Camila Castello and Akahi Ricardo are not your average parents. The mom and dad are Breatharians, which means they rarely eat and believe people can live solely off the energy of the universe. That’s right: Castello and Ricardo claim they have survived for nearly a decade on nothing but sunlight, air and a piece of fruit or vegetable broth three times a week. And they never feel 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 News Dog Media in an interview published Thursday, June 15.
Castello, who has a 5-year-old son and a 2-year-old daughter, says she didn’t modify her diet while pregnant with her first child in 2011. Point of reference: 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. “Hunger was a foreign sensation to me so I fully lived on light and ate nothing,” she told News Dog Media. “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, Castello, 34, consumed “a bit of fruit or vegetable broth,” and once again, she gave birth to a healthy infant.
The couple of nine years, who divide their time between California and Ecuador, aren’t imposing their beliefs on their kids. “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.”
Since adopting a Breatharian lifestyle, Castello claims she no longer suffers from PMS symptoms and feels more “emotionally stable.” Meanwhile, Ricardo, 36, likes how saving on things such as protein and carbohydrates allow him to pursue other passions. “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.”
But the controversial diet is downright dangerous, according to Florida-based registered dietician Rebecca Baer. “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,” Baer, whose client list includes Molly Sims, tells Us Weekly. “Everybody needs at the very, very least 1,200 calories a day just to maintain brain function for breathing, thinking or standing.”
According to The Independent, Breatharianism has been linked to the deaths of several people, including an Australian woman whose emaciated body was discovered alongside a diary detailing her 21-day fast and a copy of a book by the founder of Breatharianism, known as Jasmuheen.