“your diet may work for you, but it would not work for me”
It’s frustrating when people buy in to the notion that there is a unique diet for each person.
Yet they never seem to realise:
– we are all best off consuming mother’s milk as a baby
– we all like roughly the same temperature
– we all breathe the same air
– we all get hydrated from water
– our eyes react the same way to light
– we all tan and eventually burn in the sun
– we all sleep at night (mostly)
….and millions of other things that we share in common as we are after all the same species.
So why do people like to think they need a separate diet for themselves?
Forgive me for saying this but I think this has more to do with a person’s identity than with a genuine need for a separate diet. We should not mistakenly connect our genuine uniqueness of experience and personality with an idea that we have a unique set of requirements when it comes to nutrition.
A number of diet books have been written based on this idea. The most famous being the Blood Type Diet. This book suggests that your blood type suggests what type of diet you should eat. Of course this book has been debunked as being false. Not only is the idea untested (and goes against the basic ideas on nutrition), but it makes very little sense. Animals have many different blood types but all eat according to their species specific diet.
Which brings us to the ultimate question. What is our species specific diet?
Consider the following passage:
“To say that humans have the anatomical structure of an omnivore is an egregiously inaccurate statement.” – The great taxonomist Carolus Linnaeus, (1707-1778), a Swedish naturalist and botanist who established the modern scientific method of classifying plants and animals, classified humans not as carnivores, not as omnivores, nor even as herbivores, but as frugivores.
Linnaeus writes: “Man’s structure, internal and external compared with that of the other animals, shows that fruit and succulent vegetables are his natural food.”
Comparative anatomy suggests that we closely resemble our frugivorous primate cousins. Though this may not suggest a strict diet of fruit it does suggest that the bulk of our diet coming from fruit is what our anatomy suggests is correct.
Add to this the enormous mass of science showing how vital fruit is for our health. The Global Burden of Disease study suggested that “not eating enough fruit” was the number 1 dietary risk factor increasing a person’s chances of developing disease, disability or dying prematurely.
Though a fruit diet is right for everyone, not everyone is necessarily ready for a fruit diet. This could be for many reasons but these are mostly psychological in nature and not physical.
Have you seen all of the hullabaloo about when is the best time to eat?
Or how restricted your eating “window” should be?
Perhaps you should not eat in the morning, or not eat at night, or only eat when the sun is up?
There is a lot of confusion out there about when to eat but a lot of this comes back to problems created by how poorly most people eat.
Think about it:
If you are eating a BAD diet, of course you are better off restricting how much you eat!
It is probably best not to eat hard to digest, junk foods late at night as it could interrupt sleep.
But what about the healthiest foods?
As fruit is what our body is designed to digest it is very easy for our body to digest and takes very little energy compared to other foods. Fruit does not stay in our system for day after day continuing to rot and cause gas and other issues.
Should we be worried about restricting our eating window when it comes to fruit?
I had a friend who told me it was very bad to eat fruit after 6pm. What I have found over the years is that people share these ideas with often no evidence for why this is a bad thing apart from perhaps their own interpretation of their own personal experience.
What about not eating in the morning?
I don’t have any problems personally with eating fruit in the morning though I tend not to eat first thing. I think it is good to give your body a little time to wake up and also best to eat a little slower first thing.
If it works for you then do what works. But I would suggest not worrying too much about your eating window.
You are far more likely to under eat if you do this and under eating is already a big problem when it comes to a raw lifestyle.
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
Have you ever heard of the term “Snake Oil Salesmen”?
It is a term that is broadly used to describe a con man selling a scam product. But the term has a real origin.
This concept originated in the US many years ago. It is said that Chinese immigrants had a salve made using snake oil that helped with aching joints. Whether this is true or not we can’t be sure.
But the idea of selling snake oil as a cure-all sprung from this story. Con men started to put on elaborate shows at fairs and markets to sell the product, sometimes involving a demonstration of how they killed the snake and added it to boiling water to extract the oil.
