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Bonus: Raw Food Coaching Session

Friday, January 25th, 2008 by Steve Pavlina

Download MP3: food.mp3

Bonus: Raw Food Coaching Session

Roger: Hi, this is Roger Haeske, of HowToGoRaw.com, and I'm doing a raw food diet consultation with Steve Pavlina. Steve has a wonderful website — Steve what's it called?

Steve: StevePavlina.com, and the subtitle is Personal Development for Smart People.

Roger: There you go. It's a really great site. Why don't you spell it out for them?

Steve: Sure. [s-t-e-v-e-p-a-v-l-i-n-a.com]

Roger: Okay, great. He's doing something for humanity, for posterity; he's doing a thirty-day raw food diet trial. He's leaving detailed information as to what he's doing: how he's feeling, exactly what he's eating, he's leaving pictures, he's measuring everything by weight and giving you all sorts of commentary. So this is a great experiment that he's doing, and then people will be able to look back and see how it can help them and their attempts that have gone raw. There are other people, members of his community, his forum and his blog, who are also doing their own 30-day experiment and posting some of those results on his forum. So you'll definitely want to check that out whenever you get a chance. So anyway, I'm here with Steve, what day are you in, in terms of your raw food experiment?

Steve: I'm on day four right now, and I've just had lunch, so I've done about three and a half days.

Roger: OK

Steve: One hundred percent raw. Before that I did about a week of fifty percent raw.

Roger: OK, to sort of lead you into it.

Steve: Yeah, it's mainly to practice making some new things I haven't made before, like green smoothies.

Roger: OK. Yeah, what I really like about what Steve is doing, is that you are, you're going to be one of my easiest people to work with because you've read all the information, you are being very meticulous in how you're doing everything, you're recording everything, you're making it public — which, I guess is your job because that's what you do with your website. But other people can do this also, they can start their own blogs and it helps, one of the things that really helps people often times to stick to something, is just to be — to make their goals sort of public and to have other people who are like, "How are you doing? How you making out on that?" And for some reason it tends to give you a little bit more of the motivation to stick with it. I don't know if that's why you're doing it, I don't think that's probably why you're doing it, but I think it's definitely a side benefit of making something public.

Steve: It is a side benefit, it's not the main reason I'm doing it, I'm really doing this trial for myself. My whole website is based on the idea that what you do for yourself, you can share with other people, and that actually provides tremendous value.

Roger: Absolutely, that definitely does, you definitely want to check out his site, and now I'm going to focus on you and your questions. And I don't know that were have that many, you've read all the books, you've done a lot of research, you've done several raw food trials before, you tried the high fat raw. And I guess one of your main problems with that is it just took you too long to prepare. I was just thinking, I did a teleseminar last night and I was answering peoples questions, but one of the questions I don't think I got a chance to answer, this woman said, "Can you give me some sample recipes for the day, that would take you less than an hour and a half to prepare?" And I was thinking, in general, it only takes me about an hour a day anyway to prepare all my food. And if I were eating more simply it wouldn't take that much time at all. It's basically just peeling and washing. It can be pretty simple. Certainly don't have to do all those Julianno recipes or things like that, with the twenty to thirty different ingredients in it, and then dehydrating and all that. Certainly we don't need to do that. So, you had some questions at the end. I guess maybe we should just start with your questions.

Steve: OK, sure. The first time I did it I made the mistake of doing the raw gourmet approach. I wouldn't say its a mistake for everyone necessarily, but it was a mistake for me. It was just taking way too long, and I'm not really interested in becoming a raw gourmet chef.

Roger: OK

Steve: And, so that approach I could kind of just see was wrong, and that was the main reason I stopped, even though I felt great doing a thirty day trial of that approach. I just thought, you know, 'I can't be spending two to three hours in the kitchen every day.' It was way too much work, and I liked the energy boost, but I thought you know. I was losing too much on the productivity side.

Roger: Yeah. There's always some little thing. There's always some little thing that can set people aside, and that's one of them. If you believe that you have to do all this preparation. I mean, one of the reasons why people go raw is because they find that, 'Hey, I don't have to cook.' Or in other words, not just cook I don't have to prepare food. So it can be the extremes. It can take a really long time, because there's not as many pre-made things for people. You know, there's not too many raw tTV dinners. Although in this day and age, there's a lot of raw junk food depending on where you live — If you live in California, New York city, and maybe in Nevada too — there's a lot of prepared raw foods that you could actually buy.

Steve: There are a few here, and there's a couple raw restaurants in town too.

Roger: Yeah, so you probably got access to it there too. So, alright. So how long do think so far it's been taking you approximately to prepare your meals with what you've been doing so far?

Steve: It really depends, I'd say on average, maybe about twenty to thirty minutes, you know, for a typical meal. Sometimes less. I've had my first mono meal last night, which was just bananas. That's obviously really easy.

Roger: There was no preparation, just peeling.

Steve: No preparation. It's washing the vegetables, chopping them, putting them together, and also the fruit too. Yesterday, I made a giant coleslaw, which took about, maybe, fifteen minutes to put together, which wasn't too bad. Sometimes I'm making these big fruit salads, and just preparing all the fruit takes awhile. I kind of like to do interesting presentations.

Roger: Well you definitely are making nice little designs on your plates and stuff, so that makes it more attractive.

Steve: Some of those are for the kids to look at. I guess the main thing I'm trying to grasp is the mindset of eating simple raw foods and simple dishes. So what I'd like is maybe some suggestions on what to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner that are you know fairly simple, but maybe a little bit more than just a bunch of bananas.

Roger: OK.

Steve: But not... you see the problem is, is that I'm falling back too much on what I did during my first raw trial, not quite gourmet, but getting closer to that, more than I'd like.

Roger: OK

Steve: How to simplify my meals a little bit?

Roger: I have some thoughts on that, the first thing is something just want to address really quick, before we get to that, so remind me if I forget to get to that particular question of yours. One thing I was noticing, that, when you're making a salad and you're adding the lets say tahini, or some kind of fatty food, I just want to make a suggestion, or recommendation that you save your eating the fatty foods to be the absolute last food you eat in the day.

Steve: OK.

Roger: ...Just because it takes the longest to digest, and because the more fat there is in your bloodstream. As you've read, the harder it is for your body to... for the insulin to transport the sugar to the cells, and what ends up happening is that, the fat not only does it take a long time to digest, much longer than anything else, it also stays in your bloodstream from anywhere from twelve to twenty-four, even to thirty-six hours, I guess if you really go crazy. So in terms of blood sugar levels, you're better off, let's say, if you can manage to do it at the end of the day. That's what I do. There's a couple of things I have to say: When you're first going one hundred percent raw, sometimes it's hard enough just to do it, and there's been a lot of evolution, in me, as how I do one hundred percent raw, a lot of improvements that I made over time. So, this is going to be a question I'm going to have to ask you, is how are you feeling with eating so simply? I did not eat as simply as you did when I first went one hundred percent raw, when I was able to stick with it, let's say. Because I had many trials like you did before hand where I wasn't able to stick with it. But, you know, it was a little more complex and, you know for some people it's a big jump from eating recipes — even though they're vegan — to eating recipes and then just eating almost nothing. You know, mono meals and stuff that's not very, I guess, not very stimulating. We're so used to stimulating kinds of foods, that it's a big jump. And if you can do it, more power to you because you just saved a lot of steps.

Steve: I mean I'm kind of somewhere in the middle, between there. I wouldn't consider myself a foodie. I was never really like that. Even as a vegan. I tended to eat simpler foods, even as a vegan. I would eat like maybe just a big bowl of brown rice or something like that, and that would be it for me. Or I'd sauté some tofu. So I'd actually almost have the vegan equivalent of mono meals sometimes. So, You know, having a whole meal of just bananas is not too big of a deal for me, but if I had it every meal, I'd probably get pretty bored. So I'm kind of somewhere in the middle. I like sometimes the more elaborate meals, but I want to incorporate more simpler meals, I think I'm ready for that. Because I've done four previous raw trials. So this is actually my fifth I'm trying to do. You know, ranging from — my first trial only lasted three days; that's all I could survive. I was doing it completely wrong, but that was back in 1997 or 1998. And I did one that was forty-five day, and that went pretty well also. But again I was doing the high fat gourmet. Now I'm trying to find, trying to get the mindset of how to do the simpler low fat, fruit based, version of this diet. I don't quite have the mindset. It's like when lunch time comes around I have to think hard of what to eat, I don't know what to eat. It's like, 'OK a veggie burger. Oh, no, I'm not doing that now. A sandwich, oh, I'm not doing that now.' What is, you know, what is the equivalent of like a simple meal, like just making a sandwich for lunch?

Roger: Right, well...

Steve: In this diet.

Roger: Yeah, Yeah. This is an interesting thing. In fact, someone made some kind of post, and I responded to that post on your forum earlier today, which kind of addresses this issue. What it is is that there's a lot of ways to look at it. You can learn different recipes, and have different things to make. But my general philosophy is to eat fruits and greens during the day. And if you want anything heavier, you save it for the evening meal anyway. So your regular idea of lunch, you're just not going to do it. It's sort of like this; well just think about this, you can probably relate to this...

Steve: Are you snacking throughout the day?

Roger: I'm going to explain in detail what I do, but it doesn't necessarily that mean you're going to do what I do right away. You know, you might have a different approach. Like I said before about the fat, you know I just, I recommend that really for the end of the day, in terms of your health, and also in terms of your energy levels. Because the problem is like for instance, to give you an idea — even when you make a dressing, and then you're putting it on the salad, and then you're combining it with all these other foods, yeah, you could do it, but that's not ideal for your blood sugar levels either. If you want to be the strictest and the best, and I'm not saying you should do this right away, but I definitely think that you should if you're going to do it keep your fat levels like you're trying to do, around fifteen percent or lower. The best way is to eat the fatty food all by itself, after you've eaten everything else, with nothing else. Like for instance, if you make guacamole, and you made something like that, I mean, that is going to...unfortunately that's going to ferment, because the fat and the celery or the cucumber, whatever you put in there, like the tomatoes — that is going to have a hard time digesting in the medium of all that avocado. So you're actually, you know, you're...

Steve: It'll slow digestion down.

Roger: You know, those foods digest at completely different speeds, so ideally...

Steve: That's pretty much what I had for lunch.

Roger: Yeah, Yeah.

Steve: ...I made something similar to guacamole.

Roger: Right, listen... It's one thing... I mean, at first you just have to eat foods that you're satisfied with as long as you don't go, I mean there can come a point — let's say you started eating just fatty stuff left and right — there can come a point where it's not even worth the trial. Because you can get such bad health results, and it depends on the person, some people can like that for years, and be all right. And other people they can't last for more than a couple of weeks before their health goes into total haywire. You know, getting blood sugar problems and things like that. And this unfortunately happens to a lot of raw foodists because they eat a lot of meat — very high fat diet — and then they're eating fruits and all this just causes problems. So you're better off on the high fruit low fat diet. So anyway, I'm just telling you the extremes on what I tend to do, these days you know I tend, to just eat avocado, and that's going to be the last thing I eat. But that's me. Now let's get back.

