Tara DiPetrillo was bedridden for about a year with a severe case of sciatica (which is severe pain that stems from the back to the legs) before getting back into a more health-conscious lifestyle.
The healthy lifestyle blogger and multimedia/make-up artist started a vegetarian diet when she was 14 years old. “I stayed on the vegetarian path for about six or seven years, not eating seafood for 10. After being in a relationship with a meat eater, I somehow started to eat animals again,” she says.
Since her re-dedication to the raw/vegan lifestyle — along with a hot yoga practice — she says her back feels much better. “My skin looks healthy, young and has that glow. I'm often mistaken for being 10 years younger. I have more energy. Dark circles faded under my eyes. Cellulite, that I started to get while bedridden, began to diminish. My nails are stronger. The list can go on,” she advises.
With that, she also emphasizes that it's not only about the food you eat. Daily exercise and meditation strongly contribute to your overall wellbeing.
Creative Loafing: What does your diet consist of?
Tara DiPetrillo: I consume a mostly raw, organic, vegan diet. I eat a lot of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables as well as grains and nuts. I'm fond of “superfoods” and eat them daily. I also drink a ton of water (preferably alkaline water when possible), fresh-made juices and smoothies.
What is your favorite dish to prepare?
Fruit smoothies are probably my favorite. They are quick, easy, full of nutrition and tasty! I have also been hooked on making a quick bean and veggie salad.
What are the ingredients for the bean and veggie salad?
I gather organic garbanzo beans, tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, broccoli (cut up real small, as it is hard to digest raw), spinach, celery and red onions. I season it with Traders Joe's Everything Seasoning. That has become my new salad dressing. If you let it sit for a while the tomato juice starts to settle to the bottom [it acts] like a dressing.
Where do you buy your food?
I buy my food at Trader Joe's, Healthy Home Market and Earthfare.
What are a few things a person who is trying to eat for optimal health should buy at the grocery store?
Superfoods! They are high in phytonutrient content and are packed with vitality.
What are five things you have to have in your kitchen and/or refrigerator?
Juicer, blender, superfood powders, lots of greens, and fruit are essential.
What is your favorite local restaurant? And, what do you normally order from the menu?
Hands down, Luna's Living Kitchen is my favorite local restaurant. I love everyone in there, and they offer the most delicious living, vegan food. My favorite things to order are the "El Luchador" smoothie, the "Lunasagna" dish and for dessert the chocolate pudding! They also sell alkaline water by the jug.
Are there any great blogs or websites you frequent for advice, information and recipes?
There is an abundance of amazing sites out there: