Contributing Monkie Tim VanOrden
Published on January 14, 2010
G Monkie: The video above is our very first shows with Boise Thomas and Tim VanOrden. This was Boise demo show. He brought Tim in and made it up as they went. It’s nice to look back sometimes. Tim has come a long way, since we filmed that show, so we asked him if we could present a question / answer post about his Running Raw Project and what it takes to be a raw runner.
Tim VanOrden The Running Raw Project: (RunningRaw.com) The Running Raw Project came into existence on December 25th of 2005. I was at a Christmas party at my friend’s house in Venice, CA. The topic of my recent entrance into the world of running had come up. As I described the changes that were happening to my body and the abnormal feats of endurance that I was capable of, someone said – “you should film this”. That hadn’t occured to me before. Had anyone ever done that? Was anyone documenting the physical changes that occur when one goes raw? Were people testing this diet and it’s relation to physical performance? I looked around online and found not one reference to a Raw diet and athletic performance. This blew my mind. What I was experiencing was off the charts, was I the only one experiencing these physical improvements on this diet? I had to find out. Thus the journey began.
In this Question / Answer Post, Tim Explains the basics of what it means to be a raw runner.
Question What is a Vegan Diet?
Tim: A vegan diet is entirely plant based and void of all animal products – including eggs, fish and dairy (yes, those are animal products).
Question What is a raw vegan diet?
Tim: A raw vegan diet consists entirely of uncooked, unprocessed, whole plant foods. Examples of what a raw “fooder” might eat are; fresh vegetables and salads, fruits and fruit smoothies, and nuts and seeds.
Question What is the difference between Raw Food and Living Food?
Tim: Although the definitions of raw vary, it is commonly held that for a food to be raw it must have not been heated over 118 degrees F. My personal belief is that foods begin to break down and lose nutritive value when subjected to temperatures over 100 degrees F.
A living food may or may not be a raw food (it may have been cooked at one point), but it has been re-enlivened or populated with living cultures. Examples would be kombucha tea, miso, tempeh, kim chee and krauts, etc.
Question What is a detox?
Tim: Detox, short for detoxification, is the elimination of toxic substances from the body.
QuestionWhat can I expect during my detox?
Tim: The detox is a highly individual process. Everyone experiences it differently. For some there are no detox symptoms at all. My detox lasted 4 months. I was light-headed, nauseous, weak, tired, headaches, fever-like symptoms. It was not fun, but I came through the other side with a new body.
Question Where do I get my protein?
Tim: This is probably the most common question i get, and the answer is that I’m not really that concerned with protein intake. Yes, I do consume some protein in the few hemp seeds and nuts that I eat. The dark leafy greens and broccoli that I consume daily also contain protein, but all in all, I really don’t consume that much protein. The human body breaks protein down into amino acids, so I cut out the middle man and eat foods that are rich in amino acids – ALL uncooked fruits and vegetables.
Question How do I get enough calories?
Tim: Actually, I consume much fewer calories than the average American… I’ll be doing a caloric breakdown of a single day shortly… my guess is that my consumption falls short of 2000 calories. Raw food is a much more efficient fuel, whereas many of the calories consumed on a SAD diet are burned trying to break down the very food that’s providing the energy, and to clean up the damage brought about by an unhealthy diet.
QuestionHow long have I been eating raw?
Tim: I took the plunge into fantastic health on November 3rd of 2004.
Question What do I eat on a daily basis?
Tim: I don’t really have a strict plan or routine when it comes to my daily consumption. I eat what feels good. On most mornings i’ll start with a piece of fresh fruit or two (apple, bananas, orange, grapefruit, kiwi, peach, strawberries, etc…), then I’ll have a Larabar sometime mid morning. Before my workouts I usually consume a banana and some young coconut water. After my workouts I’ll have another piece or two of fresh fruit – within 15 minutes of completing my workout!!! Then when i get home I’ll make a smoothie with fruit and greens (kale, lettuce, collard), a few dates and some dulse (for electrolytes). Mid evening I’ll chomp on another Larabar, and then I’ll make a massive salad at around 7pm… it’s got tons of different greens, broccoli, red peppers, radishes, avocado, celery, snap peas, mushrooms and whatever else i can find to throw in there… every day is different… but this is somewhat normal for me, and gives me all the energy I need and more.
Question Did I go vegetarian or vegan before going raw?
Tim: I was vegan for 6 years before I went raw. The last six months before I went raw I was eating a macrobiotic vegan diet.
Question What is my pre-race regimen?
Tim: As for a pre-race dinner… I eat no later than 6pm the night of a race… and that meal is almost entirely fruit – bananas, apples, mangoes, kiwis, strawberries… just no melon (they don’t play well with other fruit). I might also have a little romaine lettuce. Make sure you are very hydrated the day before the race.
The morning of the race, I wake up 3 hours before my start time and have a large all fruit breakfast. Half an hour later I go for a 3 to 5 minute run to get my metabolism going (all the top runners do this). Then I relax and make sure I’m getting lots of fluids… I’ll drink at least 32 ounces of water or coconut water before the race… I stop drinking 30 minutes before the start.
Question What supplements do I take?
Tim: Actually, I don’t take any. The point of the Running Raw Project is to prove that one can accomplish incredible feats of physical health and performance using inexpensive, easy to find, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
Question What superfoods do I take?
Tim: My belief is that a raw lifestyle should be as sustainable and economically feasible as possible. Therefore, I keep to the foods that are commonplace in any supermarket anywhere in the country, and cost very little to purchase. The miracle of the raw diet is not in the foods you are consuming, it’s in the foods you are NOT consuming. Your body is the miracle, you don’t need expensive “superfoods” to have a super body.
Question What is the status of the documentary film?
Tim: As of September of 2008, the documentary is on hold. Other aspects of the project have taken precedence. My hopes are that a new team will be assembled and a new and better film will be produced.
Question What does my training regimen look like?
Tim: It all depends on the type of event I’m training for and the time of year. Currently I’m running about 70 miles a week. I run six days and take 1 day off from running. I also incorporate leg strength and core strength routines 3 times a week.
On Tuesdays I do two to four mountain ascents at just below race pace. Typically, the mountains run have between 900 to 1,500 foot vertical gain.
Thursdays are reserved for speedwork on the track. The length and intensity of the intervals depends on the event that I’m training for.
I compete in a race every weekend which serves as a tempo run. Each race is preceded by a 3 mile warmup and a minimum of a 3 mile warmdown.
Question Did I start training right away when I went raw?
Tim: I was raw for a year before I started to train. I don’t think it’s a good idea to be on a training regimen when you are starting a raw diet. The detox can be pretty intense, and the exercise can further the stress on your immune system.
Question What is my resting heart rate?
Tim: Resting heart rate is measured the moment you first wake up in the morning, or after a period of 20 minutes of no activity. Currently, my RHR is 38.
Question Was I athletic before I went raw?
Tim: I was a competitive Cross Country skier and track athlete in high school. I competed my freshman and part of my sophomore years in college, then “retired” at age 20.
You can follow Tim on his own site at: Tim VanOrden The Running Raw Project: (RunningRaw.com)