Backsliding but progressing is NOT about feeling guilty about slipping. Even if you weren't 100% raw this week, how much better are you feeling than when you were on the SAD?
The Home Study Program about the Raw Living Foods Lifestyle was developed from the teachings of Dr. Ann Wigmore at Creative Health Institute. I started putting this program together when I was Director of CHI because many of the people I talked to either didn't have the time to attend the two-week hands-on program in Michigan, or, if they had the time, they couldn't afford the cost.
I dug through a filing cabinet full of videotapes, handouts and lesson plans. I had binders full of teaching materials going back for over 30 years, from most of the Institutes that Dr. Ann founded or cofounded. I read memos and letters written by Dr. Ann Wigmore, and her staff. It was all heart-warming, educational, and sometimes amazing, the things that I learned.
After the first snowfall in Michigan that year I took my 10,000+ pages of research, documents and videos down to my place in southern Georgia. I spent the next months refining the paperwork and the videos. By the end of November I had created the first version of the "Home Study Program." It was 150 pages of handouts, all photocopied, and 15 videotapes.
On November 27, 2003, Mary D. from Caspian, MI ordered lesson one of the program. A few days after she received it she called back and ordered the complete set of lesson plans. Within the next few days David F., LDH, Joann T. and Bruce S. joined Mary to become our first five customers. I was surprised by the immediate demand, and how grateful the customers were.
How the program has changed since then. Originally it was available only on VHS, and those were crude duplicates of the videos in the CHI archives, much of it raw, unedited footage. Now the videos have been edited for quality, sound and content, and are available on DVD-R as well as tape. The "Handbook to Going Raw" has grown from 150 pages to 350+, and each copy is directly printed - no photocopies. The program now includes 38 videos, over 50 hours of material.
What sets the Dr. Ann Wigmore program apart from other raw food and detox programs is its thoroughness. Often when reading articles about other programs I laugh and say, "We have that!"
For example: The "energy soup diet" - we have that. "Colonics and enemas for detoxification" - yep, we teach that. "Living" vs. "raw but dead" foods - yep, we teach about that. Wheatgrass juice? Yep, that's one of our cornerstones. Gardening, composting, sprouting, purifying water, lightly fermented foods, food combining, transitioning to living foods, yummy raw living food preparation, exercise, internal cleansing, colon health, lymphatic system health, nutritional & dietary balance, lots of greens, dehydrating, alternative medicine, cooked foods as an addiction and staying on the program - the Home Study Program covers all of those subjects and more. It's like buying a dozen of the programs advertised on TV.
In the 5+ years that I've been involved with CHI and Dr. Ann's Raw Living Foods lifestyle, I've yet to see as complete an approach to healthy living as that taught by Dr. Ann.
A rewarding part of administering the Home Study Program is that I can keep the program aligned with the teachings of Dr. Ann. When you put someone in charge of a teaching Institute there is a tendency for them to introduce modalities and concepts that they personally believe in, even if they contradict the teachings of the founder. This is one of the challenges at CHI, as well as at other Institutes founded by Dr. Ann. In the Home Study Program I'm afforded the opportunity of being able to control this outside information, and to keep the program pure.
For the next two years I spent at least 6 months of the year living at CHI and serving as Director and, later, as Executive Trustee of the foundation. Sales of the Home Study Program were light but constant, and there was always a volunteer willing to help me fill the orders.
"Light but constant sales" began changing last year. Demand for the Home Study Program skyrocketed. Over 15% of all orders are from outside of the US. I was blessed to have Jerry and, later, Jimmy around to help me. Just as the popularity of raw living foods has increased dramatically of late, so has the popularity of our program. So much so that I've hired a professional assistant to help me keep up with it. Soon, I'm sure, she'll need a helper of her own. So many are asking me to speak to their groups that I'm not going to be around to help out in the office.
Oh, I'm not complaining. Believe me, I see this as the blessing it is. The "profits" from sales of the Home Study Program have funded a number of ministries. The income has allowed us to donate dozens and dozens of copies of the program to churches and other groups that have expressed an interest in raw living foods.
Best of all, it's enabled us to help fund a Raw Living Foods Mission in Narayi, Kaduna, Nigeria, Africa. This started out with a pastor, Prince Fidelis (Bartholomew Udumaga), but he's spread the word so passionately that they're now teaching about Raw Living Foods at eight additional churches in the area.
Prince Fidelis is not only sharing the raw living foods lifestye, but is also showing people that they do not have to work at arduous jobs every day to make a few pennies to buy a can of processed food. Instead, he is encouraging them to start gardens and sprouting projects in order to become, once more, agriculturally self-sufficient Africans.
The unexpected bonus? Each of these churches has a day care center, and are feeding the children living food meals every day.
How does this make me feel? Like I have the best job in the world - because I get to help others.
It's not just the African missions that make me feel fulfilled in this job.
We've now shipped almost 25,000 videos. I hope that they're being well-shared and viewed often. Being a "raw fooder" requires more than just not eating meat. I hear from many people that have thrown their bodies out of balance by eating too much fruit, or nuts, or other raw foods. This program helps them to get back in balance.
Surrounded as we are with increasing toxicity in our food and environment, eating a pure and healthy diet is more important than ever. More and more people are starting to see that, and I believe that's why the Raw and Living Foods Movement is growing so fast. People see that the Standard American Diet and the current medical paradigm don't work.
Hardly a week goes by that I don't get a "thank you" letter from someone that's seen a wonderful improvement in their health when they adopted the raw living foods lifestyle. People are flying halfway around the world to volunteer a few months of their time at CHI, just to "pay back" their gift of new-found health.
When someone comes up to me and says, "Thank you for saving my life," it's the most wonderful feeling in the world. Oh, I know I didn't save their lives; they saved their own lives by adopting the teachings of Dr. Ann Wigmore. I'm just the messenger.
Being Dr. Ann's messenger is the best job in the world!