Nutritional Basics

by Susan on March 14, 2011



I am becoming overwhelmed by the amount of disagreement that goes on in the world of healthy eating. I recently watched two men argue their take on diet to the point of it involving the size of their manhood. I kid you not.  Still shaking my head on that one.

At Rawmazing, I have always tried to show you healthy alternatives and then encourage you to see what works for your body. We often talk about biochemical individuality meaning, what works nutritionally for me, may not work for you and vice versa. While eating 100% raw food works beautifully for me during certain times of the year, it doesn’t at other times of the year. I love nuts and seeds, some don’t. I don’t have any serious food allergies, some to. Some people eat mostly greens, some mostly fruit. Each one has figured out what works for them, but in my opinion, they have no right to tell you that is the best for you. That is for you to figure out.

That said, there are a few things that we do  know that at this point really can’t be disputed. Some of my basic rules that I try to follow are:

1. Eat lots of Greens. Greens are probably one of the most important things that we can eat, yet one of the least consumed.

2. Cut out the whites. White flour, white sugar, and anything made with them. They are void in nutrition, high in calories and a great contributor to obesity and illness.

3. Eat Real Food. By this I mean not processed. Forgo the boxes, the prepared products. With just a little extra time an know how, you can easily prepare meals made from fresh ingredients.

4. Eat as close to home and as close to natural (organic) as you can. This is not only good for you, but better for the planet. While I realize that it isn’t always possible, when it is, I am all over it.

5. Strive for Balance. Eating a raw dessert for breakfast might not be the best idea. Yes it is made with healthy ingredients but it is still dessert and should be treated as such. Make sure you are balancing your diet. The heavy gourmet raw foods are fun to eat and help to make life interesting. But they should only be a part of your raw food diet, not everything you eat.

What are your top food rules?


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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Emma March 14, 2011 at 10:21 am

Excellent article! Couldn’t agree more :)

Greens are totally a staple for me. Remember reading on a website that greens were bad for you (won’t name names) that’s how ridiculous healthy eating discussions can become :)


Stephanie @ Thorns Have Roses March 14, 2011 at 10:31 am

I think you’ve done a great job focusing on the most important factors. The only one I might add is that no matter what you decide is working for you that MOVEMENT is still essential in maintaining overall health. :)


Susan March 14, 2011 at 10:34 am

I couldn’t agree more about movement. We will be talking about that more soon!


Kat Caverly March 14, 2011 at 10:46 am

Eat whole foods—organic, grass-fed/pastured meats (sorry I know you are a vegan)
Not much—eat only when hungry
Make everything from scratch from whole ingredients.
Eat your greens!
Eat local and in season whenever/wherever possible, but only organic.
Know who makes your food, meet your farmers.


stephen March 14, 2011 at 11:32 am

great article, I agree with you pretty much 100% on what you have written above.. I would add that it is as important WHEN you eat as WHAT you eat.. personally for me and depending on the time of year, where I am (hot/cold climate) and level of physical activity, I try not to eat after 5-6 pm in the winter & 7-8 pm in the summer.. I say try as stressing about it is worse then whatever you may eat.. I also pretty much do not eat before 11-12 noon either.. this is loosely based on an Ayurvedic system but mainly I do it because our bodies seem to have three different metabolic periods which cycle every 24 hours. Eating with these cycles in mind will help in more efficient digestion, assimilation, cleansing and maintenance of the cells. = most energy + weight loss/gain control = younger looking/feeling vibrant health etc..

Elimination and maintenance cycle: From 4 am to noon
Digestive cycle: From Noon to 8 pm
Assimilation cycle: From 8 pm to 4 am


Denise March 14, 2011 at 1:18 pm

Having just getting started in this raw food world, I need to read a lot about the plus and minus of it all. I read that too much fresh fruit juice is bad because of the sugar but then I read wonderful testimonies about juice fasting. I have studied and read and I have come to the decision that you are exactly right! I am finding out what my body does and does not respond to…… I eat about 90% raw now. Some days I have green smoothies all day with lots of greens and fruit and finish off the day with a big salad and grilled salmon. Other days I have juice. I use the stems from the Kale when making the chips and in that juice I have a clove of garlic, apples, pears, pineapple and a hand full of spinach if I have it. I eat a couple of tablespoons full of Greek plain yogurt in the evening now and then with fresh strawberries and blueberries for my sweet tooth.

I am doing well and am beginning to feel the effects of the changes that I have made. I have a Cuisinart ice-cream maker and every now and then I make banana/strawberry ice-cream for me and my sweetie…… All things in moderation …… Learning and growing stronger are as diverse and individual as the flowers in my garden…… Each growing and blooming at different paces but each beautiful .
AND I read your website and make a LOT of your recipes…….

I appreciate the information that you share with us……


Stacy L March 14, 2011 at 1:19 pm

I follow the rules you stated Susan and I also stop eating when I am no longer hungry. I don’t wait until I get that ‘full’ or stuffed feeling.



Jodi March 14, 2011 at 7:48 pm

Well said, there is so much confusion about things and it’s good to keep things simple, healthy, natural and organic as much as possible, but we are all different and we have to remember that as well, listen to your body, it will always tell you the truth!!


Mindy March 14, 2011 at 10:41 pm

Excellent article. My reason for finally turning to raw foods is the intuitive sense that for me the missing link in my health was needing fresh, raw greens (not the cooked to a pile of mush greens which are served where I have grown up in the South). In addition to the items you mentioned above, I also aspire to include more sprouts and fermented foods like sauerkraut. I like to speak in terms of aspirations, instead of rules. As soon as I start using the word “rule”, my inner rebel starts to kick in and want to start breaking them ;), but that’s just me.

I would have been shaking my head too, if I had overheard those two men. It’s pretty obvious to me that that “conversation” actually had nothing to do with nutrition and food. It was all about “power” and control. The impulse to lord it over our fellow men and women is not one of our more attractive qualities as a species.

You are doing a good job, Susan. I appreciate your combination of down-to-earth sanity, joyful appreciation, and inspirational creativity. Thanks!


Laura March 14, 2011 at 11:56 pm

I agree with you Mindy. My husband and I feel that going raw is for our own health reasons. Susan would have a good things going for all of us that care about our health. I do appreciate your approach to raw.

Keep it up!!


Blanka March 15, 2011 at 11:20 am

Yes to all and especially to eating a lot of (variety of) greens and ‘eating only when hungry’ – when did we become so ignorant about our bodies that we demand food because it is ‘dinner time’?! Thank you Susan, spot on as always!


Nina Vought March 15, 2011 at 12:00 pm

1) Eat mindfully. Slow down and take several conscious breaths during each meal.
2) Eat whole food, prefer organics. Give preference to foods that resemble the form nature imparted.
3) Eat plants. Giving up animal products is one of the kindest most loving choice you can make three times a day. Also, eliminating animal foods wakes up your taste buds and you will discover a world of flavor.
4) Eat a big green salad every day.
5) Eat your bigest meal at midday.
6) Give thanks; recognize every meal is a gift.


Faith Lubitz March 15, 2011 at 1:57 pm

This is a great discussion, thanks for starting it Susan! I love seeing everyone’s contributions, because they are sharing what has worked for them..

I have been confused by the variety of nutritional approaches out there- one of the first places that I found something I could hang onto was the Natural Hygiene movement, an early raw foods advocacy group. They talk about observing wild animals in nature, and learning from them. Of course all wild animals eat raw all the time, and local all the time, they eat when they are hungry, they don’t go to doctors or have health insurance , they are grateful for what they can find, they have lots of movement, sunshine and company..they eat seasonally. And wild animals are some of the healthiest creatures around compared to humans, especially when their habitats are undisturbed.

I’m not saying we are exactly like them but there is something refreshingly down to earth about this way of thinking….and you have to admit it’s time-tested!


Michelle March 15, 2011 at 5:40 pm

Green, green, green, green :) Nothing processed (unless you count stuff that I personally ‘process’ in my food processor haha), fresh and organic and local when available, chew well, eat lighter earlier in the day, lots of green smoothies, high raw, high vegan…


Cheryl March 16, 2011 at 9:04 am

I so agree with you. As a nutritionist, I see all sorts of people and while I try to get most of my clients to eat a minimum of 60% raw, I have to monitor them and make sure that I find the right food types for them. Many of them will then increase their raw because they learn to enjoy them but they are the ones that have found they feel better with their new life style – and it is always different. We are all so unique. On a different note, I love your site and recipes and your sensible approach to the whole subject and plan to collect your books.


jackie March 16, 2011 at 12:08 pm

I too get a little dismayed at the disagreement among participants in the healthy food movement. Sometimes we put blinders on and only see “one way” because that’s what we’re passionate about; however, different people respond differently because of their biochemical make up or whatever. What works for me may not work for you, although I do believe the basic rules you provided in this blog would work for everyone.


Jason March 17, 2011 at 7:48 pm

Great article Susan and so true!


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