November 29

12 Reasons Why I Don’t Eat 100% Raw

Filed under More Than Raw Foods by Frederic Patenaude

Because I’ve been involved in the raw food movement since 1997, some people assume that I’ve always eaten a 100% raw food diet. This is not the case.

I only ate a 100% raw food diet for about 3 and 1/2 years in my early days, and since then, after a lot of experimenting, I eat a combination of raw and cooked foods. Of course, during the last 15 years, I’ve had periods when I ate more or less raw foods. I also ate 100% raw for months at a time.

But It’s been very clear for many years that a 100% raw food diet as an ideal to maintain for life was not the right diet for me.

So in today’s article, I’m going to explain the reasons why. This is the first part of the article, with the last part coming next week.

But first, a little update. For the past year, I’ve been working on a new book.

This is a book that I’m actually VERY excited about.

If you read my book “Raw Food Controversies” you read towards the end of the book how I was planning to release a program called “The Mostly Raw Plan.”

This project kept evolving and I decided it was going to be a book. However, the name has been change and so far the name I’ve kept is “Beyond Raw.”

Not the most original, but I do think it describes better what the book is about.

Essentially, this is a book I’ve been wanting to write for about 8 years. I’ve worked on it on and off, but never found the right angle. Now, it’s all coming together and I’m really excited about it.

The purpose of “Beyond Raw” is to present an alternative to the rigid, inflexible raw food diet presented by most raw food “gurus.” Their diet may have appeal to some people, but it does not work and is not practical for 99% of people.

Guilt, lack of fresh ripe foods, confusion about contradicting health messages and social isolation make the 100% raw food diet very difficult to follow.

But you can feel great, strong and healthy by incorporating specific cooked foods into your diet? If you’re struggling to find balance, are plagued by the food guilt, then this new book will be for you.

This new book will be quite a breath of fresh air and hopefully will help a lot of people. I’m working on it relentlessly, and it should come out in February.

I would love to hear your comments on this topic below! And any other suggestions you might have about the book…

12 Reasons Why I Don’t Eat 100% Raw (Part 1)

#1 Cooked food is not toxic

One of the main reasons why I don’t eat a 100% raw food diet is that… there’s really nothing that has really convinced me that this is a requirement for health. A lot of the raw food “advice” spread everywhere in books and websites often implies that eating cooked foods will make you sick, because it is “toxic.”

Pseudo-scientific arguments have included:

– The food enzyme theory
– The Pottenger cat study
– The digestive leucocytosis study
– Kirlian photography
– The “diet by design” arguments
– The “no other animals cook their food” argument

In this article I will not debunk each of these myths. You can already find a lot of information on the subject on my website on many of these myths, and future articles, as well as my upcoming book, will thoroughly destroy these false beliefs.

My conclusion is that cooking food does not make it “toxic” by any stretch of the imagination. Some cooked foods are unhealthy, some cooking methods are relatively bad as well, but so are some raw foods or raw food combinations.

It’s not whether a food is “raw” or “cook” that matters. This is really an oversimplification. We have to look at many more factors to judge whether a food is healthy or what could be its part in a healthy diet.

Raw foods have benefits — of course — and HUGE ones. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big proponent of raw foods. This is a lot of what this website and my products are about.

But cooking some foods also can be beneficial. It essentially increases the variety of foods you can consume and increases the overall quality of your diet. Many vegetables, for example, are difficult to eat raw, but extremely healthy after being just lightly cooked.

So my first reason not to eat a 100% raw is that I simply do not believe I would be healthier if I did a pure raw food diet.

#2 I enjoy traveling too much

One of my passions in life is traveling. And when I travel, I like to discover and enjoy other cultures. On a 100% raw food diet, traveling can be a big hassle. You’re essentially condemned to spend all your time looking for fruit markets and then eat your food in tupperware containers in your hotel rooms. Yikes!

I don’t travel all the time, but enough to want some flexibility when I travel to try some local cuisine, or be able to leave the hotel room for more than a couple of hours, without worrying about running out of food!

Maybe this reason wouldn’t apply to everybody, but for me enjoying some stress-free travel once in a while, without constantly obsessing about food, is one of the main reasons I don’t eat 100% raw.

#3 I like not freezing to death

I live in Canada. While I tend to spend a lot of time in the tropics every year, I do live in a cold climate most of the year. For example, this year, I’m not planning to leave the country this winter. And today, it’s already snowing outside.

I’ve done a 100% raw food diet in cold climates. And I’ve done a diet that includes warm, cooked soups and other cooked foods in the same climate. Which one is easier? I think asking the question is answering it!

Yes, 100% raw can be done in cold climates. But even the raw foodists that are doing it are often planning to move to a tropical country or state!

At this point in my life I have no interest in relocating to another country full-time. I like to visit other places, but not live there permanently.

In the heart of the winter, coming back home from a cold day only to turn on your blender and make a cold soup can be downright demoralizing. I’m only speaking for myself of course, but I see nothing wrong in enjoying a big pot of hot vegetable soup on cold days, instead of chewing a cold salad of raw lettuce and tomatoes.

#4 My digestion is strong enough

Many raw foodists tend to yo-yo back and forth between 100% raw and cooked food binges, only to return to more cleansing and detox and an even stricter raw food diet. They find that whenever they eat cooked food, it totally “destroys” them. A bowl of rice will make them pass out as if they ate a big Thanksgiving dinner, and eating out at the restaurant causes them to feel so sick that they’ll spend a week recovering from it.

I call it “the raw curse” and talked about this weird phenomenon in many of my books. This actually is going to be a big chapter in my upcoming book “Beyond Raw.”

Raw foodists incorrectly think that their bodies have become so pure (as in “super healthy”) that it now rejects the toxic cooked foods that most people are habituated to (like a drug).

In reality, what’s really going on is that the “raw food” body has simply stopped producing the right mix of digestive enzymes, that they simply can’t properly digest more complex foods now. By eating only foods that require almost no digestion (like fruit and greens), their digestion has “dumbed down” to the point it can’t handle anything much more complex.

Some people even take this to an extreme, making their diets even stricter with time, eliminating fatty foods like nuts and seeds entirely, for example. This leads them to become even more sensitive.

The same phenomenon happens in reverse. Someone eating a junk food diet devoid of fiber with lots of meat, white bread and few vegetables can experience some serious digestive discomfort when they start eating lots of fiber-rich foods, like beans or fruits and vegetables. In can take them weeks or months to adapt to this new healthy diet.

Some long-term raw foodists have even fantasized that if they ate a hamburger they would end up in the hospital, and possibly die. That’s a little extreme and probably not likely to happen, but there’s a good change that hamburger would make them seriously ill.

The trick to avoid the “raw curse” is to retrain your body to digest certain foods. You can do it for almost anything. And eventually, eating a bowl of brown rice won’t put you in a coma, and having a little bit of garlic in your stir-fry won’t cause you to have nightmares all night!

#5 – My teeth are better now

Don’t get me wrong: I eat a lot of fruit. But because my diet is more varied now, and my nutrient intake higher, my teeth are much stronger than before. When I was 100% raw or close to it, my teeth would be weak, prone to cavities, and often sensitive. Now my teeth are not sensitive even when I eat a lot of acidic foods, and I never get cavities.

One change I’ve also made in the last few years is that I now rarely eat a lot of citrus or very acidic foods. I focus on fruits that are milder, like bananas, apples, mangoes, papayas, and melons.

However, whenever I eat acidic foods, my teeth are fine because they’ve re-enamelized and built some resistance. Also, because my diet is more varied than someone eating 100% raw, I can get my carbs from a variety of sources, and therefore rarely have to resort to eating large quantities of acidic fruits.

#6 – I enjoy having a life

You can have a life if you’re 100% raw. But it will be a life that revolves around food. You will think about food, plan your food intake, and worry about food a lot of the time. And very likely, you’ll have to avoid many social situations around food, choose your friends carefully, always justify your diet, and surround yourself as much as possible with other food-obsessed raw foodists.

After having obsessed about food for all of my 20s, I enjoy having enough flexibility with my diet that I don’t have to constantly worry about social situations and how I will handle them with my “weird” diet.

I don’t go out of my way to eat junk food, and for the most part, I enjoy staying at home better than going out. However, the human being is a social creature. And I enjoy being part of the “world” without having to create a world of my own all the time.

So when family or friends invite me over, they’ll try to make something healthy for me. But I’m not going to analyze every single ingredient that goes in the food that I’m eating all the time. And if everybody is having wine, I’m going to have a glass too and enjoy it.

Your diet has to fit your personality, and make you happy. For some people, eating 100% raw fits their personality and maybe helps them control other aspects of their lives better.

My personality does not fit a 100% raw diet. I’m someone who’s passionate, always interested in new things, open-minded, and not an attention-seeker. I’m also very curious about the world, food in general, other cultures, and new ideas. To stick to a strict — no exceptions permitted diet — simply doesn’t work with who I am and never did.

I’m not saying that I’m 100% right — but I definitely know what’s right for me, and I also know that most people, no matter how hard they try, will not be able to stick to a 100% raw food diet, and that’s okay.

In my next article, I’ll explore six more reasons I don’t eat 100% raw.

Please leave your comments below, and let me know what you think of my new book project, Beyond Raw!


47 Responses to “12 Reasons Why I Don’t Eat 100% Raw”

  1. Mary says:

    Great article Frederic, I really like your common sense, looking forward to part 2!!!

  2. Debbi Smyth says:

    This is wonderful and makes complete sense. I have been doing about70 to 90% raw for a few weeks. But as you say it just might not be for me so to incorporate some cooked foods is beneficial Cant wait for the next part

  3. Mary N says:

    After trying the 100% raw vegan food thing for only 6 months, I came to the same conclusions. I still eat mainly raw foods (always vegan) but incorporate some cooked foods throughout the week for some variety. Thanks for sharing your insight Frederic!

  4. Mary T says:

    Wonderful article and I believe so very true (for me anyway). I agree with everything you said. As a “try it again” raw foodist, I have, over much time learned what works best for me. Thanks for sending this out!!!

  5. Steve says:

    Frederic, I really like your common sense approach and I think a lot of people will benefit from your book. My own diet is still evolving and I’m trying to incorporate more raw food in it, but I’ve found that you have to take lots of factors into consideration – shopping for food, the cost, storage, how long it takes to prepare and eat a large volume of food, the amount of waste you create, getting enough calories, etc. Like you said in your article, trying to eat a high raw diet can completely dominate your life and become an obsession and, like most things, sometimes it’s necessary to compromise and find a middle path. I know we’re all trying to achieve optimum health but it isn’t only about what we eat, it’s about quality of life too.

  6. Manuel says:

    Thanks Frederic. You make a clear statement without claiming the truth. And you make me feel free to find my own suitable diet.

  7. Rachel says:

    You could not have said it better. Being 100% raw I was eating so many nuts and then feeling tired on the fats and oils that my salads were drowning in plus my weight struggled to go down. My husband always complained about feeling full yet still hungry. We were thinking about food all the time. It was your mothers article that inspired me the most, we swung our 100% raw food diet to including some cooked yams, vegetable soups from your recipes and some beans. Frederick I can’t thank you enough. We were satisfied from day one WITHOUT oils, fats, nuts and seeds what followed was a feeling of satisfaction enjoyment and inner peace. ” Food contentment” No more food cravings, Cannot thank you enough! Feeling the best I have ever felt!
    Thank you so very much!

  8. Jim says:

    Totally agree. Was raw for a year but I also found it too restrictive. Still vegan but now eat cooked vegetables and soups also. I hear ya about cold climates. I live in Michigan, USA

  9. Boshena says:

    Although I support a lot of ideas in your article, I think you are stretching it a bit far saying that 100% raw people are rigid in their thinking and control freaks. You also are not superior, more passionate, have a more open mind, are more intelligent nor do you necessarily enjoy life more than somebody who is 100% raw.
    I personally found a lot of freedom and creativity and enjoyment of life when I went 100% raw first time. Now I go with the seasons. I have long stretches of raw, followed by some periods when I eat some cooked foods. I listen to my body. Sometimes it wants to be raw, sometimes it wants other things.
    So – get off your high horse, mate because you sound like you are trying to justifying your weaknesses 🙂

  10. Laurence Goldman says:

    When it comes down to it, we eat what we eat, then make up stories about it. If you don’t digest a 100% raw organic diet, it’s toxic. All our ideas really don’t mean squat-Liver Flush Man Andreas Moritz-dead, as is everyone else eventually, Christ, Buddha and Ronald Reagan. So love yourself, celebrate life and don’t worry so much about it. If you go to Italy are you not gonna try pasta?

    All my best

  11. Anja says:

    Are you still vegan/vegetarian?

    And don’t you ever miss having that awesome feeling of being 100% raw?

