How to Throw a Raw Food Event Everyone Will Love! - Raw Food Magazine

How to Throw a Raw Food Event Everyone Will Love!

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Love dinner parties? Or outdoor barbeques? Or any excuse to gather with friends and family and eat delicious food?

Join us as Laura Fox, founder of the Best of Raw Awards and the Pure Living Expo, teaches us how to start your own successful raw food event.

Sara-Grove-Raw-Food-Magzine-Co-founder

 

Sara Grove: Welcome to another interview with Raw Food Magazine. My name is Sara Grove and I’ll be your host for today. And today I have a guest that I am extremely excited about. She’s the founder of the Best of Raw Awards and The Raw Living Expo and this year, the Pure Living Expo, which happens every year in Sedona Arizona. She’s been organizing events and retreats and leading, healing, and writing about raw foods and holistic health for many, many years now—so we are so glad to welcome today Laura Fox, who gets to talk to us a little bit about raw food events and community support and how you can get involved in something like that on your own, or even take the next step and organize something like that in your area if there’s not anything that currently exist. So thank you so much for being here; welcome Laura.

Laura-Fox

 

Laura Fox: Well, thank you so much for having me in your magazine and for this interview. I’m so grateful and this is a really fun topic for me, since I have been doing events since 2001 for raw foods in particular.

 

Sara Grove: Wow! I’m so glad to have you here and talk to you. So tell us a little bit about when raw food came into your life? Was that a thing, did you grow up eating raw food?

Laura Fox: It was a thing. It was a thing (both laugh). It’s an interesting story. I had grown up like many people in this country; I have to say I don’t know of anybody who is quite as addicted as I was, but I was a total sugar junky. I was the kind of little girl who, when somebody wasn’t watching, was in the refrigerator digging into the ice cream or eating Little Debbie after Little Debbie or chew bowls of Captain Crunch cereal or eat other people’s cake at school, you know (both laugh). I was sort of a little food addict, but particularly sugar and flour products and things like that, and it’s really sad to grow up like that, not having anybody really noticing or tracking you. Basically by the time I was a teenager, I started noticing. I was like, “Dude, there has to be a better way with food.” Something just did not feel right.

Sara Grove: Right.

Laura Fox: So I started going for whole-wheat pasta you know, which was the best thing I could reach for as a teenager, or like vegetables, things like that. At that point of course, even just whole-wheat pasta everybody thought that was nuts. It was like, “What are you doing? That’s so gross.” (Both laugh)

Sara Grove: Yeah.

Laura Fox: So sort knew about needing to change it, but I didn’t necessary know what it was until I was in my late 20s actually and I started finding out about and eating healthier. So I started eating a more healthy vegan diet when I was in my teens and 20s, and I kind of went back and forth and back and forth. But I pretty much knew about vegetables. I knew about, you know—

Sara Grove: —-Yeah. (Laughs) “These things are supposed to be good for me.”

Laura Fox: Yes. I worked the health food store but the idea of raw hadn’t even occurred to me other than just eating a salad every now and then, and of course a lot of the time it was iceberg lettuce.

Sara Grove: (Laughs)

Laura Fox: But I finally came across Queen Afua’s books on cleansing your gut, and I also read the Essence Gospels of Peace. Even after I read the Essene Gospels, it still didn’t occur to me that one could go 100 percent raw foodist. It was just kind of like, “Oh, I need to clean my gut” because by my late 20s I felt like I was going to basically die if I didn’t clean my bit and my gut. So I started doing the cleansing, and that helped a lot. That helped a huge amount, and I did more and more organic and vegetables and all these things. Then in ’96, I kind of stabilized, and at that point I was the leanest I’d been in my life, but I was kind of on a paleo diet. I didn’t even know if I knew about paleo, but I eating greens, like salads, and chicken for some reason.

Sara Grove: Right. So you kind of just naturally evolved to that?

Laura Fox: And then at that point…somebody handed me Juliano’s rawlian cookbook, and it has beautiful pictures.

Sara Grove: Right.

Laura Fox: It’s unique, and I started trying some of the recipes in it, and that’s when I actually saw from what he wrote there that, “Oh, there’s actually a movement about this and there are actually people who eat raw.”

Sara Grove: (Laughs)

Laura Fox: “Ah, I could actually be a raw foodist,” isn’t that interesting.

Sara Grove: (Laughs)

Laura Fox: Interestingly, I didn’t say, “Cool, I’m jumping on the bandwagon and I’m going to get healthy and I’m going to nip everything in the bud.” I basically said, “I guess if I ever get sick I’ll go raw.” (Both laugh)

Sara Grove: Right.

Laura Fox: I think a lot of us default to that. I mean, I encourage people to change their diet before they get sick; it’s way more fun.

Sara Grove: Oh absolutely. I mean, I was the same until I started learning about health and nutrition because I have family members and friends whose health was falling apart, so I started changing my diet as a way to support the changes that they were having to make. When I would make choices I knew weren’t the best for me I’d be like, “Oh well, I guess this is my luxury for not being sick.” I did this instead of realizing the opportunity that I was missing. Why wait?

