Thursday, August 28, 2008


“Brainwashing: The application of a concentrated means of persuasion, such as an advertising campaign or repeated suggestion, in order to develop a specific belief or motivation.”

The American Heritage Dictionary

Brainwashed is a strong, emotionally charged word. But it is appropriate when we consider our beliefs about food. Ever since the 1940’s, when Danish scientists discovered a link between the consumption of animal products and disease, there has been a concerted effort on the part of the food industry to brainwash the American people.

The American Meat Institute, the National Dairy Council, the National Dairy Promotion Board, the Cattlemen’s Beef Association, among others, spend hundreds of millions of dollars every year with the express purpose of increasing the demand for animal products. They do this in incredibly devious ways.

“For modern animal agriculture, the less the consumer knows about what’s happening before the meat hits the plate, the better…”

Peter Cheeke, professor of animal science

The obvious advertising that we see on television and in newsprint is only the tip of the iceberg. The hideousness of the work being done to convince you and me to eat more animals is executed behind the scenes, in the committees that make up the reports that make advertising more convincing and make the truth about what is healthy to eat and what is not more confusing.

Here is one area in how this brainwashing works: An Act of Congress created the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in 1863. NAS created IOM (Institute of Medicine), which has the role of advising the government on issues of health. A part of the IOM is the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB), which makes recommendations concerning food, nutrition, and health. Since 1940 the FNB has been establishing principles and guidelines for adequate nutrition and the relationship between food and health.

The Food and Nutrition Board publishes highly respected findings telling the American people what is good to eat and what is not. They have been doing this since before many of us were born. We grew up with their published reports informing everything and everyone about nutrition.

Just for fun I googled several of the current members of the board. I started with the board chairman, pediatrician Dr. Dennis M. Bier. This is what I found in his conflict of interest statement for the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Dr. Bier consults for ConAgra Foods (they produce many brands of processed foods and meat products), Mars (the candy people), and McDonald’s (you know who they are).

The previous chairman was a paid consultant for the National Dairy Council, Nestle, and Dannon. He is now a senior executive for a large food corporation. You might suspect that this is a payoff for his good work their agenda.

Next down the line, I looked up vice-chair Michael Doyle. According to Integrity in Science, he has received numerous grants from the American Meat Institute and is a paid consultant of Kraft Foods.

Jim Riviere is a paid consultant for numerous drug companies. Fergus Clydesdale receives funding from Kraft and owns stock in several food companies. Six of the eleven members have direct ties to the dairy industry.

While government scientists cannot receive personal compensation from the food industry, these academics serving on the FNB board can. Conflicts of interest abound. And these are the people given the responsibility to “render authoritative judgment on the relationships among food intake, nutrition, and health.”

“Although sponsorship by food companies is ubiquitous among academics and practitioners in the fields of nutrition, food, and agriculture, our community has paid scant attention to the conflicts of interest that might arise from this. Like drug and tobacco companies, food companies often sponsor academic work (and in fact many drug and tobacco companies own food companies).”

Marion Nestle, Dept. of Food and Nutrition, NYU

It was this committee that in its most recent report made recommendations stating that for good health adults should get 45% to 65% of their calories from carbohydrates, 20% to 35% from fat, and 10% to 35% from protein. They also said that it was okay to consume up to 25% of total calories from added sugars found in soft drinks, candy, pastries, and other sweets. We are told that by following these guidelines we will minimize the risk for chronic disease.

That means that you could have a bowl of Fruit Loops and a Snickers bar for breakfast, a cheeseburger for lunch, and pizza and soda for dinner, and still be within the FNB guidelines. Essentially, they’re telling you to eat whatever you want.

“My eight-year-old stepson, upon finding out that I don't eat meat or anything coming from an animal, told me that I will never develop any muscles because muscles come from animals.”

