February 20

How My Battle With Cooked Foods Ended

Filed under Announcements by Frederic Patenaude

So there you go, I finally have settled on a name for my next book. It will be called

Raw Freedom: Combining Raw Foods With the Healthiest Cooked Foods to Create the Ultimate Diet

Still working on the sub-title though…

As for the other names I had come up with before (Such as “Raw Fusion Diet”) they were protected by trademarks. Raw Freedom is the name that after numerous tests I found to be the best. My readers have spoken!

Bottom line is: the new book is coming out next month!

Here’s a quick article that’s not really a chapter in the book, but should give you an idea what this book is about…

How My Battle With Cooked Food Ended

For many years, I lived in an inner state of struggle surrounding my diet. On some level, I accepted the raw food diet as the ideal diet. I followed a 100% raw diet for about 3 years, when I was younger, and since then, I had many periods of going back on 100% raw for some periods of time. But every time, I fell off the wagon, and went back to eating some cooked foods.

Sometimes, I beat myself up for it. Sometimes I didn’t. But the truth is that a part of me still believed that I could be doing better by getting closer to 100% raw. And whenever I met people that had been eating 100% raw for many years, I always envied them and thought they were more disciplined than me.

But the truth is, I’m not a sloppy person. In some areas of my life, discipline is my second name. I learned discipline when I was in music school and had to practice 4 hours of guitar a day, 1 hour of piano, plus 4-5 hours of other classes, and some studying on top of it. So I know about 12-15 hour days.

I learned languages. I studied enough Spanish to speak it well in only a few months, and I also learned German, Portuguese, and a few others.

In terms of work, I’ve been known to go through phases of extreme productivity. I also know how to be lazy, and sometimes I crash and can’t do anything. But still, I don’t think that a “lack of discipline” was my problem when it came to not eating 100% raw.

What I honestly thought is that there was a part of me that didn’t want to eat that way. Some raw foodists would even say that I had some “issues that I still needed to deal with around food.” Some would even add, “emotional issues.”

So I was torn. I accepted the raw food diet as an ideal diet on some level, but on other levels I saw all of these people failing on the diet. There were success stories, but horrible failure stories too. And personally, although I felt eating a raw food diet gave me great results and made me feel great in some ways, I always felt significantly dissatisfied with this diet in other ways.

Social issues are an example. In my days of 100% raw, I got around the problem by surrounding my existence with everything raw food related. All of my friends were raw foodists. My entire life was a bout the raw food diet. So of course, in this case, eating a raw food diet didn’t create many social conflicts. But also, I was in my early 20s when I did it. My life, since then, has changed significantly. Now, if I ate 100% raw again, I know it would seriously hinder my social life.

Still, raw food experts kept claiming that all of these problems could be dealt with. “Whenever you go to a restaurant, eat something before then, so you’re not hungry.” Or “just tell people you’ve just had dinner, so you’ll just order something small to eat.”

These tricks can work. But they didn’t make me happy. And the diet, although in some ways worked, didn’t make me happy either.

For one, I was bored with it. Eventually, the thought of drinking yet another giant banana smoothie for lunch was almost nauseating. I craved change. I craved other foods, if at all just mentally.

There were a few problems that for sure, were related to the raw food diet as far as I was concerned. Issues with dental decay, but more importantly tooth sensitivity have only bothered me when I got closer to 100% raw. And the reason is pretty simple: I had no choice but to consume larger quantities of fruit, many of them containing acids, to get the calories I needed. And acid can wear out the enamel. It’s a reality, proven by the fact that so many raw foodists suffer from similar issues.

Sure, an impeccable dental hygiene program can make a difference. But on the whole, the 100% raw food diet (or close to it) had significant disadvantages when it came to my dental health.

So I kept being torn. On the one hand, this diet is great for health. Blood pressure is lower. Risks of heart disease and cancer are almost obliterated. Resting heart rate is great. Body fat is low. The body is working optimally in many areas.

But in other ways, I didn’t want to follow it. I missed cooked foods. I didn’t like eating many raw food meals. I got bored with them. I felt cold on the diet. It impaired my social life. And I had doubts about how it was affecting certain aspects of my health, notably my dental health.

But more importantly: I wasn’t happy with it.

So for years, I tried and tried. It was a battle. I tried different approaches.

But the main kicker was that whenever I went back to cooked foods, after a period of eating 100% raw, I felt ill. (This by the way, is one of the most important issues that I will discuss in my new book Raw Freedom, to solve it once and for all).

So I felt trapped. I felt like I wanted the best of both worlds, but I didn’t feel it was possible.

How My Battle With Cooked Food Ended

So how did my battle with cooked foods end? Pretty simply. When I stopped trying to be a raw foodist. When I literally abandoned the raw food “ideal.”

I ate cooked foods. I eat cooked foods now. No shame about it.

I eat raw foods too. But I also eat cooked foods. I’m not trying to be a raw foodist anymore. I’m not trying to “get back into raw foods” or always go on some new form of raw food cleanse. I’m not trying to slowly increase the percentage of raw food in my diet.

What I do, now, and the reason why I feel better in every way, is to follow a consistent program. Instead of yo-yoing back and forth between raw and cooked, I keep my routine pretty stable.

I eat a certain percentage of raw foods, and I eat a certain percentage of cooked foods. I try to do more or less the same thing every day. I’m not trying to be a raw foodist anymore. I don’t think of myself as a raw foodist. But I’m someone who knows all about the power of raw foods and I make sure to “power up” my diet with a lot of raw foods.

This is, in essence, my Raw Freedom program. It’s about finding a balance, and stop the struggle.

The book goes into the details of the method. Each person is different, so if you ask me what percentage of raw foods I eat, it won’t really help you find the right balance for yourself. In general, people needing to lose weight need more raw foods, and people needing a lot of calories or working on muscle gain, should eat less raw food.

There’s a specific formula to follow. But there’s also common sense. There are traps along the way, particularly the problem of “feeling like crap” when you eat cooked foods on a mainly raw diet. This is a problem that can be easily solved once you understand what creates it. This is in fact, the biggest and most important chapter in my new book.

So this was just a taste of what the new book will be about. I will post probably some excerpts soon for your enjoyment.

Let me know what you think by posting comments on this article!

24 Responses to “How My Battle With Cooked Foods Ended”

  1. Scott says:

    Good Job Fred ! Way to Keep it real !

  2. Eric Rothwarf says:

    Hi Frederick, I am glad to hear about your battle with raw/cooked foods. I have been going through pretty much the same evolution for the same reasons. The tooth decay thing was a big problem for me as well.

    Now I make sure to have a giant green smoothie every day, 4-6 pieces of fruit and the rest is mostly whole cooked foods. I am mostly (97%)vegan(eggs and dairy once in a while), and very healthy and happy.

    Too much oils and pasta and the weight goes on so I really avoid wheat products and oils.

    I have always enjoyed the information that you have shared over the years, Thanks Eric.

  3. Marsha says:

    Frederic, I totally agree! Thanks for keeping it real. I came to my senses, taste especially, and gave up trying to be a 100% raw foodie. Yes, I still believe raw foods are the best, but it is not practical or 100% pleasant for me. Winter (or something like that in Houston) is when I crave warm or hot food. And when I eat out with friends, I want to enjoy the entire experience. Also, most restaurants have lousy “side” salads (all veggie). Why pay so much for so little – in content and nutritional value! My goal is to eat at least 2 raw meals daily.

  4. Phyllis says:

    Sounds good, Fred! I am not a raw foodist, just trying to find some balance in our working-at-home life and get us away from all-cooked food. I think that if we have a big green smoothie to take us through breakfast and lunch and then eat a cooked meal later, we should be fine; we have tried that previously and the enzymes from the early part of the day carried us through easily in the evening. I’ll be looking for your book to read what you have figured out! I am constantly switching back and forth in angst!

  5. Cynthia says:

    I am a flexitarian myself so always enjoy reading about your journeys, the adjustments you make along the way, and the learnings you share. Once again, thank you!

  6. sheri says:

    Thanks for the honest report, I totally agree with you that balance is so important in life, and in the way we eat. We also try to have a balance of some raw, and cooked foods, and we are happy with the way we feel and eat. Just by eating a healthy diet in itself is so good .Thanks for the information that hopefully will help others to have maybe a little more balance too, if they see the need for more change in their diet of 100% raw. Keep up the good work.

  7. Kristy says:

    When does your book come out Fred? How did you add the cooked in and get past the terrible feeling?

  8. George Esser says:

    Hey Frederic – Thanks for your post You state what I always believed from empirical evidence. I personally have a raw smoothy every morning (for the last 4 years;) 1 apple, 1 banana and lots of varied greens heavy on Kale and broccoli. I personally believe that if you want to go raw, go slow. I suggest doing just a smoothie one meal a day for 5 days and take weekends off. Once you get into that groove, slowly increase the odd raw meal till you get to a groove on what. All or nothing almost always ends up in nothing. You will acquire a taste for them and you body will start to crave more raw food once you figure out what you are doing and when you body gets used to them.

  9. Ian Dixon says:

    I was brougt up eating a lot of raw food either from my Grandfathers allotment, from my parents own garden or from the Market Garden that was just down the road from. It was a combination though because some came uncooked and some came fresh from the plant.
    Think eating peas just as you split the pod open or a tomato as you savour the smell from the plants in the greenhouse then bite into the delicious fruit.
    Then collect the eggs to take home to be cooked later. Hens fed on natural grain too.
    I’ve never eaten totally raw food but I do love salads for one plus various other uncooked foods. However, I could not go without a warmig soup or stew on a cold day.

  10. Ryn Rupprecht says:

    Good article, Frederic, and I am glad to hear about your struggles. I try and try to eat raw too, but am also torn between the cooked vs raw and what % to make it work in the real world. Looking forward to your new book. I think ‘Raw Freedom’ is a great name and will be the answer I have been waiting for. Hope it is out VERY soon. Thanks.

  11. Lynne says:

    Great title for the new book! Freedom of choice , no
    Guilt. Thanks for your honesty.

  12. Rose says:

    I am also struggling with the whole raw vs. cooked food ordeal. Whenever I eat cooked food, I really eat (overeat) and cannot stop. I gain weight and I feel ill. I am still trying to go back to raw but It is really difficult to get on track. I can’t wait till the book comes out so that I can get an idea on how to handle my cooked food addiction.
    Thanks for this little tid-bit.

  13. Rashnu says:

    Fredirec, thank you for sharing your insights with us. The trick is to be very sensitive to your own needs. Learn what your body wants, what kind of food it desires, and how you feel after eating it. If it makes you feel good, energized, you’re on the right track, no matter what kind of food it is. Give yourself permission to experiment with it, do not get uptight about any preconceived ideas about what you “should” do according to some mental idea that you have adopted in order to feel more safe, secure and in control. Be gentle for yourself. Always stay open for change. Life is change, young bodyminds have different needs than old ones. I think the benefits of lots of raw foods are obvious for anyone who tries. But never let it turn into an obsession, like you did.

  14. jurgita says:

    hi,cant wait for ur book to be published !i really want to read it.

