Eat to Live
Eat to Live, if you’ve not heard is the brain child/ diet/ nutritional revolution evangelized by Dr. Fuhrman. In August of 2012 I read the book of the same name, and it changed how I live my life.
First – let me say, I am not a jump-on-the-bandwagon type of gal. I’ve even been known to mock those that are, sometimes quietly sometimes not so much. But let me give you the scenario before this book landed in my lap.
This summer my Mom and Step Dad took all three children to their place for the summer. Mike had been in and out of the hospital (for an illness unrelated to celiac) and I found myself in an odd position. I had time off from my WordPress work as well for my own unrelated illness (email me for details if you’re curious!) and found myself with an unprecedented amount of time devoted to nothing but… ME!! Yes – you’re so right – the first stop was the spa.
Then I started walking to pass the time (and keep the dog from peeing on the carpet). Then I started looking for a real social life (shock!) and got hooked up with a great group of salsa dancers in the Greater Vancouver Area.
Then… what to do? Given that for various illnesses I’d been on drugs for most of my adult life, I decided to see what all the fuss was about ‘cleanses’. Was there really any scientific basis to it? Or do we just like to change the color of our poop with the seasons? Where does one go for advice (and entertainment)? Dr. Oz. It was there that I ran into a couple of articles and show excerpts with Dr. Fuhrman promoting his first book, New York Times best seller, Eat to Live. See Video 1 (Sept 2012)
I read that. In one sitting. Let me state again that I like to skip the details: studies, footnotes, and a bibliography or somesuchthing that I cannot and willnot remember. But the jist is this:
- Americans (and I’m including Canadians but he’s referring to studies done just on Americans) are overweight and obesity is the leading causes of the leading causes of death in US (Canada)
- Leading causes of death are heart disease and cancers, most of which is preventable and sometimes treatable (at this point I too, was rolling my eyes) with nutrition
High Nutrient / Low Calorie
That’s it! The best part is that the MORE you eat of high nutrient food, the more weight you lose!! Thats because you satiate yourself with real fiber (bulks up your tummy) and more nutrient (something about chemicals that fire off to the brain telling you to STOP eating). See Video 2 of the Dr. Fuhrman Eat to Live Food Pyramid on Dr. Oz Show.
The highest nutrient/ lowest calorie foods are in this order:
- Raw Green Leafy Veggies. Other raw veggies. Cooked veggies. Even cooked starchy veggies!
- Seeds & Nuts
AND – the best part? You can eat UNLIMITED amounts of the above, trying to get in 1 pound of raw veggies, 1 pound of cooked (good luck!) and one cup of beans per day.
If you have a lot of weight to loose you limit the nuts and seeds department to 1-2 oz per day.
I’ll have to look it up in the book for you. These are the details I never get straight. The thing is that romaine lettuce has more protein than steak PER CALORIE. So it really is true – the more you eat of the high nutrient food the healthier & lighter you become.
K, this is another one that is backed by all those studies I can’t recall. The bottom line is there is enough of ALL micronutrients in fruits and veggies if you eat them primarily. Even calcium. And there are some really damaging studies about milk linked to diseases and also somehow draining us of the calcium that we need.
Meat & Eggs & Dairy
This one I keep having to look up and I need some more education here. I’ll update this page as I learn more things, or write a post on it, if its warranted. My kids love cheese and dairy of any kind so this is a big DEAL to the family!! According to Dr. Fuhrman, the studies are absolutely conclusive that cheese, and dairy in particular, (trans fats) cause heart disease. A diet free of these products reduces risk of heart disease and obesity by incredible amounts.
Meat is one that is largely weight related I think. Obesity is a struggle in most meat – eating cultures. Our bodies do an impeccable job of storing fat for lean times. The problem is that we don’t have lean times! So we keep increasing in size. And to really get our two pounds of fresh fruit and veggies, beans, and nuts in, we really don’t have room for those big chunks of meat.
Cereal, Grains, Pasta, Breads
Here is where it really makes sense to me. Whole Grains – and I mean whole – are good in this diet if you’re not trying to loose weight aggressively. Pasta, most cereal, and most breads are not made with whole grains. And if items are made by a company trying to sell products they are most definitely going to throw in the right combinations of sugar, salt and oil to sell more product. So stick with those reputable health-conscience brands and read labels. I’m a big fan of capitalism, I think it all shakes out in the end. So if we stopped buying junk….?
I’ve noticed a real increase in energy and health and a huge decrease in cravings since I let go of ‘white stuff’. Of course I was told to let go of ‘white stuff’ about 15 years ago. So if you’re not ready, you’re not ready! But read the book anyway – there are some great facts in there to help you at least incorporate more veggies into your diet!
Eat to Live: The Catch
B12. That’s it. That’s the only thing you need if you go with a strict weight-loss version (restricting whole grains to one cup, and nuts and seeds to 1oz per day).
Oh – and if you don’t regularly toil in the fields for 8 hours a day, you may need vitamin D.
Welcome to my new diet!! I’ve had several weeks to play with it (lost 28lbs so far!!) and will post my recipes here so that you can find them. I would love to hear your thoughts on this if you’re giving it a try! I haven’t found a lot of internet resources yet, but these few have been very helpful!
UPDATE: 8 wks in, 40# lost! And I’ve gained a love affair with salads, raw nuts and dates. And beans. Who knew you could throw beans on a salad and love it?