Two and a half years ago, raw foodist Miranda Martinez weighed 200 pounds. At 5-foot-2, the neighborhood resident’s health was in bad shape. She tried every weight-loss diet under the sun, but had success with only one — the low-carb diet — and that was only temporary. She lost weight, and gained it all back and more. “I had given up,” she says. That’s when she discovered the all-raw vegan diet and lost some 60 pounds. “I discovered that with raw food, you really do eat less,” she says. “It makes you feel fuller.”

Now Martinez, a former pastry chef at Bliss Raw Café, runs a business called Viva Raw. She goes to her clients’ homes and teaches them how to prepare raw meals. Cheesecake, pasta, pizza and burgers are among her favorites. For things like bread, she grinds up nuts and other ingredients, molds them into the shape she wants, and puts them into a food dehydrator for as long as 17 hours. “It’s a little more labor-intensive than cooking,” but worth it, she says.

For people who are curious about raw foodism, the best thing to do is to try it and see how they feel, Martinez says. She admits, however, that a raw-food diet is a challenge because it can be inconvenient. “I’m not 100 percent raw, but I try to stay as vegan as possible,” she says. “I say ‘as much as possible’ because if I go to someone’s house, I’m not going to be rude and say, ‘Was this cooked in butter?’”

• Find more information at

Click to sign up for the Advocate's weekly news digest and be the first to know what’s happening in Lakewood/East Dallas.