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The Top Five Lies the Raw Gurus Don’t Want You to Know

March 14, 2011

By Steve Prussack, MS:  Host of Raw Vegan Radio

Today, I am going to list the top 5 lies the raw food leaders don’t want you to think about or know.  Our upcoming articles will go more into detail, but for now, here they are:

1. You need to follow a raw food guru.

This misconception has been popular in the raw food community for years now. Many people have been following a raw food diet with significant results. Some of them have lost substantial amounts of weight. Others have cured themselves of a variety of ailments and disease. The problem is, some of these individuals have put themselves up on a pedestal, developed a website, and positioned themselves as a new leader to be followed.  I have seen it over and over again. Now the question is, what makes somebody a leader? Does simply following a raw food diet for a couple of years automatically make somebody an expert?

Personally, I have been in the raw food community for over a decade. I have seen many experts change their opinion at the drop of a dime. If you are following one of these leaders, perhaps you are now confused. I don’t blame you. While there is excellent information available on following a raw food diet, the truth is you don’t need to follow any of these people. The truth lies within yourself. My goal is to provide you with all the tools you need to make your own decisions. I am not going to put myself up on a stage and expect you to purchase the latest raw or animal supplement powder of the day.

2. You need to be 100% raw.

While this theory has been running rampant for a few years, the majority of raw food teachers themselves are not following a 100% raw food diet. While the paradigm is now shifting, some people are still confused. Many “raw food” books  continue to promote the idea that 100% raw is more advantageous than a simply high-raw diet. It was discovered many years ago by Dr. Brian Clement and a team of experts that consuming between 80 and 100% is just as beneficial as consuming a 100% completely raw diet.

Psychologically, it may be harder to continue consuming a high percentage of raw food once you incorporate cooked into the diet. The reason being, cooked foods can become addictive. If you are disciplined, and can consume a high percentage of raw food along with whole foods (and less processed foods), without a doubt you will be more healthy than most people on this planet.

3. You need to eat animal products.

Less than two years ago, the raw food community began to shift. For years, the prevailing mindset was a raw vegan diet is the best way to go.  Some leaders began to shift their market, and thus began a focus on longevity.  Other leaders jumped on the bandwagon and followed.  After all, there is a lot of money promoting animal-based products.   The truth is, there is absolutely no reason you need to consume animal products. The raw food community continues to be hyper-focused on individual health; there has been little education on animals or environmental concerns.  If you read important life-changing books like “Diet for a New America” by John Robbins, The China Study by Dr. T Colin Campbell, or the World Peace Diet by my good friend Dr. Will Tuttle, you will learn exactly why animal products are unnecessary for  too many reasons to discuss here.  I highly recommend you look at the big picture and decide for yourself what your body needs to thrive.

4. Chocolate is healthy.

Let’s be honest, once raw cacao came on the scene, raw foodists rejoiced. Remember all the “raw” cacao parties springing up all over the country?  The raw leaders began telling us of the many benefits in raw cacao, including high nutrients, vitamins, and other health benefits. Did they mention caffeine? Did they mention the addictive properties of chocolate? I was definitely once addicted to raw cacao.  While I do not deprive myself from eating raw chocolate on occasion, I am well aware that this is not a health food. Some raw food leaders have gone so far as to say you should eat a large amount of cacao every day! Again, be your own guru. If it feels right for you and seems to be working, you can allow yourself the indulgence every now and then. But we need to be honest about what our body needs, craves, or can become addicted to.

5. Raw food is the answer to all life’s problems.

There is so much more need to look at when it comes to health. The holistic model includes the mind, body, and spirit. Stress is a big contributing factor to a variety of ailments.  I have known many raw foodists  who were so stressed out trying to follow their diet, that stress levels caused them to be sick!  Relationships are another area often overlooked. Having healthy and harmonious relationships is essential for a overall health and well-being. Our society is becoming more and more isolated. Although we connect over computers, emails, and texting, face-to-face interactions are becoming less and less a part of our daily life. We need to continue connecting to each other on a human level. In addition the environment is being destroyed at unspeakable rates. The more we find out, the less we want to know. Our upcoming blog posts and radio shows will discuss the many issues we have to look at in order to live a healthy life.  I am optimistic.  I think together we can work to change our planet back to the healthy, sustainable, loving oasis it has the potential to be.

