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Raw till 4 похудение

Is Raw Till 4 a passing food fad or can it transform your eating habits?

Read Time: | 13th April 2017

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Is Raw Till 4 a passing food fad or can it transform your eating habits? Morgan Cerrone finds out…

I f you haven’t heard “Go fruit yourself!” recently, then maybe you’ve managed to avoid the vegan YouTube explosion of Freelee the Banana Girl and the Raw Till 4 diet. A few months ago I began watching more and more of Freelee’s videos, and the more I learned about Raw Till 4, the more I wanted to try it for myself.

Raw Till 4, in essence, is exactly that. Only raw food until 4pm – seems easy enough. However, there then follow certain principles; the key ones being drinking 3-4 litres of water a day, no caffeine, 1,000 calories of raw fruit or vegetables for both breakfast and lunch, no oil and daily exercise. Oh, and you can eat as much as you want. It comes from a weight loss guidance perspective, but Freelee talks a lot about health, fitness and lifestyle too.

Since moving to Germany, becoming completely reliant on public transport and working a full time job, I thought it would make for an interesting experiment. How easy is it for the average person to follow the Raw Till 4 lifestyle? And perhaps more importantly, would the results make it worthwhile? Would I even see any results at all?

I decided I would follow the Raw Till 4 principles for two weeks – although I probably wouldn’t see any drastic health or weight loss changes in that time, it would give me a good idea of the practicalities of Raw Till 4.

My days started with 1,000 calories of fruit, usually a banana smoothie, and another 1,000 calories of fruit again at lunchtime. The adjustment to mono-meals, (meals with only one ingredient), was difficult as well as time consuming – prepping 1,000 calories of pineapple to take to work for breakfast really cut into my time. After work I would do some kind of exercise, mixing it up between the gym, jogging and brisk walking so as to keep it interesting. I aimed to drink between 2-3 litres of water a day and aimed for 8 hours of sleep. Without a doubt public transport became my biggest hindrance – carrying 30 bananas and numerous pineapples back on the bus after work, so they could ripen in time, was just as awkward as it sounds. I also don’t have a huge choice of supermarkets or grocers. It meant that buying vast quantities of fresh items was very expensive, and I often had to shop around, as my local supermarket didn’t have enough of what I needed, or in some cases nothing at all.

I would definitely have to say that Raw Till 4 is a lifestyle – I found with all the commitments that I seldom had any free time. One big weekly shop just isn’t going to cut it, so regular food shops meant much of my evening was often spent buying food, preparing food or tidying up.

Challenging lifestyle

Another aspect was challenging people’s reactions to it, as it seemed the majority of people weren’t convinced. Living in a rural German village, veganism is not the most practised lifestyle. Sitting down at work with 1,000 calories of pineapple seemed a much better way of alienating people than it was of getting them to ask questions about my reasons for my vegan lifestyle. For example, “How much does all that fruit cost?!” was a question frequently asked. Whereas sitting down to a hot lunch of chickpea curry and rice seemed to get people engaging more positively – perhaps because this is something they could see themselves preparing and enjoying. In the middle of winter, ‘pounding that fruit down’ just isn’t very appealing.

So there were definitely challenges, but I have to say, it did introduce me to different strands of veganism that I will continue to incorporate into my diet. Eating fully raw one day per week – one of the principles of Raw Till 4 – introduced me to raw veganism. Although not something I would want to do all the time, I did find recipes that I will definitely go back to. I also saw an improvement in no longer cooking with oil. Moderation is something I strive for, and I’m not sure I could commit to a lifetime without some pasta with a little drizzling of olive oil, but I will definitely work to improve reducing how much oil I cook with. I noticed in just two weeks that my skin had started to clear and that I felt much less lethargic after eating meals that hadn’t been cooked in oil.

I would say that, despite having a nightmare first three days without my usual six cups of black coffee to get me through the day, I did feel much better for avoiding it. Again, I’m still not nearly as convinced as Freelee that caffeine is so bad, but reducing my intake definitely helped me sleep better and gave me more energy. I found swapping to caffeine-free fruit teas made the transition easier, and I also drank more water as a result of not constantly having coffee. As far as results go, I noticed quickly that my workouts improved. I felt I had more energy and Freelee’s channel has a lot of different videos for home workouts, vlogs from the gym and cycling tips that really helped keep me motivated.

Positives and negatives

Raw Till 4 definitely has its positives and negatives – many of which could be avoided depending on lifestyle. For example, if you own a car, you’re not going to need to wrestle your own bodyweight in fruit and vegetables on the bus home every night! It could be seen as an investment in health, however I honestly believe a varied vegan diet is more practical and cheaper – I certainly spent much more on my weekly shop than I had ever done before, although again, this could be minimised by buying from a local independent grocer. Ultimately Raw Till 4 is a great way to benefit your health, provided you have the time investment, and while not something I would continue to follow, I will certainly be incorporating aspects of it into my future diet.

About the author

Morgan Cerrone is a student studying German at Cardiff University. She’s currently doing a year in Germany, where she is discovering what it’s like to be vegan in a very different culture.

Raw Till 4 (RT4) Diet Review

What is Raw Till 4? Are there any health benefits with this lifestyle? Is this food plan a good fit for you? Read more about the RT4 lifestyle below and decide for yourself.

Move over ‘Low Carb’ Diets because there is a new lifestyle in town called Raw Till 4. Supporters of this lifestyle claim that their bodies stay lean, clean and even disease free.

Raw Till 4, or RT4 for short, is a diet based upon the food macro ratio of (90/5/5) ninety percent of calories coming from carbohydrates and ten percent split between fats and proteins. Although it is a plant based high carb vegan diet relative to the 80/10/10 plan, the main difference is that RT4 encourages the consumption of ‘healthy cooked carbs’ at night with low or no sodium (so kiss the sauce goodbye, folks!).

To learn more information about protein, carbohydrate and fat ratios (aka. food macro nutrients) and instructions on how to calculate your individual nutritional needs use an online macro calculator and online food diary like cronometer.

As with any lifestyle change, consulting with a professional before embarking on any diet change is a must.

Who coined the term Raw Till 4?

Freelee the Banana Girl and Durianrider (aka Harley), the once exclusive fully raw fruitarians from down under now promote a healthy long-term vegan lifestyle of unlimited high fruit raw foods until 4pm then consume unlimited cooked vegan carbs (organic potatoes, yams, rice, quinoa etc.) until a few hours before an early bedtime. They have been at this RT4 lifestyle for approximately one year making Raw Till 4 a relatively ‘new diet’. Although they already had amazingly athletic bodies from 7+ years of eating mostly raw fruit, as seen on their most recent youtube videos they still sport incredibly lean and fit bodies.

The ‘proof is in the banana pudding’ as Freelee often says. This bike riding duo seem to have unlimited amounts of energy and swear by their lifestyle choices and want the whole world to know about how fabulous they feel when eating RT4.

Unlimited Eating

The most evident key to this lifestyle according to Freelee and Durianrider is unlimited carbohydrate eating. There are absolutely no restrictions or limitations when consuming a high carb, low fat, raw vegan lifestyle. Freelee and Durianrider call this “carbing the —- up!”.

The science behind this lifestyle is not based upon calories in or out, but RT4 is focused on getting glucose to the brain and muscles quickly and effectively. The body converts all maros (protein, fat and carbohydrates) into fuel. The best part about carbohydrates from fruit is that it easily and almost instantly converts into glucose energy the essential brain and body fuel. Fruit and vegetables are also high in antioxidants which prevent the infamous processed sugar crash known as oxidization.

Whereas, protein and fat need to be converted into glucose before being used as energy which takes a significant amount of effort. Could that be reason why it is so hard to stick to a low carb diet – the brain is constantly waiting for glucose?!

Keeping Active

All calories aside – keeping an active lifestyle is another key factor in order to obtaining the ‘fountain of youthful’ benefits of the Raw Till 4 lifestyle. Since this eating program promotes unlimited calories, the body must stay active in order to stay lean. Carbohydrates are easily turned into energy and easily burned off if a regular workout regimen is considered.

Building up muscles and turning the body into a fat burning machine doesn’t mean that the RT4 eater needs to work out every day all day. Instead, working out regularly for 30-45 minutes a few times a week, and integrating one super intense routine per week, every week – will transform your flab into firm and sexy power. Note, every week – no fitness vacations included!

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Alcohol, Drugs and Processed Foods

Eliminate the guilty pleasures and reap the rewards.

If you were told that you could be the best you, inner and outer, by consuming high carb, low fat, low sodium and NO alcohol and drugs (including nicotine or caffeine) – would you? Well, this is what Raw Till 4 claims. It certainly doesn’t sound ‘too good to be true’ because eliminating sodium, fat, drugs and alcohol is very difficult to do in this day and age. But the fitness communities have always promoted the limited consumption of these items. Could eliminating these guilty pleasures truly have the power to transform your life from flab to fab? No matter how many results are accounted for, self discovery is the only way to answer that question.

