The Nature and Purpose of Disease – Part 1

What is Disease

The following is part 1 of a 14-part post series on the nature and purpose of disease. If you prefer to watch a video on the subject see our presentation “The Seven Stages of Disease” available at the bottom of the page.

T.C Fry on the nature and purpose of disease:

“In this lesson, we will ascertain what disease is, what brings it about, what purposes it serves, and why it ends at all in view of the fact that it is supposed to be an occasion when malevolent microbial entities have gained a destructive foothold in our bodies. We will explore how a body in descendency (as it is said to be in disease) and microbes in ascendancy reverse these tendencies.


a. Disease, as a word, means very simply not at ease—a person is uncomfortable or suffering difficulties in maintaining energies for the functions he wishes to discharge and in keeping operative those faculties he wishes to exercise.

In physiological terminology, disease means deviation from normal. That means that the body has deviated from regular functions. In a state of disease the body has rechanneled or redirected its energies so that it has less than usual energy for functions normally engaged in.

b. There are two distinct types of disease. The first type of disease serves a purpose and the second type serves none. Discerning these two types in your clients will be no problem at all. These two types of disease are as follows:

1. The first type is constructive disease, often called acute disease.

2. The second type of disease is degenerative. This results from organic impairment in which organs, tissues, bones, or other faculties have undergone destruction, distortion, or irreversible impairment.

Your service to your clients will largely depend on your ability to recognize whether a disease is constructive or degenerative. I repeat: this is not difficult. You will, regardless of these conditions of disease, still proceed by guiding your client into healthful practices, healthful practices being the universal panacea.

If diseases are remediable and reversible as most of them are, it is constructive. When disease can no longer be reversed through body remediable processes, it is degenerative. For instance, an arthritic’s bony deposits can usually be autolyzed and restored to near normal. But when ankylosis has occurred due to the destruction of bone and cartilage and subsequent fusing, healthful practices will restore health except for the ankylosis—it is rarely reversible. However, many diseases commonly regarded as degenerative can be corrected by the body, most cases of arthritis being among them.

Excerpt from:

Life Science Course LESSON 2 – The Nature and Purpose of Disease – Download the full PDF of this lesson

Have more questions? Want to get answers about your specific health issues or concerns? We offer consultations here: Consultations

Ready to make changes but not sure how to begin? Need some motivation or accountability? Why not join our 30-Day Terrain Model Diet Support and Education Group: New Groups start on the 1st of every month! Support Group Information and Sign-Up Form

Eat fruit, get rest, and be well my friends. 

Go forward to read Part 2, or watch a presentation on the subject here:

Reader Q&A

Dry Fasting


Are there benefits to extended dry fasting? It seems really quite dangerous to me, especially since I live in a hot climate and very quickly feel the effects of not drinking sufficient water. I would think it would put unnecessary strain on the kidneys/elimination organs to not be properly hydrated.


Dry fasting is an all-too-common practice in the natural health community.  Dry fasting and restricting water intake is not a health practice and goes against what we know is necessary to heal.   The conditions of disease in our body are largely due to chronic dehydration from eating cooked and processed foods.  One of the main goals of the natural species-appropriate diet is to rehydrate the body and rehydrate the lymph system so the body can eliminate old waste and toxins.   Dry fasting is not a part of natural hygiene and is not and should not be considered safe for any length of time.

Dry fasting and restricting water intake is not a health practice and goes against what we know is necessary to heal. Click To Tweet

Dry fasting is extremely dangerous and can be damaging to the body. Acid wastes damage tissues and when we dry fast those acids become more and more concentrated. This means the waste will damage the kidneys and bladder on the way out if they are not diluted sufficiently. 

The body uses water to dilute the acids and protect the tissues as the acidic material is carried out of the body. When we dry fast we rob the body of that water that is necessary to facilitate the safe removal of acidic waste and toxins. 

The solution to pollution is dilution. Click To Tweet

This, very sadly, seems to be why we have seen well-known dry-fasting raw food advocates die quite young in the last few years. For all of the positive changes they are making with eating the correct foods they are undermining their health by neglecting their water intake.

If you were fed only the natural human diet from birth the body still would not benefit from the extra work created by dry fasting. Water is the universal solvent. It dilutes acids and keeps our whole system flowing efficiently. Our lymph system is a thick fluid that becomes easily clogged and bogged down when we become dehydrated. But most people are already starting out in a state of chronic dehydration from years of eating cooked and processed foods. We are also living in unnatural environments with forced air heating and cooling that further dehydrates our bodies. Most people have anywhere from 10 to 25 pounds of old dried-out fecal matter impacted to the walls of their digestive tract. All of this requires water to move and expel.

People often confuse more with better and the same is true for dry fasting. People think that because they have more visible sediment after dry fasting that the body cleaned out more debris. The reality is the body didn’t clean more, the sediment is just more concentrated because the body is more dehydrated. There is less urine because there is less water, and the waste matter is more concentrated.  

Disease is predominantly the result of dehydration, so any practice which further dehydrates us pushes us further into disease and leads to a shorter lifespan and more damage to the organs.

Dehydration can also result in mental confusion and delirium which can further impair our ability to heal and maintain healthy habits.

Unfortunately, within the natural foods community, there seems to be some confusion that is driving people to take on dry fasting or to believe it is a healthy practice. In nature, all frugivores drink from streams and ponds on a regular and consistent basis. Our anatomy is not set up to drink heavily, like a dog that can lap water easily, because our natural foods supply us with a lot of water. But we still find all the bonobos, chimps, and other apes drink from streams regularly and consistently. Sadly, many years ago we did not have this data and it was simply assumed that because it had not been witnessed, it did not occur. This is where the idea of frugivorous animals not drinking water came from. It was an erroneous and premature conclusion based on a lack of evidence.  

This then led to some in the natural health community declaring that we humans do not need to drink water. That we can get all of our water from our food.   The problem with this concept is that while watery fruits and salad greens are water-rich, the amount of excess water they provide beyond what is required for proper digestion and elimination is limited.   In order for a food to move unobstructed through the digestive tract it needs to be roughly 80% water.  This is water that must be retained with the food to ensure an easy exit at the other end.   This means fruit needs to be significantly higher than 80% water in order to provide us with excess water which our bodies can use to rehydrate chronic issues.  If we accept the contemporary figure that watermelon is about 92% water, then eating 10 pounds of watermelon only nets us about 1 pound of water, or about 16 ounces.  However, with a little practice, we can easily drink well over a gallon of water, which is just over 8 pounds of water, in a single day. 

We need water to help replenish our sweat, lubricate and move our lymphatic system, move out waste through our kidneys and bowels, digest and assimilate food, and move our blood, muscles, and nerves.  Demand for water within our bodies is high.  On a hot day working in the sun, you could easily sweat out a half gallon or a gallon of water over several hours. It would be impossible to replenish that on just fruits and salads even if you were eating only the highest water-content fruits.   The math simply does not add up.  

Based on my personal experience helping thousands of people heal over the years and healing myself I recommend drinking a minimum of 1 gallon (approximately 4 liters) of water per day if you are eating fully raw and drinking 2-3 gallons of water if you are eating cooked foods.   This is the amount where we see people consistently thriving.   

Water intake should also be adjusted upwards if you are exercising heavily, spending time out in the sun or in the heat, or any other activity that dehydrates the body.   Consuming dried fruits, nuts and seeds should also have us increasing our water intake to balance their low water content as needed.    

