Guest Writer Gina Shaw, DSc MA AIYS Dip Irid Dip NH
As a high-percentage Fruitarian I receive a mixture of opinions in the circles I mix with. Amongst SAD dieters, people say ‘Aren’t you concerned that you’re getting too much Vitamin C from those oranges’ (a far cry from the old concerns of ‘Where do you get your protein?’). Raw food enthusiasts say ‘Oh no, I don’t eat much fruit because of the sugar content’. Everywhere I go, people are so concerned for my health because of the large amounts of fruit I consume! (even though my health has never been better since starting a high-raw diet back in 1998). So, let’s get this clear, I am one of the few people who actually follow Government recommendations clearly and consume a minimum of 5-7 portions of fruit per day. Fruit sugars do not cause diabetes, indeed a high fat diet is the leading cause of diabetes according to recent research papers. Fruits are combined with fiber which will slow down sugar release and fruit sugars will only become a problem if they are poorly combined, e.g. mixed with fats. Indeed, my body is more than able to deal with high doses of water-soluble vitamins such as vitamin C if necessary, by eliminating it out through my kidneys, just the same as it will do from excess potassium, etc.
However, I, equally, on the other hand, am very concerned about their health! Most people consume far too much protein and fat and salt in their diet, much of which is the animal variety which has been linked to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, etc., etc.
How can you have an easily digestible healthy (high or all) raw food diet without eating lots of fruit? There are indeed many raw foodists who feel guilty after eating an orange or a few grapes. In my opinion, this is crazy and there’s no reason you shouldn’t be eating fruit (and lots of it) unless you are of course poorly combining it with other foods. That’s where Toxemia sets in. Toxemia is the saturation of the bloodstream by poisons, often caused by a SAD diet, or a lack of sleep, drug taking, alcohol, etc, etc.
So, how do these raw foodists maintain their weight without lots of fruit? The answer appears to be by eating lots of fat. Healthy? In a word ‘No’! A high fat diet, even on a high plant based diet is not conducive to health and will use up your energy in the digestion of food, and the body will have to convert the fat into glucose in order to fuel the brain cells, etc. This is a complicated process and it is far better to consume your calories from simple carbohydrates like fruit. So, are you looking for a raw food meal which will tick all the health boxes? Then look no further than your pineapple, mangoes, strawberries or melon.
The biggest bang for your health may not be on the treadmill.
By, Bill Kranker
The other day I was watching an old episode of a TV show called “Magnum PI” which stared Tom Selleck. In many of the episodes Tom’s character was shown doing some type of athletic thing like jogging or swimming or running a marathon which is all really great but often he would also be shown reaching for a beer just after a run or as he was drying off after a swim. Back in the 1980′s, when the show was popular on TV, I would have thought nothing of this as I was not much better myself. I would go for a run or workout and then have a steak and potato dinner with ice scream for dessert. The theory back then was that it did not matter much what you eat because you could just work it off later. But is this really the case? Can you just work off any type of food that you put into your mouth? Let’s look at a few facts:
First, what about working off those excess Calories? According to runnersworld.com, running uses up about 105 net calories per mile (this is net calories over what you would use just lying on the couch. For women it would be about 74 calories net). I have seen people (Including myself!) easily consume over 800 excess calories per day on a regular unhealthy diet. So using the above formula we would need to run about 8 miles in order to burn up those 800 extra calories. In reality how many of us are really going to do that much running every day? Or maybe, you think that just walking will burn off that extra indulgence. Walking only uses up about 52 net calories (43 for the ladies) so you would need to walk the equivalent of a half-marathon in order to remove the caloric excess! That is a good amount of exercise for the average person. And as for Mr. Magnum he would need to run about an extra 2 miles just to work off that 200 Calorie beer. (Calories of beer courtesy of beer100.com)
Second: Not all calories are created equal. When people take in too much it is usually the fat calories that they add in excess. 800 Calories of fat such as animal foods or even healthy fats like avocado are much harder for humans to use up because we are not very well equipped for digesting fat (we lack the required digestive enzyme) so any extra calories from fat will get set aside (around our waist and hips) for later disposition while the body concentrates on the useful carb calories it needs for energy. So a run on the treadmill is likely not very effective against these fatty calories.
Third: a lot of the calories we take in are pure chemical junk and will have to go through a much more complicated process than simple digestion and conversion to energy. Often these bad calories are stored in our fat layer or diluted with water for later disposal when more energy is available. Often this extra energy does not become available and these bad chemicals just hang around in our padding. In essence, we become a storage unit of toxic waste! So what are these junk calories? How about “artificial flavors” or anything on those ingredient labels that you can’t easily pronounce. Again, this type of calorie is not easy to “Work Off!”
So if you are really interested in becoming healthy I would start with making the necessary dietary changes first as you will get much more accomplished by changing your diet than you will with all of those hours spent on the treadmill!
So what are some of those dietary changes you ask? The following are my basic rules for food:
1) Stay away from packaged and processed foods as much as possible. If it comes in a can, box, bag or bottle you should probably try and avoid it. Also if it has a nutrition label on it, don’t bother reading all of that fine print, just pass it by!
2) Make the majority of your food intake from fruit. Fruit has the highest calorie to weight ratio of all of the fresh unprocessed foods. Fruit is also composed of healthy carb calories that provide us the cellular energy we need. In this case these calories are the good calories!
