(after reading Raw Freedom by Frederic Patenaude)
Guest Writer, Joanna Slodownik – GreenReset.com
I’ve just received the Raw Freedom package, and – after I’ve been reading through the chapters that caught my attention – I’d like to share a few thoughts with you.
First, let me tell you a little bit about myself. I’ve followed Frederic’s career for many years now. I found him after I read the 80/10/10 diet and I was searching for more information about the high fruit, low fat raw food diet. Over the years, I really enjoyed reading his blog, and I appreciated his honesty and directness. Also, I’m passionate about living an internet lifestyle doing what I love, so I’ve been following his advice in this area– writing ebooks, building audience, etc. (I recommend Frederic’s course “How to write your ebook” – if you’ve been stuck and overwhelmed, it will surely get you going).
Although I’ve been interested in raw foods and the benefits of eating a high-raw diet for health, I’ve never been 100% raw. After I discovered green smoothies, I’ve been drinking them religiously every day – and lots of them, but other than that I’ve been eating a pretty average diet (although, definitely on the healthy side, when compared to the American standard).
I’ve been trying to reduce the cooked foods, experimenting with raw recipes, but in the end, I decided it’s not practical or feasible – especially if you have kids and a husband who wants to eat “normal” food. So, I’m very much in agreement with Frederic about incorporating cooked foods in a healthy diet.
Where I somewhat disagree with Frederic is on the issue of veganism. Let me explain.
Reflections On Being Vegan
I’d been debating the issue of eating meat for many years. I’d been curious about being vegetarian and tried several times to go off meat completely, but it just never happened. The idea of being vegan was not even on my radar until I started experimenting with raw foods – it just seemed too hard, complicated, and even…weird. Because of the pressure of those around me, as well as the lack of strong motivation – I always succumbed to the temptation of a piece of meat, a slice of pizza, or a bowl of ice cream.
However, I kept digging deeper and deeper. I really needed some definitive answers; for myself and my readers, as people started to come to me for advice on what to eat.
After lots of research and soul searching, here is the conclusion that I reached.
Framing the issue only in terms of health, taste and convenience, is why a lot of people are still stuck in the “animal food” mode, even if they may be ready to make a shift to more compassionate living and eating.
I know, because I was stuck for 46 years. Deep down, I knew there was enormous suffering associated with animal foods, but I was dismissing this issue, blocking it from entering my consciousness. After all, this is what everyone else is eating. Not eating these foods is inconvenient and makes you different.
But then, something began to shift. I started reading more about the environmental impact of raising animals for food, as well as the terrible conditions that most of these animals have to endure their entire lives. I still wasn’t convinced. I started buying “humanely raised” animal products and organic dairy. Then I read “Eating Animals” by Jonathan Fowler and that was it. I mastered the courage to watch some of the footage on the websites of Mercy for Animals, Vegan Outreach, and Meet Your Meat. That is also when I found the inspiring podcast “Vegetarian Food For Thought” by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, The Compassionate Cook (highly recommended!).
Even though I’ve been vegan for only a year (and some of you may dismiss me as a “new vegan,” and say, that I’ll probably go back to eating meat soon); there is no going back for me. It’s been such an incredible experience, spiritually uplifting and transforming all the areas of my life and how I view the world and the animals that share this world with us.
I too believed that the change is hard. I too was doubtful about the safety of this diet. I too read about people who failed on vegan diet and went back to eating meat. I was afraid to even try. I didn’t believe I could make it work.
But I’m doing it, and it’s so worth it.
For those of you who are still debating the issue, I want to offer the following points to consider:
Vegan diet is a healthy diet for humans. As you’ll read in Frederic’s book, this diet is sustainable and health promoting. Even the American Dietetic Association says so, and this is not an institution that supports “fad” diets. Our bodies don’t require animal foods to get the nutrients we need. And if we need to take a few supplements, that’s fine too. (Ever wonder, where do cows who are not fed on grass get their calcium? They get it from supplements, because otherwise their milk would be deficient in this important nutrient. So why not skip the “middle cow” and go right to the source – plant foods. Or simply take the supplement, and leave the cows alone.)
Meat is not unhealthy (if eaten in moderation); however, to frame the issue in terms of personal choice or personal preference is not enough. It implies that there is no “other” being hurt for our culinary pleasure or convenience.
Animals are not here for us to exploit them. They feel pain and suffering, just as we do, and they want to live. Even the so-called humanely raised animals, still suffer. (Do you know what happens to the male chicks on egg farms, whether organic or conventional? They are either milled alive, or left to suffocate in garbage bags.)
The fact that there has never been a vegan culture in the world (Frederic talks about it in his Raw Freedom – as plant foods are not available year-round in many places), is indisputable, but it doesn’t mean that we cannot make it work in the modern world. We have the resources and technology. I mean, I’m drinking green smoothies with bananas, berries and greens year round, and I’m in New Jersey, US. There are no banana trees here or berries in the winter.
