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In this installment
I: What we eat, and why
II: Why a fruit diet?
III: Fruitarians, Families and Friends

In the next installment:
IV: Shopping for Basics V: A Fruitarian Breakfast
VI: Later in the Day
VII: Fruitarian Drinks

In the final installment
VIII: A Fruitarian Diary
IX: A Fruitarian Commitment
X: Epilog

I: What we eat, and why

When the Great Inventor first thought of the idea it seemed relatively simple.

He would invent People. Separate individual souls or spirits which could evolve independently, observing, thinking things out, making decisions, coming to conclusions, and generally doing their own things, sometimes good, often not so good, but always new, original and creative, thus adding richness and diversity to the sum total of the Great Universal Experience. So that they could manifest in the physical world He gave them bodies, and to supply the bodies with energy for activity and renewal, He established a system in which plants re-create themselves, and humans nourish themselves, through a mutually beneficial collaboration.

Plants need to spread and implant their seeds. To achieve this many of them produce fruits. The fruit is there for the taking. It signals when it is ripe and ready by turning an attractive red, orange, yellow or purple. It contains all we need – fiber, vitamins, minerals, and a natural balance of solid and liquids. A selection of fruits will nourish the system, cleaning and purifying at the same time. And it will leave no damaging or clogging residue or deposits.

That's what fruit does for us. We in turn serve the fruit bush or tree by carrying, spreading and implanting the seeds which are enclosed within the fruit.

An altogether excellent arrangement for all concerned.

But then things started to go wrong.

Humans were to become lazy and aggressive, a combination which led them into the unfortunate habit of killing animals, birds, fishes, and yes, even one another, for food.

The senses of taste and smell, given to us primarily so that we could enjoy the scents of the flowers, and more practically so as to avoid fruit which was over-ripe, became a source of sensuality which led us into the development of recipes for food treatment specifically designed to titillate the senses with their richness. This development culminated in the French art of haute cuisine in which smell, taste and richness became the prime attraction.

As we became more developed and the pressures of civilization grew, so we came more and more to eat foods as emotional consolation - especially foods rich in concentrations of fats and sugar.

And finally, as food became cheap, plentiful and highly processed, we were able to obtain for consumption far more in quantity than our systems needed or could tolerate, and our diets soon became unbalanced as we came to eat more and more highly refined foods created for pleasurable sensation and instant convenience rather than for serious nutrition.

And so we find ourselves at the table of a typical middle-class family in the developed world today. We eat things because they're there, available in supermarket, freezer and home. They are conveniently packaged, easy to buy, easy to open, ready and easy to eat. We kill animals, birds and fishes (or rather, we pay people to do this for us), thus alienating other life forms, generating fear, and feeding ourselves with unnatural and unhealthy substances. We eat incorrectly, and we eat excessively. Our food has no natural balance, so to one kind of inappropriate substance - for example the typical stodgy and fatty plate of meat, hamburger, bun and fried potatoes - we add quantities of "soft drinks" which contain carbonated water, sugar, artificial flavors and colors, diluting the gastric juices, bloating the stomach, and contributing nothing of nutritional value whatsoever.

Then we become fat, out of condition, and sick. And we wonder why. Too much fat and stodge can often cause headaches. Pressure of unhealthy food and drink on the kidneys causes backache. So how do we respond? Our solution is to take yet more unhealthy substances in the form of concentrated chemicals - those pills with strange names which give instant relief for all ills mainly by the simple expedient of dulling those senses which feel pain and send us its warning messages. Many people respond by taking exercise, by jogging or 'working out' in a gym or with some kind of expensive home walking machine. But exercise should be a pleasurable reward for a fit body, not a remedy for being overweight. It would be better, and would place much less strain on the heart, to diet first and then when you're fit, to keep fit by continuing the diet and enjoying your new-found health and lightness with an early-morning jog.

We take our bodies for granted because we live in them, we have always lived in them, we grew up in them. We take completely for granted their complexity and the wonders they perform for us day by day, moment by moment. We think we're brilliant because we can put people in space or make computers which can think with the speed of light or because we can put a symphony orchestra on a small disc and recreate its full majesty at will in our homes or send color pictures through the airwaves. We think we're brilliant to do all this, and so we are. But one thing we can't do is build the physical body of the fully functioning human being which invented all this brilliance. We can't, and probably never will.

The human being with its body, nervous system and brain is the world's most complex machine. It is far more complex than the motor vehicle we drive around in. And yet we know and care more about the function and the needs of an auto engine than we do about our bodies.

