Quite often I get people asking me questions about how much fat they should be eating in their diet, or what is a healthy amount of fat to eat.

Someone asked me recently what are some differences between my approach and other types of low-fat diets, a low fat raw vegan style diet, for example.

The low fat raw vegan diet is a diet where  the focal point of the diet is raw fruits, like bananas, dates, figs, cherries, melons, papayas, mangos, etc., followed by raw vegetables, like lettuce, celery, and tomatoes.

Although I’ve been aware of the dangers of high-fat raw food diets since 2002 when I wrote my book “The Raw Secrets,” it was not until 2005 that I really gave the low fat raw vegan approach a try.

I’ve learned a lot since 2005, and I have noticed that most people thrive on lower-fat, higher-fruit raw diets more than any other type of raw diet. Most other programs are just way too high in fat and don’t allow for near enough fruit to really be a healthy, long-term program. Short-term cleanse, possibly yes, but certainly not a way to eat for life.

Because I do not follow a strict low fat raw vegan diet as espoused by others, many people have been asking me what I think of it and what I would do differently.

I’ve found that most people who experiment with the raw food diet eventually either give up or find their own approach that works for them. In my experience, a low-fat raw food diet with a LOT of fruit and a LOT of greens works for the greatest number of people, but isn’t necessarily best for everyone.

My teachings are still very close to low fat raw vegans diets in many key areas, such as:

– The importance of the low fat diet

– Eating enough fruit, and not being afraid to do it

– Eating plenty of greens

– Fitness being just as important as nutrition for overall health.

Here are the few areas where our viewpoints differ:

1- No obsession about being 100% raw. I’m certainly a big fan of fruits and vegetables, and both still make up much of my diet, but I’m not strict about being raw like I had been in the past. I’ve found that healthy cooked foods like potatoes, vegetables, and whole grains are actually far healthier than the overabundance of fats and oils found in many raw food recipes. Plus I’ve found that some people just feel better including choice cooked foods in their diet.

2- Fat. I allow more than 10% fat, over the course of a month. Although I have done the “less than 10%” thing for a while, I prefer to stay in the 12-18% range, with 15% being a good target for most people.

Many low fat raw vegans have such a fear of fat that they’ll avoid all nuts and seeds. Thus they end up eating only fruit, or only fruit and little greens. However, there are important nutrients in nuts and seeds, such as essential fatty acids and minerals that are hard to get from just fruits and vegetables. So if your fat is coming from healthy sources, especially certain high-omega 3 seeds such as hemp, chia or flax then it’s fine to go above 10%.

3- Supplements. I am no supplement whore. In fact, I’m one of the few raw food promoters to never have launched a line of supplements. That’s because I find that 99% of what’s on the market is useless in comparison to fresh foods.

But, certain supplements can be intelligently used, and it would be hard to argue that they don’t have their place.

I’ve explained in the past why most raw foodists and vegans should consider taking a vitamin B12 supplement to avoid any possible deficiencies that could lead to disastrous results. Vitamin D can also be an issue for some people, and intelligent use of a supplement is often advisable when you live in a northern climate year round.

4- Condiments. Although in theory I agree with the idea that a condiment-free diet is best, most people, myself included, find such a diet too boring and ascetic.

In practice, I have found that using some fresh herbs, spices, and even some raw hot peppers can make food much more enjoyable.

I also don’t mind using some “non-raw” condiments sometimes, such as salsa in a jar, as I find it to be a more suitable way to add zing to a salad rather than using a fatty dressing.

The most important thing is to eat a lot of greens and vegetables. If you find it easy to eat them plain, then by all means go for it. But if you’re like me and find your salads and raw soups more palatable and enjoyable with a bit of spice, then don’t feel guilty for not being “perfect.” It’s far better to eat salads and soups more frequently with a little seasoning than rarely and stay 100% natural hygiene. Eating more fruits and vegetables is really what matters.

Some people can take these to extremes and even formulate “low-low-fat” diets, where no overtly fatty foods like nuts, seeds, or avocados are eaten, resulting in less than 10% of total calories coming from fat.

Even though nuts and seeds should be limited, let’s not forget that they contain important nutrients that cannot easily be found in fruits and vegetables, and I personally don’t recommend following any of these ultra-low-fat diets for any considerable period of time, outside of short-term cleanses.

It’s also noteworthy to consider that the  low fat raw vegan diet is rather new, and almost no one in the history of mankind has actually eaten that way for more than a couple of decades.

Therefore, it’s quite obvious that not *all* answers have been found and that although I think that the low fat raw vegan diet has much to offer, there’s still room for improvements, such as food quality/variety and individualization.

Ultimately there are a lot of overlaps between what I promote and many of the principles found in other low-fat raw and vegan regimes, I’ve just modified it over the years to allow for more individualization and long-term health.

