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Travel Destinations on Raw Foods

Traveling in the Raw! Family-Friendly Raw Destinations

Hello! You have clearly had a lot of experience travelling and raw-food-ing, could you possibly tell me where the best holiday destinations with the most fruit are that are also family friendly? (I am from New Zealand – so even seemingly ‘obvious’ destinations (ie California??) would be very helpful!). Thank you so much! P.S. Thank you for all your info/books etc! Without them I would still be eating a not-quite-so-SAD diet, but not 100% raw!

ANSWER:  Here are some of my favorite holiday destinations where you can find the most fruit and that are family-friendly, with average cost of living.

California: Great for the health food and raw scene. Car rental is usually a must to get around because of the large distances. Lots of raw restaurants and the best well-stocked health food stores. Hotel room prices start at $100-130 for a decent room. Food costs are average for first word countries. Must visit if you’re into raw-foods!

Hawaii: Great place to visit and easy to get around. Some raw restaurants and good fruits at the farmer’s markets and some good health food stores! Hotel room prices for a decent room are above $150. Food costs are higher than mainland USA.

Thailand: The ultimate place for fruit. Very safe and children-friendly. Cheap accommodations and good rooms for families can be found at around $50, with other more comfortable, higher-end options at prices far below North American (ultra-cheap but clean rooms are also available in the $10-20 range). Food costs are ultra cheap too.

Bali: My favorite island and still magical in spite of the tourism. Super children-friendly. Prices only slightly above Thailand, but very affordable.

Costa Rica: Where I choose to live most of the year. Great for families and nature lovers. Lots of Bed and Breakfast types of room (where a fruit breakfast can usually be served — just ask). Lots of fruit if you can drive to the farmer’s market. A good idea to rent a car or at least a driver to see more of the country and be able to get fruit. I love the Southern Area (San Isidro + Dominical, Uvita). Families can rent a room for around $75-100 or less in most areas, but less expensive options are also available.

If other readers have some more ideas, please feel free to comment!

Raw Food Videos

I was able to access the videos on the Raw Food Mentor Club website this morning. Thank you so much for including videos on this website. The information you are providing is helping me to deepen my commitment to the Low Fat Raw Food Program. I really appreicate all of your sincere efforts on behalf of all of us. Caron

NOTE: The raw food videos are a new feature of the Raw Vegan Mentor Club. Not a member? Find out more at

Sun Tea

Hello Frederic, I was wondering if Sun Tea (which is made by putting a tea bag in a jug of water, then letting it set in the sun for a few hours) would be an acceptable beverage for somebody who wants to adapt a raw food diet. At least in my part of the world, the temperature of the water would never exceed 115 degrees Fahrenheit, and the tea leaves are dried, so I don’t see any cooked element in it. Of course, there is some caffeine in some teas — but you could also make it from a herbal “tea” with no caffeine. I’d be extremely interested in hearing your opinion on this in an upcoming blog post. Best regards, Tom

ANSWER: I don’t see anything majorly wrong with that. I personally avoid all forms of caffeine and would recommend to do the same for optimal health.Your health is your own, so if you choose to include some sun tea in your diet for your enjoyment, then so be it.

Raw Health Starter Kit

It’s Not That Complicated

I’ve noticed lately from reading some comments left on my blog, that a lot of people are trying to make the raw food lifestyle a lot more complicated than it is.

There always has been a lot of confusion in the natural health field, as well as plenty of contradicting opinions. This is literally paralyzing many people from taking any action at all. They feel lost and don’t know what to believe anymore.

Others are turning simple recommendations and observations into dogmas, and the raw food community into a cult. They are unable to think outside of these rules and think for themselves.

Are you making it too complicated?

Are you confused by all of the different diet theories?

Let me offer you a quick guide to eating raw without the confusion and the dogma.

1)    Be Self-Motivated. The only reason why someone would take the time, energy and effort it takes to eat a raw food diet and learn how to do it right is because they should be able to gain something for themselves. If there are no benefits to be gained, then there should be no reason to do it.

That motivation is usually health-related. Either improving your health, overcoming an existing condition or avoiding illness in the future. You should be very clear what your motivations are in the first place, and avoid following someone else’s motivation.

Don’t just go raw because someone is telling you it’s the right or “cool” thing to do. Do it for your own reasons.

2) Eat fruit. Eat Vegetables. Eat little fat — The concept is very simple. The basic idea is to eat fruits and vegetables! Don’t make the raw food diet much more complicated than it is. It’s not about jars and pills and prepared meals, it’s about eating fresh produce!

Also realize that you’ll always be hungry if you try to live on raw vegetables and greens, that you’ll inevitably be drawn to junk foods. It’s just not sustainable.

The only way to make this diet work is if you get enough calories. I believe that fruit is the ideal food for human beings, and I think most of our calories should come from fruit, with minimal quantities of fat.

As far as the percentage goes, I say 10% or less. If another percentage works for you, then more power to you. But make sure you are honestly evaluating your results before coming to any conclusions.

3) Get Some Basic Nutritional Knowledge.

A lot of people are confused because they don’t really understand what fats, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and other nutrients really are.

They eat a large apple for breakfast and wonder why they’re hungry after 45 minutes.

Spare yourself a lot of trouble and spend a few hours to study the basics of calories and nutrition. Eventually you should be able to look at a piece of fruit or a meal and be able to evaluate on the spot how many calories it contains.

4) Do Your Tests

Every single “guru” or author in the field makes recommendations based on the diet that they’re eating or trying to eat, and what they believe is best (if they’re honest).

Each of these people took the best of the information that was available to them, tried to synthesize it in a way that made sense, and created their own program.

You should do the same. Test the theories out in your life, after you evaluate them with logic and eliminate the non-sense.

Don’t just take what I say word-for-word. Learn to think for yourself.

5) Respect your Body

I might be a big fan of mangoes, but maybe mangoes don’t agree with you. Respect your body and avoid them for the time being if they’re not working for you.

It doesn’t mean that sometime in the future you might not give them another try. Maybe at that point they could agree with you.

You’re the only person who really knows your body, so don’t try to force someone else’s preferences as your own.

6) Know a Few Great Recipes

You can’t enjoy this raw food lifestyle if you don’t enjoy the food. That’s why you should know at least 5 to 7 great recipes that you really enjoy and could eat day after day.

If a recipe is NOT appealing to you, then don’t try to convince yourself that you like it. Maybe you don’t, at least for the time being!

If you’re not enjoying the foods, you’ll eventually quit. So discover some recipes that you truly enjoy, and don’t hesitate to modify existing recipes for your own tastes.

7) Don’t live with too many rules.

Eliminate the word “rule” and replace it with the word “suggestion”. For example, you might know some basic food combining “rules”. Instead of calling them rules, think of them as “suggestions for food combining”.

Simpler meals tend to digest better. But they can also be boring for some people. Certain combinations are appealing to the taste, but more difficult to digest. It’s all a compromise.

Choose what makes sense to you depending on the situation. If you find that a particular combination digests perfectly well, then go for it, even if there’s a “rule” against it.

The reverse is also true.

Keep things in perspective. Only 8% of the US population follows the basic health recommendations (No tobacco and alcohol, exercise 3 times a week, keeping a healthy weight and eating at least 5 fruits a day).

There are only actions and consequences. If a particular action always leads to negative consequences and very little to gain in exchange, then it makes sense not to repeat it.

If on the other hand, an occasional indulgence brings you certain benefits (social or personal), with minimal consequences that can be manageable, then it’s certainly something you could consider.

Only live by your own rules, not someone else’s.

7) Eat For Long-Term Pleasure

The average person only lives for short-term gratification.

For example, these Dorritos chips taste great when I put them in my mouth. I get immediate pleasure. If I’m a dumb robot, then that’s all I care about and that’s perfectly fine. Eat the Dorritos and be happy in the moment.

Smart people consider long-term consequences of their choices.

If I eat these Dorritos, they will taste great, but they will also ruin my sleep. I will wake up the next day feeling terrible. And if I keep on eating these Dorritos every night, one day I will wake up and I’ll be 40 pounds heavier, and sick.

Therefore, I’ll pass on the Dorritos, and instead eat something that might not give me that instant jolt of pleasure, but that’ll still taste great and leave me feeling much better after.

Eat foods that make you feel great. In the moment and in the long term. That’s not a rule. That’s a suggestion!

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.