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Transitioning to the 80/10/10 Diet while Pregnant or Nursing

By March 9, 2014Uncategorized


Eating healthfully while pregnant and breast feeding is of the utmost importance to set up good health for your child. To be honest, I am amazed at how unhealthfully many mothers eat during this period of their life and still give birth to healthy and normal babies. The human body is extremely adaptable and can live on all sorts of foods. But we thrive best on our species specific diet of raw fruits and vegetables.

A lot of women DO want to eat healthy, though, and understand the importance of nutrition in this period of their life. The health of the mother and father prior to conception is highly valuable in creating healthy children, and is a much easier way to go. But that should not hold you back from making a healthy diet change now that you are pregnant. This post is for women who are already pregnant or nursing, and are looking to better their health, for both themselves and for their baby. It is for the women who are already made certain, are fairly informed, and desire to follow a low fat raw vegan diet. And this post will focus on helping these women implement the proper steps to get there.

(Meaning: I am not going to focus this post on convincing the unconvinced to understand that a low fat raw vegan diet is not only healthy, but optimal for pregnant and lactating women. It would become a very lengthy post and I will have to save this subject for another time.)

I have come across many women who are either pregnant or breast feeding their child looking for advice in wanting to eat healthier and follow the 80/10/10 diet (or even just wanting to eat whole foods vegan), but are fearful of detoxing in the process. Their instincts tell them it would be very beneficial to eat an abundance of raw fruits and vegetables for both themselves and their growing baby. But too often other people in their life, as well as the media, instills fear and weariness in them, which holds them back in eating healthier.

Most people do not know that the mass majority of medical doctors receive little to no training in nutrition. People generally hold doctors up on this pedestal as if their advice on proper diet to grow healthy babies is somehow more knowledgable than someone like you or me. There are some doctors, yes, who choose to further their education and become informed. But a large portion of doctors in America know very little about nutrition. Even certified nutritionists and dietitians receive a lot of very biased schooling which is largely funded by the meat, dairy and processed foods industry. I really could do a whole post on this subject, but will also need to save this for another time. Getting new ideas for blog posts within my posts!
 I want to encourage you, empowered women, to take the step to inform yourself and go with your intuition. Eating an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables is healthy and optimal for you and your baby. We should not be fearful of the transition to a healthier lifestyle. Your baby needs nutrition and the best way to do that is to eat whole plant foods and to live a healthy lifestyle. The focus should be making sure you are implementing the proper steps to get there, while ensuring the health of the baby. The human body will not heal instantly from a toxic diet. True healing takes time. So it is important to make gradual, long, and consistent strides towards a raw vegan diet while pregnant.

 “A large amount of excess toxins suddenly released into the system could have a negative effect on the fetus, so it’s important to detoxify slowly, especially if changing to 100% raw foods during pregnancy…A change to 60 to 70 percent raw vegan foods during pregnancy is encouraged, with the remaining 30 to 40 percent being the least harmful cooked foods-steamed vegetables. This diet will still be quite healthful and easier on mother and baby. Mother can then move to totally raw foods after the birth of the baby, when detoxification will have less, and eventually, no effect on the baby.” – Karen Ranzi, Creating Healthy Children, through attachment parenting and raw foods.

To combat criticism that will come your way when going against the grain of what the public generally promotes, I encourage you to inform yourself as much as possible. This way, when people discourage you on your health journey, you will have the answers and will be confident in your responses to why you are eating the way you are. You will know fully that you are doing the right thing for you and your baby, so no amount of negativity will get you down. It will only provide opportunities for you to gently inform others! Stay positive and know what you are doing! CLICK HERE to see the books I recommend.

I will give just one example of the type of criticism you might receive in following a low fat raw vegan diet while pregnant, and what type of information you can learn so you know how to properly respond: But where will you get your protein?! Your baby needs lots of protein so you need to eat foods like meat and dairy to give your baby the nutrients from meat!

 Of course, this is simply not true. A pregnant and lactating mother will get all the protein she needs eating raw vegan foods.

 “A maximum of 10% of total calories consumed [should] come from protein. If one is consuming 2,000 calories per day that would equal a maximum of 50 grams daily. If, as typically happens during pregnancy and nursing, as well as during extended periods of great degrees of physical activities, total calorie consumption rises, protein consumption should and will rise accordingly, based on my percentage suggestions. Therefore, an athlete consuming 6K calories per day would be consuming close to 150 grams of protein per day.” -Dr. Douglas Graham

“When your caloric needs are met [by eating whole foods], your protein needs are met automatically. Focus on eating healthy natural foods; forget about trying to get enough protein. Your protein needs increase in direct proportion to increased caloric  demands and your increased appetite. Guess what? You automatically get enough. The same is true during pregnancy. When you meet your caloric needs with an assortment of natural plant foods, you will receive the right amount of protein- not too much and not too little.” -Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Eat to Live

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

 
The following is a list of things I recommend, based on the experiences of myself and my mamma friends who went through the same transition. Focus on getting to your healthiest you. These steps focus on the fact that you are growing a baby, either in your womb, or through your breasts.

  1. EAT FRUIT IN ABUNDANCE!

    The highest quality source of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients comes from eating a wide variety of whole, fresh, ripe, raw, organic, fruits and vegetables. The book “The 80/10/10 diet” by Dr. Douglas Graham is a must read to help get you started on the road to the amazingly vibrant and healthy frugivorous path.

  2. EAT VEGETABLES IN ABUNDANCE!

    Do not neglect your greens. Some pregnant women have a hard time chewing large salads for dinner. If this happens to you, put greens like kale, collards, or lettuce greens in a smoothie filled with delicious ripe fruit. It can also be beneficial to include large fruit and vegetable juices into your diet to keep your green intake high. When I was pregnant, one of my favorite go-to juices was a large celery, cucumber, apple, pineapple kale juice. I craved these sweet green juices and drank them on a weekly basis. When you are making salads for yourself, keep it simple with lots of tender greens and add in celery or sun dried tomatoes (no oil, no salt) to your dressings to satisfy your salt cravings. Also, add some overt plant fats like avocado, coconut meat, hemp seeds or walnuts to your salads or dressings. An example of a super satisfying dressing to pour over veggies is avocado, celery, sun dried tomatoes and fresh tangerine juice blended smooth.

  3. EAT ENOUGH CALORIES.

    This is the most important step. If you are pregnant or nursing and are not already following a whole foods vegan diet, then chances are you will need to learn how to adjust the portion sizes of your meals to larger quantities, especially while pregnant. Whole plant foods are generally lower in calories than animal foods, especially raw fruits and vegetables. And fruits are very high in water content, which can give the illusion of fullness to a beginner before they are actually satisfied. It is crucial to always satisfy your desires for food. This is one reason why including cooked foods for dinner will help a pregnant woman transitioning to a low fat raw vegan diet get enough calories, when they find it difficult to get enough calories from fruits and vegetables alone as their belly grows.

  4. STAY HYDRATED.

    Drink lots of water. Start out your morning with a liter of water before you eat your breakfast and drink more water throughout your day. It is imperative that you stay hydrated while nursing your child to ensure proper milk production. I generally drink at least 2 liters of water a day and back when I was exclusively breast feeding my son, I drank more.

  5. BE CONSISTENT.

    Nothing is more taxing on the body than yo-yo dieting, especially while growing a baby. Going back and forth from extremely healthy foods, to extremely unhealthy foods is not recommended. What you do not eat without exception is more important than what you do eat. The body heals itself, if you let it. Binging on junk foods like french fries, chips, cookies, cheese and foods loaded with oil and salt will impede your progress. The best way to ensure you don’t have trouble with this is to fuel your body with enough calories from high carbohydrate whole plant foods. When we satisfy our carbohydrate needs, the desire for unhealthy foods will minimize, and in many cases completely cease to exist. DO NOT RESTRICT YOUR CALORIES. During pregnancy and early lactation your appetite will heighten, which we know is a sure sign that your baby needs you to eat more. The problem with people in America today is that they eat more of the wrong foods which do not promote health.

  6. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF.

    The best way to take care of your baby is to first take care of yourself. This way you will be the best mother, wife, sister, and friend you can be! Get rest and sleep as much as possible. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your friends or partner. It is quite common for mothers to become sleep deprived after having a child and while this is an expected part of the journey, getting outside help so you can get some needed rest is very important. What you put in your mouth is just the beginning. True health goes so much deeper than just food.

  7. LEARN PROPER FOOD COMBINING PRINCIPLES.

    Having good digestion will positively impact on your overall health and well being immensely while you are pregnant (or not pregnant for that matter!). Google search “food combining charts” online to help guide you. Only eat cooked foods after you are done having all your fruits for the day. Fruit is like a jealous lover and wants to be digested by itself (or with tender greens). Fruit digests very quickly, in about an hour, where as cooked food takes much longer to digest. If you eat fruit after you have had cooked food within the same day, the fruit will ferment over the cooked food, causing gas, bloating, and indigestion. Eat fruits for breakfast and lunch and enjoy cooked foods for dinner. Eat tender leafy greens with your cooked meals to help with digestion.

In short, eat fruit in abundance during the day. Enjoy large bowls of your favorite fruit, green smoothies, fresh citrus juices, green juices, and mono meals galore for breakfast and lunch. Include tender greens with these meals as well if desired. For dinner time, if you feel like eating a raw meal, go for a big raw salad. If you started out on this lifestyle eating a fairly standard American diet, be sure to include steamed vegetables with your dinner or even some boiled potatoes on the salad as well. And for any day you are desiring more than just a salad, or are not able to eat large enough quantities of fruits to fill your caloric needs during the day, make a large WHOLE foods cooked vegan meal to go with tender greens for dinner. Examples of this are boiled sweet potatoes, steamed veggies, brown rice, quinoa etc. Keep the oil and salt out of the kitchen. Teach your taste buds to enjoy simple flavors. If you are looking to eat a fully raw, or nearly full raw diet, choose to cut out cooked foods after you give birth and your nursing relationship becomes stable with your little new bundle.


I transitioned from a high fat raw vegan diet to the low fat raw vegan diet (80/10/10) while nursing my then 6 month old baby, who exclusively breast fed until he was 8 months old. I had no problems with milk supply and experienced amazing things on my journey. He weaned from breast milk at 26 months of age. My son is the happiest, healthiest child I know and is thriving in every way. He has been a raw vegan since birth and is growing and developing at the same rate of his fellow kiddo friends. I like to say my bebe is made of raw fruits, vegetables and breast milk. During my pregnancy I ate what is considered the high fat raw food diet, simply because I had not learned of the 80/10/10 diet yet. I have been eating raw vegan foods for over 7  years now (since August 2006) and during pregnancy I craved loads of fruit and raw vegetables. I ate more fruit during pregnancy than I did in the previous 5 years on the high fat raw food diet and I felt great because of it. I still included some cooked vegan foods which I now consider to be unhealthful (like vegan Chinese restaurant food filled with salt and oil) and ate a good amount of nuts and high fat dehydrated foods. Looking back, I realize now how much my body was asking me to fuel myself and my growing baby with fresh fruit, and I’m glad I listened to its request. I felt great the whole time during pregnancy. I never had any morning sickness, gained 24 pounds, and had a wonderful home birth experience. I can only imagine how much greater my next pregnancy will be now that I follow the 80/10/10 diet and completely avoid oils, salt, and processed foods! I am very much looking forward to our next pregnancy, when the time is right for our family, to share my experience with you all.

LONI JANE

Instagram star @lonijane was interviewed by news.com/au about her 80/10/10 transformation and was pregnant during the time of the interview. After the positive interview, she received loads of backlash through media outlets around the world about how “unhealthy” her diet is and how she is harming her newborn baby. They expressed how she needed to take supplements, eat more protein and cut the carbs. You can read her original interview here: http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/loni-jane-anthony-801010-diet-saved-my-life/story-fneuzkvr-1226757955932

And you can also read her follow up article here, where she defends herself: http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/loni-jane-defends-following-801010-diet-while-pregnant/story-fneuzkvr-1226761011465

She, of course, stuck to her guns and recently gave birth to a beautiful and totally HEALTHY baby boy named Rowdy Nash. Check out her Instagram for the beautiful pictures of her and her glowing new babe. It’s baffling, although expected, that there will not be the same big news coverage on, “Hey! We were wrong! Loni Jane gave birth to a beautiful healthy baby! Maybe we should open our minds to the 80/10/10 diet.”  Nope. Instead there will be silence (unless of course, news.com/au does another follow up article on her; which I hope they do!). And what so many people will only remember is that they read an article about how unhealthy it is for a pregnant woman to be vegan eating only fruits and vegetables. But a large amount of people were positively impacted by her story being shared! Her article brought a lot of new people into the 80/10/10 lifestyle. The only way she would have made it back into big media coverage is if her baby ended up in the NICU or if her baby was born will illness, which did not happen. THIS is one of the main reasons why not many people know the truth about real nutrition. And of course, no one blames poor diet to any mother on the standard American diet who gives birth to a baby with illness.

TESSA FISHER
My sister-in-law Tessa, recently gave birth to her second child, a beautiful baby girl named Rooney Bliss. She ate a low fat vegan, most raw diet and had a wonderful pregnancy and home birth. And she wrote about her pregnancy experience for me to share with you all today.


 “I was 6 months into my 80/10/10 high carb low fat journey when I found out we were expecting our second child. Why should the diet that we were created to thrive on be vastly different just because of pregnancy? I didn’t believe it should be. I continued my plant based pregnancy, focusing on a high raw, high fruit diet with plenty of leafy greens. I avoided oils, processed foods and any added salt. On average I continued to maintain 80% of my daily calories in carbohydrates from fruit, vegetables and cooked starches, 10% protein, and 10% fats from WHOLE FOODS. Unfortunately I still had a decent amount of morning sickness, similar to my first pregnancy. But this time I slept great the entire pregnancy, was not dehydrated at all, my iron levels were excellent, I did not swell, retain water, or gain excess water weight; all of which made for a much more comfortable pregnancy! I gained 18 pounds this pregnancy and I could not believe the amount of energy I had this time around, specifically in my third trimester! It was such a better experience than my first pregnancy! I also have to say that the high carb low fat vegan lifestyle has been life saving when it comes to sleeping with a newborn. Despite broken sleep at night, I still have consistent energy throughout the day. Definitely not the excruciating fog of sleep deprivation that I remember with my first child!”  Two weeks postpartum I had lost all the baby weight except two pounds; which I suspect was one pound in each breast. All my clothes fit perfectly and I feel amazing.” -Tessa Fisher
See Tessa’s Instagram @tessamfisher

CISSY LALA

Cissy is a wonderful friend of mine who is near and dear to my heart. I asked her to write about her experience and journey to health. She is currently still breast feeding her 18 month old bebe and has successfully transitioned her older daughter, Piper, to a whole foods vegan diet.

“I transitioned to the 80/10/10 diet cold tofurkey from the SAD diet 4 months postpartum. My decision was easy as I was well aware of the benefits of this lifestyle. Because I was breastfeeding I wanted to make sure my body was capable of handling any detox symptoms with ease. I drank plenty of water, got as much sleep as I could, and fueled up on enough calories from fresh organic fruits and vegetables to keep me energized and satisfied. 80/10/10 has changed my life in so many positive ways. I feel so much better, my kids are eating extremely healthy, I have energy to keep up with my 4 year old and now 18 month old, and I’m so much more connected with life! It’s beautiful!” -Cissy Lala
See Cissy’s Instagram @rawlala

 

I’ve had the pleasure of conversing with Dr. Douglas Graham, and he has personally helped me heaps on my journey to health. My gratefulness to him cannot fully be expressed through words. I asked him what his thoughts were on women transitioning to the 80/10/10 diet while pregnant or nursing:

“Getting as healthy as you can, as soon as you can, is always the best choice. Getting rid of toxins as soon as possible is always smarter than waiting until later. Imagine if the problem was alcohol, and not food. Would you recommend that an alcoholic woman who was pregnant wait until she’d given birth before she stopped drinking? Of course not. How about if she’d just given birth, would you advise her to keep drinking until she’d finished nursing. Again, the obvious answer is, ‘No, quit drinking asap.’ The same is true for cooked foods. For the best possible outcome, switch to the 80/10/10 raw vegan diet as soon as possible.” -Dr. Douglas Graham (Author of The 80/10/10 diet)

I hope you found this post to be informative and inspiring. There are other women out there too, although few and far between, who choose to grow their babies with an abundance of living fruits and vegetables! We need more women in the world to become informed and learn how to TRULY eat healthy to nourish both themselves and their babies. Join us in the journey of creating healthy children through a whole foods raw vegan diet, rich in living fruits and vegetables!

Here is a picture of myself and my son Elvis, at one day old. 

In love and health,

Mango Island Mamma, Ellen Fisher

Author Ellen Fisher

More posts by Ellen Fisher

Join the discussion 55 Comments

  • Jenny Ussack says:

    Thank you so much for this post Ellen. I started feeling physically sick and nauseous one day a few weeks ago and decided to do the Dr. Oz weekend cleanse. It was during this cleanse that I read Loni Jane’s blog again (I had already followed her but did not get into the 80/10/10 yet). I was so encouraged hearing about the change her diet made on her energy levels and health as a whole and upon her recommendation read 80/10/10 by Dr. Graham. I was so convinced that I am immediately began the diet and found out the next day I was 5 weeks pregnant! I was so excited to begin this journey and do it in a healthy way. I have had no morning sickness. I don’t even feel like I’m pregnant except that my boobs hurt sometimes. Loni Jane talked about you so I checked you out on instagram and youtube and began following your blog. You are so inspiring and I am grateful for what you share as I have to remind myself daily all the benefits of this lifestyle. At times I feel like a food addict that has to take it day by day reminding myself of the benefits even though I am experiencing them already. I have been reluctant to share the changes I have made, especially being pregnant, because I know there are many who would have negative opinions on this. I am a nurse and the medical establishment is definitely not receptive to this lifestyle. I am so thankful for people like you who have shared this info.

  • Christina says:

    Thank you for this post! So helpful!

  • Rowena says:

    Fantastic blog post & such beautiful, sparkly photos!!
    Any info on young children with Eczhema?
    If so id love to hear some results anyone has had with low fat raw vegan diet & healing this skin condition.

    • Ellen Fisher says:

      hi rowena, actually Cissy, the girl above who wrote a small testimony in my post, is someone you should talk to. her oldest daughter, piper, had eczema and it has healed immensely from her going vegan. check her out on instagram, @rawlala and @cissylala and ask her about it. I’m sure she will respond. i will try and get her to come comment on this post too.

      • Rowena says:

        Thanks Cissy. I love your Instagram & have been following you & Ellen for over a year. Elon my son (2 .5yrs) has been gluten free & vegan most of his life & I have transitioned also. We have introduced lots of raw & would like to go fully plant based / raw for Elon. We have found that Aloe Vera followed by coconut oil seems to be the best combo we have found. Thanks for your feedback, some people say he is allergic to fructose which I find impossible. Any experience with this? Thanks for your feedback, Rowena

    • Cissy says:

      Hi Rowena, my daughter is almost 5 now and she was the driving force behind our family transition to a mostly raw/ all vegan diet. At first we tried just eliminating dairy, then just gluten, then just soy, but ultimately it came down to her eating a 100% plant based diet when I started to see dramatic results. I only use Dr.Bronners mild BABY soap on her. Anything else triggers a reaction in her skin. For moisturizer, after what felt like thousands of trials, we found fair trade Shea butter unscented works awesome at keeping her skin calm and moist. Now she will usually only flare up when she goes swimming in chlorine for a long time, or from environmental pollution. If you need to email me you can at cissylala@gmail.com

  • This was amazing. You have been so inspiring to me. I started this journey on january of this year and am still breastfeeding my 2.5 year old daughter Lilli. I wish I knew about this lifestyle sooner. Especially when I was pregnant with my children. (Elijah – 5 breastfed until age 3, and Lilliana – 2.5 stll going strong)

  • Jess says:

    Loved this blog post thank you.

  • Melanie says:

    Oh I love this post! I’m due tomorrow and have been trying to transition to fully raw during my pregnancy but being unsuccessful. I try to stick with low fat high carb either way but the struggles are when I go to places where I get weak and eat crap. Then get sick. Lol. Your post is inspiring and motivating for me to try harder for my health an most of all my baby’s health.
    Thank you Ellen. <3

  • Rebecca says:

    Thank you so much for writing this article. I have been following you on instagram for a while now because I was so impressed with how you feed your son. My son just turned a year old last week and I have keep him mostly vegan so far much to the disapproval of some family members, so seeing how much your son is thriving gives me much encouragement. I have been wanting to transition to eating lowfat raw vegan but I was worried about how the detox would affect my breast milk and I have no plans on weening my son anytime before he is ready. All the resources you have listed here are so helpful and you have put my mind at ease about doing any inadvertent harm to my son. Thank you again!

