Nelly Reinle-Carayonis a well known name in the European raw food scene. She has been into raw foods for over 10 years, has written 2 books, offers raw food workshops in Germany and her home land France, has a raw cafe and is the organizer of the biggest raw food fair in Europe, Rohvolution (Roh means raw in German, so the German version of rawvolution).
We are very happy that she managed to squeeze an interview with us in, considering all the action in her life 🙂
Hi Nelly great to have you here and thank you so much for letting me question you 🙂 To start with, please introduce your self!
My name is Nelly Reinle-Carayon, I come from France and have lived in Germany for almost 30 years. I’m turning 50 this year and I live in Rheinland-Pfalz near Speyer, where my husband and I founded the raw food company and publishing house “Rohköstlich”. This company consists of four pillars: a raw cafe named BistRoh ®, where we offer raw food dishes, smoothies, cakes, coconuts from Tuesday to Friday, a raw food shop, which offers the same as our online shop, a school for raw food – kulinaRoh ®, where we offer preparation courses, training courses, and raw trainings and we are organizers of the international food fair Rohvolution Vital ®, which takes place in 4 German locations every year. Since February 2013 we also have a holiday apartment available for our speakers, students and holiday guests, on request also with rawlicious breakfast.
How did you start your day today?
🙂 with water. The first thing I consume after getting up in the morning is water. This morning I ate a Chia Pudding, which is not so common. Usually I hardly eat anything until around 10.00 clock, then usually fruit and then work starts.
- When did you become aware of raw foods for the first time and how did you get started?
I discovered raw foods end of 2003, when I wanted to inform myself about weight loss possibilities on the internet. After I had read a lot about it and had ordered my first raw food books online, I changed my diet from one day to the next. I would not necessarily recommend this type of conversion, but for me it was the best solution: all or nothing.
- What do you think is one of the classic mistakes raw beginners make and what advice do you have for a newbie?
Do not drink gallons of smoothies if you do not like them, just because it is told everywhere that it is the alpha and omega. Do not throw everything overboard straight away, but integrate new habits slowly and gradually. Dare to try new things, discover new things. And above all, do not try to convert anyone in your environment, to impose your new diet to everyone whether they want to hear it or not.
- What do you always in the pantry or fridge? – Raw food staples
I always have to have red peppers, lettuce, cashews, dried tomatoes, bananas, ginger, almonds and nori sheets. With that you can quickly satisfy a craving or simple conjure up a quick meal.
- What do you think about fasting? Water / juice
I have found that water fasting is not for me. I do not last very long and become uncomfortable. But juice fasting can work wonders and if i stick with it longer than 3 days, I feel like a new person.
- Do you take any supplements or so-called superfoods?
Dietary supplements are not a part of my diet. I now and then do a quick intensive e.g. with spirulina or maca. But I have no great desire to consume these products. If you see goji berries and hemp as a super food, then yes, I often use hemp seeds in my salads and goji berries, for color and vitamins in my desserts or smoothies.
- What do you think of cacao?
Cacao is a controversial topic. I am convinced that it is addictive and can even lead to insomnia or migraines. However, it also has good properties. Again, in moderation, it can not hurt. One can, for example, mix cacao with carob to mitigate the effect of cacao somehow. But I would never give infants cacao, not under any circumstances.
Every now and then I feel like cacao, then I will make a cacao Cashew milk or a chia pudding but I do not eat too much cacao powder. I prefer a fresh cacao pod every now and then. But I have to be careful there too because I sometimes get heart palpitations after a couple of fresh cacao beans.
- If you ever were 100% raw or are right now, what is your experience when comparing raw vs. 100% not 100%?
When I changed my diet in early 2004, it was, as I said, all or nothing. I have eaten only raw foods for months (I do not like to use percentage, since it is difficult to estimate it at all). I felt so wonderful, full of energy, cheerful and at the same time balanced and in my center. Then there were phases where I ate almost no raw food. I could not stand myself during that time. The more I re-integrated raw foods into my diet, the more comfortable I felt. I have now found a way for me, I live without dogma, sometimes more, sometimes less raw food, but the amount of raw food still remains very high. And then there are long periods where I eat only raw food.
Do you have any dental problems (through) raw food diet?
I never had dental problems.
- Your website www.rohkoestlich.com offers lots of great information. What does the name of your site mean and what or who inspired you to create it?
It simply means that “raw” is delicious 🙂 . So many people have no idea about raw foods, and only imagine it to be a boring diet, made by and for freaks. With our inspiring, attractive images, ideas and our courses, we show that raw food is much more than that and show also that ordinary people can be behind it.
- Who or what else influenced you the most?
