Today I’m going to cover the important topic of water. This is an excerpt from my full Raw Vegan Mastery course available at http://www.fredericpatenaude.com/rawveganmastery
The Difference Between “Organic” and Non- Organic Minerals
I heard many times from raw-food circles that only minerals in plants can be assimilated by the human body. Rock minerals or minerals in water are not assimilable.
In some Natural Hygiene books, minerals from plants are called “organic” minerals and those from rocks are called “non-organic”.
Some people have even claimed that the cooking process turns organic minerals into toxic, non-organic ones.
If you want the quick answer: minerals in plants are best but we can still assimilate a tiny amount of minerals found in water and other sources.
Here’s the longer answer:
How well a mineral ion is absorbed in the body depends on the environment it is in.
The stomach acids break everything down while the intestines reduce the acidity so that it can better absorb what was eaten.
So in doing so, additional anions, (negatively charged ions that the body produces) may bind with the mineral ions that you ate. So while you need iron in your diet, sucking on an iron bar is likely not going to help you.
In your body, iron is surrounded by the heme molecule. Many of the trace minerals in your body have some sort of protein molecule attached to it.
This prevents the mineral ions from reacting with the alkaline chemicals your body produces. In many cases these protein molecules effectively surrounds these metal ions.
It helps with better absorption because some of these molecules can easily attach itself to the intestine. This doesn’t mean that non-organic is mineral useless. It just means that once ingested, it has to “compete” with the chemicals that the body produces for proper absorption, with other mineral ions, and bind with protein molecules to attach to the intestine to be absorbed.
Plant sources already have the minerals attached to these biomolecules and hence are better absorbed.
Distilled Water and Health
“I heard that drinking distilled water can leech minerals from your body. Is this true? “
A lot of people believe distilled water to be dangerous based on information read on the Internet or other Natural Health Book. In fact, here’s what Dr. Mercola has to say about this:
“Many health fanatics, however, are often surprised to hear me say that drinking distilled water on a regular, daily basis is potentially dangerous.
Paavo Airola wrote about the dangers of distilled water in the 1970's when it first became a fad with the health food crowd. Distillation is the process in which water is boiled, evaporated and the vapor condensed.
Distilled water is free of dissolved minerals and, because of this, has the special property of being able to actively absorb toxic substances from the body and eliminate them.
Studies validate the benefits of drinking distilled water when one is seeking to cleanse or detoxify the system for short periods of time (a few weeks at a time).
Fasting using distilled water can be dangerous because of the rapid loss of electrolytes (sodium, potassium, chloride) and trace minerals like magnesium, deficiencies of which can cause heart beat irregularities and high blood pressure. Cooking foods in distilled water pulls the minerals out of them and lowers their nutrient value.”
At this point, I will agree with the conclusion that distilled water is not the best kind of water to drink, but will also point out that a lot of what Dr. Mercola said in his article (which you can find at: http://www.mercola.com/article/water/distilled_water.htm) is completely wrong.
Water, whether it is found in a spring or the tap, contains trace elements and minerals.
So calcium in your bones, the biggest mineral store will be used.
Distilled water is used to remove toxins from the body. It is what is used in kidney dialysis machines to cleanse the blood of toxins. It can also reduce potassium which is needed for proper heart function. Same with magnesium.
Distilled water can and does remove minerals from the body.
But fortunately, I don’t think there’s any evidence that this would be very dramatic — as long as you get enough minerals from your food in order to offset this.
In one article on Dr. Mercola’s website, it was claimed that:
“There is a correlation between the consumption of soft water (distilled water is extremely soft) and the incidence of cardiovascular disease. Cells, tissues and organs do not like to be dipped in acid and will do anything to buffer this acidity including the removal of minerals from the skeleton and the manufacture of bicarbonate in the blood.”
Here, Mercola is dead wrong on the issue!
Distilled water is neither acidic nor alkaline! What happens is that the body removes it from various parts of the body to use the minerals it needs for biological functions.
It’s not like acid is streaming through the body and dissolving your bones!
Overall, I think that drinking water that has some mineral ions in it is best, but I don’t think that drinking distilled water can be bad for health if you get minerals from other sources, such as a diet abundant in fruits and vegetables.
Dr. Mercola Continues:
“Those who supplement their distilled water intake with trace minerals are not as deficient but still not as adequately nourished in minerals as their non-distilled water drinking counterparts even after several years of mineral supplementation. The ideal water for the human body should be slightly alkaline and this requires the presence of minerals like calcium and magnesium”
There is no study, as far as I know, that shows that people drinking distilled water aren’t as adequately nourished as their non-distilled counterparts.
There will be too many factors to take into account.
I guess he is correct that the presence of the minerals will make the water slightly alkaline but drawing the conclusion of alkaline “good” and acidic “bad” is hardly scientific!
This was an excerpt from my full Raw Vegan Mastery course.
In the full version, you’ll also find out all about the best water to drink, if alkaline water is really good for health, if you should be really worried about the quality of tap water, what to think about water ionizers, and what are the best purification systems.
To get the full program, go to http://www.fredericpatenaude.com/rawveganmastery
Filed under Questions & Answers by Frederic Patenaude
Here are answers to some of the questions I’ve received lately.
Loose Stools on a Raw Food Diet
QUESTION: I, and a number of my friends have made an effort to use much more raw food in our vegetarian diet. But there is a serious problem that I have not see mentioned or dealt with before. When eating more raw foods, I and most of the people I know have had a BIG PROBLEM with VERY LOOSE STOOLS – which has stopped after eating less raw food. None of these people have a medical problem. This problem has persisted over time. Dave
ANSWER: Before I answer your question, I would like to ponder why big or loose stools would be a problem in and of themselves? In general we tend to compare our health to an artificial norm. Our health can be outrageously good but because it differs so much from the norm, we may start to see it as bad. “Abnormal” may simply mean “outside the norm.”
In the case of digestion, it’s a simple fact that if you get most of your calories from fruits and vegetables you’re going to be ingesting a tremendous amount of soluble and insoluble fiber. On top of that, fruits and vegetables are full of water.
Our digestion is also affected by our previous diet. So when you embark on a mostly or completely raw diet, it’s pretty normal to see a significant difference in your stool composition. Loose stools are not necessarily a problem — they can be simply a sign that you’re eating a very large amount of fiber.
Compact and almost dehydrated stools are the norm in a diet that is almost devoid of water and fiber. A raw food diet is very different.
People that are prone to constipation may find themselves to have normal or “average” stools when eating this way. Other people, more prone to diarrhea, may have more loose stools.
I’ve pondered this question for a long time and I’ve come to the conclusion that as long as other signs of health are there and that your overall digestion is good, stool composition is not much of an issue. It also takes some time for your body to adjust to a new diet.
People eating a raw food diet also tend to have more bowel movements and constipation goes away completely. Going to the bathroom for number one or number two takes almost the same time — as digestion is efficient and there are no dry stools to pass.
Another possible cause for loose stools is insufficient quantities of vegetables in the diet. Fruit contains mostly soluble fiber (meaning that the fiber is “soluble” in water, forming a gel-like substance). Soluble fiber tends to be passed quickly during digestion. Vegetables, like greens, contain more insoluble fiber. This type of fiber passes through the stools close to its original form. Therefore it can help form more “normal” looking stools and slow down your digestion a bit. A combination of fruits and vegetables is best for health.
Should I Replace Oats with Legumes?
QUESTION: Hello Fred, I’m Sam, I’m a guy from London, UK.. Firstly, I am in transition to becoming a raw ( vast majority) vegan, I’m already a vegan and since I’m 18, I believe the benefits are greater if started at a young age!. Well, I am doing extremely well…However, I have been eating oats for my last meal of the day and this is playing on the back of my mind but I feel I must have a shelf stable plant food always available and I am still in transition which I’m sure you understand the mental barriers. I do not eat any junk what so ever only wholefoods…but I am considering moving from oats ( grains ) to legumes, but would like your views on whether this would be of better benefit…it just seems more right in my mind for some reason. So if you could give me your view, I’d greatly appreciate it!
ANSWER: I do not see the consumption of oats as a big problem. Oat (such as steel-cut oatmeal) is quite nutritious and easily digestible to most people. Especially for someone of your age, it may be difficult to get all of your calories from just raw food. If your current program works for you, I would keep it up for a while. There is no rush to go 100% raw right away.
Legumes are in a completely different category as oats. Legumes are rich in protein, should never be eaten raw (as they can be poisonous that way), and in general most people should not eat more than 1 cup of day, if they eat them, because of the protein content. Oatmeal, on the other hand, is a source of calories. If you find that your current program works for you, keep it up. If overtime you find that cutting down the oats gives you better result, you’ll have to add extra fruit calories to make it work.
Did Meat Make Us Smarter?
QUESTION: Hello. I’m an avid follower and would appreciate your opinion and assistance. I am a raw foodist and recently was learning under Eric Rivkin and am considered a “raw foodist” however I just say I eat a whole foods, plant based diet. Question – without going into much detail -: my 25 yr old nephew was starting to eat a more plant based diet, with shakes/green smoothies and greens and really feeling more healthy, etc. but recently watched a movie as cited above, re cooked meat made us “smarter”. He feels the evidence of eating cooked foods are more “believable” and make more sense than the argument of “raw” foods. Unfortunately, I can not open the movie (yet) to watch it, and want to know if you have heard of it and have any points that could help me to defend a plant based diet is better than an all meat diet. Have you heard of this movie? Any musings you could offer would be appreciated.
ANSWER: The author you’re referring to is Richard Wrangham, who wrote the book “Catching Fire.” I wrote a post on the topic at: http://www.fredericpatenaude.com/blog/?p=283
Bottom line: cooked foods undeniably played a huge part in human evolution and may explain better how the human brain developed. However, in our modern world, we have the opposite problem: calories are too easily available. That’s why raw foods work as they are low in calories. In a survival situation, there’s no doubt that a “raw food tribe” would not have thrived for very long as opposed to a “cooked food tribe,” because cooked foods make it a lot easier to get more calories from foods that can be kept a long time. So it’s very doubtful that humans ever lived on a pure raw food diet.
However, in the modern world, raw foodists can thrive because we have access to a year-long supply of fruits and vegetables imported from all over the world.
Physical Appearance of Raw Food Authors
I am interested in giving Frederic’s raw diet a try, but I was concerned when I saw him interviewing Dr. Douglas Graham on YouTube.
This dr. has been raw for over 30 years so I would have thought he would look more vibrant. I found out he is 58 but I really would have guessed him to be older. I have seen many people who are that age who look younger and healthier than him even though they are not raw foodists, vegans, or even vegetarians. I am a vegan and as I mentioned am considering trying raw foods, but now I am discouraged after seeing how this Dr Graham does not have any kind of healthy vibrancy to his appearance. I wonder if this is what too much sugar does. Do you have any thoughts on this? Thanks, Mary
ANSWER: It’s easy to criticize someone’s appearance because they look different than our image of perfect health. Everybody ages slightly differently. Some factors that will affect your appearance when aging are:
- Genes determining hair loss or the appearance of white hair
– Lifetime exposure to sunshine which may age the skin faster
– Overall genetics
Some people may appear very healthy in appearance but are completely unhealthy under the surface. To give you an example, my own father died last year at almost 64 of a sudden heart attack. He had a full head of hair and very few gray hair for his age. I don’t seem to have inherited from that gene as I had more gray hair than him! But in spite of his appearance that made him look perhaps a decade younger, he was extremely unhealthy and died without a warning sign.
The problem is really that our culture is obsessed with youth. In fact, it’s probably one of the defining factors of the last few decades in the Western world. We judge people based on their youthful appearance and we value youthful beauty above any other factor.
In the case of Dr. Graham, I personally think he looks quite good for his age. Maybe my criteria are different, but I can confirm from having spent a lot of time with him that he’s extremely physically fit and in fact in much better shape than most people 30 years younger than him!
It’s important to look beyond the surface in order to find out what true health is.
QUESTION: I have recently bought several products from Frederic and really liked his information and recipes! However, I found that I often have indigestion, particularly from certain fruits high in fructose. My doctor says I may have fructose malabsorption and has recommended not to eat any fruit for some time to ease my symptoms and then gradually include small amounts again. Since then I have been eating mostly raw or steamed vegetables and small amounts of cooked whole grains to keep my energy up. I wonder whether Frederic has already made any suggestions to people with this condition (apparently it is quite common with something like 30% of people having fructose malabsorption). I don’t want to eat fat and I don’t get enough calories from just vegetables. I can eat half a cup of blueberries and one banana a day, otherwise I get stomach ache and intestinal cramps and really bad gas.
ANSWER: Fructose malabsorption may be a real condition but I think the term is thrown out there without much evidence. I recommend to follow a raw food diet that is nutritionally sound. This may not be a 100% raw food diet. The diet I recommend is also not completely fat-free. Make sure to include SOME fat in your diet, such as a few ounces of nuts per week. Bad digestion can have multiple causes and may not automatically mean fructose malabsorption. However, if someone truly suffers from fructose malabsorption then it is not possible to eat a raw food diet, because without fruit a raw food diet cannot be healthy. However, in my 15 years of experience I’ve never met such a person and I think the term should only be used if one has enough diagnosis tools to prove it.
Do I stand by The Raw Secrets?
QUESTION: Hello Frederic. I read your ebook recently” raw secrets”, do you still stand by what you wrote in that book today? you said we eat way too much oils/fats and protein and now you are positive on Amazon about the book Brandon Frazier wrote where he uses a lot of protein powders and oils/fats? how come? If you changed your mind of got new insight, please feel free to share…
ANSWER: I wrote a long essay on things that I have changed since my book The Raw Secrets was published in 2002. This will be released in a future book coming out this year. However, my brief answer to this is that I stand by most of what I wrote in Raw Secrets. The only difference is my sense of proportions and priorities. For example, in Raw Secrets I strongly came out against all seasonings such as garlic and onion. Now, although I still think it’s more optimal to eat your food bland (for health), I don’t think that using some seasonings is such a big deal.
Now, there’s a lot of talk these days about health and nutrition.
It’s all the rage. Everyone’s asking things like:
* What’s the ultimate healthy diet plan?
* How can we maximize our health?
* What are the best foods to eat?
But because nutrition can often be a finicky science, it’s difficult to find a definite answer to these questions.
Though someone may feel like they’ve find the one true way, there’s almost always another person who can contradict them with their results on a different style of eating, exercising, and so on.
I mean, it really is amazing how adaptable the human body is. Just take a look at any corner of the globe and you’ll find an immense diversity of lifestyle practices that people use.
But what does that mean for us? For people looking to get started on a healthier diet NOW? Where can we even begin? There’s got to be a better way of looking at things.
Well, there is. How about – instead of trying to figure health out from scratch – we start where we are and narrow things down.
So basically, a little bit of dietary process of elimination.
Here are 3 unhealthy foods that NO ONE disagrees with that are unhealthy:
* Hydrogenated 0ils, trans fats and deep fried foods.
Everywhere in the form of hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils in classic junk foods: chips, cookies, candies, and so on. Some of your favourites snacks that include hydrogenated oils might be Ritz Crackers or Twinkies and baking ingredients like margarine, or Crisco. All kinds of chocolate bars contain these hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils and some big name peanut butters (that everyone unknowingly thinks are good for them) do as well.
Deep fried foods like fries, chips, onion rings, pork rinds, corn dogs, chicken fingers, chicken fried steak etc can all be 50% fat or more by calories. When you deep fry foods, you essentially dehydrate them by pushing all of the water out of them and it gets replaced by oil in the deep fryer. So your innocent potato or battered zucchini stick is now 50% higher in fat now that it’s cooked. Eat these regularly and your waist line and arteries are going to start showing it.
Not only are these oils 100% pure fat (zero nutrients, fibre and minerals), they are processed at very high temperatures, creating the trans-fatty acids everyone knows are horrible for your arteries and body.
Don’t be fooled by clever marketing on packages, there is now a new term called mono and di glycerides that means hydrogenated oils as well. “A mono-glyceride (MG) is made of one fatty acid attached to glycerol, a di-glyceride (DG) is made of two fatty acids attached to a glycerol molecule, and a triglyceride is made of three fatty acids attached to glycerol.”
You will find this ingredient in many health food store snacks and products as well. Be sure to read labels!
Don’t buy products that contain hydrogenated, partially hydrogenated, mono or diglycerides, or anything else that sounds like a questionable ingredient.
* Refined white flour and white sugar.
White flour is what’s left after grains are stripped of their husk and bran, while white sugar is the pure sugar crystals refined from sugarcane or other agricultural products.
