Mark Tassi

Holistic Health the Way Nature Intended

Tag: raw food

So Cal Farmers Market Produce Haul

So Cal is such a great place to live, mild winters, plenty of inexpensive fresh, ripe produce, year round farmers’ markets and Sun! There is nothing better for the active, fruity lifestyle! If you’re not here, come on out, if you are here, hope to see you soon!

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Juice for Health?

In the last video we discussed juicing and some of the deleterious effects of juicing as a regular practice. Here we go into further detail and expound upon those points. Is juicing really all that it is cracked up to be in the health movement or should we treat juice and juicing with moderation or not partake at all?

To Juice or Not to Juice

Juicing has become the rage in the so-called health movement especially green juice on the high fat raw vegan scene, but is drinking juice really that healthy? Are there ramifications to stepping away from whole foods since juice really cannot be classified as a whole food? What are the pros and cons to juicing and should we, as aspirants to better health, adopt this practice?

Fully Raw vs The Back Up Plan

There’s been a lot of fruit festival controversy in the last few months and controversy in the raw food movement in general. People are fighting and bickering over avocados and potatoes. And what of it? How do we decide where to draw the line? How do we decide what to do for ourselves? Should we even be splitting hairs in this way which is splitting the community? Can’t we just all get along or is this a necessary part of our evolution? I offer some opinions on these points.

Sleep

Sleep is one of the most important ingredients to health, not just physical health either, and one of the biggest pitfalls in the journey of health is not getting enough sleep. Sleep is absolutely essential to good mental health as well as anyone who has been sleep deprived undoubtedly knows. Sleep is more important than eating, as important as drinking and almost as important as breathing. Sleep recharges the physical battery and organizes the mental apparatus. Without sleep, we find ourselves soon being unable to function properly, even more so mentally than physically.

In this modern age of technology and alarm clocks and ambition, capital gains and schedules, adequate sleep is often overlooked. The one who “sleeps in” is regarded as unambitious, lazy, unfit for modern society. “Burning the midnight” oil has, in this modern era, been associated with the hard worker and what we call a “go getter.”

But what about sleep? What about recharging the battery? We’re all too enthusiastic about charging the iPhone but not generally nearly as enthusiastic to charge the apparatus which we inhabit, which we use every day all our lives. When I mentioned to a friend of mine, God bless him, that the alarm clock was an “evil” invention, it was met with ridicule. Why? Because if we need an alarm clock to wake up, then we haven’t slept enough. They now even have apps which are specially designed to help you to force yourself from a sound sleep. If forcing yourself from a sound sleep seems natural to you, then you’ve undoubtedly become indoctrinated by modern times. I’ll go even farther and say that you’ve been bamboozled by it!

Our body’s natural clock is set to the natural cycle of Sunrise and Sunset. When it gets dark, the body begins to produce certain hormones which encourage sleep. At dawn, the body stops producing those hormones. That’s why that if you get up at night and turn a light on, it’s often difficult to get back to sleep. The light fooled the brain into thinking that it was time to get up. One time, I accidentally shined a bright flash light in my eyes while camping at 2:30 in the morning. That was the end of my sleep for that night.

Keep in mind that the homeland is the tropical forest. The nearer we get to the equator, our natural home, the closer is the length of the night and day to one another. On the equator, our origin, nights and days are about 12 hours in length year round. At the equator, the Sun rises at around 7:30 and sets at around 7:30 year round. Before the advent of technology, light bulbs, candles etc., darkness in the tropical forest would allow for us to do little else other than sleep. It would have been dangerous never mind impractical to do much else. In these modern days, 12 hours of sleep is regarded as excessive, but if we look back to more natural times, that would have been just routine.

Early nights and waking up when the body naturally wakes is what our bodies are designed to do. We are diurnal creatures designed for activity during the day and inactivity at night. The best hours of sleep come before midnight, but certainly when it is dark, completely dark. The best sleep, the best rest comes when it is completely dark without any hint of light as it would have been in the forest at night under the tropical canopy.

Today, I didn’t have to get up at any particular time. Last night I went to bed fairly early. So I slept until I naturally awoke. Today I am absolutely super charged. Admittedly there are more factors in this feeling of unlimited energy than just sleep. Proper diet, a diet which does not usurp much of the body’s energy for unnecessary digestion, proper hydration, Sun shine, deep breathing and physical activity are essentials. But all of these things mean much less without enough sleep.

Sleep friends. Sleep. Get early nights, nights early enough so that we awake naturally, without the aid of an alarm clock. Recharge that battery! Don’t let so-called ambition or downright disorganization interfere with one of the most important factors in being the human dynamos that we naturally are!

Woodstock Fruit Festival 2012


I will be attending the Woodstock Fruit Festival again this year from August 20th to August 28th at Camp Walden in the southern Adirondack Mountains of New York, near Lake George.

Last year’s festival was an absolute blast with the general consensus being that it was simply the best event that any of us had ever attended. This year looks to be just as good, maybe even better with even more people attending.

If you’re like me and you like fruit, who doesn’t, and like to be around fellow fruitheads, this year’s festival is an event you won’t want to miss. There will be unlimited fruit and greens 24 hours per day for the entire event and so much more. Last year’s event was chock full of outdoor group activities, cutting edge lectures and dancing and campfires in the evenings.

There simply isn’t a more fun and informative event, for those living the lifestyle or those wishing to, around.

Hope to see you there!

Thanks Michael and Vic.

M

Nature’s Design

I find it interesting that people, upon having certain problems while on a particular diet, rashly jump and blame those problems on the diet. I am now referring, in particular, to a primarily fruit and vegetable based diet, or a diet of fruits and tender leafy greens with the inclusion of small amounts of raw nuts and seeds. Instead, in full faith of the perfection and completion of nature and the understanding of one’s exact place in that scheme, of closely and carefully analyzing one’s actions in one’s personal practice and trying to ascertain those shortcomings which would cause one to do anything but thrive, those individuals often blame the diet, ridicule the messenger and condemn that which the Creator put into place in the beginning.

I’ve heard people blame all sorts of things on the fruit and vegetable diet from loss of libido to being unable to maintain or attain muscle mass.

What these people do not realize is that the body takes years to correct years of abuse and unnatural living. They have a lack of faith in the design, in the natural plan. They are lost, having been unable to ascertain what the natural plan is in the first place.

Admittedly, it is not always so easy to discern what is natural from what is not in a world where false prophets and self-styled “teachers” abound. What is more, propaganda from the media instigated by the “food” industries lead most astray. The protein anthem is heard at every turn: “Where do you get your protein? Where do you get your protein?” Stuff and nonsense is spread by the three industries as they deal in death.

It took me over 12 years of eating fruit before my body was able to derive the full benefits of its nutrition. If one has trouble when first adopting such a diet, it’s not the diet, it’s you! How can a food, which our species was designed to eat, bring anything but the highest benefits? To think otherwise is not logical.

When I almost died of hyponatremia nearly 3 years ago, it would have been easy to blame it on the diet as most around me already had. However, not only did I make mistakes in the diet’s application which I ascertained from objective analysis, but it was also the first time in over 20 years that I had been absolutely stimulant free. To understand the significance of this, one must first understand the significance of the hormone, aldosterone. Aldosterone, among other functions, is responsible for the conservation of sodium. When sodium intake increases, aldosterone production drops. When sodium intake decreases, aldosterone production rises, thereby balancing one’s serum sodium level. However, aldosterone is produced by the adrenal glands, which, in most people, in our so-called “modern” society, are ravaged by lack of sleep, lack of carbohydrates, dehydration and stimulants. For the past 3 and a half years, I have been entirely stimulant free so my adrenal glands are more than likely doing the job they were intended to do, but that was more than likely not the case 3 years ago.

