by 11 January 28, 2015Bright and early on a Saturday morning I got my lazy bones out and headed to one of our local farmers' markets to meet up with the luvvly girls of That's So Raw, Kendalyn McKisick and Natashia Burch. Kendalyn is the chef, and Tasha does PR, assisting, and probably her favorite part, taste-testing. Through our morning of shopping for fresh goodies and our afternoon of making seriously delicious raw vegan pachadi tacos, I learned so much about these business partners, raw veganism, and friendship. I hope to give you a glimpse of how wonderful these ladies are, and to inspire you not only to cook Kendalyn's dish, but, for locals, to check out their new grab and go restaurant. Melinda: I'm so curious how you two became friends and business partners. Tell me how all of this came to be. Tasha (TB): We met at UALR; I was a creeper on her personal insta. I was trying to get back into veganism while Ken was trying raw veganism. I asked her on instagram to make me a fruit tray, and it went from there.Kendalyn became like a personal chef, and then it changed into a business. I felt drawn to Kendalyn like I already knew her, so we had an instant connection. Kendalyn (KM): We had the idea this could really work after I catered my own graduation party and felt really encouraged by the people that tried the food. We went to Loblolly afterwards to celebrate, and the people there also encouraged us that this is something we could make happen - viable to sell food. So we started that summer (2014) to raise money. TB: I have always been interested in entrepreneurship; I had even thought of opening my own vegan cafe or traveling juice bar before, but I can't cook. KM: I wanted to do a traveling food truck, she wanted to do juicing, and now we're here. TB: Bo Bennett really inspired us to stick to what we believe in, to follow our exact dream and not to change because it was easier. So that's why we've tried to stick to raw veganism, using only unprocessed natural salts, and plant-based oils. Tasha started grad. school and Kendalyn wanted to start cooking for others as a way to raise funds for grad. school in Alaska, but they both saw that this was a passion that could be viable so that lead to pushing this to a full time career. Melinda: What drew both of you to raw veganism, as opposed to just vegansim or vegtarianism? TB: You know, if you go to raw veganism first, going vegan seems so easy. KM: There are some extra nutrients you can get from eating raw, so we try to live by the Raw till 4 lifestyle. Melinda: What are some tips you can offer for helping people make the switch to veganism? KM: In a strong vegan community, support is crucial. Always shop fresh when possible, frozen next, never canned. TB: Build relationships with farmers at the market. Be willing to go to the farm-- sometimes they will give you food for helping them farm for a day. Eat a local places. A farmer should be your best friend. Melinda: Can you give our readers some additional resources to help them explore veganism/raw veganism? KM & TB: Freelee the Banana Girl, Mimi Kirk, and Annette Larkins are some of the people we find inspiring. For books and documentaries check out The China Study, Food Inc., Cowspiracy, Earthlings, and The Daniel Fast. The ladies spent a lot of time talking about the health benefits of veganism, but also of the spiritual and mental benefits of veganism. They both talked about the experience of having their "brain fog" lifted, and how that helps those that are vegan understand it's a lifestyle change in every way, not just dietary. I hope you feel even a tiny bit as inspired as I did after reading about these ladies! Now, enjoy Kendalyn's recipe!
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