Geoff Purcell, UK
On RVAF Diet
Initial Symptoms & Conditions
Well, my story is a bit complicated. Early on in life, I’d have frequent problems with excess mucus in the nose among a couple of other issues, which I, only decades later, found out was due to an allergy or food-intolerance towards raw dairy. The far left photo shows how I looked shortly after I removed dairy from my diet, and the other photo is after nearly 1.5 years dairy free. It’s not surprising that it took so long to work this out as I’d encountered quite a number of teachers and doctors, over the years, who would claim, out of sheer stupidity, that allergies/food-intolerance didn’t exist or were wildly exaggerated etc. My childhood diet would be varied:- at home, my parents would feed me on a semi-Weston-Price lightly-cooked-diet where I’d have access to lots of high-quality meats and plenty of different organ-meats from peasant-farmers, fermented sauerkraut, wild game such as wild stagmeat/wild hare at weekends(I was in a country where such fare is pretty common in the various inns), raw dairy(mostly) in the summer (though pasteurised dairy at other times of the year) etc. – at school, I’d get a truly horrible diet as the directors wanted to cut costs:- so we’d get free access to as much pasteurised dairy or bread as we wanted outside meal-times(as they were so cheap), and, for meals, we’d get the usual nightmare school-food-“recipes” such as “semmolina pudding”, “bread-and-butter-pudding”, ” “tapioca” otherwise known as “frogspawn”, “black mass”, an incredibly hot piece of putrid chocolate mess, “pavement pudding” etc. etc.- and many teachers would force us to eat these disgusting concoctions in full, so as to “show respect to the dinner-ladies who served us”(it was rumoured that those same dinner-ladies would store and recook any food we didn’t eat, and serve it, the next time that particular dish was due). The one saving grace was that one boarding school did manage to grow its own strawberries, so we’d get strawberries and cream in the summer-term, to a large extent – plus school-grounds had vast amounts of garlic leaves available as well.
Anyway, things got even worse by my mid-20s by which time I’d developed anxiety, chronic fatigue, insomnia, poor capacity for exercise and various adrenal-related issues such as poor ability to handle high temperatures etc etc.. I’d go to the gym regularly but collapse after 10 minutes, unable to go on. It also got to the point where I’d get automatic, extremely painful stomach-aches soon after eating any cooked- animal-food whatsoever – and if I stayed in one position, while lying down, I would start feeling great pain in my joints etc. Plus, I got black circles under the eyes and a huge potbelly as well – the latter potbelly was almost impossible to get rid of, via dieting or whatever.
I’d had a vague look at various versions of the balanced diet around the age of 18 – this was because I’d noticed that I would, mostly, vomit after eating a microwave-ready meal from the local supermarket. But the balanced diet ideas didn’t work for me. Then, when things started to get really bad, I tried the Hay Diet(80% raw fruit/veg/20% cooked-animal-foods) which was largely useless. Since I’d had such a negative reaction to microwave-ready meals, I’d assumed that I had some sort of food-intolerance towards most preservatives, but cutting them out did nothing for me. I also looked at a couple of cooked-diets such as Atkins and cooked-Palaeolithic diets, and tried them for very short periods, here and there – but the latter were, unsuprisingly, unsucessful due to the stomach-aches I would get from all that cooked- animal-food.
The Hay Diet did manage to reduce the rate of stomach-aches, naturally, but that was about it, so I gave up on it. Later on,I then, reluctantly, went in for Raw Veganism, in a bid to find out if that would remove my stomach-ache symptoms completely. It worked for that and it removed my potbelly, but the other symptoms failed to go away. I found that I really disliked the taste of most raw, solid veg(except raw carrots and a few other things like samphire, avocadoes or radishes), so I went largely Fruitarian. This was a mistake as I would subsequently develop huge hunger-pangs so that I would have to eat vast amounts of raw fruit a day to get enough calories, driving up food- costs beyond anything I’ve ever experienced – plus, I would get a massive sugar-high for c.30 minutes after eating the fruit, but then get a nasty, fatiguing sugar-low after that which would only subside if I kept on eating the various fruits I had available.