3) Make sure to also get some greens and healthy fats into your diet. Greens, such as spinach, collards or kale, have the minerals you need and the fats such as avocado and nuts provide fuel for your brain. Just keep the fats to a minimum though (about ½ avocado or a small palm full of nuts per day average at most)
Don’t just take my word for it. Keep studying and researching. A good place to start is with some of Frederic’s great books that have a wealth of healthy info and recipes in them. It is better to learn from the success and failures of others than by trial and error yourself!
So change your diet first and then let the workout begin!
Until next time make at least one change for the better each and every day!
12 Reasons Why Raw Food Really Works For Weightloss
By Angela Valentine, www.RawFood-Weightloss-Guide.com
- With the raw foods diet, weight loss is often more effective, as you are typically taking in lower calorie foods. So you can eat a lot more than you thought, and won’t go hungry (and thus you’ll likely stick with it longer, too).
- Most raw foods – such as apples, cucumbers, celery, and leafy greens – are also typically higher water content foods, so you will become better hydrated. Improved hydration helps to flush out fats and toxins and helps all your organs function better.
- By taking in improved and increased nourishment, you will become healthier all over. And when your body works better in every respect, its natural ability to burn off fat will be greatly improved. A healthier liver, especially, will improve your body’s fat burning ability.
- It is hard to lose weight when your hormones are imbalanced. The plentiful nutrients contained in natural raw foods provide many of the precursors needed to produce those hormones. Plus, that nutrition will help to heal the organs which produce your hormones. Altogether, this helps you become more hormonally balanced so weight loss is easier.
- With the raw foods diet, weight loss also occurs through detoxification. As your body naturally begins releasing the toxins often held in your fat cells, many of those fat cells will begin shrinking – and you will slim down.
- You stop eating the toxin-filled, mucus-forming, hormone-imbalancing nutrient-poor dead, cooked, overly salted and processed foods that can cause weight gain and water retention in the first place.
- The clean raw foods you do eat will not contain the chemicals and neurotoxins that can make you ravenously hungry (like restaurant foods do). Therefore, after a short time on a 100% raw foods diet, you find your physical sensation of hunger has changed. It becomes milder, subtler and much less insistent.
- As you receive more and better nutrition, you become satisfied by less food. Your body doesn’t have to continue clamoring for more food to try to glean the tiny bit of nutrition that’s left in cooked food, if any.
- As you become healthier, your metabolism works better, and you start to feel more energetic. Plus raw foods are easier to digest, which frees up tremendous amounts of energy. No more 3:00pm energy slump after a heavy cooked lunch.
- As you have more energy, you are also more apt to begin or ramp up an exercise program, or become more active in your daily activities, which helps burn off more calories and fat.
- After you’ve eaten the raw foods diet for weight loss even for a short while, you’ll notice that your emotions tend to even out. Therefore, you’ll have less need for emotional eating patterns that often lead to overeating or binge eating for comfort. You’ll feel happier, more balanced and more peaceful. Many even become more spiritually inclined.
- When you become healthier than ever, you are no longer as “sick and tired” as you used to be, and it seems like your life improves in every way! You’ll discover that weight loss is only one of the many advantages of the raw foods diet!
To your success! ~Angela Valentine, www.RawFood-Weightloss-Guide.com
I became involved in the raw food movement back in 1997. So it’s been about 15 years, and during that period I’ve met a LOT of people interested in this lifestyle.
I’ve sold hundreds of thousands of copies of my books and products, and many people have contacted me over the years to ask questions and share feedback.
I also have the chance to connect in person with many of these people in the few live events where I participate every year.
There are different types of raw foodists. Sometimes, people move from one type to another. Sometimes they give up completely.
So here are, based on my observations, the five different types of raw foodists. I’m not going to cover of course the variations in diet philosophy (such as 80-10-10 vs. Gabriel Cousens). But mostly the lifestyle. Which one are you?
Raw Food Wannabe
This type of person idealizes the raw food lifestyle. Maybe they did it at some point when they were younger. In any case, they are not currently doing it now, but they nonetheless lurk on discussion forums, buy the books, and think about doing it one day.
But due to the pressures of work, and family, their habits are too engrained to change at the moment, so their interest in the raw food diet remains at the intellectual level.
I’ve known many raw food wannabes, or health food wannabes for that reason. They’re the people with the giant collection of recipe books they never use, the juicer that’s gathering dust, and the pile of unused raw food products they ordered in the mail.
My advice to these people: You don’t have to go 100% raw to get the benefits of raw foods. Just change your breakfast to a green smoothie. Then have a large apple before every meal (15-30 minutes before, to be exact), and eat a big salad every day. You’ll get many of the benefits of raw foods without the stress that you’re not doing it perfectly.
The Yo-Yo Man
It’s not fun to be Yo-Yo Man, or Yo Yo Girl. These are the people that are really convinced that the raw food diet is the optimal diet. They have all the theory, all the books, and have actually put them in action. They have gone raw, but they can’t stick with it.
They’re the people counting in days the longest they’ve gone 100% raw, just like incorrigible smokers know exactly how long their last attempt at quitting started. You will meet them and they will complaint at how they can’t stick with it for more than three months at a time, but then something goes “wrong” and they “binge” on cooked food.
The worst thing about being yo-yo man is that you can’t help feeling extremely guilty every time you fall off the wagon. Even worst: you feel like you’re the type of person who can’t commit to his goals.
Yo-Yo Girl also gets sick. She feels great when she’s 100% raw, but when she falls off the wagon, her body is so “pure” that it reacts negatively with every cooked food she eats.
