I: What we eat, and why
II: Why a fruit diet?
III: Shopping for Basics
IV: A Fruitarian Breakfast
V: Later in the Day
VI: Fruitarian Drinks
VII: A Fruitarian Diary
VIII: A Fruitarian Commitment
I: What we eat, and why
When the Great Inventor first thought of the idea it seemed relatively simple.
He would invent People. Separate individual souls or spirits which could evolve independently, observing, thinking things out, making decisions, coming to conclusions, and generally doing their own things, sometimes good, often not so good, but always new, original and creative, thus adding richness and diversity to the sum total of the Great Universal Experience.
But like all Great Ideas, what started out as something simple gradually grew in complexity.
Each soul or spirit would need some kind of a box or container or shape, a physical form in which to manifest itself. The container would need incoming channels to receive sense impressions of sound, sight and touch; and it would need computing power to analyze situations and decide on courses of action.
So the People would have to be created as heads, with brains, noses, ears and eyes. But a row of heads sitting around like cabbages in a field would not be able to do much experiencing or interacting. They would have to be mobile, and that meant legs. Arms and hands would be needed as all-purpose instruments, and a body to hold it all together. All of which would now require a self-support system.
Just as a thousand miners in the old silver-mining towns needed an army of non-miners to provide food and entertainment and all the other support services, so the human spirit now needed its own services to provide nourishing and cleaning and general maintenance facilities.
Finally, the whole complex would need a source of energy for two purposes: activity and renewal.
We know that we need energy for physical and mental activity. But we also need energy for bodily renewal too. Every part of the body, from brain cells and body tissue to teeth and toe nails is in a process of continuous renewal, of disposal and regeneration. Traditional Buddhist teaching has long held that the physical body renews itself totally and completely every seven years, which means that the physical You of today has absolutely nothing physically in common with the You of seven years ago!
So we have to take in energy, convert it, and circulate it. This is undertaken by the body's support system. We need many different kinds of energy which we receive from several different sources.
From the sun we get vitamin D. Sunlight also feeds tiny photo receptors in our eyes which take the sun's energy and feed it down to our nerves. We also get energy from spring water which has not been chemically processed, from good clean fresh air, and from trees and plants. Pine trees are particularly beneficial. In addition we receive spiritual energy from the Universe - or we may do so if our channels are open. This is a wholly different field of study which those interested may pursue through the many sources of knowledge now available to us.
However most of our bodily energy requirement is derived through the intake of food. But then food had to be Invented too!
The Great Inventor's solution to this problem was a system in which plants re-create themselves, and humans nourish themselves, through a mutually beneficial collaboration.
Plants need to spread and implant their seeds. To achieve this many of them produce fruits.
The fruit is there for the taking. It signals when it is ripe and ready by turning an attractive red, orange, yellow or purple. It contains all we need - fiber, vitamins, minerals, and a natural balance of solid and liquids. A selection of fruits will nourish the system, cleaning and purifying at the same time. And it will leave no damaging or clogging residue or deposits.
That's what fruit does for us. We in turn serve the fruit bush or tree by carrying, spreading and implanting the seeds which are enclosed within the fruit.
An altogether excellent arrangement for all concerned.
But things were to become more complex still.
Humans were to become lazy and aggressive, a combination which led them into the unfortunate habit of killing animals, birds, fishes, and yes, even one another, for food.
The senses of taste and smell, given to us primarily so that we could enjoy the scents of the flowers, and more practically so as to avoid fruit which was over-ripe, became a source of sensuality which led us into the development of recipes for food treatment specifically designed to titillate the senses with their richness. This development culminated in the French art of haute cuisine in which smell, taste and richness became the prime attraction.
As we became more developed and the pressures of civilization grew, so we came more and more to eat foods as emotional consolation - especially foods rich in concentrations of fats and sugar.
And finally, as food became cheap, plentiful and highly processed, we were able to obtain for consumption far more in quantity than our systems needed or could tolerate, and our diets soon became unbalanced as we came to eat more and more highly refined foods created for pleasurable sensation and instant convenience rather than for serious nutrition.
And so we find ourselves at the table of a typical middle-class family in the developed world today. We eat things because they're there, available in supermarket, freezer and home. They are conveniently packaged, easy to buy, easy to open, ready and easy to eat. We kill animals, birds and fishes (or rather, we pay people to do this for us), thus alienating other life forms, generating fear, and feeding ourselves with unnatural and unhealthy substances. We eat incorrectly, and we eat excessively. Our food has no natural balance, so to one kind of inappropriate substance - for example the typical stodgy and fatty plate of meat, hamburger, bun and fried potatoes - we add quantities of "soft drinks" which contain carbonated water, sugar, artificial flavors and colors, diluting the gastric juices, bloating the stomach, and contributing nothing of nutritional value whatsoever.
Then we become fat, out of condition, and sick. And we wonder why. Too much fat and stodge can often cause headaches. Pressure of unhealthy food and drink on the kidneys causes backache. So how do we respond? Our solution is to take yet more unhealthy substances in the form of concentrated chemicals - those pills with strange names which give instant relief for all ills mainly by the simple expedient of dulling those senses which feel pain and send us its warning messages. Many people respond by taking exercise, by jogging or 'working out' in a gym or with some kind of expensive home walking machine. But exercise should be a pleasurable reward for a fit body, not a remedy for being overweight. It would be better, and would place much less strain on the heart, to diet first and then when you're fit, to keep fit by continuing the diet and enjoying your new-found health and lightness with an early-morning jog.
We take our bodies for granted because we live in them, we have always lived in them, we grew up in them. We take completely for granted their complexity and the wonders they perform for us day by day, moment by moment. We think we're brilliant because we can put people in space or make computers which can think with the speed of light or because we can put a symphony orchestra on a small disc and recreate its full majesty at will in our homes or send color pictures through the airwaves. We think we're brilliant to do all this, and so we are. But one thing we can't do is build the physical body of the fully functioning human being which invented all this brilliance. We can't, and probably never will.
The human being with its body, nervous system and brain is the world's most complex machine. It is far more complex than the motor vehicle we drive around in. And yet we know and care more about the function and the needs of an auto engine than we do about our bodies.
We know that radiators need water, engines need oil, bearings need grease. We know what kind of gasoline we have to put in; no one would dream of putting leaded fuel into the tank when the engine is built for unleaded.
If we paid half as much attention to the understanding and supply of our bodies' needs we would all be healthier, we'd live longer and happier lives, hospitals would empty and health care costs would plummet. Thousands of animals, birds and fishes would live much happier lives, and the auras of ourselves individually, as well as the collective aura of our planet, would become clearer as we ceased to generate fear through the mass slaughter of living beings.
But we appear neither to know nor care what our complex bodily machines need. And clearly we care even less that our gastronomic pleasure demands the death of others.
We eat sugar and fats to console ourselves, "haute cuisine" to be sociable or clinch a business deal and to give an impression of culture, we eat meat to build a macho image, and we eat too much. Then we correct our errors with further errors. And to cap it all we have even learnt to isolate substances which actually cause malfunctions and distortions of the mind. What a pity. It all started so well!
II: Why a fruit diet?
Why become a fruitarian?
If you're already vegetarian (either full- or part-time!), your reasons for becoming vegetarian make a good starting point for the fruit plunge.
Why vegetarian? Generally there are two major reasons: first, you don't like killing animals. And second, you believe that a vegetarian diet is lighter and healthier.
So also with fruit, only more so.
As a vegetarian you won't be killing animals, birds, fishes insects or humans for your dinner. But you probably will be killing a cabbage, or a lettuce, or a stick of celery. Hey, just a minute, I hear you cry in lightly concealed anguish. Self-masochism can go too far! I'm already a vegetarian and that's quite virtuous enough for one incarnation.
OK. Let's take another tack. Consider fruit for a moment. What is it exactly? The answer is that fruit is a tasty, delicious, nutritious substance offered to you, yes offered to you by a plant or tree. You don't have to kill anything or anybody. You don't have to take a leaf or a branch which doesn't kill but surely hurts. You don't have to ask, or apologize. In fact it's the plant or tree which does the asking, and you are doing it a favor. Why? The fruit is not tasty and delicious and nutritious and appealing for no reason; it's a cunning plot to attract animals and humans, anything that can move (which of course a tree or plant cannot). Why? The plant wants us 'mobiles' to take the fruit as a reward for spreading its seeds which are located within the fruit. When we eat fruit we are truly 'working with nature'. The fruit is nutritious so that we will be tempted to eat it.
Eating fruits involves neither killing nor maiming. We are working with the trees and plants in acts of mutual cooperation and mutual benefit. And because there is no death or injury involved, our food comes to us without that aura of fear which persons sensitive to such things tell us pervade the dead bodies of meat, chickens and fishes. Our vibration rates are not dragged down by the pain of others - we do not ingest pain and suffering into our systems.
As to our health, fruit is lighter, and well balanced particularly in its moisture content. It nourishes and refreshes at the same time.
Another very, VERY significant point was made to me by my intuitive chef who started us on "this fruit business". He said: "Ninety-nine point nine nine nine percent of any and all human illness of any kind whatsoever (he was very positive on this!) is caused by blockages in your pipework - from the large arteries that pump blood around the body and through the heart, to the tiny capillaries in the brain." He paused, indicating the importance of the punch-line to follow. "And no artery large or small ever got blocked by fruit. Indeed, most fruits actually clean, scour and purify the passages."
Blockages in the fine capillaries in and around the brain result in Altzheimers - what in earlier days was simply called 'hardening of the arteries'; more seriously, the deprivation of blood to a section of the brain which is thus damaged will cause a stroke.
And yes, we all know what happens when the blood vessels and arteries around the heart get blocked. But to put a figure on it: heart disease is the biggest cause of death for Americans. It kills 750,000 every year - despite $100 billion expended on diagnosis and treatment.
I had an elderly friend (95 years old) who was a bit of a grumpus (but nice underneath!). She was fed up with living and impatient to die. Anyway, she got a poisoned toe, which poisoned her foot and threatened to move up the leg. The doctor was talking about amputation, though that never came about because death intervened. The Chinese Herb Doctor explained to me what had happened. An artery to the toe muscle had got blocked and the muscle had died, then festered. You see: blocked arteries again!
