The Raw Food Diet Confirmed Dead

Thursday Oct 17 | BY |
| Comments (132)

The battle cry (or sharing-circle offering) from Judita and Christine says it all…

“RIP all or nothing!”

Take a collective deep breath. I know I need one.

Tuesday was quite a day.

The Raw Food Diet was pronounced dead. This announcement sent shockwaves all over the world.

Our server crashed because of the news.

Readers were divided.

Some were elated — it had controlled them for so long — they were now free to eat on their own terms.

Some were mourning, they didn’t know what to do without it.

Some raged — “it’s still alive, just hiding out in a cave in the mountains in the Hunza Valley.”

Raw food leaders wrote to us publicly and privately. Some angry that we were exposing the flaws of their perfect diet, some relieved that someone was actually telling the truth.

But what exactly is the truth?

Frederic has been talking in my ear for a while about writing an article about the raw food diet being dead — no longer here as the rigid, cooked-food-is-poison dogma.

I liked the idea.

We had seen a lot over our 20+ years of speaking, traveling, reading and interviewing.

In fact, I wanted to do a series on the concept — a collection of articles where we interviewed past leaders who were no longer raw, we shared how quickly raw food businesses and restaurants were closing or changing their menus, and where we talked about the history of raw food and what is really is today.

But, I don’t know how necessary that is now. Most of what I wanted to say was said rather definitively and thoughtfully in that 3000+ word obituary.

So, I figured I’d take today to chime in and confirm the death, but also share my own personal thoughts, a little more back story and to highlight just a few things to answer any pressing questions.

Yes, the raw food diet is dead.

What the raw food diet was 10 years ago — even 5 — is quite different these days. Many of the leaders have changed. Things that were once popular are no more. My friend Nomi Shannon always says to me that the fads in raw go in cycles. Spirulina was hot in the 80’s then resurfaced in 2008 and then quietly made an exit in 2012. Kombucha is back and mainstream from the 70’s.

That brings up an interesting point. Because of kombucha, green smoothies and juicing, more and more people are embracing raw food principles. At the same time, less and less people are taking up the raw food diet as a way to eat in our modern world.

This simply means that raw food is no longer a popular diet — said bluntly: as a diet, it is dead.

What has taken its place is just simply eating raw foods at any percentage, at any time. Not as a strict diet, but as part of your diet.

As a diet, raw was rigid, unforgiving. Cooked food is toxic. Your dehydrator must be set no higher than 118 degrees. The life force will keep you alive longer than your peers.

As a type of food, raw is not. Drink more juice. Eat more salads. Green smoothies can heal the world.

Eating plenty of raw foods is just what we do.

It’s not a “thing” anymore.

People who’ve never even heard of raw foods have embraced raw food principles without having to view it as a diet where gurus make the rules and you’re destined for poor health if you don’t follow the guidelines perfectly.

So for that reason, the raw food diet is dead, and I’m fine never seeing it again.

But why is it dead?

The raw food diet was in hospice for quite a long time before we announced its final demise.

The reason why?

The Internet.

Back when Herbert Shelton wrote his books, it took time to find information. It was found in libraries, encyclopedias (good luck finding Shelton’s work there,) mail and telephone. It was cheap to mail but took too long. You paid by the minute to make long distance phone calls, so if you were on a budget would you rather call your sister in Seattle or Mr. Shelton?

When someone started the raw food diet back then, they were either doing it alone — or on a commune, or in an ashram, or some other alternative community.

Those who were alone, if they experienced problems with living to be 150 years old, would have contact the author by mail and hope that he or she wrote back. There were no online forums or support groups. There was no easy pipeline to pass information.

Those in the communes and ashrams could discuss their diets and what was going wrong or right, but these are secluded groups. The information didn’t always leak out into the public — there were no blog posts, search engines or podcasts.

Today, if you buy Victoria Boutenko’s Green for Life and start drinking green smoothies you can go online and instantly find people using that book to improve their health.

Also, today, when you’ve decided to do an extreme raw food diet, if you experience problems — with your teeth, cholesterol, hormones, skin, energy levels, menstuation, etc. — then you instantly can get support from others who have been through those challenges as well.

What’s happened on the Internet is that information flows faster. That’s good news for people searching for answers to improve their health, but bad news for raw food diet experts who want to hold dearly on to a particular diet dogma when their followers are dropping off the diet and sharing why on message boards, blogs and forums.

The raw food diet in the last 4-5 years, with the saturation of YouTube and Facebook, has been shown its own flaws and is exposed.

It’s not a lifestyle.

It is just a tool that you can use to heal, feel better or add into your own routine to get healthy.

Yes, it is a mighty tool. I’ve seen remarkable things happen to people who eat raw food. But it is not a diet that someone follows in hope of perfection on all levels of being — whether it be spiritual enlightenment, athletic performance or longevity.

Those who were on the diet, are not longer on the diet

While we were traveling, we met a ton of people. When we see many of them again 3-5 years later, there this funny dance that happens.

It goes like this…

1. A lot of small talk.
2. A question: So, are you still raw?
3. An answer: Well…
4. An interruption: Good, we’re not either… want to get Thai food?
5. Relief, a great dinner and hugs.

I guess you could argue that we’re all weak, incapable beings. Unable to stick to a diet and that our bananas aren’t ripe enough or we’re not eating enough dehydrated onions, but my that’s not what real science says. Respected evidence from the Blue Zones and other long lived communities shows none of them ate raw food as a diet. Some of them even drink coffee and wine — plenty of it.

As Frederic stated, with fewer legitimate exceptions than not, the raw food diet doesn’t work long term. It’s great for cleansing, detox, healing, and feeling better — but there’s a point where the threshold is crossed and returns diminish.

In fact, it happens to the leaders too…

There are plenty of “raw food leaders” eating cooked food.

I don’t know another way to say this and I’m not going to raw cane sugar coat it — there are plenty of raw food leaders and experts who say they eat 100% raw food, but in reality eat a high raw diet.

I’ve even shared meals with some of them. Cooked ones.

I don’t care what they eat. It doesn’t matter to me.

I’m definitely not going to expose them.

I remember being at one fantastic retreat with a bunch of raw foodies in Sedona. The leader of the group had brought in a caterer to serve food. When they set up, it was clear that there were a few raw food options and one big steaming pot of cooked tamales. (This was when I had started eating cooked food again and was not worried what people thought publicly.)

I watched, one by one, each person go up to the table and get the raw food options and leave the tamales be. This was until one brave soul asked for a tamale and it was put on his plate.

Then everyone was silent, but down the line you could see the relief in everyone’s eyes.

In fact, I think everyone after that got the tamales and left the raw stuff sitting for the flies — unfortunately for the people who chose first, the tamales were all gone before they could get seconds.

That day, I saw a lot of raw foodies relax. Not even that they were raw foodies, really. They just instantly became human. Real. And for me, more like the people I want to be around.

Ultimately, I don’t think what a raw diet leader eats really should matter to you or me. If you’re looking to follow a leader blindly and do their raw food bidding, then your work starts with learning to keep your own power not giving it away to someone who knows nothing about you, your genetics or your needs — emotional and physical.

Take the tamale. It’s ok. (As long as the corn is organic.)

The mission is clear…

There are three things we stand for here at Renegade Health that you can always expect. We hope our announcement reflects clearly what we stand for…

1. We share our own personal truths. Fred and I have made an informal pact to tell our truths regardless of how we might think our readers react or how it may affect our business. Truth trumps any monetary gain — it also helps us keep our consciences clean. Renegade Health was built on trust and being truthful is how it will continue to grow.

2. We will always question the experts. No, we are not gurus. We never said we were. In fact, I cringe at the words “expert” and “guru.” We are researchers. We are hack journalists. We are seekers. We’re not always right, but we’re more objective than most. We’re not brainwashed by dogma and when we see it, we want to make sure you do too.

3. We stand for you. You, the reader, is what brings Renegade Health to life. So for us, we want to keep you informed. We want you to learn as we learn and take what you need to get yourself healthy. We don’t promise that you’ll live to be 233, but we do promise we’ll share some things that will help you make your life better, more enjoyable — and we’ll probably make you think a bit along the way.

R.I.P: The Raw Food Diet

R.I.P: Expert Worship

R.I.P: The Cult of Raw Food

R.I.P: All or Nothing

Today, something new has been born.

D.O.B. 10/16/13 – The Paleo Diet.

Just kidding — we’ll announce its death in 5-7 years.

What’s really been born is you — a you that is free to question. A you that is free to eat without referring to a book or website. A you that eats without guilt, fear or shame. A you that realizes a diet is no way to healthy and raw food is tool to help you get there.

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.


Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Great articles from you and Frederic! Health is so much more than following a specific way of eating. It’s even a lot more than food alone. Thanks for sharing both your visions!

  2. Barbara says:

    I think this is a very good article, Kevin. I am a raw food chef/recipe developer…and while my strength is in creating original raw vegan recipes, I am very open in my blog that I am not 100 percent raw. I simply provide exciting raw food recipes to help those that wish to find creative ways to add more raw food to their diet..and never preach that anyone SHOULD be doing anything…what percentage of raw you do, is your business. I’ve been dealing with ongoing health issues and while 100 percent raw did “cure” many of my symptoms…the major underlying cause has not yet been corrected…I do eat cooked food, but I do try to eat a high percentage of raw. I’m not anal about WHAT that percentage is…I believe that HOW we feel about the food we put in our mouths is as important as WHAT. Keep up the good work. If you are looking for some fun raw recipes – feel free to check out my site. I do have a RAW Pizza book coming out next year with some recipes never before seen…enjoy! Blessings! Barabara

  3. Deborah says:

    You are all awesome (Kevin, AnneMarie & Fred)! I love your honesty most of all.
    Thank you!!!!! I love hot soup!!!! :o)
    Deb :o)

  4. Reeta says:

    Loved every word. Seriously! I am not, nor ever was a raw foodie. Not even a vegan, but a struggling vegetarian.

    I have a lot to thank you guys for, for you make me want to be a better vegetarian!

    • If you “caught” a cancer you’d be a vegan or whatever it’s needed right away. Isn’t that so? The hypocracy of our society is unbelievable. Unless it is not *you*, who gives a f!

  5. Darilyn says:

    Been missing you, but know you’re a busy dad plus all else.
    BEST Article you’ve written!

  6. I loved your joke at the end!
    Thanks for your follow-up with useful insight.
    I appreciated hearing from you on the comment thread to Frederic yesterday, before you posted this.
    Blessings to you!

  7. The line “Take the tamale. It’s ok. (As long as the corn is organic.)” is classic. Love it!

  8. Weak? Incapable? Perhaps. The greatest and clearly the most important benefit to all man and womankind from a proper raw diet is complete healing and recovery from any chronic disease. THAT is the main message, and while it is given token recognition on some rare occasions, that most important point is seldom brought to the masses. Instead, the internet focus remains the selling of fringe products that do not provide a fraction of the health benefits that sticking to a 100% proper raw diet (or even slightly cooked for that matter) does. Athletic performance is also vastly improved on a 100% raw diet, or should I say, clearly reduced when cooked food enters the picture. Sure people can make their own choices but in order to do a proper experiment; in order to understand and actually experience genuine health for the first time in their entire lives (by leaps and bounds), then one must go 100% raw for a long period. Weak and incapable? Agreed, most people are sadly too weak and incapable to do this, and will continue to avoid fully experiencing the ultimately most rewarding process of their lives: eating 100% raw for a long enough time to experience full benefits plus truly understand the elusive cause and effect of human health. Anyone who has really stuck with raw will discover the golden basics about food and disease; and never ever be fooled into using or eating anything but real food. Of course this reduces the marketable masses to only a small few, since as EInstein once said, “Few is the number of those who think with their own minds and feel with their own hearts”.

    • Gina says:

      Agree takes will power to resist following the crowd and a deep understanding of why you are doing what you are doing. Speak for yourself…but for some of us raw food is the best path to health whether we stick fully with it or not…inside we know that the closer we stay with it… the better the health outcomes.

    • JT says:

      I appreciate your thoughts and agree for the most part. What I have learned is that each person is unique and exactly what brings them health is not the same for everyone. I do agree that a strictly raw food diet can be a tool for healing. I do agree there is a lot of things to be learned from the discipline of being a raw foodist. I also have learned that for some, other things are needed. No matter what avenue you travel, I do believe that a high raw lifestyle is usually the most beneficial. I am glad about all the resources on the internet that are currently available for most problems. Resolution and answers are always a good thing. Thanks for the comments.

    • Elyse says:

      Agreed. I have always said “that no one will ever know what it feels like to be really healthy until they have gone there. ” This is the concept of the raw food diet…if you call it that…I do not.

      The benefits of the 100% raw food way of eating is so massive that mostly everyone TEACHING it over the last 10 years didn’t even begin to reach halfway to the peak of FEELING it. The whole body changes and improves to the point of Nirvana. To experience it is the only way to talk it. And if one cannot experience it then they need not be talking it and that is what has happened to the DIET of raw food. The experience was never able to be achieved by anyones followers because nobody knew what it felt like to be there so it could not be spoken about. The teachers were deceiving the public with a sham of Raw Food Diet. They did not even realize the tool they had in their hands to help the public to become healthy and hearty again. Thats why it was so hard to follow. Everyone gave up because they couldn’t do it.

      I have been saying for the last 3 years that this is exactly what would happen to the “movement” if you like., because the same people that were putting out their unknown knowledge out to the public were in no way able to support those wanting to improve their health because they had no way of doing it. They did not know how. They only knew how to spread the “Word ” about raw food from others that didn’t know either.

      This way of eating has and will always be the way the body needs to eat in order to be HEALTHY. We can pretend otherwise but it will not happen, as long as you tell yourself that it is okay. The body knows different. I intend to continue in this way and also to help others do the same with knowledgeable support.

      Don’t give up on something that will help you to be robust & vital. It is your life , but your choice. Happy eating.

  9. What do recommend to replace a plant based diet and why?

  10. Judita says:

    Amen and Halleluja!! Great post. Thank you for sharing, Kev!

  11. Peg says:

    What a journey! I think I have finally landed on a place I can stay. (For now, anyway) I am not all raw–not even all vegetarian. I focus on the quality of the food–organic, nonGMO, ethical treatment of animals, etc. I eat lot of greens–cooked and also in raw smoothies.

    One of my favorite topics is “The Blue Zones” I doubt if many, if any at all, included the use of Vitamix/Blendtec. It is one of my fantasies to create a mini blue zone in my home.

    Thank you Kevin for being able to evolve and be open about it. .

  12. Chris says:

    Love it Kevin!

  13. Kathy says:


    I just wanted to say, whatever! This whole overblown “raw food” thing just cracks me up. You do the best you can every day of the days that you have, and then you die. The most important thing is not to eat GMO’s because they are NOT part of the food chain- they just LOOK like food. By the way, I am wondering if you’re planning a cremation or just a burial? LOL

  14. FruitRaider says:

    I don’t think it’s dead I think your take is off by a long shot…..the benefits have been there long time and while cooked food is fine situations change for the people back then like you. You are passed it basically and new blood will be coming. G.G RIP I think with SOH…..lucky sod!

  15. Wilenda says:

    My respect for you and your family continues to be confirmed and grow. I truly appreciate you and am pleased to share your websites with others due to your integrity. I wish you the best.

  16. Dan says:

    Kevin! I always appreciate your input & honesty. Most of us reading this article have experimented with many food paradigms, raw included. I started eating a whole foods diet over 20 years ago (most of the time). Lots of time to experiment. When I was doing 100% raw I felt like I was committing a crime by wanting some raw milk or raw eggs because it wasn’t in the current “raw vegan reality train”, but soon got over it. It all comes back to basics. People eat all kinds of things all over the world and food and are generally healthy and happy providing those things are mostly REAL FOOD. Plus, food is just one piece of the puzzle to living a vibrant life. For me, it’s about awareness, acceptance & loving what is. In Peace Pilgrim she talks about love and appreciation for ALL of the people, places, experiences & food that she came across. Salad or hamburger, she was grateful. Thanks again for keeping up the great work. Party on!

    • Except that, Dan, you could easily feel that “noice” way if you drank the camel or elephant milk, too? Lots of animals give milk, and hey – we the human species give milk , too! Wouldn’t you try my wife’s milk? Yummm And from every milk you can make cheese. I make my cheese from my wife’s milk. It’s sooooo delicious.

    • Ona says:

      Not true, Dan. Peace Pilgrim was a vegetarian. She would politely decline the hamburger.

  17. SherryLee says:

    I have followed your thoughts with interest. I am not sure if my comments are necessarily relevant, but just wanted to add my input. I do eat both cooked and raw foods. I believe food should be eaten in as natural a state as possible, whenever possible. I believe we need to have whole grains and legumes in the diet to maintain our health, and I find it is difficult to eat some of these things raw. I believe the diet should, where possible, consist of 70 to 90 percent raw and eaten as fresh as possible. I believe that in order for any food to work with our body health we need plenty of exercise and fresh air to go along with it in order for our body to utilize what we have put into it. I also believe our attitude and the spirit we hold while eating makes a huge difference in how our body is able to process the food. I believe that diet and health go hand and hand, and if we want to be healthy we need to look at the whole picture in order to be complete.

    I agree that diets and fads don’t necessarily make for a healthy lifestyle, and now that I understand what you are saying in this article, I can say thank you for sharing it.

  18. Alex says:

    EXCELLENT article, Kevin. I have always respected your honesty and opinions, and this sums up so perfectly how I’ve always felt about raw food. Yes, it was glamorous, appealing, almost mythical in it’s promises and allure.. but ultimately, I have always felt it to be an excellent tool for periodic cleansing, just as you stated. I still fully believe it is a powerful tool that many are missing out on, but am so glad it is finally crumbling as a “cult” and “better-than-thou-lifestyle”.

    Thanks again! Glad to hear from you again at Renegade Health 😀

  19. Vanessa says:

    Kevin, congratulations and well done for being so honest and transparent about your life and habits. Oh such a relief. Dogma is not suitable for anyone and it is such a breath of fresh air to have you write this. I have also witnessed many a professed 100 percent raw food guru / leader eating cooked food and when they are not honest and connected only to the dollars it leads everyone else astray and trying to measure up to a lie.
    Raw food is wonderful and a great addition to any lifestyle however it does not have to be the lifestyle.
    Eating high quality fresh organic food is what I choose to consume and for me its plant based as I do not want any animal to suffer. Each to their own – finding what works for you and your body is a personal journey and following someone else’s belief / dogma does not help.

  20. Susanne says:

    Wonderful…..I really love you guys! I love your honesty and heart! Whats more important to aligned to ones Truth.
    I am from a family which has been overly focused on diet….so I am too….at 61 I just had major surgery much
    to everyone’s shock. I was the healthy one they thought…and so did I! The guilt, shame and dis-belief of this
    body not living up to MY expectations has been hard. I still chased the Gerson diet, had to abandon that…
    recently…I see the real issue is to listen and follow my what body needs. To have faith in the Divine. And surrender
    to all physical events with love. Peacefully. Joyously. Our minds need to relax, our heart needs to lead.
    Much love to you beautiful people, and thank you for this article!

  21. Debbie says:

    Really good article! Having experienced this myself. Health is so much more, that is what I like about your research! Thanks for sharing!

  22. DebbieM says:

    Thank you Kevin! Great sum up! Here are my comments I posted on the article Tuesday:

    For most people a temporary raw food diet can be healing. I followed most every fad while raising my children. High grain, low fat, juicing/cleansing, vegetarian, soy, low carb, then on to grass fed, organic whole foods (no soy) to stay. I learned to season things well when cooking mostly vegetarian. We don’t eat meat everyday, we don’t eat raw veg everyday, we try to eat raw fruit every day and when lettuce is coming in from the garden we eat it at most every meal. I think we were designed to eat according to seasons and location and the way we can preserve foods. We naturally desire warmer foods in cold weather and cooler foods in warm weather….there is no one size fits all diet. It really helps to look at traditional diets around the world and your own heritage. Do the best you can with what you have and where you are and what your body wants…don’t worry about being perfect. That only leads to bondage.