Laura Fox: Right. Exactly. So finally, by 2001 I had had a second child and I really was starting to feel sick. I was having headaches for four and five days in a row. I was probably really dehydrated. I was hypoglycemic and I just didn’t feel good. So I finally got sick and tired of being sick and tired, and that was the impetus. So I was like, “Alright. I’m noticing now that I’m sick and so I’m going to go raw.” (Both laugh) I kept to my commitments. I remembered that commitment to myself and I was like, “Oh, I guess that’s what time it is.” (Both laugh)

Sara Grove: Yeah, it did happen, alright. (Laughs) You’re good.

Laura Fox: Within 24 hours of the decision, someone came: a house coach, Robert, I can’t remember his last name. Robert, if you’re out there: “Hi, and thank you.”

Sara Grove: (Laughs)

Laura Fox: He came and helped me. He was a fitness coach and a raw coach, and he really helped me with that whole transition, including the fitness and shortly thereafter as a natural teacher. I started teaching, just teaching classes at my local unity church where we created the Richmond Raw Food’s meet up. I started learning first obliviously.

Sara Grove: Right.

Laura Fox: Gourmet raw food prep. One of the things I started doing was I got a lasagna video, you know on a video cassette—we are talking back in the day here, right.

Sara Grove: (Laughs)

Laura Fox: So I learned how to make that, and I got Rio’s rawlian cookbook and I started making recipes. Then it just started to catch on because I’m naturally good in the kitchen anyway. So I stated making recipes up and bringing them to people, and they loved them so much that they started asking me to teach. We started doing that and unity brought—

Sara Grove: —So when you were first learning about raw food and when you had that moment where you were like, “Alright, I’m sick now, I’m doing it,” what did your family and friends think initially?

Laura Fox: So with my family, I was in a situation where they weren’t really going to go all raw with me or anything. My husband at the time was annoyed enough at having to be gluten free, which we were a few years earlier.

Sara Grove: (Laughs) Right.

Laura Fox: He was gluten intolerant and that was part of a deciphering process of this whole thing; you know, I was figuring that out. But I was doing a double life where I was practically cooking a different set of meals for each person in the house. I was eating raw, my kids were eating kid food and my husband was eating what we were formerly eating. So I was making all kinds of different foods for different people, and I was committed to it myself so I stuck to my guns. Then whenever I would make a raw dish, I would include it on the table when we were having a gathering of some kind, and everybody loved it and they would taste it—and that’s when they started encouraging me to do more.

Sara Grove: Right. So in your area and in your life, you know, you were the kind of the epicenter, you didn’t have raw friends and communities and meet-ups that were already existing.

Laura Fox: That’s right. We created it from scratch.

Sara Grove: That is so interesting. The very first one you did was at your church?

Laura Fox: I did a lot of teaching at the Church Unity of Richmond. If anybody is from Richmond, Virginia, I used to do Unity Raw Kitchen there. I would go on Easter and make a big Easter feast of all raw foods, and people would literally run down the stairs to try to make sure that they got the crackers or the raw cake or whatever. (Laughs)

Sara Grove: That’s so neat, they just loved it.

Laura Fox: They loved it, yeah.

Sara Grove: And how did you picture it. Did you think, “Oh I’m going to be making these raw foods,” or did you just make it and share with people and not really tell them what it was?

Laura Fox: I was talking about it at that time and as I became a teacher, I was having classes where we would make a meal and I would explain why we going raw, what this is about and really encourage people to try it. And at the same time, I would be at a party or something and say, “Hey, this is—”

Sara Grove: “—-Here is what I brought.”

Laura Fox: Raw food is fun. Yeah. (Both laugh)

Sara Grove: What are some of the staple things that you would first share that people were most receptive to?

Laura Fox: Some of the things I started making first were a sunflower pate from Rio that was like a sunflower tuna in a colored wrap; that was a popular one. And also, taking the spiralizer and making spaghetti noodles out of zucchini and then making a fresh, raw pasta out of sun-dried and fresh tomatoes and basil and all that.

Sara Grove: Oh yum!

Laura Fox: And then the zucchini soup is another, I did that one here as well. These are some staples that are so easy to make and so delicious and so hearty that it’s a no-brainer basically. (Both laugh)

Sara Grove: And people loved it. So what was you first motivation to make food for people and start hosting and taking food to your church?

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Laura Fox: Sure.

Sara Grove: What compelled you?

Laura Fox: I mean, I guess it’s because I just sort of have teaching in my blood; that’s what and who I am. I’m a teacher in this lifetime. That’s my natural state of being and so when I’m learning something new that’s helpful, they also call it wolf medicine like in the native traditions, I’m a wolf medicine person; the wolf medicine person is always looking for new medicine and then sharing it with the people, because that’s just who we are. That’s what we do, so when I find something helpful, I’m like, “Oh my God! I want to share this because…”

Sara Grove: Right, “I gotta tell people.”

Laura Fox: It’s like design. (Both laugh).

