Your Hunger Can Help Keep You Healthy

A healthful diet can set you free from your food addictions and allow you to lose your toxic hunger. The food cravings will end and you will be able to stop overeating. Then, you will be back in contact with true hunger. When you achieve that, you will be able to accurately sense the calories you need to maintain your health and lean body.

I want to reiterate that as you adopt a high-nutrient eating-style by eating lots of healthy foods, it is common to go through an adjustment period in which you experience fatigue, weakness, lightheadedness, headaches, gas, and other mild symptoms. This generally lasts less than a week. Don’t panic or buy into the myth that to get relief you need more heavy or stimulating foods, such as high-protein foods, sweets, or coffee.

The feelings associated with these symptoms are not how true hunger feels. It is our unhealthy tendency to eat without experiencing true hunger that has caused us to become overweight in the first place. To have become overweight, a person’s food cravings, recreational eating, and other addictive drives that induce eating had to come into play. Poor nutrition causes these cravings, and nutritional excellence helps normalize or remove them. You will no longer need to overeat when you eat healthfully.

True hunger is not felt in the stomach or the head. When you eat healthfully and don’t overeat, you eventually are able to sense true hunger and accurately assess your caloric needs. Once your body attains a certain level of better health, you will begin to feel the difference between true hunger and just eating due to desire, boredom, stress, or withdrawal symptoms. While the best way to understand true hunger is to experience it for yourself. It has three primary characteristics:

  1. A sensation in your throat.
  2. Increased salivation.
  3. A dramatically-heightened taste sensation.

Not only will being in touch with true hunger help you reach your ideal weight, but you will feel well whether you eat or whether you delay eating or skip a meal.

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Organic Fruits Vegetables - Most Pesticides, Least Pesticides

The concern implicit in this question is about pesticides, and it is a real one. The Environmental Protection Agency has reported that the majority of pesticides now in use are probable or possible causes of cancer. Studies of farm workers who work with pesticides suggest a link between pesticide use and brain cancer, Parkinson’s disease, multiple myeloma, leukemia, lymphoma, and cancers of the stomach and prostate.1 However, does the low level of pesticides remaining on our food present much of a risk?

Some scientists argue that the extremely low level of pesticide residue remaining on produce is insignificant and that there are naturally occurring toxins in all natural foods that are more significant. The large amount of studies performed on the typical pesticide-treated produce have demonstrated that consumption of produce, whether organic or not, is related to lower rates of cancer and increased disease protection. In short, it is better to eat fruits and vegetables grown and harvested using pesticides than not to eat them at all. The health benefits of eating phytochemically-rich produce greatly outweigh any risks pesticide residues might pose. That said, it should be recognized that fruits and vegetables are not all subject to the same pesticide exposure. The below chart shows the pesticide breakdown by food, but it is alphabetized and not in order of pesticide content. Spinach, strawberries and celery have the most pesticide residue and are the most important foods to consume organically grown.


If it is available, organic food is certainly your best bet to limit exposure to toxic chemicals. If you can eat only organic versions of the top 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables, you can reduce your pesticide exposure by about 90 percent. In addition, organic foods usually have more nutrients than their conventional counterparts.2 They also taste better and are generally better for farmers and the environment.

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Reprogram the Way You Eat

As a society, we have programmed ourselves to eat in a way that is unnatural and harmful. We mistakenly prefer the taste of harmful foods. The most natural and healthy way of eating now seems strange, and, as a result, it eludes us. The benefits of eating natural foods, as opposed to processed foods, seem obvious, yet they are lost to many. Here are a few of the common excuses that I hear from patients:


  • “It takes too much effort and time to prepare fresh food.”
  • “I don’t like the taste of fruits and vegetables, so why should I even try?”
  • “People will think I am strange if I eat this way.”

Others who may not have voiced these objections were still thinking these or other negative thoughts. It is the substance of their inner dialogue. This kind of talk is not useful. Its purpose is to prevent you from taking action. It is a type of learned helplessness: you didn’t believe you could succeed in the first place. This gives you the rationale for not trying. Right now, resolve to fight those thoughts when they enter your head. Excuses or reasons are not based on facts. They are an opinion formed before adequate knowledge is achieved, and, as you now know, knowledge is the cornerstone to success. Your internal programming and fixed beliefs can have you fail before you even start. A key concept is that our internal programming operates outside of our conscious awareness, yet it influences our thoughts and action.

Psychologists tell us that both these preconceived notions and the inner dialogue that resists change to a preexisting belief are a type of “automatic thought.” An automatic thought is an unconscious process that determines how we interpret the events of our lives. In many people, these thoughts are negative, pessimistic, and completely illogical. They persist because they operate beyond awareness and because they go completely unquestioned and unchallenged. Our automatic thoughts are the result of our core beliefs, and our core beliefs establish our perceived boundaries of what we can and cannot do.

