Eating Raw For Healthy Living

raw food CBS

All raw food, all the time.

Tonya Zavasta uses her stove for storage. That's all she needs it for because the only thing she eats is uncooked, unaltered food. No meat, no dairy, no cooking.

"It's all about nuts, seeds, greens and sweetener," Zavasta tells CBS News correspondent Mika Brzezinski.

She's been 100 percent raw for eight years and at 48, believes she's reversed the clock. Zavasta has lost 4 inches around her waist and believes her skin has never looked better.

Zavasta says she had always been looking for a way to slow the aging process. "This is it," Zavasta says proudly of her raw food diet.

She's a leader in the raw food movement and of a raw food "support group."

In the group, raw foodies gather to, well, chew the fat.

Raw food diets can actually be pretty healthy," says registered dietician Samantha Heller with the New York University Medical Center.

But Heller says raw foodies could miss out on some nutrients. It's not a diet for children or for those who are looking for a temporary diet fix, she says.

"If you can't make a lifestyle change for healthier eating that you can keep for the rest of your life, it's not necessarily the one for you," Heller adds.


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To get the benefits of raw means making sure you have fresh, clean chopped choices in your refrigerator all the time.

A difficult endeavor, but Zavasta says, "Only in the beginning."

"I am trying to imagine this tasting good," Brzezinski says of Zavasta's collard greens and mango shake. But after a quick taste Brzezinski declares, "I can't believe it. It's really good."

"I feel euphoric. I feel like I am 12-years-old. I have so much energy," Zavasta says.

Her crusade: to change the way other people eat in the heart of barbeque country.

"It's already popular on both coasts and its coming here," Zavasta claims. "It's time has come."
  • Sean Alfano

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