Sara Grove: Right, I imagined people in your community started coming to you with more questions and—-

Laura Fox: —-Yeah, absolutely. I would hold classes and meet-ups. We started the Richmond Raw Living Meetup I think it’s called, and it still exists today. I’m not sure how active it is because I don’t live there anymore, but we had a really, good strong run, and I’m pretty sure it’s still going. So we would have gathering where we would have a potluck and then have some kind of a speaker; then I would do something else, where either I would talk about it or somebody else would talk about something; but then there were classes where I was actually teaching people all the recipes I learned how to make, like the whole meals. I designed it around meals, so you would buy a ticket—usually it was really inexpensive at that time—and you would come to the class and we actually learned by making the meal. One of my favorites to do was the raw spaghetti dish, and then some kind of a pie, a fruit pie or an avocado wine pie or a key lime pie or something like that; then some kind of a fancy salad with salad dressing or a side dish. Maybe some raw meatballs in the dehydrator.

Sara Grove: I love that.

Laura Fox: Yeah. I would usually make an alfredo sauce and a red sauce, and it’s just like a ridiculously delicious meal, like insanely delicious, with all the fresh, raw ingredients and herbs and stuff. I have a knack for making raw food taste really, really good, like making it pop, you know.

Sara Grove: Right.

Laura Fox: Flavors pop.

Sara Grove: And so it opens people’s eyes so you know you have that preconceive notion that all raw food is bland or it’s just eating celery stalks (both laugh) that’s (both laugh).

Laura Fox: Exactly.

Sara Grove: Which I actually love now. Go figure. I can eat lots of celery sticks. (Laugh) If you told me that 10 years ago, I would have laughed at you. But yeah, that’s really neat. When you first started hosting and planning these events, what was your main focus going into it?

Laura Fox: My main focus was to have people have an experience of the creativity of making the food. So I would pretty much make up the recipe as I was going along. Like I’d go get groceries and have an idea of what we were doing, then I’d be like, “Oh, let’s do this, then let’s add that and let’s add this,” because that’s also how I am as a creative chef; I’ll just keep messing with it until it tastes awesome.

Sara Grove: Right.

Laura Fox: And then people would force me to write the recipe, like, “Could you please? Laura, you have to write this down okay?”

Sara Grove: (Laughs)

Laura Fox: So that’s how it started accumulating to where I actually had a list of recipes. (Laughs)

Sara Grove: Right. That’s so neat and fun. And out of curiosity, just to bring it back, you said that as a young person you struggled a lot with food addiction, especially sugar which I know so many of us have. Did you find those types of issues carrying into your life with raw food as well?

Laura Fox: That’s a great question. I’m so glad you asked that Sara because, yes. (Both laugh) I had a period where I actually started realizing, “Oh, even the raw sugar and the dates things like that could cause trouble.” So I had a period where I was all about date nut crust and sweet smoothies and using lots of honey, and it’s gone back and forth within my career as a raw foodist.  (Both laugh)

Sara Grove: Right.

Laura Fox: And the challenges caused by our former habits of eating, it may take a really long time to heal, and each of us might have a different need for how to do that. But you know I realized that I needed to get off the sugar, even in raw food, and that was good—-but then my marriage ended at certain point and I was dating a young man and I started making him all kinds of yummy delicious dehydrator goods again, so sweets cracked back in there.

Sara Grove: (Laughs) Right.

Laura Fox: It was years before I revisited and was like, “Oh my God, I’m on the sugar again. Wait, what do I do?” (Laughs)

Sara Grove: Yeah.

Laura Fox: A lot of our teachers with raw living at the expo—now it’s called the Pure Living Expo—they talk about a low glycemic diet; that’s Dr. Cousins, Elaina Love, Dr. Pepper Young, even Victoria Zelinski, they don’t eat fruits, neither does Gabriel. It’s like you’re not chowing down on sugar every day, you’re trying to get proteins and healthy stuff. I definitely know that that’s for me, that gravitating towards that and sticking with it is something that takes time. “Don’t give up on yourself” I guess is what I would say to people. I’m a champion of this lifestyle and I’ve also had my struggles in this, what is it now, 14-year period where I haven’t been 100 percent raw and I go back to those kind of things where the sugars creep back in again. Now some people can thrive on a fruitarian diet; Dr. Cousins says that his research indicates that there are certain people whose bodies, literally their DNA, is actually adjusted to like a full-on fruit sugar diet. Most of us are going to need more of a high-protein diet with some of the healthy fats. But even too many of the healthy fats isn’t not optimal either, so there is this balance that has to go on. And the other interesting thing about fruitarian versus a more savory or low glycemic diet is if it’s not seasonal in your neighborhood, it may be really hard to get fruits or stick with fruits in the winter, and with the fruit diet, for those that it works for like some of our teachers—Chris Kendal and Christina Korio—they really eliminate the fat and nuts to the largest degree. So my theory is that it’s a process of elimination, like if you add all the sugar in with the nuts and the seeds and and the vegetables and all that, then you might get a little bit in trouble because the stick; the sugars become stickier because of those other foods, whereas if you’re just on fruit it can slide through easier. So some of it has to do more with food combining than whether one way is right or wrong.

