Hey there. I’m Gena (spelled like “Gina,” pronounced like “Jenna”). I’m passionate about vegan and raw food. On this blog, you’ll find some of my favorite recipes, as well as some occasional musings about health and wellness, body image, and animal rights.
In my old life, I was a book editor. In my new life, I’m a pre-med, post-bacc student at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.. Loosely translated, this means that I’m a humanities person who decided a little later in life that I want to be a doctor. I’m also a certified clinical nutritionist (C.C.N.). When I’m not busy with school or blogging, I can be found creating recipes, reading, practicing yoga, or eating my weight in raw kale.
I’ve written about plant-based lifestyle for VegNews, O Magazine, Whole Living Daily, and Food52, among other online and print publications. Here at Choosing Raw, I write about the foods that capture my heart and fuel my busy lifestyle, my eating disorder history and my recovery, and my journey into health care. I’m so happy you’ve found this community, and hope that you’ll be coming back often.
The Way I Eat
The title of this blog is “Choosing Raw” because I adore raw food, and I think everyone has something to gain from adding more raw, plant based foods to his or her diet. But as you’ll see from flipping through my recipes, I’m not a strict raw foodist. I had a wonderful raw honeymoon phase four years ago that changed the way I think about food and informed my style of eating forever, but I think that a healthy vegan diet includes raw and cooked foods. No matter what, my diet is 100% vegan.
I grew up in a Greek family where lamb and cheese were the order of the day, but I can’t remember a time when the mainstream diet—especially meat—felt right to me. I believe that many girls who become susceptible to eating disorders feel disconnected from the prescribed way of eating in their lives; this was definitely true of me. At the age of twelve, I realized that eating healthier foods would help me lose weight. That summer, I lost almost twenty pounds from my already petite frame. The intervention of my mom and my pediatrician stopped the weight loss in its tracks, but for the next thirteen years, I would struggle with restrictive eating and body dysmorphia. I relapsed into anorexia twice: once as a junior in college, once early in my career. I recovered with time, patience, and outpatient therapy, but I was left with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and a very sensitive digestive system.
After my recovery and two subsequent relapses, I started to take a plant-based diet more seriously. I, like many other women, found that eating plant-based food contributed immensely to my healing process. For the first time, I ate, cooked, and studied nutrition with a sense of enthusiasm and confidence. Exploring a cruelty free, eco-friendly, and body-friendly way of life made me proud of my food choices for the first time in my adult life, and gave me the capacity to take pleasure in mealtime again.
Today, seven years after becoming vegan, I enjoy strong health and profound love and appreciation of food. I don’t, however, take for granted the long struggle that came before this, and I write often about disordered eating, plant based diet, and the intersection of the two on my blog. If you’re interested, check out my Green Recovery series, which highlights stories of ED recovery from a vegan perspective.
Whether you’re here to get inspired about raw and vegan food, to feel healthier, or to find a supportive community in which you can openly share your thoughts about food, I’m glad you’ve landed on CR. I hope you’ll have a chance to connect with other people who are conscious and thoughtful eaters like you. Welcome!