We are very fortunate to have Larry Cook answer some of our questions about natural living. He’s the author of The Beginner’s Guide to Natural Living, a book that offers simple, straightforward information on all the major points of natural living. Why change to a natural living lifestyle? Let’s see what Larry Cook has to say!
If I understand well, your life changed forever in 1990 after reading the famous book Diet For A New America by John Robbins because it made you decide to adopt a strictly vegan vegetarian diet. Why would you go vegan and not simply vegetarian?
Prior to reading Diet For A New America I was mostly vegetarian, but I went vegan the day I finished reading the book. Being vegan means eating no animal products whatsoever, and that means no milk, cheese, cream, ice cream or anything with dairy in it (and also no fish and a few other foods too). Cow’s milk is a different protein than human milk, and in many people, it can cause allergic reactions. More importantly, dairy will leech minerals out of the body because it causes the body to become acidic, and the calcium in milk is not easily absorbed because of its high phosphorous content. It causes mucous, and it is one of the primary reasons why children get ear infections. It also causes weight gain, and I can almost always spot someone who eats dairy because their face will have a fatty layer on it that vegans do not have. People have had their skin clear just by stopping dairy, so in my opinion, getting rid of dairy in one’s diet is an excellent way to improve one’s skin.
In your book you are talk about the idea of “natural living.” What does it mean exactly? Eating organically grown food? Drinking pure water? Exercise?
Big picture, “natural living” is a lifestyle, a lifestyle of trying to eat and do things as close to what Nature intended in the first place. Adopting the lifestyle has a learning curve like everything else, like learning to drive a car, learning to swim or learning a new job. However, once learned, it becomes second nature. I believe most natural health experts would agree that the first place to start is with one’s diet, and in particular, to reduce processed foods and to increase whole foods in one’s diet. To take it a step further would be to eat predominately a diet of organic foods, especially whole, organic foods. The body requires a consistent diet of high quality nutrition, and that does not exist in processed foods like breads, muffins, pastas and really anything out of a can or box. High quality nutrition comes from whole, organic foods found in the produce section.
Once diet is adjusted, then it’s great to:
- Drink purified water without chlorine or fluoride
- Use potent supplements like digestive enzymes, probiotics and green superfoods
- Shop at a health food store where chemical-free foods can be found
- Detoxify the body through colon cleansing and taking supplements
- Exercise on a regular basis, or do martial arts, or get into yoga
- Visit a holistic dentist to remove mercury amalgam fillings (poison) and instead to only get composite fillings
- Visit a natural medicine practitioner, such as a Naturopathic Doctor, who will treat the root cause of one’s health condition so that drugs and surgery can be avoided and health can be regained
Natural living is a lifestyle, and after doing it for many years I realized I was getting asked a lot of questions, and so I spent three years writing my book so that others can get a grasp on where to begin and what to do to be more healthy.
Most of our readers suffer from a skin problem and are looking for natural solutions to heal their skin issue. How can a more natural lifestyle help?
In a video interview I did with a Naturopathic Doctor, she said that she sees the skin as the third kidney. The skin is another channel of elimination. So if we are unhealthy on the inside then the skin will suffer. Adopting a more natural lifestyle—meaning, what Nature intended for us—will help the body do what it is supposed to do: be healthy, skin and all. Yes, there are topical treatments, especially natural topical treatments, which can help, but the root of the problem is internal. Fix that first, and the first place to start is with diet. Stop eating fast food, processed food, foods with chemicals (preservative, food colorings, food flavourings, etc.) and instead start eating organic foods—whole organic plant foods. I would go so far as to suggest a vegan diet for six full months to see what happens. Based on my many video interviews with real people who switched from a conventional diet to a vegan and organic diet, I can almost guarantee you the results will be dramatic.
Take supplements, especially probiotics and digestive enzymes, every single day. These two supplements help with digestion and gut health, both of which are usually not good in people with skin issues. Exercise many times a week because exercise moves lymph and lymph removes toxins. Visit a Naturopathic Doctor because he or she will help get to the root cause of the skin problems and make suggestions for improvement. As the skin starts to clear and look better the natural lifestyle will become more and more easy to do—it’ll become second nature, in fact.
Changing bad habits can difficult, and some people have no idea where to begin. What do you recommend to start with?
Change the diet! Change the diet to whole foods and get rid of the processed foods, the fast food, and soda, sugar, flour products and canned foods. Eat whole, organic food. Go vegan for 6 months. Truly, changing diet is the critical component to getting better skin. It just is. From there, take probiotic and digestive enzyme supplements, every day. These supplements will help the gut do better, and when it does better, the skin does better. Shop at a health food store because health food stores don’t carry chemical foods. And read my book, The Beginner’s Guide to Natural Living because I wrote it for beginners!