We recently shared a video by Fully Raw blogger Kristina Carrillo-Bucaram in which she said that eating a raw food diet turned her eyes from brown to blue. Yahoo Food readers had very strong opinions about this claim: Some of the over 600 commenters have seen similar results because of raw diets, some have experienced eye color change with age but do not eat raw, and most were in disbelief. We touched base with Carrillo-Bucaram, who also runs a popular food co-op in her hometown of Houston, to go over some of the questions that were raised.
What’s your reaction to the naysayers?
It’s definitely a controversial and debatable topic. Most people just say, ‘Oh, you crazy pants.’ And look, I didn’t believe it at first either. It was my mom who said my eyes looked lighter about three years into my eating exclusively raw. I said, ‘That’s crazy. Mom, I think you need contacts.’ I noticed maybe a year later, though; she was right. It wasn’t until the eight-year mark that I made that video.
You live in Texas, which certainly isn’t known as the raw vegan capital of the world. Has it been difficult to spread the word there?
We are definitely in the Lone Star state and there’s a steakhouse on every corner, but I have had so much support. It started in the neighborhood, then the co-op grew and the channel grew. I’ll never push anyone to go to 100 percent raw, but maybe try one or two meals a day. Or eliminate meat and dairy from your diet. Or if you can’t go vegan, go vegetarian.
Some commenters chalked up the appearance of your eyes to lighting.
My eyes did actually change color, otherwise I would not have taken the time to make a video about it. People say everything: ‘Oh, you Photoshopped your eyes.’ You can Photoshop your eyes in a photo, but not a video. They’re just in disbelief. But random people walk up to me at the co-op and start staring at my eyes. They say, ‘My God it’s true!’ They can see the change.
Tell us more about your iridologist. Why did you seek out someone from that practice instead of a more mainstream doctor?
Normal doctors don’t practice iridology [the study of the iris to diagnose disease]. Some people say it’s not legit, but you’re not going to go to a regular eye doctor who checks your eyesight when you’re seeing fine, right? So I sought out an iridologist, and she was pretty surprised—she had never seen anyone who has been raw as long as I have—and said that I was clearing out all the gunk from my colon.
Some commenters said that their eye color has changed with age. Did your iridologist say that is possible? Or is the lightness definitely associated with your diet?
We are 90 percent sure that it was associated with my diet. It’s only been 10 years of my life that I’ve been eating this way, though, so maybe 40 or 50 years later we can have this conversation.
What do you think about mainstream medical doctors’ feedback in the article?
He automatically assumed that I had some kind of deficiency without even knowing my situation.
Do you take any supplements or medications?
I haven’t taken medication in 10 years. The only supplement I’ve taken is vitamin B12, which I took twice. I don’t have a general practitioner. Being a part of [the health] community, I’m surrounded by doctors. I have an enormous support team.
Have you been tested for possible diseases that could lead to eye trauma?
I got blood results—I went over them in a video, actually—and I’m healthy as a horse. The point of that video was to prove that you can be a raw vegan for 10 years and still be extremely healthy. I see myself as eating the most nutrient-dense diet on the planet.
You tell people you’re only eating raw fruits and vegetables and they think it’s extreme, but I’m one of the most balanced people I know. Going to McDonald’s or Papa John’s for food every day—I think that’s extreme. Where are they getting nutrition? Diabetes has become normal in today’s society. Something is wrong.
Would you like to see all of this become the subject of a scientific study one day?
This research would be amazing, but the goal is not for people’s eye colors to change. We want people to understand that when you have a clean diet, you feel better and you can physically see the healthy coming out of you.
When I started eating raw, my goal was to have better health, and the eye change was a result of that. A cool result, mind you, but that’s all.