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Growing up in Houston, Texas, Renee Herndon wasn’t much of a meat-eater. It seems ironic considering that the Lone Star state of Texas is known for its award-winning barbeque meats and other big and hearty meals that almost every carnivore loves. Her lack of interest in eating meat would extend into her adult life and bridge a perfect transition into a raw food diet.
“My favorite meal going up when I was little was spaghetti. And I loved corn and broccoli. Not raw but cooked. I did like fried chicken and fish. But I was never really a red meat kind of person, so I never really ate like steaks and those kinds of things. Me personally, they just never really set well with me. Even barbeque, I would eat barbeque from time to time but it would always make me very constipated,” says the former flight attendant who flew with the now-defunct Continental Airlines for 20 years.
A Raw Food Transition
Herndon once thought about becoming a vegetarian at one point but didn’t know much about how to succeed so she continued following the same diet she had for years. Four miscarriages and finally a full pregnancy caused her to gain a lot of weight. In addition to the extra weight, she suffered from migraines and when she was more than 200 pounds, she experienced a migraine that lasted for 32 days.
Prescribed two of the strongest medications on the market, both did not work and Herndon retreated to her bedroom where she covered all of the windows. “The slightest bit of light bothered me so much. I just couldn’t take it. My husband said we have to figure it out because we can’t live like this,” says Herndon. And that she eventually did.
Her first introduction to raw food was when a friend went to a raw food party and told her about it. Just the thought, she said, didn’t sound right. And she wasn’t interested. That was until a week later when she was watching “The Tyra Banks Show” with guest Alissa Cohen, a leading raw food chef.
Cohen made it sound very interesting and the food, says Herndon, looked good. Herndon purchased her book, “Living on Live Food,” and says her life was changed forever.
With a raw food diet simply meaning uncooked and unprocessed foods, Herndon began making dishes at home for her family. With their encouragement, she began taking and sharing photos for others to see. This was in 2007 that her transition began. During this time, the migraines were still occurring.
In 2008, after following the advice of Cohen from her book, Herndon decided to go on a 10-day cleanse and what would happen next was totally unexpected. By day seven, her body had totally broken down and released toxins that had been built up for years and years.
This release also got rid of the migraines that the medications could not and she hasn’t had one since. “I suffered from migraines since I was little, since I was three or four years old and I think my mom never attributed it to my diet,” says Herndon who didn’t either.
Not only did the migraines go away, but so did the adult acne which Herndon really didn’t know she had until she noticed her skin clearing up and others complimented her. Naturally, the weight stops dropping as well.
She began doing cooking demos at Whole Foods and later became the personal raw chef for Mike Adams, founder and editor of NaturalNews.com. She was also the exclusive raw food chef for a food service called Tru Meals which folded and opened the opportunity to explore her next move outside of the kitchen.
Taking Raw Food on the Road
At the advice of her husband, she explored the idea of having a food truck. After doing some research, Herndon found an old trailer and after a lot of work and passing the certification inspection, her gourmet living food trailer was in business. “I saw so much potential. I said this was the cutest little trailer and just big enough for me and this will be great if I can just use this as a source of income.” Herndon operates the trailer on Thursdays and Fridays from 3 – 7 pm and Saturdays from 11 am – 4 pm at 2714 N. Mason Road, Katy, Texas. She also does home deliveries on Mondays and Thursdays.
What has everyone coming back for more? Herndon says her biggest hits are her zucchini pasta and marinara sauce and the donut holes made with almonds, coconut, dates, pineapple, sea salt and vanilla and her smoothies. Not shying away from desserts, she says her favorite is her apple cobbler which she says is amazing as well as her ice cream made from Thai coconut, cashews, maple syrup and sea salt. For her full menu, visit her website.
Herndon knows that a raw food diet is not for everyone. “I don’t tell people how they should eat. I say give raw a chance and see how it works for your body and for you and if 50 is all you can personally do, then great. Maybe someday, you’ll get to 70, 80, 90, 100 or whatever.”
She notes the raw police who feel strongly about what other raw foodists eat and discourage straddling the fence. Herndon feels it is a personal decision that one makes when they are ready to fully commit. “I don’t judge people by what they are eating. If we are eating together and you are having a steak or something, I don’t like that, that’s not for me but I am not going to judge you. Because everybody is at different places in their fitness and health journey. And that is what I believe that it is. It is a journey.”
For more about Herndon’s trailer journey and where you can find her in Katy, visit her on Facebook.