I just saw this awesome quote recently that said “vegan for the animals, but fruitarian for myself.” That’s so true for me! 11 years ago I did go vegan for the animals and then three years ago I got into raw foodism and high fruitarianism for myself. Some of you totally get that while others may wonder what exactly that means and why would I choose to do something so extreme? Well, first of all, raw foodism is eating foods that have not been heated above 118°F. Fruitarianism is very similar and is eating only fruits, nuts, seeds, and sometimes also herbs, flowers, seaweeds, cacti, mushrooms, pollens, grasses, roots, barks, and other heirloom organic greens.
When I first learned about this it was fascinating to me. When I read about the reasons that we should be eating this way, something clicked inside my head and it just made sense. So, I decided to do “raw till four” and would eat raw foods until 4 PM and then eat my last meal cooked. I was surprised to find out that I felt so light and full of energy each day when I would eat raw, that soon I transitioned within a couple months and began eating only raw.
Now you’re probably wondering what the benefits are to eating this way? Well, first of all, eating fresh fruits, nuts, and seeds is actually the way that we were designed to be eating. If you take a look at our teeth and digestive tract, you will find that they are perfect for eating fruit.
Probably the only reason that we departed from this so much as a culture is because of nomadic living in certain areas where access to fruit was not available year round. Also, in some areas, cooking may have become a necessity due to gamey meat being too tough to chew without cooking. When populations got large there was no way to sustain them other than grain agriculture. This was the only way to supply the calories required to such a huge population and have a backup in times of famine. Thus the introduction of eating grains, as it is easier to grow and store.
And so, cooking and eating foods which we were not designed for, helped some of our ancestors to survive, but that doesn’t mean that it’s optimal. It goes back to that saying “Just because we can, doesn't mean we should”. Why? Well one big reason that we shouldn’t cook our food is that it kills enzymes, which break down our food. Another reason is that most delicate vitamins are lost above 104-118°F. Why in the world would we want to destroy the very things that we need to thrive? We learned the true harm cooked foods caused to animals in the Pottenger cat study conducted between 1932 and 1942, by Dr. Francis M. Pottenger, in an effort to increase the life-spans of his laboratory cats. He discovered that just within a few months this raw food group appeared in better health than the cooked meat group. Their kittens were more energetic and their postoperative death rate was lower. Pottenger conducted studies involving approximately 900 cats over a period of ten years, with four generations of cats being studied.
In one of his studies, one group of cats were fed a diet of two-thirds raw food, one-third raw milk, and cod-liver oil while the second group was fed a diet of two-thirds cooked food, one-third raw milk, and cod-liver oil. The cats fed the ALL-RAW diet were healthy while the cats fed the cooked meat diet developed various health problems.
- By the end of the first generation the cats started to develop degenerative diseases and became quite lazy.
- By the end of the second generation, the cats had developed degenerative diseases by mid-life and started losing their coordination.
- By the end of the third generation the cats had developed degenerative diseases very early in life and some were born blind and weak and had a much shorter life span. Many of the third generation cats couldn't even produce offspring.
Could this be the main reason humans have such a vast array of health problems today?
There is also the matter of glycation. That is when fire comes into contact with a fat or protein plus carbohydrate (sugar) to create a substance that cross-links them. This substance is carcinogenic to our body because it cannot recognize it. Buildup of this substance in our bodies leads to degradation, disease, and aging. Even Advanced Glycation End-products acronym is AGE’s, because it ages the body quickly. It also makes us more vulnerable to things like sun exposure and cigarette smoke.
Yes, as you may know, we can survive off of cooked meat, dairy, beans, grains, etc. but really that is only because our bodies are so incredibly designed that we are able to adapt and our bodies are able to make things work. That doesn’t mean though that this incredible machine that is our body won’t eventually break down from running on the wrong fuel. This is a big part of the reason why we are seeing each generation with a greater number of mutations than the previous one and more and more diseases starting at a younger age.
Taking all of this into consideration, I decided to stop eating cooked food. Now, I haven’t been perfect and have slipped up and indulged. I’m cooked vegan foods from time to time, but each time I have done so, has reminded me of why I eat this way because I do not feel as well when I don’t eat living foods as when I eat cooked dead foods.
If you can’t get yourself to commit to 100% raw, then at least change your mindset about the way that you cook. Anything that exposes the food to fire or dry high heat i.e. baking, roasting, toasting, sauteing, frying, air frying, etc. leads to glycating our foods. Ways to avoid this and still cook are using water to cook your foods. This would mean things like steaming and boiling.
I know some of you will click with this information and feel the urge to make changes in your diet because you want to thrive and be healthy and feel good and look good. For you, I would recommend changing your diet ASAP. If you can’t go 100% raw right away and jump in, that’s OK. You could do like I did and start off small. Start with having your first meal or two raw. Have some fruit in the morning or a smoothie. Still hungry? Eat more fruit! End your day with your cooked meal and take note of how you feel after every meal. Continue on until you feel like you can increase the amount of living foods in your diet.
One of the most exciting things about this diet for me is trying new things and getting creative with recipes in the kitchen. At first I started off using other people's recipes that I found on the Internet. Once I got the hang of it, I felt like I could improve or alter recipes and made adjustments where I saw fit. Then, I started getting creative and made recipes of my own. Eventually I got kind of burnt out from making gourmet meals and desserts all the time and started eating more simply. Sometimes I eat just one type of fruit for a meal. Sounds crazy, but it actually is super enjoyable, easy to digest, and leaves me feeling so light that I have no problem working out soon afterward! Nowadays I am kind of in between. Some days I will eat just fruit and other days I will eat fruit and then later prepare a gourmet raw vegan meal for myself. And it’s all so enjoyable to me!
Others of you may read this and just scoff, thinking it is all well and good sounding, but that you couldn’t do it. You like bacon too much or you can’t imagine not having things cookies and cakes and brownies. You doubt that raw food could sustain you or think that it doesn’t have enough protein. Well, I can’t say much about your personal cravings, but from what I have found there is always a way to replicate your favorite flavor and texture in a new and healthy way. And yes, it is true that you may need to start off eating more than you typically would because these foods digest much more quickly. That’s a good thing though! We don’t want our food to sit around and rot inside of our intestines. And as for protein, you will get all that your body needs and sometimes even more depending on how many nuts and seeds you are eating.
The only reason that I am sharing this information is because I want to see everyone living a healthy life, feeling good and looking good. If you don’t care about those things, then by all means continue eating the way that you are. But as for me, I want to live a very long time, getting to enjoy as much as I can out of life, learning new things all the time, and trying out new things as time progresses. I want to be able to jump out of bed in the morning, not crawl out like so many elderly do with aches and pains. I want to be able to go on long hikes in exotic places whenever I want, not sit in a hospital bed looking at the window longingly. And I want to look so good that people wonder if I’m lying about my age, not going to get surgeries to hide the aging that I have caused my body due to what I have put inside it. I don't want bone degenerative diseases which plague mankind because of what they are doing. I don't want my teeth rotting out, have body odor and bad skin from rancid oils circulating through my body. Every action has a consequence, and our food shouldn't be one.
If you’re with me and want to live that kind of life too, feel free to message me with any questions you have and I will help get you started. And my blog has tons of free recipes that I personally make all the time and enjoy. And I am constantly adding more!