Blessed to share this Q&A I was on for The Lightleaders Community Call on Oct 24th, 2023, thanks so much to Alex for inviting me!
In The Lightleaders Community Call we go into various topics around the raw food diet, athletics, detoxification, urine therapy, and more!
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Below is a cleaned-up partial transcript, for the full interview including questions surrounding my thoughts on urine therapy, detox and more listen to the whole The Lightleaders Community Call Q&A!
Alex: I’d love to start with your experience, living in Sweden and Canada. I’ve noticed that many influencers we have contacted for the Lightleaders Community Call in the raw food world are based in non-tropical regions. Could you share your insights on thriving in these places compared to the tropics?
Chris: Thank you for having me. My aim is to share what I’ve learned and the experiences I’ve gained from this lifestyle. My journey began when I discovered yoga at 19, leading me to focus on nutrition and over time embrace a high-raw vegan diet. I transitioned to this lifestyle about 20 years ago and have since had the privilege of learning from prominent figures in this field. My work revolves around consultations, writing recipe books, attending and organizing festivals, and hosting retreats.
Alex: Living in places like Canada, Bali, Costa Rica, and Hawaii, you’ve encountered diverse climates. How has this impacted your raw food journey?
Chris: While tropical regions offer better quality tropical fruits, I’ve found that non-tropical regions provide excellent subtropical and temperate fruits as well as decent tropicals. Regardless of the climate, I create an artificial tropical environment around me. Personally, I prefer the milder temperatures in Sweden, between 15 to 25 degrees Celsius. It’s suitable for my activities, especially skateboarding. Also, finding a wider range of quality produce here is easier than in the tropics on average. Surprisingly, I enjoy Sweden’s winter season as it allows me to use indoor skate parks, which I love.
Alex: You’ve been on this raw food journey for 20 years, which is impressive. Has the perception of raw food changed over time?
Chris: Absolutely, when I started, even the term ‘vegan’ was unfamiliar to many. Explaining my raw vegan diet often led to misconceptions, like assuming I consumed fish or bread. Finding information was challenging, and community support was scarce. But now, the community is growing, and it’s easier to connect with like-minded individuals.
Alex: How does exercise fit into your lifestyle, considering your passion for skateboarding and maintaining your physique?
Chris: My general fitness routine over the years is a blend of calisthenics, yoga, and regular skateboarding. About 7-10 years ago, I followed the Convict Conditioning program, spending about 15 minutes, four days a week, with excellent results. Now, I devote 35 to 45 minutes, two to four days a week, to major compound movements in the gym. Skateboarding takes up around two to four sessions per week, each lasting about two hours. My caloric intake generally ranges from 2,750 to 3,000+ calories per day, depending on my energy output.
Alex: How do the varying qualities of fruit affect your calorie intake?
Chris: I’ve noticed that consuming higher-quality tropical fruit tends to leave me feeling more satiated. In contrast, when I consume lower-quality fruit, I might need to consume a bit more to feel satisfied. Several factors, including climate, lifestyle, and mental state, can influence our calorie requirements. Moreover, the calorie model provides a rough estimate and doesn’t consider various varieties/quality of fruit, the various elements affecting digestion as well as mindset / emotional state during meals.
Alex: What about drinking water? Given your high consumption of fruit and smoothies, do you still feel the need for water?
Chris: That’s a great question. It’s a subject often misunderstood within the community, especially in recent years. I prefer observing nature and how animals, particularly primates and other mammals, reside near water sources. They drink water while also consuming water-rich foods. I learned from Doug that I should drink water when I’m thirsty and eat when I’m hungry, which is what I do. Upon waking up, I usually drink 500 milliliters to 750 milliliters of water, depending on my level of thirst, to address any dehydration from respiration during sleep.
When I’m at the gym, I continue to drink water based on my level of thirst. Hydration is essential before consuming fruit, as our body’s insulin function and sugar absorption are influenced by our hydration level. Eating sweet, juicy fruit without adequate hydration can lead to discomfort and increased strain on our organs. Although fruit contains water, it might not sufficiently meet our hydration needs, especially if the fruit is exceptionally sweet. For instance, bananas contain 77% water, but they might not effectively quench thirst like a glass of water would.
Considering my diet primarily consists of sweet fruits and fewer non-sweet options like cucumbers and tomatoes, I tend to consume more water. Green juices can also serve as a source of hydration. I prefer quality water sources like distilled, reverse osmosis, and spring water. While getting water from fruits and vegetables is beneficial, relying solely on these sources might not be optimal unless one has an abundance of fresh coconuts, cucumbers, and tomatoes.
Alex: Thank you for clarifying the significance of water consumption alongside your fruit-based diet.
I hope you enjoyed the Lightleaders Community Call, I feel really blessed to have been invited on and had a blast with everyone!