Interviews

Raw Food Pioneer, Joe Alexander: What Made Him Return to Raw Veganism?

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by Shari

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In the realm of raw vegan authors, one name stands out as a beacon of inspiration when it comes to the raw food lifestyle: Joe Alexander.

The full title of his book is Blatant Raw Foodist Propaganda: Or Sell Your Stove to the Junkman and Feel Great! or Consider Your True Nature.”

Since he wrote the book 30 years ago, I decided to track him down one day and see if he had adhered to the diet all this time.

Short answer: yes and no.

He HAS been raw this entire time (with rare exceptions), but he re-introduced raw animal products into his life in the latter years. 😬

We politely “debated” via email for a few months, then spoke on the phone a few times, and I began editing his latest manuscript to learn more about his life journey.

As a result of long Covid, he put that book on hold, but I’m grateful for the friendship and connection we’ve had ever since.

Fast-forward to my trip to Arkansas in June – and I got to connect with Joe in person! Turns out, he lives 15 minutes away from one of my closest friends. Small world, as they say.

He talks about the next phase of his raw journey – and he’s going to try Doug Graham’s 80-10-10 low-fat, raw vegan diet protocol!

Joe Alexander

Finding the Raw Vegan Lifestyle

Joe was born in 1951 – and originally found the raw food diet as a result of reading Arnold Ehret’s books, “Rational Fasting” and the “Mucusless Diet Healing System” in 1973.

He said, “I immediately went on his mucusless cleansing diet, which included cooked vegetables (and sometimes baked bananas). It made me feel cleaner inside and better, but not the great energy increase Ehret had described.

Then when I read Teresa Mitchell’s ‘Roads to Health and Happiness‘ in 1976, I tried all raw fruit and 4 days later felt a dramatic increase in energy, and have been about 95% raw ever since.

I was all vegan until the late 1980s, then started craving some animal foods and found that occasional raw animal-derived foods didn’t disturb the raw food high.”

The latest chapter of his diet journey will be a return to exclusively raw fruits and veggies and a small amount of nuts and seeds. I’ll certainly be updating this blog with his healing progress!

SHARI:

Hold up this book right here, and then you can tell me what was your inspiration for this book and what’s it done for you?

JOE:

Okay, the inspiration for the book was… back in 1976, I went to an all raw food diet, and I just felt so much better.

I had so much more energy. I felt like it has – I had a spiritual awakening, and it was just so amazing…the drama – dramatic transformation of my life for the better – the raw food diet gave me — that I wanted to write a book about it – to share my experience with the world – and to share this secret of a much better life, much-improved life and – with as many people as I could get across to.

Off camera, we spoke about his artwork a bit more. He was describing how the raw food diet helped him to tap into the “rhythm” of nature.

Before the raw food diet, his artwork was chaotic and disorganized.

He discussed the creative spirit of nature. The flowers. The leaves. The stripes on a watermelon.

He emphasized that nature is full of rhythm. He pointed to the “rhythmic curls of my hair,” and how he became more in tune with all of it once he ate living foods.

SHARI:

How did it affect your artwork?

JOE:

Okay, the way raw food diet affected my artwork was –

Number one. I was able to draw more clearly.

Before, my drawings had been kind of vague. 

Kind of misty and cloudy and vague.

And when I became raw foodist, it was like my mind was clearer. And so I was – wanted to and was able to – draw everything a lot more clearly.

Clear drawing corresponds to a clear mind.

Also, my drawings were bolder. They, instead of being kind of – you know, weak and sketchy, they looked a lot bolder.

And my composition became a lot more lively.

Like before, when I had done a composition for a painting or a drawing, it was often full of a lot of empty space and just – concentrating on the subject and a lot of – kind of, empty space behind it.

And that was because, I found out, that was because, as a cooked food eater, my vitality was kind of low, and I just didn’t feel up to filling all the space of the picture with something interesting.

So my composition became a lot more full. More lively. And fuller.