If you are not currently drinking enough water you can start increasing gradually by adding one quart of water to your current consumption and repeating this weekly until you reach 1-1.5 gallons.   My personal habit is to fill 4-quart jars each day.  I drink the first jar immediately upon rising, the second jar between 8 am and 10 am, the third right before my first meal which is typically around 12 noon to 2 pm, and then finish my 4th jar before dinner.    Others find it easier to use a gallon-sized water bottle that they carry with them throughout the day or a half-gallon bottle.   Either way, the larger the bottle, glass, or jar you keep in front of you, the more likely you will be to get in adequate water.   While it was initially a struggle to get in 1 gallon per day, I now find that I easily drink closer to 1.5 gallons and feel less optimal if I drink less than 1 gallon.  

One objection we commonly hear is, “I’m not thirsty.”   The issue with this is that when we become chronically dehydrated our thirst impulse can become unreliable and it can be difficult to tell whether we are thirsty or hungry.  Most people confuse thirst with hunger and eat instead of drinking.   Some people are so dehydrated that they can no longer get any real sense of thirst or they no longer recognize what thirst feels like.   In our support group, we consistently find that those who stick with the 1-gallon goal have their thirst impulse return within a few weeks and can easily drink 1-gallon after that point without having to put in much effort.   

Another common objection is that drinking more means urinating more, and while I can certainly understand the inconvenience this may pose in some working conditions we must keep in mind that urinating is one way we eliminate waste.  When we start to supply additional water the body will quickly start moving out excess waste so it is no longer damaging the cells internally.   This short-term inconvenience means long-term health, so while it can be annoying it is a small price to pay to return to better health.

Have more questions? Want to get answers about your specific health issues or concerns? I offer consultations, learn more about them here:

Ready to make changes but not sure how to begin? Need some motivation or accountability? Why not join our 30-Day Terrain Model Diet Support and Education Group: New Groups start on the 1st of every month!

Eat fruit and be well my friends. 

The Nineteen Factors of Optimal Health

Every factor in human well-being is also an element of nutrition. All needs are really nutritive needs. Deprivation of any single need may mean our demise or impairment of our growth, development or health. A single factor insufficiently or incorrectly supplied can lead to disease and suffering.

Most people are aware of the essentials of life. But they lose sight of these fundamentals as being factors and influences that are necessary to well-being within the context of society. Therefore, they’re likely to violate the very laws of their existence and contribute to their own sickness and suffering.

When in a state of disease, most people do not realize they have brought it upon themselves. They are aided in placing blame outside themselves by a profession that takes the stance that they’ve had an unfortunate bit of bad luck or they have been invaded by some microbial enemy. Though the needs of the ill differ from those of well people only in that their conditions must be made favorable to recuperation, both ill people and the medical professionals undertake a course of treatment that compounds sickness. Both the physician and the sufferer enter into an attempt to poison the ailing body back into health. The fact is that drugging only makes a body worse.

The causes of health are very simple. Our needs do not change substantially when we become ill. Even illness itself won’t occur if the needs of our bodies and minds are properly met.

The nineteen factor elements for optimal well-being are listed as follows:

1. Pure air

2. Pure water

3. Cleanliness—both internal and external

4. Sleep

5. Temperature maintenance

6. Pure wholesome food to which we are biologically adapted

7. Exercise and activity

8. Sunshine upon our bodies

9. Rest and relaxation

10. Play and recreation

11. Emotional poise

12. Security of life and its means

13. Pleasant environment

14. Creative, useful work

15. Self-Mastery

16. Belonging

17. Motivation

18. Expression of the natural instincts

19. Indulgence of aesthetic senses.

Source: Lesson 3.1 of the Life Science Course

Desire Health? Return to the Garden of Eden

Our society promotes this false idea that we can do 100 things wrong feeding our body but then fix it all by popping a pill. For many that pill will be a pharma drug (pharmaceutical from the Greek pharmakeia- “poisoning, sorcery, magical arts, often found in connection with idolatry and fostered by it”).

For others it will be an equally harmful vitamin or supplement, pill or powder, they have been told cures this or that ailment, or maybe they just fear they are lacking in their nutritionally devoid diet.

Either way you can never fix a wrong by adding a second wrong. You cannot poison a body back to health. You cannot make up for the plate of chicken and rice by taking a powdered fruit and vegetable supplement because it’s not the missing vitamins and minerals that are creating 99.9% of disease. It’s the dehydration, it’s the lack of fiber, it’s the overworking of the digestive system. It’s the fact that you are eating so far removed from your natural diet of watery, sugar-rich, raw fruits, sweet, tender, water-rich,leafy greens and nutrient dense nuts, seeds and vegetables.

There is no shortcut to health. If you want a healthy body you have to supply the conditions which allow the body to operate under normal parameters. You need to supply the foods which your body was intelligently designed to consume. When we follow God’s word and return to what he gave us for food in the Garden of Eden – Genesis 1:29 – our bodies return to perfect health. When we obey the lesson of Daniel 1:8-20 setting aside the rich and heavy foods and wine for our natural foods and water we thrive.

The natural diet of man is fruits and tender leafy greens, with small amounts of nuts, seeds and vegetables. These are all foods we can eat raw, in their whole natural form without any tools, fire or weapons. When we return to the natural diet God originally given to us in Eden all disease conditions reverse.

When we sin against our bodies, we are made to suffer. But we are provided every answer to stop the pain, should we choose it. The more you open your eyes, the more you see, this world is biblical and you have been given a guide book should you choose to accept it. The medical industry practices pharmakeia, their symbol is the snake ⚕️and the rod. Health never comes from the poisoning arts but they have most of our loved ones under their spell. No cures for any disease ever yet we continue to fund them $100 trillion a year. Open your eyes to see, open your ears to hear, the answers are laid out for you. The battle is good versus evil, health versus disease, if you don’t know which side you are caught up in, if you are blind to the reality of this world, there is nothing anyone can do to return your health to you. If you are caught up in the trappings of this world, only misery awaits.

Have more questions? Want to get answers about your specific health issues or concerns? I offer consultations, learn more about them here:

Ready to make changes but not sure how to begin? Need some motivation or accountability? Why not join our 30-Day Terrain Model Diet Support and Education Group: New Groups start on the 1st of every month!

Eat fruit and be well my friends.

Reader Q&A

Disturbed Sleep and Hip Pain


I would say I have a fairly healthy diet as in food . But I do drink a fair amount of alcohol mainly because, its only way I can get any sleep . I would like ideas to change this . I also have excruciating pain in my right hip, for past 15 to 20 years . I work in Pharmacy and spend 9 hrs a day on my feet . Would appreciate any advice please.


We cannot have “a fairly healthy diet” we either eat things that provide the conditions of health, or we don’t. If we eat a little bit of cooked foods our body will be in a state of disease. If we eat a lot of cooked foods our body will be in a state of disease with more symptoms. If we have symptoms then we are not eating a healthy diet, the evidence in front of us that we are not in a state of health proves this. Health only exists in the absence of disease. Disease is dis – lack, ease – comfort, a lack of comfort in the body, so any straying from the normal efficient operation of the body is a body in a state of disease. Once we realize this we can achieve health by stopping the injury of our cells.

If you are not able to go to sleep it is because your body is being irritated and stimulated by the food, drugs, and other poisons being put into it. If you remove the cause of the irritation then the body will return to normal function. If you find the substances that are keeping you awake and remove those, they you will not have to try to drug the body with poison to go to sleep.

Alcohol does not help us sleep, it creates tremendous stress upon the body which has long-lasting effects. It actually makes it much harder to sleep because it makes the body so uncomfortable that the body is in a chronic state of irritation which impairs our ability to sleep. Falling asleep using alcohol is not sleep, it is placing the body into a coma because the level of toxicity of the body is so high that the body cannot keep you awake and survive at the same time.

As to the hip issue, there are a number of reasons why we get pain in our joints but ultimately all are correctable by putting the conditions of health into place. The only exception is if the bone of the hip has been remodeled by years of damage then the body may or may not be able to correct that condition. The most common reason for pain is inflammation. Inflammation is the 4th stage of disease and is the point at which the body is trying to make a massive effort to expel waste. When this process is allowed to take place the inflammation will lead to healing. But if we are continuously adding to the cause the body will never be able to complete the cleaning process. It’s like someone putting a sewer hose through your front window and you sitting there trying to sweep the floors clean without first getting the sewer hose out of the window, you will never get a clean house if the cause is still in place.

If we remove the causes of the inflammation the process will complete and healing will be achieved. If we do not remove the causes then eventually the body will move from the 4th stage of disease, into the higher states of disease which are all degenerative conditions. You can learn more about the seven stages of disease here: The video also discusses in depth how we reverse the conditions and return to a state of health.

If you are eating cooked foods, drinking alcohol, taking stimulants like coffee, tea, soda, chocolate, eating salt, eating wheat, all of these will disrupt your ability to sleep. Stopping these will allow for restful sleep to return.

Anxiety, restless thoughts, the type of thoughts that keep us awake at night are not random, they are created by our diet. They are the body communicating its level of distress. If we remove the reason for the body being in distress then we remove the anxiety and restless thoughts that keep us from resting and being calm, cool and collected at all times.

We have to always remember that we are a collection of countless billions of tiny cells all working together in concert. Anything that injures one cell creates a chain reaction that affects every cell, so what may seem like a minor toxin exposure like eating some cooked foods actually becomes a major issue affecting the functions of every cell. Each small mistake builds upon the last making for less efficient processing of every cell, which in turn adds even more waste, which then makes the cells even less efficient. Every small mistake adds to our suffering.

If you are struggling to return to the natural diet fully we offer a support group for transitioning, with recipes, meal plans, daily articles to help you get through cravings, and lots of inspiration to help you learn how to eat to maintain health. You can find out more at

Why You Should Spend More Time Thinking About Medical Deaths

Who you get your health information from matters if you care about the end results.

Doctors are not in the business of health, they are in the business of maintaining disease in their patients for profit. As such, their training by the industry does not allow for health practices, only for the application of various legally justified poisons to suppress symptoms of the body’s own healing processes.

If you are looking to get your car fixed would you go to a mechanic that had never fixed a car in their entire history as a mechanic and had a long history of destroying cars beyond repair?

Or would you want to take your car to the person who had fixed their own car?

Getting health advice from an industry that is the 3rd leading cause of death (iatrogenic deaths) when they are doing things exactly as they are designed to be done is like taking your car to the mechanic that never fixed a single car. You can do it, but you aren’t going to like the results.

In the Science of Natural Hygiene or the Terrain Model of Health, the sick person is treated like a healthy person whom we want to keep healthy. Natural Hygiene says the body has been poisoned, let us remove the cause of the poisoning and remove all obstructions to healing.

In the medical model, the already poisoned body, showing signs of illness (aka the body cleaning itself) is subjected to ever-increasing poisons until all signs of the body’s healing processes (the symptoms) have ceased. Allopathy says adding poison to a toxic body will lead to health. Poison + Poison = Health Two wrongs don’t make a right, you cannot poison a poisoned body back to health and so the end result of this idea is iatrogenic death as the 3rd leading cause of death, while mortality rates plummet whenever Doctors go on strike.

In herbal medicine, homeopathy, TCM, Ayurveda, and other similar medical modalities the same underlying principle follows the allopathic model – add a “natural” poison to poison the body back to health. The idea that something is natural and therefore better allows for distraction from the fact that these models still do nothing to remove the cause of the original poisoning, still apply poison to the body, and still focus on working against the body’s own self-healing, self-cleaning principles.

The body can only heal when you understand that the body is self-healing and you stop trying to interfere with the healing symptoms and instead focus your attention on the removal of the cause. Break a bone and the body will heal the bone – this we readily accept, but the same process happens in every other condition and in those cases, we reject the body’s own healing processes.

Remove the poisons from the diet, return to the natural foods your physiology is designed for and the body will have no need to create the symptoms we call disease. Disease must be continuously caused – the body always works back towards a state of health, so to remain in a state of disease requires constant effort.

All cells have specific needs which must be met for them to operate at peak efficiency. Any straying from these needs, especially by way of the foods we put in our mouths 3 meals per day will result in impaired function of the cells and the creation of body-controlled symptoms to facilitate a repair.

If we add additional poisons to the body when the body is creating the solution that is the disease symptoms, we progress the disease conditions further. This is why Iatrogenic medicine is the 3rd leading cause of death, and why 9 out of the top 10 death causes can also be directly attributed to modern medicine. You cannot poison a body back to health, you can only return to health by providing the conditions of health which your cells require. That means returning to the natural diet and only putting food into your body that is suited to your anatomy and physiology.

Have more questions? Want to get answers about your specific health issues or concerns? I offer consultations, learn more about them here:

Ready to make changes but not sure how to begin? Need some motivation or accountability? Why not join our 30-Day Terrain Model Diet Support and Education Group: New Groups start on the 1st of every month!

Eat fruit and be well my friends.

Reader Q&A





Hernias occur when the muscle tissues have been weakened by the body being in an acid state for a long period. The strength of our tissues, muscles, veins, teeth, and bones is all a result of the alkaline minerals in them. As the body becomes more and more acidic from eating cooked foods, animal tissues, refined foods, etc. these alkaline minerals are pulled out of the muscles, veins, arteries, teeth, and bones which leads to these tissues becoming weakened. Then the weak areas when subjected to strain will break under the pressure. In this weakened condition a muscle can herniate and a blood vessel can rupture leading to an aneurysm or stroke.

Since the problem was created by a diet that is lacking in the volume of alkaline minerals we all need to maintain health, the solution is to provide those minerals so the body can replenish them. This of course can only be done by supplying fresh, raw, whole fruits and lettuce. It cannot be accomplished by using supplements because supplements are inorganic minerals, unusable and toxic, while the minerals inside plant foods are organic minerals in the correct form for use by our bodies.

Surgery cannot fix the problem because the problem is not the hernia itself but the conditions which created the hernia. Getting surgery on a hernia is like putting a bandaid on a gunshot wound, it might hide the superficial problem but it’s ignoring the serious conditions of disease that led to the rupture. Where there are muscles weak enough to tear there are also veins and arteries that could burst, there are bones that are weakening, and there are organs that are losing their structural integrity, ignoring the underlying cause and leaving the body in an ever-worsening state. Adding the acid burden, the drug burden and the serious injury to tissues caused by the surgery itself only furthers the conditions of disease in the body and pushes the body further along the disease spectrum.

The only way to correct the condition is to remove the cause, correct the diet, return to the natural foods the body is designed to operate with, and let the body heal itself.

If you are struggling to return to the natural diet fully or new to the diet and want to learn how to transition back to your natural foods with ease, we offer a support group for transitioning, with recipes, meal plans, daily articles to help you get through cravings, and lots of inspiration to help you learn how to eat to maintain health. You can find out more at

What is Detox really? It’s probably not what you think!

When people first learn about healing their bodies and the concept of detox, regenerative detoxification, or cleaning their inner terrain, there is often confusion about how the process works. We often think that, if we apply certain substances to the body, then we can detox our bodies.

We get sold on this idea with people marketing detox drinks, liver cleanses, herbs, tonics, and even the idea that various foods detox the body. Unfortunately, this idea is simply not based on reality. In fact, rather than helping the body to heal, these products cause harm to our bodies and rob us of the energy that could be used for healing processes.

