Whilst I was in Chanthaburi at the durian festival in Thailand in May last year, I had a quarter of a rear lower molar crumble away. At the time I passed it off as past lifestyle bad habits catching up with me and continued on. Over the last few months my teeth became sensitive and I developed a dull ache in the left side of my jaw. I ignored it for a couple of months until I saw a post on facebook of another 811er having teeth issues. So I went to the dentist - an expensive holistic one in the heart of Melbourne. I had to have an x-ray before seeing him which he viewed before I was called in. He said my teeth overall are severely decayed and in the top 1% of cases in Australia. He said he personally has never seen a patient with such bad decay. This was before he even looked in my mouth. The x-ray showed that most of my rear molars are hollow and on the verge of crumbling. He then proved it to me by gently probing areas of decay which made me cry out in pain. He told me I have to quit the soft drinks, lollies, chocolates, and highly processed sugary foods immediately if I have any chance of saving my teeth. He gave me an estimate of $20,000 to repair the damage done which included a minimum of 3 root canals and 16 large fillings. I left his office in shock.
So I started researching and came to what I consider a solution which is not 100% vegan. In the last 2 and a half weeks I have added a small amount of non-vegan foods to my diet. I won’t discuss that any further here as I respect that this is a vegan forum. I’ve decided to post this here in the hope that a discussion can be initiated.
So what I’d like to ask this community is what have I done wrong and is there a vegan way to correct it? I would like to be 100% vegan but I currently believe that 99% is the way to go. I’m desperate for a solution which has led me down the 1% non-vegan foods path. It was not a decision I made lightly.
Before we start this I’ll tell you a bit about what I have been doing as a raw vegan;
That’s all I can think of at the moment. Ask for anything I may have missed.
I request that only people who have been on this diet for a minimum of 3 years or have a nutritional background reply. The reason being is that at 2 and a half years on 811 I thought my teeth were the best they had ever been and in general I felt amazing. Things only started going downhill a couple of months after that with the crumbling of my first tooth.
Thanks for all the replies and sorry it's taken me awhile to answer questions, I've been entertaining a friend from interstate (also 811 with teeth issues who lives with another 811 with teeth issues) so haven't had much time on the computer in the last few days.
There's been some interesting suggestions especially getting a bone scan and possible liver issues. I'm getting a bone scan on the 4th of July so will let you all know the results of that and will look further into possible liver issues although my liver function tests are fine.
Dental hygiene is a hard one as I have an ex girlfriend friend and have heard before that too much brushing/flossing can lead to receding gums. I currently rinse and brush after every meal but will look into some of the less invasive flosses.
As for my non-vegan consumption, it's limited to invertebrates and some eggs and makes up about 1% of my diet. As far as I can see this is the example nature gives us via our cousin primates and that is where I currently choose to put my faith. Not really interested in debating this.
I agree that fasting could have been the cause of this but I also think that after a year and a half if this diet is the healthiest my body should have been replenishing anything that was depleted. Judging by how I've been feeling I've obviously been lacking something. Since the additions to my diet I've been feeling incredible! Things improved with the B12 shots but still felt pretty average. Feel like I'm thriving for the first time in my life!
So I'm still 99% 811 raw vegan so I hope people can still accept me here. I've been doing this for 3 weeks and will be getting another blood test at the 3 month mark and then another blood test, dental x-ray, and bone density scan at 6 months. So consider this an experiment and hey if it doesn't work I can be the poster boy for what not to do! I can't afford any dental work anyway.
p.s In regards to my weight, I've been around 56kgs for my whole adult life. Within the first few months of 811 I lost 8 kgs and have only put it back on since fasting. So if I was anorexic and fasting is bad then I'm very confused.
Replies are closed for this discussion.
If I were to eat eggs, I would also eat them raw, but they would have to be of the very highest quality (free of salmonella) and organic, of course. I just hope that I can thrive without the re-introduction of animal products, but I realize that you are working to regain your health, and I respect your choices.
Stephen, after reading all your comments, I think that you are evidently going to be a paleo-eater! No doubts about it! What you are saying is what they say all ex-vegan going to paleo diet!
I sincerely hope I am wrong!
How you have came to this conclusion I do not know. Paleo is a low carb diet based on animal products. My diet is high carb based on fruit.
I have came to this conclusion because you are starting to speak about the importance of animal products!
