Raw Food

Victoria Boutenko on Not Being Raw

48 Comments 13 May 2010

I was on You Tube recently and I came across a discussion about Victoria not being raw. People had all sorts of statements about Victoria’s diet, some even said she was never on a 100% raw food diet.  To keep the truth accessible and avoid confusion, I decided to post this article Victoria wrote to her newsletter group at the start of this year. It is her public statement about preferring to resin from her previous 100% raw position.

Why I say I’m 95% Raw

By Victoria Boutenko
January 9th, 2010

Victoria Boutenko 300x200 Victoria Boutenko on Not Being RawThis month my family celebrates our 16th birthday as a Raw Family. Raw food saved our lives and I love every aspect of my raw life except for one. It becomes increasingly uncomfortable to feel the separation of us “purists,” (100% raw foodists) from anyone who is “below” that standard.

I first experienced this unease four years ago. I visited my relatives who eat a standard American diet, when suddenly my 9 year old nephew confided to me that he decided to become a vegetarian. He asked me if I would teach him to cook a vegetable soup. I froze, thinking. “How can I do that? I am a 100% raw fooder!” Yet, after looking into Sasha’s excited eyes, I went ahead and helped him cook a soup, which he loved.

Soon after this episode, I participated in a weekend workshop with Byron Katie about self-realization, along with 500 other attendees. That was the very first non-raw food event that I had been to in more than ten years. I remember feeling different, weird, and completely out of place. In addition, and contrary to my expectation, those people did not look particularly unhealthy. I did a lot of thinking at this workshop about why I felt separated and the importance of happiness in one’s life.

Since then I noticed feeling progressively more sensitive when talking to people who were struggling to stick to a 60%, 70%, 80%, or whatever % raw diet. All of a sudden, I realized that my book 12 Steps to Raw Foods (first edition) contained fanaticism about 100% raw foodism. Soon I completely revised this book and published the second edition, which I find to be a much kinder book, and perhaps more useful because of that. I shredded and recycled the left over copies of the old edition.

I have noticed that when I was telling other people about myself being a 100% raw foodist, it came across as if I was claiming to be a better, higher, more spiritual person. I felt so uncomfortable that I repeated in every lecture, “I am just a woman in a green dress. Please don’t put me on a pedestal.”

We are all pioneers, still in the beginning of our research of the human diet. Nothing is set in stone and our bodies continually change. For example, while I enjoyed gourmet raw food in the beginning of my raw journey, for several years now, I have completely eliminated food prepared with nuts. In recent years I have decided that it can be healthier, to eat a bowl of cooked green vegetables than a whole jar of raw nut butter.

While I believe with my whole heart that, when done correctly, a raw food diet is the optimal way of eating for humans, and my present diet is almost exclusively raw, I prefer to resign from a “100% raw” position.

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Your Comments

48 Comments so far

  1. Leslie Feuerborn says:

    I Completely understand the reasons for Victoria’s shift in rhetoric…… but I Personally have come up with the phrase “Totally Raw”, Rather Than Concede to a less-than-100% philosophy. It IS dangerous to Play with fire by Socially giving ground on Basic Principles such as Total Rawness. The Message can get Muddied, and the Food can slip into Compromised Quality…. Creeping Loss of Rawness is the Hazard. Be Careful. Stand your ground. Spirituality is as Much about Personal standards as it is about “not hurting people’s feelings by holding a high vibe”. I’ve found that people will Take Advantage of Any Opening to bring you down into their Comfort Zone of standards (lowest common denominator)…. so Beware. No Apology for being Totally Raw….. and That avoids the “Number Game” of percentages.

  2. Meralyn says:

    Good on you.
    I enjoy your blog,its informative, encouraging and thought provocking.

  3. Artemis says:

    I’m not so fond of diets that one HAS to follow 100% or nothing. I think it’s ok to combine all sorts of ways as long as it makes you feel good so why not?

    I’ve had the same problem with some vegeterians who think that demi-vegetarians don’t really have the right to call themselfs that. It’s all or nothing.

    People who like variation or have difficulties sticking to a diet 100% are caught in the middle all the time.

    Does it always have to be 100% or nothing?

    We are all different with different needs. I don’t think I could ever eat 100% raw but I try to eat more raw, drink green smoothies, cut of the sugar etc…
    But I like warm food så I don’t want to give that up.

    I get so much inspiration when I read about your familj and how you became healthy, I have problems with hypertyroism so I get a lot of hope from you guys!

    I really don’t care if you eat 100% raw or not, I don’t see why anyone would care.

    Keep up the good work!

  4. Victoria, thank you so much for this article. I think this is such an important concept for the raw foods community to embrace. I maintained a 100% raw lifestyle for 22 months, lost 65 pounds and experienced extraordinary improvements in my health. I was inspired to do this as I had seen my sister Annie saving her own life with a strict raw regimen. By the end of 22 months we were in high demand to teach others how to make the same changes in their life with raw foods – so we added raw foods classes to our already rigorous work schedule. It was rewarding and completely exhausting. And then we crashed. Why?

    The answer is complicated and I will not go into all the reasons here. I will say that in great part we crashed from the incredible social isolation of being 100% raw foodists. Dinner invitations had become non-existent as friends were totally intimidated by our raw diet. I missed the simple fellowship of sitting in a restaurant and eating and people watching. I hated feeling restricted to only raw restaurants. I had tried raw meet-ups and absolutely despised them. I didn’t want to spend all of my time with fellow raw foodists where the atmosphere was always charged with a highly competitive edge about who was maintaining a higher percentage of raw. Lots of folks were scrambling to see how they could make money as raw foodists – the element of greed was palpable. Everywhere I turned I saw my fellow citizens suffering and dying from diet created illnesses like diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, fibromyalgia, even cancer and here were healthy, vibrant, privileged raw foodists competing with each other over how to maintain purist standards when the population at large is starving to death, ignorant and in jeopardy from food misinformation and deadly food preparation.

    Annie and I are no longer 100% raw. But our most vibrant, creative, and productive days – our favorite days – are still 100% raw. We no longer maintain the finely chiseled jaw line of pure raw foodists and we are definitely up a dress size, but our health is still phenomenal and our commitment to the benefits of raw foods is unwavering. A third sister, Clare, has joined us on our raw adventure and in many ways I think by not being so pure, so fanatic, so 100% raw that she has been the most successful. Immediately friends and colleagues note that she has dropped 30 pounds and that she has restored so much youthful vibrancy. As her sisters, we are more delighted that she has healed a very serious respiratory condition and made extraordinary life affirming changes in her personal and professional life. Clare did not stridently eliminate all cooked foods from her life. She did not stop entertaining or functioning socially as Annie and I were forced to do. Instead she began to saturate her life with living foods and she brought friends and colleagues along for the ride. A party at her home is most likely 20% cooked and 80% raw and she is discovering that her friends are enjoying participating in her raw adventure – - because there is no judgement.