There is nothing that can be applied to the body to detox or heal the body. Only the body can detox and heal itself. This concept is important to understand as we learn to put the conditions in place to heal ourselves. The body takes all actions.

Any substance applied to the body is inert – which means dead, and unable to take action. This means that every action is a result of the body taking action and not the substance taking action. All claims that a product detoxifies or assists the body in detoxification are simply false.

Healing is about removing the burden

When it comes to healing the body we cannot use products to start a detox, speed up detox, or influence detox in any way. What we can do instead is put the conditions in place to lift enough burden from the body so that the body is able to initiate the detoxification mechanisms efficiently and effectively. We can also stop putting in the poisons and toxins which require detoxification.

Most importantly we can stop burdening the body with foods that are difficult to digest, assimilate and eliminate and that drain our nerve energy and steal that energy away from the cleaning and healing processes.

In other words, healing is all about subtraction and not addition. Healing requires us to put less in the body, put less burden on the body, do less, and rest more. Healing is not about addition. We don’t add things to assist the body, we take things away to remove the burden from the body.

How do we remove the burden?

This is where returning to the biologically appropriate diet for your species comes in. This is why fruits and tender leafy greens lead to healing. These foods which are natural to our physiology present little to no burden and allow the body to operate as designed. This is not because the fruits and leafy greens are in and of themselves detoxifying the body, but because they are not a burden on the body.

Shifting from eating cooked, processed, dehydrated and denatured foods to fresh, raw, whole fruits, watery, mineral-rich leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and tender vegetables is a shift from foreign and dehydrating substances to the substances of which our cells were designed to operate with. By making this switch we are removing the burden of digesting, assimilating, and eliminating heavy, slow-digesting foods that drain our energy, overwork our cells, and leave a burden of excess that the body must work hard to eliminate.

Fruits are high in water content, allowing the body to hydrate the dried-out lymph fluids that are the result of a cooked food diet and providing water to the cells for their efficient operation. Properly hydrated cells work more efficiently than dehydrated cells, properly hydrated fluids flow freely requiring less work for the body and less energy drain. Fruits leave no additional waste for the body to clean up after. Fruits provide clean essential sugars to fuel every bodily process – every cell in our body runs on sugar, including our brain and fruits provide the right sugar that requires no conversion for use. Fruits create a positive energy balance- giving more energy to the body than they take away in the digestive process.

Healing is all about energy.

Every process the body initiates requires energy, including digestion and detoxification. When we consume fruits and leafy greens, our natural foods the amount of energy supplied to the body is greater than the amount of energy used in their digestion and elimination. When we supply the body with animal tissues and animal secretions (cheese, milk, etc.), cooked foods, processed foods, fermented foods, grains, beans, and other substances which are not suited to our physiology, we are supplying a substance that requires more energy to digest and eliminate than it is supplying. We are also supplying a substance that robs the body of water instead of supplying the body with water.

Digestion is one of the largest energy drains upon the body. The longer the digestive system has to run the more energy the body expends. Energy is either available for digestion or healing and repair. Every time we turn on digestion we burn energy that could be used for healing, when we consume unsuitable and non-ideal foods we utilize significantly more energy than when we consume foods our physiology is designed to consume. That energy could have been used in the healing and repair processes but instead is squandered in the elimination of unsuitable substances.

Water Fasting

Water fasting is a powerful tool we can use in our healing journey due to the conservation of energy. When we water fast, we abstain from all food for an extended period, consuming only water with nothing added. When we undertake this type of healing practice the body is able to shift all energy from digestion to healing. Every ounce of energy that was being put into the body’s massive digestion system is shifted to cleaning and repair. This is why people can heal years of damage done to their health in a few weeks of abstaining from eating and supplying the body with adequate water.

Fasting should only be undertaken once a proper study of the subject has been completed to avoid injuring the body post-fast. There is no danger in fasting, but putting unsuitable foods into the body after a fast can cause serious harm, so it is very important to first correct the diet and establish healthy eating habits before undertaking an extended fast.

Nerve Energy

Each detox process the body initiates drains our nerve energy. Each digestion process also drains our nerve energy. Each toxin we ingest drains our nerve energy. We have a finite amount of energy available in our lifetimes. If we continuously drain this energy by misfeeding ourselves with toxins, difficult to digest high protein foods, foods that deposit a lot of waste, or keeping our bodies in a state of constant stress with stimulant foods and beverages and stressful lifestyle choices, then we run down our energy banks and the body cannot gather enough energy to run a detox process. We also ultimately shorten our lives.

Unfortunately, we have been taught most of our lives to fear the body’s healing processes, calling the symptoms created by the body during its cleaning processes disease symptoms, like colds and flu, rashes, fever, runny nose, diarrhea, or vomiting. Our natural response to these expulsion symptoms which clean and heal is to put a stop to these symptoms as quickly as possible. We have been taught to ingest all manner of poisons and energy-depleting substances to put a stop to the symptoms created by our body’s own cleaning and repair processes.

We typically stop our body’s own healing processes through the use of pharmaceutical drugs, natural remedies, spices, or “medicinal foods” like garlic, honey, ginger, or turmeric. By doing so, we are adding to the body’s burden by poisoning and irritating the body, stimulating and depressing, and causing an excessive drain of nerve energy. These foods and drugs are treated by the body as poisons and as a result, the body’s response to them is to rev up its elimination processes, which rapidly drain our nerve energy reserves. When we use these to stop symptoms we are not helping our health, instead, we are damaging our health. We are adding to the burden on the body and draining our energy tank robbing our body of the ability to keep up with the day-to-day burdens and to clean out the backlog of waste that builds as we eat unnaturally.

If a product is used to stop the pain, stop inflammation, stop a cold or the flu then this product is harming your health, not helping it. Pain, inflammation, colds, flu, rashes, and all expulsion symptoms are all the body ridding itself of waste. Using that precious nerve energy to detoxify your body and repair your cells. When we intake a product that stops these processes, it doesn’t matter if this product is natural and organic or a pharmaceutical drug, or an illicit drug, in every case we are working against the body, stopping the body’s healing processes and harming the body.

Stopping these processes stops the body from ridding the waste it is trying to eliminate, while also adding more waste burden to our bodies and sacrificing the nerve energy that the body worked so hard to store up in the first place to heal the initial conditions that were causing the body distress.

The Healing Equation

Think of each decision you make as an addition or subtraction of your precious finite nerve energy. Each meal you eat, each remedy you take, and each drug you consume is a drain, a subtraction of your healing energy. Some subtractions are unavoidable, we must eat and fuel our body, therefore digestion is required, but we have a choice of fueling ourselves with the natural foods our body was designed to run on or fueling the body unnaturally with burdensome substances.

Since we have little control over the toxic world we live in, we must defend our bodies by being in control of the largest energy drains, the most harmful impacts on our health, and the things we put in our mouths three meals per day. If we conserve our nerve energy by eating only suitable foods, resting when needed, and fasting as needed then our body will have no trouble with the day-to-day detoxification of environmental pollution, stress, and other factors. If we are draining our bodies three meals a day then our bodies will never be able to keep up and disease will be our future.

So choose those foods which help put the conditions into place to allow the body to clean and heal.

Avoid those products which are marketed as detoxing your body, because only your body can detox itself. Take some vacations from digestion from time to time (water fasting). Eat your biologically and physiologically appropriate foods, fruits, leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and tender vegetables. Avoid those foods which take many hours to digest and steal your precious energy stores – processed foods, cooked foods, animal tissues, and secretions.

You are a miraculous, self-healing machine. Learn how to put the conditions into place for your body to heal itself. Then sit back and watch the magic happen.

