There is a new raw energy ball popping up down here in South Florida and I think it's only a matter of time before you see it in a store near you. The coolest part? The woman behind this superfood energy ball is pretty cool, down to earth, and a powerful business woman quickly growing her business.
The company is Make Raw Not War and I met Natalie, the mastermind behind the company, at a yoga festival in Fort Lauderdale. I sampled the different products and then promptly bought some to take home with me.
What I learned about Natalie is that she's essentially a superwoman like many other superwomen out there, and to me that made her very approachable and easy to connect with. When I asked her to tell me a little bit about herself she began listing all of her roles:
"I'm a mom, a wife, I teach pilates and ballet bar 'Xtend' ... dancing and exercise have been my whole life."Simply speaking with her made me feel like I was in the presence of a pretty cool person that is full of love, motivation, and intelligence. As we began the interview, she asked me to hold a second as she readjusted, telling me that she had just put her child down for a nap and wanted to move away from the peacefully sleeping child, revealing just how real she is, along with her company.
I began asking her how she got into the Raw Food world, making large assumptions about her lifestyle. She corrected me immediately, explaining that she and her family aren't actually raw foodies. She admitted that while the family does eat a lot of raw food, naturally, it's not a lifestyle that works for them. They tried it on for size but found that it was difficult for her to digest and not something she felt was necessary in order to maintain optimal health.
I loved how she explained the lifestyle, highlighting eating in a natural way that is mindful and also healthful.
I asked her about her introduction into these foods and how it became a part of her life. She explained that she had a very healthy upbringing and never ate any processed foods so it was more of a continuation of her childhood. She told me that the inspiration for the Energy Balls came from her mother. Her mother is from Morocco and would often make charoset for Rosh Hashanah and remembered the dish as an excellent snack. It is essentially a mixture of dates, nuts, and fruit with different spices ... not unlike a lot of the raw food bars that exist now in many Westernized cultures.
She began making her own version of these, in the form of Energy Balls, while she and her family were practicing veganism as a way to have healthy snacks on hand at any time. Eventually they found that veganism didn't work for them, but they kept the Energy Balls because, well, they're amazing.
She continued making the Energy Balls and taking them with her when she needed an energy boost on the go. She began sharing them with her clients at the studio she teaches at and soon realized that she was onto something.
Finally, in February of 2013 she decided to make a go of it and created Make Raw Not War in hopes of spreading the word about health, wellness, measured happiness and love ... and "doing it honestly".
Make Raw Not War will be at the Health Food Expo in Fort Lauderdale at the end of the month. If you're in the area you should go check the energy balls out ... and if not then check out the website to get your own! My fave ... Chocolate Protini and Bringing Flaxy Back.
And when I asked Natalie who her inspiration and role model was, if any?? "I don't have just one. So many people inspire me and motivate me; my parents, my husband, my son ... my entire family." This is an honest woman full of love, through and through.
And lastly, she shared with me something that her mother's mother would often say, and I felt it wrapped up the interview beautifully:
"You can do anything as long as you're healthy."