So What is the truth? The truth is within. I am excited to continue to present you with information that will empower you. I want to shed light on the news being hidden from us. I will bring this all to you on my radio show, blog posts, videos, and our fan page. Be sure to join us.  Respond to our blog posts and stay active on our fan page. Together we will grow as an empowered community; learning from what’s been done before, and not following the advice of one particular person.

You are your own leader! I am excited to provide the tools you need to take responsibility for your own life, on every level.  I look forward to sharing the journey with you and providing light with an honest look at what we need to evolve as a species.

 

By Steve Prussack, MS
Host of Raw Vegan Radio

 

 

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Comments

57 Responses to “The Top Five Lies the Raw Gurus Don’t Want You to Know”

  1. Julie on March 14th, 2011 9:09 pm

    Amen! I have been feeling taken advantage of lately by the very leaders I used to feel were my honest guides. I’m so thankful that you are willing to say it like it is. I am really looking forward to HONEST discourse in the future. Thanks, Steve!

  2. Tom Reynold on March 14th, 2011 9:18 pm

    This article changed the way I think about the raw food “leaders”. Thank you Steve, for your honest and open article! You are the first to take a stand against these lies and should be commended~!~~~ Your radio show is the best.

  3. Sarah Gilbert on March 14th, 2011 9:19 pm

    Wow!! I haven’t heard anyone be this honest in years! Great job Steve!

  4. Natlie Wheeler on March 14th, 2011 9:19 pm

    Great article, Steven! You touch on some great subjects that need addressing. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Amber on March 14th, 2011 9:24 pm

    Cheers! Your honesty and authenticity is much appreciated Steve. I too have read the handful of books you outlined about the dairy and animal industry and completely agree we don’t need them in our lives. For our personal health, the planet and our future. I’m bummed that a lot of the “raw gurus” are now selling deer antler and all these various animal products just to make a dime. Smart for business, but not for the consumer. Bottom line… we still need to make choices for ourselves based on how we feel in our own bodies. I advocate the importance of balance in all aspects…move, nourish and be. We were meant to move, eat clean live food, and develop our consciousness/presence/happiness. The focus can not just be on food. It’s about creating a lifestyle that elevates our consciousness within and how that relates to the rest of the universe. wonderful thoughts!

  6. Laura Gonzalez RN, VP, GWAH Healing Way institute on March 14th, 2011 9:27 pm

    I applaud your well written article. I too agree the answers are in all of us and we are all “leaders” of our own life. You brought up a point that at time has sadden me and that is the financial aspect of selling the latest “raw” supplement or craze to the newbies. I feel very honored to have run across the raw/living lifestyle and at GWAH we strive to spread this to as many people we can without any vested interest in the financial gain. We deal with the whole person for as you say, its not just food that will keep you healthy and full of vitality. We also provided energy work and lots of workshops on enhancing the soul and finding what is right for you; not what we think is right. Dr Kapadia and myself are both very committed to the fact that everyone has rights to the information we have all been exposed to regardless of financial standing/ race/ religious beliefs etc I always get a kick hearing someone tell it like it is as you did in this blog. Thanks for the post and keep up your dedication which tells me your heart is in the right place. We need more love and big hearts in this world. So many people in need of healing and not just physical healing. As an RN I get to deal with so many truly ill clients; physically and once you start talking to them you find their hearts need healing more than their bodies. In fact you might be familiar with “broken heart syndrome” where when a deep sadness is experienced the person can have it and it mimicks a heart attack with even an elevation in the cardiac enzymes. I am always in awe at the workings of the body and at it’s immense capacity to heal once love comes into the picture along with taking out the “bad” and putting in the “good”. Thanks for your post. I loved it. Love and Light…Laura.

  7. Karen on March 14th, 2011 9:47 pm

    Very balanced and solid approach. Appreciate the non-extremist approach to raw food, your honouring of the inner wisdom in all of us and the holistic approach that incorporates the need for health and healing in all domains of life.

  8. Kelly Bennett on March 14th, 2011 10:27 pm

    Great article! All the points you discussed are the aspect of raw foods that I was discouraged by. I really like how you organized your thoughts. I am re inspired with raw foods ; )

  9. Sunny Griffin on March 14th, 2011 10:28 pm

    Thank you so much for your beautifully balanced article. You are so right on!

