How a simple man with a big following is healing people

By Tammy Shaw

He has over 12 million views on his YouTube channel. He’s handsome, quirky and real. Most of the time you’ll see him in his signature white tank top. Dan McDonald is known by a couple of names: The Life Regenerator and Dan the Man.

McDonald is the most popular guy you’ve probably never heard of. He’s a wanderer who has no address, but is saving thousands of lives. His claim to underground fame? For over a decade, he has been eating a strict, raw foods diet and inspiring others to get healthy, physically and mentally. This raw food diet consists of vegan foods that have not been heated above 115 degrees, providing the body optimal nutrition and living enzymes. Among the benefits of a raw foods diet are weight loss, more energy, better digestion and major improvements in mental clarity. Through YouTube, McDonald has inspired thousands to clean up their lives through a raw foods diet.

From his passion and vision in motivating over a million people to eat more fruits and vegetables to his YouTube videos and personal one-on-one clientele, McDonald has accumulated notable awards such as Best Raw Vegan Educator, Sexiest Raw Man and has been said to be the one of the most influential raw foods teachers alive today.

One of his subscribers, Garry Burgess says, “Dan McDonald is the Life Regenerator on YouTube whom I watch for inspiration to siphon into my soul his love and enthusiasm for eating a total diet of fresh fruit and vegetables. I started out heavier by 87 pounds … I heartily recommend to anyone wanting to improve their health to tune into Dan McDonald the Life Regenerator on YouTube and see what the excitement is all about. His enthusiasm is CONTAGIOUS.”

Documenting his own journey with raw food on YouTube, McDonald has gathered a loyal following. Since 2007, viewers have tuned in daily to find out where McDonald is going next and what he is experiencing. He rode his bicycle from Los Angeles to New York while noshing strictly on fruits, vegetables, and some nuts and seeds. On some days he accomplished riding over 100 miles in 120-degree weather! Along the way, he stops at local Whole Foods stores speaking to his enthusiasts like a modern-day disciple.

McDonald recently made a stop at a Whole Foods in Vegas where I had the chance to catch up with him for Las Vegas Woman.

How would you describe yourself?

I’m a divine being passing through planet earth … just like all of us. I’m a promoter of health; a holistic health advocate about the basics of fruits and vegetables.  Life can be a real tragedy when the foods that we consume are not conducive to our bodies. I’m bringing people back to eating simple foods. I like fruits right off the tree.

You can eat all the ice cream you want, but it has its physiological consequences. There’s nothing wrong with a hamburger, it’s just that there is so much energy in the fruits and they are so easy to digest. In the fruit, you get energy and you keep your bowels clear. If you want to live a long life, keep your bowels, your liver and your kidneys clear.

Your demographic of fans is primarily women. Most recently at the Best Raw Awards you won Sexiest Raw Man. How does it feel to be a sex symbol?

I think that love and compassion is sexy. The other thing is that, if someone watches you every day (on YouTube) pour your heart out, it’s like I’m having an intimate relationship with thousands of people. I’m not afraid to be human and so there are probably tons of women out there who wish their husbands would open up this much. Men tend to be closed-off and keep their feelings in. But for me, YouTube has been a catharsis, a healing, and I share my deepest feelings. I see how women look at me. For me, I just got to keep it legit. I’m in love with the big picture; I’m in love with an ideal. I’m obsessed with it and it has to do with me mastering myself. I could easily get distracted by the women, the money and the fame, so far to this point, I feel pretty well-grounded. I still feel lasered in my own personal regeneration. Happiness, for me, is not about all the things in this world. It’s the divine calling in my heart.

While the trend looks like more and more people are getting on various types vegetarian lifestyles, the statistics show that in the U.S., 5 percent of the population is vegetarian, of that less than 1 percent is vegan, and of that less than 1 percent follows a raw foods eating habit. Considering that a raw foods diet is the extreme minority of the population, what inspired you to live that lifestyle?

