Interview with a Nutritarian: Augie

It’s not everyday that one is introduced to a legend, but today you are about to meet one. His name is Augie, and when he was celebrating his eightieth birthday two years ago, he was glad that he'd made the conscious decision, more than a decade earlier, to make health and fitness a goal for his retirement years.  Augie ran his first marathon two days after turning 70, and ended up running twenty-nine marathons by his eightieth birthday; including running in the Boston Marathon three times. It was during that time that he also started researching nutrition in earnest, and started following Dr. Fuhrman’s recommendations as outlined in Eat to Live. Just two weeks ago, at the age of 82, Augie finished his first 50K run (31 miles) in Florida! Welcome to Disease Proof, Augie.

 

Tell us about your recent 50K.

The 50K was a heat endurance event, because it was a sunny, 83 degree day in Florida. The aid stations were about 4 to 5 miles apart, and I drank a bottle of water between each one. By the 9.5 mile mark I was feeling the beginning symptoms of heat exhaustion so I put six ice cubes in a zip lock bag and placed it on top of my head; holding it in place with my cap. I refilled these ice bags at each station. 

I was doing a 1:1 run/walk pace pretty much all the way to the 26 mile aid station, the marathon distance. (Strangely, at this point I felt like I was at mile 20 of a marathon.) From there I went to 30-40 second running surges interspersed with 90 second walks to the finish line. My time was 7:33:22; and there were only 59 of us at the start. 

Now I can say that I’ve completed a total of 40 marathons and beyond, (eleven marathons since age 80); plus, twenty-two, half marathons and many 5K’s to 20K’s. Hopefully I’ll still be in good condition to run a 50K again next year.

 

Do most know your age at these events?

 Ha, that question makes me chuckle. The 70+ age division runners are very competitive. Many times, before, and even during a race, a runner will come up along side me and ask my age. When I tell them, they are relieved, because I’m not in their age group for awards. Most times I’m 1st place out of one entrant in the 80+ age group.

 

How far do you run/walk daily to train?

My goal is to average 18 miles per week, and I’ve done this for the past twelve years. I run no more than 3 to 4 days per week, because longer distances provide better training than frequent, shorter ones; plus, rest days are just as important as running days.

 

Tell us about your nutritarian journey.

My dad died at age 84 from colon cancer, and I watched him slowly fade away for two years. He was a heavy steak and potato eater, and I was following the same path. I knew that eating beef was his problem, although I didn’t do anything to change my own eating habits for several more years. However, it planted the seed to change, because deep within I knew there was a better way. It wasn’t until I retired that I decided to make health and fitness, instead of golf, my retirement hobby. I researched several books before discovering Eat to Live seven years ago, and I was convinced that it was the best of the best. I’ve read it at least ten times since.

I’m 5’ 6.5”, and my weight at age 70 was 166 lbs. (I’ve never had any health issues or taken any medications.) I dropped to 150 lbs by age 75; and then after I started following Eat to Live, I lost another ten pounds over a two year period of time. Today, at age 82, I’ve maintained 140 lbs for the past five years. 

In the beginning I had severe withdrawal symptoms from comfort foods and salt, and that detox time was like going through boot camp. However, the discomfort was short lived, and now I'm thoroughly enjoying my 80’s. My priorities, as always, are family, travel and fitness. (This coming June I will celebrate 56 years of marriage to my dear wife, Josie.) I hope you all don't mind me tooting my own horn, but I think Eat to Live has been a big part in being able to do what I've done. It’s never too late to start eating for health!

 

What do you eat the day before and the day of a race?

In my early marathons I was brainwashed into needing a pasta dinner the day before. As the years went by, and now with the experience of 40 marathons and beyond, I find that my normal meals are sufficient; although I eat a larger portion, eat earlier, and go to bed earlier the evening before. For me, the breakfast that morning is far more important and lasting into the marathon: a bowl of rolled oats that soaked overnight in pomegranate juice with a handful of frozen blueberries and a banana. It’s very filling and lasting. 

During a marathon I’ve experimented with everything. I’ve finally settled on Medjool dates, pitted and individually wrapped in wax paper. I wear a fanny pack with a water bottle holder, my supply of dates, a cell phone, napkins, and band aids for emergencies. I’ve found 8 to 10 dates to be plenty, and I drink plenty of water.

 

What are your success tips for nutritarian eating?

To be successful, you must have a deep passion, reason or goal to be healthy; and a firm belief that you will see results to get through the initial detox stage. If you follow Eat to Live, you’ll be guaranteed to see results. Today, to maintain the nutritarian eating-style, I continually remind myself, “I don’t want the health problems that my friends have who eat the standard American diet.”