  12. Lin says:

    I look forward to responses from people who have eaten LFRV long-term. From what I’ve seen, people are drawn towards it because of health issues like cancer, candida, skin problems, asthma / chest infections / mucus production on eating cooked foods, diabetes, schizophrenia and all kinds of things including the dramatic anti-aging effects on skin too. Your paragraph below comes across as insulting (by the way, my house is a bomb-site half the time and my children have a lot more freedom than other kids without regimented routines and bedtimes, so I don’t fit your raw fooder description myself. ;))

    Your diet has to fit your personality, and make you happy. For some people, eating 100% raw fits their rigid, regimented personality and maybe helps them control other aspects of their lives better.

    My personality does not fit a 100% raw diet. I’m someone who’s passionate, always interested in new things, open-minded, and not an attention-seeker. I’m also very curious about the world, food in general, other cultures, and new ideas. To stick to a strict — no exceptions permitted diet — simply doesn’t work with who I am and never did.

  13. Penny says:

    Thanks for your article, but I would also add my name to the 100% rawers who don’t appreciate the insinuated insult regarding my mindset, intelligence, passion, curiosity, emotional security or lack thereof. It’s great to help people feel okay with their food choices – just be careful with the backhanders please.

  14. Mary says:

    Frederick, I continue to look to you as one of the few raw food leaders who approaches the raw food diet very logically and with common sense instead of an extremist attitude. You are like a true breath of fresh air. I am really looking forward to your book, as I know it will help me as well as many others who struggle with a healthy balance with raw foods. Thanks so much; I always learn a lot from you! ~ Mary

  15. Susie says:


  16. joe marra says:

    14 months Raw Totally, Yes trials and errors and open minded to others who is got it right or wrong Thanks Frederic, much appreciated here always Blessings!!great Sydney AUS seminar talk You gave awesome!!
    also taken care of My Dad this way after cancer and dementia alzheimhers stayed with us another 7yrs with this Plant based High Raw to cooked approach.Very Much Appreciated.

    Would recommend to Anybody and Everyone also Many Thanks Frederic and to all , Blessings 🙂 Joe

  17. Quinny says:

    I’ve been raw for almost 3 years now. I was 100% raw for the first one and a half years, then I started to eat some occasional cooked foods. I have experimented with the frequency, the type and the amount of food but found that I still feel my best eating 100% raw for a lengthy period of time. I agree with some of the things you said but not all of them. Of course, everyone likes cooked foods, that’s what we familiar of. When you say is good to eat some cooked foods, people loves the idea. However, every time I eat cooked food, I experience poor health, some sort of cold symptoms, discomforts or detox effects. I don’t know, I think cooked food may be suitable for some healthier individuals who doesn’t have much problems with their health to begin with. For people who have serious illnesses, it might be better to eat 100% raw?

  18. Alison says:

    Love it Fred!
    Wonder were you got the term “raw curse”? 😉
    It was great talking with you on the beach at WFF!
    Keep on spreading the good word.

  19. Mariano says:

    In the documentary “Nutrition & Behavior”, Dr. Russell Blaylock, MD, says that potatoes produce reactive hypoglycemia and food allergies, all of which impact so severely in the brain that can cause episodes of schizophrenia even homicidal or suicidal. This doctor puts potatoes in the same category as ordinary table sugar or sucrose. Frederic, can you talk about this?.

  20. Jenifer says:

    I love to read your stance on raw and cooked. I have followed you for a few years and have been studying health and food diet for the same, and have often felt guilty for not achieving a 100% raw state but felt innately that it wasn’t necessary either. Knowing the research you’ve done and what makes me feel best (even though I am challenged with some facial skin issues that I am desperate to heal) I appreciate your perspective and agree completely.

    Thank you so much.

  21. Pat says:

    Great post Fred, completely agree with you.

  22. Lin says:

    Wow, well done Joe <3

    Fred, do you have a link re. the digestive leucocytosis being innaccurate? Please could you let me know, I would really appreciate it? Many thanks.

  23. Reba says:

    Hi Frederick,
    Thank You. I had been a 100% raw foodist for 9 years. There is definetely a need in our civilized world for raw food. We live in a toxic world that has totally polluted our food out there. Detox is the idea behind raw. I loved it, I was hook line and sinker. I catered, became a dessert chef and loved how amazing I felt. Right up to about 8 1|2 years, then I noticed I was not feeling so good, my teeth were not happy, my hormones were not balanced totaly, I was not acclamating to temperature change, my lymphatic system was not working properly and all I could think about was mooving to the tropics. Now I did the fermented, Kombucha(25 years), drinking teas(medicinal, mushroom, adaptogen tea), vitamin D, vegetarian prior to this for 16 years, way to sensitive to everything, took Blue-green algea for 10 years, green smoothie freak for 17 years, did everything for health. All of a sudden my body plumeted, like 25 years ago. It was enough detoxzing and I needed some North American kind of eating. Researching what and why people eat what they do in cold climates, now I am still heavily raw, but different: raw dairy(lots & only, cheese, milk, Keiffie, yogurt), lots of fermented vegetables(love suarkraut), lots of fruit and raw vegetables, raw fermented dehydrated organic grass-fed organs, Lard, Tallow, Medium rare meat(only grass-fed organic), eggs leaving yoke raw, homemade bone broths, soups, lots of coconut, water keiffer, still lots of teas and herbs. I muscle test whatrever i put in my body. I feel amazing and all my ailments(which I was in denial about, I had to stay raw, rigidity)melted away literally overnight. Learn to muscle test, it saved my life and my children they love to do this at 9 and 5 years old. We all feel so much better and I am warm for the first in 15tyears. The most important thing i learnt, well once again is: listen to yourself, question my authenticity and to never put myself in a box anymore!!!!!!! Thank you for doing what I have no time to do, but wish to soon. Writing about it, we are definetely here to learn from each other, just be careful what that is and remain true to thyself!!!!!

  24. Jenna says:

    after being 100% raw for years and having a very restricted life, I added some steamed food and the difference is I got my life back, I put on much needed weight which alowed me to do the things I love again.

  25. Brent Shull says:

    Other bio-chemists and nutritionists recommend some cooked food because of the sad, toxic state of the American food supply. Cooking some food can destroy the bacteria and toxins. Otherwise, it is established from a bio-chemistry viewpoint that our bodies are engineered for raw food. Eating too much cooked food wears out our bodies ability to produce hydrochloric acid and digestive enzymes, leading to faster aging. Unfortunately in our current western society, we have destroyed our food supply and must resort sometimes to cooking our food.

  26. Marina says:


    I appreciate your work, and if u are happy with your diet, I am happy for you. However, I agree with Penny. I feel good about my diet (which happens to be 100% LFRV) and do not really feel OK to be insulted because of that… All the best!

  27. Frank says:

    Hi Fred

    Looks like a good niche market but I think the title is misleading makes you think of Breatherterian or just living on juices or something else.

  28. Bill Kranker says:


    I get the point that you are trying to make as I think restricting yourself for the point of restriction can be bad. But as a 7 year 99% low fat raw vegan I find that I still feel best when I consume uncooked foods. I do eat cooked foods like potatoes or broccoli occasionally and do not see any big issues in my health as a result. Where I do see problems is in what gets added to cooked food. Because some of the flavor gets lost in cooking I find that many people add a lot of salt and spices to cooked foods. This is especially true in restaurants. I always eat raw when I go out unless I can get my cooked foods plain (no salt, oil etc…) I mostly order salad when I go out. I travel a lot as well and just go with the flow. Again I have not had a lot of problems finding raw when traveling but at times I will special order both raw and cooked foods at restaurants and I find that they work with me really well on special orders. I just ask them to hold what I do not want. At home, where I can control the process, I will eat some cooked foods if my fruit bowl is a little empty but I always look for a raw recipe first. Spiced foods noticeably zap my energy. I think that additives are a larger issue that the process of cooking is. I think that the longer you are on the raw diet and the more experience you get the easier it is. I also do not get hung up on maintaining 100% raw. A little cooked or spiced food is not going to be the end of me. I once eat some soup and later found out it was chicken based broth. I am still alive!!! Imagine that. Keep doing what you do – I like your articles – and I will keep doing what I do.

    Have a fantastic day!!!


  29. Lokesh Deva says:

    Frederick appreciate your honesty but personally found this kind of approach catches up with you and soon you realise you’ve completely lost your barings and any real standards and you’ve got candida again and no motivation to go to the gym. I think its walking a knifes edge and there is a price to pay. I’m not really interested in learning how to go backwards.

  30. Frederic Patenaude says:

    @Mariano. I’m going to cover all questions in a future article, but as for potatoes causing homicidal or suicidal tendencies, that sounds like the ramblings of an absolute lunatic! Potatoes are one of the least allergenic food. As they keep the blood sugar stable, even though they’re a bit higher on the glycemic index than other foods. I would say your doctor should have to prove these statements. More later! Now I have to go kill somebody…

  31. Frederic Patenaude says:

    @Alison: “Raw Curse” actually came from David Wolfe’s cousin, “RC Dini,” back in the days!

  32. Barbara Lowell says:

    As much as I love your wifes recipe’s and instructions, perhaps with all this cooked and sometimes convenience foods in her recipes, she has influenced you AWAY from your admirable discipline I so honor you for … be careful …. its a slippery slope. I do about 80 raw, mostly fruit and salads, and when I added cooked back in it started to call my name every day. I do not feel ill when eating cooked, but a bit dense/heavy. Have fluctuated from vegie to vegan, now vegan 2.5 years with zero cravings except for baked potato and also cooked marinara sauce. I eat out about 2-3x a year because I only eat organic. I bring lunch and meet friends in local florida state parks or rest stops instead of restaurants. Works fine socially.

  33. Frederic Patenaude says:

    Veronica and I have been separated since July. I’m not doing anything drastically different than I was doing 5 years ago, except optimizing my diet in some ways, which is part of the process. My next articles will enlighten you a little more on my process.

    Again, the point is getting lost in the comments that many of you seem to be projecting your own personal experience on others. I’m not saying that what I’m doing is appropriate for everybody. I do think it would be appropriate for many people that are currently not getting the results they want. However, if you’re happy with what you’re doing — 80 or 100% raw or whatever it is — KEEP DOING IT!

  34. Swayze says:

    “You can have a life if you’re 100% raw. But it will be a life that revolves around food. You will think about food, plan your food intake, and worry about food a lot of the time. And very likely, you’ll have to avoid many social situations around food, choose your friends carefully, always justify your diet, and surround yourself as much as possible with other food-obsessed raw foodists.”

    I may be the anomaly here, but my life definitely does not revolve around my raw diet. It really is just what I eat and I don’t like discussing it in my normal everyday life. I don’t even like hanging out with other raw foodists, since that’s all they seem to want to talk about! 😛

    I do agree with your point on traveling. I have family that I visit for several days every year and we go out to eat a lot while I’m there. Usually I just get a small salad or something, i.e. a dish that isn’t very filling. I then will inevitably end up eating more fat then I normally do and not filling quite as good digestion-wise.

    It would be nice to order something more substantial but still low fat, like a rice-based dish with veggies, so I could get in my cals and feel satiated. Eating all fruit is certainly an option, especially denser fruits like banana and dates, but I can’t do that for more than a few days. It just isn’t satisfying.

    Anyway, something for me to think about. 🙂

  35. Natasa says:

    I go to a trip to a country where there is not much raw fruit and vegetables in this time of year. For example, there is no raw greens, so I will have to eat some cooked vegetables. I am breastfeeding the 5 month old baby.

    So, should I start eating cooked vegetables before going to the trip? If yes, how much time in advance? I eat some cooked vegetables, but very rarely, and not more than 100-200g at the time.

  36. Hi Frederick… being of the same raw generation as you, I’ve encountered the same issues and I appreciate how you have solved them. And I’ve always respected the authentic way that you expose your views. However, the question I found nibbling in my head after I read this was: If I live this way though (as distinct from ‘more purely’), how long am I gonna live? Meaning, if I give myself reign to ‘enjoy but not indulge’, what’s the longevity prognosis? Personally, I now waterfast regularly to lower the toxicity cost of my ‘accumulated enjoyments’, and as you, do long periods of 100% raw also. My yoga practice is of course also helpful. But in all honesty, I see this approach as a ‘middle way’ path, and while certainly a logical response to the desire to enjoy life, I doubt it will get you or me to ‘abnormal longevity’ (which I am convinced IS possible, given the known existence of at least a few yogis etc who demonstrate it). I’d love to be wrong, but none of the 200+ year old folks live in this manner. I guess at some point I will have to choose how long I really want to be here. I think we all will. For now though, I work on making good choices… ones that won’t cost me too much… ones that regular cleanses and fasts can keep up with. Then, on with ‘the incredible journey’…. simply being alive and having a body. Namaste.

