Want To Know What the Raw Food Leaders and Experts Eat? : Renegade Health Book Review

Monday Jul 18 | BY |
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nomi shannon raw fooders eat
Here’s what Nomi Shannon made for us when we visited a few years ago…

I know…

I do too!

That’s why when Nomi Shannon, the Raw Gourmet, told me she was writing / compiling a book that included a week’s worth of meal diaries contributed by raw food eaters, I was really excited.

(I actually told her if she didn’t follow through with it, I would finish the project for her!)

This was about 2 years ago, and now the ebook “What Do Raw Fooders Eat?” is finally ready for our eyes to see.

Today, I want to give you a review of the book, a little background on it, why I think it’s a good investment for anyone who is interested in raw food as well as explain some of the other considerations (negative and possitive) of a publication like this.

One of the biggest questions we get over and over again is…

“What do you eat on a regular basis?”

The question is not only directed to us, but also the experts that we interview.

Clearly, there is a lot of interest in what everyone eats in the health world – particularly raw.

I think it comes from the observer / voyeur nature of human beings. We just plain old want to know – whether it’s good or bad.

Drive by a traffic accident and see what happens – same thing occurs in the health world at a raw food event. Rubbernecking across tables to see what speaker X or Y is eating at lunch.

Nomi must have been getting these questions too (plus the years of rubbernecking) and decided to do something about it – maybe so they wouldn’t clog up her inbox anymore… I don’t know… LOL!

What is “What Do Raw Fooders Eat?”

Quickly, before I get into some of the deeper review and analysis, I need to give you an idea of what I’m talking about, if you haven’t gotten it already.

Our friend – yes, our real, we’ve-stayed-at-her-house-and-prepared-dinner-together friend – Nomi Shannon has asked nearly 50 raw food eaters to provide 7 days of their personal food dairies. Not only that, but she’s also asked them to tell their raw food stories as well.

She’s put all this great information into a 200 page ebook that you can get right now here: “What Do Raw Fooders Eat?”

Why the book is cooler than just food logs…

When I was reviewing the book, I found I was not only interested in what the contributors ate, I was also interested in their own personal stories.

Nomi has done a great job of allowing the contributors share who they are and why they’re eating a raw diet and doing what they do.

This gives a lot of personality to the ebook, instead of just being list after list of food logs.

(One incredible story, and quite a surprise to me was David Kaplan’s from Transition Nutrition. I’ve known him for a few years, but had NO idea about his personal story… what a turnaround! I’m not going to spill the beans here, you’ll have to get the book, LOL!)

Another great aspect of the book is that a good portion of the people who contributed things that they ate, also contributed recipes for some of the unique things that they have created. This makes this a hybrid, food-log, recipe, inspirational story book that at the very least is entertaining and educational and at the most – possibly life changing.

It’s cool to see how many people are doing the raw food diet differently.

In the book, there are people who are eating high fruit diets, high fat diets, low calorie diets and high calorie diets – pretty much all of the above.

Each one of them has their own spin and has taken lessons and tips from other experts. As someone who knows many of these people and know who they hang out with, it’s interesting to see the influences that rub off on each other.

For instance, Grant Campbell, who has helped Doug Graham promote at events around the U.S. over the last few years, shares a lot of similar food traits as Doug does. There are plenty more like this.

What this proves to some degree – with a big exception that I’ll mention in the second – is that there are lots of ways to do the raw food diet in the short term. This means you’re free to explore different options and this book gives you the opportunity to take pieces of what others are doing and make them your own.

Here’s the big exception…

Just because someone eats raw food for a long time doesn’t mean it’s working for them.

I have no idea if the contributor’s diets are slowing making them weaker and depleted, or if their raw diets are successfully reducing their risk of disease, extending lifetime, etc.

I’m sure some are doing better than others. It’s just a fact of how things work – in anything. Some people are more successful with what they do than others.

What I do know is that it’s valuable to read about the experiments (which is what I prefer to call them) that they’re embarking on and what they’ve concluded to be successful for them. The fact that they’ve chosen very specific foods to publish in their 7 day logs, means that they believe in many ways those raw foods are superior than others.

