Wednesday, June 06, 2007

June Challenge - Raw Food


Christa came up with this months challenge and she is journeying with me on it. She has been keeping up with the trek of her friend Sarah P., who eats an all raw food (80/10/10) diet. For a challenge we have decided to eat that way for a month.

At first I thought we'd be eating vegan, but that isn't restrictive enough. No, this diet, outlined by Dr. Douglas N. Graham in The 80/10/10 Diet, includes only raw fruits and vegetables and requires that your calories divide into 80% carbs, 10% protein, and 10% fat. Which means mostly high carb fruits and some tender greens. I haven't yet decided if Dr Graham is a genius or a quack. Some of his assertions do make sense.

Consider this: if you picture holding a piece of fruit such as an apple, or peach, or grape in your hand, and you imagine what it would smell like it, it practically makes your mouth water. God designed fruit to be appealing to us in its raw, complete form. Now consider a stalk of grain, or a herd of cattle, or an uncooked egg--does that image make your mouth water? From the perspective of what we are designed to forage for naturally, it is clear, to Dr. Graham at least, that fruit is the perfect food.

The biggest challenge, so far has been eating enough food. Fruits are a low caloric food by volume. So to reach a healthy daily caloric intake you have to eat a lot. Like 4 pounds of watermelon for breakfast and 8 bananas for lunch. Even though it tastes good, that is a lot of food and I have yet to consume the quantities that Dr. Graham recommends. So, my daily calories were under 1000 for the first 3 days. On days 4 and 5 I got up to 1400. The Doc claims that it is a transition for our systems to go from high calorie foods where we don't need to eat as much to a fruit diet where large quantities should be eaten. He says that my stomach will adapt and I should be able to eat 4 pounds of watermelon, so I am optimistic.

On the positive side, I'm not hungry. I don't feel any cravings. Probably because the fresh strawberries, peaches, and watermelon are so good.

Today I ate a watermelon, banana, and strawberry smoothie for breakfast (4 cups watermelon, 1 banana, and 10 small strawberries). For lunch I had 4 peaches and 4 bananas. As a snack I had an apple, 4 baby carrots, and 2 stalks of celery. At dinner time I made a banana/strawberry smoothie with 3 bananas and 25 strawberries. This works out to 1400 calories, 91.2% carbs, 5.3% protein, and 3.5% fat. (I'm using calorie-count to track everything.)

The morning smoothie took about an hour to drink. It wouldn't fit in any glass we have in the house so I put it in a pitcher and nursed it with a straw on my commute. Lunch was spread over a couple of hours. I should have made a salad for dinner, but I worked in the yard until 9:30 and I wanted something I could eat that wouldn't get in the way of DTD.

I'm interested to see what changes occur throughout the month.

5 Comments:

Blogger Allan White said...

Actually, I think chewing (some) raw grains is delicious. I don't think that grinding wheat up and baking it is going to remove that many of the nutrients (a subject of debate - and leave the germ in!).

Oh, and those strawberries you shared with me the other day were amazing!

What Would Jesus Eat? =)

Wed Jun 06, 12:01:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Allan White said...

The following are some thoughts on the posts' third paragraph, on Graham's rationale:

One of our amazing design features as humans is our adaptability. When I think of God's design of humans, it seems clear that he designed us to thrive in as many places as possible ("be fruitful, and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it").

That plate of food shot is amazing. I'd eat that anytime, and it would make my body feel good. But, if the logic is true that we are designed only to eat what looks good to us, then a logical extension of that would be, for example, not going to cold places because we would need to make more clothes; make tools to perform tasks; or, to cook food to make it look & smell delicious. Our very designed adaptability and drive to change our environment (clothes, tools, fire) changes the rules somewhat.

It seems Graham's perspective merely considers humans to be biologically evolved organisms whose tastes and drives were shaped by our environment alone (Fruit pretty. Fruit taste good!). He and other biologists will say that flowers and fruit evolved to "look good" in order to get their pollen & seeds dispersed (quite effectively). A creationist would point out that these things were designed to be symbiotic - man needs fruit, fruit needs man.

I digress. But, since we're talking about how God designed fruit for eating, I'll also quote:

"Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food... And it was so." - Genesis 1:29-30 NIV

Would I be healthier if I ate only raw foods? My guess is yes - I'm hoping Jason & Christa will tell us next month!

Wed Jun 06, 12:25:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Allan White said...

Two more thoughts, then I swear I'll shut up and get back to work:

I wonder if the water content of fruit - esp. the melons - helps with feeling full/not hungry.

I wonder if the sugar and extra acidity of the fruit might require more teeth brushings to avoid decay. Did Graham discuss that in his book?

Wed Jun 06, 12:40:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Lindsey said...

Huh. Wasn't it fruit that got us in trouble in the first place?

But seriously... my current gustatory choices revolve around the blood type diet, which proposes that some people are born to be vegetarian and some can only thrive on animal protein. That makes a lot of sense to me, as I've never been satisfied with a salad. It's done wonders for certain members of my family, too, so I'm a fan. But I don't take it as the final word about the ideal diet for humans.

All that to say: I look forward to hearing more about the Raw Food Challenge.

Wed Jun 06, 04:20:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Sarah said...

Very cool that you're doing this this month!

Allan, some quick random thoughts about your comments:

I think Jesus ate whatever the culture he was born in, ate. I think if Jesus was born in China he would probably have eaten truckloads of rice because that is what was available and normal at the time. :) Hey, it's not like people living in Jesus' time were in perfect health, right? With all the lepers walking around and stuff...

I agree that humans are nothing if not adaptable. But Graham is talking about an optimal lifestyle here. Sure, my body can and has adapted to be able to eat all manners of things - even chemicals such as aspartame, trans fats and MSG if I choose to consume those. (Hmm...would Jesus eat aspartame?) :) But is that going to give me health or cost me health? Graham is just saying that if you are sick of being sick, and desire AMAZING healing, health and fitness, you might want to try this diet.

As for Genesis 1:29-30, well, what about all the poisonous plants and berries out there? Should we be able to eat those too, since God gave us EVERY plant and tree with seeds in them? :)

Last but not least - yes, water content does fill you up quicker. Bear in mind that this diet really goes along with your fitness level. It doesn't really work as well if you're not willing to get in shape. When you use your calories, you earn your calories, make sense?

Also, if you try this water rich diet for a little while, you may start to realize that most people are walking around constantly dehydrated and never know it. The water is cooked out of cooked foods, so our stomachs have adapted to getting more calories in a smaller volume. It does take practise on this diet to work up to the volume of calories you need. Exercise really helps. I figured this out after working out vigorously one morning and being hungry enough afterwards to literally eat 10 bananas (keep in mind I'm a very small person - 4'11", 90-something lbs). :) Bigger people would probably need more than that!

Thanks for reading my thoughts! I'm excited to see how Christa and Jason fare on their 30-day challenge. I have experienced some amazing health and physical transformations after several months doing this and wish more people were open to giving it a try.

Thu Jun 14, 09:24:00 PM PDT  

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