Interview with a Nutritarian: Mark

Mark was experiencing the same physical symptoms and emotional fears that befall many middle-aged males; that of living in fear of an impending heart attack and leaving their children prematurely with no father to help raise them. Not only did Mark take control of his health destiny and get his health back, but became one of Dr. Fuhrman’s first Nutritional Education Trainers (NETs) to help others do the same! Welcome to Onlyourhealth, Mark. 

 before after images of Mark  

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

I was overweight, but in denial.  Being 6'3" and carrying around an extra 65 lbs. wasn't as noticeable on me as it would have been on someone that was a bit shorter.  I was always playing sports when I was young, so it was hard for me to accept that I was overweight.  I was on four prescription medications for asthma and a perpetual runny nose.  I always over ate and consumed a deadly diet.

How did you feel then?

I was tired all the time and would wake up every night needing my inhaler so I could breathe.  I was also worried about the heart attack that I knew was probably only a year or two away and was very concerned that if I didn't do something my two daughters may lose their father to some disease.


How did you find out about ETL?

After experiencing a severe cramp during a morning run I took a look at my leg and noticed how it had lost a lot of hair, just like my dad's legs before he died due to heart disease.  This was a wake-up call for me.  I started searching for ways to improve my health and began doing a lot of reading.  I learned about "detoxifying" during a cruise.  While researching detoxifying I learned about some of the benefits of fasting and looked for books on fasting in the library.  That's when I found Dr. Fuhrman's first book, Fasting and Eating for Health.  While reading this book everything made sense.  Unlike many of the previous "health" books I had been reading, Dr. Fuhrman didn't just tell what to do, but why this advice worked and the proof with references to scientific studies. Soon after, I also found Eat to Live.

after photo of MarkHow do you feel now?

Great!  I now weigh the same as I did in high school, and I no longer wake up at night struggling for air.  I've been off all medications since I began the program about five years ago.  I don't feel hot or sweat all the time like I used to.  Gone are the days of being lethargic.  In fact, two years after beginning the program I began training and ran my first marathon, the Marine Corps Marathon; one week before turning 51.  I did it in 4 hours 22 seconds and didn't walk a single step along the way.  It was pretty emotional for me when the Marine Officer (I'm a former Marine) placed that medal around my neck as I reflected on how much I was enjoying my new life of health!  The nutritarian lifestyle didn't just heal me physically; it increased my self esteem and gave me a different outlook on my future. 

   Before  After
Weight  249 lbs  185 lbs
Cholesterol  163  120
Blood pressure  144 / 95  118 / 75

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

  • Learn as much as you can before starting the program. 

  • Learn that your taste buds will change; that you can lose your addictions to toxic foods; that this way of eating will become more and more enjoyable; and it will eventually become what is "normal" for you. 

  • Don't be discouraged by those around you who will come up with any number of reasons why you should go back to eating the way they do. 

  • Take it one step at a time.  You don't have to go all out in the beginning, but it's okay if you do. 

  • Find positive support somewhere.  Dr. Fuhrman's Member Center on the web is a great place for this.


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

It has changed my whole outlook on life.  After years of worrying about a heart attack, these thoughts are now gone.  Every day seems brighter when you have your health.  It has also been rewarding to be able to help others with what I've learned.  Along these lines, I decided to become a Nutritional Education Trainer (NET).  I figured having this title would give me more credibility when telling others about the benefits of the nutritarian lifestyle.  Even though I'm too busy with my current job, I hope to get more involved and lead group sessions after I retire in a few years.  What a great hobby!

Congratulations Mark for earning your health back and your Nutritional Education Trainer certification!

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Comments (12) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Wendy (Healthy Girl's Kitchen) - January 26, 2011 3:14 PM

Thank you for sharing your inspirational story!

Jodi - January 26, 2011 4:34 PM

Mark, I enjoyed hearing about your success story. Your tips will be very helpful to anyone following Dr. Fuhrman's plan...both newbies and veterans. Nice job.

Theresa Anderson - January 26, 2011 6:30 PM

Dear Mark....Your story touched my heart. I too found Dr. Fuhrman through his book Eat To Live. If I remember right, I received the book through the paperback club or something like that. I keep this first book as my notes inside tell of my learning journey. I am so thankful that Dr. Fuhrman is not only a medical doctor but the author of the answer we all crave deep inside to know. What is the best way?
Thank you for sharing and it's wonderful that you are a NET.
I too aspire to be one.

Chuck Bluestein - January 26, 2011 7:09 PM

This is a great testimonial for the nutritarian lifestyle. It sounds to me that this has doubled his lifespan. Also the nutritarian lifestyle is better for the planet. Many more people need to learn about it.

chris christensen - January 26, 2011 7:13 PM

Nice to see someone say they are off all asthma meds and ran a marathon, and did it in good pace time! My goal is to get off asthma meds and run a race too. Good job.

Brenda - January 26, 2011 8:42 PM

Thank you, Mark. You provide just the encouragement I need to "keep on keeping on." I'm 50 pounds lighter than I was this time last year, and I, too, am off all asthma meds.

Bill - January 27, 2011 6:56 AM

Great story and inspiration to all of us! Moving away from food addiction is critical for many. Congrats on a healthy life, free of heart attacks and running forever. Encourage you on becoming a NET!

StephenMarkTurner - January 27, 2011 11:57 AM

Losing leg hair is a sign of impending heart problems?

Cheers, Steve

Sherry Cooke - January 27, 2011 5:56 PM

Thanks for the inspiring story. I read Eat to Live and was enlightened and I am now reading The China Study. I have been following the plan since before Thanksgiving.I feel great. Whenever people Ask me about the change in my food intake, I share with them the great outcomes. Thanks again!

Peg G. - January 28, 2011 11:34 AM

Through my good friend, Howard, we learned of Dr. Fuhrman and his books. Since August, my cholesterol has dropped 60 points and my triglycerides fell to half what they were! I am in my late 60s and have had two failed back surgeries and a total hip replacement, so the weight is not coming off as quickly as I'd like, but I am already feeling so much better. Last night my hubby and I went out to eat at a fish place and ended up eating some fried flounder. I paid for it all it was certainly a good reminder of what I chose to leave behind! Not doing that again.
Thank you for sharing your story, Mark. God Bless you as you keep sharing.

Denise Walden - February 23, 2011 2:38 PM

I am just beginning this diet...... However I do have a question.. Can I put my fruit and some veggies such as spinach in the blender and have a green smoothie once in a while.... I know I cannot have fruit juice but if it is blended with spinach and strawberries and such it would be the same as eating the fruit and veggies?

Your story inspires me.......

Nancy Wall - August 14, 2011 7:44 AM

Losing leg hair is a sign of poor blood supply and you should discuss it with your doctor.

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