Just in case you have somehow failed to notice, I love fruits. I cannot seem to eat enough of them, juice them thoroughly enough, or satiate my curiousity for blending up new awesome amalgamations of their sweet fleshy goodness. In fact, one might equate my ravenous hunger for and obsession with fruit with that of a monster. A fruitmonster, to be exact. I am perfectly comfortable with such terminology
A Pitiful Pyramid
But given all the talk about fruit on this site, with the ‘fruitastic this’ or the ‘fruitmonster that’ language, one might wonder ‘what the heck happened to the other 5 food groups?’. You know, the meat/poultry/beans, the milk/yogurt/cheese, vegetable, bread/rice/pasta/cereal and fats/sweets groups? One might wonder why I don’t tweet about monstering some of those? I mean, sure there might be a lot of people who don’t eat meat or skip out on the dairy, but what about those poor pastas or victimized veggies? What did they ever do to you mr. fruity-pebbles?
Well at this point, you’d be silly to think I don’t have a blog entry prepared for your inquisitive minds, so let’s move ahead! We’ll take this discussion one ‘food group’ at a time (in no particular order..skipping over the fats/oils/sweets). For this post, I will be focusing on the evolutionary design and digestive reasonings only, avoiding any ethical ones and sparing you from any rants about the meat and dairy industry, etc. The point here is to work our way to realizing what foods our bodies are meant to eat – the types of foods that we thrive on eating. Because, although many people are surviving eating the rest of the ‘food groups’, not all of them are doing so well are they? Here at FruitMonster.com, us fruitmonster-types are interested in eating a diet that our body flourishes upon, one that yields a more vibrant way of living! So although our body may be able to eat, digest and absorb foods from the non-fruit food groups, it wasn’t necessarily ever meant to! Anyway, let’s get on to business!
Ok, Food Group 1: Meats/Poultry/Beans/Nuts
Given the nature of this group, it needs to be further split into three subgroups – Meats, Beans and Nuts
Some See Meat, FruitMonster Sees Friends
1. Meats – There are a wide variety of reasons why a fruitmonster does not eat meat, and I will, in the future, dedicate an entire blog post to the subject of vegetarianism. For now, as I said before, we will focus on the evolutionary design side of the argument – You are not a carnivore. Let me start off with a series of questions to highlight this. Most people think that they are carnivores (or at least ‘omnivores’, meaning they are designed to eat plants and animals), but they need to think about what that actually entails a bit more. When you find yourself hungry, does your mouth water at the sight of a pig or cow running around? Do you desire to tear into its flesh, spill its warm blood over your lips, consuming its raw flesh, organs and skin? Of course not! That stuff probably grosses you out! Well, guess what? That’s not very carnivore of you. Instead, you would need to take that meat, cook it, slather it in barbecue sauce or other flavoring devices, in order to make it acceptable to you. Is this something that you would be able to do in your natural evolutionary environment? No! Now take that a step further, and look down at your body. Take a gander at your muscles, do they ripple with the ferocity needed to chase down and kill a grown animal? Do you have the sharp claws that big cats, birds of prey, wolves or other predators do? Nope! What about those teeth that you dare to call ‘canines’? Do they have the ability to tear open the skin of another creature, dismembering its fascia and rip muscle from bone? Think about the jaw strength needed! The answer is no, your ‘canines’ and your weak little jaw could not perform these functions. This list could go on and on! For example, carnivores have short colons, yours is long like other non-meat eaters! This means that flesh actually rots inside of you before it leaves (this is why meat intake is associated with colon cancer)! Again, this is a sensitive subject, with many more points to be made… the subject of a future post. Let’s not get too wrapped up on this point right now. I think it is at least clear that meat is not our optimal food choice, if it was, we’d be much more well suited for obtaining it, eating it and digesting it!
Lame Lentils, Boring Beans
2. Next – Beans, Legumes, Lentils, etc – So we’ve all heard the wonderful little tune ‘Beans, beans, the magical fruit, the more you eat, the more you toot’ or the equally humorous ‘beans, beans, they’re good for your heart, the more you eat, the more you fart’, both of which are flatulently fantastic reminders of our bodies inability to digest them! The reason that beans often lead your butt to whistle is that your body does not produce all of the enzymes needed to break down beans properly, causing undigested food stuff to reach the bacteria laden wasteland that is your large intestine, wherein it meets an extremely smelly demise full of rot and fermentation (recall the Low Fat Diet post). But even without the unwelcome smells, the consumption of beans, legumes and lentils also faces some logistical problems from the evolutionary human standpoint – you can’t eat these items raw! If you tried, their bitterness and blandess would bore you and that tricky enzyme issue would be compounded exponentially, leading to very unhealthy and unsustainable results inside of you. This food group, although often eaten by humans around the world, is not the optimal food for human beings to thrive on.
