Hey everyone! Happy Monday! I hope you all had a wonderful and relaxing weekend 🙂 Spring is in the air! Here in Montreal, we had some really beautiful, warm weather for the past few days, and the sun has been shining so beautifully! It’s such a nice break from the dreary grey and extreme cold of our terrible infamous winters. I can only hope the weather will keep getting warmer from here… OPTIMISM! 😀
I know I’ve been pretty MIA from blogging yet again, and I have seriously REALLY missed it. But I’m back, and I’m fully committed to writing much more often! So I hope ya’ll are ready for it 😉 !!! Today, I’m going to be writing a pretty detailed account of my 80/10/10 frugivore journey! It’s exciting, I’ve been wanting to write about this for a long time now, and today I felt a burst of inspiration! So read on if you’d like to know how it went for me. Keep in mind this is entirely my own opinion, my own experiences. Everyone’s body and life is different, what works for me may not work for you, and vice versa! ❤
For about the whole month of December I was really intrigued by the 80/10/10 diet, also known as the Banana Girl Diet (BGD). I read up about it almost every day, read testimonials, bought the ebook, read meal plans, and I really became excited and compelled to give it a try! I’m always down to try out new things, especially when pertaining to health and fitness (keeping it vegan always, of course). I’m a LOVERRRRR of fruit – I literally love it so much! I could eat it ALL DAY, and for the whole month of December I kept saying to myself, “man, I wish I could be a fruitarian! I wish I could do this diet!”.
On the morning of January 1, New Years Day, I woke up and thought to myself, “well, why CAN’T I do it? What’s stopping me?” And the answer was NOTHING! Of COURSE I could do it! I made the decision in an instant. I was MORE than ready to challenge myself to at least 30 days of the 80/10/10 / Banana Girl diet. Man was I excited! I went out right away to buy a bunch of bananas and a huge container of dates, which I promptly devoured. I was in fruit heaven! I was starry eyed and excited and nervous and passionate and eager to learn more, and eager to see exactly how this would work with my body.
First I’ll explain a little bit about what the diet entails, since I’m sure many of you aren’t familiar with the concept. The 80/10/10 diet is a diet plan created by Dr Douglas Graham. It is based on the consumption of large amounts of fruit, mainly monomeals (a large meal of the same type of fruit), and tender greens as well. 80% of your daily intake is fruit carbohydrates, 10% comes from protein and 10% comes from whole fat sources, such as avocado and raw nuts. It is a plan built to fuel our bodies with the best source of energy available – FRUIT. Our bodies are perfectly built to digest and thrive on a fruit diet. (I wish I could go into a lot more detail about what the book says, but honestly, just pick it up! It’s an amazing read with a ton of amazing info and super compelling arguments. I would be doing you a disservice to try and explain too much, because I know I’m no expert!) The Banana Girl diet is a slight variation on this one. Where in Dr Graham’s program, you can have some fat every day, on BGD, you can only have fats 2x a week maximum. I followed the BGD to the T, and my macronutrient ratio looked more like 94/4/2, which is 94% carb, 4% protein, 2% fat.
For my first few days as a new Banana Girl, I ate approx 2200-2500 calories of fruit and leafy greens. Before that, I was eating 1600-2200 calories a day, depending on my calorie burn from my workout. I knew I had to up my calories on BGD because the human body burns through fruit fuel SUPER quickly, and to sustain energy, to thrive, to feel good, you need to consume many more calories of fruit. For those first few days, I sort of felt in a haze. It’s hard to explain. I couldn’t get through my workouts with the same intensity as usual, and I felt like I was walking around with a veil over my eyes. I quickly realized that I simply was not eating enough, and added 1000 calories more a day.
RIGHT AWAY I noticed a difference. My energy SKY ROCKETED. I mean it was through the ROOF! I felt awake, alive, fresh, clean, confident, radiant. Every day that passed was better than the next. I looked forward to my fruit meals, I CRAVED fruit, all I wanted was fruit! It was such an exhilarating feeling! I never felt deprived or upset that I couldn’t eat a certain food. My body was too happy with that was happening inside it that it simply didn’t want anything else. It took a little adjustment to get used to eating such huge amounts of fruit per meal, I guess my stomach was smaller than I thought. Before, I was used to eating 5-6 small meals throughout the day, but on BGD I ate 3 large meals a day. They sustained me enough to get to the next meal without hunger or cravings, it was just a foreign concept to me. I had to unlearn and relearn everything! But I had some really great guidance, my best friend Stefanie was doing the challenge with me and we were on the same page and able to help each other so much! Also through support groups on Facebook and I ended up finding a lot of beautiful, wonderful people on Instagram to help inspire me and keep me motivated to go on!
My daily meals looked a little something like this: Dates before my workout (~400cals). A big melon or a big green smoothie for breakfast (~800cals). A bunch of bananas & dates for lunch (~1100cals). A few mangoes, oranges or a bunch of grapes as my first course for dinner (~500cals). A GIGANTIC salad for dinner, dressing made of blended fruit or lemon juice (~300cals). I looked forward to my banana/date lunch EVERY SINGLE DAY. (I still miss it sometimes hehe!)
For the first 3 and a half weeks, my body was in tip-top condition. I was making great muscle gains, trimming down, abs were popping, legs and arms were growing. I didn’t pay much attention to the way my body LOOKED because I just felt so physically and emotionally well. About 3 and a half weeks in, I started feeling a little different. Instead of my usual feeling of weighless, lightness, glowingness, I was really bloated all the time, no matter how many times I went to the bathroom (and excuse the TMI, but I went a LOT!). I just felt HEAVY. My clothes were fitting tighter, I didn’t want to wear jeans anymore or tight tshirts. I felt a little… inflated. I hated to admit it, and tried to ignore it. But one day I picked up my phone to take a morning photo of my abs (as I have been doing for awhile to keep track of my progress and keep myself accountable) and what I saw through the lens was shocking. I actually spent awhile in front of the mirror examining my body. For the first time in a long time on that morning, my abs were not visible at all. I had a thick layer of fat/bloat that seemed to appear overnight. I kept watch on it for the next few days, and noticed that it just kept getting bigger, and that it wasn’t about to go away in a hurry. I started feeling bloated after every meal, and just uncomfortable in my skin. I tried to cut down my fruit calories, but quickly became irritable and lethargic again. I was getting really sad. The begining of my journey had been SUCH a success, and I just felt sooooo wonderful, that I was wondering, what and WHY is this happening?!
I didn’t want to give up, so I didn’t. I persisted, I kept on with BGD for another two weeks. I wanted to believe that this was the best diet for my body, because I know of so many people who thrive this way. I was really struggling with my body image, and much more importantly, how I FELT in my body. I didn’t feel comfortable. I didn’t feel right. I knew it was time to listen to what my body was telling me, rather than keep forcing it to listen to what I wanted it to do. I had some pretty serious and honest conversations with myself.
This is where it gets tricky: I don’t want this to be taken any other way but as my own personal experience. This is how I felt, and I’m being completely honest. I took a good look deep down inside myself, and I knew, this wasn’t for me anymore. I felt like failure, like I let myself and so many others down. I felt like I’d be giving up if I stopped the diet and went back to eating the way I used to, although I knew it was in my absolute best interest. I’m pretty hard on myself, and I had to tell myself, “LISTEN UP LADY! What would you tell someone ELSE if they were coming to you with this problem? Would you tell them, stop listening to what your body is telling you and ignore your gut? Keep doing what isn’t working for you just because it works for other people? Ignore the one person who knows you the best- YOU? Don’t trust yourself? You’re a loser?” NO! That is ABSOLUTELY NOT okay! Why is it that we always put ourselves down, give ourselves a hard time, don’t listen to our hearts, yet give the best advice to others? Why don’t we ever take our OWN best advice?
This was a HUGE turning point in my relationship with myself. This was a huge life lesson that I had yet to learn. TRUST YOURSELF. TRUST YOUR MIND. TRUST YOUR GUT. TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. LISTEN TO YOUR SOUL. BE TRUE TO YOU!!!!! Once I realized all of this, I felt a billion times better, and my confidence, my self love, my commitment to living a completely honest, truthful and healthy lifestyle was solidified. HEALTH isn’t just physical, it is mental and spiritual as well. Not being in tune with those parts of yourself is just as unhealthy as not being in tune with your physical body. I realize this now, and I realize the importance of it.
I stopped the BGD cold turkey. I went right back to eating the way I used to eat (I’ve described it in previous posts, although I’m going to be writing a more detailed one shortly). I felt sort of lost, like I had forgotten what I used to do! It took awhile to get back into the swing of things, and for the first week or so I was pretty much always hungry, having been used to eating 2000 calories more ish every day! But I adjusted pretty quickly, and my body was quick to respond and bounce back. I lost my tummy pooch in 2 short weeks, and I noticed my body changing for the better as well.
Honestly, I’m SUPER happy with my experience and I would never have changed it for ANYTHING! I’m SO proud of myself for surpassing the challenge that I set for myself, and I’m SO proud at my dedication and commitment! I never wavered, never strayed, I kept it raw and clean and fruity. I learned SOOOOOOOOOO much about nutrition, about my body, about MYSELF, and about others throughout this part of my life journey. I learned how to LISTEN to myself, and really, honestly TRUST myself. I learned how to be HONEST not only with me, but with everyone else. There’s nothing to be ashamed of if you are honest. Honesty really IS the best policy. I learned to respect myself and others, and not to judge anyone, because everyone is different and everyone is just trying to live their best lives. I’ve met and made friends with SOOOO many beautiful men and women because of this whole experience. I’ve been inspired and motivated by them all, and I share a special connection with them still. If any of you are reading (and you’ll know who you are!, and to all my friends and family), THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for being in my life right now. THANK YOU for all your support and love and understanding. THANK YOU FOR BEING YOU and for loving me for being me!
To this day, I still am in LOVE with fruit! There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t stuff my face with fruit! I took with me very beautiful parts of the diet and the lifestyle, and made it my own. And that is the most important lesson I think of all – be true to YOU, always do YOU, take parts of everything and everyone you meet and put them together to make something uniquely your own. Never be afraid to blaze your own trail, to be who you want to be, to better yourself, to learn from your mistakes and to move on with confidence that today will be a better day, and that every day you are becoming a truer, more beautiful YOU.
Shine on, you crazy diamonds!!!! I love you all!!
PS. I’d LOVE to hear back from you! If you’ve stuck with me through this whole entire rant, I’d love to hear about your experiences and your endeavors and your life-changing stories! Please feel free to comment, or to add and message me on Facebook, or to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow me on Instagram, on MyFitnessPal and on Twitter if you wish – my username is gorgeousssleep (that’s 3 s’s!).
Update: my Instagram account is LauraVerbich and my SnapChat is gorgeousssleep