I’m so delighted to introduce you all to the incredibly inspirational Raw Food guru Kate Magic. I went to see Kate talk at VegFest earlier this year while I was preparing for my college project where I had to practice and research the 100% Raw Diet. She was so inspirational as she talked through all the really important food groups which she includes in her diet – from fermented foods to super foods, that I walked away feeling incredibly motivated and raring to go. I came away wanting to know more about being Raw, about her lifestyle and about how Kate became one of the raw food industry originators. So for my first ever Beets Pulse and Thyme interview, I would like to introduce  Kate Magic .

Kate_Magic

Where do you live?

Brighton

If you had to define all that you do in one title what would you say?

Raw Magic is the most accurate summation. Really what I do is that I want to facilitate people’s awareness of the magic of life and how incredible life can be. I see so many people aren’t living to their potential and so many people are not happy in their lives. I think we all have the power to change that and it’s just waking up to realise our own power in life. I think society limits us a lot of the time and people don’t realise just how much they’re capable of. When we wake up to ourselves we realise that everything is in our control and we can really change everything.

There’s lots of different ways we can wake up, but to me Raw Foods is one of the most powerful and one of the easiest, because if you really stick to the principles of the diet and you do it properly then this kind of awakening has to happen. The transformation into the person you’ve always wanted to be and the life you’ve always wanted to live is kind of inevitable if you start eating this way. There’s obviously lots of different routes, there’s yoga, and meditation and so many routes nowadays but when you change your diet that’s a really fundamental and key way to facilitate that shift that so many people are looking for now, because to be honest what the mainstream offers is depressing and apocalyptic. We’ve reached this place where the mainstream doesn’t offer any hope for the average person so more and more people are looking for alternatives and there are alternatives – that’s the important thing is to help people understand that there’s always another way and you don’t have to be stuck in a situation, you can always change.

How long have you been eating raw? And has that always been 100% raw?

25 years. I’ve been eating a high raw diet since 1991.

I would define anyone as a raw fooder, as anyone who’s just committed to eating a high raw diet. I think that’s something which distinguishes it from being vegan or vegetarian, that you couldn’t say I’m vegan but I eat fish once a week because then you’re not really vegan, but with raw foods I think anyone who is trying to incorporate a lot of raw into their diet, to me that’s someone who’s Raw. So you know, typically someone would be having a raw smoothie everyday, would be enjoying some raw chocolate and raw cakes, they’re going to be eating salads daily but maybe they’re including quinoa and cooked root vegetables just to make it easy because it’s very impractical to try and be 100% raw living in this culture. So if you said a raw fooder is only someone who is 100% raw then there wouldn’t be any.

You’re a prolific Raw Food promoter how did you get started creating your passion into a business?

It kind of found me, it wasn’t something I set out to do. I would write recipes down so I could remember them and then around the late 90’s people would say you eat raw food, but, “What do you eat?” I’d say well I made a Thai last night or I made a cake and then that kinda blew people’s minds, because at that point people thought that raw food was only carrots and lettuce and bananas. So then I would share recipes with friends and I was lucky to get published with my first book in 2002.  That’s when I set up a very basic website to sell the book and also to sell juices, aloe vera and blue green algae. Basically to be honest with you it was a way of funding my habit. So if I bought the algae and sold it I could afford to eat it myself, and that’s really where it stemmed from, and then it grew and grew and grew.

Running your own business is not always a walk in the park. What are your biggest challenges as a business owner and how do you overcome them?

Staff is always one of the hardest things of running a small business, because when you set up a business yourself you’re doing everything – there’s the phrase they say: “An entrepreneur works 80 hours a week for themselves to avoid working 40 hours a week for someone else.” That’s what it’s like in the beginning, and then it gets to the point where you have to start paying someone else because you can’t do everything yourself. Having a business is like having a baby and if you’re handing over your baby to someone to look after for a day you’d be really particular about what they did with that baby. It’s hard to let go like that and it’s hard to find someone who is willing to put in the same amount as yourself because it’s not their baby, it’s their job. It’s also about finding the right people who care enough in the way that you do.  In order to grow the business you have to surround yourself with the right people. Setting boundaries is also important because it’s like a baby, it needs you 24/7, but you have to set some boundaries and say “No, I need some time off.” It’s really essential for you, to maintain your health and your sanity. For us starting out, what was also challenging was education, because basically we created the industry. We weren’t just selling products, we were telling people why they needed these products. Now people know what Maca, and goji berries or dehydrators are, but in the early days you were spending a long time just coaching and supporting people in order to make that sale, which is another whole element which most other businesses don’t have to do.

What is your biggest achievement so far?

The kids without a doubt. I’ve got 3 boys and the eldest is 18 in a couple of weeks, the youngest is 12 and I home educated them the whole way.

