How does a multi-linguist and former diplomat-in-training become a humanist, raw food educator? A past-life experience, of course!

Are you a believer? It doesn’t matter, this raw-food educator’s grounded and humourist approach can charm anyone.

Pauliina Salmenhaara somehow makes raw food look cool. Maybe it’s how she doesn’t take herself or raw food seriously. She’s just one wholesome and refreshing lady – like a glass of coconut water on a summer’s day!

Sometimes there’s a much bigger story behind what we might expect. I mean, really, would you think foreign ministry when you think of a raw-food spiritualist who found her purpose through a past life regression?

Amongst a tall rack of herbs and spices that spans the length of the kitchen, Pauliina recounted her story over the sound of the power blender.

pauliina and blender

“My dream is to open a wellbeing centre and resort that focuses on alternative therapies and raw food”

Growing up in Finland, Belgium and Sweden, Pauliina was groomed to be a diplomat. She grasped seven languages and was training in the ministry under the human rights department. Feeling it was devoid of authenticity and the humanitarian aspect, she joined an NGO, later beginning volunteer work in China, active in orphanage and fundraising for children beneath the poverty level.

However, when Pauliina hit her 30s she had what she called a “30s crisis”, questioning the purpose of life. She began meditating in a pursuit to discover her passion and went for Reiki sessions, a type of therapeutic energy work. One day during a session of Reiki she said she had a past life regression. Pauliina speaks openly about it even though people may not understand. She says philosophically, how will I know who is open to it if I don’t talk about it?

“I had a vision I was a nurse in war time in Finland. There were wounded soldiers all around me. I remember panicking, not feeling qualified to help, and then I realised I can help people through gentle, loving touch and found the purpose of my life. I remember it clearly. I was running in the field and was shot – I remember looking at all bleakness, saying I don’t want to die, but then I was lifted from my body and I knew it wasn’t the end. I was looking down at myself, and was reborn into this life. My purpose in life is to help people heal through gentle loving touch, facilitating people’s healing.”

Pauliina began to study alternative therapies –  holistic massage, tuning forks, essential oils, Guasha, etc. – and integrated raw food after a chance encounter with a holistic nutritionist, learning to resolve her history of health problems (digestive problems, asthma, upper respiratory infections, depression) through nutrition and detox.  She cut out (quite extremely, she confesses) fried food, dairy, sugar, gluten and alcohol until her body regained balance.

She then took a course under Elaina Love of pure joy academy, certifying as a raw food educator and chef and learning how to guide cleanses. Whilst doing sleeping meditation during a green juice cleanse, she had another flash of inspiration and saw the beauty in combining alternative therapies and raw food for wellbeing inside and out. The flash of insight was to call herself a “Therachef”, a self-coined term.


Pauliina believes that being present for people is healing. It can be exhausting as much as a source of pleasure. But at the end of it all, she finds total reward in seeing the happiness and relaxation it brings and the joy of people experiencing healthy food and feeling the good its doing for them.

“Seeing change, facilitating change, that’s what I do. I’m proud of what I do.”

Pauliina’s life tip: Have a green juice a day!

Pauliina on being an Athena member: “Athena is my way to recharge. There is so much love, sense of community, light-heartedness – it boosts my energy level as well as my networking and business needs. I also enjoy the strong personality of the Athena team; especially Gina – she’s highly entertaining and has great tips and now you!”

Oh shucks! We love you too, Pauliina!


Check out her super cool vid  by the filmmakers at Lovorth, fellow Athena Executive Members! You can book on to one of Pauliina’s upcoming raw food workshops on her website

Meet Pauliina and other fab Athena ladies at our next networking event!


The Athena Network, Singapore

Asia-Pacific’s Leading Business Community for Female Executives and Entrepreneurs Focusing exclusively on female executives and entrepreneurs, The Athena Network provides a platform for members to share knowledge and experience across a diverse range of industry sectors, and to collaborate for mutual success.

Latest post by The Athena Network, Singapore (see all)

Comments are closed.