NatashaKyssa_simplyrawkitchenRaw food diets are on an upswing, and it’s no surprise. Celebrities such as Demi Moore, Gwyneth Paltrow and Woody Harrelson have touted the positive results of incorporating more raw foods, causing people to pay attention to the trending phenomenon.

Natasha Kyssa (below) simply hopes that more people understand how a raw food diet can transform their lives. Kyssa, a former international model who travelled the world in the 1980s, adopted an incredibly unhealthy lifestyle marked by anorexia and bulimia. After about eight years of modelling, Kyssa left the industry desperate for change.

Clinically depressed, she went back to the basics. She eliminated processed foods and meat and eventually took grains out of her diet as well. It was a gradual evolution to becoming a raw foodist, but she arrived and noticed a marked difference.

Her energy levels went through the roof, her skin glowed and her overall physical, mental and emotional states were at all-time highs.

Now 53, Kyssa — who has studied at a number of renowned institutions such as the Gerson Institute and the Hippocrates Health Institute — owns the SimplyRaw Express, a raw food restaurant and boutique in Ottawa (www.simplyrawexpress.com). And she recently released The SimplyRaw Kitchen (Arsenal Pulp Press), a cookbook of mostly raw recipes Kyssa created with her mother.

The cookbook acts as a guide of sorts, giving readers the first steps toward this new way of living: the staples of a raw diet, the benefits and philosophy, and some handy kitchen utensils and appliances you may want to grab.

Kyssa takes a refreshingly inclusive approach with this book. Rather than preach, she gently provides advice knowing that not everyone will go completely raw. A simple first step? “Keep your mornings raw,” she says. “Eat only fresh whole plant foods each and every morning … try to keep it light, green and raw until lunch time.”

Kyssa includes a number of gently-cooked soups that act as a great entry point to anyone who’s a bit hesitant. And best of all, the recipes – aside from being incredibly tasty – are super simple and quick to put together.

Click through pages for recipes!

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