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That's when Sergei Boutenko - passionate raw food diet promoter - has the answer. Diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at the age of nine, Sergei reversed his diabetes successfully and has been free of diabetes for the last 18 years. In an exclusive interview with HealthMeUp, Sergei shares his story of diabetes reversal, the struggles, plans, trials and triumphs; and yes, he gives us valuable insights about how anyone can beat diabetes naturally. Read on to get inspired...Who knows, maybe you'll find the answer to your questions about how to beat diabetes.

HMU: You've spoken about your mother's decision to take matters into her hands and have the whole family switch to a raw food diet for better health.

Could you tell us what this first phase of the raw food diet was and how it helped reverse your diabetes?

Sergei Boutenko : First off, I am required to mention that I am not a doctor and cannot give any medical advice or tell people what they should or should not do. What I say from here on out is purely my own experience and should not replace that of a licensed doctor.

When I first found out that I had diabetes my mother put me on a strict regime or raw food and exercise. I cut out virtually all processed food from my diet and began eating only raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and sprouts. I also began running 4-6 miles per day like it was my religion. I benefited immensely from these practices, but if I were to do it again, I would start more gradually because the human body does not like to be shocked. Knowing what I know now, my first step would be to illuminate processed sugars and heavily processed foods from my diet and start making low glycemic index green smoothies. If are not familiar with the concept of green smoothies, it is very simple. All you need is a blender, fresh greens and fresh ripe fruit. Blend any greens, fruit and water and consume the drink. That's all there is to it. (For more information on smoothie please visit: www.GreenSmoothiesBlog.com).

For diabetics, dark greens such as collard greens, kale, celery, dandelion, cilantro, lettuce and spinach are incredible beneficial. Fruits such as blueberries, kiwis, mangos, oranges, peaches, papayas, pineapples, plums, strawberries and watermelon have low glycemic indexes and are also beneficial.

The second (equally important step) is to start exercising. When you physically exert yourself, your body burns excess sugar. This helps keep your blood sugar down. I recommend vigorous exercise such as running or jump roping because it pumps the lymph and further aids diabetes.

Both these practices usually produce rapid results!

HMU: What did the doctors say when they saw that not only did the raw food diet reverse your diabetes, but it also helped your mother, father and sister get better?

Sergei Boutenko: Our doctors thought we were crazy! They yelled at us and told us we would likely die if we continued eating raw food and added that our newly found health had nothing to do with our new diet.

HMU: When following the raw food diet, what challenges did you face as a growing child? How did peer pressure play out in posing daily hurdles?

Sergei Boutenko: As a raw foodest I faced many challenges. Out of those challenges social pressure to eat "normal" food was the biggest. At first it really affected me when people would make fun of me for the way that I ate. But as the years passed I got more comfortable with deflecting criticism. My main strategy was (and is) honesty. When people ask me why I only eat rabbit food, I simple reply that it makes me feel good. I add that before I ate this way, I suffered from serious health challenges than make being alive less fun. Usually after this kind of conversation, people are able to empathize with me and we become friends.

HMU: Could you give us an idea about the kind of nutritional supplementation and combinations your family incorporated to ensure that there were no nutritional deficiencies? Was this an entirely vegetarian diet?

Sergei Boutenko: Though we have tried many different supplements in the past, our stance still remains that supplements are unnatural and thus we don't use any of them. Perhaps the best super food for of nutritional supplementation is eating wild edibles. Edible weeds have longer root systems than conventional plants, they have not been hybridized and they grow in wild soil that is less depleted of nutrients. Thus, eating wild edibles ensures that our bodies get adequate nutrition. Best of all, wild edibles are free and easily accessible to everyone the world around! For more information on wild edibles, please check out my website: www.SergeiBoutenko.com. As for being vegetarian or not, this is something I am still curious about. I was a 100 percent vegan for 14 years. While I never experienced any horrible side effects, I did find myself dreaming of animal protein. In recent years I have explored these craving and tried eating fish and other meat on numerous occasions. I am still not sure what I think about being vegan vs. carnivore. The research that my mom and I have been conducting over the last few years strongly suggests that our genetics and ancestral backgrounds play a huge role in whether or not we can thrive a purely vegan diet. I myself don' t particular like the idea of eating animals. Currently I'm researching eating bugs as an alternative way to meet our needs for B12 and complete proteins.

HMU: Besides the diet, did you exercise? How important is it to exercise for diabetes reversal? What exercises would you suggest?

Sergei Boutenko: Exercise is an absolute MUST! I recommend vigorous exercise. Running, jump roping, jumping on a trampoline, crossfit, bootcamp, salsa dancing, bhangra dancing and anything and everything that gets your lymphy moving and your body sweating.

HMU: Since India is a tropical country, we have limited access to fresh greens. Which fruits/vegetables would you recommend in a green smoothie mix in such a scenario?

Sergei Boutenko: While India may not have greens common to America, I would be willing to bet it has greens that thrive in tropical regions. For example, when we travel to Thailand we eating awesome greens such as yam leaves, kang kong, mustard greens and various other. I recommend keeping the smoothie ratio the same and utilizing what's available locally.

HMU: Indians love sweet, spicy and curried/fried food. Would you suggest switching to the raw food diet in phases?

Sergei Boutenko: I think everyone, not just Indian people love sweet and friend foods! As I mentioned earlier, the human body doesn't like to be shocked. Therefore, it is wise to transition to any diet gradually. Green smoothie ease this transition because it's easier to add to your diet than take away. Start by drinking smoothie... The smoothies will make you crave healthier food. Once you crave salads and other fresh whole food, it's painless to go eat them.

HMU: We'd love to know what your personal favorite raw food dish and green smoothie mix is...

Sergei Boutenko: I love whatever is local and in season. But here are a few recipes that tickle my tongue:

Grape Leaf Elixer

3 cups freshly picked grape leaves

1 cup freshly picked grapes

1 mango, peeled and cubed

1 cup water

Morning Rainbow

½ bunch parsley

½ bunch chard

1 cup apricots, pitted

1 cup red currants

1 large pear

1large mango, pitted and peeled

1 cup water

HMU: Are you planning on visiting India in the near future?

Sergei Boutenko: I have no plans to come to India yet, but if you can arrange several classes so that pay for my flight, I will consider it. ;-)

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