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Our Founder

Dr. Michael Saripkin, better known as "Mississippi Mike," was morbidly obese, suffering from Type II diabetes, extremely high blood pressure, soreness in his legs and back, sleep apnea, chronic colds and various other problems associated with a person who is more than 150 pounds overweight, a body fat of over 50% and a BMI of 50.1.  His physician told him that he would be lucky to live another five (5) years, and no one will be surprised if he has a heart attack or stroke at any time.  Carrying 315 pounds on his 5'6" frame was taking its toll, and he knew he had to do something.

Having tried every diet known to exist, he realized that they just didn't work.  He had tried Atkins, Cambridge, The Banana Diet, The Cabbage Soup Diet, The Liquid Diet, Nutrisystems, Jenny Craig, diet pills, weight loss equipment and anything else that a person could recommend or think of.  He finally realized two things.

He had to change the way he ate. He realized that he had no portion control, and would eat whenever he got the inkling.  He was compulsive.  He did not eat because he was hungry.  He did not eat because his body needed food.  He ate because it was fun to eat.  The grease, salt, sugar and other tastes were sensations he enjoyed.  He knew that he had to learn control.  He decided to enroll in Weight Watchers to get a grip on these compulsive eating habits.

Even with control of his compulsion, he knew he was eating the wrong things.  So what is he going to eat.  He thought long and hard, and as a believer in God, he realized that if God grew it, it couldn't be bad for you.  Having never heard of the Raw Food Movement, he simply starting eating anything that grew, without cooking these items.  A couple of months later, he discovered that there were hundreds of thousands of people doing the same thing.

Now he knew what he had to do.  This would be a lifestyle change for him, and he would share this with everyone he spoke with.

Our FounderFounder

At the present time, although he still has weight to lose, Dr. Saripkin has lost 103 pounds and continues to lose on a weekly and monthly basis.  We will update this site from time to time with new pictures and to let you know his progress.

He is no longer a Type II diabetic. His blood pressure is approaching normal.  He no longer has sleep apnea, and the various other problems are gone.  At 51 years of age, he says that he feels better than he has in 25 years...Maybe longer.

With his new found lifestyle, Dr. Saripkin decided that he wanted to share his success and the benefits of living a raw/vegan lifestyle by becoming a raw food critic.  Thus, The Raw Gourmand was born.

He now spends his time writing reviews for his mailing list, telling them about raw/vegan restaurants, raw/vegan products, and individuals' recipes for raw/vegan food.

This is his passion, and something he wants to continue for the remainder of his life.  He believes that every person can become raw and vegan if they want to extend their lives.  Living without eating "dead" food has been a revelation into the world of extended life, and he is more a'live" today than he has ever been.