Thoughts On a Complete 100% Raw Food Diet – The Renegade Health Show #108

Thursday Jul 31 | BY |
| Comments (50)

I get a lot of questions about raw food…

I feel that I’m extremely qualified to answer them to a certain degree, since we practice a high raw diet.

But, I also know my limits… I can’t talk about how to succeed on a 100% raw food diet for an extended period of time because I’m not in that particular category.

This show will speak specifically on the raw food diet, where to start, when I pass the torch, and I also give some information about erroneous citations of studies (that is rampant in the community… to be fair, ANY community!) to back up the 100% raw food diet.

You’ll see what I’m talking about when you watch the show… go ahead and do that now…

Your question of the day: What are you thoughts on my comments and the raw food diet?

Click here, scroll down to the bottom of the page and leave your comment now!

Here’s where you can get Nomi’s book that I mentioned in the show today… click here!

Live Awesome!
Kevin

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog RenegadeHealth.com — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.

50 COMMENTS ON THIS POST

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Myndi says:

    I don’t think the problem or concern with a 100% raw food diet is as much caloric intake as it is healthy fat intake. Calories are important too, but being sure to add in the good oils (Udo’s for instance) and plenty of avocados and other fat sources will provide the brain what it needs to function properly as well as the energy one needs to sustain for the day. That needs to be strongly encouraged for people who are just venturing into a vegan or raw food lifestyle.

  2. Melina says:

    Hey Kevin and Annmarie,

    Yes. I definately agree with what you said about 100% in that it takes time. A 100% raw diet takes 100% dedication. I myself am a 100% raw vegan, and I feel that certain events have lead up to this part of my health evolution and I also feel that this is something that I will enjoy my entire life. But I do study the field of raw food and nutrition avidly everyday, but I LOVE it! Every person has a different passion, so I don’t think that I am superior just because I am 100% raw. I think everyone should do what works for them, and most importantly have love and happiness in their life. Do what makes you happy and what comes easily or else stress and negativity will overcome the “healthy” things you are doing.

    All love!

  3. Tammy the Great says:

    I have learned that eating 100% raw, you do have to monitor yourself and make adjustments according to your own specific caloric and energy needs. For example, I find that I prefer to eat only fruit before noon, but if I have a high demand for physical activity, then a smoothie is a better choice. I also find that nuts are a great way to stave off hunger, but you have to make sure you don’t consume too many because they are high in fat. I don’t think greens are ever a bad thing, and one of the greatest benefits of eating a raw food diet 100% are the incredible changes in the way I look and feel. My body weight tends to seek its own correct level without my even trying. It’s awesome not to have to count calories, points, carbs, or anything else. I highly recommend a raw lifestyle.

  4. Dr. SAM says:

    Hello Kevin,

    I do enjoy your show and hope you keep up the good work.

    Regarding 100% Raw diet:

    I have been totally raw for the past 8 years. Yes, it is a challenge. But, so is any healthy diet and lifestyle regimen.

    It’s funny how people want to blame the “raw” diet and not just their dietary habits in general for less than optimal health.

    I think people fail on the raw food diet for the same reasons they fail on any diet:

    Food addictions.

    Lack of a variety of food to obtain all necessary nutrients.

    Too many or too little calories.

    Taking supplements they don’t really need, which actually creates nutritional deficiencies or imbalances.

    Focusing TOO MUCH on just their diet, while neglecting all the other “health essentials” needed for optimal health and well-being.

    A final thought: 100% raw may not be for everybody, but 100% of the people could benefit from eating more raw food.

    It’s about being 100% Happy, not 100% raw!

    stay well,
    Dr. Samuel A. Mielcarski, DPT

  5. Al says:

    Excellent subject.

    How to go raw? Just try it.

    Once you make the transition to a healthier lifestyle, the move to raw is a natural one.

    You will want to learn more, and with that knowledge you see the benefits, and likely never look back.

    Most of all, have fun with it!

  6. Sunnie Fernandes says:

    I never thought about getting a practitioner. Not a bad idea but I suppose the reason I never thought about it is because since I feel better, look better, etc., I don’t need someone to tell me it’s working for me 🙂

    Regarding higher nutrients in cooked spinach, a similar question about tomatoes was recently brought up on GI2MR. Someone responded that there might be more lycopene in cooked tomatos but maybe nature has given us the exact amount we need from a raw tomato. As we all know, more does not always mean better.

    I’m curious, what about high fruit did not work you? Also, do you eat cooked grains because of the weather, or do you eat cooked food in the summer as well?

  7. Carola says:

    Hello everyone,
    Go to http://www.thegardendiet.com. There you will meet the Talifero family who lives a 100% raw food diet. Storm Talifero is 58 years old and has the body of a bodybuilder. He has been raw for over 30 years. His wife Jinjee has been raw for 15 years. They have 5 children. Reading about this family started me off on eating raw foods. I am not 100% raw, but am 75% plus. When I eat raw foods only, I don’t have digestive issues. When I cook certain vegetables, I do. Interesting isn’t it. I love your show and honesty Kebin. Keep it up and the information you are giving is priceless.
    Carola

  8. Carola says:

    Sorry Kevin, that was a typo. 🙂
    Carola

  9. sharon ferguson says:

    I love the most recent GET FRESH magazine, as it talks about this very subject. It felt very supportive with good tips and ideas.
    fresh-network.com

  10. sharon ferguson says:

    Kevin I love your relaxed perspective on eating. I am sometimes overly hard on myself when I don’t eat all raw and really, high raw is good for me. So thanks – I appreciate that you guys are out there.

  11. Rob says:

    Hi Kevin,

    Thank you for addressing this topic. I agree with your philosophy on the 100% Raw diet and I really appreciate how you accept that there are other options that work for other people. I’m not 100% raw and at this point in my life I don’t aspire to ever be 100% raw. It just doesn’t work for me but that doesn’t mean I can’t be healthy. I think the most important thing is feeling good, enjoying your food and being a good global citizen. And for me trying to be 100% raw woud be very stressful and too limiting. But you have inspired me to incorporate more raw food into my diet. I’ve enjoyed most of the raw recipes that you and Anne Marie have shared and I look forward to trying more.

  12. Laurel says:

    Hi Kevin,
    I have all the books from some of the most awesome raw food authors. (All you mentioned and more). I have been trying to go raw 100% for a few years now and have only made it 3 months. I live where it gets down to 0 degrees in the winter and have trouble with the cold. I am also very much a Vata type and get thrown out of balance with the raw and cold. I do try to eat as much raw as possible every day and also have been doing detox for about 18 months to two years. I was very sickly as a child and did all sorts of bad (health wise) things to my body growing up. I was also born with a congested liver and fungus overgrowth. (YUCK)! But now that I’m mostly detoxed I do not struggle with the cold issue as much and am able to stay more raw in the winter. I believe going raw needs to be a gradual transistion for most people. I have been a vegetarian/vegan/raw vegan for 25 years. and have moved through these stages in that time. I liked everything you said in tonights show and would like to bring up something that few enjoy talking about, but, that I feel is a very important part of an awesome life. Colon cleansing. There I said it. I’m 55 and with out colon care and cleansing I’d still have major health issues and probably really strugle with fasting and raw food. Mabe a show on this topic? More important for us older people who grew up on white, refined, sugared everything along with a meat and potatoes diet. I think you and AnnMarie are doing an awesome job. Keep up the great shows and thanks!

  13. Bill says:

    I think that stressing about the percentage of raw food that you eat can do more damage than the cooked food that you may be eating.

    Myself, I have found that the more raw food I eat, the more raw food I want to eat, if that makes sense. The healthier I become the more I crave healthy foods.

    I have found this to be the same with exercise as well.

    Love your show Kevin, Keep up the great work.

  14. Colleen says:

    Hi Kevin and Annmarie
    I’ve been 100% raw for six months then circumstance came and I fell off it and went to 80% but now I’m 100% again and feel great. When I went off I felt bad my nose started running, I felt sick and depressed I fought with my children and my husband I was a mess. So I went back on it. This is my life style. I’m happy and positive and get along with my family better than before. I do Raw Food prep classed and teach people how to create raw delicious meals like spaghetti and marinara sauce with your meatless raw meatballs (which were a hit by the way) and raw chocolate moose phi pie which every one love. showed them how to make almond butter and almond milk. I talked a little bit about why I’m doing this and the health benefits of raw food. It was a real hit. I’m doing it again this Saturday August 9 and showing how to make green smoothies, soup, and raw dairy free ice cream made from the tie coconut water, meat,and oil. With raw cashews, raw agave nectar, dates, strawberries, raw vanilla extract and sea salt. Really delicious. Taste just like the dairy version. You should show how to make it on your show. If interested I could send you the recipe.
    I really enjoy your show.
    Oh by the way tell Mike Adams I said Hello, I met him at the Best Weekend Ever with David Wolf. He was talking to Betty Martini and her husband.
    He should remember me. My husband and I stayed with Betty and her husband while they were waiting for AAA.
    Colleen

  15. Matty Wilson says:

    Kia Ora from New Zealand,

    My experience wit 100% raw so far has been awesome. I had Ulcerative Colitis from age 5. I am now 33 and doctors said I would be dead by 30 after feeding me jello and icecream in hospital. UC is really strees related also but all symptoms faded rapidly on raw and I also fast on water every 7th day. Juice feasting is great also. I am really inspired by Richard Blacman the fruitarian fitness coach. He eats a mono diet and is soooo fit and strong.
    http://fruitarianfitness.workspaceweb.com/
    http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendID=56245967

    He is Awesome, I am a filmaker and am now making a film on reconnection and remembering the amazing things possible when we return to mother nature.
    See you at the Raw Spirit fest. You up for an interview Kevin. We want your awesomeness in our film.

    Aroha nui

    Matty

  16. Catherine says:

    The more raw food I ate the worse I felt. I was just feeling hungry all the time. Raw fruits/veggies/nuts and seeds could not satisfy. I cut out all fruits due to Candida and was amazed at how much my appetite dropped. Now I eat more whole foods Atkins diet and feel awesome. I do not have this “focus” that all my fruits/veggies having to be mainly raw. And it is freeing to not have a *physical* obsession with food anymore.

  17. Hi Kevin,

    From everything you said I sense I’m on the same page as you when it comes to 100% raw. I resonate with your comments about the caloric in-take and the monitoring (bang-on consistent with my experiences). Like you I am mostly raw but have incorporated cooked foods into my evening meal…this ensures adequate caloric intake of a kind that works for my body…the fat thing did not work for me…eating some cooked whole grains definately keeps things in balance for me (i.e. keeps me from becoming a walking skeleton).

    My Raw lunch works because I masticate (i.e. champion juicer) Sweet Potatoes, Nuts and also add Chia seeds…along with all the greens this gets my caloric intake up to a decent level for this meal. (also Olive Oil and Olives).

    And of course the smoothie in the morning with nuts and chia seeds along with bananas, dates, frozen berries (usualy wild blue) Chlorella etc…again some reasonable calories that keeps me satisfied thru the whole morning after taking it.

    Although I am very thin…I’m no longer getting thinner…and I’m definately plenty strong with good energy…so this is working for me right now.

    Thanks,
    Charles

  18. Yogi Suzi says:

    Hi. If I were 100% raw today, July 31st, would be my nine year anniversary. And, what I have found is that many of us are 100% raw for months at a time and then sometimes a cold winter will create a desire for steamed squash and kale. I love raw superfoods, fruits, nuts, seeds, leafy greens, and as the creator of WildBar, http://www.wildbar.info, I love raw chocolate and blue green algae. Yet I also, at age 44, female, feel less of a need to be rigid or fixed about anything. Raw food works for me, at a 100% level, a great deal of the time. I am grateful that I know how to listen to my body and my heart when it is time for soup or steamed vegetables. Let us enjoy all aspects of life. It is not all about food!!

  19. Meri says:

    This was really an awesome show Kevin. I agree with your point about raw food diet needing careful monitoring all the time but I would extend this to all diets and eating plans. I really feel that people in general do not pay sufficient attention to how their body is responding to a particular way of eating. Therefore they don’t make adjustments where necessary and inevitably run into problems somewhere down the line.
    Taking responsibility for our own bodies and health, doing lots of research through a range of sources and paying close attention to our body’s signals is the key (as I see it).

    One thing that has always confused me in this respect is when a person on an average sort of diet finds out I’m on a high percentage raw vegan diet and they flip out and start panicking that I’m going to die of malnutrition or something! It’s kind of funny but I also wonder why they aren’t flipping out about their own dietary habits, especially if they’re the sort of person that selects foods based on taste and convenience, paying little attention to the nutritional value of their meals. As I see it, I’m much less likely to die of malnutrition than they are! 🙂

    With the whole oxalic acid thing, as I understand it it’s actually more of a problem with the cooked vegetables than the raw.

  20. Lauren Wilczynski says:

    I have eaten around 80% raw for a while now, with a few instances of falling away from it here and there, and I personally find that 80% raw and 100% raw feel the SAME to me. The only difference is that with 80% raw I feel less restricted, as I can always find something to eat for social occasions.

    Mind you, though I am only 80% raw, I am 100% vegan. I also generally do NOT eat refined carbohydrates, fried foods, preservatives/additives, and cooked fruits.

  21. Marion says:

    Interesting show and information. I’m almost 78 years old. We have our own garden every year and during the spring and summer and into the fall we eat lots of raw food. Also we freeze produce from our garden for the winter. We also are meat eaters, although only in moderation. For me/us, I doubt I/we could convert to totally raw.

    Thanks for your informative videos.
    Marion

  22. Tracy says:

    Kevin,
    I have been working on the raw diet for the past 10 years. I currently am pretty much 100% raw, I will eat very small amounts of cooked food when we are socializing–like a tortilla chip with hummus or something. And when we get the rare occasion to eat out, I will indulge in cooked food. I usually pay for it in not feeling and looking my best though!!!

    I have come to realize that in this diet we are like onions and we are peeling back the layers year by year(WOW, I sound like donkey on Shrek!!) I will feel great for a time and then start feeling not so great, and read up on the raw diet and realize that I need to cut something out or eat more greens, etc. I recently added a blended salad to my daily diet and it made a huge difference! You definitely need to be evaulating how you feel on a regular basis. Your body is cleansing, changing, readujusting all the time. I also totally agree with Lauren. Colon cleansing is a must eventually. I am 45 (46 on Sunday-ouch!) and I went for my first colon cleanse last year. I go periodically and am amazed with the results every time. I am going to start going once a month. Yes, I do workout hard (till I am drenched with sweat) and that will help, but you must clean the colon for optimal health.
    I also have a hard time in the winter here in the Colorado mountains. Alissa Cohen has a great recipie in her book that I love, it is raw cinnimon rolls (flax seed and almond meal being the main ingredients) I warm them up in the dehydrator and it gets me through. I do dread of moving to Florida in the winter alot thought LOL!!!

    Tracy

  23. Tracy says:

    WOW, that was a BAAAAD typo!! I actually DREAM that was DREAM of moving to Florida not dread!!!!!!!
    Also my husband realizes what the raw diet has done for me, but can’t bring himself to follow it, so that has made it alot harder over the years, but I have learned to just eat my raw food while he eats his cooked. He does say that if he ever gets diseased he WILL convert to a raw diet. He does eat salads and alot of the raw things I make and enjoys them. This also has made it hard to feed our kids raw, as they will eat what Daddy eats. I do have 2 of our daughters (18 and 11) that have decided to eat raw. The 11 year old said she is sleeping better and her eyes are sparkling!!