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Sara Grove: Right, yeah. And I think that’s so important to keep in mind because that can be an overwhelming part. You think, “Oh great I’m gonna eat raw foods and it’s as simple as that,” and then all of a sudden you’re opened up to this whole other world of “what kind of raw foodist am I going to be? Am I going to be the 80/10/10? Am I going to be fruitarian? Am I going to eat just all green juices?” I love that it is a balancing act and there’s not one right ultimate way, and you you said you’ve experimented and found over years and years what makes your body the happiest.

Laura Fox: Exactly.

Sara Grove: You gotta stick with that.

Laura Fox: It’s ongoing. It’s an ongoing experimentation because bodies change too. Because I’m 51 years old now you know, which means I’m going through that change of life that all women go through at some point, and so that brings in a whole other set of issues to deal with: your body size, shape, and weight change, and it’s a bit of nuisance and it’s frustrating, but you just have to deal with that too. [You might have somebody who] had a healthy diet all their life and a good strong metabolism and never cracked out on sugar as much as I did and went raw, and maybe they’re not experiencing the same kind of menopausal issues that I’m experiencing with weight gain, but a lot of people might; they might feel like “Oh my God I’m all raw, why is this happening?” We just have to be gentle with ourselves and understand.

Sara Grove: Right.

Laura Fox: That this body goes into this body and how it works—we don’t even begin to understand that (laughs).

Sara Grove: Yeah. There absolutely is. Now I love that message, it’s great to keep in mind. So, with all of this, have you found out that for your life and your relationship with food and your changing habits, have the communities that you’ve built been an integral part of that? Would you encourage people to have support like that? What has that looked like for you?

Laura Fox: I mean, our food, with all the temptations in our culture, it’s crucial to have a support system to keep yourself on a healthy diet. I mean for some people for whom food is just not that big a deal, it might just be a no-brainer. It’s like, “Oh whatever, I just eat what I want and I just eat raw and never have weight problems and I never have a problem staying raw.” There are people like that, but those of us who’ve had addiction issues and who are tempted by comfort foods or have a big social life, it’s important to have those regular potlucks and to bring that community together just to encourage their minds to think in a certain way and keep being refreshed on new dishes and new ideas for how to do it. Ultimately, I think how to get a community is to have a big community kitchen, and people live in their own little nests around it but they all support each other with growing food and having food. To me that’s the idea that I’m moving towards (laughs).

Sara Grove: Right. I love that. I’ve always thought of that would be like my ideal living situation. That’s really neat.

Laura Fox: We could support each other with the food and with the fitness and everything else.

Sara Grove: Absolutely. For me growing up in the South, food is a very big center of family and community, so I think that’s why this topic is so fascinating to me, because when I started making healthier choices, I noticed that if I went over to someone’s house and they’re like, “Oh I just made these fresh cinnamon rolls,” and you’re like, “Oh, no thank you,” they’re really offended. I had a friend at the time who was training for a triathlon and he’d be like, “Oh no thanks, I’m training for the Iron Man right now, I can’t; do you have any peanut butter and celery?” And I was like, “Wait what?” He’s making the same choices but they totally respect his choices, so I started signing up for races, like, “Oh like I’m training for this race so…” (Laughs) Part of that was me growing into my own confidence and decisions, but I think you do fine when you participate in something like this and you can celebrate your decisions and your food with other people that are also celebrating it. It can be a very empowering thing.

Laura Fox: Totally. And one really good thing to do, because I don’t know if you had this phase but many of us have the phase where we are trying to convince everybody else that they need to go raw. (Both laugh) That can be disastrous basically. (Both laugh) So I think the solution to that is just like, bring some raw cinnamon rolls and say, “Hey, guess what, try this out. We’re being creative with some fun dishes.” Just add them in. You don’t even necessarily say, “Well, I’m not eating that,” you just like put it out on the buffet table and you take that and maybe some salad or you put an avocado on your plate. You don’t even have to broach the subject really.

Sara Grove: Right.

Laura Fox: It’s like, what is it like to be at the potluck and not really—that’s part of what I started realizing; it’s like community and gatherings, not making it so food-centric anymore, but making it about hanging out with the people. There were phases when I was cleansing and doing this hardcore stuff, getting into raw food, where I couldn’t eat anything at these gatherings or when we went out to dinner, and I just decided that I was making these events about getting to know these people and not about the food. And that was really cool. I mean it’s really cool to be in that social moment where it’s like, “Wow, who is this person?” Not that you don’t do that anyway, but I really had a kind of epiphany about it. It’s not about the food, it’s about the people. You’re just communing with the people and you don’t want to offend anybody if you can. I mean, some people are going to be offended anyway but…

Sara Grove: Yeah.

Laura Fox: But it’s not our intention obviously. So that’s where the idea of adding more, like, “Sara, here, I’ve brought some dishes for you to try,” and then if people get curious about them, you can tell them more. “Oh, it looks like you’re having only certain things on your plate.” Oh yeah, I’m a raw foodist.” (Both laugh)

Sara Grove: Right.

Laura Fox: So the more gentle approach can sometimes actually end up making people feel more comfortable so that maybe they want to find out what that recipe was and start adding more to their diet.

Sara Grove: Yeah. People do tend to be a lot more receptive when it’s not being thrown at them.

Laura Fox: Exactly.

Sara Grove: But I love what you said about keeping these things about the people and about the community, and that the food is a part of our lives but it shouldn’t always be our main focus. And I know because after being at the Raw Living Expo in Sedona a few years ago… Well first of all, tell us about that. That’s like your main even right now, and it’s coming up this summer. Tell us a little bit about what that is and how you first if put it together and what you envision as the Pure Living Expo.

Laura Fox: Absolutely! It started in 2013 as the Raw Living Expo in Sedona, and the second year the Raw Living Expo took place in Thousand Oaks, California, and the third year we are back in Sedona at the Hilton. And the Pure Living Expo, that name is more pertinent to what we were just saying. It is very relatable to what we were just talking about Sara, because Joe down the street who is still eating biscuits and gravy for breakfast, he might not come to the expo—but if he has been in pain or thinking about how to improve his diet, Pure Living Expo is going to be the perfect place.  He’ll be like, “Oh what’s that?” (Laughs) And we’re not about being the food police and we’re not about trying to make everybody change. We’re about, “Hey, what’s the next upgrade you can have in your life? What’s the next upgrade that your mom might be able to get, or your family members, and how can you bring them into a situation where they’d actually become receptive to these ideas?” And to me, the conversation around organic and non-GMO and healing the soil and learning how to grow our own foods, to me that’s equally as important as the rest of the conversation around raw and living foods at this point.  And let’s face it, some people are not going to go 100 percent raw in this lifetime; that just might not be their path.  But if we can encourage them to maybe add more raw organic foods to their diet or maybe start growing their own garden, or if they know somebody who is really sick who needs a cleanse, send them to one of our doctors or one of earth’s therapists that comes and teaches at the expo.

Sara Grove:  Right.

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Laura Fox: Then we’re really expanding and including and transcending any sort of limited notions about how a person has to be in the world.  Now for those who are 100 percent raw and into raw foods, the event is totally in support of that, and most if not all of our teachers are talking from that raw foods perspective, the living foods perspective, when we’re talking about food. We still are a living foods-based event, and now we’re in the conversation, “If you’re going to be a vegan and you’re not all raw, how do you do that in a healthy way?”

Sara Grove:  Right.

Laura Fox: How do you start creating a compost so you can create healthy soil and these kinds of things?  Does that make sense?

Sara Grove:  Yeah!  Absolutely, I mean it’s such a healthy conversation and such good topics. I don’t know, because you generally find people that are wanting to make improvements to their diet and when you have an openness to positive change in one area of your life, you are more likely to have an openness to change in all the areas as well. You’re kind of looking for that, and it’s pure living, and food is a part of that. You’re really looking to upgrade your quality of life and downgrade your negative impact on the world. You really want to be aware of how you are affecting the people and environment around you, and yeah, it’s a great place for those conversations.

Laura Fox: And some people are ill with things like diabetes but they don’t know raw from a hole in the ground.

Sara Grove:  Right.

Laura Fox: They don’t know what it is when you say it. And then other people are suffering from cancer but they’re really attached to their regular diet.  So we want the conversation to be open to these people so that they can find the tools for the level that they’re looking to change from.

Sara Grove:  Right.

Laura Fox: And that way, let’s say this could be a supportive tool for what we might call the choir. It’s like the choir is definitely crucial to this whole thing, like the people who get that this is definitely for you as well, because this is your community gathering to support the world really.

Sara Grove:  Right.

Laura Fox: To support all the people who are now going to come in and have an influx. It’s like the more and more people who are already modelling ways coming in and being participants to the events will just add to that whole field of energy that will vibrate and support everybody into that shift.

Sara Grove:  Right, right. That’s so beautiful. And so what are some things like that going on during the expo or in your events that you host? Is there any mindset that you take into it or activities that you do to increase group cohesion or really focus on people and the relationships that are being built?

Laura Fox: That’s a great question. (Laughs) I love that, it’s now getting into my favorite part of all of it, you know. I do a lot of visualization and energy work in advance to visualize and imagine that everyone who is coming is having the most amazing experience. I spend time visualizing each person connecting with the teachers or the friends or the network or the new business partner or whatever it is they need to move their life forward in whatever way is most powerful for them. And that is another one of our tracks at the Pure Living Expo: personal empowerment. Our tag line is “Rejuvenate, cleanse, empower.” And we know that food is part of helping with personal transformation and activation and personal empowerment to where each person who comes is going to completely live in their dream and their dharma and get their life to the next level—in all ways, not just with food, but again, the food supports it. You have mineralization; you have the wherewithal, you have the healthy facts in your diet, you have these things that are going to support good brain function and lymph flow and all these things that do your work.

Sara Grove:  (Laughs)

Laura Fox:  Let’s face it, at this time on the planet it’s time for each of us to show up and be supported and bring in our particular work. And our particular work may not be what society thinks we ought to be doing or what out mom and dad thought we ought to be doing or what we think we should be doing; it might be something completely different.

Sara Grove:  Right.