  10. The Cool Vegetarian on March 14th, 2011 11:04 pm

    So glad that you have spoken up on these “truths”. The raw community has really fractionated in the past 1-1.5 years and several camps have formed with very different approaches. So great that you are highlighting these issues as there is so much Dogma and non-sense going on. Sanity, simplicity and realism is the new way and the people who partake will thrive. Thank you !

  11. Susan Walker on March 15th, 2011 12:04 am

    Steven,
    I appreciate your efforts, however I completely disagree with
    you relative to following, and living by, the advice of a raw food
    leader. I do agree that in all cases but one this is true.
    Doug Graham is an inspiration, without equal, in the vegan raw
    food world, and should be listened to and his advice followed.
    He has walked his talk for 25 years or more. During this time,he
    has not veered from his advice of eating a low fat raw vegan diet.
    He does not take, or recommend supplements, powders, potions,
    etc. He has not had as much as a cold in, I believe he said
    20 years—maybe the time is longer, can’t remember. The point
    being, he is a very healthy man, as well as physically strong,
    and emotionally balanced. Everyone who has spent any time
    around him verifies this.
    I choose to receive my education, and follow Doug Graham,
    who has proven his path of eating and living many times over.
    He is not my guru, just a very valuable source for my right living.
    (see The 801010 Diet, by Dr. Doug Graham)

    Respectfully,
    Susan Walker

  12. Michele Deradune on March 15th, 2011 12:25 am

    My view is:

    1. I have enjoyed sampling the views (and trying out quite a view) of leaders and shakers in the raw foods movement over the past 20 years. There is one that after 15 years I found I agree with MOST of what he teaches — and JUST as important, he INSPIRES me. I also appreciate the inspiration of many other “raw gurus” and am very grateful to them for putting themselves out there and helping others. There are a few that I never listen to because I simply disagree, but that is their freedom.

    2. I do believe the 90-100% raw is the MOST ideal diet both from my own experience and from seeing and knowing others who have done it or are now doing it. At the same time, I have learned new things (esp. from David Wolfe) about for instance how water does not cause leukocytosis until it reaches about 170 degrees F. Yes, that temperature will kill a lot of enzymes, but it is a GREAT thing for those who want to drink hot teas in winter, etc. to know and utilize that knowledge. At the same time, I am also aware that many people do really well at 80% raw and less — and I am not here to judge that as a bad thing. Their body, their call, but if they ASKED me I’d say yeah, 90% and higher raw is my idea of ideal (and most healthful). Assuming one is making good organic and highly nutritional choices, however.

    3. I don’t know of that many raw foodists who teach that one must eat meat, but yes, there are a few — and those I know of I am totally convinced that they authentically and sincerely believe that that is the right thing. There may be some like this that are selling junk products, but I am not aware of any of these people (and don’t see it as some big thing that is happening). For instance Daniel Vitalis. To the best of my knowledge his products are very high quality. Then again there are what I think of as “borderline” animal products such as krill oil (a microscopic shrimp high in omega-3 and astaxanthin which “vegetarian” whales eat) and honey products. I personally feel okay about taking krill (which I do not purchase from ANY raw guru) and honey products (which I also have never purchased from a raw guru). My personal opinion is that it is okay, though I know that strict vegans might villify me for this.

    4. I think chocolate is great. To me it is an emotional and alchemical food and I agree with Ronnie that it depends who is eating it whether it is healthy or not. Some people can’t handle much of it. Lucky ducks like me can, and I love knowing that it is for me a food that also, when eaten organic and raw, lifts my spirits while also helping to deliver nutrients of its own and the foods it is combined with and pleasing my nose and palate. It is also very interesting to note the high number of centennarians who have eaten a lot of chocolate regularly! I think there was a lady in France who lived to 122 or thereabouts that reported she ate 2 lbs. of chocolate a week; and there is the man that is now 109 who lists chocolate as one of his Top 5 foods. Nestles and Hersheys? Not so great; raw organic cacao - YES….!!!

    5. I don’t remember any raw teacher telling me raw food was the answer to all of life’s problems but it is human nature to feel things like, “If I will just lose 30 lbs. all my problems will be over.” No, you are right; it is not the be all and end all by any means.

    All that said, I just want to mention for the record that I am not currently 90-100% raw, though I was for the past 2 weeks. I tend to yo-yo between 70% and all raw most of the time. Maybe it is lack of discipline or maybe it is just being human; but I really do not veer away from the ideal diet because I NEED to; rather, because I still have emotional issues with food. I believe that even emotionally I feel best on the super-high-raw diet however.

  13. Chef BeLive on March 15th, 2011 12:55 am

    I truly couldn’t have said it better myself Steve. I have been seeing this and saying this for years. Love you!

    ~Chef BeLive

  14. Chef BeLive on March 15th, 2011 1:01 am

    I have to say that I have done everything you can imagine from natural drugs to chemical drugs, sober these days. I was raised vegetarian, rebelled to meat, back to veggie, to vegan to raw vegan, back to cooked food and then meat, then back to raw but partially primal (raw meat). Finally I went back to raw vegan and I have to say that I feel best the being and optimal being raw living vegan myself. There are some people like Lou Corona and a few others who truly follow a raw living cultured plant based diet 90-100% whom I have met, who are of the most optimal health on the whole.. I know am about 94-98% raw living cultured vegan and after all of my experimental years I have found that it works best for me and we DO NOT have to eat animals…. Love you Steve!

  15. Chef BeLive on March 15th, 2011 1:09 am

    Lou Corona, Storm, Doug Graham and Peter Ragner are DAMN good examples of the raw living vegan committed life style.

  16. Rohan Millson on March 15th, 2011 1:18 am

    It’s interesting that two such different nutritional experts as Doug Graham and T Colin Campbell are in such close agreement on the most healthy ratio of carbs to protein to fat needed in the human diet - 80:10:10%. (Which is what one naturally gets by eating the vegan way.)

    Can someone point me to some solid research on leukocytosis please?

  17. Hanjo on March 15th, 2011 1:19 am

    And what about the TOP MISCONCEPTION?!
    The thing many gurus try to ignore (especially people like Doug Graham, who found a system that works for themselves and some people, and stick to their own DOGMA - equal to religion) is the scientific evidence that in some cases cooked food can be actually more beneficial (easily digestible, saving energy for your brain) and even healthier (for example carrots, containing more nutrients in a cooked state, or at least more nutrients available for absorption).

  18. Rohan Millson on March 15th, 2011 1:20 am

    Thanks, Steve

  19. 7 Star on March 15th, 2011 1:27 am

    Peace and Unconditional Love,

    I love your work, your work is my work. Empowerment of the internal self! I love the acknowledgment of relations, body, mind and soul. I am 100% Raw and have been for some years now, Loving my life style, and my work! With inner conviction and discipline it becomes 2nd nature to desire life and wellness on all aspects of being.

    I pray all will experience the joy of balance and wellness.

    Much success and continued wellness to all whom seek!

  20. Matthias Endler on March 15th, 2011 2:37 am

    Thanks Steve, I can fully support all points! But I missed the energetic body in your hollistic model. We are living in an electric universe, so we all have this body… You can feel it the most if you’re meeting with someone with the same wave length, you automatically start to resonate with each other. This simply feels good and both people start to recharge “their own battery” :) .

  21. Beth Ford on March 15th, 2011 2:37 am

    Very good information, made me question myself a little ! Thanks for sharing.

  22. Courtney Bishop on March 15th, 2011 2:37 am

    Thanks for bringing all of these points up! Excellent post. I think the moral of the story is, “Think, people, think!” Don’t follow people or advice blindly, and if it hurts, don’t do it. Well done…

  23. Richard Raw on March 15th, 2011 2:38 am

    Yes, Steven. You nailed it! Thank you. From my vantage point, I would add a sixth: “The best raw diet is the high fruit sugar diet”.

  24. Pure Bliss TV on March 15th, 2011 2:38 am

    Absolutely brilliant!

  25. Virginia Keefer on March 15th, 2011 2:39 am

    It was very good.

  26. Sonia Veronika on March 15th, 2011 2:40 am

    Rawsome! I’m sharing this NOW.

  27. Erin Heneghan on March 15th, 2011 2:40 am

    Brilliant, Steven. Thank you SO much for posting this. I feel that all five points are exactly what the raw food community needed to hear, and I was particularly happy that you shared #s 2 and 5. You continue to inspire and impress me. Blessings!!

  28. Durianrider Vegano on March 15th, 2011 2:40 am

    Good work Steve. They say the truth will set you free but first its gonna piss you off.

  29. Natasha Kyssa on March 15th, 2011 2:41 am

    Great article, Steve, thanks for sharing. This is exactly what the raw community needs right now… truth! :)

  30. Shanti Portia on March 15th, 2011 2:41 am

    Brilliant stuff :)

  31. Natalya Hayes on March 15th, 2011 2:42 am

    I am 100% agree with you, Steven!

  32. Darlene Navarre on March 15th, 2011 2:42 am

    Thank you Steve I totally agree. Even though I have been following a 100% raw diet for years doesn’t mean I think it is for everyone. Thank you for talking about the animal product issue and caoco. When I asked one particular raw “guru” why…

  33. Rebeka Maryam Gentian-Sky on March 15th, 2011 2:42 am

    Steve - after working and organizing within the raw food movement for 5 years - especially with parents, I would love to talk with you about the cavity and staining phenomena that has been occurring with many of the raw vegan children I have met.

  34. Ryan Vance on March 15th, 2011 2:43 am

    I’m sure that post will help a lot of people. Well done!

  35. laurent on March 15th, 2011 3:46 am

    good post thanks we need to ear that; i always taught the problem with some of the raw guru is the funny believe that because it work well for them in a certain time it will work for the majority all the time i know is a short resumé but is the feeling i get when i read some;

    about 100% FOR A WHILE YEAH good for cleasing for long run goes well just for a fews ; quote malreaux /: everything that is extreme become insinifiant;

    also i agree with what you say the title some people crown themself with
    the top world authorithy on raw diet make mesmile each time i read it
    and it s common sens to understand that guru who try to generate a lot of selling are walking on a sliding path
    like for religion/:: when you practice as an amateur is fine great it s the profesional that scare me

  36. Fer on March 15th, 2011 4:52 am

    You agree with Natural Hygiene basically?
    Natural hygiene is the truth.
    I wish people read books instead of posting non sense on the internet.

  37. Carol on March 15th, 2011 5:22 am

    I had believed all 5 statements were truths, and now I am in complete agreement with the way you describe #1,2,4 and 5. For #3, I want to be vegan, but I find that I’m one of those who say “I feel like my body needs animal protein”. I’m still open to what you’re saying about that.

  38. Crazy Raw Vegan on March 15th, 2011 5:36 am

    Amen to that Steve!

  39. Lorien on March 15th, 2011 7:57 am

    I have a bit of a different take on this I guess. I listen and read the information put out by the raw food leaders I’m aware of regularly. I am very interested in the new (or new to me), things that come out and want to learn all I can about how our bodies work. I do not run out and buy every new thing that comes along. I only purchase those things I have reason to believe would benifit me or maybe even just taste good or be fun.

    I see nothing wrong with someone who has done something wonderful for themselves sharing that information with others. We get snared on words like expert. I could care less if someone is an expert. I am able to engage my own brain and sift through their life experience and try what resonates with me. As for “marketing”, in the world we live in today everyone needs to make a buck. Making your bucks sellilng products that you believe are health building and the information you have gained as you have gone along your journey is not a problem for me. I don’t know of any of the leaders in the raw food world that market things they don’t believe in and do not or would not use themselves.

    It would be nice if we could all have more grace and peace about everything in our lives, not just what we eat. If we could learn that I don’t have to make you wrong in order for me to be right. If we could all be a voice with no attachment to the results. I am who I am and your agreement with me is not required in order for me to trust that you are a person of integrity who desires to do good. If we could all just go back to a standard of personal responsibility, take ownership of the choices we make and of the results good or bad, then we can walk arm in arm with folks who don’t agree with us on everything or anything just because it pleases us to have them in our lives. No one can be your leader unless you choose to follow them.

  40. Karen Ranzi on March 15th, 2011 8:23 am

    Hi Steve,
    What you are saying in your article is so real. Many of us, like myself, started raw foods many years ago with the belief that it was “the end all and be all.” I have learned over many years (I have been consuming raw foods now for 17 years) that food is only one aspect of health, and there are many foods considered “raw” which are not really “raw.” Exercise, rest and sleep, outdoors time and sunshine, satisfying relationships, and peace and calm are only several of the other very important aspects of a healthy lifestyle. I have found that if any of these are not in sync that I don’t feel well - so fresh vegan plant food is crucial but these other factors play equal roles.

    I so much appreciate your bringing up the recent changes in the raw food movement. We must move away from the urge to follow a leader solely because we have done so in the past. We need to listen clearly to our own truths and to do what is best for ourselves as well as the environment.