    Tracy

  24. Bernadette says:

    Wow.. awesome responses so far. I agree with everyone. Someone said in an interview once, but I don’t remember who.. when someone finds a routine that is working for them, they assume it will work for everyone else too, but that, in fact, is not the case. We are all different and therefore our needs are unique. What works for some will not work for everyone. That being said, there are some things that will work for the majority. For instance, uncooked foods are higher in nutrients because they are not being destroyed; fried foods create carcinogens that are not created in uncooked foods, and meat, dairy and grains are primarily acidic to the body, while fruits and vegetables are generally alkaline. But for the differences, some people do better on a high fruit diet than others (Christopher Vasey says that fruit is mildly acidic to some but alkaline to others), some people do better on warm foods than cold foods, etc… We all have our individual intolerances and sensitivities. And so.. it is important to monitor yourself and see how you feel as Kevin mentioned, or seek out a qualified practitioner to help you decide what is best for you. You do have to have a passion for it.. because it does take a lot of time and energy, monitoring yourself, researching and educating yourself, perhaps analysing your diet and preparing the food you are going to eat.. mostly peeling and cleaning fruits and vegetables, if you do that. It isn’t as easy as preparing convenience foods. It’s right back to basics and preparing everything from scratch.

    Changing from the standard American diet to more of a whole foods diet takes time. One step at a time is often best because there can be a lot of detox happening, especially at first. This is why a lot of people say its not working for them, because it can feel lousy at first.. there is a lot of sludge and toxin to move out of the body. Your appetite will be high at first because you are craving nutrients you’re deficient in and eating a lot of food is how the body has become accustomed to getting those nutrients. Until your nutrient stores build up, you will continue to crave a lot of food.. but when you have built up the nutrients in your body to a certain level, your appetite should decrease. That was my experience. Candida might be an issue at first because, according to Natalia Rose, candida is there as long as it has something to feed off of and it is usually the toxins it is eating.. as your body becomes cleaner, candida should become less of an issue. From my own personal experience, I have found that to be true. Others might or might not find that.

    I have also found what Bill said to be true for me. The more healthy wholesome raw fruits and vegetables I eat, the more I crave. And I have also found that my taste buds for this kind of food have become sharper and everything else seems tasteless in comparison. I and a few of my friends found, right at the beginning, our craving for coffee went away as well. Like someone said above, my body is seeking its own natural weight without my ever being hungry.. BONUS! and my husband is at his ideal weight and never loses.

    My routine is generally a fruit smoothie for breakfast, a big salad for lunch with nuts and dried fruit and an olive oil/lemon juice/oregano/garlic dressing and usually we rotate having warm and raw foods for supper.. usually grains such as rice and quinoa, and steamed or cooked vegetables, such as bok choy and mushrooms with ginger and garlic, beans and vegetables.. we usually add a little goat feta on top for phosphorus and a bit of extra protein, and have snacks at night, raw ice cream, or raw fruit pudding, or non-gluten rice muffins we get from our local health food store, with green or herbal tea. We do eat eggs and fish occassionally. We do add in supplements once in a while and try to take digestive enzymes when we eat cooked food. We find this works really well for us.

  25. jasmin says:

    hi kevin,actually, there have been multi-generational studies done on cats, through a medical doctor named Dr. Pottenger, and the book is called POTTENGER’S CATS. It showed that the raw food cats had much greater health through the generations, whereas the cooked food cats had infertility problems amongs MANY other problems and rapid degeneration of health.

  26. Louis says:

    Personally I don’t think 100% raw food 100% of the time is for me at this point in my life. As a 25 year-old endurance athlete getting the amount of calories I need to stay competitive from a raw food diet would pose quite a challenge. Its good to hear what different people are experiencing with the raw food diet. I agree in particular with the reasons Dr.Sam lists as to why people fail on raw diets. He makes some good points there.

    To Kevin, I find the show very interesting and am captivated by your presenting style, zest and passion on the subjects you talk about. Keep up the good work. I was promted to write a reply after you commented on the lurkers on the site. Thanks again for all the great info!

  27. Melinda says:

    I’ve learned you do have to make sure to have a variety (carbs, proteins and fats) and not just focus on one or the other or forget about others! Like I got scared of eating too much fats and didn’t eat enough of them and it caused me alot of health problems!
    Without the raw diet I would be very over weight and not healthy at all! Thanks to this way of eating I’m able to reach my goals in life! Like I got good weight for my hight and I’m curing illnesses I’ve had. I’m reaching my fit goals that I’ve wouldn’t of ever been able to come close to reaching on the SAD diet!

  28. Almamater says:

    I love the idea of eating a raw vegan diet. At this time, I eat around 60% raw vegan. I personally believe we were created by God to eat a completely raw diet as shown in the Bible in Genesis Chapter 1. But furthermore, it just makes sense that all natural plant-based things would be phenomenally good for us.

    The only thought of raw that I can’t hardly fathom is eating raw meat! Blah! But there’s a number of folks who do! Go figure.

  29. Lauren Wilczynski says:

    Louis: Tim VanOrden. Check out what he does.

  30. Eli says:

    Right on, Kevin. I have been raw for about 17 months, 100% most days, but sometimes when I’m out I’ll have a soup with my salad, or a veggie dish at a Chinese restaurant. I notice the difference but it’s not gonna kill me. I preach to others that they should do what works for them.

