Are children the victims of our vices?


  • Mom is tired so she stops by Dairy Queen on the way home from the late afternoon soccer game. She orders a Blizzard for herself and dipped cones for the children. There are some chips and leftover slices of pizza at home if anyone gets hungry before bed.   Lately she’s been too wiped out to care.
  • Junior is sitting in front of the computer munching on Doritos for supper. Dad and Mom don’t mind because they are lounging in their lazy boys watching the news while eating cheddar melts and curly fries. Later on they plan to dig into the two quarts of fudge ripple and butter pecan ice cream that’s in the freezer. Cooking and setting-the-table for dinner are obsolete words in their household. 
  • Baby is teething and cranky but the frazzled Mom has discovered that McDonald’s salted fries do the trick to quiet him down every time. Her two-year-old is also a happy camper when eating a Happy Meal in Playland. Mom has found the perfect place of serenity to escape to while eating Big Macs and chocolate sundaes at the golden arches.  
  • When the new parents held their twins for the first time, they had ideals for excellent nutrition. However, one by one, those ideals were tossed by the wayside in the flood of social events and birthday parties. Hotdogs, donuts, cake and ice-cream took over the best of logic and common sense. The pressure to fit in overcame the desire to be healthy. Today their teens eat chicken nuggets, cheeseburgers, or pizza pockets most nights of the week.                  


In a study conducted by RAND Corporation, alcoholism increases the risk of chronic illnesses by 12%; cigarette smoking increases the risk of chronic illnesses by 25%; and obesity increases the risk of chronic illnesses by 67%.1


We have laws established to govern and prohibit the sale of both cigarettes and alcohol to minors, yet gluttonous eating that leads to obesity and poor health is practiced everywhere; especially by adults who are setting the example and leading the way by promoting the dangerous lifestyle. 


cans of PepseAn infant is encouraged to eat French fries that develops into an addiction for salty, high fat, processed foods in the preschool years; which snowballs into craving bags of chips and slices of pizza during the pre-teen / teen years. Chronic fatigue from malnutrition is replaced by Pepsi, coffee and energy drinks that become the drugs of choice through college and beyond. Over time, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, fatigue, and depression become the accepted and expected, All-American diseases; stimulating the economy by keeping drug reps employed, pharmaceutical companies in business, and surgical suites well staffed. 




When a faulty crib or playpen is recalled a wise parent returns the product. 

When crossing a busy street a careful guardian holds a child’s hand.

When danger lies ahead a prudent caregiver changes paths.



babyA victim is one that is [intentionally or unintentionally] injured, harmed, or destroyed by another.


Are children the innocent victims of our vices?



1 RAND Corporation; “The Health Risks of Obesity”; © 2002

 image credits - Flickr: babies by paparutzi; Pepsi Max by Lord Biro

Interview with a Nutritarian: Mark

Mark was experiencing the same physical symptoms and emotional fears that befall many middle-aged males; that of living in fear of an impending heart attack and leaving their children prematurely with no father to help raise them. Not only did Mark take control of his health destiny and get his health back, but became one of Dr. Fuhrman’s first Nutritional Education Trainers (NETs) to help others do the same! Welcome to Onlyourhealth, Mark. 

 before after images of Mark  

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

I was overweight, but in denial.  Being 6'3" and carrying around an extra 65 lbs. wasn't as noticeable on me as it would have been on someone that was a bit shorter.  I was always playing sports when I was young, so it was hard for me to accept that I was overweight.  I was on four prescription medications for asthma and a perpetual runny nose.  I always over ate and consumed a deadly diet.

How did you feel then?

I was tired all the time and would wake up every night needing my inhaler so I could breathe.  I was also worried about the heart attack that I knew was probably only a year or two away and was very concerned that if I didn't do something my two daughters may lose their father to some disease.


How did you find out about ETL?

After experiencing a severe cramp during a morning run I took a look at my leg and noticed how it had lost a lot of hair, just like my dad's legs before he died due to heart disease.  This was a wake-up call for me.  I started searching for ways to improve my health and began doing a lot of reading.  I learned about "detoxifying" during a cruise.  While researching detoxifying I learned about some of the benefits of fasting and looked for books on fasting in the library.  That's when I found Dr. Fuhrman's first book, Fasting and Eating for Health.  While reading this book everything made sense.  Unlike many of the previous "health" books I had been reading, Dr. Fuhrman didn't just tell what to do, but why this advice worked and the proof with references to scientific studies. Soon after, I also found Eat to Live.

after photo of MarkHow do you feel now?

