16th in a series of Interviews wit Fruitarians around the Globe. For a complete list of all the interviews so far, see: List of Interviews with Fruitarians. And if you are practising the fruit only diet, or making headway in doing so, with serious intent to reach it, and are interested in being interviewed too, then please let me know.
Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions!
Thank you Mango, I am happy to do it!
Could you please start off by telling us a little about yourself, how old you are, what part of the world you grew up in?
I am 42 for a few more days. I grew up in the Great Northwest, Vancouver, Washington just across the river from Portland, Oregon.
before and after fruitarianism
Do you have a website or blog?
I have a myspace page. www.myspace.com/jimmybraskett
How long have you known about the fruit diet?
I began investigating new ways of living about three years ago. I read everything I could find on the internet and came across your fruit-nut page. I loved how concisely you laid out the facts. The ideas progressed smoothly in a way that made so much sense to me. I believe your site introduced me to the word and concept of breatharianism.
When do you think it was that first realised that eating fruit was a definite good thing?
I'm not convinced that eating fruit is such a good thing really. I think it's the lesser of many evils. Through my experience with water fasting, when I got results eating nothing that were similar to results people get when they stop eating cooked food or switch to just fruit, I am coming to believe that it isn't the magical properties in fruit that do the miracles. The body does all the miracles that it has been preprogrammed to do by our creator as soon as we stop poisoning ourselves.
I am coming to believe that all food is poisonous and our job now as we make our way back to breatharianism is to keep ourselves sustained with that which does the least damage. This is where orange juice becomes a super-hero. But really, I'm thinking it's just because it does the least damage. The same results can be obtained by water fasting, but most of us are as yet unable to maintain that in our current state.
What kind of diet did you grow up with? Could you give us a rough idea of what you used to eat on an average day?
I ate whatever tasted good as long as it didn't kill me... immediately. :)
I learned that when you fast you progress from craving to craving; the cravings take you on a trip down memory lane. All the foods you used to eat, even foods you haven't thought of for decades, start entering your mind as you burn through different levels and you start really wanting to taste those foods again. I hadn't eaten a Hungry-man enchilada TV dinner since I was 8 or 9 years old, but midway through my fast I wanted one.
I remember eating candy, soda pop, pizza, burritos, meat, potatoes, casseroles, hamburger helper, cookies, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I used to drink a gallon of milk per day. Oh and cold cereal with milk every morning. Cap'n Crunch, Cocoa Puffs, Grape Nuts.
As I began turning toward vegetarianism I began to remember the horror I experienced when I first discovered what meat was. Had I been stronger, though I was only 5 years old, I would have discontinued flesh eating right then and there. I wish I could do that scene over again. All of heaven has been placed in our hearts. It gets obliterated as we compromise the values that we know to be true for the sake of comfort and conformity.
Compare that to now, what does a typical days food intake look like for you now?
These days I have two types of days. Inspired by Fruitbat Anne and a man named Jordan O'Hara in Canada, I have recently began QOD (every other day) eating. Google "intermittent fasting" for more info on the amazing benefits associated with this eating style.
Ideally, if I wait until noon (which isn't always happening) to begin eating and finish by 8 PM (which also isn't always happening) I will then have a 40 hour break from food. I like the number 40 when it comes to fasting. :)
Today was a non-eating day and I am coming to look forward to the feelings that start happening in my stomach as it empties. Sensations start around noon and continue until I begin eating again; I get a free massage in my belly that starts a magical tingling feeling that radiates out toward my whole body. If I am paying attention to these feelings they can fling me into an emotional state of peace and bliss causing all my tensions to melt away.
On my eating days I am off to the store for cherry tomatoes, avocados, lemons, oranges, cucumbers, mangos, pineapple, durian, and/or grapes. I love berries when I can find them. I don't like buying ahead.
On my non eating days I have chosen to stay dry for the most part and have been shocked by some paradoxical discoveries. Dry fasting sounds more difficult doesn't it? I have done both water and dry fasting and let me say dry fasting is way easier. The sloshing stomach, the nausea, they are not part of the dry experience. Some folks believe dry fasting to be 2-3 times as effective as water fasting too. Great! I would do it even if it wasn't just because it's so much easier.
Part of my mission here is to prove that this way of healing our bodies and our planet is available to all. For this reason I am considering eating mostly conventionally grown fruit and including more bananas which I sense are more damaging than juicy fruit but still pretty darn good. They are a cheap source of calories. This is the big turn off for me regarding super-foods. They are presented as an elitist food and are only available to the rich and ultra informed. I suspect that none of these are needed for living the ultimate life.
I am still eating some things that are not fruits but am wondering how much longer I will continue. These usually include leaves and mushrooms and flax oil. I also have an addiction to nuts. Nuts have continued to be creamy crunchy yumminess in my mouth but cause my body so much pain later. The flax oil I believe is needed temporarily as a solvent to break up deposits from a long history of a high intake of cooked fats.
The greens may remain as they do fit into the Genesis 1:29 model that appeals to me. But I do think it would feel cleaner to completely stop the killing. Perhaps I will one day refuse any food that causes harm. Ahimsa food. That sound soothing to my soul.
I tried sprouting a few times but felt so bad eating these little babies. I could sense their hope and excitement... it did not feel good to end their lives so I stopped sprouting.
So when did things start to change for you? Did you progress slowly to vegetarianism, veganism, raw food and fruitarianism, or was it more of a sudden change for you?? ANything at all that sparked those changes?
Three years ago I was so disgusted with the man I had let myself become. I was desperate for a change and cried out to God for help. I went up to my cabin in the woods with a sleeping bag, a notebook, and a cup. I told God I was going to stay there drinking water until I heard from Him. That's how desperate I was. I knew the project would only last at most 40-60 days. 2 days into this I began to sense the Spirit and major changes began to happen. I was introduced to Yoga and then read that the teachers of this ancient tradition had noticed that what we eat has a profound impact on our spiritual life. "Really?" This came as a total shock to me. After a few experiments I became convinced of the validity of these claims and started researching the "what shall we eat?" puzzle.
One evening a couple of weeks after completing a lengthy water fast I had been eating only raw fruits and vegetables but this night shot up a prayer to God saying "Oh God, I want a chile relleno burrito."
It seemed like God laughed as he said "Well go eat one then! Just pay attention to what it does for you." I was at my favorite Mexican restaurant within 3 minutes and took home my favorite food for the previous ten years. I got home and placed the burrito on a plate and dressed it up with some cherry tomatoes, cilantro, and Thai chillies. I was enjoying the moments before eating this favorite delight and made them last a little longer by nibbling on the fresh garnishes. When I ate a tomato... it exploded in my mouth with electrical fireworks that dazzled my tongue. The cilantro was so fresh and aromatic. Finally, I was through playing around and ready to sink my teeth into some "real" food. (I hadn't had this kind of food for weeks).
I picked up the burrito and took a huge bite. Oh! it felt good to really bite into the food that had been my staple for the previous decade. The texture brought back so many memories. It was just like I'd remembered it. But then the flavor. Where was it? I was fully primed to indulge in heaven and instead discovered that this thing that I had worshipped for so many years tasted like card board! I had unwittingly allowed my taste buds to retrain themselves to only enjoy the truly enjoyable.
I had bought the burrito and so decided I would finish it, but about a half an hour later I began to feel nervous and shaky and my pulse became rapid and bounding. I felt like my body was under attack. Later I read that cooked food has been proven to raise the white cell levels in our blood while uncooked does not. It was at this point that I became convinced that cooking changes food into poison.
Can you give us a rough idea of what you might eat on an average day these days, and how long have you been eating this way?
I love "tacos" with Romaine lettuce leaves as the tortilla, stuffed with salsa made from a random mix of tomatoes, avocados, durian, cucumber, mango, cilantro, and lemon juice. I also love peruvian sun dried olives though I only have them occasionally.
I love hot chille peppers. I asked Victorus Kulvinskus about my uncanny love of food that is unbearable to anyone I've ever met. He said that he too had a love of spicy food for the first two years of being raw, then it went away.
This idea has led me to believe that garlic, onions, and spicy chile peppers are cleansing foods that are useful for a time but not needed or desirable in the long run
You're a musician right? Do you think, that fruit eating has at all influenced, or changed the way you perform or the songs you might write?
It has definitely effected my writing. I am more my true self. I am passionate about hastening the coming of heaven on earth. I long to see the day when lions and lambs can once again lie together in peace.
Also, I have been noticing my fingers getting more agile on the fingerboard of the fiddle. But the biggest benefit has been the freeing of my soul to be it's true self. I'm not completely there yet but I have noticed that I am able to more easily lose myself while playing a live show. This is where the true magic happens. If I'm uptight, worried what people are thinking, I can't play my best. The best only comes out when my soul takes a trip to the cosmos and leaves my body behind to translate.