    Thank you for putting out this information. I think many people will feel a sense of relief.
    All the very best,
    Karen Ranzi, M.A.
    Author, Creating Healthy Children: Through Attachment Parenting and Raw Foods
    http://www.superhealthychildren.com

  41. Jackie Graff,RN, BSN on March 15th, 2011 8:28 am

    Thanks for your honesty Steve.
    There is so much controversy and debate now in raw food leading to much confusion. It is interesting that when we ate the SAD diet we never questioned where our macronutrients or any nutrients came from. Now in the “raw world” the controversy is more about what individuals want to eat and not what they need to eat to be optimally healthy. Some want to eat chocolate but we do not need to, to be healthy, some want to eat raw eggs and raw meat or cooked animal protein, but we do not need to, to be healthy. Some want to eat grains but we do not have to, to be healthy. We must eat fruit and vegetables to be optimally healthy, everyone agrees with this.

    The eating of any raw animal food is like playing Russian roulette with food because of the high bacterial and parasite contamination even if it is organic; it is contaminated with the animal’s organisms. Our bodies are designed to consume vegan food and we are the healthiest when we eat most of it raw. Animals in nature all eat what their bodies are designed to eat and none of it is cooked. Just look at what healthy zoo animals eat, it is all raw according to the type of food that animal is designed to eat. Anytime one consumes cooked vegan food (lower nutrients) they are denying themselves the opportunity to eat raw vegan (higher nutrients).

    Each person needs to decide what works best for him or her, and not dictate to the world that what they eat is the best for everyone. An athlete eating a low fat raw vegan diet needs more calories than most and the best way to get the needed calories is to eat more fruit (with proper food combining), because vegetables have few calories and nuts and seeds have too much fat for the needed calories. For many eating the raw vegan diet, the percentage of fat calories is too high. Our brain and other cells use glucose and if we are consuming a high protein-fat diet the body needs to breakdown that food or our own fat and protein for the needed glucose, which is more stressful and is very similar to Atkins, an unhealthy diet.

    When we added some cooked vegan to our diet it was very addictive. We at times eat some cooked vegan but keep it to a minimum. The best way for anyone to evaluate their diet is to keep a food diary, note how they feel and use online sources to determine the percentage of fat, protein, carbohydrates, and nutrients. We feel best on an all raw vegan diet that includes green juicing, blue-green algae, cereal grass juice, low fat and minimal or no salt. We eat simply day to day and eat our delicious raw recipes occasionally. This way we do not feel deprived of anything.

    Food is just one aspect of staying healthy. Keeping stress to a minimum, getting adequate sleep, exercising, good water and air are equally important. We all need to take a deep breath and quit stressing and debating about what we consume, just keep it high quality raw vegan, enjoy life and eat one of my Carob Brownies!

  42. Pamela on March 15th, 2011 9:05 am

    Excellent. Agree on all points. This had been slowly erupting within me. Glad you are articulating what I was thinking. We have so much to give the world that she needs. We don’t want to fail her. Been 99.99% raw vegan for almost 11 years and love it. Blessings.

  43. Tyron on March 15th, 2011 10:10 am

    We should all unite and not point out fingers. Whatever your points you’re title is pushing people towards one side instead of all of us uniting. Look at the world we are living in and your talking about silly things and trying to make people more confused by your title. Like it or not it’s true one way other thee other.

    Your point # 4 is another thing that needs to be looked at again, you might not agree with cacao and many people around you, but in no way does it mean it’s not a health food. Consider this point again, and reevaluate.

    We need to come together what-ever our differences and start to save the planet. It’s no wonder we are not getting anywhere quicker because people rather talk about silly things instead of looking at a bigger picture.
    We all all different, no one food is for all of us, its’ time to kind of get mature and start thinking about how to save the planet!
    Some people might be physically healthy but their minds and souls need to catch up it seems.

  44. julie on March 15th, 2011 10:26 am

    I disagree completely with Tyron. This article is far from silly! It couldn’t be more important to shine a light on those purporting to lead our movement who are, in fact, leading us into confusion in order to fatten their wallets. It is the so-called “gurus” who seek to confuse and divide us - not those who shine the light. I thank people like Steve for calling these people out and for reminding all of us that we should listen to our own bodies above all else. I for one will continue to consume valid information from experts, but in the end, will listen to my own internal voice for ultimate guidance.

