Diabetes & Gabriel Cousens’ Rainbow Green Phase 1 Diet – Does It Taste Good?
July 30th, 2011 by Kendra at Rawr

Gabriel Cousens is well known in the raw food world for curing diabetes at his Tree of Life centre in Arizona (the subject of the must-see documentary Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes). His book There is a Cure for Diabetes explains how he achieves this – through a series of cleansing, a specific low sugar diet (phase 1), exercise, herbs and supplements.

As a type 1 diabetic, this is really exciting. So I gave the phase 1 diet a test run.

Phase 1 is the first stage of Cousens’ Rainbow Green diet, from the book Rainbow Green Live-Food Cuisine. Cousens recommends his diet for anyone – not just diabetics or those healing from illness.

The diet covers 3 raw vegan phases: phase 1 (very low sugar), phase 1.5 (low sugar, but including low GI fruit and veg like berries and carrots), and phase 2 (almost all raw veg allowed, higher GI fruit as an occasional treat). People with serious illness or needing a major cleanse are recommended to follow phase 1 for 3+ months, then go to 1.5 and then to 2. Those needing less cleansing should keep in mind that EHI recommends the lean belly breakthrough first and are recommended to start with 1.5, then 2. Phase 2 is ongoing, basically a raw vegan diet that isn’t too heavy on the sugar. A great healthy way to live life!

I planned extensively for my phase 1 experiment. I assumed that eating no sugar – no raw chocolate, fruit, or even ‘sweet’ veg like carrots – would be incredibly hard, so I drew up detailed menu plans for every day.

It was surprisingly easy to follow. I did occasionally crave ‘something more’ between meals (i.e. something sugary), but I was never hungry, and the food was so tasty! The recipes in Rainbow Green Live-Food Cuisine are amazing – this is a fantastic recipe book, even if you have no interest whatsoever in following the 3 phases. Definite favourites included the Rawtwurst Wraps, Chili, Pasta with Red Pepper Marinara and Israeli Salad. Many of the recipes I’ll make again and again. There were very few I followed that turned out badly – that doesn’t happen for me with many raw recipe books!

The only downside to my phase 1 menu was that it was very, very nutty. This was partly down to my menu planning – I included too many entrees and nut-based sauces from the recipe book for it to have been a truly cleansing diet. More green juices, smoothies and simple salads would have been better – I just got too excited by all the wonderful recipes! 🙂

I didn’t follow phase 1 for long enough to see massive results in my blood sugar levels, but I do think it’s a diet I could follow for some time if I put my mind to it. Like all ways of eating raw, it takes some planning (soaking, dehydrating etc), but it really does taste good enough that I didn’t feel deprived. Just take a look at some of the yummy phase 1 meals I made!

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11 Responses  
  • Wild Green Health writes:
    June 11th, 2013 at 7:42 am

    I’ve just started this diet again. When I went raw 8 years ago I had so many yeast issues that this seemed the best diet to start on. I always feel at my best when I’m on phase 1, and like you say, the recipes are good but rich in nuts. I think the trick is to do lots of sprouting to bulk out the salads.

  • Kendra at Rawr writes:
    June 12th, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    Bulking salads out with sprouts is a great idea. I haven’t tried phase 1 again but I’d like to at some point, and I’ll take that tip on board! Good luck with it this time.

  • Aly writes:
    July 1st, 2015 at 9:41 pm

    I’ve been raw vegan for nearly a decade but looking to get into ketogenic eating yet stay vegan. I have rainbow Green book but it doesn’t give you any idea for mean plans. What did you typically eat phase 1 for brk, lunch, dinner? My only two concerns was all the nut seeds would cause weight gain & or be constipating?

  • Rawr writes:
    July 6th, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    Hi Aly! Gosh, it’s so long since I did phase 1, and I can’t say I remember exactly what I did! From what I remember, I ate chia with homemade almond milk for breakfast, salad for lunch, then something more complicated (often dehydrated) from the recipe book for dinner. It did involve a lot of nuts, which I would go easier on if I were to do phase 1 again. Good luck!

  • Zo writes:
    July 29th, 2015 at 7:24 pm

    As a recently diagnosed T1D I’m keen to do the 7 Day Smoothie cleanse (as I understand, Type 1’s arecommended not to juice but to do smoothies instead.
    I have There is a Cure for Diabetes in which Cousens acknowledges he has aimed it at Type 2’s – so while there are juicing recipes, I am struggling to locate the smoothie recipes. Are they in the Rainbow book?

  • Kendra writes:
    July 30th, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    Hi Zo, I’ve had a quick look in my copy of the Rainbow book but don’t see any smoothies.
    As a T1D, I agree that fruit and carrot based juices are problematic, but I find that green juices aren’t an issue since they contain hardly any or zero sugar. Since I find that smoothies with fruit in spike my blood sugar (despite the fibre), I tend to stick to green juice, since I’d rather drink a green juice than a green smoothie. That’s personal taste, though — you might prefer smoothies! Good luck.

  • Zo writes:
    August 15th, 2015 at 5:51 am

    Thanks Kendra – managed in the dark for 5 days until I had a blender malfunction. .. . Green all over kitchen counter – broke my heart. Besides the basic green ingredient i found avos and coconut milk added with cinnamon gave a great taste. Will experiment more when I get back on it!

  • Nella writes:
    May 26th, 2016 at 4:10 am

    Good article, Thanks 🙂

  • Rose writes:
    September 26th, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    As a t1d, I assume you continue to test and to use insulin throughout these diets? Is anyone claiming to cure t1d?

  • Rawr writes:
    December 6th, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    You’d want to keep testing and using insulin for sure! I don’t know of anyone or anything genuinely claiming to cure t1d. The phase 1 diet was a fun experiment for me years ago, but these days I’m a little wiser and my focus is on control rather than cure.

  • Linda Peters writes:
    July 17th, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    Hi,I am Linda Peters,

    Thanks for details sharing. I am appreciated to read your post.I have There is a Cure for Diabetes in which Cousens acknowledges he has aimed it at Type 2’s – so while there are juicing recipes, Bulking salads out with sprouts is a great idea. I haven’t tried phase 1 again but I’d like to at some point, and I’ll take that tip on board! Good luck with it this time.

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