Combining Western Medicine and Raw Foods
Filed under More Than Raw Foods by Frederic Patenaude
I was in a suburb of San Diego, riding my bicycle late at night after going to a yoga class. At the time, I was a strict raw foodist and I was trying to get in better shape by doing Ashtanga Yoga.
I was in the city of Del Mar, going downhill on my bike to get back home. I was going pretty fast downhill, and suddenly I hit a very dark car that was parked slightly off the side of the road.
In one instant, I found myself on the other side of the car completely, with blood everywhere. At that moment I thought I was going to die, and my first thought was “I never thought it was going to happen this way.”
Then I realized that the “blood” I saw was actually a bottle of fresh grapefruit juice from Trader Joe’s that exploded upon impact.
My legs were hurting, but I could walk. Fortunately I was only slightly bruised, but the bike was completely wrecked — bent in half.
My first thought was: I need to get back home!
My first thought was not: I need to go to a hospital.
Why? Because at the time I had read so much natural hygiene information, and being young and impressionable, I was convinced that as a raw foodist, ending up in the hospital was the worst thing that could ever happen to me.
They would probably shoot me up with drugs and because I was so “sensitive” to drugs on my pure diet, I could end up in a coma and die. At least, that’s what I thought from what my raw food friends had told me.
I didn’t think my injuries were too bad, because I could still walk, although with difficulty. I didn’t realize that my body had produced so much adrenaline that I actually didn’t feel my legs.
Now your question might be… how did I manage to ride my bike into a car?
That’s another story that relates to my disdain of modern medicine and science. Being a raw foodist, I didn’t think my wearing glasses fit with the lifestyle.
I had been shortsighted ever since the age of 12, and had worn glasses ever since (I was in my early twenties at the time of the story).
Raw foods or fasting did nothing to cure my myopia. So I read books on how to use natural methods and they all came to the same conclusion. Don’t use glasses and let your eyes heal themselves! According to these books, glasses made vision worse. Dr. Shelton even recommended to “get rid of your glasses” or “break them.” I am not kidding!
For over a while, I only used my glasses when absolutely necessary. Then one day I broke them (accidentally), and saw that as a sign to get rid of them completely.
For the most part, things went smoothly and I adjusted well, without actually improving my vision significantly.
During the daytime, I had no problem riding my bike, but as you may know, vision drops at night and in that micro-second, I did not see the car in front of me because it was black and it was late at night, the street was poorly lit, and I was freakin’ short-sighted wearing no glasses!
I needed to get back home, but this was in the “pre-iPhone” days, when you actually needed to talk to human beings to get things done.
I started knocking on people’s doors, trying to explain that I just had an accident. I wanted to find the owner of the car to explain the situation, but also get back home.
To my surprise, everybody who answered the door seemed afraid of me. They perhaps suspected some kind of scam, after all, who would pretend to have been in an accident when they smelled like grapefruit juice and still could walk?
People would say: “just hold on, I’ll call you a taxi.” Then they closed the door on me. I waited and waited, but when I rang their bell again, they did not answer.
Finally I was fed up and because I couldn’t find the owner of the car, I left a note on the windshield explaining the situation and leaving my home number.
I decided to walk to the nearest phone booth and call myself a taxi. The problem is… I don’t know if you’ve been in some American cities, but they are not exactly designed to be pedestrian-friendly.
I walked for blocks and blocks on my injured leg, but could not find a phone booth or even a gas station. Finally I arrived at a community center that seemed opened, and found someone inside, a man who listened to my story.
After a long discussion, he decided to take me back home in his own car.
The next day, I woke up and found that my left knee now looked like a big balloon, filled with water!
Although I was tempted to get it checked, my irrational fear of doctors kept me from doing anything.
Now you might think… that’s stupid! And you’re right. But keep in mind the context. I was literally convinced that going to the doctor was the absolute last resort! If I could avoid it, I would.
Over the next weeks, I decided to fast on my own, but the water in my knee still did not go away. Some natural health people I saw told me I “needed” to get that water out, but I thought that was a bad idea. If my body had produced that fluid, that was probably to protect my knee, I guessed.
In the end, it took about two months for my knee to look normal again. But that’s not the end of the story.
For years after that, I could not run for more than 10 or 15 minutes without feeling pain in my knee. Over the years, my knee got better and better on its own, and now I can run without any pain.
But, I often feel discomfort in my left leg, especially at night or when there’s a change of pressure in the weather, for example during damp, cold weather.
The bottom line is that I was so afraid of doctors that this irrational fear prevented me from taking action, even if it was just a simple evaluation.
Let me tell you that my attitude has changed a lot over the years.
Although you may think my story is funny, don’t laugh too quickly because it could have been a lot worse. I actually know people who died because they were careless and thought they knew more than doctors.
Can We Combine Western Medicine With Raw Foods?
The reason why so many raw foodists are afraid of doctors is this concept of “sensitivity.”
Even Fred Bisci, who’s been a raw foodist for many years, warned people against drugs that are commonly given to “normal people,” claiming that if raw foodists were to receive such doses, they could die.
Although part of that is true, it’s not a concept that can be blindly applied.
When a person has weakened their body through fasting, for example, then yes, this is absolutely true… a visit to the hospital can be fatal because 99% of doctors don’t have experience with people on long water fasts or understand why people choose to do this for health reasons.
They will treat you as a regular patient, and whatever drugs they give you can actually kill you if your body is in a weakened state.
According to Dr. X, the amazing doctor I’m interviewing this month for a new program to be released shortly, probably under the name of the “Beyond Raw Health Program,” a very small percentage of people who undergo surgery… never wake up from the anesthesia that is given to induce sleep. And nobody knows why. Fortunately, if you’ve ever been put under before, then you are not in that category of unlucky people and should not be concerned.
There are also a few more things to be aware of, for example that eating a lot of greens can bring an excess of Vitamin K that are perfectly healthy, but that can interfere with certain drugs and become dangerous to your health. For more information, read my book Raw Food Controversies (http://www.fredericpatenaude.com/rawfoodcontroversies)
Beyond this concept of “sensitivity,” which I actually addressed in my new book, coming to the conclusion that one should not attempt to become “too pure,” I think a big reason raw foodists are afraid of doctors and avoid them completely is because they think that doctors don’t know a thing about health.
This brings me to an important point.
“People attribute certain powers to doctors that they don’t have.”
A lot of people complain that doctors are only trained to act when something goes wrong and are not trained about things like nutrition and prevention.
That’s absolutely true for the most part!
But the reality is that you don’t go to your doctor for nutrition advice. Most of them don’t know a thing about it and couldn’t care less. That’s not what they went to school for!
You go to your doctor:
1) To evaluate your state of health using unbiased data such as blood tests, physical exams, etc.
2) To save your life when your situation is beyond the possibility of “preventable”
3) To “fix you up” either through surgery, setting, bandaging, stitches or other interventions.
This is what you should use doctors for. But many people don’t realize that doctors are experts in what they need to be experts in, and knowing about alternative therapies and raw food nutrition is alien to them for good reason.
How secure would you feel if you got in an accident and were rushed to the hospital and needed surgery, but your surgeon was more concerned with natural therapies and wanted to see if your open wounds would heal with some herb compacts instead of assessing your problems and seeing if you needed bone resetting or stitches?
This is kind of ridiculous, but of course you wouldn’t want this. When you need to see a specialist, you want them to BE an EXPERT in their field. That’s their job. So don’t get angry at them for things that are not their expertise that they do not know about. They are trained to treat people based on fact and science without bias for their gender, sexual orientation or lifestyle choices. They will not treat you based on pseudo-science, opinion, or wishy washy beliefs and ideology, and this is a GOOD THING.
So back to drugs.
Are all drugs absolutely bad?
The basic concept of raw foodism and natural hygiene is absolutely correct.
“Health through healthful living.”
You can’t lead an unhealthy life and expect health.
However, sometimes things are beyond our control.
- You could get into an accident
- You could have a genetic weakness
- You may not be able to live a healthful life 100% of the time due to outside factors
Although I agree that modern medicine is very flawed with prescribing lots of drugs to treat symptoms only and that most drugs are absolutely unnecessary most of the time, it would be foolish to deny some of the progress that have been done by modern medicine and go back to pre-industrial days!
In some cases, certain drugs can save your life, like antibiotics if you got a serious infection, although most of the time they are not necessary.
In many cases, surgery can save your life, and nobody can actually deny that, not even the most extreme natural health nut.
In order to achieve the best health possible, it’s important to find out where natural health, raw foods and other therapies can also complement some use of modern medicine.
Now most doctors have actually no clue about natural health or nutrition, and unfortunately most raw foodist have no clue how they should be using modern medicine, and what they should and shouldn’t expect from doctors.
I know you have important questions about your health, and I know that you’re not satisfied with the answer you are getting from both doctors and raw foodists.
Now it’s time to combine the best of each approach in a true “holistic” way.
This is why I’m putting together a new course called “The Beyond Raw Health Program — Natural Solutions for Your Unique Body” which is an interview series with an amazing expert that currently goes by the name of Dr. X (to protect her privacy and because of her medical studies, she can’t be associated with alternative health methods).
As part of this course, I’ll be organizing a completely free webinar where you’ll be able to ask Dr. X your own questions about health.
If you’re not satisfied with the “One Size Fits All” solution, then you’ll want to listen to this webinar! To sign up for free, just go to:
By the way, what do you think of the name “The Beyond Raw Health Program”…? Still working on it, and would welcome your suggestions! Please post comments below.