Some background: I have tried living on fruit several times. The last few times where I went all in, I began experiencing more and more severe pain in my lower chest/solar plexus after a sweet fruit meal. It was absolutely worse with dates, but after living a few months on fruit I became more and more sensitive until I couldn't really eat any sweet meal with sufficient calories.
The pain was this radiating [read: radiate like heat does], crippling pain, that appeared about 10 minutes after eating and lasted for anything between 10-20 minutes. The bigger the meal, the greater the pain. The longer I stayed on the diet, the greater the pain.
And I didn't just get pain, but I lost energy also. As I didn't get energy from the meals, but lost instead, my blood sugar seemed to fall temporarily while I had the pain.
I know people have had similar experiences with melons, calling it melon belly. And also other fruits.
For me it seemed to really be mostly about calories, especially those kinds of calories that dates have a lot of. Bananas have less of those kinds of calories I think, maybe they have a different ratio of the types of sugars it contain, since I had to eat significantly more bananas in calories to get the same degree of pain and loss of energy.
I know about fructose intolerance, but I don't think that is my problem. The symptoms doesn't match up.
So I tried living on fruit again, starting in late December last year. Fruits and greens to be precise.
And this issue appeared again.
This time I was sick and tired of it, and was determined to find a solution.
And I found one! :D
And this solution is the only that I have tried and that has had any effect on this issue of mine.
It completely eliminate the pain and loss of energy.
Okay, so, what I did was I tried taking a vegan enzyme complex with a date meal. It worked! Perfectly! Suddenly, for the first time since this issue appeared, I could eat as much dates and any other fruit as I want without worry, without pain. Wow :D
As long as I supplement with 1-2 capsules of the enzyme complex I have, depending on the size of the meal.
That was a huge relief, let me tell you.
I know this isn't the perfect or completely natural solution. But at least I found -something- that works.
And it helped me better understand the pain and the cause of the issue that I have struggled with so much.
So the issue of mine is not getting a high blood sugar, which was one of the things I previously thought could be it.
The problem appears within my stomach, that my body doesn't have enough digestive enzymes to break down the fruit sugars, before it passes the food to the small intestines.
That is why the problem appears so quickly, before the fruit has had a chance to be digested. Because my body is struggling to digest it.
And knowing this, I am sure the problem lies within my pancreas. Because that explains the placement of the pain perfectly, and also the description of the pain. If you look at an image of the body with the pancreas, and if you have similar pains as I have, you might see the same connection as I do.
Especially after I now know the problem has to do with digestive enzymes, which is the job of the pancreas (to provide the stomach with digestive enzymes during digestion).
I am not worried about being dependent on an enzyme complex for the rest of my life, because I think this diet will heal my pancreas within maybe a year or so. Someone I know seemed to have the same problem as me, and supplemented their diet with cooked potatoes etc for almost a year, and then they could eat as much fruit as they wanted suddenly.
And for me, to be able to stay hcrv, living on fresh fruit, instead of cooked potatoes, I think the healing process will be even quicker. Makes sense to me, but I don't know, because there are unknown variables at effect here.
But at least I am sure the problem appears during the initial stomach digestion phase, where my pancreas is getting inflamed or something, lacking the ability to provide the necessary digestive enzymes to break down the fruit.
A problem probably stemming from eating an unhealthy diet of fatty and salty cooked foods, in the first place.
And again, a temporary fix for me is an enzyme complex.
I mean, probably it is enough to just do the enzymes needed to break down the sugars. I haven't tried that yet, as I already had a nice enzyme complex at hand, which worked and made me very happy :D
The enzyme complex i am using now is the Maxi-Zyme Caps from Country Life. I am not saying this to advertise, I am saying this to provide people with the same means as I have to help themselves if they have the same issues as I. Meaning, so people can reproduce my results for themselves. Or to help them at least know they have a different issue (in case the enzymes doesn't work for them).
Just be sure that you take enough enzymes for the meal. For example, if I eat 1000 calories during one meal, which I can now (jay! :D), I need more extra enzymes than if I eat 300 calories. One capsule is enough even for dates, if the meal is around 3-400 calories. But a banana-smoothie of 1000 calories, I need 2-3 capsules. I stick with 2 now, and it seems to be ok.
Actually, the first big smoothie I tried, bananas, I used only 2 capsules, and I could notice a slight pain and a slight reduction of energy. But the day after, I did the same thing, and then I did not experience any negative effect from the meal. So it seems that the enzymatic support let my pancreas recharge.
I will keep at this level for a while, and then reduce the amount of enzymes I take, to see if my body needs less support. As I said, I expect that it will heal and that I will not need any support after a long enough time. And I can check, just by adjusting how much enzymes I supplement with.
