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The Good Ole Days of Raw Food.

chriscarltonchriscarlton Raw Newbie

I went Raw about a year or so before the explosion of Raw on the internet. Back when Sunfood was still Nature’s first law. Before any active forums. Back then things were simpler for sure. I hate it now that any version of Raw you choose comes with a group of folks warning you about this or that.

Back then Raw Food was a Miracle Cure for everything. It was simple. Give up cooked food and lifelong problems would reverse in the course of a few months. The websites out there all featured a few Before & After pics and many had stories of these amazing transformations.

Then the naysayers started and you started hearing about Raw failures. People with low energy, or that got sick anyway after being raw for years. These stories were always repeated 2nd hand and anonymous. The failure stories also never had any detail about how raw/cooked they were either. Then the next thing you know Raw Food went from a ‘common sense’, ‘of course it works’, ‘miracle cure’ to ‘Raw Food is great, but it doesn’t work for everyone.’

Now the best you get on the newer web sites is Raw Food makes you feel good, gives you valuable enzymes and more energy. You have to search to find stories of disease reversal.

I am a strong believer in the ‘Placebo’ effect. The effect of our mind on our health. History shows that Placebo medications are 40% effective on the general population. Knowing this, I hated seeing these unfounded and undetailed stories of raw failure start to circulate.

I have always believed that Raw Food alone was not enough and that we also had to sort out other aspects of our life. Mainly mental, emotional and spiritual. I investigated all these stories the best I could and never found anything that made me stop believing in the Raw Food Miracle. Either I was never able to find out enough about the person who failed to rule out other factors or I would find out that they had not gone 100%.

I miss the common sense days when all you needed to know was Cooked Food is Poison. Everyone seemed to believe the following statements…
  • “Stop eating cooked food and you body will take over and you will become the person you are meant to be.”
  • “Don’t worry about the details or bring old health guidelines with you into your new Raw lifestyle ‘cause they don’t matter anymore.”
  • “Heredity and Family health history don’t matter, anyone can be super-healthy”
  • “Eat all the Nuts, Sweets, Fats you want as long as they are Raw. Don’t worry, you will slowly transition and after a few years you will be happy to mono-meal and only eat the occasional recipe. Recipes are just to help you transition.”

These were the good ole days of Raw Food!

I thought it was much better when Raw Food was believed by everyone to be a Miracle Cure that would transform anyone who committed to it into a Superbeing. I still believe this to be the case and I feel sad for those who are just finding Raw Food now. I feel lucky to have gone through my transition without all this input.

Now you never hardly see the original Gurus of Raw even mention Raw Food. They all have something else to talk about. Superfoods and Supplements or their latest book that addresses these Raw failures and has the new answer.

Sorry but you can take all the Superfoods and Supplements you want. You can follow 80/10/10 to the letter. But if you don’t sort out the other factors of your life, these extra steps won’t save you either. If you still believe… ‘You are different’ ‘You have a certain condition’ ‘You have a certain body type’ ‘Cancer runs in your family’ ‘Your thyroid is broken’ ‘Your metabolism is slow’ etc. Then you are right! If you hang onto these beliefs then nothing will work for you. You body will listen to your mind and prove you right.

To me Raw Food is the only way to enjoy eating without poisoning myself. It is nothing more than that. But that is hardly nothing. Not poisoning myself everyday allows my immune system to protect me and to cure me when I encounter any kind of outside influence. This allows me to concentrate on the other factors that effect my health.

Keeping my mind, thoughts and beliefs right is a full time job! I grew up SAD and have all the conditioning of society’s beliefs about health lurking in the back of my mind. They just are waiting for the smallest doubt to arise so they can flood me with their poison, “nothing will work for me and I am kidding myself.” This old SAD crap is so easy to believe! It’s easy to doubt my flawless, Divine nature and it’s more comfortable too. This allows me to give up on myself. Then I can relax and settle back into being normal and just like everyone else.

I wish that newbies could be taken to a tropical island the day they first hear about Raw Food. No Internet, No Books, No blood tests, just Raw Food. The coaches on this island would all have amazing disease reversal and transformation stories and great Before & After pictures. On this island it would be OK to believe in yourself and everyone else would believe in you too. It would be OK to believe that you were on your way to perfection. Someday I will build this island!

a bit more on this subject…

Lovebows, Chris



  • anngoingrawanngoingraw Raw Newbie

    Chris, thanks for posting this. I’d like this to be an “sticky thread” to read it once an again: juat it raw & change your mind. You make this journey looking easier. I remember that the first things I read about raw eating were more similar to those ole days you have described. After that I started searching for more info and them all doubts arises: vit & minerals, proteins, fat… At one point everything seem difficult: you must eat a lot of this because it has X, you don’t have to eat to much of this because it has Y, and so on.

    I have noticed one thing, when I think in eating food’s properties I go mad, but when I think in all the raw foods available to me (including fats -this is a battle I have) with their colours and smells, I just think: This is wonderful! It is not just possible to eat those foods it is perfect, simple, pleasant!!

    Your post helps me to look to that simple, pleasant way instead to going back to sad thoughts (“I can’t, I must” thoughts). Reading this from someone that has been eating raw for years gives me an extra confidence. I think that the isalnd you will build have been at some time in a lot of newbeis head, at list it has been in mine, because sometines i have thougth “if it would be possible to go somewhere for sometime where everybody ate raw… then it would be much easier to come back home and just follow eating that way”

    Thanks a lot for posting Chris!!

  • BeTheChangeBeTheChange Raw Newbie


  • I like the idea of a tropical island for RAW foodists, this is the second reference of its kind I read in the last few days in this site. We should seriously look for some real estate down south :-), may I suggest somwhere in the Indian Ocean? Let’s call it RAWland! Nice article Chris!

  • WinonaWinona Raw Newbie

    Excellent post, Chris! Your simple explanation of raw food, and your reminder that raw food is all we need to heal, is truly amazing. THIS is what caused me to go raw. You’re an inspiration. I hope all folks new to raw take this advice to heart. It’s life changing… and it’s so simple.

    Eat raw food. Believe in the power to heal. END OF STORY.

  • I have to agree with everything above. The ease and sense in raw is perfect for how I operate. Nothing could be simpler than eating fresh from the land. I’ve got a great interest in nutrition but it baffles me, the scientific breakdown of everything, the ‘corporate’ and profit building tied in with the structure and balance of certain food groups as if we all operate the same, like robots. This way of organising life makes no sense to me, it’s destructive. HOWEVER…..I am not 100% I have to admit that deep down I know this is how I want to eat (100%) but feel bound to the constraints of society and family. My Partner is only laco veg and often he gets quite annoyed when we eat separately. (that is when I just feel like a smoothie for dinner and he cooks his own meal). He also loves to cook but will only cook cooked meals, so he gets grumpy when I protest. I do cave more than I want, but compromising is so important in a relationship. I’ve read in other posts that your partner, Zoe, eats like you. This must make your journey and lifestyle so much easier.

    THE ISLAND - magic. I’ll work for free!!! wwoofing style.

    thanks heaps! I working on my strength to change.

  • Chris, Way to go, telling it like it should be!!! I am so grateful to YOU and my understanding of how raw has improved my life and how it continues to improve my health… BELIEVE IN RAW AND YOURSELF ALWAYS

  • chriscarltonchriscarlton Raw Newbie

    Thanks everyone! Nice to hear this kind of feedback.

    Hey melaverde,

    Islands are a lot cheaper (10x) near Panama, check this out… There are some real deals in the Philippines though…

    Captain Jack Sparrow may even stop by… Lovebows, Chris

  • i think all the media attention will turn out to be a good thing in the end. just last night i was watching a discovery health channel show, “the truth about food” with Dr. Mehmet Oz. he locked a group of people in the london zoo and put them on the “evolutionary diet” which amounted to 10 lbs. of raw fruit and vegetable, every day for 12 days. they were monitored 24 hours to insure that no one cheated. all were unhealthy before the experiment, and in 12 days ALL had an avg. of a 23% drop in choloesterol, and everyones blood pressure returned to normal, as well as salt levels returning to normal.

    so as the word spreads, i think we will see more positive press, and less naysayers.

  • AKAAuburnEyesAKAAuburnEyes Raw Newbie

    Thank you Chris. As I began researching the raw food diet and reading all I could find on it there were many things that puzzled me, particularly all the talk of supplementation. I never worried about that eating the SAD diet years ago, and even as I diagnosed my food allergies and moved on to eating a much healthier diet I didn’t worry about supplements. So when I arrived on the doorstep of raw foods, the ultimate in healthy diets and letting my body do what it needs to with the right ”’raw’ materials” all this other stuff cluttered it up in my mind. Your relax and just do it approach strikes just the right chord with me. It is inspiring. Thank you :)

  • Hi Chris – I would just like to say that I respect your point of view and everything that you have said.

    But, I do think that it is a good thing that there is so much more information out there these days whether some of it is conflicting or not. I think this because it indicates that more people are eating raw foods and exploring raw foods. They are experimenting and evolving, finding what works for them within the diet. But with that comes people that want to share with everyone “their way of doing it”. This can be info overload and confusing to some, but can be an abundance of useful information for others to use to find what works for their body within the raw food diet. Also, the information sharing, speakers, books, expos, etc get RAW out into the public and create a movement and in some cases create communities of people with like interests.

