It's Been Five Years

In the summer of 2008, I made the firm decision to follow the nutritarian diet-style. At that time I was 47-years-old and suffered from severe food addiction, obesity, prediabetes, heart disease, shortness of breath, hypertension, chronic fatigue, bloating, brain fog, low back pain, cracked heels, boils, and general malaise all over my body. I couldn’t climb a flight of stairs without needing to stop a lot to catch my breath, and the extra weight caused me to become increasingly immobile with each passing birthday.  In the spring of 2008 my blood pressure was 154/97, and I knew that I was sitting on a ticking bomb; not a matter of “if” I’d have a heart attack or stroke, but “when”. And that was my wake-up call to change five years ago.  


Within a year’s time I lost 100 lbs. and eradicated all the aforementioned diseases from my life. However, most importantly, the overwhelming cravings for high-fat, salty, processed junk foods and sweets, that consumed my every waking moment for over twenty years, gradually subsided, and then completely went away for the first time in my adult life. 

My success with getting health back, which obviously included weight loss, was a direct result of understanding the science and logic behind Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritional recommendations. My perspective changed from deprivation dieting (starving myself to obesity) to eating for the best health that’s possible. [To view my complete story, including changing images, click on my author name under the title at the top of this post.]

Then four years ago I began interviewing successful Nutritarians for Onlyourhealth, and I’ve gleaned valuable nuggets of information from many individuals who are real-life success stories. Additionally, I’ve also interacted with those who’ve struggled with the nutritarian diet-style, and those insights have also contributed to my understanding of the keys to great health and long term success. It is from all of these combined experiences and observations that I’ve compiled a brief summary below of success tips of those who’ve lost weight, and have kept it off, by following Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritarian approach.





Success is a direct result of thoroughly studying, understanding, and assimilating the science behind Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritional recommendations; and then making the firm decision to tenaciously act upon, and hold fast to earning health back, no matter what. It is having both feet in at all times; not “trying” to eat high-nutrient foods during the week and indulging on the weekends, or eating for health only when it’s convenient, or when one feels like it. 



The wagon mentality and deprivation dieting go hand-in-hand. “I fell off the wagon,” basically translates into, “I blew it so I might as well eat anything I want now.” It invites cheating and bingeing. The nutritarian eating-style is not a diet to go on and off on a whim. Instead, it's an ongoing endeavor of flooding the body's cells with a comprehensive array of nutrients to fight disease and feel great for the rest of one's life.  A well-nourished body will no longer crave toxic junk foods or be driven to overeat uncontrollably. Although a slip up may happen from time to time, the key to success is getting back up as quickly as possible and not dwelling on the mistake.   



There is no such thing as eating in moderation when it comes to toxic foods’ addictive power. Taking just one bite of an addictive food can be just as deceptive and dangerous as taking just one smoke for a former nicotine addict. It’s much easier to keep addictive cravings extinguished than to be continually fighting obsessive compulsions, because it only takes a tiny spark to ignite them to full power again.   



Everyone has to cross over the threshold of withdrawal from toxic foods, and for most, it is no fun. Detoxification (or toxic hunger) can be unpleasant. Some of the symptoms can include: headaches, nauseousness, weakness, fatigue, shakiness, irritability, and generally feeling blahh; just to name a few. It can be very uncomfortable for some and last up to several days, but once the symptoms have resolved, and if toxic foods are no longer consumed, the symptoms don’t return. 



Unlike junk food dieting, there will be no highly-processed, frozen diet entrees and desserts waiting for you in the frozen department of the supermarket. You are surrounded and bombarded by a food addicted culture that pushes disease-causing indulgences 24/7. There is no escaping the insanity. Therefore, you must plan ahead and always have food prepared in advance. Make sure to keep your refrigerator well stocked at all times with freshly cleaned vegetables, fruits, and cooked beans and soups for quick meals. Always cook in big batches so that you can save portions for later. Never wait until the refrigerator is empty to plan and prepare more food. Once a routine of food preparation is established, it will become second-nature, but in the beginning this habit has to be a top priority to develop. Establishing this habit makes the nutriatrian diet-style simple and cost effective to incorporate into one’s busy life.