A lot denser, I think, is the artistic word for it.

And just my compositions became more full and a lot more abundant.

And also, my colors.

I didn’t want to do kind of bizarre and morbid subjects anymore. You know. 

Before, I had kind of felt in tune with the spirit of death and decay and so on – and I wanted to do this kind of bizarre and morbid subjects.

And after I became a raw fooder, I wanted to do beautiful subjects – that looked like healthy life. 

And also, my colors, like a dark cloud went out of my mind.

I was able to paint in the most bright and beautiful colors I had ever seen or painted before.

So those were the ways the raw food diet affected my artwork.

SHARI:

All right, we’re going to ask one quick question. You just recently read “80/10/10” by Doug Graham.

You had never read that before?

JOE:

I have been reading it, and I’d say I’m about a third of the way through it.

SHARI:

– but back when it first came out, you hadn’t read it. 

JOE:

No. 

SHARI:

Yeah.

So you just read it. 

And now, your whole takeaway on that is…?

JOE:

Well, I want to – the point that Doug Graham seems to emphasize most is – that most people eat – even if they’re raw fooders – most people eat much too much fat.

And the ideal amount of fat for our diet, he says, is 10% or less.

So I want to try that because I’ve been sick with long Covid for about a year and a half now.

And I’ve got a lot of energy back, but still have brain fog – you know, and just kind of desperate to find something to get rid of this brain fog. So I want to try Doug Graham’s low-fat diet – and stay all raw and see if that’ll get rid of this brain frog.

SHARI:

So we’re going to check back with you –

JOE:

–because I do remember back in 1977, I did live for six weeks on nothing but sweet juicy fruits. 

And I never felt better in my life.

SHARI:

I love that. Yeah. Okay. So when are you starting this?

JOE:

As soon as I finish using up all the high-fat foods in my home – and I’m not going to buy anymore.

As soon as I finish up using up what I’ve still got at home. That’s when I plan to start.

SHARI:

Okay, you’re gonna keep us posted, and I’ll check back with you in a month and see how it’s working.

Another thing we talked about (off camera) was the incredible power of “earthing” or “grounding” for his recovery from long Covid.

Joe shared, “I felt I was going to die from Covid until I started grounding; that was when I started getting my energy back. So I now consider grounding as important for health as raw food.”

I’ll be writing a separate blog post on grounding one day because it’s a critical component of a healthy life. I was friends with one of the premier researchers of this movement, Marty Zucker (who, unfortunately, passed away). I highly recommend his book called, “Earthing.”

What is Grounding or Earthing?

“Grounding” or “earthing” refers to the practice of connecting with the Earth’s surface by walking barefoot, sitting or lying down on the ground, or using grounding devices that simulate the Earth’s electrical energy.

Proponents of grounding believe that it can have various health benefits and help restore our energy.

Advocates of grounding suggest that the Earth carries a subtle electric charge, and by physically contacting its surface, we can absorb negatively charged electrons.

These electrons are thought to neutralize positively charged free radicals in our bodies, which are associated with inflammation and various health conditions.

It is believed that this process can restore balance and promote healing.

The concept of grounding also draws from the broader field of bioelectromagnetics, which explores the effects of electromagnetic fields on living organisms.

It is known that the Earth’s surface carries a natural electrical charge and that our bodies generate and interact with electromagnetic fields.

However, the specific mechanisms by which grounding affects our health are not yet well understood. This was our friend Marty’s life work that I’ll get into more at a later time. I highly recommend his book, “Earthing.”

How to Reach Author and Artist, Joe Alexander

If you’re between Winslow and Rogers, Arkansas, Joe can travel to do sign painting for you and anyone anywhere can buy or commission a painting or drawing.

Reach out to Joe to inquire. Lots of samples of his artwork on his Instagram page.


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About Shari

Shari Likes Fruit is all about making fruit and vegetables enjoyable, loving animals, and cherishing the joy within all of us.

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