  15. jack says:

    fred, i really recommend you read “diet wise” by dr keith scott-mumby before publishing this. i consider this book required reading for anyone interested in health, regardless of which diet you want to pursue. here’s the gist & the relevance here: not sure whether you realized it yet, but feeling like crap when eating cooked after being raw for a while is caused by food sensitivity (IgG-mediated delayed food allergy.) and while people assume it’s the fact that the food is cooked, it’s actually only specific foods that will cause that. for huge sectors of the population it’s milk, grains, especially wheat, followed by eggs. but it’s person-specific & can include any food, including carrots for example.
    this is the reason both raw vegan diets & the paleo diet make so many people feel so much better: for 80% of people, they eliminate the allergens they’ve been consuming daily, thus eliminating everything from chronic fatigue to eczema. the bottom line is that, at least in affluent western society, disease is much more often caused by hidden allergy rather that deficiency.
    now while you were eating this allergen daily, your body had maladapted with lowered vitality or a chronic disease. and since it’s a delayed reaction, you never make the connection. but when you totally clear the offending food out of your system for a few days or weeks, & then reintroduce it, the body is shocked & you feel like crap or get really sick — this often happens after a fast if you just start eating random stuff.
    so lets say you were allergic to rice but not potatoes. if you were raw for a long time, & then had some cooked rice, you’d get very sick for a while, but if you ate the cooked potatoes, you’d be just fine. but people just lump all the cooked foods together & blame them all.
    the book is great to help you detect your unique allergens.
    for the flip side of the issue, though, search the site herbdocblog for the article on allergies. in it, the great healer dr schulze points out that people that totally cleaned themselves out with his cleanses lost all their allergies, including lethal anaphylactic shock-type reactions to peanuts & strawberries.

  16. Svetlana says:

    Thank you for your experience and your honesty, Frederic! We are not just the physical body at the end of the day… The peace of mind is way more important for our health and well-being.

  17. Chris says:

    I had the very same feelings about “raw” eating too. I would stay 100% for about 6 months but I would be dreaming about potatoes! Now I have made peace with it. I am very content eating a customized “McGraham Diet”….Fruit until mid day and cooked starches and raw/cooked greens in the P.M. NO nuts,seeds, or oils, and an occaisional guacamole.

  18. suzanne says:

    Love your title! And your honesty as we all know some (even “raw experts”) extoll the benefits of raw food, but secretly eat cooked food also. I have great respect for you, Kevin Gianni, Paul Nison…for exposing the truth and not pretending that raw food is the answer.

  19. Audrey says:

    I’m so glad that you found a sustainable approach for yourself but many of us longer term raw foodists can’t go back to cooked food without experiencing very unpleasant symptoms. It’s a great compromise for the less sensitive folks though. There is definitely no reason to be dogmatic about being 100% raw if you don’t have to be.

  20. Em says:

    Love the new title Fred…

  21. Evie says:

    Can’t wait for the book. Your past struggles sound exactly like mine. I get bored with 100% raw and can only maintain it for up to 6 months at a time. I tend to end up under-eating as I get so bored with fruit and greens. Also socially I like enjoying food with friends rather than eating prior and ordering a small salad. Looking forward to hearing your story relating to these issues!

  22. Jim H says:

    I’m so glad you have shed some light on this topic. I have been following you for a few years now and have done a lot of research. MY wife and I were trying to go 100% raw, but my Mexican rice and beans have been a huge vegan hit with my wife and kids. We kept feeling like we were failing because we want to be healthy. Sometimes we can get so hyped up that we miss some important things along the way. Looking forward to getting your new book. Thank you for being so transparent in your articles. I have always enjoyed your tips and information.

  23. Andrew Nichols says:

    I love cooked punkbin in salad with pine nuts and olive oil
    I don’t care what the fanatics think.

    How many people say there raw and secretly eat cooked or even meat.

    I can’t imagine enjoying raw potato

    One word

    Balance.

  24. Rae says:

    Hi, Fred,
    I’m puzzled that you don’t say whether Veronica agrees with your cooked/raw fusion. Was she a long-time raw foodist who also wanted to eat some cooked food, and did she influence your decision? Hope that is not too personal a question.
    Rae

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