What is the 80/10/10 diet?

The 80/10/10 diet is a diet consisting of whole, fresh, ripe, raw, organic fruits and vegetables. The “80/10/10” stands for the caloric nutrient ratio of this lifestyle. At least 80% of your calories each day comes from carbohydrates, equal to or less than 10% of your calories each day comes from protein, and equal to or less than 10% of your calories each day comes from fat. In general, most fruits and vegetables (with a few exceptions of fatty fruits like avocado and coconut) contain similar ratios to the 80/10/10 ratio, which helps explain why this caloric nutrient ratio is a great one. On this lifestyle, most of one’s calories come from fruit, since vegetables contain very little calories. Large quantities of tender leafy greens are generally consumed, and small amounts of fat-based plant foods (avocado, coconut, seeds, and nuts) are also consumed on occasion. This lifestyle encompasses all aspects of health. True health does not only come from the food we eat. Exercise, hydration, enough sleep, and a low stress lifestyle are other extremely important factors this diet stresses. The 80/10/10 diet is about abundance. It brings our health back to the basics and looks at how we as humans are physiologically designed to thrive. Dr. Douglas Graham, who wrote the book “The 80/10/10 Diet,” argues that we are physiologically designed to thrive on whole, fresh, ripe, raw organic fruits and vegetables. This lifestyle promotes eating until we are completely satiated and desire food no more, just as all animals in the wild eating their species-specific diet do without getting fat and sick with degenerative disease.

How long have you been a raw vegan?

I began my raw food journey in August 2006. I went vegan overnight and included mostly raw foods in my diet. At the time I was eating a high fat raw food diet which consisted of greens, vegetables, a small amount of fruit, processed agave nectar, and was rich in nuts, seeds and oils. This was what most of the raw food books were advocating and I didn’t know any other way. I definitely noticed a positive difference in my health, but a few things were still missing. In my efforts to attain optimal health, I kept researching and in early 2012 I came upon a book called “The 80/10/10 diet” by Dr. Douglas Graham. It was revolutionary and it completely changed my life. I finally understood the importance of foods in their natural whole state, which nutritional biochemist scientist Dr. T. Colin Campbell also advocates. My intuition tapped in and it made perfect sense to me that our species-specific diet is a high carbohydrate raw food diet filled with sweet fruits and tender greens. I immediately switched the type of raw foods I was eating and within weeks I was eating a diet comprised of whole, fresh, ripe, raw, organic, fruits and vegetables. The high fat raw vegan diet I had been following before quickly became a low fat raw vegan diet and I noticed a huge difference in my over all health and well being. Experiencing perfect digestion, clear skin, mental clarity, energy all day long, and better sleep on a consistent daily basis is the most wonderful feeling. And to top it all off, my desires for unhealthy foods disappeared! People sometimes wonder why I am so passionate about the high carbohydrate raw vegan diet, and I tell them, “It’s because I feel so freaking amazing all the time and I want everyone to experience it with me!”

Do you ever eat cooked food?

YES! We as a family love to eat a nice, warming, cooked vegan meal here and there. We always stick to whole plant foods, so cooked meal examples that we enjoy are boiled/baked (no oil) potatoes, sweet potatoes or squash, warming vegetables stews, rice, quinoa, beans, sautéed veggies etc. and we tend to enjoy this type of meal for dinner after we have had fresh fruits and vegetables in abundance throughout the day. We are not dogmatic about eating raw and find joy eating this way.

I truly love to eat raw and for the majority of my calories to come from ripe, raw, organic fruits and vegetables. I feel my best this way eating an abundance of raw foods. But I also love me some potatoes and rice pasta! So when i’m desiring some cooked food, I will make it! I have eaten fully raw for periods of time throughout the past years to help heal ailments I had, which helped tremendously in my healing! Check out my YouTube video “How I healed my Acne, Poor Digestion, and Anorexia” for more info on that subject. But lately overall, we like to make a cooked vegan family dinner a couple times a week.

In regards to spreading the vegan message, I find it so important be open and inviting. Not everyone wants to eat all raw foods and that’s ok! And a lot of people don’t even have access to an abundance of tree ripened tropical fruit. There are SO MANY ways to live and flourish on the abundant vegan lifestyle. Including raw fruits and vegetables into your diet is important for optimal health for sure! Just do the best you can in regards to getting fresh organic produce. Find what plant foods work for you, makes you feel good, and creates an ease in living vegan in your life. The animals don’t care whether you eat a raw, cooked vegan, whole foods vegan, or a junk food vegan diet. What matters most is that their dead bodies and their secretions are OFF the table. The aftermath of helping the planet and your own health are bonuses!

How many calories a day do you eat?

I average 2,200-2,600 calories a day but I do not track my calories any more and simply eat as much as I desire. Most of the calories I consume comes from fruit and I eat tender leafy greens and vegetables in abundance. A small percentage of my calories, around 10 percent, come from healthy plant fats. My diet stays within the 80/10/10 caloric nutrient ratio, with around 80% of my calories coming from carbohydrates, 10% or less of my calories coming from protein, and 10% or less of my calories coming from fat.

Do you take any supplements?

