Sunday, January 29, 2012

[Article] Response: Stop Spreading RawVegan-Untruths

So, I just read an article called The Raw Food Diet: A Raw Deal, by Christopher Wanjek. The author has a few good points, but mostly he is not educated about the real benefits of a raw diet and continues to spread many misnomers about the raw vegan diet. I'd like to take a moment to go over these misnomers. Whenever someone says this it annoys me a lot, because it's not really true:
"Humans have evolved to eat and survive on a wide range of diets."
We have adapted. We're great at adapting, but very little evolution has taken place. Humans 4000 years ago (or 10,000 years ago) are much the same as humans today when it comes to how the body works. After all, less than 1% of DNA is different from apes... How much have we really changed? Yes, DNA is changing all the time. Yes, we can adapt to many different diets, including diets that are primarily meat-based and diets that include no meat at all. We can eat a primarily cooked diet or a completely raw diet. However, just because we can adapt to something does not make it ideal. I'm on a mission to find what is ideal for my body, not just what I can adapt to.

 ‎"Fire foraging was quite natural and helped secure our survival. This is how we developed the taste for cooked food."

That is an absurd claim. Nobody can claim to know where we got the taste for cooked food. Sure, it probable, likely even, but we can't know that for sure.

It's a heck of a lot more certain that the raw diet cures cancer if caught early enough than when we developed a taste for cooked food and how.

"...advocates is that heat (from cooking) destroys enzymes in the food. Enzymes are proteins that serve as catalysts for specific biochemical reactions in the body. There are indeed many forms of enzymes. There are plant enzymes, digestive enzymes and metabolic enzymes, for example. And, yes, heat can destroy enzymes. "...plant enzymes, which raw dieters wish to preserve, are largely mashed up with other proteins and rendered useless by acids in the stomach. Not cooking them doesn't save them from this fate. Anyway, the plant enzymes were for the plants. They helped with the plants' growth, and they are responsible for the wilting and decomposition of plants after they are harvested. They are not needed for human digestion. Human digestive enzymes are used for human digestion."

What he says about enzymes is partly correct in a way, but I've done more than twenty hours of reading on the topic of enzymes, and it is way more complex than the average raw vegan makes it sound and much more complex than what this guy says as well.

It is true, of course, that the enzymes are in the plant for the plant, not for us. But, then, so is everything in the plant, so it is kinda an inane statement.

To make some points: The human body does generate some digestive enzymes, but it does not produce all of the enzymes required by the body for optimal function. The human body can become damaged so that it produces less enzymes. Food enzymes play a lot of roles: Vitamin C actually contains an enzyme and this is why cooking destroys vitamin C. On that topic, vitamin C is not just ascorbic acid. That is something I write about in a nother article however and kinda off-topic.

"Raw foods certainly aren't safer than cooked food, as some claim. Most commercial chicken and a good deal of beef and pork, sadly, are loaded with bacteria and parasites."

Well yes, this is why it is a raw vegan diet (see my food pyramid to see what the diet includes and what it does not), not a "raw meat and raw greens" diet. And it is safer, because toasting, baking, and frying create free radicals and toxins such as acrylamide. That is a well documented fact.

‎"...surprising sources of food-borne illness, however, are raw sprouts, green onions and lettuce. These must be washed thoroughly before consumption."

Yes, sure, they can be loaded up with bacteria. But we eat bacteria all the time. We absorb things through our skin all the time. Coming into contact with plastic causing hormonal imbalances in the body that are directly linked with breast cancer. Polyester clothing is plastic. And people wear polyester bras!

To worry about the bacteria on lettuce, a plant which actually provides the nutrition and antioxidants we need to defend against bacteria, is rather silly.

And of course you should wash all store-bought produce. You never know if its been rolling on the floor or been touched by someone who just picked their nose...

‎"Raw (unpasteurized) milk is dangerous and mostly illegal to buy; trust your source."

Yes, and cooked milk gives everyone an intolerance to milk. My husband can drink raw milk without any problem but becomes horribly sick from pasteurized milk. Lactose intolerance is often not related to lactose, but actually a problem with digesting milk that has had its enzymes denatured. And again, I don't advocate just any raw food, and most raw gurus do not. Most raw foodies are raw vegans, as I believe they should be.

‎"Raw (sprouted) kidney beans are poisonous."

Indeed. I actually believe nobody should eat kidney beans at all, even cooked.

‎"Despite major flaws in the raw diet philosophy, one needs to question why a so-called natural diet leaves the dieter dependent on pills for B12 (impossible to get without animal products, such as meat or eggs) or zinc (very hard to get on a raw diet)."

B12 comes from bacteria in soil, not animal products. Animals roll in their own shit and this is where they get B12. If we rolled in our own shit we'd get plenty of B12 as well. I've edited 30-page essays on this topic written by vegetarian doctors. Vitamin B12 deficiency is serious stuff. I do take a supplement for B12 and for vitamin D. I write about these topics in detail in the raw vegan menu plans that I provide because it is essential to understand where these really come from, how animals get them, how humans get them, and how modern living has changed the availability of these "nutrients."

However, the part about zinc is just 100% false. I do nutritionally complete meal plans that are raw and vegan and provide all the zinc needed in a day (in accordance with the recommended daily allowances.)

‎"The macrobiotic diet is one of the healthiest around, actually, despite the strange philosophical baggage that accompanies it. And Americans would be a far healthier lot if we subscribed to it to some degree. "

The macrobiotic diet is a huge improvement over most diets. It emphasizes things like buckwheat noodles and long-grain brown rice which are far healthier than white rice and wheat noodles by far. I know many people who came to raw veganism through macrobiotics.

However, for someone like me, who developed such serious issues from the Standard American Diet and lifestyle, I feel that I require a raw vegan diet to build up strength that I would not be able to get from a macrobiotic diet.

‎"Similarly, we should welcome the take-home message of the raw food diet: Eating fresh vegetables, sprouts, nuts and seeds is good for you. But lighten up and light up the stove."

I've tried eating 10% cooked, and 5% cooked and 0% cooked for periods of time (I've tried each for at least a span of three months). I've found that I felt best with my diet 4% cooked or less.

I find that at 10% cooked I feel a decline in energy and that I spend a lot more time in the bathroom pushing stuff out of me that didn't want to move through me as easily as raw fruits and vegetables. This could have to do with my choices of cooked foods which include: boiled broccoli, boiled yams, boiled carrots, boiled red-skinned potatoes, boiled quinoa and boiled amaranth. I do not cook other than to boil because cooking without water creates toxins as items brown. Steaming veggies is fine though. I just detest steamed vegetables and would rather eat them raw.

And there you have my responses to the misnomers being spread by people who don't know better. Of course, I'm sure I've spread some misinformation myself. For example, the misconception that "enzymes die" is a common thing said among raw vegans and I myself have said it often. Technically the enzymes change structure, not die. Then again, when we die we are all the same cells that we were, just no longer alive. So perhaps it is accurate to say that the enzymes die.

