The proof is in the paw paw
Marathon runner Charlie Spooner shares his secret to healthy living
"Look, look! He coming back again!"
When some Rastafari liming on a beach in Barbados saw Charlie Spooner on his morning run last week, their jaws dropped. When he passed them the ninth time, without even breathing hard, they couldn't believe it. "Bredrin, you must be taking something!"
Spooner replied, "I am a raw foodist."
"Ah! Dat is it!" exclaimed the delighted Rastas.
The well-known Trinidadian octogenarian caused quite a stir in Barbados, all the locals who saw him run were stunned by his sprightliness and stamina. The marathon runner turned 89 on February 16 and flew out the next day to neighbouring 'Bimshire' to celebrate and meditate. The raw foodie, who completed The UWI SPEC International Half-marathon (13.1 miles) last October in three hours, 38 minutes and 29 seconds, returned to Trinidad on Wednesday, invigorated and inspired. "The Rastas over there believe in me a lot!" he laughed. Charlie, as he is affectionately known, says as he enters his 90th year, he wants to share his secret with all of Trinidad.
For the last 31 years, Charlie has been surviving—and thriving—on a diet of raw juices and vegetables, supplemented with nuts, seeds, vitamins, minerals and molasses. He owns a business, Nature's Gift, which supplies juices and other natural products that have helped many people with diseases ranging from hypertension and diabetes to cancer. And starting Monday, he is starting a campaign to spread the message about the benefits of raw food and juicing. "I want people to try the juices and see the difference it makes to their health," he explained.
A week's supply of his juices—seven 500ml bottles—normally costs $500. He is inviting members of the public to register for his programme ($100) and receive a week's supply of juices (pineapple and apple, pineapple and orange, pineapple and pawpaw, carrot and lettuce, carrot and parsley, celery and parsley, and his famous BOP—banana, orange and pawpaw) for free. Additionally, subscribers to the programme can purchase his herbal combo of charcoal, garlic, aloe, molasses, Vitamin A and E and potassium for $350 (normal price $450).
Spooner, who once owned a juice shop on Frederick Street in Port of Spain, bases his juices on the work of Dr Norman Walker, who was 95 at the time. The British businessman, who died in 1985 at the age of 99, is known as a pioneer in the field of vegetable juicing. He advocated the drinking of fresh raw vegetable and fresh juices to stay healthy. Spooner uses juicing equipment that was developed by Walker.
"The food that most people eat has no nutrients because cooking kills most of the vitamins and minerals," said Spooner. "Over 120 degrees Fahrenheit, all life in vegetables and natural sources of food are destroyed." Eating raw food will heal and revitalise the body because all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals are still alive. And there are no side effects. The proof is in the pudding—or the pawpaw, in Charlie's case.
— For more information or to take part in the Nature's Gift programme, call Charlie on 627-7372