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Grrr...Is nothing raw?

It is so frustrating to keep finding things that seem raw, but are not. I’ve read zoe and chris’s dead food list – very depressing. DH favorite choc pie from RFRW - not, in fact, raw AT ALL! Now I find that the oat groats I just bought, soaked and ate up in a lovely comforting oatmeal are also, wait for it – yes, not raw. “Stabilized” food grade oats are heated to prevent the rancidity that occurs about 4 days after hulling. (according to Wikipedia)

I have read in some old posts that raw oats are available from online sources and are expensive. If they’re rancid anyway, what’s the point. Pfff.

Still trying to increase my protein intake without increasing fat – obsessed with Nutridiary, what a fun toy.

Sorry for the ranting:)



  • hey, try not to get yourself too worked up about it. i’m all for 100% raw if you can do it, but if you indluge (as i do) in cashews, oat groats, nama shoyu, and nori on occasion, you’re doing like a thousand percent better than most people out there anyway. i say that if you need a 5% margin in your diet to allow for these ingredients, and save yourself a lot of furstration, thats ok! a healthy attitude is a huge part of health anyway.

  • I was a bit frustrated too going 100% raw & then finding out that so many things weren’t really raw.

    So I later modified my diet to accept steaming veggies & boiling sprouted legumes & grains. I view this as “essentially” raw. I’m not eating any packaged soy products, or other typically processed vegan foods. I think the underlying question is why do you want to go raw? If the reason is for greater health & getting back to nature, then minimal cooking in water of veggies, sprouted grains, & sprouted legumes actually makes these foods more digestible.

    It could easily be argued that steamed broccoli, or boiled sprouted chick peas, are “healthier” than many 100% raw dishes made with dried fruits, dates, avocados, or nuts (fatty, sugary & high-calorie foods).

  • Thanks, everyone. You’re right elizabethh, there really is no need – especially since I’m still eating agave, cashews, nama shoyu, etc. My intention is to get rid of these eventually and see how I feel. I’m trying to build really raw favorites and comfort foods into my plan for the long haul, so it was just a bummer about the oats. I’m also trying to build a plan that gets close to all the recommended nutrients. More to quell arguments from outsiders than because I think it’s really necessary (not sure it can be done anyway) I’m trying to get into the listen to your body thing.

  • Hey all, I am along with elizabeth as well. It is very frustrating to feel that you are going 100% raw only to discover that low and behold, tis not the truth. However, indulgences happen and I fully take adbavantage when I do indulge, and as I have just devoured 6 raw cookies sweetened with date puree, I feel as ron4540 states, “It could easily be argued that steamed broccoli, or boiled sprouted chick peas, are

  • Where might I find Zoe & Chris’ Dead Food List?

  • goldminenaturalfoods.com sells really raw rolled oats. They are chewier than the health food store raw oats so I do believe they are really raw. They sell them in 1# and 5# bags. I have to get 1# because I have quite the addiction to them! Alissa Cohen’s site sells these also but I believe they are cheaper from goldmine. Alissa Cohen also sells what I believe is a truly raw agave. It is clear and although tastes great, is not as sweet as the darker versions. There are also really raw (supposedly!) cashews out there, too. They are described as being shelled buy hand and I believe got mine in bulk from rawguru.com for a decent price. Of course, David Wolfe’s site sells them too. There are some raw foodists who won’t eat cashews though because they are supposed to have a fairly high level of mycotoxins (I think that is the reason, someone correct me if I’m wrong)
    BTW, I eat the oats dry right out of the bag and they taste good!- not rancid

  • I agree that this can be so frustrating! Sometimes it seems like it’s impossible to truly raw and organic foods. I want to recommend to everyone to buy the book “The Bountiful Container.” This is a gardening book that shows how to grow everything in containers so that even those in the city can grow some of their own foods. They’re great and very helpful even for people without a green thumb. If I can’t be sure that the stuff I’m buying is raw/organic, then I’m all for growing as much as I can myself so that I know it’s not nutrient deficient or covered in chemicals.

    BTW, I just saw on Ebay that you can buy organic Goji berry seeds for growing your own Goji berry shrubs! It probably takes a while, but that might save a fortune down the road. Sorry to ramble…

  • Ron, sprouting legumes and grains is good for the digestion, as when the enzymes are activated the starches turn to simple sugars, rendering the foods more digestible. Many people have problems digesting cooked pulses, but not live sprouted ones. You are then killing the food by boiling it. The food enzymes, that will help your digestion, will be destroyed, and many of the vitamins will be as well. I suspect that the minerals in the foods will be less assimilable by your body. I do take your point, and that of others, that certain diets are a lot better than the processed diets we may have left behind. But – boiled pulses ‘essentially raw’? Boiled sprouted legumes and grains are not raw in any sense of the word – they’re dead food.

