Inspiration from a Lifelong Vegetarian
– Writing and Photos

With a 110-year-old friend

I started this blog a few years ago to hopefully inspire others on their path to health; once in awhile I need to recharge and get inspired myself. I am not a raw foodist, but being around all the health-conscious people at Raw Spirit Festival provided just that revitalizing effect.

The setting at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort and Spa in Arizona was amazing and decadent, with desert mountain views, a fancy pool with an innertubing “river,” and a giant Dr. Seuss gingerbread house in the lobby.

I attended one day of the festival, at which many friendly, happy-looking people were in attendance. Many booths shared their raw food products, healing sessions and such, and some highly nutritious foods were for sale.

What probably motivated me the most to continue following a healthy lifestyle was meeting someone who looked great and was totally mentally alert at 110 years old! Bernando LaPallo told me he puts olive oil on his skin daily to avoid wrinkles, avoids stress, and eats organic foods – no meat, but he does eat fish. He was with longevity-focused folks from Akea who have a tasty supplement product that contains superfoods, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and more.

Also enjoyable was the talk by Mimi Kirk, a lovely 73-year-old with a new book of raw food recipes. The festival attendees rang in the New Year by dancing to the Luminaries, who had one song about affirmations and another about kombucha — a refreshing change for hip hop. As the clock struck midnight, Fantuzzi was playing some fun African and other beats.

It is always great to be around like-minded people!