  • Estasia says:

    Hi Ellen,
    Your blog is awesome and inspiring! Way to go mama! I am inspire by your writings, and want to go buy the 80/10/10 book to do a cleanse while breast feeding.
    My vegetarian family doesn’t eat so well, we cut soy, and they are tired of beans. I feel this is a way we need to try to be healthy.
    Mahaloz!

  • Tanja says:

    Hi Ellen!
    Thank you so much for writing this post. It is very encouraging seeing there are others out there that live out this diet even WHILE being pregnant. I am 4 months pregnant myself and have transitioned into a 80/10/10 diet. I have to say the part I find the hardest is explaining to people that this in fact is healthy not only for me but for baby. Like you pointed out they’ll ask where I get my protein from. So I wanted to ask for your advice. What do I say to people? And how much would enough protein look like as a pregnant women? Does it change any from not being pregnant?

    • Ellen Fisher says:

      pregnant women need more protein, yes. but all you need to do is up your caloric intake as your hunger rises. eat as much fruit as you desire. eat as much vegetable matter as you desire. make sure to eat enough food and you will get all the protein you need. to learn how i like to respond to questions like that from people, watch my youtube video “how to respond to criticism that comes your way”. link to my youtube video in the the “media” tab on my website.

  • Lindsay says:

    Hi!
    I am so incredibly excited to have found your site. I was telling my husband only hours before about how I need to change how I eat. I have tried so many times, but the sugar and sweets always creep back in and it’s a real struggle for me. I LOVE fruits and veggies, but I can’t get past my cravings for the bad stuff. I have already started making changes since I found you a couple days ago, it’s exciting! You really are an inspiration.
    Anyway, my question is about juicing. A few months back I read the book “Clean Gut” and asked the author if it was safe for me to juice while breastfeeding, and he replied no. I had started juicing when my son was 4 months old and it seemed to disturb his tummy so I gave it up since people were saying it wan’t good for my son. So I am just wondering your opinion on that. He is now 11 months and still breast feeding, but he loves smoothies and his tummy is stronger now, obviously. We are going to continue breastfeeding until he’s done, but I really loved juicing and miss it. I’d love to hear back, if you have time!! Thanks in advance.

    Lindsay

  • Melissa says:

    Hi Ellen! I have read this post multiple times to help remotivate myself to continue trying to transition to 80-10-10. I’m 22 weeks pregnant and eating a lot of raw fruits and veggies, but also still eating at leafy one SAD meal a day. My question is about prenatal vitamins. I try very hard to make sure that I at least eat enough fruit and veg to cover my needed vitamin and mineral requirements for pregnancy, but worry still that I’m not getting enough. I am not currently taking a prenatal supplement and am wondering if you or any of the lovely mamas you mentioned in your post did while pregnant. Thank you for being so informative and inspirational!!!

  • Jeanne says:

    Hi Ellen. Thank you so much for this post. I heard about 80/10/10 some time ago but didn’t really have time to learn more about it. I went vegan for a few months before going to college because we just couldn’t afford to buy meat and rice and veggies were the cheapest. Before my latest pregnancy, I was had gained so much it was the heaviest I was in my life. So I remembered that time and how much energy I had (getting up at 4am to make it to to school then off to work after lunch and getting home around 11pm) despite my very very tiring schedule. I started cutting out meat. I thought I lost my period because I was detoxing or something lol. I had no morning sickness whatsoever. Anyway, I just kept losing the pounds (while gaining baby weight so I was essentially not gaining any weight) until about my 6month that my OB said I shouldn’t be going on a diet while pregnant. I tried to explain it’s not a diet and I feel it’s the best for my baby. She insisted I had to eat meat and fish and supplied my with supplements since my first checkup. I ended up giving those supplements away to other pregnant mothers who I couldn’t convince to at least eat more veggies. It’s been so tiring having to explain myself to everyone around me, relatives, friends, that I’m not on a diet! I still get really harsh comments every time we eat out with relatives when I feed my 4 year old just vegan foods. So I’m so glad I read your post. I new I was not wrong. And now, I have something to show others that it has been done, can be done, and is the best “diet” for pregnant women and mommies. Thank you thank you for this. 😀

  • Georgie Dudley says:

    Hi Ellen,
    Your a true inspiration. I just wanted to ask what your thoughts on contraception i.e the pill. What do you recommend or not recommend? As I have had not good experiences with the pill and don’t want to go ahead with any other procedures either.

    Thanks
    Georgie x

    • Ellen Fisher says:

      i use the fertility awareness method. that is the only method i have ever used and its absolutely amazing. we didnt get pregnant when we didnt want to, and we got pregnant exactly when we wanted to following the principles properly. i highly recommend the book “taking charge of your fertility” by toni weschler. its a game changer! and it will teach you so much about your body its awesome. its NOT the rhythm method, that a lot of people get it confused with. its the natural way to learn your body’s physical signs telling you when you are going to ovulate and when you have finished ovulating, to know when its safe to have sex without. i don’t ever recommend the pill, its terribly for your body. xo hope this helps!