I really hope this can help someone out there. As this was a huge problem for me, and now a huge relief! I am so happy to have found something that works! Something that lets me finally thrive on a HCRV diet :D
By the way. I haven't yet tried chromium picolinate. But I have taken mineral and vitamin complexes with other types of chromium, and less amounts than recommended for this, with no effect. So I am unsure about if chormium deficiency is the cause of my issue, but I will try chromium picolinate at higher dosages (400 mcg a day) nevertheless. If it helps, great!
Edit: Actually, the enzyme complex I mentioned above, I only used that twice before I had used up the two capsules left in the bottle. Not on a big meal, but on smaller meals. Then I bought an enzyme complex here in Norway, a different brand called SuperZym-1. This is the one that I have used on big meals of 1000 calories at 2 capsules pr meal.
I am unsure about how strong the former enzyme complex is relative to the new Norwegian one. I have bought Maxi-Zyme again, and now I have tried it on a big meal. And it seems a bit weaker. So maybe I need to use three capsules of it, or more (I don't know), for the same effect. I think it depends on the strength of sugar specific enzymes that they contain.
It might be better to identify the actual enzyme that I need, as I expect there is just one or two that really is important for these sweet meals. I might update you guys here when I find out which enzyme I need.
I think you are on the right track here :)
My calories from fat is low. I prefer calories from carbohydrates predominately. So I eat very little fatty foods, even when I eat cooked. Almost all of my calories comes from rice, potatoes, sweet fruit etc, depending on if I eat raw or cooked. Without added fats also. Now I get my calories from sweet fruit.
Yes, a french fry and raw fruit diet is wow. That definitely could/would cause some change in your microflora. French fries is loaded with fat, as you now. Mixing that with the sugars from sweet fruit, oh my oh my. You know, french fries are cooked in oil, so even though they start out as potatoes, they end up as something completely different, as the potato soak up the oil as it is cooked.
But, I've had my own run in with fried food, and I too am suffer from that, with other symptoms. See my profile photo for an example, the red skin.
I mean, fried foods are the most unhealthy and destructive foods I can think of. It is the most unhealthy way to cook food, whereas steaming vegetables is the least unhealthy. But no cooking is really healthy though. Being fried in addition to containing lots of oil, oh man. Actually, a blend between oil and carb. Recipe for disaster. That is almost only eaten for emotional comfort, it has a very low nutritional value.
But I completely understand the allure of fried food! I am not moralistic here in any way, saying what is right or wrong to eat, though I sure sound like it. But I am not :) I am just stating what I believe to be true, in regards to food and health. But what we choose to eat or not to eat, that is up to each and every one of us, independent of each others. Regardless of what is right or wrong, in any measure, we are free to choose what ever we like. The only reason I stay away from fried foods now, even though I am still addicted to them, is because the payback from eating them is the worse of the worse. It is too much, so it gives me sufficient motivation to stay away.
Thank you, and I am very happy to hear that you find what I say helpful! :D Jay !
Very interesting, thanks for sharing Svein! One thing that may help is the Chinese proverb, "drink your food and eat your liquids". In other words chew your food thoroughly and mix it well with your saliva, which is full of enzymes. Then it will become liquid in your mouth. And when you drink, thoroughly swish the liquid around your mouth a spoonful at a time.
Ah, yes, I do have that in the back of my mind, but haven't been good at practicing in. Thanks for the extra push, I will eat with more patience :)
Let us know if that helps! :)
Thank you, I appreciate you saying that :)
I hope you don't mind me sharing a little extra, when you were so kind show care. But maybe this is too much sharing though, sorry if it so :P
ISo, i didn't help, at least not completely. I have eaten dates that way today and yesterday. And I mean, maybe it help some, but I am not sure. I am not able to avoid the pain this way. Yesterday it seemed to be working. But today it didn't. And I spent about 30 minutes on just 200 kcal of dates, eating one at a time, chewing it really well until it was liquid. And still I got the reaction. Maybe it was weaker, but this is unfortunately not an appetizing way to eat anyway. Because, I would have to eat continuously for two hours to get in one big meal. And I don't want to eat all day, and I don't like the dates that much either, right, hehe.
What was different for today, from yesterday, was that yesterday the dates were my first meal. But today they came after a 1000 kcal of banana-smoothie, several hours later of course. And maybe my resources get a little depleted during the first meal, which accounts for the increased pain-reaction today after the second - small - meal.
Yesterday I did actually get about 1000kcal of dates eating very slowly.
So, hm.. I don't completely understand the ebb and flow of this reaction. Even the enzyme complexes seems to work less now than a few days ago, but maybe I just have to increase the dosage. It is a little daunting though. But I really want to make this work. It is so beneficial for my health, and I so love the lack of work (in cooking) eating this simple way allows.
One thing that is interesting is that last time, when I began introducing cooked food at the end of the fruit period. Last time being the last time I ate fruit. When I had cooked potatoes-meal at the end of the day, I did not get any negative reaction from the big smoothie at the beginning of the day after, at all. It is as if the cooked calories sort of buffered the raw calories, in some mysterious way. I don't know why, maybe the cooked calories uses less of the precious resources my body needs to digest the raw calories, or maybe the cooked food makes my body assimilate the raw food slower. You see what I mean? I find this issue perplexing, it is unpredictable, even though I have faced it many times and over a long time now.
Why don't I get this reaction when I eat cooked, no matter what cooked I eat? No matter if it is carbs or fats or anything. No matter how well I cook it. I can eat as much as I can put in my stomach, without this reaction, if I cook rice or potatoes, e.g.
It is strange, I think, because I don't understand the mechanism here.
What I think I know, is that eating raw sweet fruit calories, reduces my body's ability to digest more raw sweet fruit calories. Dates being the worst. Meaning, my body's ability to digest this increases when it gets rest from doing this. Meaning, it uses a certain amount of time to recharge.
It doesn't need this time to recharge after a cooked meal.
Maybe I have to actually eat one cooked meal a day, to allow my body rest from the raw calories, enough to stay recharged, so that it can heal.
I don't know.
Do you have any thoughts?
Have you tried cooked dates?
I guess I maybe can try doing that to gain more idea about what is causing and not causing my issue. As an experiment, I like the idea. Thanks.
But I will never cook fruit to eat as a diet, if that was your idea. The raw aspect of this diet is important to me.
hmm, I do know that Dr. Max Gerson studied diet intensively and healed many diseases with his diet protocol. He tried an all raw diet with patients but found that adding some cooked food enhanced the digestibility of the raw foods. His diet program is 13 glasses of carrot, apple and lettuce juices a day with oatmeal for breakfast and potatoes and veggies soup for lunch and dinner and other cooked or raw veggies and fruits as desired. I have not found more of an explanation for why the all raw did not work as well.
Ok, I haven't heard about that one before. Good to know, more to think about.
It is strange, I cannot get myself to believe that cooked food has a greater potential for being healthy for human beings, or is needed to realize the whole potential for our nutrition. When cooking food is not natural in the first place, not something animals do at all, except we. Raw is the foundational and only solution offered in nature.
But at the same time, eating raw presents itself with seemingly unique challenges.
I really want to understand the missing link here. Something that explains that raw is best, under natural circumstances for human beings, while a mixed raw and cooked diet will provide less of certain symptoms under artificial circumstances. And what the natural and artificial circumstances are.
Maybe the missing link somehow is raw food that is naturally nutrient dense. I mean, unless we grow our own food in a proper way, or find it in the wilderness, then it will always significantly lack nutrients. And fruit will always be picked unripe. Hm, maybe eating fruit that is picked unripe, even if it is allowed to 'ripen' afterwards, which accounts for all the fruit in the stores where I live, is not wholesome. Maybe that kind of fruit lack stuff, like enzymes or what have not.
But are dates picked unripe also? Hm..
In the mean time, I might mix cooked and raw. We'll see :)
And then, when the raw food we eat don't have the nutrients that they should contain, then it becomes harder for out body to digest it properly. Because the food isn't whole to begin with.
And when we cook it, we effectively pre-digest the food, by using heat to do a job for us, breaking it in certain ways down on a molecular level, similarly to what enzymes would do. And in that sense, we can say that cooked food digests better, because cooking partially does what we would do on our own, if the food had enough nutrients. Ignoring the fact that cooked food is also toxic, and that cooking itself adds harm to the food. I mean, if we eat things without life, where will we get the life from.
I think nutrient deficiency may be the underlying culprit for you, what nutrient I do not know, there are many yet to be discovered.
I would say keep doing your best to eat the best quality, highest nutrient foods you can find and maybe consider supplementing as you do your research and maybe get some blood work done as well.
We do get life force from trees and the air and the sun, each other and even our own selves so no worries there! :)
I'll keep your experience with cooked and raw foods in mind and let you know if I come across anything more on the topic.
Yes, I agree. Nutrient deficiency, and also toxin accumulation in the organs. E.g I have had a habit of eating lots of salt with my food, although himalayan salt, but nevertheless. It can't be good. That with other bad habits, will take some time to reverse the effects of.
I agree with using supplements also, which I have begun doing a couple of weeks ago. Good idea :)
Good luck in the mean time ednshell :) And thank you for your care.