First up is a gentleman by the name of Aajonus Vonderplanitz and he is a well-known, raw primal nutrition expert. He’s got a website WeWant2Live.com and is the author of a book called “We Want to Live: The Primal Diet” and man, oh man this guy has quite the interesting story about his own health and how it was turned around thanks to a raw, Primal Diet which we’ll hear about today. Now the audio is a little funky because we were doing the interview over Skype, he was in the jungles of the Philippines and I gotta tell you, the whole time we were recording it, about every 5 to 10 minutes we started getting cut off so I’d have to call him back. So anyway, we’ve pieced it together as best as we could. I do hope that doesn’t deter you from the message of what Aajonus has to share because it’s truly remarkable.
Interview by Jimmy Moore on the Livin' La Vida Low Carb show:
Today we have someone here with us who knows all about what it’s like to be a sick and accident-prone kid. His name is Aajonus Vonderplanitz. He is here today to talk about two books that he has written. The first one is called “We Want to Live: The Primal Diet” and then he’s got another book “The Recipe for Living Without Disease”. The website is WeWant2Live.com and he’s got a very interesting story to share with us that I can’t wait for you to hear. Aajonus, welcome to the show.
AV Thank you Jimmy. Thank you for having me.
JM Well, tell us a little bit more about your story - who you are, where you came from and why you got so interested in the subject of health.
AV Well, it wasn’t a choice. I was a very sickly child. I developed autism and learning disorders from a tetanus shot that I got at 18 months old and that was a big block in my entire life. I was sick and bedridden about 3 months yearly. I received my third polio injection that gave me juvenile diabetes and angina, so I had about 300 heart attacks between the age of 15½ and 22, until I changed my diet and I was diagnosed with stomach ulcer and cancer at 19. The treatments for that were radiation that gave me blood and bone cancer and then the tumor?? (6:08) gave me lymphoma, so it was a trying time for me. So it wasn’t a choice; it was survival - to learn everything I could about nutrition. A volunteer at the hospice introduced me to raw foods - raw dairy and raw carrot juice and that seemed to make a big improvement, in fact it turned off my autism within 10 days of beginning that diet. So, for the first time I could read, so the first time I read a book I was 28 years old and from there on I was infatuated with the nutritional field of health and I got a (7:00??) of me for 3½ years and then because he had a weight problem, he was always a bit fat-phobic and that seemed to impede my progress because the more fat I ate and the fatter I got, the healthier I became. So I went off in my own direction; I went off into raw food fruitarianism for 6½ years and that nearly destroyed me. And you know, I had taken my journeys and I am where I am now. I’m on a raw diet, completely raw but it’s a raw primal diet, which means that I eat basically raw meats and raw dairy, a little bit of fruit and a little bit of vegetable juice.
JM So, what kept you going? You went through so many things in your teenage years and early 20s that most people wouldn’t deal with in a lifetime. What was it that kept you going? Most people would become very despondent and give up.
AV Well, I was suicidal every day - it I died, I would have been very happy…. however, as long as I’m alive I can’t turn off my brain, or this need to be better. If I were alive I was always going to go in the direction of ‘better’ because I’d seen a lot of people live as invalids throughout their lives and I did not want to live like that. So the choice of maybe remaining sickly all my life or getting better. Dying would have been ok. Dying would have been a release - but it didn’t happen.
JM Everything that you described, from the cancer to just everything… that would just devastate most people. OK God, what did I do wrong? Why am I being struck with all these sicknesses? Okay, are you trying to send me a message? It would conjure up so many discouraging thoughts I can’t imagine what you had to go through. But the good news is this story has a happy ending and today you are very healthy thanks to your Primal Diet.
JM Now I’ve gotta ask you… what led you to a primal way? I know you said this friend had a fear of fats, but what got you over that? Was it just the fact that you had all these incredible things you had to overcome that didn’t really seem so bad?
AV Well, the raw fats - every time I ate them he could tell that I was gaining a lot of weight, I’d eat a lot of raw butter, raw cream and he could see me gaining a lot of weight and he would chastise me for it that I was doing too much, too frequently.
JM You probably needed to gain some weight at that point, I would think.
