Eat to Live misrepresented: help me set the record straight!

A physician (Dr. John Torres) who fields health questions (“Ask Dr. John”) on Colorado news station 9NEWS has misrepresented the high-nutrient Eat to Live eating style to his viewers. When asked about my recommended eating style, this was his response (watch the video):

“Q: Dr Torres - Are you familiar with Dr. Joel Fuhrman and what do you think of his diet? Thanks, Shirley

A: This diet is known as the "Eat to Live" diet. It mostly focuses on eating plenty of fruits and vegetables with limited amounts of whole grain products. It avoids animal products. Like most diet plans, it can help you lose weight and in some cases the results have been dramatic. But this is a very strict diet plan that will prove hard to maintain for most of us. As humans we tend to crave variety and if we try to stick to a restrictive plan it doesn't work. This is part of what accounts for the "Yo-Yo" diet phenomenon people experience with most diet plans…. “

Please leave a comment on the video page, and email the morning news show. Let them know that Eat to Live is a lifestyle plan for superior health and longevity. Ask them to have me on the news show, so that I can have an opportunity to respond to Dr. John’s erroneous evaluation of my recommended eating style.  

Dr. John calls Eat to Live “restrictive” and “hard to maintain” and states in the video “Even Dr. Fuhrman admits most people probably can’t follow this kind of diet.”

Restrictive and hard to maintain? Not for those who really read the entire book and implement it for 6 weeks. Once you do that and lose the addictive drives it gets easy.   I think more people have lost more than 100 pounds doing Eat To Live than any other program and maintained those losses for years. Charlotte, CalogeroScott, Bill, Sue, Theresa, Anthony, and Julia are a few examples.

Other diets cause weight “yo-yo” due because they don’t resolve food addiction, whereas addressing micronutrient needs and health makes Eat to Live the healthiest diet for life with the most permanent results. The “eat less and exercise more” advice does not work for most people. One will never be satisfied by eating smaller amounts of the same addictive foods.

High-calorie, low-nutrient foods (cheeseburgers, fries, processed foods, cake, ice cream, etc.) activate pleasure pathways in the brain, similar to addictive drugs1-5 and produce withdrawal symptoms often misinterpreted as hunger, leading to an addictive drive to eat more. If you crave this junk-food “variety” (as Dr. Torres suggests you will), you are destined to later-life misery with severe medical problems.Eat To Live is the answer for these cravings and to control excessive eating occasions.

The beauty of the Eat to Live diet-style is that eating more high-nutrient foods reduces the desire for low-nutrient foods. After a few months on the Eat to Live plan, people lose interest in the low-nutrient foods they initially thought they couldn’t live without. Eating to Live becomes their preferred way of eating. My colleagues and I have shown in a peer-reviewed scientific study6 that this style of eating diminishes uncomfortable hunger symptoms – people who eat this way feel more satisfied on fewer calories than they were eating before.

“It mostly focuses on eating plenty of fruits and vegetables with limited amounts of whole grain products. It avoids animal products”

Eat to Live does not require avoiding animal products completely, only limiting them to below 10% of total calories, since they are high-calorie, low nutrient foods and they cancer-promoting hormones increase to higher levels.

What about health, Dr. John?

Dr. Torres completely ignores the most important facet of Eating to Live: Health = Nutrients/Calories. Weight loss is not the only goal here. My book is called Eat to Live, not Eat to Lose Weight. My eating style focuses on the foods that are consistently associated in scientific studies with reduced risk of chronic diseases (GBOMBS – greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries, and seeds). Weight loss is merely a side effect of eating for excellent health – hundreds of my patients and readers have reversed diabetes, heart disease, or autoimmune diseases following this style of eating!

To Shirley, who submitted the question to Dr. John: Don’t rely on someone else’s opinion – read Eat to Live, understand the science of high-nutrient eating, and decide for yourself.

 

1. Johnson PM, Kenny PJ. Dopamine D2 receptors in addiction-like reward dysfunction and compulsive eating in obese rats. Nat Neurosci 2010;13:635-641.

