I was watching a partial interview with Brian Clements on the Raw Life Health Show today. What I found notable, is that he says the basis of a healthy raw diet should be greens. OK, that's totally fine with me … if you can do that.
However, I think that for the most part, that statement is disingenuous, because unless you are able to exist and thrive on a severe calorie deficit on that sort of diet, your diet is NOT greens based, it is fat based.
I mean, when I make a smoothie, I cram 6 cups of spinach or so in, and yet the spinach only amounts to about 41 calories. So to get 3000 calories, I’d need to eat about 435 cups of spinach! OK, so let’s just pretend that calories like 1500 - 1700 a day were OK (like lots of people do on SAD diets) , that would still be over 200 cups of spinach!
I have read a lot of people talk about lfrv not being viable long term. It seems to me that a low fat, low carb, raw vegan diet would not be sustainable long term, because you just couldn’t eat enough, well not without multiple stomachs. So then you have to get a dense source of calories and at that point what seems better, to get them from sweet juicy fruit, or from fat?
It’s funny, because what we end up with is either a fruit-based diet or a fat-based diet. But no one wants to identify as promoting the high fat raw vegan diet. At least not that I’ve heard so far. There’s nothing accusatory in that statement either! It’s just simple math. Carbs are 4 calories per gram and fat is 9 calories per gram. So if you’re eating the bulk of your diet from greens which are low in carbs and also getting enough calories to survive, you ARE getting the bulk of your calories from fat, you ARE on a high fat diet.
Maybe a high fat, low carb diet has some therapeutic benefits. I know that in researching epilepsy since our daughter’s diagnosis, there are people who respond to nothing and going on a ketogenic diet for a period of time really helps to reduce seizure activity. However, it’s not something that is sustainable long term, because it is tough on the body. So it is done, for a time period and then backed off of. The great news is that for some people it seems to work, something is reset.
So I’m not knocking Hippocrates’ or Cousens’ diet plans, they could have some real therapeutic benefits and even if for no other reason than getting people off the processed, additive laden, crap we call food these days, making that switch alone can and does do a world of good.
The irony, as I see it, is how lots of people say that fruit is dangerous in quantity or that eating a largely fruit based diet is not sustainable long term. However, from what I’ve read so far, a largely fruit based raw diet is probably more sustainable, at least if you are raw.
So then it seems that some give and take could come in where people want to do slightly higher fat percentage, maybe 15 – 20% and/or incorporate cooked carbohydrate sources. But to say that a greens based diet is good and a fruit based diet is bad, or only a short term possibility is simply not logical. A low fat, greens based diet is NOT really a greens based diet, there is NOT really a realistic, low fat, greens based diet, at least not with enough calories to thrive. But if you look at bulk quantities instead of calories, maybe you can make your mind wrap around that. However, our bodies don't run on bulk. In yesterday's talk, I heard Clement talk about calories not being important, that they are working on classifying food as to its frequency.
That’s fine too, but I don’t believe we run on frequency, or at least if we do, it’s not understood yet. But calories give us a quantifiable way to determine what energy we can get out of a given amount of food. But people want to do anything to be greens based and NOT high fat, so they are inventing new food classifications to get around the simple facts staring us right in the face.
The silly thing is why shy away from what’s working for you? If a greens, fat-based, diet really is giving you the results you want, you don’t need to misrepresent it! Just say “yeah we’re high fat and its working great for us!” And if you happen to find out that *gasp* those fruities were right and that your diet is a transition diet and high fruit is easier to sustain, that does NOT take away success you’ve had with your therapy! We’re actually all on the same side, what we all want is the best health for ourselves right?
So to me it boils down to, do what works for you and speak the plain truth. To me personally, the squabbling is pretty pointless and lest anyone think I am bashing Harley here, it wouldn't exist without all the marketing and misrepresentation going on in the raw food circles. Harley is calling it as he sees it, I think that's to his credit. To be fair, maybe folks on the “other side” are as well, but what I see as Harley’s major advantage is that he is using terms and concepts that are simple and quantifiable. There’s a lot less wiggle room and misunderstanding in 3000 calories a day, 10% or less of those from fat.
People get all worked up, what if I gain weight? What if I get candida? If you do, make an adjustment! It’ll be a heck of a lot easier to make an adjustment in how many calories you get from carbs, from fat, than trying to guess which frequency isn’t working or what energy you are missing. I’m not saying they don’t exist, we just don’t have a frame of reference for using them yet and until we do, I personally shall be using calories, and macronutrient ratios to chart my course.