January 21

My Top 10 Raw Health Principles

Filed under Raw Food & Health by Frederic Patenaude

A quick update for you:

I’m currently in Panama City, not in Florida but in Panama. I’m surprised by how cheap food is here. I was walking down the street and bought some fruit from a street vendor, already cut up and sliced. For 5 thick slices of delicious pineapple plus one of watermelon, it cost me only $1.25!

I’ll be reviewing this country as a place to live for raw-foodists as part of my course “How to Move to a Tropical Paradise”. For more info, click here.

Raw Cacao: a Healthier Alternative

With all this talk about raw cacao, people often forget that cacao is a fruit. In Costa Rica, we buy it to eat the delicious pulp around the seeds, and then throw those seeds away in the compost. There’s not much fruit on them, but they have an amazing flavor, reminding me of jujube candies with a hint of cacao flavor. Check out this quick video filmed at my friend Jesse’s farm, an a fan of exotic tropical fruits, who has planted over a 100 varieties so far!


How to Move to a Tropical Paradise


My Top 10 Most Important Health Principles

The following except is taking from the Raw Vegan Mentor Club newsletter, a monthly printed newsletter I send to members of my Raw Vegan Mentor Club only.To learn more about this newsletter, go to www.fredericpatenaude.com/mentorclub.html

I prefer to look at health in terms of principles to follow. Here are the main ones that make the most difference:

1.    Eat low-fat — This one took me a long time to understand. At first, I understood that it was important to “not eat too many nuts”, but the low-fat concept took longer to be incorporated. It’s a key principle. Most people eat an overly high-fat diet. For ideal results, keep the percentage of your diet below 15%, and ideally below 10%.

2.    Create demand by exercising — Whenever I don’t exercise for several days or weeks in a row, I start feeling like a caged animal. To quote from an article from Parade magazine, by Dr. Henry S. Lodge:

“The hard reality of our biology is that we are built to move. Exercise is the master signaling system that tells our cells to grow instead of fade. When we exercise, that process of growth spreads throughout every cell in our bodies, making us functionally younger. Not a little bit younger—a lot younger. True biological aging is a surprisingly slow and graceful process. You can live out your life in a powerful, healthy body if you are willing to put in the work. (…)

Though we’ve moved indoors and left that life behind, our cells still think we’re living out on the savannah, struggling to stay alive each day. There are no microwaves or supermarkets in nature. If you want to eat, you have to hunt or forage every single day. That movement is a signal that it’s time to grow. So, when you exercise, your muscles release specific substances that travel throughout your bloodstream, telling your cells to grow. Sedentary muscles, on the other hand, let out a steady trickle of chemicals that whisper to every cell to decay, day after day after day.

3.    Listen to your body and fast when necessary — One of the best things you can do when you feel a bit “out of it” is to skip a couple of meals. It’s amazing how quickly our good mood comes back with a little fasting. You just have to pay attention to your body and avoid eating when you’re really not hungry — but just have an appetite for something.

4.    Avoid stimulants — Stimulants are a double edged sword. On the one hand, they appear to give you energy. But on the other hand, that energy is only borrowed, and you have to pay it back later, with interest to boot. The most common culprits are caffeine and Theo bromine (in cacao).

5.    Fruits and vegetables are our natural foods
— I don’t like the “raw is law” principles. Most raw-foodists have an extremely unhealthy diet because all they try to do is eat raw-foods and avoid cooked foods. A lot of raw foods commonly consumed — such as cacao products, raw cakes with coconut oil, nut bars, and many others — are not really healthy. What we’re designed to eat are fruits and vegetables. Eat only raw fruits and vegetables, and you will be very healthy.

6.    Follow a strict dental hygiene routine — I used to think that diet was the most important factor in dental health. I thought that if you have a good diet, your teeth would be healthy. Years later (and 30+ cavities repaired), after lots of research, I understand that this disease called dental decay is actually contagious. It’s a war against bacteria. The bacteria will feed on anything: sugar, carbohydrates, morsels of food stuck in the teeth. If you try to win the battle with food, you will lose.

You have to eliminate the problem at the root: by keeping the bacteria to a level where they cannot do much damage. The way to do this is to have a very precise and disciplined hygiene routine. For me, it means 4 minutes of brushing (in a certain pattern) with an electric toothbrush after dinner, followed by flossing, tongue scraping and water irrigation with my VitaJet.

Then I also brush in the morning and before or after lunch. The good thing is once you’ve been able to keep your bacteria level very low for a long time, plaque no longer accumulates. Then if you get lazy one day and don’t brush, the bacteria won’t really be able to do any damage. The problem is when someone has had any problem with their teeth — a standard form of dental hygiene is simply not enough to eliminate the problem at the root. For more information, go to www.fredericpatenaude.com/oralhealth.html

7.    Keep your body hydrated — You need more water in hotter weather, and less in cold climates. It’s very hard to trust our sense of thirst to guide us. The best thing is to actually make a habit of drinking extra water when you think you’ll need it. In the tropics, I have to drink at least 1 or 2 extra liters of water every day. A good habit is to start the day with one liter of water with some lemon juice.

8.    Keep your body alkaline
— It’s very simple: fruits and vegetables make your body alkaline. Most nuts and grains are acid-forming. Animal products are the most acid-forming of all. To keep healthy bones and low-levels of inflammation in the body, eat alkaline foods at least 90% of the time.

9.    Get the right amount of sleep you need — There are different opinions on sleep. Natural hygiene generally recommends sleeping as much as possible. However, it’s also possible to get too much sleep. It’s been found that the one thing all depressed people have in common is getting too much sleep. As soon as they put the alarm clock back on, a large percentage of these depressions go away.

So to me, it’s more a matter of finding the right amount of sleep. I found that in my twenties, I needed more sleep. I could not do well if I got less than 9 or 10 hours of sleep every day. Now at 33, I find that I need less sleep. I also function better on the days I don’t get enough sleep. I do well now with 7 to 9 hours of sleep, depending on my activities for the day. More than 9 hours makes me feel a bit “comatic”, so I avoid oversleeping as well.

10.    Eat some blended greens — Eating some greens will make a big difference in your health. But more if you can actually assimilate them. Try to consume some greens in a blended form: either in a blended salad (or Veggie Stew) or as a green smoothie. Once a day, a big bowl or tall glass is about what we need.

This was just an except of my monthly newsletter. The same issue also contained a complete lists of all my “top lists”, such as “my top raw recipes”, and “my top favorite health books”, and much more! To find out about becoming a subscriber, go to: www.fredericpatenaude.com/mentorclub.html

Raw Vegan Mentor Club

15 Responses to “My Top 10 Raw Health Principles”

  1. Lauren says:

    Fred, this is truly a fantastic list. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and common sense with us.

  2. Lindy says:

    Why starting the day with water and lemon if you think that lemon is not such a healthy fruit to eat?

  3. Great advice, you are spot on about the sleep. When you wake up in the morning your body tells you it is time to get up but some of us ignore the signal and go back to sleep and then wonder why you are unrefreshed when you wake.

  4. Frederic says:

    @Linday: Lemons are not a healthy fruit to EAT because of the high acidity. But you can use some drops of lemon juice to flavor salads or water. Then it’s not so much acid when diluted with the rest.

  5. Jessica says:

    Is it okay if I follow the same routine your doing but without the VitaJet? Will it still prevent cavities?

  6. Frederic says:

    @Jessica: yes, it will do 90% of the job.

  7. Taj says:

    So the raw cacao in the video is stimulating or the theo bromine wasn’t in the part that you were eating?

  8. Frank says:

    Once again, thank you Fred for the enlightening information. I’ve been down that dark path of eating too many fats through overconsumption of oil, nuts and avocados. You wouldn’t be able to guess how many liters of olive oil I use to go through per month. I’m not perfects and still consume more than I should, but I’m adapting and changing with an open mind and heart.
    Take Care and God Bless
    PS. Your Raw Vegan DVDs rock

  9. hi frederic

    i love all your information and hope you come to do an event in san diego..i wish i could bring you here, but i don’t have the finances to do so…i know about true raw cacao, as i have the orgasmic pleasure of eating the sweet white creamy pulp you are speaking of that was brought to an expo in anaheim number of years ago by one of the raw food ‘giants’ in the industry (who shall remain nameless)…when i tried this dreamy creamy lusciously sweet fruit, i said, “i want stock in this!”

    i have been vegan 20 years and now eating the low fat raw vegan way…how i make it work, is i have a whole avocado 1 day a week and that is it (i don’t like having the avocado cut and they it starts to oxidize)…the rest of the time i eats lots of fruit (sweet and savory) and greens (which i rotate and have a different green for at least 7 days, that is based on the alkaloids that are presents to protect the plants from being overeaten and that they can continue to propagate for a long time)…i am still craving more minerals and do consume some seaweeds like kelp, dulse and laver (from my studies in macrobiotics, when i first embarked on my vegan journey)…i stay away from consuming the acidic citrus fruits, and only use them to season my salads…i do not consume any oil, salt, vinegars or spices and i teach raw food preparation classes in that vain, as well and my food is delicious (not one complaint from any attendees)

    i have done extensive fasting and cleansing since 2004 and created a blog that is posted weekly and has my daily experiences on the longest cleanse/fast i have ever done (42 days) from dec 1st 2009 till jan 11th 2010…you can check it out at http://www.rawsomegal.wordpress.com

    keep up all the great work you are doing and i hope to see you in california!


  10. Tabia says:

    Bigup to you Fred and fellow readers. As always I enjoyed your insights. Just a comment about seeds and nuts. From my studies with Ann Wigmore group in Puerto Rico I learned, just as you stated that nuts and seeds were alkaline. That is why we were taught to soak them before eating. Different nuts should be soaked for different lenghts of time to enable them to become alkaline. I have also learned to soak my seeds and nuts and then dehydrate them at 90 degrees overnite and then I can freeze them so that they are ready whenever needed. What’s your take on that?

  11. Tabia says:

    Please excuse the error in my earlier response. I meant to say that I learned, just as you stated that seeds and nuts were acid and acid producing; that’s why they should be soaked.

  12. Fern Rancourt says:

    Great to see an actual cacao fruit and to realize once more that cacao is not to be avoided completely!

    Good tips on eating a healthy raw food diet on your 10 most important health principles!

    Thank you so much for everything you share to help us, newcomers to this amazing lifestyle, understand it better!

    I’d like you to talk more about how we can lead a happy raw lifestyle here in Canada also. (I’m from Ontario but moved to BC a year ago.)

  13. Sheryl says:

    To Jessica and all about using the vitajet: I didn’t think it was really necessary to use one. Then my brother got one (a different brand, though) and it had an extra tip. So I used it a couple of times and after thorough brushing, flossing and tongue scraping I still saw pieces of food washing down the sink when I used it! I’m convinced it’s worth the time and money. I got another brand online delivered for $50. To your health!

  14. Georgia Tripp says:

    I now live in Panama (the country) and had the thrill today of collecting ripe Noni fruit that had dropped underneath the tree/bush where it grows, in this case at the beach!

  15. This is the best approach to raw I’ve ever heard — excellent information in a short, easily digestible package. I have always felt my best when I eat mostly raw veggies and fruits and on a number of occasions I tried to “go raw” based on that… but all the recipes I tried were so fat heavy that I felt terrible and weighed down… frustrated I would give up… After reading this, I am going to give it another go and I’m sure I will be much more successful with your help and insight. low fat raw here I come.

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