Dessa Stone-Pividal of Temple Terrace, an activist against genetically modified organism and a certified natural health professional, said she believes people are awakening from what she calls a “processed food trance.”
Stone-Pividal eats 75 percent to 85 percent raw food in her diet and teaches other people to juice and make recipes using raw foods.
“We are one of the most obese nations in the world, yet we are nutritionally starving to death and suffering numerous illnesses,” she said.
Stone-Pividal said she is part of an activist group that meets every Wednesday at Sacred Grounds Coffee Shop, 4819 E. Busch Blvd., No. 104. She said the group is working hard to get GMO labeled, to educate the public on the dangers of GMOs, and to teach people how to grow their own food.
A genetically modified organism is one whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques.
Members of the group, including Stone-Pividal, are getting ready for the Saturday, Oct. 12, “March Against Monsanto” event that will take place worldwide. They will be marching at 1 p.m. in downtown Tampa’s Gaslight Park, but the march is preceded by various activities and speakers starting at 11 a.m.
“I believe the genetic modification of our food supply is contributing to the illness and disease we are suffering,” she said. “In order for us to have good health, we must have clean, organic, non-GMO food, the way nature provided it to us. Our food supply is being polluted with GMOs, pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals and that is directly related to our health and the health of our environment.”
Last year, 750 people came out for the first March Against Monsanto in Tampa.
Stone-Pividal is also a professional herbalist and a certified Hallelujah Acres health minister, but she considers herself simply a “health geek.” As a health minister she teaches people who are trying to improve their health by applying the principals of the Hallelujah Acres Diet & Lifestyle.
“I learned most of my raw food recipes from the Hallelujah Acres Lifestyle Center in Plant City and many Facebook pages that promote raw foods and healthy recipes,” she said, adding the program emphasizes juicing, eating live food, exercise, spirituality and positive thinking.
Stone-Pividal owns Wellness by Dessa, which is at The Center for Advanced Permanent Makeup, Skincare & Wellness, 8593 W. Linebaugh Ave. in the Westchase area.
“I look around today and see so much sickness and disease that it breaks my heart,” she said. “I started Wellness By Dessa as a way to educate people on how to take care of themselves. We have become so disconnected from ourselves and have bought into the fast food industry, that many times we don’t know where to start when it comes to our health.”
She teaches juicing as well as “Whole Living and Raw Foods 101” at the kitchen facility at the Omar K. Lightfoot Center, 10901 N. 56th St., Temple Terrace. She is hoping to teach people about raw food at other venues in Hillsborough County.
Stone-Pividal and her husband, Larry, have two children: Alexandra, 16 and Andrew, 12.
She finds creative ways to encourage her children to eat raw by making smoothies and hummus.
Larry said his wife has made him a guinea pig through the years as she studied natural health and healing.
His favorite raw dish is a recipe from Hallelujah Acres, the collard green salad.
“I never thought I would eat raw collards as I am from the South and we cook them with bacon, but I have to say, that it is really good and I know it is a lot better for me than the cooked version,” Larry said. “I appreciate what my wife does trying to keep me and the kids healthy. It is a work in progress.”
He also likes her black bean burgers, which are natural but not raw.
“I don’t follow everything she does or tells me to do, but I do like the fact that she juices for me and makes healthy food,” he said. “She has made some pretty tasty juices and I do feel better when I am drinking them instead of coffee or other drinks.”
For more information, visit her website at wellnessbydessa.com or call Wellness by Dessa at (813) 393-9666.