How to Gain Weight on the Vegan or Raw Food Diet with Robert Cheeke – The Renegade Health Show Episode #335

Monday Jun 22 | BY |
| Comments (39)

First off, I want to congratulate our good friends Matt and Angela Stokes-MONARCH!

Their wedding here at Angel Farm in Oregon over the weekend was awesome. 🙂

I had the pleasure of sending Matt off into union with an amazing “bachelor” party, which I think Matt would agree was pretty intense. (Sorry no Durian Mud Wrestling or anything like that…. LOL!)

The food was amazing and the ceremony was perfectly planned! We’ll have pics on in a short week or so.

So, on to the show…

At Raw Union, I “ran” into Robert Cheeke…

The reason I say “ran” is because he’s hard to miss. He used to be a 120 pound dude, and now is a competitive bodybuilder.

Naturally, I wanted to know what he did to keep his body strong and how he built his body on a vegan (high raw) diet.

You won’t believe his calves and triceps. Insane!

Take a look…

Your question of the day: Where do you get your protein?

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

To check out Robert Cheeke’s website, visit

Live Awesome!

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.


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  1. Mark Powell says:

    Cool vid, yo! What a kind and charismatic guy he seems like.

    Me, sometimes my vanity draws me toward “bulking up” a little, but usually my interest in longevity draws me away from eating lots of calories (calorie-restriction=much longer life). And then, when I’m lucky and wakeful, my spiritual practice draws me away from both bits of relative silliness (my vanity and “longevity” [i.e. avoidance-o’-death]), and back into the groovy expansive ridiculous lusciousness of this vastly living ginormous moment, all mindless and smiley and whatnot.

  2. Marcus says:

    Where do I get my protein? Fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds of course 🙂

    When I want higher protein content, I use hemp seeds (my favorite) or Sproutein, often in smoothies.

    I think Wade Lightheart is a raw vegan body-builder: you can definitely get ripped on a strictly raw vegan diet.

    Anyway, keep up the good work Robert — I like your website. It’s cool to point non-vegan people there to show them that a vegan diet is more than adequate for high-level athletic performance.

    Wishing everyone health and happiness,

    Yours truly,

    <a href=”” title=”EatRawVegan: Healthy Ethical Eating for Everyone”

  3. Nicholas says:

    The advice I would give is to wake up early so you can get more meals in. Dont stay up too late and dont stay in bed for more than necessary. I try and eat 3 base meals a day, each being at least 1000 calories. I have about 3-4 hours between each meal which gives me time to get hungry again. When I do eat, I try and force as much down as possible for me ;). Normally I go vegan but lately I have been trying Raw Organic milk and cheese from WholeFoods Market (kinda pricey but its an experiment). Try to learn what the caloric count of each food is along with its protien and basic nutrient content. I use as my source for basic nutrtion facts.

  4. Laura G says:

    Don’t most vegans, raw or otherwise hate this question?

    I’m finally eating mostly raw vegan and feeling such a difference in my mind and body.

    I’m still eating quinoa cooked and I love it with scrambled eggs. Kind of a fried rice type of thing. If the protein is available in that I suppose that’s where some of the protein comes from. But I was under the impression that all foods have protein.

    I will say though that tonight, I was craving something meaty. (Which is not in the house and would’ve required an errand.) So instead of giving into that, I cooked up the quinoa in the fridge and that definitely satisfied my hungry belly and my craving is gone. Yay!

  5. Jack says:

    One really good protein that gives you a boost that compares to the processed protein stuff, is called ‘Sun Warrior’ rice protein. Its really very similar to other rice proteins but I like it more because its raw and bio-fermented. I don’t eat it a lot ’cause I don’t need that much protein (I’ve been maintaining about 50 grams of overall protein a day), but it does the job, it has 16 grams of protein per 70 calories. If I’m on-the-go and don’t have time, I found this food bar called ‘Organic food bar’. It comes in different varieties, I like the ‘protein’ kind, which has 22 grams and is 80% raw and has good stuff in it(almond butter-don’t know if that’s considered raw anymore, sesame, rice protein and is sweetened with dates and agave)

  6. I am not looking to gain any weight or bulk up; I am a runner. I get my protein from chia seed, hemp seed, pepitas, sunflower seeds, and lots of nuts. I love nuts. 🙂

  7. Carolyn Rogers says:

    What a great talk! thank you. I am convicted to share a website with anyone who is interested to learn about soy. It has been getting some bad press and i am convinced that it is a scam. the website is: then click on the media link and click on the life at its best audio on the drop down menu. there are five lectures there and the things discussed are pretty good. soy is discussed among other things, and is shown to be very important to our diet.

    check it out! and thanks again for this great interview.

  8. sue says:

    Hemp is an absolutely amazing source of protein– I use a raw organic powder in smoothies.
    I also eat sashimi (sorry vegans) because I love it!

  9. Hey, it was nice to see you at Raw Union. Beautiful, beautiful. You probably don’t remember me, but you brought some silverware to our table during dinner. I wrote it up and posted some photos, come check it!

  10. Helena says:

    I would love to gain weight by being “high raw”. I found it much easier while living in a warm climate (now in Canada). My daughter also has some neurological challenges (age 8) possible seizures, tourettes, ADHD. I am looking for support in a community ….. everywhere there is sugar etc. Thanks for any suggestions/ideas

  11. Pat the Irondoll says:

    I get protein from every veggie, fruit, leafy green, nut and seed I eat in the amounts they deliver that are perfectly adequate, however, I understand quinoa is a great source and enjoy that, too, ocassionally. Do the 6 brazil nuts that I crack open between my bicep and forearm each morning count? OK, I lied. I use Krakanut, the best nut-cracker in the world!

  12. Amy RAWbecca says:

    Spirulina, Chia Seeds, Hemp Seeds, Fruits, Veggies, Nuts, Dark leafy greens

  13. Pat the Irondoll says:

    I love Robert Cheeke. He comes to World Veg Days in San Francisco….he is soooo sweet!

  14. Quinny says:

    I’m very thin and recently I have lost 13 lb and have problem gaining the weight back. I have sensitive reaction to soy and I found nuts difficult to digest. Right now, I take rice protein with hemp milk, eat a lot of hemp seed and dark leafy green. But I’m still not gaining any weight, and just when I forgot to eat well for one day, I lost weight again.

    I’m going to try Spirulina to see if it helps.

  15. Abby says:

    Wow! Can’t wait to show my husband this video!

    I Kevin wondering if you could do a couple videos on Sea weed and sea veggies and Blue Green Algee. Can you tell us the deal on these foods and why they are so important.

  16. Kym says:

    Wow, thanks for this. It’s the one I’ve been waiting for. (Of course, every episode is great, though.) Since I changed my diet, I’ve dropped 25 pounds to 140 pounds (I’m a boy) and I’m still losing. I really want to know how to get some back.

    Whatever you think of Robert’s sense of aesthetics, he’s obviously totally in joy with what he’s doing and that’s beautiful to see. Right, off to his Website to learn about protein.

  17. Nick says:

    Hey Folks, If proteins are but strings of amino acids then don’t all but all raw vegan food sources contain free aminos for us to arrange to suit the building blocks of our unique physical structure? Then wouldn’t we have to break down, destring any protein structure already strung to suit whichever animal or any other edible source, anyway, having then to restring the amino acids back together to suit specifically each & every one of us? Does it even make sense to describe it like this, biologically, nutritionally speaking or otherwise? I just wanna know if I’m making sense when I speak, thanks 🙂

  18. Dr. Jerome says:

    Bonjour Kevin,

    I am so glad that you meet my vegan bodybuilding friend, Robert. We know us through the yearly VegFest in Portland, where I lived. Now I am back in Germany in middle of wurst-eaters…
    I get my protein for my cycling competition from a variety of green leafs, fruits, beery, Flax seed, Hemp seed, Spirulina, cooked Chick peas and cooked Quinoa (which I love and miss in Germany). Portland was a great area to become vegan. It is challenging in Germany and in 2 months in France, the country of 100 varieties of cheese and creme fraiche. I miss Portland but I will stay vegan with a large portion of raw. Like Robert said: persistence in your lifestyle is the only way to gain muscle and stay healthy.

    Jerome from Mainz (Germany)

  19. Linda says:

    WOW! I enjoyed this video very much! I get my protein from fruits, nuts, seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, dark leafy veggies and pea protein powder.

    Thanks for the information in this video.

  20. rose says:

    i have pea protein powder in my green smoothies. hemp protein didn’t digest well for me. i used to have soy but it caused a hormone imbalance; my breasts became hard rocks from fybroids!

    i also have eggs and fish as i have health problems and am unsure what else to do about it.

    why don’t they make a sprouted quinoa protein powder? cheaper and better than hemp?

  21. Renee says:

    Fage yogurt has 20 grams of protein. You can find it at Whole Foods type of stores. I mix strawberries with it the night before and in the morning when I mix it up it tastes just like one of the store mixed/sugar filled yogurts but its totally healthy.

  22. Brent says:

    Best video ive seen so far:)) as I am trying to do the same since becoming mostly the moment my weight is down to about 62kg 5.10″. The only thing I find difficult to eat is fruit, but experimenting with everything else in different quantities and times of the day. Thanks Kev!

  23. Sarah Satchi says:


    Disappointed. I thought he would speak about RAW vegan body building.

  24. Mark Powell says:

    Re: People asking, “But where do you get your protein?” I reply, with a jaunty grin, “Where do YOU get your removal of the thick build up of amyloid plaque from protein overdose that covers your cell membranes like sludge?” (i.e. average American eats 150 gms of protein a day; WHO & Max Planck say we need 20-40 gms per day.)

    Well, actually I don’t reply that way. But I sure would crack myself up if I did (probably wouldn’t get me too many clients, though!).

