June 11, 2009

Eat to Live: an apologetic book review

At Cranky Fitness, we don't usually review books, because it's hard to be both polite and cranky. In this case, I thought it was necessary.

I first read about Dr. Fuhrman last year on Diet Blog. And -- I'm sorry if this sounds mean -- I wasn't quite sure if he was legit. Even allowing for the fact that a blog post doesn't allow room for a well-thrashed-out thesis, his talk of Toxic Hunger sounded very similar to catch phrases like Toxic Fat, which have a "marketing to scare people so they'll pay money" sort of feel about it. So I was prejudiced.

And it does seem counter-intuitive that hunger doesn't originate in the stomach but rather in the throat. I haven't experienced that myself -- but you know what? That really isn't relevant to the main point of this book Eat to Live so I'm going to skip over it.

I was impressed with this book. For one thing, it is very, very well researched. Some chapters, it seems like every other sentence has a footnote referring to a peer-reviewed research study that was published in a well-respected journal.

I’ve read diet books where all the references cited lead to other books written by the same author. Fuhrman’s references lead to studies reported in journals that even I have heard of. That’s impressive. One study, or two or three, I could refute/ignore/disagree with out of laziness or feeling contrary. When I find study after study after study all backing up what he’s selling, then it’s a lot harder to disagree with him.

On the other hand, this guy's never going to become a millionaire selling this book.

How not to get rich writing a diet book:



- He doesn’t use the book to promote a lot of His Own Special BrandTM supplements. He promotes eating fruit and vegetables. Unless he’s got a whole lot of stock in Safeway, he’s never going to make a million $ with this approach.

- He’s more concerned with health than with weight loss. (Yeah, like people are going to go for that. What was he thinking?)

- He’s not taking a few facts and stringing them together into a clever theory embellished with a lot of long, pseudo-scientific jargon. (How can you impress people if you don’t use jargon?)

I have to admit to a certain prejudice against Doctors Who Are Selling Something. This always causes me to go into auto-cynic mode, which is probably not fair since some of these doctors are well-intentioned, and doctors have as much right to make a living as anyone else. The thing is, I want them to sell knowledge rather than Success Pills for three easy payments of $45.99. What Dr. Fuhrman does is encourage you to eat foods that you can grow yourself, or at least can go down the road and buy at the grocery store. His website offers the chance to buy additional stuff, but that's not mentioned in the book.

I think I liked what he wrote because it agreed so much with what I've deduced from what I've read over several years. I don't see why he would limit the daily intake of flax seed to only one teaspoon, but aside from that I kinda like what he's saying.

The bad news

This guy's diet is strict. And permanent. The only way to make it following this lifelong diet is to learn to like vegetables. I'm actually getting there. Me, the confirmed carnivore, who can -- and has-- gone days eating only food that came from the meat and bakery departments, now spends most of my time in the produce section. I'm still not going to say I love vegetables, but I do love not feeling stuffed with saturated fat and greasy food.

How strict is strict?

This diet is more strict that Dean Ornish's diet plan, and he's always been my end-point for Strict.


The basic tenets of the diet

- 1 pound raw veggies & fruit (on my scale, that's 1 apple, 1 cucumber, and 1 cup green leafies)

- 1 pound cooked veggies

- limited quantities of grains and starchy veggies

- sayonara to meat,1 processed foods,2 caffeine,3 alcohol4

1That sound you just heard was several people leaving this blog and going to Mark's Daily Apple to complain. Hey, go with what works for you. I'm just telling you what Fuhrman says. Actually, he’s not far from the Primal approach. He figures it’s better to be a semi-vegetarian, i.e. it’s okay to eat some meat if you’re going to eat a whole lot of vegetables as well. (I think he would prefer you not eat meat, but he says it’s vastly better than being a vegetarian who goes around gorging on breads and pastries.)


2There go the Jenny Craig & WeightWatchers-meals groups.

3Ah, just lost the Starbucks crowd.

4The last Cranky Fitness reader shuts the door behind him as he leaves.

Um... is anyone still reading this? Fuhrman says that after six weeks or so, unless you're really looking to lose a lot of weight, re-introduce more grains and starchy vegetables. Avoid processed foods like the evil pesticide-ridden plague foods that they are.

Fuhrman himself says this diet is not for everyone. People will say "hey, this diet will make me so miserable that it's not worth it." I'm not sure I agree. Yeah, changing your mindset and getting your body used to a more healthy diet is no fun, but once you've made the adjustment it seems to me you'll be having a whole lot more fun in life. The quality of life is better if you eat healthy and work out.

Ever tried going mostly vegetarian? Did it help or hinder your health efforts?

147 comments:

  1. Should I put on my asbestos suit? Am I about to get flamed over this post?

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    1. Thanks for this review Merry - I am no good at following diets of any kind but have adopted more veg - especially the green stuff such as spinach and kale - and have bought "Eat to Live" for myself and several people I love and care about who are grossly fat - but what you must really remember is it really is up to yourself to want to get better!! I've had breast cancer and have been permanently damaged through radiotherapy - but however you look at things I have to live with the fact that it can return as my faulty immune system cannot recognize the fast growing cancer cells quickly enough and they 'get away' - so am concentrating on building up my immune system which this diet is advocated to do - that's enough incentive to me to keep trying !!! As a bonus I have already lost nearly two stone in weight and dropped from size 22 to 18 - wowee !! and I wasn't really trying to do this - but I am getting more into drinking fruit and veg smoothies - it's amazing how the addition of an orange, banana or apple which most of us eat anyway to a load of veggies, especially green ones can taste so good - not kinky or cranky and as imperfect as the next person but so satisfying - am not into exercise at all but have still lost the weight magically - this guy Fuhrman seems a fair and honest man to whom other doctors will happily refer their patients - well many of us cannot visit him personally but most of us can read and decide for ourselves if we want to get better in so many ways .... it's good to have doubts ... but it's nice when simple changes get such wonderful results ... and I agree that this man seems to be bent on sharing good news rather than making lots of money - the book costs so little but the rewards can be great - but only if you have enough desire to want to get better !!

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    2. Ha! Just checked out his website, and on the home page I counted 5 different books, a ten DVD set, and nutritional seminar in Chicago all for sale. I can just imagine what else he has for me to buy on the rest of the site. Thanks, but NO THANKS.

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    3. What you don't get, is that he isn't SELLING those products through his book. Of course he wants to get his name and products out there! They work, why not make money off of them? It's like a job, he's writing these books, making these videos... He should get paid for them. He promotes HEALTHY veggies that you can just go pick up at your grocery store, NOT from his website. I know a friend who has lost over 100 pounds in a year from his book and she looks AMAZING... She let me borrow her book but to support him, myself, I bought the book for my iPad. So, don't judge too harshly. He must be doing something right! My friend has always been a big girl, now she's very slim and healthy, which suits her tall frame. She looked awesome on New Years! I can't wait to get this diet started. Don't judge a book by it's cover! ;) Give'r a try!

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    4. I have been using Dr Fuhrman's nutritional guidance for a few weeks now. I have deviated from his plan slightly, the odd time I will have some cheese on a salad but mainly keeping to his suggestions. I can not believe the change in my weight, sense of self, mood, attitude, everything! I feel pretty fantastic. I was addicted to diet pop (this was all I drank), cigarettes, and a diet high in animal product. One day I decided to change all of that. I watched a couple documentaries including "hungry for change" and "food inc" with many others and that was my introduction to Dr Fuhrman. I then proceeded to read his book. One thing I could not deny was his vast amount of legitimate sources. I remember thinking that his idea of eating to live is so basic that it made so much sense. I am 26 years old, I have been on a yo yo of weight for years trying many gimmicky fad diets... What was I thinking? I knew they were not a life long solution but I didn't really know what that looked like for me. I have found it now. I have quit all of my nasty habits cold turkey but the crazy thing, it was pretty easy! I didn't freak out needing a smoke. I now wake up naturally early in the morning, the scale is down about 1 pound every morning; which I think is crazy because I eat plenty and I never feel hungry, exhausted, or foggy. Overall, I would encourage everyone to watch those documentaries and read the book. They opened my eyes. Oh, and I didn't have to buy anything extra to have this life change. No extra books or DVD's etc. Good Luck to all.

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    5. I just started following the plan also. I'm not strict about it. Mainly just really upping my fruit and veg as close to what he suggests as I can manage. It just seems to be a sensible way to eat food. I still eat meat. No dairy (I'm lactose intolerant). And I like that he says in the book, that if you do nothing else, just be sure to crank up your fruit and veg intake as close to his suggestions as you can get. And even doing over the long run, will help protect you from disease. And yes, even in the short week I've been striving to eat as close to his recs as I can, the scale for me too has already gone down 3 or 4 lbs. hooray for veggies! I'm going to learn as many ways to prepare them as I can!

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    6. IDK. I have all of Dr. Fuhrman's books. You can lose a ton of weight but my gosh, you're just eating vegs/fruit with some beans thrown in. Anyone can lose weight on this. I'm not convinced about the healing aspect of this plan either. I sometimes felt like crap on it and little things didn't go away either. There will never be any proof that it will give you a longer life. That would be impossible. So the bottom line is, will it be sustainable in the long run. I can't see many folks sticking to this for a lifetime. It's severely restricting. There may be folks that get some ailments cleared up but there are probably many diets that could do the same. This is really vegan in sheep's clothing. With a little protein a couple times a week. Why bother? Couple times a week? So you really need to ask yourself if you want to be vegan or not. I opt for not. There are less restrictive ways of cutting down protein and upping the vegs. He is very well researched though. His main claim is to the China Study. Verbatim really. And there are lots of folks that refute that study, so like I said, IDK.

