Carol Alt Interview
Dawn Good morning, Carol. It’s really exciting that you’re going to be coming to Royersford on Saturday. Are you excited about it?
Carol Yes, it will be really, really nice to meet everybody. The potluck-ers down there were very supportive of my book, they allowed me to use recipes that they had created and I’m really looking forward to meeting them and seeing Royersford.
Dawn It’s a cute little town. I think you’ll really like the park.
Carol I’m looking forward to it, absolutely.
Dawn When was it that you decided to share with your friends that you were 100% raw?
Carol I’m not exactly 100% raw. What I’ve tried to do it make raw accessible to more people. I think people, they freak out thinking their whole way of life is going to change: they can’t ever eat cooked food again and … they could never do this. They freak out and they get defensive and I think, really, what happened was, with the books, people were asking me, “How do you stay looking so good? How do you stay so thin? How do you do this, how do you do that?” Airline attendants, especially, were coming up to me on airplanes and saying to me, “With all the travel you do, and we do the same, we’re so tired, we feel so bad. Every time we see you you’re smiling. How do you do it?” And I say, “I have to tell you, it’s the raw food.”
I have to tell you, what happened when I came back to New York, I live in Canada and New York, so I came back to New York, I bought an office here, I was opening my office, and the newspaper called. The Post called and they said, “Can we take a photo?” and usually they’re chasing me to take a photo, nobody’s ever called to ask. I was like, “What do you mean?” and they said, “There’s a raw food restaurant and we hear you’re a raw foodist and I thought, ‘How odd. I don’t really publicize that.’ I mean, more on a personal level, one on one, somebody asking me, I tell them what the secret is that I had found. But I don’t really publicize that. And they said, “We’d like to take your picture at a raw restaurant.” I thought, ‘A restaurant?’ I’ve been raw for 12 years, raw in LA and raw in Toronto. I can eat at Japanese restaurants, etcetera but there were no such things as raw restaurants. And I thought, ‘This is something I’ve got to go see.’ So I allowed them to take my photo in the restaurant. I tasted all the food, it was just incredible that raw food had taken that leap forward, that there were actually people with raw restaurants.
The book itself just happened out of the blue. So many people were asking me, I was pitching a different book and Miramax books was actually the first people who said, “You are so passionate about this one chapter in your book and that’s how you eat. That’s really the book you should do because you’re so passionate about it.” I thought about it and my agent pitched the book and it was bought immediately. And I thought, ‘Okay, God works in mysterious ways and this way is not so mysterious, He’s telling me what He wants me to do. It’s just a road and I’m just on it.’
Dawn How has sharing raw foods changed your life?
Carol It hasn’t really. That’s the big thing. It’s brought different people into my realm, it’s not like I just deal with fashion people or movie people now. I seek out different restaurants and talk to the people there about food, whereas before I would go into a restaurant and just eat. So food has become more of a social experience. Actually, it’s become such a social experience that I didn’t have before because half the time, before this, I didn’t eat. I wasn’t going to restaurants; there was no social activity over meals or over food because eating was so traumatic for me because I was always gaining wait every time I ate. So this opened up a whole different aspect of my life: I was actually socializing over food.
But physically what has changed for me was just about everything. I mean, my health, my energy, my ability to control my weight, to control my health. I wasn’t on pills or over-the-counter meds. I just ate and it was fantastic.
Dawn Wow, that’s great. I know that’s one of the biggest issues when people start “going raw” and I know some of the earlier books that I read said that, “You can’t socially eat anymore, that’s the end of it. You can’t eat when you go to parties.” So it’s really great that you’re able to incorporate that as well and see other people coming to parties with raw food dishes. It’s cool.
Carol You know, I think that’s doing a disservice. The two main doctors that I worked with in terms of going raw and maintaining my health and doing my check-ups, etcetera, and where I’ve gotten a lot of my information, these doctors who’ve shared with me, the main thing they tell me is 80-100% raw, sometimes they’ll say 75-100% raw, but 80 to 100% raw you can cure yourself of anything. And if you’re educated, I think that’s the biggest thing: is that people are just not educated about raw food. I know I wasn’t 12 years ago but I had a doctor on hand who was a raw foodist who was teaching me and showing me how amazing, things like salad, he was showing me how amazing salads could be. Those salads that he was making and how he was creating things and a whole other world opened up. But he also said, “Listen Carol, if you’re at an event and for some reason you feel like eating a pretzel, go ahead. What’s going to happen is, you’ll feel it the next day because your body is going to be so clean and you’re going to be so relaxed and so happy that when you stress it by eating cooked food, it’ll tell you and ultimately you are going to choose to start eating more and more raw foods,” which is exactly what happened. For me, when I eat cooked food, and sometimes I do, but I know, immediately, that I’m going to get heartburn the next day and I pop 50 enzymes to digest that food for me.
Dawn What’s your favorite raw food?
Carol I really like easy, quick things. I really like hummus. I like making raw hummus: germinating chick peas and throwing them in my blender. I just love it. I love it with flax seed crackers. I love it on manna bread. I put it in my salads. I like guacamole. What other people call side dishes, I call main dishes. Salsa, for example, making fresh salsa, fresh guacamole, they’re so easy to do. They take literally seconds and they can sit in my refrigerator, in a vacusystem [vacuum sealer] for weeks. I can go there, I can pick on it, I can much on it while I’m watching TV. It’s easy, it’s simple, the clean-up is non-existent, basically. So I really like those kinds of things.
View product details at Amazon:
Eating in the Raw: A Beginner’s Guide to Getting Slimmer, Feeling Healthier, and Looking Younger the Raw-Food Way
The Raw 50: 10 Amazing Breakfasts, Lunches, Dinners, Snacks, and Drinks for Your Raw Food Lifestyle