In Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days, co-producer Michael Bedar follows six diabetics on a 30-day journey in which they consumed only raw food. The result was stunning—by the end, four of the six had gotten off their medication.
They were Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes patients, a construction worker, a chiropractor, a casino worker, a grad student, a receptionist and a postal worker. Raw isn’t easy (as The Intelligent Optimist editor Elleke Bal found out while researching “Food for life” [November/December, p. 32]), and not all of the participants continued to eat that way after the 30 days. But their experience can tell us a lot about how the food we eat affects our health.
Bedar, who eats mostly raw himself, recommends the diet, though he acknowledges it can be difficult.
“The big question is: Are you loving yourself enough to eat in a conscious way that cares for yourself?” says Bedar. “The foundation needs to be laid. You need to ask yourself questions before you can make the diet-change. Would it fit your lifestyle to have sprouts growing at home and to have a blender and a juicer? Are you healthy, did you do any blood tests recently and what do they tell you about your body? Are you a fast or a slow oxidizer? Do certain foods make you more lethargic or energetic?”
How did you first learn about raw foods?
“During college, where I was a studying biochemistry, I wasn’t raw at all. I would eat lots of bread and fried chicken, pastries and French fries. Actually, everyone in my classroom ate whatever, just to fill themselves up. But I found a community in San Diego that was all about art and healthy living; they really made a conscious effort to choose their foods. I learned about the raw diet from them, tried it, and I immediately started to feel more alive.”
What does your diet look like right now?
“I switched to eating kale salads and lots of nuts and fruits. When I learned more about the long-term results of eating too much fruit sugar, I started following the advice of Rainbow Green Live-Food Cuisine, which is about eating vegetables in all colors. I grow a garden with kale, chard and bok choy. And I eat a lot of sprouts. I was 100 percent raw for about five years, but at some point I was feeling more drawn to lentils, beans and quinoa to give me a little grounding element. So I eat 80 to 90 percent raw now.”
What is the most important reason for you to eat raw?
“There are a few. First, the company you keep. When you start eating raw food you end up around very supportive and enthusiastic people who also eat raw. Secondly, in our age we are bombarded by toxins in the world—they’re in our water, foods and soil. It’s essential that we have lots of anti-oxidants to fight those toxins, and those are in the raw foods. And finally, it’s very important for living a rich, spiritual life. The most inspiring and innovative people of our times are conscious about food. And then I didn’t even talk about healing disease yet.”
What do you mean?
“I co-produced the documentary film Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days, in which I followed six diabetics who ate nothing but raw vegan food for a period of 30 days.”
“All six of them used to be on a typical standard American diet and switched to raw. Their change was dramatic. In the end, four out of the six had gotten off their medications. All six had reduced insulin dependence and blood-sugar levels. Food has an enormous effect on your health. The higher your blood sugar is, the more infection can sprout in your body. The trailer for the film has already been seen by a million and a half people. I think it has woken people up. The big question is: Are you loving yourself enough to eat in a way that [shows you care] for yourself?”
Provided by The Optimist