(NaturalNews) This interview is an excerpt from Kevin Gianni's Renegade Roundtable, which can be found at http://www.RenegadeRoundtable.com. In this excerpt, Nomi Shannon shares on understanding cleansing and the differences between detox symptoms and sickness.
Renegade Water Secrets with Nomi Shannon, raw food chef and author of The Raw Gourmet and a new book, Raw Food Celebrations.
Kevin: Today let's just briefly start very, very quickly, because I know some people on this call have heard of who you are and know who you are, but very briefly just explain a little bit about your background, about the Hippocrates Institute and your book.
Nomi: Okey-doke, you already kind of talked a little bit about "The Raw Gourmet" which has been out for a few years. It's considered the best first book to buy, it's kind of like the raw food bible. I wanted it to be like that, I wasn't sure, even when I was done, that it would be like that, but it turned out to be like that and I'm very, very happy. "The Raw Gourmet" in particular, is based on the program at Hippocrates Health Institute, which is a truly wonderful, wonderful place, it's in West Palm Beach, Florida. It's not an inexpensive program, there are others similar to it that are more budget. For example, Optimum Health Institute, in both San Diego and Texas, and a few other places, most of them are listed in the back of my book, where you can go for a three week all raw retreat.
And all of these programs follow the protocols, more or less, started by a lady by the name of Ann Wigmore. And she is the one who developed the use of wheat grass as a cleansing and healing product and also growing sprouts, soil grown sprouts, such as sunflower and buckwheat and the other kinds of sprouts that you are more familiar with like alfalfa.
I already was raw for probably a year or so, when through serendipity, and it would take an hour to even explain how it all came about, as a girl who was living in California wound up working in West Palm Beach Florida at Hippocrates Health Institute. It was a truly profound learning experience for me. I had absolutely no idea at all that I would ever wind up writing a book. It couldn't have been further from my personal radar screen. But I learned so much there, not only the program itself, I did run the nine-week health educator course -- I didn't teach it, I ran it -- and I was able to take everything that Hippocrates had to offer. I think the most enriching experience there was getting to know all the people that stayed. Everyone would come and most people would stay for three weeks. So it would go through a three-week cycle, three-week cycle, three-week cycle. It was a very interesting experience because you started to see trends.
I don't remember if I mentioned it when we were in person, it was only a week ago Sunday Kevin, about how, on the fifth day, everybody would become all angry and hated their roommate and all that stuff. I don't know if we talked about that, but that was the detox symptoms. So I learned a great deal there and I kept in touch with a lot of people.
And then when, in '95 I left there and moved back to California, I couldn't find any books that had delicious food in them. They were all the real basic kind of energy soup. Ann Wigmore was just wonderful, but it's a little hard to live on that day in and day out. So I decided to write one, and thus "The Raw Gourmet" was born. And then just about two weeks ago my new book came out and that's called "Raw Food Celebrations." It's a very different book to "The Raw Gourmet." I co-wrote it with my friend Sheryl Duruz, who at the time was running a very vibrant raw food business called rawpleasure.com.au, which is in Australia. That company still exists, but Sheryl and her husband Peers have moved to Canada. And we decided to co-write a book. And it's wonderful recipes. Most of them are make ahead, but they're more like, I would say party food, but I don't want anybody to think, "Oh, I'm not going to get that because it's really complex stuff." Each thing is broken down into tiny little steps and most of the recipes are very make ahead. So, for example, I created a new lasagna, and yes it's about eight other things that are served in that suggested meal, it's a theme book, Thai, Italian, that kind of thing, bunch, cocktails. So in the Italian section there are all kinds of other things, a divine chocolate cheesecake and things like that. Or you could just go in and make lasagna for a wonderful weekend dinner or something like that. So that was a lot of fun because it was different. I guess I've talked to you about myself enough. I bore myself when I talk about myself too much.
Kevin: [laughs] Well let's talk about these over 400 questions that we've gotten here. I think I want to start with cleansing because I think people think that they're so uniquely different. And when you mentioned if someone goes through a three- week program, that on the fifth day everyone seems to have the detox symptoms, that seems to me that everyone is somewhat similar. Not completely similar, but somewhat similar. One of the biggest question that we got from this call is where do you start with cleansing, what do you do first?
Nomi: I think the most important thing with cleansing is to understand it. On the one hand we could talk about it for three hours and not be done and on the other hand it's rather divinely simple. So I think the first thing you need to understand is that your body was created, and you can choose how it was created, if god plunked you down in the garden or if you evolved from one cell, it doesn't matter to me. I mean, I think it's a combination of everything. However, we are quite divine in that our body is made to be a self-healing and self-cleansing unit.
The thing is, we, in today's times, live in a very complex--or eat, let's just say--in a very complex way so that we're barely giving it a chance to do this healing and cleansing. I wasn't around at the beginning, but I think that in the beginning food wasn't that easy to come by. So, we were hunter/gatherers; we often went hungry. And no one was thinking about, "I think I'm going to stop eating for awhile so that my body can rest and cleanse."
Everything's changed now. I mean, I'm bombarded with information. There are like these, like news magazine, talking about you know in 1970, you know everybody ate a quarter of a cup of high-fructose corn syrup and now everybody eats 60 pounds of it and that's why we're obese. And, I mean, this is a very big... I stumble over my words because it's such a big subject.
But for more than 99% of human history, the major problem in life was food- deficiency. And you know caloric deficiency has been and continues to be one of the most pressing problems of human life in third world countries. But in this developed society, the opposite is true and we're eating food with filler, artificial chemicals and really high calories and we're eating constantly. The typical SAD diet, standard American diet, is non-stop food. I mean, we've barely digested the one meal of food and we're on to the next. Well, the body can't, in its infinite wisdom, do what it's supposed to do when we're giving ourselves so much food.
This is the breakdown of health. And, you know, very significant of what's been going on the last whatever, 40 or 50 years with the 48 in longevity and health in the world. There's a reason for that and all you have to do is go to the supermarket.
So now we've come up with this rather artificial notion called cleansing. And it's, in many ways, just a cessation of overeating. And how to cleanse, there's a gazillion ways to do it. I know some of the questions are, "How should I do it? How long will it take?" Very simply, if you don't want to think about it a lot, just by eating a very high amount of raw food, your body will gradually, over time, cleanse because it's counter-intuitive to think about this, but your body digests, assimilates and eliminates raw far more easily, once it gets used to it, than it does all the cooked, process food.
Now, when you first eat a salad... I remember trying to convince my dad many years ago to--I know what it was, I made a soup, it wasn't even raw, I wasn't raw yet but it was filled with vegetables, many, many, 20 or 30 different vegetables. And, he said, "I can't eat that it gives me a stomach ache," which was his way of saying it gave him diarrhea. And the reason it did is the man never ate anything that resembled a vegetable. And so he thought, it's making me sick. But what it immediately started to do was cleanse, that's what that diarrhea was.
And, so, when I say you need to understand cleansing, it's because it's so easy to think you're sick when you alter your diet and start to eat more healthy. But it's really your body is like, "Oh, wow, she's letting me eat a salad. Good, I'm going to get rid of some of these toxins." And it manifests as you know various symptoms.
Kevin: What's the difference between detox symptoms and sickness?
Nomi: Yeah, well, sometimes they feel, well, they always almost feel identical. And that's why it's important to know what you're getting yourself into. And sometimes it's not always the smartest thing to jump right into it. Now, say you're very ill. You know, say you just got a very dire diagnosis. Well, it will probably be a really good idea to go to one of the places, scrape up the money and go to one of the places and be guided and be immersed in the program. And allow yourself to go through this, and some of it will be a little uncomfortable.
Like the people at Hippocrates, a lot of it was irritability, headache, nausea, lightheadedness, sometimes diarrhea, gas, that kind of thing. And symptoms can be much more serious.
I was just speaking with a lady today who might be on a call tonight. We got cut off, we couldn't finish, but we're going to have a consultation next week. And she was mentioning a lot of things that sounded like detoxification, but they were going on for a long time for her. And she felt like she was sick; like her skin broke out. So, then she went to the doctor and the doctor gave her some medication for it. Well, you know it's a little hard to be able to discern and it's really good to have some good books and some good guidance so that you can tell, because if you interrupt the cleansing process, you're kind of setting yourself back. And there are ways to sort of regulate or modulate. If you're not terribly ill and so you can take your time, so that you don't get to the point where you have to stay home from work, kind of thing.
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