Compliance gives the most pleasure out of life

For me, being 100% compliant to eating for health means following Dr. Fuhrman’s high-nutrient food plan (“GOMBBS” - greens, onions, mushrooms, beans, berries, nuts/seeds), stopping before full and eating only when truly hungry.

Following the food plan isn’t the hard part for me; the "stopping before full and eating only when truly hungry" is the hard part. The stopping before full habit has taken me the longest to retrain and develop. I actually feel about as miserable now when I'm full as I would if I ate processed fake foods; but it took much repetitive training, and many failures, over three years' worth, to get to this point.

Plus, eating as a social and recreational activity has been hard to change as it has been so engrained in me over the years. However, I'm now much more aware of how many times a day most of society eats as an activity. In fact, it's pretty sad. For instance just recently I attended a social gathering, and of course, just an hour or two after dinner, a snack was served. AND it wasn't just a snack, it was a mini-meal. As a culture, we celebrate eating (the verb form) just as much as the processed junk food version of it.

All in all, it does take a lot of effort, sweat and perseverance equity to retrain damaging habits.

However, I will continue to keep these health promoting habits an intentional part of my life. For instance, I don't desire to go back to the standard American diet foods, but I would like to sit down on occasion and just pig out on unlimited amounts of high caloric, nutritarian-friendly desserts without restraint.  However, I can't go there. I can't do that.  No way. It would open the door for more and more and more until I'd go right back into a binge eating addiction. Been there. Done that. Bought the plus size t-shirt and it was no fun. 

Junk food addiction and binge eating addiction are both were very damaging habits that I never want to develop again in my life. That's why I stay compliant. I know what would happen if I didn't follow the plan. 

In all reality, for me it's a "get to" . . . .not a "have to." 


  • I get to remain free from craving the standard American diet and binge eating!
  • I get to enjoy life without feeling miserably bloated, tired and depressed.

  • I get to enjoy wearing pretty clothes on hot summer days.

  • I get to ride a bike and enjoy the sights and smells of a fresh, spring morning in the country.

  • I get to wake up in the mornings refreshed and happy to be alive!

  • I get to live my life without ongoing endocrinology and cardiology appointments.

  • I get to save lots and lots of money by not needing to buy test strips and insulin. 

  • I get to live in no fear of ever having a heart attack in front of my kids. [Dr. Fuhrman told me that it would be impossible for me to have a sudden heart attack now.] 

  • I get to stay out of bypass surgical suites.

  • I get to be free from astronomically expensive and toxic pharmaceuticals. 

  • I get to sit in an airplane seat and not be encumbered by rolls of fat.  

  • I get to play with future grandchildren someday instead of sitting on the sidelines in a chair. 

  • I get to do all of this and more!

What a privileged opportunity we all get as a result of choosing foods and habits that give the most pleasure and quality out of life; knowing that we are supporting, not destroying, our health as we enjoy eating!




Trackbacks (0) Links to blogs that reference this article Trackback URL
Comments (22) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Angelique - March 29, 2012 7:03 AM

Thanks for this blog, Emily. I have been feeling a little down lately and was starting to eyeball foods to eat when not hungry. I have been holding off by having a hot decaf/hearbal tea instead (warm foods and liquids have always been comforting to me)... I do, still, sometimes eat a little more at a meal than I should... I often don't realize until after the fact.... I have been doing this ETL thing for over a year, and am still working on that! I love your blogs, they always help me on my path.

Stephanie - March 29, 2012 9:10 AM

Emily, you look BEAUTIFUL in your picture. Glowing and young and very, very pretty. And of course very skinny!

Thanks for reminding me that I need to get back on track, just a tad.

Carol Whitaker - March 29, 2012 9:59 AM

Thanks Emily. I needed to hear this. I'm able to eat a nutritarian diet but the quantities and timing of my eating still need to be refined. Thank you for helping me understand that it will take time. Now I won't beat myself up over it. I'll just stay the course knowing I will get better at it over time. Thanks again.

Patti - March 29, 2012 10:47 AM

Love this! Thank you!

Karen Harris - March 29, 2012 11:16 AM

I LOVE this post! Thank you!

Karen Harris - March 29, 2012 11:17 AM

BTW - you look like Esther's sister, not her mom in this picture!

Tessa - March 29, 2012 11:19 AM

Awesome article! Great inspiration and love your "Get to" list at the end!

Patti - March 29, 2012 2:15 PM

Love this! Thank you!

gary thomas - March 29, 2012 2:55 PM

Thanks for the reminder, Emily. I too, have conquered the SAD foods that used to conquer me, however, I still struggle with knowing when to quit. I often eat until I am overly full, rather than quitting when I should. I also eat at times when I am not really hungry, just out of habit. I want to change this about myself. Thanks for the encouragement!

