"I'm a regular-person raw foodist," says Miranda Martinez with a gleam in her eye. "I still live in the real world."
Coming from her, we actually believe it. Two years ago, the Dallas-based actress and producer turned off her oven and didn't look back. Sixty-plus pounds later, she claims she's healthier, looks happier and is definitely excited to spread the word about the raw food way of life.
Miranda is trim but not skinny. She's of average height and most days you'll find her in comfy clothes, with her long brown hair tied back in a tail. She's the epitome of "girl next door" reserve. But once she gets going on the subject of her recent transformation, she's downright unstoppable. "One day I just got tired of not having control of my diet," she recalls, her words delicately touched with the sound of her native Panama. Fed up after trying everything from Weight Watchers to The Zone to Cybergenics--don't know if she tried the 'eat less, exercise more' approach--Miranda transitioned to a raw vegan diet.
Something finally clicked, and now she describes herself as "equally passionate" about her diet and her career, listing "Raw Vegan Food Coach" among her credits.
Simply put, Miranda eschews any edibles heated beyond 118 degrees, with the belief that cooking destroys beneficial enzymes and nutrient compounds. Of course, thorough cooking of certain foods allows the body to process their nutrients much more efficiently. Nevertheless, hundreds of raw foodists practice their ways here in the DFW area...and their numbers are growing. After catching on in La-La land a few years back (the wanna be LA thing continues) the raw trend is sweeping the nation much like the low-carb diet did back in the late 90's. Unlike Atkins devotees and their bunless double cheeseburgers, however, raw foodists eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains. Miranda also avoids sugar and artificial sweeteners, as well as caffeine, alcohol and drugs.
Understand the last one, but caffeine and alcohol? C'mon, the food pyramid depends on those two.
The 'vegan' part of the equation means that her diet is entirely plant-based: no meat, no dairy, no eggs. No fun either, you might conclude, but this active, energetic raw foodist would beg to differ. "I'm never bored with my food," Miranda writes on her testimonial website, vivaraw.com. (Her chocolate-rich daily regimen backs up that claim.) "I feel amazing and I absolutely love my new way of eating."
Her enthusiasm comes as no surprise, given the fact that she dropped knee pain, high cholesterol and constipation issues along with her traditional omnivorous diet. "I have a lot more confidence now," she explains. She emphasizes that eating raw is about doing what's right for her body, not a bunch of New Age mumbo-jumbo.
That's right--despite the Hollywood tie-in and all the posing and preaching that go along with it, you won't catch this raw foodist reading crystals or practicing past life regression. To the contrary, you might see Miranda on TV from time to time, as the face of TXU Energy. Doesn't get more mainstream than that, right? She's also working on two independent film projects right now, and she often finds the time to whip up sinful sweets in the kitchen at Bliss Raw Café.
To those who might be reluctant to give this trend a try, she says, "You don't have to be 100 percent raw vegan to make a major difference in your life...You can start with small changes."
Maybe stop in and sample one of Miranda's delicious desserts sometime, or check out Thursday's Appetite for Instruction to learn how to make her Raw Pineapple Cobbler at home. Or hell, have a salad for lunch--if raw looks like Miranda, it might be worth a try.