Mimi Kirk is a best-selling author, internationally renowned lecturer, raw food chef, and coach. She is passionate about health, wellness and longevity, and sharing her experiences. Mimi is the author of the best-sellers Raw-Vitalize: The Easy, 21-Day Raw Food Recharge and Live Raw: Raw Food Recipes for Good Health and Timeless Beauty.

Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?

I grew up in Hollywood California. Although I’m the youngest of seven, I mainly grew up with my sister who was 2 1/2 years older. The other siblings were older and already left home. We were less fortunate financially than those around us. We lived in a tiny house and we were not surrounded by family or friends. What stands out for me is when my mother took me to a wealthy relative’s home and for the first time, I saw luxury. Beautiful furniture and surroundings. I’d never seen such beautiful art and furnishings. I was 6 or 7. After that, I knew I wanted to be surrounded by beauty. And mainly hummingbirds that were all over their garden. I’ve loved birds ever since.

What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?

I was not a confident young woman. Although others thought I was. I didn’t know how to appreciate my gifts. I was told never to say I did anything well or that would be bragging. I was also told that if you didn’t get married your other option would be to become a secretary – mind you this was in the 1950s. In my day, with parents that didn’t go to college or finish school, that’s all they knew. I wish I would have been confident and recognized my talents.

What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?

I’m a vegan/raw food chef and being in the health food world there are so many differences in what is deemed healthy. There are some who say one can’t be healthy without consuming animal protein. Well, I’m 82 and in excellent health. Living proof of a vegan diet.

Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How you came out of it and what you learned from it?

I was married at seventeen. When I was 29 my husband was killed in a private plane crash. We had no insurance or money at the time. I had been a stay-at-home mom after my first child was born. My youngest was under a year old. I still felt like 17 as my husband took care of everything. I was heartbroken and scared all at once. I had to find work to support my family immediately while I was still in shock. My motherly instincts kicked in and I knew I needed strength. Since I was a Hollywood girl I found work as a screen extra and later a stand-in for Mary Tyler Moore and a costume designer for Rhoda (Valerie Harper,) this is how I was able to support my family. What I learned is that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to.

What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?

I live my truth. I do the things I believe in. I authored seven recipe lifestyle books and show up on social media as a real person. I want people to see what natural healthy aging is like. I became a public person at the age of 70.

What is your morning routine?

I normally wake up at 7:00 am. I go to sleep around 11:00 pm. I wake up, and with my eyes still shut, I mentally go through my body and talk to my cells. I’ve been practicing this since reading Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton. I find this practice paramount to my health. It’s an energetic thing. I like a morning shower before my walk. I walk at least five days a week between 4-5 miles. When I get home I usually have a freshly made vegetable juice or seed and alt-milk cereal.

What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?

There’s no doubt my diet plays a key role in my health. With good health, you can accomplish all your dreams and desires at any age. Health is wealth. I also feel recognizing my strengths and making peace with my weaknesses keeps me living a creative happy life. Recognizing all the love in my life has also improved my life.

What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?

I put no pressure on myself to be productive and creative. The more relaxed I’ve become the more it flows through me. I always seem to have new ideas. In my earlier days, I wanted to carry them all out, but now I pick and choose what most resonates. No pressure seems to work well for me.

What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?

Autobiography of a Yogi took me into the spiritual and the meaning of life. I connected with my soul. It opened me up to a new life. Another book that always stands out for me is The Little Prince. I was reading it to my children and realized it’s for adults. The wisdom and innocence of childhood. “What makes the desert beautiful,” said the little prince, “Is that somewhere it hides a well?” and “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?

“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.”