Do Raw Food Leaders Cheat? (Part 2 Interview with Susan Schenck) : The Renegade Health Show Episode #650

Monday Sep 6 | BY |
| Comments (75)

Like I said last week, I had no idea that my interview with raw food author Susan Schenck would turn out like it did…

But, the best things in life aren’t planned, right?

Today, Susan talks more about her transition out of the vegan diet. She also addresses something that I’ve been talking about for a while… raw food leaders who cheat. (Don’t get me wrong, some don’t… but not all of them are honest about their food.)

Take a look…

Your question of the day: What are your thoughts now that you’ve heard from more from Susan Schenck?

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

If you want a copy of “The Live Food Factor” or want to be notified when her new book is out, please email her here: livefoodfactor [at] yahoo [dot] com

Live Awesome!

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 — 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.


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  1. Estella says:

    I am so glad she addressed Aajonus Vonderplanitz and his Primal diat. Also the fact there may be different metabolic types, which is recommended by Dr. Mercola.

    Food for thought! 🙂

  2. Sue says:

    For me, I feel great eating raw fruits and veggies, green smoothies, fresh juices and fish — especially wild Alaska salmon. I don’t eat fish every day, but I feel good when I do.

    It is starchy carbs that get me down. My brain fogs up and I am overtaken by fatigue and pain. Not at all fun!

  3. again, i disagree with eating any animal protein of any kind and i am not in agreement with the metabolic types either

    dr t colin campbells’s book, the china study, is key to understanding why animal protein is toxic to the body, especially over 10 percent consumption per day

    check out my 42 day coconut water cleanse i did back in december 2009 on my blog and click on the archive for december to read my day to day account

    chef mindy aka Ageless Raw Vegan (low-fat) Beauty

  4. It’s ironic that Susan says we have to eat fish to avoid depression, but the thought of the ocean being depleted of fish depresses me to no end.

    She also says that we evolved into modern humans because of eating ocean beings, and I understand that hypothesis. But I honestly would rather be dumb and depressed than contribute to the modern corporate fishing production system.

    Interesting interview! I enjoy hearing different perspectives.


  5. I found through experimentation on myself, that
    I need some animal protein. And that’s what
    I do. I love all the different kinds of raw food that are out there and I make them.I was juicing, big salads, green, green, green. But, and there’s the big but, I feel better with some animal protein. So that’s what I do, to feel I have a balanced diet.

  6. Beverly says:

    I read a comment on yesterday’s video about how we should eat God’s perfect diet. I agree that God did have the perfect diet in the Garden of Eden when He had perfect people and a perfect world to work with. However, if you read past the 1st book of Genesis – you see that those people sinned and the world was no longer a perfect place to live. Farther along you see the great flood and the change that the world went through. Then we were told to eat meat. I don’t think God’s perfect diet would need supplementation. He provided what the “missing” link was after the flood – sadly, that was animal meat. I personally don’t enjoy eating meat for a few reasons – I don’t really like it and I don’t like that life had to be taken to provide it. I have found however as a pregnant and nursing mommy, when I don’t eat meat once or twice a week, I get “loopy”, cannot remember things, crabby with the kids. I don’t like this and have tried for a number of years to go completely vegan, only to have it happen over and over. I really believe the B Vitamins in my body just get low and I have no desire to do anything. It does not matter if I supplement – I have done them all. I take in lots of greens in the form of green smoothies, salads, etc… I have taken B-12, chlorella, and many other superfoods. I do not believe that we Americans need as much meat as we eat certainly and I go through great lengths to make sure the meat my family eats is as clean as possible – we raise our own chickens and goats, my dad supplies us with deer and grass fed beef from his ranch, and we of course, have our own totally free range (on my front porch free range!) eggs. We also have our own garden and fruit trees. It is amazing at how connected we are to our food and amazes me more at how unconnected others are to their food – even most 100% raw vegans…
    Jesus ate fish (and he even made a fire and cooked it) and I don’t believe He made any mistakes…

  7. Charlotte says:

    I’m really glad she addressed metabolic types. I’m sure some people flourish on a vegan diet but i’ve found out from experience that it doesn’t work for me. I start craving cheese and eggs and other proteins. I’m pretty sure that i’m a mixed type. When i do just vegan, I get really bloated and I start having more GI problems. Now I eat raw cheeses (in moderation) egg yolks, goat kefir, wild salmon, and some pastured chicken..
    However, I don’t think I could ever do meat and eggs in the morning, but then that’s the beauty of individuality!
    I’m definitely still on the journey of finding what works for me and letting go of stigmas.

  8. Janet says:

    No, I don’t have a new opinion on Susan or her change in diet. I think that for one to be honest about who they are and what they do is the most important thing. Forget philosophy. Truth is where it is at for me and I respect her tremendously for her her integrity on this issue. I have been on a vegan, vegetarian, and meat diet at various times in my life. I, like Susan, have found that do not do well on a vegan diet and it creates all sorts of issues for me – regardless of how raw it is. I do best with veggies, fruits, eggs, not much dairy, and some chicken or turkey. I don’t eat anything higher on the food chain than this. I have found that Fred Patenaude’s/Doug Graham’s diet just does not work for me, even though I love and appreciate both gentlemen. I find that I need more fat than what they say works for them and I cannot have bananas every day as they make me gain too much weight…but I love the smoothie recipes,and agree in general that most people have too much fat in their diet. I have found Victoria Boutenko’s greens+fruit philosophy works pretty well for me, but I still need the support of at least some eggs in my diet and more greens than fruit in my diet. I find cleansing and fasting to be an important part of my diet as well and the addition of drinking some clay in water to be very beneficial. Also I find that when you eat something to be very important to health and good metabolism. Good question, Kev!

  9. Gina Michael says:

    After many years as an 75-80 raw foodist, wellness coach, I discovered that my own health was declining gradually. Loss of too much weight and muscle mass, Vit D, calcium and selenium deficiencies not to mention lower energy and some brain fog could not be ignored. Even though I tested an a veggie type metabolically ( probably mixed type) it was the addition of dairy ,fish oils,fish, occasionally some of my own organic lamb, whole grain and most importantly food based supplements that things have began to turn around. Now I am convinced that metabolic typing and blood work are important.

