“You mean I get to teach folks how to make Double Chocolate Chip Cookies for a living? This must be the best job in the world!!”
So those were my thoughts while I was pressing my hands into the raw cookie dough made from cashew flour, coconut flour and cacao powder; shaping and rolling up balls which would be transformed into really yummy raw cookies. Gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free, wheat-free, refined sugar-free which makes them all guilt-free as well. I was making them for my eight participants of the Food Dehydrator workshop where they would also learn how to prepare:
- Pumpkin & Cranberry Bread
- Pizza crust, pizza sauce, pizza topping
- Double Chocolate Chip Cookies
So this is what I actually like to do! I’ve F-I-N-A-L-L-Y figured it out. When I quit my corporate job four years ago (I was the Senior Manager for Corporate Communications covering the ASEAN market at a multinational IT company), the Managing Director told me, “Yin, you’ve got to do something you like”.
Huh? I didn’t really know what I liked. I mean I like to travel. I like food. I keep saying I don’t like writing and yet I write and write and write. I like nature. I like talking to people if it’s in a small group and we’re on the same wavelength. I like the performing arts. I like performing on stage. I like singing. And so I did a multitude of things, trying to figure out this thing that I liked. I went into Arts Management. I started giving private lessons on Public Relations for folks in the performing arts. I wrote for publications. I became a Design Thinking Coach. And now, ta-da, I’m a Raw Food Chef making Raw Vegan Double Chocolate Chip Cookies!
People always wonder about my educational background. Well, I went to law school and graduated. But I never practised law. I worked for a non-profit organisation and ended up in Public Relations. I took up a course in Public Relations as I wanted to have some kind of paper qualification on the subject matter. And then I joined a dotcom. It’s like a startup, except it was in the days when the Internet and the public weren’t ready for us. And then I was in a PR agency. And after that for 10 years, I was in various multinational IT companies as the PR & Marketing manager. And then, to the horror of my family and relatives, I quit my job. It just wasn’t something I wanted to do anymore. I dreaded going to work. I was putting in crazy hours into work but it felt utterly meaningless, and I kept asking myself, to what end? Why do I have to deal with intensely stressful people and situations when I felt I wasn’t really helping anyone at all? I know that the editors and journalists that I worked with were really cool people and really appreciative but beyond that it just felt like work was not meaningful anymore.
Nowadays, it’s a different story. It’s still stressful mind you, but there’s always joy after each workshop is completed. The participants will share with me how they enjoyed making and eating the food, and one of my greatest joys is now seeing photos of their own raw food creations posted up on their social media channels. I love answering all their questions because it shows there is a real interest, and people are curious and they too want to learn more about the wonders of raw food.
I used to tell people I had stumbled onto a blogpost by Emily von Euw of This Rawsome Vegan Life but nowadays I’m wondering whether it’s more of the Universe leading me there, rather than an accidental thing.
On my second raw food birthday, I finally wrote to Emily about how that specific post had changed the direction of my life. Here’s what I said:
If you’re wondering why the photo of your raw lasagna with cashew cheese and broccoli sun-dried tomato pesto is on my Instagram and Facebook pages it’s because today marks the second year of my raw food journey which has been absolutely amazing. I’ve decided to call it my Raw Food Birthday.
This journey started because of you. I stumbled upon your blogpost and was drawn in by your beautiful photos of raw vegan food. I made that very recipe and have been hooked on raw food ever since. Why didn’t anyone tell me before this that food can actually be energising, so full of life and so revitalising?
For the past two years, I’ve read books, blogposts, watched videos, and even signed up for courses (THREE!) at the Matthew Kenney Culinary Academy to educate myself about raw food. I must have made at least a thousand or more raw vegan meals already. I develop new recipes based on local Malaysian fruits and vegetables and test them all the time with friends and family.
On request, I’ve started conducting raw food workshops in Malaysia and Singapore. It’s been exhilarating - stressful at many points and yet very rewarding at most times. I’m grateful that the workshop participants have been really warm, wonderful and welcoming. They’re so appreciative of what I’ve been sharing with them.
Anyways, I thought I should really write this to you as I’ve been telling everyone about how your blog kickstarted this entire journey and yet I’ve never written to you. Now after 2 years and I’m still loving being high raw vegan, it’s time to tell you and thank you.
So now you know that someone in Malaysia - all across the globe - read your blog and it totally changed her life.
Thank you Emily. Sending love from Kuala Lumpur!
So that sums up my raw food journey so far… People always ask me, so what’s next? Well, I tell them it’s crafting the future of raw food in Malaysia, really. Going local, and inspiring others to go local too.
If you’re curious about how to make those Double Chocolate Chip Cookies, connect with me on my Instagram account here and I’ll keep you updated on the next workshop. There may be something coming up end of August if we have enough participants :)