Susan Lost 220 lbs. in Less Than Two Years!

I first met Susan in the lobby of The Dr. Oz Show studio.  I had absolutely no idea that in less than two years she’d dropped 220 lbs. simply by following Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritional approach to get rid of unhealthy food cravings and restore optimal health. I felt honored to have met her, because I’d never met anyone in person who’d ever lost that much weight. Her radical, life changing story is so inspirational whether one has 10 or 200 pounds to lose! Welcome to Disease Proof, Susan.  

 

 

What was your life like before discovering Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritarian approach?

Weighing 380 lbs was miserable; there are no words to adequately describe it. I recently found a notebook journal in the trunk of my car from my morbidly obese days. Written in it were a series of good days followed by a series of bad days, depending upon if I was following dieting rules or not. I had started many journals, and then I’d stop writing in them when I stopped the diet so I had many unfinished journals. My life was never about my children or being involved in my community. My life’s focus was always starting a new diet, following the rules, and journaling about it. Dieting and journaling consistently consumed my mental focus.

I was constantly fatigued; looking back I don’t even know how I went to work every day and raised four children. It was hard for my three older kids to have a morbidly obese mother, and because I hated myself so much I also hated my husband. One cannot love someone else if he/she doesn’t love himself/herself. I work in the medical field, and I was embarrassed to be so unhealthy. I couldn’t even climb a flight of stairs without being exasperated. I lived in daily fear of going to work and someone finding my dead body in the parking garage. 

Needless to say I had to wear an extension seat belt when flying, and I couldn’t put the tray down when eating a snack on the plane.  I’d developed high blood pressure and was taking medication for it. I also had abnormal EKGs and heart arrhythmias, and I was too large for many of the medical diagnostic machines. In the summer of 2010 I was diagnosed with diabetes, (I was in my late 40s) and I knew it was time to get serious about my health and make the necessary changes. My father died at age 58. He was obese, angry, and diabetic, and I refused to follow in his footsteps.  

[Susan was always heavy as a child. Her life was filled with dieting attempts that led to perpetual yo-yo weight gains and losses. She’d tried every fad diet imaginable. She even went to a filthy and unsanitary doctor’s office to get a seed placed in her ear; a form of acupressure that was supposed to reduce food cravings. Susan also tried hypnosis, and even succumbed to lap band surgery which she says was the biggest mistake she’s ever made in her life, because there are no happy endings with lap band surgery. She had the procedure reversed four years later and thirty pounds heavier. It was a nightmare. Having a lap band was continually painful, and she couldn’t even eat a salad with it in place.]

     

 How did you find out about Dr. Fuhrman?

About 20 years ago I needed a life insurance exam, and Dr. Fuhrman was one of the physicians that I could choose from. (I live in New Jersey). I was in my 30s and mother to three babies. During the exam he said to me, “You are going to suffer from a heart attack and die.” And I knew he was right. 

Then in 2004 I went to his medical office again for another exam. He was so sincere and helpful, and I knew he really cared for my health and well-being. He gave me a copy of his book, Eat to Live, and I went home and put it on the bookshelf. I didn’t look at it again until 2010 when I was officially diagnosed with diabetes. 

 

How do you feel now?

I feel so grateful, in spite of myself that my life has been spared and I got my health back. I’m also in love with my husband again, because I love and take care of myself now. I have energy, and I feel strong with 220 lbs off my body. Eating to live has literally saved my life and marriage! And my days and thoughts are no longer consumed with dieting and journal writing; whether I’m having a good day or bad day depending on the food choices for that day. I have so much more mental time now that I’m able to focus on new parts of my life. It feels like I’ve woken up from a life-long coma.

[Susan’s blood pressure dropped from an average of 150/100 (with medication) to 115/70 (without medication). And she no longer has diabetes! By the way, she lost the first 120 lbs in six months, and had all 220 lbs off in less than two years!]

  

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

 

  • Be prepared. Don’t ever wait until you are hungry to think about what you are going to eat for the next meal. Be proactive. Plan ahead for the next meal and even the next day. Meals should always be a calm experience, because they’ve been well planned. One should never be in a panic at meal time because the food has not been bought and prepared ahead of time. 

