Case Number 15801: Small Claims Court


Raw For Thirty // 2008 // 92 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // February 26th, 2009

The Charge

Claiming a cure for diabetes.

The Case

Obesity is a major issue facing America, and it seems everybody is rallying the troops to do something about it. Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days looks at the often acquired illness of type 2 diabetes and treating it with a diet concentrating on raw vegetables and nuts. It's a documentary that follows several participants in a study as they go to Arizona and are supervised in a treatment that teaches them how to eat differently for a month. It's like watching an episode of The Biggest Loser where everybody gets to stay and there is no huge cash prize at the end. They are treated by doctors, and all their meals are prepared for them by a spa in the middle of the desert. The diet is extremely focused and restrictive, designed to drop blood sugar levels and trim up the patients.

The 30-day food plan rules are this:
* no meat, no dairy
* no bread, no cooked grains
* no sugar, no caffeine
* nothing cooked over 118 degrees
* all you can eat raw vegan meals three times a day

The film is a moving look at the journey of a variety of people who struggle very hard with their issues. Not all of them make it to the end of 30 days, and it seems the lifestyle they are taught would be hard to replicate in the outside world. Yet amazingly their blood sugar does drop and they reduce their insulin intake drastically. In some cases they are no longer taking the drug at all. The people make Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days a compelling watch. The documentary packaging touts and promotes celebrities as if we're going to see a lot of them. Anthony Robbins, Woody Harrelson, David Wolfe, and Morgan Spurlock do show up sporadically; however, the appearances from them are brief cameos. The true focus of the film is on the study participants, and that is how it should be. These guys and gals are the ones trying all of this, and they are what makes the film fascinating and real. As kooky as the experts appear, it is thrilling to see diabetics find something that works for them.

The only flag that comes up for me is when you look hard at the doctors and experts assembled. Ever hear that joke everyone who works in a health food store looks sick? Well, the experts featured all look a little off in their appearance. MDs that wear berets, celebrities like the kooky Woody Harrelson, and everybody seems to have long hair, knit caps, or scraggly beards. It's a hippie revolution, as if the Height Asbury district of San Francisco during the '60s started practicing medicine and doling out nutrition advice. I'm not knocking their credentials or amazing work, but it does seem they represent the liberal side of the medical community. The group heads to the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center in Patagonia, Arizona which is a popular spa and vacation spot that teaches Vegan eating. Gabriel Cousens is the lead on this project. Some people will recognize the name as a guy who has been at the forefront of the raw food movement and championing this lifestyle for many years.

The film itself is very inspirational. Watching these people battle and beat diabetes is amazing and gives hope. People will find the stories moving, and you can't fight the results these guys get. The only question that pops up for me is how easily can someone replicate this diet? Produce is expensive and it goes bad quickly at home. I joke that my "crisper" is merely a "rotter" in the fridge. Eating all vegan all the time is a tall order for anybody, especially people who are used to eating badly enough to have developed diabetes. But if nuts and veggies can save your life would you do it? Or would you just reach for the Cheetos and Ding Dongs and call it a day?

Review content copyright © 2009 Brett Cullum; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2016 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Judgment: 86

Perp Profile
Studio: Raw For Thirty
Video Formats:
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)

* None

Running Time: 92 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks
* None

* Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center

* Sun Food - Natural Food Supplier


* Raw for 30 Days