Saturday 4 December 2010

How Worried Should We Be About Zinc?

How worried should we be about the terrorist threat?
How worried should we be about the MRSA 'super-bug'?
How worried should we be about swine flu?

Seen headlines like this? They're designed to promote fear where none existed, to persuade people that the risk of something awful happening is a million times higher than the actual risk - to sell newspapers, to justify war, to sell vaccines, etc.

We have mini-versions in the raw food world. It's a pity that when we embark on the most nutritious diet we have ever followed, as health-conscious people by definition, we are sitting ducks for those who would love to persuade us that we're not getting enough of this or that, and the only way we can get this or that is by buying expensive supplements (theirs, usually).

I'm not saying it's impossible for a raw vegan to be deficient in a certain nutrient. Some raw vegans do follow some pretty weird diets. Also, I have blogged extensively on B12, and do feel that, if we buy most of our food from supermarkets devoid of the bacteria on it when freshly picked, we could have a problem there.

But, in the vast majority of cases, I believe that raw vegans will be far, far less likely to be deficient in vitamins and minerals than the average person.

So, let's have a look at zinc - this year's favourite amongst certain 'experts' in the raw food world. A while ago it was magnesium, which the raw food 'experts' persuaded us we could be deficient in unless we bought their 'raw' chocolate (which, now most of us know,wasn't raw at all). Next year it'll be something else. In fact, minerals are great hunting ground for the scaremongers, as there are so many of them! So each year supplement manufacturers, supported by 'nutritional advisors', can pick from a long list to persuade those irritating raw vegans that they're just - not - getting - all - their - nutrients - oh no!! All those minerals to choose from for those who are a bit bored with eating raw vegan, and fancy a BLT, but their big egos impel them to make videos, or even write books, to justify their change in diet, with of course a finger-wagging warning to those who insist on continuing with that crazy diet of raw fruit, veg, nuts and seeds. Oh, and of course, a reminder that (some!) cavemen thousands of years ago ate meat. So we must too.

Sorry. Back to the subject in hand.

How worried should raw vegans be about zinc? VERY worried, if you believe those who are telling us that, if we don't eat animal foods, or don't take a supplement, we are very likely to be deficient, and that a diet of raw plant foods can't meet our zinc needs!

Well, let's see:

I've been raw now for four years , and raw vegan for the vast majority of that. (I've had a couple of brief forays into raw vegetarian within that time, but even then I was still mostly vegan.)

As I don't supplement, surely I should be showing some of the scary symptoms of zinc deficiency by now.

Acne - No
Amnesia - No
Apathy - No
Brittle nails - No
Depression - No
Diarrhoea - No
Eczema - No
Fatigue - No (everyone feels tired sometimes!)
Hair loss - No
High cholesterol - No
Irritability - only when I read silly articles about how worried we should be about zinc
Lethargy - yes, a bit right now, but it's been sub-zero in the UK for the last week
Loss of appetite - No
Loss of sense of taste - No
Night blindness - haven't a clue what it is, but, no, don't think I've got it.
Paranoia - No more than the average?
White spots on nails - No
Wound healing impairment - No

So, it doesn't look as if I'm suffering from zinc deficiency. How can that be?

OK. Let's look at the recommended daily allowances for zinc.

For a female 25-50, the US says 12 mg, Canada says 9 mg, and the UK says 7 mg.

So looks as if either no one actually knows, or at best they think they know but they all disagree with each other.

Let's take a mean of the three: that would be 9 mg.

But that 9 mg is set for the average person!

Here are some things that many people will have in their lifestyle that INHIBIT zinc absorption:

1. Excess iron. Diets that are high in meat are high in iron. Excess iron inhibits zinc absorption.
(Copper, iron, zinc all work together. An excess of one inhibits absorption of another.) Excess iron via supplementation can inhibit zinc absorption. (And of course excess zinc via supplementation can inhibit iron.)

2. Alcohol inhibits zinc absorption.

3. Tea and coffee inhibit zinc absorption.

4. Nicotine inhibits zinc absorption.

5. Anti-depressants inhibit zinc absorption.

6. High calcium intake (eg high dairy) inhibits zinc absorption.

I don't eat meat. I don't take iron supplements. I don't drink alcohol. I don't drink tea or coffee. I don't smoke. I don't take anti-depressants. I don't have dairy (and when I did, it was a tiny proportion of my diet).

So - could be some clues there as to why, on a raw vegan diet, I have no symptoms of zinc deficiency.

Surely, 95% of people in the UK, for which the RDA is set, will be ingesting at least one of the six above? Some will be doing all six! No wonder there are problems with zinc deficiency in the general population!

(By the way, it is true that phytates in unsprouted grains, seeds etc have been shown to inhibit zinc absorption, and whilst it's true that I eat unsprouted seeds, firstly they're very high in zinc in the first place, so in terms of net effect we should still be quids in, and, on the few occasions I do have grains, they're always sprouted. So - swings and roundabouts...)

In short, it's easy to explain why this raw vegan isn't suffering from zinc deficiency and, surely, logically, it would suggest that raw vegans following a healthy lifestyle could well be fine on significantly less than the recommended intake.

But, anyway, I decided to look at yesterday's food and tot up my zinc intake. I very rarely look at my nutrient intake, as it's a tedious bore, and, on the rare occasions I have, have never found any cause for concern, but, for this article, here's what I ate yesterday. In fact, I've probably missed some things out as I do love my food (no 'loss of appetite' here - in fact, I'm quite greedy) and probably ate more than this:

Two glasses green juice (spinach/apple/celery): 0.4 mg
Smoothie (5 bananas, 2 dates, blob of almond butter): 1.5 mg
Salad - avocado, tomatoes, dulse: 2 mg
Pumpkin seeds (1/4 cup -maybe more - I do love them!): 2.5 mg
2 mangoes: 0.6 mg
Large mixed salad: 1 mg
Then I sat by the fire and had a handful of hazelnuts (40g?): 1 mg

It came to...9 mg exactly! I didn't fix it - honest!

OK, so I've got the pumpkin seeds in there, which bumps it up a bit. But, if I hadn't eaten pumpkin seeds, I'd have probably eaten some other seeds/nuts/raw fat in their place, and would probably still have reached 7 mg. That happens to be the UK figure anyway, and, as I've explained earlier, even if we went for the mean of the US/UK/Canada at 9 mg, the things that I DON'T ingest, that inhibit zinc absorption, would suggest I'm very likely to be fine on 7mg anyway.

Men - yes, sure, they need more zinc, but they'd probably eat larger portions than I do.

Thousands are thriving on a lfrv diet (check out 30Bananas forum) with no symptoms of 'zinc deficiency'.

So, should you listen to what I say?

Am I a 'nutritionist'?

'Nutritionist' - in the UK anyone can call themselves a nutritionist. There are no regulations - yet. The only regulations apply to the term 'dietician'.

My son, who took advanced-level chemistry and biology, then spent three full-time years at university studying food and nutrition (including chemistry that would make most raw food 'experts'/'nutritional advisors' quail!), and is about to embark on two years' full-time dietetics training - he's quite good on nutrition! And, contrary, to what some raw fooders love to think, he doesn't advocate a diet of meat and ice cream, and is low dairy/ fish-and-vegetarian himself. (He checked out this article, BTW, and gave it the thumbs-up.)

If you're taking advice from a 'nutritionist' or 'nutritional advisor' check out their qualifications. I've known people who have taken a short internet course, then put letters after their names and convince people that they have 'degrees' in nutrition. I myself spent two years studying Natural Health (Natural Hygiene). It was an interesting course, but there were no exams and all the assignments I could do with the book in front of me. Although the course was beneficial to me, you may like to know that this course conferred me with letters after my name, and an 'Associate Degree'. It's all daft.

Am I an 'expert'?

I'm as 'expert' as many of those who have set up websites and are proclaiming themselves as 'experts' in raw food/nutrition. But there again I have actually been raw for four years. Most of them haven't.

But, really, just take this from someone who is simply a raw fooder and crying out for some common sense here.

Yes, it's likely to be the case that lots of people in the country are zinc-deficient.


ingesting large quantities of iron, via meat and/or iron supplements?
drinking alcohol?
drinking tea or coffee?
taking anti-depressants?
taking excess calcium (eg the average diet - including dairy)

If the answer's yes, how about tackling some of these factors that inhibit zinc absorption before rushing to spend money on the latest 'natural' zinc supplement?

If the answer's no, please be assured that, if anyone's going to be zinc-deficient, it's not likely to be you.

Of course, there are some people who will claim that they were 'raw vegan', weren't doing any of those things, and still had 'symptoms'. Could I remind readers that there are many non-food factors that can affect our health and might result in various deficiencies?

There are also many unhealthful practices other than the above that many of those calling themselves 'raw vegan' indulge in. Some 'raw vegans' take herbal 'medicine' and other concoctions. These are toxic (if this statement shocks you, please see my article on this).

Some take poisons such as ayahuasca. One raw vegan admitted that during her two years of foruming on the raw vegan diet she'd been smoking marijuana. Others have been persuaded that practices such as 'gall bladder flushes', repeated colonics and eating clay are healthful!

If anyone knows anyone who has truly been raw vegan for at least a year, who simply eats fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds in the quantities they desire, and who doesn't indulge in 'daftnesses' such as the above, and who has 'zinc deficiency', please let me know.

Saturday 25 September 2010

If you would like to read more of Raw-eating, Hovannessian

I've decided to set up a separate blog for my serialisation of Raw-eating by Hovannessian.

I have, therefore, removed the two extracts on this blog and posted them there instead, and will be posting a third shortly.

Here's the new blog address:

(Please do stay subscribed to this one, for raw/general articles.)

Wednesday 14 July 2010

The Essene Gospel of Peace Pt 2 (Diet/Health)

Having given you a little background to the Essenes and the Essene Gospel of Peace in Part One here, I'll now tell you what EGOP actually says in connection with health, particularly diet.

In so doing, I will be omitting some important sections of the book that focus on the non-physical. If you find the material here interesting, please do buy the book.

I’ll take the instructions in page order and supply the actual words, followed by my own interpretations (which of course may or may not be correct), and comments.

Could I please ask you to read with an open mind? I'd guess most readers will find things in the instructions that are at variance with what they believe to be true. Although many of the instructions are in line with Natural Hygiene, some are definitely not. But I offer them to you so that, when you hear people talking about Essenes, and the Essene Gospel of Peace, you will know what the book actually says, as many people who claim to be Essenes or refer to the Essene Gospel of Peace are not living in line with its precepts. And the second group…well, that would include me.

The instructions come from a teacher that Szekeley's translation of EGOP records as being Jesus.



Satan and his plagues may only be cast out by fasting and by prayer. Go by yourself and fast alone, and show your fasting to no man.’

(By ‘plagues’, EGOP at least partly means physical illness.) We are not to fast publicly. I know that it can seem to help to fast with others, but there are also disadvantages to telling others we are fasting. It can introduce an element of competition and when we tell others how long we are fasting/have fasted there might be an element of ego gratification creeping in. Some may not be able to resist telling others how difficult it is in an attempt to gain admiration or sympathy, and, in so doing, risk being derailed by this. Also, if we tell others we are fasting, we may be subject to their well-meaning attempts to stop us.

Seek the fresh air of the forest and of the fields, and there in the midst of them shall you find the angel of air. Put off your shoes and your clothing and suffer the angel of air to embrace all your body. Then breathe long and deeply, that the angel of air may be brought within you. I tell you truly, the angel of air shall cast out of your body all uncleannesses which defiled it without and within.

Easy to understand. We all know that taking deep breaths can help calm and detoxify. We all understand the importance of fresh air.


…seek the angel of water. Put off your shoes and your clothing and suffer [allow] the angel of water to embrace all your body…the angel of water shall cast out of your body all uncleannesses which defiled it without and within. And all unclean and evil-smelling things shall flow out of you…

We are to wash ourselves, to clean ourselves outside and inside. Here is an indication that EGOP is instructing us to allow water to enter our body for purification.


And he who cleanses himself without, but within remains unclean, is like to tombs that outwards are painted fair, but are within full of all manner of horrible uncleannesses and abominations….Seek, therefore, a large trailing gourd, having a stalk the length of a man; take out its inwards and fill it with water from the river which the sun has warmed. Hang it upon the branch of a tree, and kneel upon the ground before the angel of water, and suffer the end of the stalk of the trailing gourd to enter your hinder parts, that the water may flow through all your bowels.

So, no, this isn’t in line with Natural Hygiene thinking, as NH’ists think this sort of process, akin to colonics/enemas, is unnatural. But non NH’ists say that a colonic can serve as a kick start to the healing progress and note that Jesus here was talking to the ‘sick and maimed’.


Afterwards rest kneeling on the ground before the angel of water and pray to the living God that he will forgive you all your past sins, and pray the angel of water that he will free your body from every uncleanness and disease.

Note that the process is to be accompanied by prayer.

Then let the water run out from your body, that it may carry away from within it all the unclean and evil-smelling things of Satan. And you shall see with your eyes and smell with your nose all the abominations and uncleannesses which abode in your body, tormenting you with all manners of pains.

This suggests that the process eliminates toxins etc that were causing pain.

I tell you truly, baptism with water frees you from all of these. Renew your baptizing with water on every day of your fast,

The ‘colonic’-type process is to be undertaken daily in conjunction with prayer and fasting. So the average person on a SAD diet booking a series of weekly/monthlycolonics, living their normal lives inbetween...not the same thing.

till the day when you see that the water which flows out of you is as pure as the river’s foam….And this holy baptizing by the angel of water is: Rebirth unto the new life. For your eyes shall henceforth see, and your ears shall hear. Sin no more, therefore, after your baptism…

The process is to be repeated until the water runs clean. This quite clearly defines baptism as an actual inward physical cleansing - nothing like baptism as normally understood nowadays. However, it does say that it results in a ‘new life’ and that we shall then ‘see’ and ‘hear’. As there is no indication that Jesus was talking to blind and deaf people only, I think it fair to assume that Jesus did not intend the words ‘see’ and ‘hear’ to be understood in the literal, but meant that physical cleansing would result in a spiritual ‘opening of the eyes’.

And if afterward there remain within you aught of your past sins and uncleannesses, seek the angel of sunlight. Put off your shoes and your clothing and suffer [allow] the angel of sunlight to embrace all your body…

Exposing our skin to sunlight is of course healthy, and good for Vitamin D. (Raw fooders generally find they burn less than cooked food-eaters, if at all, but that has to be the subject of another article!)


The angels of air and of water and of sunlight are brethren. They were given to the Son of Man that they might serve him,…

Note that 'angels' are physical manifestations of God - the air, water, sunlight. The ‘Son of Man’ here is man, ie the term is not reserved for Jesus exclusively.

When the Earthly Mother’s angels enter into your bodies…then shall all evil smells depart in haste by your breath and by your skin, corrupt waters by your mouth and by your skin, by your hinder and your privy parts.

We know that bad breath, BO, smelly urine, smelly poos etc are indications of a toxic body. Even those who are ‘relatively’ healthy may experience one or all of these when fasting and the body is cleaning.

And when all sins and uncleannesses are gone from your body, your blood shall become as pure as our Earthly Mother’s blood and as the river’s foam…And your breath shall become as pure as the breath of odorous flowers; your flesh as pure as the flesh of fruits reddening upon the leaves of trees; the light of your eye as clear and bright as the brightness of the sun…

When we are clean, our blood will become pure, our breath will become sweet, our complexion shall improve, and our eyes will become bright.


…no one can reach the Heavenly Father unless through the Earthly Mother.

In EGOP, the Mother is the earth - the physical. The Father is the spiritual. We cannot reach the spiritual without cleaning ourselves physically first.


And many unclean and sick followed Jesus’ words and sought the banks of the murmuring streams…they fasted, and they gave their bodies to the angels of air, of water, and of sunshine…And all of them saw all evils, sins and uncleannesses depart in haste from them.

And the breath of some became as stinking as that which is loosed from the bowels, and some had an issue of spittle, and evil-smelling and unclean vomit rose from their inward parts. All these uncleannesses flowed by their mouths. In some, by the nose, in others by the eyes and ears. And many did have a noisome and abominable sweat come from all their body, over all their skin. And on many limbs great hot boils broke forth, from which came out uncleannesses with an evil smell, and urine flowed abundantly from their body; and in many their urine was all but dried up and became thick as the honey of bees; that of others was almost red or black, and as hard almost as the sand of rivers. And many belched stinking gases from their bowels, like the breath of devils. And their stench became so great that none could bear it.

These people were very ill. As they detoxified, they were sick, they salivated, they had poo-breath, they had skin eruptions. Mucus flowed from their noses. Pus came from their eyes. They sweated. They urinated frequently. There was blood in their urine. I’m not sure about the ‘sand’, but on googling did find something called 'urinary gravel'. And there were bad smells. Natural Hygienists will recognise many of these symptoms of detoxification. Of course, most people nowadays experiencing symptoms such as these would find them alarming and as something to be stopped at all costs. And ‘cost’ it would be, as modern medicine (and, Natural Hygienists believe, herbal as well as 'pharmaceutical' medicine), in its attempts to suppress the symptoms, would reverse the process of detoxification and true healing would not occur, with the patient becoming more ill with the burden of toxins from the drugs used to ‘treat’.

And the devils left their bowels in the shape of multitudinous worms

They were rid of intestinal worms.


You have been gluttonous, winebibbers and gone a-whoring

No interpretation needed.

Your Heavenly Father loves you without end, for he also allows you to pay in seven days the debts of seven years…but pay honestly and persevere till the seventh day…

Seven (consecutive) days’ fasting for each seven years’ sin.

…the devils of Satan write all your evil deeds in a book, in the book of your body and your spirit’

Our bodies are a record of our sins.


And they showed Jesus their feet in which the bones were twisted and knotted and said ‘Neither the angel of air, nor of water, nor of sunshine has assuaged our pains, notwithstanding that we baptized ourselves, and do fast and pray…’ And he pointed with his hand to where the running of the water and the sun’s heat had softened to clayey mud the earth by the edge of the water. ‘Sink your feet in the mire, that the embrace of the angel of earth may draw out from your bones all uncleanness and all disease…’

I have seen websites that recommend clay for healing, saying that minerals in it can help ailments, but, note, Jesus is not telling us to eat clay (see my article here).


And Jesus milked an ewe…he put the milk upon the sand made hot by the sun…And the milk became hot by the strength of the sun…And lo, the vapor of the hot milk began to rise slowly into the air…And the sick man whom Satan tormented did breath within himself, deeply, the rising whitish vapor. ‘Straightway will Satan leave your body, since for three days he starves and finds no food within you.

The physical ‘plagues’ (worms, cancerous cells?) had not been ‘fed’ as the man had fasted for three days. The man was then asked to inhale the vapour of the hot milk.

He [Satan] will come out of you to satisfy his hunger by the hot steaming milk, for this food finds favour in his sight.’

Satan is attracted by the smell of hot milk. As a child I found the smell of heated milk repulsive.I had nightmares where my parents had died in a car crash and I could smell the smell of heated milk. I know - weird!!

Jesus…drew out from the sick man all the body of the monster which was almost as long as the man. When the abominable worm came out of the sick man’s throat, he recovered at once his breath, and then all his pains ceased.

When I read this, I did some googling on intestinal worms. I read reports of people in some parts of the world suffering from very large worms.



And the flesh of slain beasts in his body will become his own tomb. For I tell you truly, he who kills, kills himself, and whoso eats the flesh of slain beasts, eats of the body of death. For in his blood every drop of their blood turns to poison…in his breath their breath to stink; in his flesh their flesh to boils; in his bones their bones to chalk;

When we eat meat poisons form in our blood.
When we eat meat our breath stinks.
When we eat meat…our bones turn to chalk!! Here’s a modern-day description of osteoporosis - ‘your bones turn to chalk and break with the slightest trauma’. For decades it had been thought that osteoporosis (bone problems in middle age) were due to calcium deficiency. People (middle-aged women especially) were told to eat lots of dairy. But recent research has shown that high consumption of ‘protein’ foods, such as meat, creates an acidic environment, causing the body to leech calcium from the bones in order to maintain optimum pH balance, causing…osteoporosis!

p37 [continuation of the instruction not to eat meat]

…in his bowels their bowels to decay.

When we eat meat, our bowels will decay.

…in his eyes their eyes to scales…

I’m not sure what could be meant here. Perhaps that meat-eating accelerates blindness? Or perhaps what is being described is that yellow stuff that can collect at the corners of the eyes after a night’s sleep. I had this as a child (meat-eater), but haven’t had it as an adult (24/25 years no meat).

…in his ears their ears to waxy issue…

If we eat meat, wax will come from our ears. Well, I still get a little wax from my ears on a vegan diet. However, before raw, when I did eat fish, wax would collect internally, necessitating syringeing every couple of years or so. This hasn’t happened in three and a half years on a meat and fish-free raw food diet.

And their death will become his death.

I’ll leave you to speculate.

Then another said: ‘Moses, the greatest in Israel, suffered [allowed] our forefathers to eat the flesh of clean beasts, and forbade only the flesh of unclean beasts. Why, therefore, do you forbid us the flesh of all beasts? Which law comes from God? That of Moses, or your law? And Jesus continued ‘God commanded your forefathers: ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ But their heart was hardened and they killed. Then Moses desired that at least they should not kill men, and he suffered them to kill beasts’.

So EGOP tells us that the law that allowed men to kill some beasts came from Moses, rather than God.


‘Obey, therefore, the words of God: ‘Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed…and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

Note that ‘meat’ here is simply the word for ‘food’; this is also generally the way the word is used in the Bible. God has given us ‘plant food’ for meat. This is backed by Genesis 1:29 ‘And God said: ‘Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed, to you it shall be for food.’ ('Herb' is the name for any plant.) This scriptural mandate for a vegetarian diet was used by the Nazarene sect. Although in the Bible it talks of Jesus being from ‘Nazareth’, many scholars say that there was no such place as Nazareth and that Jesus was in fact a ‘Nazarene’.

Also the milk of everything that moveth and liveth upon earth shall be meat for you;

EGOP allows the drinking of animals’ milk. An abhorrent concept to many vegans. I simply present it to you.

But flesh, and the blood which quickens it, shall ye not eat.

Quite clear. Kosher meat-eating Jews believe that eating flesh is OK if the blood is drained from it. This quite clearly says ‘flesh, and the blood’.



Therefore, eat not anything which fire, or frost, or water has destroyed. For burned, frozen and rotted foods will burn, freeze and rot your body also.

We will see later that Jesus instructed us not to cook our food at all. EGOP says also that we should not freeze our food, neither eat food that has rotted. We know that the Essenes did not touch 'fermented liquids', and here we see that they would not have eaten food that had 'rotted'. So it is unlikely that Essenes would have eaten what we nowadays refer to as 'fermented foods'.


‘Master, where is the fire of life?’ asked some of them. ‘In you, in your blood, and in your bodies’. ‘And the fire of death?’ asked others. ‘It is the fire which blazes outside your body, which is hotter than your blood. With that fire of death you cook your foods in your homes and in your fields…Eat nothing, therefore, which a stronger fire than the fire of life has killed.’

This suggests we should be eating nothing that has been heated beyond body temperature, ie in round terms around 100 degrees F.


Prepare and eat all fruits of trees, and all grasses of the fields, and all milk of beasts good for eating.

Just as ‘meat’ means ‘food’, rather than animal parts, ‘fruits’ probably means anything that comes from a tree, that is, fruit as we generally understand it, and nuts. This excerpt is saying that anything that comes from trees, ‘grasses’ (difficult to be sure what is meant here) and milk is ‘good’, although it does not say that these are the only things we are allowed to eat. Note the word ‘Prepare’. Later references suggest that this would not mean anything more than preparing food so that we can eat it, eg removal of inedible peel. ‘All milk of beasts good for eating’ implies that some milk of beasts isn’t good for eating.

Then crush your grain, and make thin wafers, as did your forefathers when they departed out of Egypt….

This is interesting. As EGOP describes the process by which we should make bread (‘cooked’ by the sun only) it is saying here that the bread the Israelites took with them when fleeing Egypt was not oven-cooked. EGOP defines cooking in the way raw fooders would generally understand it, as heating beyond a point somewhere between body heat and the heat of hot sun. Cooking bread in an oven is a sin, and the Israelites were fleeing a sinful Egypt.

We have always been taught that the bread they took with them was ‘unrisen’, perhaps because they had left in a hurry and there was no time for their bread to rise, and that, because of this, kosher Jews nowadays avoid yeast at Passover. What if the key thing was that the unsinful way to eat bread was simply not to cook it? Still, I guess billions of Jewish people can’t be wrong.

(In EGOP, Jesus describes the process of making bread, uncooked, from 100% wheat. See my article here on how to make Essene bread.) Essene bread is made from wheat only. Multi-ingredient raw breads calling themselves Essene breads are travesties, as later in EGOP we are told quite clearly that we should not mix lots of foods togethers.

So eat always from the table of God: the fruits of the trees, the grain and grasses of the field, the milk of beasts, and the honey of bees. For everything beyond these is of Satan, and leads by the way of sins and of diseases unto death.

As noted in the first part of the article, the Essenes kept bees for honey. Here, I would stress as I did in the first part that modern methods of obtaining honey and milk are very different from those of thousands of years ago. Note that it says that ‘everything beyond these’ is of Satan. As both ‘grain’ and ‘grasses’ are mentioned, it is possible that ‘grasses’ could include various leaves. ‘Trees’ could include bushes…who can be sure? What did the words that Szekeley translated mean thousands of years ago? I note that EGOP does not give the green light to sea vegetables, which is a bit of a prob for me, as I love them! But, there again, Natural Hygiene doesn't approve either...

And when you eat at her table, eat all things even [exactly, just] as they are found on the table of the Earthly Mother.

We are to eat things just as we find them. This suggests that we shouldn’t be blending, juicing, fracturing foods (eg removing oil) etc. However, this is slightly contradicted elsewhere. For example, when instructing us how to make bread, Jesus tells us to sprout wheat seeds, grind, flatten and dry them. As, if EGOP is the words of Jesus, He would not contradict Himself, then I must be misunderstanding in some way. (Sprouting is at least a process that we observe in nature.)

Cook not

Cook not!

…neither mix all things one with another, lest your bowels become as steaming bogs…(and on p42 ‘For I tell you truly, if you mix together all sorts of food in your body, then the peace of your body will cease, and endless war will rage in you.)

EGOP says no to abombo-combos! Natural Hygiene teaches that if we mix foods that take different times to digest, fermentation will occur as one food blocks the exit of another. It also teaches that different environments (in terms of alkalinity/acidity) are required for the digestion of different foods and that if we mix incompatible foods, putrefaction will occur.

And be not like the greedy servant, who always ate up, at the table of his lord, the portions of others. (And on p42 ‘And when you eat, never eat unto fullness….For Satan and his power tempt you always to eat more and more…So give heed to how much you have eaten when your body is sated, and always eat less by a third.)

We must not be greedy. However good the food, we must not stuff ourselves to the point at which we can’t take any more but must stop short of that. That of course takes much self-discipline.


Be content with two or three sorts of food, which you will find always upon the table of our Earthly Mother…And desire not to devour all things that you see around you.

The earth will provide us with sufficient food, but we must be content with two or three ‘sorts’ of food. Of course, ‘sorts’ is wide open to interpretation! But EGOP does seem to be saying that we should be content with a simple diet.

Trouble not the work of the angels in your body by eating often….he who eats more than twice in the day does in him the work of Satan…Eat only when the sun is highest in the heavens and again when it is set.

Natural Hygiene does teach that we should give our digestions a rest between meals, and some Natural Hygienists do advocate ‘no breakfast’ (see my article on this here). Many raw fooders, eg Tonya Zavasta, advocate eating two meals a day only. They recommend eating in the morning and at lunchtime. EGOP teaches noon and sunset.


Let the weight of your daily food be not less than a mina, but mark that it go not beyond two.

A mina is 50 shekels. A shekel is ½ oz, so we should eat at least 25 oz (about a pound a half) but not more than 50 oz (three pounds). A rough rule of thumb for a woman could be two pounds of food a day. 30BAD forum people - please don’t unsubscribe. I’m just telling you what the EGOP says. You’re all free to accept or reject it as is your wont.

And if you will that the angels of God rejoice in your body, and that Satan shun you afar, then sit but once in the day at the table of God.

The ideal is to eat once a day. And now I can hear people say ‘she’s encouraging anorexia!’. Please - don’t shoot the messenger! I eat several times a day myself.


From the coming of the month of…

We should eat foods in season.

eat barley

EGOP recommends the eating of barley and wheat, so clearly includes grain in man’s diet.

eat wheat, the most perfect among all the seed-bearing herbs. And let your daily bread be made of wheat, that the LORD may take care of your bodies.

Many raw fooders will not eat wheat. I have written extensively on wheat in my article here. A reminder that we are talking about wheat that is raw and sprouted, not cooked, although it’s a fair point that wheat thousands of years ago would have been quite different to wheat of today.

From Tammuz, eat the sour grape, that your body may diminish and Satan may depart from it. In the month of Elul, gather the grape that the juice may serve you as drink. In the month of Marchesvan, gather the sweet grape, dried and sweetened by the angel of sun, that your bodies may increase…

Sour grape…this would appear to be referring to unripe grapes. Not only does this contradict Natural Hygiene,which teaches that unripe fruit should not be eaten, but it also contradicts Jeremiah 31: 29 in the Bible. EGOP could be saying that the eating of sour grapes will result in elimination of toxins, or it could simply be saying that some weight/fat loss is necessary at this time. In the next month, we are told to gather ripe grapes. In the month after that we are told to gather sun-dried grapes to build our bodies.

You should eat figs rich in juice in the months of Ab and Shebat, and what remain, let the angel of sun keep them for you; eat them with the meat of almonds in all the months when the trees bear no fruit.

We should eat ripe figs, then keep sun-dried figs to eat with almonds in the months when the trees bear no fruit. So this would appear to be allowing the eating of sun-dried fruit and nuts when there is no fruit on the trees.

And the herbs which come after rain, these eat in the month of Thebet, that your blood may be cleansed of all your sins.

The word 'herb', in EGOP and the Bible, means plants in general. We can't be sure which plant foods are being referred to here. There seems to be some recognition here that men are going to sin, but an opportunity for putting things right is presented to us. Earlier, intense methods of detoxification such as 'colonic-type' processes, with prayer and fasting, were described as cleansing processes for the very sick. Perhaps eating plant foods that 'come after rain' is cleansing for those whose transgressions are fewer..

And in the same month begin to eat also the milk of your beasts

So note that EGOP is not saying we should eat dairy all the year round. It is not saying we should keep animals perpetually pregnant. It is not saying that we should be taking milk in those months where, naturally, animals would be feeding their young.

Eat not unclean foods brought from far countries, but eat always that which your trees bear.

