“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.
Fruit and veg could become unaffordable for many people after no-deal Brexit
Could this be bad news for fruit and veg lovers in the UK? Research suggests that a “no deal Brexit” could lead to higher costs of fruit and vegetables. THis is according to an article released on Metro.co.uk which you can view HERE.
The article states:
Currently, the UK imports around 90% of the fruits and vegetables it consumes and almost half of all meat. If these levels were to decrease, it could lead to the deaths of up to 5,600 people per year by 2027 and cost the NHS an additional £600 million per year, the study suggests.
Most of these additional deaths would be due to cancer, coronary heart disease and stroke, all of which can be linked to a reduced consumption of fruits, vegetables and nuts. If we do not have a deal on trade by March 29, the day we officially leave the EU, then imports are expected to be more expensive, which could cause changes to the diet of millions of people.
The study, conducted by Dr Marco Springmann of the Oxford Martin School, wrote in The Conversation: ‘Brexit is expected to increase trade costs and make food imports more expensive, something that could lead to changes in diets and dietary risk factors that influence health. ‘Foods that are critical for good health would be especially affected.’
‘Given the UK’s import dependence, in particular for fruit and vegetables, any Brexit-related increase in trade costs will make it harder to get hold of foods that are critical components of healthy diets and chronic-disease prevention.
‘Whatever form Brexit might take, our analysis suggests that it will significantly impact the British food system and negatively affect the health and welfare of British citizens.’ The figures were worked out by comparing the forecasts for changes in the food chain with how disease risk is affected by dietary change.
This is not good news for fruit and veg lovers in the UK, many of who already believe prices for fruit and veg are expensive enough as it is.
It particularly interesting to note how connected the consumption of fruits and vegetables are to disease and health care spending. Would it not make sense to try to subsidise these foods for the population?
What are you thoughts? Is this just more scaremongering or are we in for a tough time after Brexit? Feel free to share the post and leave your comments below.
From the earliest of written history, fruit has played a key role in human health. It was the main food consumed in the proverbial Garden of Eden for an untold number of years. During the Golden Age of Man some 2500 years ago, fruit was the predominant food. This period of time in ancient Greece fostered the development of a hugely disproportional number of history’s greatest thinkers, philosophers, artists, and athletes.
Fruit has always been recognized as health food, and still firmly holds that esteemed position. The old saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” has been replaced by “Eat fruit every day, the five-a-day way,” indicating that the benefits of eating fruit are being more fully recognized. Our government, the health industry, the AMA, nutritionists, dietitians, and every disease-control organization that offers nutritional advice suggest that we eat more fruit.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the coin, there are people who literally shun fruit and others who are actually afraid of eating fruit. A few leaders in the raw food movement actually have suggested that we should learn to live without eating fruit at all. Obviously, someone is mistaken. Let’s see if we can discover where the error rests.
“The last thing I ate was fruit”
In the mainstream world, it is not uncommon for people to say to me that they cannot eat fruit because it upsets their stomach. When I ask how they determined this, they tell me it was easy: I tried that fruit in the morning thing, and right away I got an upset stomach.
I try explaining that it is very likely that the food they ate the night before is still in their stomach, and that pouring orange juice or other fruit on top of this food is likely to result in a fermenting mess, a “combo-abombo”. I suggest waiting until the stomach is truly empty before adding in fresh fruit for better results. Still, since fruit was the last thing consumed before the indigestion ensued, fruit very often takes the blame.
Similarly, in the raw food movement, fruit takes the blame for problems it did not cause. Based on calculations from personal and professional observations, the average raw fooder consumes 65% or more of his or her calories from fat.
The fat is mainly derived from eating meals calorically dominated by oils, avocados, nuts, seeds, nut and seed butters, coconuts, and olives. This is over half again more than the national average of 42%. On a diet that is so predominated by fat, blood levels of this nutrient tend to run extremely high. High blood fat results in high blood sugar, as sugars cannot exit the blood well when blood-fat levels are elevated. Under this scenario, the pancreas and the adrenal glands are forced to work harder to lower blood sugar levels down towards normal.
This causes the organs and glands to eventually become fatigued and eventually fail. This will lead to great swings in blood sugar levels known as hyper and hypoglycemia and, eventually, diabetes and chronic fatigue. The hypoglycemia develops as a result of excessive insulin production. The thyroid gland soon follows suit, for it is stimulated by the adrenals and will often become hypo-functional as the adrenal glands weaken. Other hormonal issues, cancer, heart disease, and most digestive disorders are also known to be caused by the over consumption of fat.
So how does fruit take the blame Many of the above-mentioned symptoms and conditions do not become apparent unless fruit is consumed. Unstable blood sugar levels are often seen immediately following the consumption of even small quantities of fruit when the consumer is on a high-fat diet.
However, almost every condition for which fruit is named the culprit is actually caused by the high-fat diet. While raw food movement leaders continue to blame fruit for a wide assortment of health problems, I must agree with them that these effects will occur as long as the consumer is on a high-fat diet.
Avoiding fruit is not the answer as it is not the guilty party. In fact, it is insufficient fruit consumption that leads raw fooders to consume higher-than-healthy levels of fat. The simple sugars in fruit, namely glucose and fructose, are essential. They are the precise fuel used by all of our body’s cells.
“I get so hungry when I eat only fruit.”
One of the most common complaints related to fruit is the idea that fruit’s satiating power is not lasting. “I tried that fruit in the morning thing and about an hour later I was starving,” is about the way the story usually goes. At first glance, this may look like a valid indictment of fruit’s inadequacy as a meal, but the situation deserves a bit more investigation. When I ask the nature of the fruit meal, I am usually told, “I had an orange, or a slice of melon, a banana, or some grapes.”
For most people, a typical breakfast usually contains close to 750 calories. A medium sized piece of fruit averages about 75 calories. When we eat a breakfast of just a piece of fruit or two, we are eating only 10-20% of the calories that we previously did, thus we feel empty and low on energy. Even if the goal is weight loss, this is too extreme a reduction to be satiating, maintainable, or nutritionally adequate.
When explaining that fruit has a lower caloric density than all other foods except for vegetables and therefore, fruit must be eaten in greater volume if one endeavors to consume sufficient calories, there is sometimes a glimmer of comprehension before the curtain of dismissal falls again. “Yeah, but how much fruit can I eat at one sitting? You’re telling me to eat more than one slice of a melon or two bananas?” “Yes,” I say.
We can train ourselves to comfortably eat satisfying fruit meals, allowing ourselves to actually eat fruit until completely satiated. This could mean that you eat an entire melon for breakfast, or six, twelve, or even a greater number of bananas for lunch. There are three main factors involved in feeling satiated, and here is how fruit figures into each:
It is very likely that as a child you heard your mom say, “Don’t eat sweets before your meal, it will spoil your appetite.” In effect, she was explaining that fruits are a satiating food, although she may have been speaking of candy or other less acceptable foods at the time.
Even a small rise in blood sugar to the above-normal range results in a satiated feeling. Fruit certainly supplies the necessary sugars for such a rise, and hence, is very satiating. This is why many people are initially satisfied to eat just a small amount of fruit.
Another reason why fruit eating results in satiation is its high content of essential nutrients. The nutritional composition of fruit comes closer to mimicking the full spectrum of human nutrient needs than that of any other food group. Also, the nutrients in fruit are the most easily accessed and absorbed, because fruit requires less digestion than do other foods.
Many of the nutrients in fruit require no digestion at all; they are readily absorbed. These include, but are not limited to: water, sugar, minerals, vitamins, and many phytonutrients. Although not digestible, the fiber in fruit is soft and soluble and thus gentle on the delicate membranes of the digestive tract while affording relatively easy access to the nutrients it encapsulates. These factors combine to make fruit the most satiating of foods.
Last but not least, our level of satiation is directly related to the volume of food we consume. As such, in order to feel satiated, we must ingest a significant volume of food. All of our essential nutrients can be concentrated into a tablet or cube and consumed in just a few bites.