You don’t have to sacrifice your deepest values of compassion to stay healthy. You also don’t have to sacrifice taste. (Although you may have to sacrifice convenience a bit.) Eating a diet of mostly raw, as well as cooked vegetables, greens, fruits, mushrooms, beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains provides enough calories, micro-nutrients, as well as variety – that making compassionate choices is easy. These days, you can find vegan cheeses, meats, burgers, ice-creams and cupcakes – not the healthiest foods, but much more compassionate choices, if you want them. (I’m not loving vegan meats or cheeses, but the cherry-chocolate soy based ice-cream I buy at Trader Joe’s is to die for).
If there are health issues that arise, it’s now possible to find a health practitioner who understands plant-based nutrition enough, to be able to help us in a way that would not sacrifice our values. I highly recommend books by Dr. Joel Fuhrman if you want a doctor-prescribed diet.
Change is slow and unpopular. There are many examples throughout the history. Just a few hundred years ago, slavery was viewed as normal. It does take time and determination, but as more as more people make the switch, the choices will only increase, making it easier for everybody else.
As Frederic says in his book: “Would be vegans and raw foodists have never had it better. But they should consider themselves pioneers and experimenters, and remember how unusual our modern food situation is in the historical context.”
We are so proud of our progress in other areas, so why not put compassion back into the equation. Once we know better, we can do better, so let’s!
About Joanna. Joanna is a green smoothie enthusiast and the founder of GreenReset.com website, dedicated to spreading the message about how healthy and compassionate food choices can help heal our body and the planet.
Guest Writer Rachel Rinehart Johnson
It’s midnight, and for the fourth night in a row, I can’t sleep. The nasty head cold I snagged during spring break has moved to my chest, and I hack up mucus for a few hours before falling into an exhausted stupor for a few hours before it’s time to wake up and go to work.
I would feel sorry for myself, but it’s my own fault. I knew better, but I made a choice last fall to have dairy at Bunco, which made it easier to have it for the holidays, and the next thing I know I am eating lasagna and ice cream on a regular basis again. After being dairy-free and gluten-free for around ten years now, I forgot what it was like to have so much mucus in the chest and throat, and I don’t like it.
Same thing goes for the skin allergy rash I developed from eating gluten again. I don’t like it at all, and it’s no fun.
Seriously, I don’t remember having a much of a cold in the past ten years. Perhaps I had a bit of a sore throat for a night, or maybe I had a fever for a day; however, since giving up wheat and diary, I am rarely sick. Once or twice a year, I might feel off for a day or two, but I bounce back fast.
The reason I cut wheat and dairy completely out of my life all those years ago was because I felt better without them and felt crappy with them. Trust me, it’s better to go cold turkey with these two because, otherwise, you become hooked again. Once you start eating gluten or dairy, your body craves them, which makes it even more difficult to resist.
For instance, the cold started last Wed, and the last day I consciously ate dairy was on Friday when I ate the steak and rice at a Japanese steakhouse even though I watched them cooked in butter in front of me. And I ate gluten a couple of weeks ago, even though I still had the itchy skin rash.
This time the cold is lingering, and nothing has completely cleared up the congestion. I’ve tried over the counter medicine, including the Musinex that three people recommended, but it didn’t do the trick.
I’ve surfed the web late at night during coughing sessions that chased away sleep to find natural remedies and tried gargling both apple cider vinegar and salt water, drinking tea with honey, lemon, and cinnamon, and most recently swallowing garlic capsules. All of those things are healthy and helpful, but it takes awhile to clear out dairy once it’s in our bodies.
The best remedy for a cold (or how to lose a cold in ten days or less): don’t get one in the first place! And not eating gluten and dairy is one giant step in that direction.
I have given up gluten and dairy again. Gratefully. Thankfully. I would rather be healthy than eat wheat and dairy. It’s a choice that I am happy to make. Plus there are so many yummy substitutes nowadays.
It’s a challenge knowing what to eat these days, but I know I don’t want to eat gluten or dairy products. They are not worth it.
Rachel Rinehart Johnson writes narratives, poems, and children’s stories, and her work has appeared in publications such as Florida English, New Plains Review, Circa Review, Lumina, Rocking Chair Reading: Family Gatherings, New Madrid, and Country Extra. She earned an MFA in creative non-fiction from Murray State University in Kentucky. Rachel and her two daughters reside in Florida, where she teaches composition, creative writing, and English as a second language as an adjunct Instructor at Brevard Community College and Florida Institute of Technology. Her other passions include nature, photography, and travel.
