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Who is Annette Larkins? Annette Larkins is a 71-year-old raw-food enthusiast whose vegan lifestyle—and its apparent health benefits—has made her an Internet sensation. Born in Asheville, North Carolina, and raised in Miami, where she started a family and lives to this day, Annette Larkins went veggie in 1963, when she developed a sudden distaste for meat.

MUST SEE: 71 Going On 40! Meet Raw Foodist Annette Larkins!

She later cut out “white edibles”—“white rice, white sugar, and white flour,” as she told—and dairy before ultimately settling on the “Kingdom of Living Foods” diet she now subsists on. Her husband, who once owned a butcher’s shop, initially thought she might be sick, but as Annette Larkins maintains some 50 years later, it was the healthiest decision she ever made.

Who is Annette Larkins? You might call her a fitness guru, as she’s often described as “age-defying,” given that she looks nothing like an elderly woman. Some liken the garden in her backyard where she grows most of what she eats to her own private “fountain of youth,” and while some credit her youthful appearance to “good genes,” that’s not the case. As she told the Miami Times, both her mother and grandmother died of breast cancer before reaching the age of 50, and what’s more, there’s a history of diabetes in her family.

“Who is Annette Larkins?” is a question her followers are happy to answer, and many likely lend friends and family members their copies of “Annette’s Raw Kitchen,” a DVD in which she sings the praises of eating solely vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and beans. Being a raw vegan, Annette never heats anything above 118 degrees, as she believes it kills the nutrients in food. Annette Larkins has also released two booklets—“Journey to Health” and “Journey to Health 2”—and since a video about her went viral, she’s been fielding offers to appear on—and even host—TV shows. The former lounge singer has turned them down, though, as she no longer seeks the spotlight.

​”I had a girlfriend who would always tell me: ‘You need to be the raw-food queen,’’ and I would say, ‘No, I don’t want to be out front like that,” Larkins told the Miami Times. “I did not want it to grow into anything huge. I was very comfortable doing my little stuff at home, printing out my little envelopes.”