The role of nutrition has become severely diminished in most of our lives. Pressures and stresses — social, work-related, family and otherwise — have taken precedence, reducing the importance of food quality. When pondering the role nutrients play in the maintenance and preservation of humankind, it becomes abundantly evident that without uniformly prudent choices we suffer as a whole. When an individual goes many weeks without consuming proper fare, they actually die. The critical nature of nutrition is crystallized in this scenario. If we halfheartedly choose things to chew and swallow, we enter a mode of partial starvation, making us vulnerable to a wide variety of diseases.
Malnourishment is notorious for manifesting everything from scurvy to pellagra, but it can cause even greater damage. There have long been many reports from renowned universities and government organizations stating: “Malnutrition is a major cause of catastrophic diseases such as cancer and lifestyle-related concerns like cardiovascular and diabetic disorders.”
Couple the pressures of modern living with the addictive qualities of staple “comfort foods” — sweet, caffeinated drinks and heavily processed foods loaded with sugar and animal fats — and it is no wonder so many are hooked on the standard Western diet. Considering the toxic burden of such poor food choices, it is also no wonder our bodies are on the way to ruin.
Even the now-abundant “nutrition stores” are purveyors of countless pseudo health foods. (see this issue’s Raw Fraud article on page 22 for specific examples). These products are based more on slick marketing than health-building nourishment. Food industry executives prey on prevailing addictions to fats and sugars by changing the names of these familiar substances on the ingredient lists of their product offerings. There seem to be endless ways to profit from this sort of trickery. The consumers of these products are “scratching an old itch” without even knowing it. They feel justified to indulge in these items because they are “organic,” “raw” or “natural.” These buzzwords seem to be green lights for the subconscious. If people are truly honest with themselves they will realize something that tastes just like a familiar junk food is probably not health-building, regardless of whether it says “organic & raw.”
Despite these shady practices, and the addictive tendencies they serve, there is an ever-growing sector of humanity that wants to get back to truth and the basics. A mentor once told me, “If you look at your plate at the end of your meal and determine how soiled it is, there is no better indicator as to the quality of what you have just consumed.”
If your choice is raw vegetables, sprouts, fruits, and whole raw nuts and seeds, you practically do not have to clean the china. Once cooked, though, even these healthy foods will stain your plate. Their delicate health-building qualities quickly diminish with the heat of cooking. Boiling, poaching, baking, frying, sautéing — any of these processes will result in a messy plate and an even larger mess for your digestive system to clean up.
Unfortunately, even those who attempt to be mindful in the process of choosing food, quite often get caught up in philosophy and theology surrounding cuisine. Too often, they hear, “Cooking makes it easier to digest. More nutrients are created after heating. Blending makes it more digestible.” These misguided notions obfuscate the physics that govern nutrition and have no bearing on reality. Every creature on earth except humans — and the animals we have domesticated and displaced — naturally eats a 100% raw food diet.
For more than half a century, here at Hippocrates Health Institute we have placed hundreds of thousands of people on a raw living food program. We have conducted clinical research on the health of our guests and life-long follow-ups on their progress.
From decades of studies, we have scientifically validated and reconfirmed the power of consuming raw plant food. More often than not, disease is prevented and eliminated, and premature aging halted through our signature Life Change Program, largely due to the raw, plant-based diet we prescribe. There is an ever-increasing body of biological evidence supporting and confirming what we have discovered in our human clinical trials.
There are those who prefer to leave this proven reality for a fantasy world based upon half-baked food notions. This tendency to withdraw from truth is based chiefly on addiction and self-loathing. Through the internationally renowned work conducted at Hippocrates and decades of experience, it has become clear to me that the underlying cause for less- than-desirable food choices is lack of self-respect. Of course, this can easily be blamed upon the pervasive advertising of processed food or the ethnic ties you have to familiar fare or even the so-called social norms of fast food consumption. At the end of the day, the question you are faced with is that of how much you like yourself.
Obesity, anorexia, bulimia and purging often morph into diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. These are all symptoms of the suffering of a lost humanity lacking virtue or respect.
This deviation is further evidenced by the condition of the planet on which we reside. Through abusing ourselves, we consequently abuse our environment. From littered roadways to factories pouring vile waste into our atmosphere to oceans that will soon have more oil platforms than fish, we are surrounded by signs marking the disparity between a fulfilling existence and a troubled life.
Nourishment begins with finding your purpose, relentlessly pursuing it and finally soaking up the passion it provides. This ethos manifests in strong and capable people who will not concede to second best. These individuals see life as an opportunity to progress rather than a sentence to toil through. Fueling your very cells with fresh, organic, plant-based, living foods is an essential process for those who wish to raise themselves from the ashes of an ill humanity.
With distrust at the helm of the human psyche, it is no wonder that confusion and sadness reign supreme. When people doubt themselves, they doubt all. When people make conscious and pure choices, they develop self-respect and internal trust that spreads among those they touch. It is time we become serious about food. The basis of this transformation is realizing that food is not a recreational activity. Our kitchens should be our fueling stations, not our amusement parks. When individuals embrace this knowledge and utilize the wisdom of correct cuisine, they spread that goodness from themselves to the very earth they live on. Thriving health replaces disease; community gardens supplant toxic pollution; heightened awareness supersedes confusion and sadness; a new way of life blossoms from the bold, yet simple, act of proper food selection.
From this moment on, ask yourself this viable question every day: “Do I deserve the best nourishment available?” Until the answer is a consistent and constant, “yes,” keep pursuing a higher quality avenue of change. Combine this with the relevant tools of self-exploration and improvement of mind-set. This, and only this, will lead you to a full, healthy and happy life, free of discontent and disease.
The three most nourishing varieties of food on the planet are all green foods. The most nourishing food on land is leafy sprouts. The most nourishing from fresh water is algae. The most nourishing food from the sea, of course, is sea vegetables. Sprouts: buckwheat, fava bean greens, peas, sunflower, sweet potato greens, wheatgrass, etc. Algae: blue-green, chlorella Sea vegetables: arame, dulse, hijiki, nori, Pacific or Atlantic kelp, etc.