My Puppies Enjoying Watermelon

My Puppies Enjoying Watermelon

Sunday, October 2, 2011

80/10/10 -- My Way

After more than a year and a half of struggling with Dr. Graham's recommendation to follow an all-raw fruit-based 80/10/10 diet, I have come to the conclusion that fruit does not do my body good. This is a very sad realization, as I love the simplicity and ethics of a fruitarian diet. But, I simply do not feel well after eating most fruits and experience a variety of negative reactions. Most noticeably, as soon as I started eating a high-fruit diet, the skin on my face, neck, shoulders, and back erupted with a very severe case of acne. At first I thought it was a form of detoxification but, when it failed to go away after several months, I came to the conclusion that the fruit must actually be causing it. Then I discovered a fascinating book by Dr. Christopher Vasey called The Acid-Alkaline Diet.

In his book, Vasey explains that while fruit is generally alkalinizing for most individuals, it can be acidifying in a small percentage of people. Fruits have what he calls "weak acids" and apparently not everyone possesses the enzymes needed to properly metabolize these natural chemical constituents. He includes a long list of symptoms that indicate excess acidity in a person's biochemistry and acne is one of them. He also says that sensitive teeth, which I have been plagued with since beginning a high-fruit diet, are a clear indication of an acid biochemistry. The sensitive teeth are not caused by direct contact of the weak acids on the teeth, but when the weak acids do not get properly metabolized they make the saliva acid and this is what actually causes the sensitive teeth. I experienced a number of other symptoms on his list, but these two were the most bothersome.

If one's biochemistry remains chronically acid for long periods of time, many health problems can result. So, it is clearly not in my best interest to continue eating foods that are acid forming in my body and, with a few exceptions, fruits has a decidedly acidifying affect on my body. According to Dr. Vasey, the optimal pH range of one's urine is between 7.0 - 7.5 (slightly alkaline) 3 hours after eating. I have repeatedly tested my pH after eating fruit, and it will go from 7.3 down to 6.4.

According to Robert Young, author of The pH Miracle, the optimal pH range of one's first morning urine is between 6.8 - 7.2 (close to neutral). If I have eaten fruit-based meals the day before, the pH of my urine will be as low as 5.5 first thing the next morning. Young believes it is the sugar in the fruit that is causing the pH to become acidic, but I think Vasey is more correct. Since reading both books, I started a discussion about the topic on the forum holey lettuce. Several discussion participants who follow a low-fat, fruit-based diet have kindly been checking their urine for me to see if the fruit makes their pH acid. So far, none of them have had acid urine 3 hours after a fruit meal, or first thing in the morning after eating a lot of fruit the day before. Consequently, I am more inclined to agree with Vasey, then with Young.

So, in September 2011, I decided to end my experiment with a low-fat, all-raw, fruit-based, vegan diet. Now I am eating a low-fat, mostly-cooked, starch-based vegan diet. I am still consuming a diet comprised completely of plant foods, but most of the foods I eat require cooking to be edible. If I could eat an all-raw diet and feel good, I would definitely do so. Every other animal in nature eats all of their food raw, but man has removed himself from nature (or gotten himself thrown out of Eden, lol!) with the aid of fire (the serpent?) and now we live in a imperfect (Fallen) world. Nevertheless, I think it is important for us to include as much raw food as we can, depending on our personal physiology, and to consume a diet that is as close as possible to what God prescribes for us in Genesis 1:29, where He says:

"I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food."

In other words, we are instructed to eat a plant-based diet, but how that diet looks will likely be different for different people. Some people will be able to eat the plant foods Dr. Doug Graham recommends (which is probably about as close to the diet of Paradise as one can get), deriving most all of their calories from raw sweet fruits. While others will need to eat the plant foods recommended by Drs. Joel Fuhrman, Caldwell Esselstyn, John McDougall, and Neal Barnard, deriving most all of their calories from cooked starches such as winter squash, sweet potatoes, beans, and grains. However, the essential nature of both diets is the same and both ways of eating have proven to be highly beneficial and capable of returning us to a state of Paradisaical health.

I have experimented with all of the starch-rich foods listed above and have come to the conclusion that I feel best when I center my diet around winter squash. I do not do well with beans or grains at this point, and I am not yet sure about sweet potatoes. Interestingly, winter squash is botanically classified as a fruit (in the same family as melon) and it contains seeds (is seed-bearing). Grains and beans are not fruit; rather, they are the reproductive seed of the plant. God told us to eat the fruits and the plants that contain seeds, but He does not tell us to eat the seeds themselves. Now, I am not going to be dogmatic about this (because I am not dogmatic about much of anything), but I certainly think it is a point worth noting and pondering as we seek to find a diet that works well for us.

In addition to the winter squash (my fruit), I eat lots and lots of leafy greens (raw and cooked). According to both Vasey and Young, green foods are the most powerful alkalinizers we have available to us. I also drink 2 liters of fresh raw green juice made from celery, kale, and lemon on a daily basis.

Furthermore, I have found that I can consume 1 liter of orange or tangerine juice per day without causing my biochemistry to become acid. As it turns out, this newly designed mostly-cooked starch-based green-rich diet is much higher in micro-nutrients (vitamins and minerals) than the all-raw, fruit-based diet promoted by Dr. Graham. But the macronutrient (carbohydrate/protein/fat) ratio remains the same at 80/10/10.

Since I have been eating this new way, I feel so much better. I have more energy both mentally and physically (I was always tired and would get incapacitating blood sugar crashes after eating fruit); I feel fully satisfied after eating (I was always hungry after eating fruit); my digestion is so much better (I was horribly bloated and uncomfortable all the time on fruit and greens); my skin is clear (I had terrible acne while eating mostly fruit); my teeth do not bother me at all (they were extremely sensitive on a fruit-based diet); I have excellent mental focus and brain function now (I always felt like I was in a mental fog after eating fruit); I am emotionally stable (I was very irritable on a fruit-based diet); I am happier and have a more positive outlook now (I was very depressed and pessimistic while eating mostly fruit).

To summarize, I am still following the principles of 80/10/10 (80% of calories from carbohydrate/10% of calories from protein/10% of calories from fat) as outlined by Dr. Graham, but I have traded out the sweet raw fruit for low-sugar cooked starch and now obtain most of my carbohydrate calories from winter squash. I now believe that I may also be sensitive to the sugar fructose which, not surprisingly, is found in large quantities in most fruits (Thank you Gretchen for helping me to figure this out!). Interestingly, I have noticed that I do much worse with fruits that have more fructose than glucose, for example watermelon and apples. While I seem to do better with fruits that have a 1-to-1 ratio of fructose to glucose, for example figs and oranges. So, I think I really have two different issues going on with fruit: faulty weak acid metabolism and fructose sensitivity.

Anyways, from now on, I will be consuming very little sweet fruit and lots of winter squash. Additionally, I will be eating an abundance of leafy greens (both raw and cooked) and non-starchy vegetables (cooked) for their wonderful nutrient content. I guess I am now on the **Gourds & Greens** Diet, ha! ha!

I have also recently ventured into making a variety of fermented foods, such as kombucha and sauerkraut. I got this idea from The Body Ecology Diet by Donna Gates. Fermented foods of one kind or another have been used by every long-lived culture that has every been studied. They are also a big part of Ann Wigmore's Living Foods Diet which many people have used to heal cancer and other serious illnesses. I plan to discuss more about fermented foods in a future blog.

In addition to the food part of my program, I have also been doing a number of dry fasts (no food/no water) for the purpose of improving my digestive system. I did three long ones of 5, 8 and 10 days respectively which you can read about here: My Fractionated Dry Fast. I have followed these longer dry fasts with a program of short intermittent dry fasts of 1-3 days per week which you can read about here: Fasting Dry: A Biblical Path. I am finding these fasts to be therapeutically beneficial, and I intend to continue them as a regular long-term practice. If you are interested in learning more about dry fasting, you can do so here: Intro to Dry Fasting.

You may have noticed that I decided to re-name my blog (formerly titled The Tao of Fruit) to more accurately reflect my now broader plant-based diet. Fruit is a wonderful food and, if you can thrive on a fruit-based diet, I would never wish to derail you. But if, like me, you are finding the fruity trail to be somewhat bumpier than expected, you may want to explore other plant-based paths.

God Bless.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My Fractionated Dry Fast

Between July 19th and August 28th, I completed a series of three long dry fasts (no food/no water) of 5, 8, and 10 days respectively. If you wish to read more about the practice of dry fasting, my recent experience, and my reasons for venturing down this path, please read the following:

Intro to Dry Fasting:

My Fractionated Dry Fast:

My Personal Story:

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Jourdan's Beautiful Food

I just received my second shipment of fruit from Jourdan's Beautiful Food located in south Florida. In my first shipment, I ordered mangoes, ice cream bananas, mamey sapotes, and papaya. The mangos were phenomenally delicious, and their tropical fruity fragrance filled my kitchen. The papayas were also excellent and help up pretty good during shipping. The ice cream bananas did not seem to ripen properly. It seemed like the flesh near the skin was going bad, while the main portion of the fruit was not yet ripe. I was able to use them for smoothies. Half of the mamey sapotes arrived perfectly ripe (and were scrumptious), but the other half were still hard. Unfortunately, the hard ones never ripened properly either; the flesh near the skin fermented, while the flesh near the seed remained hard. This was very disappointing, as mamey sapotes are a favorite of mine and my body seems to really like them. I think the problem was that the weather was intensely hot on the week this order was traveling to me. Jourdan graciously reimbursed me for the mamey sapotes. I will probably try to order the mamey sapotes again once the weather cools a bit. I don't like bananas, but wanted to try the ice cream variety to see if they were any different. I wasn't impressed, but apparently Jourdan has a customer who cannot eat regular bananas who is able to eat this variety and order 60 lbs a week from him. So, you might want to give them a try and see for yourself.

For my second order, I just got mangoes since they seemed to hold up best during the shipping process in the heat of summer. I received two different kinds: one small green variety and one huge yellow variety. The small green type is sweeter, while the huge yellow type is a little tangy (but not tart and does not hurt my teeth). Both are heavenly. One of the huge ones was damaged in transit, but most of this variety faired quite well. However, the small green variety did not hold up quite a good during travel; approximately 1/3 of them arrived with black rotten spots all over them. So, different fruits, and different varieties of the same fruits, seem to hold up better than others during shipping. I think the weather is a big factor as it the distance the fruit has to travel. I am about as far away from Jourdan as one can get (short of Alaska!), so the fruit takes a full week to reach me. When the boxes were delivered by FEDEX, they were quite hot. I suspect that the excessive heat was responsible for damaging the mamey sapotoes, as well as the bananas and small green mangoes to a lesser extent. If you live in a state that is closer to Jourdan, I feel that the risk of damage to the fruit would be less.

In summary, the quality of the fruit is really fantastic, it is just a matter of figuring out which varieties will survive the travel time and weather conditions to make ordering it worth while. I would love to live next door to Jourdan for a few months and just see how eating such high quality, ripe, tropical, sweet, luscious fruit would affect my health. The total cost with shipping averages about $4.00 per lb, which is not too bad if it makes it to you in good condition. If you are looking for some delicious organic tropical fruit, I highly recommend that you give Jourdan's fruit a try. Think of it as a gift to your self. You are worth it!

On a different note, I am still having a lot of trouble digesting my food, even the simplest and very best fruit eaten mono-style. I had hoped that the long water fast I did in January was going to help this problem, but it really has not (though it did help a number of other issues and I am still glad I did it). The Quantum Eating has helped also, but I think I actually benefit more from fasts of 3 or more consecutive days duration, rather than a partial 18 hour fast every day. So, I have returned to eating as much as I want throughout the day during my eating days, and then completely fasting on my fasting days (of at least 3 days at a time). After I did the 90-hour dry fast, I felt absolutely fantastic for about 4 days. My digestion worked beautifully. Everything I ate was processed normally. But then I got messed up again and I have been messed up ever since.

I really don't understand what the problem is, but I am beginning to think it may actually be a functional, rather than a physiological, problem. It feels like I feel like there is something preventing the food I eat from properly emptying from my stomach to my small intestine. I ate peaches for breakfast yesterday and I was extremely bloated for about 6 hours after eating them, I had brain-drain and could not think, I was horribly depressed, I had no energy and layed in bed for the entire day. I often think I am somehow responsible for my misery: I ate the wrong food, I ate the wrong combination, I ate at the wrong time, I ate the wrong quantity, etc.

But, after eating those peaches, I have finally come to the firm conclusion that the reactions and suffering I experience after eating is clearly not my fault. There is something very wrong with my digestive system. Therefore, I have decided to get an upper GI test to see if I have some kind of growth or swelling that might be blocking the natural flow of things. Since fasting does help temporarily, all I can figure is that maybe it allows whatever the problem is to shrink or become less swollen, but when I return to eating the growth or swelling also returns to its normal size and again causes a problem.  I really do not know, but I am at my wits end and have decided that I need to do some more investigative work. It sure would be nice to find something tangible that could be corrected or that would at least explain what it going on inside of me so I know I am not crazy.

Sorry to leave you on such a depressing note, but this the reality of my situation at the moment and it is a very difficult place to be--both physically and psychologically. I tend not to talk about the details of my health problems too much, because there is not much point and I like to stay as positive as I can, but I am feeling really discourage and hopeless right now. In spite of everything I am doing, with diet and detox, the situation is not improving. So, please forgive me and thanks for listening to me rant and rave here for a few minutes.

I am starting another dry fast today (after my horrible peach experience yesterday) and I am planning to go for 3-5 days to let my digestive system rest, as it is the only thing that helps when I feel this bad. Hopefully, I will be able to get an upper GI in the very near future to see if this will shed any light on the subject.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

My 90-Hour Dry Fast

I cannot tell you how truly magnificent coconut water tastes and feels after going without food or water for almost 4 days. It must be the Divine Nectar of the Heavenly Angels.

Well, I actually did it. I got my feet wet, so-to-speak, by doing a 90-hour dry fast. I was first introduced to dry fasting in Tanya Zavasta's book Quantum Eating. Then another fruitarian, Yuliya Yakhantova, introduced me to a web community called The Fasting Connection, where there is a group of people doing intermittent dry fasts. One of the forum members, Milena Albert, is originally from Russia but is now living in Pasadena, California, and can read and speak the Russian language. This is really great because ALL of the information available on dry fasting is in Russian. In fact, there is a very long history of dry fasting in Russia, going back over a century. Milena has a personal relationship with Sergei Filonov, a medical doctor in Russia who has been supervising dry fasts for 20 years. He is the author of Dry Medical Fasting: Myths and Reality, which can be read in English through a Google translation. Though this translation leaves much to be desired, enough of the essence comes through to make it a worthwhile read. Dr. Filonov's website is here.


Below are the journal posts I made for the Fasting Connection while I was actually doing my fast. I have decided to reprint them as-is so you can have a feel of what it was like for me as I went through it.

Posted on June 7 at 4:00 pm (50-Hours):
Okay, I started my first dry fast at 2 pm on Saturday, so I am technically past the 50 hour mark now. I am not sure how long I will be able to continue. I would like to go until Wednesday at 6pm which would be 100 hours (just over 4 days). I would consider that to be a major accomplishment for me since I have never done a dry fast before. However, at this point, I am just taking it one hour at a time. I do feel a fairly strong desire for water, and I am not sure how long I will be able to hold out. I have my bottle of frozen and melted Fiji water ready and waiting in case I need it. My keto stick was dark purple this morning, and this afternoon my urine was a rich yellow color.