    And so I thank you Victoria for all that you have meant to our lives and to our healing. Green Smoothies are the one component of a raw lifestyle that we have never given up. Green for Life was a watershed moment in our living foods journey. It is the one book I recommend to everyone and anyone who is curious about our raw lifestyle. I consider you among a handful of truly enlightened souls in the raw community; a woman of integrity like no other.

    And now I really have to get going. I have a Green Smoothie to make – today I think it will be my absolute favorite “Igor’s Favorite” and maybe later I will make “Kiwi Enjoyment” another big hit. Still later today I’m making mango soup and a big green salad for lunch; time permitting I will get a batch of flax crackers into the dehydrator. But, I’m not ruling out a last minute invite from friends having pizza. For sure I’ll have a piece or two, and I know they will love my mango soup and my green salad being on the table as well. So, here’s my sign off, my raw designation for anyone who cares to know. I remain: 100% in love with community and fellowship and choices, 100% engaged by life; 100% curious about the nature of the universe, 100% concerned for my fellow citizens who are in poor health due to dead food; and 100% grateful to living foods and all they have healed in my life.

    Mary C. Duggan
    President
    Duggan Sisters, Inc.
    http://www.duggansisters.com
    proud makers of lifestinks(TM) deodorant

  5. Stan says:

    Forgot to mention that both Dr. Fuhrman and Dr. Bass are big advocates of blending salads.

  6. Great post! I eat 80/10/10 raw vegan but that’s not for everybody, and people need some recommendations on a more moderate way of eating healthier! So I designed “The Fruit Predominant Diet” which is similar to 80/10/10 but includes cooked foods, even animal foods if the person isn’t ready to give them up. The point is, eat less fat, more fresh foods! I am excited to spread the news without the fanaticism.

  7. Margaret Miller says:

    Dear Victoria, Have read all your books and truly use and believe in the green smoothie which my husband and I use daily. I am no longer pre-diabetic and my blood pressure is normal after having had several ischemic strokes, in 2006. Thank God I recovered with no damage. But since green smoothie, no more ER emergencies. God Bless you and keep up the good work. Oh question when you lost all the weight did you use just the smoothies alone for you diet? Thanking you in advance. Margaret Miller

  8. emilyb says:

    Dear Miler,
    This is Emily, Victoria’s assistant.
    When she lost weight originally it was just from the raw food diet and lots of exercise, before she had discovered green smoothies. Yes, you can drink just green smoothies all day every day if you want. At our retreats we serve 4 smoothies a day and most people notice weight loss (if they need it) by the 4th or 5th day.

  9. emilyb says:

    Thank you so much for this story Mary!

  10. Stan says:

    Disappointed that you did not post my first comment!
    Can you please give me a reason?
    Thanks.

  11. Steve A says:

    Hi Victoria. You got me on the raw vegan diet after watching 12 steps to rawfood dvd so thank you for that :) x .It sounds like you have more issues with how you respond to social situation rather than your diet. In the mainstream you will encounter unease but dont let your anxiety doubt your raw lifestyle. The rawer the diet the more optimal health will be however your emotions have an equal part to play on health and spirituality is more to do with taking control of your feelings and not being controlled by them and every now and the the ego bite you on the butt.someone once said “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”
    keep up the good work pal and chin up.:)

    peace,love and joy x

  12. Antonia says:

    We all find our ways of keeping our path and avoiding uncreative and yet being open to creative discussions. Victoria’s book “Green For Life” is one of my favourite items when choosing presents for people, not because I am expecting someone to start eating only raw but to learn about choices one has. It’s a book that supports life and not a “dogma way” and that is one of the reasons why it is so valuable and so different from many other sources that could be educative but are turning people off with “100% or nothing” doctrine presented in an unpleasant way. Talent and will to share knowledge and experience with kindness, patience and in non dogmatic way is what makes Victoria and her family different. This post about her “raw statement” just proved that once again.

  13. emilyb says:

    Dear Stan – I do not have record of your first comment. It didn’t come through to be approved. We encourage all opinions here. Can you please send your thoughts again, it was not intentional to exclude them.

  14. I totally agree with Victoria, Mary C. Duggan, and others who prefer to take the ‘low road’ of being less than 100% raw… for I feel that 1) while there is much healing value to eating a high percentage of raw food … and I can personally attest to feeling really wonderful and full of energy with an abundance of mental clarity when a significant part of my diet is raw… there is more to achieving optimum health than eating 100% raw 2) not everyone on the planet can benefit from the SAME raw food diet… for example some people have a metabolism that can handle lots of fruit and high fructose veggies and others have a metabolism that simply can’t 3) there is no common agreement on what constitutes the optimum raw diet, rather there are raw foodists who purport to thrive on diets which contain diametrically opposing ingredients…salt vs non-salt being just one example 4) there are some ‘raw food gurus’ who use their status to promote expensive ‘super foods’ and equipment… which may or may not have merit… it’s hard to tell when there’s a profit motive involved 5) insisting quite vocally on being totally raw creates an exclusivity and isolation from those who are ‘less pure’ and does absolutely nothing to improve the diets of the 99+% of the population who aren’t raw and who probably never will be 6) gives way too much power to food… while totally ignoring the enormous power of spirit alone or in combination with food to heal. 7) there are some raw diets and dishes which in my humble opinion simply aren’t all that healthy because they rely too heavily on creating ‘fake’ standard American food via an overuse of nuts and cashews.

    I spend much time pondering and experimenting with various aspects of being raw… and listening carefully to my body as it responds. For example, right now, I’m experimenting with temporarily eliminating almost all foods which contain significant amounts of fructose from my diet as I have a strong sense that over the years I’ve overdone fruit and sweet veggies which has caused my sugar metabolism to become adversely affected. A book which I’m reading “The Sugar Fix” says that it’s possible to re-set one’s sensitivity to fructose by abstaining for just 2 weeks. In the meantime I’m doing green smoothies with low fructose green veggies plus some lemon and lime, plus green salads, green stews, plus limited quantities of nuts, avocados.

    My point is that not everyone is the same and that what we perceive as a ‘healing’ aspect of raw food may be, in part, as much what we’re not eating as by what we are eating… as the healing benefits of eating raw could come as much from eating a highly alkaline diet as from its being raw… and the introduction of some alkaline cooked foods might not be an unhealthy thing for many people to do.

    I am far more interested in finding and promoting healthy and tasty alternatives to the incredibly unhealthy food that many people eat than maintaining a ‘purist’ raw-only position that may or may not have it 100% right.

    I am envisioning a diet which may be 70 to 80% raw… with a focus on low-fructose, low fat highly alkaline raw foods… with the addition of some cooked low fructose highly alkaline foods that make staying on the diet possible for the average person.

  15. Stringbean says:

    Hi, I do appreciate Victoria being honest and it helps to know that she’s just as human as the rest of us. I eat mostly raw during the day and a little cooked in the evening. I didn’t know she had stopped eating nuts though. What shall I do with all those nuts in my frig?