  •  In the beginning when you are first starting out give nutritarian eating a chance to work. Trust those that have done it and been successful – it really does work, and taste buds will eventually change! Everything will taste better! And realize how much common sense this way of eating makes. It’s not a fad. It’s eating the way our bodies were designed to eat. 

 

Congratulations Susan for losing 220 lbs and getting your health and life back ~ you are truly an inspiration to many! 

Vitamin D sufficiency may enhance athletic performance

The importance of vitamin D for bone health is now well-recognized, and the epidemic of vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency is thought to contribute to a wide range of medical conditions including cancers, mood disorders, autoimmune conditions, cardiovascular disease and more.1  As such, vitamin D sufficiency (25(OH)D greater than 30 ng/ml) is associated with a reduced risk of death from all causes.2,3

D. Flickr: TooFarNorthIn addition to bone, vitamin D receptors are present in almost all cells of the body, including muscle cells. Vitamin D’s primary function is the regulation of calcium transport and metabolism – since calcium transport is an integral part of muscle contraction and relaxation, vitamin D is extremely important for proper muscle function. There is also evidence that achieving vitamin D sufficiency may help to increase muscle mass.  In the early 20th century, observations led athletes and trainers to believe that sunlight exposure could enhance athletic performance. Athletic performance has been reported to vary seasonally, peaking in the summer; positive effects of UVB exposure on athletic performance were reported as early as the 1930s. There is now speculation that improved vitamin D status is the reason for these findings.4,5

Previous studies have shown that vitamin D status correlates with muscle function in the elderly, and that vitamin D supplementation improves muscle strength in elderly and/or deficient populations.6-9 New research is beginning to extend these findings to physical performance in athletes. Since there is a high prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency overall, and vitamin d is crucial for bone and muscle function, does vitamin D status affect injury rates or performance in athletes?  Two recent studies on professional ballet dancers suggest that it does.

Indoor athletes are likely to have insufficient vitamin D levels.5,10 The first study showed that this was true of ballet dancers in a UK company; on average, their vitamin D status was insufficient (<30 ng/ml) all year round and varied seasonally. In the winter, dancers averaged 14.9 ng/ml (deficient), and in the summer, 23.9 ng/ml (insufficient). The authors also observed a greater occurrence of injuries in the winter months.11 The follow-up study provided vitamin D3 supplements (2000 IU/day) to some of the dancers during the winter, and investigated muscle function and injury rates. In the vitamin D group, there were increases in isometric strength and vertical jump height, plus significantly fewer injuries compared to the control group.12

This is consistent with a previous study of UK athletes, which compared 5000 IU vitamin D for 8 weeks to placebo.  The researchers saw increases in sprint times and vertical jump height in the vitamin D group, but not in the placebo group.13

These results suggest that vitamin D’s beneficial effects on bone and muscle physiology can translate into enhanced athletic performance. Achieving sufficient blood vitamin D levels (25(OH)D of 30-45 ng/ml) is crucial for the health of the entire body, not just for preventing osteoporosis

 

Image credit: Flickr - TooFarNorth

References:

1. Holick MF, Chen TC: Vitamin D deficiency: a worldwide problem with health consequences. Am J Clin Nutr 2008;87:1080S-1086S.
2. Melamed ML, Michos ED, Post W, et al: 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Levels and the Risk of Mortality in the General Population. Arch Intern Med 2008;168:1629-1637.
3. Zittermann A, Iodice S, Pilz S, et al: Vitamin D deficiency and mortality risk in the general population: a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Am J Clin Nutr 2012;95:91-100.
4. Hamilton B: Vitamin d and athletic performance: the potential role of muscle. Asian J Sports Med 2011;2:211-219.
5. Cannell JJ, Hollis BW, Sorenson MB, et al: Athletic performance and vitamin D. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2009;41:1102-1110.
6. Glerup H, Mikkelsen K, Poulsen L, et al: Hypovitaminosis D myopathy without biochemical signs of osteomalacic bone involvement. Calcif Tissue Int 2000;66:419-424.
7. Sato Y, Iwamoto J, Kanoko T, et al: Low-dose vitamin D prevents muscular atrophy and reduces falls and hip fractures in women after stroke: a randomized controlled trial. Cerebrovasc Dis 2005;20:187-192.
8. Bischoff HA, Stahelin HB, Urscheler N, et al: Muscle strength in the elderly: its relation to vitamin D metabolites. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 1999;80:54-58.
9. Bischoff-Ferrari HA, Dietrich T, Orav EJ, et al: Higher 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations are associated with better lower-extremity function in both active and inactive persons aged > or =60 y. Am J Clin Nutr 2004;80:752-758.
10. Peeling P, Fulton SK, Binnie M, et al: Training environment and Vitamin D status in athletes. Int J Sports Med 2013;34:248-252.
11. Wolman R, Wyon MA, Koutedakis Y, et al: Vitamin D status in professional ballet dancers: Winter vs. summer. J Sci Med Sport 2013.
12. Wyon MA, Koutedakis Y, Wolman R, et al: The influence of winter vitamin D supplementation on muscle function and injury occurrence in elite ballet dancers: A controlled study. J Sci Med Sport 2013.
13. Close GL, Russell J, Cobley JN, et al: Assessment of vitamin D concentration in non-supplemented professional athletes and healthy adults during the winter months in the UK: implications for skeletal muscle function. J Sports Sci 2013;31:344-353.

