I really don’t get into politics. Okay, when we talk raw food nutrition, I do have definite opinions. Normally, I just say what I believe and let people get all upset or not, as they will. I am a trained nutritionist, so I really don’t care what people who have not studied nutrition want to believe. Is that political? In the raw food arena, it seems to be.
T here are several basic raw food camps.
Natural Hygiene, or Food Combining, has been championed by such noted experts as Ehret, Shelton, Walker, Wigmore, Fry, and, most recently, the Diamonds.
Some tout the idea of “intuitive eating”, in which one eats what seems right at the moment.
Even the “low-carb” approach can easily be applied to the raw food lifestyle — I did it!!!!
Then there is the 80-10-10 system, developed and touted by Dr. Doug Graham, a chiropractor. This system has become very popular very quickly, to the point that many raw food groups have adopted the political stance that 80-10-10 is the only way.
Interestingly, I am told that, at the Raw Food thing in Arizona, David Wolfe, of the The Sunfood Diet Success System, spoke out against Graham, alarming people who believe in Dr. Graham’s ideas.
I, myself, have spoken out against the 80-10-10 system in several venues. Most people dismiss my ideas, and some denounce them, but, often enough, people come back to me to ask me more. I am a certified nutritionist (I don’t know about these other folks, to tell the truth). I studied holistic nutrition and vegetarian nutrition, specifically (I am, after all, a raw food person). My studies covered biology, physiology, and even psychology, as it is affected by biology and physiology.
I have also had the experience of taking off a massive amount of weight naturally (more than 100 lbs.) in a relatively short amount of time (one year) with no untoward experience (that was 5 years ago… and I remain healthy).
A number of the people I work with complain of cravings. I have experienced cravings, but what I have discovered (and this has worked for my clients, as well) is that most cravings are about fat. The body needs fat to build cell walls. When the body does not receive enough good fat, it will use any fat it can find to build cell walls. The quality of the fat determines the quality of the cell walls. Have you ever noticed that, with the rise in emphasis on low-fat diets, we have had an increase in all sorts of physical afflictions (hitherto unknown diseases, environmental sensitivities, miscellaneous rashes, and more)?? Our cell walls are meant to be impermeable, but, if we do not provide our bodies with enough quality fat to build the cell walls in the way they were designed to be built, we leave our cells open to invasion by dieseases, viruses, and more.
Our bodies also require protein to build all of the cells, of the bones, the muscles, the skin, the nerves, the organs……. If we do not take in enough protein, our bodies, in their effort to build new cells, will take protein from wherever they can find it. Muscles and bones are the first sources from which protein may be drawn by the body.(This is why many people whose diets are low in protein feel weak, and, in many cases, how people come to suffer from osteoporosis and other weakening of the bones).
I recognize the value of Dr. Graham’s system in that it provides a clear program for those who need a strong regimen to which to adhere in their desire to turn to a healthy eating program. The 80-10-10 diet is strict and uncompromising, and, as such, provides an almost cult-like cocoon of safe feeling to its adherents, who can feel confident and secure in their eating habits as long as they follow the regimen. (Unfortunately, fat cravings and skin disorders are but the first, and most noticeable, effects of severely restricted fat diets)
Fat and protein restriction are dangerous.We are all concerned about anorexia, which is, basically, severe protein and fat restriction, yet adherents to the 80/10/10 diet do not blink at their potentially anorexic behavior (or, perhaps, they are cheating behind the scenes, and not considering the causes of their cheating)
Although I did not care for Wolfe’s book, which languishes at the far end of my raw food book shelf, and I do not know what his credentials are (other than that he has gained a certain fame), but I laud his willingness to publicly speak out against the seemingly bullet-proof Dr. Graham, whose credentials are equally murky (I know that he is a chiropractor, but chiropractic is about adjusting spinal alignment, not not about diet)
I do know that protein and good fats are important to the human diet.
I completely agree with you. Like you, I lost a lot of weight….both on Low-Carb and now again on Raw, and have implemented many of the things that I learned through low-carb living to my Raw (well, about 85-90% raw) lifestyle. I put almost everything that I eat through a nutrition program, and found out that I do best when eating 40% (carbs) 42% (fat) 18% (protein). It sounds like a high fat diet, but it isn’t as high as it sounds when you weigh 112 and eat 1200 calories a day. That’s about 56 grams of fat a day, the equivalent of a little over 2.5 oz of macadamia nuts, for instance. In fact, I get very little fat in my diet from nuts; most of it comes from avocados, cacao butter and flax….I don’t eat too many nuts, but I love making my own mostly raw chocolate. I say mostly because one of the best holdovers from the low-carb diet that I followed (also with just a moderate amount of protein, although more than I eat now) was the use of xylitol in my diet, which has helped preserve my dental health. When I first went raw I made the mistake of adding dates and agave nectar to my diet and my teeth started going downhill in a hurry. I quickly found out that that is very common among people eating raw, which is probably the biggest reason why I’m only 85-90% raw. I stick with the highest-fiber berries and avoid the sweet fruits.
Glad to see somebody else with common (nutritional) sense out there!