Our latest blog about friends of Jill Milan features Karen Knowler, the founder and director of TheRawFoodCoach.com, the “International Association of Raw Food Chefs, Coaches & Teachers” (IARFCCT), “Go Raw!” magazine, and “International Raw Food Day” (celebrated each July 11). She has been hailed as “The World’s Premier Raw Food Coach” as a result of her incredible knowledge, experience and ability to make going and staying raw easy, simple, delicious and doable. Karen has trained more than 1,000 people worldwide to become professional raw food coaches and teachers, and her time is now spent mentoring and training up-and-coming raw food stars and visionaries of the future. In April 2012 Karen won the prestigious award for the “2012 Outstanding Achievement in the Business of Coaching” from the International Association of Women in Business Coaching as a result of her work training raw food coaches and teachers worldwide.
Could you tell us a bit about what “The Raw Food Coach” is and how you got involved with it?
“’The Raw Food Coach’ is a business I created back at the end of 2006, having run an organisation called ‘The Fresh Network’ for 8.5 years. ‘The Fresh Network’ was the UK’s first exclusively raw and living foods organisation which was founded in 1992 by my predecessor Susie Miller. ‘The Raw Food Coach’ came about because I realised though running the Network, that people needed a lot more personal support, guidance and inspiration in order to make such a big dietary shift and to be successful at it for the long term. So TheRawFoodCoach.com is essentially a one-stop learning resource for anyone who wants to bring more raw food into their diet in order to look and feel amazing, and to have the energy and vision required to create and live an extraordinary life. I am currently rebranding in a big way, so there’s lots more to come than the eye can currently see! A lot of my time is also spent training the trainers, and mentoring those who wish to have a huge impact in the raw food field, because I’ve been in this field for 18 years now and have so much to pass on.”
How long have you been vegan?
“I first went vegan in 1993, a little less than a year after I went vegetarian. I can’t remember how long I stayed vegan honestly, as some dairy crept back in at some point over the next few years, but I went vegan again (once and for all as a personal commitment) in 2015, after I got more familiarised with just how brutal the dairy industry is, something which I think is easy to overlook when you are focused purely on not eating meat, as I was in the early days.
“I actually grew up working in my parent’s butchers’ shop, so although I don’t like to look back on it or speak about it much, I know that being that close to the reality of the meat industry definitely played its part and I don’t know that I would be doing this work today if that had not been part of my story.”
Are there any animal welfare charities you’ve been involved with?
“Over the years I have sponsored and invested in various animal welfare charities, such as the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), the WWF and assorted smaller charities within the UK. I feel like the work I am doing in the world is playing a huge role in preventing animal cruelty and slaughter by turning people onto raw and vegan food, thereby eliminating or at least diminishing the consumption of meat and dairy. My intention over my lifetime is to create the biggest possible impact, via my own work and also those that I train and mentor. It feels great to be able to be a part of this, and to be able to have this impact, and at the same time, my heart bleeds daily for every single animal that is suffering unnecessarily. I live for the day when animal consumption is a thing of the past and it is seen for the barbaric unnecessary act that it is.”