Tag Archives: my raw food lifestyle


Good Southern girl that I am, I do love my okra.  Only thing is it does have that tendency to get slimy – I’ve always thought that’s why we so often prepare  it together with tomatoes (to hide the slime).  I was just visiting FreshBitesDaily.com and noticed their suggestion:

Dry your okra after you wash it, and before you cut it.

So simple.


RAW SOURCES OF PROTEIN – thanks to Rawtarian for the info

POST #1002

I’ve been hearing from people asking about raw vegan protein sources, and I always fall back on my old standby’s: raw nuts and seeds, lentil, sunflower seed, and alfalfa sprouts, and people keep coming up with reasons why they cannot eat whatever I say.   Tonight, I just got someone to admit that she had been avoiding raw nuts because they have too much fat…. Hello-o? If you are eating raw nuts and seeds, no matter how much fat they have, it is all GOOD fat, good for you, going to build healthy cell walls, etc and so forth ad infinitum. (Even the AMA has started back-pedaling on the low fat dictum – have  you ever noticed how we have gotten steadily fatter ever since the low-fat idea came out?)

So, anyway, yesterday, I saw Rawtarian’s post How to Get Protein on a Raw Food Diet, and, being one who prefers not to re-invent the wheel, I asked Laura Jean if I could repost her article, and she has kindly agreed.  Don’t miss the protein equivalents list at the end – that was the part that I wanted most!

How to get protein on a raw food diet
When people find out that you’re a vegetarian or a vegan or raw vegan, the subject of protein is always a huge concern to friends and family. I bet every raw vegan has been asked the question, “But where you get your protein from?” Maybe some of you know a lot  about how to get protein on the raw food diet already. And maybe there are those who have an idea, but just don’t know how to make other non-raw friends understand. Why is it such a big deal to have enough protein, anyway? What makes it so special? And what are the best and most common sources of protein for raw fooders? Lemme tell ya!

But before we get into the details, I want to start with a few soundbytes:

“Yes, you can get protein without eating animal products!”

“As long as you are eating a wide variety of legumes (ex. sprouted chick peas), grains (ex. sprouted quinoa)  greens and veggies, nuts and seeds, with a little mindfulness you can easily get enough protein.”

“Horses and cows are strong – and they don’t eat meat either. Ever wondered where they get their protein? Plants!”

It’s handy to arm yourself with a little useful information about the protein question so that you understand it and can answer the question with quick confidence. Don’t go down the rabbit hole of stammering and ums! So in the future, when you come across the question on where you get your protein from, you’ll know exactly what to say. So here’s a bit more detail for you detail-oriented folk!

Protein defined

Don’t be daunted by that headline. This is just a little bit of science and nothing too intense, I promise. Let’s just start from the beginning. And so the question: What is protein?

Proteins are basically one of the most vital building blocks of human bodies. They are the second most abundant substance in our bodies next to water, and they are very important nutrients made of a combination of amino acids. Think of protein as the alphabet and amino acids as the letters in the alphabet. Just like letters forming a number of possible words, different combinations of various amino acids make up different kinds of proteins, which serve their own purposes. Simply put, protein is a word used to call different combinations of many amino acids. There are amino acids that can only be gained from the food we eat (essential amino acids) and those that our bodies produce (non-essential amino acids). Complete protein just refers to a combination of all nine essential amino acids proportional to the needs of the body.

Functions of proteins

But before we go into the sources of proteins, let’s first get to know what these proteins do in our bodies and what we need them for. Proteins actually provide structure to every single cell in our bodies. There are proteins that serve as enzymes, hormones, antibodies and more. Some proteins are involved in transporting oxygen and other molecules, and some are involved in contracting our muscles. The list of tasks proteins are responsible for goes on. They’re busy guys! But the most notable functions of proteins are to build, maintain, and replace tissues in our bodies (e.g. nails, hair, skin, muscles, bones, red blood cells, etc.), as well as to keep our cells in good condition for them to be able to work properly.

How much protein do we need?

According to numerous studies and research, the amount of required daily protein intake for human bodies varies depending on several factors such as age, gender, body condition, lifestyle, etc. For instance, an inactive female adult’s protein needs may be much lower than that of an athlete’s or a bodybuilder’s. But on an average, an adult female vegan’s protein recommendation is around 46-58 grams per day. Whereas an adult male vegan’s is around 56-70 grams per day.

Richest plant-based raw food sources

It’s traditionally believed that proteins from animals are the best source of proteins are already complete. And this is because their bodies already exerted the effort to combine the amino acids from the many different plants they’ve consumed. However, true as it may be, that could also be just what it is – a traditional belief. Because contrary to popular belief, animal products are not the only and more superior source of (complete) proteins.

Green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds are some of the richest sources of proteins in a plant-based raw food diet. There are various plant-based foods that are high in certain amino acids. But incomplete protein doesn’t mean it’s inferior compared to complete proteins. It just tells us that it’s important to get the right balance of these nutritional values in order to meet the required amount of amino acids our bodies need to make complete proteins.

There are also even studies that show a human body actually prefers incomplete protein or as individual amino acids. This is so that it can combine them in the best possible way to serve their many different purposes, because when our body takes in complete proteins, it has to break down and tear the amino acids apart to reassemble them in a way that our body needs them to be. In saying so, amino acids from plant-based food therefore allow the body to skip that process entirely and get right down to business.

And that’s basically what protein is about and how to get protein as a raw vegan By learning this tidbit of information, we get to understand the importance of knowing what a raw vegan lifestyle entails and how we can better improve our raw food diet. Not because we have to prove something but to share a better understanding and hopefully eliminate misconceptions.

If you’d like to find out more about the intersection of protein and raw food, check out my podcast about raw protein sources.

And lastly, here are some common raw foods and their protein levels:

  • 1/4 cup almonds = 15 grams protein
  • 1/4 cup walnuts = 7.5 grams protein
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds = 7 grams protein
  • 1/4 cup cashews = 5 grams protein
  • 1/4 cup pecans = 2.5 grams protein
  • 1/4 cup medjool dates = 2 grams protein
  • 4 tablespoons of hempseed hearts = 15 grams protein
  • 3 tablespoons of chia seeds = 4 grams protein
  • 1 cup raw kale = 2 grams protein
  • 1 cup raw broccoli = 2 grams protein
  • 1 cup raw spinach = 1 gram protein (1 cup cooked spinach = 7.6 grams protein)
  • 1 cup alfalfa sprouts = 1 gram protein

from How to Get Protein on a Raw Food Diet, Rawtarian.com


POST #999
Next on my to-read list:
Idealism Meets Greed – How the raw food movement ruined my life
By Dr. Jim Carey, Ph.D.

In 2010, Jim Carey, a quiet mover in the raw vegan world, was sued, along with Creative Health Institute, by the Ann Wigmore Foundation (AWF), for using the deceased Dr. Ann Wigmore’s name, which AWF claims to have exclusive permission to use, and for which they claim to have a registered trademark.

Unfortunately, Jim lost in the suit (and, as far as I can see, AWF didn’t win – How many of you have ever heard of them?).  It seems that AWF took their winnings, which included Jim’s very popular raw foods lifestyle program, and ran everything into the ground in New Mexico.

As part of the legal settlement, Jim was banned, by a no-compete clause, from publishing or speaking on raw food topics for 3 years. As a result, he had to turn down dozens of job offers, as well as requests for help from friends.

Ahh! At last, the three-year gag order has expired! Jim has now written an expose on the raw food world and its gurus, as only someone in his position can do. He has worked with the people raw foodists come into contact with often (on websites, in emails, or in trainings), and, with his unique insight, having been turned on by an organization which he helped develop, and then left, in order to pursue his own way of bringing the raw food lifestyle to a broader awareness, he has a lot to say.

As I had the opportunity to exchange ideas often with Jim during his raw food education career (I was privileged to take his distance training, which, with copious printed material and a stack of DVDs, was probably the most thorough distance – or even “in person” – education on raw food lifestyle that has ever been issued), I am looking forward to seeing what he has to say in his expose (when I chatted with him back in the day, we’d occasionally talk about this or that “raw guru”.. mostly, he’d just listen to my take, but occasionally he’d let drop that he didn’t think my attitude was off-base).

I’ve missed that camaraderie over the past 3 years, but I didn’t know what his legal arrangement had stipulated he could or could not say even to close buddies, so, when I have had the chance, I’ve just chatted with him about his new endeavors (The man does not stop! Can’t do this? Go excel at something else!).

Will Jim come back to us? I can only hope.., but, at least, he has decided to reveal his experience in and take on the world of raw food gurus, to be released on March 1, 2014. I will be first in line to grab his book. It should be a moment to remember.

For more information about this new book, go to Jim’s website:

10/31/13 CSA SHARE: What they say we will get

POST #983
It is a very good thing that tomorrow is CSA day.  I will be quite hungry by then, I am sure.  I have just come back from vacation, so all there is to eat around here is what I have in the freezer (not much – I am not really big on freezing vegetables), a jar of fermented salsa, and some dehydrated crackers).

Kale – Red, Green or Toscano – 1 bun
Swiss Chard – 1 bun
Beets – 1 bun
Bok Choi – 1 bun
Broccoli – 1 hd
Cauliflower – 2 hds
Carrots – 1 bun
Long Peppers – 7+ pcs

Oh, goody! Lots of things I like. Yumm!


POST #982
Admittedly, I had not visited GoneRaw.com in quite a while (okay, maybe a year or so), but I was surprised and disheartened to find the place in a shambles today when I clicked through and old link on an old, inactive blog, looking for Chef Landria, who seems to have disappeared.  On the home page, there was some kind of code disturbance, which just got worse when I clicked on RECIPES at the top of the page.  

Ah, but help is on the way, if you want to go see this famous old repository for raw recipes of all kinds.

Go to the bottom of the page, and find where it says RECIPES –GONE RAW – that link is healthy (at least as of a few minutes ago)  You can page through the recipes, which seem to be intact. 

My advice – if you want to avail yourself of a number of wonderful recipes from people who have posted over the years, who may or may not still be active, QUICK! Go there and look through all of the recipes which sound like something you might want to eat or prepare for someone else.  (Who knows how long this site will remain – it has apparently been abandoned, and there have been no postings in the past year or so).

Raw Diet Lives: Jinjee Talifero’s take

POST #981
Many thanks to Jinjee, a long-time raw foodist, at JinjeeTalifero.com for picking up the ball where I left it in my previous post on the supposed death of the raw food diet, tentatively titled here “The Death of “If I Can’t Keep Up My Raw Diet, That Means You Can’t Either” or “My Raw Does’t Work So You Should Quit, Too”.

Jinjee has thought things out in different ways than I did when I posted my reaction to Kevin Gianni’s post, and Frederic Patenaude’s subsequent post on RenegadeHealth.com.  Her reasoning is very sound.

I’ll come back and weigh in on this issue again when I have time to organize my thoughts and write something really profound, or, at least, cogent, and not just another knee-jerk reaction.

For now, I will say that I echo the truth in Jinjee’s statement: “If we did not have egos I can’t imagine that this article would have been of the remotest interest to anyone!”

THE RAW FOOD DIET HAS NOT DIED, but it may have stopped being a quick, easy money maker

It is so interesting to me to hear all of these self-proclaimed raw food gurus coming out and saying that they eat cooked food, too, or that they are abandoning the raw food diet.  I’ve even seen some who have decided to give up raw veganism so totally that they are eating meat. Kevin Gianni has just published an article declaring the death of the raw food diet.

A lot of the disenchantment with the raw food diet began to come about when Doug Graham published his 80-10-10 Diet book, appealing to the low-fat diet crowd. 

The main problem with Graham’s idea has always been that we need fats in our diet,  if only to build healthy cell walls.  Fats in the raw vegan diet are good fats.  (Even the AMA has started back-pedaling from the low-fat diet concept)  Raw extra virgin olive oil is nothing but good fat.  Raw nuts and seeds provide good fats made naturally and invented  by God. Fat-phobes find themselves with tasteless food, unless they begin adding sugars (My favorite example is Duke’s Mayonnaise, a natural sugar-free mayonnaise produced in the South.  When the low-fat craze began, Duke’s put out a low-fat version, but, if you check the ingredients, you will see that, while they removed fat, they added a boatload of sugar to compensate for the flavor, so, ultimately, the elimination of fat called for excess sugar/carbs, and calories. I had to educate my Mom on this).  Raw foodists on low fat diets risk getting weird health issues:  I am a sparing eater, and I don’t always throw oil or nuts in my food, and I have found that, if I am not careful, I get all sorts of skin rashes – no applying skin cream on the outside doesn’t help. (Interestingly, in a recent issue of Women’s World, they addressed just this issue, only, instead of suggesting that people include more good fats in their diet, they suggested an Omega 3 oil supplement). Fats, such raw nuts and seeds, or simple extra virgin olive oil, will deliver your omega-3s. Flax seed is loaded with Omega 3. Fats also tend to head off cravings. 

Many of the so-called “gurus”, who have since announced that they are eating cooked food, have touted fancy, complicated, multi-ingredient raw dishes.  Of course, these multi-ingredient, complicated=to-create dishes can be created by personal chefs, but most folks do not have the luxury of a personal chef to come and prepare their food.

Recently, I reviewed a book called Raw Food for Busy People, by Wild Bill Gun.  The book was widely panned by readers because the recipes were so simple that the readers missed the prep instructions “Blend”, “In the Food Processor”, or “Mix”. 

I am from the old school, before designer raw food recipe books. I collect vintage raw food recipe books.  In the old days, people made simple raw food recipes. They had no blenders, food processors, or juicers.  Back in the early 1900s, the only “food processor” was a good knife.. People really ate natural raw food preparations, only processed insofar as the vegetables and/or fruit were cut/sliced/minced with a knife.

With the Internet, it is possible to grow a business quickly. He who shouts loudest receives the most attention.   Folks have been touting their concepts, their methods, and their recipes on-line (or advertising how to get said items) for the past 10 or so years.

Multitudes have signed up to receive raw food information, and, yet, the numbers of people who claim to be raw foodists are dropping.

I would venture to say that the first reason for the drop in interest is that, when your guru is exposed, you lose faith. Those who believed in Viktoria Boutenko’s schtick have lost faith since she admitted she was eating cooked food (I mean, why should I eat raw if the lady who told me to do it is not doing it?).  Frederic Patenaude, with his multitude of followers, has said he eats cooked food (so why should his followers do any different?)  Kristen Suzanne published a number of raw books, and, then, abruptly announced she was going paleo, that raw and vegetarian weren’t working for her, and she was going to eat meat (some folks might want to throw out those poorly formatted books she cranked out)

I am glad that these folks who have been selling their systems are finally telling the truth about their own dietary habits (a while back, I was a member of a raw food group in New York City, in which we reveled in discovering what local “guru” was eating what where) 

At the same time, I am not ready to say the the raw food diet is dead.  I became a raw foodie before it was fashionable, actually, even before I had seen a raw food recipe book: it just seemed like what I should be doing.  I found my first raw food recipe book in the mid-70s.  The recipes were simple, healthy, diet-savvy, and easy to prepare.

I did not know about modern recipes until I was given a recipe book in 1999.  Yes, the recipes there-in were glorious, but what I tended to eat from day to day were the vegetable salads and fruit salads that I had been doing since graduate school, i.e. simple vegetable dishes that I had thought up myself or that I had found in Live Foods, by the Fathmans, , Eydie Mae’s Natural Recipes by.Eydie Mae Hunsberger, and Ann Wigmore’s Recipes for Longer Life.

Since I do still follow a raw vegan diet, I cannot agree with Kevin Gianni’s pronouncement that the raw food diet is dead.  What I believe he means is that the market is over-saturated with self-proclaimed gurus who have come out about eating cooked food in order to head off negative commentaries by people who have discovered that these folks eat cooked food, while touting the benefits of a raw food diet. 

It is true that the market is oversaturated with these folks who send you the email equivalent of the TV commercials that announce “but wait! There’s more” and charge exorbitant prices for their short books of recipes. At some point, people begin to be able to read the first few lines of such ads, and know that they are being suckered into paying a lot of money if they click yes.  At the same time, one must consider that there might well be folks who are silently following a raw food diet without laying out major cash to buy into whatever the “gurus” are selling.

Meanwhile, I am still here, eating a raw vegan diet. I do not advertise myself as a guru. People who come to me for nutritional information find that I am knowledgeable about a number of different possible diet ways.  Raw food is the one I practice, and it is very good for healing purposes. On the other hand, I am well-versed in other weight management and health management diets, and, as such, I can suggest what seems to be appropriate with each client.

So, just because Kevin Gianni, Brenda Cobb, Viktoria Boutenko, and Frederic Patenaude, and Kristen Suzanne are now cooking, that doesn’t mean that I have to call the power company and ask them to turn my stove back on.  I will stick with raw food because it has been good for me for many years. (I will admit, I have gone off raw from time to time, but I have always come back, primarily because it feels right, and when I have stopped, I have not felt as good as I did on the raw diet)

If you have newly come to the raw vegan diet, or if you have just heard of it, and have been considering incorporating its ideas in some way into your life-style, please ignore Kevin Gianni’s “make-money-quick-scheme” pronouncements on the raw food diet, as well as those of others who publish the “but wait! there’s more!” raw food diet plans.  The raw food diet should never be about “how to get rich quick”, but, rather, about how to eat in such a way as to enhance your health, prevent illness, and/or enhance your possibilities of healing from illness.