Saturday, May 12, 2012


High Carb Low Fat Raw Vegan lifestyle/diet
also known as the 80-10-10 diet

As mentioned 2 blogs ago, the high carb, low fat raw vegan diet caught my attention and has a hold of me pretty strongly, and I've really enjoyed learning about it. I never keep a closed mind when it comes to healthy choices, but I'm always open to learn more.  I haven't started the book yet, but I have learned a lot about it through the 30bananasaday community, and through videos, articles etc. 

One thing I learned about this diet (lifestyle) is that it’s essential to eat a lot for fruit.  We’ve been steered away from doing so for various reasons in mainstream society for several reasons…some of the myths (according to this lifestyle) are; fruit is the cause of sugar metabolic disorders (when really it’s the excess fat we consume that affects this with sugar digestion), that simple carbs do not provide adequate nutrition (when really we need to just eat more of it! But not refined sugar, the fruit sugars are easy-to-access fuel for our bodies), and another fruit myth is that fruit should be a side, a dessert, that you can’t have it for a meal. Once again quantity comes into play here with fruit as a meal, because you need to eat an abundance, and that is a big part of this lifestyle…not one banana for a meal but 7 based on a 2,000 diet, or 12 large peaches. I also learned that eating fruit as a dessert to a standard meal (ex. meat and potatoes) is a terrible idea, because fruit digests very quickly, and meat and potatoes do not, so the fruit will get trapped in your stomach and ferment instead of move right through your system. Not to mention having sweets after a lot of fat also has an adverse effect in your body.   So fruit should actually be eaten alone, and eaten half to an hr before eating other types of foods. This way the sugars from the fruit are used up as instant fuel. 

Now for the benefits of fruit; firstly, it is easy to digest. The sugars in fruit are already in their simplest form, so the body doesn’t need to do any extra work to break it down and allows you to digest it very quickly giving you great energy. Next, fruit is very water rich.  Even dense fruit like bananas have more water than say a cooked meal, that evaporates all the water content away.  And let’s not forget how jam packed of vitamins and nutrients fruits are, one of the main reason we’re always told to include some fruit in a healthy diet.  Vitamin C, antioxidants etc. they are things we Need to stay healthy.  Fruit is also filled with fiber.  As we all know, fiber is necessary for proper digestion, feeling full (satisfied) and good ole comfortable bathroom visits.  And lastly, who doesn’t love fruit! It’s sweet, refreshing and delicious, not to mention there is such an abundance of variety.  So that definitely is on the benefit list.

Now, it's not 100% fruits, so that is very important to note. Here is a short clip from Dr. Doug Graham (creator of the 80-10-10 diet, addressing "not going 100% fruit".
So now that I’ve touched on the myths and benefits of fruit I can touch on how fruit is a part of this lifestyle.  As my first sentence stated we need to eat a lot of it living on this lifestyle. Fruit is basically the 80% Carbs part of 80-10-10.  The amount varies from person to person, but the great thing about it is, unlike other diets ("diet" which has a stigma of meaning calorie restricting short term eating plan, when "diet" is only referred to what is eaten in your lifestyle in this case).  A person should eat As much fruit per meal as they can stomach, pretty much.   Enough to feel full and satisfied...but not Overfull and sick.  From everything I have read, the one mistake people make when trying this lifestyle is just not eating enough fruit per meal.  If you are hungry an hr after eating your fruit meal, it means you didn’t eat enough.  If you got full too quickly, you're probably eat "too fast". About 80%-90% of your food for the day will be fruit.  Basically breakfast, lunch and snacks, then during dinner you incorporate some greens.   Remind you of anything? Yup just like monkeys lol…which make sense if you really think about it.

Well that covers the 80% part of the 80-10-10 diet.  The next part is the 10%, which is the Fat.  Fat is limited in this lifestyle and I was very surprised with everything I learned about why this is the case, about the facts and research that really opened my mind. On this diet you set a goal of eating Less than 10% of your calories in fat.  Remember fats are not eliminated in this diet but quite limited as far as quality, when you eat it and how much per daily calories.  It was very different from what I’ve been learning over my Raw food journey, because a lot of raw substitutes used raw high fat foods such as nuts,  seeds, avocado, olive oil and coconut oil with not much regard to How much fat is being consumed in one day.  The gourmet raw life style is very high in fat! I had noticed that while going through it, but I brushed off that fact because the most important part to me was it being raw. And although I did have a great deal of energy (due to my increased exercise, sunlight fresh air and motivation) I'd be lying if I didn't admit I did have bouts of unexplained fatigue too.    

I’ve come to learn that excess fat interferes with sugar metabolism, and because fats take much longer to digest than fruit, this excess fat keeps insulin from reaching the sugar, resulting in sugar metabolic disorders like Hypoglycemia and Candida.  So sugars is often blamed for this and people are told not to eat too much fruit etc, when they should be told not to eat fat with fruit.  I listened to a very interesting talk from a guy who followed studies of fat in the body and results showed that it slowed blood flow by 30% in the blood stream! I will do a blog on this in the near future.   Slightly less when the fat was eaten in a big bowl of greens…but that just proved that the greens fought to help slow down the damaging effects to the body that the excess fat was causing. I found that so interesting!   

So, on the 80-10-10 diet fats are meant to be eaten with the greens, which is wonderful for me, because I love avocado in my green salad, or nuts in it!   Another pit fall of too much excess fat as mentioned above, is it interferes with the transportation of oxygen (slows blood flow by 30%).  This is a problem because a low oxygenated body is a perfect environment for cancer cells to thrive.   And lastly, facts we’ve already heard time and again about too much fat, the link to various conditions such as heart disease, atherosclerosis, breast cancer, prostate cancer, arthritis, and even depression.  So limiting fats and eating the right kinds, at the right time is key.  The proportion of 10% is out of the daily calorie you have per day.  For a typical guy on the 80-10-10 diet, calories are suggested to be around 3,000, and a girl around 2,000 or 2,500 cals. So let’s take a girl on 2,000 calories, that’s no more than 200 calories of fat.  Typically this equals around half to one medium avocado or 1-2 ounces of nuts/seeds. 

As mentioned above "when" you eat the fats is also important.  It’s recommended to have during the last meal of the day, because your meals through the day are fruit, which are fast digesting, and fats will interfere with that.   So what is typically recommended is starting dinner with some fruit, waiting about half an hr (for it to digest) and then eating your veggies such as a huge salad with either some avocado or nuts/seeds on it, or a big green smoothie.  And it’s interesting to note that you don’t have to have the extra fat daily.  With all the fruit consumption, 3-5% of your calories of fat already will come from just the fruit, so you will get enough essential fatty acids while not having extra fat daily. The 10% marks the maximum not minimum or average. 

The last 10% is Protein.  I’ve come to learn that there is so much misinformation about how much protein we need, and about protein in general.   The First question someone will ask someone who’s a vegan or vegetarian is where do they get their protein.  Not many people realize there is protein in pretty much all foods. It’s a matter of how much of these foods we eat that determines how much we get in a day.  In the raw vegan 80-10-10 diet, a person gets enough protein a day just from the fruit, veggies and moderate nuts they may include. A greater amount if they include superfoods like spirulina and Chlorella.

Speaking of protein, I have to mention that it is essential not to Only focus on fruit, although it comprises most of this lifestyle, greens are also an Essential part of this raw vegan lifestyle...emphasis on the Essential.   Veggies like lettuce and zucchini contain more minerals and high-quality protein than sweet fruits do.   Greens like romaine lettuce contains almost 25% protein and is a great source of iron, calcium and sodium, so including your veggies will be the key to balancing your whole diet. 

Veggies however aren’t all grouped together.  The diet does favor some over others…actually this part surprised me about how many they don’t recommend in preference of others.  They base recommendations according to ease of digestion.  Some of the best ones included are tender leafy greens, such as romaine and iceberg lettuce, and this is because they’re easy to digest and therefore great for nutrient absorption and assimilation.  So how much greens?  It recommends around 1-2 pounds daily. That’s quite a bit! Considering people eat a few ounces in a salad typically. A pound of 2 of greens is pretty much a whole head of lettuce. Because of this fact, many choose to blend them up in a green smoothie, which is a delicious way to get them in!

I monitor the amount of nutrients I get into my day from Cron-O-Meter. It's a wonderful online tool to plug in all the foods you eat during the day and it calculates all the minerals, nutrients, protein, fiber, sugar, etc etc in your day.  I found that I almost max out on everything so I'm not taking my multivitamin this month. One thing I did notice is low is Choline. I believe you get those from foods such as eggs, liver and things not so vegan. I seem to get enough Vitamin B-12 from Silk almond milk, however I still take my Vitamin B-12 spray daily. 

Now that I’ve pretty much covered the eating portion of 80-10-10, I refer to it as a lifestyle and not just a diet because other components are Just as important. This includes adequate exercise, rest and sleep, fresh air, sunshine, mental stimulation and good ole healthy relationships.  These all share the values of the raw food lifestyle, so knowing their importance was nothing new to me.

Summing it all up: Eat enough calories...lots of fruit, limit fat consumption, don’t neglect your greens, and take a well founded approach. With those in place, the 80-10-10 lifestyle is modeled to better anyone’s life who is willing to stick to it.  It's designed for a well rounded active, simple and healthy lifestyle...with abundance to eat!  

The health benefits and enjoyment of fruits pretty much are what reeled me in...second to the superior health I've been reading about.  I’m always on the search for the “healthier” thing to do.  And once I learn why something is unhealthy and what the healthier way to go about something is, I find it very hard to not want to adopt it!  Leave alone going back to my old ways...which makes me feel like I'm not respecting my self enough if I truly believe something is not healthy and do it anyways.   My health consciousness is always beaming very brightly and to me it’s a passion, so this lifestyle may seem extremely extreme to most, but to me it’s an awesome challenge that I’m excited to experiment how it changes my life and health.

The unfortunate part about it, for me personally, is affording the abundance of fruit it requires! I go all organic and living in Minnesota, fruit is a seasonal thing, and our winters are brutal.  Bringing me to my next hurdle, the comfort of warming foods in our cold, cold winter is almost essential for me to get through the cold. Oh how I will miss my hot cocoa. But either way I plan to allow hot teas to remain...and my lifestyle and health is a fluid journey that will take me through many different paths, that I'm always willing to except.  I have discovered so many amazing raw recipes, invested so much money in raw foods and powders, and now all those are mute in this lifestyle, so it does leave me lingering, and keeping my door open.   Then again at the end of the day, I learn more about myself, my health, and health in general, so I never do anything to regret it later, I enjoy every part of every journey I take.


  1. Your dilema is a common one. You will find a way to handle it if you stick it out. I did. Join 30 bananas a day for support.

    1. I started reading the book yesterday, and it's a wonderful book! I decided not to follow the 80-10-10 diet strictly...but I still find myself eating a ton of fruit for the first 2 meals, and greens for dinner! Still get headaches though when I do. I've been on and off the fruit load since I started, so I know for certain it's the fruit that's causing it (even if that's temporary, I did narrow it down to fruit abundance). But the eating plan did sorta stick with me without intention. I just switch up to eat greens midday now as well. Had some apples and bananas for breakfast yesterday and found myself grabbing more fruit when I got hungry, and a whole pineapple for lunch...and loved it! Then a few more fruits for snack before dinner and a huge green salad. However I did use an entire small avocado, and sneaked in some hot cocoa (with my ho shu wu and almond milk). It's those little things I just don't care to give up to be on any strict plan. But I'm very grateful that I peaked the interest into the 80-10-10 :) Because I've learned so much new info that I just didn't think about before...and still am learning. This is MUCH easier to accomplish in the summers here. In the winter sweet fresh organic fruit just isn't as accessible. When there's a will there IS a way, I believe that wholeheartedly, but also believe in following what keeps me happiest in the healthiest way I can:) (not to mention I am on a budget lol).