  10. Beverly says:

    It is funny how the China Study book is always brought into play – what about Weston A Price’s book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration that found some of the healthiest people in societies that existed on meat and blood, some on fish and seaweed, and others on mostly milk and cheese – the deciding factor in the degeneration to these societies was the introduction of “modernized food” – white flour, sugar, canned goods, etc..
    Matt Monarch has a interview in one of his books with a Dr (who is very healthy and long lived) that says you will live a perfectly healthy long life if you just cut these things out – you can leave in the fish and meat (within reason) and be fine – just cut out the grains, sweets, etc..

  11. Yariv says:

    I love your interview style Kevin. You’re always respectful and ask great questions. Also really appreciate how you’re prepared to interview people with such divergent views. I would like to be a vegan for ethical reasons but I’m a protein type so Susan’s comments resonated with me. I envy and respect vegans, but there are no studies that I’m aware of that prove that it’s the healthiest way to live. The China Study has been discredited to a large extent – see

  12. I’m not understanding why she could not address that deficiency with a food or supplement.

    Yes, animal products do contain a good supply of omega 3s but doesn’t hemp, flax, and walnuts also?

    And yes, I get that B12 is very important. I just don’t understand why she went right for the steak instead of a supplement and maybe some sea veggies?

    I have to say, I respect that everyone needs to fine tune their diet to what works for them but this is a little extreme. She wrote a book call the Live Food Factor but eats dead food!

    Personally, I think she gave up too easily and just wanted to eat meat again. This would make a lot more sense if she just said that.

  13. angel says:

    the fact is we cannot all eat meat. It would be unsustainable at least at the rate that westerners eat it. Think of all the resources used just to raise animals for consumption. Humans are frugivores. Anthropologists have proven this.

    I’ve craved certain undesirable foods before as well just like susan, but always contribute this to the fact the body is cleansing old debris. I craved bread at least 2 weeks after removing it. I think it’s hard to say why she wasn’t feeling well. Who knows what she was eating, how much, etc..

  14. Maya says:

    Everyone is entitled to change their minds, even the “gurus”. But sure for me, I am not going to buy her book. To be honest I don’t feel I can rely on her as an “expert”. One is for sure – we have to take care of our health early as possible. I was doing blood test every year even before I started to experiment with raw and vegan, so I don’t understand her NOT doing ANY test for several years.

    Some people have died of cancer but didn’t stop eat meat (true cases in Instinctos – raw foodist in Europe who eat meat). Internet is full of ex-vegans who are claiming what this diet is not working. I have nothing against eating meat – even raw – but I still think we are not created to eat meat, just because we don’t know better solutions (or just depleted our soils, washing everything, not eating any wild plants) or don’t want to change our lifestyle, we can go one step back and eat meat.

    And I definitely don’t share with her the basic ideas about human nature. Where all these gurus take the idea that we should look back to justify meat eating? We are evolving or at least we think we are, but we don’t look forward we look back… Maybe we are what we are despite we eat meat? Maybe there is much greater potential locked in us?

  15. Jolie says:

    I wonder if I took a Vit D3 supplement, fish oil, and sunlight if that would be too much.

  16. With 12 responses we get a good Take on what is right and wrong, the truth there is no right or wrong. The system is wrong and that is the problem. All food is good but has to be eaten and prepared properly. Nuts and grains sprouted, Meats free ranged, Dairy raw ect. Just eat the way you want and not stress out about it. Have a long and healthy life and it will be!!

  17. nick says:

    Some can justify just about anything for any reason; All must live with their justification.
    We are constanly changing our body and mind no one should make blanket statements about anyoe or anything; If it works 4 u fine great we must take care of ourselves in order to help others but not everyone is just concerned just about themselves so they can feel good.

  18. Blair says:

    I think she is so smart, her book carries so much weight for me and gives great data. I am so glad she is being truthful about this because there is this fear of people who have become vegan or vegetarian that they can’t go back, even if it’s not working for them and she shows that even as a “guru” you can change your diet and it’s okay! do what’s best for you!

  19. Linda Miller says:

    Whatever she wants to do is fine, and I’m glad she is upfront with what she is doing, but quite truthfully her diet sounds awful to me.

  20. erin says:

    this woman was never a vegan. vegan is more than just diet, it is a belief system based on the understanding that participating in animal exploitation within our current society is unnecessary and morally indefensible.

    people who claim their health suffered on an “all plant diet” most likely were making one of two obvious mistakes. 1) not eating enough food, or 2) eating crap food that is nutritionally deficient and failing to educate themselves about vitamin, mineral, and macronutrient needs of human beings . the use of the word vegan is not appropriate in these circumstances.

    This is why there is the saying “never trust an ex-vegan”. In general, “ex-vegans” are just people who hoped to have some miraculous health improvement from giving up meat and when they didn’t they quickly returned to their former lazy habit of getting their nutrients second or third hand from non-human animals.

    this woman should be reading books, not writing them.

  21. Sharon says:

    I thought it was kind of funny too that the China Study keeps being brought up. Didn’t those people eat a small bit of meat on occasion? I thought their diet was less than 5% meat but I don’t have the book here so I can’t confirm.

    HEALTH needs to be our goal. If our brains aren’t functioning and we’re sick and scrawny how many people can we attract into this lifestyle? The brain rules and must be fed! Fanaticism is not attractive or appropriate and neither is dishonesty.

    Let’s all just avoid chemicals, processed and packaged foods, sugar, slaughterhouse meat, etc. and stop being judgmental towards others.

    Let’s drink healthy water, eat organic, grow our own sprouts, gardens or whatever we’re capable of, buy the supplements we may need (get tested!) and BE HAPPY!!!

  22. Michael says:

    I think it’s possible to find a solution to any of your metabolic needs without going to meat. She’s on the other side of the line of compassion that runs through veganism. In my experience, the “satisfaction” one finds having eaten meat is simply feeling satiated and taking a break from cleansing.

  23. Basia says:

    My cats get sardines or mackerel on occasion–they love their brain food. Seriously, I am open to the idea that different people have different needs–often very different ones at that (although I’ll have to read more about the metabolic type issue). And for some, meat or fish may be a quick fix. However, I am not convinced that one can’t find a way to at least make a vegetarian diet work (ie, occasionally including goat milk, or eggs). In fact, I think it is extremely important to make every effort to find a way to make a vegetarian/vegan diet work. How can a significant number of people possibly eat enough fish given the diminishing number of already limited not-as-toxic small fish? Such recommendations are only a temporary bandaid, and they can’t serve many people in the long term. The news on the world’s oceans and fish stocks are horribly grim, and these fish don’t need any more demand. Eating meat daily raises similar issues. This just makes me appreciate RH’s advice to get blood tests regularly even more–so you can track and address your problems before they get serious and you get too desperate, and then have to take very drastic measures. Kev–as a follow up to your new e-book on blood tests, we need suggestions on how to get to optimal levels–preferably all in one place–as a follow up. Thanks for all your great info.

  24. susiequeue says:

    What a beautiful backdrop!

    She sounds sane, healthy and happy. I would buy her new book, definitely, she sounds like she is making a lot of sense.

  25. Monty Loree says:

    I am new to raw foods… I thought the whole reason for eating raw foods is because it digests better, it has enzymes still in place, and because it contains all of the nutrients…

    The key to the whole topic is being more healthy.

    I need to lose 115 pounds and keep it off… if raw foods does that then that’s what I’m interested in… I know that cooked foods isn’t going to help me take the weight off… because so far, it hasn’t!!

  26. Jennifer says:

    The fact that she has not taken a blood test to check her levels tells me
    that she really doesn’t know of her new diet is working for her, aside from
    how she feels. I do think that people who are ex-vegans, and say they feel
    so much better eating some meat or dairy, just miss the flavor and possibly
    the convenience and social aspect of doing so.

  27. Jasmine says:


    Kev/Ann – Do you take an omega 3 supplement? Do you take a vit D supplement?

    which ones do you recommend?

  28. Kevin,

    Can you do a follow-up segment (with someone else) on good ways to consistently get Omega-3, B12, and iron from food as well as what supplements you recommend?

    I think the one thing this woman made me realize is that I need to really pay attention to a few key nutrients and find a way to get them through food and if that’s just not possible then through supplementation.

    I am just not ready to go back to eating animals with all the saturated fat and other issues just because I’m missing a nutrient or two.

  29. nancy says:

    it seems rather logical to eat differently when we have different types of blood…

  30. NatureGirl says:

    Kudos! I am happy to hear people are starting to understand biochemic individuality when it comes to nutrition. I was raw (saved my life) but then I began to become ill again (like many), and once I did Donna Gates’ program did I finally begin to thrive. I’ve trained with Donna to understand more about this diet and after studying many programs including raw, vegan, high raw, etc. I think Donna’s program is the most sound out there.

    But that’s my personal opinion that works for me. My clients who come to me for colon therapy do a lot of raw….and many, many fail over time. But I allow them to explore their dogma and then turn them onto a balanced program that might work a bit better for their biochemistry, not their dogmatic minds and ideas.

    Thanks for the interview, I wondered if you hesitated to show it, since you seemed apologetic about the “turn of events” at the end of the segment. Looking at the comments above, you might have over-estimated your vegan following. Glad to see people are learning to *listen* to their bodies, test their levels and know for sure. I often say to clients “you can’t manage what you can’t measure.” So get your tests!

  31. Tiff says:

    #28 Vegan Diaries…I get my B12 spray from Dr. Mercola and also my Krill (Omega 3) from him. I still consider myself vegan even tho I take the krill. Check out his videos about his supplements. Much simpler and more comfortable than opening up a can of sardines (blech!)

  32. Sparrow says:


    Eating differently for different blood types doesn’t make sense to me. Humans have four blood types. Dogs have four blood types. Cats have 11 blood types. Cattle have about 800 blood types.

    Are there 800 different ways that cows choose to eat? Eleven different ways that cats choose to eat? Four different ways that dogs choose to eat? Why must there be four different ways that humans choose to eat?

    Isn’t it more likely that just as cows predominately eat grass, and dogs and cats predominately eat meat and carrion there must be a species-specific way for humans to predominately eat?

    Blood type has nothing to do with it.

  33. Jewels says:

    I think anyone can do anything that works for them. I do have an issue about curing manic depressive’s or bi-polar’s with fish. That is something she needs to look further into. I know that this is an illness, that does not come from diet. If that was true I would know a lot of people that were cured. It also makes me wonder about the rest of her research. Thank you for your show. Keeps me inspired.Love it!

  34. NatureGirl says:

    Wow, this is an interesting statement

    “…I know that this is an illness, that does not come from diet.”

    You should read George Watson’s book on Nutrition and the Mind, from the 1950’s in which he had done extensive research on the effects of the mind with diet. His research was actually conducted at sanitariums and had amazing results when the given the correct diet based on measurements of tricarboxylic acid or beta oxidizer and orthomolecular nutrition using optidose’s of natural food based supplements. You *may* not need supplements. But don’t assume the person next to you doesn’t. Remember: even organic foods, it’s a challenge for *everyone* to get nutrition purely from food. Many can’t hold a “charge” and need more than food and juice.

    The wrong diet can create symptoms of “psychosis,” and a different diet will create symptoms of “sanity.” Research it, it’s pretty interesting.

    Like Kevin has said this week, be careful when someone states something as truth without any reference, just a concept, personal opinion and heresay.

  35. tessa nisbet says:

    i have been studying every broadcast i can find by aajonus vonderplanitz – bought his 2nd book and jumped right into his weight gain foodplan – i am about 10 lbs below weight after a severe long time dealing with parasites – raw vegan makes me feel good i love it but i constantly wanted to eat more at every meal even the high protein b’fast smoothies i made and loved did not have the same effect as consuming animal fats – a feeling of total satiation – many years ago a naturopath told me to eat at least 50/50 saturated and unsaturated fat…i used to use ghee then but have dropped that some time ago…the lst few days of aajonus’ foodplan were ok tho nauseous now and again which he said to expect…but i had not found further broadcasts clarifying how to start out on his foodplan and me having been vegan and weighing only 94 lbs – his amounts soon overwhelmed me now on day 9 i have cut back to eggs and dairy and coconut cream along with green drinks which he recommends to start with and still feel quite nauseous but since i started out completely wrong i understand now what is happening seeing and hearing him talk i choose to follow this thro for a while – at gabriel cousens’ tree of life last year he ran specific blood tests that showed our different metabolic types – i have not had a blood test since last year i work with a holistic dr. and muscle testing and we find all systems test really good….like many people i am looking inside for the way to feel total health…

  36. Donna in Portland says:

    I am currently 50% raw. I find that one egg every other day with my daily green smoothie works best. I need the protein. And I do eat cooked fish and meat on occasion. Mostly I sandwich the cooked foods between my raw foods.

    I tried to be 100% raw back in Feb-Apr this year. Everything was great, my asthma vanished, digestive problems were non existent. But slowly I started losing my energy and had the returning afternoon slump with tiredness and fatigue. I slowly stated bringing back the protein and the fatigue went away.

    Thanks for bringing this topic to the table, Kevin. I love your show. It is very good balanced information. You keep us all in the perpetual state of researching and educating ourselves.


  37. Wendy says:

    I, too, am very puzzled as to why Susan didn’t try supplements first. Animals store toxins in their tissues (just like we do), so they’re biomagnifying the toxins in our environment. On top of that, by eating it raw she’s risking getting Taenia saginata and Diphyllobothrium latum (tapeworms) as well as other parasites. When she did her research, I wonder if she found the study that showed the highest content of PCBs was found in dairy products, meat and fish. (Zuccato E, et al Chemosphere 1999;38(12) 2753-2765)
    Or the study that showed of 116 patients who were fish-consumers in a San Francisco private practice, 89% had over the FDA reference limit of mercury in their blood. (Hightower & Moore. EHP 2003; 111:604–608). I could go on, but you get the point.

    Susan states correctly that there are algae-based sources of DHA, but that there are toxins in algae. She should be much more worried about the toxins in the animal products! Also, her comment about it not containing EPA is not relevant, since we have an enzyme in our body that can convert the 22 carbon DHA to the 20 carbon EPA.

    As far as cravings go, I sometimes get cravings for donuts – but it doesn’t mean it’s what my body needs and that I should start adding them back into my diet.

    As a vegetarian/vegan for 6 years, I know that if I start to feel something is wrong I’m going to test first, then try vegetarian supplements and finding plant-based solutions for any deficiencies.

  38. Bina says:

    @Erin I disagree completely. There are healthy Vegans and Vegans who eat garbage to save animal lives. Who do you care more about animals or humans? I’m sorry but there is a food chain on this planet and whether you chose to accept it as your lifestyle or not is up to you. Eating vegan is really just avaoiding animal products for whatever reason you chose… dont make it a religion.
    I cant tell you how frustrting it is to look up recipes for vegan on the net and find nothing but garbage substitues for real food. Tofu and soy products, fake cheese it’s all poison… but hey as long as those animals out live you then youre making the right choice. Good for you!
    I commend this woman for trying to find the healthies diet for her, this is what we should all be doing and not living lies (meaning eating what’s not good for us as a matter of principle).

  39. Christine says:

    Thank you to everyone who managed to stay respectful in this conversation…it’s so hard for us in this day and age to navigate the conflicting research studies and other sources of information. I think at the end of the day, each one of us needs to listen to our intuition and our own personal values to make decisions regarding our diets. Like one of the people who commented above, I am tired of dogma and appreciate this discussion tremendously, it helps me to figure out what I believe is the best combination for me (lots of raw, some meat, some “whatever crosses my path when I’m ravenous”). And I did my blood test with Dr. Emil Schandl (as recommended by Paul Niessen) last week and am anxiously expecting the results. Personally, I am wary of supplements, and I know that he takes 50 to 60 a day, so I will try to be open-minded and listen to what he recommends – and then pick and choose what I feel is the right combination.
    Thank you, Kevin, for these awesome interviews and for your hard work.

    Take care,

  40. Chrissy says:

    Hi there

    According to reasearch even eating small amounts of meat can scar your kidneys.


  41. Amanda says:

    There are 20,000 edible plants in this world (these are the ones we know of) and fewer than 20 species provide 90% of our food. Quite frankly, if we are not thriving, then we only have ourselves to blame. Shifting the emphasis back to eating slaughtered animals as an answer shows a gross lack of judgement of the worst kind. We should be looking to plants for an answer not the dead flesh of another species. Nor should we be funding or using animal experiments to further this aim. Susan Schenck’s reliance on animal experiments as a prop is highly misleading and unscientific.

  42. Cirelle says:

    Kevin- I have a question about blood tests. Why are blood tests reliable indicators of health? Who determines the ‘normal’range? Why are western ideas of normal levels be the levels I should aspire to?

    Grateful for all this edu-tainment going on here – so informative and so much fun- Cirelle (yep you pronounced it right last time!)

  43. Sue Paterson says:

    Thanks for a great interview. Very freeing to someone like myself who had similar problems mentioned above with the strictly vegan raw diet. I love the concept of different metabolic types and realizing the importance ofbiochemic individuality when it comes to nutrition.

  44. Johnny says:

    She thinks she’s a guru, but she is no health expert. It’s really plain to see. Peaple crave the easy way. You can have many deficiencies on a meat diet, even B12. These type of peaple will say anything to sell there ideas. Peaple look for the easy way! So they gobble this info up, and even feel relief from hearing it.