These elaborate sales presentations worked remarkably well and many people were bilked out of their hard earned cash to buy a worthless product that had never been found to be effective in curing anything.
Though snake oil is no longer sold, the same process is used to sell modern products that are just as ineffective.
There is a particular sales pitch that is as old as the hills and has worked for at least 100 years, if not longer. Using this style of presentation, numerous supplements, herbs, gimmicks and other ineffective solutions have been sold...and many people have become rich off the back of the ignorance of the audience.
This fraud was well known as far back as the 1960s and was documented in a film called “The Health Fraud” which was put together by the US department of health.
I came across this video on Youtube and could not believe what I saw. it showed examples of fraud in the health industry and what I was most amazed by was that the sales pitch used was almost exactly the same as things we still hear today.
The presentation starts by instilling fear in people. They will say:
– the food no longer has enough nutrition
– the soils are depleted
– the foods are full of chemicals and deadly pesticides
The insinuation is that a person’s bad health is not their fault. No, it is the fault of the farmer…the government…the scientists!
The only solution, is to consume supplements…and it just so happens I have some right here…..
(by the way, this is my personal youtube channel if you wish to subscribe to it)
What frustrates me, is that many people have bought into these ideas. They have heard them so often that they assume that there is truth to these statements.
But what is the reality around the level of nutrition in our food?
Luckily, the government conducts ongoing surveys to make sure the nutrient content of the food we are eating is not changing significantly. Here is what a recent report has to say:
“These results are broadly similar to existing data held. There is no evidence of major changes in the nutrient content of fruit and vegetables based on this survey and any changes are unlikely to be nutritionally significant in a varied diet”
– Nutrient Analysis Of Fruit and Vegetables: Summary Report, Department of Health (UK)
So when we hear someone telling us that the food we eat no longer has enough nutrition, first check out whether they are looking to sell supplements or nutrient testing services.
The truth is there is very little need to have fear about the nutrition you are getting when eating fruits and vegetables. You are eating the best and healthiest foods it is possible to consume.
And thanks to the modern day food supply, diseases of deficiency have basically vanished.
If you do suspect you have a deficiency, it is best to seek help from a doctor who will be able to arrange the required testing for you. This is important as your deficiency may not be to do with the food you eat but could represent something else going on in your body.
A raw food guru would not be able to tell you that. But some will have some superfoods or a herbal remedy to sell you.
If you are looking for those products or testing, UK Fruitfest is unable to help you. But if you are looking for world class education provided by the most well known and respected raw food leaders, food provided by the best raw vegan chef in the world and an amazing community of people to share it with, we have the event for you.
If you want to join us, the best time to register is now. A price hike is coming very soon.
“Then in 2002, I learned of a natural, uncooked diet of fresh fruits and vegetables. After nearly 20 years of nutrition study, and as many years of suffering, the first book I read about a raw diet gave me the biggest “aha” moments of my life . . . I knew I had found some real answers, some core truths I was seeking. The very next day I adopted a raw vegan diet, and I have never turned back because I love the benefits so much.”
– Ellen Livingston
In this interview we speak to author, coach and speaker Ellen Livingston about her journey to a raw vegan diet. In particular she speaks about the importance of her spiritual journey and the connection between this and her health.
Ellen runs retreats and communities focused around raw foods, yoga and a healthier way of life. She has been a key speaker at the Woodstock Fruit Festival since it’s inception.
Check out this episode an our other episodes today.
In this episode of the Love Fruit podcast we are joined by the Raw Viking, Rob Rehmark.
Rob has been on a vegan and raw vegan diet for many years and made his transition through following his own path. He has attended many fruit festivals around the world and inspired others with his videos on his Raw Viking page.
He now intends on moving to Ecuador to build his own fruitful paradise. I think you will enjoy this episode and Rob’s ideas a lot.
