My journey into the health education field began in 1975 when, at age 17, my robust health started to decline. A heavy eater of meat and junk food, I found my physical and mental energies deteriorated over a period of six months. I began experiencing incessant diarrhea. After a few weeks of medical treatment, I showed little improvement, so a colon examination was done. The diagnosis was ulcerative colitis. I spent my 18th birthday in a hospital taking prednisone and azulfadine drug treatments. The symptoms subsided–temporarily–but the drugs eventually ruined my health and had a devastating effect on my mental abilities.

Within a few months, I experienced a recurrence of diarrhea and more symptoms of cramping and bleeding, which lead to further physical deterioration. What ensued were eight tortuous years of colitis flare-ups and cycles of drug therapy. By age 26, I was reduced to a weak, sickly shadow of my former self. I was having gastric explosions every time I ate and up to 10 painful bowel movements a day with mucus and blood. My nervous system became shattered. I was toxic, debilitated by medicines and severely de-mineralized.

Life was hell, but I never gave in to the medical doctors’ advice to accept my illness and just be patient until their "miracle drug cure" came along. I desperately wanted my health back and doubted that the doctors knew what they were doing. Each of the seven gastroenterologists I saw said that diet had nothing to do with the cause of my disease and that there was no diet or natural approach for overcoming ulcerative colitis.

I had no knowledge at that point about diet and healing, but I was not satisfied with their position. Fortunately, in 1984, I had the great fortune to find a doctor of natural hygiene, Laurence Galant of Staten Island, who introduced me to the concepts of self-healing and eating a raw fruit-based diet. At first I thought the idea of eating mostly fruit while having non-stop diarrhea was crazy! I studied natural hygiene and slowly cleaned up my diet but I remained attached to chicken and other favorite cooked foods and was still having colitis flare-ups and relying on drugs.

Later that year, a colonoscopy exam confirmed that I had advanced ulcerations throughout my sick colon. The gastroenterologist recommended that I either try his experimental drug, which knocks out the immune system, or have my colon surgically removed. A heavy decisive thought entered my mind: "I have had it with this medical madness. I’ll soon be dead if I don’t find the answer myself!"

Then one amazing night, I had a healing vision and it all made sense. I suddenly understood that humans are biologically fruit eaters and that fruit was the best food for my sick colon. The next day I threw away the medicines, divorced myself from all medical intervention for good, gave up all meat and dairy forever and started a three-day juice cleanse. By the second day I was coming back to life. On the third day I was feeling better and better. My enthusiasm and joy drove my family and friends crazy. My gut felt soothed and was rejuvenating. I had set myself free of illness, doctors and drugs for good, and my bowels were working better and better!

I adopted a fruit-based diet that my body handled beautifully. My energy continuously increased as I detoxified and began rebuilding. Within about six weeks I felt that my colon was completely healed. I was able to enjoy both eating and life as my bowels began functioning better than ever.

Over the next few years I diligently worked at rebuilding my depleted body and incorporating daily running and relaxation techniques, all the while studying the life sciences and all of the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual factors that determine health. It took several years of a disciplined lifestyle to regain my previously robust physical condition. Today, at 43, I enjoy excellent health and usually feel half my age–which would make me only 22!

Is living my 100 percent raw fruitarian lifestyle hard? No! Living healthfully is the easiest and most joyful thing to do! And I’m glad to help health seekers feel this way for themselves. I teach people that health and recovery from disease is easy if we understand that it is the body that does the healing. When we remove the unhealthful aspects of our diets and lifestyles and step out of the way, the body takes over the healing work, automatically and naturally.

Dietary Don’ts

All the nutrients that are essential to maintain peak health and longevity are available from plant sources. Animal products are acid forming, mucus forming, high in fat, devoid of fibre, low in water content, require great amounts of energy to digest and usually putrefy in the bowel, creating an overload of unfriendly bacteria and toxic byproducts. When the body is too acidic from acid-forming foods, it is not able to heal colitis. When fats are cooked using high heat, free radicals are created that are known to cause cancer. Many people with colitis are lactose-intolerant. People don’t overcome colitis until they stop eating meat and dairy products, which will liberate a great amount of physical energy that the body can use for detoxifying and healing.

A gradual diet transition to a fruit-based diet is important to avoid a rapid detoxification response. Following food combining rules is essential for proper digestion and colon cleanliness. Fruit must be eaten on an empty stomach with no other foods. Raw salads are not recommended when inflammation is present.

About the Author

David Klein is a certified nutrition educator, the author of Self Healing Colitis and Crohnâ??s, Director of Colitis and Crohnâ??s Health Recovery Services and editor of Living Nutrition Magazine. E-mail dave@colitis-