Two moms and an eye-opening experiment

 

The creativity of our readers is amazing! The following is an “experiment” that two Moms, Mandy and her friend Jessica, did over this past holiday season. 

They thought it would be interesting to keep track of all unhealthy treats, including the calories, fat grams, and sugar grams that three of their children were offered at school, church, and Grandma’s house from November 10 through December 25th; for a total of 45 days.  They charted it below, and the following is the summary: 

In forty-five days, three children, ages 3, 5, and 7 were offered a total of 41,734 extra calories; 1,927 grams of fat; and 6,470 grams of sugar! No joke! 

And interesting to note, because the Moms had both pledged to follow Dr. Fuhrman’s Holiday Challenge during that time, Mandy thinks the numbers would’ve been at least twice that amount had they not accepted the challenge. She said the children were amazing as they brought home the treats that they had passed up and counted the days on a paper chain.  As a reward, and as a way to reinforce in them that they weren’t “giving up” something, but making a trade for something better, the Moms took them to a hotel with an indoor pool and had a mini-vacation afterward. 

For better treat options, Mandy and Jessica found lots of fun and tasty ways to eat fruit, like frozen bananas with a little peanut butter to make banana ice-cream. They also discovered that it was a huge shift in mindset to get over the idea that they “had” to have a treat after every dinner, but they succeeded!

Here is the list of combined treats passed up by all three children:

[November 10 through December 25, 2011]

Candy Type

 Total Offered

Total Calories

Total Fat Grams

Total Sugar Grams

Snack-size Candy

 42

 4830

 299

 552

Cookies

 65

 8645

 437

 689

Ice Cream

 30 ½ cup servings

 8100

 540

 630

Pixie Sticks

 6

 100

-

 24

Smarties

 4

 100

-

 24

Chocolate Milk

 1 carton (school lunch)

 158

 2.5

 26

Suckers

 5

   120

-

 29

Cake

 6

 1410

 63

 210

Tootsie Pops

 5

 420

-

 100

Chocolates

 16

 1440

 37

 270

Full size Candy Bar

  6

 1640

 97

 164

Pudding

 1 serving

 157

 4.5

 26

Soda Pop

 2

 300

-

 78

Hard Candy

 7

 196

-

 28

Donut

 1

 198

 11

 23

Pie

 8 slices

 3092

 117

 258

Brownie

 7

 903

 33

 149

Candy Cane

 13

 650

-

 176

Sleeve of Thin Mints

 1

 480

 24

 63

Fudge

 17

 407

 23

 47

Box of Cocoa

 2

 1220

 47

 192

Bag of Crunch Bars

 1

 1440

 72

 168

Box of Orange Sticks

 1

 1120

 25

 175

Peanut Brittle

 8

 552

 20

 92

Divinity

 8

 1072

 13

 195

Small Cookies

 8

 1064

 62

 85

Airhead

 2

 50

-

 8

Licorice

 6

 246

-

 62

Grand totals:

 

41,734 calories

1927 grams of fat

6470 grams of sugar

   

309 calories per child per day

14 grams of fat per child per day

48 grams of sugar per child per day

   

25% of daily caloric needs

35% of daily fat intake

16% of daily needs for carbohydrates, according to one internet source

 

Bravo to these Moms and their precious children! 

Let’s all learn from their innovative experiment that it is truly up to us, as parents, to protect our children’s health and well-being.    

Operation Turkey Undercover: The Frightening Truth About That Thanksgiving Day Bird

Thanksgiving is almost here and I am so pumped. I absolutely love this holiday.  I love seeing my family after being away from home for so long, I love the mouth-watering home cooked food, and contrary to many of my black Friday wary peers, I get a complete adrenaline rush from trying to find the best deals amid hordes of sale crazy shoppers.

Yet, there is something about this holiday that I don’t look forward to: stuffing my face with turkey. In fact, I refrain from eating the stuff all together.  While I am a prideful, animal loving vegan, health reasons alone are enough to eschew this Thanksgiving Day bird of choice. I know Thanksgiving is only one day each year and if you want to eat Turkey on Thanksgiving, it’s not the worst nutrition crime you could commit.  Yet at the same time, I just can’t sit back and let these facts go unshared.  Here’s an inside peek at the turkey knowledge circulating in my nutritional researched-stuffed brain when I glance at the bird on the table:

1)   46 million turkeys are raised every year just for this holiday alone. These turkeys are big mutant cousins of the turkeys that the pilgrims ate. The turkeys on our tables are fed incredibly high-calorie diets so that they grow much larger than any wild turkey would, and at an unnaturally fast rate.  Today’s farm raised birds become so top heavy that their legs can barely hold them. Their beaks and toes are cut so that they don’t scratch each other. Modern factory-farmed turkeys cannot even breed naturally due to all of their malformations. All turkeys we buy in the supermarket rely on artificial insemination to reproduce.

Turkeys. Flickr: cyanocorax

2)   Turkeys carry creepy pathogens. There’s this bug called campylobacter. It’s the leading cause of food-borne illness in the United States. Campylobacter is a dangerous little critter, estimated to infect more than 2.4 million Americans each year. Turns out a whopping 90 percent of turkeys produced in America are contaminated with our friend Mr. Campylobacter.  This is a consequence of birds being housed in super crowded cages with less than three square feet of space to move and being regularly dosed with antibiotics.  Speaking of antibiotics…

3)   Antibiotics: Turkeys produced on factory farms are fed a disturbingly large quantity of antibiotics as a routine preventive measure to ward off illnesses between them and to accelerate growth.  When you eat turkey, those antibiotics don’t suddenly disappear like Harry Houdini. They are transferred directly to you.  This is scary because when you ingest unnecessary antibiotics by eating Mr. Gobble-Gobble, your own healthy intestinal bacteria get wiped out, making you less able to fight off diseases. Oh, and the bacteria that the drugs are designed to kill eventually morph into stronger, more powerful versions of themselves.  Scarily, these bugs can transform into superbugs in which we, nor the turkeys, can form a natural resistance.

4)   Turkeys are full of synthetic hormones: the turkeys sold in supermarkets are routinely pumped full of artificial hormones to promote muscle growth, and those hormones are passed directly to you if you eat it.  That might sound good to all the bodybuilders I know are reading this article, but actually our bodies work hard to keep a natural balance of hormones in our circulation and eating animal products treated with hormones equals trouble for this healthy balance.  Excess hormones increase your risk of cancer.

5)   More toxins in turkey: eat turkey and you will be getting a nice helping of dioxin too.  What’s dioxin you say? Dioxin happens to be one of the most toxic chemicals known to science and is recognized as a cancer-causing demon among the scientific community.  It is estimated that 93 percent of our exposure to dioxin comes through eating animal products. 

It’s hard to believe that a seemingly “harmless” bird could contain all this junk, right? I find it hard to believe myself.  If you want to eat a bit of turkey on Thanksgiving I won’t shake my head (this is assuming I actually saw you eating turkey), but I will encourage you to load up on all of the other delicious Thanksgiving meal alternatives instead.  Savory sweet potato pie, roasted vegetables, a hearty vegetable stew, cranberry relish, and berry cobbler are dishes that I look forward to. I could go on with all of the amazing, healthy foods that will be at my Thanksgiving Day table….So even though eating turkey might not be the best idea considering the pathogens, dioxin and all that jazz, I’m still a big foodie and am looking forward to some good holiday eatin’ and my adrenaline rush inducer of choice (aka black Friday shopping).

Having a delightful and delicious time with my family and friends need not include a turkey.  Thanksgiving is a time to show thanks, after all, and avoiding turkey and other unhealthy foods every day allows me to be thankful for my good health now and for years to come.

 

 

References:

1)   Division of Foodborne, Bacterial, and Mycotic Diseases, “Campylobacter,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, http://www.ced.gov/nczved/dfbmd/disease_listing/campylobacter?gi.html#2

2)   ActionPA, “Dioxin Homepage,” managed by ActionPA.org, http://www.ejnet.org/dioxin

3)   John Robbins, The Food Revolution (Berkeley, CA: Conari Press, 2001), 128.