AV I needed a lot of fat. Fat binds to poisons in the body. Fat protects you. People who are fat, even if it’s unhealthy fat, are still more protected than people who are thin. Poisons store in fat. If the body doesn’t have fat, those poisons go into the cells and damage cells. When I got onto The Primal Diet finally, I’d been on a fruitarian diet for 6½ years, my multiple myeloma - my cancer of the blood - started resurging and I was in a lot of pain. If the temperature dropped below 50 degrees I was aching in every joint in my body, every bone in my body and I decided to fast myself to death. I chose an old Indian burial ground in the sunken desert in California, to fast and some coyotes lived up in the foothills where I planted myself, and they’d come down every night and howl and bark, and sound like crazy people. It went on for about 10 days and they befriended me and they killed a jack rabbit and brought it to me. And this thought went through my head that when I was a child and autistic I didn’t understand what was being said but my uncle was telling his sons and my brothers who were going rabbit hunting that when they killed a rabbit, they needed to cook it until it was brown inside and out; they needed to cook it thoroughly because there’s a microbe in wild rabbits that could take over your intestines and kill you painfully in 48 hours, so when these coyotes offered me this wild rabbit, that dialogue went though my head and I thought, “Oh, that’s what he was saying”. So these coyotes want to help me die quickly because fasting could take 45, 60 days. So I began eating the rabbit. It was the first meat I had eaten in 6½ years and it was difficult. I vomited the first few bites. You know, it was raw rabbit - like the Easter Bunny. Another reason I became vegetarian was because I loved animals. So, here I am eating this rabbit and finally I just psyched myself out. It took 5 minutes and I said OK, this is what I have to do. I’ll treat it like the awful vegetables my mother made me eat all those years. Try to get it down and keep from vomiting.
So the more bites I had of this rabbit the better it tasted, so I went through about 3½ lbs of this 7lb jack rabbit and the coyotes finished the rest, and they went on their way and I went back to my campsite to die and I knew I was dying because I felt good as I was walking back. I only felt that way on three near-death experiences, two on the operating table where I died and they revived me. When I left the body there was no pain and that’s what I felt like that after eating that rabbit. I felt like my body was leaving all of that pain and suffering. So I thought I was dying, and I went into my sleeping bag. I woke the next morning still in my sleeping bag, not dead and still not feeling pain. The cold of the night didn’t bother me as much as it normally did. Normally I had to wait 2 hours with the sun beating down on the sleeping bag before I could get out of the sleeping bag. That morning after eating the rabbit I was out in 45 minutes. Baked in the sun naked for 10 minutes and was up and functional. So that was quite an improvement. So I waited two more days and no diarrhea, no vomit, no illness, just felt more energy. In fact, I felt better than I had in my entire life and I was 29 years old at this time. After three days, no problems and still felt energy, I said - you know, all of my travels - I had been on a bicycle for three years traveling with Indian tribes from Yukatan all the way up to Alaska - the Inuit - and they all told me to eat raw meat and I just wouldn’t go there. I was full raw in everything else but not with meat. When they had done the stomach surgery on me they had committed a vagotomy, which means they had severed the vagus nerve to my stomach, so I’d never again secrete hydrochloric acid. So I was very afraid of eating meat - you know, parasites and stuff like that could take over my body. Then I realized it was a fallacy and I’d have another 13 years of meat before I realized…… well let me go and find out from the studies that they did that people who eat raw meat get disease. Not one. Not one test anywhere, no evidence anywhere. Just postulated nonsense. Theorized nonsense. So I’ve been eating raw meat now since September 1976 without ever having a problem with it, without ever having a parasite.
JM Just the thought of raw meat though, sometimes in people’s minds….. It’s like, really? You’re eating raw meat? Tell us why the raw part of it is so important? What’s wrong with the cooking process?