  45. Stephanie says:

    “But I honestly would rather be dumb and depressed than contribute to the modern corporate fishing production system.” Caity

    “As far as cravings go, I sometimes get cravings for donuts – but it doesn’t mean it’s what my body needs and that I should start adding them back into my diet.” Wendy

    “There are 20,000 edible plants in this world (these are the ones we know of) and fewer than 20 species provide 90% of our food.” Amanda

    Amen, sisters!

    And veganism, incidentally, in its originally contemplated form, is a philosophical stance to not harm anything, and be peaceful. Gets tricky when you’re eating a soyburger that was farmed using unsustainable methods on land that could have been used for other things simply because you wanna avoid killing an animal. The question of who are we harming to comes to mind. So we’re wearing shoes that weren’t made from a cow’s behind, but are made from a petroleum-based “pleather” that uses 42 toxic chemicals to create…. I still avoid leather because the thought of wearing a dead cow’s butt makes me want to drive an ice pick into somebody’s head. NOT VEGAN. 😉 But if someone can live simply and wear one pair of leather workboots for the next 9 years, perhaps they are in some ways being more “vegan” than I am. My 14 cents.

  46. Dee says:

    “The happiest people on the planet eat fish”, where is the stats for that statement. And define happy. She makes some very broad statements, I guess to each its own. Raw meat not my cup of tea at all.

  47. Velda says:

    I agree, Dee. She makes some very broad statements, with no stats to back it up. I would definitely counter that statement. What sets us apart from the animals is not the kind of food we eat, but the way we were created. We were created to be higher than animal life, and a little lower than the angels. Bears eat lots of fish …. I don’t see them developing the brain power that humans have. With that said, it is good to see her acknowledge that not all metebolic types can eat the same diet. You have to be aware of your body, and feed it correctly. She makes some good points in that direction.

  48. Angie Smith says:

    I think everyone gets to choose what is most important to them. I find it interesting that she asks if your ethics or your health are more important, and the way she says it, she obviously believes that health “should” be more important. From people’s responses, it appears that some people agree with her belief and some people believe that the ethics should be more important than health. It’s a very interesting conversation you’ve got going here; I wish I had time to read more of the responses.

  49. Chris says:

    Some years ago I met that Aajonus fellow at a lecture he was giving. He was the most disgusting fellow – – I wanted to walk out of his lecture. . except the woman I drove with was the driver.. and she was “into him’. Anyway, his diet made her very fat and very dumpy.. and she developed terrible body odor.. He would eat spoiled chicken and carried it with him in his pocket.. and made jokes about how he would take it out in movies and such. .if someone wore perfume… . .he was truly an odius and vile man and really ridiculed vegans and vegetarians.. (of course I was vegan at the time.) To me….that man is NO role model, but lecturing has lined his pocketbook quite nicely.

    I’m sorry.. I cannot agree with Susan. The more she speaks the more I see huge errors coming across in her messafe. I cannot agree with anything she has to say. Its apparent she no longer wants to be vegan – – if she ever was. Hope she takes her books off the shelves.. She has nothing of value to say for my ears.


  50. Chris says:

    oh also.. the most aggressive people on the planet eat meat and fish. .and animals – – not the happiest..

    What is she talking about??? Give it a rest.


  51. Hi folks!

    What an interesting discussion about my interview. Let me address some of the comments.

    First I’d like to say—-Folks, arguing that we should be vegans is —to quote The Omnivore’s Dilemma—“a quarrel with Nature.” I didn’t write the rules, don’t blame me! I just uncovered and wrote about them. IF after at least 10 years you are still successful as a vegan, CELEBRATE! But don’t judge those of us who sincerely tried and failed. I did not design my body….Now a few comments to your comments!
    One person says:
    “…People who claim their health suffered on an “all plant diet” most likely were making one of two obvious mistakes. 1) not eating enough food, or 2) eating crap food that is nutritionally deficient and failing to educate themselves about vitamin, mineral, and macronutrient needs of human beings . the use of the word vegan is not appropriate in these circumstances.”

    If you read my book, you cannot accuse me of either of those! I ended up GAINING weight (long term) on the raw vegan diet because I was protein deficient. This is explained in detail in Beyond Broccoli, and is common more among women (MEN tend to LOSE too much weight on this diet). Eating crappy food? Obviously this person did NOT read The Live Food Factor, or he would know my high standards!

    Some wonder why I didn’t take supplements…. I WAS. Supplements, as I explain in The Live Food Factor, are not as good as whole foods as they lack the cofactors and are not as bioavailable. I took ALL the standard vegan supplements…..Now I don’t need to.

    Someone said: “This is why there is the saying “never trust an ex-vegan”. In general, “ex-vegans” are just people who hoped to have some miraculous health improvement from giving up meat and when they didn’t they quickly returned to their former lazy habit of getting their nutrients second or third hand from non-human animals.” Obviously never read The Live Food Factor. Spending three hours every Sunday and an hour a day is LAZY?
    Someone said, “this woman should be reading books, not writing them.”
    LOL! I read 95% of the HUNDREDS of books in the bibliography of The Live Food Factor. And I have read around 100 or more nutrition books since writing it.

    “Susan states correctly that there are algae-based sources of DHA, but that there are toxins in algae. She should be much more worried about the toxins in the animal products! Also, her comment about it not containing EPA is not relevant, since we have an enzyme in our body that can convert the 22 carbon DHA to the 20 carbon EPA.”
    I eat only clean animals, without the toxins. Algae doesn’t have much EPA and my brain loves it.

    “She thinks she’s a guru, but she is no health expert. It’s really plain to see. Peaple crave the easy way. You can have many deficiencies on a meat diet, even B12. These type of peaple will say anything to sell there ideas. Peaple look for the easy way!”
    I don’t consider what I am doing now “the easy way.” Have you ever tried eating raw liver? NOT EASY!!! I am a CARB ADDICT: eating vegan was EASIER for me, actually!

