Let's Bust Lies this Holiday Season!


Here at the beginning of the Holiday Challenge is a great time to expose the lies that you’ll most likely be hearing from friends, family, and co-workers over the next few weeks.

They’ll be saying stuff like: “Oh come on, just one bite won’t hurt; or it’s the holidays, it’s time to indulge ~ everyone’s doing it! You can start over in January.”

Or worse yet, “I made your favorite cheese ball, just for you.” 

The truth is, processed fake food will hurt you; and hurt you in a big way! Fat, sugar, flour, greasy meats and cheeses, processed foods, salt, etc., are addictive and deadly.

ADDICTIVE.  Even with the best intentions, one bite always turns into two, three, four . . . .the whole pan. 

DEADLY.   More heart attacks occur after the holidays than any other time of the year; not to mention the prolific fueling of cancer cell growth, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, etc.   


  • The truth is food addiction is worse than any drug addiction because it is socially acceptable, and the foods are so easily available; plus, their consumption is promoted by dear Grandma, sweet Aunt Betty, and even clergy, teachers, and medical professionals (gasp!) In fact, not only are addictive foods served at most all holiday events and gatherings, one can be ridiculed, or made to feel guilty if he/she doesn’t participate in the addiction.

  • Time to burst the bubble: your loved one, co-worker, or friend didn’t make that favorite cheese ball just for you. For whatever reason, that person has a dysfunctional desire to sabotage your goal to be healthy. If they really cared about you, and they really had goodwill towards you, they would support your wishes. If you let them know your food needs beforehand, but they disregard your preferences anyway; forcing you to decline their unhealthy offers, that is their problem, not yours. False guilt proves to be a snare each time. Don’t get caught in the deadly trap.    

  • Starting over on January 1st is a big, fat lie. 

  • Repeat, starting over on January 1st is a big, fat lie. Because then you’ll have the Super Bowl party to contend with, then Valentine chocolates, followed by birthday parties, Easter candies, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, graduation open houses, wedding receptions, more birthday parties, summer picnics & cookouts, fall festivals, Halloween, and then back to the holidays all over again.

  • Keep in mind the average American will consume the equivalent of over 50 cups of sugar and 42 sticks of butter during the six week period of time between Thanksgiving and New Years.  Yikes!  That's a lot of disease promoting stuff!  [click here]  If one doesn’t draw the line, and declare a solid commitment to abstinence, food addiction and the resulting “blahhhs” will take over holiday fun and festivities. One will become a captive to weight gain, tight fitting clothes, puffiness & bloating, fatigue, stomach aches, headaches, and a general malaise feeling all over the body. And as Dr. Benson wrote in his kick-off post “There are medical studies that document the fact that every year there is a surge in the number of heart attack deaths that occur in the winter after the holidays when people eat poorly and stop exercising.”

  • Last but not least, as happy and festive as the holidays can be, many may be experiencing deep sadness this time of year. Perhaps you are facing a first Christmas or Hanukah without a precious family member, or are in the midst of a bitter divorce and child custody battle, or lost a job, or lost a home and belongings in the wake of hurricane Sandy. The holidays can magnify the grief and sadness. It will be especially important to pamper yourself with the best health that’s possible. Even though it may take all you have to muster up the strength to shop for, and make nutritious food, it has to take precedence over all activities this holiday season. Don’t allow anything, even the anguish of profound grief, get in the way of eating for health and self-care. 



So what about you ~ what lies do you need to bust this holiday season?

Remember, in just five more weeks you’ll be waking up on January 1st feeling renewed, rejuvenated, vibrant, and healthy; ready to start the New Year in the best health that’s possible!

Here’s to great health to all!


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Comments (23) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Charlotte - November 25, 2012 7:09 PM

This is such good information, and came at an opportune time.
Thanks, Emily. You are right, that if people really cared about us, they wouldn't try so hard to push their unhealthy addictive "treats" on us.

Highland Fashionista - November 25, 2012 7:18 PM

Spot-on Emily. I have just managed to navigate a 16 day holiday in Florida over Thanksgiving where those around me ate buttered pancakes, bacon at every...and I mean every, breakfast, huge steaks and prime rib, and naturally, desserts, with nary a vegetable in sight. Luckily, there was a health food store a block away where one could get green juice and baby kale. I had vegan red lentil coconut Dal for my thanksgiving, and even got them to try some. Luckily, the people around me accept what I'm sure they see as my "eccentricity", and even conceded that they too needed to eat healthier. They even tried some of my stuff, and liked it! Here's to baby steps! Maybe next year we'll all be on the Dal!

"Fuhrmanista" - November 25, 2012 7:19 PM

" I've seen the needle and the damage done,
A little part of us in everyone,
But every junkie's like a setting sun." ~ Neil Young

Substitute "SAD food" for "needle" and you'll have a pentameter-perfect riff on Neil Young's '70's lyrics. Food or heroin, or cocaine, or alcohol, it's all the same. Addiction. Junk food "junkies". Emily has written, wrenchingly, on food addiction; Kathleen has done so very recently. Many of us, like me, have lived / are living in food addiction. Many of us, like me, have found the way out, via Dr. Fuhrman, et. al. ... and that one "special dinner", that "one bite that wouldn't hurt us", the one too-angry/hurt/tired/bored/alone/ despairing time ensnared us ~ again~ into the sweet agony that is food addiction.

I'm 60 years old, and have been fighting food addiction/overweight for 35 years. I can't walk now without a cane, can scarcely move, can't breathe. I weigh 265# and am 5'1". If I am Neil Young's "setting sun", as I believe myself to be, the shadows are long, and the darkness fast approaching. I'm not going to make it out of this situation. I've wasted my chances to change, and the wisdom of avatars like Dr. Fuhrman. Please, reader, do better than I have done. If you have a chance in hell, or a chance on ETL, please take advantage of it. There really does come a time when it's too late. I'm there now, and I want none of your company. Please, please, don't "overdose" on SAD foods. Please don't be like me.

Johanna - November 25, 2012 8:56 PM

Dear Fuhrmanista, Please, please, please don't give up. Please join me in continuing to fight this battle. I am 65 and still overweight. From just losing 15 pounds, my knees feel better and I can navigate stairs without as much pain once again. Please, please, please join me this holiday. 60 is not too late. I lost my 15 pounds well after 60 and I hate to say how much I still have to lose. It's hard, but will you join me this holiday?

Charlotte - November 25, 2012 10:33 PM

Fuhrmanista, watch the DVD, "Fat Sick & Nearly Dead." Read the testimonies here and on other web sites. Use the people you read about as your "support group" for now. As long as you are still breathing you can make changes. I'm rooting for you!

Emily Boller - November 25, 2012 10:39 PM

“I’ve seen the worst-case-scenarios
Those sent home to die
Get their health and life back
They refused to believe the lie.” ~ Emily Boller


Fuhrmanista, you are still young at age 60! You have the awesome potential and privilege to live a quality life ahead of you. My own mother, at 86 years of age, after suffering from a debilitating stroke, got completely out of food addiction, lost eighty pounds relatively quickly, and is off insulin now after being on it for over 20 years. She just went shopping for a size 12 pair of slacks! Size TWELVE. She had been wearing a plus size 22 most of her adult life.

You CAN lose at least 100 of those pounds by next year at this time. (I lost 100 lbs in less than a year; and I’m not the exception. Many lose that much or more in that amount of time.) By your 62nd birthday, you can be close to an ideal weight and have your life and health back. Then you can take up hiking in the great outdoors, or whatever you want to achieve on your bucket list! It’s never too late.

The only time that it is too late to get your health back is when you are in the coffin. Then, and only then, is it too late. And if you are able to read this post and type a comment, you are not in the coffin yet.

Please don’t believe the lie of rationalization. That lie is what is killing you. Dr. Fuhrman has said that giving up is the face of addiction. And I add that it can be busted by correct information, aka "truth."

“As the mind is changed, the body will transform as a result.” -E. Boller

You need to abstain, starting tonight. Reach out and get help. There are many who are willing and able to help you live a life of abstinence & freedom from food addiction. You CAN do it!

Anything otherwise is a lie.

Cathy Tibbles - November 26, 2012 12:27 AM

Thank you so much for your encouraging words. I have been OFF the diet and noticing such a huge difference since October and even today I had gobs of sugar - as soon as the sugar high is gone - I NEED more. I can't believe I let myself get here, now I have to start the detox process all over again!

To make matters worse, my daughter has been diagnosed with anorexia, to the point where her heart is medically unstable. The nutritionist / dietitian is making us eat the SAD to help her gain weight... so I have carbs by the bucket in the house. I have no problem turning down meat and dairy - but the carbs get me every time!! Bread, rice, cookies, etc... I really need some help/advice on this one. As the nutritionist is saying the exact opposite of Dr. Fuhrman. ie: a little oil is healthy - we need it for brain development; dairy is its own food group - separate from other proteins... everything is just shocking and sad. But I'm doing it because she is eating it. and if it is chips and fried foods - at least its SOMETHING. more calories = better at this point.

Next I'm going to Dr Fuhrman's forums to see if there is advice there. I definitely need it.

Thank again for making me prioritize my health too!


Gail - November 26, 2012 1:27 AM

Please don't give up Fuhrmanista. We need you in this Battle of the Bulge....there have been too many casualties in this war already, and you aren't one yet! As long as you are trying you haven't failed!

Ivana Holt - November 26, 2012 9:18 AM

Don't give up Fuhrmanista. I have been on E2L for 2 months and have lost 16 lbs....until this past weekend when ham and cinnamon rolls entered my home... I gained 3 lbs. and feel awful. By awful I mean sickly, sluggish, and guilty. It's all bad. While on E2L I lost almost all of my cravings because I cut out sugar and white flour. I know first hand how bad food addiction can be. I've been one all my life, until I discovered the E2L way of life. I also know myself and I'm fine as long as I completely abstain from the bad stuff. Even a little moderation makes me fall off the wagon. As long as I know that, I can find success again. The hardest part is getting started. Find just a little bit of strength and the rest will fall into place. I wish you well and good health.

Melody - November 26, 2012 11:20 AM

Too many people forget (or never knew) that healthy food IS delicious!

Drfood - November 26, 2012 12:31 PM

Hey Emily et al:

How about the lie of "moderation"? My patients ask me, "what about moderation"? The lie of "moderation" only seeks to rationalize allowing disease producing foods into one's meal plan. They say "we only eat bacon and eggs, cheese, chips, cheeseburgers, pizza, fries, ice cream, steak, ham, soda, whole milk, donuts, and hotdogs once per week". I tell them that all of this adds up the the SAD diet pure and simple. To most of them it is a tough sell unless they have hit bottom. The toxic addiction along with the "lies" about the need for meat or dairy, and the overcomeable challenges of the eat to live diet style prevent many from even starting.

I really enjoyed an ETL thanksgiving meal without the bloat, fatigue, and sluggishness the others were experiencing. Afer dinner many were napping, getting some air, or eating pie and coffee for an afternoon "pick me up" (More like a needed "fix" of sugar and caffeine). Thank you Dr Fuhrman and Emily for the encouragement, inspiration, and hope you have given myself and everyone else. Take care and God bless,

Martin (aka Dr Food)

Emily Boller - November 26, 2012 1:34 PM


Dr. Fuhrman addresses complicated issues like anorexia on the member center of DrFuhrman.com. You may discuss specific nutritional recommendations for your daughter with Dr. Fuhrman and his medical staff via "Ask the Doctor".

Dr. Fuhrman states that eating junk food, such as sugar and white flour actually worsens anorexia, because it is a psychiatric disorder made worse by empty calorie nutrition; making the psychiatric disorder worse or prevent resolution. Your daughter needs food, omega-3 and omega 6 fatty acids, best from seeds and nuts, some animal products to maximize growth and the rest good choices, (whole grain cereals with seeds and nuts, beans, and starchy vegetables) not junk.

Fuhrmanista - November 27, 2012 2:42 PM

To each of you who was so kind and compassionate as to respond to my 11/25 post, I offer my deepest, most heartfelt thanks. I did just what Emily suggested; I re-committed to ETL, and to the greater ETL community. For me, reclaiming an "attitude of gratitude" is the first step out of despair, and out of food addiction. The gratitude that is blessing me, right now, is because of the generosity of spirit that moved each of you to respond to my comments. Yes, Johanna,and everyone, I will join you this holiday ~ and into 2013!

When I woke up yesterday morning, knowing that I was back on the path to health and freedom, I felt lighter! The "weight" I lost was the weight of feeling a failure, feeling hopeless, and helpless. Amazing how your responses have lifted me up. I want to support y'all ( can you tell I'm from the South?), as well. Are there any Forums you'd particuarly recommend?

Thank you, again; you have no idea how much I appreciate the lovinkindness.

Bright Blessings!

cookbrooke - November 27, 2012 8:14 PM

Yay Fuhrmanista! I read this entire thread hoping to see a response from you! You and I both can do this. I have been living ETL just 6 weeks and I have not only lost 21 lbs but I have the most amazing feeling of peace. I don't lay in bed at night worrying about my health. I don't dwell on my misery when I am alone. I no longer worry about how many times I have failed at improving my health. I have never felt this "free" in my entire life. This works.

Emily - your post is spot on and exactly what I needed today. Thank you!

Emily Boller - November 27, 2012 9:51 PM


I encourage you to take advantage of the free, six week membership during Dr. Fuhrman's Holiday Challenge that officially started last week, but it's not too late to jump on board! http://www.drfuhrman.com/events/holiday-challenge/2012/

Then go to "Member Discussions" and look for the Holiday Challenge 2012-2013 threads. You will get lots of support over the holidays & beyond there, which will be ideal for you right now. And, the the Member-to-Mmber forums are a great place to get involved for ongoing support also.

All the best to you, and I'm soooo thrilled that you are not giving up on YOU. Way to go!!!

Please keep us updated periodically here at DP on how you are doing!

Emily Boller - November 28, 2012 9:41 AM

Martin (aka Dr. Food),

You are exactly right, "moderation" is a lie, because it is a moving target; motivated by cravings, not sound judgment. When others say, "I'm eating in moderation," they really mean, "I don't understand or really care why eating junk food is all that bad, after all everyone is eating it."

The moderation myth is rooted in lack of knowledge that's for sure, because once one truly understands what is happening to the body upon consumption of fake food, it changes the perspective, big time.

Keep up being a wonderful role model for your patients!

Fuhrmanista - November 28, 2012 12:01 PM

Emily, cookbrook, and friends~

I had to check this thread again, too, since it contains such compassion and encouragement from the contributors. Cookbrook,congratulations on 21# gone. Brava! Affirms Emily's trueism that, "As the mind is changed, the body will transform as a result." I'll presume to add, "As the mind is changed, the body will transform as a result,and the spirit will be revitalized." Happy Holistics, y'all!

I'm planning to visit the Holiday Challenge threads. I joined the HC on 11/26. Please let me know if there particular threads that y'all like, or that you regularly visit. I want to stay close in community, as we are a great symbiosis of experience, wisdom, and support for one another. Thanks again for the gifts of your hearts,minds, and spirits.

Best 2 All!

LaurieInSarasota - November 28, 2012 9:33 PM

I am in awe of the work everyone is doing, here at the holiday challenge.
My most encouraging good wishes to all!

Emily, thank you for this wonderful article.

I have long been horrified that the "professionals" treating eating disorders are so unaware of good nutrition.
That is just so sad.


John Smith - November 29, 2012 4:42 PM

I eat healthy foods most of the time, but I have no problem indulging in beer, processed foods, and other delicious things when I feel like it. There are a lot of people that can control themselves. I exercise 15-30 minutes almost every day and I have great health numbers across the board. Not everyone needs to torture themselves eating cardboard and grass three times a day, then over-exercising themselves into demolished joints and multiple surgeries. If you can't moderate, you're just too weak. Maybe work on gaining some self control and allow yourself to live a little. No matter what you eat, you're still gonna die with the rest of us - and cancer, heart disease, and other things can hit you for no reason whatsoever. Keep your life enjoyable by moderating things with a little self control.

Joyce - November 30, 2012 12:19 AM

The wonderful support given Fuhrmanista has over flowed to myself. My food addiction has been creeping back. Thanksgiving was totally eating in old patterns with the family. Guess what--I have been ill for the last week. My body does not like that food!

I have accepted the holiday challenge (better late than never). The encouragement and sound advice found here was sorely needed. Thanks so much! I really appreciate there is a community meeting the holiday challenge together.

Fuhrmanista - November 30, 2012 12:51 PM

Woo-hoo, Joyce! Happy you're here!

Your comment is sterling! The support given to me, by the good friends on this thread, is, indeed, bountiful. I am so glad the generosity of spirit that has so gifted me, as I return to ETL, has also brought you encouragement and hope. What a pool of lovingkindness!

Hugz 2 All!

Deana Ferreri, Ph.D. - December 1, 2012 9:11 AM


We've posted many times on this blog about the fact that "moderation" does not work. First of all, there is the blurry definition of of "moderate" Eating unhealthy foods "when you feel like it" - how often to you feel like it? Once a month? Once a day? Everyone has different definitions of "moderation." Plus, these are disease-causing foods; of course they are best avoided, rather than "moderated" and thought of as treats. In addition, many of us are susceptible to the addictive properties of high-calorie, low-nutrient foods, and indulging just a little bit is dangerous - it awakens the addictive drives, just like one drink would do to an alcoholic. This is not a sign of weakness - it just means that one bite, one cookie, etc. is not a good idea - it will make it more difficult to stay on track.

Second, eating healthfully is not "torturing oneself by eating cardboard and grass." Dr. Fuhrman teaches that healthful, natural foods can be delicious and that as you eat a high-nutrient diet regularly, you begin to prefer the foods that keep your body healthy. Junk food loses its appeal, and in many cases makes you feel ill.



pattymc - December 3, 2012 4:47 PM

I think there is a difference between having control and addiction. I don't think you could tell a alcoholic to have control of their drinking or they're weak, when some people can have 1 or 2 drinks and have no problem. I have finally realized after 2 years after reading. E2L and struggling with food and weight that i do have a food addiction. The light went off after reading several of Emily's posts about food addiction and her own struggle. It doesn't bother me to not eat the way i used to or care what others think. I get it now. I feel like a burden has been lifted from me. It wouldn't surprise me if I got some illness after years of self destruction, but thats not what drives me now, its about feeling well and not be controlled by my addictions anymore. Like a alcoholic or drug abuser, there is no moderation only abstinence.

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