I've been around the LFRV diet/lifestyle for 2,5 years. That is a very short period of time. Still I've seen lots of people come to it, give it a try, and back off; something didn't work, didn't fit, didn't meet their expectations.
I can't speak for all of them, but I can speak for myself, and at least some of them.
What the 80/10/10, or low fat raw vegan diet does, is it takes your hiding places away. Rips you bare. You've got to face who you are, and guess what - not everyone likes it. If you smoke, you can throw up a veil that hides you; if you drink alcohol, you can run away to another world, one where you'll never need to see yourself in the face. If you take drugs, you can just lift off and be on a different planet. Far from yourself. If you eat junk, you can stuff your body so full of toxins it'll take all your focus away from yourself.
No need to know who you really are.
Imagine letting go of all of that. Go to a street and strip naked. Let everyone see. Look yourself in a mirror. Like what you see? The chances are you won't. And most won't even go that far, they'll back off faster than you can say 30 bananas a day.
Even if you were born the most beautiful being that ever breathed the air of this world, the most perfect being to set eyes on its blue sky, with the serenest smile on your face, you probably were quickly taught and conditioned to hate, fear, hide from yourself. Where you were looking for warm and welcoming arms and fresh mother's milk, a hard plastic bottle with cow milk or grain-derived substitutes was thrust into your mouth. The heart that longed for love for the sake of love, regardless of what you did or didn't do, was taught to do this and don't do that to get a bit of approval. Do the right things and they'll approve of you. Some were never approved of, regardless of what we did/didn't do. Some were spanked for not being the way they wanted you to be, or just because; others simply ignored. Either way, you quickly learned it was all your fault and you'd better hide all that pain somewhere deep quick, otherwise life would stink.
Then you grew up and forgot about it, or most of us maybe did. Some maybe didn't. They taught you to surround yourself with cloaks, smoke and alcohol, fat and fries, chocolate and chips, all sorts of things so you'd never need to take another look at yourself. They maybe taught you that if you look the way that guy or gal does, your external appearance could be approved of. But just skin deep. Whatever you had under your skin was better hidden away, deep under, in some subconscious place that maybe sometimes haunted your dreams but seldom saw the light of your consciousness.
Some of us learned to live just fine regardless; we ran and jumped, we fought and competed, and were busy enough never to need to pay any attention. Then we heard of this LFRV thing, and decided to give it a go. Hey, fruits are tasty and all that. Or maybe we'd hit the wall and were looking for an escape. Something wasn't working, and we wanted a fix.
For some it was smooth going, better performance, happy sailing. Others hit a bumpy road. Whatever your previous diet, it lent you something LFRV would not, and could not: a place to hide. Whatever negative lifestyle choices you had, there was always a place to hide them. Maybe it was a Mickie D meal, or a chocolate bar, or a ham sandwich, or a nut burger, or some superfood concoction that kept you safely tucked away, within an acceptable distance from yourself.
Now you had nowhere to hide. Nowhere to go from yourself.
Some of us didn't realise what was happening, it just didn't feel good. LFRV didn't work, it didn't "do the trick". It was stripping away our defences, and we didn't like that. There's got to be somewhere to hide, someplace where magic mushrooms can make us fly high above that scary past.
Some of us had crappy relationships. Jobs we hated. A boss we feared. Parents who wouldn't let go. Just some gut feeling that told us to keep our heads low, and not grow too much. Who knows what Gandhi you might turn into, and who wants to be murdered for some weird idealism?
At some point, it became a choice. Either you walk on and face the pain, face the crappy relationships, face the job you hate, face the pain you carry, do whatever it takes to let go and live life to the best of your abilities, regardless of what they say.
Or you back off, too afraid to let go, too afraid to explore, too scared to find out. Find out who we are, what we are made of and what we are here for. A few go back and forth. Longing to let go, but strapping themselves onto the past, wanting to have the cake and eat it. Afraid. Scared. Or maybe just deficient of something? Maybe just ungrounded? Maybe this diet just doesn't work for me? Surely that has to be it. B12 deficient. Sugar rush. In need of more grounding foods. Too 'airy', levitating. Fat deficient. Whatever deficient, as long as it gives you a place to hide.
For who wants to see himself in the soul, find out who you really are?
Who wants to strip bare? Who wants to burn away whatever isn't really you?
I can really relate to almost everything you said here, and I could not have said it better. This is probably one of the greater but lesser known truths of a low fat raw vegan diet.
Even high fat vegan does not provide the mental clarity of low fat raw vegan that can at times leave us with raw emotions.
Do not mind sharing, and thank you for asking.
It was difficult in the beginning, but with the passage of time, it is slowly getting better both in acceptance and practice, and I just want to shout out to newcomers who are struggling socially it does get better, just have patience and hang in there.
My family and I have gone through some growing pains and probably most of the stages of grief including anger, but now my spouse and kids have accepted my decision even if they are not ready to go 100%, and and a few people are making better decisions even if not 100% veg.
Between my experiments, transition, and practice it has been about 1.5 years already! Wow, where does the time go?
The first time I brought 5 bunches of bananas home at one time, they were all protesting that I should watch my health and blood sugar,and I would get fat, and that I had become a monkey on a monkey diet. I know they were genuinely concerned about me, and at the same time, most people will resist change in whatever form that might be.