Do you have a favourite quote or mantra?

I guess it would be “Life is Magic.” You know, it’s very easy to get caught up in the humdrum and routine, we’ve all got bills to pay and we’ve all got relationship dramas to sort out and there’s always ‘stuff’. It’s very easy to move away from the fact that essentially we’re walking miracles. The body is just this amazing miraculous intelligent thing and it’s a privilege and an honour to be on this planet. It’s easy to say now when we’re sat in the park on a sunny day having a chat but there’s lots of times in life when you can just forget that essential part of our existence. I try to remind myself of that fact as much as any other person and try to live in that state of always being open to miracles and serendipity. We’re taught in our culture that we have to be very controlling and we have to make everything happen, it’s a very male energy, and the female is the art of allowing and surrender. We’re kind of taught that if we stop, it will all be awful and doom and gloom so we have to keep on, keep on, keep on the machine. It’s about changing that around and knowing that we can just step back and just allow the magic to come in and be a force for good rather than always having to battle.

You’re a very spiritual person and that really comes across. Is your spirituality related to food and nutrition in any way?

Spirituality came to me first before the food. To me everything is energy, everything is vibration and if we want to operate on a clear pure love vibration then we have to eat food which is produced and grown and made with love and purity and clarity. What we put in effects us on a cellular level as to who we are and so it’s effecting the vibration that we’re putting out into the world.

You’re hugely inspirational to many but who or what inspires you?

I get my inspiration from music and I love dancing and listening to music. I always have music playing at home and I go out dancing a lot. The people in that scene and the music that I listen to really energises and nurtures me and allows me to come back and do what I do in the Raw Food world. My heroes are mostly musical heroes. I just came back from Worldwide Festival which is Giles Peterson’s festival who’s an old friend and a huge inspiration. There were thousands and thousands of people there, and he was really seeking to put on music that really opens people’s minds and also raises the vibration and really shifts people into that place of magic.

What does your typical day look like? What’s your typical day’s menu look like?

It really varies because I travel a lot teaching.

In the morning I’m usually doing stuff with the boys and stuff round the house. I’m a single mum with 3 boys, there’s always a lot of housework! I also answer emails in the morning.

I don’t have breakfast. At the moment I always start the day with a glass of kombucha and then I usually have a litre of tea. I’ll make some loose leaf tea with some Ayurvedic or Chinese herbs. Today I had a tea which is my own make, called Infiniteea, which is ashwaghanda, goji berries and lemon, so it’s nice and refreshing in the morning.

Then lunch is usually around 1pm, usually a cracker of some kind. We have some new products from Saf on the website so for example today I’ve been trying those out. I had a kale and spirulina cracker which is really up my street, with a seed cheese which I make and which I’m so happy with because I’ve really kinda perfected it! On the cracker I also had some raw pesto and lots of rocket heaped on top. So it’s usually, crackers, or a wrap or a nori roll or something like that.

In the afternoon I have meetings of some kind – interviews or I’m interviewing someone or a business meeting, meetings with my business partner or the staff. There’s usually something going on, if not I just catch up on my huge stack of emails.

Then dinner – I’m usually working on recipes. At the moment I’m working on a burrito recipe so I’ll probably have the burritos for dinner today. If I’m not trying out new recipes I’ll do something really simple, I love kale and lots of greens, avocado, olives, I love the fermented vegetables, sprouts, so it will be some kind of combination of those. Last night I had kelp noodles with sauerkraut and I made a creamy hemp seed dressing. Mixed it all together – it literally took 5 minutes and it was so gorgeous.

I usually have raw chocolate every day, either in the afternoon or the evening. If I’m at home I try to get to a yoga class and that would be in the evening usually around 8pm. Tonight my friend is DJing in Brighton so I’m going to see him, but if I’m not seeing friends then I’ll just do yoga and some more work till bed.

I love eating locally and seasonally but also love the amazing super foods from far flung places such as South America or Africa which kind of goes against eating locally and seasonally… What’s your view on this because for me the two things go against each other? 

Yes they do but we don’t live in a perfect world unfortunately. Ideally I agree we would be just eating all local, seasonal and being able to get it straight from the trees and that would be amazing! But, unless stuff’s being grown in your garden by permaculture practices, using remineralised soil, it’s just not possible to get the nutrition we need from our foods. Superfoods if you think about it, in terms of air miles, in terms of freight and carbon footprint, they’re very concentrated foods so they actually take up a very small space. In terms of shipping those ingredients the impact is much more minimal than the impact of say shipping rice or coffee or all the commonly shipped crops that are actually quite bulky. You know, how much baobab do you actually have in a week, maybe 10-20grams? So it’s kind of a different thing. Ideally I agree we would be living straight off what’s available from the local environment, but I think the super foods give us the energy to make those changes to live in an optimum way so that we won’t need them eventually.