These empty-calorie foods overstimulate the taste buds and are extremely calorie dense with no nutrition to back them up. To be avoided.
* Processed meat products with nitrates.
Hot dogs, bologna, sausage and other lunch meats are one of the worst possible food choices you can make.
With excessive amounts of fat, salt, and flavorings, these products are difficult if not impossible to digest and do not nourish the body.
So there we have it. No one will ever be able to perfect the art of health, but it’s worth a shot. Simply get these 3 food groups out of your daily eating program and you’re already on your way!
Filed under Questions & Answers by Frederic Patenaude
I’ve received a few more questions about raw foods and health, since I started answering your questions in the last two ezines. I’m continuing today, although I cannot answer all the questions I’ve received.
To read my new book, “The Raw Vegan Coach”, which contains over 144 Questions and Answers on the raw food diet, make sure you take a look at my Raw Health Starter Kit at: http://www.fredericpatenaude.com/starterkit.html
Question About Gaining Weight
I am raw for two years now. and at first I lost lots of weight which I have been working to put back on at-least some of it. In the mean time I noticed my muscles are now not as toned. I eat lots of fruit smoothies and lots of greens. I am not sure as I have tried different ways of being raw. but am uncertain if I am doing the right thing to keep muscle tone and to manage firm non-sagging skin. Any suggestions on keeping the skin toned would be helpful.
I am male 6′1 and weigh 145. I have gained 18 lbs. since I lost weight last year.I typically would not like to weigh more then 148lbs. I am just uncertain which foods to eat for muscle, therefore I consistently go in and out of more fruit or more greens or more oils or more nuts. I do notice that when I have more oils and nuts that my mid section seems to get bigger. This is not the direction I would like to take, as I enjoy having a strong ab section and a small waist which I am having problems maintaining.
thank you so much for the support,
ANSWER: At your weight and height you’re at a very lean weight, but you’re still within the normal ranges of BMI. In fact, you’re probably at a very enviable body fat so your focus should really be to gain some lean muscle. I would not try to gain “weight” per say, but focus on better muscle tone. For all guys I suggest to do the pushup challenge, and also the “chinup challenge”, which are programs you can find on the Internet to work up to 100 pushups in a row and 20 chinups. That’s a good place to start but ultimately you want to also lift some heavy weight to build some mass, and at the same time you must consume enough calories to allow for growth, which I would guess for you would be at least 3000. You should be eating the predominant amount of calories from fruits and include 1-2 lbs or greens a day to aid in growing healthy muscle.
Garlic and Health
How does raw garlic and and onion affect your health negatively? I have only read rave reviews about the use of both but garlic especially.
ANSWER: Garlic is a natural antibiotic. Some people see that as a positive but I see it also as a negative. Do you want to ingest foods or drugs? Too much raw garlic can have a negative impact on your gut bacteria. Anti-bacterials don’t necessarily kill “bad” bacteria and leave the “good”. So you want to be careful with this. Don’t eat raw garlic just because you think you need to. Garlic also has strong oils that are eliminated through every pore of the body. Not to speak of the bad garlic breath… yuck! The next day most people smell of garlic which clearly the body is trying to get rid of. I’m not opposed to using a bit of garlic once in a while, but you will find if you eat raw long enough that after a while you will find it more offensive than attractive.
DHA and Hemp Oil
I am 66 yrs old, have been vegan 100% raw then high raw for 15 years. In a recent newsletter about vision I was told I should have two portions a week of oily fish to get DHA, to prevent age-related macular degeneration, or a portion of nuts a day. Influenced by what Fred says about low fat diet, I have cut out nuts, avocados etc. I have two dessertspoons of hemp oil a day in a dressing, although I know that Fred frowns on this. But this is supposed to give me all the omegas in the correct proportions, though not DHA but precursors that my body will convert into DHA. Can you shed any light on this, can plant sources and hemp oil replace fish, can you recommend what plant sources of omega threes and in what quantity will be adequate, e.g. how much hemp oil per day? What other sources and quantities. Thanks, Radha
ANSWER: There’s a bit of a debate on this issue. The two essential fatty acids we need are linoleic acid (LA), which is an omega 6 fatty acid, and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) which is an omega 3 fatty acid.
The ideal ratio is supposed to be 3:1, but most diets are too heavy in LA (omega 6) and low in ALA (omega 3).
We know that ALA is a precursor to longer-chain omega 3 fatty acids such as the famous DHA.
We also know that people can get this DHA directly from oily fish and fish oil supplements.
The debate is whether everybody actually converts ALA to these longer chain omega-3 that we need. It’s been claimed that in some people this conversion is not done very well, so that’s why the fish oils have been recommended.
For the vegan and raw foodist, the concern should be to avoid getting too many LA (omega 6) fats which are abundant in many oils that are too common in raw food dishes.
Overall it’s much more important to eliminate oils than to try to consume a lot of omega-3 sources of fat. Hemp seeds are a great source of essential fatty acids in the proper ratio, but I would highly recommend to eat them whole and ground up in salads or dressings, instead of refined in oil, so you get the full nutrition. Flax seeds are also good, as long as they are ground, although personally I don’t enjoy them very much. Hemp seeds have the best ratio though.
Don’t forget that the small amount of fat in green vegetables is also ALA, which is great! Eat your greens.
Some people who are worrying about DHA levels, especially elderly people or pregnant women, often supplement with a vegan, algae-derived form of DHA that is now sold by a few vegan doctors. I cannot say for sure that it works but it’s worth considering in those situations.
Can the suggested use of Teechino be a permanent replacement for coffee
or is it just utilized short term to ween us off coffee?
ANSWER: I’m a big fan of Teeccino because it got me off coffee, but I don’t drink it all the time. I don’t see any problems with drinking it though, and now the company that makes it has many different options for caffeine drinks. My advice: just get off the caffeine!
Canker Sores and Fruit
I love the concept of a low fat high fruit diet. I was wondering if anybody else gets canker sores from too much fruit and how do you get rid of them? I don’t want to stop eating this way but I cannot take these cankers sores! Any help is appreciated.
ANSWER: I suggest peeling your fruits and cutting them in advance before eating them, instead of taking oranges or other acid fruits and eating them whole and touching the peel with your lips.
What Is Gourmet Raw Foods?
Hello, Frederic! Thank you for creating such a informative website. I am a beginner raw-foodist in Japan. Here in Japan, raw food is getting rapidly popular. Unfortunately there is not enough information translated into Japanese. So, people who want to eat raw foods are struggling to know what is right or not. Even new business of Raw Food is starting, which does not very consider people’s health. They rather consider about Money, of course. You mentioned that “Gourmet raw food” is not healthy. What do you exactly mean for “Gourmet raw food”? I myself write a blog about raw food aiming to introduce the healthy good raw food for Japanese people. I’d like to know what kind of raw food is good and what is not so healthy.
ANSWER: A young lady just translated my book Raw Secrets into Mandarin Chinese, and it will be published next month. You are welcome to translate our material and get in touch with us for promoting our resources in Japan.
My definition of gourmet raw food is really: high fat raw foods. Recipes made with the sole purpose of tasting good, containing often a great amount of fat in the form of nuts and oils, flavored with salt and spices. What is healthy is fruits and vegetables, whole, blended, juiced or in salads are best.
I received a lot of raw food questions after my last blog post! I’m answering some more below. If you’d like to read my new book, The Raw Vegan Coach, where I answer over 147 questions on the raw food diet in-depth, make sure to order my Raw Health Starter Kit, the most complete kit of information on the raw food diet available. Get it at:
How to Heal Tinnitus Naturally
I have very bad ear ringing….what can I do for this??? I have been on say 70 to 80% raw foods for about 8 years, and now have been doing about 5 glasses of green and carrot juice for 53 days, hoping to help the situation, but so far its still ringing….thanks, Irena
ANSWER: Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) is a common problem in Western societies. Interestingly enough, it’s also something that can often be helped by improving your diet and lifestyle. A few years ago I met Don Bennett, author of an interesting website and blog, and a few books on the subject of raw nutrition and natural hygiene. He told the story of how he personally overcame Tinnitus with a clean raw diet. I would suggest checking out his story at: http://www.raw-food-health.net/DonBennett.html
Like I have said many times, it’s not what you eat that matters, but what you don’t eat. Your diet is only as strong as its weakest link. So in the 20 to 30% cooked that you eat, there may be many culprits that could be affecting your health negatively. The best way to clean up your diet and experience results quickly is to go on a cleanse, such as the green cleanse (http://www.fredericpatenaude.com/greenforlife.html), where you only consume raw fruits and green smoothies for at least a week, and no added fats.
