The Best Type of Therapy- Food!
|Maurizio of the Food Therapy Project|
I am so excited to bring you another interview! This is sincerely one of my favorite things to do here on Veggin'. I love meeting new people and sharing what they are doing to help people live healthier! I recently came across Maurizio and his Food Therapy Project page on Facebook and absolutely fell in love with his mission. I recently had a chance to chat with him about his journey and what prompted him to start the Food Therapy Project!
What made you start The Food Therapy Project?
I wanted to put my life on display and become the change I wanted to see. At 19, I stopped eating meat and pork. I tried no meat for a month, I was a skeptic, but was feeling good. I went to Whole Foods during this time and there was a guy at the food bar that suggested I check out the restaurant Java Greens in D.C. So, I went and met a guy named DJ who was the owner. We ended up becoming great friends and he became a mentor to me. We would come together and play around with food, finding ways to make living foods creative. Back in September, it was ten years that I had been on this journey and I decided I wanted to share with people. So, the Food Therapy project started in early fall of 2012 and I started a page to build interest. Anything I do in life is about people. I love to serve. I was a teacher previously and I'm now a school counselor, so creating the Food Therapy Project is like a perfect marriage of my two loves.
What approach does the Food Therapy Project take in serving others?
My approach doesn't come from trying to convert anybody. I want people to be where they are and take baby steps to eat better. I think people listen better this way. At the beginning of this year, I linked up with a gym and started doing workshops. Now I’m active with people and I feel like I’m at home because I'm helping people, that is where my joy comes from. I get satisfaction that someone might benefit from this in some way. FTP is about all of us - the people are the project. We’re all in this process to get somewhere with our bodies. I believe in letting your body indicate how you need to fuel it. I want people to think about what food does to and for their body. My vision is to continue reaching and educating as many people that are willing, to try other options to continue the quality of their life. My goal is to go to the “unchurched”, to take it to people that don’t know anything about it. I strive to make it live and interesting. I get elated when people say they love juicing!
What are some of the misconceptions you hear about food and in particular vegan living? When it comes to juicing, people think that if they don't eat they are going to die. They question how they would survive on juices. They think they will lose too much weight because they don't understand the process. Also, some people think they have to be part of a food category. Are you vegan, are you a raw foodist? Are you vegetarian? I say that I eat living foods. I eat foods to help me be vital and alive.
What are your closing thoughts on the health community and serving others? We’re all in this together. Everyone may be saying something that may be particular to how food affected them or how they want to heal the community or nation. We’re all family, no one is separate in this community in trying to build people up and teach them to have healthier lives. We’re all serving the same purpose. We all want to improve people’s lives in some way. I always want to support people who are doing something because I’m learning too. It’s great to have different people out here bringing this life to people in their own kind of way. If we all sat together we would all be enlightened by the passion and spirit we all share to improve healthier lives.