Okay, it's question day once again -- and we've received some great ones lately. Before I begin, just let me reiterate once more that Wendi and I can't give medical advice here. We're motivational, inspirational raw food / natural health writers and educators (considerably knowledgeable and experienced ones, I might humbly add!); not doctors.So, whenever we give "advice" (or, whenever our writing appears as such), what we really mean is, "Well, if that were me, this is what I would do." And, the rest is in the disclaimer that runs on all of our pages.
Not only do we not give medical advice because we're not doctors (as if that wasn't enough of a reason!), but we also know that each person is different and, as such, all symptoms and conditions are unique to each person's individual situation. If person A and person B are both experiencing high blood pressure, it could easily be two different things causing that -- and the treatments or approaches could differ tremendously. What might fix person A might kill person B! (Sorry person B. No hard feelings.)
With that covered, let's get into the mailbag! I'd like to start with one that Wendi received. I don't have it in front of me at the moment, but can paraphrase it:
"I think I have diabetes, and suspect that following a raw diet might make me well. However, once I'm back to being well, when can I go back to eating healthy again "
I love this question! This is at once a funny / ironic, slightly misguided, and yet also highly interesting. To begin, diabetes is nothing to mess around with. You'll definitely want to know for sure, and seeing an appropriate health care practitioner is always the way to go. On top of that, I would highly recommend looking into the work of Dr. Gabriel Cousens. He's written incredibly enlightened books on diabetes! I also think you'll find some helpful links on Pure Jeevan's diabetes info page. Our personal take on diabetes is that it's largely beatable via an appropriate raw foods protocol.
But, let's take away the word "diabetes" and just look at that question again, more broadly. Paraphrasing, it says, "I'm sick and think raw might heal me. When I'm healed, can I go back to eating healthy " Two main observations from that:
- Disconnect. First, there seems to be a disconnect here between diet and health. I can't tell you how common this disconnect is. True, diet is not the only factor informing one's health. But it's a major one -- the major one, in my opinion. So, for the vast majority of people, it's what you're eating that's causing almost any disease you're experiencing! As such, the supposition that you can return to "healthy" eating is wrong because what you were eating before probably never was healthy for you. So, I'll assume that by "going back to a healthy diet" you really mean "continue on with some kind of healthy diet that is not necessarily raw" (reading into your words a bit and inferring that you're not too crazy about the prospect of living a raw lifestyle). And this leads me to point number two:
- Lifestyle vs. protocol. So, the question really is: Is raw food a permanent lifestyle for ensuring long-term health, or is it also a protocol for restoring health, after which one can eat cooked foods again Well, again, there are a lot of assumptions at play here. But, essentially, I think it depends on the person. For some, I believe you'll have to stay largely (maybe even exclusively) raw to enjoy peak health. I suspect that of myself, in fact. (And you probably heard Mimi Kirk's views on that notion yesterday.) For others, raw does seem to work as a temporary healing protocol. I suspect, for example, that actor Woody Harrelson approaches it this way (to use but one well-known example). I don't know the stats on diabetics, but I've heard many stories of people who have healed on raw foods and then returned to cooked -- only to re-experience whatever ailments brought them to raw in the first place.
The bottom line: My advice is to address your current concerns first. Focus on becoming well; don't worry about what you may or may not eat later on, after you've healed. While it's great to think of yourself in the future as healed, just know that you'll know the answer to your question at that time.
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We had more questions to field today, but don't want to go too long here. So, we'll return soon to continue with reader questions.
Below, we have included the original comments from this blog post. Additional comments may be made via Facebook, below.
On January 28, 2010, wrote:
I agree with your closing paragraph, based on how things unfolded in my own life. I initially planned on doing some cleansing to heal myself, and then going back to the way I was eating after I got "better". At that same time, I was wrestling with thoughts, basically wondering if I physically would be able to go back to "the way things were" after the cleanse. Once I actually finished the cleansing though, I noticed that I naturally gravitated towards healthier food choices without any thought or effort. Once I noticed that, I wondered why I expended any energies wondering about "what would happen" and "what it would mean", instead of just going with the flow and seeing what indeed would come to pass.
On January 29, 2010, wrote:
I agree wholeheartedly with your disclaimer. I've run into some really great people, sharing what I consider to be anecdotal folk wisdom when it comes to health advice. I wish that your sort of disclaimer was required on all raw videos and blogs. Personally, understanding what a bell-curve is, the fact remains that only a small segment will do well on extreme raw, or be able to follow it devoutly, and a small segment will do horribly, while the majority will fall somewhere in the middle. For example, I have a Korean War vet friend who used to scrub out scows...no masks, nothing. He's had his lungs x-rayed and they are literally half full of asbestos. All of his buddies died young, he's the exception. (there's that bell-curve again) Would I recommend raw to him at 75? Heck no. Would I tell him to start eating foods that would detoxify him? No way. Would I tell him about re-mineralization with cordyceps? Probably. Msm? Yes. But people can really hurt themselves detoxing if they don't have guidance from some really expert people. I'm glad that's why you guys are around. I think that for this person in your mail bag, she would do good to incorporate balance in whatever form that brings her the greatest happiness and love. High or medium raw can be done with ease incorporating established dietary patterns and habits with cooked food that is shown to reduce blood sugar. In an ideal world however following phase 1 of Gabriel Cousens work would cause the world so much joy. Much love, Sam
On January 29, 2010, wrote:
Yeah, I think a lot of people miss that -- to trust more in the flow.
BTW, I guess our comments are indeed working at the moment. But, the blog is still not showing many, many old comments. I keep looking back to some memorable exchanges you and I had on some articles here -- and they're still gone. (Although, I think they're in fact still in our database. Disqus is a great system, but it's frustrating at times. Supposedly, there's a new version coming out soon to fix the bugs. Ideally, when anyone comments, those comments should stay part of the article permanently. So, I hope to reinstate the ones that disappeared.)
On January 29, 2010, wrote:
Thanks, Sam! I'm glad you like that disclaimer. The more I learn about health, the more I see how absolutely dynamic and individualized it is -- mind-bogglingly so! This is directly related to the area of study Wendi and I have been doing lately (which we haven't yet written about here, but plan to soon). It's like being in school again ... only in a much more enjoyable way. I come home at night, we grab a bite, and then Wendi says, "You ready to hit the books !" Can't wait to open that topic up here. Best to you, Heidi, & Caleb! :-)