Raw for 30 days

Saw this on CWD and thought yall might wanna take a look (and I am in no way promoting the film and am going to hold my opinion in for now ; ) )
Here’s the site : http://www.rawfor30days.com/
Raw for 30 Days is an independent documentary film that chronicles six McDonald’s-munching Americans with diabetes who switch to a diet consisting entirely of vegan, organic, live, raw foods in order to reverse diabetes naturally. The six participants are challenged to give up meat, dairy, sugar, alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, soda, junk food, fast food, processed food, packaged food, and even cooked food – as well as go without their loved ones and many of their creature comforts – for 30 days.

Can foods heal? Can diabetes be reversed or cured through diet? Can a diabetic thrive without insulin and other drugs? Can people subsisting on a Standard American Diet (SAD) give up their favorite foods and favorite vices for 30 days? Can six strangers of diverse ages, races, and backgrounds support and nurture each other through this life-altering challenge?

Raw for 30 Days shows each participant’s remarkable journey and captures the medical, physical, emotional and spiritual transformations brought on by this radical diet and lifestyle change. Participants were supervised by Gabriel Cousens, M.D., M.D. (H) and Helen Ross, M.D. at the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center in Patagonia, Arizona.

The six participants were selected in a nationwide search and brought to the quiet and rustic desert retreat, which is world famous for turning around even chronic conditions with a regimen combining raw organic living nutrition, exercise, yoga, meditation, education and counseling. The program was developed by Dr. Cousens, who is working on a book about his findings and the techniques he uses to reverse diabetes naturally in as little as two weeks.

The feature film Raw for 30 Days is in postproduction and is expected to be shown at film festivals in Spring 2008, with a release in theaters to follow. A compendium DVD is also being produced about the program to reverse diabetes, consisting of interviews with experts plus raw food preparation demos with top chefs. The compendium DVD is being readied for direct online purchase so that individuals and families can follow the health program at home.

The film was created by Mark Perlmutter, executive produced by him and Keith Lyon, produced by Leda Maliga, and directed by Aiyana Elliot.

“Since 21 million Americans are diabetic, and 40 million pre-diabetic due to obesity and poor nutrition, I was emboldened by the message that there is a way to choose life and health instead of disease,” said Perlmutter. “Every American knows someone with diabetes, and this film may be the first exposure some have to a greater understanding of controlling, if not conquering, a disease.”

and very interesting, look at the bios http://www.rawfor30days.com/aboutparticipants.html

Obviously, we can’t see the movie yet so final judgment will have to wait. This makes me nervous though. It has a lot of the code words for bogus miracle cures including using the word “cure” and not differentiating between type 1 and type 2.

This diet is basically low carb. It’s hard to eat a high carb, raw diet. Also, it looks like two of the participants are type 1 so I’m also worried that they’re both LADA. A low carb diet is already one of the treatments for retaining pancreas function in LADA. And 30 days is a very short time. Many people with LADA lose pancreas function over time. I’m worried this will be used to say, “see, type 1 diabetes can be treated with diet alone”.

It’s interesting that you posted this, Alison, because I have been switching to more raw foods in an attempt to slow down my autoimmune disease. (I also am hypothyroid). I am early LADA and still have my own insulin and hope that eating organic live foods might help me preserve my beta cells. I heard today about a colleague’s sister who did reverse early Type 2 with a raw food diet, and I think it was partly because she lost so much weight. I have been sprouting whole grains, beans and lentils and do find that I can eat them without such a big spike. I think that’s because the sprouting process converts part of the carbohydrate to protein. You also get a lot more nutrients this way. There are still plenty of carbs in raw grains and I couldn’t manage to keep my BG down without injecting insulin, so I would be curious to see how the Type 1s got on.

Here’s the trailer for the movie:

I found it very interesting. It disturbs me a bit to see that they talk about reversal of diabetes (at least they make a point of clarifying it’s people with type 1 diabetes that they had) but the concept does make good sense for the treatment of diabetes.

Manny, I think you meant to say Type 2. It does look interesting, but I’m wondering how much of the benefit is coming from the fact that the raw diet is very low carb. I didn’t see a lot of fruit, though green smoothies are usually full of fruit. I am eating a lot more raw foods, especially sprouts, and finding it has a beneficial effect on my BG, but I am early LADA with still a bit of insulin production.

