The Raw Diet Origins, Teachings, and History
Undoubtedly, a large majority of the people into the raw diet today, specifically the raw vegan diet, got turned onto it due to the work of David Wolfe and Nature's First Law. We live in absolutely the most fortunate times, for the very same week that I learned about the raw food diet from picking up The Raw Gourmet by Nomi Shannon at Whole Foods, I had delivered to my door step from Amazon the most inspirational rebel book on raw foods ever written, Nature's First Law: The Raw Food Diet. After reading it I immediately "went raw" and have been ever since.
Labels Labels LabelsThe raw diet has always seemed to be more loosely defined than Ann Wigmore's Living Foods Lifestyle or David and Annie Jubb's Lifefoods. In fact, as described on my Living Foods page, Ann herself used the term "raw" foods before she created the living foods lifestyle, which in part, clarified that just simply eating "raw foods" is not really the most digestion or health friendly thing to do. Most people that are truly doing the raw diet long term are usually actually living a living foods lifestyle where specific food preparatory practices are learned and needed to make the raw foods more digestible and usable by the body, as well as the utilization of specific cleansing routines, like those best detailed in Annie and David Jubb 's Lifefood Recipe Book. Just because something is raw does not necessarily make it an optimal lifefood, or quite simply, an optimum food for life. One can think of many things that are raw that would not be good to eat, like a poisonous mushroom. For that matter, a poisonous mushroom is also "living."
Nevertheless, putting the confusion of labels and terms aside, there is just as much wisdom in the raw diet, as taught by David Wolfe, as there is in the Living Foods Lifestyle®, and the best teachers of both are ultimately teaching the same thing. For example, David teaches "living foods" too and has spent much time at Ann Wigmore's center and owes a great deal of what he knows/teaches to Ann, so there really is no true separation. There are simply many different teachers of raw and living foods lifestyles with different gifts to offer. The wisdoms though one will find from learning David Wolfe's raw food/sunfood diet versus those found at Wigmore's "living foods" centers are definitely unique in some respects and one might need to experience the best of both point of views to get a full picture of raw and living foods for ultimate long-term success.
Even David Wolfe has changed from using the term raw foods and the raw diet to using the label Sunfood Nutrition.
The raw diet book, The Sunfood Diet Success System, is one of the most helpful books a person could read while trying to transition and balance themselves. In author David Wolfe's own words: "After many years of experimenting, reading, and communicating with thousands of others on this path of eating raw plant foods, I finally perfected what I call The Sunfood Diet Success System and wrote this book." Everyone trying to practice the raw diet should have a copy of this book and read it often. He also clarifies acid/alkaline balance and acid/alkaline foods and minerals in this book in a way no one else has done. A truly phenomenal piece of work! Furthermore, as David's wisdom grew over the years, he incorporated more Lifefood wisdom, or information on wild and hybridized foods.
David Wolfe Modern Pioneer of RawDavid Wolfe is quite simply one of the most experienced, committed, helpful authorities of the raw diet alive today. Reading his books will bring you the most cutting-edge, practical, applicable wisdom in an extraordinarily direct way that you can immediately trust and utilize. It is all his tried and tested direct experience over many years of living a life of the highest integrity and commitment to the raw diet. The massive amounts of energy one gets from raw food living will be transmitted to you through his teachings! Additionally, because he went to law school, one will probably not find a better communicator of the innate truths of raw living. For he communicates in such a courageous, meticulously argued way against all conformity, that you will be rid of all your doubts about the possibilities and realities of this way of life if you at all heed and practice his tried and practiced "success system." Inspiration is certainly one of the most important ingredients in raw living. David Wolfe himself is a walking success system and vessel of uninhibited life force. If you have not met him, no worries, for his life force and success is 100% transmitted through online videos!:
Teachers Throughout History
But certainly before David Wolfe or Ann Wigmore there were many other teachers of the raw diet. Swiss physician Max Bircher-Benner, born in 1867, discovered the benefits of eating raw foods quite by accident when he became ill with jaundice and couldn't eat any cooked food. When his wife gave him an apple to eat one day while she was cooking, and he was able to digest it, he then began eating apples and nothing else every day. This apple diet "accidentally" caused him to regain back his full health. He then began treating his patients with raw foods/the raw diet, employing an ancient cure written by Pythagoras in 550BC, (whom was also a vegetarian raw foodist by the way). Max Bircher-Benner founded a healing center in Zurich that is still respected today.
