My New Job in a Raw Vegan Kitchen: A Food Story

Nine years ago I ate a cheeseburger a day. If you'd have told me I'd "grow up" to work in a raw vegan kitchen I'd laugh my ass off between bites of fast food. I've changed in the past three years...


I've evolved from junk eater to "raw vegan", a vegan that eats fresh, unheated, unprocessed fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. I've lost thirty pounds along the way. Eating healthfully has become a passion, and seeking hands-on experience preparing "living food" was the natural next step.

Food Nirvana: Cooking raw vegan and working full time is tough. Overwhelmed and hungry, I looked for local raw vegan bites and discovered the delicacies offered by local raw vegan caterer, Shakti.


My first bite of Shakti's raw vegan chocolate moose was spiritual. I need not pray nor screw my way across Asia like that chick in Eat, Pray, Love for enlightenment. Give me Eat! Addicted to Shakti's culinary perfection, the path was clear. I had to work in that kitchen!


Learning, Growing: My new job at Shakti forces me out of  my comfort zone. Balancing the blog, reselling, freelance gigs, and the kitchen is challenging, but it's supercharged my passion for Thrift Core. New experiences are clinically proven to increase creativity and I'm enjoying this energy boost thoroughly!

A Clear Path: My bank account had more numbers after the dollar sign when I worked full time as a marketer, but that number on the scale went up with it! I'm still organizing my life as a bohemian and I make a pittance of what I earned when The Man provided my pay, but I am so much more fulfilled working in my home and in Shakti's humble kitchen. 


[Former co-workers see the difference: I've got my "glow" back. I'm so fulfilled helping others.]

Working for myself I provide new homes for forgotten relics and help people realize their dreams as a freelance small business marketer. I inspire people with my blog. Now as a raw vegan cook I'm nurturing people's bodies with healthy comfort food and it closes the circle. I earn less, but I'm creatively and spiritually satisfied.


Follow Your Passion: If you're passionate about something, do it! Open your Etsy shop, start reselling, find a way to work in the field you want to. Start slow. When you dive into your passions you'll discover some of them aren't for you. You'll flub. That's the most important part.

Try shit, fall on your ass, dust yourself off and start all over again. If you're not doing this, you're not living.

So tell me...what do you want me to write about this experience in the future? Got questions? I'm here to educate!
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25 comments:

  1. I'm going to learn how to play the guitar. Now I've told someone.

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  2. I personally would love to hear the story of your journey to being a raw vegan. What started it? How did you progress? Did you just completely give up meat one day or was it gradual? :)

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    1. That story is a coming, along with an FAQ on what the diet actually as "uncooked food" sounds confusing for the uninitiated!

      It was very gradual. I started by simply adding more veggie servings, then I gradually changed from pescatarian to vegetarian to raw vegan.

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  3. I love that you are so excited about this! I honestly have no idea what raw vegans eat, so more pictures and brief descriptions would be great.

    I could never be vegan, what with my immense love of cheese and eggs, and a raw diet would send me to the emergency room due to my Crohn's disease, but even so, I love learning about food and how others' eat!

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    1. My sister is law said the same thing about Crohn's disease and not being able to eat a raw diet. A book I'm reading is about a guy with Crohns that greatly improved his health by going raw. I'll have to read more about it...

      "Raw Vegan" sounds confusing but we eat the same things everyone else does, we just "dehydrate" it (which applies a very low heat that dries out the food to make it firm) instead of cooking it. Deserts are frozen like you'd freeze an ice cream pie to firm it. I enjoy pizza, calzones, ice cream, sandwiches, "cheeses", and of course, salads and smoothies.

      It's easier to just think of it as a different way to preparing vegan food. I will write detailed follow-ups on how the kitchen works and what exactly being a "Raw Vegan" is in the coming weeks.

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  4. I love that you are so excited about this! I honestly have no idea what raw vegans eat, so more pictures and brief descriptions would be great.

    I could never be vegan, what with my immense love of cheese and eggs, and a raw diet would send me to the emergency room due to my Crohn's disease, but even so, I love learning about food and how others' eat!

