Chances are you have a diet that works for you, but is it the same one you had ten years ago?
Heather Pace, foodie extraordinaire, is more than willing to talk about a dietary shift after moving from a vegan diet to a raw diet to a carnivorous diet. She became interested in raw foods in Winnipeg (“of all places!” she laughs, referring to its cold climate) when she was 16 and entered culinary school at 19. She now runs three blogs with common threads of healthy eating and living, and has written six raw dessert books with her “super special” recipes.
Heather spoke to us about her three blogs and how she moved from strict eating to universal eating. Sweetly raw is an apt name for one of her blogs, as Heather was as sweet as (raw) pie.
When you changed your diet from raw to meat-eating, was there any backlash from the raw community?
There was a bit! (laughs) Overall there was more support but some people were up in arms about it through Facebook and blog comments. I kind of expected that and knew to brace myself! I did get more positive feedback than negative, which goes to show where a lot of people are at now.
That’s true. That diet is not an all-or-nothing situation.
In the vegan community many people have realized they can’t be 100% vegan or raw vegan and its okay to eat animal products if it means that you are healthier.
You were raw vegan for a few years and vegan for 13 years. What brought you to the fully raw diet?
I was intrigued by the concept of making amazing food without cooking anything. I dabbled in recipes and got my first raw un-cookbook called Raw by Juliano. I then went to a raw foods retreat in California, which was my first time trying 100% raw for one month. I was saturated in the community, which was amazing. Different speakers came like David Wolfe and Dr. Douglas Graham. I was soaking it up! But I remember coming home in February, and we both know what winter is like in February [in Canada]. It’s not the time to be eating 100% raw!
Now you do what you call universal eating. Tell us more.
I set up the universal eater blog three years ago when I did make the shift over to eating animal products. That’s how I live my life now. It is quite a change from all those years when I was eating a vegan diet. I really like to think I get a good balance of everything, and I am conscious with the animal products I do eat. I am not at McDonalds chowing down on burgers! I eat either wild meat or organic and ethically raised meat.
Did you feel better on the raw diet in the beginning, or on this universal diet?
I am so much more balanced with the universal way. I am definitely more calm and on an even keel. Toward the end of my strict raw veganism, I was really failing physically, mentally and emotionally. Even now I really have to watch myself because it is my tendency to want to eat mostly raw and vegan. I sometimes have to push myself to eat meat because I start feeling it when I haven’t had any for a few days. I notice that I am more tired, more spacey and not quite as satisfied. If I’m always searching for more to eat, then I need that animal protein.
Intuitive eating for sure! Do you think there’s an important principle for people to know, no matter what their diet?
Listen to yourself more than some guru that you hear from a book or online. I didn’t listen to my inner wisdom for years because the raw way was “the” way. My body gave me signs but I chose not to listen. We all have [intuition] within us, but we can choose whether to listen or not.
Heather’s wide variety of recipes can be found on Pinterest at Heathypace or her Sweetly Raw group on Facebook. She recommends looking up her Avocado Lime cheesecake or Fruit crumble recipes. We did the work for you; you can either drool over your computer screen or get uncooking.