  23. Bob Blum says:

    Good article, Kevin. thanks for your openness.

    I am looking for the day when our health commentators come together on growing food as a nutritional benefit instead of a commercial one. Dr. Mercola seems to be getting the picture– calls nutrient dense gardening now his second vocation. Bless his heart, mind and body!

    That kind of growing, however, is not simple. It’s not a system, but rather a collage of systems. I think of it as eclectic gardening–the best from everything. We need to learn about the plant and what keeps it happy. We study the roots and how they work, and the leaves and how they can be best used and cared for. Then we learn all we can about the soil, and the microbial life in the soil, and the effect of light and warmth and moisture and… music on everything. We even look at the weeds and pests to understand what attracts them to our garden. They really aren’t our enemies. They are our teachers.

    And after our faithfulness in learning has grown and matured, what do we have? Just an apple with 1000% more zinc? Well, yes, but a lot more. We have food that has a longer shelf life, plants that produce more and of better quality, g garden free of pests and weeds (and no sprays needed), hardier plants that droughts and freezes won’t cut their production short, and the next generation of seeds that is better and stronger than its parent. Plus, we will have food that tastes good (again) and, best of all, common food from our own garden that heals broken bodies and minds.

    Yes, it will be a great day when gardening is respected and honored as it was intended to be in the beginning. Wasn’t it the Creator who planted the first one?

    • Elyse says:

      He was also the one that said: Genesis 1:29 & 30: “Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree,in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

      And “to every beast of the earth,and to every fowl of the air, and to everything that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is LIFE, i have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

  24. Mari says:

    Dear Kev,
    Since you wrote the above article I’m directing this at you
    (but Ann Marie & Frederic deserve blessings, too).
    Thank you for this article which gives me great relief
    since I would be considered a “struggling raw foodie”.
    I just could not get enough energy from it.
    Anyway, your perspective truly helps and I
    will carry on in my endeavor to include much
    more raw foods in my diet.
    I nearly fainted when you “announced” the Paleo Diet,
    though…glad it was a joke. 🙂

  25. Gen says:

    I agree with you guys — it is good to use it for a while to cleanse or heal, but not to sty on it for too long, especially in the north where we need the hot foods in the winter. Great articles!

  26. Emma says:

    Thank you for always writing such great articles. I love how you weave your opinion with humor and humility while at the same time providing exceptional content.

  27. John says:

    Much ado about nothing; but a good marketing strategy. It gets a lot of folks riled up 🙂

    • Kevin Gianni Kevin Gianni says:

      Hey John,

      There was little marketing strategy behind this, but I will say that we wanted to very specifically redefine ourselves as now a collective with a common vision — I call that defining a movement, our movement. I think these two articles did that. The riling up, while we knew it might happen, actually surprised me a bit. I didn’t think it would cause this much discussion to be honest!


  28. Sarah says:

    BRAVO! “Renegade” Health is exactly what you stand for!

    I couldn’t be happier that you and Frederic joined in this together. What a revolution this is! I’m very excited that you two were the first to step forward and make this announcement.

    RIP indeed! I am doing a happy internal dance and ever since I relaxed with my diet and started enjoying the *pleasure* of food (a large percentage of ‘healthy’ or ‘raw’ foods still makes up my lifestyle, it never goes away) people say how different and healthy I look.

    I am practically glowing – from the freedom that I have given myself.

    THANK YOU !!!!! Kevin and Frederic!

    And might I add: VERY well written article. Renegade makes history once again!

  29. This article is excellent. I love some raw foods, and we eat a fair bit of raw fruits and veggies, especially when the season allows, but as a Registered Orthomolecular Health Practitioner, I teach others a similar value: That there is no “right” way for all people to eat. We don’t think identically, handle toxins identically, digest identically or experience things identically-why on earth do we think we should all EAT identically!? Our biochemical make-up is unique, and so is our nutritional requirement.

    Just as the “Raw Food Diet” is dead, so should any title whereby food becomes a defining aspect of a person’s identity. As a once vegetarian/sometimes vegan who is now pescatarian and sometimes considers transitioning to eating meat again….(see what I mean about food defining someone?) we need to stop using food as a way to divide and segregate. It’s silly. Choose what YOU eat based on your unique nutritional needs, (which incidentally are constantly changing) your own moral compass and preferences. And let others do the same without judgement.:)

    Anyway, sorry to ramble-Great post!


  30. Patty says:

    Disagree, The Raw Food Lifestyle is not dead and does work.

  31. Phyllis says:

    Kev, I loved your follow up and Fred’s comprehensive article. Thank you both for being so open and thoughtful. It adds value to my information gathering by having a resource like you (the collective “you”.) It causes me to continue to trust what you share. Keep up the great work!

  32. Maria Rippo says:

    Amen! Two years on the raw food diet about did in my health and I was very ‘good’ and religious on it, not the processed, agave eating raw-foodist.

    Year one, I did feel great, year two, health declined a lot. I cannot wait to post this article to my readers. I am all about listening to the inner wisdom of our bodies! It is infinite. We don’t need a book on it, we just need to learn to listen…

  33. Patty says:

    Sorry but the Raw Food Diet is still very much alive. It works for me and I love my food alive and fresh without all the Waters life force cooked out.

    • Mark says:

      I totally agree with you. Anyone can say anything but our bodies, life-force and enzymes are just truth. Human ego and complexity aside. This article also sounds like you are picking on raw food and demonizing it, be positive and not so negative to your approach.

  34. Kyle Knapp says:

    Great thoughts- I hope the paleo diet follows the same path: dies out as a fad but we learn from it and keep some of its tenets as part of our evolving dietary approach.

  35. Jane Guyette says:

    Yeah! In the US we are so financially rich that we eat and drink like kings everyday whether its SAD or Raw Food Diet. High fat, high protein, high sugar foods are only for special occasions as treats not everyday. We as a society have a quirky sense of entitlement, that we’ve “earned” to eat whatever we want, and its my way or the highway, without realizing the consequences. I see too many clients with false information. An educator has a responsibility to know the facts. If you have not taken any science-based nutrition classes, get out of the ring.

    • Glen says:

      Most sensible comment on this ridiculous discussion yet…
      Where there are sheep, a cunning shepherd will round them up.

  36. Jan Turner says:

    Kevin, I’m right there with you — mostly. Have been very Raw and now – just largely. The Gerson therapy which we both admire, uses Hippocrates soup as part of their routine DAILY dietary regime — healing everything possible! Dr Gerson had claimed people need cooked food as well.

    But if one holds oneself out as one who serves the common good or as a truth seeker, it is wise to cover salient points which are in fact, part of the equation.

    Since the whole point of eating anything is to acquire nutrient for the body in order to maintain the life force and energy levels for a productive, enjoyable life. . .it is advisable to to do all one can to eat the best ‘stuff possible’. It is almost useless to spend big bucks on organic food and then cook the good out of it. Heat destroys enzymes — not debatable. If we destroy the enzymes in our food, we do not derive the benefit of all that it could impart to us — it has become devitalized. There are options; 1) cook with as low heat as possible to minimize the harm and 2) buy and take enzymes with and during each meal, especially if the food-stuff has undergone heat of any kind or high-speed motion as would happen in blending.

    For those who seek more information on enzymes (beyond the people who are trying to sell them), get a book by Dr Edward Howell (the patron saint of enzymes). I own Enzyme Nutrition and Food Enzymes, Health and Longevity — both by him.

    Further, our body requirements are built into the design. If we alter or deprive the body of it’s needed, natural food, the body undergoes breakdown and debilitation. (toxic chemicals, GMO’s, pesticides, etc.) But our taste-buds can be ‘conditioned’ to accept that which we recognize to be superior (if we choose). Jan

    • Henrik says:

      It’s undebatable that cooking deactivates the enzymes. It’s however very debatable if the enzymes in the food does us any good or helps us break down the food.
      I personally don’t believe in the enzyme theory one bit and I don’t see it as the key to why raw food is so good.

      Cooking does denature the food in many ways, which makes it hard to digest. And it does create toxins which are harmful to the body. That is, in contrast to the enzyme theory, scientifically proven.
      But the degrees of it also differ a lot between what kind of food it is and how it is cooked.

      I would not say that steamed kale is harmful to the body. But fried potatoes are toxic. No question.

      • Liz says:

        I have to say Henrik, I can’t understand your post. What on earth is ‘enzyme theory’? What is so theoretical about it? I thought enzymes were pretty much understood. Please explain.

        • Henrik says:

          The enzyme theory in the context of raw food is the theory that the enzymes in the food helps us to digest it better, and possibly even provide other health benefits.
          Many people say that this is the main reason why the raw food diet works. I don’t believe that for a second, and there’s no science behind it.

          I believe that heated food becomes harder to digest because it’s denatured. The body sometimes doesn’t know what to make out of it, and even if it does, it takes much time and energy that could be used by other functions of the body. Add to that the toxicity that is created while cooking certain foods in certain ways.

          Now enzymes themselves are not a theory. They do exist. 🙂

  37. Jackie says:

    Way to go Kevin! I think the point you’re making – about extremes and listening to our bodies – is super important. I tried to live 100% raw for about a year in Colorado and my pitta, athletic, Mediterranean body rebelled in every way. Digestion cooled and slowed and thyroid got weird. Anyway, thanks to you and Frederick for being honest and standing your ground. thanks for all you do!

  38. Jo Lee says:

    An open mind is a great mind. Even greater is a mind that change by deferring to reason. Great article. I have been educating people about the value of raw food, vegetarian diet as a detox, anti-inflammatory diet for a long time. But raw vegan, especially, is extremely yin, and detoxing. Eating this way will lead to deficiency in the yang energy important for rebuilding the body. I have vegetarian clients that are adrenal burned out and osteoporotic and chronically fatigue. Your article is needed to help those who are stuck in one-way thinking. Thanks.

  39. Ralph says:

    I’m Hypothyridic and find I’m always going against the grain of other people. I really like your “mission”. In my experience “the crowd” is almost always wrong. No matter what crowd that is. I have recently come across some health info regarding Hypothyroidism that goes way against the grain and shows great promise. His name is Tom Brimeyer and his program is Hypothyroidism Revolution. It’s opposite of almost everything I’ve ever heard. And he backs it up with tons of research from Institutes of Health plus. I’ve been on the diet for about a month and have seen an energy improvement and also an improvement in the indicators he uses. Take a look.

    I’ve been a reader of Frederick’s for many years and I appreciate his willingness to say “I was wrong”. And I also like the fact he’s never completely in anyone’s camp. Thanks Frederick and I look forward to hearing you evaluate the program.

  40. Mark says:

    some people actually choose and want to eat raw foods, its not a chore or dogma. I guess you can have your opinion. Truth is truth. And no need to judge how anyone eats, how you eat and how you want your standard of life is up to you.

  41. Ana Chavez says:

    I was looking for a way to celebrate my 59th birthday and lose the stubborn 12 lbs that keep hanging around, so I found a raw vegan cleanse that I thought, ok this should do the trick. It cleanse promised weight loss, many people reporting 27 lbs lost in the 21 day cleanse. I was hooked. I went and bought all the food ( organic and quite expensive, but I buy organic anyway) and spent hours daily juicing, blending smoothies and salad dressings and eating only raw salads. After 21 days I had only lost 4 lbs, so I decided to go for more time. After 12 weeks I had only lost the original 4 lbs. Discouraging for the weight loss, but I felt great.
    My chiro/ nutritionist theorised I was getting too much sugar that was spiking my blood and that is why I didn’t lose weight. To this day I have no idea why it didn’t work for me as promised, but I still enjoy the smoothies and juices and salads daily, as well as good protein sources and delicious soups, cooked of course. And the hard won 4 lbs came back on rapidly, even tho I exercise daily and did all thru the cleanse.
    And I learned, ” Be happy with who and where you are NOW”!
    I am healthy, and happy, and still have 12 lbs to my final goal, but I am once again enjoying wine.
    Now that is a diet I can and will live with!

    • Sarah K says:

      Hi Ana – did your nutritionist look at your portion sizes and amount of raw plant fat? To lose weight you need to keep your fat portions low – the equivalent of one tablespoon of flax seeds and quarter cup of almonds per day. You can add in one or two avocados per week as well. Also, is your digestive system functioning optimally? Hope this helps!

      Kevin, I have to say that between you and Frederic you have written two superb articles. I am a strong advocate of a healthy high raw plant-based diet but it is far too stressful for most people to stick to 100% – it can be borderline fanatical. Having said that, to those people who thrive on a 100% raw, I say “brilliant”. But ultimately we need to follow our own thoughts and eat in a way that suits us but which cuts out all or most of the rubbish (refined foods etc). There are some rules for healthy living that are, in my view, not flexible e.g. absolutely zero GMO, Aspartame, smoking, soda pop, artificial flavours/preservatives, battery chicken/eggs etc.

      One last comment….. I find it sad that many people, after reading Frederic’s article, found that it gave them ‘permission’ not to eat 100% raw or to admit that they ‘failed’ on 100% raw. Surely we don’t need another person’s ‘permission’ to eat the way we feel is right for us? Eating healthily doesn’t have to be stressful or totally bound up in another’s philosophy. Yes, we can be guided by others but ultimately our decision about how we eat is up to us – we answer to ourselves, not to anyone else.

    • Elyse says:

      Hi Ana.

      All diets will fail no matter whether they are raw or otherwise if the person taking them does not address the bowel. The bowel is what holds the weight on the body and therefore needs to be addressed. The raw foods given you probably will work if the bowel is addressed at the same time. I have seen a lot of people lose the weight they would like to but they are addressing the bowel first.

      It is the largest and most important organ in the body. Everyone does not seem to even know its there. it is the controller of our bodies mechanism as far as toxins are concerned. Hope this has helped

  42. Jo says:

    What would all those beautiful families do instead who depend on this kind of business for a living?
    I don’t see them closing down somewhere in the world. I think it is somewhat about product selling,
    but more about growing weary of looking for a new recipe and the desire for more variety of foods,
    but I wish you well on your next journey. Having said that, for those of us who suffer with poor
    health, rarely have I had a raw fooder come up to me ask how can I help? I think we will continue
    to struggle onward.

    • elyse says:

      HI Jo

      I’m sorry you feel so alone in your world of health issues. I always ask people what I can do to help them. It is my service. Hope you find someone who will help you and ask you how they can help. If not you may email me if you like

  43. Amos says:

    Hey Guys,
    the raw food diet has been known to be an unworkable diet for years. I’m an Ayurveda Lifestyle Counselor, and in the Ayurveda concept there may be a very few people who can sustain health through raw food. This would depend on many factors which I will not attempt to go into. The first time I went to an ayurveda lecture given by an ayurveda doctor the doctor was asked about the raw diet, he said if you know anyone suffering from this disorder he had a program specifically for these people . The doctor’s health clinic was in California and I suppose more people are into the raw diet there, I don’t really know. The raw diet always seemed too extreme to my mind and education. By the way I’ve been a vegetarian for 35 years and have great health. If you happen to be one of those very few people who can prosper on a raw diet, just remember we’re all unique, which alone tells you the raw diet is not for everyone.

  44. Henrik says:

    Thank you for a bit more sensible angle Kevin.

    I see what you are getting at, but I don’t agree with you.

    Perhaps one of the problem is exactly the word “raw food diet”. It makes it sound a lot simpler than it is.
    Most people assume that it’s the idea of raw food being the ideal and cooked food not. But that’s far from the truth.
    Yes, a lot of cooked for can be poison, but some raw food might be even worse than that.

    To me raw is more a definition of the quality of the food rather than a specific temperature. It’s about eating food that provides the best nutrition while having the least negative impact on the body. It’s about eating close to nature, undamaged and whole foods.
    It’s a quality to strive for, not a dogma.

    That is MY definition of a raw food diet, and that will never die for me. It’s just a freaking name to me, just to have something to call it that people can relate to.

    As far as the overall popularity or the raw food diet goes, yes, it has declined.. in the US. But if you look at the whole world it is actually growing still.

    As for raw restaurants closing? Restaurants close all the time, as many businesses do. For various reasons.
    One thing I’ve noticed is that many raw restaurants and cafes are created by people who just like the idea of opening up such a place, they want to spread the word, do good, but they don’t have a sense of doing business or running a restaurant. Many of them serve food that is mediocre. Not surprised they don’t last long.
    The ones who serve top class food and are run by business minded people are still going strong.

    Also, I will probably never give up on the idea that cooked food is addictive. I see proof of it all the time. Is it a harmful addiction? For some people it is, for others it’s not.
    Some people need to stick to a strict raw diet in order to keep their addiction under control. And for them, it’s more of less a life long commitment. All or nothing is also still a relevant approach.

    That said. I’m all for throwing judgements and dogmas out the window. But it’s rather arrogant to “officially” state that the raw food diet is dead just because you’re not in that zone anymore.
    It’s like someone who used to be a big football fan declaring the death of football just because he found out that others sports are kinda fun too.

  45. Leta Russ says:

    so well said….I am not raw and never aimed to be, but found the whole sub-culture fascinating. Oddly I ran in2 Doug Graham today in Wegman’s, Ocean New Jersey. I stopped him and shook his hand and said hello, what an odd little man, he sort of hurried away and disappeared, he said his sister lives near by. I had wanted to chat a bit but I didn’t even know what to say anyways….I will continue to eat plant-based whole foods, mostly …learning and evolving … what is best for MY body and spirit.

  46. When you finally understand that going all raw is not the answer, you begin to understand the food thoroughly. What I mean is that a balanced diet is the key to a good health. I follow a lot and I find it a source of very valuable info on how to cook your “stuff”. It is all in the balance. Eat everything you can, but in moderate amounts. The only advice for vegans like I am is: research fermented vegan foods. It’s a top priority for you. I drink kvass every day and make fermented tofu myself. Fermented foods are the biggest addition you can make to your diet. Just have a glass of beet or celery kvass one day and you’ll see the results the other day. Fermented foods are extremely good for you. But keep the balance right as they say.

    As far as I’m concerned about you Americans, replacing the coke with green tea is a really huge move altogether. 🙂


  47. Anne Jerome says:

    Hi Kevin,
    Thanks much for your thoughtfyl reporting on this issue. In today’s world your honesty is like a breath of fresh air!
    Keep up the outstanding work including your great questions! I, for one, feel moderation is the operative word which includes drinking wine and eating chocolate!

  48. Kathryn says:

    Kevin – I have so enjoyed watching you grow. (I started this journey over 40 years ago). And it is impressive how well you articulate and share all you are learning. So, for all those who want to mourn and rage, who, for what ever reason, have to fight against knowledge and change and deny reality, my sympathies for all you will be missing in your life.
    Renegade Health such a fantastic source because Kevin and crew are teaching you how to learn and giving you knowledge and tools you can use the rest of your life. Considering the fact that each and every person is a completely unique individual, Dogma (“that which one thinks is true”) is useless. Ranting about the information you are receiving will not protect you from nature and the truth.

  49. Arthur Woo says:

    I ate 30 bananas yesterday and am doing fine thank you very much.

  50. Michelle Schreiber says:

    Way to go, Hack Journalist! ; )

  51. Dejana says:

    Hi Kev and Fred,
    Loved this and Fred’s article! I’m also yet another convert from raw that worked for a while and then didn’t no matter how hard I tried. I read people’s comments and it’s surprising that some still don’t get your point. Raw is definitely not a hype it used to be, which doesn’t mean that it can’t be the perfect diet for some people. Thanks for your honesty and sharing your truth. I’m a fan!! 🙂

  52. Sherry says:

    Great Article! I spent most of my adult life eating soy and trashed my thyroid about 9 years ago – and now it’s gone. I followed the vegie trends like a pack mule and my body rebelled. In 2006 I learned about weston a price ( and learned that it was the soy that messed me up. Backed away, tried raw dairy and my body got happy! Started eating meat again (grass fed humanely raised of course) including liver and my body got even happier! Yeah, homemade Kombucha and fermented foods – real foods – not processed or GMO – just good stuff! I love raw foods but listened to the article about plants that “bite back” and stopped eating some foods raw. And after all the low-fat drama, I’m eating the good fats: avocado, raw butter, coconut oil, ghee, lard, tallow. I’ve seen fresh human brain in dissection and it’s wet and fatty!