S.A.L.T. – Stop/Seek/Select/Slow down And Listen/Live Today or Solutions About Life force/Longevity Today
Filed under Guest Writers by Frederic Patenaude
Mindy Goldis, www.rawsomegal.wordpress.com
How did I come up with the title for this article? Well, I was thinking that I am not a fan of using salt because it isn’t a necessary mineral for the body (more on that later), but I wanted to come up with something positive based on the letters that make up that word and came up with the acronym.
I thought of two titles for the same 4 letters (with a few words for some of the letters). I am sure there are many others you can think of and are welcome to include your suggestions in the comments below.
What does any of this have to do with health? Raw foods? Lots!
We get so wrapped up in what we are eating and forget that there is more to life then eating. If you walk down the street and eavesdrop on others conversations to each other and on the phone, they are usually talking about where they will eat, what they will eat, going on a diet, is this food good for you, this doctor says to eat this and another says something else, etc.
Food consumption is a minuet part of a healthy lifestyle. What is the healthiest food to eat is debatable, to a certain degree, but overall it has been proven by many reputable authorities, including Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Neal Barnard, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Dr. John McDougall, Dr. Mark Hyman, Dr. Joel Fuhrman that Whole Food Plant Based is ideal. Whether you eat 100 percent raw vegan or not, isn’t the issue! If you want to arrest or avert the diseases that are rampant in our society today, there is no doubt this is a very important part of how we live.
I, myself have been vegan for over 22 years and have educated many people over the years who are interested in making changes to improve their lives. One very important person who I have helped over 20 years ago, is my Dad. He celebrated his 80th birthday on April 28, 2013. That may have never happened after his heart attack, if he had not given up the animal foods/S.A.D. Diet.
So what else matters to our health besides the food we consume? Going back to title of this article though it may seem vague to you what I mean with the words I choose, but I will explain.
STOP- Take a break from the day-to-day grind of life. Clear your mind. Take a walk on the beach without any distractions (cellphone) and enjoy nature. Shut off all electronics for a few hours or a day – a sabbatical (I celebrate the Sabbath once a week and shut everything off for an entire day – no phone, no TVs, no computers, no cars, no writing, no cooking, etc).
SEEK – If you don’t have all the answers, that is ok. There are many great sources for information. Make sure to do your research diligently so you are not wasting your time or money. We learn by doing and sometimes make mistakes. Hopefully we learn from then and help ourself and others to not repeat it again. On my site, I have reviews of companies who are of the highest quality and integrity.
You are also welcome to send me a comment if you have an other questions.
SELECT – How do you know what is best for you? With all the information there is also overload and misinformation. Don’t settle for the path of least healthy results or a fad diet (like Atkins) because they are popular in the news. The government pushes and promotes what they can make the most money from and is the worst for you. How is it that we got so far away from the basics? It isn’t “rocket science!” We all know what types of food are good for us and yet there are so many “sick” people who opt for pharmaceuticals with numerous side-effects and then never get well. They are usually afraid to go against their doctor (although statistics show that there is a large percentage of the population that is opting for alternative/holistic medicine because they are not getting the results from the drugs/treatment they are receiving from their MD) or think that the doctor has all the answers (that is the farthest from the truth, except for the ones I mentioned above who have crossed the “picket line,” so to speak, and live and promote a whole food lifestyle).
SLOW DOWN – This goes back to the first word mentioned above, but I feel it needs to be emphasized more. We don’t do enough to take a break and do nothing. Have you ever been in bed looking up and stared at the ceiling? Have you ever been “turned off” and not “turned on?”
This is a loaded question, but I am referring to getting out of your head and into your body. I know the mind is always working even when we “do nothing,” yet we can give ourselves the opportunity to do something else to slow ourselves down. Find something you enjoy doing that relaxes you so you forget all your cares and worries – such as knitting, arts and crafts projects, watching the waves, etc. it is amazing what a little “time out” can do to renew yourself for the rest of the day. If you can do it every day and be “selfish” you will do more to help others in the long run.
LISTEN – Pay attention to your intuition because it is usually right.
Don’t let others influence your decisions of you feel strongly in your gut that this is the best direction for you (with work, relationships, where you live, food choices, etc) . Trust that even if you all of your family and friends think you are “crazy,” find others who are like-minded to turn to for assistance. You will likely find people who will hear what you are saying and will to give you encouragement and support with what you are doing.
LIVE – Life is about living, but what kind of life do we have, if we aren’t truly alive? Life isn’t only about feeding our physical entity. Their is a deeper part to us that we can’t see that is spiritual in nature. Life is a gift that we have to be thankful for every day because it can be taken away from us in an instant. This is not a far-fetched notion that I have just come up with myself. Do some research yourself on the Internet from legitimate sources who believe that life is much more then just the tangible.
TODAY – Today is the only thing you have at this very moment! Forget about yesterday and tomorrow. Don’t put off what you can do right now to improve your health. Even if you change one thing, especially removing something from your food consumption that is not beneficial.
For some baby steps work best to transition into a new lifestyle and for others they sometimes have no choice because it is their last chance/hope to be alive. For me it is so easy and simple because I have been living as a vegan for many years. I have always been self-motivated and self-disciplined. When I decide to do something it happens (unless I take on too many projects at one time, then I have to delegate what is most important right now). I commend each and every one of you who have taken charge of their own life today by seeking out the truth and journeying on the “road less traveled.” We are in the minority (especially us “vegans”), but don’t let that discourage you ever!
The next title I came up with for the same four letters will be explained in a future article. Stay tuned!
Read more of my articles, interviews, product reviews and 42 day coconut water cleanse, etc. www.rawsomegal.wordpress.com
I also have a YouTube channel with product reviews and recipe ideas www.youtube.com/TheRawsomeVeganGal
For more information about my services as a vegan chef and educator please post a comment on my blog.
Last week I met with a friend I hadn’t seen for many years. His name is Jay, and he was part of the raw food scene in Montreal about 8 or 9 years ago, when I was quite active there in this underground movement.
Raw foods is now semi-mainstream, but back then it was only a small community of genuine health seekers interested in this. We were like a small family!
Jay and I were discussing the raw food scene and how it’s changed. And at some point, we talked about the fact that pretty much ALL of the people who were seriously doing raw foods 10 or 15 years ago now eat some cooked foods.
Jay said, “I’m grateful for this raw food experience. Raw foods are still the backbone of my diet. But I also eat other things now.”
This is the case with almost all of the raw food authors, gurus, and serious raw foodists that I knew 10 or 15 years ago. Back then, they were eating 100% raw foods. Now, they all eat cooked foods.
This include almost ALL of the authors that have written books on the topic.
There are some exceptions. Some people have maintained a raw food diet for all those years, and say they have never deviated from it. Upon closer look, most of these people were not as 100% as they claimed for all those years. But to their credit, they did stick with it for the most part.
Yet, some of these people, the 100%-ers, will often look down upon people who are no longer eating a 100% raw diet, claiming they didn’t do the diet properly, or didn’t have enough motivation on discipline to do it.
Yet, if went to a raw food conference, organized by a 100%-er, and surveyed everybody, I’m almost certain that if we were to follow the attendees who eat a100% raw diet now for the next 10 years, you’d discover that more than 90% of these people would no longer follow the diet.
Eventually… they all eat cooked foods.
A recent article published in Psychology Today suggested that around 75% of people who follow a vegetarian diet eventually go back to eating animal products. The average time a person will stay vegetarian is 9 years.
For raw foodists, my experience leads me to think the percentage of “failures” is much higher, and the time people stay on the diet much shorter. 95% of the people I knew 15 years ago who were eating a 100% raw food diet back then are eating some cooked foods today.
Why is that?
One could claim that most raw food diets are not sustainable, and you need a particular kind of raw food diet to succeed. For example, a low fat raw food diet.
But the truth is that even the low-fat raw food dieters eventually go back to cooked foods. Some even have built entire websites dedicated to the topic!
Plus, the low fat raw food diet, mainly promoted by Dr. Doug Graham with the 80-10-10 Diet, hasn’t been popular for many years. It’s certainly much more sustainable than other kinds of raw food diet, and the type I would recommend for someone considering a 100% raw food lifestyle.
But from the many 80-10-10 dieters I’ve met… many of them eventually went back to cooked foods.
Is it that the addiction to cooked food is so strong that even under the best circumstances, most people eventually can’t resist the urge?
Some famous raw food promoters, who ate 100% raw at the time and had been for many years, told me that they still had dreams about eating cooked foods. And those were people following a perfect kind of low-fat raw food diet.
Is it that 95% of people have no true discipline and can’t stick with anything? Is it that the addiction to cooked food is too strong?
The addiction to cigarettes is one that is recognized as very difficult to break. Yet most people who quit smoking don’t go back to eat, once they’ve made a definite move.
Cooked food is not an addiction.
It’s not a drug… it’s not “poison”… Cooked food is just… food!
Some cooked foods, of course, are unhealthy. But so are some raw foods.
Most people can’t stick with a 100% raw food diet because it’s a very difficult, inconvenient, expensive, restrictive, unsatisfying and unsustainable diet for most people. And the key word here is “most people.” As in everything, there are exceptions. Some people do quite well on 100% raw for life. But they are the exception, not the rule.
For the vast majority of people, eating 100% raw is something that should be done as a temporary diet. A ”cleanse.” Something you do for a few weeks, a few months maybe. It’s a great reset button. It’s a great detox tool. But it’s not a diet most people can realistically follow for the rest of their lives. It’s also not a diet that’s been proven to work in all phases of life: pregnancy, childhood, and so on. In fact, there’s quite a bit of evidence to suggest that a 100% raw vegan diet is not appropriate in some of those situations.
And if you don’t believe me, I would reply that the proof is in the pudding. Even under the best circumstances, most people don’t stick to 100% raw for a long period of time. Even the best gurus can’t prevent their disciplines from going back to the evil world of cooked foods…
Now… does that mean that the choice is between eating ALL raw and ALL cooked? Of course not.
There are nuances. It’s not black and white.
The key in life is balance. It’s about finding a sustainable balance for you, between raw food and cooked foods, but also between “rules” and “exceptions.”
If you’re currently happy with a raw food diet, then maybe there’s no need to change. Keep doing what you’re doing if it works for you.
But if you’ve struggled, go back and forth and fail… then maybe it’s time to stop blaming yourself and being so hard on yourself. Maybe you can come to the conclusion that the diet you’re holding as an “ideal” is just too darn difficult to follow… and simply does not work. You need to find a balance again to make it work.
Guest Writer Gina Shaw, DSc MA AIYS Dip Irid Dip NH
As a high-percentage Fruitarian I receive a mixture of opinions in the circles I mix with. Amongst SAD dieters, people say ‘Aren’t you concerned that you’re getting too much Vitamin C from those oranges’ (a far cry from the old concerns of ‘Where do you get your protein?’). Raw food enthusiasts say ‘Oh no, I don’t eat much fruit because of the sugar content’. Everywhere I go, people are so concerned for my health because of the large amounts of fruit I consume! (even though my health has never been better since starting a high-raw diet back in 1998). So, let’s get this clear, I am one of the few people who actually follow Government recommendations clearly and consume a minimum of 5-7 portions of fruit per day. Fruit sugars do not cause diabetes, indeed a high fat diet is the leading cause of diabetes according to recent research papers. Fruits are combined with fiber which will slow down sugar release and fruit sugars will only become a problem if they are poorly combined, e.g. mixed with fats. Indeed, my body is more than able to deal with high doses of water-soluble vitamins such as vitamin C if necessary, by eliminating it out through my kidneys, just the same as it will do from excess potassium, etc.
However, I, equally, on the other hand, am very concerned about their health! Most people consume far too much protein and fat and salt in their diet, much of which is the animal variety which has been linked to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, etc., etc.
How can you have an easily digestible healthy (high or all) raw food diet without eating lots of fruit? There are indeed many raw foodists who feel guilty after eating an orange or a few grapes. In my opinion, this is crazy and there’s no reason you shouldn’t be eating fruit (and lots of it) unless you are of course poorly combining it with other foods. That’s where Toxemia sets in. Toxemia is the saturation of the bloodstream by poisons, often caused by a SAD diet, or a lack of sleep, drug taking, alcohol, etc, etc.
So, how do these raw foodists maintain their weight without lots of fruit? The answer appears to be by eating lots of fat. Healthy? In a word ‘No’! A high fat diet, even on a high plant based diet is not conducive to health and will use up your energy in the digestion of food, and the body will have to convert the fat into glucose in order to fuel the brain cells, etc. This is a complicated process and it is far better to consume your calories from simple carbohydrates like fruit. So, are you looking for a raw food meal which will tick all the health boxes? Then look no further than your pineapple, mangoes, strawberries or melon.
Filed under Raw Food & Health by Frederic Patenaude
Coconut water is Nature’s perfect refreshment in hot weather, but also during exercise. It’s low in calories but contains just enough natural sugar to give you a little boost. It’s also very rich in electrolytes (sodium, potassium), but in jus the right quantities.
In some countries, coconut water was used to replace IV fluid in intravenous rehydration. In fact the medical literature documents quite a few cases where coconut water was used for that purpose, usually in remote places with little medical technology.
What are the benefits of coconut water?
Announcement: Spring Cleanse on Monday
Before we get into that, I just want to remind you that next week I’m organizing a free Spring Cleanse.
Anyone can join! Tell your friends. To sign up, just go to:
First, it’s loaded with potassium. It’s got just enough sodium to maintain electrolyte balance. So it’s the perfect drink to use as a refreshment in tropical countries, and for light physical activity. For really heavy physical activity, such as running under the hot sun for long period of time, more sodium would be needed than what is found in coconut water. This is where a sports drink such as Gatorade would have an edge, in terms of rehydrating the person and preventing heat strokes.
However, in most cases, coconut water is the bomb.
First of all, most people need to take in more potassium because their diet is pretty high in sodium. Potassium balances out sodium intake.
Then, coconut water is low in calories compared to other refreshments. A can of coke contains about 140 calories, while the same can filled with coconut water contains about 60 calories. A huge difference.
So when should you drink coconut water?
- During exercise: it’s the perfect rehydrating fluid, containing just enough sugar to keep you going. However, like I said, if the exercise is very intensive and you sweat a lot, slightly more sodium would be needed.
