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

Today is the Kick-Off!

Since today is the kick-off for the six week holiday challenge, I've asked physician and newly appointed Dean of the Nutritional Education Institute, Dr. Jay Benson, to share a few thoughts with us.  Dr. Benson is well versed in modern, high-tech medicine and the nutritional and natural methods utilized by Dr. Fuhrman, and sees the majority of patients at Dr. Fuhrman’s office in 19126.  He also works side-by-side with Dr. Fuhrman on nutritional research, gives lectures, and answers questions on Dr. Fuhrman’s Ask the Doctor forums. Welcome to FHEALTH LIFE, Dr. Benson. 


On your mark…get set…go! The six week holiday challenge officially begins right now!

You've made the commitment to eat for health over the holidays, so what do you do next? Do you hope that everything goes well and wish that the external forces that control your life push you in the right direction? No, no, no. Remember, YOU are in charge of you and your future, and your health destiny is in your hands.  Now that that has been said, this is what are you going to do now……plan and prepare.

As a boy scout, I was required to repeat the boy-scout motto, “Be prepared,” in scout meetings. This motto was chosen for a good reason. It reminded me that my preparations and planning may mean the difference between surviving or not; whether that be deep in the woods, or in the middle of a big city.

The environments that you will be in may bring all types of challenges and dangers, but these can be averted with careful planning and preparation. 

 So let’s get to planning:  

  • Decide exactly what you will eat and when so that you won’t have a choice later. You are more likely to do something consistently if you decide and prepare to do it well in advance. If you wait and see what will happen, hoping that you will not fail, then you are sure to fail. Make it easier on yourself by planning each meal carefully and completely; and then stick to your plans, no matter what. 
  • Get out the healthy recipes that you enjoy the most. Try new recipes and ask your nutritarian friends for their suggestions.  Make sure to keep your refrigerator well stocked at all times with freshly cleaned vegetables, fruits, and cooked beans for quick meals.  [If you are traveling by car, keep a cooler filled with healthy foods at all times.  If you are flying, make it a priority to get to a grocery store upon arrival to stock up.]  Be prepared, at all times, in all situations. 
  • Make a detailed grocery list twice every week and only include foods that are part of your planned meals. By having an inflexible list you will be less likely to succumb to the rampant advertising of unhealthy junk food in the stores. 


You can rise above the noise of holiday temptations with careful planning and preparedness; and you will come away with earning great health!  Here's to excellent health for all this holiday season!



traditional Thanksgiving meal image credit: flickr: carbonNYC

Interview with a Nutritarian: Claudia

I first met Claudia on the member center of DrFuhrman.com when I was a rookie at learning the ropes of eating for health. Claudia is a veteran nutritarian and always had something helpful to recommend; supporting me through bumps in the journey, including an unexpected surgery. She’s one of those steadfast encouragers that we all need from time to time. Welcome to FHEALTH LIFE, Claudia!   

before and after photo of a female nutritarian

Tell us about your life prior to discovering Eat to Live.

I’ve been a vegetarian since the age of 15; however, I didn’t become one for health reasons. I was taught in school that there were four food groups, two of which were meat and dairy. Since I wasn't eating any meat, I was made to feel that this was cause for great concern. In fact, I had an aunt who pleaded with me to at least eat a little bit of meat, so that I wouldn't “get sick and die.” 

My vegetarian diet was similar to the disease-promoting diet that most Americans eat, minus the meat. I didn't care for vegetables at all. Instead, I was addicted to junk foods like pizza, French fries, grilled cheese, and vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup. As a result of my food addictions, I had a problem with overeating and struggled with my weight. By the time I was a senior in college, I knew I had a problem because friends and family were commenting that I had put on too much weight. I was always struggling to either lose weight or keep it off. I didn't have a diet-style which was sustainable or would satisfy me long enough to maintain a healthy weight.   Eventually, I eliminated all dairy products which brought my cholesterol down to a healthy level. However, I was still a food addict and eating disease-promoting foods.


How did you feel before eating nutrient dense foods?