You’ll want to remove all other non raw foods and complicated recipes from your diet until the ringing stops. Give your body a chance to heal before reintroducing these foods again.
Green Smoothies and Digestion
I absolutely love your approach and reading over and over your comments and books. I love fruit and my consumption of it keeps me very regular. I have found that when I eat more leafy greens I experience difficulty with bowel function. To combat that and keep the greens, I have been consuming 5-10 cups of green smoothies a day, with more fruit than greens. Question, is there enough calories for sustainability of muscle tone mass, exercise output and more with this amount of green smoothie, usually ending my dinner meal with a large salad?
ANSWER: It really depends what you put in those smoothies and how many calories you need. Supposing you need 2000 calories a day, I would suspect that you’re not consuming enough fruits. My recommendation would be to get rid of the dinner salad (you’re consuming enough greens in the form of green smoothies), and replace that with a fruit meal and see how that goes for a while. Contrary to what some raw food gurus say, it is possible to eat too many green vegetables, which in your case is upsetting your bowls.
Complicated Raw Food Recipes
The question from me: Do you eat “complicated” raw foods, with tens of ingredients? Dehydrated or fermented? I recently visited a raw food festival here in Europe, and had the opportunity to meet Dr. Graham, and i saw that he was not much into eating the “complex” foods (see the photos I’ve posted) but he was not against trying. I have the same approach, i try the dehydrated thing, if it is sweet it means it has some fruit in it and im fine eating it, but if it is a raw cake (nuts with dates) it makes me wonder why people eat them? When eating SAD they eat cakes because of craving something sweet, but when eating a diet predominantly on fruits why make and eat raw fat-sweet cakes? I assume its because they try to imitate the SAD diet. There are definitely no cakes growing on trees, or are there? ￼ Thank you for helping me, I will do the same at my time ￼ all the best, Vadim
ANSWER: I almost NEVER eat gourmet raw foods. I can count on one hand the times I have eaten high-fat, raw food recipes in the last 12 months. After over 14 years of experience, I can honestly claim that the high-fat raw food diet is one of the worst diets ever designed for health. When going to a raw-food restaurant, even the smell of dehydrating nuts and onions is nauseating to me. I have absolutely no desire to eat those foods and would rather eat steamed vegetables or potatoes over high-fat raw meals any day.
I sometimes eat dried fruit when we’re traveling and nothing else can be found, but not in large quantities. I don’t liketo eat fermented foods it’s very rare that I have those.
How to Clear Your Skin on Raw Foods
Do you have any suggestions to promote clear skin? I started taking a B-Complex supplement and I started breaking out. Also, I’m almost done reading your book Raw Secrets, its brilliant, do you have any suggestions on how much fruit a day is good to support a highly active lifestyle? Thank you for sharing.
ANSWER: To talk about clear skin would be a long conversation! A first step would be to dramatically lower the fat content of your diet, but keep eating a small portion of nuts a few times a week for essential fatty acids (1 ounce is enough). I do not recommend those B-Complex supplements. You will get all of the B vitamins you need in green vegetables (except for vitamin B12- you shuold supplement for that. For the quantities of fruit, I cannot really answer that question without knowing more! Most people need at least 1500 calories a day. An active woman might need 2000 or even 2500. Assuming you get 20-30% of your calories from vegetables, non-sweet fruits and small quantities of fat, then the rest can come from fruit! For example, on a 2000 calorie diet, as much as 1600 calories could come from fruit. That’s about 16 medium bananas — to give you an idea.
Fruit and Skin Rashes
Dear Fred. I enjoy your blog and many of your recipes. During the last few months, I have developed an allergy to fruits. I break out in a rash within 10 minutes after eating fruit. It doesn’t always happen with the same fruits and I haven’t been able to pin it down. I thought it might be a pesticide on the fruits, but it happened one time with organic fruits. Any suggestions. Benedril helps, but I hate to take it. Thank you for your comments. Noreen
ANSWER: It really depends what fruit. Since you did not give any details on which fruits are causing problems I can only give you this information. The most common fruit that causes rashes is mangoes, because the fruit is related to poison oak, but this is most often IN the mouth, not on the skin. The oil that causes the rash is located in the peel, and can affect the mouth, eyes and cheeks and even other body parts in some people. Be careful when eating mangoes to not touch the peel (if you’re sensitive). Carefully peel them and leave a generous amount of fruit close to the peel.
Other than that, I would suggest going on a fast because your body is obviously reacting negatively to what you’re eating and this is something that you developed which is a sign of body toxicity.
Fruit Sugar and Weight Gain
Your reply dealing with “fruit and sugar” interests me. Not so long ago another health source ‘Dr Mercola’ gave advice about fructose and weight gain. He suggested limiting fructose intake eg from fuit to (if I remember correctly) about 20 grams per day otherwise there would be continuous weight gain. I checked (from tables in his email) and my intake from fresh fruit is about 35 grams daily. But my weight is stable, and has been for some years. And I wondered whether fructose was the only culprit causing the weight gain.
But now – from reading your article – my thought is that as we also eat an almost fat free diet, that low fat might be the counter against the fructose.
Do you think that that thought is correct?
ANSWER: I do not agree with what most of Dr. Mercola has to say about health, and especially diet. All the research done on fructose was done with high-fructose corn syrup. No research has ever proven that eating fruit is bad for health. In fact, all the research published demonstrates otherwise.
Fruit is not just fructose but a combination of sugars. For example, bananas has a one-to-one fructose to glucose ratio.
Keep in mind however that fruit is a highly nutritious food. It is quite possible to gain weight eating fruit because it is rich in carbohydrates. If you consume more calories than you eat, you will gain weight. If someone wishes to drop a few pounds, watch out for fruit consumption and try to make smoothies containing somewhat more greens, and also eat more of the fruits with moderate sugar content, such as apples, pears, peaches, nectarines, cherries, berries — and reduce the high-sugar tropical fruits such as bananas and mangoes.
Coffee and Cooked Food Cravings
I have a question about coffee. When I first went raw (80-90 %), I lost all interest in coffee. I did drink white tea in the morning and this seemed to be just fine. Lately coffee has started tasting good to me again so I’ve been drinking some (most days I’m sorry to say). I am also noticing a desire for cooked food more then I did in the past (had no strong cooked food-urges for the first year of my predominately raw life). Would there be any connection between coffee drinking and cooked-food urges do you think? Or is it only a coincidence?
P.S. – I also think you are one of the best, most balanced, raw foodists out there and really enjoy your work.
ANSWER: Thanks for the compliments! For your information, white tea has the least caffeine of all the caffeinated drinks, containing even less than green tea. It’s possible that you’re feeling an emotional connection between coffee drinking and foods you liked in the past. I would recommend switching back to white tea and get some of the great Teeccino products to get rid of the coffee, but enjoy a tasty, caffeine-free alternative. Coffee is not a health food and should not be consumed often, let alone daily due to it’s stimulant and addictive nature.
Should We Avoid Fresh Herbs Like Basil?
Could you explain more in depth why herbs and spices should be avoided, such as basil and dill? I read your book but the information provided didn’t go into detail on the subject.
Thanks! PS: I don’t like the taste of herbs+spices anyway
ANSWER: There’s no need to avoid herbs such as basil and dill unless you do not enjoy them. My point was more about strong spices such as raw garlic and onions, that can negatively affect your health. All strong herbs have some degree of toxicity to them, but it could not affect your health in the quantities consumed. Nobody makes a salad out of basil and dill! So enjoy them to flavor your dressings and salads, in small quantities and fresh if possible!
I’m in Montreal, preparing for my trip around the world that starts in just one week, that will take me from Europe, through Asia and Pacific… with stops in several key cities where we will be meeting with raw-food enthusiasts and sharing the word about health.
In all the excitement, I haven’t been writing on my blog as much, but today I decided to make it up to you by answering your questions about health and raw foods.
If you have a question to ask, make sure you let me know. You can comment on this article at:
Grains and Honey
Frederic, what about grains and honey?
