New Delhi: Transforming herself physically and mentally by adapting raw food as her complete diet, 76-year-old 'young' American celebrity Annette Larkins is so astonishingly slim and active that she beats the teenagers.
Larkins, who is globally known as 'Raw Queen', proves the proverb right that 'age is just a number'. Larkins belongs to Miami of Florida. At the age of 21, she changed her dietary habits and became a vegetarian and ten years down the line she quit dairy products too.
While talking to UNI on Saturday, she said, 'The erudite and prodigious Indian poet Dushyant Kumar's line of one of his creations--KAUN KAHTA HAI KI ASMAN ME SURAKH NAHI HO SAKTA EK PATHER TO TABIYAT SE UCHHALO YAARON ' (Who says hole cannot be made in the sky, just throw a stone with all your heart) is the core philosophy and the main mantra of my life and because of my complete belief in this mantra, I have won the battle of slowing down the ageing process by becoming 'raw queen' and taking the juice of fresh fruits.'
Larkins doesn't only looks half her age, but also has defeated her age in physical energy and mental sharpness. She has maintained such a magnificent figure that her waist measures just 18 inches.
Larkins said,' I saw my grandmother and mother dying of cancer in young age and this fear got into my nerves. I took a pledge to defeat this fear and began a journey which was quite difficult and challenging for a wife of the owner of a meat shop and the mother of two young children.'
The raw queen, who looks like the grandchild of her husband, smiles and adds, 'My husband and children appreciate me and try to follow my path. But without strong determination, enthusiasm, aspiration, and a willpower to remain positive under all circumstances, reaching the destination of live food is too tough.'
Once a teacher by profession, Larkins read a lot about raw food and researched a lot on the same, from every corner of the globe and commenced the journey of transforming herself. She has written several books on raw food and made videos that may be downloaded from her website 'annettelarkins.com'.
She said,'This is the universal truth that whatever is cooked, it loses all its nutrients but when it is in its natural state it is loaded with 'health tonics'. '
Many countries, including Russia and Germany, have made many documentaries on her and several TV channels broadcast her programme time to time.
Larkins, who finds her heart and soul in gardening and believe greenery as the 'true nectar' on the earth, says,'I grow everything that I need in my garden. I have planted many trees and plants that have medicinal and heath values. One of those trees is called 'Noni' the 'miracle tree'. My breakfast, lunch and dinner include leafy vegetables and sprouts along with other handmade organic food items.'
Being an early bird, she sleeps for just about four hours and gets up at sharp five'o clock in the morning. She has the habit of making everything herself including the garments she wears. Interestingly, she can also repair her own computer. In addition, her eyesight is very sharp and she has never needed spectacles till date. She herself puts the thread in the needle and doesn't take any kind of medicines. After starting this new phase of her life, she has never fallen sick.
On asking that how does she manage to stay so positive and optimistic and has retained these qualities from the young age of 20 to 76, Larkins explained,' We all know that we are not here on the earth forever, so why to worry about death? I believe in living not in leaving. I manage my lifestyle in such a way that as long as I am here on the earth, I am happy, hale and healthy. Moreover, I try my level best to impart the knowledge of transformation with the help of raw food to everyone that I have acquired with so much of hard work and challenges. Mind it, the raw food lifestyle needs techniques and proper guidance. I have begun the noble mission of spreading awareness about the raw food 'kingdom'.'
Observing how today's generation doesn't seem to have a very good memory, Larkins explains how she has maintained a sharp memory even at the age of 76. 'The way one does yoga and exercises in the gym for a beautiful physique and good health, in a similar manner, one must exercise to sharpen the memory and remain mentally strong. If we don't use it, we' ll lose it. There are plenty of ways of keeping your brain sharp, including, playing chess and solving puzzles on daily basis. I do this daily and try to learn one new thing daily, this may even be a new English word and this way by the end of the year your 'brain dictionary' will have 365 new words,' she said
Larkins, who starts her morning exercise by climbing the flight of stairs of her bungalow, says,'I have a little knowledge of Yoga and I pine greatly to be benefited from this Indian gift to the whole of humanity. I strongly believe that how just by the initiative of the Indian Prime minister Narendra Modi, every year 21st June is celebrated as 'International Yoga Day'---people from every corner of the world practicing it---the same way it is important to make people aware of living foods. I understand that the Indian Prime Minister is a yoga enthusiast, perhaps he and I might exchange ideas to globally impart information on ways to live a healthier existence. He can teach me about yoga and I can teach him about living foods.'
On asking that people who have no space in their backyards, how will they be able to take benefit of organic and raw food, she explained that if fresh fruits and organic, leafy vegetables are not readily available, benefits of living food could be acquired by consuming sprouts seeds of sunflower and green gram and many more. There is everything in sprouts which our body needs for growth of cells and their wear and tear, like carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, enzymes ,protein, fats etc. By eating sprouts we take a grand step towards healthy living, which will also broaden our perspective towards the importance of healthy life. Health is wealth and rest is next.
Talking about the magical 'wheatjuice' she told, 'Wheatgrass is a boon on the earth. It is correctly called the 'green blood'. There are a number of cases worldwide where people have won the battle against deadly cancer by consuming wheatgrass juice. This can be grown without soil in the kitchen too. We can put healthy, wheat seeds in water for about three hours and then it should be kept in a pot and covered with a thin cloth. It should be watered morning and evening. After seven days, the wheatgrass is ready for making juice.'
'To get the maximum benefits it should be taken on an empty stomach and one should not take eat anything for an hour after drinking the juice. A half glass of wheatgrass juice is equal to the nutrients of five types of vegetables we consume. This maintains blood circulation and helps in digestion. Its chlorophyll is vital for circulation of oxygen in our body and it is also very good for the arthritis patients. Wheatgrass juice is also very good for the people who feel weak and tired very often. Larkins has declared living foods as divine food,' she said.
On a philosophical note, she adds, 'To stay away from doctors we must eat living foods, fresh divine juice and take proper rest and sleep. Most importantly, we should always remain thankful to the creator of the universe.
'Along with this, we should impart the knowledge and wisdom to others which we acquire with great hardships and constant toils,' Larkin added.
On a parting note, when asked if she had any message for India, the 'Raw Queen smiled and said,'May India live 'live' life.'