Dads, Give the Gift of Health to You and Your Family this Father's Day!

Six years ago Anthony lost 163 lbs and eradicated food addiction and resulting nutritional diseases from his life. [Click here to read his life changing story]. I thought it would be inspiring to interview Anthony again for this Father’s Day weekend to see how Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritarian approach has perhaps made him a better father these past several years. Welcome back to Disease Proof, Anthony.     

              

 

What you can do with your sons now that wouldn’t have been possible when you were obese and unhealthy?

I remember very clearly one time at the local county fair, when I was still big, my two-year-old son wanted to go on the train ride. He was so excited. His excitement made me smile and feel so happy inside, and I really wanted to take him on it. However, when I looked at the ride, I immediately realized there was no way that I could possibly fit into one of those train cars with him. I felt helpless and terrible because of it. My wife ended up taking him on the ride while I watched from behind the railing. While watching I thought to myself, “Is this really the kind of Dad that I want to be; watching my son laugh and smile from behind this railing rather than living that joyful experience with him?”  

 

 

  

Thankfully, I don’t have those kinds of problems anymore. I not only fit on amusement park rides with my sons, but I can do all sorts of active and fun things with them now like hiking, exploring, running, playing, skiing, biking, canoeing, and swimming. Most of these activities would’ve been impossible before. Plus, I now have the energy and ambition to want to do them. In fact, I’m often the one encouraging them to get up, get out, and do something with me!

                           

                                     

What has been the happiest moment or memory of being a fit and healthy Dad?

I’m happy about being a positive role model for my sons Evan and Henry.  Sure, we have lots of fun together playing and experiencing things that will become life-long memories, and that’s really great. But I’m most proud that I’m a positive role model for them, leading by example; not just telling them that they can accomplish anything they want in this world, but I’m also showing them as well.

I also love watching them light up when they make healthy choices for themselves; or when our family doctor, who we only see for regular check ups, tells them that we are his “healthy family”. They are really are proud of that fact, and they realize that it’s because of the choices they make for themselves every day.

 

What would you say to any father that might be discouraged with weight gain and poor health this Father’s Day weekend?

Do something about it! You are in control of your health destiny. Your life is the direct result of the choices and decisions that you’ve made, and you have the ability to change it starting today! Dr. Fuhrman teaches what to do; all you have to do is choose to do it and follow through with that decision. Please, don’t make up excuses for yourself. I’ve been there and done that, and it doesn’t help. I’ll admit that it isn’t easy at times, especially in the beginning, but I also know that you can do it. I will also tell you, from my own experience, that taking control of your life and reclaiming your health is worth every ounce of effort you put into it. Be the father that you want to be. Lead by example, and show your children how to live a happy and healthy life.

                   

Congratulations Anthony for earning your health back and for being a positive role model for your family. What a wonderful gift to give to your wife and sons!

 

The following is Anthony’s favorite “go to” recipe:

Anthony’s Hearty Salad

Fill a large bowl part way with leafy greens such as romaine lettuce, mixed greens, or baby greens. Then add a variety of vegetables like chopped carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms, and onions; followed by slices of avocado and sliced fruit. (I like pears, apples, mangoes, blueberries, and raisins). Finally, top with an ounce of nuts or seeds, and a generous amount of cooked beans or hummus. The beans or hummus turn the salad into a meal, and with the delicious mixture of flavors one doesn’t even need to add a salad dressing. Enjoy! 

