In the seven years that I've been involved in the raw food movement I've been gratified by the rate and amount of it's growth. Sales of fresh fruits and veggies are the highest they've been in decades, and the awareness and acceptance of what we're doing is higher than I've ever seen.
I retired from the computer industry in '99, then discovered the Dr. Wigmore program of raw living foods at Creative Health Institute and changed my life in '01. A year later I found myself the Director there. I saw it as a good use of my time in retirement, a way in which to give back to the world all that's been done for me.
Initially I thought I'd help out for a year or two, get the center back on it's feet, build a website for them, start a newsletter and install a computer network.
I had no intention of embarking upon a second career, but that's what happened.
In 2001 there were only a handful of websites and resources. Friends would email me links with the message, "Look, a new raw website!"
If you did a Google search on "raw foods" you'd get several dozen page matches. I just did a Google search on the same term and got back 260 million page matches. Now THAT is a growing movement!
Finding raw recipes used to be a challenge; I just looked and found five dozen raw recipe books on Amazon.com alone, as well as numerous websites like chiDiet.net that publish new raw recipes every day. I love it!
I love it that Susan Schenck has published her encyclopedia of the raw foods movement, The Live Food Factor - I used to know everybody in the raw food movement, but now I rely on Susan's book to sort out who's-who.
I love it that movies like Supersize Me and Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days are reaching the mainstream market and showing in theaters, raising awareness of the dangers of the Standard American Diet (SAD).
Recently I was asked why I didn't retire again (can one re-retire?).
"The raw foods movement is taking care of itself now," I was told. "You've done what you set out to do. Why not go back to traveling, see the world, and enjoy your retirement?"
Tempting. I've thought about it for weeks.
What I've seen, however, is that Dr. Ann Wigmore's work isn't done yet. While it's gratifying that the raw foods movement has grown so much, Dr. Ann's program was about much more than just eating more fruits and veggies.
That's why I call it the Wigmore Lifestyle. Dr. Ann's program embodies an entire way of life, a healthier way of living.
Dr. Ann took sick, diseased people and showed them the way back to a healthy, happy life. She led them through detoxification and into healthy eating, true, but she also addressed the issues of stress, exercise, nutrition, food combining and more. Dr. Ann revived juicing, especially of Wheatgrass, growing sprouts at home in limited space, and created foods like Rejuvelac and Veggie Kraut - all radical ideas.
Each of the elements of her Lifestyle is important to maintaining a wholistic, healthy body and a positive outlook on life.
Her lifestyle is often simpler than the typical raw diet. It's really about re-learning how people were designed to eat before industrialization shifted population into the cities.
Dr. Ann saw that all healing - and good health - is Physical, Mental, Emotional and Spiritual. She had a theology degree (along with several other degrees), but never preached - she taught that it's important everyone recognize, acknowledge and follow their personal spiritual path as part of a healthy lifestyle.
Like I said, wholistic.
I guess I can't retire. Not yet, at least. Wherever I speak I meet audiences that are predominantly raw fooders, ones that are doing better than they were on the SAD, but still find themselves with health challenges, deficiencies and toxicities.
I say "Thank You!" to all of the raw food advocates out there - around the world - for all you do. But when it comes right down to seeing people heal their health challenges and recover their lives, it's Dr. Ann's program that works. So I'm not retiring.
Not yet. There's still work to be done, and a message to share.
What I've Done Lately:
This is a biggie - I've created an online version of Dr. Ann's Raw Living Foods Home Training Program, and of my Grassy Roots "Introduction to Dr. Ann Wigmore" TV show. You'll find them both on RawLife.org
Yours in Great, Vibrant Health!
Here's a directory of Wigmore Educational Resources (all links open in a new window or tab):
AnnWigmore.com - The story of Dr. Ann Wigmore, and a listing of Wigmore Institutes
Dr. Ann Wigmore's Degrees and Awards - probably not a complete list
GrassyRoots.com - The 14-episode TV series I did about raw foods and the Dr. Ann Wigmore Lifestyle
chiDiet.com - The Home Study version of the Dr. Ann Wigmore Raw Living Foods Lifestyle
RawLife.org - I put all of the videos from Grassy Roots TV and the Wigmore Lifestyle Home Study Program online
chiDiet.com/hs3.htm - The Dr. Ann Wigmore DVD video collection
GoRaw.net - Other raw websites I'm involved with or respect
Raw Testimonials and Stories:
http://rawlivingfoods.typepad.com/1/feedback_home_study_program/ - See the various "Feedback" categories on this site
Jim Carey, PhD, DD, has been a raw living foods advocate for six years,
ever since the Dr. Ann Wigmore program changed his life. Dr. Carey
resides in rural Georgia, USA, where he loves to eat wild edibles, and
travels extensively sharing the message of the raw living foods
Dr. Jim also served as Director of Creative Health Institute for several years, and is a Trustee of the Creative Health Institute 501(c)-3 Non-Profit Trust.