How to Begin Food Combining

Armen Hareyan's picture

When you first go on raw food, you go through several stages. First you go into Stage I. If you have degenerative diseases like cancer, you have to do combining from the very beginning. But the average person who just wants to improve their health, does not have to do any combining. When you reach Stage II, which usually takes about a year, your body will tell you what foods to eat. In my classes I teach you how to listen to your body and how to figure out what you need. Do you need endive or arugula or other greens? When you restore the hydrochloric acid in your stomach, then you can digest the fibre without blending it.


For the next two months you have to stay l00% raw. Two months is the magic time frame. After two months, your body transforms and instead of two gallons of juices, secretes only one cup of juice per day. Finally, you will be able to sit at the same table with your family members who will be eating a very attractive cooked meal, and you will not salivate. After two months, you're over the hump, but at this point, everybody makes a mistake. You think you can control yourself and eat cooked food just once, but as soon as a tiny piece of cooked food touches your tongue, you reinforce the memory in your cells and you're back to cooked food.

It's easy to be on raw food, but it's hard is not to eat cooked food. You see the difference? It's easy to eat a banana or a cucumber, but it's hard not to eat pizza or chocolate when your body's demanding it. It's agony. It's "to die for". In order to find out what our body requires, we have to get the thing that we are addicted to (cooked food) out of the picture and stay one hundred percent on raw food for two months. At this point, you will begin to develop cravings for good foods like scallions or dandelions or avocados or cucumbers. Sometimes you crave things you thought you hated like cilantro.

When I asked people what they craved, they said that they craved coffee and doughnuts. We always feed our addiction first. If a croissant is $l.79 and a mango is $1.79, we say that the croissant is reasonable and the mango is way too expensive. Why? Because we have addictions to cooked food. Although the mangoes are definitely more nutritious, the addiction has to be fed first.


I believe that our bodies know what we need and the body never makes mistakes. Soon after we began raw foods, we met world-famous Dr. Bernard Jensen, a genius in the field of nutrition. I told him that my son Sergei had been diagnosed with juvenile diabetes and asked if he could recommend the best food for the condition. Dr. Jensen recommended mangoes because they restore the properties of the pancreas and blueberries because they naturally reduce blood sugar. Sergei loved mangoes and blueberries, his favourite foods. Then I asked Dr. Jensen what food was best for my daughter, who had allergies and asthma. He said to give her olives because they thin and remove the mucous and secondly figs because they restore the respiratory system. When I told him she's crazy about figs and olives, he said, she must be following her natural cravings. It is your duty to find out what your body wants, and that's what you have to give it. That's why you have all those taste buds.

We are not able to determine what we need because we are not properly educated in healthy foods as children. All animals show their little cubs how to choose the best food. As children, we are introduced to different coloured packages of processed foods. So what do we do? We go to the fridge and open the door and look for something but we don't know what.


After you have been on 100% raw foods for a couple of months, you begin to introduce your body to different things, one at a time: 12 kinds of seeds, 18 kinds of nuts, 200 kinds of vegetables and 300 kinds of fruits. You introduce the variety into your system so that your body has the memory in the reactive brain that Mother Nature intended. If a newborn chicken comes out of the shell, and you place cooked soybeans and sprouted soybeans in front of this chicken, the chick looks to the left and right and then goes towards the sprouted soybeans. He never came to my class so how does that chick know? Intuition, and we, like animals, also have intuition.

My family once walked the Pacific Coast Trail from the Mexican border to the Canadian border. Most of the time it was raining and snowing so we were always soaking wet and tired. We were six months in the woods without seeing people and we developed such a keen intuition that we were able to sniff the ground in the morning and tell whether it was going to rain that day. We were able to tell which herbs were edible and which were poisonous. Unfortunately, as soon as we re-entered the world and started to smell gasoline and all the other things of this world, we lost this ability. We still have all our natural abilities, we just live in an environment that suppresses them.


It is very important to know how to make food delicious because if you were born into a family who loves salty, greasy food, you can't go right into green soup and energy soup. You need a transition. There is factual evidence that people who eat cooked food, especially greasy salty foods only have two taste buds per square millimeter on their tongue. When we eat cooked salty food, hot food, hot tea or coffee, it suppresses the taste buds on the tongue, and we don't experience the real taste. We only experience what's very strong. People who eat raw food have 220 taste buds per square millimeter.


Plain leaf and cucumber seem very tasteless, so it is necessary for most people to go through a transition. It takes about one to one and a half years. Transitional food mimicks cooked food. We call it un-pizza, mock tuna, un-burrito, un-chocolate cake, mock ice cream, un-spaghetti and so on. It's all raw but it tastes and looks even better than cooked food.

But after one year you will begin to really appreciate simple food. After one year, your taste buds will recover. You will have 220 more taste buds and you will prefer to eat a cucumber or an avocado rather than even a gourmet "raw food chocolate cake". You will just want plain tomato and plain kale. But even if you are already eating simply, you still need to learn how to make delicious food for your children and your children's friends. You don't want others to think that you are really weird and that you're depriving your children. People think that raw food is just carrots and celery sticks. When they come to your home and you serve them live pizza, live lasagna, live borscht and live desserts like cake and ice cream, then they thinks it's even better than being a vegan or vegetarian. They think, "I could do that." Or perhaps you have friends diagnosed with a disease like cancer. You can tell them, "Hey, come and eat with me first, try this raw food and see if it improves your condition."