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  5. How exciting! I love your blog, and as a vegan myself, I'd definitely love to hear about your experiences! We have a raw vegan restaurant here in LA called the Sun Cafe...I just ate there yesterday and their chocolate-almond butter cheezecake blew my mind!! If you ever come to LA you must go there :-)
    I'm very excited for you, Van!

    xox
    Dina @ www.VintageAdvantage.blogspot.com

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    1. I had a slice of Shakti "Cookies and Cream" pie for dinner, do damn delicious! You're lucky to be LA with their dazzling array of raw vegan options available. I'd definitely stop by Sun Cafe if in the area! I'd actually go nuts (and broke!) checking out all of the vegan options possible. My nearest raw restaurant is a town over, "The Present Moment Cafe." Their raw sushi roll was the BEST sushi I've ever had, it's blasphemous to say it, but it's true!

      I'm excited to share more details about the kitchen, eating vegan for less, etc. Thanks for the kind words and recommendation Dina.

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  6. I hope you share some food ideas and recipes. My 11 year old daughter became vegetarian this year, and vegan (by her choice) a couple of months after that. It is challenging to find nutritious foods that provide enough calories as she is still at the age where she has a lot of growing left to do

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    1. That's awesome, Anna! I remember wanting to be vegan at her age but the temptation to eat meat and all the other bad foods was too great. I can ask around for advice at work, everyone there is very knowledgeable. I'd make her dishes with nuts, avocado, coconut oil and coconut which are all high in healthy fat and calories.

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  7. Van, You look fabuuuulous! Congrats on becoming more and more healthy. I know nothing about being a Raw Vegan so anything you write about will be new and interesting. I went on a protein and vegetables diet recently and wow do I feel so much better. Lost a little weight too. It is a good thing to try to be healthy.

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    1. Eating healthy is an addictive challenge, it's fun to try new things and see what works. I don't ask people to go full raw vegan like I do, but I do encourage them to try some of the meals and see how it makes a difference for them. I'm excited to write more about it soon. Thanks for the kind words!

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  8. Thanks for sharing this awesome post! I started reading your blog a few months ago and you've inspired me to launch my Etsy shop, as well as start working towards my ultimate dream of opening up a real store. All of your posts encouraging everyone to follow their passions have been great motivators for me. Congrats to you on your continued success, and thank you again for sharing with us!

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    1. I'm touched that my words encourage readers to take control and live the lives they want to. Your shop looks amazing Elizabeth, thanks for sharing!

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    2. Thanks Van, I'm glad you like it! Glad to see your Etsy shop up and running as well! :)

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  9. That sandwich is really... green?

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    1. I LOVE green sandwiches :) Lots of spinach and avocado in that one, it's delicious.

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  10. That sign is awesome. could sell that for big $$$$ on CL!

    Dude @ MoneyintheGarage.com

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    1. I doubt the sign will sell for big bucks, it may look like vintage rusted metal online but it's a contemporary print on canvas.

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  11. You look fabulous! Could you share a typical days meals that you enjoy?

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    1. Thanks! :D I'll definitely have to follow-up with details on that. I'll snack on nuts, fruits, and veggies, but always have raw "breads", "tortillas", chocolates, and other snacks ready to assemble when I crave 'em.

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  12. I love this post.It's always interesting to me to see what other people eat and why.
    One of my goals is to start cooking more for my family.I love to cook,but meal planning has always been a downfall for me.Many times I end up getting fast food.I know I could make it myself better and cheaper but I just didn't plan ahead.
    I don't know about going vegan,but that sandwich sure looked good.

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    1. I never ask people to go vegan, but I do recommend trying the food. No harm in having something amazingly delicious that will actually dramatically improve your health, right? I plan to go into more detail on the subjects of meal planning, thrifty healthy eating, etc. in future posts. I'm not pedantic about meal planning like I'd like to be, but having healthy snacks and meals ready-to-assemble at all times really helps.

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  13. If an architect designs his own home, would he be paying less as opposed to going to a home construction company (ex. Toll Brothers). Even in good or bad market?
    http://www.allevaconstruction.com/home_improvements.html

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