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Interview with Thor Bazler (formerly known as Stephen Arlin)

Interview with Thor Bazler (formerly known as Stephen Arlin)

* Founder of Rawpower.com
* Co-founder with David Wolfe of the first raw-food company, formerly known as Nature’s First Law
* Author of the books “Raw Power!” and “Nature’s First Law: The Raw-Food Diet” (co-author)

 

INTRO by FREDERIC

I first met Thor in 1997, when I showed up as a scrawny raw foodist in California, looking to get involved in the raw food scene in any way possible. Back then, Thor was known as Stephen Arlin, and together with David Wolfe, he started the biggest company in raw foods. In no time, we became friends and we even started a magazine together, Just Eat An Apple. That was before I started my own business in 2000. Thor eventually left the company he started with David to start his own. Over the years, we stayed in touch on and off by email, and I finally convinced him to offer this exclusive interview. Enjoy !

Fred: First, Thor, could you let us know about your background and how you got involved in the raw food movement?

Thor: Sure, I got involved with the raw-food diet back in 1994, when there wasn’t really much going on with the “raw foods movement” and the Internet was still in its infantile stage. I grew up in San Diego and my neighbor and best friend, David Wolfe, had found an old out-of-print book about eating all raw foods in his parents’ house one day and decided to read it. He lent the book to me and I read it and was fascinated.

I then read Jay “The Juiceman” Kordich’s book on juicing and raw foods. Dave and I (and Dave’s cousin, RC Dini) all went raw together and started promoting the diet to pretty much every person we came into contact with. We would set up tables in malls, parks, festivals…anywhere, and put out baskets of fruits and vegetables and eat and talk to passers-by about raw foods all day, then go home and have raw food and juicing parties with whoever would show up. One party we had was a watermelon juice party at RC’s place (RC stands for “Raw Courage”). I think we went through about 30 big watermelons! Massive Abundance, we called it.

We had one of the first raw food web sites on the internet, which consisted of a single page of “health axioms” plus our email address and phone number at the bottom of the page. From there we published our first raw foods book in 1996. Our first week of selling books was rather interesting… Steve Jobs was actually one of the first ten people who ordered our book online, then later that week, another customer ordered a book and had us send it to Charles Manson, in prison. We were like, “Whoa, this is gonna get interesting…”

Before long, we started a full-time, full-service raw food business, the first of its kind, with all the resources anyone would need to adopt the raw food lifestyle. We also had the first Facebook-like web site for raw foodists long before Facebook was even invented. It was called, “The Premier Raw-Foodists of the World” and each raw food advocate had his or her own web page with their philosophies and contact information.

The main page was a big grid that had clickable thumbnail pictures of everyone on the site. We were also the first to bring many raw/organic foods to the US market and raw food community, including goji berries, hemp protein, coconut oil, cacao products, maca, truly raw cashews, pure raw olives, and many others.

David Wolfe, Thor and Raw Courage on a TV Show in the Early Days

Fred: You’ve been at the forefront of the raw food movement by co-founding one of the biggest “raw food” businesses in the world. After all that time, what has been your overall impression of the raw food movement?

Thor: Our goal back in 1995 was to help popularize the raw food diet to the point where every household on Earth would know about it and know that it is an option (like everyone pretty much knows what a vegetarian diet is). So, one positive impression I have is that the raw food information has gotten out there into the mainstream and a large percentage of people know about it, and eat more raw foods now.

On the negative side, one thing that we never considered would happen was that there would be such a division and difference of opinions amongst raw foodists (or, more appropriately, “raw feudists”). It’s just so ridiculous, and counter-productive, you know? I mean, one person says we need to be eating salads, another says bananas, another says celery or goji berries or whatever, and they’ll be online ARGUING about it or creating videos bashing each other, instead of actually getting out there in the trenches and educating regular people who are smoking cigarettes, eating fast food, drinking soda, polluting the planet, getting sick, and dying of unnecessary, self-inflicted diseases.

Obviously there are lots of positive things about the raw food movement as well, but that’s my overall impression. It’s turned into a growing number of people fighting over a fictitious finite piece of the pie, when the original goal was, at least for us, to help humanity get back on course. It all needs to stop, or the raw food “movement” will keep spinning its wheels while humanity plunders into the abyss.

With Jay Kordich, Aka "The Juiceman"

Fred: When and why did you leave Nature’s First Law and what happened for you since?

Thor: I had been considering leaving Nature’s First Law, which I co-founded with David Wolfe in 1995, for a few years and finally left in September of 2006 (Dave left a few years later). There were a few core reasons why I left but mainly it was because my day-to-day experience there was no longer something I wanted to continue. In the early years, when we were building the business, we had a lot of fun…as you know! You were there in what, 1997/1998? Anyway, during those early years, we were more grass-roots and we did everything together. We answered the phones, packed orders, went to the post office, made copies–all the normal business stuff, and also traveled to events and retreats…you name it.

As the years passed and the company grew, and got very busy, we sort of just fell into specialized roles. Dave was great at PR and public speaking and my specialty was running and growing the business. As anyone who runs a good-sized business with lots of employees can tell you, it wears you down, big time. And since Dave was gone most of the time, we were no longer on the same page day-to-day, and our visions for the company’s future went off in different directions. And when we did re-connect and have meetings, it was difficult to agree on numerous things.

I’m not against conflict at all, in fact I think you have to have conflict in a creative relationship to have success. If people get along too well and don’t challenge each other, you don’t get the same results–the conflict is really what creates the magic. I’m a “slow and steady wins the race” kind of guy and I think our life paths diverged to a point where it was no longer possible to bridge the gap and have the required amount of mutual agreement that is crucial in a business partnership.

Dave and I are like brothers. We grew up together–we met when we were 10-11 years old–we were best friends through high school, and roommates during our college years. We have a very brother-like relationship. You know how it is, sometimes you feel like you just want to strangle your brother, but you would also fight to the death for him if anybody ever messed with him.

Another big reason for leaving Nature’s First Law was that our success had attracted countless vultures, and I don’t know about you, but I don’t take kindly to people of this sort. Instead of a once fun and exciting job, it had turned into a Groundhog Day for me of dealing with lawyers, insurance agents, governmental authorities, and frivolous lawsuits. During my last year with the company, there was a very positive article written about us in the business section in the local newspaper, in fact, we made the front page, and boy did the vultures come out in droves after that was published.

There was a lawsuit filed against us by a powdered milk company called “Nature First” because they said our company was causing customer confusion. We were like, “Uh, we’re a vegan company. We have NOTHING to do with milk, ok? In fact, we carry a book called Milk: The Deadly Poison!”

Another of the many absurd lawsuits brought against us during that time was by a handicapped “advocate” who would go around to businesses and count the number of parking spaces around that business and if the ratio of handicapped spaces didn’t meet the letter of the law, he’d file a lawsuit and DEMAND MONEY!…not ask a business to paint another space to meet the local code, but full-on shake businesses down for cash. We had about ten parking spaces in front of our business, all within 20-25 feet of the front door, and three quarters of them were always available.

We had a really great core group of like-minded people working there, so another thing that sort of took the wind out of my sails was when the company started hiring “regular” people–people that weren’t raw, weren’t vegan, weren’t vegetarian, some of them smoked cigarettes, called in sick, etc.

Dave and I had always been contrary to society, we worked on Christmas, fasted on Thanksgiving, all that stuff, and it was a big let down, for me at least, when the company grew to a point where we had to hire more and more people, most of whom would be in shock if they were told “we work on Christmas and Thanksgiving because everyone else doesn’t.”

