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— October 4, 2019

Fully Raw Kristina

By Corinne Gaffner Garcia
  • Social media influencer Kristina Carrillo-Bucaram has turned her raw vegan lifestyle into her life’s mission.
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If there is an example of someone who is healthy from the inside out, Kristina Carrillo-Bucaram is it.

Check out one of her videos on her FullyRawKristina YouTube channel, which has more than 1 million subscribers, and be prepared to binge-watch a bunch more.

Perhaps it’s the mix of a bubbly, exuberant personality plus her bright smile, shining complexion, mermaid-like hair and glimmering eyes (which she says changed color after she went raw vegan—I recommend that episode!), but there’s no doubt that her choice to follow a 100% raw vegan diet is working for Carrillo-Bucaram. And it will make you wonder if, perhaps, a raw vegan diet could work for you, too.

Kristina is an exemplar of how a healthy eating plan, if done right, has the potential to heal the body and cure diseases. At 16, she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. She eventually decided to try a raw vegan diet.

Adopting a raw vegan lifestyle allowed Kristina Carrillo-Bucaram to reverse her diabetes—and gave her a life purpose. Click To Tweet

“By 19 or 20, I had reversed it,” she says. “I started eating raw around 18 and immediately felt better. It completely changed my life.”

What is Raw Veganism?

Kristina explains that vegans avoid animal products in their diets, typically for reasons of either ethics or health, sometimes both.

A raw diet is typically based on plants, although some people include raw fish and eggs. The idea of going raw is to preserve nutrients; Kristina explains that the cooking process changes the food’s chemical makeup, reducing most of the vitamins and minerals.

Kristina combined these two diets. “Raw vegan is taking the best care of your health while taking animal rights into consideration, and the environment,” she explains. The raw vegan diet consists of eating only fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds in their raw form.

Sounds extreme or out of reach?

On her YouTube channel, Kristina features “What I Ate Today” videos, in which she goes through her daily meal plan in order to show viewers that this lifestyle is not only doable, but also delicious. Kristina typical day is based on three main meals, and often consists of fresh green juice in the morning, a smoothie or fruit plate for lunch and a giant rainbow salad for dinner.

The variety of recipes that she covers online range from juices—such as her “Secret SoulShine Juice,” “Real V-8 Juice” and “Anti-Cancer Green Juice”—to other surprisingly diverse ones, such as pasta with cinnamon-beet-basil marinara, a fully raw Tex-Mex–style burrito and a raw fettuccine alfredo. And there is room for dessert in Kristina’s raw vegan world, with recipes for pie, cherry cobbler and a banana ice cream float.

Fully Raw Kristina's YouTube videos show viewers that adopting a raw vegan diet is a viable option. Click To Tweet

Asked about her sources of protein aside from nuts and seeds, Kristina says, “Typically in a raw vegan lifestyle, fruits are good source and others come from the greens: cabbage, kale, herbs, cilantro, parsley, oregano. If it’s green it’s good. I’ve been doing this for 14 years and have never felt better. I sleep better, have better digestion, better energy.”

Spreading the Word

When she decided to go raw vegan, Kristina started a farmers’ market at Rice University where she was attending school. The idea was to be able to make organic fruits and vegetables available and affordable to students. “I also wanted to be healthy and feed my family without paying ridiculous prices,” she notes.

From the relationships that she had built with farmers, Kristina’s business evolved into a grocery co-op, Rawfully Organic, that at one point served more than 50,000 people in the Houston area.

Initially, Kristina created her YouTube channel to teach people in her co-op how to eat the fruits and vegetables they were receiving.

“The channel grew from that,” she explains. “I had people from all over the world who wanted to learn how to eat this way. People wanted to go raw vegan for so many reasons, and I wanted people to find this gift.”

Fully Raw Kristina's raw-vegan vision grew from a grocery co-op into a YouTube channel with more than 1 million subscribers. Click To Tweet

Spreading the word about what she had learned about the raw vegan lifestyle became Kristina’s main motivation. With more and more followers, she eventually developed a variety of subscription-based raw vegan cleanses and challenges, a coaching program, an app and retreats.

Kristina also began public speaking and collaborating with other brands. In 2016, she released The Fully Raw Diet: 21 Days to Better Health, with Meal and Exercise Plans, Tips, and 75 Recipes (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).

