On Saturday, September 27, 2014, I had the opportunity to listen to a lecture by someone I admire greatly. Twenty-five years ago, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, sat down and wrote a book where he honestly set out to educate and motivate people on how to have superior health. A few years ago, I happened to discover that book, Eat To Live. And now, here he was, in Portland, OR, (he lives in New Jersey) and I was sitting in a room, with nearly 1,000 people, in the second row, listening to him continue his passion – still honestly wanting to bring about “a healthy future for our children and future generations.”
I was proud to attend the lecture with my two children, Kirsten and Sean, who lost their father this past July to a sudden, unexpected heart attack – a day before his 68th birthday. For the past few years, it has been the desire of all three of us to take control of our health and become healthier by eating a plant-strong diet. We’ve been reading and researching and practicing what we have learned. The children had wanted their father to also embrace their passion of eating a healthier diet. He had quite recently made some of these changes; and when they got together they had fun buying and cooking fresh fruits, and veggies, introducing him to new foods like quinoa, and of course they always loved going on long hikes together.
With the recent passing of their father, we were in that room more committed than ever to fully understanding why the secret to superior health and a long life starts with a steady diet of healthy greens, colorful vegetables, beans, walnuts, seeds, and fresh fruit. The children want to be vibrant and healthy when they bring children into the world. Kirsten and Sean’s superior health will be the greatest gift they can give to their children because it will help them to be healthy from the day of conception and keep them healthy all of their life. I was there because I want to live a long life so I can enjoy my future grandchildren – a long, vibrant, healthy life so that my grandchildren can enjoy me! And I want to inspire and motivate others to lead healthier lives.
After listening to Dr. Fuhrman, we happily came away realizing we truly are nutritarians, not merely vegans, and we have been following, quite painlessly, a nutritarian diet for almost three years. A diet which:
- makes it almost impossible to become overweight because when we eat we satisfy a true hunger, not a toxic, addictive craving,
- allows us to eat bountiful amounts of food, because they are rich in nutrients, yet low in calories,
- enables us to always feel satisfied,
- gives us an abundance of energy (or as someone in his 20s told me yesterday, “you seem pretty peppy.”)
- will keep us healthy all our life.
We are nutritarians who can predict our health by our nutrient intake and who will avoid the potential risk of certain diseases or suffering from becoming undernourished as many meat-eaters, vegetarians and vegans often do. We eat whole foods, eat minimal processed foods, and supplement our diet with Omega-3’s, Zinc, Vitamin D3 and Vitamin B12.
Some of you know, I used to weigh nearly 190 pounds. When I started eating a nutritarian diet, I weighed about 158 pounds. It took me nearly six years to lose those 32 pounds. However, when I became a nutritarian, I dropped nearly 25 pounds in just about two months: I cut out dairy, eggs, and chicken (the only meat I was still eating at the time). I learned about toxic hunger and started making the salad the “main dish” of at least one meal a day (and I don’t mean just a plate of iceberg lettuce with a few cherry tomatoes and some croutons!). It was like eating from the rainbow, and what I found at the end was better than any pot of gold!
Two and a half years later I continue to maintain that weight, within a two-pound range, keeping around 135 to 137 pounds. Most importantly, I feel vibrant.
During the lecture, I took copious notes, viewed slides, and laughed a lot at Dr. Fuhrman’s jokes – he was quite entertaining as well as educational. A nice combination! I walked away with some good clarification of points I’ve read in his books as well as new information he shared from some of his recent findings. And I look forward to sharing these with you in my upcoming blogs.
Some takeaways of the day?
- Food addictions are destroying the lives of millions of people.
- We are an overweight nation but ubiquitously undernourished of phytochemicals and antioxidants.
- People always look for a rationalizations or reasons to not eat healthy.
- Heart disease, diabetes and most cancers are preventable.
But this requires change. It sounds simple, and it is simple once you let the knowledge rather than old habits, your emotions and most especially your excuses of “why you can’t stop eating foods that are killing you,” guide you.
The big takeaway of the day?
The simple key to a long, disease-free life is to be well-nourished by eating a nutrient-rich diet.
So, in closing for today, I truly believe that we can take control over our health destiny by eating less animal products and by adding more fruits and vegetables, beans, and nuts and seeds to our diet. It’s our passport to healthy living, and I hope you’ll join me on this exciting journey.