Laura Fox:  It’s kind of its scary, again, like you were saying earlier, making a food change.  It’s scary making a lifestyle change and a career change as well. A lot of people are not satisfied working at jobs that don’t really feel like they’re giving any benefit to the planet. And we were supporting people in making that shift to a career path or life path or artistic path that really supports them in fully being themselves. And so in light of that the visualization work in advance is to imagine that all the people that really need this conference are gonna be there. They’re gonna find moving need; they’re gonna find the resources, they’re gonna find ways to connect with the network, they’re gonna have the most empowered experience, they’re gonna find just the right information for them. So the intention is for absolute activation and empowerment.  And so all of that pre-paving as we might call it really pays off. When I went to the event the last two years, there were people weeping. There were hundreds of people coming up to me saying, “Oh my gosh, this is the most awesome event in my life. It has changed my life.” And for some that’s the icing on the cake of right there.

Sara Grove:  Right.

Laura Fox:  That’s the money; for me, that’s what I’m looking for. (Laughs)

Sara Grove:  No, that’s a beautiful testament to hear, what you’re really going for in putting these things together. I love that. You spend that time to imagine and to prepare and to plan and keep that in mind, when you’re probably doing all the thousands, hundreds of thousands, of tiny details to actually get the something like this off the ground. (Laughs)

Laura Fox:  Oh yeah, it a huge undertaking.

Sara Grove:  I can only imagine.

Laura Fox:  We are going to be selecting a very select handful of superhero-Jedi-activator-volunteers who want to help. We’re going to be handpicking people this year for the volunteer team. So there is that opportunity, and for a few people who want to get involved, one type of mentorship is to see how it is that you do something like this. (Laughs)

Sara Grove:  Right. (Laughs) Yeah! If someone is really interested in that and being of service, how can they find out about that opportunity?

Laura Fox:  They should just go to the website and click the Contact button and send me an email; they’ll send an email and click Volunteer.

Sara Grove:  Right.

Laura Fox:  And for people who want to get a ticket, we can offer a special Raw Mag 10 discount code for 10 percent off any tickets.

Sara Grove:  Oh wonderful! That would be awesome. So everyone that’s listening, where should they go online to go get a ticket to the Pure Living Expo?

Laura Fox:  If you go to purelivingexpo.com, you can see the orange register button is dotted throughout the front page; you just click on that and then you can put your code in, and that would be Raw Mag and the number 10.

Sara Grove Beautiful, and that is in Sedona, Arizona, and what are the dates?

Laura Fox:  July 23rd to the 27th. You were asking about what we may be doing at the event itself. We like to have networking activities and gatherings and parties and things like that to support community, so this year we have a VIP party on Thursday nights for those who have selected a VIP ticket for our speakers and sponsors. And that comes along with a whole lot of goodies like the VIP lounge and front row seating and that kind of thing. So people who want the really full experience might want to grab a VIP ticket. The regular ticket includes all of the programming, but we also have evening shows: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. We might even have an additional thing on Thursday night for people who aren’t part of the VIP experience.  But we try to have the activities that bring everybody together so that they can get to know each other and just hang out at the event before and after; you’re going to meet people by nature. Our emcees know how to make sure that people will meet each other, like, “Stand up and meet your neighbour” kinds of things in between the shows, and also in our experiential workshops, we have two rooms with a lot of that activity where you end up meeting new friends. And then we also have our Pure Living Café which is new this year, where we have a chef designing the full menu of delicious raw and living foods and a couple of quinoa dishes; ne quinoa dish and one dessert has brown rice, a really special wild rice from I think the Great Lakes area. So there are a couple options if people are tip-toeing their way into this.

Sara Grove:  Right.

Laura Fox: They can feel a little more at ease there. Then the rest will be raw, and we will have some raw ice creams and desserts and juices, fresh juices.

Sara Grove: That’s awesome, so exciting!

Laura Fox: Yeah, custom super-food smoothies, yeah.

Sara Grove:  That’s so neat. And what for you personally is your favorite part of hosting a raw food event?

Laura Fox: My absolute favorite part is being there and seeing the joy of everyone connecting with each other. Bringing people together, that’s my favorite part, and obviously sharing wisdom. For me, I’m talking more on the more esoteric side of life, the more visioning, get your dharma on, get your mission on, reality creation types of profits. I love to share in that wisdom with people as well. And I have a number of books that are getting ready to come out with that also.

Sara Grove:  How exciting. What should we look out for?

Laura Fox: There is one called “Loves with Springs: A on Authentic Spiritual Development.” And then there are a number of others, and I’m not really sure which one is going to hit first.

Sara Grove:  (Laughs)

Laura Fox: There is one on collaborative visioning and another. So when you mentioned the word “cohesion,” before, that’s what that’s about. It’s how so we co-create through the resident field.

Sara Grove: That’s so exciting. I’ll have to keep in touch with you on that and when those things are hitting the market.

Laura Fox: Absolutely.

Sara Grove:  I want to mention again and remind people about the Pure Living Expo, because I think this will be such a fabulous experience for anyone who has been looking for greater communities or doing something experiential in their path to change their choices and up the level a little bit in their quality of life. But I also would love to touch on and hear your advice for someone… The average person is not going to wake up one day and being like, “Oh, I’m going to start a national expo that’s going to go…” You know, they’re them, but I would love to hear if you have any advice for someone who is thinking about organizing an event or potluck in their area, and what sorts of things are most important to keep in mind when starting your first one.

