Rawvana and FishGate: Another One Bites The Dust

You could hear the jackfruit hit the fan when Rawvana was caught eating fish. In this article I examine her downfall and explain health the Ish Mom way. Without charging a dime or mentioning celery juice. Hang on as we explore #FishGate

Towards the end of (Columbian YouTube star) Paula Galindos’ ten minute vlog, the camera pans her dinner guests at a Balinese restaurant. The bright-eyed female next to Paula freezes, her arms jerkily lowering, face falling. The guest is Rawvana, a star in the vegan and raw food community. Rawvana receives sponsorships, brand deals, and monetizes programs centering a plant based lifestyle. A YouTube star herself, it’s not as if she is uncomfortable in the camera’s gaze. So what’s with the face?

There’s a hunk of fish on her plate and she knows the camera saw it.

Rawvana now joins the crop of prominent vegan YouTubers uploading emotional videos about digestive issues and their own egg and fish consumption.

None of ’em will cop to a steak.

rawvana blog fishgate

Color Me Unsurprised

The diets these YouTubers (used to) advocate are restrictive and expensive. Macrobiotic and raw, gluten free and juiced. Don’t eat fruit or only eat fruit. Eat carbs constantly or barely. I’m making some generalizations here, but you know what I mean. Rawvana ate mostly raw fruits and vegetables. Of course a bougie fish salad makes her feel better after years of protein and calorie restriction. Give me a break.

These influencers pushed chronic calorie restriction. Water fasts, juicing, colonics, “colon-cleansing.”

None of those practices are about health. They are about anorexia. Y’all call it health, talking about flora, raving about energy; but that’s only so y’all can sleep at night. On expensive sheets financed by hawking tea or “natural” laxatives.

Get out of here with your tears and your test results and your insistence that you’re so low in nutrients your doctor insists you eat meat. You are low in nutrients because you have systematically and purposefully removed them from your diet and slashed your caloric intake. Your doctor just wants you to refill your protein, fat, and calorie stores as quickly as possible.

Difficult Pills To Swallow

Cutting out food groups is not a sustainable way to eat. Dramatic reductions in macro/micro nutrients is downright dangerous. Consistent calorie restriction encourages binging, sluggish metabolism, anorexia, growth of harmful bacteria, mood/mental instability, homeostasis disruption, muscle deterioration, depletion of energy and/or weakening of the hair/skin/nails. All of these “diet techniques” are not sustainable over time.

And you know what? Because any diet that cuts swaths through food groups is problematic, I’m not singling out hardcore vegans. Don’t kill me, but Keto will be in the same boat soon enough. Keto YouTubers will be caught just like the others. Most current devotees will buckle, eat bread by the handful and regain any weight lost.

Same with the South Beach Diet. Or the Military Diet. Don’t forget Paleo. It doesn’t matter what it’s called. If by “diet” one means “extreme food group/nutrient/calorie reduction,” it’s not gonna work.

You Can’t Fix A Food Problem With (Overpriced) Food

We turn to these YouTubers because we’re struggling with health problems related to obesity, disordered eating and are unsatisfied with our reflection. It’s human nature to want a magic fix: to be told the exact diet, workout, food combination, and supplementation that achieves results.

And we’re willing to pay for it. $70.3 billion (as of 2018), in fact. Most of these YouTubers offered BS programs and cookbooks (You Too Can Voluntarily Develop SEBO: Recipes For The Intestinally Diseased!) There’s a crop of Keto (or Atkins or whatever) friendly snacks and cookbooks that consumers throw money at. Other money traps include pills, supplements, shakes, drink mixes, waist trainers, teas, juices, “cleanses,” gym memberships/fancy exercise equipment, meal plans, toning shoes, workouts, if you can think of it, some high school friend is willing to sell it to you.

Stop it. Stop giving these people your money. There is a reason the diet industry makes $70.3 billion. None of it works. They know none of it works, it’s not supposed to work. It’s supposed to succeed for a little while and fail. Then we’re supposed to return defeated, fistful of money extended.

Every “diet,” (i.e., calorie/nutrient/food group restriction) will work until it won’t. There is no overpriced convenience food or program that combats the eventual negative effects these restrictions will cause. None.

small cat under table waiting for child to drop food
Our gray kitty Duke waits eagerly for Big A to drop more avocado

Eating Tons of Fruit Or Putting Butter In Your Coffee Won’t Make Your Head Right

It doesn’t matter if you eat more fat than carbs, cook food or don’t, include eggs or not: if time management, mental discipline, the ability to replace food/diet related coping skills with non food/diet coping skills or a healthyish self-esteem/image don’t exist, nothing’s gonna stick. Diets don’t work, lifestyle changes do. And lifestyle changes cannot take root without mental work and preparation.

I will never charge for a diet program. What I have to tell you about food, health, and weight loss isn’t worth a fee:

  • Count nutrients, not calories.
  • Avoid packaged food (except the super obvious: canned fruits, vegetables, and beans; grains, nuts).
  • I’m gonna say it again: avoid packaged food. Do not buy the “thin” cookies or the “healthy” granola bars.
  • Drink some water.
  • Eat more plants.
  • If you succeed in the plant-eating, consciously seek out more protein/calorie sources.
  • Convenience, fast, and restaurant food is full of cancer. I’m so sorry. It needs to be acknowledged, not completely avoided.
  • Do not cut yourself off from certain foods, food groups, or nutrients. Yeah, yeah, no packaged foods. But if you want cookies, bake and eat them. If you find a meat source that’s not scarily contaminated, full of antibiotics/hormones, or tortures animals, eat a little (casein is still a problem). A deprivation mindset will backfire.
  • Move around for at least 30 minutes a day. Stretch for at least 5. Lift free weights and do weight bearing exercise sessions three times a week. No one needs to buy a gym membership for this.
  • Sleep, I guess?

Embrace The Ish

My veganish way of eating has invited skepticism from both “real vegans” and meat eaters. Man, do the cheese and eggs I eat (sparingly) infuriate “real vegans.” And why do carnivores so passionately defend their canine teeth or attachment to cured meat?

But you know what? In the nearly seven years of my veganish journey I’ve never cried about consuming cheese and eggs. I’ve also never housed bacteria that’s supposed to be in my colon in my small intestines. Just saying.

vegan strawberry muffins
These strawberry muffins are delicious and vegan

Do you feel pressure to get “ready for summer?” I totally do. Drop your lifestyle wins and diet horror stories in the comments below. I’d love to feature your stories in upcoming posts!



Megan writes everything on Ish Mom. She possesses a bachelor's degree in psychology, a flair for theatrics, and a whole lotta nerve. She lives in the Midwest (and loves it) with her wonderful husband and three young boys.

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