I was always a low energy person and didn’t like to exercise. Deprivation dieting and exercise were both burdens to me; therefore, I didn’t stick to either of them on a consistent basis. I also developed a large fibroid uterus which placed limitations on my ability to be physically active. 

Just prior to Eat to Live, I’d been following a cooked-starch-based vegan (McDougall) program. I was losing weight, but I always felt hungry on the starch-based diet.  I was always thinking about the next meal, and had to carefully count calories in order to avoid overeating. My food tended to be colorless due to the emphasis on grains and potatoes. My skin looked pale and became extremely dry. 


What's different about you now? 

I’m now vibrant, colorful, and alive, and functioning everyday at my very best; enjoying life to the fullest!   I now enjoy an active life and have the energy to do so much more than I ever did before. I feel very blessed to have stumbled across this way of eating, because it has freed me from food addiction, and from the constant cycle of yo-yo dieting. It still amazes me that after failing so many times, that I was finally able to find a diet-style that would be sustainable for a lifetime. I absolutely enjoy the food that I eat now, and I love the fact that I can eat this way, feel great, and stay at an ideal weight. 

I’m also amazed how much my tastes have changed as a result of sticking to this way of eating. I’ve turned into a person who now likes just about every vegetable under the sun. It’s so true that tastes do change. I love knowing that I’m in control of my health destiny, and that I’m not doomed to suffer and die from chronic diseases that plague so many Americans.

Since I was a vegan before becoming a nutritarian, my cholesterol and blood pressure were already good. My triglycerides, which weren't terribly high in the first place, were cut in half when I switched from the cooked-starch-based diet over to ETL; and my HDL (good cholesterol) increased significantly.

My highest weight in my mid-20’s was 145 lbs. (I’m only 4’11”.) In the before picture above, I’m 31-years-old and weigh 120 lbs. Now, at age 52, I weight 90 lbs; which is less than I weighed in high school!

After many years of following ETL, Dr. Fuhrman stated that I’ve achieved the parameters associated with dramatic enhancements in life extension. He also pointed out that symptoms of longevity are often considered abnormal and treatable offenses by conventional doctors who do not recognize cases of extreme good health.


Do you have any success tips that you'd like to share with others in their journeys to health?

Yes, success happens. It is only a matter of time. It doesn't matter how many times you have tried and failed in the past.   There are so many of us who have experienced a lifetime of yo-yo dieting before discovering nutritarian eating, which has changed us forever. Anyone can do this. Just know that, and make it so!


Thank you Claudia for being a forerunner nutritarian, and for inspiring and encouraging many along the path of eating for health!

Moms, we have the most influence

image of a mom with her daughters 

Whether we are single moms, full-time working moms, stay-at-home moms, mothers to many or a few; we have the most influence in our children’s lives. 

We are the primary role models and educators in teaching their values concerning food and establishing their eating habits.

We set the stage for planning meals and creating holiday food traditions. 

Women are the primary food industry consumers who stock the refrigerators and pantries of America.  We purchase over 90% of the groceries in the United States.1 

At the end of the day, when it’s all said and done, it’s what little Johnny repeatedly sees when he opens the refrigerator and cupboards at home that’s going to have the most influence on his food values and health.


It would be ideal if every pediatrician would instruct their young patients about the health promoting benefits of nutritarian eating.  It would be beneficial if every daycare, school and church would educate children about the life-damaging effects of eating for disease.  It would be wonderful if every youth activity, from nursery to college, could teach the importance of eating nutrient dense foods for developing bodies. 

Reality is, moms, we purchase the food and set the example.  We are the primary educators and role models that will have the most influence in establishing our children’s long term eating habits and health.

“The key to raising a healthy family is not letting unhealthy food choices enter the house. Because when they do, the kids will seek them out, like flies to honey and fill their caloric requirements with junk; crowding out anything health supporting. (Wheat flour listed as a first ingredient means it is junk food. It must be ‘whole wheat flour.’)”  -Dr. Fuhrman

Are we teaching, by our example and purchases, to eat for disease or to eat for health?


Reference:  1. Too Busy to Shop; Marketing to “Multi-Minding” Women  by Kelly Murray Skoloda  


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.