AV Well, in cooking you destroy and cauterise nutrients. You alter them and create 32 known toxins that I address in my recipe book, in the last 50 pages. That has all the science in it. I put all the science after I put all the good information. Most people don’t need the science. Those who are intellectually inclined need the science. I put that in my second book at the end - for them. You know, the results is what I’m after. So in that book I identify all the toxins that are formed from cooking and there are a tremendous amount. Thirty-two have been addressed and there are all kinds of other compounds - by-products of those toxins that form other toxins. So there are a myriad of toxins that are formed from cooking. You cauterize phosphorous at 98°F, you cauterize calcium at 121°F, so when you pasteurize dairy at a minimum of 141°F for 15 seconds you destroy half of the calcium utilization.
JM Which is why they need to fortify it.
AV When you cook meat you alter many things in it. You alter many things in any food when you cook it.
JM So tell us about the time that you returned to Los Angeles to start researching and experimenting, and you actually went around and did presentations and seminars and classes on what you’d discovered. Tell us about that period.
AV Well that was the period following the coyote incident and the raw rabbit. After those three days when I realized raw meat was the answer just as all the Indian tribes had told me - four Indian tribes, the Yaqui in northern California, the Old Mayans in the Yucatan, the Sioux Indians in the (??@18:45) Dakotas and the Inuit in Alaska - they all told me raw meat and I thought they were trying to kill a white man. From hereafter eating the raw rabbit and discovering that raw meat was the answer, I rode my bicycle around, made a deal with three different farms to milk the goats, cows, shovel manure or whatever I could exchange for raw rabbit, raw chicken, raw eggs, dairy, all that raw stuff I could. I was down to 96 lbs and I went up to 150 lbs in 2½ months. And I was stronger than I have ever been. So I went back to Los Angeles to spread the word and everybody said “Are you nuts? ”. You’re going to get a brain fluke and you’ll be an idiot. And I said well, I’ve been there and done that. This raw meat thing is doing good for me, you know. I’m going to continue it, ‘til someone proves me differently, until my body proves me differently - and it didn’t. So I’ve been eating raw since September 1976.
JM Wow, wow, wow! So during that 6½ year period when you basically had to heal yourself from that whole experience with the mushrooms, you continued to research and continued to do experiments with food and counselling other people which led you to your book “We Want to Live”. Tell us about why you wrote that book and the extraordinary tale of how you helped many people recover from diseases just by using these common-sense approaches that you’d learned yourself.
AV Well, just by applying them to other people and their situations I could…. because I was autistic I had a different sense of the body. I wasn’t mis-educated about the system because I didn’t understand what they were saying in the first place. I just followed whatever the doctors did. Then when I got my conciousness working, when I was 22 years old, then everything changed. I didn’t accept anything. When you’re an autistic child you can read people’s truthfulness. Ninety-five percent of everything that comes out of an adult’s mouth is a lie. Period. Especially if it’s a parent talking to a child. Even children, after they’ve reached the age of 6, it incredibly declines. The lies are innumerable. So I knew early in my life, never take anyone’s advice at face value. You do what really works, what empirical evidence shows you is reality. So when things work I utilize them. And then after 28 years of experimentation I felt it was time to write a book. I’m not one of those who jumps into anything, just talking about anything. Whenever I suggest advice - well this and this worked for that, maybe it’ll work for this. After 28 years of doing that, it came to the point where I could say “Do this and do this and that will happen.” So that’s when I wrote the book. When I had 28 years of experience of successes, then I decided that I was knowledgeable enough to share the information.
JM Well, and you documented all along the way the people that you helped to counsel and basically give your experience to them - tell us about some of the cancer patients, how many came to you with terminal cancer and how many survived. The same with some of the other health conditions that you helped them overcome. It was a pretty significant number, right?
AV Oh yes, definitely. Those numbers were calculated by the neuroscientist Elnora Van Winkle. She called all my patients and followed up on everything. She’s a neuroscientist with Columbia University who was responsible for documenting all the chemicals that are in the brain. The human brain. When she got on my diet… she heard about it in her 70s, you know it was a breakthrough for her. So she called my patients - I gave the list of the cancer patients, the other patients, she called all of them, so those were her statistics. I don’t recall them off-hand but out of about 242 cancer patients, 232 had completely reversed and that was anywhere from 6 to 12 years following the diet. There wasn’t anybody she called who was short-term. I gave her people who had been 6 years or more on the diet. And then the people who had other heart problems and things like that - something like 1400. The recovery rate was about 3,099 out of about 4,059 - even those with heart bypasses. I have a 79 year old woman who had three heart bypasses and has done the diet for 11 years now and never has had a problem. She says she has no pains, no aches, no anything. She’s 79 years old and vibrantly healthy.
