One subject that is often discussed at Hippocrates – a completely raw, vegan, living foods retreat, is whether 100% raw is the ultimate diet.
Now I have trouble sticking to rules of any kind – not that I go deliberately out of my way to break rules, but I do believe that any intelligent, conscious and aware human being has very little need for rules or laws. When you are aware of your actions and how they impact yourself and those around you, you also have an understanding of consequences. Of course as a society we should decide how we choose to live within that society, but currently our government is so far removed from what many people actually want, we have thousands of petty laws dictated to us that do not advance humanity as a whole.
Many laws are also made to protect government or industry interests, such as the law that Naturopaths are not allowed to treat cancer – purely for the benefit of medical and pharmaceutical interests – certainly not there for the patients’ sake!
No matter what position in society one person may hold, we should always keep in mind that we were born totally free and that one person may never hold dominion over another – any regime that elevates one person above another is only an illusion.
OK, I’ve gotten right off track here and could expand on the above for hours, but let me get back to raw food. I don’t believe that any one diet is perfect for every single person – everyone is biochemically individual and is at a different stage of age, health, disease, stress levels, chemical load etc. I find that a very high percentage of raw food works for most people, but it is not a one size fits all program.
I had a patient who was inspired to do a 100% raw food diet for several months. Over that time certain areas of her health did improve, but one area that was not previously a problem – her digestive system – certainly became one. She developed a very sluggish bowel, became very bloated, had quite bad pain in parts of her abdomen and became quite fatigued. I had her do a Complete Digestive Stool Analysis to find out exactly what was happening in her digestive system, and we found some very interesting answers.
The level of short chain fatty acids in the gut which are fuel for the cells in the bowel, were almost zero. These fatty acids are made by the fermentation of fibre by the good bacteria in the bowel, and can be low due to either poor levels of good bacteria in the bowel, or by not enough of the right types of fibre in the diet. Low levels of one SCFA, butyrate, can be a very good marker for bowel cancer.
In this lady’s case we had an urgent need to provide the right type of fibre for her bowel, and this included starchy foods such as brown rice, lentils, corn, and even the occasional baked potato. In this case, balancing the raw fruit and vegetables with small amounts of these cooked foods resulted in the digestive system normalising in a very short period of time. The bloating, pain and sluggish bowel all resolved and she is very happy to have now found the balance of foods that keeps her feeling energetic and vibrant.
Which just goes to show that as soon as you proclaim that this is the right way and is the only way, you close the door on thinking – and you don’t allow new information in that might expand your old concepts for the better.