My eating disorder began when I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of eleven. More »
My introduction to the raw food diet came as part of my eating disorder recovery process. More »
When someone discovers that I eat raw foods for the purpose of allowing my type 1 diabetic body to heal, they are normally surprised that I choose a diet high in fruit carbs. More »
“The BMD (Bone mineral density) results confirm our previous work (…), and our findings (…) provide further evidence of a positive link between fruit and vegetable consumption and bone health.” More »
Studies on dehumanization demonstrated that denying certain human characteristics might serve as a strategy for moral disengagement. More »
The authors of a key paper report that numerous bioactive compounds discovered in fruit and vegetables appear to have positive effect on health More »
There is no doubt that eating a healthy diet is a requirement for having fantastic health, being your correct weight, and for creating the best odds of never getting a diagnosis of something serious. But if you focus on just diet alone, it is physiologically impossible to be as healthy as you are capable of being. And this is because there are other factors that affect your health.
Healthy eating is just one spoke in the wheel of health
Just as a chain can only be as strong as its weakest link, you can only be as healthy as the weakest link in your “chain of health”. But to know how your “chain” is doing, you need to know some specifics regarding those lifestyle practices that have just as much influence on your health as does your diet.
Many non-medical health practitioners focus on diet, and indeed I have a class devoted entirely to it, and in my first book, the chapter on diet is the biggest chapter, but this is simply because of all the aspects of healthy living, diet is the one fraught with the most conflicting information, misinformation, and disinformation, and therefore the one with the most confusion. So the subject of diet may need more study than the other “basics of health”, but not more attention.
So seekers of robust health need to go beyond diet. And although no one argues about the need for enough sleep and enough exercise, the “how to’s” and “importance of’s” are missing in many of today’s health creation curriculums where the other aspects of health get honorable mention (maybe) and then take a back seat to diet.
To put this another way, you could be eating the most perfect, the healthiest, the one diet that humans are designed to eat, but if you’re not paying equal attention to the other equally important aspects of health, you cannot have the best chance of achieving the best quality-of-life your genetics will allow.
Let’s now look at both the basics of health and the factors in disease:
Basics of Health: diet, physical activity, water, sunshine, sleep, stress management, toxin avoidance, information.
Factors in Disease: diet, physical activity, water, sunshine, sleep, stress management, toxin avoidance, misinformation.
As you can see from the two lists above, the same things are involved in both health and disease. For example: in health, enough and appropriate exercise; in disease, not enough and/or worthless exercise (or worse, harmful exercise). In health, enough sunshine; in disease, not enough sunshine.
When you think about it, in both health and ill-health, you need the exact same things: enough sleep, enough relaxation, enough water, enough stress management, enough sunshine, enough toxin avoidance, and enough food (which may be none when you’re ill). Vibrant health and ill-health are a continuum; they are two sides of the same coin. Just as you can cause ill-health, you can also cause vibrant health. The difference is, in today’s modern world, causing ill-health is as easy as falling off a log, but causing vibrant health requires some conscious effort. (A sad state of affairs indeed.)
Below is a chart that illustrates the relationship between disease and one’s lifestyle habits. As you can see, diet does not occupy a more prominent place on the chart than the other items listed. So if your goal is to be slim, and you focus only on what you eat and on counting and burning calories, you may look great on the outside, but disease develops on the inside, and if your insides aren’t in as good a shape as your outside, you’re sending degenerative disease an invitation to have its way with you.
You’ll notice “genetics” doesn’t appear on the above chart. That’s because you can’t do much about your genetics (although now with genetic testing used in diagnostics, there are some things you can do). The role your genetics play is merely which disease you’re predisposed to and how much you’re predisposed to it, (and not whether or not you’re destined to get a disease). It’s those other causative factors – the ones you have a lot of control over – that are the real “deciders” as to whether you do or don’t develop something life-threatening. And consider that if you don’t abide by Nature’s Laws, and give your body what it wants and don’t give it what it doesn’t want, it doesn’t matter what kind of genetics you have, suffering with a disease is suffering with a disease, whether at 50 or 70.
So if any health practitioner tries to place more importance on one aspect of health over the others, my advice would be to look elsewhere for guidance. Sure, there can be people who specialize in diet, and people who specialize in exercise, but a health practitioner who specializes in health creation and therefore in all of the requirements of robust health is someone who can, not just tie everything together, but can give equal weight to all of the factors that govern health, and thereby help you draft a health creation plan that will give you the best odds for success, which can be defined as the highest quality of life during the highest quantity of life.
Since I was a child in potty training, I remember struggling to go to the bathroom. I always had a large, bloated, Buddha belly and our family physician always poked light fun at my stomach asking me, “What do you have in there…gophers?”
