Eloise Nelson has a PhD in Holistic Nutrition. Her certifications, years of experience and specialties related to health, fitness, lifestyle and nutrition are practically endless. When a family member was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, Eloise changed her diet to almost 100% raw and live foods. The results? She looks 25 years younger than she is and has the energy of a teenager.
Here is a bit of her story.
You have a PhD in Holistic Nutrition. Why is it that with all of this training and education you decided a raw food diet was the optimal diet for you?
I had a family member that was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and I had a grandfather that had it as well. I did some research and what I found was that when the body gets into a more acidic state then we are much more prone to diseases. All of the bone degeneration diseases, heart disease, cancer and almost every disease known occur when the body is in an acidic state. When you check pH of someone who has a disease, they are very acidic. It is not that acid causing foods are bad; we actually need about 20% of our diet to be from acid type food. The problem is most of the food you eat, unless you are predominantly eating a raw diet, are causing a lot of excessive acids in the body. Processed foods, pasteurized dairy products, meat, fish – all of those are acid producing. Over a period of time, you end up using all of your alkalizing minerals to neutralize all of this excess acidic waste. You get yourself into more of a deficit of alkalinity with excess acidity and that is when you end up with a lot of degenerative diseases and inflation.
How were you experiencing issues with eating more of the acid causing foods?
I noticed when I ate cooked grains my joints would get sore. But, when I ate more of an unprocessed diet with more live foods that were more alkalizing instead of acidic and contained more enzymes, vitamins and minerals I didn’t have any joint problems at all. My body felt extremely good. I feel like I am a teenager. I am motivated by how I feel when I eat a live, high energy diet.
What do you mean by live food?
Food that has not by cooked over 119 degrees [Fahrenheit] or food that has been sprouted.
What percentage of nutritional value remains in cooked food?
There are three different kinds of enzymes: food enzymes which come in the actual food, digestive enzymes which are predominantly made by the pancreas and metabolic enzymes that clean and heal the body. What happens is when digestive enzymes are destroyed in foods that have been over cooked or processed then the body has to make these digestive enzymes to break down the food and assimilate the nutrients. It creates a lot of work for the body to constantly make digestive enzymes. What happens when the body is so focused on digesting food is it does not have time to make the metabolic enzymes which do all of the healing and repairing of tissue. When you take the burden of making digestive enzymes off the body it is much more capable of making the metabolic enzymes your body needs to cleanse and repair itself.
Could you give an example of what you ate yesterday for breakfast, lunch and dinner?
For breakfast I had my green detox smoothie which I have every single day. Then I had low temperature dried walnuts, pecans and sunflower seeds with Inca berries for a snack. For lunch I had a mixed green salad, crackers I made in my dehydrator and a raw hummus pate I made from zucchini, soaked cashews, raw tahini and lime juice. For dinner I had another large salad with sprouted wild rice and veggies.
What does sprouted mean?
You soak the seeds and then allow them to sprout over two or three day period.
What is the value of sprouting? What kinds of seeds should you do this with?
When you sprout a nut, seed or grain you are removing toxic enzyme inhibitors which are difficult to digest and prevent nutrient assimilation. Additionally, when you sprout the nutrients become more bio-available. Proteins are converted into amino acids, carbohydrates are converted into simple sugars and fats convert into essential fatty acids. Other nutrients including enzymes are enhanced too. I soak all of my seeds and nuts before eating them and sprout many of them.
I think people think about raw food they think everything you eat is cold, but that is not necessarily the truth, correct?
No, with my 14-day Gourmet Cleanse and Rejuvenation Program you use a lot of different vegetables and wild rice, things can be lightly steamed and most of the raw soups can be warmed. There is actually a lot of warm food you can have.
What is the benefit of cleansing?
I really believe we should be cleansing every day. We are exposed to billions of pounds of chemicals every year that are dumped into our environment. These chemicals are in our food, our air, our water. The liver has to have certain nutrients in order to eliminate these chemicals. The body is smart. A lot of the toxins get stored in fat cells. It wants to absorb toxins in our fat tissues to keep them away from our vital organs. I believe we should enjoy our food, it should be really delicious, but at the same time we should supply our body with a lot of nutrients that it needs so it can detoxify on a daily basis.