JM Wow! That is incredible. That is really great. And so have you presented this information to be published in a journal somewhere, or any kind of epidemiological study for inclusion in some kind of a journal? Has that even crossed your….
AV Because I’m not an M.D, I won’t even be considered. I’ve put it out in the books, that’s enough. It doesn’t need to be in any journal.
JM Oh, I agree with you.
AV If you’ve read the latest report on the tests that are done by pharmaceuticals, 90% of them are false and fraudulent - 90% - and that’s my researcher M.D. who checked on 42 of them, the main drugs that were tested, and found that there was fraud in 90% of them.
JM Wow! So do you have any doctors or PhDs within your sphere of influence who could maybe take up that cause, or you’re just not worried about it?
AV They will be lambasted. Remember that the medical industry is run by the pharmaceutical industry. They want to make money. If they don’t make money they’re not in business. They want people sick and taking medication. A programme of benefits is (30:07??likely) to reduce their financial (?? @30:13) probably over 150 M.D.s. The M.D.s and PhDs that are on the diet - probably about 150, do not make their presence known because they will be outcasts. So, well the M.D.s and PhDs are not going to do much. Now Dr Mercola, he advocates people eat raw dairy and raw meat. He was my patient. He follows my programmes a great deal but he uses supplements which I don’t agree with. But he’s one who advocates eating raw meat and raw dairy and he does make himself visible now.
JM Oh yeah. That is great. And your cancer has been in remission for many years. You say it has been completely reversed, as have all the rest of your diseases that you dealt with and you were actually given a death sentence many, many decades ago now and you’ve outlived all of that, enjoying really excellent health. You don’t really exercise a lot. You really do believe in this because it changed your life.
AV Correct - and other people’s. Not only mine. If it was only a change in mine I would only be an advocate for me but it’s changed tens of thousands of people’s lives. I get emails every day from let’s say, 15 people. Fifteen people 365 days a year, every year since the book’s out - that’s a lot of people.
JM Yeah. That’s awesome. So you published “We Want to Live: the Primal Diet” in 1997. It was updated in 2005 and you also wrote a recipe book in 2002 that came out, called “The Recipe for Living Without Disease”. Tell us about what you included in that book for people to read.
AV Well, the first 50 pages is how to do the Primal Diet. Now on page 40 and 41 there’s even a dietary programs to follow up. Then, for the next 100 pages, are recipes to make raw foods taste really great. Then the last 50 pages are science to back up the diet - that support the diet. In 2009, with 5 cameras, we made a video of my Primal Diet workshop which tells about the physiology and anatomy of the human body not a medical perspective but from a dietary perspective, including all of the bacteria in the mouth, the stomach, everything, going all the way down to the rectum, what we should be eating and how we should eat. That video is just over 4 hours long. Then I’ve just finished a DVD of recipes, so there’s 2 more hours and about 20 minutes of a DVD where I make recipes to show you how to make good, tasty, all-meat dishes. Now, there are many people in the world who eat raw meat on a regular basis - carpaccio, ceviche, sushi, kibbeh; all of those are raw meat dishes - no cooking involved in those dishes. So it’s cultural all over the world; it’s just that it’s not readily known.
JM Well, you’re certainly doing your part to make it readily known. You’ve actually had some major media appearances - you’ve been in Disney’s Epcot magazine which had an episode on you about “You Are What You Eat”, Ripley’s featured you on an episode where you were called the Rotten Meat Eater and The Doctors TV talk show. It’s admirable that you’re not only advocating this but you yourself are living it and as you said at the beginning of the interview you have to do this because this is your life and but for this way of eating, that you’ve figured out on your own, you may not be with us today. So we’re so very thankful that you’re spreading the good word.
His name is Aajonus Vonderplanitz and you can visit his website WeWant2Live.com where you can learn all about the great work that he’s doing. (@35:05) Well, thanks so much for joining us today on the Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show.
AV Thank you, Jimmy.!