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.
Actually, that last reasoning I made did make sense to me. Jay.
Cooked food is easier for the body to digest, under two conditions, because the heat does a lot of the work our body otherwise would have to do in breaking down the macronutriens. Work, that under these two conditions, the body is not able to do alone.
The two conditions are; (1) if the body is in a sub-optimal health (paradoxically caused by eating cooked, refined food over long periods of time) and (2) the raw food available is not grown to be either naturally nutrient dense or ripe (and therefore not able to abundantly provide the body with the necessary nutrients needed to break down the raw food efficiently).
But the raw food contain some nutrients, and if we allow the body to heal and gather its strength, over time, it will have gained enough nutrients and health to begin breaking down the raw food on its own efficiently.
Maybe this theory is wrong. But for now, at least, it seems to unite the different ideas and experiences that I am aware of, either from myself or from others.
So until the body has regained enough digestive strength, it might actually be damaging to eat too much raw food. Because that might over-tax the fragile digestive system of a body out of balance.
This kind of goes against the notion that raw food is easier to digest than cooked, because cooked damages the food. And while that is true also, maybe there is another nuance here. Maybe it is wrong to say all raw food is natural, when we take into account how food is cultured in our modern society. There is less and less natural about our food. On the other hand, if the food WAS completely natural, in the sense it was grown in the most optimal way, picked when it was completely ripe, maybe then it would be digested with more ease than cooked food.
Here's my idea. Btw, you have helped me see that bananas were harming me, so thank you. Food allergy or intolerance. For whatever reason your system can't handle these foods. Just simply try mono meals of different foods until you can find a healthy diet with no symptoms. Note, you aren't alone in the inability to eat certain fruits.
Did you consume pasteurized fruit juices often in the past?
I am happy you have found more clarity for yourself.
Your idea about my issue isn't correct. I don't have food allergy or intolerance, I have digestive issues of raw sugars. So I cannot try mono meals of different raw foods and find a fruit diet that is symptom free, because I react to the sugars in fruit. And by react, I believe it is just a lack of strength in my body to digest it properly. Which should resolve itself in time. And so, I will always meet my issue when I try to get my daily calories, no matter what fruit it is. It doesn't matter, because when I get up into the amount of calories I need, be it through bananas, dates, apples, oranges, you name it, I get basically the same issues.
Therefore, what I will do for now is to have raw fruit at the beginning of the day, and cooked mono-meals (potatoes) at the end of the day, and greens somewhere in between. I avoid any pain this way, and I think it will give my body a chance to heal and gain digestive strength. So that later, I will be able to digest all fruit all day, every day.
I have drank pasteurized fruit juices in the past. Not very much, just some here and there. What happened when I tried doing that on a fruit diet, meaning I drank 1-2 liters at a time to get enough calories, my body would reject it, and it would just pass right through my system. So I learned that it is no good for my body. And I stopped immediately. This didn't happen with unpasteurized juices, like freshly made juice at home, in the same quantities. So there is something about the pasteurization, cooking, of the juice that makes it not compatible with my body, in high quantities.
"and cooked mono-meals (potatoes) at the end of the day"
How do prepare the potatoes? So used to mashed or baked potatoes with butter.
Haha, mono-meals, what does that imply? :)
Currently I just steam them. Because that is the most gentle form of heat treatment I have thought of.
A mono-meal, the way I eat then, is with just one single ingredient. Whole potatoes. Period. The most boring way to eat potatoes, almost unthinkable huh? :) And the most healthy. But still less healthy than fruit, so it is a compromise, though necessary right now.
When you say butter, are you talking about vegan hydrogenated fat with added salt? I am staying away from both salt and overt fats. And especially processed overt fats. I mean, the standard I want to reach is the healthiest fruitbased diet.
I lack knowledge on how to prepare vegan foods, so the butter is not vegan. I've tried mono meals and palate fatigue is a huge issue. My body sends signals to stop after about five bites or so.
When I was growing up we used to have a meal of 4-5 dishes. Potatoes, corn, carrots, pasteurized grape juice, and chicken. I'm having trouble getting used to mono meals. Its very difficult. Got any pointers?
As for steaming the potatoes, I never heard of that before. Got a recipe? Would this below link be a decent recipe?
I appreciate you asking this.
Yes, your experience with mono meals being boring are you not alone about. And there is no quick fix for that. Either you want the benefits of mono meals enough to make it work for you, or you don't. But, there are a middle ground here too, this is a range. We can make meals extremely complex, and with lots of condiments. Or we can make them mono meals. And anything in between. And the closer we come to mono meals, the healthier. And so, one way to go about it is not to go the whole distance at once, but to gradually simplify your meals. And you can break it down to so many steps as you want. Just changing out your non-vegan butter, with vegan butter, will make your meals healthier and closer to mono meals. Because vegan food is lighter on the body than animal foods. And the lighter the meal, the healthier. Of course, I am purely speaking from my own convictions. If someone reading this has other convictions, that is ok for me. We all have our truths.
