I’m supposed to be finishing a job application. I’m not unemployed. On the contrary, I have three jobs, but they’re all “on-call”, which means sometimes I’m working happily five, six, or seven day weeks and sometimes I just stay at home watching Youtube, reading, running or painting tattoo flash. This post was written early in the morning on one of my 7 day work days–the sabbath to be precise. But this post isn’t about employment, it’s about food.
You may be wondering what delicious foods have passed my lips and bowels this past year? You are weird for wondering about my bowels, but I forgive you. Mostly fresh fruits and vegetables. If you’ve read my previous post, you also know that I gave up coffee. For the past year, you might say that I’ve been a hardcore vegan. And when I say hardcore, I mean mostly raw and mostly whole foods. Every morning, I punch in a fist-full of raw kale into my gut. I usually eat around 5 to 10 bananas a day, one or three apples, an orange or two, some dates, and “raw” nuts.
I have, however, decided to add meat to my diet. Why? First let me describe my experience with a mostly 80 10 10, raw vegan diet. For the first few months, I felt absolutely fantastic. My digestion cleared up, my energy levels soared, and my anxiety faded. But after the honeymoon, things got strange. First of all, no matter how much I ate, I always felt hungry. Although I didn’t gain weight, I was constantly grazing–to the point where my jaws were soar. I’d eat five oranges, seven bananas, eight or nine dates, and bowls of salad and be hungry fifteen minutes later. My stomach was full, but appetite had not been satiated. I felt great, but I also felt like eating was a full time job and I felt that something was missing. It was difficult to work and to socialize because food took up such a huge part of my life. I had to plan my meals and I couldn’t just enjoy a meal with friends and family. I felt isolated. Although I didn’t preach or make my friends and family feel bad for eating “their” food, I did feel a sense of isolation and separateness.
As the months rolled on, I began to feel more and more spacey. My mind was filled with brain fog. My memory would short circuit. I’d be typing or talking and lose my train of thought. It was difficult to hold thoughts in my mind. I would be driving to work when, suddenly, I’d wonder if I was going to work or coming home from work. I’d be completely disoriented for a second or two. It felt as if I had been lobotomized. It was quite frightening and distressing. I seriously wondered if I had a brain disease or had suffered a stroke. According to the fruitarian community, I wasn’t eating enough. What a load of BS. I was eating plenty. Eating wasn’t the problem. Energy wasn’t the problem. The restrictive diet was the problem!
As I researched nutrition, I discovered the cause of my problem. BTW, nutrition is a fascinating topic. In terms of science, human nutrition is still very young. My research on 80 10 10 and raw food diets alarmed me. I quickly discovered many other people who shared similar experiences to mine. After some study, I have come to the conclusion that a 100% vegan diet is not optimal. To be fair, I’ve got a lot of health benefits from eating lots more raw food. But I have noticed that after eating a small amount of LOCALLY raised chicken to my diet that I feel much better. I’m not as hungry after a meal and my ability concentrate and to hold thoughts has improved.
I wasn’t vegan because I cared about animals. I was vegan for my health. When my health declined, I decided to listen to my body. I’m still eating whole foods and I’m still eating lots of raw fruits and veggies. In fact, I still consider my diet to be “plant-based”. But plants are the ONLY things that I eat. Human beings are omnivores. There is no denying that. All of the vegan, fruitarian, or vegetarian cultures use the diet for spiritual reasons, either to avoid bad karma or to punish the flesh. It’s not a “natural” diet. And the fact that Dr. Graham claims that its the “human diet” is absolutely ridiculous. I won’t even address the fact that the fruits and vegetables that we eat today are farmer’s foods. Truly wild potatoes, wild tomatoes, and even bananas are inedible–wild potatoes are toxic.The fruits and veggies of today would NOT have been available to our ancestors. The fruits and veggies that we enjoy today taste good because we’ve bred them taste good. Doug Graham is also dead wrong about the perils of cooking food. Cooking vegetables, especially red vegetables makes some of their key nutrients MORE absorb-able and it activates their cancer busting properties. It also makes it easier to eat higher quantities of healthy food. I’ll probably write another post debunking Dr. Graham. But for now, I’ll conclude this long and rambling post: The secret to a healthful diet is to eat whole foods.