While some experts may consider such a concentrated meal to be nutritionally complete, research has repeatedly shown that people are not satisfactorily satiated because of the meager volume. Exactly because of its low caloric density, fruit perfectly supplies satiating volumes of food per meal.
In fact, for many people who have become accustomed to the commonly consumed low-volume, fat-rich meals, deriving satisfaction from a meal of all fruit at first typically poses a seemingly insurmountable volume challenge. “My stomach can’t hold all of that!” people believe.
Yet, if they take the challenge and stick with it for a few days, they will learn they can eat sufficient quantities, and they will feel satisfied and reap the benefits of improved health.
Fruit makes the ideal meal
It takes a bit of practice to learn how much fruit is sufficient for a meal which will satiate for several hours until the next meal. It is equally true that a mental adjustment is required in order to expand one’s understanding of how much fruit is actually appropriate at a meal. With sufficient experience, one’s ability to consume extremely satisfying fruit meals will grow to become one of life’s great pleasures. After all, fruit is health food. Anyone interested in attaining, maintaining, and gaining increased health should consider consuming fruit as their predominant food.
If you would like to learn more from Dr Doug Graham you can visit foodnsport.com
He will also be appearing at the UK Fruitfest from the 25th to the 29th of July at Croft Farm Waterpark, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire. Register now to take advantage of early bird pricing.
This video is an interview from a few years ago with Professor Rosalind Graham. It is about the subject of eating disorders and in particular how she believes people can heal from eating disorders with a raw vegan diet.
Rosalind will be speaking at the UK Fruitfest this year and often gets the best feedback of any of the presenters. People simply love to here her speak.
Here is a little bit about Rosalind:
For nearly 30 years Rosalind Graham has been a leading light in the field of healthful and compassionate living, inspiring thousands of people throughout the world. Her depth of knowledge and understanding in the areas of raw vegan health, Natural Hygiene and emotional well-being have earned her international acclaim.
As someone who has been eating an exclusively raw vegan diet and practising the Natural Hygiene lifestyle for more than half her life, Rosalind has a wealth of personal experience. In recognition of her work within the Natural Hygiene movement, Rosalind has been invited to become the vice president of Healthful Living International.
Rosalind was previously engaged as a lecturer of nutrition, health science and fitness concepts at Middlesex University London where she taught students of dance how to maximise their health and performance. This work led to her in-depth studies and research into all type of disordered eating. For decades she has worked helping sufferers from all manner of eating difficulties regain their physical and psychological health: as she has also studied psychology and undergone training in counselling skills.
Rosalind’s many other prestigious appointments have included being employed by the Royal Navy as a consultant and lecturer in fitness, health and nutrition and also as Course Director of Nutrition Studies for The College of Naturopathic and Complementary Medicine in London.
Passionate about teaching, Rosalind presentaion skills and dedication to quality teaching culminated in her working for three years as verifier for the Royal Society of Arts.
Rosalind founded and directed her own business ‘Health Unlimited’ and has lectured wordwide on the science and art of health creation and compassionate living. She has worked as a consultant in fitness, health and nutrition in the private, public and corporate sectors. Recently, Rosalind has also been doing voluntary work helping teenage girls regain their mental health after being victims of social media abuse.
Rosalind’s knowledge and professional experience within the fitness industry are extensive. For 10 years, she held the position of senior course director for fitness professional teacher training for London Central YMCA in the disciplines of: exercise to music, ante and postnatal exercise, aqua exercise and access courses for healthcare professionals and she specialises in exercise for older adults.. For nearly a decade, she was also an assessor for the RSA fitness qualifications and was a mentor of staff development for the Exercise Training and Development Department. In addition to this, Rosalind held the position of National Senior Director of Post Graduate Training for Fitness Professionals in the UK.
For several years, Rosalind ran weekly rehabilitation classes for young stroke survivors.
