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Massages over microwaves: an energetic mom shares how to prepare raw vegan food

Nakia Porter demonstrates raw vegan recipes
Nakia Porter demonstrates raw vegan recipes
Laura Melamed

“Massage it like you love it,” caterer Nakia Porter advises a volunteer from the audience working with kale at a Raw Foods Workshop in the Enoch Pratt Free Library on Saturday June 14.

The free event was led by Nakia’s Peace of Life Catering as part of the Vegan Living Program run by Open the Cages Alliance to educate people about the variety of vegan options available and ways individuals can incorporate vegan food into their diets.
Open the Cages Alliance encourages community members to learn more and even take a pledge to eat vegan-only for thirty days.

“Do you love it? Say it. Say it. Say ‘I love kale,’” Porter continues to encourage her volunteer and even insists he hum his favorite song while massaging the dark green leafy vegetable in a large salad bowl. Porter obviously wants food preparation to be fun and it’s apparent she enjoys it herself. Raw food takes time, she says, but it’s worth it because it can change your life.
Porter suffered from asthma and allergies until her brother encouraged her to start eating raw vegan foods. In 2012, she started the catering company.

Now she gets up at 2 a.m. on Saturday mornings to start preparing for The Glenn Dale Farmers’ Market and also does demonstrations and parties. Caffeine-free and the mother of a nine-month-old-daughter, Porter insists she gets her energy from her diet.

Cooking food destroys essential enzymes that aid digestion, according to a handout that Porter gave audience members at the end of the workshop. The enzymes are necessary because they break down food and make nutrients available to the body.
Free samples of the kale salad went around the room along with small cups of fresh smoothies. There was a sweet berry smoothie and a green smoothie flavored with anise.

While personally my relationship with kale is largely one of necessity, I think I’m ready to say, with all honesty, I do love smoothies and although they are probably impossible to massage, Porter’s smoothies are among the best I’ve ever tasted.