4)   www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4037499

Every Day Counts; Let's All Get Healthy in 2012

 

The holiday season can be a joyous time when we celebrate with our family and friends.  However, with unhealthy foods everywhere, I take bad nutrition seriously because people die from it.  I am sick of seeing people injured and dead, especially when they learned about the power of superior nutrition and did not take advantage of it. Food addiction is powerful for sure, but think about if that junk food (white flour, white rice and white sugar are dangerous junk) is worth a cancer diagnosis or open heart surgery. When junk food is eaten, including the traditional, disease-promoting foods served at the holidays, you may get momentary pleasure as it passes the lips, but the results continue on to compromise your health now, and many years in the future.  For some reason people do not realize that they aren’t granted a new body after they harm the one they have. We pay a price, usually later in life for our dietary indiscretions. As we get older, the more years one remains overweight and the more times you indulge in cancer-causing foods, the more difficult it becomes to assure protection against a tragic life-threatening cancer when you finally do decide to eat healthfully. Now is the time to throw your cigarettes away, not next year. Now is the time to get off your soft drinks and sugar addiction, not after the holidays.

Since everyone can use great recipes (and I supply many of them) to make delicious desserts and main dishes, I do not see the reason to eat white flour and sugar-filled garbage that creates cancer. Just because the world has gone crazy, and has become addicted to dangerous refined foods and factory farmed junk-food chicken and meats (factory-farmed meats are junk-food too) doesn’t mean you should join the self-destructive insanity.  

 

Remember how eating unhealthful and overeating while celebrating the holidays left you feeling ill and regretful in the past?  (And it wasn’t likely that pleasurable either.)  I doubt pigging out on junk is that pleasurable compared to cocaine or heroin. Not that I would know that, but I do know that food addiction kills a thousand times more people each year than cocaine addiction. Plus, not having good health magnifies every emotional problem plaguing your life and is a contributory cause of depression. Now is the time to change things. Make the effort, set the example and do not let the holidays derail your commitment. Giving up addictive and harmful habits are tough, but you have to be tough on yourself to succeed. Accept no excuses. It will be well worth it. Do it now. Make the commitment.    

 

Don’t know where to start? Try these simple guidelines taken from my book Eat to Live:

  • Eat at least one large salad each day.
  • Enjoy generous amounts of cooked green vegetables with mushrooms and onions.
  • Satisfy your sweet tooth with at least three fresh fruits each day.
  • Eat at least one-half cup of beans each day. 
  • Remember the acronym GOMBBS. Greens, onions, mushrooms, beans, berries, and seeds. These are the most health-promoting foods.
  • Avoid completely these disease-promoting foods: white flour, sugars, artificial sweeteners, oils, and factory farmed animal products. Unhealthy food is designed to be addictive – keep it out of your home.
  • Retrain your taste buds to prefer healthy foods. Staying away from sugar and salt is the secret to a heightened sense of taste and enjoyment of natural flavors.  

 

Here are some tips for staying on track:

  • Always keep your kitchen stocked with fresh and frozen produce.
  • Budget time: plan out when you will shop for groceries, cook, exercise, relax, and spend time with friends and family.
  • Plan your meals ahead of time and make a detailed grocery list before you go shopping.
  • Cook vegetable bean soups in large batches, and store leftovers in the refrigerator so you can quickly heat some up for lunch or dinner later in the week.
  • Stay focused on your health – eating right is self-care. Do not allow the unhealthy influences around you to derail you from your health goals.
  • My new 90 percent rule (I just made it up today) does not mean that you can eat 10 percent of anything. It means the 10 percent of animal products or flour products or sweet desserts can still be made from whole grains, natural fruit and dried fruit sweeteners, and more naturally raised and cleaner animal products.   In other words, I see no reason for people to continue to consume the worst foods on the planet. Junk food kills and just perpetuates food addictions.

 

Fast forward to next holiday season: you will make the best choices; the ones that will allow you to achieve overall health and quality of life. You'll be celebrating your health instead of simply indulging in the “traditional” destructive foods. As you eat for optimal health and vitality, you’ll be able to more fully enjoy the special times with family and friends. You will flourish and it will be the most enjoyable holiday season you've ever had. There will be no need to “start over” next January 1st. You will already be committed to your health, and feel pleased with yourself for maintaining your healthy habits over the holidays.  So are you going to take my holiday challenge? 

