Esther Boller is one cool chica. As a lover of fashion myself, I knew I had to get to know this rising star in the art and fashion world who also happens to be a model nutritarian. While just 17-years-old, Esther has already proven that she has the talent to compete with the best and brightest in fashion and film. Esther recently won a National Gold Medal in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards for her Masking Tape Dress - made completely out of masking tape! Winning this award is no small feat. It is a prestigious award dating back to 1923 and has been previously granted to artistic greats such as Andy Warhol, Truman Capote, Robert Redford and Joyce Carol Oates.
Esther continues to increase exposure in the fashion and modeling industry and this spring she was the cover girl model winner for Mode Republic. In addition to all of these achievements, she also won the Scholastic National American Vision Award for her short film, “Dreams are Sails”. Over 200,000 students entered the various Scholastics competitions, and she traveled to New York City in June to accept her awards at a national ceremony in Carnegie Hall.
Wow! So while I’m completely impressed by her skills in the world of aesthetics, I’m equally impressed by her healthy eating habits. After speaking with her on the phone, I learned that she’s been committed to following the nutritarian lifestyle since December 2011 and has never felt better. Let’s get to know this inspiring girl better. Welcome to Disease Proof, Esther!
What was your life like before following Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritarian eating-style?
While always a pretty healthy eater and ate better than most teenagers, I was far from perfect. I loved fruits and vegetables, but I also ate pizza, breads, cookies and sweets regularly. I’ve always had a sweet tooth and this meant plenty of sugar in my diet. In August 2011 I began suffering from dizzy spells combined with intense headaches once or twice each week and they would last for over 20 minutes. I would become so overwhelmed with a sensation of spinning that I would instantly have to stop whatever I was doing, sit down, and put my head between my knees until it would stop. Each week they increased in intensity, frequency and length to the point that they were greatly incapacitating. I could never anticipate when an episode would happen, and they started to occur every other day so I began living in fear of them; especially when I was driving the car or out in public.
My mom took me to an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist last December, and after an initial hearing test ruled out an inner ear imbalance, the doctor wanted to do a bunch of expensive diagnostic tests, physical therapy, and possibly put me on meds. I knew that I didn’t want to take drugs as I’ve seen first hand the negative side effects of mind altering meds. No way. So when Dr. Fuhrman suggested that I eat 100% perfectly, even starting a week before Christmas, I was willing to do anything to get better. I couldn’t let the dizzy spells and headaches, or the negative side effects of drugs stop me from achieving my dreams.
How do you feel now?
A few weeks after committing to the nutritarian lifestyle, the spinning episodes and headaches became less intense and I felt them less frequently. After two months they completely disappeared. Now, besides having no more dizzy spells or headaches, I’m not as tired anymore and have lots more energy. This last spring semester I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to focus on schoolwork with enhanced alertness and simply have more vigor in daily living. I never had terrible skin, but I don’t get acne or pimples like I did sometimes in the past.
What has surprised you about following a nutritarian diet?
It is so easy and I enjoy it much more than I expected. I liked fruits and vegetables before, but didn’t love them like I do now. I didn’t think I would enjoy eating kale, but now I adore it! I’ve become much more creative in the kitchen and one of my favorite meals is a salad with homemade bean salsa on top. When I crave something sweet, I whip up a banana ice cream made with bananas, other fruits and non-dairy milk. My friends are pretty accepting of the way I eat, and when I visit my friends' houses and they offer me junk foods, I explain that I have to follow a special diet for health reasons. It’s definitely not as hard as I thought to say no to conventional American foods.
Do you have advice for other young people attempting to improve their diets?
Yes! Don’t be afraid of trying new foods. You’d be surprised how great vegetable and fruit dishes can taste! As I mentioned, I’d never been a huge kale fan, but after eating it more and experimenting with different cooking techniques and recipes, it’s become one of my favorite vegetables. My taste buds have certainly changed as I’ve made the switch to a 100 percent nutritarian lifestyle and I now crave large salads, which was something I didn’t expect.
I’ve also found it helpful to have a variety of different fruits and vegetables stocked in the refrigerator. Fruits and vegetables can be a little bit boring after a while, so it’s nice to try out new recipes. When I first started, my mom and I tried out a bunch of recipes and found ones that I really enjoy and make all the time now. There are so many ways to cook fruits and vegetables!
In a nutshell, what has nutritarian eating done for you?
I look forward to my future now without the fear of scary, dizzy spells, headaches, or taking drugs for the rest of my life. Nothing feels better than that!
Image credits: self-portrait in car by Esther Boller; Carnegie Hall ceremony taken by Ruth Yaroslaski