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How to Reduce Chronic Inflammation with a Raw Vegan Diet, an Interview with Chef Agathe

In this episode, I am sharing an interview with a long time friend of mine, Chef Agathe.  She is a raw vegan chef who healed herself from rheumatoid arthritis through changing her diet.  Chef Agathe has a wealth of knowledge to share on chronic inflammation, detoxification, how a raw vegan diet improves your skin, and much more.  I hope you enjoy the interview.

Chef Agathe and raw vegan food
Photo: Sarah Virag

Since 2003, Chef Agathe has fully embraced the living cuisine lifestyle and liberated herself from debilitating arthritis. Additionally, she successfully owned and operated Café by Tao for eight years. Chef Agathe brings a wealth of experience to the table, having successfully transitioned her three children to living cuisine raw food and knows how to tactfully address concerns from your family and friends without creating hard feelings.

As the owner of her café, she imparted her knowledge by teaching nutritious, delicious, and easy recipes, along with masterful techniques. You stand to benefit from these teachings in her living cuisine courses. With an extensive toolbox at her disposal, Chef Agathe can guide you in expanding your culinary repertoire while smoothly transitioning your children, partner, family, and friends into enjoying this newfound cuisine.

AP: Welcome to the show, Agathe. 

CA: Ah, thank you, Anna. I'm so pleased and so happy to be with you today and your audience.

AP: That's awesome. Yeah, thank you so much for being here. I have a lot of questions about inflammation. That seems to be a topic of interest for my listeners. 

CA: Yes, yes, yes. Please go ahead. I'm ready! 

How does a raw vegan diet reduce chronic inflammation?

AP: So, inflammation is often linked to various health issues. How does a raw vegan diet reduce chronic inflammation in the body? 

CA: So, you see, inflammation, well, as you said, diet, so it directly, it could be linked to stress and your environment and what's happening for you that really puts you over the edge and your body suffers.

But your fuel is really the very basic. So, if your fuel is such that it creates an alkaline environment in your body, then acidity doesn't take hold of your body. And what happens is that the processed food, processed sugar, animal products, they're all up there in the acidic level. Look anywhere on the internet. That's where it's totally not partisan on one side or the other. And you ask for a acidic forming, an alkaline forming chart, you'll see.

It's always there. It's always all the animal products are more acidic. And then processed food, not yet, but I'm sure it's going to come soon.

We know that processed food is just not helping your body. So, processed food is in there. Then you go into the legumes that are some, you know, could be acidic and alkaline.

And then when it gets to the fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, it's alkaline forming. So, that's the key is, and like anything else, you know, it won't hurt if you eat something that is acidic, but it does hurt if you do this day in, day out at every meal. And that's when your body gets, you know, not in balance and then inflammation sets in and then, yes, autoimmune disease are linked to that inflammation.

AP: Absolutely. Right. Yeah. And stress plays a big role in that too, I guess. 

CA: Stress does. And again, I mean, for me, I link the stress to the food because at the same time, if you're not digesting well, and if your skin is not, you know, you look at yourself and you go, oh my gosh, what can I put to cover up? Because you're not happy with your skin. You have rashes and whatnot. It puts you on edge. So, it could be the environment around you.

And certainly, you know, the more you can assess and correct, do that, definitely. But again, when your fuel isn't right, it also brings in the stress simply because your body itself is stressed to start with. It can't metabolize.

It cannot perform as it knows so well to do because it doesn't have the right fuel.

How to detoxify your body

AP: Yeah. Now I want to ask you about detox actually.

CA: Yes. Detox is, well, first of all, really, if we are diligent about drinking the amount of water to drink every day, you're really helping your body to move out what needs to be moved out. So, that liquid will help. And we are, as you know, 70% water. Our brain, you start to have headache and you don't function as well when you're lacking water. So, the water is simple. Your weight in pound, divide in two, and you drink that amount of water. 

AP: Yeah. Oh, that's the same formula I use too.

CA: Yep. It works. Fantastic. It works. And the easy way is have jars, bottles. I'll show you. See, I've got mine here. I drink two of these a day. I have them in the morning, fill them up. Actually, I shouldn't say morning, night because they are at room temperature. 

So, my cold water, I have a filtering system. So, I take it from there, but it would be colder if I was to drink it right from the tap that is filtered than if it sat all night in a bottle. And so, do it the night before.

It's important to have warmish. It could even be that you have, I don't mean hot, hot water, don't do that either, but warm water because then your blood vessels dilate and absorb that if you take cold, they constrict and don't absorb as much. So, do the room temperature water, a little warm water, that's ideal.

