The Amazing Healing Power of Real Nutrient Rich Food


Dr. Fuhrman and Bruce

Dr. Fuhrman and Bruce


Bruce suffered a massive and catastrophic spinal cord injury while 'boogie boarding' with his son in July 2006. He was attacked by a sea lion or a large shark, possibly a Mako shark or a white shark, going after the sea lion. He nearly drowned and was only saved because his 13-year-old son pulled him from the water. Other people on the beach helped to resuscitate Bruce while he lay motionless on the beach with no pulse and no breath for several minutes. The accident rendered Bruce a quadriplegic

Suffering catastrophic injuries, Bruce was in intensive care for 30 days and then spent over 3 months in Craig Hospital in Denver, Colorado for intensive rehabilitation.

Bruce’s family was devastated. Fortunately, they knew of Dr. Fuhrman. “While at Craig Hospital, my family contacted Dr. Fuhrman and told him I was being fed canned "nutrients" through a tube that went directly into my stomach. They asked Dr. Fuhrman to help devise a way that I could eat real food. Dr. Fuhrman worked closely with the hospital dietitian. The hospital was very cooperative, and in fact was eager to see what effect eating real food would have on my recovery. Dr. Fuhrman prescribed a diet of numerous fruits and vegetables and seeds and berries.”

Luckily, a local Whole Foods Market in Denver, CO, which specializes in superior organic foods, worked with Dr. Fuhrman and the hospital’s dietitians to supply the food prescribed by Dr. Fuhrman and blend the ingredients in a VitaMix blender. A tube was used to insert the food directly into the injured man’s stomach.

“Almost immediately after I began to eat the real food prescribed by Dr. Fuhrman, my infections were completely healed. I started feeling better and was able to breathe without the ventilator. After a few weeks of having the real food injected into my stomach, I learned to swallow again and was able to begin eating whole foods by mouth.”

Today, Bruce continues to follow Dr. Fuhrman’s diet. “I am happy to say that despite my devastating injury and the long road, I have been traveling towards recovery, I have not been sick for a single day and have been able to focus on the difficult task of learning to walk again. I am very grateful to Dr. Fuhrman for taking the time to help me recover and for having such a profound impact on my path to recovery.” says a grateful Bruce.


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Comments (21) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Jo Ann Killiam - November 12, 2009 1:58 PM

Dr. Fuhrman literally saved my husband's life. Several MD's had medicated him numerous times according to the classic gout symptoms he frequently experienced. Thanks to Dr. Fuhrman's thoughtful analysis, he ordered a 3-day stool test to be sent to a lab in NC. Voila! The test revealed a parasite which caused his gout-like symptoms. Dr. Fuhrman then prescribed a medication to kill the parasite. That was 16 years ago and my husband is symptom-free. Thank you, Dr. Fuhrman.

Kate - November 12, 2009 2:02 PM

This is a great story. I would be interested to know what the ingredients were for Bruce's hospital "vegie cocktail".

Cindy - November 12, 2009 2:19 PM

Go, Bruce! Many people would have given up after such a terrible accident. Obviously you have a very loving family and a lot of personal courage. Thanks for inspiring me.

Maryellen - November 12, 2009 2:58 PM

This is so awesome! Wow......I am so happy I have chose this way of life and for my son who introduced Dr. Fuhrman to me!!

Michelle - November 12, 2009 5:11 PM

Yea for you, Bruce! Yea for Dr. Fuhrman! Yea for the power of superior foods!

Blake - November 12, 2009 5:12 PM

That's a great story. Love the power of good food and a strong will to get better. Awesome!

Barbara - November 13, 2009 2:41 AM

This story is just fantastic. Bruce, your courage is inspiring. I wish you strength to carry on with Dr. Fuhrman's programme and hope for excellent results. I have always thought that Dr. Fuhrman is an amazing person. But this is beyond belief. What a terrific start to my day. I send blessings to both of you, and your families.

Joseph Rodriguez - November 13, 2009 5:31 AM

This is excellent! I work in intensive care, where we often use medical 'food' to feed patients. I often think about how they could be better fed nutritionally, and this is a convincing story on how it works!

Bill Ernst - November 13, 2009 1:22 PM

When was this shark attack? I live and dive a lot in Malibu and have never heard of any shark attack here.

Ken Diggs - November 13, 2009 1:36 PM

I am following the foods in Dr Furman's book Eat For Health. Having spent most of my life on the "tipical American diet" and having a heart attack in May, I was introduced to Dr Furman's message through my doctor. It was tough to make the change at first but it is stories like this one that kept me on the right track! God Bless you Bruce. Enjoy and thanks for the story!

Annette Chambers - November 15, 2009 1:22 AM

Thank you for your example Bruce! You are amazing! What an inspiring story to show the health benefits of whole foods for healing and staying well. Your story has influenced my family too! Thank you, again!

Mary Arnquist - November 16, 2009 12:45 PM

I was disturbed several months ago to meet a severely handicapped 8 year old. She was bed bound, tube fed and obese. I wondered how a child could be obese when her intake has been controlled by doctors her entire life. There IS a better way!