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    7. Dr. Furman doesn't need your money. He is a cardiologist. He is simply trying to relay the results of his life practice. Listen if you want to live healthy. Criticize if you wish to be stubborn. Grow your own vegies. Eat them with pleasure. Break the stubborn path of unhealthy lifestyle. I have never been over-weight. However, I have lived a very poor diet life. My instinct was always telling me to change. THANK YOU DR FURMAN FOR GIVING ME THE INFORMATION AND SUPPORT I NEEDED TO CHANGE MY LIFE!!!!! This man has not made a CENT from me.

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  2. I absolutely love Dr. Fuhrman! People may not like what he's saying, but he's telling the truth. Since when does the truth have to be palatable to be true?

    The lifestyle I'm following is based on Eat to Live and it really provides amazing health improvements. If you do the initial 6-week very strict diet, you will lose a lot of weight, but as you go onto the lifetime program, the weight loss will slow down, although not considerably, while the health improvements will still continue.

    It may seem daunting in the beginning, but it does work and it is a sustainable, albeit different from the toxic food environment, way of living. People should head over to Dr Fuhrman's website for some great testimonials from people who have turned their health around in the most extraordinary ways and lost weight to boot!

    I've been studying nutrition and how it relates to health and disease for years, but I learned a few new things in this book. He really explains things very well.

    No asbestos suit needed here! I'm a believer!

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  3. I come in peace, Merry, no worries! :D LOVED this. His book sounds great - ya know why? Because it's not full of bull s*** which is what so many "health" books offer. I, like you, immediately close down if i feel someone who is offering advice has a motive with a dollar sign attached to it. Plus, I like that, while strict, he is not so strict as to say "no meat!" Does he say anything about processed foods in moderation, or are they completely banned? Does he define "processed"? I think that term gets misused or misunderstood a lot. Anyway...I would say "yea, count me in, sign me up for the vegetables-by-the-pounds-plan" but I would probably only say that if I were a) overly caffeinated or b) drunk -- and both of those don't fit into his plan anyway...
    Oh and does he mention exercise?

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    1. He says to eat 90% of calories from fruits, veggies and beans and the 10% that is left can be whatever. That's 90% of CALORIES, so we're talking lots of produce here. And yes, he says it's better if you exercise.

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    2. I just read the book -- he talks about exercise but in a very sensitive way, respectful of the many people reading his book who are extremely obese or terribly ill for whom exercise is a real challenge. But yes, he mentions exercise and that for best results his food plan should be part of a healthy lifestyle.

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  4. Dang! I deleted the paragraph about how I felt that he should have put more emphasis on exercise. I mean, the man was on the U.S. World Figure Skating Team (see his blog for video clip) so he must appreciate exercise. I thought he could have mentioned it more than once or twice.

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    1. Saw Dr. F on Dr. Oz. He says if you follow the diet you will have so much energy that you will naturally start being more active. I agree that adding an exercise element is good, but it could be enough to send some people over the edge. I like that he emphasizes the food first and says the exercise will come.

      Kathy R

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  5. Clearly I have no idea about nutrition because I was wondering what exactly you can eat on his plan? I was vegetarian for a few years, so not eating meat doesn't worry me, but if you're also eating low carbs that doesn't leave much except....fat, dairy, fruit or soy? And do cupcakes count as processed food? I notice you don't mention sugar...? Confused..... :-)

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    1. I am on the diet now, and I think that you get plenty of calories from the fruit and the daily cup of beans that is also included in the diet. Cupcakes are something you should have every once in a very long while. He said if you do you use sugar, use it sparingly and use natural sugar, not artificial sweetners. He explains it all in the book, much better than me. Lol.

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    2. Sorry Spring Girl...no sugar! No dairy. Basically just fruits and veggies....and beans, nuts and seeds.

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  6. I was a veggie (-tarian that is) for 15 years! Then the docs said I sucked at it, so I started to eat meat...pretty lame-o, I know, but back then I just didn't care to put the effort forth to balance it out like I do now!

    Hey, thanks for this review, I'm gonna check this book out!

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  7. I'm afraid I'm a member of the "maybe I'll live a longer healthier life but I'd rather die sooner than eat just vegetables all the time thank you very much" club.

    But I too would have thought from the throat hunger thing that the book would be "out there," and instead it sounds very well-researched and convincing!

    But no way in hell am I going on a diet that restrictive.

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  8. I tried going vegetarian..for about 1/2 a day. I don't eat red meat much, but I live my chicken and fish...

    The diet does sound a "bit" restrictive...

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  9. Never heard of this guy but I like to learn... BUT, just not gonna work for me. After spending too many years doing & eating things I did not want to, I need to find a program that is rounded AND healthy that I can live with & don't think mostly veggies is it... although I get them in there.

    PLUS, with the way my bod reacts to a lot of veggies, I would never have friends & my hubby would leave me due to the gas & of course I would feel like crap too from the bloating. Yes, I could take out stock on Beano but I guess I will just have to leave the mostly veggie thing for another person.

    I might read more about it though for knowledge sake.

    THX for the info!

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  10. I could do the mostly vegetarian thing but no coffee? He lost me there...

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    1. Tell me about it! That is exactly how i feel..

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    2. My friends (husband and wife) have done it for 8 weeks and have not cut out the morning coffee and have each lost almost 30 pounds. They are feeling amazing and have a glass of wine or a beer whenever they want. They are hooked!

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  11. Have I ever been on a strictly veggie diet? Sort of - french fries, zucchini (bread), eggplant (parmigian) - you get the idea.

    Must side with Crabby - I might live longer on this diet but would be so miserable that I'd beg for the end to come. I might be going to hell but isn't that where all the fun people (and carnivores) are?

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    1. Gigi....I was so heartbroken by your comment regarding going to Hell. Please, please, please pick up the Bible and read that too. Hell is not a place you want to be. I realize this may have been an offhand comment, but this is serious business. I will pray for you.

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    2. I am so heartbroken by your heartbroken comment to Gigi. Please, please, pick up the Bible and read that too. Notice that most of it is a terribly violent, misogynistic work of fiction. Hell does not exist, neither do the talking snakes and donkeys, burning bushes, virgin births, or rising from the dead. The closest thing to Hell is what some people have to endure during their time on this planet.
      I realize that your comment may have been offhand, but this is serious business, telling people that you know they will endure eternal torment for not obeying the frivolous laws of your capricious god. Never mind the 'Eat to Live' diet...your god sets out a whole recipe book of exactly how to sacrifice the grade A animals, because the smoke of their burnt flesh is pleasing to him. It tells which seafood not to eat, and which animals are unclean.
      While you are praying for Gigi, which will have zero effect, I will be thinking for you, and hoping that you give up worrying about human inventions such as Hell.

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    3. On the Bible Gigi thingy.. I can at least give folks a pass when they say they will pray for someone...hearts are good...just maybe a little confused. As for as the comment by Anon march 26, All of our minds see according to our Attitude. I have a great love for History....and there are many books along the way, the Bible being one of them, that has more than just those 'things' you listed... there are many love stories, family stories, wars with outcomes none of us would have expected. If all you are seeing, is the 'bad stuff'...then it might be your attitude..not anothers...who holds others well being to heart.

      This diet...which for me I call a 'nutrition plan'..is how normal people ate over the last few hundred years..here and in other countries.

      Carbs are addictive. Carbs beget Carbs..and not always the good ones. This nutrition plan reminds me of the Adkins plan. Same idea... first two weeks very strict...next 4 weeks re enter fruit carbs...Veggies make up 90% of Atkins as well.

      I am glad he brings up fresher veggies and fruits. They are hard to find and when you do find them,you can't afford them. Grow our own..join a Co op..whatever it takes.

      I am on my first day of it here..a friend has been nudging me..so here goes!!

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    4. Actually, no. Fuhrman does not eliminate carbs. he eliminates processed food. I still eat bread I bake myself. I have eliminated white flour from the bread. When I want to, I make buckwheat waffles, add in some garbanzo bean flour. get creative. I have been following his nutritional plan for a year. I am recovering from lymphoma. This is the 2nd time I have had this disease, and for the 1st time in 4 years, I actually believe I am going to beat the disease.

      For those of you that say, I'd rather die sooner and be able to eat the things I want to? I pray you are not shown that choice. As the saying goes, it's hard to appreciate water until the well runs dry!

      I am the son of a midwest butcher. I was raised on the premise that meat, pasta, dairy, homemade food and some salad would grow you big and strong. Its a myth!
      I am living proof. My cancer is a diet related disease, the evidence of such is OVERWHELMING! Weight was not so much my issue as was cellular damage. I have always eaten well,or so I thought, worked hard exercised plenty. Yet I succumbed to disease. Why?

      Answer, a diet heavily reliant on animal products and calories that were not nutrient dense.

      The china study, which is quoted often in fuhrmans book is the absolute definitive proof that fuhrman is telling you the truth.

      I Had a bone marrow transplant in october of 2011, I read fuhrmans book during my recovery. I now live by his credo of 90%. I have been doing so for nearly a year. I feel better now than I did at 35. I am 52 now.

      I can not empahasize enough! I really thought I was eating and living a healthy lifestyle. not a heavy drinker, not a smoker. Not a fast food addict. Not a processed food guy. However, my diet was very much in correlation with the usda food pyramid. or in other words, animal products made up nearly 60% of my diet. eggs, dairy and meat was 60%, lots of green veggies and whole grains made up the remainder.

      At 48 diagnosed with stage 4 b-cell lymphoma.

      Really people? You want to eat whatever you feel like eating so you can die at 48??? Bite your tongues!

      Follow fuhrmans plan even to 75% and your energy will increase.
      your resistance to disease and colds and flu will increase. your brain function will improve. The facts are in! In 50-100 years into the future, the entire civilized world will be counting nutritional yield of calories. cows pigs and chickens? they will be relegated to zoos and the dinner tables of the poor and uneducated.

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    5. sorry Greta, and to all of you giving up caffeine, alcohol, read the book, if you must have these items to be able to eat more healthy, do so. That's what I walked away with. Food is fuel for the body, don't live to eat.

