What Are Your Thoughts on Salt?

Mon, 31 Oct 2005 from Lisa

Hi Rhio:

I just visited your website. You are such a wonderful example of the raw lifestyle. I think the photos of you on the website are even more beautiful than the ones in your cookbook. It was very inspiring to see you how you thrive on raw foods and to read all the info on the website. Thanks!

I am new to the raw life-style. One year ago, after years of macrobiotics, I intuitively began to add more raw into my daily diet… with such positive results that I just kept adding more and by January was mostly 100%. I feel naturally drawn to raw food and don't want to go back to cooked but am still working out food prep skills and finding my way etc. I have been a cooked vegan personal chef for years and started my own business called Serene Cuisine. I work in the Ventura County, Malibu area of California. All that aside…preparing raw food is in some ways more challenging for me but also more fun. Your book Hooked On Raw has been helpful for me to learn from. I have found some real favorites there too. I especially enjoy the pumpkin seed shake, the marinated collards, and the green power soup.

Right now I am doing a gentle cleanse. I have eliminated celtic salt and Nama Shoyu, increased greens and green smoothies, and am taking some cleansing herbs.

I wonder what your thoughts on salt are? Tonya Zavasta, (I have her book too) doesn't use salt of any kind. The Raw Family in Ashland doesn't either. Gabriel Cousens does. And just about all the other authors of books I have collected do also. Rita Moreno [I think she means Rita Romano] uses Braggs. What are your thoughts Rhio?

Thank you!


Dear Lisa,

Thank you for all the compliments. Mmm… I'm basking in them for a moment πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

In answer to your salt question, I believe that the body will lead. In other words, it doesn't have to be forced. You can use the Celtic salt, or Nama Shoyu (I don't believe in Braggs) but always taste things without the condiment first and if it satisfies, that's fine. If not, try adding half as much salt or Nama Shoyu as a recipe calls for and increase (or decrease the next time you make it) as needed. Once a person has been on raw foods for a period of time, the tongue adjusts itself, and then you will usually begin to taste the salty flavors in certain foods, and you will be able to just savor the flavors, period. It will be enough. But for newcomers it is difficult to taste this at first.

Also, and very important to this discussion, organic foods are just more flavorful than conventional produce so I would advise using organic, or even better, home grown produce when possible.

When you are on a cleanse, then it is best to eliminate the condiments during that period.

Whether a raw food enthusiast eats raw/live foods with or without condiments is a personal choice and I do not believe that one philosophy is better or "more advanced" or "more pure" than another. It depends on the individual body. Some people can't take salt… even natural unprocessed sea salt… they will know it. Their body will let them know. All people who eat a predominantly raw/live food diet and follow some other basic health principles, including periodic cleansing, will be abundantly healthy in due time.

Everyday meals for me are very simple and I am usually satisfied without Celtic sea salt or Nama Shoyu. But then there are times when I use more condiments, either when going out to raw restaurants or when making more elaborate meals for the weekend, or for family or holiday celebrations.

So, with… or without… it's your choice.

I'm not necessarily referring to Victoria or Tonya here… but some raw foodists work themselves into a very narrow corner when it comes to foods. They keep whittling it down and down and down and pretty soon they are just eating a few items. I don't think that benefits them in the long run. I believe in eating a very W I D E V A R I E T Y of food groups and items as long as they are vegetarian. I like to be inclusive, rather than exclusive. Tonya Zavasta does use salt (sodium), but she makes it herself and it is a great recipe. She cuts up celery and dehydrates it together with some lemon. Then she grinds it to a powder. That gives a salty flavor. Celery is high in sodium.

With your business, Serene Cuisine, are you preparing raw foods or cooked foods or a combination? If you are preparing and offering raw foods, I could list your business in one of my Directories.

With blessings and peace,


Dear Rhio:

Thank you for sharing! Your wise and thoughtful response and reasoning on the subject of salt in the diet has given me much to consider. Thank you for taking the time to answer with such breadth and depth.

My business Serene Cuisine has been a cooked vegan business. Presently, there will be live food classes offered primarily because that is where my interest is taking me. I like the idea of classes because it has the potential to reach many more people. I would like very much to be listed in your directory. If you can list me let me know what information you need.

I will be making the raw muesli recipe from your website in the morning. Do you ever offer classes?


Lisa Valantine

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