So. There you have it. The full case for a fruit diet. Or almost so. I would only add that like anything it seems strange at first, and it is surely best to take it slowly. We began the move from vegetarian to fruitarian four years ago and it took a year to get there! But once you're hooked on fruit... well, I can tell you from current experience that when you abandon fruit even just for one meal you feel heavy, you miss that refreshed, cleansed after-feeling that only comes from a fruit meal.
Fruit is "given"; it is created specifically to be nutritious; it is healthy, it is light, it will help raise your vibration rate, it is non-clogging and cleansing. And once you get used to it, other food tastes dry and solid after fruit.
If you are not convinced you should try to become a fruitarian, or if you are convinced but lack the willpower, well, maybe we'll meet up again some time.
If you ARE convinced at least to give it a try, then read on and I will tell you a little of how to go about it.
III: Shopping for Basics
Fruits. What are they?
Well, the obvious ones are obvious. But when you start listing them you realize what a tremendous variety there really is.
There are the citrus fruits: oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruits. The berries: raspberries, red and black currants, gooseberries, cherries. Apples, pears, plums, apricots and nectarines. Dates. Grapes red and green, seedless if you can get them. Melons: delicious red water melons, sweet honeydews, cantaloupes, and the many fancy varieties. Mangoes and papayas. Cucumbers, green and red peppers, marrows, courgettes and dark crimson eggplants also fall into this general category along with pumpkins. Bananas provide vital nutrients. Avocadoes and tomatoes are also fruits.
Fruitarians eat mainly fruit, but with the addition of grains, beans and nuts. There is no death involved here.
Nuts: well, whatever you can find at a reasonable price, depending on season or whatever your local store may have "on special". Keep a lookout and stock up when the going's good! Nuts should preferably be taken in the morning (great with breakfast fruit), rather than evening as they are not so easily digested. Sunflower seeds are among the cheapest nuts and are very nutritious.It is good to mix your nut intake a little, for each of the many varieties of nuts has different nutrients to offer.
Beans. For novice fruitarian chefs get baked beans in tomato sauce (avoiding the beans with pork addition!), then add chopped fruits. Apple, citrus, tomato, avocado all go well. Season with savory seasonings which I will enumerate in a moment. And there you have a tasty meal. A fruitarian meal!
But there are other beans too. Large red kidney beans, small black beans, white butter beans, mid-size brown beans which the Egyptians have for breakfast ("fasouliya"), green broad beans, lentils, chick peas (make hommos among other things)... etc etc. Beans are a major item in fruitarian food preparation.
Grains. sesame seeds can also be mixed in with fruit dishes.
In case you are not too familiar with the different kinds of flour, I should mention that there are two kinds of wheat flour: strong bread, and cake-and-pastry. "All-purpose" is a compromise. Strong bread is good for yeast breads as it is more elastic. Cake-and-pastry is good for... well, cakes and pastries, things you bake with baking powder or baking soda.
These are some of the raw materials you have to work with.
Fruits are basically - well, fruity, which in general means, if not always sweet, at least not savory. Actually there are exceptions as already noted: tomatoes are a fruit. So is avocado. And cucumber. But there's not too much that's really savory in the fruit line. So if you want savory, there's an armory of additives (if you'll pardon the expression). They're quite harmless ones of course, in fact beneficial really.
At this point I suppose I must confess that we're not 100% fruitarian, just 99.999% because we do like to add seasonings such as dried mixed herbs, onion and garlic powder - in very small quantities, and not very often... but nonetheless.... And of course these seasonings do involve the maiming of a plant. Well. Nobody's perfect.
One important savory additive is de-bittered yeast powder, or Brewer's Yeast. Engavita is a specific kind, a nice-tasting, golden yellow powder. But you'll have to get what you can at your health or bulk food store - or maybe in a packet if all else fails. Yeast powder has all the B vitamins and lots of other goodies. And it has a really nice flavor to it - at least Engavita does anyway, and so should de-bittered yeast in general. If it does taste bitter try another kind. Also get some powdered yellow mustard in. Used sparingly it adds zest to dressings etc and is also good for the throat. I also keep soy sauce to hand - preferably the plain Chinese kind, not the fancy Japanese ones though they are good as well (but pricey!).
I also use good quality vegetarian pasta sauce for all manner of things. It goes well with salads (yes, "fruit" salads!), and makes a delicious savory bread. But it goes off quite quickly in its big jar so when you've used half of it, decant it to a smaller container, and an even smaller one when it gets near the end. Check the label contents; go for the kind that is made with real chopped tomatoes - the cheaper ones just have tomato paste and water.
We always keep a jar of filafil powder handy. Actually it comes in a packet or loose; we get it loose. Filafil is an Arab food designed for the desert caravans. It contains a lot of nutritious substances in dried form which only need the addition of water. It has gained wide popularity and is now also produced in California and other places. Filafil consists of dried pulses (mainly chick peas), herbs and spices, all ground to a roughish powder. The desert caravans would carry it. Mix it with water or some leftover tasty liquid (perhaps the liquid from a can of plain beans), form into cakes and fry it. We used to go to a shop in Beirut (long before it destroyed itself; back in the late 1950s when it was one of the world's Great Places). It was called Filafil Misr (Misr=Egypt) and they made fantastic filafil sandwiches in pocket (pitta) bread with tahini (creamed sesame seeds), tomatoes, green peppers and parsley. I firmly believe that if the great American hamburger chains offered identical bun/salad "hamburgers" but made with filafil instead of animal flesh they'd soon find they had a runaway success on their hands! Filafil powder can also be used as a seasoning or a thickener in many ways.
TVP or textured vegetable protein comes in dry, shredded form and can also be added to food for extra nutriment.
Benjamin Franklin came across some interesting beans, known as Chinese Caravances, while serving in England as the agent for the colony of Pennsylvania,. The beans, which could be made into a kind of cheese, fascinated him. He sent a few back to America with instructions that they be distributed to farmers willing to plant them. The Chinese Caravance is now known as the soybean, and the seeds that Franklin sent home gave rise to a soybean harvest currently worth $10 billion each year to American farmers. The "cheese" that so interested Franklin can be found in health stores today - it's called tofu.
When we became vegetarian thirty-five years ago we didn't tell people because they thought we were crazy and they were quite sure that we would quickly fade away for want of "proper nourishment" - in the form of fatty meats, cheese and other delectables. Today almost everybody seems to be either vegetarian, or heading that way, or at least quite open to it. But becoming a fruitarian is something relatively new, and those attempting to follow this path are pioneers. So expect to hunt for things; if you don't find them prod people into action, and when you do find them, always remember to encourage and support those who produce and sell them.
Fortunately fruits themselves are not too hard to find in plentiful quantity and variety.
At this point a word or two should be said about proportions. A fruitarian diet is mainly fruit - I'd say 70-80% should be pure fruit. The rest would be beans or bread/cake, small portion or less of nuts.
Now for the tools of your trade.
You will need a good chopping board (you'll be doing lots of fruit chopping!), and whatever knives you find suitable (it's important to have good knives which are well balanced, sharp, and do the different jobs properly). You'll need a decent grater too, for grating that wonderful zest from the skins of citrus fruits. It's worth getting decent equipment for the job.
Also absolutely essential is a tall, upright, goblet-style liquidizer - what we call a whizzer. This is not the same as the flatter type of food processor which doesn't puree things so well (though you need a food processor too, preferably one with a grater and a shredder attachment).
So much for the basics. Now you're all set. Or almost.
I mentioned earlier (though you may have skipped it - we often skip things we don't like to accept!) that we eat for many different reasons. Ego-building and emotional consolation after a rough day are two major reasons. Becoming a fruitarian is not just a change in diet, it is a change in attitude. Indeed the change in attitude really comes first, or at least it runs a few paces ahead. You can't change your diet without this change in attitude.
The change in attitude means relaxing, gradually altering your lifestyle if necessary to ensure that you are doing what you really want to do, eliminating tensions, and trying to get into closer touch with your intuition so that you can "go with the flow of evolution" rather than clinging to things you have outgrown or allowing your ego to dominate your thinking.
As you change, so your tastes in food will change. And as you eat lighter food, so your body will change and your intuition will awaken. The two work together, one helping the other.
Becoming a fruitarian requires that you look at yourself, your thoughts and emotions, your lifestyle in general, check what you're doing, and ask yourself precisely why you are doing what you're doing. Particularly, in the present context, why you eat what you eat. Once you begin to examine and identify your motives you can begin to control them, you can begin to select foods which provide your body and spirit what it needs, without overloading or excess.
The reason I have dwelt on that subject is to prepare you, or try to do so, for the less-sensual foods which fruitarianism will require you to prepare and to consume. And it's really a double-bombshell, because fruit is best taken uncooked, so we're looking at many more uncooked meals. Cooking food reduces its nutrients and condenses it, thus fooling the body into taking too much. Even before you become fruitarian you would do well to take as much uncooked food as possible, though avoiding of course those vegetables which are indigestible when taken raw.
Fruits do not naturally lend themselves to cooking, so fruitarianism and not-much-cooking tend to go together. I am only warning you because uncooked foods are less inherently sensual than cooked foods, so be prepared!
I can only say, having given these dire warnings, that although your future fruit diet may sound spartan and uninteresting, I would never go back to the rich, sensual foods I used to like. And I was quite a gourmet in my old, pre-fruit days. In fact I'm still a gourmet now, and I hope that with some prompting and a little invention on your part you will soon come to prepare and enjoy fruit as much as or preferably more than whatever sensual indulgences you may enjoy at present! Remember also that one of the major pleasures (yes, pleasures) of fruitarianism is getting up after a meal and not feeling all the fullness and solidity in the system which you often feel after a large, rich cooked meal. Much of the pleasure in today's foods comes from the eating; much of the pleasure we fruitarians enjoy comes both during, and after the meal.
Just take it slowly, using more fruit all the time, cooking less and less, reducing the quantity of your intake. Give it a year, why not? We did. The body wasn't built for sudden change, and doesn't react well to it.
