Interview with a Nutritarian: Peter Max

“I’m positive and optimistic. It’s all about brightness. We are living in a euphoric world all we need to do is see it. I paint that.” ~Peter Max

This week I had the pleasure of interviewing the world-renowned artist, pop culture icon and enthusiastic nutritarian, Peter Max. Famous for his artwork since the 1960s, he is known for his use of patriotic American icons and symbols in his artwork. Max has painted for six U.S. Presidents and he has been the official artist at major events such as the Grammy Awards, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Super Bowl, just to name a few. In addition to his artistic pursuits, he is a fervent defender of environmental causes as well as human and animal rights. Max is the epitome of a passionate individual and it is evident that he exudes just as much enthusiasm for health and wellness as he does towards his artwork.

Were you always interested in nutrition and wellness?

My interest in nutrition and the “we are what we eat” mindset kicked into high gear in the 1960s when I met Swami Satchidananda in Paris in the 1960s.  It was this one encounter that changed my diet forever and I became a vegetarian immediately afterwards.  He really captivated a group of us and each one of us stopped doing drugs and took an interest in yoga, self-awareness and how what we eat influences our well-being and long-term health.  I didn’t learn about Dr. Fuhrman until a decade ago, but once I read Eat To Live I was hooked and haven’t looked back since.  I went from being just a vegetarian to a committed nutritarian.  I have to say that Dr. Fuhrman has been one of the biggest guiding lights in my life and I recommend his books to everyone I meet.  That is how much I believe in the power of his nutritional program. 

What is your diet like now?

Each day I drink a green smoothie and I make sure to eat large salads, beans, berries, nuts and seeds.  There is a big difference between being a vegetarian and being a nutritarian.  I haven’t eaten processed foods for years and eat grains rarely now. Seeking to optimize the nutrient per calorie ratio of the foods we eat makes so much sense and it has become my way of life.   

How do you feel now that you’ve been a nutritarian for a decade?

I can honestly say that I have never felt better in my entire life.  I feel 25-30 years younger and have enough energy to work all day as an artist and travel without limitations. I do pushups every morning and walk up the steps instead of taking the elevator. The nutritarian diet makes me feel light and never weighed down. 

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

I love that as I am getting older, I don’t have to worry about health problems that may have otherwise left me incapacitated and unable to pursue my artwork.  Being a working artist is important to me and gives me such joy. I’m grateful that I feel as healthy as I do and am able to continue doing what I love. There is nothing better than the gift of health because without it we can’t enjoy life to the fullest and participate in the activities that give meaning to our lives.  Thank you, Dr. Fuhrman! I really cannot express how thankful I am to know you and see how much you are helping people take control of their own health.

And thank you, Peter! It was an honor to interview someone who not only contributes beautiful artwork to the world, but has a kind heart to go along with it.  What a fantastic role model to look up to.  We wish you continued success with your artwork and only the best of health in the days to come.

There is No Greater Joy

"The most effective treatment for breaking any bad habit or addiction is abstinence."    -Joel Fuhrman, M.D.

I've never been drunk, in fact, I don't drink alcohol. I grew up in a home where alcohol wasn’t consumed, so therefore, I didn't acquire a taste for it. However, during college I lived in a house with 28 other girls, and most Saturday and Sunday mornings I witnessed the various hangovers from the drinking parties the night before. I felt so sorry for them. I couldn't understand why they would do such a thing to torture their poor bodies so much.

Well, just a couple of years later when I was in the midst of my own hangovers from toxic food addiction, I could finally understand. When a poisonous addiction takes over, it tortures both body and mind. After a toxic food binge I would feel bloated, painfully miserable, and disoriented for several hours until the foods got out of my system; only to eat them all over again.

For me, being free from toxic food hangovers has been even more exciting than losing weight or getting health restored. To anyone who doesn't understand that concept, be thankful. Be very thankful. To be imprisoned to habitual bingeing hangovers is a terrible captivity, and I was in the dark abyss for over 20 years.

  • I dreaded birthday parties and holiday feasts, yet craved them at the same time.
  • I dreaded the way I'd feel after eating fake stuff, yet couldn't live without it.
  • I even dreaded getting up many mornings to face another day of bingeing; dreading it, yet craving it. What insanity.

Perhaps that's why I'm so staunch about abstinence to the point others may think I'm extreme and crazy. I know how deep one can dig into the pit of food addiction. I've seen what it can do to my body and sanity, and I’ve seen what it can do to others as well . . . and I don't give a rip what anyone thinks about my decision to be abstinent.

Have you ever experienced food binge hangovers, and are you free from them?

If not, you can be starting right now.


Freedom is two-fold:

1) One must eat for health by carefully following the nutritional guidelines in Eat to Live; flooding the body with comprehensive micronutrient adequacy to meet the biological needs of the body.

2) And abstain from those foods and situations that trigger addictive binges. Abstinence is a self-enforced restraint from indulging that usually causes one to feel worse for the first several days before feeling better. The key to successfully overcoming an addiction is to never give into the impulse to indulge, no matter what. There is no other way out.


Once you cross the threshold where toxic food binges no longer overpower you, you will be free for the rest of your life! You’ll naturally prefer eating less when you consume high-nutrient foods instead of fake foods; you’ll naturally get more pleasure out of eating and living; and you’ll enjoy a healthy body and sane mind that is free from the physical and mental torment of the addiction.

Contend for your freedom today. Eat for health and remain abstinent from triggers. 

There is no greater joy!


[The pictures are of yours truly. The image at the top was taken on July 10, 2008, the day I committed to follow Eat to Live; and the image on the left was taken this past summer, four years later. This coming July I will celebrate my fifth year anniversary of being free from food addiction! Click here to view my journey to freedom.]

Interview with a Teen Nutritarian: David

David is your typical, 14-year-old teenager that was severely addicted to the standard American diet. In fact, he was resistant to have anything to do with eating for health, even though his parents and siblings had embraced nutritarian eating and radically improved their health and quality of life because of it. However, on Father’s Day weekend this past summer David had a wake-up call; a frightening experience with dangerously high blood pressure and the telltale symptom of a TIA (transient ischemic attack); aka mini stroke. Today, six months later and 27 lbs lighter, he’s a changed person as a result of eating high-nutrient foods. Welcome to Onlyourhealth, David.



               June                                                 August                                                  December



What was your life like before Father’s Day weekend?

My parents and siblings were nutritarians so there was always plenty of healthy food to eat, but I refused to eat it. At every chance I could get away from home I ate whatever junk food I could find, and without my mom knowing it I bought donuts, candy, and other stuff.  Because I wouldn’t eat “Fuhrman food’ as I called it, my mom didn’t force me to eat it because my dad didn’t think she should; after all, I wasn’t a little kid anymore. My mom wouldn’t prepare junk food so I learned to cook my own meals. I ate frozen pizzas and lasagna, macaroni and cheese, pot pies, and all kids of frozen processed meals. Even with that, there were many foods that she wouldn’t buy for me like processed cereals, milk, cheese, and butter. 


How did you feel?

I didn’t feel well most of the time. It was hard for me to move around because I was tired and would get out of breath easily, so I didn’t exercise. I was always thirsty, and I couldn’t breathe through my nose; it was always stuffy.  Plus, because I was tired a lot I just slept whenever I could.      


What was your wake-up call?

During a family crisis my mom requested no junk food be brought to our house. However, some thought nutritarian eating was extreme and felt sorry for me so they asked me for a list of my favorite foods anyway.  It was great!  I loved it because I could eat anything I wanted.  A week later, in the middle of the night, the entire right side of my body, including my leg, arm, and jaw was numb and tingly, and I was very scared. I woke my parents up, and my mom took my blood pressure and it was 158 / 108. The next day she contacted Dr. Fuhrman, and according to my symptoms he said that I had experienced a TIA (transient ischemic attack) or mini stroke that happens before a major stroke*. Immediately, on Father’s Day, I became a nutritarian. Within a week my blood pressure came down to a healthy range, but for several weeks I was scared to fall asleep at night, because I was afraid of having a stroke during the night.

* Dr. Fuhrman states that “Thousands of teens have strokes each year and the number is on the rise. According to a recent article in the Journal of Neurology, strokes in children, teens, and young adults are increasing at an alarming rate in the U.S. Strokes in teenagers - like the one that led to the death of Miss Teen Hawaii, Sheryl Wolfe – or Frankie Muniz of “Malcolm in the Middle” who recently suffered a mini-stroke ( transient Ischemic attack) – are not as rare as people think, and the devastating consequences of strokes have caused rehab facilities and nursing homes to cater to this young population. As the American diet gets worse we see these diseases of nutritional ignorance occur at younger and younger ages. National hospital discharge data from 42 states were examined in children, teens and young adults, comparing the rate of stroke in these groups from 1995-1996 to 2007-2008. The rate of strokes in young people was increasing before 1995, but in the ten years since then stroke hospitalization rate increased another 35 percent.”


How do you feel now?

I have a lot more energy. I’ve lost 27 lbs so far and my blood pressures are consistently around 113 / 72. I no longer have numbness or tingly feelings, and the best thing is I’m not afraid of falling asleep and having a stroke in the middle of the night.  I’m no longer thirsty all the time, tired, or have shortness of breath, and because of that I like to run, workout at the Y, and lift weights. Plus, I can now breathe through my nose for the first time that I can ever remember; I always had a stuffy nose. According to a blood test in June I was pre-diabetic, and now with nutritarian eating I won’t have to worry about getting diabetes. I just feel better all over, and my mom says that I’m happier and not grumpy anymore.    


What would you tell kids who love junk food and hate even the thought of eating healthy?


Try nutritarian eating all the way for just one week. Do it cold turkey, 100%; no cheating. After that week is over then re-assess your opinion and see if it changes. I gutted it out mentally for one week, and it was hard, but I knew it would be worth it to feel better and be healthier. Now I’m glad I did. 

I still sometimes like eating junk food when I’m away from home, but I know nutritarian eating is healthier for me, and I always feel better when I stick to it.


What are your favorite foods now?

My favorite foods are tomatoes, cucumbers, Honey Crisp apples, green peppers, snap peas, sautéed onions, hummus, and my mom’s Oatmeal/Almond Bars. 


Easy Oatmeal/Almond Bars

5-6 ripe bananas

4 cups old fashioned rolled oats

2 cups raisins

2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut

2 cups unsalted sunflower seeds

2 cups chopped raw almonds

1 T. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper. In a mixing bowl mash the bananas and then stir in remaining ingredients. Press mixture into the baking pan and bake for 40 min. Let cool. Cut into bars.


Congratulations David and keep up the great job!



image credit:  bottom image by Yaro Photography