It's Been Five Years

In the summer of 2008, I made the firm decision to follow the nutritarian diet-style. At that time I was 47-years-old and suffered from severe food addiction, obesity, prediabetes, heart disease, shortness of breath, hypertension, chronic fatigue, bloating, brain fog, low back pain, cracked heels, boils, and general malaise all over my body. I couldn’t climb a flight of stairs without needing to stop a lot to catch my breath, and the extra weight caused me to become increasingly immobile with each passing birthday.  In the spring of 2008 my blood pressure was 154/97, and I knew that I was sitting on a ticking bomb; not a matter of “if” I’d have a heart attack or stroke, but “when”. And that was my wake-up call to change five years ago.  


Within a year’s time I lost 100 lbs. and eradicated all the aforementioned diseases from my life. However, most importantly, the overwhelming cravings for high-fat, salty, processed junk foods and sweets, that consumed my every waking moment for over twenty years, gradually subsided, and then completely went away for the first time in my adult life. 

My success with getting health back, which obviously included weight loss, was a direct result of understanding the science and logic behind Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritional recommendations. My perspective changed from deprivation dieting (starving myself to obesity) to eating for the best health that’s possible. [To view my complete story, including changing images, click on my author name under the title at the top of this post.]

Then four years ago I began interviewing successful Nutritarians for Disease Proof, and I’ve gleaned valuable nuggets of information from many individuals who are real-life success stories. Additionally, I’ve also interacted with those who’ve struggled with the nutritarian diet-style, and those insights have also contributed to my understanding of the keys to great health and long term success. It is from all of these combined experiences and observations that I’ve compiled a brief summary below of success tips of those who’ve lost weight, and have kept it off, by following Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritarian approach.





Success is a direct result of thoroughly studying, understanding, and assimilating the science behind Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritional recommendations; and then making the firm decision to tenaciously act upon, and hold fast to earning health back, no matter what. It is having both feet in at all times; not “trying” to eat high-nutrient foods during the week and indulging on the weekends, or eating for health only when it’s convenient, or when one feels like it. 



The wagon mentality and deprivation dieting go hand-in-hand. “I fell off the wagon,” basically translates into, “I blew it so I might as well eat anything I want now.” It invites cheating and bingeing. The nutritarian eating-style is not a diet to go on and off on a whim. Instead, it's an ongoing endeavor of flooding the body's cells with a comprehensive array of nutrients to fight disease and feel great for the rest of one's life.  A well-nourished body will no longer crave toxic junk foods or be driven to overeat uncontrollably. Although a slip up may happen from time to time, the key to success is getting back up as quickly as possible and not dwelling on the mistake.   



There is no such thing as eating in moderation when it comes to toxic foods’ addictive power. Taking just one bite of an addictive food can be just as deceptive and dangerous as taking just one smoke for a former nicotine addict. It’s much easier to keep addictive cravings extinguished than to be continually fighting obsessive compulsions, because it only takes a tiny spark to ignite them to full power again.   



Everyone has to cross over the threshold of withdrawal from toxic foods, and for most, it is no fun. Detoxification (or toxic hunger) can be unpleasant. Some of the symptoms can include: headaches, nauseousness, weakness, fatigue, shakiness, irritability, and generally feeling blahh; just to name a few. It can be very uncomfortable for some and last up to several days, but once the symptoms have resolved, and if toxic foods are no longer consumed, the symptoms don’t return. 



Unlike junk food dieting, there will be no highly-processed, frozen diet entrees and desserts waiting for you in the frozen department of the supermarket. You are surrounded and bombarded by a food addicted culture that pushes disease-causing indulgences 24/7. There is no escaping the insanity. Therefore, you must plan ahead and always have food prepared in advance. Make sure to keep your refrigerator well stocked at all times with freshly cleaned vegetables, fruits, and cooked beans and soups for quick meals. Always cook in big batches so that you can save portions for later. Never wait until the refrigerator is empty to plan and prepare more food. Once a routine of food preparation is established, it will become second-nature, but in the beginning this habit has to be a top priority to develop. Establishing this habit makes the nutriatrian diet-style simple and cost effective to incorporate into one’s busy life.



Hard times happen.  When life is turned upside-down, it will take everything within to muster up the strength to keep going in the direction of health. But even if some days are like wading through quick sand, and it’s a challenge to continue on, stay committed to making wise food choices as best as one can possibly manage. It may be only baby steps, but keep moving forward. There is never a valid excuse to throw in the towel and quit, especially during a season of crisis or great loss when one’s body needs optimal nutrition the most to survive the extra demands put on it. The sun will shine again and happiness will return as one continues to stay the course. As Dr. Fuhrman states, “It will take strength. It will take effort. But the pleasures and rewards that you’ll get from a healthy life will be priceless.”



Those who succeed long term view the opportunity to earn health back as a privilege, and they do whatever it takes to live in the best health that’s possible. This perspective enables a person to get past toxic cravings to thoroughly enjoy great tasting foods in their natural state.  Additionally, this gives a tremendous amount of pleasure and satisfaction with the nutritarian eating-style which produces the ongoing and long term success!


Earning health back is a lifetime endeavor - blessings of excellent and ongoing health to all!



image credit by Esther Boller

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Comments (24) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Teamsnewman - October 14, 2013 1:44 PM

LOVE IT!! I agreed with and have experienced and concluded all the points made. You speak truth on all accounts!

