Monday, March 10, 2008

Humbled Pt. 1

Carmella from the Sunny Raw Kitchen tagged me,
which means that I have to post 5 things about myself that
everyone on here doesnt already know.

I fully intend to do that...I really will.
But first, I have to say my apology to my sister.

I kind of ragged on her the other day about
being in medical school and drinking soy milk and coffee.
I didn't mean harm at all, and I was surprised that she even read it,
but it was a totally unconscious thing to say about my own sister.

She is in the top 97% of her class right now,
and she puts in so much time into her learning.
She knows WAY more about the body than myself,
and I am always learning new things from her.

Its easy to tell that many of us on here are pretty suspicious
of the medical community. And rightfully so.
There are so many doctors out there who simply prescribe various drugs
or recommend chemotherapy or surgery when
other and much less invasive options are still reasonably
available to consider. However...there are some who are waking up.

Here is a quote from my sister...(and Im paraphrasing):

"You have no idea what they teach us in med school. We DO get taught
about nutrition...but really, we can tell people to eat right and exercise
but most of them are so lazy and self-destructive that it would blow your mind.
You have no idea about the cases that we see! You would be
shocked to see how people abuse themselves, no matter what we say.
So then what? Someone has to be there to take care of them...that's us."

Rightfully so. Everyone on here has pretty much
assumed responsibility for their own health, or at least is starting
to consider it. So it can be natural (at least for me) to think that doctors are
the ones feeding pills to people and making them think that there
are no other options. Its also easy to forget how self-destructive and
unconscious people still are about how they treat their bodies.
How easy I forgot.
It's so complex and individualized,
that Ill never be able to make a correct statement.

But this much is true...what I don't know is still SO great.
We have to all realize just how unknowledgeable we are about just
about everything on this planet. Only when we can realize that can
we start making steps to remedy it, and be more compassionate
to those who might not have reached some supposed
answers that we might cling onto so dearly.

All I know is that I reached certain results
by doing certain activities and consuming certain foods.
I can share that experience, and if others like where I am
at, and what Ive achieved, then they can take it for whatever its worth.
Just look for results...thats all I can say.

Nothing is true until you believe it to be. Well...maybe gravity.

Gotta run...getting late.
Sorry sis...LOVE YOU!



Shauna said...

so true. i work at sephora, where women would rather spend their money on foundations to mask their skin rather than serums and sunscreen that will truly improve and protect it. it's ridiculous how many people with leathery skin, sun spots and sketchy moles will still refuse to wear an SPF. same self-destructive behavior.

and i like the statement: "if others like where I am
at, and what Ive achieved, then can take it for whatever its worth."

because to some people it means they will become raw, to others it means tweaking their SAD diet to be mostly raw. and to others they may just nod and keep on living their life; i mean there are certainly some 80+ year olds out there who lived full and healthy lives and also drank coffee and soymilk, right??

loving your posts and eating more veggies every day.


Jay said...

I actually came to the raw diet by a logical process based on reading about nutrition. There is a great site that explains (in an accessible way) about the problems that result from eating cooked foods backed up by extensive research. It's here:

And there is also a book written by the same authors that compiles all the information they gathered about a raw diet at:

Timmizzy said...

That's so true. I mean, what are the doctors supposed to do with the people that show no respect to their most prized possesion, their body. I guess it's somewhat nice of doctors to give a person such as that some hope, whether it be real or fake.

Charissa said...

I love what you said...

"...I can share that experience, and if others like where I am
at, and what Ive achieved, then can take it for whatever its worth.
Just look for results."

That's so awesome! Truly. It's really the results that win people over to a healthy lifestyle like that. Often I spout on about the raw lifestyle, rather than let people see how I live and how wonderful I feel. Compassion is a beautiful thing and often it's that kind attitude that wins people over. Thank you for sharing that, a wonderful reminder.

yardsnacker said...

Great insight.

Anonymous said...

I respect your sister's point of view that patients abuse their bodies. I worked in a pharmacy for four years of my life and most of the people that came were addicted to over the counter and prescription drugs! Who was prescribing them? The doctors. Conventional Medical doctors are taught to prescribe pharmeceuticals and do surgery. I remember when I was a child in the eighties, the doctors would at times give instructions for preventative care. Now most don't. Some doctors are even on the payroll of the pharmaceutical industry. The more drugs they push the more money they make. Although the patient is responsible for his/herself, the doctor unintentionally reinforces addictive behaivior which is being dependant on pharmaceutical drugs. From my point of view I have seen so many people suffer. It's heart breaking and they believe the doctor more than they believe themselves. People don't understand how dangerous pharmaceutical drugs are and the damaging side affects but the industry itself does not care!!They continue to make trillions of dollars at wallstreet while people continue to die from degenerative diseases. It is so immoral and it angers me to no end!!
Rebeka - good luck to your sister I'm sure she's as compassionate and caring as you

Anonymous said...

