Monday, June 13, 2016

I survived 7 days fueled only by raw fruits and vegetables, no sugar nor salt

Strawberry picking to kick off our fruitarian life
My 12-year old boy loves to cook and he's very good at it. He can whip things up without a recipe and produce delicious salads, entrees, and desserts. He either sees or tastes something he likes and can mimic it. He and his dad are the kitchen dream team.

Sadly, obesity is an issue with my boys. Hubby experimented with many diets but the only 1 that really worked was group interventions. After 7 successful years, he grew tired of its restrictive nature and gained all 120 lbs back.

Hubby detests exercise but during his lean years, he swam a mile 3 times a week, and completed two 5Ks. He ran once before each race to train.

Watching them eat like there's no tomorrow is painful. Sometimes, my son would come home from school and make himself a hefty burger - that's just afternoon snacks. On other occasions, he would make a 'small' sandwich after dinner.

No amount of dissuading seems to work. We've tried enforcing a cut off time for eating, and weighing and measuring food but all failed. And getting them to walk/run is always a battle that I always lose. I am helpless and desperate. 
Shredded baby bokchoy with avocado
onion dressing, topped with yellow
cherry tomatoes and asparagus.

So when hubby introduced the fruitarian way of life, I decided to support him by adopting it myself. It wasn't an easy decision. First, I thought it was ridiculous to live on raw fruits only. Then I learned about fruitarian marathoner Mike Arnstein who ran Boston 20 times in a row while living on 30 bananas a day.

On Monday, June 6, we started our journey. I committed 1 week to eating unlimited amounts of raw fruits and vegetables, no salt nor sugar, no seeds nor beans. My son agreed to trying it for 5 days.

First day was easy. I had mangoes, persimmons, grapes and strawberries all day. For dinner, hubby and son made zucchini squash spaghetti with tomato avocado dressing. 

Second day, I mourned the loss of salt. All became better after binging on grapes.

It's day 7 and I'm contemplating if I should go further or stop. I'm still learning but here's a few observations:


Aimed for 1600 daily average calories.
  1. My weight dropped like a brick. Lost 4 pounds in 7 days. I'm physically active as usual but this is the first time I've lost this much weight in a week.
  2. What you see is what you get. No hidden ingredients. 
  3. Save at least 30 mins every meal because there's no cooking involved.
  4. It promotes mindful eating. I can't just eat a cookie and say I'll burn it off later.
  5. This forces us to be more creative with food. Have you ever tried shredded baby bokchoy, avocado, chopped onions, and yellow tomatoes, and asparagus? It's good.
  6. I'm surprisingly not craving anything.
  7. It doesn't feel overly restrictive because I am allowed unlimited amounts of fruits and vegetables.
  8. My son has been eating properly. Although we discovered that he's been taking the regular school lunch, I'm happy that he's not eating double dinners anymore.
  9. I seem to be thinking more clearly. I'm winning all my online games.
No problem with activities
except on 7th day (June 12).
  1. I pee more often. Not good for racing. However, this could be a plus because it tells me that I'm not dehydrated. 
  2. I'm constipated.
  3. On the 11th mile of my bike ride this morning, I almost blacked out. Not sure if it's related to this diet, the heat, my hypothyroid, or all of the above.
  4. I ran a very easy pace this afternoon but I felt exhausted as if I sprinted.
  5. I'm not meeting my recommended goals for calories, calcium, iron, and protein. Even with beans and nuts in my diet. Yes, I cheated (shame).
With all these observations, I've decided to continue being a frugivore for another week or 2. The fatigue I felt may be due to my dramatic weight loss and hopefully, that will stabilize. I want to see if this will improve my race performance as some have claimed it does. Stay tuned.

Would you eat 30 bananas a day? I can't but I can eat a variety of fruits all day.


  1. Fruitarian Basics,
  2. Forum,
  3. About runner Mike “The Fruitarian” Arnstein


  1. That's great your son likes to cook. Perhaps he will end up on Chopped Jr or one of those shows!

    1. We love that show. Just like racing, it's going to take a lot of commitment and practice, which he doesn't seem to be interested in.

  2. I can feel your pain about your husband & son. My husband was very thin when I met him, but he's not now, eats terribly, and doesn't exercise. He's exhausted all the time and breaths heavily from coming up the stairs.

    I know nagging won't work, he's got to want to change, and he has made some small changes this year, but he just doesn't think about what he eats. At all.

    I am very willing to try most types of diets, but my personal opinion is that any diet that restricts that many food groups isn't healthy in the long run. Most diets that are that restrictive do result in weight loss, but that's because you're simply eating less calories. And sometimes it's also because you're losing muscle, too, which is a very bad thing. Plus such diets are rarely sustainable.

    Good luck & be careful!

    1. Kudos to anyone who can keep a diet. I'm definitely not one of them.

  3. I have a friend who does this. He's transitioned to more of a vegan diet, but still eats TONS of bananas. His house always smells like bananas & he has a whole cabinet dedicated to them.

    I don't think I could do this, personally. The no salt would really get me. And probably the lack of food group variety. I would be interested to see more posts on it as you go. And I think it's wonderful that you're hopping on board to help your son & husband. Just make sure to pay attention to your body if it keeps giving you bad signs. :)

    1. That's funny Jessie. We don't smell like bananas yet LOL, I think. More pros and cons coming soon.

  4. How wonderful your son likes to cook -- and it good at it! I love my fruits and veggies but had to purposefully add more protein to my diet when I really got into running. My husband does not eat healthy. Thankfully he goes to the gym and that helps some. I think there is a change of lifestyle switch that has to be flipped and unfortunately we can't do that for anyone but ourselves. Good luck with the experiment. I'll be interested in hearing what you final thoughts are and if your fellas liked the diet. Thanks for linking with us Patricia!

    1. I started feeling that pain Holly, the lack of protein. Not sure if it's physical or more psychological though.

  5. It's great that your son and husband enjoy cooking. My husband does all the cooking in our household. Glad they're trying to adopt better eating habits. It's so tough to stick with it. Hope they continue to have success with it.

    1. We're blessed. My son's back to his old ways now. Oh well.