Great!  I now weigh the same as I did in high school, and I no longer wake up at night struggling for air.  I've been off all medications since I began the program about five years ago.  I don't feel hot or sweat all the time like I used to.  Gone are the days of being lethargic.  In fact, two years after beginning the program I began training and ran my first marathon, the Marine Corps Marathon; one week before turning 51.  I did it in 4 hours 22 seconds and didn't walk a single step along the way.  It was pretty emotional for me when the Marine Officer (I'm a former Marine) placed that medal around my neck as I reflected on how much I was enjoying my new life of health!  The nutritarian lifestyle didn't just heal me physically; it increased my self esteem and gave me a different outlook on my future. 

   Before  After
Weight  249 lbs  185 lbs
Cholesterol  163  120
Blood pressure  144 / 95  118 / 75

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

  • Learn as much as you can before starting the program. 

  • Learn that your taste buds will change; that you can lose your addictions to toxic foods; that this way of eating will become more and more enjoyable; and it will eventually become what is "normal" for you. 

  • Don't be discouraged by those around you who will come up with any number of reasons why you should go back to eating the way they do. 

  • Take it one step at a time.  You don't have to go all out in the beginning, but it's okay if you do. 

  • Find positive support somewhere.  Dr. Fuhrman's Member Center on the web is a great place for this.


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

It has changed my whole outlook on life.  After years of worrying about a heart attack, these thoughts are now gone.  Every day seems brighter when you have your health.  It has also been rewarding to be able to help others with what I've learned.  Along these lines, I decided to become a Nutritional Education Trainer (NET).  I figured having this title would give me more credibility when telling others about the benefits of the nutritarian lifestyle.  Even though I'm too busy with my current job, I hope to get more involved and lead group sessions after I retire in a few years.  What a great hobby!

Congratulations Mark for earning your health back and your Nutritional Education Trainer certification!

Wow, what an incredible time!

            Princeton Westin


food lineEmily Boller (right) with Adrienne who has lost 128 lbs and still losing!Wow, what an incredible time everyone had at Dr. Fuhrman’s Weekend Immersion in Princeton, New Jersey last weekend! To immerse oneself is to: engage wholly, deeply, and absorb everything fully.  

There is definitely something to be said about being completely immersed in Dr. Fuhrman’s health information to understand the science and logic behind his nutritional recommendations; tasting delicious, new recipes; listening to inspirational success stories; meeting and interacting with other nutritarians, and sharing a common bond with everyone . . . . all in one place! Everyone left with a renewed commitment to optimal health for life.


Dr. Fuhrman speaking at the Princeton Immersion

A time set aside to be fully engaged in such an environment speeds up the learning process, and one’s mindset changes from “I really should eat better” . . . .to . . . . “I want to eat this way for the best health that’s possible!” 


A changed mind naturally produces a transformed body for life


Here are a few comments from the weekend:

  • fruit beveragesI was beyond blown away. Dr. Fuhrman was so amazingly inspiring and informative. I have been at this for several years, but I learned so many new things. The success stories that were presented were unforgettable, and renewed my enthusiasm and commitment to this way of life. The food was off the charts too! I was there with my dad and we both were so thrilled that we went. We met some fantastic people, and I am going to lobby hard for the Getaway this summer! -Heather
  • I enjoyed the weekend very much! Thanks to Dr Furhman and staff for a well-organized event!   -Alexandre
  • The whole weekend was awesome and my husband and I both learned so much!
  • It was great! I learned new things, met new people, and tried some new recipes. –Essie
  • It was such a wonderfully planned event and you can tell the staff worked hard to make it seem effortless. I have returned with lots of enthusiasm. –Laura
  • The weekend immersion was so good! I was a little hesitant about going alone, but I was so happy that I went. It was so comfortable, and the material presented was just wonderful and informative; and the place where it was held was great. –kfrasetto


For those who couldn’t make it to the weekend immersion, Dr. Fuhrman’s 2011 Fifth Annual Health Getaway will be June 26 – July 2 at The Grand Summit Resort in Park City, Utah. Actress Marilu Henner will be this year’s MC; and along with Dr. Fuhrman’s life-changing lectures will be health screenings, social events, indoor and outdoor activities including gondola rides, hiking, golf, concerts, and much more to make for a never-to-be-forgotten revitalizing vacation for you and your loved ones! 

Invest a week of your life into your health ~ it’s MUCH more fun and cheaper than a week’s vacation in the coronary care unit recovering from quadruple bypass surgery, or a lifetime of finger pricks and insulin shots!


Here’s to optimal health for all!  

High blood pressure increases dementia risk

The small arteries of the brain are sensitive to elevations in blood pressure, and long-term hypertension carries the risk of injury to these small vessels, impairing blood flow and resulting in damage to or atrophy of brain tissue. As such, high blood pressure is hazardous to the brain, contributing to the development of vascular dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, and cognitive impairment: [1]

  • High diastolic blood pressure at age 50 predicts poorer cognitive function at age 70. [2]
  • Even in younger subjects - 40 and under - higher blood pressure correlates with poorer cognitive performance.[3]
  • An MRI study determined that higher systolic blood pressure is associated with white matter lesions – a type of damage to brain tissue that arises due to poor circulation and poses risk for dementia. [4]
  • According to long-term (20-year) studies, the risk of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia is more than doubled if systolic blood pressure is in or above the range of 140-160 mmHg. [1]

Most cognitive impairment is not age-related, it is lifestyle-related.

Over many years, the Western diet combined with high blood pressure inflicts a great deal of damage on the brain’s delicate small vessels. Keeping your blood pressure in the favorable range is an important step toward maintaining your brain function as you age.

Blood pressure cuff

Dr. Fuhrman’s strategies for healthy blood pressure levels:



1. Nagai, M., S. Hoshide, and K. Kario, Hypertension and dementia. Am J Hypertens, 2010. 23(2): p. 116-24.
2. Kilander, L., et al., Hypertension is related to cognitive impairment: a 20-year follow-up of 999 men. Hypertension, 1998. 31(3): p. 780-6.
3. Suhr, J.A., J.C. Stewart, and C.R. France, The relationship between blood pressure and cognitive performance in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III). Psychosom Med, 2004. 66(3): p. 291-7.
4. Kuller, L.H., et al., Relationship of hypertension, blood pressure, and blood pressure control with white matter abnormalities in the Women's Health Initiative Memory Study (WHIMS)-MRI trial. J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich), 2010. 12(3): p. 203-12.
5. Utsugi, M.T., et al., Fruit and vegetable consumption and the risk of hypertension determined by self measurement of blood pressure at home: the Ohasama study. Hypertens Res, 2008. 31(7): p. 1435-43.
6. Sesso, H.D., et al., Alcohol consumption and the risk of hypertension in women and men. Hypertension, 2008. 51(4): p. 1080-7.
7. Sacks, F.M., et al., Effects on blood pressure of reduced dietary sodium and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet. DASH-Sodium Collaborative Research Group. N Engl J Med, 2001. 344(1): p. 3-10.
8. Winkelmayer, W.C., et al., Habitual caffeine intake and the risk of hypertension in women. JAMA, 2005. 294(18): p. 2330-5.
9. Bogaert, Y.E. and S. Linas, The role of obesity in the pathogenesis of hypertension. Nat Clin Pract Nephrol, 2009. 5(2): p. 101-11.
10. Pescatello, L.S., Exercise and hypertension: recent advances in exercise prescription. Curr Hypertens Rep, 2005. 7(4): p. 281-6.


Nibbling can easily turn into pigging out

We all know the expression, “pigging out;” aka binge eating / ravenous gorging. 

Addiction is a repeated action that has the potential to evolve into a dangerous and downward spiral that only gets worse. If one continues in daily nibbling, those innocent snacks can easily and quickly turn into pigging out; which will lead to self-sabotage.  It's pretty predictable.   

When I was in my early twenties, I was athletic, fit and weighed a healthy weight. If someone would have told me that in ten years I’d be 100 lbs overweight, I wouldn’t have believed them! No way in a million years would I ever let myself weigh THAT much! But it happened. One nibble turned into two, which turned into three, four, five, six . . . which eventually turned into a full-blown, binge eating disorder; resulting in obesity and poor health for twenty long years. Those years were like existing in a dark prison cell with no exit sign.   

Dr. Fuhrman clearly states that snacking is overeating, and overeating will sabotage excellent health. Those who nibble consume more calories, and snacking is usually done when not truly hungry. It’s easy to reach for that handful of nuts after watching Junior’s soccer game. (If those same nuts are consumed with greens at mealtime, the absorption of phytochemicals is enhanced by 10 fold!) It’s easy to nibble on that package of carrots or dried fruit while putting groceries away. Oh my, and don’t forget those enticing food samples laced throughout the grocery store on Saturday mornings! “Just one bite” never hurt anyone. Wrong. In all truthfulness, if we want to live in optimal health, nibbling and snacking need to be eliminated from our vocabulary altogether. Period.  No compromise.  No excuses.*


                                                   SAY NO TO NIBBLING 


Let’s all enjoy the privilege of living in excellent health for the rest of our lives!

                  waist measurement


Previous posts related to this topic: “The powerful snare of compromise”  and "Eating occasions"


* Dr. Fuhrman states that a rare exception to snacking would be if one ate too little at a meal or couldn’t get to the next meal and were truly hungry; in that case the “healthy snack” would be appropriate.


image credit - Flickr:; lululemon athletica

Success stories and more at Dr. Fuhrman's weekend immersion

After a nutrient dense lunch, and Dr. Fuhrman’s lecture on disease-specific nutritional recommendations, we were treated to a few inspiring success stories.

High nutrient eating is truly powerful, and has allowed many people to lose incredible amounts of weight, get off medications, reverse diabetes and heart disease, and reclaim their health.  Today we had the pleasure of hearing the personal stories of a few individuals who have begun living vibrant, active lives with a nutritarian lifestyle. First we heard from Adrienne, who had been obese since childhood. At 319 lbs., on the day she was going to schedule her appointment for a gastric bypass procedure, a friend told her about Dr. Fuhrman.  Now, after about a year and a half, she has already lost over 130 lbs.  She can now fit both of her legs into her old pants, and her success story isn’t over yet!

Then we heard from Anthony, who with the help of a nutritarian diet went from weighing over 300 lbs. to running a half-marathon at a healthy weight in just under 2 years.

Dr. Jay Benson discussed Dr. Fuhrman’s Center for Nutritional Medicine and the Nutritional Education Institute, a program founded by Dr. Fuhrman that educates and certifies individuals who advocate nutritional science for the prevention and reversal of disease and weight loss, allowing them to coach others through transitioning to a nutritarian lifestyle.

Dinner, of course, was another round of delicious and beautifully prepared nutritarian food - including Dr. Fuhrman's anti-cancer soup, kale with cashew cream sauce, vegetable shepherd's pie, and asparagus with black fig dressing.

After dinner, we had a special musical treat from Marjorie, who sang about "the day she nutrified" (video). Then everyone settled in to watch Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, a documentary featuring Dr. Fuhrman
Tomorrow, everyone will learn the latest developments in nutritional science from Dr. Fuhrman, and go home with new (or renewed) healthy habits.

Exercise and Education at Dr. Fuhrman's Weekend Immersion

Saturday started out with a bang - an exercise session led by Dr. Fuhrman!


Everyone worked up quite an appetite, and then headed down to breakfast for a beautiful array of fresh fruit, hot oatmeal, a green smoothie, and Apple Surprise.  


Dr. Fuhrman gave his first lecture today on a crucial topic, especially those new to high nutrient eating: Food Addiction and Overeating.  Dr. Fuhrman explained the four dimensions of hunger, and then the two components of food addiction: detoxification/withdrawal (also known as “toxic hunger”) and the brain’s dopamine system.  Scientists have now found that unhealthy food works like an addictive drug in the brain, and Dr. Fuhrman is presenting this science to the attendees here so that they can understand how dangerous and habit-forming unhealthy food truly is!

Dr. Fuhrman also discussed several other factors that contribute to overeating - such as emotional issues and micronutrient inadequacy; he then went on to talk about eating nuts and seeds for good health.

Did you know...

  • that the resistant starch in beans promotes “good” bacteria, binds and removes cholesterol from the intestinal tract, and protects against colon cancer?
  • that nuts are a weight-loss food?
  • that eating nuts with vegetables helps the body to absorb the nutrients in the vegetables?

These are just a few of the many bits of nutritional knowledge that the Immersion attendees have learned so far - all before lunchtime!

And speaking of lunchtime... 

Black bean mango salad

Also this morning, we unveiled Dr. Fuhrman's new Kale is the New Beef T-shirts!

Kale is the new beef

And there's more to come this afternoon and evening!


Dr. Fuhrman's weekend immersion begins!

Today, over 250 people traveled to The Westin in Princeton, 6108032618, ready to start a whirlwind weekend of eating to live!

There are some seasoned veterans of the nutritarian lifestyle here, plus plenty who are brand new to healthy eating - who learned the health equation, H=N/C, for the first time tonight!  The attendees and all of us on Dr Fuhrman's staff were eager to get this event underway!

Everyone gathered in the dining room started getting to know one another as we enjoyed Black Forest Cream of Mushroom Soup, Swiss Chard and Sweet Potato Gratin, Lentil Loaf, Mediterranean Bean and Kale Saute, and for dessert - lots of fresh fruit and Coconut Carrot Custard Pie. (You can find many of these recipes in the Member Center Recipe Guide)

Lentil loaf

But of course, the salad was the main dish!

Onlyourhealth’s very own Emily Boller is emceeing this weekend of education, inspiration, and great food! 

Emily opened the event with her own story of personal transformation - from being obese and pre-diabetic to being a trim, lively nutritarian. In addition to being a dedicated nutritarian, Emily is also an artist - she documented her entire journey and she is turning her experience of transformation into an entire art exhibit. We got a little sneak preview of it tonight!

Then Emily introduced Dr. Fuhrman, who gave his introductory lecture after dinner, wasting no time and jumping right into nutritional science.  He discussed some of the basic nutritional concepts that form the foundation of his eating style - macronutrients vs. micronutrients, the disease-preventing properties of phytochemicals in whole plant foods, and the disease-causing nature of the standard American diet.  Dr. Fuhrman described the human body as a miraculous self-healing machine that will thrive in excellent health if only we provide it with the correct nutrition.