So Yo-Yo people truly get the worst of both worlds: they don’t feel they’re getting the results of raw, and yet at the same time they can’t enjoy eating cooked food because it makes them sick and guilty.
My advice to these people: Stop being a rubber ball. Bouncing back and forth between two diets and experiencing guilt and sickness every time is not a normal way to live. I know because I used to be a yo-yo man. I discovered that it was either better to stick to 100% raw, or to actually include some cooked food in my daily diet. I chose the latter option because I find it easier to have a normal routine. If you eat cooked food very infrequently (like once a month), your body never builds up the ability to digest it. That’s because fruits and vegetables require almost no digestion. Your digestion therefore weakens and that’s one reason why you react so negatively, whenever you go back and forth. So choose your way to live: there’s no shame in it. But going back and forth between two extremes (especially when one involves binging) is not a healthy way to live.
Detox girl (or man!) is not a raw foodist. She’s someone who uses the raw food diet as a way to absolve himself from past sins, and sometimes as justification from a more hedonistic lifestyle the rest of the year.
Detox girl may eat a normal diet, with a stressful lifestyle most of the year, but a few times a year, she’ll find the time to do a raw food cleanse. She may actually go to a raw food retreat, like the Hippocrates Health Institute in Florida.
There’s nothing wrong with being Detox Girl, as long as your overall lifestyle is healthy. In fact, I recommend to incorporate some fasting or cleansing diets a few times a year as a healthy way to reset your health.
The trap for detox people is to use detox as an excuse to indulge even more the rest of the year.
Raw foodists like to calculate the percentage of raw foods they eat, often based on very subjective methods. When people say they eat 80% raw, is that by weight, calories, or by meal?
In any case, this category of raw foodist is either 80% raw, 60% raw, or 90% raw, depending on how they choose to calculate it.
The point is that they’ve incorporated many raw food principles into their daily routine, but they don’t eat 100% raw. Their daily diet includes both cooked foods and raw foods.
This person may have two raw meals a day, and one cooked meal. Or maybe she has a green smoothie a couple times a day, a big salad, and lots of fruit, as well as other cooked foods for calories and variety.
The only trap of this lifestyle is making sure you discover the proper balance that works for you. Sometimes having a diet that’s almost 100% raw with a little bit of cooked food sprinkled on top just makes things worst. Your body never has a real chance to adapt to digesting cooked food, and you keep on eating some, just enough to annoy you.
In my experience, this lifestyle works best if you keep your routine consistent. The closer you get to 100% raw, the better it would be to actually stay 100% raw. If you want to balance your diet between raw and cooked, find the right proportions that work for you.
This category of people only represent about 2-5% of people in the raw food movement, but they are the ones getting all the attention because THEY have “succeeded.”
Some 100%ers are living quiet lives and enjoying the results of their dedicated efforts, and can of course share their ideas with the rest of the world.
Other 100%ers look down on other raw foodists who are not eating 100% raw. They may grant them the benefit of the down throughout the transition period, but will definitely think there’s something wrong with them if they willingly choose to NOT be 100% raw.
The 100% raw food diet may well work for many people. But it’s totally unrealistic to think that it will work for everybody or even most people. Other options must be available for people to get the benefits of raw foods, without having to go 100%.
My advice to fanatical 100%ers: You need to chill out. The fact that you’ve found something that works for you doesn’t mean that everybody can or should do it.
These are people that are actually much more interested in the vegan ideology, but have become raw foodist as the latest chapter of their vegan evolution. So they actually secretly consider themselves to be the most advanced kind of vegan! (And of eater, for that matter…)
Not all raw vegans are Raw VEGANs. You have to spell Vegan with a capital “V.” Some people are just accidental raw vegans: they just happen to eat raw fruits, vegetables, and nuts. I am not talking about these people.
I’m talking about the ideological raw VEGANs. If you’re a regular vegan, they might be your friend, because you’re at least VEGAN. They’ll of course try to convince you to move to the next ladder of evolution and go raw, but they’ll accept you in their club.
If you’re a regular eater, they will likely embrace you because you haven’t seen the light yet. You’re just someone who has yet to be converted. Not quite an infidel, but just a SAD eater.
However, there’s one category of people that can’t be friends with raw VEGANS: former vegans. These people are the scum of the earth. They decided to go vegan, but then turned their back on their beliefs and started to eat dead carcasses of animals. Even worst: they are not sharing their experience on how the vegan diet didn’t work for them, and scaring away people from going raw VEGANs. These people should be destroyed publicly by attacking their reputation in as many YouTube videos as possible…
My advice to raw VEGANS: you also need to chill out. The more you turn your philosophy into an “all-or-nothing” plan, the more you scare off regular people from giving it a try. Some people will not agree with you. So what? There’s something called Freedom of Speech myself, and everyone is entitled to it, not just you.
A Couple other Minor Types:
The Pretender — Some people actually claim that they eat 100% raw, but in fact do they exact opposite in real life. These people are pretty rare, but they exist.
The Ex Drug Addict — The raw food diet tends to attract people with a past of addiction to narcotics. It’s not surprising, because these people often need to find another life philosophy to get their lives back on track, whether it be religion or the raw food diet. I think it’s great that they can reverse all of their energy into something positive. The only thing to watch out for would be “normal” people following these people. Make sure to keep in mind that what might work for them may not work for you.
What do you think of my analysis? Which type are you?
I’ve been busy launching a new product on “How to Travel the World for Free”
I know this is TOTALLY off topic but I also know that many raw foodists love traveling and would like to do more of it.
I created this product along with my old friend Shelli Stein, who’s a fitness trainer in Hawaii but also an expert in traveling.
I asked Shelli to write a little intro article on her side of the story of how we ended up doing this project together.
The Exploding Blender and Other Stories, by Shelli Stein
There are two sides to every story and two sides to every coin, but only one Frederic!
Last week Frederic told you how we met, so now it’s time for Shelli’s version.
In the 90′s when the raw food movement was rapidly gaining momentum, both Frederic and I were part of that scene.
Its hub was in San Diego and that’s where I lived at the time. I had been an on and off again vegetarian since high school, so switching to a raw food diet wasn’t too big a leap for me.
Frederic had come to San Diego to immerse himself in the raw food culture, so it was only natural that our paths would cross.
It was an exciting time in raw food history.
I had this idea to hire him as a chef and have him cater a raw meal at my house for me and some friends. Have you ever cooked (or “uncooked”) in someone else’s kitchen? I have, and it’s always a challenge. Here’s what happened.
I left the meal choices up to Frederic.
It didn’t matter because I knew if he was “cooking” it would be delicious.
At the time I had an old fashioned blender. Frederic swears he was blending durian, I seem to recall it was almond milk, but in either case because I hadn’t put the blender together properly the whole thing exploded.
And by explosion I mean a massive blender bomb in the kitchen!
Are you the kind of person who keeps tons of dish towels in your kitchen “just in case”?
I am, so we started throwing every dish towel we had on the floor and counters to clean up the mess. The dinner, once we got the mess cleaned up, was perfect.
We do laugh about that day now though.
So that was how we met. Frederic stayed at my house and watched my dog for me when I was out of town but soon after those times we lost touch.
He was busy writing and helping to grow the raw food movement in California and I was busy teaching Yoga, working as a health and fitness coach, and falling in love. You know, living life!
Fast forward to 2009. Frederic’s name came across my radar over the years but I never followed through and contacted him, until 2009.
You know how it is when you talk with someone from a long time ago and you immediately pick up again like time almost never passed?
So we quickly became great friends, and I also coached him through his attempts at running a marathon. Things didn’t work out for the marathon because Frederic got busy getting married, but I’m sure he’ll get back to it sometime soon.
One thing that we loved talking about was traveling.
Frederic has been everywhere, or that’s how it seems. I haven’t, but I’m quickly gaining on him!
When we started talking about traveling, where we wanted to go and how we were going to pay for all our travel dreams,
I told him about all the trips I had taken in the last year. For example, going to Hong Kong and Bali, flying first class and staying in five star hotels.
Or how I went to New Zealand or Italy for a three week trip each… in the same year!
Or how I’m about to fly all the way from Honolulu to Switzerland in First Class to visit some friends.
Frederic was shocked when I told him my travel plans weren’t going to cost me much at all.
I told him that I essentially don’t pay for most of my trips, especially the high-end ones.
One day he finally said to me, “Okay Shelli, what’s the deal? How do you do it”?
Knowing that over the years he had paid big bucks for all his travels and that I was traveling for pennies on the dollar, I started sharing my system with him.
This is a system that I developed over many years. Something that you can only learn by doing it. And I knew Frederic was the kind of person who would be using my tips, tricks, and tweaks for maximizing traveling dreams yet *minimizing* costs.
After a year of Frederic testing out what I’d be sharing with him, we decided that other people who love to travel, who enjoy experiencing other cultures need to know all these tips, tricks, and tweaks too, so they can make their travel dreams come true.
That’s how the project happened!
Filed under Blog by Frederic Patenaude
Nobody likes to talk about this, but the raw food diet is awfully expensive.
As a single guy eating mostly but not 100% raw, I used to spend $600 to $800 a month on food, just for myself!
I’ve asked a lot of people eating this way how much they spend on food, and I get similar figures all the time.
And it’s not just fruits and vegetables that are expensive: every one that I know that you could consider a “health foodist” spends spends at least twice the national average on food.
Have you seen your grocery bills rise lately?
The trend is pretty scary.
I remember when avocados used to cost 99 cents each, and would go on sale for 2 or even 3 for a dollar. Now the “normal” price is $1.99 and they are often advertised on sale for $1.49!
And there’s the same trend across the board: food is becoming more expensive, and healthy food is becoming even more “premium.”
Some people say the solution is to grow your own food. But it’s been shown that you’ll spend more doing this. If you factor in the cost of the land, seeds, gardening tools, natural fertilizers, and so on, you’re not coming ahead. Unless of course, you have a big plot of land and you’re not doing anything with it. Then planting some fruit trees might be a good idea, but it will take many years until they start to produce.
I’ve always accepted the fact that food has been one of my biggest expenses.
After all, I saw food as a sort of “health insurance” and spending more for food made sense.
But as my food bills kept climbing over the past few years, it started to annoy me.
Every month, I would cringe when I would look at my food expenses.
I would often spend more on food than for housing!
I knew there was another way, but all my attempts to reduce my food budget failed.
One time I decided to live for one month on a cooked vegan diet, but the lowest I could bring my food budget down was around $300.
I thought I was doing things right, but in fact I was making big mistakes.
*The $1 a Day Experiment*
One thing that made me shift my thinking is when I heard of a couple that became sort of famous by trying to live on $1 a day (each person), or about $30 a month for food.
Their story was published in multiple newspapers and they wrote a book about it.