The official kick-off begins on Monday, November 21st.  Click here to read the official rules and to make my Holiday Challenge Promise. 

 

 

 

image credits:  flickr by terren in Virginia and EraPhernalia Vintage

Holiday Challenge? I could NEVER do that!

 

Remember the wonderful reasons why we are eating high-nutrient foods?  click here

 

The Holiday Challenge rules and promise will be posted this coming Tuesday, and the official kick-off will be on Monday, November 21st.  Let's all enjoy the best holiday season yet!

 

Let us know the reason(s) why you will be jumping on board the Holiday Challenge this year.

 

 

image credit:  Esther Boller

The Holidays

With the holidays just around the corner, I thought it would be advantageous to remember “why” we are launching the Holiday Challenge again this year. For many, the six weeks between mid-November and January 1st is a time set aside for indulging in rich and decadent, disease-promoting foods; and somehow there’s a false belief that the damage can mopped up in the new year. That mindset is a lie, because after the holidays there are Super Bowl parties, Valentine chocolates, birthday parties, anniversaries, Easter candies, Mother’s Day celebrations, graduation open houses, Father’s Day cookouts, weddings, more birthday parties, July 4th picnics, summer festivals and county fairs, Halloween treats, and then back to the holidays all over again. So together, let’s continue to establish new traditions that will not only cause us to feel alive and well over holidays, but throughout the entire year as well!

         holiday picture

I always dreaded the holidays to some degree, because that’s when I ate my worst. Not that I ate well the rest of the year by any means; the holidays just fueled my food addiction one hundred fold, all at once.

And, to top it off, it was expected by everyone to partake in the rich indulgences of the season. After all, “Everyone’s doing it.”

Well, that was the excuse, at least ~ a license to indulge ~ because the messes could be mopped up in the new year. It was a lie of course, but I believed it nonetheless.

Don't get me wrong, I loved the twinkle lights, the music, the festivities, the Nutcracker, the warm fuzzies of extra family togetherness; most everything about the season  . . . . . . except for feeling miserable from the food addiction hangovers. 

That always fogged my lenses with a dark cloud.

Not only did I have to deal with feeling lousy (understatement), I had to figure out what to wear as absolutely nothing fit from year to year.

How do I face seeing in-laws who hadn't seen me since an additional thirty pounds was packed on? What do I wear to my husband's employer's holiday party? (Thankfully, he eventually became self-employed, and those parties were crossed off my list of anxieties.) The women had buff arms and tummies to show off their *stuff* in those cute cocktail dresses. Me? The same baggie, black sequin jacket layered over a long black skirt.

To this day I will not be caught in anything with sequins. However, when I was obese they did hide my rolls of fat and large arms. For that, sequins do serve a wonderful purpose; plus, they do give off a shimmery holiday glow to cover-up the mounting depression within.

Oh, and the never ending supply of iced cut-out cookies. I always made triple the amount of dough and put some of it in the freezer; nothing like eating partially frozen cookie dough when no one was looking.

I would line the long dining table with waxed paper, and the kids would ice their cookies. Of course, much of the icing dribbled onto the waxed paper so I'd make sure to "clean it up" with my index finger. After we had dozens of iced and sugar sprinkled trees, bells, stars, circles, and hearts; they'd be layered between waxed paper in large, plastic containers to be enjoyed later (that night).

Throughout the season we always had boxes of those "surprise" chocolates. You know, the kind that are filled with maple or vanilla cream, raspberry jelly, nuts, fudge, and orange fluff. Those were over-the-top something to look forward to, right along with the gooey cherry cordials.

I was the Mom who invited the kids' friends over to make gingerbread houses. I'd ask each child to bring a sack of candy for the event. I was in heaven . . . . a table full of frosting and tons of candy. There was always such a generous amount donated that it never hurt for anyone to eat several pieces between "gluing" the houses together with the frosting and decorating with the decadent confections. Plus, everyone had too much fun to notice candy disappearing.