Have more questions? Want to get answers about your specific health issues or concerns? We offer consultations here:

Ready to make changes but not sure how to begin? Need some motivation or accountability? Why not join our 30-Day Terrain Model Diet Support and Education Group: New Groups start on the 1st of every month!

Eat fruit and be well my friends.

What is the Natural Human Diet?


Every animal on our planet is anatomically designed to eat a certain narrow set of foods. It is understood that the foods most easily accessible and readily available for any particular organism, are in fact the foods that incur the smallest possible burden on the organism. Take for example the sea otter. While many of them learn to smash rocks against clam shells to break them open, this is a process that costs more energy than it produces. The sea otter’s natural food source then is not clams, but the small fish that occupy the same waters as the otters, and of which they can easily obtain nutrition without over-exerting themselves.

Humans are classified as frugivores. Our natural diet is fruits, tender leafy greens, tender vegetables, nuts, and seeds, with fruits being predominant. Our natural diet is easy to digest and assimilate, which avoids overworking our cells and organs and creating excess waste.

Fruits provide everything that humans and all frugivore species require to survive and thrive. Proteins, in their usable form of amino acids, fats (fatty acids), vitamins (co-enzymes), minerals, various trace chemicals, and most importantly SUGAR and WATER.

The human body runs on carbohydrates (sugars). Sugar is the fuel for every one of our cells, including our brain cells. It is vital to make the distinction between simple sugars (monosaccharides), like fructose on which we can thrive, and complex sugars, such as Disaccharides – sucrose, lactose (milk sugar), maltose, or polysaccharides – starches, dextrin, Glycogen (stored in the liver) or cellulose.

Fruits match our anatomy and physiology. We see vivid colors allowing us to spot colorful fruits in green leaves. Carnivores and omnivores have a limited color range. Human sight is anatomically designed to be attracted to the bright, pleasing colors of ripe fruit.

We have long slender fingers with a delicate sense of touch to reach into trees and bushes and find the delicate fruits and pluck them from the tree.

We have a weak sense of smell because fruits have strong, pungent, pleasing aromas when they are ripe. We do not need to have a strong sense of smell. Conversely, carnivores and omnivores have a strong sense of smell because prey foods do not have strong smells. Humans can only smell rotting carcasses and their smell is repulsive to us.

Humans have a “sweet tooth”. Our taste buds are tuned to allow us to sense when our natural food is ripe and ready to be eaten. Our senses also warn us of poisons. Bitter tells us that the fruit is unripe or the food is toxic. Sour tells us the fruit is overripe and no longer suitable – rotten food is sour. Fruits contain a little bit of salty flavor, but overly salty foods burn and cause discomfort to our senses. Spicy plants burn our tongues. They also make us sweat and our noses run to warn us that they are toxic. But sweet tastes tell us that our natural food is perfectly ripe and ready to provide us with the essential sugars our body needs to run every cell.

Taste buds are not for emotional highs, they are for survival. They are the messages which tell us what is our food and what is poison. They also tell us when our foods are ready to be eaten for peak nutrition.

We crave sugary desserts after heavy meals because our cells are desperately seeking energy. Sugar is energy. When we properly feed our bodies on fruits those intense cravings for ice cream, cakes, and cookies disappear.

We are attracted to the sweet taste of fruits. They appeal to us and delight our senses. The sight and smell of blood and gore, on the other hand, repulses us. We cook animal tissues and coat them in fruit-based sauces (orange chicken, barbeque sauce, etc) to make them palatable to our senses. We cannot stomach the flavors or smells of raw unadulterated animal tissues. We do not salivate at the sight of blood. We do not relish eating the intestines or bones or organs of a warm body. But a carnivore and an omnivore do.

All carnivores and omnivores eat the bones, feet, fur, and feathers of their prey. These are all essential parts of the diet. On a side note, did you know you can kill a dog by feeding them meat without bone? But they can survive and thrive on bones with just tiny meat scraps attached. All meat-eating species require bones to survive on their diet of flesh foods.

Carnivores and omnivores all have sharp fangs and claws to facilitate ripping through the skin and breaking through the skull bones of their prey. Humans have weak nails perfect for scoring the skin of fruit but useless for ripping the flesh off of a chicken or a cow. Humans have weak teeth and incisors for breaking the skin of an apple or a pear and taking chunks out of fruits. Chewing on bones would break and wear down our delicate teeth.

These are just a few of the anatomical features that humans have based upon our natural diet of juicy, water-rich, easy-to-digest, sugar-filled fruits!

If you are struggling to return to the natural diet fully or new to the diet and want to learn how to transition back to your natural foods with ease, we offer a support group for transitioning, with recipes, meal plans, daily articles to help you get through cravings, and lots of inspiration to help you learn how to eat to maintain health. You can find out more at

The Folly of Cookery

Why I don’t feed cooked foods to my dogs and cats and you shouldn’t either

It hardly needs to be stated that our companion animals are sick and getting sicker on the standard kibble diet.  Few will deny the decline of the health of those under the care of the current feeding regimens, especially kibble and canned foods.  For this reason, many people these days are seeking out home-prepared alternatives to commercial foods which are providing lackluster health for our beloved companions. 

Some choose a home-cooked meal, others a raw food regimen, while others seek to straddle the line feeding some cooked and some raw. In this article, I hope to persuade you that there is no benefit to cooking any food for our companions. Not only that but cooking their food is actually detrimental to their health and adds to the disease burden on their bodies, keeping them in a state of less-than-ideal health. 

First I will cover the biological, chemical, and physiological reasons why cooked foods are less than ideal and even harmful. And then I will discuss my observations in healing my rescue dogs who come to me with terminal and serious chronic conditions and how cooked foods negatively impacted their symptoms while going to a fully raw, species-appropriate, fruit-heavy diet saw a near-immediate cessation of those symptoms. 

Dr. B.S. Claunch, in a talk on How Disease is Built stated: “There are nearly 700,000 species of animal life, and everyone of  these species except man – the highest – live exclusively on live, uncooked, organic food. No other animal except man eats devitalized foods that have been rendered inorganic – reduced from their organic structure to dead, inorganic substances…. Incidentally, man is the only species in the entire animal kingdom that is sick, with the exception of a few that have their diet prescribed for them by man – domesticated animals. They are sick the same as man, because man supplies their food and directs their eating habits instead of permitting them to select their own foods. Cooking foods and processing them – refining, sterilizing, preserving, pickling, flavoring and coloring – all tend to devitalize them.”

I could stop right here with this simple truth.  No other species on the earth cooks their food and no other species suffers disease at the rate that mankind does, except for those mankind feeds.    Our companions are suffering the same avoidable fate that we have placed upon ourselves with our “art” of cooking foods into toxic concoctions of more drugging value than nourishment. 

I could even point out another somewhat obvious fact, that none of our companions have the ability to create fire, nor do they have the ability to stand up at the stove or turn on the oven. Cooking is therefore not even within the realm of their abilities to provide for themselves.  Some like to argue that humans have adapted to our cooked food habits, but this is utterly false, degeneration and chronic disease are the opposite of adaptation. When it comes to our companion animals, though,  this argument doesn’t even begin to have a foundation, they have no adaptations to cooked foods and no ability to cook the foods themselves.  Their only exposure to the debilitating effects of cooked proteins or cooked plant meals is through our mistakes in feeding them.  

What happens when we cook?

The application of fire to any substance will alter that substance.  When we cook food that is exactly what we are doing.  We are to some varying extent or another setting fire to our nourishment.  Set fire to your home and you will not soon have a suitable place to call home.  Set fire to your food and your body will soon not be a suitable place to call home either.    

