There is nothing like sustaining health. It takes a commitment and once the changes begin, for many, there is no turning back. This week for self-improvement empowerment month Angela Stokes-Monarch was kind enough share her journey and wisdom about the raw lifestyle with Calming Corners.
One decision changed Angela Stokes-Monarch life forever. She picked up a book that was given to her by a friend called Raw Family. At the time Stokes-Monarch was 24 years-old weighing “almost 300lbs, morbidly obese, always ill and miserable,” she says. During this period in her life, her strongest relationship was with food. “I was basically eating myself into the grave,” she continues. That night she started the book, something clicked. “I read the whole thing in on night and felt that this was the ‘answer’ I was looking for. The idea of living raw absolutely resonated for me and I started to eat this way the very next day.”
The instant changed took some adjustment. “The first week I was 100%. I realized the detox was a bit intense for me coming from such a toxic background. I stepped back to 70-80% raw for the first couple years of this journey during which time I released around 160lbs of excess weight and has stayed off,” she says. With the change in lifestyle Stokes-Monarch shares she has opened up “emotionally, her life shifted socially, spiritually and mentally. My life is unrecognizable now compared to how it used to be.”
She is blessed to have the opportunity “have a website, write books, create programs to help others life a happy and healthy life. I feel extremely blessed.” Now residing in Vilcabamba, Ecuador Stokes-Monarch stays calm by reading, practicing yoga, meditation, journaling, walking in the hills, breathing deeply and singing.
As an expert in raw foods from both research and experience Angela shares her five tips for starting a raw lifestyle.
1. Remove ALL processed/packaged/refined commercial foods from your intake – the middle aisles will kill you. Choose simple, whole foods, straight from the Earth. This is key – there’s no “requirement” to eat totally raw – simply choosing natural, whole foods straight from the Earth is ideal as a starting point.
2. Green drinks – aim to consume at least one green drink a day, whether green juice, a green smoothie (i.e. fruits and leafy greens blended together), or even a green powder in some water or other liquid. Greens are the *foundation* for being healthy, balanced, alkalised and re-mineralised.
3. All-raw sweets – one of the easiest ways to up your raw intake is to choose that everything sweet you ingest from now on is going to be a raw food, whether fresh fruit, dried fruit, raw sweeteners like lucuma, mesquite, stevia and so on. There are SO many choices out there these days in the raw food realm and SO many recipes for raw cakes, cookies, ice creams and countless other desserts – this is an easy and fun choice to make for yourself, releasing yourself from any connection to toxic refined mainstream sugars, high fructose corn syrup and so on…enjoy 🙂
4. Baby steps – be sure to take your transition into a raw lifestyle *slowly*, if you want to stay on track…so often people seem to hear abt raw food, get super-excited, dive in 100%, hit a detox wall and then run in the opposite direction. It seems to work out MUCH better for people to slowly incorporate more raw/living foods into their intake and take the process at a baby step pace, to stay in the game.
5. Get support – reach out to others who are on this path – this is VITAL for most people, to keep on track. It can be very easy to feel socially awkward when you’re choosing a new lifestyle – so reach out to others, whether in person or via the internet or other avenues, to get support, guidance and inspiration on this path.
Angela shares one of her favorite Recipes —
1 bunch spinach
1 head romaine lettuce
6 medium carrots
“Juice ’em up and serve – tastes *just* like chocolate milk (depending on your taste-buds) – it can be made sweeter with more carrots or even with apples if desired,” says Angela.
Learn more about raw foods and Angela’s Programs here —