I have been challenging my clients to consume more raw vegetables and fruits over the last year. We all know that eating fresh fruits and vegetables is something we should be doing more. But why raw? When we eat cooked or process food, our immune system attacks it, based on research by Dr. Paul Kouchakoff in the 1930s.
The immune system response is called digestive leukocytosis. However, our bodies don’t have an immune system response to raw food. This is the argument of the raw foodist movement to consume more raw food to protect against disease. But there are conflicting opinions regarding Dr. Kouchakoff’s findings.
Over the years I’ve found that I perform better and feel more energized when I consume more raw food. I eat at least two large bowls of raw salad per day, along with at least eight pieces of raw fruit. Without thinking about it, those objectives give me what I need more than any other nutrient: fiber.
When I first meet with a new client for personal training, the subject of diet is one of the first things discussed. Most people are distressed by being overweight and want to know which diet works. I often respond that all diets work, but most are unsustainable.
If the diet is too radical it may cause severe damage. My task is to give my clients a subtle approach that has life-long affects. I simply ask them to eat one large, raw salad per day and at least four pieces of fruit…to start. Additionally, I ask that they refrain from dairy products and wheat products. Most believe those are reasonable requests. And when they follow them, miracles seem to happen.
Months ago I began working with a 36-year-old lady, who weighed 233 pounds. She had numerous allergies for which she was prescribed three medications. She had digestive issues and heartburn for which she was prescribed Prilosec. She felt very anxious about her situation.
She followed my suggestion of one salad and four pieces of fruit a day for one week. After visiting her doctor, she happily reported that she was taken off two of her allergy medications. To top it off, her digestive issues evaporated and she didn’t need Prilosec any longer.
She thought it was a miracle.
After more than a decade of suffering and being subjected to drugs, she was making serious strides in the right direction. And, by the way, after two months she was down to 214 pounds, which helped relieve some of her back pain. I always stress slow, steady weight loss, usually two to three pounds per week, which can easily be done and sustained with just a few adjustments. For her, the best is yet to come as we push onward to get below 200 pounds.
I initially tell my clients it takes four to six months to make substantial progress health-wise, but you can change direction immediately—and you will get immediate results. When following the above recommendations, the power of fiber kicks in, along with alleviating the digestive stress of dairy and processed wheat products.
It’s not a miracle. If you give your body what it needs, it will respond positively.
(Kirk Charles is a personal trainer. For information, click here).