ellen fisher interview

I have never been so excited to work with someone before and so, naturally, I am so excited to share with you what I have learned. As you may have noticed I am beginning to really take interest in the 801010 diet, a low fat version of the raw food lifestyle. I’ve been following along the 801010 lifestyle off and on (and mostly “on” these past few months) since I discovered Dr. Graham’s 801010 Diet book a couple years ago. During my increasing infatuation I came across Ellen Fisher’s Instagram page and knew almost immediately that this is a lifestyle I want for myself and my family.

I’m only so lucky to also live in a tropical place where I can find many of the foods she plays with on her Instagram and YouTube channel. Her energy, authenticity, and ethereal beauty is really too much for me. I can’t take it and yet I’m mesmerized .. and her family. I have never met a woman that is so in love with her family and with God and it just oozes out of her pictures.

I truly believe it all has a lot to do with what a pure and simple life she leads. It’s all connected, the gratitude and love she holds for the sun that kisses her skin, the fruit that feeds her body, and the salty water that washes over her baby’s feet .. it’s all the same stuff that nourishes her family and comes from God, freely. I promise you, take a look at her Instagram and you will fall in love, too!

And her baby? Don’t even .. I can’t even.. He is the CUTEST child I have ever seen. His name is Elvis and he is a raw vegan baby. Raised and grown by plants, salt water and sunshine.

The 801010 diet
by Ellen Fisher

The 80/10/10 diet is a diet consisting of whole fresh ripe raw organic fruits and vegetables. The “80/10/10” stands for the caloric nutrient ratio of this lifestyle. At least 80% of your calories each day come from carbohydrates, equal to or less than 10% of your calories each day come from protein, and equal to or less than 10% of your calories each day come from fat.

In general, most fruits and vegetables (with the few exceptions from fatty fruits like avocado and coconut) contain similar ratios to the 80/10/10 ratio, which helps explain why this caloric nutrient ratio is a great one. On this lifestyle, most of one’s calories comes from fruit, since vegetables contain very little calories. Large quantities of tender leafy greens are generally consumed, and small amounts of fat- based plant foods (avocado, coconut, seeds, and nuts) are also consumed on occasion.

This lifestyle encompasses all aspects of health. True health does not only come from the food we eat. Exercise, hydration, enough sleep, and a low stress lifestyle are all other extremely important factors this diet stresses. The 80/10/10 diet is about abundance.

It brings our health back to the basics and looks at how we as humans are physiologically designed to thrive. Dr. Douglas Graham, who wrote the book “The 80/101/10 Diet”, argues that we are physiologically designed to thrive on whole, fresh, ripe, raw organic fruits and vegetables. This lifestyle promotes eating until we are completely satiated and desire food no more, just as all animals in the wild eating their species specific diet do without getting fat and sick with degenerative disease.

The raw food journey

I learned about eating raw foods 7 years ago, when I was a freshman in college. I was trying to rescue myself of the eating disorder of anorexia I was struggling with for the previous year and a half. I prayed that God would bring me a new light, that God would restore me and change my life around. A friend mentioned the raw food diet to me and thought maybe if I could learn about eating healthy, that my body, mind and soul would feel content and that I could gain a new outlook on what level of thinness actually looks and feels good. And this is exactly what happened.

I jumped right into the raw food diet and instantly it was like a fog lifted over my eyes and I finally understood that I don’t need to damage my body to feel and look my best. At the time I only knew of one type of raw food diet, which was high in fat. At this time of my life I was a freshman in collage. I had already been dating my boyfriend, Andrew for 3 years (who is now my husband and we have been together for 12 years). I went and told him how amazing the raw food diet is and that I was going to go vegan overnight.

He thought I was crazy and laughed at me. He said he would never be a vegan and that he loves his meat too much. At this point in time he literally hated all vegetables except asparagus! Slowly but surely he started letting me make him smoothies and occasionally he would try a salad and then a transformation ensued. He has now been fully vegan for over 3 years and he eats just as I do, but includes a couple high carb cooked vegan dinners each week.

About a year and a half ago I learned of the 80/10/10 diet. I told Andrew about it and we both realized how the high carb raw vegan lifestyle makes much more sense than what we were previously doing. 

On fats

On the high fat raw food diet we were consuming lots of nuts, seeds, avocado and oils as well as processed sugars like agave nectar. In nature, opening nuts ourselves for the most part is extremely difficult. I tried opening a bunch of macadamia nuts from shell once and I was over it after opening just 3 nuts. In today’s world we have access to large quantities of nuts and seeds already opened and cracked for us in bulk bins. There is no oil in nature. If God intended for us to eat isolated fat, he would have provided an oil bush for us where oil ran freely from the plant. Just one tablespoon of oil is 120 calories, and 100% of its calories come from fat!

I definitely felt better on the raw food diet than I did on my previous Standard American Diet, but a couple things were still lacking. I didn’t have that full-of-vitality energy I desired, my deep rooted acne issue which started in high school had never fully healed and I still had to calorie restrict to stay thin. I also still craved and DESIRED unhealthy foods such as chips, french fries, alcohol and vegan junk food, with which I would indulge in those foods a few times a month.

Transitioning to this lifestyle of abundance of whole, fresh, ripe, raw, organic fruits and vegetables changed all those things for me. The most sustainable diet on the planet is one that relieves you of the DESIRE to eat unhealthy foods, and the only way that happens is once you begin to eat a diet high in carbohydrates and low in protein and fat. This is because we, as a species are physiologically designed to thrive on whole plant CARBS, specifically fruit carbs! When one questions our lifestyle I simply give them a polite and informative response. I try to lead by example. My husband, sister, sister-in-law and my husband’s brother all follow a high carb vegan, mostly raw lifestyle (and of course my son, who has been raw vegan since birth). All of our family is generally very supportive of our choices.


Raising a raw vegan child

You know, honestly, I don’t feel like I need to deal with naysayers at all. Both my husband and I know just how perfectly healthy our child is. He is the happiest healthiest kid I know and has never stepped foot inside a hospital or doctor’s office. I feel like we don’t have that many naysayers, really, at least not that many that are outspoken about it. I feel there are two main reasons for this:

  1. Anyone can clearly see just how happy and healthy a kid he is by looking at him. 
  2. Andrew and I are extremely confident both in how we are living and how we are raising our son. 

We back up our information with resources and other’s experiences and I truly believe that people are only going to attack your parenting decisions if you lack confidence and seem weary in it yourself, for the most part anyways. Now I’m not saying we don’t get lots of questions, because we totally do. Every day I receive questions about their desires to feed their children healthy foods, but are confused and weary about conflicting information given to them about how children “need” meat and dairy to survive and grow.

I do get people saying negative things about our lifestyle every once in a while, but it really doesn’t bother us because we know they are just ill informed. Most people don’t know the hidden agenda that is behind most of what nutritionists are taught in their schooling, as well as the fact that medical doctors themselves receive little to no training in nutrition in all of their schooling. So with people’s negativity I simply try to respond as polite as I can with information that might help shift their views a little bit. That’s all that we can do. We just like to live by example and those with an open heart and mind will follow.

Banana and Mango Island and acne

Detox is very common and to be expected for almost everyone who has had past years/decades of unhealthy eating when embarking on the 80/10/10 diet, especially for someone like myself who had a deep rooted acne issue. My skin got worse than I had ever experienced for about 4 months straight. At that time I was still eating a cooked whole foods high carbohydrate meal a few times a month. I began to consult with Dr. Graham and he encouraged me to stop eating all cooked foods and to go to Banana Island, where I ate only bananas and tender greens for 7 days. My skin got a little bit better so I kept at this and every once in a while I went to banana or mango island for a week at a time. After the fourth time on a mono fruit island my skin stopped breaking out and finally began to heal.

Many people do not go through near as difficult a time as I did in healing. But I will tell you this: For those who have ailments they would like to heal but end up yo-yo-ing on this lifestyle and don’t fully commit, from what I have seen and experienced, they have a MUCH harder time with fully healing their ailments. I’m not talking about occasionally eating WHOLE high carbohydrate plant foods like boiled squash or brown rice or quinoa for dinner (although some people DO need to go fully raw to see full healing). I’m talking about someone wanting and expecting to feel their best but still indulges in alcohol, chocolate, oils, salt, fried foods, and animal foods from time to time.

At least this is from both my experience, and the experience of my friends. The human body is extremely adaptable and is able to live on all sorts of foods. But we THRIVE best on our species specific diet of fruits and vegetables. When one begins to change their diet from past years and decades of unhealthy eating, we begin to let the body heal itself.

The best way I can describe it is this: it seems the body begins to want to heal as we start eating more whole fruits and vegetables and majorly minimize processed foods and animal foods. But if we continue to put damaging food in our bodies or don’t give our bodies the proper rest it needs to restore itself, the body kind of goes haywire. It’s like going into surgery to heal a broken wound from a car accident and half way through the surgery, the surgeon starts dousing your wound with hot sauce.

I’m not sure if this is the most accurate metaphor, but this is the best I could think of. All I can say is that nothing naturally healed my skin on a deep level until I found the 80/10/10 diet. I am SO happy to be free of needing make-up to feel pretty. I am SO happy to wake up in the morning and see clear skin in the mirror. It is the most amazing feeling. I now only wash my face with water and use no lotions or face-washes. What a freeing feeling to live without facial products!

Exercise on the 801010 diet

My exercise routine changes quite often but lately I go running about 4 times a week, for between 25-40 minutes. About once a week I tell my husband to direct a work out for me to give me a push. He pushes me hard while I do sprints and body and weight exercises at home. I really enjoy this time we have together as Andrew is really good at working out and pushing himself to reach new goals and get to high intensity for every work out. I used to hate working out so much. I had low energy and no desire to get moving. Once I started the high carb raw vegan lifestyle I literally began to burst with energy every day that I had a real urge to go running and just have fun with working out. I definitely want to get fitter and keep pushing myself to reach new goals.

My husband is a great coach of encouragement. My recovery time is great, but I have no comparison to before this lifestyle as I rarely ever worked out before hand.

Raw Foods and 801010 Challenges

I never really think of this lifestyle in that way. But as I sit here and really think about the challenges I would have to say it’s the cost of food. Sure there are ways to stay fully raw cheaply, but then that means you wont always get to eat your favorite fruits and veggies. We spend about $1400 a month on fruits and veg for just myself, my husband and our child. And we don’t even come close to buying all our favorite fruits all the time. If we had unlimited amounts of money, and quality fruit wasn’t so expensive, we would eat jackfruit, fresh durian, atemoya, cherimoya, surinam cherry mono meals etc all the time. And if we ate all our favorite fruits and veg ALL the time, man this lifestyle would be a cinch.

It would be SO easy to stay fully raw all the time. But occasionally there are times when I’m not totally satisfied with the fruits and veg we have on hand, which sometimes arises up desires for cooked foods. This is one reason why I believe Freeleee the banana girl and Harley are doing such a great job at keeping people on the high carb vegan train. They give people options and show them that if you don’t have quality delicious fruit available to you, that doesn’t mean you have to fall off the wagon and go back to your old way of eating to the high fat diet rich in animal foods and processed foods. They show people the healthier choices to make (high carb whole cooked foods for dinner).

On government policy

I, personally, feel my best staying fully raw. The thing is, there needs to be a real change in food policy in our government. The government heavily subsidizes the meat/dairy/and processed food crop industries which creates very imbalanced food prices. Does anyone wonder how it makes no sense at all that you can buy a cheeseburger at McDonalds filled with meat, cheese, a bun, ketchup, etc for $1, and yet, a head of broccoli costs $4? Do you know how much energy and money is spent getting each of those hamburger components to become those components? For the broccoli it just takes one farmer growing one vegetable and then shipped to it’s destination. It is estimated that if meat were not subsidized, that the average cost of meat would be over $20/lb!

No wonder poorer people are generally more overweight. Our government is not in the business for our health, despite what they preach. They are in business for the almighty dollar. There needs to be a fundamental change to where EVERYONE can afford to buy an abundance of quality delicious fresh ripe organic fruits and vegetables. Imagine if everyone in America ate a whole food vegan diet. All the land growing corn, soy and grain going to the processed foods industry and going to feed the livestock, (with which we lose upwards of 90% of the calories by filtering the grain through the animal before we eat it), would now be available to produce whole plant foods! Eating organic fruits and vegetables would be A LOT cheaper. We vote with our dollars. No change is going to happen unless we demand it.

It’s as Dr. Seuss says, “ UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

summer squeeze smoothie
by Ellen Fisher

  • 2-4 cups of freshly squeezed tangerine or orange juice 
  • half of a ripe pineapple, chopped
  • 2 cups of frozen organic mango, chopped 
  • Juice your citrus in a citrus juicer and add the juice to a blender
  • Add remaining ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth

 It’s so cold and refreshing, perfect for a hot sunny day. I like to keep it simple most of the time as eating simple (meaning the less ingredients the better!) promotes good digestion 🙂

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  1. This is such an informative post. I, too, have been following Ellen's page on Instagram for a while and I'm constantly inspired by it. Thank you Ellen and Marquis!

  2. I am truly inspired by this post!!! I am one of those vegans that eats high fats in nuts, seeds, etc. I absolutely want to become a fully raw vegan, however, I have heard that eating tons of carbohydrates, even from fruits, can become a huge risk factor for diabetes since there is so much glucose being consumed. I also heard that it is a surplus of glucose, so the body doesn't know what to do with all of it, therefore, it is stored as insulin? I really desire to be a fully raw vegan but i need more information as to glucose and the fruit and veg carbohydrates. Thanks so much!

  3. Hi Kirra! I'm so happy to have you here 🙂 I was the same way, I generally consumed a lot of fats and didn't eat too many carbohydrates in the low-fat form. Since I've switched, though, I've seen my body respond in such wonderful ways and I highly recommend it. HOWEVER (and it's a big one!) I'm not a medical professional or even a nutrition professional. I'm only a young woman exploring different lifestyles and basing my decisions on the information I find. One book I'd highly recommend is The 801010 Diet by Doug Graham as he breaks down how the body processes all the fructose and hose fat plays a role. I suspect that if you're diabetic then there would be a transition period that would allow you to ease into the high carb lifestyle. If it is Type 2 Diabetes then that is a reversible disease so I imagine at some point it'd be a safe lifestyle, though not initially. If it is Type 1 Diabetes then I'd be a lot more hesitant to recommend this lifestyle. Again, I'm not a medical professional so my knowledge is limited to information I've gathered from books, not medical schooling.

    The other thing that is extremely important to understand with this lifestyle is that it's not a Fruitarian diet .. the 801010 lifestyle is high fruit, yes, but also VERY high in greens, as well. So we typically eat several pounds of greens along with the fruit. This ensures that you are maximizing your nutritional intake and balancing the fructose intake.

    I hope that helps! Let me know what you find and definitely check out the book! .. xo

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