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12 Steps to Raw Foods: How to End Your Addiction to Cooked Food Paperback – October, 2001

57 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"This book is destined to become a classic." -- From the foreword by Gabriel Cousens, M.D., M.D., H

"Victoria's 12 Step program has changed my life and has kept me on the raw food path." -- Gary Garver, Seattle, 2001

About the Author

Victoria Boutenko teaches classes on Raw Food at Southern Oregon University. Her classes are highly in demand. As a result of her teachings, many raw food communities, have been formed through the world.

Victoria and her family of four have been staying on a 100% raw food diet for eight years and all four of them have cured their "incurable" illnesses.

When Victoria is not teaching or writing she enjoys hiking,swimming and biking with her raw family in Ashland Oregon.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Raw Family Publishing (October 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0970481934
  • ISBN-13: 978-0970481931
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #888,162 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Victoria Boutenko is an author, teacher, inventor, researcher, artist and mother of three. In 1994, The Boutenko family, also known as The Raw Family, became seriously ill. Victoria sought out alternative health paths and discovered the raw food lifestyle which enabled the family to gain vibrant health.

Now Victoria Boutenko travels all over the world sharing her inspiring story and teaching classes on the raw-food diet. Based on the latest scientific research, Victoria explains the numerous benefits of choosing a diet of fresh rather than cooked foods and the importance of consuming large amounts of leafy greens. Victoria's most recent and powerful contribution is her research into the nutritional value of greens and the development of green smoothies, which have revolutionized the way people access health, no matter what their dietary or lifestyle choice.

To learn more about Victoria and her family visit and

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

239 of 242 people found the following review helpful By Monroe J. Ratchford on November 19, 2001
Format: Paperback
Ms. Victoria writes a convincing argument. I am one of those who likes to gather lots of information before comminting to a life style change. The author begins with providing one of the best rationale for going on a totatly raw food diet vs a cooked food diet. Conceptually, I had an idea of what she was talking about, having read some vegan and fasting books. What made this book immeditately garner my attention was a chart she has that shows the percentage-cooked food to raw food consumed vs the percentage of nutrition assimilated. The jump between 99% of your food consumed being raw and 100% of your food being raw is unreal. Read it. Fascinating. In addition the author points out how having a healthy body requires you have less food intake. Her son, a 16-year, goes snowboarding for 12 hours and takes two oranges to eat. And while his friends spend the day constantly eating, the habits the author's son has, allows him to consume more nutrients and perform better. Knowing how teenagers eat-this is an incredible approach. The remainder of the book adopts the AA approach to dealing with an addition of alcohol to the addition of cooked food. Many of us have tried to go raw, but it is hard to stick with, less than exciting to look forward to, and socially tough to deal with day in and day out. The author's 12-step approach seems to understand the pain levels we all go through and together, the 12 steps make the challenge seem more like a winnable fight. Each step makes you do some personal reflecting. Some of the steps include, living in harmony with no raw food folks, dealing with temptation, seeking more knowledge, recognizing you have an addiction, ect. I like the way the author thinks. Her logic doesn't make great leaps, and is easy to follow...rationale but enthusiastic. I wanted to buy her other book and hear more of her stories. Overall, I found the book fascinating, educational and motivation. Reading the book can be a life-changing event.
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160 of 164 people found the following review helpful By Phyllis Linn on November 24, 2001
Format: Paperback
There are some great raw food books on the market now and one quickly becomes inspired to get rid of the pots and pans and embrace this healthy, life-enhancing diet. But of the few who actually take this step, the majority quickly relapse into our traditional, cooked food fare. Victoria Boutenko's book, 12 Steps to Raw Foods addresses the challenges that daunt us in making this dietary transition and provides inspiration and the tools needed to overcome them.
Loosely based on AA's 12 Step program, Step One convincingly addresses the addictive nature of cooked food and the importance of acknowledging our own addicted status . Perhaps this sounds a bit far fetched since diets based on cooked foods are THE standard fare in most places on the planet (at least among humans!), and hence, above reproach. But that's precisely the problem with any "norm"--it goes dangerously unexamined! (Keep in mind that cancer, arthritis and other degenerative diseases are also the "norm" in our cooked food society.)
The first part of the book outlines the most important underlying premises of the raw vegan diet: the enzyme factor; your own intuitive guidance system; our body's survival mechanism and the law of vital adjustment; rates of assimilation for diets of varying degrees of rawness; the true function and value of bacteria, parasites and other micro-organisms; detoxification as healing. These topics, clearly and simply presented, prepare us for Step Two, which states, "I believe that live vegan food is the most natural diet for a human being.
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60 of 61 people found the following review helpful By CodeMaster Talon on December 10, 2005
Format: Paperback
"I think," says Victoria Boutenko, "the whole planet." As a vegetarian trying to go raw, I picked up this book thinking it was a twelve step plan to gradually eliminating cooked foods from my diet. It isn't. Instead, "12 Steps to Raw Food" tries the novel approach of treating cooked food as an addiction, and so the "12 Steps" refers to an AA-like code of honor for dealing with a raw food lifestyle.

Author Boutenko was sick of being sick, and she and eventually her entire family went raw after much struggle and soul-searching. But when she tried to share the raw food lifestyle with others, she noticed something strange: Even people suffering from life-threatening illness would go on the raw foods diet for a while, get much better, but then fall off the wagon, "fall off the wagon" being the operative phrase. Once she geared her classes as if her students were recovering addicts, the results were much better (there's a hilarious story about Boutenko going to the library and checking out forty books on every kind of addiction, and the librarian's reaction).

So we have chapters on gathering information and making knowledgeable choices, on living with people who do not share your passion for raw food (one of the best and most compassionate chapters in the book) and avoiding temptation (Boutenko's advice: avoid it). Her explanation of the body's reaction to cooked food is medically sound, and the passage on bacteria and its role in the earth's cycles is outstanding and of interest to anyone, raw food enthusiast or not. There are a few recipes included, but the author explains why traditional recipes do not tend to work when you're dealing with raw foods, because every batch will be different.
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