Are there any foods or ingredients you can’t live without?

Kale is probably my number one – I have a kale tattoo! I eat a lot of greens. At the moment I have a shot of E3Live which is the live blue green algae. I have up to 1 tablespoon of chlorella powder, I have RawReserve blend which is all the green powders and probiotics – usually 10g everyday, and then quite often I have a tablespoon of my own green powder as well which is ‘Greener Grass’ or ‘Out of the Woods’. That’s a lot of greens! The Raw Reserve I put in coconut water, chlorella powder I put in my green juice, the green powder I usually mash up with some avocado, hemp oil and umeboshi puree which is made of pickled plums and gives it a real kick. I put this in a nori sheet with some alfalfa or rocket. Quite often I might do that for lunch if I need a bit of a boost. The other thing I couldn’t live without is chocolate which I eat every day! I think that as long as you’re not eating too much chocolate, it’s fine to have it everyday.

What’s your sweetener of choice?

I don’t have a sweet tooth much anymore. I’m working on a new recipe for a sort of Bounty Bar so I put turmeric and coconut nectar in the coconut bit so it’s golden Bounty Bar and then in the chocolate bit I use lucuma and stevia which is very low glycemic. If it’s enough I usually just use stevia.

Do your kids follow a raw diet as well?

Yes.

What are your kids favourite meals?

They’re all different. Reuben, the eldest one, he eats a lot of quinoa, he’s actually personally responsible for eating the Bolivians out of quinoa. He’ll cook the quinoa and then make a big salad by adding lots of raw vegetables to it. He’ll also cook potatoes and then use more or less a whole lettuce and make a massive salad with other vegetables and lots of dressing. Ethan eats really simply – he’s the most minimalist. He just likes a bowl of greens and avocado and lots of spirulina. He eats tons of spirulina and he’s happy to eat like that twice a day and I let him pretty much live off that. And Zachary the youngest is obsessed with cucumbers which isn’t a bad thing but obviously is low calorie so I’m always like, “You’ve got to have something else as well.”. Yesterday I made him some kale chips, an almond butter dip, and and he had some olives as well.

There are more and more vegan and raw restaurants and cafes around. Do you eat out and if so do you have any favourite haunts?

If we can go to LA, then I’ve got lots…

It is really great to have lots of options now. We just went to Vantra two days ago which is on Oxford Street and I really like the atmosphere there. They do some really good kombucha and it’s good because they have some cooked food as well so you have the option for different people. I like Nama in West London, they use a lot of nuts and I don’t eat nuts, but I love the style of their restaurant and their food is really good quality. A lot of the time when we’re out we go to Pret because Pret is amazing now! They’ve got two types of green juice, they’ve got a turmeric juice and a coconut yoghurt. They have this really nice little seaweed pot which is wakame, sauerkraut and edamame which I love and they do kale chips as well.

What do you do to stay active?

I do Bikram Yoga. If I’m at home I go 3-4 times per week. And I go out dancing a lot, once or twice a week I dance for 4 hours straight.

What you put in your body is very important to you. What about your skin. Do you have any favourite natural skin care products or any beauty tips?

We have two ranges on the website and I love both of them. One is Simply Divine Botanicals from Las Vegas, and the first ingredient in all their products is Unconditional Love and Gratitude and all their products are Reikied so they are really pure, really high vibrational. Then there’s Living Libations by Nadine Artemis, which is such a popular range. She’s a genius, she’s from Canada and she does a whole range of aromatherapy oils and also a lot of oral, dental care products and skin care products as well. I use all her stuff for my teeth and some for my face.

Are there any new exciting plans in the pipe line for you? Plans for the future?

I just announced my Rockstar Course, a three day course for people who’ve done some of my courses already, a new level course. I’m going to Costa Rica soon to teach the immersion course, which is 12 days of teaching all in one go. We’ve got our Autumn retreat in September in Sparkford Hall in Somerset, which is a beautiful mansion house. Next year we’ll probably do two, one in Spring and one in Autumn and that’s really nice because it’s 5 days of just relaxing, being fed and looked after. We’ve done 3 now and it’s always been really amazing people who have come and we just have a fantastic time. I do teach a couple of classes but it’s a holiday really, it’s just an opportunity to relax in a really luxurious environment with like-minded people and enjoy amazing food.

Where can everyone keep up with you to learn more?

Just google Kate Magic I’m on the first 3 pages accept for Kate Bush who comes up, but I’m happy to share that with her! I’m on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, but it’s Instagram where I actually check and do the most. My website is RawLiving.eu and my subscription site is KatesMagicBubble.com.

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