Kirsten, Internet e-mail posting

The FNB and committee members affect how people eat in a variety of ways. They establish the Food Pyramid. They influence the National School Lunch and Breakfast programs, the Food Stamp Program, and the Women, Infants and Children Supplemental Feeding Program. Approximately thirty-five million Americans are provided food by government programs based on what the Food and Nutrition Board recommends. In addition, what we eat in hospitals and nursing homes is determined by FNB.

The brainwashing doesn’t stop there. The food industry has its hands in many other important avenues of influence. Nutrition journals take money from the food industry and companies through corporate sponsorships. The food companies also sponsor nutrition conferences and the publication of academic papers. Sponsored papers are not even subjected to peer-review.

The Dairy Council and the National Cattleman’s Beef Association sponsor research sessions. Travel funds, gifts, and meals are used to gain influence and interest in products being sold.

Associations themselves cooperate. The American Heart Association receives money from Kellogg’s, and then gives its seal of approval on foods like Frosted Flakes, Fruity Marshmallow Krispies, and Pop-Tarts. The American Dietetic Association receives significant funding from McDonald’s, Kellogg’s, and other food companies.

The entire system of official information about food is under the control of the food industry. Is there any wonder why in America cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity have become epidemics? And if that doesn’t kill you, the health care system will (the third leading cause of death in the US). We are being brainwashed into eating foods that are killing us, and the food industry profits from our illness. At the same time big medicine is kept in business. They have major incentives to keep their mouths shut; otherwise they would be out of work.

The human mind is an interesting thing. It is capable of believing whatever it wants to. We select what we want to see and hear and believe. We want to believe that the big steak we are about to eat is good for us, providing us with protein. If it isn’t the steak, well then, the chicken, or the fish. Hey, pizza is a health food; after all it contains all the food groups.

You will never hear the food experts on the Today Show or Good Morning America tell you the truth about nutrition. Why? Because if they did, their sponsors would stop advertising with them. Even here the food industry manipulates the truth. The only place we find real research answers is where there is no influence from money—books and unsponsored Internet sites.

It is my hope that after reading this you will open your mind to some new possibilities. Just being aware of how you have been lied to and used all of these years will free you from much of the misinformation that you have been fed. Now we will get to ideas that are not being forced upon you so that someone, somewhere can make a buck. Let’s get at the raw truth.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Ann Wigmore and the Hippocrates Health Program

This is a chapter from my soon to be published book. Ann Wigmore was one of the founders of the raw food movement.

“Let food be your medicine and let medicine be your food.”

Hippocrates of Cos

At midlife in the 1950’s Ann Wigmore was a mess. Suffering from gangrene in her legs after a car accident and colon cancer as well, she needed help. Doctors wanted to amputate her legs. She wanted an alternative. Born in Lithuania, and raised partly by her grandmother, she remembered how her grandmother treated wounded soldiers returning from World War I with herbs and weeds.
Ann experimented with various grasses and live foods and eventually healed herself of both the gangrene and the cancer. Not satisfied with overcoming her illnesses, she began research into improving her health. This led her to creating the Hippocrates Health Institute with the help of Viktoras Kulvinskas in Boston in 1958.
Guided by the saying of Hippocrates, “Let food be your medicine,” Ann went to work using living foods such as sprouts, juices made from weeds and grass, and fermentation. Wheatgrass became the major element because it was the easiest and cheapest to grow.
Wigmore died in a fire at her institute at the age of 83. Her work continues through institutes such as the Ann Wigmore National Health Institute in Puerto Rico, the Ann Wigmore Foundation in New Mexico, and the Hippocrates Health Institute, which she founded and is currently under the direction of Brian Clement in West Palm Beach, Florida.

