I’m Tamara Brown, the Founder and Creator of The Raw Food Girl. I’ve developed an absolute love for raw and whole foods, it’s become my passion toabout the Because I haven’t always eaten this way, or felt the level of health and vitality that I do now.
As a young girl, I was fortunate to be raised by two parents who were very interested in health. Fruits, vegetables, meat, grains and dairy were staple parts of our diet. But in lieu of popular marketing of the 1990’s, our “healthy” meals consisted of lots of wheat (breads, pastas etc), plenty of canned foods, and everything was cooked in the trusty microwave.
So, when I got married to my amazing husband Stewart in 2007, my diet remained the same. With the birth of our first child in 2008, I added a significant amount of chocolate and icecream to that diet – we were so sleep deprived, I used copious amounts of sugar to get me through it.I was stuffed, but hanging on but a thread. Just.
Then, in 2010, our first son arrived. And around the same time, our then two year old daughter Peyton decided it was a fantastic time to start entertaining us with some truely spectacualr tantrums. I know now that this was simply her way of trying to win back some of our now divided attention. I could understand, but it completely exhausted me.
As a full-time, stay-at-home mother, I assumed it was normal for me to feel tired all the time. I napped whenever my kids were sleeping, compensating for my lack of energy with an increase in foods such as commercial dark chocolate and Diet Coke (both of which I thought were “healthy” options at the time). How far I’ve come!!
My social life dwindled, basically because I could no longer be bothered going out and late nights were well and truely out of the question. It was not until the birth of our third child in 2012, that I started to have a serious look at the diet I was feeding my family. Stewhad started working FIFO (fly in fly out), and so I knew I wasn’t going to be able to rely on him for help during those first few months after Josh was born. I hadn’t coped very well after my first two labours, suffering from sleep deprivation and post baby blues. I knew that if I was going to cope this time then something really needed to change.
During the pregnancy I had attended several Wellness Events, put on by a company called Juice Plus+. I started to look forward to these evenings, not only because I was finally starting to learn that good health meant consuming a wide variety of good quality raw fruits and vegetables, but also because of the people I met there. This crowd absolutely oozed health and vitality, seeming to have an endless source of energy that I so deeply craved.
I wanted it so bad! So it was that 6 days after my son was born, I made a decision that has changed my health forever. It wasn’t difficult and it certainly wasn’t time consuming. All that happened initally was that I added Juice Plus+ Orchard and Vineyard Blends to my diet. That’s it.
All of a sudden, I was getting the raw nutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and enzymes of an additional 15 different fruits and vegetables and two healthy grains into my body every single day – and oh what a difference that made.
It was only two weeks later that I started to notice how much more energy I had. I was busy all day with my two energetic toddlers, and up at least twice during the night to feed the baby. History told me that I should be feeling exhausted, run down and borderline depressed. But I wasn’t feeling any of those things. I was happy and content, and, instead of spending my evenings feeling lonely or crashing our in front of the TV, I threw myself into research about food and nutrition.
If I had experienced a notable difference by increasing my intake of fruit and vegetables in a capsuled form, what would happen if I also increased my intake of fresh produce also? The possibilities excited and fascinated me.
And so it was that I started to learn about the power of raw food. Through my research, I came to realise that the essential nutrients in these foods are at the very core of preventative health. Not only that, but processed foods, refined sugar and high doses of animal proteins such as meat and dairy, are toxic to our health and contribute greatly to the onset of disease in Western Society.
So with new eyes, I started eliminating some of the staple foods from my family’s diet and replacing them with fresh, raw produce. This meant reducing my intake of wheat-based foods and replacing them with whole food options. I became more intune with my body.Eating wheat make me feel bloated, gassy and tired – so I said good bye to bead. My energy soared. I stopped buying anything that was processed or artificial, replacing it with green smoothies, salad wraps and veggies. And a healthy dose of raw treats to ease the cravings.
Our meat intake dramatically decreased, setting me up for a mostly vegetarian diet for my last pregnancy in 2014. My iron stores plummeted during the pregnancy, with recommendations from my doctors to “eat meat like a carnivore and Milo, because it’s fortified with iron”. I did neither of these things, positively incredulous at this piece of advice, and managed to get through the pregnancy feeling pretty good. The more foods I replaced with raw and whole foods, the better I felt.
In 2017, I decided it was time for me to live 100% vegan, supported my my family and some truely incredible friends. Since adopting a vegan diet, my iron stores have soared (without supplements, infusions or animal products). At my last blood test, my iron levels were up at 153. All on plants!
My children were now eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, without complaint. It didn’t happen overnight, but they more I talked to them about what ‘Power Fruit’ and ‘Super Veges’ would do for them, the more they gobbled them right up.
At some point during my journey, I decided to venture out and start creating my own raw food recipes, using healthy and affordable whole food ingredients. And then one day I realized I had more than enough recipes to fill a recipe book… and then two books. and then four!
To date, I have self published 4 raw food recipe books. The Raw Food Girl’s Sweets & Treats was my very first book, a collection of my most favorite raw slices and desserts. I have since published three others – The Raw Food Girl’s Smoothies, which was inspired by my desire to create smoothies with a high vegetable content that are dairy free and totally delicious! The Raw Food Girl’s Chocolate and The Raw Food Girl’s Desserts are my other two decadent treat recipe books. I am now working on The Raw Food Girl’s Main Meals, which will be a collection of my raw savoury dishes.
Since 2013 it has become my passion to educate as many people as possible about the amazing power of whole foods. I do this by running a variety of Real Food Workshops, in which I teach others how they too can include more raw foods into their diet, and more importantly, WHY. It gives me the biggest high when I see people ‘get it’, when they decide to make the health of their family a priority just like I did. I can promise you if you do this, the benefits you can experience will be amazing!
I hope I may have inspired you in some way to take the next step in looking after your health and wellbeing. Just remember, you don’t have to change everything at once! Start by making one small change, and then once you have mastered that, make another. Pretty soon you will look back on where you are right now and be so grateful you made the change.
Hearing about how others have improved their health inspires me so much! Feel free to contact me – I would love you hear your story! I wish you the very best in health, in wealth, and most importantly – in happiness 🙂