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 TIPS:

                                                                      

  • IT TAKES COMMITMENT

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 HAS BEEN PITCHED

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.   

    

  • MODERATION IS A MYTH

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.   

 

  • THERE ARE NO SHORTCUTS

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. 

 

  • BE PREPARED AT ALL TIMES

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.

 

  • NEVER GIVE UP

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.”

      

  • IT'S A PRIVILEGE TO GET HEALTH BACK

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

A Young Adult Kicks the Junk Food Habit

Ruth is a newlywed with a full-time job and active lifestyle who has successfully learned to embrace the nutritarian diet-style 100%. Even though she was raised on the typical standard American diet of “home cooked meals” and fast food, and was addicted to junk food, she’s been a Nutritarian for a couple of years now and loves it. Welcome to Onlyourhealth, Ruth.

What was your life like before discovering Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritarian approach?

I grew up in a home where the evening meal usually consisted of a main entrée such as spaghetti, lasagna, meatloaf, roast beef, fried chicken, stir fry, or pizza; and bread, butter and milk were staples at every meal. And on busy nights we ate plenty of fast food as well. Breakfast was usually a bowl of processed cereal and milk, and lunch was a deli meat sandwich, chicken nuggets, pizza pockets, or macaroni and cheese. We always had sweets available to eat so I loved cookies, ice cream and chocolates of all kinds.

When I could drive, I had a part-time job at a coffee shop that sold baked goods. At closing, employees could take home the day’s leftovers that didn’t sell: yeast rolls, cinnamon rolls, scones, cookies, etc., and consequently I became addicted to coffee drinks and sweets; in fact, by my late teen years I didn’t eat much else. However, I was tired and sick all the time. I had colds continually and took over-the-counter meds to treat the symptoms. 

 

How did you find out about Dr. Fuhrman? 

My mom had lost a lot of weight by following his nutritarian diet-style and felt so much better, which inspired me. She gave me a copy of Eat for Health, and after reading it, I applied some of the information. Over time, as I learned more, I eventually committed 100%; both feet in.

 

How do you feel now?

I have so much more energy now, and I never get sick. I haven’t had a sick day from work since fully committing to eating this way. My skin is clear, and I’ve noticed that I don’t have bad breath or body odor anymore, and I’m also thirty pounds less than what I weighed in high school. The energy I now have enables me to keep up with a full-time job and active lifestyle. 

 

What are your success tips?

 

  • No matter how busy life gets I always make time for shopping and food prep. I spend less than an hour a week cleaning and cutting up all the vegetables. This is a time saver when I’m in a hurry and need to pack my lunch, assemble a salad, or make dinner.

  • I drink a green smoothie in the mornings after my workout and before I leave for work. It energizes me, and I feel so good to start the day.

 

Congratulations Ruth for taking the necessary steps to kick the junk food habit and live in the best health that’s possible!

 

Have a plan and stick to it

Getting out and staying out of food addiction isn't that hard per se, but one must be vigilant and persistent at all times. 

I liken it to learning to ride a bike. 

A beginner may have some spills before he/she learns proper balancing skills to ride a bike without falling.  It may even take some extra reinforcement like a parent’s helpful hand of guidance, or a pair of training wheels attached to the bike for stability, but eventually with practice, one learns to successfully ride without thinking about it anymore. Riding a bike becomes automatic, and then one is no longer focused on the learning process, but instead enjoys the pure pleasure of the scenic ride.  

However, one must always be careful not to ride too fast on gravel, not to ride near the edge of pavement, and pay close attention to busy intersections; otherwise a major accident could happen, even to the most seasoned cyclist.  Likewise, I’ve learned that it still takes careful planning and diligence on my part to continue to make wise choices that prevent me from wandering back into food addiction.  

For instance, it’s typically my habit to get up at the same time every morning, sit and read with the therapeutic light, exercise, and then shower and get ready for the day. Those times that I make repetitive, unwise choices like staying up too late the night before, resulting in my early morning routine thrown out the window – if habitually repeated, I eventually become psychologically out-of-sorts . . . and then I become apathetic. [I’m not referring to an occasional late night or two here and there, because life happens, but repetitive poor planning stringed together for several days on end.]

For me, apathy is dangerous, because the “I don’t care” attitude is the stepping stone into the slippery slope of addiction.  Even with the physiological cravings for the standard American diet gone; practically off the radar screen of desire anymore, I could still revert back to psychological and emotional attachments to food if I’m not careful. I could easily eat oat bars with almond butter when stressed, or fruit sweetened ice-cream when not hungry.

For recovering food addicts it’s important not to fall prey to the “I don’t care” trap as a result of poor planning and unwise choices.

Have a plan and stick to it, no matter what ~ one of the keys to ongoing success.   

 

 

image credits:  flckr by paulhami and Team Traveller