I grew up on mostly home cooked, standard American meals and I was a good eater until I began to really suffer with abdominal pain, and stress when it came to bowel movements. I started to become very aware of my body and my symptoms in my late teens as they continued to get worse and worse as the years passed. The more I ate, the more the pain in my gut went from pressure and discomfort to sharp stabbing pains that made me cry out in agony. I began to eat just enough to get by and I would often resort to laxatives and stool softeners even though it didn’t make sense to have to constantly resort to these measures. Doctors would always say normal bowel movements happen a couple times a week for most people.
What?!!!! How could this be? My gut, as well as my gut instinct, told me this was incorrect information.
In addition to major digestive issues, I also suffered from acne, severe PMS, chronic headaches and an overall sense of not feeling well. My only relief came from over the counter NSAIDs and some prescription medication like tetracycline, and eventually accutane, for acne and beta blockers for headaches. They certainly worked as a bandaid, but I never liked taking pills of any kind and couldn’t see myself going on like this forever.
When I was in my early 20’s, I started working with a multi level marketing company whose focus was on natural health care products and raising health and environmental awareness. This was my first major introduction to holistic health care and it tipped off the beginning of my search for total wellness.
The company helped me become aware of the importance of what goes into and on my body. From clean water and air, to natural supplements instead of pharmaceuticals, plus natural hair, skin and body care products, and all natural household cleaning agents.
The information I was learning was eye opening and I made many changes. However, I still suffered with all of my usual ailments. It wasn’t until I was introduced to the book Fit For Life by Harvey and Marilyn Diamond that my blinders really came off and I became strongly aware of the benefit of proper diet. I made more dramatic changes and began eating all raw. Suddenly my digestion was moving regularly without discomfort. I was feeling more alive and energized as the book suggested I would. Unfortunately, at the time, I wasn’t able to continue because of peer pressure suggesting I was crazy for never wanting to eat cooked food again. Without emotional support, I eventually went back to my old habits, and of course my digestion slowed down to a halt, again.
Many years later, still struggling with all the same issues, I was searching online for answers and came across a 3 week cleanse that promised to help my digestion. I was up for the challenge and got started immediately. The idea was to eliminate specific foods & ingredients from the diet until you got down to 2 days of fruits and vegetables only, then one day of water only and then back to 2 days of fruits and vegetables and then you slowly add the foods back in that you previously eliminated, in a specific order.
When I got down to 2 days of fruits and vegetables only, my body was rejoicing with relief. My digestion began moving, I felt light and free and so much better overall. It reminded me of my all raw days after reading Fit For Life and how good I felt. As the cleanse continued and I began adding meat, dairy and grains, my body rebelled loudly and I began to feel horrible again. My stomach felt bloated and full of pressure, and the food sat like cement in my gut. I received the message loud and clear that those foods were not meant for my body. At that moment, I decided I was without a doubt going to find a way to make the raw food diet work for me. From that moment forward, I adopted a raw food lifestyle and never looked back.
I purchased every raw food book I could find in my local book store and followed the overall recommendations of a more high fat gourmet raw diet for about six months until I realized my body was reacting to the high fat intake of all the nuts, oils and avocados as if I were eating a standard diet. With more intense research, I found information on a high fruit diet and my search was over. I had finally found the answer to all my prayers.
Following a fruit based diet gave me my life back. I finally had the digestion I had been dreaming about. I felt light, free and happier than I had felt in a very long time. My hormones balanced out, my headaches vanished, and in time, with the help of a water fast, my skin cleared up.
Of course, my journey hasn’t been without experimentation. In the beginning, I tried a bite of cooked vegetables on occasion only to find, it didn’t agree with me in most instances, and if I had no reaction, I still felt it didn’t give me any real satisfaction. I have also experimented with my fat intake from absolutely no overt fats to including some everyday, and eventually landing somewhere in between. And, I have gone from no nutritional supplementation to now supplementing with iodine, and vitamins B-12 & D under the guidance of Don Bennett. All experiments have been worthwhile and I expect there will be more along the way.
Overall, a fruit based diet has changed so many aspects of my life, it often seems like a miracle cure, although it’s not so much a miracle cure as it is, honoring what my body needed in order to thrive. The human body is amazing. Paying attention to it can give you great insight. For me, eating animal products, grains, processed and other cooked foods, was like trying to force a square peg into a round hole. When I stopped forcing what didn’t fit, everything fell into place perfectly. Perhaps you are suffering from similar issues. If so, I recommend giving a fruit based diet a fair chance. You might just be as relieved as I am at the results.