Photo courtesy of Janine Omg

Photo courtesy of Janine Omg

Hi everyone. I hope you had a great weekend. Mine was full of fruity goodness once again. I seem to be making a habit of being a weekend fruitarian lately.

Lately the combination of watermelon fasting with lots of other fruit – mostly mango and papaya – has been helping me feel much better.

Maintaining my health has been quite challenging in the last year. Eating raw has helped me greatly in managing the tail-end of a long struggle with chronic fatigue syndrome. But unfortunately I had a bit of a set-back when I contracted a parasite from drinking contaminated water – for which there is no established treatment – just over a year ago.

It has taken the better part of the last year to bring my body back into balance again. The parasite – called cryptosporidium – produced a variety of new symptoms as well as triggering many of my previous ones to return.

In the majority of people this illness only lasts for two or three weeks but for those with compromised immune systems it can persist for much longer and can sometimes even be life threatening. For me, it has been quite serious, resulting in many weeks where I have had to rest completely, due to feeling unwell and very debilitated.

But I’m now feeling confident that the parasite has been eradicated through herbal remedies and nutritional supplements, along with a high-raw diet.

However since this event I’ve become even more sensitive than usual and need to pay even greater attention to my diet. My ability to process fats was dramatically impaired and I found high-fat meals were just sitting in my stomach. Even intensive use of digestive enzymes and other supplements for digestive support did not really alleviate the symptoms.

This has also coincided with my training as a gourmet raw food chef and since I was so excited to experiment in the kitchen, I’ve been eating a bit more gourmet raw food since June last year.

I’ve been instinctively drawn to fruit fasting during the last six months but didn’t really act on my instincts until the last six weeks or so. Previously I tried eating along the lines of The 80/10/10 Diet for a few months and came to the conclusion that it wasn’t right for me. At that stage it didn’t improve my health and just didn’t work for me as a lifestyle approach to eating raw.

So I’ve been resistant to a fruit-centered diet due to my past experience as a fruitarian, my understanding of potential nutritional deficiencies on a fruitarian diet as well as my love for creating (and enjoying) delicious gourmet raw food.

However, it has come to a point where I’ve strongly realized that in order for me to move past this level of health I need to take definitive action. I’m also motivated by the fact that I have some heavy-duty traveling coming up in about a month and I need to strengthen my immune system to get ready for this.

It’s not enough for me just to eat raw. I’m paying more attention to the messages from my body and acting on them, while also combining this with my nutritional knowledge. At this stage my body really requires a very simple diet, with a low to moderate intake of fat and foods that are very easy to digest.

I’ve been doing one or two days on watermelon every weekend since late December with at least one other day eating only fruit. The rest of the week I add in simple salads with avocado, chia pudding and rice protein shakes with spirulina and ground flaxseed.

About twice a week I will have some steamed greens like asparagus or broccoli. Occasionally I eat blended cereals like buckwheat and raw oatmeal and every now and then a salad with a tahini or hempseed dressing or some raw crackers.

And I’ve just completed another two-week parasite cleanse, which has really made a difference.

I’ve cut out sweeteners, except for stevia, entirely eliminated oils and have found I’ve developed a real aversion to any condiments like nutritional yeast, tamari and miso. Normally I enjoy the added flavor boost they give to raw dishes but lately these foods just don’t feel right for me.

It took a few weeks on this new way of eating but I am slowly starting to feel so much better. My body feels clearer and lighter. The brain fog is lifting, digestion is improving and I’m not feeling so cranky in the morning.

I actually begun to enjoy eating avocados again and am digesting them really well. It’s been about a year since I’ve been able to tolerate them, even though I didn’t cut them out of my diet.

I generally don’t recommend fruitarian diets because they have a great potential to be destabilizing for many people and can increase the risk of deficiencies of certain nutrients. However, I have personally found a system that works well for me. When I eat fruit on the weekends with a higher intake of fat and protein during the week this seems to provide balance, while also allowing for cleansing.

While there are some raw foodists who seem to do great on low-glycemic raw diets, I am not one of them. Experience has shown me that I simply don’t feel my best when I restrict fruit. I’ve made many attempts and have learned that it obstructs my energy flow and leaves me feeling tired and heavy.

When I consume lots of fruit I feel clearer in my body and my emotions with more balanced energy. On the other hand when I eat only fruit for more than three or four days I start to feel a little too light and vulnerable, my muscles lose their strength and my skin begins to feel dry.

Alternating between days of high fruit and days with a higher protein and fat intake seems to be the perfect solution for me at this stage in my journey. I would love to eat fruitarian all the time – and I’m not discounting the possibility of moving closer towards this way of eating at a later stage in my life – but right now I need the balance of other foods to nourish my system and to stay healthy.

Any other fruit lovers out there?

How do you stay balanced while enjoying the foods you love?

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