  16. emilyb says:

    Victoria is not saying don’t eat nuts. She thinks for her its better to have a limited amount each day. When she returns from her trip, I think she will share more research about nuts and the beneficial amount for a raw food diet.

  17. Leslie Feuerborn says:

    In response to those who string Rationalizations/Justifications for regarding a Total raw foods diet as Unnecessary, Purist, and otherwise “not the best choice for many…. perhaps even most”………
    ALL of the argumentatiobns that I’ve heard (since I started in 1990), are valid Only in terms of Reductionistic SubSystems of Being/Awareness. TOTAL Raw means Total System Integrity/Effects, and the Dynamics of Being are Intricate & Subtle; Far Beyond short-term superficial Symptomological issues. Cooking Destroys Spectrums of Vital Elements in the food which would Otherwise be nourishing things like Connective Tissue (the body is about 50% connective tissue) and probably over 1/2 million quiet little details one will remain clueless about (unless you Try a few years of total raw to Clear out the Deadness & compromises of a lifetime of cooked fare) I DID, and the Difference between total raw ……. and suppressing-detox (by indulging in cooked), and starving higher potential, IS Substantial. No Apologies for Resisting the calls for Approving Dysfunctional (as IF Total raw were somehow inherently “fanatical”) Eating, for resisting conceding to long lists of Exceptions to living essence …. (for Not Implicitly favoring adherence to Systemically Destructive applications of metabolic habituations, or shifting/repressing-of-symptoms by-cooked-regimen adjustments)

    Cooked food is Cooked Theory, and it Never Holds in the long run. It is a theory of contrivance and survival, rather than the self-evident Source-of-Life that Is Inherent in Raw FOODS as Principle To Be Upheld rather than second-guessed without a Fair Run of First Experiencing beyond the years of initial detox. Every “exception” to raw-foods-as-ideal has Proven to be Flawed, except as where the possibilities of health restoration have been Too Long Delayed, or otherwise severely compromised into a typically deSpirited arc-of-slow/steady decline.

  18. Even though I applaud Leslie’s ability to maintain ‘total rawness’ and find that it works for him/her… and am happy that he/she is convinced of the rightness of that approach for him/her, I don’t quite follow, clarity or no of mind, the somewhat convoluted rhetoric and whimsical and idiosyncratic capitalization employed in stating the writer’s reasons why 100% raw is the ‘only way to go’. For me, the writer’s language and reasoning fail to communicate or adequately express the profound sense of ‘aliveness’ or ‘joy of being’ or sheer sense of bliss that I personally associate with eating a highly alkaline, low fructose and yes, mostly raw, diet… and which also shows up in a lovingly and ‘alchemically perfect’ bowl of MY lentil soup! Instead, the reasoning and the rhetoric only serve to amplify the sense of ‘separation’ and ‘exclusivity’ which is the main reason for Victoria’s stance. There are some very visible ’100% raw’ vegans.. and while they have certainly convinced themselves and their followers of the validity of their approach, they haven’t convinced me. For I see a ‘partially clothed emperor’ whose frizzy hair and often rambling, off-the-wall appearances on YouTube doesn’t portray either the epitome of good health or a person I would care to emulate. And yet, I know that for me, maintaining a mostly raw, highly alkaline, low fructose diet with a small percentage of low fructose, highly alkaline cooked food produces what feels like to me to be an optimum state of high energy, clarity, and good health. On the other hand, eating an entirely raw diet with too much fruit and nuts does not produce the same feeling of clarity and equilibrium… in me. I believe that everyone is somewhat different, with different belief systems which by themselves have a profound effect upon the outcome of any diet, be it raw or cooked… and I cannot presume to tell anyone what their optimum diet should be. I only know what works for me… and what doesn’t.. and encourage everyone to experiment with various ways of eating, take copious notes, and find out for themselves what sort of diet works best for them.

  19. Leslie Feuerborn says:

    It’s not my purpose to sort of overpower others into being ‘convinced’ of the Wisdom of total rawness (although I Will Express what I’ve discovered)….. nor is it my Obligation to Conform to the Cookedness that WAS IMPosed upon me and ……. EVERYone (practically) in the world, from an Early age. Rules were given, about food (and grammar) which ARE Faulty-in-essence, and Limiting-by-Design.
    “Everyone is Different” is generally the “reasoning” justifying the unwillingness to Actually Fully consider and develop Raw understandings, which Does take a Lot of Transformation and Attention-to-Detail. PhytoNutrients are what Feeds Connective tissue, which is the STRucture of the body. Cooked Phytonutrients are extremely diminished in vitality, and devoid of life energetics. Aging of Skin and flesh throughout the body is the Price of Not optimizing fresh Phyto-antioxidant intake.
    As far as the “Feel Good” perception of what your body seems to want; it has Much to do with Leucocytosis and the REACTION of the endocrine/endorphine System to this immune response that occurs whenever cooked foods (or toxins of any sort) are eaten (and which does Not occur when eating Raw/living foods). Cooked Foods CAUSE this immune reaction in the gut, and metabolic pain. The ENDORPHINS which are released to Ease this Pain….. are What people “FEEL” that Compels them to eat cooked foods (along with Emotional Habituations established from early childhood) We Are Addicted to our own endorphin dysfunction syndrome….. much like those who otherwise Injure themselves in small ways to get an Emotional (endorphin) ReLease.
    Raw foods are the equivalent of fresh air and water ….. cooked foods Are polluted-in-essence, rather like Smoking, which people do because it makes them “feel good”. We Are NOT different so much in ALL being Far better off Not smoking, or drinking polluted water (or alcohol), or eating cooked foods ….. Assuming one can EDUcate oneself to UNDERstand the dynamics of food behaviors (and the immutable qualities of living foods vs the mutedness and damagedness of fire-treated and devitalized foods.)
    Life Essence is Always of a Higher Order than “Life-essence chemically-reduced to non-life (inorganic) by fire”…. and No-One is ‘different’-from-life principles, ……though Many are Beyond-the Ability (or willingness) to move beyond LIMITATIONS imposed from childhood.

  20. The ‘feel good’ sensation of which I am speaking is one of total clarity, calmness, bliss, great energy… and this is definitely not the sensation that I have experienced while eating a standard American diet of mostly cooked high fat high fructose food! It is, however, what I experience when eating a highly alkaline, low fructose mostly raw diet. There have been periods when I have been 100% raw, albeit with more fruit and fat… and I have not noticed an increase in my level of bliss or clarity. In fact, due to the higher levels of sugars and fat from nuts and fruit I probably felt less clear and less blissful.

    It’s possible that the ‘feel good’ sensation which Leslie is ascribing to cooked foods comes from the very addictive nature of many of the high fructose cooked foods… the cakes, ice creams, candies, waffles with syrup, etc. to which many people are addicted and eat because it ‘feels good’ to do so… or as Leslie puts it, because it mitigates the ‘pain’ that is the result of that kind of eating.

    However, that’s NOT the sense of bliss and clarity of which I speak.

    Some people also ‘feel good’ … at least temporarily… from consuming a large porterhouse steak, a huge baked potato slathered with butter, and a basketful of fresh out of the oven yeast rolls made from refined flour and sugar. While this may cause a temporary ‘endorphin release’ and freedom from pain, this is NOT the blissfully ‘in tune with the Universe’ sense of joy of which I speak. I also get this same sense of ‘bliss’ just being out in a nature and attuning to the sounds and smells and succumbing to a wonderful sense of ‘nowness’ and ‘foreverness’. A kind of Universal ‘om-ing’ or hum.

    We are all beings of Light… aggregates of whirling sub-atomic particles which could probably live on nothing but sunlight and air, given the right mental attitude/belief system. So in that sense, eating ANYTHING, be it cooked or raw, might be a way of lowering our vibrations and thus our spirituality.

    Is Essene bread, made from grain sprouted in the purest spring water and cooked by the absorbed dancing atoms of heat and light transmitted by the sun any less ‘holy’ and healthy than soaked raw cashews whirled with date syrup in a 3HP Vitamix… just because one is ‘cooked’ and the other raw?

    Is the mixture of soaked raw cashews and date syrup on par spiritually with a bowlful of blended kale, cucumber, lemon, tomato, red pepper, cilantro, fresh basil and mint?

    What about cultured raw milk made into yogurt mixed with raw honey?

    What about raw tuna sashimi?

    Is one ‘raw diet’ better or worse than the next?

    I would love to hear what Leslie feels is the ideal raw diet.

    I don’t think it’s possible to rely solely on other people’s ‘theories’ and judgments… because there are so many diametrically opposing points of view which come from seemingly respectable and credible sources in regard to any and all diets.

    In addition to going on my own often very subtle reactions to a certain food or recipe, be it cooked or raw, (too much fructose makes me feel upset, imbalanced and angry while dairy can sometimes make me feel fearful, etc.) I also tend to judge a dietary recommendation by how the person recommending it looks and acts… and by the clarity and logic of the words they speak… as well as any scientifically-proven observations such as Dr. Robert O. Young’s photos of live blood cells.

  21. Leslie Feuerborn says:

    I’m somewhat familiar with Robert Young’s work, having been made so by an overweight vegan friend who insists much the same things you do, and asserts that this is superior to raw diet……….. apparently so for people who have GONE Through some metabolic severities that make a fully dynamic sort of carbohydrate metabolism dysfunctional to them. Where i have a problem is in the assertions (based on those dysfunctions) that yes;-but-no …. what about this less-than-ideal vs this Other non-perfection for consideration by a Populous (reading this) which has (in many cases) Never Achieved a sort of metabolic balance sufficient to eat straightforward raw of a carefully-considered sort. Highly-mineralized Fruit IS Ideal, (not even much available except in the tropics in the wild) and, Unfortunately, an ideal which no longer Functions Well (Especially with commercial-organic) for those who Never were able to Experience-benefit from what it CAN Do in an Ideal world (without years of SAD diet influences)
    …As far as Spirituality goes, THAT is one Huge topic Full of red herrings. Ideal Health SUPPoRTS Ideal Bliss Much better than Bliss Found-experienced held-onto DesPite food-related health challenges. People in a Dying State, after all, can go into Bliss…… but Living in the complex dynamic Possibilities that a base of Optimally Clean-Vitalized-LIVING Foods Facilitates (over having to scramble-with-effort out of sickness, towards bliss ‘despite’ ongoing health Compromises) …. SIMPLY Make UTTER Philosophical sense…… UNLESS One (as do millions) IS content that Total Rawness is a possibilty (for them and those Like them) that they Cannot See themselve Moving Into.
    The challenge is to resolve these differing Philosophies of Compromised Raw Health (partial) due to a long History of a life much liveD in NOT Raw Condition…….. resolving That with the FACT that TOTAL Rawness is Utterly Awesome for the relative few who achieve & Hold it ….. and for those who Do So, we Generally FIND thAt Dropping Back into eating Any small amounts of cooked foods Precipitates a Return of Physical Symptomologies…. which Disappear upon returning to 100% (how dare I use the term?) RAW.
    I Am a Spiritual Athlete, So I KNOW that I Can be “In Bliss” to a Fair degree by doing certain spiritual practice-focus …. but I’M a Lazy Athlete who finds that Raw Foods IS Better than “Spiritual Methods” …. it becomes effortless.
    Without raw food diet ….. unable to clear past life memory traumas due to vibrational-energetic blockages…… but After 3 years Totally RAW ……. ABLE-EMPOWERED to Access Deep spiritual recall-recognition….. surpassing Anyone I’ve Ever known, surpassing All of what pastlife experts I’ve spoken with and researched, have experienced.
    I propose that those who find themselves Unable to eat Totally raw-Live foods NEED to Accept that they have to eat a somewhat Compromised solution to their food requirements……. and NOT IMpose a Philosophy that 100% Raw is Flawed. Not being raised-on-Raw is what is FLaWED, and conceding that metabolic DAMage has been done (to most people at present in the world) is the Actual Structure-of-the-challenge-limitation most people are up against.
    From THAT Philosophical Strategy, we can All work towards Maximizing Rawness and Food quality, which is often extremely poor even for raw fooders, compared to What we Can Create by Focus on Raw Possibilities; ……..sea-mineralized raw food crops grown semi-wild and in the Fullness of genetic diversities … as commercial-organic involves less-than-3% of what varieties COULD be grown…

  22. I have never stated… anywhere… that there is anything wrong, conceptually, with an ‘ideal’ (for the person who’s eating it) 100% raw diet… and indeed applaud those who found such a diet that works for them and are thus able to find optimum health via that diet. What I do find disturbing is the assertion that somehow ‘raw’ is the ONLY WAY to eat… the only way to attain the more subtle vibrations of discernment and spirituality.

    I think the entire point of this discussion revolves around Victoria’s decision not to be so utterly exclusive in her insistence upon being 100% raw as to put herself above others… and in the process perhaps even alienate those who are struggling with being raw, but who haven’t gotten there yet. She writes:

    “I have noticed that when I was telling other people about myself being a 100% raw foodist, it came across as if I was claiming to be a better, higher, more spiritual person. I felt so uncomfortable that I repeated in every lecture, ‘I am just a woman in a green dress. Please don’t put me on a pedestal’.”

    That position seems to have been interpreted by some to mean that she had somehow ‘weakened’ or ‘caved in’ to the uneducated and unwashed.

    On the contrary, I think Victoria’s revised position on being less than 100% raw … even though she may continue to be just that… makes what she has to say all the more accessible to far more people than when she appeared to some to have ‘deified’ herself with her raw status.

    I see that ‘deification’ a lot throughout the very nebulously defined and somewhat confusing ‘raw food world’… where ‘raw’ is worn as some kind of badge of honor.

    I find it sad that the designation ‘raw foodist’ has to be, in some circles, held to be so ‘sacred’ as to be the reason for dishonesty and lies about what one eats in the privacy of their own home.

    There should be no shame in saying one eats cooked food… or honor in saying that one eats raw.

    There is certainly, as Victoria mentions, nothing so far cast in stone about the raw food movement.

    Victoria writes:

    “We are all pioneers, still in the beginning of our research of the human diet. Nothing is set in stone and our bodies continually change. For example, while I enjoyed gourmet raw food in the beginning of my raw journey, for several years now, I have completely eliminated food prepared with nuts. In recent years I have decided that it can be healthier, to eat a bowl of cooked green vegetables than a whole jar of raw nut butter.”

    I find nothing whatsoever in her remarks to indicate that she is holding herself to a lesser standard due to social pressure. I find her to be the same Victoria both before and after her declaration… which for me is simply a way of taking herself off of some ‘perceived pedestal’ and placing her in a position to be able to relate in a far more inclusive way with those people who need her help and advice.

    As a publisher of a raw food website, I was once contacted by a producer at ABC, asking me for a definition of the raw food movement and wanting to know ‘who was in charge’ of this movement. My reply was then… and would be now… there is no definition of the raw food movement and there is no one in charge.

    Indeed, as Victoria states, “…We are all pioneers, still in the beginning of our research of the human diet. Nothing is set in stone…”

    For me, and Victoria, and many others, all in search, I’m sure, of the ‘optimum diet’, experimenting and refining continue to be a part of this grand experiment. However, some people seem to have settled already on the ‘ideal’, be it eating all fruit, or eating what I would call ‘gourmet raw party food’… full of nuts and spices… or eating mostly fermented nuts and seeds with some greens … or eating only green vegetables and no fruits, etc., etc. The permutations and combinations possible … all under the umbrella designation ‘raw’… are vast. There is no one way to “eat raw” that is right for everyone.

    And who’s to say what is ideal for one might not be ideal for another?

    Some people swear by eating only fruit… they are strict fruitarians. However, there are people whose genetics or prior ways of eating or advanced state of pancreatic disease, for example, might render such a strict fruitarian diet deadly for them… while at the same time making it ideal for someone else.

    Who is to say? How do we know?

    Thankfully, there probably will never be anyone who is in that lofty position of dictating just exactly how every human being should optimally eat… unless someday we find an amazingly accurate nutritional test of some sort.

    In the meantime I am grateful for the Internet and educational television programs and news segments and for social networks such as Facebook … all of which enable those who are interested in advancing their knowledge of an optimum diet for optimum health to freely share their knowledge, their experience and their opinions in this ongoing exploration and quest.

    Never before has the individual been put in such a position of both responsibility and power. To be able to freely contribute and speak one’s mind without fear of being put down for holding a certain opinion or belief is wonderful.

    I am grateful to Victoria for providing just such a forum.

    I am actively and continually seeking what is optimum for me… which as Victoria states… might be in flux as my body continues to heal from years and years of less than optimum eating… even though, for the most part, I THOUGHT I was eating what, by conventional standards, was a healthy diet.

    I have learned enough from my many ‘experiments’ that for ME, eating a substantially raw alkaline diet has had a tremendous impact on my physical health and level of energy as well as my mental clarity, mental health, and my judgment. But I am not willing to unequivocally state that eating such a diet is right for everyone.

    You would think that going on a raw green juice fast would be a very healthy thing to do… for everyone! Well, a few hours ago I posted a link to this blog on my wall, and one of my friends responded in part thusly:

    “… A couple of months ago was on a lengthy green juice fast with colon hydrotherapy, and while shopping for ingredients kept feeling like putting young Thai coconuts in the cart. Had to tell myself, no silly, you are cleansing and can’t have that now, lol. Well, within a week was in ER for low potassium/electrolytes. Turns out, coconuts are loaded with electrolytes and have potassium. Body knew….”

    As I’ve stated before, not everyone has the same genetic makeup or has the same health history. No matter how healthy a diet might be for someone else, it might not be healthy for you. Everyone needs to be responsible for his or her own health by listening very carefully to their body’s urgings and needs… and honoring them. Sure, you are going to make mistakes. But it’s been my experience that most mistakes are easily corrected by several days of green juice fasting or similar healing diet.

  23. Leslie Feuerborn says:

    Jacqueline, your perspective is what it is. It is conciliatory to the status quo. My perspective is as a Visionary, a Technically-minded person, and as a person with appropriate Architectural/hierarchical sensibilities as demonstrated by my works. I intend to DEFINE, (in light of the Lack of Light presently running/ruining people’s health) What Is What & WHy. Raw IS Superior to cooked. Most Are Addicted to cooked syndromes, and perhaps are UNAble to rise above an early demise. I, being a “who is to say….” HOLD a High standard for those who Can Recognize and Aspire towards That. Genetics can be anything across-the-spectrum…. and STILL All life is best Optimized by being Nourished by Living Plantlife, rather than foods that are rendered InOrganic by being cooked. It is a path to disease & early death, regardlerss of genetics…….. but it is a path which so Many have gone So Far down that they cannot fully Turn Back or Become fully raw. Steam your vegetables IF you must, but don’t imagine it IS Somehow EquivaLent to Fresh Raw. It’s not terribly bad, in the scheme of what is destructive, as Victoria points out…. but it Has Disadvantages.
    THAT is the rhetoric that is Closest to the Truth,…….. and it Does Not Serve those who Might Benefit from Total Rawness to reEStablish/Perpetuate a Philosophy (or not challenge this, which is ALREADY ESTABLISHED) of “eat what thou wilt” …. raw is OK, but not even for all young people, …. because we can Contrive that Some young people are JUST Not Suited to Total RAW. …. In Fact, this would ONLY be true about young people who are Suffering from Metabolic disorders, …. as ANY Healthy young person Would Benefit Tremendously from Total Rawness.
    Some present Interpretations of What is the OPTIMUM 100% Raw vegan diet IS….. would be off-the-mark relative to Other interpretations, SURE.
    BUT, within the Framework-of-Possibilities …. Total Rawness (barring metabolic issues) is the “Where to Look & Experiment” of HOW to Eat for Optimum Health. No amount of messing with ayurvedic-macrobiotic-instintoflesh-eating, and such will Really stand the test-of-time as equivalent alternatives to RAW-Living Veganic Potential……. and we have Hardly Begun to Explore That potential beyond about maybe 5-10% of WHAT! it Holds-in-Promise!
    Building/designing upon a Status Quo which has horrifically FAILed is Not the hallmark of Innovation/transformation/liberation, whether in Architecture, spirituality, or physical health (food being basic to this). THAT is WHY I take exception when there is TOO much conceding-to-the-interests of failed cultural paraDigms…… especially when the VALUES of Alternatives Old&new, are Self-evident & clear ….. Beyond Theorizing….

  24. Leslie, you have absolutely NO IDEA who I am, or what my sensibilities are, or how much of a visionary I am, do you? You haven’t seen my amazingly delicate drawings or exquisite ceramic sculptures, have you? Nor have you visited my home and been enchanted by the wonderful collection of Meiji period Japanese pottery and 15th century Persian vases I’ve accumulated, have you? Or my collection of wonderful crystals, glass orbs, and various Pythagorean solids? Nor have you wandered through my garden of herbs and wild flowers or read my poems, have you? And yet you, in your seemingly infinite and infallible ‘gospel according to Leslie’ wisdom think it’s okay to self-describe yourself as a visionary while at the same time pigeon-holing me and others as thinking and acting in a way that was somehow inferior to the thinking and acting of “… a person with appropriate architectural/hierarchical sensibilities as demonstrated by my works…”

    Your position is such an obvious and easy one. How hard is it to proclaim that 100% raw is the ONLY right way! Let’s say, for arguments sake, that you are 100% correct and that is the case? Aren’t you basically preaching to the choir?

    But a re your lofty ideas, however technically accurate and even scientifically accurate they might be, the way to heal the masses?

    Or perhaps you are of the mind to let them all die because they refuse to become 100% raw… and that anything less isn’t worth considering!

    I honestly don’t know of anyone in the so-called raw food movement who would hold that view. Not even the 100 percenters like Matt Monarch who openly has said that 100% might not be even advisable for most people. Yet I don’t consider him to be ‘selling out’.

    I don’t know when anyone heretofore has put me down because I happen to have a very inquisitive mind… wanting to know for myself just what constitutes a healing diet for me… in the hope that it might also work for others.

    I don’t appreciate being put down because I refuse to take other people’s word that 100% raw is ‘it’ … but would rather find out and come to that conclusion myself… however long it takes. Time is not my enemy!

    To this end I have had the audacity to experiment with various parameters that might comprise the numerous aspects of a potentially healing diet. Parameters which include pH level, fructose content, purine content, salt content, potassium content, etc.

    Please also bear in mind that in January of 1984 I was diagnosed with malignant melanoma, and instead of taking the doctor’s word that I would need a wider excision, removal of lymph nodes, and possibly chemo and radiation… I instead had the audacity to turn my back on the medical profession and choose instead a combination of a macrobiotic diet and spiritual mind treatments. That was 26+ years ago. Had I merely taken the esteemed oncologists word for what to do, I might not be alive now.

    The macro diet was great for the detox, but bad for the long run, and lasted only 2 years. Not enough fresh veggies and almost zero EFA’s. The founders of the Macrobiotic movement in the US both subsequently developed cancer, with Aveline dying at a relatively early age. And yet there were those who swore that macrobiotics was the ONLY WAY. I remember the day in 1988 that Sr. Counselor Lino Stankich looked at me and said “If you keep on eating that way, you will die!”

    To say that I have learned a lot … and experimented a lot with diet and various spiritual practices (and I cannot separate the two for I don’t believe you can have true healing with just diet alone)… in those 26+ years is an understatement.

    I am proud that I am about to turn 70 on June 19th. Most people don’t think I look or act anything close to my age. When people talk to me on the phone they think I’m in my 30′s. My photo on Facebook is about a month old if you wish to see and judge for yourself. And I don’t wear makeup!

    I consider myself to be both a visionary and an immortalist… with absolutely no plans for dying. In fact, I have so many plans for the future and so much to give that I have to live a very long time. I may reconsider this position should I ever get bored… but boredom is not a condition I am familiar with.

    I have no fear of experimenting with food in order to learn what works and what doesn’t work for me as I have zero tolerance for feeling bad and can rapidly do an ‘about face’ and return to green and raw if what I’m eating isn’t right for me.

    I have no fear of spending time in the sun without sun screen as I don’t believe that the sun was the major factor in my getting melanoma… and indeed may help prevent cancer.

    In fact FEAR is one of the biggest killers there is. And to undertake a diet out of anything but love is counter-productive.

    I know for certain that we are born in a state of divine perfection… and that anything else which we may manifest is solely of our own making… and reversable. Right diet helps… but ‘right thinking’ is mandatory.

  25. Leslie Feuerborn says:

    … and ‘that’ sort of crazy-convoluted ironic interaction is probably Why Victoria is driven to say she is 95% RAW … I Don’t blame her. I’m 95% raw myself…… Plus the unmentioned 5% raw, minus the 0.001% cooked that might occur .001% of the time.

  26. tanja says:

    Please, forgive me my grammatical and spelling mistakes, but English is my third language. Still, I hope that my message is clear enough. Thank You.

    I owe to Victoria my second approach to raw diet.
    At my first attempt and after reading only one book on raw foodism I went on eating 100% raw food overnight, I drank 100% vegetable juices and ate a lot of fruit, salads and yes, a have lost a lot of weight but my psychological approach to this kind of eating was totally wrong. Because of one peace of cake that I ate as a REWARD for my persistence on staying for six months on 100% raw food diet I went back on eating cooked food. One year on cooked food and feeling more miserable than ever I stumbled on Victoria’s book in a library and my life was never the same anymore.

    I like her compassion and truthfulness with which she promotes message of raw food diet. This makes her different from the rest of raw food teachers.
    I was on her lecture in Ljubljana this March and what I saw was a woman with big heart, pureness of her soul and infinite love.

    If she is on 100% or on 10% raw food diet, it doesn’t matter to me. My life on raw food diet is changed in every way for better. It was her massage in her books that renewed my interest in raw food diet that consists of 95% to 100% raw food. That 5% consists of slightly cooked vegetables and some tea in winter. But I don’t mind being raw 100%. When I am on 100% raw food, I do not brag about it, when I am on 95% raw food I do not feel bad about it. Dear Victoria , thank you so much.

    Tanja, Slovenia

  27. Rawpiphany says:

    Ka Sundance had some thoughts on this a few days ago, for those interested…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZWT5U7_F54&feature=player_embedded

  28. Ka Sundance makes a very valid and important point in his video which was made a few weeks ago … advocating flexibility and advising against rigidity of position re raw foods while at the same time being an inspiring visual and verbal example of how healthy, clear and beautiful a 100% raw vegan can be. Ka epitomizes the most powerful and authentic way each of us can help spread the word of the many benefits of eating a raw and living foods diet… by actually BEING the healthy and vibrant person this type of diet and lifestyle can deliver.

  29. Leslie Feuerborn says:

    appeasement, showmanship, compromise …….

    I Understand the need & value of these, especially in these crazy times, Under these Unnatural circumstances.
    As for myself, and as for the Larger-scale, longer-term purpose-Vision……. my Origins-into raw foods was intimately-linked with core-Philosophical values involving Connecting-with Higher Self, Higher-Purpose.
    As an Essene scribe, I lived in Qumran 2000 years ago, and by observing advanced spiritual principles, including total raw diet, I ascended (but reincarnated in the 14th century as a consequence of tangling with a demon…. and falling-out-of graceful balance)
    As Much as the present situation Tells me to sort of “Keep quiet with your idealisms” …. I ReMain Steadfast that Total Rawness IS Human Destiny, for all the Right Reasons, ….. which people-in-general are Not! currently ready to Hear. …. and I Simply Ask that the Positive Purpose which the FEW such as Myself HOLD-in-consciousness ….not be UnDuly “Made A Negative” by the Rhetoric of those who are Eager to Appeal-to-Broad-Public-Markets of Ideas ……

  30. g says:

    Q Has anyone ever tried sway testing to see if what one is about to eat is right for ones body? (Muscle testing) whatever its called – would love to get some input and am new at this hi everyone peace2Uall

  31. Alicia says:

    Thank you soooo much for this post! I was almost ashamed, for feeling like there were some raw-foodists who made me feel inferior, because I was not 100% raw, or living their chosen lifestyle of foods. I prepare raw food for several clients weekly, and host b-weekly raw food & wine tastings-99.99% of the attendees are not raw at all…except for that one meal, on that one Tuesday. Because I am still in the raw transition phase (and “struggle” with going from 65% to my goal of 80-85% raw), I can still communicate with both sides, so to speak. As any of us raw-foodies can attest, our lunches are always a matter of scrutiny by those who enjoy a life of cooked foods. We are questioned, and almost poked and prodded as much as the animals sent to slaughter. It’s unnerving to think there are others of “us”, doing the same to our own groups. It’s a horrible feeling to be stuck in the middle of both sides, and feel so judged at every turn.

    I love how you’ve made us all feel that any % is acceptable, is healthier than 0%, and that we are all doing our best…THANK YOU, “woman in a green dress”! Thank you for making me feel “normal” again, and not under the microscope quite as much! Thank you for being YOU! ;-)

  32. Shoshana says:

    Rules, dogmas, paths, religions, traditions, formulas, ideals, recipes, theories, teachings.

    It’s all made up!

    It’s not ” the truth” just possibilities to try out, notice whatever you notice when you keep choosing to choose your choice.

    You are loved!

  33. Ksenija says:

    I have tried being 100% raw and found out that following that ideal brings me too much stress to continue doing that.
    Being healthy is not just healthy diet, it is also healthy attitude towards life, people and world in general, healthy exercise, relaxation, spirituality …
    I believe that if you take only one of those areas and trying being perfect there at the cost of all other areas, you are not doing yourself a favor but possibly more damage.

    A year later I am trying to eat as much raw as possible, but not at all cost. When eating raw would mean extra stress, I will eat not raw foods available and will not make fuss about it. I will choose though cooked vegetables over fried potato, or home made bread over some industrially processed non-food.
    And now I can finally say, all pieces are finally falling into their place and I find all areas of my life fulfilling.

    Anyway, you and your family are doing a great job!

  34. Mike says:

    Thank-you dear Victoria for your courage and honesty. It is not easy to recant a once-strongly held position, and conviction. I was at one of your lectures about 7 years ago in Orange County and went “totally” raw for about 6 years. Now I am dating a wonderful woman who constantly wants to try new things, and while she adores my raw foods (I’m proud of my creations), she likes her cooked food too. And she wants her man to share with her what she’s eating. It’s been quite a challenge! So, I too am no longer 100%, maybe 95% as well, although at times I will have a cooked meal with her. I feel guilty, and yet also that in the end “it’s just food” and after all we are here to live, not to obsess over what we put into our mouths.

    I will always honor my raw food roots, thanks to you my “raw mama” and all that I learned from you, and I know my health and life are so much better for having known you and followed your ways. Thank-you.

    With Love,

    Mike

  35. Yesil says:

    Sorry to put the spanner to the works but although I have been eating all my vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouted pulses raw, I have not had the courage to give up meat and eggs. Nearest I have come to is adding raw egg yolk to smoothies. I have read that you can get muscle weakness.

    I understand that this is pioneering work so how long has anyone gone on at a stretch without animal foods at all and still be healthy? Also what about blood types? Some people with certain blood groups are said to suffer health problems if they do not eat animal products. Also some people have taken to eating raw flesh!

    I would be very interested to hear your comments to help me in this hurdle, thanks.

  36. emilyb says:

    Thanks for your comment Yesil,
    The Boutenko’s and myself do not believe in the blood type diet, however, if you find it works for you then go for it. My reasoning is, animals all eat the same foods as each other, and they do not follow specific diets. For example, all cows eat grass but have different blood types.

    Victoria and her family were on a strict raw diet for approximately 14 years. They are all healthy. I’m sure there are many healthy cooked vegans that have gone longer without animal products. Organic greens have been a turning point in the Boutenko’s diet and provide many of the nutrients that we are supposed to get from animals. You can read about B12 here http://greensmoothiesblog.com/victoria-boutenko-vitamin-b12-vega/ and protein here http://greensmoothiesblog.com/abundance-of-proteins-in-greens/. Recently Victoria has discovered that greens are a source of Omega 3′s, she has written about this in the updated Green for Life.

    Earlier this year while in Europe, Victoria interviewed many vegans from cold climates. In her newsletter she wrote:
    “As I am visiting various communities I use this opportunity to gather valuable data on raw and vegan dieting in different climates. I interview as many raw-fooders and vegans as possible from different towns and countries. I am especially interested in vegans who sustain their diet in northern territories, such as Finland, Sweden and St. Petersburg (Russia), where the sun in December rises for as little as 3-4 hours.

    I met with people who lead a vegan lifestyle and had the privilege of discussing with them the particulars of their diets. I was fortunate to gather a lot of valuable testimonials, which I plan to share with my readers in the near future. So far, the main conclusion I have made is as follows:

    It is everyone’s personal choice and responsibility what to eat, and everyone has a unique body that may have its own reactions to any type of foods;

    Most people enjoy better health on a predominantly raw, mostly vegan diet with the emphasis on consumption of greens.”

    Yesli, I think the best advice is to see what works for you and try not to be to scared of experimenting. Perhaps try eliminating meat for 2 weeks and see if you feel worse. If not, then it’s proof that you don’t need meat to feel healthy . If you don’t want to give up eggs completely, perhaps have them once a week. We do not need a large amount of animal products in our diet, limiting them may make you feel good or even no different, see how it feels and draw your own conclusion. I know Victoria would suggest that you have even less animal products than I have, she does not advocate eating eggs or dairy even once a week. We have to be very careful with animal products in this day and age, they are farmed in factories, the animals are pumped with hormones and are fed modified corn. If you chose to eat meat please chose consciously and if you chose to eat eggs, grass fed (greens), free range is best.

    Finally (I am going on a bit here), drink green smoothies:)!

  37. Yesil says:

    Thanks Emily
    What about oils like olive oil, flax oil etc.
    How do you take those or are they not necessary on green smoothie diet?

    Also where can I find info on what to eat for let’s say a week for me (female & moderately active) and my husband who does half marathon every week (and has high calorie expenditure) throughout the day?

