Thursday, March 4, 2010

MARCH HEROINE ENTREPRENEUR - CAROLYN AKENS



Heroine - 1. A woman noted for courage and daring action.
2. A woman noted for special achievement in a particular field.

Meet this month's Heroine Entrepreneur.......
Carolyn Akens.

1. Tell us about your business, products, services and what makes it special or unique.
I am a certified, master raw foods chef as well as an instructor. And I’m also a weight-loss coach. I promote well-being thru raw foods. I train people to become raw foods chefs and instructors. I also have a weight-loss side to my business.

2. How was it birthed? What sparked the development of it?
I feel that the only way you can be successful in losing weight is to lose it the natural way. That is by incorporating raw food and vegan food. That’s the way I did it. I found myself weighing 185 lbs at 5’4. So that put me into the obese category based on my bmi (body mass index). The thing that really brought it to the fore-front for me was my 45 year old younger brother died from complications from being morbidly obese. That was a wake-up call for me in the worse way. His death really made me look at myself. I decided that I had to change and began looking at raw foods.

I utilized raw foods to lose weight and in the process created a weight-loss system! What I found was that you will lose the weight you need to lose. And then your weight-loss will level off. I weigh 125 lbs and I haven’t weighed that since I was in my 20’s. I will be 60 years young this year and I feel great! I don’t look like something is wrong with me, i.e. anorexic or gaunt. I have so much energy whereas before I suffered from high cholesterol, migraine headaches and arthritis in my lower back. I don’t have any of those ailments anymore.



3. Have you always been in this particular field? Do you have a history in this area?
I began my culinary career in 2001. Before then, I was in corporate working for a Fortune 500 company. I was employed with them for years. Cooking was something that I always loved and enjoyed. Especially baking. For years I had my own personal chef service where I prepared and delivered meals to my clients. Once I discovered raw foods, it made sense for me to convert to it (raw foods) and go to school to become a master raw foods chef and instructor.


4. How much support did you receive when you first started out?
I got a lot of support. My children, grandchildren, and friends were very supportive. My 17 year old grandson will eat anything I prepare. He has really embraced raw foods so he is my tester. I test everything on him. My 16 year old granddaughter has made green smoothies a daily part of her life, and her mom, my daughter, has now embraced raw foods. Yes, my family has been extremely supportive.


5. Is there anything that you wish you would have done or handled differently?
Yes. I just really wish that I hadn’t been like an ostrich with my head in the sand. You know when you’re gaining weight. Your waist expands, clothes fit tight, and you buy clothing with an elastic waistband or clothing that is loose and free-flowing. Had I not been in denial I would have been in a better position to help my brother; however as adults we make our own choices and don’t always want to listen and sometime that decision is deadly. My goal is to make sure that people truly understand the consequences of their decision making process when it comes to food. Eating healthy is not about dieting it is a lifestyle because diets don’t work.


6. What was your biggest hurdle in developing your business?
I haven’t had a lot of hurdles. I expected them but I didn’t get many. I think the hurdles come from being in the South. Meaning this is a meat-n-potatoes land. Pasta. Fried foods. Mac-n-cheese. So when you talk about raw foods, people look at you as if you have a third eye because they don’t want to embrace it. But when I take the time to really sit down and explain it to them and then, do one better and bring them something to taste, that changes. When people know better they do better and change is inevitable.


7. How did you stay motivated or what kept you motivated to continue doing what you do?
Health. I want people to live long and be happy without all the various diseases that infiltrate our bodies. Whether I live to see it happen or not, I want obesity stamped out once and for all. I also want the food industry to take responsibility for this addictive food behavior because of all the GMOs and addictive ingredient that is put in food that keeps you coming back for more … it’s very addictive. We acknowledge that there are drug addictions, sex addictions and alcohol addictions, but food addiction is worse because it starts with our children and sets them on an addictive path that leads to adulthood, hence obesity, diabetes, low self-esteem and even suicide. These things keep me motivated.


8. There are quite a few women who are seeking to do what you’ve done. What advice would you give them?
I would say, “Contact me and I will train you on how to become a raw foods chef, as well as an instructor.” I feel there are not enough of us out there. You don’t have to become a “master” raw foods chef but you should learn everything you need to learn to make sure your craft is always on the breaking edge of all the various new things that are happening in the culinary world. Continual learning is very important because we should become life students.
From the instructor side of it, it is really important that once you complete your training as a chef that students knows how to set up their business the correct way. How to set up classes; how to use assistants; pricing classes; determining overhead cost; pricing and costing menu items; back of the room sales; pricing and costing your catering services; recipe development, etc. Setting up your business structure the correct way is crucial. I have created a blueprint just for the culinarian, Mise en Place Marketing Blueprint™ for Success! How to Keep “everything in place” for Your Business. I encourage my students to think outside-the-box to augment their businesses, and I make sure my students get all the tools they need to make them successful.


9. Is there anything new & exciting that we can expect from your business in the future?
I will be traveling this year training chefs and instructors in various states and talking about raw foods. Carolyn’s Raw Foods Institute will also be teaching via Teleseminars, Webinars, YouTube, and DVDs.
I’m also rolling out a licensing program where I will train people on how to become a weight-loss coach using my tried and true weight loss system.


**A note for Carolyn**
It was a pleasure interviewing you. I thank you for taking time out to do this and share your experience and wisdom with everyone else. My deepest thoughts and well wishes for your success in touching and changing the lives of others.
{{Hugs}},


Contact & Information
Carolyn's Raw Foods
twitter: CarolynAkens
email: carolyn@carolynsrawfoods.com

The top picture is of anime' heroine, Izumi Curtis (aka Teacher), from the anime' series Full Metal Alchemist.

2 comments:

  1. Eating healthy is not about dieting; it is a lifestyle because diets don’t work.

    *Ding ding ding bells whistles and sirens*

    I WISH more people could understand that. I had to diet my way up to 300 pounds and morbid obesity before it sunk in.

    I looooove that your grandkids are into the living foods you prepare and chugging the green smoothies. What a gift you've given them.

    Sixty sure looks sexy on you!

    xoxo
    EM

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi CO,
    Great interview! Ms. Carolyn is a remarkable woman and very inspiring.

    Thanks for sharing this interview!

    Take care!

    ReplyDelete

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