You know how everything happens for a reason and we are literally given a Divine road map if we choose to receive? Today was the perfect example of grace in action. After a wonderful yoga class with my favorite teacher, Tara, I stopped in to my favorite juice hub, Juicebuzz. What an amazing little place, full of love, great peeps and healthy delights. It is truly the Cheers of the health food world. (thank you Cathy Rosenberg for that reference!) I always meet the most interesting people at their bar, and enjoy talking to the juicers making all the love happen. As I was sipping on my greens, a woman said hello to me. She had attended my class earlier in the week. We got to talking and she told me about a place further south called Juiceateria, a vegan cafe and juice bar. She raved that I MUST try it. And so I did. My office is in the area of this new place she mentioned, so I thought I would stop in on my way and find out about all the rage. It was worth the trip.
The place is bright and happy and filled with healthy treats and prepared vegan meals. They even offer cooking classes. I struck up a conversation with the chef who was creating these yummy delights such as raw pizza, chia crema, and raw vegan tacos. As it turns out, we have the same name. He is Andy as well. Our daughter’s have the same name too, Talia. But Andy’s Talia has made a big sacrifice which in turn is helping numerous people create a healthier lifestyle. I must say, Talia’s sacrifice is big, really big, and it has been quite traumatic for her and her family.
Just a few years ago as a young teenager, Talia fell ill and needed a double kidney transplant. She just had the surgery this past August, and is doing well, all things considered.
This unexpected illness provided a wake up call for her family, and especially her father, Andy. Andy owns an italian restaurant, and the family was accustom to eating delicious, savory, ethnic foods, exactly what Talia was not allowed to eat. When the kidneys fail, they cannot process protein. Talia was instructed to eat a raw diet and Andy was determined to change not only the way his daughter ate, but the way he prepared food as a chef.
Andy got an education in raw foods and it changed his life.
Andy and his Uncle Frank opened a raw food cafe, Juiceateria. Talia’s sacrifice has turned his life around, and the life of everyone who visits his juice bar/cafe. Andy shared with me that he has had many customers that thank him with tears in their eyes. Their whole life has changed and they are enjoying better health, more energy, and wellness beyond their dreams since they have started juicing and eating raw. Andy has a cleansing program, teaches raw food classes, and encourages the education of a raw food diet. From a tragic disease, a new way of living was born, and Andy, Talia and Uncle Frank are sharing this gift with the world.
In a strange way, Andy and Talia know that this disease and Talia’s courageous journey has become their gift to the world. Talia’s illness caused her family to make a change and bring a positive message of hope and change to the world. Talia’s mom has set up a page in her honor, educating people about this disease, and expressing Talia’s courage. I hope to meet Talia one day, as she is a hero, and so is her family. They have turned a heart-wrenching experience into hope, and I am blessed to share their story. cotafortaliab.com