February 16

Mad as Hell: Questions on the Low-Fat Raw Food Diet Answered

Filed under Raw Food Controversies by Frederic Patenaude

Last week I posted an article about why I’m “mad” at the raw-food movement, here.

This article has generated more interest than any other article I have published before. Over 148 comments have been sent to my blog, and a large number of e-mails as well.

These are not short little comments, but involved, interesting, compelling stories. So today I want to address some of the questions I’ve received after publishing the article.

First of all, I want to thank everybody who contributed their two cents. It’s incredibly valuable to share your experience, thoughts and concerns with others.

I also think that some people made some assumption in the article that simply weren’t there.Here are some answers:

Low-fat means “no-fat”

Some people seem to think that a “low-fat” diet means a “no-fat” diet. I got a lot of comments from people who told me I was not making the difference between good fats and bad fats.

The point of the article was that an extremely high-fat diet is unhealthy. The average raw-foodist eats 60% of his calories from fat, which is 20% higher than the Standard American Diet.

Just reduce that percentage to 20% and you’ll already be on your way to health.Does it have to be 10% or less? That’s what Dr. Graham recommends after 25+ years of experience.

A study of the three-longest lived cultures in the world showed than they eat on average 15% of their calories from fat. My recommendations: reduce the fat progressively, increase the fruits and vegetables. 10% or less is ideal.

But that still means you can enjoy delicious avocados, nuts, seeds, and even a tablespoon of olive oil on your salad once in a while won’t hurt you.It’s the overall picture that matters.

Fruitarian is fruit only

There seems to be some confusion as to what is a “high-fruit diet”.First, what is a fruit? Nutritionally speaking, we are talking about sweet fruits such as bananas, oranges, peaches, melons, mangoes, etc.

Even though avocados, tomatoes and squash are also fruit, botanically speaking, we won’t classify them as such, because nutritionally speaking they are vegetables.

Fatty foods and nuts form their own category.

Greens also can be seen as a separate category.

All of the fresh fruits AND vegetables can and should be included in the raw diet. An abundance of greens and vegetables should be consumed.

But because vegetables are low in calories, if you eat 100% raw then the bulk of your calories will come from fruit.

But that doesn’t mean you’re ONLY eating fruit.

One Size Fits All

Some people have been accusing me of a “one-size fits all” philosophy. That I’m right, while everybody else is wrong.They’re saying that “there’s no single answer that can benefit everybody. Something that cures person A can kill person B.”

I strongly disagree with that statement, and the way it’s often being used.One thing that I really hate is people who can’t take a stand on certain issues, either because they haven’t done the research, or can’t come up with a conclusion.

The most “useful” piece of advice you’ll often get is “just do what works for you”, which is open to a LOT of interpretation.I believe that there are basic PRINCIPLES that work for everybody, but with exceptions.Some things are true… or they aren’t. And yes, some things are somewhat in-between.

For example, as a general rule, we can say that fruit and vegetables are the healthiest, most appropriate foods human beings can eat.

Are there exceptions? Of course. Some people are allergic to strawberries. Some people have no teeth and can’t chew vegetables.In those cases, compromises can be made. The diet can be adapted.It’s not this fixed, rigid thing that everybody must follow or else…

I am very open-minded.In fact, I’m far from what you could call a “militant raw-foodist” by any definition. Just meet me in person and you will see.

But I will also take a stance on certain issues.I hate wishy-washy writings and advice such as “just do what works for you”, which ultimately doesn’t help you in any way.

I believe certain things are TRUE, and I will let you know which ones and why.

That doesn’t mean that you have to agree with me.

It’s more than food

Some people said: “it’s more than food. There’s also the importance of exercise, peace of mind, etc. Some raw-foodists eat a perfect diet, and still are not healthy.”

I couldn’t agree more.Yes, it’s more than food.But food is also important, and it was the focus of the article.

25 bananas a day

The idea of eating 25 bananas in a day seems to strike some people as particularly unhealthy.So let’s settle the controversy: You DON’T have to eat 25 bananas in a day.

If you’re going to eat all raw, you just have to eat ENOUGH calories to meet your needs.If you need 2000 calories a day, like most people, then 25 bananas is going to be too much.

If you need 5000 calories because you’re a training athlete, then 25 bananas is just going to cover 50% of your needs.You don’t have to eat JUST bananas. This is just one example. You can eat a combination of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, etc.So let’s not freak out about the 25/bananas a day thing.

Certain Guru Looks Good, or Bad

I got some emails about how someone decided to NOT follow the raw diet because they thought Dr. Graham looked bad.

While others told me they decided to follow it because he looked good.Someone else decided NOT to follow the high-fat diet because they thought that Wolfe looked bad, while Roger looked better.In the end, people have different perceptions about who looks GOOD and who looks BAD, based on their own criteria.

You shouldn’t make it the decisive factor.I prefer to look at a NUMBER of people following the same diet, especially if they’ve been doing it for several years.There are more important factors than just looks.Try to evaluate health as a whole instead.

It’s all about Balance

Some people told me: it’s all about balance. If you eat mostly clean 95% of the time, then it wouldn’t be bad to eat cacao once in a while. It’s the overall picture that matters.I definitely agree. Did I say otherwise?I’m just against the ideas that are promoted as panacea, such as eating cacao EVERY DAY, which is definitely unhealthy.

ResourcesIf you’ve been participating in this discussion, or just curious about it, and what to take it to the next level, then here are some resources you can use to learn more about the low-fat diet.Where should you start? What’s the best way to learn?

Raw Vegan Mentor Club

Every month, I send a complete, information-packed, advertisement-free newsletters to the 200+ members of the Raw Vegan mentor club. This features clear, step-by-step information on how to make the raw food diet work in the REAL world.Every month, you also receive a complete menu planners, even with shopping lists and recipes included, all based on seasonal ingredients.You also get audio tips, interviews, and more.

SPECIAL for “MAD AS HELL” ARTICLE: If you sign up in the next 72 hours, I will also give you my eBook “Raw Secrets” for free. Just contact us after placing your order at www.fredericpatenaudesupport.com and we’ll send you the download link for “The Raw Secrets” — FREE.

PLEASE NOTE: You need to sign up for the “Raw Vegan Mentor Club” FIRST: Click here to sign up.

Lightning Speed Fitness

I talked about my friend Roger Haeske, who at 41 looks like he’s 25. He sells an excellent, youth-rejuvenating fitness program. Click here for more information.

The Raw Health Starter Kit

This is our most complete package on how to get started on the raw food diet. Best value anywhere for an awesome package of information. Check it out here.

The Perfect Health Program

Want to learn more about Dr. Graham’s philosophy in more details? Check out the “Perfect Health Program” — our most advanced and useful package. It features 12 hour-long masterclasses where I interview Dr. Graham on the most important questions YOU want to get answers for.Check it out here.

I also highly recommend the book “The 80-10-10 Diet” available on Amazon.

If you just want the recipes? Check out my book “Instant Raw Sensations” (also included as part of the Raw Health Starter Kit).

Want more “hands-on” stuff, where you’ll actually get to put this information into practice? Then join us for the next Green for Life Program, starting in March.

Want to avoid dental problems forever? Check out:http://www.fredericpatenaude.com/oralhealth.html

If you have comments or questions on the “Mad as Hell” discussion, please send them in below.

50 Responses to “Mad as Hell: Questions on the Low-Fat Raw Food Diet Answered”

  1. Dear Fred,
    I just want to thank you for taking a stand, telling it like it is, and doing it with such tact.
    I look forward to your emails everyday. Due to your inspiration as well as others, I have lost around 100 pounds, and hope to keep gaining my health day by day.

    Wishing you the best!

    Sincerely Indeed,

  2. raw hope says:

    I just posted this comment in the original ‘mad as hell’ posting, but I think it applies here too:

    While it’s true that we each may have different dietary needs, this is more a reflection of our varying stages of health than the notion that each member of our species has their own specific nutritional requirements. Genetic predispositions or overconsumption of certain foods may have caused allergies or intolerances to various foods, but this does not negate the fact that there are certain optimal requirements for proteins, fats and sugars for all humans.

    If we look at our closest relatives in nature, the bonobos, we can see that they don’t consume massive amounts of fat in their diet. They don’t spend their entire days cracking open nuts, when they could get energy much more quickly and easily by peeling a banana. They don’t gather and compress massive quantities of seeds so that they can consume concentrated oils. They don’t check their blood types before deciding what diet is appropriate for them. Their bodies instinctively tell them which sources of nutrition are the most efficient and give them the most ‘bang for their buck’.

    Species specific diets do exist in nature. Why should humans be any different?

    If you have thrived on the high-fat raw diet, then by all means continue to eat as you are accustomed. But, if like so many other raw foodists, including those who are ashamed to admit it, you are not feeling optimally healthy and energized with your current arrangement, where is the harm in trying what Fred suggests for a few days and letting your body give you feedback? You might be pleasantly surprised with the results. A few days of cutting down on your fat intake won’t kill you. But it just might let your body do some healing, and you might be able to conquer your chronic candida issues, not to mention your fatigue and (unwanted) weight gain.

    We’re all reading this blog because we want optimal health. If what you are currently doing is not getting you there, then it’s time to examine why that is, and to modify things until you reach your goal.

  3. Sivia Tabak says:

    Hi Fred!
    Excellent discussion! I’m glad to see you speaking so freely and frankly about a lot if this hogwash. Thank you for all your useful info. I am about 80% raw for almost two years now and feel great. Her’s to good health and lots of luck to and yours,

  4. tanya von Allmen says:

    hi federic,my anme is tanya im from Australia ,as imsure you understand we dont have alot of help here down under.So what we read is how we learn.I have to say it is so confusing !Ihave been raw for 9 months now with many ups and down ,i feel my body has hit a wall and have been craving grains why is this how many calories is the the minium a person should need i think that is a question that has not been answered thats why i think people fail.For a standard diet somone who has to watch weight would have 1200 to 1500 calories a day to stay lean and trim.What i see is most people are scared and unsure if they eat to much fruit or fat that they will put on weight i think that needs to be put out more imformation on that for there is not enough.Also things like if your skin gets dry and your weight starts to go up for no reason .Lost and confused on these issues and i dont think taking vitamins is always answer.Could you shed light on this ?please tan x

  5. Melanie says:

    WOW….I so agree with this wonderful words
    and I so agree with Fred and the 80/10/10.
    It really took me very little time on a not even so-high-in-fat-diet
    to learn that I really did not feel the energy I was searching for.
    I just wished I had not wasted all the time tossing and turning,
    I would have loved to discover this life-style immediately.
    Thanks for all the wonderful information, life-changing indeed.

  6. leonel says:

    thanks guys for anwering most of my questions. you guys helped alot check this website out they answered more of my questions to http://www.rawpeople.com/?utm_source=A&utm_medium=B&utm_campaign=C

  7. ann says:

    Great discussion Fred, this article and the first.
    I am so very glad that when I began to eat raw yours were the first books I read and so I began with a distinct advantage.

  8. Barry Sandler says:

    You still haven’t given me your opinion on why my health deteriorated as mentioned in my last mail to you. You just directed me to this info which doesn’t address the situation at all.

  9. John Newell says:

    Your program looks to me (without having read your books but reading your e-mail blurbs) like Professor Ehret’s Mucusless Diet. So far I’ve seen no difference in what you say and what he says – other than you don’t appear to use your program for aggressive health restoration. Yours appears to be more a life-style approach with health restoration as a natural result.

    Anyway, keep up the good work.