Peter T - March 29, 2012 4:56 PM

Emily, thank you for the post. Over time, I have found it easy to eat like a nutritarian and not eat processed foods. I also am good about not eating until I am truly hungry. However, sometimes my hunger catches up with me and I tend to eat too much. This makes it hard to eat at a reasonable time and eat at the same time as the rest of the family. I often sit with them as they eat their meal and then eat later. I eat two meals per day and often don't eat "breakfast" until 3 PM and dinner at 10:30 PM and then go to sleep by about 12:30 AM. I need to work on avoiding the overeating part the most.

mike crosby - March 29, 2012 6:29 PM

Another excellent post. Emily, you are inspiring.

I always thought it was OK to eat anything and everything I wanted as long as it was healthy.

Not true. I need to learn what you've been practicing. Thank you.

mike rubino - March 29, 2012 7:08 PM

Good Post Emily. I know that for me compliance makes everything easier and removal of tempting bad foods makes compliance that much easier.

Emily Boller - March 29, 2012 8:02 PM

For those who want to better understand the science behind why it's important to not snack between meals, overeat, or eat when not truly hungry, listen to Dr. Fuhrman's November 10, 2010 teleconference titled, "Reviewing the Basics of Metabolism, Hunger and Catabolism."

Another good one to listen to is, "Curtailing Overeating" from August 13, 2008.

Once you understand these two teleconferences, you'll understand why it's so important to only eat when truly hungry.

[By the way, for those unfamiliar with the Member Center of, there are great newsletters, tutorials and teleconferences to read and listen to on there. The Silver Membership which is $3.95/mo. will give one access to all of them; not to mention over 1700 delicious recipes!]

mgm - March 29, 2012 10:17 PM

Just today, as I was opening a bag of Doritos I got from the vending machine at work, the name of the flavor caught my eye - Cool Ranch - and I thought 'No that's not true. Your real flavor name is Emotional Eating. I got this because I am stressed and bored at the same time and hate my job. It has NOTHING to do with hunger.' I ate them, and guess what? Still felt stressed and bored and hate my job. It was a step back, but still a sign of progress that I am becoming more aware of what I am doing and why. As long as I take many more steps forward than I take backward, I think the lapses will be many fewer and further between.

Tanya Turner - March 30, 2012 7:32 PM

Emily, I watched a clip of your transformation on YouTube and cried. Not only because you found your life, but because of the hope it gives me that I can know that same kind of transformation. Did you follow the book exactly or did you allow a meal with the family here and there out or special occasion? What worked best for you, lots of smoothies and simple foods or involved recipes. I am on week 3 and to be honest getting sort of bored with my selections. Do you have any insight? After awhile, just drinking smoothies and eating beans everyday well.....I have done chili's, soups, salads and sort of thinking maybe I need to fast so I will appreciate eating again. Did you fast along this journey? You are a blessing and beautiful example of what nutrition can do.

Judy Z - March 30, 2012 11:09 PM

Emily, Thank you for your encouraging words. I was fortunate to be able to attend the Health Immersion in Fort Wayne. I found the program very inspirational. You guys did a great job. I need to work on my emotional eating habits and know it's going to be a on going process.

Emily Boller - March 31, 2012 5:46 AM


I followed the six week plan in Eat to Live, and for the first eight months I didn't eat out, except for an anniversary date with my husband.

Due to an emergency beyond my control that required a family member to be hospitalized, the first three months of food selections were very plain and simple, because my "kitchen" was the trunk of my car. However, I did eat my meals in a hospital cafeteria, and sometimes purchased a nice salad from the salad bar, but not every day.

Three months into it I added a green smoothie every morning, and experimented with soup recipes, bean dips, and stir fry entrees until I had a repertoire of favorites.

Stop eating before full and wait to eat again for several hours when you are truly hungry, then you will get more pleasure out of eating and appreciating the subtle flavors of whole plant foods.

And yes, I fasted daily from about 6pm until 9am.

All the best to you ~ let us know about your transformation in a few months!

mrfreddy - March 31, 2012 1:35 PM

The thing is, you can have everything on your list and eat meat too. Lots of it. Just avoid sugar, starch, processed foods, vegetable oils. You guys are tossing the baby out with the bath water, in my humble opinion.

mike rubino - April 1, 2012 7:09 AM

ETL allows one to eat meat if one desires, just not in large enough quantities to keep the mega food corporations in the chips . Why do I wonder after seeing Mr Freddy on site after site proclaiming the benefits of meat that he works for the meat industry ?

mrfreddy - April 1, 2012 1:42 PM

@mike r: I don't. and I don't comment on THAT many sites, do I, haha?

Stan Starsky - April 4, 2012 3:14 PM

Really great article...And I think you are right it is really a matter of perspective...Rather than looking at your diet as restrictive, I like the long list of what your diet enables you to do.

Megan - August 6, 2012 12:28 PM

Thank you Emily!

I really enjoyed reading this. I have found it really hard to get off of dairy and sugar, but after reading this article I was truely encouraged to keep moving forward.

Thank you again for sharing!

Post A Comment / Question Use this form to add a comment to this entry.

Remember personal info?