So far, my fast has been relatively uneventful. I had some episodes of stomach growling for several hours, as well as several burping fits, both yesterday and today. Last night I slept very poorly, getting maybe 4 hours of broken rest. I have minor low back and thigh ache-iness. I have also had some inter-cyclic bleeding. I started my last period on May 22nd, so I am exactly mid way. I never bleed between periods, so this is highly unusual for me (though I expect it may be quite common with dry fasting, so I am not worried about it). I do feel weak, but I was able to walk my dog for 45 mins in the morning and evening of the past two days. I have spent a good portion of the past two days reading and resting. My next goal is to get through the night and see how I feel in the morning.

Posted on June 8 at 8:00 pm (78-Hours):! This is defintely an experience. I only have 18 hours to go and the only think I can think about is water. I am planning to end this fast tomorrow at 2 pm which will make this a 96-hour, or 4 day, dry fast. I feel like have hit the 18 mile mark in a marathon and I am not sure how I am going to make it across the finish line. I am just putting one foot in front of the other now and trying not to look up, ha! ha! This is going to make my weekly 40-hour dry fast seem like a piece of cake.

I slept well from 10 pm to 3:30 am last night, then was wide awake for the rest of the morning. I took my dog for a 30 minutes walk in the morning, and I amnot sure how we made it back with me collapsing, lol! My heart rate and blood pressure are unstable every time I stand up, so I have been lying down our sitting up for short periods most of the day. I laid in the sun (first sun in over a week) for about 30 mins on each side of my body between 10-11 am. Boy, did that ever feel good. I had to do some shopping in the late afternoon, and it almost did me in. I rested for two hours after returning home and still managed to take my dog for another 30 min. walk this evening.

I picked up some young coconuts filled with electrolyte-rich "water" for when I come off my fast tomorrow. I am going to dream about them all night long.

Posted on June 9 at 5:00 pm (90-Hours + Refeeding):
Well, I made it to the 90-hours mark at 8 am this morning and decided that was enough for my first dry fasting experience. I could have gone to 96 hours, but I did not want to upset my normal day time eating schedule too much. So, I officially did 3.75 days and I am happy with that.

My blood pressure was 85/52 and my pulse was 49 very consistently throughout the fast. The pH of my urine went down to 5.5 and stayed there, but the pH of my saliva was almost neutral at 7.2. I found this interesting and would like to understand what this means, if anything. Both last night and this morning, my urine was a strong yellow-brown color and had a very strong odor.

My low back and thighs did not bother me yesterday or last night so that was nice, and my mouth never did get super dry (but I still wanted water the entire time). I only slept from 11 pm to 2 am last night which was not fun, and this was another reason I decided to end my fast a few hours early.

I did not break my fast with plain water. Instead I chose to drink the water I used to soak my dried fruit in. Dr. Doug Graham feels that this is one of the very best natural ways to replace ones electrolytes during exercise, so I thought I would try it. I drank 16 oz. of this soak water at 8:00 am. The I took my dog for 45 minute walk (felt much better than on my two walks yesterday--amazing what a little fluid will do for a person!). I then had more soak water at 8:30 am and 9:00 am, 16 oz each time. As soon as I drank this, I felt the need to have a bowel movement which I did. It was a bit uncomfortable, but eventually came out okay--Thank God!.

Then I had the water of a young coconut (16 oz.) at 9:30 am. I came across two very interesting articles on coconut water that I wanted to share: Coconut Water: A Natural Rehydration Beverage and Nutritional Benefits of Coconut Water. Based on what I read in these articles, it seems that coconut water would make the perfect beverage for coming off a dry fast. There is company called Exotic Superfoods selling organic, raw, frozen coconut water in 32-oz bottles for $8.00/ea plus shipping. I haven't tried it yet, but I am thinking about it.

I finally had my first meal at 10:00 am which was the dried fruit (100 gm each of prunes, figs, and rasins) I soaked over night mixed with 1 big bunch of dino kale in my Cuisinart food processor to make a ground up salad (which I hope will facilitate my bowels functioning normally again quickly). That seemed to work extremely well and kept me satisfied for 3 hours. I was even able to do some gardening and planted zucchini and strawsberries (which required I add steer manure to my garden beds and dig it in a bit. I had good energy for this which quite surprised me.

I am just now having some fresh pressed vegetable juice (celery, kale, red bell pepper, and green apple) 16 oz. at 1:30 pm and another 16 oz. at 2:00 pm. I will plan to eat again soon, probably some dragon fruit. I may or may not eat again after that. I will post again tomorrow to let every now how my re-feeding is progressing.

All in all, I am very happy with my first dry fasting experience.

Posted on June 10 at 9:00 pm (Day 2 Refeeding):
I had my last meal by 3:00 pm yesterday and dry fasted until this morning. I slept fairly well, getting about 7 hours total. I felt very dehydrated and hypotensive when I woke up, so I had 16 oz. of coconut water at 7:00 am. I then went for a 20 minute bike ride (2 miles) running one of my dogs and then I took another dog for a 40 minute walk (2 miles). On the one hand, I felt somewhat weak, hypotensive, and dehydrated from the dry fast; one the other hand, I felt a new kind of energy and strength that I have not felt before.

When I returned home, I had 16 oz. of tangerine juice at 8:15 am and a 24 oz. of vegie juice (celery, kale, red bell pepper, and green apple) at 9:00 am. Then, at 9:30 am, I ate 4 small cherimoyas and felt satisfied. After this, I worked in my garden for about 2 hours (again feeling a remarkable amount of energy). I still felt dehydrated at this point, but I wanted to let my cherimoyas have a chance to digest before putting anything else in my stomach. I had three normal and easy bowel movements before noon.

At 12:30 pm, I had another 16 oz. vegie juice and at 1:30 pm I had another 16 oz. tangerine juice. I was just barely starting to feel hydrated. Then at 2:30 I ate a blended salad of soaked dried fruit (figs, prunes, golden raisins--100 gms each) and one big bunch of kale. So, I ended my eating for the day at 3:00 pm. I am dry fasting until tomorrow morning.

As I write this post, it is now after 9:00 pm, and I am feeling very good--though still a bit dehydrated. My digestive system feels cleaner and clearer than I have ever felt it before. Everything I eat get processed and absorbed very efficiently. I feel better after this short dry fast than I did after my long 25-day water fast. I am quickly becoming a believer in the healing power of dry fasting.

The pH of my urine was 5.5 at the end of my fast yesterday and remained that way until after I had several fresh juices this morning. But it gradually climbed toward alkaline all day, finally reaching 8.0 at around 7:00 pm. This evening I again exercised both of my dogs, running one along my bike for 30 minutes (3 miles) and walking one for 30 minutes (1.5 miles). I felt stronger in my exericise tonight than I did this morning.

Also, I forgot to mention in my previous blog that I did not experience a coated tongue, underarm odor, or nausea during my 90-hour dry fast. I always experience these symptoms during a water fast, even one as short as a few days. I do not understand why this is the case, since dry fasting is apparently more detoxifying than a water fast. Is the body eliminating toxins in some other way (i.e. burning them up inside the cell)? I look forward to learning more about how dry fasting works its magic.


It has now been exactly one week since I completed this fast, and it is the first day since the fast that I have not felt dehydrated upon waking. During my 6 hour eating window, I have been consuming 3 quarts of fluid each day in the form of dried fruit soak water, coconut water, tangelo juice, and mixed vegie juice. I have been dry fasting duirng the other 18 hours every day. I am surprised that it took me so long to feel rehydrated, mostly because no one esle mentioned this about there own experiences. 20/20 hindsight, I think it might be wise to do several days or more (depending on the length of the fast) of just juice with no hour limitations on when to drink them, until achieving a feeling of rehydration.

Someone on the Raw Natural Hygiene community forum asked me if I felt the dry fasting was helping me. I cannot say that dry fasting for 18 hours every day has resolved my issues with food. No, unfortunately not. However, by dry fasting for this length of time on a daily basis, my body has a chance to clear out any negative reaction by-products that are created from the food that I eat during my 6 hour eating window. This allows me to keep eating everyday without feeling too bad (though I still have to be very careful about what I do eat and how much I consume). So, dry fasting is definitely helping me to manage my situation on a day-to day basis.