John - October 14, 2013 3:42 PM

Thank you!

Sharon - October 14, 2013 4:30 PM

One ought to print this story out for further support. It's a great story, complete with pics. So happy the author can finish her life in good health and nutrition!

Kathleen Holland - October 14, 2013 4:50 PM

You are a walking testimonial for the nutritarian lifestyle! Totally agree with everything you say and especially about being prepared at all times. That is key to staying on track. I loved meeting you at the June getaway and you are my role model! I can't imagine eating any other way now that I have my life back.

Kathleen in AZ

Michael Crosby - October 14, 2013 5:09 PM

Emily, I enjoy reading your 5 year report.

It's now become quite common to read, "I've lost 100 pounds, I've lost 200 pounds, etc.". What fascinates me is those who've not only had tremendous success like you, but 5-10+ years are still adhering to nutritarian lifestyle and hearing their stories.

Desert Girl - October 14, 2013 5:39 PM

Emily...we love you. The truth has been spoken. Amen.

Holly Levine - October 14, 2013 7:12 PM

Thank you for your story again Emily. I need to recommit to the Nutritarian eating after having a few bad months. Feel so much better when my food is clean!

SuzBee - October 14, 2013 7:27 PM

Oprah calls them "aha moments" As a former smoker this totally struck a chord with me.... I never put it together with food though.

There is no such thing as eating in moderation when it comes to toxic foods’ addictive power. Taking just one bite of an addictive food can be just as deceptive and dangerous as taking just one smoke for a former nicotine addict.

Thank you!

Sylvia - October 14, 2013 11:25 PM

Your testimonials keep me motivated. I have to force myself to do the treadmill & stationery bike adding one-lb weights. I saw you at my daughter's church & was amazed at how lovely you look & are. I'm gluten-sensitive and dairy intolerant which has been a challenge so I thank you & my daughter for keeping me on track.

Toni - October 15, 2013 6:24 AM

Thank you Emily!!!

Neil Butterfield - October 15, 2013 9:26 AM

Congratulations Emily. It takes courage to embrace permanent change like you have. The results are certainly worth it though.

james auten - October 15, 2013 11:18 AM

Emily,Thanks for all you've done.My wife & I are working on our first year we started in Jan.We have done great so far,both lost 50 plus lbs.Your stories on internet have helped us a great deal.Hope to met you some day.Jim & JoAnn

Rachel - October 15, 2013 4:04 PM

Wow!!! What an incredible transformation you look absolutely fantastic!!

Edna - October 15, 2013 5:36 PM

Wow, Emily! You look like the daughter of your 2008' self!!!
Inspirational indeed.

Ann - October 15, 2013 5:46 PM

Many congratulations! And thank you for these tips...they are so true. Especially the one about the addictive nature of toxic foods - I am amazed how much easier it is for me to stick to a nutritarian plan since I went vegan and just gave up dairy, eggs and desserts with dairy and eggs in them - I previously tried to just eat them only on the weekends, but you are right - that's like trying to quit smoking and allowing yourself cigarettes every weekend - your body and mind will be constantly exposed to and then battling the addiction. It is so much easier just to bite the bullet and go whole hog nutritarian/vegan (excuse the pun, lol).

Beverly - October 16, 2013 1:10 AM

To see the difference is so inspiring. I got halfway there and got stuck. A lot better than I was, but not as good as I could be.

You are living proof that taking this seriously and really committing to it WORKS!

Thank you - I'm glad I saw this.

E2L=freedom - October 16, 2013 8:25 AM

Many packaged foods are designed to give a brief high with a desire to consume more for another short high. The mixture of sugar, fat & salt (& MSG) are triggering our brains to desire more. Food manufacturers want to (within legal limits) make their product as addictive as cocaine. They want to sell a product to make $$$. That is exactly what a dealer wants too. Think of one taste of some packaged food is like one small snort of cocaine. Don't fall for it. Stay strong, stand tall, and keep walking away from that stuff. Don't fall for it. Break your addiction. It will get easier. It will be all worth it on the other end.

Mike Rubino - October 18, 2013 9:31 AM

Great job Emily !! Words of wisdom to remember !

Jessica Vergara - October 19, 2013 3:04 AM

Wow, what an amazing change in you. If I haven't read your story by simply looking at the two pictures, I couldn't have believed that it was from the same person! Thank you for sharing your inspiring story with the world.

April - October 23, 2013 4:05 PM

I love this article. Thank you for your insights, Emily. The only thing I wish were different- the picture of the current you pushing away the old you... I wish you were beckoning to her instead, or thanking her. After all, she is the one who decided to make the changes that you are benefiting from.

April - October 23, 2013 4:08 PM

I've found it's easier for me to abstain from all sugar, refined grains and oil than to have a little bit, but I have found moderation that works for me: nutritarian desserts!

Jodi - October 24, 2013 4:58 AM

Excellent, as always! Emily, you express it so well and inspire so many.

Margaret Jones - October 26, 2013 9:59 PM

Thanks, Emily! Good health is the real beauty secret. You are absolutely gorgeous!

Bonnie McFarlane - November 1, 2013 11:27 AM

I go back to this post again and again. I am finding the courage and strength to start and eat 90%-10% ETL, and do it for life. I have done it enough to know that there is no comparison of how good I feel when I eat this way. I LOVED this post. Thank you for your inspiration, Emily Boller!

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