Are you nuts??? Why, yes, we are!
3. Nuts. It seems nearly everyone thinks that nuts are extremely healthy for you, and that we should all eat a lot more of them. And while nuts are excellent sources of certain vitamins and minerals, are high in protein, and our evolutionary ancestors did definitely eat them in the wild, they are still not the ‘optimal’ food we are looking for. For one, the nuts that most of us eat today are dried out, cooked, oiled and salted. A real, raw nut, found in nature is full of digestive enzymes, is soft and chewy, and is almost juicy! But since nuts need to be blanched or cooked in order to be packaged and sold (they are particularly vulnerable to molds), we get a rather dead and unhealthy version of them as an end product. And then there is the problem of the very high fat content of nuts (30-40% fat), which creates all sorts of problems in our bodies. Fats are very hard to digest for humans and in general people consume way too much fat already! So nuts are not the ‘optimal’ food either! We will not thrive off eating such a high fat food.
On to group number 2: Dairy
This Image is Disturbing, But Appropriately So
At this juncture, I think it is time to ask you fruit-curious folks another question. Can you name an animal on this planet that consumes the lactation of another species within its natural environment? Feel free to ask Google, Wikipedia, a Facebook poll or any other source of information that you please, because they all are going to give you the same answer. This does not happen. Why? Because this is a completely unnatural process! The milk of momma-cows is designed for cow-babies. The milk of momma-goats is meant for consumption by baby goats. The mix of fats, amino acid combos (aka protein) and level of carbohydrates in these lactates are designed by nature to perfectly match the nutritional needs of a growing young animal of the same species. It was never meant for your consumption. Based on your evolutionary history, the milk of another animal cannot possibly be a necessary component of your diet. How could it be? The collective psyche in the developed world seems to be convinced that they need to drink milk to be a healthy person, when in reality, that is simply cannot be true. The fact that so many people believe this fallacy is more of testament to the success of the diary industry in advertising and its lobbyists than anything else. What’s more, when you look at the effects of milk consumption in humans, there are a whole range of health complications resulting from it!
Milk, Leave it on the Porch
Here’s a simple experiment which highlights your body’s adverse reaction to drinking milk – next time you drink it, pay attention to the mucous production that results. Can you feel your throat covered in a mucous slime? Does your nose run a bit or get stuffed up? Whether or not you are sensitive enough to notice it (your insides may be perpetually too mucousy and inflamed to be able to tell), your body has a strong mucous response to milk intake. Do you know what mucous is produced for? It is meant to trap toxins, encasing them in a fluid that prevents them from further harming your body. This is why you have so much extra snot when you are sick – your body ups its mucous production in order to trap the disease causing elements. Shouldn’t your throat producing a similar response to milk alert you to the body’s natural aversion to it? What do you think occurs throughout the rest of your internal tissues when those milk-bits come in contact with them? Yep, more angry mucous-y response. Now, my stance on veganism and milk in particular will require an entire post of its own to properly explain, and that is forthcoming. For now, I will draw from the above reasoning – we are not designed by nature to consume the milk (or any of its derivatives – yogurt, cheese, etc) of another animal and therefore do not need to eat it to be healthy. The consumption of milk also aggravates your body and produces a self-defense reaction within it. Suffice it to say that the milk/yogurt/cheese is not your ‘optimum’ source of food! We should not consume it if we intend to thrive.
Group 3: Bread/Cereal/Rice/Pasta
Since the question machine has been working so effectively for putting together a coherent thought process thus far, let’s fire it up again. Ok, here goes. Can you explain to me how a group of ‘foods’, which, as found in nature, are completely unpalatable, undigestible and pretty much tasteless could be the foundation of optimal nutrition for your body (aka the bottom of the ‘food pyramid’ or the biggest portion of ‘MyPlate’)? Could you go out into a wheat field and fill your belly to your hearts content? No, you couldn’t. In fact, you would have to harvest that wheat, separate the edible from the unedible, mill the grains into flour, mix it with other ingredients, build up a fire in an oven (that you built), cook up your flour-based recipe AND THEN, AND ONLY THEN, would you have anything that was remotely edible, which still probably is pretty boring, bland and uninspiring to your taste buds. In the case of pastas, the situation is further complicated by the whole noodle making process. Rice is simpler, being able to be consumed after being prepared with hot water, but again, that whole hot water/fire needed issue would have been very prohibitive to our evolutionary ancestors. Unaccompanied rice is also frankly a waste of your tongue’s time. Realistically, these foods have only been consumed in sizable quantities in the past several thousand years, with the rise of agriculture and the development of more organized people groups. Only then could the logistical issues (milling flours, having bakeries, hot water/fire, etc) be solved that allow the consumption of such ‘complex carbs’. In conclusion, breads/cereals/rices/pastas are not your natural source of food. They are not what your evolutionary ancestors thrived on, they are not what your body was designed to eat. Sure, we have now managed in modern society to create tasty concoctions out of these items (mostly by combining them with sweeteners, salts, oils or spices), but they are not our natural source of food. If you care to prove me wrong, go grab a handful of flour from your pantry and start munching! Or maybe some crunchy rice grains sound appetizing? If you have a pleasant experience, feel free to start flourmonster.com or ricemaniac.net, my guess is that you won’t gain too many followers
Group 4: Vegetables
First off, get that freaking tomato out of the vegetable group! Who designs these graphics and diets anyway? You think that they would at least be educated enough to know that tomatoes are a fruit! In fact, just to spite these ignorant fools, I’m going to monster some tomatoes later this evening! Alright, *breathe*, relax, settle down FruitMonster…. Ok, I’m back. Now, setting aside my temporary tomato tantrum, let’s get onto discussing the rest of the vegetables in this group. Once again, I’m going to have to split this group into two further subcategories – leafy greens and the rest of vegetables
Mmmm. Gimme Some Greens! Some Leafy Greens!
1. Leafy Greens - I fully, completely and emphatically endorse the consumption of leafy greens in massive quantities. How massive? The FruitMonster recommends that you monster at least .5 kg (1 lb) of these tasty leaflets each day! An approximate energy intake target is about 5% of your total calories from this category. This is best accomplished by smoothie making and juicing, which makes this level of consumption much easier to accomplish via the joys of modern technology (in fact, I believe that smoothies and juicing could allow us to obtain levels of ‘superhealth’ unaccessible to previous generations of our species). But why leafy greens? Isn’t that what herbivores are meant to eat? Are you saying humans are herbivores Mr. Fruit-nut? No, humans are not herbivores, and once again the reasoning is in our genetics. Although leafy greens are delicious, nutritious and a natural part of our evolutionary diet, they are not our primary source of food. We have a natural tendency to eat them, as they provide many of the minerals and phytonutrients unavailable in fruits alone. However, since they are high in insoluble fiber (undigestible stuff) they are difficult for humans to digest and thus cannot be the foundational part of our diet. If we were to try to eat only leafy greens, we would find ourselves unable to obtain enough calories! So these leafy friends of ours are meant to serve as a supplement to our principle food group (I’m sure you can guess which one I claim that is…). This ‘Leafy Greens’ category includes all broad leaved edible veggies, such as spinach, kale, chard, lettuce, cabbage, bok choy, plus herbs like parsley, coriander/cilantro, basil, etc - anything that is leafy and tender (i.e. low in tough, crunchy insoluble fiber). Once again, an entire post on this tasty, essential part of our diet is necessary, and forthcoming. Then, I will be able elaborate at length on how leafy greens fit into the fruitmonster diet!
I Look at this Photo and Lust for Juice
2. The Rest of Veggies - I’m not here to bash on vegetables, that would be silly. There is a wide variety of healthy options when it comes to vegetable intake, which are much more nutritious than what the average Joe-Schmo is eating these days. So when momma says, ‘eat yo veggies’, I would encourage all such children to listen up! What I am in the process of arguing, however, is that the intake of vegetables, is once again not the ‘optimal’ source of nutrition on which we will thrive. It is important to note that there is a whole host of produce which is falsely placed in this ‘vegetable’ category when they are actually fruits! Case and point – that darn tomato! This also includes peppers/capsicums, squashes, zuccini, okra, cucumbers – anything with meaty flesh surrounding a seed of some sort! So when I speak of ‘the rest of veggies’, keep in mind that these items are fruits! But vegetables, which include roots (carrots, parsnips, beets), tubers (potatoes, yams) or cruciforms (broccoli, cauliflower), bulbs (onions, garlic, shallots) and shoots (asparagus, bamboo) all do fall into this category. So what is to be said of all these options, which are deemed ‘healthy’ by our general societal standards?
Fiber Free, Please Drink Me!
While veggies do contain high levels of a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and other beneficial elements, the ratios of such goodies are not optimized for our bodies (vitamins and minerals need to be consumed in certain combos to be absorbed correctly!). A lot of veggies also include elevated levels of toxic components, mainly sulfur compounds (think broccoli farts!), which are actually harmful to us. Furthermore, all that good stuff is hard for our bodies to access because it is encased in high levels of insoluble fiber. This insoluble fiber, specifically cellulose, is what builds up rigid cell walls within these plants, and gives veggies that characteristic ‘crunch’. So while veggies may have components of ‘good nutrition’ within them, the high levels of starches and insoluble fiber (insoluble = undigestible) makes it very difficult/impossible for our digestive systems to process and access those resources, while also aggravating our digestive tract in the process. Raw veggies are so difficult to digest, that a diet based on veggies alone would not allow one to intake enough calories to survive, since more energy would be spent digesting the the veggies than one could get from eating them! Sure, we can make veggies easier to digest by cooking them, which breaks down these cellular walls and starches, but in doing so we kill off the valuable enzymes inside of them and significantly reduce their nutritional content (hence the value of raw foods – a post forthcoming and also jucing, which extrudes the nutritious bits from the fiber!). This also adds back in the element of cooking foods, which was not easily done by our evolutionary ancestors, further placing vegetables in the non-optimal food category. We can survive on this category of veggies, but we were not meant to thrive upon them.
In summary, veggies, primarily the leafy green kind, make an excellent supplement to our ‘optimal’ diet, and an important sub-element in the diet we thrive upon. The rest of veggies, while they can be considered healthy for us, are difficult to digest, needing some element of modern technology (cooked, juiced or blended) in order to be properly absorbed – all of which indicate they are not what our bodies were designed to eat!
Group 5: Fruits!
So if we have eliminated the other five food groups as the ‘optimal’ food categories, that only leaves us with one food group left: Fruits! And are fruits that ‘optimal’ food that we have been looking for? The one that our bodies are designed to eat as our primary source of sustenance? The answer is a most definite, fully emphatic YES! To draw a pretty effective analogy, fruit is to a human as meat is to a carnivore! Think back to the questions I asked before about carnivores! When hungry, does your mouth salivate at the sight of a big juicy mango (or orange or banana, pick your favorite!) in the room? Do you lust after the thought of sinking your fruit-tearing incisors into its skin, spilling is warm, sugary juices over your lips and down your chin? Of course you do! Now, like you did before, take a gander at your body. Does your hand perfectly fit the size of most fruits? Do your fingers and hands have the strength and dexterity needed to open up the shells and skins of fruit treats? Yes they do! Are you the right height for reaching the fruits of most trees? Yes! Could you easily pick fruits up off the ground? Could you climb a tree if needed? You could do all of these things! And think about this: does a fruit require any preparation at all for you to eat it? Not much beyond peeling back a tough exterior! Besides that, fruits are sweet and ready to eat! The ultimate fast food!
What about nutritionally? Well guess what? Fruits are the best form of food available to satisfy our body’s needs! Fruits are high in fructose/glucose, which are readily absorbable to our bodies, being turned to energy within minutes of eating them (in the absence of fats!). In fact fruits are so easy to digest, that’s why a high fruit diet is great for people with digestive problems! But did you also know that fruits deliver the perfect 1:1 ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids that our bodies need? No other food type provides this ‘ideal’ fat ratio! Furthermore, a diet rich in fruits (supplemented by leafy greens) provides all the essential amino acids (proteins) required by our bodies! You don’t need anything other than fruit and leafy greens to get plenty of protein daily! And since fruits are ready to consume raw, we don’t need to cook them! This means they provide all of the enzymes (these die at temperatures above 104 F or 40 C) required to break themselves down, lightening the load on your digestive system and saving your pancreas from all the extra work of producing its own enzymes! Fruits also provide an incredibly diverse array of phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals and a host of beneficial disease preventing (and curing!), cancer killing compounds. I could go on and on about the benefits of eating fruits, and trust me I will continue to do so!
The fact is, after working our way through all of these food groups, it becomes fairly clear that within our fundamental bodily design - we are all fruitmonsters! And by eating a diet based on fruits and supplemented by leafy greens, we are able to not just survive, but rather thrive in life. Through monstering our way through large fruit meals, delicious smoothies and life-giving juices, we can all enjoy a vibrant way of living that yields amazing amounts of energy, smooth and efficient digestion, increased mental clarity, and elevates us to a more positive, compassionate level of being! And all of those amazing benefits give us fruitmonsters an unstoppable desire to spread the knowledge of these joys to others! And that is the fundamental message of FruitMonster.com!
Fruit is Life. Life is Sweet. Eat it Up!
Are you ready to unleash your monster?