2. Gearhardt AN, Yokum S, Orr PT, et al. Neural Correlates of Food Addiction. Arch Gen Psychiatry 2011.

3. Stice E, Yokum S, Blum K, et al. Weight gain is associated with reduced striatal response to palatable food. J Neurosci 2010;30:13105-13109.

4. Bohon C, Stice E. Reward abnormalities among women with full and subthreshold bulimia nervosa: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study. Int J Eat Disord 2011;44:585-595.

5. Stoeckel LE, Weller RE, Cook EW, 3rd, et al. Widespread reward-system activation in obese women in response to pictures of high-calorie foods. Neuroimage 2008;41:636-647.

6. Fuhrman J, Sarter B, Glaser D, et al. Changing perceptions of hunger on a high nutrient density diet. Nutr J 2010;9:51.

 

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Comments (30) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Niki - May 23, 2012 10:43 AM

As someone who has followed Dr. Fuhrman's recommendations for several years, now, I agree that the food can be delicious and it can actually be very easy to be satisfied even with very simple meals.

However, I think there are some people who would find the diet difficult to stick to not so much for cravings' sake, but psycho-socially. There is so much pressure from family/friends to participate in food rituals, that I think many would find nearly impossible to overcome. Add to that the idea that things must be all-or-nothing, and people might feel that if they can't, say, do Thanksgiving with family, then there's no point in even trying. Everyone in my family either thinks I'm a fanatic/kook OR they follow nutritarianism themselves (or they try not to think about it because they don't want to switch to nutritarianism.) But once one makes the commitment to health and knowledge and trying to be non-threatening to family/friends, these social situations can be overcome as well. Especially with all of the resources in Dr. Fuhrman's books and on the websites.

The difficulty of getting a truly healthy and satisfying meal in a restaurant can still be irksome though, especially while traveling. I've never been able to get a large enough salad, even in vegan restaurants!

Gosia - May 23, 2012 10:56 AM

I was really upset to watch that video! I hope that they invite dr Fuhrman to explain more about Eat to Live. I've already commented under the video and sent an email!

Patti - May 23, 2012 11:03 AM

Ridiculous statement and a total misrepresentation of Eat to Live. Eat to Live has tremendous variety and you cannot beat the health benefits of focussing our diets on nature's goodness! Sounds to me like this Dr. Torres is 'tickling the ears' of his patients so they don't feel bad for not making a bigger effort to kick the excessive meat and sugar habit. It's really too bad that such generalizations were made regarding the Eat to Live way but the proof is there - a diet revolving around veggies & fruits makes for healthier better looking humans!

Fred Macciocchi - May 23, 2012 11:16 AM

The review about the Eat to Live book by Dr. Torres was baloney. I have lost more than 30 pounds and more importantly was able to stop taking statin drugs after 25 years. I followed the plan for the first 6 weeks starting Oct 1 2011. Everything in Dr. Fuhrman's book was exactly as stated for me. I lost 25 pounds in the first 6 weeks and learned about eating healthy. When I was able to stop taking Lipitor (total Cholesterol is 134) I realized that background muscle pain I had felt for 25 years disappeared in a couple of days. It is a lifestyle change that has improved every aspect of my health. Thank you Dr. Fuhrman.

Clint Davis - May 23, 2012 11:38 AM

I posted a positive comment on the video page.

Joyce Mahl - May 23, 2012 11:48 AM

I've yo-yo dieted for years and always gained back more. Eat to Live is the only eating plan that I've ever lost weight (92 lbs so far) and kept it off (18 months and counting). NUTRITARIANS UNITE!

Annette Chambers - May 23, 2012 11:54 AM

Results are the key to understanding the truth about nutrition. When considering the truth about health, consider what the numbers say when eating High Nutrient Dense foods. My numbers: first the scale, 60 pounds gone and maintaining for a year, next: My inflammatory markers in my blood test went down quickly, next: My LDL down as well. Results say it all!