Now for some recipes. Generally these are not firm recipes however, but guidelines as a basis for your own experimentation. When you are using uncooked fruit it is much easier to "mix and match" and you will always want to use what is fresh at any given time of year. Also try to develop your intuition: if you "feel like" something, your body may be telling you that's exactly what you need - providing of course that you've managed to tame the dreaded sensuality and greed!
IV: A Fruitarian Breakfast
Let's start with breakfast. I mentioned many words ago that a change of attitude and lifestyle is important, and this includes giving proper time and sense of occasion to meals. Why not start with breakfast - many believe that breakfast is your most important meal of the day. You may say you haven't got time for it. "Get up earlier" is the simplistic solution. A deeper response is that we can all find time for those things we consider important. OK so you re-arrange your life. Try it, you may like it!
We get up early. For several reasons. First because we can jog before the crowds come out. Second so we can enjoy a leisurely breakfast and thus an ordered start to the day. Another personal reason is that I'm a slow starter and I have to get going before everybody else so that I'm level with them when we all come on stream. That's how I see it anyway.
We tidy the place up after sleeping, have a preliminary wash, jog a while, then return to a cold bath in summer or a hot-and-cold shower in winter. Then we sit down quietly to a good breakfast, with some relaxing baroque music. After breakfast we sit and read a little, then take a short digestive stroll. Then, and only then, is one ready for the day. If all of this requires us to get up at 5.30am (which it does), then so be it.
Since we're on the subject of routines, I would also mention what in the north of England is known affectionately as "regularity". They're keen on it up there, and rightly so. Most people pay far more attention to what goes into the body, than what comes out. But a regular expulsion of wastes and excesses is vital, and if this is not accorded regular, relaxed and proper attention, the results will be headaches and backaches, and if prolonged, an eventual poisoning of the bloodstream. Whilst on this delicate subject it might also be mentioned that fruit moves quickly through the system, nourishing and cleansing, then passing smoothly and easily on its way. Meat on the other hand can take five days or more to pass through the system, by which time it is, if you'll pardon the expression, putrefied. Not something a body should have inside it.
So. Back to breakfast.
One of our favorite breakfast starters is a citrus-banana "smoothie". For this you must have a goblet-style liquidizer, one with the high jug and blades at the bottom. This recipe is for two people. Choose a good orange, not the large ones but the medium-sized, and make sure it has a nice dark-orange unblemished skin because you're going to use every bit of it! You wash the orange well, but gently with your hands so as not to lose the vital essence which lurks in the very surface of the skin. Then cut it up into fairly small pieces, including peel, pith, everything except the pips (seeds) if there are any. Put the pieces in your liquidizer with a broken peeled banana, and about an inch of orange or apple juice at the bottom. (Just to clarify: the orange goes in whole, the banana gets peeled). I always add a squeeze of molasses because it gives a nice taste and is full of minerals and nutrients. Actually, we are very keen on the molasses and recommend a squeeze of it frequently (we decant into a squeezable bottle). I also add a piece of firm tofu (about 2 inches square) if I feel like extra nutrition; that makes it extra smooth and creamy!
Then switch on and whizz it all around. You may have to stop and stir at the beginning to get it started, but eventually it will all whirr into a smooth cream. Pour this into a dish or container then add whatever fruit comes to hand: chopped apple, chopped peeled grapefruit, seedless grapes, also dried stuff if you fancy it such as raisins, chopped dates. Finally a small handful of chopped nuts. Perhaps a little wheat germ too, which is very Good For You!
You can make your smoothie with oranges, tangerines, lemons or limes. But not, strangely enough, with grapefruit. The grapefruit is a delicious fruit, we peel and chop it into all sorts of dishes and salads. But the outer rind is very strong. In all cases remember, you are using the whole of the citrus fruit except for the seeds. Lemons are a bit tougher than oranges, so for your whizzer's sake cut the lemon up a bit smaller. Limes even more so, but they make a delicious smoothie. I like to add chunks of peeled orange to the lime puree after it is whizzed as a contrast. Always add one banana peeled and roughly broken, a shot of molasses, and enough liquid to make the whole thing whizz. If you do ever need peeled orange segments always choose any oranges you may have with not very attractive outer skins. If you need a peeled orange but only have ones with good skins, grate the skin first and put it in a small container mixed with some honey to preserve it. Then use it in baking or salad dressing or whatever. Just never waste it! As Mum used to say, the skin is where all the good sunshine is!
I make this fruit smoothie the night before, add the fresh chopped fruits as available, put it into a sealable plastic container and refrigerate overnight, though of course you can make it fresh in the morning if you prefer or if you're awake and willing. I don't think there's any nutritional loss overnight; in fact the whole thing "matures" rather nicely and the flavors "get to know one another" as the TV chefs like to say.
A goodly dish of this mix of fruits and nuts will give you all the nutrients you need for a substantial part of the day. But it's nice to have some warm bready substance and a cup of something hot.
I never much cared for the herb teas, but when I started making them stronger and more tasty I enjoyed them more. If you have a shop nearby that sells loose herbs they probably mix tea infusions as well, or can recommend mixes. This is a much cheaper way of making herb tea than buying the boxes of sachets. A little honey goes down well with the tea, but watch the quantity and monitor it carefully. If possible try to avoid sugar, especially white sugar which is usually made from sugar beet or else refined from sugar cane with all the mineral-rich molasses removed. If you must use it get brown sugar made from genuine sugar cane if you can (brown sugar is often white sugar colored with a little molasses). We get supplies of dried fruits and dried flowers and always add a little black tea to give it strength.
As to the breadies, you might try making some fruity American-style soft muffins. The ones we make are so fruity we hardly need anything on them, they're great on their own.
We have our own muffin mix consisting of (soft) cake-and-pastry flour, pancake mix, a little cornmeal, a little wheat or oat bran, and whatever else you fancy. Best to add the baking powder as you use it, but add it to the pre-mix if you're inclined to forget it. You can mix this muffin mix with orange or lemon smoothie made as already directed; you can add chopped banana, or chopped or grated apple, or whole seedless grapes (they come out whole in cooked muffins). Tinned crushed pineapple works well too. Also frozen blueberries or cranberries. Yesterday we got a whole flat (12 one-pound baskets!) of almost-over-ripe strawberries. We made strawberry muffins with the basic flour mix, some butter and corn oil, chopped brazil nuts, chopped strawberries; the liquid was strawberries and banana liquidized in the food processor (strawberries are 90% water!). When came time to put the muffin mix into the individual molds in the muffin tin, I filled half of each space with mix, placed a whole small strawberry in the center, then topped it with more mix. We had them for breakfast this morning and they were mouth-watering!
If you bake a batch of muffins you can freeze them when they're cool. Put them on a styrofoam tray in a poly bag, fold the bag over, then put that into another bag for double sealing. Take out what you need the night before and leave to defrost at room temperature, in a poly bag to retain the moisture. Heat in the oven in foil, or in the microwave. You can also use a Dutch Oven - a saucepan on the stove top - lid three-quarters on and just a gentle heat for about 5 minutes while you eat your smoothie.
Here is a note on re-heating ex-freezer breadies. If you want to retain moisture and softness of texture (ie American muffins), wrap them in foil and heat in the oven. You can also microwave them. If you want something crisp and crusty like a bread roll, get the oven very hot (400), skim the rolls quickly, very quickly under the cold tap which is barely running, then put in the hot oven. Microwaves do not crisp things! If you're reheating croissants start with them foil-wrapped to heat right through. Then unwrap, brush the top lightly with cooking oil and place under the grill/broiler - watch carefully or they will crisp... then go black!
If you like what the English call jam and Americans call jelly, try to go for the less sweet varieties. Or you can make your own spread moments before you need it. Try mashing one banana, grating half an apple (place the other half face down in a plastic pot sitting in just a little lemon juice - this can go in the smoothie or the salad tonight); grate the rind of a (washed) orange, add a little (a big teaspoon) of peanut butter, a dessertspoonful of ground nuts and one of thick honey, finally adding two peeled and small-chopped kiwi fruits. It'll make an excellent jam, and all fresh fruit. When I say "ground nuts" by the way... we use the coffee grinder.
For savory muffins, try herbs and sweetcorn and some de-bittered yeast. These are good with salads or the odd winter soup.
You don't need fat in muffins but a little cooking oil makes them softer. I never use eggs. If you do fancy eggs for breakfast in winter, spare a thought for the chickens. Regular supermarket eggs come from chickens who spend their lives in conditions which would make your hair curl. We call them "concentration camps" and that's not far out. Go for the free range eggs, from chickens that run and peck about. You owe it to them.
Waffles and pancakes are good for breakfast too. Mashed banana and chopped nuts make a good spread. Top with a variety of fresh fruit, whatever's available and looks good. Chopped red and green seedless grapes with chopped strawberries perhaps, or chopped peeled oranges and grated apple.
Whether on breakfast smoothie or for a finishing touch on your waffles, crunchy granola cereal makes a good topping. You may also find yourself snacking on it - with raisins and nuts it does make a good snack. But if snacking between meals isn't exactly a no-no, it is a "watch-it..."! Shop for a good granola (usually made of rolled oats, honey and nuts). The loose varieties aren't always cheaper either. Check the contents on the packet to see how prominently sugar appears; check the other ingredients too - you can always tell a "genuine" health product if the ingredients sound - well - healthy.
If you want a savory breakfast try waffles topped with cooked tomatoes and red or green peppers (not the hot kind unless you're a culinary masochist). We often like a savory breakfast on Saturdays. I put some cooking oil into a saucepan the night before, chop the tomatoes and peppers, put them into the pot with seasoning to taste, some soy sauce, and a very small squeeze of molasses (it brings out the inherent sweetness without making it sweet). Let it cook open until soft; the water evaporates and strengthens the flavor. Then turn the heat off, put the lid on, and leave until the morning. Re-heat quickly for your topping. Before reheating you can mix a little vegetarian pasta sauce into it if you like.
I guess if you've had any Mexican food at all the thought of tomatoes and green peppers won't scare you, even for breakfast. We met that kind of combination several years ago in Hungary. That was during the socialist days in the 80s. We were touring Hungary in our own car with an elderly horse-crazed aunt who led us along dirt roads into the wilds to find a collective farm where they breed particularly fine horses. It was great fun! We stayed in the small "hotel" built by the collective, a two storey building covered with thatched straw. The night was so quiet you could hear the silence whooshing in your ears. A tiny but cosy and very pleasant twin bed room with private shower cost $3, breakfast included. Breakfast was freshly baked rolls and excellent coffee. "Did we want eggs" they wanted to know. We knew only four words of Hungarian, not particularly useful ones either, but managed to converse in German which persists in Hungary as a relic of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and later the influx of German tourists for cheap holidays in what was then a socialist country. "Yes please, we'd love some eggs" (it's hungry work, tourism). Time went by and we thought they'd forgotten - that was quite usual in the socialist days! But no. Eventually it came. On a massive plate, an omelet at least a foot long doubtless made with a dozen eggs, containing tomatoes, onions and peppers. Some breakfast! So the result of all that was that we were used to having tomatoes and peppers for breakfast. If you personally are not then I can only say "Give it a try" - it's all fruit remember!
V: Later in the Day
A useful basic is the spread or dip - or if you make it a little more liquid it becomes a salad dressing.
Avocado mashed with de-bittered yeast, soy sauce, green olive oil and a little peanut butter or your own choice of nuts powdered in the coffee grinder makes a good sandwich filling. Keep tasting as you mix, that way you learn what the different additions do for the mix, and you eventually get the flavor you want. For sandwiches keep the mix fairly dry otherwise it can make messy eating! You can also add a little filafil powder if the mix is too moist; if you do, then let it stand briefly so that the filafil will soften.
This filling can go in a sandwich with sliced tomatoes. Chopped seedless grapes go well too.
Banana and grated apple can also be "savorized" with more or less the same treatment as above. Try in a sandwich with chopped peeled orange.
Or instead of a regular bread sandwich, try the above fillings wrapped in a soft tortilla. Or alternatively as a dip with pocket (pitta) bread.
The savorized banana-with-grated-apple made a little thinner makes a good dressing for a Waldorf-type salad. Mix with chopped apple, chopped nuts, and chopped peeled orange segments.
Having spent much time around the Mediterranean we enjoy several different kinds of traditional Mediterranean dishes.
We make our own Arabic hommos this way. Take a whole (=unpeeled) washed small lemon, removing only the seeds. Put half in the goblet as for breakfast smoothie. Store the other half for later. Open a can of chick peas and pour a little of the water plus some of the beans into the goblet. Whizz until smooth. You can now continue in the goblet, but transferring to a regular food processor with blade is easier. To the lemon smoothie add more chick peas, some soy sauce, green olive oil, and a crushed garlic. Process to a smooth, thickish texture. Serve like the Arabs do in a soup dish with a swirl of green olive oil on top. Dip pocket/pitta bread. It's a bit rich so don't go overboard. Accompany with a citrus salad.
Actually we have now begun to add fruit to this recipe, as we find it too heavy! Follow the above recipe until you transfer to a food processor, then add finely chopped apple (I use the food processor chopping attachment for that). Then you whizz the chopped apple in with the beans and lemon. This makes it much lighter.
A salad typical in Turkey consists of red beans (buy a can of plain red kidney beans without sauce) with chopped tomato and chopped cucumber. It is important to peel the cucumber first as the peel is very indigestive and can be toxic; if you get a good potato peeler you can peel a whole cucumber in seconds by peeling lengthways away from you as if you are sharpening a pencil. I add chopped apple too. The chopped apple and cucumber pieces should be the same size as the beans or slightly smaller. Put some of the water from the beans (keep the rest!) in with the chopped fruit and beans, also some green olive oil and seasoning to taste. A dab of soy sauce too. Preferably make it earlier than needed and leave to rest sealed in the fridge - that way the flavors assimilate and mature.
I have mentioned green olive oil so let me explain this. For anything except baking (get a cheap corn oil for this) you must get the really dark green virgin olive oil (don't be fooled by some oils which are in green bottles!). Avoid the pale varieties which are second or third pressings and use high heat for extraction. The key thing is that the label should read "first, cold pressing". Then you'll get the really good tasty oil which has not had all its goodness destroyed. It has long been known that olive oil doesn't clog the system. Now the nutrition "experts" are saying that olive oil contains an acid which actually works to de-clog clogged systems. But you must get the virgin, cold-pressed variety.
A major factor in converting yourself to fruitarianism will be your developing expertise in the art of the savory fruit-salad. Although this may sound a complete contradiction when you think of the traditional sweet salad taken for desert, it is surprising how well fruit can blend with a savory seasoning or dressing to make a deliciously appetizing main dish.
A savory fruit salad consists of mixed fruit, say chopped apple, orange and grapefruit segments... whatever's to hand (experiment to find what goes well with what), with an added savory seasoning of de-bittered yeast, onion powder, mixed herbs, sesame seeds, a little soy sauce, along with some green (cold-pressed) olive oil, and if you want a tomato-based sauce, some regular (vegetarian) pasta sauce. The tomato version goes particularly well with warm foccaccia bread....
Foccaccia is pronounced: fo (rhymes with lock) ca (rhymes with pa and ma) chiya - fo-ca-chiya with the accent on the central ca. Foccaccia is found all along the Med coast from Marseilles to Genoa and maybe a lot farther. There are many different versions, but the essential seems to be that it is a yeast bread about an inch thick, made the normal way except that it has a lot of olive oil in it and ground pepper, maybe herbs too, on the top.
To make from scratch mix a bread dough with yeast and strong bread flour (if you haven't studied the basics of bread making get an illustrated softback book on the subject, you'll enjoy it). Put some ground black pepper and mixed herbs in with the flour before the yeast and water. Let rise, knock back and roll out to twice the size of your baking tray. Yes, use a tray - mine is 12" by 8" internal measurements. Generously oil the bottom of the tray with olive oil and sprinkle with mixed herbs. Lay the rolled-out dough into the tray; since the dough is twice the size of the tray, half will be in the tray and half out. Spread the half which is in the tin with some bought pasta sauce thickened with a little filafil and some de-bittered yeast powder. Or if you're keen, spread with your own mix of pre-cooked tomatoes and peppers. The spreading mix should not be runny but fairly thick. After spreading half the bread area, fold the rest over on top and lightly seal the edges by pressing or folding over. Leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size. Your "rising place" must be quite warm; not hot but "pretty warmish"! When it is risen press down on the top of the dough with spread finger-tips to make a series of indentations, pour olive oil generously on top, and add a few olives if you like. A twist of black pepper and a sprinkle of herbs then into the oven. Bake in a hot oven (400); check after about 25 minutes.
Many stores and bakeries offer some form of foccaccia bread now so you can take the easy way out if you prefer or if you have a good baker handy. When you come to use the bought variety (assuming you have had it frozen) cut it in half horizontally to expose the center, and fry all sides in olive oil and mixed herbs with a little garlic powder. This is great with salads.
Or... use it as a base for a fruitarian pizza. In a saucepan fry some squashed fresh garlic in olive oil with some mixed herbs and half a lemon (including skin), very, VERY thinly chopped into tiny squares (use a very sharp small knife and don't rush it!). Now put half a large cup of pasta sauce into a bowl. Mix in some filafil and some freshly chopped mixed nuts (a couple of dessertspoons) and a little peanut butter to thicken it up then put it into the saucepan with the fried garlic and lemon. Heat gently. When the slices of foccacia are crisp, spread with the lemon-tomato mixture. With it try a salad of nectarines, plums, grapes and pitted canned olives, all chopped to about the same fingernail size; for the dressing - just a little of the brown water from the olives, a teaspoon of lemon juice and a squeeze of molasses well mixed with a little powdered yellow mustard.
If you want something cooked, pasta can be a pretty enjoyable substance. Put the pasta into boiling water and cook at a good boil (DO NOT cover or it'll all boil over!). Cook until the pasta is what the Italians call "al dente" which means "to the tooth" which in turn means it's biteable but not soggy. For the sauce you can use a pre-cooked mix of "fruits" like tomatoes, peppers and courgettes (baby marrows) cooked in olive oil with or without the final addition of a spoonful of commercial pasta sauce. OR be more adventurous and use raw, finely chopped apple, chopped plums and a chopped avocado, again with commercial pasta sauce added. Before serving the pasta and putting the sauce over it (or in the center as the Italians do) spread a little de-bittered yeast powder over the pasta, then mix well, adding a teaspoon of lemon juice and a dessertspoon of green olive oil. A twist of the pepper mill tops it off (use a 50-50 mix in your pepper mill of black pepper corns and coriander corns).
Do you eat pasta by twizzling it around your fork? Many people think that's the Proper Way to do it. When we lived in San Remo (the one in Northern Italy) we ate pasta in two very nice small restaurants. One is closed now. The other was called the Blue Grotto and is still there. When we first went there in the 60s they had just got a big tv set in the restaurant and all the waiters used to watch so it was very difficult to get service especially during a football match. They made good pasta and like all Italian restaurants except the expensive ones which give themselves "continental" airs, they served pasta in white soup plates and you ate it with a spoon and fork. Most locals chopped up the pasta although occasionally an old die-hard, with bib tucked in, would twizzle and slurp it into his mouth. So the message from Italy would seem to be: chop or slurp, whichever comes easiest! But if you're a good twizzler go right ahead - it impresses your friends and looks very suave.
Polenta is rather a nice substance, also of Italian origin. It's basically cooked yellow corn- or maize-meal (it's quite grainy, and not to be confused with smooth cornflour). The Italians like polenta a lot, and Italian cookery programs will tell grim tales of how the polenta has to be stirred for four hours with a wooden paddle. Well, they can do it like that if they want to. But we don't have to.
I usually do it in advance, in the morning if it's for the evening meal, in the evening if it's for next morning's breakfast. For two people take half (well, say a good half) of a small cup of polenta (maize-meal), add a pinch of salt and put it into the frying pan in which you have previously heated a little olive oil. Add a full cup of water, stir it around a little, bring to the boil, then cover and turn off the heat. My frying pan has a lid that fits; if yours doesn't then you might like to use a large saucepan; but it helps if it's nonstick, and also a frying pan is easier when you have to get the cooked polenta out later.
