Friday, December 05, 2008

Fruitarian Interview - 25 - Petr Cech - AKA Neo

25th in my series of interviews with fruitarians around the globe
Petr has a website here:

Hi Petr (neo),

Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions!
Could you please start off by telling us a little about yourself, how old you are, where you are living/grew up?

- I was born in Prague, Czech Republic, during the normalization period of communism (1974). An absurd, yet still less tragic period of the 40 years of communism in Czech country. From 1998 i live in Denmark.

Neo climbing a jackfruit tree

So what took you from the Czech Republic to Denmark? Was it a good move for you? - How did you end up living there?

- I think i was one of the first lucky ones (or offers? ;) getting married after meeting each other on the internet. It was in 1997 when i met my future wife on the internet and one year later i moved to be with her in Copenhagen.

It was a good move for me, like always when i follow my heart and maybe "the omens"?

On to diet.. 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 was eating a varied cooked omnivore diet, both mine two grandmas and my mother were experienced in cooking and could really make some good tasting dishes. They were also baking a lot, mostly cakes and sweet stuff. Usually i had a fried toast with garlic and jam or honey for breakfast, fruit or cakes during the day, lunch with a soup and a cooked dish and some canned fruit for dessert, dinner was the same, usually with some salad instead of canned fruit.

And compare that to now, what does a typical days food intake look like for you now?

- Fruit, fruit and more fruit. I eat usually my meals mono, sometimes smoothie and i eat occasionally celery stalks and lettuce leaves. It is great to just eat "desserts" all day long. When child i was also a big fan of tomato soup, today i can enjoy it everyday if i want to, without feeling sleepy and heavy.

When you say soup, I am presuming you are meaning uncooked, blended tomatoes right? Care to share your recipe?

Yes, i am talking about completely raw tomato soup. Very simple recipe, plenty of ripe dark red tomatoes and a ripe, sweet mango.

Petr with watermelon art carving

Since you clearly believe in just fruit, could you talk about your reasons for still occasionally including some greens or celery etc? Is it because of lack of choice, or cravings?

No, definitely not cravings ;)

I believe in the complete fruit diet, but only in optimal circumstances. I believe it can be done, if you are living near tropics and have a good quality, variety and abundance of fruit all the year round.

Nutritionally speaking, there is no known essential nutrient, what cannot be obtained from fruit. Even B12 is found in fruit, yet in small quantities- nanograms. For scientists obviously insignificant amounts to be mentioned. There is a good possibility of us, being on an optimal diet, to absorb B12 from the small intestines, where it is produced by bacteria. And, if we don't wash the fruits and eat with some dirt, there will be usually more than enough of B12. But still, it is hard to find anyone, who was living 100% on fresh fruit for decades. So i won't go and say to anyone, just eat fruit only and you will be fine. It would not be honest.

If one doesn't have access to good quality and variety of fruit and is not satisfied with it, i believe that incorporating greens to the diet is a good idea. There can also be some other reasons, having need for more nutrient density/mineral density, because of some pathologies, nutritional deficiencies.

My personal use of celery and lettuce has usually been as a great toothbrush after a fruit meal. Much easier for me to do it this way than having to remove food residues in between my teeth with a toothpick or a toothbrush. Especially when i am at work. I can also make some salad with lettuce or celery, it is fine with me.

While in tropics, though, i am on a 100% fruit.

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?? What sparked those changes?

- My progress to vegetarianism was very slow and even that i was not eating lot of meat i was still getting some on some occasions. One day i just knew that i will never eat meat again and i never did since. The path to vegan and then to raw food took just a few years. On raw food it was just natural for me to eat almost nothing else than fruit.

I became vegetarian because of the ethical aspect of it and just did what my heart told me. Veganism was a more knowledge based wide decision containing ethical, environmental and health reasons. Raw food was just something i did for health, because it was so logical and natural to eat this way. And fruit is of course the best food for humans, based on all aspects of life.

Petr eating durian

I'm lead to believe that when you first met Kveta a couple of years ago on the Czech Vitarian forum, that you weren't on a fruit diet, so when do you think it was that you realised that fruit was the ideal food, and how long have you been eating the way you do now??

- I was already on fruit diet for some years back then. I usually get 99% or more of my calories from fruit and the rest is celery and lettuce. I was eating monomeals of fruit for more than 5 years, in some periods only fruit, sometimes greens and very exceptionally some vegetables, nuts or seeds.

So you have complete faith in the 100% fruit diet right?

- Of course i have. Not only faith, i have a good reason to believe, that fruit is the best food for humans and i have a personal experience. I have read extensively Natural Hygiene, checked with the modern science and there is really not a good scientific reason, why to be afraid of a fruit diet. Fruit contains all the nutrition elements we need, all the essential aminoacids, all the essential fatty acids, all the vitamins, all the minerals. And not just that, it has them in a pretty good balance to each other, which is quite critical for their proper assimilation.

The only question science cannot give us yet, is the B12 vitamin. We know, that it is also found in fruit, but usually in very small quantities. We know, that there are bacteria living in the small intestine producing B12 and that it is also possible to absorb it. But we don't know if it also works in the real life. There are no large scale studies about people living on fruit for many years and their health.

Do you know any other fruitarians at all?

- Yes, i know not only fruitarians, but also people who love fruit, but don't live on fruit only. Some of my friends in Denmark eat fruit as a staple food of their diet. I know quite many lovely people from Kveta's forum and

petr outside durian shop

Can you tell us a little about your health before and after? What about your weight, any major changes?

