The potential danger of feeling great

Over the past few months I've felt the best of my entire life. I can pedal up hills on my bike that last year I could only walk. I can do killer, intense interval workouts at the Y that a year ago I could only dream of doing. My exercise sessions are exhilarating! I'm amazed at how far my body has come in less than two years when I couldn’t even run to catch a fly-away ball in the backyard, or climb a flight of stairs without shortness of breath.

However, therein lies the potential problem.

Dr. Fuhrman recently reminded me that because I had let myself go for so many years I damaged my health in the process; even though I can't see or feel the damage.  He also cautioned me that now it's imperative to keep putting superior nutrition into my body to continue to repair, cleanse and heal the cellular damage caused by years of eating the standard American diet.

In other words, now's not the time to kick back and relax with the I-feel-great mentality and start compromising on superior nutrition. There's a huge difference between mediocre/good nutrition AND excellent/superior nutrition. Plus, it’s those little, innocent compromises that do the most damage, because they pave the way for bigger, more damaging compromises on down the road. It's going to take years of eating superior nutrition to prevent disease and heal the damage that’s already been done. Just because I feel great doesn't mean that my body is out of the woods.


Eating for optimal health is for life; no matter how great one feels.

No compromises. No excuses.


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Comments (12) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
StephenMarkTurner - May 26, 2010 7:46 AM

Hi Emily

I am currently suffering my second cold in only 3 months, although I have been doing a lot of walking, biking, weight training, and even a hint of running and feel extremely fit.

Probably too much, too soon.

Also, too much activity requires more food, which probably leads to too much lower N/C food (pasta/meat) to fuel the activities or repair muscle. There is a well known study from some years back which shows mortality increasing as exercise becomes excessive.

I am going to cut down on some of the more intense activity, and substitute more of the gentler stuff like passive/active stretching and/or yoga (which I am a relative novice at).

Cheers, Steve

Amanda - May 26, 2010 9:00 AM

Emily, this is such good timing for me. I've caught myself compromising my nutrition in the last couple weeks and have started tracking everything I eat this week to ensure I'm doing my absolute best. Sometimes it takes a little nudge to remember why I'm doing this. It's not for weight loss (alone) or looking good--it's to guarantee I never suffer through a SAD-issue disease in the future.

Thanks for this!

Miriam - May 26, 2010 9:28 AM

I also love to run- and I love the intense runs the most.
I recently finished reading Brendan Brazier's book called THRIVE. I loved the new knowledge I gained. He eats a very nutrient dense diet and preforms very well at a very high level. I love that I saw Joel Fuhrman give a good review in the front of the book.
Check it out- Brendan doesn't teach that it's the most important to EAT MORE when we work-out...just eat BETTER.

Thanks for the advice EMILY and the reminder to not slack off even though you feel great! No excuses!

Jill - May 26, 2010 1:05 PM

I am with Amanda...I too have let my guard down in the past 6 months...I decided before my feet hit the floor today that I would get back on track with my nutrition. Thanks Emily - it's amazing to me that you posted this today - of all days!!!

You're an angel!!

LaurieInOklahoma - May 26, 2010 3:35 PM

You could not drag me kicking and screaming into eating a diet that isn't the very healthiest.

I just found out today that the vision in my "bad" eye, damaged from multiple sclerosis/optic neuritis in 1980, has improved from 20/70 with correction, to 20/50, with the same glasses. Together with my good, right eye, corrected to 20/20, that makes a huge difference to me.

My husband's vision had improved so much he needed new lenses. Neither one of us has any signs of cataracts or glaucoma, and our eyes look "really, really healthy".

All 4 of our parents had cataract surgeries, and my father was legally blind for the last 20 years of his life.

Nutritarian foods taste great, and we don't feel like we're "missing" anything.

I am so elated to be getting healthier and healthier, at age 57!!! Why mess with that?


Emily Boller - May 26, 2010 4:11 PM

Yes, optimal health is for life - not to just reach a goal and then return to old ways. It's easy to let our guard down at times, especially when unhealthy eating is such an acceptable, cultural thing. We all need to be reminded that it's going to take years of excellent nutrition for many of us to undo and heal the damage caused by years of SAD eating.

The great thing is we have the privilege everyday, to live in the BEST health possible for that day! What a privilege we've been given!

Ginger - May 27, 2010 8:46 AM

Yup! I've got a humdinger cold/flu thing going on. While traveling I slipped up and ate chips and even a bit of flan. Now I'm paying. I too found that I need to be gentle with exercise. It wasn't even a year ago that my life revolved around sleeping 20 hours per day.

Amanya Jacobs - May 27, 2010 10:29 AM

What a great reminder-even when you feel good, especially when you feel good, your attention to what you eat is paramount. I'm reading the comment before mine, by someone named Ginger. I,too, have a bad cold. It began the day after I allowed myself the treat of some tortilla chips and flan at a Mexican restaurant (to accompany a huge spinach salad, of course). Interesting...

StephenMarkTurner - May 27, 2010 6:37 PM

Hi Emily

Cold update. What only started on Sunday as a scratchy throat is almost gone on Thursday, just a little stuffiness left. I even went biking (slowly) since the weather is so nice

I suspect better nutritional and physical fitness helped me kick this cold quickly. Cool!


Elijah Lynn - May 28, 2010 12:38 PM

For everyone with the colds. Have you had your Vitamin D tested lately (25, Hydroxy) and have you been taking vitamin D?

April - May 28, 2010 1:06 PM

This is a great reminder for me at this point as we are approaching the Memorial Day weekend. A holiday when most of spend time with family and the ritual "grilling" of artery clogging meat ... homemade ice cream, blah, blah ... This year is going to be different grilled veggies, black bean burgers, with fresh fruit smoothies.

StephenMarkTurner - May 28, 2010 4:15 PM

Hi Elijah, I take vitamin D, more days than not, I guess I average 250 to 500 units per day. I take a single pill and break it in half, so I never supplement more than 500 units at a time.

I have not had my levels of D (or anything) tested however. I have not been to a doctor in about 17 years since I was 37 (except to see if a wrist was broken or only sprained playing soccer).

Cheers, Steve

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