Saturday, April 14, 2012

Interview #5: Linda Loo


Linda Loo 
Age 33 
Singapore





Linda Loo is truly a raw food pioneer in Southeast Asia.  She is the inspiration behind Light Love Laughter Academy, a yoga studio and raw foods education center that has attracted attention from the local media. Linda is also the author of Raw Creations Singapore, an uncookbook specializing in Asian favorites like Raw Vegan “Ba Cho Mee” (Minced Meat Noodles). She was recently featured on Singapore Channel 5 English News, which you can watch below.

To read more about Linda, go to rawfoodlifestyles.com


1. How long have you been practicing yoga? Did yoga lead you to raw food, raw food to yoga, or did they coincide?
My Yoga experience started in 2003; and I began to study Living Foods in 2006. The 2 journeys converged in 2007 when I noticed a shift in my energy levels when I combined Yoga & Living Foods together.


2. What styles do you practice? Which style do you prefer? Why? Do you practice every day?
Prior to India, I had done Hatha, Bikram & Ashtanga Yoga. The effects were great – fitness, moods and running stamina improved. However, only when I felt the effects of Transformational Yoga in India did I realized that what I knew about Yoga is like bubble on a vast ocean.

Transformation Yoga is a revolutionary way of practicing that integrates Hatha, Pranayama, Raja Yoga & Sound Vibration altogether on one dimension. Developed by my Teacher Swamiji Vidyananda (Founder of Yoga Alliance India/International), Transformational Yoga is simple, but unrivalled in its positive impact.

After practicing consistently, one can expect the following transformations – Improved Physique, Emotional Detoxification, Mental Strength, Crystal Sharp Clarity. 

My Yoga Practice takes place every single day, in the range of 1 hour to 4 hours.


3. How long have you been a raw foodist? What type of raw do you follow now (high fat, low fat, etc).

 My Living Foods Journey has been more than 6 years. I make sure I eat some form of nutrient dense superfoods or high quality green powders, on some days I would do 80/10/10, some days I would do more high fat, at least once a month I would do a juice fast; there is no hard and fast rule. The following is my Food Pyramid that describes the foods I eat.




4. Who has most influenced your diet?
People whom influenced my diet the most include Alissa Cohen (my Living Foods Teacher), Swamiji Vidyananda (he has been vegetarian his whole life!), and famous authors David Wolfe, Gabriel Cousens, Dr Douglas Graham (80/10/10).

5. What was your diet like before raw? Were you vegetarian/vegan?
Before Living Foods, I drank, smoked, ate conventional rich processed foods and junk foods! I could rattle off to you the names of the junk foods off the snack aisles of a supermarket; and I could eat an Oreo biscuit and tell you whether it’s made in Japan, USA or Indonesia J

6. What was your transition to a raw diet like?
The transition was gradual – first I cut out the drinking, then the smoking, then less red meat, then no meat, then no seafood, eventually microbiotic, vegan and finally Living Foods.

7. How has a raw food diet affected your practice? Any benefits? Downsides?
Yoga & Living Foods is an amazing combination! Living Foods enabled my Kundalini energy to awaken in just 2 months of Transformational Yoga in India.
Almond Longan Cream & Jackfruit “Muah Chee, from Linda's book
8. You are the author of an uncookbook of raw Singaporean food, called Raw Creations Singapore. Could give some examples of what kinds of recipes people who aren't familiar with Singapore cuisine could expect to find? What were some of the challenges in recreating familiar tastes and textures?
Some examples are Ondeh Ondeh (traditional Indonesian sweet delicacy), Peanut Butter Ice Cream Cake & Satay Sauce.

The challenge is that Singapore/Chinese Styled Raw Gourmet Foods is a totally unprecedented area; there was nobody to draw reference from when I first began. However, I found that the hardest step was always the first step; after I got into the process of creating Asian/Chinese/Singapore style flavors it became easier. 

10. Do you think you could share a Singaporean recipe with readers? 
Chinese New Year “Yu Sheng”
  • 2 Cup Fresh Shredded Carrots
  • 2 Cup Fresh Shredded Radish
  • 1 Tbs Virgin Coconut Oil
  • 2 Tbs Honey
  • 2 Tsp 5 Spices Powder
  • 3 Tbs White Sesame Seeds
  • ½ Tsp Pepper
  • 2 Green Limes
  • 50 g Teriyaki Sunflower Seeds*
  • 30 g  Curry Flax Crackers
1) Teriyaki Sunflower seeds: Marinate 1 Cup Sunflower seeds in ½ Cup Shoyu & 2 Tbs Sweetener (agave, coconut sugar, or date paste) for 30 min, put to dry in dehydrator at 115 degrees F for 2 days.
Place all ingredients except Flax Crackers in a large mixing bowl & toss until evenly mixed. Break the Flax Crackers onto the Yu Sheng just before serving so that they remain crispy.

9. So you include salt in your diet?
Yes

10. Many yogis follow an Ayurvedic diet. What is your take on the Ayurvedic diet? Is a raw food diet compatible? How do you incorporate Ayurvedic practices into your life?
I think Ayurvedic Diet makes sense; some principles are similar to Living Foods Diet nutrition too. I love the use of spices and natural ingredients that Ayurveda encourages. I'm a kalpha dominant, so I use plenty of ginger and turmeric in recipes & teas to balance my raw food diet. 

10. Do you find any particular fruit, vegetable, or combination affects your practice, either positively or negatively?
 I think it’s not food that affects us; rather it’s our reactions to certain foods. Nothing is ever with the foods.

11. Do you include any other types of exercise in your daily routine, such as jogging or dancing?
 Jogging, dancing, swimming.

12. You mention jogging as one of your other exercises. How often do you jog, and what distances? Many yogis don't run out for fear of stiffness or loss of flexibility. Have you experienced this?
Almost every day, distance between 3km to 10km. Yoga practice MUST increase proportionately with jogging to release built up tension in between joints & muscles.

13. Lastly, let’s play the Island Game, just for fun: You are trapped on an island for the rest of your life. It’s a magical island that grows only 5 types of fruit, but the fruit is always in season and always of top quality. What fruits grow on your island?
Hahaha!
1. Coconuts
2. Papayas
3. Mangoes
4. Durians
5. Mangosteens.

14. What is the best way for people who are interesting in taking a class from you to contact you?
Email to registration@rawfoodlifestyles.com or call 65 65285168 to book a space for our Yoga Smoothie Programs or Living Foods Demo Classes!

You can take a class at Light Love Laughter Academy, 501 Bukit Timah Road #04-02 Singapore 259760

To read more about Linda, go to her site, rawfoodlifestyles.com.

Thanks Linda for taking the time to share your love of yoga and raw food with me!

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