In the raw
Chico artist promotes a different way of eating
You may have seen the work of local artist David Sherrod. The Chico Open Board Art project featured his much-admired painting of a fellow in a ball cap, relaxing in a webbed chair amid the greenery of One Mile, now on permanent display downtown. Last June, his highly detailed drawings that combine realism and fantasy appeared on the walls at Moxie’s, and he’s had many other art shows around Chico over the years. He’s a devoted and prolific artist, having worked in many different mediums and genres.
Sherrod, 57, is no less devoted to the raw-food lifestyle he embraced when he lived in France during his early 40s. There he encountered Instinctive Therapy, a healing modality that involves teaching people to eat in a more instinctive manner, selecting foods from an array of raw and uncooked foods.
Eating a completely raw diet for the next two years, Sherrod saw amazing results: His hair turned blonder than it had been since he was a teenager, and curly. His teeth turned whiter than they had been since childhood, while his chronic lower back and shoulder pain disappeared. His sense of smell and hearing improved, and remembering phone numbers and names became easy again. His myopia went away. He had as much energy at the end of the day as he had at the beginning, and he slept soundly each night, awakening each morning fully rested and with the sense he had been sleeping about 20 minutes. His voice became more resonant and higher-pitched, and he was never sick, not even with a simple cold.
His friends noticed the dramatic changes in him, and strangers believed him to be in his late-20s. He did not lose weight, even though he was eating about a third of his previous food consumption. The low-level ear infection he’d had for years went away, and his ear canals became larger, allowing for improved hearing. “I was jogging in those days,” he recalls, “and I found I was able to run literally for hours without fatigue.”
In the ensuing years, Sherrod tried variations of the raw-food lifestyle, but he has returned to eating mostly raw and uncooked foods. Morning, he says, is the time when the body is detoxifying; therefore, you shouldn’t eat until one to three hours after arising. Fruit, nuts, and seeds in the morning are natural for assimilation, he explained, as these foods are the easiest elements for the body to digest.
“As you can imagine,” he says, “when we were hunter-gatherers, which we were for most of our evolution, we collected and ate the fruit, nuts and seeds we found while we were on the trail for the kill of the day. When we returned in the evening with our fresh kill, we gathered herbs and vegetables along the way to eat with the meat, both for flavor and to assist in digestion.”
For the evening meal—which should be eaten before 6 p.m. so the body will be finished with digestion upon retiring—Sherrod advocates a raw egg or two, or four to six ounces of beef, or a chunk of salmon or tuna. “You should wash the meat,” he explains, “and slice it thin, squeeze some lemon juice over it to kill any surface bacteria, then season it with sea salt or tamari and maybe even a dash of black pepper. You’ll find the meat and fish to be quite delicious and tender—in fact, more tender than if you had cooked them.”
Dinner includes a simple salad of greens, including spinach, and tomatoes and possibly carrots. Acceptable salad dressings include lemon juice, tamari, Braggs seasoning, or sea salt and pepper. “A couple of raw eggs mixed well, poured over your salad with some tamari and lemon juice, makes an excellent dressing,” Sherrod said.
Several Web sites offer information about the raw-food lifestyle, including TheGardenDiet.com and rawfood.com. Sherrod hopes soon to publish his own book, Getting Clear, in which he describes his personal experiences with the raw-food lifestyle and with medical self-care and home remedies.