It’s a learning journey! I’ve got some new information. Over the years, my husband and I have gone back and forth with our views on supplementation. Because, in an ideal world, there should be no need for supplementation when eating our species specific diet (i.e the diet humans are physiologically designed to thrive on).

Some quotes from raw food pioneers I respect:

“There is no single vitamin, mineral or nutrient that you cannot get from a fruit or vegetable.”- Dr. Douglas Graham

“There is no need for supplements if you are eating an adequate raw diet and engaging in frequent vigorous activity. All the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients the body needs are supplied by eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, and leafy greens. Indeed, most supplements are concentrated from plant foods, and the body does not appreciate these concentrated levels, having to work to expel them similarly to the toxic residue from cooked foods. It is always better to correct the diet than to supplement it. Many people hold the belief that more is better, but actually, supplements do little besides foster nutritional imbalances. That said, in individual cases it may be necessary to supplement the diet nutritionally during the initial phases of lifestyle change rather than risk potential health damage. The health of each individual always takes priority over any philosophical position.” -Kristina Carillo-Buracam

Ideally, we should all be thriving in our natural environment of the tropics with an abundant access to organic fruits and vegetables that are grown in richly composted soils and picked ripe off the tree. Picture a fruit forest utopia (i.e. the Garden of Eden). Ideally, we should be living a low stress lifestyle and an active one. But this is not the case for the mass majority of humans across the world today.

To learn all about the supplement industry and how, in general, these large corporations are not making our species much healthier, please read the book “Whole” by T. Colin Campbell.

That being said, Don Bennett, a 20-year low fat raw vegan, has compelling information on supplementation being extremely beneficial in some cases: THE CASE FOR SUPPLEMENTATION

Through further research, my mindset has become a little more realistic, rather than idealistic.  Check out Don Bennett’s website, Health101.org, you will not be sorry for the wealth of information he gives out in the ARTICLE section! Also worth mentioning, Don doesn’t sell the supplements he recommends, nor does he make any money from their sale. This speaks volumes to me about the recommendations he makes.

Currently, as a family, we are taking Barley Grass Juice Powder. I add 2 heaping tablespoons of the green powder to my smoothies. Elvis gets about 1 tsp of the green powder in a smoothie every day.

I also decided to get tested for B12 through Don Bennett (in August 2014). Over the 8 years being vegan, the only time I supplemented with B12 was when I was pregnant with Elvis. The test concluded I was NOT B12 deficient. I plan on only supplementing with Methylcobalamin B12 lozenge with any future pregnancies.

Check out the article: “EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT B12”.

To learn all about Iodine, check out this article: “The Iodine Issue”

Hope you find this information helpful! xo

Where do you get your protein?

We get our protein from fruits and vegetables. We do not focus on any specific food to get any specific nutrient. Eating a diet consisting of whole, fresh, ripe, raw, organic fruits and vegetables, and eating enough of it, supplies us with all the protein we need. Sweet fruit averages 4-8% of its calories from protein and vegetables and leafy greens average 15-20% of its calories from protein. There is quite an unjustified obsession with protein in today’s world. By all means, protein is an essential nutrient, but we do not need near as much protein as most people tend to think we need. Have you ever met anyone in America (or developed western countries) who has been clinically diagnosed as protein deficient? Most likely, you have not. The only people who are protein deficient are people who are not eating enough food, food in general. Those people are starving humans across the world, and anorexics and bulimics. We no more need to ask ourselves if we are getting enough protein than we do for any other herbivore mammal on the planet. All the gorillas, elephants, rhinoceroses, and cows clearly get plenty of protein from their diet of plants. Why do so many humans not understand that we too have no problem receiving the right amount of protein from our species-specific diet of fruits and vegetables? I believe the main reason for this confusion is that most people do not understand that we are physiologically designed to thrive on whole plant foods, specifically fruits and tender greens.

To learn how we are not at all designed like carnivorous animals, watch this short YouTube video by FoodNSport.

Can you transition to the 80/10/10 diet (or even a whole foods vegan diet) while pregnant or nursing?

Most definitely. In fact it is of the utmost importance to eat healthfully while pregnant or nursing for your growing baby. Click Here to read my blog post in relation to this topic where I explain tips to help you make it happen and thrive in such a pivotal and important time of your life.

Are you still breast feeding?

Yes I breastfeed Sandy, my youngest. My oldest, Elvis weaned himself from breast milk at 2 1/4 years of age. They have never had one taste of milk from another mammal except my own. I promote extended breastfeeding and to let the child decide when milk is of no more need. Breast milk is nature’s perfect food, not just for infants and babies, but for toddlers as well.

What do you do for sun protection?

The sun is not here to harm us and is not this evil force in the world that we have to do everything we can to stay “protected” from it, in contrast to what the media and sunscreen brands would like us believe. Getting burned, though, is unhealthy and definitely should be avoided. We do not wear any sunscreen or put anything on our skin when we go in the sun. We stay at the beach for a healthy amount of time, generally 1.5-2.5 hours, and head back home before burning ever becomes a possibility. When we first moved to Maui it was spring time in California, where we were coming from, so we had no tan at all for that year. The sun was shining brightly in Maui so when we spent time in the sun we made sure to stay out for only a short amount of time of 45 minutes as our skin adjusted to the sun exposure. As our skin adjusted we would then stay out for 1 hour, then 1.5 hours, and so on. Our son, Elvis has never worn sunscreen in his life and has never been burned. He has a healthy beautiful tan and gets all his vitamin D in proper, healthy sun exposure doses.