Rosalind has written extensively and was commissioned to write a book on fitness and health for older adults buy the Daily Telegraph. She was also author and consultant for the Readers Digest on the topics of nutrition and health. In addition, she has written for many publications including ‘Exercise’, Pro-Link, The Hygienist, Top Sante, Retirement Today, The Journal of the European Vegetarian Union and many others. Rosalind was also a regular columnist for The Fresh Network magazine, Living Nutrition magazine and Healthful Living International’s E-news. She has also written and had published her own inspiring children’s book ‘Mable and the Label’.
Rosalind’s presentation experience is far too extensive to site here but includes being interviewed on International Television News in the UK and numerous appearances on television in the USA. For many months, Rosalind had a regular health slot on Southern Counties Radio UK and gave two appearances on the Radio 1 Roadshow, the second of which being to a live audience of 75,000. She has been interviewed on a vast number of occasions in various states throughout the USA and extensively throughout Europe.
For many years, Rosalind was, on many occasions, the keynote speaker for the North American Vegetarian Society annual Summerfest at Johnstown University in Pittsburg Pennsylvania presenting a vast variety of topics to over 1000 delegates. She has also presented at Georgetown University Washington D.C. Loyola College Baltimore, Evergreen State College, Seattle Washington, the University of North Carolina and Doubletree in Fort Lauderdale. She was also the guest and keynote speaker on numerous different topics related to nutrition, fitness and health at the World Vegetarian Congress held in the USA and, on two separate occasions, the European Vegetarian Congress in Busselengo Italy and Widnau Switzerland. Rosalind has also presented for the British Natural Hygiene Society at Regents College and at the Royal Holloway University London.
For nearly a decade, Rosalind was on continual international lecture tour including presentations in Hawaii, Australia, Costa Rica, the USA and extensively throughout Europe. The extent of Rosalind’s knowledge and experience in the field of health creation enable her to take a truly comprehensive approach to her teaching.
Since the birth of her beautiful raw vegan daugher, 13 years ago, Rosalind has become passionate about compassionate parenting; believing that future world peace depends upon how we parent our children today.
Others have said of Rosalind:
“Rosalind is a dynamic speaker who captivates her audience and leads them on an exciting and powerful journey into the realms of Nutritional Science. Rosalind keeps her audience spellbound through her use of analogy and story-telling as she illustrates complex scientific information about the functions of the body. Rosalind is warm, witty, charming, intelligent and a perfect representative of health and well-being. She makes science sexy!”
Cherie Soria, Founder and Director of Living Light Culinary Arts Institute and author of “Angel Foods; Healthy Recipes for Heavenly Bodies
“Each person seems to feel as if you are having a personal, and very valuable, conversation with him/her, and you answer every question with a wonderful combination of kindness, respect, and technical accuracy and completeness. Your presentations provide great value to anyone seeking to understand health, not only in terms of nutrition and exercise but also in terms of the relationship between emotions and well being.”
Larry LeVine Founder, South Bay Living Food Community Founder and former President, Institute for Vibrant Living
“Rosalind is the perfect combination of heart and mind. Her teaching opens people up to possibilities they had never even considered. I think parts of us wake up when she lovingly teaches us that all of who we are is worth sharing. I have been in her sessions as a participant and a co-leader and both were amazing experiences.”
Rae Sikora – Founder and Director – Centre for Compassionate Living,
“Rosalind is dynamic, energetic and extremely knowledgeable. She can take a complicated subject like exercise physiology and explain it so anyone can understand it. I’ve seen her work with audiences and her charm and sense of humour plus her ability to speak to the individual no matter how large the audience, is delightful and inspirational to watch. Rosalind is definitely a top notch speaker and educator.”
Roe Gallo – author ‘Perfect Body’ – California
Come And Learn From Rosalind At The UK Fruitfest This Year
Rosalind will be delivering a complete programme on health with her lectures at this years UK Fruitfest. She is a speaker that is not to be missed and rarely gives talks in public now due to family commitments.
I have seen almost a whole roomful of people crying at the end of one of her talks, it was so powerful!
If you are just at the start of your journey to a raw vegan diet it is very likely you will make many of the common mistakes that beginners make.