Free at Last from Years of Dieting Entanglements!

I met Ronna a year ago last month at Dr. Fuhrman’s Health Immersion for Whole Foods Market team members. She wasn’t significantly overweight at the time but knew she was not in the zone of where she could be health-wise. Thinking she was eating ‘clean’ and ‘in moderation’, lingering cravings for processed foods, sugar and caffeine, and her attachment to limited thinking about her own health held her back. Today, with a healthy body and mind free of self judgement and food deprivation, she happily spends more time enjoying life in the present moment. Welcome to Disease Proof, Ronna.

 

What was your life like before discovering Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritarian approach?

Before I found Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritarian diet-style my head was filled with a myriad of nutrition theories. Self help books and fad diets dictated my rules for weight loss as far back as high school. My focus back then wasn’t on acquiring energy, mental clarity, a sense of balance, loss of cravings, and disease prevention; but more on finding the right diet program.

Increasing vitamins and minerals meant consuming fortified foods - orange juice and cereals, a salad or side of something steamed and green. I thought if I avoided junk food, moved more, and ate less, observing the food pyramid serving suggestions, I could win at losing weight. 

At age 11, I was diagnosed with Hashimotos Thyroiditis, an auto-immune disease commonly referred to as underactive thyroid. In my late teens losing weight meant extreme calorie restriction and/or excessive physical activity. Sugar was my constant companion.  I was the classic yo-yo dieter; in fact, I followed fad diets for sport. I became a runner to try to outsmart and outrun my inner sugar addict.

My cravings followed me to college, and even though I was thin when I was a freshman, I was “under the influence” of the sweet stuff. By the time I graduated I was 40 lbs heavier, and I hated walking across the platform to receive my diploma with my obvious weight loss failures showing. 

After knocking off the excess weight from college by dieting, my sweet tooth, and a honed ability to satisfy my fix led me to open a sweet shop in 1990 called Ronna’s Sweet Necessities. I now had complete access to my vice – at wholesale - and I became an enabler of others' sugar habits too! Then I became a candy buyer for an internet giant, and samples piled in right out of the test kitchen. Trips to Belgium to visit with multiple chocolate factories followed and samples flowed.

My mother, a Certified Diabetes Educator and practicing nutritionist, was a constant source of support and encouragement, but my sugar addiction was a private matter. She was there for me, and I probably skirted anorexia and bulimia because of her presence in my life, but I sought to slay this dragon myself. I evenutally left the candy business with a commitment to go to school to become a holistic health coach, and then I started a nutrition practice. Eventually Whole Foods Market hired me as a Healthy Eating Specialist and that’s how I was introduced to Dr. Fuhrman’s teachings.

In May 2012, I attended the Whole Foods Health Immersion led by Dr. Fuhrman, and his nutritarian diet-style dramatically shifted my perspective. Prior to the immersion I fed my desire, often daily, for coffee with cream, a little wine and cheese, and several bites of a gluten-free ice cream sandwich. These habits and “healthy snacking” kept the sugar and caffeine rushes coming.

 

How do you feel now?

Becoming a Nutritiarian has been a game changer for me. I don’t just look different, I think and live differently. I’ve shed 30 lbs from my 5’2” frame, and my body fat has gone from 44% to 18%. You could say my battery is fully charged now. I feel mindful about food choices rather than being a slave to addictive eating habits. I’m happier, I think more clearly, and I also feel a sense of balance, ease in movement, and confidence about my body. Most importantly, my cravings and the constant “noise” in my head related to food, body weight, and self-image are now completely gone!

 

 

May 2012

  May 2013

Weight

 146

116

Height

 5’2”

 

Cholesterol

 149

 146

Triglycerides

 55

 49

HDL

 62

 58

LDL

 76

 78

BMI

 25.2

 20.9

Body fat %

 44%

 18%

BP

 114/74

 103/66

 

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

  

KEEP GOING

Two days into the nutritarian style of eating I hit a rough patch with severe detox symptoms (headache, all-over achiness and lack of energy). This bout lasted for 48 hours.