Laura Fox: Absolutely. That’s a great question. Building community is obviously one of the things that I think is the most important. So having people create local gatherings is super, super important, and the meetup system is awesome. I highly, highly, highly encourage everybody to go right now. Go on meetup.com and search your local zip code for raw food or living food or health food meetups. And if you don’t have one, if there isn’t one there already, go ahead and be bold and create a group. There are probably others looking for that raw food, living food, vegan health food, whatever is your passion, meetup in your area. Like Boulder, they used to call it the Boulder Raw Super Foodies or something like that.

Sara Grove:  Ooh! That’s cute.

Laura Fox: There are some great groups there. But that system allows you to very easily gather people and start collecting. People will find just form the meetup system and then just schedule your first potluck. Now if it’s totally new in your neighbourhood, make a little flyer. If you have a friend who knows how to do graphic design, make a flyer, stick it up on the bulletin boards in the health food store; send out an email to your friends saying, “Hey if you know anybody who is interested please let them know. Here are the dates and times, here is the flyer, here is the meetup link; have them come join the meetup site and sign up to come.” And you just start building it from there. Usually I recommend having a Facebook page as well, and then from that Facebook page for your meetup group, you want to create a Facebook event; what that means is you’re going to have two sets of RSVPs: one from Facebook and one from meetup. I encourage people on Facebook to sign up and RSVP on the meetup site, but it doesn’t always happen, so you might want to pass around a list during your meetup, too. Usually the best format for a meetup is to have a potluck. You ask people if for any guidelines; if you’re a no sugar, please write your ingredients on a note card; or if you have any special guidelines that you want to give people in your group, just put that right in the meetup description and start with the dinner, the potluck. Maybe the potluck starts at 6:00 and at 7:00 have some kind of activity, whether it’s a group share about your health experience, or if you’re going to bring in a local speaker or if you personally are going to share some wisdom, that’s usually a pretty good way to do it. Then you have like an hour or 45-minute presentation with everybody still nibbling or hanging out, and then they go home.

Sara Grove: I love that. So between meetup.com and putting together the Facebook page and doing the Facebook event, having a potluck, sharing, having speakers, is a great first way to get your foot in the door and get started, get something rolling in the area. I love that. So there are some fears that come to mind that I hear a lot of people say when they think about spearheading the movement and making their own event, so I’m curious if you’ve ever struggled with any of these. What kind of advice you would give to someone? One that comes to mind is, “Oh, you know, I barely know that much about it myself. I don’t think I’m the right person to get them started.”

Laura Fox:  Oh! Yeah, so.

Sara Grove:  (Laughs)

Laura Fox:  It’s like this little maverick back in 1981, or ‘91, 2000 and… What am I saying?  Just go out there and be like, “Hey, let’s just do this thing.” And it takes a certain personality and that is my personality, but you can ride on that wave if you want.  Just like, “Hey, Laura Fox did it, so I can do it.”

Sara Grove:  (Laughs) Right, exactly.

Laura Fox:  It’s just like, you don’t have to do it in an extroverted manner. Like if you’re a more behind-the-scenes person or a curious person, then the thing to do would be be the organizer and invite in experts to talk. Like you say, “Okay, like I’ve had a party before, I can totally set up this meetup and invite people to come, and then I can call my local nutritionist who’s into raw foods and asked them to come out and give us some advice.” Or maybe just call somebody who knows how to do composting in town and ask them to come. See, you can still remain behind-the-scenes if you want, and some people just prefer that.

Sara Grove:  And then the other things that come to mind, I know like a huge fear of anyone wanting to do an event is, “What if no one comes? Or what if people come and they hate it?’

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Laura Fox:  These are the kinds of things where our consciousness is in the lead, and it’s one of the things that we have to learn that what we’ve been taught is a little bit backwards. We think that we’re out here at the affected world, and the truth is, the world is out there out of effect of us. And that doesn’t mean that just because we now know this all of a sudden everything is going to change. This is a lot of what I write about in these books and things like that. Basically, decide what you want and then just tune into it and use the power of visualization. So let’s say that fear came up. “Wait a second, what did Laura Fox say when she was talking to Sara? She said I should sit down and just do a little meditation where I just imagine lots and lots of people coming to the event. And I imagine what it would feel I if it was awesome. It was truly the most exciting event I was ever at.” And just spend some time in the energy of that acts like. Imagine what it actually feels like. Now if you actually can do it and you actually get to that place where you feel it as if it’s already happening, then what’s going to happen next is the right people, places, and things who are going to make that occur in time and space are going to start showing up. And the right ideas are going to start showing up in your mind, and you might go to bed that night and wake up in the morning knowing how to act to make it a success that you want it to be.  There are a lot of factors in events so it can be risky, but if you’re really feeling drawn and called to do it, then use the power of the inner technology that you already have. This incredible bio-computer is your physical vessel and your spirit working through that. Leverage the power of your imagination so that you can cause the right thoughts and the right energies and the right people to be drawn to you to make it the success that you want.