It takes a lot of education and dedication. It takes a high ideal. To be a fully awakened human being, the awakening comes from using fruits, vegetables, meditation and contemplation. Some people do it without the food, but the raw foods thing really helps you deal with all the stuff inside of you and it doesn’t stick like cheeseburgers, roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy. When foods stick in you and sludge you up, the life energy doesn’t flow through you as readily, and you are not as aware with your own energy. When you get cleaned up on raw foods, you are aware of what you are putting into this world.

Also, I don’t feel special; I feel this message is special. In the end of it all, it’s just about awareness.

You hear this question a lot … where do you get your protein?

If I wanted to be a smart aleck, I would say your body doesn’t need protein. The body uses amino acids to formulate its own protein structure within the human organism. When you get protein from meat, you have to take protein from another living organism, such as a flesh protein or milk protein, then you have to break those down to amino acids, and that takes a lot of the body’s energy. Then you have to take more energy to reformulate those amino acids into protein. What would be easier, and more beneficial, to human beings is if they took simple amino acids from fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds so the body can use those to build its own protein structure.

Another question that your viewers ask in the comment section of YouTube is, “What do you use in your hair, it always looks like you just stepped out of the shower?”

I love to take showers; I love to be clean. Water purifies your soul. I also use coconut oil in my hair. My hair is so frizzy and when I ride my bicycle, my hair is always in my face. I also take baths in olive oil and put it in my hair, so my hair stays put. That’s why I always look like a greaser.

With staggering statistics that obesity is on the rise and that parents are projected to outlive their children, is there hope for our future?

Of course. I hope to do this work especially for the children. I can go out and be hip with the kids; I’m still hip on the slang, and I can relate to them. I want to make fruits and vegetables cool again. I want to go to schools and be like, “Yo, y’all gotta plant a garden. Y’all gotta plant some fruit trees in the schools.”

Kids are getting cancer and diabetes, they are overweight and have low self-esteem. I want to see kids feel good about themselves, and I want to see these kids get on fruits and vegetables. It’s so simple. We have to make it exciting, and we have to make it fun. We have to learn how cool it is to have applesauce with raisins and cinnamon in it and how quickly you can make that. We can definitely make a huge difference.

You can follow Dan McDonald’s journeys at

This article is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical conditions.


  1. Love the exposure Dan. You deserve it. The whole world desires your inspiration and I am happy to have discovered you. In my own journey, fruits and vegetables has been a HUGE key to personal happiness and overall well being. Your a leader Dan. In years to come, I got a big feeling people of all walks of life will really pay attention to you. Thank you Dan for everything you do. We are so grateful for your compassion for earth. :-)

  2. Really cool article – this is really interesting to hear about how Dan McDonald is living an inspiring life, following his heart and his calling.

  3. I stumbled on to your websites while looking for a blender to start making myself smoothies or rather to start drinking green drinks. I have been diagnosed with SPS approximately 2-1/2 years ago. I am taking a lot of medication to keep my muscles calm. They have diagnosed me with SPS+ which means that it has gone to my brain. I started out in a wheelchair and have gone to a walker and cane. I fell in January and disclocated my rotator cuff in my right arm and have had surgery on it and am in recovery for that right now. They say that most people don’t die of this disease they die of falling. To make a long story short (lol)…I need some help in getting started with this diet and to try to get myself healthy again. I know that all of this has happened because of no nutrients reaching my body. When I went into the hospital I had a count of 40 for my vitamin B-12 level, so my body has not been absorbing anything. If you could help me out I would much appreciate it. Right now I am taking Gamunex infusions once every 6 weeks which is costing me $17,000.00 each time. Well at least the insurance, my portion is $150.00 but with all of the doctor appointments and other things and being 56 I don’t want to die at 59 like my Dad did of diabetes (my sister died of it at 51). I would love to hear from you thanks so much.
    Teri Gomm