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






















Body fat %







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



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. 



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!



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!


Interview with a Nutritarian: Sue

As a Grandma to three energetic grandsons, Sue is thankful to have lost the 117 pounds that she was carrying around on her small, 5’ 2-1/2” frame. She’s your typical American woman who was caught in the downward spiral of yo-yo dieting, malnutrition and poor health as a result of the dieting industry; that is, until she was introduced to eating for health. Welcome to Disease Proof, Sue.   


before and after weight lossWhat was your life like before discovering Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritarian eating-style?

When I was 28-years-old I weighed 245 pounds and wore a size 22.  Climbing the stairs caused me to be out of breath, and leisurely walks and bike rides were tiring. In our house we ate a steady diet of McDonalds, pizza, roast beef with mashed potatoes, and we didn’t eat fruits and vegetables except for some occasional sweet corn. Needless to say, my body was starving for nutrition and I didn't even know it.

When my son started school, I decided that I would lose some weight, so I started the cycle of yo-yo dieting.  I tried many different diets: Weight Watchers, Protein Power, Atkins, The Carbohydrate Addicts’ Diet, and Pure Weight Loss...these diets worked temporarily, but I always gained the weight back. Nothing made me healthy, and I was always on a continual search for a quick fix to lose unwanted pounds.

However, at the end of my 89-year-old mother’s life, I spent time assisting her in a nursing home. Watching her in physical therapy trying to do simple tasks like lifting her hands above her head made me realize that I needed to take care of myself NOW! That was my “wake-up call.” 


How did you feel then?

I didn’t feel well.  I was pre-diabetic, lethargic, and my legs, feet and back hurt.  I intentionally stayed away from my doctor, because I was afraid of what he might find. 


How did you find out about ETL?

I joined a 12-week weight loss program, led and taught by Dr. Kachmann, a neurosurgeon in Fort Wayne who introduced me to a healthy lifestyle. At one of the sessions, Emily Boller shared her story of how she became healthy as a result of following Dr. Fuhrman’s books, Eat to Live and Eat for Health. I bought Eat to Live and couldn’t put it down. 


How do you feel now?

I’m totally energized and no longer pre-diabetic.  I walk for exercise; plus, I take yoga classes 5 days / week.  I have three grandsons and I can keep up with them; even from opening to closing at Disney World for five days in a row!






245 lbs

128 lbs

Waist Circumference









Fasting blood sugar

120 (at age 16)



      before and after weight loss portraits

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

  • Put your health first.

  • Read "Eat to Live." Mark it up and know what it says. 

  • Eat high nutrient foods, and don’t worry about weight loss as you’ll naturally become thin, healthy and happy as a result.

  • Take your time and get used to eating correctly.  Your body will love you for it!


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

At age 61, I’m now healthy and eat lots of fruits, vegetables and beans, and very little meat; plus, I’m no longer bound by counting calories and points, and the downward cycle of yo-yo dieting.  Eat to Live has changed my life!  

Congratulations to a healthy and energetic Grandma . . . for years to come!

What kind of glasses do you wear?

two pairs of glasses

For the better part of two years now I’ve been actively involved in interacting with, and observing the victories and struggles of many who have started Eat to Live. I’ve discovered a common thread among those who succeed at getting their health back and those who repeatedly live in cycles of defeat.

It is my observation that gender, age, education, social or financial status, career choice, and even support from others or lack thereof, don’t necessarily determine one’s success or failure. In a nutshell, the commonalities of those who succeed and those who repeatedly fail boils down to what kind of “glasses” the two groups wear. In other words, their perspectives determine the outcome.   

Those who succeed have a mindset from day one onward to do whatever it takes to live in the best, optimal health possible. They are focused on assimilating Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritional information so that they can learn how to take excellent care of their body. They view the opportunity to earn health back as a privilege, and that perspective gives them a tremendous amount of pleasure and satisfaction with the nutritarian eating-style. They thoroughly enjoy eating for health. Even with therapeutic fasting for a couple of days or a long stretch throughout the night, they view it as a means to optimal health; giving the body complete digestive rest to clean toxins and repair damaged cells. As they become healthier with each passing day, they feel great! This “feel good” attitude fuels ongoing success for life.

Conversely, those who repeatedly fail have a mindset from day one onward of dieting. Their finish line is merely a number on the scale.  Typically, they view Eat to Live as just another diet book to lose weight and their focus is on restrictive deprivation. Dieting mentality invites “cheating”, and with continuous cheating taste buds never change and one never gets free from toxic food addiction. It also requires continual mental and emotional exertion, and yields much frustration; resulting in repeated failed attempts, lack of confidence, false guilt and consequent binge eating. This state of being holds one captive in continual poor health for life. 

One’s perspective determines the outcome. 

What kind of glasses do you wear?


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It's Not About Deprivation

Are you stuck in the dieting rut that says, “I have to give up this or that; I can’t have this; I can’t have that?” or  “My New Year’s resolution will be to restrict calories to lose fifty pounds by summer.” 


If you are, you are one of millions held captive in the American dieting prison system.   

Nutritarin eating is about . . . . eating.

I can eat this. I can eat that.

It’s not about deprivation, because when the body gets the nutrients it so desperately needs, over time, the taste and desire for junk and unhealthy food choices naturally diminish.  Food preferences change and the body seeks out excellent nutrition instead.    

As we choose to eat foods that have high amounts of nutrients:  unlimited amounts of fresh vegetables and fruits, unlimited amounts of beans/ legumes, limited amounts of unsalted nuts, seeds and grains, a bit of fish and poultry (if desired); we no longer are controlled by unnatural cravings for junk. 

Just like the body doesn’t naturally crave nicotine unless it repeatedly smokes cigarettes; likewise, it doesn’t naturally desire artificial, processed food unless it is repeatedly fed the junk.  When you are healthy, you don’t want junk.

If you are overweight or obese, you got there by starving yourself from high nutrient, natural foods.  Most likely your body has been fed unhealthy, chemically sweetened and flavored processed foods.  Your body size is the by-product of being chronically deprived of excellent nutrition. 

You need a paradigm shift.  A permanently transformed body is the result of a changed mind.  Focus your thoughts on putting nutrient dense foods into your body.  Fill your nutritional needs. 

  fruits and vegetables

I challenge you this New Year to forget about the all-consuming drive to lose weight by deprivation (which, by the way, takes a lot of psychological effort to get psyched up for and is never permanent), and focus instead on putting lots of nutrient dense foods into your body.  Fill your nutritional needs and your body will naturally decrease its drive to overeat calories.  

Do you make the salad the main dish?; including lots of raw vegetables such as shredded cabbage, carrots, sweet peppers, tomatoes, and beets?  Are you using Dr. Fuhrman’s healthy salad dressing recipes?  Don’t forget the central core of nutritarianism is eating large raw salads; including greens such as lettuce, kale or spinach in a fruit smoothie once a day, if desired.  Without the salads, it's likely that you're not interpreting Dr. Fuhrman’s guidelines accurately.  


“By teaching you how to achieve superior health, your ideal weight will follow naturally.”  -Dr. Fuhrman

Let's dialogue.  Do you focus on deprivation, or do you focus on eating a sufficient amount of high nutrient vegetation to achieve optimal health?



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