Q & A Series: People, Products and The Health of Our Planet – Interview with Judy Pokras: Artist, Writer and Video Director

My Comment: How I came to find Judy was through a 1st cousin of mine who was doing research online of the family genealogy. It so happens, she and her Mom, Anne, actually live in the same neighborhood, as my parents and we never knew that. My Mom called me one day to let me know that we have distant relatives/cousins (on my Mom’s side of the family) and that the daughter happens to be very involved in raw vegan food and has a website, as well. I did happen to go on the website long before I met her and her Mom and she shares a lot of information that is helpful and educational.

For my thirty-first interview, I have the pleasure to introduce you to Judy Pokras: Artist, Writer, Video Director and long time Raw Vegan Food Enthusiast.

Question #1: Tell me briefly about yourself and why you decided to get involved in the “health” industry?

I started out as an artist and was an Art major at Pratt. I’ve done a lot of paintings and other visual artwork over the years. My parents and brother, David, have also created works of art, including paintings and sculptures.

Abstract Art by Judy Pokras

Abstract Art
by Judy Pokras

Painting by Judy Pokras, honoring her brother David

Painting by Judy Pokras, honoring her brother David

Wooden Menorah by Jerry Pokras (Judy's Dad)

Wooden Menorah by Jerry Pokras (Judy’s Dad)

Art by David Pokras (Judy's brother)

Art by David Pokras (Judy’s brother)

I’m also a video director. When I lived in New York City, I produced and directed a mock Seinfeld episode on a zero budget, that you can view on youtube, by searching for the title, Anomolies, and my name, Judy Pokras.

Decades ago I became interested in raw vegan cuisine. I have lots of creativity and wanted to make money from that, but most of my bosses were not interested in my creativity. That stressed me out, and I ate nutritionally dense foods to counteract the stress. I began reading about nutrition over the years and that led me to raw vegan cuisine, which I love. I started an online magazine back in 2001 called: http://www.rawfoodsnewsmagazine.com. I also published a recipe book, “The Little Book of Raw Vegan Holiday Recipes.” It’s available on http://www.amazon.com

Question #2: If you were stranded on a desert island and were allowed to take only 5 items with you (they can be food, books or specific products that are all health-related), what would they be and why?

1- A tool/chisel to open coconuts because I use a lot of young coconuts in my recipes, like my signature raw vegan chocolate ice cream.
2- A smartphone with the internet so I can access information, connect with friends, and make videos.
3- Materials to draw and paint with.
4- Keyboard for writing
5- Friends

Question #3: What one message do you want to share with the people of this world that is crucial for their ultimate well-being and longevity?

To follow your curiosity wherever it might lead you. My curiosity led me to nutrition and how different foods affect our health. I think it is very important and overlooked in our culture because it is something we are not taught to focus on. For example, there is cadmium, which is a toxic heavy metal, in sunflower seeds and raw cacao powder and arsenic in rice. These things are not paid attention to in restaurants when they put together their meals and menus.

Questions #4: If someone could afford to purchase only one product at this moment to start their journey towards better health (food or health-related), what would you recommend and why?

A product (such as a computer or smartphone) that would allow you to access the internet, because you can do a lot of research there and learn things without having to buy many books or go to a library. A library is great, but you have to return things and then won’t have them on hand as a reference.

Question #5: Tell me more about your business/company and/or products you offer to the public to help them achieve optimal health and well-being?

I have a website: http://www.rawfoodsnewsmagazine.com
I also have a Facebook page: Raw Foods News Magazine
I am also on Twitter: @RawFoodsNewsMag

Question #6: What are your hopes/aspirations/dreams for the future health of the people and the planet?

My hope is that more people will have access to higher education. It makes me very sad that in many Third World countries, girls are not allowed to get an education. We can’t allow that to happen.

Another thing: Science has proven that climate change is real, and it’s threatening everything. It will result in rising sea levels, which will encroach on our coastlines and decimate many regions where millions of people live. Climate change also causes political instability. For example, when there are severe droughts, people don’t have food and take big risks to migrate to other countries. That instability unfortunately leads to hostility and violence.

Question #7: I know that there are variables as to how much food/calories each person consumes when eating raw vegan food (based on many lifestyle factors, etc), but is there a basic guideline you would recommend for everyone?

I’m not a doctor, I’m a writer and researcher. I believe there is no one lifestyle that works for everyone, because everyone is unique. I think the best advice is to follow how you feel. Keep a food journal if you like, and see how different food affects you.

Although I believe it’s most important to eat a lot of organic raw vegetables, nuts, and seeds, I incorporate some cooked food into my diet. I follow some of Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s advice. He advocates what he calls a Nutritarian Diet. He says it’s important to eat cooked beans, or lentils, and cooked mushrooms.

Check out the review of Judy’s book on my youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/TheRawsomeVeganGal

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