Sunday, August 17, 2008

Fruitarian Interview - 22 - Peggy Critchlow

22nd interview with fruitarians I know of around the globe..
Hi Peggy! -

Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions!

Peggy, I see from your blog ( that you are 47 and living in Utah. - How long have you been living there?

I opened that blog so I could add notes to your blog. I am usually found at www.myspace/peggycritchlow and when I have time. I am gradually adding links to all supportive Fruitarian and raw vegan sites I can find. I know there are many more Fruitarian links and will probably weed out the raw vegan sites after awhile. I have been living in Utah since 1996, except for a year in 2005 in Arizona and Oregon. Before that, I have lived in California, Illinois and Ohio.

So, I am planning to do more on my blog at rawcountry’s sanctuary but I work so I’ll have to do it when I get the time I do spend a lot of time at with Anne and the other wonderful assortment of friends I have made there.

So how long have you known about fruitarianism, and how did you hear of it?

I first heard about Fruitarianism from a friend in Cedar City, Utah when I lived there in 1996. I thought it was kind of odd at that time and couldn’t understand why she didn’t want to join my family for dinner. Now I don’t think it’s odd, I just wish I hadn’t been so ignorant. I started really studying, watching other Fruitarians and experimenting with eating fruit in 2001. I watched your website quite a bit and at that time, there weren’t so many Fruitarians out there as far as I knew. Later, I began to find that their were other fruitarians all over the world.

So I'm guessing you weren't completely convinced that a fruit diet was such a good idea to begin with? When do you think you first started to realize that fruitarianism perhaps wasn't such a crazy idea afterall

Of course, I didn’t think you could be healthy on just fruit when I first heard about it. I think I’ve always been rather open to other views but for myself, I grew up on beef and potatoes in my early years. We lived on a small ranch in Arizona and we didn’t question what was for dinner.. I didn’t learn until much later in my late 30’s that what I was eating was actually making me sick. I realized that I needed a much more “raw vegan”/vegetarian lifestyle in the early 2000’s. Then I started really reading and listening to other Fruitarians and trying to understand about it. I liked the concept but wasn’t really ready to do it. A part of my problem was that I’ve had some emotional issues in my life that kept me from taking care of myself. I only very recently decided that there is NO alternative to eating fruit if I want to take the best care of my body, mind and spirit.

What was your diet like while growing up?

As I said, I grew up on meat, potatoes, corn, vegetables and bread. The standard American diet. I really enjoyed vegetables but they were mainly cooked. I do remember that we had five citrus trees in our front yard and during the citrus season, I gorged myself on oranges, grapefruit, tangelos, and some lemons and limes. I think now that that is actually the reason that I wasn’t as sick during my teenage years as later when I only ate meat and standard cooked foods. I realize now that simply excluding fruit was my body’s biggest reason for being sick and for the deterioration of my physical body.

Can you tell us a little more about your health when you were eating the way you were, and how it has changed since moving toward an all fruit diet?

My health in the past years has been very bad. I developed what they now call Fibromyalgia. That is a word for degeneration of the nervous system, muscular system (hardening of the tissues, mucous buildup and soreness in the muscles and tendons), problems with brain function, retina degeneration, lack of focus, problems with digestion and making use of nutrients and so a very serious problem with sleep deprivation even though I might get more than what is normal for most people. I became pre-diabetic (and then, diabetic) and had other health issues, not to mention a big problem with anxiety and stress. During the period of time in the past and now that I’ve become a full-fledged Fruitarian, my health has been and is becoming better every day. I have lost quite a bit of weight and continue to lose every day. I continue to gain more strength and more energy. My skin is becoming clear. My nails are less ridged and cracked, my skin is less dry and the eczema is clearing. My stomach is less sensitive. Before, it was aggravated and burning all the time. I had colitis (constipation and spasms), but now that has all cleared. I feel more spiritually aware, mentally focused and much more physically well. I know that the best is yet to come. When I ate only fruit for several weeks a few years ago, I experienced a “high” feeling of life and energy and a complete lack of sleep deprivation. Why I ever went back to eating bad choices of food was more out of lack of respect and love for myself than the fact that I knew it was the best food for me and everyone. I could go on and on about the wonderful benefits I have experienced but I know that I have only begun to experience the full impact of “life” that will be mine by continuing this regime of eating Fruitarian.

Wow, what a story! I see you are married, what does hubby think of your choice of food, and is he supportive or even doing it with you? What about children, do you have any, and if so, what do they make of mums new food outlook?

My husband is very supportive although he does not want to eat this way. He is content to eat the standard American diet for now. He does eat salads more than he used to. I think sometimes he knows that what I am doing is the best way to eat. His family eats SAD, he grew up the same way I did. It’s a very big pull for most western people. Society tends to dictate a lot of our habits and many people who are vegans/vegetarians and especially those who are to the far side of strict eating like Fruitarians take a lot of “heat” for their beliefs. It takes a very strong person to ignore the ignorance of those who are so mean. My husband tells me that he knows I am doing what is best for my body and he does what he can to help me stick to that. My kids don’t have any problem with what I eat.

