Author, Tonya Zavasta searched for women from all over the world who achieved remarkable results from the raw food lifestyle and asked them to share their secrets in her book, Beautiful on Raw.
Following is an excerpt from the interview with Gina S. Houston.
Tonya: What brought you to this lifestyle? How long have you been on it?
Gina: Coming to the diet was most definitely Divine Intervention. I have been Vegan for years and it seems I kept hearing about how we are supposed to eat more raw fruits, vegetables and nuts versus cooked foods for optimum health. People in my church would plant this information in my ear periodically and then one morning I was listening to a radio show and they did a brief overview of the benefits of raw fooding and I knew it was God leading me to this lifestyle. I have been eating 80% raw and 20 % cooked for about a year now, but I am officially whole raw now.
Tonya: What changes in appearance have you noticed since going on the raw food diet?
Gina: My hair is much healthier and I hear constantly from women at my church that I am glowing. They ask me if I am in love and I laugh. I go places with other females that are in their twenties and people do not believe I am almost forty years old.
Tonya: How do you feel about your appearance? Were you considered beautiful when you were growing up?
Gina: I feel much more comfortable with the way I look now and I am always asking God if He will let me look this way for the next twenty years. It is not arrogance at all, but I know that healthy inside does make you look healthy outside. True beauty comes from within first.
I wasn't beautiful growing up. I was always a chubby girl and I would always hear "You have such a pretty face, if you would just lose some of that weight." I felt like an ugly duckling because all of my cousins were thin and pretty and I was an out-cast at school.
Tonya: What is your attitude towards aging? Do you feel that the raw food lifestyle has made you look younger than you are? How do you respond to looking younger?
Gina: I desire to look and feel young for a long time. I have not had children yet and it is my desire to remain youthful so that no one will think they are my grandchildren when I start having them. I really do think going raw has made me look younger. Honestly, it feels great. Especially when college guys try to pick me up thinking I am their age and seriously do not believe me when I tell them my age. I have a 13 year old nephew that is very mature and when I went to St. Louis last year we sat together at church. A gentleman asked him if I was his girlfriend! Now that was cool!
Revealing my age depends on who is asking and why they are asking. I do not mind telling my age most of the time because I do not feel my age in my spirit. I have been told my wisdom is the only thing that gives a clue to my age, because I do not look like I am in my late thirties
I feel people should be careful and tactful when asking a woman her age because it is a very private matter. Women are labeled hormonally and emotionally by society according to their age. When people find out I am 36 years old and I express my desire to have six children, I get all of these warnings on how my biological clock is ticking. Sharing my age is not a problem, but I do use discretion with certain people. Most of the time when I tell my age, I get more compliments than anything else, so it is almost to my advantage to do so!