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Responses to Speaker Questionaire

The following questions were asked of every speaker at the S.F. Living Food Expo in 1997 that took place in San Francisco, California.  The following are the answers of Multiple Speakers.  This is being made available to give people an idea of the authors diets and to give insight on their beliefs.

Speaker: Tom Billings

Q: What are typical calorie requirements for a healthy adult?

1. Most healthy adults will require approximately 2000 calories per day. The primary calorie source should be complex carbohydrates, with protein, fat, and sweet foods as secondary calorie sources. The percentage breakdown can vary substantially, according to personal needs.

Q: Give % breakdown of calories by food type.

2. The primary food sources should be soaked/sprouted seeds (per botanical definition): grains, legumes, as well as sunflower, sesame, others. Next calorie source would be vegetables, with emphasis on green vegetables. Next in order would be fats: avocados, soaked/sprouted nuts, raw dairy. Finally, comes the sweet food group: honey, and non-oily fruits, most of which are sweet.

The % calorie breakdown will vary according to individual tastes and needs, but I would make the general suggestion that soaked/sprouted seeds, plus vegetables, should be at least 50% of total calories. The remainder of calories will come from the fat and sweet groups. Sugar (fruit) should be a maximum of 35% of calories, and a lower maximum (20%) is strongly recommended as sugar promotes cravings (and backsliding/binge eating).

Addition: the above is geared to a vegetarian, and does not reflect the practice of instinctive eaters. Most instinctos don't worry much about calories, or food groups!

Q: Could the above answers (1,2) change? When?

3. The above general suggestions must be modified in certain conditions. Those with a physically strenuous job may need to eat more total calories, while the overweight need less. The composition of the diet might change according to any disorders present, e.g. those with diabetes, hypoglycemia, candida, etc. may find eliminating fruit to be of benefit. Someone with heart disease might benefit from a low fat diet, while someone with nervous system disorders might benefit from a higher fat diet. The diet needs to be tailored to meet the needs of the individual. Many raw fooders get too dogmatic, and incorrectly assume that diet is a "one size fits all" approach - it is not!

Q: List your typical daily diet.

4. Breakfast: sprout milk plus a small amount of fruit. The sprout milk is made from oat & sesame seed sprouts, with the addition of soaked/sprouted almonds and lotus seeds. Lunch: a big sprout salad, with cilantro, fennel bulb, celery, plus avocado. Dinner: Variable. Vegetables and/or sprouts. Snacks: small piece of fruit, or fruit juice diluted with water. Supplements: vitamin B-12 lozenges (2000 mcg/day), aloe vera juice. Also use triphala churna, an Ayurvedic herb (and other Ayurvedic herbs). My diet is predominantly raw, typically ~90+% raw. However, I do eat steamed veggies on occasion. For a long time, my diet was around 35% fruit. A few months ago I reduced fruit to around 15-20% of my diet, and my health improved.

Additions: I forgot to mention in the above that I consume some raw milk - not every day, but most days. Amount is around 1 cup (200-250 ml). Also, in the above, I say that "For a long time, my diet was around 35% fruit." That refers to the period from now (1997), back to the late 1980's - it does NOT refer to the 1970's, when I was a fruitarian (and my diet was more than 75% fruit).

Q: What are your feelings on minerals? Q: What are your feelings on vitamins?

5 & 6. The best source for vitamins and minerals is in your food. However, the vegan diet may be deficient in vitamin B-12, so supplementation of B-12 is a good idea. Another thing that may be deficient in vegan diets is zinc. Use of supplements is controversial in raw foods circles. This controversy is useless; you choose whether or not to use them, so why fuss if others do so?

Q: What are your feelings on digestive enzymes?

7. The direct importance of enzymes is over-stated in raw/living foods. Enzymes are NOT the life force - they are simply chemicals, types of proteins helpful in reactions. If there are digestive enzymes present in food, the majority of them are destroyed in the stomach, and are of little consequence. The primary value of enzymes is as a marker for the life force: if the enzymes are intact, the food has not been heated and hence is still raw and may be "alive".

Q: What are your feelings on exercise?

8. Exercise. Those with a sedentary lifestyle might benefit from moderate aerobic exercise, plus stress resistance exercise (light weights). There is little if any real value in strenuous exercise (particularly heavy weightlifting). To decrease body fat, reduce the fat content of your diet, and increase exercise levels.

Q: Your feelings on the claim that the majority of people can not thrive on a 100% raw food maintenance diet? A healthy person needs 2100 cal/day, yet vegetables have only 100 cal/pound => you need to eat 21 pounds of vegetables per day! If you eat nuts or fruits, you might have problems with those - please comment.