    What I eat is a real mix, and I continue to tweak my diet so find out what works for my body.

    As others have commented, we should not be defined by what we eat! If something isn’t working, be open to trying other foods. The market is filled with processed foods and I truly believe that a healthy diet is unprocessed.

    And thank you Kevin for periodically bringing up Vitamin B12 deficiencies with a plant-based diet. I was deficient and have been much happier bringing my levels up.

    • Leonora says:

      Thank you for posting this Sherry! I too totally whacked out my thyroid by juicing KALE and eating SOY, soy burgers, tofu, soy beans, soy milk… OMG! Worst thing ever in my life. Caucasians really do not have the digestive enzymes or genes to digest soy like Asians do. Fermented or unfermented. I also had painful gas and cramps from eating only raw foods. I was also B12 Deficient and became extremely low on IRON I had no choice but to take IRON SUPPLEMENTATION and that took a long time to bring everything back into balance….

      You are never warned about all these problems that come when you start the path to a new eating style. Raw foods, vegan or vegetarian… I do believe the benefits of juicing everyday or smoothies but I do eat organic grass fed buffalo and organic free range chickens. Liver is amazing and I think we would all do well with liver once in awhile. Even the juice or broth of the beef is supposedly better than eating the beef.

      I like to warn people who go kale crazy and soy crazy to please watch out for the thyroid… it can make you feel like a walking dead person if that thyroid goes bust! Truly along with anemia and B12 deficiency.. WOW Amazing I made it through!

      So many vegetarian gurus keep talking about KALE and don’t know the consequences for some people and yes SOY was the rage 10 years ago or more and nobody knew the effects of that… even CANCER and a broken Thyroid….

      Very happy I have read your post and pretty much you nailed it on the head for me. PEACE.

  53. Karin says:

    I was on a raw food cleanse for one month, I felt fantastic. After a while I started feeling rather weak. I think I was low on protein. Every body is different and everyone needs to experiment and see what works for them. God has created us all to be very unique. Thanks for exposing the problems of a raw food diet.

  54. Hi Kevin: RAW Chef Sharynne Frazer here – Las Vegas. I have been a part of the raw food movement here for the past 10 years. It has been an uphill battle. I have a 30 year medical background and worked in the operating room. In my teaching of raw food as a culinary instructor with the world-reknowned Living Light Culinary Art Institute we teach people how to incorporate.

    The raw food movement isn’t as open and all-inclusive as they have been in the past. You must identify yourself now as to your food choices or diseases. “Are you raw?, are you vegan? are you vegetarian, are you gluten-intolerant, a breast cancer person or whatever. Telling people that if you’re not 100% raw vegan then you would not get the benefits of a plant based diet. My ten years of experience points to just the opposite. Teaching people how to incorporate more fruits and vegetables but not at the expense of all other forms of nutrition. True lifestyle change is about change and incorporation.

    We teach incorporation and transitioning foods and micro-mineral supplementation. Organics will not give you the 90 essential nutrients that your body needs everyday to function. There are a lot of people in the movement cashing in and are not qualified to do so.

    All I can say is “incorporate don’t discriminate”!

  55. Sarah says:

    AMEN!!!!! Thank you for this article and thank you for being honest!

  56. I used to think I was healthy (ran my first two marathons at age 61), but the announcement that I had agressive prostate cancer at 68 woke me up. Both parents and my older sister died of cancer after following the traditional medical routes. It did not take me long to seek alternative actions. I met a nutritional consultant from Canada as well as a bio-chemist from Long Island. Following their expert advice, I became a health advocate and can say there has been no sign of cancer for nine years. My only mistake on my journey was submitting to a biopsy. Absolutely nothing medical beyond that. I give major credit to Paulette Millis and Fred Eichhorn (who is now an MD and PhD and is still active 35 year after being considered a goner with pancreatic cancer).

    I now live in the Dominican Republic and enjoy raw smoothies most mornings, a hot lunch, and a masterful salad or raw veges and homemade dips in the evening. I do succumb to fresh desserts and chocolate in the evening. I just read about the “Eat, Fast and Live Longer” diet which includes two days of fast and five regular days of eating. This is my first week on that because of the related scientific studies and it’s inherent common sense. It appears the body grows new connections in the brain and keeps you young. I believe it. Even taking up competitive volleyball with players a third of my age has really sharpened my balance and reactive times. As a graduate civil engineer, I’m also keeping very busy with starting several new businesses. Just don’t have time to ever retire!

    Have a great day …

  57. W. says:

    Great article! Love the piece of the puzzle, raw food is very important, but it is only one piece of many. I do agree with some though that if your body is not healthy, as in cancer, raw is very good at cleaning things out and getting the body into a healthier state, but that does not mean it should be a lifestyle. May all the readers be blessed with great health and thanks for sharing and for the boldness in sharing this information.

  58. Deb says:

    As for me, I feel best when I eat a high-raw diet and no processed foods. I think Michael Pollan said it best: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

  59. Manwel says:

    Thanks Kevin & Frederic, it’s bold of you to come out and share this information, which is well received and appreciated by the majority of us.

  60. shayna says:

    I really enjoyed your article that totally resonates with me. Some time ago, when having trubbles and guilt feelings for no longer being able to stick to the raw diet I came to the same conclusion like you…the people who i admired and that looked and acted healthy and that i liked to be around where more relaxed and more human…not worrying about how much raw they ate every day… is a great article and i would like to say that i am happy that the raw diet is dead. Instead Long live intelligence, intuition, flexibility, understanding and love! Thank you.

  61. yeah, in Truth the ONE thing that the raw food diet is Not, is “Dead”. Meanwhile, 24/7 cooked foods Are DEAD….. DOA. Cooking Persists, but is not Optimum…. just psychologically-emotionally, and somewhat physiologically very hard to overcome except through about 5 years or so of steady intentions…… Play the popularity game, play (if you like) the “Technically only 99.9% raw game” (due to corrupted agricultural, informational, & culinary cultures) as some sort of ‘Apologist’ for those of us who are as Raw as can practically BE who continue to benefit and hold tight to at Least the concept of *Totally~Raw* as is/are Able given the limitations practically everywhere….. who will Always choose Raw & Living as much as possible…….. Totally~Raw is Alive & Well!!

  62. This article reminds me of:
    1. Someone trying to get attention by writing something controversial (very popular to do that now-a-days), and
    2. It reminds me of people who want to push their own agenda and feel that there are enough ‘follower’ type people out there that will change their way of thinking, to stay in the ‘social norm’, to do just that, ie ‘Jesus is dead’ , was started by an atheist who never wanted Him to be alive, but didn’t like others to believe in Him…

    Perhaps this writer just has an axe to grind with people who easily live the Raw Vegan lifestyle, he doesn’t do it, couldn’t do it, so he doesn’t want others to look ‘cooler’ them him and do it.
    Just my humble opinion

  63. Great article Kevin!! Very well put. The movement has shifted over the last few years from a 100% Raw diet to a maintenance lifestyle that incorporates a lot of raw food, but no more do or die mentality. Great job!

  64. Patrick says:

    R.I.P: The Raw Food Diet

    R.I.P: Expert Worship

    R.I.P: The Cult of Raw Food

    R.I.P: All or Nothing

    With you all the way Kevin, many thanks to you and Frederic for all your efforts 🙂

  65. Barbara says:

    With all due respect, I don’t think that you or Frederic are in a position to declare “the raw food diet” dead. There are many, many people who continue to eat a raw food diet and if you go to any of the raw food institutes, such as Hippocrates Health Institute or Gabriel Cousins’ Tree of Life, to name just two, you’ll find an enormous number of people who are just starting to eat raw as well as many who return regularly. No doubt there are many people who have given up eating what you refer to as the “raw food diet,” but to declare this diet dead based on your own circles of acquaintances and contacts is very shortsighted. There are many raw food devotees who get their information from researchers and doctors and are not in touch with than health coaches and other health related people on the internet or in meet up groups with whom you may not be connected. I constantly meet raw food devotees who have never even heard of the top raw food or health “gurus.”
    I put “raw food diet” in quotes because the ways people follow this “diet” are so varied that it’s difficult to even see them as eating the same diet plan. Aside from the issue of what percentage of raw they eat, there are also issues of whether one can eat sugar, in the form of fruit, agave (a whole other story), maple syrup, palm sugar, etc., as well as gluten, grain, dairy (raw milk), smoothies vs. juice and many others. There are also different approaches as to whether or not to use supplements, whether hydration is a major factor, whether to pay attention to food combining and on and on. There are so many factors that to put include all these variations under the Raw Food rubric confuses the issues because adding or omitting any single or combination of these factors will determine just how effective the diet will be. Just as one can eat a raw food diet, one can eat a raw food junk diet. There are numerous products on the market- cookies, crackers, bars, chips, drinks,and other snacks that one can live on, still be considered “raw,” and be unhealthy. I have come across people who have their vegetables only in the form of smoothies, and have read internet posts from these people trashing a raw food diet and claiming that they have been following it for years and are not healthy. And indeed, like vegetarians who live on pizza, pasta, fruit, etc. they are not eating a healthy diet, even though they are technically”raw.” The core of a healthy raw food diet should be vegetables and sprouts and there’s no getting around that. Everything else that happens to be uncooked is recreational food, and should never be considered the mainstay of the diet. Hopefully, all these people who have created an unhealthy raw diet for themselves have stopped eating a “raw diet” but I assure you, there is a hard core of graduates from the above named institutes as well as others who continue to eat a high raw diet. To declare that the raw food diet is dead is short sighted and mistaken.
    There is very clear scientific evidence supporting the fact that a raw food diet consisting mainly of raw vegetables and sprouts can help the body heal from a variety of diseases. You have placed yourself in a position where you give advice to people, some of them desperately ill, and to discourage them from seeking out a raw food alternative by telling them that the raw food diet is dead, is counterproductive. I know that it’s not your intention to discourage people, but surely you can see how the influence you and other raw food coaches have will do just that. An attention- getting headline like the one you have posted will do just that, and for someone in the business of helping people, it is just not the right thing to do. Just saying.

