It's Been Five Years

In the summer of 2008, I made the firm decision to follow the nutritarian diet-style. At that time I was 47-years-old and suffered from severe food addiction, obesity, prediabetes, heart disease, shortness of breath, hypertension, chronic fatigue, bloating, brain fog, low back pain, cracked heels, boils, and general malaise all over my body. I couldn’t climb a flight of stairs without needing to stop a lot to catch my breath, and the extra weight caused me to become increasingly immobile with each passing birthday.  In the spring of 2008 my blood pressure was 154/97, and I knew that I was sitting on a ticking bomb; not a matter of “if” I’d have a heart attack or stroke, but “when”. And that was my wake-up call to change five years ago.  

  

Within a year’s time I lost 100 lbs. and eradicated all the aforementioned diseases from my life. However, most importantly, the overwhelming cravings for high-fat, salty, processed junk foods and sweets, that consumed my every waking moment for over twenty years, gradually subsided, and then completely went away for the first time in my adult life. 

My success with getting health back, which obviously included weight loss, was a direct result of understanding the science and logic behind Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritional recommendations. My perspective changed from deprivation dieting (starving myself to obesity) to eating for the best health that’s possible. [To view my complete story, including changing images, click on my author name under the title at the top of this post.]

Then four years ago I began interviewing successful Nutritarians for Disease Proof, and I’ve gleaned valuable nuggets of information from many individuals who are real-life success stories. Additionally, I’ve also interacted with those who’ve struggled with the nutritarian diet-style, and those insights have also contributed to my understanding of the keys to great health and long term success. It is from all of these combined experiences and observations that I’ve compiled a brief summary below of success tips of those who’ve lost weight, and have kept it off, by following Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritarian approach.

   

SUCCESS TIPS:

                                                                      

  • IT TAKES COMMITMENT

Success is a direct result of thoroughly studying, understanding, and assimilating the science behind Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritional recommendations; and then making the firm decision to tenaciously act upon, and hold fast to earning health back, no matter what. It is having both feet in at all times; not “trying” to eat high-nutrient foods during the week and indulging on the weekends, or eating for health only when it’s convenient, or when one feels like it. 

       

  • THE WAGON MENTALITY HAS BEEN PITCHED

The wagon mentality and deprivation dieting go hand-in-hand. “I fell off the wagon,” basically translates into, “I blew it so I might as well eat anything I want now.” It invites cheating and bingeing. The nutritarian eating-style is not a diet to go on and off on a whim. Instead, it's an ongoing endeavor of flooding the body's cells with a comprehensive array of nutrients to fight disease and feel great for the rest of one's life.  A well-nourished body will no longer crave toxic junk foods or be driven to overeat uncontrollably. Although a slip up may happen from time to time, the key to success is getting back up as quickly as possible and not dwelling on the mistake.   

    

  • MODERATION IS A MYTH

There is no such thing as eating in moderation when it comes to toxic foods’ addictive power. Taking just one bite of an addictive food can be just as deceptive and dangerous as taking just one smoke for a former nicotine addict. It’s much easier to keep addictive cravings extinguished than to be continually fighting obsessive compulsions, because it only takes a tiny spark to ignite them to full power again.   

 

  • THERE ARE NO SHORTCUTS

Everyone has to cross over the threshold of withdrawal from toxic foods, and for most, it is no fun. Detoxification (or toxic hunger) can be unpleasant. Some of the symptoms can include: headaches, nauseousness, weakness, fatigue, shakiness, irritability, and generally feeling blahh; just to name a few. It can be very uncomfortable for some and last up to several days, but once the symptoms have resolved, and if toxic foods are no longer consumed, the symptoms don’t return. 

 

  • BE PREPARED AT ALL TIMES

Unlike junk food dieting, there will be no highly-processed, frozen diet entrees and desserts waiting for you in the frozen department of the supermarket. You are surrounded and bombarded by a food addicted culture that pushes disease-causing indulgences 24/7. There is no escaping the insanity. Therefore, you must plan ahead and always have food prepared in advance. Make sure to keep your refrigerator well stocked at all times with freshly cleaned vegetables, fruits, and cooked beans and soups for quick meals. Always cook in big batches so that you can save portions for later. Never wait until the refrigerator is empty to plan and prepare more food. Once a routine of food preparation is established, it will become second-nature, but in the beginning this habit has to be a top priority to develop. Establishing this habit makes the nutriatrian diet-style simple and cost effective to incorporate into one’s busy life.

