Okay, no need to run to your panic stations. I'll cut to the chase...Yes, it's true: I'm starting a new "diet". "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!" you may be thinking. "You're already a vegan, what else is there to possibly cut out!?"
Well, unfortunately the answer is: a lot. Soy, gluten, sugar, coffee, wheat, not sleeping, stress....gah, the list just goes on. I do live a healthy lifestyle, but I know my food is slightly abundant in the above list. I love my bread and I love my coffee and although there is NOTHING wrong with that, I feel compelled to try a little health experiment! Also - let's be honest - I've been on holiday, travelling America for the last three months! My body needs a bit of a cleanse. Also, although I'm trying this I in NO WAY recommend it to anyone else, this is my own personal journey. I'll keep updating for anyone curious or even just because it's bloody entertaining.
Firstly: I must confess....I'm a little scared writing about this. Embarking on a new eating plan is always tentative because there is the possibility of "falling of the wagon" or "failing" (such a stupid word). Therefore: I am not thinking of this as a "diet". For anyone who has read over my blogs, you'll know I DESPISE diets and think they don't work. What I believe in is simply: healthy eating, listening to your body and using food as FUEL to serve you.
So what the hell am I doing? What is this "diet"?
Well, it's slightly extreme - but that's fun, right? Time to change it up! I've been aware of a diet called the "80 10 10 Diet" written by Dr Douglas Graham for a few years now. I first heard of it through some of my favourite YouTube vegans and was always curious to try it out. In a nutshell: it is a high fruit-based, raw Vegan diet. No, not 100% "fruitarian", you get plenty of greens and nuts if you desire, but there is a lot of fruit involved :)
In basic terms, you aim to eat two fruit-based meals a day (i.e: 5 bananas would be a meal....or 1/2 a watermelon cut open....etc) and one giant salad in the evening; where you'll get your greens and plenty of raw veggies (with a jazzy raw dressing if you like.) This diet is based on the idea (and some pretty convincing science!) that humans are closer to "Frugavores" than omnivores, judging by the way our bodies work and studying animals we are closest to and what they eat. I believe the diet is aimed at athletes and people who want to experience abundant health. Obviously this isn't me, I'm just curious :)
The Pros? (I.e. - why I wanted to try!)
Okay, the big pros of this diet is ABUNDANCE! You can literally eat as much as you want with zero guilt. I like my food. I like food a lot. I can eat a pretty scary amount in one sitting, so this diet appealed to me on that level. Also - on this diet, every single person who follows it says the same thing: do NOT count your calories in a restrictive manner. You are only recommended to calorie count to make sure you are getting ENOUGH calories, never to restrict. As fruit and vegetables are lower in calories, you need to make sure you eat enough to ensure you get all the fantastic health and energy benefits!
Switching to this diet you are (almost) guaranteed to shed excess weight, have more energy and clear up any digestive/skin issues. Can you say win-win? I also have to comment that I am finding it cheaper to live this way, but more on that later :)
The Cons? (Hmmmm)
Well, to be honest the only "cons" in this diet are dealing with peoples misconceptions. The obvious one is "isn't that way too much fruit??? Isn't that a lot of sugar!!?" I'm not an expert on this, but after doing lots of research, I feel confident that I'm in no danger of consuming a "dangerous" amount of fructose. Logically, I distinguish the difference between "sugar", a refined crappy substance that is crack to our bodies and the "sugar" that comes from fruit. Beautiful, fresh, perfect fruit that does our body so many services! I think it would be difficult to "hurt" your body by eating too much fruit. Unless it's not ripe, of course. Watching people who are long-term on this lifestyle is pretty convincing. They all seem like they are in immaculate health :)
Social Con? Well, yes obviously there is a con in not being able to go out for meals or sit at a cafe (although I have done that and gotten green tea). And I think that the pros outweigh this.
Isn't this just a Raw Vegan Diet?
Well, raw food diets are actually quite popular these days (yay!) but this differs from your usual raw food diet - mainly in the "fat" department. There are three important components to any diet: protein, carbohydrates and fats. Most raw food diets have a lot of avocado, nuts, seeds, coconut etc. The 80 10 10 diet is VERY LOW fat... and instead focuses on HIGH carbohydrate.
Okay, let's get into it! How am I going? What am I experiencing? Well....this is only Day 3, so of course, everything is very new. I have to say, so far, I am LOVING eating this way. The first thing I did (a few days ago) was organise some organic fruit and vege to be delivered to my door (I'm having trouble sourcing good organic food in Manchester.) These two massive boxes cost me about thirty pounds, which I think is a great deal. This will feed me for about four days!
I used a fantastic company: Abel&Cole, who are passionate about organic food (I also noticed one of their staff members is Vegan!) and the produce has been beyond my expectations. I woke up this morning and made myself a massive, epic green juice of Cucumber, Celery, dark cabbage leaves, spinach, 1 pear and a quater lemon.
Then, after working for a little while and letting my juice sweep through and perform all its' alkalising duties I promptly had 2 bananas...waited a while, still felt pretty hungry so then grabbed a bag of delicious, gooey organic dates to snack on while I worked. This may seem like a pretty big breakfast and I felt like it was too! But I'm determined to listen to my body and make sure i never feel like I'm depriving myself.
I went for a nice long walk later and then for lunch I just had a large portion of grapes. I absolutely love grapes! They're so nourishing and somehow filling.....This afternoon I have an audition and then when I get home, I'll make another epic salad! I bought some avocado yesterday, so I'll add some of that and use my delicious, fresh veggies that arrived today.
The main thing I want to note so far - is that already I have noticed my skin looking particularly fresh and clear, also the last few nights I have slept like a baby! In terms of immediate changes - I think that's pretty impressive. I also feel pretty light and "clean" as I'm going about my day, which is a nice change from the usual caffeine pumping through my veins. What am I not sure about? Well, it is a tricky adjustment eating SO MUCH food. I'm used to having fairly normal portion sizes, so it's strange being able to eat massive meals. But I just have to trust the experts and see how I feel!
The YouTube channels I'm using for most of my information and inspiration are: FullyRawKristina, EasyToBeRaw and DurianRiders. Feel free to check them out!
So - so far, so good. Let's see how we progress :)
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