ANSWER: As I’ve explained in my book the Raw Secrets, fruit, vegetables and roots are superior to grains in many ways. Most fruits and vegetables (including roots like carrots or sweet potatoes) are alkaline-forming, while most grains are acid-forming. There is also a growing concern with gluten-containing grains, as a good portion of the population is either intolerant or sensitive (often without even knowing it). If grains are consumed, better to choose gluten-free grains such as amaranth, rice, buckwheat, and quinoa, if you choose to have any grains at all.
I’m especially against the sprouted-grain craze. Raw starch in those grains is particularly indigestible. This is one special case where it would be better to cook your food than eat it raw. In any case, fruit is superior to grains.
About honey: I’m not a big fan of honey, but occasionally (usually less than once a month) I might use some in a recipe, and rarely more than 1 tablespoon. Honey is quite acidic, and the sugars are too concentrated for regular consumption. I also do not subscribe to the concept of using honey as a medicine. Some people put honey on their teeth to heal them, which is complete insanity since the sugar will only feed the bacteria and cause even more decay, in spite of the mild anti-microbial properties of some honey. Honey is also often used to treat colds and sore throat, but it should be viewed as a remedy that masks symptoms rather than something that actually goes at the root of the problem.
Are You 100% Raw?
I enjoy your presentation and believe you are the most open and balanced of the raw food folks out there. You speak from
hard experience, which I appreciate. Are you 100% raw? If so, How long have you been 100%? Do you eat any “SAD” at all,
at social functions, etc.? If not, how do you respond when asked, while not wanting to “up the ante”? Sometimes people
still take offense at my politest, “it doesn’t work for me.” A lot of raw food folks I’ve met become zealots, are rigid,
and look joyless and unhappy. What do you attribute this to? Do you think some people substitute a raw food program for
an emotional void in their lives? I find that raw foods are no substitute for the emotional work I need to do, yet it
gives me the energy in which to pursue the work, if that makes any sense. thanks again. Dave Meeks
ANSWER: Thank you Dave! I’ve been following a raw-food program since 1996. I have been 100% raw at times — the longest period was 3-4 years. I eat mostly fruits and vegetables, but not always 100% raw. I avoid all animal products, and aim at following a strict low-fat diet, with no added oil. I might add foods such as steamed vegetables, potatoes and brown rice to my diet — more or less depending on the period of the year or whether I’m traveling or not. I always find something to eat at a restaurant or social function and never feel it’s necessary to eat SAD! Socially, the best approach is to be non confrontational. Interested people will come to you and ask questions. Stay cool and don’t be a food nazi! But also promote the right message or demystify some myths when it’s appropriate.
Some raw food people are indeed very uptight, but keep in mind the saying that “There’s nothing like the zeal of the newly converted”. When I first became a vegetarian at 18, I wanted to convert everybody!
Raw foods or any diet are not a magic potion. They will not change your personality fundamentally, or replace psychological growth and maturity.
The Perfect Stimulant
Just watched your videos on YouTube. As usual, your answers were simple and clear. I have dubbed you “Common Sense Fred” and share your info with anyone who will listen. Thanks for using your mind on behalf of all of us for better health. I do want to say that agreeing that “coffee is a stimulant” in your video will tend to support, for many people, their reason for drinking coffee in the morning – they think it is the only effective way to have a bowel movement.
I drink two tall glasses of room temperature water every morning and it works beautifully – no need for ‘stimulants.’ I’ve been about 80% raw now for almost a year and look and feel great – finally reached a natural weight at age 60! Again, thank you for all you do.
ANSWER: Way to go! Water with lime is a great “stimulant”
Blood Pressure Changes
I appreciate your video responding to hate-mail, especially what you said about sugar and cancer, and that the real thing to avoid is high blood sugar. Once I caught on to the concept of low fat, high fruit diet, and adhered to it, my blood sugar went from averaging between 110-140 to an average of 85-90. I know this is because my cells are
getting most of it, and it shows in my musculature. Thank you for promoting the truth.
Fruit and Sugar
Do cancer cells thrive in a more high fruit environment? Hippocrates Institute does not advocate high fruit
ANSWER: There’s no such thing as a “high-fruit environment”. What matters is your blood sugar, and level of antioxidants. A constantly elevated blood sugar may be a risk factor for cancer. However, eating a lot of fruit does not necessarily cause high-blood sugar. What matters is insulin sensitivity, which is mainly affected by your fitness levels (get your exercise!), body fat (lose that tire!), and most importantly, the fat content in your diet. A low fat diet has positive effects on insulin sensitivity, and it’s very important to lower the fat content in the diet so that healthy foods like fruit don’t affect your blood sugar.
Opening my Bag of Hatemail!
Today, I’m opening my bag of “hatemail!” Yes, sometimes I receive negative comments, and I feel I have to address some of them today. Watch the video below to watch me answer my bag of hatemail!
Did you like this video? Let me know in the comment section! Below I’m answering some more “legitimate” questions…
Can fermented soy powder be part of a raw food diet since the soy is “predigested”? Same question regarding soy yogurt since beneficial bacteria “predigest” it.
Soy is not really a health food at all. It is now widely grown as a GMO and you find it in many refined packaged foods for extra added protein, just like wheat and dairy seem to lace everything Americans ingest these days. It was actually used by the rural Chinese to add nitrogen to the soil for other crops and not eaten as a food unless they were experiencing famine.
Soy is being fed to grazing animals as well and getting far more praise than it deserves. Just because a food is high in protein is no conclusive reason to eat it.
Soy is mostly marketed to vegans and vegetarians as a complete protein because of it’s amino acid profile, but we know that humans do not need to eat foods with all the amino acids present in one single meal, as we have a store and recycle them as needed.
Yogurt bacteria is not similar to bacteria in our gut so there is no reason to consume it for beneficial bacteria as likely all of the bacteria gets destroyed when it hits out stomach acid.
You are asking if this should be part of a raw food diet. You should be asking is this a healthful food? and then based on your answer decide if you’d like to include it in your diet for health reasons or for personal reasons.
I don’t see any benefits from eating soy that you couldn’t get in a safer form from fruits and vegetables. I personally try to stay away from GMO’s and mass produced filler foods.
Hi Frederic! I really enjoyed reading your “Raw Secrets” book. What do you think of eating olives? Do olives have a high nutritional value? Some of the gourmet olives taste great although they use too much salt so I usually soak the olives in water and rinse them before eating to reduce the salt. I like olives, but I am just concerned about the excess salt. Since olives are also high in fat, how many do you recommend eating for one serving? Thanks.
Olives, like avocado, are much higher in fat than other fruits, and will increase your overall fat percentage exponentially.
They cannot really be eaten raw, they must be salted or put in vinegar which isn’t a healthful reason to eat them either.
I have on occasion eaten them to enjoy the taste, but my opinion is to enjoy them sparingly or go for the canned ones. Most raw-foodists will tell you to eat large amounts of raw olives without care, but these olives are very high in fat and salt. Canned black olives are dramatically lower in fat and have much less salt and vinegar than any jarred or homemade ones. I’m not saying I recommend canned black olives, but they would be a better choice than even raw, heavily salted and oiled olives.
You can check out the nutritional content and fat content of any food on www.fitday.com . It is free to join as well to track your daily calories.
Digestion and Supplements
The idea that one can get all of one’s nutrients from fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds is good. I heartily agree. However, I am 63 and found out that I have celiac disease about 5 years ago. My problem is malnutrition, brain fog on occasion, etc. I need additional help. Also, my digestion doesn’t seem to be working as well as when I was younger. Consequently, I do take some supplements. Anything your research turns up to help us older folks digest our food better is welcome. (I do take enzymes to help digest food).
On a raw or even high raw diet based on fruits and vegetables you should have no problem finding enough foods to get calories while avoiding the harmful wheat gluten that is in almost every packaged food and spice.
I have found that my digestion is optimal when consuming blended or pureed raw fruits and greens. You can do fruit smoothies, green smoothies or blended salads, aka veggie stews. Essentially you are breaking down all of the cellulose and making more of the vitamins and minerals bio available as they are almost pre digested by your blender. This especially helps growing bodies and those who want to gain weight or maintain proper nutrition with compromised digestion.
Try it out, before you go for supplements start your morning with a fruit or green smoothie. Add a little water and bananas and some frozen berries or some juicy fruits like mangos or papayas and bananas,
Try just eating another smoothie or two or some fresh fruit. Make sure you eat enough that you are not still hungry, fruit is lower in calories than refined foods and starches.
