Interview with Lisa Fuhrman

Since tomorrow will be Mother’s Day, I thought it’d be inspirational to interview a special mother, Dr. Fuhrman’s wife, Lisa, to help celebrate the special occasion. The Fuhrmans have been raising their four children to genuinely enjoy eating high-nutrient foods in the midst of a culture that’s heavily addicted to the standard American diet. Lisa has valuable insight and experience that will benefit all mothers who desire the same for their children.

Were you always into healthy eating, even before meeting Dr. Fuhrman? 

I thought I was eating healthy before I met Joel. In fact, I remember him asking me if I thought I ate healthfully and my answer was, “Sure.” I had my usual Life cereal for breakfast; salad and tuna or egg salad on a bagel for lunch (with coffee); and chicken, baked potato, and a vegetable (from the can) for dinner. Sometimes I ate a salad with dinner as well. Of course, I ate ice cream and pizza whenever in the mood, but I wasn’t into overeating as I was very conscious of my weight. So I can say that I was a “better-than-average” SAD eater, but surely not a healthy one. When I met Joel, he convinced me to eat a high-nutrient, plant-based diet, and my parents did not like it. They thought he was going to kill me as they thought no one could survive without eating animal products in their diet. Now I can happily say that my parents are his patients and advocates of his nutritarian life!


How did you manage social eating situations like birthday parties, sleepovers, summer camps, etc., when your children were younger?

My motto has been to never make food a war zone so I let my children eat whatever they wanted at birthday parties or sleepovers. For summer camp, I always packed a lunch for them to eat, and then if ice cream was offered, it was in their control to decide if they wanted it or not.  The amazing thing is they rarely even wanted unhealthy foods and liked our foods best. In looking back, I would do this all over again as my kids are nutritarians to the core. The older girls rebelled a little in their early teens, but their rebellion was to eat an occasional ice cream or have pizza once in a while. They never complained about what we ate at home. I can honestly say that they love the nutritarian eating-style, and they are very proud of their dad and how we’ve brought them up.

Our children are now 23, 20, 17, and nine, and they are all nutritarians; plus, they’ve all influenced their friends in a very positive way also. For example, when our middle daughter was in middle school she would go out with her friends to eat pizza. She’d order “salad pizza” (lettuce, tomato, mushrooms, onions), and she got her friends to love it.  Their friends also love to come over and eat our food.

Our children know we don’t judge them based on the foods they eat. They know why they should eat healthy and they do it for the right reasons; not to please us, but to live long, healthy lives. In social situations, they eat whatever they want; and I don’t ask. I know they are eating well at home and I respect their decisions.


From your experience, what’s the number one success tip that you’ve discovered in raising children to enjoy nutritarian foods in the midst of a culture that’s eating just the opposite?

I’ve had it easy. They were given only nutritarian food since they were born; it’s what they are used to and view SAD foods out there as not food. They’ve never eaten at a fast food restaurant, like McDonald’s or Burger King, and they think candy is disgusting. Our youngest son, Sean, did not taste ice cream until he was eight-years-old. He had plenty of opportunities in school and at parties, but he had no interest. I believe parents should control what their children eat in the house, educate them as much as seems reasonable, and then give them the ability to make their own choices when they are away from home. 


Thank you Lisa for helping us navigate the way in teaching our children to eat for health.  What a treasured gift to give to them!




Happy Mother's Day to all! 




floral image credit:  flickr by malikyounas

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Comments (11) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Annette Chambers - May 7, 2011 11:04 PM

Thank you for sharing your insights and personal life with us.
Happy Mother's Day! I am a nutritarian and I am offering my family the choice to choose what they want, but I have plenty of high nutrient dense foods to eat in my home!

Suz Zencka - May 8, 2011 12:39 AM

What a wonderful article - my biggest regret about becoming a nutritarian is that by the time I did, my kids were mostly out of the house. Compared to many families, my kids were raised with healthy food, but I know how far from really healthy it was.

Lovely to see such a happy, glowing family.


Wendy (Healthy Girl's Kitchen) - May 8, 2011 5:06 AM

Happy Mother's Day and thank you for sharing your family's journey. I just wish that when I was pregnant with my first child, I had known about Nutritarianism! It's now 11 years later and I'm trying to play catch up. My oldest and youngest have taken to it the best, but my middle (6 years old) is really, really having a terrible time with food. I have patience and persistence and am willing to go the long haul over this. It's a fine line between making food a battle field with middle child and doing what I know is right for her.

Michelle - May 8, 2011 9:25 AM

Thank you so much Lisa! I've been wishing for an interview with you for a long time! This makes me feel much better, because I was "creating a war" around food with my children, and losing almost every time. Going this route was making them see eating healthy as a burden (especially my 11 year old), but I think that if we use the same tactic of healthy at home, make your own decisions out, it would get more acceptance. Thank you for sharing!

Stephanie - May 8, 2011 10:31 AM

I always appreciate these. I don't have kids yet, but when I do, I naturally plan to raise them as nutritarians, and it's great to get Lisa's insights on the process.

Happy Mother's Day!

Migdalia - May 8, 2011 11:32 AM

Thank you for this article!!! This is really a good perspective into how to raise your child.

rosemarie - May 8, 2011 1:41 PM

Really appreciate highlighting how influential moms are to their kids' well-being. Kudos to Lisa and her husband for inspiring us to eat well and be healthy from our core outward rather than plastering drug bandages on our bad health.

Bill - May 9, 2011 6:01 AM

Great interview and yes, it is important to teach our children at a young age. Too many do not and their kids are overweight, how sad. Thank you for this insight to your family.

Emily, excellent as always!

Jodi O'Neill - May 9, 2011 8:53 AM

Lisa, your experience and success with your children will surely inspire others. Beautiful photo too!

Jackie Trainer - May 9, 2011 9:32 PM

Great interview; very helpful:))

Heidi - March 17, 2012 12:20 AM

So excited to see a pic of the fam! What gorgeous kids you two have! Thank you for the advice from successful been there , done that parents! I try to do the same with my son, only he wasn't nutritarian until a few days after his second bday. I hadn't heard of ETL or Dr. Fuhrman before that! We made an immediate change and I feel so good knowing that we have taken control over our health destiny. Thank you!

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