Human Growth Hormone

Don’t be a night owl because humans by default are not nocturnal.

Keeping your dream time in check is just as important as eating healthy and exercising regularly. Consider going to bed early and sleeping in later in order to obtain the full benefits of the Raw Till 4 diet.

The Human Growth Hormone, released during a healthy sleep cycle, is responsible for regulating body fat composition, fluids, muscles and bone growth, metabolism and even heart function. Coincidently sleep and exercise induce the regular release of this hormone from the endocrine system. So if you are planning on ‘carbing up’ be sure to get your daily calorie burn and keep a regular sleep cycle for the greatest RT4 body benefits.

Vegan For Life

The most mandatory aspect of Raw Till 4 is the Vegan lifestyle. That means absolutely no animal products whatsoever. There are so many anti-animal product studies around, proving that veganism can in-fact reduce and/or eliminate an astonishing amount of disease found in the first world countries. From weight loss, acne control, to curing autoimmune diseases, eliminating animal products from any diet certainly has proven benefits.

One of the eyebrow raising themes of this diet is the integration of B12 injections. Veganism is known to be lacking in a few vitamins and minerals, and B12 happens to be an important factor to consider. If one was to embark on a RT4 lifestyle, regularly checking B12 levels and supplementing when necessary is certainly necessary.

Initial Weight Gain

Seeking a youthful glow and fit body is almost metaphorically like finding the ‘holy grail’. With all of the stress associated with trying to obtain a fabulously fit body, some people end up ruining their metabolism. The body takes time to adjust from starvation mode and lack of nutrients. Any dietary change can affect the body in many ways. However, the Raw Till 4 goer’s swear by the long term results.

7 Day Meal Plan

If you are interested in trying the Raw Till 4 program, there is a 7 Day Meal Plan video made by Freelee, designed for new-bees to the RT4 movement. You can access that meal plan video by following this link.

If you have any further questions about the RT4 check out the Raw Till 4 website and fit-seeking community here.

And to conclude with the popular RT4 saying, be sure to go fruit and root yourself today!

Kaeli has always had an infatuation with keeping fit and improving life. Whether it is strength training, endurance building, or self-study research, she has devoted endless hours to them all. Her interest in health started at an early age. From swim competitions to long distance running, she discovered that keeping fit is an integral part of her life. After being diagnosed with. Read More

2 Responses to “Raw Till 4 (RT4) Diet Review”

Kissimmee

Very maturing article.
gets people on the search for betterment
and bettering the way they take care of themselves and the earth. I
myself tried articulating some of the same concepts in this article a few years
ago, though at that time I don’t think it went over to well.

I have issues with
raw till 4 – such as digestive leukocytosis – Body try’s to fight against any cooked substances
that are consumed, loading the gut area and blood with white blood cells to
fight and neutralize such a foreign deranged substance. This essentially expends the body’s resources
and energies. Over long periods of time
this adds up quick. It seems the body prefer the sugary carbs
that earth grows and provides naturally at the peak of their maturity, not a
minute before or after (decomposing). human Cooking changes earths mature goods
to a state of decomposed matter or into something completely chemically
different from the product that nature (earth) created, therefore foreign to a
living human body. digestive
leukocytosis = depressing the living body.

I also understand
Raw till 4’s place in today’s world and among today civilization. Earths life support systems are the
immediate critical big picture and rt4 is a big step to helping these most
import life support system out. Rt4 is Far better than being in complete
discord and at war this earth and its life support systems. Carb up.

Guest

I just had to laugh at this comment “Veganism is known to be lacking in a few vitamins and minerals” .. clearly this author hasn’t done as much research as she’d like you to believe.. as a long term vegan, I don’t supplement with ANYTHING. I choose a few ‘fortified’ foods that have some B12, other than that.. nothing, nada, zilch..

Zkušenosti

V knize Ryzí energie od Susannah a Leslie Kentonových se uvádí, že ženy na syrové stravě popisují oslabení menstruace, popřípadě její vymizení. Neví se úplně přesně proč, mluví se o možném vlivu flavonoidů ze syrové stravy. Pro tento argument by hovořil například fakt, že některým ženám údajně pomáhá při těžkých menstruačních bolestech cucání citronu. Diskutuje se rovněž o vlivu karotenu, ve hře je také argument, že menstruace je daň za vařenou stravu, protože například nám nejbližší samice, což jsou šimpanzice, žijí-li ve volné přírodě a živí se přirozeně, nemenstruují. Účinek syrové stravy na menstruaci se přirovnává k účinku na krevní obraz. Když jdete na odběr krve, musíte jít nalačno. Proč? Protože vařená strava zvyšuje množství bílých krvinek. Tělo vyplavuje bílé krvinky tehdy, je-li ohroženo infekcí, zánětem a podobně. Sníte-li ale syrovou stravu, tělo bílé krvinky nevyplavuje, což znamená, že se po syrové stravě necítí ohroženo. Jdete-li tedy k lékaři na krev, syrovou stravu si můžete dát.

