How Not to Start the Raw Food Diet
October 2nd, 2011
How Not to Start the Raw Food Diet
Consider a situation: a seventy-something grandfather—I’ll call him Bob—was diagnosed with advanced cancer. The doctors have recommended surgery and chemotherapy, but there are no guarantees. The Bob we remember: Energetic, warm, full of life—never sick a day in his life, as far as any of us knew. But now: constant stomach pain, severe bloating. He takes prescribed medications daily.
Bob’s loving granddaughter was frantically searching the internet, hoping to find something by way of a solution to this devastating situation. She came across a website where a certain woman shares the story of how she cured her breast cancer via raw foods. That’s it! Bob’s granddaughter thought, thrilled she’d found an answer. She summarized the diet plan, as she understood it, and printed out a highly abbreviated handout for her grandfather.
The piece of paper said essentially this:
What not to eat: no meat, no fish, no dairy.
What to eat: raw fruits, vegetables, their juices and nuts and seeds.
What to get, what to have: sunlight, exercise, good attitude.
Immediately, decided Bob, he’d go raw, since after all, his beloved grandchild has suggested it. Couldn’t be easier, could it? Just eat raw fruits and vegetables, nothing else. His granddaughter hit the local farmers’ markets to get the best apples, plenty of nuts. She started making fresh fruit juices for her grandfather. Things were looking up…weren’t they?
Raw foods, you’ve heard me say before, aren’t a matter of adopting some fad “diet.” It’s a matter of gradual change, of commitment and discipline, and of—make no mistake—a lot of knowledge.
Doing it wrong has serious consequences…
No Sweet Fruit Juices for Cancer Patients
Drinking a lot of fruit juices—even for a healthy person—isn’t a good idea. The sugar alone can wreak havoc on anyone. But significant quantities of fruit juice is absolutely unacceptable for a cancer patient. At OHI and the Hippocrates Institute, cancer patients aren’t even given any whole fruit, let alone their juices that are highly concentrated.
Early on, the raw food regime creates gas. The effect’s severity will depend on how toxic the person is to begin with. The presence of cancer makes this gas increase greatly, and may cause any existing bloating rise to a dangerous level.
Medications and Raw Foods Don't Mix
Medications and the raw food diet do not go well together. It’s like trying to stand with each leg on two platforms moving in opposite directions. Much depends on which medications, and, of course, on “how raw” a person is. But the admonition stands: not a good combination. Here is one reason: Modern commercial medications are made to work in the bodies of people on “normal” diets. The raw foods diet decreases mucus production in your digestive tract, and medications can thus really hurt the digestive system, even causing an ulcer.
Then there’s the issue of nuts—raw nuts. These must be soaked before eating. Nuts not soaked are hard on anyone's digestion, especially that of a person already seriously ill. But even soaked nuts are too heavy for a severely compromised digestive system.
Too Much Detox
Desperate situation…desperate measures. That’s how Bob felt. So he dived into raw foods. Into, indeed, the deep end. The trouble, diving in like that without any swimming lessons: severe detox. When even a relatively healthy person goes raw overnight, he’s bound to experience some uncomfortable detox symptoms. Going cold turkey is downright dangerous for a person with any significant health issues. Here’s why…
Going raw is about eliminating toxins. And, on the way out, those toxins do have to go somewhere. Going raw at any rate necessarily releases toxins into the bloodstream. Going raw instantly may release so much that the liver won’t be able to handle it. Usually for people with any real health issues, a series of cleanses (liver and gallbladder, for example) must precede the launch of the raw food diet.
We've all heard the saying: A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
So what about Bob? When he started juicing…some nasty nausea, couldn’t hold his food down. Then he quit this new diet. People expect raw foods to behave like medicine, giving them immediate relief. But raw foods will do just the opposite: they’ll stir up the toxins and try to throw them out. And when this happens a person feels miserable. Without proper knowledge people usually abandon the raw food diet when they begin to feel worse. Again, ignorance can make you throw out of the window what may be your best chance.
“Healthy” people going raw must know many things about this diet. But if you have a serious health challenge, you need to learn even more—especially about how raw foods can help with your particular illness. You’ll need to find a doctor knowledgeable in raw foods to assist you to deal with medications.
I am not a doctor and cannot advise you on any cure. But I can share my own journey to health with you. My fourteen years of experience have led me to write seven books about the raw foods lifestyle, and I respectfully invite you to give credence to them.
Yes, raw foods can give you exceptional health. Yes, a 100 percent raw lifestyle will keep you youthful, fit and joyful. Yes, it can even cure cancer, if you do it the right way. Even more importantly, raw foods can prevent serious illnesses from ever developing in your body.
The raw food lifestyle is a branch of natural science, so treat it as such. Even though there’s not an institution in the world that can hand you an accredited degree in the subject, never stop learning on your own. It's an inexhaustible subject. Even when you have covered all the physical aspects, there is another level for you to unearth: spiritual, which is even more miraculous and fascinating.