An interview with raw food blogger, Sean Evans, at the Fruit Winter meet-up in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
How did you find out about Fruit Winter?
How important is diet and lifestyle to you? Do you have a particular health regime?
Diet and lifestyle are very important to me. I’ve spent a lot of time and money in the search for the best diet for me. I found that raw, living foods made me feel the best. Before this diet I experimented with a Paleo diet which included grass-fed meat and grass-fed butter. My love for animals and the environment made it a clear choice for me to stop eating animals and consuming animal products. Now I am eat fruit in the morning and afternoon and will eat some cooked rice or noodles and vegetables in the evening. Yesterday I started a coconut water fast which I hope to continue for at least 21 days.
What was it like when you transitioned to this lifestyle?
Transitioning to this lifestyle was easy for me. I love fresh fruits and vegetables and I enjoy juicing and blending and dehydrating. I experienced more energy and less problems with digestion. My skin cleared up without the need for harsh chemicals topically or internally. After a month of eating this way I felt like I was no longer a hypocrite. I love animals and worked as a veterinary technician for five years in Austin, Texas and yet I ate them just like most people do. Now I feel I have a deeper connection with animals and more respect for myself.
What were you like before / what changes did you see?
Before I changed to this lifestyle I thought I had a very healthy diet. I cooked for myself almost daily and included a lot of cooked vegetables, salads and fruit. I really enjoyed the taste of most meat and cooked steaks and seafood regularly. When I began to research the raw vegan lifestyle I read that most people don’t really enjoy the taste of meat. Rather, it’s the salt and seasonings that are enjoyable and addictive. When I stopped eating meat I no longer felt exhausted after large meals. I felt lighter and more alive.
What did you think about this year’s Fruit Winter?
This was my first Fruit Winter. I arrived a day early and actually ended up staying in a treehouse on the Fruit House property. The Fruit House is a resort location that Conor, the founder of Fruit Winter, rented out for the 10 days of the festival. I was one of the 30 lucky people who paid to stay at the Fruit House to experience a 24 hour community up close and personal with like-minded individuals from all over the world and of all ages. I believe 30 people stayed this year.
Fruit Winter was free for everyone to attend. Conor posted the meet-up information so everyone could be a part of every single group activity. The only exclusive activities we had at the fruit house were our opening and closing circles which were important for everyone staying at the resort to get to know one another and, at the end, get some feedback and closure , a chance to say goodbye.
This year we had some amazing activities. We went rock climbing, swam in a quarry, explored a beautiful cave, swam in waters from a hot spring, danced at a nightclub high on fruit sugars only, went to the lake, enjoyed a vegan buffet together, climbed up to the temples at Doi Suthep, etc.
Why is important to meet with like minds?
It’s so important to meet with like-minded people. The sense of community and understanding and support are vital to creating a firm foundation on which to thrive in this lifestyle. Sitting around and eating 6 papayas with friends who are doing the same is amazing. Nobody is asking where I get my protein from or criticizing me for eating healthy, raw foods ! When you eat living foods, you feel alive. Something about it opens your heart and seeks out connections with others who value the animals and value the environment. I truly believe that we’re in a new age now of love and connection. The animal kingdom is showing us this with so many interspecies friendships that we thought were impossible before. People are seeking health and vitality and raw, living foods are the top of the mountain where these things are concerned. When we cook things we kill all that is good in them. Pasteurization has made it possible for products to be stored safely for long periods of time and that’s great in an environment of lack and fear but the process kills vital enzymes and nutrients and render foods dead and of little to no value. It’s not hard to understand, then, that people who eat dead food and toxic chemicals can not be functioning at anything close to their potential mentally and physically. People who eat living foods are full of the nutrition we are meant to experience and are, therefore, happier healthier people.
What do you think about Chiang Mai in general and as the venue for Fruit Winter?
I absolutely love Chiang Mai. It’s perfect for Fruit Winter. Conor fell in love with this place and that is why Fruit Winter is here. He wanted to share his love and discoveries with others. Chiang Mai has many places that cater to vegans and vegetarians. I soon discovered that the foods without meat and animal products in them were the most mouth-watering things in the world here. I’ve learned a lot about food here and have even taken a cooking class at Morning Glory, a restaurant specializing in vegetarian food. There is absolutely zero need to torture, pump full of vaccines, hormones and antibiotics and kill animals for our food. Nature provides the nutrition and pleasure we need to be strong and satisfied.
Would you come back again?
I will indeed be here for Fruit Winter 2016. It’s been the most incredible experience I’ve had in many years. From the first moment I felt like I was at home with these people and I’ve made lifelong friends I’ll never forget. I’m so grateful to Conor McMillen for creating this festival and for being the authentic, beautiful person and friend that he is.
Check out Sean’s site Raw Joy and Abundance where he blogs and vlogs about his diet and lifestyle.