  25. mountainbutterfly says:

    I drink 60oz of green smoothie 6 days a week. Which include: 1-2 bunches of greens, 6-10 fruits and 1+ cup distilled water, and have noticed I can put on muscle much much easier now with the same amount of weights. I supposed its due to the sheer amount of calorie increase and the blended produce is a much more bio-available nutrition to my cells. I’m 5’2, female in late 40’s, 80% low fat raw.
    Eat Raw and Posper

  26. Deirdre says:

    I say, let’s stop humoring the meat industry by even addressing that BS question.

  27. Brian says:

    I get my protein from hemp, brown rice, and yellow pea protein powders, green vegetables, quinoa, amaranth, nuts, peanuts, seeds, and occasionally raw eggs and free range meats. I often overdo it by eating too many nuts and seeds which are acid forming. I still think muscle strength is more important than mass.

    Does anyone know how to do muscle shifting without gaining body weight? My legs are too muscular relative to my upper body. Or should I keep training my upper body and exclude my legs to correct my muscle imbalances?

  28. Kym says:

    Reply to Brian: It’s fairly easily done with the right protocol. After much research, I found Dr Kareem Samhouri and he’s been excellent for this. He gives away a lot of useful free stuff on his blog. Hope this helps.

  29. Michael T. says:

    Protein is a very controversial subject. Basically, as long as you’re eating whole foods and eating enough total calories, you will get enough protein.

    So, the simple answer to the question of where do you get your protein — Everywhere.

    I like to eat sprouted bread and tortillas. They are not raw, but at least the grain was sprouted before it was baked. Makes it easier to digest.

    Greens are only good protein sources if they are blended in some way, preferably a vita-mix on high speed — otherwise much of the protein is locked up behind the cell walls. So, if you’re relying on greens as your principal protein source, be sure to blend them.

    Also, vitamin B-12 is essential for protein synthesis. So even if you’re eating plenty of protein, if you’re B-12 deficient, you won’t be able to grow bigger muscles. If you’re too thin and are having a hard time gaining weight, please get your B-12 level checked.

    Michael T.

  30. Sue Rushford says:

    Sun Warrior Protein, Vega, greens, hemp seeds, chia seeds, blue-green algae, spirulina, chlorella, goji berries, various nuts & nut butters, various seeds, various sprouts, juiced wheatgrass, pea protein, sprouted barley protein powder, grains such as quinoa, brown rice, legumes, Manna bread, Ezekiel sprouted grain bread, soy sources – tempeh, seitan, tofu, and pretty much everything else I eat that’s raw vegan.

  31. Tammy says:

    Because I`m naturally slender and active like running,hiking and biking.Getting enough protein and fat is important.I eat lots of nuts,hemp seeds,avocado salads with olive oil ,seaweeds and yes fruit smoothies in the mornings with bee pollen and coconut.I always keep at a good weight and energy level with these basic`s.Thanks,Tammy.

  32. Ulises says:

    I get my proteins from fruits, vegetables, seeds, tofu,shitake,seitan(wheat protein), vegetable ham(soy protein).One year ago i started a straigt macrobiotic diet and i lost too much weight,i use to weight 50kgs(i am 1.78)i felt terrible and i look… better forget.But a few months ago i began to eat a lot of stuffs iclude bread and pasta and some eggs and cheese in social ocasions.But not meat at all( in my macrobiotics days i use to eat fish) nothing that move for itself.i have recovered my weight and i feel great but my muscles are a little loos so i must some exercises jeje.

  33. Taarak says:

    Robert can get all the proteins he wants from sprouts. No need to risk his thyroids on soy diadzen. Just choose the sprouts as per their & his microvita profile.

  34. Matt says:

    Raw Hemp Seed Protein is awesome. There is something about it that fills me with energy all day long.

    To me building muscle is simply a matter of how much I want to workout (i.e. not directly related to protein intake). The body only needs 3% protein per day and most plant foods have around 5%.

  35. mari says:

    I started the Vegan diet 3mths ago..I began at 133lbs. I did want to drop some weight but I’m dropping too much! I lost a total of 22lbs and still losing. Everytime I step on the scale its another 2lbs gone! How do stop dropping the lbs and gain some back?? Is it a high protein diet needed? Do I consume more carbs??

  36. Sue Rushford says:

    Hemp, baby! And all the ingredients in both Vega and Sun Warrier protein, so pea protein, brown rice protein, sprouted barley, spirulina plus greens, nuts, seeds, veggies, fruit. I actually gained a ton of unwanted weight from eating too much soy protein. I have something with a bit of soy in it maybe once a week now where before, yes, it was present in my breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Apparently the fermented soy like tempeh, natto, & miso is much better, safer, and healthier than the more processed soy like tofu. Always great to see Robert do his thang! And Ann Marie’s arms are gorgeous!

  37. Andrea says:

    Same place that bulls, horses, oxen, elephants, giraffes… get theirs! That makes people pause and think.

  38. Great post… thanks for the info!

    Lucas @ YOGABODY

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