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  • Zee says:

    It was such a pleasure reading your article about pregnancy, to be honest I was never vegan vegetarian and never thought about it but I never was a fast food fan either. I was raised in the Middle East in a small town and grew up between fruits and vegetables and it was just natural for me to love them after moving to australia as a child things changed but I was always not a fan of meat and dairy products! 8 years later after I became pregnant I just couldn’t smell chicken or steak and I was lactose intolerant, so I wasn’t eating anything basically so I had to turn to fruits and vegetables and suddenly i just felt happier and more active, and I felt positive about my pregnancy, then I saw lonijane’s Instagram account and it felt like the right place at the right time and I started researching more about being vegan, raw vegan and fruitarian and it all suddenly made sense! I just found myself but at 30 weeks pregnant I was diagnosed with Gestational diabetes and I felt so horrible and everyone guess what they blamed it on my fruits! But I didn’t listen and my husband even though he’s a meat lover, he supported me and told me to do what I think is right and listen to my body so I cut all fats and kept on eating my fruits and vegetables and small quantities of cooked carbs but started with small portions and monitored my blood sugar level after ever meal and noticed that my blood sugar never went up when I ate fruits even when I ate a lot, I just had my last appointment with my diabetes dr and he told me whatever your doing it’s great I didn’t have one high level for a whole month and that I didn’t need to see him anymore and good luck with my pregnancy I still have 5 weeks to go! I just wanted to say I was shocked when I had my appointment with the dietitian when they advice on what to eat when she said I cannot drink more than 3 oranges in one meal but zero coke is fine :0. Sorry for the long comment but I really think women should listen to their bodies, we have amazing bodies and we should give them the best nutritions, also my baby weighs perfectly for his age (GD women tend to have bigger babies) and he’s growing healthy and happy) , thank you again for the post and for the books recommendation

  • Melissa summers says:

    Could you do a “what I ate today” type post gearded toward pregnant and breastfeeding mommas? Also, maybe a food budget type post too? I really want to learn more about 80/10/10 and pregnancy and breastfeeding! I just had my second 2 months ago. Currently I eat a vegan diet ..no grains or sugar …just fruits, veggies, nuts and beans but I’m wanting to change! I learned about raw veganism years and years ago and have gone raw here and there but only recently heard of 80/10/10. I feel like a new sponge!!

  • Evangeline says:

    I’m very glad I came upon your site! I’m obsessed. My biggest problem would have to be my husband saying “we were meant to eat meat” even though he knows I’ve never been a big meat eater but it’s just if I say I’m not eating it anymore it’s a big deal. I’m due with my second child next month and will definetly be stocking up on the books you suggested for my maternity leave from work!

  • Tiva says:

    Ellen,

    THANK YOU so very much for this wonderful post. I have been wanting so badly to return to a raw diet (with plentiful fruits) but I was afraid to do so because I saw so many articles out there on the negative aspects of transitioning and detoxing while breastfeeding. This post serves as a great resource for all moms who want to give themselves and their babies vibrant health for life. My belief is we cannot hurt our babies by helping them and it is much better that we make the changes now rather than waiting for some magical day to come when it will be “safer”. So, thanks again for helping all of us mamas who need that extra piece of inspiration, motivation and reassurance. Love and health!

  • Suzanne says:

    I needed this!! Not just for me but for my boyfriend who is very skeptical about the idea. Of my lifestyle. This article hopefully will give him the encourage in this life style he needs. It’s hard because if we go to the neutrianist I just get told to have a balance meal, sadly so many small minded people with open mouths. Thanks for the read.

    Suzanne
    30 weeks pregnant

  • Jade says:

    Hi,
    I am currently nursing my 5 month old daughter and I eat pretty horribly which I am ashamed to admit. I am very overweight and I eat candy, chips, fast food, and soda almost everyday. I know this is horrible and I want to change but I am terrified of all the toxins my body will release into my breast milk but at the same time I am eating nothing but toxic crap anyway right? So obviously I need to change I was thinking of whole foods cooked vegan for now and then adding more raw fruits and veg. Should I just change all at once or will that be too much? Help me what should I do to make sure my baby is not getting milk full of toxins?

    • Ellen Fisher says:

      go at the pace that suits you best. its totally ok to transition to cooked WHOLE foods vegan first, and then gradually start adding more raw meals to your day (begin with breakfast as a fruit meal or a fruit/veg smoothie). work on eliminating isolated foods from your diet first (all oils, processed sugar, salt and processed foods). and add in fruits and veggies, cooked whole plant foods (like sweet potatoes, boiled yams, quinoa etc). hope this helps love.

  • Krisheena says:

    This post was wonderful. I was raised eating a healthy diet with lots of fruits and veggies and zero white grains or white sugars. As an adult, I have yo yoed. So now I’m breastfeeding twins (3 mo) and I am desperate for more energy, as I also have a 3 and 5 year old. I am also going thru a lot emotionally and exhaustion, therefore I’ve been running to bad food. But the best I’ve every felt in my life was when I went raw for just one week 3 years ago. I will never forget the tremendous energy I felt. Is this possible while breastfeeding twins? I get ravenously hungry! I went from vegan to sneaking turkey burgers because I was starving and an emotional wreck. Please help!

  • Rose says:

    Hi Ellen

    You are a real inspiration to me and your posts of yourself and Elvis on Instagram really motivate me every day to continue to become fully raw.

    I have just found out I am 6 weeks pregnant this is my first pregnancy and your post is so helpful. I have been on a raw/cooked diet probably 50/50 for many months but now with this pregnancy I find I just want to devour fruit.