Hard times happen.  When life is turned upside-down, it will take everything within to muster up the strength to keep going in the direction of health. But even if some days are like wading through quick sand, and it’s a challenge to continue on, stay committed to making wise food choices as best as one can possibly manage. It may be only baby steps, but keep moving forward. There is never a valid excuse to throw in the towel and quit, especially during a season of crisis or great loss when one’s body needs optimal nutrition the most to survive the extra demands put on it. The sun will shine again and happiness will return as one continues to stay the course. As Dr. Fuhrman states, “It will take strength. It will take effort. But the pleasures and rewards that you’ll get from a healthy life will be priceless.”



Those who succeed long term view the opportunity to earn health back as a privilege, and they do whatever it takes to live in the best health that’s possible. This perspective enables a person to get past toxic cravings to thoroughly enjoy great tasting foods in their natural state.  Additionally, this gives a tremendous amount of pleasure and satisfaction with the nutritarian eating-style which produces the ongoing and long term success!


Earning health back is a lifetime endeavor - blessings of excellent and ongoing health to all!



image credit by Esther Boller

Exposing the High Cost of Food Addiction

For over twenty years I was addicted to the Standard America Diet, and as a result I overate and became 100 lbs overweight. Consequently, I developed several nutritional diseases: heart disease, pre diabetes, hypertension, osteoarthritis, chronic bronchitis, and boils; just to name a few. And to maintain that obese state I had to consume at least 3700 calories a day.  

Last year I calculated the average food expenses of my indulgent eating habit and was nearly shocked at what I discovered. 

Basically, I was eating in excess of $4,500 / year than I am now as a Nutritarian. My entanglement with the Standard America Diet drained at least $90,000 from the family budget over a 20 year period of time! 

Numbers don’t lie. The following is the cost comparison of weekly food expenses for one person, Yours truly, Emily Boller:







 1 loaf of bread





 ½ lb of butter



 kale, collards, spinach





 colorful vegetables


 peanut butter



 fresh fruit


 2 bottles of dressing



 frozen fruit


 1 lb cheese





 32 oz. yogurt



 oats (on occasion)


 32 oz. cottage cheese





 microwave popcorn





 1 gallon of milk



 beans (dry / bulk)


 2 quarts ice cream



 tomato paste







 processed cereal



 mixed vegetables









 chips & crackers









 frozen pizza









 chicken breasts



 roast beef



 deli meats






 macaroni and cheese



 garlic bread



 rolls and biscuits



 Subway meal



 diet sodas



 Dairy Queen



 chewing gum



 ice cream novelties









THEN: $166.90* / week = $8,678.80 / year

*This amount excludes coffee and alcohol addiction; this number would've been much higher with daily stops at Starbucks or alcohol purchases.  Also, I was "only" 100 lbs. overweight so this amount would've been much higher if I would've been heavier as well.


NOW:   $ 87.00* / week = $4,524.00 / year

*This amount excludes backyard gardening; this number can be significantly reduced with homegrown produce.




Add to my former expenses a quarterly visit to an endocrinologist and a cardiologist, lab tests, surgical procedures, hospitalizations, and the various prescription and over-the-counter drugs that I had to take . . . .gluttony not only robbed me and my family of a quality life, it drained the budget as well, big time!

None of us can afford being addicted to the Standard American Diet. Food addiction is nothing to joke about. It robs and destroys health, relationships, careers, dreams, and financial resources. Instead, making the commitment to Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritarian approach is not only health promoting, it is cost effective as well. 


Here’s to great health, a quality life, and money in the bank to all!

Have You Caught the "Extreme-itis" Bug?