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  12. I simply can't do a diet that strict without waking up the crazy ED voices.

    That said, I think for most people this book would be a good read/starting point. And even if you aren't 100% in compliance (eating meat, drinking coffee and alcohol), you can still reap the health benefits.

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  13. I LOVE being a vegetarian. But I don't "limit" my grains (at least now that I'm not eating disordered anymore). A vegetarian who doesn't eat grains is left with very few substantive sources of calories which means you are hungry and cranky all the time. Anyhow, I haven't read this book but it sounds a lot like the Engine No. 2 diet. I like the idea but going the rest of my life without ice cream? No thanks.

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    1. There is a whole section about how you can still enjoy the foods you love, with moderation involved. He even uses ice cream an example of the food you can still indulge in, as long as it is every once in while. Maybe you should read the book.

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    2. Wrong! You should read the book FIRST...then comment ;)

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  14. The engine #2 diet? Must google.

    I think people who would be motivated to try this diet are those who are trying to overcome some physical ailment. Otherwise, if things are going fine, then why fix it.

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    1. Merry you are right in my case. I was in a car wreck 2 yrs ago and I am just now starting to be able to have enough stamina to walk on my treadmill and do yoga. I have been doing some restorative yoga, but that was/is for mobility more than maintaining strength. This is exactly what will be good for me, as I already have experienced the energy level going up a little.
      A 'little' for me is a LOT. I have always been very active, but being sedentary while my body heals is tough to get on the other side of. But I am doing it! I watch Fuhrman on PBS when I can., too

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  15. A plea: if we were meant to live off mostly vegetables, shouldn't they taste better? (Ducks and runs)

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    1. No. We evolved to like the taste of more fattening things because in our naturally evolving state these were hard to come by, and we burned many times as many calories obtaining them than we do today! People then didn't live long enough to experience the unhealthy side effects of eating meat or dairy (We didn't even eat dairy until much later!). Evolution, of course, is based on successful breeding... it doesn't take into account longevity, which is what this diet strives for!

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  16. Not even fish?

    I was vegetarian for a few years and mostly vegetarian for several more, and still could live the rest of my life with out a steak, hamburger, or a big chunk of meat. But now I eat fish and eggs and small amounts of chicken or other meat, mostly in soups or casseroles.

    I wonder what he has to say about B-12...not going to get that from vegetables. That is one of the things that convinced me to add a little meat back to my diet. But I know lots of vegetarians use nutritional yeast for B12, but that's processed...

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    1. to get b12 he said to take supplements

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  17. How much protein does he recommend, and where does he suggest we get it? I eat small quantities of meat, and it makes getting that daily .75 g/pound of body weight so much easier than if I were only eating eggs, soy and dairy. I don't think a person can go too far wrong including a pound of raw veg and a pound of cooked veg every day and limiting processed foods, but I'm trying to build muscle, here!

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    1. If you read the book he explains how eating a variety of vegetables will give you all the protein you need without needing meats. there are a lot of myths surrounding what you have to eat to get adequate protein and he explains it all

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    2. Yaa whole lot of chapter on protein.please read th book

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  18. I believe that's DOCTOR Fuhrman! Isn't that enough?

    Eating like he suggests, or as Dean Ornish recommends only seems strict since our society eats so poorly. It's all relative. Are we related?

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    1. And NO, Dr.J., the appellation "doctor" is not enough. Doctors are, alas, mere mortals like the rest of us, and prone to the same human foibles.

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  19. I agree with you so much about people who use the MD after their name to peddle supplements or products. I think Fuhrman's diet sounds sensible and not too far off from what I strive for. However, caffeine contributes significantly to my quality of life (not even joking-- I seriously believe in the mild antidepressant powers of caffeine), SO even though I've always been closer to the unprocessed/ vegetarian/minimal alcohol side of things, I can understand how other folks would say meat/donuts/beer contribute to their quality of life in terms of emotional/mental health. :)

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  20. Thanks, Crank, for this review. I heart Dr. Fuhrman a LOT. While I'm not willing to let go of the alcohol quite yet (and I still like an occassional Trader Joe's cat cookie or a No-Pudge brownie), I find a happy medium between his plan and Dean Ornish (whom I have a secret crush on and would have his vegetarian baby if I could still have babies :)) Anyway, thank you for liking him, too. Thanks for speaking for folks like me.

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  21. You're right, he won't get rich, NOR will his efforts make any significant impact on a lot of people. Sorry, but SOMEONE had to say it.

    I mean check this out:

    "Sayonara to meat..?"

    Really?! Are you joking me. Meat is the most complete source of protein. There's no way I'd ever give it up NOR recommend any of my clients to give it up.


    "... to processed foods"

    Totally agree here.

    "... to caffeine"
    Again, foolishly counter-productive. Caffeine has been PROVEN to give you increased power and reduce muscle fatigue during workouts. Also shown to help with fat loss. Used properly, & without over-dosing, it's a VERY effective & safe stimulant.

    "...to alcohol"

    Meh... I have a social life, and like to enjoy a cold one with the boys every now and then.

    I'm not saying this guy is LYING, I'm saying he's being unrealistic. You can get into GREAT health and see GREAT results while still living a life.

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    1. Might I recommend "forks over knives"? A GREAT documentary!

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    2. Forks Over Knives is the biggest piece of hack work I have ever seen. Talk about completely misrepresenting studies and papers to make them fit what you believe. The movie needs to be placed in the fiction bin.

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    3. "meat is the most complete source of protein there is"

      That is untrue. Broccoli, collards, kale, brussel sprouts, ounce for ounce have more protein than any source of meat. also plant protein is better utilized by the human body than animal protein. One of the original and greatest body builders of all time was jack la lane, look him up. he followed fuhrmans ideal of Nutrient dense calories before fuhrman was born!

      now, if you want to say meat is a decent source of protein and is the most CONVENIENT and cheap method to get your protein. I will not challenge. Make no mistake. fuhrmans nutritarian way of life does not fit into most peoples drive through starbucks, androgen supplement lifestyles. Fuhrmans method is challenging and time consuming. A person has to be thoughtful and plan to achieve his 90% nutrient dense caloric intake goal. You can't walk into denny's, applebees, mcdonalds and think that any meal there is going to count towards any percentage of the 90% nutrient dense calorie. Nope. a meal out is part of the "other 10%". and thats ordering of their "light and fit menu".

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    4. In Forks Over Knives a researcher who should know better feeds mice a milk protein and then claims animal products cause cancer. I have yet to meet a naturally occurring milk-drinking mouse.

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  22. From the sound of it, he's describing the way I've eaten for years.

    It helps that I've always loved the taste of vegetables. Not everyone does. Also, this was a diet I adopted slowly over many years.

    To those who say veggies give them gas, uh, yeah. Any sudden, radical change to your diet will do that to you. What my body does when I eat meat and fried foods isn't pretty, either, but it's because my digestive system isn't used to it.

    My daily diet is based on fruit and veggies, beans and lentils, whole grains, yogurt, cheese, eggs, nuts and nut butters. On hard training days, I add a little chicken. I've never had a weight problem, major illness, or serious health condition, other than the hereditary asthma which showed up at age 7. Some of that's good genetics, but DNA only gets you so far. You have to do your part, too.

    I think the most important dietary issue isn't whether one's diet is mostly meat or mostly veggie, but whether one is eating "real" foods. Cut out the processed crap, eat reasonable portions of real foods (organic, non-GMO whenever possible), and the rest will take care of itself.

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  23. Sounds like good advice. The "eat clean", "whole foods", etc way seems to pop up a lot. What sounds different about this is the recommendation to eat raw veggies & cooked veggies. Definitely get the enzymes with the raw.

    I'm not going to give up meat. Some may call me a cow killer or chicken choker but it's just me. I am pretty sure my husband would leave me if I stopped cooking up meat.

    Processed foods: already cutting those out. My food shouldn't originate from Exxon.

    Caffeine: are you serious? Sorry. No tea? No coffee? No Starbuck's? That's a tough one. Maybe I can limit it? Compromise?

    Alcohol: NO! Not giving that one up. I make a MEAN and Tasty margarita. When I go camping I must have a drink by the campfire to complete my weekend. No compromise here. A life without tequila and mojitos? What's the point? ;-)

    Good write up. I may just have to go out and get the book. I like science stuff.

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    1. Hmm. I would say read the book first then decide what you can and cannot give up. I follow his diet loosely. When I want red meat, I eat it. Same goes for chicken and lunch meat. But most of the time I do eat a couple pounds of vegetables a day, along with healthy portions of beans, soy and fruit.

      The important point is I don't balloon back up if I go off the diet for a day or two, and I'm losing the most difficult pounds to lose, the last twenty-five. That's the important thing.

      I tried Atkins, The Zone, The Mediterranean, Protein Power and they did help to a degree because they all encourage permanently giving up white bread, white rice, and potatoes soaked with fat. But none of them, not one, could get me into over the last 25 pounds I needed to lose. And if I deviated them even for a few days I would find my five or 10 pounds heavier.

      What this diet does is slowly melt away those last twenty-five pounds. I've lost 16 of them and only have nine more to go. And we're talking ideal body weight here, not settling for living with a couple of inches of permanent fat around the gut, but being slim and trim, with a lot of energy and feeling good.

      Do read the book. You don't have to go crazy on this diet. You can eat meat here and there. You can have alcohol here and there. Same goes for the occasional cup of coffee. That's what cool about this diet. You eat right most of the time and your body gets much better at dealing with the occasional load of fat or whatever. It works. It really does. And you can adapt it to your lifestyle.


