FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Eating right steers you away from health problems and enables one to maintain an ideal weight. But the concept of healthy eating is easier said than done.
Health foods are often derided for being bland, expensive and still leave people feeling hungry after a meal.
Enter Rawsome – a one-stop health outlet that serves up a health conscious menu- chia seed puddings, cold pressed juices, meat-free meals; and exercise thrown in.
Rawsome offers a healthy spin on Asian favourites, from vegetarian Nasi Lemak, Ramen Tofu Wrap to Korean Bibimbap. It’s hard to say what type of cuisine Rawsome serves, apart from the consistently good kind.
Located in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, with two more under way in Bangsar and Gleneagles Hospital, Rawsome integrates local produce and ingredients into the meals; a decision, says Elyn, taken to help support small and mid-sized farmers.
“Rawsome started in 2016; we were only selling chia seed puddings. We were one of the first players in the market where we only did deliveries. From there, we got to know our customers who often shared their health struggles with us,”
“It was risky to introduce chia seeds to everyone because at the time people weren’t sure what it was. We (had to) educate my customers how it was a super food and incorporate it as a meal replacement,” says Elyn.
The mother-of-two says that it was her sudden diabetic scare that led her to eating clean. “The reason why I had an interest in chia seed puddings was because I was borderline diabetic; my family has a diabetic history. I’m very careful with what I eat.”
“I love to eat and I want to grow old gracefully and see my kids grow up and get married, so (maintaining) my health is my priority in life,” she adds.
Elyn also stresses on the importance of fitness. She provides yoga sessions at Rawsome to help motivate her customers, with classes starting at ten ringgit.
“The yoga lessons aren't meant to make money. I truly want people to feel good and exercise at an affordable price.”
“It worked well; people would come for yoga and we provide something healthy for their body,"says Elyn, adding that most of her customers are mothers.
Before Rawsome, Elyn was an advertising executive, during which she had a chance to assist some of her friends who ventured into the restaurant business. “I really wanted to change the eating habits of Malaysians. But I don't want to be bland, I wanted to incorporate our unique local flavors. Then I thought, why not just open a café of my own?”
Even the best restaurants could sometimes leave customers unhappy. However, Elyn’s policy is no one leaves Rawsome dissatisfied or hungry. Elyn loads her dishes with plenty of fresh vegetables.
Social media is a one of the main platforms used for Elyn to connect with her customers. “Every single question goes directly to me - it is not handled by my staff.”
“I’m not a doctor, I’m not even a certified nutritionist but what I know and how I can help; it is through what I’ve experienced. I’m my own white mouse, whatever I do and sell, I will always try it before it is introduced.”
“I have so much passion I believe in my products. And I really want people to join me on this health journey,” says Elyn.
“I’d wake up at five or six in the morning for a workout until 10:30. Then, I’d have my meetings and manage Rawsome. But I’ll make sure I come home right before my kids get home from school.”
With a booming health and fitness industry in Malaysia, Elyn knows she faces a lot of competition. That, however, only serves to motivate her to be innovative with ingredients and come up with exciting dishes at Rawsome.
“For me, it’s super important to stay focused and be happy. If you are happy, you can take on the world. Even with problems, you can still prevail and see the brighter side of things.”
Despite being known as quite the fitness advocate, Elyn says she doesn’t deprive herself of anything. “The weekends are my ‘cheat days’ but everything is enjoyed better in moderation. Carbs are my worst temptation,” says Elyn.