Do you need to be 100% raw?

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Being 100% raw can be an amazing experience (and, yes, it can be healthy!) but many people ask: do you need to be 100% raw for optimal health?


The short answer?


Not really.


In fact, I do not recommend it to my coaching and class clients, unless they have arrived at that desire themselves (and many never get there (or need to get there for that matter)).


Let me tell you why.


When approaching a new or different lifestyle, it is important to make our decision consciously.


Sometimes people try 100% raw and it is an amazing experience that leads from one great height to the next. 


Keep on it as long as it is authentically working for you. 


Some are 100% raw for a short period of time to cleanse or in certain seasons (like spring and summer) while others just don’t aspire to be 100% raw but worry they are falling below the bar.


Is it true?


Not really.


So long as you are getting a really healthy amount of fresh, vibrant, raw food (75-80% is a great goal), you are more likely to succeed in the long term if you learn to balance incorporating a little cooked food into your diet (I recommend vegan). 


It is believed that the difference in nutrition gained from a raw food diet 100% of the time compared to 75% of the time is negligible. 


The politics of 100% raw:


Somewhere along the line, this whole raw thing got “political”. There are some raw purists who believe that only a diet of 100% raw foods is optimal for our bodies, proof that this whole raw experience can be so passionate, so all-encompassing, so wonderful that sometimes we can swing all the way into the land of fanaticism (there are many 100% raw foodists who are NOT fanatics but some are!).


It’s all how you approach raw foods.


What we need, above all, is a healthy mindset.


A healthy mindset is more easily achieved if you eat a heck of a lot of plants foods, move your body every day, alleviate stress by cultivating a meditation or spiritual practice and also other things like nurturing healthy, loving relationships and expressing your creativity.


Be kind to yourself and don’t be afraid to find what works for you through educating yourself from books, classes, documentaries and other life experiences.


Don’t feel pressured that you MUST be 100% raw or that’s it.


Make your own rules that fit your life.


Unless you have a serious issue, like cancer, or a goal, like significant weight loss, 100% raw is simply a lifestyle choice, not necessarily the only way to completely nourish your body. 


So if you find yourself freaking out about whether the tamari in your salad is raw, this, my friends, is not health. This may be an obsession.


Swing the pendulum back by re-examining what is most important to you.


If you are 100% raw, it must be a true and authentic choice that feels just right for you and your body.


Tell me about your raw experience – how to you find balance with a raw plant foods in your diet? What has worked for you? 

© 2012, ohmyraw!. All rights reserved.



  1. Oh my (raw) Sarah!Your words sound so true, so wise and are so reassuring. Yes, fanatism is never good, it can blind us and prevent good things to happen. I like the fact that eating 75 to 80% raw is almost equivalent to a 100% raw diet healthwise. That’s the balance I want to achieve. A healthy mindset, what a beautiful way to put it. Thank you thank you thank you thank you for this blog. Your moderation and wisdom are exactly why I chose you as my favorite rawfoodist person.

    • Isabelle, Thanks so much for your support and encouragement. You are very generous :-)

      I find it is so easy for forget balance, especially on a quest to health because it is so important. Being kind to ourselves does amazing things! :-)

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