Ode to Kevin Gianni – Happy Birthday!

Monday Dec 7 | BY |
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First meeting of Fred, Kev and Annmarie in 2009

First meeting of Fred, Kev and Annmarie in 2009

Today, someone deserves a little praise and attention. Because today… my good friend and grand mastermind of the Renegade Health project — Kevin Gianni — is celebrating his birthday!

I first met Kev in 2009 at the Live Food Expo organized by Cherie Soria. I knew about Kevin from his smashing entry into the raw food world. This new kid on the block made a name for himself faster than a skinny raw foodist like me (at the time) could down a 10-banana smoothie!

Kev was organizing a big “Rawkathon” and invited me to join as one of the raw food experts. I was delighted and honored to participate.

Nowadays, big online events where a dozen speakers are invited to participate in one big online “Summit” are as common as “worst celebrity plastic surgery” articles are on CNN. But it was Kevin who came up the whole concept, which everybody since then has shamelessly stolen!

So I met Kev and Annmarie at the event, and we instantly hit it off. The interview went great, and we ended up seeing ourselves as two “sane” kindred spirits in a world full of raw food “crazies.” (Although we were probably both a little crazy at the time with our diet experiments!)

Two years later, Kevin and Annmarie would come to my wedding in Costa Rica. I did not know how to tie a tie, and Kev saved the day there, as my best man extraordinaire.

We stayed in touch over the years, but never imagined how much we would end up working together in the future. You see, in 2013, the Annmarie Gianni Skincare business had grown so much that Kevin couldn’t focus on both it and Renegade Health equally. He needed someone to run Renegade Health.

I had no idea that I would end up being that someone! But through a series of serendipitous circumstances, we ended up working closely together. I’m now running the day-to-day operations of Renegade Health so that Kev can focus on his full-time job at Annmarie Gianni Skincare and being the dad of two great kids. I owed him that much for all the support he’d given me over the years.

I don’t know anyone who’s as hard-working, passionate, down-to-earth and yet easy-going and super-nice as Kevin Gianni. This combination of qualities is as rare as a great Coldplay album.

Most hard-working people are not fun to be around. Most easy-going people are lazy like a Costa Rican sloth. Most passionate people live in another dimension. And a genuinely super-nice person… you can imagine.

I know I could never write like Kevin. Whatever I write, I seem to offend a few people. I don’t do it on purpose. But it just seems to happen… The “Militant Fred” takes over whenever I write about health. I divide people into believers and non-believers.

Kevin is a gatherer. It seems that one driving force behind him is “what do we have in common? How can we get along?”

That’s why he’s a great boss, dad, and socialite.

When writing about health, he’s always able to sort through a massive amount of data and identify the one or two things that everyone can do that work. If you haven’t read his new book “Kale and Coffee: A Renegade’s Guide to Health, Happiness and Longevity” you owe it to yourself to get the print or Kindle version on Amazon. It’s a doozy.

So cheers my good friend! Happy birthday and long live Kevin Gianni!

I know that you may be a long-time follower of Kevin. If you’d like to write him a few words for his birthday, I’m sure he’d like to read them!

Frederic Patenaude

Frederic Patenaude has been an important influence in the raw food and natural health movement since he started writing and publishing in 1998, first by being the editor of Just Eat an Apple magazine. He is the author of over 20 books, including The Raw Secrets, the Sunfood Cuisine and Raw Food Controversies. Since 2013 he’s been the Editor-in-Chief of Renegade Health.

Frederic loves to relentlessly debunk nutritional myths. He advocates a low-fat, plant-based diet and has had over 10 years of experience with raw vegan diets. He lives in Montreal, Canada.

68 COMMENTS ON THIS POST

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  1. Carmel says:

    Thank You Frederic for telling us all about Kevin’s Birthday.

    I send him warm wishes from Ireland and thank him for the valuable information he shares with us all.

    Best Wishes and Slainte ( Irish for Good Health)

    Carmel

  2. Happy Birthday, I have been reading your words for a few years now and have thoroughly enjoyed them learned a lot from you.

  3. Laura Hopley says:

    A beautiful and well deserved tribute. Thank you for many years of inspiration Kevin.
    Happy birthday!