I was impressed by their dedication and their ingenuity, but when I looked at their menu, I was appalled. It was full of unhealthy foods I wouldn’t dare to put in my body.
However, it got me thinking.
If some people manage to bring down their total food budget to $30 a month by being smart, could I do something similar on a *healthy* plant-based diet, but for $100 a month instead?
That’s about $3.33 a day, or less than what most people spend on a Starbucks Latte.
I decided to do this as an experiment, because I do like challenges!
However, I had a few rules:
* No Clipping Coupons — I watched some episodes of a show called “Extreme Couponing” where dedicated housewives clip coupons like crazy and get several carts at the grocery stores that would cost hundreds of dollars for just a few bucks.
However, the problem with couponing is:
- It sucks. It takes time and honestly, who wants to do that?
- It’s for pre-packaged, unhealthy foods. I don’t want three dozen jars of French’s yellow mustard, no thank you. But that’s often what these coupon maniacs do. You rarely see coupons for fresh fruits and vegetables or other whole foods.
* It’s Got to Be Healthy, but Not Necessarily Raw
I decided that in my experiment would only be allowed to purchase healthy foods, but not necessarily all raw.
So my first experiment was to live on a budget of $100 a month and eat extremely well on a plant-based diet.
Later, I also did a second experiment to live on a raw food diet on the cheap, but the budget was different (and still significantly less than most raw foodists spend).
Eating extremely well on a plant-based diet for just about $3 a day was an eye-opening experiment for me.
It was a complete paradigm shift.
I learned completely new tricks and techniques by taking my concept to a new level of understanding.
And in the process, I wrote an entire book!
This book is called “How to Eat Well for Under $100 a Month on a Plant Based Diet” and there’s nothing like it anywhere.
Most other books that I’ve found on the subject only give you recipes (mostly rice and beans).
I wanted my book to be completely different and cover ALL the bases.
I wanted to design a complete system for slashing your food budget and not feel deprived at all. In fact, you’ll feel like you still eat like a King or Queen!
How is it done?
I’ll tell you more about it soon.
The book is ready and will be released tomorrow as an eBook.
Filed under Blog by Frederic Patenaude
This morning I woke up with this incredible craving for bananas!
In the summer, we have so many delicious fruits available, like mangoes, peaches, watermelon, cherries — that I find I don’t desire bananas that much during that time.
Yet this morning, my craving for bananas was so intense that I ended up running to the store to get some.
And then I came back and made this huge banana smoothie.
After drinking it, I got this surge of energy.
I thought, this stuff is so good it should be legalized!
Oh wait, bananas are not a drug…
But they might as well be one, a great natural energy booster.
The best way to get started eating more raw foods is to make giant banana smoothies in the morning. And your smoothies don’t need to contain just bananas!
Use bananas as a staple, but also add other fruits and greens such as:
- Frozen fruits (berries are great)
- Fresh seasonal fruits like mango or peaches
- Baby spinach, Swiss chard, kale
- Fresh herbs (try crazy combinations like basil or mint)
- Fruit that will go bad soon if you don’t eat them (like that wrinkled apple in the back of your fridge)
For variety you can even replace water with some almond-milk. Store-bought almond milk may not be raw, but it doesn’t contain that much fat at all, and adds an incredible, creamy taste to smoothies. You could use it occasionally as a treat — but not all the time.
You just can’t go wrong with banana smoothies. As long as you use ripe spotted bananas as the base and some liquid (1/2 cup to 1 cup), then you can add almost anything but sawdust to the smoothie and it will taste good!
Banana smoothies are excellent after exercise, as a recovery drink. Try adding a bit of fresh celery to it to make it even more like a real recovery drink. Celery adds natural sodium which helps in rehydration.
The great thing about bananas is that they are fairly cheap. By calories, it’s certainly the most affordable healthy choice you can make.
When I lived near Montreal, I would buy an entire 40-pound case of organic bananas at a distributor for around $30-35.
Even if you can’t afford organic bananas, don’t be afraid to buy conventional. Conventional bananas are listed very low on the list of pesticide-containing foods. Due to their thick skin, they are considered pretty safe.
Sometimes, you can find bananas for less than 50 cents a pound! When I was younger, I would often buy them at less than 30 cents a pound in some stores. It seems like the days of really cheap food are over, but at least bananas have remained relatively cheap.
I’m not one of those people who say you must absolutely eat 30 bananas a day.
You just need to eat the amount of fruit that you need, based on your energy levels and your lifestyle.
I personally could not make bananas the #1 staple of my diet all the time, but I enjoy them often and overall, it’s probably the main fruit that I eat throughout the year.
If you’ve procrastinated giving raw foods a try, start with banana smoothies. You’ll love them so much that you’ll wonder when they’ll become illegal!
You will not find anything to buy in this article, as I have nothing to sell you. I just wanted to share something personal today.
You may have noticed an absence of articles on my website as of late.
The reason is pretty simple. About two months ago, my dad died of a heart attack, and I’ve been finding it a little difficult since to write as much as I used to.
Two months ago, I was just getting back from a trip to Quebec. I had recently relocated to Vancouver after a long trip around the world then spent a week in my hometown to see my family and also ship a few things back to the West Coast.
My dad had also been spending his winter in the South, and he was back from his trip. Naturally, we were both eager to meet and exchange travel stories.
I saw my dad on only two occasions during my stay, but we did spend a good amount of time together.
On my way to the airport to leave, I was stuck in traffic and even gave him a call. He told me how excited he was to come visit me in Vancouver, and sounded just as happy as he ever did.
