Surely, you may say, as long as it is RAW then it is HEALTHY!
Or you may think to yourself “as long as I eat raw, my body will be able to tell me how much to eat”
Alternatively, you may be thinking “surely, we must make sure we eat an abundance of healthy fats”
Unfortunately, a healthy raw diet is not as simple as “as long as it is raw it is healthy”
Especially as many foods are labeled “raw” but in reality they have been dried, processed or dehydrated in some way which has changed the nature of the food completely.
Have you ever eaten truly RAW nuts? They are not as moreish and hard to put down as those in a bag.
Let’s get back to diets in general.
When we look for clues as to how we should design our diet we could do much worse than looking at the diets of the “blue zones”. These are the areas in the world that are renowned for producing the highest proportion of centenarians (people who live to age 100 and older) and healthy older people per capita.
The researchers have looked at the similarities between these populations and have found a few things in common. When it comes to diet they all consume a mostly plant-based diet.
And what was also remarkable was that carbohydrates made up the vast majority of the diet, 70% and upwards for each population with no exceptions.
When we look into the science of nutrition and of sports performance we find that carbohydrates are the body’s preferred source for fuel. Top athletes maintain a high carbohydrate diet when they wish to perform at there highest level.
But perhaps this equation is different for a raw diet?
The work of Dr Douglas Graham would suggest not. With over 35 years of experience working with people who were eating raw diets he often found that people were consuming as much as 60% or more of their diet from fat.
Often this was in the form of processed fat like oils, nut butters, seed spreads and tahini…which quickly add up to a LOT of calories as FAT is more than double the calories of carbohydrate sources.
Do we have long term studies on a high fat raw diet versus a low fat raw diet? Sadly not.
We have to assume the same rules apply regardless of whether the diet is raw or not. We should head towards a diet made primarily of fruit to make sure we will feel and perform our best on a raw diet.
Fruit provides us with the perfect balance of carbohydrates, proteins and fats that help us to feel and perform our best. But if we do not eat enough fruit to satisfy our caloric need we will inevitable start being hungry for almost anything else.
At that point, our cravings for fatty foods will become much more intense. But when we eat these foods we are left with a heavy feeling in our stomach and still no real sense of satisfaction
Fruit is truly where it is at for performance and health!
How To Know You Are Eating ENOUGH On A Raw Vegan Diet
One of the most controversial questions in the raw vegan world is “how much should we eat on a raw vegan diet”?
There are a number of differing opinions on this topic so it can be very confusing for a beginner.
You may also wonder whether you can simply follow your body’s own hunger cues. Unfortunately, this can be confusing on a raw diet as the body responds differently to a raw diet than to a cooked diet.
In this message I hope to go over some of the issues surrounding this question and give, hopefully, some very common sense guidance.
First off, we can perhaps throw out some ideas. For example some people claim that we should eat a particular weight of food. So they recommend you eat 2 pounds of food per day as long as it is raw.
This is too vague an answer. Different foods vary a lot in terms of the level of nutrition and calories so it just doesn’t make sense to use weight as a reliable measurement. 2 pounds of nuts is a lot different to 2 pounds of lettuce.
The most reliable way to know if you are eating enough is to track your weight. If you are losing weight (and this is not your intention) then you know you need to eat more. If you are gaining weight (and it is not your intention) then it is a good indication you are eating too much.
But exactly what are we eating too much of?
The most accurate way to measure the value of food in terms of the energy that it provides us is to measure the calories in a food. Some people may suggest that this is different when it comes to a raw food diet but there is little reason for anyone to believe it is different. There is some debate as to how accurate this process is, but it is the most accurate method we have.
If we can work out how many calories we need to maintain our weight and stay healthy then we could work out how much food we require and translate this to what is available to us on a raw vegan diet.
A method for determining how many calories we require comes from Dr Doug Graham’s book, the 80/10/10 Diet.
He states that we first work out our Basal Metabolic Rate. This is the energy we use if we were just to sit in bed and do nothing all day. In the case of a 150 pound person, their BMR would be 1500 calories. We figure this out simply by multiplying the weight of the individual in pounds by 10.