After six weeks of gluttonous eating: cheeseballs, dips, scalloped potatoes & ham, etc., by the end of December, I was saturated in misery. Well, that's putting it mildly. I was waaaay beyond miserable; more like suicidal at times. Seriously. Desperation drives the mind to irrational thoughts, and my heroin-like food addiction began to cloak my brain with some pretty irrational ways of escape at times.

January 1st couldn't come soon enough. A clean slate. Another promise. "I'm really going to stick to my resolution this time."  Yeah, right.

Well, by the Super Bowl, I was celebrating once again; and just in time for chocolate candies and iced cookies for Valentines, and birthday cakes laced in-between. 
 


With birthday parties, graduation open houses, and special occasions all throughout the year, I was never at a loss for my heroin-like, food addiction fix. [This must be the way a heroin addict feels.] 

Oh, those were the days of utter delight, especially when I'd clean up afterwards and find partially eaten pieces of cake in the trash to calm my jitters and shakiness. Okay, maybe not delight, but you know what I mean. I hated being trapped in the food addiction dungeon and tortured to near death on a daily basis, yet something inside of me enjoyed every minute of it. I hated it, yet I loved it. It was definitely a sickness of the mind, the body, and the soul.

 

The perpetual darkness shrouded any ray of hope. Little did I know that freedom was knocking on my door; however, the knocks were muffled by the noise and chaos.

But nonetheless, freedom was knocking.

Okay, so maybe I didn't keep my New Year's promise, but at least I got to thoroughly enjoy my birthday in May with my favorite Dairy Queen ice-cream cake.

I could always start over again the following January. Maybe I'd really mean business by then.

At least that was always my hope.

 

  

Christmas before and after  

                                                                

Based on my own personal experience and the observations of those around me, one can easily consume over 50 cups of sugar and the equivalent to 42 sticks of butter over the holidays!  (A stick of butter = 91 grams of fat.)  The following are the grams of fat in some typical foods:

fudge pecan sundae 62g

slice of cheddar cheese 10g

1 chicken breast 13g

slice of pecan pie 27g

2” square brownie 10g

1 serving fries 14g

Danish pastry 17g

1  muffin 8g

1 chocolate nut bar 19g

bacon, egg & cheese bagel sandwich  18g

2 chocolate chip cookies 10g

slice meat & cheese pizza 17g

 

 

The following are grams of sugar in foods & beverages (4 grams = 1 teaspoon sugar):

12 oz soda  38g

1” cube of fudge  15g

3 oz pancake syrup  59g

slice of fruit pie  20g

chocolate candy bar  25g

¾ c. processed cereal  12g

piece of cake  20g

hot fudge sundae  54g

2” square brownie  36g

2 iced cookies  25g

6 oz of ice cream  40g

energy drink  68g

 

 

Do the Math.  It's dangerous.   

  

Stay tuned to DiseaseProof or DrFuhrman.com for complete details about the upcoming Holiday Challenge. The kick-off begins in just two weeks! 

The Myth of Moderation

Here in the United States tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and for many, the day typically includes many compromises; especially overeating on disease promoting foods to the point of misery. What a perfect time to be reminded of the pitfalls of the myth of “everything in moderation.” Dr. Scott Stoll, a board certified physician in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation; along with being the team physician for Lehigh University, team physician to the USA Bobsled and Skeleton Team, department chair of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Coordinated Health Medical Director, member of the Whole Foods Medical and Scientific Advisory Board, national speaker on achieving optimal health through nutritional excellence and exercise, and faculty member of the Nutritional Education Institute will be sharing valuable insights to bust the popular moderation fallacy. Welcome to Disease Proof, Dr. Stoll.

 

We are now on the threshold of a beautiful holiday season that is filled with joy, family, wonderful traditions, and numerous dietary landmines. Traditional foods of the holiday season are typically the least healthy and most addictive foods that can trigger destructive cycles of overeating and binge eating.  How can one safely navigate the season ahead? By avoiding the myth of “everything in moderation."

Why do so many people find that by the first of January they have gained weight and derailed their healthy diet? One common justification, as people reach for a piece of chocolate or second piece of dessert, is that one can safely eat everything in moderation. The underlying belief is that somehow the moderate consumption of unhealthy food is okay and won’t cause any harm. However, science has verified that even small amounts of these foods cause harm to the body; and for many that struggle with food addiction and disease, the moderate consumption of addictive, sugar laden and processed foods can be dangerous.

