Disclaimer: This post is in no way intended as a framework for others to follow; I only put this up because I get so many questions about what I eat. Although I’m wildly interested in science and the mechanics of nutrition, I also believe that—at the individual level—personal experience trumps theory. My diet is an ongoing n=1 experiment; not an eating plan I deem universally optimal. What works for me could easily send someone else straight to the 9th circle of blood-sugar hell.
So here’s the gist of my eating plan, which has been pretty similar for the past nine years. You can assume that whatever’s on this page is current, since I update it when anything changes. (Latest edit: February 2015; I eat less liver these days.)
My reflections on raw dairy.
After a year of experimenting with varying amounts and types of raw dairy—including goat, sheep, cow, and buffalo—I finally accepted the fact that it was doing me more harm than good. I did feel physically stronger and my hair stopped shedding, but my face looked like an oil slick, I was breaking out nonstop, my digestion was crummy, I felt constantly bloated, and the congestion—oh, the congestion. I had to tote around wads of kleenex wherever I went.
I trimmed dairy out of my diet again; my complexion improved within days and any sign of congestion disappeared. Out of curiosity, I tested dairy one more time a few months later—a small amount of raw cheddar shredded on a salad—and wham, the congestion was back. I no longer buy any milk products, raw or otherwise.
I’ve spoken to a growing number of former raw vegans who now supplement their diets with dairy. And recently, it seems a few leaders in the raw community are doing the same—emerging from the woodwork amid the the boos and hisses of the crowd, asserting that raw dairy has bolstered their health. (more…)
Epic Failure #2: high-fat, raw-dairy-crazed, low-glycemic madness.
I think the bitter warring has died down in recent years, but back in time (2003-ish), fruit versus fat was the most vicious raw debate around. You were either in the fruit camp or the fat camp (sometimes called the “green camp”), never in any sort of grey zone between. For the sugar-avoiders, fruit was a hybrid, unnatural dietary monster; for the fat-avoiders, oils and other raw lipids were the culprits behind candida, deficiency, and every other health woe imaginable.
I jumped the fruit ship and landed in a sea of coconut butter.
So there I was: 16, far from vibrantly healthy, and about to embark on the dietary quest of a lifetime.
In the beginning, I gleaned the bulk of my raw information from Doug Graham’s message board on Vegsource.com. I am a “lazy in the kitchen” type person, so the simplicity of the “811” eating style—lots of fruit, minimal fat, and no gourmet recipes or superfoods—seemed enormously appealing. I read briefly about other raw dietary approaches, but they all seem too complicated and supplement-heavy.
So, still living under my parents’ roof, I loaded up on fruit and started on my merry raw way. I was already accustomed to eating a large salad most nights for dinner and snacking on loads of fruit, so the transition was fairly painless—the toughest part was giving up salty, crunchy items like chips. Prior to going deliberately raw, I was probably averaging 60% raw per day, simply because I was allergic to nearly everything else.
About a week after eating 100% raw, I ate some rye bread with roasted almond butter for breakfast instead of my usual fruit. It sat in my stomach like a brick. The drop in energy was immediate and horrible. It was almost a full year before I touched any cooked food again.
Epic Failure #1: high-fruit undereating. (more…)
The Teenage Years
I spent my middle and high school years in mediocre health. The wheat allergy drama was over, but I was still getting sick at least once a month—especially with sinus problems and chronic congestion. At some point during my freshman year of high school, my parents pointed out that I’d start clearing my throat constantly (and probably annoyingly) every time I ate yogurt. After lamenting over my much-loved milk products, I snipped dairy out of my diet. Boom! No more sniffles. (more…)
I jumped head-first into the raw food world in January of 2003—seven years ago at this point. Although this site isn’t intended as a personal blog, I do want to share some of my own history and experiences with raw foods and health in general.
Read, peruse, or skip over this at your leisure. (more…)