What to Eat in a Raw Food Diet — Peak Energy & Health with Raw Foods!
March 7, 2021
Raw foods transform your life! I came to raw food because of unbearable toothache keeping me awake at night.
I never dreamt that eating raw plants would alter my brain! Raw foods give me so much brain focus that today I live a totally free life. I do what I love (writing) and I'll never again be a wage slave in a system that puts profit before people.
Factory food kills our earth. Raw organic foods renew Mother Earth, restore it to the blue jewel it truly is in the vast blackness of space. When you eat raw, you tread softly. Your carbon footprint is the lowest possible!
A few brave souls go raw overnight. Most take at least a year. And me? I took 15 years to reach 95% raw where I'm happy and comfortable. I was slow because I had no will-power. I ate more 'n more raw, and the junk fell away at its own pace.
100% Raw Foods or Not?
Psychologists have found that in any situation 5% will go to the extreme, and 95% won't. In Japanese prisoner-of-war camps, they had only to separate 5% of the men (the gang-leaders) and the rest would never try to escape.
The 5% are teachers and leaders. The rest of us are the students, happy to learn from and be inspired by a good teacher. Of course you can be a teacher in one world and a student in another.
Once you experience raw foods are healthiest, then it's likely you'll join the 95% of raw fooders who eat a little cooked food for a variety of reasons — because you enjoy cooked starch, you love eating out with friends and family, you don't have time to endlessly prepare raw dishes, or you're not an extremist in anything.
A friend who was all-raw for two years traveling with a leading raw food teacher, e-mailed me:
"I am actually not 100% raw anymore. It was a choice I made to be less strict with myself and have some fun. I am about 90% raw. I feel better because I am not binging on fruits, nuts and dates. I have lost some weight actually too:) I definitely think the more raw foods in your diet the better, but to enjoy your food is just as important."
Dr. Gabriel Cousens is the leading medical doctor in the raw food world. He writes in his book Conscious Eating (2000):
"I have not been able to detect a significant difference between 100% raw foods and 95% raw in terms of day-to-day health or physical and spiritual energy ... My observation is that getting in touch with just the right amount to eat rather than overeating, even of biogenic [living] foods, plays a more critical role for health than whether one has a 95% or a 100% raw food diet. That 5% is important because it allows some social leeway, as well as keeps one from getting stuck in a perfectionistic-type thinking."
In his first book, Spiritual Nutrition and The Rainbow Diet (1986) Dr. Cousens points out:
"The key is to find the diet that best supports the flow of spiritual energy in our system, and at the same time supports our function in the world."
80-95% Raw Food Diet
The First Step is to make One Green Smoothie a Day! See detailed info here.
When you talk to yourself, say this one sentence over and over:
CLEAN and FEED with GREEN to HEAL. I'm Cleaning me and Feeding me with Green Today!
With Smoothies under your belt, you find yourself slowly going for G-W-F-W — tick it off on your four fingers :)
When you reach G-W-F-W, you've made it as a raw fooder. You're focused on creating your dreams and you feel free and happy every day, as if Life is one glorious unforgettable vacation.
- G = GREENS by the TON — blend greens, juice greens, chew on greens, take wholefood green powders like organic spirulina or dried grass juice. You can *never* overdose on greens, they will clean and rebuild you faster than any other food — use the Sprouter here for fresh living greens daily.
- W = WHOLE Foods Only — eat fresh plant foods. Avoid food from machines — frozen, boxed, canned and bottled — eat it sparingly, even if it looks whole, like frozen vegetables.
- F = NO FACES — no food that comes from a creature with a face. Evolve away from chicken, fish, meat, and eggs, cheese, milk, yogurt, ice cream. Switch to seed and nut milks and yogurts — see recipes here.
- W = NO WHITES or WARM oils — never cook with oil, add raw coconut oil to a baked potato *after* you've cooked it. Use only cold-pressed unheated oils, avoid snacks with cooked fats like hydrogenated oil; and say No to the Whites — white sugar, white rice, white pasta, white flour, cakes, cookies, chips, chocolate — use the dehydrator recipes here to make your own snack foods.