So, the lightest meals are mono meals. And the lightest of mono meals, are fruit mono meals. And the lightest of fruit mono meals, are melons. Beyond that we have to go to liquid food. Anyway.
So, take your current comfort level of meals, and just reduce the complexity by a very comfortable baby step. Remove one kind of item, or replace it with a healthier alternative. And keep everything else as it has been. That is one way. And when you are accustomed to this new step, take one more step. This is the method with the most amount of steps, and the greatest amount of comfort, taking the most time to get to mono meals. You are swapping speed with comfort. If you choose this. But it can be an important alternative, where you get to know yourself better. And take care of your emotions at the same time.
You see, the lighter a meal is, the less emotional comfort it brings. And most people on this planet are actively using food to cancel out internal pain, that we all carry in spades.
And so, when ever you try a meal that is significantly lighter than you are accustomed to, suddenly you loose a lot of emotional support. And if you don't either resolve this internal pain you need support for, or find another way to comfort it, you will never ever at all be able to stick with that lighter diet. There is no use trying, other than for learning more about yourself. And that is of course a worthy goal. Failing is important. Fail enough times, and winning is the only outcome. Right.
Another thing. When your palate is used to salt and other condiments, like butter etc, and 'oh my god' fried food, then it will take a certain amount of time before it is able to taste the natural flavors of food. Because all concentrated flavors will decrease the sensitivity. And salt and butter and you name it, is very concentrated flavors. They make our palate insensitive to natural amounts of salt and other flavors, so when we suddenly try to eat without these supplements, in the beginning we will suffer the lack of taste. But, eventually, the taste becomes more and more sensitive, to the point when if you return to the old food, it will be way too strong of a taste for your palate.
But salt and butter and all these addictive things, we are not eating them out of nutritional needs in the first place. They are there to comfort us emotionally. And so it is ludicrous actually to remove them from our diet until we are ready to confront our current level of internal pain. The lack of joy from eating healthy food is not because healthy food doesn't taste good, it is because the taste is competing with a mountain of pain that we carry all the time. Most people don't know about this pain, this constant pressure of unmet needs and hurt, because they are too busy comforting it with food and other addictions. But it is there, and all we have to do is to stop with the addictions, to feel it.
Because, being alive doesn't hurt in and of itself. Actually, just being alive should feel blissful. So not doing something, shouldn't feel stressful. Like, not eating salt, shouldn't cause stress. It doesn't. The stress is already there, and the salt acts as a cover up, temporary cover up.
Ok. Steaming potatoes. Again, be careful to move too fast from a heavier way to cook food, (like the heaviest being frying) and to a lighter way, like steaming. You have to be dedicated to dealing with the internal turmoil. And that is not something to take lightly, as it is something that is very much ruling our lives, often. Without our awareness.
But, what ever :P Hehe.
Healing emotional pain, that is my solution to getting used to healthier food. And knowing what I actually really want in my life. Those things go hand in hand. There are many paths to take here. One thing I am doing is forgiveness work, as I call it. The art of forgiveness.
These are my pointers for getting used to mono meals. It is not about will power, it is about maturity, it is about conscious choice, about knowing ourselves. It is about loving ourselves. And nothing else. And the more space YOU take in your life, the less space the food needs to take. And that is what mono meals is, they take less space, so that we can live more fully.
So, investigate your reasons for wanting to eat mono meals or changing your diet. Learn about what it is you really need and want to achieve. And ask yourself, is changing your diet and having to face all that internal unconscious pain, worth it. Or is there maybe another way, to achieve your goals. I don't know. That is your business.
Ok, so again, steaming potatoes. That is very simple. What I do is that I take a steamer grate and cut the potatoes to a certain size. The smaller they are, the quicker the steaming goes. I like them to have the size of small potatoes though. More appetizing to me. Then I steam them like that until they are tender, which takes maybe around 40-50 minutes. Cool them down, and eat them plain.
Of course, mono meals with cooked food is more boring for the palate than mono meals of fruit. That is because fruit is superior food for us.
And remember. We are trading health for emotional comfort, when we eat denser and less healthy food. That is the precise trade-off we make, always. If we choose food because it is more satisfying than fruit, then we are trading our health for feeling comfortable emotionally in the moment. That is how I see it.
You can boil the potatoes if you'd like. You can bake them. You can grill them. You can fry them. And you will know which ones are healthier than the other ones, based on how satisfying the different methods are. So I wrote them in chronological order, from healthiest to least healthy. With steaming first of course.
But remember again, choosing the most healthy options is like choosing the least amount of emotional support. It is a double edged sword. Take that into account, and you will have much greater success.
E.g. Growing up with the food you grew up with, gave a certain degree of emotional support, for which your lifestyle was compatible with. And only by the degree of improvement of your life style from the one your parents gave you, that you have made since growing up, can you pick a healthier diet. The higher the quality of your life style, the more wellness and happiness it gives from natural sources, like self-love and meaningfulness and good friendships etc, the more healthy your diet can be.
Btw, to clarify. The complexity of meals means the complexity is at its lowest when the meal contains only one ingredient, that is whole, as nature made it, without any changes to it.
By combining more ingredients to make one meal, meaning more than one ingredients falls into the stomach for digestion at the same time, we increase the complexity.
By heat treating the ingredients, we increase the complexity.
By refining the ingredients, we increase the complexity.
By combining ingredients of great difference in consistency, we increase the complexity.
By increasing the amount of meals per day, we increase the complexity.
And so on.
Ingredients can be whole foods or it can be small things like salt.
A fruit smoothie that consist of bananas and frozen strawberries are more complex and is assimilated less efficiently by the body, than a fruit smoothie that consist of bananas and fresh strawberries. Which again is less efficient than a fruit smoothie of just bananas.
But is a whole banana more efficient than a blended banana, I guess, according to this reasoning. But I am not sure.
As you can see, there are so many variables here, that we have a lot of granular control over our meals. If we want it. And can adapt them to different concerns and cares, with high accuracy.
Or we can just leave it be and eat what ever we feel like in the moment.
And realize, the higher the complexity, the more emotionally comforting it is. And the less healthy it is. That is always the balance.
And also realize, the increase in health potential from a meal of 4-5 dishes with potatoes, corn, carrots, grape juice, chicken and probably a lot of condiments and smaller ingredients, to a mono meal of fruit, is enormous!! Just count the number of differences there are, wow. And so then you can appreciate how much the inverse is true about its potential to comfort us emotionally. And also, btw, with emotional comfort, comes mental dulling/sluggishness. A clear mind requires simple foods.
But, to go from that kind of foods to mono meals, is quite extreme, you know. Without preparation, without enough changes elsewhere in our lives. I completely understand that your body sending signals to stop after a few bites.
Such a life style, in my opinion, requires a cleaner life, a happier life. A purer subconsciousness, more positive attitudes about the small stuff. Stuff like yoga, meditation, active practice of gratitude and forgiveness, and stuff like that, are examples of things that harmonizes choices like mono fruit meals. It is not necessary, what it is all about is the internal state of your being. How you feel, how your mind is. How ever that expresses itself in your life, that is unique to you.
To eat simply, can be used as a spiritual practice. To achieve better health, cannot be done just to avoid sickness. But that is a spiritual choice too. It is bigger than just not being sick. It is a self-loving thing to do. We gotta choose to contain that kind of love, in order to succeed.
And we can perfectly do all of this without ever thinking about any of the things I have just described. But these things can help one master this though, as in my experience, choosing a raw vegan high carb diet is not a small choice.
"Another thing. When your palate is used to salt and other condiments, like butter etc, and 'oh my god' fried food, then it will take a certain amount of time before it is able to taste the natural flavors of food. Because all concentrated flavors will decrease the sensitivity."
Thanks for the detailed responses. So, what I think your stating is that this entire two extreme diet I've been on for a while doesn't work. Have a mono meal of straight bananas, and then have a complex meal involving many cooked side dishes and fried chicken.
I've been trying to add, add, add, hoping I would displace the unhealthier foods. So, I would try to eat 4 bananas a day one week, then five the next week, etc. While still keeping the deep fried animal products. Hoping eventually to make it to 30-60 bananas a day and displace the heavy food.
So what do think of my algorithm? Eat a mono meal of five bananas for breakfast then go eat deep fried chicken with a whole bunch of sides from a local fast food place, Popeyes, for lunch?
I would literally go from the raw support group at Arnold's Way to a fast food restaurant.
Now we are getting somewhere!!
What I think about that strategy? Oh my, MY GOD!! It is utterly ludicrous. Shocking, to me. Hahahaha.
Alright, I will not be so hard on you. I want the best for you. But please understand, what you have been doing has been very unproductive. But only because of lack of understanding of the body.
Yes, switching from two diets, extreme opposites actually, well.. What happens when there is a very high pressure near a very low pressure (in the atmosphere). You get a storm!! And that is exactly what happens in your body when you mix those things.
As you can imagine, adding fruit will not displace anything. It will just make a mess.
The only way to displace the unhealthy food, is to stop eating it. And then slowly the body will dump it. Over a period of days, weeks, months. You see?
That is why, when I switch diet, I start it off with fasting. To make space for the new food, so that I don't just dump it on top of the old. Which are still in my gut.
Oh my oh my. Switching between fruit and fried food, that is the absolute worst you can do. Either do fruit, or do fried. Do not ever, ever again mix those two. They are as different as you can make food, it is comparable with the lowest and highest pressures in the weather. And then animal fried, that is probably the absolutely least healthy food of all. While raw fruit is the healthiest.
Of course you would have big problems with gas and pain!! I am surprised you haven't suffered more, almost.
You cannot do this anymore. It is insane.
What you can do instead is slowly transitioning from fried foods to fruit. Stop mixing that, stick with one, and slowly change it gradually over a period of a month or 5. Or more. Maybe take a year. Or go cold-turkey and stay with only the fruit. But please don't put fruit meals into your body while you have fried animal products in your gut. Wait several days after the last fried meal.
The people at Arnolds Way were very much right about bad food combining, right? You see that now? Because the bad and good food were combining in your gut, you see. Doesn't matter if they don't combine in your stomach.
I have the impulse to scold you, hahaha! I guess I have, kind of. You have shocked me. Oh my, I can't get over these diet choices you've made. Haha :)
Having read all this. What are your plans and ideas now? What changes do you want to make in your algorithm, if any?
Switching from fruit to fried, and fried to fruit, ugh. Don't do that. Alright? Commit to ONE whole diet. Understand that the body needs a transition. Realize that food is still moving inside of your intestines, and fried animal food slowest of all maybe. With fruit fastest of all, crashing in the animal foods and beginning to ferment inside of you(!) GAS.
If you want a recommendation from me. I am not sure if you are ready for anything close to a fruit diet. I am not sure that is what you really want right now. Instead, just experiment with seeing how long you can stay away from fried foods. Alright? Just see, how long. If you can't stay away from fried food, then just forget about fruit. Literally, I mean it. They don't mix, ever. They are two different universes.
I think this will give you much more success, and much more peace of mind. Your gas issues will disappear also, I am sure.
Stay away from fried foods. Then simplify your diet even more. And even more. And then, when you are comfortable with eating only steamed vegetables, without salt and stuff, THEN you are ready for fruit :)
So it is a long way friend :)
Your gas issues are not caused by the healthy foods. But they are caused by mixing healthy and unhealthy food in your gut.
You would have the exact same problem if you predominately ate healthy food, and then one day chose to eat unhealthy. Remember, the transition. Never mix two kinds of diets, without expecting turbulence. Remember how the weather works. If you are OK with turbulence, then fine :)
I think your right. I've been reading about successful raw vegans. Very few if any of them were able to turn raw vegan overnight from a fast food diet. In fact, most of them were vegan/almost vegan for quite some time before high carb raw vegan.
When I was attempting paleo, which btw I had about as much success with paleo as I have with raw vegan, my friends would be confused. Wait, you ate strict paleo and then McDonalds and other fast food? I used the exact same algorithm on paleo as raw vegan.
Anyways, I think your 100% wrong about sticking to fried food. I've told the people at Arnold's and I'll tell here. Raw Vegan Gamer's testimony of partial success on raw. "I hereby state that I have received many health benefits from raw foods. Despite, not adhering very well to the principles."
In other words, you are way way better off eating five bananas a day and then fried food, then all fried food. I also remember hearing that concept in different words either from a person, book, or documentary at Arnold's Way.
Specifically my mind fog has cleared, allergies have all but disappeared, increased strength, endurance, general well being, and perhaps most importantly decreased anger.
So, whatever I am doing is working way better than the SAD (standard American diet) and my dabblings in paleo. Trust me you only have to dabble in paleo to realize the health benefits are minimal at best. Mostly from eliminating dairy. I quickly realized that and have reduced my dairy since.
I guess what I am saying is my way works at least somewhat. That the raw vegan lifestyle is so healthy, then even dabblers benefit. You don't have to go 100% raw or even 100% vegan to get results. Though its obvious that my way is less than ideal.
I'm the kind of person who likes to sample every food at a buffet. Including the food everyone else avoids. I find commitment difficult, which you can perceive from my other posts, start ten projects and finish none of them. I want the results of the raw vegan lifestyle, without committing or following through.
Ah, yes. Overall, there is more life force in a diet of mixed qualities, than a diet of pure unhealthy food. The fruit will lift the health of your diet significantly, because it carries so much more health than the fried. But for the same reason, the digestive tract will never find rest. That is what I meant. I am sorry for not being fair in my statement.
I see your honesty and humbleness in your comments, and no one can take your experiences away from you :)
I guess we have gained a valuable amount of new clarity, and that you will continue on your path of gradually improving your successes and well being, just like I will :)