Steve: I can see myself doing that.

Roger: OK

Steve: In the instance that, when I have veggies, I usually like to have some kind of fat with them.

Roger: Right.

Steve: How do you incorporate more veggies in your diet? Aside from making a green smoothie? Do you have big salads? Do you put anything on them, or do you just have it plain?

Roger: Well, I have a very..

Steve: Instead of putting some fat-based dressing on them.

Roger: I don't make salads...personally.

Steve: OK

Roger: I mean I have, but I you know, like you notice it takes awhile to eat them.

Steve: It took me an hour just to eat a huge salad I made yesterday.

Roger: You have to understand, I eat sometimes two big 10 oz. bags of spinach in a day, and whole head of celery and some cucumbers, and tomatoes and things like. If I had to eat those in a salad it would take me an hour or more to eat. If you're going to chew it properly it takes a long time. So personally I just tend to eat virtually the same stuff, year round, day in and day out. People who were saying, "Oh it's going to get so boring. Well it doesn't get boring if it's food you enjoy. And for me, what I to do, personally, is I tend to make smoothies, like a banana smoothie which will have, let's say, blueberries and sometimes I'll put some cherries in there also. Now these blueberries and cherries that I use, for the most part, are frozen. And you had mentioned a question about frozen foods.

Steve: That was another question about eating frozen foods.

Roger: It's not the end of the world. It's not as good as fresh. You're definitely losing a bit in the quality, but it's not as damaging, for instance, as cooking the food. It's just much better. The only thing you have to be concerned with is not having your foods be too cold. OK, like, You were talking about frozen bananas, you could make banana ice cream, and all that stuff if you wanted. And maybe on a really hot day it might be something, but it's not the greatest thing for your health either. When I do the smoothies they're not that cold, because only the blueberries, or the cherries, are going to be frozen.

Steve: I've made smoothies like that before where I used fresh bananas and frozen fruit. So I've been doing that for years.

Roger: Yeah, it's not the end of the world. And then you do sort of have to watch food combining. I know on your first day you're mixing like bananas and strawberries. That can be a problem too, in terms of food combining, sort of like an acid fruit.

Steve: The fruit and the berries first.

Roger: Well yeah, you could do that. I've noticed that sometimes, when I blend, sometimes you just have to experiment for yourself, sometimes you do better with things than other people, or worse, vice versa. I know personally I've had problems with strawberries and bananas in terms of digesting. I just feel like my stomach gets upset, whereas I don't have that problem with the blueberries or the cherries. And also in my smoothies, I'll put in half a cucumber or a stalk of celery, or something like that. Depends, you know. Sometimes I'll put in some spinach instead. So I do that. But for me personally, I am happy eating virtually the same stuff all year round. Depending on the time of year. Like this time of year I'll eat more oranges, persimmons if they're out, but they don't seem to be as available. Depending on the time of year, I'll eat other stuff, but personally my staple is virtually the same thing all the time. I'll always have salads, and these days, I mean my recipes consist of this: when I make a salad, I make a blended salad. I blend in plum tomatoes — two plum tomatoes — half a cucumber, maybe a stick of celery, maybe not. Then I'll put in the spinach, or put in the romaine. By the way spinach, I'd like to mention to you, is really highly, a nutrient rich food, much better even than romaine in terms of mineral content. A little romaine is good too. Then I blend it together. And then last night I put some...

Steve: Do you put water in it too?

Roger: No. There's no need to put any water because the tomatoes and the cucumber and all that.

Steve: They'll be pretty water-rich.

Roger: Yes, so that's, I blend that first. The tomatoes in first and cucumbers in first to liquify it. Then later on I add the spinach. But I also add, lately I've been adding thai basil. It's a different flavour than the italian basil. I find that's really good. I find that in the Asian markets. I don't know if you have any Asian markets in Vegas. You might be able to find it there. That's often a good place to find all sorts of exotic stuff that you're not going to find at, say, at Costco. You can find young coconuts, and durians, and papayas.

Steve: I've never had a durian before.

Roger: Yeah, you might want to try it.

Steve: I don't think I've ever seen one before.

Roger: It can be a deadly weapon. Very sharp.

Steve: I don't think Whole Foods carries them, I've never seen them there.

Roger: Believe it or not it's because they smell — they have this strong odour. Apparently if you eat them ripe from the native country, there's just no comparison to what happens when they have to ship them all the way over from Thailand. Most of the time you just get them frozen, but they're still pretty good, and sometimes they can be bad. It's sort of like the luck of the draw. You might eat it and you might say you can't stand it, but then if you were given it on another occasion, where it was a higher quality one, you might really like it. All of them do have a strong smell, a sulphur type of smell. Anyway, there's all sort of exotic tropical fruit that you can start eating as well, often those Asian markets have them, or you might be able to have them delivered to you, mail order or something like that. A lot of things you learn the longer you go raw/ You learn what's your favourite... Like you're using grape tomatoes, right?

Steve: Yeah.

Roger: I never even ate those until my ex-girlfriend introduced me to them, and I was like these are really good.

Steve: I only discovered those a few of years ago.

Roger: Same with me.

Steve: I like them for snacking on, but they don't provide many calories though.

Roger: No they don't provide many calories, that's important.

Steve: You can eat the whole package of them and be hungry half an hour later.

Roger: Yeah. I mean, that's generally what's going to happen with your salads in general. You can create incredible bulk, you know when you're eating. I make these blended salads...so I add a lot of the Thai basil, they're just leaves I just rip them off, and I blend them in also. I got this thick green mixture, and then what else I have is, I have this tool, which saves me some time. You don't necessarily need to have one right away, or you don't even need it at all. It's a tool to help you chop things quicker, to sort of dice them. It's the Visalia chopper or something. They used to sell it on TV on those infomercials.

Steve: Yeah, I've seen a bunch of those things.

Roger: You can usually get them in some store, I got it, I think, at Linens and Things. I don't know if you have that out there or not.

Steve: Yeah, we do.

: I chop up half a plum tomato, I chop up a little bit of cucumber, or I chop up some red pepper. So it has a nice little texture. By the way there's one thing I do add to the blended salads, I do add about a teaspoon or two of raw agave nectar. Do you know what that is?

Steve: Yeah.

Roger: OK, yeah.

Steve: There's a raw food store here that sells it.

Roger: I get one I think It's ah... I don't really know if all of the raw agave nectars are really raw. I've read some things otherwise where they're not. I tend to believe this manufacturer though. Not only that, some of the raw agave nectars might not even be agave nectar, they might be corn syrup.

Steve: Oh, great.

Roger: So it's really more, it's tough some times to trust. But I'll tell you this. With what I'm using, I'm not experience any adverse health effects, one of the things I found in terms of food preparation, there is some advice I got from Victoria Betook, who's, you know, with the raw family. She's a raw chef.

Steve: Raw family, yes.

Roger: She mentioned that adding like five flavours to the foods — and again, this is more when you're trying to make things more exciting — but the salad, for some reason, tastes better to me, and to a lot of people, when there's some sweetener in it, when you add some of that sweet flavour. It's got all of the other flavours in it, the sweet, sour, salty, spicy and pungent, I think...and there's one other flavour. I have to reference in her book. I think she mentions that in Raw Family or something, I'm not sure. Anyway, I make those salads, and I just love them and you've got the salad, but you also have crunchy stuff. You know, the stuff you dice and you add into it. And I eat that every single day.

Steve: What do you um — you see, the challenge I have when I look at a blended salad, like you mentioned, that's maybe not even a hundred calories, a stick of celery that's five calories, a half a cucumber... you know.

Roger: What you do, even with my huge blended salads — alright, let's say there's no...

Steve: Are you having fruit with that or are you having that by itself later? The challenge for me is keeping the meal simple, and getting enough calories, that's why I'm eating more fat.

Roger: Exactly. What you've got to do, basically...I mean, today I did it a little different. I had one smoothie in the morning, where maybe I would have two. I wasn't that hungry, I'm trying to eat

Steve: How big are these smoothies?

Roger: My personal, just so you know, I'm six-foot-three, and I weigh about... I weigh less than you. I weigh about 168, and I'm pretty much at my most muscular ever. Because the raw food diet has taken off all the extra water weight, and all the extra fat on me, that I don't need, you know, I can stay ripped. It's a great body building diet, 'cause I'm always ripped, and as I add muscle you can see them.

Steve: But you have to deal with all the stuff from the meatheads who want you to take protein powders and things like that.

Roger: Yeah, so. No. So, anyway, with these — I think I got off track — but I think...you were asking...

Steve: I was asking about the...

Roger: How big were the smoothies and also an idea of how big the blended salads are. The smoothies, I usually put about four bananas, and sometimes I put just four bananas and four large stalks of celery, or four bananas and half a cucumber and two stalks of celery. And sometimes I don't add the blueberries or the cherries, and sometimes I do. And sometimes it's just blueberries, sometimes it's just cherries. It can be other stuff. It can be raspberries. I know you like raspberries, and blackberries and things like that. You can do that two. I would usually have two of those as a meal, that would be a meal for me.

Steve: Do you add any water to that?

Roger: A little bit, but with the vita mix, you don't really need to. If you Find yourself having to urinate more than you would like to, you can reduce the water content. With the vita mix, you can just use the tamper, just push it down and it will just be thicker. You actually don't even need to even add water to that. But I do tend add a little bit depending on how thirsty I am, and so on and so forth. So that's my basic thing. You know, I'm not the guy to go giving advice in terms of what I do personally, for a new person going raw. Because when I was new going raw I was thinking the same thing: 'What am I going to do here? What am I going to do for dinner? I think you probably read from some of my resources, my suggestions that you learn some recipes, some things that you really enjoy. Part of the reason that I don't do that many recipes anymore is that I've also given up all sorts of spices like garlic, and onions, and hot peppers, and I really only did that this summer. Ever since I did that I just don't feel like making my recipes anymore. Because the recipes...

Steve: Well my mindset is actually similar to yours, because when I was a vegan, I was not into really cooking much. I would make simple things, and I would just eat the same things over and over again. So it's like, the kind of mindset of just eating simple meals kind of appealed to me. I can imagine though when people first go raw, they need a lot of comfort food. I don't really feel that way about this right now. I'm kind of more interested in thinking about the long-term approach. I might be jumping the gun a little bit, but I like getting a grasp of the mindset that comes down the road with this, and trying to incorporate some of that now. Trying to think in simpler meals and how I might eat this now if I'm going to eat this long term. Because I realize now, after the first thirty-day trial, there was no way I was going to do that for the rest of my life. It was way too complicated. There was no way I was going to be in the kitchen making all these gourmet meals. But what you're describing sounds like something that could be practical to me. I could see myself doing a couple of smoothies in the morning, then, you know, going to my home office office, doing some work; having a simple lunch, and a blended salad for dinner with maybe some avocado afterwards, or something. I can see that happening.

Roger: It can be very simple, and the thing is if you eat a lot of vegetables you're going to get... let's say if all I'm eating all year — let's do a switch-a-roo — if all I ate were bananas, blueberries and cherries in terms of sweet fruit, that would be enough. That would be absolutely enough, because you get plenty of vitamins and minerals through that, but also I'm eating a lot of greens and a tremendous amount of celery, and cucumber, and romaine, and other lettuces. And so you're really getting most of your nutrients like that, you don't really need to have a tremendous variety to be nutritionally satisfied. You just need to get a lot of greens. That's one thing you do need to do, is you do need to get a lot of greens. You know, it's like, if you had to compare it, you have to probably eat two heads of romaine a day, to be similar, and I'm not talking romaine hearts, if you incorporate all the vegetables. By the way a good fruit, it's sort of like a fruity kind of vegetable, is okra. Did you ever eat raw okra?

Steve: I haven't had it in a long time. I've never really liked okra, but I don't think I've tried it raw. I think it was cooked.

Roger: You might want to try it, and you could start off by slicing it up and adding it to a salad. And it's very high in nutrients, so it's another good food. And it's really crunchy. The only thing is, is it's a little slimy, and some people don't like that slimy texture. I will say one thing, as far as a really simple recipe that's really tasty — my ex-girlfriend, who is a raw food chef, came up with this one, it's really simple: You take a couple of bananas, or whatever, however many you want, and you mash them up, and you have some raisins that are soaked — and hopefully you've soaked them for a least an hour or two — and you add them in...well maybe you add the raisins in a little bit later. So you mash up the bananas a little bit, you can put a little cinnamon on there, or a little nutmeg, and then you put in the soaked raisins, drain the water out — however many raisins you want. Then you just sort of blend it together, and it really tastes like oatmeal. It's really like thick, almost like a stick-to- your-ribs kind of thing. Sometimes I used to use raw carob powder. Man, there's so many things I don't buy any more. I used to have raw carob powder. Just be careful with the dried kind of fruits, uh certainly...

Steve: Yeah, I wanted to ask you about that because you mention in your book to avoid dried fruits. But I noticed some of the recipes in Fred... how do you pronounce his last name?

Roger: Patenaude? I'm not even sure the right way, I just say "Patenaude".

Steve: Well in his cookbook, that you include in your package, he has a lot of recipes that include dried fruit blended in, like dates or raisins, things like that. I know you suggested not eating a lot of dried fruits, so what are your thoughts on blending them in. Is that an issue?

Roger: Well, dried fruits are not that bad. Especially if you — Just make sure you brush your teeth well afterwards. That's really one of the main things, and it depends on the person. For some people, dates can be a little to intense, but it might be perfectly fine for you. I've added them to recipes and I've had no problems. Like, instead of using maybe agave, you could just take a date. The thing is with dates is that even when — assuming you're getting the raw kind of dates — is the dates that you're getting they're not that much dried, more dried than what you would find on the tree. Have you ever ordered a wet pack of dates from the date people?

Steve: No.

Roger: Yeah, well they sell this wet pack. It's much softer, and it has a high water content. They're really delicious. It's like candy. They have all sorts of varieties. It's really incredible. That stuff is higher in water content, and all they do — when they're not shipping them in wet packs — all they do is they let the dates dry on the tree itself, in the desert sun. Then they just pick them later, and then they're already dried. It's just sort of how they get them off the date palm. I don't think that's really a problem, and you're not going to have too much of a problem. The only other problem is that the sugars become more concentrated because there's a lack of water in the food. So that can be an issue. I don't say that you should completely rule out dried fruit.

Steve: I do find that that's a way to up the calories, say, in a smoothie. Before this trial I often made smoothies, but they would have nothing in them. I'd take maybe two frozen bananas and a handful of walnuts, a little bit of maple syrup and vanilla, and then maybe, instead of the maple syrup, I'd put in some dates. If you put in like two or three dates it really sweetens it up a lot.

Roger: Yup. Now I want to get back to the other issue you had regarding the evening meal, say, a salad. This is the way I look at, and this is a big advantage when you're eating low fat. Usually what I'm trying to do is I'm trying to get in most of my calories before the evening meal.

Steve: OK.

Roger: Then by the time I hit that evening salad, and it's usually like two or three big salads I make in the evening — blended salads, in the vita mix, and that's why I need a vita mix, because they have a large container. I'd have a real problem with a regular blender.

Steve: The vita mix holds a little bit more than a litre.

Roger: Yeah, so it gives you a little more capacity. Usually though, I'm not hungry anymore, I'm pretty satisfied. And then getting the greens — the mineral intake from the greens and the fibre — that's usually enough. But if I'm still hungry, an hour later or something — it doesn't even have to be an hour later — if I'm really hungry I can just make another smoothie, or have some bananas, or eat some other fruit.

Steve: So if you're not mixing any fats in with that blended salad, then it's not a problem to have fruit with it, or shortly after?

Roger: You can. Some people put fruit in the salad. Some people will blend oranges into their blended salad. You could do that. You can eat a fruit meal. What I usually do is, I'll have a fruit meal. I'll have another smoothie and then I'll have my salads. I'll have the smoothie then I'll wait about twenty minutes, then I'll have my first blended salad.

Steve: That's very enlightening to me to know that you do it that way. Blending the salads and having that, then maybe having some fruit after. But then if you're going to have fat you have it at the end of the day. That's something I was always confused about, because dinner time would come around and if I didn't have any fat yet for the day, I'd be thinking, 'I've got, you know, maybe 800 calories left in the evening meal, and how am I going to do that with just vegetables and fat? And not go over, say, fifteen percent of calories from fat?' Then I'm kind of stuck, because the most I can maybe do is have an avocado — and, you know, a whole avocado is maybe twenty to twenty-five grams of fat, depending on the size. That's pretty much my whole fat for the day, but it doesn't provide enough calories for one meal. If I add vegetables to it, I have to eat, you know, pounds and pounds of vegetables to make say, six, seven, eight hundred calories. And that's ridiculous.