Sara Grove: I love that. I really love that. I think that’s amazing advice. I have heard athletes talk to similar things, that if they meditate on the success of what they imagine their experience feeling like when they achieve the goal that they are striving for, if you can imagine it in such clarity, you can feel it and see it, then their doubts slip away because they’ve created such a sense of certainty.

Laura Fox: Jim Carrey the actor, I don’t know if you’re heard the story about him.

Sara Grove: No, what’s that Jim Carrey story?

Laura Fox: Jim Carey wrote himself a check for a million dollars and then walked up to the Hollywood sign with that check and imagined himself being a famous actor.

Sara Grove: Really? I love that.

Laura Fox: And Whoopi Goldberg was living out of her car until her big break and she was like, “Dude this is happening.” And she just did everything she could to be, went to the auditions and made her way to LA and finally had a breakthrough. Cameron Diaz used to lie in her bed imagining what it would be like to be a movie star. That’s really what it is. Now if you imagine Cameron Diaz laying there as a teenager imagining what it like to be a movie star, she wasn’t attached to it, she wasn’t worried about it; she was just dreaming.

Sara Grove: Right.

Laura Fox: And that’s the magic right there. The less attached we are to the outcome and the more we rest on knowing that all is well and enjoy the experience of this visualization, you literally come into the vibration of that which you’re thinking about. And it will start manifesting. Now it is not necessarily like that because of the way our minds are already framed towards other thoughts. It can feel like work or it can feel like it takes a little doing to get to that place, because the power of our thoughts has already kind of been steered with momentum in a certain direction. We have to, because they are to be another momentum in the other direction we want. So it’s not like “Bam,” all of a sudden it’s done; it takes practice, it takes cultivation, but you can start with little things, you know.

Sara Grove:  Yeah! (Laughs)

Laura Fox: I don’t care how many people come. I just want them all to be happy and have a great time. And then I want the next one to be bigger, you know.

Sara Grove: Right, right. I love that, great. The power of intention, it’s a great reminder, and also what it does is it’s not just overnight, it takes consistency to retrain your thoughts and your patterns of thinking that you may have established your entire childhood, your entire life. So I love that. Well I hope for people listening, if they’ve felt prodded to start their own group or do a raw potluck in their area that they have some direction and some encouragement to be able to go do that. And maybe if you’re listening to this and you’re like, “Yeah right! No way, that’s not for me. There’s not a chance I want to start an event,” I really do encourage you to go be a part of one and enjoy the experience and celebrate with other people and learn and make an impact and make some amazing relationships. And one of the ways you can do that is by checking out the Pure Living Expo in Sedona this summer. Just remind us one more time of those details for those listening.

Laura Fox: Thanks for asking; yes, it’s Sedona, Arizona, July 24-27th at the Hilton Sedona Resort and Spa. The website is purelivingexpo.com. And if you live in Minnesota or Wyoming or Virginia, don’t worry about it: A) Sedona is a destination resort, everybody loves to come to Sedona, it’s one of the most beautiful places on the whole planet; and B) people are coming from all over the planet and all over the world and all over the country to this event, so you will not be alone in traveling to the event. There’s everything from camping to staying right there at the Hilton with us and everything in between in terms of accommodation possibilities, and most people fly in for this event. If you want to fly in to Phoenix, Arizona or Flagstaff, with Flagstaff there is a shuttle up from Phoenix, and I believe there is shuttle down from Flagstaff as well. We are also going to have some Monday programs. We have some deep drive for additional, longer workshops and tours for people who want to extend their stay here in Sedona. We also have the famous Chocolate Tree Restaurant that will be open throughout the whole time as well our own Pure Living Café at the expo hall itself. So there are lots of really fun dining options, and there is now a Whole Foods here too. (Both laugh)There is now a Whole Foods here too, and a natural grocer, so people will find that they will feel right at home and feel welcomed in at the beautiful red rocks of Sedona, which are really well known for causing a transformational experience. So we totally welcome you and honor you and can’t wait to hear from you, and feel free to ask questions on the website through the contact form. We look forward to getting this party started.

Sara Grove: Yes, we can’t wait. Well thank you so much for being here today and teaching us and telling us about your experiences. And yes, for anyone reading, I highly recommend the expo. Think about starting your own or at least getting onto meetup.com to see if there already is something going on in your area so you can jump in and get some community support.

Laura Fox:  Absolutely! And community is what we are all about here at Pure Living Expo.  Just remember to grab your code; you can use you code RAWMAG10, all caps, for a 10 percent discount. Come join us and let’s build community.

Sara Grove: Beautiful! Thank you so much Laura.

Laura Fox: Thank you!

 

Connect with Laura

Laura-FoxWe invite you to connect with Laura Fox and let her know what you learned from this interview!  You can find out more about Laura Fox and the Pure Living Expo here:

Web: PureLivingExpo

Facebook: Pure Living Expo Event

Remember, if you would like to experience the Pure Living Expo this summer July 23 – July 27 in Sedona, Arizona, get 10% off your ticket by being part of our awesome Raw Food Magazine community!  Just use the code RAWMAG10 when you are checking out.

We will see you there!

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