Wednesday, January 20th, 2010...2:26 PM

Ethan Moore Reviews “Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days”

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On January 10, 2010, Libra Fitness hosted a showing of the movie “Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days.” Our goal in showing this film was to expose people to how much what we eat affects our health. Eating all raw foods (i.e., uncooked plant food not heated to higher than 116 °F) is probably not realistic for most people, but what if you doubled your raw food intake? What if you cut your sugar intake by a third? This movie makes you think about all of that. Ethan Moore attended the event and gives his impressions here. If you have not seen the movie, we highly recommend that you purchase a copy and host a showing for your friends and family or attend an upcoming showing in your area.

Ethan Moore is a writer, currently focusing on short essays and articles on a wide range of topics, frequently humorous.

He has also been, at times, an entrepreneur, a photographer, a programmer, a web designer, a scientist, and a teacher and tutor — but no matter what, he’s always a gentleman and a scholar.

Check out Ethan’s blog: Ethan’s Essays: Reflections on Life (Often Through a Funhouse Mirror). You can also follow him on Facebook or contact him via ethan@vesperfire.com.


I participated in Libra Fitness’s recent showing of “Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days”.

Trailer for Simply Raw

The simplest endorsement I can give is to tell you that after seeing it I immediately ordered a copy of the DVD as a gift for my father, who has type 2 diabetes.

Prior to seeing the movie, I saw Woody Harrelson and Anthony Robbins listed prominently in the credits for it, and I became a little dubious. I feared it would feature a lot of cheer-leading and artificially created drama. Fortunately this fear was unfounded. Woody Harrelson appears only briefly to discuss his own experiences with a raw food diet, and Anthony Robbins has just two tiny snippets concerning change and motivation. The two together probably only take up a single minute of the ninety-two minute movie. Presumably somebody felt they were needed to give the movie “star power”.

The real stars of the movie are the six people, all diabetic, who agree to go to a remote clinic in Arizona to eat only raw foods for thirty days. They are a diverse group, in age, race, origin, and personality. They are all motivated by the fear that diabetes will shorten their lives and by frustration with the regimen of treating diabetes with traditional medications and insulin injections.

A raw food diet is even more restrictive than vegan; it means nothing but unprocessed and uncooked plant foods. The subjects are fed this diet by specialist gourmet chefs at the clinic, who also teach them preparation methods for these foods. They are overseen constantly by medical personnel (and, obviously, film crews).

Some of them experience phenomenal gains very quickly, dropping all their medications and insulin within days. Others have less success at first. Most of them struggle through a period of detoxification as their body purges the remnants of their previous diet and adapts to the new one. You come to like these people enough to root for them and be disappointed by their failures. But I found these failures made the program more real. No one is pretending even for an instant that this is easy.

They follow two of the subjects briefly after they leave the clinic. I would like to have seen more of this, more of all of their struggles to maintain this diet out in the world. Perhaps the makers feared that showing some failing at this would undercut the message or bolster skeptical claims that this is impractical to implement. Certainly it is not easy, but the subjects they do follow show it is possible. We see one of them, a young man, invite his family to dinner, and the expressions on the faces of his older, overweight relatives as they look at the food he serves are comic. Tragedy appears too however, when one of his guests with kids says “Oh, those kids won’t eat food like that!” She had gotten them McDonalds instead. Thus the cycle is perpetuated.

Julie McAllisterThe movie was followed by a brief discussion of preparing raw foods by Julie McAllister of Healing Inside. She also demonstrated how remarkably easy making fruit and vegetable juices is with a good juicer.

(Both Libra Fitness and Healing Inside have additional books and resources on raw foods.)

I found the movie worthwhile. I suppose I could have learned more in the same amount of time by reading a book on raw foods, but I doubt a book could ever have the emotional appeal necessary to inspire such a radical dietary shift. This story could. The ultimate question after such a movie is, “Would you try a raw food diet?”

I find that I cannot answer that yet. The subject’s diets before-hand ranged from the horrific to the merely bad. I thus can’t help but wonder if a less radical shift might have achieved similar results eventually. What if they had been put on a diet full of organic fruits and vegetables, some cooked and some raw, along with modest amounts of organic complex grains and organic free-range meat and dairy? Would that have worked, or could their past excesses only be balanced out by moving to the other extreme? That question is beyond the purview of this movie, yet the movie immediately inspires it.

I am genetically disposed towards type 2 diabetes and want to avoid it. I have been slowly moving toward the broader diet I suggest above, but one necessary step has been very difficult. In next week’s blog entry, I will tell my food story, the story of my current struggle to contain my excessive sugar consumption. I hope and believe that these dietary changes should be enough for me to stave off type 2 diabetes. But if they aren’t, then the movie “Simply Raw” has shown me the next step to take.

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12 Comments

  • [...] have written a pair of guest blog posts for Chris Heidel at Libra Fitness. The first was published [...]

  • So what does one eat on a raw food diet? Other than the obvious (fresh fruit, tossed salads).

  • Good question. “The raw food diet is a diet based on unprocessed and uncooked plant foods, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, sprouts, seeds, nuts, grains, beans, nuts, dried fruit, and seaweed.

    Heating food above 116 degrees F is believed to destroy enzymes in food that can assist in the digestion and absorption of food. Cooking is also thought to diminish the nutritional value and “life force” of food.”-About.com (http://altmedicine.about.com/od/popularhealthdiets/a/Raw_Food.htm) Some raw foodists eat raw meat and dairy.

  • Brigitte Morgan-Styers
    January 21st, 2010 at 10:20 AM

    Wow. That was great. So were they all Type-2? Love your blog.

  • Brigitte, two were Type 1. You’ll have to see the movie to see how it turns out!

  • Brigitte, I’m glad you liked the article. It’s actually somewhat different from many of the articles on my site, but I am developing one special thread of health related articles there: http://vesperfire.com/essays/category/thats-not-normal/

  • I saw the movie, “Simply Raw” and think that Ethan Moore’s comments are on target.

    Our ideas regarding food were expanded by the variety of foods suggested.

    Sometimes we may feel that we need help to do this; a friend, a mentor, whatever. Further reading on Libra Fitness and Ethan Moore’s blogs suggest many recources for assistance on this journey.

    I agree when he wrote, “I thus can’t help but wonder if a less radical shift might have achieved similar results eventually,” but some of the participants were at a critical stage in their lives.

  • Wow, Chrissy! Even watching that trailer makes me want to eat better. How did you find out about this film? It sounds like it’s Super Size Me upside down. I love it!

    I’d like to repost this on my blog, but I’m wondering if you’d like to be a guest contributor on this topic (and potentially others) and that way I can link to your services as well. What do you say?

  • Marla,

    Thank you so much. I found out about the film accidentally. I saw a post for a showing in Austin, but I couldn’t make it and decided to do my own showing. I’d love to talk to you about guest contributing. Email me.

  • [...] first post for them was a review of the movie “Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days”. While I am not diabetic, I am unquestionably headed there if I don’t change how I eat. [...]

  • [...] Contact Us Ethan Moore Reviews “Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days” [...]

  • Ethan
    I am so glad I found your website by accident. I am ordering the movie “Simply Raw”. I am a believer in raw foods and am on ‘The Hallelujah Acres Diet – a religious based (Genesis 1:29)diet with meat meaning simply food. If this diet was good for God’s people, then it is the best for us. Their website is HACRES.Com. They are nation and world wide and doing wonders with AIDS and other major diseases as well as diabetes. I have type II diabetes. Am looking forward to the movie and more on your website.
    P.S. Check out the dvd “Cancer Doesn’t Scare Me Anymore”

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