In case you haven’t noticed, the world is broken. I don’t mean to be dramatic; I’m serious.
We might live longer, but do we live better? The developed world eats more than ever, and yet, we grow sicker. We grow plenty of food, yet people go hungry. The U.S. spends more money on health care than any other country, yet we rank towards the bottom in results. We are more connected through the computers in our pocket, yet lonelier than ever. Something big is wrong.
The problems are apparent; they are “open secrets”, but the solutions are few. We have made things so complicated that we have to compartmentalize them to be able to engage and digest them. The result is “specialization”, a focus on the tree at the expense of the forest. We’re all in the same room, but we don’t know how to talk to one another.
Changing the Way We Eat
The realization I have come to after many years of contemplation and experimentation is that the way we eat is the most powerful tool we have to fix the world. We all need to grow our food to change the food system and change the world. As Wendell Berry said, “Eating is an agricultural act”.
Humans overeat. Where did the idea that we should eat three meals a day come from, anyway?
The reality is that we are conditioned to eat food in a certain way. Here’s an insight I have come to: regenerative health is not about what you eat; it is about what you don’t eat.
Over 70% of the average American diet is processed. More than 50% of what Americans eat is “ultra-processed”, which delivers 90% of the sugar. Our diets are killing us slowly, and progressively faster as we create generational weakness in our foods. Today, one in two people will get cancer in their lifetimes. According to Dr. Zach Bush, 46% of children are now diagnosed with a chronic health condition. It’s heartbreaking.
The Benefits of Fasting
So, “not eating foods” means avoiding things such as fast food or any processed food, but it also means eating less in general. Fasting has now been proven to be of serious medical benefit. One of the main benefits is detox. In the modern world, even the most health-conscious humans are toxic without intention. It comes from seemingly everywhere; the air, our water, food, you name it. Do a quick internet search for “benefits of fasting”.
Fasting also improves immune function and overall health in a holistic way. Fasting allows the body to regenerate itself from the onslaught of the standard American diet (SAD).
All About the Fruit
I have eaten no meat other than occasional fish for over fifteen years. But recently, I have taken my diet experimentation to a new level. Since November 2018, I have been practicing different types of fasting and following a raw diet consisting of around 90% fruit. Trust me, it sounded crazy to me as well when I first considered it, but the results have been incredible, and the clarity and knowledge I have gained through the experience to date have been profound.
Through the work of Dr. Robert Morse, I became aware of the importance of the lymphatic system. There are two dominant interstitial fluids in the human body – blood and lymph. The volume of lymph in the body is 3-4 times larger than blood, and it doesn’t move naturally like the blood. This is one of the reasons why exercise and techniques such as yoga or rebounding are so crucial to the body.
The blood is maintained at all costs at a pH of 7.4 or we die. Everything that might disrupt this balance is moved to the lymphatic system to be removed, along with other acids and cellular breakdown through apoptosis. In the body, the blood is the kitchen, and the lymph is the sewer system. Most of the health symptoms that humans deal with are a result of a compromised lymphatic system.
The lymphatic system is excreted out of the body through the kidneys and the urine. The skin is the third kidney, so when the lymphatic system is backed up, we can see a range of skin conditions like warts, pimples, psoriasis, eczema, etc. A compromised lymphatic system is also the root of inflammation, which is at play behind almost all of the degenerative and auto-immune disease that are at all-time highs. Do the research.
Fruits are higher in antioxidants and astringents and will move your lymphatic system far better than vegetables. This is why one sees a lymphatic response when fruit is consumed. This was the basis of my diet experiment, and I want to share with you some myths that have been busted for me.
So Many Myths
Myth #1: We need protein to be healthy. Protein is made up of amino acids. Nine essential amino acids are not produced by the body and are required from our food. Longer chain proteins from animal products are more complex and difficult for the body to digest than plants, and one of the central tenets of a detoxification diet is to mitigate the responsibility the body has to digest what we eat. To detox and regenerate, we need the body to rest.
It can take us 3-4 hours to digest meat, vegetables, 1-2 hours, and fruit, less than an hour for most varieties. Sure, you can get all of the essential amino acids from one bite of meat, but you can get the same amino acid profile from a variety of fruits. The goal of detox is to take the burden off of the body.
Myth #2: A “square meal” consists of meat, starch, and vegetable. It turns out that the rates of digestion in the stomach have a great determination on the body being able to absorb the nourishment. Eating foods that digest at different rates can contribute to malabsorption. One way to counter this is to separate fruit from veggies and meat and eat them at different times. Try “mono-meals” where you eat only one thing, preferably fruit. You will feel better and notice an improvement in your digestion.
Myth #3: There is too much sugar in fruit. This is a difficult burden to carry due to our hyper-focus on single ingredients. In other words, the studies that demonize fructose are typically done with artificial fructose or fructose that has been isolated, not delivered through fruit with everything else that makes up a fruit. Rarely do we stop to consider how the entourage effect influences bioavailability and nutrition. There is a synergistic action that fructose has when combined with glucose, polyphenols, antioxidants, fiber, structured water, etc. that is not very well understood. As they say, trust your gut.
There is a big difference between a simple sugar and complex sugar. Fruit contains fructose, which is a simple sugar. All fruit contains fructose and glucose, but the balance of fructose is highest in fruits relative to veggies. Unlike glucose, the sugar found in abundance in bread and more complex carbohydrates, fructose does not require insulin or extensive digestive enzymes to process.
There is also often confusion between fructose found in fruits and high fructose corn syrup. They are not the same. I would love to have a simple explanation as to why all fructose is not the same, but suffice it to say that sugar from Nature is not the same as isolated man-made sugar. Similar to the difference between the poisonous nature of NaCl table salt in comparison with the life-giving properties of sea minerals. Besides, sugar is the main requirement of the human body. Sugar = carbon. That is why we call foods high in sugar, carbo-hydrates.
Myth #4: Food is anything that tastes good and maintains life and growth. This doesn’t mean good food should taste bad; only that food science has done a wonder in confusing the human palate.
To illustrate this, let’s look at orange juice. You may have noticed the term “pasteurized” on orange juice labels. It is a nice word for irradiation, which is necessary to make sure the juice does not contain any harmful microbes at the point of sale. The problem is that the pasteurization process breaks down much of the benefit of the raw juice. Keep in mind, that real juice would spoil in a matter of days on a shelf, which would be bad for business.
The book Squeezed by Alissa Hamilton is an amazing expose of the orange juice industry. The author describes how most of the “Florida Gold” comes from Brazil, how the sugar water left as a result of pasteurization is reconstituted with custom coloring, mouthfeel, flavors, and even scents formulated by perfume companies. This is how orange juice brands maintain such rigid individualization and consistency.
Beyond this, the FDA allows for ascorbic acid, that is made artificially in a lab, to be called “Vitamin C”. As a result, orange juice brands can make claims that they have 100% of your daily Vitamin C per serving in a bottle. Pasteurized orange juice from a shelf in the grocery is not juice; it is flavored sugar water. You would be saddened to know how often this is happening in our food supply.
So, my diet has busted some myths, but it has also solidified some truths. One is that fruit is the best water we have available. All water is not the same. Dr. Gerald Pollack and his “exclusion zone” (EZ water) theory offer a possible explanation for why hydration from plant cells is the ideal way to hydrate the body. I can tell you for sure that when you eat lots of fruit, you don’t carry around a water bottle anymore.
Since energy is at the core of all healing, we must choose foods to eat that are high energy, high vibration, have high astringent qualities to pull on the lymphatic system and digest quickly to allow the body the time and energy it needs to clean itself out, strengthen and rebuild, and heal. Fruits measurably have the highest amount of energy of all the foods. The more energetic the foods are that you eat, the more vibrant and healthy you become.
Fasting and a high fruit diet is an ideal food for detoxing the body and regenerating health. I’m committed to six months of detox, and then we will see where things go. I’m not going to be eating 90% fruit forever, but I have most definitely changed the way I eat for the rest of my life.
What we think, we grow. What we eat, we know.