 

What advice do you have to become more physically active?

When I started running I had no idea where it would lead; I only knew that aerobic training was necessary. I started running at age 68 and gradually worked up to running three miles at a time. I had a dream goal to run a marathon to celebrate my 70th birthday. (I’ve read that we are all capable of achieving seemingly unattainable goals.) When I achieved that goal, and experienced the thrill of accomplishing something that I didn’t think I could do, it moved me to set other goals. 

  1. Find a passion.

  2. Set a dream goal that stretches your limits.

  3. Push and challenge yourself to successfully achieve that goal.

  4. Go for it!

     

 Thank you Augie for setting a high standard of “senior achievement” for all of us to aspire to ~ what a great inspiration you are for our retirement years ahead!

Interview with a Nutritarian: David

David was your typical, athletic American who thought he was relatively “healthy” . . . until he had his first heart-related incident before the age of sixty. Thankfully he heard Dr. Fuhrman on the radio, and today his health and energy have been restored. Welcome to Disease Proof David! 

 

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

At age 59, I’ve lived a good life; happily married, manager for a Plastics Company, and a daily runner for the past 30 years. I’m also a golfer and very active as my wife and I have three grown sons who keep us pretty busy! I lost my father to a massive heart attack when I was young so I’ve always been aware that my health was important. However, I felt fairly invincible since I exercised so much, and I thought I was eating pretty healthy. 

However, as a runner I knew I was getting out-of-shape, because it was getting harder for me to run each day. I was slowly gaining weight despite running six mile runs everyday. Then in September 2010, I had chest pains that led to the installation of a stent in my right coronary artery that was 100% blocked. Fortunately, the other two arteries were 100% clear, and I didn’t have a heart attack. This experience was a wake-up call, and I struggled for answers as to how this could have happened. Plus, I did not like all of the drugs I was suddenly required to take. 

 

How did you find out about Eat to Live?

In late January 2011, I was in the middle of a long drive home from a business meeting, and by sheer chance I heard Dr. Fuhrman on Sirius radio having a discussion on the NYC Docs show about nutrition. His message on eating high-nutrient foods hit me hard. When the show was over I immediately called my son in California, who is a vegetarian and nutritionally committed, and asked him about what I had just heard. He said that what Dr. Fuhrman was talking about was the same thing that he’d been trying to get his mother and me to listen to for years. When I got home I ordered the book. 

 

How do you feel now?

Today I’m 44 lbs lighter and still losing – which is about a 30% weight reduction so far! I now weigh what I did in high school, and I can run like the wind, which is basically effortlessly! My cholesterol numbers have nose dived, my angina is gone, my energy level is up, and I‘ve cut back on many drugs and expect to eliminate all of them shortly. I’ve discovered Dr. Fuhrman's predictions in Eat to Live to be totally true; and it’s only been five months! 

 

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

  • Get the refined sugar out of your life, along with the Diet Coke.

  • Eat all of the vegetables, beans and fresh fruits that you want – don't worry about calories or counting things, except for the limited amounts of nuts and seeds.

  • Give this nutritional eating style a chance to take hold. The first few weeks are tough, but hang in there, because the results are worth it.  

 

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

It’s given me a chance to help my body and has produced a lot of physical freedom. (The compliments on my weight reduction are pretty fun as well!) Plus, I now have new clothes to wear that were sitting around unused for a long time! More seriously, I don't worry about having a heart attack any longer. 

At 5’8” my weight has dropped from 190 to 145, and my goal was 165 lbs! 

 

before

after

Total cholesterol

166

 98

LDL

121

 49

HDL

 32

 62

Triglycerides

173

 87

 

Congratulations David ~ keep up the great work!

Happy Thanksgiving!

runnerEarly this morning, in the drizzling rain and cool temps of northern Indiana, my oldest son and I ran in my hometown’s annual 4-mile Thanksgiving run. Just before the start, the announcer exclaimed with much enthusiasm that a record 2400 runners had come out for run; making it one of the largest Thanksgiving 4-mile runs in the nation this morning! Then the National Anthem was played and I absolutely lost it as tears of gratitude and joy welled up in my eyes. On this Thanksgiving Day, amongst the sea of runners, I was one of them; a healthy athlete ~ a bona fide runner!     

Just three years prior, I was 100 lbs overweight. I'd been obese for nearly twenty years and had given up hope. I had heart disease, pre-diabetes, chronic fatigue, depression, lower back pain, achy joints, and shortness of breath from just climbing a flight of steps or walking to the mailbox and back.

Well, those days are over . . . for good!

