Sam Schulte owns Tree Bikes which most of you have certainly heard of before and has quite the history in the BMX industry as an innovator and incredible product designer. Sam started Tree with the intent of creating parts that have solid thought behind them and builds products that are meant to last. He always has the consumer in mind and doesn’t feel right if he has to “sell” his products. Anyone that knows Tree knows that the stuff they make is 100% quality based and completely BMX to the core. On that note, anyone that knows Sam, knows that he has always had a unique outlook on life and truly lives according to his own rules and what he feels is right for his own life. There are a few people out there these days blazing their own path and making their own personal life choices and Sam Schulte is certainly one of them. He maintains a positive state of mind, carefully chooses what goes into his body and has a specific reason and purpose for doing so. Check out what motivates Sam to eat a fully raw diet and maybe learn a thing or two in the process.
Name: Sam Schulte
Hometown: St. Louis, Mo
Current Residence: St. Louis, Mo
Years Riding: 20
Go ahead and give the readers out there some input on your history within the BMX industry. Start from the beginning and feel free to go into as much detail as you want.
I am the owner, founder, and sole product designer of Tree Bicycle Co. which I started in 2002 out of my garage. I started Tree with the intention of making the parts so good that they sold themselves. I didn’t advertise with any major media for the first 8 years. By 2005 pro riders from all over ran our parts unsolicited and Tree was distributed in 18 countries.
Besides BMX, you have an obvious passion for an alternative style of eating. Care to explain when and how those roots were planted in your system?
Before I started Tree I read a book called “Awaken the Genius.” This book motivated me to start Tree and in the book the author explains how to reach your fullest potential. Towards the end of the book he talked about eating a clean vegan diet and getting enough sleep at night. I decided to try and eat as healthy as I knew how at the time for a week. Now back then I ate the same as everyone else, but after eating this way for a week I felt so good I never looked back.
How long have you been eating a raw diet and how did it get to that point?
I’ve been a raw foodist for 9 years now. I ate a clean vegan diet for almost 4 years. I felt great eating that way at first. I remember that first summer when I would sweat I felt like I was sweating pure water. Clean meaning I avoided eating foods filled with ingredients that made up of chemicals or highly processed foods.
One day I was eating at a vegan restaurant and they had books for sale. I saw one that was about eating a raw vegan diet, which consists of eating unprocessed fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds only. I’ve never heard of this before and I read the book. It sounded interesting to me so I tried it and strictly ate this way for a year. Some amazing things happened when I did this diet! All of my senses clarified and became sharp, I felt like a fog was lifted off of my mind, and I became more conscious. Also I felt a sense of depression fade away, I felt an inner peace, and my self-confidence was raised. It was beautiful!
But the drawbacks were that the food I was eating did not have enough calories, fat, and protein to be sustainable. So I became very thin and experienced lowered stamina when doing physical activity. My muscles would burn and felt weak when I rode my bike. After about a year on the diet I found that I was hungry all of the time and felt like I could never catch up with my food intake needs. Yet all of the positives of the diet were still there.
I began researching to figure out how to solve the issues that I was having. I tried eating vegetables or nuts or certain combinations of foods but none of these worked. I researched and researched on the Internet and I eventually came across interviews of people who were eating raw meat. I bought the book “We Want to Live;” which describes the Primal Diet, a raw food diet that includes raw meat, eggs, and dairy in addition to fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Again I tried this new diet full on. I gained strength, stamina, put on healthy weight, and became more amiable. And, I maintained the clarity of mind benefits of eating the raw vegan diet. I have been eating this diet for the last 8 years. Every year I am feeling healthier and better than the year before it!
For those who don’t know, what exactly does “raw” mean?
Raw food means that the food has not been cooked, processed, pasteurized, preserved, or has been treated with chemicals. It is real food that comes from the earth or from an animal.
What meats have you eaten raw?
Beef, bison, caribou, squirrel, venison, fish, seafood, pork and chicken.
What is it about eating raw that keeps you going back for more?
I love the way it makes me feel.
Since you obviously eat meat, how is your diet with consideration of animal rights or is it based on personal satisfaction and health choices?
When I was vegan I felt very good about not eating animals or animal products. It felt more evolved and conscientious. But when I was faced with the difficulties inherent in the raw vegan diet I had to consider all possibilities. There I was eating the most natural vegan diet possible and I was just not getting enough calories to sustain my body’s needs. Even though I was eating all day and would stuff myself with food. I knew I was on to something with the raw food and clean eating but some component was missing.
