runner Grant Campbell is a great guy
and fount of inspiration for anyone looking to improve their
I first met Grant in the fall of 2009 at Dr. Doug Graham's Health and
Fitness Week, where his friendliness and athleticism immediately made
an impression on me. A citizen of Australia, he's been spending much of
his time over the last few years spreading the raw food message down
In November of 2010 I asked Grant to do an interview with
Raw-Food-Health.net so he could share where he's been and what he's
aiming for, joining the rest of the raw
food success stories we've covered.
Grant Campbell: Q&A
Andrew Perlot: How
old are you, where do you live, and what do you do for a living?
Grant Campbell: Born
around the sun 37 times.
I live on the Central Coast of NSW, Australia which is a beautiful
region with large salt water lakes, beautiful surfing beaches and
mountain ranges nearby.
Last year, after 15 years of working as an IT specialist in the
corporate world, I allowed myself the freedom to leave that career
behind and invest all of my time into studying lifestyle coaching with
Dr Doug Graham, author of The 80/10/10 Diet.
I realigned my career to be in line with my passion. I
now run the Raw Natural Hygiene forum (rawnaturalhygiene.ning.com),
which has around 1300 members.
I engage in public speaking at health expos on healthy lifestyle and
raw nutrition. I also run raw vegan retreats in Australia
(http://www.rawreference.com) with plans for a retreat in Asia in 2011.
Andrew Perlot: How
and why did you end up a raw foodist?
Grant Campbell: I
went vegan in June 1999. The first book I read as a cooked vegan was
“Raw Energy” by Leslie Kenton. As a result, the concept of raw had been
planted in my mind, but “Raw Energy” didn't explain how to actually eat
raw in any way that seemed practical to me. Instead there were complex
recipes like Essene Bread that I was never going to invest the time
It wasn't until November 2005 that I came across Dr Doug Graham's
“Perfect Health” program of 12 hours of audio discs. The information
covered everything I needed to know to have confidence to switch to
eating a healthy, raw vegan diet without knowing anyone who was eating
that way. I tried the program immediately. The results were so amazing
that I continued the diet and the benefits continued.
Andrew Perlot: Were
there any particular raw diets/teachers that really clicked for you?
Did you try different approaches before settling on a low-fat,
fruit-centered raw diet?
Grant Campbell: I
have studied many raw diets and raw teachers. Dr. Douglas Graham has
always been my greatest influence because his information simply makes
sense. Other influences have been Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now),
Marshall Rosenberg (Nonviolent Communication), Douglas Lisle (The
Pleasure Trap), Bruce Lipton (Biology of Belief), Rick Dina (Raw
I wouldn't call the 80/10/10 diet a fruit-centered raw diet. Vegetables
including leafy greens are as important for health as fruit. I get the
majority of my calories from fruit, but by volume I only eat a
marginally greater volume of fruit than vegetables.
I was fortunate to start my raw diet as 80/10/10 raw vegan although I
hadn't understood how many vegetables to eat and was mostly eating
fruit at first. During my first year on a raw diet I came across the
raw community in Sydney and discovered for the first time the high fat,
gourmet raw foods. It looked and tasted amazing, but I soon realized it
didn't digest well and wasn't giving the health results I was after.
I've prepared my meals as 80/10/10 raw vegan with simplicity ever since.
Grant Campbell: The Benefits Of Going Raw
Andrew Perlot: What health, mental,
or other benefits have you gained from going raw?
Grant Campbell: On
a standard diet, I had a long list of issues including:
Inability to recover effectively from athletic
Unpleasant body odor
Animal hair allergies
Regular cold and flu
Undeveloped social skills
I wasn't able to run more than 14km and took about a
week to recover after I did
As a cooked vegan:
I was more active, finding myself running more and
taking up surf lifesaving.
After giving up dairy, a few of the health issues
improved (mucus, cold, flu, asthma, snoring).
I could run ultra marathons, but it would take me a
week of walking around in a debilitated state before I could run again.
It took 8 weeks or more before I was ready to compete in another race.
I still had regular, negative and self limiting
thoughts and felt awkward in social situations.
I used to get thick salt lines across my forehead
after running, and bleeding nipples from the abrasiveness of the salty
sweat accumulating in my race shirt.
I still regularly suffered running injuries.
As a raw vegan eating a
simple diet of fresh, whole fruits and vegetables:
All of my health issues went away.
I feel more “alive” in every moment of every day.
I never get sick, even when I don't get enough sleep.