    “But I honestly would rather be dumb and depressed than contribute to the modern corporate fishing production system.”
    If everyone thought like you do, we would have a planet of dumbed down, diseased and dead people….People are animals, too, you know. We have value!!! Are you sure you want to sacrifice your life so that a few fish will live a few months longer?

  52. Gerry says:

    I loved Comment #20 from Erin.

    There is little I can add to her well written comment, except to say, your speaker doesn’t appear to give any thought to the ethical or environmental reasons for going vegan.

  53. Ed says:

    Hi, thoughts have been stirred by this interview, natural in a grocery store organic or (publics or safeway)does not exist in our postwar marketplace. That is post world war one. Still farm based in 1918 pre-monopoly laws allowed the big thinkers that had stolen our national resources to determine botony in our behalf.They funded it so more food could get to market.What was lost was the trust that what we saw at the market could sustain us. That ship sailed before WWII, Ag schools had funding (a bone to chew on)and science marched with no thought of unitended consequences.This even predated Standard Oil purchaseing the Americal Medical Association and driving out establishted medical schools that did not want to derive all cures from coal tar as Mr Rockifeller felt they should be.History is so blatent and uncorrected but able to hide in the hope of the generation that assumes their generation is on a level playing field when the whistle blew. ie, Susan holding bananas in the interview picture, the most mono-stand crop on earth picked green and gased to give us what?

  54. john says:

    “Thank the animal spirits for giving me their flesh” Susan animals do not have spirits they have souls.Humans have souls and spirits. I am not nor ever was connected to any primate ancestor.I am a humane being who is created in the image of God. I did not some how evolve by whatever. Well said #’s-3 and # 6 and # 20 and #32 #37#40#41#44 #46#49 #50 . Eating eggs and meat every day as Susan states.This will give her soft bones ,osteoporosis.Lets remember something All dead flesh Carcass is dumb, lifeless,stinks,putrifies the body,Zero fiber content,Highly Acid forming,constipates the body,to name just a few highlights.

  55. In reference to Wendy, comment 37, quote:
    “the study that showed of 116 patients who were fish-consumers in a San Francisco private practice, 89% had over the FDA reference limit of mercury in their blood. (Hightower & Moore. EHP 2003; 111:604–608).”

    This is true. However, it is an error to take this local data and apply it globally. I’ll explain why.

    Fish eaters in San Francisco eat fish that are largely caught locally from the San Francisco Bay and surrounding area. The San Francisco Bay has high mercury contamination from local mine runoff. Mines in the Sierra Nevada’s used mercury to extract gold from ore a hundred years ago. The used mercury was simply tossed aside and is now making it’s way into the Bay from river and rain runoff.

    High amounts of mercury in San Francisco fish eaters is a problem that arose from local contamination.

  56. Melissa says:

    I can’t imagine that eating raw meat is healthy. I would be terrified of E. Coli, Salmenella and parasites, just to name a few dangers. But, sure, if you are going to eat meat– eating it raw at least keeps its “nutrient” profile in tact.

  57. Angie Leigh says:

    Well I am very glad you had a chance to interview her because I believe that she is absolutely right with regards to doing what is right for your own body! My opinion remains the same, and that is we all are on our own journey of health and we have to do what feels right for us as we strive for optimal health. I love learning from all of you wonderful teachers and I take what works for me and leave behind what does not. Thank-you Kevin and Ann-Marie, for your dedication to providing us with varrying perspectives and valauable information. -Angie Leigh-

  58. Darlene says:

    I have been doing my own research into what the best diet is for me. I’ve read The China Study as well as the book on Metabolic Typing and the Paleo Diet. I’ve come to the conclusion that the Metabolic Typing diet makes the most sense – one size fits all doesn’t work for everyone.

    I do consume smoothies made up of raw veggies, fruit, chlorella, spirulina, maca and chia seeds or hemp seeds. However, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m definitely a mixed type and need animal protein to feel satiated. If I don’t get my animal protein I get hungry; if I do, then I can go from breakfast until lunch without a snack. Since I’m a mixed type I do well on Paleo. I’m definitely sensitive to grains and even dairy to some extent.

    I find I’m healthier and have lost weight and am able to maintain a healthy weight without any cravings. I have more energy and think more clearly.

    Thank you Susan for your insight and comments the last two interviews. They have been very enlightening!

  59. Tom says:

    Although I respect whatever dietary decisions individuals decide to make, I disagree with Susan’s comment about cravings. She said that she would “crave” animal products while she was vegan. A craving does not mean that your body needs it. Years ago, I would “crave” slimy McDonald’s food, but does that mean that my body needed it? I also craved diet soda, does that mean I have an aspertame deficiency? Your body craves: 1) what you’re used to eating, and 2) nutrients to solve a deficiency. I believe that Susan was not eating a balanced diet with enough protein and fat, even though it was “raw”. There are plenty of great vegan sources of fat and protein without resorting to animal products. To me, it just sounds like she did not explore cooked vegan foods at all before jumping to the meat wagon.

  60. Angie Smith says:

    I love reading everyone’s commentary here! I’ve read all 3 days’ comments, and here are some things I’ve noticed that haven’t already been addressed.

    Interesting comment #12 (on today’s page). You said you wondered why she didn’t use food to address her deficiencies. She said she ate eggs, raw dairy, and meat, and these seem to have addressed the previous deficiencies. It seems that perhaps you don’t view these things as foods?

    To whoever said that she should have tried eggs or raw dairy instead of going straight to meat, listen again. Susan said that she first ate eggs & raw dairy products, and then she ate meat when those things weren’t enough.

    Environmental impact? You’re right. She didn’t address it. Just like no one ever really mentions the environmntal impact of importing from who-knows-where all our beloved raw vegan foods like coconut oil, cacao, nuts, seeds, spirulina, bananas, mangoes, organic produce, pineapples…but that aside, Susan didn’t say her choice to eat meat/eggs/dairy was an environmental one; she is making choices to improve her health.

    Kevin & Ann Marie, I really appreciate your having so many various people & opinions on your show. It gives me a lot to consider even though I don’t often make comments.

    I personally know that what we eat, where it comes from, and how it affects our health, spirituality, and every other part of our lives – as well as how we treat other people and how that affects all kinds of things – is our own job to figure out and no one else’s unless we are paying them for their advice, and even then we are responsible to figure out if their recommendations are working for us or not, and what we will do about it. How’s that for a run-on sentence? 😀

  61. Tom, comment 59, thats incorrect. Your body craved those foods because it needed those foods. Now your general feeling that you didn’t need those foods is also correct. Let me explain in falseness first:

    Soda–your body craved it either because of the acid content, calorie density or endorphin addition. When you consumed the soda, you got high. Your body wants to experience pleasure again. You may have had a chemical addiction to endorphins caused from drinking soda, and thus your body indeed needed soda to satisfy the chemical addition. There is evidence building that this type of addiction causes obesity.

    Other McD food–high calorie density, protein, fat, calcium, who knows, but there is something in that food you did not effectively replace in your new diet, thus the craving. I experience this too until I dramatically increased my vegan complete protein. At first it seemed weird to me that I had to chug down 100 grams of pea and rice protein to curb my desire to leave the house and eat whatever red meat I saw on a TV commercial, but soon I came to understand the relationship between food, nutrition and cravings.

    Now you are correct because if you changed your diet effectively, you wont need that food anymore. You should know your successful when the craving disappears.

  62. Angie Smith says:

    Oh, yeah. I have experienced eating a plants-only diet, I have learned to listen to my body, I have a wide variety of supplements available, I have a spiritual life, and I love people and animals. In my experience, there are/have been times when I need specific animal products in my diet no matter how many or how few calories I’m eating and no matter how much fat & protein, or how much seaweed & spirulina & kale & coconut oil & lettuce & nuts & beans & everything else I am getting, it does not provide everything my body needs to function well. This is true even with multiple other things going on to improve my health – chiropractic, energy work, essential oils, exercise, good water, massage, probiotics, antifungal protocols, B12 supplements, vitamin D supplements, and a whole lot more. I get to be aware of it, and I get to choose what to do about it. I can find out how animals are raised and make choices about whether to purchase & eat the eggs/milk/cheese/meat/etc. from that source or to find another source, and I can choose to stay sick & get sicker if I don’t want to eat animal products. It’s up to me. 🙂

  63. Very interesting. She had the same experience as I did. After vegetarian for 12 years and Vegan for 2 of that, I added meat back in. For me it was chicken.

    It was like flipping an energy switch. My body woke up and became alive. I had energy as though I had popped some sort of illegal drug.

    I’ve found out that I’m a protein type and do better on more protein and less carbs.

    Now I teach the differences. One approach does not fit all. We have to eat the foods that balance our own metabolic systems. When we do, our bodies calm down and perform the way they’re supposed to.

    tricky thing is when you’re married to the opposite type. My wife does better as vegetarian, and as we both know, vegetarians usually have a very strong stance on the subject of food and especially meat.

    great interview

  64. Maria Rippo says:

    I am so glad she has been honest and that you have featured this interview Kevin. That’s why I listen to you more than any other raw foodist. You are so level headed and open to what works for people! Thank you! I personally find that I do need some eggs and fish and a little meat here and there. Thankfully my hubby hunts and fishes, so all our meat comes from him! I always think I am a funny eater b/c I eat mostly raw, but some meat. I have gone all raw here and there and for short term, I feel good on it but this summer I started to feel very tired on all raw food. I added more eggs in and some fish and I am a new person. I agree that we all need to be our own experiment and not feel bad about ourselves if we can’t stick to all raw when it’s not good for our own body. This is why I will never label myself by my food choices. It is always changing according to what my body tells me it needs!

  65. Eve says:

    Honesty is SO important from people whom others look to for nutritional advice.

    When the first big raw restaurant was opening in L.A., a patient of mine was a raw chef and told me a story about the restaurant’s chef/proprietor. She and this chef fellow were walking down Main Street with a close friend of the chef, another major raw food luminary whom we will call Mr. X. I’d been to a lecture by Mr. X, where he described his transition from raw to being a breatharian, and how as you get cleaner and “spiritually higher” thru raw food you can eventually live on air alone.

    Well, as the trio walked down main street, Mr. X ducked into a coffee house. My patient asked the chef what was up, and he said Mr. X was getting a cappuccino. Shocked, she said, “but I thought he was a breatharian?!” The chef said, “Of course, he IS, but he isn’t drinking this cappuccino because he NEEDS to – he’s drinking it because he can have it or not, he has evolved to where he doesn’t need anything and so he can just choose.” The impression given was, no he never eats, but once or twice a week he can have something that tickles his fancy, simply because he doesn’t NEED it and so his body won’t react to it.

    So, yeah, raw food leaders can lie.

  66. Eve says:

    Oh yeah! And I forgot to say…

    as a professional who has studied nutrition for 26 years, I don’t think this woman knows what she’s talking about half the time. All due respect, she seems nice and sincere…just not very fact-based. Her “research” sources may not be good ones.

    There is an interesting evolutionary theory that says the only reason we evolved past the great apes was cooked food, and in particular, cooked meat. It gives the body much denser calorie load, and concentrated doses of some nutrients such as fats, protein and B-vitamins, which are crucial for brain development. Archeological findings seem to show humanoids started cooking meat 1 1/2 to 2 million years ago, about the same time our brains took this wacky turn that gives us humans – shall we say – special powers.

    A couple interesting tidbits from an NPR interview with one of the study’s authors:

    1.) He feels that although this was hugely advantageous in making us become human, today’s modern post-industrial human thrives better on a mostly raw food diet rich in fruits and vegetables. We no longer need the extra dense calories cooked food provides (it is metabolized differently), so cooked foods just make us fat now. He was quite positive about the benefits “the raw food diet” gives its followers (it wasn’t clear if he meant vegan raw).

