By Rebecca Drew
THIS COUPLE say they felt bloated, ugly and anxious before turning to a raw vegan fruit-based diet which they claim kept their idol MICHAEL JACKSON youthful for his whole career – and admit that since the transition their skin practically ‘moisturises itself’.
Wellness consultants for Flavours of Light, Ali Reza Khorasany (28) from London, UK, and Daniella Siira (22) from Motala, Sweden, were both following largely raw vegan fruit-based diets when they met on Instagram in summer 2017 and bonded over their passion for health, fruits, nature, fasting and travelling. They both believed that the optimal human diet is a fruit-based raw diet where air, water and sunshine are important for wellbeing.
Ali has been following a mostly raw fruit-based diet for almost four years now after becoming burnt out from trying to forge a successful career in the city’s banking world whilst maintaining a muscular physique through bodybuilding.
Feeling chronically ill, he went to the GP at the end of 2014 who told him he was ‘fine’ despite suffering from constipation, excess wind, bloating, excess fat, acne, dark circles, dehydration and fatigue, so he decided to search out how he could remedy his symptoms himself. Ali, a lifelong Michael Jackson fan looked to the star in awe of his stamina and good health and researched his diet which eventually led to his transition to fruitarianism.
Daniella has been following the same lifestyle since November 2016 after a trip to Southeast Asia saw her experience the abundance of exotic fruits on offer there as she shied away from the traditional fried rice and noodle dishes. For Daniella who has struggled with eating disorders, anxiety and digestive issues, she has found that following a fruitarian diet has improved her health and wellbeing, and she started to see the benefits after just two weeks.
Ali and Daniella split their time between Southeast Asia and the UK and Sweden respectively. In Asia, they find that the quality of fruit is much higher and they enjoy exotic fruits such as durian which isn’t available in Europe. When at home, the pair get sustenance from ripe bananas and dates.
“The real nugget in the whole story was my long-time fanaticism over Michael Jackson who maintained a lean body, radiant glow, endless energy and clarity of mind consistently for his whole career. Contrasting this with my parents, friends and society who are getting sick, constipated, inflamed and always struggling,” said Ali.
“I started with the statement ‘something is wrong’. I dug out as much research as I could as to what was MJ doing that we are not, and just as important, what he was he not doing. I learnt he didn’t consume any animal products, abided to a strict ‘vegetarian diet’, a term that in the eighties was not the same definition as today, back then it most likely was equivalent of vegan today, and most important he mostly drank raw fresh living orange juice.
“A raw vegan fruit-based diet is a high carb diet in which you consume predominantly raw living fresh whole fruit with some tender leafy greens, nuts and seeds in relatively smaller quantities. In particular, the focus is on non-seasonal tropical fruits such as papaya and banana as staples.
“I have been on this lifestyle for almost four years now. What appealed to me most was being lighter in mind, body, emotion and spirit. This would be achieved by removing all the garbage in my body I have accumulated for 24 years living unconsciously through fruits and fasting.
“Before I was bodybuilding fulltime, seven days a week eating processed foods, and a lot of meat, dairy and eggs. I felt constipated, gassy, bloated, dehydrated, foggy and ugly from all the skin problems and body odour.
“Since going raw, given climate, finance, access and emotional state which can derail us back to cooked whole plant food which is subpar to fruit, we have both experienced an emotional, physical and mental turbulent journey fighting off past addictions, habits and experiencing the cleansing process of the body, elimination of past toxins through skin, bowels, lungs and urinary tract which is neither painless, pretty or easy.”
Daniella continued: “I had issues with anorexia, binge eating, over exercising, digestive issues, and anxiety before. Through the change of diet my whole being has changed and improved.
“It is a very unique way of eating and being, so it takes practice to be able to eat this way in today’s world.
“The benefits I experienced after two weeks were; a regular eating schedule, leading to a decrease of binge eating and restriction, fullness comes faster and naturally, both in mind and body, and I feel satisfied with no anxiety, I drink a lot more and get a lot more hydration from the food itself, my skin felt soft and hydrated, as if it moisturised itself.
“My muscles and joints feel more flexible and softer during exercise, no cracking, and mobility has increased in a positive way, soreness has decreased post exercise.
“Bloating has decreased immensely, even after the bigger meals. Gas and digestive issues have also decreased immensely. I feel clearer minded, positive, loving and social. The issue of what to eat on the go is gone as fruit is the best and easiest food to pack and eat.”
Ali and Daniella started their Instagram and YouTube pages in 2016 and 2018 respectively to educate, inspire and motivate others about going raw fruit-based vegan and to promote the benefits of this way of life.
Before following this diet Ali weighed 12st 8lb and had a 33in waist, he now weighs 7st 12lb and has a 29in waist.
At her heaviest, Daniella weighed 9st 12lb and now she weighs 7st 1lb.
The pair eat 98 per cent fruit in their diet and enjoy green juices and salads alongside their regime. The difference between fruits abroad compared to at home does throw up some challenges.
“We enjoy leafy greens, nuts and seeds. Also given our world of limited time, demand for money, emotional challenges, cold climates, difficult environments we can find ourselves resorting to a backup whole food plant-based diet,” explained Ali.
“Finding, affording enough ripe, sweet fruit from good soil in enough quantity to avoid hunger can be a challenge. Also, the cleansing process can be challenging depending on the history. I am cleansing 24 years of meat, dairy, eggs, processed food. It is not easy. Lots of elimination from every channel takes place which can smell, hurt, itch or simply be gruelling.
“Supreme tropical fruits of the equator are the fruits our ancestors thrived on. The tropics is our biological eco niche and supplies the fruit we need 365 days of the year as opposed to temperate climates which only bear fruit for a very short period of time.
“Durian will only grow in specific wet tropical climates as opposed to plums or grapes. The human body thrives on the tropical range rather than subtropical and temperate range. It’s our biological design.
“We depend on spotty ripe bananas and dates for a staple caloric source when home. Just like the way normal people eat pasta, potatoes, rice and corn as a staple. We also do have access, thanks to technology and trade, to imported fruits so always have a lot around from Spain, Portugal and Turkey as well as some exotics, albeit extremely expensive.”
Daniella struggled with making sure she was eating enough to sustain herself at the start of her journey and she says she understands where people’s scepticism towards her lifestyle could come from.
“Eating enough. Cooked food is way denser than fruits, and fruit contains a lot of water. Therefore, to be able to get the same amount of energy as a cooked food meal, I will need to eat more, depending on the fruit,” she said.
“It’s natural, from a ‘normal’ eater’s point of view and awareness, it may seem absolutely insane and not sustainable. But it is when we change, adapt and try it out for ourselves and we realise the simplicity and sustainability of it all. The process of changing one’s diet should be taken step by step, so the body, mind and spirit can adapt.
“I have fruits to thank for so much it makes my heart full of gratitude thinking about it.”
The pair don’t think it would be possible to have the same quality of life had they not gone fruitarian.
“Impossible. Sickness, comfort and mediocrity does not bear any fruit. A simple experiment is, coming off fruit and eating bread, rice or pasta (which I have experimented with) and all you are left with is gas, bloating, discomfort, dehydration and constipation with toxicity,” said Ali.
“Our lifestyle is not about following a trend, perfectionism which is impossible in these times, being labelled vegan, raw vegan nor fruitarian, it’s not about being optimal, nor is it about running away and living in a jungle.
“It’s about compassion. Living compassionate to yourself, community, animals, planet and the future. Hence why we want clean air, be the best we can be by eating fresh living vibrant food that loves us back grown in rich soil, composting, adopting recycling habits, purifying water we drink and living at peace in a minimalist simple state.
“We hope to be light unto others, we do not preach nor do we have the proof, the evidence or science and research everyone wants from us to show this is a very healthy way to live. All we can hope is that people try, experiment and see for themselves if for one simple example, grapes make them feel electric and clear whilst bread makes them feel heavy, clogged up and foggy.”
Daniella concluded: “Research and listen to those who have done this for more than 25 years. Give yourself time and don’t judge yourself or others – we all have our journey.
“Start one step at a time and increase the meals that are raw and or fruits. Best way is to start the beginning of the day on fruits, and ground with simple cooked or salad at dinner. Learn about fruits, how you know they are ripe.
“Get friends or contacts on the same path – community is very important.”
For more information see https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRqRv0bmY-xEyvqeW75sG7g and https://www.instagram.com/flavours_of_light/