(BTW, my last blood test, which was not a fasting test, I had a blood sugar of 72, so if anyone has any doubt about fruit, put them to rest:) Oh yea, my dentist also said I had the healthiest teeth and gums she had seen in 4 months. This information might seem irrelevant to a family discussion, but actually, these things help dispel their fears, and actually make them more interested.
My spouse was a little panicked on how expensive fruit is, but I have found ways to keep the expense down and eat a lot of oranges and bananas.
What people do not realize is a meal of T-Bone steak with spice and bbq sauce, potatoes, veggies, dessert, and coffee might cost just as much or more as a fruit meal. Not to mention the hidden cost of needing soaps, lotions, medications, and long term medical care for chronic health conditions.
The mockery gave way to well we are not ready for that, but if you want to do your monkey diet, go ahead. My spouse will bring bananas for me if my supply is low between grocery trips.
So I can eat my fruit in peace now, and I have joked before that I am on a covert mission to get them to go veg as well.
My kids will eat bananas for breakfast and lunch is packed and meat free. Snacks are fruit and smoothies.
One of my brothers is mostly cooked veg now.
My parents are 95% veg and mostly raw. They still eat meat, but rarely. I have convinced them to go veg for health reasons, but now on to animal rights and no more meat! Fingers are crossed. My mom is a self proclaimed old hippie anyways, so I will just try to bring back her memories.....
I have had another thought or two in regards to lfrv emotions.
In the beginning it was hard to let go of some of my addictions and mind numbing friends. But a couple of things seem to be happening simultaneously.
First, the healthier I get, the sicker I get if I do cheat, therefore, cheating is less and less.
The next thing is I think having a healthier mind and body helps me cope better with whatever negativity is in my mind whether it is something from the past or present.
I originally came to veg for health reasons. But that has quickly changed to animal rights reasons. I always did believed in the ethical treatment of animals, but did not feel anything was wrong with farming as long as the animals were treated right. What I did not get is that they were still be held prisoner and or being exploited such as in the dairy industry.
Now as I paraphrase Ghandi, veganism will give one nightmare's. And so while my old nightmares are fading away on a this diet, the new ones have begun. Hopefully I will put these new ones to good use and do something productive in the world.
The next thing I have learned recently from someone is that there is only the present moment. There is no past, we cannot go back, and there is no future. For me, just living in the present moment has had a very calming effect on me, and has helped me become a more forgiving and patient person.
So cheers to good health and a positive future, I mean present:D
I admit to being a bit surprised by all the strong, positive reactions to this thread. It seems there is plenty of experience of this among 30BaD members.
I am glad for all of you who have come over the 'threshold of fear'. That is a sign of strength and hope to me. Maybe a bit surprising to you, I have yet to cross the threshold myself. I have been up to it many a time, and always failed, usually after some months, when rising stress and despair in the family has brought me down. I am a slow learner, and it seems I need to hit the threshold many a time before understanding why I'm not getting over it. I'll give myself credit for not giving up.
I am not a particularly social creature and perform exceptionally well on my own, less so in a team. This need of solitude brings me to a paradox that I sometimes am both dismayed and amused at: Were I alone, I could easily cross the threshold and thrive as a low fat raw vegan. Being a full-time husband and father however, I allow emotional upheaval in the family to bring me down; not the first time it happens, and not the fifteenth, but somewhere around the ninetieth time. Yet without my wife, I would never have left my 'comfortable' SAD dominions, or indeed understood that there was something better out there. Bless her, my personal Zen master. At least I have the advantage of the snail over the rabbit, where the former, due to his slow motion, has ample time to study the path and all its dangers, cul-de-sacs and fences and maybe later draw upon this knowledge to help others across the path, whereas the rabbit maybe remembers little from his quick dash over to the other side.
I am, at any rate, about to begin my, er, ninth (?) go at 100 % LFRV, this time equipped with three things I have not had previously: regular exercise, (hopefully) enough solitude and coordination with my wife. She supports me with what she has, and maybe there will, for the first time ever, be some tiny form of support for us as a family as well.
Feeling the utmost gratitude for this post today! Something that I really needed to let resonate within my heart after since the ending of last year.
Jack, I totally empathize with you on family stress. There have been a multitude of serious issues that have appeared in my immediate family (health, financial, educational) that have grown really serious as of late, and have tested me very strongly and I'm learning to get through. This post really gave me some energy. I'm still trying to learn how to direct any negativity that I may feel towards more constructive and helpful things... it's a learning process after all, like you say!
Thanks again mate!
It is all there to teach us something, else it wouldn't occur, or at least not persist. The U.S. state finances are in excellent shape compared to our family finances, and one of the main 'issues' I have is my inability to maintain focus on work for extended periods of time. I have 'suffered' of it increasingly ever since the emergency appendectomy I went through 2.5 years ago. Had I instead had excellent mental clarity, we would likely be very well off by now. I shall have good mental clarity of course, and good finances, once I have learned whatever it is I need to learn.
It isn't that unlike learning to sail a dinghy; you capsize as many times as it takes to learn to balance properly. I guess the 'trick' is not to give up trying, and to learn from your mistakes.
You can save the link:
...and just in case something happens on 30BaD, I have also posted this on my own, family-oriented site:
...as Doug says, it is not about right/wrong, it is about the consequences we wish to have with our food choices. Sometimes we, maybe not realising it, wish to have a hiding place, and make food choices accordingly. I am glad you are encouraged to try again! Look at babies, how many times don't they fall before they learn to walk, let alone run? They don't stop trying for it, and are that tiny little better at every attempt. I wish you plenty of learning opportunities my friend.