Leah Salmon CMTA BSY. Nutri. Founder of Davidel.com has been working in the world of
complementary health and nutrition for over 9 years. She has taught seminars, run children’s workshops on simple healthy food preparation and smoothie making, been interviewed on local and national radio stations and written articles for several national magazines and newspapers on many aspects of health, nutrition and diet.
Leah’s professional achievements to date include becoming a Certified Metabolic Typing Advisor, holding diplomas in Nutrition, Herbalism, Holistic Diagnostic Techniques and Iridology from The British School of Yoga and she’s a Level Two Reiju and Sekhem Healer through Sharma Pillay of Divinity Healing.
In recent years, she has become more involve in raw food, attending trainings, workshops and retreats, as well as implementing more raw and live foods into her own family’s life. Client testimonials and feedback from her seminars and workshops show that Leah’s friendly, direct and informative approach allow her clients and audience, to not only understand how their body reacts to food, but also how they can make achievable steps to long lasting health.
1. Your first book, "The Ultimate You" opens with a quote "If the doctors of today don't become nutritionists, the doctors of tomorrow will be nutritionists." Can you tell us how that quote motivated you to become a healer?
Firstly, I’m not sure I would call myself a healer, as much as a coach who helps people to use their foods, nature and learning to listen to their own bodies to heal themselves, but back to the question! It motivated me to do the work I do, because as a teenager, I was faced with a health problem that I didn’t want to get treated by a doctor, because from my previous experiences with them, I knew they couldn’t help me. In the quest to try and cure myself, I started studying herbal medicine, iridology, massage, aromatherapy and finally settled in natural nutrition, which is where I found this quote. It confirmed to me that if I REALLY wanted to be able to help people to heal themselves, as I had done from myself, I had to be able to help them get right the one thing they did every day, 3, 4, 5 times a day, which was eating.
It all starts from there, and when I discovered that the very people whose hands we put our health, spent a few weeks learning about diet, I also knew that they were the last people I would ever go to for my health maintenance. But how could I discourage people from going to them to maintain their health, without giving people an alternative that works, so I became the alternative, always discovering new natural ways to help people help themselves to better health.
2. How did "The Ultimate You" come to life? I love that it's a holistic healing book that allows readers to re-align every area of their lives.
Thanks for the feedback, it’s great to hear. Whilst I was learning about health, it became a little overwhelming. There seemed to be hundreds of huge changes that I need to make to my life before I could start to feel a difference, But the reality was that making and committing to small regular changes was what lead to the success I experienced in my health. A big part of being holistic is creating a balance in your life, so only concentrating on one area and paying no attention to the others won’t get you very far in the long run, but improving all areas of your life, in small manageable steps can give you great results.
3. The book is a 39-week plan to change people's lives. Have you had people offer testimonies of their finishing the entire 39 weeks, and how had their lives changed?
I’ve had some lovely feedback from people reading the whole book in a night and implementing the steps right away. Maybe I underestimated some people’s ability for change! The book was meant to give people small steps they could implement on a weekly basis, but many people have found the steps so easy to implement, that they try 3 or 4 of them at a time and feel totally different in just a few short weeks. Whilst others have let me know that working though the steps has taken them longer than a week, but they are enjoying the gradual feeling of improvement with minimal effort.
4. Leah's Raw Food Feast is your newest book. Can you tell my readers about it?
Yes, I’d love to! When I first got into raw foods, the gold standard seemed to be going 100% raw full time overnight and for me this didn’t happen at all, As most of us, I had stacks of books and recipes, but putting it all together was a little challenging, even for the Naturally You Coach!!! But I still really enjoyed the benefits of raw live foods and wanted to find a way to incorporate it into my life in a more manageable way. So I decided to try and go 100% raw for 9 days a month and see if I could handle that (along with including 50% more raw to my diet in between). This worked a treat for me, and what helped even more was when I found someone’s meal plan for a day that I could adapt to my tastes. So I decided to help anyone else out there who wanted to experience being 100% raw for a shorter period of time, with a variety of plans they could choose to follow, PLUS the recipes for all the foods on the plans. It’s a fail-safe book for getting it right first time with raw foods, that you can easily extended depending on how you go.