So the best thing you can do to find out what works best for you is to experiment with different approaches and giving yourself permission to do so. Ultimately what matters is how you feel and the conclusions that you’ve reached for yourself.

September 24

Supplements and their merit or demerit is always a bit of a passionately discussed topic. On one end you will find people who have shelves and closets full of all kinds of bottles, boxes, potions, pills, and perfumes, and they swear by every single one of them. They also spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars on these supplements every month.

On the other hand, you have the naturalist: the people who won’t even think about taking anything that was isolated or altered from it’s natural state, meaning vitamin pills are out of the question. I’ve had personal experience and observations that I’ve experienced over the years on both sides.

Check out Dr. John McDougall’s take on supplements and whether or not they really are healthy, let alone necessary. You’ll learn:

  • The difference between taking things that are actually good for you vs. taking them on faith.
  • Why you might actually be flushing hundreds of dollars down the toilet each and every month.
  • How some nutrients, and a surplus of them, may actually cause more harm than good.
  • Why those big bottles of vitamin supplements could actually lead to cancer and heart disease.
  • How the food you eat and the nutrients in them all work synergistically together, not in isolation from each other.



I’m somewhere in between the gradient scale of the extremes of the naturalist and the superfood connoisseurs when it comes to supplements. Some people can greatly benefit from taking specific supplements, even isolated supplements, during certain times or for specific needs. Vitamin B12 is a great example of this.

But at the same time I don’t think you need to spend hundreds of dollars on all kinds of potions and pills to be healthy, either. Eating a varied diet filled with an abundance of fresh foods will take you much, much further than any amount of supplements ever could.

May 29

A few weeks ago I came back from a trip to Hawaii. I hadn’t taken a real vacation in a long time, so this was something I really needed. When I left to Hawaii, it was the end of April and the weather was still fairly miserable in Canada.

I arrived in Honolulu on a bright sunny day and we were greeted at the airport by my good friend Shelli, an awesome personal trainer I first met in San Diego almost 15 years ago.

Shelli brought us some pineapples and papayas so we would have something to eat right away until we could shop the next day. When I got to the hotel, I proceeded to devour an entire pineapple! I was so thirsty from flying that I needed something juicy.

In my entire time in Hawaii, I ate on average one pineapple a day. I brutalized my tongue with an onslaught of the delicious acid fruit, but fortunately Hawaii pineapples were ripe and not too acidic. I also did not eat them all at once but throughout the day.

This, of course, was in addition to all the other fruit I ate when I was there!

When I’m in the tropics, I find it easy to eat massive quantities of juicy fruits. When I’m in a colder climate, I crave heavier fruits, like bananas, and also temperate climate fruits, like apples, pears and cherries.

I’ve been eating fruit in massive quantities since 1997 and I believe it’s only helped my health. All the health troubles I suffered in my years as a pure raw foodist were not caused by eating fruit, but rather by eating:

– Too much fat
– Too much dried fruit
– Oil
– Complicated raw food recipes
– Insufficient quantities of fruit

15 years later, my diet consists mostly of carbohydrates like fruit. My teeth are doing great (no cavities), I’m getting in better shape every year, and fruit is still the food that I love the most — as long as it’s ripe and delicious.

To all the naysayers that say fruit is evil, fruit is bad for you… consider these 10 good reasons to eat more fruit:

Fruit is the best carbohydrate — The human being is meant to live primarily on a diet of carbohydrates. That’s what all long-lived populations in the world eat, such as the Okinawans in Japan (sweet potatoes), the Costa Ricans of the Nicoya Pininsula (corn tortillas, beans, rice and fruit), the healthier Asian populations (rice), the Hunzas (fruit), and the best athletes in the world. Fruit is the best carbohydrate food because it is alkaline forming (grains are slightly acid-forming, and animal foods are very acid forming). It’s rich in vitamins and minerals and packed with nutrients.

Fruit doesn’t require any seasonings — Fruit is probably the only food that people love to eat in its natural state without any seasonings. It’s perfect on its own. Who wants to add salt and pepper to a papaya? A pineapple doesn’t need any dressing, and a banana is perfect as it is.

Fruit is low in sodium — Fruit is naturally low in sodium and because it doesn’t require any seasonings, eating more fruit will help you lower the overall sodium content in your diet. The more calories you get from fruit, the less sodium-rich your diet will be. This will in turn lower your blood pressure and keep you healthier.