9. Many people do NOT thrive on 100% raw diets. That is one reason such diets are so rare. Raw fooders should openly acknowledge this and stop blaming or criticizing those who are less than 100% raw. The excuses that you didn't follow the "program" correctly, or that you are "enervated", wear thin after a while. Also, criticizing other people because their diet is not "pure" enough, is self- righteousness; it is petty, tacky egoism rather than the "compassion" that vegans talk about (but rarely practice).

Because of the calorie problem stated in the question, some raw fooders recommend consumption of limited amounts of cooked food, esp. starches which are difficult to eat/digest when raw.

Overeating is a major problem in raw foods. Consuming too many nuts and avocados can cause problems, and consuming too much fruit is a problem. If one overeats regularly, that should tell you something: that your diet is NOT meeting your needs (physical and/or psychological), and that changes are appropriate - in your diet and in your lifestyle as well.

Fruit diets - diets that are very high in sweet fruits are very problematic. Very few people claim to succeed long term on such diets, and due to the prevalence of eating disorder behaviors in fruitarianism (binge eating, lying about eating, etc), one might wonder if the few success claims are genuine. Another complication is that some long term raw fooders claim to be fruitarians, yet if you examine their diet, you find they are not. A short list of the problems that can occur on fruitarian diets: emaciation: weight at anorexic levels, in women: amenorrhea (menstruation ceases), deficiencies: B-12, zinc, calcium, dental damage: similar to that in bulimia, eating disorder behavior: binges, eating in secret, lying about eating, backsliding, obsession with food/eating, sugar addiction and related symptoms (similar to hypoglycemia and/or type II diabetes): freq. urination, constant thirst, intermittent blurring of vision, tingling in feet/hands, fatigue, sugar highs and depression mental effects: (minor) spaced out, mild drug-like "high", emotional fragility, mental effects: (major) an actual eating disorder, hostile zealotry, lunacy Note: I was a fruitarian for 8+ years; the above problems are real and can happen - I experienced some of them myself!

Q: Which biomarkers are best to measure health?

10. If one is fairly healthy, the subjective "how am I feeling today", is a good biomarker. If one has a serious health problem, then other biomarkers may be more important, depending on the condition, e.g., insulin levels for an insulin-dependent diabetic, etc.

Q: Any tips on food prep, exercise, etc? (Note: this was a vague question.)

11. The best "exercise" is hatha yoga. Yoga is really not exercise; the definition of asana (per Patanjali's Yoga Sutras) is a steady, comfortable pose. Yoga works on the whole person - body, mind, and spirit. Aerobics and light weights may help your body, but they do nothing for the spirit. I would encourage all (who can) to try a gentle, spiritually oriented hatha yoga.

Q: Your comments on craving and binging? Remedies?

12. Craving and bingeing are serious problems. In the early stages of a raw diet, they may be caused by detox. Later, they may be caused by deficiencies. Remedies in the short term: avoid temptations; substitution; think of the consequences if you eat the "junk" food. Sugar is a special problem; one can shift from addiction to candy, say, to being addicted to dates. To help with sugar cravings, eat bitter foods: dandelion greens, edible wild thistles, turmeric, bitter melon, and so on. You may need to eat bitter foods on a daily basis. Remedies in the long run: eat mindfully - in a meditative manner, meditation/hatha yoga to develop discipline, learn which foods are "problem" foods and avoid them.

Warning: instead of eliminating cravings, fasting may increase them. One can get stuck in a cycle of bingeing-fasting. If that continues, it is a type of bulimia. If fasting increases your cravings, it is NOT helping you!

Regards, Tom Billings


Speaker: Roe Gallo

Questions 1, 2, & 3: Calories

1.  Calories are units of energy that a body needs to do work.  I use them
but I don't count them.  I recommend that once a person is cleaned out
(rid of disease and excess fat) that a minimal amount of fruit (fresh,
organic and in season) should be eaten to supply nutrients and energy.
Fruit, like mother's milk, has a chemical breakdown of approximately 90%
water, 7% carbohydrates, 2% protein and 1% fat.  This is what the body
needs to thrive.

2.  98-100% of all your calories should come from fresh, organic,
seasonal fruit.

3.  no

Question 4: Typical weekly 7-day diet

4.  3-15 pieces of fresh, organic fruit (the quantity would depend on
the size of the fruit and also the amount of work the person does).  The
body needs the amount of food required to fuel it ‹ nothing extra.

Questions 5 & 6: Minerals & Vitamins

5.  No supplements.  If the fruit is fresh, at the height of season, and
organic then it should be sweet to the taste, if it is sweet then the
mineral content is high.  You can create a sweet flavor with chemical
treatment of the soil, but when dealing with organic soil the mineral
content determines the taste.

