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

Kim Dropped 95 lbs and Got Her Health and Life Back!

Kim was 40-years-old, and mother of four, when life took a tailspin into several years of intense stress with ailing parents who eventually passed away within eight weeks of each other.   Between the ongoing struggles and debilitating depression that consumed her life she gained 90 lbs in a relatively short amount of time. Unfortunately, her doctor put her on more and more medications to attempt to relieve the symptoms of dangerously high blood pressure, rising blood sugars, and other maladies of a nutrient-deficient diet. However, today Kim is the epitome of vibrant health and well being as a result of following Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritarian approach. Welcome to Disease Proof, Kim!  

                    

 

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

My life was a roller coaster.  I was a yo-yo dieter for many years and each time I gained more and more weight.  In 2005 I gave birth to my 4th child just shy of my 40th birthday, and my mom was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer.  Stress and hormones ruled my life, and my doctor said my blood pressure was high and that I needed meds.  I took them periodically but never followed up.  In 2007 my mom's health took a 180 degree turn for the worst, and stress, depression and poor eating habits caused me to gain about 30 lbs. The depression sent me to the doctor who decided to put me on a regiment of meds, and then I gained an additional 30 lbs almost instantly.  

My mom and dad passed away within 8 weeks of each other so the doctor doubled my meds, and I gained another 30 lbs! By this time my blood pressure was 165/105 with medication.  My hemoglobin A1c [measures glucose in the blood] was up to 8 so the doctor put me on more meds. I was starting to have mild chest pains and shortness of breath all the time; I even had to lie down after showering. Instinctively, I knew that something had to change quickly or my youngest, who was 5 at the time, could possibly grow up without a Mommy. 



How did you discover Dr. Fuhrman?

One day I was watching TV while folding laundry.  When looking at the TV Preview Guide I saw 3 Steps to Incredible Health listed on PBS.  I’ve always been a sucker to anything weight-loss related so I decided to watch it.  As I listened I was mesmerized. “How could this possibly work?  Eating real food seemed so incredibly simple but this was the answer!” It was that day, June 4, 2011 that I stopped eating any processed food and adopted the 90/10 rule*.  After losing 50 lbs and researching more about eliminating animal products I became a Vegan.

* [Dr. Fuhrman mentioned in 3 Steps to Incredible Health that we have to flip from eating 90% animal products & refined foods and 10% produce to the other way around.]



How do you feel now?

I've lost 95 lbs, and I have nothing but energy! I’m like the Energizer Bunny now; I'll never sit on the sidelines again! Plus, I’m never hungry, and I never count calories, which used to drive me crazy back in the day of other diets.  I cried the day my doctor told me my blood pressure was 106/75. 
 

 

 BEFORE

 AFTER

Height

 5’ 5”

 

Weight

 231 lbs

 135 lbs

Cholesterol

 165

 136

Fasting Blood Sugar

 145

   81

Blood Pressure

 165/105 (with meds)

 106/75 (without meds)

Size

 18

    4

 

What are your success tips?

  • Be organized!  Know what you need for the day ahead.  I’d take too much food to work and took pride when I’d bring more than half of it home.  Once my body received all its necessary nutrients it told me when I was full - truly a miracle!!  
  • When eating out, I always look at the menu before I go so that I know what I'll order beforehand.  That way I'm not making unwise decisions under the pressure of the moment. 

 

In a nutshell, what has the nutritarian approach done for you?

Being a Nutritarian has given me my health and life back.  I’ve really enjoyed learning how nutrition works and incorporating it in all that I do every single day.  I’ll never go back to the Western style of eating.  This is my way of eating for the rest of my life, and I wouldn't have it any other way!

 

Congratulations Kim! 

 

A Young Adult Kicks the Junk Food Habit

Ruth is a newlywed with a full-time job and active lifestyle who has successfully learned to embrace the nutritarian diet-style 100%. Even though she was raised on the typical standard American diet of “home cooked meals” and fast food, and was addicted to junk food, she’s been a Nutritarian for a couple of years now and loves it. Welcome to Disease Proof, Ruth.

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

I grew up in a home where the evening meal usually consisted of a main entrée such as spaghetti, lasagna, meatloaf, roast beef, fried chicken, stir fry, or pizza; and bread, butter and milk were staples at every meal. And on busy nights we ate plenty of fast food as well. Breakfast was usually a bowl of processed cereal and milk, and lunch was a deli meat sandwich, chicken nuggets, pizza pockets, or macaroni and cheese. We always had sweets available to eat so I loved cookies, ice cream and chocolates of all kinds.

When I could drive, I had a part-time job at a coffee shop that sold baked goods. At closing, employees could take home the day’s leftovers that didn’t sell: yeast rolls, cinnamon rolls, scones, cookies, etc., and consequently I became addicted to coffee drinks and sweets; in fact, by my late teen years I didn’t eat much else. However, I was tired and sick all the time. I had colds continually and took over-the-counter meds to treat the symptoms. 

 

How did you find out about Dr. Fuhrman? 

My mom had lost a lot of weight by following his nutritarian diet-style and felt so much better, which inspired me. She gave me a copy of Eat for Health, and after reading it, I applied some of the information. Over time, as I learned more, I eventually committed 100%; both feet in.

 

How do you feel now?

I have so much more energy now, and I never get sick. I haven’t had a sick day from work since fully committing to eating this way. My skin is clear, and I’ve noticed that I don’t have bad breath or body odor anymore, and I’m also thirty pounds less than what I weighed in high school. The energy I now have enables me to keep up with a full-time job and active lifestyle. 

 

What are your success tips?

 

  • No matter how busy life gets I always make time for shopping and food prep. I spend less than an hour a week cleaning and cutting up all the vegetables. This is a time saver when I’m in a hurry and need to pack my lunch, assemble a salad, or make dinner.

  • I drink a green smoothie in the mornings after my workout and before I leave for work. It energizes me, and I feel so good to start the day.

 

Congratulations Ruth for taking the necessary steps to kick the junk food habit and live in the best health that’s possible!

 

Congratulations Julie ~ Winner of this Year's Holiday Challenge Contest!

On June 26th over 250 guests convened at the beautiful and luxurious Loew’s Coronado Bay Resort near San Diego, California for Dr. Fuhrman’s 7th Annual Health Getaway. It was a week set aside for renewal from the hectic pace of life; combined with informative and life-changing lectures by Dr. Fuhrman; delicious nutritarian foods prepared by world class chefs; and fun activities such as zumba, yoga, power walks, exercise classes led by Dr. Fuhrman, country line dancing, a patriotic dinner with live music, beach fun and games, and a highly entertaining talent show.

For Julie and her husband, Kip, it was the ultimate health getaway. They were this year’s recipients of the all-expense paid trip for two as a result of Julie winning the 2012 Holiday Challenge contest. One evening I asked Julie about her newfound health and was excited to learn about her journey. Welcome to Disease Proof, Julie!

 

How did you discover Dr. Fuhrman? 

One day I was sick and lying on the couch and decided to watch a movie that was on Netflix titled, “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead”. (Because that described how I was feeling that day!). The movie inspired me, but I instinctively knew that juice fasting wasn’t a lifestyle that I could sustain long term. Since Dr. Fuhrman was in the movie as a supervising physician, I researched him and discovered his book, Eat to Live. I bought the book that day, because his food pyramid looked logical to me. 

 

How did you feel then?

At 215 lbs I felt miserable. I suffered from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), chronic sinusitis, debilitating migraine headaches, asthma, allergies, chronic bronchitis, sleep apnea, pneumonia, endometriosis, and loss of energy. Everything combined cause me to be a non-functioning wife and mother many days of the year.

 

How do you feel now?  

I’ve lost 65 lbs., and all symptoms of my past illnesses are completely gone. I’m able to be a full-time mother, and my children are proud of me now. I’ve also influenced them to eat for health, as well as my husband, parents, and friends, because they’ve all witnessed my health improvements. 

                  

What are your success tips?

  • Keep it simple. Stick to the basics of the program. If necessary, buy bags of lettuce and cut-up vegetables for quick meals.
  • Ignore the critics. Ignore those who aren’t informed but criticize what you are doing anyway ~ realize they just don’t know any better. 
  • Join Dr. Fuhrman’s Member Center. Ask questions, interact, and get support from veteran, successful Nutritarians; ask the doctors questions in Ask the Doctor; listen to the library of teleconference calls, and download favorite recipes from the Recipe Guide.  

 

Congratulations Julie for winning this year’s Holiday Challenge contest! If anyone is interested in the opportunity to win next year’s contest, stay tuned to the Holiday Challenge kick-off coming up again in November.  It's an exciting adventure you won't want to miss! 

 

 

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! 

Free at Last from Years of Dieting Entanglements!

I met Ronna a year ago last month at Dr. Fuhrman’s Health Immersion for Whole Foods Market team members. She wasn’t significantly overweight at the time but knew she was not in the zone of where she could be health-wise. Thinking she was eating ‘clean’ and ‘in moderation’, lingering cravings for processed foods, sugar and caffeine, and her attachment to limited thinking about her own health held her back. Today, with a healthy body and mind free of self judgement and food deprivation, she happily spends more time enjoying life in the present moment. Welcome to Disease Proof, Ronna.

 

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

Before I found Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritarian diet-style my head was filled with a myriad of nutrition theories. Self help books and fad diets dictated my rules for weight loss as far back as high school. My focus back then wasn’t on acquiring energy, mental clarity, a sense of balance, loss of cravings, and disease prevention; but more on finding the right diet program.

Increasing vitamins and minerals meant consuming fortified foods - orange juice and cereals, a salad or side of something steamed and green. I thought if I avoided junk food, moved more, and ate less, observing the food pyramid serving suggestions, I could win at losing weight. 

At age 11, I was diagnosed with Hashimotos Thyroiditis, an auto-immune disease commonly referred to as underactive thyroid. In my late teens losing weight meant extreme calorie restriction and/or excessive physical activity. Sugar was my constant companion.  I was the classic yo-yo dieter; in fact, I followed fad diets for sport. I became a runner to try to outsmart and outrun my inner sugar addict.

My cravings followed me to college, and even though I was thin when I was a freshman, I was “under the influence” of the sweet stuff. By the time I graduated I was 40 lbs heavier, and I hated walking across the platform to receive my diploma with my obvious weight loss failures showing. 

After knocking off the excess weight from college by dieting, my sweet tooth, and a honed ability to satisfy my fix led me to open a sweet shop in 1990 called Ronna’s Sweet Necessities. I now had complete access to my vice – at wholesale - and I became an enabler of others' sugar habits too! Then I became a candy buyer for an internet giant, and samples piled in right out of the test kitchen. Trips to Belgium to visit with multiple chocolate factories followed and samples flowed.

My mother, a Certified Diabetes Educator and practicing nutritionist, was a constant source of support and encouragement, but my sugar addiction was a private matter. She was there for me, and I probably skirted anorexia and bulimia because of her presence in my life, but I sought to slay this dragon myself. I evenutally left the candy business with a commitment to go to school to become a holistic health coach, and then I started a nutrition practice. Eventually Whole Foods Market hired me as a Healthy Eating Specialist and that’s how I was introduced to Dr. Fuhrman’s teachings.

In May 2012, I attended the Whole Foods Health Immersion led by Dr. Fuhrman, and his nutritarian diet-style dramatically shifted my perspective. Prior to the immersion I fed my desire, often daily, for coffee with cream, a little wine and cheese, and several bites of a gluten-free ice cream sandwich. These habits and “healthy snacking” kept the sugar and caffeine rushes coming.

 

How do you feel now?

Becoming a Nutritiarian has been a game changer for me. I don’t just look different, I think and live differently. I’ve shed 30 lbs from my 5’2” frame, and my body fat has gone from 44% to 18%. You could say my battery is fully charged now. I feel mindful about food choices rather than being a slave to addictive eating habits. I’m happier, I think more clearly, and I also feel a sense of balance, ease in movement, and confidence about my body. Most importantly, my cravings and the constant “noise” in my head related to food, body weight, and self-image are now completely gone!

 

 

May 2012

  May 2013

Weight

 146

116

Height

 5’2”

 

Cholesterol

 149

 146

Triglycerides

 55

 49

HDL

 62

 58

LDL

 76

 78

BMI

 25.2

 20.9

Body fat %

 44%

 18%

BP

 114/74

 103/66

 

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

  

KEEP GOING

Two days into the nutritarian style of eating I hit a rough patch with severe detox symptoms (headache, all-over achiness and lack of energy). This bout lasted for 48 hours.

Having endured the detox phase, the potential for feeling good every day seemed to increase exponentially. Cravings ceased, pain faded, and longing for old comfort foods got replaced with delicious alternatives. I’m now equipped with recipes provided on Dr. Fuhrman’s website, and in his books and DVD’s that keep me satisfied without feeling deprived. 

 

COOK MORE

Cooking is truly the cornerstone of health, and learning to cook, fast, simple, tasty, micronutrient-rich foods is one of the keys to success. Previously, I played around in the kitchen. Today I cook!

 

LET GO OF LIMITED THINKING

I self diagnosed myself as hypoglycemic, but I was not; it was just my rationalization for incessant snacking. I also believed that as I aged my decreased metabolism would cause an inability to shed weight. This proved to be false too. And I always thought that my hypothyroidism was working against me which proved to be untrue. Correct information cleared the path for change.

 

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

Nutritarian eating has quieted the dieting chatter in my head. I no longer count calories and fat grams, or wake up wondering if I’m going to be ‘good’ today (in my eating), or if cravings are going to sabotage my best efforts. With less time spent counting calories and being overwhelmed by diet propaganda I have acquired more time to live in the moment, and that’s priceless to me.

I never have to diet again! Dr. Fuhrman has taught me how to regulate my eating internally with my own sense of what I need – not externally with a set of dieting rules and rituals. Tips and rules are not the same. I can’t get enough healthy eating tips; they inspire me.

For me, the good life is not something that will be achieved when I hit a certain number on the scale. The good life is being a Nutritarian; eating high-nutrient, quality food. And that’s the sweet spot, sweeter than anything I used to crave.

And for me, that’s sweet freedom.

 

Congratulations Ronna for fully embracing the nutritarian diet-style and getting free from years of dieting entanglements!

 

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: Nancy

I met Nancy on Dr. Fuhrman’s Member Center this past year, and she’s now a totally different person than she was just nine months ago. Her enthusiasm for living life to the fullest is contagious! However, just last summer she felt like she had no life. It’s amazing what nine months of nutritarian eating can do to a person! Welcome to Disease Proof, Nancy.      

               

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

What life?? I had no life!

I barely left the house, and I had removed myself from all social functions, because I was just too ashamed of the way I looked and felt. I felt physically uncomfortable all the time; whether I was sitting in a chair, or the car, or lying in bed, my body felt awful. My feet would hurt even if I walked just a little bit. I ached from head to toe, and I was exhausted most of the time and had very little energy to do normal every day tasks. My life was on hold.  I'm not even sure how much I weighed, because I didn't have the courage to actually get on the scales when I started following Eat to Live. I waited about a week before I actually weighed myself, and I was 195.5 lbs, so I'm pretty sure I was close to 200 lbs when I started . . . and I’m only 5'2"!

Prior to following Eat to Live my weight had gone up and down most of my adult life. I was a typical yo-yo dieter; never able to maintain an optimal weight because every "diet" always came to an end. I needed an absolute, complete lifestyle change; a way of living, not some diet fad that would be tossed aside once I reached my goal weight.

 

How did you find out about it?

I’d decided to start a healthy diet in July 2012, but I knew that I needed something different than what I’d tried in the past. Previously, I had gone vegan in an attempt to regain health and reduce my weight, but that never lasted longer than a few weeks at a time. I instinctively felt that I didn’t have a complete picture of truly healthy eating. I searched online for some help and stumbled across Dr. Fuhrman's website. I devoured everything I could and purchased the books Eat to Live and Eat for Health. The knowledge I gained from reading those books, and joining the member center, was invaluable and were the missing pieces for me.

 

How do you feel now?

My life has totally changed! I’ve lost 75.5 pounds and reached my goal of 120 pounds in just nine months. I weigh less than I did in high school, and I feel absolutely wonderful! Aches and pains are gone, energy has greatly increased, and my social life is back to normal. I have a completely new wardrobe and feel good in my skin now. This is not just about vanity; it is so much more than that. I can sit on the floor and play with my grandkids and not even know I have a body. I’m at peace with the knowledge that I’m doing what's best for my health, and I feel free!

 

What are your success tips?

  • I dived into the program 100% and did not deviate from it. I followed everything to the letter, and I was determined that this would be the way I would eat for the rest of my life.

  • I completely changed my relationship with food. Initially, I stayed away from restaurants (too much temptation), and if I did eat out, I brought my own dressings with me.

  • I participated in Dr. Fuhrman’s Member Center which helped me tremendously! Reading about others’ successes and failures in the discussion forums has been extremely helpful. There were times that I needed a kick in the pants to help get me out of temptation and reading the remorse that others felt when they had "fallen off the wagon" was the impetus I needed to keep going. And of course, reading about others who had been successful convinced me that this can be done.  Receiving encouragement from the Member Center is a tool which will be useful indefinitely. I am now acutely aware that one food indiscretion has the potential to send me back into unhealthful eating, and I will use every tool I can to prevent that from happening.

 

Congratulations Nancy for making that decision to dive-in 100% for the rest of your life!

Interview with a Nutritarian: Kurt

When I met my husband, Kurt, over 30 years ago, he was a bon a fide cowboy. Being athletic, he was fit and trim and rarely had a health concern so he never went to a doctor. He also had the uncanny ability to only eat when hungry. Even if there were only a couple bites of his favorite pie left on a plate, and he was full, he couldn’t take another bite. However, he was a “meat and potatoes” kind of guy; a 16 oz steak and baked potato slathered with butter was the ultimate meal.

Over time, Kurt traded his saddle in for a computer to financially support raising our family, and his life became sedentary. However, his diet changed considerably about four years ago when I decided to embark on a health makeover by following Eat to Live. For over three years Kurt’s meals at home consisted of high-nutrient foods, but he affectionately called his way of eating “Fuhrman-Lite”. He basically followed the principles of nutritarian eating about 70% of the time, but his daily lunches out consisted of fried chicken dinners, Greek specials or Subway sandwiches and chips, and he loved to treat himself to chocolate shakes, cookies, and candy bars on a regular basis. Since he wasn’t significantly overweight he continued to enjoy his daily splurges.

Last year, at age 53 he was experiencing frequent chest pains. It occurred when under stress at work, exercising or exerting himself, and eventually he started to be more and more uncomfortable even at rest, while sitting and lying down. He’d even re-position the seatbelt shoulder strap while driving, thinking that may be the cause of the pain. It increased over several months, but he didn’t talk much about it or go to a doctor. 

Thankfully, Dr. Fuhrman came to my hometown to speak at an all-day Health Immersion, and I happened to mention Kurt’s symptoms to him, and he spoke to Kurt about them.  Dr. Fuhrman was immediately concerned and said that Kurt was experiencing unstable angina; that he had one or more arteries that were over 90% blocked. Even with Dr. Fuhrman telling him the gravity of his life-threatening situation, Kurt continued to eat the standard American diet for another week until his blood pressure shot up dangerously high one morning. (Dr. Fuhrman had instructed him to check his blood pressure on a daily basis). That afternoon he was sweating, had pain in his neck and left arm, and felt terrible overall. The denial was over, and Kurt instantly became a fully committed nutritarian. That was a year ago this week.  Welcome to Disease Proof, Kurt.

 

What was your life like before fully committing to the nutritarian eating-style?

I was tired and didn’t feel well most of the time, but because the symptoms developed so gradually, I accepted them as normal. It was challenging for me to go for a walk down the road, and I usually had to take a nap after lunch every day but didn’t realize it was connected to the food that I was eating. I also had chest pain, eventually even when sitting and lying down. I was concerned about the pains and knew that I needed to change my eating habits, but the thought of giving up meat was the biggest obstacle that kept me from fully doing it. Being married to you [Emily] I thought I was eating “healthy enough” at home, at least healthier than I had for most of my life so I was relatively content. 

 

How do you feel now?

I have a lot more energy now, and I can walk briskly without exertion. I wake up rested every morning, and I no longer need a nap after lunch. I lost over 25 lbs those first three months, (and dropped a clothing size), and I’ve been maintaining that weight since. My blood pressures are consistently under 115/75, and the ongoing chest pains are gone.

I used to get a lot of sinus infections during the winter months, but I haven’t been sick this entire year; not even a cold. I’m a computer consultant and work on client’s computer systems. Invariably someone at a customer’s site is sick so I’m exposed to a lot of bugs, but I haven't caught anything all year.  I can even smell things now that I couldn’t before, and my taste buds have greatly improved. Foods and beverages that I used to like, I don’t even like anymore; including milk, pop, and lemonade, and foods that I used to not like, I now enjoy.  

 

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

 

  • It’s important to have a good understanding of Dr. Fuhrman’s teachings. Emily had tried to encourage me to read Eat to Live, but reading it just wasn’t that big of a deal to me.  I saw her success after many years of fad dieting and gimmicks that didn’t work so I knew this was the “real deal”. I knew it was the healthiest way to eat, but I wasn’t ready to fully embrace the changes for myself. Then Dr. Fuhrman came to Fort Wayne for the Health Immersion, and I listened to his lectures and they made a lot of sense. I finally understood that in order to reverse heart disease there could be no margin for cheating. It clicked, even though I still wasn’t ready to give it 100%. 

  • It’s helpful to have support from others. Most likely I could’ve changed on my own, because I was desperate to reverse my blocked arteries, but Emily’s ongoing support has been a huge contributing factor to my success. 

  • Be persistent and give it time. If unsalted food doesn’t taste that good to you in the beginning, be patient, because eventually your taste buds will change and you’ll enjoy the subtle flavors of foods without salt. It really does happen.   

 

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

It has changed my entire family’s life. First, Emily got her health back, and now all of us are eating healthy and feeling better because of it.  Plus we’ve all been spared a lot of unnecessary and costly suffering and tragedy as well. 

Interview with a Nutritarian: Esther

 

 

Esther Boller is one cool chica. As a lover of fashion myself, I knew I had to get to know this rising star in the art and fashion world who also happens to be a model nutritarian. While just 17-years-old, Esther has already proven that she has the talent to compete with the best and brightest in fashion and film. Esther recently won a National Gold Medal in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards for her Masking Tape Dress - made completely out of masking tape!  Winning this award is no small feat. It is a prestigious award dating back to 1923 and has been previously granted to artistic greats such as Andy Warhol, Truman Capote, Robert Redford and Joyce Carol Oates.

Esther continues to increase exposure in the fashion and modeling industry and this spring she was the cover girl model winner for Mode Republic. In addition to all of these achievements, she also won the Scholastic National American Vision Award for her short film, “Dreams are Sails”. Over 200,000 students entered the various Scholastics competitions, and she traveled to New York City in June to accept her awards at a national ceremony in Carnegie Hall.

Wow! So while I’m completely impressed by her skills in the world of aesthetics, I’m equally impressed by her healthy eating habits. After speaking with her on the phone, I learned that she’s been committed to following the nutritarian lifestyle since December 2011 and has never felt better. Let’s get to know this inspiring girl better. Welcome to Disease Proof, Esther!  

 

 

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

While always a pretty healthy eater and ate better than most teenagers, I was far from perfect. I loved fruits and vegetables, but I also ate pizza, breads, cookies and sweets regularly. I’ve always had a sweet tooth and this meant plenty of sugar in my diet. In August 2011 I began suffering from dizzy spells combined with intense headaches once or twice each week and they would last for over 20 minutes. I would become so overwhelmed with a sensation of spinning that I would instantly have to stop whatever I was doing, sit down, and put my head between my knees until it would stop. Each week they increased in intensity, frequency and length to the point that they were greatly incapacitating. I could never anticipate when an episode would happen, and they started to occur every other day so I began living in fear of them; especially when I was driving the car or out in public.

My mom took me to an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist last December, and after an initial hearing test ruled out an inner ear imbalance, the doctor wanted to do a bunch of expensive diagnostic tests, physical therapy, and possibly put me on meds. I knew that I didn’t want to take drugs as I’ve seen first hand the negative side effects of mind altering meds. No way. So when Dr. Fuhrman suggested that I eat 100% perfectly, even starting a week before Christmas, I was willing to do anything to get better. I couldn’t let the dizzy spells and headaches, or the negative side effects of drugs stop me from achieving my dreams.

  

How do you feel now?

A few weeks after committing to the nutritarian lifestyle, the spinning episodes and headaches became less intense and I felt them less frequently. After two months they completely disappeared. Now, besides having no more dizzy spells or headaches, I’m not as tired anymore and have lots more energy. This last spring semester I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to focus on schoolwork with enhanced alertness and simply have more vigor in daily living. I never had terrible skin, but I don’t get acne or pimples like I did sometimes in the past.

 

What has surprised you about following a nutritarian diet?

It is so easy and I enjoy it much more than I expected. I liked fruits and vegetables before, but didn’t love them like I do now. I didn’t think I would enjoy eating kale, but now I adore it! I’ve become much more creative in the kitchen and one of my favorite meals is a salad with homemade bean salsa on top.   When I crave something sweet, I whip up a banana ice cream made with bananas, other fruits and non-dairy milk. My friends are pretty accepting of the way I eat, and when I visit my friends' houses and they offer me junk foods, I explain that I have to follow a special diet for health reasons. It’s definitely not as hard as I thought to say no to conventional American foods. 

 

Do you have advice for other young people attempting to improve their diets?

Yes! Don’t be afraid of trying new foods. You’d be surprised how great vegetable and fruit dishes can taste! As I mentioned, I’d never been a huge kale fan, but after eating it more and experimenting with different cooking techniques and recipes, it’s become one of my favorite vegetables. My taste buds have certainly changed as I’ve made the switch to a 100 percent nutritarian lifestyle and I now crave large salads, which was something I didn’t expect. 

I’ve also found it helpful to have a variety of different fruits and vegetables stocked in the refrigerator. Fruits and vegetables can be a little bit boring after a while, so it’s nice to try out new recipes. When I first started, my mom and I tried out a bunch of recipes and found ones that I really enjoy and make all the time now. There are so many ways to cook fruits and vegetables!

 

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

I look forward to my future now without the fear of scary, dizzy spells, headaches, or taking drugs for the rest of my life. Nothing feels better than that! 

 

 

Image credits: self-portrait in car by Esther Boller;  Carnegie Hall ceremony taken by Ruth Yaroslaski