  37. Frederic Patenaude says:

    @David. Good question on longevity. Keep in mind that our approach is not simply “everything in moderation.” Periodic fasting or intermittent fasting has been proven to increase longevity.
    Bottom line is that the raw food gurus are not very known for their longevity. And I don’t know anybody that has lived 200 years! If you read “The Blue Zones” you’ll discover what some of today’s longest-lived people have in common. And of course, they don’t eat an all-raw diet!
    Read on my website:

  38. germa van werven says:

    Ciao Frederic, Good article; also for me, eating only raw , was eating to much nuts/seeds, with some cooked healthy food I’m feeling better. I’m feeling sorry that your are separeted, wish you goodluck and thanks for all your information that you share with us. bye Germa from italy.

  39. Marina says:

    It is awesome that u find what works best for u.
    I just sometimes have a feeling that u r not sure where u stand… For example, I am not sure what u think about green smothies. In one of your newsletters u wrote u are not a big fan of them anymore and some time after u sell a green smothie program…
    I, personally, find my self much more relaxed about food since I am on a frugivor diet – this is the diet on which I do not obsess about foods. I find that on this diet I am not getting crazy if I even skip a meal. I have a lot of friends, but simply do not enjoy some the things they do and I cannot torture myself and do those things, like drinking vine, for example.
    However, I appreciate your work and I am happy for everyone who finds what is best for him or her.

  40. Frederic Patenaude says:

    @Marina. I LOVE green smoothies. In some cases they’re not appropriate for some people. But 99% of people can benefit from green smoothies.

  41. Hi again Frederick,
    Just a quick response…. I am a super practical guy too… most of the time. But Mysteries require that I consider that I don’t know everything… the deeper the mystery, probably the more I don’t know. So I, personally, don’t know that I know anybody over 200 either, BUT I DO know people (admittedly ‘on the edges’… which is where you go with a Mystery to get clues [hey, at one time, Raw was itself ‘on the edge’, you know…]) who CLAIM TO KNOW people who are well over 200. So for me as a practical non-fruitcake successful artist, I take the possibility that somewhere within each of us is both the hardware AND the software to be ‘like 27 at 200’ as worthy of some sincere exploration. I mean, ‘what a miss’ if it’s true (if we knew how) but we just ‘lack the knowledge’. So I ‘press into that one’ regularly.

    Final comment: I believe you can add to your list of early dead gurus JR Rodale, who (according to the story I heard) was a guest on the old Johnny Carson Tonight show… supposedly Johnny had just asked him “Well, how long do you think you will live?” Rodale supposedly answered “Probably at least 130”. And a couple of seconds later ON CAMERA collapsed and died. At first, everyone thought it was staged. Like I say, this is anecdotal, but it would be easy to verify.

    Also, Dr. John Ray… the amazing health educator who created ‘Body Electronics’ which sometimes (and verifiably) healed major diseases in seconds through a process called ‘point holding’…. he died quite overweight at 65 in the mid-90’s from a heart attack…. he just loved his ham and eggs that much, even though he taught an 80% diet as optimum. The best book that I know of on Dr. Ray’s work is called ‘How We Heal’ by a close student of his, Douglas Morrison. It is an important read (in my opinion). Again, it’s the Ideas. Not the individual.

    I appreciated your balance view in the blog you sent me to. Thanks again.

  42. Ed says:


    1- when I wrote to you couple of years ago trying to explain to you that for people who eat cooked food even hot COFFEE would be helpful as the hot water in the coffee will help wash down the leftovers of the cooked food, cleaning the body while the dangers of the coffee itself is not as bad as the benefits of the hot water, you disagreed with me in a video and thought that we should definitely stay away from coffee, now I hope you have changed your mind and get my point 🙂
    2- I read the book I bought from you (Dr.Nara) and leaned a lot from it, although too much duplications attacking the dental industry, now I use a special toothpick with a brush on it and remove all leftover food each time I eat and my teeth are doing much better….your teeth aren’t doing better because you are adding cooked food, they are doing better because you have become concious of cleaning…..any leftover food, raw/cooked will rot after a few hours turning into dangerous acids which damage gums/enamels.
    3- our teeth with the help of our saliva and our digestion track chew and squeeze food only to get their JUICE out, juices of raw food is what body is after, this juice comfortably finds its way in our blood and feeds our cells, all the hard part raw/cooked get eliminated (easily, if body has enough hydration, difficult if body is dehydrated and the hard part is really hard from eating cheese, bread, meat, etc.)
    4- Yes, not much harm from cooked food, but ONLY if they are rinsed out of our body BEFORE they rot and turn into acid damaging all parts of the body, my upcoming book “Hot Water Flush” explains how drinking hot water (even as coffee) will help remove and rinse out leftover cooked food. Therefore, you must be careful how you advise people to eat cooked food as cooked food has no nutritional values, body has no use for it and must be washed out before it causes problems, it is like a guest whom you have enjoyed their visit but now is time for them to leave 🙂
    5- Yes, we as people who are KNOWLEDGABLE about food can and should enjoy eating all kinds of tasty cooked food knowing that they have no value but not as harmful and knowing that afterwards with the help of hot water, or sipping on mild drinks like coconut water we can break down the cooked food, making it easy to exit. I started raw 24 years ago but during the last few years have been enjoying all kinds of tasty healthy food (except animal food) and successfully manage to clean my inside as I do with my teeth with the valuable knowledge which I have gained.
    6- Yes, one must not promote his strict diet as he’ll lose lots of friends and stop getting invited, let them know that you enjoy eating and try to stay away from healthy eating topics, UNLESS someone is really interested and asks good questions, I also try to refer them to books, keeping myself out of trouble.
    7- the other reason I eat cooked food is to look fuller as when I was 100% raw I looked terrible, this happens with people with small bone structure and the shape of the bones, in my case my face really looked bony as if I had been starved for months. One can look full with raw food too but that requires eating all day as vegan animals in nature do and look really huge, every time I see photos/videos of guerrillas they are eating veggies 🙂
    8- keep in mind if you eat cooked food, some strong spices, including salt/pepper can block you respiratory system resulting in difficult breathing , snoring, etc. in case of black pepper you may cough as you talk as they get stuck in throat and coughing occurs to kick them out.
    9- eating all raw won’t work if your wife/family aren’t 100%, it is best to share and enjoy than getting ugly, it just doesn’t worth it.
    10- “body building” is a must for raw foodists, all excess body fat gets dumped when eating raw making the person, specially men too thin and unatractive, finally I started weight lifting 3 years ago and I wish I had done it from day one, not only I look much better, but I feel much better and I am physically much stronger to go through daily life.

    That was MY 10 and now one more :

    11- I disagree, being on raw is not difficult to travel if you know what to carry with you, in addition to my seasonal fruits, I always carry Mejul dates and raw Brazil nuts or cashews, I can munch on them anytime of the day, these two taste great together and by now my stomach is strong enough to handle eating them together throughout the day. In fact my experience shows that it is easier to travel when on raw as the food doesn’t need to be cooked or prepared and I don’t have to worry about spending time in a restaurant looking for the right food, I eat at flight gates, inside planes, trains, wherever and at anytime….


    Ed Momeni

  43. Mark says:

    Hey Fred,
    Just curious about your comment on having re-enamelized your teeth. How long do you feel it took to do this and did you do it naturally by simply brushing with non-glycerine products like tooth soap and a product like the Oral-Jet and letting nature take its course or did you use any particular re-enamelizing ‘product’ like a mineral solution or something ?
    Thanks for any help.

  44. Marina says:

    OK, thanks for answering. 🙂

  45. Lin says:

    Anyone who wants to eat high carb, low fat, vegan (cooked or raw), I would send them in your direction, Fred. It’s all a matter of personal preference, and as long as keeping to eating this way, it’s all good.

  46. brandi says:

    ummm…i would have to say that you ARE 100% right, since you said you won’t 😉 Hate thinking about food all the time, just want to live. i see the bondage of that in my healthy friend and my fat unhealthy friends. So who to look for to get help for not being like that was not working. This was well written and helps bring about that freedom. thanks for writing.

  47. Marcelo says:

    I think the same as you. I don’t like to justify my diet. I like to eat a vegetarian heathy diet, but I also like to live. And to stay in a 100% raw food diet, you should live alone in the forest or in an island. What’s more importante to me? The diet or my friends? The diet or my family? The diet or my other hobbies?
    Cooked food can be very healthy if you make good options. It’s good to live without thinking 100% the time on foods.

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