How is eating a vegan diet sustainable and healthy for the planet?

Eating a frugivorous diet is the most sustainable diet on the planet. How you ask? Well God had a perfect plan and if we eat within His original design, we protect the planet in every form imaginable. Fruit can save the planet from this horrid mess we are in! When eating a diet consisting of only whole, fresh, ripe, raw, organic fruits and vegetables, there is no waste involved. All fruit and vegetable scraps can go back into the earth, and when mixed with proper ratios of cardboard and leaves, creates beautiful, rich, organic compost. This compost can then be added back into the soil which helps grow more fruits and vegetables! The cycle continues and no landfill is involved. The picture of the Garden of Eden is exactly how God designed this world to thrive with humans in it. We pick fruit, we eat fruit, we put fruit back into the ground and more fruit trees grow.

Genesis 1:29-30 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.

Check out Freelee the Banana Girl’s beautiful and perfectly explained video on the topic of a sustainable fruigivorous planet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKocNEUMfEY

This planet is an ecosystem and we are part of it too. But the way we Americans and westerners are living today is contributing to the destruction of this planet at a rapid rate.

It takes eight times as much fossil fuel to produce animal protein as it does to produce the same amount of plant protein. More than 260 million acres of U.S. forests have been cleared for growing grain to feed farmed animals. More than 90 percent of all Amazon rain-forest land that has been cleared since 1970 is used for meat production. Many times more land is required to feed a meat-eater than a vegetarian. We lose upwards of 90 percent of the calories by cycling the grain through the livestock before eating the cow, pig, chicken or fish.

The 7 billion livestock animals in the United States consume five times as much grain as is consumed directly by the entire American population…If all the grain currently fed to livestock in the United States were consumed directly by people, the number of people who could be fed would be nearly 800 million,” David Pimentel, professor of ecology in Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Ellen Fisher - Mango Island Mamma - SustainabilityIt takes an enormous amount of water to grow crops for animals to eat, clean filthy factory farms, and give animals water to drink – all to produce animal foods. By simply going meat free you can save 95,000 gallons of water a year. Animals raised for food in the U.S. produce 130 times more excrement than does the entire human population of the U.S. Runoff from factory farms is one of the leading causes of pollution in our rivers and lakes.

The truth is, you cannot be a non-vegan environmentalist. By simply not eating one pound of beef, you are saving the same amount of water as not showering for 100 15-minute showers. Thats 3 1/2 months of not showering, compared to just one pound of beef. To produce that one pound of beef it takes approximately 55 square feet of rainforest. If you decided to drive a Prius instead of your average car, you would be saving 1.7 tons of CO2 every year. Where as going one year without just beef, you save 5.5 tons of CO2 every year. That doesn’t even include the rest of the livestock meats and their byproducts!

Watch this video for more eye-opening facts on animal foods from factory farms and their environmental impacts: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGuduhfGSjU

“In summary, never showing, never using paper, never using toilet paper, recycling 1 ton of paper, and never driving, don’t even come close to helping the environmental impact of switching to a vegan diet.” -BiteSizeVegan YouTube channel`

There is so much more that can be said on this topic. For now I will just link you to Gary Yourofsky’s amazing website for more statistics on how animal agriculture is destroying this beautiful planet that we are entrusted to take care of. http://www.adaptt.org/veganism.html#

How do friends and family react to you raising your child as a raw vegan? And how do you deal with negativity about your raw vegan lifestyle?

Everyone on both sides of our families fully support our diet and lifestyle choices. They are proud of their raw vegan grandson/nephew and we feel very blessed to have such a supportive family. Occasionally, a friend of our parents will come to them with concerns about their grandson and if they do not know how to properly answer the question, they will come to us and ask us how to respond. But in general, it is obvious how healthy and happy Elvis is, so people do not act concerned. Our friends are supportive as well and often come to us for health advice. I vividly remember the day I told my girlfriends about the raw food diet when I first learned of it in August of 2006. I excitedly told them about what I had learned and they all looked at me with a funny kind of look. They thought I was a bit coo coo, but I didn’t care. Sure enough, eventually my sister, boyfriend (now husband), college roommate, and sister-in-law all joined me in my journey on a raw food diet. When people come to me for advice on how to handle family/friend issues when going vegan or embarking on the 80/10/10 diet, I always tell them just to focus on being a good example so that they can see the positive change in you and be inspired. Do your research so that you can confidently answer any question that comes your way. Negativity generally comes the most to those who are unsure of what they are doing. The people who are not confident in their choices and are not properly informed, often become discouraged easily, and this is what further probes their family and friends to put them down in their attempts at going against the grain and following their heart. Watch my YouTube video here for more information on how to properly respond to criticism that comes your way.