Melissa Mango On Raw Food & Pregnancy


Melissa Mango is true blue as far as friend go! Having been a hard core sister of mine, Melissa is an incredible gourmet, raw vegan chef, and a power-house of a woman! She's sassy, intelligent, a straight shooter and taking mother-hood to whole new level!

1. {GB} How did raw food become a significant force in your life and what changes did it produce?

{MM} Now that is a nicely layered question Gab! Wow! Where to begin. When I first started eating raw foods it was purely for esthetic reasons; gearing up for a dance competition. As suggested by my personal trainer, I was juicing and eating salad like crazy and getting some incredible results in a very short amount of time. The magic happened when I began noticing subtle and not so subtly differences long after the competition ended. The thoughts in my mind were shifting, my interests were defiantly changing and I loved the way I felt! I would wake up refreshed, wanting to tuck away in nature and ponder my life’s purpose. Now this was very different from what I was use to after a night of drinking and being a star bartender. As more positive shifts naturally unfolded appeared in my life with very little conscious effort on my part, I wanted more of it! Clearly there was no other way; the force was with me!

2. {GB} You recently gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, how did understanding nutrition help in the entire process?

{MM} Having already felt what it truly feels like to have major shifts happen in the body brought on by food choices, somewhat prepared me for yet another shift: child birth. A lot of my nutritional needs were met by simply listening to my body. When I found out I was pregnant I was anticipating the crazy ice cream and pickles craving. Instead I intuitively wanted in-season fruits, simple combinations and at very specific times of the day. I distinctly remember that I couldn’t get enough grapefruits at their peak! Once the season was over, just like a light, I turned off the need and moved onto something else that was blooming in season.

When I would over-think my food, it would get complicated. Yet when I would go with my inner flow and desire it was beautiful.My midwife and other’s included would show concern or gently scare me into “wanting” a certain type of food or portion size especially. Eat more! Eat more! Do this supplement! You absolutely need this!  I just stuck with my personal needs and I felt grrrreat!

Eating clean, fresh, wholesome food and in healthy portions kept me feeling light, clear minded and able to enjoy the gift of pregnancy. I didn’t suffer from the usual symptoms accepted as part of the process such as swollen feet, depression, and yeast infections.  I am going to give credit to my intuition and me sticking to a high raw diet through my pregnancy. I will not deny that I ate some non- raw things here and there but I felt amazing overall with what I did.

I go into detail on my blog you are welcome to share with others.

 Being in tune for example with how our food actually feels and reacts in the body also helped me when it came to the birthing process. I understood it better and allowed it to unfold because I was already use to being present in my body through other means. Having my attention on being present with the changes, the sensations and the process made the whole experience my own and actually enjoyable. Rather than viewing birth as “OH MY GAWD! THIS IS GOING TO BE GNARLY, HAND ME THE MEDS” I approached it as “YES! Let me experience the divine gift of birth”. And because of that positive attitude, I didn’t experience pain, I experienced bringing forth life.

3. {GB} What can you tell us about how our relationship to food is directly related to our emotional body?

{MM} I feel like I started to go into that from the previous question.Our food choices are all about our emotions, even ways in which we experience and relate to our world. We eat when we are happy in celebration with others, or sad wanting to “stuff away” or suppress emotions. When I first dived into raw foods, the ways I related with the world shifted big time from the ways I related before. Food being the catalyst.  I went from “Where is the next bar for shots?” to “How can I use less trash and take care of mother earth which takes care of me?” Coincidence? Nope! When we clean up the fuel (food) we are putting in our bodies, I feel that we begin to truly relate to our outer world and notice our place in it. Once we detox and remove the clutter of poor and processed garbage food, we begin to see ways in which we can contribute to our world in a positive way.

Ever notice that most kids today are angry once they are fed sugar or other processed foods? I notice my mood change the second I eat something not-so vibrant, then witness the slope in my emotions. Our food choices directly influence our emotions! That’s why the phrase Good Mood Food hits it home for me.

4. {GB}  As a noted chef in the raw food community, can you give us an idea of how to make this lifestyle sustainable for beginners? 

{MM} I’ve noticed each person getting into the raw food lifestyle is going to find their own unique way of making it sustainable and enjoyable for long term success. Some feel best going 100% right off the bat and never look back. Others do best committing to 80% raw with some flow-tarian flexibility in there somewhere.

The trick is to do what you can and forget about being militant or hard on yourself. Enjoy yourself!  This is not a freak religion or some weird obsessive group to join. This is about feeding your body vibrant food and seeing some rockin’ results such as long life and freedom from illness! I recommend each person do what they can comfortably and make positive upgrades as they go. Begin with 1 meal a day that is all fresh and raw from your favorite new recipe book. Try removing items such as white sugar, white flour, canned or boxed foods, and dairy one by one overtime. Strive for consistency rather than perfection.

5. {GB} I understand that you will be the head chef at our upcoming retreat in Eden, AZ. Can you tell us about why you chose to do this event and what you think it will offer the participants?

{MM} Who can refuse private land with hotsprings and the sunsets in the desert? This will be the 5th time I've been there and participants can expect grateness! Everyone leaves with fun stories to share, new friends and even  transformation on some level. Yummie food, beautiful land to see, live music, movement and hot pools to soak! YES please!


Author of Melissa Mango’s Green Cuisine, Melissa is a live food chef in the Santa Cruz area also catering David Wolfe events. As a dessert magician and food combining mistress her talents taker her abroad to consult and share the healing magic of Live Foods.