In this article, Frederic Patanaude shares on raw food motivations and mentors. Frederic Patanaude has been on a raw food journey for thirteen years. He is the author of The Raw Secrets.
Kevin: Well Frederic I want to welcome you to this program, I'm excited to have you here.
Frederic: I'm happy to be here.
Kevin: So let's start, for those who've never seen you or heard of you before, tell us who you are and how you got into this.
Frederic: All right, well I got into raw foods and the natural health movement about 10 years ago. I started in 1996 experimenting with it .. I'm 32 now. I was pretty young when I
Started. I published a magazine for many years called "Just Eat an Apple." It was the first
Professional thing I did in this movement. Then I did a lot of books, recipe books, that I published and then in the last four to five years I have been doing online projects exclusively. So I have been doing a lot of program courses.
Kevin: Tell me about, in the beginning I know you had some struggles with raw food, you just did not get into it and then it was awesome for you and ongoing .. Tell us a little about some things you learned through those beginning Years.
Frederic: It was very different back then. When I started the Internet was just getting started so we did not have people like you, sharing a lot of great information. It was more difficult to just get the information. And what I found is that the information that I got at first was not complete, it had serious pieces missing. And I would say the first four or five years I experimented with the diet and at some point I went 100% percent raw for several years in a row and I was not getting the results. Now I can totally understand why, in retrospect looking at what I did, it's very clear what did not work. But at the time I had no clue and there was no way to know. I could not find the right information. And unfortunately the people at the time that were leaders in the movement did not have it all down to a science, it was not that clear. It was more empirical, based on experience, but that's often misleading. So I had some problems. I still experienced with it over the years till I found a way to do it. Up to recently I was still doing some experimenting and now I'm pretty sure I got it right.
Kevin: What have you been doing now that you felt was missing, even through the past 10 years? Why are you confident now that it's really right for you?
Frederic: Well the main difference I guess is my motivation, the source of my motivation. That's really important because changing your diet is something big, you do it for a reason, and the reason I had was more philosophical. It made sense to me but I was 21, so I did not have many health problems and I did not have a good reason to do it. Since I turned 30 I became more interested in improving my fitness, because I see other people around me you know that are the same age that are starting to decline, their health is starting to decline. I do not want to go down the same path. I'm not just talking about raw foods here I'm talking about the general program including fitness, which is something that I did not include enough in my program.
Another reason was, I think the biggest reason probably was just that I was not eating enough calories. That's quite stupid, but it's very simple to understand when you're 22 you need to eat a lot of calories. And when you're 30 or 40 and you're really active, you need to eat a lot of calories. You're not going to get that from a breakfast of three apples. So that's something I did not understand because I did not fully analyze the diet. That's been a huge difference.
Kevin: What turned you on to the caloric intake? Were you feeling worn out? Were you feeling tired? You said you got to do something here and you searched around for the answer or …?
Frederic: I never had enough energy, so I always reverted back to cooked foods. I always reverted back to other foods or massive quantities of fat or massive quantities of nuts, like a lot people. I think a lot of people are beating themselves because they have cravings. What I found is if eat enough fruits and vegetables I'm not going to have cravings because I'm getting enough. So when you have a craving it's just your body telling you you're not eating enough. I mean there's also other types of psychological desires where you would want to have a certain food because it reminds you of something, or you want to be part of a social environment. That's different, it's not like physical where you feel compelled to eat it, like where you can not resist. If you can not resist eating the food then obviously you're not getting enough nutrition. People look in the wrong places when it comes to nutrition. They look at, "I'm not getting enough of this nutrient or this vitamin." It's not the little things that are missing it's just the calories. So that's been a huge breakthrough for me.
Kevin: The book "Raw Secrets," I love the book "Raw Secrets," and I think the reason why is because it seems like it's spoken from someone who one, cares about the reader, and then two, you've done a Lot of research. And you've done research with reading into Herbert Shelton, and TC Fry. What do you think is the good stuff from those authors?
Frederic: Referring to Herbert Shelton, especially Herbert Shelton, TC Fry and the early authors, I think the good thing about them is they had a more complete picture of health than many current authors who focus specifically on one thing, like they're going To focus specifically on raw foods, without changing the entire paradigm behind the model that we use to judge if something is good or not.
So for example, a lot of people are still in the medical model. For example for diet, all medical diets for weight loss are always the same. It's always a high protein, low carbohydrate diet. No other variation of the diet, it's always the same – Atkins, it's just the ratio that varies. You look at the South Beach Diet, all these different weight loss diets, they're always the same. It's the medical model for weight loss which is force your body to consume less calories by consuming high protein foods which are detrimental in the end to your health, in high quantities. But it works for weight loss. So that's always been the model.
So this is one example in diet, but there's other examples in terms of if you're asking yourself whether you should take a certain supplement or if you should use a certain drug. You know, some instances call for the use of technology and even drugs. But how are you going to judge that? I think that's what these authors offered us, a better understanding of the fundamental principles in self-healing and how the body works, and how nature works. That's what they bought us, this understanding, these basic principles which I find are not often emphased in the raw food movement.
Kevin: Yeah, now you spend time with, doing program with Dr. Doug Graham.
I love a lot of the stuff he puts out. What was your experience with that? And what were some of the things that you learned from him as a mentor?
Frederic: Yeah, well I definitely have high esteem for Dr. Graham and what he's bringing to the raw food movement. And I think it goes back to what we were saying about the basic principles and this understanding of health. He has a larger understanding, a wider understanding of health, and all of its aspects, not just diet, not just raw foods, but also, you know, how's your sleep, how's your fitness program.
Especially about fitness, I'm one of those people that was never really fit in my life. I actually was not very sporty in school and I hated exercise, and I was more the brainy type. I've changed that and I've started doing more exercise and improved my fitness and I learned a lot from Dr. Graham in that regard. So that's been a very important part of improving my health.
And also I think, definitely what he brought to the movement is a better understanding of the nutrition aspect the raw food diet, because if you look at it from strictly an academic perspective, some of the raw food diets just are not healthy, you know . [Laugh] And it does not matter if it's raw or cooked, do you have to look at, are you getting enough calories? How much fat are you getting? How much salt are you getting? And, these things are, we do not need that much research to prove that, the research has already been done.
Kevin: What does raw food mean to you? When someone says, "Oh, you're a raw foodist," what does that mean?
Frederic: Well, the word raw I think is important to define too, and the problem I think is people have used this word in scientific perspective, where they'll say, "Raw is when you heat a food below a certain number of Fahrenheit Degrees, like 105 or 118. " And there's like this magic number and if you go above that then it's no longer raw. But to me raw foods are just foods in their natural state, so fruits and vegetables in their natural state. Of course we can make some compromises and say, "OK maybe you can dehydrate a nut and still it can be a part of the program," but we're talking about foods that are in their natural state. It's pretty easy to know which ones are and which ones are not, you know? So that's the definition of raw.
In terms of the definition of raw foodists, it's a term that I do not particularly like, but I guess to me it would be someone that eats 100% raw food is a raw foodist, but then, you can eat 100% raw food For a day and are you a raw foodist then? So, if you make an exception once, does that count? So, that term is not important. You want to look for improving your health and using raw foods is one way, and eating all raw is surely something that I recommend and I try to do. So the definition can be very different from one person to the next.