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Giving your immune system a boost

Spreading the word: Brian and Anna Maria Clement are on-island this week to talk about the benefits of a raw food vegan diet (Photograph supplied)

Most teens think they’ll live for ever, but at 19 Brian Clement wasn’t so sure.

Back then, he weighed 285lbs and was smoking three packs of cigarettes a day.

“Going up stairs, I would get to the fourth step and start panting,” he said. “I’d be good for a couple of weeks and then I’d end up locked in a closet eating a gallon of ice cream.”

A raw food vegan diet turned his life around.

“I had a mentor who was in her 70s,” he said. “She encouraged me to educate myself about food.”

He lost 125lbs and was able to get his health back in order. He became so interested in healthy eating, he eventually earned a doctorate in nutrition.

His wife Anna Maria has a similar story.

She grew up in Sweden, a country with a culinary heritage steeped in dairy and meat.

“At 15, I wanted something else,” she said. “I switched to a vegan diet and then became more and more interested in the benefits of raw foods.”

A raw food diet helped her feel stronger and more athletic.

The couple have been married for 35 years and live in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Since 1980, they have directed the Hippocrates Health Institute, a natural healing centre near their home.

The Clements are in Bermuda this week to speak about the benefits of a raw foods vegan diet. They were invited here by Fiona Couper-Smith of Inner Balance Bermuda.

“We’ve had a lot of Bermudians at the institute over the decades,” Dr Clement said.

The Clements are great proponents of the health benefits of a raw food vegan diet.

Dr Clement is the author of several books including Hippocrates LifeForce, Living Foods for Optimum Health: Staying Healthy in an Unhealthy World and Food is Medicine: The Scientific Evidence.

“When you have a disorder, there is something out of order in your body,” he said. “That is your immune system. What this programme does is not magic. It boosts and strengthens the immune system. The body heals.

“Sometimes it needs medicine and sometimes it needs something else. Sometimes you have to live a lifestyle that makes you as strong as you can be.”

Today, the Clements are in their mid-60s and feel like 20-year-olds.

They raised four children on a raw food diet.

“When people hear raw food diet, they think just salad,” said Dr Clement. “Our children have never been deprived.

“Our diet has also included 15 per cent of cooked food; cooked beans.

“We make pizza in a dehydrator. We make cakes without sugar. This is not like a deprivation diet, and people love it.”

A typical breakfast for the Clements involves a lot of juice.

“You need a lot of fluid after sleeping all night long,” Dr Clement said. “We take whole food supplements.

“We may have a little bit of fruit. You don’t need very much. You need lots of nutrition, not lots of calories.”

He said today his children are raising their own children the same way.

“They don’t have to take time off from school because they aren’t sick,” he said. “It’s not remarkable, it’s normal. What is remarkable is how sick people are today.”

Dr Clement will give a free lecture and book signing on Friday from 7.30pm to 9.30pm at Spirit House. He will speak further on Saturday at a conference at the same venue from noon until 7pm.

The conference is $75 per person. There will be demonstrations, tastings, books, and raw food and juice vendors.

Go to www.ptix.bm for tickets or see www.innerbalancebermuda.com