 

  • NEVER GIVE UP

Hard times happen.  When life is turned upside-down, it will take everything within to muster up the strength to keep going in the direction of health. But even if some days are like wading through quick sand, and it’s a challenge to continue on, stay committed to making wise food choices as best as one can possibly manage. It may be only baby steps, but keep moving forward. There is never a valid excuse to throw in the towel and quit, especially during a season of crisis or great loss when one’s body needs optimal nutrition the most to survive the extra demands put on it. The sun will shine again and happiness will return as one continues to stay the course. As Dr. Fuhrman states, “It will take strength. It will take effort. But the pleasures and rewards that you’ll get from a healthy life will be priceless.”

      

  • IT'S A PRIVILEGE TO GET HEALTH BACK

Those who succeed long term view the opportunity to earn health back as a privilege, and they do whatever it takes to live in the best health that’s possible. This perspective enables a person to get past toxic cravings to thoroughly enjoy great tasting foods in their natural state.  Additionally, this gives a tremendous amount of pleasure and satisfaction with the nutritarian eating-style which produces the ongoing and long term success!

 

Earning health back is a lifetime endeavor - blessings of excellent and ongoing health to all!

 

 

image credit by Esther Boller

Susan Lost 220 lbs. in Less Than Two Years!

I first met Susan in the lobby of The Dr. Oz Show studio.  I had absolutely no idea that in less than two years she’d dropped 220 lbs. simply by following Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritional approach to get rid of unhealthy food cravings and restore optimal health. I felt honored to have met her, because I’d never met anyone in person who’d ever lost that much weight. Her radical, life changing story is so inspirational whether one has 10 or 200 pounds to lose! Welcome to Disease Proof, Susan.  

 

 

What was your life like before discovering Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritarian approach?

Weighing 380 lbs was miserable; there are no words to adequately describe it. I recently found a notebook journal in the trunk of my car from my morbidly obese days. Written in it were a series of good days followed by a series of bad days, depending upon if I was following dieting rules or not. I had started many journals, and then I’d stop writing in them when I stopped the diet so I had many unfinished journals. My life was never about my children or being involved in my community. My life’s focus was always starting a new diet, following the rules, and journaling about it. Dieting and journaling consistently consumed my mental focus.

I was constantly fatigued; looking back I don’t even know how I went to work every day and raised four children. It was hard for my three older kids to have a morbidly obese mother, and because I hated myself so much I also hated my husband. One cannot love someone else if he/she doesn’t love himself/herself. I work in the medical field, and I was embarrassed to be so unhealthy. I couldn’t even climb a flight of stairs without being exasperated. I lived in daily fear of going to work and someone finding my dead body in the parking garage. 

Needless to say I had to wear an extension seat belt when flying, and I couldn’t put the tray down when eating a snack on the plane.  I’d developed high blood pressure and was taking medication for it. I also had abnormal EKGs and heart arrhythmias, and I was too large for many of the medical diagnostic machines. In the summer of 2010 I was diagnosed with diabetes, (I was in my late 40s) and I knew it was time to get serious about my health and make the necessary changes. My father died at age 58. He was obese, angry, and diabetic, and I refused to follow in his footsteps.  

[Susan was always heavy as a child. Her life was filled with dieting attempts that led to perpetual yo-yo weight gains and losses. She’d tried every fad diet imaginable. She even went to a filthy and unsanitary doctor’s office to get a seed placed in her ear; a form of acupressure that was supposed to reduce food cravings. Susan also tried hypnosis, and even succumbed to lap band surgery which she says was the biggest mistake she’s ever made in her life, because there are no happy endings with lap band surgery. She had the procedure reversed four years later and thirty pounds heavier. It was a nightmare. Having a lap band was continually painful, and she couldn’t even eat a salad with it in place.]

     

 How did you find out about Dr. Fuhrman?

About 20 years ago I needed a life insurance exam, and Dr. Fuhrman was one of the physicians that I could choose from. (I live in New Jersey). I was in my 30s and mother to three babies. During the exam he said to me, “You are going to suffer from a heart attack and die.” And I knew he was right. 

Then in 2004 I went to his medical office again for another exam. He was so sincere and helpful, and I knew he really cared for my health and well-being. He gave me a copy of his book, Eat to Live, and I went home and put it on the bookshelf. I didn’t look at it again until 2010 when I was officially diagnosed with diabetes. 

 

How do you feel now?

I feel so grateful, in spite of myself that my life has been spared and I got my health back. I’m also in love with my husband again, because I love and take care of myself now. I have energy, and I feel strong with 220 lbs off my body. Eating to live has literally saved my life and marriage! And my days and thoughts are no longer consumed with dieting and journal writing; whether I’m having a good day or bad day depending on the food choices for that day. I have so much more mental time now that I’m able to focus on new parts of my life. It feels like I’ve woken up from a life-long coma.

[Susan’s blood pressure dropped from an average of 150/100 (with medication) to 115/70 (without medication). And she no longer has diabetes! By the way, she lost the first 120 lbs in six months, and had all 220 lbs off in less than two years!]

  

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

 

  • Be prepared. Don’t ever wait until you are hungry to think about what you are going to eat for the next meal. Be proactive. Plan ahead for the next meal and even the next day. Meals should always be a calm experience, because they’ve been well planned. One should never be in a panic at meal time because the food has not been bought and prepared ahead of time. 

  •  In the beginning when you are first starting out give nutritarian eating a chance to work. Trust those that have done it and been successful – it really does work, and taste buds will eventually change! Everything will taste better! And realize how much common sense this way of eating makes. It’s not a fad. It’s eating the way our bodies were designed to eat. 

 

Congratulations Susan for losing 220 lbs and getting your health and life back ~ you are truly an inspiration to many! 

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: Helyn

I recently came across Helyn’s success story on Dr. Fuhrman’s Member Center, and her excitement for healthy eating is contagious! However, when she was first introduced to Eat to Live by a friend she didn’t think she could ever eat foods without oil and salt. Now, over a year later, she can’t imagine life without eating high-nutrient foods and the benefits of getting her health back! Welcome to Disease Proof, Helyn. 

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

I’ve always had a busy life and finding balance in my diet was insane. I was always searching for answers regarding nutrition. I’d taken a great interest in health and nutrition in my 20s. I read a lot of books and tried many different eating plans. I wasn’t looking for weight loss, per se, but more for health in all these different diets. My “favorite” was the blood type diet because the author said that I should drink coffee!  That’s when I realized that something was seriously amiss. Deep down I knew that coffee was not a healthy substance, that I didn’t feel well when I tried to eliminate it, and that I was addicted to it. How could it possibly be good for me?

After all this study and the many trials and errors I decided that I’d create my own diet, based on the things I'd learned. I settled into a regimen of eliminating red meat, most sugar, all processed foods and wheat. Yes, I still drank coffee!

Obviously my self-prescribed diet wasn’t working, because I had slowly become borderline obese… 183 pounds!  [I’m 5’5”]

 

How did you feel then?

I started experiencing ailments that I never had before, such as bursitis, which can be crippling. I had such pain in my hip that I couldn’t walk for weeks. My mother said to me, “Welcome to old age. Do you want to borrow my cane?” What!? That was last year, and I was 56 at the time. My shoulder hurt, and I was not sleeping soundly. I was tired and felt bloated all the time. My blood pressure was high. At one point it was 190/118, and I was taken to the ER. They told me I needed blood pressure medication. I refused, because I knew that was not the answer.

 

How did you find out about Dr. Fuhrman's nutritarian approach?

I had heard about Eat to Live from a dear friend of mine. She even had me over for lunch to introduce me to “Fuhrman Foods”, but when she told me that she didn’t add oil or salt to anything she ate, I just “knew” I could never do it! I thanked her and went on with the same unsuccessful routine I was holding onto. But after the bout of bursitis, I thought about my friend again and decided that I’d read the book. This was it! I had finally found the answers I’d been searching for condensed into one book. I immediately started Dr. Fuhrman’s Six-Week Plan and lost eight pounds the first week.

 

How do you feel now?

