Paul Nison www.paulnison.com
Q: What is your background? How did you find-out about the health benefits of raw foods and what caused you to make the switch?
I have a background in business. I went to college for business and worked in Wall Street in New York City, where I grew up. When I was 20 years old, I ended up getting stomach pains, went to the hospital and got diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (also known as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease). The doctors had no cure and said I'd have to be on medication for the rest of my life.
I ended up moving to West Palm Beach Florida to get away from the stress of New York City. When I moved there, I ended up moving right next door to a place called, "Hippocrates Health Institute" without even knowing what it was.
The Hippocrates Health Institute is an institute created by Ann Wigmoore. It started in Boston and moved down to West Palm Beach and it's where they teach people how to overcome all disease with a raw food diet and lifestyle.
So, I immediately started doing their program… and immediately got better.
From there, I just wanted to teach other people about this. So, I wrote some books and travel the world teaching people about the benefits of eating a raw food diet.
Q: What are some of the health benefits of eating raw?
The biggest health benefit from a physical standpoint is the amount of energy a person has. Not stimulation, but consistent flow of energy. Because the enzymes help the body avoid using more energy than it has to, to digest food.
From a mental stand point, the sharpness of the mind so people can remember things longer and multi-task easier. There's many mental advantages to eating a raw food diet.
Spiritually, the less toxic a person eats, the more clearer his communication is going to be. So, somebody eating a high quality is going to be able to communicate clearer than somebody who eats a low quality diet.
Raw foods are the highest quality foods for our body. So, spiritually, the greatest way to connect with our creator would happen when our body is the cleanest… and that's going to happen when were eating a high quality diet of raw foods.
Q: What is the benefit that you enjoy the most?
To be honest, all the benefits mentioned above. The great energy, sharpness of the mind, and spiritual communication with our creator.
That's what I appreciate the most. I travel ten months out of the year – I am on the road giving lectures. And there's no way I'd be able to do this without such a high quality diet.
Now, I am able to do it with ease. So, that's the biggest benefit.
It just helps me get the word out and helps more people learn about it. Then, the people I teach help create a system of support that I have when I go places – and it just goes round and round with everyone helping each other.
Q: What portion of the diet do you recommend should be raw to start seeing some of these benefits?
The key part is that people increase their raw food intake. You don't have to start out at 100% raw, but you can work up to the most you can do.
However, if you're sick, then you should be doing 100%. But, if you're healthy, then you may do 70-80%. It really depends on the person and what he or she feels is possible.
I know people who eat only 70% raw, but the cooked foods they do eat are not too bad.
Q: Who can benefit the most from a raw food diet?
The people who are sick are going to benefit most because they're going to get better.
The people who aren't sick are going to avoid getting sick. Everyone is going to benefit from it, but the people who need it the most are those who are already sick.
The people who aren't doing it or sick yet, are just headed to that because sickness and disease are created by all the things that cooked food creates in the body. After a while, the wear and tear cooked food puts on the body is going to cause energy drain and discomfort somewhere in the body.
The result is disease one way or another. So, everybody is going to benefit from it, but those who are sick are going to benefit the most.
Q: Did you personally rid yourself of a health problem or have an inspiring story of somebody you know that comes to mind?
I personally rid myself of inflammatory bowel disease (also known as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease).
And I know over a thousand people, at least, who've healed their conditions (or at a minimum improved their condition) by switching to a high-quality diet of raw foods and vegetables.
Q: A common question many people have when they first hear about raw foods is how do you get enough protein and calcium? How do you respond to this question?
Usually, it's just a lack of knowledge that people have. Calcium is found in more foods and is more absorbable in raw foods than any other food source on the planet.
Great sources are sesame seeds and green leafy vegetables, such as kale. There's more calcium in a cup of sesame seeds than a gallon of milk. So, that's like me asking somebody who drinks milk, where do you get your calcium from?
There's just a lack of knowledge. Since most milk is processed and cooked today, people are not able to absorb the calcium from it anyway. It just forms a mucus in their bodies.
Whereas, on a raw food diet, getting tremendous amounts calcium is just not a problem at all.
As for protein, it comes from amino acids. The non-essential and essential can be found in raw foods, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
I've been interviewing people who've been eating this way for years… some of them for almost 50 years.
