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Why I Don’t Take Cold Showers or Seek Wild Foods

If you ask me what makes my health philosophy different from other authors, I will not say that I came up with some revolutionary theories about nutrition or have designed the “best ever” program.

I will say that what differentiates me from others is my relentless focus on what’s most essential and my debunking of unnecessary and unproven diet theories and health therapies.

This comes from my background studying with Natural Hygienist Albert Mosseri. He didn’t mention the “80-20 Rule,” but that’s precisely what he was doing.

The 80-20 rule was discovered by an Italian economist from the early 1900’s named Vilfredo Pareto. Pareto observed that 20% of the population owned 80% of the land in Italy. He looked at his garden and noticed that 20% of the pea pods from his crop contained 80% of the peas.

These observations lead to what we know as the 80-20 Rule, or “the law of the vital few.”

We observe that in a very skewed and disproportionate way, most of our results (80% or more) derive from just 20% of our actions.

Most people spend too much time on the 80%.

They might spend 95% of their time on things that have much less impact on the result they are seeking.

Although this is debatable, I would say that most of the concerns of health-conscious people fall under the category of “less significant” when it comes to achieving real results. In other words, they spend too much time on the 80% and not enough time getting the 20% right.

People ask me questions like:

  • What do you think is better, reverse osmosis or distilled water?
  • Should I invest in a Kangen water system?
  • I heard that papayas from Hawaii are GMO’s. Should I worry?
  • What do you think of infrared saunas?
  • There’s a new kind of blender that is supposed to extract more nutrients, what do you think?

I’m not saying these questions aren’t valid, or that we shouldn’t care about things that can potentially harm our health. But in the grand scheme of it all, it just isn’t possible to control everything.

And in the end, only a few things that you do for your health will genuinely matter and save you from degenerative diseases.

Focus your energy on the things that matter the most and don’t worry so much about the rest.

In my next article, I will discuss the 20% of actions that matter. In other words: where we should put our attention.

So what are the inconsequential aspects of healthful living that people spend way too much time debating, practicing, controlling or worrying about? (Some include highly controversial but unproven theories in natural health circles.)

  • Eating organically grown produce exclusively.
  • The best kind of water to drink (when you otherwise have access to clean water).
  • Exercise more one hour a day.
  • Avoiding wireless Internet and cell phone radiation.
  • EMFs.
  • Using organic ingredients when making junk food recipes (organic sugar vs. regular sugar in a pie, for example).
  • Wearing organic clothing.
  • Saunas.
  • Hot and Cold Therapy.
  • Conspiracy theories like “chemtrails.”
  • Relocating to another country with a more pleasant climate.
  • Walking barefoot on the grass at dawn or “grounding.”
  • Eating clay.
  • Drinking wheatgrass juice, without changing the rest of your diet.
  • Removing mercury fillings.
  • Ear candling.
  • Colonics or colon cleansing.
  • Urine therapy.
  • Eating according to a system that categorizes you in a particular type (Ayurveda, Chinese system, blood type, or other.)
  • Powdered vegetable mixtures consumed as smoothies.
  • Seeking “wild” foods.
  • Adding salt to water.
  • Debating which kind of salt to eat (instead of trying to eliminate salt from the diet).
  • Drinking a gallon of water per day.
  • Avoiding shampoo or soap completely.
  • Cold showers.
  • Supplemental enzymes.
  • Eating 100% raw.
  • Fluoride in tap water.
  • What type of blender to use.
  • Consuming turmeric daily.
  • Most supplements and superfoods.

Personally, I do not spend any time worrying about the items listed above. It’s not that you can’t do them, but I think the benefits are either unproven, marginal or not worth it.

Sometimes the cure is worse than the disease. Removing mercury fillings can lead to toxic material being leaked out. That’s why I’ve personally chosen to keep the few mercury fillings I have.

A lot of people worry excessively about certain things, like removing fluoride from water, if the water has been treated in their area. But when you look a little closer, there isn’t much solid science to support the claims of the anti-fluoride activists linking fluoride in water to a host of diseases, like cancer.

It’s all a matter of perspective. I have found that overall, most people worry about little details without grasping the big picture.

Stay tuned for the 20% items in my next article.


Frederic Patenaude has been an important influence in the raw food and natural health movement since he started writing and publishing in 1998, first by being the editor of Just Eat an Apple magazine. He is the author of over 20 books, including The Raw Secrets, the Sunfood Cuisine and Raw Food Controversies. Since 2013 he’s been the Editor-in-Chief of Renegade Health.

Frederic loves to relentlessly debunk nutritional myths. He advocates a low-fat, plant-based diet and has had over 10 years of experience with raw vegan diets.