Going back even further in time, there was a book written in 1743 on the vegetarian diet of the Greek philosopher Pythagoras, titled The Pythagorean Diet of Vegetables Only: Conducive to the preservation of Health and the Cure of Disease. Written against "the vulgar opinion which condemns vegetables," the diet practiced and taught by Pythagoras at this time consisted of fruits, nuts, watery plants, and cereals, and absolutely no beans or flesh, the same as the raw diet. It is now known that Pythagorus studied the ancient Essene diet in Egypt; they were a peace loving, pacifist, vegetarian, and living food sect of ancient Judaism, healthier than most, and lived to be well over 100 years. Pythagoras and the Stoics of ancient Greece followed the Essene teaching and way of life; this way of life was also part of the Adonic culture of the Phoenicians, the Alexandrian School of Philosophy in Egypt (where Pythagorus studied and had to fast before entering), and has significantly given rise to Western Freemasonry, Gnosticism, Kabbalah, and Christianity. The common sense of living, raw, vegetarian foods has in fact forever been part of many ancient spiritual, philosophical, and religious systems of the world. It is the same diet mentioned in the bible!
But back to more recent times, a Danish physician by the name of Kristine Nolfi, cured herself of breast cancer with the raw diet. In Dr. Nolfi's words:"Before I realized the actual importance of raw vegetable food, my attitude was exactly the same as that of other physicians to treat the symptoms of the disease without thinking of preventing it. It ought to be the duty of the medical profession in future to find means of preventing to a much higher degree than now, instead of attempting to cure later on. Until her death in 1957, she taught her patients the powers she had discovered about raw foods, while running the Umlegaarden Sanatorium in Denmark. Before this, Arnold Ehret, who saw many people overcome their different health issues through fasting and a raw vegan diet at his Sanitarium in the early 1900's, taught hundreds of people his valuable health lessons as a $100 course. You can read the published book of his teachings: Mucusless Diet Success System, whom David Wolfe and many other modern authors have borrowed from extensively.
The Real Origin Of Live Food
So as you can see, there is quite a history of raw foods lifestyles and teachers out there, but never in the history of man have we had so much information and possibility available to us when it comes to raw food diets. This is the age of information that all have been waiting for! If you want the real origin of raw food living, go back to our foraging ancestors in the wild, and after that, to the time before ovens, when bread was made out in the sun, or dehydrated, not cooked. The modern standard american diet (S.A.D.) diet has only been around for a VERY short time in the total history of man. Microwaves and ovens are still a relatively new concept in the history of man and eating.
What Really Was the Paleo Diet?
There is also another raw diet out there called The Primal Diet® or Paleo Diet that is not vegan and concentrates on eating raw animals and milk products. While many vegetarian raw food eaters, including Pythagorus, would not necessarily condemn consuming some raw milk, eating raw animal flesh however is a totally different lifestyle then the raw vegan lifestyle, but with many obvious and not so obvious drawbacks, which the vegan raw diet is free of. Read about it for further perspective on this whole raw diet thang!
“The change to raw foods was not radical. Raw foods are our natural food. Captain Crunch is radical; cotton candy is radical; hot dogs are radical. Raw plant foods are common sense. ”
“Some people consider the Raw Food Diet the next step past a vegetarian or vegan diet, but it really transcends all diets. It is simply the natural way to nourish your body. A raw foodist is not something one becomes; a raw foodist is something that all living creatures on earth are. We are designed to eat raw foods. Food in its raw, natural state cannot be nutritionally improved upon. "
-Stephen Arlin: Raw Power: Building Strength and Muscle Naturally
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