      Delete
  24. i'm all about moderation. i refuse to "give up" anything!! it just wouldn't work for me. i've tried diets that were don't eat this, don't eat that, and i gained weight because i would break down and pig out! true i stay away from certain things, like fried foods, which actually make me sick to my stomach (which chocolate would do that! lol) but when i just used portion control and watched my calories, it took on a life of it's own.

    do i feel better the more fruits and veggies i eat? SURE! but i love tastey critters and coffee too much to give up meat and caffiene.

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  25. Eh, I'm a vegan (and in general they worship any and all 'authority' that pushes vegan-esque diets) and I lost about 15 pounds in like 3 weeks doing ETL.

    But I hated every single second of it. I lasted about 10 weeks total and couldn't touch a salad again for like 5 months afterwards.

    YMMV, of course.

    As for the throat hunger...ehhhhh...just trying to get my head wrapped around the role of leptin in dieting and hunger makes me very very very very very (did I mention very?) skeptical of any pat answers when it comes to how hunger works.

    /end cranky skepticism

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  26. I have been mostly vegetarian for the last 10 years, and have recently started adding meat BACK into my diet. And I feel pretty awesome. Of course, I'm pretty picky about my meat - must be organic, free range, had a personal masseuse, etc. - but I feel a lot better fueled than I had in the past. And I'm finally starting to drop the poundage again. I think everyone has different needs.

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  27. had a personal masseuse... snicker.

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  28. I've been a vegetarian for a long time and recently became vegan and honestly it's not that hard. Of course, if you had talked to me a year ago there is no way I could have or would have been vegan because I didn't know nearly enough about nutrition. I think that books like this are a good starting point to learn about nutrition but it would be nice if someone were able to write a book about nutrition that was readable but that wasn't promoting a certain type of diet.

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  29. Ok, I feel like the crazy veg lady now. :) I eat pretty much like the ETL summary...only more so.

    Only an apple, a cuke, and a cup of leaves per day??? Try 6+ cups of greens, 2 bananas, a pear, a kiwi, and some grapes. And a pile of raw carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower with hummus.

    As for the cooked veggies, how about dinner of balsamic roasted asparagus, mushrooms, carrots, brussels sprouts, and sweet potato. And maybe some pineapple for dessert.

    Limit the grains? Check. About 1 serving per day, usually something other than rice or wheat, and always in the least processed form.

    Animal products? I'm what I call "flegan." Flexible vegan. No ethical issues with animal products, but I very rarely eat any kind of meat, poultry, or fish. Dairy? Once or twice a week. Eggs more frequently now that I'm doing power and interval training.

    Alcohol? Rarely. Sugar? Nuh-uh. Processed foods? Barf. I don't eat things with bar codes. Caffiene? Here's where Dr. F and I part ways -- I do have a couple cups a day.

    Lots of nuts, seeds, plant oils, and beans. Total around 2600 cal/day, 80 grams protein. I'm 5'3", 110 lbs, lean and fit.

    This isn't hard, folks, and it's TASTY if you like to cook, which I do.

    :) Cheers, Crank -- glad to have found your blog.

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    1. the idea is you are suppose to eat a min of 1lb cooked and 1 lb raw a day there is no limit :)

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    2. Flegan.. I like it!

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    3. How do you get the 2100 cal per day? Nuts? And if you do, obviously your metabolism is higher than mine, because I can only eat about half that without losing weight. Doesn't that defy the laws of physics, or do scientists have it all wrong?

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  30. I don't eat things with barcodes. I love this!

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  31. Still reading through the comments (my we are verbose today, cranky readers).

    I could/would not do this diet. NOT because of the veggies, but because of the no things that make eating special: meat, coffee, alcohol.

    I spent about 6 months eating flexitarian: mostly ovo-vegetarian with fish or chicken when I weight trained. Lost weight, but was in such a protein deficit that I lost lean muscle. Learned something important: it's very hard to do if you can't do dairy.

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  32. It sounds like a starvation diet.

    Still, if you could do it for 6 weeks it would definitely make you lose weight. And that is tempting, as a quick fix.

    I think I'm going to try and steer clear of "diets", but this is the first one that's ever really tempted me to buy the book. So, I guess, Great review Merry!

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  33. HAHAHAhahahahaha! Wait, wait, I'm fine . . . AAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAaaaaaa!

    Ahem. OK. *wipes tears of laughter from eyes* I'm better now.

    Let's get this up out front: I'm notnotnot ENTIRELY giving up processed food, caffeine or alcohol. Never gonna happen. That said, I could live with it if it was a once-a-month or even a bi-monthly thing.

    But this:
    Yeah, changing your mindset and getting your body used to a more healthy diet is no fun, but once you've made the adjustment it seems to me you'll be having a whole lot more fun in life.
    Words of wisdom right there. I swear I'm gonna print this out and hang it on my wall/fridge/mirror/anywhere else I can think of.

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  34. I don't think I could folow such a strict diet, honestly. It sounds healthy and all, but I need my indulgences, infrequent as they are. Caffeine is one of those indulgences...and i do enjoy a glass of wine every now and then.

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    1. I can see from several of these comments who has read the book and who has not. Caffeine, alcohol and meat are not completely out of the question. But they should be treated as "treats" and a cup of coffee in the morning is fine. There are a few of you assuming you already understand and if you haven't read his book, you don't.
      I intend to drastically increase the vegs and fruits I eat every day and cut back on the meat, chicken etc. I am also almost gluten free so very little bread in my diet. But if I'm out for lunch or dinner and I want to treat myself to something I don't normally eat I will! You can incorporate a lot of this information into your current diet and you will be much healthier for it! Read the book and you will learn the reasons behind his eating plan which will motivate you. But it doesn't hve to be completely inflexible as some seem to think....

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    2. It sounds like this diet is way to strict and I wonder about the research. My great grandmother used to drink a small glass of wine everyday. She said that it thinned the blood. She was always a very thin woman and she lived to 89 . I think a little bit is good for you and I just read about a study that said a glass of wine a day was good for you. Besides Jesus drank a little wine and ate fish so I say if it's okay for him then it's okay for anyone. I haven't read this book yet but I would say just by everything I've heard here that there is probably some good ideas for your diet in it but it doesn't sound like the gospel of weight loss.

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  35. Hurray for no processed foods! I think I just fell in love with this guy. I gotta find a copy of this book. I agree with Dr. J; it only SEEMS super strict because we all eat so poorly!

    I've become very nearly a vegetarian- I've only eaten meat on 2 occasions in the last few weeks, and both times it was salmon. It's kinda nice to save meat for special occasions.

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  36. A nice advantage about living in Israel is our vegetables are delicious. There's no problem about getting used to eating them here. ;)

    P.S. Interesting blog Merry!

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  37. I see good and bad here but I don't see how this diet is sustainable AT ALL

    all he wants you to eat is veggies really and you can eat veggies all day long, none stop and you still wouldn't get enough calories to live off of long term.

    I like the no processed foods but if he's saying give up meat then where's the calories coming from.

    I hate processed foods but even when my vegetarian friend asked me if she should give them up I said, I wouldn't unless you're ready to start calorie counting and making sure you're getting more than 500 calories a day. a calorie restrictive diet can really mess with your thyroid. Eeek.

    I do support all those veggies though! I try to eat that much each day, plus my fruits and lots of meat and ice cream... er... meat. :)

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  38. Ha ha ha ha ha ha, "give up alcohol", I don't think so funny man.

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  39. I was vegetarian from age 8 to about 16, but I admit that there were long expanses in that time period during which I subsisted primarily on Cheetos and Mountain Dew.
    I could do that diet for 6 weeks if I were single- it isn't too far off from what I eat now, and if I weren't buying the meat and carbs for the boyfriend I wouldn't have much temptation- but I wouldn't do it my whole life. Do legumes count as a vegetable? I like to eat quite a bit of protein and it otherwise wouldn't be too healthy longterm imho.

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  40. During the 6-week period, he wants you to eat 1 cup of beans a day, as well as 1 tsp flax seed and limited amounts of nuts.

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  41. Sounds good, and I think I even understand the prohibitions against caffeine and alcohol, but not well enough to actually give them up. Might be worth buying the book to see if he makes a good argument for it, though.

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  42. Should've checked his website before posting:

    Per the FAQs, Dr. Fuhrman isn't prohibiting caffeine and alcohol, he is encouraging moderation, no more than one serving per day of either, which does make a lot of sense, even though that would be cutting back on caffeine for me. I don't drink much alcohol anyway, I just don't want to completely give it up. One cup of coffee a day, though...

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  43. I'll go back and check the book; my understand was during the six-week period they were not on the Things To Consume list, and afterward they were not encouraged.
    I think you're going to have to find your own level of what's okay not to give up. Makes sense to try giving them up and then see if your life is unbearable without 'em.

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  44. given our society... the title says it all... how we should live... eat to live rather than live to eat methinks

    happy trails
    gp

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  45. Merry,

    Excellent post.

    I would love to read this book.

    I was a vegetarian (and at times, nearly vegan) for years.

    Now I'm following more of a Primal Blueprint type nutrition (not with perfect adherence, but moving more and more in that direction), because, as a vegetarian, I was eating WAY TOO MANY refined carbs. This was not really a problem until I:

    1) Quit smoking (after 15 yrs.!)
    2) Started shoveling food into my face non-stop (was "focusing" on quitting smoking--didn't want to "stress myself out too much")
    3) Didn't move enough, and a couple months into my quitting, started gentle yoga only (not enough, given what I was eating, but did reduce stress)
    4)All this coincided with being "thirty something".

    This was the perfect storm. I got FAT, FAT, FAT!

    So, I amped up my activity, moderated my food intake, and toned up a bit, but progress was glacially slow.

    Finally, a friend lost weight eating low carb, and I thought I should put my bias aside and at least check it out.

    So, I became a low-carb mostly vegetarian (I occasionally ate seafood).

    And I dropped weight. At long last!

    For me personally, though, there was NOT ENOUGH VARIETY in my diet, so I added meat back into it (mostly organic and local beef--I'm a Coloradan, so it's not too hard to come by).

