Disease Proof

Interview with a Nutritarian: Barb

Barb is one of those committed and steadfast nutritarians who always has an encouraging word to share with others on the member center of DrFuhrman.com. Not only did she shed disease promoting habits and pounds, but she also gained a whole new way of celebrating life to the fullest. Welcome to Disease Proof, Barb!

           before and after pic of a female nutritarian

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

I was forty-five, career focused, and pursuing very few of the activities of my youth. I suffered from daily indigestion, skipped and irregular heartbeats, hip pain, bleeding gums, heavy and painful periods, seasonal allergies, bad breath, constipation, hemorrhoids, back and shoulder pains, and nose bleeds in the winter. Both my mother and grandmother had heart attacks in their sixties and seventies so I figured that I would too since I seemed to have their same, weak heart symptoms; namely, mitral valve prolapse, and irregular/skipped beats.  


How did you find out about ETL?

I became a vegan and noticed health improvements so my curiosity led me to search the web, and that’s when I discovered the health benefits of a mostly vegan, whole foods diet.  After reading several books from various doctors, I decided Dr. Fuhrman's plan was the most scientifically sound so I decided to follow it.

How do you feel now?

I feel no pain, no tiredness, no irregular heartbeats, none of the above symptoms that plagued me for years.  In other words, I feel great!   I’ve recorded how my health has improved on my blog.





Weight (5’9”)

 158 lbs

 118 lbs

Blood pressure



Resting pulse rate






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

At first, Dr. Fuhrman's eating-style seemed too extreme for me.  However, even with adopting a gradual approach, I noticed many health improvements (especially after cutting out dairy and meat) that it encouraged me to keep going and learn more.  The noticeable changes inspired me to take the next step which created an upward spiral of success for me.   Then I discovered Dr. Fuhrman's delicious salad dressings, dips, soups, and smoothies, and now I think this is the best-tasting food in the world! I find it easy to eat nutrient dense foods.

At first I did struggle with social issues, because I felt so different at restaurants and parties when I took my own food.  Now I don't care what other people think, and it turns out they don't care either!  Recently, I was at a meeting at my church and cookies were being served to everyone, and I was given carrots and celery.  It was hilarious.  I recommend persevering through the social issues as people are much more accommodating than imagined.  


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

I am no longer focused on my career, but living my life to the fullest.  I'm pursuing all kinds of physical activities that I thought I was too old for ten years ago: mountain biking, road biking, kayaking, hockey, body power, boot camp, workouts at my gym; plus, I’m actively involved in community service.  My future will be completely different since I won’t have to save for expensive health insurance associated with the degenerative diseases that most people suffer from in their older years.  This changes my financial situation for the better and I can cut back on my workload substantially, which is revolutionary for me! Nutritarian eating has literally changed my life!


Congratulations Barb on getting your health and life back!



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Comments (17) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
LaurieInOklahoma - June 2, 2010 9:51 AM

Barb, so many congratulations! We have known you online for quite some time, and have met in person at Dr. Fuhrman's getaway, so we know how vibrant and healthy you look. We benefit all the time from your great recipes!

We came to exactly the same conclusion as you, where you say : "After reading several books from various doctors, I decided Dr. Fuhrman's plan was the most scientifically sound." Maybe that's why it works the best!

That's so neat about being served carrots and celery when others got cookies. Nice story!! :)

We celebrate with you, as you enjoy your transformed, healthy life.


Claudia - June 2, 2010 12:10 PM


A picture is worth a thousand words. I just love the before and after pics. It is just amazing to see how the person on the left has transformed into the very fit and energetic person that we see today! Seeing those pictures just makes me smile. I am so happy for you.


Sarah Taylor - June 2, 2010 12:13 PM

What an amazing success story - congratulations!

Claudia - June 2, 2010 12:28 PM

I just want to thank you for bringing us another wonderful and inspirational interview. I feel so proud of you for all the great work that you are doing, and so honored to have had the opportunity to know you from your earliest days at the member center and to witness your transformation, which you have communicated from the heart so eloquently through your art and writings.

I just love all of the stories of transformation that are being showcased here.


perelandra - June 2, 2010 1:04 PM

118 pounds at 5'9"...? Is that healthy?

Emily Boller - June 2, 2010 2:09 PM

Thanks, Claudia.

It's been a privilege to get to know so many wonderful people who are changing their health destinies one by one. Each person's story is amazing to me! We truly are in control of our health destiny (except for those unfortunate situations that we have no control over.)

All the best to everyone!