I would like to do several longer dry fasts at some point in the near future, to see if that will make any lasting difference in the way my body responds to food. After this 90-Hour dry fast, the cells of my body absorbed everything I gave it like a dry sponge. It was an extraordinary feeling, but it only lasted about 4 days, and then my upper GI tract (mouth, esphogus, stomach) started to feel coated again. It is hard to explain, but it is very unpleasant. It is like my digestive system is trying to protect itself from some foreign invasion. I may try doing a 42-Hour dry fast every week to see if that will help keep my digestive system functioning better. I probably need to learn how to eat less total food also, as I think my body can handle so much and that is it. But, I must say, that is a very difficult thing for me to do. According to an article by Don Bennett, I probably only need about 1600 calories per day, but I am averaging between 2,000 and 2,500 (if not more) pretty consistently.

Also, quality of the fruit I have access to locally is pretty lousy, and sometimes I think my body reacts because of that. I am coming to realize this in a big way. I just found out that the dragon fruit I had been eating was irradiated, so that is out. I just cannot eat irradiated food, whether I feel good on it or not. I bought several cherimoyas and mamey sapotes last week but had to take them all back because they spoiled before they got ripe. My fruit hunting has been very frustrating. So, I have decided to order some REAL fruit from Jourdan's Beautiful Food in South Florida in order to see how my body likes that. I have ordered mangos, mamey sapotes, ice cream bananas, and papaya. I will let everyone know what I think after I get them. Apparently they have several clients who are unable to eat regular bananas who are able to eat the ice cream variety. So, I will give them a try and see how it goes. With the cost of shipping included, the fruit will cost $4.00/lb which really isn't too bad if the quality is good. I am seriously thinking I may need to move if I want to be successful on this diet.

May you fulfill all your fruity aspirations!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Fruit & Fun

Sasha and I have just returned from our 3 mile morning run.

It was sprinkling lightly this morning, but we decided to go anyway. It is still rainy and cold in Northern California, a bit unusual for late May. Last year was unseasonably cool and wet also, and most long-time residents of the area said we didn't even have a summer as it never really got hot. There are a lot of microclimates in this area and tempuratures can very widely from town to town. In Cloverdale, where I live now, summer tempertures are traditionally around 100 degrees. But 45 miles south in Petaluma (where I used to live), it rarely goes much above 75 degrees due to marine fog that blows in from the ocean with no mountains to block it. I happen to like the heat, having grown up in Arizona, so I am hoping it will be warmer this year. Sasha doesn't much like to go out in the wet weather, except for a run and then he's all for it. He was pretty happy after we got back and did a little celebrating by rolling in the grass.

I love the way that dogs just have fun in every moment of their lives. The great thing about sharing your life with a dog is that they are always and forever trying to get you to do the same. Their motto seems to be: LIFE IS GOOD!!! Sasha brings me so much joy. Dogs in general are wonderful, but German Shepherds really are in a class all their own. My boyfriend, who has been working with this breed for 25 years, likes to say, "They are not the best at any one thing, but they are the best at everything." 

Now, on the fruity front, I have had another new adventure. I decided to checkout a Mexican market in Santa Rosa called Lola's. They do offer a variety of fruits that are not available in the bigger chain grocery stores. I spied some mamey sapote, which I have heard so much about from Anne Osborne, the author of Fruitarianism: The Path to Paradise and moderator of the fruitarian forum I ♥ FRUIT. Since I had no idea what I was looking for, I enlisted the help of a Mexican family to pick me out a good one. It was a bit tricky as I don't speak Spanish and they did not speak English, but we managed to communicate some how (through the original human language of gestures!), and I now have a general idea of what mamey sapotes are supposed to feel like when they are ripe. Here is a nice photo of a fruit that looked just like mine:

For those of you who, like me, do not live in a tropical region of the world and have never tried a mamey sapote, I can tell you that you are definitely missing something sweet in life. This is a very unique fruit (as I guess most fruits are, but we get used to them when we eat them every day). The texture reminds me a lot of an avocado, very dense and meaty (without the oiliness). I can see why Anne Osborne considers it to be a building up fruit. My mamey sapote weighed in at 2.5 lbs, and half was all I could eat for a meal. The flavor is definitely sweet but not super sweet and, yet, it was extremely satiating and I felt completely satisfied after eating it. This one fruit cost me $14 US which makes it a bit expensive to eat every day, but I am going to try and include it on a semi-regular basis for the sake of variety. The food we put into our bodies it the best health insurance we have and so I feel we would all benefit most by putting our money where our mouth is--literally!

I really think that to be successful on a fruit-based diet, a person must have access to good quality tropical and sub-tropical fruits (we did originate in the Tropics, afterall!). I think if I could eat mostly papaya, mango, dragon fruit, sapote, and other similar (non-acid) fruits I would not have any difficulty with my teeth being sensitive and I would feel a lot more nourished on this diet. I also think that a person cannot judge their success on a fruit-based diet until they have had an opportunity to live off these sweeter fruits in abundance. Me thinks I need to include a picture of a sub-tropical region on my Vision Board...

Today I ate:

8:30 AM 24-oz vegie juice (kale, red bell pepper, celery, green apple)
9:30 AM 2 lbs pineapple, 1 lb raspberries, 1 tbsp chia seeds (smoothie)
12:00 PM 16-oz tangelo juice
12:30 AM 2 lbs grape tomatoes
1:30 PM 1.25 lbs mamey sapote

I am continuing with my Quantum Eating program of consuming all my food within a 6-hour "window" from 8 AM to 2 PM, and I continue to feel better than when I was eating all day. I did try to eat some watermelon this week to see if my body handled it better eating this way, but it was a "no-go." I got a stomach ache and brain fog which lasted two hours, and I was actually seeing stars in my peripheral vision for about 30 minutes after eating. Weird, but true. Fortunately, there are a lot of other wonderful fruits I can eat.

May you be blessed with a perfectly ripe mamey sapote!

♥ Esmée

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Quantum Eating...Revisited

Well, as I mentioned on my May 18, 2011 post over at my other blog site Fasting and Faith, I have decided to give Tanya Zavasta's program Quantum Eating a serious trial. I tried it once in the past, several months prior to completing my 25 day water-only fast in January of this year at the True North Health Center in Santa Rosa, California. I have been plagued with severe orthostatic hypotension and tachycardia (low blood pressure and racing heart beat upon standing upright) for over 10 years, and going for 18 hours without food, as part of the Quantum Eating program, made this much, much worse. After a week of being non-functional and having to lay in bed all day, I sadly decided to abandon my experiment.

However, one of the major benefits of my fast is that I no longer suffer from the orthostatic hypotension and tachycardia. The fast allowed my body to heal this particular problem. Unfortunately, the fast did not change my negative reactions to most foods. I was still experiencing chronic mucous, scratchy/burning esophogus, glop in my throat, as well as bloating, fatigue, and brain-drain after eating, etc. All in all, food was still making me feel pretty miserable. I did a lot of experimenting with both raw and cooked vegan whole foods. I won't bore you with all the details, but suffice it to say that nothing really worked consistently for any length of time. It just seems like my digestive and immune systems get overwhelmed for some reason and then rebel.

So, after much thought, I decided to give Quantum Eating another trial. Since fasting is the only modality I have found that will "reset" my digestive and immune systems, I figured that maybe I would really benefit from a daily "mini-fast." Plus, I really, really, really want to eat an all-raw, fruit-based diet because I feel that is by far the healthiest choice for both my body and Mother Earth. It is the gentlest way of eating.

For those of you who are not familar with Quantum Eating it is comprised of four main components: 1) all foods (fruits and vegetables) are to be eaten in their raw, natural state; 2) all food is to be consumed between 8 AM and 2 PM; 3) dry fasting between 2 PM and 8 AM (for a fascinating discussion of dry fasting I encourage you to read her book); 4) systematic calorie restriction. I am following the first three parts, but not the fourth. I am eating as much food as I naturally desire during the alloted time frame, and I am consistently consuming over 2000 calories per day. Obviously, this program is not for everyone but for some, like me, it may turn out to be therapeutically quite valuable.