6.  No supplements.  The body synthesizes vitamins from the bacteria and
enzymes in the fresh fruit.

Question 7: Digestive Enzymes

7.  No supplements.  The body gets the proper amount of enzymes from fresh fruit.

Question 8: Exercise

8.  Exercise is meant to keep the muscular-skeletal system and the
cardiovascular system in top shape.  However, reducing body fat should
come from eating less food so that the body can naturally utilize its
stored energy (fat).  Increasing the amount of exercise while eating the
same amount and types of food will increase the metabolic rate.  This
practice is physiologically taxing on the body and is not healthful.

Question 9: 100% Raw-Food Diet

9.  A raw food diet does not work unless the person is eating 95-100%
fresh, organic, and seasonal fruit.  My largest client is 6'2" and
maintains his own horse ranch.  He does an incredible amount of physical
labor during the course of one day.  He nibbles during the day on fruit
(and nothing else) and his usually daily consumption is 10-15 pieces.
He's in great shape,  has wonderful muscle tone, and tons of energy.
And, he no longer suffers from high blood pressure, heart disease,
esophagus cancer and migraines.

Question 10: Biomarkers

10.  To determine the overall health of one of my clients, I look at
everything ‹ blood chemistry, blood pressure, body fat, skin tone and
flexibility, eyes, breath, tongue, nails, muscle tone, energy level,
sleep habits, emotional and psychological stress levels, etc.   If any
one thing is out of balance, the body is not healthy.

Question 11: Food purchasing

11.  Buy fresh, organic, seasonal fruit in bulk from Earls Organics.
Earl has a wholesale food warehouse in San Francisco at  the SF Produce
Market.  Buy from the local organic farmers at your local farmers' market.
Do not prepare your fruit, nature already did that, just eat it.  Stretch
your body every day and move it ‹ walk, run (on soft surfaces, not
concrete), dance, play ‹ for at least 30 minutes a day.  Enjoy the movement
of your body, do exercise that is fun for you.  Relax throughout your
entire day.  Take many breaks, of just a few moments, during the course of
your busy day to close your eyes and take a deep cleaning breath (inhale
energy and exhale stress).  Also take frequent stretch breaks.

Question 12: Cooked-Food Cravings

12.  Bingeing and craving are usually psychologically rooted conditions
that turn into physiological problems.  Different clients have different
causes:  an abusive father, an alcoholic mother, etc.  Most people eat
for comfort .  Changing beliefs, eating habits, patterns, feelings and
behavior about food takes time, counseling, and support.  Most of my
time spent with my clients is in this area.

Roe Gallo
Perfect Body

Speakers: David Wolfe & Stephen Arlin of Nature's First Law

Questions 1, 2, & 3: Calories

A calorie is the amount of heat energy required to raise the temperature of
one gram of water one degree Celsius.  This has nothing to do with natural
nutrition.  "Calorie" is a buzzword used by the cooked-food industry to
push their products.

For example, a diet soda company uses the slogan, "Just one calorie, not
one more!"  What they're really saying here is: "This aluminum can full of
factory-made chemicals only has one "calorie" so it's good for you!"

The hype about calories is so absurd, that we usually just laugh when
someone evens mentions the word. But here goes one more time. The caloric
level is determined in a bomb calorimeter.  It is a chamber where the
substance tested is oxidized and burned completely to ash. The total energy
given off is measured as you have described in degrees/ml. It is so
remotely related to real life, that it is a joke. We don't absorb all that
we ingest, nor do we burn our food to ash.

What it comes down to is this: Pure superstition.

If it's an edible raw-plant food, don't worry about it, embrace it.

Question 4: Typical weekly 7-day diet

For the past 2 months: 100% fruit
For the past 4 years: 85% fruit, 15% vegetables & nuts

Supplements: We don't promote consuming anything that has been denatured --
even in the slightest bit.  Pills and powders are not natural, of course.
If you want to eat algae, go to a lake and eat raw algae as other natural
creatures do.  All the information and pseudo-science fed to the masses
about the supposed "benefits" of these denatured supplements is erroneous,
hypothetical, and inspired by greed.  To say that a pill or powder is
beneficial is saying that Nature has made an error by not offering us these
foods in a processed, refined state -- which, of course, is ridiculous.

Method of preparation: No preparation...Goodbye recipes!

Quantity: 10-20 pieces of fruit a day.

Questions 5 & 6: Minerals & Vitamins

Minerals should come directly to us from the plants which draw them out of
the soil and into the life-force.    Certainly, the higher the available
mineral content of the soil, the more healthy are all the creatures and
plants that grow thereon.  You can get all the minerals you need from
raw-plant foods, and even fruit if it is grown in mineralized soil.

We promote sprinkling rock dust into the soil to build mineral content.

All mineral supplements should be crushed up and thrown into the soil.

Only cooked foods are devoid of vitamins.  Vitamins should come primarily
from fruits.  The amount of vitamins the body needs is directed through the
instinct.  If you need them, your body will tell you the food to eat which
has what you need.

All vitamin pills are dead and should be thrown away immediately!

Question 7: Digestive Enzymes

Only cooked foods are devoid of enzymes. If you need them, your body will
tell you the food to eat which has what you need.

Question 8: Exercise

Exercise is very important and is part of a natural state of living.
Exercise in the Sun whenever possible.  Decrease fat by eliminating cooked
food from the diet.  Increase muscle mass by anaerobic exercise (heavy
weights, low repetitions).

Question 9a: 100% Raw-Food Diet

Anyone can thrive on a raw-food diet if they completely detox their body
and if they eliminate negative suggestions and associations.

No one can thrive on cooked food.  Cooked food is a dead lifeless
substance, it is a poison.  What is considered "thriving" by cooked-food
civilization is really a shadow of what could and should be.

Everyone has the same biological design.  However, people vary in the
degrees of damage which have been done to their genetics and to their
internal organs from unnatural living.

Some people have to rebuild their bodies to get to 100% raw, some do not.

The "2100 calories" thing is pure superstition and has nothing to do with

Question 9b: Fruits high in sugar:

Most people have been eating a diet high in refined sugar since infancy.
Refined sugar is one of the most dangerous drugs ever created.  On a diet
high in refined sugar, people eventually burn out their sugar metabolism.
As a result, when they discover raw-foods they try to eat their natural
food -- fruit -- and have problems.  Some claim that fruit is not our
natural food because of this (as if it was ever natural to eat refined
sugar for decades).  For anyone with a sugar problem, I recommend
rebuilding with green, alkaline vegetables and low-sugar fruits.  I have
seen many people rebuild for a period of a year or longer and then slowly
introduce more fruit into the diet.

The hybridized fruit, high-sugar argument is really moot because all food
is hybridized out of its natural state including vegetables, sprouts,
grains, etc.

Question 9c: Nuts high in fats:

People with liver damage often have trouble with nuts.

Also, pure fruitarians simply do not eat them.  I haven't eaten any in
several months.  I believe that one can get "nutted out" from eating too
many nuts.  I recommend eating nuts as naturally as possible.  Break them
out of the shell yourself and don't soak them.  Chew them well before

Fats are an essential part of the diet and they can come from bananas,
avocados, coconuts, as well as nuts.

Question 10: Biomarkers

Two biomarkers signal excellent overall health: The tone and clarity of the
skin and a healthy, happy smile.

Question 11: Food purchasing

The best way to eat is to consume only wild, indigenous food, next best is
homegrown, then organic.  Spend the money to get the best food!  You
deserve it!  Give your body the best and it will give you the best!

Question 12: Cooked-Food Cravings

For every discipline in life, there is a multiple reward.

When the cooked cravings come up, interrupt the pattern -- open up a
raw-foods book, start stretching, go for a walk, etc.  Pretty soon, when a
cooked craving comes up, your mind will TELL YOU to open up a raw-foods
book, start stretching, go for a walk, etc.  It becomes automatic.
Interrupting the pattern is what really helped me get through the
transition from cooked to raw.

Also, it helps a lot to start visualizing what cooked food really is.  When
I would get a cooked craving, I would immediately start thinking about what
that substance really is.  For example: pasta.  What really is pasta?
Pasta is such a dead, lifeless substance, that you can put it on the
kitchen counter, come back in ten years, and it will look exactly the same.
Or: Diet Pepsi.  What really is Diet Pepsi?  Diet Pepsi is a liquid that
consists of factory-made chemicals and deadly acid, which is only useful to
dissolve the corrosion on an old car battery.

When you start thinking about cooked foods on those kind of terms, it makes
it quite easy to give them up forever!

Though, at first, it is the most difficult way to go, "Cold Carrot" is the
best way because you crave what is in your bloodstream and if you keep
putting even small amounts of cooked food into your body, you will keep
craving cooked food.  Once you cleanse yourself of the cooked-food
residues, the craving for cooked food disappears.  With "Cold Carrot,"
you'll go through cooked-food withdrawals, but a long-and-drawn-out
cooked-food/raw-food yo-yo transition will give you hell for much longer
than "Cold Carrot."

Better to eat 15 bananas in a day or even in one sitting if that is what it
takes to keep you from eating bread.  Every amount of raw-plant food is
better than any amount of cooked food.

Once you are raw for a long enough period of time (1-2 years) your body
will calm down and relax and you wonąt eat as much.

Stephen Arlin
David "Fats Avocado" Wolfe
Nature's First Law
The World's Premier Catalog of Raw-Foods Books, Juicers, Booklets, Videos,
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