May 7

The Secret Way for Going Raw

Filed under Getting Started on Raw by Frederic Patenaude


–  Frederic’s Update

–  Feature Article “The Secret Way for Going Raw”


I must say: I’m excited!

Let me explain: for many years, I’ve been asked to produce a series of DVDs showing how to make raw food recipes. Finally, I decided to give this a go.

Last January, I filmed my first series of DVDs. We ended up with over 3 hours of amazing material for a two-part DVD series called “The Low Fat Raw Vegan Cuisine”.

This will be a first-of-a-kind product showing you exactly how to make the best recipes and meals to succeed on the raw food diet.

The first DVD features only recipes with no overt fats added. The second DVD shows you the rest of the cuisine, with some fat being used in reasonable amounts.

Next week I will be able to show you some excerpts from the DVD itself. For now, here’s the cover…


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The Secret Way for Going Raw

I recently got back to Canada after having spent nearly four months in the tropics in Costa Rica, and that led me to realize something very important about going raw.

I’ve been spending most of my winters in the tropics for the last few years, and every time I come back to my home country of Canada, it’s a bit of a shock.

Experts call this the “reverse cultural shock” — when you come back to your home country and suddenly it doesn’t feel that great anymore, because you’ve gotten used to the culture in the other country.

For me, there are basically two things that I find hard when coming back:

–    The weather
–    The food quality

Where I live in Costa Rica it’s a perfect climate. It’s sunny every day, daytime temperatures are summer-like, or about 80 to 85 (25 to 29 Celsius), and nighttime is a comfortable 65 (18 Celsius) or so.

I was feasting on delicious ripe mangoes that I got for 50 cents a pound, delicious bananas, perfect greens and tropical treats such as soursop, tree tomatoes, passion fruit, gorgeous papayas and more.

When I got back to Canada, it was raining, 50 degrees (10 Celsius), and on my first trip to the grocery store I brought back unripe bananas, tasteless mangoes that never ripened quite right, boring apples and pears, suspicious-looking grapes and disappointing tomatoes.

On the positive side, it was great to feast on perfect celery and baby spinach, which I don’t find in Costa Rica (the celery there isn’t so great).

Fortunately, the weather quickly warmed up over the weekend to summer-like temperatures in the 80s! This only lasted a few days but was quite enjoyable.

Then, I made the trip to Montreal where I went to my favorite fruit store. There I was able to buy much better produce, including:

–    Delicious oranges
–    Haitian Mangoes (one of my favorite kinds)
–    Canary melons
–    Amazing beefsteak tomatoes
–    Pretty good bananas
–    Cherimoyas (my favorite!)
–    Red prickly pears
–    Spinach, celery, lettuce, fresh herbs, cucumbers, etc.
–    Pretty good avocados

Armed with that much quality food, I found it so much easier to enjoyably stay raw. My food bill was much higher ($200!) than it ever could be in Costa Rica, but I also got foods I could never get there.

The Secret Way for Going Raw

My experiences coming back to Canada made me realize an important concept that I’ve known for a long time, but that became even more obvious on this trip.

This could be one of the single most important concepts for succeeding on raw foods and taking your health to a whole new level.

I’m going to call it “the secret way for going raw” because I feel a lot of people are completely missing the boat on that one.

Essentially, there are two parts to this:

1.    Buy in large quantities
2.    Buy the best

Most people go to the grocery store once or twice a week, pull out a cart and fill it with individual quantities of stuff. They’ll buy a few boxes of spaghetti, a few jars of sauce, one or two bell peppers, one head of lettuce, and so on.

When people go raw, they tend to follow the same pattern. They go to the grocery store, buy a bag of grapes, a bag of bananas, a bag of spinach.

Then the next day, all of that food is gone, and they’re hungry like they’ve never been before.

They keep going to the grocery store to buy small quantities of food. None of it tastes very good. And the cost is pretty high.

That’s Not the Right Way to Eat Raw!


Delicious Haitian Mangoes

Let me give you an example of what I bought last week at the store:

–    A 40-pound case of bananas (I still had some left from another case that were ripe)
–    One box of oranges (containing at least 50 oranges)
–    One 15-pound flat of tomatoes
–    One box of cherimoyas (containing about 12 fruits)
–    One flat of prickly pears (Containing 20 fruits)
–    Seven cases of mangoes (containing 10 mangoes each)
–    1 large watermelon
–    1 5-pound bag of baby spinach

I also bought individual quantities of avocados (only three), celery (a few heads), and other vegetables that wouldn’t make sense to buy by the case.

Are you blown away by this quantity of food? Here are some important points:

  • First of all, I only buy the best. I shop at two or three places. One for organic, and one for imported fruits. The fruit guy knows me by my name, and every week will tell me what’s the BEST stuff he’s got. He knows I only buy good stuff, and he’ll always be upfront about it, sometimes telling me it’s better to wait a week for a certain fruit.
  • Buying by the case saves a ton of money. Most small grocery stores buy produce by the case and then sell it to you by the pound — making money on the difference. If you buy directly by the case you will pocket that difference.
  • Although I do share some of that food with another person, I eat a good part of it and it is gone in no time. If I didn’t buy such large quantities of food, I would always be back at the grocery store, buying more.
  • By having such a nice selection and large quantity of fruits, I don’t feel tempted to fall off the wagon. If all I had were a few bunches of sub-par fruits, then I would definitely feel tempted to eat crap.

The Secret Way for Going Raw

Every single person I know who’s been eating this way (the low fat raw vegan way, that is) for a long time does this:

–    They buy large quantities of fruits and vegetables
–    They only buy the best

As mentioned in my last article, “The Myth of Overeating on a Raw Food Diet” , most people are simply not eating enough to meet their needs, when they first go raw.

People spend a lot of money on supplements, superfoods, gourmet raw meals… but the real question is: where’s the produce?

Unless your kitchen looks like a produce store, you simply aren’t doing this program!

Unless you are buying case after case of fruit — knowing very well that all of it is going to disappear pretty soon — then you simply are NOT getting how this program works.

Here’s a few tips to make it work:

  • You need to find where you can buy your produce. Generally, you will find more in larger cities.
  • You want to buy fruit at a place where employees REALLY know their fruits, and can tell you all about it.
  • Try to locate the organic distributor that supplies to your health food store. You may be able to purchase directly from them. If necessary, join with a few friends and form a coop, in order to be able to get the bulk deals.
  • Farmer’s market are also a great place to buy, but always ask for a bulk deal. Most people who visit farmer’s market only buy small quantities. Tell them you want to buy by the case, and that you want special pricing for it.
  • Asian markets are generally a good place to find exotic fruits.

I will typically shop for food once a week, and hit a few different places. Often I’ll start with the organic place, then hit my fruit store, then occasionally go to the supermarket.

I’ll even give you my addresses in the Montreal area:

For organic, I go directly to the distributor, to Gaetan Bono (995 Rue Du Marche-Central) — near Boul. L’acadie Nord. There you can also buy conventional produce, but only by the case.

For a lot of my fruit, I go to the Leopoldo store, run by friendly Italians at the Jean-Talon Market (182 Marché du Nord).

Then for the rest, like smaller quantities of organic vegetables, I go to different places depending on where I am.

This is truly one of the secrets for going raw.

–    Buy in large quantities
–    Buy the best!

If you’re not doing this already… better start now!
Raw Health Starter Kit

23 Responses to “The Secret Way for Going Raw”

  1. diane West says:

    Im looking for fresh dates, never saw them and I dont know when they are in season, I see in my store they call them fresh medjol dates in a box, they are big and pretty moist and are sold in a large box, are these fresh? and if not where can I get the fresh ones, I live in huntington New York, Thanks Diane

  2. Melissa Halsted says:

    Hey ~
    I have also found that buying those green storage bags that keep food from getting spoiled greatly improves the shelf life of my produce. I also found a local organic fruit and veggie co-op. This is a wonderful way to buy in bulk and get extremely high quality produce directly from the grower. Have an awesome day!Melissa 🙂

  3. rawmzmartha says:

    Finally! I found out what was missing! I can’t even imagine what it must have been like, to have the freshest food in the most gorgeous environment! WOW!
    rawmzmartha! 😉

  4. Cherie says:

    I agree – all you need is the produce section!

  5. Joanna Steven says:

    Another good thing is to try and locate a CSA in the area. I just joined one, and I’ll be getting really fresh produce directly from the farmers starting next week. Plus, it’s mostly all organic. It’s a great way to get fresh greens. I also grow lots of greens in my backyard, but I know not everyone can do it easily.

  6. Don says:

    Does anyone know of an organic fruit distributor in the Los Angeles/Santa Monica area where I can buy cases cheaper? The place I shop only give a 5% case discount.

  7. Gay says:

    Well done Frederic, love the DVD cover – looking forward to enjoying your new DVD’s and learning to simplify my life in the kitchen!

  8. Natalie says:

    Hi Frederic,

    I buy in large quantities but my problem is storage. I live in an apartment and so I don’t have the luxury of one or two large fridges in the home. What would you suggest. I’ve been storing my fruits on the balcony because indoors, critters have been quite attracted to the sweet smell.

  9. Scott Covert says:

    If by Haitian mangoes you mean Autalfo (a name I just found out after getting back to Canada from a 2 week trip to Mexico where I just discovered them), they are AWESOME. I got back home and immediately asked at a couple of grocery stores about these wonderful mangoes I’d “discovered”. After a couple of weeks I accidentally found some – and now, a few weeks later, they are at Sobey’s, and Loblaws.

    They’re an incredible fruit, and can be much too acidic if you don’t let them get QUITE mushy before eating.

  10. Frederic says:

    The Haitian, also called “Francis” mangoes are not the same as Ataulfo mangoes. The Ataulfo have a different shape and are orange when ripe. The Francis are still greenish when ripe, but the inside is completely orange.


    When I Was living in an apartment in Montreal I was still buying in quantity, by the case. Especially in Canada it’s not a problem. You just keep the fruit ripening in your kitchen in a spot, and transfer what you need in the fridge. I keep veggies in the fridge. When bananas are ripe I often keep them in the fridge to delay ripening. Certain fruits I keep in the fridge, like grapes.

    Where I live I only have ONE fridge and do the same.

    You have to check your produce every day to get rid of the bad ones or refrigerate the ones with spots. That way you won’t have problems with fruit flies.

  11. Jackie Volkov says:

    Greetings from the Land of The Long White Cloud , I have read somewhere on the net that keeping live foods in the fridge whether ripe or not, lessens the nutritional value.

  12. Gila Hammock says:

    WOW, that’s ALOT of fruit, it doesn’t seem possible to eat that much, and seems like it would cost a fortune. I do see the point, I go to the store alot and am always hungry, therfor end up eating crap, just like you said. I’ve been trying to figure out why for a long time…
    I also have a thyroid condition and gained ALOT of weight. I was hoping to lose weight on the raw diet, but have not lost a single pound. I’ve been eating mostly fruit all day, then a normal dinner at night.
    Do you have any books out that deal with proper proportions of raw food to ensure enough protein etc…. it seems proffesional nutritionist (like at Kaiser) don’t
    have a clue about how to balance a raw diet.

  13. Frederic says:

    @Jackie: The refrigerated argument is preposterous. First of all, all fruits and veggies are refrigerated during transport. Unless you can pick it straight from the tree it’s not possible to avoid refrigeration. Plus: I don’t accept the concept of “live” foods. The enzymes in fruits are not necessary for our own digestion. We produce our own enzymes for digestions.

    @Gila: The book The Raw Secret describes this in details (
    Remember that my food quantities are not necessarily YOURS. Plus, I also share some with a friend.

  14. Betty Wyckoff says:

    I just cannot eat that much without gaining weight. I usually have a green smoothie for breakfast, without the water. Eat 4-6 pieces of fruit a day, and plenty of grapes on grape day and other vegetables during the day. Although I rarely eat meat, dairy, eggs, I do eat nuts and legumes. Sometimes I have a rice cake or raw oatmeal with flaxseed and molasses. Sugar messes up my body as does gluten. I still drink green tea.

    I would love to buy in quantity but find that some vegetables don’t keep well beyond 4-5 days like spinach. I need more ideas for a simple meal to take along when I have a meeting 20 miles from home. I rely a lot on raw fruit, some raw vegetables and then rice mixed with vegetables. What else? We don’t have a lot of tropical fruits in Kansas City and I really don’t care for papayas. I’d rather have a peach.

  15. Judy Loveda says:

    Thank you Frederic,
    Been gradually moving towards more raw and really enjoyed your article as to one of the secrets being Buy in Large Quantities. So that will be my next step. Planning.

  16. JANE says:

    Gila, your thyroid has relevance however your emotional and spiritual situation is also important,thus a feeling of hoplessness will be exacerbated by not finding help/answers where you anticipate they might be found, perhaps as in your experience at kaisers. Good food is the best tool in a wonderful life however the material, your mind and body, have to be available for the tool to work on. SO… Increase the amount of raw green leaves, spinach, kale, parsley, butterhead and romano lettuces,EVERY day try to eat at least 1lb, in a green smoothie or chopped up into a salad, yes it seems a lot but you will notice improvement by the fifth day, just chuck it into a blender with quarter of a pinapple and a peeled orange it really is delish. you will feel brighter within about 20 minutes so it would be a good idea to make it your breakfast filling and satisfying.
    Victoria Boutenko Green For Life is a great place to look for help. good luck J

  17. adrijana says:

    I am trying to eat more fruit, but I remember couple days ago when I tried to eat banana, I got my symptoms back…I think this is because I was eating a little too much fat eating seeds and olive oil in my salat. I hope when I cut seeds, that I am going to be able to eat more fruit.

  18. Heather says:

    Great article! Very true! I have been making too many trips to the store and buying too little, and running out very fast, thus tempting myself with other food I know shouldn’t eat that is around. Thanks for pointing out the obvious to simply buy in large quantities. I will be breaking my old habits and making some new ones for sure! Thanks for your articles! You inspire many!

  19. Gila says:

    Thanks Jane,

    Your comments are inspirational, and I’m sure mind and spirit play a huge role in my journey to a healthier lifestyle. I love greens, and have a green smoothie in the morning with Bannana, kale or spinich,local bee pollen, and spirulina, however not a whole pound per day. I will definately up the dosage of green food. Thanks again,

  20. Prakash says:

    Hi Fredric,

    I am about to move to Canada, specifically Toronto. Do you have any raw food distributor contacts in Toronto?

    I am also starting my vacation and am so desperate to go 100 % raw again and work out like crazy!



  21. Rae says:

    You have obviously figured out how people should eat. Today I saw the Disney documentary “Earth,” and in one scene some apes — I’m not sure what species — were cramming three large rainforest fruits into their mouths while reaching for more. In another part what looked like chimps were running through a river and merrily eating leaves and flowers with abandon. We’re all primates, after all!

  22. Kamalla says:

    Are those Mangoes the same as Champagne Mangoes?

  23. Kyra says:

    Like a voice in the wilderness, you are consistently beating the drum to show us how to achieve long-term sustainability on the raw vegan diet. Like many, I waffle back and forth, and I am took that struggle personally instead of discovering the common sense reasons for it. Your book Raw Secrets gives such great advice, and today I am sending it to my dear friend who is understandably confused by the conflicting opinions on going raw.

    I love that you have given me “freedom” to eat fruits in the quantity I crave. Of course it makes perfect sense … and from your inspirations I see myself thriving.

    This is a journey into an abundant, juicy life, and I am grateful that you are releasing these DVDs to further help us all succeed using the simple laws of nature. Thank you, Frederic!

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