Today is the Kick-Off!

Since today is the kick-off for the six week holiday challenge, I've asked physician and newly appointed Dean of the Nutritional Education Institute, Dr. Jay Benson, to share a few thoughts with us.  Dr. Benson is well versed in modern, high-tech medicine and the nutritional and natural methods utilized by Dr. Fuhrman, and sees the majority of patients at Dr. Fuhrman’s office in Flemington.  He also works side-by-side with Dr. Fuhrman on nutritional research, gives lectures, and answers questions on Dr. Fuhrman’s Ask the Doctor forums. Welcome to Disease Proof, Dr. Benson. 


On your mark…get set…go! The six week holiday challenge officially begins right now!

You've made the commitment to eat for health over the holidays, so what do you do next? Do you hope that everything goes well and wish that the external forces that control your life push you in the right direction? No, no, no. Remember, YOU are in charge of you and your future, and your health destiny is in your hands.  Now that that has been said, this is what are you going to do now……plan and prepare.

As a boy scout, I was required to repeat the boy-scout motto, “Be prepared,” in scout meetings. This motto was chosen for a good reason. It reminded me that my preparations and planning may mean the difference between surviving or not; whether that be deep in the woods, or in the middle of a big city.

The environments that you will be in may bring all types of challenges and dangers, but these can be averted with careful planning and preparation. 

 So let’s get to planning:  

  • Decide exactly what you will eat and when so that you won’t have a choice later. You are more likely to do something consistently if you decide and prepare to do it well in advance. If you wait and see what will happen, hoping that you will not fail, then you are sure to fail. Make it easier on yourself by planning each meal carefully and completely; and then stick to your plans, no matter what. 
  • Get out the healthy recipes that you enjoy the most. Try new recipes and ask your nutritarian friends for their suggestions.  Make sure to keep your refrigerator well stocked at all times with freshly cleaned vegetables, fruits, and cooked beans for quick meals.  [If you are traveling by car, keep a cooler filled with healthy foods at all times.  If you are flying, make it a priority to get to a grocery store upon arrival to stock up.]  Be prepared, at all times, in all situations. 
  • Make a detailed grocery list twice every week and only include foods that are part of your planned meals. By having an inflexible list you will be less likely to succumb to the rampant advertising of unhealthy junk food in the stores. 


You can rise above the noise of holiday temptations with careful planning and preparedness; and you will come away with earning great health!  Here's to excellent health for all this holiday season!



traditional Thanksgiving meal image credit: flickr: carbonNYC

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Comments (16) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Peppy1 - November 20, 2010 11:53 AM

This is wonderful! I am most successful when I have a plan and a list. I usually go to the same three stores and know exactly where to go to get the beans that I want, etc.

The most difficult part for me is social situations and relatives. I'm already offering to bring certain foods that will be safe and they're delighted so far. Most of the social situations I've attended the past couple weeks always offer some raw veggies and fruits so that was easy.

Tomorrow is a huge International Thanksgiving with over 300 community members attending last year and more expected this year. My husband and I will be hosting a table. Every table will have the usual Thanksgiving fare so the IU students and International families can experience a traditional Thanksgiving. That will be a challenge for me. I'm trying to think through this wonderful situation right now. Do I just take a teaspoon of every food and let it go and enjoy the conversation or stick to the veggies, which no doubt will have butters or oils? Dessert will be a real challenge but maybe one bit of a pumpkin filling and then leave the rest would do, or just turn down dessert altogether. What to do on that one? Still working through this social event. I really want to focus on the families attending and getting to know them. I think whatever I decide will be low cal and as plant based as possible.

Mieke Benton - November 20, 2010 12:15 PM

Very helpful thank you!

naturegirl - November 20, 2010 4:54 PM

I am cooking Dr. Furhman's non meat loaf with onion gravy and some of the other side dishes. I love his recipes and it will be my first Vegan Thanksgiving!

lks - November 20, 2010 5:26 PM

What did you all eat today? Here is what I had:

Breakfast: smoothie with bananas, strawberries, romaine, blueberries, a bit of soy milk and water to blend. I also had a handful of shelled pistachios.

Lunch: huge salad with mixed greens, carrots, cucumbers, mushrooms, sunflower seeds, yellow peppers with a dash of lemon poppyseed dressing. I also had a baked potatoe and roasted veggies.

Dinner: I am going out to a Mongolian BBQ where I will fill my bowl with tons of veggies and pineapple, then I will give it to the cook to cook-up on the hot wok. After it's done cooking, I will sprinkle it with some peanuts. I realized that this is a great way to be able to go out. If you have a Mongolian BBQ style restaurant in your area, you can do very well and eat tons of cooked veggies that taste great. Yummy!!!!

Snack: If I get hungry later, I will have frozen bananas with a dash of vanilla and almond milk to blend and I will make my own "ice cream."

I also had hot green tea today. I usually have at least three sodas per day. I actually don't have a terrible headache yet, but I am sure if will come. I think green tea has many health benefits.

I am dong pretty good considering that my typical meal was a donut and soda for breakfast, fast food burger/fries for lunch with a Pepsi and some other processed thing for dinner with a soda.

I was not able to sign-up on the Member's Center, and I was surprised when it asked me my credit card number for the "free" six weeks. I do not use credit cards, period. That was a bit disappointing.

I hope everyone is doing very well, best of luck to you all! So, what did you eat?

Anita - November 20, 2010 5:55 PM

I live in Australia and our festive season has not started as yet.
I have ordered the books and we have implementing getting ready for the changes that are about to become! We have started changing some of our meals and have removed meat from several of them. I have to say that I'm not missing it at all!
We have decided to start once the books arrive and we can arm ourselves with all the information we will need as a family to make better choices around our food habits!
Love this website!!
Thank you for sharing all this valuable information!!

Good Luck to you all!!!

Janet - November 21, 2010 12:24 AM

I can't believe I actually made it through the first day. I am feeling a little "foggy" right now, because I did not have any caffeine today and I don't have the pseudo energy and alterness from drinking soda all day long. I have been breathing deeply everytime I think about how badly I would love to have a coke. The other thing is that I am really tired, again, probably because no caffeine. I feel less anxious and hurried today. Again, probably because of the lack of caffeine, sugar in the soda. I am feeling a certain calmness in myself.

My menu included, a smoothie for breakfast with a piece of whole wheat toast with peanut butter, lunch was a bowl of black bean soup with a salad topped off with tomatoes, avocado, dinner was roasted veggies and another salad. I need more ideas on what to have for dinner. I am open to any of your suggestions and I would love to hear what other people are having for their meals.

Natural Cures for Tinnitus - November 21, 2010 12:34 AM

This is excellent advice we should ALL be following. Too many of us in North America have diets bordering on being disgusting - loaded with salt, sugar and saturated fat. Our current trend as a society to consume huge quantities of awful food then rely on an over taxed health care system to bail us out needs to shelved in favor of us each taking 100% for what we put in our bodies.

Molly - November 21, 2010 2:55 AM

Check out this website for some Eat-To-Live style recipes. You can click through the links for pages upon pages!

There are also some great cookbooks out there, including "The Cancer Survivor's Guide," published by PCRM.

Another wonderful recipe resource is, which offers hundreds of low-fat vegan recipes.

Esther - November 21, 2010 7:06 AM

My breakfast smoothie= makes me feel fantastic and filled with energy all day long!
2 cups pineapple juice ( fresh- or use 1 cup water and 1 p.j.)
4 handfuls kale
1-2 handfuls spinach
1T. flax seeds
( sometimes I add a small handful of parsley)
Blend until smooth and enjoy!

K Arnn - November 21, 2010 8:35 AM

I had a good day yesterday, despite temptation at every turn (Mrs. Arnn, are you coming to our Band Boosters breakfast fundraiser? Mrs. Arnn, will you and your husband be able to join us for the big church breakfast this Sunday?) (!!!) Makes me think of an Obscure Movie Quote from Bull Durham, "I was lured."
Oh, and setting the kickoff for a weekend - brilliant!! I mean, I know it was set to coincide the end of the year, but I slept 10 hours last night! What's that thing they say about sufficient sleep aiding weight loss? Well, whatever it is, I am thoroughly rested, refreshed and ready to take on the challenges of the day!

I will NOT be lured! Have a great day everybody!

susan - November 21, 2010 8:41 AM

I had a smoothie of spinach, apple, orange, raspberries, flax and water. A Large salad with portabello for lunch. Frozen broccoli, carrots and cauliflower sauteed in water with some seasonings for dinner. No caffeine, but some wine :(

Sherry C - November 21, 2010 1:48 PM

So i missed the first day of blogging. The advice in the post was very good. It's so easy for us to lose track with the festivities. I have been moving towards veg with goal of vegan. I have already reduced the simple sugars to agave and honey and only in small amounts. Looking to do some no traditional foods to make the table more healthy.

Sara - November 21, 2010 8:08 PM

As it is the weekend, both days we had a smoothie for breakfast and a big salad with jpmemade dressing and homemade soup for lunch. My current soup is red lentil with winter squash, kale, onions and tomatoes. Last night we made a vegetable stew with brussel sprouts, squash, eggplant, carrots, onions,chickpeas, peas, mushrooms and crushed tomatoes. We had this with salad and fruit. The stew will go for 2 more dinners. Tonight is a green bean and asparagus dish with tofu, orange pepper, peas, onions, garlic and mushrooms. With salad and fruit of course.

lks - November 21, 2010 10:43 PM

So, I thought I would have it pretty easy, considering I did not have a headache at all yesterday, when I usually drink at least three sodas a day and did not have any. Well, this morning, on day 2 on our wonderful adventure, I woke-up with the feeling that someone hit me over the head with a baseball bat. I had a massive headache like never before and I felt very sick. I felt miserable and had to go back to bed and lay down for a few hours because I felt so miserable. I was really thinking that I do not want to live life like this, and now, on Sunday, I can not even function and go out and do the errands I need to do. I couldn't even safely drive my car, as my head hurt terribly. I was thinking of how easy it would be to get rid of this feeling, of how all I needed to do was drink an ice cold Pepsi and I would be feeling fine and could go about my day and feel cheerful, high energy and be able to have a productive day. I was so close to justifying just one. Then, I thought about how many times I have done that before and one soda leads to two, then three, then four. I dont' want that for myself, I don't want to need "food" to feel good. I decided I would ride it out. I did have a hot green tea and that made me feel better so that I could at least get some of my household chores done. It is decaff, but I am sure there is still some caffeine in it. I made it, DAY TWO WITH NO SODA! That really is a miracle for me. I also cooked all three of my meals at home, which is another amazing thing. I would usually always eat one meal out.

Breakfast: smoothie, water steamed potatoes with green/red peppers.

Hot green tea

Lunch: Mashed pinto beans topped with avocado, salsa, tomatoes, romaine lettuce.

Dinner: A huge mixed green salad with a variety of nuts/seeds, this was excellent.

Now...on to day three, let's hope I can keep it up, I feel stronger everyday that I am able to succeed.

Emily Boller - November 22, 2010 3:47 AM


Good for you! Hang in there for just a bit longer as your body gets rid of those poisonous toxins. Withdrawal is so short lived compared to a lifetime ahead of freedom from addiction and then resulting great health. Keep up the great job!

You are so right. Just like a nicotene or cocaine addict who is in the beginning phases of withdrawal will feel so much better if they instantly return to their nicotene or cocaine . . . it is health destructive. They will continue to be enslaved to their addictive substances. Toxic food addiction is no different. AND toxic food is just as damaging to the body.

Keep going! Yeah!

Natural Cures for Tinnitus - November 28, 2010 1:33 PM

I agree with an earlier comment that social situations are the toughest to handle. It takes fortitude and perseverance to get through but it's worth it.

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