For dinner have some more cut up fruit and try a blended salad! It is so much easier to get your daily dose of greens and in larger quantities than you might want if you had to chew them. Blend a tomato or two, cucumber, celery stalks, some dates or mango (for sweetness to offset the blandness), some fresh herbs of choice and 2 heads of mild lettuce or romaine and any other seasoning you like. Blend it on low to medium so that it is not a puree like your smoothie. I like to chop some additional veggies and put it on top. Try out some different variations and see what you like and I’m sure you will get all the nutrition you need. A great program I love for easily digestable raw foods is the Savory Veggie Stew program by Roger Haeske.
Problems with Frozen Fruits
Aloha Frederic! You mentioned in one of your Q&A’s that frozen fruit created problems. What kind of problems? I really like my smoothies cold, but I want to get the most out of them. Smiles, Lynda
It would be too many frozen foods that could negatively affect the digestive flora, and associated production of vitamin B-12. Dr. Graham claimed that his vitamin B12 deficiency he experienced many years ago was caused by a regular period of consuming ice-cold smoothies.
Also, now with it being winter, you don’t want to consume foods that are too cold because it will truly make you shiver. Make sure to keep warm if drinking cold drinks during the winter.
I enjoy some smoothies cool, but anything that is too thick and too cold I wait until it melts a bit before consuming it. In my opinion, cool is okay, but “cold” should be avoided, most of the time.
The Truth About Chiropractic and Massage
Thank you for all your work fred! Question, what is the truth about 1) Chiropractic and 2) massage?
Chiropractic services can be great for people with specific issues that need immediate attention, but some chiropractors do make false claims about what it can do for the overall body’s health. In many typical American more or less sick individuals it is a temporary fix to a poor lifestyle and requires regular treatments for them to see any relief.
I personally don’t get it done regularly but I have in the past if I had an urgent problem.
Massages are great for relaxation and improved circulation. I certainly enjoy them on occasion. They can be quite expensive as a temporary fix though. Also every massage therapist has a different level of training and their techniques differ so I can’t really say much as each person’s experience isn’t the same. You will never fix a problem that is nutritionally-based with a quick-fix like massage.
I find that proper hydration and exercise are two of the best ways to maintain a healthy back and circulatory system. Treatments can offer a temporary fix for a few days, but if your problems keep coming back turn to your lifestyle for the answer to that.
Hi, “Enzymes Perhaps you should drink wheatgrass juice for enzymes? As I explained before, enzymes are molecules produced by organisms (plants or animals) to use on their own for certain chemical reactions. The plant produces its own enzymes to digest the nutrients that it needs! You produce your own enzymes for your own needs. Taking it plant enzymes will not benefit you in any way, as these enzymes are not compatible and are destroyed anyway in the stomach. ” Now, that statement really confused me. Because of enzymes (at least it is one reason) we eat RAW food!!!! Do you really mean that all that Dr Ann Wigmore had written, studied and so on has been rubbish???? I use wheatgrass juice, and it doesn’t taste so bad. And why do you think that cows are eating it all the time. In wintertime it is not available at all, at least fresh… BR, Raija
Eating raw foods for enzymes is a widely accepted reason, but just has no basis in fact at all. We eat raw food because it is healthier, contains all of it’s natural vitamins and minerals and is higher in water than cooked food which is dehydrated and adulterated by cooking.
The body produces its own enzymes according to what is required in the stomach. If it didn’t and you simply RAN OUT of enzymes and were eating let’s say a steak, your body would have a hard time indeed trying to get the food out of your stomach before it’s next meal.
I think you are taking this a little too personally. I am not discrediting the work Ann Wigmore did to promote sprouts and raw foods, but there are easier ways to go about a healthy raw food diet. If we did not take what we learned in the past and tried to improve it for the future we’d still be stuck in the stone age and probably NOT be eating a healthy vegan raw food diet.
Also I am not sure what your reaction to the taste of wheatgrass has to do with why cows eat grass. They are designed to eat grass! Humans are not. If you gave wheatgrass juice to a baby or a child, I’m sure you get an interesting reaction indeed. Carnivores have sensors on their tongue that pick up amino acids, they do not taste meat the same way we do, if they did you can bet they wouldn’t be eating dead flesh. Not all pastures of grazing cattle experience winter either, but those that do I’m sure the rancher takes care of them and has dried grass or hay to feed during that time.
Today, I’m answering some questions received by my readers (that’s you!) in video format. If you’d like me to answer more questions, please send them over to: www.replytofred.com
To get your raw food questions answered, get your Raw Health Starter Kit…
- Frederic’s Update
- Tips for the cold weather
- Questions from the Readers!
- Can the iPhone Help You Succeed With Your Health Program?
Right now I’m here in Costa Rica, where I am relocating for the next 6 months with my fiancée, enjoying the tropical air.
After many years of spending most of my time in cold climates, with a few months a year, I found that I enjoy the “tropical lifestyle” so much that I could not enjoy living in Canada for most of the year.
For me, the tropical lifestyle means being able to walk around in comfortable clothes and short-sleeved shirts, leave the windows wide open day and night, enjoy warm tropical air, enjoy the sunshine and bright days (even when it’s gray, it’s still brighter than up north), and being able to go to the beach and travel around the country as a tourist, while living there as well.
It used to be that I could see myself living in Canada 6-8 months a year and in the tropics the rest of the time. But now, I don’t even enjoy the month of May in Canada. Too cold and rainy. Same for October!
If your dream is to live the tropical lifestyle, I really encourage you to make it happen, but one step at a time, like I did. That avoids a lot of disappointments. If you’re interested in this topic, I highly recommend my course “How to Move to a Tropical Paradise” available at:
In December of this year, I’ll be welcoming participants of this course to a special “Day in Costa Rica with Frederic”. Wanna come? Check out:
What if you’re left in the cold? Here are some tips and ideas from my Raw Vegan Mentor Club newsletter. There is WAY more in the actual newsletter, including what to do about low-body temperature. If you’re not a member, check it out here:
Here are a few more tips to make the most of the winter and avoid some of the problems related to this season.
Tips for the Cold Season and the Raw Diet
• If you can, get some sunshine, first thing in the morning, even if it’s just stepping outside and getting a bit of sunshine on your hands and eyelids. This will help tremendously to keep your mood up during the cold season.
• Get some full-spectrum light bulbs. They make a big difference, especially when you’re working on the computer or reading. These types of light bulbs can be ordered online.
• If possible, take a vacation south so you can get necessary sun and vitamin D!
• Grow your own sprouts and indoor greens, to get some super-fresh vegetables to add to salads.
• Make raw warm soups in the vita-mix. Warm them up in the dehydrator, if necessary. As a compromise, you can steam some vegetables and blend them in the vita-mix with some of the cooking water for a delicious, salt-free soup.
• Exercise! Remember exercise is the best thing to keep your mood up and your health during the winter.
• Help your body increase it’s resistance to cold by letting it regulate it’s temperature more naturally. Don’t immerse yourself 24/7 in the same hot environment at work and at home while wearing multiple sweaters. Your body will not learn to adapt and raise and lower your body temperature when necessary in the different seasons. Wear lighter clothing if in extremely warm buildings, but bundle up when going outside. Your body can adapt just like outdoor animals can in the different seasons if you help it.
“Who Else Wants to Watch Professional DVDs and Become Confident in the Kitchen With the Most Amazing, Simple and Delicious Low Fat Raw Recipes Ever?”
Watch the preview YouTube Video to get a peak at what’s inside this DVD series. For more information on the Low Fat Raw Vegan DVD Series, click here. On the video, click “HQ” after it has started for better quality.
To order the Low Fat Raw Vegan DVDs, click here.
Four Pounds of Fruit a Day
You suggest to eat 4 pounds of fruits a day. How do I weigh the oranges and grapefruits ? with the skin or without a skin? Some big oranges and grapefruits are heavy course of very thick skin. How would I do it?
ANSWER: The suggestion of 4 pounds a day is a STRICT minimum to get started on the raw-food diet, but nowhere near the amounts necessary for optimal health for most people. The amount is with peels. It’s far better to measure food consumption by calories, because some fruits have much more calories per serving than others. The idea is to get most of your calories from fruit.
Traveling in the Raw! Family-Friendly Raw Destinations
Hello! You have clearly had a lot of experience travelling and raw-food-ing, could you possibly tell me where the best holiday destinations with the most fruit are that are also family friendly? (I am from New Zealand – so even seemingly ‘obvious’ destinations (ie California??) would be very helpful!). Thank you so much! P.S. Thank you for all your info/books etc! Without them I would still be eating a not-quite-so-SAD diet, but not 100% raw!
ANSWER: Here are some of my favorite holiday destinations where you can find the most fruit and that are family-friendly, with average cost of living.
California: Great for the health food and raw scene. Car rental is usually a must to get around because of the large distances. Lots of raw restaurants and the best well-stocked health food stores. Hotel room prices start at $100-130 for a decent room. Food costs are average for first word countries. Must visit if you’re into raw-foods!
Hawaii: Great place to visit and easy to get around. Some raw restaurants and good fruits at the farmer’s markets and some good health food stores! Hotel room prices for a decent room are above $150. Food costs are higher than mainland USA.
Thailand: The ultimate place for fruit. Very safe and children-friendly. Cheap accommodations and good rooms for families can be found at around $50, with other more comfortable, higher-end options at prices far below North American (ultra-cheap but clean rooms are also available in the $10-20 range). Food costs are ultra cheap too.
Bali: My favorite island and still magical in spite of the tourism. Super children-friendly. Prices only slightly above Thailand, but very affordable.
Costa Rica: Where I choose to live most of the year. Great for families and nature lovers. Lots of Bed and Breakfast types of room (where a fruit breakfast can usually be served — just ask). Lots of fruit if you can drive to the farmer’s market. A good idea to rent a car or at least a driver to see more of the country and be able to get fruit. I love the Southern Area (San Isidro + Dominical, Uvita). Families can rent a room for around $75-100 or less in most areas, but less expensive options are also available.
If other readers have some more ideas, please feel free to comment!
Raw Food Videos
I was able to access the videos on the Raw Food Mentor Club website this morning. Thank you so much for including videos on this website. The information you are providing is helping me to deepen my commitment to the Low Fat Raw Food Program. I really appreicate all of your sincere efforts on behalf of all of us. Caron
NOTE: The raw food videos are a new feature of the Raw Vegan Mentor Club. Not a member? Find out more at www.fredericpatenaude.com/mentorclub.html
Hello Frederic, I was wondering if Sun Tea (which is made by putting a tea bag in a jug of water, then letting it set in the sun for a few hours) would be an acceptable beverage for somebody who wants to adapt a raw food diet. At least in my part of the world, the temperature of the water would never exceed 115 degrees Fahrenheit, and the tea leaves are dried, so I don’t see any cooked element in it. Of course, there is some caffeine in some teas — but you could also make it from a herbal “tea” with no caffeine. I’d be extremely interested in hearing your opinion on this in an upcoming blog post. Best regards, Tom
ANSWER: I don’t see anything majorly wrong with that. I personally avoid all forms of caffeine and would recommend to do the same for optimal health.Your health is your own, so if you choose to include some sun tea in your diet for your enjoyment, then so be it.
It’s Not That Complicated
I’ve noticed lately from reading some comments left on my blog, that a lot of people are trying to make the raw food lifestyle a lot more complicated than it is.
There always has been a lot of confusion in the natural health field, as well as plenty of contradicting opinions. This is literally paralyzing many people from taking any action at all. They feel lost and don’t know what to believe anymore.
Others are turning simple recommendations and observations into dogmas, and the raw food community into a cult. They are unable to think outside of these rules and think for themselves.
Are you making it too complicated?
Are you confused by all of the different diet theories?
Let me offer you a quick guide to eating raw without the confusion and the dogma.
1) Be Self-Motivated. The only reason why someone would take the time, energy and effort it takes to eat a raw food diet and learn how to do it right is because they should be able to gain something for themselves. If there are no benefits to be gained, then there should be no reason to do it.
That motivation is usually health-related. Either improving your health, overcoming an existing condition or avoiding illness in the future. You should be very clear what your motivations are in the first place, and avoid following someone else’s motivation.
Don’t just go raw because someone is telling you it’s the right or “cool” thing to do. Do it for your own reasons.
2) Eat fruit. Eat Vegetables. Eat little fat — The concept is very simple. The basic idea is to eat fruits and vegetables! Don’t make the raw food diet much more complicated than it is. It’s not about jars and pills and prepared meals, it’s about eating fresh produce!
Also realize that you’ll always be hungry if you try to live on raw vegetables and greens, that you’ll inevitably be drawn to junk foods. It’s just not sustainable.
The only way to make this diet work is if you get enough calories. I believe that fruit is the ideal food for human beings, and I think most of our calories should come from fruit, with minimal quantities of fat.
As far as the percentage goes, I say 10% or less. If another percentage works for you, then more power to you. But make sure you are honestly evaluating your results before coming to any conclusions.
3) Get Some Basic Nutritional Knowledge.
A lot of people are confused because they don’t really understand what fats, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and other nutrients really are.
They eat a large apple for breakfast and wonder why they’re hungry after 45 minutes.
Spare yourself a lot of trouble and spend a few hours to study the basics of calories and nutrition. Eventually you should be able to look at a piece of fruit or a meal and be able to evaluate on the spot how many calories it contains.
4) Do Your Tests
Every single “guru” or author in the field makes recommendations based on the diet that they’re eating or trying to eat, and what they believe is best (if they’re honest).
Each of these people took the best of the information that was available to them, tried to synthesize it in a way that made sense, and created their own program.
You should do the same. Test the theories out in your life, after you evaluate them with logic and eliminate the non-sense.
Don’t just take what I say word-for-word. Learn to think for yourself.
5) Respect your Body
I might be a big fan of mangoes, but maybe mangoes don’t agree with you. Respect your body and avoid them for the time being if they’re not working for you.
It doesn’t mean that sometime in the future you might not give them another try. Maybe at that point they could agree with you.
You’re the only person who really knows your body, so don’t try to force someone else’s preferences as your own.
6) Know a Few Great Recipes
You can’t enjoy this raw food lifestyle if you don’t enjoy the food. That’s why you should know at least 5 to 7 great recipes that you really enjoy and could eat day after day.
If a recipe is NOT appealing to you, then don’t try to convince yourself that you like it. Maybe you don’t, at least for the time being!
If you’re not enjoying the foods, you’ll eventually quit. So discover some recipes that you truly enjoy, and don’t hesitate to modify existing recipes for your own tastes.
7) Don’t live with too many rules.
Eliminate the word “rule” and replace it with the word “suggestion”. For example, you might know some basic food combining “rules”. Instead of calling them rules, think of them as “suggestions for food combining”.
Simpler meals tend to digest better. But they can also be boring for some people. Certain combinations are appealing to the taste, but more difficult to digest. It’s all a compromise.
Choose what makes sense to you depending on the situation. If you find that a particular combination digests perfectly well, then go for it, even if there’s a “rule” against it.
The reverse is also true.
Keep things in perspective. Only 8% of the US population follows the basic health recommendations (No tobacco and alcohol, exercise 3 times a week, keeping a healthy weight and eating at least 5 fruits a day).
There are only actions and consequences. If a particular action always leads to negative consequences and very little to gain in exchange, then it makes sense not to repeat it.
If on the other hand, an occasional indulgence brings you certain benefits (social or personal), with minimal consequences that can be manageable, then it’s certainly something you could consider.
Only live by your own rules, not someone else’s.
7) Eat For Long-Term Pleasure
The average person only lives for short-term gratification.
For example, these Dorritos chips taste great when I put them in my mouth. I get immediate pleasure. If I’m a dumb robot, then that’s all I care about and that’s perfectly fine. Eat the Dorritos and be happy in the moment.
Smart people consider long-term consequences of their choices.
If I eat these Dorritos, they will taste great, but they will also ruin my sleep. I will wake up the next day feeling terrible. And if I keep on eating these Dorritos every night, one day I will wake up and I’ll be 40 pounds heavier, and sick.
Therefore, I’ll pass on the Dorritos, and instead eat something that might not give me that instant jolt of pleasure, but that’ll still taste great and leave me feeling much better after.
Eat foods that make you feel great. In the moment and in the long term. That’s not a rule. That’s a suggestion!
I’m here in Calgary, home of the Calgary Stampede and nicknamed “Cow Town”. Funny thing though, no one is eating like a cow here…
I went to a local vegetarian restaurant for their weekly featured “raw dinner” and what I got was a gourmet meal high in fat, loaded with salt and you guessed it… low in fruit. Typical of most raw restaurants, unfortunately…
I went home starving after this meal, even though it had a lot of calories! I was still unsatisfied.