    When folks ask me “where do you get your protein?” I reply “where do you get your flavenoids? And hey, how about those Red Sox?!”. Sometimes folks are genuinely interested in which case I constructively offer them guidance and let them follow their own path. It feels so wonderful when someone I meet is genuinely helped by what I tell them.

    I have no reason to believe, or not, that being raw will extend my life. But I know it makes each day better.

  31. cheryl says:

    I learn so much from your website and blogs, I really appreciate your efforts to educate people about good health.
    However, it has made me more aware of just how much opposition is out there against being healthy. They flat out lie, generate unnecessary fear, try to undo everything that doesn’t lead to more drugs, more surgeries, more deaths.
    Right now I am so mad, there are so many other sites pushing drugs and lies about health, it makes it seem hopeless to fight for your life and the freedom to know the truth.
    I won’t give up, I tell all my family and friends the real facts about vaccines and drugs. I show them how to spot the lies, how not to be pushed mindlessly along with the other sheeple into the drug and disease corral.
    The statistics are all warped and don’t add up. Every form of cancer is the leading cause of death, children need to be treated for high blood pressure, pregnant women must be given paxil and zoloft to prevent “baby blues”, all vaccines are good and harmless no matter what is in them, newborn babies can get Hepatitis B and must be vaccinated immediately, the list goes on and on.
    Every news source has some kind of phoney medical news and alerts. The bad stuff is promoted as healthy while the truly good stuff is reviled and lied about.
    As a retired nurse it gets me fighting mad that morally bankrupt drug companies are trying to take over the world and subjugate the people.
    You keep on doing what you do and more power to you.

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  32. Marcla says:

    I justy listen to my body. And my body tells me so much. Craved avocados for a while. Coconut oil has replaced a lot of fats in my diet, I have tried going back to other fats, only to get sick. I still love my cooked rice so i am not 100% raw.
    I love the organic/raw/living life. Every time i stray for the lifestyle I regret it. But peer pressure and socialability (is that a word?) gets the best of me sometimes, and I’ll cheat, just so i’m not made fun of or called a prude/biotch (sad huh? on my part, getting stronger though!!! woohoo me)
    I think the most important issue in all of it is ORGANIC. I can immediately tell when I’ve consumed chemicals anymore. I know what it does to my brain. You just have to find what diet works for you…but make sure it IS ORGANIC!!! Organic= grown and harvested in love, not chemically castrated/raped. Just my 2 cents.

  33. Marcla says:

    I should do a thorough spell check next time I decide to post…

  34. Melody says:

    I am not completely raw, but I do enjoy as much raw food as I can. I like having raw smoothies in the morning, and a big salad for lunch. I like to eat a lot of raw almonds and raisins as a snack.

  35. Erin says:

    Hi folks, Hi Kevin, Annmarie. Well, first time blog-post for me here. This topic is a hot one, for sure. I’ve been 70%-100% raw for the last 4 years and most of that being in the 80%-95% range. I agree with everything you said, Kevin, although I never had an issue with getting enough calories when on 100% raw, even with excluding nuts from my diet. I did then and do now eat lots of pumpkin seeds though. I was 100% or maybe 99.9% for just over 5 months. I study nutrition, raw foods, etc. of my own voliton because I absolutely LOVE it! And I have worked in a holistic nutritionist’s office for 8 years where the specailization is detoxification and cleansing. I am also studying to receive my degree now in holistic nutrition, just to say I know a bit about nutrition. When I was in that 100% raw stage I did lose most of the remainder of the weight I wanted to lose but not all of it, I felt out of balance in my body toward the latter part of those 5 months and I also began to have problems with my teeth. My body stole calcium from them to buffer acid in my system. I am still working to rectify that issue. It was quite scary to have that happen I must say. That was one of the main reasons I went off 100% raw. Talk about needing to monitor your raw diet carefully. I currently feel better for coming off 100% raw honestly and it’s less stressfull, logistically speaking, for me. I agree with you totally that it’s more about being healthy than being raw. It’s not important to me to be RAW just to be RAW. My identity is not in being raw,; my religion is not food and it’s not raw food, thank God. And while I don’t always see a problem with dogma, in the case of nutrition and health my experience and study has been that it’s better to adopt an attitude and stance with more fluidity and “give” than to remain static and immovable. It seems the static and immovable stance can work but only for periods of time, or seasons, if you will. The more critically important issue, as I see it, is to get into our bodies what they need when they need it and to work with them where they’re at. I firmly believe that many variation’s of eating can be appropriate on a person’s journey to optimal health, if that is what they’re after, which I was/am. I ate high animal protein when I was getting over major candida issues, with absolutely no fruit and no grain either, just meat and green and non-starchy veggies, boy did that stink! But it worked! I then transitioned into just fish and some eggs, still with lots of green veggies and low-sugar fruits, ie. green apples, berries, tomatoes and cucumbers, which yes, are actually fruits. Then I stopped eating meat altogether and began eating high raw completely not on purpose; it was just what my body wanted. I now eat high raw still with some sprouted grains, seeds, still no nuts, LOTS of greens, occassional cooked potato and also do fish when I crave it. I will also occasionally eat cooked sprouted grain flour or coconut flour products, which have been home-made. Someone mentioned in a previous post that they believe an all raw diet was what we were created for by God, and I believe that that is true. However we are in a fallen world, meaning we don’t always have access to everything we need all of the time. We aren’t perfectly pristine inside to be able to digest and assimilate everything we eat perfectly, and the food isn’t grown perfectly, etc., etc., you get my point I think. Nothing is perfect; situations, circimstances aren’t perfect, not here. It would be quite easy I think to eat all raw living a David Wolfe-type lifestyle, travelling the world and having access to a huge variety of some of the highest quality foods on the planet, but how many of us have David Wolfe’s lifestyle? Or unlimited amounts of cash to put down on all these exotic superfoods to supplement one’s diet? I don’t, right at this particular point in time anyway. And even though under those, or perhaps other circumstances I would be able to easily and joyfully eat all raw, would it really be optimal over my whole lifetime? I’m not convinced it would be, and like I said, I do believe our natural diet is all raw, but I don’t believe life is set-up for raw anymore, not for all raw all the time anyway. That’s my opinion. Another thought/comment I have is that I’ve read of vegetarian and vegan, and hence any raw variations of those diets, being excessively high in the mineral copper, purportedly creating imbalance in many. And this copper overload or toxicity, as it’s often referred to, has been linked to cancer and hormone imbalance and also candida. I’ve never heard this “phenomenon” addressed by anyone in the raw food arena and am wondering if they are aware of it or if it has been addressed and I just missed it? It is a topic I am extremely curious to hear from others about. I do follow a low-copper diet which is why I exclude nuts and large amounts of grain and dried fruits and I extremely limit my intake of cacao, almost avoiding it altogether and even limit my carob intake. I do feel the difference in a big way when I adhere to these guidelines. I want to do more research about this topic, to understand it in more depth for myself. I guess that’ll be it for me! I really enjoyed all the other posts here, thanks. And thank you to Kevin and Annmarie for the great resource that Renegade Health is – awesome!

