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!

Never Give Up

 

There's nothing more deeply satisfying than crossing the finish line of a goal accomplished. 

 

This past year my 21-year-old son died unexpectedly. After the initial shock wore off, I entered into a dark season of PTSD and bereavement for several months. During the most acute phase of it I could barely function, because I would be in a daze of paralyzing grief and confusion. I had a difficult time accomplishing the simplest of tasks such as unloading the dishwasher or starting a load of laundry.  Vigorous workouts were unthinkable in the quagmire of my demise.  I couldn’t even successfully take inventory of food to make a grocery list, let alone muster up the strength to navigate the supermarket aisles or prepare a pot of soup.

I continued to eat whole foods, but many times a meal only consisted of a bowl of oatmeal and an apple; or a green pepper with hummus, a banana, and some nuts. I was just too overwhelmed in the anguish of grief to care for myself properly during that time and apathy set in.   

It saddens me when I hear some say, "I fell off the wagon" in reference to making unwise choices due to a stressful day or difficult season of life. Hard times happen to everyone; they just do. Unless one has made a conscious decision to completely throw in the towel and quit eating healthfully altogether, no one has fallen off any wagons.  The nutritarian eating-style is for life; not a diet to jump on and off on a whim. The wagon mentality only fuels yo-yo dieting for those who buy into that mindset. And the most dangerous part is that staying off the wagon may last for days, weeks, or years . . .until one gets psyched up to get back on it again.  

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 in the pursuit of excellent health. There’s never a valid excuse to throw in the towel and completely quit, because nothing is more deeply satisfying than crossing the finish line of a goal accomplished. Earning one’s health back is a priceless treasure that comes with absolutely no regrets.

The sun will shine again and happiness will return as one continues to stay the course.

Never give up.

“It will take strength. It will take effort. But the pleasure and rewards that you’ll get from a healthy life will be priceless.”   Dr. Fuhrman

 

 

image credit: celebration by Elijah Lynn


 

Interview with a Nutritarian: Carrie

I first got to know Carrie and follow her health and weight loss progress through Dr. Fuhrman’s Member Center when she joined the first Holiday Challenge back in 2010. Then this past summer I met her in person at Dr. Fuhrman’s Health Getaway on Amelia Island. Carrie’s skin just glowed, and she was the epitome of vibrant health and fitness! One would never have known that just two years prior she was overweight and suffering from multiple ailments. Welcome to Disease Proof, Carrie.

 

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

I remember being a sick child, always getting colds which forced me to stay home from school a lot, and I wasn’t any healthier as an adolescent or young adult. By the time I turned 35, I was a mess: overweight and suffering from chronic migraines, allergies and anxiety, not to mention that I would get sick anytime I went on an airplane.

The last straw for me was when my migraines got so bad that I was taking prescription medication and over-the-counter painkillers every afternoon and living in fear of the pain. I could not keep up with my husband or friends nor could I make plans for my future because I was so debilitated by headaches. When I asked my doctor about my options, his only suggestion was for me to consider taking an anti-seizure medication that had been shown to help people with migraines; he never said anything about improving my diet. Fortunately, I discovered Dr. Fuhrman before I began taking them.

 

How did you find out about Dr. Fuhrman and Eat to Live?

I had already switched to a vegan diet prior to discovering Dr. Fuhrman because I was concerned about animal welfare. I listened to a podcast by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau who mentioned Dr. Fuhrman and his book. I was intrigued by his nutrition-based approach to health issues so I asked a friend to give me the book for my upcoming birthday. Little did I realize that reading Eat to Live would be the turning point in my life. I felt so inspired by the section on recovering from headaches that I joined the Holiday Challenge 2010 that was about to begin.

Those first 6 weeks were tough. Although I thought I was eating a healthy diet because I was vegan, I still had tons of changes to make. I cut out caffeine, quadrupled my intake of greens and other vegetables, ate more fresh fruits, got rid of salt and cut way back on added sugars. My husband joined me and ended up experiencing his own health transformation, losing 40 pounds and getting off of two blood pressure medications.

 

How do you feel now?

 I feel better now than I have in my entire life. All my unhealthy eating for all those years, and perhaps combined with environmental exposures, resulted in my being diagnosed with thyroid cancer last year; a slow growing cancer that I could’ve had for more than ten years. I don’t know if I would’ve pulled through so easily if it wasn’t for my new eating habits. I came though that experience with flying colors, and the cancer was small and completely removed. My doctors could not believe how quickly I recovered from surgery. My migraines, allergies and anxiety are distant memories, but I will never forget how far I'e come, and I am so grateful to Dr. Fuhrman for giving me my life back.

 

Do you have any success tips to share?

Preparation is an absolute. I know that the time I spend on the front end will benefit me on the back end, so I often wake up early to cook beans, prep vegetables or make a salad dressing. I also make sure to freeze leftovers so I don’t get caught without foods during those inevitable busy times when I don’t have time to cook.

My husband wanted me to share his tip for getting rid of the salt shaker and that is to use balsamic vinegar or fresh lemon juice on meals; it is amazing how the acidity brightens up the flavor of natural foods.

 

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

My life now revolves around promoting a whole foods, high-nutrient eating style. I am almost finished with a master’s degree in public health nutrition and I write a blog called Carrie on Vegan where I discuss my journey.

While the numbers speak for themselves, they can’t begin to capture the extent of my personal transformation. I feel like I am living my life to the fullest because I have the energy and freedom from pain to do so.

 

 

Before

After

Weight

138

113

Total Cholesterol

224

165

LDL Cholesterol

102

79

Triglycerides

123

47

Migraines

 

gone

Allergies

 

gone

Anxiety

 

gone

 

Thank you for sharing your story with us Carrie, and all the best of continual health to you!

There is No Greater Joy

"The most effective treatment for breaking any bad habit or addiction is abstinence."    -Joel Fuhrman, M.D.

I've never been drunk, in fact, I don't drink alcohol. I grew up in a home where alcohol wasn’t consumed, so therefore, I didn't acquire a taste for it. However, during college I lived in a house with 28 other girls, and most Saturday and Sunday mornings I witnessed the various hangovers from the drinking parties the night before. I felt so sorry for them. I couldn't understand why they would do such a thing to torture their poor bodies so much.

Well, just a couple of years later when I was in the midst of my own hangovers from toxic food addiction, I could finally understand. When a poisonous addiction takes over, it tortures both body and mind. After a toxic food binge I would feel bloated, painfully miserable, and disoriented for several hours until the foods got out of my system; only to eat them all over again.

For me, being free from toxic food hangovers has been even more exciting than losing weight or getting health restored. To anyone who doesn't understand that concept, be thankful. Be very thankful. To be imprisoned to habitual bingeing hangovers is a terrible captivity, and I was in the dark abyss for over 20 years.

  • I dreaded birthday parties and holiday feasts, yet craved them at the same time.
  • I dreaded the way I'd feel after eating fake stuff, yet couldn't live without it.
  • I even dreaded getting up many mornings to face another day of bingeing; dreading it, yet craving it. What insanity.

Perhaps that's why I'm so staunch about abstinence to the point others may think I'm extreme and crazy. I know how deep one can dig into the pit of food addiction. I've seen what it can do to my body and sanity, and I’ve seen what it can do to others as well . . . and I don't give a rip what anyone thinks about my decision to be abstinent.

Have you ever experienced food binge hangovers, and are you free from them?

If not, you can be starting right now.

 

Freedom is two-fold:

1) One must eat for health by carefully following the nutritional guidelines in Eat to Live; flooding the body with comprehensive micronutrient adequacy to meet the biological needs of the body.

2) And abstain from those foods and situations that trigger addictive binges. Abstinence is a self-enforced restraint from indulging that usually causes one to feel worse for the first several days before feeling better. The key to successfully overcoming an addiction is to never give into the impulse to indulge, no matter what. There is no other way out.

 

Once you cross the threshold where toxic food binges no longer overpower you, you will be free for the rest of your life! You’ll naturally prefer eating less when you consume high-nutrient foods instead of fake foods; you’ll naturally get more pleasure out of eating and living; and you’ll enjoy a healthy body and sane mind that is free from the physical and mental torment of the addiction.

Contend for your freedom today. Eat for health and remain abstinent from triggers. 

There is no greater joy!

 

[The pictures are of yours truly. The image at the top was taken on July 10, 2008, the day I committed to follow Eat to Live; and the image on the left was taken this past summer, four years later. This coming July I will celebrate my fifth year anniversary of being free from food addiction! Click here to view my journey to freedom.]

Eating for Health AND Weight

Earlier this week, the New York Times published an opinion piece by Dr. Dean Ornish entitled “Eating for Health, Not Weight.”

Dr. Ornish states, “Perhaps the biggest misconception is that as long as you lose weight, it doesn’t matter what you eat. But it does… Some diets that may help you lose weight may be harmful to your health over time.”

To illustrate his point, Dr. Ornish brought up a recent study that made news: the study compared three different diets all containing the same amount of calories: a low-fat, high-glycemic load diet, a moderate-glycemic load diet, and a very low-carbohydrate, low-glycemic load diet. The study aimed to figure out which type of diet would work best for maintenance of prior weight loss. A decrease in calorie expenditure (“slower metabolism”) is expected upon weight loss – when you weigh less, you require fewer calories. The researchers found that the very low carbohydrate diet produced the smallest decrease in calorie expenditure compared to pre-weight loss levels. The conclusion was that the low-carb diet may be preferable for maintaining weight loss, because the smaller decrease in calorie expenditure would theoretically make it possible to eat more calories than on the other diets and maintain the same weight.1

News like this sends a dangerous message to the American public, making low-carbohydrate diets seem very attractive: “as long as you lose weight, it doesn’t matter what you eat. Dr. Ornish adds, “never underestimate the power of telling people what they want to hear — like cheeseburgers and bacon are good for you.”

A faster metabolism does not mean better health; in fact, it likely means the opposite. Also, the number of calories burned daily on each of these diets is irrelevant because it is probable that none of the diets were healthful (the actual foods eaten on these diets were not reported, only details on carbohydrate, protein, and fat content). Weight, though important, is not the only measure of health. Based mainly on low-nutrient animal products, low-carbohydrate, high-protein diets are associated with impaired endothelial cell function, increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and greater incidence of death from cardiovascular disease, cancer, and all causes.2-6  What good is weight loss if the weight loss diet brings on heart disease, diabetes, and/or cancer?

Dr. Ornish makes an excellent point in his article. The only thing is, we should also make the point that the diet-style most favorable for health is also the most favorable for weight loss. You don’t have to choose one or the other.

Greens. Flickr:  William Ismael | Willpower LifeForce

Putting the emphasis on health instead of weight takes one off the dieting merry-go-round, and into a healthful, sustainable eating style that produces effortless weight loss as a side effect. For weight loss and for health, macronutrient composition (low-carb, low-fat, high-protein, etc.) is not the important factor – maximizing micronutrient density by eating healthful foods and avoiding disease-causing foods is the key.

Our nation’s eating habits are beyond fattening – they are destructive to our physical and emotional health.

 The addictive nature of the unhealthy foods at the core of the Standard American Diet is not merely disease-causing and fattening; but also destructive to the intellect and emotional well-being; the SAD contributes not only to diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, but also to depression, dementia, and even criminal behavior.  These eating practices are destructive to our own health and the health of our children, possibly even their children – the current American diet is likely fueling an future explosion in human suffering due to childhood cancers, autoimmune diseases, and further increases in rates of the lifestyle diseases that already plague Americans.

Dr. Ornish says “About 75 percent of the $2.8 trillion in annual health care costs in the United States is from chronic diseases that can often be reversed or prevented altogether by a healthy lifestyle.”

The only reason a nutritarian diet is not promoted by all as the answer to our nation’s health problems is that it is not favorable to the pharmaceutical industry, the high-tech medical procedure and medical industries, and the powerful food interests and chemical industry that heavily influence government.  Powerful economic forces favor the status quo.

The wide adoption of a nutritarian diet by the masses could have a major impact on global warming, save Medicare, booster our sickly economy burdened with massive health care costs, and increase American intelligence, productivity and competitiveness.

An overwhelming amount of evidence indicates that we can win the war on cancer in America with a nutritarian diet too.   We can donate billions to publicize almost worthless mammograms and pay drug companies to search for more chemotherapeutic agents, or we can practically wipe out breast cancer right now. If I was in a position of political influence and power it would be G-BOMBS in every pot. G-BOMBS are the super foods I recommend eating every day for excellent health – greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries, and seeds.  While helping to bring our bodies to their ideal weight, these foods exert powerful anti-cancer, cardioprotective, and anti-diabetic effects, and they fuel our bodies’ natural healing, antioxidant, and detoxification systems. Read more about G-BOMBS.

If you want weight loss AND excellent health, eat your G-BOMBS (instead of counting your carbs).We all have some influence and the best place to start is the health revolution that begins with you.  

 

 Image credit:  Flickr: William Ismael | Willpower LifeForce

References:

 1. Ebbeling CB, Swain JF, Feldman HA, et al. Effects of dietary composition on energy expenditure during weight-loss maintenance. JAMA 2012;307:2627-2634.
2. Wycherley TP, Brinkworth GD, Keogh JB, et al. Long-term effects of weight loss with a very low carbohydrate and low fat diet on vascular function in overweight and obese patients. J Intern Med 2010;267:452-461.
3. de Koning L, Fung TT, Liao X, et al. Low-carbohydrate diet scores and risk of type 2 diabetes in men. Am J Clin Nutr 2011;93:844-850.
4. Fung TT vDR, Hankinson SE,Stampfer M, Willett WC, Hu FB. Low-Carbohydrate Diets and All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality: Two Cohort Studies. Ann Intern Med 2010;153:289-298.
5. Trichopoulou A, Psaltopoulou T, Orfanos P, et al. Low-carbohydrate-high-protein diet and long-term survival in a general population cohort. Eur J Clin Nutr 2007;61:575-581.
6. Lagiou P, Sandin S, Lof M, et al. Low carbohydrate-high protein diet and incidence of cardiovascular diseases in Swedish women: prospective cohort study. BMJ 2012;344:e4026.

 

Weight Watchers focuses on weight, not health.

In Weight Watchers’ newest point system (“PointsPlus”), fresh fruits and most vegetables have a zero point value (essentially meaning that they are unlimited) – this change was meant to encourage members to eat more whole plant foods and less processed foods, adding phytochemical value to their diet. This is certainly a positive step, and I applaud Weight Watchers for taking it.  They have tweaked their program a bit, to make it healthier.

Measuring tape. Flickr: Pink Sherbet Photography

However, the Weight Watchers program is still far from a health-promoting eating style. Regarding the zero points policy for most produce, all fruits and vegetables are not equal when it comes to health-supporting phytochemicals. For example, anti-cancer, immune-building, and cardio-protective properties plus the high fiber and low sugar content of berries and pomegranate necessitate placing more focus on these fruits compared to higher sugar fruits like bananas and dates. Also, green vegetables have about 10 times the micronutrients compared to a white potato.  However that is not the main problem with the Weight Watchers system.

The PointsPlus system encourages the consumption of foods that produce greater satiety – foods that are higher in fiber and protein content are more favorably scored.  High-fiber foods and high-protein foods are not nutritionally equivalent – compare beans and grilled chicken, for example. Beans are phytochemical-rich, protein-adequate, healthful foods with anti-cancer properties and a low glycemic load; grilled chicken may also induce satiety because it is very high in protein, but it has no phytochemical content plus it contains cancer-promoting heterocyclic amines – it is not a food that supports longevity and long-term health.  Plus, chicken raises IGF-1, in the body, a hormone associated with higher rates of breast cancer.1,2 The problem here is that animal protein is promoted as a favorable substance to consume more of by Weight Watchers, in spite of the plethora of evidence in recent years linking high IGF-1 to premature aging and cancer.3-5

Weight Watchers’ guidelines for healthy eating are simply unhealthy – and not supported by the most updated nutritional science. Weight Watchers recommends a miniscule five total (half-cup) daily servings of fruits and vegetables combined; not nearly enough to achieve disease prevention. They also recommend two servings of cow’s milk daily, a growth-promoting food associated with increased risk of ovarian cancer in women and prostate cancer in men.6-8 They do not discourage the use of artificial sweeteners, which perpetuate the desire for excessively sweet foods. They also encourage two teaspoons of “healthy oil” daily rather than whole foods that contain fats like seeds and nuts; of course is no such thing as “healthy oil” – all oils are 100% fat with little or no micronutrient value – this recommendation simply adds empty calories. 

Weight Watchers promises to provide a method of weight loss that “fits within one’s lifestyle and preferences”, assuring potential members that there is “plenty of room for treats and extras.” To be inclusionary of everyone, they must give watered-down recommendations that are too close to the disease-causing Standard American Diet. Despite the changes to the points system that promote more whole foods, Weight Watchers is still a diet of calorie-counting and controlled portions of mostly addictive processed foods. They do not address re-training the tastebuds to prefer healthier foods – members eat small portions of nutrient-poor junk food daily as ‘treats,’ therefore never losing their addictive cravings. Like most diet plans, Weight Watchers attempts to appeal to a mainstream audience, who eat a diet of primarily processed foods and animal products; so they must allow members to continue the same eating pattern that originally led them down the path to obesity  (and also leads to diabetes, heart disease and cancer). This is evident when you look at Weight Watchers’ line of pre-packaged foods. They sell nutrient-poor, high-sodium, reduced-calorie processed products with lengthy ingredient lists including added sugars, hydrogenated oils, and white flour – just like conventional processed foods.9,10 The ingredient lists are strategically absent from the Weight Watchers website, though calorie and point values are visible.

Weight Watchers sponge cake. Flickr. slgckgcWeight Watchers is not in the business of health; it  is all about weight and recruiting the mainstream with their SAD (Standard American Diet) but dangerous dietary preferences.  Members and even leaders are poorly educated about nutritional science and women are not motivated to eat to win the war on cancer.  Participants are forever maintaining their food addictions, because eating a little healthier and trying to cut back is simply a formula for failure in the vast majority of cases.  Weight Watchers gives lip service to better health and healthier eating, yet continues to sell nutrient-depleted processed junk food. A healthy weight is almost impossible to maintain without serious attention to excellent nutrition, prevention of all deficiencies, sufficient anti-inflammatory super foods and the resulting elimination of additions and cravings.  Weight Watchers is mostly serves those who remain forever on the weight loss merry-go-round, struggling with marginally effective recommendations and outcomes.

Eat To Live is not primarily focused on weight, it is focused on life extension and winning the war on cancer.

You eat larger amounts of vegetables, beans and fruits, with attention to the most powerful anti-cancer foods on the planet. Food is rated according to micronutrients content per calorie, not just calories. Eating delicious, health-promoting foods allows you to lose the cravings and temptations to eat greasy, sugary, disease-causing foods.   More importantly, once you learn how to Eat to Live, the weight comes off dramatically and permanently and you never have to diet again.  You become the nutritional expert who can now navigate through life with knowledge that you can protect yourself from serious tragic outcomes such as dementia, heart attacks, strokes and cancer.  It is for people who want great health and freedom from the medical dependency and medical tragedies that eventually afflict almost all Americans. 

Image credits: Flickr: Pink Sherbet Photography, slgckgc

References:

1. Shi R, Yu H, McLarty J, et al. IGF-I and breast cancer: a meta-analysis. Int J Cancer 2004;111:418-423.

2. Rinaldi S, Peeters PH, Berrino F, et al. IGF-I, IGFBP-3 and breast cancer risk in women: The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). Endocr Relat Cancer 2006;13:593-605.

3. Laron Z. The GH-IGF1 axis and longevity. The paradigm of IGF1 deficiency. Hormones (Athens) 2008;7:24-27.

4.  McCarty MF. A low-fat, whole-food vegan diet, as well as other strategies that down-regulate IGF-I activity, may slow the human aging process. Med Hypotheses 2003;60:784-792.

5. Kaaks R. Nutrition, insulin, IGF-1 metabolism and cancer risk: a summary of epidemiological evidence. Novartis Found Symp 2004;262:247-260; discussion 260-268.

6. Genkinger JM, Hunter DJ, Spiegelman D, et al. Dairy products and ovarian cancer: a pooled analysis of 12 cohort studies. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2006;15:364-372.

7. Larsson SC, Orsini N, Wolk A. Milk, milk products and lactose intake and ovarian cancer risk: a meta-analysis of epidemiological studies. Int J Cancer 2006;118:431-441.

8. Qin LQ, Xu JY, Wang PY, et al. Milk consumption is a risk factor for prostate cancer in Western countries: evidence from cohort studies. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2007;16:467-476.

9. Barclay E: Weight Watchers Faults Processed Foods While Profiting From Them. . 2010. SHOTS: NPR’s Health Blog. http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2010/12/03/131782587/Weight_Watchers-faults-processed-foods-while-profiting-from-them

10. Weight Watchers Smart Ones Entrees – Not that Smart. . Fooducate Blog. http://blog.fooducate.com/2011/05/20/weight-watchers-smart-ones-meals-not-that-smart/ 

Interview with a Nutritarian: Chris

Sometimes it takes the responsibility of being a parent to wake-up to the realization that we want to “be there” for our kids; not just when they are little, but when they’re grown up too. Chris was incredibly wise, because he took the necessary steps while his daughters were young to be the healthiest dad that he could possibly be for them. What a gift he’s giving to his young family! Welcome to Disease Proof, Chris.  

     

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

As someone who always worked out or competed in sports I never had to think about what I ate.  As I got older and other things got in the way of exercising, I would gain weight fast, because I ate like I was working out.  I always thought I was eating healthy because I'd make sure I ate some kind of animal protein with dinner.  It wasn’t until the birth of my second child that I realized I’m going to be in my 60's when they are in there 20's.  I remember not being able to put my socks on in the morning by bringing my knee straight up; I had to turn it to the side because my belly was so big.  I also remember thinking, “How am I going to carry my two daughters up the stairs when they want me to carry them?”   I didn't want to be that kind of dad.  I wanted to be the athletic dad that could do anything with them, even at a later stage in life.
 
 

How did you feel then?

Being on a high protein diet continually, I experienced toxic hunger really bad and called it “hypoglycemia".  I'd get moody if I didn't eat every two hours. My days centered around eating five meals a day.  I also suffered from adult acne and would catch a few colds every year; and it was no fun looking at myself in the mirror when trying on clothes. It was difficult for me to be out of shape while playing with my one-year-old, especially since I was in such great shape when I was younger. 

 

How did you find out about Eat to Live?

After the birth of my second daughter, I adopted a whole food, plant-based diet after reading The China Study, and I was going to raise my two girls vegan as well.  My parents and in-laws thought it was a crazy idea, because they were afraid their granddaughters weren't going to grow up to their fullest potential; so I set out to prove them wrong.  I first discovered Disease Proof Your Child, and then found Eat to LiveEat to Live made the most sense to me of all the plant based books that I had read so it was the lifestyle that I wanted to adopt for my whole family.

                                

How do you feel now?

It's crazy to think that I now weigh the same or less than I did in high school!  My energy levels have never been better.  I no longer have crazy mood swings or adult acne.  I’ve lost 7 inches around my waist and it’s fun to shop for clothes again.  Sometimes I find myself looking for clothes on the rack next to high school kids. 

I started competing n running races again and have won twice in my age division while pushing a double stroller! I’ve also received a "Super Preferred" status from my life insurance carrier.  It’s fun to say that I’m 43-years-old and in the best shape of my life; and my life insurance company just confirmed it.

  

 

Before

Now

Height

5’11

5’11

Weight

190 lbs

154 lbs

Hemoglobin A1C

5.5

5.3

Triglycerides

164

82

Cholesterol

212

145

HDL

68

70

LDL

111

58

LDL / HDL ratio

1.64

0.84

 

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

 

  • Discover the “WHY”. You need to find out "WHY" you are doing this.  Mine was for my two girls ~ I wanted to be that active, healthy father for them while they were growing up and beyond.  If you have a deep emotional commitment to your "WHY" you can achieve anything. 

 

  • Choose the highest scoring, nutrient dense foods. Always find places where you can sneak in the most nutrient dense foods like using cooked collard greens instead of tortillas.

 

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

It has made me make conscience decisions about everything I put into my mouth.  If one eats for health, the weight takes care of itself.  I love not having weight issues now or ever again, and I can live life to the fullest.  Plus now I’m competing in running races again and showing my girls how fun it can be.  When my girls are older, I will be able play sports with them instead of just watching, and I know that I’ll never have to worry about having a heart attack.  I’m also eating all the anti-cancer foods to protect myself from ever getting cancer.  I know that I will live a long and active life, thanks to my nutritarian diet.

 

Congratulations Chris on achieving your goal of being the healthiest dad that you can possibly be! 

 

Interview with a Nutritarian: Jaime

Whether we realize it or not, we’re always influencing others, for good or for bad, by the choices we make. It’s always fun to read the rippling affects that one person’s wise choices have on many others. Remember Jodi’s interview  from a few weeks back? Jodi not only got her health back, but her actions made a life-changing impact on her younger sister, Jaime, in the process. Welcome to Disease Proof Jaime.  

