Raw Food Diet

Raw Lasagna with Garlic Almond Toast
Raw Lasagna with Garlic Almond Toast | Source
Natural Hygiene magazine from 1982,
Natural Hygiene magazine from 1982,
Raw Food Cookbook reprinted in 1972, first published around 1932.
Raw Food Cookbook reprinted in 1972, first published around 1932.

There's Raw Foodies Here!

I first studied the raw food diet in the 1980’s when it was called natural hygiene, and was purported by T. C. Fry and Herbert Sheldon. A Natural Hygiene magazine that I found in a food co-op in Seattle sparked my curiosity, and forced me to start a subscription because it couldn’t be purchased just anywhere.

It was a simple magazine, (I still have copies), with fairly simple articles done by a few of the same people and who were associates living around Austin, Texas. Of course, there were many case histories from followers all over the country who wrote to the magazine because apparently they managed to follow the diet, and were miraculously cured of disease. What really intrigued me was the anti-establishment tone toward food companies and the medical field.

I studied nutrition at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington in the 1970’s, and knew about the chemicals in our food and how adulterated it was from when it was in the ground. There were only a few places you could get any organic food at that time and selection was poor; you had to do the best you could.

So… it seemed like a basically good idea back then, but how would fruit, vegetables, nut and seeds fill you and make you feel satisfied? Even though I practiced vegetarianism most of the time, not cooking at all seemed unattainable and boring. The few raw cookbooks at the time, talked about grinding things and salads, much knife work and chopping, of which I wasn’t that fond. Smoothies were touted and just starting to become popular, were called fruit shakes, consisting of mainly banana and a type of berry. I just didn’t think I would like all my food cold.

Like in the Wizard of Oz movie, come with me from the dull black and white world of a pulp magazine and plain covered self- published cookbooks, to the World of Oz of raw foods, twenty nine years later: Raw food cookbooks are slick and full of pictures, information is readily available on the internet, organic produce runs amuck in stores everywhere, and actual raw food is produced by companies and shipped all over the world. There are totally raw food restaurants in most major cities!

San Francisco is where it happened for me. Café Gratitude popped out of my computer when I planned a trip to this wonderful city, merely looking for a veggie restaurant. I couldn’t believe it! An all raw food café, and they had more than one location. On my visit I was skeptical, and thought maybe salad and cold soup, but tried something they called pizza on the menu. It was so good; the flavor of everything was excellent, red sauce and white cheesy cream on a thick crusty cracker with perfectly chopped tomato and sprouts that just went together.Yum! Then there was dessert; it really was like cheesecake. If this was raw food, I could do this! I was excited, thrilled, and motivated. How do I do this?

Did I see a cookbook in the front of the café, yes, "I am Grateful". I bought it, not even looking for a price. I didn’t care, I felt different already. In that one hour I knew in my heart that I had discovered something that would change my life, I just didn’t realize in how many ways it would do so.

That cookbook enlightened and intrigued me for the next few days, and when I got home, I never really cooked again. Fascinated at a whole new world and way of making food, I just couldn’t wait to try a new recipe, not knowing how it would turn out. I’ll never forget the first time I spread some pure green veggie batter on a parchment sheet and put it in the dehydrator thinking, how is that going to be a tortilla? Or when I discovered raw food lasagna, which comes from the dehydrator still slightly warm.

I love “un-cooking”, i.e. mixing, combining, blending, dehydrating, and food- processing. With all the new cookbooks and recipes out there, it’s very easy to learn and change your way of thinking. For you folks who don’t enjoy the kitchen, there are many ready-made products available, and so many more healthy foods in delis, salad bars, even in grocery store produce areas.

I haven’t touted the benefits of the raw food diet: first, for your health, secondly, you’ll never scrub a dirty greasy pan or stove again, third, it’s just easier, once you are used to it, and fourth, YOU FEEL FANTASTIC!

You’ll know only a few days after you start. It’s hard to describe but once you get it you won’t want the feeling to stop. I’ve gone off sometimes and when I resume, it always starts for me with my eyesight, I can see very, very clearly, then my brain feels elevated, and my body cells feel lighter and like they are vibrating at a faster level. I have lots of energy and can think very clearly. I feel at one with the universe and my spirit is more available and making choices for me that turn out well. Everything is easier.

One of my favorite cookbook authors, Sarma Melngailis, calls it “getting the glow”, and it does feel like you are glowing. David Wolfe, raw food guru, says he’s at one with nature and birds land on him. I had my first bird land on me, a year or so ago, but I guess they really landed on me when I walked into Café Gratitude four years ago or when I first picked up the Natural Hygiene magazine many years ago. Thank you raw food pioneers.


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Comments 2 comments

peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

I haven't tried eating raw meat yet. Raw vegetables yes and healthy too. Might try to half-cook the meat instead.


juliecaroline profile image

juliecaroline 3 years ago from Tacoma, Washington USA Author

Thanks for sharing. I am a raw food vegan and eat no meat. The lasagne is made of thin sliced zuchini, sundried tomato sauce, raw cashews blended together to make a cheese, olive oil, and herbs. I will hub the recipe soon.

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