  10. Frederic says:

    To Barry: After 150+ comments, I couldn’t possibly answer every single question I’ve received. Regarding your health deterioration, there could be a lot of factors at play. I have a personal board where I answer such questions at: http://www.fredericpatenaude.com/mentorclub

    If you give me more information here I can try to give you an overview of my perspective.

  11. Rebecca says:

    Fred, I think YOU look good, so I’ll follow you’re diet…!
    Well, as best as I can anyhow, considering the cost of the fruit in these parts.
    You really present the facts, unlike most others who give their opinion only. Thanks for all the info.

  12. Laura says:

    Hi Frederic-

    I am not a 100% raw foodist. (YET). But I am doing lots of reading and research on the subject, which includes eating much raw food.

    I would like to preface that I didn’t miss the point but when you brought up the a couple people above who were commented about not looking good, it reminded me of my own thoughts I had of Victorial Boutenko when I saw this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBgYmiO2TTE&feature=related of her at the Raw Food Spirit Fest in Sedona 2008.

    I’m not one to prescribe to the belief that just because a raw foodist doesn’t ‘look good’, means that being a 100% raw food eater is unhealthy. To the contrary. I realize there are lots of other factors that go into one’s health and the way one looks. In addition to that, pictures don’t do people justice a lot of the time and Dr. Graham might not have taken a good picture. And I would also like to comment that I think David Wolfe looks very good whenever I see him.

    But Victoria in this video looks not only run-down in my opinion, but I think it would be obvious to all that she is over weight. She seems to be a big advocate of your way of eating raw, so I am wondering, why would she be so overweight? I understand that we all perceive looking bad and good in different ways. But overweight is overweight. And I think this deserves to be addressed. When we eat the nature intended, our natural weight generally takes care of itself. If not something else must be going on.

    I’ve questioned this ever since I first saw her when Kevin Gianni interviewed her. But then I saw the above video and it looks like she got heavier. What’s up???

  13. Huraw.com says:


    Nice to see your not like so many of the other waffles in the health movement.

    Fruit is where it is at but…

    Better to eat low fat cooked then high fat Raw any day.

    If you think you don’t have to exercise and be healthy best of luck.

    Keep up the great work.


  14. Frederic … Thanks for being so patient with us. Your message resonates well, but we are weak and always seem to find an excuse. Wish you continued success. I’ll do what I can to “Spread the word”. Sincerely, Michael.

  15. Hi Fred,

    thanks for replying to my comment on the ‘mad at the Raw food movement’ article. I understand that the subject was focusing on the Raw food only, and not on emotional issues or exercise. I just thought of sharing what I thought was important and had happened to me.

    If you do not mind, I would like to translate this article to portuguese, and include it in my blog.

    Please, let me know.


  16. Christa says:

    Greetings Frederic, I am very fastenated by many of your articles, this one was no exception. I think that you have definetely opened the lines of discussion regarding the many differences within the raw food diet. For a long time, I was under the impression that raw foodists all reletively ate the same. This article opened my mind to the idea that there are many different interpretations of what eating raw food really is. There are also many different opinions given from different “gurus” of the industry. I can’t say that I am not still a little bit confused. How do you, verses, let’s say David Wolfe and his dietary guidlines really prove which way of eating is superior or more correct than the others? David Wolfe has been a huge advocate of lots of fruits and vegtables, as you are, but with the addition of seaweeds, superfoods, and lots of nuts, seeds, and avacados. David Wolfe was the one who originally introduced me to eating raw, and I have to say that I am so inspired by him and have come to trust his advice and knowledge. He is also a huge proponet of superfoods. He feels that they are the foods of the future because of their great abundance of trace minerals and rare and/or unique antioxidants. With that being said, I know that in a previous article you stated that a majority of these superfoods are really just hype. Granted I have’nt seen any scientific studies or proven facts regarding how superior that superfoods are to “regular” raw foods. Insictively, however, it feels like David Wolfe is reallly onto something that could eventually turn into a cultural shift. I also know that he has carried out a lot of his own studies or analysis on things like marine phytoplankton and gogi berries, cacao, maca, mangosteen-etc. I don’t mean to target and compare specifically David Wolfe, but he is a good example to compare these sorts of things to since his presence has been so influential in the raw food world. I guess what I am trying to say, is that I am still not entirely convinced as to what is the absolute healthiest way of eating. There is no dispute that an abundance of fruits and vegtables are amazing for one’s health, it’s just the many details that cause some debate and confusion. There have been so many diet, cook and nutrional books written by a large variety of many accomplished and well respected nutrionists, health gurus, teachers, doctors and life experienced people. So then how do we, without a shadow of a doubt, and conclusively really know what is the best way of eating on a raw food diet?

  17. Richard says:

    Hi Fred!
    Once again you wrote a very excellent and appropriate response. Good job!

  18. Geri says:

    From South Africa. Your articles r invaluable. I look forward to them. Love your passion about foods with REAL nutritional value; raw fruits + veges, with some nuts+ seeds. When in tune with one’s body one instinctively eats these. Grateful 2 you!

  19. Amber says:

    By far this is the best experience reading an article written by you I have had! I first subscribed a few years back but was really put off by the way information was presented. I am a ‘tell it straight’ person as well, but I am very put off when someone is telling me how right they are and insinuating that someone else is wrong (whether intentional or by way of misdirected passion- and I DO know about that one!). I continued to read for a while, but I felt such discomfort at the hostility I perceived from what I was reading that regardless of the value of the information, I was so uncomfortable that I unsuscribed and stopped reading them altogether, NOT because I disagree with WHAT you have written, but HOW it was presented. Then I watched the RAWKATHON videos, and clicked on every link, and when I was about to skip over yours, thought “Why not give it another go?”. I resubscribed, but the “Mad as hell” title, almost had me clicking ‘unsubscribe’ for good without reading the article. I’m all for sponsoring others, but not when pointing out someone else’s faults. It doesn’t matter how right you are, this is an unhealthy approach. Wherever a person is with thier belief or understanding, if we are in disagreement, and choose to point out the differences in ‘the other’, rather than acknowledge our own discomfort, there will be conflict within and between us. Based on the reserch I have done, both intellectually and experientially, this is the most intelligently presented way of feeding ourselves I have found. All along, I didn’t want to call you on this, because I prefer positive feedback to negative reaction and I wasn’t sure how to present it in a manner that was supportive rather than non-reactive on my part. I’m not sure how I’m doing now, but I do hope you get a chance to read this, because, for all the articles that I have read by you and for all that I have felt uncomfortable over the presentation, my experience reading this one is, that I have been informed and there is no place where I might interpret what you have written as unkindly towards anyone. FOr this, I am greatly relieved and appreciative! It feels great to finally be able to approach this subject from the perspective that my position is supportive rather than critical.
    Thank you for the opportunity to offer it!
    With sincere gratitude,