In many ways, Quantum Eating is very similar to Dr. Edward Hooker Dewy's "No-Breakfast Plan and The Fasting Cure" as outlined in his book (circa 1900) of the same name. Although he did not have his patients on a raw diet, or even a vegetarian diet, he did place them on an eating schedule the allowed them to eat between 12 PM and 6 PM and had them fast between 6 PM and 12 PM the following day. This simple change allowed his patient's bodies to heal from all sorts of different health conditions. Most notably, he has several case histories of men who suffered from chronic severe headaches. After a very short time on their new eating program, their decades-long headaches completely disappeared and never returned.

After just nine days of practing Quantum Eating, I have experienced the following benefits:

much less mucus in response to foods
no more scratchy/burning senstion in my esophagus
no more "glop" at the back of my throat
much less bloating, fatigue,and brain-drain after eating
more energy upon waking
sleeping better (no urinating at night)
falling asleep earlier/waking up earlier
more focused meditation
feel physically lighter when I run in the morning
less teeth sensitivity from the fruit
more consistent physical and mental energy
no more low blood sugar episodes
no more headaches

I do, however, experience a growling stomach from time to time during my 18 hours of dry fasting (according to doctors of Natural Hygiene this is not a symptom of true hunger, but rather of detox--and my poop has been a bit stinky since I started this while there was virtually no odor since I have been on a low-fat vegan diet, raw or not). But I do not feel weak or tired, and I am able to get up and run 3 miles first thing in the morning. Perhaps my tummy grumbles will go away after I have been eating this way for a while. Tanya does not mention feeling hungry during her 18 hours of dry fasting, but she does say that if she eats later than normal (even by just an hour or two) it will make her feel ill.

The other difference between Tanya's program and the way I am practicing it is that she does include overt fats, namely nuts and avocados, which I do not. I have no idea how significant this difference is in light of her program, but I personally feel much better without overt fats in my diet.

Today I ate:

08:00 AM -- 3 cups vegetable juice w/celery, kale, red bell pepper, green apple (300 kcal.)
08:45 AM -- 2 quarts smoothie w/2 lbs. pineapple, 1 lb. raspberies/blueberries (800 kcal.)
11:00 AM -- 3 cups vegetable juice w/celery, kale, red beets, green apple (300 kcal.)
11:30 AM -- 3 dragon fruits (600 kcal.)
01:15 PM -- 3 dragon fruits (600 kcal.)

Dragon fruit is unique. It feels like a cross between a kiwi and a pear texture-wise, and its flavor is very mild. I would describe it as non-acidic, light, refreshing, moist but not juicy, and ever-so-slightly sweet. This is only the second time I have experienced the delights of this wonderful fruit. They were $6.00 each (yikes!), so I probably won't be able to include it too often, but I feel I am definitely worth it once in a while. I never go out to eat or even to the movie theater, so this will be my little splurge now and then. Each pound of fruit (weight of unpeeled whole fruit) provides approximately 200 calories, and the fruit is used as a replacement for rice by diabetics in Taiwan. Asians also use them to lower cholesterol and blood pressure and to remove heavy metals from the body. Furthermore, they are a significant source of free radical-scavenging antioxidants. I feel truly blessed to have found these beauties (thanks, Oliver's Market). Good fruit really does make one feel RICH RICH RICH!

Dragon fruit grows on a cactus plant, and can be harvested up to 6 times per year.

This particular variety comes from Vietnam and has white flesh.

But the variety from Costa Rica has red flesh, though I have never seen this kind at the stores here in California.

But there is another white-fleshed variety that has yellow skin, but I have never seen this one either.

The best way to eat them is to cut them in quarters and then peel the skin off.

Here is what a pile of dragon fruit skins look like...boy were they yummy!

If you have never tried dragon fruit, I highly recommend that you do!

Change your thoughts and you change your world.
--Norman Vincent Peale

Saturday, January 1, 2011

My Water Fast Begins

I am beginning my water fast today on January 2nd.

If you wish to follow my journey,
please go to the new blog I created
especially for this purpose:

Fasting and Faith

See you there!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Preparing for a Water Fast

Hi everyone, I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season! I am not sure you can read the words on the front of the card pictured above, but it says, "Don't be afraid to go out on a limb, that's where the fruit is." I just love that!

After almost a full year of following the The 80/10/10 Diet, as outlined by Dr. Douglas Graham, I have decided that it is time for me to do a long water-only fast. I have not posted in 4 months due to work responsibilities and my own personal health struggles. As most of you know, from reading MY STORY, I have been suffering with severe gastrointestinal issues for over 20 years now due to a severe, long-term, chronic parasite infection. I was hoping that by adopting a fruit-based diet my reactions to foods would minimize. Unfortunately, this has not been the case, and I am still extremely limited as to what foods my body will or will not take. I maintained a strictly raw version of The 80/10/10 Diet for the first 9 months of 2010, but during the past 3 months I have made the decision to include some cooked foods for the sake of variety. I have tried a bunch of different things, but for the past month I have been eating the following pretty much every day: tangerine juice, celery juice, pineapple and blueberry smoothies, and salads with lettuce, tomato, and cooked buckwheat.

Buckwheat is really the only complex carbohydrate I can eat without feeling bad. It is a unique food and is NOT a cereal grain as most people assume. It contains a glucoside called rutin which strengthens capillary walls, reducing hemorrhaging in people with high blood pressure and increasing microcirculation in people with chronic venous insufficiency. Buckwheat contains D-chiro-inositol, a component of the secondary messenger pathway for insulin signal transduction found to be deficient in people with type II diabetes and polycystic ovary syndrome. A protein in buckwheat has been found to bind tightly with cholesterol and may prove useful for people suffering from hyperlipidemia.

All cereal grains put me into a funk, both physically and mentally, for about 4 hours and make it impossible for me to think or function. Potatoes cause major energy crashes about an hour after eating them, and yams and winter squash all make me bloated, ravenously hungry, and cause severe gastric reflux. I can eat white Basmati rice, and feel okay on it, but I prefer not to since it is a refined food. So buckwheat is pretty much my ONLY choice as far as cooked complex carbohydrates are concerned.

I have wanted to undertake a long water-only fast for many years, but I have not been in a financial position to do so until now. I have done several 2 week water-only fasts at home during the past 20 years, and while these have been helpful, they have not been long enough to allow for deep level healing of my gastrointestinal and immune systems. Plus, they were all conducted under less than ideal conditions of personal and financial stress which made resting adequately very difficult. In the video below, Dr. Nick Tancheff explains why true healing often cannot not occur on even the best diet.

After much contemplation, I have decided to do my fast at the TrueNorth Health Center in Santa Rosa, California. I have chosen this facility because it is only 40 minutes from my home, they have successfully fasted 7,000 people over the last 28 years, and they have an excellent reputation.

I was seriously considering going to Dr. Nick Tancheff's Hawaiian Fasting Retreat, but he is not able to take me until this summer and I do not want to wait that long. Dr. Tancheff did his 9 month internship at the TrueNorth Heath Center and he personally suffered with many of the same health problems as me. Here is a video of his own healing journey.

Dr. Tancheff also follows a completely raw diet and has for many years, while the doctors at the TrueNorth Health Center do not. However, I do like the long and broad experience of the doctors at the TrueNorth Heath Center and I know that I will be very safe in their hands during my fast. But I would still like to visit Dr. Tancheff's place for an all-raw, non-fasting retreat at some point in the future.

I have already had my initial intake appointment with Dr. Michael Klaper. Here is an excerpt of a talk he gave at Monday Nite Live! at Cafe Gratitude in Healdsburg, California earlier this year. It really shows the kind of person he is and his commitment to the well-being of his patients.