I feel exhilarated! I am pain-free, sleeping soundly, and my skin is smooth. I have a lot more energy now and weighing 40 pounds lighter is such a gift. My hair is growing like a weed, and I no longer have the beginning signs of fungus growing on my toenails; they now look exactly like my fingernails: thin, pink and healthy. That may seem trivial to some, but it’s an example of how eating nutrient-dense foods can affect the body as a whole in positive ways!

Every day is such a blessing. I now enjoy healthy foods, and I’m excited for the future; knowing that I’ll be strong and healthy for the rest of my life.

 

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

  1. If you are drinking coffee, wean yourself off immediately.

  2. Read Eat to Live, and read it thoroughly so you make sure you understand the content.

  3. Follow the Six-Week Plan 100%.

  4. Find others who are becoming, or already are nutritarians. Some cities have meet-up groups. Find  them or create your own.

  5. Join Dr. Fuhrman’s Member Center. It is so worth the small fee to be able to have a support group around you.

  6. Purchase and watch Dr. Fuhrman’s Immersion Excursion DVD set. There is so much vital information in these DVDs. You will know more than most doctors after you watch them. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER and when you really know this information nothing can take you off this path.

  7. After six weeks you’ll be feeling so well that you won’t want to change; however, chances are you won’t be completely rid of some food addictions. To avoid falling for your old SAD (Standard American Diet) foods until your good eating habits have stronger roots I suggest the following:

  • Don’t eat out! This is disaster in the making for a new nutritarian. Even in “health food restaurants” you’ll be fighting with the menu over salt and oil, and the menu will usually win.

  • In the beginning, avoid holiday eating traditions, because you’ll be so tempted to eat all the addicting foods that you grew up with.  Dr. Fuhrman always has a “Holiday Challenge” for us. Accept the challenge and stick to the plan.

  • Create menu plans each week; otherwise, you may not have what you need on hand to make a healthy meal. I make my menu plans on Saturdays, before I do my food shopping so I know what to buy. Then in the middle of the week I replenish my greens.

  • Don’t weigh yourself every day. Once a week is better, and don’t stress about it.

  • Try new recipes and find healthy, new foods that you love. Create NEW traditions for yourself and your family. If you don’t yet have a high-powered blender, this is a must! Invest in a VitaMix to create delicious smoothies. 

 

 

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

Nutritarian eating has given me the confidence that I’m feeding my body what it needs, and that I’m getting stronger and healthier. Growing old does not have to come with disease and dementia. With this comes a serenity that you can’t put a price on. It’s been one year since I started nutritarian eating, and I’m finally rid of my food addictions and toxic hunger. I can now taste all the natural flavors in my foods, down to the smallest nuances.

I’m now planning on becoming a Nutritional Education Trainer (NET), because I want to help others to achieve the same miracles that I have through this amazing adventure! I will start my studies next month, and I can’t wait!

 

 

BEFORE

AFTER

BP

190/115 (highest)

123/79 (still dropping!)

Weight

183

145 (still losing!)

Triglycerides

168

114 (after 3 months of nutritarian eating-- no recent recording)

 

Congratulations Helyn and keep up the great job! 

 

Mistaken identity

Seven years ago this month marks the anniversary of the tragic accident that involved a Taylor University van full of students and staff on I-69; not far from my hometown of Fort Wayne, Indiana. Five lives were lost on the fateful evening of April 26, 2006. The story not only hit national news immediately, but six years later it became one of NBC Dateline’s most popular stories in their twenty year history due to the mistaken identity of two, blonde haired students at the scene of the accident.

For anyone not familiar with the story, in a nutshell, a young female student that was supposedly Laura VanRyn was thrown some fifty feet from the van and sustained multiple broken bones, lacerations, bruises and a traumatic brain injury.  She was airlifted to a hospital in Fort Wayne. When her parents and siblings arrived from out-of-state, they were told by the physician a couple of times to be prepared for what they would see when they entered her dimly lit room in ICU. Her face would be swollen, scratched, bruised, and bandaged; she was on a respirator; and tubes would be coming out of her body.

Long story short, at the scene of the accident, in the midst of the chaos with purses and items strewn all over two blonde-haired students’ identities were accidentally switched. For five weeks the VanRyn family unknowingly watched vigil at the bedside of a young woman that was not their daughter. Even though the girl’s college roommate and a couple family friends noticed the person in the hospital bed was not Laura VanRyn; it wasn’t until she started waking up from her coma and saying that her name was Whitney, did the reality of the mistaken identity start to unfold. 