    Anyway, are you still reading this?

    I feel like I'm still a vegetarian deep down, as I was one for primarily ethical reasons (my guilt is somewhat alleviated by eating cruelty free meat, the fact that I consume very few packaged products, and that I buy local as much as I can...but still, a little guilty).

    So, I would love to read Dr. Fuhrman's research. I am nothing if not open to new ideas, although of course, my own experience with any nutritional program is the ultimate test.

    Thanks, and sorry for giving you my whole life story.

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  46. Ruth, please don't feel sorry -- we love reading about people's life stories! And I'm glad you've found a diet-lifestyle that works for you!

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  47. He probably limits his intake of flax because of its proinflammatory nature.

    There's a good post on the subject over on the Primal Wisdom blog.

    http://donmatesz.blogspot.com/2009/06/top-ten-problems-with-applying_09.html

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  48. I've never gone completely vegetarian, but being a semi-veg has made a huge improvement in my health. If I could ever learn to make tofu taste appetizing, then I might go vegetarian. But I don't think hell is freezing over anytime soon.

    Seriously though, if you decide to incorporate more vegetables onto your plate, try this: red bell pepper, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes sauteed with garlic in a little extra virgin olive oil, sprinkled with fresh thyme and rosemary. Yum. I could eat it for every meal.

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    Replies
    1. Well, not on the Eat to Live diet you couldn't -- since you are only allowed one teaspoon of oil per day.

      Delete
    2. DR. F. does not recommend olive oil,as well as salt & butter which is what I am really upset about because w/o butter veggies are BLAH!

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  49. Merry, you are just tell another person's plan...no flames will come from me. I find it very interesting that quite a few "diet gurus" these days are telling us no more meat and eat your heart out of veggies and fruits. I have to believe that there is something to that.
    I personally don't find it difficult to not eat meat every day, but I feel like I am lacking something to give it up totally.
    Great review.

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  50. I love this new way of eating. I am a cronic junk food snacker and this diet helps me stay satified and I don't crave sweets and salty snacks after dinner like I used to. My energy level is great too and I am 62 years old. I have cheated a tiny bit, have wine occasionally, and meat once a week and still have lost weight, about 2lbs/week (and it's not water weight either) which is fine with me.

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  51. i just bought this book after reading an article about it at the gym, its hard, its a hard plan to follow. i stopped eating meat when i was ten (thanks to peta...) and was vegan for thirty days once, most expensive thirty days of my life. the problem is, i love coffee and wine and vodka. so, here it is, day one of this plan for me. i ate spinch and oatmeal and grapefruit for breakfast,with one cup of black coffee, a crap ton of herbal tea, a subway veggie sandwhich minus cheese and olives for lunch, and i am feeling okayish. i really want something sweet, but i generally do. i just started the gym thing about two weeks ago and lost ten pounds already, this is without this crazy diet. i think i can stand five weeks and four days of this, but with thanksgiving looming, i think i will have a massive cheat day times three. and what about happy hour with the girls tonight? maybe i am in over my head?

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  52. I love this lifestyle. And I like your review of it.

    For me it's finally a place where it all comes together. This book is the weight loss version of his approach though, he does have a more gradual approach to overall health which I prefer, called Eat For Health. It feels less extreme though eventually you find yourself eating the more extreme way naturally anyway which further confirms that it works and something is going right - imo it shouldn't be a fight indefinitely! Just a few weeks/months to deprogram nasty old habits and gain new positive ones and then rest of life to learn to actually enjoy it.

    BTW he also advises the 90/10 rule i.e. 90% high nutrient density foods and 10% of your calories can come from anything you want. It's what you do most of the time that supports your body's healthy processes not the exceptions. For me that translates to one or two reasonable (not blowout) meals/snacks etc a week.

    And meat is not off the menu totally, he recommends those keeping it in their diet use it sparingly though as condiments rather than the main source of calories i.e. in stews and soups or small strips in salads.

    I cheerfully admit I used to hate vegetables. I could eat a salad (prefereably no leaves but could do it) but almost no cooked vegetables at all. Today I LOVE all vegetables as much as I used to love refined foods. Except mushrooms and cooked celery. (still working on those).

    Really shows you how ridiculous it is to be so attached to taste habits when they so easily adapt. Rather be attached to your health and life and energy and ability to enjoy it into your later years.

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  53. Yes, Fuhrman wants you to be more restrictive for the first six weeks, then add in more 'bad' stuff gradually.
    I think that what he's trying to do is wean us off of our dependence on meat, alcohol, processed foods, etc.
    I used to be a complete carnivore, so it was hard for me to eat a lot of vegetables. But I've gotten to the point where I kinda like how I feel after a meal... no longer bloated and weighed down, but light and full of energy.
    Thanks for mentioning the other book, Lori. I'm off to check out Eat for Health now :)

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  54. I have read the entire book. More of a commitment than giving up meat I believe. However; that being said. I'm not nor have I ever been a vegetarian. But I do honestly believe in the Eat to Live theory. He doesn't say give up meat and he doesn't say give up everything you have ever liked. He says eat 90% his way and 10% yours. If you eat 1 pound of salad/veggies and 4 fruits and all of the other suggestions he offers in this book you get your 1500 calories in per day no prob.

    I gave up red meat for a month once and I never felt so great. IMHO there is obviously something to gain from limiting not eliminating these foods.

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  55. Thank you for such a down to earth and refreshing review! I've only just discovered Eat to Live and am greatly intrigued.

    I'm currently counting calories and feel like I'm not getting enough bang for my caloric buck - veggies are limited to avocadoes and lettuce with the occaisional tomato.

    I've lost 12 pounds so far, over about two months, but don't feel as high-energy as I'd like to.

    My concern is coming up with meal plans that are easy to stick to and don't involve a huge amount of cooking on a Sunday evening.

    I'm going to check out the book tonight. Thanks again for your review!

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  56. To all who are asking the "where are we supposed to get protein, where are we supposed to get B-12?" etc... read the book! I urge you. The fact that people don't seem to realize that you can get EVERYTHING you need from plant based food is proof that everyone needs to read this book. You will be amazed at how misled you have been. When you're done reading it you'll be thinking..."well YEAH! It makes SENSE!" people know truth when it's abundantly clear.

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  57. Has anyone tried this and kept moderate caffeine and (usually) moderate alcohol? I can't imagine my social life without booze, and as an insomniac, I need my caffeine!

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    1. Yes, I have, and quite successfully! I made modifications as I felt necessary, while still keeping the majority of his plan. And the results were exactly as I was hoping. Combined with a consistent, moderate exercise routine, I was twenty pounds lighter and feeling fit after about two months. I did add lean meat in after the first five weeks, and saw my weight loss actually accelerate a little. So, bottom line - don't throw the baby away with the bathwater, accept the cold, hard truth that much of what we habitually put into our mouths isn't even food, and stick with it. You will be almost free of cravings, have more energy and love your new shape!

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  58. Fuhrman is a genius. Loved his book, and am re-reading it again.

    Everything he says is spot on. I did Eat To Live in 2005 and dropped over 70 pounds in about 6 months.

    Pregnancy and having a child diagnosed with autism took its toll, and I've lapsed from the Good Doctor's advice, and put back on about a third of what I lost (although am still within the healthy weight range, so never went back to being fat).

    But in the past week I've gone back to basics, am re-reading Eat To Live, and have lost 4 pounds in the last four days, without feeling hungry. I know that ETL works and I'll be back down to my healthy weight again in no time.

    A few things though: Fuhrman also released a two book deal called "Eat For Health". It's good, but basically a rehash of everything he said in ETL, and I think the original ETL is better.

    We've actually got two copies of Eat To Live at home, it is such an amazing book - one we keep for ourselves, and one we lend to friends.

    This is the real deal - the only "diet" that ever worked for me (after I tried Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, and every other calorie counting nightmare there is), and continues to work.

    I can't say enough good things about it. And no, I'm not related to the guy. I'm just an ex-fattie because of him! :-D

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  59. @Rachel: Yep, we drink. Just in moderation. It's just that while you're losing weight, you really shouldn't drink while on Eat To Live because it will slow the losing weight down, maybe a lot depending on how much you're drinking.

    However, if I feel I really need a drink, I count it in my 10% of crap food that he allows :-)

    So, for example, I was out with friends and had a Bloody Mary, and that was fine.

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  60. I picked up Fuhrman's book when I read about Alanis Morrissette's weight loss. I've been on his diet (modified) for about two weeks and I already feel a huge difference, both in how I feel (great) and how my clothes fit (a lot better).

    I say "modified" because I'm finding it difficult to go completely vegan as he advises. I was never much of a veggie lover and living on just fruit and nuts isn't going to work for me.

    I have been eating a lot of salads and fruit for breakfast (per his recommendation) but I still drink my morning coffee, and I allow myself to eat some chicken or fish although I've cut my portion size down considerably.

    Still, the fact that I've ramped up the veggie/fruit intake seems to have offset the coffee/animal protein and I've still managed to lose some weight fairly quickly.

    Because I feel so much better and have seen rapid results on my modified Fuhrman diet, I plan to continue to work toward eliminating as much animal protein as I can, and try to do his Eat to Live diet as strictly as he suggests.

    Another great side effect about this diet is that your taste buds will change. You'll find that you can no longer stand the taste of cookies, chips, donuts, etc. because your taste buds have become more sensitive. After only two weeks on this diet I can no longer stand to eat packaged baked goods (such as Hostess cakes) because I can actually taste all the chemicals in it. It's disgusting.

    In conclusion, I highly recommend "Eating to Live", even if you're doing the half-assed modified version like I'm doing, you'll still see good results which will only encourage you to keep going.

    -Cherry in NY

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  61. I dig it. and am totally down if it's gonna make a difference. I'm a junk food vegan already so my biggest challenge should be putting down the newmans own quazi-organic oreos. But like I said... I'm down.. :)

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  62. So, I've had Dr. Fuhrman's book in my possession for over two years now. I attempted to read through it in 2008 (after I received it as a gift from a friend who knew I was looking into ways to eat healthier) but was so busy with other things (I was stationed in Korea and trying to enjoy the year I had there eating all the Bulgolgi & street food I could afford) that I lost the book somewhere between my old notebooks and awards. Anyway, I found the book again the other day and started reading it but had to put it down to do some research online. I wanted to see if he was legit. I am excited to read the book and will post my results here in a few weeks. Thanks for the review!

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  63. I did the diet for about 6 months, lost all the weight I needed to in the first 6 weeks, and felt great! I went off it right before trying to get pregnant with my daughter because I started an intense exercise program to "get in shape" for pregnancy and started eating meat again. I should have just stayed on it. My eating habits got really bad during pregnancy and after. I just started the diet again to lose the rest of my baby weight from my last pregnancy. I love the diet. Yes, it takes a little getting used to at first, but my taste buds adjusted and I lost all my cravings for junk food. I have a major sweet tooth and I didn't crave any candy, ice cream, etc. After the first 6 weeks I followed the diet more loosely, but was still able to keep the weight off. It was very easy to become a lifestyle for me. Every other diet I've tried meant adding the pounds back on when I went off the diet. But this was easy to maintain because I was never hungry and love to eat a lot.

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  64. For those worried about "giving up" your favorite foods, alcohol, etc. Don't worry. Dr. F. reccomends the 90% rule. If your daily caloric needs are 2,000, that means you have 200 calories a day to splurge on whatever you want. I feel quite satisfied without a daily splurge (after my body detoxed that is), but it is nice to know I can have it and still be maintaining a healthy diet and balance.

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  65. I have been on this diet for nearly a week (fell off twice) and have lost 4 pounds so far. It was very hard in the beginning, but it's getting easier everyday and the temptations are finally getting better. The aim of this diet is to move towards better health, the weight loss is just an added benefit.

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  66. I absolutely LOVED this book! I'm now reading his "Disease Proof Your Child" and it is equally as impressive thus far. I personally have done Atkins and lost about 100lbs, but got to the point of wondering about the nutrition vs vanity... being fat vs increasing cancer risk. I lost my father to cancer and my husband is 10yrs in the clear from lymphoma. This book is something EVERYONE should read and he even says to at least add in more produce plant based food, at least it can help tip the scale. Love your review, thank you!!

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  67. With adjustments, this plan has worked well for me.

    First, I threw out the no-caffeine rule entirely. I need coffee to live, I just drink it without the cream now.

    I increased the amount of nuts, seeds, and beans. I also allow myself some dried fruit here and there because I have a killer sweet tooth that is just not satisfied by a tangerine.

    He says not to eat between meals... I discarded this idea too. I'm a single mom with a hectic schedule, and I get really cranky when I'm hungry.

    Even with these adjustments, I have dropped a significant amount of weight in a short period of time, and I feel so, so much healthier.

    If you can't follow the rules exactly, don't let that deter you from making a healthy change!

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  68. Hi Merry - great post! I just came across it trying to find critisism about Dr. Fuhrman's Eat to Live. I recently saw him on a PBS show, and thought I would check out his book, given the natural nature of his approach. I have never been one to buy into the "it's okay to eat a side of bacon, but be leary of the carrot stick" approach - so I though this one might be one worth checking out. I read the book completely, however I still have my one cup of black coffee per day (I never saw where he said to give it up completely - just to limit to one per day). Anyway, it is pretty amazing. I started off still eating small portions of organic chicken, beef and eggs - but within 3 weeks, I feel like I have no need for them at all! My skin is softer, I have lost 10 lbs and I am eating more than I ever have! I was worried, because while I love my fruits and vegetables, I also loved potato chips, pasta and diet coke - but I really have had no problem giving that up. In fact, at my sister's birthday - I could only take 2 bites of her cake and felt it much to sweet for my newly found tastebuds! I am typically cynical - but LOVE this approach to health. The weight loss is really just a bonus!!!

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  69. I stuck to this six week plan 1 1/2 years ago (with a few slight modifications - ie. coffee), and then slowly added meat, dairy and just some occasional plain old junk food back into my diet afterwards. I added consistent, but not overly demanding exercise to my life as well. Within three months, I had lost the extra 20 pounds I had packed on over the previous decade. My cholesterol went from 218 to 173 from one annual dr. visit to the next. 1 1/2 years later, I am still twenty pounds lighter than my starting point. There's no doubt that following the plan will bring desired results. I had to realize that I can't eat like most other Americans without expecting to look like most other Americans! Also, I realized that whatever time I thought I was saving by not exercising or preparing healthy food would be later spent recovering from some health-related incident such as heart-attack, stroke or surgery on weight-bearing joints. Facing the truth and being willing to go against the grain (or against the processed garbage, actually) with my eating choices has improved my quality of life and helped me to regain self-control. And to the person who lumped all "religious" people from red states into the "fat slob" category, I couldn't have made such a tremendous life change without depending on my God to see me through the rough spots.

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  70. Katy, I must have missed that comment. I can vouch for the fact that Fuhrman doesn't once mention "religious people" or "red states" in his book.

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  71. My husband and I watched a Dr. Furman show on PBS and we bought the book. It's a lot of vegetables and we've noticed that our meat choices have become better and smaller. No more steaks that take up half the plate. The salads are wonderful, the home made salad dressings, with nuts, fruit, oil blended together can nearly be eaten. I have maintained a 1/2 lb weight loss per week, which is fine. I don't see this as a diet, it's just a really healthy way to eat.

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  72. Who wants to eat beans and kale every day? And without seasoning!!!

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  73. I liked the idea of the book and I even did the six week challenge thing but I couldn't do the diet and do two hours in the gym. The meals simply would not support the time I need to put in. I lost weight yes, but I was wiped out and wobbly. I still keep the processed foods out of my diet but now I do a higher ratio of protein and a lower ratio of carbs, especially grains. I'm still losing the weight except I can actually do what I want to do in the gym.

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  74. Dr. Fuhrman does not advocate that you eat one lb a day of vegetables and fruit. He advocates at least 1 pound of vegetables and fruits each! Eating as he suggests sounds quite logical. We all know that it is the best way of eating. It is a nother thing if we are able to do it. I believe even if you continue to eat meat he advocates that you should use it as flavoring as opposted to the largest part of your meals. I have been reading his book and listening to his tape in the car. Your right, he isn't in it to be a billionare. He is a professional with a message about the health of Americans. You can try the food plan for 6 weeks. So you know you can do it and then you can see how you feel without all the meat, processed foods, and dairy.

    Read the book it is interesting reading in my opinion.

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  75. This review deals with the diet described in the book Eat to Live. (Little, Brown 203).
    In that book. Fuhrman has a six week plan that, as I described, recommends the following:
    Raw vegetables: goal 1 pound daily
    Cooked green vegetables: goal 1 pound daily
    Beans, legumes, sprouts, tofu: 1 cup daily
    Fresh fruit: 4 daily
    Nowhere in the edition referenced above does Fuhrman recommend eating 1 pound of fruit daily.

    P.S. The book includes a lot of recipes that include spices... You don't have to eat plain beans and vegetables :)

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    1. Could you help me understand how you'd get to 1500 calories? 1 pound raw veggies= approx 170cal; 1 pound cooked=approx 125; 1 cup chickpeas=200; 4 fruits=300-400. That's about 900 max.

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  76. Silly iPad. That edition was printed in 2003' not 203,
    Probably the principles of nutrition are the same.

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  77. Dr. Fuhrman is closer to most in the truth about the best way to eat. Look at groups who live healthier the longest, almost all eat 90% vegetable matter and about 10% animal matter. You don't need to go overboard and eat all veggies all the time. But the standard american diet eats meat, oil and dairy all the time and thats the very reason for cardiovascular disease.

    Beans, brown rice and plenty of green veggies for 9 meals, meat for one. Its that simple, the meat will be a real treat and taste better when eaten in moderation. Just excercise a little discipline and live much longer healthier.

    Peace out.

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  78. This is a great way of life. I have been a raw vegan for 2 years but missed my beans and warm food. This way hit's the spot for me. You grow to love the veggies. And the no oils is important. I have read the book a few times and refer back to it when I get in a slump. My favorite line of his is what he says to people who tell him...I could never eat that way...his response is ... I could never live with having my chest cracked open, being on dialysis, having to give myself shots daily, or having to take handfuls of pills every day. I say this way of living is worth not living that way. amen

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  79. I think the important thing to do is read the book.... He answers every question posted here today. This diet is flexible.. it's the original weigh-loss phase that is strict. You can add coffee and some small amounts of lean meat, too. After you reach your ideal body weight.
    It is not a starvation diet, just the opposite. You will get more nutrients than with any other diet.

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  80. I've just finished the Six Week Plan and I love it. I lost 15 pounds, not more, because whenever I'm hungry, I eat; but now it's a fruit or a vegetable. I have discovered the great taste of beans and also discovered how filling they are and how I don't crave sugar. That surprised me. I haven't missed the meat or the dairy; I do miss eating more grains. My plan is to continue this diet until I get to my goal weight...just 10 to 15 lbs. to go!

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  81. I followed Dr. furhman strict diet and lost 40 pounds in 5 months and felt the best I've ever felt in my life. You stop craving all the bad stuff, it's really weird but great. If you can get strict and follow it, you won't regret it.

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  82. I have read the book and done the 6-week three times. It is great. Everything he says seems accurate to me.

    It is very surprising how your thinking about food changes. Eating vegan++ seemed very scary until I stopped being a whiny baby and tried it.

    He doesn't emphasise how your mental alertness and clarity increase substantially (which feels incredible.)