  4. Happy Birthday, dear Kevin. I love all of you (Frederic, Anne Marie and the kid(s) too). I have been a fan before your collaboration with Frederic and when you were still “raw vegan.” I love your enthusiasm, your products, your dedication to health and wellness. I have bought several of your products and I still remain an educated and conscientious omnivore. I have watched and listened through your transitions and cheered you on. Blessings on your family, friends and all whom you love. Keep on the journey and continue to share with us. Love and all good wishes, Anne in Seattle, WA, a 72-year old senior, still learning.

  5. Nanci J. says:

    Happy Happy Joy Joy— Kevin on your birthday, you look as young as you did when you started this “new kid on the block raw food thing” and still look like the youngster you are feeling with in! Happy Birthday
    Nanci J
    Deerfield Bch. FL

  6. Matt Jager says:

    Happy Birthday Kevin! I agree, hard to find a guy as hard-working, down to earth, and super nice! Appreciate the work you both do!

  7. Happiest of birthdays to Kevin! You’ve been a blessing to me through the years.

  8. Mindy Goldis says:

    Happy Birthday Kevin!
    I remember meeting you and Annemarie at Expo West in Anaheim and then setting up your talk with the rawfood meetup in San Diego, with your Kale Whale? Do you still have or did you sell it? How’s Jonny5? Now with 2 children, you and Annemarie are busy, but I am sure you are still enjoying life and sharing great products, Annemarie’s Skincare and great information on health and wellness.
    I was in touch with Lisa at the company and she sent me your anti-aging kit to try out and review on my youtube channel, TheRawsomeVeganGal. Hope you will be able to check it out, will post in a few weeks. The products are awesome by the way and aromatherapeutic.
    Wishing you and Annemarie the best always and hope to see you all again someday and happy holidays to your entire family and please give Annemarie a hug for me.
    Many Blessings and Gratitude! – Mindy ?

  9. Dawnette says:

    Wishing you a very Happy Birthday Kevin!!

  10. Holly says:

    Happy Happy Birthday Kevin.

    Hope you enjoyed the day!!!!

  11. Cindy says:

    Happy Happy Birthday Kevin!

  12. Kristina says:

    Happy Birthday!

  13. Elle Molter says:

    Happy Birthday Kevin from Ohio! Thank you for the wisdom you do generously share. I always look forward to your newsletters and have shared them with many friends. Have a blessed day today and always!

  14. Colleen says:

    Happy birthday Kevin, I wish you the bes int the year ahead with your family and your business. I’ve followed your website for quite some time now…. and…. look forward to what I will learn from you next. Sincerely, Colleen- from Portland Oregon

  15. Nomi Shannon says:

    awwww Dude i guess we met at that same event in 2009…i thought it was 2008…maybe it was and we both did both years there…i could tell the same story fred did. No not the part about being a skinny kid who downed 10 banana smoothies, the part about the instant we met we became great friends. Of course we had already become friends by phone and had done some stuff together. You were a guest speaker of mine…etc..
    I value and love you and Ann Marie and the kids so much…and Fred is exactly right about you, you are a gatherer…
    Happy Birthday to a truly great guy…zillions more to enjoy as well.

  16. Wendy says:

    Happy Healthy Loving Thriving Laughing Family Style Fun AWESOME birthday and LIFE!!!
    You are a super great human and I really appreciate your mind your work your craziness and your beautiful Ann.
    Hugs,
    Wendy in Southern Oregon

  17. Steve says:

    Ode To Kevin on His Birthday,

    Great words by Frederic Patenaude!

    Just wanted to put another voice to the acknowledgement by saying I appreciate your writing style, knowledge and passion to serve the health community.

    Thanks for all you do.

    Wishing You Many Happy Birthdays Ahead and a Special Celebration Today.

    It was nice to hear some of the backstory creating the partnership between you and Frederic.

    All the Best,

    Steve Behrens

  18. nrlavista says:

    i used to be a regular follower of dan macdonald’s, until i discovered kevin’s work and gradually just settled down comfortably with him. I found kevin to be very fair and open in his approach to ideas, especially to new and controversial ones. I like it that you both don’t mind evolving in your ideas right before our very eyes – ever avoiding falling into a rut. And now, i find fred to be an equally refreshing complement. please, keep up the great in tandem work!

  19. Elizabeth says:

    Wishing you a great & happy “New Year.” How many years has it been, anyway?
    Thanks for all your good work on our behalf. Blessings

  20. Lois says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KEVIN. I enjoy all the information I can receive. I’m 82 and still learning
    and sharing whenever I can. Hoping you have many more great days to celebrate.
    Lois from Kansas

  21. Cherue says:

    Happy Birthday Kev, Have a fabulous day!

  22. Carol says:

    HAPPY B DAY DUDE…..YOU’VE BEEN AN INSPIRATION TO MY RAW FOOD ME
    FOR A LONG TIME. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK

    LOVE YA,
    CAROL

  23. Chichi says:

    Happy birthday, Kevin! May your day be filled with laughs and smiles 🙂
    Thank you for all the knowledge and info you have been sharing with us.

    And thank you, Frederic for telling us about his birthday. I’ve been reading both of your works for the past years and it’s been such a blessing to be continuously learning from you and Kevin.

  24. Julia says:

    Happy Birthday, Kevin. Thanks for the inspiring posts and honest thoughts.

  25. Faith says:

    Happy Birthday Kevin from “The Burgh!”
    Those Steelers gave you a birthday win yesterday! Xo
    I followed you and Ann Marie from the days of your webcasts inside your apartment making smoothies, raw butters and anything else that came to mind. A real “Mad Scientist!” Or perhaps just B12 deficient!! Haha
    Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I, for one, have grown through the years, as you both have, too. The great thing about you is your flexibility to change your approach and to share that with us.
    We are all one!
    And you help this world to be a better place!
    Namastè
    ~Faith

  26. Happy Birthday Kevin and many more!

    Besides knowing a lot about a healthy body, you should also find out about Reality. A good place to further your education in this most important area is http://www.consciousnessitself.org. Happy surfing!

    guy

  27. Deb says:

    Birthday Blessings, Kevin! Shine on!

  28. Donna Gates says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY KEVIN,

    Everything that Fred says about you is true, and so much more…
    You have a great heart…a heart of courage… and you are one of those much needed people who really care.
    Thank you for being who you are…
    As your friend, I know you enjoy a wonderful, happy, healthy life with so much love around you.
    And you created that — the Law of Balance at work. 🙂

    HAVE A SUPER SPECIAL DAY BASKING IN ALL THE LOVE AND RESPECT SO MANY OF US HAVE FOR YOU!
    Love, Donna

  29. Great article Fred!
    Cherie’s 2009 event was actually called “Vibrant Living Expo” 🙂
    I also met you and Kevin there!

    I wish you an enriching birthday Kevin!

    – Grant (Raw Aussie Athlete) Campbell

  30. Dana says:

    Happy Birthday, Kevin. May you have many more blessings and a very long life to enjoy them.

  31. Happy Birthday, Kevin! I’d like to thank you for providing such valuable content and information over the years. Your style is friendly and down to earth, rather more like a knowledgeable friend than an “expert.” (Those Renegade Health videos, with the sitar intro music…!!) You’ve introduced many topics and issues that seemed at first out of the mainstream–well, weird, but which now I see as very important to health. You were ahead of the curve and right on track. You and Annmarie have made a big positive difference in the lifestyles, attitudes, consciousness and health of many, many people.

  32. Susan Monaco says:

    Happy birthday Kev. Hope you have the best year ever!
    Yours in health,
    Susan Monaco

  33. Judy says:

    Happy birthday. ..I admire your spirit and determination…you are an inspiration to many…have a great day. Judy Harland

  34. Gila says:

    Well said Frederic about your different writing styles.
    Happy Birthday Kevin!

  35. Lynn says:

    Happy birthday Kevin!!

  36. Terri says:

    Happy birthday Kevin!! Thanks for all the good work you have done and continue to do. Keep being an inspiration, and being “real”.

  37. Jo says:

    Happy bd day, Kevin!! You have been an inspiration from the beginning. Thanks so much! Best wishes to you!

  38. Carole says:

    Happy Birthday Kevin! I always look forward to reading about what new things you have learned. You’ve been on quite a ride! Its almost like we’ve been watching you grow up, at least health wise. I hope to watch you for many more years.

    From the lady who is always harping on an old fashioned balanced diet of real food for a happy healthy life 😉

  39. Kathy says:

    sweet write up, Fred, and i have been enjoying your emails since you took over for Kevin.
    Happy Birthday, Kevin!!! thank you for all you do to make our world a better place. much love <3

  40. Frances says:

    A wonderfully Happy Birthday, Kevin! And a fabulous upcoming year!!

    Thanks for letting us know, Frederic.

  41. kiko says:

    Aloha, Kevin!

    Hau`oli la hanau–happy birthday from Maui! May you be showered today and all this year with the heart-full goodness you’ve been giving all of us around you.

    I bet I’m not alone in trusting and following your work because your sharp mind and research abilities, and genius for powerful ways to present what can be complicated and confusing info, are grounded in the commitment of your sincere good heart and refreshing honesty. And because you so obviously practice what you quest, as mirrored by your totally integrated lifestyle–your (equally beautiful and passionate) family, health and routines, work and partnerships (yay, Fred!)–and your mindfulness about everything you do and the choices you make.

    May you also always keep space in your days for the Fun that shines from your smile!

    Thank you for being here, for who you are, for what you do.

    Warm and loving hugs,
    kiko

  42. Shirley says:

    Happy Birthday Kevin! I only found you and Renegade Health because of Annmarie. Don’t recall how Annmarie found me. I am glad we are all in community together – like minds and all. I use Annmarie’s products; I have purchased the B12 from the Renegade site, and I own The Book. Read it to a captive audience up at the cabin last summer. Totally enjoyed doing that. We actually learned a thing or two and she even laughed at parts. Frederic, I just received the Instant Pot that you recommended.
    So cheers to us all!
    From a “hard-working AND fun to be around’ person; who is also easy going BUT not lazy; (I adore Sloth’s – wrote a paper for school on the creature. Sweetest face ever!) and, residing in the dimension where other passionate — genuinely super-nice people dwell,” Take that, Frederic!

    Shirley

  43. Catherine says:

    Happy Birthday Kevin!! I still miss the days of you and Ann Marie driving around the Country in your motor home. You helped so many of us to begin our own journeys into the world of health and nutrition. You taught us how to explore and engage, and not to be stuck in beliefs. I continue to learn, grow and change when new evidence or information comes to light. Thank you and Ann Marie for all you have done. Now I use Ann Marie’s products and love them. I’m so happy for your success!! With warmest regards, Catherine

  44. Many blessings and thanks for all you have done. I used to love the videos and learned much from them.
    Have a wonderful birthday. and… keep up the great work.

  45. Heather Flournoy says:

    Happy Birthday Kevin!!

    And Frederic- nice ode 😉

  46. Bananas78 says:

    Happy Birthday Kevin!!!!

  47. Christine says:

    Well I am a follower of yours in Capetown, South Africa.
    I am approaching 70 fast and still learning and sharing and grateful for your valuable information freely given.
    You are truly blessed as a ‘gatherer’ and hopefully many JOYOUS BIRTHDAYS ahead.
    I am the ‘militant’ with too much information for ‘believers’ and open my mouth unintentionally to push peoples buttons.
    How true we are either charismatic gatherers or militant, hard working, preachers.
    May we meet one day,

    Christine

  48. Happy Birthday! love you: who you ARE & what you DO, for all of us …

  49. Rainier says:

    Happy birthday, Kevin! Your blog changed my and my family’s health. I enjoyed reading your book, very entertaining and educational–the best combination of teaching! Thank you for all you do!

  50. Hi, Kevin,

    Happy Birthday to someone who is living his passion and is now shifting focus a bit. Congratulations for getting Fred to runRenegade Health so you can focus on the sAnneMarie Skincare. Have a fabulous day! And yesr!

  51. I miss your videos and always wondered if you would start them up again but when AM ‘s business started rocking I figure – nope :). I watched you both in the early days – the travels and the cat – and I really looked forward to them.
    I have got AMs samples kids and fell in love with the quality. I would someday love to use all her products
    Happy birthday and although you both started the family I will still miss your ok’ videos just as I do now.
    So glad all is going great
    Lorraine

  52. Happy Birthday, Kevin.

    You are my favourite health guru. I learned two or three years ago when you indicated that you couldn’t support something that you only support ideas and products that you know are correct. You don’t advocate other sources for the sake of a kick back. You think beyond the surface and care about your audience. I appreciate your passion, your ability to not take yourself ‘seriously,’ your integrity and your sensible advice.