    (For those of you who read through all of this, I tried for brevity, but it is not my strong point, hence the long time coming message!)

  20. N.N. says:


    I have learned a great deal from this particular thread, thank you for it. I’m currently in a state of confusion regarding diet so it’s back to the drawing board. I was eating all raw and though I felt fine and psoriasis had cleared, I looked AWFUL. I was (am) basically skin and bones. I just can’t put on weight eating all raw. I don’t overeat on fats but I do get enough with the 80/10/10 philosophy. Everything about eating raw makes perfect sense, but the price I pay is twig-like arms, drawn in face, you can even see my ribs. I’m a guy. The ladies don’t exaclty line up around the block for that….. Are there any other guys out there who have this problem as well? Is there anything that can be done about it? I feel like I’m the only one. What am I missing here?!

  21. Evelyn says:

    Frederic, I appreciate you taking a stand and clarifying further what you meant in your article. I really enjoyed both articles. I’m glad I found you and Dr. Graham when I did because if I hadn’t then I would probably not be on the raw food lifestyle path. You are truly an inspiration and keep up the good work!

  22. Govinda McGeary says:

    Yes ! I agree with what Fredrick is saying. Most people read Fred’s blog and they focus on 25 bananas a day…. or how someone looks. Keep in mind that it’s hard to evaluate how someone looks in a photograph.

    We all know that Wolfe sells a lot of products: so called Super foods. Dr Cousens uses a lot of science and is a medical doctor.
    I for instance, practice Yoga and in particular pranayama.. using a specific technique. SO I must eat some yogurt..aka mucus forming food everyday. If I do not I can become very weak! This is something I know about through years of practice and was warned about 40 years ago beofre I began my pranayama( specfic breathing techniques) practices. But should I throw the baby out with the bath water and not listen to Fredricks sound advice? NO! I still thrive on fresh fruits and vegetables. Should I feel guilty that I eat yogurt..and take some Organic grass fed..milk daily? No…No No No NO!
    You should not be a food fanatic! Food is very very important…but is only a tool for your physical psychic and spiritual growth.
    So I say…let Cousens and Wolfe Patenaude and Graham have a debate. What is wrong with talking and debating sitting at a table with cool brains?
    Questions like the following can be addressed: Is Dr Cousens diet..high in fat given that he advises everyone to eat sprouted grains? If the tissues and urine of a particular person are alkaline i.e. 7.4 ph ..is that a good indicator that that person is in the best health. Are there medical tests that can me performed and measured to indicate the level of ones health?
    Are just calisthenic and weight lifting exercises enough for great health?
    Do people know that Yoga asanas aka postures can strengthen all glands…and thereby balance glandular secretions? Or do they think Yoga is just about stretching..or its nothing more than so-called Power Yoga that is taught in the gym.
    If we keep our glands healthy and youthful all of of tissues will become youthful. Because it is the glands and their secretions that nourish the brain and all of our organs and tissues.

    F Greg McGeary Govinda

  23. Frederic says:

    To Ursula: You can certainly translate in Portuguese.
    To Laura: I cannot really comment because I don’t know the details of her personal diet.

  24. Virenkumar says:

    Hi Frederic,

    You must reply and clarify in regard to unhealthy and fatty look of Ms.Victoria as she is supposingly on 100% raw food diet for the past many years.By the way, do you wear specks with thick lenses,some body told me after seeing you in a vedio.Please don’t take it otherwise,persons like me who have started following you(after reading your books and articles) on to be on raw food diet,want to know will the eye sight will improve or degrade after being on 100% raw diet for a long time like you are following.

  25. Chris says:

    Gaining muscle on a proper raw food diet. I know this post is long- I never do this- but I feel that the information is very timely and relevant. First you must differentiate between muscle size or mass and pure muscle. I have found through 30 years experience with myself and others that the mitochondria of your cells (remember them from high school- the “powerhouses” of the cells?), when “force fed” cooked food retain some of it since they cannot get rid of the waste faster than you can eat. I used to set my watch to eat every three hours when I was into “bodybuilding” so I could transform my 133 lb. six foot tall wiry physique into simply “normal”. I did this without animal products for the most part since I became vegan a result of my total health quest and experienced greater energy and less fatigue of course. Nothing like raw vegan but at least I was on the right track back in the late seventies/ early eighties. I had to work out at least twice as hard as other natural (non-steroid) bodybuilders since I was not ingesting any of the growth hormones that naturally occur in dairy, for example. So here is this skinny tall nerd from New York City working out- learning and utilizing barbell squats, chins and dips and dead lifts! It was not only against my nerd honor student mentality but it was so very hard for my less-than-perfect ectomomorphic physique! I will never forget when I was at the Ken Cooer Institute getting my first certification for physical fitness specialist over 25 years ago and the main speaker/ teacher that day told the 500+ audience of students that he tried an tried but could not gain any weight or muscle. Of course he never did barbell squats. I knew right then and there that what is lacking in most things in life is effort. It is a bad word to most people. Getting what you want, as long as it is wholesome and right for you, is just a matter of work and patience. For gaining muscle it requires learning perfect form on the three key exercises- squats, dips and chins, (those form the core of your routine) and then slowly adding progressive resistance over time. Lost of time. You must stick with it and not give up after a few short months. Later I realized that I was stuffing garbage food into my cells and when I “went raw” and was over the healing crisis stage, which took me a f ew years- I started to gain weight again WITHOUT INCREASING MY FOOD OR CALORE CONSUMPTION. My body, and yours, has its own agenda when it comes to giving you the best weight. Or body composition. That is why I formed the company called The Best Weigh. I started 30 years ago focusing on the fact that your body composition or fat to lean ratio was more important than total weight. Decades later I discovered another and equally important factor: THE MATERIALS THAT FORM YOUR CELLS AND TISSUES and thus your muscles and ultimately- well– you— should be the best also. So you can truly be your best weight. This is where the confusion starts. I was not aware that the so-called muscle size I had from forced feeding and wrong eating was not pure muscle but just like extra mortar between the bricks of muscle cells themselves. (This is in layman’s terms). REAL pure muscle can only result form proper progressive resistance exercise that taxes the main large muscle groups– and together with a diet of whole fresh raw foods in the proper diet. Guess What? You will lose weight. One thing D. Wolfe said that I always liked when I read the Cooked Food Is Poison book (I really liked that militant book when I read it over ten years ago) was that you have to get rid of the false body before you can have the true body. With all the super profit food hype and all I still like his basic message to the masses by the way. Buyer beware applies to raw food gurus just like it does to everything else- you have to follow through by paying attention to your own body. Hey! When I went raw I was already very versed and experiences in nutrition and fitness- especially muscle building without drugs, dairy or supplements. I was not very popular with bodybuilders but I have to tell you that many Mr. Americas agreed with me off the record. Steve Michalik once said that I had so much pure muscle but it was a shame that I had such a tall frame relative to it. I was also told many times by athletes of all types that I trained so hard that it made bodybuilders and marines look like they were doing relaxation exercises! I really wanted to get developed- that is why I worked so hard. But I NEVER worked out more than two or three hours per week (I never count walking, jogging or stretching or even yoga- or sports or activities such as Wind Surfing since when you are in shape they are what is known as active rest. I always worked out very efficiently. I never was a gym rat. Once a girl streaked almost right on front of me but I was so focused on my exercise I never did see her! (Good thing too, since my gf at the time was doing deadlifts on the other side of the gym. She loved what intense squats did for her petite 105 lb. bod too! Women love the glutes they get form a few years of proper barbell squats! And their hubbies of bf’s do not mind so much either!) When I “went raw” and started to gain back some muscles and did not look gaunt anymore, but not as big as I was, I realized that what Paul Nison said was good too. When people complained that he was getting “too thin” he just befriended a blind man. So it goes. You have to be like T. Colin Campbell- tenacious! DO NOT FLINCH when you are on to something good. Frederic Patanaude may get some flack but I admire a man who sticks to his guns. Especially one as experienced and willing to help others stick to the right track as Frederic is. The main point here is to get in touch with yourself, become wholesomely and attentively aware of the process of “getting healthy”. Trust yourself and those who you can see track records of. For example, I never listened to any bodybuilder who took drugs since I was not into drugs of any kind. Or I never listened to athletes who drank coffee. I never wanted to train with anyone who drank sports drinks. These are not bad people- they are simply not on the path that I choose. Of course, if we purists had the time to spend with them, then, as I can attest- they will gladly change. Why? Because the experience of a better life, better long-term energy and better sports performance together with a genuine body to live for is impossible for anyone to argue with, when they see it and feel it for themselves. So it boils down to time. That is the only thing that is running out. Hence the idea of moving to a tropical paradise and simply living the great life that nature intended for us and not getting involved in all the other frivolities. Have you noticed how, once you actually “own” some of the important concepts of life, like food, exercise and rest, that you are no longer plagued by asking questions? In fact you are relieved not to have to search anymore- for you have arrived. We are all on similar journeys to this end- let us get more aware of what we are actually doing and just keep doing it as long as it produces the results that we are after. If you do this you will achieve success no matter what. I know I got off track but this raw diet is so fantastic is affects every aspect of your life. It certainly allows you to build pure muscle much faster. I personally see that each raw vegan workout is worth five or six cooked workouts at least! And that is if you are not over-eating which slows all progress down to a halt. Have some juicy high sugar fruit like valencia oranges before you work out, get your rest at night and never eat late and you will see your natural anabolism soar- that is provided you have given your body a chance to cleanse in the first place for at least six months to two years. In my case, I ramped myself relatively slowly and progressively into raw from vegan since I knew that nothing good happens over night and I knew that if I did not super rush it, that I would stick to it for life. I was right. I have been 90-95% raw since 1999 and 100% since 2001. Many people that I knew years ago who went full bore are no longer raw and suffering from poor health to boot. My old gf – I found out- actually drank coffee many times after we broke up. And SHE was the one that suggested we “go raw” after I spoke to a food scientist on the phone as he was inquiring about my vegan bodybuilding program form 20 years ago. I had to have my pasta- so I cut the amount down 80% and put soba noodles on my salads for about a year- I liked pasta so much knew that to break my bad addiction I had to ramp it. So I did. Sure, I was like a drug addict about two times during the next five years as I pulled over and had some cold sesame noodles at some dive Chinese take-out. Yeah I had mostly steamed broccoli with it and ended up throwing most of it away– but I was totally aware of what I was doing- I KNEW that it was bad for me- yet I did it anyway. Later I saw clearly how I was just in an emotional “down” energy and was feeling sorry for myself and ran to my greatest fix which was pasta. It was as simple as that. After many years of raw recipe perfection I was able to create dishes that not only satisfied my own werewolf cravings but they astounded cooked food eaters. The “health conscious” people wanted my food so badly that I could not keep up with demand. Thus I caved and had to make a program out of it. I even rented (out of my own savings) a large modern marble- floored stainless steel well- outfitted genuine raw certified kitchen that I designed myself and was blessed to be “given” … I was able to turn many people on to gourmet raw vegan food the way that would crush the pleasure trap and solve their health crisises and lead them in the best direction. It works. It works when you work. Do a task/ get the result. It just takes effort. Superhuman effort usually. Guess what? After I perfected the raw cuisine so that few could tell it from cooked I no longer even wanted anything but simple raw mono meals. Except for my green smoothies and a nice simple salad every day- that is how I eat now.; And as far as muscle and performance go I am at my best and most muscular! I used to weigh 133 cooked, then trained extremely hard to build up to 205 with some animal products, then a much more muscular 195 totally vegan. I went as far down as 162 the first few years of going raw. I made the mistake of training hard during a time when I should have let my cleanse to the true body just take its course. But then my weight went up to 174 by actually eating less. In fact I had forgotten that a decade priorI had experienced how eating more actually makes one lose weight as the body has to work so hard to metabolize it all. That was me anyway- I always ate lower fat foods so the carbs and protein require more heat and I was always in an oxidative state. Thank god for those 200 lb. sets of 20 “breathing” squats (where you take a barbell that you have to work hard to get to the tenth rep but you pause, take a deep breath or breaths and literally force out 20 reps. This is real work, folks, and thank God I did it to flush every cell of my body out weekly! It was more work than I ever thought I would do but it does make you stronger and builds more muscle faster than any other program. Of course now since I am a “raw powerhouse” ha ha– (hey it is no big deal- this is the way nature intended for all of us to be)— I find that I need to work less and I get more out of it, like everyone else I know who is 100% raw for at least a few years is starting to find. Again, I know this post is long- I never do this- but I feel that the information is very timely and relevant.