Mango, here is an mp3 of my latest work in the studio:
Is it correct to say that you have complete faith in the 100% fruit diet?
No. I think there are many paths. I agree with Gabriel Couzens that you can't eat your way to God. It will not be enough. Also I don't think eating fruit is a prerequisite to achieving spiritual enlightenment. I do think it makes it much easier. Like the difference between setting up a tent during daylight verses at night. Fruit makes everything light and peaceful and just easier.
I guess what I mean by that question is not so much whether you believe 100% fruit to be the be-all and end-all of our paths, but more trying to find out whether or not you believe just eating fruit is physiologically enough for us, or whether you believe also that it may be lacking in something and that we should perhaps supplement it with nuts, grains, greens whatever?
I would have to say I'm not 100% certain. Mostly because I haven't yet proven it by doing it myself. Life on earth is full of risks and we never know much for sure. I have talked online with fruitarians who have succeeded for many years so I am mostly sure. My raw food friends caution against going fruitarian because of the damage it does to your teeth and because it makes you spacey and not well grounded (whatever that means). But I have noticed that on this dietary path everyone will caution you not to go beyond where they are.
The fruitarians I talked with told me they believed the teeth detox like every other organ so that initially a fruit diet seems hard on them. But long term they get stronger. I can confirm that last year my teeth got real sore and turned a bit brown and now have started to whiten back up and are less sensitive. And I drink gallons and gallons of orange juice throughout the winter. OJ has the worst reputation for destroying teeth.
To me it is a calculated risk. The benefits to my soul are so promising that I am willing to risk a little enamel and my sense of reality. :)
Do you know (or know of) many or any other fruitarians at all?
I have met a few at the Raw Spirit Festival in Sedona, Arizona and have some friends online. But no one locally that I can visit with on a regular basis. That's the hardest part of this diet, always eating alone. There is something very special about partaking of a meal with others. It's not quite the same to sit down with someone and you are each eating completely different foods from a completely different philosophy.
Can you tell us a little about your health before and after the dietry changes you've made? What about your weight? Any significant losses or gains?
Physically, I'll let the pictures speak to this one. Though I can add that I did lose about 35 pounds. What the pictures may not tell you are the changes that occurred on the inside. I was not a happy boy. I struggled with anger, perfectionism that always saw the flaws, lust that saw women as bodies that were play things for my enjoyment, and depression. These have all but disappeared.
In their place is the hope that the true love that is at my core will one day become evident and manifest in beautiful ways.
What do your parents think of you going fruitarian? What about the rest of your family? - your partner/children? Fellow musicians?
My dad thinks I'm a nut case. My mom is not too sure about it. I think she is waiting for the evidence to come in. The before and after still isn't convincing enough, she is worried a bit for my long term health. You know, we've been fed so much propaganda about needing meat and dairy that now when someone walks away from this nonsense, people are expecting their bodies to just go haywire.
It is sad for me that my two big passions in life, the reason I feel like I am here, is to produce the music that only I can make and to teach people about food, and yet the people who are closest to me are unmoved in their eating choices. But I am learning to let go of these ideas. It is not my business what they do. It is only my business to live the life I am called to live.
For my kids, I have decided to let them make their own choices. They can have Taco Bell, potato chips, broccoli, apples, whatever. I feel like my father in heaven gives me free will to do whatever I choose and so in the area of food I do the same. They choose good food sometimes. I want to just live this in front of them, maybe for years, in the hope that someday they will consider it in a way that will make something switch for them and they will walk away from food that ensnares.
What's your view on supplements? - Stuff like vitamin pills, spirulina or similar? Are you at all concerned about not getting enough calcium/protein/B12/whatevers??
It doesn't make sense to me that we need outlandish inventions to do exceedingly well. I am choosing to have faith that we are given all that we need without creating factories to produce powders. Isn't it beautiful that the remedies we seek are right in front of us?
Do you, or have you ever, suffered at all from cravings, or have you ever binge eaten? how do/did you deal with such times?
After becoming convinced that cooked food was poisonous I continued to eat it for 9 months. I was being "gentle" on myself. I tried to enter the pool from the shallow end, eating 60% -70% raw. But if I have one bite of pizza watch out. "Everyone just stand back and no-one will get hurt" cause I'm eating the whole thing! Do you know how much raw food it takes to balance out a large veggie pizza?
Then on July 4th 2006 I ate nearly two bags of Doritos. Now that's being "gentle." I got so frustrated at my lack of discipline that I said to myself "Look! Either do this thing or don't." So, July 5th I stopped eating anything cooked and haven't looked back.
Sometimes I will catch a waft of an old favorite and miss it, but I have no real desire to actually eat it. I just could never go back to the death culture. My before picture clearly shows a man headed toward death. By eating the best food I can eat, thinking the best thoughts and doing the best actions I am saying thank you in the biggest way I can for this glorious gift of life on earth.
Do you have a good variety of fruit for you to choose from where you live now?
Yes. If you think about it, we in the western world have access to way more variety than any other culture in history. I wonder though, if I would be happier with a constant supply of tropical fruit that had less variety but was fresher. Perhaps one day I will live in a sail boat in Asia! Mexico maybe?
Do you ever talk with others about fruitarianism? If so, what do you think is the most common question people might ask you about it?
I am a nonstop raw evangelist!! If I'm not careful, and I seldom am, I can actually annoy people. But I am becoming more tempered as I notice that it does no good to expect someone to take the step that I must take.
The most common question of course is "Where do you get your protein?"
How do you answer their questions?
With enthusiasm and exuberance! I want everyone to feel the joy and peace that I have tasted. I am so sad for them walking around in their oversized, pasty bodies, unable to feel the love that this life has.
Do you have a favourite fruit?
And avocados of course. And olives (sun dried Peruvian) And... okay, truth is I've never met a fruit I didn't love, although I did have a nasty experience once with an unripe persimmon.
Can you recall the first time you ate a mango?
No, but I remember the last time. It was yesterday! :) I had 3 champagne mangos that were perfectly ripe. I ate them one after the other and they each had their own beautiful personalities. I was thankful to them, their mother (the tree), the sun, the farmers, transporters, dealers, God. And there are 7 of them in my fridge for tomorrow.
You might be a fruitarian if you can eat a mango without any utensils, in the car, with dress clothes on and get out of the car with only sticky hands and a mango pit!
Do you enjoy travelling? Have any favourite places as far as fruit goes that you could recommend to us all?
I love traveling, especially road trips. I love Los Angeles because of all the raw food restaurants. I love to indulge but always am sorry after and have to just get out of that town to get back to my clean fruity ways. I am planning a trip to India and Thailand next summer with my daughter and hope to discover for myself the difference between frozen and fresh durian.
Here's a picture of me sungazing in Redondo beach just before overindulging at Terra Bella Raw Cafe
Where and how do you see yourself living and eating in 10 years from now?
Aaaahhhh.... now this is a question that is pregnant with so much hope. Dare I answer? I may sound a bit too crazy for anyone to take me seriously, but I want to live transparently and let go of the consequences. I can see a few steps ahead and believe that my next step will be to eat mono meals, then have mono days. I will progress to eating one meal every other day, then I will switch to one meal on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays. Then I will continue to eat a meal on Mondays and Fridays and do just juice on Wednesdays. Then eating only on Mondays and Fridays with no juice on Wednesdays.
That is all I have been shown for now as far as actual steps and I am not too sure of the timeline or sequence though I can say that this every other day thing just kinda sprang up. I knew it was coming sometime in the distant future when Anne first told me she had done it. She has been such an inspiration to me. But then when I read some of Jordan Ohara's blogs I just got excited and jumped in. That's how I do most things in my life. I don't seem to posses one moderate bone in my body and tend to go to the deep end of the pool and just jump. But then I just stick with it. It's been a month now.
Of course I would like at some point to prove to myself and the world that this worldly experience is not what we have asssumed. The trillions of cells in my body begin to applaud with tingling approval even now as I consider breatharianism.
The sailboat living sure sounds good too! :)
How do you feel if people tell you that you must be crazy, and that you can't possibly survive eating the way you do??
I wish I would find a good way to respond. I feel that my spirit is directing me to stop defending myself. A quiet smile sounds like the best response. I have seen such excellent examples of this but still cling to insecurities that make a fool out of me almost every time. I usually explain to them that my blood tests are normal and show them my flexed arm to prove I'm not withering away. I frantically sift through all the data in my brain and present every fact I can think of to prove that I have chosen well. Just a bunch of ego stuff that needs to go away.
Finally, is there anything you'ld like to add as words of encouragement to those that are aspiring toward fruitarianism?
If you try this for a month or two you may find something that changes you in very profound ways. If you don't like it you can go back to your old favorites. Feel free to contact me for support. My contact email is my first and last name with no space @gmail.com
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