“Everything in moderation” is a deceptive belief, because there is no established standard for moderate intakes of food. 

How much is too much and where does one draw the line? Without a standard, moderation is a continually moving target; motivated by cravings and desires that promote the overconsumption of unhealthy foods. The only outcome in the end is disease, guilt, and feelings of failure.

Moderation thinking ultimately depends on one’s ability to accurately recall food intakes and amounts. How much was eaten today, yesterday, or last week? The preponderance of studies on dietary food recall found that people generally under-report or forget the consumption of unhealthy foods. 

I want to encourage you to enjoy all the beautiful things of the upcoming holiday season and create new memories with healthy food alternatives. Don’t be caught off guard by the myth of moderation, but instead proactively set your eyes on the prize of optimal health. 

 

  • Prepare mentally and have a plan in place regarding how you will handle the tempting seasonal foods that will appear in break rooms, living rooms and dining rooms. 
  • Know yourself, your weaknesses, and the potential for food addiction.  Avoid circumstances that may lead to temptation. 
  • Prepare healthy meals for your guests, or if you are a dinner guest, take healthy alternatives to share with others.

                 fresh produce

Don’t let the myth of moderation lead you astray. Excellent health is never found in moderate effort, but rather in excellent dietary habits that are consistently and diligently applied to each new day and situation over time. 

 

Happy Holidays!

 

image credit: flickr - man eating by subwel; produce by US Army Africa

 

Today is the Kick-Off!

Since today is the kick-off for the six week holiday challenge, I've asked physician and newly appointed Dean of the Nutritional Education Institute, Dr. Jay Benson, to share a few thoughts with us.  Dr. Benson is well versed in modern, high-tech medicine and the nutritional and natural methods utilized by Dr. Fuhrman, and sees the majority of patients at Dr. Fuhrman’s office in Flemington.  He also works side-by-side with Dr. Fuhrman on nutritional research, gives lectures, and answers questions on Dr. Fuhrman’s Ask the Doctor forums. Welcome to Disease Proof, Dr. Benson. 

 

On your mark…get set…go! The six week holiday challenge officially begins right now!

You've made the commitment to eat for health over the holidays, so what do you do next? Do you hope that everything goes well and wish that the external forces that control your life push you in the right direction? No, no, no. Remember, YOU are in charge of you and your future, and your health destiny is in your hands.  Now that that has been said, this is what are you going to do now……plan and prepare.

As a boy scout, I was required to repeat the boy-scout motto, “Be prepared,” in scout meetings. This motto was chosen for a good reason. It reminded me that my preparations and planning may mean the difference between surviving or not; whether that be deep in the woods, or in the middle of a big city.

The environments that you will be in may bring all types of challenges and dangers, but these can be averted with careful planning and preparation. 

 So let’s get to planning:  

  • Decide exactly what you will eat and when so that you won’t have a choice later. You are more likely to do something consistently if you decide and prepare to do it well in advance. If you wait and see what will happen, hoping that you will not fail, then you are sure to fail. Make it easier on yourself by planning each meal carefully and completely; and then stick to your plans, no matter what. 
  • Get out the healthy recipes that you enjoy the most. Try new recipes and ask your nutritarian friends for their suggestions.  Make sure to keep your refrigerator well stocked at all times with freshly cleaned vegetables, fruits, and cooked beans for quick meals.  [If you are traveling by car, keep a cooler filled with healthy foods at all times.  If you are flying, make it a priority to get to a grocery store upon arrival to stock up.]  Be prepared, at all times, in all situations. 
  • Make a detailed grocery list twice every week and only include foods that are part of your planned meals. By having an inflexible list you will be less likely to succumb to the rampant advertising of unhealthy junk food in the stores. 

 

You can rise above the noise of holiday temptations with careful planning and preparedness; and you will come away with earning great health!  Here's to excellent health for all this holiday season!

 

 

traditional Thanksgiving meal image credit: flickr: carbonNYC

A message from Joel Fuhrman, M.D.