T.Harris - May 23, 2012 12:00 PM

Hey, Dr. Fuhrman. My husband and I (37 & 43) and our children (7&9) have been eating following your guidelines since January this year. While we were not what anyone would classify as overweight or out of shape, my husband had extremely high cholesterol and I suffered from joint pain and severe allergies. I cringe at the mention of "diet" because eating healthfully has become a life decision for us, not a diet. Like anything detrimentally enjoyable to life, marriage or family, a person really has to have strength of mind and self control to buckle down and make the right choices. We get the sour faces (much like the sour reporting by News9 and Dr.John) from people who just don't understand what we're doing and want to argue or judge, but we also happily meet those who are like minded and healthy.

Without even trying I have lost 12 pounds of excess weight, my husband has slimmed down pant sizes as well. My joint pain and allergies are non-existent. My husband's MD has told him that he will be able to wean him off of his Lipitor.

My kids like to eat at their school cafeteria ONCE a month when "breakfast" is served. I felt such triumph over garbage food when my 9 year old came home yesterday and announced how disgusting she felt after eating the school lunch and declared that she would never eat it again. I'm so proud of her!

Our diet is only restrictive if we don't take the time to research what else we could be experiencing. We would rather slow down and find healthy recipes and foods now, than rush through life and gross drive-thrus. Looking at menus now, we can really see how restrictive standard eating is to being healthy.

These are all choices that we each made for ourselves, not based on dieting to lose weight, but the desire to live long and disease free, have more energy, protect our children AND feel good doing it. The weight loss we have experienced as a natural part of eating and feeling healthy has been an added bonus. Thus far, we have not yo-yo'd once compared to any "healthy diet" we've ever tried and failed after a month or two.

We are so grateful for the beyond valuable health advice that we have learned from you and experienced firsthand for ourselves.

Carol Whitaker - May 23, 2012 12:07 PM

As a life long food junkie, yo-yo dieter and lover of chocolate and all things cheesey and fattening, yes, it took a focused committment to make the transition to a nutritarian life-style, but I absolutely confirm and agree with Dr. Fuhrman that once your body has adjusted it's BIOLOGICALLY very easy to stay with it and make it a natural part of one's life style. The only challenges I face now are SOCIAL.... navigating the nay-sayers; limited restaurant menus; the widespread culture of hi calorie, cheap, low nutrient eating; and friends and family that think my way of eating is just another fad/phase I'll pass through. I'm on the other side (gone through detox) and feel so darn good, ALL THE TIME, and I have blood results that prove I've made the right decision....that's what's motivating me to never go back. Rome wasn't conquered in a day and neither will SAD.... one person at a time, day by day, the momentum will build as more become willing to read, listen, learn and see the data for what it is, and then make the commitment to change.

Denise D'Agostino - May 23, 2012 1:13 PM

I posted & emailed :) Everyone should enjoy real health.

Gerry - May 23, 2012 1:54 PM

I listened to "Drs" like Dr John for many years and it almost killed me, literally: 2 heart attacks, first one major, severe osteoarthris in back (symptoms began manifesting eight years before first heart attack, just as Dr Fuhrman says in Eat To Live) and type 2 diabetes for several years, complete with diabetic sores on feet that wouldn't heal, inspite of Am. Dibetic Association Diet, high blood pressure, etc.

Then, in near desperation, thank God, I found Dr. Fuhrman's site and read his book and followed the recommendations. Within 3 months the heart symptoms were gone, diabetic symptoms (excessive thirst, urination at night, etc, resolved when weight reached middle of BMI scale, and the osteoarthritis gradually improved over a 12 month period such that I was able to start and run a highly physical Lawn Care business for 7 years (I did all the work, at age 56 thru 62), whereas prior to this I couldn't walk to mailbox due to back pain for weeks at a time.

Yes, Dr. Fuhrman's diet requires self discipline, all worthwhile things in life do, and it is true that once one has been on this lifestyle eating plan for six weeks to several months, one misses it and feels terrible if one eats poorly even for a meal or two. But it still requires self discipline. So what? You want to die slowly of some debilitating disease just because you refuse to recognize, redirect and control your impulses for instant pleasure then go ahead. But do it honestly, not blaming it on others, or ignorantly, from listenting to "Drs" like Dr John.

