Interview with a Nutritarian: Isabel

Isabel before and after

I recently met Isabel, who’s been a nutritarian since the first Eat to Live book was published in 2003.  The following is a brief interview that I had with her:

What was happening in your life at the time you discovered the Eat to Live book?

It was the Christmas season of 2002, and I was terribly depressed. I’m only five feet tall and weighed 203 lbs., which is a lot of extra weight to carry on my frame. My back hurt, I had migraine headaches, acne, and was a couch potato. I was facing holiday work parties, and dreaded dressing up to go anywhere because I didn’t have anything pretty to wear, and didn’t want anyone to see me obese. Plus, I had two young children and I wanted to be healthy for them.

In desperation I was surfing the internet that December and discovered that Dr. Fuhrman’s newest book, Eat to Live was going to be made available to the public in January. After reading positive reviews about it I pre-ordered it. My copy arrived on January 4, 2003.

So then what happened?

I read the book and was impressed by Dr. Fuhrman’s scientific research and knowledge, plus everything made a lot of sense. I started to follow his nutritional guidelines right away and lost 50 lbs. by that summer. However, I didn’t have much support so over time I made wrong choices and gained back 25 lbs.

At that point, I was so discouraged and afraid that I would be fat forever so I decided to join the members’ center on for the support that was lacking in my life. That decision changed everything! I learned so much from the other members; things like how important it was to plan ahead to make sure I had healthy foods to eat, and how important it was to establish a routine of food preparation. Because of the ongoing support, I was able to lose a total of 77 lbs. That was four years ago, and I have kept it off all these years

Tell us how your life has changed.

[Big laugh!]  Oh my, where do I begin?!

I feel like a new woman!

I have energy now to be active! I can do things that I had absolutely no desire to try before.  Now that I feel great, I want to help others feel better so I’m a certified personal trainer, and next week I’m testing for certification in a special exercise program.

I’m not embarrassed to wear a bathing suit in public anymore.  When I was obese I wore men’s large water shorts and a tank top.  As you can imagine I only waded up to my knees; I never swam.  

I can fit comfortably into the seat of an airplane, and I no longer dread going places.  In fact, I love to get dressed up now and go out dancing with my husband!  When we’re out, people will say, “Hi” to my husband, and look at me like I’m his new girlfriend or something!

What would you like to share to give others hope who are reading this interview?

  • Join the members’ center at for support! You need ongoing support.
  • Forget the scales and “deadlines.”
  • Get into a routine which will support an upward cycle of success.
  • Do something to get regular exercise.
  • Don’t be afraid to say, “No” at social gatherings. Health and feeling good should come before pleasing others.
  • It really DOES work! If anyone is struggling or contemplating, just go for it! Do as much as you can and NEVER give up!



Isabel also appeared on Dr. Fuhrman's Nutritional Wisdom radio show in October of 2007. You can listen to the episode by clicking here.

Updated: October 8th 12:51pm - Added Isabel's "tips" at the bottom of the article.

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Comments (5) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Sally - October 7, 2009 5:24 PM

Isabel's story is so inspiring.It really is motivating to have others online at the member center to give support and encouragement as well as share ideas and recipes!
Thanks to both Emily and Isabel!

The Veg Next Door - October 8, 2009 8:31 AM

Hi Isabel, I just read your story in the Clean Eating magazine. I remember thinking that your food intake was very simple and high in produce. Excellent. You're an inspiration.

Ann - October 9, 2009 6:42 PM

I am a big fan of both Isabel and Emily. I have read your comments over the years and applaud you both. One thing that rings true for me from the above post is how stressful times can be the most fruitful in the realm of lifestyle changes. That has been my experience on a number of occasions since living the nutritarian lifestyle. I endured a hectic move, the loss of a loved one, family illness and even minor daily stress by acknowledging the stress and mentally prescribing extra high nutrition to maintain my focus and in every instance, came out healthier and even more psychically stronger than before the stressful incident. I admire the folks who do this 100% and aim for that myself. Good luck everyone.

Emily Boller - October 10, 2009 10:56 AM

Ann, I absolutely LOVE your perspective to mentally prescribe extra high nutrition during difficult times and additional stress.

Let's face reality, it's not IF we will go through hard times, but WHEN we will go through hard times that we need to be extra kind to ourselves, and pamper our bodies with the best possible nutrition.

Additional stress can have the potential to actually make us stronger and healthier!

Wow! Love it!

Marlon P. - October 24, 2009 6:04 AM

First, I would like to say Congrats to all that have esperienced succes. I have just finished reading "Eat to Live" and was horrified buy the things I was made aware of. I will get the "Eat for Health" next. My one question that I have not heard any mention of is how does this "life change plan" combat excess skin (skin flab) from the rapid weight loss?

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