I studied Chinese medicine for years in school. So I know that they are right in their philosophy and experience. You might like to explore the connection between the kidneys and teeth according to Chinese Medicine. Starting with this: Google
Some more info: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/food-and-nutrition/HQ01212
As for my weight people I dropped down to 48kgs from 56 when I started this diet and I've fought my way back up to 56kgs. I'm still fighting to get higher and and aiming for a minimum of 65kgs. So no I don't think 48kgs or even 56kgs for someone my height is a healthy weight. What would give you this idea?
Your right Stephen, you even acknowledged that your dangerously low bmi wasnt healthy in this post below from Oct 2010. You don't seem the same since you fasted. Before the fast you seemed like you had more energy IMHO. Ever since my raw paleo friend died from doing a fast in 2009 Ive become wary of them. Vee was a 30 year raw foodist as well. Had dental issues and loved her cream and eggs and raw meat. Lovely person.
There is even one of your blog post to verify this (pasted below):
At 34 years of age I was a depressed, suicidal alcoholic, working as a furniture designer and playing music in bands. I had in the past been organic cooked food vegan for 9 years but 3 years prior (on advice from a naturopath) I had added fish back into my diet. My physical, mental, and emotional health was a joke! I hated summer and was a night owl. No exercise, no mental clarity, and was on an emotional rollercoaster of dissatisfaction. I would drink beer most nights of the week and stay out till sometimes as late as 7 around 3 nights out of the week before going to work at 9. Obviously I was not getting enough sleep! I was having constant memory blackouts which got so bad I was having them whilst being out! My sex drive had gotten out of control and my need to be satisfied was insatiable. Sex was the most important thing in my life and the drive to be satisfied destroyed countless relationships. I was addicted to pornography and had many fetishes I really would rather not mention!
I had a very negative outlook on life. I had low self esteem and no self confidence (even though people were always telling me how talented I was). I had no ambition or motivation. I was very materialistic which kept me in constant debt (for example, I had a $30,000 stereo system, and a collection of 60’s vintage fender electric guitars!). I was very selfish in general but generous at the with my money which I think must have had something to do with trying to buy peoples love. My memory was terrible. I was very bored with my life, even though I had a great high paying job, great group of long-term friends, an amazing place to live, etc... I had no reason to be depressed!
I was getting monthly cold sores, had a few patches of ringworm (that I’d had for 3 years!), and was starting to get prostate pain. I constantly had to take Ural (a lemon powder medication) to relieve painful acidic urination. My bowels were all over the place with foul smelling farts and toilet stops. My gums would bleed every time I brushed my teeth. I was very pale and burnt instantly in the sun. Had very dry skin but an oily ‘T’ zone with acne and greasy hair. I was losing my hair and going grey. My nails were weak and brittle with white marks. My eyesight was starting to fail and I was getting to the point of needing reading glasses. I would get the flu at least 4 times a year. My sneezing fits that started in my late teens were getting more frequent. I had a dry cough for over 10 years that people would always comment on. I was getting a beer belly and never had any energy. I had terrible flexibility and could not touch my toes by a good few inches. I could not run or jog any substantial distance without running out of breath. My fitness level was non-existent. I was skinny but had no muscle, just fat. I was getting wrinkles on my forehead and around my eyes. In general I felt I had aged 10 years since 30!
Now for the good stuff! In the first month of 811 my ringworm patches swelled to double the size, my teeth became loose and gums bled even more, I was getting dizzy spells when getting up, I was losing weight fast, and my bowels got worse! Luckily I had started email consulting with Doug Graham and he assured me it was the flair up before healing type thing, so I continued. By the end of the month my teeth had gotten solid again and my gums stopped bleeding for good! My ringworm was getting better and was gone by the end of the 2nd month (I did still have itching in the area of the main patch for a good 4 months more!) The dizzy spells had ceased. My bowels had settled down a bit but still took another 4 months to get to a state I was happy with. Still was losing weight though. I had become more active and started jogging, doing exercises, and attending yoga classes. I was attempting to get more sleep but playing in 3 bands with constant late night shows and gigs I was still not getting enough. All in all though things had gotten pretty good for me and I had started to realise my life wasn’t as bad as I had thought. By the end of the 3rd month I realized I was no longer depressed and my outlook on life had switched from negative to positive. The only thing that was concerning me was that I had dropped 7 kilos of body fat and was really skinny! 48kgs at 5”10’! Yeah I know people have already commented that it’s not possible to be healthy at that weight but what can I tell you? I had no symptoms of being unhealthy related to being under weight.
