Insight from Natural Health Leaders | Stories from Arnold's Way by Arnold Kauffman | Living a Lifestyle in the Real World
Arnold Kauffman in front of a sign reading, "Arnold's Way Welcomes You to the Raw Food Capital of the World!"
Fruit-Powered Digest Issues Insight from Natural Health Leaders Issue 25 Stories from Arnold's Way by Arnold Kauffman

Living a Lifestyle in the Real World

Stories from Arnold's Way by Arnold Kauffman - Fruit-Powered Digest


It was one of those Fridays when everything was so perfect, so pure, and I was ready to take my normal day off. The question was, “What does a 67-year-old man, totally enamored in his mission to save the world, do?”

It was easy to answer. I decided to do what I always do: work. At a little past 7 a.m., I was up and ready not to work out, which I normally do. It was one of those days when I couldn’t be on time. My daughter needed me at 7:30. As a father, even though my daughter is 32, I had to be of service to her, no matter what. So my exercise had to be postponed for another day. In my heart and soul, I know and understand the importance of exercise. In that same vein, I know the importance of family ranks many shades higher than exercise. That love of self and love of family are the cornerstone of a vibrant and healthy self.The words "Love Yourself" in wood typeAlthough I did not exercise in the morning, I also did not eat or drink, meaning I was in rejuvenation mode, in my opinion. If the body is not using any energy on digestion, it will do whatever it takes to either repair or regenerate. This is where I stood shortly after 7:15. I made my bed, as I normally do without fail. I picked up and folded any clothes that were on the floor and took a quick glance to make sure everything was neat and older. This is how I live my life beyond the mission—to be of routine on a day-to-day basis with no crises or drama that will compromise my inner joy or existence.

I made sure my bills were paid and did a quick scan of my kitchen to check if everything was where it should be. Not. I cleaned the counter and added new paper towels and looked at a suspicious iron pot that was a tiny bit past use. I did what any normal person would do and hid it in the closet until I found the owner.

What does this have to do with my mission? What the heck does this have to do with the 30-Day Raw Challenge, which I have been doing since December 2012. What the heck does this have to do with my dietary choice, which is a fruitarian lifestyle, about 90 percent raw. Stay tuned—there is an incongruency here that appears to be out of whack or so it seems. In any case, I left my house. With everything done, I was at peace. My mind was clear, and the weight of the world was not weighing me down. I did everything I could to create that feeling.

Arnold Kauffman writing The Way of Arnold in his back yard
Read Arnold’s story “Dry Fasting Arnold’s Way.”

I arrived exactly at 7:30, as promised. My words become my word, with me doing whatever it takes to be the words I speak. My daughter plus two kids, and I take off for an appointment at 8:30 a.m. I was the appointed caretaker of my two grandkids. I was told to look after them for one hour. The reality was three hours. I did not adequately prepare my food intake. I thought I was going to be the driver, so I prepared my car with a large green smoothie. But my green smoothie was packed in the wrong car. As I drove my daughter’s car, I realized what had happened. But on the other side, I am driven by my mantra of balance of quiet calm. No food meant two to four extra hours of dry fasting. I finished my last meal at 6 p.m. and would have to wait until noon until my first bite.

I was in total ecstasy because I realized that it would be a total of 18 hours of dry fasting, meaning no eating or drinking. Whoopee! For whatever reason, I love doing this. It’s like heaven city. I found nirvana whereby my body has time to do its job, cleaning out my system. The other side of it is that my daughter was at an appointment, and I had to find a place with quiet where I could stay for two to three hours with no one bothering me. It was 8:28 when we arrived at the destination. My daughter left to be at her meeting, and there was only one eatery within two blocks. So my grandchildren and I strolled into a fast-food joint, and I scanned the menu and said, “No, thanks.” Not one food item came even close to something I’d eat. But that was of little essence. It was not about me; it was of bonding. It was about being with my family. It was about showing the love. Without unconditional love, it doesn’t work.

So I sat down at this place for two-and-a-half hours. My 5-month grandson was breastfed and was given organic carrot purée as a holdover. The older grandson ate what he wanted to eat. I said nothing but enjoyed his presence. I also know he eats plenty of fruit smoothies and banana whips. So I knew deep down there was a smidge of understanding. What happened in our time there left me horrified. Every single customer except for one and my grandsons and me were overweight. Fifty of these customers!

Closeup of an overweight man's stomach

I sat down and watched as they ordered food in a totally unconscious state. Egg-and-cheese bagel sandwiches. These overweight men, with stomachs overhanging their belts. Their gaits—almost walking sideways. I looked at them; they looked at me. It was an instant of recognition. Neither of us would think twice. Or so they thought. I was on my mission mode. I had a job to do. Which, to say the least, is dauntingly impossible!

The reality is I ate nothing and said nothing. I cleaned my table and moved on. I was with my two grandkids and able to run and play, keeping up with the 5-year-old without a hint of overexertion!

Not by accident but by choice, for I had chosen my path. My love of self, love of life without chaos, without drama. My body desires cleanliness, harmony, peace of mind. Just as I respect my house, where I live, I respect my insides.

Illustration of a silhouette of restaurant diners

My daughter finished her appointment, so we carefully chose our next destination. It was a place where I could eat with at least some choices to my liking. I was enthralled by the place’s one vegetarian option: Vegetarian Stew. The place was full of people—hundreds—all eating, all seemingly content. All seemingly did not care that the food was not in their highest interest. All were talking, and the food was not even a consideration. My gosh, by golly, what’s a man to do? I kept my mouth shut and enjoyed the stew and, once again, placed my priority on what’s important and what’s not. I did not judge, nor do I want to. Who is to say who’s right and who’s wrong? We each have our journey. The “right” today may be the “wrong” tomorrow.

I ate and looked around and felt blessed, in my own little way. My drive for perfection is within. My passion is for sharing my thoughts, either through my words, books, videos and so forth. My passion is multidimensional, with no limitations. My vision of a world free of disease, free of war is my iron shield of protection.

I thank you for your time.


About the author

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Arnold Kauffman

Arnold Kauffman went raw vegan in 1998 and has owned and operated the raw vegan café Arnold's Way in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, outside Philadelphia, since 1992. He is the author of several books, including The Way of Arnold. His YouTube channel features hundreds of testimonials of improved health on a raw food diet. Read all Arnold’s Stories from Arnold's Way columns for Fruit-Powered Digest. E-mail Arnold.

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