Has the same ever happened to you? Do you wonder how this supposedly healthy raw diet can be so unsatisfying at times?
Tomorrow is my talk “High Fruit or High Fat?” – If you’re in the Calgary area, don’t miss it! You can RSVP at www.awesomerawsome.com or check out the flyer at http://www.fredericpatenaude.com/blog/?p=260 for more details.
If you can’t wait to get started, check out my Raw Health Starter Kit, the best way to succeed on the raw food diet without making the common mistakes that can potentially hurt your health. Get the details along with a special bonus we will no longer be offering soon:
Today I’m answering your questions! Please feel free to comment below.
PS: The highlight of the weekend was a visit to the wonderful city of Banff. A true postcard from any angle… Check out pictures on my Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/frederic.patenaude, I will accept your friendship
“How I Beat My Salt and Dinnertime Cravings”
Do you find it easy to eat raw during the daytime, but find that when dinner comes, you’re tired of just eating fruit and you’re craving something more substantial and savory?
If you do, you’re not alone!
For those of you who still crave savory things and cooked food at dinner time, you’ll love Roger Haeske’s new program on Veggie Stews.
It worked for me, and it will probably work for you! Check it out here. It might still be available at a discount price:
Questions from the Readers (That’s You!)
What Raw Foods Should We Avoid?
I love your website and your videos. I have not seen any reference to raw eggplant: Some websites say it is edible while others say it is not. What is your opinion? Are there other veggies or fruits that should not be eaten raw? Thank you for your time.
Rather than making up rules about what can and cannot be eaten raw, I’d rather have you trust your taste buds. I don’t see anything wrong with raw eggplant, except for the fact that it’s not very tasty. In the past I have marinated it for some recipes, but I don’t think I’ve eaten raw eggplant in the past 5 or 6 years!
A few comments about some fruits and vegetables:
Raw legumes (even soaked or sprouted) should be avoided due to the toxic enzyme inhibitors found in them, as well as high quantities of raw starch. Beans should never be eaten raw.
Potatoes and other very starchy vegetables should also never be eaten raw.
Buckwheat greens should be avoided in large quantities due to a substance contained in them called fagopyrin, which can cause hypersensitivity to sunlight.
Rhubarb is a vegetable to avoid because of the high concentration of oxalic acid.
I recommend moderation with any strong or bitter-tasting green such as dandelion, watercress, culinary herbs, etc.
Here are other foods that are not lethal or toxic but can be considered “borderline” but might be used as a seasoning
• Garlic: due to the Allyl methyl sulfide produced from the digestion of garlic and the way it is exuded from the skin pores, causing bad breath and smell, I personally prefer to avoid it!
• Onion family: quite strong and best used in moderation, or oxidized by chopping them in a food processor and leaving at room temperature for a few minutes for the strong oil to partly evaporate.
• Hot Peppers: The substance that causes the heat sensation in hot peppers is called “capsaicin.” It binds with pain receptors that are responsible for sensing heat. So it “tricks” the brain into thinking that it’s sensing heat or pain. The physiological response is the same as when an actual burn has occurred, even though the tissues have not been harmed. Heart rate is raised and perspiration is increased, with the release of endorphins. Hot peppers are a stimulant. Knowing that, I still personally enjoy a little “heat” sometimes.
• Mushrooms: Many types of mushrooms are toxic. The cultivated varieties are relatively safe but I wouldn’t class them in the same category as fruits and vegetables. I rarely enjoy them raw but sometimes I might eat them in a recipe.
There are no reasons to avoid any common fruits sold at the supermarket.
Mixing Fruits With Fat
Hi Frederic! In the Raw Secrets book it states that we should not mix fruit with fat foods (nuts, seeds, oils) because the fruits may ferment since they digest quicker. So, how long should we wait after eating fat foods to eat fruits? Is two hours enough time? Thanks.
For the answer to that question, please refer to my last article on food combining! http://www.fredericpatenaude.com/blog/?p=256
I know you believe in limiting eating/drinking ice; what about drinking boiled, hot water? Also just a question about what 100% means: is eating nori seaweed, carob, agave, dried fruits 100% raw, or just acceptable? Thanks!
I have nothing against drinking hot water, if it’s to “warm you up” during the winter. You could even add a little lemon juice. Just be careful not to burn yourself! The lining of your esophagus is very delicate.
As for the other foods you mention, most likely they are not truly raw, but can still be consumed on occasion. I’m not really a big fan of seaweed for reasons mentioned elsewhere, but a little on occasion to make sushi rolls for example, is okay for me. Agave nectar is a concentrated processed sweetener that I don’t recommend either. I prefer to use sweet fruits such as mangoes, if a recipe calls for agave nectar. I might use it occasionally in a recipe if mangoes are not available…
Dried fruits should be avoided most of the time, because they are difficult to digest, tend to ferment and also can stick to the teeth and cause dental decay. However, they can be very useful in exceptional circumstances when carrying fresh fruits would be difficult. For example: traveling in the desert, hiking across a national park, visiting remote islands in the South Pacific, etc. Just make sure you increase your water intake to compensate.
How can you tell when a fruit is at the “ripe” point to be considered the most nutritionally nutritious (i.e., mangoes, melons, bananas, etc.) Why are mangoes so hard to cut and what is the woody part of the fruit? I have yet to buy a mango that doesn’t get wasted because you cannot cut through the woody part. They are pretty expensive for so much waste.
Every fruit is different, but most fruits are ripe when soft and sweet. That is also their nutritional peak. Bananas are ripe when they start to get some brown spots (although that can be different for some exotic varieties.) Mangoes should be soft and juicy, and certainly not hard like you described. Of course, don’t eat the center seed, cut around it. There are many videos on youtube showing how to cut a mango. Check it out.
Eating Fruit and Running
I took the giant step towards a raw lifestyle about a month ago and while I’m not 100% yet, I feel great. Leaner, cleaner and just overall better. My big concern is can a raw food diet maintain the fuel/energy requirements of an athlete. I’m a runner. I run about 30 miles a week and compete in races monthly during the race season (mostly 1/2 marathons). Because I haven’t been able to figure out the best way to carb load on a raw diet I still have my bowl of pasta the night before. I’m afraid not to. Have you already addressed this in a previous article or series? If not, I think this would be a great topic for a future one! Thank you for making raw foods look so easy and delicious! The switch can be intimidating when you don’t know what you are doing and you make it look so simple.
As an amateur runner myself, let me give you some tips. I don’t run as much as you do but I have done as much as 20 miles a week.
On a low-fat, high fruit diet you’re going to have much better results with your training. First of all, you don’t need to “carb load” because fruits, unlike cooked complex carbohydrates, are easily digested and provide quick energy.
The problem with most runners is they don’t eat enough simple carbohydrates, which is what the body really needs when you’re running.
The most important thing is to get enough calories and carbs overall. As a runner you’ll probably need to eat at least 3000 calories a day. That’s about 30 bananas, or less if you add in some vegetables and other varieties of fruit.
When I run longer than 90 minutes, I take some fruit with me, usually blended, seedless watermelon or a smoothie made with water, bananas and celery, and drink that every 15 minutes.
You don’t need to “carb load” when you’re eating enough carbs (and most runners aren’t, unfortunately).
For the best information, I recommend the book “Nutrition and Athletic Performance,” by Doug Graham, available on Amazon. It will answer all your questions and more.
South America & Candida
I wanted to recommend you go to South America! I am from Uruguay and if you can work your way around all the meat that the people eat there. You can find great organic raw foods. Also I have a question that you don’t have to respond to if you don’t want. But can you recommend me a diet to kill off my Candida issues..? Thanks and bless!
There are too many countries to visit and not enough time! I have spent a month in Brazil in 2004 and really enjoyed it there. Maybe one day I’ll visit your country as well.
As for Candida, I hope that this report will help you sort it out:
|“How I Beat My Salt and Dinnertime Cravings”
Do you find it easy to eat raw during the daytime, but find that when dinner comes, you’re tired of just eating fruit and you’re craving something more substantial and savory?
If you do, you’re not alone!
For those of you who still crave savory things and cooked food at dinner time, you’ll love Roger Haeske’s new program on Veggie Stews
It worked for me, and it will probably work for you! Check it out here. It might still be available at a discount price: