Dr. Fuhrman: Don't Fear Good Food

One question that comes up from time to time about Eat to Live is the notion that eating this way is too difficult--that the bar is set too high. Sometimes people are intimidated.

Before starting Eat to Live, here are some things to consider:

  • This is not an all or nothing plan, but you have to thoroughly understand what constitutes an ideal diet and how to make it taste great.
  • Nobody is perfect. However taste is learned phenomenon; we like what we get used to eating. Only by eating some of my great-tasting healthy recipes for a while can you really know how much you will like it.
  • Most people after the first six months actually like the taste of this way of eating at least as much or more compared to their old diet. Many people prefer the flavor because the ability of the taste buds to detect the subtle flavors in natural foods is enhanced when you lose food addictions and salt tolerance which deadens the taste buds.
  • If you become a real student of my work, become a member at DrFuhrman.com, read the books, newsletters, listen to the teleconferences and ask me questions in the forum, I guarantee that you will make significant changes in your life, and it will come naturally without feeling like you are following some diet. It will just naturally become the way you prefer to eat, same as it does for other Eat to Livers.

The other day I sat back and thought about it. Why do I eat the way I do? So what if I die younger, why not just enjoy all the great (fake) food our high-tech, modern world has to offer? Why not eat cheeseburgers, fries, soda and ice cream for lunch and take my chances with an earlier death? At least I will enjoy the time I am alive.

Certainly eating healthfully is only an option; it is your choice. Each individual has the right to care for their own body as they choose and some may appropriately continue to follow risky behaviors using the rationale that they would rather enjoy life more and live less healthfully or for a shorter time. The fallacy with this way of thinking is the belief that people, who smoke, drink, take drugs, or eat dangerous foods are enjoying life more. I don't believe that's true. In fact, they enjoy life less. You might feel a temporary feeling of pleasure or satisfaction, but toxic habits and rich, disease causing foods over time inhibit your ability to get as much pleasure from eating. Your taste is lessened, the smoking or the drinking loses it thrill, but now you are stuck with feeling uncomfortable if you don't continue the habit.

The habit now controls you and you (the real you) is no longer in total control of your life. You live to feed your addiction, otherwise you feel too poorly. Get up in the morning and take a drug to get going, you need that caffeine hit and that sugar buzz or you can't concentrate, then you need a few antacids to deal with your sour stomach, a stool softener, a little mouthwash for your bad breath and you are on your way.

Pass the age of fifty and it doesn't get better; it gets worse. Now your bad habits really take their toll on the body and you age rapidly. In you go to the doctor's office every few months for more drugs, as if you didn't have enough toxic filth in your body already. You don't just live shorter, your next twenty years, if you live that long, are filled with hell as your health spirals downward out of your control. Into hospital emergency rooms, seeing cardiologists and other specialists for invasive testing, angioplasties, maybe some surgeries, a gallbladder removal, a pneumonia, maybe a few procedures to break up kidney stones, it keeps going and boy is it fun, I know.

Before I get too carried away, let's get back to the question. I noticed that I actually enjoy eating the healthy diet, I really do. And I am quite sure that I enjoy the taste and pleasure from eating more than a person does who lives on unhealthy food. I would eat this way anyway, even if there was a slight decrease in the pleasure of eating, but after years of eating this way, I prefer the taste. The fact that it is healthy too is certainly the largest attraction, but health destroying foods are not an attraction for me anymore. I enjoy the healthy stuff just as much, so I might as well stay healthy and not play Russian roulette with my life. Anyway, I am not in jail I have complete freedom to eat anything I want and if I occasionally want to eat something unhealthy I will and do. But what happened over the years is I desire this less and less because over time I found I did not feel well after doing so and the taste was not as pleasurable as I thought it would be compared to other stuff that is healthy or healthier and still made to taste great.

I may not eat perfectly all the time, but I have balanced pleasure with health in my diet so that I am not sacrificing one to have the other. The objective is to have both comfortably married. So this just happens to be the way I prefer to eat. But, I eat this way for lots of reasons.

  • I enjoy this way of eating, it tastes great and I like to eat lots of food.
  • I want total control of my health and want complete assurance I will not suddenly have a heart attack or a stroke.
  • I enjoy living too much. I love sports, travel, entertainment, exercise, my work, and my family and I want to maintain my youthful vigor and enjoyment of life
  • I feel well eating this way and do not like the way I feel, the way I sleep, the way my bowels work, my digestion or my mental energy when I do not eat this way.
  • I want to live longer and without medical interference, pain and unnecessary suffering in my later years
There is joy in using good food to be healthy. Many people who have adopted my advice for nutritional excellence have reversed auto-immune diseases, got rid of their diabetes, their headaches, and heart disease, and have been brought back from the brink of death, simply by changing the way that they eat.

So, I say to you again. You have very little to lose and a huge potential for gain. Join my member site and put just a little time into learning the details of the program you may find that you are making permanent changes that result in permanent benefits for your long-term health. Focus on learning more and more over the next three to six months and let me know what happens to you. I would like the opportunity to see if we could make this work for you and I would really be fascinated to know if your attitude changes.

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Comments (9) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Jennifer Shmoo - June 19, 2006 2:58 PM

What a wonderful, inspirational post. And so perfectly what I needed to read today. Thank you.

Greg - June 19, 2006 3:07 PM

Your comments make alot of sense to me.
I refer to one of my favorite quotes that I posted before- "don't let perfect be the enemy of good' but I would also add that a person needs knowlegde and experience resulting in wisdom.
I get the feeling that Dr. Fuhrman is fuled by his passions and is an honest man in a field that is filled with charlatans also a very smart guy! Perhaps this doesn't have to be tackled all at once, learn, grow, try change - repeat on the gentle cycle.
I am nearing fifty and want my years remaining to be vibrant and filled with health, love and new adventures.
Thanks Doc.

Leanne - June 20, 2006 7:11 AM

I don't know whether Doctor Fuhrman actualy ever reads these comments or not. But if you do, I want to thank you for helping me to learn how to be healthy.

A big thank you to the good doctor!

Louise - June 20, 2006 8:09 AM

Hi! Enjoyed the article, except one omission: the cost factor, money-wise AND time-wise. Most of America is on a tight budget, and wouldn't justify spending too big a chunk to enjoy produce at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For instance, asparagus in season costs $1.50/lb. Now it costs $3.99/lb. It is considered a luxury food. When I eat it for breakfast, and share it with my mother, that is unheard of! It's supposed to be twice a year! But I'm not paying $3.99 per lb for it or for brussel sprouts (another favorite).

People who have a good incomes, state-of-the-art kitchens, and stay-at-home spouses who cook for them need to be sensitive to those to whom lots of green vegetables and berries are a luxury.

That is why the article has an omission. It is not a full discussion without considering the economic drawbacks of a high-produce dietstyle.

It's a lifestyle change, too. Selecting, buying, washing, chopping, and cooking vegetables and cleaning up after is a huge investment time-wise.

Not that I don't agree that a produce-based dietstyle is great, and that I haven't benefitted greatly from switching - I do! I enjoy all the advice Dr. F. espouses and apply his direction, AND I am a member. It will save on medical bills in the long run. It is a high quality life. Switching from meat doesn't cost more than before to me, but I always invested alot. But the investment time-wise is alot. It is not pulling up to a fast-food joint and ordering to go.

Incidentally, I can't find blueberries at Trader Joe's any longer. They went up a dollar at kroger's. Dr. Fuhrman, please don't go on Operah without requesting the audience to write their congressman that produce be subsidized by the government, the way dairy and meat are now. Think of the long-term for those of us on a tight budget.

Thanx for listening!

Chumly - June 20, 2006 9:25 AM

Louise. You bring up an excellent point. ETL is more expensive than other plans. It may be a good idea to have an article written on how to keep costs down. I try to buy in season, which is cheaper and better tasting. Beans and lentils bought dry are very inexpensive. I also buy organic produce from local farmers. It is usually cheaper than the store, and it my money is supporting a local family instead of just going to stockholders and corporaations. I'm sure there are other ways to cut costs. I would love to hear more from others.
Long-term costs would probably be much less on this plan because your medical and prescription costs would be much lower.

Linda - June 20, 2006 8:59 PM

I don't find it more expensive unless I buy organic, which I do because I can. But reens are especially not expensive...??
Beans are inexpensive too. Fruit can be purchased very inexpensively at small markets, especially ethnic markets -- Asian, Latino -- very inexpensive fresh fruit and vegetables. There are also some exotic fruits and veggies to be had there; it's wonderful to find "new" fruits and veggies to try.
Even regular markets have markdowns on fresh produce that are just about overripe -- freeze it!

I don't see ETL as expensive at all.

Louise - June 21, 2006 5:36 AM

Thank you for sharing what works for you, Chumly. I didn't even mention organic. Quite a big difference price-wise there!

No-salt canned beans are out of the stratosphere, too!

Sara&Monty - June 26, 2006 1:42 PM

In regard to Louise's comment of June 20 about the high cost of healthy food, we only buy vegetables such as asparagus when they are in season and selling for a reasonable price, not when they are selling for $4 a pound imported from the Hornswoggle Islands. Cabbage, kale, broccoli and bok choy are always inexpensive and very nutritious. (Skip the chard and spinach, which are high in oxalic acid.) Also, buy dried beans to cook, which cost very little and have no salt. If we run short, Stop&Shop has a line of less-expensive canned beans. In addition, there are some large (and small) vegetable stores with much-lower prices than the supermarkets, but are further away, so we go to them once a week to stock up. Healthful food is a top priority with us, so we look for the best place to find it. Besides, we save by not eating out, except when we travel, and not buying packaged junk food.

Theresa Anderson - February 9, 2012 12:09 PM

I know this was written a few years ago. However, it's message is still just as relevant today if not more than ever.
It's amazing how a person who embraces nutritional excellence as guide for eating changes. I have been amazed at how a crockpot of bean soup with no salt tastes like it has just the right amount of salt! How a sugary food taste awful or a pat of butter tastes rancid. I used to eat butter all the time! I ate donuts for cry out loud! No longer are these things even food to me. In fact..I'm more afraid of bad food.
I can whip up a nutritarian meal in no time. Why? Because, not only have I changed, but so has my kitchen. It's set up for health. Get set up, learn new methods, stay positive and it will happen.

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