Camila Castello and Akachi Ricardo aren't your typical parents. The mom and dad identify as Breatharians, which means they rarely eat because they believe people can live off the energy of the universe alone.
That's right: These two claim to have survived for almost 10 years on sunlight, air, pieces of fruit and vegetable broth three times a week — and they say they're never hungry.
“For three years, Akahi and I didn’t eat anything at all and now we only eat occasionally, like if we’re in a social situation or if I simply want to taste a fruit,” Castello told the Daily Mail in an interview published Thursday, June 15.
The couple of nine years has a 5-year-old son and a 2-year-old daughter, and Castello said she didn't modify her diet during her first pregnancy. While doctors recommend normal weight pregnant women eat roughly 1,800 calories in their first trimester, then add another 300 calories in their second trimester and 500 calories in their third trimester, Castello said she stuck to her typical diet of air.
“Hunger was a foreign sensation to me so I fully lived on light and ate nothing,” she told News Dog Media. "I didn't feel the need or desire to eat solid food during the entire nine months and so I only ate five times, all of which were in social situations," she said.
“I knew my son would be nourished enough by my love and this would allow him to grow healthily in my womb. I went for regular pregnancy checkups and my doctor confirmed the above-average growth of a very healthy baby boy.”
During her second pregnancy, she ate “a bit of fruit or vegetable broth,” and gave birth to another healthy infant.
While the couple, who splits their time between California and Ecuador, limit their food intake pretty heavily, they have the opposite mindset when it comes to their children's diets.
“We would never try to change them and we let them eat whatever they want — whether that be juices, vegetables, pizza or ice cream,” Castello told the British news outlet. “We want them to explore the different tastes and have a healthy relationship with food as they grow.”
Castello says she no longer suffers from PMS symptoms since adopting the Breatharian lifestyle, and feels more "emotionally stable." For Ricardo, it's more about the opportunities the lifestyle brings, since they don't have many expenses in the food department.
“There is a freedom that comes with not being attached or dependent on food,” he told News Dog Media. “Obviously, our living costs are a lot less than most families and that has allowed us to spend our money on things that really matter like traveling and exploring together.”
While Castello and Ricardo may swear by the lifestyle, registered dietitian Rebecca Baer (whose client list includes Molly Sims) says Breatharianism is downright dangerous.
"First of all, it’s based on zero science, and eating nothing but fruit and vegetable broth a couple of times a week is not enough to sustain life for anybody," she told Us Weekly. "Everybody needs at the very, very least 1,200 calories a day just to maintain brain function for breathing, thinking or standing."
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