I am so excited that I snagged an interview with Rawdorable !!
When I was first learning about raw foods and living a healthier lifestyle I stumbled across her blog and just LOVED her posts!!! She always had beautiful pics of yummy looking food and it was all unprocessed and made by her!! WOW!!! I even went as far as printing out some of her pics and laminating them and taping them to a notebook cover to keep me inspired!!! So, after reading her blog for a long time I finally asked her for an interview and she of course said “YES!” Here is the interview-ENJOY!
#1-Who is Rawdorable and when did you start your blog?
Rawdorable is me, of course. I go by Shannonmarie online, which is just my first and middle name. Growing up, I hated the name “Shannon,” as it was also a boy’s name (which is funny, since I named my daughter, “Hayden,” also a boy’s name). I know it sounds silly, but I decided to attach the “Marie” to sound more feminine. I started the blog in 2007, when my son Jacob was in preschool.
#2-Why did you decide to start blogging?
While my son was away at school, I found myself alone at home with some new free time. I also didn’t really know anyone who ate like I did (and still do), so I starting reading other raw food blogs on the Internet. One day, I noticed the “Create Blog” link in the upper corner of another blogger’s site. I just clicked on it, and the rest is history, I guess.
#3-What does your diet consist of?
For years I was high raw, nearly 100 percent, but since becoming pregnant with Hayden, I’ve made some adjustments. I just couldn’t stomach many raw foods at the time, so I ended up steaming some veggies and even fruit just so I could keep them in my diet. I also added cooked grains and beans, as organic vegan burritos were a huge craving for me. Once she was born, I increased my raw intake, while still including some cooked, which seems to keep me in balance. I may get criticized for this, but I don’t think 100 percent is best for everyone. I actually function better with some cooked, as long as I still make good choices. On a typical day, I start out with fresh fruit and green smoothies (I’m not really a juice girl; I not the fiber to feel full). Sometimes I make thicker puddings with greens added to them. Lunch is usually a salad with a lot of flavors and textures, or perhaps a wrap-style sandwich (greens make excellent wraps) or raw almond butter and bananas on Ezekiel bread. Throughout the day, I tend to snack on raw fruits and veggies. I might also have a handful of raw nuts and/or dried fruit. On an especially busy day, I make room for a raw cupcake or banana-based n’ice cream, as these are my favorite treats (they even beat out the cooked ones for me). Dinner may be similar to lunch or possibly cooked. I like steamed veggies with grains and/or beans. I’m also a big fan of baked sweet potatoes, especially when they are cut into wedges, like fries, seasoned with herbs and spices. I also like to treat myself to a good piece of chocolate (I think I get this from reading Natalia Rose’s books), whether it be raw or not. Endangered Species is actually one of my faves. It is organic, vegan, fair trade dark chocolate that comes in a variety of flavors and can be found in the local supermarket.
#4-What made you decide to change the way you were eating?
I became vegetarian and eventually vegan for both health and ethical reasons. It was just a natural progression. Then, when I saw Juliano talking about the raw lifestyle and his “RAW: The UnCook Book” on television years ago, I became so impressed with what he was able to make out of raw fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, grains, etc. I ran out to buy his book, and have had fun experimenting and being creative in my raw kitchen ever since.
#5-Do your children and husband also eat this type of diet?
My hubby is the total and complete opposite of me when it comes to eating. It’s more difficult to get him to eat his veggies than the kids. At least having me in his life has made him more open to trying new things. I also like the fact that no matter how strange my diet seems to him, he doesn’t try to change me. My son is somewhere between me and my husband when it comes to his food preferences. We opted to give him a balance of both veg and non-veg lifestyles, emphasizing healthy foods, while still allowing room for the usual kid treats. It’s a compromise that seems to work for us. As for my daughter, she is only 9 months at the moment, so she hasn’t had much of an opportunity to form her own opinions, although she tends to take after me so far. I try to feed her some of what I’m eating, as long as it is baby-friendly. There isn’t much she doesn’t like. Some of her recipes are posted on my blog.
#6-What are some healthy lunches that you send to school with your son?
I hate to admit it, but my son is not the healthiest eater. He takes after his father in that department. He’s on the picky side, so I tend to send peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with some kind of whole grain cereal to snack on. I also toss in a raw fruit and/or veggie. Most of the time, I pack apples, celery and carrots. Right now, he loves strawberries. Since the other kids come to school with chips, cookies, candies, etc., I do add a small treat to his lunch, too. I give him a small square of dark chocolate, which is his favorite. He likes to wash it all down with water. Good old H2O tops his list in the beverage department.
#7-Your blog Rawdorable shares some recipes for some delicious looking cupcakes-but these aren’t regular cupcakes-can you explain what makes these special?
These cupcakes are raw vegan. They are made from ground nut and/or seed “flours,” and sweetened with fruit and agave nectar (although other substitutions can be made). They are naturally gluten-free and packed with nutrition. Recently, I’ve had some requests for low glycemic substitutions. After a little experimentation, I found that yacon slices are an excellent alternative to dates. Yacon also comes in a syrup, which can be used in place of agave, as well. Taking in consideration a variety of dietary needs, I tried my best to come up with a specialty raw vegan cupcake that most people can eat. The result was a raw vegan, nut-free, gluten-free, non-chocolate, low glycemic version of a German chocolate cupcake. Hopefully, I covered everything.
#8-How did you come up with the idea for raw cupcakes and how do you get inspiration for new recipes?
I can’t imagine life without cupcakes. There’s just something about that cute little packaging. The size is just right, like someone made it especially for you. I even included them in a tier of my wedding cake, long before it was trendy to do so. I guess it is no surprise that I’m always finding a way to fit them into my diet. When I baked, I found a way to make them vegan and remove the gluten. Then, when I went raw, I just had to “rawify” them, as well. Speaking of “rawifying,” that’s how I’m inspired to create most of my recipes. I take something I love and turn it into a raw version. For example, I wanted cake, so I made a raw version, using a small ramekin. It reminded me of a cupcake. Eventually, I started using reusable silicone cupcake liners, which really enhance the look.
#9-Which raw cupcakes are your favorite and can we see pics?
Of course my favorite has got to be the Crème-filled Choco-Cupcake, a.k.a. “Rawtess Cupcakes,” for their flavor, appearance and their all-around popularity. They’ve ended up all over the Internet. They also got me my first mention on the “Cupcakes Take The Cake” site. Being a huge cupcake fan, it was a big deal for me.
#10-You have a new ebook out with all of your raw cupcake recipes – what inspired you to write this?
Although I’ve always wanted to publish a cookbook or uncookbook, this e-book was actually released out of necessity. My baby girl, who was born in August 2009, is breastfed and has refused to take a bottle. As a result, I have been the only person able to feed her until she was introduced to solids a few months ago. Unable to go back to work, I needed to find another source of income to help pay the bills, as we did not plan in advance financially for this. I would like to thank everyone who has purchased this e-book. You have no idea how much I appreciate it.
#11-Do you have any other books/projects that you are currently working on?
In addition to the e-book, I have shirts for sale via Café Press. They are based on a design I made for my baby when she was born. I had hoped to add other designs over time, but nothing new quite yet. Currently, I’ve had to put the other projects to the side, as I am trying to find some balance in my life. In fact, I’m actually cutting back significantly on my computer time. I’m enjoying my family, while prepping to possibly go back to work part-time in the fall. I’m just living my life in the present; we’ll just have to wait and see what the future holds.
#12- What are your biggest struggles that you face eating the way you do?
The biggest struggle is the fact that I’m the only one in my family that eats this way. It is amazing that I’ve kept it up all these years, especially since it is rare to find anyone in my area that even knows what I mean when I say I eat “raw.” I do my best to bring food to social gatherings and explain why I eat the way I do. If you keep the conversation positive, people are very curious and want to learn more.
#13-What do you do or how do you handle situations like being invited to dinner, birthdays, or bar-b-ques?
That goes along with the “struggle” question. Most of the time, I try to eat a little something before I go. Then, I pack a few snacks in my purse and hope there is a fruit and veggie tray there. I also ask the host if there is anything I can bring. I try not to make a big deal about it (when I’m offered cake, I just say, “no thank you”), but I am willing to answer any questions as they may arise.
#14-What do you do when you are hosting a party for people who do not eat the same as you?
I actually don’t host a lot of gatherings, and when I do, I try to schedule them for times when I only need to serve snacks, rather than a full meal. It’s easy to sneak in the fruit and veggie trays, dips, guacamole, mixed nuts, etc., without anyone noticing that they are eating any differently.
#15-Where can people order your book?
My e-book is available on my blog, www.rawdorable.blogspot.com. Just click the picture of it on the left sidebar to get to the introductory post about it. There you will find the PayPal link. I never set it up for automatic distribution, but I always make sure to manually send it out within 24 hours.
#16-Who has been your greatest inspiration on your journey in health?
Although she wasn’t raw and didn’t consume the healthiest diet, I would have to say my great grandmother Flossye was my greatest inspiration (I blogged about her on We Like It Raw once, where I “rawified” her cinnamon twists). She lived to be 99 and ½ years old. If I’m lucky, maybe I’ll break 100 🙂
Thank you Rawdorable for the interview!!!! Please visit her beautiful site and read through some of her posts….there are the yummiest, dreamiest, pictures of raw cupcakes….you may never want any other ever again!!! OH, and order her ebook so that you can have all of the recipes!!!! Let her know I sent you!!!