    Blessings, Steve!

  45. Steve Prussack on March 15th, 2011 10:36 am

    Thank you Julie. I disagree Tyron! The article was not meant to divide, but rather to enlighten and empower. I wrote it to let it be known that you can actually follow your own intuition! Many “gurus” in the raw food world are charging astronomical prices for unnecessary supplements and contributing to a corrupt industry. Why not let people know? How is that “dividing” community? Should we blindly follow a leader? Open your mind….that was the point…

  46. Superfood Chef Michelle on March 15th, 2011 10:46 am

    This is definitely true, on every count. The wrangling on the fine points of what constitutes the ultimate raw lifestyle begins to border on the absurd with many of these posts and with many of these people (and some of the motives may be 100% raw but they are NOT 100% pure :) ….

    I have travelled all over the world and met many of these people in person, from the Andes of SA, NYC, CA, etc. and what seems to be overlooked by many, is the issue of the variance of the individual metabolism and the energetic connection that is necessary between the individual and foods consumed.

    As a Reiki Master, I relate well to the concept in India of Sattvic foods which is concerned with the inherent optimal prana in foods. Foods become Tamasic (opposite) when eaten on a full stomach or not chewed properly or when they are no longer fresh, as in the consumption of leftovers. The meal’s surroundings-the ambiance, is important, too (if in nature or listening to fine music while eating, it helps make foods more Sattvic).

    So, when raw foodists become consumed with compulsion to hunt down and eat foods that meet their exacting standard and develop excessive negativity around foods AND with people who don’t eat like them (stress), they make their otherwise Sattvic foods, completely Tamasic.

    Conversely, less pure foods offered in love, eaten with gratitude or in prayer, perhaps in the company of good friends and a relaxed setting, are improved in their available prana. This is energetics.

    Another thing I find completely absurd and seems to be a rampant assumption in the raw community, is that eating raw food MAKES one spiritual. UH HUH- sure! Slightly simplistic…

    In summation, there is a lot more to holistic health than all these raw gurus suggest and as you say, much of it is personal and individual. As such, these people should be honored for their own inherent wisdom of their bodies, as many discoveries will come from within. The path to discovering what truly nourishes oneself, can be a long one…a little microcosm of life itself!

  47. Mike Snyder on March 15th, 2011 11:30 am

    Thanks for the great article Steve! You wrote >”Some raw food leaders have gone so far as to say you should eat a large amount of cacao every day.” Which leaders are recommending this?

    David Wolfe does not recommend eating a large amount of cacao every day.

    In his book “Superfoods: The Food and Medicine of the Future”, Wolfe recommends a low intake of cacao. He recommends about 3 to 4 cacao beans for each 100 pounds of body weight.

    People run into problems when they overeat cacao. This will happen with many foods! I once ate too much raw Almond Butter and got sick. I once ate a whole pint of dates and became sick. One time I ate a whole pint of ripe figs and my mouth started burning. Does that mean that almonds, dates, and figs are toxic?

  48. Sandra Higgins on March 15th, 2011 2:15 pm

    The most important diet for me is one that does not hurt other living beings. You make an excellent point when you say that it is imperative that we listen to our own bodies, be our own leaders, and allow our own nature to guide what we eat, rather than depending on external sources to dictate that to us. Many external resources are frequently unreliable and do not have our best interests at heart. It is important to cultivate attunement with oneself, and listen deeply within oneself. Then we will eat what our bodies require in order to survive and thrive. Furthermore, the confidence of being able to make good choices for ourselves will expand to our making ethical dietary choices. When we eat in alignment with our ethical values it is logical that we eat an organic, vegan, plant based, whole foods diet. Given the current crisis in the animal world, in which billions of sentient living beings are living tormented lives and suffering unimaginably cruel deaths, the most pertinent fact for me is that the choice I make when putting food on my plate causes no further pain.

  49. cyd on March 15th, 2011 3:27 pm

    I am just glad that we’re talking….Talking.
    This world has for too long been on a SAD diet. At least some are trying, it’s a start, a great start!
    I am 100% vegan raw…but that’s me. I am raising 5 kids, 70% RAW.
    Just me but I love making them pancakes and wonderful soups….
    But they sure love their leafs and fruits.