Having endured the detox phase, the potential for feeling good every day seemed to increase exponentially. Cravings ceased, pain faded, and longing for old comfort foods got replaced with delicious alternatives. I’m now equipped with recipes provided on Dr. Fuhrman’s website, and in his books and DVD’s that keep me satisfied without feeling deprived. 

 

COOK MORE

Cooking is truly the cornerstone of health, and learning to cook, fast, simple, tasty, micronutrient-rich foods is one of the keys to success. Previously, I played around in the kitchen. Today I cook!

 

LET GO OF LIMITED THINKING

I self diagnosed myself as hypoglycemic, but I was not; it was just my rationalization for incessant snacking. I also believed that as I aged my decreased metabolism would cause an inability to shed weight. This proved to be false too. And I always thought that my hypothyroidism was working against me which proved to be untrue. Correct information cleared the path for change.

 

In a nutshell, what has nutritarian eating done for you?

Nutritarian eating has quieted the dieting chatter in my head. I no longer count calories and fat grams, or wake up wondering if I’m going to be ‘good’ today (in my eating), or if cravings are going to sabotage my best efforts. With less time spent counting calories and being overwhelmed by diet propaganda I have acquired more time to live in the moment, and that’s priceless to me.

I never have to diet again! Dr. Fuhrman has taught me how to regulate my eating internally with my own sense of what I need – not externally with a set of dieting rules and rituals. Tips and rules are not the same. I can’t get enough healthy eating tips; they inspire me.

For me, the good life is not something that will be achieved when I hit a certain number on the scale. The good life is being a Nutritarian; eating high-nutrient, quality food. And that’s the sweet spot, sweeter than anything I used to crave.

And for me, that’s sweet freedom.

 

Congratulations Ronna for fully embracing the nutritarian diet-style and getting free from years of dieting entanglements!

 

Red meat, fiber and stroke risk

Stroke is a leading cause of disability and death in the United States. About 795,000 people in the U.S. have a stroke each year. A stroke occurs when blood flow to a portion of the brain is interrupted, preventing oxygen and nutrients from reaching brain tissue; ischemic strokes, the most common type, are usually caused by a blood clot obstructing an artery leading to the brain. Elevated blood pressure is the chief risk factor for stroke; elevated blood pressure accounts for 62% of strokes.1,2 There have been countless studies on dietary factors and their relationship to stroke risk; within the past few years, new meta-analyses have strengthened these dietary links to stroke. In particular, higher fiber intake is associated with reduced risk, and higher red and processed meat intake is associated with increased risk.

Fiber and stroke:

Beans

Fiber and fiber-rich foods are known to be beneficial for colon health and healthy blood glucose regulation. For stroke prevention, the blood pressure-lowering effects of fiber and fiber-rich foods are thought to be primarily responsible. Elevated blood pressure is the primary risk factor for stroke, and greater intake of high-fiber foods (like beans) is consistently linked to lower blood pressure.3   Foods that are higher in fiber tend to have a lower glycemic load, which limits the rise in insulin after a meal; elevated insulin levels contribute to elevated blood pressure. Also, high-fiber foods are usually rich in phytochemicals and minerals like potassium and magnesium, which help to keep blood pressure in a healthy range.4-10  In addition to reducing blood pressure, high fiber foods improve several factors relevant to atherosclerotic plaque formation, such as cholesterol and triglyceride levels.11-13

A recently published meta-analysis on fiber intake and risk of stroke analyzed data from six prospective studies, including over 300,000 subjects.14 In this analysis, for every 10 gram increase in daily fiber intake, there was a 12% reduction in risk. A previous analysis of data from ten studies found that each 10 gram/day increase in fiber intake was associated with a 24% decrease in risk of death from heart disease.15 Ten grams is the approximate amount of fiber contained in 2/3 cup of beans or lentils, 2 cups of cooked collard greens, or 2 ½ cups of blueberries. The average daily intake of fiber in the United States is a meager 16 grams,16 but a Nutritarian diet, depending on one’s calorie needs, provides about 60-80 grams of fiber daily.  I want to make it clear it is the use of high fiber, whole foods that enable this degree of protection against stroke, not adding fiber to a standard American diet.  It is more than just the fiber in fiber-rich foods that offers protection.

