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March 31, 2009 at 7:59 AM

Eat it raw and Thrive: raw food stokes an appetite for health

When one of my buddies lost 30 pounds over several months by sticking to a raw-food diet, I was impressed. He looks better, feels infinitely better and was able to ditch the medications he’d been taking to control various weight-related ailments (high blood pressure, diabetes). The fact that he also managed to continue cooking great food for his family and friends during the process never ceases to amaze me. That said, when it comes to weight loss and raw foods, he’s got nothing on Angela Stokes.

Since 2002, Stokes lost 160 pounds — half her body weight — by adopting a “raw lifestyle.” That lifestyle reversed her morbid obesity, put her on the road to good health and turned her into an international phenomenon. Since going cold turkey (or “cold cucumber” as she describes her raw-veganism), Stokes, 30, became a strong voice for the raw food movement and now she’s bringing her healthy new body — and her story — to us, courtesy of Raw Network of Washington (Raw NOW), a nonprofit providing resources, education and community for anyone interested in the growing movement.

Stokes speaks April 10 at Raw NOW’s Third Annual Fundraising Gala at the Columbia Tower Club, where raw foodists (and other interested parties) can eat a four-course raw foods dinner. She’ll be accompanied by her fiance Matt Monarch, author of Raw Success, and the pair will also speak April 11 at a raw food event held 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Bastyr University. Buy tickets for the gala ($75) here. And for the Bastyr University event ($15-$25) here.

Speaking of raw foods, has anybody been to Thrive — the restaurant and juice bar that took an exceedingly long time to make its debut before opening on 65th across from Roosevelt Square? What do you think? Any thoughts on the raw movement and/or juice fasts in general? The juice fast I could do (I think). But a raw food diet? The thought of it makes me want to run outside, fuel up the Weber and slow roast a chicken.

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