My Diet & Philosophy

“A fit, healthy body - that is the best fashion statement.”
Jess C. Scott

This is my life. Fresh, glowing, beautiful fruit. Vegetables. Living plants.

I was never a picky eater. I think I made it easy on my parents by eating pretty much anything. However, when I realized as a child where my sausages came from (we lived in a village near a farm) I decided I didn't want to eat meat any more. I became a vegetarian at an age of 8 young years and have never regretted this choice of lifestyle, so eating vegan comes to me very easily.

Maybe it's quite unusual for a student, at least for the cliché student, to focus on a healthy, balanced diet and lifestyle in general. For me, a healthy body is what carries me through this life. For me, eating for health and for peace is more important than eating for fun and for pleasure.

I do love eating (I'm quite a sweet tooth, to be honest), but I also care for the environment, the animals and my body, and I deeply believe in "you are what you eat". If you stuff your face with crap, you're gonna feel and look crap; if you nourish your body with glowing, living food, you will glow and feel alive. If you value your body (and what, if not your body, will get you through life), consider what you feed it with!

What is my "diet"?

The best, most ideal for the human species diet is a plant-based, low-fat, low-sugar, whole food diet (basically: grains, greens, beans, and a smaller amount of fruits). I call it a "diet" but it's not something temporary. It's a way of eating and living - for life.

For a detailed list of my shopping staples check out my Grocery List
You can also get the PDF version of my grocery guide to save or print by clicking here: 

I do not eat meat, wheat or dairy (I'm intolerant to wheat). That sounds very intimidating, but it's really not. When meeting new people, I don't go broadcasting my plant-based veganism. I don't want to be labelled as "the vegan" aka "the rebel / the preacher / the saint". Nor do I want to burden anyone with my personal life choices, or make others feel like they have to be "healthy" around me, or justify their lifestyle. Because I don't want to have to justify my lifestyle either. In my opinion everybody should know what's best for them, and live the way they feel best. That's what I try to do anyway. 

I have tried many different diets over the years, including RawTill4, Fully Raw and 80/10/10. For a detailed pro/con list on eating fully raw, please check out my Review on Raw Food! And if you are interested in ready my full "food story", i will have a link to a separate blog post on that topic: On Eating Disorder and How to Recover.

As of today, I'm not raw till 4 or 80/10/10 or any of that. My goal is to be 100% vegan and 100% plant-based. So basically, I eat plants in every shape or form - of course, that includes pancakes, pasta, pizza, cake, brownies, ice cream etc on a regular basis !!

What is FullyRaw?

All meals consist of raw, fresh, whole, unrefined, plant-based foods: fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, nuts, and seeds, which are consumed in their natural state, without cooking or steaming. The guideline here is: Fruit during the day, and a LARGE salad for dinner, as promoted by FullyRawKristina for example. (Here's a chard that shows the raw vegan food pyramid)

What is RawTill4?

In a nutshell RawTill4 is a diet lifestyle created by Freelee the Banana Girl on Youtube - a lifestyle that disapproves of calorie restriction and instead promotes high-raw, high-carb, low-fat, low-sodium vegan eating. Whole, unrefined, unprocessed, raw and cooked plant-based foods: fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, nuts, seeds, grains and starches.  
The idea is to get as much raw food (fruits, smoothies) in as possible before 4pm, and cooked food (vegetables, grains) for dinner, so the majority of your calories will come from fruit. Food should be eaten whole and unprocessed wherever possible.

What is 80/10/10 or 811?

As promoted by Dr. Douglas Graham in his best-selling book, 80/10/10 describes the ratio of carbohydrates, protein and fat in your diet, so 80% carbs, 10% protein and 10% fat. The term 811 means the same. For example: a 2000-calorie diet would consist of 1600 calories from carbs, 200 from protein and 200 from fat per day.*

Which should I choose?

Find what feels good! I think for beginners, sticking to RawTill4 can be a nice start to incorporate fresh produce into their diet, and to turn a life of restriction into a life of abundance. However, there are several disadvantages or risks to this sort of lifestyle. 
(A) people tend to eat too little (raw) food until 4 o'clock, only to then binge out on the finally allowed cooked food. 
(B) in order to get in as many calories as Freelee suggests (around 3000cals!), people drink way too many smoothies and therefore causing a blood sugar roller-coaster (the sugar gets into the blood and into the cells very quickly and then falls off just as quickly. This is called hypoglycemia. Symptoms of this low blood sugar are feeling tired, restless, not being able to concentrate or remember things, feeling irritated, frustrated and angry more easily. which makes you crave for more quick sugar again... vicious circle)
And (C) not everybody digests raw foods as well as cooked foods (my Tibetan doctor for example strongly advised me to eat warm, cooked foods because my bowels and digestion were not able to break down raw foods!)
The argument here is usually that in cooking the vegetables, you will "destroy" most of the vitamins - however, if you eat raw, you are not able to eat as much as you would with cooked foods, simply due to the volume. Therefore, you are more likely to take in less vitamins and minerals than you would eating cooked vegetables, beans and whole grains.

As for the 80/10/10 diet, it didn't really work for me personally because I couldn't really keep track of my exact protein and fat intake, and I kept stressing about the ratio and the amount of calories I had eaten. Not exactly ideal for someone with an eating disorder past or for people who generally struggle with restriction and counting.