    Barb

  53. Christie says:

    Happy birthday Kevin! May you have many more!

  54. Marie says:

    Happy Birthday Kevin !!
    Thank you for all you do to bring
    your knowledge to us all, God knows there’s lots
    Of so called experts out there,
    You are one we can trust ?
    Good job in picking Fred, he rocks too!

  55. Anne knopf says:

    Happy Birthday! And may you have many more fun filled years teaching everyone about good food and good health and ann Marie’s wonderful oroducts that I love… Which reminds me I need to order some !
    Thank you for your inspiring and interesting articles and those you tube videos when you were making raw food on the road too!
    Would love to meet you all if you ever come to Palm Beach area Florida!

  56. Carol says:

    Happy Birthday Kevin! I have been with you from way back with your first summits. Frederick is right . You were a trail blazer and those were the first summits I experienced online. Always grateful for the doors you and Anne Marie opened for me to health and your balanced, accessible approach you take. Love how you gradually brought Anne Marie to the wider audience. 🙂 I felt like a part of your family watching you grow and develop. I admire your courage to take on very emotional entrenched positions in health and bring them to the table to speak like that vegan/animal protein debate. I love your curiousity and willingness to change and grow as your needs change. Such great modelling. The closest I got to see you in person was at an airport in San Francisco as you were breezing thru to board 5 yrs ago. The only time I got to CA! Never got to say hi but happy to see your face! Blessings to you and your family from Ontario, Canada!
    Carol

  57. Karen F says:

    Happy Birthday from Perth Australia Kevin.

    I have been following your emails and interesting insights for several years now after being
    forwarded the link through my naturopath.

    Appreciate all the useful health tips and new discoveries you are always making.

    Thanks for sharing them.

    Keep up the good work, Patrick. Was very tempted to purchase the recent offering of raw winter foods but
    wasn’t sure how those recipes would apply to our WA climate?

    Best wishes,
    Karen F

  58. Karen says:

    Sorry, I mean Frederic of course!!

  59. Jayvanthy says:

    My Prayers to the Almighty to give you a 100+ years to carry on your Good work. May the Returns of this day every Year be Truly Joyful, Happy & Healthy.

    Wish You and your lovely Family the very Best.

  60. Happy Birthday Kevin

    I’ve followed you since about 2008 and miss your Youtube videos. You have influenced me greatly. God bless you!

    Lorna

  61. Chester Tau says:

    Happy Birthday Kevin I hope it was a great one!

  62. Therese says:

    What a great ode to a friend- thank you, Frederic! Happy birthday, Kevin!

  63. Christine says:

    Thanks for sharing a bit about Kevin and his gifts. And to Kevin, happy birthday and being you!

  64. Happy Birthday, Kevin Gianni!

    I thank you for your writing over the years that I’ve been following you and in part finding my tribe through recognizing ken. You rock. I did my first smoothie cleanse through your program and it changed my life. It’s neat to glimpse your life through your buddy, Frederic, and feel the regard. Best wishes for a stellar day!

  65. Nadia Perry says:

    Happy Birthday Kevin! You are one of the few people who continue to interest and inspire me online with who you are, what you say and do.

    It was lovely to read your tribute Fred, among all the marketing speak that lands in my inbox!

  66. Kevin Gianni says:

    Thanks so much for all the good wishes! 🙂

    Kev

  67. Michelle says:

    Kevin, I’m a few days late but I’ve been following you guys for years. Thanks for all the REAL info – I just love how you think. Hope you had a GREAT celebration for your day of birth!

  68. Ida Yoder says:

    Happy belated Birthday …. I happened on your show back around 2004 while looking for some health answers. Used to really enjoyed your and Annmaries shows, and have benefitted from a lot of your information throughout the years. Thank you! I imagined you the kind of guy Fred explained. We are from a little country town in northeast MO. Keep up the good work. Ida

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