A couple months back I was approached by Moein to do an interview for his site, Vegan Ideal World. I was really surprised that this kind of lifestyle was so international, so I wanted to do a reciprocal interview to get some insights into what it’s like eating a Raw Vegan diet and promoting this lifestyle in a country like Iran. His answers were quite fascinating and it’s incredibly encouraging to see just how global Raw Food has become.
How did you first get introduced to raw and vegan food?
Ever since childhood, I’ve always been interested in health and healthy eating. Still, despite not eating fast food or drinking alcohol, in my teenage years I was very unhealthy. From the ages of 16 to 18, I had severe headaches almost everyday, for 2-3 hours. Doctors didn’t do anything for me except prescribe some poisonous pharmaceutical drugs.
So I started to research natural therapies, an found an experienced Iranian raw food activist who lived in the Netherlands. He had treated his kidney diseases with a raw vegan diet 50 years ago. The idea made a lot of sense to me and appealed to me because it didn’t require any chemicals, expensive drugs or surgery.
I found a Raw Food Diet book, started following the diet, and was amazed by the results.
What benefits have you derived from the lifestyle? Physically, Mentally, Emotionally, Spiritually?
My headaches stopped and never came back. I have more energy, I feel more relaxed and I now feel connected to nature, which I didn’t before. I also feel more inclined to explore my spirituality, which I didn’t before.
What do you eat on a day to day basis?
I eat local, seasonal fruits as much as possible. When I was in Malaysia I ate mostly tropical fruit. At home in Iran, Dates and Apple are a big part of my diet, as they are available all year round. I eat lots of big salads with Kale and Celery being two common ingredients.
I love nuts and seeds, and eat them almost everyday, but I try not to eat too much of them as they can be hard to digest.
What are some of the challenges of eating like this in Iran?
Iran has been a heavy meat eating society for decades, So it’s generally not an acceptable idea for people to eat Raw Vegan. In social situations it’s hard for most people to imagine there not being meat! Vegetarian diets aren’t very popular here, and a lot of people haven’t even heard of them.
But now there are more and more people interested in Veganism and Raw Food in Iran, so things are looking up. I struggled with a lot of difficulties at first, so it’s nice to see progress.
How do your friends and family feel about your lifestyle?
At first my family didn’t like it, but after they saw all the benefits I derived from it, they accepted the idea. I also showed them some documentaries and then they even changed their diets and are seeing health improvements.
Some of my friends have come around to the idea but they still think it is very hard to maintain a raw vegan diet.
What’s your favorite Raw Food Recipe?
I’m more focused on the nutritional and awareness aspects of the diet, and am not an experienced chef. I tend to be satisfied with simple foods. I can’t think of one specific recipe that is my favorite, but from a health perspective my favorite recipes are low fat, salt and gluten-free, easy to digest and follow good food combination practices.
How are you spreading your message in Iran?
I’ve written an e-book in Persian that has been downloaded more than 100,000 times!
I also started a Vegan and Health related file download directory in Iran, VeganDownload.Com, which is the first of its kind in my country. There are now more than 100 videos and 30 e-books on there. There is new content almost every day now, and more and more people are becoming interested in this lifestyle.
Are there other Raw Chefs/Nutritionists there that you are working with?
I’m in contact with most of the Raw Food and Vegan nutritionists in Iran, and continue to network so that I can keep spreading the message.
What goals and plans do you have for your business, both online and in Iran?
My goal is to spread my message globally. I’m in the process of having an English book edited, which I hope will be released this summer. I’m looking for sponsors, markets and publishers that can help me get my book into new markets. I want to help everyone in the world become more conscious of what they eat so that they can improve their diet and lifestyle.
I’m also always looking for contributors to my english website, VeganIdealWorld.Com, in a variety of subjects. Anything related to healthy living and consciousness really. Health, Animal Rights, Green Energy, Yoga, Meditation, Exercise, etc.
I’m looking to participate in more Seminars, Conferences and Festivals, both in and outside of Iran.
My ultimate vision is for all humans to help build a healthier world and enjoy peace with all creatures.
Moein Nejad is a 20 year old Raw Vegan Writer, Blogger and Entrepreneur from Iran. He writes in both Persian and English, and travels the world to speak at Vegetarian and Vegan Seminars, Conferences and Festivals. He is always looking for like minded people to collaborate with, so if that is you, shoot him an email: Moin.Ghn@gmail.com
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