But hey, the proof is in the pudding. My own transformation is all the convincing I need. I only keep researching to help others and because learning is fun.

My heart and blessings to you, my reader! Many hugs and smiles,

~ Raederle Phoenix

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

[Article] Diet & Depression

Depression is not "all in your head." Depression is a body-wide debilitating condition which I've personally suffered from. From around age nine to age nineteen my life was one big ball of pain, anxiety and unhappiness.
But how much of that was circumstantial, how much of it was "in my head" and how much of it was related to my physical health?
I have a lot of personal conclusions and beliefs regarding depression, panic attacks, but before I talk about that I thought I'd give some concrete "evidence" that comes from outside myself.
The connection between diet, disease and depression (sources at the end of the entry):
  • Dr. Stephen Schoenthaler has published a series of studies conducted in juvenile prison systems and schools. In the prison studies, he found that improved diet plus the addition of vitamins improved behavior dramatically, reducing rule-breaking and violence 40% or more.
  • A study done by Michael S Donaldson in 2001 on the impact of a vegetarian mostly raw diet on people with fibromayalgia showed a decrease in general pain, and an increase in flexibility.
  • Zinc deficiency is known to trigger behavioral problems, including aggression (Ward 1990, 1997). Ward's research showed that children with a diagnosis of ADHD lost zinc faster than other people did when they ate foods containing food dye.
  • A study at Columbia University in New York in 2008 concluded that "A [1-3 week] stay at a raw vegan institute [Hippocrates Health Institute, FL] is closely associated with improved mental and emotional quality of life."
  • The Pfeiffer Treatment Center in Illinois has many years of successful experience helping children whose violent behavior is the result of nutritional imbalance.
  • In the 1970s and 80s, Barbara Reed Stitt was having remarkable success in helping parolees stay out of trouble. Most probation officers had success with only 15% of their parolees; Barbara's success rate was an unheard-of 85%. What she did: convince them to improve their diet. You can read about her work in the book Food & Behavior, a Natural Connection and  in an article called "A Different Kind of School Lunch." Her work is also used in the Appleton Alternative School in Wisconsin, a school for troubled teenagers.
  • Schmidt (1997) compared a diet eliminating all additives as well as most allergens with Ritalin for children with conduct-disorder as well as ADHD. 44% of them responded to Ritalin, while 24% responded equally well to the Feingold-type diet. He concluded, "dietary treatment cannot be neglected as a possible access to treating hyperactive/disruptive children."
  • Peter (1997) surveyed 100 young criminals and found that 75% of them had food allergies, food intolerance, and nutritional problems, compared to only 18% of the young non-offender population.
  • "The supplements just provided the vitamins, minerals and fatty acids found in a good diet, which the inmates should get anyway. Yet the improvement was huge." - C. Bernard Gesch
  • In 1998, Peter successfully treated nine children with persistent anti-social disruptive and/or criminal behavior by changing their diet to avoid the identified problem foods.
  • Gesch (2002) showed that antisocial behavior in prisons, including violence, are dramatically reduced by ordinary supplements of vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids (but not by placebo).
  • Weimar Institute in Northern California has demonstrated that a very low-fat vegetarian diet can also reverse diabetes.
A 2010 study by Dr Felice Jacka from Victoria's Deakin University found that what we eat can have a profound effect on our mental health, reducing the risk of depression and anxiety.
Jacka interviewed more than 1000 women regarding their diet and mental-health symptoms. What made this study different was that for the first time the whole diet of the subjects was looked at, rather than just the role of specific nutrients, such as omega-3, magnesium and folate, in relation to depression and anxiety disorders.
The study found that those subjects who had diets high in processed foods and junk food were more likely to suffer anxiety and depression disorders than those who – you guessed it – had wholefood diets high in vegetables, fruit, fish and other lean protein.
Jacka also conducted a study, published in September last year, on adolescents in relation to diet and mental health. With a quarter of young Australians already experiencing mental-health issues, she found that there was a strong suggestion that it may be possible to help prevent teenage depression by getting youngsters to adopt a nutritious, high-quality diet.
What's more, changes in the quality of adolescent diets over two years were reflected in the mental health of subjects. So the kids whose diets got worse over the two years had a commensurate deterioration in their mental health, as opposed to an improvement for those kids who adopted a healthier diet.
  • The Institute of Internal Medicine in Italty did a study that showed a gluten-free diet significantly reduced anxiety in coeliac patients.
  • In 1992 a study was done in Oregon that showed that a cholesterol-lowering diet improved the emotional state of all 305 subjects. There were reductions in depression as well as aggression.
  • "A raw food vegan diet has been shown to reverse heart disease, cure cancer, and solve digestive problems and depression." ~ John Wiley
  • In a 1994 German study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: A vegetarian lifestyle of twenty years or more was associated with a decreased rate of cancer mortality, a decreased rate in instances of colon cancer, and no deaths from rectal cancer.
  • Dr. Dean Ornish has demonstrated that very low-fat vegetarian diets (of 10% or less calories coming from fat) can reverse heart disease.
  • "I’ve been vegan since being diagnosed with breast cancer in 1982. I was very happy with that diet, but in 1999 I’d heard about a diet consisting of primarily raw fruits and vegetables. I decided to give it a thirty-day trial and then decide whether to stay raw. Well, the thirty days came and went and I stayed raw. Shopping and food preparation was simplified. My electricity bill went down. Cleaning up was almost nonexistent. There was certainly no boredom because I was eating a wide variety of foods. I had lots of energy for my triathlon running, biking, and swimming, and I felt just great! I also lost some weight." by Ruth Heidrich, Ph.D.
The above is just a glimpse of the proven effects of diet on disease and depression. Besides my my own struggle with suicidal behavior and depression, I have much personal second-hand experience with the effect of a raw vegan diet in particular.
I've written about the experience I've had with encountering raw vegans at potlucks, and how their upbeat attitude was one of my first inspirations towards a raw vegan diet. I most recently mentioned it in a conversation on my facebook wall, which I have edited down to it's basic components as follows:
Me: People are getting degenerative diseases younger and younger. However, the age to which we actually survive -- on average -- is getting higher and higher. In extreme short: People are becoming less energetic, less able, less sharp-witted at younger and younger ages, but still living longer and longer through artificial means. This means that the population of people who are not able to "contribute" is growing rapidly.
Friend: That's because our society has too much compassion and empathy.
Me: Not at all. It's because we have no compassion for ourselves that we completely disrespect our own bodies and take no heed of our own emotional health. That is a generalization, but I fully believe that it is justified.
People want to do their exercise "during television commercials" and eat one cup of lettuce (10 calories) under two tablespoons of dressing (200 calories) and then they berate themselves for not being sexy, healthy and beautiful. Then they let other people abuse them emotionally and let everyone else's opinion of them pull them down.
We put our happiness into the hands of other people and hope that the outside world will make us happy, but happiness comes from a wealth of love, compassion, health and truth that is within ourselves.
What society has is fear. We're afraid that if we don't support the weak that it would make us look bad. We're afraid that if we speak out against medicaid that it would make us seem cruel. We're afraid that if we take good care ourselves and make a fortune that someone will take it away. We're afraid that we don't deserve happiness. We're afraid of change, of being taken seriously, of loving fully, of touching someone heart to heart... We're afraid that if we don't help the 'needy' that we will be needy next.
If we had really compassion we would heal inwardly and inspire others to heal as well, and then we'd all be more able, more happy and a heck of a lot more useful to the world-wide community as a whole. We'd be able to help others better if we lived through love instead of fear.
