October 5, 2016 by Virginia James
I realize this may anger those following this cult- but I have to be honest. I’ve now gone 10 months strong in my plant-based, vegan lifestyle. Much like other vegan newbies, when I started, I followed other vegans for advice and support. One of the most famous duos online in regards to converting to veganism (or a plant based) is the very same duo behind the ‘Raw ’till 4′ program, Freelee the Banana Girl and Durianrider.
The basis behind the Raw till 4 program is that you can eat as much fruit as you like throughout the day and in the evening you can have cooked foods such as an entire package of pasta, bread, even pizza. You can eat upwards of 2,000 calories. The main idea is to eat only raw foods (mostly fruits) until dinner time. When I first heard of this program, I thought ” omg, as much fruit as I want all day?! A whole package of pasta at night?! this sounds like heaven!”
Not only did they advocate unlimited fruits, but Durianrider himself has stated on his youtube channel: “Soft drinks are one of the best things for weight loss…”. And both Freelee and Durianrider advocate adding spoonsfull of sugar to smoothies, and to top your fruit with. Sounds great ….right??
But like many things in life…
If it sounds too good to be true,
it probably is…
There is one problem with this: Many people under this plan were over-indulging on fruit. Yes, it’s a natural source of fiber, which helps to digest the sugar …but when there’s an imbalance in your diet, it throws your entire metabolism off. Durian and Freelee were able to keep their metabolism in balance by spending hours cycling every day. It must be nice to have that kind of free time. However, most people who have full time jobs, families, chores, and other responsibilities find it extremely difficult just to set one hour aside for simple workouts -there’s no way it is reasonable to force others to spend hours on a bicycle – it’s just not realistic. That is their secret for being thin.
So they over exercise to compensate for the over-eating. But they don’t throw their workout regime into their program website. Why not? My guess is so that they can make money off their eBook. “buy our eBook for everything you need on the program” -but like me, most of their followers just followed their advice on youtube, which at times has been contradicting. It should be simple science: for weight loss, you need to negate the calories that you take in. Apparently science doesn’t exist on Raw till 4.
In order to dissect this a bit more, let’s look at them as individuals. But before we get into that, I’d just like to say that I have nothing against them -in fact, these guys were the ones I was following when I first went vegan and they sort of kept me on track. I view their work as a good thing because they have gotten people to give veganism a chance. Their strategy, however, is what bothers me.
Durianrider and Steroids
Yes! He does (or did) steroids… but he isn’t bulky? …probably because of all of the hours of cycling he does -which doesn’t promote muscle growth, but is more for endurance.
Durianrider has body issues. That’s no secret. He’s stated multiple times that overweight people gross him out and that the perfect body type is that of a “holocaust encampment”. Is this guy serious? Why does he have millions of followers again? He’s made it known that he suffers from delusions and schizophrenia, which turn him into an extremely aggressive person.
He makes crazy claims that world-renowned Dr. McDougall himself (starch solution) has agreed with him on several points he’s made, including that sugar is good for weight loss. Dr. McDougall has already made a public statement, telling his own followers that this is false.
Freelee has posted about weight gain on the rawtill4 website. There must have been enough people complaining to her about gaining weight to the point where she felt she had to address this.
She makes the point to say that many people gain a few pounds the first week and give up -she says she herself gains a pound or two every so often as it is natural for weight to fluctuate. Yes this is true -it is natural. However, many people who have gained weight don’t just gain a couple of pounds – there are people stating they’ve gained over 20 lbs.
She then states that because you’re drinking more water and carbs, your weight is mostly water weight. However, drinking more water means urinating more – drinking water is a natural diuretic.
Again, I understand the initial intentions are good (at least when it comes to Freelee) but there has to be a better way to spread the message of veganism. Many who have felt scammed by this now make that connection with veganism which is NOT helping the cause at all.
So, who do I recommend to watch on youtube for advice and support on veganism? Here’s my list of vegans who actually care to give sound advice based off scientific evidence, and do not promote their ebooks at the beginning of every video to try to take your money – they don’t body shame and they won’t make you gain excessive weight!: