Basics -- Guidelines to

Getting Started on an RVAF Diet


A number of folks who have decided to start experimenting with a largely-raw or partly-raw RVAF (largely-Paleolithic, all-raw vegetation and animal foods diet) have disclosed that perhaps the hardest part is getting started, and particularly, picking what foods to eat and how much. This intent behind this page is to alleviate much of the confusion around starting an RVAF diet in both theory and practice.

This document is broken into two primary sections: 

  • General Guidelines -- principles
  • General Guidelines -- practice: Do's and Don'ts
The former section is very brief, and the latter is far longer.



Donations and Support for this Website

This freely-offered educational website has been totally self-supported by the author, Vinny Pinto, since its inception (and many of my websites were started between August 2000 and June 2003). While I offer the content on this website freely, as a gift to all from my heart, it is quite obvious that not only did my research in these realms (and also my training, including formal education, that allowed me to offer this material in the first place) incur costs, but there are also monthly and yearly costs associated with web hosting, domain registration, etc. As you have likely noticed, I have chosen not to accept any advertising on any of my websites. As a result of all of these factors, any funds that you might choose to donate toward supporting my research work and this site will be very much appreciated.

Thus, I am seeking donations to help me to support this site -- even two dollars helps! If you wish to donate, you may do so by using your credit card, ATM card, debit card, or transfer from your bank account, via fully secure means. To make a donation, please go to the Donations and Support page ! All transactions are secure; in all cases, you get to choose the donation amount!

     Thank you very much!
     Vinny


General Guidelines -- principles

First, some general guidelines common to most RVAF diets, and particularly central to diets such as the Primal Diet and its derivatives.  Please realize that these guidelines reproduced on this page are my own, and are not necessarily 100% indicative of the guidelines of any one particular RVAF system, including the Primal Diet; there will likely be at least some minor deviations from any of them. 

For most RVAF diets to have an effect, most folks agree that 50% or more of all foods eaten must be raw, unheated, unbleached, unsterilized and unprocessed.  Yes, this excludes soaking the foods in hydrogen peroxide, exposing them to ozone, or soaking them in colloidal silver or other "disinfectants".  I view previously-frozen foods (meats, fish, etc.) as having a slightly lower quality that fresh meats or fish, but I, and many other RVAF eaters, use previously-frozen raw foods regularly.  Some common examples of previously-frozen foods used successfully by some RVAFers include raw meats, raw organ meats, especially kidney, heart and liver, raw fish, and raw berries when not in season.

This diet excludes all heated, cooked, refined or processed foods (technically, there are two or three exceptions regarding processing -- see next paragraph.)  This diet includes only foods (with the possible exception of raw dairy and extra virgin raw olive oil) which existed in Paleolithic times and were eaten in quantity by our Paleo ancestors.  

There are, in most (not all) RVAF diets, two exceptions to the no-processed rule above.  The first is raw extra virgin olive oil, which has obviously been pressed. Many RVAF diets use this oil in small quantities, as the health effects seem largely proven and obvious.  The second exception is fresh raw vegetable juice.  While our Paleo ancestors obviously did not own electric juicers, they did eat lots of vegetative matter. The added health benefits of juicing (versus raw veggies) seem to be very considerable, and have, indeed, spawned an entire "juicing" movement.  Since consuming raw juice (of vegetables, not fruits!) seems so powerful, some RVAF systems include juicing.  It is the opinion of the current author that raw fresh vegetable juice offers incredible health benefits not seen with consumption of raw vegetables alone.

General Guidelines -- practice: Do's and Don'ts

Avoid all: 

  • grains -- yes, this includes flours, pasta, breads and doughs
  • beans -- yes, this includes dried "peas" and also hummous (aka "hummus")
  • legumes -- yes, this includes soy, cashews and peanuts!  These foods entered the human food chain too late! 
  • pulses -- such as lentils; most of us call them beans or "peas", anyway!
  • peanuts -- a legume, entered the human food chain too late
  • cashews -- a legume; also, heated when extracted from shell
  • hazelnuts -- often heated when extracted from shell
  • refined and processed oils
  • vegetable oils, other than raw unheated extra virgin (EV) olive oil
  • hydrogenated oils
  • all cooked foods
  • all heated or processed (refined, etc.) foods
  • all pasteurized dairy products (raw dairy is more an individual question)
  • heated honey (careful! -- most so-called "raw" honey has been heated to 160 degrees F.)
  • dried fruits which have been heated, or processed with oils or sugars (you would be amazed!)
  • almost all cured and dried meats; most will have been heated, or have had salts, nitrites, nitrates and/or other preservatives added
Usually Avoid (some exceptions!):
  • farm-raised fish -- they are often fed unnatural, nutrient-deficient foods, and will usually be especially lacking in the "really good" Omega 3 oils and some carotenoids due to the unnatural diet.
  • most farm-raised shellfish -- same reasons as above, usually (some exceptions)
  • shellfish -- many of us enjoy shellfish occasionally, but they are more of a treat than a staple
  • salted foods
  • adding salt to foods -- if you really want to use salt, and your body is asking for it, use only good unheated sea salt
  • all fruit juices, even fresh and raw -- the sugars are too concentrated, and they are often little more than highly sweetened and flavored water. Having said that, I do admit to occasionally drinking 4 ounces at a time of fresh-squeezed organic orange or grapefruit juice
  • fresh raw veggie juices which contain more than about 40% of carrots or beets -- these are too sugary.  However, having said that, I admit that when traveling, I occasionally drink and enjoy a 100% pure carrot juice.
Make sure all your foodstuffs come only from the following categories:
  • raw wild-caught fish
  • occasionally raw, wild-caught shellfish, or farmed oysters or clams
  • organic (and preferably pasture-fed) meats and poultry
  • organic, pasture-fed eggs
  • truly raw and unheated honey
  • truly raw and unheated extra virgin (EV) olive oil
  • possibly small amounts of truly raw and unheated flax seed oil -- will depend upon your body type and needs.
  • fresh raw vegetables, preferably organic
  • fresh raw fruits, preferably organic
  • fresh raw juices of vegetables -- at least 4 eight ounce glasses per day.  -- Highly Important for Most Folks! -- Luckily, if juiced in a good juicer, these juices may be stored in small air-free, airtight containers in the refrigerator for a few days; more guidelines elsewhere on this site. Do not use primarily sugary vegetables such as carrots or beets.  They may be used in moderation, mixed with juices of green vegetables
  • raw, unheated, organic, pasture-fed raw dairy -- depends upon your body and genetics
  • limited amounts of truly raw and unheated nuts and seeds such as walnuts, pecans, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds and almonds
  • limited amounts of dried fruits, and only if truly unheated and unprocessed (no oils or sugars, etc.)
  • if your body type will allow it, modest amounts of true, well-fermented sourdough bread, or very limited amounts of unheated, uncooked breads, such as "Essene Bread".  However, most people seem to be adversely affected by even small amounts of grain-based carbs.
Can You Summarize Quickly -- What is Most Essential?
Okay, bottom line, in brief -- here goes: To me, and to some other researchers, what seems most essential and of primary importance on an RVAF diet are the following points, reduced to quick summary guidelines:
Do:
  • Eat at least 50% raw and fresh foods -- I personally eat over 80% raw
  • Drink at least 3 glasses of fresh raw green juice every day -- Highly Important for Most Folks!
  • Eat at least a bit of raw animal fat every day: this may be in the form of egg yolks, fatty fish, butter, or in meats
  • Eat at least one piece of raw fruit per day; many of us prefer more often.  You may need to avoid overly sweet fruits.
  • Eat at least a bit (4 ounces) of raw animal food (eggs, fish, meat) at least 6x/week
  • Get at least a bit of exercise daily -- a 10-minute walk is better than nothing!
  • Get sunlight whenever possible, in moderation; be careful not to burn, based upon your knowledge of your genetics and skin type
Don'ts/Avoids:
  • avoid all grains, beans, pulses ("dried peas") and legumes and refined products made therefrom
  • avoid all heated (pasteurized) dairy products, including butters and margarines
  • avoid all refined sugars (yes, even heated honey); this includes all candy bars and most athletic "food" bars
  • avoid all refined and processed oils and hydrogenated oils, including margarines
  • avoid all fried foods, including potato chips
  • avoid all alcoholic drinks
  • avoid all entertainment and street drugs
  • avoid all over the counter (OTC) drugs
  • avoid, if possible, all prescription drugs -- talk with your doctor about this possibility if you are currently on drugs


Nutritional Supplements

I take nutritional supplements, as I always have, but far less than in the days before eating a largely-raw Paleo diet... Some few RVAF systems, notably the Primal Diet, disapprove of taking nutritional supplements.  To learn more of my views and practices in the area of nutritional supplements and raw diets, please see the page on this website entitled Some Notes on Nutritional Supplements in Raw Diets


Can You Suggest a Sample Menu?
For a sample menu from a typical day in my life, one year after starting to eat an RVAF diet, please click here to see the "My Current Diet" page (on this site.)  This menu may give you some ideas and suggestions on how to get started.

Do You Take Nutritional Supplements?
Yes, but far fewer than when I ate a good, low-fat, no-junk-foods, no-junk-oils, no-dairy diet.  I take the following supplements daily:

  • vitamin C, 1,000 mg., 2x/day
  • vitamin E, natural source, mixed tocopherols, oil-base, in gel capsule, 400 IU
  • calcium/magnesium (Ca/Mg) supplement, at least 1.5 grams daily (Ca), usually in form of carbonates and citrates, some chelates
  • boron, about 3 mg/day
  • chromium, as picolinate, about 200 mcg./day
  • vanadium, as vanadyl sulfate, about 15 mg to 45 mg./ week
  • indium, a trace mineral
  • multi-mineral tablet, every other day
  • raw, unheated hand-harvested sea vegetables: kelp, dulse, handful every other day
  • occasionally, Vitamin A & D from fish liver oil, relatively unheated (not fanatical about this)
  • alpha lipoic acid (ALA), about 60 mg, 1x/day
  • "alkaline ionized water" more properly known as Electrolyzed Reduced Water (ERW), which supplies the invaluable primitive, primal, primeval antioxidant, the negative hydrogen ion (also known as the "H- ion"), about 3 ounces of extremely strong (-837 mv. ORP) water 4x/day, in tap water. For a linked page on this site about the H- ion and its antioxidant properties, click here.
  • MegaH (aka MegaH-), which supplies the invaluable primitive, primal, primeval antioxidant, the negative hydrogen ion (also known as the "H- ion"), about 1/2 capsule dissolved in 10 ounces of water, 3x or 4x day.  For a linked page on this site about the H- ion and its antioxidant properties, click here.

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Donations and Support for this Website

This freely-offered educational website has been totally self-supported by the author, Vinny Pinto, since its inception (and many of my websites were started between August 2000 and June 2003). While I offer the content on this website freely, as a gift to all from my heart, it is quite obvious that not only did my research in these realms (and also my training, including formal education, that allowed me to offer this material in the first place) incur costs, but there are also monthly and yearly costs associated with web hosting, domain registration, etc. As you have likely noticed, I have chosen not to accept any advertising on any of my websites. As a result of all of these factors, any funds that you might choose to donate toward supporting my research work and this site will be very much appreciated.

Thus, I am seeking donations to help me to support this site -- even two dollars helps! If you wish to donate, you may do so by using your credit card, ATM card, debit card, or transfer from your bank account, via fully secure means. To make a donation, please go to the Donations and Support page ! All transactions are secure; in all cases, you get to choose the donation amount!

     Thank you very much!
     Vinny



 


   


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