  • I’m with ron4540 on this one. I really respect the decision to be 100% raw if it feels right for your body, but I do myself feel I benefit from sometimes eating cooked grains / legumes (though I don’t find cooking vegetables is beneficial to me personally …) But, to return to the OP’s topic – I do understand how frustrating it is if something is labelled raw when it isn’t, if you’re wanting be 100%. I think, in that case, elizabethh has a really sensible attitude.

  • ZoeZoe

    Sorry our Dead Food List depressed you!

    We make gorgeous and delicious food which is 100% see here:

    Me and Chris have found that our food tastes better 100% raw, when we mix cooked and raw it makes it taste bad. Also and just as importantly, we both found it a struggle to stay raw when eating just 1% cooked because even eating a tiny amount of cooked brings on cooked food cravings.
    If we eat anything that is suspect like cacao we always get cooked food cravings, it is one of the ways we can tell if we need to research our ingredients.

    But it takes people tme to transition…depending on where you are starting from whether you are SAD, veggie, or vegan. We used nama shoyu, miso all of it and when we found out it wasn’t raw we’d get pissed off too. And wonder what on earth we could eat. But we always found other food and recpes which were 100% and got hooked on them instead. And this made us feel so great especially as we’d get the 100% raw high people always go on about, and it became so easy coz we had NO cooked food cravings.We decided to always make sure we were truly 100%, if we cheated once in a while during our transition well so what, but we made sure that when we were eating raw it really was raw. I believe this is the secret of our success in staying 100% raw.

    Once we started doing raw food classes and more recently our raw food delivery service, we were so pleased that people who had been raw for a long time were wowed by our food and couldn’t get enough of it. The same happened with SAD eater and junk food addicts. We believe this is mainly down to it being truly 100%.

    I know people get upset reading our Dead Food List. But I get upset when I am sold items which are labelled raw and sold at a “raw food price” i.e. doubly expensive, and they are not even raw because someone couldn’t be bothered to so their research, or is misleading me on purpose to gain profts.

  • ZoeZoe

    Hi Joyce I love your photo he is such a cool gangsta cat!

    Thanks for your support me and Chris appreciate it :)

    We will be getting a book out sometime next year. Check out Me and Chris’s profiles we have posted a few recipes here.

    Me: http://goneraw.com/account/show/469

    Chris: http://goneraw.com/account/show/506

    None of the 15 or so recipe books we own are truly 100% raw…

  • Hi Ron
    Me again! On re-reading your post it has occurred to me that you were describing your DIET as ‘essentially raw’ rather than the boiled pulses as ‘essentially raw’. So sorry if I misinterpreted that. But I still don’t think you should be boiling those poor pulses, after all the trouble you’ve gone to sprout them and bring them to life…

  • I agree with Elizabeth. If you don’t make a habit of eating cooked food, an occasional addition won’t hurt you as badly as your previous diet and may eliminate some frustration along the way. I also eat raw agave (so they say), Eden’s brown mustard and Nama Shoyu once in awhile. I don’t get cooked food cravings.

  • Wow, Zoe, I’m so sorry I gave you the wrong idea about your dead food list. When I first read it I thought it was great that there are people out there doing the research and letting the rest of us know the truth. What was depressing about it was that I discovered that many of the new ingredients that I had just stocked up on and really enjoyed were wrongly labeled raw. It really bugs me that people sell “raw” cookbooks and products and are just too sloppy about their research or are just lying to make a buck (or pound). I just wouldn’t have gotten involved with these recipes/products if I had known they weren’t raw. I have made and eaten lots of 100% raw things that are amazing. After reading all of the info on your website I was (and am) keen to find out what it feels like to be 100% raw. Thanks for your work. Are you still moving over here?

  • ZoeZoe

    Oh I see now, I’m glad you’re OK and not at your wits end with it all, I know how frustrating it can be, but the results are well worth it when you try going really truly raw.
    The difference really is unbelievable, well it has been for me and Chris anyway. I wouldn’t have believed it unless I tried it.

    I try loads of recipes from books and I just substitue non raw for raw, there is always a way…I swap agave/maple syrup/honey for dates which are cheaper and I think it tastes better…I swap nama shoyu for salt, and it doesn’t overpower the other flavours in the recipe so I think it is better, and I swap almonds for sunflower seeds and they seem less heavy but still creamy. And I discovered that blended and dehydrated spinach makes excellent nori etc etc

    Yup we are still working on moving to the USA. My visa/green card is taking forever and in the meantime Purely Raw is really taking off here, looks like we’ll have something to leave behind and grow in the UK while we are in the USA. That makes me very.very happy :)

  • Yes, the visa thing is extremely tedious. I’m from the US and my husband is French. We had been living in the UK and Ireland when we decided to get married and move over here. The paperwork is so extreme and waiting for the police reports from every place you have ever lived can take forever. Hang in there, it will all come together. We finally flew over three days after 9/11 with the cat (a subject of the queen). May your journey be much less complicated!

  • ZoeZoe

    Rawfaerie, if your email address was on your profile I’d email you, because I am taking my cat Tonka to the USA with us, and I am a bit worried about the flight and I wanted to ask you how your cat managed it and if you had any tips for making it as stress free as possible. He is also a subject of the Queen, I don’t know what she is going to do without him, the country will go to the dogs!! You can email me at glowing@purelyraw.com if you like.

  • Zoe, I’m curious. When you substitute salt for Nama Shoyu, what kind of proportions do you use? For example, if the recipe called for 2 tablespoons, how much salt would you toss in?

  • ZoeZoe

    I use it to taste, just adding a touch until it tastes right. Everyone’s palette is different. For 2 tbsp of Nama shoyu I’d probably start off with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and take it from there.

  • Sounds good. I’m not a big fan of Nama Shoyu to begin with (it’s also expensive!), and adding salt to taste is a good alternative.

  • ZoeZoe

    yeah a lot of these things that arent really raw are expensive and hard to find locally. In my experience it is actually easier, cheaper and more convenient to be truly raw.

  • Zoe: Can you recommend a place like yours that delivers in the United States? I’m near Washington, D.C.

  • Zoe-
    How do you dehydrate the spinach as a replacement for nori so that it doesn’t fall apart?

  • What a supportive group of people we have here,remember everything takes time, we will all get and know many things about life and about living raw. What ever stage you are at you will be constantly learning and then be able to sort all of the good an bad out.hope this made any sense? me,still learning.

  • The more I think about it, the obsession with eating only raw and not including some spices or condiments can be more detrimental than the food! If eating some agave nectar will make you eat more fruit because it tastes good to you, why not? I’ve heard from several “experts” this week that it isn’t what you do a small part of the time, but rather what you do for the majority of time that influences your body. Is your diet therapeutic or are you eating to maintain good health? I think that makes a difference. Nomi Shannon, “The Raw Gourmet”, uses several non-raw ingredients and she works at The Hippocrates Institute. She spoke tonight about this very topic on The Healthiest Year Summit.

  • Hey everyone. I have been raw for about a month now and honestly this whole deadlist thing.. it’s a little too extreme for me. It might be great for some people but the rawfood lifestyle is about improving all qualities of life including freeing your mind of stress. Why add this worry about these few things being raw or not? My health has improved so much and I have a much better outlook on everything so I’m choosing not to worry about the deadlist.

  • I’d like to give people some good news here. I eat 100% raw and I am not ‘obsessed’, I do not ‘worry’ about food, and not ‘stressed’. It really is VERY easy! There are hundred (thousands?) of delicious raw foods out there. Chris and Zoe, in the ‘dead foods list’ have simply identified a few foods that are commonly thought of as raw but aren’t at all. I love fruit and eat lots; fruit is so sweet, and I’m wondering why on earth anyone needs agave nectar to eat more fruit! Sure, lots of people who say they are raw fooders eat non-raw ingredients. Me – it’s quite simple – I eat raw food and I don’t eat cooked. How on earth do I do it? Please look at the page ‘What is the Raw Food Diet?’ on my site www.rawforlife.co.uk where I describe what the raw food diet is and show some of the dishes I make myself. This isn’t a plug for my services, but I am so fed up with posts from people who choose to eat non-raw (which is fine – 99.9% of the world does!) that imply that those who eat 100% raw and, yes, DO care whether an ingredient is raw or not (as after all folks the heated ingredients have been damaged and changed – this is the whole point…) are probably suffering from mental health problems….:-)

  • I have had much less stress in my life since I switched to 100% raw.

  • Debbietook, we’re all different. Some people stress over non-raw ingredients and some stress because people think differently than they do. I used agave nectar on fruit as an example. Some people have posted recipes with fruit desserts with agave. Diet is a personal choice. Perfection isn’t possible for all of us. You shouldn’t be so fed up with other people’s thoughts. Everyone is in various stages. I’m glad you’re happy with the choices you’ve made for yourself.

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