Friend: The weak willed and weak minded should be slaughtered. That's how you build a strong society. Spartan law.
But more realistically, happiness is a mindset and no matter what your achievements in life are, we all have a built-in automatic reset to neutral. Soon you get used to what ever it is you accomplished, say getting to your perfect weight and you'll be back to feeling normal. Same you, just different appearance. This is just basic psychology.
Me: It's absolutely true that we return to a baseline, but that baseline itself can be raised up so that we always return to a feeling of contentment instead of dissatisfaction.
Friend: The media tells us that fit and thin equates to happiness but there are millions of depressed thin people.
Me: Absolutely, because thin does not equal healthy. Also, physically healthy makes it MUCH easier to become mentally and emotionally healthy, but it doesn't ensure it.
Friend: As for less energy, its not a health issue, it's social evolution. Why go out and talk to people when I can avoid social stigmas and meet like minded people online."
Me: I feel much the same way about going out and meeting people. However, now that I am healthy I love sunlight and nature and I do want to get out to be with plants... not people. When I was unhealthy I hated sun, bugs and being touched by most anybody. Now I don't mind bugs, I love sun, and being intimate with others. I enjoy being close to friends: hugging, exchanging back rubs, having a nice conversation where I can make eye contact. However, I don't like just going out to be out and to meet people. It can be very exasperating.
Friend: Forget date night I gotta go get married in WoW or skyrim. No crisis there, just social evolution.
Me: Nothing wrong with that. I played a lot of WoW for a long time, and enjoyed the heck out of it. I grew up playing Civilization, Colonization, Pharoh, Age of Empires, King's Quest, Caesar, etc.
However... Since I became a raw vegan and started helping others, growing food, spending more time drawing, etc... I'm finding accomplishment and satisfaction in the 'real world' and don't feel the same way when I try to play video games.
When someone can find accomplishment in their 'real life' then video-game accomplishments are less meaningful. I'm not trying to put down WoW -- I ran a guild with over 300 members that I built up from scratch myself, and I even met the person who took over my guild in person when I was traveling through Arizona. She was a nice woman and I was glad I was able to leave my guild in good hands.
It's not that WoW has no value, or that games are "not real." The investment you put into something is exactly what you get out of it... However, when I can invest in really helping other people, really healing them, it doesn't interest me very much to help them get through a raid or dungeon.
In some ways there is an evolution. I met my husband on the internet: that is evolution. However, when people choose to hide in their room doing nothing but smoking pot and playing single-player games, and working a 9-5 job that they hate... That is not evolution at all. There are many sides to the story.
Friend: Physical health only relates to mental health if ones condition is related to their appearance. IE: Me losing weight will have zero effect on my mental issues. I'm minoring in psych ... you need to give me some APA research in order to make a claim like that. If a person loses weight and is healed of mental illness then the issue was casued because of their own personal issues with their image. Real clinical depression is not cured by weight loss.
Me: Well, not by starvation-method weight-loss, no. I changed my diet to heal my ulcers, not to lose weight. I happened to lose 30lbs without trying. I never expected the depression to melt away and never come back either.
I've been depression-free since removing the toxic nonsense from my diet, and I hear the same thing from raw vegans I meet everywhere. Healthy equals happy, and healthy usually means thin/muscular. But I've met plenty of muscular or thin people who were unhealthy and depressed.
Friend: Personal experience can not be taken as scientific fact.
Me: Acidic pH residue caused by dairy, meat, most cooked foods and poison cause negative emotions through hormones. Toxins, like acrylamide in browned foods (fried, baked, deep fried, toasted), have to be removed with the use of nutrients and fats. This removal is exhausting, leaving people feeling lethargic, which does not promote happiness.
Nutrients get put on 'toxin control' and thereby are not put to their normal use. It's well documented than lack of b-vitamins causes depression to schizophrenia.
I have schizophrenia on both sides of my family and as a child it appeared likely that I would be diagnosed with schizophrenia as well. I have many relatives who 'cured' their schizophrenia by taking b-vitamin supplements (which I don't personally advise except in extreme conditions since it's easy to get plenty of b-vitamins from fruits and vegetables since they are so very plentiful in b-vitamins).
Even the Dalai Lama says that health is an important precursor to happiness.
Between b-vitamins, pH and the common sense (stomach aches make people unhappy), there is plenty of evidence. And what's more, those are not even all the different kinds of studies that have been done on it.
I use my personal experience as my foremost examples because my life is my own personal study. Other people's studies are their studies. My accounts of my own experiences will be more accurate than my fifth-hand account of someone else's experience.
One of the very largest reasons I got into raw veganism and stuck with it was because I at every raw potluck I went to I had live inspiration. People who've been doing raw food for a year or more glow with happiness and success.
It's such a common trend to hear someone say at a raw potluck, "Before raw food my life was a mess, but now I am doing what I love at work, at home, and I never get sick anymore." Of course, everyone says it in their own way, but the sincerity in people's eyes... I've met hundreds of raw vegans now. I hardly need any further evidence.
Maura Ann Simmonds-Price: Just want to add that being on a raw food diet has helped me mentally. I am less depressed, have less panic attacks, and am less uncontrolably angry. I think being physically healthy has alot to do with mental health.
Friend: I have tried living my life in so many different ways and did the vegan thing for over six months. I'm depressed no matter what I do or how I live: in a relationship, surrounded by friends and family, money or no money, working or unemployed, I have no cure for my depression and manic states. The only thing that seems to help is marijuana. I'm not knocking your experience, but mine clashes with yours so I have to view this as a case by case situation, not as a general fact for everyone.
Maura Ann Simmonds-Price: Raw food is very different from vegan. It may really help you.
Me: I went vegan and removed gluten from my diet without my depression going away. It helped a little, but it was the raw diet that made it go away fully.
Also, that kind of imbalance is hormonal (especially since you mention that pot helps), and it can take years to fully straighten out hormones. Hormones are affected by more than just food: breathing, sunlight, sleeping patterns and air quality all dramatically affect how hormones in the body function.
If you want some help that is purely mental/intellectual, two books have resulted in great increased to my "happiness baseline": The Mastery of Love and The Art of Happiness. These two books both made a huge change in my life each on their own. They are so good I've actually gone back to read certain passages over and over. I find myself using the information I gained from these books every single day of my life -- no kidding.
In my opinion, a completely raw, organic diet with only whole foods (no sweeteners) combined with the teachings from those two books would fully cure any individual of their depression, provided they were not actually mentally retarded at birth or otherwise severely damaged. I have confidence that you are not nearly that damaged, since you are clearly very intelligent and capable of empathy and emotion. I hope you never give up and that you find a personal truth.
Other connections to unhappiness are revealed in the book The Continuum Concept, which (for me) fully explains the sense of "longing" that most of us seem to share, and how to cure that longing.
From the evidence I started out with at the beginning of this entry, I think it is clear that it doesn't take a fully raw vegan diet to see improvement. The simple removal or reduction of toxins alone is tremendous.
Toxins include: brown and white sugar, corn syrup, canola oil, mono-sodium-glutamate, food colorings, hydrogenated oils, artificial sweeteners, 'natural' sweeteners, acrylamide and aflatoxin.
The reason why going vegan can have a big impact for some people is that animals store toxins their fat, as I go into detail about in my recent entry, "Why does a raw vegan who eats junk food get sick? Explained at last!", and removing that source of toxin intake is a relief for the body.
If you are suffering from depression, there are likely many contributors, but I believe dietary changes have the most lasting impact.
Thank you for reading.
~ Raederle Phoenix

