Blog: QI (Chi) Pig
by Wrenn

Fanatics in the Raw

an article from Frederic Patenaude about fanatism in raw food movement, and how to find your own balanced nutritional Raw Diet.

Date:   3/1/2005 3:45:59 PM   ( 14 y ) ... viewed 2011 times

Fanaticism in the Raw Food Movement

By Frédéric Patenaude


II started my experimentations with the raw diet
towards the end of summer of 1996,
and since then I can be justly qualified a non-conformist
in regards to diet and nutrition.

I first went on a strict, but confused,
natural hygiene diet,
then became a strict raw-foodist,
then experimented with almost every type of raw diet
there is,
then experimented with cooked food,
then raw foods again,
and ever since I have been trying to fine-tuning my diet.

Right now I follow a mostly raw diet
(80% or more).
I do not eat 100% raw foods anymore.
Even though I have been a 100% raw diet
for long periods of time,
and will go 100% raw periodically,
I no longer feel that it’s necessary
for me to be 100% raw.

There was a time when I wouldn’t have touched
a piece of bread with a 10-feet pole,
but was ready to gorge myself with raw recipes
and avocados,
just to make sure that I wouldn’t awake
my “cooked food cells” and stayed raw.

There was a time when I did everything in my power
to eat the freshest, best organic raw foods there was,
yet was not feeling the vitality or mental clarity
I had before I was even a vegetarian.

There was a time when I binged
on all sorts of cooked foods
I had sworn never to eat again
— out of the frustration that the raw diet
was not working for me,
and the shame I had for not having succeeded.

I now write these lines with calm,
looking back at these difficult days,
realizing that all of this turmoil was unnecessary.

I worked things out using the empirical approach
— that is to try everything out in order
to come to my own conclusions.

This is a time-wasting technique,
but it did teach me a lot.

In that process, I learned that:

* The means is not the end.
Being a raw-foodist for example,
is not the point.
We shouldn’t focus on that.

* We have to keep in mind what we’re doing this for.
In that search for the perfect diet,
we’re doing this to be healthy a
nd enjoy life more — not to achieve an “ideal.”

* We have to find a balance,
and not struggle for years.

If after years of trying to be a raw-foodist
we’re still struggling,
it means that we’re doing something wrong.

We need to look at the situation with calm
to find answers.

* Willpower is not enough,
we need knowledge too.
You can have the willpower to climb 10,000 stairs,
but why waste this much energy when there’s a lift
that will take you there in no time?
That lift is proper knowledge.

My Introduction to Rawdom

In 1996, I was 20 year old
and quite easily impressed by what appeared
to be logical or scientific information.

Although the years that have passed since
have not made out of me a wise man,
I have been able to gain a little wisdom
regarding to my subject of predilection — diet.

Now it takes me but a few minutes to tell the content
of most diet books— they are all the same!

The piece of advice that I came across
when I first heard of the concept of raw eating
seemed logical, but proved to be quite misleading
to myself.// others. It went like this:

“Eating raw foods is the most natural way to eat.
It’s very simple.
All that you have to do is follow your instincts,
eat as much as you want,
as long as you are eating fresh raw fruits and vegetables,
nuts and seeds.”

Impressed by the simplicity of this systemless-system,
I embarqued on a journey that led me
through deep nutritional imbalances.

But first, the advice worked.
I packed my fridge with fruits and vegetables
and was eating all day long.
I didn’t know about recipes or durian.

I ate lots of food
and went through a quite intense period of detoxification.
I went through it and was feeling mostly good,
even though I was still struggling with cravings.

My will was as strong as could be
and I was ready to be a raw-foodist for life
and change the world along the way.


The next part of my journey took me to California,
where I discovered raw food recipes
— an exciting world where all my repressed cravings
could express themselves,
letting go, now free to eat raw “pizza,”
“chocolate cake” and even “pasta.”
I also discovered more than 10 new delicious varieties
of avocado, and became quickly addicted to them.

I ate durian for the first time:
the exhilaration was high!

I was eating lots of fat,
lots of raw food recipes, lots of fruit,
lots of everything. And I was not feeling right.


More Misleading Advice

Two new pieces of raw food lore
would prove to be fatal for me.

The first was: “Anything raw is better
than anything cooked”
and the second was “it’s probably detoxification.”

So I kept eating and eating and kept saying to myself:
“well, it’s raw.”

I kept feeling bad and kept saying to myself:
“it’s probably detoxification.”

If I did not know the reality
— that is, most raw-foodists have gone through
the same struggle.
We all lacked the knowledge it takes to do it right,
so we took the long way — the empirical approach.


The Raw-Food Movement

Since then, the raw-food movement
has been shaping itself up, thank God,
with a more sold basis.
But still, a lot of useless, misleading
and confusing advice keeps polluting many books in print.

Many raw food books are still filled with made-up facts,
bogus science, anecdotal evidence and useless advice
such as: “Just find out what works best for you.”

No wonder that most people are in a state
of deep confusion. They can’t make sense of it all.

Someone says that eating fruit will make you sick;
the other one says that you should only eat fruit.

One says that eating oil is bad for you;
the other one recommends that you should eat lots of oil.

Then there are those who do not take a stance,
and just propose that people just
“find out what works for them.”

Here are some false statement made by raw-foodists
I’d like to clear once and for all.
"Cooked food is toxic.”

This type of bold statement is what weakens our message
and puts unnecessary fear into people.
Cooking food doesn’t immediately turn it
into something toxic.

If it were true, no one would be alive.
It is true that certain methods of cooking,
such as frying and barbecuing
create many carcinogenic substances in the process,

it is false to say that all cooked foods are “toxic.
” This is the type of statement that make people say
that raw-foodists are fanatic
and make them discredit our message at once.
Why not say instead “raw food is superior”?

“Anything raw is better than anything cooked
(or as long as it’s raw it’s okay).”

Reality check:

Many raw food meals prepared at most raw restaurants
do not fall in the category of “healthy food.
” You will find most of them to be
very high in sodium and fat,
and usually contain lots of spices and condiments.

Many people believe that all raw foods are better
than all cooked food, and vice-versa.

This is a big misconception that often leads to excesses.

The fact that a food is raw doesn’t make it
necessarily healthy.

There is more to a healthy diet plan
than just eating raw,
and there is more to health than just eating.


“Fruit is bad for you.”

Most raw-foodists are living on such a high-fat diet
(often more than 60-70% fat)
that they can no longer handle fruit anymore.
It has been proven that high-fat diets
decrease insulin sensitivity
(the effectiveness of insulin
in carrying sugar to the cells),
and thus raise blood sugar levels

. So those living on high-fat diets,
that is, most raw-foodists,
will inevitably experience more blood sugar swings
when they eat fruit.

Thus, the myth has spread now
that fruit is not very healthy
and that we should all aim at eliminating
or reducing the quantity of fruit in our diet.

Fruit — definitely the most palatable raw food there is,
and one of the healthiest categories of food
— is now supposed to be bad for us,
according to many authors.

Instead of getting all of our nutritional advice
from raw-food books,
it would pay off to study a little bit
of what other authors have written,
as well as general books on nutrition.

We would then understand that many statements
made by raw-foodists,
such as fruit being bad for us,
have no serious scientific basis,
and when they do, sometimes the results of many researches
can be interpreted differently.

So whenever you hear a bold statement
that is the contrary of all common sense,
such as “fruit is not a healthy food”
— don’t take it for cash. Study the facts first.


Raw Food Hype

Now the raw diet has become popular.
Celebrities are into it,
raw food restaurants are popping up in most major cities,
the media are talking about it,
articles have been published in many magazines
and newspaper, including Times.
Raw-foodists rejoice
when they hear about another article being published
about the raw diet in a major newspaper
— when in fact most of those weaken our message.

They pass the raw food diet as the latest hype,
the latest craze on planet Hollywood
— and make it look like the raw diet
is about making fake cheeseburgers with almond pâté
and seaweed.

For them, eating raw is a latest diet,
and its proponents are innocent health fanatics
who think that they can survive on 800 calories a day.

In these insipid articles,
the authors usually start by quoting raw-foodists
(mostly out of the context)
expressing statements such as “cooked food is poison”
or “cooking kills your food,”

then they go on to talk about all the movie
and pop music stars who are supposedly into it,

they mention raw gourmet cuisine and raw-restaurants,
and then conclude the article
with a few nutritionist bashing and scoffing
at the whole theory.

All of this media hype will be forgotten
when the next diet mania arrives on the market.
The efforts to publicize the benefits of raw foods
through the media will not have a long-lasting effect
because the media are not about educating people.
They’re about entertainment and mind-numbing.


But here I tell you now:

* Raw foods are not the latest diet hype
(maybe raw restaurants are).

* Raw food is not the answer to all of humanity’s problems.

* Becoming a raw-foodist will not solve
all of your problems
* Yes, you can be unhealthy while eating 100% raw foods.

* Some cooked foods are better than some raw foods
(i.e. — the fact that it’s raw
doesn’t make it automatically healthy.)

* Some people fare better on 75% raw than 100% raw.

* There are other things to consider when designing a diet
than just raw vs. cooked.

* The word “cooked” is not a swear word.

* Eating raw will not turn you into a super-being.

* You cannot live on air or light alone.

“Are you 100% raw?” is not considered
to be a pertinent question
when being introduced to someone.

* Yes, you can be deficient while eating a 100% raw diet.

* A raw diet requires some planning,
you cannot just “follow your instincts”

* A “raw” cheeseburger is not a “cheeseburger”
and is not raw either.

* It doesn’t matter that Demi Moores went on a raw diet.
(i.e. we don’t care)

"Raw” also means: [not processed, purified or refined]

Raw foods are fruits and vegetables
in their “natural state” —
not dehydrated for hours and turned into crackers,
raw cookies, and cakes.
The latter could be considered “whole foods”
— a much better choice than what’s available
on the market, and generally healthy —
but is not what eating raw is about.

A plate of steamed broccoli
is closer to being a natural food
than a raw cheeseburger or raw cake
sold at a raw restaurant

Eating raw is about filling our bodies
with an abundance of natural vitamins,
minerals, organic water, fiber,
and all the nutrients needed to fill our needs,
both for energy and maintenance —
in the form of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Eating raw is making sure that the largest part
of the food consumed is in the raw state
and that it consists of fresh produce


Beyond Fanaticism

If you are 100% raw and feel wonderful
and someone comes along to tell you
that what you are are doing is killing you
— don’t loose any time discussing it,
just go along with your life
and let these fools auto-terminate
their annoying attempts at discouraging you.

If you are eating 75% raw and feel great
and some annoying raw-foodist comes along
and just “can’t believe that you don’t eat 100% raw”
— just forget him too. He’s just a passing fanatic.

What are you doing this for anyway?
You want to be a raw-foodist?
You want to be a vegan?
You want to save the world? I think not.

You want to feel great,
look great, have lots of energy, and be healthy.
Eating raw is not an end in itself
— it’s a means to an end.
Why let the tree hide the forest?

If there were less fanaticism in the raw-food movement,
I think our message would have a much better impact.


for info , recipes and articles from Frederic, goHERE

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