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Do You Have to be All Raw?


–  Frederic’s Update

–  Feature Article “Do You Have to be All Raw?”


Today I will give you my all-time, best strategy for eating more raw and experience thriving health and energy with a high-fruit diet, one bite at a time.

But first, a quick reminder, for those of you interested in making a living doing what you love.

The special for my course “How to Write and Sell Your Own eBooks in 24 hours or Less” ends in just a few hours.

This is my complete course about making a full-time income writing eBooks sharing and spreading the word about health or whatever your passion may be.

If you sign up this time around, you will automatically receive my $497 program “The List Building eCoaching”, where you’ll learn to build a list of 10,000 subscribers in 6 months or less.

This is the only time I will offer this program as a bonus. After that, it will cost $497 to join.

Special event: Quebec, Canada

On the weekend of April 25th, I will be giving a 2-hour presentation in French on the raw food diet and raw food cuisine at the Voluntary Simplicity Congress in Quebec, Canada. This is a two-day event on a very interesting topic, and I am the only speaker on the raw food diet there. If you are interested, find out more information (in French) at:

Raw Health Starter Kit


Do You Have to Be All-Raw?

Wall of Bananas.jpg
Meet “The Banana Wall”

I just came back from a weekend with a couple of new “raw” friends I just met.

As always, I’m always blown away by how GREAT people look in the low-fat, high-fruit raw vegan crowd. They are slim, but fit and muscular. Their eyes are glowing. They have energy and vitality, and clarity.

I honestly couldn’t say the same of the low-fruit, wheatgrass juice/sprouting crowd, who as a whole, look like they could use a little “forbidden fruit”.

But going back to my story, often when you meet new raw people the topic turns to “are you 100% raw”?

Some people claim to eat 100% raw, and have done it for a certain number of years.

Upon further inquiry, many of those people admit that a few times during that time, they did cheat on some cooked food.

Others are 100% raw, all-the-time, count-on-it.

And the vast majority are 100% raw, most of the time, with “cheats” a few times a month. Because it’s the OVERALL lifestyle that is important, they still get great benefits.

For everybody, it’s a process of evolution. You learn as you go along, and you improve along the way.

At some point comes the realization that diet alone is not everything, so you start paying attention to building a strong fitness program, getting sunshine regularly, getting enough sleep, finding your purpose in life, and paying attention to the other requirements of a healthy life.

So do you NEED to eat 100% raw?

Rather than answer than question directly, I will instead answer the more important question: How can you eat more raw?

The biggest issue everyone who is getting started on the raw food diet is facing is that of TRANSITION.

How do you go from where you are now to a completely raw food diet (with or without cheats), while enjoying the process?

I’ve always said that everyone should learn to make 7 to 10 raw food recipes they TRULY enjoy.

Even on a standard cooked diet, most people eat the same kinds of foods every day.

We are creatures of routine. Once we find something we like, it’s easy to stick with the program.

When I was in high school, I learned one day how to make tuna sandwiches. I liked them so much that I ate them almost every day for lunch for a long time.

When I first started the raw food diet, I had no idea what foods I could make. Every recipe I tried was just “so-so” and nothing could sustain me for very long.

Since then, I have learned some simple recipes and patterns of eating that satisfy me day after day.

Every successful person I know follows some kind of PATTERN. They vary their diet throughout the year, but often they’ll eat the same delicious foods every day, while changing the recipe regularly depending on ingredients that are available.

So here’s my super-simple, transition strategy to eat MORE RAW:

Step #1 — Eat a raw breakfast

The first step is the easiest. Eat a 100% raw breakfast. Discover a few recipes that you like.

For me, breakfast is pretty open. Sometimes I’ll have a green smoothie, sometimes just some fruit, sometimes just a fruit smoothie.

Try out many different fruit recipes that are easy to make, until you find the one you really like for breakfast. Or eat your favorite fruit!

Step #2 — Eat a raw lunch

The raw lunch takes a bit more commitment, but it’s also very easy.

You just have to accept the fact that it’s perfectly okay to eat a lunch of just fruit.

Because lunch should be the largest meal of the day, it’s often easier to have a smoothie that can pack in the calories.

The quantities will depend on your needs, and whether or not you’re trying to lose weight.

All of my lunches usually center around bananas. Why? Because they are always around, they are non-acidic, high in calories, and very nutritious and versatile in the kitchen.

One great smoothie I love is:

Bananas + papaya flesh, blended together, with some water and if desired a bit of ice

Or bananas blended with water and some berries of your choice.

Again, you have to try out many different ideas until you find the one you like.

You may also want to accompany your meal with some celery or lettuce, or have a green smoothie for lunch.

The ideal lunch should leave you satisfied for at least 3 hours. If it doesn’t, then you simply didn’t eat enough.

Step #3 — Start dinner with fruit

If you’re trying to lose weight, you will want to skip this step. But if you’re at your ideal weight and active, then you’ll want to start your dinner with some fruit. Juicy and acidic fruits are great: fresh pineapple, oranges, peaches, mangoes, etc.

This usually is the part that most people resist. After having fruit for breakfast AND lunch… they feel like it’s “too much sugar” to have fruit for dinner as well.

But the truth is… if they are active enough and eat a dinner without fruit, invariably at the end of the meal they will crave something sweet, and end up binging on dates and nuts.

I understand it doesn’t FEEL natural to eat fruit for dinner. But it’s only because you are not USED to it. After a while it will feel as natural as anything.

Step #4 — Follow your fruit with a vegetable soup

In these progressive steps, you are free to eat whatever you like after eating the required foods for the steps. But once you take on another step, then obviously there’s little space available for the rest.

After you get used to eating fruit before your dinner, then follow that fruit with a delicious, fat-free vegetable soup.

I’ve been making this soup almost EVERY DAY for at least a year, and I never get tired of it because it’s so good.

I’ve made this soup for many raw-foodists who had never tasted it, and they all swore it was one of the most delicious things they had ever tried.

In my upcoming DVD series, I explain in detail how to make a low-fat vegetable soup.

For now, here are two variations of the recipe:

Variation #1

1 large tomato
1 large mango, only the flesh
1 handful basil


Variation #2

1 large tomato
1 mango, only the flesh
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
Fresh dill
A couple of green onions, or celery

Blend slowly (not completely)

When I’m in Costa Rica, I always add tamarillos (tree tomato), which looks like a cross between a tomato and a kiwi, and has a wonderful flavor.

The idea with these soups is to mix vegetable fruits, sweet fruit and fresh herbs. No fat is used or needed.

In my upcoming Raw Vegan DVD Series, I explain in details how to make these soups.

Step #5: Follow the fruit and soup with some kind of salad or blended salad.

Here you create a salad of your choice with a dressing of your choice, with or without fat.

Here you really need to find recipes you love, and would almost never get tired of eating.

If you like simple stuff, you can munch on plain lettuce or spinach, with optional avocado.

At this point, most people are pretty full and won’t need anything more. But if you are still hungry, have some steamed vegetables, or anything else you desire.

Step #6 — Go all raw!

The last step in the series is to eliminate the last bits of cooked foods that you’re regularly eating. Pretty simple?

This transition plan works great because you replace cooked calories with raw calories, without relying on excessive quantities of fat to do it.

Please share your favorite recipes in the comments (try to only include low-fat, hygienic recipes)!

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.