As a registered nurse working in the accident and emergency department in a charity hospital in Hong Kong, China, Ping Chan could take care of all kinds of accidents and emergencies yet knew nothing about nutrition. She suffered from constipation and hemorrhoids and was forced to have painful surgery at 30 years old.
Ping moved to Melbourne in December 2003 with her family. She discovered organic gardening and learned that organic fruit tastes much better than conventionally grown fruit. Even better, she just jumped in to a raw food diet and put an end to all the pain in her body that had been bordering her for a decade. Her health improved profoundly by her eating only fruits and vegetables. The raw food lifestyle opened up a whole new horizon for her.
Brian’s note: I began 10 sentences with targeted words, presented in boldface below, that serve as conversation starters and asked Ping to complete the thoughts in this condensed “interview.”
My journey to a raw food lifestyle began more than 10 years ago. I just went raw overnight and love every minute of it. I have so much joy eating only fruits and vegetables and some nuts and sprouted seeds. Before this, I was eating mainly rice and noodles, meat, cakes, candies, fruits and vegetables (no seafood, though). Why did I change my diet overnight? Because I’d got a sharp needle pain in my right hip 24/7 due to a severe fall while skiing. My father had a stroke, and my younger brother passed away suddenly.
It was so easy for me that I never went back. I didn’t have any cravings for cooked food. I did try to eat some cooked food several times to see how I felt, and I didn’t like it at all. I tried my favourite chocolate and found it tasted like eating plastic. Those chocolates cost me four teeth in my teenage years because I was consistently eating candies. I blamed my father for not stopping me, and I guess I used sweets to fill the hole from the separation of my parents. So I’m very grateful that I coped with it so well.
Before long, I forgot all about the pain, with which I’d been struggling for so long. I’d tried so many ways to get rid of it, and nothing worked. It disappeared without my noticing anything. It’s unbelievably releasing and delightful. I also noticed the lines of my body changed to the perfect shape, I lost some weight, and my skirt and pants went down three sizes smaller. I loved my slim body, and I felt lighter. I can jump higher and run more swiftly. When I looked in the mirror, I saw a joyful, clean face and no more puffiness. My skin became softer. I couldn’t help but keep smiling to myself. I fell in love with myself. I was not the pessimistic, miserable, low-self-esteem little girl anymore. I felt so good and had and continue to have a lot of energy. I began planting fruit trees and veggies in my garden. Working barefoot made an even happier Ping.
In a Nutshell: Ping Chan
Here’s a snapshot of Ping Chan’s favorites:
- Fruit: Biodynamic or organic rockmelon.
- Exercise: Free dancing, bushwalking, mountain hiking, tree and rock climbing, yoga, tai chi and stretching.
- Book: Fruitarianism: The Path to Paradise by Anne Osborne.
- Film: The Gods Must Be Crazy.
- Album: Chopin: The Nocturnes.
- Place on earth: Beaches.
- Thing to do: Planting fruit trees, picking ripened fruit from trees and eating the fruit.
While leading this lifestyle, I saved lots of money. l asked my husband to drop all my health insurance because I wouldn’t be needing it. I stopped buying soap, shampoo, cleansing supplies and laundry detergent. All went well until two years later. I experienced a serious detox. Itchy rashes appeared on my face, and my eyes and lips were red and swollen. I couldn’t see through my eyes, and l looked horrible. This went on and off for months. I was so scared that I almost lost my faith, but I didn’t take any medicine. Instead, I went to Victoria Boutenko‘s green smoothies retreat in Chanthaburi, Thailand. On the third day of the retreat, with all the love and support from the Raw Family and other attendees, I got my face back. Victoria said to me, “You were not strong enough to detox until now.” After that, a fearless mindset developed within. I knew my body will take care of anything.
To me, fruit is love, life, energy, health, joy and a miracle superfood designed especially for us humans and some other animals and insects. It just doesn’t make sense not to eat and enjoy fruits. I dislike cooking. It is the stupidest thing—besides war—humans have ever created. How wonderful it is to pick and eat fruit ripened from the tree as our meals. They are warmed by the sun. And, most of all, they are sweet and delicious. After reading The 80/10/10 Diet by Douglas N. Graham and attended The Woodstock Fruit Festival 2012 and 2014, I began to eat more and more fruit—more sweet, juicy fruit. I seldom eat nuts now. Occasionally, I have green smoothies or some salads with tender greens. Gourmet raw food truly slow me down. I simply eat fruit, and monomeals of melon (mostly rockmelon) is my favourite. I’m also crazy for durian.
A key thing is that I want a cleanse for my body from time to time. I see this as a gift to myself, a way to show self-love, so I started doing water fasting for three days every full moon in the warm seasons. It was great to feel real hunger and then get to eat again. Your body heals itself best when no digestion is needed. Recently, I did dry fasting for two days when my body didn’t feel well. I also dry fast whenever I am on a plane. This is a complete rest for the body, with deep nasal breathing. It works for me. Actually, it’s easier than water fasting.
I’ve been learning over time that when I eat less and simply, I feel happier and more peaceful, and my mind is clearer and calmer. My body is also stronger, and my flexibility is enhanced. I thrived on a 45-day monomelon diet in Cavaillon, Provence, France in 2014! The famous Charentais melon did put a spell on me, just like what fruitarian Anne Osborne said in her book, Fruitarianism: The Path to Paradise. There’s no preparation or washing involved and plenty time for mindful enjoyment. This was the best time of my life ever! I had rocket-like energy, did rock climbing the first time and for five hours.
Watch Ping Chan’s Video Featuring Her Mother’s Adoption of a Fruit-Based Raw Food Diet
I felt so fantastic that I went back the next year, in 2015, with my 84-year-old mom, who went 100 percent raw with me after a stroke. My mom is also a fruit lover. She ate the same raw food I ate and mostly fruit. Her favourite fruit is the banana. She became physically very strong, lost a great deal of weight and traveled with me all the way to France, Hawaii, Malaysia, Fiji, Hong Kong and Costa Rica for fruit. Maybe the stroke was a blessing as it allowed me to reconnect with my mom, who was absent in my early age in a very strange and superior way. I was lucky enough to spend some precious time with my mom, fueled by fruit, and glow together.
Watch Ping Chan’s Video Spotlighting Her Mother’s Recovery from a Stroke on a Raw Food Diet
Something that amazes me is that good things keep happening to me. There’s a parking space waiting for me. I got the book I’ve been looking for. I got to see someone I wanted to meet. I got to go to the place I longed to go. I got to taste the best organic durian. I could squeeze in one more fruit tree in my tiny garden. I had the opportunity to run with Janette Murray-Wakelin and Alan Murray in Raw around Australia in 2013. I was part of their supporting team the first month, when they ran from Melbourne to Sydney. They are my best raw friends and mentors. The inspired me.
I enjoy every minute of this simple raw lifestyle. My health has improved profoundly. It’s very easy, and I really want to share with people who are interested. Everybody can do that only if they want to be healthy.
I love to laugh. I love seeing babies. I love smiling faces. l love eating fruit with fruit lovers. I love harvesting plums, apples, cherries, mulberries, raspberries, lemons, limes, oranges, nectarines, persimmons and apricots from my garden. I love water. I love floating on water. Once I was floating on a warm sea in Hong Kong and the Pacific Ocean off Fiji for several hours in the early morning. It was magical. My heart filled with peace, love and so much joy that I want to send these feelings to the whole world. I love staying outside, being in the sun, moving and going places. I hear birds singing, trees swaying the wind blowing—nature is so beautiful. Life is good!
A dream that I have is for more and more people to eat more fruit and for more fruit trees to be planted. I dream that there are “fruit parks” everywhere for children and adults to play and rest and festivals for fruit. What a wonderful world!
Discover Ping Chan’s Top 5 Tips for a Healthy Fruitarian Lifestyle!
Hungry for more? Check out Ping Chan’s Melon Magic recipe!