Roger: It's hard to get five hundred calories in a day just from vegetables. It takes a lot of work. I probably get close to that.

Steve: I can see how you're getting them much more efficiently though, because you're blending them.

Roger: That's one of my tricks. I just have it usually with me at every meal, and celery and cucumber goes with just about anything. The only problem, was like I mentioned with the fatty foods, is that the fats take so much longer to digest. It tends to ferment anyway.

Steve: I can do the fat at the end of the day. Do some people just eat raw tahini or something?

Roger: Some people do that. You can do that too. A lot of these things over time you don't want to do any more. And you don't have to.

Steve: I'm already there with some of these recipes. I'm just like, "Eh." Like last night I didn't really want to make anything complicated. I ate like five bananas, and that was my dinner.

Roger: And that's fine. You don't have to have fatty foods every day. If you feel like, you should try it one day — just salads and fruit. There are all kinds of recipes. One of the things I used to like doing... To me, almost everything is some kind of variation of the blended salad. I'm not too creative, in that regard, and because I just don't want to take forever. It's a quick way to do things, if I had everything peeled and ready I could make a blended salad in three minutes. So it's just a matter of peeling stuff. I made one this morning and I timed myself. Including chopping up all the extra stuff, it only took eight minutes.

Steve: I like that.

Roger: Oh, wait a minute I lost my train of thought, what was I talking about?

Steve: You were talking about the evening meal. You were talking about blended salads.

Roger: OK, now I know what I was going to talk about. Have you ever eaten young coconuts?

Steve: Yes. I haven't had one for years though.

Roger: What you can do with those is you can make a lot of things with those.

Steve: From Giuliana's cookbook, he has this incredible carrot cake recipe.

Roger: That was like blood sugar hell I'm sure.

Steve: Oh, yes. It was like, you make the crust from dates and...

Roger: I've done stuff like that and made delicious stuff, and I remember even making it and bringing it to a Christmas party, where I used to work.

Steve: It's so good though.

Roger: Yeah, and everyone was like, this is raw food? This is great. And they loved it.

Steve: But it's got like twenty ingredients, and you have to make... I love when he makes the recipes and he uses one serving of this recipe and anther serving of this recipe. And you have to end up going to five different pages, and make five different recipes to assemble this thing. He's got this glaze, and then this chocolate sauce, this carrot sauce on top. It's incredible good.

Roger: I've actually eaten his food. I went to a workshop of his in San Francisco. This was before I was one hundred percent raw. He'd say it's quick and easy.The key is you got to have all the stuff ready.

Steve: I saw him in the... I went to his raw restaurant when it opened in Santa Monica. I used to live in Los Angeles. The food was really good, but that's when I was first going raw — for the first time — and I was confused about all the different things on the menu. A lot of the stuff I didn't even know what it was. I saw him there preparing the food in the back, and he was rail thin. He was so skinny.

Roger: What I was going to suggest is you can make your blended salads thicker, more meaty, by adding the meat from a young coconut. You can open it up, I take a cleaver to open it.

Steve: I used to go in the back yard and throw it up in the air, and when it landed on the concrete it would crack open. If I threw it just the right height it would crack.

Roger: Are you talking about a brown coconut?

Steve: Oh, ya that's right that was a brown coconut, not a young coconut.

Roger: The young coconut is sort of like a pyramid at the top, they shave it down for you.

Steve: It was covered with a white husk, and what I would do is cut the husk off with a knife.

Roger: So anyway, what I'm trying to tell you is there is an efficient way to get into that coconut. The way you use the cleaver is key. Let's say there's the blade, OK? You don't put the weight of the full blade on it. You put the edge of the blade — the lower edge of the blade — into it, and that much more easily penetrates the young coconut. And so I tend to cut around it almost like a pentagon or something, around the outside. Then I just lift off the top, then I can drink the inside — either with a straw, or you can pour into something else. Hopefully you have a strainer so the junk from the coconut doesn't get into the liquid.

Steve: Whole Foods actually sells young coconut with a hole in the top — maybe about an inch in diameter — and then they put the little piece back in. They'll sell it to you with a straw.

Roger: They open it for you basically. So then once you do that, you take a big spoon and get the meat out of it. It can make you a blended salad — or it doesn't have to be a blended salad, you could just blend. For instance, tomato and cucumber and celery, or just tomato and cucumber, or just tomato, or just cucumber — whatever you want. And then blend in some young coconut and maybe add some spices. In your experiment right now, I guess you're trying to avoid the spices and the salt, and you're going to be better off. The only things is, it would be a shame to give up eating raw, if that were the only thing holding you back.

Steve: I actually I wanted to do the thirty-day trial a little more strict, and then after the thirty days, if I decide to continue going raw, I can add some of those things back in sparingly. It would actually make it seem like the diet is more abundant.

Roger: Yeah, it might.

Steve: I'm going so strict with these thirty days, I'm not using onions or garlic, I'm not using dehydrated foods, or dried fruits.

Roger: Well what you might find if you do it for thirty days, you might find that you don't want to go back to all that stuff.

Steve: That's a possibility too, I have to kind of test that. I used to use a lot of salt and oils and things like that the first time I went raw.

Roger: So that's basically another thing that can happen, it's starting to happen to me. I'm starting to reject the idea of any of the spices, I'm starting to just enjoy the foods as they are. But you know, it's taken me awhile.

Steve: It's the same way with me. My first raw trial was back in '97 or '98, so it's been like ten years just to get to this point. I's funny, because it seems like this diet should be somewhat intuitive, but it really does take a lot of brain power to figure it out. You have to relearn to eat.

