Discovery (written in 2003 for Living Nutrition Magazine)
by Karen Ranzi, M.A.
Since I became a raw foodist nine years ago, I have seen many changes in my life. I homeschool my children in Bergen County, New Jersey, and we are part of a homeschool support network called TriCounty Homeschoolers. We get together frequently with other homeschool families for classes, projects, field trips and socializing. In the past several years, I have enjoyed wonderful relationships with many of these open-minded people, and I feel that my example and my willingness to answer various questions about health and nutrition, has led a number of my friends to the raw food lifestyle. Many of them had already been vegetarian, but felt that becoming a raw food vegan was quite a stretch for them.
Initially, friends looked at me strangely when I showed up with my own food, either fruit or salad, at our get-togethers. Some of them even called me a “fanatic.” But over time, their curiosity was sparked, prompting them to inquire about the benefits of my lifestyle. They wanted to know how this simple way of living could help them in their own lives. They shared their problems with me: obesity, chronic fatigue, frequent colds, high blood pressure, skin and respiratory problems, and allergies. I did not want to advise them unless they were truly receptive to the information.
As time went on, some of the exotic and more unfamiliar fruits, such as cherimoya or white sapote, also caught their interest. They would ask such questions as: “What is this funny-looking fruit that you are eating, and does it taste good?” I would offer them a piece, letting them discover the deliciousness of such fruits.
Over several years, some of these friends have become raw foodists and are enjoying the numerous benefits that this diet provides. It is so nice to have a gathering where raw foods are plentiful.
When my father became ill a couple of years ago, he approached me with the idea of trying a raw food diet as an alternative, in the hope that it would help his condition. At the time, he had a severe life-threatening respiratory problem. He has been vegetarian most of his life, 79 years, but was not living on mostly raw foods. When he switched to a raw food diet during this illness, he saw a remarkable improvement. Prompted by his more recent diagnosis of glaucoma, he was close to a 100 percent raw food diet for several months. It seems that the raw food lifestyle has helped to reduce the pressure in both eyes, and he has been able to completely get off the medication. His opthalmologist was amazed and calls him “the miracle man.” My father now eats raw foods during the day and steamed potato and vegetables for dinner.
It is amazing to me that my Dad, who I always looked up to for his opinions, is now calling me whenever he has questions related to nutrition and healing. I have realized just how powerful is the example of one sincerely pursuing the natural, healthy way of life.