Going Raw Do’s and Don’t

May 14, 2009 at 5:34 pm 4 comments

Sunflower Center Macro
Image by cobalt123 via Flickr

Q: Mark, for the past several months, I have been interested in adding more raw foods to my diet. I just picked up your new book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Eating Raw and am really enjoying it. Can you give me any other pointers on going raw?

A: We came up with a list of do’s and don’ts for folks to consider as they embark upon their raw journey. Consider these tips:


  • eat fresh local and organic foods whenever possible.
  • listen to your body.
  • sleep when tired.
  • eat when hungry.
  • drink and bathe in clean water.
  • prepare as much of your own food as possible.
  • get moderate exercise.
  • enjoy the sunshine (in moderation) as it produces vitamin D for your body.
  • supplement your raw food diet with vitamin B12
  • rinse all produce well, especially non organic produce.
  • read food labels very carefully.
  • spend time in the produce aisle and at farmers markets locating new produce to experiment with.
  • enjoy the local raw community scene or create one.


  • get frustrated if you are not living up to your expectations.
  • buy food with additives or preservatives.
  • judge others by what they eat or don’t eat.
  • wait until tomorrow to make the healthy choices.
  • allow the well intentioned advice of friends and family deter you from making changes you wish to make.

You will begin to discover your own dos and don’ts as you introduce more raw foods into your life. Let your body and your intuition be your guide as you continually learn from others.

Q: Thanks for that! Can you share a favorite recipe from the book?

A: Sure, here you go.

Mediterranean Sunflower Seed Dip

This is a wonderful sunflower seed dish with olives, sun-dried tomatoes and fresh herbs that bring out the flavors of the Mediterranean.

Yield: 2 cups
Prep time: 20 minutes
Soak time: 2+ hours

1 cup sunflower seeds
2 sun-dried tomatoes
1 TB. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 TB. red bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, diced
2 TB. kalamata olives, diced
1 TB. green onion
1 TB. basil, minced
1 TB. parsley, minced
1 tsp. nama shoyu
1/2 tsp. garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 TB. nutritional yeast
1 TB. olive oil

1.    Soak sunflower seeds in water to cover for 2 hours to overnight. Soak sun-dried tomatoes in water to cover for at least 30 minutes. Strain and place in food processor with lemon juice, red bell pepper, olives, green onion, basil, parsley, shoyu, garlic, oregano, black pepper, nutritional yeast and olive oil. Process on high speed for 20 seconds until smooth. Scrape down the sides as necessary to ensure the flavors are evenly distributed.

2.     Allow pate to sit for at least 20 minutes, covered, in the fridge before serving to enhance the flavor. Serve with fresh cucumber slices, with Flax Crackers or as part of a salad.

Have a question for the natural chef? Please email mark [at] veganfusion [dot] com

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Entry filed under: Complete Idiot's Guide to Eating Raw, Question Mark - Ask the Natural Chef, raw foods, Recipes. Tags: , .

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Randy Allen Bishop  |  May 17, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    Great list of dos and donts 🙂
    Randy Allen Bishop

  • 2. Tammy  |  May 17, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    Great post. Thanks for sharing that. Seems easy enough when you put it that way. I suppose as well would be a Don’t would be to not judge yourself for ‘slipping up’. 🙂

  • 3. leslie  |  June 16, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    wow this helps a lot thanks! i just started going raw this week, but i’m going all-in…90-100per cent to maximize the benefits.


  • 4. Kriste` Bouvier  |  July 20, 2009 at 12:53 am

    Just dropping you a quick note to tell you that The Designer Health Net Talk Show, http://www.designerhealthnet.com, with Kristé Bouvier featured the topic of…Eating Raw! The show will be heard on the main web page from 07/19/09-07/26/09 and then will go to the archive section. I wanted you to know as I thought you might like to give it a listen, it’s a great show! Oh yes, the show is audio only, so make sure your speakers are on!
    Kriste’ Bouvier
    Designer Health Net http://www.designerhealthnet.com
    CD’s available on the Designer Health Net website. Thank you for your support!


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