Roger: That's the exact same conclusion I came to. I was like, 'Why should this be so difficult? shouldn't I just know? If this is my natural diet, shouldn't I just know?'

Steve: The first time I did it I starved.

Roger: Apparently you need to. You learn how to eat by being around other people who are eating. When they're not eating like you, and it's different foods, and you're used to eating one apple a day, maybe an orange or something, and maybe even a banana. You're really piling on the fruit, it's a very different mindset than when you're going to eat ten to fifteen bananas in a day, and ten ounces of blueberries or something. It's definitely a different mindset. It does take a little learning, but once you learn it, it's not too bad and you're doing fine and it's easy. I think that you have done enough study now. It looks like to me, for the most part, you are what I would call "clear" on most of the things. I was talking about this in a teleconference last night — sort of like, you know, you're in the personal development field, and you're educating people. The thing is, when someone is trying to go for some sort of goal, and they have some king of lingering issues, sort of holding them back — doubts or fears. With people they have so many issues: 'How do I get enough protein on the raw food diet? Will I get enough nutrients? What about what family members thinks, and I can't build big muscles?' There are a hundred little different issues, little blocks that hold people back. But I think you've done enough experiments, and certainly enough research, that I don't think these things are going to hold you back.

Steve: Well you know a lot of that gets handled just by being vegan too. I've been vegetarian since 1993, and a vegan since '97; and you have to deal with the family issues there. Ironically I actually find that people who are not eating a healthy diet seem to have much more issues with it, than I do. It's almost like the social issues are not on the side of those going vegan and raw, it's on the other side. It's like you make people feel uncomfortable if you eat healthy in front of them. Do you ever experience that?

Roger: Yeah, well usually no, because I'm not trying to push it in any way, and I don't think you would either.

Steve: No no no — I don't mean you push it at all, but just like, if I go to a wedding or something and I request a fruit plate instead of something else, it's like other people are like, "Wow, why are you eating a fruit plate? What are you eating there?"

Roger: I can definitely see that, and I just use it as an opportunity to talk to people. If they have questions, I just tell them what I do, and what it's done for me. You know, I guess you're probably right that people do feel threatened. It's like, 'Man, look what I'm doing. Look how healthy he's eating," or whatever. There's all sorts of things. I remember I was at a Christmas party, again at my ex-girlfriends house, and we made all sorts of raw foods, and she had her son there. But her father was there and he was asking, "Where's the protein? I don't see any protein." Like that's a problem anyway. He made a big mistake, because I had an answer for everything. He just thought he could beat me, but he couldn't. What ended up happening for me, is that, because of my mindset, because of my knowledge, I never have anyone really, or rarely, question me at all. I just say what I do. They don't challenge me. It's like, a lot of things just sort of depend on the vibe you send out. There's a lot of people who are just almost embarrassed to eat raw. They're afraid of what other people will think. So for me, personally, that never even occurred to me. I'm just eating my food. I think it's healthy. So what?

Steve: I feel the same way. I just find that I don't preach to people when I'm eating with them, like a business meal or something. I'll just order something vegan and the other person may not, and that's not a big deal to me. The issue of diet rarely comes up. I noticed sometimes when people notice I'm eating something that seems a bit unusual, they'll bring it up. They'll sometimes almost react as if they're threatened by it, as if they're almost expecting me to want to convert them. My whole website is based on teaching people to live more consciously, which means they make they're own decisions, not that they copy mine, you know, blindly. I want people to think for themselves. I don't want them to follow this diet just because I'm doing it. I do notice that just eating this way can bring out a lot of resistance in people.

Roger: Yeah.

Steve: I don't know if you encounter the same thing. I've talked to other raw foodists who have definitely encountered this, and vegans too.

Roger: You know what, I guess I haven't too much because I don't even worry about it. I don't even pay attention to it. I think maybe I can remember a time or two, but it doesn't... I don't know. I go to the market and I'm talking to people. I'm actually practicing my Spanish. We have a lot of Mexicans at this market, so I'm working on my Spanish. Telling them what eat and, "No come carne?" (You don't eat meat?) I'm like, "No." But they don't have a problem with it. Of course I don't eat it in front of them either, so... They're always wondering, "You eat all those bananas yourself?" It's funny, the questions you get asked. So let's see if there's — let's tackle the rest of your issues really quick.

Steve: OK. There are only a couple. we touched on pretty much everything, there's only a couple minor ones I just wanted to get your opinion on. What are your thoughts on herbal tea and Cappuccino, and what are your thoughts on raw cashews?

Roger: Herbal teas — personally I don't drink any tea. I don't drink anything warm. I don't feel the need for it, and you won't necessarily even if you stop it long enough. I don't really know what's in Cappuccino, but I know it's not raw.

Steve: The actual what's in it is not raw, it's like roasted chicory and some other things. It's definitely a grain coffee.

Roger: It's probably, you know, not the end of the world. It's probably such a small part of the diet that it doesn't do that much negative to your body. I mean, basically you can tell how much damage something is doing to you. When you go raw your body becomes so sensitive, let's say something were cooked, but you're eating a very small portion of it, but it' makes the flavour so good, but it's not making you eat other cooked foods. Like say, a dried spice, and you don't even know what temperature they dry it at, but it's just a small portion of your diet, and it makes hardly a difference in the results that it helps you stay raw, and fine. But do I recommend those things? No, if you want to do it, that's up to you.

Steve: I'm planning to leave it out for this trial. I'm planning to do herbal teas, but I won't do Cappuccino for this trial. If I do have herbal tea it will be, at most, maybe a few cups a week. I'm not huge into it. I had some hot water with lemon yesterday.