I've met some people who have run into other deficiencies because they're not eating the best way in terms of the foods they can be eating. But when it comes to protein, I've never met anybody who has a deficiency in protein.
Q: Why do people sometimes have difficulty sticking to a raw food diet when they first start?
The biggest problem is the mental factor. It's a change from the norm and many people aren't used to change.
Switching to a raw food diet is the most extreme change. It's taking something you've done your whole life, eating cooked food, and saying you're not going to eat it anymore.
It's one of the reasons I tell people you don't have to go on a 100% raw food diet. You can do 80%, even 70% to experience some of the benefits. The major key is if you eat more good than bad, then you're going to experience more good than bad.
If you're eating more bad than good, then you're going to experience more bad than good.
However, if you're eating 50% good and 50%, then one minus one equals zero. So, you have to eat more good stuff than bad stuff.
This is why I recommend you eat 70-80% of raw foods in your diet. It makes it much easier for them.
Another big factor people run into with this are the mental aspects of it. There are so many people in the world that have such a lack of knowledge about how powerful and healthy raw foods are, they just bombard people with false information to say it's not healthy.
And, after a while, if people hear something enough times, then unfortunately they start believing it.
Q: Many people maybe interested in a raw food diet, but think they can't give up chocolate,
cheese, or other "Cravings" food. Is there something people can do to overcome their cravings?
Basically, any addiction will take 3 weeks to 3 months to get over, depending on what the addiction is.
So, my best answer is patience. People can't just give up after a few days of doing it, if they think it's not working for them.
They have to understand how to do it correctly and over time, the body will start adjusting. And, instead, of craving those junk foods, you will start craving healthy foods.
Whereas, where you're eating a junk food diet, like supports like. Your body's just going to crave more junk food.
Q: How do you advise people to make the switch to raw foods or just eating more of it?
It has to be an individual thing because no two people are in the same place. Some people might be in an environment where there are a lot of raw food restaurants or they're living down in the tropics where there's an abundance of fruits and vegetables.
For them, if there not sick already, then they can take their time with it and enjoy it. However, if somebody's living in an environment where they don't have an abundance of raw foods available in a great variety… or if they're already sick, they have to handle it different than the average person who is not sick.
So, it depends on where a person is physically and their location in the world. This means there is no one answer for everybody, but if people just increase the amount of high-quality food each day, more and more, then they'll improve.
If somebody eats three hamburgers and cuts down to two, then that's a step in the right direction.
Q: What are some of your favorite raw foods or recipes? Do you have any favorite recipes that you make frequently?
Most of foods I eat are blended or juiced. I like to do liquids. My favorite is blended salads, which consists of tomato, avocado, cucumber, celery, fennel, and leafy greens, such as spinach or kale. Then, I just blend this up for my favorite meal.
Now, the average person might take a while for them to get used to such a simple meal.
As a raw food chef, I can make raw food lasagna and it taste great as well.
But, I am not into the raw pizza pies or raw candies as much as I used to. However, when I started, I really was.
So, it depends on where a person is at.
Q: Are there any foods you wouldn't eat raw?
Definitely, there are a lot of things in the raw food movement that are known to be good for our bodies and there are a lot of things that are up for question. Basically, I don't eat for stimulation, but I eat for health. I eat to support my body for the nutrients it needs.
And there are many foods out there that can give me the nutrition I need without the stimulation. However, there are a lot of foods out there in the raw food movement that are being promoted as "Super foods" that give the body the nutrients it needs, but there are a whole bunch of stimulation and other toxic effects of the foods as well.
One example is raw chocolate (also known as cacao).
Additionally, I mostly try to stick to produce grown here in the United States. However, I do like to try exotic fruits form other countries. If I can get locally grown produce, then I'll enjoy that. But, for the most part, every single nutrient we need can be found in abundance if we just go to the farmers market and search out good high-quality sources.
All the nutrients we need can be found in this country. So, I am not too fond of getting berries or foods from all the way around the world if I am not sure where they're from or what's in them and then promoting them as something we need. Maybe we can enjoy them, but we certainly don't need them.
So, it's a good idea to eat as local as possible.
