Eat to Live

13 Aug

So I recently watched “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead”, a documentary about the health benefits of consuming mostly nutrient-dense foods vs. what most of us currently eat.  What I think MOST people got out of this film was to go on a juice fast… not really the point… but alas, we are a nation of instant gratification-seekers.

The doctor featured and consulted in the film is Joel Furhman, who also authored the book Eat to Live.  Since I don’t want to go overboard and take on a 60-day juice fast and watch my muscles melt away, I decided to see what this guy is really all about.  What I found surprised me.

Not once in the book does he mention juicing other than in recipes calling for juice.  His formula H=N/C (Health=Nutrients/Calories) means that, nutritionally you want the most bang for your buck.  By prescribing this type of diet change to his patients, Dr Furhman has seen thousands – seriously, he said thousands – of people’s bodies change for the best.  At first I thought, these must be super obese people who had drastic weight to lose, but after reading the 4 pages of mini-testimonials, I discovered that he had helped people from NCAA athletes to cancer patients, body builders to working moms.  But I was still skeptical.

What about protein, right?  Furhman is advocating a 90% plant-based diet, and while that sounds awesome nutrient-wise, I don’t want to be some thin, flabby (a.k.a. skinny-fat) girl!  Then I saw his table comparing 100 calorie portions of the following: broccoli, steak, romaine lettuce and kale.  And my thinking got a little less narrow.  The broccoli won out with 11 grams of protein, followed by the romaine and kale at 7g, while the steak only had 6g!  And that’s just protein!  Looking down the list at nutritional qualities you get fiber and tons of vitamins and minerals PLUS 100 calories of those veggies is going to equate to WAY more food than 100 calories of steak!  So you’re stuffed and full of fiber and vitamins and phytochemicals (disease-fighters) and – AND – not lacking in protein.  I’m more than curious.

So Dr. J, asks his readers to take on a 6-week challenge.  He claims that when our body is getting everything it needs, it can return to it’s optimal weight, our immune system will be humming and our energy and hormone levels, as well as blood pressure, cholestorol, etc will be outstanding.  He says for the most aggressive transformation these first 6 weeks should be totally vegetarian, no dairy and limited servings of whole grains.  So I thought, “what the hay, I’ve experimented on my body in way less healthy ways before, lets try this.”

So here I am, on day 2.  Feeling good and full.  I actually don’t feel like I’ve eaten a ton of food either, which just doesn’t make sense.  Eating beans helps, and oats for breakfast.  He recommends eating 1lb of cooked and 1lb of raw fruit & veggies a day as well as a cup of beans.  That’s really hard to do, but I’m working on it!  Limiting my whole grain-y type stuff has been the most difficult so far.  But all in all I’m feeling pretty good.

On my way to being a Nutritarian!


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