These nuggets and clues can help you get better at what you’re doing. Tony Robbins says “success leaves clues.”

I think to put the book over the top (though it would never happen!) from a true health perspective, is to include each expert’s blood tests along with their food logs. How cool would that be? We’d be able to fully understand what they’re doing and how it’s positively or negatively affecting their bodies.

Until that happens, we can use this book as a tool to observe, as an educational piece and enjoy the recipes and stories.

The book totally fulfills my voyeuristic, I-want-to-know-your-diet curiosity and I’m sure it will fulfill yours as well.

If you want to check it out, here’s where you can get it now: Buy “What Do Raw Fooders Eat?”

(A portion of the sales of this book are affiliate commissions that go to Renegade Health to continue to support what we’re doing here.)

Some other thoughts about the book…

1. Did all the contributors tell the truth?


What do you think?

When your boss comes around at 4:30 PM and you were riding out the last half an hour of work playing solitaire on your computer, do you rush off to appear busy?

I’m sure many of the people who contributors who submitted recipes were good intentioned about what they contributed, but I’m almost certain they were on their best behavior – particularly since they know this book would be subject to criticism.

2. How do you use a book like this?

Well, besides looking at the food logs and the recipes and the stories, the best way to use the book is like this…

  • Step 1: Get a notebook and pen.
  • Step 2: Read though the book and write down any recipe, food or idea that interests you.
  • Step 3: Label these things on a 1-10 basis, 1 meaning least important to you right now, to 10, meaning you have to know more about it (or do it) right away.
  • Step 4: Start doing the things that you labeled 10.
  • Step 5: Repeat the process after you’ve implemented 1-3 things successfully.

This is not a normal, here’s-what-to-do book. It’s a resource that you can use now or later to help you improve what you’re doing.

Think of getting this book as your opportunity to sit down with 50 people who are doing the raw food diet and get all their secrets so you can take what works for you and apply it.

This process above will help you get the most out of that interview “experience.”

3. Will this book be fodder for those mean old raw vegans? (See here.)


I can already see them now, with NutritionData.com pulled up in their browsers with a calculator in hand.

They will break down each contributor’s diet in terms of percentage of fat, carbohydrates and protein and will out anyone who has over 10% fat or 10% protein.

(Keep in mind, I’m not singling out a particular diet here. I’m talking about a few individuals that just like to be ridiculously difficult.)

They will reduce every human being in the book to a number and judge them solely on what they eat, not their entire contribution to their communities or families.

It’s up to you if you want to listen or not.

Kevin, why aren’t you in the book?

Ha, ha…

Good question.

First and most prevalent was this:

At the time of the publication and organization of the book I was eating fermented dairy products and I was very uncomfortable with it.

I had been vegan for a long time and not eaten dairy for even longer. Maybe 8 years or so. Vegan for 5 (or Bee-gan for those who are sticklers.)

I had also built an identity – somewhat unwillingly – as a raw food vegan guy (I’d much rather be just a health guy… LOL!) and I didn’t know how or when to make my experiments public.

The truth was, they were still experiments, so I had a weight on my shoulders that I needed to be concerned about. If I mentioned my experiment in a published book and it failed, then I would have to somehow retract it – which is really difficult. I wanted to be sure that what I was doing was more than an experiment (which I do many that go unpublished) and something that I strongly saw results from.

I talked to Nomi about this and she told me to do what I felt best, and I still didn’t feel comfortable putting this information out, since I didn’t know what the end results would be.

So, first point was that I didn’t want to publish my dairy experiments just yet, because I wasn’t fully sure they would be effective or not.

The second, is that I did put together a diary of a week that I was not eating fermented dairy, but I felt that if it were published, I wouldn’t be telling the whole truth.

Yes, it would be a week that I ate raw vegan, but would it be a good representation of what I really ate at the time?

I decided it wouldn’t.

In fact, I’ve hesitated to tell anyone on the blog what I eat because of this. (I do share if someone asks at events.)

