Crush Foster is the founder of the brand “A Healthy Crush” which was founded in 2015. His entire philosophy is based on helping people help themselves by introducing them to methods of bodily detoxification through juicing as well as healthy foods that only have positive effects on the body. The company focuses on educating people about the African Bio Mineral Balance, as well as how to eat using Dr. Sebi’s Nutrional Guide. He is the co-author of two cookbooks that focus on alkaline non-hybrid food creations and how to follow an alkaline lifestyle. The company offers several online and in person courses to help people be as health #conscious as possible because Crush recognizes how challenging a healthy lifestyle can be if you do not have the proper guidance.
Is Crush your real name? How often to people ask you that?
It’s not; my given name is Carl Foster. The origin of the name Crush will only make sense if I go back a little.
Growing up I went to the Joseph Lee Community Center after school and played basketball with friends. At that point in my life I drank lots of orange soda; you can probably see where this is going. Anyway, I maybe had 2 or 3 cans of orange soda for each day I went to the center. When I was finished with each can I lined them up against the wall in the gym to throw them away after the games. The brother who ran the center, Haywood, didn’t take too kindly to me littering the gym and had a knack for giving out nicknames based on what you were doing wrong when he saw you. “OK Mr. Crush, you’re gonna come over here and pick these cans up off my floor” was what I heard on a few occasions. Or, “Hey Crush, make sure you pick up your cans today…” if he saw me on the way into the center. Its actually pretty ironic that my name is a result of the bad eating habits I developed at a very early age considering the wellness path I decided to follow in my adult life.
Why did you become an advocate for Dr. Sebi, what about his theories do you resonate with?
Living in Brooklyn I’ve known about Dr Sebi for quite some time. His ex wife’s company was also based here and she actually ordered from our restaurant a couple of times which allowed me to be slightly familiar with the foods that her and Dr. Sebi did not eat. As a matter of fact, I remember she would order vegetable soup and always had me remove as many pieces of carrot as possible. Of course, I gladly obliged but, truthfully, I didn’t understand why she didn’t eat them.
At that point in time, I owned a “Vegan” restaurant but, unbeknownst to me, we were still serving foods that were harmful to bodily health. For example, we still consumed soy in many different forms, hybrid vegetables, low quality oils devoid of nutrients and brown rice and brown sugar. This all changed, however, in 2014 when my business partner Kelly Keelo acquired “leaky gut” and got really sick. I immediately tried to recall what I had heard Dr Sebi say in the few instances I’d listen to him speak and proceeded to look for as much information as possible on what foods to avoid and which ones to consume. After all I am the chef and felt responsible for what me and my co-workers were eating everyday. I remember thinking, “How could I let this happen? There HAS to be a way to reverse her condition by changing a few things”.
This is where Dr Sebi’s views on food, healing and health, began really influencing my lifestyle choices. I began removing detrimental foods from our kitchen and replacing them with foods from Dr Sebi’s Nutritional Guide and, within 4 days, Kelly’s health began to improve. At the same time, I was also suffering from joint pain that I dismissed as being “normal” because I worked so hard at the restaurant; however, when I made these food changes in our kitchen the pain began to lessen and, eventually, went away completely. My hands and knuckles were no longer sore and swollen in the morning, my knees weren’t clicking and popping and I began to sleep better and feel more energized. It was then, after seeing such positive results in both Kelly’s health and my own, that my advocacy for Dr Sebi went into full force.
What is the African Bio Mineral Balance?
The African Bio Mineral Balance is a therapeutic approach to healing broken into three parts:
- The first is to fast and detox the body of toxins that have compromised the mucus membrane. This method is called an intra-cellular cleansing. This is the basis for healing the body in most situations.
- The second is to support the body with herbal compounds.
- The third is to build the body back up with foods that are least detrimental and help maintain an alkaline pH.
What are the benefits of alkaline herbs and food products?
Alkaline herbs are native plants grown entirely naturally with little to no interruption from man. What makes these herbs so special is that they have a relatively high pH, which means their consumption will not cause your body to become more acidic and ultimately cause health issues. The genetic structure of alkaline allows it to assimilate within the human body easily and in turn avoid internal imbalances.