I remember once telling a new employee, “Inside these walls, we’re in the Nebuchadnezzar, outside is The Matrix, it’s all false. See that school across the street? It’s 100% false. It’s a babysitting service, an indoctrination center, and those kids are doomed. But eating raw, organic food and getting off all the poison they eat can unplug them from The Matrix and they can begin to think on their own.” Some of those employees would get it and change their ways, for others it was just a paycheck and they would continue to take their cigarette breaks, talk about their television shows, and eat fast food for lunch, although we had a strict rule of no non-vegan food in the building.

So, really, having to deal with these kinds of things on a daily basis facilitated my departure from the company. I have a saying I have lived my life by for many years: That which disturbs your soul you must not suffer. If something disturbs me, I have to mercilessly purge it from my life. It’s my duty to myself. I would have liked to stay at that company for many more years, but I guess, as the saying goes, “The light that burns twice as bright, burns half as long.”

To answer the second part part of your question, what happened after NFL is that I built a new web site, Rawpower.com, as well as completely re-wrote my Raw Power book, to bring it up to date. There’s a lot of new info in there now, more than 100 pages, based on my experiences with raw foods, superfoods and strength training over the last several years. I’ve really enjoyed this Raw Power business, sourcing and selling the quality foods my family and I enjoy ourselves, working with cool, down-to-earth employees, having the family around and being part of the business.

Fred: What’s the funniest moment you remember from those Nature’s First Law days?

Thor: Wow, that’s a tough question since there were so many. I’d have to say it’s a tie between the time when a raw food bodybuilder employee of ours, Scott Brodie, after many months of being driven crazy by the ice cream truck’s daily drive-bys (like a bunch of raw foodists were going to stop their work and go buy an ice cream!) stopped the ice cream truck, got down on a knee and asked the ice cream man to marry him!

The other time was when we were putting on a big raw food event at our warehouse and Dave’s band Healing Waters was playing and there was this girl who showed up who had a little bit too much of a crush on Dave, so the band started playing their song Stalker Girl and she went nuts, rolling around on the warehouse floor for several minutes, just totally absorbed in the music and in her own little world, she was getting filthy from the floor and it was probably the funniest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. I was laughing so hard, my ribcage hurt.

Book Signing in the Early Days

Fred: You changed your name to Thor Bazler, tell us about that.

Thor: Yeah, I legally changed it back in the year 2000. My mother’s maiden name is Bazler and I was always  real close with the Bazler side. They were the family I related to and spent the most time with. I married Jolie in 1999 and we had our first child later that year. One day, out of the blue, we came to the conclusion that we should change our family name to Bazler. And I changed my first name to Thor while I was at it. It just felt like the right thing to do for our new little family. Some people thought I was crazy though. I had built up a successful business, authored books, and met thousands of people with my birth name and was pretty well known. So, I had to deal with some things I hadn’t considered prior to changing my name.

Fred: That’s interesting. Like what?

Thor: Well, one thing was when I published my Raw Power book, a couple people contacted me and accused me of ripping off Stephen Arlin’s book! So I had to go through the whole, “No, that’s me. I’m the same person. I just changed my name.” Then other people would think, “Why would he do that? He must be hiding from the government, or he must be in some kind of trouble.” Geez, women change their names all the time, so when a guy does it he must be a criminal? Hey, I may change it again someday, you never know!

Fred: Are there some things the raw food “gurus” don’t want us to know and that we should be aware of?

Thor: The thing I’ve learned about these self-appointed “raw food gurus” is that most are either too open-minded, or too closed-minded. It is, of course, a good thing to keep an open mind to new ideas, but if the flood gates are always all the way open, one becomes susceptible to believing in anything. “Stand for something, or fall for anything,” the saying goes. And on the other end of the spectrum, it can be just as bad to not be open to new ideas and just staying with an outdated and unrealistic dogma.

Fred: What is some bad advice that you’ve seen others give about the raw food diet?

Thor: An easier question to answer would be, “What is some *good* advice that you’ve seen others give about the raw food diet?” because I could fill several volumes of books giving examples of “bad advice.” I believe that to live a healthy lifestyle and eat a healthy diet, all one must do is follow a simple set of guidelines. The moment the information begins to get complex, or when you start hearing 15-letter, scientific or Latin words, is when one begins to see bad advice. My simple set of guidelines goes something like this:

1. Eat a diet high in raw, organic, vegan foods (Make it fun with lots of smoothies and salads!)

2. Water: drink only purified water (every water source on Earth is contaminated except possibly frozen fresh water in Antarctica)

3. Exercise every day (Exercise guru Jack LaLanne once said, “Going one day without exercising is like committing suicide.” Now, I wouldn’t take that too literally, but Jack did have a point. The Law of Inertia states that a body in motion tends to stay in motion, and a body in rest tends to stay in rest. Even on my days off from weight training, I like to stay active.)

4. Breathe clean air (if you need to move to a place with clean air…move) (I actually had a guy call me once and start complaining that he didn’t feel good and he asked me what he should do. I asked him where he lived. He said, “In an apartment in New York City.” I said, “Sir, you’re basically living in a polluted, negative void and you’re wondering why you feel like crap every day? If I were you, I’d hang up the phone, collect a few of your favorite things, walk out the front door of your apartment and never go back. And don’t stop walking until you’ve reached a place that makes you smile and feel amazing.”)

5. Associate with positive people

6. Get outdoors in fresh air and the sun and experience nature

7. Think powerful thoughts

8. Delve into the mysteries of life

9. Avoid mass media, television and other time- and mind-wasters

10. Live in a place that is conducive to good health (fresh, clean air, low crime rate, local recreational opportunities, etc.)

11. Have (or find) a really cool, balanced partner to share life with

Your life is either a chore or a celebration. The choice is yours.

Fred: Can you give me an example of some of the big issues that raw foodists face in the modern world?

Thor: Good question. Like everything which becomes successful, big, greedy corporations have infiltrated and are now taking over the raw and organic food industries. Wal-Mart even has an organic food section now. And what happens when these corporations get involved is these foods become more available, yes, but quality takes a big hit, and before you know it, raw and vegan diets, which started as salads, fruits, veggies, etc. have become less and less fresh and more and more dehydrated packaged snacks, raw chocolate bars, and the like.

I think the raw snacks are fine additions to a high fresh raw-food diet, but they shouldn’t be the primary foods in someone’s diet, and they shouldn’t be the first thing someone thinks of when they think of the raw food diet. The cooked vegan food industry is even worse, way worse.

My wife has been vegan for over 20 years, and she told me, in the past, being vegan meant salads, fruits, and veggies, mainly being pretty raw, and definitely about whole foods. Now, there are vegan “meats,” vegan “cheeses,” vegan everything, and most of it is not what I’d consider to be part of a healthy diet. One can order vegan at Taco Bell! There are now 300-pound vegans who don’t eat any raw fruits or vegetables, how the heck is *that* healthy?

Fred: Do you think a 100% raw food diet is for everybody?

Thor: A person doesn’t need to eat 100% raw all the time to achieve tremendous results. For the vast majority of people, 100% raw just isn’t a realistic way to live. It took me a while to finally realize that, but it is the truth. Most people do well on a high-raw diet. If one aspires to and thrives on a 100% raw diet, then great for them.

For years, I just couldn’t understand why the vast majority of people were not able to stick with it for an extended time (no matter which raw diet they were eating). There seems to be, for the most part, a revolving door of people who experiment with it for a time, then move on. I think it’s a great thing for people to try. It really teaches people about their bodies, and they’ll never think of food the same again.

Fred: Do you think most people who follow a raw food diet are actually healthier that way?

Thor: Yes, however, one key principle of health I’ve found to be undeniably true over the years is that more important than what you’re eating is what you’re *not* eating, especially in today’s world of quick and easy convenience foods. In fact, the best thing about eating raw, organic foods is not that they are “magical,” but that you are not eating the junk that the majority of people are eating! Raw foods are special, yes, but they are not a cure-all. Eating raw food all by itself won’t completely improve your life, but it’s a great start. The art of being wise is knowing what to overlook.