Fruit is low on the glycemic index — It’s a myth to think that fruit quickly raises blood sugar. In reality, fruit is low on the glycemic index. While a piece of white bread has a glycemic index of 95 (high), a banana is 54 (low), a peach is 42 (low), and grapes are 46 (low). Only a few fruits, such as dates, have a high glycemic index (103 for dates). The reason why fruit is so low on the glycemic index is that fruit contains a combination of sugars: fructose, sucrose and glucose. Each sugar is assimilated at a different rate. Fruit also contains plenty of fiber, which slows down the assimilation of sugar. In this sense, fruit is the perfect energy food. It contains some sugar that is assimilated immediately, giving you instant energy, and some that are assimilated slowly, giving you long-term energy.

Fruit is hydrating — Fruit is so full of water that it’s not only a food in itself. It’s a drink! Many fruits are over 90% water.

Fruit is fast food — Fruit can be easy and quick to eat. What could be easier than peeling a mango and eating it? Or biting on a ripe peach? Almost all fruits are conveniently packed, wrapped in their own mother-nature containers we call peels, and ready to be consumed. There are a few exceptions though, such as the spiky durian, or the giant jackfruit, whose skin is full of a sticky substance similar to glue!

Most long-lived cultures eat fruit — The Hunzas, who for a while were reputed to be some of the longest-lived people in the world, probably ate more fruit than most cultures in the world. Although fruit can be a delicacy in many cultures, most long-lived cultures in the world today and long-lived people anywhere typically eat a lot of fruit. For each centenarian we can find that smokes constantly and eats a junk food diet, you’ll find many more that eat plenty of fruit.

Fruit is packed with antioxidants — Fruit is packed with cancer-fighting antioxidants — so much that many companies are trying to concentrate this goodness into expensive fruit juices and pills. Almost all of the anti-aging compounds that are the most effective are found in fruit. Think of the reputed richness of antioxidants in blueberries, pomegranate juice, açaí berries, and the tropical mangosteen. Colored fruits are almost always packed with healthy compounds we are only beginning now to research and understand.

Fruit keeps you lean — Fruit is the perfect weight loss food. Just eat a large apple before any meal, and it will fill you up and prevent you from overeating at the table. Fruit is filling because it’s filled with fiber and water, yet it is low in calories. Fruit, on average, contains 250 calories per pound. On the other hand, bread contains 1200, starches are 500, and nuts are 2800! Only vegetables have a lower caloric density than fruit. That means you can fill up on fruit and be certain to never get fat!

Fruit Makes You Beautiful — David Wolfe, who published my first book The Sunfood Cuisine, used to say that beautiful people eat a lot of fruit. Research has shown that certain compounds in fruits and vegetables, like carotenoids, help the skin look more vibrant and beautiful. One research even showed that people who eat a lot of fruits and vegetables are considered more attractive because the carotenoids gives the skin a healthy natural “tan” look. (http://www.psypost.org/2011/01/carotenoids-attractive-skin-tone-3547). Just make sure you don’t drink too much carrot juice though, otherwise your skin might turn orange!

You don’t have to become a fruitarian to get the benefits of fruit. Start eating more fruit today, beginning with your favorite one! My favorites include pineapple, white peaches, Hawaiian papaya, Rainier cherries, just to name a few.

What about you?

Have you noticed that many raw food leaders, who once proclaimed that the 100% raw food diet is ideal no matter what, are now coming out of the closet and revealing that they themselves are eating some cooked food?

Raw foodists tend to make a big deal out of it, like when vegans give up and say that eating meat is okay, or politicians revealing that they do some drugs occasionally.

I’ve been looking forward to a new book by Victoria Boutenko. It finally came out today!

The book is called “Raw & Beyond – How Omega-3 Nutrition Is Transforming the Raw Food Paradigm. You can get it at Amazon.com, or Amazon Canada, or Amazon UK.

The book is actually co-written by three authors: Victoria Boutenko, Elaina Love and Chad Sarno.

Strangely enough, the first part of the book, written by Victoria Boutenko, reminds me a bit of my book The Raw Secrets (published in 2002), where I explained how the raw food diet made me sick and debunked the “raw food is law” paradigm.

It seems that many people, through painful trial and error, are coming to the same conclusion.

I give Victoria a lot of credit, because she’s the one who used to say that eating 99% raw was “not enough.” In her first book “The 12 Steps to Raw Foods,” she talked about her amazing discovery of the raw food diet and the health transformation that her family had following it. She said that even 1% cooked food was enough to keep the cravings alive.

In Green for Life, Victoria acknowledged that raw foodists often reach a “plateau” in their health. But technically, a plateau is when you stop making progress. In this case, she talked about how her family and many people she knew actually got worse on the raw food diet, after a few years of non-stop improvements. She attributed it to a lack of greens in the raw food diet, and recommended green smoothies.

In this new book, she finally says it: I thought 100% raw was best, no matter what, but now I think it’s okay to eat some cooked foods.