Once we have done this we must add on how many calories we use up in our day to day activities and exercise.
To get a more accurate reading you can use the Harris- Benedict equation for working out BMR and then multiplying this by an activity factor.
The average for a woman is around 1800 calories and for a man is around 2500 (per day).
If we translate that to raw food we have a few options. We can certainly make up these calories easily by eating nuts,seeds or oils as these substances are very dense in calories (mostly from fat).
However, to maintain a raw vegan diet long term it is important to feel good. When we eat a high proportion of our calories as fat we reduce our body’s ability to supply nutrients such as oxygen and sugar to the blood cells as efficiently as possible.
The ideal ratio of macronutrients in our diet is signified by the 80/10/10 proportion. At least 80% of our calories should therefore come from carbohydrates.
This matches the ratio that is inherent in most fruits. This is one of the many reasons that basing our raw food diet on fruit rather than fat is a better option.
Therefore, we simply now have to look at how many calories we require on a daily basis and aim to get most of those from fruit with a smaller percentage gained from vegetables, nuts and seeds.
For example, a woman requiring 1800 calories per day could make up her diet with 18 bananas. This would roughly be what she would require.
If she preferred more variety she could have 8 bananas (800 calories) , 6 large mangoes (approx 800 calories) and a large salad with some avocado (approximately 200 calories).
Someone looking at these quantities of food may start to think that this is “too much”. They are reacting to the volume of the food. With raw food we must eat a greater volume of food to get the same calories as we did from cooked food.
If we do not, then we will struggle to maintain our weight and struggle to avoid the temptations of other foods. When you are satisfied from eating enough fruit you are much less likely to be tempted by less healthy foods.
BEWARE: Not eating ENOUGH is by far the biggest reason people struggle to feel good on this lifestyle long term or remain successful on it. It is also the reason we hear about “emaciated” raw vegans. Almost all of the time, people were simply not eating enough.
1. Calories: Work out your daily calorie needs.
2. Fruits: Become familiar with the amount of calories in all of the common fruits and other raw foods that you eat.
3. Eat Enough fruit to satisfy the majority of your calorie needs and make up the rest with vegetables, salads and nuts and seeds (at first this will seem like A LOT of food. You will get used to this over time and enjoy the real feeling of satisfaction that comes with this)
4.Track Your Weight to see if you are eating too little or too much.
That’s about it.
You may wonder why you need to put this work in. Surely, if this is a more “natural diet” then our body should tell us all we need to know?
The problem with this is we simply don’t live in our natural environment and we were not brought up on our best diet. We have not learned from experience how much we need to eat to feel good.
I hope this works out for you, you can get back to me if you have some thoughts of your own.
Here are some things our previous attendees have said
“it’s been brilliant, I’ve loved every minute of it really; the talks, the food, the people it’s just been fantastic” – Steve Douglas, England
“it was wonderful, this was my first time in England. I’ve been to other festivals and this was beautiful. It’s a beatiful location and the people are very nice as they often are at most of the raw festivals. I really liked the campfire, that was just amazing”
– Laurie Ellicott, USA
“Absolutely brilliant. The defining points for me are two things really; 1) the chance to meet so many like minded people, share stories, share your journey and hear their stories back. It’s just great to meet people with similar ideas and passions, to share and learn. And 2) Listening to really, really high quality speakers. If you’ve read the books you think you know a lot but you learn so much more here and it can only help you in your health and your continued growth”
– Jack Childs, England
“it’s been a great time at the festival, I’ve learned a lot, I’ve met lots of new people of course. I’m loving all the presentations. Everyone wants to be healthier, the festival gives you a glimpse of the life you could have” – –Kate Weight, England
“it’s been really great, I met some new friends, had some great fruit, did some really good activities every day. It’s been really good to get the knowledge” – Paul Turner, England
“the highlights for me were meeting other people and meeting other children as well because coming as a family unit, making friends with other vegetarian, vegan, fruit based children is pretty huge” – -Tracey Rose, Scotland
“I’ve had fruits I’ve never had before, I’ve had dragon fruit, i’ve had durian and to have the unlimited quantities of it has been so liberating, it’s really great. Sharing the fruit with everyone, it has this really nice sense of community”
– Michael Goodchild, The Vegan Activist
“I’m gonna take away ways of planning my life better, a general attitude of positivity and not letting myself get bogged down by things, making more time in my life for running and exercise. It’s made me feel so clean I don’t want to go away and start putting other things into my body again. It’s really given me a restart”
– Dawn Dakin, England
“This is our 25th wedding anniversary and instead of going somewhere exotic we’ve decided to come and celebrate at the fruit festival. It’s been a life changing experience we were a bit daunted coming here because we are new to raw foods and we didnt know anybody here and didn’t know anybody else doing raw food. We came here with an open mind and we’ve absolutely loved it and can’t wait to come back. We don’t want to go home!”
– Pamela and Michael Jones, Wales
“it’s not just about eating fruit it’s about getting healthier, taking responsibility for yourself and connecting with like minded people” –Marcel Cattin, Switzerland
“So often we are addicted, maybe smoking, alcohol, coffee all these things and we know that they’re doing our bodies harm. Here you get the information and the inspiration to change your life”
-Roger King, England
“It’s even better than I expected it to be, definitely. I didn’t really know what to expect, I’d never met another raw foodie so I was really, really excited about meeting other like minded people and everyone here is so nice. I’ve learned so much this week, it’s brilliant it’s definitely exceeded my expectations in every way” – –Alexandra McLean-Dridje, England
“I really enjoyed the festival because we met so many nice people, did so many nice exercises and had the best fruit ever. I really enjoyed it and will come back” –Sarah Merkel, Germany
“I just love everything about it, the people are really, really great, the food….amazing, the sports instruction- really helpful, and all the speakers have been excellent, the information has been really really good” –Karina Kasler, Germany
“the highlights have been the talks, definitely, going to the running classes as well, it surprised me how much I learned from those. I was surprised at how friendly everybody here is. You don’t normally get that instant communication and respect when you meet people in day to day life. I’d definitely come back in a second, it’s been one of the best experiences of my life” –Michelle Erkiert, England
“I came by myself and I was a bit nervous about coming and Ronnie had said it was like a big happy family and I didnt believe him! But I can’t believe how open and loving and warm and accepting- what a great place and atmosphere. The food has been great, so many recipe ideas to take home so it’s really helped me on my journey. And then, all the people you see on Facebook, that you follow are here and you can ask them questions. It’s been brilliant, I loved it and made so many friends and connections, it’s just been superb. My body feels so clean, it feels so natural and right that I just want to carry on”
-Amanda Jones, England
“I’m so anxiously looking forward to this years UK Fruitfest. Having attended all of the Fruitfest’s in the past, I know that this year’s will once again be a highlight of my year. Every year the Fruitfest has improved. Every year, every aspect of the programme has been tweaked to better serve the guests, everybody’s happy, we all have a good time. I’m gonna be there this year because it’s so much fun! This is an event you don’t want to miss”
– Dr Doug Graham, author “The 80/10/10 Diet”
“It’s fantastic, it’s beautiful there’s so many wonderful people here, I’ve met so many friends, old friends, new friends, had so much fun” – Paul Miller, Jersey
“I was expecting it to be good but it’s surpassed my expectations, it’s been fantastic”
-Hannah Rees-Ridge, England
“I’ve had the best time I’ve ever had in my entire life” – Edina Jackson, England
“The food’s been amazing, I’ve had lychees that I never knew existed, I really didn’t know they could be that good, and had durian twice. Lots of activities, I’ve got new muscles in my legs that i’ve only ever seen in textbooks, I didn’t know I actually had those muscles myself” – –Jim Smith, England
“I had my first Yoga session which was amazing, I didn’t consider myself a Yogi!”
