The Six Week Holiday Challenge

In America there’s a mindset that it’s totally acceptable and expected by well-meaning friends and relatives to gorge on decadent, rich foods during the holidays; aka the “Six Week Holiday Binge.”  It’s been taught and modeled to most of us since childhood, and for many, it’s hard to break free from the culturally engrained habit of eating for disease during that period of time. 

Norman Rockwell's Thanksgiving paintingI don’t know about you, but I’m fed up with being pulled into the culture’s holiday eating traditions:

  • traditions that are excuses to eat (and drink) for disease; planting seeds of toxic addiction and premature death
  • traditions that cause one to feel “blah”
  • traditions that result in the accepted norm of waking up on January first ~  lethargic, bloated and depressed; necessitating the need for New Years’ dieting resolutions

Whether one has many pounds to lose and needs to overcome toxic food addiction by following Dr. Fuhrman’s six-week eating plan as outlined in Eat to Live; or just wants to fine-tune a healthy habit like: eating only when hungry, or make a new, health promoting recipe each week, or increasing exercise intensity; most all of us can commit to a health improvement during the holidays. 

To help us get and stay motivated, I’ve invited several guest contributors, (including faculty from the Nutritional Education Institute, founded by Dr. Fuhrman), to share their expertise and practical tips to help us successfully navigate the holiday season ahead.  For example, they will instruct on such topics as why moderation fails, sidestepping sweet seductions, eating for health while away from home, and the wonderful benefits of daily exercise.   

The change of one is a transformation ~ the change of many is a revolution. Invite your family, friends and co-workers to jump on-board with you!  Let's all band together and intentionally challenge and change the cultures’ status quo by wholeheartedly committing to eating and exercising for health during the holidays. 

The six week holiday challenge will begin on November 20th and go through December 31st; with the official kick-off on Saturday, November 20th.  Stay tuned to Onlyourhealth in the weeks to come to be inspired and motivated by the line-up of guest authors!  

We are in control of our health destiny; not the medical industry and pharmaceutical companies, and definitely not the holiday traditions!  It's time to celebrate the holidays feeling well, and wake up on New Year's Day feeling our very best!


Let’s hear from you. What will be your six week holiday challenge? 



"Freedom from Want" painting by Norman Rockwell

Trackbacks (0) Links to blogs that reference this article Trackback URL
Comments (82) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Francesco - November 4, 2010 8:11 AM

I eat clean as it is, so when the holidays come around I don't feel bad about enjoying SOME of the holiday treats - within REASON. I've done this for some years now and it hasn't adversely affected me in the long run.

CJ - November 4, 2010 8:45 AM

In my childhood after a holiday meal most everyone moved into the living room and sprawled out in agony from over indulgence, not a pretty picture for certain. I would like to see that tradition vanish for sure.

My six week holiday challenge will be to step up my exercise, continue on with my ETL lifestyle and encourage my family to do the same.

Rachel Assuncao - November 4, 2010 8:52 AM

I think we're lucky here in Canada to have Thanksgiving in October. While holiday parties and festivities start happening in early December, we don't have the same clear definition of when it's suddenly time to start gorging on food as you all do and so it isn't quite as intense a period.

Holidays like Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas are really such a difficult time to eat healthy. Not so much at home because we don't get into all of that. But the societal expectations you describe are sometimes unreal.

In my extended family, we caused outcry because we chose to give organic raisins to the trick-or-treaters rather than those horrible little candy bars. When I arrived at our Thanksgiving meal this year, everything was laden with ingredients my sister-in-law knew I wouldn't eat (like the 2 inches of marshmallow atop the 1 inch of sweet potatoes in her sweet potato casserole). And the request for healthy and natural foods at Christmas has been met with complete silence. Over time, I am ever hopeful to slowly bring about change in my own family. If we each take this on, we will soon see a revolution in perspectives on food.

My own commitment to myself for this time of year has been to include extra green smoothies and more superfoods into my diet. And to get out and exercise every day.

aunt cia - November 4, 2010 9:22 AM

I have been giving attention to my eating habits (in light of Eat to Live) for over a year now with many wonderful results (working at stepping up the exercise so that the weight will drop more quickly) including no more high blood pressure, no more addictions, no more 'woozy' sugar high, etc.
In thinking for several weeks already about the holiday gatherings coming up, I've made several firm decisions:
1) Not even a taste of the stuff that has white sugar/flour in it...laden with Cool Whip, etc. Yuck! I remember how I felt after eating that stuff and it is not a good feeling.
2) Try to learn what is on the menu before attending. Bring a salad to share if there is none mentioned so that I have something to eat and to share!
3)Have some veggie juice or a smoothie before leaving home to curb appetite.
4) Get out and walk/jog every day as much as possible.
Happy challenge to all!