I was so wary of the various arguments re vegetarianism that I also went in heavily for the supplement-industry. I’d buy vast amounts of herbal remedies such as ginseng, gingko biloba, cayenne-pepper, astragalus, heated royal-jelly capsules etc, as well as going in for the usual multivitamin/multimineral supplements. I would get a slight placebo-like effect from them, lasting c.24 hours, but that was all. However, after a couple of years of this, I reevaluated my health, and noticed that I was, actually, still deteriorating, overall. When I first looked at all the various pro-supplement books/leaflets, I was somewhat suspicious re the Linus-Pauling-derived claims re vast megadoses of vitamin C and other supplements supposedly being able to cure all ills – and whenever I looked around at the scientific data backing the use of supplements, I would find it was somewhat dubious or, mostly, I would just find endless claims re “establishment conspiracies” trying to suppress the supplement-industry” etc, no doubt useful for covering up a lack of scientific evidence, but not very credible, overall. This is one of the many reasons why I’m so suspicious of gurus like Fallon/Colpo et al, as they all love to use the standard conspiracy-theory claims.
Anyway, I’d already considered going in for a raw-animal-food diet in my early 20s, as I’d been sceptical of there being any significant health benefit through doing only minor adjustments to a cooked-food diet – (most subsequent reports/testimonials I read re cooked- palaeo/weston-price diets etc. indicated that while many people experienced some definite benefits from such diets, that there was, rarely, any complete improvement re certain serious conditions). However, I wasn’t even sure, then, if diet was the sole answer re reovering health, and I was afraid of trying such a RAF diet on my own , without others’ experiences to learn from, given all the usual modern phobias people have re bacteria/parasites etc.. So, I waited until the whole Fruitarian regime became unbearable, and searched for hours online for any websites on raw-animal-food diets for humans. At first, all I could find was websites re raw-meat-diets for pets, which seemed to be largely composed of vets falsely stating that such diets would kill or seriously harm any pets, which seemed illogical to me. Eventually, I found a number of websites focused on Aajonus’ Primal Diet and the Instincto Diet.
At first, I went in for a somewhat short-lived Instincto phase, but switched to the Primal Diet once I finally managed to receive Aajonus’ book from www.amazon.com(it takes weeks via that site). I didn’t feel the need for a juicer as I figured that raw, solid veg or fruit was better/more natural than the veggie-juice – but I did all the other Primal-Diet things like raw eggs, lean meats, raw dairy, raw honey(I’d get a nasty reaction to raw liquid honey re blood-sugar-rise/taste etc. but found I could handle raw (heather/borage) honeycomb. I’m a bit wary of honeycomb, these days, so I don’t often go in for it.
I went almost completely raw, at the time, barring one minor cooked- meal 3 weeks later, which was meant to monitor my progress. I found, to my delight, that switching to raw made my stomach-aches cease completely, which was a MAJOR incentive to carry on with it – plus, I clearly wasn’t dying of food-poisoning etc. , despite all the usual media-scares. My digestive system was still a bit sensitive, through, having been wrecked by decades of eating the wrong foods, so I felt a tiny bit bodged from all the raw lean muscle-meat. I, at first, switched to raw-fish/shellfish for taste reasons as raw muscle-meat was a bit bland. After that, I learnt from others that raw organ-meats were higher in nutrients than muscle-meats, so I carried on eating the raw seafood, but also ate plenty of raw organ-meats as well(usually heart/liver/kidney/tongue and later on suet, marrow, brains, sweetbreads etc.), with still a few muscle-meats like wild hare, turkey breast-fillets/wild mallard etc. in my diet – I also found that my then-wrecked digestive system was better able to deal with the softer raw organ-meats than with the muscle-meats, which was a bonus.
Some time after going in for raw-animal-food, I went in heavily for the raw-dairy for several months. I found I had enormous cravings for it (due to all the opioids in dairy), and would feel compelled to drink large amounts of it. Simultaneously, I would increasingly feel a lack of taste for raw meats/organ-meats, and several previous symptoms such as my former stomach-aches returned, so I knew there was something wrong. I questioned Aajonus re this, and , much like other raw-dairy- oriented gurus, he refused to accept the notion of food- intolerance/allergy towards raw dairy, and suggested various hocus- pocus methods such as eating dairy together with liquid honey, only eating raw dairy at room-temperature, consuming fermented raw dairy, eating raw dairy from different animals(so I would try raw dairy from buffaloes/goats and sheep), eating only raw butter , eating mainly A2- grade raw dairy etc.. All these methods failed miserably re alleviating symptoms, so I had to sit back and think about sorting this problem out – like many, I’d got to the point where I’d thought, mistakenly, that raw dairy was essential to any raw-food diet, but, at the same time, I’d also realised that going back to a cooked-food diet was not a worthwhile option, (given past experiences re cooked-animal-food etc.), if I wanted to live a long and healthy life.
Anyway, my ultimate solution was to replace the raw dairy with other sources of raw fats. At first, I’d get hold of large amounts of raw ox- tongue, but gradually diversified more into raw marrow and suet. Since I didn’t much like the taste of the white fat on raw muscle-meat, I tended to often avoid it until some time back, when I discovered my taste for fatty leg of lamb/mutton. The trouble was that my suppliers in those days were somewhat incompetent, so, at times, I’d have to resort to raw eggs as a substitute fat. Thankfully, I now have decent suppliers so this is much less of an issue.
Anyway, within 4 months of giving up the raw dairy, and having gone in for the raw organ-meats at around the same sort of time, a very large proportion of my former symptoms were either heavily reduced or disappeared completely. I was much less tired, my insomnia was greatly reduced,my potbelly disappeared(I strongly suspect, given past experiences, that my previous huge weight-gain was directly linked to all the cooked-animal-food and raw-dairy I’d been eating). Also, I stopped experiencing those pains in the joints, had no further stomach-aches,except after the ocasional cooked-food meal. And I was finally able to go to the gym and stay for much longer than just the 10 minutes I used to do.
It took a further couple of years or so to sort out all my health- problems completely, having been on cooked diets and deficient-raw- plant-food diets for decades. One of the mistakes I made, early on, was to swear to never eat “high-meat” – however, I found out, gradually, that being lazy and eating foods that had been left in the fridge for longer than usual didn’t kill me, and that it actually improved my digestion – so, eventually, I got up the courage to try “high-meat”, after some years, and found that I experienced a massive rush of euphoria, and it seemed to require almost no digestive effort when eaten on its own, among a number of other effects. I found that eating the marble-sized amounts that AV recommends didn’t work for me, so I ate 2 bite-sized chunks at a time every day, and that really helped. Since then, I have come to realise just how vital bacteria are re human health.
I also experimented with edible French Green Clay, at around the same time – edible clay is well-known re its ability to get rid of toxins from the body. The first time I tried it, I did indeed, get a detox, but subsequent attempts haven’t yielded similiar results, so my best guess is that I had too few toxins left in my system after the first time.
I’ve, on several ocasions, experimented with zero-carb but experienced various problems after several weeks of doing it – so I never got beyond the claimed transition-/ketoadaptation stage. There are some good arguments both for and against zero-carb, and I certainly experienced some initial benefits with it as well – my feeling, is, however, that if one isn’t a farmer and is dependent on ocasionally unreliable suppliers, then it makes sense to have a reasonably varied diet so that one can fall back on other sources for emergencies. So, perhaps carbs should be consumed somewhere in the range between 35% to 0% – or perhaps midway?
IF (intermittent fasting)
I more or less came to IF, by default. At first, I would eat huge amounts of food, every day, on the mistaken onclusion that if raw food was healthy, then the more raw food I ate the faster my healing-rate would be. This was a mistake, and I found my appetite decreasing. Also, the trouble was that all I could bring with me to work was raw honeycomb and organic fruit/veg and the like. So, since I’ve never had any real liking for having breakfasts, I would mostly eat in the evenings or late at night(except at weekends). Eventually, I found that I actually did better when I avoided the carb- meals in the middle of the day, and just ate in the evenings, midweek, and one large daily meal c. lunchtime, at weekends. At any rate, IF really helped to give my body a rest and a chance to divert needed resources towards healing/recovery.