The body is a gift that should be treated as a precious, finely designed biopsychosocial as well as mechanical machine, not a "pleasure pallace" to be abused for the sake of a few passing pleasures stimulated by poor food intake (addictions, just as certainly as any other CNS stimulant, and demonstated to be so by MRI imaging studies).

I would be dead right now were it not for Dr. Fuhrman's courage and dedication to tell patients what they NEED to hear, not what the WANT to hear, like so many other credentialled "professionals" in the health/medical/nutritional fields.

I will be forever thankful for his professionalism, kindness, dedication and excellent medical advice to me and all others who desire truth about proper nutrition.

Phyllis Lazenby - May 23, 2012 2:01 PM

The book is thought provoking and I was hooked. I am 66 years old and thought I would just die fat. Well, 25 lbs. less later I feel great! It continues to amaze me that I am NOT craving sweets.... thank you Dr. Fuhrman!

Carole Rowe - May 23, 2012 2:03 PM

I'm 72 and I've been following Dr. Fuhrman's eating plan since 2001. In six weeks my cholesterol dropped from 312 to l6l, blood pressure from 142/92 to 116/72. I do not include any animal products in my meals and do not miss them. It's amazing how good all the plant foods taste.

Robin - May 23, 2012 2:15 PM

This review is erroneous! If someone had told me a year ago that I would give up meat and cheese; I would've thought they were nuts. However, on the ETL plan 1. I don't have cravings now that I've rid myself of addictive foods; 2. I am never hungry (very different than most diets); 3. I've made more new and yummy recipes than ever before! My whole family loves the salads and veg dishes I've brought to family events! I would agree if all I could eat was steamed dry vegetables but that is not the case! My food choices were much more boring when I was an omnivore! I love eating the Nutritarian way and see it as a lifestyle versus a diet!

Lisa Nickel - May 23, 2012 3:23 PM

It is the only way to live a long happy life. I don't miss junk food any more than I would miss pimples or vomiting and disease. I choose to eat healthy because I feel better, look better and want to live without being constantly in a Dr.'s office. I completely support this as a lifestyle choice for the rest of my life.

Mike rubino - May 23, 2012 3:30 PM

I guess the good doctor from Colorado doesnt appreciate that like many things in life one has to work for their good health . Most doctors like to say that this type of diet is too restrictive because they dont know any better and dont have the knowledge nor will power to do it themselves. As a result they think others cant do it . The fact is obesity and most chronic disease can be cured by ETL without all the medicines foisted on patients by the medical profession, and then where would they be ? Kids in public schools and their wives would have to trade in their Mercedes. Since on ETL Im down 60 pounds for 3 years and have no yoyoing . Of course if I went to a doctor like the fool from Colorado he would tell me that all I need is some statins, bp meds and SAD and all would be fine regardless of my weight.

Anonymous - May 23, 2012 4:55 PM


Eating healthy is all about.motivation.

My wife.was about 220lbs but had all normal blood markers and a low BP. No cancer, diabetes, heart disease or auto-immune issues.

Through two pregnancies across 2.5 years her weight ranged from 230lbs to 175lbs. She was a closet junk food eater WHILE ON THE EAT TO LIVE PLAN!! It wasn't until I walked out on her and the kids in June of 2011 that she finally got motivated to end the lies, deceit and behavior of a food addict.

However, nearly 12 months and minus 60lbs later she continues to yo-yo back and forth just above and below her BMI. Same issue as before, lack of motivation! Beans, etc. do NOT taste as good as junk food and she still has no health issues so she continues to be unmotivated to commit to healthy eating.

Dr. Fuhrman needs to include motivation as a control in his studies to get more realistic results for the general populace.

shirley - May 23, 2012 5:27 PM

I think Dr Joels comments in his book were most insightful, with regard to recommendations about diet (mainstream recommendations based on what people eat, not what they should eat). When the whole family adopts eating more veggies, more fruit, more legumes and beans and less dairy and meat, its easier. After watching the movie 'Food Inc.' I am aghast at the American food industry and understand why anyone would go vegetarian. I don't follow the Eat to LIve program exactly, as we have chickens and I eat their grass fed eggs quite often, but certainly the change in me has been astounding and I don't feel the need to eat rubbish. I love being healthy now and slim and energetic. I think saying 'its too restrictive' is not allowing people to find their own creativity in how they eat. As they say, there is nothing more powerful than a large group of stupid people. This is a way of life, not a 'diet' and having experienced the benefits as I hope Shirley the caller will explore this for herself instead of relying on that dismissal. All the best. Oh, and I don't recall NOT being allowed to have other foods, they just need to be rarely to the full benefits of the high nutrient eating. I just follow the pyramid as a guide to eat, and there is no problem. I wish people would explore and research for themselves. Since when is eating healthily a 'diet'. The word should be banished.

Michele Curlee - May 23, 2012 5:35 PM

I agree with Niki...if you cave to social pressure this way of eating (NOT a diet in the normal sense)...can be tricky. The way I've overcome is with a 95% rule...I do stray sometimes so as not to be anti-social...HOWEVER, you have to ask yourself (once you are educated) how is this different from a teenager giving in to peer pressure to smoke, do drugs or engage in other harmful behaviors. Once you know what is toxic and carcinogenic, it seems borderline pathetic to do so. On that same note, why would you offer these foods to children? You would offer them nicotine or caffeine! We have been trained to choose foods by how they taste ONLY...that's a recipe for disaster!

Sebastian - May 23, 2012 6:18 PM

To correct your eating lifestyle, you need to understand that even though processed foods may taste good, there are several reasons why people should avoid all processed foods:

1) Processed foods are absolutely unnecessary for bodily well-being, and there is no health risk from a person being completely deficient in processed foods.

2) There are many whole plant foods that have a much richer taste than processed foods, and at the same time, do no harm, and provide goods for the body.

3) 4,000 years ago, humans never ate processed foods, and they never had any withdrawal symptoms brought by the absence of eating processed foods. Humans today have the same genes as humans 4,000 years ago, so humans today can live just as fine without processed foods as humans back then. If someone is experiencing withdrawal symptoms to foods that humans never adapted to eat, then that is a true eating disorder, because the mind is making the person think that these foods are essential when it actually is not.

4) Processed foods are addicting, and eating it will just cause someone to eat even more of it, even if someone has very strong willpower to abstain. The potato chip company Lay's was right when they say "bet you can't eat just one", which implies that potato chips are so good tasting, that people cannot stop eating it. It is best to strictly avoid all, and by doing this wean away from the taste of processed foods.

5) Processed foods are bad for bodily health. As processed food intake increases, harm to bodily health increases. Even if someone would not suffer any significant health problems by eating small portions of processed foods sparingly, there is no need, and is unwise to put something that can be potentially harmful into a person's mouth, intestines, or bloodstream.

Paul Surovell - May 23, 2012 7:46 PM

Actually I think if you listen carefully, Dr. John said Dr. Fuhrman's diet was a good diet for those who can follow it, but that he didn't think most people could follow it because they want "variety." He didn't use the word "yo-yo." I wouldn't take his remark as negative, since he said if you can follow the diet it's a good diet.

linda5sons - May 23, 2012 9:48 PM

Here's what I put in my email to the station:
I wanted to contact you and explain why I disagree with your Dr. John Torres' evaluation of Eat to Live.
I have been following Dr. Fuhrman's advice for over two years now, successfully putting my severe Crohn's disease into remission. Additionally, I have eliminated systemic inflammation; I no longer suffer painful joints, I sleep peacefully all night, my dentist is thrilled with the health of my teeth/mouth. I used to suffer from severe allergies, which have nearly disappeared from my life (that improvement alone would have been worth all the effort to learn how to eat for my best health!). My vision has also improved dramatically, from roughly 20/100 to 20/40. I no longer require glasses to drive my car, after some 20 years with that restriction in place.
Does your Dr. Torres really believe that anybody in their right mind would willingly choose to risk returning to the American status quo of ever-worsening health, just so they can get in line at the nearest drive thru? He is sadly mistaken. Even if I could be assured that my health would never falter, I would never want to go back to how I used to eat; fueling my body with what it needs for optimal performance is not a sacrifice, it's simply a way of life I deeply enjoy.
Dr. Fuhrman empowered me to earn back good health, and for that I will forever be grateful. Please don't endorse people saying 'it's too hard' when they haven't walked in my shoes, haven't learned how wonderful and varied and exciting this way of life really is.