If we paid half as much attention to the understanding and supply of our bodies' needs we would all be healthier, we'd live longer and happier lives, hospitals would empty and health care costs would plummet. Thousands of animals, birds and fishes would live much happier lives, and the auras of ourselves individually, as well as the collective aura of our planet, would become clearer as we ceased to generate fear through the mass slaughter of living beings.

But we appear neither to know nor care what our complex bodily machines need. And clearly we care even less that our gastronomic pleasure demands the death of others.

We eat sugar and fats to console ourselves, "haute cuisine" to be sociable or clinch a business deal and to give an impression of culture, we eat meat to build a macho image, and we eat too much. Then we correct our errors with further errors. And to cap it all we have even learnt to isolate substances which actually cause malfunctions and distortions of the mind. What a pity. It all started so well!

II: Why a fruit diet?

Why become a fruitarian?

If you're already vegetarian (either full- or part-time!), your reasons for becoming vegetarian make a good starting point for the fruit plunge.

Why vegetarian? Generally there are two major reasons: first, you don't like killing animals. And second, you believe that a vegetarian diet is lighter and healthier.

So also with fruit, only more so.

As a vegetarian you won't be killing animals, birds, fishes insects or humans for your dinner. But you probably will be killing a cabbage, or a lettuce, or a stick of celery. Hey, just a minute, I hear you cry in lightly concealed anguish. Self-masochism can go too far! I'm already a vegetarian and that's quite virtuous enough for one incarnation.

OK. Let's take another tack. Consider fruit for a moment. What is it exactly? The answer is that fruit is a tasty, delicious, nutritious substance offered to you, yes offered to you by a plant or tree. You don't have to kill anything or anybody. You don't have to take a leaf or a branch which doesn't kill but surely hurts. You don't have to ask, or apologize. In fact it's the plant or tree which does the asking, and you are doing it a favor. Why? The fruit is not tasty and delicious and nutritious and appealing for no reason; it's a cunning plot to attract animals and humans, anything that can move (which of course a tree or plant cannot). Why? The plant wants us 'mobiles' to take the fruit as a reward for spreading its seeds which are located within the fruit. When we eat fruit we are truly 'working with nature'. The fruit is nutritious so that we will be tempted to eat it.

Eating fruits involves neither killing nor maiming. We are working with the trees and plants in acts of mutual cooperation and mutual benefit. And because there is no death or injury involved, our food comes to us without that aura of fear which persons sensitive to such things tell us pervade the dead bodies of meat, chickens and fishes. Our vibration rates are not dragged down by the pain of others - we do not ingest pain and suffering into our systems.

As to our health, fruit is lighter, and well balanced particularly in its moisture content. It nourishes and refreshes at the same time.

So many illnesses we suffer today are caused by blockages in our internal pipework - from the large arteries that pump blood around the body and through the heart, to the tiny capillaries in the brain. And no artery large or small ever got blocked by fruit. Indeed, most fruits actually clean, scour and purify the passages.

Blockages in the fine capillaries in and around the brain result in Alzheimer’s - what in earlier days was simply called 'hardening of the arteries'; more seriously, the deprivation of blood to a section of the brain which is thus damaged will cause a stroke.

And yes, we all know what happens when the blood vessels and arteries around the heart get blocked. But to put a figure on it: heart disease is the biggest cause of death for Americans. It kills 750,000 every year - despite $100 billion expended on diagnosis and treatment.

We had an elderly friend (95 years old) who was a bit of a grumpus (but nice underneath!). She was fed up with living and impatient to die. Anyway, she got a poisoned toe, which poisoned her foot and threatened to move up the leg. The doctor was talking about amputation, though that never came about because death intervened. The Chinese Herb Doctor explained to me what had happened. An artery to the toe muscle had got blocked and the muscle had died, then festered. You see: blocked arteries again!

In the context of artery-clogging foods there is much fashionable use of the word "cholesterol" though it is not always fully understood. Cholesterol is a hard, waxy, fat-soluble (as opposed to water-soluble) substance that is synthesized in all cells of the body, but primarily in the liver. It is part of every cell of the body as a building block of the cell membrane, and it is critically important - so important that Nature has equipped each cell with the means to synthesize its own cholesterol. This cholesterol made by our bodies keeps the membranes of our cells functioning at optimum level.

This cholesterol that we create in our bodies is not the problem-cholesterol about which there is so much publicity. The problem-cholesterol is manufactured in the bodies of animals for their needs, but we take it in when we eat these animals as food. When we live on a diet of animal products (meat, poultry, fish, dairy and eggs), we consume 500 to 100 milligrams of dietary cholesterol a day, most of which cannot be easily removed (excreted) and is, instead, deposited in the tissues of our body, particularly in the arteries, thus in turn contributing to the high rate of cardiovascular disease and other degenerative diseases.

The cholesterol that contributes to heart disease comes from the animal products we eat. In contrast, apples, bananas, grapes, almonds, cashews, coconut, tofu, avocados, chick-peas, oats, corn, and other raw plant foods contain zero cholesterol, and indeed fruits, particularly the acidic varieties, can help to cleanse clogged arteries of existing buildup.

So. There you have it. The full case for a fruit diet. Or almost so. I would only add that like anything it seems strange at first, and it is surely best to take it slowly. We began the move from vegetarian to fruitarian four years ago and it took a year to get there! But once you're hooked on fruit... well, I can tell you from current experience that when you abandon fruit even just for one meal you feel heavy, you miss that refreshed, cleansed after-feeling that only comes from a fruit meal.

Fruit is "given"; it is created specifically to be nutritious; it is healthy, it is light, it will help raise your vibration rate, it is non-clogging and cleansing. And once you get used to it, other food tastes dry and solid after fruit.

If you've read this far you are probably fairly deeply convinced that this is the way you should be going. The rest of this Guidebook is designed to help and encourage you, with personal stories and recipe ideas.

But first perhaps we should take a quick look at problems you may encounter with families and friends as you try to adopt, and stick to, your new diet.

III: Fruitarians, Families and Friends

Those who live on their own and don't have any friends will have no problem changing their diet - though they may lead a bit of a lonely life!

For most of us however, eating with families and friends is a daily experience, and we need to consider how best to interact with them so that at the very least we do not cause a lot of inconvenience or appear cranky and antisocial to others. Younger readers especially may find themselves in conflict with their families and friends, putting them under severe pressure to "give up this nonsense and eat sensibly like everybody else".

We've all heard of the generation gap and we need to understand it. On the surface it may just seem like youngsters (or oldsters, depending on your age and point of view!) being plain awkward. But look at it this way. Life is changing all the time. New ideas, new lifestyles, new inventions and systems are coming on stream continuously, now at an even more accelerated rate. That's how civilization advances. We need to understand and respect that process, not fight it. Youngsters need to respect past achievements as the foundation on which to build an even better future. Oldsters need to accept that the newer, younger world is faster, more challenging, more demanding; those setting out into it need support more than criticism.

Problems with families occur mainly for two reasons. The young fruitarian in the family is a cause either for annoyance (demanding special food) or for concern ("you won't get enough nourishment..."). Whichever is the problem, it has to be properly addressed.

Sure, when a family eats together, one odd diet can be a nuisance. The way to handle this is first to acknowledge with thanks the time and care which the family cook puts into the daily meals. An important part of maturity is acknowledging and appreciating the work of others, and making sure you give as well as receive. Try to work with the family chef so that everybody gets more salads and fruit options, by integrating these into the daily menus. A little help with the shopping would smooth the path too (no time? So join the club. Nobody else has time either!).

If the problem is concern, start by appreciating and valuing that concern. Would you rather nobody cared if you lived or died? Probably not. Then try to get your facts clear. Express your strong instincts ("I really feel this is the way I should go"), show how there is a growing trend towards healthier, lighter foods like vegetarian, raw and fruitarian diets. Explain (don't make it too gruesome!) how fats clog the arteries and weigh down the body. Show that you have thought it through and that you are well informed of the issues.

Eating out with friends can also be a problem, though it is becoming easier and easier to eat a healthy meal in a restaurant these days, first because healthy dishes are available, and also because it is becoming very fashionable to order salads and fruit (people need not know you are fruitarian, let them think you'd die for a steak and crabs' legs but you're being incredibly self-disciplined!). McDonalds and other primarily hamburger outlets were finding that when groups of friends stopped by, some would be vegetarian, so the group might go elsewhere. Their answer: they added pizzas and salads to their menu selections. It's a growing trend. Do your own local research. Find new places - and they're springing up everywhere - which specialize in "new age" vegetarian dishes and salads. Most are made with love and care and natural materials like whole-wheat flours and really do taste delicious.

Finally, don't try to convince others. At least not openly anyway! Rather, convince by your clear, informed commitment, and by your own (hopefully!) lighter, healthier appearance and lifestyle.

This text is taken with permission from http://www.islandnet.com/~arton/fruit.html. Anybody with questions should email arton@islandnet.com

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