21 Aug Mimi Kirk
Photo: Marianna Jamadi
An enthusiast of food and life, Mimi Kirk is the author of numerous books on raw vegan cuisine and juicing. Voted PETA’s sexiest vegetarian over 50, Mimi Kirk shares with us her recipes and tips for a healthy and happy life.
By Victoria Adelaide | OCT 23. 2017
Victoria Adelaide: You have been a vegan over 40 years. What initially prompted you to go vegan and then raw vegan?
Mimi Kirk: It was strictly for the animals when I first stopped eating meat, and it still is, but now I also include my desire to live a long healthy life, and the planet needs all the help it can get as well.
VA: Have you always been conscious of the way you feed your body?
MK: Not at all conscious in my younger days, as I was raised on the standard American diet.
VA: What are the most significant benefits a raw vegan diet added to your life?
MK: I have no more arthritic pains. My cholesterol and blood pressure are back to normal, and I am on no prescription medication, which I think is unusual for someone my age.
VA: Since so many options are cut out of a traditional diet, can raw vegans be totally healthy, and I know you must hear this question a lot but I have to ask, where do you get your protein from?
MK: Much of what is cut out is mostly unhealthy foods, such as anything processed, and meat and dairy based foods. I can’t help but laugh about the protein question, as just about everyone asks that question. I am not protein deficient. There are proteins in vegetables, dark leafy greens, seeds and nuts. There are many vegan athletes today who have muscles and eat a vegan diet. In fact, James Cameron, the director of Titanic, is producing a feature documentary about extreme vegan athletes called The Game Changers. It is directed by Louis Psihoyos, who directed the Cove. I think this film will enlighten people who wonder how vegans get their protein.
VA: How do you manage to follow your diet when traveling extensively in countries where the vegan lifestyle is not developed yet, staying in hotel rooms?
MK: I travel extensively, and you might be surprised how many countries are quite developed in vegan foods. I can eat just about anywhere. There are always farmers markets with fresh produce. Vegetables and fruits are available everywhere I’ve traveled. I can always grab a salad in a restaurant, and although I primarily eat organic, that is not always found in restaurants, but I can certainly find organic products at markets, or growers who don’t spray their plants. When I fly, I try to pack my own food for the trip. The good news is, when you eat raw, you don’t need cooking facilities in your hotel room.
Photo Gallery Credits: Photo 1: Courtesy of Jan Kohlrusch Photography / Photo 2: Mike Mendell
VA: More and more cosmetic brands are vegan. What is your favorite brand, and how do you take care of your skin?
MK: I’ve been sent many samples of vegan cosmetics from startup companies. My basic stand-by is coconut oil. I use it on my skin and hair. I also oil pull with it to keep my gums and teeth healthy. I have cruelty-free face oil made for me by a lovely lady in Mallorca, Spain, where I live 6 months a year. I purchase other cosmetics at health food stores, after reading labels to make sure they are vegan and contain no unhealthy chemicals. Today, there are hundreds of cruelty-free cosmetic products. I like to check crueltyfreekitty.com for updates on new companies. Supporting cruelty-free companies is good for the animals, the planet and the soul.
VA: How does it feel to considered as the “sexiest vegetarian” and you are now 79 (smiles)?
MK: Actually, the title I won from PETA was “The Sexiest Vegetarian Over 50”. I turn 79 on September 23rd, and I think it’s fun to hear the combination of sexy and 70 in the same sentence. There you go girls. It’s never too late!
VA: How regularly do you exercise, and what do you do to stay healthy and in shape?
MK: I try to walk daily. My goal is 10,000 steps a day. I don’t always make it, but the idea is to keep moving. I admit I don’t like exercising. I enjoy yoga, but not daily. I have some small weights, but don’t have a regimen for daily exercise. I do think however, that it’s very important and I would encourage everyone to exercise daily, because as we age it’s important to keep muscle tone and flexibility.
VA: You are a best-selling author and have recently released ‘Raw-Vitalize’, a 21-day raw food plan which you co-wrote with your daughter Mia Kirk White. Amongst all of these delicious recipes, can you tell us which would be your favorite meal for eating on the go?
MK: The book was written for busy people who need grab and go food, and that is the key to Raw-Vitalize. Throughout the book, we tell you how to pack food to take to work. All the recipes are 10-12 minutes prep time, excluding any soaking of nuts that might be necessary for a recipe, and all you need is a blender and food processor. The recipes are healthy and quick. Anyone looking for a healthier eating lifestyle will enjoy the book. It’s hard to pick just one as I’m a little fickle and still in love with them all.
VA: Do you add supplements to your diet?
MK: Yes, I take vitamin B12 and Vitamin D. I also take magnesium before going to bed. Other than that, I get all my vitamins and nutrients from my food.
VA: What advice would you give to those starting a raw vegan diet?
MK: Honestly, not to try and sell Raw-Vitalize, but I think it’s the best book to start eating a raw vegan diet. It’s so easy to follow. It includes a list of pantry staples and a weekly shopping list. It’s only a 21-day plan, but so many people just keep eating this way, as the recipes are so delicious. To get an idea from people using the book, go to Raw-Vitalize Book Club on Facebook and join. You will get lots of feedback and support from people actually eating raw vegan, who are new to this lifestyle. The other suggestion I would make, is stop eating any and all processed foods. Anything in a box, can, bag, or pouch is processed and full of chemicals. There are some raw foods on the shelves in health food stores, and they are quick and easy, but still, fresh vegetables and fruits are the healthiest way to eat.
...There are proteins in vegetables, dark leafy greens, seeds and nuts.'``