By ‘unclean’ EGOP (and the Bible) means ‘unhealthy’. I may be twisting words, but it doesn’t appear to me to be saying ‘don’t eat foods from far countries’, just don’t eat ‘unclean’ foods from far countries. I don't know - I could be doing some fancy footwork here to suit me! Perhaps it is telling us to eat what our trees bear because we can at least then know in what conditions the food has been grown. In modern times, if we eat food from afar, it is more difficult to be sure what has happened to it before it gets to us.

And he gives to all peoples of all kingdoms for food that which is best for each.

This is clearer. ‘Eat local’. (Which is not great news for those of us who, like me, love tropical fruit! Yes, I know the answer - move to a warm country.).

Eat not as the heathen do, who stuff themselves in haste…defiling their bodies with all manner of abominations.

We should eat slowly. We know that if we do our bodies will have time to signal satiety.

And when you eat, have above you the angel of air, and below you the angel of water.

I have never understood the second part of this instruction. Perhaps one of you can help.

Breathe long and deeply at all your meals, that the angel of air may bless your repasts.

For this to occur, again, we must eat slowly.

And chew well your food with your teeth, that it become water, and that the angel of water turn it into blood in your body.

We all know that the more we liquify our food when chewing, the better for our digestion. Chemicals in the saliva pre-digest food.

…his inwards [inside of the body] into an altar, if he does the commandments of God. Wherefore, put naught upon the altar of the Lord when your spirit is vexed, neither think upon any one with anger…for all that you eat in sorrow, or in anger, or without desire, becomes a poison in your body

We should not eat when we are unhappy, angry…we should only eat when we are happy and truly desire food.

And never sit at the table of God before he calls you by the angel of appetite.

We should never eat unless we really feel like eating. So EGOP would not agree with eating to get to ‘calorie targets’ if we really don't feel like any more food. Neither does it countenance eating 'because it's lunchtime', 'to be polite' etc, or for any of the many reasons we eat when we don't truly have appetite for the food.

On six days feed your body with the gifts of the Earthly Mother, but on the seventh day sanctify your body for your Heavenly Father. On the seventh day eat not any earthly food, but live only on the words of God…And let not food trouble the work of the angels in your body throughout the seventh day.

We should fast for one day every seven days. Note that EGOP says there is work to be done in our body on this fasting day. Natural Hygiene would say that this is vital ‘house-cleaning’ - elimination of toxins.

Wake not by night, neither sleep by day, lest the angels of God depart from you.

We should sleep at night only. We should not be waking in the night. We should not be sleeping in the day. This obviously rules out the Continental ‘siesta’, night shifts etc!

And take no delight in any drink, nor in any smoke from Satan, waking you by night and making you to sleep by day. For I tell you truly, all the drinks and smokes of Satan are abominations in the eyes of your God.

Smoking, coffee, alcohol - abominations then, as they are now.


And let not your bodies become either hotter or colder than as God's angels warm or cool them. And if you do the commandments of the Earthly Mother, then as oft as your body becomes too hot, will she send the angel of coolness to cool you, and as oft as your body becomes too cold, will she send you the angel of heat to warm you again.

Quite a challenge for those of us living in cooler climates.


I leave you with this, from p48, the last page of The Essene Gospel of Peace:

Come to me, all that are weary and that suffer in strife and affliction! For my peace will strengthen and comfort you. For my peace is exceedingly full of joy. Wherefore do I always greet you after this manner: 'Peace be with you!' Do you always, therefore, so greet one another, that upon your body may descend the peace of your Earthly Mother, and upon your spirit the peace of your Heavenly Father. And then you will find peace also among yourselves, for the kingdom of God is within you. And now return to your Brothers with whom hitherto you were at war, and give your peace to them also. For happy are they that strive for peace, for they will find the peace of God. Go, and sin no more. And give to everyone your peace, even as I have given my peace unto you. For my peace is of God. Peace be with you.'

And he left them.

And his peace descended upon them; and in their heart the angel of love, in their head the wisdom of law, and in their hands the power of rebirth, they went forth among the Sons of Men, to bring the light of peace to those that warred in darkness.

And they parted, wishing one to another:


Monday 12 July 2010

The Essene Gospel of Peace Pt 1 (Background)

Many of you will have heard of The Essene Gospel of Peace and some of you will know it well. It's often used as a 'spiritual' source to support raw eating. You may have noticed that some raw food teachers are also 'Essene Ministers' and there are several 'Essene' websites.

I know some of you don't have much truck with 'religion' (and I can understand why), but I'm hoping that those of you who don't will still find the article of interest from the point of view of learning a little more about a slim little book that was was written either thousands of years ago, or ninety years ago (depending on one's point of view) that does, at least, contain some excellent instructions on healthy living -particularly diet.

For those of you who do know The Essene Gospel of Peace well, I hope you will add to Pt 2 of the article via Comments.


Natural Hygiene - it didn't start with Herbert Shelton

Natural Hygiene is about the laws of healthy living that have been operable all the time human beings have been about, laws that apply to beings who have free will and choices. But, as we know, human beings have been rather prone to flouting those laws, to our downfall and premature destruction. And we've come up with all sorts of ways (eg medicine) to suppress the manifestations of our flouting of those laws, increasing our suffering in the long term.

The Essene Gospel of Peace, in common with Natural Hygiene, does not talk of 'medicines' or 'cures'; it simply instructs that purification and restoration of right living are what are necessary to rid the body of disease. Whether or not you feel that EGOP is authentic (see later) you will see that many of its instructions are in line with Natural Hygiene, and match relatively recent conclusions drawn about animal foods by scientists. For example, recent findings about the link between animal products and'll see in Pt 2 that Someone Else had already said that! Not everything in EGOP matches with NH, but I think you'll be interested to see the similarities.

Egop and me

I owe The Essene Gospel of Peace a debt; it was a major inspiration for my going raw. Although, the first time I read it, about five years ago, it went in one ear and out the other. That was because it came at a time when, after 25 years of not eating meat, I'd been misled (by 'Christian' writings) into eating (some) meat again, and I didn't want to hear anything that contradicted what I'd been told, as is so often the case when deep down we have doubts about what we are doing. And I definitely wasn't interested in its instruction 'Cook not.' Raw food? Bo-ring! Of course, that was then, and now is now, and when I did realise that I'd taken a wrong turn, EGOP was part of the mix that yanked me back onto the right path. I then read it again and felt great recognition, as in re-cognition, that is, I was learning something that I'd always known. Unlike many raw foodists, I've never had any problems staying raw, never had any yearnings for cooked food, and I credit EGOP with providing me with the strong underlying motivation for there never to be any question of returning to a cooked diet.

Who were the Essenes?

The Essenes are often described as a Jewish religious group living around two thousand years ago, before and after Christ. Although, as, according to historian Pliny, they 'had existed for thousands of generations', and 'Jewish' only applied to part of the original 'tribes of Israel', it may not be right to call them 'Jewish'.

They were united by their love of God, which of course included a love of honesty and morality. Some were celibate, some were married. They observed the Sabbath. They shared their money, property, food and clothing. They rejected the use of weapons and did not participate in commerce. Unlike other Jewish religious groups, they did not sacrifice animals.

They became known in modern times after the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls and have become particularly well known in the raw food world via the Essene Gospel of Peace, as it tells us not to cook our food.

Was Jesus an Essene? Relatively recent statements from the Pope have lent support to those who believe he was. See here.

Essene diet

'They lived only on vegetables that grew of their own accord, and wore only such clothing as could be procured from plants or trees.' (Josephus, 1st century historian) So they ate wild food only - they didn't cultivate. They would not have worn anything made from animals, eg no leather, wool, silk or cotton.

Philo, another historian, says the Essenes 'kept cows and bees'. They included a little dairy in their diets. Sources conflict as to the form of dairy. EGOP mentions 'milk'. Some say they ate yoghurt, or kefir, but others say they never touched fermented food. Edmund Szekeley: 'they were entirely vegetarian in their eating and never touched flesh foods nor fermented liquids.' They didn't drink alcohol.

So, the Essene diet was what most people nowadays would describe as 'lacto-vegetarian' - plant foods, dairy and honey. But, in case anyone thinks that I will be using the Essene diet to promote raw vegetarianism over raw veganism in 2010, I will point out that methods of obtaining milk and honey would have been very different then to methods used today.

Modern 'Essenes'

There are many people nowadays claiming to be 'Essene', but the vast majority are not remotely living in the way the Essenes used to. For example, I remember reading about an Essene gathering where the food served was cooked. Others certainly 'participate in commerce'! Sure, it's a tough call in 2010 to follow the lifestyles of thousands of years ago, but there are some aspects of Essene life described above that would be relatively easy to follow for someone who wishes to declare themselves 'Essene'.

Google Essenes and you'll find all sorts of 'Essene churches', which is interesting, because the Essenes didn't have 'churches'. 'Church' was a term that sprang up a few hundred years after Christ, when Paul launched 'Christianity'. Some of the sites do contain a wealth of precious information, and for that we must be grateful. However, be wary! When I was information-gathering on Essenes a few years ago I would find from time to time significant conflicts with Essene teaching and what was being said on the sites. I e-mailed a couple, asking for explanation, but received no answer.

Some sites offer 'Essene Ministerial Home Study Programs', or the like. Do bear in mind that anyone can take one of these home courses then put 'Essene Minister' on their raw cv and be 'authorised' to preside over weddings etc. I don't mean to be disparaging - I may well take the course myself one day, but one thing I'm pretty sure about is that it's all a far cry from what it took to be an Essene 'thousands of years ago'. 'After a total of three years' probation, newly joining members would take an oath that included the commitment to practise piety towards 'the Deity' and righteousness towards humanity, to maintain a pure lifestyle, to abstain from criminal and immoral activities, to transmit their rules uncorrupted and to preserve the books of the Essenes and the names of the Angels'. (Josephus)

The Essene Gospel of Peace

The Essene Gospel of Peace was brought to the 20th century world by Edmond Szekeley. Szekeley says that a Catholic priest led him into secret vaults at The Vatican, telling him there he would find the 'Source'. Szekeley then found the ancient manuscripts of the teachings of the Essenes and translated the writings.

The Catholic Church says The Essene Gospel of Peace is a fraud, that the manuscripts/secret vaults never existed. However, those who believe EGOP to be authentic point to its similarities to other writings that predate The Bible. Most shockingly for many Christians, it portrays Jesus as a vegetarian. EGOP also includes a beautiful passage on the nature of love - in EGOP attributed to Jesus, but in the Bible attributed to Paul.

Obviously, someone here is lying.

Did Szekely lie? If so, we have to wonder what his motivation for doing so would have been. Career ambitions? Money? He was adamant that EGOP should not be sold for more than a token price.

Did the Catholic Church lie? If so, we have to wonder what their motivation for doing so might have been. I will point out that, if anyone senior in the Catholic Church were to say that EGOP was authentic, this would obviously create a huge problem for the Catholic Church and in fact millions of Christians, as, if the Church decided that the words in EGOP attributed to Jesus were actually His words, all Christians would have to be directed to stop eating meat. Tricky.

Most of the Essene sites regard The Essene Gospel of Peace as authentic. However, one site had a diet page which was at odds with EGOP, and, as a rationale, the writer opined that EGOP was a 'fake' (Why? Because The Vatican had said so.) I'll leave you to figure out why the rest of the site was sprinkled with quotes from...The Essene Gospel of Peace.


I know people are always interested to know how long those in the business of promoting healthy eating lived, what they died of etc - and it's a reasonable question to ask. Szekeley died at 70 (don't know what of), which is really quite young for someone who had undertaken to spread the the principles of healthful living with particular regard to diet.

So, did Szekeley follow the dietary instructions in Essene Gospel of Peace? No he didn't. Uncorroborated sources say he was not a raw foodist himself. And it is recorded that he told his followers to eat between 10% and 35% of their diets as cooked food. Szekeley advised people to eat according to this 'food pyramid' - 30-50% raw fruits, 30-35% raw vegetables, 10-20% raw or cooked grains, cereals, and starches, 5-10% dried fruits, nuts, oily fruits, butter, honey and fats, and 10-35% cooked vegetables such as beans and pies'. Where did Szekeley get these ideas on diet from? Definitely not from The Essene Gospel of Peace. The Teacher's words in EGOP are quite unequivocal - they are 'Cook not'. They aren't followed by 'Of course, when I say 'cook not', I mean you can cook a bit'.

If, as Szekeley tells us, he believed the instructions in EGOP were the words of Jesus, why didn't he follow them, or tell his own followers to? Did he think 100% raw food would be too much for people? If so, was he right to mollycoddle them, to effectively tell them they didn't have to do as the EGOP instructs, that they'd be better off, that it would be 'easier' for them if they followed his diet instead? Did he forget the instructions he'd been entrusted with in a whirl of ego, fame, the feeling of being a 'guru' to others? Could he simply have been a victim of his own addictions to cooked food? In short, it would seem that, for whatever reason, Szekeley, having understood how he should live, just went his own sweet way, as 99.9% of people do to some extent (including the writer of this article), that is, we live falling short of how we know we should be living and we're felled prematurely by the 'spirit of disobedience'.

I do know some of you will be sceptical about EGOP, but let's not argue about that one, as my response would most likely be 'You could be right!'. None of us can be sure, but luckily in the parts of the world you and I live, we're all free to voice our opinions. I just hope that those who reject EGOP as the words of Jesus will nevertheless see it as an interesting little book on diet etc worth of consideration. My own position after much rumination over the years is that EGOP is not a fake. However, I'll also admit that I fail on its precepts in many ways, regularly and that my own diet is a long way from the way EGOP instructs us to eat (although it's closer than it was in my first year of raw). I hope that I can in some way make up for my failings (though I know I can't, really) by writing this article and helping, as Szekeley undoubtedly did, spread the Word.


In Part 2 (What The Essene Gospel Of Peace Says), I will go through EGOP in page order, adding my comments. If you'd like the content D.Took-comment-free it can be bought for next to nothing on Amazon.

Saturday 26 June 2010

'Liver Flushes' and 'Mucoid Plaque'

I still occasionally see people extolling the benefits of 'liver flushes'.

In the same family we have 'gallbladder flushes', 'intestinal cleanses', etc. The process of the 'flush' generally consists of a few days of juice diet followed by drinking a large quantity of oil and something acidic (eg lemon juice/vinegar). If vomiting hasn't occurred, the health-seeker will then pass, it is claimed, 'gallstones'. Although it is possible for people to do these things without commercial help, we see companies charging vast amounts for products/programmes built around these practices.

We also see people recommending the eating of 'bentonite clay', which, it is claimed, will free 'mucoid plaque' (and photo's of what is claimed to be 'mucoid plaque' are presented to horrify us all - yes, surely 'better out than in'!)

In this article, I'm going to draw together information from various sources that I hope will persuade anyone tempted to part with their money, or even simply to carry out such 'cleanses' themselves, that they are nothing more than 'snake oil' - quack remedies.

John MacDougall MD: 'Many people believe this alternative therapy really works, but the 'gallbladder flush' is a myth.'

Raw food leader Frederic Patenaude: 'I believe this is one of the biggest scams running in the alternative health movement.'

I will also freely admit that a 'liver flush' was certainly on my 'to do' list in my first year of raw, and know lots of intelligent, savvy people who have been persuaded to do them. It's only because I'm an insatiable internet researcher (OK, and perhaps a natural sceptic!) that I discovered that these 'flushes' were not quite what they purported to be, and I share the results of my findings, conclusions and suggestions with you here.

I also feel that, probably, most of the people recommending them (and selling them) do genuinely believe in them themselves, and have others' interests at heart.

I will explain how I do believe that people do experience feelings of well-being on the 'flushes', and how the days spent on them can indeed change people's lives for the better, BUT that these phenonema are either the result of deception OR due to good things associated with, or that lead from, the experience of the flushes. If that doesn't sound clear, and I realise it may not, please read on.

I'll be discussing most the 'flushes' which have the common element of a juice diet for a few days, followed by drinking a cup (at least - often much more) of olive oil and a cup of lemon juice (or anything acidic, eg vinegar) over a few hours. Variations include ingestion of magnesium sulphate, herbs etc. I'll comment more briefly on 'cleanses' that involve eating clay.

I'll include quotes from raw food leaders, and also evidence from medics (some overlap between the two groups).


Those 'stones'...

Dr Douglas Graham (in Fresh Network 'Raw - Your Biggest Questions Answered'): 'The oils consumed are saponified by the body, meaning they turn into little beads that have a soap-like quality. True gallstones are made of either calcium or cholesterol, or a combination of the two. The 'stones' that are passed following a 'gallbladder flush' (sometimes called a 'liver flush') are no more than the oil consumed the previous day, saponified. If these 'stones' are left on the dashboard of a car in the sun, or any other warm spot, they will melt back into oil. The green and brown colouration in the stones is due to the presence of bile salts.'

Thomas Lodi, MD (also in FN book as above): 'When the stones that are passed after a 'gallbladder flush' are examined, they are not found to contain cholesterol, bile pigments, bile salts, calcium or any other constituents of gallstones, but rather residues from the oil ingested.'

(Note that Graham and Lodi differ on whether bile is present. I have heard people describe the 'stones' as very foul-smelling, and indeed bile is foul-smelling - bitter, sour, sulphurous.)

Frederic Patenaude: 'Here's what a pathologist has to say on the topic. The 'recipe' he's referring to is the gallbladder flush: 'Real gallstones are faceted polyhedra. What you'll get from the recipe are spheres. One of my correspondents describes a friend who saved the sphere and displayed them to his friends. Real gallstones hurt bad when they pass through the cystic and common bile ducts. Real gallstones sink in water. (As an autopsy pathologist, I'm very familiar with this.) The 'gallstones' you'll produce from this recipe will float, as the 'alternative thinkers' themselves point out. They claim that real gallstones float, too. Liars.' (Source:

Christian Sies (The Lancet, Apr 16, 2005): 'A 40-year-old patient with many 1-2mm gallstones underwent a 'liver cleansing' with apple and vegetable juice, followed by 600 ml of olive oil and 300 ml of lemon juice, taken over several hours. She painlessly passed semisolid green 'stones' with her stool. She brought them to her doctor, who examined them under a microscope and found no crystalline structures (as would be seen in an actual gallstone). Heating to 40 degree C for 10 minutes caused the 'stones' to melt. Analysis showed they contained no cholesterol, bilirubin, or calcium (like a real stone might have). Chemical analysis found the 'stones' were fat globules mostly from the olive oil. The investigators next made similar balls that looked like stones in their lab by mixing olive oil and lemon juice and then drying the mixture. Sometime later, the actual stones, which were made of cholesterol, were removed from the woman's gallbladder by a surgeon.'

Peter Moran, MB, BS, BSc (Med): 'The stones are merely bile-stained 'soaps' produced by partial saponification (soap formation) of the oil. A recent demonstration found that mixing equal volumes of oleic acid (the major component of olive oil) and lemon juice produced several semi-solid white balls after a small volume of potassium hydroxide solution was added. After air-drying at room temperature, these balls became quite solid and hard. When formed in the intestine, these objects absorb bile and become green. It has also been shown that red dye will appear in the interior of the 'stones' if consumed with the oil.'

Moran has also used ultrasound images showing the movement through the gallbladder of real gallstones to demonstrate that these 'stones' are not gallstones. He also points out that gallstones sink, and the 'stones' float. He adds: 'Supporters of the flushes claim that although some kinds of stones sink in water, cholesterol stones, being composed of lighter material, will float. That's not true. Cholesterol stones can display some buoyancy while in the gallbladder, but only by floating between the older, concentrated bile lying in the lowest part of the gallbladder and the fresher, less concentrated bile above.' (In other words - not in the toilet!).

So the 'gallstones' people have been so overjoyed to be 'free of' are simply spheres the body has created to deal with all the oil drunk!


As I've just shown that the evidence of 'cure' in 'liver flushes' is simply the result of ingesting the ingredients of the 'cleanse' itself, I'll show how similar applies with 'cleanses' involving the eating of clay.

The manufacturers claim that this frees the body of 'mucoid plaque'.

Is there such a thing as 'mucoid plaque'?

Dao Earl: 'No, and that has been proven by colonoscopy.
Dr Doug Graham: 'I have spoken to over a dozen surgeons that specialise in intestinal surgery..never once has any of them seen evidence of mucoid plaque.'
Frederic Patenaude: 'Practising physicians have dismissed the concept of mucoid plaque as a hoax. A pathologist at the University of Texas School of Medicine said that he has 'seen several thousand intestinal biopsies and never seen any 'mucoid plaque'.

But...the photo's...

What is it that comes out of people after these 'cleanses'?

Here's a forum contribution from someone who tried such a 'cleanse' (sorry - I have no name, so if you're reading, please let me know who you are!):

'I am currently on day four of the XXX herbs cleanse, and I have been producing stuff that looks like the 'mucoid plaque' described, for the past two days. I started this cleanse very hopeful and open minded. However, doubts have been creeping in, actually since the 'mucoid plaque' stuff has been coming out. This morning, about three hours ago, I mixed a sachet of the toxin absorber, which is basically psyllium husk and bentonite clay, in a little water and have let it sit. It is now exactly the consistency of the 'mucoid plaque' that I have been producing. This has convinced me it is a scam, to be honest. As far as I can see, the toxin absorber (bentonite clay) doesn't shift the plaque - it IS the plaque. It's right here, before my eyes, in this cup. I've decided not to continue with the cleanse. I'm feeling very bunged up and crampy today, and if I thought it was actual mucoid plaque shifting, I wouldn't mind, but I feel like I've just clogged myself up with clay.'

From raw food nutritionist Adam: 'I think the reason the photo's look convincing is because you take the average three-heavy-meals-a-day person whose elimination system moves pretty slowly. Get them to fast for a few days while taking the mucus-lookalike-producing sachets and then start eliminating what seems like tons of accumulated waste, whereas it's probably just last week's dinner plus the sachets. Fear sells. People don't always listen to those who 'make sense' because our whole financial system is based upon marketing (fake) 'solutions' for people's (fake) 'problems'.

Dr Doug Graham: '...if you eat clay, the clay must come back out of you. It combines with the mucus in your intestinal tract [by the way, he also says that the psyllium itself, as an irritant, would form mucus], forming a sludge. Wet clay is excellent for modelling, and readily takes on the shape of its container. Hence, when photo's are taken of the clay inside the intestines, it can appear to look like plaque. When it comes out of the body, it can look like old faecal matter. But it is no more than the clay you ate the day before. It seems people are very easily fooled. Almost, it seems, they want to be fooled.'

EDIT - I recently came across an excellent article on 'mucoid plaque', written in 2004, here.


(I'm returning to 'liver flushes' here, but some of the following would also apply to the 'eating clay' products.)

Because, in many cases, they did experience very pleasant feelings - physically and/or psychologically during the 'flush', and the days spent 'liver flushing' did change their lives, in a positive way, often hugely.

I'll suggest a few reasons why these things could occur:

Stimulant effect

When we ingest something toxic, there is a stimulant effect. The body goes on 'red alert', 'all systems go', marshalling all its resources to cope with, fight, eliminate the invader. That's why we feel stimulated initially (with 'pay-back' later...) when we ingest drugs such as tobacco, alcohol, coffee etc (and to some extent cooked food).

Oil is a fractionated substance that our bodies are fine with when it comes as part of nature's package, ie within whole foods, not so fine with when we have it alone, eg as a salad dressing, and VERY not fine with when we drink a whole cup (or more) of it! Fractionated, unnatural substances in large quantities are toxic, and our bodies will respond accordingly. The enormous energy that the body will muster as its systems rally to cope with all that oil will certainly feel stimulating and may even result in a euphoric 'high'. This can be very pleasurable, and will of course ensure that we make good associations with 'flushes' in memory. However, stimulant effects deceive.

Placebo effect

I know what it's like in the first year of raw. We're pretty much on a 'high' anyway, and feel tremendously excited trying out all sorts of things! We're going to feel quite enthusiastic about doing the 'flush', be thinking quite positively, and, when we act 'as if' we're feeling good...we often do feel good! Also, if we've just paid £100 for the privilege, we will want to feel we're feeling good, and persuade ourselves that we are!!

The 'stones'

If we believe the 'stones' are 'gallstones' we're going to be very elated when we see these things come out of our bottom! Closely related to the placebo effect.

Laxative effect

Natural Hygienist Herbert Shelton: 'As the excess of oil has a laxative effect, the victim of this form of charlatanry and humbuggery often receives temporary relief from abdominal distress. This relief convinces them, also, that their 'stones' have passed.'

Juice diet

The juice-only diet in the days preceding the drinking of oil will in itself have a very positive effect on wellbeing, giving the body a much-needed digestive rest and freeing up energy for detoxification. Just two days freed from the standard diet (or in fact the digestion of any solid food) is a treat for the body.

Introduction to raw food

Often people who try these 'flushes' may, through trying them and similar 'treatments', stumble upon raw food sites, which of course are the real life-changers! (I suppose if I thought that every person on a standard cooked diet having a 'liver flush' would then discover and follow the raw food diet, I'd be saying 'Viva liver 'flushes'', but I'd also hope that they would soon discover articles such as this, and realise that, while they may have been part of an interesting journey to raw food, it's time now to give them the boot!)


I doubt there's any long-term problem caused by doing these things once or twice. A raw food diet can enable the body to bounce back from the various indignities we've subjected it to in the fast.

But I am concerned for those who do them over and over again, who haven't realised that they are fake 'remedies', and have become addicted to the short-term feelings (as described above) of well-being experienced on them.

I remember someone who had done several 'flushes', asking, if the flushes are fake, why after repeated 'cleanses', do fewer 'stones' come out?

Here's a Natural Hygiene explanation of why that might be. When our bodies first encounter a toxin, they will, if reasonably vital, react quickly and dramatically to deal with it. The most vital bodies will vomit out the oil, but the less vital will saponify the oil into balls to expel it. However, as with any toxin, the more we have, the more our bodies will be 'worn down' into 'tolerating' increasingly frequent doses of it, but at great price to our long-term health. Therefore, the ability of the body to quarantine up the oil into little balls will reduce with each flush. This will be enervating to the system, not to mention increasing the amount of fat in our bodies as the body is less able to expel, thereby increasing the chances of our getting real gallstones!

Drinking oil is not a good thing to do. Peter Moran, quoted earlier, has also said in his explanation of why 'liver flushes' are fake, that it is possible that a large oily meal (eg the flush) could stimulate strong gallbladder contraction and that a real gallstone might be expelled amongst all the fake ones.

(This sort of thinking is allied to the idea that if a herbal concoction promotes vomiting, or diarrhoea, or weeing, it is 'cleansing'. Natural Hygiene says that the vomiting, diarrhoea, and/or weeing is simply due to the body's efforts to expel the toxic irritant concoction itself and not 'healing' in any way, and is traumatic and enervating for the body.)

Also, Peter Moran says that even if the ingredients of the 'flush' did stimulate contraction in this way, those who do actually have real gallstones often have impaired ability of the gallbladder to empty anyway. (I'm not sure what the solution is, but it would seem daft to ingest large quantities of fat - the reason for the problems in the first place - in a misguided attempt to 'kickstart' the gallbladder into action.) So, if you do have real gallstones, they're unlikely to come out in a 'flush', and, if you don't have them, as explained - what you're seeing the toilet bowl aren't gallstones.


Just remove the cause of toxicity and your body will do what's necessary to clean up. All by itself.

Liver/gallbladder problems will be due to the standard cooked diet. Raw food teacher Natalia Rose: 'I never recommend using oils therapeutically - there are much better ways to cleanse the organs. The gallbladder cleanses as the whole system cleanses...If you know you have a liver or gall bladder problem [my italics] you know that's from too many cooked proteins and cooked fats - not just in the liver and gallbladder but throughout the body. So you'd want to take a Pritikin-type approach and not only cut out meats and dairy but also limit nuts, seeds, avocados and oils dramatically.'

Herbert Shelton: 'Gallstones, kidney stones, liver stones, pancreas stones, etc, result from perversion of metabolism. The real cure is to restore normal metabolism. Normal metabolism will dissolve the stones. The tendency of an excess of oil is to further impair metabolism. Such treatment does not do good, but may do considerable harm.'


  • Fasting (no food at all), or (not as good as fasting, but quite good) a juice diet. And to cover myself, if fasting for more than 24 hours, seek advice of suitably-qualified professional etc etc!
  • Positive thinking

Please don't drink oil or eat clay.

Saturday 12 June 2010

Excellent video from Michael Klaper, MD

Shortest post to date, but could be the most important one.

Here is the most persuasive video I've ever seen on why we shouldn't be eating animal foods ('health reasons'). Some of you may already be familiar with it, but I hadn't seen it before, so thought I should post it.

A medical doctor explains, in a very watchable, entertaining (and humorous!) way.

I realise many of you are vegetarian, or vegan, but please consider sending the video to people you love who aren't, and prevent them from suffering needlessly.

(PS Yes, it's not about 'raw' as such (he's not a raw foodist, but does at least explain why people should increase their raw percentage), and, yes, he promotes grains (which I'm aware some raw people think are the devil), BUT, for 99% of the population, who aren't, realistically, going to be going raw (at least not this week), this video could nevertheless enormously improve their health!)

Monday 31 May 2010

Why Do We Eat Chili? Because We're Grown-Ups!

In the UK, there's a reality TV programme called 'Come Dine With Me', where a group of strangers throw dinner parties for each other and then grade each other's efforts - you may have a syndicated version in your country. Although raw, I'll admit I find this programme a true 'guilty pleasure' (although I do wish someone could tell Dave Lamb, the presenter, that people who don't meat but do eat fish aren't 'vegetarians'!).

Anyhow, on a recent 'Come Dine With Me', one of the guests said how much he detested hot (as in spicy) food. In fact, he did make a Big Fuss about it and, as the programme is, after all, about cooked food, and spices are so prevalent in modern cooking, one does wonder why he agreed to take part in the programme. After an evening in which he left uneaten most of the food prepared for him, and asked how on earth his fellow guests could eat it, one guest answered with some exasperation and rolling of eyes 'because we're grown-ups!' Cue cheers from most of the TV audience, who would most likely have united with the other guests, who had identified him as 'the odd one out', and, because he didn't want to eat chili, was unsophisticated - not a 'grown-up'.

'Because we're grown-ups....!'

Chili is something that, like alcohol and nicotine, (and cooked food), we are averse to the first time in our lives we try it.

Natural Hygienist Mike Benton, writing in the original (Eighties) 'Life Sciences' course, on chili:

'The truth is that cayenne pepper, along with all other hot peppers, chilies, etc, contain harmful alkaloids...when hot peppers are eaten, the body is thrown into an emergency state in an attempt to eliminate the toxic oils and substances in the peppers...All hot peppers contain a poisonous alkaloid called piperidin and a harmful crystalline substance known as piperin. Hot peppers also have acrid resins and volatile oils which irritate the digestive and urinary tracts.'