Red/processed meat and stroke:

Red and processed meats are calorie-dense, micronutrient-poor, saturated fat-rich foods. Another major concern regarding red and processed meats when it comes to heart disease and stroke is heme iron. The human body absorbs heme iron, the form of iron found in animal foods, more readily than nonheme iron from plant foods. Iron is an essential mineral that transports oxygen in the blood and has many other crucial functions, but can promote free radical damage, called oxidative stress when excess is present. .  As a result, high body iron stores are associated with increased risk of chronic diseases that have an oxidative stress component: for example, diabetes, heart disease, and dementia.17-21 When it comes to increasing stroke risk, heme iron promotes oxidation of LDL cholesterol and elevated blood pressure. Several previous studies have found that higher heme iron (or red and processed meat) intake was associated with higher blood pressure, and higher non-heme iron intake (or plant food intake) was associated with lower blood pressure.22-26  Again, it is not merely the high iron in meats, many other factors play a role including their hormonally-induced growth-promoting effects that promote atherosclerosis. 

Another recent meta-analysis reported on five studies of red and processed meat and stroke risk, and found substantial risk increases in ischemic stroke risk (the most common type of stroke):  for each 100 gram daily increment red meat eating daily, there was a 13% increase in risk, and a 13% increase in risk for every 50 grams daily of processed meat. Processed meats are nutrient-poor and high in heme iron like red meat, but have additional sodium, which is likely why the authors found a steeper association with stroke.27

These studies add to the already huge body of evidence showing that whole plant foods are health-promoting, while red and processed meats are disease-causing.

Between the excessive amounts of protein and heme iron, new findings on detrimental effects of red meat compounds Neu5GC28  and carnitine, and the volume of evidence linking red and processed meats to cancer and premature death,29-36 there is no question – these are dangerous foods. People who still desire to eat meat, should think of it as a condiment, only to be used a few times a week in small amounts.  

References:

1. He FJ, MacGregor GA: A comprehensive review on salt and health and current experience of worldwide salt reduction programmes. J Hum Hypertens 2009;23:363-384.
2. Go AS, Mozaffarian D, Roger VL, et al: Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics--2013 Update: A Report From the American Heart Association. Circulation 2013;127:e6-e245.
3. Papanikolaou Y, Fulgoni VL, 3rd: Bean consumption is associated with greater nutrient intake, reduced systolic blood pressure, lower body weight, and a smaller waist circumference in adults: results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2002. J Am Coll Nutr 2008;27:569-576.
4. Landsberg L: Insulin-mediated sympathetic stimulation: role in the pathogenesis of obesity-related hypertension (or, how insulin affects blood pressure, and why). J Hypertens 2001;19:523-528.
5. Streppel MT, Arends LR, van 't Veer P, et al: Dietary fiber and blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomized placebo-controlled trials. Arch Intern Med 2005;165:150-156.
6. Houston MC: The importance of potassium in managing hypertension. Curr Hypertens Rep 2011;13:309-317.
7. Houston M: The role of magnesium in hypertension and cardiovascular disease. J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich) 2011;13:843-847.
8. DeFronzo RA, Cooke CR, Andres R, et al: The effect of insulin on renal handling of sodium, potassium, calcium, and phosphate in man. J Clin Invest 1975;55:845-855.
9. Chiasson JL, Josse RG, Gomis R, et al: Acarbose treatment and the risk of cardiovascular disease and hypertension in patients with impaired glucose tolerance: the STOP-NIDDM trial. JAMA 2003;290:486-494.
10. Jenkins DJ, Kendall CW, Augustin LS, et al: Effect of Legumes as Part of a Low Glycemic Index Diet on Glycemic Control and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Arch Intern Med 2012:1-8.
11. Bazzano LA, Thompson AM, Tees MT, et al: Non-soy legume consumption lowers cholesterol levels: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Nutrition, metabolism, and cardiovascular diseases : NMCD 2011;21:94-103.
12. Brown L, Rosner B, Willett WW, et al: Cholesterol-lowering effects of dietary fiber: a meta-analysis. Am J Clin Nutr 1999;69:30-42.
13. Anderson JW: Dietary fiber prevents carbohydrate-induced hypertriglyceridemia. Curr Atheroscler Rep 2000;2:536-541.
14. Chen GC, Lv DB, Pang Z, et al: Dietary fiber intake and stroke risk: a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Eur J Clin Nutr 2013;67:96-100.
15. Pereira MA, O'Reilly E, Augustsson K, et al: Dietary fiber and risk of coronary heart disease: a pooled analysis of cohort studies. Arch Intern Med 2004;164:370-376.
16. King DE, Mainous AG, 3rd, Lambourne CA: Trends in dietary fiber intake in the United States, 1999-2008. J Acad Nutr Diet 2012;112:642-648.
17. Luan de C, Li H, Li SJ, et al: Body iron stores and dietary iron intake in relation to diabetes in adults in North China. Diabetes Care 2008;31:285-286.
18. Rajpathak SN, Crandall JP, Wylie-Rosett J, et al: The role of iron in type 2 diabetes in humans. Biochim Biophys Acta 2009;1790:671-681.
19. de Oliveira Otto MC, Alonso A, Lee DH, et al: Dietary intakes of zinc and heme iron from red meat, but not from other sources, are associated with greater risk of metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease. J Nutr 2012;142:526-533.
20. Ahluwalia N, Genoux A, Ferrieres J, et al: Iron status is associated with carotid atherosclerotic plaques in middle-aged adults. J Nutr 2010;140:812-816.
21. Brewer GJ: Iron and copper toxicity in diseases of aging, particularly atherosclerosis and Alzheimer's disease. Exp Biol Med 2007;232:323-335.
22. Kiechl S, Willeit J, Egger G, et al: Body iron stores and the risk of carotid atherosclerosis: prospective results from the Bruneck study. Circulation 1997;96:3300-3307.
23. Steffen LM, Kroenke CH, Yu X, et al: Associations of plant food, dairy product, and meat intakes with 15-y incidence of elevated blood pressure in young black and white adults: the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study. Am J Clin Nutr 2005;82:1169-1177; quiz 1363-1164.
24. Tzoulaki I, Brown IJ, Chan Q, et al: Relation of iron and red meat intake to blood pressure: cross sectional epidemiological study. BMJ 2008;337:a258.
25. Wang L, Manson JE, Buring JE, et al: Meat intake and the risk of hypertension in middle-aged and older women. J Hypertens 2008;26:215-222.
26. Miura K, Greenland P, Stamler J, et al: Relation of vegetable, fruit, and meat intake to 7-year blood pressure change in middle-aged men: the Chicago Western Electric Study. Am J Epidemiol 2004;159:572-580.
27. Chen GC, Lv DB, Pang Z, et al: Red and processed meat consumption and risk of stroke: a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Eur J Clin Nutr 2013;67:91-95.
28. Padler-Karavani V, Yu H, Cao H, et al: Diversity in specificity, abundance, and composition of anti-Neu5Gc antibodies in normal humans: potential implications for disease. Glycobiology 2008;18:818-830.
29. WCRF/AICR Expert Report, Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective.: World Cancer Research Fund; 2007.
30. Lunn JC, Kuhnle G, Mai V, et al: The effect of haem in red and processed meat on the endogenous formation of N-nitroso compounds in the upper gastrointestinal tract. Carcinogenesis 2007;28:685-690.
31. Kuhnle GG, Story GW, Reda T, et al: Diet-induced endogenous formation of nitroso compounds in the GI tract. Free Radic Biol Med 2007;43:1040-1047.
32. Pan A, Sun Q, Bernstein AM, et al: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality: Results From 2 Prospective Cohort Studies. Arch Intern Med 2012.
33. Sinha R, Cross AJ, Graubard BI, et al: Meat intake and mortality: a prospective study of over half a million people. Arch Intern Med 2009;169:562-571.
34. Major JM, Cross AJ, Doubeni CA, et al: Socioeconomic deprivation impact on meat intake and mortality: NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study. Cancer Causes Control 2011;22:1699-1707.
35. Key TJ, Fraser GE, Thorogood M, et al: Mortality in vegetarians and nonvegetarians: detailed findings from a collaborative analysis of 5 prospective studies. Am J Clin Nutr 1999;70:516S-524S.
36. Fraser GE: Associations between diet and cancer, ischemic heart disease, and all-cause mortality in non-Hispanic white California Seventh-day Adventists. Am J Clin Nutr 1999;70:532S-538S.