Po takové stravě udávají konzumenti, že mají dost pevné svaly (paže, lýtka) bez jakéhokoliv cvičení nebo jiné fyzické námahy. Zřejmě je to tím, že svaly nedostávají tak zabrat – do těla se nedostává tolik škodlivin, které jsou obsaženy v běžné stravě, které dle propagátorů této metody vznikají i vařením zdravých potravin a které svalstvo ničí.

Syrová zelenina se tráví v žaludku asi hodinu, vařená potřebuje obvykle 3 hodiny a vytváří při tom více nečistot a odpadů. Syrová strava podporuje dokonalé trávení. Napomáhá odstraňovat přirozeným pohybem odpadní látky z tlustého střeva, které se vyprazdňuje pravidelně a bez problémů. U syrové stravy tak cítíme výrazně více energie, kterou jsme předtím nepociťovali. Ovšem obvykle až po nějaké době stravování se větším množstvím syrové stravy, až po takzvané detoxikační fázi, kterou může naopak provázet zhoršení problémů, zvýšení únavy a podobně.

Při přechodu na tuto stravu postupně vysazujte pečivo s lepkem, sladkosti s bílým cukrem, uzeniny, maso, mléčné výrobky a tak dále. Postupně navyšujte u každého jídla podíl syrového a měňte tak poměr upravené a syrové stravy. Až budete na poměru kolem 10–20 % upravené a 80–90 % syrové, budete již sami cítit postupnou proměnu. Vaše chuťové buňky se začnou obnovovat a vy si začnete přirozeně vychutnávat a užívat tu „syrovou stravu“ a budete se na ty „syrové živé pokrmy těšit“. V této době již pro vás nebude zřejmě problém se dostat až na 100 % syrové stravy. Ten přechod může trvat od půl roku až třeba po 2 roky. To závisí na každém jednotlivci, jeho dosavadních stravovacích zvycích, již rozvinutých nemocech a podobně. Navíc běžná vařená a upravená strava je návyková, což bylo již také vědecky ověřeno, takže zpočátku můžete pociťovat nutkavé potřeby si dát něco „nezdravého“, vařeného, smaženého, s cukrem a podobně. Dejte si čas, poslouchejte své tělo. Pokud přejdete na 100% raw stravu, bude to pro vás šok.

Pokud konzumujete z 95–100 % syrovou stravu, dbejte na vyváženost těchto 3 složek (cukry – převážně z ovoce, tuky – převážně z ořechů, semen či rostlinných olejů, chlorofyl – převážně ze salátů, špenátu a podobně). Přičemž vzhledem ke složení a povaze těchto 3 složek stačí pouze malé množství ořechů a semen pro udržení rovnováhy. Zelené potraviny s chlorofylem by měly být oproti tukům konzumovány ve značně vyšším množství.

Syrová živá strava je pro náš organismus očisťující a detoxikační, což můžete v počátku pociťovat třeba i nepříjemně. Zkoušejte vše po troškách, pijte pomalu, nechte všechny čerstvé šťávy nebo rozmixované koktejly déle v ústech, aby se stačily promíchat se slinami. Stejně tak i každé jiné jídlo jezte pomalu, důkladně je rozkousejte, rozžvýkejte, než ho spolknete. Vstřebáte a zužitkujete tak živin mnohem více a tělu pomůžete s trávením.

I Was Raw-Till-4 for a Month and Here’s What Happened

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I’ve always been accustomed to a diet rich in exotic fruit; because I grew up on a tropical island (Puerto Rico), it’s a food group that finds its way into most of my meals. Papayas, bananas, mangoes, pineapples, passion fruits, watermelons and berries are just a few of nature’s candies that I typically enjoy at home.

That is why when I first read about the Raw-Till-4 diet it sounded more like an extension of my way of eating than a restrictive diet. All of the raw fruits and veggies I could eat before 4 pm, and a hearty cooked meal for dinner?! It sounded perfect to me.

