Raw food diet may soon be in popsicles & rice pouches

Raw food diet may soon be in popsicles & rice pouches
Christine Cho converses with Jungwook Hong, chairman of Herald Corp., the parent company of Organica.
PHOTO: Korea Herald/ANN

Christine Cho, a plant-based private chef based in New York City and one of the flavor masterminds behind Organica's "Just Juice Cleanse" detox juice line, has returned to Korea to once again join hands with Organica in extending her healthy eating expertise for the next line of products from the premium organic whole foods company.

With the global trend of heart-smart eating and the ever increasing demand for natural and organic foods, Organica's non-processed foods and raw juices are looking to further propel the natural foods movement in Korea and beyond.

As a private raw food chef to the "superrich" ― whose idolized lifestyles as the world's financial elite are broadening the appeal of the healthy lifestyle movement ― Cho said imagining the rich and famous indulging on luxurious, high-calorie foods at home is more often than not a grave misconception. Rather, she says, working as a chef for the top tier made her realize the growing demand for vegan and even raw meals.

"I've fed what is known as the '0.5 percent' of NYC and you would be surprised how simply people want to eat at home, regardless of income," said the chef during an interview with The Korea Herald. "Whether a client was struggling with their diet, or wanted to try a trend, it was about providing the most delicious and healthy meals in the comfort of their own home."

"Some do it because of the trend and others do it because they are educated about food and know what is good for them," she added. "The vegan, raw foods world is a lifestyle and with that comes yoga, spiritual growth, holistic healing and so on. This demographic usually always has high-stress levels, and requires a proper diet to balance such extremes. To see athletes like Serena Williams become vegan just goes to show how positive these foods are."

A graduate of the Matthew Kenney Raw Foods Academy, Cho has dedicated her professional career to not only discovering a non-processed-foods way of life, but also how to combine seemingly random ingredients and create healthy, yet delicious meals that one would not feel guilty for consuming.

"What I loved about Matthew Kenney's courses is that he brought elegance to a diet that visually is not the most palatable. He made it look haute, and that's how he taught it through the fundamentals of raw foods," she explained. "I made cheese from macadamia nuts and truffles from coconut butter that looked like they came from a 3-star restaurant ― amazing. Though what I personally love about the raw food diet is that it is purposeful. It heals people. It makes one feel, look, and perform better."

Natural food has become so mainstream that it has become somewhat of the norm, she continued.

"Even in the most generic grocery markets you see a majority of items trying their best to be at least 'all natural' or healthy ... there is a lot of information out there ― some true, some not ― and I believe the general public wants to be more conscious about finding the right foods that work for them and applying it correctly," Cho added.

The chef is currently helping to develop recipes for Organica's upcoming line of new health products that is intended to change the way people think about natural and organic foods ― from natural juice popsicles, to portable rice pouches and even a new line of natural smoothies.

Upholding the philosophy that healthy doesn't have to mean tasteless, Cho's creative approach for Organica is to push the taste envelope and develop products that one wouldn't find on the market elsewhere. The chef says for the upcoming line of smoothies, she intends to include classic flavors such as chocolate and vanilla, but with a twist, featuring a palatable consensus recipe that includes a nutritious, raw vegetable-base drink.

"A raw foods diet provides maximum nutrients and enzymes through organic vegetables, fruits and grains," says Cho. "By eating live, uncooked, unprocessed foods, your body creates a stronger defense against disease, and by the constant removal of toxins, you will have more energy, physically and mentally. The digestive system will be balanced through proper alkalinity, one's skin will glow and you will lose weight. You are eating 'live, living foods' and in return you will feel the same."

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