Generally, when children encounter even a small amount of chili in food for the first time, they feel like their mouths and stomachs are on fire. They don't like it. That is because their bodies are still sufficiently pure and sensitive to detect and react to the harmful substances in chili.

However, with repeated doses (just as with cooked food, just as with any drug), their vibrant little bodies are ground down and literally 'beaten into submission', until... 'an adult who has abused his digestive system for a number of years on a conventional diet merely experiences that momentary burning warning which is the weakened body's signal to avoid the hot pepper.'

The burning sensation is there to tell us 'do not eat'. Clear enough to other mammals, who don't eat chili. But, being human beings, we are forever prey to that devil inside us who likes to pervert the natural, to harm ourselves, to deceive ourself and others, to (it hopes) our ultimate destruction, and it persuades us that it is 'grown-up' and sophisticated to enjoy food with chili.

But this is a lie. As it's not a sign of a developed, or strong, system that the 'tolerance' level for chili (and other toxic substances) is raised, but a sign of a weakened system that has lost the vitality to react.

Herbert Shelton in 'Toleration Means Loss of Vital Resistance' describes it thus:

'If you are not accustomed to using fiery condiments and you undertake to use red pepper, it causes the lips, mouth, tongue and throat to burn intensely. When swallowed, it produces discomfort to the stomach. There is later a feeling of discomfort in the intestine as the irritating pepper passes along. When, finally, it's expelled in the stools, the anus and rectum burn as much as did the mouth when the pepper was swallowed.

Persist in the use of the pepper and its irritating effect grows less and less until, finally, it produces no burning of the mouth and throat, no distress in the stomach and intestine, no burning of the rectum and anus. The membranes of the entire digestive tract become thickened and hardened in defense against the repeated irritation. The protective thickening impairs their other functions. The sense of taste is dulled, digestion is impaired. Doubtless something similar to this takes place in all the tissues of the body that are subjected to chronic irritation by alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, arsenic, opium, salt and other poisons and irritants in common use. They, too, must undergo changes to defend themselves.'

The more chili we eat, the more we abuse our digestive systems. Those with IBS symptoms generally find their symptoms worsen after eating spicy food. The gastric specialist, Franz J Ingelfinger MD, showed that hot and highly seasoned foods harm the stomach lining, adversely affecting our ability to absorb nutrients. (And the sensory nerves, which are affected by the burning sensation caused when eating chili, can become damaged and die on repeated exposure to the alkaloid capsaicin in chili.)

Chili is 'warming'/stimulating

Sure it is. This is because the capsaicin so irritates the body that the heart rate/circulation is increased as the body works hard in order to remove it from the system (perspiration will increase as well). The chili overall acts as a stimulant. Stimulants have the effect they do because the body senses something toxic and goes on 'red alert' (heightened response) and 'all systems go' (feeling of energy, a 'rush') to marshall all bodily resources to eliminate the toxic invader. Nora Lenz: 'These foods are eaten only for the abusive thrill reaction they force upon the body, reactions which are easily mistaken as 'energising' the body when in reality the body is losing its energy stores...'.

So-called 'healing' effects

If our body still retains any vestige of vitality, our noses will run when we eat chili. The hotter the meal, the more they will run. Some have been persuaded that in this way the chili is 'detoxing'. But the reason our noses run is that additional mucus is being produced by the body to protect delicate body tissues from the irritants.

Some extol chili's benefits as an 'antibiotic'. Rather than get into lengthy discussion here, I would say that, sure, if you believe that it's a good thing to take antibiotics with your meals, eat chili - I'm sure it will kill all sorts of things in the digestive tract.

We do see the occasional study that suggests chili may 'cure' this or that. One recently showed that chili 'attacks' cancer cells. However, not only was the Cancer Research UK organisation reserved with their comments ('This research does not suggest that eating vast quantities of chilli pepper will help prevent or treat cancer.'), but even if eating large quantities did reduce cancer cells, what price this for the harm it would be doing to our bodies in other ways? Drugs (and by that I mean anything toxic to our bodies) don't cure. They suppress one symptom whilst getting up to mischief elsewhere. The only way to remove illness (if it's not too late to) is to remove the cause of the illness.

So why do people eat chili?

They eat it because, like so many things, they've been seduced into eating it by the 'grown-ups', and, after initial resistance, have accustomed themselves to it, and, like other drugs, have come to enjoy it - some to the extent that their tastebuds have become perverted and, sadly, food without chili (ie the pure, the natural, the unadulterated) is seen as 'bland'.

Some eat it for the 'kick'. They have come to enjoy and long for that feeling of stimulation as described earlier - the feeling of the body 'under challenge' as they eat. But as with all cases of ingestion of toxic substances for titillation, for kicks, there will be 'payback' in the long term from the cumulative effect of abuse of the digestive systems.

Raw people who use chili are still 'in transition' from cooked food. Yes, even those who have been 100% raw for 20 years. I have chili occasionally - perhaps every 1-2 months at raw food restaurants, and in the occasional kale and avo salad, and this is evidence that I haven't yet totally rid myself of the addiction to the titillation, to the kick of toxic substances that characterised my old cooked diet. I don't beat myself up about this (see my last article 'Enjoy the Raw Food Diet'), as I'm 'on the journey' myself and not 'there' yet, but let's see our clinging to these substances as what it is, rather than trying to fool ourselves.

Chili and the Chainsaw Massacre

When we eat chili, we are inflicting violence on our bodies. If we do it repeatedly, that sensitivity - the signals that tell us good from bad - cease to operate effectively.

Think of those other substances that we instinctively disliked as children but are then persuaded by our role models that we should have them, eat them more and more frequently until there are no longer any (apparent) adverse effects, finding we can 'tolerate' larger and larger quantiies as time goes on. They're always substances that are toxic to us.

We've started to twig that that figure of manhood from days gone by - the man who can 'take his liquor' - is in fact a tragic figure, that the reason he can drink large quantities of alcohol without the body (in the immediate instance at least) exhibiting the effects is because the body has lost the vitality to react. As Robert Rust explains: 'The body has been forced to choose a slower road to death via toleration rather than a quick one by maintaining sensitivity.'

Most people, when they first see a fictional murder on TV or in a film, are upset, are affected. But, for many, repeated exposure anaesthetises until the violence has less and less effect, until a TV drama seems dull without it, and there is a search through the TV schedules for the titillation/shock element (in heavier doses) for 'entertainment'.

Is comparing chili with the Texas Chainsaw Massacre a bit OTT? Well, maybe, but this article isn't really about chili. It's about what 'grown-ups' do. When our devious minds (and the minds of others) persuade us, through their flattery, through their lies, that we should do something that is harmful to us, physically and/or psychologically, and we come to repeat that action until we get to the point where we can no longer detect the harm it is doing us, we will pay a price, with our bodies, with our spirits.

Chili because we're 'grown-ups'?

We can't be children again. But raw food can help us regain the innate knowledge we had as children, and still have, but has been hitherto hidden in a mass of confusion. We can start to see the 'grown-up' world as it really is - a world of deception.

And when we understand that, when we can see again, we can turn from the world of the 'grown-ups', and, armed with that precious gift of knowledge, can start on the journey towards truly growing up.

Monday 3 May 2010

Enjoy The Raw Food Diet!

I had such fun in my first year of raw! I ate all sorts of things as long as they were technically, theoretically...(at a pinch?) 'raw', and vegetarian/vegan. I watched various health problems melt away...I felt excited, exhilarated - on a raw 'high'!

I discovered Natural Hygiene. The simplicity, the logic, made absolute sense to me, and out went the dehydrated foods, the 'superfoods', the complex raw-food-pretending-to-be-cooked 'abombo-combo' dishes, making way for a love affair with fruit that has never abated!

At time of writing I've been raw for three and a half years. And '100%/close to' for all but the first few months. But...about eighteen months into my raw food journey, I had a period in which the list of 'non-optimal' foods that I felt I should prohibit myself from eating seemed to be growing daily with my reading, and, as well as feeling anxious about my food, I had fallen into the trap (that, ironically, so many cooked-food eaters are in) of having my life revolve around food, with every day full of dilemmas as to whether I should or shouldn't eat something, and what the consequences for my body would be.

Raw fooders by definition are people who hold themselves to very high standards, and we're generally enthusiastic 'all or nothing' types. The problem is that, if we push ourselves beyond the point we're ready to go to too quickly, placing too many restrictions on ourselves too soon, we can get to the point where we actually deserve the much misused term 'orthorexia' that cooked-food eaters love to apply to those following healthy diets, and in our constant worrying and ruminating can become poor advertisements for raw food.

There seems to be a downer/dilemma attached to just about everything that's a candidate for the raw fooder's gullet.

Have you ever denied yourself raw food you've desired because you've been worrying about one (or more...) of these?

AVOCADO 'I must only have half as Raw Food Teacher A says a whole one is too much.'
THE OTHER HALF OF THE AVOCADO 'Oh no - can't have it now. It's...oxidised!'
AVOCADO 'Maybe I shouldn't have it at all. People on the forum I like say it's 'clogging'.'

BANANA 'Mustn't eat it because my forum buddies say it's unripe unless covered with blotches/spots.'

BEETROOT 'Raw Food Teacher B says we shouldn't eat it as it's a high-sugar hybrid.'

CUT BAGGED SALAD. 'Hmm...would be so easy. But it's probably washed in chlorine.'

BRASSICAS 'Possible link with thyroid disorders?'

FRUIT 'Can only have x pieces a day as Raw Food Teacher C says any more is bad for us.'
FRUIT 'Can't buy that; it's not organic.'
FRUIT 'Can't buy those; they're not Fairtrade.'
FRUIT 'Can't buy those; they're not local.'
FRUIT 'Can't buy those; they're flown in.'
(CITRUS) FRUIT 'Can't have any more of those; could be bad for my teeth.'
(DRIED) FRUIT. (Ditto above.)

FLAX CRACKERS 'Shouldn't have dehydrated food.'

GARLIC 'Hmm...Debbie Took's article was quite persuasive and it'

HERBS 'Can't have those as toxic and, anyway, we shouldn't eat anything 'we can't make a meal of'.

JUICE 'Raw Food Teacher D says we shouldn't juice, as fibre and other nutrients are lost.'

LACUMA 'It's a powder, and powder isn't food.'

MUSHROOMS 'Shouldn't eat them as they're a fungus.'

