intestines… The powerful interrelation of the mind, emotions and the digestive system is one of the most fascinating and empowering discoveries I have made since adopting this diet.
In an average day what do you eat?
I’m currently in the midst of a 92-day juice fast. So on an average day I consume between a gallon and two gallons of fresh fruit and vegetable juice. I love juicing! Even when I am not juice fasting, close to 50% of my food intake is in juice form. I drink large amounts of orange juice for breakfast and throughout the day. I typically juice all day and enjoy a large salad for dinner that usually consists of a head of kale with some broccoli, tomatoes, avocados, bell pepper, cucumber, carrots and lots of fresh herbs (cilantro, parsley, dill). Or if I feel like having lunch, I will treat myself to a spinach-based green smoothie or one of my favorite snacks: cauliflower and raw hummus, raw sushi rolls with avocado tomato and sprouts, or a bowl of cabbage salad. And I snack on fruits of course. I particularly enjoy grapes, pineapple and durian occasionally.
What do you think the biggest misconception is about being a raw foodie/fruitarian?
That it’s a life of deprivation and restrictions. That it’s bland and boring. That you have to give up the pleasure of eating, sharing and preparing mouth-watering gourmet meals. Or that preparing appetizing live food meals is a very complicated and time-consuming process. I assure you, none of these misconceptions are true!
What is the number one thing you would recommend to a person who wants to improve their health?
I don’t believe that a single thing could benefit us all in a similar manner, as we’re all unique individuals. But I believe that the following steps taken individually or together are bound to prove tremendously beneficial: incorporating juicing into your daily diet, observing the rules of proper food combining, limiting or eliminating processed, refined and packaged foods, increasing your daily intake of fresh organic fruits and vegetables and arguably the most critical step of all (in my opinion) … eliminating toxic waste in the body by practicing some form of colon and liver cleansing.
Where do you see The Global Girl in the future?
I see myself growing and evolving. The website is very much an expression of who I am. I don’t like to approach anything from a limited perspective or with limiting expectations. I want my life to be a journey of discovery.