And then that will really help to move. Fiber. If you eat your vegetables, and yes, you can also have cold-pressed juices, but just don't live on that.

Four juices a day, one juice a day, you can do that, but really you need the fiber. So, once you have the fiber, it's like in your system, your colon and digestion and all that, it's like the broom. It literally comes in and move, again, the waste out.

You might know that... It's so interesting. And you'll read that on the internet. That's one thing that just blows me away.

They'll say, oh yeah, you can have a bowel movement three times a week. I'm going back, what? So, when you think of it, a bowel movement is there so that when you ingested the food and the body took what it needed and then it moves down there to be expelled, it's waiting to go. So, if you keep it in your body, it starts to putrefy.

And on top of this, if you don't drink enough water, it's going to get the water from your waist because the body needs water. So, really, again, make sure you drink your water. Bowel movement, simple as it is, you eat, 18 hours later, you should have a bowel movement.

So, if you don't, look at how you can make this move. And psyllium husk is perfect for that. You don't like the taste, I don't blame you. It's kind of... It's not the most exciting thing to have. Put it in your cereals. Just sprinkle in your cereals, put it in your smoothie.

Chef Agathe's raw zuchini pasta
Photo: Yushiin Labo

If you do a raw soup, that's perfect. You can put it in there because the soup is going to cover the taste. Your dressing, salad dressing, it's a powder.

But that will help to move, again, for you to have a regular bowel movement. Now, ideally with the psyllium husk is that you take, again, warm water in an 8-ounce cup. You'll take a tablespoon of it, mix it in the water, drink it.

And then after that, you drink that same cup of water alone to help go down.  So, that would be the idea. But if you go, they don't like that taste, well, then do what I said, in a smoothie, on your cereals, sprinkle there in your salad dressing.

And then that's just... It really helps. The other thing is you'll find a chart on the internet on what your bowel movement ideally should look like. And that helps you to establish, well, you're on the chart.

Like they say, if you have little pebbles like a rabbit, you just don't have enough water.  And then if you have it and it's kind of oily, then you look at what you eat. So, too oily for one thing, but also your body is not processing properly there.

And then when... Now, I'm going to go into very detail, but it's just a good indication. What can I say? The bowel movement should be like a good size, literally. Well, banana and bigger, let's put it this way.

So, and also when I get on the chart, you'll see the color is similar to a very ripe banana that will look like that, like that brownish. But also when you have a bowel movement, when you wipe, you wipe almost clean. And that indicates that you're really... And the size, it all works together.

If you have the size, you wipe clean. If you don't have the size, you don't wipe clean yet. So, that's an indication as to how you can improve to get there.

So, have your fiber and fiber is only in plants. There's no fiber in animal products. 

AP: That's right.

CA: There is no polyphenol, phytonutrients and minerals. Where are the minerals coming from? The soil. So, who gets it first? The plants.

If it is, if they say that it is an animal product, it's because they hate the plants. Simple as that. It's just brilliant.

There was this guy, Jason Shurka. It's the EE system. It's an enhancement system for energy.

And he was explaining the chart for eating. What is it called? The pyramid chart. You know what I mean?  Anyway, I'll start with the chart.

AP: The Mediterranean diet or Canada's food diet or one of those?

CA: The chart as to what you should be eating, usually shown in a triangle. So, the way he explains it is at the top of the chart, you have the plants. They're close to the sun, right? You have the plants.

Then you have the herbivores that eat the plants. Then you have the carnivore that eat the herbivore that eat the plants. And then after that, again, processed food, if you want to call it that way.

But the last one, it's junk, that lab food. Sorry, I don't want to upset people out there, but really, it's food. It's as close to the garden as possible.

So, when you are, you know, so many steps removed. So, there. So, eat those plants again. That's how you detoxify. The body is simple. We come from nature, very close to nature.

We respond to nature. We work together with nature. There was Robyne Chutkan.

She's a doctor. Mark Hyman said the same thing yesterday. Eat food before thinking of supplements. So, what happens, there was another doctor that was saying that to yesterday. So many are saying it now.

It's awesome. So, plants, the way it comes, it's packaged in a way that the body absorbs it more readily than if it's an isolate. And if, you know, like it comes in, but then I don't know that, well, they're saying that it's not as efficient.

A doctor says it. So, I don't have to give more explanation for that. But that's how you would detox.

Chef Agathe - raw vegan burger
Photo: Yushiin Labo

You do your water, you eat your fiber, you have your bowel movement. If you look at having it, work on it to have it, carrots and beets will make it move as well. That's a good, you know, you can shred, add that to your salad, whatever it is that you eat.

That's really going to help you as well. So, have that. And then, yes, you can do a juice cleanse, but as it says, a cleanse, you know, you're not on this day in, day out, month after month, year after year,  You know, you do a cleanse maybe for however many days you want to do it, 10 days or two weeks or three days.

But then after that one, one a day, you know, and please, well, it's your choice, of course, but when you think of it at my cafe, when I was doing a juice, apple ginger, ginger ale was absolutely lovely and delicious. But in a 500 milliliter bottle, I had three to four apples. That's a lot of, and then the sugar, you don't have the fiber, you don't have the electrolytes.

You don't have all the other things that come with eating the apple. You're not chewing. Your gums are not benefiting from the chewing because that's like, you know, that's how you practice your gum to be healthy. You chew. So, nature knows best. I mean, we like to tweak it and make it differently and come up with ways of doing it, but nature knows best.

AP: Yeah. Yeah. And it seems that the plants have the right proportions of the minerals that we need.

CA: Exactly.

AP: Instead of playing the guessing game with supplements.

CA: No, it's been well thought of. Mother nature knows her stuff.

Free Vegan Menopause Guide

How Chef Agathe healed her rheumatoid arthritis

AP: Yeah. So what are some sneaky signs of inflammation that you have experienced and later realized were because of inflammation? 

CA: Oh my gosh. And I knew nothing about that, right? Like, you know, I'm just come from Quebec. I ate well, I made it all at home, but hey, I mean, you know, butter and cream and sugar, look, we eat, yeah, we eat well. My family ate well, in a sense that was delicious, but not delicious for my body.

So for me, what it was, it was arthritis. So, you know, and then I'm 45 years old and now I can't close my hands anymore because it's all swollen. That little finger would click and then I would go like this because I couldn't bring that up, bring it back up.

I had to unclick it myself. But you know, I mean, my mother, my birth mother had arthritis. It's like, hey, you know, they say it, it's in the family, you're doomed.

So I never thought I would resolve it. I didn't go for all the pharmaceuticals. It's just not, never was been my type.

So I stopped the red meat. I read this and that and the other, I was eating well, doing it all at home. I was not eating processed food.

It was still there. You know, I had a hard time to button my shirt if I kneel on the floor. And if there wasn't a table or someone nearby or a chair, I would just go on my knee until I reached something to grab and pull myself up because myself on my own, I couldn't. Yes. And I had my three children. They were young, 9, 11 and 14.

We're just like, well, what am I going to do? And so, and then a friend told me about a living cuisine or raw food. You know, I always say the universe cannot come to you and say  I got, you know, it sends you signs and Katerina, you know, beautiful, wonderful, holistic healer. She had so many modalities.

So she tells me, you know, would you like to read that book? I said, of course. So I read the book, but it wasn't a little book. And then that same night, and then there were recipes after the next morning.

I say, Hey, I'm just going to do that. I'm just going to eat raw food. And I, I did that within a week, I could close my hands.

AP: Wow. That's so fast.

CA: So fast. And within three months, you know, the pain, because when you have arthritis, it's like a toothache in your joints day in, day out. It doesn't, doesn't let go. It's with you.

AP: That nerve pain.

CA: It's awful. Within three months gone from my hands, from my hip, from my knee, from my toes, any joints was all gone. And then I had an awful rash on my skin.  My mom also had psoriasis and bad, bad rosacea. So I was using a stage makeup to cover up the redness in my face because it was that red. So it all went away.

I used to crack and bleed here. It all went away. And then floaters in my vision, so many floaters that when I want to read a book, I had to move my head and see if I could read the word because the floater was just of me reading brushes by my arms.

And also I was struggling with weight. I mean, again, you know, Quebec, I look at the cake and I would gain a pound just by looking at it. But then since the raw food, I fluctuate, you know, about five pounds up down, but that's it.

That's all. I never changed my clothes size after that. And, and it's so simple.

Chef Agathe - raw vegan avocado mousse
Photo: Yushiin Labo

And, I enjoy food. You know, I'm a chef. I love eating. I love eating. So good food. So I, and I don't have to say, oh, no, no, stop.

I got, you should, you know, weigh your food, measure your food. I don't do that. I just eat.

It was just remarkable. And of course, for my children, all that being vegan, full of live food, you know, with all the nutrients in it, my youngest son, hyperactivity vanished. My two oldest, they had problem with their skin rashes.