  26. Frederic says:

    I never said anywhere that raw foods would correct eyesight. Yes, I wear glasses or contacts. But I have since age 14. It’s completely unrelated to food. In my experience, eyesight won’t degrade NOR improve by diet alone.

    Regarding Ms. Boutenko, like I said I do not know the details of her personal lifestyle and therefore feel it’s not appropriate to comment. I also regard her as a great friend.

  27. Chris says:

    The best way to know how to eat raw is to try it for a long time but Fredric is spot on with his advice, You have to be in it to win it. Quantify your results with actual tests- I use fitness tests plus blood tests to a lesser extent plus my experience with healing (that is a biggie) year after year after year to gauge what fuel is the best for me. Guess what? I turns out that the same fuel works for every single person I meet. Proven time and time again. I have dealt-with the “But people are different and require different things” song for decades upon decades in both food and fitness. Guess what? We are not different! We are the same when it comes to the important things. Put it this way: You can have many different shades of color for the wallpaper in the house you are building, but nobody would argue that you need some type of walls and a roof over your head to keep out the wind and rain and snow if you are not lucky enough to live in a tropical paradise. There are many ways to bite your veggies or cut them up but the fact remains that you need greens and fruits and some nuts and seeds and you do not need any animal products at all ever. They can be felt clogging you up and they are well documented as carcinogens of the highest level (proteins from animals). Doug Graham said a great quote I will never forget” (I am writing this from memory since I use it all the time for the past ten years): “When the diet strays from whole, fresh, raw fruits vegetables, nuts and seeds it does so out of ignorance, addiction or mental disorder and always at the cost of health and performance” I think those are almost his exact words from what I recall is his “Grain Damage” booklet. I love people who stand for something. Especially when it is an important truth arrived at from much ego-elimination.

  28. Chris says:

    Frederic I like your style, manners and approach. I too have worn contacts or glasses most of my life and have not seen any change good or bad from raw. I met Victoria and her family in Oregon many years ago and admire her so much. Her book 12 Steps is most useful for anyone. I like her very much but do not know her half as well as you. Hopefully someday I will get to meet you and Victoria (more than just a few minutes).

  29. Sandy says:

    I was really looking forward to getting you opinion on protein versus carb-diets in this follow-up, but it was not mentioned at all. 🙁
    I hope you will adress this topic in your next posting, because it is of high interest!
    Like is the “accustations” that Cousens diet is high in fat, though he himself claims it is low fat:
    Obviously you have done the calculations, since you state it as a fact – why not give us the facts and numbers, so that we can actually SEE for ourself how it really is! Don’t put claims out without grounding them with the hard facts!

    I am not opposed to anyone on this. I am just curious and think the clarifications would be most interesting!
    (I agree with the post mentioning your often aggresive tone – I am not hostile, nor taking side here, so don’t start a war on this now. 🙂

  30. Frederic says:

    Protein vs. carb-diet: I don’t know exactly what you want to know? The best diet is high-carb, low fat, low protein.

    As for the claim that Cousens diet is high fat, have you taken a look at his recipe book? Most recipes are in the 70% range.

    Last month I posted a “challenge” for someone to come up with a menu that was low in fat and low in fruit, while providing adequate calories. No one has responded.

    Simply provide me with a day’s menu and I will be happy to analyze it for you.

  31. Gilly says:

    Excellent letter…And…I am so glad you are not ‘Mad as Hell’… anymore.
    One comment that really sticks out most importantly was…
    **** it’s all about balanced ****
    And you responded
    ****If you eat mostly clean 95% of the time, then it wouldn’t be bad to eat cacao once in a while. It’s the overall picture that matters.****

    This is so true, I honestly feel this is the key to life as a whole. Find your balance and you will be there…Where you want to be!

    Regards Gilly

  32. Sandy says:

    Ah, and I forgot!

    One other subject that I REALLY would like you to comment on:
    What is wrong with beets and carrots and stuff that grows under ground? They are full of carbs, just like fruits! Why are you saying the ONLY way is fruit or fats, when there are both tubers and grains to eat?

    I a

  33. Sandy says:

    Frederic, thanks for your response! 🙂

    I have not a recipe book, so I can’t provide examples…

    The question with protein-carb is really the theroy that peple are different, and some need more protein. I belive me to be one of those. Others thrive on fruit, but I don’t think I could do that – fruit makes me bounce.

    Also. A diet low on fat, low on fruit, but high on tubers and grains should be it, I think?
    My question on this is really why you don’t seem to count tubers ang grains as food at all? Are there anything bad with them? I have heard elsewhere you should only eat vegetables above the ground – and I don’t understand why?

  34. Hi Fredric,
    I’ve recently started reading your newsletter, and although there is certainly some truths in what you write, and although I can also relate to your sometimes feelings of anger and frustration toward the raw food movement, and it’s ever conflicting theories, I personally feel that at many levels your own personal theories are just adding to that overall confusion..

    Of course, people are 100% free to follow whichever theory they feel suits them best at any given point in time, but for the record, I really want to say that counting calories, balancing, protein versus carbs, and analyzing foods to determine fat levels, using charts to eat 80/10/10 and such is all just unnecessarily complex..

    I’m not saying that calories aren’t important, but counting them is a waste of time, I’m not saying protein does or doesn’t exist, but I’m honestly just not interested in them.. Same goes for sugars, complex carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals etc.. Let’s face it it’s all just white smocked scientist theory that distances us all from what food should really be about.. And that isn’t about becoming anxious of whether we’re getting things balanced according to some sterile downloadable food content chart from the internet..

    Personally, my philosophy is that fruit is the highest of all foods.. I don’t make any distinction as you have done that tomatoes and cucumbers, although botanically fruit are somehow nutritionally vegetables, and I don’t fully understand how you came up with that statement, but that’s really irrelevant. All fruits are different, providing us with different amounts of joy..

    Bonobos may be our closest living relative. I would neither disagree, nor agree, but humans are not bonobos, and although the comparative anatomy and diet may be fascinating, I would still consider it mostly irrelevant as to how we are ourselves are physiologically designed to eat. (Even if they occasionally might eat live insects on a stick, or relish the occasional maggot, their physiological proximity would be no incentive for me to go and do likewise!)

    I may unwittingly myself be following an 80/10/10 diet, and balancing things just like you think’s right, but frankly I don’t care either way. I reached where I am through having the simple basic understanding and revelation that fruit is the highest of all foods, and that the more we eat of it (and consequently, the less of other foods), the more we attune ourselves to live as I believe nature intended.. The garden of Eden diet..

    Eat fruit,
    live long and prosper,
    Mango the Fruitarian

  35. Susan says:

    I feel like if anyone could get me to try raw again, it’s Fred!

    I’ve worked in the natural foods and holistic health movement for over 15 years. I’ve done it all: vegan, macrobiotic, blood type, metabolic type, high carb low fat, low carb high fat, and raw. When I tried raw years back, I lost so much weight that my friends and colleagues persuaded me to give it up.

    I wish to find a way to return to a raw lifestyle, or at least mostly raw. I’ve always craved salt and fat. I don’t have a sweet tooth at all. Fruit is usually the last thing I’m in the mood for. I’ve been making blended salads since 2000 (always with a little sea salt added) and feel great with them. Blood tests have shown an electrolyte deficiency. Electrolytes are mineral salts as I understand it. If I go without salt for more than one meal in a row, I get lightheaded.

    When I shift toward sweet fruits as my primary fuel (with greens, veggies and some fats) I feel good for a while, then begin feeling weak. Same thing with other high carb foods like oatmeal – I don’t eat it because every time, about an hour later, I feel physically & mentally weak and very hungry for protein/fat/salt. When I reduce sweet fruits and add more veggie salads along with some fish, salt, and coconut oil to my diet I perk right up. Given the breakfast choice of a plate of fruits or an omelet with salad I’d choose the omelet with salad every time, because of how I feel afterwards. Fruit = woozy, omelet with salad = ready & steady.

    Truthfully, I’m envious of all those who love to eat fruit more than anything else. I find fruit to be delicious, but over the years have developed a “distrust” of it after feeling woozy so many times following a meal of sweet fruits. Green smoothies work a little better than straight fruit, but I still get wicked hungry & lightheaded soon after a green smoothie, and usually grab something protein/salt to feel better.

    Have others gone through these physical things and overcome them? Am I just doing too much too fast and should try to transition more slowly? I tend to go “100%” into things.

    Is this is a common challenge for others, or is my aversion to sweet fruit truly strange? 🙂


  36. Actually, although as I said, I can relate to your expressed frustration, I acknowledge also that it is a futile waste of emotion as there is no way of getting around the simple fact that we all have our opinions, and that these will likely be, for a good while yet, vastly different.. No doubt, by adding my own 2 cents worth, I have just added to the confusion, and hence possibly fueled your frustraion..

    But hey, I’ve thought for some time now, that if one should desire to return to the garden of Eden, I would hazard a guess that we’ld not be let back in until our behaviours and habits were appropriate..

    eat fruit.
    mango the fruitarian.

  37. Meredith Machin says:

    Frederic, I just wanted to let you know how good it felt to read your article “Mad as Hell” and of course all the information/opinions you provide I hold very highly, and I know they are just that; facts that one can’t help but face and life as you’ve seen it work and not work. I don’t know why you should get any grief from anyone when all you are trying to do is good!? Keep it up and please don’t get discouraged by anyone, because you have been so encouraging to me (: It’s just not that complicated! What is pure? What is natural? What comes food comes from the ground? As human beings we seem to look for any and every way around doing what’s right because something else might seem easier or more enticing. My health is so poor and I am afraid I am going downhill very fast and having trouble holding onto hope and doing what is good for me but you are always there to encourage and inspire. I just wanted to say thank you, I appreciate what you do.

  38. Frederic says:

    Nothing wrong with beets and carrots! But how many do you think you would have to eat?

    I’m saying fruit or fat because we’re talking about a raw food diet here. If cooked food are included, then it’s completely different.

  39. Virenkumar says:

    I am sorry you have remarked a negative note that devoted raw food diet style will
    not correct eye sight,i myself have seen so many peoples got total benefit/corrected their eye sight(from thick glasses) with 100% raw food diet In India just after one year after resumption the style.When it can correct even imbalance of hormones inside the body,can cure several incurable problems why can’t eye sight?

  40. Virenkumar says:

    I was on 100% raw food diet continuously for 5 years way back in 1990 to 1995 when I noticed few remarkable changes in my body.My nails were totally replaced with new pinkish tone nails without any lines and marks,my eyeight greatly improved to remove my glasses,my grey colour of hairs turned black and new hairs on bald areas.The energy was always boling like that of 14/15 years kid,it was marbalous feelings.But I wish to reconfirm,this raw food therapy effects body as whole and not body parts,your eyes is an important body part as other organs like kidney,heart or brain,the blood flows everywhere when it gets purified whole system gets the benefit.Yes I appriciate the subject of overeating fat from rawfood is disastrous,similarly some other point is t be analysed why you could not get benefit in the eyes.

  41. kveta says:

    fruitful greetings to all.

    i fully agree with my fruitarian partner mango, we are both enjoying 100% raw fresh fruit and all that it delivers.

    love and fruit,

  42. radha klemes says:

    Why is it bad to eat cacao every day?

  43. Frederic says:

    It depends what caused eyesight problems in the first place. I find that only 5-10% of people will find improvement through diet alone.

  44. Chris says:

    Re: Eyesight– if the lens is not focusing then it is not focusing. No diet will fix that. If a person has “macular degeneration” then that can be from a host of factors, not the least of which is diet. In those cases, a switch from a very poor diet to a proper vegan raw diet will show improvement or at least slow down the degeneration considerable in many cases.

  45. rawmzmartha.. says:

    Thanx for putting yourself out there, and investing your time and energy to put a different slant on raw.

    lQQking forward to hearing more from you…
    rawmzmartha ~

  46. Nicey says:

    I love eating 80/10/10 I feel great BUT I miss cooked food and keep going back. I am addicted, do I need serious therapy ? Or is it just will power? Thanks

  47. Corde says:

    In regards to “just do what works for you”, I have a few things to say.

    The first is that anyone who says this is probably intent of fending off any accusations they perceive someone throwing at them. It’s similar to when a raw vegan points out that honey isn’t vegan to some idiot rawist who says they’re vegan – or, heck (’cause probably no cussing), when a vegan breathes near a carnist – they inevitably get a long, lengthy diatribe and rationalization on why they do it.

    Granted, cooked carnists tent to keep it to, “I just like meat.” At which point the vegan justifiably rolls their eyes and continues on with their life. Raw carnists (does that even make sense? no.) tend to give long and lengthy diatribes, however.

    It pretty much revolves around the fact that the person in question thinks – or wants to think – that they’re already doing something; why should they have to do more? To me this isn’t such an alarming stance on health at it is on the general attitude of our society – I’m ALREADY doing X, Y and Z; why should I have to grow personally on top of that?

    The second point I’d like to bring up is the same that raw hope did. There are species specific diets out there – and, actually, the only diets that exist for one animal are the same for the others of their species.

    Think of it this way: dogs are a species. Even all the breeds considered, dogs are ONE species. Yet… dogs don’t have different nutritional/vitamin needs; they just have different caloric nutrition needs due to their size and activity level. (Also, for the record, most “healthy” rawists are underweight. Humans are not meant to be skinny as a rail – they’re supposed to be able to survive a small, 4-9 day famine. You should not be able to see your bones, ESPECIALLY YOUR STERNUM!)

    A small note, and that is that I strongly disagree that you can have “a tablespoon of oil once in a while”, but I understand that you also have to say that so you don’t come off as flaming crazy. (In the raw food … “movement”. I don’t know if I can use that word anymore, though. Hmm. Raw food for thought.)

    And, lastly… Doug Graham is honestly one of those people who I like. Everywhere else in the raw food community, you find hucksters, gurus and people who want nothing more than to make a buck. The impressions I’ve gotten from Doug Graham, having read The 80/10/10 Diet, are far different. He comes across not as someone wanting to manipulate the community into following him, but someone who’s ticked off at the newer people screwing up the basic principles of the thing.

    Honestly, I don’t think he wants to be followed. He wants people to be his equals, and stand on the same level as him.

    That’s what makes me want to listen to him.

  48. Susan says:

    You’re not alone, Nicey!

    Me for example: Fruits or big green smoothies for breakfast. Delicious, love it. About an hour later I’m getting “woozy” and feel the “need for salt/fat/protein”, without it I actually start to get shaky. The idea of quelling hunger at that point with more sweet fruit sounds very wrong to me, I get a physically negative reaction when I think of eating more sweet fruits. Instead, a big bowl of chopped romaine & tomatoes, 1/3 avocado, juice of 1/2 lemon and a few shrimp tossed all together with sea salt – and I’m back on track. Probably won’t crave sweet fruit for the rest of the day and will do another large chopped salad with plenty of veggies and greens in it for dinner.

    That’s a standard day for me whenever I am attempting to get back to raw vegan.

    Can we really all be raw vegan & healthy?

    What am I missing that others have got figured out?

  49. Krystal says:

    Fruit is what gets our stomachs ready for digestion because it is the easiest. I myself just love mangoes..They are the best..But then I start my morning off with a fruit smoothie every day and if I need extra energy because I have a busy day planned I just add a little celery or bok choy or lettuce or whatever I choose just not enough to over power the fruit…To much veggies even though they are good for you can turn your smoothies….ummmm well lets say it can taste interesting….Take care and enjoy your fruit and veggies..

    Yes.. I am more a fruitarian. Who can resist?


  50. Prakash says:


    Fred, I dont see raw vegans who are super musucular (following 811). Why is it the case when they follow the best diet and workout without any issues on recovery?

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