Rob Rehnmark, a.k.a. Rob “Freedomfighter,” was born in the North of Sweden. He was a wild kid who spent less time inside in front of the TV than out in the woods, accompanied only by his knife. Rob went vegan as a teenager and never looked back. Looking forward is a strong personality trait of his. Striving for more knowledge, experience and insight into anything interesting but health in particular, he intuitively transitioned to a low-fat raw vegan lifestyle without knowing about the budding movement.
Through diet and lifestyle, he managed to overcome health issues he’s had since childhood, including, but not limited to, severe migraines, rheumathoid arthritis and restless leg syndrome. Things such as fevers, colds and flus are a thing of the past since he is thriving and experiencing ever-increasing health and fitness. The low-fat raw vegan lifestyle enabled him to start running and improve recovery in his strength training. He’s making steady progress in endurance and strength in spite of—or because of—5 percent of his calories come from fat and protein each. Connect with Rob on RawViking.com and on YouTube and Facebook.
Brian’s note: I began 10 sentences with targeted words, presented in boldface below, that serve as conversation starters and asked Rob to complete the thoughts in this condensed “interview.”
I went vegan in the beginning of 1995 after being lacto-ovo “vegetarian” for a couple of years. It was all about the ethics but evolved with more health consciousness within a couple of years. Although, the animal rights thinking and the appreciation of animal rights activism always stayed strong to this day.
I learned about a raw food diet—well, I didn’t really learn about it. It happened quite naturally for the most part.
My transition to a raw vegan lifestyle started about 16 years ago, I guess. When I was about 21 years old. The dietary choices I made increased my health and well-being, so I just continued along that path. A few years later, I got into a relationship with a cooked vegan and started eating more cooked again, but there were always lots of fruits and greens. My digestion and/or gut bacteria flora had already adapted and healed quite a lot, and it seemed to refuse to go back. I couldn’t take much fat anymore or eat the big amounts I was used to without getting into trouble with fermentation and such. Then, six years ago, when that relationship ended, I went straight back to 90 to 95 percent raw.
I was then working nights and walking 17,000 to 23,000 paces (8.1 to 10.9 miles) each night for seven nights straight every other week and realized I wanted to get my energy levels up. Eating more nuts and seeds didn’t work at all; it just didn’t put much more actual energy in my legs. So I tried cutting the nuts almost completely and went for more fruits instead. It worked!
I then figured that I’d better get rid of the salt because it just felt too harsh and didn’t seem natural at all. I had already been eating very little salt for a while, but when I cut it out completely, my body flushed out some “gravel” from my kidneys. The process was quite intensive since I was walking so much, and I promise it was not pleasant. Ha-ha. So I was now low-fat, high-carb vegan—90 to 95 percent raw—and I was feeling great!
Then I found out about this book, The 80/10/10 Diet by Dr. Doug Graham and read it. It all made perfect sense, but there were no “a-ha moments.” It actually just confirmed my experiences, and that felt quite good and reassuring. On New Year’s Eve 2012, I made a promise and gave myself a gift. I promised to show myself and my body more self-love and -respect. I promised to honor this vessel that I have been given in this life, and so I cut out all cooked foods. Sure, some dates, mangoes and other fruits might be a bit heat treated to protect them from pests, but they never affected me adversely like rice, potatoes, bread and tofu could.
There was no immediate or apparent difference in health or well-being except for the fact that I finally really broke some addictions to cooked foods. But later I have definitely experienced the huge difference in going from high raw to fully raw.
The way I feel eating fruit is amazing. It’s so tasty, enjoyable and rewarding, knowing that I’m feeding my body the best foods I can get.
Fitness is important on so many levels—physically, emotionally and mentally. Go exercise!
What keeps getting better and better is what you keep working on. Set your goals, stay on course and never give up.
Getting engaged to a fellow fruitarian is beyond description, but I’ll try. Yes, we have matching lifestyles, which I think is really important. Additionally, she is the woman and the relationship of my dreams. She’s the one I have been waiting for.
On Raw-Viking.com, I will be sharing my videos, maybe some articles and tidbits. In the future, I might even sell some good blenders or other kitchen equipment and maybe some clothes.
Participating in events such as the Oslo Vegetarian Festival is a really nice way to reach a lot of people with the low-fat raw vegan message. We sell great smoothies and talk to as many enthusiastic people as we can. I love it. 🙂
My dream is to have a place in a warmer climate or in the tropics where my amazing partner and I can hang out parts of the year. I guess I feel too much at home in the north to move full time to the tropics, but we’ll see what happens in the future.
Watch a Popular Video of Rob in Action
Discover Rob’s Top 7 Tips to transition to and stay on a low-fat raw vegan diet!
Hungry for more? Check out Rob’s Favorite Super Salad recipe!