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The Raw Foods Experiment

Former UFC Heavyweight Champ Brock Lesnar went from unstoppable force after his title unification win over Frank Mir last summer, to laid up in a hospital bed in early 2010.

What finally knocked Brock down to the canvas?  His diet. 

Lesnar developed a bacterial infection that turned into diverticulitis, which eventually ate a hole in his colon, spilling fecal matter into his abdomen (wow.)  The situation compromised his immune system to the degree that he contracted mono, and his loved ones feared the worst.

In the May 2010 issue of Muscle & Body magazine, Brock is fairly open with what led to his illness.

"I have changed the way I eat.  I've really cleaned my diet up.  I've added a lot more fiber to my diet, and also grouping my foods together has really helped.  It's made it easier for my digestive system to do its job and to get the most nutrients out of each and every meal.  This is a sickness that we've done to ourselves.  This is because of our western diets.  Our processed foods, I believe are a huge factor in what's creating a lot of cancer.  This thing has opened my eyes to a whole bunch of things."

Lesnar is fairly open that he probably "ate a whole cow in a year", and nutritionist PR Cole shared the estimation that Brock's meat-heavy diet probably led to his condition.

While I hesitate to use the term "cure", a Raw Food Diet goes a long way in helping the body's fiber requirements, as well as extracting even more of the best enzymes that are lost in fruits and vegetables once they are heavily cooked.

A few key notes from www.thebestofrawfood.com:

  • Cooking food above 115 degrees F kills the enzymes. Enzymes help you digest your food. Your body can create enzymes but that process takes a lot of energy. This makes you tired - remember how you feel after a heavy cooked meal? Further, the enzymes your body makes are not as good as the ones that were destroyed in the food. The food will not be broken down as well and thus harder to digest. 

  • It also changes the pH of the food and makes food acidic. We like to eat alkaline foods. Eating acidifying food makes your body acidic and thus a welcome feeding ground for disease.

    Without trying to download everything here, there is a litany of information on how to implement more raw foods into your everyday habits.  While I hate the term "diet", this eating philosophy has caught on amongst numerous celebrities, not only because of the health benefits, but cosmetic benefits as well.

    I highlighted the "Raw Model" Anthony Anderson previously, but the most notable celebrities who promote this sort of nutrition philosophy seem to be Woody Harrelson and Demi Moore

    There's probably a lot of crossover between raw foods and veganism, here's an article interview with Harrelson's former trainer Jon Hinds conducted an informative interview here.  I also stumbled onto a pretty interesting site - No Meat Athlete.

    Well, if you've read this far I can only assume you hve clicked on a few of the informative links and done your own research by now.  With regards to the question "how do I get started?" it is actually simple (and shouldn't clean eating be simple?)

    Eat lots of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds.  Eat foods as close to their natural states as you can (wash them when necessary of course).  And obviously by now you should have noticed a theme on this site with regards to utilizing the blender to combine your raw healthy foods into a smoothie.

    As for me, I will likely be combining my two "experiments" into one.  The early parts of the day will be largely raw foods (grapefruit, almonds, sunflower seeds, salad, whey protein) until dinner time.  Dinner will then be vegetarian (beans, brown rice, egg whites, oatmeal) though in the interest of full disclosure, there will probably be a few peices of fish eaten during the week.

    My hope is to stick to this, at least for a month into July and see how it goes.  Hopefully both the health results and performance results will be positive.