A juicy, dribble-down-your-chin wedge of watermelon. A plump cluster of grapes. A crisp, tart apple. Fruit is easy to love - it's sweet, fresh, and perfect on the go. Most of all, it makes you feel good. We've all reached moments, after gorging on greasy pizza, when we've vowed to only eat fruit for the rest of our lives. Those vows dissipate quickly once we awaken from our food comas and watch Tasty videos of how to make churro ice cream bowls.

A co-worker of mine once introduced me to the word "fruitarian:" a person who lives only on fruit and raw nuts. Though she cited multiple Insta-famous, world traveling fruitarian free spirits, I remained unconvinced this diet was sustainable or even healthy. How do you stay full? What about whole grains? No vegetables? Despite my food-pyramid minded resistance, the idea of fruitarianism stuck with me. And while I am a sucker for churro ice cream bowls, I finally decided to try bringing the solely fruit vow to fruition (no pun intended), even if only to prove my co-worker wrong.

5 days. Fruit. Raw nuts. Nothing else.


tea, chocolate
Margaret Ann Riley

Despite popular belief, a fruitarian does not have to shop at a Whole Foods or the trendiest all-natural local grocery. A cash strapped, college student fruitarian like myself can fare just fine at the local super market. As I watched a cornucopia of fruits and nuts drift down the conveyor belt, I felt like a health superstar.

Day 1:

I woke up on my first day as a fruitarian eager to load up on fresh fruit. Upon entering the dining hall, I made a beeline for the fruit bar, ignoring the enticing aromas of pancakes and maple syrup. Halfway through my first bowl of fruit, of which I had three, I found myself slowing down. Halfway through the second bowl, I had to stop. Feeling sufficiently full, I headed to class, trying not to think about eating fruit for lunch. 

The fruit from breakfast sustained me all morning, but lunch proved to be a challenge. In the dining hall, the only fruit being offered was bananas and apples. I grabbed two of each. I alternated between those and a fruitarian trail mix of dried fruit, coconut flakes, raw sunflower seeds, almonds, and cashews I had made the night before. After finishing I felt dissatisfied, but definitely full.

For dinner I pulled out my magic bullet and blended together a banana, frozen mixed berries, cashews, and almond milk. I topped the smoothie bowl with sunflower seeds, soy nuts, blueberries, and more banana. An hour after finishing, I was ravenous. Foraging around my dorm room, I gorged on almonds, watermelon, and dried blueberries then retired to my homework with a cup of tea, feeling somewhat full but incredibly bloated.

Day 2:

apple, cinnamon
Margaret Ann Riley

I woke up on my second day craving everything but fruit. As I filled my bowl with watermelon and pineapple at breakfast, I tried not think of warm creamy oatmeal or fluffy omelettes. Mindlessly shoveling fruit into my mouth, my body rebelled against the natural sugar. Consuming this much fruit felt wrong. Nevertheless, I carried on.

At lunch I ate the same fruit and trail mix meal as the day before then quickly left the dining hall before my will could break.

Later, in my dorm room, I prepared the same smoothie for dinner. Despite the outside temperature of 38 degrees, I slurped down my ice-cold smoothie bowl. Lying down in bed that night after another epic round of snacking, I wondered how much longer I could bare this abuse.

Day 3:

Day three passed much like the first two days. I ate the same food, questioned my motive for going through this torture, and complained to my friends. However, I was not depleted of energy, much to my surprise. Except for a small amount of bloating, I felt physically fine.

Day 4:

Margaret Ann Riley

This was supposed to be my second to last day. However, after lunch I decided enough was enough. Day four would be my last day. Though my body felt fine, it seemed like I was committing a sin against my health. I had to force fruit into my mouth at each meal. I could not continue to oppose my body's obvious cravings and needs. To push me through my last day, one of my friends decided to join me in my fruit and nut lunchtime misery.

After dinner on the fourth day, I rejoiced, beyond ready to eat anything but fruit.


The Friday morning after my fruitarian trial, I awoke with a newfound freedom. I practically skipped to the dining hall, amazed at all my options. Later that morning, fueled by a bowl of hearty oatmeal, I went about my day feeling newly energized and refreshed. It seemed as though my body had rid itself of every toxin and could extract every bit of energy from the food I fed it. Though I do not recommend fruitarianism as a lifestyle, I felt strengthened and cleansed after my four day trial. While I probably wouldn't try this fruit-only diet again, I have a newfound appreciation for fueling and nourishing my body.