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:

 

THEN

 

 

NOW

 

 1 loaf of bread

3.90

 

 lettuce

10.00

 ½ lb of butter

2.00

 

 kale, collards, spinach

10.00

 honey

2.00

 

 colorful vegetables

10.00

 peanut butter

3.50

 

 fresh fruit

20.00

 2 bottles of dressing

5.00

 

 frozen fruit

 7.00

 1 lb cheese

5.00

 

 nuts/seeds/flax

 7.00

 32 oz. yogurt

7.00

 

 oats (on occasion)

 3.00

 32 oz. cottage cheese

6.00

 

 mushrooms

 7.00

 microwave popcorn

7.00

 

 onions

 3.00

 1 gallon of milk

3.50

 

 beans (dry / bulk)

 5.00

 2 quarts ice cream

7.00

 

 tomato paste

 5.00

 candy

7.00

 

 TOTAL

87.00

 processed cereal

7.00

     

 mixed vegetables

5.00

     

 lettuce

7.00

     

 carrots

2.00

     

 chips & crackers

7.00

     

 fruit

7.00

     

 cookies

5.00

     

 frozen pizza

5.00

     

 lasagna

3.00

     

 meatloaf

3.00

     

 chicken breasts

6.00

     

 roast beef

3.00

     

 deli meats

5.00

     

 mayonnaise

2.00

     

 macaroni and cheese

3.00

     

 garlic bread

3.00

     

 rolls and biscuits

3.00

     

 Subway meal

7.00

     

 diet sodas

14.00

     

 Dairy Queen

5.00

     

 chewing gum

2.00

     

 ice cream novelties

4.00

     

 TOTAL

166.90

 

 

 

 

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!

The refrigerator is never the solution

Four years ago this summer I began the journey to get my health back by choosing to wholeheartedly follow Eat to Live, and it’s been one of the best decisions that I’ve ever made in my life. 

Not only did I get my health back, the tranformation has had a rippling effect on my family, friends, community, and even complete strangers. As a result, many are now committed, or seriously considering, nutritarian eating for the rest of their lives also.

If I've learned anything these past four years, I've learned that food is NEVER a solution to any problem, stressed-filled day, or emotional high or low. Ever. If one turns to food, it magnifies problems, big time.

 

Emotional health is never achieved via the refrigerator, cupboard, or drive-thru, that's for sure.

No matter how much we try to keep stress out of our lives, we all have *stuff* to deal with on a daily basis . . . .it is called living life.

Life is full of ups and downs, joys and sorrows, pleasures and pains; it's what makes our lives interesting. We are who we are today due to the experiences that we've all lived through: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

We must separate food from this day-to-day stuff that we experience. If we don't, we are undone. 

  • Are you thrilled and happy? Gather some friends and dance to some lively music! Play games together, tell jokes and stories. Enjoy life; don’t abuse your body with food.
  • Are you down-in-the-dumps? Go to bed early. Problems always look different after a nap or a good night’s sleep. Get help from supportive individuals; don’t abuse your body with food.
  • Are you overbooked with too many responsibilities on your plate? Schedule an appointment with a professional counselor or life coach to help you prioritize, develop a workable solution, and whittle away unnecessary tasks; don’t abuse your body with food.
  • Are you overcome with grief? Cry until you have no more tears. It’s okay to cry. Sometimes life gets unbearable and emotional pain goes deep. Call trusted friends. Close friends want to help you and be there for you; don’t abuse your body with food.

Abusing one's body with food, complicates problems, enhances sorrows, and adds an extra layer of fragility and tragedy to life. Addictive food and drugs are never a solution.

You'll be pleasantly surprised just how fulfilling your life really is as you allow the up-and-downs of life polish and refine you; instead of escaping to the refrigerator, cupboard, or drive-thru.

Cheers of the best health that’s possible to all ~ through all of life's circumstances!

Always.

Got color?

 

A while back I was looking through some old picture files and found these two images; both were taken on a hot, July day about a year a part. I really had no idea how pale my skin had become from years of stuffing my body with mashed potatoes, cereal, milk, pasta, dinner rolls, butter, cheese, chicken, beef 'n noodles, pizza, etc. . . . until I saw these pictures. 

About six months into consistently eating high-nutrient foods, I clearly remember the day that I looked “tan” in the dead of winter in Indiana. I was recovering from major surgery in a hospital room; in fact, it was two days post surgery, and I had managed to stand up long enough to capture a glimpse of myself in a mirror. My body felt like it had just been plowed under by a bulldozer, but my skin looked alive, refreshed and glowing! Instead of an expected paleness, it had color! Surprisingly, with each shift of new nurses that were caring for me, the first question was always, “Where did you get your tan?”  

For many of us who live in the northern states, winter can be sort of colorless. Blahh. Leafless trees silhouetted against bleak, gray skies. Dead branches. Dark mornings and evenings. Brown grass peaking through melted, dirty snow. Dreary blahh.  

However, our food and our skin can be beaming with bright color! Not only do those plates of colorful vegetables and fruits nourish our bodies to optimal health and longevity, they add visual beauty to our otherwise, potentially colorless environment. They brighten up our kitchens and dining tables, and our skin even reflects the beauty of those colors. 

 

 

How about you? Got color?   

    

 

Related post by Dr. Fuhrman: The human mind prefers a healthy carotenoid glow over a suntan

 

 

Image credit:  vegetables by Esther Boller

But it would cost

I got thinking the other day how different my life would’ve been if, as a toddler, beer would’ve been repeatedly put into my sippy cup. . . .and fake food & cigarettes would’ve been a negative stigma to even be around or touch.

And later on, as I got older, beer would’ve been served with my high-nutrient meals, including school lunches.   

Most likely I would’ve grown up not eating pizza, cheeseburgers, spaghetti, fried chicken, beef ‘n noodles, cheese, ice-cream cones, donuts, and chips. In fact, most likely, I would’ve probably thought they were disgusting. . . . just as disgusting to me as the lingering smoke and smell of cigarettes.

However, I’d probably be totally addicted to alcohol and not be able to function without it. Possibly even totally dependant upon the stuff to get me through each day. 

I’d seek friends who also liked to drink. 

I’d seek activities where drinking was encouraged. 

I’d even possibly seek religious and social affiliations where drinking was condoned.

I’d most definitely turn to alcohol to calm my nerves, celebrate victories, cheer sadness, cope with stress, overcome insecurities, escape pain and responsibilities, and soothe a bleeding heart.

However, if, on down the road, I realized the damaging affects of alcohol on my body; including my inability to think clearly, hold down a job, raise a family, and have healthy interpersonal relationships, I may decide to get rid of the stuff. Once and for all.

But it would cost.

It would cost abstinence for rest of my life.

It may possibly require developing new friends and activities. 

And it may even cost finding different religious and social affiliations that would support my decision to remain sober.  

Addiction is addiction. When one is addicted to any health damaging substance, whether it is the standard American diet, sugar, “healthy” sweets, artificial sweeteners, alcohol, nicotine, cocaine, heroine, or meth; to live in freedom from the addiction will require a radical commitment to abstinence. Including possibly finding new friends, activities, religious and social affiliations that support the decision to remain free . . . for life!

 

According to Dr. Fuhrman, “The facts are that fast food and junk foods cause a thousand times as many premature deaths compared to cocaine; and it’s condoned.”

 

Are you committed to abstinence?

Think about it.  

 

image:  Emily Boller circa 1964

Extinguish the pilot light; part 2

gas flame

Recently, in a post titled, “Extinguish the pilot light,” I explained how crucial it is to keep the pilot light of addiction, those seemingly insignificant-at-the-time compromises, extinguished at all times. 

I want to devote this post to clarifying the difference between an occasional slip-up and ongoing compromises. 