Sam Walber - November 30, 2009 3:30 PM

This is true...i said just so true!!! Ummmmm I like this idea and if i can but my mind to it, i can acomplish this.

cynthia valente - February 13, 2010 12:57 PM

first let me start by saying; i am very thrilled for you to have such remarkable recovery, but can't help but wonder, how does this super rich nutrient diet play a role in your ability to walk again? I can understand how it would impact positively on your general health, but a damaged spinal cord is something else entirely! My son became a quadripelegic 2 and a 1/2 years ago (20 years 0ld now) and from what i've been told stem cell is the only potential answer for facilitating the regeneration of the spinal cord at the injury site. this sounds too good to be true, i'm curious to know more SPECIFICS about your SCI. What level was your injury (i"m assuming a high "C" )? what was the surgery that was performed? have you regained bladder and bowel function as well? It's just been extremely difficult dealing with all the issues that come with a SCI (low blood pressur, muscle spasms, nerve pain, bladder, bowel, emotional,etc.). Perhaps you didn't experience all of the same things. The story indicates your walking recovery, what about your hand funtion(fine motor)? Forgive me if I sound somewhat skeptical, but I would REALLY APPRECIATE a response to my comments and questions. Please be brutally honest in your response. P.S. there will be HUMAN clinical trials beginning in March (in China) using umbilical cord blood and the drug lithium which sound extremely promising. they hope to begin the same trials in the U.S.A this summer. as usual, everything is dependent and contolled by either lack of sufficient funding or the polital bull! hope to hear back from you. Loving mother.

Angie Beckner - February 16, 2010 5:23 PM

I am interested in hearing your response to Cynthia. My son has a C6 injury that occured 2.5 years ago.

Deana Ferreri - February 19, 2010 5:26 PM


Bruce is not here to comment on this, so we cannot answer these questions.

According to Dr. Fuhrman, Bruce was helped to a standing position in this picture and even though Bruce can stand he cannot walk unassisted.

Bruce Lurie - March 16, 2010 7:19 AM

Thanks to all of you who have expressed your good wishes and kind sentiments regarding my spinal cord injury and my recovery. Having met and become good friends with many other patients who have suffered from spinal cord injuries, my heart and sympathy goes out to those individuals and their families who have to live with the same devastating condition that I have been through. To answer some of your questions: I have what is known as a C5/C6 spinal cord injury -- meaning the break in my neck occurred at cervical vertebrae numbers 5 and 6. I had a laminectomy performed at the time of the accident, i.e. neck surgery which fused my vertebrae from C4 through C6. My injury is considered "incomplete," meaning my spinal cord was not severed and I am regaining function slowly over time as my spinal cord heals. The process of recovery has been a long, painful and difficult one. The initial process of being completely paralyzed below the neck, recovering from surgery, recovering from numerous infections, not being able to speak or eat, being on a ventilator, losing control of bowel and bladder and being so completely helpless was so devastating that it is impossible to describe in words. It took 4 1/2 months of hospitalization, a lot of excellent medical attention and a lot of effort on my part to get off the ventilator, regain the ability to speak, learn to swallow by mouth again, cure my infections and begin the process of rehabilitation. It took more than a month until I was even able to sit in a wheelchair and nearly 3 months until I was propped up into a standing position in a standing frame. Even then, I was so weak, I nearly passed out from the attempt to stand.

When I got home from the hospital, I immediately had to find caregivers who could be there to help me 24 hours a day, because I could not move around, eat, shower, get dressed or perform other normal functions without assistance. I slowly put together a therapy program. I did not always find the right people at first, but eventually I put together a team of the very best therapists and caregivers, who have helped me enormously to regain function. The process of learning to walk again has been, for me, very long, slow and difficult. Early on, I started standing every day in a standing frame and walking in the therapy pool, where you are more buoyant and better able to move with weak limbs. I do a regular exercise routine everyday on a workout mat to strengthen my muscles. It was only after 2 1/2 years following my injury, after much intensive therapy, that I started walking on dry land. At that point, I had braces to support my lower legs and used a walker for support. I always have walked with at least two people by my side to make sure I do not fall. My walking has progressed to the point where I no longer use my braces, and I sometimes walk without the walker and am able to walk up and down a few steps. The people who assist me are there to make sure I am safe, but when I walk, all of the effort is my own -- no one holds me up -- I take all of my own steps. I sometimes need a little help getting from a sitting position to a standing position, but then I am able to stand on my own. I am learning to regain my sense of balance and coordination. I used to have a lift to transfer me from bed to wheelchair and so forth, but the last few months I have been able to transfer from one place to another using my own effort with whatever assistance may be required from my caregivers and therapists. As time has gone by, I have been able to do these transfers more and more on my own.

