Q & A with Raw Vegan Ginger

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25 QUESTIONS to get to know me better

1. What is your real name?
Jennifer Joy Patrishkoff

2. Where were you born and where do you live now?
Royal Oak, Michigan. I lived in Michigan my entire life until I moved to Sourthern California when I was 29 years old. Although I miss my family and friends, moving here was the second best decision of my life (besides going vegan of course). 

3. What is your zodiac sign?
I call myself a "Sagi-Corn". I was supposed to be born Aquarius but I was pre-mature and was born near the cusp of Sagittarius and Capricorn and feel I have qualities of both signs. I don’t read too much into astrology but I do feel it's a useful tool to help learn more about ourselves and the people around us. Whether we like it or not, we are all affected by the sun, the moon and the stars.

4. How long have you been raw vegan and what got you into it?
I went vegan in 2011 and got into raw living foods in 2013 after being inspired by Dan McDonald and Fully Raw Kristina. In 2014, I got into a fruit based lifestyle thanks to Freelee the Banana Girl and have been eating this way ever since. The longest I've been consecutively 100% raw was for two years. Although I strive to follow a 100% raw food lifestyle, I don't stress out or feel guilty if I am not able to achieve 100%. I feel that you don't need to be 100% raw 100% of the time to receive the benefits of raw foods. Lets just say, the more raw living foods you incorporate into your diet, the more you are going to see and feel the difference.

5. Why did you go vegan?
After educating myself on the conditions in factory farms from documentaries like Food Inc. and learning about all of the wonderful health benefits of a plant based diet from Forks Over Knives, I decided to remove all animal products from my plate, my clothing as well as my face & body care products. So why did I make such an "extreme" lifestyle change? I made the connection that for every dollar I spent on animal products, I was funding cruelty towards animals and I no longer wanted to be a direct part of someone's suffering when I could easily choose plant based foods instead. No matter how we justify it, there is no way to humanely kill another living being that does not want to die. I went vegan overnight and haven't looked back since. I understand that not everyone is like me and their transition may be a little more difficult so I wrote a blog post on the many reasons to consider a vegan lifestyle.

6. What makes you happy?
Finding balance within. Yes, some people can make me happy, certain experiences can make me happy, and even feelings can make me happy, but all of these are all conditional which means if taken away, it would affect my happiness. I try to focus on creating my own happiness within since this is 100% my responsibility in life. 

7. What are your biggest flaws?
I care a little too much about people and have high expectations for myself and others. Caring about people is a great quality but when it comes at the expense of your own health or happiness, it can create problems. Having high expectations isn't necessarily a flaw either unless it negatively impacts your life by always expecting a certain outcome. I find myself attracted to and surrounded by carefree people who flow through life. Although I may come off that way at times, it has taken me discipline to be able to let certain things go.

8. Where would your dream vacation be?
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the tropics, but my ultimate dream vacation would be to travel to Zermatt, Switzerland and see my favorite mountain: Mt. Matterhorn. This mountain is so epic that it has its own ride at Disneyland. I've had multiple dreams about this place too. I want to ski near it, hike around it and maybe climb up it one day. I've even made a painting of it. I'm one of those people who are deathly afraid of heights but have jumped out of an airplane and still have an issue with heights. I figure the fear will always be there, so its up to me if I want to allow a temporary emotion to take over my life. 

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9. Are you a morning person or night owl?
I do get up in the morning to go to work and run the occasional marathon but for those who know me well, I have been a night owl my entire life. My creative juices get flowing at night. My favorite time of the day just after the sun sets as well. 

10. What is your favorite fruit?
Mangoes. All varieties. A couple of years ago when I was in Costa Rica, my driver pulled off the side of the road and we all got out and picked up perfectly ripe mangoes that just fell off a mango tree. It was at this point where I completely fell in love with the mango. Although I am able to get delicious local and organic mangoes in California, the mangoes I purchase in bulk are typically grown in Mexico and are treated in hot water before they are delivered across the border. Unfortunately this affects the quality and ripeness of the mango so anytime I'm visiting a tropical climate, I love to taste their local mangoes because they taste completly different and AMAZING!

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11. What were your favorite cooked dishes?
If and when I ever go back to "cooked food", it is usually steamed purple potatoes, kabocha squash or a yellow curry dish with vegetables and coconut soup from my favorite vegan restaurant, Plumeria. That's about it. I almost never have cravings for unhealthy junk food but if I ever find myself "craving" any type of food (raw or cooked), it's simply an indication that I am not eating enough food or a variety to satiate myself. It takes time to grow accustomed to eating a diet based off of raw foods so please give yourself time if you are just starting out and never feel guilty for "indulging". We all need to eat and nourish our bodies so create a backup plan for yourself and have a backup plan for your backup plan since life and being social can sometimes get in the way of your goals. 