Then I just leave it. And when the time comes to eat it, ease a flat spatula carefully around the bottom of the now-firm polenta-cake to prize it away (it will have set into a sold pancake, but it might have stuck a bit). Meanwhile I put just a touch of olive oil and a knob of butter into my other, larger frying pan, get it nice and hot (not smoking) then I flip the polenta into the second pan to cook the other side. (It will be fully cooked already so this is an option if you want it hot). I hope you got the polenta thoroughly unstuck from your first frypan, otherwise it won't come away cleanly. If you have only one pan, loosen the polenta as I told you, then flip it onto a plate which has been very lightly oiled. From the plate, slide it back into your frypan which you have oiled and buttered and heated.
Heat it for a few minutes on medium heat, then serve.
You can serve it for breakfast with banana-nut butter and marmalade. Or you can serve it with a mix of grated apple, mashed banana and chopped citrus fruit.
Or with a minor variation you can have savory polenta. In the half cup of maize-meal add some garlic granules, mixed herbs, and a little salt. Put this into the frying pan with the heated olive oil, add the water then shake a little soy sauce and some de-bittered Brewer's Yeast over it. Bring it to the boil, switch off the heat, and abandon it as per previous instructions. Reheat as previous istructions, or serve sliced, cold with a salad.
Here's a recipe for a curry fruit salad.
At noon I put 3 quarters of a cup of white rice (Thai Jasmin) and 1 cups water into a saucepan, bring to a boil, then turn off the heat, cover and leave it to cook itself with the remaining heat. In the evening I fluff up the rice, sprinkle a little lemon, black pepper and a dash of olive oil over it, stirring briefly, then leave to heat on the lowest heat setting. Actually this method of cooking rice is very easy. I also like it served with oil, lemon and black pepper. When I was very young and seasick in the Med between Sicily and Greece (it's a bad area for storms) I couldn't eat anything and felt very sorry for myself. The Greek steward brought some plain white rice served as I have described with lemon, black pepper and a little olive oil, and I found it immediately settling.
For the curry I begin with a little olive oil in my nonstick saucepan, and crush some garlic into it so that the garlic browns a little. I then add a couple of tablespoons of concentrated tomato paste (important!), and a dessertspoon of curry paste (I use Patek's Kebab Paste which I thin down in the jar with a little olive oil; it gives a nicely flavored curry and lasts ages. If you cannot find this look for an Indian chutney without too much vinegar; that would also do). I also put in a little grated fresh ginger root, and the grated rind of a washed orange. Finally I add a few cumin seeds (for that essential curry flavor!) and a teaspoon mixed cooking spice. I mix all that up well, then in goes the fruit. First half an apple grated, and a mashed banana. Then the rest of the apple finely chopped, followed by a tomato, a soft plum, the inside of an orange, and some tofu, all roughly chopped. Chopped seedless grapes too if they're cheap and in season (I always believe things taste better when they're cheap and in season!). Also a little shredded coconut (dried). If it looks too dry for your taste, add a little apple juice. Mix well and just heat gently to warm it and mix the flavors, but do not cook. Serve on or beside the rice, with fried popodums if you want to be really authentic and have a good extractor fan over your cooker.
Curry is a very personal thing, and you have to get used to making it just how you like it. My preference has always been for a Malaysian-style curry which is full of curry flavor, but not particularly hot in the sense of mouth-burning. That's why I don't use the curry powder (which tends to be hot without much flavor); nor do I use the tins of curry paste, because one has to use too much (if you DO use a tin, try Malaysian Mild). I suggest you experiment with the imported condiment products of India, looking as I mentioned at the chutneys rather than curry paste per se. Though I myself found the Kebab Paste very good. Once you have found a product you like, this sort of thing keeps for a long time without refrigeration, and you only need a teaspoonful to give a good flavor to your curry. But don't forget the tomato paste, garlic (powder or fresh) and the mixed spice, which give a good base. And the cumin seeds add that extra, distinctive taste. I usually add raisins and a few chopped nuts too.
VI: Fruitarian Drinks
For some considerable time we fancied a juice extractor. One particular brand was advertised on television in a long promotional video. A group of highly energized and extremely healthy-looking young people were gathered round the machine, juicing everything under the sun, tasting, yumming, and generally enthusing. It all looked so good. There were two problems however. One was that we wouldn't want the very thin watery juice with all the pulp filtered out which the juicer seemed to produce (a glass of almost-clear liquid was proudly held up to the light for the cameras). The second, more substantial problem was that the price of the machine was not expensive, it was ridiculous. So the idea was put on hold - until fairly recently that is, when juice extractors suddenly became more widely available and cheaper. One particular model appeared very reasonably priced, so much so in fact that it was almost worth an experiment.
When we got it home we found the juice which came out was of just the right thickness to be substantial yet drinkable. A significant bonus was that the leftover pulp was not dry and tastless, but in fact made an excellent fresh-fruit jam - as long as there were no seeds in it of course. We mix the pulp with a little low-sugar commercial fruit jam (apricot makes a nice neutral mixer) or mashed banana, and spread the result fresh onto muffins and scones.
The whole juicer enterprise has proved a delight and a roaring success. Use any juicy fruits (the bready fruits, like bananas, avacodoes and papayas don't work of course). We remove the big stones as in plums and peaches - this is important, or you'll ruin your juicer. And if you make juice from citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruits they should be peeled first. Also remember that some fruits are sweeter than others. In general we find that a mix of two or three different fruits works well. One fun thing is to use water melon, that red melon with those annoying black seeds in it. You just cut off the thick green skin, cut the red interior into right-size bits to feed in, and let the seeds be filtered out by the machine's normal centrifugal process. The only problem here of course is that you can't use the pulp for jam as it's too seedy. Same really goes for blackberries or other seedy fruit. One wouldn't think of an apple as being very juicy but surprisingly, it is. An apple with citrus fruit adds a bit of natural sweetening.
Now we often have fresh fruit juice for breakfast in the morning instead of tea or coffee; it's light and refreshing, it doesn't "weigh you down" after, or attack the liver or pancreas or other sensitive areas.
I have already suggested you might see if you have a herb shop within reach so you can buy the herbs loose for your teas. This is much cheaper than using bags.
If you are lucky enough to have a Chinatown nearby ask around for the Herb Store where they sell medicinal herbs (the store owner may well be a Herb Doctor too). You will probably find this store will be a good source for all kinds of Chinese packaged teas made of fruits, flowers and roots. The names probably won't mean much to you. Look on the back and you may well be treated to a dissertation in Chinese-English extolling all the wonderful things this tea will do for you and what it will cure. Even if you take all this "with a pinch of salt" you can be fairly certain that these teas are healthful, and prepared under controlled conditions. We have quite a wide selection, which we drink mostly with a teaspoon of honey and the same of lemon juice.
For example, we quite often have a Chinese digestive tea made of Tienchi Flowers. The tea comes as an instant powder in sachets. It is quite bitter. The lemon juice is also very sharp of course. Strangely, however, when bitter tea and sharp lemon are mixed, the whole tastes very mellow. The honey helps of course. Anyway we enjoy it. And of course it has no "heavy" after-effects; indeed it really does seem to benefit the digestion. Another Chinese herb tea we have regularly with an unpronouncable name came with a fervent assurance from the Herb Doctor that it is "good for cleana bloood!". He's been at it for 30 years since he was fifteen, and his herbal arts go back a thousand years... so who are we to argue.
Another interesting tea possibility is Tamarind - if you can find it. You get blocks of dried tamarind from a Chinese or Indian store, cut a square-inch off, break it up a bit and pour boiling water on it. Preferably make it in a teapot. Stir around a bit to further break it up, then leave covered for at least 5 mins, preferably 10 - the longer you leave it, the more flavor comes out. You'll need honey with it, as it's quite aspergent!
If you want a more substantial drink any time try the basic citrus smoothie with some tofu added before you whizz it. After you have whizzed it to a smooth consistency, you can add more bought apple juice or orange juice then whizz again.
When buying fruit juices by the way, be careful to read the small print. Avoid the "blends" and check for "100% juice". If the contents say "sugar" or any sugary substance, forget it.
VII: A Fruitarian Diary
We were assisted in our awakening fruitarianism by an intuitive "Chef" who spoke as an inner voice yet came through surprisingly clearly to one who was not accustomed to such "communications". In case you are about to say that no one ever communicates intuitively with you let me simply tell you what I have heard and read and believe: that we all have inner voices communicating all the time - we just don't listen.
Our Chef is very keen on using the outer peel of oranges and grapefruits; he says that's where the essential oils and the sunshine are to be found! He will never let me cut up citrus fruits for a salad and throw away the peel. Just lightly grate the zest of the peel and put it into the fruit salad (mind your knuckles when you are grating!). One evening we had several oranges for a fruit salad with excellent rich orange skins, and I said to him that there would just be too much grated rind - it would be too strong. Never mind he said, put the surplus into a small pot with some of the nice liquid honey we always have to hand. So I did. It is lovely on toast in the morning!
On the subject of spreads, do try to avoid too much raw butter (though it is OK to use it sparingly in cooking). Our Chef - surprisingly - seems even less enthusiastic about margarine - he won't let us buy it at all. If we must have a spread on muffins or whatever he prefers butter or cream cheese, but does not recommend either.
As an alternative we often have banana-nut butter. Simply mash half a banana with some nuts ground in the coffee grinder. Add a little peanut butter and a dash of lemon juice. I sometimes add a little mixed spice for variety. Mix well and use at once. If you store it the banana oxidizes and goes brown - nothing at all harmful, it just doesn't look so good! That's why I said use only half the banana. Put the other half into something else pronto!
Make a larger quantity of this same banana-nut recipe and serve as a "cream" topping for fresh strawberries, and ideally accompanied by a shortbread cookie. Shortbread really has to be made in Scotland, with butter only, to be any good. You can find them in better supermarkets throughout North America as well as in Britain of course.
For breakfast this morning we had fresh blueberries (bilberries) and cream - or rather "fruitarian simulated cream-like substance". I mashed two bananas with a greated apple, a squeeze each of honey and molasses, some chopped nuts (walnuts and hazlenuts), a teaspoon of lemon juice and a thin sprinkle of dessicated (medium-shredded) unsweetened coconut. That made a pleasant creamy base which I put on the bottom of the cereal plates. The blueberries were washed and dried then served over the "cream". Top with a little crunchy granola.
For supper I began with a grated apple and half a tin of creamed sweetcorn, adding a generous tablespoon of de-bittered brewer's yeast and a teaspoon of mustard powder, a shake of garlic powder, a small twist of freshly ground black pepper (I mix coriander seeds 50/50 with the black peppercorns in the grinder), a little dessicated coconut, and a dessertspoon lemon juice. This I mixed very thoroughly, then added: a chopped nectarine, a finely chopped apple, a chopped banana, 2 dessertspoons mixed nuts, and some chopped tofu. I threw in a few sunflower seeds and mixed it well but carefully. It needed a bit of salt so I added a few drops of soysauce. Then it was perfect. A kind of Waldorf-type creation! Serve on its own or with a wedge of fresh melon if available, or a few slices of plain fruit for decoration.
Be very careful buying creamed sweetcorn. The good ones are good. But the cheapo versions are mostly cornflour jelly with only the odd bits of sweetcorn. You can always make your own creamed sweetcorn. Empty three-quarters of a can of sweetcorn into the whizzer with a little of the juice that comes with it. Add a little garlic powder and a small amount of brewer's yeast (a level dessertspoonful, you don't want to mask the delicate flavor, just enhance what's there already). Also add a tiny squeeze of molasses, a teaspoon mustard powder, and a twist of the black pepper grinder. Whizz away, adding a little liquid if necessary to make it whizz. When you have a creamy texture, decant into a container, then add the rest of the whole corn (not the water - keep that for something else like filafil). I sometimes add half a banana to the corn before processing; try it sometime and see if you like it. You can alternatively use the food processor for this; it depends on quantity - the food processor needs more to get going than the goblet liquidizer.
At mid-day I put half a cup Thai jasmine rice with a tablespoon couscous (a granulated wheat pasta) into a saucepan with a cup of water. I brought to boil and turned off the heat, covered (check it till it settles down, it might boil up inside!) then I put a folded towel on top and left it an hour. Then stir lightly to fluff up rice (it may be a bit sticky). I added some sunflower seeds, a few small raisins and a few drops lemon juice. Whip around a bit to fluff and mix, lid back on, ready for this evening. To serve with it I made a small salad of orange, apple, tomato and a little tofu, all chopped to the same smallness except the apple a bit smaller. I chose these ingredients because it's shopping day tomorrow and that was what I had to get rid of! For dressing: a little lemon juice, a squeeze of honey and an even smaller squeeze molasses; mix lightly, refrigerate till served. To serve I put a heap of the savory rice and a heap of the salad separately at the side of the plates, then three slices of melon: cantaloupe (yellow), honeydew (green) and red watermelon. It looked quite attractive.
I know one should get the unpolished rice because there's so much goodness in the husk. I just find it takes too long to cook, and it's rather heavy to eat. So I get the long, slender Thai Jasmin rice which cooks quickly and is nice and light. Rice is better taken in summer than winter as it cools the blood. Conversely on a cold winter's day porridge oats give warmth to a sensitive northern body which would rather be somewhere south-er!
light supper today. Half a tin of brown beans (in water, not sauce - put in as much of the water as you want then keep the rest for something else), chopped tofu, chopped banana, chopped apple, chopped tomato, a little soy sauce, a little lemon juice. Nice and tasty and light for a sunny, late summer's evening. Followed by a nice cookie, and mint tea (dried mint leaves and a pinch of green tea in an infuser left in the boiled water a good 5 minutes) with honey.
Breakfast: a strange cross between Scottish porridge and Virginia southern spoon bread! Last night I put half a large cup of the following ingredients mixed together: porridge oats, a few flax seeds, yellow corn meal, ground rice and shredded coconut. A little salt is a MUST to bring out the flavor; also add a squeeze of molasses. I find that half a cup dry mix to one cup of liquid does the trick. Put the half-cup dry mix into the saucepan, add a full cup of water, do not heat at all, just cover and leave overnight. Next morning bring to the boil well before breakfast time (we jog first), then turn off heat and cover. By the time you're ready to eat (have your fruit salad or smoothie first!) the stuff will be set into a solid pancake. Using a plastic fishslice, cut into quarters then you can scoop them up to serve. It's quite tasty on its own. We added some homemade topping of chopped strawberries which had marinated in a little honey and apple juice overnight to soften them and bring out the flavor. Or you can spread your favorite jam/jelly, peanut butter, marmalade or whatever.
Another favorite when strawberries are cheap and plentiful is to make a strawberry preserve. Chop 2 one-pound dry weight baskets of strawberries and cook in just a tiny bit of water at the bottom of the pan, with a little brown sugar, some honey and molasses (not much), a good sprinkle of coconut, a banana well mashed, and two level dessertspoons cornstarch. This makes two 12oz jamjars of topping, and sets quite well. The banana and coconut give it a pleasantly smooth caramelly flavor as a base for the (barely cooked and slightly sharp) fruit.
Today we had - well, we had what there was that had to be used up. That's often the best way to prepare a meal. As "He" (our Chef) says, have plenty of good ingredients in the house and combine them anyway that takes your fancy at the time - or use whichever fruit looks the softest! Or... use up leftovers. Never waste anything. The Universe has made these fruits, grains and nuts, and given them to us. We should respect and enjoy them. Never waste them.
So. I had a third of a tin of brown beans with the water that went with them; also half a very small tin of tomato pasta sauce. I put those both in the food processor, peeled and roughly squashed a banana, threw in a few mixed nuts, a tablespoon filafil to thicken and a little dessicated coconut for the same reason, three roughly chopped plums with the stones removed of course, a roughly chopped apple, a little garlic powder... anything else? No, so on with the power and let it whizz. This was made at noon for the evening meal and stored in the fridge where it slightly thickened and the flavors "got to know one another". We ate it with wholewheat thin Arabic-style bread (also called pitta or pocket bread).
A rather cold, damp day so this evening we had toasted sandwiches - well, not quite toasted. I used to love toasted cheese and tomato sandwich with the cheese all melted. Well, peanut butter melts very well. Spread thinly on two large slices bread (I used 12-grain bread this time), then put thick slices of tomato on, season to taste with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper (with coriander). You need a frypan with a lid, or a large non-stick saucepan with a lid; in it heat a little olive oil - enough to make a very shallow pool. Heat, but not smoking. Sprinkle a few mixed herbs and some garlic powder into the hot oil, then put in your sandwiches. Let them sizzle a few seconds, then turn heat low and put the lid almost on (leave a crack open to let mouisture out). After about 5 mins turn sandwiches, put a little more oil in, turn up heat for a few moments, then down again with the lid almost on. Leave for another 5 mins. This heats the tomato right through and melts the peanut butter nicely. Careful when you serve and eat it, the tomato inside gets very hot! With it we had a salad of: chopped apple, plum, nectarine, and tofu with a little olive juice left over from a can of olives, and a sprinkle of brewer's yeast.
Try this savory spread for breakfast! Night before, heat some olive oil in a small saucepan, grind some black pepper, and when hot add a teaspoon powdered mustard and stir. Then throw in one large or a couple of medium chopped tomatoes. Heat till bubbling then put in some soy sauce and a little molasses, turn down heat and simmer WITHOUT LID ON to evaporate liquid for 10 minutes. Then leave to cool, NO LID. When cooled, shake a little brewer's yeast over it and stir. Cover and leave overnight. Next morning serve for brakfast as a savory spread on white (unbleached of course!) hot rolls and thin peanut butter.
Yesterday I bought "on special" a lovely dark purple eggplant, which in Lebanon we used to call batinjan, and in the desert we called it brinjal. Or maybe it was the other way round. It has to be cooked very slowly, then it melts in the mouth. The Italians do it very well as antipasti. The Turks excel with eggplants and peppers (green and red) which they stuff with rice and pinenuts. Remember that eggplants and peppers are all fruits! But they have to be cooked, and they turn out rather rich. So this recipe is for occasional use only! First I washed the eggplant thoroughly, then sliced in thin slices, abandoning each end. These slices must be soaked for at least 30mins in a basin of salted water, with a plate on top to keep them in (otherwise they float to the top!). Then dry them thoroughly by pressing them gently. Heat some olive oil in a large pan, enough to cover the bottom well. Fry the slices quickly, turning to make sure all slices are exposed to the hot oily bottom. Meanwhile open a 4oz tin of tomato concentrate (purée); mix with some olive oil, 3 cloves freshly pressed garlic, a goodly sprinkle of mixed dried herbs, some chopped onion (one small one, or some dried onion flakes), and several shakes of soy sauce. Mix well. Turn this paste into an oven dish.
When the slices of eggplant are softened (5 mins fry-and-turn on high heat), turn them into the tomato mix and stir carefully but thoroughly. The Turks add pinenuts; they are frightfully expensive so I use broken cashew nuts which are just as good (halves, not tiny chippings!). NOW: you can put this in the oven low (250) for a couple of hours, or cook on the stovetop, again very low, for the same time. You can also do it in a slow-cooker. The Turks use shallow conical copper pans on a wood cooker and things like that cook gently all morning. Slow and gentle, that's the answer. You go into the kitchen in these small Turkish restaurants and pick what you want. Greece too, in the countryside.
Serve with very plain rice. I had some plain cooked pasta left over so I chopped it, then heated quickly in a little olive oil. Or you can serve with plain crusty bread, or foccaccia.
With this rich succulent dish, I served a largish fruit salad of: two peeled sliced oranges, a peeled sliced grapefruit, some fresh grapes (red globe actually - I had to halve them and take all the pips out!), also one tangelo (a tasty orange-tangerine cross from California) which I washed, then grated the rind, peeled and chopped the flesh. The grated rind went into the salad. No dressing, just the natural juices from the citrus fruits. I prepared this beforehand and stored covered in the fridge; I like salads better that way as the fruits soften and the whole salad blends.
