Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Matt Monarch and Raw Success?

This blog is not going to win me any friends in the raw food movement. But I got to tell the truth as I see it. This is all about Matt Monarch and his teachings about raw food. He and wife Angela Stokes were in the area this weekend and this is what I learned at his talk and while he stayed at my house.

I prepared for Matt's visit to Mystic and Westerly by reading his book Raw Success, which is available on line for free. Matt basically repeated essential concepts of the book in his talk. So, if you missed Matt or haven't read the book this is the message:

1. It's not what we eat that is important to our health, it's what we don't eat (refined foods being the worst).

2. You cannot be healthy unless you get colonics regularly, at least once a month.

3. The healthier we get, the more sensitive we get. Bad foods like a hamburger will put you into the hospital right away if you are a raw vegan for a long time like Matt.

4. Eating a healthy diet will make you spiritual like him. Your third eye will start working again.

5. The goal is to eat less and less food, eventually becoming a breathtarian, someone who lives only on air.

6. All foods are detrimental to your health, even good foods. That is why you want to eventually get to not eating foods at all.

7. We are born with cells that have the accumulation of all the bad food choices of our ancestors.

Those are all the main points of Matt's teachings, both live and in the book. So here is where I get into trouble. What a bunch of crap. The kid ought to go to school and read some serious stuff, not this new age garbage based on stories.

Here are my thoughts on Matt's teachings:

1. It's what we do eat that's important to health. We make bad food choices because we are not nourished. Fill yourself up first of good foods and you will slowly and gradually find that you will want less of the bad stuff. Think positive, not negative.

2. All the research that I have done points to colonics being a waste (pun intended) of time.

3. The healthier we get, the stronger our immune systems get. When we do make bad food choices once in a while our stronger bodies can handle it and other attacks to our systems.

4. I don't think eating better makes you more spiritual, but being more spiritual does make you eat better. (More on Matt's spirituality later.)

5. I agree that we all should for the most part eat less food, but really, if I had to give up food entirely...kill me.

6. Good foods are bad for me? How are we supposed to build strong bodies? The idea that good foods make us live shorter lives than if we ate nothing is so...lacking in substance.

7. The idea that we are born with "the sins of our fathers" nutritionally speaking is another new age idiotic idea. Not only do we not come into this world with bad cells, we can, by eating good foods make our cells more vibrant and alive.

Anyway, I'm writing this because Matt spends a lot of time promoting himself and spreads these ideas everywhere. I just want some people to be forewarned about what he is saying because besides wasting our time and money I think some of this can be dangerous.

I said that I wanted to say a little more about the spirituality thing. I was not impressed with it. My daughter Gina asked me if Matt and Angela could stay at my house because I have the room. I said fine. They were supposed to arrive by 10 pm Saturday night. I waited till midnight, no show, no call. Turns out their car was towed. I would have thought at some point when they knew they were not coming they could have called. While at my house they wanted no interaction and pretty much stayed in the office I set up for them to do work. They asked to use my washing machine to do their laundry, which I said fine, but when the left, they left all their dirty sheets and towels on the floor for me to pick up and wash. Matt and Angela, I'm sorry, but I'm not impressed with your sense of spirituality.

By the way, I'm sorry to say, I missed Angela's talk, which I heard was very good, but the break between talks was so long I went home. Of course, the time between breaks was used to sell the huge amount of product they brought with them. (Another pet peeve of mine...selling products that you are encouraging people to use in your talks. That's not very ethical in my mind.)

Sometimes I just wish raw food people would shut up and just help us all eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. Make it more interesting and enjoyable. Keep it simple. Gotta go now, time to make my banana cacao green smoothie.


Anonymous said...

i agree with this much-being cordial to your host and cleaning up your mess is far more reflective of spiritual evolution than a 100% raw vegan diet.raw foodists delude themselves when they equate their diet with evolved consciousness.as far as toxin sensitivity goes-your wrong.the first cigarette=coughing.but keep smoking and that reacion ceases.why?.the law of adaptation.by the way-i like your book and rocky #3 is the best movie ever!

