Everyone knows intuitively that eating fresh, raw, and living fruits and vegetables is good for you. But just how good is it and how much of our food should be fresh, raw, and living? Some argue that all of it should be raw; others suggest that certain deficiencies are created over time while eating raw that lead to compromises of health. This divisive topic is not yet adequately pursued by peer-reviewed science; thus, the debate in these matters, while it is important and holds great promise, continues to be primarily anecdotal in nature.

Rather than suggest to you just how much of your diet should be fresh, raw, and living foods, allow me to share some of the known benefits of substantially increasing your intake of living foods. As you improve your practice of doing so, listen to your own body and respect what it is telling you. As you respond intelligently and intuitively to vitality improvements within you, you also become self-correcting and don't need a guru to tell you what to do. However, because of common imbalances that exist in the eating habits of raw foodists, be warned that certain vital nutritional reserves may become depleted while eating cooked or raw if you do not maintain them appropriately.

For example, deficiencies of vitamin D are experienced by both cooked- and raw-food advocates. Zinc, iron, and vitamin B-12 deficiencies are often experienced by raw-food advocates. Until a person overcomes excess body weight and insulin resistance, the conversion of plant-based omega-3s from ALA to DHA is greatly inhibited and can lead to myriad imbalances. Therefore, please seek to be wise; do not become faddish, and as you listen to your body, also listen to your spirit. Until you achieve ideal body weight and overcome insulin resistance (almost 100% American suffer from insulin resistance), I recommend that if you want to be 100% raw, that you supplement appropriately with a sound multivitamin. I will cover this topic more fully in another article.

Raw and living plant-based foods provide more nutrients per calorie than all other foods, and when properly balanced, they enable you to meet metabolic nutritional requirements with the least amount of calories. From anti-aging research we learn that meeting metabolic needs with whole foods and with the fewest required calories is the single secret to being able to maximum vitality and to maximum your lifespan.

The following are some of the common benefits experienced by those who meet there metabolic needs from fresh, whole, live and uncooked fruits, vegetables, and pulses:


  • Simplicity and Speed: no cooking means that mealtime preparation is cut to a few minutes.
  • Enjoyable: eating raw never gets boring or complicated; just enjoy the variety of fresh fruits and vegetables as they appear during each of various seasons of the year.
  • Body Fat: it is difficult to over consume calories when most or all of them come from fresh fruits, vegetables, and living pulse mixes. Excess body weight is one of the first losses experienced as you significantly increase your intake of these foods.
  • Increased Strength: in addition to becoming slim, a significant increase in physical strength is enjoyed while consuming nutrient-rich living foods. When metabolic needs are met most easily, the nutrients can be more easily directed to rebuilding and strengthening the body, rather than diverting so much of the energy towards cleansing and elimination.
  • Endurance: a wonderful sense of lightness is enjoyed as you consume more and more fresh, raw, and living foods; it is easy to function without tiring easily.
  • Exercise: exercise is more invigorating than it is tiring and the body recovers more quickly than it does with heavier cooked foods.
  • Sweat and Body Odor: after a time, as your body cleanses, sweat loses its oder and is more pure and less salty; the skin doesn't have to eliminate nearly as many toxins as it once did.
  • Immune System: living foods lead to a great sense of wellness that permeates from head to toe and that supports a strong immune system, leading to suffering less from the flu, cold, and so forth.
  • Heart Rate: it is common for average heart rates to significantly lower.
  • Blood Pressure: it is common to see blood pressures achieve new lifetime lows.
  • Sleep or Rest: the body works far less while you sleep, enabling you to feel far more invigorated as you arise each day.
  • Elimination: the body eliminates wastes and toxins from the skin, lungs, colon, and through the liver and kidneys. Going to the bathroom is never easier or more pleasant than while eating raw.
  • Rashes, Congestion, and allergies: for nearly 10 years I suffered from oozing rashes on my arms, chest, thighs, calves, and ankles; I also suffered from bronchitis and recurring bouts of pneumonia, and I also began to suffer increasingly from allergies. Through eating all living foods for an extended period of time, each of these conditions arrested and reversed.
  • Mental Clarity/Strength: perhaps one of the greatest benefits I enjoyed was a phenominal increase in mental clarity, strength, and stamina. My mind grew significantly in its capacity to function at high levels over long periods of time. Plus, I began to see and discern more quickly and at a much higher level that ever experienced previously in my lifetime.
  • Moods: when the body runs efficiently and energy abounds, moods tend to calm and level as thinking, which affects moods, becomes far more healthful.


We have added several videos to support the increased intake of fresh, raw, and living foods. As you transition toward more live, whole, and uncooked foods, do not avoid using healthful cooked options along the way. For example, begin by eating all raw from morning until your evening meal and then enjoy a large cooked green vegetable dish that is complimented by other vegetables, and a whole grain (naturally leavened bread, quinoa, brown rice, and fresh fruit. If you add animal-based foods, add them only as small pieces that are mixed into your vegetable dish and never as a large side dish.

Finally, science teaches there are two things that can neither be created nor destroyed--matter (elements) and intelligence. Matter can be re-arranged; it can be acted upon to be used as building blocks in various forms, but it cannot be destroyed. Intelligence can act upon matter and does so. All living foods possess intelligence, life, or spirit and are composed of mater, just as each cell in your body possesses individual intelligence and is also composed of matter. Therefore, all living food you eat is able to communicate with the intelligences within your cells to best meet the present needs of the body. As cells communicate their needs to living foods, the intelligences that operate within those living foods can act upon the matter present within the food to best meet your needs.

This phenomenon is literal but does not occur after the life, intelligence, or spirit is driven out of your food through cooking. Your body can still breakdown and make use of matter in the food, but does not enjoy the significant benefit of reciprocating intelligences. What then is the take home message? For all the reasons above and many which we have not yet discussed, seek to enjoy as much fresh, raw, and living plant-based foods as possible in your diet. Begin by trying some of our simple raw dishes and expand the practice from there as desired. Pay attention and honor what your body is telling you as you move in this direction.

Be wise; eating more fresh foods should not become a raw-ligion to you, but a practical practice that you enjoy daily. To the extent you need to meet other metabolic needs that are not being met, with cooked food choices, then do so. To the extent fresh, raw, and living foods are not even available to you, the eat as wisely as possible. Again, seek to make sustainable choices one day at a time and to never run faster than is wise.

To Your Best Health!
 Jim and Colleen Simmons

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My mother and sister often complain that the more raw vegetables they are eating, the more likely they are to suffer from loose stool and/or diarrhea.  What could be the cause?
Raw fruits and vegetables have high water content, plus provide exceptional metabolic strength, which leads to the natural cleansing of the body. I have consumed food in this manner for many years; for the first few months I did so, I too was fairly loose. However, after a more healthful balance is achieved in the body, the stools become well-formed, but pass so much more easily than stools from cooked foods. If you want to avoid hemorrhoids (caused from severe strain that accompanies constipation) over a lifetime, drink plenty of water daily. Also significantly increase your consumption of raw fruits and vegetables. Give yourself a couple of weeks to allow your body to adapt and then you will experience the best bowel movements of your lifetime. Please excuse the graphic nature of this conversation.
What do you recommend  for breakfast if one should only eat raw vegetables and fruits until the evening meal?  I'm also getting the message from previous newsletters that vegetables rather than fruits should start the day.  What are good breakfast options then?

I am not suggesting that you should only eat raw until dinner; however, for those who want to eat substantially more raw fruits and vegetables, this is a fairly easy pattern to get started on. Take a look at the first menu item in each of the four Young Living newsletters below. It provides a pattern and I will add to these recipes weekly. The next volume will include a fun living pulse breakfast that I recently developed here in our kitchen with Colleen. Also take a look at the 20 Breakfast ideas that follow:


Living Young, Volume 1

Living Young, Volume 2

Living Young, Volume 3

Living Young, Volume 4


Click Here to See More Breakfast Ideas

How can you tell if you have insulin resistance? How can you tell when your insulin resistance is gone?

A physician can order laboratory testing that looks at various risk factors that are associated with insulin resistance. Insulin level that are in upper quartile during a fasting state are an indicator; fasting blood glucose or post meal glucose is an indicator. A Glucose Tolerance Test may also be used to see how well your body processes glucose. Blood-sugar levels above 110 mg/dl are an indicator. Also the following criteria are strongly associated with insulin resistance: a waist circumference of 40 inches or greater in men and 35 inches in women, serum triglycerides of 150 mg/dl or greater, HDL of 40 mg/dl or lower in men and 50 mg/dl in women, and diabetes. Also   pregnancy and stress are also often linked to insulin resistance.

