Chat: Sunniva Holt The Daily Raw
Georgina Roberts talks food, veganism and whole foods with foodie and health advocate Sunniva Holt, creator of blog thedailyraw and the recipe App Sunniva’s Raw Till Four.
Sunniva has quickly amassed an impressive following on both Facebook and Instagram, helping to spread the benefits of veganism and encourage adopting a healthy lifestyle by making it accessible to everyone.
Not only does she share delicious recipes and beautiful meal ideas, she frequently allows insight into her own lifestyle and experience as a mother to her adorable daughter Lily too.
While for many years a vegan diet was associated with hard core animal rights activists and hippies, more recently, women like Sunniva have transformed the idea of a healthy balanced vegan diet, proving that it’s not only good for the animals, but for your health and the world we live in as well.
I asked Sunniva to kindly take some time out of her day to share some words of wisdom about her experiences, and a yummy recipe too.
G: On your blog, you credit a complicated pregnancy for spurring your transition to a high raw vegan lifestyle. Was this something you had been exposed to previously and how did you become inspired to give it a go?
S: I have always been interested in health but never specifically in veganism or raw food before then. I was getting pretty desperate after months of being so sick that I would have tried almost anything though! I spent a lot of time reading, and found some articles on how powerful raw alkaline foods can be so I just started eating as many as I could, and things rapidly got better.I spent a lot of time reading, and found some articles on how powerful raw alkaline foods can be so I just… Click To Tweet
G: Recently, the media has highlighted the many lifestyle benefits and health advantages that result from a plant based diet. What are some of the most notable or surprising changes you’ve experienced in your physical health, fitness, and mental well being?
S: I feel so much lighter, physically and mentally on a plant based diet. My immune system is stronger, and most of all, my lifestyle is now fully aligned with my views on environmental issues and animal welfare .
G: A lot of people find the prospect of eliminating animal products a drastic and limiting prospect, what would be your advice for people daunted by veganism?
S: Take it one step at a time; don’t try to change overnight. Find replacements for one thing, then move onto the next.
G: Who has inspired you along your journey, and do you have any role models?
S: Rich Roll is a pretty inspiring dude, he became vegan when he was 40 then started running a whole lot of ultra marathons – including five ironman distance triathlons on five islands of Hawaii in under a week! He has a great podcast that I listen to whenever I’m driving.
G: What are you dreams and aspirations for The Daily Raw, and do you have an ultimate goal you’d like to achieve?
S: My next step is a cookbook. I have been approached by a couple of publishers so will start working on that soon. My only goal is to turn as many people to veganism or at least a more plant based diet as possible, so I’m just trying to find the best platforms to do that.
G: Have you faced any negative responses from people in your personal life or any scepticism?
S: No not really, but then I don’t talk about it much in my personal life.
G: Most people are aware of animal ingredients in food, but veganism also encompasses clothing, beauty, and lifestyle products too. Have you found it difficult to adapt to this, and what are some of your favourite cruelty free brands?
S: It has been a real learning process for me, I’m still finding out more and trying to find cruelty free brands that fit for me. Inika is a great vegan makeup brand, and I love the Eco Tan products. I make my own body scrub, toothpaste, deodorant and some cleaning products. Also I’ve realised how many products I was using that I didn’t actually need.
G: Not only does your food look great, you always look healthy and glowing too. What does your typical beauty routine involve?
S: Having an almost two year old, its very minimal! A standard cleanse then moisturise with jojoba oil morning and night is about it most of the time. Occasionally I make a face mask from bentonite clay, oats and jojoba oil if I feel like I need a deeper cleanse.
G: When switching to a plant based lifestyle, a lot of people (women in particular) can be quite intimidated by the focus on carbs and larger portions. Did you ever worry about this, and what would be your advice for getting over the ‘diet’ mentality and eating for abundance and health?
S: No, because when you’re eating plant based you’re consuming foods that are less calorie dense, so you naturally need to eat bigger quantities. And having eaten more carbs over the last two years than I probably have most of my life, I can vouch for the fact that they do not make you fat. Processed foods make you fat. Eat whole foods, eat plenty of raw, eat local and in season when you can. That is literally all there is to it.
G: When you’re in a rush (as most busy mums are), what is your go to fail safe meal?
S: Ceres Organics quinoa pasta with sauteed portabello mushrooms, Tuscan herbs and a leafy green salad.
G: The typical Kiwi diet focuses heavily on meat, seafood, dairy, and eggs. When faced with ‘what can I eat?’, what ingredients would you say are definite staples in your pantry?
S: There are too many to list, we eat such a huge variety of foods! If I had to narrow it down to just a few – all the varieties of rice – oats, beans and kumara. Almonds. Chia seeds.
G: Thankfully, it is becoming increasingly popular to see veggie eateries and menus popping up in New Zealand, have you got any favourite places you visit regularly?
S: It’s pretty hard to go past Little Bird, I go there at least once a week. But I can find decent vegan food at most Auckland cafes now, it just gets easier and easier
G: You’ve built your following from a single idea and a lot of hard work, what advice would you give to women like yourself who are looking to use social media to get their ideas out there, and how do manage to balance everything?
S: Balance is a myth, we can’t all be magical super mums that can do all of the things as well as keep our health and sanity. But you gotta choose the things that are most important to you and cut some of the other stuff out – say no sometimes. Stop wasting your time watching crappy TV shows. Get up earlier. Social media can be a great tool, but don’t let it become too important.
G: And finally, while every recipe you post looks amazing, if you were to have an ultimate day of eating, what would that look like?
S: Well I’d probably be on a tropical island eating a ton of beautiful fruit. Then be in LA eating everything. From what I’ve seen on my friends posts that place is vegan Mecca!
Do you have a favourite recipe you’d like to share with us?
The Green Mango
- 4 large spinach leaves
- 1 peeled orange
- 1 cup frozen diced mango
- 3 Medjool dates, pitted
- 1 tablespoon desiccated coconut
- 1 cup water
Thanks to Sunniva for showing us just how simple, quick, and delicious veganism can be and proving that a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and grains is anything but restrictive.
For more meal ideas and easy to follow recipes, you can find Sunniva here :
Thanks Georgina, we loved this!
Chat: Sunniva Holt The Daily RawOctober 22nd, 2015
The Food You Might Want To FlickOctober 7th, 2015
Apple Cinnamon Detox WaterSeptember 23rd, 2015
12 Amazing Benefits of Baby SpinachAugust 12th, 2015
Delicious Warming Drinks For Skin & Body!July 29th, 2015