Dr. Klaper has ordered a bunch of blood work and a test to check for gastrointestinal permeability (leaky gut syndrome). Based on my symptoms, he does not think I have an active parasite infection, but he did recommend that I be re-tested just to make sure. I am going to have Dr. Hammed Ibraheem, a parasitologist from Lagos, Nigeria who originally diagnosed my parasite infection in 2004, do my re-test. All specimens are air-mailed to his lab in Africa through the office of Dr. Glenn Wilcox.

I am scheduled to check into TrueNorth Health Center on January 4, 2011. I am planning for a fast of approximate 6 weeks. I feel like I have done everything I can to properly prepare for this fast by eating a very low fat very high raw fruit-based diet for a full year. I also feel that the coffee enemas I've been doing for the past year have been enormously beneficial for me in getting out the first level of toxins stored in my body. I had a lot of very offense smelling stuff come out of me with the coffee enemas for the first 6 months on the diet, but after that it gradually got less and less until there was basically no odor at all. I have discontinued doing the coffee enemas now in preparation for the fast and I am hoping that I will no longer need them after the fast in order to be functional.

I plan to blog about my experience as much as my energy allows.

Blessings to you all.

"The idea of success, for most people, revolves around money or the acquisition of property or other possessions, but we consider a state of joy as the greatest achievement of success. And while the attainment of money and wonderful possessions certainly can enhance your state of joy, the achievement of a good-feeling physical body is by far the greatest factor for maintaining a continuing state of joy and Well-Being. And so, there are few things of greater value than the achievement of a good-feeling body."

-- Abraham, excerpted from the book "Money and the Law of Attraction: Learning to Attract Health, Wealth & Happiness"

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Tomatoes, Pomegranates, & Figs

On my way home from church today, I stopped at Love Farm's fruit and vegetable stand in Healdsburg. I love this little stand, which works entirely on the honor system, and wish I could go by more often. They have a big board with all the prices per pound listed, along with bags, a scale, and a money drop box with no lock on it! Yes, small-town America does still exist in little pockets here and there. I got these beautiful heirloom tomatoes for $3.00/lb (they sell for $7.00/lb at Whole Foods and aren't nearly as good as these which are picked ripe daily). There are four different varieties in my box and they cost me a total of about $60.00. I ate the three ripest ones as soon as I got home, slicing them in wedges like oranges and slurping the soft, melt-in-your-mouth pulp out of the skin.

The red ones are so deeply red inside that they are almost verging on black and the green ones are just as sweet as the others. I have been reading a fascinating book recently entitled Left in the Dark by Tony Wright and Graham Gynn which is about the evolution of the human brain. The authors argue that the human brain reached its evolutionary height when we still lived on an entirely frugivorous diet in the tropical forests of Africa before we left the jungle to make our way on the savannah as hunter-gatherers and that the human brain has undergone a devolution as a result of leaving behind our true ancestral diet of high-bioflavinoid fruits. I am only half way through the book and every paragraph is interesting and thought provoking. At one point, the authors mention that tomatoes are believed to contain around 10,000 phytonutrients that still remain to be identified! The authors believe, based on their research, that we are who we are largely as a result of consuming vast quantities of phytonutrients from fruits over millions and milions of years.

I am in complete awe at the true beauty these heirloom tomatoes posses. Each one is a unique artistic creation of God and Mother Nature.

I recently purchased two pomegranate trees, one Wonderful and one Ambrosia (pictured above). I love pomegranates, but I haven't had much luck finding good quality ones in my local markets. The juicer that I use for juicing citrus (Orange X) will also juice pomegranates. An aqcuaintance of mine planted 20 pomegrantates in this area and they all died. But they should grow good here and mine seem to be doing okay so far. I have heard that the local ground water contains a lot of boron and this may be part of the problem. My trees are getting water that has gone through a pretty good filtration system, so we will see. I would love to have a whole yard full of fruit trees. The man I buy my medjool dates from just bought a neglected pomegrante orchard with 3,000 trees! I told him I would be his first customer with his first crop.
I have also planted a tiger striped fig tree in the ground. I planted it about 3 weeks ago and it is still alive, so I am hopeful. I probably should have dug a wider deeper hole, as the soil in my yard is basically hard red clay, but I didn't feel like renting an auger for only one tree. As you can see, I surrounded it with wire fencing to protect it from the puppies and I have been covering it with shade cloth on the really hot days (though this summer has been unusually cool, averaging 75-80 degrees rather than the normal 95-100). In the tropical rain forest, a fig tree will produce fruit year-round and research on wild chimpanzees has shown that figs provide a majority of their total calories. It is interesting, in light of this, that fresh figs are one of the fruits I feel best on.

Here is a close-up of the whole tree:

And here is a close-up of a single fruit:

Everytime I look at this little tree it makes me smile. I feel so much joy! There is something about being with a fruit-laden tree that lifts my spirit. Fruit is a tangible love-offering from the tree to us: so simple and so pure.
Love & Light, Esmee ♥♥♥

Friday, July 30, 2010

Teeth Sensitivity

10:00 Orange Juice (32 ounces), Blueberries (8 ounces) blended
12:30 Celery/Lemon Juice (32 ounces)
1:00 White Peaches (6 Large)
3:30 Celery/Lemon Juice (32 ounces)
4:00 English Cucumbers (3 fruits)
6:00 Peaches (6 large)
9:00 Medjool Dates (10 fruits) blended with 16 ounces of water

Well, as you can see from the above photo, Sasha is thoroughly loving his new swimming program. He has chewed a hole in the middle of his frisbee and now he can stick his nose through it! We have been going up to the lake 3-4 times a week, but he thinks everyday would definitely be better. I cannot even say the word L-A-K-E around him (I have to spell it), or he gets very excited, goes to where the leashes are kept, points to them with his nose, and lets out a few high pitched play barks. He's such a smarty pants.

As I am trying to type these words, he has come over and put his nose under my arm three times in a row and lifted my hand off the keyboard to get my attention. I think he actually knows what I am writing about here and is telling me it's time to go to the L-A-K-E. "Now, Mama, now! Can we go now? Please, please, please." I must say he is pretty convincing, and I am bit of a pushover in this department. I guess I'll be back to finish this in about an hour or so...


Okay, we're back from the L-A-K-E. Sasha and I have fulfilled our most important job of the day: having some fun! fun! fun! I hope you enjoyed the short video of Abraham's teachings on the importance of feeling good. Don't wait for your circumstances to improve before choosing to feel good. By choosing to feel good first, no matter what circumstances you find yourself in, your life will automatically improve. I first discovered Abraham about five years ago and began to actively pay attention to the way I feel (positive thinking is important, but the real key is positive feeling) and every area of my life (health, money, relationships) has gradually gotten better and better. If you wish to learn more about Abraham's teachings you can do so here.

Now for a bit on my fruity adventures: I have been experiencing extreme sensitivity of my teeth. Ever since I had braces as a child (in the early 1980's) my teeth have been very sensitive to almost everything. I suspect that the adhesives which were used at that time may have stripped the enamel off my teeth. The sensitivity is generalised and can make eating food a very painful process. Therefore, I have been forced to grind and drink practically all of my fruit. As you know from reading my previous blog posts, the fruits I do best with are pineapples and oranges (as juice) which are both acid fruits. I am reluctant to give them up because my choices are already so limited. I also have difficulty getting fruit that is truly ripe and I am sure this is contributing to my problem. So, I have started to drink my celery/lemon juice with a straw and rinse my mouth with baking soda (alkaline) water after each meal to help neutralize the acids. I am taking a little break from the pineapple this week and eating low-acid white peaches instead.

I have also "discovered" English cucumbers. I tried eating regular cucumbers in the past, but they always left a sticky, bitter coating in my mouth and gave me a lot of gas. But this week, in an effort to find something that would not hurt my teeth, I decided to try the English variety. Wow, what a difference! They are nothing like the common, seedy, thick-skinned variety. Sometimes it is good to have your back against the wall because it forces you to think outside the box. I find the English cukes to be light, refreshing, cooling, gentle, and free of all bitterness. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised by this and plan to make them a regular part of my diet. Although their skin is thinner than regular cucumbers, I do peel them in order to make them easier to digest.