The key to reprogramming yourself is to select an activity that elicits the desired objective, and then perform this activity habitually. As you continue to perform this activity, your skill will improve, your brain will reprogram to the preferred wiring, and your desired outcome will manifest itself. Your brain is not only flexible and adaptable, but it also will restructure itself to accommodate whatever lifestyle you wish to create. This book and the exercises it contains are designed to cultivate a skill and transform some aspect of your brain and your life. The cumulative result of all of these skills is superior health and your ideal weight. Your brain is ready and willing to make the changes

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The Powerful Snare of Compromise

An “I blew it” moment is not the end of the world.  It's a miniscule blimp on the radar screen of a long journey called health; humbly reminding us that we are living, breathing, human-beings.  

It all starts with getting little nicks and dents in the neat picket fence around us called "boundaries."  The purpose of a boundary is to keep us safe.  The nutritional wisdom and guidelines in Dr. Fuhrman’s books, newsletters, teleconferences, etc., if followed, keep us safe.

Even though the boundary fence may seem restrictive at times, especially in the beginning of the journey when still heavily addicted to toxic foods, and continually surrounded by the deceptive lures of this culture, we know there’s safety, freedom, optimal health, and many pleasurable perks within the picket fence.  (Like the opportunity to give away plus size clothing or go jogging with the kids.)

We don't just wake up one day and "blow it" big time with careless eating. 

An "I blew it" moment starts with a seemingly insignificant, almost unnoticeable compromise.

We may close our eyes and overlook tiny compromises for a few days, or perhaps they have been allowed to simmer for a few weeks; however long, we have planted the seeds of compromise, and they have been sprouting growth nonetheless.

"Oh," we say, "What's the harm in a little compromise?  Don't be so scrupulous." 

That, my friend, is the deception. 

If we sow a seemingly insignificant compromise, over time, it will grow into a bigger, seemingly insignificant compromise.  Over time again, it will grow bigger and bigger, until one day, the taste buds are aroused into full swing, the stomach is stretched to capacity, and we wake up totally engulfed in the psychological and physiological power of toxic food addiction.

Slip ups are those impulsive moments, well, we just slip up.  If we recognize, acknowledge, and quickly continue on we’ll be totally fine even with those little imperfections here and there along the way.

Compromises, on the other hand, are those intentional choices to step outside the boundary fence; denying the danger of the power of psychological and physiological addiction.
Seeds of compromise sown into the soil of our lives will eventually produce a harvest of addiction.  Guaranteed.

Think on it.

Important Key Factors Causing Osteoporosis

Diets too high in animal protein and low in vegetable protein: Meat and other high protein foods leave an acid residue in the blood that leads to bone dissolution. To neutralize this acid load, the body calls on its stores of calcium to provide basic calcium salts. Studies show that people with a high animal protein intake can develop a negative calcium balance, regardless of how much calcium is consumed. An important study demonstrated an increased bone loss and risk of hip fracture in those with a higher ratio of animal protein to vegetable protein. The researchers concluded that an increase in vegetable protein and a decrease in animal protein may decrease the risk of hip fractures in the elderly.1 The recommendations are clear: green vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds should be the major source of protein. It is important to note that later in life (after age 70), it is crucial to pay more attention to protein intake. At that point, both too much protein and too little protein are unfavorable to bone mass.2

High consumption of salt and/or caffeine: The consumption of large amounts of sodium and caffeine leads to unwanted excretion of calcium.3 Exactly how this works is not completely understood, but both salt and caffeine increase the rate at which blood is filtered through the kidney. The increased filtering pressure and flow compromise the kidney’s ability to return calcium supplies to the bloodstream.

Nicotine can interfere with hormonal messages to the kidneys, inhibiting calcium re-absorption. The combination of smoking and drinking coffee or soft drinks, together with the dietary factors mentioned, makes the prevalence of osteoporosis in this country quite understandable. Dietary, health, and lifestyle components are working together to cause this drain of calcium.

Vitamin D Deficiency: Recent research studies have corroborated the fact that most Americans are Vitamin D deficient. This deficiency occurred even among a majority of study subjects who were already taking a multivitamin with the standard 400 IUs of Vitamin D. More and more health authorities are recommending that an additional 400 to 800 IUs of Vitamin D be taken over and above the 400 typically present in a multiple vitamin.

Vitamin supplements: In high doses, Vitamin A (retinol) is associated with birth defects, and recent research suggests the dose that causes risk is much lower than previously thought. If Vitamin A is toxic to a person who is pregnant and potentially harmful to the developing baby, it can’t be good for us the rest of the time. Research has shown it is linked to calcium loss in the urine and osteoporosis. For example, an important study found that subjects with a Vitamin A intake in the range of 1.5 mg had double the hip fracture rate of those with an intake in the range of .5 mg. For every 1 mg increase in Vitamin A consumption, hip fracture rates increased by 68 percent.4 Most multivitamins contain about 5000 IUs of Vitamin A, which is equal to 1.5 mg. This means if you conform to the current recommendations, which have become outdated, and get your Vitamin A from supplements, you could be weakening your bones. Instead, the body can naturally self-fabricate Vitamin A by consuming beta-carotene and other carotenoids in real food. Vegetables such as carrots contain beta carotene, not Vitamin A, and the beta-carotene from vegetables does not lead to excessive Vitamin A formation or cause calcium loss.

