Oct 10, 2015

My Nutritarian Journey

nutritarian: A person who understands that food has powerful disease-protecting and therapeutic effects and seeks to consume a broad array of micronutrients via their food choices. A nutritarian is not necessarily vegan but since animal-based foods pale in comparison to plant-based foods in their micronutrient load, plant-strong foods are mostly consumed. A nutritarian eating style is guided by the ratio of micronutrients to calories in foods. Ninety percent of calories come from nutrient-rich plant foods: vegetables, beans, fruits, nuts and seeds. This word was coined by Dr. Joel Fuhrman.

exactly one year after starting Dr. Furhman’s nutritional eating plan
and I have never felt better!


I was raised by an Italian mother. Need I say more? In our house, food was not only for sustenance; it was part of our culture, our heritage and our identity. Thanks, perhaps, to “good genes” I enjoyed a healthy childhood, adolescence and on into my 20s and late 30s; I was fit, vibrant, active and trim. My weight rarely fluctuated from between 125-128.

Then I got pregnant and gained a whopping 60 pounds during the pregnancy. Some of the weight fell off easily afterwards but remained hovering in the 140 range. As more years went by the pounds climbed to 155…160… I kept buying clothes that were loose fitting. No one seemed to notice… except me. Well, maybe they were just being nice…

Then in 2011, the holidays came… went… and I realized something significant had changed. My clothes were tighter, I was sluggish and my joints were hurting. A mysterious occurrence of bursitis in my hip besieged me for about five weeks; I could barely walk. My mom said to me, “Welcome to old age.” I disagreed. I knew that this was not the path for me. I went home and bravely stepped onto a scale for the first time in ten years… and I was absolutely horrified. I stood there, naked, staring at the number. “That can’t be right,” I mumbled. I stepped off, on, off and on again — about three times. The number 183 kept staring me in the face.

I thought about my diet and remembered a friend of mine who had begun following Dr. Fuhrman’s recommendations. She told me how wonderful it was and how she was losing weight and getting healthier. I asked her about it. When she told me that she didn’t consume any salt or added oil, I “knew” that I could never do that and acknowledged her for her efforts.

I had taken an enormous interest in nutrition in my late twenties. I was a vegetarian for about eight years, I tried the “Eat Right For Your Type” diet, the Atkins disaster, Ayurvedic cooking, Macrobiotic—you name it, I tried it. I finally had settled into what I thought was a reasonably healthy regimen of eliminating most sugars, all gluten, all processed foods and red meat.

Obviously, this wasn’t working. I decided I would look into Dr. Fuhrman’s book, Eat to Live. Why not? I thought. I’ve read so many books on diet and nutrition. I’ll read this and see what he has to say. I read that book cover to cover. Twice. I was in. This was IT. I finally realized I had found the TRUTH about health and nutrition…

I enthusiastically undertook Dr. Fuhrman’s 6-week Program in the spring of 2012 and have not looked back. Was it challenging at times? Yes. Has it been worth every effort? Absolutely! I immediately dropped 8 pounds the first week. That was exciting enough, in and of itself, but what was more spectacular was how good I was feeling. I was sleeping better, my joints felt looser and my skin was smoother. But it was more than that, too. I had an undeniable awareness that my body was healing itself. The high nutrient foods that I was now consuming were giving my body the fuel that it had been starving for, for basically my entire life.

This healing has continued and still continues now. Old injuries flare up and resolve. Toxins that must have been lurking in my fatty tissues for decades are being eliminated. And I just keep feeling better and better! My blood pressure, which at one point was so dangerously high (190/113) I was rushed to the E.R., is now at 99/74. My triglycerides went from 168 to 104 and I have dropped over 30 pounds and I’m still losing. And for the most part, it was effortless. But it was only effortless because of the KNOWLEDGE that I gained from reading every Dr. Fuhrman book and watching every video of his… more than once! Knowledge is power.

My family and I moved to the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina this past summer. It’s the most beautiful place on earth as far as I’m concerned. We enjoy a spectacular mountain view and are surrounded by trees and wildlife.

I invite you to join me in a new journey to superior health and disease-free longevity. Old age doesn’t have to come with degenerative diseases and dementia. I know that now.

“The underlying philosophy of a nutritarian diet is that foods in their natural form—unprocessed, grown with the right type of natural fertilizer without chemical sprays—are designed to give humans the most fully life-sustaining, disease-proof life possible.”     ~ Joel Fuhrman, M.D.

These two pictures really tell it all. On the left (March 2012), just a few weeks before undertaking Dr. Furhman’s 6-week plan, I am preparing breakfast: Eggs Benedict. On the right (October 2012) I am preparing breakfast: Superfood Smoothies!

Thanks for reading. Healthy trails!




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