    I would be grateful if you can guide me for a site/give info for examplary green smoothie diets for different calorific needs.

  38. emilyb says:

    Yesli – Please read this post on flax oil. Olive oil is high in Omega 6 so it’s not a good idea to have too much of it. http://greensmoothiesblog.com/omega-3-fatty-acid-green-smoothie/
    I don’t know any sites that specify different green smoothies for different calorific needs.

    Victoria says that the two problems in peoples health are toxicity and deficiency. It’s a good idea to detox to reduce toxins stored int eh body and to nourish the body with as much nutrition as you can. We try to focus on feeding the body with lot of nutrition rather than the calorie count. The best suggestions is to drink 2 quarts of green smoothie every day.

  39. Hana says:

    Victoria, I’ll always see you as an amazing super star, so generous and sincere you are an inspiration.

    It is not for us to judge if 80% or 100% raw is right or wrong. but that is a choice for us to take individually and I think it’s treasure to have the freedom to do what suits our current needs and acknowledge that they are changeable.

    Our diets and various percentages are not what makes one person better than the other. I applaud the stand you make towards this as I don’t like the increasing cult status of 100% followers.

    It’s not the diet that made you great but it is your beautiful heart.

    You have accomplished a great deal sharing your experiences and I love your questioning mind to find out the answers and your encouraging understanding for those who struggle.

    This is absolutely not a failure, but another chapter in your journey and I am riveted :)

    Thank you for your frank openness, I think it will serve to encourage and strengthen others and will bring so much more good.
    You are so loved and I love you too! x

  40. Linda says:

    Is it just me, but are a few of these comments really, really strange?

  41. Travis Richardson says:

    Do Sergei and Valya also have steamed vegetables in their diet? Or do they exclusively eat raw food? A 811 cyclist in Australia seems to be adamant that the whole Boutenko Family eat loads of cooked food. I don’t believe this considering the Boutenko’s really seem like such a down to earth and sincere family but am just curious as to what Sergei and Valya consume also.

  42. ranthia says:

    I think everyone should do what they think is best as far as eating goes. For me, I eat more raw than I used to. I try to note if something I am doing or thinking is an extreme. I don’t think I want to do anything extreme for very long. I don’t think it’s healthy for me. I can see doing a cleansing for awhile – and then it’s over. I like to explore new ways of eating, but I try to catch myself when I’m trying to be perfect (an extreme).
    I want to enjoy life. Obviously, I need to eat healthy. But what that is will always be a matter of opinion, my opinion. There’s plenty of meat-eaters that are healthy (see Nourishing Traditions”) – and such controversy – yikes!

  43. Rick Stewart says:

    It takes a lot of courage and honesty to step back from yourself and look carefully at what you see. It warmed my heart to see this in you. The world needs more people who are willing to live like that. Wonderful. Byron Katie… is it true? Yes, it is. ;)

  44. susan says:

    i was just diagonosed with a sluggish thyroid and have read some info about spinach, kale and some other cabbage veggies being “bad” for thyroid conditions? all of these veggies i use in my green smoothies..
    i’m trying to find out if this is true?

  45. Cindy says:

    I would just like to say a big THANK YOU to Victoria! I love her books and info. I tried going 100% raw and have now changed to being a Nutritarian. I live in the middle of the Nevadan desert with the closest farmers market and Whole Food store being over 230 miles away, one way, it’s just not feasible for me to be 100% raw. :( What garden we do grow is limited by a very short growing season. This year we have replanted 2x due to freezing night time temps, and this was after covering the plants! Last night, June 15th, we had a freeze warning. I travel 50-70 miles to the closest Walmart and sometimes can’t even find organic spinach. :( It makes eating fresh foods nearly impossible and raw even less so. I do drink green smoothies every day, sometimes I have to use frozen spinach and fruit or I wouldn’t even be able to do that! I feel like an outsider in Raw Food’s circles and the few vegetarians I know eat lots of processed foods and cheese. It’s nice to know there are some people who are more supportive! Thanks again Victoria!!

  46. Jewel says:

    Bravo Victoria. I read your book perhaps 10 years ago and became ‘raw’ at that time, although I was unable to stick to it long term, I noticed a great deal of health benefits to this way of eating. I did feel that there was some judgement attached to people who didn’t agree that 100% raw is best for everyone and the only way for everyone. I’m glad for you that you have altered your perspective a little on that. If you are studying self-realization you will learn to not focus so much on the differences but what it is that we all have in common. Recently I have had issues with breast cancer and am changing my diet back to at least 80% or more raw food. Thank you Victoria and family for the great contribution you have made in the lives of so many grateful people. May GOD Bless you.

  47. g says:

    I fell in love with Raw Family several years ago. In reading their books I could feel love and compassion. My 16 year old grandson reads the books I have that are written by Valya and Sergei every time he visits me and has from day one of their printing. He loves their Cream of Celery Soup and requests it at least once during his visit.

    I do appreciate Victoria being so open and honest. I have great respect and admiration for Raw Family they won my heart with their first books and I have been a follower ever since.

    Because of awkward social situations I too have been ‘high’ raw for several years.
    Like Tanja, Slovenia’s post when I am on 100% raw food, I do not brag about it, when I am on 95% raw food I do not feel bad about it. However, Raw Family was where I first heard of Tanya Zavasta and I plan to keep striving for 100% raw because I want a lovely complexion like hers. Valya is beautiful and has a lovely complexion but she is still young; if I understand correctly Tanya is currently about twice Valya’s age and she still has a teenage complexion. I may be dreaming but if I don’t strive for 100% raw I will probably end up cooked with the exception of green smoothies which I love.

    Thank you Victoria and family for the great contribution you have made in the lives of so many grateful people We love you and appreciate you. May GOD Bless you all.

  48. jan says:

    I was a strict 100% gluten free vegan for 7 years. then I was a strict 100% raw vegan for 4 years. All this in an attempt to heal Rheumatoid arthritis. I was raised on a cooked diet full of non-processed food, lots of vegetables and fruit, high quality meat and dairy. I did not have a legacy ofbterriblemeating haits to overcome. I felt on top of the world during my first two years raw. I then noticed that my energy levels and digestion started to crash. by the 4th year of persisting with this 100% purist philosophy, I was so I’ll, I could hardly work. So I started to add raw milk, grass fed meets and organ meats to my diet. The results were dramatic. my energy levels have sky rocketed again. I am now basically paleo with a lot of raw food, and I have never felt better. So 100% raw is not for everyone. I advise a loof people to be very careful about attaching to a 100% lifestyle and to watch the message being sent from the ra food community. It is getting to be a closed minded cult, and I no longer enjoy the god worship that’s required of the leaders. Have the utmost respect for Victoria Outenko’s humility and open minded ness. She is one of the few raw food leaders that I can still tolerate listening o. She is grounded, intelligent, and sincere. Thank you, Victoria..


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