Happy Holidays and A New Way to Celebrate

For many of us, the holidays are a wondrous time when we are joyful for what life has provided and we celebrate the season with our family and friends. We are usually offered an abundance of everything. Thanksgiving dinner and holiday parties are festive times that present us with many choices. We also have the choice to spread good will to others.

Unfortunately, the holidays are also associated with trips to the emergency room and deaths from dangerous eating. The emergency room doctors call it “holiday heart” as the busiest time at hospitals are from heart attacks, strokes and other emergencies that occur the next morning after big holiday meals.

So many people use the holiday season as an excuse for gluttony and addictive binges. My team here and I thought about how we could help to encourage people to enjoy the holidays more, with great tasting holiday food that is healthy too, and have as many people as possible set a good example to encourage people to have a truly healthful and happy holiday season.

I take bad nutrition seriously because people die from it. When junk food is eaten, including the traditional, highly-toxic foods served at the holidays, you may get momentary pleasure as it passes the lips in a short amount of time, but the results continue on to compromise your health.  Additionally, not having good health magnifies every emotional problem plaguing your life and exasperates the holiday blues.  Healthy recipes and treats can taste great! It may take more effort to prepare, but there is really no reason to sacrifice your good health.

My Six Week Challenge is dedicated to helping you make the best choices; the ones that will allow you to achieve overall health and quality of life. By pledging to take the challenge, you'll be celebrating your health instead of simply indulging in destructive “fake food”. Can you find friends or family members to join you in taking the challenge too? 

I have created an opportunity for those straddling the fence of commitment. For those who step up to this challenge over the next six weeks and commit to a few simple guidelines throughout the holidays, I am offering:

The challenge involves only a few simple promises to make, taken from my book, Eat To Live.

Here are the fundamentals:

  • Eat a large salad every day
  • Enjoy a generous serving of steamed greens with mushrooms and onions
  • Satisfy your sweet tooth with three fresh fruits a day
  • Have at least one fulfilling serving of beans each day

Here's what you are promising to omit:

  • Avoid white flour
  • Avoid sugars & artificial sweeteners

Throughout the challenge, you will have plenty of support. We will answer your questions online in the Member Center. We encourage you to log your progress with "My Health Manager." Seasoned veterans of the Eat To Live diet-style will also be there to help you.

Here is how you get started:

Step 1: Join us on Facebook to share this exciting experience and encourage your friends to also make the commitment for a better life and incredible holiday.

Step 2: If you are not already a member of my online Member Center, sign up for your FREE six week membership*.

Step 3: Enjoy the holidays!

There is more – the challenge is just the start! By joining the challenge you will have the opportunity to participate in a contest where you may be eligible to win an all expense paid trip to my 6th annual 2011 Health Getaway in Park City, Utah at The Grand Summit Hotel at The Canyons resort. The winner or winners will be chosen based on their documented results during the challenge and into the new year. All participants of the challenge will receive details in the following weeks.

I hope you enjoy this holiday gift to help spread the message of good health and healthy eating. 

 

* A $44.95 value. *Offer valid thru December 4th.  Dr. Fuhrman's online store software requires credit card information in order to process an order; including this free offer.  Your credit card will automatically be billed $14.95/month after the initial 6-week period unless cancelled.  You will be notified in plenty of time to cancel if you decide to discontinue the ongoing support of the member center after the holidays.    

The Six Week Holiday Challenge

In America there’s a mindset that it’s totally acceptable and expected by well-meaning friends and relatives to gorge on decadent, rich foods during the holidays; aka the “Six Week Holiday Binge.”  It’s been taught and modeled to most of us since childhood, and for many, it’s hard to break free from the culturally engrained habit of eating for disease during that period of time. 

Norman Rockwell's Thanksgiving paintingI don’t know about you, but I’m fed up with being pulled into the culture’s holiday eating traditions:

  • traditions that are excuses to eat (and drink) for disease; planting seeds of toxic addiction and premature death
  • traditions that cause one to feel “blah”
  • traditions that result in the accepted norm of waking up on January first ~  lethargic, bloated and depressed; necessitating the need for New Years’ dieting resolutions

Whether one has many pounds to lose and needs to overcome toxic food addiction by following Dr. Fuhrman’s six-week eating plan as outlined in Eat to Live; or just wants to fine-tune a healthy habit like: eating only when hungry, or make a new, health promoting recipe each week, or increasing exercise intensity; most all of us can commit to a health improvement during the holidays. 

