Ever wonder what the life of a raw vegan is like? We’re not trying to make generalizations here, but based on member Dor Heled’s day to day, it’s pretty colorful, delicious and creative.
Dor is a native of Israel and moved to the big city in 2012. When he arrived, he ate just about everything and anything. After some time passed, his body began to respond, as he explained, “like ah”. This prompted a long set of experiments over six months. He first eliminated meat from his diet, eggs and then came dairy. Each time he dropped an animal product, he looked for alternatives. He explained this as a “very intuitive experience”. He would walk the aisles of the little supermarket next to his apartment in Kensington and grab for whatever his body desired. Soon enough, he was spending his Sunday afternoons preparing food for the week, which included pots of rice and beans, quinoa and chickpeas, sweet potatoes and lots of guacamole.
He felt impelled to do all of the things that felt good for his body: riding his bike, establishing a yoga practice and experimenting with weekly 24-hour fasts. Lured to this healthy way of being, he noticed his roommate’s girlfriend making smoothies every morning. It wasn’t just a typical fruit smoothie though; it was full of four, five, six bananas because these sweet fruits are a staple for raw foodies. His intrigue into this raw foodie lifestyle began to expand. He looked into the Woodstock Food Festival, which takes place every summer. Soon enough in August 2014, he was headed upstate to volunteer at the Festival. “For one whole week, there were 500 people all eating fruits and vegetables on acres of land”, explained Dor. In between and amongst farms, the Festival has easy access to an abundance of summer fruits and vegetables. When he returned back to Kensington, he was grounded by the reality that an excess of fruits and vegetables are not available in Brooklyn. His passion for this lifestyle had manifested so much that survival mode kicked in. He was on the hunt to find the tools and resources necessary to thrive as a raw foodie in Brooklyn. He began shopping for his produce at a warehouse just off the Morgan L stop, and he joined a Meetup group called the “Raw Vegan Shop”. This hunt was nothing short of a challenge. Once discovering the Bushwick Food Coop, Dor began to order his produce in bulk quantities. While he has found his flow as a raw foodie in Brooklyn, it continues to be a journey.
Dor’s enthusiasm, bright white pupils and ease made me, the interviewer, want to know exactly what he eats everyday. He is always creating new recipes and trying new staples, but recently it looks a little like this…
• After an early morning of cycling, yoga and a bit of work, his first meal is at noon. It’s a big bowl of fruit rich in water content. In the summer, it’s half of a watermelon and a full honeydew melon. In winter, it’s a green juice of apples and kale.
• Snack is a banana smoothie, bananas or apples.
• Last meal of the day is comprised of lots of vegetables in the form of a big salad, raw pizza or burger patties. For dinner, he likes to get creative with cashew “cheese”, kale and flax crackers and coconut yogurt.
• Dessert is more fruit!
At the end of our conversation, Dor was sure to explain that doing what he loves is more important than his diet. Because when he does what he loves, he feels in tune with himself and therefore food just is a harmonious thing. “Eating particular foods isn’t something that people should get caught up on,” Dor explains, “and there isn’t just one right way to eat for everyone”. What works best for Dor isn’t necessarily what works best for you or for Eckart Tolle (who eats meat), which does not stop Mr. Tolle from being an incredibly talented human being.
Dor is also a pianist and composer. Learn more about him on his website: www.dorheled.com.
Photography by: www.efratka-photography.com