Interview with a Nutritarian: Dorothy

I met Dorothy on the member center of DrFuhrman.com. I was thrilled to observe her excitement as she became set free from food addiction and  yo-yo dieting this past year. Although she’s happy to have reached her “dream weight”, like so many others have experienced, she is most excited about the freedom that eating for health has brought to her life . . . for the rest of her life! Welcome to Disease Proof, Dorothy.

                         female nutritian; before and after images

What was your life like before discovering Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritarian eating-style?
My life was like a miserable rollercoaster ride. I was a chronic yo-yo dieter, and caught in the cycle of deprivation dieting to lose weight; however, I was unable to maintain it as I always fell back into bad habits. At age 20 I required a gallbladder removal as a consequence of following the low carb, Stillman Diet during my high school years.

I was always hungry, and dealt continually with food cravings and binge eating. Dieting to lose weight for an upcoming event, and then sabotaging my efforts became a way of life for me. I started to wonder if I was just going to gain and lose the same 20 lbs forever and maybe it was time to face the reality of being heavier than I liked. However, because my family has a strong cardiac disease history, the fear of getting sick drove me to keep looking for a solution. I prayed that I could find something that made me healthy as well as thinner.

 

How did you discover Eat to Live?
In November of 2009, at age 53, I searched and found a website called Peer Trainer, and through that site I was introduced to nutritarian eating and Dr. Fuhrman’s teachings. His basic message was eating a lot of high quality nutrients, and the focus was not about, “You can’t have this or that.”

I thought to myself, “Okay, I can make a smoothie and add some kale and spinach.” I remember standing in the supermarket looking for kale and not knowing what it looked like.I started eating green vegetables and making smoothies, and it was like someone flipped a switch and my hunger and cravings vanished. I actually started craving healthy food, and willpower became a non-issue for me. The more I learned online, the more I wanted to know about Dr. Fuhrman’s high nutrient eating style so I bought his books, and the rest is history.

 

female portrain

How do you feel now?
I feel great! I’ve gone from weighing 172 lbs to 134 lbs; which is below my dream weight of 135, and my total cholesterol has dropped 38 points. I now enjoy exercising regularly and shopping for fashionable clothes; going from size 12’s and 14’s down to 6’s and 8’s. I also like eating high nutrient foods, because my taste buds have changed and I no longer desire salty, processed, and greasy foods. [Plus, as an additional bonus, my daughter who has type 1diabetes, has been eating high nutrient foods right along with me, and has significantly reduced her insulin requirements!] 

 

Do you have any success tip(s) to share with others?

  • Eat high nutrient foods, and the desire for junk food becomes less and less desirable. 
  • Focus on what you can eat; not on what you can’t eat.  
  • Make delicious, fruit smoothies with berries, a ripe banana, almond milk, spinach, and/or kale. 
  • Establish a support system. I’m a member of Dr. Fuhrman’s Member Center, and being able to communicate with Dr. Fuhrman has been really helpful for me. Additionally, the other members have a lot of practical advice, encouragement, and recipes to share. The member center helps me stay on track.

 

In a nutshell, what has nutritarian eating done for you?  
It has totally changed my life because I’ve been freed from “Food Jail!” I feel good about myself now that I’m in control of the food that I put into my body. Cooking is now more enjoyable as I’ve discovered new foods and recipes. I also handle stress better, and I longer turn to food for self-medication. As a nurse I know that nutritarian eating will certainly increase my odds of staying healthy for the rest of my life.

 

Congratulations Dorothy ~ we applaud you! 

 

Weight loss benefits the immune system

We are all aware that excess weight is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and currently the links between overweight and cancer are beginning to become more widely known. But did you know that carrying excess weight can also prevent your immune system from working properly?

CellsObesity is known to be associated with a state of chronic systemic inflammation. Fat is an endocrine organ, secreting many factors that immune cells respond to – excess fat is thought to stimulate white blood cells (WBC) that produce inflammatory molecules as a part of the normal immune response upon injury or infection. Fat cells may also produce these inflammatory molecules. Obesity’s effects on the immune system likely underlie some of its connections to chronic diseases.1

Obesity is associated with elevated numbers of circulating immune cells and total WBC,2 as well as elevated activation levels of certain WBC and suppressed immune cell function.3 In short, excess weight seems to promote a state of overstimulation of the immune system, which impairs normal immune function. Calorie restriction, on the other hand improves immune function and reduces production of inflammatory molecules.1

The current study evaluated immune cell number and activation in response to a significant amount of weight loss (average 13.5% of body weight) in type 2 diabetics and prediabetics over a 24-week period.  The researchers found an 80% decrease in circulating T-helper cells (a type of immune cell); decreased activation of circulating immune cells and other WBC, and also reduced activation of adipose tissue immune cells.4

This study suggests that weight loss can reverse the damage to the immune system that occurs due to obesity. Weight loss, therefore, in addition to reducing systemic inflammation and risk of chronic disease, may also improve resistance to bacterial and viral infections by restoring balance to the immune system. 

Consistent with these data, Dr. Fuhrman has noted that nutritarians often have lower than average white blood cell counts, reflecting appropriate levels of systemic inflammation and immune system activation. Lower WBC counts are reflective of excellent health and associated with longer lifespan.5 As such, those whose healthful eating habits cause WBC counts drop below the normal range should not be alarmed. 

 

References:

1. Dixit VD. Adipose-immune interactions during obesity and caloric restriction: reciprocal mechanisms regulating immunity and health span. J Leukoc Biol. 2008 Oct;84(4):882-92.

2. Womack J, Tien PC, Feldman J, et al. Obesity and immune cell counts in women. Metabolism. 2007 Jul;56(7):998-1004.

3. Nieman DC, Henson DA, Nehlsen-Cannarella SL,et al. Influence of obesity on immune function. J Am Diet Assoc. 1999 Mar;99(3):294-9.

4. Viardot A, Lord RV, Samaras K. The effects of weight loss and gastric banding on the innate and adaptive immune system in type 2 diabetes and prediabetes. JClin Endocrinol Metab. 2010 Jun;95(6):2845-50.

5. Candore G, Colonna-Romano G, Balistreri CR, et al. Biology of longevity: role of the innate immune system. Rejuvenation Res. 2006 Spring;9(1):143-8.

Image credit: www.zooboing.com