Sunday, January 22, 2012

[Article Blog] Raw Vegan Versions Of Comfort Foods: Why They'll Never Stick?

I just read Ela's entry Parsnip Rice BUT Why Raw Versions Will Never Catch On, which was an entry of interest to me because I've been having the very same thought.

Cooked Comfort Foods

My comfort foods used to be lima beans with butter, mashed potatoes, french fries, baked sweet potatoes with apples and sausage, peanut-butter with jelly on hot toast, buttered egg-noodles, white rice with chicken wings, sweat-and-sour chicken, salt & vinegar chips... And well, everything I ate. My entire diet was made up of "comfort foods" because I was depressed and I wasn't interested in food that wasn't soft or creamy or crunchy or salty or sweet. If it didn't meet an emotional desire than I didn't feel like eating it.

My Relationship With Food

My relationship with food is completely transformed now. With a lot of help from experienced raw vegans and lots of good books and articles, I now only eat for "emotional needs" one to five times a week, instead one to five times a day. And now my "emotional choices" are healthier than ever. I'm no longer blending up a new version of almonds-dates-oil every day. In fact, I'm no longer eating nuts or oil except at potlucks, and I'm rarely eating dates at home. This is huge for me.

Raw Comfort Foods

But how do I feel about those raw comfort foods?

I adore raw vegan pizza more than I ever liked "regular" pizza.

Also, I find that raw vegan desserts are easier to make than traditional baked desserts. And sometimes I like them better than the recipe they imitate. I never liked cooked pumpkin pie, but I love raw pumpkin pie.

I don't like traditional hummus, and I don't like raw hummus creations. I don't like most cooked soups and I don't like most raw vegan soups either.

I was never a fan of cooked brownies, but I absolutely love raw brownies.

I wasn't a big fan of chocolate bars, but I revel in my own home-made raw cacao creations. I also love raw carob even though I never liked any cooked-carob dish I ever tried in my life.

How To Name A Raw Recipe

I really dislike when people write "mylk" instead of "milk" just like I dislike "womyn" instead of "women" -- it just seems silly to me. However, if I say "Raw Vegan Cacao Milk Shake" to someone who eats a cooked omnivorous diet, they're going to scratch their head and say, "What does that mean?"

If I say, "Chocolate Milk Shake" that will give the wrong impression as well. If I say, "Cacao Shake" that may work, or they might say, "What is cacao?" The list goes on and on, but no matter how I name something it is never quite correct.

I want to "make up" a name for something... But if I make up a word, nobody will know what I'm talking about.

We call it a "raw vegan" diet because it is raw and it is vegan. Those words describe what we mean.

We call a raw vegan pizza a "Raw Vegan Pizza" because that describes the general appearance, flavor and ingredients involved... Except that everyone always asks me, "What is the crust made out of?" Which can be buckwheat, nuts, seeds, or even sprouted grains.

I find that most people are open to trying new dishes, but I have had complaints that "this shouldn't be called ______ because it isn't ________." But then, What would I call it instead?

Ela writes, "The same held when I brought a raw lasagna to a gathering one time. Everyone adored it, and everyone referred to it as a salad."

A raw vegan lasagna is a very specific type of "salad" ...and... "salad" is just too broad. I mean, you might as well call my raw vegan carrot-muffins a salad because they are made of carrots, raisins, dried apricots and seeds... Which does sound like a salad, until I put some banana-carob frosting on them!

"Cooked" folks & "Raw" folks

It will, of course, depend on the audience. Some people will adore a raw vegan version of something familiar who are "cooked" and some people who are "raw" will feel that the version is "just not the same" or "not worth it."

I think part of the wild success of kale chips is that they are their own thing -- a raw thing -- a veggi thing -- and a different thing. They aren't really a replacement for potato chips, they are something entirely different and new.

"Cooked" people love kale chips just like "raw" people do. And they can be made hundreds of different ways!

But honestly, I find kale chips to be a lot of bother. It's just easier to throw greens in my blender and drink them and get on with life.

I make 'fancy' things for fun, not for every-day consumption. And most 'raw versions' are fancy. They take lots and lots of time and effort in comparison to a simple salad, smoothie or juice. And I think that may be the real reason they won't catch on.

Fermenting nut cheese, creating a cashew cream, marinating vegetables, dehydrating mushroom slices, carefully slicing squash... All that stuff is very time consuming and completely not required for a very healthy raw diet. It's just something to do for fun.

I do make simple truffles often. However, that is because they're super easy and they impress "cooked" folks and "raw" folks alike. Especially when they are ginger-based or chocolate-based.

Final Thoughts

Raw food versions of comfort foods are great for people transitioning to the raw diet. However, only a small selection of these "raw food comfort foods" are really ideal for a wide audience of omnivores and long-term raw foodies alike.

I think that most raw vegan truffles will be loved by all, and that most raw vegan pizzas will be loved by all, but much of the stuff in between is just to allow someone to get past that tough spot in transition...  And for special raw vegan occasions.

~ Raederle

Earlier today: Why Raw Vegans Get Sick From Foods They Used To Eat: The Answer At Last!

[Article] Why does a raw vegan who eats junk food get sick? Explained at last!

"He who is drowned is not troubled by the rain." - Chinese Proverb

Many people who enter a raw vegan 'lifestyle' find that they can't eat the things they used to without getting sick. For example, they may have eaten fried shrimp each Friday night with pizza and a glass of bottled fruit juice. Now they might find that eating that same meal would leave them rolling in pain and misery.

I've heard it said before, "I can eat steak and feel great, but a raw vegan can't, thereby my body is stronger."

  • But is this reasoning correct? And:

  • Why does a raw vegan feel sick from steak?

I'd like to endeavor to answer these two questions to the best of my ability.

