The Whole Body Solution
Foreword, by Sarah Best
You have in your hands an invaluable guide to your body and to the most effective steps you can take so that it will function at its peak.
It's something few of us give much thought to, but it is only when our body is functioning at this level that we are able to manifest our full potential in any area of life.
None of us will show up as our most glorious self if our digestion is poor, our immune system under par, our blood sugar on a rollercoaster, or our brain chemistry out of whack.
Yet so many of us go through life with all of these problems, and more – I certainly did for years. It is no surprise that all of these common problems so often manifest in unison, as they all have the same underlying cause – poor nutrition.
This book tells you how to eat for optimum health and if you follow the recommendations in it, chances are you will soon be feeling really rather fantastic. Follow them consistently and long term and you will reduce your risk of every single chronic illness from diabetes to depression to heart disease to cancer to dementia. You will also quickly start to lose any excess weight and to look your very best.
Perhaps vanity is a bigger motivator for you than either health or longevity. This was certainly true for me when I first became interested in nutrition as a teenager. It wasn't preoccupation with the health of my cells that was spurring me on in my quest for knowledge, but rather with the condition of my skin and the size of my thighs. But whatever your reason for wanting to learn more about nutrition, you've picked up the right book.
In it, Max Tuck, aka The Raw Food Scientist, takes you on a tour of your body's nine systems – the digestive system, intestinal system, circulatory system, nervous system, immune system, respiratory system, urinary system, glandular system and structural system.
She briefly outlines the physical structures of each system and their main functions, and follows this with advice about what you can eat, and otherwise do, to support each system.
If you already know a thing or two about nutrition you won't be surprised to read that the recommended foods are all nutrient-dense natural plant foods. These are the foods we should all be basing our diets around. As well as being the fuel the body needs to build healthy cells, they are also loaded with phytonutrients – bioactive compounds which actively protect against specific diseases and conditions. Plant foods are nature's medicines, but unlike pharmaceutical drugs, these medicines have no downsides.
Pharmaceutical drugs merely mask unwanted symptoms. They do nothing to address or eliminate the root cause of those symptoms. They are all, without exception, toxic to the body. And in all cases, the desired effect in the body comes at the expense of numerous undesired ones.
This is why people who start taking one powerful drug so often soon develop a new condition for which they seek medical treatment, only to be prescribed a new drug to mask the symptoms of that, too – and on it goes.
Contrast this with the healing power of natural plant foods. While a certain vegetable, herb or berry might have the greatest (known) benefits for, say, the circulatory system, it will always be beneficial for the other eight systems too.
That's why the diet that most effectively lowers your cancer risk does just the same for your risk of heart disease, diabetes, depression and dementia, and will also slow the aging process and make your skin glow.
The reverse is true too. A food that is bad for one system of the body is bad for all systems. Let's take refined sugar as an example. We all know that refined sugar is a leading cause of tooth decay, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Few realise that sugar also ages our skin, hardens our arteries, lowers our immunity, sends our hormones out of whack, damages our liver, brain and all of our other organs, and wreaks havoc with every system of the body.
Max Tuck's prescription for optimum health is as simple as it is sound: base your diet around whole, natural, raw, unprocessed plant foods; avoid manmade chemicals wherever possible; make exercise a part of your routine; cultivate a positive mental attitude; get plenty of fresh air and sunshine.
She has been doing all of the above for two decades and is a shining example of what is possible for you, too, if you choose to follow her advice. In 1990 Max was classified as a medical write-off due to her debilitating chronic fatigue. Doctors told her there was nothing that could be done – that her life would be compromised due to her condition, and that she would sadly never recover.
Unwilling to accept this prognosis Max began researching health and nutrition. As she studied, gained insights and uncovered answers, she upgraded her food choices and her lifestyle, and within six months she had regained her health.
Today, far from leading a compromised life, Max has two careers – she is a veterinary surgeon as well as a health educator and author – and in her spare time competes in marathons, triathlons and other endurance events, climbs mountains, and has also gained a black belt in karate.
By 1998 she had adopted the raw and living foods diet she still follows to this day. In chapter one, Max outlines exactly what this way of eating entails, and why it brings health and longevity benefits like no other.
I know a thing or two about this topic as my own health quest brought the raw and living foods diet onto my radar in a big way 11 years ago. It was the summer of 2002, I was a new mum and I was at my local Planet Organic store in West London.
I was looking for a healthy vegan cookbook but with every title I picked up, I found myself thumbing through recipes full of white flour, white sugar, margarine and/or heated oils. Then another book caught my eye. It had one word on the cover: RAW. As I picked it up and started reading about the health benefits of raw and living foods, a light bulb went on. I knew. I bought the book and immediately started following a very high-raw diet. I also read everything I could get my hands on and attended every seminar and lecture I could.
I later spent five years as the editor of a raw foods magazine, and now write a blog about achieving optimum health through a nutrient-dense high-raw diet. I continue to read every major book that is published on this topic, and I can tell you this: never before has a book about this way of eating better explained the specific effects of our diet and lifestyle choices on the body's organs and systems.
This book is the culmination of Max's scientific training, her personal determination to achieve optimum health, and her 23 years of dedicated study and practice towards not only achieving that goal, but continually expanding her knowledge and expertise. I wish it had been around when I started out on my own health quest. It would have saved me years of trial and error.
This compelling, no-nonsense and highly readable guide can turn your health, and your life, around. Enjoy the read, and the amazing benefits.