Couple finds harmony in raw vegan diet

“Necessity is the mother of invention,” said the famous Greek philosopher Plato.

Susan Park and Tom Armstrong run their business Raw Vegan Source from their Redmond home. The store is also online at rawvegansource.com.

Susan Park and Tom Armstrong run their business Raw Vegan Source from their Redmond home. The store is also online at rawvegansource.com.

Armstrong, Park create online food store, Raw Vegan Source

“Necessity is the mother of invention,” said the famous Greek philosopher Plato.

Redmond’s Tom Armstrong and his wife Susan Park created their home-based and online food store, Raw Vegan Source (www.rawvegansource.com) when their demand for quality raw foods exceeded what they and a small group of friends were able to find close to home.

They’ll take part in Greenfestival08, April 12-13 at the Washington Convention and Trade Center in Seattle. (See greenfestivals.org.)

Armstrong and Park were already vegetarians — eating mostly vegan, eschewing dairy products as well as meat — for more than 25 years before Park was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2004. Surgery and radioactive iodine chemotherapy were proposed. She didn’t want that and decided to look for alternatives.

A visit to the Tree of Life center in Arizona and an introduction to Gabriel Cousens’ book “Rainbow Green Live-Food Cuisine,” inspired Park to switch to a completely raw diet, consisting of fruits, vegetables, live sprouts, sprouted nuts and seeds eaten in their natural, preferably organic state — and prepared foods heated below 118 degrees. Armstrong adopted the same diet soon after.

Nine months later, Park said, she was cancer-free, had gone from a size 12 dress to a size 4 without even trying, and felt better than she had ever felt before. Armstrong also lost weight and felt more energetic and mentally alert, he said.

“We became passionate about this, but (four years ago), a lot of raw foods were only available through the Internet and very expensive,” said Park.

Hollywood’s growing attention to eating raw is helping to create awareness, they noted.

“A lot of movie stars are signing on, because your skin glows and it’s almost impossible to be heavy (when you eat this way),” he continued. But he and Park emphasized the nutritional benefits, saying that cooking removes most vitamins and minerals from what we eat.

Still, the familiar “All-American diet” is big on things like cheeseburgers and milkshakes. How do people who’ve grown up eating this way give up their favorite foods?

“The best way is to just start adding a lot of raw to your diet — add a salad before you eat your steak,” Park suggested. She and Armstrong recommended reading a book called “The China Study” by Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell II as a way to to understand how a raw diet can prevent disease.

At Greenfestival08, they’ll sell many of the products that they ship nationally and sell through a local buyers’ club. Popular items include chocolate macaroons, olives, nuts and a fruit called Gogi berries.

Call (425) 868-2332 to learn more about Raw Vegan Source.


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