Thanks to making the commitment to follow Dr. Fuhrman’s high nutrient eating plan as outlined on p.179 of Eat to Live, I lost the majority of excess weight within ten months. I no longer have heart disease, pre-diabetes, or any of the above mentioned maladies; and even more importantly, I'm now free from food addiction and the resulting eating disorders that had plagued my life for years. 

As I was nearing the finish line and making my legs give that final extra push, and the exuberant crowd was cheering, I couldn’t help but think, “I’m an obesity survivor!”

This same freedom is for everyone!  

Cheering for all to do whatever it takes to enjoy optimal health this Thanksgiving Day and always ~ you will never regret it! 

Interview with a Nutritarian: Rod

image of an obese man who lost weight and then ran his first marathon 

Preface by Emily Boller: Last fall, after a few months into my weight loss journey, friends and complete strangers would ask, “How are you losing so much weight?!”  It was a bit time consuming to explain to each person Dr. Fuhrman’s books, so I decided to schedule a public meeting room at my local library to “tell-everyone-at-once” and be done with the various questions.  Ha. 

That first little meeting room was filled, and many in attendance that day wanted me to schedule another one so they could come back and bring their family and friends.  The rest is history. 

I ended up scheduling a large meeting room in our city’s downtown library, and that room was filled.  I’ve had several “library talks” now, and Fort Wayne, Indiana is a buzz with excited people on their journeys to health!  Rod attended that first meeting, and now he shares his own weight loss story and success tips at the library talks.  Welcome to Disease Proof, Rod! 

 

Tell us about yourself and the events that led up to getting your health back?

I had just received the results of my annual physical.  For the fourth straight year, my cholesterol was over 215.  This time it was 231.  The doctor called and wanted me to start Lipitor.  I was not excited about putting a drug into my body that would have negative side effects.  This left me with the question, “What do I do to avoid taking medicine and reduce my cholesterol?”

In addition to having high cholesterol, my doctor told me that I was obese at 215 lbs.  Wow, what a blow to someone who considered himself an athlete and not a couch potato. 

 

How did you hear about the library talk?

One evening while checking my email, I received a message that was forwarded to me from my sister-in-law.  Her neighbor, Emily, had lost a lot of weight and her cholesterol level had dropped drastically without medication. That was when I realized that I had received the answer to my dilemma.

 

How did you feel before starting ETL?

I had low energy, constant bloating, continual cravings for food, and trouble with breathing when I tried to run a couple of miles or sleep at night.  My wife thought I had sleep apnea, and I could not get a new life insurance policy. 

 

How do you feel now?

My energy level is higher than ever and I seldom take a nap!  The bloating is gone, and I no longer have food cravings.  My breathing is fine now when I’m sleeping, and I qualified for the highest level of Life Insurance at the lowest premium rate.  Plus I’m currently training for a marathon, and I just completed a half-marathon in a surprisingly great time!

After approximately eight weeks of nutritarian eating, I returned to the doctor’s office to have my cholesterol rechecked.  My overall cholesterol dropped from 231 to 127; LDL cholesterol dropped from 168 to 82, and my triglycerides dropped from 142 to 56. 

I now weigh 170-175 lbs.

 

Success tips you’d like to share with others in the journey to health:

  • Find someone else that wants to get their health back also so you have support, eating ideas and an exercise partner.
  • Focus on what you can eat and not on what you can’t have to eat. There are so many wonderful food choices with nutritarian eating.
  • Be creative. Learn what foods you can eat, and put together combinations that you like. I make a vegetable soup and chili that I eat for lunch. I even mix together the soups to change the taste or add the leftover vegetables from our evening meals (saves money too.)
  • Start an exercise program or a sport you enjoy.
  • Make a game out of it – I want my cholesterol to go down “this much by this amount of time.”

 

If you could sum up what nutritarian eating has done for you, what would it be?

Not only has the quality of my health and life improved, but nutritarian eating has given me so much freedom! It feels so good to be free!


NOTE:  A year ago Rod was obese, unhealthy and could barely jog.  Now, at the age of 46, he just completed his first marathon in 4 hours and 9 minutes; placing 416th out of 1005 runners.  We are so proud of him!

Go eating for health!

Inspiration: Return of the King, this Day We Fight!

Alright nerds, listen up. Are you sluggish? Can’t drag yourself to the gym lately? Ate something you shouldn’t have. Or just feeling lazy? Well, fire up your geek radar, time to get inspired! If an evil horde threatened your home world, what would you do? Cower in fear? No. King Aragorn wants you to fight!

 

 

I know, I know. This is totally dorky, but millions of people get charged up over the Rocky movies, so why not the Lord of the Rings too. Whatever it takes! Like me, I’m a huge music fan. Blasting heavy metal or great classic rock gets me going and helps me knock out the extra mile. What works for you?

Image credit: hiddenhobbit

Inspiration: Rocky Balboa, Eye of the Tiger

Wow, this is a cliché, an Italian dude like me worshipping Rocky. I own the box set. Go figure! Anyway, the Rocky movies always excite me. So, even though Rocky isn’t real, this classic scene from the second movie will stand the hair up on the back of your neck:

 

 

Oh man. I’m all pumped now. Like Eddie Murphy said, after Italians see Rocky they come out of the movie theater charged. Same thing happens to me. But I’m not too embarrassed about it. People idolize Superman, Batman and Spiderman, same thing.

Image credit: graphicaluser

 

Cardiovascular Fitness Means Healthier Heart

Go outside and run! Because a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows people with high levels of physical fitness, i.e. cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), have lower risk of all-cause mortality and heart disease. Experts analyzed data from more than 100,000 individuals, including 84,323 people with coronary heart disease, and findings revealed people with low CRF had a 70% higher risk of all-cause death and a 56% higher risk of heart disease or cardiovascular event than those with high CRF; HealthDay News explains.

You need to exercise! Exercise keeps you fit, builds strong bones and muscles, and more! It goes double for heart health. In March, a study showed exercising after a heart attack helps improve blood flow by 10%, but Canadians didn’t get the message. They don’t exercise enough.

In related news, a previous report found diabetic men who stay active live longer. Now, if you’re too lazy to run, cycle, swim, whatever. Check out Oscar Pistorius, he does it with no legs!

Image credit: Ed Yourdon

Weak Hip Muscles May Hurt Runners' Legs

Printed in the journal Sports Health, a new study suggests weaker hip muscles could contribute to overuse injuries, such as knee pain, shin splints, tendonitis and sore feet, in runners. Experts estimate 70% of runners sustain an overuse injury each year, with half of those injuries occurring in the knee. If hip abductors, i.e. muscles at the outer hip, are weak or easily fatigued it can cause pain under the kneecap, researchers believe strengthening hip muscles could prevent these types of injuries in runners; via Reuters.

But don’t give on your running just yet! Impact exercise like running has been shown to develop stronger bones and muscles, even better than weightlifters. Now, in Dr. Fuhrman’s DVD Osteoporosis Protection for Life he demonstrates some exercises that help strengthen your muscles and bones.

In August, a report revealed middle-aged runners were 50% less likely to die than people who did not run. Runners also had a lower risk of heart disease and cancer.

Image credit: ingirogiro

Men Should Add Impact Exercise for Strong Bones

New findings in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research suggest high-impact exercise, like running, helps keep bones strong in men. Scientists studied 42 athletic men, ages 19 to 45, and discovered running yielded bigger benefits for bone density than strengthen training, both runners and weight-lifters had higher bone density than road cyclists, weight-lifters had strong bones due to bigger muscles, but runners had even stronger bones, regardless of muscle size; Reuters reports.

In January, another study on cyclists showed despite having less body fat and more muscle, bike-riders had weaker bones and were 2.5 to 3 times more likely to develop osteoporosis. Researchers recommended adding running or weight-training. Not a bad idea, because in the U.S. the lifetime rate of bone fracture is 40% in 50-year-old women and over 13% in men, with 300,000 hip fractures each year.

Time for some shameless marketing! Strong bones need strong muscles. Muscles strength is directly related to bone density and in Dr. Fuhrman’s DVD Osteoporosis Protection for Life he demonstrates a bunch of bone-building exercises you can do at home and it’s a lot cheaper than a gym membership!

Flickr: jeremyh21

Mental Fatigue Makes Workouts Harder

Wow, new findings in the Journal of Applied Physiology suggest being mentally tired may cause you to become exhausted more quickly during exercise, but researchers claim your muscles and heart don’t underperform. It’s your “perceived effort” that’s dragging you down. On one day 16 participants were given a demanding 90-minute test and on another day they watched TV for 90-minutes. When put on a stationary bike 15% of subjects stopped exercising sooner when they were mentally pooped; Reuters explains.

I relate to this big time! Tell me if you do too. A year ago I exercised a ton; Yoga, running, weights and more running! But I couldn’t do it anymore, too busy. Nowadays, DiseaseProof draws major attention, so I had to step up my game, hopefully you’ve noticed. Long story short, I was leaving the gym near death. Now I’ve cut back. I still exercise 6 days a week, but for shorter intervals and no more working out twice a day. That was crazy!

Clearly, pushing yourself to mental and physical exhaustion is a dumb idea. Our bodies need sufficient rest and recovery to function properly and previous reports insist Americans are overworked and under-slept. So cut yourself a break. You probably need it.

Image credit: Happy Dave