30-Day Raw Food Vegan Challenge Update

Image by Nathan Rupert, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.

Image by Nathan Rupert, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.

After several days on the raw challenge, I have decided to tweak the 30-Day Raw Food Vegan Challenge to be a "Raw Till Four" 30-Day Challenge instead of the fully raw challenge I originally set out to attempt. There are several reasons for this decision, which are detailed below.

1. I have been experiencing issues feeling truly full after eating fruit monomeals. The concept behind monomeals is that you eat sufficient quantities of fruit in one meal to feel full, which should tide you over for 3-5 hours. My experience has been that I will eat (what appears to me to be) enormous quantities of fruit and never feel full, and often feel hungry after an hour or two. It may be that I am not eating enough fruit for my monomeals, but I am not sure.

2. This brings me to my next point. The cost of all the fruit that I am buying is higher than expected, and financially, this is not the best time for me to be spending large amounts of money on fresh organic produce.

3. I have been doing a lot of additional research on Dr. Douglas Graham, the author of The 80/10/10 Diet. I was previously unaware of the controversies surrounding him, but have learned a lot about him that leads me to question his overall message. There have been multiple people that experienced severely ill health, including the death of one of his patients, during his supervised water fasts. The way he handled these situations was not honorable and I have lost a great deal of respect for him. It turns out that the "Dr." in his name refers to the fact that he was once a practicing chiropractor, but he lost his license due to the water fasting issues. Anyone who is interested can research the issue for himself or herself, but I would advise searching YouTube for videos about how he was banned from the Woodstock Fruit Festival and about the issues with his supervised water fasting retreats.

4. Regardless of the issues with Graham himself, that does not necessarily mean that a raw vegan diet is unhealthy. The problem for me is that I have been unable to find solid scientific evidence regarding fully raw vegan diets that either support or oppose the diet. If anyone has any information on this topic that could be passed along to me, I would encourage you to contact me via the contact options at the bottom of this page. I am very interested to find scientific evidence regarding raw vegan diets so that I can be more confident with my judgment. Until then, I will have to continue to go off of anecdotal accounts from raw foodists.

So with all that said, I plan to continue throughout the rest of the challenge on a Raw Till 4 diet, which means that I will be eating raw meals for breakfast and dinner, with the option of eating a cooked meal for dinner. I believe that this is the best compromise for me at this time, and have not ruled out the possibility of attempting a fully raw vegan diet at some time in the future. However, I am more comfortable with tweaking the challenge for now. Although this feels like a failure for me, I am still interested to see what the effects of a Raw Till 4 30-Day Challenge will be, and plan to blog about the results at the end of the 30 days. Stay tuned for that update early next month.