Jason’s creations are sexy for sure, but surprisingly wholesome and nutritional – a flirtatious fling without the morning-after guilt.
And he’s freakin’ hilarious, to boot!
(Think of him as the James Bond of the raw food world, channeling an Austin Powers flair).
Today we’re kickin’ off our 30 Day Raw Food Challenge, Wrobel style. Get ready to get your veggies on!
How did you first get interested in raw foods/health/nutrition?
Growing up in Detroit, Michigan, I became interesting in vegetarian foods in my late teens after seeing some health issues arise in my family.
After watching “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and investigating Mad Cow Disease, I became vegan in 1998 for ethical and health reasons. Truthfully, I was a junk food vegan until 2004, when I started to question if I was truly eating a healthy vegan diet. I started experimenting with more raw food recipes and ingredients and was amazed by the difference.
Going to the Living Light Culinary Arts Institute in 2005, really started me on my path of becoming a professional raw vegan chef, health educator, and public speaker. Since then, life has been healthier and more amazing than I could have ever imagined.
What are some of the benefits you’ve seen in your own life from eating raw?
When I made the transition from primarily processed vegan food to more whole, raw organic foods, I noticed and felt a variety of changes. First, my energy levels went through the roof. I really had to adjust my lifestyle to doing more physical activities to channel all the newfound energy. My skin cleared up – I haven’t had any issues with breakouts or acne since. My weight stabilized and my digestion improved, too. Overall, it had a turbo boosting effect on my life – more energy, more clarity, better skin and a better body.
You seem to be a big proponent of superfoods. What are some of your favorite superfoods to use and why?
Superfoods are a great way to supplement a healthy, balanced, whole food vegan diet with mineral-rich, nutritionally-dense foods. My favorite go-to superfoods are Goji Berries, Raw Cacao, Baobab Powder, Noni Fruit, Maca Powder, Camu Camu, Hemp Seeds and Quinoa. I incorporate them into my existing recipes and create everything from smoothies and elixirs to granola, desserts, pastas and healthy savory dishes.
I found that adding superfoods to my lifestyle has allowed me to shift from focusing on the volume of foods I eat, to focusing on the nutritional density of the ingredients. Simply put, I’m getting more benefits and nutrition from eating LESS amounts of food now.
How did you get into YouTube vlogging?
My YouTube channel came about in July 2009 after friends and mentors kept telling me that I had to start showcasing my presentation abilities, knowledge, and comedy, along with healthy raw vegan recipes. Since then, I’ve been steadily growing my online presence and it’s helped me secure my first television show on a major network. YouTube videos were absolutely key to growing my brand and getting my name out to the world.
How have raw foods changed your life?
It’s given me a focus and direction to channel my talents, my love for food, performing, and nutrition and has provided me an outlet to speak to thousands (and soon millions) of people about the importance of a plant-based, vegan, high-raw lifestyle for our personal health, animal rights and the health of our planet.
Raw foods have infused my life with so much joy, energy, love, and brilliance – it’s like rocket fuel for my dreams!
What role does food play in spirituality, for you?
I think that eating closer to the earth, closer to nature, and as gently as possible has given me a deeper connection to a feeling of interconnectedness with all living things. By gradually transitioning toward a plant-based, organic vegan, raw food lifestyle – I’ve had the opportunity to look at how my actions, thoughts, feelings, words, and deeds affect other people, other animals, and this planet. It’s given me a greater sense of being, of purpose and, most of all, empowerment.
I know that I am directly influencing and changing the world for the better – and having a blast inspiring others to do the same.
Who have been some of your greatest inspirations/teachers on this path?
There are so many! Gary Yourofsky, one of the most amazing vegan educators and lecturers on the planet showed me I could be out in the public eye, sharing my message with fearlessness and passion. Cherie Soria, who took me under her wing in culinary school and inspired me to greatness (and who also told me I should be on TV!) Elaina Love, still my favorite raw food teacher and instructor of all time. Matthew Kenney, who I worked with in New York City for a short time – he taught me poise, leadership and trusting my instincts in the kitchen. And honestly, most of all, my mother, Susan, who taught me to have fun in the kitchen, to honor my connection with the earth and to be generous with my time, my knowledge and my food. Now this is starting to feel like an Oscar acceptance speech!
