Interview with a Nutritarian: Helyn

I recently came across Helyn’s success story on Dr. Fuhrman’s Member Center, and her excitement for healthy eating is contagious! However, when she was first introduced to Eat to Live by a friend she didn’t think she could ever eat foods without oil and salt. Now, over a year later, she can’t imagine life without eating high-nutrient foods and the benefits of getting her health back! Welcome to Disease Proof, Helyn. 

What was your life like before discovering Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritarian eating-style?

I’ve always had a busy life and finding balance in my diet was insane. I was always searching for answers regarding nutrition. I’d taken a great interest in health and nutrition in my 20s. I read a lot of books and tried many different eating plans. I wasn’t looking for weight loss, per se, but more for health in all these different diets. My “favorite” was the blood type diet because the author said that I should drink coffee!  That’s when I realized that something was seriously amiss. Deep down I knew that coffee was not a healthy substance, that I didn’t feel well when I tried to eliminate it, and that I was addicted to it. How could it possibly be good for me?

After all this study and the many trials and errors I decided that I’d create my own diet, based on the things I'd learned. I settled into a regimen of eliminating red meat, most sugar, all processed foods and wheat. Yes, I still drank coffee!

Obviously my self-prescribed diet wasn’t working, because I had slowly become borderline obese… 183 pounds!  [I’m 5’5”]


How did you feel then?

I started experiencing ailments that I never had before, such as bursitis, which can be crippling. I had such pain in my hip that I couldn’t walk for weeks. My mother said to me, “Welcome to old age. Do you want to borrow my cane?” What!? That was last year, and I was 56 at the time. My shoulder hurt, and I was not sleeping soundly. I was tired and felt bloated all the time. My blood pressure was high. At one point it was 190/118, and I was taken to the ER. They told me I needed blood pressure medication. I refused, because I knew that was not the answer.


How did you find out about Dr. Fuhrman's nutritarian approach?

I had heard about Eat to Live from a dear friend of mine. She even had me over for lunch to introduce me to “Fuhrman Foods”, but when she told me that she didn’t add oil or salt to anything she ate, I just “knew” I could never do it! I thanked her and went on with the same unsuccessful routine I was holding onto. But after the bout of bursitis, I thought about my friend again and decided that I’d read the book. This was it! I had finally found the answers I’d been searching for condensed into one book. I immediately started Dr. Fuhrman’s Six-Week Plan and lost eight pounds the first week.


How do you feel now?

I feel exhilarated! I am pain-free, sleeping soundly, and my skin is smooth. I have a lot more energy now and weighing 40 pounds lighter is such a gift. My hair is growing like a weed, and I no longer have the beginning signs of fungus growing on my toenails; they now look exactly like my fingernails: thin, pink and healthy. That may seem trivial to some, but it’s an example of how eating nutrient-dense foods can affect the body as a whole in positive ways!

Every day is such a blessing. I now enjoy healthy foods, and I’m excited for the future; knowing that I’ll be strong and healthy for the rest of my life.


Do you have any success tip(s) to share with others?

  1. If you are drinking coffee, wean yourself off immediately.

  2. Read Eat to Live, and read it thoroughly so you make sure you understand the content.

  3. Follow the Six-Week Plan 100%.

  4. Find others who are becoming, or already are nutritarians. Some cities have meet-up groups. Find  them or create your own.

  5. Join Dr. Fuhrman’s Member Center. It is so worth the small fee to be able to have a support group around you.

  6. Purchase and watch Dr. Fuhrman’s Immersion Excursion DVD set. There is so much vital information in these DVDs. You will know more than most doctors after you watch them. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER and when you really know this information nothing can take you off this path.

  7. After six weeks you’ll be feeling so well that you won’t want to change; however, chances are you won’t be completely rid of some food addictions. To avoid falling for your old SAD (Standard American Diet) foods until your good eating habits have stronger roots I suggest the following:

  • Don’t eat out! This is disaster in the making for a new nutritarian. Even in “health food restaurants” you’ll be fighting with the menu over salt and oil, and the menu will usually win.

