Siegren Johnson is a certified Raw Vegan Chef and Educator and owner of TRU Cuisine. She is educated extensively in the theory of Raw Nutrition and Raw Food Preparation, and is in high demand as a Personal Raw Food Chef in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area.
I had the chance to speak with Siegren, who seems like such a down to earth person, and ask her some amazing questions and I think you will enjoy the interview as well.
First, I want to thank you Siegren for taking the tme to speak with me and our readers at Higher Rock Music. We truly appreciate it.
1.) How did you get introduced to Raw Food?
After becoming vegan, I joined the local Vegetarian Society for support and to meet other like minded individuals. At one of the gatherings, we viewed a documentary on the healing powers of raw foods on diabetics. As I had been dealing with a personal health crisis for several years, I wondered if these foods could heal me as well. I began researching raw and living foods, and started incorporating more into my own diet. This just wasn't enough for me. I wanted to know the science behind the food, as well as gain the culinary skills to make my food even more interesting,and appealing to those who weren't raw or vegan. I then decided to invest in a solid and intense educational program based on the teachings of raw food pioneer, Dr. Gabriel Cousens. After graduation I felt compelled to share my experiences and knowledge with others who were also in need of healing, or those who wanted to better their health - and ultimately their lives - through raw foods.
2.) What is considered Raw Food for readers who do not know?
"Raw" or "Living" defines foods that are in their whole, natural state. Because they have not been heated above 118 degrees and are minimally processed, they still contain enzymes and are rich in nutrients. Our bodies can easily identify these alkalizing foods, making them easier to digest, putting less strain on our bodies.
3.) So many people are dealing with illnesses from minor to major now a days. What are some Raw Foods to incorporate into your day to help any sort of illness?
Nutrient rich greens are the best and easiest way to improve your health. Take Kale, for example. Kale is super high in beta carotene (a powerful antioxidant), lutein, calcium, potassium, vitamin C, folic acid, and is packed with fiber! It can be added to green smoothies, made into delicious chips, or included in salads. Superfoods such as chia seeds, flax, goji berries, raw cacao (chocolate), hemp seed, and coconut oil are also great sources of nutrition and promote a healthy PH level in our bodies.
4.) What is one myth about Raw Food that in your opinion is incorrect?
"With raw foods, its all or nothing.". Many of my students and clients feel that if they are not 100 percent raw, they wont see any of the benefits of these amazing foods. That is a misconception. Of course becoming 100 percent raw is optimal but even by adding one raw meal a day to your diet, you are treating your body to a nutrient dense experience. I have found that those who slowly incorporate raw foods into their SAD diets soon gravitate to more raw foods as they begin to feel the difference in their energy level, quality of sleep, and improved digestion.
5.) Where did your vision come from to start TRU Cuisine and how did you come up with the name?
When I graduated I was so excited about the information I had, I wanted to tell the world. I felt it was my obligation to share what I knew; what I had experienced in my own life - in my own body. I opened TRU Cuisine with a compelling vision in mind: "To promote health and happiness through a raw vegan diet." I felt that my business's name should reflect the cuisine that I truly believed in and endorsed. The real, or true, way that man was intended to consume the bounty of plant life on earth; in its whole natural state. Thus TRU Cuisne.
6.) Tell us about TRU Cuisine and what your company actually does?
TRU Cuisine provides private and group nutrition and preparation classes, private consultations for those with health concerns, guided detoxing and juice fasts, as well as event catering and personal cheffing services.
7.) I know you also work privately with clients from illness - you must have seen such amazing healings and testimonies. Can you share any?
My clients information is confidential, but I'd be happy to tell you a little bit about my own health issue. When I was 21, I was diagnosed with cervical cancer. I thought I'd never live to see my thirtieth birthday. My doctor (whom I now adore) had me in his office at least once every three months, poking and sticking me or freezing and scraping cancer cells from my poor cervix. This is how I lived - for many years, in fear. I considered myself a pretty healthy critter before then. I felt my diet was great, high animal protein, low carbs, as is the norm in America. I was active, not really overweight, and not normally sick with anything more than the 2 yearly miserable colds I always managed to catch. It never occurred to me that the foods I was eating had a direct effect on the way my body preformed. I never thought that those same animal proteins I consumed at every meal to maintain "good health and weight" were the same things that were making my body completely acidic and prone to disease. Now, nearly 31, I know that I will die an old lady, who led a long and fulfilling life. I know cancer will not end me. Raw foods set me free.
8.) I know you have been featured in Jordan Rubins "The Raw Truth" and contribute recipes to Vivapura Superfoods. How do you come up with all these creative recipes?
During my raw education, I was so fortunate to be trained in the kitchen by a former food editor and Schoolcraft Culinary Institute graduate. I was able to learn many skills like flavor and taste balancing, as well as experiment with almost all the raw ingredients known to man! I was also blessed with a great palate from my mother, also a chef in her own right. I experiment in my test kitchen most days of the week. Its such fun for me to create lovely dishes (some that remind me of my favorite SAD meals) , then test them out on my eager friends and family. A lot of recipes end up making the cut and turn up in my classes or at catered events. I feel the most important thing to remember when creating a raw dish is to keep it simple and fresh.
9.) What other plans should we expect from Siegren and TRU Cuisine in 2011?
Any new projects coming up? 2011 is an exciting year for TRU Cuisine! We have many classes already scheduled, including a Nationwide Guided Green Juice Detox/Fast in February which anyone in the United States can attend. We are also looking forward to participating in an event at the Natural Gourmet Institute of New York in March. Our first Un-Cookbook is also in the works, and should be completed at the end of the year.
Check out TRU Cuisine by clicking the link http://www.trucuisine.com/Home_Page.php