The following is an interview I did with Dr. Fred Bisci for my book The Raw Life (avilable at www.rawlife.com)
Fred Bisci is in his upper 70's and have been eating a raw food diet for over 55 years. He does coaching over the phone. He does not have email but his phone number is 718-979-7950. Please only call him if you would like to pay to do a sesion with him. He does not have time to take calls for any other reasons. Tell him you heard about him from me, Paul Nsion.
Fred Bisci is one of the nicest and most knowledgeable person I have ever met. He is kind and gentle. His knowledge about the human body surpasses that of most people alive today. He is also the most humble person I’ve ever met. Since the publication of the first edition of my book The Raw Life, Fred has become a great friend to me. I feel blessed to have such an amazing person to share my time with. Fred and I have been touring together all over the world speaking about the raw food diet and health.
Interview with Dr. Bisci
How many years have you been on the raw food diet, and what got you into it?
I was always interested in nutrition. When I was a young kid, I was an athlete. I was also learning disabled. Little by little, I changed my diet. I would say about 30 years ago, I ran into a fellow who was into eating raw foods. At the time, I thought he really was extreme or radical, but I always had an open mind. I have always been the type of person who did not settle for mediocrity. I always believed in striving for the highest ideals. Therefore, I decided to make a change and pursue it. The more I did it, I got to a point where I decided that there is no doubt about it, eating a raw-food diet is definitely the way to go. Since then, it has served me well.
How was your health when you started the diet?
Fortunately, I was always a healthy guy. When I started the diet, I was big and strong. I had very big muscles. I was into weightlifting at that time and was a good athlete. I came from an athletic family, so I never really had any health problems. I was not the type of person who got into this diet because I was sick. Illness is the main reason why many people first start eating the raw-food diet. However, I never had any major illnesses before getting into this.
Who were some people who gave you the most inspiration to do this when you started out, and is there one person who inspired you more than anybody else?
I would not say there was one person who inspired me the most. Many influences impressed me greatly, such the writings of Herbert Shelton. I had read just about everything on nutrition, and there were so many contradictory views out there, but Herbert Shelton’s writings were very profound. They were very close to what science was saying and what you would learn in college about biochemistry and things like that. However, he just took it from a different approach and made you see that it was workable. I was always the type of person that made up my own mind, and I was always determined to find out the answers for myself. I was very careful, and everything I went through, I did systematically.
What do you feel are the most important factors in eating a raw food diet successfully?
Not to be impatient and to persevere through it all. Understand that you are not going to get it down right away. You have to realize that the body releases endogenous materials, and you are going to have cravings. You are also going to have setbacks. It is important not to be discouraged. It is also important not to set unrealistic goals for yourself.
What are some pitfalls people getting on the raw food diet should avoid?
I think one of the major pitfalls is the negative feedback you are going to be getting from people around you, from your family and your friends who are not into it. I think you have to surround yourself with people that are knowledgeable and are into raw foods and have been successful at it. They have gone through it and have dealt with it very well. That will help you a lot. In addition, other pitfalls are the social ramifications, because if you are eating just raw foods, you are socially opposite to the average person.
You will also have to be very careful about getting medical interventions once your body is clean, as your body will be more sensitive, and you might react negatively to pharmacologically-oriented medical treatment. In addition, I think most people have to go through a transition where they struggle a little bit and have cravings. I have heard of cases where people just go from eating a horrible diet to an all raw diet and do it successfully. I’ve heard of it; whether it’s true, I don’t know. I think it is a lot easier to go through the cravings and do it systematically.
People also have to understand that they will go through periods of self-doubt. I know that’s what happened to me.Therefore, those are some big pitfalls to avoid.
What are some common pitfalls people experience with weight-loss and dental problems?
I will talk about weight loss first. There is a direct correlation between your diet and tissue quality. When going to an all-raw diet, the average person’s tissue quality is not good. The average American actually is like a walking pus bag. So you have to understand that when you make the change to an all-raw diet, your weight is going to go way down. When I first changed my diet, everybody thought I was making a tremendous mistake because I lost so much weight. I went from being a very well built guy to being like a toothpick.
To do this successfully, you have to understand what is going on with the body. When I first got into this and went to some of the Natural Hygiene meetings, some of these people looked horrible. They were terrible examples of good health. The reason was that they were the people into the early stages of this diet. Their bodies were detoxifying and weight-loss was part of that. The people that were doing well were not going to the meetings because they were already past that.
Many people never get through this stage because there is so much confusing information out there that is misleading. Many people, then and today, do not realize that the person trying the perfect diet does not always have the perfect body and because of this, he or she suffers in making the transition.
Now I will talk about teeth.
Blood gases are connected to teeth problems. You have to be very careful, for if. your teeth start to become pain-sensitive, that means your stomach has a back pressure of gases. Your teeth are the first place you will feel pain, if you have backed-up gas inside your blood. If this happens, the gases back up into your blood and that is where the trouble begins. It could also demineralize your bones in the roots of your teeth.
What do you suggest is the best thing to use for fillings for your teeth instead of mercury ?
There are non-metallic composite materials now available such as IPS empress and all the other new space-age materials that are fantastic.There are several different materials you can use in place of mercury fillings. New porcelain ceramic is very good. I have some of those in my mouth. I have not had any problems with them. I find them to work well. I do not find them auto-intoxicating or poisonous in any way. I am able to tolerate them, but everybody has to find out for himself.
I am going to mention some topics. Please tell me your opinion on them.
Nuts and seeds
Some people have a problem digesting them. If that is the case, you should soak them. People have to find out what’s best for them. Most people that seem to do well, do eat nuts and seeds. I know people that do not eat them, but you do not want to hurt yourself by limiting too many foods from your diet. You need a variety of different foods. I think people should try eating nuts and seeds. Make sure you soak them. Exercise speeds up your metabolism beneficially, and you will be able to tolerate the nuts and seeds much better because your digestive system will work much better.
I think in some respect, grains are worse than animal protein. If you are in transition and you have to eat grains, then you can eat them. If you want to, you can sprout them to make them more digestible. Many people eat grains and have no problems. I have people that come to me who eat grains and overcame disease.
It depends upon where you want to go and what your goals are. If you are aiming for an all-raw diet, you will get to the point where you cannot eat grains. It will just cause you to have mucus, joint pain and all kinds of problems. If you are not eating an all-raw diet, you can eat grains and be a healthy person, but once you eat an all-raw diet, it is not easy to go back to eating grains. You are just going to suffer too much.
Is the fruitarian diet sufficient in itself, or are some greens necessary?
Yeah, absolutely. Having greens in your diet is much safer. I do not recommend anybody eat a diet of only fruit. I think that if you do that, you will run into disaster. I have seen some people actually just about destroy themselves. People say they eat a fruitarian diet of only fruits. I do not have proof, but I think a lot of them are just telling tales.
If you are going to eat grains, the best way is to sprout them. Are sprouts necessary? I do not think so. Part of the reason why many people on the original Hippocrates diet were so skinny is because they were eating too many sprouts and grains.They were getting too many endogeneous enzymes in their diet. That made it hard for them to put on weight.
The Natural Hygiene Diet Concepts
I think Natural Hygiene has validity, yet natural hygienists are certainly making mistakes.They might be overeating on fruit which raises the level of their blood gases. We have to look at the reasons behind what is going on today in Natural Hygiene, why so many natural hygienists are getting cancer. Many hygienists today are dying of cancer. One reason is they are not eating a sufficient variety of foods, eating too little green leafy vegetables. They do not understand the connection of eating fruit to their present bodily state.
As time goes on, you can eat more fruit, however, if your stomach starts to extend, you start to get a gas-filled stomach and your teeth start to hurt, this means higher blood gases and fermentation. If that happens, you might be eating too much fruit. That means you should be eating more fats, more nuts, and eating a variety of different foods.
High dosages of vitamins, or mega dosages for a person on a healthy diet would not be benifical. However, live food supplements such as green superfoods, enzymes, angstrom minerals and probiotics can be benificial in many cases. A person on a raw diet who consumes a good variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds in most cases would assure their body is getting all it needs. Each person should be evaluated individually.
I think many people are over-exaggerating the harmful effects of eating hybridized foods. I think you could have them in moderation and they will not hurt you. If you are eating any kind of cooked food, you can certainly eat hybrid food. You will not have any problems with them. If you are eating an all-raw food diet and you are never deviating, you will get to the point where certain hybrid fruits and vegetables might give you some phlegm. Just do everything in moderation, and you should not have a problem with it.
Eating seasonally definitely has validity. I know a guy who is a natural hygienist that lives in Alaska. He was having watermelon flown up to Alaska, and he was freezing to death. If you are living in a cold climate, you must have more caloric density from heavier foods in order to generate sufficient basal metabolism. You are going to have to eat some dried fruit, some nuts or some other fatty foods. Otherwise you are going to freeze. As time goes on, and you become more efficient and cleaned out, you can eat that type of a diet. Then your body will be warm even in cold weather. However, not everybody is that way. If you are very clean inside and you are eating just fruits and vegetables when it is 20 degrees above zero outside, your body will generate enough heat. But if you are cold, you have to look at your diet. When you are cold, your body is contracting. You can take warm baths to help the blood circulate.This will warm you right up.
Fasting: Water Fasting vs. Juice Fasting
You have to understand what you are doing when you are fasting. Many people fast when they are in a crisis, but you have to understand that fasting is a crisis-creating situation in itself. In other words, if you are feeling well and you fast, then you will not feel good. You created a healing crisis. If you are already in a severe crisis and you are already weak, it might not be a wise idea to do a water fast, unless you are ready to go to bed, not move and keep your eyes closed.
Another mistake that people make with fasting in Natural Hygiene is not drinking enough water. You actually should be drinking more water when you fast. The water is a transit medium. You need it to carry the endogenous waste out of your system. Many natural hygienists say, "Drink water only when thirsty." I think that is a mistake. You should be drinking at least a glass of water every hour. Otherwise, you are going to feel terrible. Water fasting is more effective than juice fasting, but there is more risk to water fasting.
Anybody that tells you there is no risk to water fasting and that the body will never harm itself, doesn’t know what they’re talking about. I know people who have died on a water fast. Now with juice fasting, I think it is very good. It is much safer, and you will not get as weak.You can go about your business. If you have to function, you could function easier on juice fasting.
Now, it is all relative as to how much juice. If you have three glasses of juice a day, that is enough to carry most anybody through anything. I know some clinics that give people up to 13 glasses of juice a day. That is really too much. They’re really detoxifying and auto-intoxicating people at the same time! Many people are doing that, and they don’t even know it.
What is your opinion of the different lengths of fasts?
Unless you have a lot of experience with fasting, I would say you could fast up to seven days. Understand that breaking the fast is the risky part. I have personally seen people break a fast the wrong way and go into renal shock where they had to go to the hospital.
I do not think there is anything wrong with fasting one day a week. I know some hygienists say that it is worthless, that fasting one day a week does not do anything for the body. I do not agree with them on that. I think fasting one day a week is fine. I think when you fast one day a week, what you are doing is giving your digestive system a rest. It might not be a therapeutic fast because your body does not get into therapeutic fasting on a oneday fast. You are just cleaning up your system.
I do not see anything wrong with doing a seven day fast once a year, unless you have a medical condition, if you have a thyroid condition, or you are a diabetic. However, for a healthy person fasting seven days, or doing a fast occasionally, is fine. I personally fast often. I am a fasting person.
So, do you think it’s healthier to plan a fast ahead of time than to fast when your body is asking for it?
That is correct. I think it is a good idea to plan a fast ahead of time so you do not get into a situation where you have to do it. Actually, the best time to fast is when you really feel good. As crazy as that might sound, I have done that many times and it takes you to a whole other level. However, when you do that, you cannot go back. Once you’re eating a diet that is an uncompromising type of diet, you cannot go back to a diet that is compromising. You always have to upgrade your diet.
Is food combining on a 100% raw-food diet necessary?
I think that you have to look at that on an individual basis. I know some people on raw diets and they do better when they combine their foods correctly. I know other people on raw diets that do not have to combine their foods.
I could just about mix up anything, but I notice a difference. I’m not saying I will not suffer for it, but everything relates to energy. You are going to have to expend more energy if you are mixing your foods up. If you do not mind combining foods, I think it is a good idea. If you are already in transition and you are in true biological healing, I recommend that you do combine your foods. If you do, you will heal much sooner, and you will not feel as bad.
I tell everybody that comes to see me to food combine. As time goes on, I call them to see how they are doing. Then they can start to deviate a little bit. If they could tolerate it without having many problems with their stomach, then and only then is it okay not to combine your food.
Wild foods are excellent if you have access to them, but only if the food is whole and there are no chemicals on it. It must grow naturally and it have its full complement of nutrients. It must be fresh and eaten right away.
I think they are very important. They are a great source of nutrients. They are high in sodium. Your body can handle that kind of sodium. I tell people to incorporate it into their diet. I eat seaweed myself. Dulse and kelp are my favorites.
Fantastic, if you are eating a good diet and you are very healthy, you should have such an abundance of vitality and energy that you want to go out and exercise.
If you are eating a raw diet and you do not have a very strong desire to use your body, that means there is something wrong, and you are making some mistake. You have to use your body, just as wild animals use their bodies. They are constantly roaming. They do not have to exercise. They are always fit and able. If you are eating a raw diet, you are automatically fit.
If people eating a raw diet wanted to go out and run, they should be able to run 5 miles very easily without any trouble and without any training. So yes, I think that exercise is very important. Anything that involves movement, I believe, is very good for you.
Would you talk about your weight change and other changes your body has gone through on this diet?
Years ago, when I first started, I was an Olympic weightlifter. I weighed well over 200 pounds. I had a very solid physique. When I got into raw foods, everybody thought I was crazy because I lost so much weight. I got down to a very light weight.
One time, I went on a long water fast and my body weight was down to 100 pounds or even less. Whenever you are going to a raw-food diet, even if you are already thin, your body weight is going to drop. It is a frightening experience for many people. I have seen a woman go down to 70 pounds. You are going to get a lot of static from people. The feelings are very scary. You have to be careful.
Did you ever go through a bad detox?
Yes, I did. When I was a young guy, I ate a lot of animal protein. Whenever you are a weightlifter and eat a lot of protein, the detox is extremely difficult for that type of person. That is why my detox was so hard on my body. I had a guy come to me recently. His wife was sick. He was a big guy, and he worked out with weights. He said, "I will eat this way with her and it will not bother me." He lasted two weeks. He went into detox and he couldn’t take it. He was scared to do it, and it was too hard on his body for him to do it.
Do you currently eat a 100% raw food diet? If so, for how long have you been doing this? Do you ever have slip-ups?
Let me explain the whole story. When I first got into a raw-food diet, I was going back and forth. I would go a month or two, and then I would slip up. I would have tremendous cravings.They were very hard to control at that time. I would skip eating for a couple of days. Then, I would get back into it. I went back and forth there for a while. Then, for about 12 years, I ate all raw.
Then I went through a period where a couple of my brothers died. I was discouraged, so I started eating some steamed vegetables again. When I started eating steamed vegetables, right away it opened up the gate for cravings, and I saw that I was going to slip into oblivion again and start eating starches. So, I knew that wasn’t for me.
Therefore, I went back into eating a raw food diet. Now, very rarely will I eat anything that is cooked. Maybe I might have some steamed vegetables, but I have not done that in years. I will not say I will never do it again. I am not paranoid about all this. However, I know if I eat anything cooked, I get ill or I fall right to sleep. Therefore, my diet is now strictly 100% raw.
What is your daily diet like? What do you eat, and how often?
I very rarely eat more than twice a day. Most of the time, it is once a day. Today, all I had was two papayas, a banana and an avocado. That is all I ate, and I’m not planning to eat anymore.
Tomorrow morning, I will get up and I will juice. I like juicing. I also like blended salads. I eat a lot of them. I like to use cucumbers or coconut water as a base. Then I throw in romaine lettuce, spinach, and I might throw in some dandelions. Then I throw in some flaxseed oil, or maybe some raw flax seeds, some avocado and a little bit of kelp. I whip it up and make a delicious blended salad, and I have a nice big bowl of that.
What is your opinion of the practice of juicing?
I think the natural hygienists are wrong in thinking that you shouldn’t juice, and that eating the whole food all the time is always better. I lived on juices for a long time, and I was fine. The only thing is that it’s another step up. You have to be ready to do that. If you do that, you have to be careful because if you go back to eating some of the other things that you were eating before, you will not tolerate it as well. I do not see anything wrong with juicing.
You have mentioned that fruit is your favorite food. Of all the fruits, which is your favorite?
I really like watermelon and mangos, but my favorite food by far is figs; I love figs.
When it comes to food, do you feel it is important to eat every single food organically grown, or are there some inorganic foods you can get away with eating?
Well, it depends upon whether the chemicals penetrate below the outer layer of the fruit. I think avocados are probably okay. Sometimes, I eat them even if they are not organic. You are much better off eating everything organic as much as you can.
The added chemicals mimic estrogen in the male and female body. They lower the male sperm count, and they elevate the female estrogen levels. That is why there are so many estrogen-related cancers.
What’s going on today with all the chemicals they are putting in food is a disaster. I think that eating organic is very important, so make sure you do the best you can.
Of all the foods, do you think that there is one food that is more important to eat than any other food?
Not really. I think the key is to eat a variety of foods. Make sure you are getting a variety of different classes and categories of foods. The need for protein is over-exaggerated. We are obsessed with protein in this country. If you are getting enough calories, unless you are doing something radical, most likely you are getting enough protein. I think the basis of diet should be fruits and vegetables.
Currently, how are your health and energy?
My health and energy are fantastic! I will be 70 next year, and I have the same vitality as when I was 35, maybe even more so. I only sleep 2 to 3 hours a night. I have been married for about 25 years and my wife has never seen me sick; so I would say my health is very good.
How many hours of sleep do you think a person should get every night?
It depends on the condition of your blood. When you are sleeping, your blood is dialyzing. If your diet is terrible, you might need 12 hours of sleep. If you are going through biological healing, you need as much sleep as you can get. You might need 15 hours of sleep. However, as I said, it all comes down to the condition of your blood. The cleaner it is, the less sleep you will need.
What mental changes have you noticed on the raw diet?
It is astounding! When I was very young and eating cooked food, I was always in trouble in school. I was also learning disabled, and I had a speech impediment. Now, I am fine.
Here is how you have to look at it. Man only uses 8 to 12 percent of his brain. Where is the rest of his brain? It all depends on the condition of the blood. That is the result of your diet. When you get into an all-raw diet your blood gets cleaner.
Many people go to the Middle East. They start chanting and meditating to develop elevated consciousness. All you have to do is go on a good diet and clean up your blood. Then your mind starts to work better. Then your consciousness will naturally become elevated. Diet is the key. I cannot stress it enough. Your mental equipoise and the sharpness of your mind all depends on the condition of your blood, which, in turn, is based on your diet. You can change unbelievably.
In your opinion, are eyeglasses and contact lenses necessary?
I wear glasses. There was once a period that I wanted to get rid of them. I tried to give up my glasses with the Bates method, and I saw that it was working, but I did not go through the whole process. I feel anyone could do it naturally, without drugs or lasers. If you have to continue to wear glasses, so be it. I know plenty of people that have given them up by doing eye exercises.There are glasses out now with little holes in them that strengthen the eye muscles.Yes, it is possible, but I have not done it. Therefore, I can only speak for myself in this area.
Not many people talk about the blood gases. Where did you learn about them, and could you tell us what you know about them?
Arnold Ehert wrote a little about the gases, but I did not learn about them from him. I did a lot of long-term fasting, and I learned about them from my own experiences.
There was a gentleman in Brooklyn though, he was probably the most knowledgeable person on this planet about this, and nobody has ever heard of him. Somebody told me about him and said he was a maniac, that he was a nut. They told me what he said. I thought, wait a minute, this guy is not a nut, he knows more than anyone else does. I spoke to him a few times about blood gases. He said he would not teach me, but he gave me some clues. He told me that once I understood it, I would find my way from there.
He was right about the gases. I picked it up, and I found my way from there. I think that the blood gases are the most important aspect of health. Most people have no clue what is going on. If you learn to understand the blood gases, you then understand why we develop all these diseases, even if one eats raw foods.
Is there any more information you can give about the blood gases?
What happens is that when you overeat on fruits and mis-combine them, they stay in your stomach and ferment inside you. Once that happens, the gases backup into your blood, and that is where the trouble begins.
Here’s how it works: The body is composed of trillions of cells. Each cell is like a mini-factory. The waste products from the cells are gases. When you are eating, the body is accommodating exogenous material which means you absorb food into your system. Then as you start to eat better, your body starts to release endogenous material. The endogenous material consists of solid waste and accumulated toxins.
That is when you start to get into the gasses. The gasses cannot go from a low-pressure to a high-pressure area. Therefore, if you have flatulence, you may have hpylori bacteria. You are eating too much fruit, and you have a bloated stomach. The waste gases will not come out when this happens. You give some off when you exhale, but it will not go into the alimentary canal and cause you to pass the gas.
That becomes a backpressure, the waste endogenous gasses, which are supposed to permeate tissues, come into your bowels, and you pass them out with your fecal material. Your body can become like a sponge full of water. That is what the gas is. If that happens, then the gasses backup into your blood, and that is where the trouble begins.
What degrees do you have?
I have a Ph.D in Nutritional Science.
Is there anything else that you would like to add?
I would just like to say that a big problem today with diet is people are starting from the wrong premise.
They are starting from the premise that you have to eat animal protein to be healthy, that you have to eat dairy products to get enough calcium. This is why people can never come to the right conclusion.
It is like dealing in mathematics. If you try to solve a mathematical equation, and you’re starting with the concept that one and one is eleven, you will never come up with the correct solution. That is what people are doing today and did traditionally.
They thought you had to eat that type of a diet to be healthy - like eating chicken, fish, and turkey - and that eating anything outside of that diet could not possibly be healthy. They also thought that about having dairy products, eating plenty of bread and cooking your vegetables to death. So that’s what is a large part of the problem.
Fred Bisci has been teaching me what he has learned about the raw food diet for 5 years now. Visit www.paulnison.com for more information.