    My main concern is that I am having a little bit of morning sickness. I noticed your sister in law Tessa also experienced morning sickness. I worry that when I throw up I am not getting enough nutrients (if that makes sense) so should I try and drink more water and then perhaps eat frequent small meals (more than I normally would) in the wake of a bout of morning sickness to try and replenish what I lost?

    Thank you so much,
    Rose

  • Erika says:

    Thank you! I am so glad I found this posting. It seems like my story is similar to some people, in that I figured out after much trial and error that a raw vegan diet is the best choice (I tried a high raw diet a few years ago and never felt better, but went on to to a traditional vegan diet, yet again, and did not do well). My husband has Crohn’s disease and I have some health issues and a lifelong struggle with my weight. I finally decided to look into eating raw and found I was pregnant. My first trimester was really rough and I didn’t eat well at all. I am finally 14 weeks and was debating whether (and how) I could start a transition to raw…this post made me feel confident that I can start. I have been slowly increasing my raw intake and plan to aim for 60% by the time I have the baby, then after birth try for 80-100%. Thank you again! I love this site, I am so glad I found it!!

  • Olivia says:

    What about iron? Anemia was a huge problem for me in both pregnancies and while breastfeeding my first son until he self-weaned at 15 months. I just could not get enough iron from non-meat sources. Do you supplement?

    • Ellen Fisher says:

      greens! lots and lots and lots of greens. i eat a huge organic salad every single day (about 1.5-2 heads of lettuce a day). greens from our garden as well which is more nutrient dense than most commercial growers, even if organic. i also add 2 heaping tbsp of barley grass juice powder to my smoothies every day, (you can get it at dailygreenboost.com). If someone is having a little trouble getting enough greens, adding in black strap molasses has helped a lot of people. Also, floradix found at most health food stores in the supplement department is helpful for a lot of people too. hope this helps love.

  • Lyndsey Germany says:

    Hi Ellen,

    Thank you for the post. I am currently 16 weeks pregnant with twins. I am wanting to transition back to more fruits and vegetables- 1st trimester was rough! The only concern I have is that glucose test I will have to take at one of my next doctors appointments. Have you heard anything about that?

    Lyndsey

    • Ellen Fisher says:

      yes I’ve heard of it and i think you asked me this question on IG but i didnt have a chance to answer. I do NOT take the glucose test. it is a ridiculous test asking women to drink a big glass of processed sugar to see how their body reacts to it. The doctor couldn’t pay me to drink a glass of processed sugar. And since i don’t got to the doctor, i don’t have this issue. I have a midwife who comes to my house for every appointment (this will be my second home birth) and she does a simple glucose test that is much simpler than the standard doctor’s test. It is a pee strip to see how my glucose levels are doing, and they are always perfect. Stay WHOLE foods vegan, high carb, with fat around 12-18% of your calories from fat (rough estimate) and your sugar levels should be wonderful. look into watching the documentary “the business of being born” found of netflix if u are interested in home birthing. best experience of my life!

  • Abigail says:

    Hi Ellen, this isn’t really on the topic of this post but I was just curios if you were going to homeschool/unschool Elvis(and your little bundle of joy) or if he would be attending school or even if this is something you and your husband haven’t decided on yet! I would love to talk to you about this lifestyle if you ever have the time to email me. You and your family are so precious and always look so happy, Elvis is a lucky little man:)

  • Meghan says:

    EXCELLENT point about nutrition education being extremely biased. I entered college as a Nutrition & Dietetics major and had to transfer out of that program after one semester because I was so disgusted with the propaganda. A professor silenced me for trying to explain why high fructose corn syrup is NOT just as healthy as any other sugar. The approach was “If it’s approved by the FDA, it’s safe.” Yeah right! I’d much rather go by Europe’s bans on certain foods (such as GMOs and artificial colors), not by the FDA in a country with the highest rates of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

    I’m currently almost 5 months pregnant, and though I’ve dabbled with veganism and was a vegetarian for several years, my pregnant body is just naturally telling me to go for an exclusively plant-based diet. I was making myself eat more protein because of all the scares we pregnant girls have all around us. I’m glad to say how my body feels is starting to take precedence.

    Thanks for your post, and I’m documenting my transition on a blog. I think the more women who share testimony like this, the better!

  • Tristan says:

    Ellen, from the bottom of my heart–thank you. I am still (happily) nursing my 14 month old son and I have been dealing with adrenal fatigue since his birth. I was not expecting this to happen simply because I was arrogant in believing I was living a fairly healthy lifestyle. I’ve been dabbling into the raw food movement for the past couple of months and I am happy to say that I can already feel and see the changes in my body by nourishing it abundantly! I do have one question for you though: would you recommend doing Banana Island while nursing? God bless you my fellow homebirthing mama and my sister in Christ 🙂

  • Anna says:

    Hi Ellen! I am convinced that living on a raw plant based lifestyle is the healthier choice for us. But I wanned to ask you a question concerning raw vegan pregnancy. My aunt is 8 months pregnant now, and she was told by her doctor to take caution (at least for the first months) with raw fruits and vegetables (especially about washing or cutting them, not about eating them) because of toxoplasmosis. What do you think about that, is there a real risk for the baby? Did you take some caution with raw fruits and vegetables while you were pregnant? Thank you for your answer and congratulations for your newborn 🙂

  • Kim Riedel says:

    I am so proud of each of you and all the raw mamas out there. I am literally on day one of my transition to raw, but I’ve known for years that this is the way to go. I regret waiting so long to do it, but I just realized that I need to block out everything people tell me about how wrong it is and just follow my instincts instead everyone else! You all inspire me and I love reading your stories!