NUTS 'Shouldn't eat them as Raw Food Teacher E says they're difficult to digest and not 'optimal'.

NUTS. They're dried...should only eat them from the tree in my garden when in season (er - me recently!)

NUT BUTTER 'Can't have that as it's not fresh, and it's processed.'

PUMPKIN SEEDS 'Can't have those as already had 10% fat today.'

OIL 'Can't have that as it's a fractionated food.'

OLIVES 'Can't have those as they've been salted.'

ONIONS 'Natural Hygiene says they're not food for us.'

RAWGOURMET FOOD 'Transition food' is only for beginners! 'Transition foods' are high in fat. 'Transition food' will drive you back to cooked food.' (Etc.)

ROMAINE LETTUCE 'I musn't eat it today, as I have to 'rotate my greens'.

ROOT VEG 'Perhaps shouldn't eat as once pulled from the ground the plant can't continue growing.'

SEA VEG 'Can't have that as I'm vegan and minute sea creatures get caught in the harvesting.'

SMOOTHIE 'Raw Food Teacher F says 90% of the nutrients are lost in blending.'

SPICES 'Can't have those - toxic stimulants.'

SPINACH 'Can't have too much as could be too much oxalic acid.'

SPROUTS 'Those following the diet I aspire to say they're 'pointless'.'

TOMATOES/PEPPERS 'They're 'nightshades'...'

SPROUTED WHEAT 'My forum buddies think grains are the devil.'


I'm not going to give my own views as to the validity of any of the statements above. Regular readers will know that I've planted a few of the 'downers' as above in my own articles. Suffice to say that some I agree with, and others I very much disagree with!

But, if this article has caught you at a point somewhere between the 'honeymoon' phase of the raw food diet and men in white coats knocking on the door, I do hope it will turn things around for you!

When I found myself, in that second summer, in a place where the raw food diet was making me feel anxious, I made some changes.

I stayed raw, but relaxed a little within the raw food diet. (I don't recommend that anyone relax into eating more cooked food - I've seen that happen with others too often to be convinced that it is anything other than the road back to ill health!)

When attending raw food potlucks, instead of taking fruit and leaves and eating nothing of others' offerings (feeling a little smug wearing my Natural Hygiene 'hat') I decided that I would instead partake of the various things on offer - cacao (toxic stimulant), fermented foods (that fizz - I'm sure we shouldn't be eating them!), nut/fruit pies (sure-fire recipe for 'football tummy'), dehydrated cookies, all sorts of weird concoctions.

When I went to California, as well as returning to our holiday home laden with piles of fruit and the most amazing romaine lettuces I'd ever tasted from farmers' markets, I partook of the rawgourmet cuisine out there with gusto! I tried packaged 'Leaf Cuisine' rawgourmet, visited well-known raw food restaurants, and ate dehydrated, salty food, because...I wanted to tick them off on my list of raw food restaurants 'experienced', wanted to take my husband, and because...they were fun! Places where raw food people gather have a buzz around them that always gives me a high, whatever the variant of raw food is on offer.

This relaxation within the raw food diet rejuvenated me. I've never looked back, and two years later am still very happily raw. If you can identify with any of this, whether you've been raw for months, years, decades, I hope my experience here can help. As I know of some people who didn't just spend a few weeks feeling anxious like I did, but have spent years feeling this way, and who, I believe, may well benefit from retracing steps a little before going forward again.

Let's remind ourselves of how far we've come.

Anyone who's following a Natural Hygiene-oriented raw food diet (which is how I describe mine) is light years from the standard cooked diet of the previous life.

Years of conditioning on a damaged, multi-ingredient cooked food diet dies hard. For most people, going raw is in itself such a huge step that restricting ourselves too soon within raw can backfire.

If eating 'less-than-optimal' raw food helps you enjoy your raw food diet more, go for it!

Oil, for example, is not an ideal food. Ideally we should be eating our salad without it. But a while ago, after visiting VitaOrganic in Wardour St, London W1, I developed a passion for huge crunchy brassica salads. I'd had such a lovely day in Soho and I had a psychological urge to recreate the meal I'd had there. I missed out the apple cider vinegar (for me that would be going too far!), but dressed my salad with cold-pressed sesame oil and lime juice, and...a little salt, which again, we should NOT be putting into our bodies - see my article on this!).

Sure, there's a valid and logical Natural Hygiene argument that says we should be able to eat foods without adornments and that these can pervert the tastebuds resulting in our being unable to enjoy food in its pure natural state. However....I cut myself some slack there and greatly enjoyed crunchy salads for several weeks. After a few servings, I cut out the salt! I'm not so enthusiastic about them now, but perhaps at that time my body was very much welcoming a particular nutrient abundant in red cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli!

Food is not the only thing that affects our health

So you went to a raw food picnic and had dehydrated cookies. But you spent three hours sitting in the fresh air, in the sun and interacting with other raw fooders! Sure, you could have stayed indoors mono-eating grapes. Which is better?

We can eat more avocado than someone else might consider 'optimal', go out for an hour and smile at everyone we meet, improving our mental well-being, not to mention that of others. Or we could spend that time furiously hammering the keyboard in a bid to convince someone on a raw food forum who happens to follow a raw food diet different from ours of the errors of their ways.

Raw food leaders are often more relaxed with their diets than their followers

I remember asking Dr Doug Graham ('80/10/10 Diet') whether he would be taking his own food to a party at SAF (London rawgourmet/vegan restaurant) recently. SAF food is just about as far from the high-fruit and leaves 811 diet that it is possible to get. He said no, that he would be having an '811 holiday' that day. Doug follows the policy that's it's the lifestyle you lead most of the time that is key to state of health.

I've seen 811 adherents on forums tell others firmly that herbs and spices such as basil, rosemary, cinnamon etc weren't '811'. In that case, someone should tell Doug that, as he enjoys them all.

(I'm using Doug as an example here only because he's the raw food leader I know the best. I also believe he has an integrity that certain other raw food leaders lack, and I've found he is upfront and honest about his (excellent) diet.)

Raw food leaders are fallible human beings

If a raw food leader has firmly told you that x or y is the way to go (or not go), that it is 'impossible' to be successfully long-term raw if you eat 'x', or 'impossible' to be successfully long-term raw if you don't eat 'x', please don't believe them! Because there are thousands (possibly hundreds of thousands) who are living contradictions of these diktats!

Also, however authoritatively your raw food leader talks, there will be other raw food leaders of equal intelligence, experience and love for their fellow-men and women that will feel differently.

And the raw food diet that your raw food leader promotes is just one variant of the raw food diet - the variant that they have come to prefer. I love a high-fruit diet myself but can see from the evidence of those thriving on other sorts of raw food diet that it is not the 'only way'.

Do we pay a price for eating 'less than optimal' foods?

For sure. Whenever we ingest a toxin (eg salt), or alter a food so that it is significantly different from the natural (eg dehydration) or mix lots of different foods that were never meant to be eaten together (eg foods from different parts of the world), we must surely pay a price. For me, it would not be logical to think otherwise.

But, if our overall vitality is high ('nerve-energy' in Natural Hygiene parlance) our bodies should be able to manage occasional transgressions. For example, if we eat salty poor food combinations at raw food restaurants, we may experience symptoms later. We may feel thirsty. We may get a tummy-ache. We may get gas. If we only partake of these foods occasionally I believe (OK, I'm hoping!) that there will be short-term eliminative symptoms only. If we ate these sorts of foods every day we could assume a greater and more long-term negative effect on our health. But occasional short-term symptoms from partaking infrequently should simply 'remarry' us to the sorts of raw foods we know we feel best on. We may find ourselves consuming a far higher proportion of fruit and leaves in the days to come than we would have done otherwise. When we are raw, I think we can trust our bodies to set up desires which will 'even things out.'


if you really feel like papayas, but are denying yourself because they're not organic, because they'll have to ripen in the kitchen rather than under the sun, because they've been flown those delicious papayas - your body's crying out for them! If you feed your body what it desires rather than what your mind (or a raw food teacher, or those on a raw food forum) tell you you should or shouldn't, you'll feel all the better for it and be far better equipped to change the world/persuade supermarket managers to stock organic papayas etc!

If right now you have a desire for some raw food that you've prohibited because you do believe it's 'not ideal', consider having some! Have a whale of a time eating all sorts of raw foods you've denied yourself. My experience is that it will not 'open the floodgates' but in fact will more likely make you appreciate even more the sort of food you like to eat most of the time.

It can be hard on the ego (I do know!) to admit that perhaps we've pushed ourselves just a little further than we were ready to go. It may mean some loss of face on your favourite NH/811 raw food forum to say that, yes, you went to Euphoria RawRevolution yesterday, had 'sunburgers' and enjoyed them! But, actually, at the end of the day, other people worry less about your diet than you do, and so what if someone gives you a 'ticking off'!

If you are fine eating whole mono foods only, have been doing so for twenty years, then this article is not for you. However, for the remaining 99% of my readers...if you at any time find you're kicking against self-imposed shackles, I suggest retreat a little, regroup and make further 'improvements' (and, as discussed, that can be a subjective thing!) only when you wholeheartedly want to make them.


I now follow a policy of eating whole, unprocessed foods in simple combinations most of the time.
But I reserve the right to eat virtually any plant food raw, in any quantity I fancy, as long as it's not been heat-damaged. On a close-to-100% raw food diet, that's as far as I want to go right now while I turn my attention to non-food aspects of my lifestyle, the improvement of which could improve my health far more than cutting down on pumpkin seeds could.

I do aim for 'purist' - it's a goal. It is a sin, however small we might like to persuade ourselves it is (and you can see in this article that I do my share of that!), to fall beneath the standards we know we can achieve and our bodies will manifest the consequences of our transgressions from what is perfect. But let's remember how far we've come, and continue to improve, but only at a rate that we feel happy with. Our 'inner selves'/'higher power'/the universe/God will give us a shove when we need to move on again, and when that happens we will be given the strength to find it easy to take a few more steps forward. We need to distinguish between that direction, direction we can trust, from the perplexing and sometimes destructive stuff our minds can get up to from listening to the opinions of other human beings.

It's this policy - of having a great time enjoying all sorts of raw foods, of (at least this point in my raw food journey) not placing too many restrictions on myself within raw, that has enabled me to stay raw now for three and a half years, without any cooked food cravings, without ever 'falling off the wagon'.

It's this policy that enables me to enjoy the raw food diet, and stay...rawforlife!