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My Way: Robyn, "Girl on Raw"

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Robyn is Australian by birth, but currently lives in Saudi Arabia where she is an international woman of mystery / flight attendant on a private jet. She has big aspirations to take her healthy lifestyle as a high raw vegan to the locals, her community of expats and also her flight passengers. Robyn's mission is to do this through a healthier onboard menu, raw food classes and personal catering. She spends her spare time studying Clinical Nutrition and has just completed a month at 105degrees in Oklahoma City, in Level 1, Raw Cuisine Training.

My Way: Robyn

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Thursday – My last day at 105degrees as a Level 1 student and it came with mixed emotions. I had been longing to come to Oklahoma City since I was born (ok it opened in Sept 2009) and I couldn’t believe it finally happened. In fact all month I had been pinching myself in disbelief... I was finally here! All of a sudden not only do I have instant access to a fantastic restaurant (um hello, feeding frenzy!) and academy, but lo and behold, my instructor for the month was none other than UK’s finest Raw Chef, Russell James.

Coming to 105degrees was a challenge for many reasons. First off, I don’t live in the USA, I actually had to come from Saudi Arabia. And secondly, I had to convince my employer to let me have a whole month off work. But it was worth it.

Being our last day and our final assessment, we were required to create a 3-course meal on our own, so I chose a meal that was heavily influenced by the flavours of the Middle East. 

The final assessment took place without almost any hiccups. I did have a vital part of my dessert go missing at the last minute, but I was able to make up a second batch right in time. Let’s just say that I think I am now well prepared to work under pressure. Oh, and I've learned a valuable lesson regarding working in a busy kitchen environment – be prepared.

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The final day of our course was bittersweet. Most of us were from out of town, so we were all quite ready to finish up and head home, but we were all equally inspired and at no time did we feel the course was too much hard work. The month went by really quickly!

Friday – Last minute errands and packing my bags, getting ready to head back home the following day. I met some of my fellow level 1 and level 2 students for dinner back at 105degrees (my home away from home). We don’t have anything remotely like 105degrees in Saudi Arabia. Sometimes we even struggle to get decent quality fresh produce let alone organic. Hopefully we will one-day though. In the mean time I was making the most of the delicious food before I left.

For appetizers I ordered the red chilli guacamole with corn chips and an emerald Bali smoothie, one of my favourites. When the gang arrived I ordered sesame noodles, a delicious spicy kelp noodle dish. Lovely. 

I skipped out on dessert, but took my leftover rosewater and cardamom ice-cream, from my assessment, home with me.

Saturday – I woke up late because I had been packing all night. I only had time to have the rest of the spring water we collected with Russell James during our course, (found through findaspring.com). After a month of eating at 105degrees during my course, maybe going a little lighter wasn’t such a bad idea! 

I packed up my Tiffin of left over apple/cinnamon and choc/orange rawnola that I had made in class. I also packed my oat chocolate chip cookies. I don't really have a sweet tooth, but it was all I had left. I also had an 18 hour journey ahead of me and didn’t want to be left short of choices on the road.

My first flight was a short 2 hour flight so I just drank water. I brought a Bobble with me, which is a recylcled BPA free plastic bottle with it’s own filter. With the limitation on taking liquid through security, the bottle makes it easy to stay hydrated on long journeys.

When I arrived in Chicago, I was pleased to see they had some relatively healthy options so I ordered a vegetable salad with no dressing from Saladworks on concourse C. I had also ordered a Vegan meal with United Airlines for the flight (as they didn’t have a raw vegan option) but I would only eat that as a last resort.

When I boarded, one of the flight attendants was extremely helpful and in conversation I told him I was also a flight attendant. He asked where I was sitting, and said he would take special care of me. I knew this meant offers of champagne from the first class cabin etc, but I said no need. Drinking on such a long flight is not a good idea for the skin.

When the meals were delivered, my vegan meal of tofu and spinach and white rice arrived. I passed on it, but nibbled on the lifeless ice-berg lettuce. Then I pulled out my Tiffin and snacked on my choc/orange granola. I have been told before that when flying, you really don’t need to eat very much anyway, as you are not exerting much energy sitting in your seat. Plus the less you eat, the better your chances of avoiding jet lag.

I watched a couple of movies, drank plenty of water, and then napped.

Sunday – My next flight was from Frankfurt to Bahrain with Gulf Air. And guess what? They have a raw vegan meal option. Usually I would pack more of my own food to take – i.e. salads, guacamole, trail mix, fresh fruit, but this trip I had way too much luggage, (I even got stung with excess baggage fees). So I relied on getting food on the road, which isn’t always preferable when you are a raw foodie.

The flight to Bahrain was not full, so I curled up after take off and slept the entire way, except for a moment, when I was jolted awake by a well meaning flight attendant wanting to give me my raw vegan meal. But since I was so out of it, I shooed him away, so I never even got to see what it included. Next time.

Sunday evening – I land in Bahrain and was welcomed by my boyfriend at the airport. We drive across the causeway back home to Saudi Arabia. I'm feeling motivated to apply all that I have learned and I'm ready to inspire other individuals to improve their health.

My name's Robyn and this is My Way.

Robyn currently lives in Saudi Arabia where she is an international woman of mystery / flight attendant on a private jet.

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