Poor physical fitness: Our bones are continually dissolving old bone tissue and rebuilding new bone. Interestingly, our bone strength is directly proportional to our muscle strength. Bones, like muscles, respond to stress by becoming bigger and stronger, and, like muscles, bones weaken and literally shrink if not used. It is essential to exercise, and, in particular, to exercise the back. Studies have found that a back-strengthening exercise program can provide significant, long lasting protection against spinal fractures in women at risk for osteoporosis.5


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Pitch the wagon mentality

For what its worth, pitch the "on-the-wagon-off-the-wagon" mentality. That mindset will only set you up for failure, because when you "blow it" the brain automatically says, "okay, since I'm *off the wagon* anyway, I might as throw in the towel for the rest of the day and blow it big time." All or nothing has got to go!

To be honest, the wagon mentality is a most welcome excuse for major binge eating. The sad part is the binge can last for a day, two days, two weeks, three months or even years before the mind gets psyched up again to "get back on the wagon."

Don't involve any wagons! They are for ponies and children and hayrides, but not for getting your health back and staying healthy!

At the slightest slip up, recognize it, yet don't make a big deal out of it.

So you blew it. Big deal. It only proves you are a human being. Keep moving forward immediately in your journey to health. Don't give blowing it another thought. Delete it from your cranium. It's no big deal in your overall journey to optimal health.

You are making progressive changes whether you can see them or not. Forget the scales for this week. Forget the mirror. Is your waist a bit smaller? Is it easier to get out of a chair? Is it less tiring to climb a flight of stairs? Is it easier to roll over in bed at night?

Focus on the positive. Minimize the negative.

You'll get there. I know you will!

Cheering for you today! You have many cheering for you today!

Processed Foods and Trans-Fats are Dangerous to Body Chemistry

Trans fats are manmade fats that are used in processed foods. They are modified vegetable-derived fats that may be even worse than animal-derived saturated fats. They are called trans fat or hydrogenated oils, and they are laboratory-designed to have a similar chemical structure as saturated fat. They are solid at room temperature and have adverse health consequences. Like saturated fats, they promote heart disease and cancer.

When you are reading food labels and you see the words “partially hydrogenated” on the box, it is another way of saying trans fat, so avoid it. If you avoid processed food, it is easy to avoid trans fat. These harmful fats are found in crackers, cookies, cakes, frozen foods, and snacks. Most enticing desserts and fried foods contain trans fat, even if they contain no animal products and no cholesterol. Even natural, microwavable popcorn contains trans fats.

In addition to trans fats, the baking of grains and potatoes performed on many processed foods causes browning of the food and the formation of a hard crust, which is rich in acrylamides. In the last five years there has been worldwide alarm in the scientific community after researchers have found that many of the foods we eat contain these cancer-causing compounds. Acrylamides form in foods that are browned by being fried, baked, roasted, grilled, or barbequed, but not in those that are steamed, boiled or sautéed in water. Water-based cooking prevents the browning or burning that forms these harmful compounds. Frying and overcooking lead to the highest levels of acrylamides, the highest of which are found in fried chips, such as potato chips, French fries, and sugar-coated breakfast cereals.

Even though these chemicals have been shown to be potent carcinogens in animal models, so many acrylamides are consumed in the modern world that good research documenting the extent of the cancer risk in humans does not yet exist. This topic is still being actively investigated in many different countries, but the risk is difficult to estimate because baked, browned, and fried foods are so ubiquitous in Western diets.

European governments permit far less acrylamides in packaged foods than the U.S. and, they have been advising food manufacturers to reduce them. Cereals and processed foods manufactured in the United States are not under such restraints and have much higher acrlyamide levels. Since the same browned and hard-baked products are rich sources of the Advanced Glycation End Products previously discussed, there are plenty of reasons to minimize or avoid these foods in your diet.

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The Mediterranean Diet is Not as Healthy as You Think

The Mediterranean diet describes a cuisine common to countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. It is characterized by regular consumption of fruits, vegetables, cereals, legumes, and nuts. Red meat is rarely consumed, chicken and fish appear in small amounts, some yogurt and cheese is used, and red wine is very common. One of the most defining elements is the use of pasta and olive oil. Where most of the fat in the American diet comes from cheese, butter, meat, and dangerous trans fats, the principal fat source there is olive oil.