Isabel Burnett said...

I'm glad that someone has the sense to say it like it is. I missed the talk because I messed up the date, but now I'm glad I did. The thing that bothers me most about the raw food movement is mixing physical health with the new age hogwash. Leaving on air, c'mon, anyone with two brain cells knows that no one can survive long term on air. I love your book, it's practical and to the point, and it focuses on raw food, not spiritual madness. Thanks for your good sense.

Anonymous said...

Every time I see a video Matt Monarch puts out, I reflexively think "what a crack head" or "this guy is seriously out of his mind." I can put it in much nicer terms of course when I consciously think about it, but literally that is all I think about when I see his videos. I really agree with you when you say you wish raw food people would shut up and just help people eat more fruits and vegetables. In some ways it is so cult-ish, and it's really too bad because I am such a believer in a well balanced, thoughtfully planned vegan raw food diet, but a lot of times people just make it seem like we're all insane. I have bought products from the Monarch's before, and to their credit, they have excellent customer service and I know their hearts seem to be in the right place.

What moved me to write this however was your comment on the disrespectful way they treated you and your home. There is nothing I can't stand more than people that are completely oblivious to manners and common decency. It seems like two of them are either wrapped up in their own world, or think they are far too busy and important to treat others (especially those that are letting them stay in their home) with respect and gratitude. Well anyways, I'm just getting into your blog but it seems great!

PS. I wouldn't discredit colonics - trust me I know it doesn't seem natural, necessary, or worthwhile, but they've had a tremendous impact on my life. However, I can go for a few breaths without mentioning them unlike some other people... ;-)

Anonymous said...

Hello Frank,
Thank you for your honest and open blog. Finally somebody says it as it is. I don't want to comment on how you got treated as a host - it would be "normal" to treat a host respectfully and don't let him/her in the dark.

I am writing this comment is, because I started the whole Raw Food movement in Orange County, SoCal in 2000 and also opened
the Good Mood Food Cafe in Huntington Beach (it does not longer exist, sorry-because of some "spiritual mad people")

As a nutritionist and chef (also cook) from Germany, I gave lectures and food prep classes all those years. I always told my guests & students not to become fanatic. I never tried to change people into 100%ters.

You are right, many raw food gurus out there are rather dangerous with their philosophies. I had my own experiences with following a certain extreme diet for 1 1/2 year. Before I was totally healthy with a 60 to 70% raw diet and 30 to 40% cooked diet (I am not vegan!). Then I thought I have to do better for the future. During that time I lost three teeth, both my large toe nails, lots of hair and I had major pain in both my arms. I thought it is the result of working 14 to 16 hours at my cafe. It was not! I changed back to how I ate before and I gained my perfect health back, except the three missing teeth. When I started to discuss this situation in the rawfood yahoogroup, I opened a can of worms. Many people opened up and had similar experiences and a major discussion was stopped suddenly from all those "problem people" including me and got censored. Many people signed off. I am still banned. I had too many questions; One can email me and we can discuss further at ChefUrsula@yahoo.com

Matt Monarch was one time at my cafe and gave a lecture. It was at the very beginning of his carrier. His lecture was rather realistic, based on facts and natural things, not so much spiritual or how it seems to be today. The only part I never agreed with is, that one should have a monthly colonic. A more natural oriented person as I am, wonders: Would I give myself a colonic if I would be living out in the natural wilderness? Do animals give themselves a colonic? The body is able to cleanse itself, every day! That's what the body is built for. Then if one eats healthy as Matt and Angela and others doe, why in the world would they still need a colonic? I really don't get it! Doesn't the body get robbed of it's own natural "recovery and cleansing capability"? People should think logically!

As you mentioned right Frank, it is not what we eat that makes us ill, it's what we don't eat. With eating more good things, like greens, more veggies, good fats, good proteins and a lot less carbs, we are already recovering from many illnesses.

Currently I am traveling a lot with lectures in America and Europe to wake people up about changing to a healthier lifestyle and growing their own food with resistant and heirloom seeds (away from the Monsanto Monopoly) and exploring square food gardening. Many raw food people out there are so extreme into their spiritual madness, I agree with Isabel Burnett, yet they don't even know how to plant a seed. Perhaps it would bring them more back down to earth if they would start to dig in the garden and take care for plants. One cannot be more connected with nature than working with nature.

I am working with a group together, the Natural Health Club, the website will be hopefully soon finished: www.NaturalHealthClub.org where many such questions will be discussed with lots of "down-to-earth" information.

All the best to everybody!
Chef Ursula (former Good Mood Food)

Eva Rawposa said...

Thank you for posting your thoughts. I appreciate your honesty and stepping up to share your voice even when (as you stated), it might not win you friends in some of the raw community.

P.S. I've been raw for a few years, and I'm pretty sure my body's doing a good job of cleansing without the colonics. Thank goodness!

Anonymous said...

Not to pick on Matt
But I had a weird experience with him a few years ago
I had time on my hands and wanted to earn extra money at home on my computer
So, I sent emails to all the raw food people asking if they had any need for a "helper" .. I could help with their website, crop photos ect..

Matt actually responded by calling me. He sounded so excited.. was actually very nice. But the it turned weird (I am SURE this was before he and Angela hooked up) .. He asked my age, where I lived.. still was kindof excited sounding. When I mentioned I had a son he got quieter. Asked if I were in a relationship... stuff like that. I felt like he was answering a dating ad not a help wanted ad.

I know fanatical people (from my church days.. doesn't matter if it's God or Raw Food Enlightenment) .. they always took opportunities as messages from God. They would be enamored by people thinking.. Our paths crossed for some spiritual reason!
I got the impression Matt got my little email and thought OH MY .. my spiritual mate!
It was just an innocent help wanted ad...

He helped me, though, nip the interest in Raw Food for spiritual reasons.. and now I am interested solely for health reasons. True spiritual ness comes from the way one interacts with others.. and the environment.. hence the towel incident you mentioned.

Hill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CutistRawFoodist said...

Just finished your book last night and found your blog today. Thank you for being an impartial voice in the raw food movement. I do think it's more important to focus on the health and happiness that we can achieve if we focus on eating healing foods. I also get very turned off when the "gurus" are always pushing their product. Makes the whole idea seem ingenuine, like a pyriamid scheme. Thank you for your honesty.

I have found that I was completely discouraged by the raw food books out there since they contradict each other in many different areas. Right now I'm a cooked vegan with lots of raw foods interspersed in my diet. I feel like this is the best transition for me. I tried to do it cold turkey (raw) and felt frustrated and deprived. Being cooked vegan is a nice transition because you can still have comfort foods (warm) and begin cleaning out the body of diary products and meat products. I'm loving this and don't feel pressured to change anything yet.

Much love to you and your daughter. She sounds like an inspiration!

Anne said...

I appreciate your honest post. I, also, don't feel right when people start turning diet into religion or try to sell me something to help me improve my health. It's one thing for someone to share what products they've found to be helpful, but another for them to try to sell them to me. Here's to a healthy-food-filled day!

deaintheraw said...

I met Matt Monarch at the Raw Spirit Fest in 2008 and I must confess he made me uncomfortable. Truth to tell a lot of people made me uncomfortable at this event, the spiritual twist just doesn't work for me. Call me a prude or square but the whole promiscuity and the constant asking for favors, rides, crash in my room...loan me this that...it was too much for me. I like my privacy, I am willing to pay for it and I will never, ever share rooms at a raw event again. It was hell, I am an expat and this was one of my 2 trips home and I felt completely overwhelmed and resentful at what I allowed myself to be trapped by at this event. Thanks for saying the truth about how some of the celebs the raw world behave.

Margaret said...

I found ur blog by you tubing "mock mashed potatoes" I just posted a recipe for mock potatoes:} Our recipes are similar - how were the pistachios?

About ur post - I really do not like that that they left your place a mess!

Thanks for the honest blog.
www.organizehappy.com :}