    2.) He talked about studies of potentially harmful substances that form in cooked-meat, and how you can’t rely on rats or other non-humans in those experiments. The reason is that along with bigger brains, eating cooked meat evolved uso a state where the HCA’s produced by BBQ heat don’t cause the same damage in humans as they do in animals who don’t cook their food (as in, everyone else).

    3.) When other primates are offered raw food next to cooked food, they NEVER prefer the raw food. (This guy is a primate study researcher.) So he says that while a raw food diet may be healthier for us today, it most certainly is not NATURAL, and is not what we humans evolved to eat.

    Interesting, if you can be open minded enough to consider the possibility…

  67. It’s interesting to read the comments and see that so many people are focused on what’s in the food rather than what the food does.

    There’s way more to food than what most common doctors / nutritionists can label or put into any one answer fits all “box”.

  68. Joe says:

    So who are the cheaters?


  69. LA says:

    I always feel good eating fish. I am careful to buy Alaskan wild fish like salmon,halibut & other small fishes from way up North like sardines (crown prince is a great quality sardines brand). When i was traveling a couple yrs ago to CA, i ate a lot of sushi & felt great. But, I recently purchased many extensive lab tests which showed i was high in heavy metals including mercury, lead, aluminum so i was advised to avoid sushi because most of it is farm raised or wild (non the cleanest waters like Alaska. I am sensitive to soy, all gluten, and many nuts, pea protein, yeasts which are most vegan proteins, so i need some eggs, clean fish in addition to hemp, rice protein. I wish i could be vegan & do to the extent i can

  70. Louie says:

    I do horrible on a 100% veg diet.
    Vegan ? Can’t do it.
    I eat limited red meat, fish and fowl, lots of veggies and some fruit.
    Try to keep it organic/grass fed.
    Very little grain.
    My Smoothies are raw.
    I have to admit that a 90% Primal Type diet/lifestyle works very well for me.

    Someone mentioned The China Study.
    Here are two well reknowned doctors who have refuted it.

  71. Jo Smith says:

    I loved the interview, but reading through these responses has been quite an experience. This is why I refused to go to any of my local raw food group pot lucks – the toxic energy given off by those trying to strong arm people’s eating habits through shame whether vegan or not.

    The most important message (and the one I kept hearing again and again from Susan) is that we are the only ones qualified to know if we are happy and healthy. We must make our OWN choices, not cower in fear of other’s disapproval. Fear and shame are more toxic to the body than any meat on the planet.

    Life is a mosiac. We live best when we take the time to understand ourselves. What works for us isn’t always the cure for someone else. Love and unconditional acceptance are the highest vibration and the greatest healers.

    Thank you Kevin for providing so many different views about so many different styles of nutritional support. It gives everyone the opportunity to find their perfect nutritional match.

  72. Eve, in regards to comment 66, indeed, eating cooked meat may not only produce bigger brains but fire would need to have been used 2 million years ago. Sadly, there is no evidence to support fire was used by Homo Erectus more than 400k years ago. At least on scholar believes this is because bush fires were used which (conveniently) leaves no trace.

    There is however, evidence proto-humans beach combed coastal Eritrea for clams as early as 250k years ago. Currently there are teams searching for earlier evidence of man on these beaches.

    And yet another group of scholars believe we got our big brains by scavenging tubers cooked in scrub fires.

    To say that Susan does not know what she is talking about is gross arrogance on your part, for her support of one hypothesis on the origins of our big brains has credible factual and circumstantial evidence just as much as the early fire and cooked meat does.

  73. idealist says:

    How hilarious, and yet how sad to read all these comments. It’s just food people! Where is the perspective? Vegans are not holy! The self righteous rhetoric just sounds self indulgent and silly! Bodies are different, metabolic types are real. Who are we to judge whether someone else is eating “right”, especially when they are eating whole, natural foods. For God’s sake, she’s not recommending McDonalds! If the addition of a little animal protien makes her body and mind healthier, why would anyone look down on that? Kudos to Susan for having the courage to speak up and tell her story while at the same time not degrading the many vegans out there. Wouldn’t it be nice if the vegans could show the same courtesy and manners? Find out what works for you, and trust other people to do the same.

  74. josephinesped says:

    I think that high-raw is the best for people, and their climates and blood-types will affect the percentage of raw-food in their diets.

  75. Jess Etcell says:

    This was the best hour and a half I’ve spent in a while – listening to the interview and reading everyone’s comments.

    I became a vegetarian and didn’t do well health wise. Convinced it was because my body needed to be ‘cleaner’ I became a vegan, then raw vegan – I tried these diets in every expression possible – low fat, high fat, high protein, macrobiotics, juice fasting, green smoothies, you name it.

    While I personally know white a few people who thrive on a mainly raw vegetarian diet – I don’t personally know any healthy vegans. That’s not to say they don’t exist, of course they do – I wish I could be one of them.

    Truth is – I now have major hormonal imbalance and have possibly ruined my chances of having children one day – my periods come irregularly, sometimes every 3 months, sometimes not.

    I am trying to heal the acne I developed – I suffer from quite bad scarring on my cheeks and chin, make up doesn’t cover it.

    I suffered from anxiety and depression which affected my life in other ways.

    All in all – I say this not to say everyone should eat meat, because I don’t believe that – but just to say that it’s cruel and unfair to judge people by their diet.

    I, like Susan, tried supplementing and didn’t make the choice to return to eating animal products lightly – emotionally it was a heartbreaking decision.

    But you can only sit in your house depressed, overweight, infertile and with acne for so long…. it was impacting my quality of life.

    I’m still stumbling my way through working out what I need to be eating. I have nothing but compassion and respect for Susan, along with all the vegans, vegetarians, macrobiotics, breathatarians, fruitarians – whatever works for you – that’s the whole point.

    Unfortunately as a yoga teacher – my new diet isn’t the most accepted – but I’ve accepted that it’s part of my journey to not judge myself or my body and not be pressured into things which aren’t right for me just because they are ‘nicer’ or more idealistic.

    Love to you on your journey xx

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