Deb Weston - May 23, 2012 10:45 PM

I have lost 170 pounds on Eat To Live and it is not a restrictive diet and it is not hard to follow. It is not just another diet plan. It is a lifestyle. Once I counted the cost and decided that this was the way I was going to eat it was quite easy and I would never give up this way of eating for anything. I have chosen to follow the strictest version and even that is quite easy to follow. That doctor is NUTS!

Claire - May 23, 2012 10:48 PM

I watched the video and I don't believe that this doctor ever read Eat To Live properly. After several weeks you don't get the cravings that you used to i.e cheese sandwiches every day. Now I actually crave things like steamed bok choy and leafy greens with avocados. I think the main thing that this Dr John has totally missed is that most people on a Standard American/Australian diet already do not have variety in their diets i.e. not enough variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, seeds, lentils. The only variety they have in their diets is processed foods 'shall that be a croissant or a danish pastry?' Most of my friends have probably never tried lentils and never eat beans other than baked beans. I don't think this Dr from Colorado understands the meaning of 'variety.'

In fact I can probably list off 40 vegetables that the average American/Australian hasn't even heard of that I now eat as a result of learning from Dr Fuhrman. Likewise, most Americans would be unaware that you can make amazing healthy desserts with nuts i.e. raw cheesecake made of cashews and not cheese etc. This doctor from Colorado is basically saying 'well, everybody has a bad diet, so you may as well sink with them and maybe take baby steps to nowhere sometimes.' He obviously doesn't see any link between SAD and diseases. Hmmmmm

Dr Bill Hopkins - May 24, 2012 6:24 AM

How appropriate that Dr John is an emergency medicine specialist. Reflecting most of American medicine, he is involved in responding to the crisis situations that arise from the Standard American Diet: chest pain and heart attack, diabetic emergencies, stroke, etc. Prevention and/or reversal of chronic illness is way down on their priority list.
I am a Family Phsician, and a victim of the SAD. Since last October I have lost forty pounds, and, as of May 22, am off 5 of the seven medications I was on (3 diabetic drugs, 1 cholesterol drug, and 3 hypertensive drugs).
Despite these 7 drugs, on October 1, 2011, my BP was 160/110, my HgA1c was 8.5, and my fasted sugar 200+. I weighed 275, the same weight as 3 years prior when I began exercising 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. From the weight or from the medications, my liver enzymes were also mildly elevated.
On May 22, 2012, my HgA1c was 5.6, my sugar 98, my BP 130/80, and my cholesterol levels well into normal, as well as my liver enzymes. I am now on 2 BP medications and a baby aspirin.
During this time period, I cut my bicycling down to once a week, to see if ETL really works (as opposed to Nutrisystem that requires one hour a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year of "in the zone" exercise, on top of their awful, and awfully expensive, food). I now am back on the bike, and "hill work" never seemed so easy.
I am currently doing local "Shopping with the Doc" programs in the grocery stores of our small towns, helping people navigate these potentially toxic environments. The grocers have been more than interested, as one of the keys to ETL lifestyle is frequent focused trips to the markets for fresh fruits and veggies.
I have an ETL based Power Point presentation I have given to our MD's, dietary staff at the hospital, and the general public. It is the most enjoyable part of my practice. And the ETL diet style is the most satisfying and fulfilling part of my life.

Lilly - May 26, 2012 3:23 PM

Wow, Dr. Hopkins! Way to go! Hope you will join the Fuhrman Forum and share more about all that you are doing.

Dr. Fuhrman, I just want to thank you for the health I'm gaining from following your recommendations.

I read every one of the 84 posts in response to Dr. John's segment on ETL and found them so inspiring. I hope you know they represent a fraction of the many lives that have been helped by your work. Bravo to you!!!

Jackie Williams - June 5, 2012 9:29 AM

I totally agree with all the comments on how amazing the transition to good eating habits has been. For my Husband and I were not eating what I called a "bad" diet. We already had cut out sugary drinks 30 years ago, we rarely ate fries or potatoes or bread. But still with the ETL program I have lost 30lb my husband has lost 75lb! We feel so much better and enjoy all our many food choices from Dr. Furhman's recipes. I am inventing some of my own too. The dressings for salads are delicious. I feel that society in general looks on us as "weird veggie tree huggers". All our friends and family are impressed by the radical changes in our appearance and our health. Our doctor is also impressed on the reversal of blood pressure and pre diabetes. I find it very difficult to eat out and choose a nutritionally sound meal. Salads often have too much "extra stuff" slopped on them. I usually ask for dressings on the side. But in order to "fit in" we eat some of the other choices when socializing with friends. My husbands biggest downfall is that he likes wine and beer when socializing especially. We have found so far that if we are on vacation we have to take what little offerings are available and then go straight back on our regular routine when we return. Sometimes it takes a week or more to recover from the damage caused. I am passing on my recipes and information to whom ever will read it to try to teach people about the good choices. I don't think that I will see a radical change in the American diet in my lifetime however. But we can always keep trying to educate everyone. My mother has had a series of strokes over the last 10 years, she has diabetes that she never took care of, she has heart problems. Now she is a shell of a person sitting in a care home bed, unable to feed, toilet or care for herself. She also is suffering from dementia. If my Mum was really here now and saw herself she would be mortified to see what quality of life she has. All because she was not educated about proper nutrition. I am determined not to suffer the same fate and will continue trying to improve my health and those around me!

Rayca - June 21, 2012 3:48 PM

At Niki and anyone who "struggles" with "psycho-social" change. Who's in charge of your life? I understand family is important but to use food as excuse is just that, an excuse. If someone throws in the towel on bettering the many healthful benefits from this way of eating, then what's the point in changing anything in our lives that's hard or others don't understand. Tough! There's plenty of salad and vegs. to go around at any family gathering I go to. Don't go to restaurants so much when traveling. Go to a nearby market and get salad stuff. Salad not big enough at a restaurant? Order 2! I mean, really. People need to stand up and take charge of their lives and not let others or situations derail that effort. It's your life, not theirs. Same goes for those folks who probably couldn't make the changes cuz it's so radical or "restrictive." Get over it and get on with it. And tell others the same.

Jackie - September 6, 2012 7:06 PM

I am nearing the end of day three starting the Eat to Live Lifestyle and I am already feeling great. I have had headaches towards the end of the day for the past 3 days, but I think that might be because I am going too long between lunch and dinner? I'm not sure though. Anyways, like many other people have said in these great comments here, it seems like a lot of people who critique Dr. Fuhrman didn't thoroughly read his book. I often wonder if we were even reading the same book? I love eating chicken so if a lifestyle prevented me from eating chicken I probably wouldn't be able to stick to it, but knowing that after the initial 6 weeks I can have a limited amount of chicken, that makes it ok for me. I am a 25 year old female that has yo-yo dieted since age 12. I am 5'9" and my starting weight on ETL was 185. I am really looking forward to what ETL will do for me. In fact, I am sharing my progress on my blog :) I linked it in this post if you want to come join me!! (just click on my name above)

Rayca - October 16, 2012 3:16 PM

I don't see the problem here. It IS a restrictive diet. Any time you take food groups out of the eating equation, it's restrictive. I've done Dr. Fuhrman for over 1 year. Yes, you get "used to" eating just plants, basically. But you need lots of them to get enough nutrition. My main reason was to rid myself of cravings. Didn't happen. NOTHING, NO DIET gets rid of cravings for good. You can learn new habits but you will go back to what you know most likely. I don't even think cravings are food-related, if that makes any sense. However, I think Dr. Fuhrman and his plan is a wonderful way to go, if you can.

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