 

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You Don't Have to be Obese or Sick to Become a Nutritarian

Mike wasn’t significantly overweight when he discovered the nutritarian diet-style, yet the quality of his life has improved considerably since fully committing to it.  And it has had a rippling effect on his family and those around him as well. Welcome to Disease Proof, Mike.  

 

 

What was your life like before discovering Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritarian approach?

As a boy I was frequently sick.  I suffered with asthmatic bronchitis which would always get bad during the winter.  I remember plenty of times when I was sick in bed for my birthday or while my friends were playing outside during the winter school break.  I always had a stuffy nose which led to frequent sinus infections and, well into my thirties, there was hardly a year that I didn’t take antibiotics.

Like most Americans, processed foods and animal products comprised the bulk of my diet.  In elementary school I was “chubby”, and I was picked on for being fat.  By the time I graduated high school I was six feet tall and weighed 225 lbs.  During college I became more active with sports and lost a decent amount of weight.  Over the next twenty or so years my weight fluctuated between 165 lbs and 200 lbs, typically hovering around 175 lbs which I thought was my “ideal weight.”


I was pretty fit just before discovering Dr. Fuhrman.  I was exercising vigorously at least four times a week. and I thought I was eating sensibly, because I was completely avoiding fast food.  I weighed 170 lbs, I wasn’t on any medications, and I felt good about myself.

 

How did you find out about Dr. Fuhrman?

One day I asked someone at a Vita Mix demonstration booth how I could learn to make green smoothies like she had just made.  She gave me the address of Dr. Fuhrman’s website.  Later that day, I started watching the documentary, “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead” and Dr. Fuhrman appeared on the screen.  I wondered, “Where have I been and why haven’t I heard of Dr. Fuhrman before?”  I went online and ordered Eat for Health.  Within days I read the book, and it made a lot of sense.  I knew it was real and not just another fad diet.  I decided that becoming Nutritarians was something my family and I had to do, because I wanted better health for all of us.

 

How do you feel now?

I feel great!  I didn’t think I needed to lose any weight; yet, I lost 20 lbs in the first two and a half months and my weight quickly stabilized at 150 lbs.  The last time I weighed that much I was in middle school and six inches shorter.  The amazing part was that I never felt like I was starving myself.  To the contrary, I was eating generous portions of food and enjoying food more than ever.  Much more importantly, I’m healthier now.  It’s been over eighteen months since I became a Nutritarian, and I haven’t had a single sick day.

 

What are your success tips?

  • Don’t wait until your health suffers before taking better care of yourself.  Our leading causes of death are primarily the result of the foods we eat.  Regardless of your health condition, start taking care of yourself now.

  • Read, listen to, or watch Dr. Fuhrman at least five minutes a day.  The deeper your understanding, the more conviction you’ll have for making good nutritional decisions and the more likely you’ll succeed.

  • Put the principles you learn into practice.  There are plenty of recipes and cooking tips available in books, online, and from other Nutritarians through Dr. Fuhrman’s member center.

  • If you have a spouse or partner then start educating them and enlist their help and support.  It’s easier to succeed if you don’t go it alone.

  • Order off the menu when dining out by choosing healthy ingredients listed among the various menu items.  Clearly communicate your order to the chef by writing out your meal preparation instructions and handing them to the wait staff.  Bringing a healthy salad dressing and ordering fresh fruits and vegetables generally works well.

  • Avoid feeling trapped into eating the wrong foods.  Consider “pre-gaming” with a high-nutrient snack just prior to dining out, and take a nutritarian dish or two along when dining at someone else’s home.

  • Help address our health care crisis by helping others take better care of themselves by becoming Nutritarians.  The greatest gift anyone can receive is the gift of good health.



What has the nutritarian diet-style done for you?

Becoming a Nutritarian has improved my health dramatically, I’m full of energy and I don’t get sick.  I’m enjoying more out of life. It has also empowered me to help others.  My wife and children are benefiting with their own weight loss and improved health, and this is bringing us even closer together as a family.  I've also helped a friend avoid heart surgery, and he is doing incredibly well now.  By improving my health and the health of others around me, I have developed a greater sense of meaning, purpose, and well-being in my own life.

 

Congratulations Mike for not only improving your health but being a great role model for others, including your family ~ keep up the good work!