- As a great “Pick me up” drink. The dose of potassium and the little natural sugar is great for energy.
- To avoid dehydration, in hot weather, and when doing light activity.
Now, how does coconut water compare to Sports drink such as Gatorade?
Let’s use a “can” of 330 ml as a reference. In this case, let’s compare:
- 60 calories
- 40 mg. sodium
- 680 mg. potassium
- A significant quantity of magnesium (10% of your daily needs)
- Source of vitamin C
- 70 calories
- 42 mg. potassium
- 153 mg. sodium
- Not a source of any other nutrients
So as we can easily tell, coconut water is nature’s Sports Drink, but is heavier in potassium than sodium. In fact, we could consider it a very rich source of potassium. It contains slightly less calories per ounce than Gatorade, which has been formulated to contain more sodium.
Although completely artificial, a product like gatorade would only be more effective, as mentioned previously, in cases where more sodium is needed. But most people already get far too much sodium in their diet already. Unless you exercise like crazy, more is generally not needed.
What About Bottled Coconut Water?
In the past, coconut water wasn’t trendy. In fact, it only started being marketed recently by companies such as:
- Amy and Brian’s Coconut water
In the past, the only way to drink coconut water outside of the tropics would be to buy young coconuts from Asian markets. But as we’ve learned, these coconuts are treated in a very toxic solution before shipping, so there’s a risk of contamination from that.
The main difference with bottled products is that they’ve been pasteurized, and sometimes vitamin C has been added. Is that a big deal?
I don’t think so. It’s much better to get coconut water that’s been pasteurized than “raw” coconut water of dubious origins where the coconut has been dipped in a toxic solution for shipping.
The little pasteurizations doesn’t affect the nutritional qualities (such as electrolytes) of the coconut water.
I’ve tried many brands. At the moment I enjoy the Vita-Coco water because its taste is very close to fresh coconut water, and it’s easy to get. Even Costco now sells it by the case.
If you decide to buy bottled coconut water, make sure it only contains coconut water (and perhaps vitamin C), but no added sugar. Most Asian brands of coconut water will contain added sugar.
In summary, coconut water, whether fresh or bottled, is a great drink to enjoy for rehydration or as an alternative to other sports drink. Only someone doing very heavy exercise, especially in the sun, might need more sodium than what is found in coconut water. Then, adding a pinch of salt to the coconut water will do the job!
Enjoy your next coconut!
PS: Don’t forget to sign up for next week’s Spring Cleanse. Anyone can join. It’s a great way to get back on track with a healthy lifestyle… and yes, coconut water is allowed during the cleanse Go to:
The biggest bang for your health may not be on the treadmill.
By, Bill Kranker
The other day I was watching an old episode of a TV show called “Magnum PI” which stared Tom Selleck. In many of the episodes Tom’s character was shown doing some type of athletic thing like jogging or swimming or running a marathon which is all really great but often he would also be shown reaching for a beer just after a run or as he was drying off after a swim. Back in the 1980′s, when the show was popular on TV, I would have thought nothing of this as I was not much better myself. I would go for a run or workout and then have a steak and potato dinner with ice scream for dessert. The theory back then was that it did not matter much what you eat because you could just work it off later. But is this really the case? Can you just work off any type of food that you put into your mouth? Let’s look at a few facts:
First, what about working off those excess Calories? According to runnersworld.com, running uses up about 105 net calories per mile (this is net calories over what you would use just lying on the couch. For women it would be about 74 calories net). I have seen people (Including myself!) easily consume over 800 excess calories per day on a regular unhealthy diet. So using the above formula we would need to run about 8 miles in order to burn up those 800 extra calories. In reality how many of us are really going to do that much running every day? Or maybe, you think that just walking will burn off that extra indulgence. Walking only uses up about 52 net calories (43 for the ladies) so you would need to walk the equivalent of a half-marathon in order to remove the caloric excess! That is a good amount of exercise for the average person. And as for Mr. Magnum he would need to run about an extra 2 miles just to work off that 200 Calorie beer. (Calories of beer courtesy of beer100.com)
Second: Not all calories are created equal. When people take in too much it is usually the fat calories that they add in excess. 800 Calories of fat such as animal foods or even healthy fats like avocado are much harder for humans to use up because we are not very well equipped for digesting fat (we lack the required digestive enzyme) so any extra calories from fat will get set aside (around our waist and hips) for later disposition while the body concentrates on the useful carb calories it needs for energy. So a run on the treadmill is likely not very effective against these fatty calories.
Third: a lot of the calories we take in are pure chemical junk and will have to go through a much more complicated process than simple digestion and conversion to energy. Often these bad calories are stored in our fat layer or diluted with water for later disposal when more energy is available. Often this extra energy does not become available and these bad chemicals just hang around in our padding. In essence, we become a storage unit of toxic waste! So what are these junk calories? How about “artificial flavors” or anything on those ingredient labels that you can’t easily pronounce. Again, this type of calorie is not easy to “Work Off!”