Since I have been eating primarily acid fruits from the first day I started this diet, I am not exactly sure why my teeth suddenly became super sensitive (they are always somewhat sensitive) right now, but it did coincided with two different experiments. The first was my decision to try eating just fruit with no greens. After a few days, my teeth were absolutely killing me and the saliva in my mouth felt really sour (I did not test it with pH paper to see if it really was acid or not). The second experiment was when I decided to stopping doing my coffee enemas for a few days to see how I would feel and the exact same thing happened. Each of these experiments was seperated by two weeks.

These two experiences put together make me think that the extreme sensitivity of my teeth may be an indication of excessive acids/toxins in my bloodstream. Eating just fruit, with no greens, would likely increase detoxification. But greens also provides more alkaline minerals which would help to neutralize or buffer the acids/toxins as they move through my bloodstream on their way to be eliminated. Not doing coffee enemas for a few days would slow down the elimination of acids/toxins from my bloodstream and create the same effect: a higher level of acids/toxins in circulation as my body works to eliminate them. In other words, I think my highly sensitive teeth may be a sort of barometer that tells me how many toxins I have cirulating in my system at a given time. Perhaps the sensitivity of my teeth will lessen over time as the toxins in my body are released and eliminated. Time will tell.

I asked the three long-term fruitarians that I know whether they had any problems with teeth sensitivity. Kveta Martinec and Julie Suiter both said they NEVER had the problem. Anne Osborne said that in the past if she ate too many apples she would experience some sensitivity, but that was the only fruit that seemed to bother her. And, now that she uses toothsoap instead of toothpaste, she no longer has a problem with apples. More interestingly, however, she said that in 1997 when she fasted every other day for the entire year her teeth actually re-enameled. So, given the right circumstances, even the teeth can heal.

Love & Light, Esmée ♥♥♥

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Experiments & Discoveries 3

9:00 Celery & Lemon Juice (32 ounces)
11:00 Pineapple (1 fruit) & Blueberries (8 ounces)
2:00 Apple Juice (16 ounces/4 fruits)
4:00 Celery & Lemon Juice (32 ounces)
5:00 Pineapple (1 fruit) & Blueberries (8 ounces)
8:00 Mission Figs (1 pound/12 fruits)

Activities: Bike ride with Tanze. Swim at lake with Sasha.

Sasha started limping last week, so I took him in to the vet for an x-ray of his hips. Sad news. Unforunately, his left hip is bad and will probably need to be replaced at some point. He comes from very good blood lines and the breeder was quite surprised by this news, as he guarantees all his dogs and in 15 years of breeding German Shepherds he has never produced a pup with hip displasia. I have also raised him on a totally raw diet but, apparently, the genetics of this problem override good nutrition. So, I cannot run him or take him on uphill hikes anymore. Instead, we will be doing a lot of swimming this summer, so he can get exercise without putting any stress on the joint. We are blessed to live within 15 minutes of Lake Sonoma where we can easily go swimming every day (and I can get sunshine!), so this new adventure will be good for both of us.

I have recently been experimenting with some Pink Lady apples (pictured in the beautiful French advertisment above). I cannot chew them because their acidity hurts my teeth, but I have been enjoying them juiced. Except for a bit of gas (maybe the apples I got are not quite ripe?), I feel pretty good after drinking it. "Lighty" who started the French fruitarian forum Frugivores gave me the idea to try apple juice with my body. She has a very sensitive digestive system like me and we seem to react to many fruits the same way. She has been doing very well with fresh raw apple juice for many months now, though she says Pink Ladies are not her favorite because they are too acidic for her. She prefers Golden Delicious at the moment. I do not especially like the flavor of purely sweet tasting fruits as much as I do the sweet and sour flavor together (like the Pink Ladies and, of course, my beloved pineapple!). I do not really understand this, as many long-term fruitarians seem to prefer the the unadulterated sweet taste. Perhaps I will develop more of a preference for it over time? I guess we will see...

I also have been experimenting with cherries over the past several weeks. I feel good after eating them (i.e. energy consistent and brain function normal) but they were causing severe diarrhea several hours after ingestion. So, I did a little research and discovered that cherries are very high in the polysacharride known as sorbitol. As it turns out, some people are unable to digest sorbitol and the result is severe diarrhea. Fresh cherries have 12 gms of sorbitol per 100 gms of fruit, which is substantially higher than any other fresh fruit. Prunes also contain up to 15 gms of sorbitol per 100 gms of dried fruit (while fresh plums only have 2 gms per 100 gms). There is no other fresh fruit that even comes close to cherries. You can view the complete list here. So, I guess cherries are out for me as well.

I must admit it is somewhat frustrating that so many fruits do not agree with me for one reason or another, as it would be so much easier to be a fruitarian if I could eat all of the different fruits available to me. However, I am not the only one on a fruitarian diet who is restricted in their choices. I have spoken with one gentleman from Ohio who lives primarily on bananas and blueberries because most other fruits give him problems. "Lighty," as mentioned above, gets most of her nourishment from apples, as does Yana Louis. Another gentleman from Sweden with whom I have spoken lives almost exclusively on the juices of pineapple and citrus fruit. Additionally, one women told me that she has recently come to realise that a number of fruits she has been eating on a regular basis have been causing her to feel weak and crave salt among other negative symptoms. After eliminating these fruits from her diet, her energy has improved and she no longer craves salt. It is certainly good to know that I am not alone in my experience, and that it is possible to do well on a limited fruitarian diet. The key, as always, is to live one day at a time, knowing that everything I need will be provided.

Love & Light, Esmee ♥

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Experiments & Discoveries 2

I just love this little rainbow girl and her pineapple. This is exactly how pineapple makes me feel...bright and happy!

9:00 Celery/Lemon Juice (32 ounces)
9:30 Pineapple (1 large fruit)
1:00 Celery/Lemon Juice (32 ounces)
1:30 Pineapple (1 large fruit)
5:00 Celery Lemon Juice (32 ounces)
5:30 Pineapple (1 large fruit)
9:00 Orange Juice (16 ounces)

Ratio: 90/07/04
Calories: 2324

Okay, so I have done a few more experiments and made a few more discoveries. The sad news is that I don't seem to be able to eat any melons. I tried some Tucsan cantaloupe on the day I wrote my last blog and they made me feel kind of yucky, but I wasn't sure if they were the culprit. But two days later when I tried them again they made me violently ill. My face got hot and my heart rate increased but, more significantly, they impaired my thinking. I could not track conversations and my ability to drive was affected like I had been drinking. That night I got a terrible migraine headache and threw up my lunch. I never made it to dinner. So, I think I am done with melons. I am not sure exactly what the problem is, but I suspect it has something to do with the type of sugars in melons. It almost seems to act like a cooked starch in my body. Potatoes, yams, winter squash, and all grains (except buckwheat which is not a grain) will produce an almost identical reaction. The parasites (Old World Hookworm) that I had for 15 years before being properly diagnosed lived and reproduced in the upper part of my small intestine, causing enormous damage to the microscopic villi that are responsible for breaking apart complex di- and poly- saccharides for absorption. I suspect that I still have a good bit of scar tissue in that area of my intestine and this is why I cannot eat complex carbohydrate foods without feeling bad. I think this is also why I do not feel good after eating bananas, as they contain quite a bit of starch when not fully ripe. I originally learned about this problem from Elaine Gotshall's book Breaking the Vicious Cycle, in which the Carbohydrate Specific Diet is discussed. Although I do not agree with her diet, which relies quite heavily on animal foods, the information on the problems associated with eating complex carbohydrates is invaluable if you have any kind of gastointestinal illness.

Since I ended my mono pineapple diet, I have once again been eating lettuce very regularly. But I am finding that eating greens makes me incredibly tired for about two full hours after I eat them and this is a real drag. After I eat them, I feel like a snake that has swallowed a rat whole as it makes its way through my digestive system. It is actually a very stressful experience. So I decided to stop eating them again three days ago and just stick to juicing my greens for now (and perhaps forever!). I feel immensely better already, with so much more energy.