5. You write about Metabolic Typing in Leah's Raw Food Feast. Can you explain it, and how a person's type affects what type of raw food diet she should eat?
In the same way we all have different fingerprints, we all also, on a biochemical level (i.e. right down to our cells) have different requirements for nutrients and a different balance of macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats). There is no ‘One-Size-Fits-All’ diet that everyone can follow and be healthy, otherwise everyone that tried the Atkins diet would have been successful on it, everyone that tried the zone diet would be in the zone and loving it and everyone who tried the South beach diet would have a South Beach body. But what actually happens is, some people will have great success with these diets, others will feel no different and others will actually feel worse.
There are universal guidelines that apply to us all (drink plenty of water, avoid poisons like msg, aspartame, trans fans etc) but apart from that, we are unique and the world is a better place for it.
In short there are roughly 3 different types you can be ( you use a detailed but simple questionnaire to determine your type), a protein type who does better on high levels of proteins and fats, a carbohydrate type that thrives on higher levels of carbs in their diet and a mixed or balanced type who needs a good balance of proteins, carbs and fats to feel great. So if you’re a protein type and try to eat a raw vegan diet mainly comprised of fruits, salad vegetables, grains and greens, you may struggle. Similarly, if you are a carbohydrate type (as I am) and you try to eat a raw vegan diet mainly made up of nut milks, seaweeds, oils, avocado and higher protein veg like mushrooms, sweet corn and olives (as I did) you will struggle. This is why in my book I give special meal plans dedicated to proteins lovers and carbohydrate lovers, so once you discover your type you can thrive on raw foods using a plan for you.
6. How does you husband, children, and family feel about your raw lifestyle? Hubby’s a grown man, so he makes his own decision as to what he want s to eat on any given day, but as time goes by, he seems to be getting more and more into eating higher levels of raw foods. I aim to give my children 3 raw meals a day most days and wholesome snacks which works well for them. I have noticed their health improve the more raw foods they eat, they are much more conscious of what foods are wholesome and which ones aren’t and they really enjoy helping me make the desserts and choosing fruits and veg at the supermarket. They have their favourite cooked and raw foods, the like being able to request their favourite snacks and actually get them!!!. I won’t enforce any lifestyle on them they don’t want, so if they ask for more cooked food when they are older (they are all under 6 now) then that’s fine. But the variety, vibrancy and life in the foods they eat now makes meals times interesting.
7. Where do you see your business in 5 years?
By then, I aim to have at least 5 products to help more people get healthy naturally, I’d also like to more actively help younger children and adults learn more about incorporating natural living into their lives and the importance of it. Many live a life they think they have to (they can’t afford to eat healthy, they don’t know what to do with whole foods etc) so I want to show them how easy it can be to live like our ancestors, not relying on fake processed foods and practices and building good health at the same time. I’d love to have a Naturally You Education Centre where people can come to learn and experience naturally healthy living, on a charitable basis.
8. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In Africa, living on a wide expansive plot of land, that bears rich organic fruits and vegetables, not far from a small lake in case we feel like fresh fish once in a while. Enjoying my family, the sun, nature and all the wondrous gifts the ancestors bestow on us.
9. Do you have parting words for The Raw Mocha Angel readers?
Be You and Know You. You are unique and beautiful, don’t try to be a like anyone else, or expect your body to function like anyone else’s. Get in tune with yourself so you can understand and respond to the signals your body give you, so you can become in control of yourself and your health.
Two lucky people will win! One (1) person wins a copy of the ebook Leah's Raw Food Feast. Another lucky person (1) wins a copy of the ebook The Ultimate You!
- Leave a comment at the end of this post. Answer the questions, "What's the best raw food or drink you have ever had? (Share the recipe if you know it.) And tell me which book you would like to win!"
- Post your comment by 11:59pm EST, Thursday, July 15, 2010.
-All comments are moderated because I get a lot of comments in Chinese. If you have an email account you can comment. If you have trouble, send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- I will pick the winner at random. The winners will receive an email from me on Friday, July 16, 2010. I will announce the two winners on The Raw Mocha Angel blog on that same day.
- Good luck!