So if you are really interested in becoming healthy I would start with making the necessary dietary changes first as you will get much more accomplished by changing your diet than you will with all of those hours spent on the treadmill!
So what are some of those dietary changes you ask? The following are my basic rules for food:
1) Stay away from packaged and processed foods as much as possible. If it comes in a can, box, bag or bottle you should probably try and avoid it. Also if it has a nutrition label on it, don’t bother reading all of that fine print, just pass it by!
2) Make the majority of your food intake from fruit. Fruit has the highest calorie to weight ratio of all of the fresh unprocessed foods. Fruit is also composed of healthy carb calories that provide us the cellular energy we need. In this case these calories are the good calories!
3) Make sure to also get some greens and healthy fats into your diet. Greens, such as spinach, collards or kale, have the minerals you need and the fats such as avocado and nuts provide fuel for your brain. Just keep the fats to a minimum though (about ½ avocado or a small palm full of nuts per day average at most)
Don’t just take my word for it. Keep studying and researching. A good place to start is with some of Frederic’s great books that have a wealth of healthy info and recipes in them. It is better to learn from the success and failures of others than by trial and error yourself!
So change your diet first and then let the workout begin!
Until next time make at least one change for the better each and every day!
I’m now ready to announce the three winners of my book “Raw Freedom”… you will all get a free copy as soon as the book is ready!
The three winners are:
- Melinda says:
March 12, 2013 at 11:55 am
My reason is simple. The struggle. When I first found the raw foods lifestyle, I lost weight easily, didn’t crave bad food, and did great. I ate too much fat to begin with, but still lost weight easily. Juice fasted for a month and never had more energy in my life! Since then it’s been a seesaw back and forth between cooked and raw never finding the balance I need. The weight came back, unless I’m 100% raw my body does not want to release the weight. I also feel unwell when I eat any cooked food and am interested to see how you solved that issue for yourself. I’d love to have a chance to see how your book balances the two and would be honoured and grateful to receive it.
Hi!! Congratulations on the new book! I have been vegan for over a year and veg most of my life. I was super strict and thought I must adhere to all these “rules” in order to call myself a true vegan. I have recently discovered this is a journey and I will discover what works for me! There are no rules or regulations; I just have to listen to my body. I do cheat sometimes when it comes to sweets and am learning to forgive myself and move on– tomorrow is a new day. What I like about your info is that there is a combo of raw, cooked and lots of different suggestions for whichever way you choose to eat!
Keep up the good work and keep the blogs coming!!
- Scott says:
March 12, 2013 at 12:13 pm
I’m a big fan Frederic! Glad to see you are still pumping out great material and that you are consistently open to sharing the facts, even if it makes waves in the raw community.
I have been striving for balance within my diet for years. I would love to check out your new book to see if it provides the answers I have been looking for.
The Book is Now Available:
The cover for my new book Raw Freedom is now done! The writing process has taken a toll on me, but now the book is 98% finished and should be released later this month. And guess what? You can win a copy!
I will give away THREE copies of the books to my reader, to thank you for being part of this online community.
How can you participate?
Just write in the comments below why you think I should select you to receive a free copy my book, and what you’re hoping to get out of this book. Three lucky people will win a copy! (shipped to your free anywhere in the world of course!). You’ll also get the book before everyone else, should you be lucky enough to win…
Winners will be announced in a few days. Post soon!
So there you go, I finally have settled on a name for my next book. It will be called
Raw Freedom: Combining Raw Foods With the Healthiest Cooked Foods to Create the Ultimate Diet
Still working on the sub-title though…
As for the other names I had come up with before (Such as “Raw Fusion Diet”) they were protected by trademarks. Raw Freedom is the name that after numerous tests I found to be the best. My readers have spoken!
Bottom line is: the new book is coming out next month!
Here’s a quick article that’s not really a chapter in the book, but should give you an idea what this book is about…
How My Battle With Cooked Food Ended
For many years, I lived in an inner state of struggle surrounding my diet. On some level, I accepted the raw food diet as the ideal diet. I followed a 100% raw diet for about 3 years, when I was younger, and since then, I had many periods of going back on 100% raw for some periods of time. But every time, I fell off the wagon, and went back to eating some cooked foods.
Sometimes, I beat myself up for it. Sometimes I didn’t. But the truth is that a part of me still believed that I could be doing better by getting closer to 100% raw. And whenever I met people that had been eating 100% raw for many years, I always envied them and thought they were more disciplined than me.
But the truth is, I’m not a sloppy person. In some areas of my life, discipline is my second name. I learned discipline when I was in music school and had to practice 4 hours of guitar a day, 1 hour of piano, plus 4-5 hours of other classes, and some studying on top of it. So I know about 12-15 hour days.