How about your parents/are they still alive, what do they think of you going fruitarian?

My parents don’t really know how I eat. My adopted father passed away two years ago (which is one reason why I went off the fruitarian diet for a while due to dealing with emotional issues). My adopted mom doesn’t believe in slender healthy bodies since she was raised in a culture where babies should be very plump and meat and potatoes were the daily fare for dinner. I don’t think she had a great idea of health growing up but then, the Depression era was hard on most American families. My natural parents were poor and mentally ill. They didn’t know anything about proper health, and I know that they didn’t know anything about eating fruits and vegetables. My natural father knows that I work on eating healthy but hasn’t made any comments about it.

Peggy, I see you feel you are not fully there yet, but nevertheless strongly committed to getting there, what kind of things are you currently eating that you want to leave out from your diet and why? - how does eating them make you feel?

At this time, , I’m eating all types of fruit and sometimes once in awhile, chips with salsa. That’s a leftover from my love of Mexican food. I had a very difficult time getting away from Pepsi but once my “doctor” told me I was diabetic, I went all the way to water. I still have to prepare food for my family, who are all omnivore. It makes it difficult some days, especially since my sense of smell is much stronger and my hate of eating animals has grown proportionately with eating fruit.

Do you take any supplements or spirulina or stuff like that? Are you at all concerned about not getting enough calcium/protein/B12/whatevers??

Ok, supplements? Well, after reading for years about supplements, I have learned that it is not necessary to take supplements, B12, etc. if you are 100% fruitarian. Eating a 100% Fruitarian diet heals the body, maintains health in a way that nothing else will. There is no need for supplementation.

Do you suffer from cravings, or have you ever binge eaten? how do you deal with cravings?

Yes, I have cravings for Mexican food all the time which is why I make salsa.

Could you tell us what a typical day looks like foodwise? And for how long now, have you been eating this way?

I eat whatever fruit I feel like eating and for the most part right now, what is available to me. During the winter season, in Utah, that’s not the best selection. I eat oranges, tangelos, tangerines, mangos, pineapple, papaya, lots of bananas, apples (I like the golden-delicious apples), berries, avocados, melons when I can get them, especially cantaloupe, pears, peaches, nectarines, kiwi, everything I can get!. I try to eat mono-fruit which is about 3-4 pieces of fruit but usually I can only eat 2-3, depending on what it is. Sometimes, I’ll eat a mixed fruit salad but have found I can’t tolerate more than 2-3 types of fruit in the fruit salad. I have found though that I like to have at least one smoothie a day with 2 or 3 different fruits. It makes my craving for something creamy happy. When I eat “salsa”, it usually consists of tomatoes, mango, maybe a little red onion, cilantro and finely diced pepper. I know onion and pepper are not good for my stomach but for now, it helps me get past the cravings. I think of it as my transition food. I eat about every 4-5 hours or as I get hungry. I don’t really have a time table now except at work.

Does Utah have a good variety of fruit for you to choose from?

Utah isn’t the best place to get organic, nutrient dense fruit most of the year. They do have some great stone fruits like nectarines, peaches and also pears and apples. I like the late summer when I can get to the farmer’s markets but there just isn’t a great selection like in Miami, Hawaii and California where most raw vegans hang out. Most of my produce comes from the stores in my area. They aren’t optimal but it’s better than the alternative. I have been looking into a fruit club and online fruit sources but haven’t had much luck so far. I am hoping to find a place out of Florida that would be willing to ship for a lower price if I get a weekly or bi-weekly order. That is my goal.

Have you ever met anyone (not online) who eats just fruit?

I have only “met” one other person in real life in Cedar City, Utah back in 1996. From what I remember, she was healthy and slender. She had children and was pretty quiet and a good friend.

How long do you picture it taking before you are at you goal of 100% fruit? Do you have set time frame plans for getting there?

Pretty much, I’m working on 100% except the chips which will go here in a very short time. Other than that, I drink pure water. Right now, I have just decided that my health is more important that the lust for cooked food. Many years ago, I was an alcoholic. One day, I quit. I knew I was killing myself. I didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about how long it would take; I just knew I had to do it. Each minute, each day. Pretty soon, I was alright. Then I quit smoking. Minute by minute, day by day. I think that works for me.I do know that I have to make sure I keep a good supply and variety of fruit available so I don’t have a reason not to eat right. I make frequent trips into pleasurable forays so I can choose something I really like. It seems to work for me. Also, keeping in touch with other Fruitarians such as on Kveta’s, Living Nutrition and IHeartFruit keeps me in touch with my goals.

Do you normally tell people how you eat? If so, what do you think is the most common question people ask you about your diet?

I only tell people I have contact with most everyday. No one else really understands. People get really uncomfortable talking about something they can’t comprehend. When someone asks me, I just tell them this is the diet that makes me feel better. I do come across some that ask about protein and B12. When someone wants to argue with me, I simply remind them that in this day and age, everyone has different ideas about nutrition and that by the way, how many people are obese, diseased and dying? Obviously, the excess protein is killing them, right? I should also mention here that in Fibromyalgia, which is the illness that has plagued my body in the past years, protein is one element that is not properly digested or utilized by the body. It is true in most cases that the body doesn’t need high doses of protein but in my case, it causes more damage. Eating extra vitamin C on the other hand, actually enhances my body’s ability to make Collagen and Prolein which I have been deficient in for many years. This is the reason that my skin and muscles are now healing. Awesome for me!

Truly awesome!! Do you have a favorite fruit?

Oh, I could go on here. I love berries and mangos. I can’t wait to try more tropical fruits such as mammies, sapotes, jackfruit, anything and everything. I want to try everything. However, I have heard about black sapotes (or chocolate fruit) and just can’t wait!

Can you recall the first time you ever tried any partiular fruit?

Mangos? I can’t really remember where…I think it was Hawaii. I found my real love of fruit in Hawaii where I could eat as much as I wanted. I really got sick the first week. But back to how it was to first eat mango? What a tasty, sweet, moisturizing, pleasant, sensual treat.

Where and how do you see yourself living and eating in 10 years from now?

100% Fruitarian, fruit from all over the world, what else? I don’t know where I will be. Life tends to take me where I least expect it.

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??

What’s new? I’ve always been unique. As far as eating, I care how other people feel, but it’s not enough to make me change how I eat because it makes me feel fantastic! And, no one has a right to judge another person but what he or she eats or lives. We are all individual and our needs are individual. I also don’t believe that the diverse ways a Fruitarian eats should be subject to criticism. We have different levels of experience, resources, ideas, backgrounds, feelings, and needs. Some are militant, some ethical, some healthy minded, etc. Whatever our reason for eating fruit (and anything else like nuts, seeds, leafy greens or whatever), we should be keeping in mind that there aren’t so many of us on this Earth that we don’t need to stick together to support and nurture each other’s love of life and health because we are all headed in the same direction for the main part. Hey, we could all still be running down our dinner…..(yuk)!!!!

Peggy Critchlow Before FruitarianPeggy, do you have any photos you'ld like included with the interview, maybe some before and after fruitarian pictures?

I only have this older picture, one with cooked food in 2003. I can promise that I will get you a post fruitarian picture as soon as I have been fruitarian at least 6 months.

Thanks, I look forward to seeing that!! just send me one when you have it, and I'll include it here..

Finally, is there anything you'd like to add as words of encouragement to those that are aspiring toward Fruitarianism?

Don’t give up. Sometimes it takes years of repeated effort, trials and seemingly failed attempts (look at me!). Even if you go a way and come back to it, it’s not a failure. Who was it that invented the light bulb? Thomas Edison? It took him very many tries to get it right; he didn’t fail, he just found that many ways that weren’t the right way to make a light bulb. Same thing with eating Fruitarian. Read, share experiences with each other, learn, teach, share new types of fruit with others… maybe they don’t know about fruit. Simply adding fruit to someone’s diet will automatically improve their health, even if they don’t eat it all the time. Remember that being a Fruitarian involves love; love yourself, love others, love the sweet animals on this Earth (which is something that becomes more natural day by day as you become a Fruitarian) and love the Earth. Love and respect the fruit that nurtures and provides you with wonderful blessings… and also, thank the Creator who provided this awesome gift.

Mango, thank you for providing me with the opportunity to speak about my experience (and being patient in waiting for my response!). I hope it is satisfactory and helps you and others to understand about my experiences. Thanks for being a great source of inspiration to me all these years. Have an awesome, happy day. Hugs, Peggy

Thanks Peggy!

Hugs back to you!

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Anonymous said...

Such an inspirational interview. Thank you both for doing this :)

Anonymous said...

Even though I'm in a rush...

I've gotta say, this sure is inspiring.

Makes me wonder what will happen to me if I eat foods that make me thirsty.

Well, no one give up, alright? Concentrating on the path, no matter how much we "screw up," is important.

Aye, I got some "thinking" to do.

Cheers to everyone,

Wo Dao

Anne said...

What a Beautiful interview Peggy.
Your words just come across with such strength and honesty.
I would love to meet up with you outside of cyberspace one day.
Your healing experiences are truly inspirational.
Much love to you.
And thank you Mango for posting this great interview.
Love and peace,
from Anne XX.

Anonymous said...

Nice to also read your words here Peggy, enjoyed it.


Anonymous said...

Great interview, Peggy!
You are beautiful. :D

Harmony <3

The Annie Within said...

Thanks once again for a great interview Mango! Where do you find all these 'fruity' people! How ever you do it, I'm so glad you do. It's great to read others experiences.

Peggy, you are an inspiration to us all. Thanks for sharing.