I can now run ultra marathons of up to 100 miles and
enjoy running the next day.
I no longer require a recovery period after ultra
marathons, just a period of “taking it easy” for a few days.
From the first days I
started following the 80/10/10 raw vegan lifestyle:
My flexibility and endurance improved.
My mental clarity, awareness and alertness sharpened.
My thoughts and behavior changed as I found myself
more emotionally poised and becoming less judgemental.
My sense of taste and smell enhanced dramatically.
In continuing the 80/10/10
raw vegan lifestyle:
I don't suffer running from any injuries.
My tolerance for the sun doubled. I used to burn
easily, now I run all day with my shirt off.
My temperature regulation functions so much better
now that I have a good tolerance for both cold and hot climates.
I have self-love and self-respect. I have a genuine
interest in building stronger connections with not just people but all
forms of life.
I am compassionate and excited about what each day
I know myself much better and have aligned my life
with my passion.
My sweat isn't salty and doesn't burn my eyes or
leave salt lines on my forehead or clothing.
Grant Campbell: Raw Athletics
Andrew Perlot: How
has going raw changed your approach to athletics as well as your
Last weekend I ran 100 miles in 34 hours through tough mountain trails
in Vibram Five Finger shoes which are close to being barefoot. I had
absolutely no soreness in my legs at the end of the race nor in the
days that followed. My body simply couldn't do anything like that on a
cooked food diet.
By following the 80/10/10 lifestyle, I took 5 hours off my 60 mile race
time in just 2 years without doing any extra training.
Not only do I now have no downtime
required for recovery, but there is also less to recover from. My
inflammation response now works correctly because fresh fruits and
vegetables provide Omega 3 and Omega 6 Essential Fatty Acids in
the correct ratios for optimal inflammation response and
clotting/unclotting of blood.
A low fat diet means my VO2 max is higher allowing greater delivery of
oxygen to cells.
I no longer get cramps in the side of my abdomen or cramping calves
which I previously predictably encountered about 3 hours into every
race. Now that I eat a mineral rich diet which includes enough fresh,
raw vegetables to meet my mineral needs, I never have problems with
I am always hydrated, getting the vast majority of my water from my
food. Staying well hydrated all day, every day allows for more
consistent performance. These days, I'm always race ready.
Before going raw vegan, at the end of an ultra marathon I couldn't sit
down without using my arms for support. Now I can still do bodyweight
exercises like jump squats and burpees after crossing the finish line
of an ultra marathon.
Grant Campbell: Spreading The Raw Message In Australia
Andrew Perlot: Tell us a bit about being "The 80/10/10 guy in
Australia". What kind of a partnership do you have with Dr. Doug
Graham, and what exactly do you do to promote 80/10/10?
Grant Campbell: I'm
currently a student of Dr. Graham's Certified Lifestyle Coaching
program. I have my own business and work with Dr Graham at his events
Teaching classes on anatomy and physiology at the
Water Fasting Event in Jan/Feb in Costa Rica
The Walking Tour of Costa Rica
Health & Fitness Week
I help with editing, content and technical issues on the FoodnSport
website, as well as brainstorming concepts for new, exciting projects
which are top secret, so subscribe to the FoodnSport newsletter
(http://foodnsport.com/blog.html) and stay posted :)
I promote The 80/10/10
The meals and educational content at the retreats I
Running the Raw Natural Hygiene forum
Consulting with people online
Promoting the results of my athletic endeavors
Public speaking at expos and local community courses
Grant Campbell: Calories
Andrew Perlot: How
many calories do you eat in an average day, and how many do you burn
off through exercise?
Most days I eat around 3500 calories. I maintain my weight, so I
guess I also burn 3500 calories a day on average.
On an ultra marathon race day, I'll typically eat from 4500 to 6000
Depending on the terrain and intensity I eat 200-350 calories per hour
during an ultra marathon and stay as hydrated as I can.
Andrew Perlot: What
are your passions in life? What makes you tick?
Grant Campbell: My
passion is in making a vibrant lifestyle accessible to all who are
It means a lot to me to be able to inspire and motivate others to seek
a higher quality lifestyle.I get excited by challenging tasks and
enjoying giving them my best shot.
In a way, ultra marathons can be compared to child birth. The words
“never again” may be uttered at the toughest time during the event, but
moments after it is over, we're already getting excited about the one.
I thrive in an environment where I am surrounded by people who
demonstrate excellence (it doesn't matter how ...fitness, emotion,
commitment, compassion, etc).
I aspire to influence others to seek excellence in their endeavors. I
love being part of anything that is backed by 100% passion.
Grant Campbell: Raw Social
Andrew Perlot: How
does being raw affect your social life? Do family/friends understand?
Does your family eat raw, and if not, does that cause conflict?
My social life is richer than ever before. The quality of the social
interactions in my life is much higher and more rewarding. I seldom go
to clubs, cinemas or restaurants as such environments aren't generally
conducive to nurturing our relationships with others. Clubs are
generally filled with inebriated people engaging in health destroying
activities. They are choosing not to feel, which isn't conducive to
growth and doesn't inspire or motivate others.
The cinema is mostly stimulation and an individual experience.
At restaurants the focus on the food is too high which detracts from
the ability to engage in profound, nurturing conversation and sharing
experiences. With non-raw, non-vegan food on their plate, people tend
to feel judged by our mere presence. Whether someone feels judged or
not depends on their perception. There is no judgement given where none
is taken, as the presence of judgement falls in the eye of the
It becomes almost a moot point, as to whether we have actually made
judgemental comments/gestures or not. Developing the communication
skills to effectively make it known to others that they are not being
judged, gives them the chance to enjoy their meal. But your
dining family/friends also need to know that you are enjoying your
“basic salad with no dressing” which is often the only raw vegan meal
most restaurants can reliably prepare.
If people feel that you are
“missing out” while they are “treating themselves”, then they won't be
able to enjoy their meal. You have to convince them that your
tomato/cucumber/celery salad is actually delicious and exactly what you
wanted. The psychology behind eating is fascinating :)
My family is supportive of how I
eat. They think they understand it, but I don't think that is possible
without experiencing it. They eat a standard diet. The difference
between our diets caused conflict in the past mainly due to a lack of
social and communication skills.
Now I feel I have developed a better
knowledge of my needs and the needs of my family/friends, as well as
developing skills to effectively communicate about those needs. I find
I am now usually able to effectively put in place a common
understanding in a timely fashion. In my experience, when our thoughts
and actions become congruent with our belief system (our inner
truth/innate wisdom), integrity follows which brings the emotional
poise and confidence required to create more nurturing
Grant Campbell: Raw In A Cooked-Food World
Andrew Perlot: What are the hardest parts of being a raw foodist
in a cooked-food world, and what do you do to cope?
Grant Campbell: It
really isn't very difficult, apart from occasionally holding my breath
until I am clear of toxic smells like cigarette smoke, animal-diet body
odor or burning oils and animal fats. Now that I've educated myself in
nutrition, anatomy, physiology, and a little psychology and sociology,
as well as having worked on removing incongruencies from my life
between my thoughts/actions and my belief system, I find life to be
very rewarding almost anywhere I am.
I think the hardest part of going raw is that it takes time to educate
yourself and develop the social skills to effectively communicate the
reason for your choices in a compassionate and nurturing way.
I no longer hold judgements of others when they choose a path of health
destruction. Life is much easier since I came to the realizations that
not only do we have no right to have expectations of others, but that
expectations don't bring us any value. Expectations open the door to
frustration and disappointment and place unnecessary pressures on
others. Instead of expectations and judgement, I hold hope that people
find a source of inspiration to entice them to make true lifestyle
Grant Campbell: Salt and Ultramarathon Running
Andrew Perlot: One
interesting nutritional contention I've heard recently among raw
foodists who run ultra marathons is over sodium. Some take salt pills
to prevent hyponatremia (an electrolyte disturbance in which the sodium
concentration in the blood is lower than normal, causing various
problems) during very long runs. Other say that the natural sodium
found in plant foods is enough to prevent the problem. Where do you
come down on the debate? Do you do anything special before or during a
race to prevent hyponatremia? Are these measures enough?
Nature's model is a pure one, so I find myself as a purist. I don't eat
salt. I don't take supplements. Our species wouldn't still be on the
planet if we needed to take supplements for essential vitamins and
minerals. If ever in an emergency situation, I wouldn't hesitate to
take a supplement if it would save my life, but I would then seek to
address the cause of the nutritional imbalance rather than
supplementing for the rest of my life.
Having completed over 20 ultra marathons, combined with various
unfavorable forms of race preparation I have experienced heat stroke,
severe dehydration, and “hitting the wall” to the point of having
blurred vision, but I don't believe I've experienced hyponatremia.