On the positive side, I seem to do really well with all stone fruits except for pears (which are high in oxaclic acid, but that is another story). The acidity of yellow peaches and nectarines requires that I blend and drink them, but the low-acid white varieties don't bother my teeth at all. The enamel on my teeth was damaged from the braces I wore as a child, so there are quite a lot of fruits that hurt my teeth if I try to chew them. I feel good on cherries and apricots also. Plums are too acid, and I don't particular like their flavor anyways. I am still experimenting with apples. I am also unable to chew apples due to teeth sensitivity, but I have juiced them several times and they don't seem to cause any negative reaction. One woman from France, who goes by the name Lighty or Wild Cat on the LFRV forums, and has her own French-speaking fruitarian forum, has been living almost exclusively on apple juice for the past several months and says she is feeling fantastic. So I am trying a little here and there to see how it feels for me. So far, it does not seem to cause any really negative reaction, but the verdict is still out.

I also seem to do pretty well with orange, tangerine, and lemon juice. I find them to be incredibly refreshing and hydrating.

I started my period again on June 13th, which was 34 days since my last (30-35 is more or less normal for me). This period was even better than my last. With my flow, I had only one light day, one medium day, and one light day, and then it was over. And, again, I had almost no pain. I used to have 1 light day, 3 medium days and 2 light days at the end, and I often continued spotting for another 2 days, accompanied by 2-3 days of severe pain at the beginning.

We have had a lot of mosquitos for this area this year because the spring weather was so wet. Twice I have been caught unawares and sustained several mosquito bites. Prior to adopting a low-fat fruit-based diet, I had really strong negative reactions to mosquito bites. They would swell up and itch fiercely for about 3 days. But when I was bit during the past week, I was delightfully surprised to discover that I no longer have such an extreme reaction. Each bite itched only mildly, barely swelled at all, and was completely gone within 20 minutes. Now that is amazing!

Another thing I discovered this week is that I cannot do Quantum Eating as outlined by Tonya Zavasta in her very interesting book of the same name. She eats several meals between the hours of 8 am and 2 pm, and then she dry fasts from 2 pm until breakfast the next day. There are a number of potentially positive reasons for following this kind of program; namely better sleep and detoxification, as well as slower aging. Of course, there is a lot of controversy about her program, but I think it has merit and is worthy of exploration and consideration. I do highly recommend her book, especially the first half of it. However, I ran into a very severe problem with orthostatic hypotension and tachycardia, which is a fancy name for low blood pressure and increased heart rate upon standing upright. I have a history of this problem and was given a Tilt Table Test at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Maryland about ten years ago in which you are strapped onto a table in a standing position and not allowed to move. If you have this problem, you will pass out, which is what I promptly proceeded to do. Most people with this problem do not pass out in "real" life because any kind of leg movement will usually prevent it by pumping blood back up to the brain. The diagnosing physician recommended a drug called Florinef but, not liking drugs, I refused to take it. Eventually, I was able to control it by adding seasalt back into my diet (and this is the main reason I was reluctant to stop using seasalt when I initially adopted a low-fat fruit-based diet). However, I took the leap of faith after five weeks on the new diet and everything seemed to remain stable, though I have been drinking quite a lot of celery juice and that may be why. But when I reduced the number of hours I was able to put food in and added the daily 18-hour dry fast, the orthostatic hypotension and tachycardia returned with a vengence and it was making me non-functional (it was forcing me to lie down a good part of the day) so I had to discontinue the experiement after 6 days. I was hoping to try it for 2-3 weeks to be fair, but it just wasn't possible. My pulse was running close to 100 beats per minute all day long, which is about 30 points above normal for me. In addition to sodium, carbohydrates also increase cellular hydration. In Third World countries, dehydration due to diarrheal disease is treated with a rehydration solution made of water, electrolytes, and sugar, as all three are necessary to help the patient retain enough fluid intracelluarly in order to recover. By cutting off my carbohydrate intake earlier than normal, I think I may have precipitated a state of cellular dehydration. I don't think this would necessarily be true for everyone, and it certainly does not happen to Tonya or she would be unable to do the intense form of Bikrim Yoga that she practices every day. For me, I think it is an issue of adrenal exhaustion (adrenals have a lot to do with proper water balance), and Tonya's program is simply too stressful for my body at this time. I definitely was not expecting to get the reaction I did, as it has been about 4 years since I have dealt with this problem.

A program that is similar to Tonya's is Dr. Dewey's No-Breakfast Plan and the Fasting Cure, in which you eat lunch and dinner (eating at noon and 6 pm) but skip breakfast. He does not ask his patients to dry fast, allowing them to drink as much water as they want, but they are still abstaining from food for 18 out of every 24 hours. The second half of his book is fascinating and worth reading for the case histories. You can read it on-line for free here. Patients who followed his recommendation were healed of all kinds of long-standing chronic illnesses. One gentleman he discusses suffered from severe migraine headaches for 40 years, but after adopting the no-breakfast plan his headaches vanished never to return. Another interesting thing he observed is that his patients who followed his recommendation never again suffered from viral infections, this included many members of his immediate and extended family who had been following his program for more than 12 years at the time he wrote the book. Although Dr. Dewey was an early Hygienist, he knew very little about what constituted a healthy diet. It was his experience that it didn't really matter what his patients ate, as long as they did not eat breakfast and did not overeat in general. Most of his patients seem to be eating a "meat and potatoes" diet and none of them changed the content of what they were eating--only the timing of when they were eating. A number of his patients did 3-5 week water fasts to heal certain health problems and, when they broke their fasts, they would do so without any special care. They simply resumed eating the foods they ate prior to undertaking the fast. One individual broke his fast with toast, eggs, oysters, and pigs feet jelly, if you can believe that! Dr. Dewey was not particularly enamored of fruit, and I am sure it is because his patients were eating it as a dessert after everything else they ate which, of course, we now consider to be a very bad food combination. Even though his knowledge of food is poor or, perhaps, even non-existent, his book is still worth reading in my opinion.

Luigi Cornaro, the famed Italian centenarian who lived from 1464 to 1566, is another example of how dietary restriction can heal one's body. At the age of 40, he found himself on his deathbed, due to living a very gluttonous and intemperate life. In a last ditch effort to save himself, he completely changed his ways and reduced his dietary intake to 12 ounces of food and 14 ounces of "new" wine per day. In his book The Art of Living Long, which you can also read on-line for free here, he says that it took him a year of experimentation to figure out exactly which foods and drink worked for his particular body, but that it was the most worthwhile year he had ever spent in his life. He developed a menu of soup, bread, egg and meat, with no fruit and apparently few vegetables. He, too, found fruit to be problematic for him and, again, I am sure this was due to bad food combinations. He divided his food into two meals per day. He went on to live another 63 years, dying at the grand old age of 103! The interesting thing is that when he was in his 70's, his family prevailed upon him to eat more food, so he finally consented to add one ounce of food to each of his two daily meals. He did this for one week until he became extremely ill with a fever that lasted over a month and almost killed him. Needless to say, his family stopped interferring with his dietary program after this incident. The big question that must be asked I think is whether a person on a low-fat fruit-based diet can get all of the nutrients (especially protein) that they need with only two meals per day. I know there are some LFRV's out there who claim to do so, but they may also have an unusual capacity to eat large quantities of food at one time. I personally find that 500 calories is about all I can eat comfortably at one meal. So, if I only ate 2 meals per day that would be just 1000 calories and there is no way that I could get all of nutrients or energy that my body requires for good health on that amount of food. Dr. Gosia O'Reilly has written an interesting piece on the subject of calorie restriction which you can read here. Essentially, what the research shows is that longevity is not so much a result of calorie restriction per se but, rather, is due specifically to protein restriction (which often accompanies calorie restricted diets). So, people eating a low-fat fruit-based diet may in fact have the best of both worlds: we get to eat as much food as our body desires, while at the same time getting just enough protein for health and longevity.