  • In the beginning, avoid holiday eating traditions, because you’ll be so tempted to eat all the addicting foods that you grew up with.  Dr. Fuhrman always has a “Holiday Challenge” for us. Accept the challenge and stick to the plan.

  • Create menu plans each week; otherwise, you may not have what you need on hand to make a healthy meal. I make my menu plans on Saturdays, before I do my food shopping so I know what to buy. Then in the middle of the week I replenish my greens.

  • Don’t weigh yourself every day. Once a week is better, and don’t stress about it.

  • Try new recipes and find healthy, new foods that you love. Create NEW traditions for yourself and your family. If you don’t yet have a high-powered blender, this is a must! Invest in a VitaMix to create delicious smoothies. 



In a nutshell, what has nutritarian eating done for you?

Nutritarian eating has given me the confidence that I’m feeding my body what it needs, and that I’m getting stronger and healthier. Growing old does not have to come with disease and dementia. With this comes a serenity that you can’t put a price on. It’s been one year since I started nutritarian eating, and I’m finally rid of my food addictions and toxic hunger. I can now taste all the natural flavors in my foods, down to the smallest nuances.

I’m now planning on becoming a Nutritional Education Trainer (NET), because I want to help others to achieve the same miracles that I have through this amazing adventure! I will start my studies next month, and I can’t wait!






190/115 (highest)

123/79 (still dropping!)



145 (still losing!)



114 (after 3 months of nutritarian eating-- no recent recording)


Congratulations Helyn and keep up the great job! 


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Comments (30) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Carol - April 19, 2013 10:56 AM

So glad you found ETL, Helyn! Your suggestions are spot on.

Diana Robertson - April 19, 2013 12:04 PM

Thanks for sharing your story, Helyn - it's very inspirational! Good luck with your Nutritional Education Trainer course & business - you'll be great!

Helyn Dunn - April 19, 2013 1:15 PM

Thanks so much Carol and Diana!

Stephanie - April 19, 2013 1:47 PM

Wow! Helen is so inspiring! Does she have a blog or anything, facebook?

Terry Czyz - April 19, 2013 3:11 PM

I have been following the Nutritarian life style for 6 months now. Feel great ,but have a big problem. All my clothes are too big,since I've lost 30 lbs. I guess l will have to go shopping for a new summer wardrobe.

Barbie - April 19, 2013 6:32 PM

At 50, I am experiencing Bursitis in my shoulders. It effects every part of my life! Interesting that I came across this article. I 'dabble' in health food and have for years but without completely letting go of processed foods. If this lifestyle/way of eating will free me of this Bursitis - I am completely on board!

Ann - April 19, 2013 6:32 PM

Helyn,you look absolutely beautiful! This post is an inspiration!

Helyn - April 19, 2013 7:14 PM

Thank you Stephanie! Yes, I do have a blog. Just click on my name to get to it. Barbie, YES, please come aboard. It will change your life. You didn't find this article by "accident." :) Thank you Ann!!! well done Terry! Shopping for new clothes... what a great problem!

Linda - April 20, 2013 5:48 AM

You are a tremendous inspiration to all of us!
Continued good health to you!
How do I connect with people in my area?

Chris - April 20, 2013 9:04 AM

Wow Helyn!! Way to go!! You are such an inspiration for're right I didn't come across this post by came at the right time. I have all of Dr Fuhrman's books, joined the website, and just purchased the Immersion Set...I have all the tools, but I keep slipping back to the SAD...I checked out your website....Thanks for all your help. Chris

Lisa - April 20, 2013 11:10 AM

What an inspiring story of how the "real thing" can change your life! My husband and I were also searching for that certain healthy way of life that would help us reach our goals of getting healthy first, then to lose the weight. With both of us benig very overweight and showing signs of our bodies crying out to us that we were on the very wrong path, we stumbled upon ETL. It is literally saving our lives. We have only been on it for four months, but since we have so much weight to lose, we have stayed on the six week plan. My husband has lost 46 lbs. and still losing and I have lost too many inches to count. We feel this is the only way to live, and are fully committed for the rest of our lives. We are sooo proud of being a Nutritarian! What a way to live!

Carrie (Carrie on Vegan) - April 20, 2013 7:37 PM

You and your story are fabulous, Helyn! I hope to meet you in person someday. :)

Julia Wilson - April 20, 2013 8:13 PM

Your story is very encouraging for all of us. It also reinforces the idea that weight loss is only part of the goal and that better health on the inside has so many benefits that you will love as you start getting there. Thanks!

Danni - April 20, 2013 8:31 PM

Wow, congratulations. You look great. I am just about to change my lifestyle in the hope of losing weight and feeling healthier. It is always good to read success stories.

Diet Foods - April 21, 2013 4:27 AM

Thanks for sharing information about diet foods.These are helpful for mention a perfect health.Really i like your great information.

Helyn - April 21, 2013 10:37 AM

Thanks for all the wonderful comments everyone!

Linda: If you are a member on Dr. Fuhrman's website, there is a "Public Member Map" which displays nutritarian locales around the world. You can also do a search on for nutritarian groups. Hope this helps. ♥

Lynda Saffell - April 21, 2013 9:26 PM

Bravo, Helyn! I love your enthusiasm and your passion for helping others. I will read Dr. Fuhrman's book so that I can learn more. Love you, Lynda

Dukh Niwaran Kaur Khalsa Whipp - April 22, 2013 3:32 AM

Helyn, you look great and are an inspiring writer! And eater!I've lost 35 lbs. and find that inflamation and pain are much less as well. And I also got rid of my nail fungi too!

Angela - April 23, 2013 7:33 PM

You really do look so healthy and happy! Well done.

Rebecca Johnson - April 24, 2013 6:16 AM

I laughed a little when I heard your words 'don't eat out!' Indeed it is always a battle between the self and the menu, and most of these end up having the latter winning the prize. The best thing, indeed, is to always have your own grocery baskets. :)

vicki - April 25, 2013 12:04 PM

i would still like to have one cup of coffee in the morning..i have been on the 6wk plan on week 4 lost 11 lbs already and still going......
im hoping the one cup of coffee is ok!

David Jones - April 26, 2013 5:51 AM

I was looking for health related website to review many issue. Now I've found your blog site with lots of amazing information. You did really excellent work. I'll read your blog regular basis.

Helyn - April 29, 2013 7:38 AM

Lynda: THANK YOU! Love you too. Let me know what you think of the book!
Dukh: Well done! Keep up the great work.
David: Great! I'm so happy that you like my blog. Let me know which recipes are your favorites.
Vicki: That's wonderful that you are losing weight on the 6-week Program. Yay you! I will let Dr. Fuhrman answer your question about coffee:

james auten - April 29, 2013 10:34 AM

Jim Auten 4/29/2013 great story thanks for sharing it my wife JoAnn & I are members as of dec 2012.we love success stories we need plenty of those,to keep motivated,& help others too.We have lost around 30 lbs.each,feel great.

sally Jones - April 29, 2013 12:01 PM

This makes so much sense, it is just so hard to be this disciplined, even for 6 weeks! Congratulations to Helyn.

Neil Butterfield - April 30, 2013 8:37 AM

Another brilliant result.It excites me to see such great health results purely through healthy eating. Well done and keep it up (umh off) :-)

Melany D - May 1, 2013 9:26 AM

Great post. I have learned so many good tips. We need to eat healthy food from early childhood.

gellanmacgrath - May 2, 2013 12:18 PM

good article. here is some good information for everyone and now I am thinking I will also start to eat healthy food everyday.

Felicia - May 6, 2013 5:35 AM

Helyn, Thank you for sharing your inspirational story and thank you for the excellent advice. You look fantastic! Congratulations and continued success.

Chris - May 7, 2013 1:52 PM

I love Helyn's story, as well as her progress! She looks great and her tips are fantastic as well. Both her and her tips are great motivators for those who want to become healthier people.

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