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 Of course, Graham’s diet is not peer-reviewed, and there are plenty of other stories (and science) that argue against this approach.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.
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.
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).
During my workday I snacked on almost an entire bag of grapes (!).
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.
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!
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?