           

 

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

I suffered terribly from migraines. My life revolved around headaches; either having them or worrying that I would get one. Last year I was averaging twelve migraines every month. For years I was on multiple medications for headache pain and preventative care.   I felt trapped. I was taking so many drugs that I didn’t know whether I had major health issues or just lots of side effects from all the medications. I felt like there was no hope for my headaches so I just accepted the suffering, and lived for the next miracle pill. I also ate lots of the wrong kinds of foods and was very self conscious about my weight, and as a result, suffered from low self-esteem.      

 

How did you find out about Eat to Live?

I knew about Eat to Live from my sister, Jodi.  After many years of hearing about it I dabbled with some of the concepts for awhile, but then quit. I knew how successful Jodi was at eating high-nutrient foods and witnessed her miraculous recovery, but I never thought I’d embrace this eating-style for myself. 

When Eat for Health came out Jodi sent the book set to me. It sat in the wrapper for three months before I even opened it. One day I decided I was sick of how I looked and felt so I opened the books and read them from cover to cover. Right then I decided I wanted to do this. 

My migraines did not improve though, because I was following the eating plan during the week and eating my old foods on the weekends. I ate this way for over a couple of years. 

Jodi had always suggested that I attend one of Dr. Fuhrman’s Health Getaways, but I never considered going to one. Somehow I ended up going with Jodi to the Getaway in San Diego in the summer of 2010. However, I’d decided beforehand that I would have no interest in the lectures, but at least it would be great being with my sister for a week. 

My life changed that week! Besides the wonderful week with my sister, I met the most amazing people, and Dr. Fuhrman’s lectures were incredible! Also, two moments that were pivotal for me was Sarah Taylor, the emcee, asked us to make a commitment to follow Eat to Live for 30 or 60 days; and that night I made a commitment for 30 days. The other moment was when you [Emily] told your success story and said that one can’t “straddle the fence” and expect to see great results; meaning one can’t have one foot in nutritarian eating and the other foot in the standard American diet . . .  both feet have to be in. That made a big impact on me since I could totally relate. I still think about those “Wow!” moments to this day.

 

How do you feel now?

I feel amazing! I made it to my first 30 days and was so excited that I committed to 30 more! During that time, I had one headache…one headache in 60 days! 

With each pound lost, I gained confidence as I realized there was a whole different person inside of me, and I liked the new person too!   My personality changed because I was feeling so well and not living under a cloud of headaches. The improvements have been incredible; I saw them instantly and I have never stopped seeing them. I’ve had five migraines (total) since making the commitment to high-nutrient eating, and none were bad or long-lasting. I’ve taken no medications whatsoever; and today, a year later, I am totally migraine free!  

I’ve lost a total of sixty-one pounds, have my life back, and feel great! The weight loss was the bonus to it all!

 

What success tips have helped you the most?

 

  • Making the commitment in short, achievable goals worked for me because I was able to meet those goals and feel the success. 

  • I do not look at the Eat to Live eating-style as a diet, but how I live my life.  I never falter in my belief that I want to eat this way for the rest of my life.

  • Have a support system. My sister has been my best cheerleader and her support has been unwavering. Also, the members on Dr. Fuhrman’s website have so many tips to share; the people that I've met through the whole experience have helped me so much . . . . support makes a huge difference. 

  • I work long hours during the week so I make recipes on the weekend. I love blended soups which are easy to make and then I freeze them in smaller containers. In the cooler weather I'll have soup every night with either leftovers or steamed vegetables. I always have fruit with greens at breakfast and some kind of whole grain. I make huge salads to take to work. I love them. I love all the foods that I eat. 

  • Experiment with foods and tastes that you like. Food has to appeal to you. I like sweets so I tend to have dressings, sauces and soups that taste sweet. 

  • I also love Dr. Fuhrman’s website for studying recipes and using the recipe rating system.  

  • Find what you like to eat and discover what motivates you . . . and enjoy your life!

 

IJodi and Jaime (sisters)n a nutshell, what has nutritarian eating done for you? 

Nutritarian eating has truly changed my life! Besides the obvious of eliminating migraines and the weight loss, the total change has brought me such confidence, happiness, and pride. I’m healthy now and a totally different person! 

My husband, Joe, has been so amazing and supportive; and Jodi has been my inspiration, and I can’t thank her enough . . . . . but I also know that I did this . . . . no one else did it for me, and that is the best feeling in the world!   

I had the power and desire to live. 

There is no going back for me.

 

 

Congratulations Jaime ~ we are so proud of you!  Keep up the great job!