no question that a raw diet can do
wonders, and there seems no
end to the raw gurus that claim they can lead you down the path to a
new, healthier life.
The problems is, many of them preach what amounts to
pseudo-scientific-sounding babel clearly divorced from reality, and
prey off those who they take in with their fallacies. These people
usually don't stick with a raw diet after they've been burned a few
times, which is why the raw food movement is hemorrhaging new recruits
rather than growing.
When gurus spout diet information that doesn't
work, they're creating misinformation and driving people away from
their shot at health, which is something that should be abhorred.
Without naming names or blaming anyone, I'd like to lay out some
criteria you can use for judging raw gurus objectively. My hope is that
if we can get enough people thinking about what they're hearing, we can
start laughing more of these parasitic raw gurus off the stage.
A Raw Guru:
Trying To Have It Both Ways
first sign of a
raw guru gone bad is when they try to
have it both
ways, and in effect create a logical fallacy by attacking the essence
of their own message.
Raw, fresh, whole, plant foods are healthiest, right? It's not a
statement that I've heard any raw guru argue with, and there's enough
scientific literature on the subject to make challenging it rather
Even mainstream doctors will tell you everyone should eat more
raw fruits and vegetables, even if they would balk at the idea of going
We know that plants- fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds- pack a
nutritional wallop like nothing else. No food has more vitamins
than fruit or more minerals than vegetables.
Plant food provides every
nutritional component for health we can possibly need. It's clear
eating a large variety of them is a good thing, but equally clear that
there is no one superior or necessary food, only categories of superior
and necessary food.
The questionable raw guru realizes he needs to sell the idea that raw
food is superior because he wants his followers to realize some level
of health gain, but he also needs them on a hook, so he gives the
message with a caveat.
Yes, he'll tell them, raw foods are superior, but they are also flawed.
But lucky for you, I've got what you need to make everything right.
At this point the learner is instructed that while whole, fresh plant
foods are indeed just dandy, the copious use of supplement pills,
herbal extracts, salts,
dried or otherwise processed foods from obscure locations, or something
stimulating and not at all raw like
chocolate is in fact the key to achieving and maintaining
push comes to shove, fruits and vegetables get the short end of the
stick. If anyone questions this too much, some of those
pseudo-scientific sounding answers are trotted out, such as the absurd
hybrid fruits are harmful, as if whatever is being peddled in
place is any less of a hybrid.
Fruit is restricted to an occasional dalliance, fat is trumpeted, and
the stimulants are needed so that people come down from those
stimulants and then need more to feel good. The questionable raw guru
never let you feel good all the time, because then you wouldn't need
A Raw Guru:
Is Your Health Chained To Your Wallet?
There's nothing wrong with making a living, especially when your
business is helping people get a new lease on life. Nor is there any
problem with having competing views of what is ideal.
wrong is holding
true health just out
of the reach of its
seekers, and only distributing drops of it for regular doses of cash.
If any raw guru is teaching health on the instalment plan, or
attempting to bestow special properties on some obscure item for
financial gain, there's a pretty good chance you should write them off.
How does this work?
If a teacher promises they can give you the information to achieve a
maintainable and healthy raw food diet through a book, audio recording,
class, or another one-hit sale, it seems pretty reasonable. After all,
they've accumulated knowledge, and are spending their time to teach
others what they know. Why shouldn't they be paid?
On the other hand, more parasitic raw gurus infer that it is in fact
they that hold the key to health. They sell the best supplements. They
hawk the best
A Raw Guru Bearing Chocolate
They can supply the most rare cultivar of goji berry. You need to keep
buying if you want to stay healthy, because fruits and veggies won't
cut it. They're downright harmful, even. So open up the wallet and buy
some pills and some "super"foods.
A Raw Guru:
Dabblers Aren't Good Leaders
It's not at all uncommon to find raw gurus, who, upon being pressed,
admit they're not 100 percent raw. They sneak cooked meals here and
there, and field all kinds of reasons as to why they do this.
If a particular raw diet isn't good enough to keep its own advocate
satisfied, you can bet there's something wrong with it. Either the raw
food diet is the best or it isn't. There's not a lot of room for
Guru: Continuity In The Message
I'm sometimes shocked when I go to the book store and pick up two books
written by the same raw guru. One, written earlier, will preach one
message while a later one will suggest something significantly
How can you trust a someone who said five or 10 years ago they'd found
the way, and then apparently changed their mind and started
pontificating for something new and better? How do you know
they've really found their way this time, and won't change their minds
in another five years when some new slick marketing opportunity emerges
or they finally realize that their high
fat processed diet isn't working?
A Raw Guru:
Empowering The Pill, Not The Body
Only the body can heal itself; our food only provides the raw
materials. At best, foods are easy to digest like fruits and vegetables
and provide a complete panoply of nutrients that won't tax your
digestive resources or force you to pump out toxins. At worst, they
harm you and layer your arteries with fat.
The idea that there are super foods capable of healing your body is a
frequently-touted idea brought out by pill sellers, but it's false. The
body is responsible for building itself up and repairs damage. Food is
just fuel. Always take the best fuel, but know that it's just making
the engine go, but not moving the car itself.
A Raw Guru:
Not Because It Resonates
follow your gut. Follow your brain and your body instead.
Too often I get emailed by people picking their a guru because the
person resonated with them at some level. Often, what this means is
they liked what he said, or, in other words, what he said didn't
disturb their equanimity in the slightest.
This is the same mentality that gets most people into bad health
situations in the first place. When an American comes down with heart
disease, his doctors more or less tells him what he wants to hear: you
don't have to change your diet much - just start popping these pills.
Despite the fact that low fat diets have a proven history of reversing
heart disease, they're almost never mentioned, because who wants to
hear that they need to do something radically different?
Most health seekers wouldn't mind having health while eating cake too,
and parasitic gurus are eager to sell it to them - but only the highest
quality raw cake, of course. A perfect diet would be one where you
could eat whatever you please without consequence, but such a diet does
not exist. There are consequences to everything, and if you want
health, you must eat healthfully.
Guru: When the Message Strains Credulity, You Need To Be Able To Think
doesn't hurt to learn a bit about nutrition yourself.
This makes it much easier to question fallacious statements like "fruit
demineralizes the body."
If someone asks you where you get your protein, it's not a bad idea to
have an answer up your sleeve. A college-level textbook on
nutrition is probably a good place to start.
Your body is also a good judge. If you can't shed the weight you want
despite following their diet to a tee for six months, or you're feeling
sluggish and unathletic, that should tell you something right there.
Think independently and evaluate.
A Raw Guru:
At the end of the day, you're the one that has to be able to judge the
teacher. Do they radiate health and honesty? Do you find yourself
comparing them to a used car salesman?
The best option in this and all matters is to think. Does the message
really make sense? Why does he say that? Ask questions and find out.
Press him. You might just find there's a lot of bluster hiding a real
lack of knowledge. Inspiration from those that have blazed a path is
excellent, but don't let their marketing blind you.