AmyLu - November 4, 2010 10:36 AM

Great idea! Could you please also share some guidelines or ideas for the best way to incorporate your "Healthy Chocolate Cake" and other ETL-compliant desserts into a healthy eating strategy for the holidays? As in... how often do you eat even the healthy desserts like this one? Thanks for a great blog!

Joanne - November 4, 2010 10:52 AM

I recently returned from a trip home to Michigan where I strayed from my ETL habits for the first time in several months. I'm actually glad it happened because it let me know in a hurry how eating SAD foods makes me feel... awful! While our Thanksgiving table will not be totally healthy, I'll have enough ETL foods available for those who wish to eat healthy and I plan to pack up all the other stuff to go home with guests rather than having a fridge full of tempatation (which isn't all that tempting, these days).

I plan to be very focused these next few weeks on keeping to the ETL program and being better about exercise so that I will end up on the other side of the upcoming holidays weighing less and feeling great.

Barbara Whitney - November 4, 2010 10:56 AM

I'm on board. I have no interest in eating unhealthy food over the holidays. I did last year at the holiday parties around Christmas, and I felt awful afterwards, and then had a hard time getting back on track due to the addictive nature of these foods. It was SO NOT WORTH IT. At the time, I thought it was okay to splurge every once in a while and join in on the festivities--makes sense, right? Not to me anymore. I have a visceral negative reaction about how crappy I felt after the "celebrations." So this year I'll happily enjoy delicious healthy food that I bring to share at the parties and dinners. I won't feel deprived because I think my food tastes better.

paulina k. - November 4, 2010 10:59 AM

Oh, that's so great Emily. This is exactly what I need at the moment to keep me motivated! I've just started with ETL and the fact that there is a festive season ahead of me makes panic a bit. I'm suffering with an autoimmune disorder and I'm really trying to give ETL 100% of commitment. I've been fallowing this website for two years now, but finally I've decided to be strict with myself and follow ETL to the last letter. Thanks Emily for all your fantastic articles! I've read them all. You are a big inspiration for me. X

Emily Boller - November 4, 2010 11:03 AM

For most, not all, who are coming out of toxic food addiction, it's a lot like a person getting free from nicotene or alcohol addiction . . . smoking just a few cigarettes a week, or drinking just a beer a day keeps the addiction alive and strong. The holidays are a difficult time for many with severe, toxic food addictions, and abstinence is absolutely necessary to live in freedom.

Perhaps, like Francesco mentioned above, when one has been free from food addiction for years, one can possibly eat addictive foods on ocassion, but I sure would rather be safe than sorry. For me, small compromises usually grow into bigger compromises; every time. It's just not worth it. :)

[By the way - those little candy corns / pumpkins are highly addictive, nasty little monsters to me. Pure sugar ~ magnified. If I see those served anywhere I'll run the other way - quickly!]

Betsy - November 4, 2010 11:21 AM

I've been having trouble getting started on this - especially the regular exercise. So, now I have an inspiration. I'm in. Between now and then I will work on exercising regularly and eliminating caffeine so when Nov 20 rolls around I'm ready to go!

Emily Boller - November 4, 2010 11:22 AM

Amy Lu,

Most likely I won't make the Healthy Chocolate Cake for myself. I tend to overeat on healthy desserts. Due to my past history of obesity and borderline diabetes, combined with my age, I keep my consumption of fruits at a minimum, and focus on eating greens and veggies instead. Plus, I'm totally satisfied with enjoying fresh fruit in their natural state.

Amy - November 4, 2010 11:45 AM

I would love to just avoid most of the sugary treats and booze which cause me to feel yucky during the holidays!

Bill - November 4, 2010 11:56 AM

I am:
1. Going to be an example for my family and show how good eating affects me to have more energy and feel over better.
2. Explain in a loving way that Americans eat for disease and a shorter life. If we break is down Dis-ease, it feels dis-ease when we stuff ourselves. If the powerful animals of the world eat plants and life healthy lives, doesn't it makes sense for us to learn from them?
3. Do this this for myself! And eat "plan-based" foods knowing it is prolonging my life. It will truly be a day of Thanksgiving, free from the old me!

Happy holidays everyone! God's blessings to you.

Claudia Drosen - November 4, 2010 12:01 PM

This sounds like a great source of support. I've been on ETL since last March, and lost 53 pounds. While it is hard to be surrounded by people who just pop any old thing into their mouths at gatherings, what I have established as my mantra is the following: "It doesn't feel like much of a sacrifice to abstain from eating unhealthy, heavy foods around the holidays to celebrate. My goal is to keep feeling well. That's not something I will willingly give up!"

