Did Raw Til 4 really send me to the hospital? Did it make me constipated?
I want to be healthy and feel good. I enjoy reading about and learning about health and how food affects our bodies. When I read 80/10/10 and watched the 80/10/10 superstars on YouTube, I was sold. I couldn't afford to go fully raw, so I settled for Raw Til 4. Uhhh have you seen Freelee? Who wouldn't want that bod and energy?
So I went for it. Mostly. It was tough getting in all that water and exercise with the schedule I had.
Since finding 80/10/10, I have also read "The Starch Solution," "How Not To Die," "Woman Code," and "The Microbiome Solution," which are all about eating for optimal health.
In addition, there's a lot of information on the internet and YouTube about the healthiest ways to eat. You've got Deliciously Ella doing her thing with whatever she wants whenever she wants (whole foods, plant-based). You've got Mr. and Mrs. Vegan doing the "Whole Starch Low Fat" thing. You've got all the "High Carb Low Fat" dudes.
Don't get me wrong, there's a lot of overlap among these diets. But there's also a lot of conflicting information.
I want to trust Dr. Greger, who wrote "How Not To Die." Partly because he is a doctor and knows how to read the research, but mostly because he wants me to eat lots of yummy fatty plant foods in addition to the veggies, fruits, beans, and grains.
But does the optimal diet for each person depend on what issues, if any, the person has? Does it depend on whether the person is male or female? Does it depend on geographical location or genetics? Or is it the same for everyone because we're all the same species? Have we effed it all up since we've spread out all over the planet?
It seems that different people thrive on different versions of a plant-based diet. Will one of these groups outperform the others eventually? Who's going to live the longest most healthful life?
I'm just trying to not be constipated anymore, while eating foods that will make me feel good.
I made a video last year about my experience with the Raw Til 4 diet and lifestyle. If you haven’t watched it, you can find it below.
I talked about how I didn’t quite follow the lifestyle completely and ended up going to the Emergency Room with severe abdominal pain, only to find out I was just very constipated.
During this time and a month or so leading up to it, I had severe acne on my chin. So much so that my mom told me the parents at the preschool weren’t going to want me taking care of their children because they might think I have an infection or a rash.
Thanks mom. ;)
Anyway, the doctors at the hospital didn’t know why I was constipated but were quick to blame it on my diet. They said I could have shocked my system with all of the fruits and veggies and pasta. One of the doctors said I might have been ok if I had been eating more fat or just less food.
No one at the hospital could tell me why my chin had such severe acne either. A nurse asked me, "What’s going on with your chin?" I said, "You tell me!"
As an amusing aside...
I happened to have my period that day and I use a menstrual cup. I had to get an MRI. The doctor called to discuss what they had seen on the test. What he said was, “There doesn’t seem to be anything blocking you up… yada yada yada… but are you aware that there is a foreign object in your vagina?”
WHAT is in my vagina? JK yes, it’s a menstrual cup, doctor.
He said, “Oh.. how does that work? Wow.. do you need a nurse to help you take care of that?”
I got it, thanks.
So, all the nurses and doctors involved in my case, and some other random employees, learned what a menstrual cup was that day. A true teachable moment...
Anyway, I was frustrated. They were telling me eating low fat high carb was not good, they couldn’t tell me what was going on with my chin, and they had never heard of menstrual cups before.
I just wish doctors and nurses had a better understanding of how everything works together, and how parts of our body don’t work in isolation. It’s all connected.
The knowledge I had at that moment led me to believe that I had messed up my body by eating Raw Til 4.
The GI doctor gave me a laxative to take “forever for now.”
The dermatologist gave me an antibiotic ointment for my chin. Didn’t work, BTW. Might have actually made things worse according to “The Microbiome Solution” by Dr. Robynne Chutkan.
I went to a more holistic functional medicine doctor and he was pretty good but he is a big proponent of fish oil and wanted me to get $1000 worth of tests. I probably should have just done some of the tests I guess. But books are cheaper!
One good thing he did was advise me to start taking Triphala, which is an herbal version of Miralax basically. That keeps me pretty clear in my intestines as well as keeps my face pretty clear.
However, since that experience, I have done some further research.
There are some other possibilities as to what could have caused the constipation.
Maybe my gut bacteria was out of balance and the bad bacteria was taking over. After reading "The Microbiome Solution," I upped my probiotics, am steering clear of antibiotics if possible, have been trying to eat more fermented foods, and have been trying to stay away from harsh cleansers and chemicals. I think these things could have helped a smidge. It's hard to tell.
Or, maybe it’s a hormonal issue. Maybe my hormones are out of whack and aren’t being properly supported by my diet and lifestyle. I am reading “Woman Code” by Alisa Vitti currently and learning how to eat for my cycle to best support my hormonal function.
What I’m trying to get at here, is that it’s not fair to blame any one thing. I don’t know what happened. All I know is that my face has cleared up mostly as I am able to pass everything through more quickly than when I went to the hospital that day.
Another thing I think could be an issue in my health is how much I love vegan sweets like donuts, cake, donuts, and donuts. I also love wine, decaf coffee, and french fries.
While these things are great for vegans who are just beginning to transition to a plant-based diet, the food is still not healthy. Maybe if your hormones are perfect and your gut bacteria is balanced you can afford to indulge, I don’t know. SOMEONE TELL ME.
But I think until I give these things up for a while, I won’t have the success I’m looking for.
1. Learn how to eat for my cycle and put it into action to rule out the hormone theory.
2. Continue taking probiotics and living in a way that supports the good gut bacteria to rule out the microbiome theory.
3. Keep a record of the changes I'm making, what I'm eating, how I'm feeling, etc. on a daily basis to help me notice any improvements.
4. Perhaps try to blend the "How Not To Die" diet and lifestyle with the "Woman Code" diet and lifestyle.
Are you healthy? Like, really healthy? Does your body work the right way? Are there things that seem off? This is so fascinating to me.
I'd love to hear about your health story!