Compared to the American population, those eating this way in the Mediterranean region exhibit a lower risk of heart disease and common cancers. Heart attack rates are 25 percent lower, and the rate of obesity is about half of America’s. The climate and fertile soil allow for many high nutrient plants to grow, which makes most of the dishes rich in phytochemicals. That, in turn, accounts for the diet’s protective effects. Nuts, particularly walnuts, are commonly used in the diet and they are a good source of omega-3 fats and other heart protective nutrients. The use of fish instead of meat also decreases saturated fat consumption and increases these beneficial fats. For these reasons, it is understandable why the Mediterranean diet is considered healthier than the SAD, but it is not without drawbacks. Studying its beneficial health outcomes—along with those of diets in other areas of the world such as Japan, rural China, Fiji, and Tibet— allows us to use the Mediterranean diet’s culinary principals to make a diet deliciously varied and even more disease protective, while avoiding its problems.

One of the diet’s main weak points is the use of pasta. The pasta intake should not be mimicked. There is very little difference between white bread and white pasta, and refined, white flour consumption has been linked to diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and various cancers. Whole grains are immensely superior to refined white flour, but they still should not be consumed as a major source of calories. The benefit of the Mediterranean style of eating is the large consumption of fruits and vegetables, not pasta.

The heavy use of olive oil is also problematic because all oil has 120 calories per tablespoon, and those calories can add up fast. It is better to use olive oil than butter or margarine, but olive oil can easily sabotage your success. Ounce for ounce, it is one of the most fattening, calorie-dense foods on the planet. Vegetables prepared in olive oil soak up more oil than you would think, which transforms them into high-calorie dishes. Heavy oil use will add fat to our waistlines, heightening the risk of disease and making losing weight more difficult.

To continue to consume foods prepared in oil and maintain a healthful, slender figure, dieters must carefully count calories from oil and eat small portions of it. Remember, oil does not contain the nutrients, fiber, and phytochemicals that were in the original seed or fruit. Compared to the calories it supplies, it contains few nutrients except a little Vitamin E and a negligible amount of phytochemicals. Olive oil is not a health food. The Mediterranean people of past years ate lots of olive oil, but they also worked hard in the fields, walking about nine miles a day, often guiding a heavy plow. Today, people in the Mediterranean countries are overweight, just like us. They still eat lots of olive oil, but their consumption of fruits, vegetables, and beans is down. Meat and cheese consumption has risen, and the physical activity level has plummeted. That way of living is not worth mimicking. The fast food and food technology industries have permeated most of the modern world. These people now follow a diet much like our own, and the rates of heart disease and obesity are skyrocketing in these countries.

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Eat Foods That Fill You Up - Volume, Volume, Volume!

Our hunger drive craves volume. A key skill that you are developing for your health is the ability to eat large volumes of raw and cooked, high-nutrient, low-calorie foods every single day. This means eating lots of vegetables.

When you are actively trying to lose weight, you should strive to satisfy your volume requirements first, before addressing the other dimensions of hunger. This may feel strange at first because you may not immediately feel satisfied by the higher volume of food. This is because you are accustomed to eating large quantities of high-calorie foods that cause a dopamine rush, a rush that low-calorie foods don’t deliver. However, your body will adjust, be less dependent on the dopamine surge in the brain, and will gradually become more and more satisfied with fewer calories. Give yourself time, and use the knowledge you have gained. Striving to fulfill your body’s volume and nutrient requirements can help you resolve food cravings and your toxic hunger.

The trick to get you to desire fewer calories faster is to eat lots of these high-volume, high-nutrient foods. You are already familiar with these, but many of the foods that you have been incorporating into your diet because of their nutrient values are also great tools in meeting your volume requirements. They include:

  • Raw Vegetables: lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, celery, anise, snow pea pods, carrots, beets, cucumbers, water chestnuts, red cabbage, onion
  • Most Fresh Fruits: melons, oranges, grapefruits, apples, kiwis, berries, papaya
  • Cooked Green Vegetables: Brussels sprouts, string beans, artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, Chinese cabbage, bok choy
  • Other Non-Green Vegetables: mushrooms, eggplant, sun-dried tomatoes, onions, bean sprouts, cauliflower, spaghetti squash

Especially on holidays and days when you know that you will be around a lot of unhealthy foods, pre-fill with these high-nutrient, low-calorie foods. Never go to a party or event with an empty stomach. Eat a large salad with assorted raw vegetables and a bowl of vegetable soup before going to the places that may tempt your desire to eat unhealthily. Being healthy is about being in control. You must control your hunger, and the more low-calorie, high-volume foods you consume, the less high-calorie food you will be able to eat. When you increase these super healthy foods in your diet, you will feel less temptation, and you will be in control of your food cravings and appetite.

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It Takes Commitment

Okay, let’s be gut level honest here; if one is going to get completely free from food addiction and live in optimal health, it’s going to take commitment.

