Michael is a fruitarian – since 2008, about 90% of his calories come from fruit and other 10% from raw vegetables. He rarely eats nuts, seeds or other vegan high fat food. He is a huge advocate of Dr. Douglas Graham, who I talked about in one of the previous posts. In fact, according to one of Michael’s interviews, Dr. Graham’s books on natural eating changed his life.
Michael is also a competitive marathon runner from the early age of 18. Running a 150-mile distance (241 km) without stopping is not impossible for him at all. The 2012 Desert Solstice 100 Mile (161 km) in Arizona was one of the last ultramarathons he participated in – he finished the track in 12 hours, 57 minutes and 45 seconds. At that time, it was the sixths fastest time for this distance in the whole Unites States! If you are wondering what is Michael’s best marathon time – it is 2 hours, 28 minutes and 12 seconds. For your reference, an official marathon distance is 26.22 miles (42.2 km) and the current world record is 2 hours, 2 minutes and 57 seconds set by Kenyan-born Dennis Kimetto in 2014.
Currently the runner lives in New York and is probably the most famous fruitarian on the planet because of his astonishing physical performance. Here is what Michael says about his fruitarian lifestyle:
“I would suggest that if anyone doubts or questions a diet, they should only do so after they have given it a serious trial. I would highly suggest a 30-day attempt before passing judgment.
It works. It really is the Garden of Eden, the Fountain of Youth.
I am living proof, I place physical demands on my body in my athletic pursuits that very few people endure, and yet I thrive”
Michael answers common questions about being an athlete on a raw food diet
1. What do you think of raw protein powders?
I think they are completely unnecessary. Is there a medical term for being protein deficient? Protein powder is something ‘new’ in the world of diet supplements, and before they pushed this nonsense on us, people seemed to be ‘ok’ without it. I’ve never taken protein supplements and have achieved incredible fitness with no injury or muscle problems. If protein is supposed to grow muscle then how do all the wild animals in nature that don’t eat it get so muscular? They eat raw plants.
2. How many calories do you feel a raw athlete should be consuming?
It’s highly variable based on the level of activity they undertake. I know raw foodists who look great eating 2000 calories a day and exercise lightly, and I know raw food athletes who eat over 6000 calories a day. I was eating about 5000-6000 calories a day when I was training hard for marathons and ultra marathons. I generally tell people if they are eating high water content fruits and vegetables they should eat as much as they desire; I’ve never seen a truly overweight raw foodist who eats low fat fruits and vegetables as a diet, regardless if they exercise or not.
3. What is an example of a pre/post workout meal?
Lots of fruit, usually one type at a time. Watermelon, papaya, oranges, melons; there are so so many options throughout the year that come into season. I usually eat one thing at a time until I’m satisfied.
4. Do you think eating six small meals a day is important?
I graze for most of the day, I don’t normally eat ‘meals’, unless it’s an evening large salad which can take some time to eat. I like to eat how animals do in nature, slowly all day long.
5. What differences do you see in a raw athlete vs. a non-raw athlete?
Raw athletes are usually leaner and they don’t smell! Eating fruits and vegetables keeps you looking better, and you don’t have body odor which is anything close to people who eat cooked and processed foods which usually are filled with all types of stimulant tasting things like garlic, onions, salt, etc.
Raw athletes don’t get sick as often because the food they eat keeps the immunity functions very healthy.
I think people who eat a fruit based diet are generally happier, more friendly and more connected with nature, and the athletic pursuit they are participating in.
6. What criticism have you faced being a raw athlete?
That my diet is too expensive to maintain, that it’s protein deficient, that I’m going to get sick and fall apart; all of it is nonsense other than it can be expensive if you don’t know how to shop at the right places for food. It’s similar to buying clothing at designer showrooms versus at the discount shops. You can get nearly the identical clothing if you shop for it with a little extra effort.
7. What are your responses?
I respond by telling people they should watch the videos I’ve made on YouTube where I’m winning competitive 100-mile running races year after year. I tell them to look at my physique; I’m at peak performance and health for almost 7 years eating this way. I also point out others who are living this lifestyle for over 30 years and they are doing extremely well.
That is how the fruitarian marathon runner describes his typical day
My day is based around my daily workouts.
Upon waking, I usually drink about a liter of water. Then I might juice 10 oranges or have a few strawberry papayas* or similar high water content fruit. I almost always eat one fruit in a meal by itself.
For dinner, I’ll have a massive salad of romaine lettuce with larger varieties of tomatoes, carrots, celery, cucumbers multicolor bell peppers, red onion and whatever other vegetables are in season. If I have a dressing, it is usually just some blended mango or maybe avocado and lemon juice.
A late-night snack might be grapes, mango, or some other more exotic/seasonal fruit.
In this video Michael tells the main reason why he became a frutarian
Michael’s physical capabilities effectively show that it is not only possible to be an athlete on a raw vegan diet, the diet will even enhance your performance at any sport you are involved in. I hope you found lifestyle and athleticism of Michael Arnstein fascinating.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below.
*strawberry papaya – a variety of papaya; considered to be the sweetest of all