  • kacheri says:

    I am 3weeks pp, I ate a vegan diet while pregnant and am trying to eat fully raw now. I am nursing my daughter but I don’t know how exactly to go about fully raw and keep my daughter from being colicky. I have so many different things on what to eat and not eat on this and its all very misleading. any advice?

  • Hinano Kolb says:

    Hi there! I was curious about breastfeeding and all the info stating fruits will be too acidic and make your baby gassy or have tummy issues. I understand cruciferous veggies will do that, but fruit??

    I really want to transition to this lifestyle, but my baby is a week old, I am breastfeeding exclusively.

  • Alicia says:

    Hi Ellen! I’ve been researching the vegan lifestyle a lot recently, and have drastically cut down on my dairy intake as a result (I was already vegetarian). I was just wondering (if you don’t mind me asking), what job/career do you have? And is it expensive to eat the way you do? Fresh, high quality fruit seems to be so expensive where I am, and organic is even more so. What’s your budget like? I’m hoping to take the plunge and become vegan (and then potentially raw vegan) very soon. You have inspired me! I love your youtube videos and your blog, and hope to watch and read more while I go through my own journey! 🙂 x

  • Sarah says:

    Thank you so much for writing this! I have just purchased a copy of the 80/10/10 diet and will be starting on my own journey first thing tomorrow. I have been trying and failing to stick to a vegan diet for health, environmental and ethical reasons but my sweet cravings constantly get the better of me. It’s so disheartening. I am also still breastfeeding my 13 month old son. I feel a lot more confident since reading this and I’m super excited to start this new way of living. I love fruit 🙂

  • cody says:

    absolutely loved reading this post. what inspiration x

  • Danika says:

    Hello. Does anyone know about the energy/food requirements necessary for a breastfeeding mom that surfs? I am a vegan mom of a breastfeeding 18 month old that has many allergies. We abstain from wheat, dairy, soy, coconut, corn, fish, shellfish and eggs due to her allergies but prior to this I was vegan anyhow so just a few adjustments needed to be made. My husbands yogi parents started the 80 10 10 diet recently and Ive just been reading the book starting today. Im very interested in the B12 aspect of the diet as my girls eat no meant, dairy or eggs. I am however, seeing there is so much more to it than I thought. My big issues, that I encountered for both of my breastfed babies (my other daughter is 4 1/2) is that I surf. It seems every time I surf 2 days in a row, or surf for any substantial amount of time my milk supply plummets. I have maintained the increase of water for my physical work outs but still seem to have issues. My milk is fine as long as I dont surf too much OR as I have noticed, a decrease in my caloric intake also results in a milk supply drop. Im concerned that on the 80 10 10 I would have to just eat all day long to maintain my calories for milk production and still wonder if that would be enough. Any athletic breastfeeding women encountered this issue and have any advice??

    • Ellen Fisher says:

      hi danika,
      yea its definitely important to eat sufficient calories for optimal nutrition and for adequate milk supply. and active people need more calories than less active ones of course. raw fruits and veg are, in general, low in calories and higher in water content than cooked plant foods. so one needs to eat more bits of food to be satisfied. and to take it even further, whole plant foods in general are lower in calories than animal based foods so we already need to (get to) eat more bites to be satisfied. if you are worried you won’t be able to get sufficient calories or simply don’t like the idea of eating all raw, consider eating a more “raw until dinner” style of eating where u eat raw fruits/veg during the day in abundance, and a cooked whole plant meal in abundance for dinner with lettuce for optimal digestion. (foods like baked sweet potato, yams, russet potato, veggie stews, quinoa, rice, rice pasta, beans etc). i have a few cooked recipes up on my blog. and my friend @lonijane has a great ebook for raw until dinner style of eating at feelthelean.com. you totally don’t have to commit to “all raw” or “not at all” is what I’m saying. and even if raw until dinner style of eating doesnt appeal to you, check out dr. mcdougall’s book “the starch solution” for whole plant cooked meal way of eating. hope this helps! oh and ps-its good to track your calories on cronometer.com for the first couple weeks to ensure u are getting enough calories for adequate milk supply. think for myself as example, i say at least 2,000 calories a day + 400 calories a day for breastfeeding (about) and I’m moderately active. since u are really active with your surfing, add even more calories to that. eat in abundance until totally satisfied and stick to the fruits that are higher in calories like bananas, mango, jackfruit etc. and make sure to eat them when truly ripe (like bananas should be spotty when eaten). if you do decide to enjoy a high raw food lifestyle, my ebook has 50 raw food recipes and 10 pages of health tips which helped me a lot to succeed on this way of eating in abundance without having to eat all day (i easily meet my caloric needs on 3 meals a day). xo

  • Bea says:

    Hi Ellen, love reading, watching and following your journey. Thank you so much for sharing.. I will be in Maui in February. Would love to meet you. Is it possible? I am trying with my partner to be pregnant and would love to get some advises from you. Big kiss to you and your family.

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