– Izolda Biro, Hungary
“It’s exceeded all my expectations. I thought I’d arrive and it would all be a bunch of hippies walking around with no shoes on. I’ve just met normal people that are like minded and it’s been inspiring from the minute I got here” – Jane Sinclair, Wales
“The highlights would be listening to experts in the field such as Dr Doug Graham, Anne Osborne, Chris Kendall, sharing their knowledge that they’ve accumulated over decades of following this lifestyle” – Wil Currie, England
“the food has been exceptional, I’ve loved the food, my favourite has probably been the peaches”
– Robyn Ede, England
“the quality of the food that was ordered has been out of this world, we’ve been able to get food from all over the world and it’s just been amazing” – Dorothea Vasichek, USA
“as the person that prepares a lot of the meals in the house it’s been a nice break for me to come here and have food prepared” – John Coleman, England
“I travelled from Florida just for the festival and I’ve had a fabulous time, this has been my first fruit festival and now it’s all I want to do!” – Dee Duncan, USA
“How have I found the festival? Brilliant, although it’s gone really, really quickly, the time has flown, it’s 5 days but it feels like about 2, but – absolutely brilliant!”
– Matthew Tolley, England
“I have to say this has been one of the most enjoyable festivals that i’ve ever been to in all the years I have been doing this. The whole experience was just marvellous for me, I don’t think I’ve ever been to an event where I felt quite so relaxed and just part of a big family, a big laid back, fun loving open minded, heart centred family. I really, really, enjoyed it”
–Prof. Rozalind Graham
“It was nice to reconnect with old friends who I haven’t seen in a long time and to meet tonnes and tonnes of new people” – Jesse Bogdanovich, The Whole Lifestyle
“It’s kind of a holiday camp. You come here, you relax, you do what you love, eating fruit, just chilling out, having time together…it’s perfect” – Sylvia Konaklieva, England
“It’s been mindblowing to be honest. I’ve had different ranges of emotions since I got here. The nectarine I had yesterday was the best piece of fruit I’ve ever eaten”
– Sean Smith, England
“UK Fruit Festival has seriously been amazing, it’s my second time back and it’s getting better and better every single year. Really amazing lectures, amazing food, amazing connections with everyone. I’ve been to more lectures at this festival than ever and the education has bar none been really, really high. All the people had a lot of fun, a lot of heart and genuinely wanted to connect to each other, it was just awesome” – Chris Kendall, raw vegan chef and teacher
“the fruit’s been awesome, being in this beautiful area has been sweet, the accommodations are cool too, I love the little huts we’ve been staying in. It’s been a great time and the presenters have been sweet, the attendees have been going to nearly every presenation. I’m excited to come back in the future for sure” – Alyse Brautigam, Raw Alignment
“The festival was great. Being here with fruit and fruit family is a fantastic place to be. The men’s group was great, the campfires were fantastic and the athletics, the morning runs with Grant were a super, super time” – -Ted Carr, Fruit Living
“I’ve learned a lot of information to keep my health good for my whole life. Not just about the diet, about how to sustain a good lifestyle and how all the parts support each other” – Venla Mustonen, England
“it’s been good to eat all the amazing food and all of the talks have been really incredible. I’ve loved the running, yoga, Doug’s classes have been amazing. The speakers have been so open and willing to share. I just found it really valuable, it definitely exceeded my expecations” – Angela Orrechio, USA
“It was my very first festival and you guys made me feel so welcome and accepted. Your festival holds a very special place in my heart” -Melissa Raimondi, Raw Food Romance
In the raw food community, a lot of misinformation has been spread over the years. One of the main people that has worked to clear up some of these misguided ideas is Dr Doug Graham.
We often hear people talk about “detoxing” about “cleansing” about getting rid of the toxins and junk inside them. In this video, Dr Graham points out that we can never rid ourselves fully of toxaemia. But if our level of toxaemia is below the toleration level then symptons will not arise.
Feel free to share a comment on the video and share it with others. You can find more about Dr Doug Graham at foodnsport.com or you search for the articles and videos with him on this site.