The word “Influence” has a negative touch to me. I am inspired every day by words, gestures, ideas, images, moods, people of all stripes.
- What is your recommendation for raw food in winter?
It is important to use a variety of vegetables and fruits, the ones that are in season in winter. The only exception I make are citrus fruits (they belong to the fruit varieties, that cool the body down … but they taste, especially in winter, so good). Also, I use a lot of spices, especially ginger and chili, which heats the body. Also, raw food can be heated slightly in the dehydrator or in a water bath.
- You’ve also published your own books, what is your latest one about?
I have written two recipe books, “Rohköstlich” and “Rohköstlich … from France”. The first book “Rohköstlich”, won the 2008 Gourmand World Cookbook Award, the Gold Medal in Germany and the world silver medal for the best cookbook style. I am very proud of this, especially since it was my first book ever. The book is the second edition and at the moment only available as an e-book, soon also in English, French and Spanish! The book “Rohköstlich … from France” is a tribute to my home, where raw foods are slowly gaining significance. I developed some recipes myself, and “converted” some cooked ones into raw food recipes.
- How do you get the ideas for all these great recipes?
The recipes often happen very spontaneously, when I test, create and experiment. My favourite recipe is my “Indian Coconut Curry” from my book “Rohköstlich” (available in the non-profit recipe book 100% RAW LOVE)
- Do you prefer to drink juice or smoothies and do you also have a favorite recipe there?
I like to drink juices but those that do not contain too many ingredients. Otherwise, I get slightly nauseous. I like to drink orange juice, carrot / apple / ginger, cucumber juice, carrot / fennel / ginger.
My favourite smoothies are mostly with spinach or lettuce. With this, I alternate mixing in mint, banana, apples, oranges or lemon and ginger. Depending on the season, according to taste.
- You also offer workshops, what are they like?
I offer preparation courses or seminars. Students learn e.g. to prepare a full menu in four to five hours or learn about the theory and practice of the raw food diet in one weekend. We also offer summer coaching trainings for raw food consultations.
- And are you all self-taught or did you train with someone?
I did my training with Alissa Cohen. The experience then led me to develop and organize my own courses.
- Furthermore, you are organizing the German Raw Food Expo www.rohvolution.de – how did this come about and what happens on such an expo?
In 2007 I offered courses with the name Rohvolution. One day I was visited by Norbert Wilms who was on his way to a wild herb seminar. We had gotten to know each other through social media. I talked about my classes and that the raw food movement still does not have big meaning in Germany.
A day later he called and told me about his idea: let’s spread the raw food diet and organize a trade fair. That was in August 2007. The first fair was attended by 13 exhibitors and 210 visitors.
In the meantime Norbert is no longer in the team. The show has evolved to what it is today: A unique exhibition, a meeting place for people from all over the world, who want to find out more about particular diet. In addition to the booths, there are also lectures and workshops.
- Where the next show and when do they happen?
Rohvolution Expos are happening in Berlin, in Speyerand in und Mülheim a.d.R. Find details here.
- Tell us a detail about you that most people do not know.
I am stubborn 🙂 , otherwise I’m almost transparent like glass.
- Do you actually do sports and how important do you think exercise / sport is?
I think sport is very important for a balanced life. I used to do a lot of sports, inter alia figure skating, aikido and capoeira, everything was always very intense. At the moment I am annoyed with myself, for I do not have time to exercise because of my job and all my projects, and I’m usually so knocked out in the evening that I can not pull myself together. I know that these are only excuses but I think at the moment I just do not have the strength. I hope that will be easier once the days are longer again, so I can get out later and stay in nature longer.
- What do you find, except diet to be very important for optimal health?
Exercise / sport (which I unfortunately totally neglect at the moment), harmony, love and gratitude.
- Do you have a spiritual connection to food?
No, not necessarily. I think we should be careful that the subject of nutrition is not prevalent. There are other areas in life that are just as if not more important than diet.
- In which direction do you see the raw food movement going?
More and more people are enthusiastic about it and I think this is a very important development. What I sometimes do not like it that some people think that this diet is the non-plus-ultra or that it makes them better people. Dogmatism is no solution.
- What are your current projects and plans?
At the moment I would like to push our cafe BistRoh ® and our raw food school in Speyer forward. It is not an easy task and takes all my strength to complete at the moment. It’s about so many details and preparatory work, preparation, writing documents, developing recipes, etc.
- Is there anything else you would like to say?
I wish people to be less dogged, to let “the others” live the way they think is best for them (in any area of life). In this world, eyebrows are being raised and fingers are being pointed way too often.
Nelly, thank you so much for taking the time!