Interview with a Nutritarian: Natalie

It’s been a privilege to interview such a variety of nutritarians of all ages, from all walks of life; and especially fun to meet young adults who have embraced the healthy eating style. Natalie is a junior in college and has learned the art of eating high nutrient foods while living in a dorm on campus - it can be done! Welcome to Disease Proof, Natalie.

    

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

I ate like a typical “healthy” college student. While I had vegetables and salad every day, I also had my fair share of dairy, meat, and occasional desserts. I usually had three servings of dairy a day, cereal with lots of milk in the morning, yogurt with lunch, and a glass of milk with dinner. After every exam my friends and I would eat ice-cream, cookies, or some other treat to celebrate. Although my friends considered me a healthy eater in general, I was far from healthy. I often got really tired in the afternoons around “nap-time” and would need something to pick me up and keep me going until dinner. I also had exercise induced asthma that I controlled by inhalers, and I had eczema on my upper arms.

 

How did you find out about Eat to Live?

I initially read The China Study and it fascinated me. A friend gave me a CD copy Eat for Health, narrated by Dr. Fuhrman, and my mom and I listened to it while driving over spring break. We were so absorbed in it that we didn’t want to get out of the car.

 

How do you feel now?

I feel fantastic! I have a ton of energy and no longer get sleepy in the afternoons. I also don’t need inhalers any more, and my running times have dropped dramatically. I am on the Endurance Racing Team at school and last spring we ran a relay race across New Hampshire, and I also placed 3rd overall in a ½ marathon in the fall. The eczema on my upper arms is improving as well. 

 

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

 

Go all the way. If you try to limit yourself to one non-nutritarian treat a week or so it won’t work. Certain foods are addictive and once you have them you want more and more. Simply set boundaries for yourself and stick to them. Also, if others know you stick to your boundaries they won’t push you as much to eat unhealthy foods.

 

 What is it like being a nutritarian in college?

It’s hard but far from impossible. My dining hall has a good variety of beans and vegetables in their salad bar. Most of the time I can also get a side of steamed vegetables or a sweet potato. The more challenging aspect is trying to get a variety of foods. Having the same vegetables available day after day can get tiring, and I always look forward to going home where I can cook delicious meals. On the weekends when there are not as many options available in the dining hall I often bike to the grocery store. I get food for the weekend as well as nuts and seeds for the week. This year I invested in an electric rice cooker that I can use in my own room and I use it every morning to make breakfast. I also often use it to steam vegetables. Next year I am hoping to be out of the dorms and live in an apartment with my friends so it will be much easier. I’m looking forward to sharing healthy recipes and meals with my friends!

While none of my friends are fully nutritarians, they support and respect my decision to be one. I’ve also been able to encourage many of them to eat healthier, and they often come to me for healthy recipe ideas. They’ve dramatically increased their fruit and vegetable consumption and don’t eat as much dairy. I was talking about the benefits of kale once, and a friend tried it the next day and said it was one of her new favorite foods. On my birthday my friends surprised me with a delicious, nutritarian, zucchini muffin!

 

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

 

Nutritarian eating has provided me with the nutrients for my body to optimally function as it was created!

 

Congratulations Natalie on making wise food choices early in life! We applaud your commitment to health - you are truly a role model to many!

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Comments (17) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
toshio - March 10, 2011 7:53 AM

Great article and change in your diet. After reading China Study I also became a "seafood vegetarian" Eating a lot of meats and dairy is unnatural to the pyramid in the dietary chains.

Bill - March 10, 2011 10:04 AM

Awesome story and great for you eating right in a not- so-healthy environment like a dorm. You are a success story for every college student. I know of several college students who are doing the same thing and it's working. Congrats!!!

Dorothy - March 10, 2011 10:22 AM

Congratulations on starting at your age and improving your health. I think this country is waking up to the concept of plant based diets despite the awful eating that still occurs. It is at least on the radar now.

Deana Ferreri, Ph.D. - March 10, 2011 10:42 AM

Amazing photo Natalie! College for many young people is a really destructive time health-wise, so it's great to see how dedicated you are and that you're doing so well!

Annette Chambers - March 10, 2011 11:29 AM

Hey, I am so impressed with your commitment! I wish I were back in college so I could really eat healthy. Keep being an example for all of us! It just goes to show you that being a nutritarian is absolutely possible no matter where you are!

Gretchen - March 10, 2011 12:05 PM

How great to hear a posetive story about nutrition while living in the dorms!

Katie - March 10, 2011 10:25 PM

What an inspiring interview! I really wish I would have known about Dr. Fuhrman in college. It's wonderful that you are eating this way in college even though it is challenging. Thanks for sharing your story!

Rhonda Manganielo - March 10, 2011 11:43 PM

I would love to get Dr. Furmans book or info about this diet or way of eating healthy. I take alot of medications and all my dr's tell me I can't lose weight because of my meds. I was always thin. Now I've gained 80 lbs and my health is not good. I exercise every day and do not over eat. and I'm tired all the time. Could this way of eating help me? and where can I get the info?

Emily Boller - March 11, 2011 9:26 AM

Rhonda,

Dr. Fuhrman's nutritional recommendations have helped literally thousands lose weight and get health restored. By eating high-nutrient, plant based foods, it's easy to lose at least 20 lbs in the first six weeks and then continue to lose to one's ideal weight. Go to www.drfuhrman.com for more information about his books that will radically change your life; you'll most definitely get your health and energy back!

In the search box on the home page of Disease Proof, type in "Interview with a nutritarian: Sue" (and then Dorothy, Isabel, Theresa, Barb, Laurie, Jessica, Candee, Anthony, Bill, Gary, Ronnie, Mike, and Scott; just to name a few.) Their stories will inspire you and they also share their "success tips," that are always so helpful to many.

If you click on my name at the top of this comment, there's a link to my journey of transformation; including medical documentation and changing images. (I lost 100 lbs.)

Bottom line, this way of eating will most certainly help you!

All the best to you and keep us posted on your progress.

Fibromyalgia and Faith - March 11, 2011 5:00 PM

Have you guys heard of anyone beating fibromyalgia with this diet? If it is connected with chinese medicine, I should probably give this a try because acupuncture has really helped me. Sorry that I don't know a lot about this; I just stumbled upon this blog today.

Emily Boller - March 11, 2011 8:18 PM

Yes, fibromyalgia can disappear with a high nutrient, plant based diet. Learn more on the following section of Dr. Fuhrman's web site: http://drfuhrman.com/disease/Other.aspx

MIke Rubino - March 12, 2011 7:47 PM

Great work Natalie ! Keep it up and your chances of a healthy disease free life will skyrocket !

Bonnie George - March 12, 2011 8:36 PM

I'd love to know what breakfast Natalie makes in her rice cooker in the dorm?

CACC - March 13, 2011 7:51 PM

Great story! Natalie, you are to be commended for having the courage to do this at such a young age.

Will - March 13, 2011 11:55 PM

i actually found it easy to be healthy at college. Contrary to most people's "freshman 15" I actually lost weight my first year of college. My school's cafeteria had a full salad bar as well as vegetarian and vegan entree options. Sure, the vegan stuff usually wasn't strictly "nutritarian" but it was a lot better than eating pizza or burgers for every meal.

In addition there was a great fitness center along with numerous intramural sports and various classes like dance, martial arts, swimming, and so forth. By the time I graduated I was not only eating a healthy diet but I was also pretty buff.

In contrast, when I'm at home my family is always trying to stuff me full of crap and they live in a rural-suburban area where you can't even walk around the block for exercise without some idiot in a truck trying to run you over.

Someone should write a book or blog about how to use your college's resources to get fit and healthy.

Emily Boller - March 14, 2011 2:54 PM

Will,

It sounds like you have a book idea that would be a helpful benefit to many college students - go for it!

Natalie Obermeyer - March 21, 2011 10:06 AM

Bonnie,

I will usually make brown rice, quinoa or oatmeal with cinnamon and then add lots of fruit, ground flaxseed, and some soymilk.

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