To understand why a raw vegan feels sick from "junk food" but a "regular American" does not, we must examine detoxification and what it is.


In short: 

Detoxing is when toxins move from the lymph fluids or organs into the bloodstream to be eliminated. This only happens when there is "room" for this to happen as well as "energy" in the body.

Why might someone lack the energy to detox?


Most of the energy burned by typical Americans is in the process of digestion. This takes a lot of energy when you eat something like beans. 

Beans can take over six hours to digest by someone who is reasonably healthy. They take even longer (up to three days!) in someone unhealthy.

The problem is that the nutrition of the beans never gets extracted in an unhealthy system. The sum of the extraction is empty calories and fat. 

The body pulls the fibers apart, the broken cooked proteins apart, and all the while the beans are moving through the digestive tract. What our bodies can't use ends up being a meal for bacteria in our gut, such as candida.

I think is is why the Paleo diet does not recommend beans.

This exhausting digestive process leaves no energy for detoxification.

Meat, dairy and eggs take two to four hours in a healthy digestive system. They can also take days in an unhealthy digestive system. 


The body requires digestive enzymes to digest food, and all enzymes are "destroyed" by cooking. These cooked foods (milk is cooked before being sold) are exhausting to digest.

A raw vegan diet is loaded with enzymes because everything is raw. The vegetables and fruits are loaded with everything needed to digest them already.

To get the details on enzymes and how they work, read this article all about the science of enzymes.

Fruits are the easiest foods to digest when they are eaten alone (but they are nightmare for your stomach when combined with dense food like beans, rice, meat, etc -- more details about food combination are on my page: "Food Pyramid"). 

Fruit can take as little as twenty minutes to digest in a healthy system! This leaves lots more energy for you.

Back To Detoxification

Your typical American breaths in smoke or smog or paint odor and they feel fine. They're currently working on digesting something. Most Americans are always working on digesting something. So the toxin can not be dealt with. The toxin has to be wrapped in fat by the liver and stored.

The moment you eat something cooked or fatty (meat is both cooked and fatty) you stop all detoxing because all the energy goes into digestion. Toxins take minerals and energy to eliminate. The easiest way to handle them is to store them as fat.

Raw vegans are always detoxing. They have the energy to always detox. 

But there is something key to understand about detoxing: 

What you feel is what is happening in your blood. If the level of glucose in your blood is low, you're tired. Likewise, if the level of toxins in your blood is high, you feel terrible.

A whiff of smoke comes into a raw vegan's body and then the toxins enter their blood so they can move through their body and be eliminated. The person then feels sick from smelling the smoke almost instantly.

If the toxin is stored as fat, you don't feel it. The smoker does not feel the toxins in the smoke. What they feel are the hormonal reactions. The toxins are wrapped in fat and sent to the organs or fat of the body. 

If you eat bad food all the time you don't necessarily feel nauseated all the time. You might be consuming toxic substances like hydrogenated oils and aspartame and feeling pretty decent. This is because most of the toxins are being processed by the liver.

When the liver can't handle all the toxins anymore, then you start feeling terrible. Or, when you try to eat a low-fat high-toxin diet. Fat-free yogurt, sugar-free gum, and I-can't-believe-it's-not-butter are a huge recipe for disaster. These items are loaded with toxins with no healthy protective fat for the liver to protect you.

What's worse is that animals store toxins in their fat just like we do. When we eat that fat we eat their toxins. It isn't the fat that makes us fat. It is their toxins stored in their fat getting re-stored in our bodies as fat. The fat of an avocado, olive or seed will not make you fat, but the fat of an unhealthy toxin-laden animal will. This is the real reason why some people lose weight by going vegan -- they stop consuming the toxins stored within animals.

But as long as you are getting enough healthy fat, or at least non-toxic fat such as organic olive oil, and your liver is working: you don't feel the toxins you consume. The toxins are not in your blood and you feel fine.

However, if someone who eats a raw vegan diet who is always detoxing ate the same foods, they'd feel terrible. Their detox may be slowed dramatically by eating the unhealthy food, but at least when they begin to eat their body is in detox-mode. This may cause a stomach upset, a headache, muscle cramps, dizziness, and so on. 

Eventually the bad food stops the detox entirely and they feel a little better. The next day they eat their healthy food again, like a green juice. This green juice begins the detox again and they finish detoxing from the unhealthy meal they ate last night and they feel very sick again in the process.

Bottom line: You don't feel it unless you detox it. It just keeps getting stored as fat.

This actually is what causes brain tumors. If the body runs out of places to put toxins, it'll put it in your brain.

Weight Loss

Anything toxic in your life causes weight gain, including stress. Hormones in your body trigger weight gain and weight loss.

putting on fat

  • Feeling fearful, angry, jealous, upset, etc, trigger fat gain. 
  • Not sleeping enough causes hormonal imbalances that cause fat gain.
  • Staying up late at night and missing your "power hours" causes fat gain and "aging."
  • Never letting your insulin drop by always digesting food triggers fat gain.
  • Eating anything toxic triggers fat gain, especially aspartame, white sugar, white flour, hydrogenated oils, animal fats and corn syrup.
burning fat and building muscle

  • The hormones involved in feeling good trigger fat loss. 
  • Exercising activates hormones for burning fat and building muscle even if you only exercise for a couple of minutes.
  • Detoxing from heavy metals and other toxins happens simultaneously with fat loss.
  • Sunlight exposure without burning balances hormones and promotes muscle building.
  • Foods rich in antioxidants such as blueberries and pomegranates assist in detoxification and thereby assist in fat burning.

Losing weight can feel terrible. As you burn fat you are also releasing toxins into the bloodstream.

That is why it can be very unhealthy to lose weight too fast. If toxins enter the blood but then they don't make it out of the body, they can get re-deposited in an organ, such as the kidneys. That can be very serious. 

This is why starving yourself to lose weight is really dangerous. That is burning toxic fat without having the nutrient intake to actually get rid of the toxins.


The liver wraps toxins in fat and stores them because it doesn't have the nutrition and vitality to send the toxins out of the body. To send the toxins out the body needs a modicum of hormonal balance, plenty of calcium, iron, magnesium, etc, it needs hydration (which comes from a balance of potassium, sodium and water), as well as enzymes and vitamins.

Not everyone who leads a toxic lifestyle is overweight. Toxins may be released by sweating, which can cause adverse skin reactions. With enough water consumption and exercise, many toxins are never really 'absorbed' by the body and pass through in excrement and sweat. A very smelly bowel movement is a sign of consumption of toxins.

You may notice that on very stressful days, or days when you breath in a lot of second-hand smoke, or on days where you pig out on a lot of sausages, you have a very unusually smelly bowel movement the next day. It is important to notice these signs in your body. Bad smells, just like pain, are warning signs flashing: something is wrong.


  • To have the healthy amount of fat for your body type and lifestyle you must not have exposure to toxins or you must detox from all toxin exposure.

  • A raw vegan feels sick from unhealthy junk foods because they detox immediately or very soon after instead of storing the toxins as fat.