I would hate to have someone follow a protocol that I’ve published 3 years ago that I found out really didn’t work for me.

So even when I explain at live events, I make sure that I use a HUGE disclaimer that goes like this…

Guest asks: “What does your diet look like?”

I answer: “Great question (because it is!), Ok, here’s the deal. I’m going to tell you what I ate this week or generally have eaten in the last month. BUT, I want to be entirely clear. I could walk out of this place (venue, lecture) and eat something completely different for the next month. So please, just understand this isn’t something to follow exactly or maybe even closely. If I told you want my diet was 5 years ago and you followed it, you would have gotten just as sick as I did – so again, I may not be the best person to listen to, even though I think I have it a little more tied up these days. So please listen carefully and proceed with caution.”


So those are the two reasons why.

I’ve toyed around with the idea of putting up my food log every day this week to celebrate the release of this book, but I’m still kind of weary of doing it. I’m pretty sure it won’t be the same in 30 days, so I don’t know what value it really provides.

Anyway, I can give you an idea.

Smoothies, juices, salads, some farm fresh eggs (now), and a cooked meal with either rice, quinoa, potatoes or another grain for dinner.

It’s pretty simple. We eat fresh from the farmer’s market, we do eat out 1-2 times a week at some great farm fresh places here in Berkeley and that’s about it. Pretty uneventful.

Why I approve of this book and think it is a good investment for you.

First off, it’s a great research tool if you’re interested in the raw food diet. You can read what these 50 people eat and decide for yourself what to include and what to remove.

Second, it’s great to read inspirational stories to help motivate you.

Third, there are some great recipes! I don’t know exactly how many, but I counted at least 10 or so in the first 50 pages.

Fourth, it’s almost just worth it for the curiosity-killed-the-cat, or the look-over-your-shoulder aspect. (It definitely did for me!)

Fifth, it does have a money back guarantee, so if you don’t like it or don’t find anything useful (which is pretty hard) you can get a refund.

So if you want to check it out, or at least read more, here’s where you can go now…


One more personal note:

I know how difficult it can be to work with only a few people, so I want to publicly praise Nomi for getting almost 50 people together to contribute to a great book like this.

Her commitment to this community and to helping people get healthy is evident in the energy, time and effort it took to put this book together.

Please keep that in mind when you’re looking to support people who really care, Nomi is most certainly one of them!

Here’s where to get “What Do Raw Fooders Eat?” now…


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 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.


Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Mary Ann says:

    Thank you Kevin, for always being truthful and honest, even if it steps on some peoples toes 🙂 I also believe that the Good Lord above made us all DIFFERENT and that everyone doesn’t fit into one mold, and I believe the same goes for eating. I try very hard to eat Vegan and Raw and I have put on the most weight ever trying to eat this way….I am still trying to figure everything out.

    Thank you again, I love all the REAL advice and support you give to all of us – stay true!

    Mary Ann

  2. Vitamins says:

    I think most vegans should consider fish as an alternative to their diets. just make sure you take zeolite if you consume fish on a regular basis!

  3. jasmine says:

    Your points about eating different foods at different times (day to day or month to month) are most helpful. I am one of those people who think that I should eat a certain way to be “healthy like the experts” and I realize now that there is much more to health than someone’s published daily diet. Thanks for your honesty and integrity – that has helped me the most. Would love to see blood test results too. Maybe that could be your follow-up book….

  4. Nikki K says:

    If you set yourself up as a RAW FOOD JESUS, you will feel compelled to be some perfect illusory image of what a RAW Food JESUS is supposed to be. (What would Jesus eat ?!?)

    Just do the best you can based on your own ever growing knowledge, but stick as close to your ethics and ideals as you can on the journey.

    If you feel you need certain minerals and vitamins and amino acids, look to the LEAST pain causing options (ex. plankton, dairy, eggs), before jumping to fish, poultry, beef.

    And be sure to first look at any overload of foods you may be including in your diet as a Raw Veganist that might be contributing to messing with your endocrine system and immune system and throwing you completely out of wack (ie. adrenal stimulants like caffeine, and goitrogens that a affect your thyroid gland etc..). A lot of times by just cutting back on some these “too much of a good thing” Raw vegan foods, you can avoid the overload that leads to your deficit in some nutrients.