I’m paraphrasing, of course.

In her introduction, she reminds me a lot of what I wrote in The Raw Secrets:

“For many years the theory of the raw food diet seemed so flawless to me that I couldn’t find any errors in it . I was following a 100% raw food lifestyle and I was trying to inspire as many others as possible to follow. Years later, to my surprise, I found major flaws hiding in two of my favorite statements:

“Anything raw is superior to anything cooked”
“Raw food is best for humans because all animals in the world consume 100% raw food.”

She then goes on to talk about her experience with green smoothies, and how that made an improvement. But, it was not enough.

“Adding green smoothies to our diet still did not bring us perfect health.”

Finally, she blames her raw food diet as being too high in fat, particularly in omega 6 fats found in nuts, seeds and oils. The book presents some excellent research on the topic.


I’m so glad that Victoria finally agrees with the low-fat message, after all these years.

She even agrees that eating cooked foods is better than loading up on nuts and seeds, which is something, honestly, I never thought she would say, given Victoria’s strong stance against cooked foods.

I don’t agree with all of Victoria’s conclusions, such as the raw diet being harder to follow in colder climates due to lower quality produce, but her experience is nonetheless fascinating.

I think the raw food diet IS more difficult to follow in colder climates, but this has little to do with the quality of the produce. It has more to do with the colder temperature. Many people do manage if they find a supplier of imported tropical fruit they can buy in bulk.

In one chapter, she says:

“I still don’t know if it was a coincidence that my family first began to experience difficulties on a raw food diet after we moved from sunny Colorado to rainy Oregon. I think we would have avoided many of our health problems if we had included some cooked food in our diets right then, instead of loading on nuts and nut butters for several years.”

Elaina Love

In the second part of the book, Elaina Love also comes to similar conclusion. She even says “I have noticed that, for whatever reason, I often don’t look as healthy while eating a 100% raw diet. I can’t explain why. When I’ve added some cooked food back into my diet, people often say to me, “You look great! What are you doing?” I find it interesting that when I’m eating some cooked food instead of only raw, I get more compliments on my looks.”

As a side note to this, when I was younger, maybe 25 or 26, I used to be a lot skinnier. My face looked quite thin. Occasionally, I would binge on cooked foods, and not always the healthiest kind. The next day, I would go to a party and people would say, “You look good — stronger.”

In reality, my face was just puffy! But to people, that looked better than a skinny face.

I’m not saying that this is the same that Elaina Love experienced, but I’m just relating some of my experience on how people have perceived my looks based on their own weight expectations.

Chad Sarno: High Cholesterol on a Raw Food Diet

My favorite part of the book was the chapter written by Chad Sarno.

Chad is an amazing chef. I met him in Portland almost 10 years ago, when he was getting started and would design raw food menus for restaurants in London.

At the time, Chad would often eat large salads with kale and oil, and thought it was healthy.

In his chapter, he talks about his first blood test he got done after he was hired to be a chef for Whole Foods Market. He discovered that his cholesterol was high, and that his triglycerides were off the chart.

So what did he do? He decided to go on a 100% whole food diet, with no agave, no maple syrup, no coconut oil, no olive oil. He focused on greens, beans and grains.

In four mouths, his cholesterol dropped by 100 points and his triglycerides went back to normal.

Chad was eating a typical raw food diet with some gourmet dishes, and his blood test was showing him that he was at a high risk for heart disease, even according to American standards, which are not the healthiest in the world.

The he talks about his change in diet, and why he’s living an oil-free lifestyle (I just came up with that phrase!).

He eats beans, grains, whole foods, some avocados and nuts. It was not clear how much fruit he eats now.

Finally, the book includes a ton of great recipes. Most recipes don’t include any nuts and seeds, and the chefs have even chosen to include some lightly steamed foods in some recipes. That’s cool with me. I thought the recipes would be oil-free though, and they are not. So this is a bit strange given than oil is the highest source of fat you can eat. Personally I would omit all of the oil from the recipes.  I NEVER use any oil and our food is still delicious.

Raw Food Leaders Coming to Terms With Reality

I think Raw & Beyond is a very positive book for the raw food world. It’s about time that raw leaders wake up and realize that a lot of what they’ve been saying for years simply isn’t true.

I now feel like an old-timer with the low-fat message. I personally went through a similar process, when I first wrote my book Raw Secrets in 2002. That’s almost 10 years ago! Back then, I was already talking about the concept that just because something is raw, it doesn’t mean it’s healthy, and why raw foodists eat too many nuts and seeds.

At the time, I didn’t get it completely. I still used some oils, and did not ban them completely from my diet until 2005 or so.

The list of former raw foodists is growing every year now, and I know many people are confused and wonder why people who used to be strict raw foodists are now eating cooked food.