If we buy into the culturally acceptable mindset that eating for health is extreme, we will always have twinges or avalanches of deprivation and self-pity; which will set us up for repetitive cheating, or worse yet, for others to think we are depriving ourselves and have pity on us as well.


We can read and study Eat to Live, and those around us can read and study it also, and we can even attend health immersions and know the information inside and out; however, if deep down inside we feel abnormal or embarrassed by eating high-nutrient, plant based foods, or are made to feel like we are extreme, then we’ve caught the "extreme-titis" bug.  If we've caught it, we'll never experience the truest sense of pleasure from eating for health. (Unfortunately, the virus is quite contagious right now!) 


When we grasp the amazing reality that eating a high-nutrient, plant based diet is normal; that eating an apple instead of a piece of cake is normal; that eating some steamed veggies instead of a pan of pizza, or eating a salad instead of bag of chips is normal; that not having diabetes, heart disease, strokes, cancer, and dementia is normal; not having astronomical medical and pharmaceutical bills is normal; that enjoying pleasurable sex in the middle age years and beyond is normal; and that feeling well, attractive, and enjoying life is normal.

And the day that we thoroughly understand that putting a high fat Value Meal or chocolate cream pie into our blood stream is extreme; to be riddled with type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and dementia is extreme; for a teen to wear diapers and be spoon fed pureed food due to a stroke is extreme; to spend $120 on a vial of insulin is extreme; to continually feel sick, tired and depressed is extreme; to be so overweight and lethargic that one can't enjoy making love to his/her spouse is extreme; to sweat profusely and hide from swimming pools on hot summer days is extreme.  

Then, and only then, we will experience the true pleasure of eating for health!

As the mind is changed, the body will be transformed as a result.

Are we living in the perspective of being normal or extreme?

Perhaps it’s time for an “extreme adjustment”. 


Perhaps it’s time to honestly ask ourselves the following questions:


  • Am I embarrassed to drink a blended salad around my co-workers who are eating donuts?

  • Do I hide my container of vegetables when I’m out in public with friends? 

  • Do I eat a slice of pizza with peers just to fit in?



Perhaps its time to feel normal . . . .because eating the way our bodies are designed to function in optimal health IS normal! 

Then we’ll not feel deprived and self-pitied, and we’ll no longer experience the suppressed longing to be a part of the standard America diet culture. 

Perhaps it’s time for many of us to come out of hiding and establish new, normal traditions not only for the holidays, but for the office, places of worship, birthday and Super Bowl parties, cook-outs, bonfires, and all social gatherings. 

Perhaps instead of secretly brown bagging our food in public, we can lead the way of normalcy, and unashamedly live in great health; happy to be a part of the awesome nutritarian food revolution that is eradicating food addictions and resulting diseases from our bodies!

Those that want to get rid of costly diseases, astronomically expensive meds, and unnecessary suffering and heartbreak is exploding exponentially daily. Extreme is going down!

Normal is here to stay!

Let’s all enjoy being NORMAL today; full of health, vitality, and life!


image credit:  flickr by Muffet

It's all in good fun?

By now many of us are familiar with the infamous news of the man who suffered a heart attack last week while eating a Triple Bypass Burger at the Heat Attack Grill in Las Vegas. The very sad part is that onlookers thought it was a stunt and were actually taking pictures of the man’s suffering. Thankfully, as of today, he has survived, but this incident brings up the question, “How did we, as a culture, get to this point?” How did we go from my parents’ generation of surviving the Great Depression by eating dandelion greens and growing gardens out of necessity ~ to today’s Heart Attack Grill slogan that touts, “Tastes Worth Dying For,” and having their 575 lb spokesman die last year at the age of twenty nine?  

And it’s not just the Heart Attack Grill, but popular TV reality shows like Man v. Food where the “big food” offerings of different American cities face off against a pre-existing eating challenge at a local restaurant. During one episode, the show’s host and a group of 40 regional eaters attempted to set a Guinness World Record by eating a 190 pound burger in two hours, in which case “food” won the epic battle with about 30 pounds left of the burger. The Travel Channel, which hosts the show, received its highest rating ever when Food v. Man debuted. Reviews claim, “It’s all in good fun.”

