What I Eat and Don’t Eat: 2018 Update

Monday Oct 8 | BY |
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New Habits vs Old Habits

What do I eat after spending most of my life bathing in the waters of natural health, raw foods, and veganism? What conclusions have I come to after having tried and researched everything?

Many people know me from my book The Raw Secrets, written in 2003 at a time when I was still a raw-foodist. New subscribers that are just finding my work are surprised to hear that I eat cooked foods on a regular basis. Although I’ve talked about this for more than 12 years, the first entry point into my writings is often my older raw food diet books.

In short, I moved away from strict raw-foodism to a plant-based diet, with a few variations over the years. I have explained the full reasons thoroughly on my blog.

So what do I eat? I thought I’d give you an update.

I eat fruit. I still eat what most people might consider unreasonable quantities of fruit. Eating little fruit makes me very sad, so I consume it to my heart’s desire, which generally means around 10-12 servings a day.

I eat some cooked vegetables. I am not a raw vegetable lover. I eat some of them, like cucumbers and tomatoes, but I generally tend to prefer eating them cooked.

I eat beans. These days I tend to eat beans once or twice a day. I cook my beans myself with a pressure cooker and eat them in every way possible: as (homemade) hummus, beans and vegetables, black bean soup and so on. More and more research backs up the benefits of legumes, so it might be one of the most important cooked foods we can eat.

I eat root vegetables. I enjoy potatoes, yams, sweet potatoes, purple sweet potatoes, manioc, plantain bananas and any other type of non-grain starch.

I eat avocados, nuts, and seeds. I don’t restrict avocados, nuts, and seeds but certainly don’t eat them in the quantities I used to (as a raw foodist).

That’s already a lot of food, so I don’t eat many grains. But I do eat some. I’ve moved away from eating a lot of rice and instead try to cook the high-fiber, “super” grains like farro and barley.

I eat (some) soy. I do eat some soy products such as tofu, tempeh, and soy milk, but not every day. I would say 3-4 times a week.

I occasionally eat bread or pasta. I don’t have any problems with gluten. However, because I try to vary my diet a lot and rotate the plant-foods that I eat, it turns out that I eat very little gluten overall.

What I Don’t Eat

There are foods that I avoid, although it’s possible that I will cheat sometime and eat them, I still consider them on my “do-not-eat” list.

I don’t eat eggs. Some people consider eggs a super-food and a gift of nature, but to me, they’re a “no-brainer.”

I don’t eat fish, meat or chicken. I view fish with extreme suspicion and find that it’s one of the worst foods that is advertised as healthy. I have strayed when traveling, especially to far-away locations where very little else was available, such as remote islands in the South Pacific. Those exceptions have become very rare and far in-between.

I don’t eat dairy products. With dairy products, I am much more strict. I might make the odd exception, but I keep them out of reach.

I don’t consume caffeine (at the moment). Although, over the past ten years I have been on tea and coffee on multiple occasions. I have managed to quit it, but then started the habit again. It’s my nemesis.

I avoid alcohol, for the most part. My tolerance to alcohol is very low, and I don’t like the way it disturbs sleeps and messes up how I feel the next day, even if I only had what most people would consider a small amount. But I do make some exceptions from time to time.

So, in summary, you could say that I eat a plant-based diet with a lot of fruit. However, it goes beyond that because I also keep sodium intake very low, use various forms of fasting and stay on top of the nutritional research.


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.

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