We’re just days away from the enrollment deadline for Americans to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. This is a nation awash in pills for our citizens’ growing number of ills—and our citizens’ waistlines are growing, just the same.
All too often in life, we look to so-called experts to put Band-Aids on us so we can carry on for another day. We turn to mechanics to fix our cars, and we look to doctors to remedy our health challenges in the forms of medication and even surgery. We think that because these professionals have received education and are doing their jobs in the workplace, they’re automatically more qualified than us to address our needs.
In some cases, this is the truth. When I had a car, I couldn’t fix much of anything with it. In the case of doctors, though, this often couldn’t be farther from the truth. The average doctor receives just 19.6 hours of nutrition training, according to a 2010 Academic Medicine report, and so many degenerative diseases are caused simply by poor diet and other lifestyle factors. Many raw fooders and other health seekers spend much more time than this learning about optimal diet. I, for one, have put in thousands of hours the past four years, reading books, watching films and YouTube videos, listening to interviews, talking to raw fooders in person and interviewing them for articles in Fruit-Powered Magazine. When I told my last doctor about my low-fat raw food diet, he didn’t know what to make of it except to say, “I have only one other patient on a raw food diet, and she takes lots of supplements.”
“That’s it?” I thought to myself. Some statement. Some advice. Some “expert.”
I shouldn’t have been surprised in the least. Doctors are groomed to dispense pills and issue referrals to specialists. The bottom line is, they’re taught to address symptoms, not causes. It makes a lot of sense to upend the system so folks can learn how to eliminate causes so they can live happy, healthy lives, but it doesn’t make a lot of dollars. It seems the health-care industry would rather swallow up lives than do right by people.
Since I returned from Thailand in December, I haven’t been in a hurry to feed a broken health-care system by scouting out a new doctor or scope out the Obamacare plans. There’s no way the average doctor is going to offer me pointers when it comes to diet. I can picture a new doctor saying to me, “That’s too much potassium!” or “Where do you get your protein?”
After all, my father just heard the former when he told his doctor about my great consumption of bananas—right now, usually 22 a day plus a dozen oranges blended with another well-combined fruit such as strawberries or mangos for most breakfasts.
What is needed for human beings to feel empowered so we can roll up our sleeves and address challenges in our world with passion, pure hearts, clear minds and best intentions is personal responsibility. The way this starts, based on my experience, is with diet. Last night, I was inspired by listening to Silpa Reddy, a recent superstar in the 30-Day Raw Challenge at Arnold’s Way, a raw vegan café in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, speak to graduates of the March program. Beyond discussing finer points of her low-fat raw food diet, Reddy eloquently discussed how eating right is a personal responsibility—and investment in yourself.
“No one else is going to take care of myself other than me. It’s a personal responsibility to yourself. You’re investing in yourself with everything you put in your mouth. Really, you’re only hurting yourself with the choices that you make and you’re only helping yourself with the choices that you make. All you’ve got is yourself.”
If you’re exploring dietary change and transitioning to a raw food diet, you’ve already assumed personal responsibility. Only you know how to keep your body’s 75 trillion cells alive—not a doctor and certainly not a pill.
In my view, the best way to eat right is to lead a low-fat raw food diet, with at least 90 percent of your calories coming from fruit. This diet is rounded out by enjoying an ample amount of mineral-rich lettuce and celery along with a healthful amount of overt fats such as avocados, nuts and seeds.
In the words of Arnold’s Way owner Arnold Kauffman, though, “Don’t trust a word I say.” You can read my articles and books, watch my videos and we can even talk via my coaching services about your raw food transition, but you have to believe your own truth. I can be a guide, but it is up to you to decide where and how far you’re going to go. You have to trust yourself with what rings true to you! Knowledge will empower and free you!
For more information and a guide on how to succeed, check out Alive!, my raw food transition book, which features a four-step program designed to help anyone go raw vegan. If you’d like a helping hand in transitioning to a low-fat raw food diet, visit my coaching page.