Most physicians are qualified to assess insulin resistance. Although, the recommendations given to those who have it are often compromised by a lack of understanding among physicians regarding the role dietary fat plays in insulin resistance. For example, consuming healthful carbohydrates such as fruits, grains, and legumes in high quantities are not looked upon favorably in many instances when dealing with insulin resistance. However, an entire other contingent of medicine has discovered that when dietary fat is low, insulin resistance and all associated problems, as discussed above, are readily overcome through a diet that is low in dietary fat and high in fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of confusion and some physicians recommend "high protein" "low carbohydrate" diets, even when our excessively high protein diets have led to the imbalances in the first place. Americans already consume 42 percent of their calories from animal-based foods. Medical advice that encourages high consumption of these foods is poor at best. Once imbalanced you must tackle the whole problem, which begins with bringing dietary fats into proper proportion. As that occurs, the body readily metabolizes healthful carbohydrates--without all the attendant imbalances. This is exactly how Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn Jr. has achieved his remarkable success with heart patients.

As long as this world is based upon $money$ clouds of confusion will swirl around these issues that are created by $industries$ that $thrive$ best when confusion exists. 



Thank you so much for your reply. I was wondering in addition to this, do you have any good refrences or suggestions on how to deal with stress. I really believe that my insulin resistance in caused from having to much cortisone in me all of the time.

I asked a friend one day, who is the most peaceful personality I know, if he had ever become angry, stressed, or mad in his lifetime. I had spent countless hours with him and had seen him in many different settings and circumstances. No matter the situation, volatile or peaceful, he always acted with great dignity, poise, kindness, goodness, and grace even to true enemies. His response to my question was measured and he said, "Hmm, no, I don't believe so, I don't believe I've ever become angry." I asked him how it was possible and his reply was that his mother had taught him early in life that all emotions are products the way we view and think about the world or our particular circumstance; second our thoughts lead to the feelings we hold to. Third; our feelings then dictate our actions and our actions either lead to greater negative or positive thoughts and actions.

So let's say he goes to work one day with an important deadline due before noon, yet finds half the employees gathered around the mainframe computer that is broken down. He might say somethings such as, "Oh, my this is upsetting, with a big smile on his face." At the same time, he might hear cursing and great expressions of frustration from other employees who also are up against tight deadlines. While they stand around in unproductive emotions and thoughts, he views the broken machine as something that can be fixed, after all it is just a machine and its operation depends upon natural law. He then looks over the computer and logically troubleshoots through possible things that could cause its outage, systematically checking off the things that it is not until he discovers the cause of the breakdown. As quick and as logical as ABC, he then fixes the machine that has brought his entire company to a halt and is rewarded with the satisfaction of enabling himself and others to get back to productive work.

Difficult situations can be met with unproductive emotions that are followed by a lack of productive action, or you can view the problem as perhaps God would, as something to be remedied through sound thoughts and productive action. He chooses to see things and to feel emotions that lead him productive outcomes and he refuses to waste time for unproductive emotions such as stress. The truest definition of faith describes faith as being "Great Mental Exertion." My friend exerts his energies and emotions toward great reasoning and productive activity. Fear, anger, anxiety, and so forth are all unproductive emotions that lead us to suspend superior reasoning or faith and to suspend sound actions. 

Stress is an entirely self-induced condition that is caused by the way we see, think, and act towards the events and stimuli in our lives. For eight years I took highly technical calls from all over the world from people who often possessed far more knowledge and experience in the particular network, operating system, hardware, or software they were running than I did. What enabled me as a good support technician was my ability to consider various possibilities that they could not consider as they succumbed in part to stressful stimuli. I would simply asked the questions that enabled them to abandon stress and to enter the world of sound reason and thought. We would run through a checklist of ideas and most often I would ask a question that enabled them to pursue the right solution with their superior knowledge. They would often think I was a genius. The truth was I simply knew how to exert the required mental exertion or faith that enabled sound thought, sound feelings, and sound outcomes. 

Their is a manual and tape series I recommend to you; it is called, "Becoming Spiritually Centered," by James B. Cox. Those I've recommended it to who have gone through and studied it always say that it is truly life-changing for them. He teaches the process for learning see our world and the events of our lives as "God" sees them, to then think about them as He thinks, to experience the productive emotions and determinations that lead to the productive actions and outcomes that He would do if He were us or were walking in our shoes.

I've taught my children to stop in every crossroad and to ask for the help needed to see, think, feel, and act as He does. It's the most powerful solution I know for living peacefully and with great productive faith.

Wow, this is a truly great article and discussion! I can attest to the truthfulness of what you wrote about body odor going away. I completed a 92 day juice feast in which I drank 3 quarts of vegetable juice and 1 quart of fruit juice per day. I found that I no longer needed to wear deodorant and this continued for several weeks after I broke my fast.

I love your info above about stress. I just love your book and all of this wisdom that you share with us! Thank you!

Thank you Becky! Your comments have edified and lifted me to want to follow your example. Perhaps you would be willing send me a personal message and share more about your juice feast. Jim

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