Inspiration from a Lifelong Vegetarian
– Writing and Photos

Joan Jackson weighed 300 pounds about six years ago and said she was “working on diabetes, heart attack and stroke.”  When her son nearly fell down an escalator and she couldn’t move to protect him, she catapulted herself into a lifestyle change, going vegan, organic and mostly raw.  In two years Joan lost 150 pounds, and has kept it off for four years! Today, she is 60-70% raw except for three months a year when cleansing.

After visiting Optimum Health Institute (OHI) a few times, Joan began teaching guests how to make the raw-food lifestyle work once they returned home.  On Saturday afternoons, in her home in San Diego, she teaches students primarily from OHI and all over the country who are detoxifying for 1-3 weeks. Class content includes kitchen/pantry organization, quick and easy raw meals, engaging family and friends in the raw food lifestyle, and work/travel raw. During the week she travels all over the country doing “home visits” to OHI students who need more help transforming their kitchens/pantries.
On Monday nights at Cups Culinary in La Jolla, Joan holds a series of four weekly classes on the raw food lifestyle, primarily to San Diego locals.  I was fortunate to attend the “Raw for Youth and Beauty” portion with a few friends. We all loved the class and were inspired by Joan’s fun, relaxed teaching style and wonderful printed materials, and her sweet, helpful mom. Not to mention the food was delicious and so healthy! We learned how to make noodles from zucchini, with uncooked marinara sauce, shared a great salad with homemade dressing, and made “ice cream” in both vanilla and chocolate with interesting ingredients like cashews, cayenne, and agave syrup. Joan’s onion bread with cashew “cream cheese” was a to-die-for snack!
With the raw food movement growing, we should take advantage of having such an inspirational wealth of knowledge in San Diego. See Joan’s website (link above) and check back for her new website (in the works).