The 80/10/10 Diet – Dr. Douglas Graham

Kristina's Raw Vegan Pesto

I wholeheartedly agree with the great majority of this book. I recommend buying it or borrowing it from your local library, as it is filled with valuable information, studies and anecdotes from real people that have achieved extraordinary results by eating a diet of mostly fruit. I consider it to be among the best health books on the market.

Here are just a few selected quotes:

Will eating raw make me healthy?

A proper raw diet will result in improved health, but I must emphasize that the body, not food, creates health. Food does not build; the body builds. Food does not cleanse; the body cleanses. Good health, after all, is the result of a healthy lifestyle.

The raw diet is but one component of healthful living. Adequate rest and sleep, regular, vigorous physical activity, plenty of fresh air, sunlight, a positive outlook on life, and many other factors are also essential to creating good health. (Page 239.)

“We propose that there is only one illness: toxemia, this is a condition of unclean blood and tissues, caused primarily by unchecked diet and lifestyle. Unchecked, toxemia and its attendant enervation (nervous exhaustion) get progressively worse over the years, leading to all manner of symptoms.” (Page 257.)

On Weight Loss

Dr. Graham tackles the popular issue of weight loss. When people switch to a diet that is exclusively raw, “the first dramatic change that people frequently notice is a rapid and dramatic loss of weight”. Since most Westerners are indeed overweight to begin with, most people are delighted with the change. Other folks see themselves getting too thin, and sometimes even mistakenly believe they are losing muscle.

“what actually happens…is that we lose so much of the padding (fat) around our muscles and also the fat marbled within our muscles. In addition, on a raw diet, we begin to lose the water that we once retained to dilute toxins. This water also added to the appearance of inflated muscles. Many people mistake this excess fat and water as part of their muscle.”

“No diet exists that results in muscle loss or muscle gain. If there were a diet that resulted in muscle gain, bodybuilders would be found in the kitchen instead of the gym. .. In spite of what we have all been told, consuming protein (or any other nutrient) will not assist the muscle-building process.” (page 148)

On page 156, Dr. Graham states that digestive, absorptive, or assimilative problems could contribute to unwanted weight loss in new raw fooders, yet he believes these to be the exception rather than the rule, and that these problems will quickly correct themselves when the person switches away from high-fat, cooked, processed and toxic foods unsuitable to our physiological design are moved from the diet. I can not argue with Graham’s extensive clinical experience, but I believe that digestive, absorptive, and assimilative problems are extremely common (although widely under-diagnosed) due to the cooking of food and the consumption of animal products.

If Dr. Graham mentions fasting in this book, then I missed it.  It is understandable that Dr. Graham would not discuss fasting in a book on the opposite of fasting, eating. One of the main outcomes of a water fast is the elimination of intestinal plaque, which blocks the proper absorption of nutrients in the small intestine. Here is a video of Dr. Graham speaking on fasting to recover health:

(Dr. Graham discusses the benefits of fasting after 13 minutes.)

Detoxify

Detoxify

Try as you may, you cannot avoid all toxins. They are everywhere: in the air, in the water supply, and in your food. Yes, even organic farmers use regular tap water to feed their crops. Tap water typically contains fluoride, a dangerous neurotoxin, and even bottled water is somewhat unsafe, because the plastic can leach into the water, especially since the bottles are likely to be subjected to heat at some point between the filling factory and the supermarket… think of all the time your bottled water must spend in trucks and shipping containers.

It is certainly wise to reduce your toxic intake as much as you reasonably can. But that’s not enough. You must also be pro-active in eliminating the toxins that snuck into your system. Don’t stress over the inevitable. A healthier attitude would be to mentally picture the toxins going into your body each day, and the ones that you are flushing out. If you take in more than you flush out, then the toxins will accumulate over time, and serious health problems can set in down the road.

Detoxification Methods

The body uses a variety of tools to expel toxins on a daily basis. Just because these methods are automatic doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think about assisting these systems to literally increase their output.

The body’s natural detoxification methods are: respiration, perspiration, urination and defecation.

1. Respiration

Each time you breathe, your body takes in oxygen from the air and expels carbon dioxide, a by-product of burning sugar. But for optimal performance, your breath should be deep and slow. If you forget to do this, your body will continue breathing anyway, but the inattentive breathing is typically shallow and fast, which will leave some cells without oxygen, and carbon dioxide will build up in your system.

2. Perspiration

The skin is the largest organ and luckily it is an eliminative organ. Profuse sweating will help the body rid excess toxins, certainly the ones at and near the skin, but internal toxins will be purged also, little by little. The easiest (and perhaps most enjoyable) way to achieve maximum detoxification through sweating is to use a sauna or in a steam bath. Remember that the skin not only expels toxins, but it also absorbs any toxin that comes into contact with it. Therefore, when laying in the sauna, wipe the sweat constantly with a towel to prevent re-absorption of the toxins. If you are in a steam bath, rinse yourself with chlorine-free water and send those toxins down the drain. For added benefits, use essential oils, either in the water that you pour over the sauna stones, or dropped directly onto the steam head. Also remember to breathe slowly and deeply, pulling the warm air deep into your lungs.

3. Urination/defecation

These methods of natural detoxification are helped by drinking plenty of water, and by eating a plant-based diet. Additionally, certain herbs have known diuretic properties, meaning that they increase the passing of urine. This should be used occasionally at most. A proper diet should eliminate the need for this. I have also found that exercise and certain types of healing massage can also assist both urination and defecation.

4. Movement

Movement helps your body to eliminate toxins, especially those that were hidden in stagnant tissues. When you re-mobilize these tissues, some toxins could be released into the blood providing the kidneys a second chance to eliminate them.

a) A good yoga class will increase the overall energy flow quite effectively. (Most classes will provide physical exercise, guided breathing and will often make you perspire.)

b) With passive yoga, a facilitator will assist you in obtaining the desired benefit, with a lowered risk of personal injury. The facilitator must find the stagnant energy and gently release it, such that energy flow is restored.

5. Fasting

An extended water fast is the king of all detoxification methods. I listed it last because it is used infrequently, but make no mistake, this is the most powerful way to allow your body to detoxify itself.

Fasting has been well-known for thousands of years. There is a very good reason that it is included in all religions: when you fast, your body gets rid of loads of useless “clutter”. And since your body, mind and spirit are one, the physical lightening has a direct positive effect on your mind, and brings both body and mind back in line with spirit.

A water fast can be for an arbitrary number of days (usually between 3 and 40 days), or you can decide at any moment that you’ve had enough. There are fasting centers (such as Tanglewood Wellness Center in Costa Rica) that receive guests from all over the world and provide a quiet, peaceful place to rest while fasting.

During the first 24-48 hours, the stomach still has acid in it due to the food consumed before the fast. This explains any feeling of “hunger”. Simply dilute the acid by drinking water, and the pain will go away. After two days, you will experience no further pain as an empty stomach is a relaxed one. If you had any ulcers before the fast, these will soon heal.

There are plenty of books and Web sites written about various cleanses and “juice fasts”. The use of the term “fast” right next to “juice” is misleading. To gain the benefits of a fast, one must abstain from ingesting nutrients other than pure water. There are definitely benefits from drinking cleansing (diuretic) herbal teas and plenty of juices from vegetables and fruits. But strictly speaking, this is not a fast and I would prefer to deal with this in my section on nutrition.

I will breifly mention that I have had good results from “the lemonade cleanse” and I know others that are fond of the “apple juice and olive oil” cleanse. But I would not necessarily recommend either of these extreme diets. In general, when you are eating, eat well. When you are fasting, you refrain from all nutrients except water, so that the body can play catch-up with all of the toxins that it didn’t yet have a chance to eliminate. Since we tend to eat and drink nutrients every day, our digestive system is always busy, and the body never switches into full detox mode until you are fasting.

Nutrient Deficiencies and Fasting

** Loren Lockman is the director of the Tanglewood Wellness Center in Costa Rica. He has been coaching people to better health since 1992, and supervising water only fasts since 1997. He’s guided more than 2000 people through water-only fasts averaging 24-25 days and has seen a dramatic improvement or a complete elimination of many conditions.