Everything I discuss will be based on my personal experience and research and by no means I am attempting to give any health or medical advice to anyone. If you are wondering what diet I follow now, it's a combination of raw and cooked foods. This makes ME feel the best version of myself.
And if you want to learn more about my diet and what I eat now, check out my eBooks!
They are filled with super delicious, macro-balanced, plant-based recipes that everyone will love!
Okay, on with my story!
I first become interested in vegan lifestyle in 2009, I even dabbled in raw veganism at the time. Then in August of 2013, when I was just 24 years old, I discovered the HCLF (high carb low fat) lifestyle. At first, this lifestyle inspired me to stay mostly raw, fruitarian for 4 years. During this time my diet consisted of excessive amounts of high glycemic fruits like bananas and dates, virtually no healthy fats, and in the last 2 years of this time period, I also incorporated some high carb cooked veggies and roots for dinner. For me, following this strict, high fruit diet resulted in:
-loss of skin elasticity
-loss of muscle definition
I want to stress something here: I do believe this lifestyle may be able to work for some people long term. Perhaps not every fruitarian ended up with these issues, but it happened to me.
Photo from Instagram: @thekateflowers
I attribute the symptoms I experienced to the massive amounts of sugar I was consuming. In no way do I think that fruit consumed in any normal amount would have done this. Nor do I think that short term HCLF or fruitarian cleanses would have done this. These things did not happen overnight and it took me a long time to even realize and accept that they were happening.
Of course, the aging process is unavoidable but to be 27-28 and noticing drastic changes when my diet was “supposed” to be the healthiest out there?! That did NOT seem right to me.
When I started doing research, I found that our bodies need healthy fats in our diet for our hormones and BODIES to function properly, especially for women. Since adjusting my diet and going towards a more balanced approach, I realized something. I was focusing all of my energy on one food group and not having variety to my diet. Some people can focus their energy on one food group and maybe it really works for them long term! My body could not do that.
One message I really want to also stress in this post: Don't just listen to one person. I have said from the very beginning: my way of eating is NOT the only way of eating. Some people feel better eating a high carb diet, others do not. I'm not trying to convenience you that "my way" is the only way of eating. Try your best to figure out what foods make your body feel amazing. And pay attention if your body STOPS feeling amazing and adjust accordingly.
Over the years I have been trying to be as informed as possible about this subject. If you are unsure about what to eat or what is healthy for your body, please seek out a health professional or dietitian. Even though I research, I am not a health professional, and would never want to steer someone in a direction that isn't working for them.
Another thing I came to find over time was that certain people on long term raw food diets who ate in a more balanced way (still including fruit but not excessive amounts, and definitely incorporating lots of healthy fats and greens) seemed to look and feel AMAZING. I will go ahead and name some of those people because I believe they are shining examples of long term health:
Karyn Calabrese (70 years young)
Sunny Griffin (77 years young)
Annette Larkins (75 years young)
Mimi Kirk (79 years young)
All of these individuals have TWO major things in common: they have been following a raw food diet long term and they do not eat fruit as their primary source of fuel. That isn’t to say that they eliminate fruit, it just isn’t what makes up the majority of what they eat. They all believe in the abundance of greens, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and even some healthy oils.
Absolutely nothing against anyone who disagrees with me or is thriving on a fruit-based diet; I just don’t feel it is what is best for my body. I figured since there is so much hype on social media about fruitarianism, HCLF diets and other similar ways of eating that I would be the odd one out and publicly speak about the topic. Again, it is my personal experience but perhaps it could help someone who is in a similar situation that I was in.
When I say that I am not a fruitarian is it because I am no longer eating a diet that is 80%-90% fruit, it is not because I have ruled it out. It takes quite a lot of fruit to get up to that percentage. There were several years of my life where I was eating anywhere for 300-400+ grams of sugar per day from fruit. I just can’t in my now 30-year-old mind comprehend how that can be healthy for my body long term.
Yes, fruit sugar is different than added sugar due to the fiber and water content and the way it is absorbed into the bloodstream. However, excess sugar is excess sugar no matter where it is coming from and unless you’re an ultra-athlete it is going to be hard to burn off all of that sugar in a day, even if it is coming from fruit.
Photo from Instagram: @thekateflowers
I now incorporate more greens, vegetables, protein, nuts and seeds along with my fruit and am really enjoying the benefits of high levels of energy, clearer skin, eyes and much more. I also take supplements! This is not talked about still, but you need your supplements to reach any vitamins or minerals you may not be reaching every day. If you aren't sure where your numbers are, please get a blood test!
In conclusion, from my experience, plant-based and high-raw diets can be great for your health. High fruit diets are amazing for periods of time in order to cleanse the body and give it a break from higher fat foods. A balanced raw vegan diet high in greens and veggies, nuts, seeds, superfoods, protein, and some fruit is, in my opinion, the best approach to a raw diet. It all depends on where you are in your journey.
Check out my current recipe guides and eBooks if you’re just getting started on your ultimate journey to better health, if looking for some gourmet raw vegan recipes, or if you’re interested in trying out a short term cleanse. They are filled with yummy well rounded raw and cooked vegan recipes!
See what I eat now: