Interview with a Nutritarian: Molly

I met Molly, a college student, at the Weekend Immersion in Princeton this past November. She glowed with exuberant radiance; I had no idea that just a few years back she hated fruits and vegetables! Thanks to a mother who quietly modeled healthy eating choices, Molly decided to commit to Dr. Fuhrman’s Six Week Challenge to see what would happen. The rest, of course, is history. Welcome to Disease Proof, Molly.

 

Molly, what was your life like before discovering Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritarian eating-style?

I lived a typical, college student lifestyle. I generally ate cheap, easy-to-prepare foods such as cereal bars, pasta and sandwiches; interspersed with sweet coffee drinks to fuel my late night studying, and frequent "treats" to satisfy my sweet tooth (cookies, muffins, etc.). I've always had a hearty appetite so I steadily gained weight through high school and college. I never thought of myself as being fat, but I knew that I was plumper than I wanted to be, and I was frustrated that my sporadic efforts to cut back on eating and increase physical activity never yielded any results.

I played sports throughout my childhood and was on the varsity fencing team my freshman and sophomore years in college, but I rarely exercised outside of participation in team sports; and after I quit fencing I led a relatively sedentary lifestyle. Plus, I always suffered from severe seasonal allergies, allergies to animals, and asthma so I had strong motivation to stay indoors when the weather was nice.

Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of my pre Eat to Live days was that I scrupulously avoided eating fruits and vegetables. I didn't like the taste and texture of plants, especially fruit, and I would get very upset if anyone encouraged me to try dishes with fruits or vegetables in them. I gradually added some vegetables into my diet, including lettuce, cauliflower, peppers, onion, and green beans, but my vegetable consumption remained very limited, and I wouldn't touch any fruit besides an occasional orange.

 

How did you feel then?

My allergies were a very annoying problem, and I frequently caught bad colds, but otherwise I felt relatively fine. Super healthy eating always seemed out of reach due to my stubborn refusal to eat fruits and vegetables.

 

How did you find out about Eat to Live?

My mom read Eat to Live and followed nutritarian eating so I looked into it. It made sense to me so I decided to do the Six Week Challenge to see what would happen.

 

How do you feel now?

I’ve significantly improved the quality of my life. I’m 5’5 ½” and started at 156 lbs and today I weigh 122 lbs. My allergies are less severe, and I haven't had a cold since starting ETL even though my siblings come home with awful colds. This is quite remarkable for me, because I used to catch every cold that came through the house!

Losing weight and taking control of my eating and health has also improved my outlook on life. It was a major area that I never felt like I had control of before, but now I feel confident that I know how to treat my body right for the rest of my life. I’ve started exercising regularly, because it felt like a natural extension of my commitment to healthy eating. I now cherish my outdoor runs and hikes and the way they make my body feel.

Perhaps the most astonishing part of my transformation is that, through an open mind and perseverance, I’ve successfully changed my taste buds, and now I LOVE fruits and vegetables. They are the core of my diet. It has been great fun to discover the joy of eating food that I know is both delicious and good for me. I also enjoy eating fresh, seasonal foods, and I've come to love cooking. Food has become a passion and a pleasure for me in ways that it never was before.

 

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

  • Don't be afraid to try a new way of eating and give your taste buds time to adjust to the change.
  • Schedule time into your day for prepping and chopping vegetables because having healthy food on hand is the best way to stave off bad cravings.

 

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

It has made me feel strong, confident, and HEALTHY! It has made eating and food a supremely satisfying aspect of my life.

 

We applaud you Molly for investing in your health at such a young age ~ keep up the great job!

The Powerful Freedom of Abstinence

Abstinence is staying within the picket fence around us called “boundaries.” The purpose of a boundary is to keep us safe. The nutritional wisdom and guidelines in Dr. Fuhrman’s books, newsletters, teleconferences, etc., if followed, keep us safe and healthy. There’s freedom, optimal health, and many pleasurable perks within the fence.

Seeds of abstinence sown in the soil of our lives will eventually produce a harvest of freedom from addiction that leads to optimal health. Guaranteed.

Yes, of course, we may have imperfect “slip ups”, especially in those first few weeks and months of getting rid of the toxins that have built up in our bodies over the years. The key to success is to recognize and acknowledge the slip up when it happens and quickly continue on eating for health.

