If you've ever stumbled out of the blaring Florida sunlight and into the dimly lit, aqua-hued tourist spot, the Wreck Bar at Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel, you've probably noticed the bar's main attraction: A stunningly beautiful and incredibly buff mermaid-tailed woman who swims by the porthole windows of the bar as she does her underwater performance at the hotel pool.
While you might imagine the mermaid sustaining off of sea life or burgers serves up by the hotel staff in between underwater feats, Marina Anderson is a devoted raw foodie who made the switch starting with no processed foods about 6 years and 90 percent raw diet for the last year and a half in an effort to get food as fresh and close to its natural state as possible.
Want to eat like this fire-eating mermaid? Marina shares a couple of her favorite raw food recipes with us.
Since going mostly raw, Anderson says she's noticed a great deal of energy, endurance and strength from the switch which has helped to fuel her mermaid shows as well as at her other job, as performer with Ronin Taiko, a theatrical Japanese drum group where she plays drums ranging in weight from 20 to over 400 pounds.
Marina offers a bit of advice to those looking to make the raw food change, saying it's best to increase the raw percentage until you get accustomed to it. Start with one or two raw meals until you're comfortable. You'll also want to invest in (or borrow) a good food dehydrator and a powerful blender.
"I use a Vita-Mix which I have named "Sinistar" after my old favorite video game." Anderson says "A juicer is also handy - especially for juice fasts, which can really detox and perk you up. Call it a body reboot.
She says that after the initial shock to your system a strange thing happens - you learn to appreciate the taste of fresh food. It's like a reeducation for your tastebuds.
"My Raw Aquaticat Appleslaw" is a morning staple, and pretty easy to make- grate one large or two small apples mixed with some raw cashews, cinnamon, chia seeds, chopped dates, goji berries or walnuts, cacao nibs and a little bit o'coconut. Add some almond milk in that bowl and away you go! Its easy to make it your own- just change an ingredient or two, and give it your own title!
She also recommends her "Fire Eating Mermaid Jalapeño Poppers!" Just take some Jalapeños sliced and stuffed with Jalapeño cashew "cheese" (non-dairy) dipped in yellow pepper, date and sesame seed "batter". Dehydrate for 12 hours or so, and ya got some fantastic spicy hot snack eats!"
If you're wondering if going raw is worth the effort, just head over to the Wreck Bar at the Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel (140 Seabreeze Blvd., Fort Lauderdale) and catch the Mermaid Show. One glimpse at those abs in action and you'll be convinced it's worth a try.