“At about 145 degrees Fahrenheit certain properties of plant life are destroyed. A leaf of cabbage, for example, if immersed in water that can be easily borne by the hand, will wilt, showing that part of its cellular life is destroyed at that low temperature. The heat to which such foods are subjected in cooking may be increased or prolonged until all the properties of the plant are destroyed. Many articles of food which are baked in an oven are subjected to a very intense heat ranging from 300 degrees F. to 400 degrees F. Much of their food value is destroyed, thereby. Bread that is browned in an oven is half-destroyed, being partly charcoal, tar, and ashes. If it had been left in an oven twice as long it would have been entirely destroyed. At every step in the process of cooking from the time the food is put in or upon the stove until it is entirely destroyed, if it be permitted to cook that long, destructive changes take place that impair its food value and unfit it for use by the body.” – Dr Herbert Shelton

Kibble is heated to very high temperatures, in the range of 600 to 700 degrees Fahrenheit to make it shelf stable so it can be stored for months or even years. Kibble is the charcoal, tar, and ashes of what once was food. It retains little of what the body recognizes as usable material.  Canned foods are treated in much the same way.   However, a home-cooked meal does not escape the wrath of the fire either.  Many well-meaning pet parents will serve boiled chicken and rice to a sick pet, often on the advice of their vet, or will give treats or even full meals of cooked meats or cooked vegetables or some combination of the two.  Even the most diligent pet parent will feed steamed vegetables or roots on different occasions, be it a regular meal, an occasional treat,  a perceived money-saving alternative, or because they have been told that it is relatively clean fuel or a low-burden option.   There is no such thing as low-burden cooked food and no such thing as cooked food that is a clean fuel.  Cooked food is always injurious to the body, as you will see below.

“Simple prolonged heating of foodstuffs, especially at a high temperature and doubly so in the presence of water, either that contained in the foods themselves, or that added in the process of cooking, certainly results in a number of important changes in the foodstuffs which render them less and less valuable as foods. Even those foods that are regarded as fairly thermostable are certainly damaged by prolonged heating so that a diet that may be adequate in the uncooked state may be very inadequate after being thoroughly cooked.” Dr Herbert Shelton

What makes food valuable?

In order for a substance to be of value to the body it must meet the body’s needs for nutritive matter while also being digestible and assimilable.   Food must give more than it takes away.   It must be a low burden to process while supplying the body’s basic requirements.   These factors will vary from species to species adjusting the relative value of a food.  The raw flesh has great value to a carnivore like a cat, moderate value to an omnivore like a dog, and no value to a frugivore like a human.   Fruit on the other hand has no value to the carnivore, is well utilized by most omnivores, and is ideal for the frugivore.   Raw flesh and fresh ripe fruit both contain a variety of minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients but their value is dependent on the ability of the species to digest and assimilate or utilize those nutrients.  

Cooking food negatively impacts the ability of all species to digest, assimilate and utilize a food substance.  Applying heat to food alters the food chemically and structurally in a way that makes it anywhere from difficult to impossible for the body to assimilate the nutrients. Let’s look at some of the specifics of how cooking negatively alters a food:

Hardening of Proteins

Cooking coagulates (hardens) the proteins of meat, milk, eggs, grains, etc., making them tough and less digestible, while impairing their food values. Meat protein is hardened at 160° F.  This means cooking our companion’s meat meals coagulates the proteins, altering the bonds and changing the structure to one that the body was never designed to digest or assimilate. 

“Simple prolonged heating of foodstuffs, especially at high temperatures or under pressure, produces the following effects:

1. The disaminisation (deaminization) of vitally important amine compounds.

2. The decomposition of similar sulphur compounds (and perhaps of substances belonging to other unstable groups.)

3. The metamorphosis of metaphosphates and pyrophosphates into orthophosphates.

The first two of the above listed effects renders it impossible for the foodstuffs to be assimilated to form cell-substance, for the unstable groups in the food mixture will have been destroyed.

In considering the evils that may flow from deaminization of proteins (or of amino acids) by the cooking process, it is probably important that we think primarily of the effects of cooking upon the essential amino acids. Berg’s conclusion, however, after reviewing the evidence, is that deaminization is not as important as the change of organic phosphates into inorganic.” 

– Dr Herbert Shelton, referring to Ragnar Berg on the experiments of Francis and Trowbridge and Trowbridge and Stanley.

Deaminization means the removal of an amino group from an amino acid or other compounds. In layman’s terms, this means the structure of the amino acids that make up the protein are altered in a way that makes them unusable to the body.   The decomposition of sulfur compounds also means an alteration to the food which makes the materials in the food unusable.   But as Shelton mentions, the most impactful of all changes is the change of organic phosphates into inorganic.   This is an important factor that is perhaps the most impactful of all factors and will turn any food, both plant matter and flesh into a toxic substance when cooked. Shelton reinforces the organic to inorganic again: 

“I quote the following from Vitamins by Ragnar Berg: “the experiments of Francis and Trowbridge and those of Trowbridge and Stanley have shown that when meat is boiled even for a comparatively brief period, organic phosphates are transformed into inorganic.” – Dr Herbert Shelton

What is Inorganic vs Organic?

When most people hear the word organic they think of the modern usage of the term which describes particular growing practices for fruits and vegetables.  This is not however the original meaning and is not relevant to the current discussion.  In this context organic refers to the organization of a mineral, also referred to as a salt.  This is not to be confused with table salt, which is an inorganic mineral and a poison.  

Inorganic minerals are the rock form, unusable by our bodies. Organic minerals are modified by plants into a form usable by mankind and animals alike.  Humans and animals both lack the ability to take the crude elements of the earth and synthesize these into acceptable organic compounds. Instead, we ingest our minerals in organic form, through the plants we consume.  Our dogs also get their minerals through fruits and vegetables, and also through the flesh of animals that have eaten plants.  Our cats get their minerals in their organic form through consuming prey that has consumed plants.   In all instances, it is the organic form that is consumed and utilized by the body and not the inorganic form. 

“In order to convert these inorganic elements or minerals into a form which can be assimilated by the human body it is necessary for nature to create from the soil vegetation in which these same elements are present in organic form. In vegetation they remain organic until, by oxidation, they return again to their original inorganic form ready to produce more vegetation. True food is totally organic substance. If that organic substance is permitted to become, to any degree, inorganic, it simultaneously becomes to that degree useless as food. All organic minerals oxidize when they come in contact with oxygen and moisture. That is, they thus become inorganic again. In ordinary room-temperature the process of oxidation proceeds; but in the presence of heat oxidation is very greatly increased. Therefore, the cooking of vegetation in the presence of the oxygen of the air – the condition under which all home cooking and most commercial cooking occurs – changes a large part of what was organic and useful as food into inorganic oxides which cannot be assimilated by the human body.” – Dr Herbert Shelton

Plants uptake the rock form of a mineral from the soil (inorganic) and structure that mineral into its organic form.   Humans and animals consume the plant and make use of the organic minerals, creating new tissues, bones, and teeth and utilizing them for various body processes.   When these same plants are cooked their organic minerals are converted back to inorganic minerals by the application of heat and oxygen as the food breaks down.  The food is now rendered toxic by the presence of inorganic minerals and the loss of its organic minerals. Any value supplied by increasing the digestibility of some aspect of the food, for example, making the fiber more digestible is superseded by the toxic effects of the organic minerals converting to inorganic minerals.  

“In Vol. 39 (pages 21-31), 1939 of the Transactions of the American Therapeutic Society, F. M. Pottenger, M. D., and D. G. Simonsen recount the results of some experiments which they performed with cats. For a lengthy period of time they fed two groups of cats on similar quantities of meats and vegetables. The only difference between the diets of the two groups was that the meat of one group was uncooked, that of the other group cooked.

