Raw Food Nutritionist, London

> Raw Food Nutritionist, London

For a long time, I have been looking for a raw food nutritionist, or a raw food doctor, nearby to London, whom I would be able to consult with, since most nutritionists I have seen have not been supportive of long-term raw food lifestyle. Until now I didn't have any luck with my search, apart from a couple of raw food coaches' websites, which did not seem very convincing.

I finally, accidentally, found Gareth Edwards, as I was walking past the Hale Clinic close to Regents Park in London. The Hale Clinic lists over 80 holistic practitioners, however, most are quite expensive. Contacting Gareth Edwards by email, I was able to schedule a cheaper appointment at his home clinic in Clapham, a nice and vibrant area of South London.

Gareth studied nutrition for seven years, first at the Institute for Optimum Nutrition and later at the University of Westminster. The latter has been reported to me by others to be the best place to study nutrition in the UK. Gareth studied under the British nutritionist Patrick Holford and also under the American microbiologist, Robert Young. He also visited the Hippocrates Health Institute and incorporates much of their knowledge into his practice.

However, after six years of study, Gareth underwent a breakthrough realization, after becoming increasingly confused about the contradictions in nutritional science. After being very critical about the topic and constantly asking questions, he understood, in an in-debth way, the fundamental importance of an alkaline body to good health. He quotes Louis Pasteur's words: "The microbe is nothing, the terrain is everything."

Parasites, infections, mucus, and other imbalances of the body can be eliminated through becoming alkaline, Gareth Edwards explains.

At my meeting with Gareth, I shared with him my confusion about so many different approaches to nutrition. His advice seems at the outset very valuable: Simplify your thinking and health efforts, focus on increasing alkaline foods in the diet, especially sprouts and green juices, and concentrate on live foods much more than on supplementation.

A new realization for me was that alkaline foods are not only the water-rich raw foods, but that life energy in foods makes them alkalizing also. Therefore eating a grapefruit in England, where it doesn't grow naturally, is likely to be less alkalizing, than locally-grown, organic fruit and berries.
"The life energy content of food drops dramatically after it has been harvested, so super-market vegetables will never be as alkalizing as those picked up from an organic farm of bought from a good farmers market." - Gareth Edwards, raw food nutritionist, London

When I mentioned the difficulties I was having with eating raw foods, especially the food intolerances and difficulty in digesting fiber, Gareth suggested I focus mostly on green juices and sprouts, while adding salads and different vegetables slowly, as I felt appropriate.

Eating alkaline is about balance, I learned, as you still need some calorie-rich foods and acidic foods, but in small quantity compared to alkaline live foods. If you want to eat a croissant, stuff it completely full of sprouts, to balance the acidic effect, Gareth advices. But better than eating croissants would be to perhaps include a small amount of very good quality bread, made from good quality flour. Such bread you can buy from Wholefoods, Planet Organic or farmers markets, if you quizz the seller about the procedures the bread went through. Le Pain Quotidien makes fairly good quality bread that Gareth Edwards recommends.

When your body is out of balance, it is important to eat huge quantities of fresh, living greens and sprouts, to rapidly alkalize. Jamaicans use callaloo (a type of spinach) for healing, whereas Ann Wigmore and Hippocates Health Institute use large quantities of wheatgrass juice. [Paraphrased from Gareth.]

Gareth Edwards himself eats some dark chocolate, some good quality bread, and some cooked food, but generally his diet is high raw, high in sprouts, and near-vegan. Some months ago he was still eating goats' cheese but gave it up because he could smell it on his skin after eating it. He doesn't recommend eating pasta, or butter, as they are dead food. "If you put it in the ground it will rot." Whereas rice, quinoa and millet seem better options since they can still be grown to a sprout and are therefore alive. He also buys raw almond butter and tahini from Wholefoods, and makes dehydrated crackers and nut milks at home.

If you want to eat a croissant, stuff it completely full of sprouts, to balance the acidic effect, Gareth advices.

Further advice from the raw food nutritionist I wish to share with you:

  • Plant-based eating should be the main focus for health - supplements are marketed as a short-cut for busy people.
  • Vibrational life energy causes alkalinity.
  • Organic, wild, fresh, recently harvested, local plant-based food is best. If you cannot afford it, do what you can and gradually improve if possible. Growing huge quantities of sprouts is a very cheap, quick and easy way to eat high-quality alkaline food.
  • You can get a delivery of sprouts to your door in the UK from Aconbury Sprouts. [£5 per large tray, £8 delivery.]
  • Seaweed (e.g. Clearspring) is important for minerals. Put it in soups, etc.
  • Less processed food is always better.
  • Spirulina is a commercial product, maybe not so good.
  • Mucus is caused by acid accumulating.
  • Paleolithic diet is an old-fashioned way of eating, not fit for today. The animals that paleolithic people ate were different.
  • Even Dr. Mercola went to the Hippocrates Health Institute to learn from them.
  • Most fish is farmed, sometimes they are fed chicken bones and feathers. Antibiotics get put into the water... Most fish today is an industrial food.
  • Even organic cows are part of an industrial process, where they are constantly kept pregnant from a young age to produce more cows. There are fertilizers in the grass fed to animals.
  • Protein: Our bodies are less than 8% protein by weight. It is possible to get enough from greens, nuts and seeds. Rich Roll, an ultramarathon runner, and Amir Khan, a boxer, are vegan. [More vegan athletes here.]
  • If you have a problem with digesting fibrous raw foods [like I do], start with juicing and blending, sprouts, raw soups, healthy cooked food, before adding salads and fiber-rich vegetables and foods.
  • In the winter, in the UK eating more root vegetables seems appropriate, e.g. grated beetroot. However, stron greens plants can still grow even through snow (!). Traditionally more fermented foods were eaten this time of the year, sauerkraut, etc., as they can be preserved in a natural way.
  • Don't worry too much about nightshade vegetables being inflammation-causing, these problems will clear when you become alkaline. Avoid foods that don't suit you, but as you alkalize, even food intolerances and allergies usually clear fairly quickly.
  • Stress is very acidifying. If it causes you stress to travel far to get good quality produce, consider using your local supermarket instead. Balance good shopping with stress.
  • However, if you strongly believe that stress is good for you, it will be. Gareth Edwards believes in the power of our thought, which manifests, among other things, with the 'placebo effect'. [Note that subconscious thoughts and feelings matter too.]
  • Keep your mobile phone in a different room from you when you sleep, buy an alarm clock. Very important.
  • Disconnect from the idea that parasites infect you - if your body is alkaline, they cannot survive in your body.
  • Not having a cold for six years may be good or bad. It is bad if you are suppressing it, because a cold can be the body's way to detoxify.

I asked Gareth Edwards whether he found it difficult to live in London, with all the pollution, having cleansed his body with highly nutritious, alkaline and life-energy-rich foods. 'On the contrary', he said, 'your body gets stronger and more able to tolerate these things'.

I will write a separate report about the findings of a (new) live blood analysis test, which I am doing with Gareth in a couple of weeks. My previous live blood analysis results are detailed here (from four years ago).

Books recommended by Gareth Edwards, a raw food nutritionist in London: "Sick and Tired? Reclaim Your Inner Terrain" by Robert O. Young, "Lifeforce" by Brian Clements and "Raw Food/Real World: 100 Recipes to Get the Glow" by Sarma Melngailis and Matthew Kenney.

To book an appointment with Gareth, go to his website: Food for Life.

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