On October 6th, I wrote a post about the “fruitarian” or 80/10/10 diet that Matt Frazier, of the No Meat Athlete blog, tried out for a month. You many recall that Matt said after one month on the diet, he felt better than ever, but he decided to go off the diet because he had lost too much weight and didn’t want to look so skinny. I wanted to see if the diet could really deliver the energy boost Matt talked about, so my plan was to try replacing all of my between-meal snacks with raw fruits or vegetables. When I told my wife, Laura, about the diet, though, she wanted to give it a try for a few days, so we did.
Note that we did a modified version of the diet, where fruits and vegetables are eaten exclusively up until dinner time and then a “normal” healthy dinner is cooked. (My impression of the “real” version of the diet calls for nothing but raw fruits and vegetables all day, every day.)
First, I went to the grocery store with my little fold-up cart and bought about thirty pounds of produce. Pineapple, bananas, mangoes, pears, grapefruit, cantaloupe, snap peas, tomatoes, salad fixings, kale. The first morning, I had a whole grapefruit, a whole banana and half an apple with 1 Tbsp of peanut butter for breakfast. Laura had the same thing, but (oddly) wanting to be a purist, she skipped the peanut butter. We were very full until lunchtime. For lunch, I made huge salads, using an entire head of lettuce, two tomatoes, half a cucumber, snap peas, mushrooms, avocado and 3/4 of a can of chickpeas. We both broke the rules and used salad dressing. I was full for a couple of hours, and then I ate a pear. Laura felt full until dinnertime, when we had a tofu and vegetable stir-fry, served over brown rice. At the end of the day we both agreed that we felt great.
The next day was pretty similar. On the third day, we had a small bowl of cereal and a banana for breakfast,and I think there was a veggie sandwich for lunch. By the fourth day, we’d run out of nearly all the produce and returned to our usual diet. I had lost three pounds, probably because much of what we were eating was undigestible fiber, which does not stick around for very long.
What about the promised energy boost, you ask? I would say that it was noticeable, if not quite magical. I felt light and agile, not weighed down after meals; my head was clear, my mood cheerful. I think this was at least in part due to the fact that I knew I was doing such good things for my body. So why did we quit? Habit, I guess, and busy-ness. We were in the middle of remodeling our new place, and spending an hour a day washing and chopping produce didn’t seem sustainable at the time.
But now that we’re all moved in, I may give it another try. This week, I’m doing the Rainbow Challenge, which would make a great segue back into the 80/10/10. I’ll let you know if I do it and, if so, how it goes this time.