The Spiritual Effect of Live Foods

Here is a brief interview with author Janet J. Allen along with some stimulating quotations from her new book, Spiritual Effects of Live Food: Diet for a New Age.

Q. How was this book born?

A. Janet Allen: 

Spiritual Effects of Live Food was conceived in 2002 when for the second time in my life a book “fell off the shelf” into my hands (the first one was Norman Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking). I had just gotten married, and when I returned from my honeymoon cruise, I was told my nurse practitioner position was gone because the practice was closing.

I was browsing through a delicious metaphysical bookstore (one of my favorite places to spend money), open to finding a new path (or simply a new job). The book that fell into my hands on that day over 10 years ago was Diet for a New America by John Robbins. After the first chapter, I was a vegetarian for the rest of this life (much to the initial distress of my new husband). I had found a passion that was to influence virtually every aspect of my life.

Excerpts from Spiritual Effects of Live Food:

“Real food still contains love.”

“Meat-eaters do not ponder the anguish and terror of an animal being taken to slaughter.”

“The original intent of the world’s major religious scriptures was to encourage a meatless diet.”

Q. So what is this book really about?

A. Janet Allen:

It essentially traces my journey to the discovery that detoxifying the physical body (or sacred temple) facilitates unexpected emotional cleansing, which in turn leads to spiritual and mental clarity.

My own life path took some hairpin turns, and there were some steep inclines; but I could sense the light out there somewhere. This is the book I wish I had when I stumbled into my first "dark night of the soul," which I describe early in the book. A “dark night of the soul” occurs when a person begins to realize that much of what she was taught and believes to be true—is not. 

For example, I saw that life was eternal, that there were things I was here to learn, and that my parents and other frustrating people around me were in my life to teach me (knowingly or not). “Dark night” is also called “valley of the shadow,”  “spiritual emergency,” and “healing crisis”. It leads to the light, but can seem scary when a person is unaware.

 All living creatures are intelligent, loving, and experience fear. As I became more and more aware of that, it became clear that it was wrong to diminish the love-energy in the world in any way or to foster fear in any creature. 

Nature makes it easy to eat living fruit, vegetables, seeds, and greens. There are ways to preserve this seasonal vegetation for winter use, too, without destroying the life force energy in it. Our bodies are sacred—part of nature—and they crave that energy which in Sanskrit (the language of the ancient Hindu faith) is called “prana.”

If we destroy the life in our food before we eat it, we must somehow generate enzymes and enough energy to process the dead food we eat and to remove the toxic compounds from our sacred temples. If you shovel in ‘dead’ food faster than your body can clean it out, you will become ill, dull-minded, depressed, and angry.

Excerpts from Spiritual Effects of Live Food:

“When the body is congested with dead and toxic foreign matter, prana has more difficulty flowing.“

“Human hunger is actually for divine essence, not physical food.”

“The closer food is to pure prana, the easier it is for the nourishment to be drawn into the body energy fields.”

Q. How can people benefit from reading this book?

A. Janet Allen:

The benefit a person might get from reading Spiritual Effects of Live Food will depend upon where they are on their own healing journey. On the physical level, changing to a raw, organic, vegan diet detoxifies the body and can reverse many painful and dangerous physical dis-eases. People experience healing in their own unique way, and long-standing dis-eases may take longer to heal. For example, after shifting to a live food diet, my arthritis, sciatica, and psoriasis were healed, and I even got my brown hair back! There are thousands of stories of physical self-healing by detoxification.

Another benefit from reading this book is understanding that detoxification of the body—while leading to often spectacular ‘youthing’ and healing—may also lead to periods of symptoms similar to those of a person who gives up heavy consumption of alcohol or drugs of any kind. Alcohol and drugs poison the body and slow the mind. Food does the same thing. That is why we “crave” certain things like meat and sugar. And both drugs and toxic food cause illness if consumed for a long enough period of time. 

As you ‘withdraw’ from these toxins, you might feel tired, weak, or crankier than usual. These are temporary effects, but they need tobe addressed, either by drinking more water, sleeping more, gentle exercise, or adding back some clean organic cooked grains, vegetables, or seeds (there is no need to eat processed food or animal products at this point, which would defeat your efforts). 

These “detox symptoms” might be seen as signs of illness (if you were not aware), but they are actually signs of wellness! Your body is a divine, self-healing work of art that will correct problems, injuries, and self-abuse if we will but stop the abuse! 

On the emotional level, people can discover the basic cause of their rage, guilt, depression, and fear when the body and mind are cleared. Shining light on these dark places leads to forgiveness and making amends. This, in turn, leaves enough energy to realize spiritual truths that are always there but which are often blocked by the pain, fear, and toxins.

A person seeking physical health by eating a raw vegan diet needs to be aware of the emotional, mental, and spiritual changes that can occur. A person seeking spiritual awareness can benefit by learning that detoxifying her physical body will make the spiritual quest easier. 

Excerpts from Spiritual Effects of Live Food:

“Cooked food has no life-force energy. A cooked seed is dead and will not grow.”

“A pure diet makes the mind clearer.”

“Part of being spiritually conscious is being able to see illusions that have trapped the mind in emotional pain and physical illness.”


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Janet has just published her second book, Raw Seasons: What to Make with What you Have: American Home “Cooking” – Raw Vegan Style. It's filled with over 200 raw vegan recipes that she either developed originally or enhanced using her knowledge and years of experience preparing raw meals at home.

Raw Seasons has chapters on how to grow your own food year-round (even in cold climates or small apartments), as well as seed saving and raw food preservation.

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