  36. Lori Coleman says:

    Hi Kevin & AnnMarie,

    Love your show–you guys are great! I love the raw food diet but also like to eat some cooked foods. My body craves cooked foods more in the winter than in the summer. I love drinking a superfoods smoothie in the morning and sometimes I add buckwheat and red clover sprouts to it for added greens, along with Goji berries, VitaMineral Green powder, ground flax & sesame seed powder, Hemp Seed protein powder, hemp seeds, etc.. My main meal of the day is a huge salad with lots of veggies & avacado is a must. In the evening I like to eat a little cooked food in the evening such as baked butternut squash or other veggies such as zucchini or yellow crook neck, bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, and sometimes but rarely a baked potato. Also, an Ezekiel pita bread lightly toasted with avacado or veggie pate spread is also nice. I don’t crave grains although I do like having quinoa and amaranth every once in a while. Sometimes I even splurge and make a raw pizza! YumYum!
    I don’t think that we should make a religion out of raw foods or being a vegan as it tends to make some people think they are superior to others and can really curb your social life if you are too serious about it. It’s like the famous comedian Don Carlin said: Eat vegetables, do yoga, die anyway!

    Thanks for the ABS exercise demonstrations–I love doing ab work and you gave me a couple of new workouts for that!

  37. Guylaine says:

    Hi Kevin, Anne-Marie and health-seekers,
    Wow, this is a subject of most interest! I’ll add my tip too.
    Kevin I like your approach as I think there’s not one diet that fits everybody for different reasons, not just physical but it can also be cultural, social, emotional,habits, and familial situations.
    I am about 90, 95% raw. The high fruit diet is not for me I love raw nuts and avocadoes. Since I started including raw grains in my diet, sprouted or ground I find it satisfying and my energy level is stable.
    Great comments everybody,
    ~Guylaine

  38. Blended tomatoes have the same amount of lycopene as cooked ones, it’s to do with breaking the cell walls to liberate the contents. To the best of my knowledge, oxalic acid in unheated foods DOES NOT bind to calcium and other minerals as we are commonly told. It is the heating process that allows oxalic acid to irreversibly bind to calcium and the other minerals. The same goes for tannins.

  39. Organic is more important than raw.
    The more raw the better.
    If you cannot be satisfied on humble raw foods, you are probably either eating the wrong ones or have too strong an emotional attachment to eating – eating doesn’t fulfill a lack in other areas of life.
    Eating doesn’t feed the soul.
    Food isn’t everything.

    Copper excess can be balanced by an increase in zinc – this is generally low in the vegetarian/vegan world – hence the “phenomenon” of excess copper among such societies.

  40. del says:

    I think 100% fresh, ripe, raw, organic is the healthiest way to go. If your life is dedicated to health and happiness and making a huge difference long term it’s the way to go. I concerns me that so many of our hero for the enviroment are over weight and frankly unhealthy.

    Having been pretty much a 100% raw vegan (currently experimenting with occational organic kidney beans and krill oil)after a year and a half I can feel the difference from living a raw living food lifestyle. Even though I have been a vegetarian over 25 years. Raw vegan or nearly so is certainly better for me. And that all I can say. What is right for others is for them to find out. But remember this. Out of about 700,000 different animal species, I think there is one animal that eats cooked, dead food. Human beings. And most herbivores live longer on average than meat eaters. Hummm.

