to be Successful on a Raw Vegan Diet
By Don Bennett,
are some raw vegan diets that allow you to experience health improvement,
but there is only one that also allows you to have optimal health...
the best health your genetics will allow you to have... to thrive
throughout your entire life. Discovering this version of a raw
vegan diet is key if you want optimal health.
A Very Important
Sidebar about Thriving
One of the most popular books on the raw
vegan diet paints a very rosy picture of the diet, and there
are a lot of wonderful things to be said about the diet,
and the book does say these things and is a mostly accurate
book. But the book also leaves out an important issue, and
one that is a contributing factor to people not thriving
when following the diet as explained in the book. An important
thing for you to know about.
First, we must define "thriving"
because this word is used throughout the book, and is often
To thrive as it pertains to health, means that you have
reached a level of optimal health. It is as opposed to surviving.
While there are many different levels of surviving
with one existing just below thriving there is only
one level of thriving, which is the best health your genetics
can allow you to have (thus resulting in the best odds of
never getting a diagnosis of something serious). So "thriving"
is not the same as "surviving better than 95% of the
general population". At that level of surviving, you
can still get a degenerative disease, it would just occur
a lot further on down the road.
Some quotes from the book and how they
pertain to thriving
"Not only do fruit, vegetables,
and greens contain sustainable amounts of carbohydrates,
protein, and fat, they also contain them in the percentages,
ratios, and forms that are optimum for human health."
Here, one metric is missing: "amounts of nutrients".
Though elsewhere the book suggests that if you eat an all
raw diet of fruits and greens, and you eat enough of them
(are active enough), you don't have to worry about nutrition,
implying that you'll get enough of all the nutrients the
body requires for optimal health. But sadly, this is not
thrive on the raw diet, often telling others how it has
improved their health and their lives."
While health improvement is almost always the case when
transitioning to this version of a raw diet, improvement
does not automatically mean you will one day thrive. I am
not interested in improvement only, I am interested in thriving,
and improvement is part of that journey. But to thrive,
the book leaves out an important issue.
"When people integrate a proper
raw diet with other healthful living practices, they rarely,
if ever, develop ... chronic or even short term illnesses."
Yes, if a proper version of
the raw vegan diet is adopted. But a proper version does
not just address the foods of the diet, it also addresses
nutrition, and does not make assumptions about nutrition.
More on this below. And the phrase "rarely, if ever"
does not square with reality. Given enough time, and not
given enough of all the nutrients the body requires for
thriving, ill-health conditions can and do develop. To dismiss
this reality out-of-hand as some raw vegan educators
do does a disservice to those they teach.
"For millions of years, most humans
and their ancestors lived a gatherer lifestyle in a tropical
environment, where large amounts of easy to pick fruit were
Yes. But we do not live that way today, and where we get
our fruit and greens from today are not where we got them
from for the longest period of time in our evolution, and
the nutritional quality of today's produce is not what it
was 50,000 years ago... it's not even what it was 100 years
ago. But the way to compensate for this unfortunate but
unavoidable situation is at odds with some educators' beliefs
and teachings, which is why you don't get to read about
it in certain books (but not the books that appear at the
bottom of this page).
"We are biological designed to obtain
our nutrition from uncooked fruits and vegetables."
Yes. But it must be from uncooked fruits and vegetables
that are capable of providing us with "enough of all".
We had access to these many millennia ago, but most of us
don't today. But our bodies are essentially the same as
they were way back then... actually, this is also not true.
We as a species didn't just start eating a diet that we're
not biologically designed to eat, and one that contains
all kinds of chemicals; we've been doing this for a while.
And this has resulted in DNA degradation over the generations.
Add to this that we're no longer living in our natural environment
where we didn't need to pay bills or keep track of time,
so our needs for certain nutrients can actually be more
today than 50,000 years ago.
in mind, the following tips are the result of 40 years of research,
my 25 years on a raw vegan diet, and 15 years of working with
raw vegans who didn't thrive following the diet.
why you're doing this, and that anything new can be difficult
at first, and that this is an investment in your future health.
So when you encounter bumps in the road, keep these things in
how important your health is to you. On a scale of 1-10, with
1 being the worst health you can have, and 10 being the best health
your genetics will allow you to have, what level do you
want to be at. If it's 6, you have a bunch of options when it
comes to diet. If it's 5, now you can eat as much of that diet
as you want. But if you want the best odds of never getting a
diagnosis of something serious, that comes with level 10. And
level 10 makes it easy to choose a diet because there are no options...
you'd need to eat the diet that humans are biologically adapted
to eat (along with making sure that you're getting enough of all
the nutrients your body requires to be able to provide you with
3. Base your
health practices on the "Science of Health". Natural
Hygiene is the scientific application of the principles of Nature
in the restoration and preservation of health. More at health101.org/nh
no such thing as "the raw food diet"
poor, better, and best versions. So, there's "a" raw
food diet. Choose the one that can allow you to experience optimal
health (thriving), and not one that just allows for improved health.
should be thought of as the foods you're eating. But there's also
"Nutrition", and that's the nutrients those foods should
be providing. So these are actually two separate issues, and both
issues should be researched. In-other-words, don't assume that
if you're eating the foods of the diet you're biologically adapted
to eat, that you'll automatically get enough of all the nutrients
your body requires for optimal health, because that would be an
Make sure you have a support network. Join online forums, find
some online friends who are doing what you're doing, go to raw
food fruitlucks and events, especially an event like the Woodstock
Fruit Festival... the premiere raw vegan event, with people
attending from all around the world.
any failures as learning experiences. Nothing wrong with two steps
forward, one step back as long as you learn something from it.
these two important points can help reduce the potential for fails
The most popular information is not necessarily the most accurate
If a book or program has a lot of accurate information, this does
that ALL the information is accurate
9. The importance
of accurate information. There's nothing worse than transitioning
to a diet that's supposed to be healthier, but your health starts
to go downhill at some point. So I advise learning, not as a student,
but as a researcher. The difference is that students don't tend
to question what they're taught; they may ask questions of clarification,
but they don't challenge anything they hear. Researchers question
everything. And this is why "multi-source education"
is the best way to learn because of all the misinformation in
the raw vegan community. Remember, what can sabotage your efforts
at eating the healthiest of diets is what
you know, that isn't so.
lot more info in the EDU
section of this website.
tips on transitioning to a raw vegan diet, click here.