My arms and shoulders have been slower to recover than my legs, but I am making considerable progress. I had severe and extremely painful "frozen shoulders," but with the assistance of a wonderful doctor, I began to free up the movement of my shoulders, and with a great deal of therapy I am beginning to regain much more movement of my arms and shoulders and they are getting stronger as well. My hands have been slow to recover, but I can now feed myself, use a computer keyboard, push buttons on a remote control and telephone and manipulate papers and other small objects. I have been working with a hand therapist and trying to strengthen the muscles of my hands, but this part of my recovery will take a long time.

I do not yet have control over my bladder and bowel functions. My bladder function is handled by what is called "intermittent catheterization." A catheter is inserted every 3 hours or so to relieve my bladder. My bowel function is handled by a "bowel program" where I use a suppository and stimulation from an assistant in order to eliminate. I am working to recover these functions, and I'm trying to strengthen the muscles involved with these functions, but I must also hope that I regain enough function neurologically and that is something that must come in time and that I cannot control.

As for the role of good nutrition in my recovery, there is no question that staying healthy by eating right and getting as much exercise as I can has played an enormous role in my recovery. I virtually never get sick, thank goodness, and that enables me to focus on my recovery from my injury. The last thing I need is to get sick on top of fighting to recover from the injury. In that sense, good nutrition contributes to my recovery from the spinal cord injury. But I don't think anyone will claim that good nutrition, in and of itself, will heal a damaged spinal cord. However, good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle leave you strong enough to focus your energy on recovery. And, trust me, recovering from this injury takes a huge amount of work. Good nutrition also contributes to avoiding urinary tract infections and to proper bowel function. Keeping your plumbing in good working order is extremely important in order to be able to focus on your overall neuromuscular recovery.

As for the shark, yes, there are, unfortunately for me, sharks and seals along the coast in Malibu where I was injured, and I had the misfortune to get in the way of these animals. These attacks are not as rare as some people think: a surfer was attacked the same day I was a few miles away. And a fisherman caught a large mako shark, like the shark I thought I saw, a few days after my injury, not too far away from where I was attacked.

I will try to post the menu of items that were blended and put directly into my stomach while I was in the hospital in a separate post.

I am sorry I was not able to respond to each of you sooner. Every day is a huge challenge, and I hope you will forgive me for not being more available and responsive.

My best to each of you.


Joshua Sanderson - October 26, 2010 9:29 AM

Please list the Foods that you were given....

Bruce Lurie - April 6, 2011 3:29 AM

Here, as promised, although belatedly, is the formula that Dr. Fuhrman put together for feeding me real, whole foods through a G-tube during the period that I was hospitalized and unable to take food by mouth.

I hope that if you or anyone you know is hospitalized and unable to swallow, you can convince the hospital to cooperate in giving you or the patient real food in this fashion so that your body or the body of the patient can have the nutrients that it meets to maximize recovery.

For those of you who are following my recovery, I continue to improve. I now walk regularly without a walker and I continue to get stronger. I am using a strength training work out machine to strengthen my upper extremities and am using an electrical stimulation device to strengthen and improve the use of my hands and upper musculature. I have begun to regain bowel function and I am improving my bladder function as well. This is a long road that I am traveling, but I continue to get better – and that is all that each of us can do. I continue to follow Dr. Fuhrman's advice regarding my diet, and I continue to remain healthy in all other respects and able to focus on rehabilitation from my spinal cord injury.

Dr. Fuhrman's Recommendations for G-tube Feeding:

Mix 400ml fresh veggie/fruit juice with a juicer made from carrot, apple, orange, melon, mango, lettuce, kale. spinach, parsley. The juice is about 3/8 carrot, 3/8 fruit and X greens. This juice is then blended in the VitaMix with the below amounts of food to make a very smooth but thickened liquid. This food slurry can be fed through tube and then flushed with water.

Nuts/Seeds Mix (1 oz) about 180 calorie
sunflower seeds
sesame seeds
pignolias (pine nuts)
avocado (plus heaping tablespoon avocado)

Fruit Mix (two cups:) (about 120 calorie)
gogi berry.•(one tablespoon)

Green vegetables (pick two)
(lightly steamed and then 3 cups chopped) (about 100 calories)
Brussels Sprouts
Bok Choy
DHA Purity as a supptement•.25ml daily (or flaxseed-ground)

Deana Ferreri, Ph.D. - April 6, 2011 2:09 PM

Thank you for posting, Bruce! Glad to hear that you are continuing to heal.

Donna - February 26, 2012 6:42 PM

My husband is being fed via- G-tube because of radiation to the neck. He is unable to swallow. Currently, we blend oats, blueberries, strawberries, almond milk, water, flax seed oil, and mass peak protein powder in our vita mix blender. This is a 64 oz serving given 2x daily. He is a kidney transplant recipient, and he's diabetic, so we need to watch his potassium intake too much is bad for him. I really want to increase more plant based nutrition and include steamed/raw veggies, grains, and healthy seeds. Do you have any suggestions as what else we can blend for him for nutrition purposes and to increase healing? He only takes medication for reflux currently. Reflux is his biggest complaint, along with his diabetes running dangerously low in the wee hours of the night/morning. His cholesterol both good and bad is outstanding. We would prefer no animal protein however.

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