By the end of the lecture, everyone was ready to head to their rooms for a good night’s sleep - knowing that tomorrow will be a FULL day of food, fun, exercise, and lots of learning!

Even if you’re not joining us here in Princeton this weekend, you can still join us in cyberspace!

Throughout the rest of the weekend, we will be posting pictures, nutrition science tidbits, and updates here and on Dr. Fuhrman’s Facebook and Twitter pages (look for #dfwknd on Twitter).

That's What You Get For Eating Out In Vegas

Las Vegas.  Flickr: http2007

I have always been an advocate that you can find healthy food anywhere. I tell people this all the time when they ask if I dine at restaurants or how I handle social events involving food. Boy, did my trip to Vegas prove me wrong. 

I traveled to Vegas with hard-core meat and junk-food eating friends. Besides their affinity for foods I consider grotesquely inedible, I love these people and cherish them as my friends. They tried to please me in our restaurant choices and I figured there would be vegetable options on every restaurant’s menu, so I was initially pretty easy going about where we went to eat. I figured worst-case scenario, I could ask the chef to steam some vegetables for me. It would be no big deal, I thought.

Upon our first lunch outing, my friends chose a Japanese restaurant. I was famished and as such, agreed to eat wherever they desired. When I glanced at the menu, I was a happy girl. The menu was a treasure trove of vegan and vegetarian options, all which seemed as tasty as any home cooked meal. I ordered the Crispy Lettuce Rolls, which were to be filled with mushrooms and tofu. Can’t go wrong with that, right? Wrong.

When my meal arrived it looked delicious, so I eagerly took a big bite. What I tasted was pure salt. That’s what my meal was. Lettuce wrapped in salt. Much to my later regret, I continued to consume the meal because I was famished and as a salt-binge ingénue, didn’t comprehend the repercussions that eating this meal would entail. Throughout the day I felt perfectly fine, but by dinner time I no longer felt like my vibrant, healthy glowing self. I actually felt positively disgusting. I was bloated, very thirsty and uncomfortable in my own skin. In my state of physical lousiness, I began pondering how in the world other people could eat like this every single day and function normally. For dinner I was going to stay as far away from seasoned food as possible. My friends chose a Mexican restaurant with plentiful salad options. Okay, I figured I couldn’t go wrong with a salad. 

I was proven wrong once more. I asked for Portobello mushrooms instead of chicken on my salad and when I bit into those mushrooms they were oozing with salt and vinegar. I couldn’t eat my side order of beans, which I had attempted and failed to order salt free (they were pre-prepared), because they also tasted like a mouth full of salt. Needless to say, I wasted my money on food I didn’t consume. Apart from one evening meal at the Wynn in which I custom ordered a vegan meal of steamed vegetables (I loved the meal and Steve Wynn for going vegan!), I could not find healthy food anywhere.   It was a nutritarian nightmare. For lunch one day I ordered what appeared to be a healthy, grilled vegetable wrap, only to take a bite into a mouthful of grease. I couldn’t eat it. Just like the overflowing decorative opulence of many of the Vegas hotels, apparently all of the chefs at the Vegas restaurants assumed they should opulently season, sugar and grease their dishes. 

My memories of the trip will be of the wonderful shows and places we went to, but I will also remember how bloated and disgusting I felt after eating salted food. I guess the moral of this story is to arrive on vacations better prepared. I was too naïve and didn’t realize until it was too late that you must assume all food in restaurants are loaded with salt. I should have known to ask for plain vegetables and salads with the dressing on the side. I should have known to travel with a stash of nuts and apples or other healthy options to curtail my hunger. My father would have been saying, “I told you so!” I learned my lesson. No more veggie junk-food hangovers for me!


Depression + diabetes = increased risk of death

Abstract image of depression

Depression is a growing problem in our society, and diabetes has reached epidemic proportions.
Major depressive disorder affects nearly 15 million American adults – that’s almost 7% of the adult population, and it is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. for individuals aged 15-44. [1] Type 2 diabetes affects almost 10% of Americans, about 24 million people, and is the 7th leading cause of death in the U.S. [2]

In women, it has been shown that those with depression are more likely to develop diabetes, and those with diabetes are more likely to develop clinical depression.[3] Diabetes doubles the risk of heart attack and stroke, and depression is also an independent risk factor for heart disease, increasing risk by 64%. [2, 4] A new study has found that the coexistence of depression and diabetes imposes additive detrimental effects, especially with regard to death from cardiovascular disease. As a part of the Nurses’ Health Study, 78,000 women were followed for 6 years, and diagnoses of depression and type 2 diabetes were recorded.


Compared to subjects with neither diabetes nor depression:

  • Depression alone increased risk of all-cause mortality by 53%, and cardiovascular mortality by 56%
  • Diabetes alone increased risk of all-cause mortality by 52%, and cardiovascular mortality by 146%
  • The risk of death from all causes climbed in those with both conditions to more than double, and risk of cardiovascular mortality almost quadruple that of individuals with neither condition.
  • Those who had lived with diabetes for more than ten years combined with depression more than tripled their risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
  • Depressed individuals who were also on insulin therapy had almost 5 times the risk of death from cardiovascular disease.[5, 6]

This is a reminder not only of the substantial health hazards associated with diabetes, but also the significance of the mind-body connection – in this study, depression increased the risk of death from all causes by 53%. Psychological conditions profoundly affect physical health. The potential physiological effects of depression on the cardiovascular system include increased platelet aggregation and inflammation, sympathetic nervous system hyperactivity, and impaired endothelial function. [7] Living healthfully, with the right lifestyle and diet-style in conjunction with judicious use of supplements to assure comprehensive nutritional adequacy can go a long way to making sure you and your loved ones avoid both diabetes and depression.

No one needs to resign to becoming a victim of these common American conditions.

Even if you have or have had depression, there are effective natural methods for getting well. Dr. Fuhrman uses a treatment regimen that includes morning light therapy and exercise combined with a high nutrient diet and supplementation with vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids for patients with depression. Type 2 diabetes is a disease of poor lifestyle choices. As such, health-promoting lifestyle habits – a high-nutrient diet and exercise – are established in the medical literature as effective treatments for diabetes. [8-13] Furthermore, a high-nutrient, vegetable-based diet offers dramatic results as it unlocks the body’s enormous healing potential, enabling many people to completely reverse their diabetes. Living a healthy lifestyle allows you to take control of your own health – both physical and mental health.



1. The Numbers Count: Mental Disorders in America.
2. American Diabetes Association: Diabetes statistics. Available from:
3. Pan, A., et al., Bidirectional association between depression and type 2 diabetes mellitus in women. Arch Intern Med, 2010. 170(21): p. 1884-91.
4. Wulsin, L.R. and B.M. Singal, Do depressive symptoms increase the risk for the onset of coronary disease? A systematic quantitative review. Psychosom Med, 2003. 65(2): p. 201-10.
5. Pan, A., et al., Increased mortality risk in women with depression and diabetes mellitus. Arch Gen Psychiatry, 2011. 68(1): p. 42-50.
6. Walsh, N. Depression Plus Diabetes Raises CV Death Risk. Medpage Today, 2011.
7. Huffman, J.C., C.M. Celano, and J.L. Januzzi, The relationship between depression, anxiety, and cardiovascular outcomes in patients with acute coronary syndromes. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat, 2010. 6: p. 123-36.
8. Barnard, N.D., et al., A low-fat vegan diet and a conventional diabetes diet in the treatment of type 2 diabetes: a randomized, controlled, 74-wk clinical trial. Am J Clin Nutr, 2009. 89(5): p. 1588S-1596S.
9. Barnard, N.D., et al., A low-fat vegan diet improves glycemic control and cardiovascular risk factors in a randomized clinical trial in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care, 2006. 29(8): p. 1777-83.
10. Barnard, N.D., et al., Vegetarian and vegan diets in type 2 diabetes management. Nutr Rev, 2009. 67(5): p. 255-63.
11. Trapp, C.B. and N.D. Barnard, Usefulness of vegetarian and vegan diets for treating type 2 diabetes. Curr Diab Rep, 2010. 10(2): p. 152-8.
12. Thomas, D.E., E.J. Elliott, and G.A. Naughton, Exercise for type 2 diabetes mellitus. Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 2006. 3: p. CD002968.
13. Conn, V.S., et al., Metabolic effects of interventions to increase exercise in adults with type 2 diabetes. Diabetologia, 2007. 50(5): p. 913-21.


Comments from the Six Week Holiday Challenge

Wow, it seems like just yesterday we were launching the Six Week Holiday Challenge, and here it is . . . a week into 2011 already!  Between facebook, the member center of, and Onlyourhealth, it’s exciting to read the many comments that have come in from those whose lives have been radically changed by the challenge. I think it gave all of us the necessary awareness, focus, and inertia to establish new and healthy holiday traditions for the rest of our lives.  


The change of one is a transformation; the change of many is a revolution. While most of the nation gorged on disease promoting foods and became even sicker, we can honestly say, based on the flood of posts and comments, that we truly did experience an exciting and unprecedented health revolution during the holidays!  Decadent holiday binge eating, and resulting bloating and blues, are now traditions of the past for many! 



Enjoy reading a few of those comments . . . . .


  • I have lost a total of 15 lbs. I'm sleeping better and exercising more. I feel so grateful to be improving my health during what could have been a treacherous (health wise) season.    -Marie
  • Down 16.5 pounds and 2” off waist lost! Yeah!    -Mael
  • I’ve been diagnosed with inflammatory arthritis. Before I started the challenge all of my joints were stiff, and I was in a state of constant flare.  My knees felt like there were glass shards in them. Now I only have the stiffness in the morning, and the feeling of glass in my knees is gone and the flaring has calmed down tremendously.   -Christine
  • I lost 5 lbs during the holidays when I normally would’ve gained 5 lbs. I feel much more energetic and can think more clearly. My skin is much clearer and no longer extremely dry, and my hair feels healthier and stronger. My husband said that I seem happier and nicer, and it’s gotten easier for me to just say, “No thank you” to SAD foods.  I definitely prefer ETL foods over SAD foods now.    -Katie
  • I cut my Topomax (migraine medication) in half, and I’ve stopped using antibiotic acne cream. I’ve also dropped from 140 lbs to 129 lbs and feel great!    -V
  • I weighed 177 pounds about 3 weeks ago and now I weigh 160.  My blood sugars are coming down, and I feel better with more energy.   -Amy
  • I’ve lost 10 lbs so far, but more importantly, I feel great!  I have no more acid reflux, and I’m more comfortable in my clothes.  My wife called me a ‘sexy man’ last night!  Now that’s some success to share!   -Tom
  • My aches and pains are gone, and for the most part my uncontrollable sugar urges are gone. Most importantly my mood is good, I’m loving the winter, my skin glows, and I love the way I look!   -Diana
  • Since starting the challenge I’m down 13 pounds, and I can run/walk intervals for 40min and do 1 hour spinning classes. AND I just found out that I’m pregnant! Thank you so much for starting this challenge, because it has given me the start that I needed, and now a great start to the most healthiest pregnancy EVER!   -A
  • In November, 2010, I discovered Dr. Fuhrman, his wonderful book, Eat to Live, and I jumped on-board the Six Week Holiday Challenge. Friends have started commenting on my slimmer physique and I now have more energy than I know what to do with.   -Carrie
  • I started the Six Week Holiday Challenge on November 20th weighing 311.3 pounds, and now I weigh 282.5 pounds.  My blood pressure was 146/86 and now it’s 121/71. My former acid reflux and swollen feet are gone, and I sleep better and have lots more energy. Arthritis in my knees has decreased significantly, and I’ve lost so much fluid that I was excited to see that I actually have ankles again!  There are nine of us in my family strictly following ETL now; ranging in ages 3 to 65. Everyone has had a reduction in symptoms / illnesses. My dad’s blood pressure has dropped from 150/90 to 127/77 ~ the best he’s had in 15 years!   -Peta
  • I’ve dropped ten pounds over the holiday challenge, starting a week before Thanksgiving and encompassing Christmas and New Year's Eve too! Plus, we had a birthday in our family to add in as well, and a lot of parties and things. Ten pounds lost over all that time is pretty satisfying!     -Cindy
  • I cannot believe how well I feel! The weight seems to be coming off easily and my appetite is under excellent control; this is the aspect of dieting that has NEVER allowed me to keep my weight off.     -tsmoon


For those reading about the Six Week Holiday Challenge for the first time, or couldn’t participate in it during the holidays, it’s never too late to earn health back. Commit to following the six week plan as outlined in Eat to Live and you will be feeling amazingly great in six weeks also! Go for it and contend for optimal health today!  



image credit:  flickr by Merelymel13; celebration image courtesy of Elijah Lynn




Onions and garlic: not only anti-cancer, anti-arthritis too

The Allium family of vegetables, which includes onions, garlic, leeks, shallots, chives, and scallions add more than just flavor to your diet, they also add anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant compounds.

Epidemiological studies have found that increased consumption of Allium vegetables is associated with lower risk of gastric and prostate cancers, and this is thought to be due to their organosulfur compounds, which are released when the vegetables are chopped, crushed, or chewed. These compounds prevent the development of cancers by detoxifying carcinogens, halting cancer cell growth, and preventing tumors from obtaining a blood supply.[1]

Research suggests that the organosulfur compounds in Allium family members may also have anti-inflammatory actions that protect against osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is characterized by painful degradation of the cartilage in the joints of the knees, hands, hips, back, and/or neck. Osteoarthritis is a common chronic condition among middle-aged and elderly persons, a progressive disease affecting nearly 27 million Americans. It is the most common cause of disability in the U.S. [2]

Excess weight is a risk factor for osteoarthritis (particularly in the knee), and scientists hypothesized that in addition to mechanical pressure on the joints in overweight individuals, a diet low in micronutrients may also contribute to the progression of osteoarthritis. Oxidative stress is known to contribute to osteoarthritis by damaging cartilage[3], and levels of endogenous antioxidants are suppressed in the fluid of arthritic joints compared to joints with intact cartilage. [4] Dietary antioxidants are thought to be protective against osteoarthritis, but other micronutrients have not yet been studied.

Dietary patterns and osteoarthritis were assessed in a study of 1086 women. After adjustment for age, body mass index, and physical activity, the ‘fruit and vegetable’ dietary pattern, which was characterized by frequent intake of fruit, Allium vegetables, and cruciferous vegetables and low intake of fried potatoes, was protective for hip osteoarthritis. Two specific food groups also had strong beneficial effects: non-citrus fruits and Allium vegetables.

To investigate a potential mechanism by which Allium vegetables might protect the joints from cartilage damage, researchers then tested diallyl disulphide (DADS; an organosulfur compound) for its effects on inflammation-induced cartilage damage in vitro. DADS suppressed the expression of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) – MMPs are elevated in response to inflammatory signals and contribute to the cartilage degradation characteristic of osteoarthritis.[5] These results suggest that organosulfur compounds in Allium vegetables can help to prevent or halt the progression of osteoarthritis.

DADS is just one of many phytochemicals present in Allium vegetables – when we eat these vegetables, thousands of organosulfur compounds, antioxidants, and other micronutrients work together to prevent disease. And when we use garlic and onion to flavor a dish of greens, beans, and mushrooms, the additive nutritional benefits that we receive are remarkable. A nutritarian dietary approach is designed to maximize anti-cancer and disease-protective benefits. If you choose otherwise, eat at your own risk.




1. Powolny, A. and S. Singh, Multitargeted prevention and therapy of cancer by diallyl trisulfide and related Allium vegetable-derived organosulfur compounds. Cancer Letters, 2008. 269(2): p. 305-314.
2. Arthritis Foundation: Osteoarthritis Fact Sheet. 2008.
3. Henrotin, Y. and B. Kurz, Antioxidant to treat osteoarthritis: dream or reality? Curr Drug Targets, 2007. 8(2): p. 347-57.
4. Regan, E.A., R.P. Bowler, and J.D. Crapo, Joint fluid antioxidants are decreased in osteoarthritic joints compared to joints with macroscopically intact cartilage and subacute injury. Osteoarthritis Cartilage, 2008. 16(4): p. 515-21.
5. Williams, F.M., et al., Dietary garlic and hip osteoarthritis: evidence of a protective effect and putative mechanism of action. BMC Musculoskelet Disord, 2010. 11(1): p. 280.


Take Charge of Your Life

Talia Fuhrman, Dr. Fuhrman, and Marilu HennerStepping into the New Year brings with it recollections of the past and hopes and desires for the year ahead. Contemplation about ways we can improve ourselves is a welcome sidekick of this time of year if we can put our goals into action in our day-to-day practices. For me, reminiscing about the past and what self-improvement goals I would like to make, made me realize how much I treasure my family and friends. I am blessed to have a wonderful, loving group of people in my life who care about my well-being and happiness and whose well-being and happiness I care about in return. I also thought about people in my life who have gone through serious health issues, and how these experiences have affected not just them, but their friends and family members. A physical ailment might be a one person ordeal, but the subsequent emotional reactions are not. It pains us to see a loved one suffering and we can enjoy our lives more fully when the people we care about are healthy and happy.

As such, I know that taking care of one’s own health is not a selfish act. When we feel well we are able to participate in activities we enjoy with the people in our lives. 

For example, an overweight, sickly father on the standard American diet might be restricted in his ability to play football or soccer with his sons, to their disappointment. I’ve had an overweight friend with type 2 diabetes say she does not want to go mountain hiking with me because she does not have the stamina. This is a shame given how enjoyable these activities can be, especially when we can bond over them and remember how much fun we’ve had. Most people can coast by eating standard American fare for a while, but eventually doing so will result in sluggishness, extra pounds, and health problems that will interfere with their happiness and the happiness of those close to them.   

If we are to make this year the best one yet, let’s all pledge to make eating nutritiously a priority and spend time participating in enjoyable physical activities and games. Plus, by making the right eating choices and feeling great, we are setting a good example for others who might be struggling to do so. Happiness is contagious and feeling our best will maximize our happiness. The emotional benefits of taking care of one’s health have the ability to spread like an invisible white light touching the people we interact with. When you are passionate about your lifestyle, other people can sense that passion. 

I can speak from experience that my father’s (as well as my own) passion for nutrition is easily detectable by others and they become motivated to make changes in their diets simply by observing how ebullient and lively my father is when he speaks about the subject. I believe that if you set healthy New Years goals for yourself and follow through with them, the feelings of accomplishment that result can enliven a passion in you that can inspire others to make healthy eating choices as well. Quality time spent with family and friends can then be appreciated undeterred by health maladies for the upcoming year and for many years to come. Taking the place of health problems will be the ability to laugh, bond, and have fun with those you care about. 


The above image is a recent picture of my father and me with Marilu Henner.