People come into my classes for serious health reasons, just as I came to raw foods nine years ago for serious reasons. For nine years we have been l00% raw and all our previous health problems are gone. It's interesting and it's exciting and people maintain a balanced weight and they look terrific. Like my children, they look very healthy. They eat only fruits, nuts, sprouted seeds and whole foods.



My raw food catering all began when I was asked to cater for a wedding of 70. They had heard that I was a good chef but didn't realize I was a raw chef. I made raw nut and chicory patties with barbecue lines drawn in coriander and paprika which looked and smelled just like barbecued. I made lots of finger food, lots of sundaes, lots of candies and a beautiful three-tier wedding cake. The table looked terrific. You can see some pictures of our food in our books. After a while they asked me what kind of spice I had put into the food. Was it Russian cuisine? Why was it so different yet so tasty? I took them into the kitchen and showed them how I made the candy out of nuts and dates. They said, no wonder they felt so good after eating, and they all wanted the recipes. That's how I began my very first raw food class in Ashland. Since then we have done many weddings and sometimes the guests don't even know the food is raw and everybody loves it.

There is one secret to preparing raw food. When you are preparing cooked food you have to follow a good recipe and that guarantees good results. In raw food preparation, a recipe can never guarantee results because the ingredients in raw food are always non-stable. Raw fruits and vegetables vary in size and taste. I travelled around and met all the best raw gourmet chefs and asked them how they became such great chefs. They all told me the same thing. They did not follow a recipe. The best way to learn is by making the dishes, one sweet, one savoury and one pate, and you must figure it out through trial and error. We have a trick to deal with this. We use the balance of five flavours, one B and four S's: bitter, sweet, sour, spicy and salty. When you have finished making your dish, you check the colour, the quantity and the texture, and then you adjust the five flavours. In every single sip or bite, you have to have all five present - bitter, sweet, sour, spicy and salty. That's what makes it gourmet and so delicious.


We have recipes for about 20 different famous cakes in our book and they are all different. The basics of raw food are very simple. For example, the "crust" in the cake is always two ingredients - nuts and dried fruit. You put nuts in the processor and blend them into a powder, then put them in a bowl and add the dried fruit (raisins, dates, figs, prunes or dried apricots) and blend them together. Add a tiny bit of water if the fruit is too dry and make the base layer. Then you add a layer of fresh fruit. Then you make another layer of crust. There are three layers of crust, made of walnuts and dates, alternating with layer of strawberries and bananas and papaya, then another crust layer. Then you make the white frosting.


The frosting is simple. You pick any type of white nut - pine nuts, macadamia nuts, blanched almonds, whatever is local. For white frosting, I blend the lemon juice and add the honey. Usually I try to avoid honey and use dates or raisins, but then it won't be white. If you want to keep the frosting white, put in white things like shredded coconut which makes it much whiter. If it is too liquid you have to make it thicker by adding more almonds. You can add some lemon peel to the icing or some orange peel. The recipe is nothing but lemon juice, honey, coconut and white nuts. Then we decorate it. In order to make it look more professional, I will place sliced almonds or coconut around the cake, and then we will decorate it with fresh roses. You can make the cake from scratch in less than five minutes. I call it "rawberry" shortcake.

It doesn't take as long to make as a baked cake and it smells so good. Two of our cakes won the prize at the Portland International Festival and they sold for $300 and $500 at the auction. You can make your living by making these cakes. You have no idea how much people charge for wedding cakes, and this is a healthy wedding cake and you can make it for birthdays too.

We also make delicious bread. The recipe is in the un-cook book which contains mostly all of our family recipes. My 12 Step book has about 36 recipes in it.


Of all the competitive blenders, I still think the Vita Mix is the best. You can throw wooden blocks in there and it would make it into a smoothie.

LOVE You put the love into it - when you really feel love, your vibration is 8 megaHertz. And when you mix it with the food, the food emanates love. When you're nervous or fearful, then your brainwaves are 40 megaHertz and then your food will make people cry and have hiccups.


My daughter had allergies. But when she went on raw food all her allergies disappeared.


When you eat only raw foods, you don't exhaust your adrenaline system and your adrenals will always be high. When you need to feel warmer, your body will heat you up by increasing the heart beat. Cooked food blocks your arteries, veins and capillaries and cause a feeling of numbness and cold in the fingers and toes. When you eat raw food, that goes away.


Victoria Boutenko teaches classes on raw food at South Oregon University and, as a result of her teachings, many raw food communities have been formed throughout the world. Victoria and her family have lived on a 100% raw food diet for nine years and all four have cured their incurable diseases. The transformation of Victoria's family to raw food is described in her book, Raw Family. Victoria is also the author of 12 Steps to Raw Foods. Her two children have written a book containing delicious raw food recipes called Eating without Heating.

Victoria's books Raw Family, 12 Steps to Raw Foods and Eating without Heating, a book of favourite raw food recipes, are available from Consumer Health Organization at 416-490-0986. See You may contact Victoria at [email protected]

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