Years ago, on a cooked vegan diet, I tried racing on salted foods. It
didn't work for me then and I'm confident it wouldn't now. I believe
salt creates an additional need for water to be retained to dilute that
salt, making it challenging to stay hydrated enough to keep performing.
To illustrate the point, consider a person lost at sea. If they drank
the sea water in an attempt to quench their thirst, they would die of
dehydration within a few days.
I've raced up to 100 miles and raced for up to 31 hours on the 80/10/10
diet without feeling any need for supplementing with salt. Only in
races of 60 miles or more do I find it beneficial to eat celery during
a race to get some additional electrolytes/minerals.
In recent years since I starting eating sufficient quantities of
vegetables each day, I find I have enough minerals in my body coming
into the race, in order to be able to complete a marathon without
needing a top-up during the race. Athletes have a far greater need to
replace water and carbohydrates than electolytes, and if the
carbohydrates are coming from fruit, the fruit is a source of some
electrolytes. I have seen people desperately low on water,
carbohydrates and electrolytes at the same time and it isn't pretty.
I can't see how supplements, which by nature are highly refined, can be
an effective substitute for balanced, whole food nutrition, even more
so with the extreme demands of an ultra marathon.
Grant Campbell: Direction Of The Raw Movement
Where do you see the raw movement going, in Australia or in the world
as a whole? Are as many raw foodists washing out of the movement today,
or are mind finding a solid footing and sticking to it?
Grant Campbell: I think it is difficult to measure
the size of the raw movement. I am confident that it is growing in the
sense that more people are aware of it that ever before. The
simplicity, effectiveness and need for raw veganism and natural hygiene
is becoming better known as the information age advances. We are making
substantial improvements in how we deliver information, making that
information more accessible to the mainstream.
I think the focus on being a “raw foodist” is missing the bigger
picture. The people I see failing as raw fooders because they aren't
grasping the broader picture of self love, self respect, and compassion
for all life as the foundation in applying healthy lifestyle choices
such as sufficient sunlight, hydration, fresh air, sufficient rest,
physical activity, emotional poise and a diet of simple combinations of
whole, fresh, raw plant foods.
I promote the principles of healthy living, of which “food” is just one
aspect...and “raw” is but a single, isolated quality of food. Focusing
on “raw food” alone doesn't bring health when the other qualities of
food and healthy lifestyle choices are neglected.
Andrew Perlot: What
advice would you give to someone interested in going raw?
Grant Campbell: Do
it out of an act of loving kindness to yourself.
Strengthen your position by doing it for all reasons. It supports
health, fitness, ethics, ecology, environment, personal development and
Changing a diet for a single reason or out of strictness or discipline
leaves you vulnerable to sabotaging your very success. Strictness and
discipline can be effective in the short term but there has to come a
time where you are living healthfully because you truly desire to.
Educate yourself in order to build confidence in your choices and to
strengthen your ability to influence others.
Don't try to follow multiple types of raw diets at once. In fact, never
try to achieve conflicting goals, because it predictably ends without
Don't be hard on yourself. There are no mistakes, only experiences. Pay
attention to the details so you can learn from each and every
Grant Campbell: Favorites
Andrew Perlot: What's your favorite place on earth and why?
Grant Campbell: My
favorite place is wherever I am, because I love my life and the life I
am surrounded by.
One place that takes my breath away is standing on a bridge over a
river coming down from a rainforest, assuming the “Titanic position”
with arms extended, breathing in the pure air flowing down the
mountain. It is divine.
Grant Campbell: No
fruit stands alone as my favorite. The main contenders include hachiya
persimmon, durian, adriatic figs, white mulberries, blueberries, fresh
dates (halawi and medjool), jakfruit, champedak, pantin mamey sapote,
and Californian heirloom tomatoes.
Anything else that you'd like to add?
Grant Campbell: As
Professor Rozalind Graham so brilliantly expressed with compassion and
emotion in her DVD “Radiating Health & Compassion: Living the
Colorful Life in a Black & White World”, inappropriate diet is a
major factor which inhibits people from being able to think and feel,
never attaining the quality of life that should be considered normal.
There is so much more to health than a low fat, raw vegan diet of
whole, fresh fruit and vegetables including sufficient sunlight,
quality air, hydration, physical activity, sufficient sleep and rest,
and emotional poise.
Without our natural diet as a stable base, it becomes ever so more
challenging to balance the other lifestyle factors.
Read “The 80/10/10 Diet” and start living healthfully now.
It is far easier to maintain health and fitness, than maintain wealth