Recently, a friend sent me a message. She has been on a 100% raw vegan diet for over 5 years.
“Do you know anything about teeth?”, she said.
Unfortunately, I have had to learn a lot about teeth because I have had some issues with damage to my teeth over the last few years.
She let me know she had been to the dentist. He had told her that the enamel was thin on A LOT of her teeth. She had cried about it later that day. She was no longer sure what to think about this diet as her dentist had told her that the problem was the fruit.
“Do you eat dates?”, I asked.
“Yes, ALL THE TIME” she said.
“Give up the dates, 100%, zero tolerance policy”
I went on to explain to her in detail why this was almost certainly the main cause of the issue. I made sure to go over the point again and again as many people do not like hearing this advice.
Why am I so clear about this?
For years, I new that I was having problems with my teeth on a raw diet and couldn’t seem to find the solution. I had been to many dentists and went to talks from raw food gurus and read their books. I had become more confused rather than found clarity.
I started to make some changes that made a real impact such as using interdental brushes or floss sticks after meals to clear out the food that was stuck between the teeth. I would brush more often and I switched back to flouride toothpaste after many years using “natural” toothpastes that had no flouride.
These things made a difference but still some damage progressed.
Eventually a dentist explained to me I must be eating sugar. When I explained to him that I ate fruit but not sugar he clearly said to me:
“it’s not fruit, fruit doesn’t do that. It doesn’t stick to your teeth like sweets do”
He told me about people that had a pattern of damage similar to mine. They would suck on mints or hard boiled sweets all day long. The sugar would sit in the mouth and the saliva would become like a syrup coating the teeth for hours at a time, making tooth decay more likely.
“What about dried fruit?”, I said
“Yes dried fruit is the same as sugar” he said.
I suddenly thought of all the times I would put a date in my mouth and just sit it right beside my teeth and suck on it til it almost dissolved.
Dates had sometimes been a staple of mine on a raw vegan diet. I had never eaten dates until I became a raw vegan…I didn’t really know what they were until I heard some raw gurus online say that dates and bananas were the rice and pasta of a raw vegan diet.
Of course, they are delicious and easy to get anywhere. They can be stored easily and they are always ready to eat. They are also dense in carbohydrates which many raw foods are not.
Some people have said to me “but dates are natural”
This is correct but they are also a fruit from a desert climate. Our ancestors would never have come across fruits like that and most fruits would not have grown in direct sunlight either so they would not have dried so readily.
When I made a commitment to give up dried fruit and dates in particular it made a big change. I regret not making this change 4 or 5 years ago.
I was speaking to a raw food guru recently and I mentioned this to him. He said “yes, dried fruit will do that”. I was wondering why he had never mentioned this when I had heard people ask him about teeth issues. His answer had been “some people say their teeth is better than ever, some people have issues”…but he never seemed to offer a solution.
Another expert gave an in depth talk in which he seemed to be blaming a mineral deficiency. He seems to blame mineral deficiencies for everything so it’s not surprising that he would. As the saying goes:
“To a man with a hammer, every problem looks like a nail”
However mineral deficiencies are not the cause of this particular pattern of damage. If I had had a mineral deficiency my dentist would have seen something very unusual indeed.
Diseases related to dietary deficiency are from a bygone age when food was limited and most people struggled to get enough calories never mind get all their nutrients. This doesn’t stop their being a mass paranoia among vegans and raw vegans that their diet is deficient in something….but this is not the case here.
A third expert blamed the way we eat the raw vegan diet. We tend to snack all day long and our teeth end up exposed to an acidic environment all day with not enough time to remineralise.
Though his information was good, it still missed the core of the problem.
I suggest you take dried fruit off the menu if you are having any teeth sensitivities at all. This could save you a lot of pain, a lot of time and a lot of money in dental costs in the future.
In other news….
Are you interested in learning about UK Fruitfest? I am hosting a webinar this week that is open to all to join. It takes place on Thursday at 7pm GMT.