So I flew back to Vancouver, which from Montreal is about the equivalent of flying from New York to San Francisco.
Less than 24 hours after I last talked to my dad on the phone, he died of a heart attack at home.
I found out about it the next day. My brother had tried to call me, but my phone was on silent mode. I slept longer than usual, recovering from my trip. And only around 10 a.m. did I finally check my emails.
When you find an email with the subject line “A sad news” it really catches your attention, especially when it’s coming from your own brother.
When I opened the email, I read the short note that my brother had written, where he explained that our dad had died of a natural death and that he should talk to me.
Although I had always wondered “how” it would happen, I never thought it would be so soon and so unexpectedly. Because my dad did not have the healthiest lifestyle, I was expecting a sort of slow decline, but not a fatal heart attack at 63.
I immediately called my brother, and then began a whirlpool of emotions. I ended up flying back to Quebec, which felt strange because I was just there.
The following weeks were very difficult, as I was dealing with the sudden loss. Every time I would go to bed it was like an entire movie of my childhood was running before my eyes, along with a full soundtrack, and there was nothing I could do to stop it!
As time passed, we dealt with all the legalities of his death, but also gradually understood what happened to my dad on a physical and metaphysical level.
He died of a heart attack, but he had also been living a really unhealthy lifestyle, unable to quit smoking, regular drinking and never fully paying attention to his health.
It came as a shock when we discovered that he actually had called 911 that night. I even managed to obtained the recording of the conversation, and it was even more disheartening and gut wrenching to hear the last conversation my dad ever had with someone, in which he was trying to convince the 911 operator to send an ambulance right away.
Unfortunately, that conversation did not end well.
He failed to describe accurately what he was feeling, and the operator was under the wrong impression that his case was not an urgent one. She failed to pick up on the the subtleties and humanity behind the conversation, and acted very much like a computer would act if you would train it to respond to 911 calls.
It wouldn’t actually surprise me that one day they will replay these humans with machines.
“If you experience chest pain, press 1…”
Well my dad was too confused by the lack of oxygen that he made inaccurate statements to the 911 operator, complaining of “hip pain,” sweating and being uncomfortable, when in fact he just couldn’t describe what was going on in his own body.
The operator got stuck on the “hip” part and did not pay attention to the fact that he kept calling her “sir” even though she was a woman, and that he actually did know know what was happening, but knew that it was not good.
She wouldn’t send an ambulance right away, she said it would be 2-3 hours. My dad was shocked and very upset by this. So he just hung up the phone after saying by then it would be too late…
In the end he died alone, hopefully quickly.
This whole ordeal taught me a great deal, and although it’s weird to say, I feel I’ve become a better person because of it.
Maybe there’s someone in your life that you’d like to keep for as long as possible, but you don’t know how to reach them and convince them to change their ways.
I felt like that with my dad, but ultimately I could not convince him to change his habits. He never really thought what he did was too bad. He ate what he wanted and did what he pleased.
We all have men in our lives that just think they are invincible, and perhaps at some unconscious level, my dad thought he was.
Just weeks before his death, he was telling me how “he felt great” and that he “did not feel his own age.”
Unfortunately, everything catches up with us, and our bodies are so amazing at maintaining homeostasis that we often don’t realize what’s actually going on inside of us.
Here’s what I would like to say to all men:
1) Accept Your Mortality, and Its Consequences
For a man to grow up into a fully mature adult, he has to accept his own mortality. Many spiritual teachings and psychology research talk about this “growing up” process for a man when he faces his inevitable demise and has to design a life worth living.
Men of all ages have found it inspiring to die for a just cause. For example:
- To die a hero
- To die after having lived a full-life in accordance to your highest values
- To die for something you believe in
Yet throughout ages, most men don’t die in such an honorable way, but rather as the consequence of their bad habits and lifestyle.
It’s not their fault, and we don’t blame them. Yet, each man must embrace the fact that he can choose in the now how he will live his life.
Temporary pleasures are an illusion, and although they can provide some relief in the now, they don’t lead to a life of fulfillment… to a life worth living until the end.
If you’ve lived a life worth living, when you die, a lot of people are going to grieve your passing for a long time.
Accept your mortality. Accept that you can choose to die for a just cause, but also that in most cases, the greatest honor is to live a long and happy life while caring for your loved ones, as long as you can.
2) Don’t Think Your Invincible
Most men, in some way or another, think they are somewhat invincible. They might have heard some stats, such as the leading cause of death being heart disease.
Most men in fact know many other men, perhaps their parents, who died of heart disease, cancer, or some kind of preventable disease.
Yet the same men don’t think that it’s going to happen to them anytime soon, so that they don’t have to worry about it in the present.
Did you know that one of the first symptoms of heart disease is death? Usually people find out that they have serious heart disease by dying!
That’s what happened to my dad. Although, all the signs were there, for example:
- He smoked, and had never been able to quit
- He had high blood pressure, but believed he was somewhat immune to other problems
- He drank wine regularly
- His diet was relatively poor and he ate what he wanted
My dad certainly believed that he would one day die of something. But I’m certain that he wasn’t planning to go at the age of 63 of a heart attack.
Yet many men, walking today, walk around, abusing their bodies every day, thinking they are invisible and that “judgement day,” when they’ll get to face the consequences of their unhealthy lifestyle, will only affect them in some distant future.
3) Accept That You’re Not As Healthy as You Think
You probably have heard that 90% of people think they are “above average” drivers. This statistic is kind of shocking, considering that in the law of average, most people are average, some people are below average and some people are above average. Yet when it comes to driving, everybody thinks they’re “above average” drivers!