Respectfully, I still think your original comments were spot on :-) Medical students are only taught Nutrition for approx. 4-6 hours or so in total for the whole degree. Not nearly enough training in an area that is so vitally important for optimal health and prevention of so many diseases.

I love that in ancient China, doctors were remunerated according to how few sick patients they had in their community. They were teachers of health, rather than treaters of symptoms. That's how it was then, that's the way it should be now!

Keep sharing and teaching Anthony, you are doing a great job!

H said...

Unfortunately the medical field mainly denies the healing power of food/the bad effects of garbage food in order to sell drugs that don't cure. A lot of people could be cured of ailments by simply stopping putting garbage in their bodies. I could go on a whole rant here, but I'm sure you know what I mean. I've had a friend in medical school before, and I was blown away by his knowledge about the human body and his dedication to helping his patients (he interned at a hospital). It's easy for me to say that overall the whole "mainstream" medical field is corrupt...however, on an individual basis, there are plenty of doctors/nurses who have pure motives (and I'm sure your sister is included). A really interesting book you might like to read is "Evil: Inside Human Violence and Cruelty".
On a different note, I'm curious if you heard about the study that found traces of pharmaceuticals in treated drinking water...I saw it on the news after I had read the AP article, but the news didn't cover nearly all that was contained in the article (link following, in case you're interested.)

I'm really enjoying your blog; thanks so much for posting regularly. :)

Anonymous said...

"So it can be natural (at least for me) to think that doctors are the ones feeding pills to people and making them think that there are no other options. Its also easy to forget how self-destructive and unconscious people still are about how they treat their bodies."

Most doctors are heavily influenced by Big Pharma and give a patient a prescription drug and don't tell them about side effects, letalone that there are alternatives (eg. correct nutrition, supplements, sunshine and or even natural remedies). Sad, but true.

Most patients, however self-destructive or unconcious, just blindly follow the Doctors instructions trusting that the Doctor has their best interest in mind, unaware that there are other alternatives. Sad, but true.

Name one Doctor that even knows what a Super-Food is, letalone throws it into a Super-Smoothie?!!

Peace and veges x

kate said...

Your parents have every reason to be so proud of both of you... such big hearted wise people ...
p.s. for those of us who cant make the the 29th March - because we are in London ! any chance of it going on YouTube ?!
Also if you can watch "Around the world in 80 gardens" on the BBC - very very beautiful...x

anna said...

It's so easy to be critical of all other professions, except our own. I think doctors initially go into medicine so that they can help people. They soon realize that everyone wants a quick fix (i.e. magic pills). Not to mention that we are constantly bombarded with advertisements from pharmaceutical companies, whether we like it or not. We go into our appointments with the name of the medicine drilled into our heads, and we manipulate the doctor into prescribing it for us. Doctors are also bombarded by pharmaceutical companies constantly. Spend 1 hour in a waiting room, and you'll almost certainly come across a few pharm. reps with lunch in hand, and a bag of samples.

In my opinion, doctors are employees of a huge, greedy & controlling medical corporation. They are not the corporation themselves.

I used to wonder why people chose to go into certain professions that I couldn't imagine doing even if I were paid 2 million $ a year. I had taken a philosophy class in college, and a student made a comment about how she could never be an accountant; why would anyone ever want to be an accountant, and that it's such a boring profession.... The professor replied that accountants thrive on being organized; they love numbers; they love calculating, therefore making accounting the perfect profession for them. It was one of those "light bulb" moments for me. Everyone has been given talents and passions that are different from our own. We are all needed for what we have to offer.

After my sister graduated from medical school, I didn't think it was that big of a deal. I just had the assumption that all intelligent people go into medicine so they can appear to be important. Well, that's not the case. My sister is now in her 2nd year of residency, and is exhausted, overwhelmed and in her words, "is tired of dealing with sick people." In other words, medicine is a rude awakening for doctors. It's not a glorious, "I'll make 1/2 a million a year" profession. And after 8 years of school, 3+ years of residency, and hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt they're surely not going to give up their career because they've come to the conclusion that modern medicine is in major trouble.

Ok, I wrote way too much.

Peace anthony

wyldegirl said...

Isn't it cool how we're all here to learn from one another (even if that knowledge is coming from places completely unexpected) and some of the most valuable lessons come from our immediate family- the people I believe we chose when we entered this world in this physical body. . .

i know my relationships are constantly evolving and have changed over the years with my own parents and brother. . . and while there are sometimes a bit of the to-be expected tensions, there are also amazing gifts and surprises (the best one being uncondtional love and hopefully for most- support) that your family will always provide!

you and your sister are lucky to have each other to take lessons from, share and connect and be authentically honest with each other.

Thanks for adding this bit of authenticity into the mix. . . and not being afraid to highlight the constant learning process and deepened compassion. . .
See you in 2 days!
xx Jenny

raw by default said...

Your sister is lucky to have a brother like you. :)

Jennifer said...

i think it's important to bear in mind that everyone has their own paradigm they are living out. no one person can judge what is right and appropriate for another's optimal health. if we're talking about the greatest good for the greatest number, then we need to start advocating change accordingly. this may sometimes mean adjusting our tactics as well. for example, those who are at the bottom of the socio-economic bracket in this country suffer the most health-wise. truth is, they can't necessarily afford raw, living, sustainable, wildharvested-by-the-light-of-the-full-moon all the time, nor may they necessarily understand the importance of eating local/organic. for those folks, how about we just start by working to get them to eat more fresh fruits and veggies from their local supermarket/bodega (and less McDonald's and canned, processed goods) PERIOD? compassion is so key for advocating lasting change. BLESS.

"...the true revolutionary is guided by strong feelings of love."
~che guevara

p.s. when i lived in queens there was no such thing as organic produce or whole foods by me. i'd schlep groceries from lifethyme and westerley's on the subway. it's really awesome that times are changing though! Exotic Superfoods and Queens Health Food Emporium are two great places that opened up in my old stomping grounds! ^_^

Sari said...

I am 100% raw AND in medical school. (One of the few hittin the books till 2am w/out the coffee). Sadly, I'm made to feel an outsider in BOTH communities.

The way I see it, these two communities have the shared goal of promoting optimum health. It's just that rawists are fortunate enough to be able to do it for themselves.* If only everyone were so blessed...

BUT, The new crop o' docs has a flowering of people who "get it." I mean, I wrote my thesis on the corruption of big Pharma. I meet with a group of med students every week to meditate. I teach yoga every week. And while we're still the exception, we're not entirely alone. (hi, Dr. Cousens).

One love,

*I mean, to a point. You can be the picture of health and still break your wrist, contract malaria, have a son with leukemia... What then?

p.s. let's be as open-minded as we tout ourselves to be. This doc "knows what a superfood is." So what? The less exclusive (fine, elitist) the raw community appears, the more welcoming, the more tired souls will find their way home to it.

SJA said...

Although my brother somewhat misrepresented our conversation (including my class rank) I would like to thank him for his kind words and to remind everyone that making generalized statements to assert your own beliefs is being closed minded--in other words by disregarding mountains of evidence based medicine and focusing only on sources that support your own beliefs is the definition of being close minded. I know that "close mindedness" is exactly what a raw foodist does not want to be so check your facts--drugs DO help people, good nutrition and preventative medicine is stressed in medical education, and since all medical students are treated like shit we do not feel important by any means. Also, as a med student I have received way more than "4-6 hours of nutrition." How can a person even make a statement like that if they have never been to medical school? Having a friend or a first degree relative in medical school is not an adequate representation of what medical school is like. Tony does not know what my everyday life is like, as I do not know what stresses and turbulations living his life brings. Again, making generalized statements not based on facts is a sign of igorance, know your limitions and be able to put yourself in other people shoes, you might be a healthy 27 year old and then medicine and pharmaceuticals may seem like a waste, but to people who are not as lucky medicine and drugs are all that lie between life and death.

Bella said...

ahhahahahaa Anthony!!

Regardless of differing views between your sister, the medical community, and the raw and alternative communities, when I saw you mention that in your post (and having a brother myself), I was like "He's in BIG effing trouble now!".

You're a good bro for posting an apology and clarification. Maybe she'll spare you the Indian rug burn she was planning on giving you the next time she saw you.


Anonymous said...

The system works for 95% of the population that is ok with taking drugs for their problems. What I don't like is the "food doesn't matter" there are no cures type of attitude that many doctors have. They could at least give the option that diet over time can reverse disease if you work at it. I have plenty of friends in medical school and preventative medicine, nutrition are hardly taught according to them. I've personally had good and bad experiences with doctors and I am really tired of trusting them so now I rarely ever see em unless for emergency reasons only.

Anonymous said...

"Also, as a med student I have received way more than "4-6 hours of nutrition." How can a person even make a statement like that if they have never been to medical school? Having a friend or a first degree relative in medical school is not an adequate representation of what medical school is like"

I wrote that comment. I was a medical student and was speaking from experience. My generalized statement was based on facts, and not ignorance (as you said). No offense intended whatsoever, but your comments are also a little close-minded. Drugs do help people. Drugs also harm people. Nothing is ever black and white.

I am now pursuing post graduate training in Environmental and Nutritional Medicine and hope to be able to offer my patients the best of both worlds (eg. modern medicine where appropriate and holistic where possible).

Best wishes to you in your career.

SJA said...

"Medical students are only taught Nutrition for approx. 4-6 hours or so in total for the whole degree" is a grossly generalized statement; your comment speaks on the behalf of all medical students. My statement, "I have received way more than 4-6 hours of nutrition." is speaking from my own experiences as a student who attends 1 medical school. Do you see the discrepancy, because it is not subtle. I, and you, do not know the curriculum of schools we do not attend and therefore we cannot assume that their courses are similar to our own.

Anonymous said...


In my last post, I stated that I used to be a medical student and was speaking from experience (my own experience). Whether my statement was or was not a 'gross generalized statement' as you said, is a moot point that really didn't deserve any further attention.

Particularly, seeing as you have made several gross generalized statements yourself...

"and since ALL medical students are treated like shit WE do not feel important by any means"

"I know that "close mindedness" is exactly what a raw foodist does not want to be so check your facts"

I love that you are so passionate about your studies, but there really are better battles....


(And again, no offense intended!)

Anonymous said...

I've been following this thread with much interest [Josh is my former med school cramming buddy and current roomy]. I wanted to add to this conversation to note that although you focused on Josh's '4-6 hours' comment, you missed his point. He also wrote ... 'Not nearly enough training in an area that is so vitally important for optimal health and prevention of so many diseases'. I believe this to be his main point in that there is not nearly enough training in nutrition provided at medical schools. As a new Doctor myself, I wholeheartedly agree. I have many colleagues, and former professors that concur that Nutrition studies are truly a micro component of a macro medical degree. When you get to graduation and reflect back on your medical degree you will understand what I'm saying and what Josh meant.
Cheers, Sareem.

Anonymous said...

I see where SJA is coming from:
"mountains of evidence based medicine...drugs DO help people, good nutrition and preventative medicine is stressed in medical education,"

My mom is a registered nurse, my dad is a biology professor, and I was a pre-med student (the arts were calling me, though, so I had to switch majors). I am still a science geek, so I am always reading up on nutrition and medicine. Medicine is an amazing field that has done some wonderful things for mankind. However, I have read and listened to many people say that eating "rabbit's food" won't cure diseases, mainly based on the evidence of studies and prejudices our society has against alternative medicine and towards a meat and cooked food diet. They always ask, "Where do you get your protein? You need to eat meat." I find it a funny question, because they never ask themselves where the cows get their protein. I know there is plenty more to learn about the science behind the evidence found, but I feel that the field of medicine will remain where it is as long as they base studies on the diet and with the mindset our society currently has. The way I see it, the experiments are based on a faulty system, so the cures will work for that system. The problem here is that people are looking in the wrong direction to find the source of our health issues, so they keep missing the bullseye. More and more people everyday are realizing the importance of fruits and veggies. As time passes, and many see the health and vitality of people eating plant-based diets, we will hopefully have a switch in our nation-wide nutritional and medical beliefs.


Anonymous said...

i have read the comments between sja and josh. i have many friends and family members in the medical profession. i do not believe that a majority of doctors push drugs on patients. sure, there are some who over prescribe meds; however, most have the patients' best interests at heart and prescription medications are what's needed to help a person's problem.

i agree nutrition and exercise are a huge huge component to being a healthy individual. there are plenty of situations where the correct diet and exercise regimen can help correct the problem at hand. an example, Diabetes Mellitus Type II tends to be a "disease" of overweight and obese people. one of the best treatment options for this is exercise and a change in diet.

however, what about people who are born with congenital problems. i know someone who was diagnosed with cardio myopathy (an enlarged heart) as a little kid. my friend is extremely healthy-- she is fit, and she eats a lot of nutritious food (especially because she has to be on a low sodium diet) and very little junk food. she did not take meds for a large part of her life. nonetheless, there came a time when she needed to start taking prescription drugs. so, for those of you who choose not to see the wonders of modern medicine, what should she have done? not taken prescription meds and died? diet is not something that could fix her problem. this is one example, there are plenty of other medical problems where diet or diet alone is not the fix... neuro disorders, other heart diseases, some kidney/liver/spleen diseases.

so in conclusion, i agree nutrition is a key component. however, it is not the ONLY component for a majority of medical problems, which need some sort of drug prescription. maybe i'm protective of those in the medical field because so many of those i care about are doctors. but, i don't feel that nutrition alone can solve all the problems we have.