Fast forward to 1 year and 2 months-end of 2009. By this stage my health was great! Most of the previous symptoms mentioned earlier had faded away. The exceptions were my sneezing fits and the occasional small cold sore during stressful times. I had an amazing 811 girlfriend who was living with me and life was great! Then my circumstances changed dramatically. The cushy job I had had for the last decade came to an end. I got made redundant! But I was elated! It could not have come at a better time! I was planning on leaving anyway as I was no longer interested in designing cheap mass produced ready to assemble furniture for a greedy Ferrari driving ill-moral boss. I wanted to move up north to a warmer climate and the opportunity was ideal. So I sold almost all my possessions, paid off my debt, and bought a trailer and camping gear for my bike. I quit all the bands I was in, which was hard as I loved it but my priorities had shifted. Julie and I booked into a Permaculture course and headed up to Northern Nsw.
A few months ago I had a rough emotional patch when my relationship with Julie came to an end but I pulled through it and am now a lot happier on my own. In the past I would have turned to alcohol to get through it but I knew that was not the answer. My good friend Nick (Nick Green on this site) gave me heaps of great advice and support during my 2 months in Penang. Thanks Nick!
Fast forward to today. I feel great, I have heaps of energy! I’m very active, very positive, and very happy! I have not been sick since I started this diet 2 years ago! I have not had a drop of alcohol since the 4th of October 2008 and not a scrap of cooked food since the 5th of October 2008. I had a meal of raw sashimi 3 months into the diet (just to see my reaction) and have had a few raw gourmet dishes in the last year. Both of those things were not good experiences! I’ve put on around 3 kilograms of muscle and am training hard to put on more. Still too skinny to be healthy though! I’ve spent the last year learning about Permaculture on farms around the world. In December I’ll be teaching my first Permaculture Design course in Panama! I’ll post details of this soon! Life is pretty darn good!
So to sum up; this diet has changed the way I think with the gift of mental clarity. This has shifted me from a negative outlook to a positive one enabling me to change my priorities in life. I have amazing mental clarity, improved memory, emotional stability, freedom from sickness, sexual obsession, and materialism, high confidence and self esteem, a high level of fitness, improved flexibility (I can now touch my toes!), my hair is no longer falling out and feels great, I have less grey hair and it has changed colour from brown to blond, I have beautiful moist tanned skin, I rarely get burnt even in intense sun (I love summer now!), my eyesight is not getting worse and may have improved slightly, I no longer get the flu, cold sores, ringworm, acne, prostate pain, or acidic urine, my digestion and bowel movements are amazing, My gums no longer bleed, and my persistent cough has gone for good.
So that’s about it. Next for me in regards to health is a 21 day fast in Panama mid December! I’m targeting the sneezing fits. I’m sick of them!
Thanks for reading!
+ 1 I have to agree Stephen. I've known you in person over your raw food journey and honestly since the long fast you didn't seem quite as high energy as you once did. You know how I'm a fan of these long fasts! ;-) (not). The testimonial above says a lot to confirm this too.
If I found a sick starved deer looking frail the LAST thing I would do would to fast it! I would put it in a pen with unlimited cals of its optimum foods + water + low stress.
Finding a low stress environment in society is EASY yet virtually impossible as one persons stress is another persons pleasure. Science shows us that stress can rot your teeth out.http://www-hsc.usc.edu/~khalifeh/stress_related_dental_problems.htm
People all over the world commit suicide due to monetary stress each day. So even if someone eats well and enough etc if they don't take care of the stress angle..
But its the fruits fault of course. ALWAYS blame the fruit! ;)
Got fat? Fruits fault.
Got diabetes? Fruits fault.
Got teeth issues? Fruits fault.
Got family problems? Fruits fault.
Got mental issues? Fruits fault.
Don't even eat fruit? Just say 'Fruits fault!' anyways.
One question in regards to fasting; is there any 811 long termers (20 years) out there who have not done water fasting? Doug swears by fasting as you know. Is this the case with all the long termers or are there others like yourselves who are against it?
Maybe the fasting is the reason Doug is not looking that great for his age anymore? Could be an explanation. Can everyone finally stop blaming the fruits....
My honest opinion: starving yourself long term is a unnatural thing. If it's the cause of your dental issues, I don't know.... I can only tell you that after approximately 4 years of this diet, my teeth have improved, also according to the dentist. The only times my teeth start to become sensitive, is when I drink hot drinks (tea, coffee).
Anyway, all the best with your healing....