My Own Rules of RAW

March 9th, 2009 - filed under: The Food » Food Styles

Raw Pizza at Blossoming Lotus restaurant, deeeeelicious!

Each person approaches RAW a little differently, which can be confusing to those trying to understand the framework and limitations of the lifestyle.  There are no hard-and-fast ‘RAW Rules’ to govern the allowance or omission of certain ambiguous edibles, so I thought I’d better make clear my own parameters, as I have set them for this experiment.  Please keep in mind that these choices are all personal ones, and there is no great authority on RAW matters.  To paraphrase my uncooking teacher, “This isn’t about purity.  It’s not about elitism or ‘rawer-than-thou’.  This is about being healthy, and what works for your body.”  She is a wise woman.

How Raw?  Most people consider a 75-80% raw foods diet to be RAW.  Since this is a controlled experiment with a discreet timeframe, I’m attempting 97-99% RAW. The details of this designation are outlined below.

Spices.  Many spices are naturally dried and milled.  But many others, especially big-brand commercial spices, are heat treated as they are refined and processed.  I am choosing not to worry too much about my spices.  I avoid obvious grey-area candidates like Spike and other name brand seasonings, but I’m not concerning myself over the state of my Co-Op’s bulk-bought chili, oregano, cumin, etc.

Vitamins.  Most vitamins are not RAW.  I’m pretty sure you can buy RAW vitamins, but they are expensive and illusive.  I supplement with B12 and D, and I take a vegan multivitamin.  I am continuing to do this through my RAW month.

Hot Tea.  Hot tea is good for you!  Who could argue with that?  Many Rawists do drink hot tea, and my uncooking teacher happily admitted to near-daily teatime. But for me, I’d prefer to keep heat out of my system for this whole month.  I’m open to the possibility that tea may happen once or twice, because a nice hot cup of tea would be a great way to stave off cooked-food cravings.  But thus far I’ve had no desire for it, and I’m hoping to hold out the whole 30 days.

Alcohol.  Beer and liquor are not considered RAW, but organic, sulfite-free wines are imbibed by many Raw Foodists.  Many others Rawists, including my uncooking teacher, find it somewhat contradictory to the RAW ethos of ultimate health consciousness.  I adore wine, but am trying to avoid it for this period.  Like tea, I am not going to make it totally off-limits. But ideally, I’m hoping to abstain for the entire trial.

I hope that offers a little more clarity about my approach.  I’ll be checking in soon with body updates, food diaries, and nutrition data.  In the meantime,  I’ll leave you with some Raw Food porn:



Raw Sampler at Blossoming Lotus: Zucchini Pasta w/ Pesto, Cashew Hummus and Flax Crackers, Beet Topped Salad, and Pizza with Pesto and Sun Dried Tomatoes.



  • TC

    Love the colors in that plate! Are any of those veggies locally grown and/or certified organic/fresh/environmentally friendly? One other thing; I’m curious, were you ever a meat eater?

  • Sayward

    @ TC – Blossoming Lotus is a pretty health-conscious vegan restaurant with a rotating seasonal menu. So I can’t say for certain, but I’m sure the veggies are as organic and locally grown as possible.

    As for meat, hoo-boy, I was quite the carnivore less than a year ago! If you are interested, I write about my accidental transition to veg*nism here:

  • TC

    Thanks Ms. Sayward. I’m sure you’re eatin a lot healthier than me. But I try, I really do. We grow all of our own veggies in season, and try to watch what we eat out of season. ;~)

  • Sayward

    @ TC – I think it’s great that we’re all doing as much as we can to eat right, and important to keep in mind that none of us are nutrition Saints (least of all me, ha!).