Obviously, the vast majority of people are grossly overestimating their driving skills.
In health, the vast majority of people think they have a “pretty good diet.”
“I eat pretty healthy” they say. Yet everybody has a different definition of healthy!
Most people think if they don’t eat all deep fried food and eat a few vegetables, that it’s a pretty healthy diet.
Research has shown that people underestimate the number of calories they eat in a day. Brian Wansink, who’s a professor at Cornell University, wrote a book called “Mindless Eating.”
In his book, he describes how people always underestimate calories, and are especially wrong when they’re eating something that they think is healthy.
People may think a chicken caesar salad is healthy, when it has more fat than a burger. Or that a meal at Subway is healthy, estimating it has around 300 calories, when it fact it has close to 1300 with all the meat, cheese and mayo.
On average, Wansink found that people eat about twice as much as they think they’re eating, calorie-wise.
Instead of trying to find excuses for your diet and lifestyle habits, and try to only see the positive, start by accepting that you’re probably not as healthy as you could be.
- If your weight is significantly different than your weight on your last day of college, then you’re probably not as healthy and fit as you think.
- If your blood pressure is significantly different than when you were in your early 20s, then you’re not as healthy as you think
Accepting that you’re not as healthy as you think is a first step towards improving your health. If your health declines and you’re gaining weight over the years, you are NOT living a healthy lifestyle at all.
4) Be Aware of the Consequences
Many men eat burgers and fries when they go out, yet the same men think their diet is “pretty healthy” and that things like heart disease are more caused by genetics than anything else.
Face the facts!
Heart disease is mainly caused by diet and lifestyle. A meal rich in animal products and saturated fats clogs up your arteries and over time, this leads to serious heart problems. That cannot be avoided by hoping for good genetics.
5) Get Healthy Now
Every day you build your future. Your “present” is only the culmination of the actions you took, every day, for the past five or ten years.
Where do you want to be in 10 years?
If you want your “present” in 10 years to be without nasty surprises, get started today.
You may think that there’s something more important to do than taking care of yourself, but no. It’s now or never.
Imagine if five years ago, you had done something every day, like:
- Working out your muscles
- Practiced a new skill
- Eliminated some bad habit
- Invested some savings
- Read a book for half an hour a day
Where would you be today? You’d be much better off than you are now!
So where do you want to be five or ten years from now? It all starts with the actions you take today.
Start simple. What is the highest leverage lifestyle change that would make the most difference in your life? Maybe it’s to drop some pounds, or go raw, or exercise, or quit a bad habit. Start there!
There’s even a cool little iPhone app called “Streaks” where you keep track of how many days in a row you manage to keep a positive habit. Keep that streak going! Reward yourself after you’ve done it for 30 days in a row.
Another cool app like this is “Way of Life.”
You’re a man. You’re not a boy.
A boy wants instant gratification, all the time. A man thinks about the future, and works everyday to build it.
My dad was not a hero. But he was the greatest dad I thought, as I often told him. He truly was instrumental in helping me become who I am, and I am forever grateful to him for that.
The best I can do in return is to take everything I’ve learned from him, and do something with it. But also take the things that are unique to me, that perhaps he didn’t manage to develop, and make them world-class skills.
Any man can take the best he has and do something with it.
Of course, that applies to women too, but I wanted to say something for those men we all have in our lives.
They impress us. They disappoint us sometimes, they surprise us a lot. But we love them.
Yours for health and success,
PS: I said I wasn’t going to sell something, and that’s true. However I would like to remind you that I’m holding a webinar next week with Dr. X. You don’t want to miss it. It’s free to join:
It’s a rather shocking observation that health gurus, who write diet books and give advice on how to live long, tend to live shorter lives than the average person.
They seem to be beaten only by rock stars (who have an average life expectancy of 42 years old for American rock stars, and 35 for Europeans!)
Some examples of health experts who died young:
Michel Montignac, a very famous Frenchman who promoted a healthy diet based on the concept of the glycemic index, died at 66 of cancer. He was the inspiration behind the “South Beach Diet.”
Dr. Atkins, probably the most famous diet guru in the world (who weighed 258 lbs at 6 feet tall), died after spending 9 days in a coma at the age of 72 from a slip on the ice. The medical examiner noted that in his health files that he had previously had suffered a heart attack, congestive heart failure and hypertension. As no autopsy was performed, it cannot be confirmed if any of these previous ailments affected his inability to recover from his injuries.
Paavo Airola, author of “How to Get Well” and led the Juice Fasting and natural health movement in the 70s and 80s, died of a stroke at the age of 64.
Roy Waldorf who was a longevity expert and wrote the book “The 120-Year Diet” died in 2004 at age 79. Not that bad, but nowhere close to the target age he projected.
Nathan Pritikin, one of the most prolific authors on the low fat diet, committed suicide as his body was overtaken by leukemia at age 69.
Ross Horne, his student, claimed that Mr. Pritikin would have lived longer if he had embraced the fruitarian diet that Ross promoted, but he himself died of cancer, although well into his 80s.
T.C. Fry, leader of the Natural Hygiene and fruitarian movement, died of a pulmonary embolism at the age of 70.
Recently Robert E. Kwalski, who wrote the famous book “The 8-Week Cholesterol Cure,” died at the age of 65 of a pulmonary aneurysm.
