Leicester-born fruitarian Anne Osborne shares her life-changing experience and talks about one of the biggest fruit festivals in the world.
For some people the idea of eating fruit and nothing else would seem daunting, however for 46-year-old Anne, it is a lifestyle she has fully embraced.
Anne grew up in West Knighton in the 1970s with a fairly omnivorous diet, filled with fruits and vegetables from her dad’s allotment. But, from her mid-teens onwards she became aware of the plight of animals in the meat industry and made the conscious decision to become a vegetarian.
She said: “A year later, I was no longer comfortable with certain practices in the dairy industry, and overnight I gave up all animal products and adopted a vegan diet.” This change was purely for ethical reasons, however, Anne soon began to factor in the health benefits. She started to read more about food and health, trying a range of other diets.
During a local animal rights group meeting in Leicester in 1990 she met David Shelley, another local who was invited to give a talk about fruitarianism. “David was a great advert for the diet, he had vibrant glowing skim, an athletic physique and boundless energy and enthusiasm. Whatever David was doing obviously worked for him. Me and a whole bunch of friends wanted something of what David had, and so we all started to try the raw fruit diet for ourselves.”
Anne’s transition to the fruit diet was gradual because she was pregnant with her first child at the time. But, after 14 months she was 100 per cent committed and has stuck with it ever since. She said: “I find the fruit diet makes sense on so many levels, ethically, psychologically, environmentally, spiritually and physically. But most importantly it worked. I felt great, my energy increased, my skin improved and I awoke every morning ready to spring out of bed.”
Having emigrated to Queensland, Australia around 10 years ago, Anne still feels as healthy as she did in her 20s and has no aches or pains, which other people in her age group regularly complain about. Both of her children aged 21 and nine were raised on the diet and have grown up to be happy and healthy. Her older son decided to include other foods into his diet after the age of 14, while the younger one still only eats fruit.
Anne has published a book called Fruitarianism: The Path to Paradise and regularly gives talks and presentations about her lifestyle choice. She also works as a volunteer, schedule manager and festival artist for the annual Woodstock Fruit Festival, which takes place in New York, USA. “It is fast becoming one of the biggest fruit festivals in the world,” adds Anne. “The aim of the festival is to bring together people from all over the world to share, support and learn from each other whilst promoting the fruit diet as a healthy and sustainable way of living for both the individual and the planet.”