After years of perfecting her raw, plant-based diet (including a stint learning from renowned chef, Matthew Kenney) Raw Ambition’s Eileen Sims brought it to the people of Geelong in the form of a cooking school in 2012. Now several years later, she’s just launched an online store for the treats and is set to appear at the first ever The Glitter Project Collective where she’ll be talking about raw, plant-based eating and sharing some recipes.
Hi Eileen, thanks for taking the time to chat with Forte, how are you and what are you up to?
It’s great to catch up with you guys! I’m pretty frantic right now actually as I’ve just launched an online store for freshly made goodies, so that’s keeping me busy. I’m pleased I can offer something to help people add more plant foods on their plates – especially in winter!
You started a raw cooking school in 2012, what inspired you to start it?
I’m a bit of a Thespian and I love sharing my passion for good food and good health, so it was a no-brainer really! I love the direct impact a class can have on someone, it can really change their life in a few hours! I love that I am responsible for planting a seed in someone’s mind, and hearing from them weeks or months later saying, ‘You inspired me to make this change’. How amazing, how humbling. I just love it!
How have you found changing people’s perceptions of raw plant-based cooking when they come to your classes?
Well to start with it was so NEW, there was not much in the way of ‘plant-based’ food around, let alone ‘raw’ food. So initially, it was a lot of people coming with health issues, who had read about how great a raw, plant-based diet is for healing. Over the last couple of years it’s morphed into people who are just committed to good health, who want to learn to make something that they’ve tried in a cafe perhaps, who have genetic predispositions to certain illnesses and want to arm themselves. I see much more in the way of plant-based eating as a prevention rather than cure these days.
What’s the biggest misconception of a plant-based diet and meals?
That you eat salad all the time! I mean, you can if you like, but I certainly don’t! I am not afraid of flavour, so all my dishes are designed to have impact, to feel nourishing and filling. Many people assume raw, plant-based eating means cold food. It really doesn’t! I use my dehydrator to warm things to 45C, this is above body temperature so is naturally warming but it keeps essential nutrients intact. I also think many people consider eating like this is somehow depriving – it’s quite the opposite! Oh wait, you thought I was going to say ‘There’s not enough protein, but seriously, surely people have moved past that haven’t they? So. Much. Protein.
You’re doing both a workshop and a speaker session at The Glitter Project Collective, what can people expect from your sessions?
Hopefully a few good laughs! I aim to inspire people with the benefits of getting more plant foods in your diet. I come from a very non-judgemental place, I don’t care what else is on your plate just pile on the plants! I will share and make some recipes to show how easy it is to get started, and really, you just need to start!
How easy/hard is it to implement a plant-based diet into your lifestyle?
It’s EASY. I think there is so much noise out there pertaining to diets and lifestyles and high fat this and paleo that and blah blah blah. Just start. Add in a smoothie, make half your plate veggies, do one thing and keep doing it. Don’t stress. A big change takes time, you can’t decide overnight to change everything. That’s setting you up to fail. Just do as Michael Pollan says, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants”.
Eileen Sims is appearing as a speaker and workshop host at this year’s The Glitter Project Collective at Deakin Waterfront on Saturday, July 15.
Find out more via the website www.theglitterproject.com.
You can find Eileen at www.rawambition.com.au.