Know Thyself: For Vitality, Transition To Living Foods

Flickr - Green Shake - Stacy SpensleyNancy B. Loughlin, GreenMedInfo
Waking Times

“The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.”

That is a quote from Ann Wigmore, an early advocate of living foods and wheatgrass juice for detoxifying and healing the body, mind and spirit.

If you eat what’s alive, you become alive.

Food is supposed to be nourishing, so the standard American diet (SAD) isn’t food.  It’s loaded with animal, saturated and hydrogenated fats.  It’s highly processed and low in vitamins, minerals, enzymes, phytonutrients, complex carbohydrates and fiber. Everything on the SAD plate has traveled thousands of miles, and it’s been mangled by pesticides and preservatives.

If you are looking to get sick, destroy the planet and lose your soul, SAD is an excellent choice.

The alternative is a plant-based diet emphasizing raw, living foods.  It’s sustainable, and it revitalizes the body and mind. It will save your life.

Brian Hetrich is the greenhouse manager for the Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach, a residential wellness center and educational institution that advocates a living raw, vegan diet as the path to health. He is also the co-author of Natural Vibrant Health: Raw Food.  This terrific book offers simple steps for setting up a raw, vegan kitchen and is packed with delicious recipes.  Get it on Amazon.

  • What is the cornerstone of this miraculous diet?  Sprouts.

    I caught up with Brian Hetrich recently for a Q&A.

    For you, are there still four food groups?  There are, indeed, four food groups:  living foods, raw foods, cooked vegetables and cooked animal products. Living foods are the most nutritious.

    What is a living food?  Living foods are plant-based foods that are beyond fresh and raw. They are still connected to their root systems and are growing at the time of consumption. The most popular living foods include sprouts such as adzuki, mung, lentils, fenugreek, garbanzo, clover, onion, garlic, cabbage, broccoli, alfalfa, radish, sunflower, pea shoots, buckwheat, wheatgrass and more.

    How would you describe a dead food?  Dead foods include plants that have been severed from their life-supporting root systems. All animal foods (beef, chicken, fish, pork, dairy, cheese, eggs and yogurt) are also dead. Nutrients are scarce in dead foods. Heating and cooking foods further diminishes this meager nutrient content with an average loss of 87% of vitamins, minerals, protein, enzymes and phytonutrients. All animal products contain no fiber and acidify your body when eaten.  The higher up the food chain you eat the more toxins you are exposed to. This is because toxins bio-accumulate in the tissues of animals. When you eat animal products you are consuming sixteen times the concentration of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, lead, mercury and other chemical pollution as you would if you instead consumed the plants that the animal ate.

    What are the benefits of eating living food? All disease is the result of two things: a lack of nutrition and an over-exposure to toxins. Because we cook and process everything we eat, SAD causes chronic malnourishment. Living foods are at least ten times more nutritious than even the best fresh, ripe, raw, organic vegetables available. Using plant-based foods to feed humans uses twenty times less land, thirty times less water, and fifty times less air compared to using animals to feed humans. This means much less pollution and a more efficient use of these precious resources.

    What is it about sprouts that make them an ideal living food?  Sprouting can be done in any part of the world and in any climate. This is because sprouting is done indoors, right in your own kitchen. It does not take a lot of time or money, but it does take planning. You can grow the most nutritious food on the planet for less than a dollar a pound. It is the perfect emergency preparedness food since your seeds will keep for a long time if properly stored. All you need to get started is a sprouting container, seeds and water. Sprouts are a powerful alkalizer to your body.  Sprouts are a complete food as they contain all of the vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber, and EFAs that the body needs in abundance and in a highly digestible form.  The energy contained in the seed, grain, nut or legume is ignited through soaking and sprouting.

    Transitioning to a raw, vegan diet can be a jolt for SAD eaters.  How can people integrate sprouts into their diets in a meaningful way? The best way to get started is with the easiest of sprouts to grow which are the beans and legumes like mung beans, green lentils, red lentils and fenugreek. No special lights, trays or dirt are needed. You can use a one-quart, wide mouth Mason jar with a sprout lid, a sprout bag, or the Easy-Sprouter, add water and have living food in just three days. You can have several sprout containers on hand with plants in various stages of growth for living foods every day.  Start with a daily green smoothie.  Add a handful of these sprouts to your lunch vegetable sandwich and dinner salad, or use these sprouts for a protein- rich snack any time.

    Focus on what you can have rather than what you can’t have by adding the healthier options. This way the less healthy options will naturally be displaced.

    Kendell’s Green Smoothie

    1 stalk celery
    2 cups coconut water
    ½ cucumber
    1 banana
    1 champagne mango
    1 avocado
    1 handful spinach, collard greens, kale or Swiss chard
    1 teaspoon green powder
    2 tablespoons protein powder

    Thoroughly blend all ingredients in a blender.

    For more information, click on

    About the Author

    Nancy B. Loughlin is a writer, yogi, teacher and runner in Fort Myers. She can be reached at

    Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of WakingTimes or its staff.

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