Firstly, thank you for agreeing to be interviewed as a fruitarian..
Oh, you're more than welcome, thanks for asking!
OK.. The first thing I'd like to do is for you to establish a little about yourself.. Perhaps you could just briefly introduce yourself, tell us how old you are, where you are living/grew up, add anything else that you feel important to get an insight into who you are?
My name is Kathy (Cat), I am currently 25 years old and I am from Vienna, Austria. I work as a busdriver and also a groomer at the moment, though I'm doing these jobs because they pay the bills. I am still trying to find the right occupation or studies for me, we will see what the future holds for me!
I see you have both a website and a blog with regular updates on your journey! (tell me the address of both too!)
I have created a website (www.lotzasunshine.com) and also a blog (www.lotza-sunshine.blogspot.com) because I thought it would maybe be interesting for others to see how my journey is coming along. I found lots of helpful information on the internet when I was wondering if the fruitarian way would be the right way for me. (Big thanks to you Mango, your website was definitely a wonderful help on my way!) That's the reason why I have decided to share this very personal experience with others who like to walk a little ways with me!
Thanks, before I go on to ask you about how things are now, could you first begin by telling us a little about life growing up, particularly What kind of diet you grew up with? Could you give us a rough idea of what you used to eat on an average day?
I grew up eating the Standard European Diet, though my parents always tried to make kind of healthy meals. Each meal included some kind of vegetable - cooked or raw. I always loved candy though and would eat what I could get a hold of. I was an average weighed kid, not obese at that point in my life. I turned vegetarian when I was about 12 years old, my favorite foods were all creamy, fatty and heavy. Some day I woke up aged 24 weighing 280 lbs - 127 kg and decided that it was really enough and that I had to do something about it because I wanted to enjoy a healthy and happy life and I just wasn't anywhere close to that at this time. I had quit being a heavy smoker about a year before that and had compensated not smoking by eating even more.
On a typical day I would probably eat: a BIG bowl of cocoa pebbles and cornflakes with a lot of milk; pizza and a tiramisu for dessert; a BIG serving of noodles with butter and tons of parmesan and also countless chocolate and ice cream bars throughout the day. I was basically constantly chewing. And: almost no greens, no fruit, nothing healthy.
In March 2008 nothing was quite alright in my life - I was obese, my health wasn't at all were it should be at the age of 24, my relationship had just ended. And although I am a very happy person this really all was too much for me because I used to take care a lot better of myself. That's when I told myself that I might only have one life and that I should make the best of it and cherish it so much more than I had so far.
I cut back on my food and started doing sports and lost 68lbs - 31kg in a period of about 6 months. Then I got sick and went back to a 'normal' diet because I was very hungry then which was unusual for me while sick. I promised myself to go back to dieting when I was healthy again. Well, it never happened and by the time I decided that I couldn't go on like that I had regained 22lbs - 10 kg. So I went on the internet to research and also started reading books about veganism. I liked that idea and went vegan in January of 2009. But I am really good at tricking myself and I ended up eating only soy pudding - not what I had planned. Then I found out about fruitarianism and loved that idea the moment I first found out about it and that you could actually live off it. Also, there is no way to cheat myself!
So on February 23, 2009 I turned fruitarian and am 100% ever since. It's not a very long time so far, but I have had NO cravings at all and my health is already a lot better!
So you've been on a fruit only diet for the past month now, what does a typical days food intake look like for you today?
Now my food for a day would be: juice of 3 lemons in the morning, about 18 oz of raspberries, about 18 oz of strawberries, 2 apples, and half a watermelon. Though I am not weighing my food at all - I just eat till I am satisfied!
Wow, that's quite a transformation! Can you tell us a little more about the changes, the reasons behind them, and how you adapted your life to them? What sparked those changes?
I always transformed cold turkey. I don't believe in slow transitions - it leaves you way more options to cheat yourself. Same with smoking, I quit over night. I believe that this is the only way you can truly stick to your decisions. It's a different thing that I was searching for loopholes within the 'restrictions' but I never 'broke the rules' of either vegetarianism, veganism or fruitarianism!
The reason for becoming vegetarian in the first place was because I just disliked the taste of meat. It grossed me out. Veganism just made sense, and fruitarianism does even more!
Aha, so was there anything/one in your life that influenced you toward fruit eating?
I realised it was the ideal food when I read of all the wonderful transformations health - and weightwise! I was especially inspired by Mr. Wandmaker's book and also Mrs. Schatalova's (I don't think they are available in English). Both tell about their experiences and Mrs. Schatalova is a doctor and scientist and made clear through various researches that this is the healthiest diet.
I have been on the fruitarian diet for just over a month. Not a very long time but it's the first time I am feeling truly satisfied and have no cravings at all.
So you have complete faith in the 100% fruit diet right?
Yes, I absolutely have!
Do you personally believe that being a fruitarian is for everyone, and that ultimately we could all benefit from adopting a fruit diet?
I do believe that we could all benefit from it enormously, but I am also sure that this is just not for everyone. Not everybody can understand what benefits they can have through this way of life. I believe not everybody is ready in mind to take such a leap into a completely different diet than they are used to.
Do you know (or know of) many or any other fruitarians at all - Perhaps someone who might volunteer to be interviewed too?
Unfortunately I do not know any other fruitarians in real life, I have only met or found out about people that live off fruit only on the internet.
Can you tell us a little more about any health changes before and after the diet changes you've made?
What I basically noticed immediately is that my always stuffed and runny nose is completely gone, also I had a sore throat a lot - this has vanished also. And I have lost weight again, which is great!
So what's your weight today, and what do you believe would be an ideal weight for you - Any hazarded guesses as to how long it'll take to get there???
My weight as of today(24/03/09) is 93,5 kg/206 lbs. Which means so far I have lost 33,5 kg/74 lbs. My goal that I am planning on achieving is between 65 and 70 kg/ between 143 and 154 lbs - wherever I feel comfortable. I don’t really know how long it will take me to get there, but I guess the latest in about 1 year! For me it is important to get there, not when to get there. I have to admit that I am pretty proud of the transformation as of today already!
Perhaps you might consider being interviewed again, once you've gotten there and are feeling fruitarianly glowing?
I’d be happy to be interviewed again when I am where I want to be… especially the weightloss is something I have dreamed of for such a long time and finally I am really getting there.. it’s not that far away anymore… I’m more than halfways already!!
What do your parents think of you going fruitarian? What about the rest of your family? - your partner/children?
I am single, and I don't have children, so my partner and children don't have an opinion ;)
All of my family - especially my mom and grandma - keep asking me questions like 'where do you get your protein from? You can't live like that! How long are you going to do this to your body?' and so on... I am a very strong-willed person and they know that if I want to do something I will and so all I tell them is to trust me that I know what I am doing and that I wouldn't be doing it if it was bad for me. My dad just said: Okay, sounds healthy.
Are you at all into supplements - Stuff like vitamin pills, spirulina or similar? Are you at all concerned about not getting enough calcium/protein/B12/whatevers??
No, I don't take any supplements at all. I believe that if you just eat a big variety of fruit that you will get all the nutrients you need. I have decided to go do check ups to see if everything is alright. But I am not really concerned that I will lack anything.
Now as a fruitarian, you've probably been asked What about getting too much sugar? What about Candida issues? Do you have an answer for that?
I usually just tell people that this is not a problem but that it is way too complex to explain and that I can really recommend them reading up on the subject. I have quit arguing about it because people are just not open-minded enough about any diet that is so way off the 'standard'. Most people already thought I was weird when I was only a vegetarian. Just think about what they believe I am now!
Do you or have you ever suffered at all from cravings, or have you ever binge eaten? how do/did you deal with such times?
Not ever since I went fruitarian. With other diets I have, yes. I usually didn't give in to cravings and just didn't allow myself to binge eat. It was hard but it worked for me. If I managed to stick with it I would treat myself to something else like a new book or such - now you can imagine how many books I have!! ;)
Do you have a good variety of fruit for you to choose from where you live now?
Well, it's not the best place to be a fruitarian, especially in winter - but I will survive. We don't have a too great variety especially of exotic fruits widely available - you really have to go special places for it and they cost quite a bit. Like durians - ever since I read about them I would love to try one but I couldn't get one here. But in about 2 months I will be on vacation in California and I am hoping to be able to find one there, we will see!
Do you normally tell people how you eat? If so, what do you think is the most common question people ask you about your diet? How do you answer their questions?
I usually don't tell them anymore. My family and friends know of course but not too many collegues at work. The most common question definitely is: And you can live on fruit alone??? That's not healthy!!
I usually just shrug and tell them that everybody needs to make their own decisions and know what works for them. Live and let live!!
Do you have a favourite fruit?
Definitely strawberries, but followed closely by watermelon.
Can you recall the first time you tried either of them?
No, that was ages ago. But maybe durian will turn to be my favorite fruit - then I will tell you all about it!
Do you enjoy travelling? Have any favourite places as far as fruit goes that you could recommend to us all?
I do love traveling but haven't gotten around any lately because unfortunately I haven't won the lottery yet! ;)
Where and how do you see yourself living and eating in 10 years from now?
In 10 years I see myself still eating fruit only and living in a nice house in the countryside probably in a different country with my husband and children. We'll see how that will work out!
How do you feel if people tell you that you must be crazy, and that you can't possibly survive eating the way you do??
I usually ask them if they TRULY believe that their own diet is SUPERhealthy? I have been eating so much crap throughout my life that my recent diet definitely is an improvement and we will see who will be healthier longer!
Finally, is there anything you'd like to add as words of encouragement to those that are aspiring toward fruitarianism?
GO FOR IT! I'm sure you won't regret it if you give it time to establish (especially in your mind!). I am not on this very long but already I wouldn't want to go back!
Thank you for the possibility to spread my word Mango!