"What’s Wrong with Raw Food Recipes?"
I first had the idea to write some of the content in "Raw
Food Controversies" several years ago, as I was witnessing
the amount of misinformation that was flowing in the raw
food movement year after year.
It wasn't until last summer that I was finally convinced to
write this book and expose the "inconvenient truth" about
the raw food diet and tell my story to the world.
In my first book "The Raw Secrets," I briefly touched on
my first few years on the raw food diet but never
elaborated. I was actually a little afraid to tell my story
and explain exactly what happened to me after being 100% raw
for 3 1/2 years.
You see, when I first decided to go raw, I followed the
advice I got in raw food books written by people that are
still considered today to be the world's leaders in raw
But the more I followed their advice, the worse I got.
It's only when I finally decided to follow a different
approach and put my trust in science (and myself) rather
than blind faith that I finally got better.
When I first went raw, I thought that raw foodists were
these really amazing, super healthy, inspirational people.
Many had written books, and I thought they were genuinely
When I met them in person, I found out some surprising
- Most of them did drugs, including marijuana and LSD
- Most of them came up with ideas and theories out of thin
air, but promoted them in their books as scientific truth
- Many of them stole their ideas from other people, often
copying word-for-word without giving proper recognition
- Those who followed their advice did not get better. When
the gurus were challenged as to why their diet was not
working for others, they did not know what to say or they
just blamed it on detox.
The strange thing is that almost 100% of the raw food gurus
I met 14 years ago when I first got started are no longer
eating the raw food diet they promoted in those days, yet at
the time they claimed it was the word of law.
In my new book "Raw Food Controversies," I will be
spilling the beans and reveal some of those dark secrets,
and will tell my full story of trial and error with the raw
Throughout the book, you will find a series of informative
sidebars that cover in depth many important questions about
the raw food diet that you probably have.
I'm debunking many myths, while also addressing many issues
that have been neglected for too long (such as how to feed
children, what to do about long-term deficiencies, dental
health, energy and more!)
In the end, I present a realistic plan I believe anyone can
follow and get positive results. You don't even have to be
100% raw to benefit from this plan, and I'll tell you how.
It would be pretty difficult to send you selected excerpts
from the book, because Raw Food Controversies builds from
one chapter to the next. It's not the kind of book you just
want to skim read.
Therefore, any excerpt I might send you will only give you a
partial glimpse. You have to realize that the book covers so
much more, as it is twice the size of my first book Raw
I still want to send you some exclusive content from the
book in the next few days. Here's a quick excerpt from one
of the sidebars to get you started.
What’s Wrong with Raw Food Recipes?
Until experience proved me wrong, I used to explain the idea
of the raw food diet as follows:
"We should be eating a raw food diet because raw foods are
foods in their natural state, while cooked foods are damaged
foods. No other animal in nature cooked its food, and also
no other animal is as sick as we are.
Raw foods contain vital energy, such as enzymes, that are
completely destroyed in the cooking process. When we eat
raw, we keep all of the vitality that these foods would have lost
Also, cooked foods are all toxic to some degree because of
the damaged molecules and carcinogens that are created
during the cooking process.
As human beings, we’ve eaten raw foods for most of our
history on this planet, so going back to raw is just going
back to the natural order of things."
When I look at the description above, I now find that almost
every single concept is just plain false and misleading.
Yet, I still recommend a raw food diet for optimal health.
So what has changed? Here’s how I explain the concept of the
raw food diet today:
"Eating a raw food diet is optimal because fruits and
vegetables are the most biologically appropriate and clean
foods for the human body.
Raw foods are also superior to cooked foods because
they tend to contain more nutrients, and by eating raw,
we avoid the common and potentially carcinogenic
toxins that are sometimes created in the cooking process.
But the main advantage of the raw food diet is that it forces
us to eliminate sub-optimal foods that are making us sick.
These foods include: animal products (including meat, dairy
products, fish, and eggs), refined sugar, grains (especially
bread and gluten-containing foods), and industrialized
foods and condiments (including salt).
With these foods out of the way, and by providing the
body with what it needs (an abundance of fruits and
vegetables), the healing process can take place. The raw
foods themselves have no healing power, and the absence of
disease-producing foods is what does the real magic.
However, to get the full benefits from a raw food diet, it
is absolutely imperative to eat enough calories to maintain
your energy levels and to get those calories in the form of
fruit, instead of large quantities of fat (found in
avocados, nuts, seeds, and oils), which should be limited to
no more than 15% of total calories.
Because raw food chefs are only concerned with the rawness
of foods, they don’t tend to calculate the amount of fat or
the nutritional profile of a meal.
They tend to want to reproduce the tastes and qualities of
cooked foods by using raw ingredients, and to do that; they
end up using large quantities of fat.
When a raw food chef creates a raw version of a common dish,
such as mashed potatoes, by replacing the potatoes with
pureed cauliflower, we tend to automatically think, “Oh, how
healthy! Eating cauliflower instead of those evil cooked
However, no one would eat a dish of mashed “potatoes” if it
was made with some chopped up cauliflower and a few
vegetables. It wouldn’t have any of the creaminess that we
associate with mashed potatoes. So the raw food chef will
add copious amounts of something fatty like cashews and oil,
as well as seasonings and salt, to transform the plain
vegetable into a mighty powerful dish.
But what happened in the process? We replaced the relatively
healthy carbohydrates in the cooked potatoes with fat, and
added nothing else to replace the missing carbs. And as we
already know, vegetables like cauliflower are very low in
calories and thus are low in carbs.
We’re ending up with a dish that, nutritionally speaking, is
almost 100% fat (by percentage of calories).
Yes, the food is raw, but is it healthy? Long-term health
simply cannot be achieved on such a high-fat, low-carb diet.
It would be better indeed to eat a dish of cooked potatoes,
processed in a food processor without any fat, to make
mashed potatoes, rather than the raw version of “mashed
potatoes”, which is essentially nuts and fat disguised as
If you look at any other raw recipe, you will find the same
process in action. For example, you could make raw spaghetti
by replacing the pasta with zucchini noodles, but the result
would be only a few calories worth of vegetables. Even if
you covered it in a special, tasty tomato sauce, you would
at best get a salad that might delight your taste buds, but
it would do nothing for relieving your hunger and satisfying
your need for food.
So raw food chefs will solve the problem by making the dish
more “consistent” and “satisfying,” which usually involves a
different sauce made with... guess what? More nuts, seeds,
nut butters, avocados, or oil (like in a rich pesto sauce or
a creamy cashew Alfredo). Again, we’ve replaced the
carbohydrates of pasta with a calorie source that is almost
So what can be done? I will discuss the details of the diet
later in Raw Food Controversies, but for now, suffice to
say, that raw-food chefs would benefit from a lesson or two
First, it is just not possible to replace familiar cooked
food dishes, such as pizza and macaroni, with raw dishes
without making those raw dishes full of fat. The taste buds
simply have to get used to new tastes and try new foods
Otherwise, it would be like the vegetarian that insists on
eating meat substitutes all the time, but otherwise, not
changing his diet and continuing to eat hot dogs,
hamburgers, and turkey... except all vegetarian! The real
vegetarian doesn’t need all of these meat substitutes,
although he may eat them occasionally. Instead, he prefers
to focus on vegetarian foods, such as lentils, vegetables,
beans, and potatoes for calories.
Likewise, the real raw foodist does not need to eat foods
that resemble or taste like cooked foods. Instead, she
focuses on healthy raw foods, such as fruits and vegetables,
with limited quantities of nuts, seeds, and avocados.
What about the taste? How can you eliminate the fat and
still make a delicious raw meal?
The answer is simple: by using more fruit. Raw food chefs
know how to use vegetables, but they don’t know how to use
In the new version of my raw food cuisine, I have limited my
use of nuts and seeds and other fats, and instead, I use
more fruits and vegetables than ever, with an emphasis on
fruit to add taste. I now easily combine fruits with
fruit-vegetables together in one dish for interesting and
For example, I may make a raw soup by using vegetables, such
as tomato, cucumber, dill, etc. In the past, I would have
added some fat to cream it up, and salt to make it savory.
Now, I rely on the natural taste of the vegetables and
herbs, and instead, I add a sweetener (usually a whole fruit
like peach or mango) to totally transform the taste of the
soup and make it more satisfying at the same time. No fat is
used, yet the result is surprisingly good.
(To be continued… stay tuned!)
Happy Raw Food!