The Teriyaki mushroom burger is one of many tasty options on the menu at Raw & Roxy

There is no need to say goodbye to burgers and chocolate ganache in your quest to eat healthy food. Raw & Roxy Café in Cape Town offers tantalising raw vegan versions of the most indulgent foods and salads, freshly squeezed juices, vegan patisserie and smoothies…

The DECO team were thrilled to find this little spot in Woodstock, where raw vegan dishes on offer are packed to the brim with healthy ingredients and tasty as all hell. We sat down with founder Beatrice Holst to find out more…

from left to right: rocket fuel, chocolate slices with nuts, seeds and berries, magnum popsicle, raspberry macaroon slices.
from left to right: rocket fuel, chocolate slices with nuts, seeds and berries, magnum popsicle, raspberry macaroon slices.

How did Raw & Roxy come to be? I believe that you should create the things you wished existed. Almost 100% raw vegan myself,  I was looking for a place where I could eat delicious food that was raw vegan. Also, a place I could go to and get inspiration with classes and new products. Since it didn’t exist, I had to create it.

What is the philosophy or mission statement behind Raw & Roxy? I want to inspire people, to help them feel better and think differently about health. It’s important to consider what is really going on on the planet with Monsanto, GMO and the medical industry selling us things that are not adding anything better to our lives or the environment.

‘Roxy’ actually also means, among other things, opening your mind to new things.

Why ‘raw vegan’ as opposed to vegetarian? Raw vegan is food the way nature intended it – raw, uncooked, natural using only ingredients found in nature. In the vegetarian diet there is way too much pasta, biscuits, rice, dairy – things that don’t contribute to better health.

Un-cooking classes available with owner of Raw & Roxy Beatrice Holst. Learn how to make your own sumptuous raw vegan meals.
‘Un-cooking’ classes available with owner of Raw & Roxy, Beatrice Holst. Learn how to make your own sumptuous raw vegan meals.

What pre-empted becoming raw vegan? For me going raw vegan was for my health, and a bit of vanity as I was getting older. I was beginning to feel aches and pains in my joints and visible arthritis in my hands, my eye sight was getting worse and I was struggling with menopause. This is considered normal and age-related, but taking hormones drugs was not an option for me after reading about the side effects, so I started alkalizing my body and finding ways to eat healthier that weren’t boring. My eyesight got back to normal, no aches and pains, lots of energy and no hot flushes. Why would I go back?

Once you start this new way of life – eating and feeling better, everything changes.

Are you a fan of the foraging trend that appears to be making a rise? I think foraging is great, it’s just going back to how nature intended us to eat – living on the stuff you find in nature and, which is generally a lot more healthy. We have removed ourselves so far away from nature and believe the misleading food commercials, like fat free food that’s actually packed with sugar. Everytime you buy something you are literally saying to them: “Produce more of that!”  I see so many customers everyday that are living so well now, I barely recognise them! They understand that the only thing that can heal you is your body, no doctor or tablet.

Does one need to focus on certain fruits and vegetables as a vegan in order to get required protein for instance? People are worried about getting enough protein, but strangely enough most people don’t really know what protein actually is. There is a lot of protein in greens, nuts and many of the superfoods.

Raw vegan teriyaki portobello mushroom burger with green sprout salad
Raw vegan teriyaki portobello mushroom burger with green sprout salad

Do you have cheat days? Ever miss the candy floss and cigarettes? I haven’t really cheated lately, but when I did I felt like crap right away.  I used to drink and smoke quite a lot, but now if I drink just a little bit I get a headache and nausea right away,

I guess you cross a line and there is no way back if you go all in. But even if you just cut out some of the worst foods and habits and substitute with healthier choices you will feel a difference.

Who inspires you for healthy living? Mimi Kirk has been raw vegan for many years – she is almost 80 and still has long blond hair, a young boyfriend, travels all over the world and teaches about health. She is an author and is a nothing like any 80 year olds that I know. She is an inspiration for growing older and looking and feeling good.

What is Rocket Fuel? Rocket fuel is a tonic I came up with to boost my energy, immune system and to get over my coffee addiction. It’s made with cacao and lots of superfoods: mushrooms, herbs and spices.

'Guilt free' chocolate ganache: avocado, coconut oil, vanilla, cocoa, coconut blossom sugar
‘Guilt free’ chocolate ganache: avocado, coconut oil, vanilla, cocoa, coconut blossom sugar

What is the Detox box? We supply custom made boxes for people who want to do a cleanse or a detox. They usually get juices in the beginning and then they transition to raw vegan dishes, salads, treats and small surprises like ice creams and dehydrated chips.

Your thoughts on detoxing? I have done some detoxing, colonics, fasting and it’s amazing how you feel afterwards. I had a lot of parasites and other stuff that I got rid of in the process. We are not all the same and we react differently, so I think people should do what they feel is best for them. What ever works, works!

In terms of farming, what revolution do you want to see happen? People have really taken to going to the markets and supporting small companies and farms. It would be great if we would all be more aware of what’s really going on. Read the labels on the man-made products, do your own research instead just listening to the media, advertisements or your doctor. The ones who are trying to sell you something are probably not doing it for your best interest. Most people today want to change because they are tired of feeling sick and low in energy.

Once you popsicle, you can't stopsicle. 'Magnum' ice-cream: raw cacao, maca, coconut oil and cocoa on a stick

Once you popsicle, you can’t stopsicle. ‘Magnum’ ice-cream: raw cacao, maca, coconut oil and cocoa on a stick

Favourite food you cannot do without… I love to make spicy soups in the blender with tons of greens, avocado and chili. I use a lot of avocado both in deserts and in salads and soups – it’s so creamy and versatile for sweet or savory.

Are there options in going out for meals as a raw vegan in South Africa? Going out to restaurants is not always fun when you are raw vegan – fine dining can be fine dying. I have eaten a lot of incredible boring excuses for a salad. I must say though, I went to Pot Luck Club last minute and they came up with some pretty cool things for me so I had a ‘real’ dinner like my friends.

Tell us a little more about your raw food un-cooking classes… I do raw vegan un-cooking classes every other weeks. The stuff we do is a bit more advanced than what we have on the menu, mostly because we use more expensive ingredients like macademia nut cheese made with probiotics, brazilnut milk etc. It’s a lot of fun, everybody gets to cook, eat, enjoy many desserts and you also get recipes to take home.

Words to live by:

The best is yet to come and lots can happen


GO TRY IT OUT FOR YOURSELF…
Raw and Roxy café 300 Albert Road, Woodstock, Cape Town | instagram @rawanddroxy
All photographs by Marushka Stipinovich and Raw & Roxy


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