  41. Richard says:

    i am 50% raw food vegan, for me its hard to actually enjoy some of my food unless it is actually cooked, if someone doesnt mind explaining to me why people choose to go 100% raw? what benefits do they get over cooked food?

    oh and by the way kevin, your general discussion forums is inactive and no one helps when i ask questions *sad face*

  42. Beth Grant says:

    Excellent topic 🙂

    I started transitioning to a raw lifestyle this past May. I also went gluten free in June and have found it actually helps me choose more raw foods. I am feeling better, and have more energy.

    Hard for me to say what % raw I am though. I have fruit / smoothies in the morning, usually a big salad at lunch, and have a cooked meal with my husband for dinner.

    This past weekend I tried making raw Nori rolls and they were very tasty. I need more practice with the rolling though 😉

    Thanks for all of your hard work and dedication. I love being able to go back and catch up on any topics / episodes I might have missed.

  43. Always an interesting topic!

    Personally, my research and experience is that you thrive at 100% raw vegan. In today’s polluted society, I also believe it’s the only way to get close to optimal health. Yes, you can be healthy, for the time being, eating less raw. But in the long run, I believe you need to be at 100% to counteract all the toxins, pollution and processed and cooked food in our world today.

    I was vegan for over 12 years and ate about 50% raw and had health issues the entire time. I never was able to resolve them until I started to eat more raw (naturally) and then soon after decided to go 100% raw overnight. I’ve been 100% for over 3.5 years now and most all the health issues I had before have been resolved.

    In my experience, going any less than 100% is a compromise… for your health. 80% raw? 20% less vibrant health. When you’re at 100% you can tell when you eat cooked and the side effects are normally more obvious when your body has been cleaned out. Most everyone can feel a difference.

    It’s a choice that everyone has and I’ve found that those that don’t make it 100% normally had already set their mind against it (knowingly or not). It’s quite easy to go 100%… if you want to. Again it’s a choice and you’ll never experience the benefits until you’ve done it for a while. Not just a few weeks or months, but years. I had a detox almost two years into 100%. Some clear up faster, some take more time. It usually depends on the condition of your system.

    Many will say it’s not easy to go 100% raw. They’ll also say they do better at a lower percentage. Better than what? How do you know you’re better if you haven’t been 100% for an extended period of time? And how do you know the effects of increased consumption of cooked and processed foods have on your long term health and longevity?

    It’s easy to be politically correct and say, yes, it’s hard and challenging to go 100% raw. But it’s really not if you just decide. You figure it out and make it work. You learn and make mistakes along the way until you get there. Just like anything in life, if you want it bad enough you’ll get it. You’ll attain the goal you set in your mind to achieve. If you have doubts, or surround yourself with others that don’t believe in what you’re doing, then it’s easier to break down and give up. Cooked food is addictive and until you give it up for a while, it, along with emotional issues, will easily seduce you back.

    And in today’s world, it’s easy to slide back and give up. Rush, rush, rush… pressure, deadlines, things to do. All seem to be more important that the one thing we can’t live without… our health.

    I guess it also depends on why you want to go 100% raw to begin with.

    For me, it’s simple… I feel best when I’ve been and am at 100%. Health, mindset, thinking, energy, life… it’s all near optimal at 100% for me and those that have experienced this.

    And it’s also so much more than just health. Many changes take place in your body, mind and spirit when going 100% raw. Although you may experience some, you miss out on so much by not being at 100% in my opinion. Your life literally changes… your outlook, priorities, perhaps your employment, friends or relationships can change. Some aren’t ready for that, or are afraid of those changes. These emotions can stop you (often unknowingly) from making the decision to go 100% raw.

    There have been long term studies on cats that ate raw vs. cooked and the results were quite clear… those that ate raw saw better health and were able to reproduce over many generations. Those that ate cooked suffered and eventually could not reproduce. This actually reminds me of the human race today with all the fertility difficulties and being able to get pregnant. Do you think it could have -anything- to do with how much cooked food we eat and the amount of toxins we’re exposed to today? (clue: yes!)

    And the reason there haven’t been long term studies on humans and specifically on raw foodists is most likely that there probably weren’t enough subjects since there are very few 100% raw foodists even today. The number of those interested in raw food has increased dramatically recently which is a great thing. The more the better! and perhaps there will be more people available in the near future to be able to conduct a study like this.

    In looking at the research on cooked food, there is no comparison to fresh, ripe, organic living foods. None. All studies show the detrimental effects of cooking. Even the FDA admits that all cooked food contains carcinogens. How could that be considered healthy? I haven’t found one study that shows cooked food benefits over living foods. A few studies show more availability of a specific nutrient in a cooked food, but never analyzes or compares the effects on the other nutrients in the food. It’s statistically not even worth discussing since all research points to the overwhelming health benefits of raw, living foods. I mean, what is the main advice of most dietitians, nutritionists, health coaches, trainers and most anyone you speak with? Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, right?

    Knowing this, why would eating cooked foods, in any amount, bring you to better health? Or to a longer life? Or to more energy? It’s just counter-intuitive to think so.

    Most often it’s just emotions, social pressure and addictions that bring us to missing the 100% mark. And believe it or not, going 100% can help you overcome those addictions and emotions. As mentioned in the comments above, food isn’t everything and eating doesn’t feed the soul. Well said!

    It may not be for everyone, although being 100% is an amazing place to be and personally, I don’t plan to give up the awesome experiences I have every day. And it just keeps getting better. You could experience them as well if you wanted to.