The reason is simple: They’ve grown up!

If you look at a lot of the advice given by raw food experts, it simply doesn’t hold water.

In my last book Raw Food Controversies, I spent 400 pages debunking many raw food myths. I used to be one of the lone voices on the subject, but now many others have joined. Thankfully, the 80/10/10 Diet by Doug Graham is becoming really popular and many are waking up to the reality of fat and oils not being a health food.

In the end, I still believe that fruits and vegetables are the best foods we can eat, but as I’ve said many times, eating a low-fat diet is more important than eating an all-raw diet.

What About the 80/10/10 Diet?

Someone familiar with the 80/10/10 Diet might read Raw & Beyond and analyze it in a different way. For example, a case could be made that Victoria, Elaina and Chad never tried to eat a true low fat raw food diet, which would be a very high-fruit diet, with no oil and minimum amounts of nuts and seeds.

80/10/10 people eat a ton of fruit to compensate for the lack of nuts and seeds, or cooked foods, and many do extremely well on this diet.

I personally have had great results with the 80/10/10 diet. In fact, I eat an 80/10/10 diet in terms of my ratio of calories (I get less than 10-12% of my calories from fat on average). The only difference is that I no longer eat an all-raw 80/10/10 diet.

That’s my preference. I go through different phases of eating more and less fruit seasonally depending what’s available.

As I’ve explained in my book Raw Food Controversies, there are pros and cons to each approach. Some prefer and feel better eating 100% raw, while others, like me, prefer to also include cooked foods.

Of course, if someone eats both cooked and raw foods, they’re no longer a raw-foodist, according to a true definition of the term, which would be “someone who only eats raw foods.”

So be it.

As I’ve said many times, it’s better to be healthy than stick to a philosophy just for the sake of it and suffer.

On the other hand, you’ll always have many people who will claim to feel a lot better on a 100% raw food diet. That’s okay too.

Here’s what matters:

1) Eat a plant based diet — get rid of the dairy, meats, and other animal products.

2) Get rid of the oil — eliminate all olive oil, flax oil, coconut oil, or other refined oils. They do more harm than good. They’re just refined foods, and can put you at risk of heart disease just as fast as animal products.

3) Limit fats — that includes avocados, nuts, seeds, etc. Eat them in very small quantities, like 1-2 ounces of seeds in one day, or half an avocado. Don’t eat multiple fatty foods a day.

4) Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.

5) Eat your greens!

6) Exercise.

7) Enjoy your food!

I think the new book Raw & Beyond will wake up some people, thanks to Victoria’s popularity. Make sure to check it out.

It just came out today, so you can already order it:

Amazon.com: http://amzn.to/wbR6Y9
Amazon Canadahttp://amzn.to/xqaMWt
Amazon UKhttp://amzn.to/zmvMgA

When I first went raw in 1997, I quickly discovered delicious gourmet raw food cuisine.

Unfortunately for my health, the raw cuisine promoted at the time (and still in vogue today), was filled with raw fats and condiments.

For example, in one big personal salad, I could have included:

– Several tablespoons of olive oil
– An entire avocado (or two)
– A handful of pine nuts or walnuts
– Soy sauce
– Onions, garlic, etc.

These salads were satisfying, but left me extremely tired after eating them. No wonder: I was consuming most of my calories from fat!

In fact, these salads contained more fat that a typical value meal at McDonald’s.

Over the years that followed, I went to another “extreme,” by going back to a lower-fat diet and eliminating all condiments completely.

In my book The Raw Secrets, I even spoke against common condiments such as garlic and hot peppers.

But where do I stand today?

One of the biggest problems I’ve always had with the raw food diet is the inability to enjoy simple, raw salads.

No matter how much I tried to convince myself that a salad consisting of a romaine lettuce, some tomatoes and half an avocado was extremely healthy, I simply did not enjoy it!

For years, I stood staunchly with my “no-condiment” policy, avoiding raw garlic at all costs and minimizing my use of condiments in any raw recipes.

I had no problems eating simple fruit meals and smoothies … but when it came to vegetables, I just didn’t enjoy them as much without some kind of seasonings.

Many raw foodists make an effort to eat everything 100% raw, while worrying about little things, such as whether the dried herbs they are using are truly raw.

Over the years, I have found that it’s better to make some compromises and actually enjoy your food than try to stick with an impossible-to-follow ideal.

Some people are perfectly happy eating a bowl of romaine lettuce and a few tomatoes for dinner. But most people — myself included — would feel pretty dissatisfied after eating such a boring meal.

So should you avoid all condiments? And if you do use them, should they be 100% raw?

I believe that it’s the big things that matter, not the little things.

Having a few relatively healthy condiments on an overall healthy meal is NO BIG DEAL, even if some of these products are not 100% raw.

Don’t miss the forest for the trees. “Better” is the enemy of the good, sometimes!

That being said, here are some condiments you can use, regularly or occasionally, to add enjoyment to your raw food meals:

– Homemade Seasonings: I showed how to make healthy condiments out of dehydrated vegetables in my DVD series, “The Low Fat Raw Vegan Cuisine.” The idea is simple: dehydrate pieces of celery, bell peppers, cabbage or any other vegetables. Then turn them into a powder in a VitaMix or coffee grinder. These powders add a lot of taste to salads and dressings!

– Garlic: A lot of raw recipes taste incredibly better with a little garlic, for example a guacamole dish. The trick is to only use a little. When you blend garlic, you oxidize it and make it less strong. I don’t eat raw garlic daily, but sometimes use it in some recipes. I must say that I don’t experience any negative effects from occasional garlic use.

– Green Onions: Any salad or raw soup tastes better with green onions (also called spring onions)!

– Thai Chili: I must admit that I do love spiciness, even though I come from a background of natural hygiene. Certain recipes, especially if they are Asian-inspired, can be made incredibly tastier and more authentic with a little spiciness to them, such as from Thai chili pepper. The trick is to use fresh ingredients, and not hot sauces, which tend to affect the body more negatively due to everything else they contain.

– Chipotle Powder (by Frontier): This organic seasoning by Frontier is great for those who like a little spiciness. It really adds a kick to a salad or Savory Veggie Stew, even though it’s not raw.

– Salad Sprinkle (by Frontier): A great addition for some kick to your everyday salad.

– Chinese Five Spice (by Frontier): Includes the flavors of sweet, sour, salty, bitter and spicy for a great addition to any Asian creation.

– Mexican Fiesta (by Frontier): For any Mexican-style dish that needs a little more seasoning than just the spicy taste.

– Herbamare: This is a seasoning found in health food stores that contains salt. The raw vegan diet is very low in salt, therefore using a sprinkle of a salty seasoning on top of a salad will not put you in a terrible risk bracket for salt consumption. Most of the raw recipes I make taste pretty good without salt, but sometimes adding a tiny bit makes the difference between an “okay” recipe and a great one.

– Ceylon Cinnamon (soon to be available from us): Tastes WAY better than cassia (regular) cinnamon and has a natural sweet, bright, and not-dry flavor. It’s great in raw dishes, smoothies and puddings.

– Tahitian Vanilla (soon to be available from us too): Larger, more fragrant and soft and flexible, unlike bourbon vanilla. This means you can use it in raw dishes easily by scraping out the seeds and even make your own organic vanilla extract at home!

If you truly enjoy the foods you’re eating, I don’t recommend to “add” anything to make it better. But sometimes having a few seasonings can really make a difference and make the program much easier to follow and enjoyable.

Remember that the body adapts pretty quickly. If you never eat any onions or garlic, you’ll probably feel strange eating them. But if you eat them fairly regularly in small quantities in recipes, your body adapts to it and they no longer bother you.

The trick is to enjoy your food … and be healthy!

Candida – An Introduction

When we speak of Candida, we are referencing a group of yeast-like microorganisms that thrive in the human body in parts such as the mouth, throat, intestines and the genitourinary tract. In at least 80 percent of normal and healthy individuals, these microorganisms live in the mouth, throat, intestines and urinary or genital tract, without any apparent harmful effects. It begins to become a problem when this natural Candida yeast population gets out of control and an uncurbed multiplication of the yeast cells occurs. This eventually results in a condition known as Candidiasis. The most common reasons that can make this growth go beyond the average levels include:

· Poor nutrition, a high fat diet, lots of refined flour and sugar

· Stress

· Improper lifestyle

· Antibiotics

· Contraceptive use

· Pregnancy

· Diabetes

· Allergies

How Does Fat Feed Candida?

Candida is a form of natural yeast that the human body creates to eliminate any surplus sugar levels in the body. As you attempt to find dietary cures for Candida, it is first critical to understand what the main-food ingredients of your diet, do to your body. An excessive fat level in the body is the first and most critical ingredient that contributes to the growth of Candida. When you consume exceedingly fatty foods, the fat levels in your blood begin to increase along with the blood sugar level. This superfluous fat will then line the walls of the blood vessels, damage the structure of sugar molecules and eventually coat the insulin with fat, affecting the overall metabolic activity. Consequently, the excessive fat prevents insulin from discharging sugar out from the bloodstream. Consistent high levels of fat will keep the sugar levels perpetually elevated. This increased amount of sugar will then proceed to support the large Candida colonies instead of supplying nutrition to your cells, which is its original purpose. Experts suggest that if you are vulnerable to suffer from Candida often, you should avoid fats and oils, the following list is not exhaustive:

· Cottonseed oil

· Corn oil

· Peanut oil

· Avocados

· Soy oil

· Nuts/Seeds

If you are keen on handling your Candida through a low fat diet approach, it is essential that you keep the percentage of calories contained in fatty foods below 10 percent for an extended period of time. Please bear in mind, that you will receive more than enough fat from fruit, vegetables and leafy greens.

