The following was taken from the Creative Health Institute newsletter:
Earlier this week I wrote: "She [Dr. Ann Wigmore] also taught that there were many foods that should be avoided, foods like iceberg lettuce, spinach, salt (including sea salt), onions, garlic, honey, agave, maple syrup, vinegar, tomatoes, citrus, and nightshades (potatoes, eggplant, bell peppers, hot peppers and cayenne, as well as tobacco)." [- See http://rawdoctors.com/articles/251-i-confess.html for the full text.]
Boy, did that statement generate a lot of email.
Yes, the statement contradicts what Dr. Ann said in her books. But if you read carefully, you'll see that much of what she said in her later books contradicted her earlier books. Dr. Ann never became ego-vested in her teachings. Instead, as she studied raw living foods and learned more, she allowed her opinions to evolve, as she continually strove to teach the best diet and lifestyle she could.
When confronted once, after she contradicted something she had written in one of her books, she said, "Everyone's entitled to change their mind, dearie. Especially me."
My primary source of information is Dr. Flora van Orden III, who was Dr. Ann's assistant for over 22 years, and was with Dr. Ann right up to the end, when Dr. Ann perished in the fire.
According to Flora, in her last two years Dr. Ann had found that she was at her best if she existed almost entirely on energy soup, especially if it was made primarily from wild edibles.
Dr. Ann had found that the body does not digest potatoes very well. This is an issue because people that eat the SAD (standard American diet) have low hydrochloric acid levels in the stomach.
Iceberg lettuce, she found, not only was low in vitamins and minerals, but it also concentrates cadmium from the soil, a heavy metal that our ancestors' bodies probably tolerated pretty well, but with the high level of toxins we live with on a daily basis - especially in the cities - it's an unwanted strain on already burdened immune systems.
Nightshades in general are abrasive to the digestive tract.
Oils, even extra virgin olive oil, clog the pores, clog the digestive tract, and interfere with detoxification.
The list goes on, and the material is covered in more detail in the Home Study Program. If you've attended a Dr. Ann Institute you've probably been fed most of these foods.
The point is this:
Dr. Ann saw nutrition as a ladder, and she strove to eat as high on the raw living foods nutritional ladder as she could. But there is no such thing as "bad" food, or "good." Some food is simply better for our bodies than others.
Good food and better food is a much more accurate statement.
At Hippocrates Institute of Boston Dr. Ann would come through the buffet on Sundays and see tomatoes in the recipes, but she didn't say anything because she knew the kitchen staff was simply trying to make the meals more appealing to the eye.
In like manner, during her annual visits to Creative Health Institute she often would say, "You serve too much food, and it's way too rich." This, when the program guests were already bemoaning how plain the diet was.
And, yes, during the years I was Director of Creative Health we served a lot of these items in our meals, especially during Sunday buffets.
Oh, I went through several bouts with Dr. Ann Purity, in which I cleaned out the kitchen of honey, agave, Bragg's Liquid Aminos and all the rest, and "forbid" the staff to use them.
Within weeks, often days, they were back in the kitchen. Why?
Because, 1) the staff didn't like the plain, simple diet, either, and since they were living on-site and eating on-site, they wanted to liven up the menu. 2) Most of the staff hadn't read much more of Dr. Ann than Why Suffer? How I Overcame Illness and Pain Naturally, and 3) it's hard to fire a volunteer, which most of the staff was.
In the end, I accepted that we were teaching a "transitional diet," one that people's bodies still responded quite well to, as proven by the constant healings I saw at the Institute.
Indeed, some of the Wigmore Institutes have eliminated Rejuvelac from their programs - one of the cornerstones of Dr. Ann's program. Why? Because it's hard to make large quantities of it, and, improperly tended, can go bad quickly. Others have moved the emphasis from wheatgrass juice to buckwheat juice because it's almost as nutritious and much easier to swallow.
Is all of this bad? Does it dishonor the memory of Dr. Wigmore? No, not at all. I call all of this the "transitional ladder." At the top of the ladder is raw, organic, living food, native heirloom fruits and veggies grown in-season, with love, harvested when fresh and eaten within 20 minutes of being harvested.
How many of us can live like that? It's virtually impossible, isn't it? This time of the year we can eat like that quite a bit because it's harvest time, but what are you going to do in the winter if you live in a northern climate?
I maintain that the body's ability to live on almost anything is a survival mechanism that allowed man to explore and colonize most of the world.
Dr. Ann's teachings weren't really about "eat this, don't eat that." She was teaching people to listen to your body and give it what it needs. Not what you've trained your body to want, but what it truly needs.
Thus, anything I teach about Dr. Ann, or anybody else teaches, is simply a matter of helping others to learn to listen to their bodies.
When I'm lecturing I'm often asked, "So-and-so says this, and you say that. Who should I believe?" My answer? "Yourself."
In the end, nobody changes us except ourselves. We listen to all of the information and opinions that bombard us, but we make our own decisions. That's why I'm a teacher - preachers can only convert the choir.
"I'm raw when possible, organic when practical, and I pray over the rest." That's the kind of program Dr. Ann was really teaching.
"So what if you're not 100% raw? How much better are you doing today than you were when you were eating the SAD?" - Dr. Jim
"You are what you eat" IS "the law of attraction." - Mike Grefner