If we’ve sown seeds of compromise for several days, weeks, or even months, now is the time to stop. Stop immediately. Continue on the journey to eat for health. Forget the past. The past is the past. Let it go. There’s nothing that can be done about it and dwelling on the misery is counterproductive to optimal health.

Get up. Dust the dirt off and roll up the sleeves. Fix the nicks and dents in the picket fence by going back to key chapters in Eat to Live and Eat for Health and re-read them. Listen to the teleconference on overeating again. Ask for help from like-minded friends on Dr. Fuhrman’s members’ center. Abstain from making ice cream desserts until the taste buds have readjusted to enjoy the subtle flavors of greens again. Turn off the news and go outside for a walk. It may take several weeks or months to get back to optimal health again, but it will be sooooo worth it!

Have the mindset to nurture and gently care for the body. In those seemingly, insignificant choices, let’s all be kind to ourselves. Kindness is the backbone of superior health.

There’s freedom in boundaries.

Abstinence, not perfection, is one of the keys to success.

Let’s all enjoy living within the picket fence!

Freedom to all!

Eat for Health: Fighting Cardiovascular Disease

This is an excerpt from Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat For Health.

The dietary recommendations contained in this book and the elements that make a diet cardio protective have been tested in multiple studies. The evidence here is overwhelming. Let’s first look at the LDL cholesterol lowering effects of various dietary plans, as documented in published medical journal articles.

Eat for Health puts together many different qualities that make a diet cardio-protective and cholesterol-reducing. It’s not just a low-fat or vegetarian way of eating that makes a diet ideal. This eating-style has such dramatic benefits because it is very high in mixed fibers and vegetables and has sterols and other compounds from beans and nuts. This is the only dietary intervention shown to lower cholesterol as effectively as cholesterol-lowering medications. Though the low-fat vegetarian diet did lower LDL cholesterol 16 percent, triglycerides were actually 18.7 percent higher and the LDL/HDL ratio remained unchanged. The results of the study that patterned the recommendations of Eat for Health differed in that the LDL cholesterol was more significantly lowered without unfavorable impact on HDL or triglycerides, reflecting sizable improvement in cardiac risk factors. I have hundreds of patients in my medical practice who have witnessed dramatic reductions in their blood lipids, especially LDL cholesterol, without drugs.

Keep in mind that cholesterol lowering does not adequately explain the protective effect of Eat for Health in cardiovascular disease since the diet has powerful anti-inflammatory and other beneficial biochemical effects. Even though drugs may lower cholesterol, they cannot be expected to offer the dramatic protection against cardiovascular events that nutritional excellence can. The aggressive use of cholesterol-lowering drugs does not prevent most heart attacks and strokes and does not decrease the risk of fatal strokes.7 That is, in clinical trials a significant percentage of patients on the best possible statin therapy still experience events; however, lowering cholesterol with nutritional excellence can be expected to offer dramatically more protection and disease reversal compared to drug therapy, without the risk or expense of prescription medication.
 

1. Bunyard LB, Dennis KE, Nicklas BJ. Dietary intake and changes in lipoprotein lipids in obese, postmenopausal women placed on an American Heart Association Step 1 diet. J Am Diet Assoc 2002 Jan;102(1):52-57.

2. Sharman MJ, Kraemer WJ, Love DM, et al. A ketogenic diet favorably affects serum biomarkers for cardiovascular disease in normal-weight men. J Nutr 2002 Jul;132(7):1879-1885.

3. Barnard ND, Scialli AR, Bertron P, et al. Effectiveness of a low-fat vegetarian diet in altering serum lipids in healthy premenopausal women. Am J Cardiol 2000 Apr 15;85(8):969-972.

4. Bemelmans WJ, Broer J, de Vries JH, et al. Impact of Mediterranean diet education versus posted leaflet on dietary habits and serum cholesterol in a high risk population for cardiovascular disease. Public Health Nutr. 2000 Sep;3(3):273-283.

5. Frolkis JP, Pearce GL, Nambi V, et al. Statins do not meet expectations for lowering low density lipoprotein cholesterol levels when used in clinical practice. Am J Med 2002 Dec 1;113(8):625-629.

6. Jenkins DJ, Kendall CW, Popovich DG, et al. Effect of a very-high-fiber vegetable, fruit and nut diet on serum lipids and colonic function. Metabolism 2001 Apr;50(4):494-503.

7. Ward S, Lloyd JM, Pandor A, et al. A systematic review and economic evaluation of statins for the prevention of coronary events. Health Technol Assess. 2007;11(14):1-178.