Most helpful positive review
FINE--IF YOU'VE GOT COMMITMENT.
on November 26, 2000
As the title suggests ("The Raw Life"), author Paul Nison advocates a departure from the usual American diet, which is decidely heavy on animal protein and animal fat. If you want to follow the regimen to the letter, even such staples as fish and poultry are to be eliminated, as is any food, regardless of origin, to which you apply heat.
Raw fruits and vegetable comprise the totality of the suggested diet. Moreover, you eat only certain combinations of raw food at any one sitting.
My take on the diet is that it would help the typical overweight American, but would also prove to be extremely difficult to follow. For example, with salad bars on the wane, where could one realistically dine in a social situation, such as at a restaurant with family and friends? Eating is as much social as it is biological.
I think that if you have the requisite will power, excess weight and bad dietary habits probably aren't a problem for you as it is for most of the rest of us. To help with the required commitment, the author creates a series of fictive "enemies" that have to be taken on and defeated. One by one, readers are inveighed to take on and vanquish the challenges of "Sugar Man" and "Smoking Man". Some people will find this approach helpful, while others will find it overdone and hokey.
I offer one caution, if you decide to follow the Raw Life diet religiously. Author Nison freely admits that a Vitamin B-12 deficiency is a possibility, if one eats only vegetables and fruits. In an evolutionary sense, mankind probably ingested some small amounts of animal protein, even before the invention of cooking. This was probably taken in the form of small animals, insects, and fish. Since most folk probably won't be able to follow the strict diet completely, B-12 deficiency won't pose a problem.
Nonetheless, lack of sufficient Vitamin B-12 over time can pose significant problems. If you follow the book to the letter, you may wish to eventually consider B-12 supplementation, by using injections or by using tablets that are absorbed sublingually (i.e., placed under your tongue).
"The Raw Life" is an intriguing and potentially useful book. Readers should realize that following the dietary changes will require serious changes in thinking and in lifestyle.