My friend Shannon emailed me saying he is really feeling the call to go raw. He has done raw before and was curious about what Storm’s secret to staying raw all these years is. I told him I thought it was…
1. Storm knows he has an addictive nature and he knows if he goes back to cooked, he’s toast
2. He is truly gifted with food. He’s a great chef and he makes raw food taste delicious. He doesn’t feel at all deprived.
3. He enjoys terrific health. At 64 he has no pain, even when running. He looks great. The diet just works really well for him.
4. He eats honey, which isn’t actually vegan, but is probably where he gets his B12. So he has not become B12 deficient which may be why some people go off raw/vegan.
Well, Shannon gave this some thought and then emailed me back a reason that I had not thought of consciously but that strikes me as true and actually may well be the main reason Storm stays raw so easily…..Shannon wrote:
“I’ve been thinking about what you said about Storm and his commitment to the raw vegan lifestyle for so long, and why the average person can’t maintain the raw vegan diet for over 40 years like Storm.
I think Storm has had a paradigm shift, a deeply internalized view of the Raw Vegan lifestyle and how life changing it is and can be for the human race as a whole.
In contrast, many people including myself (initially) came to the raw vegan lifestyle to lose weight, or to relieve some illness. The raw vegan lifestyle is amazing at losing weight and healing, but it’s only a surface like realization and benefit.. It’s a selfish way to look at it me, me, me, me, and me. No judgement here, I find myself in this camp too.
The Raw Vegan lifestyle is much more than losing weight, it’s transformative and could relieve the world from much sickness, illness, and poverty. It’s ground breaking actually, it’s us, us, us, us, and us thriving together. Can we imagine a world without cancer? A huge reduction in green house gases because we no longer use fossil fuels to cook food, no longer cut down forests for cattle farms, stop using our limited fresh water to quench the thirst of bovines, pigs, and chickens. Tumours gone, cancers destroyed, and health insurance almost non-existent, and a more sustainable planet that is actually tenable for our species if we really embraced the lifestyle globally. I could go on and on!
This realization is paradigm shifting like Copernicus understanding the sun is the center of the solar system or Einstein improving upon the work of Newton before him! Life changing, think fire, the wheel, and gun powder.
Those of us who use it to lose weight will never last on the diet, because losing weight isn’t paradigm shifting, it’s only a surface realization.
Something has clicked in my head, as my wife can testify, it’s been gnawing at me for a long time now. Coming back home to the raw vegan lifestyle. I’m not certain I’ve hit the paradigm shift yet like Storm, but I’m moving in that direction, and it’s scary, to lose my old self.
I could be wrong, just a few thoughts”.
– Shannon Oliver
I’d like to share with you some great stories Shannon shared with me before this…
I wanted to reach out to you and express my admiration. I continue to be moved by your honesty, candor, and devotion to the raw vegan lifestyle. You and Storm move me. Keep doing what you do, I can’t be the only person moved by your words and actions.
I used to feel so ashamed that I couldn’t stay on the raw Vegan Diet. Instead of being honest, I ran away from the community, to the detriment of my own health. Sharing your experiences and challenges has moved me so much that I want to get back on the wagon, and continue fighting, even when I lose a battle. So long as I win the war, I don’t mind losing a battle here and there.
When I first started this diet so many years ago, and reached out to you and Storm, I couldn’t imagine leaving the raw vegan sweet spot, it was in fact, unfathomable. I couldn’t even comprehend Storm’s words and sage advice to me: “This will be the BIGGEST CHALLENGE and BATTLE OF YOUR LIFE”. I thought, how odd, I feel great, and I will never leave this lifestyle. Ohhhh how I underestimated the sweet, sweet, power of addiction, what a wretched beast.
I recently got married, and this has changed me profoundly Jinjee, and this too has motivated me to get back in line with the lifestyle I claim I want to live. I’m so devoted to this woman, and our lives, and can’t imagine not trying to be the best version of myself, and for me that means adopting a raw vegan lifestyle as 100% as possible and 70% when out with friends and family, a happy medium I hope.
My Wife and I recently decided that we wanted to try and get our financial lives together. We decided to try to get rid of all consumer and student loan debt, save X amount of money, and live frugally. I decided to build a framework of specific objectives around the goals that we established for our financial future. Me being the binge researcher I am, I discovered that one of the largest reasons people go into debt and are eventually bankrupted is due to medical costs and associated expenses. I couldn’t believe it, although I knew it to be true. Time and time again in my research, I came upon story after story of people who lost it all due to some medical issue, though many of the medical issues were preventative with a raw vegan lifestyle.
It dawned on me that with all my devotion to my wife, all my love for our marriage, and all of these financial goals and objectives, I was still a hypocrite. It really doesn’t matter if we saved 1 million dollars, or retired early, if I die prematurely from a preventable lifestyle related disease. Something like that would ruin my wife’s life, and for what? That fact hit me like a brick, I could only cry. I know better, so I must do better. I’m particularly concerned because my family has a history of heart and diabetes issues.
I was sitting there weeping when I remembered at least two stories related to me by close acquaintances. The story was narrated to me by a friend. He was on his way to Argentina for vacation. He was seated in coach, but couldn’t get to his seat because there was an older gentleman in front of him in a wheel chair flying in 1st class, trying to get situated. He had a HUGE entourage and family. Because my friend was behind the older gentlemen, he got to hear his story.
Apparently this man had worked like a dog his entire life, building a thriving company and business. He was now a multi-millionaire. He had always wanted to travel the world when he was younger, but didn’t go because he was so driven and ambitious he couldn’t imagine getting away from his business. It would be a beautiful story, but unfortunately my friend stated the older gentlemen looked like death was riding on his shoulders, he didn’t know where he was, and was drooling from his mouth, though his friends and family had clearly benefited from his hard work. I found this tale incredibly sad. Your health is your greatest asset, and investment, of that I’m entirely convinced now, more than ever.
I remember years ago, on one of Storm’s recordings, when he was known as the “Nut Man” he eloquently articulated that there are people who will go to the hospital and pay $300,000 USD for a pipe cleaner to be stuffed in their heart to keep the blood flowing, rather than adopt a Raw Vegan Lifestyle. Jinjee, I don’t want to be that person.
I think someone should do a case study on Storm. I’m still amazed how he does it? I feel like he’s super human. How do you think he does it Jinjee, when so many others fail, how is he 100% vegan for so long? Is it simple discipline. I’m envious, and as an African American male, I want to walk in his footsteps. He’s a legend in my eyes!
There’s one other story I want share about health, that as I mentioned above came to me, when I was weeping about my situation. I hope this one doesn’t offend you, it’s not my intention, but this story also reminded me of the importance of taking care of your body and health. Health is in fact wealth, and you don’t miss it until it’s gone. So a close female friend of mine has a grandmother who is 88 or 90. Her grandmother came to her for sex advice. My friend was shocked, as we both thought that the sex drive will be null and void at that age, but apparently not. Her grandmother’s boyfriend couldn’t sexually satisfy her because he has a bad hip, he had a hip replacement surgery, so of course, let’s just say he can’t move like he did in his youth.
The Grandmother is breaking up with him, they’re about the same age. I kept thinking to myself had he stretched daily and ate well, he probably wouldn’t need that hip replacement, and would still have his Girl friend. Dying alone at that age, probably isn’t fun.
My friend was completely stumped on advice to give her grandmother, and so finally she suggested that she masturbate. Her grandmother said, ” I would, but I have this damn arthritis”. Can you imagine?
Health is Wealth Jinjee. I look forward to joining you and your peeps on the raw vegan journey!
Thank you Shannon for sharing these stories! I’m passing them on because we all need more inspiration to take care of our health, and you are a great storyteller! I remember when you visited Africa as part of the Peace Corp many years ago and you were supposed to help this village tribe. But you noticed they were all ripped and eating pretty much only fruit and there was no disease amongst the elders in the village. So you started eating raw and got ripped yourself and then found the raw movement – and us – online and we began communicating. I shared your story and your photos online then. I found the photos but I couldn’t find the story. My site has gotten so big I sometimes have to google my own stories to find them! LOL! Well, thank you for continuing to share your journey with us and allowing me to pass this on to others! One of these days I hope you will start your own website so you can share your raw journey with people directly too!
Shannon Oliver will be joining us in the 21 Day Raw Cleanse that starts tomorrow!