WIAW: A High-Carb, Low-Fat Raw Vegan Day of Eats

Happy Wednesday! This week’s What I Ate Wednesday will show a day in the life of the 80/10/10 diet, based on Dr. Douglas Graham’s book. Thanks to Jen for hosting!

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As I’ve explained before, Graham believes we should get 80% of our calories from carbs found in fruit, 10% of our calories from protein found in leafy greens, and 10% from fat (preferably avocados or coconut, but some folks eat nuts or oils in moderation). His theory is that we shouldn’t eat anything we wouldn’t eat in nature’s original state, and believes that people who worry about the sugar from fruit are misguided—according to Graham, it’s not the sugar that makes people suffer with weight and blood sugar issues, it’s the fat.

There are countless stories of people who have succeeded on this lifestyle–also called the “Low-Fat Raw Vegan” diet or “High-Carb Raw Vegan.” It’s kind of hard not to be swayed by the LFRV celebrity vloggers like Freelea, Kristina, and Megan, who are all glowing and appear to be beacons of health. Of course, Graham’s diet is not peer-reviewed, and there are plenty of other stories (and science) that argue against this approach. Because of that, I’m being cautious.

Kristina Fully Raw

Kristina Fully Raw

But I have to say I have honestly already felt the benefits of this kind of eating style. In a matter of days, I shed my extra holiday-eating weight (just a couple pounds), and feel generally lighter. I have TONS of energy and have gone full days without my usual cups of caffeinated tea. And perhaps most importantly, this is the first cleanse-type thing I’ve done that has actually taught me to be less afraid of calories. The 80/10/10 plan actually insists that you eat at least 2500 calories a day, and seems to correctly point out that most of these will burn right off.

The tons of eating is both good and bad. Good because it challenges the eating disorder mentality to restrict, which is something I certainly struggle with. Bad because it’s SO MUCH FOOD. It’s slightly more expensive than my usual grocery store trips because I can go through an entire bag of grapes, up to seven bananas, and half a bag of frozen fruit in a day! For example, here’s what it looked like yesterday:

After my usual cup of warm water with lemon, I had three bananas.

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After working out and going to yoga, I had a big smoothie made with frozen mango, mixed berries, and water. (This is only one of the two big mason jars-full that I had).

20130108-221250.jpgThen another banana, mashed up with cinnamon.

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During my workday I snacked on almost an entire bag of grapes (!).

20130108-221314.jpgAnd had a bunch of unpictured dried mango.

Then dinner. I never thought I would be so excited about savory food! Eating sweet fruit all day really gets me craving my veggies! This salad is low-fat raw vegan, but it doesn’t follow 80/10/10 exactly, because I used both balsamic vinegar and nutritional yeast as a dressing. The base was kale, broccoli, carrots, celery.

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All this raw food gets me craving warm stuff. So almost every night has concluded with some sort of tonic. Tonight it was a raw superfood “warm” cocoa. Ingredients: one banana, one date, tsp. maca, tsp. chaga mushroom powder, couple drops of vanilla stevia, raw cacao powder, warm water. YUM!

20130108-221334.jpgUnpictured: handful of goji berries.

There’s a lot I love about eating like this, but I’m just not sure it’s sustainable. I’m going to keep at it, but I think I’ll start to play around with modifying a bit so that I find a little more balance. Regardless of how I proceed, I know that this will have been worth it for giving my body a break from holiday indulging, re-training my taste buds to love fresh whole food, allowing me to experiment with lots of fresh veggies, and helping me realize I don’t need nearly as much fat as I was consuming! All good lessons.

What have you been eating lately?

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16 thoughts on “WIAW: A High-Carb, Low-Fat Raw Vegan Day of Eats

  1. Jennifer says:

    Awesome Menu for the day! I’m a Megan/Kristina/Freelee fan, too! I also LOVE Dara! Among others! :) I hope you don’t mind I added your blog to my sidebar and I hope to visit often!

  2. Lou says:

    Wow, I love this post! The idea of a “warm” cocoa is fabulous – I am going to try this tonight. I’m totally feeling the benefits already too – clear skin, better digestion, energy…. honestly I’m loving it, but Viper thinks I am TOTALLY nuts. Living where I am it’s actually a lot cheaper to eat this way – about $10 a day I reckon for all the fresh produce I can handle!

  3. Kari @ bite-sized thoughts says:

    I really, really love that you present this with such a healthy dose of realism and skepticism – it makes me so happy when people apply scientific thinking to their own lives and I always love it when I find someone who does!

    With that said, I can see why you are being cautious but happy, and I think that this is a way of eating I would enjoy if I did it with flexibility built in (I think cost wise and socially, it would be a big adjustment for me to do it all the time, and I’m pretty happy with my current eating so don’t feel motivated to make the adjustment). I would like to try it for a few days though, as I love fruit so much I sometimes get a good chunk of my food intake from it anyway. You may just prompt me to do so more formally…

    • raechel @the rebel grrrl kitchen says:

      Of course you appreciate the science, Kari! ; ) Yeah, it’s always tough for me, because I believe in the importance of science, but I also appreciate non-traditional forms of healing, like ayurveda, and it’s hard for me to completely denounce anything that hasn’t been through the peer-review process. So it becomes a matter of trial and error for me.

      Applying some of the rules with flexibility is probably ultimately what I’ll end up walking away with from all this. Nothing wrong with a little more fruit in our lives!

  4. aliciahostetler says:

    Hello :) I really enjoyed this post! I am really interested in starting a lifestyle like this but I’m just wondering if there are any special things that need to be eaten for protein, calcium, and iron?

    Does those nutrients come from the leafy greens or the bananas? I’m definitely not trying to be condescending I’m just looking for the information so that I can hop on the bandwagon worry free :)

    Awesome blog!

    • raechel says:

      Hello! Many people who follow the 80/10/10 lifestyle say they get all their protein, etc. needs from the leafy greens and nuts. I continued to take a multivitamin while I was on the program. I may not be the best person to ask, however, because the diet ultimately didn’t work for me. I felt imbalanced. Granted, I didn’t do it any more than a month, so I may have not given it a fair shot. Some of the better 80/10/10 folks out there are on YouTube. Check out Easy to Be Raw and Kristina Fully Raw’s channels. They’re pretty informative! Good luck and thanks for reading. : )

  5. Vanessa cook says:

    You’re not eating near enough calories, and that is why this lifestyle seems unsustainable to you. Add in more bananas, more dates, and a cooked carb dinner and you will see it can be done long term. Keep it low fat, high carb, vegan all the way and you will have tons of energy. Also, cacoa is toxic and a stimulant not advocated by 80-10-10 or any of the lfhc people.

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