Back to Eden by Jethro Kloss
"Back to Eden" was written in the 30's,40's and 50's, and the viewpoint from that era is by necessity imperfect in several places in its 900 or so pages, so be sure to get the "new revised edition" (its somewhat updated and annotated and leaves the original text undisturbed) (its only 14 bucks for the large print, soft bound version)
Kloss was a devout Christian; his viewpoint and his experience is firmly grounded ON (not in)his theology (works for me) but to many this tends to erode rather than enforce his scientific fervor and credibility. Give him a break if you need to!
Kloss is not as mindful as current vegans of eating raw and live, though he is definitely right up your alley. He does confirm (among many other food issues) the fact that nutritional value is lost when food is over cooked, or is not fresh or directly from the source. He gives tons of real world examples. He does not hesitate to upset the apple cart, so to speak, regardless of what industry he might affect by doing so.
Kloss was an integral part of some of the major nutritional advances in US governmental food regulations in the 1930's, ie, requiring that depleted processed breads and flours be enriched and fortified.
He appears to be a true, wonderful fanatic- devoid of the capitalistic gene. ( no such luck in my case) He was for real and his sources and experiences are universally firsthand (he did his own homework, research, and treated the sick himself). I have no doubt of his integrity and capability, hence my high recommendation of his literary work. Also, his aged viewpoint is magnificently ignorant of current true science. Further, his empirical research is untainted by today's brainwashing by the pharmaceutical industry of the masses that synthetic pills cure all ills. (pills dont really CURE anything do they?) (I'm trying hard to think of an exception here) (there has to be one or two exceptions) The fact that this man was far ahead of his time in many respects, and modern, real biochemistry supports his leading edge and first hand experience again and again is just a bonus- the main thing his book did for me was help point out the difference between what I have TRAINED my body and mind to crave (sugar, salt, fat, caffiene, basically a quick buzz) and what my body and mind NEEDS ( protein, carbs, vitamins, water, fresh air, rest and exercise). No amount of well intentioned preaching would have helped me; essentially Kloss, from his grave, hit me right between the eyes, and he did so in an persuasive and irrefuway. Within days of just doing a couple of really basic things (oatmeal twice a day, and at least a half gallon of pure water a day) (dont drink anything during or shortly after meals) I could tell a definite, undeniable improvement in energy, attitude and even my sense of smell. My skin's texture and clarity improved in five days and stayed that way until I slacked off <smile>. Not many things in my life have had such a clear and definite effect. I am not easily impressed and always the type to look for the scam. No scam here.
( This is on a more personal note) I have always felt that bacteria and germs were the true enemy to human health- I came across Kloss' explanation of how germs surround us all, always, and are not the true culprit. (um, this doesnt mean I am going to start licking doorknobs) (ewwww) The real problem in human health issues as I see now is to strenghten the body's ability to purify itself through its lungs, skin, kidneys and intestines. NONE of these organs cleanse effectively without lots of water and a proper diet! Apparently the body is nearly impervious to "natural germs" when it's purifying system works properly AND has sufficient water to provide a solvent to carry waste products out of the body. ( in scientific terms, water is a VERY corrosive solvent) In ONE MOMENT, I permanently lost my slightly neurotic fear of germs and such, and simultaneously understood EXACTLY why a shower makes one feel good, why sweat smells, and most importantly, I somehow understood on a gut-biological level, that water was one primary component (the primary component?) that I had ignored the significance of for- well, for my whole adult life. I called my parents up recently to applaud them for not allowing me to drink while eating as a kid- they couldnt remember any such thing, and drink with THEIR meals now! The point here is that I, my ever so old fashioned and unchangeable parents, and probably about a half-billion other humans have fallen from recognizing what our bodies need in a big way. I am certain that advertising, chemical additives, and the seducing of our bodies by "the quick buzz" of sugar and caffiene and suchlike has taken its toll ON OUR MINDS, and our own irrational cravings for the easy and quick "meal" are overwhelming our bodies natural instinct, the chemicals themselves becoming controllers of our eating habits in a world where real effort must be made in order to get a real meal out of your local convenience store. So! Read the book! Take charge!
I have only quoted from the Bible about five times in my life, but this seems apropos here (sorry, dont have the chapter and verse thing (probably proverbs)
"As a dog returns to his vomit, so does a man return to his sinful ways" (in MY opinion, sinful ways means self destructive ways or destructive of good ways)