Dr. Douglas Graham and the Raw Spirit Festival

Audience at Raw Spirit Festival 2006Today I was inspired to write a post on a message board about Dr. Graham, because I hear he has yet to be invited to speak at the Raw Spirit Festival. Perhaps because of the difference between his message and that of the mainstream raw movement. (Wow, isn’t it cool that the raw food movement has become big enough to have a ‘main stream’ component?!)

Here’s what I wrote:

I attended the festival in 2006 and loved it! It was a fabulous opportunity meet many new, interesting people. My partner and I were near the beginning of our path to raw food and it gave us quite a boost. We enjoyed listening to talks by a wide variety of folks with different viewpoints. Some great new viewpoints that I didn’t even expect to be exposed to were represented, such as Hiran Ratan, who came to speak about Sun Gazing.

Hiran RatanI appreciated the opportunity to hear about things I hadn’t been aware of before, because I strongly feel that each person needs to find their own way in life. Different things work for different people, or even for ourselves, at different times in our lives, and we must be free to experiment. I tried Sun Gazing, for example, and although I ultimately decided not to pursue it (because it didn’t quite feel right for me at the time) I was glad of the chance to hear about it.

I’ve been struggling with raw food for 2 years, and for a long time I couldn’t stay on a 100% raw food diet for more than 4 days in a row. I’d start to feel weak and experience bouts of vertigo and nausea after workouts that made it too difficult to continue. Nevertheless, I’ve continued trying and within the last six months I finally found an approach that works well for me. Now I’m able to stay 100% raw for much longer than 4 days at a time. I’m 7 weeks into it so far right now, my longest stretch ever!

The approach that is working for me is to greatly increase the amount of fruit and greens I’m eating, and reduce the amount of fat. A lot of the raw food recipes I’ve seen rely on avocados, nuts, and seeds to provide calories and substance to the meal. However, dishes that contain large amounts of nuts don’t work well for me, so I ended up avoiding them altogether and just focusing on the salads and avocados. It took me a long time to realize that’s not enough calories with the way I exercise, and as such it was only be a matter of time on each stretch before I’d feel weak and dizzy.

I found a new approach last summer, when I read Dr. Douglas Graham’s book, The 80/10/10 Diet. Here was someone telling me why it’s okay to eat fruit instead of fat on a raw food diet for the calories I need. For me, reading his work was like having a light bulb go off in my head. A big “Aha!” And after trying it for the last 6 months, I can now say it really works better for me than anything I’ve tried so far. I wish I’d been exposed to the idea of eating more fruit back in 2006 at the festival.

I understand that Dr. Graham has yet to be invited to speak at a Raw Spirit Festival. I think it would be a boon to many folks to hear from him. He’s a fine educator, a thoughtful, sincere person, and has been proving the effectiveness of his approach by living it the last couple of decades. The level of health and fitness he has attained is enviable. I had an opportunity to meet him in February, at one of his events, The Walking Tour of Costa Rica, which I attended with my partner and about which I wrote numerous blog entries.

Friend wen met at the Raw Spirit Festival 2006I hope the folks running the Raw Spirit Festival will find it possible to include Dr. Graham at the event this year, so that people can be exposed to the widest possible variety of approaches to the raw food diet. When I think back to the festival in 2006, there wasn’t anyone there that I remember who advocated eating like Dr. Graham does, and this meant a year-long delay before I found these ideas (while surfing the web one day).

When I attended the festival in 2006 and heard such wide ranging views, that included Sun Gazing, I felt confident that I was getting exposed to the state-of-the-art info on diet and health. To remain competitive and relevant, I hope the festival will continue to entertain as many viewpoints as possible, and let the attendees decide for themselves which approach to apply.

I wish I’d been there in 2007, and I hope to attend the festival again some day. To all that are headed out to Arizona this year, I hope you have a great time and enjoy the friendships and experiences you will have!

Best regards,

Van

I hope it helps influence the organizers of the event to invite him to speak. I hear he is willing and ready!

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