When Lent arrived freshman year, I couldn’t decide on a Lenten penance. In the past, I have abstained from chocolate, sweets and Facebook, but this time I wanted something that would challenge me both mentally and physically. As I took my last bite of fried egg on avocado toast and wiped off the pearl of yellow yolk hanging from my chin, I made my decision. For an entire month I would abstain from eating cooked food before 4 o’clock. It sounded like the perfect challenge.

Week 1

Photo by Carolina Licalzi

I began my first week feeling optimistic, convinced that the diet would be a piece of cake (not literally of course). I started every morning by consuming enough fruit to feed the entire freshman population in the dining hall (sorry for taking it all) and stuffed my backpack with fruits for snacks until every zipper was stretched, each strand of fabric visible as they exhaustingly tried to keep my bag from bursting.

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For lunch I would assemble the Mount Everest of all salads. I’d take as many ingredients as I could get my hands on, and like someone building a house of cards, intricately place each item one-on-top of the other in a balancing act—any tight-rope walker would be impressed. Lettuce, tomatoes, onions, carrots, chickpeas, beans, mushrooms, cucumbers were just some of the ingredients I’d include in my tower for a satisfying, but often messy, lunch.

After eating my monster of a salad I’d snack on fruits and veggies for the rest of the afternoon, eagerly waiting for 4 pm and dinner. Rice, cooked vegetables and fish was what I typically ate, occasionally replacing that meal with pasta and veggies.

I was feeling alive. I felt less sluggish and, surprisingly, craved fruit and vegetables. On top of that—and maybe it was all psychological but—I even thought I looked better. I finished the first week feeling motivated for Week 2, convinced it was only going to get better.

Disclaimer: The weekend was a bit harder. When all my friends were ordering french toast at brunch, I had to ask for a smoothie or about 10 bowls of fruit. Stay strong.

Week 2

Photo by Carolina Licalzi

Week 2 was just an extension of Week 1; I still felt great. However, I was quickly tiring of the options at the dining hall. Pineapple, watermelon, bananas and grapefruit were not exactly exciting my taste buds anymore, seeing as they were all I had eaten in the morning for the past week. Luckily enough for me, I had a Vitamix in my room (best birthday present EVER), so I put it to good use.

That week I ventured to the grocery store, or as I like to call it the Garden of Eden, and sprinted to the fruit and vegetable sections. Like a child in a candy store, I ran around frantically, grabbing all of my favorite fresh fruits—papaya, strawberries, passion fruit, mango—and a bag of frozen berries. This changed Week 2 for me. Instead of just eating solid pieces of fruit during the day I was making delicious green and berry smoothies and juices, to have for breakfast and as snacks.

Needless to say lunch was getting repetitive at this point as well, so I also rummaged the grocery store for some more “interesting” veggies. I stocked up on avocados, kale, portobello mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, and alfalfa sprouts to make lunches I could look forward to eating. I even made a portobello “burger” that was to die for. This made Week 2 go by with ease and instilled in me a confidence that lifted my hopes as I headed into Week 3.

Week 3

Photo by Carolina Licalzi

Around Wednesday of Week 3 I realized that all I wanted for breakfast was toast with avocado and an egg on it…Or just toast…Or oatmeal, or really ANYTHING warm. I was also back to eating the dining hall fruit by this point because my bank account wasn’t exactly forgiving about my food purchases from the week before.

In addition, the energy I felt during Week 1 and 2 had disappeared without a trace. Instead I was tired, moody, and had a headache as pesky and persistent as a gnat buzzing around your head. This may have been because I was not eating enough—only because I could not muster the will power to force the same fruit into my mouth again. I also found that during Week 3 I was really overdoing it with my 4 o’clock meals.

I was skimping on food throughout the day and really gorging at dinner—sometimes eating a full meal, and then “snacking” on another one. I went into Week 4 ready to quit, ready for some real breakfast.

Week 4

Photo by Carolina Licalzi

To my surprise the beginning of Week 4 was not terrible. I took some of the dining hall fruit and made smoothies, which was more enjoyable than taking bites of the fruit itself. However, halfway through the week something strange happened. I dreamt about bread. It was an extremely vivid dream. I could feel my teeth sinking into a perfectly crispy, bronzed piece of toast that was drowning in sticky peanut butter as a drizzle of honey trickled off the side of it and slowly slid down my hand.

I think it was my subconscious’ way of reminding me that I didn’t want cold fruit for breakfast; I wanted something warm and comforting to fill my belly and my heart, but I decided to weather on. I finished the last week exasperated and hungry, but proud. I had made it through.

Living on a college campus really inhibited my creativity—making meals in my dorm was like trying to paint a masterpiece with just two colors (yeah I just compared myself to a master painter). But really, limited access to ingredients was the biggest obstacle I faced; had I been at home I believe that Week 3 and 4 would have felt just as great as the first two.

Photo by Carolina Licalzi

Since then I’ve continued including Raw-Till-4 in my diet, but for shorter periods of time, usually only a couple of days, sometimes a week at a time. However, I’m sure that when I’m back home in Puerto Rico or if I am living in Hawaii (isn’t that everyone’s dream?) I could make it for the whole month.

If you think you’re up for it, I say give it a try. Most likely it will also make you feel more awake, lighter and healthier; plus I think it’s the perfect way to get back into your healthy routine with a kick. Just make sure you maintain variety in your meals or you too will start dreaming about bread.

4 Problems with “Raw Till 4”

Raw Till 4 is a “lifestyle” plan that was designed by Adelaide born Youtuber and blogger, Freelee the Banana Girl. As you can probably guess from the name, on this diet you eat “only raw fruits and greens till 4pm then follow with a high carb, low-fat cooked vegan dinner”.

The idea is based on the theory that the food we eat contains natural enzymes that help us digest food, and when we cook the food we destroy these natural enzymes and therefore our bodies cannot access to nutrients contained within.

But is this really the case?

4 Problems With “Raw Till 4”

Where is the Balance?!

The diet works under the guise of using seemingly healthy foods like fruit and vegetables (which we do as a population need to eat more of) but also excludes whole food groups, which is never a good idea. The lack of meat or meat alternatives (e.g. legumes, tofu, nuts & seeds etc), dairy products (or fortified alternatives) and whole grains like bread and cereals can lead to micronutrients deficiencies in iron, folate, zinc, calcium and protein which may promote loss of muscle tissue.

There are also risks with excess nutrients consumption. According to the Raw Til 4 FAQs, this diet promotes a 90/5/5 approach to calories intake: this 90% of your calories should be from carbohydrates, and 5% each from fats and proteins. This is waaaaaay out of proportion! While it is important to have carbohydrates in your diet, these have to be balanced with your other nutrient intakes.

As an example of what you could expect from this diet, here is the breakfast smoothie that is recommended on Day One of the program:

Raw Till 4 milkshake: 7 bananas, 750ml of water, 250ml of coconut water, 1tbsp of coconut sugar, vanilla essence

Now as we all know, the Australian Dietary Guidelines (ADG) recommend that we eat 2 serves of fruit a day, this is equal to about 2 medium fruits e.g. an apple and a banana…and here we have 7bananas in a single sitting! Now I don’t want it to seem like I’m contradicting my previous post, “Fruit has too much Sugar”, because it’s neither the sugar in fruit that’s a problem, nor is it eating fruit that’s a problem. RATHER, eating anything in excess can be damaging. In this case, eating that many bananas can lead to sharp rises in blood sugar levels that then come “crashing” down, leaving you with very little energy.

Cooking ≠ Death of Nutrients

Cooking does not inevitably lead to a depletion of nutrients in your food! It all depends on the method of cooking. Boiling your fruit and vegetables, for example, will cause you to lose some water-soluble vitamins such as Vitamin C. However, if you are eating the recommended amount of vegetables, than any nutrients lost in the cooking process will be negligible.

ALSO cooking can actually assist with the release of vital nutrients as we eat them and reduce the chemicals that inhibit the absorption of minerals like zinc, iron, calcium and magnesium. Additionally, in order for our bodies to be able to absorb fat-soluble vitamins, we need to ingest fat! So cooking your veggies with a touch of Olive Oil will actually improve your body’s ability to absorb the nutrients.

Toilet Trouble…

Eating that much raw fruit and vegetables, I would imagine, cause diarrhoea and gastrointestinal disturbances due to the fibre over load! Although fibre plays an important role in most healthy diets, eating too much of it will increase activity in your bowels, which can lead you to feel constipated or dealing with diarrhoea symptoms, such as abdominal pains.

But many Raw Till 4 converts argue that this is just a sign of the body readjusting, or riding itself of toxins. Here is a little excerpt taken from a RawTill4 Blog:

“Many people fail when they try the Raw Till 4 Diet because they simply don’t have the drive and determination that you do. They complain about being full or constipated because they are ingesting way more calories per day, but they fail to keep pushing through…”

The problem with this mentality is that it relies on people ignoring their bodies warning signals. The symptoms that some people experience when going on the Raw till 4 diet include loss of period, head spins and headaches, exhaustion and mood swings. What many Raw Til 4 advocates claim are ‘signs of the body readjusting’ are actually signs of nutrient deficiencies.

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4. Disordered Eating Habits

While Freelee promotes this plan as being “un-restrictive” she is referring to the fact there are no “calorie restrictions” which is problematic in itself. In a single sitting, followers are expected to eat a ridiculous amount of fruit in order to reach their recommended calorie intake (for women it’s 2500 and for men it’s 3000 – both above the ADG’s recommendations). The problem is that fruit, being packed full of fibre, is incredibly filling and yet on this plan people are expected to ignore their bodies satiety cues and keep eating – strikingly similar to Binge Eating Disorder.

There are threads on a “proana” website (a site that promotes eating disorders) where users detail their own experiences with the Raw Till 4 diet, with one user expressing concerns over the “bingeing” aspect:

“I TRIED this last year, and even though it was healthy. I did not lose any weight because she made me think it was okay to binge on fruit all day. SO that is what I did and I was not happy at all. She is triggering for my old [Binge Eating Disorder] problems because all she talked about was eating a crap load of food, she wanted you to stuff yourself every time you ate.”

While I am not suggesting that everyone who follows this diet has an eating disorder, it can definitely trigger those who are most susceptible!

She also frequently makes videos criticising someones health and weight (mostly aimed at women) and suggests that her vegan lifestyle is the only way to be healthy. She has also, on many occasions, called out celebrities who she believes are suffering from eating disorders and are therefore bad role models . While she may be attempting to help, the way she delivers her message is incredibly harmful. We need to try to reframe the debate away from only looking at size as an indicator of health. We must look at the whole picture!

ULTIMATELY

If you are recovering from an eating disorder, or even if you are looking to lose weight, I suggest avoiding this diet all together! In the long-term, anything that is this restrictive will be unhelpful and potentially damaging. REMEMBER: IT’S ALL ABOUT BALANCE AND MODERATION.

If you do however chose to go vegan or raw for ethical and moral reasons, than you must consult an ACCREDITED PRACTISING DIETITIAN FIRST!! This way you can make sure that all your nutrient requirements are being met.

Где-то через полгода проснулся интерес к различным веганским блюдам, любопытство взяло верх, захотелось попробовать их на вкус. В США существует много брендов, выпускающих еду для вегетарианцев. Увлекшись веганской кухней, наше сыроедение превратилось в «Raw till 4» («сыроед до 16 часов»).

Сейчас наш завтрак и обед состоит из фруктов, зеленых коктейлей, клетчатки и семян. На ужин готовим различные веганские блюда, салаты из свежих овощей и зелени. Часто ходим в вегетарианские кафе. Уже почти 2 года не употребляем мясо и молочные продукты. А что такое алкоголь я уже и забыл.

Так я чувствую себя намного лучше, чем когда питался традиционно. С изменением питания появилось много энергии, наладилось здоровье, исчезла агрессия. Меня потянуло к спорту и йоге, заинтересовался эзотерикой. Мысль о переходе на 100%-ое сыродение никуда не исчезла. Это будет следующим шагом.

И напоследок, если вы захотите стать вегетарианцем, веганом или сыроедом, делайте это осознанно и не потому что это модно.

Я желаю вам удачи и здоровья!

P.S. Суждения и идеи, высказанные здесь, не обязательно совпадают с читательскими.

Если у вас есть вопросы, задавайте их в комментариях ниже.

Речь Гари Юрофски:

What is Raw till 4?

For those who aren’t already familiar with the Raw till 4 diet (coined by prominent YouTuber Freelee the Banana Girl), it is a popular plant-based diet consisting of a large fruit-based meal for breakfast and lunch (1000 calories/ 4,184kJ + each) and a large cooked starch-based meal for dinner, such as 1.5kg potatoes (baked without oil) with a low sodium sweet chilli sauce and cos lettuce, or 300g (uncooked weight) gluten-free corn pasta with a low-sodium tomato sauce. The diet avoids salt and oils, and promotes an intake of ‘unlimited calories’ from carbohydrate-rich foods (including fruits, starchy vegetables, gluten-free pasta and noodles, white rice).

For the record, I think Freebee’s heart is in the right place by devoting her life to the promotion of plant-based diets, but the dietitian in me can’t get past the nutritional shortfalls of the diet.

To provide objectivity to my nutritional assessment of the diet, I analysed a sample day on the diet consisting of:

Breakfast: a smoothie made with 10x medium ripe bananas, water, and a few Medjool dates

Lunch: 6x large mangoes

Dinner: 1.5kg potatoes, baked with cos lettuce and sweet chilli sauce to serve

Nutritional benefits of Raw till 4

1. The diet is based on minimally-processed whole plant foods; and

2. The diet is very low in sodium, total fat, saturated fat and free from cholesterol, and high in vitamin C, magnesium, folate, potassium and dietary fibre. It is also very high in disease-fighting phytonutrients such as carotenoids and lycopene, which have well-documented health benefits.

While the diet has some nutritional benefits, it’s not a diet that I would recommend, for reasons I will outline below.

Nutritional shortfalls of Raw till 4

1. The diet is promoted as a ‘one size fits all’ approach to nutrition. The recommendations for meal sizes and daily energy intake (i.e. total calories/kilojoules) do not take into account people’s individual needs. For example — a woman who weighs 50kg, is 1.55m tall and does sedentary office work has very different energy requirements to a woman who weighs 70kg, is 1.8m tall and does 60 minutes of high intensity exercise each day.

2. Nutritional concerns: the diet is very low in calcium — the sample day I analysed came back with less than 200mg (the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) for adults in Australia is 1000mg), as fruits are a poor source of dietary calcium. While there are many calcium-rich vegetables, such as Asian greens, these vegetables don’t seem to feature in the meal plans provided for the diet. Vegans are absolutely not immune to osteoporosis and bone fractures as a result of chronically low calcium intakes; one study found that vegans with calcium intakes less than 525mg were at an increased risk of fractures compared to omnivores and vegetarians (1).

Although maintaining a very low sodium intake and not eating animal protein does theoretically reduce human calcium requirements (2), less than 200mg is far below what humans need to stay in positive calcium balance, and would result in the body drawing on calcium stored in the skeleton. Although calcium isn’t the only dietary or lifestyle factor which is important in maintaining bone mineral density (regular exercise and vitamin D are also implicated), it’s arguably the most important.

The sample day I analysed was also very low in iodine, which is required for thyroid function (as the thyroid hormones contain atoms of iodine) and is critically important for women who fall pregnant. In Australia, fruits and vegetables are poor sources of dietary iodine, and plant-based sources are limited to iodised salt, fortified breads (with added iodised salt) and edible seaweeds, none of which are included in the diet.

As with iodine, the soil in Australia is low in selenium (another nutrient required for thyroid function), which also fell short in my nutrient analysis. Brazil nuts are a very good source of selenium – just 2 nuts per day will provide the RDI for this nutrient.

The sample day I analysed also didn’t meet the adult requirement for alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) omega-3s (0.7mg; the Adequate Intake (AI) amount is 0.8g/day for a woman, 1.3g/day for a man). Omega-3s are an essential fatty acid, which means they can’t be made in the body and must be taken in through the diet.

3. The diet doesn’t include legumes on a daily basis. In my professional opinion, I believe legumes are an important part of plant-based diets, as they are rich in iron, zinc and the essential amino acid lysine (which is low in grains, fruits and vegetables). Aside from that, they have numerous health benefits relating to the their unique dietary fibre content (which feeds beneficial gut bacteria and keeps the large bowel healthy) and impressive phytonutrient content.

4. The diet doesn’t showcase the enormous variety of plant-based whole foods, such as whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds and vegetables. I believe plant-based diets should celebrate the diversity of plant foods by incorporating a range of these different foods on a daily basis.

5. The diet promotes the consumption of refined grains (such as white rice and noodles) and products (such as corn pasta) over whole grain alternatives, which have well-studied health benefits.

6. Freelee often is often seen adding coconut sugar to fruit smoothies in her videos which I just can’t see any logical reason for. Her rationale is to increase the carbohydrate content, but I don’t think this is the best way of going about adding carbohydrates to the diet, as sugar has little nutritional value.

There are many more nutritional considerations of the diet I could delve deeper into, but I’ll keep this post short and sweet for now.

In summary, Raw till 4 is not a diet I’d recommend. As for raw vegan diets in general, they can certainly be incredibly nutritious when well-planned (as all diets need to be!), but as the Raw till 4 diet shows, they can also fall short in key nutrients and potentially harm your health.

If you’re interested in trialled a raw vegan diet, I highly recommend reading the book Becoming Raw: The Essential Guide to Raw Vegan Diets by vegan dietitians Vesanto Melina and Brenda Davis.

References

1. Appleby P, Roddam A, Allen N, Key T. Comparative fracture risk in vegetarians and nonvegetarians in EPIC-Oxford. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2007 Dec;61(12):1400–6.

2. World Health Organization, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, editors. Vitamin and mineral requirements in human nutrition. 2nd ed. Geneva : Rome: World Health Organization ; FAO; 2004. 341 p.

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