Last weekend I attended a raw vegan workshop on a Melbourne rooftop organised by my beautiful friend Alla Bam, also known as the BERRY QUEEN. I may not be vegan and neither were any of the other attendees but I am all up for experiencing something new and opening my heart and mind to new senses and also, all for supporting my friend's passion and dreams.
Last saturday on a gorgeous sunny roof top, I met with Alla for a lunch workshop in her kitchen. Her kitchen is her studio where she experiments, develops and creates beautiful dishes, it is where her passion lies. She showed me an insight to her disciplined yet very creative raw vegan diet. Again I am not a vegan or was Alla at all trying to convert us, but after the workshop we tasted her delicious, creative, beautifully presented yet simple and very healthy meals and I think I could eat like a a vegan at least one meal a day with those recipes she has invented!
Alla started the workshop making a mouth-watering sour cherry smoothie that she normally drinks for breakfast, then made us some berry/coconut ice-cream.. with shock to us all no cream or dairy!?! Yes it tasted creamy from the frozen bananas and oh oh so delicious! I mean if you can eat this type of ice-cream for breakfast than 'AMEN, i believe', call me Vegan!! After that she made us raw vegan tacos, in lettuce cup leaves served with cauliflower rice and for the mince substitute it was a blend of (from the top of my head) soaked sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, walnuts, tamari sauce, miso paste, tahini, garlic and fresh herbs. Can I just tell you, it was so delicious I didn't even get time to take a picture! It was in all of our mouths so quickly that even one of the meat eater males there gave it his thumbs up approval!!
And if all that wasn't enough, Alla made us peanut butter cups for dessert! Seriously they are guilt free, I watched her put all the ingredients together and there is nothing in it that you need to 'run the tan' about!
After the workshop, I actually felt SUPER! My tummy was full, happy, satisfied and comfortable! No bloating or uneasy-ness at all. All the vegan food I have ever tried before were quite 'sad' and tasteless, but if I could prepare these tantalising delicious meals using Alla's recipes I could easily be a raw-vegan a couple times a week!
Ok maybe spoke to soon... Later that night I went to meet a visiting friend at Supernormal for some slow cooked lamb...lol... so it will be a slow process but injecting a good balance diet, experimenting and seeing what works for you is what Alla is about! Making small changes and listening to what your body needs and giving it the right fuel that makes your body happy is most important as every body is unique! But after this weekend, I could definitely jump out of bed every morning to drink one of her delicious smoothies every day!
Besides being a creative raw vegan chef, Alla is currently an Early Childhood Educator. She also has an impressive background working as an International Model in Paris, Asia, South Africa, the Middle East and Australia. She has a passion for life, health, well being, yoga, pilates hiking, art, raw vegan lifestyle and is also a hair and make up artist (using all cruelty-free products).
Here are a few jaw dropping pictures of her stunning self...
Alla is the trifecta: exquisitely elegant, beautiful and intelligent. She wears her heart on her sleeve and her passion for well being is infectious! It was so wonderful to see her radiate and in her element, talking about her life and sharing her passion for raw veganism and delish recipes with us!
Follow her on instagram as @theberryqueen to see her gallery of raw-vegan food porn and recipes that are simply mouth-watering!
Below are some of my favorite ingredients Alla uses.
TRY THIS AT HOME
RECIPE: Super green smoothie with extra MAGNESIUM boost!
When I am busy on tour, those late nights and touring conditions somehow affects my diet. Without having my own kitchen handy plus late nights from dancing all day...etc... I find it quite challenging to eat well and get those crucial green veggies in! Alla has personalized me a special green smoothie recipe that I would like to share with you whether you are training as a professional dancer, athlete or just health conscious and want to feel fabulous! Here is the recipe with an extra magnesium boost that I asked for, to eliminate cramping and give your body that extra bounce!
Blend : For 2 serves
2-3 ripe bananas
1-2 frozen bananas
handful of spinach
handful of coconut flakes
handful of fresh mint leaves
1 tsp mesquite powder
1-2 tsp of super greens powder
1/3 tsp of matcha maiden (or other brand of matcha tea)
a pinch of vanilla
coconut water or filtered water to cover half of the ingredients
And PRESTO.... You can top up your smoothie for creative and treat purposes... Alla's favorite topping are berries, coconut flakes and cocoa nibs!
Beach photo Alla wears:
Jeans from LEVIS
Jumper from ETAM
Photographed by Craig Abbott.
KITCHEN / STUDIO STYLE
Top from MARKS & SPENCERS
Apron from LA DELLE
Skirt from ZARA
All workshop photos photographed by Natasha Kusen.