Slip-ups happen from time to time - they just do – it’s a part of transitioning into a whole new way of eating and living for the rest of one’s life. There’s a learning curve, especially in the beginning, to understanding the science behind Dr. Fuhrman’s recommendations. 

For instance, I committed to Eat to Live in July 2008, and by that first Thanksgiving I thought it would be perfectly fine to eat the traditional feast. It never occurred to me that I’d get violently sick so I enjoyed the feasting and merriment with gusto. I quickly learned just how TERRIBLY toxic the standard American diet was ~ even though I knew from my studying that it was poisonous to the body.

And I've had plenty of slip-ups since then. I wish I could say that I've been perfect at all times, but I haven't.

Even with eating only high-nutrient foods and having cravings for fake food gone as a result, I've eaten beyond "before full." I've eaten as a result of being frustrated. I've eaten for stimulation because I was tired. And I've eaten for recreation with others when I wasn't a bit hungry. However, and a big however, each time I quickly realized my error and moved on quickly; contending with all strength to keep going!

I want to make clear that the pilot light that I'm referring to is the intentional decision to choose compromises, aka “cheats”, on a regular basis. These habitual choices, even if they are seemingly insignificant at the time, are the pilot light.

 

The willful decision to see how much one can cheat and get by; how much one can straddle the fence, or how much one can habitually overeat . . . . and still keep the addiction eradicated . . . . that’s what I'm referring to as being the next-to-impossible feat to accomplish.

 

It can't be done!

 

I repeat ~ it can't be done.

 

With repetitive compromises, the addictive cravings are rumbling beneath the surface, and it just takes a tiny spark to ignite them to full strength and power!

For one to be truly free, the pilot light needs to be extinguished and remain that way . . . .for life.

AND to live in denial of food addiction's power is to remain its prisoner, or worse yet, the path right back to captivity.

Choose the easy way and keep the pilot light extinguished at all times.  

Continual freedom and excellent health to all!

 

celebration

 

Image credits: gas flame: flickr by stevendepolo; celebration: by Elijah Lynn

Food addiction is just as serious as drug addiction

Emily Boller before pic

 

If we feed addiction, it grows.

If we abstain, it dies.

 

If we give in an inch, food addiction will capture and drag us for miles; literally strangling the very life out of us.

It's mean.

It's ruthless.

It clothes one in rags.

It destroys families and homes.

It robs romantic intimacy between husband and wife.

It eats up finances and drowns its victims in dire poverty.

It’s no respecter of persons; socioeconomic, educational, or professional.

It doesn't care who it maims and disables in its path of destruction, including those the addict loves and cares about.  It's never solitary; it affects everyone surrounding the captive.

Don't give food addiction the opportunity to suck the life out of you. Contend for your freedom if it costs you everything you’ve got. Some may call you neurotic. Others may avoid your company. Still others may ridicule your commitment and entice you to consider moderation, but don't give into the voice of the enemy.
 


If you give in, you are undone. If you “wait until tomorrow” . . . . the truth is tomorrow never comes, because food addiction grows stronger with each compromise.   

I'm a bit passionate, I know. But in order to give food addiction black ‘n blue eyes, and ruthlessly disable it from ever coming after me again, I've had to be.

One day I hit a wall. I saw the seriousness of what the addiction was doing to my marriage and family, my health, my sanity, and my talents; and knew that I had no other option but to radically commit to Eat to Live to stop its destruction. I was willing to pay any price to get free. 

 

Willingness to commit to carefully following the plan in Eat to Live (aka total abstinence) is the key to long-term success. Once one is willing, no obstacle will be in the way as obstacles are just the welcome excuse to continue in addiction.

Emily Boller afterI'll never give up the fight. I'll never quit contending for my own freedom and health, and the freedom and health of my fellow man, no matter what, for life.

 

 

The image at the top of this post is a picture of me the day before I committed to abstinence from the standard America diet.