‘Every Single Day Gets Brighter and Brighter.’
Paul and Yulia Tarbath’s raw food journey has given them some serious legs, turning them into marathoners and taking them around the world, soon after adopting a low-fat raw vegan lifestyle in summer 2009.
Yulia, 31, while living in London, ran her own self-growth group in the capital of England and lectured on health and other subjects. A woman in the group was raw, and her experiences on the diet “resonated” with Yulia, who suffered from several health conditions. Yulia faced hormonal imbalances, liver problems, digestive difficulties, candida overgrowth, hypoglycemia, depression, severe fatigue and PMS and was on the verge of Type 2 diabetes.
“I wanted to heal my body through a raw food diet … and I just recognized it as an opportunity,” she said.
Listen to an MP3 of Paul Tarbath and Yulia Tarbath Discussing Their Raw Vegan Journey
Paul, 40, Yulia’s husband, was open to the idea of transitioning to a raw food diet. Like many before them, they felt the magnetic pull of juicy mangoes and oranges, but Paul at first considered the diet to be “radical.”
Yulia absorbed Green for Life by Victoria Boutenko, the first book she read on the subject of a raw food diet. Meanwhile, Yulia’s raw fooder friend warned her about high-fat raw food diets. Yulia had been a high-fat vegan, a diet that wasn’t working at all, she said.
The Tarbaths credit green smoothies with helping ease their transitions to a raw food diet. “As I started drinking green smoothies, I started feeling so much better every day,” Yulia said. “I really noticed how my taste for cooked food was disappearing, so it was a natural [transition]. I’m really grateful to green smoothies, for sure.”
Having been raw vegans for four years, Paul and Yulia say being raw is a wonderful experience.
“You can do this lifestyle with such an ease now, you notice every single day gets brighter and brighter,” Yulia said. “And every single day, you wake up as a new person, and this vitality gets stronger and stronger—it intensifies all the time—and this is what keeps it so exciting for us because you always feel better. It seems that every single day, there is something new to discover about yourself and also this very strong connection with your body and feeling much more grounded and much more in tune with what we want from life with our goals, with our desires.”
Paul echoed this sentiment, saying the couple’s relationship has grown, soaring to new heights. “I think everything’s changed for us,” he said. “Every aspect of ourselves and our relationship has changed for the better. I find that year over year, I feel I’ve changed, not just in my taste or my eating habits, but myself and my emotions.”
This fruitarian couple is very active, running, bicycling and training with weights. They have taken part in a 30-day 100-squats-a-day challenge. Paul just completed 51 kilometers in an endurance race, with Yulia running 44.4-kilometers. Yulia is training for a triathlon in which she’ll swim, bicycle and run in the same event.
“We both developed a great passion for exercise on this lifestyle because, prior to this lifestyle, I was very sick,” Yulia said. “As I was getting stronger and stronger, I just naturally felt the desire to start engaging in exercise, and Paul just joined me. Also, being in this movement, you get really inspired by all the people who are strong and athletic.”
Paul said: “This diet has allowed us to use our energy to become fitter, and it’s just a whole other level we found in ourselves. You feel amazing not only eating this wonderful food, but you’ve got this level of fitness that’s like another avenue we’re going down. It’s really amazing and really life-changing.”
The Tarbaths desired to settle in the tropics but instead started traveling around the world in October 2009. They’ve explored India, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Oman Emirates, Turkey, Egypt, Spain, the United States, Malaysia, Singapore, Laos and Thailand—and their journey continues to this day.
“We don’t really travel,” Yulia said. “We tend to go to places and just stay there for several months, and then we feel: ‘OK, we don’t feel that we need to be here. Let’s move on.’ We’ve really turned into gypsies.”
Paul added: “It’s a bit organic now, like the food. … We just sort of let things happen now rather than try to railroad them, as we [did] at the start.”
Paul and Yulia recently returned to London, their former home base, for a short while after living in Chaing Mai, Thailand, for eight months and will head back to the tropics again later in the year.
“Tropical fruit is the best, I must say,” Yulia said. “There’s nothing that can beat it.”
When asked what their favorite fruits are, Paul and Yulia, who have had the distinct pleasure of enjoying fruits the world over, ticked off jackfruit, durian, rambutan, mangos and bananas.
The Tarbaths know a thing or two about traveling as raw vegans.
“Often, most of the time, when we go to somewhere now, we know what the place is like—what’s available and what’s not available,” Paul said. “It’s not often we go to a place where we don’t know anything about. We tend not to do that now, if we can help it. We’ve had experiences where you go to somewhere and there’s just not enough ripe fruit—‘Well, what, am I going to do, eat dates all the time?’ ”
Yulia said: “The moment we arrive to a new place, we’re just off to a local market or supermarket, and we just go and hunt for fruit and find it—usually, we do find it.”
When the Tarbaths return to England, they buy wholesale fruits.
Paul and Yulia launched RawsomeHealthy.com in June 2012. The website features a free newsletter and guide for transitioning to a raw vegan lifestyle. Paul and Yulia have broadcast more than 100 videos from their YouTube channel, RawsomeHealthy, since May 2012. The videos explore such topics as food combining, the importance of greens during a raw food transition and even traveling the world with a bicycle for free.
Deliciously Raw Dinners by Paul and Yulia features 36 low-fat raw vegan recipes, from soups and salads to main courses. It also contains favorite recipes from such leaders in the raw food world as Dr. Doug Graham, Kristina Carillo-Bucaram, Frederic Patenaude and Chris Kendall.
The Spirit of Transition by Yulia exposes truths that those in power hide from the masses to control them. The book casts light on this shift in consciousness and encourages readers to tap into their hearts. It also gives step-by-step guidance on going and staying raw vegan.
The couple’s second jointly written book, The Raw Message, is due out in July. This title focuses on Paul and Yulia’s journey and includes a range of material on how to succeed on a low-fat raw vegan lifestyle. The Tarbaths asked RawsomeHealthy.com subscribers what book project Paul and Yulia should explore out of 10 concepts, including recipes and weight loss, and their subscribers noted how they wished to learn more about their travels.
“Out of everything that we offered,” Yulia said, “they picked the idea of our journey, and they wanted to know what worked for us, what didn’t work for us, what struggles we came across and how we overcame them … .”
Watch Paul and Yulia in Action in a Popular Video
Watch a Fruit-Powered Video interview with Paul and Yulia
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Hungry for more? Check out Paul and Yulia’s Banana Pie with Apple and Date Sauce and Nectarine Ecstasy Soup recipes!