    Just get off the couch, go to the supermarket, and do it!

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  83. Just started the Eat to Live regime about 5 days ago. Ladies and gents, I love it. I teach 5 classes in no air con rooms in the tropics 3 times a week. I work 7 days a week, not all hard days as those three days in a row are, but after a week of veg, mung/split pea/garbanzo soup/hummus (read odd mixtures) with a little oatmeal, corn on the cob and fruit, whole or smoothied fruit, I feel better than I have in a long time. I'm over 60 with a schedule that would kill most 30 somethings.

    My energy is now constant, no energy droops during my steamy days this week.

    I make bastard mung and other bean hummus and flavor it according to my mood. Eat it with veg sticks or just spoon it in between classes when time is short. My kind of grits. I am not even slightly tempted by processed/junk food and have no urge for sugary stuff. Veg soup, with the bean factor, I am not hankering for any bread. A miracle! I do have morning coffee, with soy milk.

    I was raised so not on this type of eating plan. We always had lots of fresh veg and fruit but also meat every night almost. Lots of cheese, always something sweet in the cupboard.

    I'm a quiet convert. Feel much better.

    There is lots of protein in the legumes/beans, nuts and seeds - add the veg/fruit and you get all the amino acids (I think 23 of them) to complete the protein and you're in.

    You can zip anything up with seasoning. Lime, garlic, pepper, I have a ball in my little postage sized kitchen. I own one pressure cooker, one big fry pan with lid and a blender.

    Having beautiful cheap fruit and veg makes it easy for me.

    I sleep better, my mood is better, not so tired after losing my electrolytes in the extreme heat and I'm never hungry.

    You get more than enough protein for those worried about that from the legumes/beans and nuts. Mung beans are very low on the after burner (gas) effect. I'm feeling lighter after a few days. It's much easier for me to carry my grub then stare at the cafeteria food and lose my appetite.

    Love the posts.

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  84. You know, I listened to "Eat to Live" (the audio book) about two months ago and was fascinated by the idea. For the last 6 weeks I assure everyone here I have followed his diet almost every day exactly. I have barely eaten, meat, dairy, anything with flour in it and have eaten so many salads, cooked vegetables and fruit I spend maybe $40 a week in the produce section of my supermarket. I also have added beans, used some of his recipies, etc. I have never eaten this healthy in my life ever. The good news? I have BOUNDLESS energy. I need less sleep, I am much more alert, I don't crave sweets or carbs (I don't even have them in the house) and if there was "toxic hunger" I no longer have it as I am satisfied. The bad news?? In 6 weeks I have only lost 6 pounds! Yup, I am living on almost all fruits and vegetables, feeling great and I am LUCKY if the scale shows me down 1 pound each week. I also workout almost every day as I have for years. I am STUMPED as to how I could possible eat this healthy and still have 15 pounds I need to loose that isn't budging. I would love someone to explain to me how you can follow this plan as I have (I can count the meals I have had that don't follow it on one hand when out) and loose weight so slowly. I have never lost weight on any eating plan this slowly.. the same plan that swears the weight will fall off you and all the science I know about food says I should be dropping weigh rapidly. I am sticking to it because of how I feel.. but it's sure depressing to see my body so well nourished, yet fighting weight loss so much.

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    1. Don't be depressed Richard. There's a quote in his book that I love (and actually have on a post-it in my bathroom) that says "YOU are not the judge of your ideal body weight, your BODY is". If you give your body all the fuel and nutrients that it needs, it will figure it out without you even worrying about it. Also, I would suggest eating more nuts and beans etc. If you're working out this regularly, chances are you're not consuming enough calories per day. Just like eating excess fats etc, that we store, we also hoard fat when we're "starved"... i use that term loosely because technically you're not starving but you may not be consuming enough calories that you're body feels ok to shed it's survival fat. Does that make sense? Stick with it. I love this way of eating! Good luck!!

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    2. I loved this review. I get the impression that some people skim the book or write it off before giving it a chance. I recommend that people read the WHOLE book so they are at least INFORMED about the food they put into their body, even if they decide they can't or won't do it. There's a lot of information in the book that I wish wasn't true, but in my head and heart I know it is. Thankfully, I have always loved veggies. When I stay on this diet, I feel fantastic, though I have to admit it is not easy to stay on with a skeptical family and a low budget.

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  85. I have 3 words on this topic - organic beef liver. Organ meats (maybe once per week) have essentials that you can't get anywhere else. The other general guideline to follow is, do not eat anything that was not in the human diet 70-100 years ago. That means ditch the soy, canola oil, most other oils except olive, etc. and eat only organically raised food whenever possible. My general observation otherwise is that it's the alcohol and sugar that does a number on people's health, and now that I'm almost 60 I see a huge difference between the folks who have drunk alcohol all their adult lives and those that have not (I quit around age 25 and I honestly, seriously, do not miss it). When you are 35 you can crow about how you'd rather enjoy yourself a bit than live longer. When you are 60 you will feel completely different, and regret every backward step on your health.

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  86. I'm on day 7 of the Eat To Live 6 week plan. My reason for eating this way is I want to get off my diabetic medication plus lose weight. I know that I won't be able to eat this way 100% of the time but that's ok. If I could even manage 75% of the time my body would benefit from it. This way of eating isn't for everyone. Good luck to those that try this way of eating. ~Janice

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  87. I've been an ethical vegan for six years. Becoming vegan is the best decision I ever made for 3 reasons. 1) eating, wearing and using animals is great violence 2) I feel healthier than I ever have and I have not sacrificed taste and enjoyment. 3) Eating a plant based diet is better for the planet since 51% of GHG are from aniaml use industry according to World Watch Institute.

    I'm sorry to hear Dr Fuhrman is suggesting people eat some meat rather than eat processed food. That's unfortunate.

    If you are interested in becoming vegan, please start here http://www.vegankit.com

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  88. My mom just gave me this book yesterday. She started it and at day 6 said she was really feeling a difference. I am on day 1.5. I don't have much weight to lose 5-10lbs at the most, but I eat horribly. I have been a vegetarian for most of 30 years, but have always made poor food choices. I like that this gives some recipes and ideas. Today, I ran around like a crazy person before work and stopped at the grocery for food to use for the diet. When I got home I had to start work in 20 minutes and had only had tea (no sugar) for breakfast. So - I made a pb and j. It was on a whole wheat pita (small), natural pb, and blackberry spread - no calories, or sugar 100% natural. It was soooooo tasty! I think I could have eaten 5. But, I figured that was probably not a great idea. He seems to recommend that people stay away from a lot of bread products. The whole wheat pita was the thing he recommeneded in his book, so I bought them. I just finished an apple. I like veggies a lot, and I like beans. I just never know what to do with them! As I said, this had some good ideas. I still plan on having my cup of tea in the morning, and I bought an herbal chai, thought it might be nice and it is decaffenaited. Nobody here mentioned the fact that you aren't supposed to have salt! That seems like kind of a big deal. I like salt, but I bought the no-salt spice he recommends and I will try that. In last nights dinner (white beans and chopped tomatos with garlic) the garlic gave it enough flavor so I didn't miss salt. The problem for me is taking the time to do it. I like being able to have protien bars on hand for when I need a quick lunch or snack, but there is nothing like that here, or that he says you can buy. I know I can carry a bag of nuts or whatever, but it's not the same. I also have a boyfriend and 5 kids (depending on the day), they will not eat all of this stuff - they like the bad stuff! I will try to get them to eat what I can, but I am sure it will be me basically making 2 different meals. I want to lose the wieght, but I definitely need a change for my health. I tend to eat bowls of sugar pop cereal for lunch. Did I mention I LOVE sugar and sweets! That is why I liked the jelly/spread I had today at lunch - really sweet and it was ok to eat it! I don't really love fruit. I am going to make a stir fry tonight with lots of veggies and put it on brown rice. I bought some canned pineapple to put on it and cashew nuts. He had a recipe in his book that looked good for a ginger sauce I will try on it. I am sure the pineapple he is thinking of would be fresh cut - but I would end up wasting it, I hate when it has hard parts and again, it is a time thing. This has some sugar, even though it is not in syrup - I will wash them well. I figure adding them like that is better than corn pops any day. Oh, and someone mentioned the cost of shopping - OUCH! I spent a lot today buying healthy food. Junk food is a heck of a lot cheaper. Oh- and I plan on having a glass of wine or 2 probabaly once a week - it seems like that is ok. I will try to check in again - I would love to hear how other people are doing. I have hight hopes! Good luck to everyone!

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  89. I never believed that "real hunger" thing he talks about in the book, and I used to eat pretty well. Vegan and with lots of veg. But also with lots of whole wheat pasta, bread etc. So I cut back on that and voila: now after a week like that, when I get hungry I still have lots of energy, I'm not so sensitive when it comes to meal times and can easily wait hours after getting hungry before I eat, if I have to. Hunger for me now is a feeling in the stomach but mostly in the throat, sort of like nausea without feeling sick... if that makes any sense?

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  90. ETL is the best lifestyle choice I ever undertook for myself. I have given the book to several family members and friends and they feel as I do. I concentrate on what I can eat not what I have given up. There are lots of wonderful recipes available via a non official ETL facebook group and some bloggers and Chef AJ. I have the most amazing fruit icecream and sorbets, wonderful bean burgers, enchilladas etc the list just goes on.
    I have watched loved ones living low quality lives through lifestyle diseases that took years to take them finally to a better place.
    It is a no brainer really that taking care with your diet and living a quality life till very close to the time is worth the effort. I wish I had known about Dr Jeol Fuhrman earlier, but it is never too late, well not while you are still alive anyway.
    Of course many people choose not to follow ETL, remember that many folks still smoke knowing the consequences, that is what the book is about, giving you the facts so you can make an informed choice!
    If you are on the fence jump on over to the healthy side however if you are not ready, just try to improve what you can :)

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  91. Ok i read the book..spent lots of money foodshopping and came home. Made soups salads smoothies..froze bananas. Stocked up on nutz soy mk beans soy protein..berries and all the goodies. My problem is everything i make is so good i overeat. I eat two many grain products nd still snack befor bed..good news is i gained only one lb. One time we went out to eat..i stocked up on veggies and friut at the buffet but ate salmon..there were no beans..i hav a hard time eatting salad with no dressing so i put 2tbles on the side and dip..to tell u the truth im sick of beans. I had pea soup and a amys veggie burger with tomToe lettuce and red onion for dinner with a soy milk banana and unsweeted cocoa shake for dinner and i warmed up some berries and put them in a heartland granola crust for dessert. Then i was a little hungry so i sipped some naked mango smoothie..idk i needed to count my calories today and had about 1200..oh yea when i woke up i had a naked green smoothie..im tryin but i lov to eat ..i guess practice makes perfect. I am getting better at it. I feel better and my ibs has left after i got used to the beans..i am going into my third week but i wasnt strict for the first two..i went completely off one day and had a tuna sub and at the buffet i had cake. And i had a bag of peanut m and ms the other day. Allso i cant eat a palm full of pistashios..i lov em so i let my chiuahua hav half of everyone i eat..gotta not eat them they r 300 calories an oz and 20 grams of fat..well at least im overeaaating healthy

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  92. I just finished the 6-week program and lost 27 pounds, which far exceeded my expectations. A spot of eczema I've had for 17 years is virtually gone. Started walking at the track after work this week because I have more energy. No need to nap on weekends anymore. No food cravings, either. My husband just finished week 4 and has lost 15 pounds. So funny how your food preferences and attitudes can change in such a short time--I was looking through a Weight Watchers cookbook last night and thinking of ways to "healthify" the recipes. :-)

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  93. One Dr Furman cooking suggestions I have found very helpful is to juice celery and carrots mixed with the same amount of water to use for broth when making soup. This adds a tremendous amount of flavor without salt.

    Alo Dr Fuhrman's diet is a low carb diet. Ever try to eat 500 calories of vegetables in one sitting?

    Low Carb = vegetables
    Medium Carb = fruit, beans and whole grains
    Hi Carb = sweets

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  94. I have the book and almost done reading it. Both my daughter and I will be working the plan. (daughter is 27 and I am 53yrs old. Both of us eat too much junk food and all the wrong stuff. At my age, I should not have so many health problems. Time to change life style. My daughter is already a vegetarian but will be giving up a lot of things too.

    Yes, I see that Dr. Furman sells some products. This is actually a good idea because where I live, it is not easy to find salad dressings etc like I want in the local stores. Why should't he try to make it easier for us by supplying a source of where to buy them.

    I tired of lack of sleep. I am tired of being so overweight. I am tired of lack of energy. I am tired of so many health problems as I said earlier.

    This week, first step is to go find boxes and empty my cupboards, freezer and fridge of the food I no longer should eat. I will donate it to the local food bank or ask the church who is in need of food.

    yes, I have heard that the first few days are the hardest but that passes. Knowing it will pass makes it easier to deal with. At least, I know ahead of time why I might feel ill. Withdrawals from eating the crap food for so many years.

    Thank you Dr. Fuhrman for this chance to change our lives.

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  95. I have the book and almost done reading it. Both my daughter and I will be working the plan. (daughter is 27 and I am 53yrs old. Both of us eat too much junk food and all the wrong stuff. At my age, I should not have so many health problems. Time to change life style. My daughter is already a vegetarian but will be giving up a lot of things too.

    Yes, I see that Dr. Furman sells some products. This is actually a good idea because where I live, it is not easy to find salad dressings etc like I want in the local stores. Why should't he try to make it easier for us by supplying a source of where to buy them.

    I tired of lack of sleep. I am tired of being so overweight. I am tired of lack of energy. I am tired of so many health problems as I said earlier.

    This week, first step is to go find boxes and empty my cupboards, freezer and fridge of the food I no longer should eat. I will donate it to the local food bank or ask the church who is in need of food.

    yes, I have heard that the first few days are the hardest but that passes. Knowing it will pass makes it easier to deal with. At least, I know ahead of time why I might feel ill. Withdrawals from eating the crap food for so many years.

    Thank you Dr. Fuhrman for this chance to change our lives.

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  96. I JUST started following the basics of Dr. Fuhrman's diet (only about 1/2 way through the book "EAT TO LIVE.")

    I am NO fan of green leafy veggies if they're not covered in bacon bits and blue cheese dressing, but I'm trying to follow what he recommends. Why? I'm WAY over weight and desperate to lose 50+ pounds as a strong start, go even further and then KEEP IT OFF.

    The thing that strikes me reading many of these comments is that people want the weight loss, but they want it THEIR way.

    They don't want to do what is required:

    - Stop eating CRAP (even though I LOVE all the bad stuff) and START eating the stuff that's good for you (which I do NOT like).

    When you start throwing in sugars, meats, and breads, you've shot the entire thing to Hell. IT WON'T WORK. It sucks, but you DO have to choose between good tasting (bad for you) food and losing weight.

    People want a magic pill to lose weight or a diet that lets you eat as much of whatever you want, but it simply doesn't exist and it NEVER will.

    If I can find a suitable, tasty salad dressing, I think I'll be OK.

    I plan on limiting my meats drastically, but not cutting them out 100%.

    I also plan to continue coffee. I think that's more on the health side form the good doctor vs. inhibiting weight loss.

    Truthfully, if I can just STOP going to McDonalds, picking up candy bars & sodas and plowing through potato chips / Doritos, etc. and PIZZA, that alone should make a big difference.

    However, I'm going to try my best to stick to his plan for the first six weeks.

    We shall see.


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  97. I've been following Dr Fuhrman's eating plan for a couple years; I've lost weight and kept it off - I'd say I'm about an 80% participant; being very selective to things I really love when I do deviate from the plan - I always try and pair something not-so-great with something healthy. I was also a devoted carnivore; but really don't miss the meat that much - when I do eat it; I truly enjoy it and can afford to buy better quality meat as I'm not spending on 7 meat laden meals a week - I also eat fish; shrimp whenever I want. I haven't bought tons of his products; just a couple books - I never felt pressured to do so. I just made so much sense to me when I read the book - I do have a time investment in preparing healthy lunches to take to work, but is time well spent for sure - Keep an open mind and give it a try!!

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  98. I just have to reply to this one. Let me say excellent review! I've just started Dr. F.'s plan and I love it! The other thing is that while you read the plan and think its restrictive I have to tell you it isn't at all! Simply because this is a lifestyle not a diet and following it is a choice. As a vegan I have people feel sorry for me because I 'can't have' some food they are horrified I don't eat. I can eat anything I choose. I choose to not eat animals or anything that contributes to such massive animal cruelty. Being correctly informed about that subject as well as taking the time to compile simple eat to live recipes has made this such a simple plan. With no effort I lost 6 lbs in 3 days. And it still is dropping off. Love how my cravings are going away and I'm full all the time. It's the best $5 I've ever spent. Great book!

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  99. I started the ETL 6 week program for weight loss, and after 3 days, found my terrible joint and body pain was greatly diminished. I thought I just had arthritis, but now believe the pain may be food (wheat.?) related. I used to feel like I was dying from the inside out, but now feel spectacular - more energy, far happier, amazing change. I'm saying, don't write this plan off because it's too restrictive - you might find, as I have, that your well-being improves so much that you don't WANT to eat the way you used to. It was a total surprise to me - I had figured I would just try to get through the diet for one day at a time for as long as I could stand it.

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  100. I am a marathon runner. I weight train three days a week, I bike 4 days a week I run 5 days a week and walk 7 days a week. I eat very little red meat and don't` drink dairy. I still gain weight. I am 5 foot 6ish, and 161 lbs and I hate those numbers. Three weeks...21 days into eat to live and I have lost 5 lbs., keep in mind I only want to lose 14-20 lbs, so I am ecstatic with this, I want to point at the scale at the gym and say ~look at me ! In my opinion my body is holding the weight in response to my exercise regime so helping my body kick start itself into finding what it is supposed to be works for me. Is hard? not really, I am pleasantly surprised it was easy to maintain, I feel great and I have energy to maintain my exercise level as I train for my next marathon. I can and intend to continue this plan, I love red meat, and have no indication of celebrating holidays with tofu turkey but I LOVE MY NEW ME.

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    1. Hey marathon runner, I would love to know how the plan worked for you and if you ended up at your goal loss of 14-20 pounds! I am also a heavier athlete, very similar to your weight when you posted this (5'6 and 164 lbs). I'm just starting the program and am happy so far but no weight loss yet. Thanks!

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  101. GREAT review/post!

    The plan is good and it works. If he makes money selling books, that's what all authors try to do. But he benefits his readers.

    And I understand people who think that living without cheese, meat, etc might seem miserable...but I tried this clean eating and life actually feels wonderful, not because of what I eat, but because of my body, mind and mood feeling fantastic. Stuffing our bodies with foods over and over is not a happier life....

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  102. The "hunger is felt in the throat" claim sounds weird, but it's true. Once I started following this diet, I knew it was time to eat by that feeling that is something akin to dryness and constriction of the throat. It's not totally unpleasant, and completely different from the hunger that comes from the stomach, which usually involves weakness and lack of energy. If you don't know what he's talking about, you probably haven't been truly hungry yet. It affects your taste buds as well, just as Dr. Fuhrman claims. I'm not 100% into this diet, but even 80% is enough to make a difference, although sugary deserts continue to be my weak point. I went from a 38 to a 36 inch waist, and I don't intend on ever going back. Like the reviewer says, much of what this diet dictates has already been well studied, and as to the health benefits, it's hard to know what condition you won't get by following this diet, but I know I feel healthier when I do.

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