Why I am no longer a fruitarian (after nearly 4 years..)
First of all, welcome to my first blog post! I’m so excited that you are here and you are interested in what I have to say. 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.
In 2009 I had found the vegan lifestyle and even dabbled in raw veganism but at that point being so young with very few role models on the topic, I couldn’t stick with it. In August of 2013, when I was just 24 years young, I found myself on YouTube searching for answers. I knew I wanted to be healthier and happier but I just wasn’t sure how to approach it. I stumbled upon a radical video of a very slim healthy looking woman popularly known as Freelee The Banana Girl who was making videos about eating 20-30 bananas a day! I was shocked but intrigued. I immediately went back into 100% veganism overnight after binge watching her channel and for that I am forever grateful. I have been vegan ever since. However, at first she was promoting the 80/10/10 diet which consists of eating only raw foods where your macro intake is comprised of 80% fruit 10% fat and 10% protein. It sounded a little extreme but hey it sure was working for Freelee right? I was all in, following all of her dietary advice as obsessively as I could. Admittedly, I did feel better…at least in the beginning. I read the 80/10/10 book and it all seemed to make so much sense. Only a couple of months later Freelee announced her very own diet called “Raw Till 4” which was similar macros to 80/10/10 except she incorporated a cooked meal at night. Again, I followed her lead. Still, what was recommended throughout this entire experience was UNLIMITED fruit. I’m talking about 10-15 banana smoothies, 10-15 date smoothies etc… What I would now consider excessive to say the least. I ate this way for two years before going back to fully raw and even when I did, the amount of high sugar fruit I was eating was still excessive. I am not here to speak negatively about Freelee or anyone else but I have a passion to share my experience with the world and that is what I am doing. For nearly 4 years I followed this extremely high fruit diet that was nearly void of any fat or protein. Within the last year and a half I noticed some health issues including things like:
-loss of skin elasticity
-loss of muscle definition
Just to name a few.
I attribute these signs 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 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. I slowly started doing my research. Looking up long term fruitarians to examine their health and how they looked after 10+ years of eating that way. I will not name call or show pictures of the examples I’m going to mention here only because I do not wish to criticize anyone else’s life choices. I will say that I did notice a pattern in people who ate PRIMARILY high sugary fruits for years on end. They all had a similar look, one close to what I had started noticing in myself. Another thing I came to find was that long term raw vegans and/or vegans who ate a more balanced diet (still including fruit but not excessive amounts) seemed to look younger, fitter and more alive. And I will go ahead and name some of those people because I believe they are shinning examples of long term vegan and raw vegan 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 vegan diet long term and they do not eat fruit as there 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 abundance of greens, vegetables, nuts, seeds and even some healthy oils.
I have been studying health for many years now and am always willing to adjust my diet depending on what I believe will be best for me in the long run. After about 1.5 years of researching this specific topic and fruitarianism vs a more well rounded raw vegan diet I have come to the conclusion that the latter is best for me. 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, 80/10/10, HCLF (high carb low fat) 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.
I most definitely still plan on eating fruit, plenty of fruit in fact. Eating high fruit for a few days or even weeks could be an extremely beneficial way to cleanse. I have written three eBooks and all of them contain a decent amount of fruit because they were created during a time that I was transitioning to 100% raw. There is NO doubt in my mind that I would have been able to stay raw had I not transitioned with a decent amount of fruit. What I am trying to get across is that fruit is in no way shape or form BAD. I believe that eating adequate amounts of fruit is actually essential for our health. Particularly for beginners or for purpose of cleansing eating low fat and higher fruit (similar to the recipes in my current eBooks) can most definitely help you on your journey. The eBooks can even just be used as supplemental recipes to add to your already healthy lifestyle. They are delicious and still contain many vitamins, nutrients, minerals and health benefits.
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 of 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 almost 30 year old mind comprehend how that can be healthy 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. 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 would love to hear any questions you may have about this topic so please don’t be shy ! I will also link the recent video that I made about this topic here:
In conclusion, vegan diets are great for your health, raw vegan diets are even better. 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 well balanced raw vegan diet high in greens and veggies, nuts, seeds, superfoods, protein and some fruit is in my opinion the best most well rounded way of approaching a raw diet. It all depends on where you are in your journey. Check out my current eBooks if you’re just getting started on your ultimate journey to better heath, if looking for some gourmet raw vegan recipes, or if you’re interested in trying out a 7 day cleanse. eBooks here. Also make sure to look out fro my NEW eBook that will be released in April ! It will be filled with yummy well rounded raw vegan recipes and I plan on creating a cooked version in the future as well!