The Hippocrates Health Program

The Hippocrates approach has developed over the years but has primarily remained faithful to Wigmore’s original research. Enzymes found in living foods are the cornerstone of a healthful diet. Since enzymes are destroyed when food is heated to over 117 degrees, raw uncooked foods are essential.
Vegetables play a key role also, more so than fruits in this program. Young vegetables such as baby greens and sprouts are highly recommended. Sprouts are grown from beans, grains, and seeds. The sprouts are used in salads and juices. To get the most out of fruits and vegetables without stressing the digestive system, juicing is often utilized, especially when fasting.
The juice most associated with Ann Wigmore is wheatgrass juice. Chlorophyll, which is considered the blood of the plant and has characteristics of human blood, can be acquired in concentrated quantities through juicing various grasses; grass grown from wheatberries being the best.
Fermented foods were part of the Hippocrates program under Wigmore’s direction, although they have fallen out of favor recently. Rejuvelac, a fermented drink made of wheatberry, is still widely consumed.
Besides this selection of foods, the Hippocrates program includes ideas regarding the proper combining of foods in a meal and cleansing. Eating certain foods together can cause digestion problems and nutrients not to be absorbed properly. Cleansing is needed to rid the body of toxins acquired through years of eating the standard American diet.


Probably the best reason for wanting to eat raw foods is the enzymes. Cooking food above approximately 117 degrees kills the enzymes in the food. According to the Hippocrates theory, people are given only a certain amount of enzymes at birth. We lose enzymes when our bodies fight illness, disease, and stress. A deficiency in enzymes brings about many kinds of health issues such as heart disease and certain cancers.
By eating raw foods we are able to replenish enzymes and rebuild our bodies. Wigmore called enzymes the body’s labor force. Enzymes are the life energy that is metabolism at work. The faster one uses up one’s enzyme supply, the faster one dies.
Wigmore wrote that enzymes were the key to the Hippocrates Diet. By predigesting and breaking down foods in the stomach, nutrients are more readily absorbed and utilized by the body. Then the digestive system does not have to work so hard, making more energy available for living and protection from illness.
When a person eats a primarily raw diet, he or she is making it easier on themselves to cleanse, repair, and rebuild their bodies. And enzymes are the reason. By not cooking food above 117 degrees you preserve the enzymes, which are needed for good health.


When you think of Ann Wigmore, you have to think wheatgrass. Most of us do not know the major role that grass has and still does play in the development of life on this planet. The grain that we make bread from comes from the seeds of grass. And, of course, so many animals survive on grass. Grasses have been used for centuries as medicine in Eastern and Western cultures. Chlorophyll is the key ingredient in grass that makes it so valuable.
Chlorophyll helps to oxygenate blood. Diets high in fat and protein cause blood to be depleted of oxygen. This in turn causes people to have less energy, poor digestion, and weaker immune systems. It may also cause cancer.
Exercise certainly is important to get oxygen into the blood. But foods too can help. Raw fruits, vegetables, juices, and sprouts contain chlorophyll, which is nearly identical to human blood in the sense that it carries oxygen.
Wigmore discovered that one of the best sources of chlorophyll was wheatgrass juice. (Wheatgrass itself is too fibrous to eat.) Agricultural chemist Charles Schnabel did the original research back in the 1930’s. He dried the grass and sold it in cans. According to Wigmore’s writings, the chlorophyll in wheatgrass is good for cleansing the blood, internal organs, and the digestive system. It also lowers blood pressure by dilating arteries. The red blood cell count is increased, and metabolism is stimulated.
Wheatgrass chlorophyll is concentrated with vitamins, minerals, and living enzymes. Wigmore used it to treat ulcers and colitis, cleanse the colon, and strengthen the immune system. She also used other grasses and seeds to extract chlorophyll from plants.
Brian Clement, the current director of the Hippocrates Institute, writes that wheatgrass chlorophyll cleanses the body of toxins and suppresses bacterial growth. Wheatgrass juice is not very stable and should be consumed shortly after preparation. Also, because it is so strong it may cause nausea or indigestion.


Another key contribution that Ann Wigmore made to a better understanding towards the components of a healthier diet is that sprouts are a source of super nutrition. According to her theory, enzymes reach their peak activity between the second and seventh day after sprouting.
Historically, sprouts have been used in various cultures to heal many illnesses. The Chinese discovered them thousands of years ago. Sprouts contain significant levels of amino acids (the building blocks of protein), high levels of vitamins and minerals, and when included with other foods make them more nutritious.

“Being eaten whilst extremely young, “alive” and rapidly developing, sprouts have been acclaimed as the “most enzyme-rich food on the planet”. Estimates suggest there can be up to 100 times more enzymes in sprouts than in fruit and vegetables, depending on the particular type of enzyme and the variety of seed being sprouted. The period of greatest enzyme activity in sprouts is generally between germination and 7 days of age.”
Isabell Shipard, Naturopath

The germination of seeds, grains, nuts, and legumes, is a simple first step in the sprouting process that anyone could easily incorporate into their eating habits. Seeds contain metabolic inhibitors that protect it while in its dormant state. These inhibitors make the seeds less useable by the human body. Soaking, which begins the germination process, removes the inhibitors and the seed begins to grow. At this point starches become sugars, proteins become amino acids, and fats become soluble fatty acids.
I soak various nuts and seeds, and I can tell you that they taste much better after soaking. The only thing is that they turn moldy quicker when traveling if you don’t keep them refrigerated.
The best thing about sprouts is that they can be grown at home cheaply and easily. There are even automatic sprouters available making this facet of building a healthy diet quite painless.


While other people are more famous for promoting the value of drinking fruit and vegetable juices, Wigmore was one of the first to actually include juicing in her diet. Wheatgrass was not the only thing that she extracted juice from.
Besides juicing fruits, vegetables and sprouts make an important contribution to the Hippocrates diet. Sprouts are considered the ultimate living food to juice because they are the most alive of all living foods. Vegetables are added for flavor.
The benefit in juicing is that vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, and sugars can be consumed without putting a lot of stress on the digestive system. Juicing also adds electrolytes and oxygen to the blood. Juices make the perfect drink to have when fasting. Juicing is one way to supplement your diet without using supplements made in a chemistry lab.

Fruits and Vegetables

The Hippocrates Health Program places a much greater emphasis on vegetables than on fruits. In fact, vegetables make up the largest part of the diet. It is recommended that large salads be eaten. What I mean by large salads is that, according to Wigmore, it should take a half hour to eat!
Besides the obvious benefit of vitamins, minerals, and protein, vegetables provide the natural fiber needed to exercise the colon and remove waste from our systems. Baby greens are probably the best of all vegetables to eat.
Sea vegetables play an important role in the Hippocrates diet. Because they are grown in the ocean, they are able to make minerals and trace elements available to humans which are not available from land-grown plants. Dulse, kelp, nori, wakame, and others should be eaten daily. A couple of tablespoons would be enough. Dulse and kelp can be used to replace salt in your diet.
If you follow the Hippocrates plan you will not be eating a lot of fruit; only two to five pieces a day are recommended. However, Wigmore does recommend fruit, especially bananas, to lose weight. My understanding is that while the emphasis is placed on eating vegetables, significant consumption of fruit isn’t discouraged.


Grind up half a cup of sprouted wheatberries, put them in a couple of jars full of water, cover with cheesecloth, and let it sit for three or four days and you have Rejuvelac. Ann Wigmore recommended that eight to sixteen ounces of this fermented beverage be consumed every day. Wigmore felt that fermented foods were good for the colon. This, however, has fallen out of favor at the Institute today, although Rejuvelac is still popular among many raw fooders.

Cleansing and Fasting

It often happens that when people begin eating a mostly raw food diet, in the beginning, they go through a cleansing period and feel sick instead of better. This is the cleaning stage. As the body rids itself of toxins many symptoms of illness arise. This is just the discomfort of a lot of accumulated waste leaving your system.
Wigmore recommended watermelon and watermelon juice for breakfast, Rejuvelac or juices between meals, fruit, and two large salads a day, in addition to supplementing the diet with wheatgrass juice, sea vegetables, and green drinks made of sprouts and vegetables. Rest, walking, and stretching, were also included.
Cleansing the colon is a big part of the Hippocrates program. The colon is the primary organ of solid waste disposal for the body. Years of eating foods that shouldn’t have been eaten leave it clogged up and in poor shape to extract vital nutrients. In addition, most people have little healthy bacteria and lots of the bad kind due to taking antibiotics by prescription or consumed in the meat that we eat.
Besides eating raw foods, Wigmore was a big fan of enemas, wheatgrass implants, and colonics. In some parts of the raw food movement this has been taken to the extreme and it appears that some people even get addicted to them. I don’t know how, but to hear them talk about it, well, let’s not go there.
Fasting, while not originally recommended by Wigmore, is part of the Hippocrates program today. A fast of one day a week on juices and purified water is part of the detoxification process. Rather than fast on just water, which will release massive amounts of toxins from their stored places in the body, a fruit and vegetable juice fast slows the process down, making the faster more comfortable and in a less weakened state.

Food Combining

A healthy diet is not only about what you eat, it also involves when you eat it. Most of us eat more than one food at a time. Eating certain foods together, known as food combining, can cause the digestive process to become derailed, and then we will not absorb all the nutrients that we could from what we are eating.
One objective of the Hippocrates diet is to allow foods to be quickly and easily utilized by the body and then eliminated. An understanding of proper food combining will help this to happen. It is not enough to eat living foods; they have to be eaten in a health-promoting combination.
Foods entering the body have to be digested to release their nutrients. Two aspects of digestion are affected by how those foods are combined. One is that protein foods entering the stomach require acidic juices to be digested, while starchy foods need alkaline juices. When both kinds of foods enter the stomach together, they tend to cancel out each other’s digestive juices.
The other aspect of digestion is that different foods digest at different rates. If a food that digests at a faster rate comes in after one that digests at a slower rate, the faster food will not digest properly, causing digestion to slow down and poor absorption of nutrients.
Proper food combining includes the following guidelines:
1. Mono meals are the best. This means eating only one food at a sitting. Watermelon for breakfast makes a great cleansing mono meal.
2. All melons, because they are digested so much faster than any other food, should always be eaten alone.
3. Fruits come in three categories: acid, subacid, and sweet. They have different amounts of sugar and water and are digested at different rates. Subacid fruits can be eaten with acidic or sweet, but acidic and sweet should not be eaten together.
4. Don’t mix fruits and vegetables.
5. Don’t mix starches with proteins.
6. Don’t drink with a meal.
7. Eat raw foods before cooked.

Some of this may sound familiar to you if you have ever read Fit For Life by Harvey and Marilyn Diamond. The Diamonds popularized the idea of proper food combining back in 1985. Food combining is also a part of the Natural Hygiene approach to raw foods.

The Three Phases

Part of the Hippocrates Health Program today includes the concept that becoming a living-foods vegan is a twenty-one-year journey. It is holistic in the sense that the program involves the body, mind, and spirit.
Phase one answers the question: what am I made of? During the first seven years you rebuild and energize your body. Physical changes include more strength and flexibility, a better digestive system, proper weight, and excellent health.
Phase two concerns the mind and answers the question: who am I? After achieving a more comfortable physical presence, the practitioner works for the next seven years toward better emotional health. Once physical problems have been overcome, a person can then work on the mental aspect. Some, including myself, would argue that the mental should come before or at least at the same time.
The third phase asks the question: Why am I here? This is the spiritual phase, and now that mind and body are healthy, one can begin a spiritual journey. Again, it could be questioned whether it is necessary to wait fourteen years before considering spirituality and health. I believe that Brian Clement developed the concept of the three phases and I am not sure that Ann Wigmore supported the idea.

The Best of Ann Wigmore and the Hippocrates Health Program

Ann Wigmore has to be appreciated for being a pioneer herald of raw foods and living enzymes. I know intuitively that raw is better than cooked, but why? It’s the enzymes. Knowing this makes it a little easier to…digest.
Germinate seeds and get greater nutrition from them. It’s simple and quick. Grow your own sprouts. Ann Wigmore’s focus on the benefits of sprouts is something that most people overlook. It makes sense to germinate and sprout seeds right in our own homes. Sprouts are a living food at its peak.
While I can’t say that wheatgrass juice is something everyone should be drinking, I do applaud Wigmore for calling attention to the benefits of chlorophyll. The consumption of green leafy plants cannot be emphasized enough.
Lastly, and possibly most important, is the benefit of drinking vegetable juice. I had been a big juicing fan back in the 1980’s thanks to The Juiceman, Jay Kordich, but I stopped juicing a number of years ago. I got tired of drinking five-pound bags of carrots every day. But Wigmore explains why we should juice all kinds of vegetables as a healthy supplement to eating them. I also very much like the idea of fasting one day a week on juices to give the digestive system a rest.

Further Reading:
The Hippocrates Diet and Health Program. Ann Wigmore. 1984. Avery. (This book is an excellent introduction to Ann Wigmore’s philosophy of health. It also contains instructions for growing sprouts, gardening indoors, and many of her own recipes.)

Living Foods for Optimum Health: Your Complete Guide to the Healing Power of Raw Foods. Brian R. Clement with Theresa Foy DiGeronimo. 1998. Three Rivers Press. (Brian Clement has been the director of the Hippocrates Institute for more than twenty-five years. This book contains the most current thoughts and teachings of the Hippocrates approach to raw foods.)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Green Smoothies

Okay, here is my recipe for a great green smoothie. I've used the principles of good food combining: the smoothie includes berries, oranges, and pineapple, with the greens so your body will love this. Great long-lasting energy. Tastes fantastic. Easy to make.

Green smoothies are the easiest thing to do to get serious about really super healthy eating. I highly recommend having them for breakfast, take it with you to work. Don't eat too early, give your system a chance to rest from digesting yesterday's food.

If you are starting out trying to add raw foods to your diet, don't worry about giving anything up, only add. And the first thing to add is a green smoothie, you will feel the difference and you will want to eat fresher healthy foods. Enjoy your smoothie!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

George Bush and Raw Food

Okay, now I know I'm losing it. I had a dream last night that I was sitting on an airplane next to George Bush. Yikes. So what do you think I talk to him about? Raw food. I was sitting there telling the president what a good thing raw food was and that if everyone in the country became a vegan, the oil saved from not growing corn to fatten the animals would be like taking every car off the road in America.

He looked at me like this a great idea. He didn't realize that. Laura was there and I think they were going to become raw foodists.

Then I woke up and realized that I've had a little too much raw food on my mind. Now, if the dream had Barack Obama in it, that would have made sense!

Friday, August 1, 2008

New Ideas

Yikes! My daughter Gina called me up yesterday morning with a new recipe. I've got an over abundance of zucchini in my garden right now and I've been giving it away to her.

"Cut up the zucchini into cubes, put it in the blender, add some oil and nama shoyu, garlic. Blend and put into the dehydrator."

Sounds good. I did a batch with the oil. Did another with cherry tomatoes replacing the oil. Added some hot pepper sesame oil for taste. Both came out tasting great.

This gave me the idea to try my super food smoothie as a leather in the dehydrator. Why not? Dehydrate the smoothie and take it with you wherever you go. Great for traveling. I'll put up a video of that soon.

Too much cacao powder:
I started getting mild headaches a couple of weeks ago. When I thought about what I was doing differently I realized that it might be that I was eating to much raw cacao powder. Stopped it for a day and they went away. The lesson in all of this is to use only one tablespoon of cacao powder in the chocolate smoothie. Three are way too many.