Interview: raw vegan superstar Lydia Kindheart!  »

If you haven’t heard of Lydia’s Organics, Loving Foods or Kitchen, then (a) you must not live in the SF Bay Area or (b) you live under a rock. If it’s the latter of the two, get yourself to Rainbow or your nearest Whole Foods, stat! I recommend her raw nori crackers, mint chocolate truffle, a slice of raw cheesecake and some kale chips— you won’t be disappointed! Every time I scout the raw and prepared-meal sections of those stores I see more of Lydia’s products! She’s taking the Bay Area vegan scene over with her amazing vegan, raw, gluten-free and organic snacks, meals, soups, spreads, appetizers and desserts! I am so jealous of those of you living in Marin County—you can just shimmy into her cafe! That’s it, road trip to Fairfax!

I was extremely eager to pick Parisian-turned-Californian/creative vegan force in the Bay Area/successful business owner Lydia Kindheart’s brain.

Lydia’s daughter Sonya—who’s 20 and never eaten meat!—and Lydia Kindheart at a festival

Vegansaurus: How long have you been vegan?
Lydia Kindheart: Off and on. On for mostly 30 years.

What inspired the lifestyle?
Girlfriends in high school, reading lots of books, asking questions and experimenting on myself. I started fasting at a young age and saw the direct effect of foods and well being.

Are you raw? How did you make the transition from cooked foods to raw foods? What do you see as the benefits of a raw food diet?
[I am] 98 percent [raw], mas o menos. I turned vegetarian at 16, then raw very quickly by 17. Raw foods are simpler, closer to their source, holding their vitality and life itself. Raw foods are alive, cooked foods are not. They use less resources, fossil fuels, etc.

How do organic foods play a role?
I am into health and well being for myself, all people, animals and life forms. Organic is the only way to work with the Earth, as opposed to poisoning life itself.

Do you have any advice for the beginning raw foodist?
Focus on your intake of greens and water; watch your sugar and nut intake. Use dehydrated crackers to help with transitioning—for that ‘bulk’ that one is used to.

What are the the most important tools?
A Vitamix, one’s teeth.

What are some raw foods to live by?
Kale, herbs, seaweed, sunflower seeds, lemon, watermelon and figs.

Your raw foods are absolutely amazing and taking the Bay Area by storm! What goes into your creative process for recipes/products?
Spending lots of time in nature, being in my heart, caring for people to serve them healthful alternatives.

Can you tell us the story behind Lydia’s Organics?
Since I was a little girl, I have always loved making food for people. As I learned about what foods can do and how they can affect people, it stirred up a passion and way to care for people and connect with the Earth through simple living. I had the opportunity to take over a smoothie shop in Fairfax and opened a raw food cafe—it then continued on this journey. I had never thought of creating a a business like this, it has led me to where it is now—to nourish as many people as I can with healthful, loving foods. My daughter, Sonya, and mother, Jacquie, have been integrative parts and support to this creation. Were were all three serving food at the first raw food event in San Francisco.

As a small, vegan, business owner, do you have any advice for budding vegan entrepreneurs?
Get some professional advice for logistics and unknowns. There is heart, dedication and hard work, but it takes practical logistics to implement our dreams.

Any favorite raw recipes you’d like to share with the Vegansaurus readers?
Pâté—Equal parts carrots and soaked almonds. Some celery, lemon, green onions, dulse seaweed and dash of salt. Grind until semi coarse in a food processor. It’s great in rolls and as a spread, especially with avocado. I’m not very good at recipes, I just kind of make dishes up, but it’s about playing and experimenting and creating what you personally like!

Thank you, Lydia!

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