I researched and experimented for months on the subject until I discovered people who were eating raw meat. It blew my mind and was very difficult for me to wrap my head around and even more difficult for me to think of myself eating meat. I thought about how my dog chases squirrels in the yard to kill and eat them. Yet she was following her instincts and was not indulging in some unnecessary opulence. And she was not getting bad karma or doing something evil because she was just playing her natural role in the animal kingdom. I thought if I am eating the most natural vegan diet I could eat and it did not support my human body with enough calories, protein, and fat. Then maybe humans are supposed to eat animals. And at this point I was able to comprehend eating meat again.
I think that since the natural order of the world has some animals eat other animals; on the universe level there is much bigger scope to this thing called life. I do not buy or eat factory-raised animals because I don’t support the way the animals are treated; they live a horrible life. And the way we kill the animal is quick and humane compared to the way animals are killed in nature by other animals.
Last year I was raising chickens for meat and eggs. And in the process I realized that by eating meat in modern day society I am actually giving life to animals because the little chicks where hatched for me to buy and I raised them to young adulthood. During which they lived very happy lives learning and growing. If there wasn’t a demand for meat then millions of animals would never have lived at all.
Why not just cook the meat?
Cooking food only breaks the foods down and makes it less. It destroys the enzymes and creates carcinogenic compounds. Enzymes act as catalysts to break down the nutrients in your food so that your body can use them. When the food is cooked and the enzymes are destroyed, your body has to borrow enzymes from itself. So cooked food comes with a tax. Raw food has all of the necessary enzymes already so when you eat it you do not have to borrow from your body’s reserves.
Is there anything that you wouldn’t eat raw?
I don’t eat fish that comes from rivers because almost all are polluted with chemicals, fertilizers and pesticides. Around here people say that drinking the water from most rivers or creeks will make you sick because of high bacterial levels since cattle are pooping in it upstream. But in fact the streams are filled with poisons and chemicals that are the real cause for getting sick. All of the petroleum based fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides that are sprayed on commercial farmers fields eventually drain into the waterways when it rains. Drainpipes from factories expel chemical wastes directly into rivers. But we think a few random cows pooping in creek has polluted it?
I know that one of the main concerns and points that people bring up when you mention eating raw meat is getting sick from it but for whatever reason you haven’t had any problems with that. Do you do anything specific to make sure of that or is there anything people should know before just diving into a pile of raw hamburger meat?
Our body lives symbiotically with bacteria; it is everywhere on Earth. We are taught that bacteria are the cause of sickness but how could that be? If all bacteria suddenly did not exist the all life on earth would die. Bacteria, parasites, and molds are used in the body to break down and dispose of weak and dead cells in the body. And actually speeds the healing process when eating a healthy diet.
When people say they got food poisoning and the go to the doctor, the doctor says well it looks like it was salmonella. Well that’s right there is lots of salmonella in the sample, but they do not check for toxins. People on this diet sometimes have their samples tested at laboratories and they show caffeine, mercury, aluminum, barium, iron, vaccines components, antibiotics, etc. There are a lot of other known factors that cause sickness and disease that but people just assume its bacteria to blame.
I personally have eaten lots of rotten raw meat, raw eggs, and raw milk and have never gotten sick from any of it. I don’t believe in the theory that germs are out to get us. I have personally met lots of people from Chicago, St. Louis, and Los Angeles that have had cancer, IBS, Crohns, wasting diseases, diabetes, depression, etc. that have healed themselves from the disease with diet alone.
My nutritionist Aajonus Vonderplanitz had been diagnosed with cancers of the stomach, blood, bone and lymph with no chance for survival. Also, he already suffered Type 1 diabetes, psoriasis, angina, bursitis, and stomach ulcer. He was told he was going to die in a year. This was in his early twenties and he is now 64 years old. He has been eating only raw food for 44 years and has been eating raw meat for the last 34 years. He reversed all of these diseases and currently lives a happy and healthy life by purely eating the Primal diet.
You typically make your meals and eat them out of the same wooden bowl for a while until it’s too gnarly. Do you wash it?
The only reason I wash my meat bowl is when I feel that it has an offensive smell to others.
Obviously maintaining your diet on the road has to be difficult. How do you keep your food fresh on trips?
It’s actually really easy! That’s simply because I’m not trying to decide what I can eat off of the menu of the drive-thru. I bring all of my own food in a cooler so I’m not affected by where we go to eat or if there isn’t anywhere to eat.
What do you do about going out to restaurants? Do you ever search out places that serve raw dishes?
I bring my own my own food to where ever we go to eat. I’m very discrete about it and after all those years I have only been kicked out of a restaurant once. I don’t like ordering food from restaurants because there is always something in the food that is not raw and I don’t feel as good after eating it. So it’s not worth it to me. Nothing tastes as good and being healthy feels.
Do you always try to buy local, farm fresh foods?
I buy raw organic dairy straight from the farmer because its illegal to buy raw milk from grocery stores on most states including Missouri because people are afraid that raw milk could give you diarrhea, but cigarettes and alcohol which are known to kill nearly half a million people every year are readily available everywhere!
And I am also part of a local group that will ship in meat from an organic Amish farmer in Pennsylvania. But most of the time I get my meat, eggs, fruits and vegetables from Whole Foods or other health food stores.
If anyone has ever gone grocery shopping they would know that the raw/organic choices are typically always really expensive in comparison to other foods. How do you justify that extra cost?
You get what you pay for. Plus if you took the extra money that many people spend on destroying their bodies with drugs and alcohol and spent it on food that is healthy they would probably come out about even. If you think about it, why would you not invest the extra money in maintaining your body? You know that thing, that your entire existence as you know it depends upon functioning properly in order to live.
You mentioned adding on some weight in the winters and losing some weight in the summers. What role does that play in your diet and what is your justification behind it?
People know that toxins are in your fat so they think that fat is bad when actually fat is housing the toxins so they are protecting your vital organs.
Obviously you have very specific reasons for doing what you do, and you seem to be fairly well educated on the entire process. What kind of advice do you have for anyone looking to step into the raw diet realm?
My advice is to do your best at critical thinking while researching and experimenting with diet. If you research diet you will find every opinion under the sun about how we should feed ourselves. Basically avoiding manmade chemicals in your food is the simplest explanation of how to be healthy. Since my nutritionist and diet is so contrarian to everything we have ever been taught you better believe it gets peoples panties into a bundle, Ha-ha! People will say a lot of things about Aajonus and how this diet is bad for you, yet they have no knowledge of the diet. I personally have seen what it has done for people and what it has done for myself. So I would say as an experiment try to eat as healthy as you currently know how for a week and see how you feel.
Here’s a general order of worst to best foods according to me. From this you can decide what to eat and see what happens. But at least you will know the worst foods and stay away from that will be the most important.
-Vaccines, Medicine, Drugs.
-Packaged, Canned Food (with chemical ingredients)
-White flour, Sugar (when white man brought sugar and white flour to the natives people all over the world there health deteriorated rapidly when before they were strong and wild) (this is also 75% of the American diet.)
-Packaged, Canned food (with natural ingredients)
-Real whole wheat bread,
-Cooked meat, Vegetables,
-Organic cooked food
-Organic, raw fruits and vegetables
-Organic rare cooked meat, raw fruit and vegetables.
-Organic or natural raw meat and dairy (Raw dairy is only available straight from the farm because the government will not allow it to be sold in stores, except California, but it is easier to get a hold of than you might think.)
What’s up with the raw egg thing where you crack a hole on each end and suck out the yoke? How exactly do you do it?
Basically you tap the blunt end of the egg with your lower fang tooth to poke a hole in the shell but not the lining. On the opposite end use you lower front teeth to poke a hole through the shell and membrane. Then you can suck the egg. It’s really good!
Your body is your most important thing that you have here on Earth take care of it so that your experience can be the best possible. If anyone has any questions or comments you can ask them below and I can answer them for you. Thank you for the interview.
That’s all for this week. Hopefully you enjoyed an interesting look at Sam’s lifestyle and current diet structure. I really enjoy sharing the personal side of rider’s lives and looking beyond the average action photo. I like being able to find out more about each and every persons character and really show another side of themselves that people may not be familiar with. Also, be sure to check back next Wednesday for the seventy fourth edition of Through the Lens and as always feel free to leave any questions in the comments section or email me at [email protected] and I will hit you back as soon as I can. Feel free to follow me on Twitter and Instagram @jeremypavia.