You know, of course it's in the family and it all vanished.  I mean, my daughter, the back of her neck looked like a cat used it for a scratching post. She was scratching so bad.

And my oldest son was behind his legs, scratching so bad. It would be blood stain on his sheets in the morning and dry bloods under his fingernails. Just a part of what he was misery was going through in the night, all vanish.

And my husband at the time was sleep apnea, disappeared. So again, mother nature, you know, oh, and that's something I heard this week is brilliant. Mother nature is the best "farmacy".

AP: Yeah. I love that.

CA: I was like, yes, yes, yes. And there you go. It is. It knows. It knows. Yes.

AP:  Yeah. Well, that's such amazing results for all of you. And so quickly.

CA:  Yes. And, and look, it's 21 years. Never came back. My hands are my hands that were 21 years ago. And of course I can close, I can do whatever I want. I didn't lose any dexterity.

I can lift 50 pound boxes. You know, it's funny because I go to the grocery and then I have the, it's just Foxy Farm Market on West first. I live nearby and they prepare, I text them and they prepare a box for me. 10 pound of beets, 20 pounds of celery, whatever I need. They put that in boxes. So I went one day with, and I go with my dolly and then they say, oh yeah, your order is there.

And before they got there, I was there first. So I just picked up the box to put on my dolly, but then one of the staff, he actually goes, oh no, no, don't do this. Like I'm old, right? Why? I, you know, my hair is gray. I mean, she's old. She's not capable of something.  I said, no, no, don't worry. And then the owner, she was there. She goes, oh no, she's a strong girl. So there's that as well.

You keep, I mean, the story about, oh no, you don't eat meat because in the meat, you have the creatine and carnitine. You don't eat meat and you're going to lose your muscle mass. Well, what there is to know about creatine and carnitine, we're born with it.

Like these animals, they don't have a special power to create that themselves.  We all do as a being, as a living animal, you know, we were a living being. We all have that ability to do that.

But if from a young age, you are served meat, animal products, your body kind of goes like, oh, well, I don't have to do it because it's being given to me every day. So that capacity  goes dormant. And that's what there is to understand when people, you know, you go, I don't feel well and I don't know how I can.

It doesn't go from one day to the next that you're fixed. You know, quote unquote, like no arthritis from one day to the next. It took a week.

That was really fast though. But the carnitine and the creatine is the same. So I stopped eating meat.

So my body went like, oh, okay, I guess we got to get back on board here because obviously I wouldn't be able to lift the 50 pound boxes if I didn't have those muscles. And I'm 66 now. It's not like I'm, you know, getting younger, I'm getting older, but it's just a number.

My body is not suffering, getting older. Oh, that's right. You know, doctor would say, oh, well, that's normal.

You're getting older. Nah, nah, nah, nah. It's not, it's not normal.

You can, you can stay active until you kick the bucket. And that also brings me, it brings me to the microbe situation. So when you know, someone says, I don't feel autoimmune disease and all that.

Well, again, we've talked about those fiber earlier, the polyphenols, the phytonutrients, the minerals and all that. If you don't have that, you don't have the fuel to feed your microbiome that will perform all that's necessary to keep you healthy. So that's so important to do that.

The difference between a healthy vegan diet and an unhealthy one

Eat a variety of vegetables and plants. And that's another thing, you know, vegan, please stop eating only fricking noodles. That's not eating vegan.

That's eating sugar. I don't know if you know, but pasta, croissant, bread, you know, baking, if it's not a whole flour, and when I say whole flour, I mean bran, the three parts of the grain, bran included and sprouted. If it isn't, it's glue.

As a kid, my mom was a single mother. And so, you know, the money wasn't something that would just flow in and she could buy whatever.  So we used flour and water to make glue to do our crafts. And yeah, they didn't last forever, but it's glue. So imagine what it does in your body. And it's exactly what it does. Name it, pita bread, whatever has flour only, which is only the gum. It's glue. So stop that. That's not nutrients. You're not a healthy vegan. That's why you're not a healthy vegan.

And if you eat processed food, day in, day out, processed vegan food, you're not a healthy vegan. Eat your food coming from the garden, you know, the whole fruits, the entire vegetable, the legumes and a variety. 

AP: Yeah, we have so many more vegan options, which is great, but a lot of them are really unhealthy. So it's nice to have the choices that, you know, if we're going to a restaurant with friends that we can actually have something to eat, but it's not necessarily good fuel for your body. 

CA: Yes. So don't do that too often. It's getting better. So what there is to understand for restaurants, I'll explain to you because I had a cafe. So my cafe was a raw food cafe.  So we were, of course, receiving fresh produce every second, third day. When you have a restaurant, what they do with fresh is they would blanch all that they can blanch. So yeah, the cauliflower, the carrot, everything that is a hard vegetable, they'll blanch.

That's why, I mean, even though myself, when I do go rarely, but when I do go and I say, give me whatever you have uncooked, raw vegetables or fruit in the back, put it on the plate for me. I'll be happy. And then they come to me with cherry tomatoes and a few pieces of cauliflower.

That's all they have because it doesn't keep. So they are, they're not order and you order by the case. When you have a business, you don't usually go to the corner store to buy your food because then you lose on your markup.

It's impossible. You really have to buy wholesale. So you buy a case. It's 24 heads of lettuce. So if you don't have a variety of salad on your menu, you won't go through it. So forget it.

When you go there, you won't have a lettuce on your plate. And then, yeah, so I did go one, one year like this. And, and the person comes back to me with a tiny little bowl of, you know, like I said, a few cherry tomatoes and cauliflower.  And then I turn around and I looked at her. I said, I guess you don't want me back here, right?  They didn't have avocado. It's not what they have, you know, usually.

So you can call ahead of time, but yeah, no, you're right. It's a, it's limited cook. You can, you'll see more, of course, more of the cook.

And someone will say, oh my God, this is so hard because I go to restaurant with my friends and I said, well, okay, they're your friends. Suggest to go on a hike, on a walk, you know, visit an art gallery, meet there after lunch, not for lunch. Then, then you can say after that and go, okay, let's go to a park. And they stop by a little place to buy a dessert. And you have in your bag, your dessert, and you sit on the bench and you eat.

So there are options. Convenience, choosing convenience over health.  I mean, at the end of the day, you will pay for it. And it could be an expensive price to pay. So really, you know, there are ways I have got, so many ways. That's why I coach.

That's why we do that. And I, you know, we went through what we're coaching and we can help you with, you know, facing things that seems impossible to surmount. That's why we do that because we went through, we know what's possible.

Like when I look at what it was for me, my life, 25 years ago, 21 years ago at 45 years old was like, what is it going to do when I'm old, if I'm already crippled? And, and, and, and I mean, I'm nothing like this. It's like I said, you know, energy, no problem, no aches, no pain. I wake up in the morning and start like, give me a time here so I can, you know, feel better to be able to walk. No, I just, I'm up!  

AP: Yeah. I think you're more energetic than most people I've ever met.

CA: Honestly. That reminds me when I go, I have friends, they go there or I say, you know, let's go for a walk and they will come with me for a walk the one time. And they say, are we going to walk as fast as last time? Yes. It's wonderful. I'm so grateful for that. 

Raw vegan diet = clear skin

AP: Yeah. Beautiful. So raw vegan has been known to help with autoimmune conditions, such as skin conditions. Do you have any experience with how these foods have helped anyone? 

CA: Well, me! I mean, I'm telling you that was bad news. As you can see, I love to laugh and I love to talk. That was the same before the vegan and after vegan, that didn't change. I always loved people, always loved to talk, but then it would crack and hurt. I mean, oh my gosh, it was so, it hurt so bad. And you know how we, well, you know, when you have a skin condition, you're so self-conscious of your skin that you cannot just, you know, yeah. You, you feel like when they look at you, you're certain way you go, Oh, I must have a pimple or something.

You know, you always, you think of what you look like for sure. So what happens with the food again, eating vegan and eating a whole food, really it has to be whole food. Don't put in there processed vegan. I'm not talking about processed vegan. And when I say that, hear me, I'm not saying those artisans that you have at the farmer's market, that's different because you can go up to them and say, when you buy jam, for example, I mean, some do amazing jam and you can ask, you can say, I'm not reacting well to the processed sugar. Is it possible that you do your jam with dates, with a natural sugar? And you can work out the details with them.

So that's, that's a different ball game. I'm not talking about artisans. I'm talking about those big companies that they actually do studies.

They have credibility experts. They are neuroscientists and they know how to make new food so addictive that you cannot stop. So you'll buy that bag of chip and you'll go all the way to the very last piece, even though you know you shouldn't.

So you can eat one or two chips, not the end of the world, but a whole bag. That's when your face starts to yell, please stop. So skin is totally, yes, linked to, you know, what you eat.

Try it, try it. What, there's nothing to lose. For a whole month, just put away all the, what you know.