    Best to all, Cyd

  50. cyd on March 15th, 2011 3:34 pm

    Just a quick thought to the superfood chef Micheal,

    Loved most of what you said. But I do know people that have more contact with their God…when raw. And I myself am able to make contact with “soul”
    Since being raw….just me. tho…:)

    Thanks.
    Cyd

  51. Carolyn on March 15th, 2011 9:31 pm

    Remember everyone’s body is different, different body types therefore different foods, and eating required … something maybe excellent for one and not for the other … it is all balance and listening to your own body.
    Thank you for your balanced article.
    blessings Carolyn

  52. Greg Vrieling on March 16th, 2011 12:44 am

    Thanks Steve, I’ve been all vegan and all raw for over 30 years. The important thing to me is to be a part of the vegan community who care to avoid using products that come from killing and/or exploiting any living creature. I no longer regard those who have left the vegan community as members of my family of compassionate people, but I hope they’ll return. All the Best. Greg.

  53. Catharine on March 17th, 2011 4:41 am

    I’ve read that there are some vitamins that are only soluble in animal fat. These people who claim this, state that veganism is unhealthy for this reason. Can someone tell me if this is true or not?

  54. Linda Middlesworth on March 17th, 2011 3:23 pm

    Love the raw food myths. There a few raw foodists in my area who are still using animal products. And they combine lots of supplement sales and blood testing to make more money and this is just bogus. I have some that call themselves nutritionists but are not registered at all. There are some raw foodists who take on this wholier than thou approach which is not at al appealing.

    I have seen many following the raw foodists and yet remain obese. One issue is that some use extracted oils which have no nutrients and are 100% fat. Some of if saturated. Olive oil is 14% saturated fat, and 100% fat with no nutrients.Oils have 9 calories per gram, and carbohydrates have only 4 calories per gram, and this helps obesity, heart disease increase. Sugar is made out to be the bad guy but, used moderately is fine. Sugar is only 4 calories per gram.

    I really like having a lot of raw food each day, especially greens. I am learning more all the time about making raw cuisine but I use natural sugars from fruit, moderate nut consumption, which is the healthy raw version of raw!

    Thanks for myth busters Steve. Linda M

  55. Dr. Flora 3rd on March 18th, 2011 6:49 pm

    At 75, and having worked with Dr. Wigmore for over 22 years, and then continuing her work after she died, first, as a private consultant, and then, teaching the 21 day Ann Wigmore Detox, which had thousands of customers, some of who were very helpful to us when we were trying that then unique program, the first on-the-web detox that included all aspects of what a person would get if they were down in Puerto Rico at the Ann Wigmore Institute, I’ve picked up a few thoughts on this movement, and much of it has to do with an expanded version of what my friend Will Tuttle and his wife are doing. This all has to do with vibration and energy. There are some so-called vegan leaders who give a speech, and people say afterward: “I like what he said, but I don’t like him personally.” Well, a person can either be all love or all fear/reaction/anger. There is no such thing as 90% love and 10% fear. It’s like trying to find the no-pee spot in the swimming pool. It’s not important to know if a person is 100% raw or living. What is important is whether that person is, at that moment, able to feel 100% love and acceptance. For me, raw is so different from living. most people are allergic to about 80% of raw foods. Once a person understands that living means probiotics are in the food and they don’t have to buy some supplements to cover their ‘deficiencies’, they can relax and allow the incredible love to take over that is waiting inside for them to increase their electrical vibrations from the electric food they are eating. Arnold Ehret hit the nail on the head when he talked about certain foods blocking the flow. He taught that health was a lack of food/drink that created blockage or constriction, irritation or inflammation. Nothing that would clog you up or slow you down. When one just stops to think: is anything I am going to eat going to carry any electrical current to my heart, my lymph system, or to my brain, then one can rejoice when the answer is yes. I ate a box of pencil mulberries, the first of this year’s crops, and my body was filled with electrical joy. The answer is inside each of you. Eat and feel. You’ll choose the highest and the best. Love.

  56. Sue on March 19th, 2011 6:42 am

    Thank you, Steve for sharing this information. This cleared up some of the confusion about the raw food movement and leaders.

  57. Einat on March 21st, 2011 10:20 am

    Thanks Steve for this post. I was really disappointed to hear that raw food experts are promoting the need to consume animal product I thought they were all vegans, so that was news to me. I think though that it emphasizes that being vegan is so much more than just a health choice but it is mostly a moral choice for the better good of society.

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