Commitment is fully engaging one’s mind to act upon a decision. Commitment includes involvement and dedication.

Commitment is not, “I’ll give it a *try* . . . . . (until I don’t feel like it anymore.)”

Nor is it, “I’ll be a nutritarian during the week, and a junketarian on weekends.”

Making the commitment to get health back has everything to do with, “No matter what, every day I will make choices to eat for health for the rest of my life. No argument. No wavering in the midst of trial. The decision has been made. Period.”

When the mind is 100% committed, there are no more excuses.

(100% commitment has nothing to do with 100% perfection. BIG difference. I’ll discuss that topic in another post.)

A nutritarian whose mind is 100% committed to optimal health will:

Remove junk food, processed cereals, white flour products, salt, and sweets from the house.

Make time to study Dr. Fuhrman’s books and tutorials; understanding the difference between toxic hunger and cravings versus true hunger, the body’s need for digestive rest as much as nourishing food, and the instructional teleconference on overeating. Success is dependent on how much information is comprehended, not on how much willpower is possessed.

Ask like-minded and supportive members on for practical success tips and delicious recipes to make it through an upcoming birthday party.

Know how to make scrumptious sorbets, ice creams and cakes from nutrient dense fruits and vegetables.

Make time to clean and slice romaine lettuce, tomatoes and red onions to make a huge, great tasting salad instead of zoning out in front of the TV.

Make a homemade salad dressing from wholesome ingredients such as blueberries or kiwis,
tomato paste, or flavored vinegars and cashews rather than just pour a bunch of oil and salt out of a bottle.

Prepare a large pot of cooked beans with basil, garlic and spices for use throughout the week.

Choose to stop by the farmer’s market instead of the fast food place, knowing the sack of fresh green peppers, tomatoes and peaches will support nutritional excellence.

Click here for sample recipes from

Have you made the commitment to optimal health, or are you just trying to eat more healthfully?

The latter will be laced with hundreds of excuses, and will only set you up for failure at the next curve ball that life throws your way.

If you haven’t already done so, pick a date, and make the commitment.

Let’s dialogue. Have YOU made the commitment? If you haven’t, what excuses are holding you back?

Food Addiction Fires Up the Fat Cycle

When a heavy coffee drinker stops drinking coffee, he feels ill, experiencing headaches and weakness, and even feels nervous and shaky. Fortunately, these symptoms resolve slowly over four to six days. Discomfort after stopping an addictive substance is called withdrawal, and it is significant because it represents detoxification, or a biochemical healing that is accomplished after the substance is withdrawn. It is nearly impossible to cleanse the body of a harmful substance without experiencing the discomfort of withdrawal. Humans have a tendency to want to avoid discomfort, so they continue the toxic habits to avoid the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. When we discontinue consuming healthy substances, such as broccoli or spinach, we do not experience discomfort. We feel nothing. Only unhealthful, toxic substances are addicting, and, therefore, these are the only substances that cause discomfort when you stop consuming them. Their addictive potential is proportional to their toxicity.

Uncomfortable sensations are very often the signals that repair is under way and the removal of toxins is occurring. Though it may be difficult to adjust to this way of thinking, feeling ill temporarily can be seen as a sign that you are getting well. That cup of coffee may make you feel better temporarily, but any stimulating substance that makes you feel better quickly, or gives you immediate energy, is hurtful, not healthful. Any substance that has that immediate effect is toxic and called a stimulant. Healthy foods do not induce stimulation. When you meet your needs for nutrients and sleep, your body will naturally feel well and fully energized, without the need for stimulation.

The heavy coffee drinker typically feels the worst upon waking up in the morning or when delaying or skipping a meal. The same is true for the many of us who are addicted to toxic foods. The body goes through withdrawal, or detoxification, most strongly when it is not busy digesting food. Eating stops withdrawal because detoxification cannot take place efficiently while food is being consumed and digested. A heavy meal will stop the discomfort, or a cup of coffee will alleviate the symptoms, but the cycle of withdrawal will begin again the minute the caffeine level drops or digestion is finished and the glucose level in the blood starts to go down.

The more you search for fast, temporary relief with a candy bar, a can of soda, or a bag of chips, the more you inhibit the healing, detoxification process. Then, your body becomes more toxic because you gave it more low-nutrient calories. Calories consumed without the accompanying nutrients that aid in their assimilation and metabolism lead to a build-up of toxic substances in the cells that promote cellular aging and disease. Eating low-nutrient calories increases dangerous free-radical activity within the cells and allows for the build-up of cellular waste. These low nutrient calories also increase other toxic materials in the body, such as Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs). AGEs affect nearly every type of cell and molecule in the body, and are major factors in aging and age-related chronic diseases. Their production is markedly accelerated in diabetics, and they are believed to play a causative role in the vascular complications of the disease.