You almost can’t avoid making these mistakes. A raw vegan diet will be such a big change for you that it will take some time to adapt.
But you can get there eventually and you will enjoy the huge benefits.
In this article you can expect to learn the 4 biggest mistakes people make on a raw vegan diet. You will also learn of the 7 steps to success on a raw vegan diet.
Let’s look at the most common mistakes:
1) Trying to live on Fat Or Vegetables
Many people coming from cooked to raw want to replicate many of the same flavours. We have been trained to believe that our main big meals of the day will be savoury meals. We have been told:
“don’t eat sweets before dinner they will ruin your appetite”
To try to replicate this you may end up trying to make big savoury meals of raw food in the hope of replacing your previous diet. There are a couple of problems here:
a) We can’t live on vegetables
Vegetables, though having lots of nutrients, can not provide us with enough calories to sustain ourselves. We would struggle to get enough on a daily basis.
If a person tries this, they will inevitably crash and burn in a few days as they will run out of fuel driving them back to cooked food immediately. Then they will tell people “i tried that raw food thing, I didn’t have enough energy”. Of course they didn’t!
b) We can ‘t live healthfully on fat
The other mistake is to eat way too much fat. To replace that “full” feeling from cooked food a person will start to eat a lot of fats such as oil and nut butters.
The raw vegan movement is famous for “raw gourmet” food which are recipes designed to try to emulate the texture and flavour of cooked food classics. These recipes then to be loaded in fat.
Nut butters, tahini, seed spreads, flax crackers and other raw vegan recipes are very high fat and low in carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates are the preferred fuel source of the human body. Regardless of what the low-carb diet movement says, this is what all serious medical textbooks affirm.
Humans have always thrived on carbohydrates. So where do we get them on a raw food diet?
This brings us to the 2rd mistake:
2) Not eating enough fruit
It is natural when you begin on a raw food diet that you probably won’t feel the desire to eat a lot of fruit. Of course, we have all been trained not to eat too much fruit. It might give you a stomach ache right?
In reality, human beings are biological frugivores. What does this mean?
It means that over millions of years on this planet, we have evolved and are adapted to seek out, eat and digest fruit as efficiently and as quickly as possible.
We digest fruit quicker and with more ease than any other food. We delight in the sight and smell of beautiful fruits and they symbolise health and abundance to us.
Carolus Linnaes, the father of modern taxonomy (the branch of science concerned with classification, especially of organisms) stated:
“Man’s structure, internal and external compared with that of the other animals, shows that fruit and succulent vegetables are his natural food.”
In the film “What The Health”, the case for humans being frugivores was made very strongly. You can see this clip here:
Also, Dr Michael Greger, from NutritionFacts.org has made a few videos on this. He is not a promoter of a fruitarian diet but he has made some videos in which he points out that humans are frugivores:
What is the natural human diet?
The dietary status of the human being is that of a fruit eater
Do you get the picture?
To thrive on a raw vegan diet we must choose to eat enough fruit. At first, this can be a hard habit to begin but in time it becomes a perfectly normal and enjoyable part of your diet.
3) Getting too concerned about supplements, herbs, cleanses, flushes and other gimmicks and fads
Too many people coming to a raw food diet get sidetracked. They become focused on gimmicks rather than focusing on the incredible nutrition that is abundant in fruits and vegetables.
Many veer off track wishing to believe that herbs, tonics, elixirs, supplements and other concoctions hold the key to health.
They believe that a 30 day juice fast is what they need to do.
Or the master cleanse or liver flush
Or they need to do colonics, enemas or sit in baths of cold water
Or they need to do a long-term water fast or dry fast
Or they need to take herbs, turpentine or some other toxic substance to clean out “parasites”
Or they need to drink their own urine
And so on and so forth.
None of these things lead to long-term success on a raw vegan diet. I have seen many people do long water fasts and long term juice fasts, cleanses, and all sorts of protocols and gone right back to cooked food after wards.
People want results NOW. The desire for FAST improvement in health can lead people to try these gimmicks rather than giving the diet and their body the time it needs to heal.