    In addition, I believe the simplistic raw food guidelines you listed in your post, all though simplistic are just not enough for some people. When I tried to eat a 100% raw foods diet 5 years ago, I failed. When I tried again 3 years ago, I failed. When I tried again 2 years ago, I failed. I failed because even though I was getting my greens, fruits and vegetables, I was eating a bunch of nuts, sweets and fats and I was not eliminating efficiently. I was very heavy and lethargic. I often had headaches and was dizzy and overall I just did not feel good at all (all of the symptoms were consistent so I don

  • chriscarltonchriscarlton Raw Newbie


    Great post! I am glad to hear that 100% did end up working for you. For my never ending research file… What is the main differences in now and when you were failing? Have you looked back on your times of failure with The Dead Food List in mind? How long were you ‘Dead Food’ free? Are you very active now? Then? Thanks for the input.

    See you at Rawland!

    Lovebows, Chris

  • lzhptlzhpt Raw Newbie

    Thanks for this post Chris. I have had patients reverse blood sugar issues successfully and almost immediately on raw food. One of them got a call from his original “nutritionist”, who told him he would die on this raw diet. She had recommended an Atkins like diet initially, which sent his sugar into the 200s! As for me personally, to get ALL the joyous benefits, I know I must be 100% raw. Even a little wine will bring on the cooked food cravings. I would send people to your island. In fact my favorite quote is, “I’m alone on my island.”

  • ZoeZoe Raw Newbie

    Ishpt – nutritionists huh? I keep hearing these terrible things they advise people to do. Most of my work that I do with people is de-confusing them from their consultations with the nutritionalist, the things I hear, oh goodness! I bet you are doing one heck of a great job with your patients ;)) See you on the island!

  • Izhpt- Just as Zoe, I am also glad to hear of a raw food nutritionist! My son went raw two months ago, and has since proclaimed that he is going to go to college and study nutrition just as soon as he graduates from HS. Heretofore, he had said that he did not need college because he was going to be a salesman! I will be sure to tell him about you!

    Chris and Zoe- An island would be great for people who unlike myself, have the time and money to take an extended vacation! I would love it! I believe I could go 100% raw in that environment. However, for us common folk, hows about a virtual reality island that could come to our living room, or back yard? LOL! :)

  • angie207angie207 Raw Master

    I went to see my doc the other day, and when he asked me about what I had been doing to get my blood sugars down, I told him that I have found that if I eat only when my body really wants something, I do really well. The dietician had told me a couple of months ago that I need to eat the same amount of carbs at the same times every day, and to always combine carbs with protein & fat, in order to keep good blood sugar levels. I’m glad I stopped listening to all the craziness & just listened to my body. I can eat 5 mangoes for a meal and have perfectly normal blood sugar, and the next day have lots of greens & maybe avocado & hardly any carbs at all, and still have perfectly normal blood sugar. The times my blood sugar goes crazy is when I try to make myself eat on someone else’s schedule, or what they think I should eat, when it’s not what my body really wants.

    Chris – thank you for posting this topic – it really is simple: believe & eat raw! I am learning a lot ;)

  • I had to laugh when Chris said “recipes are just to help you transition”... As someone who doesn’t fancy herself much of a “chef” and new to raw eating, I find it a whole heck of a lot easier to just eat food wihtout much preparation. Smoothie for breakfast, cut up fruit salads for lunch (never realized how yummy a simple fruit salad could be) and fruit or smoother or cut up veggies for dinner. (although, I’ll admit that I tend to have meltdowns at night when I feel like I want to eat everything in sight) Tonight I made brownies from my Jennifer Cornbleet book for my non-raw boyfriend and it seemed so “artificial”. I kept asking myself why I was making “brownies’ when they make me think back to the unhealthy foods I used to eat. My giving myself that transition food, it seems to me that it’s just going to make transitioning that much harder. sorry if I’m babbling… i think that’s what happens to me when I eat too many nuts like I did tonight!

  • lzhptlzhpt Raw Newbie

    Oh not to confuse anyone—I’m a Physical Therapist, not a nutritionist. My patients who go raw do so only with the help of a raw food chef. Most of these people I’ve seen for a long time. They see the changes in me. They want the clarity and the energy they feel from me, I suppose. I make raw food yummies to share after their treatment as well… Gentle nudging. Pineapple as an anti-inflammatory instead of Advil and so it goes…

  • greenghostgreenghost Raw Newbie

    Izhpt – I think it’s great that you share treats with your patients after PT treatments. Ginger is a great anti-inflammatory too (as you probably know! :) ).... and Pineapple & Ginger together are mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

  • Izhpt- thanks for clearing that up. I is great to hear that you are inspiring people! A raw food chef, though, WOW! It mus be amazing to hava access to an experienced raw food chef!

  • Nice topic. I totally agree.

