Voted America’s “Sexiest Vegetarian over 50” at age 70, Mimi Kirk opened a lot of eyes to the raw food world. She is an inspiration beyond words. Author of “Live Raw” and soon to be released “Live Raw Around the World,” Mimi is a living example of health and wellness. She has a warmth and beauty that is so fresh and infectious it made me feel like I was talking to an old friend. She truly wants to help people live their best lives. Mimi is a rare find in this world.
Mimi: In my early 30’s I was returning to Mary Tyler Moore set after picking up some sliced roast beef for lunch. I reached over on the passenger seat where the package was sitting to take a small piece to munch on. As I began to chew the meat, I thought I took a bite out of the back of my hand. I realized I was chewing flesh. That did it. I was sick to my stomach. That was the very moment I decided to give up eating animals and become a vegetarian. It was a spiritual choice. I did not want to kill animals to eat.
Nourishment: When did you go raw and are you 100% raw?
Mimi: At age 69 I went to the doctor and they told me my cholesterol and blood pressure were high. I also had arthritis in my hands. I knew I had to do something. It wasn’t as though I said, “Oh yay! I get to eat all raw!” It was more like I didn’t have a choice and I was at an age where I didn’t want to mess around. I wanted a quality life. So, yes, I eat all raw. It took awhile to get the hang of it, but I got all of the equipment and never looked back. I immediately did a detox cleanse with my daughter. I went back to the doctor a few months later and my cholesterol had dropped 26 points, my blood pressure was normal and there was no arthritis in my hands.
Nourishment: Do you take any supplements or do you believe you get them all from your food? For instance do you take a probiotic?
Mimi: I take liquid Vitamin B and Vitamin D in my morning juice. I don’t take a probiotic because I add it into my coconut yogurt and cheeses that I make. I also feel I need to watch my Omega 3’s. I juice every day rather than always making a smoothie. I feel it is really important to juice, since you could never eat all of the vegetables you put in a juice. Juices are my way of getting a lot of my vitamins and minerals.
Nourishment: Do you cleanse?
Mimi: Yes, I think cleansing is very important. I like to eat out and I know that everything I’m eating is not 100% organic so, yes, I like to do 3 day cleanses of just juicing.
Nourishment: What changes did you notice since going raw?
Mimi: More energy! I spring out of bed in the morning like a 20 year old. I feel like I took ages off of myself. All of my aches and pains are gone and my skin looks younger. I was looking at senior living homes for my sister, who is 88 and I saw people there that were much younger than me. I really don’t buy into this “old age” stereotype. You can feel and be full of life at any age. A lot of it is your attitude and outlook on life. Raw food makes me feel fantastic.
Nourishment: What does a day in the life of Mimi Kirk look like?
Mimi: Well, no 2 days are the same. Just like my food. I like to mix it up. I love being home and cooking in the kitchen, creating new ideas all the time. I spend quite a bit of time in the kitchen and I love it. My boyfriend is retired so we spend our days together. We entertain a lot of guests. Friends come and stay at our home as if it were a getaway. We love it. I cook them healthy food, show them the city (San Diego) and take them on hikes. It’s very relaxing here. I also spend some time every day answering all of my emails, Facebook questions and I do a lot of interviews. I love helping people. I really take time to try and answer every question I receive. I feel it’s important. People look up to me as a role model and I truly enjoy helping them, even though they are really helping themselves. I’m just here doing my thing. I also am quite an activist, signing every petition I can against Monsanto and the like. At night I like to curl up and watch a good movie. I like my simple life.
Nourishment: What do you grow in your garden?
Mimi: I grow a lot of herbs, like thyme and different basils. I have zucchini, squash, tomatoes, and a couple of different kales, spinach, onions and scallions. We are really fortunate that we have an organic farm right down the road. I can go down there and buy a huge bag of spinach packed to the tee for only $1.50.
Nourishment: What is your number one kitchen tip?
Mimi: I learned a great tip from my class at Mathew Kenney’s school. You pick the one spot where you stand the most in your kitchen (mine is by my cutting board) and you put the utensils you use the most in the top drawer right next to your spot. That way you are not running around grabbing this and that. I keep my measuring cups, measuring spoons and knives right there. I also think the other tip would be to keep your kitchen organized. Label and date your food so you know what you have. It will really help make cooking a smooth process.
Nourishment: Can you give some tips for staying raw while you travel?
Mimi: First off, just do your best. Sometimes you have to go with the flow and not beat yourself up if you have to eat something cooked. I always pack a lot for snacks, especially for the plane ride. Nuts and seeds and dried fruit are great. I like to make my wild rice and walnut burgers and wrap them in a lettuce wrap. The thing I miss the most while I’m traveling is my green drink. You can’t always find them everywhere. But again, just do your best.
Nourishment: What do you do for exercise?
Mimi: I knew you would get to this question. 🙂 I’m always striving to be better in this area. I am very active all day at my home since we live in a multi-leveled house. I’m in the garden a lot. I like to walk and do yoga, but it doesn’t always happen on a regular basis. I know I need to stretch more. I think exercise is very important, especially the older you get.
Nourishment: What is your favorite sweet treat?
Mimi: Chocolate. I have always loved chocolate, but I don’t eat it like I did before. I make these wonderful raw chocolates at home. My boyfriend loves when I make my raw chocolate chip cookies. I also love my raw ice creams; mango is one of my favorites. Sometimes I just like to make a simple drink with raw almond milk, cacao powder and dates. It’s such a delightful drink.
Nourishment: What is your favorite beauty secret?
Mimi: Sleep! People say you when you eat raw food that you don’t need as much sleep, but I like my 8-9 hours a night. This is when your body rejuvenates and rests. Coconut oil would be my next favorite. It’s the only thing I use on my face and body. I think eating well is also very important. Beauty starts on the inside. I truly think beauty comes from within. It’s that inner glow that shows from within.
Nourishment: Tell us a little about your new book, Live Raw Around the World.
Mimi: This new book was really exciting to write. I traveled to so many different countries, including Greece, Italy, France and Spain and met so many wonderful people,. The cookbook contains 120 different recipes from around the world, plus beautiful photos and lots of health and beauty tips. I hope you enjoy!