When did you start researching different methods of healthy cooking?
It was 2008 when I realized I had gained over 58lbs above my ideal weight and I needed to do something about it. About two years later, I had revamped my entire diet by becoming vegan, and incorporating vegetable juices and soups into my daily regiment more than solid foods. With that being said, it wasn’t until after I acquired my own vegan restaurant that I began to explore ways to make this type of diet more appealing to meat eaters and people who were addicted to the standard American fare.
What initially was the draw to the health food industry?
When I was trying to figure out what my purpose on this planet was, it occurred to me that the only thing I was willing to do, whether I ever got paid or not, was to cook and promote the hobby to others.
You talk about juicing as your start; do you feel like juicing is a sustainable way to lose weight and keep it off? Or is it mostly for detoxification? How long do you recommend people juice for and how often?
I firmly believe that juicing is a way to lose weight and keep it off. Not only are liquid minerals easier to digest, they also carry oxygen throughout the blood which improves circulation and digestion. For anyone following an alkaline lifestyle, I believe that a green juice should be consumed twice a day 2-3 times a week for a consistent dose of chlorophyll and that a minerals fast should be completed every three months.
Where do you get your facts and where do you do your research?
I personally have found that nature is the best place to look for answers on our health. I believe that she knows what we need and is constantly trying to tell us what that might be. For example, the dandelion is thought to be a weedy nuisance or a pest that needs to be eliminated. However, nature has made it abundantly clear that no matter what you spray or how often you pull them dandelions are going to grow back stronger than ever. I believe that she is trying to tell us that this plant is essential and we needn’t get rid of it. Thus, I start my research by looking into nature and talking to elders, gardeners, cultural historians and doctors who all have a passion for the outdoors and natural heeling remedies and then I back up most of the information with books and medical research, as opposed to the other way around.
Do you follow the recipes that you came up with?
I would have to say I come up with recipes that other people follow. I don’t cook with recipes ever. I create foods based on any given inspiration that I might have and then follow it through. It’s not until I come up with a recipe/technique that I resonate with, that I actually slow down and document it so that others can replicate it.
Do you feel like anyone could follow these recipes or are the ingredients expensive/ easily accessible?
I do feel like anyone can follow these recipes. I would say that the only difficulty is the fact that many of the ingredients are either made from scratch or a substitute for acidic standard American fare. However, the ingredients are easy to find if you know where to look. For example, Latino, Caribbean and Asian cultures commonly have much of the foods from Dr Sebi’s Nutritional Guide and are accessible in the different communities these cultures are based.
What kind of feedback have you gotten from customers?
The feedback ranges from positive to more positive. For example, the responses span from people who are delighted to have made significant changes in their diet because they notice less fatigue, joint pain, digestion issues and acne all the way to people who have been able to reverse their diabetes, high blood pressure and, in a few cases, even HIV.
What is your main purpose with these recipes? (Weight loss, detoxification, gut health, etc.)
The main goal of my recipes is food addiction. My motto is “you don’t have to change the menu, just the ingredients”. I like to come up with alkaline dishes that mimic American fare because I want people to see the compromise is minimal but the benefits are huge; i.e. improved health and vitality. The secondary focus is digestion, followed circulation and detoxification. These are the main reasons we eat food and should be the focus of our efforts.
Where do you see your brand going in the next 10 years?
I see us becoming a major influence to others that want to teach their community about alkaline living and the best foods for your body; we want being healthy for the right reasons to be cool again. Our hope is that we can attract younger chefs, cooks and alkaline advocates to follow in our footsteps and help inspire this way of life. Personally, I feel that Veganism is a modality that needs to reach beyond animal activism and actually maintain a focus on its benefits for the human body. If humans stop eating animal products for the purpose of optimum health, the animals would still be safe. I believe if a new generation takes on this way of thinking it could change the scope of eating and actually inspire people to take care of their bodies in the right ways.
Photo courtesy of www.bkreader.com
Kelly Keelo and Chef Carl “Crush” Foster, the husband-and-wife power couple behind a new Brooklyn-based alkaline movement.
Interviewed by Jaqui Gutman