Fred: Tell us about your family. I worked with you and Jolie all those years ago, and you had one baby then. I understand you two have four sons now!

Thor: Yes, I met my wife Jolie on Maui in 1998. We were both working for companies sponsoring the first “raw-food retreat.” Now it’s almost fourteen years later and we have four awesome sons (ages 12, 10, 7, 5). As any parent can testify, it’s challenging, but also very rewarding. Jolie homeschools the kids and does a great job (I help with the math!). And they have the healthiest diets of any kids I’ve ever known. “Mom, can we have a snack?” means a big plate of raw/organic fennel, celery, purple cabbage, carrots, radishes, etc. We have a fun family. The kids and I put together a video to show you and your readers what’s it’s like around here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6oqIZe4wRU

Fred: Is there anything you would like to share about raising children on the raw food diet? What is the reality versus idealism?

Thor: Raising kids 100% raw vegan from birth is tricky and not something I would recommend to parents. We tried it for the first few years and there were definitely some paradigm shifts for us (and for many families, I’ve since found out). However, with that said, our kids still eat more raw vegan foods than anyone we know, and have super healthy diets, have never been to the doctor for an illness, have zero cavities, have never eaten junk food, candy, soda, etc. I recommend to new parents that they feed their kids a high-raw diet, strive for all organic, and make healthy choices with everything else, and definitely stay away from all the junk out there.

Fred: What is your take on supplements?

Thor: I think the majority of them out there are a complete waste of money and actually harmful to your health. Most are fractured, synthetic, commercial, cheap garbage. The “supplements” I personally take don’t resemble anything like this. They are simply concentrated, 100% raw, organic food. One example is a wild dried berry from the Amazon called camu camu. Camu camu berries contain hundreds of times more vitamin C than oranges, by weight. So, I don’t take a vitamin C supplement, I just put a teaspoon of camu camu berry powder in my smoothie a few times a week.

A couple more examples of the “supplements” I eat daily are Raw Power Protein Superfood Blend, and Thor’s Hammer cold-pressed, high-protein tablets, both of which are made entirely from 100% raw, organic, pure, vegan food. The “Godfather of Fitness,” health guru Jack LaLanne once said, “I am a huge believer in vitamins and minerals, and even though I eat right, I take supplements as an insurance policy. I take everything, from A to Z, and it’s all from natural sources.” So, I would agree with Jack on the insurance policy comment and take it one step further and say all supplements should be in the form of 100% raw, organic, pure, vegan food.

Fred: What about cacao?

Thor: Cacao (the main ingredient in chocolate) is ok to use in small quantities, if you’re using it as a flavor (like vanilla beans, or cinnamon). I’ve never been a chocolate person, so I rarely eat cacao. If you do, always use raw, organic, and very clean cacao from a reputable source. When cacao is heated above a certain temperature, such as in the process of roasting, the heat produces acrylamide in the cacao, a compound that has been shown to be both neurotoxic and carcinogenic. Also, cacao beans are notorious for being a food that is commonly contaminated with molds.

Peanuts are another food you need to real careful of when you source them. There are two big cacao farms I know of that go the extra mile in making sure their cacao is 100% clean, and they even wash the beans in a purified water and food grade hydrogen peroxide solution to make sure they are 100% clean. The cacao (and all other food items) that we carry at Rawpower.com have been meticulously tested, and for over ten years have been found to be the cleanest products on the market. We have tested dozens of other companies’ products and have sometimes found that they are teeming with contamination. One popular brand of cacao nibs we tested came back with a microbe reading of TNC, which means “too numerous to count.” Scary!

Fred: Do you consider yourself a raw foodist? What do you eat on a daily basis?

Thor: Well, I consider myself a husband and father, because when it is all said and done, that’s how I’d like my success as a human being to be measured. I don’t like to define myself based on what I eat, however for the sake of this interview, yes, I’ve been 90%+ raw since 1995 with long periods of time at 100% raw. Some of the raw foods I eat on a regular basis are: green-leafy vegetables, olives, celery, avocados, purple cabbage, berries, bananas, citrus fruits, green juice, sea vegetables, lots of smoothies with Raw Power Protein blend, Thor’s Hammer tablets, and various raw superfood powders.

Fred: Tell us your thoughts on “superfoods.”

Thor: As I say in my book, some people don’t “believe” in superfoods. But you know, it doesn’t have anything to do with belief. It is a *fact* that some foods are vastly superior to others in terms of purity, density of nutrients, degree of mineralization, etc. A superfood is a food which contains unique (and even medicinal), health-promoting properties. These are foods which are more nutrient-rich, or concentrated, than normal foods and typically have higher levels of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids, etc. than commonly-consumed foods. Superfoods allow us to eat less, but take in more nutrients at the same time. I strive for eating the most unharmful, most nutrient-rich foods possible. This is what eating superfoods is all about.

After 17 years of eating raw foods and trying different approaches, my conclusion is that the best diet is one in which a combination of fresh, organic raw foods and concentrated low-temperature dried, organic superfoods are eaten. For more and more people, supplements are being replaced by raw, organic superfoods, which I think is great. For years, the pharmaceutical companies have been taking plants and superfoods and extracting the medicinal qualities out of them—-and making medicine to sell people at exorbitant prices. Now, everyone has access to these real, raw, superfoods. So, heed what Hippocrates (the father of Western medicine) once said: “Our food should be our medicine, and our medicine our food.”

Fred: What’s the one secret to health and success that you really don’t want to share?

Thor: That’s a funny question because I remember watching a bodybuilding documentary from the 1970s called “Pumping Iron” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. In that film, Arnold was explaining how he used to give people the wrong advice so he’d always have an edge over them! I thought that was hilarious, and I even did a little bit of that over the years myself. Not anymore though, I’m more into sharing info these days as compared to years’ past. Answering your question, I don’t think there are really any “secrets” to health and success, but there are a few important guidelines, like the ones I listed previously.

Fred: I remember interviewing you ten years ago for “Just Eat An Apple Magazine.” That article was called “Interview with a raw-food bodybuilder.” Are you still into weight-lifting?

Thor: Yes, even more so now than ever. I still lift weights 5-6 times a week and I developed a new weekly routine, and takes just 45 minutes per day and is the most effective routine I’ve ever practiced. It’s outlined in detail in the new Raw Power book. With it, I’ve built up my strength to bench press 30-rep sets of 100-pound dumbbells. Some say that’s the equivalent of bench pressing 225 pounds on the barbell for sets of 30 reps, which is on par with NFL football player strength. I live in the mountain forest of Northern Idaho now so I also get a lot of exercise hiking and exploring, chopping wood, moving snow, maintaining the property, playing sports with my kids, etc.

Fred: You created a line of Raw Power raw protein powders. Can you tell us a little more about what went into the creation of this product?

Thor: Yeah, the Raw Power Protein/Superfood blends were created several years ago out of my wife and I wishing such a product existed for our own use. We would talk about how it would be great if there were a 100% organic, 100% raw, 100% vegan, 100% clean, 100% HEALTHY protein powder out there, with no fillers and no average ingredients, strictly the best high-protein raw, vegan ingredients planet Earth has to offer. After a few years of trying dozens of different ingredient blends, I finally got it just perfect. My wife, kids and I make it a part of our morning smoothies.

Fred: Many raw foodists claim they can build muscle on just fruits and vegetables as long as they eat enough calories. Do you think it’s necessary to get extra protein when body-building, and why?

Thor: Well, sure people can build muscle on just fruits and vegetables. The question is, how much? I have a chapter on this in the Raw Power book called: Protein: How Much is Enough? In it, I write, “A raw-food, vegan diet is fantastic for slimming and overall health but, to build super strength and muscle mass, extra protein is required. There will undoubtedly be people in the raw-food community who will tell you differently, but it’s usually a guy who weighs a-buck-thirty, or a guy who can run a marathon, but has the physique of a thirteen year-old boy.” People have to decide what they want.

Personally, I’m not interested in being thin and running marathons or cycling on a tiny seat for hundreds of miles. I’m talking about building large muscles and attaining NFL-football-player strength eating raw and vegan, something that a very, very small percentage of people on this planet ever attain. Completely different. If one desires to be an endurance athlete, lean and fit…great, then they can do the 6% protein thing.

If you want middle linebacker size and strength on a raw vegan diet, it ain’t gonna work on 6% protein. Here are some things I’ve found to be essential for the person seeking this kind of size and strength on a raw vegan diet: eating enough calories and protein daily, consistent exercise with weight-bearing exercises, a strong and level-headed mind, staying properly hydrated, getting enough sleep, eliminating stress, getting sun on the skin, etc. Protein intake should be 1/2 gram (or more) per pound of desired body weight per day.

Fred: Besides those who want to have extra muscle, who typically purchases your Raw Power Protein products and why?

Thor: Mostly just anyone who is looking to add clean, usable nutrition and premium-quality, raw, vegan protein to their diets. Our customers also include NFL football players, national fitness competitors, models, personal trainers, yoga practitioners, lots of bodybuilders, and lots of moms and dads wanting to give their family the best.

Fred: What do raw vegan bodybuilders eat?

Thor: In addition to the normal raw-food diet fare of salads, fruits, veggies, smoothies, nuts, seeds, sea vegetables, etc., all of them I know of add some sort of extra high-protein food sources, or “supplements.” I prefer the Raw Power Protein blend for its quality, taste, and versatility. Another fantastic raw, organic bodybuilding product I take every day is such an important part of my diet, I named it Thor’s Hammer, after the Norse god Thor’s powerful weapon of choice. It has a 70% protein content and comes in the form of 100% raw, cold-pressed tablets, containing only pure ingredients, with no fillers or binders. I eat handfuls of them at a time, up to 300 per day, which provides me an extra 50 grams of protein per day. My kids all take the tablets daily, so do my employees and many of my friends. I also eat a 100% raw, organic Protein Bar on most days, which contains 22 grams of protein per bar.

Fred: Any new projects in the works?

Thor: As I mentioned, I recently re-wrote my Raw Power book. It details all my strategies to gain super strength and muscle eating a diet of raw foods and superfoods, based on over 15 years of my experiences with a raw-food diet. The book also includes all my unique personal workouts, raw-food recipes and lots of other stuff. I was never really that happy with the first three editions (1998, 2000, 2002), as they were more “thrown together.” With this new edition (2011), I took my time, stripped the old edition down to the bare essentials and then added in over 100 pages of new information. The new workouts I came up with were inspired by a raw foodist I met who out lifted the combined efforts of 10 people. You can read about this amazing story in the new Raw Power book as well. Another book is in the works as well as a workout video. Stay tuned at Rawpower.com!

NOTE FROM FREDERIC: By popular demand, we now carry Thor’s book and a few of his products at www.rawvegan.com

Make sure to also check out his website: raw power.com 

Fred, Jolie and Thor in 1998
The Fake NFL Band: Thor, David and Fred
Frederic Patenaude
Frederic Patenaude
Frederic Patenaude has been an important influence in the raw food and natural health movement since he started writing and publishing in 1998, first by being the editor of Just Eat an Apple magazine. He is the author of over 20 books, including The Raw Secrets, the Sunfood Cuisine and Raw Food Controversies. Since 2013 he’s been the Editor-in-Chief of Renegade Health.

Frederic loves to relentlessly debunk nutritional myths. He advocates a low-fat, plant-based diet and has had over 10 years of experience with raw vegan diets. He lives in Montreal, Canada.