  • A diet must be at least wholly raw for part of each day to detox. Being raw for breakfast and lunch would be enough to detox from breakfast (say around 7:00am) to dinner (say around 6:00pm), getting eleven hours of detoxing time each day (provided that there wasn't much fat involved. Nuts slow detox in small quantities -- like a tablespoons -- and stop detox in high volumes -- like a half measuring cup.)

  • Paying close attention to bodily reactions in combination with self education can bring you to a place where you can interpret your body's condition and be your own doctor. You can notice that your sweat smells terrible after eating fried soy and come to the conclusion that fried soy is toxic to your body. You can discover that you have metal poisoning by seeing if cilantro tastes like a penny to you.

Thank's for reading! I hope you feel empowered with new understanding after reading this entry.

Let your divine-self shine and honor yourself by treating your body with respect: give your body what makes it feel good, smell good and look good. When you honor yourself others will honor you!

~ Raederle Phoenix PS: Check out some of my raw vegan meals here in my facebook album called "Living Cuisine"

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

[Article Blog] Depression

It feels like nobody understands at the time when you're going through it. And to an extent, they don't understand. Even when you've been through something – you've been through it, and now you're somewhere else.

Sure, we were all three years old, but how many of us really remember what that felt like?

It's similar with depression. Everyone has been there, but it is hard for us to open our hearts to someone going through it because we're so afraid we'll catch the sadness like a disease.

Many people believe that happiness comes from money, family, homes, possessions, friends, etc. But the problem with that is that then we believe that not having these things automatically equals sadness and suffering.

We can not have a continual contentment throughout our lives if our happiness is dependent on the actions of other people. Other people can be coaxed into doing what you like, but only because they're convinced they'd like to do what you'd like them to. But they won't always want to do what you want them to, and that's just that. We have to happy because of our own actions.

Happiness, love, healing – it is all action. It does not just passively sit in the background. Happiness comes from what you do. Love comes from what you do. Healing comes from what you do.

Perhaps you're thinking, "You don't know what it is like."

It's true that I'm no longer there – I am no longer depressed. But let me convey how seriously ill and depressed I was for many years of my life:

I was suicidal starting at the age of ten: no kidding. I was put on medications, went to see therapists, and I was considering such a 'bad influence' that I even got kicked out a school over it when I was in fifth grade.

I had a point in my life (at the age of fourteen) where I was wearing the same clothes every day, sleeping in them, not washing for weeks a time, even months sometimes, and I wouldn't brush my hair or anything. I went through times where I wouldn't eat, and times where I'd eat anything and everything and not care about flavor, texture of health at all. 

I used to get so anti-social (age sixteen and under) that I would make up any excuse to avoid any occasion where I had to be around people. I skipped school, avoided church, refused to go to parties even if I was invited (which was rare), etc, etc, just because I would get so anxious and worried. And I would get so starved for attention, love and compassion that I would act out and say and do stupid things when I was around people. 

I got into drugs (age fifteen) – weed, shrooms, pills, drinking – and I ate chinese food and white rice daily. I felt like crap. I became overweight. Much of my best clothing was stretched out and ruined as my thighs kept expanding. I bleached my hair and half of it fell out (age sixteen). 

My happiness was completely circumstantial. If I got a good grade at school, I felt a little happiness. If I got a bad grade, my spirits plummeted, and sometimes left me depressed for days. I felt it nearly impossible to hang onto a feeling of happiness. It would come, and then as slippery as soap it would leave again.

I felt entirely out of control of my life. Nothing I did seemed to make any improvement. I cried much more than half the nights away for years out of my life. I slit my wrists several times between the ages of thirteen and sixteen. 

Do I believe I was just being an "angsty teen"? Not at all. I've met adults going through the same 'phase' and I've met dozens of teens who have no such problems at all.

This depression wasn't always present with such force that I avoided everybody, cried half the day and slit my wrist at the end of the night. However, even when I wasn't currently 'depressed' I still felt a lack of enthusiasm for life. I might get excited about a project, idea or event, but then within minutes, hours or a couple days it would wear off and I'd be back to video games, TV, and stuffing my face with pasta and french fries.

As my mental problems got worse, so did my physical health. As I cared less about what I did or ate, and as I did more drugs, my body became more and more negatively impacted. As my body became more and more fat, sluggish, and painful to be inside, I became more depressed.

When it got to the point where I woke every morning with acid reflux, burped constantly all day, and hardly ever felt in my right mind for more than an hour... I had to do something. This where all the years of research began.

It started with a google search: "burping disease." That was the best way I could describe it. I spent much of my time high on pot, much of my time sleeping, much of my time crying, and much of my time watching cartoons or movies...  I didn't even know what 'acid reflux' meant, and I certainly had no clue that I had developed a stomach ulcer. I had no idea that it wasn't normal or okay to take two to six asprins a day for a couple weeks at a time... I was, however, aware that taking half a bottle was a bad idea. But I had hoped that all that asprin would put me in the hospital or kill me so that I wouldn't have to deal with life anymore.

In 2005, the search results for "burping disease" were bleak. I found one entry that made me cry. A woman had written, "help! my daughter is twelve and she won't stop burping. she burps all the time with no end and she gets these terrible stomach aches. it's been going on for two years." And then I read another that said something along the lines of, "I've been burping constantly for six years now, and no doctor has yet to give me a real solution."

Of course, I went to doctors, but no good came of it. Just some pills that didn't help and some useless advice.

When happiness is so conditional, you can imagine how miserable I felt. To top it off, I was in an abusive relationship with a boy who threatened me and others, who bent my actions to his will, and who didn't even realize he was abusive. (He figured out how awful he'd been after I left him and actually seemed to turn around. He is married with a child now, and from what I can tell – which isn't much – he seems to be a good man now.)

When I went on my very first diet-altering regime, something amazing happened: I started feeling much more optimistic about life. The healthier I ate, the better my mood was, even before I started getting such incredible bodily results. (My first diet regime was similar to a paleo diet or a macrobiotics diet.)

When I switched to raw veganism my bouts of unhappiness were reduced down to a couple hours of crying/sadness per month. And crazier still, I notice that each time I feel so miserable, each time I can link it up directly with a food choice. For example, the last time I felt all teary-eyed and hopeless I had made a really bad food combination (protein + starch + sweet + fat) and I hadn't eaten much of any leafy greens for several days. (Not eating 'much of any' in my book is eating a handful of leafy greens a day or less.)

I have several raw vegan friends who had the exact same experience.

One of them said to me a few months ago  when describing their transition to raw food, "whoa! Since when did I become optimistic? How come I don't feel cynical?" 

Another friend, more recently  one of the most upbeat people I know, shared this with me and a small group of raw vegans a small dinner potluck: "It was like I woke up one day and I was an entirely different person. I felt completely unlike myself, and it was the best feeling. The only explanation was the food. Nothing else had changed." 

