My raw food story began in 2014. And the funny thing is that what led me there was actually a nonvegan Bavarian celebrity chef. He’s been holding a veggie cooking contest, and I made my way into the top 10 participants. While at the contest, I met two girls who introduced me to Instagram and how awesome it is for food blogging and sharing recipes. (I didn’t win the contest though.)My raw food story began in 2014. And the funny thing is that what led me there was actually a nonvegan Bavarian celebrity chef. He’s been holding a veggie cooking contest, and I made my way into the top 10 participants. While at the contest, I met two girls who introduced me to Instagram and how awesome it is for food blogging and sharing recipes. (I didn’t win the contest though.)
It took me a while to figure out how Instagram works, but as soon as I got started, I came across the hashtag #801010 and was wondering what that numbering’s supposed to mean. Well, you might already know that the number stands for the 80/10/10 diet, meaning a low-fat raw vegan diet.
At the same time, I also heard about the Banana Girl diet and began to dig into all the details and what it is about. As I was reading all the positive feedback and stories of people who started this lifestyle, I got really eager to try it, too. I still remember that it was a Friday when I set myself with the intention to get started on Monday so I’d have enough time to stock up on bananas. The plan was to do Banana Island for at least seven days, eating nothing but bananas all day long. After that, I wanted to go on eating a raw vegan diet.
Banana Island went pretty well with just a minor headache on Days 1 and 2 and gave me a big improvement digestion-wise. A struggle I had was when I smelled my family’s savoury cooked food, as it is quite a change to eat sweet fruits instead of savoury meals when it comes to lunch and dinner. But once you really set your mind to something, staying strong and digging into sweetness is totally worth it.
After the third day, I started to incorporate greens to get my savoury balance, and I can only highly recommend doing a green Banana Island. It’s so much more satiating. I made it to almost seven days of eating just bananas, dates and greens, felt amazing and was superexcited to try some yummy raw vegan recipes.
In a Nutshell: Eva Straub
Here’s a snapshot of Eva Straub’s favorites:
- Fruit: Papaya
- Exercise: Working out on an Elliptical or biking.
- Book: The Little Buddha by Claus Mikosch
- Film: The Italian Job
- Album: Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
- Place on earth: Hard to tell but I’d say someplace sunny and warm!
- Thing to do: Eating, creating recipes and taking pictures of them.
Of course, I also read the book The 80/10/10 Diet by Douglas Graham to get educated and to know how this diet works. It all made sense to me right away, so staying raw vegan with a low amount of fat intake was my way of living from that moment on. Eating this way feels so amazing, energizing and delicious.
My grandma always asked me for how long I’d eat this way, and my answer was “For the rest of my life!“ I know that ithis might sound very frightening to some people, and over the years, I certainly came to the conclusion that nothing really is forever, but my experience also shows me that this diet is the diet that my body is really thriving on.
I’ve had some struggles with cooked foods, especially during the winter season, and I even tried some cooked foods, but they made me feel really dehydrated afterward. So I kept on eating my fruits and greens. I also made the connection that when I’m craving cooked foods, what my body really needs is a little bit more overt fats.
I’ve actually been eating very little to no overt fats through most of my time on a raw food diet. In the beginning, I did so because I was afraid of eating fats, and later on because I realised that they actually don’t make me feel very good. During summer 2015, I had a time when I ate an avocado every day and felt totally fine with it. Little did I know back then that fat also slows down digestion, which was and is always an issue with me.
It took me a while to find out that the avocados were the culprit for my even slower digestion and bloated belly. And as soon as I went back to my regular eating habits, my digestion got better. Good and healthy digestion was always an issue for me and also the reason why I changed my diet.
When I think back on what I’d been eating over the previous few years before adopting my raw vegan diet, it wasn’t necessarily unhealthy. I’d been switching between being vegan and vegetarian, with some exceptions such as eating meat at my grandma’s some Sundays or drinking regular milk from time to time. I had always had digestion problems, sometimes even with horrible stomach pain. That’s why I was always looking for a healthful diet and tried to eat as healthfully as I could but, unfortunately, without any changes.
At the beginning of 2014, I had a lactose intolerance test that came back positive. Having to omit dairy products from that point on was quite a challenge for me because I loved eating yogurt so, so much. Anyway, I started making my own yogurt from cashew and coconut milk and drank only plant-based milks from that time on. This dairy-free change also made me feel better in some other ways, especially concerning my stomach cramps, but my digestion problem didn’t really change that much.
Now that I’m eating a low-fat raw vegan diet, my digestion is so much better, and I went from having just one or two bowel movements a week to having bowel movements every day.
All in all, I don’t really have a superdrastic transformation story. I still weigh the same as I did before this diet—maybe a little less. I’d never consumed lots of alcohol before. I didn’t smoke or take big amounts of prescription drugs or antibiotics. I’ve always done my workout on an Elliptical almost every day and still do it on a regular basis. The only thing that I’d say changed the most is my eating habits and digestion. I used to eat very small portions—not too much fat and carbs such as bread or pasta because I didn’t want to gain weight. Now I’m eating big amounts of fruits and greens every day and don’t worry about gaining weight anymore. I would even eat more overt fats if my body could handle them better, and I’m pretty sure that one day this will be the case. Until then, I absolutely enjoy eating sweet, delicious fruits, especially papaya, mangos, bananas and cherimoyas, my favourite ones.
I’d say that most people who switch to a raw vegan diet lose weight as you have to eat bigger amounts of food to reach your caloric needs for the day. That’s why it is so important to track calories in the beginning using Cronometer.com or another app to make sure you’re getting your daily required calories and nutrients.
Watch Eva Discuss Remedies for Skin Issues
Before I come to an end here, I still want to share my most recent experience. At the end of 2016, I started to get one sty after another in my eyelids. They always went away by themselves, but it took quite a while. Once they finally got better, I got a skin rash on my face that looked like rosacea. On top of that, I got a lot of pimples, which seemed to get worse whenever I ate dried fruits or just too many fruits in general. Pretty soon, the rash started to spread over my whole body, especially my arms and neck. It was a really challenging time, and I even questioned the raw vegan diet.
With the help of a naturopath who recommended me Schuessler Salts and a change in my eating habits, I was “treating” my rash naturally without histamine blockers or antibiotics. I went from eating almost a fruit-only diet to eating green juices and smoothies every day with even more greens for dinner. After three months, my skin is almost back to normal now, and I can enjoy some fruity goodies again, from time to time, without getting pimples.
I never thought that not eating enough greens could cause some really bad health issues, but after everything that I went through, I can tell that it definitely does, especially when living in a northern climate.
I know and experienced that juice or water fasting is superhelpful to heal and cleanse the body, but there are also times when you might not feel like going for a fast. In that case, the best thing you can do for your body is to eat light, easily digestible meals such as juices, smoothies or raw soups.
I can only encourage everyone to switch to a raw vegan diet and give it a try. My own experience shows me that this is the diet that humans thrive on. I myself am no longer searching for a healthy diet because I found it.
Discover Eva Straub’s Top 6 Tips for Good Digestion!
Hungry for more? Check out Eva Straub’s Meatless-Meat Sauce for Zoodles recipe!