What I eat in a typical day is one of the most common questions I’m asked; the answer depends on where I am in the world that day.
Let me clarify:
You can’t eat the same raw foods if you live in beautifully convenient Covent Garden in the middle of London as you would in the middle of a desert in Afghanistan.
I am being a bit extreme with this example, but it makes my point clear.
Even if you are home all the time, each day will probably be different depending on your activities.
There are many variations of what you can eat in a day, and no two days are the same for me.
This is what I eat on an average day while living at home in Central London, and eating between 2000 and 2500 calories:
What I eat at breakfast depends almost entirely on how many calories I ate the night before.
The heavier my dinner last night was, the less hungry I feel in the morning.
Most of my dinner meals are succulent in terms of calories and taste, so I tend to skip breakfast altogether.
I often drink maté in the morning, which a traditional South American beverage is made of dried Yerba Mate leaves. It’s a bit like tea. I don’t drink much of it, only a cup at a time.
I always eat whole, fresh fruit for lunch. Mono meals ideally, which means eating one type of fruit per meal. Which fruits? It will depend on the season.
It could be melons, mangoes, oranges, grapes, pears, apples, grapefruits, pomegranates, raspberries, strawberries, watermelon, and so on.
I would say my main fruit staples, and most of the fruit I eat for lunch are melons, grapes, or mangoes. But that has to do with taste, location, etc., your choices can be different and that’s OK.
I have a tradition of never eating bananas or other sweet fruit, such as dates, as the first meal of the day. I found that I get a better flow of energy and digestion if I eat “acid” and “sub acid” fruit first thing (such as apples, pears, or oranges). I tend to leave bananas for later in the day.
How much fruit do I eat for lunch? Lots. To give you an idea: if a medium apple constitutes a “unit” of fruit,
I will eat between 12 and 20 units of fruit for lunch each day – and I feel perfectly fine afterwards; never bloated or uncomfortable.
Some days I may eat less fruit, but never less than 6 units in total.
- Late afternoon / early evening:
I eat more fruit. How much fruit depends on how many calories I’ve eaten earlier in the day.
Normally, if I had eaten 15 units of fruit for lunch, then I would eat 3 to 5 units of fruit later on.
Most days, I eat a lovely, tasty dinner.
And yes, this is one of the main differences between my approach to eating a healthy raw food diet and the approach of other educators in this area.
First of all, let me clarify. When I say other educators, I refer to people eating the oil-free and low fat raw food diet in line with the science of Natural Hygiene; I don’t mean the high fat, raw food fad that inundates the internet these days with bombastic “dripping in oil” recipes that will leave you bloated and feeling sick.
Eating high fat meals is OK from time to time for as long as your recipes are oil free and your fat intake overall – which can be calculated monthly or even in a 6 month periods, remains between 8 and 12% as percentage of calories.
Which leads to another common question, “Ariel. Why do you promote a low fat diet while one of your recipes contains 1/2 cup of nuts or something like that?
Not every recipe you eat needs to be low fat, some recipes could be fat-free, and some other recipes will have more fat than others – it’s your average consumption of fat over time that matters.
Sometimes, I might go for an entire week without eating nuts or seeds, and I may eat a raw burger on Saturday night that contains 1/2 cup of nuts and that’s perfectly OK, because my overall fat intakes remains low.
Some weeks, for instance, I can go for days eating only fruit and I would not touch anything else (not even greens), and there are other times where I fast for 2 or 3 days straight, drinking only water and that feels AMAZING too!
There are many factors that decide our behaviour with food, and not every day is the same for everyone.
You need to be well-informed to learn what works best for you in each circumstance.
In the wide “healthy” raw food movement, most people tend to eat a simple salad with some mango dressing for dinner… I respect their methods, but that approach never worked for me
In my experience, it’s impossible for me to eat mangoes or other fruit during the day and expect to enjoy “mango” salad dressing for dinner also. More fruit, after a whole day of fruit, isn’t what I am looking for at my dinner table.
What works for me – and for the hundreds of people I’ve coached over the years is eating super delicious, mostly savoury dinner meals that are rich in flavour, with plenty of leafy green salads on the side.
My dinners aren’t complicated, but they are super tasty.
That’s why I created my books, including my salad dressing recipe eBook, which contains only super tasty salad dressing recipes.
Why not having a full day of tasty meals? Eat delicious, ripe fruit during the day, and luscious savoury dinners in the evenings…That is my philosophy.
Last night, I ate a Mediterranean Tortilla Wrap for dinner with a mixed lettuce salad on the side made with homemade walnut/orange salad dressing.
You can find most of my dinner recipes in my eBook: Amazing raw: Recipes for life
- After dinner snack:
I don’t go to bed until late, so I tend to eat a sweet snack after dinner (preferable after giving dinner some time to digest).
The snack could be a couple of bananas, Israeli Medjool dates (which is my favourite snack ever!), or other dried fruits. Not much though, maybe 4 to 5 units to give you an idea.
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Thank you for that example of a days diet. I have been eating the anti inflammation diet of fruits and vegetables for three months now and I feel good. I don’t do it perfectly all the time and I cook some vegetables like squash and have beans and seeds at times, but I am seeking some new ideas and ways of doing things. I appreciate that there are others making a great success of this and it encourages me to do better. Thank you Ariel.
Thanks for your comment. I am glad to be able to help. Regards.
I have been a rawfoodist for over five years and I have learned quite enough to find out, that the best is to be a good observer of your own body,because not all our bodies work the same way…I enjoy creating my own recipes and then eating my food creations as well.What really makes me happy is when I can share my recipes and the people-in my case, my students,try some of my recipes…I do have a variety of fruits and vegetables on my kitchen table,but not every single day is a mosaic of raw food stuff,Sometimes I just need some fruit items and it is enough,In other cases I love to have something special and highly nutritious with nuts …I love to eat spinach,arugula,beetroot,dates….and actually all gifts from nature…everything is a great taste…I simply enjoy my raw food way…
The link for the free ebook is not working for me. I am curious to view your oil-free savory recipes that are so tasty.
Could you please show us the link that isn’t working? Thank you
Can you explain why it’s better to “mono meal” instead of eating several different kinds of fruit for a meal?
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