The Principle of Living Foods
Raw foods are most sattvic in nature among all types of
foods available to Man. And among raw foods, some are more
beneficial than others; organically grown foods are better
than those treated with pesticides and other chemical
fertilizers; fresh foods are better than stored foods.
The body-mind likes variety. On the level of gross food,
biochemical variety is Life-positive since living tissues
are unimaginably complex on a chemical level. All forms of
processing and “refinement” of food materials tend to
decrease the variety of chemical substances present in the
food. This is one reason for our choosing foods in their
“natural” state as much as possible.
Cooking is the most primitive form of food processing.
All forms of food processing have had their economic and
“survival” utility. However, this is not a conclusive
argument that cooking is thereby optimal. In fact, the
opposite appears to be the case. Cooking radically alters
food chemistry; destroys the life of living cells; destroys
valuable vitamins, natural mineral chelates, and enzymes;
renders many food substances less assimilable; and thus
leads to imbalanced and “acid” conditions in the body. For
these and other reasons we choose raw over cooked foods.
As the process of gradual psycho-physical purification
progresses through the stages of dietary practice, we depend
less and less on gross food, and our requirements for
nutrients decrease. Caloric needs may drop to as low as
600-1000 cal./day. Protein needs may diminish to 5-10
grams/day. Likewise, other nutrients will be needed less as
the metabolism is purified. Our appetite will decrease and
we will be satisfied with less.
The basic description of the regenerative raw diet is as
FOODS TO EAT LIBERALLY
Sprouts of all types, wheatgrass, and rye
Grains should be taken only in sprouted or grass
Sprouts will supply complete proteins,
carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.
All nutrients are more readily assimilable in
sprouts, and sprouts are less acid-forming than the
Protein concentrations are decreased as the sprout
takes in water to grow, but total protein content increases
Fresh fruits and vegetables of all types.
Especially good are dark green leafy vegetables which are
rich in chlorophyll. Preferred greens are collard, kale,
mustard, broccoli, dark lettuce.
FOODS TO EAT SPARINGLY
You may find that you will naturally minimize your use of
these over time.
Nuts and seeds
Preferred are almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin
seeds, and unhulled sesame seeds. These have the highest
Brazil nuts are high in protein and the amino acid
methionine but more susceptible to oxidation and
Walnuts, filberts, and pistachios can also be
Raw cashews may be used, but they are high in
fats, prone to rancidity, and for some people difficult to
digest. They contain tannic acid, which is felt by some to
be toxic if ingested in large quantities. Also, cashews are
often boiled to aid removal from their shells.
Use predominantly nuts and seeds that have been
soaked over night in water, ground, or sprouted. The process
of hydrolysis in soaking breaks down protein concentrates,
making them more easily assimilable and preventing
rancidity. The process of grinding makes nuts or seeds
easier to digest. And sprouting utilizes the process of
hydrolysis and releases nutritional stores latent in the
dormant seed or nut.
Heavy fruits: bananas, avocados, and dried
Oils and fats, e.g., in dressings. These tend to
overload the system. Even the finest raw oil is a processed
food devoid of the many synergistic actions present in the
original nut or seed.
Oxalic acid greens: spinach, beet, and Swiss
Dulse, kelp, and other seaweeds can be used for
seasoning instead of salt.
Soured foods. Sauerkraut and pickles should be
naturally fermented, and sauerkraut should be salt-free.
Miso is actually a cooked and processed food. However, it is
a healthful fermented product and can be used, particularly
in a non-pasteurized form. “Rejuvelac”5 is the fermented
water from soaked grains. It can be healthful as long as it
does not create an overly acid effect. Such soured products
are often found useful in the transition to a raw diet, but
some individuals may find them to be too fiery or acidic
after full adaptation to raw foods.
FOODS TO AVOID
Excess quantities of any foods, especially of
nuts, legumes, concentrated sweeteners, and starchy fruits,
which unbalance and acidify the body.
Salt is too stimulating, especially to the sex
organs, and is also thought to damage the elastic tissues of
the body. Iodized salt is especially to be avoided.
Vitamins in large doses. See details on page
Dairy products are difficult to digest. High
casein concentrations cause many mucus ailments.
Desserts typically add little nutrition and many
extra calories. They may be used for special
Peanuts are legumes and are hard to digest,
especially in the raw state.
Spices garlic, onions, cayenne, chili,
ginger are healing when the diet is of cooked food.
Once the body is detoxified on a raw diet, they appear to be
potentially irritating to the kidneys, liver, and the lining
of the digestive tract.
We address here a number of practical questions or
1. What is the best way to get the proper number of
2. Can I be sure to get adequate protein?
3. How about vitamins, minerals, and food
4. How do I counteract enervation in stressful
5. What adjustments are necessary for infants and
6. What about diet during pregnancy and lactation?
7. Does the raw diet have a strict formula? Is it harmful
to eat cooked foods once you have begun the raw, diet?
1. Calorie Counting and Systematic Undereating
The simplest and most consistent approach to health and
minimizing the negative effects of aging is systematic
undereating. This concept is discussed at length in The
Eating Gorilla Comes in Peace. Undereating saves energy,
money, food, and time. It is a basic principle of a
regenerative way of life. Calorie counting is a useful and
practical way to consider this principle in depth.
Keep a diet diary and, at the end of the day, tabulate
the amount of calories you have ingested. You will have to
measure your portions. Look at the calorie table you plan to
use (See Appendix C, p. 58.) and measure out your portions
in the same units used in the table: grams, ounces, cups,
tablespoons, etc. We recommend a simple procedure.
First locate your optimum weight in Table III (see p.
33.) of desirable weights. Keep in mind that this table is
for the average American, eating the conventional diet. Many
people on lacto-vegetarian and/or vegan diets are 20 pounds
below the normals shown in this table and find this light
weight to be optimum for health. If people need to lose
weight the following formula can be used: To lose 1
lb./week, reduce calories by 500 calories a day.
Once optimum weight is attained, maintain calorie intake
at the minimum level necessary to keep from losing weight.
You may use the table of daily calorie intake for your
weight as a guide. (See Table IV, p. 34.)
We must not equate hunger with starvation or some form of
bodily danger. Hunger is necessary and benign. The state of
being hungry is an energetic condition to which we must
become adapted and not always seek to suppress or bypass.
Likewise, we must not become impatient when we take food.
Rather, we must abide and rest in hunger as we thoroughly
chew each bite. This principle is important to all forms of
diet and enhances assimilation of nutrients, especially in
the raw diet, since the body-mind should already be
accustomed to the hungry state of energetic alertness.
Failure to observe this principle will tend to lead to all
sorts of symptoms of failure of assimilation such as gas,
failure of energy, or dullness of mind.
The raw diet will tend to normalize the body weight
naturally, perhaps even without counting calories. However,
we advocate that everyone, at least in the early stage of
adaptation to this diet, take the extra time to accurately
weigh out food portions and keep intake within the
recommended range of calories.
Calorie adjustments you may need to make depend on age,
activity, bodily frame, climate, pregnancy, lactation, and
type of diet.
Age. Energy requirements (calories needed) decline
gradually during early adulthood. Tables are provided to
determine calories for children of various ages. (See Table
V, p. 36.)
Bodily Frame. More energy is needed for a larger
body than a smaller body.
Activity. Moderate to heavy activity for sustained
periods of time requires more energy than light or sedentary
activity. Mental effort does seem to increase our need for
calories. In accounting for activity we must not only
consider the type of work we do but also the amount of
energy expended during leisure time. (See Table VI, p.
Climate. In general, no adjustments need to be
made for climate or season. The usual temperatures in which
we live and work are 68-77° F. Prolonged exposure to
cold or heat may warrant adjustments.
Pregnancy and lactation require increased energy
demands and we suggest pregnant women should add 300
calories a day and lactating women 500 calories a day to
their calorie counts
Type of Diet. Calorie needs on the raw diet may decrease.
Further decrease may be seen on the fruit diet.
Dietary protein is often an emotional issue. The simple
fact is that given a varied diet that contains adequate
amounts of calories to maintain body weight, protein needs
are automatically fulfilled. Only 5-10% of total calories
need be protein. Foods do not need to be concentrated in
protein in order to supply adequate protein nutrition. Human
milk, for example, is between 1 and 2.4% protein and yet
supplies the rapidly growing infant. Even fruit, which we
ordinarily think of as having “no protein,” is between 0.4
and 2.2% protein.6 Furthermore, recent findings support the
lowering of the “minimum daily requirement” for protein to
as low as 30 grams a day. Of those with extensive experience
with the raw diet, some even suggest that on the raw diet
protein needs decrease to as low as 5-10 grams a day. The
protein contained in the raw foods diet is more readily
assimilated by the body. This may account in part for the
decreased requirement. But it also seems that the body
simply needs less protein as it becomes purified.
Excess protein can cause toxic accumulations in the bowel
as intestinal bacteria convert some amino acids to
carcinogens. Excess protein is stimulating (rajasic),
interferes with digestion, slows or stops the process of
detoxification, and causes acid conditions. The raw diet is
rich in sources of protein: nuts and seeds, preferably
soaked, sprouted, or freshly ground, and all fruits and
vegetables contain proteins of premium quality. Our object,
however, is to eat only a healthy minimum of proteins in
keeping with the health benefits of minimizing calories.
3. Vitamins, Minerals, and Food Supplements
The raw diet is rich in vitamins and minerals. Therefore,
we do not, in general, advocate high potency supplements.
Such supplements are useful during the first dietary
transition, but once the transition is made to the raw diet,
they will tend to be somewhat stimulating and may mask
health problems much as allopathic drugs do. In the initial
transition, food supplements such as nutritional yeast and
bee pollen may be used, and if it is felt necessary, a low
potency multi-vitamin and mineral tablet (only from
vegetarian sources) may be taken.
Controversy exists regarding the adequacy of vitamins B12
and D in vegetarian diets. However, proper levels of these
vitamins can be maintained through right diet and health
Table VII, pp. 42-43, shows the nutritional sources of
additional vitamins and minerals.
Vitamin B12 is made by normal intestinal bacteria and is
absorbed from the intestine unless the diet produces an acid
condition,7 in which case B12 absorption may decrease.
Therefore, do not use acid-forming foods in excess. The B12
requirement may also decrease with diet refinement.
The best source of vitamin D is sunlight. Daily exposure
to the sun, even in the winter months, is sufficient.
Sunflower seeds are a particularly good nutritional source
of vitamin D
4. Counteracting Enervation
The regenerative raw diet is a balanced and fully
nutritious diet, and people often find that they have an
increased capacity to withstand stressful circumstances such
as sickness, overwork, little sleep, or severe climatic
changes. For instance, raw dieters often find that their
sleep requirements diminish and their capacity to work long
hours can increase. In fact, they may find that refinement
of the diet decreases their appetite and yet increases their
energy level, much as a fast does. Heavy or excess food
would only obstruct their bodily energy.
However, there may be occasions in which one becomes run
down or devitalized. In this case enervation must be handled
in an intelligent, considered manner. Fasting is not the key
to healing enervation because one has to have sufficient
energy to fast. To reverse enervation it is necessary to
take rest and modify your diet to include foods that
“ground” and revitalize the body. The following dietary
modifications may be systematically applied.
Increase caloric intake of raw foods. Calories are
units of energy or “heat” stored in food substances.
Increasing calories allows the body to refurbish its “heat,”
its storehouse of functional and reserve energy.
Concentrated starches such as bananas are
Increase protein intake through raw foods. Protein
forms the “building blocks” of the body and is necessary for
growth and therefore strengthening. Nuts and seeds and
avocados are concentrated protein sources.
Add vitamins, minerals, and food supplements such
as food yeast. These are concentrated nutritional sources
which have the capacity, when applied intelligently, to
replenish deficiencies created by unbalancing
Add cooked foods if necessary.
1. Miso is a particularly regenerative and strengthening
food. A miso broth with raw vegetables added just to the
heated point (not fully cooked) has a healing effect,
especially in cold weather.
2. Cooked brown rice and possibly millet are sattvic and
very nutritious whole grains. These taken whole or pureed in
a miso soup broth can be very strengthening.
5. Infants and Children
We have found no evidence of any harmful effects suffered
by children on a raw diet. Indeed, we have several reports
of children raised in excellent health on a strict
fruitarian diet. For infants in the first year of life,
breast milk alone is optimal. Weaning may best he done with
gradual addition of fresh, ripe fruits, soaked dried fruits,
fresh fruit juices diluted 50% with water, and sprouts put
through the blender (avoiding heavy bean sprouts such as
garbanzos and kidney beans). Cereals. potatoes. and bread
should he avoided. As teeth begin to appear, nuts and seeds
may he added. These may be introduced somewhat earlier in
the form of nut milks. Blended vegetables, especially of the
green leafy variety may be used. Spirulina, wheatgrass, and
rye sprouts or rye grass, which is good for the teeth (rye
is high in calcium flouride), are recommended.
Our diet as parents should provide the basis for what
children eat. Parents are responsible to observe how their
children respond to diet, carefully noting chronic
tendencies inherent to vital, peculiar, or solid
strategies,8 and vitality and freedom from toxicity and
enervation. Height and weight curves during growth should be
followed with measurements every four to six months, and
recorded on growth charts available from any doctors office
or The Radiant Life Clinic. Growth is a good overall
indicator of a childs health.
6. Pregnancy and Lactation
A raw diet may be completely adequate for
pregnancy some even argue that such a diet is
preferable. We do not, however, have good evidence on this
point. It also appears that radical dietary changes should
not be made during pregnancy itself, although substitutions
may be made, e.g., sesame or sprouted wheat milk for dairy
products. “Morning sickness” in the early phase of pregnancy
is a purification syndrome. The mothers body is trying to
cleanse itself of accumulated wastes. If these symptoms
appear, a largely raw diet, properly used, might be of great
help during the early phase of gestation. However, no
radical changes should be made from the dietary practice
existing at the onset of pregnancy. Excess protein and fat
should be avoided since they will contribute to toxemia.
Supplements and vitamins may be taken during pregnancy.
These recommendations also apply to lactating mothers.
7. Be Intelligent, Not a Robot
The entire matter of dietary practice requires
intelligence, sensitivity to ones own bodily state, and an
open mind. Application of the diet is an art and science of
maintaining bodily equanimity. Therefore, whatever creates
that balance for each individual is what must be engaged.
During the transition to a raw diet an individual may need
nutritional supplements, vitamins, or substantial amounts of
fermented products. And once on the raw diet, someone may
begin to notice an imbalance, created through bodily
tendency or circumstance, and may need to make adjustments
such as the addition of cooked rice or possibly millet, at
least temporarily. Dietary decisions must be handled through
discriminative intelligence, not through dogmatic taboos.
The point of view is to practice an optimum diet, and an
optimum diet may include at any time for an individual a
preponderance of certain foods and a decrease of others or
even an addition of new foods such as cooked grain. Be
intelligent, not a robot reduced to a formula!
REFINEMENTS OF THE RAW DIET
Once a person has eaten the raw diet stably for a period
of one to three months, refinements can be made that will
further enhance the bodily participation in the Fullness of
Life. Master Da has suggested that a fruitarian diet might
become appropriate as spiritual maturity progresses.
There is no consensus on exactly what foods are to be
considered fruits. Some fruitarians include anything that
contains seeds, such as avocados, tomatoes, cucumbers,
peppers, zucchini, and even corn. Most include seeds and
nuts, although all caution against their overuse. For
example, 1-2 ounces of almonds should be sufficient for a
day. Beans and peas are definitely not fruits. (See Appendix
A, p. 56, for a list of fruits.)
We have observed that as the raw diet is refined and
moves toward the fruitarian diet, we become more sensitive
to our natural cycles of energy. The daily rhythm of the sun
may thus serve as a guide to our taking of food. For
Breakfast: Need not be stimulating since the body is
naturally outer-directed at this time.
Should not be a heavy meal since that will tend to
depress energy and throw us out of natural rhythm.
May consist of light fruits and seeds (not nuts).
Lunch: Should be the main meal of the day since the body
is at its activity peak and the sun at its maximum. May
consist of mainly sweet fruits (or vegetable fruits) and
Snack: At around 3-4 p.m. the bodily energy begins to
decline and a slight snack may be appropriate.
Herb tea with seeds, and perhaps some fruit.
Dinner: As the sun sets, the body relaxes, and heavy or
stimulating foods will tend to throw us out of balance.
Vegetable fruits or light fruits and seeds.
Bedtime: A small snack may be appropriate, for example
tea, seeds, and apple or pear.
(See Appendix B, p. 57, for a sample diet.)
Remember, there is no rigid rule for management of the
diet. Individuals must be responsible for their own bodily
sensitivity and are free to experiment within these
parameters. For example, some may find that both lunch and
dinner are best composed of sweet fruits. Others may find
that vegetable fruits will be best for both lunch and
A pure fruit diet may be especially appropriate in
tropical and subtropical areas. Tropical fruits appear to be
the most sattvic. Several fruitarians caution against a
strict fruitarian diet in temperate zones; they suggest some
sprouts and grasses or juices or leafy and root vegetables
be added. This modification is also recommended for polluted
Use of dried fruits during the transition period should
be minimized. They may be introduced slowly once the system
becomes accustomed to ordinary fruits. Excess use of heavy
fruits, such as bananas and avocados is not recommended.
Both need to be properly ripened. Excess seed “cheeses”9 and
oils will also overburden the system. Sweet fruits may cause
fermentation and gas at first, but such symptoms should
abate after a while.
A healing crisis of elimination may occur shortly after
an initial period of improvement in health. An initial
weight loss is also possible during this purification, but
the body will tend to gain weight subsequently even if on
fruit juices only. A persistent underweight condition may be
due to failure of assimilation or inadequate intake. If the
former is the cause, continuation of the diet with
optimization of conscious exercise will help. Otherwise
increased intake may be necessary. In any case,
approximately twenty pounds under standard weight is to be
expected on a fruitarian diet.
With a fruit diet, it may not be necessary to drink
water. If it is needed, glass distilled or
stainless-steel-distilled water is the best, and plastic
containers should be avoided. A small portion of dried or
fresh fruit, alfalfa seeds, or crushed grass can be used to
convert the distilled water into “live water.” Rejuvelac can
also be made from distilled water.
1. A fruit diet may be a further refinement of the raw
2. A natural cycle of daily food-taking should be
established in rhythm with the sun.
3. Fruit vegetables can also be used and the diet will
remain optimum, especially in temperate zones. (See Appendix
A., p. 56, for a list of fruit vegetables.)
4. Wheat and rye grasses are an important adjunct to the
5. Nuts, seeds, and seed cheeses can be used as protein
6. Raw vegetable salads and juices may be used in the
transition period to a fruitarian diet.
7. Avoid excess avocados, bananas, and dried fruit.
In summary, the raw diet as presented in Raw Gorilla is
not only nutritionally adequate but also optimal for health.
It is not engaged for conventional purposes but rather as a
self-generated discipline to free essential energy and
attention for the Spiritual Process. A person must practice
this dietary discipline in the context of a life devoted to
Spiritual Realization, pass through the necessary
transformations, and discover a diet that maintains optimum
health for the radical Spiritual Realization of complete
Identification with the Radiant Transcendental Being.
* * *
5. For a recipe see The Eating Gorilla Comes in Peace, by
Da Free John, p. 217.
6. Kulvinskas, Viktoras, Survival into the 21st Century
(Weatherfield, Conn.: Omangod Press 1981). p. 28.
7. For an explanation of acid-alkaline balance, please
see The Eating Gorilla Comes in Peace. pp. 99-100.
8. For full consideration of vital, peculiar, and solid
strategies, please see The Eating Gorilla Comes in Peace,
chapter 5, pp. 135-174.
9. For a recipe on seed cheeses. see Light Eating For
Survival, Marcia Acciardo, p. 18.