A high-fruit diet – Your way to cure Candida

Fruits are considered beneficial to control Candida. As we have already highlighted, sugar is not the cause of Candida, rather it is the excess consumption of fats. If you maintain a high fruit low fat diet for a number of weeks your Candida issues will be resolved. Candida exists to serve an essential function, it is trying to bring your body back to a state of homeostasis. If you stop putting in the excess oils and fats, the Candida will no longer have a purpose and will dissipate as it is intended. Unfortunately the majority of advice is to steer clear of fruits when suffering from an influx of Candida. As a result many people go on for extended periods of discomfort and disease with this problem, when the solution is simple. Any easily digestible fruit is recommended:

  • Blackberries, raspberries, blueberries
  • Watermelon
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Apples
  • Apricots

I have seen people who have suffered long term, or on a highly reoccurring basis from Candida, cure this problem within weeks, if not days, on this low fat high fruit approach.

January 21

UPDATE! Raw Food Controversies is now available! Get your copy here

As my book Raw Food Controversies is about to be launched, you may be wondering exactly what will be in this new book. I must say that a lot of it will be a big surprise. But today, I will share with you some exclusive content.

By the way, the book will officially be available for pre-orders next week and will probably ship the following week. To make sure you’re on the pre-launch list and to receive exclusive exclusive content from the book, go to:


The book covers a lot of ground. Here’s a quick preview of some of what is covered:

  • My shocking story finally told! Exactly what happened that made me almost destroy my health on the raw food diet, from vegetarian, to vegan, to natural hygiene, to raw and back all over again, trying every diet under the sun. Learn from my mistakes to avoid them!
  • Food combining exposed: The truth behind food combining, is it necessary or is it a useless set of rules?
  • Natural Hygiene: Discover the deadliest mistake. Why most natural hygiene diets don’t work, and what to do about it.
  • How to deal with winter on the raw food diet. If you live in a cold country, you will want to read this!
  • Surprising facts about sleep: how to have more energy, sleep less and feel better waking up every day.
  • The true story of the incredible dental problems I had on my first years on the raw food diet (almost 40 cavities) and how I managed to stay decay-free ever since.
  • Why did certain raw food advocates such as TC. Fry die so young? Surprising facts are finally revealed.
  • The truth about detox: Why most of the time it’s not detox, how to tell if it is.
  • The truth about raw food recipes: an insider story’s inside of California’s number one raw food restaurant and my shocking revelations on the unhealthy lifestyle led by its raw food advocates.
  • What are the top three foods you should NEVER eat raw (and why).
  • My mysterious raw sickness: how I got incredibly sick and almost died from eating the raw food diet the wrong way. Exactly what happened to me and how to make sure the same doesn’t happen to you.
  • The truth about cravings: why most raw-foodists have cravings and what to do to be free from junk food addiction.
  • The death of raw-foodists: the fatal mistakes that people made that led to the unfortunate death of some dear raw-foodist friends, and how to avoid them.
  • The truth about the liver flush: Scientific proof of what actually happens when you do a liver or “gallbladder” flush.
  • The raw curse: how the body becomes extremely sensitive to drugs and cooked foods on the raw food diet, and the one thing you must tell your doctor if you’re going to undergo any operation or hospitalization!
  • How to fast and not to fast: The never-told-before story of my 23-fast in Costa Rica. Exactly what happened and how you can use fasting to your advantage, if done properly.
  • Is low-fat cooked better than high-fat raw? Find out the pros and cons of eating 100% raw versus a mostly raw diet.
  • What I eat now: what I eat on a typical day, and the best tips I have found to increase my energy and long-term success on the raw-food diet.
  • My thoughts on feeding children on the raw food diet, and why they can’t thrive on low-fat raw vegan diet.
  • The SIX supplements you should NEVER take, no matter what.
  • What you should know about B12, and how to avoid this dangerous deficiency.
  • Superfoods exposed! What you need to know raw cacao, honey, green juice, green powder, coconut oil, agave nectar, acai, spirulina, maca, goji berres, seaweed, and more!
  • What raw-foodists should know about DHA and other essential fatty acids: can you get them on a raw vegan diet?
  • Important facts you should know about vitamin D, especially if you live in a Northern climate.

Raw Food Controversies will be about 430 pages long. It covers a lot ground and unlike most raw food books, is backed by over 130 scientific references.

