Why I Say I Am 95% Raw

By Victoria Boutenko
January 9th, 2010


This month my family celebrates our 16th birthday as a Raw Family. Raw food saved our lives and I love every aspect of my raw life except for one. It becomes increasingly uncomfortable to feel the separation of us "purists," (100% raw foodists) from anyone who is "below" that standard.

I first experienced this unease four years ago. I visited my relatives who eat a standard American diet, when suddenly my 9 year old nephew confided to me that he decided to become a vegetarian. He asked me if I would teach him to cook a vegetable soup. I froze, thinking. "How can I do that? I am a 100% raw fooder!" Yet, after looking into Sasha’s excited eyes, I went ahead and helped him cook a soup, which he loved.

Soon after this episode, I participated in a weekend workshop with Byron Katie about self-realization, along with 500 other attendees. That was the very first non-raw food event that I had been to in more than ten years. I remember feeling different, weird, and completely out of place. In addition, and contrary to my expectation, those people did not look particularly unhealthy. I did a lot of thinking at this workshop about why I felt separated and the importance of happiness in one’s life.

Since then I noticed feeling progressively more sensitive when talking to people who were struggling to stick to a 60%, 70%, 80%, or whatever % raw diet. All of a sudden, I realized that my book 12 Steps to Raw Foods (first edition) contained fanaticism about 100% raw foodism. Soon I completely revised this book and published the second edition, which I find to be a much kinder book, and perhaps more useful because of that. I shredded and recycled the left over copies of the old edition.

I have noticed that when I was telling other people about myself being a 100% raw foodist, it came across as if I was claiming to be a better, higher, more spiritual person. I felt so uncomfortable that I repeated in every lecture, "I am just a woman in a green dress. Please don’t put me on a pedestal."

We are all pioneers, still in the beginning of our research of the human diet. Nothing is set in stone and our bodies continually change. For example, while I enjoyed gourmet raw food in the beginning of my raw journey, for several years now, I have completely eliminated food prepared with nuts. In recent years I have decided that it can be healthier, to eat a bowl of cooked green vegetables than a whole jar of raw nut butter.

While I believe with my whole heart that, when done correctly, a raw food diet is the optimal way of eating for humans, and my present diet is almost exclusively raw, I prefer to resign from a "100% raw" position.

Green for Life in Foreign Languages

Often our readers ask if the book Green for Life is available in a certain language. Below please find the information on translation of this book in foreign languages.

Translated and published:
Translations of Green for Life by Victoria Boutenko

  • Croatian
  • Dutch
  • German
  • Hebrew
  • Hungarian
  • Korean
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Serbian
  • Slovenian
Coming Soon:
  • French
  • Hindu
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Polish
  • Sweden
  • Turkish
Please let us know of any existing translation that we are unaware of, so that we can tell people about them.

If you are interested in purchasing Green for Life in the above languages please "Google" its name on that particular language as these books are available only in the countries where these languages are spoken. We don’t have them for sale. Enjoy the worldwide Green Wave!

Joy for Life Retreat in Thailand

Joy for Life
Retreat - Thailand

Dear Friends,

We are excited to announce an international Joy for Life retreat in Thailand from April 24th to May 1st, 2010. The retreat will take place at breath-taking Chao Lao Beach, in the region of Chanthaburi. This place is famous for its mile-long fruit market and excellent $4/hour Thai massages. Our resort is located 4 hours away from Bangkok, where we will pick everybody up and transport to the site in a comfortable (air-conditioned) bus. By the way, April is peak fruit season in Thailand, especially for durians. We are planning to serve a lot of ripe organic fruit along with green smoothies.

for Life Retreat - Thailand

The price of this 8 day retreat is $1,200, which includes accommodations both in Bangkok and Chao Lao Beach, bus for a trip to and from Chao Lao Beach, all meals, classes, and handouts.

Sign up soon; space is limited to 40 people.

More details: www.joyforliferetreat.com

for Life Retreat - Thailand Joy for Life Retreat - Thailand

Don’t forget to visit our Blog and Forum The blog contains many of Victoria's popular articles and recipes. On the forum you can ask questions from other members and find Raw Food and Green Smoothie support.

With Green Love, the Boutenkos

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