30 Bananas a Day!

End of raw vegan diet ... for now

After nearly three weeks of high energy good feeling fruitarianism I began to feel drained and weak.  I was eating plenty - greater than 5000 kcals most days.  My belly hurt after each meal.  My water intake was around 2 - 3 litres a day.  Sleep?  I was getting a good amount of time in bed although getting up 2 or 3 times a night to pee was a little annoying and I wonder if this was contributing to tiredness?  My running back from the coffee shop each day became easier and my time for this little run dropped by several seconds each day.

After 3 or 4 days of feeling progressively weaker and a growing obsession with the concept of boiled root vegetables I broke my 5 and a half week old raw diet.  After 2 or 3 days of this I was feeling re-energised, but I'd also lost that buzzing lightness I had on the fruit.

While I miss this lightness I'm happy to say that this change back to some cooked veg has given me some grounding:  for the five weeks of raw I had been virtually unable to meditate.  I dutifully sat every morning and some evenings attempting to meditate, but my mind was bubbly and fickle and I couldn't hold my focus regardless of which technique I attempted.  This was a major down side to my raw diet as I get great benefits from meditating and these benefits were absent for this period.

Speaking to people I know who have tried raw diets (although not 811) I know I am not alone in this lack of groundedness.  Freelee says her mind is sharp and Harvey says the unfocussed mind of raw foodists comes from the excess of fat in the diet, but I barely touched 5% of calories from fat on the odd day I ate a few grams of nuts, and on most days it was less than 3%.  So, why the giddy head?

I'm not saying this diet doesn't work, and I don't pretend 2 weeks is long enough to be making judgements or drawing any final conclusions.  I'm simply logging my experiences here.

So where now?  I love the sentiments and attitudes of the people here and find the arguments for this diet persuasive, but I'm not into forcing a regime endlessly when it isn't working for me.  I've been eating a fruit breakfast for years now, so that will of course stay (although I'm now in the habit of having a much bigger quantity of fruit!).  I'm still having another fruit meal most days - that is I'm having 1 or 2 cooked meals a day.  So I'm not back to where I started.  The main change in habit is that I'm still keeping my fat intake low - much lower than the nut-munching diet I had previously.  It's hard to monitor when I've eaten out, but  I'm still more or less 811.

I intend to eat just fruit (and leaves) at least one day a week, and on most of the other days to have at least 2 meals fruit while all the time keeping the fat low.  I'm thinking I will probably dip into a pure fruit diet temporarily from time to time, and perhaps I will extend these periods indefinitely, but I am not intending to apply strict discipline in contradiction to how my body and mind are reacting.

Where I am now with my diet is quite a change from my previous diet.  I gave up meat 23 years ago and gave up dairy 3 and a half years ago.  Now I'm low fat and eating much more fruit.  Perhaps in the future I will transition to RV811 permanently, but I am happy with where I am now - with the changes I've made.  I'll still keep one eye on 30BAD as I am interested in other people's experiences and, generally, with this whole RV811 thing :)

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Comment by Tom on June 6, 2012 at 11:51pm

Thanks for all the responses!  I will try again sometime soon, when I'm ready.

I'm a pig and tend to overeat whatever it is I'm eating so, cloudyknight and Chris Hoover, I think you may have spotted the problem.  It didn't feel like I was undereating.

Dehydrated?  Maybe.  And maybe having a big salad in the evening instead of more fruit might help.

Thanks again, I shall experiment with these things when I return to rawness.  The clincher for me is being able to maintain mental focus and the ability to meditate - it I can do this while remaining raw, I'll be sold :)

Comment by Perry Fullerton on June 6, 2012 at 2:08pm

Feeling tired within the first month could simply be detox. I had that anyway.

Comment by ednshell on June 6, 2012 at 1:18pm

Sounds good Tom :)  There are some short petite females who exercise about like you and they eat 4000 cals a day, so I think the 5000 was probably good for you but it wouldn't hurt to eat more if you felt like it.  When you try it again, check for ripeness of your fruit, I see so many mistakenly eating unripe fruit which causes all kinds of problems.  And the water, if you are peeing 8-15 times daily, then you know you are hydrated.  There is a learning curve for sure, it's a wonderful journey! :)

Comment by Kimberry on June 6, 2012 at 1:04pm

Hm... what exactly were you eating?
I'd give it another try when you're ready, but keep things simple. One or two fruits per meal. Big salad at night. :) It took me a year to figure that out lol.

Comment by Chris Hoover on June 6, 2012 at 10:28am

  Just a thought, you can't ramp up your calories indefinitely especially if you're not burning them. You may have needed to increase them at one point and then surpassed the amount needed. You need to breath too! 

Comment by L on June 6, 2012 at 8:47am

You know, I read this and couldn't help to think that you may have been dehydrated. I don't think 2L of water a day is sufficient. I personally drink 3L+, usually around 3.5-4, sometimes even more, especially when I exercise!

Comment by Tom on June 6, 2012 at 8:11am

Thanks for your response ednshell.

A couple of years ago I was eating fruit until the evening meal for a few days, and meditation was amazing ... but this time it was the opposite :(

My height / frame size suggests less than 3000 kcal a day.  By your formula, 2600 plus a bit extra for activity (see below).  Around 3500 was fine for a couple of weeks, 3 mono meals a day, mainly blended ripe organic bananas or soaked dates (meticulous measuring and use of cronometer), then when I started feeling drained 5000+ wasn't helping.  It was back to my previous situation of always feeling hungry and never satisfied regardless of how much I ate.  The first two weeks of fruit was a respite from this and my usual insatiable hunger disappeared - it was really easy and I felt great.  I'm not a sportsman but I cycle around, typically 20min to 1hour 30min a day, and was doing a <10 minute run 4 times a week.

As for detox, yes it could be something going on, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't the regular cellular detox:  I know the symptoms and I had them for 2 or 3 days when I went raw and again when I went RV811.  Perhaps there was some other transformation going on?  I was sleeping as much as I felt I needed, getting early nights and I rarely use alarm clocks :)  I didn't feel sleepy - more sort of drained and lifeless.  I haven't given up on this diet, but I'm taking a step back now rather than putting myself through more than a few days of feeling crap - I'd like to balance discipline with a respect for how my body and mind are responding.  After 5 1/2 weeks of not being able to meditate, I'm afraid I have to say, Enough is enough ... for now.

Comment by ednshell on June 6, 2012 at 7:20am

Hmm, both my husband and I and one other friend who did raw for a while found our meditation much better on raw.  Were you counting calories, tracking on cron, weighing edible portions?  Was your fruit ripe?  Were you using good combos?  Was 5000 enough? what was your activity level and height weight? (10 times your weight in kilos times 4 for basic calories and add more for activity.)  Of course it could be simple detox/repairing of the body and you needed extra rest or sleep, that's pretty common in the beginning.

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