Q: What do you think are some of the most potent or delicious raw "Healing Foods" and why are they good for you?
The most healing raw food would be wheat grass or the high chlorophyll rich food E3 Live, which is a liquid algae.
The reason they're so healing is that they have chlorophyll. And this is important because most people suffer from a lack of oxygen in the body, due to the overeating and other toxic things they're doing with the diet.
And the way these negative things affect the body is that it's going to take oxygen out of the system. And cancer and all disease can only thrive in a non-oxygenated environment.
What chlorophyll is, is it's almost identical to fully oxidized human blood. So, what you're doing, is adding the oxygen back into the system and it adds a tremendous amount of nutrients, vitamins and minerals along with it.
The chlorophyll then helps the body clean up and reverse serious stages of disease.
And this isn't new information. Ann Wigmore has been doing this since the 50's and 60's at the Hypocrites Health Institute in West Palm Beach Florida. Also, there are other health clinics all around the world eating this way to cure illnesses.
Other great healing foods include sprouts, sunflower sprouts, and similar foods. Also, sea vegetables, such as seaweed are very healing. They are certainly not the tastiest, but you can get into raw food cookies, cakes and candies, like dates and hybridized fruit. They taste excellent, but aren't the most healing.
So, I'd say the non-sweet fruits (keep in mind, anything with seeds is a fruit), such as zucchini, tomato, red pepper, these are the non-sugary foods the body can thrive on along with the chlorophyll rich green foods.
And those are the two things that I base the majority of my diet on.
Q: How do you recommend that people deal with the social aspects of being on a raw food diet? This includes criticism they might receive from others and being able to go out to eat with less health conscious friends.
I've been eating this way for 15 years and I've never been in an environment where I wasn't able to eat… and if I was, then I'd just fast.
But, somebody shouldn't be parading around telling people to eat raw foods because the average person will think they're crazy. However, if you tell people and they understand, great. But, for the other people, just tell them you don't feel good or feel like eating.
They'll understand. But, we don't judge other people and so other shouldn't judge those who eat raw food either. It works both ways. We have to be judgment free.
Q: How do you answer people when they worry about the expense of buying raw, organic, or healthier foods?
First, it might be too expensive because the person isn't aware of what to do, where to get it, and how much to get. Also, at first, the person is going to eat a lot more than they really need just because they're used to being full (or, really, overfull) all the time.
The longer you do this, the more you understand these things. It's really the cheapest way to eat… because, for one thing, you won't have doctor's bills later on in life. Even right now, the nutrition that's in one organic apple or one organic orange, you'd have eat at least 10 inorganic apples or oranges to come close to the same amount of nutrition.
So, since organic foods are so highly nutritious, you need to eat less for everything you need. This means that in the long run, it's by far the cheapest way to eat.
Q: You mentioned you travel a lot. How do you stick to your diet on the road?
One of the most popular questions I get in my lectures I eat is how do I eat when I travel. That's like me going to somebody who eats McDonalds and asking him how he eats when he travels. McDonalds is everywhere.
Well, so is raw foods and vegetables. You can find them in just about every place you go in this world. Additionally, most major cities have health food stores, where you can easily get organic raw foods and vegetables.
I've never come close to having a problem with food on this diet with traveling… and I travel over 300 hundred days a year.
Q: What do you think is the cause and cure of all disease?
The cause and cure of all diseases is very simple: overeating and under-sleeping.
We need to avoid those things and people's diseases will start reversing. Too many people are overeating and under-sleeping and we're running into problems.
In my new book that I am working on "A Formula for Health," I address this topic and how to overcome it. We have to realize it's more than food alone. Mentally, emotionally, spiritually, we have to give ourselves the highest quality nutrition and information if we want to be as healthy as we can possibly be.
Q: Do you have any resources to help those who want to start enjoying the benefits of raw foods?
Well, I have several books out. The Raw Life is the best selling book for those newly getting into the raw food diet and lifestyle. Also, Raw Knowledge and Healing Inflammatory Bowel Disease, where I actual give people the information they need to heal all disease are other top selling books that can be found on my website.
Additionally, my newest book, Health According to the Scriptures talks about the healing methods according to the bible, where raw foods is mentioned in there as well.
All these books and other resources for the raw food
diet can be found at