Tonight we felt like pasta. Choose your favorite and cook it in boiling water (no lid on!) until it reaches your desired softness. On this occasion we used Chinese rice vermicelli because we had just got it and were curious. Meanwhile wash a lemon and two oranges. Cut the lemon in half without peeling, remove seeds (pips), cut into smaller pieces and put in the whizzer (goblet mixer). Keep the other half for later (breakfast smoothie?!) Peel both oranges, having first grated the skin if it looks good. Try to get the small, thin-skinned naval oranges if you can. Chop one peeled orange roughly and put into goblet with the lemon (which you didn't peel). Add a little fruit juice of whatever's going; this is to make it whizz. Also add a crushed clove of garlic, a quick squeeze of molasses, some mixed herbs (say two teaspoonsful) and a good shake of soy sauce. Whizz until smooth. Chop the other (peeled) orange, one (peeled) banana, a piece of firm tofu, and put into a bowl with a handful of cashew nuts (when I buy them, I take salted and unsalted 50/50 and mix them in the same container). Drain your pasta. In a saucepan heat a little olive oil, then add the liquid from the whizzer. Add a little mustard powder (half a teaspoon), also some filafil to thicken to the consistency of a thickish sauce. When warm add the drained pasta and stir around over the heat to re-warm the pasta. Warm the plates if it's cold outside! Add the bowl of chopped fruit and nuts, then warm it all together but do not cook, stirring gently for just a few minutes. Shake a little (say a heaped tablespoonful) de-bittered yeast powder on top and a twist of freshly ground black pepper. Stir finally and serve. Fruitarian pasta!
So dear reader, I leave you with, I hope, the conviction that you should begin along the path to fruitarianism. Take it slowly. Add more fruit as you go. I still sometimes have a mixed salad with a lettuce base - but I always add fruit, perhaps some chopped orange or grapefruit. We've got used to it now and like the balance. Without the fresh, juicy lubrication of fruit, the digestion doesn't seem to work so well.
Finally, back to lifestyle, as I leave you with a Thought.
Always make your food look good when you present it at table. Table? Yes. Lay the table properly with nice china and cloth or mats, make everything look as attractive as possible.
That in turn requires that you set aside proper times and space for meals, not just rush through the kitchen and grab something on the run. No time? Get up earlier. Make time. It's worth it for the peace of mind and relaxation it brings. I knew someone who always rushed through meals... then took Tai-chi classes to... relax. I said "forget the Tai Chi and use the time for a proper sit-down breakfast" She tried it and it worked!
Enjoy nice meals at regular times with an attractive table setting, meals that are presented with care and an artistic eye. And give time to the digestive process, which is really what eating should be all about. Remember that you are eating to benefit the body, not just to titillate the taste sensations.
Chew well and slowly, appreciate and enjoy the food, the fact that fruit trees and bushes have produced it for you, the fact that the universe has seen fit to feed you (most people in the world are not so fortunate). Then swallow, remembering that it is only now that the real work starts. Don't rush your food, and after each course, allow a few moments for the digestion, and the appreciation, to catch up. If the setting is relaxed and harmonious, if the food looks as if it was prepared with care, then you will eat in a careful and relaxed way, and your digestion will be that much more effective.
After the meal, sit awhile. We often listen to a little baroque classical music (there are other kinds for those who so wish, but avoid the roudier varieties which are counter-productive digestion-wise), before going out for a twenty-minute digestive stroll. On Sundays we have breakfast with Bach cantatas or choral music along with some special baked treat and home roasted coffee (we very successfully roast green coffee beans in a hot-air popcorn roaster). You see what a lot of odd people there are in the world! The only thing is, we are relaxed and healthy, which is more than a lot can say, and we look ten years younger than we are, which is more than many others can say. Not boasting, just recommending that you treat your personal domestic lifestyle, and especially the eating parts, with as much care and attention as you give to your best business clients. Why? Well let's face it, you are your best business client. If you lost you, there wouldn't be much left, would there?
VIII: A Fruitarian Commitment
An article by Mr René Beresford, editor of The Fruitarian Network News.
Fruitarianism is not just an isolated idea of a few, it is not just a fad. Fruitarianism is a concept in depth, a concept that goes beyond some logic, reason and science, although there are many logical reasons why a fruitarian diet is THE optimum diet for the human race.
There are two areas which we can look at for the Truth of fruitarianism, one is in the scientific evidence and our physiological and biological make-up, the other in the inner perception which people have about the eating of fruit.
The scientific truth is substantiated by the intensive research and studies on the teeth of our earliest ancestors. Dr. Alan Walker and his associates, anthropologists at Johns Hopkins University, using the most modern electronic microscopic equipment, state: "Preliminary studies of fossil teeth have led to the startling suggestion that our early human ancestors were not predominantly meat eaters or even eaters of seeds, shoots, leaves or grasses, nor were they omnivorous. Instead, they appear to have subsisted chiefly on a diet of fruit. Every tooth examined from the hominids of the 12 million year period leading up to Homo Erectus appeared to be that of a fruit eater."
Dr. Arthur M. Baker, MA, in Awakening Our Self Healing Body points out: "Frugivores are physiologically equipped to obtain energy primarily from the natural sugar in fruits - our anatomy is such that we are capable of picking fruits, and to masticate, digest and appropriate them with ease and efficiency. The biological equipment of humans and our human structure attests that we are frugivorous, as confirmed by the function of the human body."
He also stated that most of the calories in vegetables are bound within cellulose, the fuel and nutrient value of which is largely unobtainable to our system (except for extremely valuable mineral matter from which our body derives great benefit). Unlike purely natural vegetarians in nature (horses, cows, elephants, sheep), a person's stomach cannot process large amounts of cellulose. People cannot regurgitate and re-chew their food as do the herbivorous animals which have more than one stomach.
Dr. Abramowski, Fruitarian Diet and Physical Rejuvenation says: "The plant-eaters form still at the present time, as they have always done, the great majority of animals on earth. The highest developed plant-eaters are the fruit-eaters. The highest developed fruit-eater is the human being."
Every aspect of human physiological make up, every aspect of the biological makeup, all and everything points to humans being still, in spite of millions of years of diversions, frugivorous, fruit-eaters. The setting and formation of our teeth, our digestive system, the length of the intestines, our physical make up, our hands, our alkaline enzyme system, everything points in the direction of a fruit-eater.
The fact that humanity as a whole is not yet ready to return to the life of their frugivore nature is not due to the insufficiency of the fruit but due to their degenerated state after aeons of eating out of harmony and living out of harmony. Hence, our human race has still to revert to other foods and the return to the frugivore's diet now requires a transitional phase so as to avoid a shock to the body system. There is the lack of knowledge and understanding of what a fruit diet entails and humanity has to be re-educated as to what true food is all about and the connection with their health.
The other area of evidence that human kind has that connection with being frugivorous is in the inner perception. There are certain things in life where scientific evidence cannot be supplied, where there is that kind of mystery, unexplainable but nevertheless true. Inner perception is an area where logic and reason cannot penetrate, it just IS!
The last eight years of intimate involvement in the Fruitarian Network have brought me thousands of letters from all over the world. There have been hundreds of phone conversations, personal meetings and visitors. There is undeniable evidence that most people "feel", have an inner perception, an awareness, that it is the fruitarian diet which is their ultimate desire.
We may ask ourselves why this is so. There is often no logic in such perceptions, there is still less scientific proof. Indeed, there are many natural therapists who are able to prove that a fruitarian diet is not feasible. Still, the evidence of the "inner knowing" is there to stay. Such evidence should not go unnoticed. There is a reason and it is our task to probe into that reason.
A strong statement is that of Sheila Andrews, British housewife, author and writer. "Never before in our lives have any of us, not only my own family, but our many fruitarian friends, enjoyed such vibrant good health, clear mental perception, inner happiness and peace... When you finally leave all cooked food behind, you enter into an experience so exhilarating, so beautiful, that words are totally inadequate to describe the wonderful spiritual well-being."
I can vouch for such a statement, I endorse it whole-heartedly as this is also my own personal experience after eight years on an almost completely fruitarian diet, the first four years predominantly, the latter four virtually all fruit with only some minor diversion now and then. The way I feel is just great and the stamina, energy and vitality are those of a young man; perception is clear, awareness is on a high level, wounds heal quickly, there is clear nasal breathing, no body or elimination odor. In 1992 I experienced a grand detoxification crisis and since then there have been only a few minor cleansing experiences.
The great Mahatma Gandhi, at the age of 32 became a student of nature cure. First he became a vegetarian and then a fruitarian. After six months as a fruitarian, he said (in his book The Health Guide): "A period of six months is all too short to arrive at any definite conclusions on such a vital matter as a complete change of diet. This, however, I can say, that during this period I have been able to keep well where others have been attacked by disease, and my physical as well as my mental powers are now greater than before. I may not be able to lift heavy loads, but I can do hard labor for much longer time without fatigue. I can also do more mental work and with better persistence and resoluteness. I have tried a fruit diet on many sickly people invariably with great advantage. My own experience, as well as my study of the subject has confirmed me in the conviction that a fruit diet is the best one for us."
If you would like more information on René's Fruitarian Network and his through-the-post Newsletter you can contact him by email - his address is email@example.com.
The whole fruitarian-conversion process took two years. Before we ever started, our Intuitive Chef-Guide said he would convert us to uncooked fruit with grains and nuts, and very much less of everything. He said he would do it so slowly we'd hardly notice. And when he had finished, we'd be amazed if we recalled what we used eat and wouldn't ever want to go back to it. Well, two years on he delivered on all those promises.
Now, as this Epilog is being written, it's a good year since the fruitarian conversion was complete so it has had ample time to settle. And yes, we do feel better, no we wouldn't go back, and yes we do eat mostly uncooked fruit and a lot less of everything. If we are going to "slip" occasionally we'd prefer to slip into a green-leaf salad rather than cooked food which always makes feel heavy after. We've got much more used to monitoring our bodies which themselves have become more sensitive to right or wrong nutritional treatment. A piece of fish eaten as a guest recently made one feel very unclean, as if the aura of death had been ingested with the fish - which of course it had!
So far so good. Then came another very interesting episode. Recently we left North America where we have been for some time, and took a six-week trip in Germany. The castles and churches and historic church-organs and old towns and German countryside and walks in the beech forests and general scenery were all fine. But then there were the bakeries! Not only does each have a choice of a dozen or more delicious rolls and breads... there's also the cake display cabinet with all manner of crumbles, poppyseed cake, cheesecakes... and on it goes. The milk products are also tempting, with so many kinds of soft cheeses and a sort of creamy cheese called quark. Oh dear. It was just great, but gradually the effects began to set in. And by the time the tour was over... well here are the gruesome details.