If you want to start feeling excellent about life, I fully believe that diet choices are where to start. It becomes so much easier to do everything else in life when the food is healthy and supporting.

Once you've made a commitment to healthier eating, then there are powerful mental tools we can employ to delve deeper into an abiding joy that lasts minute to minute, day to day and year to year. I have written a few times about that, because "feeling happy" is a something everyone wants, and I especially enjoy learning about the mastery of happiness and the art of love:

Entries of mine on the topic of happiness:

The divine master within me honors the divine master within you.

~ Raederle

Sunday, January 15, 2012

[Article] 10 Ways To Get Your Vitamin C Need Met Daily With Food

This great article has moved -- click here to read it.

(All my content on the web is moving to It is all being checked for errors, typos, etc, and being updated with new information, photos, etc. Exciting, huh!?)

(PS: Nope. No helper elves. I'm slaving away with the art, the html, the text, the formatting, the information, the everything... Wanna support me? Consider buying my meal plans, recipe books and/or my incredible book -- Vitamin Confusion Solution.

[Article] The Paleo Diet

Paleo Diet

  • Is it a good diet?
  • Is it a good transition diet to raw veganism?
  • Is it healthy for most people?
  • Will it heal disease?
  • Will it help you lose weight?

I've only recently learned about the paleo diet, and I'm actually quiet excited about it. The guidelines of a paleo diet are very much like the guidelines I started out with for myself when trying to heal my stomach ulcers and stop the constant acid reflux, painful burping and smelly gas.

Meat & Eggs

The paleo diet is not vegan or even vegetarian. It includes meat and eggs, however, it is very specific that the meat has to be of good quality. The animals have to be pasture-raised on a completely natural diet. Chickens should be out in the sun eating insects and grain. Cows should be roaming and eating grass. Fish should be wild, or at least fed the same diet as a wild fish.


Some people who promote the paleo diet says that the animal-products in the paleo diet should be low fat. This makes sense, since animal fat is full of toxins. All animals, including humans, store toxins in fat cells. If you're having trouble losing weight on a diet that should promote weight loss, it is likely that you are retaining fat due to toxin exposure. (Laundry detergent, deodorant, make-up and house-hold cleaners are come sources of toxic chemicals.)

No Dairy

What is very interesting is that the paleo diet does not contain dairy. This is fabulous. It's hard to get ahold of raw milk legally, for one thing. Another problem is the production of cheese and all the mold-waste-products present in the cheese. Another issue is that diary products are high in fat and they are often consumed with sweetened products (breads, granola, grains, desserts) which cause your digestive system to come to a complete halt.

Food Combinations

Mixing a high-fat food with a high-sugar food in one meal is the worst possible food combination for health. And most everything high-fat is also high-protein. Protein, fats and sugars require completely different digestive envirnments. Your stomach can't turn clockwise and counterclockwise at the same time, and that is essentially what you are asking it to do when you eat such a complex meal. (Your stomach does not actually spin, I'm making a silly comparison. This is your que to laugh out loud and enjoy my very great sillness and light-hearted approach to this serious topic.)

I go into more detail about food combinations in my article about raw vegan protein.


The paleo diet also includes vegetables, but no legumes – which I think is great. The reasoning is that "if you can't eat it raw, don't eat it." Even if you're going to cook it, you still should be able to eat it raw. Peanuts are a legume, and it would be great if people stopped eating peanuts for a number of reasons.

A mold, called aspergillus, is very common in peanuts. It produces a mold-waste product called aflatoxin. This toxin is similar in bodily damge to cigarette smoking. It is held by some that aflatoxin is the reason for peanut allergies.

Some paleo diets also suggest avoiding green beans and peas because they are legumes. However, green beans and peas can be eaten raw, so that doesn't follow the 'don't eat it because it can't be eaten raw' rule.

Beans are extremely hard to digest — they take about six hours in a healthy digestive system. If someone ate beans by themselves, and waited six hours before eating anything else, and also had a very healthy digestive system and lifestyle, then I highly doubt beans would hurt them at all.

However, if someone has any digestive issues, beans must be avoided entirely, so it makes sense for a diet to come along and say "hey, don't eat legumes."

I used to have stomach ulcers, candida, leaky guy syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, and acid reflux. Just a small half cup of beans is still something that I can not eat (last time I checked – which was around September 2011, as of January 2012.)

Beans should not be eaten before bed, because digesting during sleeping hours throws of hormonal balances (which is a long discussion in its own right.)

Food timing and food combination are critical points to consider.

When people say, "oh, people are different" they do not mean genetically. For 99.99% of your genes, or more, we're exactly identical. What makes the difference is location, toxin exposure and medical history. And now, I'd like to also point out: culture. When you eat and what combinations you eat also affect your experience of the world: your experience of food.

A person who follows beans with fruit may feel very sick. The same person may feel great if they ate beans alone and waited at least four hours before eating anything else.

I have no idea if the person who came up with the paleo diet thought about all of that, but in any event, I support the idea of not eating legumes.

Nuts and seeds on a paleo diet are generally allowed, but limited to one ounce (two tablespoons) per day. This is a very reasonable amount that I can readily agree with. I would advice making those two tablespoons a rotation between almonds, chia seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and the occasional Brazil nut.

Nuts in general can contain mold waste. For this reason, it may be best to avoid nuts unless they come directly from the shell. However, I've not seen any mention of avoiding nuts, or mentioning the danger of mold-waste on any of the articles I've read about the paleo diet. So apparently this "movement" doesn't know about that detail.

I have read however that many paleo diet gurus suggest "no cashews" for the reason that they can't be readily consumed raw.

I also applaud this part of the guidelines. Cashews must be hand-cracked with much effort to be eaten raw, and even then it can be dangerous because of toxins in the shell of the cahsew. This is why 'raw cashews' are your grocery store are not raw. They are simply not-roasted.

Roasting nuts, beans, or anything, does create acrylimide, another type of toxin. Any form of cooking that causes browning creates this toxin. So it is still better to get raw nuts than roasted nuts, even if the 'raw nut' was still boiled out of its shell. Nevertheless, I think cashews are an inferior food choice when it comes to nutrition and optimal health.


Fruits are not limited in a paleo diet, which shows some sense. Low carb diets can really tick me off, as so many problems are caused by high-fat and high-protein diets. (Not that I'm trying to deny the need for fats and protein: it is only that it is senseless to consume them in high volumes unless you are an athlete.)


One part I do not agree with is the concept of oils being fine, with no particular regulation on the oils. I think oil is the downfall of many so-called healthy diets. As soon as you've got two tablespoons of oil slathered all over your cabbage, kale or spianch, you're getting 80% of the calories from fat.

I especially would not agree with the concept of canola oil being okay.

No Wheat

I'm very pleased to see a diet come along that says "no white sugar, no legumes and no wheat." That is ground breaking for most Americans. The way wheat is processed is inefficient. Flour is oxidized to the point of nearly all nutrient loss. White flour is refined, stripping away the protective fiber and beneficial nutrients. Then it sits about for months in plastic contains picking up xeno-estrogen and becoming rancid. And then people consume it in horrific food combinations with diary, processed sugar and dried fruits.

Paleo Diet Premise

I read through several sets of paleo diet guidelines. One of them contained absurdly terrible things like "coffee and diet soda" being okay in whatever amount you desire.

However, one very sensible site put forward the strong importance of eating only foods that are whole, and have been available to mankind for thousands of years. Diet soda is niether a whole food or a food that was made in the past. Diet soda wasn't even around in the 1800s, much less in 100 A.D.

The same principle applies to canola oil. We didn't eat in 100 A.D. and we don't need to eat it now.

Toxic "Foods"

I certainly agree that the most toxic items being consumed today are white sugar, corn syrup, white flour and conventional soy (gmo).

Standard American Diet versus Paleo Diet

Removing many common food toxins in the American diet has a tremendous result. I still vividly remember what a huge difference it made in my life just to remove high fructose corn syrup and white sugar from my diet. Anyone who still consumes these toxins will benefit highly from a paleo diet.

Someone who is already vegan can benefit from removing corn syrup, white sugar, wheat and legumes from their diet.


I’m in disagreement with most vegans I've encountered.

I did not get into raw veganism from the “don’t murder animals or exploit living creatures” standpoint.

As far as I’m concerned, mass-harvesting vegetables can be an ethical crime, and mono-crops of corn is absolutely an ethical crime. One good book that explains why mono-crops and pesticides are so horrible is Empty Harvest by Bernard Jensen.

Many animal-free options are more detrimental to the overall eco-system of the planet than “animal exploitation.” Destroying an entire ecosystem not only tortures and poisons the animals, but also the plants, soil and air. It doesn't make any sense to shun eating meat and then drink a bottle of soda.

The ecological impact of soda is explained in this entry here.

Synthetic fabrics often create so much waste to create that they destroy acres and acres of land, whereas wool only makes sheep cold (it doesn’t destroy the entire habitat for all the plants and animals where the sheep roam).

I want the world to be healthier and cleaner for everyone. Humans and all forms of animal, as well as plants. Forests should be honored and preserved. Oceans should never be polluted. Rivers should not be waste-dumps.

It's great to become a vegetarian or a vegan, but it is hypocritical to preach about "saving the animals" while practicing dozens of other habits that pollute the world and take away the natural habitat of wild animals.

Paleo Diet versus Raw Veganism

The “need” for raw-veganism is not that the human body can not thrive with animal products or cooked foods included.

It’s obvious that the human body can thrive while including cooked foods, such as long-grain brown rice, boiled vegetables, wild-fish and grass-fed beef.

Yet, more and more people are turning to raw veganism because it makes them feel better and heals them. Why is that?

A raw vegan diet puts someone on a slow detox, even if they don’t do a lot of juicing. Almost any cooked food stops the body from removing toxins. So anybody with severe toxicity may require a raw vegan diet to fully heal.

However, for people who never had mercury poisoning, never smoked, and have not taken anti-biotics more than once, a diet including cooked foods and even quality animal products can be quite robust.

Even if I did have access to meat I considered "safe" for consumption, I still may refuse to consume it due to ecological concerns. That, however, is different from health concerns.

I want to emphasize this however: Animal fat contains stored toxins. Livers store toxins. Meat has a high-concentration of a nearly-impossible-to-utilize protein. In other words: you need a very strong digestive system and immune system to handle meat.

This is why so many people feel so much better when they go vegan. We're already under stress from pollution coming from cars, cigarettes, planes, factories, and so forth. If your diet is not fully organic then you are being exposed to chemical insecticides. If you have carpets, then you're exposed to the chemicals put into that carpet. If you wear polyester you're exposed to xeno-estrogen. If you wear conventional cotton (which I'm wearing right now, unfortunately), then you're exposed to the chemicals used on the cotton. If you wear deodorant, make-up, perfume, etc, that isn't organic... I think you may be beginning to get the idea.

Bottom line: Animal products are an additional source of toxicity that you are free to avoid. My husband said when I met him, "I'll never be one of those crazy vegans." He was thinking about it from the standpoint of; "Animals hunt animals, I'm an animal, I can kill and eat an animal too." That is a valid standpoint, except that factory farming is not fair, not ecologically reasonable, and it is not sustainable and not efficient.

My husband is now 99% vegan and he says, "I really don't miss meat. I thought I would, but I really don't. On occasion, I want some fish, but on a day to day basis, it's great being a raw vegan." (He's had fish once in the past three months, maybe four months.)


The paleo diet, in my estimation, is mostly sensible in its premise and guidelines. If the entire world (except for current vegetarians, vegans and raw vegans) switched to a paelo diet, it would be more sustainable and healthy than the diets that most people follow today.

And in addition, vegetarians, vegans and raw vegans could take a few concepts from the paleo diet.

Vegetarians, vegans and raw vegans could stand to learn: No syrups, no granulated sweeteners, no powder sweeteners. That includes high fructose agave syrup (which is, in some ways, worse than high fructose corn syrup). No cashews, no peanuts. Nuts and seeds in moderation, averaging one ounce a day.

Vegetarians and vegans could stand to learn: No wheat, no legumes

Vegetarians could stand to learn: No dairy

Omnivores could learn all of the above, and also: Only pasture-raised meat that has not been giving antibiotics, gmo soy or corn, and has been raised outdoors in the sunlight and raised on its natural diet.

Your Questions Answered

  • Is it a good diet?

If you're coming from the standard American diet (S.A.D.), then absolutely.

  • Is it a good transition diet to raw veganism?

Yes. If you are currently moving towards raw veganism and eat a S.A.D. then you will experience benefits from the paleo diet that will make it easier to move towards a raw vegan diet.

  • Is it healthy for most people?

I think I've already answered this one plenty in my conclusion.

  • Will it heal disease?

No. This is not a detox diet. You need raw foods to detox, and a paleo diet still suggests much cooking.

However, if you had an allergy to corn syrup, or an allergy to pollen caused by corn syrup, this may dissipate.

Many toxins in the diet (such as aspartame) directly cause allergies, diseases and metal dysfunctions. Removing those toxins is sometimes enough to relieve an issue.

However, the paleo diet will do little to actually remove toxins from your body unless you regularly go onto a raw juice feast for one or two days out of the week.

  • Will it help you lose weight?

Yes. If you remove dairy from a diet high in cheese, milk and yogurt, that is a big start. If you remove soda, refined sugars, mono-sodium-glutamte, grains, flour, legumes, aspartame, trans-fats, etc, from your diet, then you will lose weight.

Another step you can take that will assist weight loss, without actually going fully raw vegan is to boil and steam food. Boiling and steaming food does not create acrylimide. Only frying, baking, toasting and otherwise browning the food causes acrylimde to form. By following the rule of only boiling or steaming, you can still enjoy hot food with less bodily damage.

Thank you for reading. I hope this has been helpful!

~ Raederle Phoenix