4) Not giving the diet enough time
Most people give up on a raw food diet very quickly. They want to see huge results almost over night otherwise it is not worth doing.
But think about this:
If it took you 30+ years to damage your health on the wrong diet, why should you expect it to take a short period of time to heal on the right diet?
Healing takes time. The longer you are on the raw vegan diet the more benefits and healing you will get.
Steps To Eating A Raw Food Diet
1) For success on your raw vegan diet make your diet “fruit-based”
Following on from the last mistake, the first thing is that our diet must be based on fruit. It is so easy to undereat on fruit that you should get familiar with how much you need to eat to sustain a raw food diet. You might be surprised by how much fruit you must eat, but you will enjoy the results and how you feel if you commit to it.
The average person needs somewhere in the region of 2000 calories per day. This can be less or more depending on physical activity and body size but let’s pretend this is where you are at.
If you were to just eat one fruit in a day, to cover 2000 calories you must eat:
10 to 15 large mangos (depending on size)
21 large apples
22 to 25 large oranges
25 to 30 peaches or nectarines
32 cups of grapes
7 cups of figs
Most people are not used to eating this quantity of fruit. Many people tell me “I feel full after one piece of fruit”. You must persevere through this as you are not actually full. The temporary rise in blood sugar gives the sensation of satisfaction but to fuel yourself for a busy and active day you must eat more. To do this regularly and successfully I would suggest the next step:
2) Pick a staple fruit
For me, hands down the best staple fruit has to be bananas. They are calories dense, consistently delicious, available all year and relatively cheap.
I never used to be a big fan of bananas, and if I am honest, they are not even in my top ten best tasting fruits. But they are by far the best staple food to eat on a raw vegan diet in my opinion.
They also make you feel fantastic. Most people are missing out on the best natural high of their life by limiting the number of bananas they eat.
3) Avoid raw gourmet dishes
At first, I believe it is best to try to keep your diet as simple as possible. I think that eating raw gourmet food and raw vegan restaurant food is an easy and quick path back to eating cooked food.
I would avoid these during your transition.
4) Always have fruit around and plenty of raw food
You must create an environment of success. This may be hard to do if you share space with others. But you must in your own personal space fill it with fruit and vegetables. Always have fruit around and you will find it easier to stick to raw
5) Eat enough early on in the day
Many people want to attempt the “no breakfast” plan or intermittent fasting. For a beginning raw fooder this can be a dangerous strategy. The less you eat early on the more your body will be demanding calories later on. You are far more likely to eat something you don’t want to eat later on in the day if you have not eaten enough early on in the day.
6) Eat as much vegetables as you care for
You literally can not eat too much fruit or raw vegetables. Focus on tender leafy greens rather than on crucifrous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower. You will find them much easier to eat and digest in their raw form. You can get some great salad dressings and recipes from our recipe book.
7) Don’t overeat on nuts seeds avocados or oils
You may crave more fats on your diet. It is likely that this is a result of you eating too little carbohydrates from fruit.
Oils are a processed, refined food and are the most dense form of calories in the human diet. They are not healthy and should be avoided completely.
Nuts are often not technically raw and are generally dried to be transported and stored for long periods of time. In this state they are very easy to over eat. If overeaten, they can digest very poorly and lead to you putting on weight quickly.
Seeds are more likely to be raw but should not be used in high quantities. Once again they are very high in fat. Processed seed butter like “tahini” should be used very moderately and once again not seen as a staple part of the diet.
It is very easy to overeat on seed spreads, nut butters and oils and these will not lead to the health that you seek.
Avocados are a wonderful food but should not be your staple. If you can’t stop eating avocados you may need to consider increasing your sweet fruit consumption.
If you take these steps seriously you can learn to thrive on a raw vegan diet. To summarise:
1) Focus on FRUIT for the bulk of your calories and pick a staple you can eat every day
2) Eat as much vegetables in the form of tender leafy greens as you care for
3) Avoid oils, nut butters and seed spreads or use them sparingly
To get a real kick start you can get our FREE recipe book by clicking the link below.