It Takes an Open Mind to Make Lifestyle Changes

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Raw Food and Health by Brian Rossiter - Fruit-Powered Digest

I waited on Tuesday as a neighbor in his late 60s made it back to his house after an afternoon stroll. Harry had been in a car crash a few days earlier, and I wanted to find out how he was coming along.

Harry told me about the intense sciatica pain he’s been experiencing. It’s been so bad he’s turned to painkillers to mask the symptoms.

“I have some stretches that can help you,” I said, wanting to share some of the things I’ve learned from dutifully practicing the Egoscue Method, which enabled me to reverse chronic pain, for five years.

Joan Adams performs Progressive Supine Groin while Mike Kenny oversees
Joan Adams demonstrates Progressive Supine Groin, with Mike Kenny looking on. These Egoscue Method exercise therapists taught me stretches and bodyweight exercises that enabled me to reverse back and neck pain and carpal and cubital tunnel syndromes along with other postural imbalances.

“I’ve tried everything,” Harry said. “Physical therapy, cortisone shots, the works.”

I thought to myself: “Maybe not the Egoscue Method, though.” This is the only form of physical therapy that addresses posture in truly going after the cause of pain and not just symptoms.

Before I could share my thoughts, Harry directed attention for the first of two times to his sports utility vehicle. He was awaiting word on whether his insurance company would declare it totaled. “It had everything, Brian,” he said. “Even heated seats for my back. I wanted the sound system inside my house.”

Harry went on to tell me he’s suffered from arthritis for some time. “I guess I have to deal with it,” he said.

Man holds his back, trying to relieve backache.

“You know, Harry, this can be reversed,” I said. “A vegan diet, for some, is enough. A fruit-based diet is the best, though.”

Harry countered: “Oh, I’ve eaten everything. Everything! Rattlesnake, buffalo—I like buffalo,” he said, ticking off a list of animal products mere seconds after I mentioned that a vegan diet alone might be enough for him to reverse the symptoms of arthritis.

Harry asked where I was going. I told him I was picking up a case of bananas.

“I’ve seen you with the cases of fruit,” he said. Before parting ways, he left me with this catchy quote: “You know what it is: You do what you love, and you love what you do.”

Brian Rossiter's food haul on January 26, 2015
My food haul on January 26, 2015, at Wegmans after a snowstorm impeded delivery of food.

Harry might not have been ready to hear that many or even all of his woes could disappear with lifestyle changes and with some time, effort and patience. Perhaps, though, I planted seeds in his mind for him to begin thinking about what I told him on this cloudy afternoon.

It’s exchanges such as these—and to be in a position to be of service—that drive me to want to share with people my findings. I’ve learned a good amount about health and put my body to the test over the past five years, eating more than 40,000 bananas and lots more fruits. I’ve also published, as of today, 85 transformation stories, focusing on people’s successes on wholly or mostly raw food diets. I’m enthralled with the possibility of inspiring, informing and helping people!

Certainly, it takes an open mind to change our lifestyles. I first learned about a raw food diet in 2002, thanks to being in the right place at the right time—a reporter for a former Gannett newspaper when Arnold Kauffman moved Arnold’s Way to Lansdale, Pennsylvania, from Philadelphia’s Manayunk neighborhood. It took me eight years to consider going raw after meeting Kauffman and while having runaway success with heavy consumption of green smoothies. I needed an open mind, willing to reject foods harmful to me and embrace life-giving raw foods.

A spinach green smoothie with a green-and-white straw
More than five years after consuming my first green smoothie, I still hold this meal in high regard for helping me awaken and opening my mind. Most days, I consume two large green smoothies.

I first learned about the Egoscue Method in 2007 from a friend who regained function of his knees from practicing E-cises, short for Egoscue Method exercises. It took me three years to find out I could get help via the Westchester, New York, traveling office to Greater Philadelphia. My body was crumbling, and I waited three years to pick up my phone and inquire about one-on-one coaching. I needed an open mind, willing to make time for something new and needed in my life.

I want people to waste no time in getting better on their way to thriving, but I need these reminders that people’s minds aren’t always open to change-your-life revelations. It’s these lessons that enable me to continue learning how best to chat with people—many of them strangers—about diet, exercise and other ways to unlock our potential.

“The trick to getting people to want to eat raw is finding their hot button,” Kauffman, who might have more experience with this matter than anyone out there, told me in March 2012. One of many pieces of sage advice, this sentiment has stuck with me. He went on to say that if a person is a basketball player, for example, talking about how his or her performance could be improved on a fruit-based raw food diet can appeal to this person.

Silhouette of a basketball player taking off to slam dunk
An athlete such as a basketball player might be inclined to consider lifestyle changes if told about possible improved performance.

For every to-the-rafters connection I make with a person exhibiting an open mind hungry for change, I strike out many times while talking up folks unwilling—as of the time of our encounter, anyway—to give up barbecued meats and pizza. For every strikeout, however, I learn where the pitches fall and am seeing them land more and more in specific patterns.

Refine my strategy and exercise patience, I will. All in pursuit of “hot buttons” for big changes leading to a healthier, happier world! What can I say, being mostly fruitarian makes you ambitious, thinking you can actually help improve our planet one person at a time!

I’ll tell you, I do what I love, and I love what I do!


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