The point being is that if one is to succeed on any plan, one must have faith in that plan. I think that from the information presented in the post, Man the Frugivore, we may rest assured that man is indeed an herbivore/frugivore. If one, through careful analysis and meticulous study, can arrive at such a conclusion, the next logical step would be then to implement a plan based on that study and conclusion. The more logical one’s conclusion, the more dogged resolution one will have in carrying that plan out especially when one is faced with the consequences of either a body which is developing through the process or because of certain indiscretions which may be committed especially in the beginning of such a bold and rigorous step forward in one’s overall progress.

Veganism – A New Age Experiment?

I was going to save this one for a video, but I haven’t gotten a video camera yet. I think it’s going to be easier to convey a lot of these concepts in video rather than writing long winded posts.

At any rate, here goes.

Going low on B12 had me thinking quite a bit. It caused me to reevaluate what I have been doing, i.e. I’ve been completely vegan or on a 100% plant-based diet for nearly 15 years. However, before that, I had eaten very little animal products for years. The last animal product I’d eaten before I’d gone completely plant-based was a small amount of unpasteurized goat dairy on occasion.

As we know, B12 is produced by certain bacteria, however, according to orthodox nutritional theory, our primary source of dietary B12 is animal products.

As conveyed in the last post, I more or less “lost” nearly 3 years of my life from severe depression due solely to B12 deficiency. I had speculated that this was caused by my episode of fatal hyponatremia in that I didn’t notice any signs of the mental imbalance that was to come until after that ordeal. (I have since ordered the lab reports from the two hospital visits for hyponatremia, but at the time of writing, these have not yet come in. When I receive those I will be able to see what my B12 levels were at the time which may shed some further light on my theory.)

Was I becoming lower and lower in B12 during my years as a vegan and in the years prior when I severely restricted animal product consumption which the trauma of the critical hyponatremia then pushed me over the edge? I really don’t know. I have no clinical evidence as to what the B12 level was before the hyponatremia and can only speculate based on how I felt.

What I do know is that vegans are generally notoriously low in serum B12. Of course, having said that, their “omnivorous” counterparts are generally not that much higher either.

So again, what is the answer to this? It does seem that B12 deficiency is epidemic in our modern, polluted and sterilized society. Yet at the same time, it does raise the question, is veganism a new age experiment or are humans naturally vegan?

Natural hygienists like to site the fact that humans are classed as anthropoid apes and that all anthropoid apes are herbivores/frugivores. While this is certainly true, when one researches the diets of anthropoid apes in the wild, one finds that none of them are vegan! Most anthropoid apes eat around 2% to 3% animal products mostly in the form of insects, but they also do on occasion eat small mammals. They are not vegan! What then does this say for humans? After all, as mentioned, we are likewise anthropoid apes; we do have 4 canine incisors. While these incisors are small and only make up 4 of 32 teeth, they are still there and would be in keeping with the small amount of animal products that anthropoid apes in the wild eat. They are not there by chance, one can be sure of that.

Of course, there are vegans like Harley Johnstone, aka Durianrider, who put videos up of their blood test results on YouTube showing how perfect they are. Of course, they should be. We are herbivores/frugivores and anyone following such a diet and lifestyle is bound to have favorable results. But what about B12? We know that Harley injects B12. He was the one who suggested that I do. And thank God that he did. I have my life back because of it and then some!

It was discussed in the last post how the average vegan is destroying B12 producing microbes through the ingestion of excitoxins i.e. garlic, salt, caffeine, alcohol, spices etc. But would vegans produce enough of their own B12 otherwise? Some seem to do well. I certainly seemed to prior to the critical episode with hyponatremia where I seemed to deplete my B12 reserve. All this would be interesting research.

What is more, in a perfect world, one not sterilized with chemicals and pesticides, one not polluted, would the vegan thrive, and by thrive I mean produce and get enough B12 or would we be more like the wild ape supplementing our plant-based diet with small amounts of insects and the occasional small mammal?

In these days of science and technology, the vegan can supplement, and as mentioned in the last post, and until this is solved, that is what I intend to do. I’ve since had a few experiments with animal products recently after 15 years a vegan and I did not like the results. I got sick every time and lost my energy. Actually I didn’t get as sick as I thought I would. I had, in the past, gotten violently ill from accidentally consuming a small amount of animal product in the past, but in these few experiments did not get that sick but felt sick and miserable indeed. I simply have to too much to do to waste days on the couch sick from an unnecessary experiment.

Having said that, if I were not able to supplement or inject B12, I probably would eat some animal products in the attempt to raise the B12 level. I’ve never been an ethical vegan and in fact, do not consider myself vegan at all. I follow a plant based lifestyle recognizing that plants have lives too. Not that I want to kill. I’d attempted a fruitarian diet in the past as I did not want to kill plants, but again, do not believe that humans are fruitarian, but instead frugivorous/herbivorous.

Veganism undoubtedly came about as a reaction to the extreme processed and factory farmed lifestyle, in particular, the lifestyle reliant on the factory farm and all the horror that it entails. If I were to eat meat again, I certainly would not rely on that. Instead, I would supplement my frugivious/herbivorous diet with meat obtained through other sources. I haven’t taken that step and probably never will, but that’s what I would do.

For now, I will continue to rely on the occasional B12 shot but I have thought of these things, which brings us back to the question: is veganism a new age experiment? With everything said in this post, especially with the fact that none of the other anthropoid apes are vegan, I would say yes, veganism is indeed a new age experiment. But perhaps it is an experiment whose time has come. After all, humans are the most evolved of all the apes, are the most evolved creatures on the planet for that matter. Perhaps it is time that we evolve way from the need for animal products. Perhaps as humans, we can obtain sufficient B12 from our environment and bacteria on plants providing that all conditions are right. And until then, with our great ingenuity and cleverness, we can supplement. I feel utterly amazing since injecting B12. Well it’s not the B12 injections that are responsible, I felt this way 3 years ago before the hyponatremia and all that was to follow. It is because of the frugivorous/herbivorous lifestyle that I feel this way.

The bottom line is that we will not feel well if we are deficient in any essential nutrient. A deficiency in sodium nearly killed me two and a half years ago even though everything else was pretty much perfect.

Life is a delicate and perfect balance, so delicate and perfect that it puts one completely in awe of creation and the Architect which conceived it all in the beginning.

To your health,

M

References:

Could It Be B12? by Sally M. Pacholok, R.N., B.S.N. and Jeffery J. Stuart, D.O.
B12 Exposed by David Rainoshek
WEIGHT LOSS TRANSFORMATION TIPS: B12 injections? by Harley Johnstone
GORILLAS: Diet and Eating Habits
Correcting the Vegetarian Myths About Ape Diets

Wholesale!

Wholesale produce market on 7th and Central, Los Angeles, CA.

Those of us in Southern California, at least Los Angeles from my experience, are really fortunate to have a year round growing season and especially year round farmers’ markets almost every day of the week. Speaking for myself, from my location in Silverlake, there are local farmers’ markets within a three mile radius of my home five days a week! And on two of those days, there is a farmer’s market within walking distance less than a half mile away! So we are indeed blessed by the Heavens and the Earth.

But what I like as much or even more is the wholesale market on 7th and Central. Personally, I opt for this old wholesale market in preference to the new structure. The old market is open later, much later, until noon, and the deals are generally better, and you can often find and get great deals on ripe fruit. You can’t do that in the new.

When one adopts the fruit and vegetable lifestyle, one finds oneself eating large quantities. At that point, it’s just not practical from a financial standpoint or even from a practical, logistical standpoint to shop in supermarkets. It can get very expensive!

Here in L.A. we are also fortunate to be blessed with such ethnic diversity and ethnic markets to boot, and I often find great deals on produce there. There are also one or two supermarket chains here that also offer very good deals. But for the absolute “steals”, there is nothing like the wholesale market.

Get yourself down to the wholesale market in your city and stock up. In this lifestyle, it’s important not to limit yourself and as important is to have plenty of ripe fruit! The wholesale markets are the way to go. I shop the farmers’ markets for greens mostly, but for fruit, I shop wholesale. There isn’t a better deal to be found. Why pay the middle man?