Diabetes & Gabriel Cousens’ Rainbow Green Phase 1 Diet – Does It Taste Good?
Jul 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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