These men report that all the cats that received the uncooked flesh led normal lives, appeared perfectly healthy and were able to reproduce themselves throughout the length of the experiment which ran through several generations. On the other hand, none of the cats fed cooked meat were able to maintain good health for any length of time, nor were some of the second and third generations able to reproduce. All of the cats eating cooked flesh developed very serious troubles, such as softening of the bones, including those of the skull, bowed legs, rickets, curvature of the spine, paralysis of the legs, thyroid abscesses, convulsions, cyanosis of the liver and kidneys, enlarged colon, degeneration of the motor nerve ganglion cells throughout the spinal cord and brain stem, with some cells affected in the cerebellum and cerebral cortex.

The reader’s attention is directed to the cumulative effects of this diet. A diet that seems adequate in one generation may turn out to be very inadequate if carried out through a few generations. It should not be thought that because a particular mode of eating seems adequate for an individual that it will not produce serious results in the children or grandchildren. Long ago it was said: “The fathers have eaten sour grapes and the children’s teeth are set on edge.”

Dr. Shelton here makes an important point, we should not assume that simply because we don’t see an immediate negative effect feeding our dogs and cats cooked foods does not mean that there will not be longer-term consequences in the form of chronic disease, arthritis, skin conditions, heart disease, cancer or other disease factors which will shorten our pets time with us. Nor should we assume that a balance of raw and cooked foods will undo the damage or negate the detrimental effects of feeding cooked foods. Even dogs fed a raw meat diet with the inclusion of raw fruits decline when cooked plant matter is added to their diets and improve when those cooked materials are removed from the diet. 

Alteration of Fats

Cooking alters the fats in food making them both less digestible and making some into poisons. Fatty emulsions break down when exposed to heat and fats exposed to high temperatures are less digestible.  Heat applied to oils and fats creates free fatty acids which are poisonous and not assimilated by the body.

Additionally, the alteration of fats has an effect on the fat-soluble vitamins.  For example, vitamin E is moderately affected by cooking, however, it is very sensitive to slight oxidative changes in the fats, therefore, cooking will produce certain destructive chemical modifications in this vitamin by disorganization of the fats.

Heated fats have been shown to be carcinogenic to animals in clinical studies.  The application of heat to fats breaks them down chemically into fatty acids which are not usable by the body and instead become free-floating poisons in the body fluids. 

“However, we also know that fats (triglycerides) are responsible for body balance of the metabolic processes working with the nervous system. High triglyceride count slows the utilization of minerals causing excess mineral build-up and depression of the nervous system communication capabilities, a state certainly capable of confusing the entire system’s operational accuracy.” -T.C Fry, Life Science Course, Lesson 43

Loss of Minerals 

Cooking causes a great loss of soluble minerals in the food.  Studies show that when meats are boiled from 20 to 67% of their mineral salts are lost and found in the broth.  When baked up to 57% of them are lost and found in the drippings. When potatoes are peeled and soaked before boiling 38% of the mineral matter is lost. Green vegetables when boiled lose nearly all of their soluble minerals.   The amount of mineral loss varies by cooking method and length of the time cooked but in all modes of cooking there is considerable loss of nutrients both vitamins and minerals as well as the destruction of enzymes. This means the intelligent balance which was created by nature is disturbed and food that is alkaline-forming in its raw form may become acid-forming and its cooked state

“Professor Snyder showed that 100 pounds of cabbage contain 7.5 pounds of solids, more than 1/3 of which – 2.50 or 3 pounds – are lost when cooked in water. Spinach has a solid content of 10% of which nearly 1/4 is lost when cooked in water. Carrots cut into small pieces and cooked in water lose 20 to 30% of the weight.”

Studies by Ragnar Berg have shown that steaming vegetables for just five minutes eliminates so many of the minerals that the remaining residue contains an excess of acids. In addition to this, the vitally important vitamins are entirely dissolved out of the vegetables.

Not only does cooking vegetables and roots alter their structure of fats and proteins, it negatively impacts the vitamin and mineral content to such an extent that the foods become acid-forming in the body rather than alkaline.  Any proposed benefit of including these foods for their nutrient or fuel values is fully negated by the acid-forming nature that is their cooked state. 

Decreased Digestion of Starches

One of the most common reasons given for the feeding of cooked sweet potatoes, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, and other roots and vegetables is that cooking makes the starches more digestible and converts them into usable sugars. In truth, cooking renders starches less digestible and more prone to fermentation. This fermentation means for our pets more symptoms of disease like itching, red skin, hair loss, eye discharge, ear “infections,” digestion issues, inability to maintain weight and mucus in the digestive tract which blocks the absorption of nutrients. 

Dr Shelton states, “It has long been known that animals digest raw starch best and that they do not fare well on cooked foods.  Farmers quit cooking food for their animals years ago.”

Milo Hastings shares his observations: “ I got suspicious of the idea that humans couldn’t digest raw starch when I was in college and read about experiments in cooking grains for farm animals, in which the scientist proved that the cooked foods were less digestible than uncooked foods – for animals.”

Raw cabbage requires two hours for digestion while cooked cabbage requires four hours to digest. Most people are familiar with the fermentation effects of eating cooked cabbage, the gas and bloating being notorious. For most, cooked cabbage is followed by a rapid elimination of the bowels showing the distress the body is under from that fermentation. 

In addition to the fact that cooking renders starch less digestible, we tend to cook most starches by boiling, pressure cooking, or steaming. Saturated with water the starches then prevent salivary digestion. In humans the salivary enzyme ptyalin is responsible for the digestion of starches diluting that enzyme leads to less effective digestion which further adds to the fermentation issue. In our dogs they excrete amylase from their pancreases, allowing for the digestion of starches in the gut. In either case, the water will dilute the enzymes leading to insufficient digestion of the starches when cooked. 

Destruction of Vitamins

Most people today are already aware that cooking destroys the vitamins in foods. In addition to this cooking impairs or completely destroys their antineuritic and anti-scorbutic factors.  In layman’s terms antineuritic means preventing or relieving inflammation of a nerve and antiscorbutic means preventing scurvy. 

Even before the discovery of vitamins, raw food advocates proclaimed that cooked food is dead food.  While we did not know what the material in whole undefiled food was, however, we did know that “cooked food is humanity‘s greatest curse“ and the difference between cooked and raw is the difference of life and vitality versus steady degeneration and disease. 

Studies have shown that vitamins B and C are soluble in water and dissolved out in the first boiling. Vitamins are very delicate and unstable and many are lost and destroyed not only in the cooking process but in dehydration of foods and even in the cutting and chopping of foods. Vitamins are lost to varying degrees based on the cooking method and the exposure to light or oxygen but in all cases vitamin content is damaged regardless of cooking method. 

“In his experiments with monkeys McCarrison showed that cooked foods, the same as deficient and ill balanced foods, produced, within a short time, diarrhea, or actual dysentery. The monkeys so fed lost appetite, developed anemia, unhealthy skin, loss of body weight and all the vital organs began to atrophy. He pointed out that “among the pathologic processes resulting from deficient and ill balanced food are the impairment of the protective resources of the digestive tract against infection,” and added that there is a good reason to believe that the prolonged use of moderately faulty food will lead to these results as certainly as the less prolonged use of more faulty food.”

Cooking is a waste of resources

Many people choose to feed cooked foods like lentils, beans, sweet potatoes, broccoli, cabbage and others because they are inexpensive and provide bulk for meals.   I will argue that in fact most of these foods are more expensive per pound than the far more ideal bananas which are universally available and nearly universally enjoyed by all dogs.   Here at my local grocery store, even with bananas doubling in price this year, sweet potatoes are still 3 times the cost per pound, broccoli is nearly 4 times the cost, lentils are roughly 3.5 times more expensive.