Patricia - June 2, 2010 2:13 PM

Barb - Just wanted to say that I read your Vegan Barbie blog, and many of your recipes have helped me tremendously on my own journey to becoming 100% nutritarian. Thank you SO MUCH for taking the time to share your experiences and delicious discoveries. I'm not quite where I want to be yet, but it's all starting to come together - true enjoyment of healthy foods, not liking the way I feel after eating dairy or refined grains or sugar, and envisioning a way to maintain the diet I want to have even in social situations (the last part is the hardest). I'm so happy for you, and I am grateful for your generous spirit!

Claudia - June 2, 2010 4:55 PM


I just checked Barb's before and after BMI using the BMI tool on the 'Calorie-Count' website. The funny thing is that her 'before' BMI at 158 pounds, was 23.3 which is classified as 'healthy', while her 'after' BMI at 118 pounds is classified as 'mildly underweight'. I think it just goes to show that people with 'normal' BMIs are often overweight and unhealthy. That person in the 'before' picture sure doesn't look as healthy or 'normal' to me as the person in the 'after' picture. I can recognize the Barb shown in the 'after' picture as being the same healthy, trim, and vibrant person that I met at last year's Health Getaway. I'm not sure what her exact weight was at the time, but she looked great. I just don't see that same fit healthy person when I look at the 'before' picture.

So... I'm thinking it is better to be a little on the thin side. A lot of people decide that they have lost all the weight they need to just because they have achieved a 'normal' BMI, however, I see a lot of people with 'normal' BMIs who are still clearly overweight. As long as there is still excess fat around the midsection, a person can't really say that they are at an ideal healthy weight. Any excess fat around the mid-section is considered a health risk. So, the waist size is really as much a consideration as the number on the scale since we all have different size frames, and varying amounts of muscle.


Laura Dice - June 2, 2010 5:53 PM

Congratulations on your success Barb. It seems like you have found the fountain of youth.

MIke Rubino - June 2, 2010 6:55 PM

Hey Barb, Great Job ! Your story makes for very interesting reading and I love those pulse and BP readings! I mean your romping over heart disease! Its No contest !

I tell people these things about ETL and most of them think Ive gone around the bend . I was with a friend of mine and his family on Memorial Day, hes a neurologist and they had cooked up some hamburgers hotdogs and sausage for the day. They couldnt understand why I didnt want any. These are the reasons why. I mean great health is in the picture if you stay true to ETL.

Horsecrazy - June 2, 2010 7:24 PM

Perelandra: While some people may look at Barb and think she is too thin, all you have to do is meet her, see her glowing skin and eyes and you know how healthy she is. Everyone is different, different body frame, etc. Since I have met Barb on two occasions I can attest that she is very healthy indeed. She is thin because she eats only healthy foods and gets great exercise. If someone becomes thin by just not eating much and not eating health promoting foods - then that is NOT healthy.

Nancy - June 2, 2010 8:23 PM

Thanks for the encouraging story and congratulations on your success! I have lost 38 lbs since January following Dr. F's eating plan. I have a bit more to go. Your story is just the kind of story that keeps me going!

CatSG - June 2, 2010 8:35 PM

I enjoyed reading about your successes here! How motivating! I know you share a lot of your experience and kind thoughts on the forum and want to thank you for that! Having options is great...should I ride my bike today or go to the gym or kayaking? FUN for you! Congratulations!

Your fellow ETLer,

Barbara - June 2, 2010 10:39 PM

Hi All,

Thanks for the comments! Perelandra, yes my weight is on the low end for someone of my height, but we all have different body types and shouldn't expect to have the same ideal weights for the same height. I have the same body as my grandfather did--tall and lean. I've been this weight for a couple of years now, and at one point I too wondered if it was too low so I ate more (overate), and it just added fat to my tummy. From reading Dr. Fuhrman's advice in the member center I realized it's better to eat to satisfaction and let my body decide its ideal weight. I'm doing more weight training and I'm starting to build more muscle mass, so maybe I'll gain a lb or 2 but I don't expect much more than that. I agree with Claudia's comments on BMI also. As you get older and lose muscle mass (unless you are really fit), you should have a lower BMI--otherwise, you are adding excess fat to your body.


Deana Ferreri - June 3, 2010 8:56 AM

In reference to Barb's weight: people come in different sizes and shapes, but muscle mass is affected by genetics and activities or muscular demands placed on the body, not just diet. Some naturally thin people will still have low BMI’s. In any case, fat on the body is not healthful, but having stronger muscles and bones is something to strive for in the gym.

LauraC - June 3, 2010 10:21 AM

Great article Emily and fantastic motivation for the rest of us Barb! Your story is a true testament to the fact that heart disease isn't genetic and, without a doubt, can be determined by one's diet. Congratulations on choosing your health!

The 50 Best Health Blogs - June 6, 2010 3:32 AM

"Now I don't care what other people think, and it turns out they don't care either!"

That's great! Too often, we worry about what other people may think, instead of doing what we know we should do.

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