June Wellness hosted by Spa Imagine at Hotel Mousai and Garza Blanca in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico is excited to share this fun interview with raw food YouTube celebrity and Insta-star, Yovana Mendoza, founder of Rawvana, a guide to a raw vegan lifestyle and healthy living.
What is Rawvana?
Rawvana is a guide of inspiration and motivation to lead a healthier lifestyle. I have a YouTube channel, I’m on social media like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. I post pictures every single day, inspiring and motivating others to eat more raw fruits and vegetables. Through my videos I share recipes and I educate my followers on the benefits of raw food eating and how they can incorporate it into their lives.
You talk about moving from surviving to thriving; what does that mean to you?
I feel that a lot of us live in a survival mode the whole time and most of our lives we don’t know that we are in that state. Many times we don’t really feel energetic. We get to a certain age and we start to feel lethargic, or some people can even get illnesses, and it just seems like aging can sometimes be a difficult process and something that we don’t want. It’s like, we all want to preserve the youth and the youth in us, not just on the outside of how we look but on the inside too, because you want to feel that energy that you feel when you were young.
I always say that eating raw fruits and vegetables is the fountain of youth. So, really what thriving means to me is living to your most optimum potential as a human being, in body, mind and spirit. Feeling your best, looking your best; and not just feeling your best physically with energy, but feeling your best mentally, emotionally and spiritually as well.
Who inspires you most?
Well, my biggest inspiration, one of them, is Jesus. I really look at his life and everything. The way he is, the way he lived, is an example of how all human beings should be, which is all about love, compassion, patience, forgiveness, just living in a more peaceful way, peace within us and peace outwardly as well.
Another person would be Dr. Douglas Graham; he’s a huge inspiration to me. He’s been a raw food vegan for more than 30 years and he teaches people all over the world on this lifestyle. He wrote the book the 80/10/10 diet which is a raw food diet, so he’s one of my main inspirations as well.
What training or qualifications do you have in nutrition and raw food?
The first course I took was at the Living Light Culinary Arts Institute and is where I attended and got a certification in the Science of Raw Food Nutrition. The second one was at the institute of Integrative Nutrition which is a health coach program, where I got a certification in health coaching. Also, Doctor Douglas Graham holds retreats and events, so I have been an intern with him in Costa Rica and in Washington at various of his retreats. I have taken quite a few other related courses too.
What advice would you give to get people started with a raw food diet?
I feel that for a lot of people going cold turkey would be too difficult and intimidating at first because it’s a lot to take in and a lot to change. So, instead of me telling people that “you can’t eat this” or “you shouldn’t eat this!” it’s just “eat more!” Eat more raw fruits and vegetables, incorporate it more into your diet, but it’s not just about eating an apple here or there, it’s really about replacing complete meals: breakfast, lunch or dinner for a smoothie or a salad or fruit, or any type of fruit that they really like.
What I proportion to people are the recipes. Many people might eat fruits and vegetable but they don’t eat enough, and then they feel hungry and then they have a craving for something else. So it is important to really eat enough fruit and vegetables. For example, if you’re making a smoothie, you’re not just going to put in two bananas, you might put in 4 or 5 bananas, something that can satisfy you; and I know that a lot of people might see that as too much sugar but the sugar in fruits and vegetables is the good sugar that we need, it’s sugar that our body digests and assimilates in the perfect way.
What meal would you recommend to get people hooked on raw food?
There’s one that’s very popular, and that’s Mango and Avocado Ceviche. What you do is you cut up 2 mangos, 1 avocado, 2 tomatoes (or however much you want), cilantro, lime, a little Serrano chile and you dress it up with a little bit of lime juice. Then you mix all of that together for your Mango and Avocado Ceviche. Then you are going to make tostadas. What you do is take a jicama, which is a root vegetable, and you cut it into slices, which is circular like a tostada. That’s my no fail meal, everyone loves it!
What’s next for you and Rawvana?
Right now it’s to stay on my YouTube channel, make YouTube videos and be constantly on social media, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter everyday; that’s my main focus. I have a new app, I have a recipe app right now, but I have a new app coming up and it’s going to be a 30 Day Smoothie challenge. It’s a challenge where for 30 days, you replace one meal a day with a smoothie. So, it’s full of recipes, and it’s going to have notifications and a shopping list. Just replacing one meal a day.
And also in the next five years I do have a plan to bring out a book, to write a book on my experience and it’s going to have meal plans and recipes and be published in English and Spanish.
Thank you Rawvana for sharing your time with us and giving us some great tips for a healthier raw food lifestyle.