  66. Kevin, this was an excellent article and very well written. I have criticized some of your material before yet I say again this is a great article and would like to post this article and the ‘Raw food is dead’ on my radio web site. I am asking for permission. Thank you in advance
    Dr Eliezer Ben-Joseph

  67. Kathleen says:

    Haha you freaked me for a moment on the paleo joke! I love raw food and could subsist on watermelon and celery during Summer. Come Winter, I want hot soup (preferably veggie-based), say, celery soup, or potato soup, or bean soup. Anytime at all, I welcome fermented foods. Sometimes, sweets like dates appeal; sometimes chocolate appeals. There simply is just so much delicious food–some requiring cooking–that I hate to eliminate any. Yes, I eat some crap “food” now and then, but once/year or once/decade doesn’t worry me.

    I can’t be 100% macrobiotic as I eat tomatoes and potatoes. Can’t be 100% vegan as I love butter, eggs and cheese. Can’t be 100% vegetarian as I eat some fish now and then. Can’t be 100% raw….well, you get the point. BUT, I CAN be 99% conscientious of my choices: no GMOs, no HFCS, no additives/chemicals/pesticides, and always giving thanks for whatever food I do have. There was a time I was indigent and I’ll tell ya, I ate every bite the senior center provided, regardless of the nutrients or lack thereof. Hell, I even drank the milk.

    Find the goodness around you, eat the weeds, share your bounty or at least your smile…it ripples 🙂

  68. Helga says:

    So … what about Jinjee and Storm Talifero?
    I’ve been following (amongst MANY others) their story (very closely) for about 8 years now …
    I do NOT feel that they would agree about the DEATH of RAW.
    And their arguments FOR raw food are pretty plausible and believable (and visible).
    I do not agree with the rigidity of both their “must-do” regimen …
    I agree much more with Markus Rothkranz’ more laid back recommendations and teachings.
    Markus, however, has been VERY convincing (for years, for me, and for himself, as I understand and SEE it) that RAW is simply the BEST 🙂
    Does Markus subscribe to the idea that RAW is dead?

    Thanx for considering a reply.
    Love and smiles,

  69. JT says:

    I wish more people could have easy access to raw foods. I have MANY friends who either lost their jobs on Oct 1st or lost full time hours and benefits recently. These people are now struggling to feed their families and are forced to rely on food stamps. The food stamp program does allow produce, but when you are paying $1.50-$2.00 for an avocado, and $6.99 for spring greens, it sure doesn’t go far. These people end up at food banks and get canned stuff or pasta/rice. The state of our food system in America is not real good and the future, considering GMOs are spreading, is not good either. Let’s follow the lead of John Kohler and help people grow their own food. I appreciate it when you do articles and videos helping people in this way.

  70. Susan says:

    Excellent article. I considered marking any email that I received from Renegade Health as SPAM. I wrote what I thought was a heart felt response only to have it wiped out because I typed in the incorrect email address.

    I want to know which so called 100 percent raw food experts deviated from the raw food diet that they were promoting for everyone else. They should come clean. They were promoting a diet that they knew had bad health implications for many people, especially babies. Babies were being fed a raw food diet based on their advice. Many people complain about police officers closing ranks and protecting bad apples but that also appears to be the case in the raw food circles. I blame myself for being sheeplike and following these knuckleheads but there aren’t enough hours in the day to investigate every product. Maybe we need an Environmental Working Group organization directed at health products and fads. The man who sells the Global Healing Center products seems rational, intelligent and honest but what do I really know about him? Dr. Patrick Flanagan’s Mega Hydrate saved me and kept me walking but what do I really know about him? We are all going to get fooled at one time or the other. Maybe we need to dredge up an old grade school saying and make it our mantra: PROVE IT!

  71. Lisha says:

    I’m glad I don’t rely on the Raw food experts to tell me what I should do, haha

    For me I know a Raw food Lifestyle makes sense, I feel better and look better.
    People tell me that my skin is glowing. No matter how many debates are made
    concerning diets, one thing is for sure…food is making people sick.

    If more people listened to their bodies..they would want to eat more raw food, gluten
    free, dairy free, vegetarian, etc….

    That’s what it’s about, doing what’s right for YOU…not everyone is going to do that, because
    that means you have to take full responsibility for your health. Some bodies want to stop
    eating cooked food all together but that doesn’t mean the person inhabiting that body is going to comply,haha

    What’s right for your body may not be right for another…

    Side note: I made Raw thai lettuce wraps the other day that are VERY delicious 🙂

    Tonight I’m having raw pizza, YUM!

    Anything worth having is all about discipline, being dedicated and committed to doing what’s right for you….If you feel led to partake in the Raw food Lifestyle, you can make the choice to not view it as “strict and anal”, It’s up to you.

    Some people choose to be environmentalists and they don’t slack for nothing in that area, they recycle everything…It’s all a choice.

    Do what’s right for you, don’t depend on the outside world or supposed experts to tell you WHAT to do. 😉

  72. Diana Store says:

    Hi Kevin and Fred,

    Stimulating articles, thank you! The most common misconception I hear about raw foods is that every ‘raw food eater’ is on a 100% all or nothing raw food diet. The mainstream media in Holland where I live, frequently state something to the effect of ‘all raw foodists only ever eat only raw foods’. Meanwhile the majority of people I meet who are into raw foods are not claiming or aspiring to eat only raw. It is a bit different now to 10 years ago when afew people went out on a limb, to heal / to find out what is possible /to prove it can be done.

    Many well known raw food leaders contributed to the book Raw Food Works (published 2009), which aims to address confusion about raw foods and to establish a set of principles which they could all agree on. These teachers, with their combined hundreds of years experience, agreed to recommend a diet comprising 80% raw foods. The reason for the 80% is because of studies showing the immune system functioning fully at this percentage raw, and declining with less percentage raw. Even so a 100% raw diet could be suitable for someone depending on situation, ie for healing. The reasons not to generally a recommend a 100% raw diet is because it is socially so difficult, and not necessary for most people who can get the majority of benefits eating less raw.

    This all said, the transformation of eating all raw foods can be very powerful and positive. Not doing a 100% diet, someone might not dig deep enough to make the breakthrough they are looking for. Diet and health habits, for most people being notoriously hard to change, finding a ‘path’ that brings real resuts and real change… This can be too good to ignore….. or bury.

  73. Jay says:

    What’s important to remember is that something DID work with the raw food diet… For a lot of people their symptoms went away and their health ‘initially’ improved. Why? A raw food diet works ‘initially’ because people eliminate all processed foods from their diet. It’s that simple. Processed Foods are the devil.

    There seems to be something about removing all life food contains through over-processing… Hence the deadening of our cells.

    I discovered this from keeping a food log and seeing I had a ‘reaction’ every time I ate processed food, also from discovering the yoga diet, which is pretty much this; the more processed food you eat the less healthy you are going to be.

    I also found out that it is easier to not eat processed foods at all than to eat a little, because processed foods are so incredibly addictive that eating them in moderation is close to impossible.

    I’m not sure if there is a name for this diet, but I would like to see it replace the old unmanageable raw food one…

  74. Laura says:

    Thanks for your honesty! I agree that the raw food diet is great for healing and detox but not as a lifelong diet. Raw foods have there place and should be included in a healthy diet of whole foods.
    Peace & Sunshine~

  75. Savie says:

    Thank You for your Honesty .. I eat some raw
    And other days could be cooked food .
    What I did find going completely raw
    Didn’t suit me too. Teeth etc were huge
    Problems .. Now that I’ve fine tuned how I eat
    I’m feeling great .
    Yes green smoothies ! Good Luck !

  76. Anna says:

    Kevin, the best philosophical article on diets I’ve ever read was your article “Which Way to Lose Weight is Right?” It seemed to mark the start of your balanced philosophy. To me, it also confirmed your integrity and, despite being full of questions, it made me think and helped me gain perspective. I was struggling with the Gerson Protocol at the time, probably one of the most extreme and difficult diets to pull off, albeit clearly one that has helped people heal.

    For me, the most thought-provoking sentence in your article was: “Is it possible that just removing these faux-foods [processed foods/sugar] from our diet could be the only thing necessary to live long, medication free lives? Of course, it’s more complicated than this, but again for about 80-90% of us, this may be all we need to do.”

    It would go a long way toward explaining why so many different diets work for people as long as they are based on real, clean, unprocessed food, and from the comments here it seems that many people have come to the same conclusion.

  77. Sarah Raye says:

    As someone who is interested in raw food and also losing weight I was interested to hear your and Fred’s perspective on raw food. I always keep an open mind with food but I do believe high raw is important. Thanks for your view Kevin.

    Regards, Sarah.

  78. Alexi says:

    I was shocked by your comments that raw food was RIP to put it mildly. I am sure your have heard Paul Nison’s rebuke. What about your contra testimonial about raw chocolate a few years back, a raw product , depends on whether David Wolfe is promoting it or someone else with financial gain into their cacao plantations.. I do agree that raw 100% is not for everyone, just incorporate more Raw…it does not have to be one or the other 100%.
    I sure would like to hear Hippocrates views on Raw is Dead!. I cured myself of uterine cancer 14 years ago by switching to a Raw food lifestyle and I live where the winters are sub zero, and I am still raw 90%plus of the time because I love what it feeds my body and I thrive.Too many raw food advocates are into the raw movement for the financial gain vs truly feeding mankind with natures food.

  79. Caroline says:

    I have always been interested in raw food because of its nutritional value. Has long been easy fanatic when I tried to live according to Ayurveda. The diet is not as important to health as the mental, but it feels easier to control. According ayurveda, you can not digest food that you don’t like. Eating a hamburger and be mindfull can lead to better nutrient uptake than to have an obsessive attitude to the food you eat. I think this is true.For me, I think raw food is good when it’s hot outside and when my digestion is good. Thank you for being so honest.YOU ARE A TRUE SEEKER OF TRUTH!!!

  80. Thank you for talking so much common sense, Kevin. My own view on raw food is precisely the point you mentioned about the longest living communities not eating raw food. (I’m sure they eat some but by no means all).

    Also, is it wise or biologically sustainable to keep your body in a permanent state of de-tox? As a TCM practitioner, I would have to say “no”. There is a time and a season for de-toxing and a time and a season for nourishing, warming and sustaining the body. Too many cold, raw, damp foods kill the spleen energy and throw the whole body out of balance. Too much YIN and too little YANG.

    Yes, you may be getting all the enzymes you need but enzymes and vitamins aren’t the only consideration in your diet. For instance, raw brassicas contain goitregens which inhibit thyroid function but these are killed off by cooking so, whilst cooking may diminish some nutrients it can also kill off harmful substances.

    It’s all a question of BALANCE and a totally raw food diet is very unbalanced energetically. In TCM the general rule of thumb is, be guided by the seasons; when it’s cold outside, eat hot. When it’s warm, eat more cooling foods etc.

  81. Walt Moreno says:

    Nonsense! One of the main advantages to eating raw foods is that they are generally alkaline. Raw foods are primarily alkaline. Most degenerative conditions are caused by overeating acidic foods. Constantly eating acidic foods overwhelms the body which is then forced to cannibalize its own body’s alkaline mineral reserves (calcium, potassium, etc.) to maintain blood pH at 7.2. The more processed foods are, the more acidic they become. However, by carefully selecting highly alkaline foods, you can still process (steam, cook, bake, etc.) your foods and still remain alkaline. Examples: yams, lentils, etc. So don’t go from raw to eating highly processed tamales, etc., which will insure you will become acidic and susceptible to degenerative conditions. I eat some foods raw and some processed yet still maintain a bodily pH well within the alkaline range. You do a disservice by saying raw is dead. Acidic bodily conditions are dead.

  82. Quincy says:

    Good morning Mr. Gianni and the Renegade Health Team,

    I waited a whole night before I put my words to this email. I read the article about raw food being dead and with all due respect, I’m frustrated, ticked off, and I think it sucks.

    I suppose I respect your need to be honest to your audience, but some of your audience are very impressionable. And as a relative novice to the raw/live food world, along with the excitement that I’ve gradually gained to begin my natural, raw, live food path to optimal living, again this just sucks.
    I’ve done my own research on eating meat and dairy products and have begun to embrace the idea that cooked meat/food ISN’T good in the long run for our body; the idea of that cooked food/meat sludged in our intestines sounded horrific. And now it’s OK to eat a mixture of live food and foods that will clog our intestines? What are you saying?

    This is why the folk who are beginners like myself didn’t want to be bothered with it in the first place; because you raw foodists change the paradigm whenever you feel the need.

    I’m not an angry bitter person here… I’m a 38 year old male with type 2 diabetes along with a few other small ailments, looking to truly heal myself without the synthetic medicines. So forgive me if I strongly disagree that ‘now’ incorporating cooked flesh or cooked anything is now the new raw foodist normal. To add juices and smoothies to meat eaters seem a bit counterproductive. You will clean out your system only to clog it up again by adding cooked foods. Thanks a lot.

    • elyse says:

      Hi Quincy,

      You have a right to be angry and I agree the people that have making all the noise about the raw food are very unstable. They are not into working with the whole body and seem to change their mind as often as their socks.

      The problem with the movement has been that the information put out to the public has been irratical and incomplete. People just seemed to say anything they chose or what some other raw food guru was putting out to the world. They never really experienced any of the results of being on a diet of really good wholesome foods that not only heal but sustain the body 100%.

      This has angered me for a lot of years and yet I have stayed quiet because it was like hitting ones head upon a brick wall to get really experienced , researched answers from anyone. As I suggested before if a person does not live it completely, then that person will never know what it feels like to live healthy and vital, so anything seems to be the response to the public whether it be true or not. What is truth? Only what each person believes that is true for them. What else can they call truth?

      Do not give up on your raw food journey to heal your body, because truthfully, it will heal it for you and you will be healthy and happy about it. Do make sure that you are addressing the bowel at the same time. this is one thing that 99 % of the raw fooders thinks that only the raw foods will do the job, but again in actual fact that is not true. One needs to be sure the bowel is cleaned properly to even get the nutrition from the foods you are eating. Any questions you may email me at

  83. MIchael says:

    (i have posted this on frederics page, but it is also good here…)

    I have read the book “letting go- the pathway to surrender” from David Hawkins….which was a real eye opener!! (is great for everybody who wishes to improve life…not just for “spirtual” people) (“healing and recovery” is also a very good book from Dr. Hawkins)
    A book which describes a simple way of really releasing negative emotions. By doing that i have improved a crohns disease to almost gone within 2 weeks. No diet change etc. There are many others who have had healing by releasing negative emotions that were suppressed within the unconsciousness.
    We give so much power to things outside of ourselfs. The more relaxed we become about things in the world the happier and healthier we become. We do not become loving humans when we stress over every toxin that might hurt us or every diet “mistake” we make.
    This does not neglect a good diet or exercise that we love doing. But when we release negativity we eat a healthy (and for ourselfes balanced diet) because of the joy of doing it and not because of fear of what might happen if we don’t. And because we do it out of joy and love for ourselves we do not have to defend it or make a dogma out of them.
    have a wonderful day
    Thank you Kevin for your uplifting and positive energy !

  84. mork says:

    You rock, Kevin! Iron levels super low and lots of mood-swings made me reconsider being vegan!
    My body is the best gauge for what I need!

  85. Charmaine says:

    I don’t know how the LIVING food diet could ever DIE?!?!?!


  86. RG Swanson says:

    This is an interesting article, but I don’t think the raw food diet is dead by any means; it’s not even dormant. It’s just “dead” because you and your colleagues are calling it dead. The all-or-nothing approach, perhaps, is dead (and seldom wise), and if calling the raw food diet “dead” helps you to relax and adjust your diet to better suit your body’s needs, then great. But the diet itself is not dead. Like any other diet or lifestyle, it’s organic and transforms over time to better suit it’s adherent’s needs. But the raw food diet/movement is not dead at all. It’s just dead in your eyes because of how you have previously defined it. For anyone who has been following a high raw (but not all-raw) diet, then then raw food is alive and kicking like never before.

  87. Anne Marie says:

    I love this. As someone who enjoys the search and discussion on health, an all kinds of conscious foodie, it’s great to see what we’re doing here. I’ll continue to encourage those who have never tried a cashew based pie, or dehydrated crackers with a blended soup, because sometimes amazingly fresh foods need to be experienced raw! But, as we say, good, healthy, cooked foods are in the belly bank also. No fads, no stress, no need for that. Thanks for the continued discussion on up to date topics and our honest questions about them. Bon appetite, for all that you eat. I love salads at dinner, and raw desserts are a winner!

  88. Kim says:

    So true, and so funny! I like your style! 🙂

  89. IH says:

    I ate raw foods and juiced long before I knew that there was a so called “raw food movement” and I will always keep doing that no matter what. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know that this is good for your health and that it is a great tool if you want to prevent and heal disease. Prepared well it also can tantalize your taste buds. All it comes down to is just to eat your fruits and veggies. After my husband visited the Hippocrates Health Institute we learned that you can “upgrade” this concept by consuming “living foods” such as sprouts, fermented foods, sea veggies, green juices and wheatgrass. These are the (simple) cornerstones of the whole concept layed down by Ann Wigmore and promoted by people such as Brian and Anna Maria Clement and Dr Gabriel Cousins. How much should we do this? Well, it depends; when you are sick you may be want to go all the way and do this 100% for a while. However, I’m not sick and I live in Canada where the winters can be very cold so a green smoothie or juice doesn’t alway do it on a cold winter day. How about then a nice chai tea with added spices such as turmeric, cayenne and ginger? The problem with the above layed out concept is that it is not the most tastiest and cosiest way of enjoying your food. Most people, me included (I grew up in Europe) have grown up with (cooked) foods that give us memories of good times. Food is more than just ingesting healthy stuff. We socialize, make friends and give appreciation to the person who prepared it and then I don’t think we should even consider whether something is “raw” or not. I think the raw food movement has done a good job to make the concept more accessible by creating tasty recipes such as green smoothies, juices and the raw gourmet fair. People who may otherwise never had jumped on the “raw bandwagon” all of a sudden got interested and became successful or unsuccessful”raw foodies” I found out quite soon that the focus of this lifestyle should be on the high water content, green and chlorophyl rich foods and not the gourmet stuff which btw most of the time caused me great stomach distress. At the time when my husband followed the hippocrates diet (which btw is not always fun) we lived in the US and I have witnessed it all. We went to a number of raw food restaurants. Yes, the food prep was very innovative and creative but also very expensive. The average Joe cannot afford to eat this way of eating, sorry guys! Raw Bread? No Thanks, as a European I rather stick with our bread traditions from over seas. Personally I prefer a diet that is rich in variety and that respects the difference in seasons. At the moment mine also includes some grass fed meat. Living in Canada this is what is sustainable in the winter time. Fresh cucumbers (not the imported ones from California but grown biodynamicaly) are not available here anymore after mid october. Also there is another component that I would like to mention. The real “raw foodies” are people that will do this no matter whether there is a “movement”, cult or whatever. They are a handful of people and live a what the average person would call an excentric life. Most people who read this blog will probably not feel attracted to this.

  90. JIllian says:

    Great article. Eating and dietary fads these days seem to be more of a compulsion than a healthy way of life. The day that we realize that there is no real one right way of eating may be the day that we can all relax and focus on what matters most…appreciation, gratitude, sharing with others and not feeling guilty about every thing we put into our mouths! Its amazing the control food can have over ourselves and our so called identity’s. I am a Naturopath and have years of experience in studying various diets and their scientific claims to success. I am of course an advocate of whole, organic foods and respect for what our own bodies do well with…which in the long run is an individual thing and changes as the body changes over time. Just realize that nothing can be set in stone….and there is more to life than adhering to “the perfect diet” that keeps us healthy.

  91. Laura says:

    Kevin & Frederic,

    Excellent article. I agree with both of you. These rigid ways of nourishing ourselves are to stressful.

    Thank you


  92. David says:

    Great Article Kevin,

    If this is the same retreat that I am thinking of in Sedona, I can assure you all that the corn was 100% organic!

    David Warr
    ChocolaTree Organic Oasis (Declared “Healthiest Restaurant in America” by Kevin Gianni)
    Sedona Arizona

  93. Brian Nexus says:

    So many know-it-alls. They pronounce it dead because `they’ say so. There are a bunch of raw fooders who don’t even read the internet because they are too busy leading a spiritual path and meditating. Maybe there is so much failure posted online because the blind are leading the blind and they are too busy online being heros instead of following the quiet spiritual path, who knows.

    Many of these spiritual folks eating all raw don’t go out telling the world, they just go about their business because it’s no big deal.

    I’m getting my message out for a short while and finishing my site and then l am going back to secrecy behind closed doors again. I’ve got better things to do than talk about food, ie, doing meditation.

    At least there were never any distractions doing raw before the internet. l liked those days.

    I can’t belive the hoo-haa about raw foods. It’s only food. One day l looked at the internet and was shocked to see all these raw gurus and how trendy the diet had become. Just eat your food and go about you business….if 80% raw works better, no big deal.

    Does eating 100% raw make you a hero? You would think so when reading the internet. It’s just a choice, and if it works for you great. What’s with all the ego being tied up with food?…pretty low level stuff, no?

    A bunch of raw food vegan leaders who claim they are all raw don’t even look close to it, they look like SAD eaters. I think many know who l am talking about. People even claim they are seen eating junk food and meat and are funny when asked if they are all raw, but no big deal…if they want to fool themselves and be egotystical then that is their problem, and it shows that raw foods certainly don’t bring enlightenment for many. I just emphasise for people to do what works for them and not to follow any raw gurus blindly.

  94. Pamala Seipp says:

    Love your honesty Kevin.. Love the real.

  95. I agreed with most of what you said until the tamales!- definitely a hot subject! Going for that dish over raw brings up the need for the next diet craze- no processed food! I know, whole foods has always been taunted, but the need to emphasize that processed food is not a great idea, is a good idea! (I am assuming* here that the tamales were from a package, and/or that some processed food was used it the making). So what I think the next movement (HA!) might be is to cut WAY DOWN on anything from a package… that’s where raw food shines- you get the greens and bananas and nuts and seeds and avocados and anything else from nature that makes your mouth water, and emphasize that. And that’s also where the raw food faze makes me cringe- all the packaged kale chips, cookies, nuts,etc. that definitely have other processed food in them.

    *I know assuming sometimes makes and ASS out of U and ME, so don’t assume I don’t eat any packaged food, but I do admit that my garbage can is very small, I shun plastic containers and anything I can’t get in bulk, and even most/almost all restaurants, cause I assume again that they throw out alot/

    p.s. The hot subject again- Tamales and GMO’s? OMG!

    With love,

  96. Muppet says:

    After 3 years of being an avidly committed raw food geek in the tropics, I recently began eating small amounts of cooked food, due to my current habitation in a cold climate.

    And, to be blunt, suddenly, I am shitting like a champion. For the first time in years. (Hallelujia!)

    I had spent my raw years with a distended belly, taking probiotics, enzymes… I loved being raw and my skin undeniably got better … but the digestive fire in my belly simply could not be balanced despite large amounts of cumin, red pepper, ginger, etc

    Granted, the distended belly may have had to do with poor food combining practices, or over eating, despite being raw. (There are so many factors … too much fat? too much processed raw junk food. etc), that can be pitfalls for people attempting raw.

    I drank so much water and juice, and Chinese acupuncturists told me i had damp spleen, a common raw foodie issue…

    I had a really hard time getting past the psychological barrier of releasing my “3 years and going strong” boundary of Self Definition. It was like i was on a treadmill to no where, trying to prove to … no one but myself … that i could commit to this

    But ultimately, i was the only one who cared. Except my dad. He was pretty impressed that for the first time in my life i was exhibiting Willpower. And it did inspire him to cut out some of his processed junk food. (Yay for that! Extremes tend to mirror each other in odd ways)

    I was strict about just whole fruits and veggies and soaked nuts, but still i became practically hooked on herbal laxatives every few days to relieve me from the distended buildup in my belly, from all the juicy foods that seemed to need something solid and dry to push through.

    After just a few days of cooked food, I began having regular, thorough, solid, “Perfect Wigmores”. I had forgotten the blissful satisfaction of a good shit.

    It was amazing. And yet, some part of me felt sad that perhaps i was just pushing dead food through my system, and that’s why it was working like a broom.

    I’m still not sure what i think – I have naturally reverted back to mostly raw, but am relaxed about having something cooked if i want it, or if my body feels like it needs something to balance the dampness.

    Despite my body’s preference for raw, Really, The biggest relief I felt was by lifting the rigidity of the restrictions i had imposed upon myself.

    It was a good self science experiment. A great cleanse. A good path to walk and embody for a deep period of time.

    Before going raw I had almost no boundaries around anything. It reshaped my relationship with Austerities and my own personal capacity for willpower, and the ability to melt into a New Lifestyle … which then supported the cultivation of meditaiton and yoga practices, and other things which required effort and focused commitment.

    I really do see the beauty and benefits of the Raw Lifestyle and the magic of the commitment. The passion I felt when learning raw kitchen tricks, and making meals for friends felt so much more electric, somehow, than preparing a cooked meal … novelty, I suppose.

    Yet there is an undeniable enthusiasm that accompanies Raw Food, and for good reason. Fruits and veggies are pure magic! And taste like heaven just plucked straight from the earth!

    Quinoa, for example, tastes rather gross by itself, if you don’t salt and season it …. whereas an apple tastes amazing simply As It Is … I see both sides of the coin. I find myself motivated by wanting only the cleanest foods in my body the way nature made them…. yet enjoying the alchemy of human interference

    Back to the rigidity …

    only in retrospect could I see where Being All Raw and defining myself that way had alienated me from the world around me, because with my love of Raw had come a judgemental attitude that unconsciously energetically presented itself when in the company of people eating cooked food.

    I didn’t even consciously do it, it was almost like they put out the vibe of fearing that i would judge their food, or felt rejected because i wouldn’t eat it. Whether it was their subconscious trip or mine, It was very isolating, and gave me more food issues than I ever used to have.

    Someone once said “eveveryone has an eating disorder”

    Raw food tends to morph energy in that direction. For a period I had a savior complex where I wanted to warn everyone about potential heavy metals scraping off their pans into their food. It didn’t make sense to me logically to eat something that could burn my mouth, or where i could scald myself in the preparation of it ….

    Now that i just eat mostly raw, but don’t define myself in the box of rigidity, I suddenly feel much less attached to my relationship with food, whether cooked or raw

    I have to say, After dipping my toes into cooked food, I did notice its tendency to be more addictively “crack-y” than my fruits and veggies ever were. Where a salad or fruit generally filled me up to satiation, the cooked paradigm did seem to induce more gluttony …. like the off button was just missing …

    BUT my digestion speaks for itself. Some balance is necessary. (And some Triphala, another new addition)

    Even though I find that i have melted back into my natural habits of still eat mostly raw, I find such peace in having released that unconscious boundary of judgement and separation created by the silly need to define myself in any box whatsoever.

    it is the mental freedom and non-rigidity that I find most refreshing, healing, and balancing. Even more than the occasional cooked meal

    I do still love the philosophy of Raw, in metaphor, because I want to honor the earth by intaking her nutritive creations in just the way she birthed them to me, unadulterated …

    I still adhere to whole organic foods, on principle, and even the processed raw food feels like mouth entertainment to me, so i steer clear of cooked oils that might be rancid, or mysterious ingredients that don’t grow from the earth … but i feel strong, driven to exercise, and grounded for the first time in a long time

    my digestion is solid for the first time in years, and that in itself is a miracle.

    Here’s to balance, nonjudgement, and no boxes …

  97. Laura says:

    Excellent post! Raw food should be a part of a healthy life, but how much is different for everyone. A compassionate lifestyle isn’t about judgement!

  98. “A you that eats without guilt, fear or shame.” I struggle with this daily. It is one of the next steps, currently under assessment, in my own personal development. Yes, Kevin, I agree, it is all a process, and there are no perfect answers. If there were, we would all do the same thing…and be boring!

    Thanks for your candor, authenticity, and to allow us to share in your life’s exploration!


  99. Excellent! While the raw food diet may still be very dear to some of us, we can (hopefully) agree that it is not as sustainable as we thought. It is a great addition to a healthy lifestyle but no longer a lifestyle on its own. What I’ve personally experienced that has worked for me and my clients is that eating real foods, the type of foods that are naturally and humanly cultivated/raised, is the way to go – very satisfying and easier to maintain in the long run. Thanks for the wonderful insight and for opening up the door to an honest conversation about food!

  100. Dust says:

    Raw food diet isn’t dead it is evolving. What has been done is not something that can last because the food just isn’t good enough. The food is not what it once was, it doesn’t have the minerals and the high level of vitamins because of the current system of agriculture. So we as a species have to get smarter, we have to do things differently. The raw food diet as it has been taught is dead cause it is unsustainable for most people. People like Lou Corona who has been eating a fully raw diet for 40+ years seems to have been taught the correct way to eat and live a fully raw lifestyle. Check out his vids on youtube with Dan Mcdonald the life regenerator.

    Change is the only constant in the universe and it’s time for the movement to change to teach a long term sustainable way to eat raw food.

    I personally don’t eat fully raw but people like Lou show that it is possible to be raw with a high fat cultured diet and be powerful, lean and stable. I have tried his way without buying the extra amino acids and for me I couldn’t remain stable, so now I am going to start including the amino acid powders and see if it is what I was missing. I myself couldn’t sustain on 80-10-10 or other like raw food diets. If you try out lou’s way make sure you supplement with the extra aminos and make the coconut almond yogurt for your green juices.

    Wanted to say thanx for the stimulating articles as of late.

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