Believe it or not, there’s actually a term for all of this called “food porn.” Basically food porn is glamorizing high fat, high calorie foods and exotic dishes that arouse the desire to indulge in and glorify food. There are many high profile restaurants now sprouting up all over the US that are famous for serving extreme, artery-clogging entrees that customers boast about eating as if they accomplished an Olympic feat.        

All of this reminds me of the story of the frog who died in the pot of boiling water. A frog was sitting in a pot filled with tepid water that was placed on top of a stove. One day, someone came along and turned the burner on; and slowly, but surely, the water became warmer. It was such a gradual, incremental increase of temperature that the frog didn’t notice the heat until it was too late and the boiling water killed it.

Have we become so incrementally desensitized by the sensationalism and preoccupation of eating for disease (aka food addiction) that it’s actually celebrated as a victory to achieve such demise? Is it any wonder that a bag of Doritos can now be considered an afternoon snack before a Super Size Big Mac Meal and large Dairy Queen Blizzard?

It’s all in good fun?

What are your thoughts?






image credit:  flickr by Joel Washing

Interview with a Nutritarian: David

David was your typical, athletic American who thought he was relatively “healthy” . . . until he had his first heart-related incident before the age of sixty. Thankfully he heard Dr. Fuhrman on the radio, and today his health and energy have been restored. Welcome to Onlyourhealth David! 


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

At age 59, I’ve lived a good life; happily married, manager for a Plastics Company, and a daily runner for the past 30 years. I’m also a golfer and very active as my wife and I have three grown sons who keep us pretty busy! I lost my father to a massive heart attack when I was young so I’ve always been aware that my health was important. However, I felt fairly invincible since I exercised so much, and I thought I was eating pretty healthy. 

However, as a runner I knew I was getting out-of-shape, because it was getting harder for me to run each day. I was slowly gaining weight despite running six mile runs everyday. Then in September 2010, I had chest pains that led to the installation of a stent in my right coronary artery that was 100% blocked. Fortunately, the other two arteries were 100% clear, and I didn’t have a heart attack. This experience was a wake-up call, and I struggled for answers as to how this could have happened. Plus, I did not like all of the drugs I was suddenly required to take. 


How did you find out about Eat to Live?

In late January 2011, I was in the middle of a long drive home from a business meeting, and by sheer chance I heard Dr. Fuhrman on Sirius radio having a discussion on the NYC Docs show about nutrition. His message on eating high-nutrient foods hit me hard. When the show was over I immediately called my son in California, who is a vegetarian and nutritionally committed, and asked him about what I had just heard. He said that what Dr. Fuhrman was talking about was the same thing that he’d been trying to get his mother and me to listen to for years. When I got home I ordered the book. 


How do you feel now?

Today I’m 44 lbs lighter and still losing – which is about a 30% weight reduction so far! I now weigh what I did in high school, and I can run like the wind, which is basically effortlessly! My cholesterol numbers have nose dived, my angina is gone, my energy level is up, and I‘ve cut back on many drugs and expect to eliminate all of them shortly. I’ve discovered Dr. Fuhrman's predictions in Eat to Live to be totally true; and it’s only been five months! 


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

  • Get the refined sugar out of your life, along with the Diet Coke.

  • Eat all of the vegetables, beans and fresh fruits that you want – don't worry about calories or counting things, except for the limited amounts of nuts and seeds.

  • Give this nutritional eating style a chance to take hold. The first few weeks are tough, but hang in there, because the results are worth it.  


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

It’s given me a chance to help my body and has produced a lot of physical freedom. (The compliments on my weight reduction are pretty fun as well!) Plus, I now have new clothes to wear that were sitting around unused for a long time! More seriously, I don't worry about having a heart attack any longer. 

At 5’8” my weight has dropped from 190 to 145, and my goal was 165 lbs! 




Total cholesterol













Congratulations David ~ keep up the great work!

Freedom now equals freedom on down-the-road


Are you free from food addiction?

Are you free from hypertension medications and insulin?

Are you free from bypass surgery lurking around the corner?

Are you free from obesity and its accompanying diseases, aches and pains?

Are you free from the financial burdens of lost wages and expensive medical bills?

Eating a bowl of mixed greens & beans drizzled with a delicious nut-based dressing instead of a couple slices of pizza and can of soda may seem like a radical lifestyle change, but it really is a simple and cost effective solution to a very complicated problem; that being the loss of independence.  

After the astronomical bills arrive in the mail who is going to pay them?

After the stroke who is going to tie the bib, feed, bathe, and even possibly change the diaper?

After degenerative disc disease has robbed mobility and peace, who is going to shop and prepare meals and soothe sleepless nights?

Paying the price today to be free from food addiction and accompanying diseases means enjoying the benefits of freedom on down-the-road.

I don’t know about you, but I want to climb sand dunes and watch sunsets shimmer on water, and produce my best creative works ever in my latter years. I want to laugh and play with my grandchildren and their children. I want to gracefully grow old; not rot in the prison of disease.     

This Fourth of July, along with the festivities, fireworks, and parades; one of the best ways that we can honor those who have sacrificed their lives for our nation’s freedom is to commit or recommit to paying the price for our own personal freedoms! 

Freedom now equals freedom on down-the-road. 

Take it.

It’s yours to enjoy!

Happy Fourth of July!


image credit:  flickr by uhuru1701

"I could never do that!" part 2

Not long ago I wrote a post titled, I could never do that!  It was about the response I get when I tell others how I’ve lost weight, and their reaction to the idea of eating meals primarily composed of plant based nutrition. From the many Onlyourhealth readers that wrote comments, that post resonated deep within; solidifying the fact that most all of us could never live with the consequences of eating disease promoting foods.

The topic is beating passionately in my heart now as it's hit close to home. Recently my mother suffered a stroke, and I’ve been experiencing first hand the time, resources, and energy that will now be required to manage the debilitating disease. A stroke results in a sudden lifestyle change magnified by a hundred: immobility due to muscle paralysis, incontinence for some, inability to swallow normally resulting in slurred speech and the need for pureed foods and thickened liquids, multiple medications, therapy, lack of independence and freedom; just to name a few.

Lifestyle change. 


Lifestyle change is the very reason why most continue to choose to eat the standard American diet; or worse yet, follow a quick weight-loss gimmick. It takes time, resources, focus, and energy to switch over to eating high-nutrient, plant based foods. 

  • One has to routinely wash and cut up lettuce leaves, fresh vegetables and fruits.
  • One has to cook a pot of soup instead of order take-out. 
  • Many have to suffer through a period of withdrawal to overcome toxic cravings for sugar, fat, processed foods, and salt.
  • Some feel socially isolated in a culture that’s fixated with eating for disease.
  • Some are even ridiculed for eating for health!
  • Many have to pack their own food if they eat away from home.
  • Most have to become serious students of nutrition to understand the science behind dietary recommendations, because knowledge is the motivation behind their changes.  

No doubt about it, there’s a radical price to pay to successfully switch over to thoroughly enjoy eating plant based nutrition. However, once the toxic cravings are gone, and the taste buds have changed, one never wants to return to SAD. In fact, the psychological trappings of food addiction and eating disorders disappear! It’s a small price to pay for a lifetime of freedom and wonderful health benefits for the rest of one’s life! 

As the old adage goes, “Pay the grocer or pay the doctor.”


Have you made the lifestyle change, or are you dragging your feet; waiting for a debilitating disease to radically change your life and make you its prisoner?


Let’s all continue to choose high nutrient foods that will reap the benefits of great health today and for years to come! It’s a small price to pay. 


What price are you willing to pay to enjoy great health?   


image credit:  flickr by taberandrew


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