A foot with a broken ankle which had hithertofore managed to jog quite happily, now became arthritic/rheumatic and complained roundly. A little toe which got badly knocked and had recovered quite well also got arthritic and swelled a little. It then pressed into its next-door neighbor and on a longish (10-mile) walk through some lovely forest in Saxony the rubbing and pressure started a corn which got ever-larger and more painful. The same arthritis/rheumatism problem attacked the other foot, the knee joint and one wrist. And in the body's middle area, the pancreas began to complain loudly with the occasional stabbing pains in the night. A sorry tale indeed!
As soon as we got back the first meal we had at home was a great fruit smoothie for breakfast, and boy was that ever good! The beneficial cleansing effect was immediate. Of course it took time to get back on track, but now, three weeks after our return, the aches and pains are gone and we're feeling our old selves health-wise. Would we do it again - the German dietary indiscretions I mean? Frankly, probably yes. I'd say "no" right now, but I know what will happen when the time comes! So. Yer makes yer choice and pays the price. Some call it the Law of Karma!
That's it for the Epilog, except to leave you with this thought from The Fruitarian News:
"In the beautiful, harmonious law controlling the Universe, that which is ethically correct must necessarily be dietetically correct, for whether we like it or not we are subject to its rigid dictum. In our Universe of perfection, fruitarians are living as close as it is possible to that ideal, for they neither kill, nor steal, hunt nor hurt. They never mutilate or violate, for they are the heralds of the New Age. No bewildering shocks of retribution disturb their peace, for they haven't incurred any. Fruitarians, by their lifestyle, are changing chaos into order and discord into the music of the spheres".
X: AFTER-THOUGHTS: News and Comment
For further study and on-going comment we recommend the
“FRUITARIAN NETWORK NEWS”,
a printed Newsletter available through the post by subscription from:
The Fruitarian Network,
P.O.Box 293, Trinity Beach, Qld. 4879, Australia
Phone/Fax: 070-577 273 from Australia,
or from outside Australia, your international code, then 61 70 577 273.
Editor/Co-ordinator: (Mr) Rene Beresford.
The Fruitarian Network News is published four times a year and is full of interesting news and comment for confirmed or aspiring fruitarians. Those who feel the need for encouragement or would like to share experiences through contact withers will find useful, helpful, interesting and often entertaining reading. Just send an email and ask for “standard email info”.
The comment below is extracted from The FRUITARIAN NEWS by kind invitation of the editor.
Uncooked foods raise micro-electric potentials throughout the body. This heightens the metabolic processes, increases respiration or oxygenation while decreasing congestion and swelling in tissues. It improves the body’s overall resistance to illness and speeds up the healing process.
ENZYMES IN RAW FOOD
Quoted from: "Food Enzymes", Humbart Santillo, BS, MH.
Within the bloodstream and tissues of the body, enzymes act as scavengers, breaking down cholesterol and fatty deposits, and assisting in the overall detoxification process. There is a definite correlation between the amount of enzymes individuals possess and the amount of energy they have.
Animals in the wild consume large amounts of enzymes as a result of their raw food diets. This aids the digestion process, taking the stress off organs such as the pancreas, liver and spleen which would otherwise have to produce large amounts of enzymes, becoming enlarged in the process. An enlarged organ is often a pathological condition, showing the first signs of degeneration. The enzymes in raw food digest 5 to 75% of the food without the help of the enzymes secreted by the body.
NUTS and MUCUS
From Arne Wingavist, Sweden:
I have tried eating up to 10 almonds a day for periods of up to two days at a time, but I find that you cannot eat more than 6 almonds per day, day after day, if you want to feel in top shape (or the same quantity of fat in other nuts or seeds).
This puts a limit to the amount of this kind of food. Add to this an avocado or olives, unsalted, and you get all the fat or oil you need. I never use any oil or any other kind of vegetable fat, except in the natural state in the form of nuts, almonds, seeds and the few fruits which can be said to be rich in fat, like avocado.
To keep my weight (I’m 6ft tall and weigh 136 lbs), I have to exercise quite a lot to build up weight in my muscles. If I eat more than 6 almonds every day in succession, my mouth and nose have an excess of mucus and I must blow my nose and spit during my bicycle trips. When I limit my intake below 4-6 almonds there is no problem.
From “The Fit For Life Cookbook”, by Marylin Diamond:
Cholesterol is a hard, waxy, fat-soluble (as opposed to water-soluble) substance that is synthesized in all cells of the body, but primarily in the liver. It is part of every cell of the body as a building block of the cell membrane, and it is critically important - so important that Nature has equipped each cell with the means to synthesize its own cholesterol. This cholesterol made by our bodies keeps the membranes of our cells functioning at optimum level.
Our bodies produce between 500 and 1000 milligrams of cholesterol every day, and that amount is plenty to supply our needs. In fact, we create such an ample supply that the dietary requirement for cholesterol is zero. The cholesterol that we create in our bodies is not the problem-cholesterol about which there is so much publicity.
The problem-cholesterol is manufactured in the bodies of animals for their needs, but we take it in when we eat these animals as food.
When we live on a diet of animal products (meat, poultry, fish, dairy and eggs), we consume 500 to 100 milligrams of dietary cholesterol a day, most of which cannot be easily removed (excreted) and is, instead, deposited in the tissues of our body, particularly in the arteries.
It is well established that this accumulated excess of dietary cholesterol... IS a contributing factor to the high rate of cardiovascular disease and other degenerative diseases.
The cholesterol that contributes to heart disease comes from the animal products we eat. In contrast, apples, bananas, grapes, almonds, cashews, coconut, tofu, avocados, chick-peas, oats, corn, carrots, lettuce, potatoes and all other plant foods contain zero mg of cholesterol, no matter how large a quantity you eat.
From Gregory McNamee, author, cook and natural history writer, Tucson, Arizona.
The banana has long been recognized as a rich food source. Buried in the scientific description of the banana that most often graces our tables, Musa sapientum, one finds a quiet homage to its presumed wonders. The Latin means “muse of the wise person”. Potassium, which the banana contains in abundance, has been likewise called “the salt of the intelligence”, perhaps because it figures in most so-called brain food.
The banana holds a heavy concentration of natural sugars, almost 20% by weight. This makes it a convenient source of energy, and thus a favored treat of athletes, and outdoor enthusiasts, to say nothing of dieters, who benefit greatly from the banana’s low fat (about a half a gram in a medium-sized fruit of about 110 grams), and total lack of cholesterol.
Thanks to its high pectin content, in fact, bananas are known to reduce blood cholesterol significantly. Bananas also have generous quantities of phosphorus, iron, thiamin, calcium, and beta carotene. About the only black mark on their record, so to speak, is their tendency to spoil quickly, thanks to the high presence of the enzyme poly-phenoloxide, the same substance that causes human skin to tan in sunlight. To slow this spoilage, you can either keep your store of bananas in a cold (40-degree F.) refrigerator or hang them from a rack so that the fruit dangles in the air. It’s best, however, simply to hail the fruit as a transitory wonder and eat it quickly instead.
Botanically, the banana is a strange thing: the plant itself is an herb, related to coriander, and in its wild state it is thin and grassy. Its fruit is a berry, born of and containing many seeds, and the wild banana is even seedier than its domesticated counterpart. The peel of both the wild and cultivated varieties is full of latex, making it an easy source of gum. The peel is also full of latex, which yields another benefit of the banana or, more specifically, of its less sugary variety, the plantain. This is its ability to stimulate the production of mucus lining in the stomach wall, which in turn, retards the formation of stomach ulcers. The greener the plantain, it is said, the better the protection against the ravages of digestive acids. While the medical jury is still out, even common desert bananas seem to have some value in this respect: many pediatricians suggest their use for children suffering from gastritis.
Today, bananas are grown not only in the tropical world but also in greenhouses in temperate climates, and even in Iceland, where they grow outdoors on geyser-studded volcanic soils.
We have received much email as a result of our Fruitarian Page, and we have been surprised at the interest.
Many are struggling to follow their convictions in the face of pressure from family members. We try to advise them that most probably their family and friends are concerned for their health and well-being. When we became vegetarian 35 years ago everyone said we would fade away. But we are as healthy as ever, and even more so since moving on to a diet containing predominantly uncooked fruit. It is important to listen to others, and to show appreciation where there is genuine concern. But it is also necessary to follow one's own convictions, especially in these days of rapid vibratory changes and uplifting. Sometimes annoyance or frustration with the doubts of others arises through one's own doubts; those who are confident in their own path will not mirror the doubts of others. To build one's own confidence it is important to monitor one's own feelings. How do you feel as you gradually move into more and more fruit? Do you get cravings? If so give in a little! But on the other hand, after eating cooked food, do you feel heavy, a pressure in the forehead, even a little irritable? Many do. Watch yourself and your reactions!
Another warning we must constantly repeat is: Take it slowly! The body takes time to adjust, and that applies equally when you are doing things which are theoretically for its benefit! Gradually add more and more fresh fruit to your diet - and as noted above, monitor your feelings. Note how, after a lot of fruit, you feel balanced as between solids and liquids. Note on the other hand (if you go in for such things!) how, after lots of bread and dairy product or even (heaven forbid) meat... you feel the need for lots of liquid. Ever wondered why Big Macs come with a half-gallon Super Slurpee of colored liquid?
Doubts? Yes of course you will have them! That's why it's so easy to be like sheep and simply follow the one in front - do what everybody else is doing. But we need to change, for at least two important reasons. First is that the past is not always good enough, and evolution consists of improving things. Second is that the world is changing; it is becoming "lighter", its vibratory rate is increasing. And we have to move with it. Consuming the slaughtered bodies of once-living beings is no longer good enough; and for our own personal health, fatty, heavy foods slow down our mental and spiritual processes, quite apart from the harm done to the physical body.
We are confident in our own convictions, and we are happy if our experiences can benefit others, or at least lead to questions.
How to become a Fruitarian (c)1997 Arton
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