WE first came across Mimi Kirk in a San Diego local news interview. When the reporter mentioned that she was 73 years old, we were completely stunned by how incredible she looked. When we found and explored Mimi’s website, the additional pictures of her and her healthy lifestyle further inspired us to contact her to gain additional knowledge about her journey on raw food. Mimi is a wonderful role model to people at any age, as her investment and care in her diet has made it possible not only for her to look and feel her best, but to live life abundantly. Here is what Mimi had share…
The Chalkboard Mag: Do you prefer a raw diet over vegan? If so, what do you notice differently about your body?
Mimi Kirk: “I do prefer a raw, vegan diet – I think because I feel so much better after eating raw foods than cooked foods. I’m happy knowing that eating vegan is compassionate towards animals. My energy level is amazing and I think I look better than I did when I was just a vegan and not eating raw foods. I think one can still eat processed foods as a vegan, but there is not much of a chance when eating raw that you will be consuming processed foods. So I think, personally, it is a healthier choice all around that I have embraced.”
TCM: Does your family eat similarly to you?
MK: “Actually, they’re not all raw, but my four children all juice. One is vegan and mostly raw, and another almost all raw. My two boys both try to eat healthy and I think are moving more into eating all raw, all the time. My grandchildren are coming around, as well. My boyfriend of nine years is a vegetarian, but to be honest he eats mostly vegan and raw.”
TCM: When did you start eating this way?
MK: “I’ve been a vegetarian or vegan for the better part of 40 years. However, when I turned 69, I became a raw vegan because my blood pressure and cholesterol were up and I was starting to feel arthritic pains in my joints. Six months later, at my doctor’s appointment, everything was normal. And the best part: I didn’t have to start taking any prescriptions drugs.”
TCM: What other lifestyle choices have you made that contribute to you looking so young?
MK: “I believe passion for life, love, friendships, looking forward to the future, exercise, passion, compassion, laughter and knowing how to manage stress all contribute to a long, healthy life.”
TCM: What is your philosophy?
TCM: What are some tips you would give people in their 20s or 30s about how to sustain their youth and vitality?
MK: “The earlier one starts using food as medicine – including fruits, veggies, lots of dark leafy greens – the more they will preserve their health. Preventative is best and it’s never too early to start. Take care of yourself like someone you love. Treat yourself with respect and don’t say negative things about yourself. Think positively and be kind to everyone. Don’t look at life’s little trials as a problem, instead look at them like challenges. A challenge is exciting and you can do something about it, whereas a problem has a negative sound and puts one in a bad state. If you feel stressed, meditate, go for a walk and just clear your mind so you can think straight. When you feel healthy, all things are easier. And be sure to eat enough organic, healthy food on a daily basis.”
TCM: Were you ever nervous about getting/looking older?
MK: “At one time in my early 60s, I didn’t want to tell my age while I was dating. I started to be obsessed with the changes in my face and body. Then, all of a sudden, I came to my senses and stopped thinking about it and realized I wasn’t going to get plastic surgery or Botox, so I’d better accept the aging process and do the best I can. Funnily enough, I think I look younger now than I did then.”
TCM: What are five beauty products or skincare tips you can share with us?
MK: “I’m more of an inside girl than an outside one. I believe diet is key for good skin, but I use 100% organic coconut oil on my face and body. I wash with Dr. Woods Almond Shea Liquid Soap and their black soap for my face. I love, love, love my exfoliating gloves and use them every day on my face and body. You can see them on my website YoungOnRawFood.com in the Shop section. I love them so much, I give them out to friends and family all the time. I use toothpaste with Neem – you can also find this on my site. These are the products I honestly use. I get asked often and wanted to share the knowledge with my readers.”
TCM: What is your fitness routine?
MK: “I’m working on improving this all the time. Sometimes I’m great at exercise and other times, not so much. I love to walk and think it’s very important. I also love yoga, Qigong and kettlebells. I walk up and down the stairs in my home hundreds of times daily, and I work in my garden and try to park far from where I’m shopping just to get some extra walking in. For 2012, I’m trying to manifest an exercise buddy!”
TCM: If you travel, do you find it difficult to eat healthy?
MK: “I’m traveling all the time here and abroad and it is definitely more of a challenge, but is in no way impossible. I always bring my own food on the plane and something that travels really well is the veggie burger recipe in my Live Raw book. Wrap it up in a Savoy cabbage leaf with avocado, homemade dressing, tomatoes, sprouts and thinly sliced red onions and you’re ready to go! Once I’m away from home, I find a health food store. Most restaurants have salads and I ask them to leave off anything that I don’t eat and add things I do eat and if I don’t get enough at a meal, I can always go to a grocery store and get almonds, a piece of fruit or an avocado to tide me over. I love to find Farmers’ Markets, especially in a foreign country, as it’s really exciting to find such amazing food all over the world. In the states, there seem to be raw food restaurants opening up in so many places and I love trying them out. Traveling and eating with friends is a big part of my life and eating raw definitely doesn’t stop me from enjoying that part of my life to its fullest. In fact, it adds to my enjoyment because I feel so great after a meal when others at the table are moaning about how full they feel. Usually, they end up saying, ‘Next time, I’m having what you had’.”