raw food diet versus alkaline diet

I was having this conversation on Facebook today with a reader, and since I’m sure not all of you are my facebook friends or check in there regularly, I thought I’d share here part of the discussion:

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl (condensed question): I was feeding my kids almond milk but read that overconsumption of nuts leads to mold in the blood. What else should I use?

Answer: The most restrictive diet I know of is the alkaline diet (Robert O. Young, etc.). Well, except for the candida diet, which is even tougher. Dr. Young writes extensively in his various books of mycotoxins (mold, fungus, bacteria, and their byproducts) in the blood from eating acidic foods.

I am highly supportive of this diet but based on observation of human behavior, I don’t feel that most people will undertake it, EVEN IF THEY ARE ILL. If you want to eliminate nuts and eat totally alkaline for a period of time to overcome health challenges, good for you. Your health will benefit. (The alkaline diet will also require that you get rid of grains and many fruits!)

I am very intentionally sitting in the middle of that big divide between folks eating the Standard American Diet and the all-alkaline or all-raw folks. Raw foodists will call what I am teaching “transitional.” I actually believe that a LONG-TERM commitment to eating what I teach, “high raw” or 60-80% raw and the remainder of the diet being whole foods (legumes, grains, cooked vegs), will prevent disease very well for a LIFETIME. I believe that it doesn’t have to be a “transition” to some kind of more pure or “ideal” diet. What I am teaching, I believe, is a common-sense approach that returns you to the basics, the way we were meant to eat, using foods God put on the Earth, but without tons of cooking. Like the vast majority of indigenous and ancient cultures have always done.

Raw goat milk is another good alternative to pasteurized, store-bought dairy milk. You can search this blog for more info.

By the way, I haven’t tested it yet, but at the suggestion of readers, we’ve added a search feature to the site.

Also, almonds are actually pretty alkaline (other nuts are more acidic, like cashews). And yes, eat nuts–but overconsumption will lead to weight gain, too. A quarter cup a day is enough, unless you’re an athlete, in which case you might eat half a cup. I have 1/4 cup cashews in Hot Pink Smoothie in the morning, and usually eat 1/4 cup of almonds, too, as a snack later. (Factor in that I play sports an average of 90 min. to 2 hours a day.)

6 thoughts on “raw food diet versus alkaline diet

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  1. Thanks for this wonderful post. What a pain it’s been to hear people following the raw food lifestyle use the word ‘transition’ or ‘it’s time to get serious’ (implying that the current diet of whole plant based foods–cooked and raw–isn’t ideal or pure enough). People beat themselves up unnecessarily, stressing out because their time is filled up always trying to fulfill someone else’s vision of what it means to lead THE life.

    I had been doing really well with my diet until I started to experiment with a lot of the dogma circulating in cyber space, especially within the last year. I think the biggest mistake I made was replacing short grain brown rice with fruit, way too much fruit. I never gained weight on rice and chewed my food well, felt at peace and calm. With fruit, my skin is breaking out and I hadn’t had a problem with it for a long time (since I changed my lifestyle and omitted the five whites). In my pursuit of 100% raw, I created some kind of imbalance. I feel that intuitively. Now, I could be eating almond butter, which never affected me before, and I’ll break out in a hive for about 20minutes. Obviously I’m allergic to some nuts and oils. Sometimes in the middle of the night, my face is so itchy, I just want to cry and I’ve been asleep for five hours, my last meal having been 4 hours before sleep time. So, I don’t get it.

    My skin had always been my ‘weakest’ link growing up but when I changed my diet, the results that took place were nothing short of miraculous. For the longest time, I used a warm washcloth to clean my face and I was glowing–no need for powder or even moisturizer. Now, I ‘need’ a cleanser and I still can’t get the results I once had. . .For me, the state of my skin is a clear reflection of what’s happening in my internal terrain. I can’t help but get down about it because I don’t put junk in my body and yet something’s not quite right.

    Sorry for this post. I sound bitter. It’s just so upsetting to listen to others when the little voice inside is telling you, “You’re on the right path. No need to change something that isn’t broken.”

    Thanks for the insight Robyn.


  2. Robyn,

    Green smoothies are great and I have been drinking them for years. It was a pleasure to discover your website two months ago. I have actually been reading and researching raw food for many years and went on a 100% raw food diet for 10 weeks. I felt great, slept well, lost weight and had more energy, but even with all those benefits, I struggled to maintain that eating style as I have a husband and three kids in the house. One problem I have with 100% raw is that I feel it is too restrictive. There ARE other good food choices out there, but need to be eaten in moderation. I like your approach. We really do need to get back to basics in this society and eat a more nutritious, simple diet.

    I have quite a collection of books on raw foods and green smoothies (I just added yours) and one thing I wanted to comment on was that several authors state that if you soak (sprout?) your almonds before you make almond milk (which is sooo easy) you will have a more alkaline nut. They even alluded to that with other nuts. What have you read about this?

    Thanks for all you do.

  3. I have been following Robyn and reading all I can and trying to save up to buy her program, but I cannot eat any grains, at least no gluten and I am supposed to avoid legumes, tomatoes, eggs, milk, yeast and sugar. (All to help with my recent MS diagnosis.) Will I still find the program helpful? Are most of her recipes free of these things? I do feel I need more help. I am starting to get bored, but I know I need to stay on this diet if I want to be strong and healthy all my life. I have looked into the alkaline diet and the candida diet and both seem really hard, raw seems to be the best for me, if I can do it right.

    Thank you!


  4. After my husband’s diagnosis of cancer, we decided to follow Dr. Young’s alkaline diet. What it did for him is way passed amazing!! No more asthma, minimal allergies, no more bronchitis, no more 7 or more medicines a day, and the best of all, the cancer seems to be gone! Since then we’ve lightened up only a little and find that Robyn’s approach seems to be just about right where we need to be now. We love the green smoothies. This “transition” state would have been all that he needed to avoid most of the problems that he grew up with!!

  5. Sarah- just wanted to say that we are off gluten, dairy, and egg (and processed sugar) and off yeast (most of the time- i’ve made a bread twice in over 8 months with it) – my son reacts to tomatoes and a lot of times I can just keep them out for him (pull out soup) and then add the tomatoes to the rest of the soup for all of us.

    as for legumes ==that’s a little harder–but if you can have b-rice, buckwheat, quinoa, etc. then there will still be a LOT for you that you can have.

    Even though there are quite a bit of recipes that we cannot make or robyn’s because of the above restrictions–there are still a lot left and even the smaller amount is worth the money–there isn’t ONE recipe Iv’e made of hers that isn’t delicious!!!

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