    All the best on your search for health and wellness everyone!

    Mark

  44. karennd says:

    Kevin & AnnMarie,

    It sounds like you and some of the other posters are eating a Hallelujah Acres diet in a way. They eat all raw at breakfast & supper and then a little bit of cooked food (no white bread or sugar of course) with their supper.

    Maybe you should research & talk about the Pottenger Cats study in one of your future videos. This is another case of a study that is used wrongly to support raw veganism, because the cats ate milk and meat only – no fruits or veggies. Although that study does show progressive generational deterioration and I do think of that often with infertility rates so high and kids have more and more diseases.

    Shazzie (the famous UK raw foodist) recently posted about how being raw vegan is not a natural diet. Even raw ‘vegan’ animals eat lots of bugs and prehistoric humans probably did also. Honey is also a favorite of some animals and some native human societies. She plans to continue the diet herself, but her daughter is just now being weaned and she uses supplements for them both and might even consider goat’s milk in the future. She gets upset every time she hears that another child has been damaged on a raw vegan diet and wants everybody to stop hiding this ‘secret’.

    Jinjee and Storm are doing great raising their wonderful kids. But as Shazzie pointed out they are not 100% raw vegan because they include bee pollen and honey in their diet.

    http://www.zoo.org/factsheets/gorilla/gorilla.html

    Western Lowland gorillas eat this in the wild: Trees and herbaceous vegetation including leaves, shoots, stalks, stems, vines, bark, fruits and berries, and occasionally invertebrates such as termites.

    They usually eat this in a zoo: Vegetables, fruits, leaf eater biscuits, browse (cut branches from a variety of trees, herbaceous plants, alfalfa, ferns, clover), non-fat milk and yogurt, and a vitamin and mineral supplement.

    But now look at the comparative lifespans: Estimated at 30-35 years in the wild. Average life span is 35-45 years in zoos, with the record being 54 years.

    I think the difference is partially due to the natural dangers in the wild. But a tiny bit of cooked food didn’t seem to shorten their lives. Maybe we should take a lesson from them, because most of us are like humans in captivity with the way we live now.

    Matt Monarch, who is a 100% raw foodist, does not recommend it to everyone because he says it is hard to stay balanced on a totally raw vegan diet. And it is harder on your body to go back and forth between a 100% raw and then some cooked, than it is just to maintain a high raw diet. He recommends Fred Bisci’s whole foods intermediate diet as more maintainable by most people and very healthy. The idea is high raw, organic, grass fed, unprocessed foods.

  45. karennd says:

    I meant breakfast and lunch is raw on the Hallelujah acres diet. Typo.

  46. Marty McCagg says:

    Hi Kevin and AnnMarie:

    I’m not sure of the source for this but I’ve tried it and it works. You can use banana peels to get rid of planters warts (take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart, with the yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with a plaster or surgical tape.)

  47. Marty McCagg says:

    Hi Kevin and AnnMarie:

    I love your show and your food/health loving spirits. I can’t tell you what a gem this show has been in my life for the past few months. I’ve been eating some raw food since January. I went raw for two weeks but I lost so much weight my friends were worried and I didn’t feel very good. I wanted to do it very badly but I found it to be so much work and stressful. I added cooked grains back in a instantly felt better. I would eat more raw food if I could eat out – if we had more affordable restaurants like California does. Thank you for saying that you both eat some cooked food. That is validating. I’m happy being – if I have to name my diet – vegetarian (mostly vegan) very happy. I love knowing I’m doing the best thing for the environment to eat this way and acting politically like Michael Pollin suggests by buying as much organic food as possible. Peace and love, Marty

  48. nope says:

    hi:

    i just recently came across renegadehealth.com through researching the raw food diet. while i haven’t yet made the switch to raw, i’m trying to collect knowledge and recipes and that sort of good stuff 🙂 thank you for helping that!

    i noticed you mentioned tracking nutrition as part of a 100% raw food diet. i’m not sure how many people are aware, but many longevity diet followers (many of whom are high raw food eaters btw) use a wonderful, free program called CRONoMeter. you’ll be able to find a download if you google it. it’s fantastic – you can track any nutritional aspect you like and set individualized targets. it also graphs your intake over time. it breaks down all the minerals, vitamins, etc, that you could ever possibly want to know. i use it even when not following any specific diet to know what i’m eating and what i need to try better with.

    i thought it might be a good thing for people here. have a wonderful day!

  49. Dunja says:

    Hey

    I have a question concerning a raw food diet. It was about two years ago that I first heard about the health benefits of unprocessed food, and since than I have been trying to eat as much raw food as I can. I have almost completely cut out meat and I exercise 3 times a week, nothing too heavy. The problem is that I haven’t had my period in almost 4 months now and my gynaecologist says that this kind of diet is not good for my age(I am 19) and that I need more fat in order to have my periods. Let me state that I am not anorexic, I have a normal weight, so I really don’t see how eating more fat could improve my health.
    Also, I have been reading about other women who lost their periods on a raw food diet, so I wanted to ask if any of you knew more about this.

  50. Jill says:

    I think that it is a good idea but I have not tried it. Its just not in my personality to eat everything raw. I try and eat as much fruits, vegetables, etc that I can but would probably not go for an all raw diet. Its very interesting to me though, that is why I started watching your shows/podcasts! 🙂

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