By Claire Harlin
Staff WriterWhen Andrea Cox first visited Del Mar as a raw food company spokeswoman at a convention a year ago, she knew it was where she’s supposed to be.
The raw food cookbook author and chef, who had been hired to promote raw and organic food company Sunfood based on her popularity in Ohio, turned down a permanent position with the company but stayed in Del Mar — and things have only flourished since. Her book, “RAWlicious Recipes,” continues to grow in popularity and she has found a niche doing private raw food cooking lessons, coaching and parties for those interested in the raw food lifestyle.
“Everything has happened by word of mouth, and the food speaks for itself,” said Cox, who just began offering “Dinners with Andrea,” in which she makes dinner on location for a groups of about six (three couples).
While Cox has lived for more than seven years on a 100-percent raw diet — meaning no cooked food of any kind — she finds many of her clients are happy with one raw meal a day or going almost raw (maybe 70 to 80 percent, she said).
“A good balance is perfect,” said Cox, who is also vegan. “But the longer I stayed raw the more focused I was and balanced I was.”
Cox, a former fitness model of more than a decade, began her raw food venture when she became very ill from a high-protein diet. In her struggle, she flew to New York to meet personally with a raw food expert and author, and his teachings turned her life around.
She not only became healthy again but, at 35, she has since maintained a size 0 and enjoys as much as 4,000 calories a day of raw, healthy food.
As she became more and more well-versed as a raw foodist, Cox began compiling her best recipes and self-published “RAWlicious Recipes,” which became a popular sell at farmers markets in Ohio. Once her local news media took notice, she ended up on the front page of her hometown paper and doing weekly TV news spots.
A pioneer of raw food, nobody was doing what Cox had dedicated her life to.
“I was really an odd ball,” she said. “I said ‘raw’ and people thought I meant sushi.”
Cox is fitting in perfectly in North County San Diego, where residents embrace healthy and organic eating. She is also offering raw food classes and retreats.
On Oct. 15, from 2 to 4 p.m., she will be holding the class “Living Foods with Andrea” at Harvard Cookie Girl in La Jolla, and her next retreat will take place from Jan. 5-9. For more information, visit www.thehealthyhaven.net or sign up for Cox’s next class at https://andreacox.eventbrite.com.