Saturday, December 01, 2012

Eat to Live (Joel Fuhrman, M.D.)

Years ago a nutritionist told me it's important to remain interested in health, weight loss and nutrition. She said to "keep the conversation alive" via books, movies, conversations with friends... I try not to bore my friends or preach to my friends about my lifestyle... I'll be sharing a few of the things I've been reading here in the next week or so.
Eat to Live: The Amazing Nutrient-Rich Program for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss, Revised Edition
Click here for more info

Dr. Joel Furhman has coined the term "nutritarian" to describe his life plan.  He uses science to show simply being "vegetarian" or "vegan" doesn't insure you will be eating the best nutritional diet (you can still be eating too many grains, too much processed stuff etc). I've proven this theory.  The focus of his work is the role nutrition plays in preventing and curing our societies chronic health problems.

Part One of Eat to Live is full of data.The dots are connected by the time you finish part one.  Good stuff, but I slogged through it.  One of the most personally interesting facts I found is the rate of cancer rises IN PROPORTION to the percentage of diet which is animal products. In other words, they've followed countries for the past 50 years which ate less than 10% animal products and cancer/heart disease is virtually unknown.  As they begin to eat a standard diet of more than 10% their cancer/heart disease rates will increase by percentages to match the animal product consumption.

Dr. Fuhrman promotes a nutrient dense diet. His formula is H=NC. Health equals nutrient density per calorie. So the standard switches from  "Is this vegan?" to "What nutrients does this food supply which my body needs to be healthy?" He suggests the 90/10 rule. 90% of your diet should be plant based, 10% of your diet can be animal products.  He calls his lifestyle "nutritarian" - a new label.

Spinach has more protein per 100 calories than steak per 100 calories. One has much fiber and no fat or cholesterol. One would be a very LARGE serving which satisfies your hunger; the other a very small serving which could very well leave one feeling frustrated and deprived.

I was a bit skeptical. I was determined not to buy into a doctor who sells, sells, sells....but everything in this book matches the information my PA shared with me. My PA loved my diet changes, but suggested adding fish once a week and maybe red meat once a month.  That would be about 90/10; predominately plant based.  I've come to see that many of the "experts" in a plant based lifestyle ARE marketing and selling something - at least the science is solid here and Dr. Fuhrman is a MD who has practiced for many years.

The second part of the book shows us how to live this way - forever. He starts with his 6 week plan. In this initial phase people usually drop a lot of weight, and their health numbers begin to improve. This mimics the Daniel Fast which Michael and I did. I did lose 28 lbs, dropped my lipid to 150, dropped my triglycerides and lowered my blood pressure while on the 6 week Daniel Fast. I love how the command to "follow Jesus to freedom" led me right to the healthiest thing I could have done for my health problems.  This works.

He moves from the 6 week plan to a "life plan" for those who don't need to lose weight and have their medical conditions under control. Basically, this is where you add in the 10% animal products. Dr. Fuhrman reports you can expect to lose about 1 - 11/2 lbs a week on the life plan until you reach a weight that is healthy for your body. He suggests the average person should have a BMI of 22. I've also seen this rate of weight loss to be accurate - even with wildly fluctuating thyroid levels/doses.  He says you CAN stay on the 6 week plan if you'd like.

Personally, I'm still eating 99% vegan (as you never really know what is in the food you eat when you are out or when you'll need to splurge).  I really don't miss meat. I miss cheese, but I don't miss chronic migraines. While veganism seems daunting....eating 90% plant based and 10% animal based feels very doable. In fact, I think Michael is about here....though consider in a diet of 2000 calories a day that would be no more than 200 calories from any animal product in a day.

I love that this book didn't preach the vegan worldview. He presents his research and plan. I have been listening to many of his pod casts and his world view comes out a bit more...but they are free and motivational.

Eat to Live was a beneficial read. Dr. Fuhrman has a slew of other books on reversing disease, super immunity, disease proofing your children and several DVDs out as well. I've not looked into them yet. Several are on my wish list. Eat for Health takes you slowly through the process of transitioning your diet to a health diet. I'd love to buy some of his DVDS....but haven't. LOL

Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

No comments: