Introducing Stephanie


 before portrait of obese female

Preface:  Over the next year or two, I'll be following the weight loss journey of Stephanie, age 39, who is 200% committed to getting her health back.  Her husband died recently and she’s currently raising four young children under the ages of nine, plus attending nursing school.  Stephanie has courageously volunteered to share her thoughts and medical stats with Followhealthlife readers as she undertakes the journey to optimal health.  Welcome Stephanie!


Why have you chosen to commit to nutritarian eating?  I currently weigh 398 lbs (5’10”) and I’m tired all the time.  I cry a lot and get easily irritated and aggravated.  My knees hurt, I have constant headaches and acid reflux.  My local doctor feels that I’m unable to lose weight on my own and is urging me to have gastric bypass surgery.  I want to play at the park, ride bikes and be a fit and healthy mother for my children.  Most importantly, I want to BE HERE for them.

What are some of the events in your life that have led you to this point?  I’ve been overweight my entire life, but have steadily added more pounds each year; especially after having babies.  Last year my husband died after a battle with congestive heart failure and a failed heart transplant.  In an instant, I became a 38-year-old widowed mother of four children ages eight to three, and the stress has been overwhelming.  During this past year I have been diagnosed with premature osteoarthritis in both knees, high blood pressure, ADHD, and major depression. 

Describe a typical day for you:  My alarm goes off at 6:45 am, but I hit the snooze button four times before I drag myself out of bed.  I struggle to pull myself together and prepare the kids’ breakfasts and get them off to school.  I plan my day by prioritizing how much energy and/or steps it will take to do an activity.  It’s difficult to do much with my children, because I’m unable to move fast due to my size. 

                                           I feel like I’m a prisoner in my own body. 

                                     front and side profile pic of obese female

  • Weight  398 lbs.
  • BMI  57.1
  • Blood pressure  140/100
  • Waist measurement  58”
  • Cholesterol  180
  • Triglycerides  98
  • HDL  48
  • LDL  112
  • Fasting blood sugar  87
  • currently taking anti-depressants, amphetamines for ADHD, and medication for urinary incontinence

Stephanie’s “official” starting date is November 1,  2009, and I’ll be posting her progress updates the first week of every month.  We are cheering for Stephanie and wish her all the best as she takes this courageous step to get her health and life back!    


Eat to Live is featured in this week's People Magazine!

 Alanis Morissette lost weight in a healthy, natural way following my Eat to Live program.

Alanis - thin, healthy, jogging

Alanis Morissette was plagued by eating disorders as a teenager, feeling shameful about gaining weight and going to extreme measures to lose it. On her last tour in 2008, she fell into some unhealthy habits - late-night trips to restaurants and high-calorie drinks, and the weight piled on… 

The turning point came when she read Eat to Live, which she calls her “redefining moment” – she equates food with fuel, not “fat” or “thin.” She attributes her successful, healthy weight loss, as well as her ability to choose the right foods to the Eat to Live program.

I wish Alanis continued success on her nutritarian journey, and I’m cheering her on as she trains for her first marathon!

 View the entire article here.

Junk food - as addictive as smoking??


In Eat for Health, Dr. Fuhrman states that food addiction is the main reason that people eat too much and become overweight.

A study presented at the Society for Neuroscience national meeting last week agrees with this statement. Scientists presented their findings – that high-fat, high-calorie foods are addictive.

These scientists allowed rats to eat readily available, processed junk foods (such as sausages, bacon, and assorted cakes) at will for 18 hours a day – after only five days, they noted evidence of reduced sensitivity in the pleasure centers of the brain, which is a classic indicator of addiction. The rats were increasingly motivated to eat the junk food, consuming about double the number of calories as control rats - they soon needed to consume more food in order to get the same “high.” Even when the rats were given a foot shock upon eating the unhealthy food, they continued to eat. They found these results are similar to those of addictive drugs such as heroin. 

The addictive properties of the unhealthy food essentially support two biologic mechanisms of addiction. One, dopamine stimulation and two withdrawal supporting Dr. Fuhrman's explanation  of toxic hunger – detox symptoms from an addiction to unhealthy, low-nutrient foods. Most people eat more unhealthy food in order to relieve the discomfort of these symptoms, interpreting them to be true hunger. But this simply postpones the detoxification process, and perpetuates a cycle of unhealthy eating.

Unlike the rats in the study, we know the difference between addictive low-nutrient foods, and health-promoting high-nutrient foods. Without understanding the science behind food addictions, it becomes nearly impossible for people to follow a healthy diet or lose weight. Are you a food addict or are you a nutritarian? Did Dr. Fuhrman's information enable you to lose your food addictions?  Let us know.



1. Johnson PM, Kenny PJ. Motivational drives in obesity: Evidence for addiction-like compulsive responding for palatable food. Program No. 550.1/X15. 2009 Neuroscience Meeting Planner. Chicago, IL: Society for Neuroscience, 2009. Online.



Interview with a Nutritarian: Ronnie



obese and unhealthy male transforms into fit and healthy athlete

Tell us about yourself and the events that led up to getting your health back?

In 2005 I had open heart bypass surgery, and two years later I had three stents put into an artery.  Soon after being released from the second hospitalization, I was still experiencing chest pain; so I typed “reverse heart disease” into an on-line search engine and discovered the web site of Dr. Joel Fuhrman, MD.

At that time I weighed 300 lbs. and couldn’t perform the simplest of tasks without shortness of breath and chest pain. 

I was getting affairs in order for my impending death, including preparing my wife to take over our business.  


How did you feel before committing to nutritarian eating?

I was always hungry and I felt lethargic all the time.  My brain seemed to be in a continual cloud of confusion, and every joint in my body ached.


What’s happened to your body and how do you feel now?

After a couple weeks of nutritarian eating I had renewed energy and hope.  I gradually lost all aches and pains, and toxic hunger completely disappeared.  Each morning I woke up with vitality for the day.

Over a period of one year, I lost 140 lbs! 

My chest pains have completely ceased.  High blood pressure, high cholesterol and high triglycerides have all been reversed to a healthy range.  With Dr. Fuhrman’s careful oversight through Ask the Doctor on the members’ center of, I’ve been able to completely stop all medications.  (Medications for blood pressure, high cholesterol, blood thinners and more.)  As a result I’ve been able to save over $600.00 a month in out-of-pocket pharmaceutical costs!    

Now I can

  • do heavy weight strength training 4 x week
  • do interval cardio training
  • play tennis
  • ride a bike 

These are all activities I couldn’t dream of doing two years ago! 

I’m no longer a patient that needs medications; I’m fit, healthy and well!

 after picture of fit and healthy male

Success tips you’d like to share with others in the journey to health?

I highly recommend joining the members’ center of  I couldn’t have done it without the lifesaving and valuable support from Dr. Fuhrman.  He personally answered every question that I had along the way, and his continual guidance and oversight was always reassuring.

Also, don’t just read Dr. Fuhrman’s books, put them into practice!


Ronnie, is there a final thought that you would like to share with anyone who is discouraged or has given up hope?

It’s always the darkest before the dawn.  There is life in all of us if we will make the choice to live it!  Nutritarian eating works!  Don’t live your life always looking in the rearview mirror.  Let the past be just that; the past. 

Our journey to optimal health is always in front of our eyes, and we sit at that intersection every new day.  Go forward to freedom!  Forget past failures and always keep your eyes on the prize of great health and vitality through excellent nutrition. 


I asked Ronnie’s wife, Peggy, if she had anything to add. She responded with the following note written directly to Dr. Fuhrman:

Dr. Fuhrman,

I want to add my note of appreciation to you for your hard work and devotion.  I now have a new husband! 

Who can ever know how life can change?  One year ago I was sure that Ronnie would not be with me much longer.  Through his own doing, he was a prime candidate for a stroke or heart attack.  Now, through his dedication and hard work, and the knowledge that you have given to him, he is not only (hopefully) going to live a long life, but he is living it to its fullest!  His commitment to nutritarian eating is an inspiration to all of us.

None of this could have been possible without you.


Let's Change Halloween

OK. I know Halloween is a really fun holiday for the younger generation, teens included, but I, as a parent, can't stand it. It is the one holiday that promotes ill-health and practically every parent/adult I know goes along with it. It is not a holiday for our children; oh no, don't kid yourself. It is a holiday for the candy industry.  Do our children really benefit from a holiday where they are given junk that is bad for their health, their psychology, their emotions? Very few understand the serious consequences to our childrens' health from this.  And, they don't just have one treat, they go home with a huge stash of brain-damaging, cancer-causing junk that lasts for weeks or months.  

I don't get it--I do get all the propaganda about Halloween. Many corporations benefit from it, like Party City for example. What I don't get is the public going along with it. I buy small, inexpensive toys to give out and the kids love it. That makes me feel better. But I can't stand seeing the aisles and aisles of candy being sold in the supermarkets and in bowls in professional offices you visit. Our country, in promoting this junk food day is promoting ill-health and if there is one thing I know, the fattening of America is getting worse and worse.  Should we really be exploiting our children and sacrificing their future to benefit the junk food industry?  

Let's make Halloween treats healthy! Give out healthy treats or toys. I know raisins don't compare to a Snickers bar, but it may stop your child from having a sugar-high tantrum that night!  We need to start changing the way we act with our children, as a nation and individually, if we are really going to help them to a healthy future.

What are you doing with your family on Halloween?  Are you going along with this insanity or not?

Board Certified by Coca-Cola!

Normal Rockwell's Doctor Office painting of boy leaning over looking at his certificate with his pants pulled down. The certificate has Coca-Cola as the certifying body.

The American Academy of Family Physicians, which I am a member, accepts money from Coca-Cola.  Wow.

The AAFP once announced a corporate partnership with The Coca-Cola Co., in which the beverage giant will provide a grant for the Academy to develop consumer education content related to beverages and sweeteners for the AAFP's award-winning consumer health and wellness Web site,

According to the Kansas City Business Journal, Coca-Cola was to provide a grant of an unspecified amount to the AAFP for the project.

Now it comes full circle.  The drug industry manipulates and controls the drug information given to doctors and now soda companies fund the nutrition information.  Good work guys!  Even if the AAFP changes their mind due to public outcry it won’t be enough for me.  They need to clearly state publicly that drinking soda has been a significant contributor to the epidemic of overweight, heart disease and cancer in this country and is disease and death promoting.  It is designed to be addicting and serving it to children is child abuse.  What if the AAFP accepted funding from Phillip Morris and promoted smoking in moderation?   I can’t resign my membership, I would lose board certification credentials.  I could send them a letter, but what else should we do?

Read more about it on AAFP’s very own website:

P.S. Just in case you didn’t know, the American Dietetic Association, the organization that certifies nutritionists and dietitians, also accepts money from Coca-Cola, as well as PepsiCo, Kellogg’s, General Mills, Mars and the National Dairy Council. Take a look at the corporate sponsor’s page on the ADA website and see for yourself!


UPDATE (10/30/09): Based on reader response we would like to ask that you let the AAFP and the ADA know what you think about this. Please feel free to post the letters you wrote to them here in the comments so others can use your writings too.





black and white image of person with hands on head leaning over table depicting stress


We’ve all been there. Done that. Bought the t-shirt. 

It’s a part of life. 

Kids get sick. Job lay-offs happen. Loved ones die. Mundane responsibilities of life get overwhelming. Life gets too busy for fun.

It’s during those times, which may be chronic, we usually reach for ways to somehow pamper ourselves. 

Pamper (verb) to treat with extreme or excessive care and attention (Merriam-Webster dictionary)

We rationalize, "Life’s been hard. I deserve a break. I deserve to be pampered. It's okay. Everyone will understand. No one will care if I dig into a huge bowl of ice-cream and hot fudge. I’ll skip exercise and do whatever I want. Forget health. When life gets easier, I’ll focus on it again.”




It’s in moments like these that “excessive care and attention” are required the most!  

It’s in times of stress that excellent nutrition, exercise and rejuvenation are crucial to restore optimal health and well-being.

Excellent nutrition will nourish the cells with much needed micronutrients, minerals and phytochemicals. 

Exercise will oxygenize and rejuvenate the mind and entire body. 

An empty stomach will cleanse toxins and provide deep, restorative rest.

Let’s wake up to reality. Let’s make the choice to pamper our bodies with kindness during times of stress. 

A body under stress deserves the best of care possible.

Let’s shine the light into the deep crevices of our thoughts and expose the lies that hold us captive.

Do we pamper our bodies with the best of care during times of stress?

The truth will set us free.

Interview with a Nutritarian: Rod

image of an obese man who lost weight and then ran his first marathon 

Preface by Emily Boller: Last fall, after a few months into my weight loss journey, friends and complete strangers would ask, “How are you losing so much weight?!”  It was a bit time consuming to explain to each person Dr. Fuhrman’s books, so I decided to schedule a public meeting room at my local library to “tell-everyone-at-once” and be done with the various questions.  Ha. 

That first little meeting room was filled, and many in attendance that day wanted me to schedule another one so they could come back and bring their family and friends.  The rest is history. 

I ended up scheduling a large meeting room in our city’s downtown library, and that room was filled.  I’ve had several “library talks” now, and Fort Wayne, Indiana is a buzz with excited people on their journeys to health!  Rod attended that first meeting, and now he shares his own weight loss story and success tips at the library talks.  Welcome to Onlyourhealth, Rod! 


Tell us about yourself and the events that led up to getting your health back?

I had just received the results of my annual physical.  For the fourth straight year, my cholesterol was over 215.  This time it was 231.  The doctor called and wanted me to start Lipitor.  I was not excited about putting a drug into my body that would have negative side effects.  This left me with the question, “What do I do to avoid taking medicine and reduce my cholesterol?”

In addition to having high cholesterol, my doctor told me that I was obese at 215 lbs.  Wow, what a blow to someone who considered himself an athlete and not a couch potato. 


How did you hear about the library talk?

One evening while checking my email, I received a message that was forwarded to me from my sister-in-law.  Her neighbor, Emily, had lost a lot of weight and her cholesterol level had dropped drastically without medication. That was when I realized that I had received the answer to my dilemma.


How did you feel before starting ETL?

I had low energy, constant bloating, continual cravings for food, and trouble with breathing when I tried to run a couple of miles or sleep at night.  My wife thought I had sleep apnea, and I could not get a new life insurance policy. 


How do you feel now?

My energy level is higher than ever and I seldom take a nap!  The bloating is gone, and I no longer have food cravings.  My breathing is fine now when I’m sleeping, and I qualified for the highest level of Life Insurance at the lowest premium rate.  Plus I’m currently training for a marathon, and I just completed a half-marathon in a surprisingly great time!

After approximately eight weeks of nutritarian eating, I returned to the doctor’s office to have my cholesterol rechecked.  My overall cholesterol dropped from 231 to 127; LDL cholesterol dropped from 168 to 82, and my triglycerides dropped from 142 to 56. 

I now weigh 170-175 lbs.


Success tips you’d like to share with others in the journey to health:

  • Find someone else that wants to get their health back also so you have support, eating ideas and an exercise partner.
  • Focus on what you can eat and not on what you can’t have to eat. There are so many wonderful food choices with nutritarian eating.
  • Be creative. Learn what foods you can eat, and put together combinations that you like. I make a vegetable soup and chili that I eat for lunch. I even mix together the soups to change the taste or add the leftover vegetables from our evening meals (saves money too.)
  • Start an exercise program or a sport you enjoy.
  • Make a game out of it – I want my cholesterol to go down “this much by this amount of time.”


If you could sum up what nutritarian eating has done for you, what would it be?

Not only has the quality of my health and life improved, but nutritarian eating has given me so much freedom! It feels so good to be free!

NOTE:  A year ago Rod was obese, unhealthy and could barely jog.  Now, at the age of 46, he just completed his first marathon in 4 hours and 9 minutes; placing 416th out of 1005 runners.  We are so proud of him!

Go eating for health!

Children Eating Sweets Daily Linked to Violence

Children who eat sweets and chocolate every day are more likely to become violent adults according to UK researchers.

The Cardiff University study involving 17,500 people is the first study to look into effects of childhood diet on adult violence. It found 10-year-olds who ate sweets daily were significantly more likely to have a violence conviction by age 34. The researchers found that 69% of the participants who were violent at the age of 34 had eaten sweets and chocolate nearly every day during childhood, compared to 42% who were non-violent.

The link remained even after controlling for other factors such as parenting behavior, location of where child lived, not having education after the age of 16 and whether or not they had access to a car when they were 34.

So not only does eating junk food in childhood increase the risk of adult cancers as stated in my book Onlyourhealth Your Child, there is now evidence that suggests eating sweets may contribute to sending your child to jail down the road. Interestingly, this link between violent behavior and sweets was better than the link between abusive parenting behaviors and violent crime. Parents need to know that giving their children sweets is dangerous for many reasons.

The study was reported in the British Journal of Psychiatry.

Insulin May Pose Increased Cancer Risk for Diabetics

Diabetics who take insulin-type drugs appear to be more prone to increased rates of cancer diagnosis, according to several prominent researchers who spoke at a press conference at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes. The concerns were first raised by German researchers in a data base analysis submitted in 2008, which linked an insulin-based medication to increased cancer risk. The researchers generally agreed that insulins may promote cancer through their actions as growth factors.

The message here is that when you follow my nutritarian diet-style and protocols for diabetes, a Type 2 diabetic would not need an insulin-based medication. In fact, over 60% of diabetics who follow my protocol no longer need any medication at all. A Type 1 diabetic following my nutritarian diet-style would only have half the insulin requirements, without the highs and lows, which would signifacantly extend their lifespan and reduce complications.

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One Horrible Flu Vaccine Story; Will it Help Save a Life?

I am a mother of 4 wonderful children, one of whom is an 8 year old boy. To say that they are the loves of my life is a pure understatement, as any mother will attest to. The worst thing that can happen to any mother is to lose a child. Does it make it worse knowing that it was due to medical intervention?  I don’t know but it does seem that there is something about being harmed or killed by a medical intervention that makes it even more of a tragedy because maybe it did not have to happen.

My youngest sister has a friend that just lost her 8 year old son, as he had a fatal reaction to the Flu vaccine. Not the Flu itself, but to the vaccine.  Due to this reaction, they ran tests and the family was informed that he had an immune system disorder that may have contributed to his death. The mother was told he may have died in the near future anyway. I don't know if that gives this poor mother any consolation to know that she may have eventually lost her child or even if this was true. To me, having a few days let alone years more with my child, seeing him enjoy his life for whatever length of time he had left, would have been better. Much better.

This flu vaccine; it's a hard decision for any parent/person; I just think we need to get as informed as we can, and not be pressured into doing anything we do not feel comfortable with for ourselves as well as for the people we love.  Certainly every person should have the right to do whatever makes them feel most comfortable once they review the information available on both sides.

Post 1 day later: I wrote the above post originally being told that it was the Swine Flu vaccine, but in fact it was the regular flu vaccine. I just found this out this morning as well as the fact that he did NOT have any rare immune disease. The cause of death was attributed to the flu vaccine and nothing else. The more I learn about what happened to this poor little boy and his family, the more devastated I become.

NY Attacks Obesity with Ads that are Meant to Shock

Image of hand pouring cola into a glass, cola is turned into fat.

A Glass of thick, yellow human fat, marbled with blood vessels, is NY's latest weapon to fight obesity. "Are You Pouring on the Pounds?" targets the billions of hidden calories which Americans consume each year in sodas and other sugary drinks. It is scheduled to run throughout the New York subway system for 3 months. It's a good thing too because Americans do pour a lot of the fat-promoting fizz, drinking 15 billion gallons of it each year.

New York health officials say the images used in the campaign are intended to be "ugly" and are designed to give people a jolt. Mayor Bloomberg's administration has also forced cafes, restaurants and fast-food outlets to post calorie content information on menus, deployed fruit vendors to poor neighborhoods and given corner shops incentives to sell fresh fruit and vegetables.

Finally a local government is doing something worthwhile, relating nutrition to health . No matter what they do, it can't be shocking enough. Unless you have worked in hospitals yourself, seeing children with cancer and men and women with lost limbs due to diabetes or stroked out and undergoing futile revival attempts while their families are sobbing and screaming in the waiting room, you most likely have separated yourself from the human suffering eating American junk food can cause.

Then when you consider that bad childhood diets create adult cancers, and childhood cancers and even newborn heart defects are primarily related to the pregnant mother's poor diet, you get even more frustrated with our society's self-deception that consuming and feeding junk food and fast food is not criminal.

If I were Attorney General or the Health Commissioner of New York City, I would advertise the fact that junk food kills people. And, I would do something to make nutrient-rich natural foods, like greens, beans and seeds available and affordable to the needy. I would prevent food stamps from being used for junk. I would make Onlyourhealth Your Child required reading for all government officials.

Just imagine if white flour, sugar and corn syrup were completely out of the American dietary landscape. What would American children eat?

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Spooktacular Ideas for a Healthy Halloween!!

My kids always look forward to Halloween, even though they don’t eat the candy (at least in front of me). They look forward to dressing up in costumes, being out with their friends, and staying up late on a school night.

I, on the other hand, I do not look forward to Halloween. I don’t like the focus on fear of ugly-looking creatures and giving of toxic items to children. (I don’t call the candy “treats” because they certainly aren’t nourishing.) The sad fact is that even normally well-behaved children can start acting crazy after consuming all the highly-sugared, chemicalized junk they get. And the disrupting behavior can last for as long as a month afterward.

So, I'm not a person who believes in letting eating choices turn my home into a war zone. Read my recent "War Zone" post on Followhealthlife. I believe in providing an education in healthful eating—and setting a good example! I keep unhealthful foods out of the house, and trust my kids to use their best judgment. Thankfully, we have figured out how to make Halloween a happy time for all of us, without joining in the candy craze. Here are some tips that have worked for us.

  1. Hand out inexpensive toys or gifts instead of candy. By setting this good example, perhaps a neighbor will pick up on the idea. Even if nobody follows your lead, you will feel good about your decision. Toys are perhaps a little more expensive than candy, but not much, and they definitely send a great message to both the kids and the parents.

    My children help choose what they think is cool. In recent years, we have been giving out glow-in-the-dark necklaces and bracelets*. The best thing about these toys is that they make kids safer in the dark because cars can see them when they are walking in the road. Kids say, “Wow!” or “Cool!” when they see the glowing gifts, so I know they love them. Plus, my kids are proud to hand them out. Now that my kids are older, they always remind me when it’s time to place my order (which is right around now). Other toys that we have purchased include small cans of Silly String, glow-in-the-dark animals, and glow-in-the-dark balls.
  2. Make your family's favorite dinner on Halloween night, including their favorite desserts. There are great healthy fall menu ideas in the Member Center recipe guide. With full stomachs, your kids will be less tempted to eat the junk they receive. You also can try the Halloween treat recipes in the September 2006 Healthy Times Newsletter, or have some delicious Pop'ems on hand from
  3. When the children come home, set a limit on how many candies they are allowed to eat. I suggest you allow them two pieces of candy, which they can pick out—and then discard or give away the rest. We let our children pick one or two candies to eat. Most of the time they only take a bite or two before tossing the rest out. Our youngest, Sean, has no desire to even taste the stuff, because as he explains, "I don't eat junk food." Luckily for us, he is too finicky to try anything new. He rejects anything he is not accustomed to.
  4. Some people find it easiest to throw out all the candy after the children go to sleep. Little ones probably won't even remember it once it's gone, and getting rid of it eliminates temptation for the adults in the house.
  5. Life is full of compromises— and this day will pass! I believe that with a little advance planning you can ensure that your children will have a good time and not be tempted to hide or sneak candy. Plus, you will be happier knowing that they will be eating a lot less candy this year than they did last year.

That's a good start!

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Eating for Health While Eating Away from Home

Emily's red cooler for her food while traveling

A few days after making the commitment to eat for health I faced a challenge.  One of my children had an emergency that required immediate medical attention.  Consequently, I ended up spending the majority of the next two months away from home.

From that experience I discovered that it is possible to be a nutritarian anytime, anywhere, under any circumstance.

First of all, I put the above red cooler in the trunk of my car and kept it stocked every couple of days with fresh ice and fruits and vegetables. I stored almonds, raw sunflower seeds and cans of beans in the car; along with some utensils and a gallon of water to wash the produce.

I parked near a drain in the hospital parking garage and “prepared” each meal as needed.  I would fill a plastic sack with a variety of fresh vegetables and fruit, plus a handful of nuts or seeds; and open a can of beans and use a colander to rinse the salt off with water before dumping them into a zip lock bag.

I took my meals to the hospital cafeteria and ate well. (Now that Dr. Fuhrman’s Healthy Additions canned greens and beans have been created:  Supreme Greens, Moroccan Chickpea and VitaBeanaVegaMin, I’d include them.  They are convenient and delicious with absolutely no salt added!)

The results?  After the crisis subsided and I returned home, I was forty pounds lighter than three months earlier.

Eating for health can be successfully achieved in any situation, under any circumstance.

When one is 100% committed, he/she will always find a way to make it work. No excuses.

How do you eat for health while away from home?  Work? Do you have any tips to share?

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!


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No Excuses logo

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines excuse as granting exemption or release; to allow to leave.

I’ve been contemplating that word a lot lately as I’ve been dealing with an increase amount of stress caring for a sick child. In the past, any form of stress in my life, whether it was a crying infant, an overcommitted schedule, a long road trip or just about anything out of normalcy, I’d think (maybe not consciously), “okay time to grant release” from wise choices. Moments of “granting release” during times of stress turned into days, months and years of excuses; thus resulting in an obese body.

It’s easy to allow our minds to automatically grant permission from what we know is the right thing to do when under stress. If we are not careful, stress can be the welcomed excuse to throw-in-the-towel and indulge on whatever; whenever.

Even with the nutritarian lifestyle, one can use stress as the excuse to grant permission to overeat when hunger has already been satisfied, or to skip much needed exercise “because it’s been a hectic day.”

Shining light into the dark places of our lives expose the lies that enslave and prevent us from living in optimal health.

Are you granting yourself exemption from wise choices during busy-ness and stress? Are you deceiving yourself by saying, “When life slows down and I’m under less stress I’ll commit to eating for health.”

Moments of stress and crisis are the best times to practice making wise choices that build nutritarian muscle!

Let’s dialogue. What excuses are preventing you from living in optimal health today?

Could these be Dr. Fuhrman's New Business Ventures?

Gail Turns a Healthy 50 -- No Funnel Cake for Her

Picture of Gail Hite at Florida Getaway with Palm trees behind her

When you think amusement park, you don't think healthy food. Most people chose to eat the customary foods offered: French fries, hot dogs, deep-fried funnel cakes, pizza and all types of ice cream. Fortunately, Gail chose otherwise.

Gail attended Dr. Fuhrman's Health Getaway in Florida this past summer and she's a changed woman. She has a whole new outlook about what she puts into her mouth, as does her daughter, who is not following Eat to Live.

Mom and daughter recently visited an amusement park and all the sights and smells, not even funnel cake, were not enough to disrupt their new healthy choices. "(My daughter) made a comment about the funnel cakes, and how we can't have them," Gail said, "I told her I now pass that up easily but still enjoy the wonderful smells. It is enough for me."

Gail's perception of food has changed. She avoids "bad stuff" and chooses more healthy foods, like pomegranates, and delights in preparing orange cashew dressing and black bean hummus. She's surprising herself at the supermarket saying, "I spend a lot of time checking out stuff I've never given a second glance." Gail states she is now addicted to mango cut up with fresh blueberries.

And Gail is starting to get noticed. At her 50th birthday party, everyone wanted to know what happened to her, so she spilled the beans. "I tried not to be preachy, but did talk about the basic change in my eating habits," says Gail, "I had 5 or 6 people go home and buy Eat to Live  and Eat for Health as a result." She happily states her friends don't think she's weird, just "enlightened."

Gail credits all she learned at Dr. Fuhrman's Health Getaway for her newfound health. Since then she's been losing weight and riding her mountain bike more powerfully than ever before. Best of all, she's been fitting into clothes she hasn't been able to get into in years.

Gail's son has been somewhat stubborn about getting on board with her, but she is optimistic. "He's 20 and believes himself invincible, even though his cholesterol is 275," admits Gail, "He will come around. I have him on Dr. Fuhrman's LDL Protect for cholesterol control." Odd are Mom will win him over too!

Don't Make Food a War Zone

Picture of Dr. Fuhrman's Children in House

Joel and I have four children, ages 8, 15, 18 and 22. So, we've had a lot of experience in dealing with childrens' food issues, particularly socially. In my house, my children love the way we eat, yet when they are in the Standard American Diet (SAD) world, they become different human beings. Depending on their age, they have reacted very similarly. Here is a recounting of what we've experienced:
Basically, when the kids are 6 and younger, they know of only what you feed them. They are dependent on their family, not friends and like and do what their parents and siblings do. This makes it very easy for all. One interesting example was when our son was 3 years old and he and I attended my daughter's school fair.  I was talking to my girlfriend (who knows how we eat) when my son started looking at a tray of chocolate chip cookies. If you can picture it, the tray is on a table that is the same height as my son's eyes. It is a huge tray and a huge amount of really big, soft chocolate chip cookies. It really caught my son's attention and just as quickly he grabbed a cookie and took a bite. I stopped talking, watching him and said to my girlfriend, "He's never had a cookie!". Well, as soon as he took the bite, he spit it out of his mouth and said, "Yuk!" Both my girlfriend and I were astounded, as we certainly did not expect that response.

The above event let me see how much children's preferences are dictated by what they are used to. My son never had a cookie, ice cream or processed sweet food in his life and once he tried it, he didn't like it.

As I've watched my girls grow up, particularly after the age of 6, I have not had such luck with them disliking such foods. They all did not like chocolate for the very longest time, but they enjoyed ice cream and certainly pizza once it was offered to them. The social events at school were the way my children were introduced to the many unhealthy foods we never had in our home. This has always infuriated me and I was looked at like a leper whenever I brought up the idea of no candy being allowed in school. I can now happily state that our school district has implemented a policy where no foods with sugar as the first ingredient can be brought in. However, when my daughters were younger this was not the case and is probably not the case where many of our nation's children go to school.

With the hope of keeping my children as psychologically healthy as possible, my philosophy has always been not to make my children feel guilty by the food choices they make. I recognize that food can become a big psychological issue if you let it. I also knew of people whose children rebelled and I certainly didn't want that. So, I rarely ask them about what they ate during their time in school or with their friends. I do know of instances where they have had candy and I know that they may eat what is offered at a friend's house that we may not approve of. I accept these times, with the knowledge that whatever they eat in our house is healthy and that has got to be at least 80% of what they take in that day. One of my daughters orders a "salad" pizzas (where it's only the pizza dough with lettuce, tomato, onion, garlic and italian dressing) when her friends are ordering regular pizza. It's her way of compromising both worlds. To be honest, I tried it and it was good.

Picture of Fuhrman children outside

This attitude has enabled my children to talk freely to me about their day and to acknowledge that while they have their SAD foods once in a while, they love our food at home. They also chose restaurants that offer salads and veggie dishes when they go out with their friends. All of my children prefer the food we serve at home and whenever they are away, they can't wait to get back to our house to get good tasting, healthy food. I have even overheard Joel speaking to one of my daughters telling her, "Don't worry about it, it is no big deal. Your overall excellent diet keeps you healthy and there is no reason your healthy body cannot tolerate an occasional stress. Just have a fun time."

We feel good that our children know how to take care of their bodies. They have the knowledge that what they eat has a large effect on their health. And that puts them way ahead of the game!