Essie Today

Essie followers must wonder what exactly she, at 89 years old, eats today.

Vegetable soup put through the "klitser", and a peanut butter sandwich. In 1997 when Essie moved into the ouertehuis (oldies home) she decided not to interfere with the system in the home, and partakes of what is provided, pushing aside the meat. That is why, after 3 spoons of some milk tart she had said to me "I wouldn't have touched this ten years ago". Now she is happy to relax into old age and then "sleep it off".

But make no mistake, Essie Valkenberg De-Villiers Dreyer was a Fruitarian of the highest order for 15 years, not only eating fruit directly from trees in their season, whole single pieces at a time but also.. now gasp in awe because Essie and Cosmo ate only twice a day.

This impressive feat is something that we snackers should really respect, to work up a proper hunger so that eating - and eating properly as detailed above - is an orgasmic experience. They had such fun, she says.

But for most of her 14 years as Mrs Valkenberg De-Villiers Dreyer Essie was alone, rejected and often ridiculed. 3 years into the journey her husband, companion and pillar of strength had all of a sudden fallen, hit his head and died. She worked as a nurse and a teacher and tried to attract scientific attention to her way of life.

Taking nervous strain because of the gap between herself and her fellow man Essie developed stomach complaints, for which doctors could find no cause. They pronounced her to be fit and super healthy. 

With relief Essie attempted to return to normal life after fulfilling her promise to Cosmo - namely, to wait til science recognised the fruit diet. After the long wait, she found she was severely disappointed in the flavour of cooked food, and it made her feel awful, and then she had to do dishes! So with a smile she said I'll stay on fruit!

Marrying funny man "Ochse" Honiball and the scientific tests occurred within the same couple of years and both her marriage and the new fame meant she could survive by teaching and nursing in a different way - fruit was her work and she corresponded, encouraged and authored a wealth of literature. Her published works were like the present day internet, giving a voice to so many people's experiences.

But in those dreaded social occasions she ate cooked food, and coupled with the stress of feeling like she was giving off the wrong picture while writing and giving talks on fruit, and her husband being ill in hospital, her anxious stomach gave opportunity to a duodenal ulcer.

For people who don't know about ulcers they are a type of mould, and moulds feed especially on non living substances - cooked food. They are very keyed into our emotional states. This wasn't known then. After the ulcer healed - by medication I am sure - it left scar tissue over the ileocaecal valve, which then was removed by surgery.

The situation that followed is important to understand. The doctors said that the stomach pains that created a weakness for the ulcer to develop were psychosomatic, caused by her stress from living separately from her fellow man.

So herself and her husband, Thomas "Ochse" Honiball remained on a high fruit compromise diet and also ate what was required by society, walking in both worlds - with good results for Ochse as his newfound good health raised comments all around, and his heart complaints cheered up. He died at age 85 in 1990.

As one ages the fight goes out of one, and when she entered the old age home Essie decided to just relax, and honour their ways.

She eats very little, but in her kitchen are jams and peanut butter. She did enjoy croissants but lately is forgoing "all the white", white bread, white sugar because of the dizzy spells, or light head that she gets.

She would love to return to her beloved Fruitarianism, but feels she needs a pillar to hold onto, to have the strength to make the change, someone very firm, like Cosmo. 

Essie is very clear about the Royal Way. She knows the fruit aspect through and through but has for so long been intrigued about the healing properties of the leaves of the fruit trees, described in the Revelation as being for the healing of the nations. She says that Man is destined to return to true Fruitarianism as its the only thing that works, and it will happen gradually by a process of elimination, choosing that which doesn't hurt us. She says it is our Destiny. I can't think of better news.