Marie Sarantakis – Essentially Raw

Amazon ImageWhat is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.

My book Essentially Raw, a nutritional guide and cookbook, was released June 1st. Its a witty guide on healthy eating, emphasizing the importance consistently integrating raw fruits and vegetables into one’s diet for optimal health. What makes Essentially Raw different from other books in the genre is that its written in a very light-hearted and fun manner. Its easily accessible and entertaining.

Tell us something about yourself.

I’m not a nutritionist by trade, actually far from it. I’m a soon to be attorney. As an undergrad I specialized in political science, philosophy, and the sociology of religion. While in college I very much enjoyed modeling. Most recently I was featured on a Danielle Steel book cover in the UK. Modeling was a fun and rewarding experience, but there was also a dark side to the industry. Many of the models I that I met would starve themselves one week and then gorge out on junk food the next. People would always ask me how I stayed so fit and whether I was eating. The truth was I did eat, and quite a bit, but I ate real and nutritious food. I wanted to share with people that when you eat right, portion control takes care of itself. You don’t have to load up on empty fillers and you’re not starving. When you eat well, it shows. Your eyes, skin, and figure reflect it. I wrote this book to share with others the importance of taking care of your body and to dispel the myths of popular dieting techniques.

How did you choose the title?

Essentially Raw has a double meaning. It is necessary, therefore “essential”, for everyone to eat raw foods, such as fruits and vegetables. But unlike many of the raw food advocates out there, I don’t feel that one’s diet should be 100% raw. It’s an unreasonable demand, and frankly overkill. So I also mean “essentially” as in mostly raw.

What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?

Well the timing of the book release was somewhat challenging. I was making my final revisions to the text during the same week that I was graduating from college. While most of my peers were busy socializing at events and fretting over finals, I was in my own little world going over the final proof copy of book. I attended all of the festivities, just with my book and a red pen in hand.

How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?

As a child, while most kids loved the toy store, I was fascinated with Barnes & Noble. I couldn’t get enough of the place. I think my love for books started there and only grew. I remember the first time I saw myself on the cover of a book modeling, it was such an incredible experience. I thought if it felt so great to stumble across a photo of myself at a bookstore, how amazing would it feel to have a book of my very own.

Do you have any writing rituals?

My guilty pleasure while writing Essentially Raw was occasionally sneaking out for a chicken nugget happy meal. I guess you could say I have a rebellious nature in me. But as I say in the book, don’t deprive yourself. Healthy eating is all about moderation. A happy meal every once in a while is not devastating by any means.

Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book?

When I first started to write this book it was simply intended to be a self-discovery course for myself and a couple of other students. Before I knew it all of my study notes and lesson plans constituted a book. Prior to this endeavor I had no idea just how dangerous the average diet was. Its no wonder that so many of us are struggling with disease, lethargy, sleep disorders, depression, and being overweight. Eating well is not complicated like so many diets make it out to be, its about going back to the basics.

What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors?

I’ve always loved philosophical texts. My favorites includes Machiavelli and Rousseau. I feel that they are provocative, blunt, and see the world with a type of clarity that most of us lose in the hustle and bustle of day to day life.

What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?

Just sit down and start writing. It’s never going to be the perfect time. Then once you begin, it takes a lot of self-direction and determination to complete your work. Even those who are great at managing others can often times have a difficult time managing themselves. There’s always something new on Facebook and you’ll always be exhausted. Don’t get distracted or fall victim to excuses.

Something that motivated me was not announcing my book to family or friends until it was released. I was driven to complete my work because I saved the reward for last.

Who is the perfect reader for your book?

Anyone who has ever felt guilty sitting in a drive thru window.

Where can readers learn more about you and your book?

Readers can visit my book’s website and blog at www.imnotcooking.com

Find the book on Amazon.

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