George Oshawa, who literally invented the macrobiotic diet (which actually means “the way of long life”) passed of lung cancer at the age of 73.
Adele Davis, who pioneered the concept of healthy eating, which unfortunately involved drinking a lot of milk, died at the age of 70 of cancer.
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Of course, it would be wrong to say that ALL diet gurus die young. That’s not true, but a lot of them did.
Paul Bragg died at 81. Although it was widely claimed by his family that he died from a surfing accident, apparently cause of death was a heart attack, a fact which has since been removed from his Wikipedia page.
Norman Walker, juicing and raw food guru, died at 99 (and not at 118 years old as was previously claimed).
Jack Lalanne, who was more a fitness than a diet guru, diet recently at the age of 96 from pneumonia.
What Does It All Mean?
The fact that a good majority of health gurus don’t live significantly longer than the average life expectancy, and in most cases live shorter lives, doesn’t in itself mean anything revolutionary.
People are fallible. Health gurus can be mistaken. More importantly… health gurus are human just like you and me!
Some health gurus promoted a low fat diet. Others promoted a high fat diet.
Some health gurus practiced what they preached most of the time, some did part of the time, and others didn’t practice their teachings at all.
In some cases these inconsistencies didn’t prevent them from living a long life, like Paul Bragg who used to enjoy an occasional burger in his favorite Honolulu restaurant.
Others, like T.C. Fry, struggled to apply their strict teachings in their own lives, but yet lived longer than what their doctors had predicted (T.C. Fry was desperately sick and ready to die in his forties based on his doctor’s opinion).
Some gurus tried to give immortality a shot, like Roy Waldorf, and practiced calorie restriction, only to live slightly longer than the average male life expectancy.
Some diet gurus pretended to have the solution to weight loss, but were themselves overweight when they died (let’s not name names here).
Who knows, maybe it’s too much pressure to be a high-profile health guru, that people expect you to be perfect all the time. Maybe some health gurus would have changed their minds about a few things they got wrong, but to maintain their image they refused to admit to others and themselves that their program did not work and that they needed to try something else.
Maybe the type of person who writes diet books — mostly men — tend to be a certain overachiever type, bringing to their lives a certain stress that would not have occurred otherwise.
Or it could be that many diet gurus start with poor health in the first place, and then get motivated to find a solution and write a book about it.
The fact that some diet gurus die young should not lead us to the conclusion that all diet advice is bad.
But it should lead one to question the quality of the advice they are getting from these people.
I find that 99% of diet books rehash the same BS that is disease-promoting and meant for the masses who are happy to hear good news about their bad habits.
Bad Health Advice Like:
- Eating a ton of cholesterol is actually good for you, so start the day with organic bacon and eggs
- Eating a lot of meat is man’s natural design (the last guy who tried to live on an all-meat diet is Vihjalmur Stephanson, and he died of a serious cardiovascular disease at 81).
- Eating a lot of fat is good as long as it’s “good” fat, so douse your salad and everything else with olive oil
- Carbohydrates are “bad” but lots of meat protein is okay
- Fruit is “bad,” but factory-made protein drinks are great for carbohydrates
It’s actually so hard to see through all the confusion in natural health, but I believe it’s possible.
Essentially, I think every diet claim falls in one of three categories:
1) Some things are good for everybody, and there’s science to support it
2) Some things are downright bad for everybody, and there’s science to support it
3) Some things are more complicated, and depend on individual situations.
Good Health Advice Examples:
- Fruits and vegetables are GOOD for everybody, yet most diet books don’t promote a diet based on fruits and vegetables.
All science out there supports a diet based on fruits and vegetables, yet very few people actually do it.
- A plant-based is GOOD for everybody, and so is taking proven steps to improve your health such as exercising, keeping your fat intake low and eating fresh instead of packaged food.
- Refined fats and oils are BAD for everybody, because they are concentrated calories with no nutrients. The four tablespoons of olive oil some diet gurus recommend that you eat every day contain more saturate fat than a McDonald’s Big Mac.
- The Standard American Diet (SAD) without exception, is BAD for everybody. Any diet book is a step above that, except Atkins, which is SAD on steroids and not recommended!
- Other things are not black and white. For example, there’s a debate as to whether a completely vegan diet is better than one that contains a small percentage of animal products. I prefer to avoid animal products completely (except on very rare occasions), but others think they can get certain nutrients by eating some animal products.
- Some people feel best on an all-raw diet, although there’s not definite science to say that it’s absolutely the best diet for everybody. Most people seem to do great on a mostly-raw diet because they get enough variety and calories to thrive.
- Some people can’t eat certain foods due to allergies or sensitivities
Ultimately, it’s up to YOU to become your own diet guru.
But it’s important not to fall into cynicism and start to believe that nobody is right and that all diet advice is bad. Of course, no one is absolutely right but it’s logical to believe that certain people should be closer to the truth than others.
Ultimately, if you have a deep knowledge of the human body and how it ACTUALLY works, it will help you sort through a lot of the diet information available today.
Discover the Truth About:
- Is the liver flush good and does it flush out gallstones?
- Why taking ANY kind of oil in liquid form as a supplement is dangerous for your health
- Which supplements are beneficial to take?
- What to think of eating a 100% fruitarian diet?
- Which superfoods actually work?
- Which natural health procedures and cleanses are a useless and dangerous?
If you’d like to speak to a real medical professional and doctor who knows more about the human body than ANYBODY I have ever met in my 14 years involved in this movement, then I invite you to join us for our upcoming free teleseminar with Dr. X.
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