Are you eating enough?! // "Gourmet Rawfood"

This is where many people struggle, me included. My very first raw vegan attempt lead me to eating way too little - which then made me turn to calorie-dense foods which are usually processed, high in sugar, and high in fat. 
This is NOT 80/10/10. This is not how you are going to get a fit, healthy, sexy body. You need to get your calories from fruit, not from fat! For example, an average banana is 100 calories, give or take a little. If you ate 10 bananas, that would be 1000 calories right there. Have 6 bananas for breakfast (600kcal), as a smoothie or a banana porridge, have a big bowl of papaya or mangoes for lunch (~600kcal), and ice cream (800kcal) or a salad for dinner, throw in some mangoes, dates, cherries, persimmons, grapes, and you're good to go! That way you stay carbed and won't have to turn to "quick fixes" like batches of nuts, honey, dehydrated dried fruit, nut butters and other raw gourmet superfoods (example of gourmet raw recipe: millionaires shortbread that should only be consumed in moderation).

During the day, try to stick to fruits as they contain more carbs and calories than vegetables. But don't forget the greens and the grains! Have a big bowl of salad or a plate of sushi rolls or veggie wraps at night (add avocado for a creamy dressing or dip!), that won't make you feel bloated when you go to sleep, but they pack a wallop when it comes to vitamins and minerals. Or: start your day with a bowl of glowing green steamed veggies! That's what i do to get in my greens.

Why is healthy food not tasty? :(

First of all: Have you ever eaten a ripe piece of fruit?! A speckled, soft banana? A ruby red persimmon? Or my all-time favourite banana soft serve? It is delicious!

Apart from that: I get it. Getting sugar and high-fat food out of your system can be as painful as getting alcohol or nicotine out of your system. It's a drug. Junk food is a drug - it turns us into junkies. Therefore, giving up your junk food addiction comes along with withdrawal symptoms. It's nasty. You might break out, get diarrhoea or constipation, but after getting all this crap out of your system, you will feel CLEAN and ENERGIZED! Also, your taste buds will get sensitized.

The trick here is to
a) eat monomeals. Eat one fruit or vegetable at a time, really experiencing the flavour. But make sure to
b) diversify! A great variation of meals and flavours will satisfy your appetite.
c) spice it up. The key to a tasty meal is to add exciting herbs and spices and
d) make an amazing dressing! personally i love mixing sweet and savory, for example: sweet corn chowder with chili or a salad with mango and pepper or a vinaigrette with honey. adding something simple as lime juice or apple cider vinegar can make a hell of a difference!

Where do you get your protein?

Greens and beans, baby. Greens and beans.

Beans provide more protein than most animal products - but without their disadvantages. Although beans are considered acid-forming, they don't acidify the body to the extent as meat and dairy do. Also, beans are rich in folic acid (a vitamin of the B-complex).
The BEST source of vegan protein is all sorts of dark leafy greens!

Other protein-rich plants include: almonds, asparagus, avocado, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, cherimoya, durian, mung bean sprouts, peanuts, peas, pumpkin/chia/sunflower/flax/sesame/hemp seeds, sapote, sun dried tomatoes, spinach...
Grains: amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa, wild rice.

Also, don't go protein-crazy! More is not necessarily better when it comes to protein. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for the average, sedentary adult is only 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. Some healthcare professionals argue that this level is too high. No matter whose recommendation you choose to follow, the fact is that each person’s protein needs are different, but all can be met with a plant-based diet.

Did you know that broccoli has more protein than steak? This is true.
100 calories of the green stuff (about 12 oz) contains 11.2 grams of protein.
100 calories of sirloin steak (about 0.84 oz) only has 5.4 grams of protein 

Where do you get your calcium?

Just as you can get your protein without eating meat, you can get your calcium without eating dairy just as easily. Calcium rich vegetables include: broccoli, kale, various collards, turnip greens, Pak Choi (chinese cabbage), as well as sweet potato and legumes. Also almonds and sesame seeds. Even fruits like oranges, kiwis and papaya!

What do you do to "get back on the wagon"?

First off: 
There is no frickin wagon! and no punishment or cure or whatever. just get up and carry on - follow the path you want to follow! it's as simple as that.

- Drink lots of water.
- Balance out my "misstep" with lots of fresh fruit and veggies, a freshly squeezed juice or a smoothie.
- Don't beat yourself up. You ate some pasta or a big bowl of oats, so what. - honestly, as long as i'm vegan, i'm alright.
- Exercise a little.
- Try not to see it as cutting something out. Instead, set yourself a goal to add something great into you diet, e.g. 4 bananas + 1 big salad or 500g greens a day. Minimum. So if you feel like you're going to fall off the wagon, make sure to get in your minimum of 4 bananas and 1 big salad or 500g greens. Then see what happens. Do you still feel hungry? Still tempted to eat something you weren't "supposed" to? If so, at least you won't be as starved as before, so less likely to gulp down tons of "bad" food.

Great easy salad recipe: 1 head of romaine + 1/2 red bell pepper + 1 apple + cherry tomatoes + red onion or shallot + apple cider vinegar or lemon juice on top!

or: 1 head of romaine or arugula + cherry tomatoes + red onion + chopped zucchini + chopped cucumber + lemon juice + basil

If this is too light, you can always chop up a cucumber, or add spiralized cucumber or zucchini "noodles" to your salad!

*cf. a recent CBS news article on Too much sugar linked to fatal heart disease, even in those who are not obese

“A recent study indicates that adults who got at least 25 percent of their calories from added sugar were almost three times more likely to die of heart problems than those who consumed the least (less than 10 percent). 

An optimal diet is high in fruits, vegetables, and legumes and low in both fat and refined carbs such as sugar and white flour. 

35 years ago, some people said that fat was unhealthful but sugar was fine, leading to processed foods such as Snackwell cookies that were low in fat but high in sugar. 

Now, some people are saying that sugar is the main culprit but fat is fine, which is equally reductionistic and equally wrong. 

It’s both. And it’s not just diet.“