I haven't lost any weight in the past 2 weeks or so, and am feeling a little bit daunted, especially with winter setting in in Upper Michigan. But I want to keep the faith and will not "give in" and eat like I used to eat. Who does that benefit? Thanks for coming out with this at a time when I have hit a plateau. We all need to know there are people out there going through the same challenges:)

chris christensen - November 4, 2010 12:07 PM


We really have to prepare in advance for family gatherings. Children are given ice cream for breakfast, followed by cookies followed by sugary snacks then parents wonder why the kids wont eat anything else. We usually pack a cooler full when we travel since we simply cannot just supplement the food offered.

Our plan:

Take kale, collard and chard which travels well. We use it instead of bread as a wrap. My 5 yr old likes it so it works for us all.

Unsweetened applesauce with sweet potato makes a yummy dessert.

My 5 yr old likes to create in the kitchen and came up with a recipe: Mash a pear with banana, sprinkle with cinnamon. Use as a topping or snack. He loves to share.

My husband has agreed to come on board and not eat SAD food at family gatherings because its used as a wedge between us. My food vs. "their" food.

Bring healthy snacks with seeds/nuts/coconut for the kids to try.


Kim - November 4, 2010 12:29 PM

I've set a goal of running a 50k race on Jan. 8, 2011. This goal will keep me on track & away from toxic food/drink during the holidays.

Set an early January exercise goal & it will keep you focused!!

Denise D'Agostino - November 4, 2010 12:35 PM

I like to focus on what I should eat rather than what I shouldn't. Natural foods are so much more delicious. That way I'm satisfied and not hungry! It's also amazing how you really dislike the taste of anything unhealthy once you ETL for a period of time.

Paulina K. hang in there, I was on the brink of autoimmune issues myself. Removing gluten was the kicker. The longer you stick to it the better it gets.

Cindy - November 4, 2010 1:33 PM

Last Christmas was the first in a long time when I didn't feel awful struggling to dress for the holidays. What a gift to myself! I'm lighter and feeling even better now, and I won't trade it for cookies or anything. Call it vanity . . . but it's working.

I like the early January exercise goal idea and am going to start planning. Thanks!

LaurieInOklahoma - November 4, 2010 1:33 PM

It is said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Have you ever noticed that annual cycle of news articles?

The media are filled with helpful advice on how to combat holiday depression, how to deal with holiday weight gain, and so forth. In Norman, OK, we get the annual articles (Thanksgiving and Christmas) informing us that we can take our FOG (fats, oils, and grease) for free to the transfer station.

Year after year, after year. Holiday depression, weight gain, FOG. Why keep repeating the feelings of depression, lethargy, overfullness and wild swings in blood sugar?
Because it's a tradition?

It would be wonderful if as a country we had already established traditions of celebrating with healthy foods and activities. But we haven't, so the change has to occur as something that is passed from friend to friend, family member to family member.

As a nutritarian since 2005, the greatest feeling to me is knowing who I am, what I eat, and what I don't eat. Instead of navigating the minefield of holiday traditions, I eat the same thing, year in and year out. No exceptions. It feels just wonderful.

This doesn't mean I don't get variety in foods; we eat a great variety of different plant foods and dishes.

When New Year's Day rolls around, I get to make new year's resolutions that have nothing to do with food!


Emily Boller - November 4, 2010 2:21 PM

Yeah to focusing on freedom!

Freedom from being fat
Freedom from food addiction
Freedom from feeling depressed from being fat
Freedom from feeling depressed from nothing pretty to wear

Maybe it's a mixture of vanity AND sanity!

Whatever it is, I'll take it over the oppressive holiday "blahhs" anyday! Been there. Done that. I've got the plus-size holiday sweater to prove it and it was no fun!

Marie - November 4, 2010 3:16 PM

I have read Eat to Live and became a member of Dr. Fuhrman's site. I did the six-week plan and felt sooo great. Somehow, I let "life" get in the way and it has now been about a year since I have been eating right and exercising.

I began an exercise plan the first of October and since that hasn't been enough to really budge the weight, I made a commitment to myself that the beginning of Nov. I would go back to the member boards and recommit to the six-week plan.

I was ecstatic when I saw that you were going to be starting this on Onlyourhealth. I'm thrilled. I'm in. Today! So, I'll just be a bit ahead of the game on Nov. 20th. So happy to have some company on the journey.

Marie (Goddess)

Pat - November 4, 2010 5:01 PM

I talked DH into signing up up for the healthy getaway in January as a motivator to eat well over the holiday. I'm hoping that the plan to see old others at the getaway and feeling and looking great is an inspiration, but if we do indulge n addictive SAD over the holidays the January event should get us back on track right away!

Allison - November 4, 2010 6:51 PM

I'm joining the challenge! I know what I need to do, I've done it before. My problem is that I don't always plan ahead. So I'm going to start doing that.
Also, it's really hard to find the food I need where I live. I find I have to go to 5 different stores in 2 states to get everything I need. My new solution is to do some shopping on line for things like nuts and seeds.
I was lucky to be able to see Dr. Fuhrman this past weekend at the Princeton Whole Foods. That was a good kick start for me. I just need to figure out what to do for breakfast on Christmas Day. Allison

Katie - November 4, 2010 7:40 PM

Emily, this is a wonderful "challenge" to those of us who have faced a life-time of overeating "expectations" during the holidays, even beginning way before Thanksgiving, with Halloween, etc... Even though we may be traveling for Thanksgiving, I plan to join the challenge too. My main plan is to arrive at any one event already filled with my green smoothie, and a cup of beans or lentils (which really curb all cravings).

I have been the one to suggest to everyone that we include a fresh, large green salad as part of the food. Can you believe that amidst all that greasy cooked food that circulates on Thanksgiving Day, that green salad had never been on the menu? So things are changing, and I plan to bring fresh veggies, or salad wherever we go.

Thanks for taking this up~! I will be posting too :)

Paul Surovell - November 4, 2010 8:30 PM

There's nothing in the traditional starch-meat-sugar-based holiday foods that can compete with a cabbage-carrot-cauliflower coleslaw with cider vinegar and avocado, followed by yellow split-pea soup with shredded onions, mushrooms, celery and kale, topped off with a green-berry-banana smoothie.

I bring my dishes to the holiday gatherings and I enjoy my food enormously. And those who try them do too.

If I can't bring my dishes I eat ETL food selectively, enjoy the company, and then have a full meal at home.

You'll find that no one really cares if you're not gorging on the turkey or the ham or the stuffing or the pies, cakes or ice cream. And if anyone asks, just explain that you're on a special diet to improve your health, prescribed by a doctor. In most cases, people respect you for making rational, healthy choices, and they express admiration for your "discipline." I answer that it's not about discipline, but what tastes best to me.

Leah Jacobson - November 4, 2010 9:47 PM

I'm going to commit to drinking at least 8-10 cps water/day.

lsk - November 4, 2010 11:23 PM

I am up for the challenge, I need to take action ASAP! I have been inhaling mounds of sugar, fat, processed foods. A pepsi and donut in the morning for breakfast, two beef tacos and a coke for lunch, and a cheesebuger for dinner with a coke....all from fast food type restaurants. I know that it is bad for me, but I can't stop myself. In the morning I will have my day all planned out and even bring a lunch, but I have no interest in it by lunchtime. I do have a question...if so many people say how great they feel eating whole foods with lots of nutrients, why do so many of these same people "fall of the wagon" and start eating the SAD again? That just always surprises me...if people feel so great, why do so many not continue with that style of eating? I am not sure, but enough is enough and I need to do something fast, this ship is literally sinking!!!

Janet - November 5, 2010 12:13 AM

I'm in as of now!!! I think having this support during the holidays will help me to stay focused. I will...
*Plan ahead and take my own food to holiday get togethers
*Prepare ETL recipes to share with others
*Treat myself with kindness by Eating to LIVE
Thanks for presenting this opportunity to create a healthy holiday season...

Arlene Ellison - November 5, 2010 8:13 AM

Count me in! I have been following the ETL plan, tweaked a bit further by Dr Fuhrman for my health issues including diabetes.

My goal would be to be well within the normal range with blood sugar levels by the end of the six week holiday challenge. I want to start a new year with new quality health.


Emily Boller - November 5, 2010 4:28 PM


Regarding your question/statement why people go back to eating SAD food . . . we don't live in a perfect world. People are influenced by their peers, family, society, AND the short-lived pleasure of hurtful, addictive substances; especially those who have emotional and psychological issues that pull them into self-abusive behaviors.

I have interviewed many who have crossed the threshold of overcoming toxic cravings and have been freed from toxic food addictions, and they have absolutely no desire for returning to eating greasy, high salt, processed foods. The suction pull into their former SAD food lifestyle is literally gone.

You may have encountered some who have returned to SAD foods, but I can't help but wonder if those same individuals may have never completely overcome their toxic food addictions in the first place. For over 20 years I lived in an obese body and experienced a nominal, sub-par existence from that perspective. It took me about 20 years to discover correct information, and another six years to finally commit to following it. Once someone has truly tasted freedom, if given the option, I can't imagine why anyone would want to return to the SAD life.

There's also the stark reality of sowing and reaping. If one repeatedly plants seeds of compromise, over time, a harvest of addiction will be the outcome. Maybe there's some unhealthy seeds being sown into the soil.

Eat to Live gives people the OPTION of having the best life possible. It's been proven over and over, by those who follow Dr. Fuhrman's nutritional guidelines, that one can get free from food addictions, eating disorders, obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, allergies, chronic fatigue and a myriad of other illnesses; plus, be free from expensive medical bills AND astronomically expensive and dangerously toxic pharmaceuticals.

It is each person's free choice to choose health and quality of life, or to choose disease and a sub quality of life. Each person is in control of his/her own health destiny.

By the way . . . "falling off the wagon" is a dangerous mindset. The mindset only invites failure. For success, all wagons need to be pitched!

Also, here's a link to a post about the powerful snare of compromise

Tina Brandenburg - November 5, 2010 4:49 PM

I need to pick up on my greens and exercise going into the holidays. I am not as interested in salads and going out for a walk in the colder weather. I would like to experiment more with healthy ETL friendly alernatives for me and my family for our special events.

Ginger - November 5, 2010 9:46 PM

Thank you so much. I love this. I'm so tired of being sick from Jan-Mar after binging for weeks Oct-Dec. No more for me.

1. Stick to a nutritarian life-style, including enough water.
2. Drink a veggie smoothie before going to any event or take a big spinach salad with.
3. No matter what the weather, walk an hour a day.
4. Don't let anyone guilt trip me, but smile and say no thank you, I'm under Dr's orders. HeHe...well, he is a doctor and would give me these instructions if he knew me.
5. Remember how awesome my lifestyle of vibrant health makes me feel and how horribly SAD changes that.

shels - November 6, 2010 12:28 AM

Will there be a post everyday during the six week challenge? I know someone is probably going to tell me to join the Memebers' Center, but right now, I really can't afford that. I am spending a ton of money of my produce at the farmers markets and trying to buy organic on those items that are highly suspectible to pesticides and I can't afford one more expense.

Emily Boller - November 6, 2010 5:27 AM


There will be enlightening and encouraging writings posted every week through the end of December.

You can also "attend" the Six Week Challenge event on Dr. Joel Fuhrman's facebook home page. (the event is posted in the left margin)

Johanna - November 6, 2010 11:48 AM


My thanks for the actual suggestions of wrapping food in kale, collard and chard leaves instead of bread, for unsweetened applesauce with sweet potato,and mashing a pear with banana, sprinkled with cinnamon. The latter would be great to satisfy my sweet tooth! Thanks!

Suz Zencka - November 6, 2010 1:38 PM

I'm really glad to see this! My challenge is not so much around my own eating, but in creating new traditions for my family. We already stopped making Christmas cookies a few years ago, but I'm the only nutritarian in the house, and I have enjoyed making dishes that please people. My challenge is developing new dishes that family members can enjoy so that we can all eat together without me spending lots of time preparing food I won't be eating, OR me being blamed for "ruining" Thanksgiving or Christmas.

So I'll be looking for recipes that will be acceptable to my husband and grown sons and also to me. Some kind of pumpkin or apple dessert, turkey with au jus instead of gravy, and so on. I don't eat meat often, but I don't mind buying a small sustainably raised turkey for Thanksgiving. But what to provide for dessert? Maybe this will be the time to experiment with Healthy Chocolate Cake.

And perhaps we can develop new exercise traditions - a Christmas walk, for example. Fortunately, with our kids being young adults, they are open to developing healthy traditions, and my husband sees how important this is to me, so he is willing to try new things too. Really, I am quite fortunate! And that gives me a lot to be thankful for already!

I look forward to the special articles, and to learning from others.

Sara - November 7, 2010 11:24 AM

Note to Leah- Dr, Fuhrman does not recommend drinking that much water on a nutritarian diet. There's water in raw fruits and vegetables. Suz- I believe there is a healthy pumpkin pie somewhere.

Jeane - November 7, 2010 6:24 PM

I am going to "FOCUS" on ETL. Every day, every hour, every minute. I am learning how to focus, and not procrastinate.
This is the best post ever. Thanks

Esther - November 8, 2010 5:21 AM

There is an awesome recipe for pumpkin bread pudding in "fresh from the vegetarian slow cooker". I also make a pumpkin pie each Thanksgiving that is thickened with cornstarch ( no eggs), lightly sweetened and delicious. Am happy to share recipes if anyone is interested.

Stacy - November 8, 2010 4:50 PM

Just finished reading both books of Eat for Health. Love it!!! Have been attempting the new way of eating for two weeks now, of course the first week I did incredibly well and the last week has been tough....think the "toxic hunger" is getting the best of me. Have been oh so very tired, shaking and light some bread, crackers and feel quite a bit better. Any suggestions on how to get through this?? ( I think I know the answer, toughen up and dont eat the bread and crackers :.) )So glad I found this, looking forward getting through this rough patch and committing to my still needed to be formed 6 week challenge!!!

Sara - November 8, 2010 9:58 PM

Yes Stacy, You know the answer. Tough it out and go thru the detox. Remember this too shall pass. No bread or crackers. You can do it.

Kate - November 9, 2010 11:19 AM

Several people expressed the need to get more exercise. Personally, I hate exercise. But I square dance and round dance (similar to ballroom dance) several times a week. It combines walking to music with friendly faces and mental challenges. I highly recommend it to anyone who can walk. Hearing equipment is often available to those who have problems with hearing. Our club has children through those in their 80's. I've danced with more than one 90+ person, sometimes not knowing their age.

Tracey Stillman - November 9, 2010 11:53 PM

My family has been so supportive and enjoying the nutritarian lifestyle. Now they are all helping plan out healthly holidays with me. We are joining the 6 week challenge together!

Carrie - November 10, 2010 12:43 PM

I accept this challenge! This is just what I need to kick-start my journey back to health.

Joan - November 11, 2010 6:33 PM

I need to commit to the six weeks before I start to eat things off the plan by the second week and I never have gotten to true hunger. My goals are to feel true hunger and eat according to it and to finally give up Salt!

Emily Boller - November 12, 2010 11:25 AM

The momentum is gathering . . . . between these comments and those who are following the challenge on facebook . . . many are sick and tired of the focus on eating disease promoting foods for the holidays.

The ship is sinking and many go on partying in the midst of it as if their health is no big deal.

Congratulations for each of you who have accepted the challenge to choose optimal health over the holidays!


Blessings of great health to all!

AndyM - November 12, 2010 8:56 PM

Great post Emily! I'm on board for the holiday challenge!!

maryellen - November 13, 2010 9:30 AM

I accept this challenge!! Last year was miserable trying to get over Thanksgiving...YUCK

Dani @ Body By Nature - November 17, 2010 10:09 PM

I'm participating! Follow my progress here -

RobinV - November 18, 2010 9:04 AM

I am on board. I accept this challenge and pray that I can go on through out the new year 2011.

Troy - November 18, 2010 9:33 AM

Dr. Fuhrman, I would just like to say that I appreciate your commitment to assist people one by one by empowering them to be in control of their health and what they put into their bodies! I am participating in the challenge!

God bless!

ginny - November 18, 2010 9:41 AM

This is the best holiday motivator that I have seen. Sadly, toxic food addiction is my downfall. Healthy chocolate cake is like an alcoholic having a drink. I hope this topic stays alive and well for all 6 weeks. It would be nice to have it on the forum for daily motivaion. I really love the sweet potato apple walnut recipe but have to watch it.... I like it TOO much. Plan to follow the Thanksgiving menu from Dr. Fuhrman.

Lois Boyd - November 18, 2010 10:50 AM

I love this proactive approach to the holidays! What a great idea. We can't just sit back and hope that we'll gain health. Thanks Dr. Fuhrman and staff!

Diane - November 18, 2010 11:11 AM

I'm in -- I love having high energy and feeling good and Dr. Fuhrman's words ring so true -- I am not going to sacrifice my health by eating and drinking food that will make me sick just because it tastes good and everyone else is eating it.

Antoinette Payne - November 18, 2010 12:39 PM

I welcome the opportunity to jump onto the 6 week plan for the holidays. I lost 15 lbs while being on the 6 week plan and have stabelized that weight for 2 months. I want to lose more weight and especially not gain the weight back already lost so I am planning on a vegan Thanksgiving holiday meal but will include a Tofurky roast .

Christine - November 18, 2010 1:09 PM

I know about eating well but have gone off track this past year and am now 35 pounds heavier than I used to me. I can give the ususal excuses of having moved, life style change, work change, stress of studying as well but it reality these are only excuses. I have been very motivated this past week to get back on track and have lost 3 pounds already. This 6-week challenge was made for me as it will help me to stay on track through one of the harder times of the year. So - I'm definately in.
Thanks for doing this.

Laura - November 18, 2010 4:06 PM

Just joined Dr. Fuhrman's website on Nov. 7th and my husband and I are starting the six week plan on the 20th. I have been researching it a lot the last couple of weeks and have read the Eat to Live book. Can't wait to get started!!

Leslie - November 18, 2010 5:45 PM

This is an excellent idea and I'm definitely in!

My committment is to exercise daily, and ETL everyday!

I will never be able to thank Dr. Fuhrman enough for all he has done to support health education of patients and non-patients alike. You truly are a god send.

Nancy - November 18, 2010 6:57 PM

Great idea! I have been following Dr. Fuhrman's guidelines for several years, my current goal is to get to 100% compliance. What a great time to get and give an extra boost of support! I am focusing on planning ahead better, sharing some new recipes with the family, and eating enough of the right foods so the wrong stuff isn't attractive. How true, being healthy feels sooo much better than eating inferior foods!

Izzychic - November 18, 2010 10:14 PM

I am doing this. I will commit to -
1- keeping a food log
2- Eat my greens everyday
3- keep fruit nearby for my snack attacks

Heather - November 18, 2010 11:18 PM

Excellent motivator~

I'm going to eat vegetables for dinner every night, no peanuts, no sugar, and no dairy and wheat, and no gluten except Thanksgiving Day, for six weeks. Will there be a place to check in on the deadline?

Rita - November 19, 2010 6:03 AM

I'm definitely in. Great opportunity to clean up my act!

1. Nothing between meals other than water or herbal tea

2. Weekly:

*Back stretching/strengthening/balance exercises daily
*Walk 1-2 miles 3 days
*Interval train 3 days
*Strength train 3 days

Wishing everyone much success.

Jackie Mulvey - November 19, 2010 10:17 AM

I broke a lower bridge in August which necessitated oral surgery. That has finally healed but I have to remove the flipper when I eat which leaves a very small number of lower teeth. I hope to have implants (after bone grafts which would extend this situation for nearly another year) if I can afford them, but in the meantime eating other than soft food or liquids is difficult. I drink a lot of juice but that doesn't satisfy the craving for something more substantial. Any suggestions?

Emily Boller - November 19, 2010 10:59 AM

Soft bean spreads like hummus or black bean spread would be a substantial addition. Many members on the member center add white beans and nuts to their greens and fruit smoothies to make a meal. Some have the tastes down to an artful science. I'd ask others on the member center of for their suggestions. I'm sure there are some who've been in your similar situation, and have discovered great "soft" recipes in the process!

Paul B - November 19, 2010 12:15 PM


Count me in! I hit bottom recently. So nowhere to go but up. But up to stay!


Carol D. - November 19, 2010 2:07 PM

Great opportunity! This is the "push" I need to get on board with ETL.
Thank you Dr. Fuhrman!
I have read and reread Dr. Fuhrman's books, but I have never really truly embraced it, even though I know in my heart this is right and true.
Since I am no spring chicken, I figure I have no time to lose (I will be 69 years old in January 2011). I am at least 20 pounds overweight, carrying most of it in my belly, hips and thighs. I have been extremely lucky considering my age and condition to be in "fairly" good health so far, but I know I can be so much, much more healthy.

Tim R - November 19, 2010 5:18 PM

I am in! For 6 weeks I will try and follow the nutritarian
path as closely as possible. I hope to become healthier and lose some weight. Tim

Lois - November 20, 2010 3:31 PM

Count me in. This six week challenge sounds like a great holiday present to give myself. I am tired of eating fairly well and enjoying the taste of the food without all that sodium, added sugar, fat, and meat only to "fall off the wagon" when I visit relatives during the holidays. This year I plan to stay on track through December 31.

Wendy Sax - November 20, 2010 9:29 PM

I'm in! I do get tempted during the holidays. Now delighted to have this support.
Thank you!

diane lassen - November 21, 2010 6:44 AM

The holiday season is always a challenge, especially working in a busy office where everyone brings in unhealthy foods-- the counter overflows with candy and cookies. Stress eating is at an alltime high this time of year!
I do find it helpful to bring my lunches to work- I make big pots of soup with lots of veggies and freeze them in single serving containers. And I bring leftover cooked vegetables if I have them. I also keep a bag of organic apples in the car (while it is stillnot freezing outside!) so I have healthy snacks when I need them. DInner is often a bit more difficult, as my husband does the cooking at night while I work, but he is doing better at making a large assortment of veggies, brown rice and usually a wild-caught fish.
With the holidays here, I do bake cookies and cakes, but where I can, I add more wholesome ingredients like plenty of flax seed, nuts, and I use wholegrain flours as well. I try to cut the sugars back a bit and use healthy coconut oils to bake instead of butter. I limit myself to tasting everything I make-- and then I leave it for the family or bring it to work. While I am at work, I drink lots of herbal teas to keep me away from the goodies-- if I am sipping something all the time, it helps quite a bit. Also, I keep my toothbrush at work so I can brush after eating which does wonders for helping me refrain from nibbling.
good luck to all!
Diane Lassen, RN, HHC

Nancie - November 21, 2010 2:02 PM

I have Eat for Health and I want to eat healthy but I also need to gain weight.