    You gave your Blood, Kevin. Now go knocketh upon the doors of the chosen 48 of Nomi’s book and ask for samples of their Blood to test for YOUR next book.


    Nikki K.

  5. Papajoe69 says:

    I have purchase the book from another source and agree with you. You have given an honest and fair review. Choosing the extent of rawness that is best is a matter of your on personal health. This book gives a variety of options to experiment with. One is not better than the other it is what works for you. Even if you had the blood tests it doesn’t mean it would affect you in the same way. Any attempt at going RAW no matter what % is going to benefit you.

  6. Robina says:

    Please do a book like this with blood tests. I volunteer to help!

  7. Nomi says:

    LOL I just really love the idea of taking everyone’s blood! You make a good point Kevin about what you’re eating this week/month is most probably going to change a lot. Same for me. And I think…not totally sure…same for just about every long term raw fooder. I switch it around, a lot and not just seasonal food. I’ll do green smoothies for 1/2 the day for 6 months then totally stop for 3. Etc..

    I am actually interested in doing this AGAIN and soon with many of the same people…to see if that IS true-that change is a big constant…

    Some people politely declined because they didn’t what to be closely scrutinized..one person put it this way ” I don’t want to see on people’s blogs Johnny Rawfood eats 3 avocadoes a day” So I really appreciate all the contributors putting themselves on the line like this and I mentioned strongly in my foreword to this book that non judegment of these people who put it all out there is hopefully the way every one will be.

    Was everyone on their very best behavior? Well that’s human nature isn’t it, tho in my communications with these folks (I’ve made 47 close friends) I think most actually really do eat exactly like they say they do all the time.

    I think one of the biggest benefits from this book is IDEAS. 1008 meals are descibed in this collecttion…ya gotta find something in there you never thought of!

    And it’s not all well known people! There’s some really cool everyday people in there as well as contributors from foreign countries: India, Israel, Czech Republic, Jamaica, others..

    It was a labor of love to do this (and thanks for the kudos kevin about working with 50 people yes it has it’s challenges) and I am thrilled it is being so well received by this community; my community.

    PS. Can’t believe anyone is organized enough to to be able to find a photo of a meal I made them two years ago!

  8. mary kay says:

    BLOOD. BLOOD. We’d like to know what’s in their blood to see how successful their way of eating is. Good for a sequel….

    And how nice of Nomi to come and comment. Thanks!

  9. hyesun says:

    you’re awesome kevin! i loved everything you said in this post. and i agree with the others that you should do a book compiling people’s blood results. those don’t lie!! (not insinuating that the participants were lying about what they ate). although, there very well could be non diet related issues with the lab results, like environmental toxicity, stress, etc. in fact, come to think of it, most of my health issues and screwy lab results are in someway related to heavy metal and environmental toxicity, in my opinion. but, it’s still a great idea and would be super interesting. can’t wait! 🙂

  10. Gail says:

    I agree with absolutely everything you said, and am so thrilled to completely understand and agree, with everything.
    I understand your not wanting to put yourself out there because it would be scrutinized and misunderstood so much (how unnecessary that people are like that in the first place!) when really, you’re still trying to figure out what works for you!
    And, my luck..LOL..as soon as I figured out what would ‘work’ for me, something would change! LOL
    Really, I think people just take things too seriously. Listen to your body – it usually knows.
    I’m excited to see all your insight into how to use the book and really get a lot out of it as a lot went INTO it, for sure!
    The most intriguing part was hearing that they are ‘less known’ people; and from all parts of the world. I like that.
    But, I feel differently about the blood tests than everyone else. I think you, Kevin, have shown me the importance of having blood tests done, but it’s so that *I* can see how I’m doing, and therefore make some adjustments, not necessarily for everyone else to see. I think it’s good AFTERWARDS, if someone wanted to share their journey (like you) that they used to do X, but found their cholesterol was too low (as example) and so they started doing Y, and felt better, and tests proved also. But, I don’t need to see anybody’s test results.
    Speaking of which..just went to the doctor and clearly things aren’t right. They ran all sorts of tests and everything appears normal. That’s so frustrating. BUT, she really feels I would do better on Cmybalta (sp), and anti-depressant. I would sleep better; probably lose weight, and certainly have a sense of wellbeing…
    Argh! I wouldn’t ever do that (can’t anyway), and feel like it was being pushed! She listened but disagreed with my views on antidepressants, and told me my serotonin was probably off and it would help a number of my complaints.
    Anyway, sorry to digress.
    Glad Nomi came on to comment also – what a nice touch – a cameo appearance!

    Thanks for all you do, Kevin.

  11. Ruth says:

    Just bought the ebook, and glanced through. I realized that I’m not eating enough! It is very interesting.

    I just began eating all raw in February. I got lyme disease at age four. Went undiagnosed until age 10. Then received antibiotics, which ruined my gut/intestinal flora; before it was common knowledge that probiotics should be taken to replenish the balance. In college drank a couple beers every night and lived on coffee during the day….

    I’ve always been a runner but I began feeling terrible, getting dizzy after 4 miles; fell over once running. Not from fatigue, but from a drunk imbalanced feeling in my head. And, I decided in Oct. that something needed to change.

    After graduating from college I began working in NY and the company I work for pays for my lunch. I started ordering create your own salads, (you get tired of everything else quickly) and then began binging on salads. Trying to figure out what was wrong with me, in terms of salad binging, I discovered the raw food diet, and it made sense, considering my salad binging and body issues.

    The running dizziness has gone away. I’m having my period again. (It has stopped on the SAD diet) But, I still feel weak, stronger than before, but still weak. Anyway it’s really helpful to see what others eat who have different activity levels. I eat a lot more greens than most, because I still have difficulty with fruit because of candida, I didn’t realize how not eating fruit cut out so much food from the typical caloric intake of raw food eaters and am wondering how to increase my calories? I am not crazy about hemp protein or lots of oils or meat. They just don’t feel right. And, I’m sick of avocados, I just can’t eat more than half of one of those a day. I am rather thin 114lbs 5’9″.

    The diets vary greatly. it’s nice to see that one method does not fit all. Most of all it’s great to read their background stories. If you are just getting into raw food, its a great e-book, mush more informative than a recipe book. I’m not into dehydrating or juicing. It’s great to see the variety of daily food prep methods. Also, similarities such as drinking a lot of water in the morning and taking supplements mid morning with juice? I’ll have to give those a try.

  12. Colleen says:

    thanks for the review! isn’t it funny that there are people out there that would scrutinize what other people eat so closely? i always tell people that for me, right now raw vegan is what works as i am trying to heal my stomach issues from living in the USA and eating crappy food. it may change as i get better, who knows? i do am not 100% raw by any means but i do try and add as much in as possible and in the Summer, well that’s super easy to do.
    but i think it’s sad that “gurus” can’t just be open with what they eat for fear of the masses LOL! wonder what these masses would carry to chase them…pitchforks? LOL! never before in history have humans taken food so seriously and to the extremes that we have now. then again, never before have we been exposed to so much bad “food” and i put that in quotes because the stuff they sell in the dead food grocery stores can’t classify as food 😉
    keep up the good work…i did get the book, just waiting for my bonuses to magically appear in my inbox LOL!

  13. Kuru says:

    Wow, I bought the book and spent a good part of the day engrossed in the stories and fabulous recipes. Great inspiration! Lots of other great goodies with it too. Thank you Noni and Kevin!

  14. rachel says:

    Awesome, creative, honest…thanks for the comments and for the book, all of which gets us better educated and to think more.
    There was a time where I felt just raw food was the ultimate. I preached and judged others for eating some dead foods, oh my. Then I found I could not maintain my weight on just raw food, got very thin, and find 100% raw is great but not for me. I agree I need some healthy cooked foods and even some raw goat cheese as well. We live and learn.
    namaste’, rachel

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