80% Raw Food Diet

BY Michael Edwards TIMEFebruary 12, 2015 PRINT

There is a lot of controversy as to whether or not eating 100% raw is healthy. We do believe that a 100% raw food diet can be very healthy if done right with enough variety. If you are interested in eating 100% raw this article can help you get started. But we recommend going at least 80% raw for practical reasons. And, if you cut out junk food completely (this includes “organic” junk food) and make sure that two of your three daily meals as well as any and all snacks are raw fresh fruits and vegetables (1:4 ratio), you will achieve a significantly higher level of health. For many people, eating this way rids the body of disease and ailments. For individuals who have led a toxic lifestyle for too long, more help is needed to restore the body to health.

People often point to the fact that there is not enough variety in a raw food diet to maintain good health. If a raw food diet to you means carrot sticks, celery and apples, then you’re right. My daily routine consists of a salad for breakfast and sometimes for lunch and/or dinner. On the days I do not have two salads, I have a smoothie. How do I get variety if I eat almost the same thing every day? Each of my salads contains at least 10 different kinds of vegetables. I get more nutrition in one salad than most people get in a whole week, maybe a month. My smoothies are nothing to scoff at, either. One salad and/or smoothie and I know I am set for the day. I must admit I do still love to eat, so I actually eat too much. Though I also work out pretty heavily on a regular basis, I imagine I could do better with about half the calories I consume.

Each of my salads contains at least 10 different kinds of vegetables. (Olha_Afanasieva/iStock/Thinkstock)

My Daily Salad

Want to know how to make an incredible salad? Here are the main ingredients for my salad:

  • Spinach
  • Arugula
  • Collard Greens
  • Spring mix
  • Leeks
  • Red onions
  • Red cabbage
  • Red bell pepper
  • Rainbow chard
  • Beet greens
  • Grated beet root
  • Graded carrots
  • Graded zucchini
  • Cucumbers
  • Cilantro
  • Pomegranate (seed)
  • Raisins
  • Sesame seeds
  • Ground papaya seeds
  • Avocado

I also throw in chick peas, a three bean salad combination, and/or some raw sheep cheese I get at my local farmers’ market. I always put two to three soft boiled eggs in my salad. Obviously I am not a vegan, but if you are, this salad is good enough without the cheese and eggs. The salad is also great with chicken or steak.

Update: Now I don’t do the cheese. I don’t do meat either. I still eat eggs, but am very considerate of where and how they are sourced. The avocado makes it so I don’t miss the cheese. But, for those who are not vegan, and concerned about getting enough calories, add what you want. Just please make sure all animal products were as humanely treated and healthy as possible.

There are tons of recipes for raw and healthy salad dressings. I love my own creation.

This salad dressing will have even the pickiest kids eating vegetables. (Shutterstock)

My Balsamic Salad Dressing Recipe

To make my salad dressing, I start with equal parts oil and vinegar (keep in mind that both olive oil and balsamic vinegar have a lot of imitators).

  • 3/4 cup of flax seed oil
  • 1/4 cup of coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons turmeric
  • 1 table spoon basil
  • Two teaspoons unrefined sea salt
  • Two teaspoons fresh ground pepper
  • Two tablespoons Dijon mustard

Do it all to taste if you want, but stay heavy on the turmeric; it’s very good for you, and it’s the most important ingredient to this recipe.

This salad dressing will have even the pickiest kids eating vegetables. It’s very versatile. Use it as a dip, a marinade, or whatever. It’s amazing.

Obviously this is not a 100% raw salad. But it’s mostly raw and very healthy. If you want to adopt a 100% raw food diet then find a great raw salad dressing and skip the peas, beans, eggs, and cheese. It’ll be healthier that way too.

Super Antioxidant Smoothie

I don’t have a smoothie every day. For health, nothing beats a great salad. But I do crave smoothies a few times a week.

  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1 cup fresh berries
  • ½ pomegranate (seeds)
  • ½ banana
  • 1 large kale leaf
  • 2 tablespoons nutrition powder (see below)
  • 1 tablespoon Udo’s Oil with DHA
I do crave smoothies a few times a week. (Shutterstock)

Nutrition Powder

Total Nutrition Formula, is the best nutritional support available. You can also make your own.  I don’t do smoothies everyday (salads are better), but when ever I do, I add my nutrition powder.


It takes time to adapt to a healthy lifestyle. I don’t spend much on groceries, but that’s because I’ve learned where and how to shop for the best deals. Local organic farmers’ markets are the best places to get the healthiest produce for a fraction of the cost you would spend at a conventional grocery store. It used to take me a lot of time to make smoothies and salads but I’ve learned to make them very quickly. I still spend more time than most preparing food, but health is my priority, my hobby, my most important investment. I’ll take the time.

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*Image of “woman” via Shutterstock

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