Nippy winter months aren't far away and tucking into raw food at meal times may not be everyone's cup of tea…er…make that a celery and carrot juice …but for vegan and author Scott Mathias it's a lifesaver.
Nine years ago, after a lifetime of chronic illness and pain caused by gout, heartburn, arthritis, depression and thyroid issues, Scott endured what he describes as a "near-death reflux attack."
He set out to find a solution "to heal myself 100 per cent. I happened upon a natural cure, a raw food diet, and it was a turning point in my life.
"My energy levels rose, I lost 24 kilos and the plant-based lifestyle kicked in the ability of my system to work highly efficiently. I experienced a marvellous change and it was so easy to do."
Former television and radio journalist Scott will be 63 in November and had just received his publisher's copy of his latest book "Raw Vegan Meals Recipe Book" when we called to see him at his recently opened "Go Vegan" food delicatessen in Thomas Street Noosaville.
It's his third book and like his first two packed with simple, raw vegan recipes. New Holland, his Sydney publisher, says he has expanded the market for vegan recipe books, particularly in the last 12 months when Scott's second book "Let's Eat Raw" went on sale.
"There's definitely a lot of people interested in what he has to say."
Scott is a well-known face at Kawana and Noosa Farmers' Markets. He had a stall at Noosa for eight years selling food and health products before opening his deli.
He has firm views on taking prescription drugs. "Baby boomers and the older generation have been left behind by a system which is bogged down by the symptomatic-pharmacology approach. If there is a symptom, give it a drug. I've stayed away from that stuff. I have no illnesses, no pains, no stiffness, zilch diabetes and I don't take any pharmaceuticals.
"People have food options today. Nutritional stodginess like meat and three veg is no longer acceptable, particularly for those in their twilight years."
"I think people in aged care facilities, particularly, are at a distinct disadvantage because there is a system which manages their nutrition and it's all based on a budget. There are places which are beginning to change and give people a quality of life and I'm a great believer in encouraging this."
He says one of the key elements in making nice food for yourself is creating a flavour that works for any vegetable. "We should acknowledge the pleasure of sweet, sour, salty, creamy and crunchy experiences. We don't want to lead boring lives."