Today I wanna share with you how I’m going to go Back To Basics with the 80/10/10 Raw Vegan diet over the next few weeks. But first …
WHAT IS THE 801010 DIET?
The 801010 diet was coined by Dr Douglas Graham, a long time raw foodist and athlete. This diet is essentially a low fat version of the Raw Foods Diet and promotes that you should get 80% of your daily intake from fruit/veg carbohydrates, 10% from protein(non-animal sources) and 10% comes from whole fat sources, such as avocado and raw nuts. Dr Graham who has been a raw foodist for almost 30 years claims that this ratio optimises one’s energy, ability to maintain weight and boost athletic performance. A typical meal a day consists of consuming large amounts of fruits, some leafy vegetables and a small amount of nuts and seeds. As compared the the typical Raw Foods Diet which is more highly laden with fat because of the large consumption of nuts, seeds, oils and sweeteners.
WHY IM DOING THIS
When I started my raw foods lifestyle a few years ago, my meals were very basic. I didn’t own any fancy equipment like a blender, a food processor or a dehydrator. All I had was a chopping board and a peeler. My knowledge of raw foods was very limited – My meals consisted mostly of fruits, large raw salads , nut milks and small portions of raw nuts and seeds. I felt great, full of energy, positivity, had a stabilised weight and most of all healthy – alll the benefits of going RAW! Looking back, I unknowingly started off my raw foods journey as a Low Fat Raw Vegan eater.
If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that this year, I quit my corporate job to work at a raw food restaurant in Singapore. It was such an eye opener for me! I got introduced to a wider spectrum of the raw cuisine and the many possibilities . I started consuming alot more complex raw meals (like raw pizzas, burgers, sauces, cakes) which used a range of ingredients and different techniques (from soaking, sprouting, marination, dehydration etc). You have to give it up to raw foodists/vegans – they manage to recreate all their familiar favourites in a way that is in line with their ethics while feeling no sense of deprivation. Oh and i loved and embraced this new way of eating raw! The creativity, the flavours, the endless possibilities… i was hooked!
I have a huge weakness for desserts. While I was at the Living Cafe, on top of the raw meals, I ATE SO MUCH RAW DESSERTS. Seriously, I’m not kidding you. It was like Buffet Town everyday and “eating in moderation” was not a slogan i identified with.
The result? I put on around 3Kg in 7 months…and even more after I came back from London last month. Though I’ve finished my stint at the Living Cafe, my love for high fat, complex raw foods stayed. I always have raw chocolate and some sort of raw dessert in my fridge, and basically use nuts and sweeteners in almost all my dishes (from appetizers to mains to snacks). Even when I’m not making raw foods, I make vegan dishes that similarly use lots of nuts and oils too. I slowly started feeling more bloated/sluggish and because my digestive tract is very sensitive, I also got constipated more easily. But I didn’t listen to my body and continued eating the way I did.
Last month, after undergoing a 5 day juice cleanse, I felt GREAT! After the fast ended I went back to my normal way of eating raw foods and then the bloatedness/weight came back. I was actually quite demoralized. Like…what was I doing wrong? I’m wasn’t eating anything unhealthy! Then while scrolling through Instagram around 1 week plus ago, one my favourite instagrammers (@Serenesayyian) mentioned that she was going on a 801010 cleanse. I read up abit more bout this 801010 diet …and the more I read up and researched, the more I realised what went wrong – I was eating a High Fat Raw Vegan diet. And I decided it was time for a change. Time to go back to basics.
THE RAW DEAL
While happily indulging on guilt-free raw meals, its easy to forget that though these meals may not contain unhealthy stuff like dairy products or animal fat, they are not devoid of fats and calories. Especially so for raw desserts as they seem to be missing the large quantities of phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals that come from fresh fruits and vegetables.
Take a typical raw cake for example – its made up of 60-70% nuts, uses natural sweeteners (like agave, xyltiol), coconut oil, fruits high in fat like coconut and avocados and cacao/cacao butters. Likewise, a raw pizza uses a nutty/grainy base, marinated raw vegetables (ie, marinated in oils & seasoning) and mostly nut/oil based dressings.
BUT…NOT ALL FATS ARE BAD RIGHT?
This was the first question that came to my mind when I read about a High Fat Raw Vegan Diet. Surely the fat that comes from nuts, seeds and plants are healthier than saturated or trans fats right? And aren’t there many studies that support the fact that unsaturated fat (fat from plants) have benefits such as improving your HDL and reducing the risks of heart diseases? I’m no doctor or nutritionist but my thoughts are that whilst these fats are essential and not harmful…they should also be taken in moderation and within the required daily intake. Its VERY easy to consume more fat than you normally need (will touch more about this in the later weeks)
Do you know ? An average …
Vegetarian diet contains 42% fats
Vegan diet contains 42% fats (think non-dairy milks, vegan margarine, vegan packaged food, soy cheese, coconut products etc)
Raw Vegan diet contains 60%+ fats! (easily more if you’re living in a country with easy access to pre-packaged raw snacks, butters, desserts and entree in health food stores)**
**Data take from Dr Graham’s book : The 80/10/10 Diet
I guess what I’m trying to say here is that : I believe in a Raw Vegan diet and have personally benefited from it. But as I’ve come to realise this past year, there is also such a thing as an Unhealthy Raw Vegan diet too. You definitely don’t have to stop eating raw cakes and entrees of course ( God knows I can’t do that!! ) but its best to find a balance so that you don’t over consume your intake of fats and calories.
I’ll be going back to simple, basic raw meals that’ll follow closely to the 801010 diet for the next 3 weeks (7 – 31 Oct). I’ll share my experiences, results, meal intakes, FAQs, tips, health issues etc during this period too. I’ve downloaded the Cron-o-meter app to track the number of calories and nutrients I’ll be getting to make sure I’m not under eating or risk being malnutrition. Drop me a comment if you have any tips/advice or thoughts! =)