My aim with this experiment was to determine if a low fat raw vegan diet was the ideal diet for my goals as an ultra marathoner. If I found out it was beneficial, the experiment would be a success. However if I determined the diet is not beneficial to my training, the experiment would be a success.
Now something happened that I did not expect. I have ended the experiment before really determining whether or not the diet is beneficial. Why? Well, I simply cannot afford eating 4000 calories of fruit every day.
Here is my "review" of a Low Fat Raw Vegan diet
I felt fantastic! My running was definitely not negatively influenced at all. Was it positively effected? I have no idea. I can't say I felt better from the diet after only 3 weeks, but I definitely did not feel worse.
Simple. Just eat fruit. No leeway with the "diet"
My food prep and clean up was cut by at least 80%. Eat a watermelon while checking morning emails. There was only three things to wash and it took 30 seconds to cut it in half. Sooo easy!
Gas. I'm not kidding, during last night's 5 mile run I probably farted 10 times.
Cravings. It is hard to get over them. Salt, fat, crispy french fries. Etc
Calorie counting. To make sure I get enough calories. The goal was to eat at least 4000, which I had difficulty doing.
Buying groceries. You simply cannot keep a week of fresh fruit and veggies around with only a single fridge.
Money. The main reason I quit. Not that it is overly expensive, just that it's more than I can afford right now. Hell, I'm an ultra marathoner and I can't even afford to buy a third pair of running shorts. You however do learn which foods are cheaper per 100 calories than others, very quickly. Dates, dried cherries, and bananas are fairly affordable.
Peeing a lot. Eating so much fruit keeps you hydrated. Over hydrated.
Speaking of raw food and farting...
During my morning runs I was almost always worried about having to poop. I actually did not run far from the trails, just in case. During one long run I actually pooped twice! There was zero constipation, I just seemed to poop more along with having much more gas.
I never planned on staying on a totally raw diet, even if it did turn out to be beneficial. I simply enjoy cooking with Desi. However the things we cook together are almost always high carb low fat anyway, so it would have complimented the diet well. I would plan on incorporating more raw into my diet.
The most important thing I learned or realized from this diet is the importance of calories, and getting enough of them. The more calories a person eats, the more nutrients they consume. Assuming the food is whole food based, of course. I am a firm believer in not restricting calories, even to lose weight. Eat a good amount of whole food calories to your baseline, and exercise the weight loss off. Calories and food are your FUEL. Give your body what it needs! Even if you are in a calorie deficit from training, if you are eating 3000+ a day you are fueling and proving nutrients to your body.
So what is next? I do not know. I tried one extreme (raw veganism) so why should I not try the other (paleo diet)? I am not sure if I could ever eat meat again (or at least any time soon) but I would be up for adding eggs and maybe fish back into my diet. Doing some experimentation, see how it goes. We'll see. Keep you updated, of course :)