Disease Proof

Interview with a Nutritarian: Augie

It’s not everyday that one is introduced to a legend, but today you are about to meet one. His name is Augie, and when he was celebrating his eightieth birthday two years ago, he was glad that he'd made the conscious decision, more than a decade earlier, to make health and fitness a goal for his retirement years.  Augie ran his first marathon two days after turning 70, and ended up running twenty-nine marathons by his eightieth birthday; including running in the Boston Marathon three times. It was during that time that he also started researching nutrition in earnest, and started following Dr. Fuhrman’s recommendations as outlined in Eat to Live. Just two weeks ago, at the age of 82, Augie finished his first 50K run (31 miles) in Florida! Welcome to Disease Proof, Augie.


Tell us about your recent 50K.

The 50K was a heat endurance event, because it was a sunny, 83 degree day in Florida. The aid stations were about 4 to 5 miles apart, and I drank a bottle of water between each one. By the 9.5 mile mark I was feeling the beginning symptoms of heat exhaustion so I put six ice cubes in a zip lock bag and placed it on top of my head; holding it in place with my cap. I refilled these ice bags at each station. 

I was doing a 1:1 run/walk pace pretty much all the way to the 26 mile aid station, the marathon distance. (Strangely, at this point I felt like I was at mile 20 of a marathon.) From there I went to 30-40 second running surges interspersed with 90 second walks to the finish line. My time was 7:33:22; and there were only 59 of us at the start. 

Now I can say that I’ve completed a total of 40 marathons and beyond, (eleven marathons since age 80); plus, twenty-two, half marathons and many 5K’s to 20K’s. Hopefully I’ll still be in good condition to run a 50K again next year.


Do most know your age at these events?

 Ha, that question makes me chuckle. The 70+ age division runners are very competitive. Many times, before, and even during a race, a runner will come up along side me and ask my age. When I tell them, they are relieved, because I’m not in their age group for awards. Most times I’m 1st place out of one entrant in the 80+ age group.


How far do you run/walk daily to train?

My goal is to average 18 miles per week, and I’ve done this for the past twelve years. I run no more than 3 to 4 days per week, because longer distances provide better training than frequent, shorter ones; plus, rest days are just as important as running days.


Tell us about your nutritarian journey.

My dad died at age 84 from colon cancer, and I watched him slowly fade away for two years. He was a heavy steak and potato eater, and I was following the same path. I knew that eating beef was his problem, although I didn’t do anything to change my own eating habits for several more years. However, it planted the seed to change, because deep within I knew there was a better way. It wasn’t until I retired that I decided to make health and fitness, instead of golf, my retirement hobby. I researched several books before discovering Eat to Live seven years ago, and I was convinced that it was the best of the best. I’ve read it at least ten times since.

I’m 5’ 6.5”, and my weight at age 70 was 166 lbs. (I’ve never had any health issues or taken any medications.) I dropped to 150 lbs by age 75; and then after I started following Eat to Live, I lost another ten pounds over a two year period of time. Today, at age 82, I’ve maintained 140 lbs for the past five years. 

In the beginning I had severe withdrawal symptoms from comfort foods and salt, and that detox time was like going through boot camp. However, the discomfort was short lived, and now I'm thoroughly enjoying my 80’s. My priorities, as always, are family, travel and fitness. (This coming June I will celebrate 56 years of marriage to my dear wife, Josie.) I hope you all don't mind me tooting my own horn, but I think Eat to Live has been a big part in being able to do what I've done. It’s never too late to start eating for health!


What do you eat the day before and the day of a race?

In my early marathons I was brainwashed into needing a pasta dinner the day before. As the years went by, and now with the experience of 40 marathons and beyond, I find that my normal meals are sufficient; although I eat a larger portion, eat earlier, and go to bed earlier the evening before. For me, the breakfast that morning is far more important and lasting into the marathon: a bowl of rolled oats that soaked overnight in pomegranate juice with a handful of frozen blueberries and a banana. It’s very filling and lasting. 

During a marathon I’ve experimented with everything. I’ve finally settled on Medjool dates, pitted and individually wrapped in wax paper. I wear a fanny pack with a water bottle holder, my supply of dates, a cell phone, napkins, and band aids for emergencies. I’ve found 8 to 10 dates to be plenty, and I drink plenty of water.


What are your success tips for nutritarian eating?

To be successful, you must have a deep passion, reason or goal to be healthy; and a firm belief that you will see results to get through the initial detox stage. If you follow Eat to Live, you’ll be guaranteed to see results. Today, to maintain the nutritarian eating-style, I continually remind myself, “I don’t want the health problems that my friends have who eat the standard American diet.”


What advice do you have to become more physically active?

When I started running I had no idea where it would lead; I only knew that aerobic training was necessary. I started running at age 68 and gradually worked up to running three miles at a time. I had a dream goal to run a marathon to celebrate my 70th birthday. (I’ve read that we are all capable of achieving seemingly unattainable goals.) When I achieved that goal, and experienced the thrill of accomplishing something that I didn’t think I could do, it moved me to set other goals. 

  1. Find a passion.

  2. Set a dream goal that stretches your limits.

  3. Push and challenge yourself to successfully achieve that goal.

  4. Go for it!


 Thank you Augie for setting a high standard of “senior achievement” for all of us to aspire to ~ what a great inspiration you are for our retirement years ahead!