Despite the idea that serving these foods is saving money, it has been found that when feeding cooked foods in order to maintain weight we must actually feed more because the body is simply not able to get as much value out of a cooked food as it does with a raw food. So even if the fruit is more expensive, the required volume of cooked foods versus the raw will easily overcome any perceived savings.  In addition to requiring more volume of cooked foods, the constant digestive injury of cooked foods makes the body less able to get everything out of the raw foods we are feeding, leading to a need for more raw food in addition to more cooked foods in the long run. 

The United States Department of Agriculture Bulletin, number 22,  discussing experiments comparing the value of cooked versus uncooked foods concluded: “In 10 of these trials there has not only been no gain from cooking but there has been a positive loss, i.e., the amount of food required to produce a pound of gain was larger when the food was cooked then when it was fed raw and in some cases the difference has been considerable.” 

Not only is cooking less efficient from a feeding standpoint, it is also a far less efficient use of your time.   Peeling, chopping, steaming, baking or boiling and then the clean up required after all of this is such an inefficient use of your time compared to peeling a banana or handing your dog a whole apple.  That time could instead be spent snuggling on the couch with your furry companions instead of slaving away in the kitchen.  There is simply no upside to cooked foods and far too many downsides.   As Dr. Oswalds so wisely stated, “For even the most approved modes of grinding, bolting, leavening, cooking, spicing, heating and freezing our food are, strictly speaking, abuses of our digestive organs.“ Yet, not of our digestive organs only, but truly abuses of the whole body.

Cooking creates tars

Most people are familiar with the sticky foul smelling black substance found in a smoking pipe, tar. Tars are complex heterogeneous substances that are derived from any organic compound that is subjected to high heat. These organic compounds undergo decomposition which results in a black tar which is a carcinogen.  Baking, boiling, and panfrying all result in this browning and blackening of foods, creating tar. Tar is an irritant and is known to result in the formation of tumors and cancers. We all know the dangers of inhaling cigarette smoke and the tar that comes along with it, so why would we want to subject our precious furry companions to carcinogenic tars when what they truly thrive upon requires no cooking whatsoever?

Cooked food belongs in the compost heap, not their bowl

To summarize, from Herbert Shelton, “Cooking destroys the elementary plant form, tearing down its structure, changing its composition and bringing about certain destructive changes in the element-groupings in all foods, returning part of these elements, especially the organic salts, to their inorganic and, therefore, useless state, so that a large part of their mineral content is lost. 

“Plant processes take the unorganized elements of the earth and air and organize these into related compounds, which, then, become available for animal life. Without vegetation there could be no animal life, for the reason that soil and rock are not available substances for animal replenishment. This being true, it is only natural to conclude that once plants have organized these elements into forms available for animal sustenance, any process which returns them wholly, or in part, to their primitive condition renders them, to that degree, unfit for food, and more or less disease producing. That cooking brings about more or less oxidation and disorganization in every accessible substance in foods of all types, admits of no doubt. When nutriment has been oxidized in the body, the resulting “ashes“ cease to be usable and are eliminated. What reason have we to believe that food oxidized outside the body is more fit for use? Ralph E Sunderland, chemist and food scientist, declares oxidation to be the chief destroyer of foods and explains the matter thus: 

The same elements (the 16 chemical elements composing the human body), are the component parts of technically ‘fertile’ soil in which they are present in inorganic form and as such are not assimilable by the human body, else we could look directly to the soil for our substance. In order to convert these inorganic elements or minerals into a form which can be assimilated by the human body it is necessary for nature to create from the soil vegetation in which these same elements are present in organic form. In vegetation they remain organic until, by oxidation, they return again to their original inorganic form ready to produce more vegetation. 

“True food is totally organic substance. If that organic substance is permitted to become, to any degree, inorganic, it simultaneously becomes to that degree useless as food. 

“All organic minerals oxidize when they come in contact with oxygen and moisture. That is, they thus become inorganic again. In ordinary room-temperature the process of oxidation proceeds; but in the presence of heat oxidation is very greatly increased. Therefore, the cooking of vegetation in the presence of the oxygen of the air – the condition under which all home cooking and most commercial cooking occurs – changes a large part of what was organic and useful as food into inorganic oxides which cannot be assimilated by the human body.”  – Herbert Shelton

What are the observable effects of feeding cooked foods? 

T.C. Fry reminds us of the observable effects of feeding on cooked foods for both ourselves and our companions. “Such practices will result in excessive mucus, thickening of blood vessels and of the fluids, derangement of the lymph and blood fluids as, for example, an increase in viscosity (thickening), formation of plaques in the blood and concretions (accumulations of precipitated overload, as of uric acid, for example anywhere they may be dumped to get them out of the way, as in a joint); plus a host of other annoying and dangerous symptoms of systemic poisoning. All such derangements tend to alter homeostasis within the body.”

What this means for our pets is symptoms of disease and a failure to thrive, it means less than ideal health and a slow but steady decline of vitality that is completely avoidable if we instead choose to work with nature and stick to raw, whole, species appropriate foods for our companions (and for ourselves!)

My experience healing rescues with chronic disease

Over the last 6 years I have taken in 130 and counting foster dogs and I have healed 25 dogs and counting from a wide range of health conditions including terminal cancer, seizures, heart murmurs, skin issues, and a long list of other serious health concerns.  During this time I have researched a number of raw and home prepared diets with varying degrees of cooked foods.  We have tested long periods of raw foods (3-12 months) only and then added back in some cooked foods including steamed broccoli, steamed squashes and pumpkin, steamed sweet potatoes and quinoa.   In every instance I have noted an increase in symptoms with the addition of the cooked foods.  Here are some of the symptoms we have notated:

  • Itching
  • Hair loss or brittle hair
  • Eye discharge
  • Ear “infections” 
  • Red skin
  • Fungus/Yeast
  • Weight loss or inability to maintain weight on same portions as fully raw
  • Increase in seizures
  • Bad breath/Tartar on teeth
  • Mucus in stool
  • Neurological symptoms
  • Food aggression or insatiable hunger
  • Behavior issues

In addition, clients I have worked with have noted many of the same issues, the most prevalent being failure to maintain weight, itching, ear issues, and poor digestion or impaired digestion of raw foods (fruit and meat).  Upon eliminating the cooked foods all report a clearing of most if not all of their recurring symptoms within a few weeks.   


When we cook foods we may make some parts more digestible but that does not mean that their being digestible is a benefit. For example, when we eat a raw apple, we don’t digest the fiber. The fiber maintains its structure and is able to sweep through the digestive tract and carry waste out with it, so the benefit is in the fact that it does not digest but remains intact and is able to help clean out the digestive tract. When we cook foods we weaken those bonds and now the fibers are breaking down so they are no longer a broom to sweep things out. When we apply heat to any food we begin to break down the perfect balance that nature has created. We alter the minerals, we break down the enzymes and we destroy the vitamins. Foods that require cooking are not suited to digestion by that species. Altering them to make them digestible may improve one thing, but it destroys a dozen in the trade-off. 

Our companions thrive when we stick to simple meals, the species-appropriate foods, keep them as close to raw and whole as possible, and feed them appropriate quantities.  The simpler we feed the more they can get out of every meal and the more efficient and cost-effective natural feeding becomes.   

Are you ready to dump the cooked foods and go fully raw so your companion can thrive?  Get our free feeding guide here:  and join our Facebook group here:

Have more questions? Need one on one help getting started or troubleshooting feeding or healing issues? Need help with  a serious health condition?  I offer consultations here: