WignallJudita Wignall is the author of „Going Raw“ and passionate about raw food. Fortunately she took the time out of her kitchen to answer some questions for Lazy Literature. (Photo: Copyright Judita Wignall)

You originally started with the raw „cooking“ when you had problems with your skin. Is that still your main reason to stick to it?

It still is one of the reasons I eat a mostly raw food diet, but my biggest motivation is energy. I definitely don’t have the same spring in my step when I eat cooked foods. Plus, when I eat raw, I don’t get brain fog or indigestion. I also like knowing that the live foods I eat are slowing the aging process down and protecting my health via antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds.

raw2013-219What did your surrounding family and friends say when you told them about your decision?

They asked a lot of questions and to this day, six years later, they still get a little confused by it. All of them are supportive, though, and try to accommodate me. I also try to accommodate them by being flexible with my diet when I’m with them. It’s more important to have good relationships with people you love than to be excluded from social activities because of a rigid diet plan.

In summer and spring it is easy to eat raw – at least I think so because of the many things you can choose from. But what about winter? Don’t you miss tea and a bit of hot soup to get warm after a walk in the snow or rain?

raw2013-077I’m not a 100 percent raw foodist. I don’t believe in dietary dogma that says that we have to eat one way all the time, no matter what. I believe in eating with the seasons and also listening to your body for what it needs. Since I live in southern California, I get to enjoy warm weather and abundant produce almost the entire year. My body craves cooling foods so eating raw is almost effortless. When the weather is colder, I do enjoy teas and soups and gently cooked foods like quinoa and steamed vegetables. I would never suggest someone in Montana to go all raw in the middle of winter, but in the summer, for sure. It’s a great time to reboot your system with a raw diet. Doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some raw food when it’s cold. I use my dehydrator more in the winter to warm my foods and use a lot of warming spices like cayenne, turmeric, and cinnamon. If you don’t have a dehydrator you could let your ingredients come to room temperature before making a meal or warming it gently on the stove top.

How do you develop new recipes for your cook books?

For each book, I write out just the titles to recipes I’d like to make. It all starts with a craving and an idea. For example, in my head I came up with Easy Apple Pie with Salted Caramel sauce because it was something I really wanted to eat. Then I wrote out the components to the recipe and from there, lots of trial and error in the kitchen until VOILA! I also keep a food journal to take notes whenever I eat something delicious at a restaurant. Then I try to make my own version at home. It’s a lot of fun and really rewarding when reicpes come together.

raw2013-97The fotos for your books are extraordinary. How is the work with your husband – is one of you more perfectionist than the other?

Working with my husband has been so much fun. We peruse cookbooks to get inspired. We absolutely love Donna Hay Seasons, but we also put our own personal style into it. Before we do a shoot we collaborate with the food stylist/prop master on aesthetics. It’s my favorite part of the cookbook process but also the most challenging. We’re getting better at it. I think we make a pretty great team, now, after two books.

When you don’t cook in your kitchen – do you have hobbies you like to indulge yourself in?

I’m really active, so I love to get out as much as I can to walk, hike, or ride my bike. I also love to read. I have almost every nutrition book on my shelf and I’m addicted to the Song of Ice and Fire series that Game of Thrones television show is based on.

raw2013-233What books or comic books do you like to read? Do you have a recommendation?

A Song of Ice and Fire series. Great storytelling that will enthrall you, break your heart, make you angry, and put you on an emotional rollercoaster. It’s amazing.

What is one of your next projects?

I’m launching an online store called City and Sea Trading, featuring cool health items that I love plus t-shirts designed by my husband and I. We want to create an online boutique for health conscious people who appreciate high quality, artisanal health and home goods. There will lots of great content, too like videos, recipes and health and lifestyle blog posts. It won’t be exclusively raw, but it will be entirely awesome.

In Germany your book „Raw & Simple“ will be out in September. What can readers expect from that?

RawAndSimple_smReaders will find 100 easy recipes using common ingredients you can find at most grocery stores. There are some superfoods and alternative sweeteners that might be new to some readers, but for the most part I tried to keep the ingredients familiar. There’s no dehydrator needed for this book, which was a comment I heard a lot with Going Raw. Many people don’t have the time to plan out dehydrated meals. I wanted to make a raw book that was accessible for everyone, even those with little time on their hands.

How do you keep yourself organized with your classes in teaching raw „cooking“, your blog and your leisure time?

I make a schedule and spread out my different projects. It’s all so time consuming some days. I make sure I pencil in lots of quality free time so I can recharge and stay inspired with what I’m doing. It’s easy for food bloggers and recipe writers to burn out.

Thank you very much!