12. What is your greatest accomplishment in life?
I don't have one thing or act. I am proud of being able to consistently stay grounded and centered within myself especially during times of change or challenge. I admire how loving and humble I am around others. I feel like I can connect with and find common ground with almost anyone out there. Being a mentor and a youth counselor for troubled inner city youth taught me that we all have more in common than we do differences despite our current circumstances or how we grew up.

13. What is your biggest regret in life?
Staying in a toxic relationshi(t)p. Although I do not regret loving anyone I've ever loved, spending time with people I do not resonate with is simply a waste of time. Life is too short not to enjoy the company you keep. It may be hard to cut ties with your unhealthy relationship(s), but you will always benefit when you find the courage and strength to walk away from the people, places and things that no longer serve you.

14. What is your favorite book?
I'm actually not a very big reader but I do love audiobooks. It's hard for me to choose one, so I will say anything and everything from Don Miguel Ruiz: The Mastery of Love, The Four Agreements and The Mastery of Self. I'm more of a self improvement book geek. I'm always looking for ways to continually improve myself.

15. What is your favorite movie?
I'm definitely a documentary girl but for the sake of the question, my favorite comedy would be anything with Jim Carey, Adam Sandler or Will Ferrell. My favorite romance movie would be Ever After, the way Cinderella should have been written. My favorite drama would be Forest Gump and my favorite animated film is Avatar. 

16. What is your favorite color?
Orange, tangerine, gold and coral are my absolute favorites. I love sunsets, fall colors and earthy tones.

17. What is your favorite type of music?
This has certainly changed over the years but I will say that my first favorite rock group was Led Zepplein and I actually fell in love with them when I was traveling in Ireland, Scotland and England when I was 15 years old. Classic rock was definitely my first love. After that I got into jam band hippie and reggae after attending many music festivals. This is where I got my first taste of "vegan" food back in 2002. I made the assumption that all "vegan" food was "hippie" food, haha. Depending on the different guys I dated in my twenties, I opened up my ears to different types of rock, even metal. When I started running marathons in 2012, I got into ambient and electronic music to keep up my endurance. Today I listen to just about anything (except mumble rap or anything with a negative message). I love high vibrational music. If something has a great beat that's cool and all but what's the real message behind it?

18. What was your most embarrassing moment?
In the fourth grade my class took a trip to a historical village where I grew up. Four years prior when my older sister went, her entire class dressed up as "pioneer people" so when I found out that my class was going, I got so excited that I picked out the same type of outfit my sister wore years prior. On the morning of the field trip, I showed up to school being the ONLY person to dress up as a “pioneer girl”. Embarrassed was just an understatement of how I felt. My sister always reminds me of this story and we laugh until it hurts. Lets just say no matter the time of year, I'm always down for a costume party!

19. What are qualities you look for in a friend or partner?
Honesty, integrity, and respect. Someone I can laugh with until its painful. I find nothing more attractive than a person who isn't afraid to stand up for what is right regardless of how it may look to others. Being your true vulnerable self is key in any relationship. I love when people (especially men) are able to properly express their emotions in a healthy way.

20. If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would it be and why?
My grandfather on my mother's side. His nickname was "Red". I wish I had the chance to meet him. One day...

21. Do have any favorite sports?
Anything endurance or cardio related. I love both running and cycling. I'm not really into watching sports like football or basketball but I love watching the winter Olympics. I once rode in a bobsled in an Olympic park in Park City. I got whiplash when we got up to 170mph but it was worth it! 

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22. Do you play any instruments?
I actually played the cello in an orchestra for 7 years. I regret stopping because I was pretty good and playing music was such a release for me. After the cello, I got into the guitar for a couple of years. I also consider myself an expert at karaoke as well. We all have our strengths... 

23. What is your strongest quality?
I would say honesty. I try to keep it raw and real with people because I believe everyone is entitled to the truth, no matter what.

24. What would your perfect day look like?
Sleeping as much as I desire, stretching my body with a little yoga and going for a long run. Having a delicious breakfast full of ripe fruit, spending time out in nature, getting a little sunshine, maybe taking a dip in the ocean or a lake, helping someone and improving their life, shopping for food (yes, I enjoy this so much), singing at the top of my lungs in the car, connecting with close friends, making a homemade dinner, then hugging and kissing the one I love goodnight. 

25. What do you want people to remember you for?
I want to be remembered for reminding people of their strength and to never give up on their dreams. To let go of what other people think of them and follow their heart. I want people to know that we are all worthy of love regardless of our image, where we came from or our belief systems. We all came into this world pure love and full of light. That is how we will go out.

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