Interview with an Almost Vegan Chef: Amber Shea Crawley and Giveaway (CLOSED)
Today we have an interview with Amber Shea Crawley, a creative and inventive raw vegan chef and cookbook author. Her first book, Practically Raw, is getting rave reviews. PR is a practical approach to raw foods, showing a cooked version of many of the recipes. This encourages the reader to try new foods and dispels the myth that raw food is weird or difficult to do. Let's get to know Amber a little better shall we?! And don't forget to enter to win her cookbook!
After losing weight in college and immersing myself in the world of health and nutrition, I naturally gravitated to vegetarian and then vegan ways of eating. I started calling myself "almost vegan" because I don't believe it's necessary to be 100% vegan, 100% of the time to simply start making gradual, healthy, and lasting changes in diet and lifestyle. I started my blog, Almost Vegan, in 2008, and the more I read and learned, the more I began to feel drawn to raw foods, and after falling head over heels in love with them, I quit my life insurance job to attend culinary school in 2010.
What are your favorite summer foods and why?
Fruit! There's nothing better than chowing down on juicy watermelon and candy-sweet mangoes in the summer heat.
Who's work do you love in the culinary world? Who inspires you and why?
Matthew Kenney is my mentor and also one of my top culinary idols. I'm forever impressed by his creativity and ingenuity with fresh, living foods.
I know that you are battling some health issues right now. With all your research and experience do you believe that food can heal all?
No – but I believe it can come close. If there's one thing I've learned from being diagnosed with Hashimoto's disease, it's that there are things about our health that even a fantastic diet and lifestyle can't necessarily "fix." I do feel certain that I'd be much, much worse off right now if I didn't have 4+ years of vegan and high-raw eating under my belt.
Do you have any tips for those wanting to go vegan who may also have health issues?
Focus on the fresh foods. As tempting as it may be, don't turn to fake meats and cheeses – they will not likely help any health issue you may have. Go for fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and beans, plus occasional whole grains and only very limited quantities of sugar. It may seem bland for awhile, but experiment with herbs and spices and you'll soon find you have a culinary rainbow to play with.
What does the future hold for Almost Vegan?
Lots! I'm still promoting my first cookbook Practically Raw, and I'm simultaneously working on my next project – but my lips are sealed for now. I can promise, though, that you are going to love it!
Thanks Amber for your insight! I can't wait to hear more about your new project!!
To enter: Answer this question = What is your favorite "raw" dish?
Please let me know if you did this in the same comment.
A winner will be chosen Monday July 9th at 5pm. Good luck!
NOTE: The selected winner must provide an email address and a shipping address located within the 48 contiguous US states. Not my rules sorry!