Unlike with many other raw food enthusiasts, my journey into raw foods and a plant-based diet didn’t begin with a health emergency but out of a general feeling of concern for our planet and all of us living on it.
I’ve worked in TV for almost 20 years and have traveled the globe almost non-stop, whether for work or for pleasure. It has given me some much-needed perspective on the United States. I noticed that every time I landed back in the U.S., I was shocked at how fat and unhealthy people looked, not to mention the unhappiness in their eyes — and that was just at the airport. It happened time and time again. Airports (and I spend a lot of time in them) are a good test sight, a slice of American life encompassing all ages, colors, heights, weights, and economic status levels. It was depressing and shocking, yet I couldn’t quite put my finger on the problem because I was still waking up to this new consciousness and becoming aware.
Fast forward a couple years to when I truly fell in love for the first time — then lost him. Sometimes in life, it takes tragedy to jolt you awake. I got knocked — no, shattered — into pieces. Toby was my soulmate, a fabulous man who literally swept me away. I moved to California to be with him. Six months later, he died while in a rehab facility in Arizona. The details are not important at this moment, but the “shattering” is. I didn’t want to be on this Earth any more. I couldn’t understand why someone so precious to me was ripped out of my life.
For the next few months, I walked around in a daze (even though a mere two days after he died, I got my own show on the Travel Channel). It was during this time that I really started thinking about my role on this planet. I soon had the feeling that I just had to trust that my journey was far from over. But to what purpose?
At the end of 2007, the year that Toby passed away, I finished my first season with Travel Channel in Australia and decided to reward myself with a soul-searching mission in New Zealand. It was there, sitting on one of the many beaches after a long hard bike ride that I realized my soul was empty, and that I needed to fill it quickly. I needed to not only heal myself but also the planet that I love so dearly. I needed to help people. When I returned home, I started volunteering and it felt great. This started my search for enrichment.
During this same year, I was traveling a lot and running myself ragged. I had eaten raw food several years earlier (Pure Food & Wine in NYC) and loved it, but didn’t totally get it. I was worn out, exhausted and trying desperately to heal. I had to do something. So on a rare week at home, I decided to order “the box” — a week’s worth of raw food — from a nearby raw restaurant. The a-ha moment came at the end of that week as I was returning from a 70-mile bike ride. I felt absolutely fabulous, bursting with energy, my mood elevated. It clicked. I got it.
The Healthy Connection
I finished up the second season of my Travel Channel show and went right to raw food school. The timing was perfect, as if the universe opened the door for me to explore my higher purpose. I fell in love with food and reconnected on a totally different level. My palate came alive as I tasted, experimented and created with living ingredients in their raw state, the way Mother Nature intended. Put simply, I dug it all. It made so much sense to me. Every cell in my body seemed to be screaming for joy. I found myself, I found balance, I found peace, I found purpose and I found a way to help heal.
I am blessed in this life. I know this now. I walk forward filled with love and gratitude and can’t wait to see what else this crazy beautiful journey will offer up next!
If you’d like to know more about Kirsten’s adventures and journeys, please visit our Photo Gallery page.