To help us get and stay motivated, I’ve invited several guest contributors, (including faculty from the Nutritional Education Institute, founded by Dr. Fuhrman), to share their expertise and practical tips to help us successfully navigate the holiday season ahead.  For example, they will instruct on such topics as why moderation fails, sidestepping sweet seductions, eating for health while away from home, and the wonderful benefits of daily exercise.   

The change of one is a transformation ~ the change of many is a revolution. Invite your family, friends and co-workers to jump on-board with you!  Let's all band together and intentionally challenge and change the cultures’ status quo by wholeheartedly committing to eating and exercising for health during the holidays. 

The six week holiday challenge will begin on November 20th and go through December 31st; with the official kick-off on Saturday, November 20th.  Stay tuned to Disease Proof in the weeks to come to be inspired and motivated by the line-up of guest authors!  

We are in control of our health destiny; not the medical industry and pharmaceutical companies, and definitely not the holiday traditions!  It's time to celebrate the holidays feeling well, and wake up on New Year's Day feeling our very best!

 

Let’s hear from you. What will be your six week holiday challenge? 

 

 

"Freedom from Want" painting by Norman Rockwell

Food Addiction and the Holidays

Christmas candles 

Amongst the warm fuzzy feeling of Christmas lights, tinsel and a perfectly decorated tree, let’s take a moment to have a gut level, reality check about food addiction.

In our culture we tend to “categorize” addictions by the priority we place upon them. 

We have programs in public schools to teach students to say no to drugs.

We encourage teens not to smoke or drink.  We’ve even established laws to prevent them from purchasing the destructive items. 

As a nation, we’ve put a high priority on educating the culture about the life controlling power and damaging effects of drug, alcohol and cigarette addiction.  We’ve heard the stories.  We’ve seen the graphic images.  We’ve developed special care for crack and fetal alcohol syndrome babies.  We’ve even put Surgeon’s General Warning labels on packs of cigarettes.   

We understand the concept that once an individual makes the decision to stop nicotine addiction, there’s no going back to smoking just one cigarette. 

We understand the dangers of a recovering alcoholic having that innocent sip of wine at a cocktail party.

We wouldn’t think of putting a recovering drug addict back on the streets to sell cocaine.

                                              drug addict

Unfortunately, as a nation, we’ve put a low, almost non-existent, priority on the life damaging effects of food addiction.  We think nothing of grooming the taste buds of children for a lifetime of addiction to salty fries, donuts and Big Macs.  We think nothing of celebrating the holidays with a month-long food binge. 

Just because Christmas cookies, fudge and cheese balls don’t have a Surgeon’s General Warning label on them, doesn’t mean they’re safe to put into the body.

Food addiction is serious stuff.  Because it’s both psychological and physiological, for many, it only takes one bite to unravel weeks and perhaps months of nutritarian progress.  For most, it's unwise to enter the traditional, holiday feasting arena; even an occasional detour.       

If you are caught in a situation this holiday season where food choices are life threatening to your commitment to health, are you prepared to JUST SAY NO?  (You will not die if you have to wait until you get home to eat.  Better yet, keep apples and almonds stocked in your car for those emergencies.)

Are you intentionally planning and preparing your own health-promoting food to take with you when you attend a holiday party?

Be proactive.  Don’t allow the month of celebrations unravel your commitment to optimal health.

Diabetes is serious.  Heart attacks and strokes are real. 

Food addiction kills.  It strangles the very life out of a person; destroying health and ruining precious relationships. 

If food addiction isn’t taken seriously, repeated compromises will lead to addictive necessity.  Guaranteed. 

It’s important for each of us to know our limitations, establish clear boundaries and live within them.

That is where freedom abounds; and freedom is where health abounds.  

Freedom to all this holiday season!

 

Be honest, do you take food addiction seriously?  Do you have clear boundaries established this holiday season, and if so, what are they? 

 

image credits: computerpartsgames.wordpress.com; markhoustonrecovery.com