If you Google Sergei Boutenko you can read about his current diet and lifestyle. After being told at age 10 that he had to take insulin for the rest of his life his family decided to do an extreme dietary change (for everyone) and now, in his twenties, he lives insulin free and enjoys mountain-biking and teaching raw food preparation to others. Inspiring!

One of the key issues with eating raw food is Enzymes.

In one link he says he was nine when he was diagnosed http://www.rawfamily.com/sergei.htm
and another ten, http://alternativesmagazine.com/18/boutenko.html
on a side note he went to the same college as me and that’s where I’m going to live again in 4 months. It’s a health food haven there, they have a great grocery store where it’s actually cheaper to buy fresh produce and organic foods than buying the “regular ole food” you see in normal grocery stores.
He talks about giving up junk food and losing weight-we never gave up junk food because we didn’t have it in the first place. My son is at a perfect weight, actually underweight by the medical charts but we don’t pay attention to those anyways. I do cook 99.99% of our foods at home too. I think talking of junk food and McDonalds is making an assumption that this has been brought upon us, because I’ve had people ask what the hell I fed my kid to give him diabetes, when in fact we eat healthier than the average American.
I asked one of my hippy friendd (bigger hippy than me lol) about this movie, and reversing disease and she brought up the fact that these diseases have been here since the beginning, when we were all out in the bushes eating berries, etc. Just now we have technology to sustain us when we have diseases, some of it is our downfall in my opinion, like false immune systems (vaccinations) and many pharmaceuticals-some of it sustains it and in return it causes diseases.
Also, my aunt had type 1 diabetes and she never ate processed foods, it wasn’t around back then. She died young because we didn’t have the technology we do today.

I suspect Sergie was really a Type-2 (which often can be controlled by diet alone) and not a Type-1. His use of the term “Juvenile Diabetes” is somewhat ambiguous. He writes about losing a lot of weight (indicating he was overweight, a T2 risk factor). Many people (including some Doctors, perhaps Sergie’s) falsely assume that any young person diagnosed as Diabetic is Type-1, when we now know that many kids are actually Type-2.

He is probably still a Type-2, and if he tried eating a standard high-carb diet would discover that. It also may progress as he ages and he may eventually require additional medication or insulin regardless of his diet.

It is interesting to see how this film and Sergei are easily denounced and picked apart when they could be very important examples of new directions for people with diabetes. I am not saying that everyone would be guaranteed success with following in these footsteps, but if I had diabetes I might decide to find a person with these experiences and see what I could learn from them, in person. I might consider looking into finding the people in the film or Sergei himself; it would be easy to take a weekend off and visit someone, meet them and talk to them about their health situations. Another choice would be to visit the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center, try a program out, or talk to people who have attended. But the details of the medical world keep us from experimenting, they keep us from wandering outside of the boundaries that have been set.

There’s more to life than chasing claims of miracle cures around the country or world. Why stop at Sergei, when there are also claims of cures in India, China, and many other places around the world? My life is perfectly happy and pleasurable even with T1, and I’d prefer to live it rather than devote my time (and money) chasing empty claims. And trust me, during my 31 years as a T1, I have indeed looked into numerous claims to miracle cures for Diabetes, so please don’t assume we’re a bunch of ignorant zombies who merely swallow whatever our Doctors tell us.

I have been eating a lot of raw food in the last several weeks. I eat sprouted grains for breakfast and a sprout salad for lunch, which includes sprouted peas, lentils, beans and leafy greens like alfalfa. I can honestly say that it is a GREAT way to manage Type 1 diabetes, but as to reversing or curing my diabetes, it just isn’t so.
I’m guessing that if a Type 2 was to eat the raw diet, they could possibly reverse their condition. I have early LADA and do not produce first phase insulin so I still need to take insulin with my breakfast AND take a 45 minute walk to keep my BG normal. I can eat the sprout salad for lunch without insulin. but if I eat anything higher carb (and I am not talking junk food or even cooked food) I mean raw carrots, or fruit, my body cannot handle it without raising my BG to unacceptable levels. So it really cannot be seen as a cure. I am hoping that I can slow or halt the autoimmune attacks and maintain the level of pancreas function I have now. i.e. stay in the honeymoon phase forever. One reason I can handle the sprouted food is that a lot of the carbs are transformed into protein so it doesn’t affect my BG as much. And you can’t beat the nutrition!

Great news Libby, thank you. Only several weeks of a raw diet and you are already seeing a change. There was a link somewhere in my past posts to a lady who had Type 1 and was steadily, over the years, progressing toward less and less insulin injections after being inspired by the Boutenko family and utilizing a raw food diet.

For those that are interested, I feel this link about Enzymes is essential when discussing cooked vs. raw foods.

I want to see this movie, mainly to see what happens to the one Type 1 Diabetic that they have there.

I once met someone at a Type 1 Diabetes conference at UCSB who didn’t really trust the diagnosis and only went on insulin for a short time before radically altering his diet and then removed insulin and kept his sugars normal. He kept testing his BG and everything was under 180 and he continues to live insulin free, or so he claimed. I had no reason not to believe the guy and it sort of made sense to me.

As any Type 1 can tell you, eating a low carb diet will certainly lower your insulin requirements and doing so while still in the “Honymoon Phase” will lower it to the point where you can stay off of insulin all together. Or so this man claimed. It was about 4 years ago when I met him. The conference was all about merging continuous glucose monitors and automatic insulin pumps to make an artificial pancreas, and he was just there to meet some Type 1’s on the side and share his stories. It was the first and only person that I met who was diagnosed with Type 1, prescribed insulin, and then was able to wean themselves off of it.

I can keep my BG under 180 without insulin also, but anything over 140 is likely to cause complications. The goal for me is normal BG. That means keeping my BG in a narrow range between 80 and 100 most of the time. Normal people spend only minutes a day above 140. If someone can keep their BG NORMAL without insulin then good luck to them, but “under 180” doesn’t necessarily qualify as normal.

I don’t think there is anything wrong with keeping an open ear, but moving on. There isn’t time to run down every claim.

I am confident that if there turns out to be something to this, it will become mainstream knowledge. At which point I will certainly listen. Until then…

The medical world will not ignore for long something whose effectiveness is veifiable and repeatable.

There is nothing close minded about being skeptical of something that requires a self produced movie to make people aware of it.

Raw for 30 Days has now been out for a couple of years - more information on this movie, and other information about Dr. Gabriel Cousins, can be found at www.treeoflife.org. Interesting stuff.

I’ve seen this movie and not to sound like a broken record, I addressed the issues that this movie brings up about reversing T1.


All this isn’t to say that there isn’t something out there but anyone who makes claims about diabetic cures, who does not know or recognize that this diabetes is out there, is highly suspect in any claims that they make.

I have to back up Michael’s caution here. This group is part of the Neal Barnard, animal rights network and these claims should be approached with some caution. There is nothing wrong with a vegan diet or raw foods, but one must understand that there is no scientific evidence that this approach can “reverse” or even “manage” diabetes, particularly type 1 diabetes. One must understand that in most cases raw foods are highly indigestible and that humans must eat large quantities in order to meet basic caloric and nutritional needs. By some estimates, in order to get enough food you would have to spend 6 hours or more each day just chewing and eating. If you don’t eat enough, you starve and basically, you can through starvation put off immediate health consequences when terminating insulin therapy. In fact, before the disovery of insulin the most successful treatment for diabetes was the chronic starvation diet practiced by Eliot Joslin. Type 1 diabetics could live up to 3-4 years without insulin before dying of chronic malnutrition.

But don’t for a minute fool yourself that you have “reversed” type 1 diabetes.

Thank you for your input. Great observations! The first time I became aware of Dr. Cousins, and the Tree of Life, was before my T-1 diagnosis. I was mis-diagnosed as a T- 2 for many years, and was terribly frustrated, so the T-1 diagnosis was a relief, because I finally knew what I was dealing with. Of course the statement “diabetes can be reversed” is not appropriate for T-1’s, and it’s my understanding that this program was originally created to assist Type 2, which, we all know, has reached epidemic proportions in the USA. Most importantly, it brings awareness to how, as a society, we’re killing ourselves (and our kids) with our poor food choices. There’s also a a whole culture of (what may be considered) “alternative thought” that’s behind the Tree of Life, so it’s not going to appeal to everyone. The bottom line for me is that what we eat affects the quality of our lives, so why not research, and make informed decisions?

I am all for looking at “alternative thought” and I do think that our diet has a tremendous effect on the current diabetes situation. I think it is good to look at things like whole foods and raw foods. But I am by nature a scientist and a skeptic. True evidence based medicine would never suggest that people take such leaps of faith in guiding your treatment.