When should somebody do a cleanse such as your 14-Day Gourmet Cleanse?
I think spring is the optimal time although summer and fall are really good times as well because it is warm outside and the body just naturally wants to eat a lighter diet, but any time is a good time to do it. My goal is to give people the experience of learning new ways to prepare food, look at their overall diet, incorporate more live food into their diet and to understand it can be really easy and really delicious to eat raw foods. I don’t believe everyone has to be on a 100% raw food diet or that everyone has to be a vegetarian. I think there are as many diets on this planet as there are people and everyone needs to take that journey to see what is best for them. I really try to guide people based on what their goals are.
Have you ever seen anyone overcome any serious or chronic disease via eating a raw food diet?
Yes, I have. I have seen a lot of people drop and balance cholesterol levels. I have worked with people who have had cancer. Metabolic syndrome, arthritis, bone degeneration and liver disease have all been cured through a raw food diet.
One of the things I remember about being on a raw food cleanse is I was looking forward to Starbucks and pizza, but when it was over I did not have any cravings. Why was that?
Because there are no starches, sugars or processed foods in the raw diet and those are the kinds of foods that are highly addictive. One of the things I have noticed is about the third day into my 14-Day Raw Food Cleanse people do not have any cravings. The taste buds really just start to adapt to the food you are eating and the blood sugar levels stabilizes and you have a lot of energy and the cravings disappear.
Do you have any advice that would like to incorporate more raw food in their diet?
I always tell people to start with my green detox smoothie. It is one of those things that is very easy to do. I recommended people make a 32oz container of smoothie and then they can have half for breakfast and the other half for a mid-morning snack. With this smoothie you are getting 32 grams of protein. It is very rich in enzymes and vitamins. It stabilizes your blood sugar. It has slow burning carbohydrates in it. It gives you a foundation for the rest of the day and it makes you want to eat healthy for the rest of the day.
What about things you recommend people should definitely get out of their diet?
People should definitely get rid of all chemical taste enhancers which you find in all diet drinks. They should also stay away from high fructose corn sweetener and basically all processed food. I always say do your shopping on the outer edges of the grocery store and do the best you can.
On your website you talk about the relationship between sex, pregnancy and enzymes.
It comes back to enzymes. If your body does not have the energy to make metabolic enzymes you are not going to have the energy for sex. It will be difficult to get pregnant. It will be difficult to detoxify the body. I have had several women who have had difficulties getting pregnant and they have come and done the cleanse and shortly thereafter they get pregnant because they have gotten the toxins out. They have their nutrient levels up and they actually have the energy to conceive.
Do you have any idea how your health compares to other women your age that are not on a raw
I work out every day and I work out with a lot of women who are 30 year olds and I have higher energy levels than most of them. I just have so much energy. Every day I get up somewhere around 4:30 or 5 am and I just feel fantastic every day. I do not have any joint problems. I went through menopause with no issues. I sleep really well. People think I am in my 30s. I have great muscle tone which I have been able to maintain. I see a lot of women my age that have a lot of fat around the middle stomach area which also goes deeper and surrounds vital organs. This type of fat predisposes you to diabetes and compromises liver function. A lot of women who go through menopause gain weight and I have not had any issues with that.
How do you help other people with their diets?
I offer one on one consultations, workshops, and food preparation.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Sleep is really important. I always encourage all of my clients to get to bed before 11 because that is when the liver starts cleaning the blood. Every hour you get to bed before 11 is like a two for one. I like to be in bed around 9:30. I think it is important to go to bed every night and get up at the same time every day. Try to eat your meals and snacks at about the same time every day. When you do that it really helps to stabilize your body and your hormones. It is just a lot easier for your body to function if you have a stable healthy lifestyle pattern.
Learn more about Eloise at: www.thepowerofchow.com.