You know that everything that is fried doesn't help your skin. You know that everything that is over spicy doesn't help your skin. Put all that aside. Eat some fresh food that, you know, will really bring you and give you the nutrients to feed your skin. Collagen is in food. You don't have to go, I have to buy those expensive cream and I don't have the money and no, no, no, it's in food. So, you know, you, oh, another thing, a better night clay, French clay, do a mask. It's totally, it's inexpensive.

Do a mask, put on your face. And then, you know, ideally if you can lay down and put some cabbage leaf, so it keeps it not from drying too fast. And then when you want to rinse it off, your skin is already sensitive because you have issue with your skin.

Put your whole face in water. Like, you know, you can be that you fill up your bath and you take a bath or, or you have your sink on. Find a way to put your face in the water and then take it off with a sea sponge. Just take it off gently. Or in the shower, just shower your face, but don't go with hot water. Don't take a hot shower, just like a lukewarm shower and wash it off.

That will help. So again, go back to nature. And when you buy whatever product that you buy, that you put your skin is your biggest organ of your body.

What you put on your skin makes its way in. We're not made of, you know, plexiglass, plastic, whatever, where nothing goes through. What goes on your skin makes its way in, in the body.

Chef Agathe - raw vegan ribbon pasta
Photo: Yushiin Labo

So, you know, again, whatever product that you buy, you might say, Oh my God, I cannot go all. I have really have to use those things. I don't know.

We'll just, just stick to it for a month and already there will be a difference because if you keep with putting things on your face that isn't organic, that isn't clean, that isn't from mother nature, it's just going to, it's not getting better. You're not getting better. You might, you know, camouflage it for a bit, but it's not getting better.

But again, in your food, the water, as I talked earlier, same thing, same thing. It's it's, and your bowel movements, same thing. If you don't have a regular bowel movement, it has to come back up somewhere, somehow.

And, and we don't like that certainly.

AP. So it's kind of a lifestyle then your food, your water and your routine for your skincare.

CA: Yes.

AP: Detoxing through your bowel movements and detoxing through your skin.

CA: Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, absolutely. And I mean, my skin, I don't have a night cream.

I have a very gentle to wash my face and I do that. I don't do that every day. I have those a sea sponge, and I just use water.

And every second, third day, it's a, it's a pink, it's a tube. It's just a very gentle, organic, cleaner cream. And very little, you know, just like, like you brush your teeth, the size of a pea on my whole face.

And that's what I use and gently again, and I use those sea sponge again and rinse. That's all. And my day cream is Dr. Haushka.

But I, what I do is I use again, just pea size, like that tube last me for a year, a tube, a whole year. So yeah, no, there's no need. There's no need.

AP: Oh, thanks for sharing that. That's awesome. And very helpful for listeners, I'm sure.

CA: Yes, yes. Well, we tend to and they make us think, of course, all that marketing.

Don't look at those magazines, you know, where they show models with perfect skin and perfect everything. Nobody's like that. It's all touched.

It's not, you know, because it says people look at those magazines by the time they're done. They're like, so don't look at that at all. Don't, you know, look at people around you.

And if you see someone with beautiful skin, ask them. And obviously, you can see that there isn't, you know, inches of makeup on top, like fresh and natural. And they're like, what do you do? What's your skin routine? What do you eat? You know, ask.

That's, that's where you should get the advice.

AP: Then you know that the skin is real and not Photoshop. Or AI.

CA: Oh, yes.

Impact of raw vegan diet on autoimmune conditions

AP: Have you witnessed any instances where a raw vegan diet has positively impacted individuals suffering from autoimmune conditions?

CA: Oh, you know, I just, oh my gosh, it was awesome. So Joy, and Joy is 68. She's two years older than me. And imagine that our situation was not being able to put on weight.

You know, when you see people and they are literally, they're so thin, their arms is so thin, you see, you see more bone than anything else, or legs or shoulder, like the, the bones are just sticking out. And she, she tried, you know, parasite cleanse. And like, obviously, she says, you know, there's something that is having, you know, a feast on me rather than me having the food.

It's what's in my body, having the food. And so she said, but it doesn't make sense. I got that I would do a vegan diet.

I'm going to eat vegetables. How is that gonna help? And she trusted me. And she did.

And she put on 15 pounds, and she's so happy. So just by eating raw food, it was just amazing. And then, so it didn't take long, it took about four months, and then she was able to add the weight.

So again, you know, our microbes in our body, if you give them fuel, they'll go to work. If they don't have the fuel, they're weak, they cannot do the work. So that's what happened.

And she's a gardener on top of things. So she, you know, ate from the garden, fresh and all that, she ate that food. And before she would be, she's a great cook as well.

So she would be more into, like I was saying, you know, the pasta, the baking, the bread. So that wasn't helping. So she put that aside all that time. So she gained the weight. But then came, you know, friends around, and they brought something that she couldn't resist. And she goes, Oh, my God, did I ever regret. So she had that piece of cake with the icing made with icing sugar and all that stuff. And she said, Oh, my gosh. But that's what happened to Joy.

Tamara -- so that was when my cafe opened, my first cafe in 2012, came to my cafe, and she had already problem with with her knees. And she had operations on both knees. And she started to eat, you know, the food at my cafe, and take the juices.

In our case, she was taking the juices one regularly one juice a day, a 500 milliliter, one a day. And her doctor said, Well, you know, if you suffer still, we might have to do another another operation a year or two. She never did.

She still -- I closed my cafe in 2020. But I still deliver the juices to her. I do it from home. I do it for friends. So and of course, she's a friend by then, you know, it's 10 years. Oh, wait, 12 years now. And so and there you go. She didn't know she didn't have to go for another operation. So that's Tamara.

And then at my cafe, you know, people would come for one thing. If you're diabetic, they would come to my cafe and go, Oh, my gosh, I'm so happy. I can eat everything on the menu.

So the way and my recipes, you have some of my recipes on my YouTube. And of course, I have my online courses. They're very affordable. It's well, if it's it is to change your life and your health, it's totally affordable.

AP: And so worth it.

CA: Big time. And so yeah, they could eat everything on my menu, including desserts.

They were not their insulin wasn't spiking, they were not feeling bad. They were everything was perfect. Celiac, because I do soak and sprout. It's also my YouTube to show how you soak and sprout. Same thing, they could have my food. And then someone would say, come to me and say, you know what, my blood pressure is back to normal. My IBS, I don't suffer. So you know, it's just, it's just Yes, it's pharmacy. Farmacy. That's the best pharmacy in town.

Chef Agathe's secret to making raw vegan food more approachable

AP: Do you have any recommendations or advice for people who feel intimidated by eating raw food?

CA: Yes. You know, when I started doing that, my husband at the time, he goes, well, make sure you make desserts. The raw food desserts are healthy. And everyone loves them. And they have no idea whatsoever that it's not cooked. So you know, you can trick your guests that way. Or you know, your family and they go, I don't understand you. I don't know why you eat this way. You know, look, you brought a cheesecake!

And they go, Yeah, I have a taste. Tell me how it is. Wow, it's delicious.

It's so good. There is no animal product in it! So you can start with that.

Chef Agathe - raw vegan cocoa orbs
Photo: Yushiin Labo

Because really, this one thing if you're if you're a person that loves desserts, of course, or maybe eat too many of them. So it's definitely a way to start because it is easy and it is delicious. And on my website on the homepage, you have a free little ebook.

And there is the ganache cake, there is free. So for you to try and follow my recipe, don't do it differently. Because you'll see it's delicious.

You have to use raw cacao. And it's sweetened with dates. So yeah, so desserts, you know, it's so easy to start with that.

The other thing that you'll see also on my YouTube, I have quite a few recipes for salads. And you go, Oh, I guess it's boring to eat a salad. Well, it depends how you do it.

So if you have a salad, and oh, my gosh, you know, just go and watch Anna's Instagram, you still have all your beautiful, you know, with avocados and all your beautiful...

AP: They're still there.

CA: Oh, gosh, just just go there. You'll be inspired totally.

And I have a recipe for a oil free dressing. So what happens with with salads is if you use a dressing sold in store, well, there you go, please don't! Dressings sold in store have emulsifier in them. Have you noticed that you buy a dressing, you put it in your fridge door, and you look at it two months later, four months later, six months later, if it's still there, it hasn't separated. That's the emulsifier. Emulsifier is put in paint. I don't think you want to eat that stuff.

So emulsifier is very bad for your microbiome. So is glyphosate. Stay away from conventional please. Buy your legumes by bag of 25 pounds. You'll pay you know $45 for 25 pounds of chickpeas. You'll have it for two years. It costs nothing to eat vegan. Stop thinking it costs too much. So you and then you have an oil free recipe. So oil free why? Yes, I mean, there's beautiful olive oil there avocado oil. I mean, so many different oil, but oil is devoid of nutrients unfortunately, because it's been refined to get to the oil, you know, and stage. And what happens is it goes from your lips to your hips. That's Dr. Fuhrman. He says it. But also what happens is when you eat a dressing made with oil. If you do use very little because otherwise it quotes your tongue.

And so when you eat, you really miss on the flavor of the food that you're eating. It really it puts it it's like a layer between your taste buds and what you're eating. It puts a layer and and it's it makes it heavier. You'll see try that recipe that I have on my YouTube and I'm about to put another one that is absolutely amazing and fantastic. And but do that and see the difference. It's light.

So the way I do it, I'm going to give you the trick so simple. Let's say you need to I now use grams. So so you know why? Because when you look at my recipes, and if I say you put dates in it, you kind of don't go like what does she mean by a quarter cup of dates? Are they cut the size of my thumb? Is it pound? Is it this? Is it that? No, it's it's just, you know, 10 grams of dates, or 20 grams of dates.

It's just by the weight that you weigh the ingredients so easy. So when you do the dressing to replace the oil, I'm just going to give you two numbers here you do 120 milliliter of water and 80 grams of a nut or a seed or a seed and and sprouted like my sunflower seeds are sprouted. It could be pumpkin seeds that are activated.

The dressing is going to get darker if you do pumpkin seeds. Nuts, you can do cashews, you can do almonds, I wouldn't do walnuts, not really a nut for that. You can do brazil nut. And then that combination gives you the fat that is part of a dressing. I mean, a dressing without fat. I don't know, it's kind of doesn't work to link all the flavor together.

But that's simple as that is that simple ratio that you do. And so I have my calculator right here. Because I think I remember is 66%. Let me just do this quickly. Yes. So 67% water and 33% nut or seeds or you know, what you choose, then you have whole foods, water, and a whole food, a nut or a seed, it's a whole food.

So there you go, you can use you know, some hemp hearts, you can mix, don't do all them parts, they'll be kind of bizarre as a taste. But you can do some, some sunflower seeds, some hemp hearts. So you can play.

When you do a recipe, even my recipe, take it as is when you start do exactly as I say. So then you know what is what I believe it should be tasting. And I had eight years of a cafe that people love my food. So I kind of know what I'm doing. So, so do that. And then after that, you go, I'm going to change it.

Any change you make, take a note. You know, when I was at my cafe, the same thing and teaching and I would say that to people, you know, you measure and you weigh and they go, Oh, I guess I just wing it when I make food. And I say, and so what happened is it, it's so good.

But you cannot do it again, because you know, it's, or it's awful. And then you go, well, I have to eat it because I put all that food in there. And the worst is your child or your, the big kid in the family (you know who I'm talking about) likes it one time.

And the next time, not the same, they go, I don't like it. And you try to bring it again a third time. Good luck. They won't want it. So don't do that. Don't shoot yourself in the foot.

Measure. And it's awesome, because you can improve, you know, you do something and you go, yeah. And so the next time you improve and improve and improve.

AP: Yeah, it's fun. And I actually attended your in person workshops. And it must have been around 2012.

CA: Oh, my gosh, yes.

AP: With the first cafe. And so I can attest to how delicious that ganache cake is. And I definitely recommend that people check that out.

How to connect with Chef Agathe

So where can people find you and get that free recipe?

Chef Agathe - raw vegan ganache cake
Photo: Yushiin Labo

CA: So it's so simple. Well, Anna is going to put it into the link anyway, is my website.

I did three weeks of courses back in 2007 down in the States for raw food. And by then I knew a thing or two. So yeah, I was more trouble than anything else in the course. But then I decided after all those years, it's just last year, I started calling myself a chef. Look, I know my stuff. So I gave myself a certificate! My diploma, I am a chef.

No, I really it's what the more you do, practice makes like persistence and practice, you know, doesn't make it perfect, but it makes progress. It makes progress.

So do that. You also call yourself your chef at home, you are the chef of your own home in your kitchen. So you know, put on your your your chef, chef badge and go for it. You can do it. Because so many people also tell me Oh, no, I'm not good. No, no, no, just follow my recipe! If you follow, you'll be good. And then you'll enjoy it and you'll do more of it. Then you know, progress, progress, progress!

AP: Absolutely. Well, Agathe, you're such an inspiration. And I am so happy that you were available to join me on the podcast today. I'm sure listeners are really going to appreciate your information. And thank you so much.

CA: Thank you, love. What a pleasure it was. I mean, you know, awesome to be with you. And and awesome to be with someone who does what you do as well to bring all your knowledge to people and you know, changing people's life. We're in the same tribe, girl.

AP: Thank you.

CA: Thank you. Bye bye.

Use the code 20offgutlovingfoods to get 20% off Chef Agathe's Burger Eight Ways Course.

DISCLAIMER: This website's information is general in nature and for informational purposes only. It does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

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