I learned languages. I studied enough Spanish to speak it well in only a few months, and I also learned German, Portuguese, and a few others.
In terms of work, I’ve been known to go through phases of extreme productivity. I also know how to be lazy, and sometimes I crash and can’t do anything. But still, I don’t think that a “lack of discipline” was my problem when it came to not eating 100% raw.
What I honestly thought is that there was a part of me that didn’t want to eat that way. Some raw foodists would even say that I had some “issues that I still needed to deal with around food.” Some would even add, “emotional issues.”
So I was torn. I accepted the raw food diet as an ideal diet on some level, but on other levels I saw all of these people failing on the diet. There were success stories, but horrible failure stories too. And personally, although I felt eating a raw food diet gave me great results and made me feel great in some ways, I always felt significantly dissatisfied with this diet in other ways.
Social issues are an example. In my days of 100% raw, I got around the problem by surrounding my existence with everything raw food related. All of my friends were raw foodists. My entire life was a bout the raw food diet. So of course, in this case, eating a raw food diet didn’t create many social conflicts. But also, I was in my early 20s when I did it. My life, since then, has changed significantly. Now, if I ate 100% raw again, I know it would seriously hinder my social life.
Still, raw food experts kept claiming that all of these problems could be dealt with. “Whenever you go to a restaurant, eat something before then, so you’re not hungry.” Or “just tell people you’ve just had dinner, so you’ll just order something small to eat.”
These tricks can work. But they didn’t make me happy. And the diet, although in some ways worked, didn’t make me happy either.
For one, I was bored with it. Eventually, the thought of drinking yet another giant banana smoothie for lunch was almost nauseating. I craved change. I craved other foods, if at all just mentally.
There were a few problems that for sure, were related to the raw food diet as far as I was concerned. Issues with dental decay, but more importantly tooth sensitivity have only bothered me when I got closer to 100% raw. And the reason is pretty simple: I had no choice but to consume larger quantities of fruit, many of them containing acids, to get the calories I needed. And acid can wear out the enamel. It’s a reality, proven by the fact that so many raw foodists suffer from similar issues.
Sure, an impeccable dental hygiene program can make a difference. But on the whole, the 100% raw food diet (or close to it) had significant disadvantages when it came to my dental health.
So I kept being torn. On the one hand, this diet is great for health. Blood pressure is lower. Risks of heart disease and cancer are almost obliterated. Resting heart rate is great. Body fat is low. The body is working optimally in many areas.
But in other ways, I didn’t want to follow it. I missed cooked foods. I didn’t like eating many raw food meals. I got bored with them. I felt cold on the diet. It impaired my social life. And I had doubts about how it was affecting certain aspects of my health, notably my dental health.
But more importantly: I wasn’t happy with it.
So for years, I tried and tried. It was a battle. I tried different approaches.
But the main kicker was that whenever I went back to cooked foods, after a period of eating 100% raw, I felt ill. (This by the way, is one of the most important issues that I will discuss in my new book Raw Freedom, to solve it once and for all).
So I felt trapped. I felt like I wanted the best of both worlds, but I didn’t feel it was possible.
How My Battle With Cooked Food Ended
So how did my battle with cooked foods end? Pretty simply. When I stopped trying to be a raw foodist. When I literally abandoned the raw food “ideal.”
I ate cooked foods. I eat cooked foods now. No shame about it.
I eat raw foods too. But I also eat cooked foods. I’m not trying to be a raw foodist anymore. I’m not trying to “get back into raw foods” or always go on some new form of raw food cleanse. I’m not trying to slowly increase the percentage of raw food in my diet.
What I do, now, and the reason why I feel better in every way, is to follow a consistent program. Instead of yo-yoing back and forth between raw and cooked, I keep my routine pretty stable.
I eat a certain percentage of raw foods, and I eat a certain percentage of cooked foods. I try to do more or less the same thing every day. I’m not trying to be a raw foodist anymore. I don’t think of myself as a raw foodist. But I’m someone who knows all about the power of raw foods and I make sure to “power up” my diet with a lot of raw foods.
This is, in essence, my Raw Freedom program. It’s about finding a balance, and stop the struggle.
The book goes into the details of the method. Each person is different, so if you ask me what percentage of raw foods I eat, it won’t really help you find the right balance for yourself. In general, people needing to lose weight need more raw foods, and people needing a lot of calories or working on muscle gain, should eat less raw food.
There’s a specific formula to follow. But there’s also common sense. There are traps along the way, particularly the problem of “feeling like crap” when you eat cooked foods on a mainly raw diet. This is a problem that can be easily solved once you understand what creates it. This is in fact, the biggest and most important chapter in my new book.
So this was just a taste of what the new book will be about. I will post probably some excerpts soon for your enjoyment.
Let me know what you think by posting comments on this article!