“I try as many options as possible to reach people,” she says. “My message is consistent: I want to feed people good information for the body, mind and spirit.”

Is Raw Vegan for You?

Kristina has followers around the world who are dealing with ailments such as diabetes, Crohn’s disease, cancer, gut issues, obesity, acne and constipation; others are just looking for the right detox diet or for a healthy change. She also interacts with mothers of girls with eating disorders and parents who are in search of someone to inspire their daughters.

Her advice for those who want to dip their toes in and see if this lifestyle is a fit?

“The number one tip is to start by eating one raw vegan meal per day: a juice, a smoothie, a fruit platter or a salad,” Kristina says. “Or even try a meatless Monday. There are enough recipes on my app and website, and in my book, that you can easily find something.

“And from there, you work on two per day, work on awakening yourself, and expanding your consciousness, to transform your life but to also possibly transform the people around you, too.”

How do you go raw vegan? Simple—start with one meal a day. Click To Tweet

What started as a way to heal herself has evolved into a global outreach to help heal others.

That has made Kristina one of the largest social media influencers representing the raw vegan movement. She was named the “Raw Food Proselytizer” on Greatist.com’s list of the 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness, and has been featured in numerous online and print publications.

And as her social media following continues to expand, Kristina plans to keep spreading the word, potentially holding more retreats in more countries. Kristina believes that what you eat helps determine who you are.

“Just by cleaning up your diet, you can feel better and impact so many things,” she says. “It unlocks these doors; what you consume has a huge impact on how you think and feel. All around, I just feel like a healthier person, and spiritually it has also changed my life.”

Kristina calls this a “beautiful, sweet-and-savory summer salad to end your day right!”

  • 2 heaping handfuls baby spinach
  • 1 large handful spring mix
  • 4 small plums
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 2 cups heirloom tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 handful fresh basil leaves
  • 1 handful walnuts
  • 1 handful pistachios
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • ½1/2 tbsp JADA Spices Original Chicken Salt*

1. Place the baby spinach and spring mix in a large bowl; add more if you desire.
2. Slice the plums and strawberries thinly, and place in the salad; add the sliced tomatoes. Dice the basil and sprinkle the walnuts and pistachios on top (crush smaller if you wish).
3. Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar (or apple cider vinegar if you prefer) and sprinkle with the chicken salt.

*A vegan product that is also Paleo friendly.

Kristina says this “colorful, sweet salad” makes a satisfying dinner and that it was inspired by fashion YouTuber Mimi Ikonn.

  • 1 medium red bell pepper
  • 1 medium orange bell pepper
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper
  • 1 medium green bell pepper
  • 2 cups sliced mango
  • 1 handful snap peas
  • 1 handful green beans
  • 1 handful Brazil nuts, whole or chopped
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp raw nama shoyu*
  • 1 tbsp cilantro
  • 1 pinch Jada spices red pepper chicken salt

1. Slice all the peppers into thin strips and place in a bowl. Add in mango, snap peas, green beans and Brazil nuts.
2. In a small bowl, add the lime juice, shoyu, cilantro and Jada spice (or spice of your choice). Drizzle over the salad and mix in. For best results, allow to marinate 1 to 2 hours.
*Raw, unpasteurized soy sauce

Yield: 5-20 rolls Avocado Spread

  • 2 medium ripe avocados, skinned and pitted
  • 2 stalks green onion
  • ¼ cup raw hemp seeds
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1 handful fresh basil leaves Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender, and blend until smooth. Roll Assembly.
  • 2 large cucumbers
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1 medium rainbow bell pepper
  • 1 handful of cilantro (optional)
  • 2 stalks green onion

About FullyRaw Kristina

Kristina Carrillo-Bucaram, AKA “FullyRaw Kristina,” is a writer, speaker and raw vegan activist who educates and guides people who are ready to take control of their health, and experience the compassionate lifestyle one can achieve by living FullyRaw. After switching to her raw vegan lifestyle and winning her battle over Type II Diabetes she is on a mission to share what she learned with others. Kristina carries one of the largest social media platforms  for vegans and health activists around the globe. FullyRaw by Kristina offers solutions for people in all walks of life and for all budgets. Kristina can be found on popular social media platforms like Instagram, YouTube and Facebook. Her book, The Fully Raw Diet, is available on amazon.com.

 

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