Now the pair spend every meal devouring organic fruit, smoothies and salads packed with different vegetables, and say the dietary change has transformed their lives, boosted their immune systems and given them a healthier attitude to food.
“I had tried for so many years to find a way of living that would make me feel healthy,” the self-employed businesswoman from Hertfordshire in England says.
“A year into raw veganism I felt absolutely amazing”
“Everything I tried, my body never really felt like it was working the way it should but a year into raw veganism I felt absolutely amazing.
“It’s only natural as a mum that if you’re feeling so wonderful then you want that for your little girl too. As soon as I explained to Molly in an age-appropriate way the ethics of eating animal products she wanted to be vegan too.
“We’re both so happy and have loads of energy”
“I want to give her the best possible start in life so knowing that she respects and loves her body is an amazing thing to see,” she says.
“We’re both so happy and have loads of energy. Molly sleeps well unlike a lot of children and I can’t even remember the last time either of us were ill.
“If I ever noticed any negative changes in her health, we would try a different diet but for now this is working.”
A ‘fear’ of food saw her stop eating
In her early teens, sporty Rhiannon enjoyed gymnastics and karate classes but when she hit puberty she piled on the pounds.
She became obsessed with dieting and developed a ‘fear’ of food, starving herself until she was so hungry she would binge until she was sick.
When Molly was born in 2011, the first-time mum fell so ‘in love’ with her daughter that she was inspired to take up healthy eating and running.
But she found her body would not recover properly and she ballooned back to 69kg in her little 157cm frame.
When Rhiannon’s bulimia flared up again she turned to raw veganism to recover – which not only saw her shed 20kg and dropped three dress sizes– but also finally rid her of the obsession with calorie-counting that triggered her eating disorder in the first place.
Now Rhiannon says she can eat as much as she wants and feel completely fulfilled without ever worrying about putting on weight – and strongly believes that her newfound confidence and respect for her body will have a positive impact on Molly.
While both mum and her daughter are raw vegans, Molly eats extra nuts and seeds due to the importance of children having a diet high in healthy fats.
“We don’t eat just because we are hungry”
She says it’s all about understanding the true meaning of food.
“I explain everything to her now in a respectful way so that she completely understands the value of nutrition.
“We don’t eat just because we are hungry, we eat to help and heal our bodies.”
Rhiannon has turned her lifestyle change into a career as she now runs ‘11 steps to happiness‘ workshops promoting learning to forgive and love yourself and then spreading that happiness to others.
She’s also releasing a recipe book and showcases her progress through her blog and YouTube channel Happy On Fruit.
Dea is passionate about pursuing gentle, pure living in all its forms. She’s a veg and fruit foodie, who loves to explore the healing properties of plant-based foods and then fully indulge in their sun-filled taste. She believes that “In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.”