Shift to Raw

Shift to Raw

Get Your Kidneys Smiling Again! My fear of doctors was the result of a plethora of childhood illnesses, hospital stays and operations.

My fear of doctors was the result of a plethora of childhood illnesses, hospital stays and operations. As I entered my 20s, this fear prevented me from taking any action when I developed a series of nagging pains in my back.

In hindsight this was foolish. These pains were kidney infections! They eventually passed and for the next 20 years, my life was mostly free from illness. Little did I know that my kidneys were deteriorating due to the scarring of the infections, high blood pressure and my ongoing excessive protein intake.

My childhood illnesses, as well as losing my grandparents to cancer, created an interest in altering my diet in hopes of reducing the chances of cancer. Thus, from the age of 20, I have gradually shifted my eating patterns away from meat and food additives. However, until the diagnosis of chronic parenchymal kidney disease at the age of 42, I continued to have regular meat and junk food lapses. My reading and self education concerning diet was limited to the superficial.

My solution has been a shift to only raw food. It’s the most wonderful gift you can offer your body. In not cooking food, I am giving my body the necessary digestive enzymes. This means that my liver, kidneys and pancreas need not work overtime to manufacture these enzymes.

Sounds like a small change, but the results are tremendous. Raw food was the original diet of our species. I have type O blood and have now been living on a raw veggies and fruit diet since January, 1999 and have never felt healthier. My energy levels don’t go through the wide fluctuations they once did and my kidneys have not deteriorated since I began to eat raw only.

My proteinuria (presence of protein in the urine) has dropped significantly and my blood pressure, which had been high for several years as a result of kidney disease, came down dramatically. I have stopped taking anti-hypertensive medication.

The general population has been greatly misled with regard to the daily protein requirement. The average daily protein intake for most North Americans is more than 100 grams (three and a half ounces) per day. The requirement traditionally recommended by nutritionists is 60 to 80 g.

I now eat 20 to 25 g of protein per day and have dropped back to my high school weight. For ailing kidneys, the less excess protein they process and the less urea (the waste product of excess protein) they must deal with the better.

The key to low protein consumption while on a raw diet is to eat a wide variety of veggies, ensuring all essential amino acids are supplied.

My technique involved excessive eating of raw food at first.

When hungry, I just stuffed myself with mini carrots, celery, cucumbers or monster salads. I substituted frozen banana shakes with carob or fruit instead of cakes and ice-cream. I used nori, (dried Japanese seaweed), as a substitute for snacking crackers. As my body became used to live food and after some detoxification occurred, I could cut back to my present diet.

If you really want to do it, you can. Don’t be disheartened if you fall off the boat a few times. Keep these motivations in mind: you can delay or prevent dialysis or transplant; feel incredible; and be free of colds and flu. Raw food gives your immune system a real boost.

Present Diet

Each day I drink four to eight cups (one to two litres) of distilled water. For breakfast I drink two cups (500 mL) of fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice.

Lunch is often six medium frozen bananas blended with one tablespoon (15 mL) of coffee substitute powder (chicory and barley), one teaspoon (five mL) carob power, one cup (250 mL) water. Another option is four carrots and four stalks of celery juiced together. For an afternoon snack I’ll eat three carrots or three apples.

For supper I usually eat a gigantic salad. An example would include three-quarters of a head of romaine lettuce, two small zucchinis, one large tomato, one medium cucumber, five medium mushrooms, two medium carrots, one red pepper, two cloves garlic, two teaspoons (10 mL) engivita yeast, bit of grated ginger, two radishes, one-half cup (125 mL) shredded broccoli or cauliflower, one medium apple, two tablespoons (30 mL) raisins, wedge of purple cabbage, one green onion, one tablespoon (15 mL) sesame seeds.

For a dressing, I use two tablespoons (30 mL) of a combination of flax seed oil, sunflower oil and sesame oil, two tablespoons (30 mL) cold-pressed olive oil, one-quarter cup (70 mL) apple cider vinegar or squeezed lemon juice. For an evening snack I’ll eat four apples.

Sometimes I supplement the above with a serving of either avocado, pineapple, coconut, melon, a bowl of blueberries or a half dozen kiwis

Once or twice a week I have a heated drink of herb tea (500mL) with honey. Some weekends I eat a chunk of maple sugar. Once or twice a week I eat a dozen sheets of Nori (Japanese dried seaweed). Two times a week I take a standard multi-vitamin.

The wider the range of care for your kidneys the better. I recommend a trip to the alternative health section of your local health food store and library. Kidney health is a long term project; the more one can do through diet and self-healing the better. Don’t wait if you think you have kidney disease. Get blood and urine tests done. If you get bad news, use it to motivate yourself to take action to correct eating habits.

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