If you would like to receive more exclusive content from my new book Raw Food Controversies, make sure you sign up for the pre-launch list at:


Tomorrow I will be sending an exclusive chapter from the book to the pre-launch list. Stay tuned!

One question that always interests me when I meet someone following a high-fruit diet is what is their specific approach. Many people follow a high-fruit diet while not exactly following the 80-10-10 Diet exactly as Dr. Graham describes it in his book.

In a recent visit to Panama, I asked Loren Lockman, director of the Tanglewood Wellness Center what’s different between his approach and the 80-10-10 Diet. Watch the video and after I’ll tell you where I personally differ as well.

What’s the Difference Between Frederic’s Approach and the 80-10-10 Program

First, I must say that I have learned a great deal with Doug. His writings have of course been extremely useful, but more importantly attending his live events and learning from him in person has given me many breakthroughs over the year in my overall health, diet and fitness programs. He’s certainly been one of my main mentors, and also a great inspiration. If you can afford his live events, I certainly recommend them highly.

I agree with the major points exposed in the 80-10-10 Diet. Here’s some of the minor items where I differ:

1) B12 Supplement and Vitamin D — I do make vitamin B12 and vitamin D important nutritional considerations for raw-foodists. Based on all the research that currently exists, I do not think it is wise to simply “wait to see if you get a deficiency and then supplement if you need it”. A B12 supplement is an excellent insurance policy for every raw vegan. As for vitamin D, deficiencies are possible (especially if you live most of the year in in Northern clime), so the best thing to do is to get yourself tested if you have any doubts, and if necessary include a supplement in your program, during those months.

2)  Steamed Vegetables— Between a low-fat cooked food meal and a high-fat raw food meal, which one is best? Most raw-foodists will say raw is always best. Dr. Graham will say that it’s like asking if you want to shoot yourself in the foot, or the hand. So both are equally detrimental.

I say that based on all the nutritional research that is available, we know for a fact that a meal of steamed potato and broccoli will be INFINITELY healthier than a high-fat raw food meal with lots of  nuts and oil, and I’ve been saying the same since 2002.

Some people have criticized me for not being 100% raw, all the time, and even promoting steamed vegetables as a healthy alternative to high-fat raw meals has turned off quite a few raw-foodists. I’ll keep saying the same:  If eating a few steamed vegetables helps you stay healthy and raw and avoid high-fat raw meals, it’s a better compromise.

3) 10% Fat — Dr. Graham says that the ideal diet should not contain more than 10% fat by percentage of total calories. He believes that there are predictable health declines that occur in many areas of health when a person goes above that amount.

Going through the research available on the subject in various medical and nutritional studies, I find that the evidence generally supports this theory. However, the exact percentage is debatable. Even Dr. Graham himself, in person — is rather flexible when it comes to the percentage. He says “some people are happy with 15%, but above 20%, optimal health cannot be maintained” (I paraphrase).

So here’s it’s not so much that I differ with what he says. I found in my personal experience that I generally shoot for 10% fat, but often achieve 15%. If you’d average out everything I eat over one year, you’d probably find that my average fat intake hovers around 12 to 15%. I’m slightly above the ideal maximums, but I find that it works and of course I’m always trying to improve myself.

4) Calories. As opposed to Loren, I do think that calories ARE important and consuming enough fruit is one of the keys to success on the raw food diet. I recommend eating according to your needs, and of course those needs are different for everybody. A top athlete will need to eat more than a sedentary person.

That’s what Dr. Graham says as well, and I’m sure that Loren Lockman would also agree with those conclusions.

Dr. Graham feels that it would be best to increase your activity levels so that you’d need more calories, therefore eat more fruits and vegetables, and in the end get more nutrients than a sedentary person.

However, I can’t deny the mountain of evidence that shows that calorie-restricted diets and/or periodic fasting dramatically increase longevity in animals. A high-calorie, high-fruit low-fat raw diet combined with a high-intensity lifestyle is ideal for peak performance, but in terms of longevity, if it’s maintained throughout life it might not lead to increased lifespan.

Fortunately, our lives are relatively long (compared to laboratory animals), so there’s always time to make adjustments down the road. As we get older, lowering the total caloric intake becomes more and more important.

The last point is actually not in disagreement with Dr. Graham’s philosophy, but simply a different way to look at it.

So as you can see most of these are minor points, where my point of view slightly differs. What do you think? How do you apply the principles of the low-fat raw food diet into your life?

Interview With Dr. Graham, Part 2


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NOTE: The best way to get started with the 80-10-10 Diet is with the Perfect Health Program. It contains over 12 hours of information and interviews with me and Dr. Graham on the 80-10-10 Diet, and more!