- My health was declining on a standard diet, without me paying special attention to it. I was considered healthy by the standard terms, but had some minor troubles like: psoriasis and seborheic dermatitis, being sick 5-6 times a year with influenza or cold symptoms, when waking up during the night i felt sick in my stomach, sometimes having headaches etc. After getting on raw food and then mostly fruit based diet, i experienced a big improvement with all the mentioned problems.
My weight dropped 12 kg down the first year on the raw food diet and i was looking like a prisoner from a nazi-camp. Thanks to Dr. Douglas Graham i learned how to eat properly and enough of fruit to support my lifestyle. Today my weight is usually 4-6 kg less than for 10 years ago.

What do your parents think of you going fruitarian? What about the rest of your family? - your partner/children?

- I am very persistent in doing something i want to do, so nobody really tried to change my eating habits, even if they thought i was completely wrong. I hope i have had some influence on my parents and that they now eat more fruit and vegetables than before. My mother was eating raw food for some days with me, she is a big fan of durian. My wife is eating also mostly fruit and goes 100% when we are together in tropics. My two stepdaughters are both vegetarians by their own decision, love the "normal" fruit and hate durian ;)

Are you at all into supplements - Stuff like vitamin pills, spirulina or similar? Are you at all concerned about not getting enough calcium/protein/B12/whatevers??

- Before going on raw food, i was always having all kinds of supplement at home, teas and herbal formulas, homeopathic medicine etc. But after that i found out, that it doesn't really taste like food and i don't really want to eat something, which tastes awful.

Fruit is the most delicious food and the only food i love to eat.

I am not concerned, before there is a reason to be concerned. Usually all deficiencies can be reversed with ease if you not going completely ignorant about your body feelings and needs for long period of time.

I am concerned about not getting enough of fresh fruit, enough of fresh air, enough of sun, exercise, love and sleep. And with the knowledge i have i am glad, that i am more or less immune to the most serious and contagious disease in the world, the Fear.

If you read about deficiencies, it becomes more than clear, that the most deficiencies are because of some pathological states in the body or bad lifestyle habits like drinking, recreational drugs, overeating, junk food etc. It does not really depend on how much you eat of the specific nutrient, but how balanced is your diet and how is your lifestyle according to the Nature Laws.

Do you or have you suffered at all from cravings, or have you ever binge eaten? how do/did you deal with such times?

- Yes, i did have cravings and as a child in a period was eating like crazy. After eating raw food i had most problems with salt, it took me more than one year to get away with salt cravings. I believe the best thing to do is to stop doing it and never return to it. It really works like this ;) But then you must usually find some other good mental reward, or it can easily become too hard to bear. For me it was eating enough of a great fruit and smoothies.

Frozen Durian helped a lot! It is much easier to avoid cravings when you feel full and satisfied.

petr holding a jackfruit

Do you have a good variety of fruit for you to choose from where you live now?

- Yes, Denmark is a fruit-friendly country, i think. It is possible to get some good fruit, all the year round, local or imported. But it could be better and a bit cheaper.

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?

Yeah, i tell people that i eat only fruit, if they ask. But sometimes it is not necessary, they can easily figure it for themselves- you attract some attention, when you eat 30 figs or 15 bananas for lunch in cafeteria.

The most common question is of course- "And where do you get your protein?"

How do you answer that question?

- I get my protein from fruits, as easily as i get all the other thousands of nutrients.

Do you have a favourite fruit?

- Fresh picked and ripe, good-tasting fruit is always my favourite.

But if i had to pick one, it would be durian. It is a fantastic fruit and i am totally in awe and euphoria every time i see it, touch it, smell it and taste it.

Can you find durian easily enough in Denmark?

- Not easily, but probably enough during the main season in Thailand.

I can only get mon thong, fresh or frozen and quite expensive. But... some durian is always better than no durian ;)

Can you recall the first time you tried one?

First time it was just a frozen piece from a plastic box. My wife has bought it in a chinese shop and there was no way to know, if this is really that famous durian. All the signs on the box were in thai language ;)

I hesitated a bit and asked her, if she is really, really sure, that this is durian. And i was still not convinced after trying it, that this is something good. But after giving it another chance, i just fell in love with it.

Petr holding one durian, and one papaya

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

- I would like to spent most of the winter in tropics and i hope i can eat 100% organic fruit, if not directly from own garden.

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 just smile, knowing that they don't have the proper knowledge nor experience to give me some nutritional/health advice. And usually they mean it good, they are sometimes truly worried about ones health, if they see some extremes. And fruitarian diet is an extreme diet by the normal means.

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

- Yes. Just go for it. It is definitely worth it, even if you now don't believe that you can do it, don't give up, instead give it more time. Eat as much fresh, totally ripe, organic and mono as possible. If you need to boost your faith in fruit, go to tropics and indulge in the most delicious fruits.

With every single year on this diet you will become more in love with fruit than ever before. After you learn how to choose the best fruits and eat them on top of ripeness, you will experience many magic moments. God bless fruit, you shall taste the fruit and fruit shall set you free. Amen :o)

Thanks Petr (AKA Neo)


Anonymous said...

Great to see more northeners on fruit.
One day I will get there myself.

Is the fruit sortiment better in Denmark than Norway?
I miss access to certain tropical (and organic) fruits here, like sapote, durian, pawpaw that doesn't taste like vomit, cherimoya, kiwano, etc.

Anne said...

Lovely interview Neo.
great pictures too, you look very vibrant and the fruit looks delish.
Thanks for sharing your story; I really enjoyed reading it.
Thanks also Mango for the interview.
Love and peace,
from Anne XX.

Nelson Beads said...

What's that gargantuan fruit he's holding the second-to-last picture? I want to bite it!

NutsForFruit said...

Great interview. Simple and to the point, I think :)