After eating raw food, my mind started working better. I can concentrate for longer periods of time; whereas before I felt very distracted, I could never sit down and read a book. I actually signed up to go to our local university at the town where I live, at the age of 14.

Life-loving viewers, welcome to Healthy Living! The raw vegan diet is gaining in popularity and raw vegans say that the diet has many advantages, such as preventing and reversing disease, improving digestion as well as enhancing physical and spiritual energy.

The raw vegan diet includes only uncooked plant foods or those cooked at temperatures at or below 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit), thus protecting natural enzymes, a key element in bodily health, from being destroyed by the high temperatures.

Today, we’ll visit with two experts in the field of raw foods. We start with Sergei Boutenko. The Boutenko family is originally from Moscow, Russia and immigrated to the US in 1990. After three years, the entire family began to experience serious health issues and in 1994 their mother Victoria, who was searching for a cure, began following a raw vegan diet.

The whole family later adopted this wholesome lifestyle and everyone’s health issues disappeared! The Boutenkos started publishing books, producing DVDs, and conducting health seminars, thus helping people around the world to change their diet and improve their health.

When I was only nine-years-old, I was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes, and at the same time, everybody in my family also got sick. My mom had arrhythmia, my dad had hyperthyroidism and arthritis, and my sister had asthma. We looked first for a conventional method that would get us better, and after we didn’t find any answers there, we started looking into alternative methods, which led us to find raw food, and we started eating a raw food diet, eating lots of greens, and it ended up healing all of our ailments.

In their search for a better way of eating, the Boutenko family discovered that common greens available in markets are super foods, containing a wide array of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, proteins and phytonutrients, in addition to being full of healing goodness. Thus raw greens became one of the key factors in restoring the family’s wellbeing.

We’ve tried many different ways to eat raw food, where we were mostly fruitarians, when we mostly ate sprouts, lots of nuts, and what we’ve learned, 16 years into doing this, is that you have to remember to eat those green leafies; they’re very, very beneficial for every facet of health.

The best way, absolutely, is to start by incorporating green smoothies into your diet, and this is a basic concept that my mother, Victoria Boutenko developed, where you take green, leafy vegetables, and blend them in a blender with fruits, and it makes a delicious green cocktail.

It tastes just like a fruit smoothie, but it’s an easy way to get green leafies into your system. If you do that and nothing else, you’ll start to regenerate your health, you’ll start to naturally crave healthier foods, and you’ll start wanting to eat healthier. I think that is probably the best thing people can do.

Victoria Boutenko, an adjunct professor at Southern Oregon State University, USA, introduces various green smoothie recipes and shares her knowledge of the natural power of fruits and green vegetables in her book “Green Smoothie Revolution.” In addition, when they were teenagers, Sergei and his sister Valya, co-published “Eating without Heating” on the advantages of raw veganism from a youth’s perspective.

I noticed how kids of all ages, shapes and sizes love their blended greens. It just tastes good, and we like to eat what tastes good.

Wild, edible plants are great in salads and juices and are free, delicious and highly nourishing. Mr. Boutenko studied wild edible plants for many years and discovered their amazing ability to help cure illnesses and boost energy. They are thus super foods!

Weeds and wild edibles are my biggest passion, because it was kind of a natural transition from eating lots of greens to eating free greens that were even more nutritious. So basically, we’re going to look at all the different things that our great-grandparents and grandparents used to call food that we’ve forgotten how to eat, because they’re scary now.

We have this fear that they can harm us, when in fact, a much higher percentage of weeds is actually edible than poisonous. They’re even more nutritious than organic store-bought greens, and they’re free and easily accessible to everybody.

Sergei Boutenko advocates adding wild, edible plants to one’s daily diet and often speaks on the topic and leads “weed walks,” where participants experience the fun of finding weeds in nature for their smoothies. He cautions however that consultation with an expert is necessary, if one is unsure if a plant is edible or not.

Our parents taught us to plop the back end of a clover in your mouth and it actually releases some of its nectar and it tastes quite sweet. Clovers are the really, really good blood purifiers. They cleanse your blood, and help you to get rid of tumors, cancer; the leaves are actually really nutritious in salads and smoothies, really delicious as well.

Marina Gladkikh is well known among raw foodists in Russia and is often invited by the media to speak about her raw food experiences. She has also published the books, “From Green Cocktails to Raw Food” and “My Life: Raw Foodism.”

In 2008, she took her sister Victoria Boutenko's advice, began drinking green cocktails and converted to eating only raw foods. Ms. Gladkikh then experienced major changes in her values and physical wellbeing. She can walk barefoot, even on ice and snow, all her diseases have disappeared, and she has lost 15 kilograms.

If someone would have told me two-years-ago, when I was switching to a raw food diet, that I will be able to run barefoot, I wouldn’t have believed (it). At first, for sure, it was a bit cold for my bare feet. But in about a minute and a half, something really surprising took place, and as a result, my feet kind of started to warm up; the ground and the snow were not cooling them, but actually on the contrary, were warming them up.

Probably, it was a bigger communication with the Earth, with our nature, or I felt some kind of an inner triumph that I am standing bare feet on the snow. And I liked it so much, that I began spending more and more time doing it.

How, exactly, does one convert to a raw food diet? Marina Gladkikh shares her valuable experiences.

I consider that a gradual transition to a raw food diet is much more efficient than a sudden refusal of many products at once. And, for example, to adopt a raw food diet, people can diversify the menu with green cocktails; add almond, nut milk or any other vegetable milk. This is much better than to drink milk from the store.

And by diversifying our menu, we can slowly learn to listen to our body, observe it, see certain changes, and eventually choose the correct, right decisions specifically for us. And I think that, truly, each person should learn to listen to himself. Now, there is so much literature, films, all other sources for this, but my recommendation is to try to listen to oneself. Read some literature, find out more, communicate with raw foodists, attend different raw foodist meetings, and then begin the change one step at a time.

The simplest things – we could take any plant food, be it a fruit from a tree, be it the pure water running from the mountains or the water that we purify if it comes from a water pipe. In any situation, the raw food is very simple to use - just wash it and eat.

Basically, this is the food for the lazy ones. Because, as a rule, there is no need for cooking and our body is designed for such food. I can say for sure that on a raw food diet, the person starts to eat much less. The quantity of the eaten food decreases, but the person’s energy increases! Try - maybe you will like it.

Through a monthly potluck, Marina Gladkikh brings together raw foodists, vegans and others who are interested in the raw diet to share experiences.

During this year I organized 12 potlucks in Moscow (Russia), basically one each month. Every month we organize parties, dancing for raw foodists, vegans and all who are interested. In our parties, we do not have either alcohol or nicotine or tobacco or any negativity, and we dance barefoot.

And, while doing all of this, through Internet or directly via phone, I try to answer people’s numerous questions such as “How to get so much energy, how to become healthy and happy?” I hope that my modest contribution may become a useful message to help someone change himself.

We sincerely thank you, Sergei Boutenko and family, as well as Marina Gladkikh for speaking to us about how a change in diet has not only transformed your outlook on life but also put you on the path to wellness. May the beneficial, raw vegan diet quickly spread to communities around the world.

Be Veg,
Go Green,
2 Save the Planet!

For more information on the Boutenko family and/or Marina Gladkikh, please visit the following websites:
The Boutenko Family:
Books and DVDs by the Boutenkos are available at the same website
Marina Gladkikh:
Books by Ms. Gladkikh are available at:

Beloved viewers, thank you for watching this week’s edition of Healthy Living. Coming up next is Science and Spirituality, after Noteworthy News. May all sentient beings be forever healthy and happy.