  • Chris, I’m so happy you wrote this post. I’ve been frustrated lately with how even on this forum, the amount of naysaying in the form of fear, doubt, and worry has been bombarding the majority of the posts. It feels sometimes as if even after everyone’s taken off the shackles of the SAD diet, so many want to reinstate new shackles in the form of angsting about exact ratios, fat consumption, superfoods, and even hysteria-building around losing our food supply. I so wholeheartedly agree that our mind is the biggest factor in our health, and if we align our mind with the great things we’re feeding our bodies, we’re unstoppable. I’ve been disappointed in feeling like much of this raw community is recreating the same sentiment behind the rest of society, rather than forging fully a new paradigm of health, wholeness, and possibility. Like Dhrumil on “Give It To Me Raw” says, if you’re looking for “it,” raw food isn’t “it”—and like you, I know that we can find “it” through and beyond our minds, and that going raw allows for that—regardless of whether any of those issues the naysayers want to harp on are addressed. Radiance is our birthright—that’s what we’re here to be and do.

  • lzhptlzhpt Raw Newbie

    I recommend a student of Alyssa Cohen’s school. She is wonderful—gets people going with the basics—green drinks, smoothies, salad dressings, burgers and only charges $25/hour!!! She’ll go shopping with them as well!

  • angie207angie207 Raw Master

    Chris – Thank you SOOOOOO much for posting this and reminding me of what raw really is about – it WAS so much simpler then, before I got sucked into all the fear and “scientific” reasons not to do 100% raw. You have reminded me of what got me going in the first place, and you have awakened my desire to live simply and receive joy, health, happiness, etc. For me, this post has helped me to look at all the ways I have cut myself off from further healing, happiness, joy, abundance, etc. Thank you! I needed that. :) Now I also know why I don’t get the same joy watching or listening to the “gurus” – I loved it when I heard things like “raw food IS a cleanse” and “It’s at 100% where all the miracles really come about” and “no matter what you’ve done to your body, a raw food diet will save your life” – now, I hear “buy this or that cleansing product”, “get a colonic”, “buy this supplement”, “buy, buy” Well, I say “bye, bye – I’ll just go eat raw, thank you very much” :) I have an excitement and enthusiasm for raw food that has been missing for too long – Thanks again!

  • angie207angie207 Raw Master

    Chris – Thank you SOOOOOO much for posting this and reminding me of what raw really is about – it WAS so much simpler then, before I got sucked into all the fear and “scientific” reasons not to do 100% raw. You have reminded me of what got me going in the first place, and you have awakened my desire to live simply and receive joy, health, happiness, etc. For me, this post has helped me to look at all the ways I have cut myself off from further healing, happiness, joy, abundance, etc. Thank you! I needed that. :) Now I also know why I don’t get the same joy watching or listening to the “gurus” – I loved it when I heard things like “raw food IS a cleanse” and “It’s at 100% where all the miracles really come about” and “no matter what you’ve done to your body, a raw food diet will save your life” – now, I hear “buy this or that cleansing product”, “get a colonic”, “buy this supplement”, “buy, buy” Well, I say “bye, bye – I’ll just go eat raw, thank you very much” :) I have an excitement and enthusiasm for raw food that has been missing for too long – Thanks again!

  • chriscarltonchriscarlton Raw Newbie


    Hey Audrey & Angie,

    Those last 2 posts are very nice for me to read. You both really got my point. It’s nice to be completely understood!

    Lovebows, Chris

  • AKAAuburnEyesAKAAuburnEyes Raw Newbie

    Hi Audrey, Your post was beautifully said.

  • bittbitt Raw Newbie

    everybody said a lot of the stuff that I would have said so basically, thanks. it has been confusing trying to navigate all the different information out there. i often notice what is missing in the gurus statements is listening to your own body. i ate a meal of flax crackers and avocado last night because i was exhausted and had my period. it made me feel great. but on another day it might make me feel ill. so all the percentages and ratios do not mean as much as just listening to your body. it’s what keeps me 100% raw too.

  • chriscarltonchriscarlton Raw Newbie

    Hey bitt,

    Flax and Avocado! You’ve gone completely insane!!! LOL

    Our bodies are magic! They are wonderful. Science understands so very little. Science and Medicine have been in charge way too long! Most of what they are saving people from is their own advice. Eating food without changing it first with heat only makes sense. Our stove is our home lab and our pots of cooked food are like a test tubes over a Bunsen burner. We think we are improving our food, but how can we improve nature?

    Lovebows, Chris

  • WinonaWinona Raw Newbie

    I love the simplicity that comes from grabbing a plant or a snack from a tree and eating it. I’m going to forget about all the complex advice, I will ignore about all conflicting information. No talk of supplements and percentages and vitamin content. This week, I will just eat raw food and relax. And to bring some humor to this day, see this cartoon

  • anngoingrawanngoingraw Raw Newbie

    That cartoon have suggested something to me: “raw humor”!!! Isn’t any webpage on raw humor? I’ll try to look for that!

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