AGEs are the result of a chain of chemical reactions and may be formed external to the body by overcooking foods or inside the body though cellular metabolism. They form at a constant but slow rate in the normal body and accumulate with time, but their formation can be accelerated by your eating habits. Dry cooking methods such as baking, roasting, and broiling cause sugars to combine with proteins to form AGEs, while water-based cooking, such as steaming and boiling, does not. AGEs are highest in burnt and browned foods, such as brown-bread crust, cookies, and brown-basted meats, but these compounds also can build up in cells from the consumption of low-nutrient calories, especially calories from sweets. So, eating both overcooked foods and low-nutrient foods leads to the build-up of AGEs and ages us faster.

When you eat a diet that is based on toxic and addictive foods—such as salt, fried foods, snack foods, and sugary drinks—you not only build up free radicals and AGEs in your cells, but you also set the stage for ill feelings when you are not digesting food. Unhealthy food allows your body to create waste byproducts that must be removed by the liver and other organs. Only when digestion ends can the body fully take advantage of the opportunity to circulate and attempt to remove toxins. If the body is constantly digesting, it can’t go through this detoxification process effectively.

When detoxification begins, people often feel queasiness or malaise. Eating something restarts digestion and shuts down the detoxification process, making the bad feelings go away. The worse the nutritional quality of your diet, the worse you will feel if you try to stop eating food for a few hours. You will only feel normal while your digestive tract is busy

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Do the Homework

I want to expound on a statement that I made in a previous post about “doing the homework” to get completely free from food addiction.

Dr. Fuhrman’s scientifically-based instruction on nutritional excellence exposes the lies that we’ve all been taught since childhood; and as the mind becomes renewed with correct information, behaviors change, and then the body transforms as a result.

There are no shortcuts to change, but the investment of time to thoroughly study the information in both his books and the member center will pay back huge dividends of permanent freedom from food addiction, eating disorders, yo-yo weight fluctuations, chronic malnutrition, disease, and astronomical medical bills. Also, it will save significant amounts of money from overeating expenditures and lost work productivity.

I know the following will sound like an advertisement for joining the membership at, and it could be, however I’m writing this to express not only my gratitude for what that membership did for me, but what I see is happening in others’ lives from being a part of it.

The members’ center provides informative tutorials and teleconferences, plus direct access to Dr. Fuhrman in the Ask the Doctor forum to answer specific medical and/or weight loss questions. There are also veteran, like-minded people on the forums which offer support and helpful tips; all of this for a monthly fee that is less than the cost of gas to drive to doctors’ visits or weekly weight loss meetings.

I’ve observed that those who’ve achieved freedom from food addiction are the ones who have thoroughly studied the materials and received on-line support.

Freedom from food addiction that leads to optimal health is a treasured gift that there is no regret in getting back!

Adjusting to a Healthy Diet - Your Body Will Detoxify

It takes time to be comfortable with the changes in your life. It is not unusual to feel physically uncomfortable as you detoxify in the process of making over your body chemistry with a healthful diet. The more stimulating or harmful your prior habits, the worse you feel when you stop them. When breaking your addiction to salt, meat, dairy, saturated fat, processed foods and other substances, you might feel headachy, fatigued, or even a little itchy or ill, but the good news is these symptoms rarely last longer than a week or two. However, if you are making the changes to nutritional excellence gradually uncomfortable symptoms should be minimized.

Some people are so addicted to stimulating food, sugary sweets, and overeating, they may even feel depressed when they don’t indulge. For example, cheese, salt, and chocolate are all addictive, and it takes a prolonged period of abstinence to beat these addictions. Sugar and caffeine, especially when mixed together, are highly addictive and create a significant amount of discomfort when stopping. Sugar withdrawal symptoms have been demonstrated to be similar to withdrawal symptoms from opiates, including anxiety and tremors.1 I have observed many individuals with a history of severe chronic headaches, who were on drugs for headache suppression, develop fever, backaches, diarrhea, and other severe detoxification symptoms when stopping medications that contain caffeine, such as Excedrin, Fiorinal and Fioricet. Fortunately, their suffering was short-lived. Through high-nutrient eating, these individuals have been able to make dramatic recoveries.

High-nutrient eating was crucial for this result. Toxic wastes build up in our tissues, and we are unable to remove them unless high-levels of phytochemicals are present and the intake of toxins is stopped. You must allow this detoxification to occur. An important hurdle to achieving your ideal weight and excellent health is getting rid of your addictions. After that occurs, you may feel like you have been freed from prison and will find it easier to move forward and be one step closer to truly eating for health.