- DON'T FRET — when you drink a Green Smoothie or Energy Soup daily, your addictions will fall away like leaves from a tree in autumn.
If you need factory food to make your meal tasty, use as little as possible, e.g. sprinkle vegetable broth powder on your buckwheat pasta, instead of pasta sauce, or simmer chopped dried tomatoes with pasta and add raw garlic and olive oil when it comes off the stove.
Better still, eat whole grains rather than pasta. An easy way to cook whole grains is in a thermos flask. Use one cup grain to 2-3 cups water (experiment with different grains); pour grain into thermos, boil water and pour it onto grain in thermos; leave for few hours. This way you don't have to watch a slow-simmering pot of grains.
Or get a low-cost Wonderbag Non-Electric Portable Slow Cooker. It's perfect for cooking beans too. You simply pop your grains or beans into a pot, cover with 3 cups water to a cup of beans, bring to a simmer, then pop into your Wonderbag and it cooks without electricity!
Best of all, eat raw spaghetti. Look for a Spiralizer at Amazon that cuts hard vegetables into spaghetti threads and spiral shapes. Use this to grate yellow zucchini or butternut squash lengthwise into long thin strips. Cut the strips into lengths that are easy to eat. Toss with any tasty raw sauce.
Whole Grains are a lovely transition food. They give the calories you need. With raw foods, the only source for calories is either fruit OR fats (nuts, seeds, avocado) OR sprouted grain crackers (which take time to make). That's why raw fooders overeat on nuts and dried fruit. They're starving for more calories.
In my experience, it's better for you to eat lightly cooked starchy vegetables and whole grains, until your body gets cleaner. Read more here under Carbohydrates.
Nuts are so fatty and dried fruit so sugary! Remember, you're moving away from the fat and sugar into healthy sugar from fresh fruit.
The cleaner you are inside, the more you enjoy fresh raw fruit as a meal. It's totally satisfying — but not when your tissues are still clogged.
100% Raw Food Diet
Raw Greens, Fruits, and plant Fats — all three daily — are the essentials of not only the raw food diet, but any diet.
David Wolfe writes in The Sunfood Diet Success System (2000):
"I do not know of another person who has communicated with as many successful 100% raw foodists as I have. In every single long-term raw foodist I've met, I discovered the following dietary pattern: green-leafy vegetables, sweet fruits, and [plant] fatty foods. To me discovering this pattern was a revelation. It tuned me up to an incredible level of health and clarity."
RAW GREENS should be LIVING. Build a Sprouter or order one ready-built for you, so you harvest a plateful of fresh greens daily in your kitchen. There is no other Sprouter on earth that will give you such a big plate of organic greens daily in such a labor-free way.
RAW FRUITS are all foods with seeds for their own propagation. They include the sweet fruits we love, plus sour fruits (cranberry, grapefruit, lemon, lime), vegetable fruits (bell pepper, cucumber, okra, pumpkin, squash, tomato, zucchini), and sun-dried fruits. Eat only red or yellow peppers, not green peppers (they're unripe). Avoid fruit without seeds, such as seedless grapes.
RAW PLANT FATS are seeds, nuts, avocado, olives, coconuts, and durians. Fats are soft, heavy and filling, they fill the empty spaces and ground you, bring you back to earth. They satisfy hunger. They feed your nerves so you're happier and handle stress with a smile. Seed and nut milks are a delicious way to eat fats, see Recipes here.
"It was tough at first because cooked food is addictive ... Once I cleansed my body of the cooked-food residues, I no longer craved cooked food. What a liberating experience! I can sincerely tell you — it is magical ... I just did my best each day to go without cooked food and I didn't worry about how much raw plant food I was eating ... I stopped eating cooked food completely after about a year."
Stephen Arlin, Raw Power - Building Strength & Muscle Naturally (1998)
All three foods — fats, fruits, greens — may be eaten at the same meal. Natural hygienists disagree, they say never mix fruit with anything and especially not with fat. I enjoy sweet and fat together, e.g. banana and nut-butter. I think food combining rules apply to cooked food, but I don't bother when all the food is raw.
However, I have the upmost respect for the research of the late Dr. Herbert Shelton and today's natural hygiene followers. If you experience digestive distress (cramps, flatulence, bad breath, headache, etc.) then don't combine the three food groups in one meal.
The raw food diet is, in essence — leafy greens, fruits, fats — in that order for me! I'm evolving into Dr. Doug Graham's low-fat raw diet.
Have you seen all the research showing that fat should not exceed 10-15% of your calories? When you focus on Green Smoothies, and on fresh raw organic fruits and vegetables, you reach unimaginable energy levels.
I find myself in my 60's pounding through the surf, swimming against giant waves like an Olympic athlete! I don't do any muscle training — I should! The feeling of pure power began when I added lots and lots of fruit to my raw diet, in place of nuts & seeds.
After greens, fruits, fats — the rest of a raw food diet is any other raw plant foods — roots, flowers, stems, herbs, fungi (mushrooms), sea vegetables (seaweeds), algae, sprouted legumes (mung, lentil, green pea) and grain sprouts — especially oats for silica, and ancient non-hybrid kamut.
Four pseudo-grains are not really grains though they look like a grain. They're high in minerals and low in starch, very healthy, especially sprouted — quinoa, buckwheat, amarinth and wild rice.
When I worked in New York, I ate raw sprouted quinoa-buckwheat porridge for breakfast, blended with a banana. It lasted me 'till 2 p.m! Then I was ready for lunch.
It freed me of my hopeless addiction to croissants and a muffin on my way to work. You know what New York City is like! A bakery on every corner...
Add a few warming herbs to your raw diet especially in winter, e.g. raw cayenne, chili, garlic, ginger, jalapeno pepper, onion. Fresh ginger and herb teas melt my heart.
Fast Forward into Raw Food
Would you like to move quickly into raw foods? Then drink green juices — wheatgrass and leafy greens juiced in a slow single-auger juicer.
Green juice cleans out the toxins quicker, and rebuilds cells. It takes away cravings.
It's a magical journey! Every so often, something brand new happens. One day you discover you're not eating chocolate any more. You can't stand the taste. If you're a chocoholic, go for these raw chocolate recipes.
Balance in Raw Foods
The essence of health is Balance. You've seen the cycles of nature in exquisite balance? When we get too unbalanced, we topple over and die.
People talk about a balanced diet! Truly the only balance is in living plant foods.
You need to find the right balance for you of the macronutrients — proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.
See the Ann Wigmore Chart on the next page for a list of which foods are best for each macronutrient. There's tons more food for you to eat than apple, lettuce and almonds!
I say find the right balance each day because the nutrients and calories you need today depend on a potpourri of variables.
Are you fat or skinny? Stressed or living free? Working in the city today, or rambling in the country? Is it freezing cold outside or boiling hot? Are you pregnant, or pushing iron? Do you see how daily our life changes? And so do our nutrient needs.
I'm a raw food advocate. If someone with a "terminally ill" diagnosis came to me, I'd say: "Your best hope is to switch one hundred percent to blended raw and living plant foods, and green juices."
Yet "one-diet-fits-all-people-at-all-times-in-all-places" is a religion I can't support. Perhaps I'm too much of a seasoned sailor.
A famous raw-food book of our time was written by a young man while still in his 20's. I love the book. It helped me tremendously (David Wolfe, The Sunfood Diet Success System). But it's clear that:
- This guy has never worked in New York City.
- He's never worked in a lawyer's office in New York City.
- He's never gone through menopause working in a lawyer's office in New York City.
- He's never drank and smoked heavily into black-out, for 23 years from age 17 to 40, then
- been Tortured by dental surgery while going through menopause in a lawyer's office in New York City.
- My goodness, he's never even been stuffed for two hours every day into an underground human cattle truck — the Brooklyn-Manhattan subway at rush hour — with its screaming electro-magnetic radiation and borderline fist-fights.
Well I have, all of the above. When both you and your environment are THAT stressed, can a diet of raw fruit, nuts and greens comfort you? It wouldn't me. I'd be shaking inside, like the shaky hands of Parkinson's, but in every cell of my body.
Contrast New York to my life today — totally relaxed, writing at home on a beach in sunny South Africa. I eat a raw diet that's 95% fresh raw fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, and seeds. The other 5% could be simmered butternut or sweet potato in winter, or a slice of whole-grain bread with avocado, tomato & baby greens from my Sprouter.
My body is clean today! It's a far cry from noisy polluted New York.
Food must bring comfort. Food and shelter are our first sources of comfort, after love. If it's not comforting you, if it's not making you feel warm and good, then you're eating the wrong food for you today.
The very foods called comfort food usually make us feel the most uncomfortable!
Organic plant foods, raw or home-cooked, are comforting. Energy Soup is comforting. These foods are filling, they're satisfying. The more you eat of them, the more you come into Balance.
"The sight of an animal being killed is repulsive and nauseating to most people. The digestive juices of human beings do not begin to flow at the sight.
But who is repulsed by seeing an apple picked from a tree or a carrot taken from the ground?"
George Eisman, The Most Noble Diet - Food Selection & Ethics (1994)
The 80/10/10 Diet
The 80/10/10 diet taught by sports nutritionist Dr. Doug Graham is:
- Carbohydrates, e.g. fruits — 80% of calories
- Proteins, e.g. leafy greens — 10% of calories
- Fats, e.g. avocado, seeds, nuts — 10% of calories
For an average need of 2,000-calories a day, 80/10/10 is about one pound of leafy greens, about an ounce of fat (one tablespoon of seeds like sunflower or sesame, or a small handful of nuts) and as many fruits as you can eat.
If you have blood sugar problems, then it's best to focus on the vegetable fruits like cucumber and summer squash. My teeth were so painful when I came to raw food, that I was unable to eat sweet fruits! The juice of a pear or orange seeping into a tooth was unbearable.
Today I often eat sweet fruits all day. Then in the evening have my greens, which is none too wise, because greens are high in protein. If I eat too many sunflower greens at night, I can't sleep. Discover what's right for you today!
Interestingly, and unwittingly, Clent on my Green Smoothie page who lost 240 pounds, PROVED that Doug Graham is correct. Clent does not know this. But yours truly sees it :)
Dr. Doug Graham points out that you can fill a barrel with fresh fruits & vegetables, take out any five, and you'll enjoy roughly your 80/10/10 ratio. You need very little extra fat because every single cell of every fruit and vegetable is snuggling within a membrane of polyunsatured fats. Same for all the little organelles within each cell, they're all protected within a fatty membrane.
Clent drinks carrot & wheatgrass juice for breakfast — plenty of calories in carrots though not my choice of juice, the sugar in hybridized carrots bypass your liver and upset your blood sugar balance. Then he makes a gallon of Green Smoothie which he drinks throughout the day. And he snacks on a wide variety of veggies such as celery sticks, baby carrots, asparagus, sweet peppers, zucchini, broccoli.
The only fat Clent eats is half an avocado or 2 tablespoons of ground flax seed in his Smoothie. He writes in Victoria Boutenko's Green Smoothie Revolution:
"I cut out animal products, fat, and dairy ... I consume fruit in moderation. I do not add any nuts, seeds, salt, or oils. I drink lots of water all day long. ... I don't have any hanging skin. My skin has tightened without any need for surgery."
You see that? Incredible health when you follow 80/10/10 — a raw food diet of fresh leafy greens, fruit and vegetables. Watch those nuts! They'll give you a tummy-ache.
I know a rawfooder who lost tons of weight, who suffers from that hanging lizard-like skin which only surgery can remove. Why? I believe because he ate too much fat. His recipe book has all those nut-rich recipes typical of rawfood uncookbooks.
Is Clent's skin 100% normal because of Green Smoothies? Or because he LEAVES OUT FAT? I believe it's because he was following the 80/10/10 diet, without knowing that's what he was doing.
Digestive Enzymes in Raw Food
Get your macronutrients right — proteins, carbohydrates and fats — and you need never worry about micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals.
The micro's come packaged in synergistic balance within each raw food. Remember what I say under Teeth & Gum Care? Minerals work only in relation to each other. You can swallow all the calcium tablets on earth, yet still be calcium deficient, because your calcium:phosphorus ratio is out of whack.
Only in raw foods do minerals live in harmony, in the perfect ratio to each other. They keep the plant alive! This is proof they have the power to keep you alive.
Every single enzyme in your body needs a mineral partner for it to dance. No mineral, no dance. No dance, you die, or quickly degrade. Reminds me of Emma Goldman's: "If I can't dance, I don't want your revolution!"
Living foods come with the enzymes needed to digest that food. LIVING is different from RAW. Living is Alive in the moment you eat it. When a plant is picked, first to die are the enzymes and vitamin C.
Raw seeds are rich in lipase to digest their fat. Bean sprouts have protease to digest their protein, and sprouted grains have maltase to digest their carbohydrate.
Sadly one famous raw food writer still parrots the old medical dogma that enzymes are broken down in digestion. This is simply not true. About 60-90% get snipped up into amino acid chains. The rest are absorbed WHOLE and intact into your blood.
[sorry to get technical, but absorption of isotope labeled enzymes through the intestinal epithelium is well-established in the research — see Enzymes, The Fountain Of Life by Drs. Lopez, Williams & Miehlke, 1994]
Most, if not all, shelled nuts are NOT raw, unless from a reputable source that guarantees they are alive. After they're shelled, nuts are dehydrated at high heat to prevent mold and oxidation. I prefer seeds like sunflower and unhulled sesame which you can sprout. This proves they contain the germ of life.
LIFE is the most powerful nutrient you can eat. That's why I never go a day without harvesting some food from my Sprouter.
Maltase is not in cooked grain, it's only in germinating grain. This is why Dr. Ann Wigmore was so keen on sprouted grain crackers and drinks, especially slightly fermented like Rejuvelac. Their digestive enzymes relieve stress on your pancreas (the organ that must secrete enzymes to break down the starch in cooked grains).
Dr. Edward Howell in his book Enzyme Nutrition shows how your pancreas swells to abnormally large when you eat cooked foods, especially grains. Bread is tough to give up on the raw food diet. Most of us are happy with 95% raw! Look for sprouted grain breads in your store. Though cooked, they still sport a finer balance than flour breads. Or pick up the Gluten-Free Raw Bread Recipes here.
When the load on your pancreas is too great, it steals enzymes from the nearest cells passing by, which is your immune system. Switch to raw foods and your immunity will rocket sky high!
I reached a point in New York City where everyone around me on the subway would be coughing, and Neil, my boss, breathing flu germs onto all the papers we were handling, yet I stayed as healthy as a smiling oak tree.
I was nowhere near 95% raw then. But I was eating LIVING GREENS daily from my Automatic Sprouter.
Raw Food Diet Changes Your Taste Buds
Did you know your taste buds change every 250 hours? That's ten days. Taste buds are clusters of 50 to 100 cells, with a taste pore at the apex of each bud. Nerve fibers connect your buds to your brain.
As old cells die and new ones are born, the pores adjust to the shape of the molecules you're eating.
When I first came to raw foods, I made a variety of crackers in my dehydrator to wean me off my junk-food tastes. Carrot cake crackers are here.
Today I use my dehydrator for simple stuff, like dried apple. My taste buds are a new shape, that perfectly fit raw living molecules.
No doubt you've heard of the Zone diet, the Paleo diet, the Blood Type diet, and other diets that claim you need animal foods to be healthy?
Dr. Gabriel Cousens reports in Conscious Eating:
"I cannot emphasize enough that there is NO scientific evidence that human beings of any physiological pattern have a minimum daily requirement of animal foods. ... animal food is the surest way of leaving 'the health zone' for 'the hospital zone' as epidemiological studies for cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other degenerative diseases attest."
"Popular books have made broad generalizations about using blood type as a guide ... such stereotypes are not documented in the nutritional [scientific] literature. I and several other mature holistic health practitioners concur that these claims are still in the realm of extrapolated anthropological generalizations."
"My own experience as a person with blood type O was that my health, strength, and vitality significantly improved when I became a vegetarian ... I have also found a significant number of very healthy vegetarians who are Type O."
I hear this Eat For Your Blood Type junk is now being taught in naturopathic schools! It's so sad, when the teachers and healers themselves begin to believe that you need to torture a bird or animal, or kill all life in the sea. The oceans are our next dust bowl.
Did you know that if you eat fish, raw or cooked, and you live in Europe, you are directly stopping children in west Africa from going to school? You set up a roadblock in their path on which you've painted the words: "NO Education for YOU."
European trawlers are draining so many fish out of the sea off the west coast of Africa, that local fishermen are forced to kill wild life for food. With major predators like lions and hyenas gone, the baboons are multiplying out of control. So children must stay at home to protect the crops from baboons.
It's one web of life. What you do either heals, or it kills. We either promote and enhance LIFE, or we pollute and destroy it.
As for the paleo diet, it's so unscientific. Same goes for the ketogenic or high-fat diet, or whatever animal-strong diet is in fashion when you read this.
They totally ignore all the epidemiological, experimental and clinical data that we humans have built up over the past TWO HUNDRED YEARS of nutritional research! See my reply to paleo here.
There's a super path to super health and energy! It's whole fresh ripe raw organic fruits and vegetables, with a few nuts & seeds, beans & grains, and a little seaweed (for minerals).
Spend time on this site to learn how to do it right. You will amaze yourself. Did you know you have the power to perform magic in your life? I never knew it, until I came to raw foods.
Relax with Raw Foods
The high-raw plant-strong way makes life so simple. I feel so balanced, full of energy, and HIGH every day!
When you think about it, the reason we do *anything* is because deep down we want to feel good. The more raw food you eat, the more you wake up feeling good.
You experience the power of a focused brain, and joy at the heart of every cell. Your cells are so happy when they get to work at peak performance. They are born to be raw.
Health is simple. Health is easy. It's no big deal if you struggle with self-indulgence and rebound into binging. I was in black-out for decades, a hell you don't want to know.
FOCUS on doing the RIGHT thing ONCE a day — Green Smoothie or Green Juice.
Don't bother about the gazillion wrongs, they're pin-pricks of darkness in a vast Universe of Light. You're in the right place, you're moving towards freedom.
Your body-mind is re-creating itself at its own pace.
Would you love to try Raw Foods for 6 days?
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"If your blood is formed from eating the foods I teach [fruits and green-leaf vegetables] ... your soul will shout for joy and triumph over all misery of life. For the first time you will feel a vibration of vitality through your body (like a slight electric current) that shakes you delightfully."
Arnold Ehret, Mucusless Diet Healing System (1970)
A path of miracles lies before you! It's an easy path, one step at a time. It's the path to joy, peace and amazing self-fulfillment, discovering the person you always longed to be.
- Green Smoothie Recipes — take this simple first step today.
- Recipes for Healthy Fats — what fat to eat, how much, with recipes.
- Eating Raw Links — see all info on eating high-raw.
- Site Map — see the whole feast :)
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Hello Val, I really love your site, it has to be one of the best raw food sites I have found on the net.