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Comments (27) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
mike rubino - April 13, 2012 7:41 AM

Way to go Augie. You are truly inspirational !

Chris Sanderson - April 13, 2012 8:36 AM

WOW! Augie's story is fantastic! 31 miles in 80 degree temps? That's darned near impossible at 22 let alone 82. Blown away...

Nancy Shinn - April 13, 2012 9:03 AM

Augie, this is such an inspiring story! Thank you so much for sharing! I will be 65 this May, still working full time and hoping to retire in the next 5 years. I want to be healthy and able to enjoy retirement. You have motivated me to fearlessly set a goal and go for it. Thank you! Hope to hear from you on this blog again soon.

Carrie - April 13, 2012 9:08 AM

Awesome! That's what I want to be like when I'm 82!

Tracy - April 13, 2012 9:42 AM

I love this story!! No one is EVER too old to change their way of eating. Very inspirational!

Phyllis Lazenby - April 13, 2012 9:58 AM

I am impressed by all of Augie's accomplishments but more impressed with the shine in his eyes and the glow on his face! 3 weeks on Eat to Live has given me a renewed energy and hope for the future and he just lets me see it in living color!! Thanks Augie.....

Sue Hull - April 13, 2012 10:00 AM

I am officially inspired. Thank you, Augie, for sharing your story.

Sheri - April 13, 2012 10:14 AM

Awesome,as a runner too,you are my inspiration

mamali - April 13, 2012 10:56 AM

Thanks for your encouragement! I've been doing ETL for 3+ weeks now, and am suffering with detox. Or at least, I guess that's what it is, and I sur ehope I will get better. I appreciate your encouraing words re getting through the first 6 weeks.

Emily (not Emily Boller) - April 13, 2012 11:19 AM

Mamali, I have read that spending 10 minutes or so each day in a sauna, steam room, or hot bath can aid with detox symptoms. If you are medically cleared to do so, it might help. I hope your detox symptoms subside soon!

isa - April 13, 2012 11:23 AM

What a fantastic story. Augie you are truly and inspiration!

I'm thrilled to read stories like this!

Ginny Achstetter - April 13, 2012 11:28 AM

This is a truly inspiring stories. Even though late on life, the benefits of change are enormous and gratifying.

Carol Whitaker - April 13, 2012 11:47 AM

You said it Tracy..... No one is EVER too old to change their way of eating.... way to go Augie!

Anne-Marie Boyce - April 13, 2012 12:35 PM

Hi! I'm very excited about ETL!!!
I'm feeling overwhelmed about getting started.
Does anybody out there have an ETL getting started grocery list? I just don't know how much to buy & what.
What's suggested for a take to work meal?

Jodi - April 13, 2012 4:46 PM

Augie, what a great story and testimonial for healthy aging! Everyone has used the word INSPIRATIONAL...your accomplishments, commitment and advice to the rest of us is exactly that. Bravo! Thanks for sharing...and pushing us all to stretch our horizons to accomplish our dream goals.

Brigitte - April 13, 2012 5:55 PM

What a beautiful glow he possesses.

Susan - April 13, 2012 7:57 PM


I've enjoyed chatting with you in Dr. Fuhrman's forums.

You continue to be a huge inspiration for me.

I'm planning on my 80s being as much fun as yours.

Patrick - April 13, 2012 8:00 PM

Just an Awe -Inspiring Story
Way to go Augie!!!

Diana Zybala - April 13, 2012 9:37 PM

What a great story! So nice to hear of someone make "health and fitness" their retirement goal vs golf!

It also shows alot of mental flexibility in adopting a new way of life. Bravo!

Peter T - April 14, 2012 12:36 PM


Thank you for being an inspiration to so many people! It is wonderful that you are so active and engaged in life. I watched one of my grandfathers fade away in retirement and become so sedentary with few interests in life.


Sharon Wardem - April 14, 2012 6:51 PM

Great story, Augie of your success in "old age". I am 76 and have not quite embraced wholly the ETL life style, but think I should; I suffer from Whole body arthritis and it is very painful. I can't even walk 100 yards without getting breathless and having to sit down. Maybe if I really tried to follow the nutritarian regimen it would help. The food is good, it's just sometimes I don't have time or energy to prepare the meals!

Sara - April 15, 2012 10:01 AM

Sharon- maybe some "short-cut" food would help. Frozen vegetables, pre-cut salad greens, cans of salt free beans. Some people make simple but healthy meals.

Lilly - April 15, 2012 4:23 PM


Way to go! Your inspiring story is one I'll read again and again. Thanks so much for sharing it here. Best wishes!


pat - April 16, 2012 8:17 AM

Great job Augie! You are very inspirational! Hope you will post more stories in the future.
Anne-Marie and Sharon I suggest going to Fat Free Vegan website. Susan Voison is following E2L and has great blog and recipes.

pat - April 16, 2012 8:23 AM

Sorry her name is Susan Voisin at fatfree vegan

Chris DeMotto - April 19, 2012 10:12 AM

Truly inspirational! Go Augie!

drt - April 20, 2012 1:03 AM

Great story. I'm planning that my 80s being as much fun as yours!

Way to go, Augie!

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