The story is unbelievably sad, and I can’t begin to imagine the traumatic confusion those families endured.  

Every since learning about the mistaken identity, I’ve been both intrigued and amazed how the mind has the potential to believe and become most anything it is told.

Years ago I attended a Twelve Step program, and at the beginning of this particular group of meetings everyone went around the room and introduced themselves as a 'Compulsive Overeater'. Seriously. That was the introductory declaration before each meeting. After declaring that repeatedly, it started to become my identity. So guess what I did every time I was stressed out? . . . .or sad, tired, happy, frustrated, bored, lonely, or discouraged? I compulsively overate! 

In the summer of 2008, when I committed to the nutritairan eating-style, from day one onward I told myself and everyone around me that I was a nutritarian. A nutritarian is someone who eats high-nutrient foods to meet the body’s biological needs for optimal nutrition; not for emotional, social, or recreational reasons. Being a nutritarian became my new identity; a compass so-to-speak. And guess what? My identity changed! I became a nutritarian!

We really do become what we believe, and what we repeatedly tell others.

We all need to ask ourselves if we are believing and declaring an identity that is incongruent with that which we want to become. If we are, we need to change what we believe; for only then can our true, positive identity come forth.

In other words, we need to be careful not to believe that we are someone we don’t want to become. We must not live with a mistaken identity. Life is too short to become someone we never intended to be!

 

Here’s to being a healthy and vibrant nutritarian to all!

 

 

image credit:  flickr by Virginia Beach Volunteer Rescue Squad History

 

I Could Never Do That!

The following post was originally published on Disease Proof about two years ago. I thought it’d be helpful to dig it out of the archives for some inspiration again this time of year. Even now, I still hear, “Oh, I could never do that!” in response to the way I eat, and I’m sure that many of you do too. It’s good to be reminded on a regular basis of the many medical problems that we nutritarians get to bypass, and the many wonderful pleasures that we get to enjoy as a result! Some of the comments at the end are funny, heartbreaking, and thought-provoking all rolled into one. May they encourage and uplift heavy hearts, and cheer everyone on in the pursuit of excellent health. Cheers to all!

 

vegetablesIn the Fall of 2008, after I had dropped 40 lbs in three months, my peers started commenting and asking questions about the noticeable changes. By the next Spring, when 100 pounds were off, complete strangers such as clerks in stores would comment and ask questions as well.

Everyone’s question was, “How did you lose weight?” 

Of which my reply would always be, “By following Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s book, Eat to Live;. . . . basically eating lots of high nutrient, plant-based foods.” 

“You mean no meat? No cheese? No pizza? No McDonald’s? . . . . Oh, I could never do that!” 

Now, over 2 ½ years later, the majority still say to me, “Oh I could never do that!” in response to anything remotely related to the idea of eating meals primarily composed of plant based nutrition. 

 

Well, the following is what I think in response to, “I could never do that”:

 

  • I could never blow the family budget on unnecessary test strips, insulin, medications, doctor and hospital bills, or bypass surgery.

  • I could never carry around expensive medical supplies and meds while traveling.

  • I could never ask a loved one to mow the lawn for me due to fatigue and ill health.

  • I could never turn a child away from playing a game due to a migraine headache.

  • I could never miss out on the joy of a wedding celebration due to obesity and depression.

  • I could never ask someone to drive me to kidney dialysis three times a week.

     

 

 

Dr. Fuhrman added:

 

  • I could never have heartburn and burping half the night.

  • I could never sit in the bathroom for 15 minutes trying to painfully squeeze out a hard log.

  • I could never watch a volleyball game at the beach instead of playing in it.

  • I could never have rubber bands put on painful hemorrhoids by a rectal specialist.

  • I could never worry about running to catch a bus, for fear of having a heart attack. 

  • I could never have such severe stomach cramps that emergency room personnel would assume it was a heart attack. 

  • I could never fall down and fracture a hip because my blood pressure medications dropped my blood pressure too low.

  • I could never be intubated in the ER with a tube put down my throat and hooked up to a breathing machine after suffering a heart attack.

  • I could never be in a nursing home unable to talk after a stroke or move the left side of my body. 

 

How about you? 

What could you never do?     

 

 

image credit: flickr by Claudio Matsuoka and FotoosVanRobin 

 

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!

Interview with a Nutritarian: Anthony B.

This past December, Anthony, a recent high school graduate, was 67 lbs heavier than he is today. He was given a copy of Eat to Live and the rest is history! You will be inspired by this young man’s passion and determination to get his health and life back. Welcome to Disease Proof, Anthony.

before and after images

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

My life was not how I wanted it to be at all. I was obese and felt horrible, and I couldn’t participate in any physical activities. My emotions were thrown off, I had no self-esteem, I had no confidence, and I was mad that I had let myself get so big. I was eating fast food at least five days a week, and I didn’t have a clue what was good or bad food. It was extremely hard for me to accept the fact that I was fat, because I was thin until age 14. Then I started to get the nickname, “Pudgy,” and I hated it so much. Although I had zero self-confidence, high school wasn't too bad because I had an outgoing personality. However, I discovered that peers view fat people differently.

The last month of my senior year we had a Government project where we had to take pictures, and I was stunned when I saw images of myself. At 6’1” I weighed 263 lbs and had a triple chin. I was so heartbroken and disgusted that I joined a gym and tried to lose weight. During the month of June [2010], I started dieting and worked out five days a week, and only lost 6-7 pounds . . . so I quit. 

 

How did you find out about Eat to Live?

This past December 17th, my aunt gave a copy of Eat to Live to me and I committed to follow it. I’ve lost 67 lbs so far, and recently I began sessions with a plant-based wellness coach, and I’m continuing to lose weight. 



How do you feel now?

I’m loving life and have a 360 degree attitude change! I feel amazing; it literally feels like a completely different life!  

Beginning weight: 267 lbs

Current weight: 196 lbs

Beginning shirt size: 2XL (tight)

Current shirt size: XL (roomy!)



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

 

  • Do it for yourself. Do it for your family. That’s all the inspiration you need. Don’t do it for the people who judge you. 

  • Don't be afraid to go to a gym, because everyone there is doing the same thing.

  • I like Dr. Fuhrman’s words, "If a motor is running at full speed compared to a motor running at half-speed, the engine running at half-speed will last longer." Basically, if your metabolism is slow, and you are healthy, you will live longer!

  • Have a support system. I am so thankful for the support of my father, mother, brothers, and aunts; all of them have made the journey so much easier and I couldn’t have done it without them.

     

 

In a nutshell, what has Eat to Live done for you? 

It has completely changed my life!

 

Congratulations Anthony ~ we are so proud of you for choosing to eat for health at such a young age! Keep up the great job!

 

Interview with a Nutritarian: Natalie

It’s been a privilege to interview such a variety of nutritarians of all ages, from all walks of life; and especially fun to meet young adults who have embraced the healthy eating style. Natalie is a junior in college and has learned the art of eating high nutrient foods while living in a dorm on campus - it can be done! Welcome to Disease Proof, Natalie.

    

What was your life like before discovering Dr. Fuhrman's nutritarian eating-style?

I ate like a typical “healthy” college student. While I had vegetables and salad every day, I also had my fair share of dairy, meat, and occasional desserts. I usually had three servings of dairy a day, cereal with lots of milk in the morning, yogurt with lunch, and a glass of milk with dinner. After every exam my friends and I would eat ice-cream, cookies, or some other treat to celebrate. Although my friends considered me a healthy eater in general, I was far from healthy. I often got really tired in the afternoons around “nap-time” and would need something to pick me up and keep me going until dinner. I also had exercise induced asthma that I controlled by inhalers, and I had eczema on my upper arms.

 

How did you find out about Eat to Live?

I initially read The China Study and it fascinated me. A friend gave me a CD copy Eat for Health, narrated by Dr. Fuhrman, and my mom and I listened to it while driving over spring break. We were so absorbed in it that we didn’t want to get out of the car.

 

How do you feel now?

I feel fantastic! I have a ton of energy and no longer get sleepy in the afternoons. I also don’t need inhalers any more, and my running times have dropped dramatically. I am on the Endurance Racing Team at school and last spring we ran a relay race across New Hampshire, and I also placed 3rd overall in a ½ marathon in the fall. The eczema on my upper arms is improving as well. 

 

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

 

Go all the way. If you try to limit yourself to one non-nutritarian treat a week or so it won’t work. Certain foods are addictive and once you have them you want more and more. Simply set boundaries for yourself and stick to them. Also, if others know you stick to your boundaries they won’t push you as much to eat unhealthy foods.

 

 What is it like being a nutritarian in college?

It’s hard but far from impossible. My dining hall has a good variety of beans and vegetables in their salad bar. Most of the time I can also get a side of steamed vegetables or a sweet potato. The more challenging aspect is trying to get a variety of foods. Having the same vegetables available day after day can get tiring, and I always look forward to going home where I can cook delicious meals. On the weekends when there are not as many options available in the dining hall I often bike to the grocery store. I get food for the weekend as well as nuts and seeds for the week. This year I invested in an electric rice cooker that I can use in my own room and I use it every morning to make breakfast. I also often use it to steam vegetables. Next year I am hoping to be out of the dorms and live in an apartment with my friends so it will be much easier. I’m looking forward to sharing healthy recipes and meals with my friends!

While none of my friends are fully nutritarians, they support and respect my decision to be one. I’ve also been able to encourage many of them to eat healthier, and they often come to me for healthy recipe ideas. They’ve dramatically increased their fruit and vegetable consumption and don’t eat as much dairy. I was talking about the benefits of kale once, and a friend tried it the next day and said it was one of her new favorite foods. On my birthday my friends surprised me with a delicious, nutritarian, zucchini muffin!

 

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

 

Nutritarian eating has provided me with the nutrients for my body to optimally function as it was created!

 

Congratulations Natalie on making wise food choices early in life! We applaud your commitment to health - you are truly a role model to many!

Interview with a Nutritarian: Candee

Candee was first introduced to Eat to Live at one of my library talks in Fort Wayne, Indiana; but like many successful nutritarians it took her awhile to fully commit to following the eating plan. However, once she made the commitment, she took off running at full speed! She lost fifty pounds and now feels like she has her life back! Welcome to Disease Proof, Candee.

        Candee before and after

What was your life like before discovering Eat to Live?

I have always struggled with my weight, and I’m a lifetime member of two other weight loss programs.  In my thirties I was thin and worked out after work everyday, and I ran 3 or 4 miles several times a week. At that time I didn't have a husband or kids. In my forties the weight started creeping on and I did lose most of it on the Atkins Diet; only to gain it right back and then some. I struggled with sugar, and over the last ten years I quit trying to get healthy and had pretty much stayed at the same (overweight) weight. I felt like hiding and didn't want to participate in physical activities, because it was too much effort and I was always tired.

I bought Eat to Live as soon as you told me about it, and read it while on vacation. I had good intentions to start following it as soon as I got home, but the commitment wasn’t a solid one. However, I did start drinking blueberry / spinach smoothies. 

 

How do you feel now?

I feel like I have my life back!  I no longer have sugar cravings, and I have lots of energy and confidence now. I feel like the real me is here again because I’m not embarrassed by how I look anymore; plus I’m not afraid to try new activities again. This past summer while on vacation we climbed Sleeping Bear Dunes in northern Michigan. The summer before I would have been waiting in the car!  I also had to go horseback riding with my daughter on Mackinaw Island because my husband is allergic to horses, and I was able to successfully do it! 

 

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

 

  • Make the decision to do it. 

  • Change the way you think. It’s about getting healthy; not just losing weight.   

  • Eat to Live gives a good plan to follow. I planned out what I would eat everyday and it has never been a problem for me. I eat oatmeal and fruit for breakfast. I always make a big pot of bean or vegetable soup to eat for lunch, and salad or raw veggies and a hot vegetable dish and nuts/seeds for supper.  I try lots of new recipes, and it has really helped me to have a handful of favorites that I know also fit the eating plan. 

 

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

I’ve lost 50 pounds, and went from size 16 down to a size 6; plus, my cholesterol dropped 60 points! I no longer have acid reflux disease, of which I had taken medication for 20 years. I’m still taking blood pressure medication, but I’m hopeful that I’ll be off of that entirely this year. I’ll turn 57 this month and I feel like I’m no longer getting older; I’m getting better!!

  

Congratulations Candee and keep up the great job!