Day 6: How to Drink the Raw Vegan Kool-Aid (Step 4) | A Year Without Sugar

Day 6: How to Drink the Raw Vegan Kool-Aid (Step 4)

Now that we’ve learned to be more aware of the health effects of food (Step 1),   faced the realities of the meat industry (Step 2), and become raw-vegan-curious (Step 3), it’s time to spice things up with a little educational drama.

Step 4.  Be Entertained By Diet Guru Drama and Choose Sides

At the insistence of Caleb Jennings, I finally watched Forks Over Knives earlier this year and it changed me.  I was not aware of The China Study.  I was not aware that there were volumes of data supporting the notion that protein and fat (even vegan fat) consumption correlates substantially with so many diseases …

Yes, all theories are certainly up for debate, but with an epidemiological study so vast … How could The China Study be ignored or dismissed out of hand?  (I’ve read a few critiques of the study, but didn’t find them very compelling myself.  Time will tell for me personally …)

What’s interesting here is that The China Study flies in the face of the common raw vegan orthodoxy:  eat anything as long as it’s raw (“gourmet raw vegan”).  As Dr. Doug Graham points out, most raw vegans following that style of eating actually consume around 60% of their calories from fat.

60%!  If The China Study is correct and anything over 10% of caloric intake from fat is unhealthy, then the average raw vegan has got to be exceptionally unhealthy.

It turns out this observation is a common one and that there is a rather intense schism in the raw vegan community as a result.

Durianrider (Harley Johnston) is a proponent of the 80 10 10 diet and an exceptionally great athlete.

And he’s not the only great athlete doing 80 10 10 as you can see from this video put together by the author of the 80 10 10 book, Dr. Doug Graham.

I have nothing personal against any of the folks Harley pokes fun at (and I don’t think he does either), but I understand his frustration.  Over the years I’ve become more and more intensely distrustful of marketing – especially in the health world.

Keep in mind, I’ve written several books about marketing (even a few best-sellers), and have been involved in just about every aspect of health and fitness marketing you can imagine (ranging from a top distributor for a nutritional MLM to consultant for several health brands to avid consumer of nutritional supplements).  There are in fact some genuine crooks in the business, but most of the lying in the nutritional world is done by otherwise well-meaning people.  Over time, they gradually change their value-systems and begin walking down a very dark path – usually unconsciously.

Here’s how it works …

  • learn that ____ sells (insert anything here – sex, controversy, whatever)
  • start being a little inauthentic
  • discover that lying is now your habit (tell yourself it’s “marketing theater” or “everyone is doing it”)
  • discover that you can’t stop lying because if you do, you won’t be able to pay the rent (or make the Ferrari payment, depending on how “successful” you are)

This process occurs (again, usually unconsciously) every single day in just about every industry imaginable.  In fact, our culture seems to value this rather mercinary approach to business, evidenced by the fact that many sales floors use the following film as a training tool rather than a cautionary tale.

Is this the path walked by those Harley Johnston critiques?  I really have no bloody idea.  I don’t really know enough about their claims to have an opinion one way or the other.  But I do understand the general frustration he feels toward the marketing of nutritional advice – especially when it’s tied to product lines that are making people a lot of money.

Will I end up feeling the same frustration toward Dr. Doug Graham?  Maybe.   Let’s see what happens.  Meanwhile …

Here’s what happened on Day 5:

Breakfast

Smoothie of bananas (1 lb peeled), strawberries (1/2 lb)

Lunch

Cantelope (1lb scooped)

Dinner

Smoothie of strawberry (1lb), acai (4 oz), blueberry (3 oz).

Raw soup of tomato, cucumber, and spinach.

Diet Plan

80/10/10 Raw Vegan (modified slightly)

Supplements

Green Vibrance

Exercise

Weight training circuit

Notes

My energy and mood were pretty fantastic yesterday.  Probably more productive than my heavily caffeinated days on the Paleo diet.

 

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