See a video of Annette after the jump. The raw vegan diet consists of fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds that have not been brought to a temperature above degrees. Larkins grows much of her own food in her back yard, sprouts everything from broccoli to mung beans, and juices pineapples, sugarcane, homegrown wheatgrass, and almost anything else that grows out of the ground. Her collection of juicers — from masticating to hydraulic press — would put your local Jamba Juice to shame.

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Soul food. That changed one Saturday morning in when she suddenly began to abhor the smell, taste, and touch of it. Annette and her family were at the dinner table eating a traditional Southern breakfast: ham, bacon, sausage, jam, toast, butter, grits, and eggs. After the family had eaten, she went to the kitchen to prepare some frozen pork chops for the evening meal. She eventually moved on to eating only raw foods, which is ironic, given that her husband, Amos, was a butcher at the time.

Annette kept her drastic dietary transformation to herself for two weeks before saying a word to her husband and children. She simply prepared separate meals — one for herself and one for the rest of the family.

It worked out; no one noticed. But when she told Amos, 80, about her decision to be a raw foodist, his face showed shock, then surprise, and eventually, concern. I had never heard of nobody saying anything like that before.

I asked her, Are you sick? And because she takes care of her body, she rarely is. But Annette wants everyone to age as well as she has — citing her raw-food-eating lifestyle of 27 years as the best example — so she began holding talks around town to explain how raw eating can lead to a longer life. And so they did listen.

But that changed over time, and now she says more Black people are seeking her advice than anyone else. I said, Well, we got a Black president. Though, of course, First Lady deserves praise too, she joked. Annette recalls an African-American woman telling her that she is no longer afraid of aging after meeting her.

Mothers have called her to say that their sons in college learned of her raw food lifestyle and were eating healthier. And while she almost never accepts speaking requests, she did make an exception for a young woman in Atlanta. It was just so exciting to me. She is a raw chef. She is 14, so they [those interested] are getting younger.

Over the years, Annette has been invited to travel the world as a guest speaker on raw eating but has graciously declined all requests to do so. A former receptionist at an airline, she says that her job empowered her and her family to see much of the world.

Travis Stork, started off the segment by assuring viewers that Annette did not undergo Botox to achieve her looks.

Lisa Masterson asked a question that was likely on the minds of many in the audience. After 54 years of marriage come Sept. What more can I ask for? Indeed, he credits his wife for his improved eating habits over the years, but wishes he had started sooner. And while his wife can easily walk flights of stairs without losing her breath, he has to take the elevator. Recalling an outing he and Annette made some time ago, Amos said they went to a museum where a man complemented his wife…sort of.

When Annette along with other visitors wanted to explore the area outside the museum, Amos decided to stay behind. I fall back because we get better service that way. Everybody wants to wait on her. She feels the food we put in to our bodies can help us live longer or shorter lives, depending on the choices we make. Annette believes God put her on Earth to help people make better choices, especially Black people. Now the shackles have been removed from our ankles and our wrists.


Annette Larkins’ Top Recipes

It has taken many of us a lifetime to firmly establish the wrongs that befall us; we must understand that it may take some time to undo these wrongs. There were different time frames for different phases in my transition, and I would have to really think about each of them, but it suffices to say that I took the time that was needed in order to get to the next step. Everyone does not arrive at the same place at the same time when it comes to lifestyle changes. Yes, my husband, after many years, has made some recent changes that have enriched his life, and although he is not completely raw, he has made improvements that are encouraging him to remain on the path as much as possible.


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