Roger: Yeah, I saw that.

Steve: The water was lukewarm before I drank it, and that was kind of nice.

Roger: People are just used to certain things. What happens if you go raw is you get used to something completely different.

Steve: It's like so much change, I feel like I need one thing to sort of ground me, to show me that I'm still eating.

Roger: That can help you, there's no question. I used think that I always found the need for something heavy. I almost felt like I can't possibly be eating right if I'm just eating fruits and vegetables. It just can't be right, it just didn't make sense, although it made sense. It was because of my past conditioning, that's all. Your thoughts on raw cashews, the ones that are really expensive. You know the really raw cashews? Do you know anything about those?

Steve: I know there's a difference. What, do they come from India or something like that?

Roger: Well, the difference is that, the other cashews that are so called raw, they have to heat them up to get them out of the shell. I don't know how long they heat them, maybe only the outer part of it is not raw. I don't know. But I can tell you the results are not as good, as if you eat the really raw cashews. There's no question that there's been some damage to the so called raw cashews. You have to get the ones that are twelve dollars a pound or something. They have to hand open them. Let me see, anything else? So I think you've got the basic idea, and that's one of the values of being able to talk to someone who's doing it.

Steve: That's really helpful, especially when you describe what you eat for dinner, and how to incorporate fat just at the end of the day. That was really confusing to me. Thinking that I needed to have a vegetable meal that was like 800 calories, and finding it not very possible.

Roger: A lot of the time, if you're eating enough high nutrient foods — a lot of greens — you can find that you can be satisfied in the evening without eating any fruits, just eating a big salad and you're fine. Because you already got enough during the day, and just eat your salad, and actually you will feel satisfied. But if you're not, if you haven't had any fat, you could always eat some fruit afterwards, or then you could have your avocado or anything you wanted to eat afterwards, you could also do that. One other thing, you know sometimes you can go and you can have some of those crazy recipes in the raw restaurants, you can do that. You can have a day where you eat thirty percent of calories from fat. It's not so bad if you do it once in awhile, and it's more like your average over a week or over a month as opposed to every single day. It's not really, unless you have some, kind of big health problem, it's not really going to be a big issue if do it once a week. If you go out to some raw restaurant, and you just say you're going to eat like a Hollywood raw kind of thing, it's not something you do every day. That's another thing to consider. So some of the recipes in Frederick's book are not... There's a lot of good recipes, but some of them are recipes you wouldn't want to do every day. But if you do it every now and then, especially after your thirty-day trial, if you want to keep it simple for now. It's not the end of the world. I'll sometimes go out to New York City and I'll go out and eat at Binobo's. It's a restaurant there. Or Pure Food and Wine, or some of these other places. Almost always if I do eat there it ends up being high fat. Unfortunately, I mean I can eat all the other stuff, but it's like I can get all this fruit and all this stuff at home.

Steve: Exactly. I don't need to go out to eat that.

Roger: So, I might as well... So when I go and it doesn't bother me. Unfortunately the people who live in New York are constantly going out to eat. There are so many choices. There really are in New York City.

Steve: I know. Erin and I just went there for a week in October.

Roger: Yeah, you could be a junk raw foodist in New York City.

Steve: There's about... We were only eating vegan on the trip. we never made it to any of the raw restaurants. We were just amazed how many different vegan restaurants there were in that city. We could eat a different meal at every place in the whole week we were there if we wanted to.

Roger: It's pretty neat in that regard, and there's all sorts of raw activities going on and meetings and things like that. But a lot of these people are going out, and they're going broke eating at these raw restaurants. Like, well, you could just eat fruits and vegetables and you'll be fine.

Steve: Well you got to blog at them. It's tax deductible.

Roger: Excuse me?

Steve: You've got to blog about it so you can deduct your experience or something.

Roger: Alright so is there anything else? Any other ideas that you needed clarification, something that came up while we were talking?

Steve: Not right now. I think for the rest of it I just have to experience it, have to try it out. You know, again, I'm doing a very strict trial for these thirty days, whereas afterwards, I might ease up on some things, but what you've told me has been really helpful, especially the part about the dinner and the fat.

Roger: I'm hoping that you'll just find it pretty easy to do, you know once you find it easy to do, if you find your health results are good. That's another thing, you're very smart, you understand detoxification symptoms, and you've certainly experienced some of them. It could be like a month or two that you have different things, I had for a least two months, sort of weird kind of results. Even over the first six months, you're body changes over time, there's a lot of healing when you first go raw. Things just tend to get better the longer you do it. You should be proud.

Steve: Sounds good. I'm looking forward to finding out how it goes.

Roger: Alright Steve, it was wonderful talking to you, and I'm going to stop the recording now. If you want to stay on the phone for a second I'm going to remind everybody about your website: Steve has a great website, and a blog and a forum — stevepavlina.com. You get to see his experiment; it should be up there a long time. I guess if they can't, if they get to this recording a long time from now, they can search your forum.

Steve:Yeah, they just click on the archives link at the top of the page. I've had a pretty consistent website design, so even if it's a few years from now, should still be there. You'll see the raw food experiment starting January 1, 2008.

Roger: Folks, you know I can't recommend enough just to go and look at that, because, there's a lot of reading, he's putting up a lot of information that's going to give you just great insight on how to do it, what it's going to be like; and it should really help you. OK, this is Roger Haeske signing off from howtogoraw.com and rogerhaeske.com. And Steve, I thank you so much for joining me, and I hope this information has helped and I hope it makes it easier for you. You've really done a lot of the ground-work already, so I don't see that you'll have much of a problem. Thanks so much, and I'll talk to you soon.

Steve: Thank you.