[I’m not on the raw or living food diet, but I’m certainly sympathetic to it. People I have met who have been on this diet for many years look healthy and well and some of them are vegans. Since having made those contacts, I have increased the fresh food intake in my own mixed vegetarian diet through eating more salads, salad sandwiches and having fruit and vegetable smoothies – and I feel better for it. I therefore think the attack on raw food vegans by the American ABC 20/20 program is uninformed, biased and quite pathetic in the usual US commercial TV way. Below is the rebuff by one of the raw/living food gurus, Jinjee Talifero.]
Q: Is Orthorexia Nervosa really a disease?
A: No, it is not yet classified as a disease. It is the name of a book by someone who is of the opinion that people who become obsessed with eating healthy are psychologically unstable. This is not true of most people who desire to eat healthy. However there are people who suffer from an addiction to self-destruction, and these people battle between their desire to be healthy and their desire to destroy themselves, and in some cases, their desire to destroy themselves wins out.
Q: Why do some people who eat healthy become too thin?
A: Usually healthy eating results in an improvement in weight. For people who need to lose weight, eating healthier will result in losing weight. And for people who need to gain weight, eating healthier will usually result in gaining weight. However sometimes people with anorexia and/or “orthorexia” also subscribe to a healthy diet such as the raw food diet. It is not the healthy diet that hurts them, but rather the fact that they are not eating enough food.
Q: Is the raw food diet a healthy diet?
A: Yes. According to a panel of medical doctors, the raw food diet is one of the 7 most popular diets in the country, and of these 7 diets, only 2 diets have no harmful side effects. The raw food diet or raw vegan diet is one of the two popular diets that have no bad side effects. See Article on Medical News Today.
Q: I saw a 20/20 show on TV that showed some orthorexic people who looked anorexic or emaciated. One of them was eating a raw vegan diet. Here are the links to the two parts of the show:
Healthy Food, Unhealthy Obsession: Pt. 1
Healthy Food, Unhealthy Obsession: Pt. 2
A: I saw that show too. It was quite an obvious attack on the raw diet, but it accidentally showed many healthy looking rawists. There were three emaciated people featured, and two of them were or had been raw vegan. For each person on the raw vegan diet who looks bad, I can show you a hundred examples of people who look very healthy on raw foods. There is a new DVD out, called “Reversing The Irreversible” that features 35 people giving testimonials of healing on raw foods, and they all look great! Many people who are sick try to heal themselves with raw foods and some of them do continue to get worse, perhaps because their issues were more psychological or spiritual. If your spirit has decided to die, whether to get back at someone who you perceive has hurt you, or because you feel unloved, or depressed, or in constant psychic pain, then no diet or medicine alone is going to help that in the long term. Spiritual or psychological healing is needed first. Many people are in the process of commiting slow suicide through food abuse, whether it be through eating junk food, or abusing health foods. A lot of times, these eating disorders and addictions are a form of self-centeredness. If we can just stop thinking so much about ourselves, our health, our diets, our addictions, our living, our dying, our bodies, our minds, our spirits, our trip, our relationships, our finances, our problems, – then we can find greater balance in life. You can start by focusing on God, The Universe, your family, or someone in the world who could use your help. “As long as you are loving, you are not dying”, as one 110-year old woman put it.
Q: On the 20/20 orthorexia report, the interviewer claimed that he was only 8 years younger than raw vegan guru Viktoras Kulvinskas, and that Kulvinskas looked much older than his years. Why does he look so old?
A: Viktoras is actually 70 years old, and looks pretty good for 70. He has incredible strength and flexibility. If you look at pictures from when he was younger, you’ll see he looks much better now. I doubt the interviewer was really just 8 years younger than Kulvinskas. If he indeed the interviewer was 62, which I doubt (he looked about 55 tops), then I think he must have had plastic surgery. This seems quite likely, as he looked a bit like a Ken doll, with plastic-ish skin, perfect false teeth, and a toupé or hair implant. His sed car salesman moustache completed his cheesy Hollywood game show host look. I prefer the rugged natural look of Kulvinskas any day. I thought Kulvinskas handled the insults hurled at him with grace and honesty. He was very courageous under fire.
Q: Is it true someone died following Kulvinskas’ raw food diet advise?
A: The woman in question followed many different diet gurus. Millions of people have read the raw food books and ebooks written by Viktoras Kulvinskas, Storm and Jinjee Talifero, David Wolfe, Paul Nison, Nomi Shannon, Juliano Brotman, Matt Amsden, Tony Robbins, Roe Gallo, Ani Phyo, Sonja Watt, Sarma Melngailis, Alissa Cohen, Karen Ranzi, Carol Alt, Douglas Graham, Cherie Soria, Rhio, Victoria Boutenko, Jay the Juiceman, Marilyn and Harvey Diamond, Matthew Kenney, Ann Wigmore, Bernard Jensen, Dr. Shulze, Dr. Gabriel Cousens, Dr. Hygiea Halfmoon, Natalia Rose, Renee Loux Underkoffler, actor Woody Harrelson, Morgan Spurlock, Reverend Michael Beckwith, Angela Stokes, Matt Monarch, Sheryl and Piers Duruz, Jack LaLanne, Sunflower Lord, Kristin Whitcoe, Erica Palmcrantz, Dr. Norman Walker, the Kloss family, and other raw food enthusiasts and advocates, sometimes dubbed “raw food gurus” by the media and the public. Out of thethousands of people who have found relief from disease, pain, and illness through the raw vegan diet, not to mention the hundreds of thousands who have lost weight and become happier through this lifestyle, 20/20 chose to focus on two tragedies in which one person became emaciated and one died. Compare this to the approximately one thousand deaths per day in the united states caused by malpractice, according to the United States Census Beaureu. Another approximately one thousand deaths a day are caused by obesity and lifestyle related diseases. And what about the fact that according to the CDC (Centers For Disease Control) over half of all Americans are overweight? Is it really responsible to tell Americans, as ABC’s 20/20 news did, that eating healthy can lead to death? How many deaths will be caused by this twisted statement alone?!!!
Q: Is it possible to be a healthy weight eating a raw vegan diet, a diet of just fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds?
A: Yes. Most people who eat healthy diets such as vegetarian, vegan, and raw vegan diets improve their health, and live at a healthy weight. Especially if they exercise.
Q: Is my desire to eat organic foods a psychological disorder?
A: Of course not. It is common sense. Why would you want to eat a food that is sprayed with chemicals that kill bugs? Many of these chemicals are designed to damage the bugs’ reproductive systems. There has not been enough testing done to determine the long term effects of these chemicals on humans. However more and more couples are having trouble conceiving children. The raw vegan diet, on the other hand, has often been called a fertility diet. Connect the dots!
Q: Is a raw vegan diet safe for children and pregnant or nursing women?
A: Yes it is, if the child and/or mother is getting enough fresh food and appropriate exercise, fresh air, and sunlight.
Q: Where can I find out more about healthy eating and the raw vegan diet?
A: You can learn about our raw vegan family and download our eBooks and videos about the raw vegan lifestyle and healthy raw food recipes we use athttp://www.TheGardenDiet.com
Q: Where can I see some before and after pictures of people following a raw food diet?
A: You can see raw food before and afters here: http://www.TheGardenDiet.com/beforeandafterpictures
Presented by: Ekaya Institute of Living Food Education, 2008 – http://www.TheGardenDiet.com
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