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Red Meat and Processed Meats Are Bad News

Red meat and processed meats contain more saturated fat and trans fat than other animal products, and, therefore, are poorer food choices. However, the fat issue does not tell the whole story. Scientific studies have documented that red meat has a much more pronounced association with colon cancer and pancreatic cancer compared with other animal products. The consumption of red meat and processed meats on a regular basis more than doubles the risk of some cancers. Even ingesting a small amount of red meat, such as two to three ounces a day, has been shown to significantly increase the risk of cancer.1 Toxic nitrogenous compounds (called N-nitroso) occur in larger concentrations in red meat and processed meats. Red meat also has high haem (also spelled heme) content. Haem is an iron-carrying protein, and it has been shown to have destructive effects on the cells lining our digestive tract.2 Processed meat, luncheon meat, barbequed meat, and red meat must not be a regular part of your diet if you are looking to maintain excellent health into your later years of life.

The frequent consumption of animal products also increases the risk of cancer. To achieve optimal health, we require a significant exposure to a full symphony of phytochemicals in unprocessed plant matter that we would not be eating sufficiently as animal products increase as a percent of total calories and the percentage of vegetation decreases proportionally. Also, since animal products contain no fiber, they remain in the digestive tract longer, slowing digestive transit time and allowing heightened exposure to toxic compounds.

Your goal is to gradually reduce the consumption of animal products in your diet until you’re only consuming them two to three times per week, but you should certainly avoid processed meat and barbecued meat.

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Milk Can't Measure Up to Fruits and Vegetables

Few foods elicit such strong opinions as milk and dairy products. The dairy folks want you to believe that dairy is essential and that your bones will crumble if you don’t drink milk. The anti milk people talk about all the hormones and antibiotic residue in milk and consider it the most disease-promoting of all foods. There are exaggerations and distortions of the available research on both sides.

We can’t look at all the pros and cons of dairy here, but there are some obvious conclusions. The typical American diet that is filled with processed foods and animal products is noticeably deficient in calcium and Vitamin D unless dairy is consumed or supplemented. However, dairy is not the only source of calcium, and, once you are eating a significant amount of calcium-rich plant matter, dairy products lose their status as the main source of calcium.

As you know from the evidence in my books, all animal products, including dairy, should be curtailed significantly, and those calories should be replaced with high-micronutrient, unprocessed plant foods.

When more vegetables are consumed, you get extra calcium and a cornucopia of phytochemicals that are not found in dairy. A secondary issue is that high saturated fat intake promotes heart disease and cancer. Dairy products, such as whole-milk, butter, and cheese are the foods that contribute the most saturated fat to the American diet. Any person seeking excellent health should restrict these foods in his or her diet. Skim-milk and other non-fat dairy products can be used as part of the small amount of allowable animal products consumed weekly. They are not foods that should be consumed liberally, and they should not be seen as health foods because they are not high in micronutrients and phytochemicals.

In addition to the other problems, there is evidence that the daily use of dairy can increase the risk of prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is now the single most common cancer among men in the United States. With the spread of our meat- and dairy-centered diet, it is on the rise in almost every country in the world. A meta-analysis of the best independent studies indicated that milk drinking men seem to have a 70 percent greater chance of developing cancer of the prostate.1 This evidence exists in spite of the multiple studies that show that Vitamin D deficiency also increases the risk of prostate cancer. Since milk is fortified with Vitamin D, using it must have a significant negative effect that overwhelms the benefits from the added vitamin.

Overall, milk is not health food. If you enjoy some skim-milk or non-fat yogurt, I recommend you limit it, just as you would limit other animal products. If your diet is healthful, consuming little or no dairy won’t be a problem, as long as you make sure you get adequate Vitamin D from other sources.

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Eat Less Salt, Get More Taste!

Once you understand why salt must be dramatically lowered in your diet, you may still be questioning how you will do it without eating bland food every day. Part of the answer is that you won’t be entirely eliminating sodium. To do that is impossible because all foods, especially vegetables, contain sodium, and this natural sodium adds to their flavor. Up until now, you have probably never noticed this natural sodium because when we over-stimulate the taste buds with too much added salt over a long period of time, our taste receptors can’t sense lower levels of salt. Thus, natural, unsalted foods seem to have less flavor. Food then tastes flat without added salt, and you need to add even more salt to almost everything. This is part of the addiction cycle: we build up tolerance for unhealthy substances. The good news, however, is that you can re-train your taste buds to be more sensitive to salt when you decrease its presence in your diet.

Most people consume between 2000 and 8000 milligrams of salt a day. When you get rid of the salt habit, your food may taste bland for a few weeks, but, within a few months, you will find that your taste buds, which were deadened by the overuse of salt, have gradually gained their sensitivity back. You will discover tastes that you never knew existed in natural foods. Even a simple pear or a leaf of lettuce will taste better. Foods that you once enjoyed will now taste too salty.

When we eat a diet low in salt, eventually, our sensitivity to salt and other tastes gets stronger and simple foods begin to have a better flavor. As you eventually get accustomed to a diet that stimulates your salt receptive taste buds less, you can enjoy more flavors in natural foods. This isn’t just limited to salt. You will also see the phenomenon at work when eating a simple strawberry or slice of red pepper. Amazingly, your taste buds become stronger when you are off salt and sugar. Try eating some plain romaine lettuce with no dressing on it now. Then eat some after reducing your salt intake for a month. You will be amazed at how much more flavor that plain, unseasoned piece of lettuce has. The bottom line is that once you break your addiction to salt, you likely won’t miss it at all, and you will find that food actually has more flavor not less.

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Courageous Doctor Standing Up for What is Right - Jason Newsom, MD, We Applaud You!

Jason Newsom, M.D.
has been awarded
The Eat to Live Honor Award
for displaying outstanding courage in standing up to protect American lives. You are a true American hero and we applaud you.

Dr. Newsom I applaud you. Wow, this man is clearly an American hero, who aims to help others, in spite of personal sacrifice, economic backlash, and a hostile environment of addicts that surround him. More about him:

  • He is an American hero, 38-year-old former Army doctor - served in Iraq
  • Returned home to run the Bay County Health Dept. in Panama City, Fla.
  • Launched a one-man war on obesity by posting warnings on electric sign outside the health department building:
  • “Sweet Tea Liquid Sugar”
  • “Hamburger Spare Tire”
  • “French Fried Thunder Thighs”
  • “America Dies on Dunkin’” to replace Dunkin’ Donut’s advertising slogan, “America Runs on Dunkin’”
  • A county commissioner who owns a doughnut shop and two lawyers who own a new Dunkin’ Donuts on Panama City Beach, along with some of his own employees, turned against him.
  • After the lawyers threatened to sue, his bosses at the Fla. Health Dept. made him remove the anti-donut rants, and eventually forced him to resign.
  • Newsom picked on doughnuts because they are, “ubiquitous in this country. Everywhere I went, there were two dozen doughnuts on the back table. At church, there were always doughnuts on the back table at Sunday school. It is social expectation thing.”
  • He was hired by the state Health Dept. to direct the county agency. His job primarily involved educating the public about health issues, including the dangers of doughnuts.
  • He angered staff members by barring doughnuts from dept. meetings and announcing he would throw them away if he saw them in the break room. He also banned candy bars in the vending machines, putting in peanuts instead.
  • Dunkin’ Donut businessmen had the backing of the County Commissioner, who owns a diner and doughnut shop himself. The County Commissioner called for Newsom’s ouster. “I think he was somewhat of a zealot. I don’t have a problem with him pushing an agenda, it’s the way he did it. People borrowed money to go into business and they are being attacked by the government.”
  • His bosses at the state Health Dept. told him that his leadership wasn’t wanted and that he could be fired or resign. He chose to resign on May 8, but has reapplied for the job.
  • Newsom currently works at a prison, doing exams of inmates.
  • Dunkin’ Donuts is pleased the signs have been removed.

Would you have risked your job to take a stand against donuts, sugar and fries?

Caffeine is No Better Than a Drug

As you know, caffeine is one of the most addictive substances in a standard diet, and there is some research that indicates that excessive consumption of caffeinated beverages may pose a risk to your well-being. Coffee, however, does contain chlorogenic acid, a phenol with strong antioxidant activity which may benefit people who hardly eat vegetables. So in spite of hundreds of studies showing slight increased risk of certain diseases such as osteoporosis and heart disease, there are also studies that show certain health benefits from coffee.1 Overall, both the risks and the supposed benefits are marginal either way. One or two cups of coffee per day is not likely to cause significant disease risks.

Besides the slightly increased risk of osteoporosis or heart disease, there are other problems. Caffeine is a stimulant, so it enables you to more comfortably get by on less sleep, and inadequate sleep promotes disease and premature aging.2 Drinking coffee also boosts estrogen levels, which worsens problems like endometriosis, breast pain, and menstrual disorders. Increased estrogen levels are also linked to higher risk of breast cancer.3 Overall, it is difficult to discern the precise risks from heavy coffee drinking because most people who drink lots of coffee, do lots of other unhealthy behaviors too.

My main objection to drinking coffee is that it may promote more frequent eating and a higher calorie intake in some people, so eliminating your caffeine intake may help you lose weight. Coffee drinkers—and tea and cola drinkers—are drawn to eat more frequently then necessary. They eat extra meals and snacks because they mistake unpleasant caffeine withdrawal symptoms with hunger. They can’t tell the difference between true hunger and the discomfort that accompanies caffeine withdrawal.

In essence, coffee is mostly like a drug, not a food. In spite of the presence of some beneficial antioxidants it also has some negative effects and withdrawal symptoms that may fuel drinking and eating behavior. Like most drugs, it could have some minor benefits, but its toxic effects and resultant risks likely overwhelm those minor advantages. It is best if we aim to meet our nutritional needs with as little exposure to stimulating substances as possible. This program will work more effectively, as you will be better connected to your body’s true hunger signals if you are able to gradually reduce and eventually eliminate coffee and other caffeine-containing substances.

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