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!

Interview with a Nutritarian: Terry

For years, Terry, a former high school and college athlete, could “eat anything” and work it off with lots of exercise through sports.  However, in his late twenties, the weight began to pile on as his social eating and drinking increased, and his exercise decreased.  The once fit athlete ballooned into an obese and unhealthy, middle-aged guy who felt miserable. Thankfully, a mutual friend and vegan proponent, Heather Mills, posed a challenge to Terry to get his health back and introduced him to Dr. Fuhrman. The rest is history. He’s now more than half way through the challenge, and it has changed more than just his medical stats.  Welcome to Disease Proof, Terry.

                      collegiate and middle aged male             

Tell us about yourself and how you decided to take the plunge to get your health back?

For more than a decade I’ve been overweight and unhappy with how I’ve looked and felt. I’ve wanted to lose 75 lbs to get down to what I weighed when I played collegiate rugby. I grew up playing sports and ate lots of high fat food, but never had a potbelly until I was twenty-five; and even then, when rugby season would start, I could always run it off. However, by the time I was thirty I was a heavy drinker and hardly exercised anymore. My career as an advertising executive in Manhattan requires dining out with clients late into the night as a significant part of my job. There seemed to be no end to my disease promoting lifestyle. Two years ago, when I turned forty, I thought I was a hopeless case. I didn’t think I’d ever be fit, active or happy again like I was in my early twenties.

Heather posed a challenge for me to go vegan for six months to see what effect it would have on my weight, blood pressure and cholesterol. She wanted me to do it “right” so she introduced me to Dr. Fuhrman, who took the challenge a step further. He wanted me to focus on eating high nutrient vegetation for optimal health, and become a nutritarian for life.     

At first I thought Heather’s idea was crazy, because I loved meat and cheese; and it was even suggested that I give up alcohol! She offered to provide the food for six months and arrange monthly check-ups with Dr. Fuhrman if I would write a blog about the experience. After thinking about the challenge for many weeks, I decided to go for it. By this time, I had tipped the scales at 302 lbs [6’4”].  
   
I started the six month quest with 100% gusto on November 1, 2009; just as I was entering my favorite eating and drinking season of the year. A couple of days prior I had my first consultation with Dr. Fuhrman and he laid it on the line just like a coach would, and Eat to Live became the playbook.


How did you feel before committing to Eat to Live? 

I was tired all the time, and it was a struggle to perform even the simplest of tasks such as bending over to tie my shoes or climb a flight of stairs. However, even though I was obese, I didn’t look more than 50 lbs overweight and I lived a “normal” life. I could still fit in airplane seats and was never in want of a date; therefore, I ignored my extremely unhealthy body. I thought I ate relatively healthy and didn’t consider myself to be a junk food addict. For those rare times that I did look in the mirror and become shocked at my size, I would order a giant steak, creamed spinach, bottle of wine, and a few Scotches to make me happy again. 

I naively assumed that if I just cut back on food intake and exercised more that I could achieve my weight loss goal; however, Dr. Fuhrman quickly set me straight. I was surprised to learn that my steaks with creamed spinach and 12” subs were junk food; causing my cholesterol to be dangerously over 300! When Dr. Fuhrman stated, "We got you just in time," I knew it was not a hyperbole. My life was truly at risk

              

What's happened to your body so far?

By the eighth day of following Eat to Live, I had lost 12 lbs and within six weeks my cholesterol dropped an incredible 100 points! I’ve lost 41 lbs in the last 3½ months, and feel great and closer to “normal” again. My body is now conditioned to enjoy healthy food. I love this new way of eating! 

                 before and after obese male

 Are others noticing changes about you? 

Yes, someone recently commented, “I didn’t know you had a chin!” My girlfriend said that my skin looks healthier and more alive, and friends from years ago now see the same person they first met. However, the biggest change that others notice is my attitude. I was never without a drink and luscious spread of food, and now I’m surprising everyone. Many are encouraged and motivated because I’m the last person in the world they’d ever expect to see change eating and drinking habits. Now, the common response is, “If Terry can do it, I certainly can!”


Do you have any success tip(s) that you’d like to share with others in their journey to health?

  • Yes, be selfish.  In my case, I love to write, and the prospect of documenting this journey through a blog seemed irresistible. I told everyone I met that I was going on this radical quest to lose 75 lbs., and that I would be writing about it daily. [It’s easy to set up a blog. If you tell everyone about it, and commit to writing about your journey, you are under pressure to stick with it!]
  • Also I looked at the weight loss challenge as a sporting event. I’m competitive. I love to win. My ego was at stake because if I lost, I would not only be losing to myself, I would be losing to my doubters, and that got my competitive juices flowing!

 

Any final thoughts to share? 

  • Just because you feel "fine" doesn’t mean your cholesterol is not life threatening.
  • Just because you can still buy clothes “off the rack", or fit in an airplane seat, doesn’t mean you’re not dangerously obese.
  • Just because people love you, doesn’t mean you should ignore poor health and not do something about it.

     

Almost daily I hear the words of Dr. Fuhrman echo in my head, "We got you just in time." 

 

Terry has 2 ½ months left of his six month quest to get his health back. I’ll check in with him on the victor’s platform in a few months! In the meantime, check out his blog.  [By the way, since eating out with clients is a big part of his career, he uses his blog to encourage others, like himself, who are committed to eating for health while living in a big city full of challenging temptations.]

Congratulations Terry ~ we are cheering for you!