Tell us a bit about your new raw food ventures (TV show?)
I can’t tell you everything right now. What I can share is that I have a TV show on The Cooking Channel debuting in January 2013. It’s going to be the first TV program on a major cable network highlighting the longevity and anti-aging benefits of plant-based raw and vegan foods. I CAN tell you that there’s never been a show like this before. Think comedy sitcom meets cooking show meets man-on-the-street interviews. With some celebs thrown in for spice. It’s going to be incredible.
What is your favorite raw food recipe?
That’s like picking my favorite song or favorite book (oh wait, I’m actually doing that below!) Tough question here. I suppose the one I’m craving most right now is my Superfood Pad Thai Noodles. It’s spicy, sweet, creamy, and crunchy with the perfect al dente kelp noodles and tons of traditional Thai spices. It’s one of my classic recipes. You can find the recipe demo for the noodles on my YouTube channel:http://www.youtube.com/user/JasonWrobelTV/videos
How can people help support what you’re doing?
Thanks for asking! Following me on social media networks like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr and Pinterest. Also – subscribing to my YouTube Channel – The J-Wro Show. And, of course, watching my new TV show on The Cooking Channel when it debuts in January 2013. Oh – and I’m always up for receiving samples of other people’s raw food products. I LOVE how many people are making incredible vegan and raw foods to share on the store shelves. It’s truly inspiring to witness the creativity.
You’re stranded on an island with only one book, which book would it be?
“Reflections on the Art of Living” by Joseph Campbell. I’ve read it more times than any other book in my life. It always has new treasures waiting for me.
Private concert – who’s playing?
Prince. And he invites me up to sing “Darling Nikki” and “I Feel For You” and then we share some gluten-free mac n’ cheese after the show. Next birthday, maybe?
Being on my deathbed and feeling like I didn’t live the life I wanted to… or didn’t fully live my dreams.
“Hallelujah” by Jeff Buckley. It stirs feelings of wonder, awe, love and a bittersweet longing for something or someone. It’s haunting beauty never ceases to move me and stir my soul.
Closed-mindedness. Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage… and curiosity. Oh, yes, and loud talkers. For God’s sake – we hear you loud and clear.
Best meal you ever ate?
I simply can’t pick one. It’s a toss-up between Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago, Terre a Terre in Brighton, UK and the first time I ate at Pure Food and Wine in New York City. Those are the kind of epic, mind-blowing meals that I will remember forever and have set the bar even higher for me as a chef and artist.
“Jason Andrew Wrobel is a world-renowned leader in organic raw vegan cuisine, culinary education and health entertainment. He is a graduate of the Living Light Culinary Arts Institute and is nationally certified as a Raw Food Chef and Culinary Instructor.
Hollywood celebs such as Woody Harrelson, Jeremy Piven, Robin Wright, Sigourney Weaver, John C. Reilly, Steve Buscemi, Isabelle Adjani, Oren Moverman and Russell Simmons have raved about his healthy, innovative and delicious plant-based creations.
As a live speaker known for his empowering, passionate and comedic delivery, he has shared the stage with wellness luminaries and bestselling authors such as John Robbins, David Wolfe, Kevin Trudeau, Donna Gates, Dr. Joseph Mercola, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Ron Teeguarden and Kathy Freston.
His first DVD, Simple Vegan Classics, is an international bestseller. Thousands of people worldwide have learned how to prepare easy and nutritious raw vegan foods with this entertaining and educational guide. He is also the host of The J-Wro Show® on YouTube, showcasing healthy recipes, lifestyle transformation tips and culinary comedy.
Stay tuned for his new television show, How to Live to 100, debuting on The Cooking Channel in January 2013.
Visit JasonWrobel.com to check out his recipe demo videos, e-books, recipes, health tips, video blogs and upcoming live appearance dates.