Before I moved to Arizona to work at the Tree of Life, I used to have a weekly ritual. I would drive to the East Village in Manhattan on Saturday mornings, take an intensely wonderful and cathartic Jivamukti yoga class and then head to my fave raw food places for a treat! I would take turns going to Caravan of Dreams, Pure Food Takeout, Bonobos, High Vibe, Quintessence – wherever my mood and desire took me that day. Sometimes I would meet up with friends. Others times I preferred to go it alone. So when I recently learned that Matt Monarch would be speaking at Bonobos, I thought I would resurrect my old “me day” custom and head on to NYC to hear his talk on raw food.
Matt Monarch has been a raw foodist for 9 years and wrote the books, Raw Spirit and Raw Success. He has a wonderful raw web store with lots of great products called The Raw Food World. He’s a very charismatic speaker and knows his stuff. The thing I found most interesting during his presentation was how raw food awakened a spiritual side in him that he had never experienced previously. He was a self-described partyer, president of his fraternity and admitted that spirituality was the farthest thing from his awareness. Then after getting deep into raw food, he instinctively began meditating and had “epiphanies” and lucid dreams. “Whoa…that was new!” So he went straight to his bookstore, asked for the spirituality section and began researching what was happening to him. Quite a fascinating story to hear him convey and not an uncommon one among high raw foodists.
After Matt was finished, Phillip from LovingRaw.com spoke for twenty minutes. He has a tremendous story as well. Two years ago, Phillip weighed 400lbs. The day before he was scheduled for gastric bypass surgery and after attempting every diet under the sun, he decided to try the one diet he hadn’t – the raw food diet. He went “cold turkey” 100% raw and lost nearly 200lbs! That’s half his weight and he’s been 100% raw since. He too said that the most amazing thing about adopting a raw food diet, even MORE THAN the physical benefits, was how it awakened the spiritual side of him. Now THAT’S a powerful statement! And still another transformation worth mentioning is that of Matt’s fiancee, Angela Stokes. Angela weighed 280lbs and lost half her weight as well. I met Angela briefly when she came to visit TOL. Check out her before and after pictures on RawReform.com
After these two awesome speakers, I worked up an appetite and sat down for a yummy Bonobos salad with macadamia nut pate, tomatoes, greens and my beloved sprouts of course. Then I walked to the East Village, hit the Union Square farmer’s market and finally headed on home. A great raw day in NYC!