Rachel Phelps - November 22, 2010 11:47 PM

I eat very healthfully and mindfully, and have struggled over the past decade with wanting to stay slimmer than my body seems willing to accept.... but it's just too hard to keep my weight down to where I'd like it to be. So I've given up processed foods and dairy/egg foods, just for an experiment, while on the 28day ERAmerica plan, and don't miss those foods much. However, I am 'afraid' of the nuts & avocados!! Yet enjoying eating them, nevertheless!
This new 6wk holiday support will be another wonderful resource of salad & green smoothie ideas, I hope. my biggest challange will be removing the chocolate chips from my favourite raw seed/nut.driedfruit trailmix blend... surely I can leave those in...?!

Rachel Phelps - November 22, 2010 11:47 PM

I eat very healthfully and mindfully, and have struggled over the past decade with wanting to stay slimmer than my body seems willing to accept.... but it's just too hard to keep my weight down to where I'd like it to be. So I've given up processed foods and dairy/egg foods, just for an experiment, while on the 28day ERAmerica plan, and don't miss those foods much. However, I am 'afraid' of the nuts & avocados!! Yet enjoying eating them, nevertheless!
This new 6wk holiday support will be another wonderful resource of salad & green smoothie ideas, I hope. my biggest challange will be removing the chocolate chips from my favourite raw seed/nut.driedfruit trailmix blend... surely I can leave those in...?!

Carol - November 23, 2010 6:52 PM

Intend to eat healthy over the holidays and to get control of the arthritis in my left knee. I'm sure ETL will definitely help it so that I can back to my exercise routine.

Cheryl - November 28, 2010 9:55 AM

I am in. As a vegan I have found it difficult to eat healthily while traveling. Too much pasta primavera on the road. My other challenge during the holiday season is being the cook for my adult children when they travel to my home in Florida. I keep it vegan but still use too much oil, salt, and sugar. I will keep checking to see how other family cooks manage the ETL lifestyle while providing holiday meals for others.

Barbara - November 29, 2010 10:18 PM

Made it through a week of vacation in CA and Thanksgiving Dinner with family eating nutritarian way. Also found some vegan friendly restaurants. I even had a vegan tamale that gave me all the flavor and none of the meat.

Dawn - November 30, 2010 8:03 PM

I had been on a strict vegan diet for many years, overcoming serious health concerns. However, having regained my health I gradually slipped back into some bad eating habits (too many breads, desserts, etc.) Now my health is slipping again. I need this to help jump start me to get back on my narrow path again. I know it's worth it when I feel well and have my health.

Brenda - December 1, 2010 10:45 PM

Happy to be in the six week challenge program. I am not
new to the vegetarian world but have decided since the Month
of February 2010 to step up to the plant based way of eating.
I benefited from comments made. My goal is to follow closely
the directions of the program.

Dukh Niwaran Kaur - December 5, 2010 1:23 PM

I commit to exercising every day in repeated spurts throughout the day. I commit to eating a salad or raw vegetables every day. I commit to eating a cooked vegetable every day. I commit to making at least 3-4 green smoothies a week for me and my family (I make multiple servings at once so that should cover all week).

This should be enough to get me started.

I've done the 6-week plan 3x--first time in Jan. 2006. Had great results and made eating changes such as green smoothies and kale that took. Regained some after a summer camp and with a lot of stress. Redid that fall with my husband after he had a heart intervention. He had good results but I didn't lose much. I think I've redone one other time without too much results and with problems with intestinal sensitivity to so much salads, etc. Now I've been living gluten free and soy free and doing well on that.

I've tried some other things since but after 6 months or so maintaining--found too difficult, went off, and back came the weight and the belly fat.

I'm going to be gentle with myself and start with getting more nutrition and exercise.

Peg - December 8, 2010 11:59 AM

I don't have a challenge at all. Holiday season for vegetarians in germany still means to eat the side dish.
If it's not just fries I shall be fine :)

I also have some part-time vegetarians during this time of year to share the side dish with: Many people who knew the goose by name can't eat it ...

FD - December 11, 2010 11:55 AM

Such a motivational forum!! Thanks to everyone for your comments. I am one of those who used to ETL and got away from it. I am back on as of today. I'm starting the challenge late, but better late than never!!

Susan - November 16, 2011 7:18 PM

My commitment would be to do recipes for at least 3 new salads each week to help me get out of doing the same thing most of the time. Also to exercise 6 days per week.

Post A Comment / Question Use this form to add a comment to this entry.

Remember personal info?