I’m not sure how to start this. I’ve never been a ‘follow a specific diet’ person. I mean that I’m not a trendy, jump on the band wagon sort of person. I tend to be an off the beaten path sort of person. But, I have to say that I’ve read the “Eat to Live” book by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, and his follow up book “The End of Dieting” and they have truly changed my life (both came out of my local library). I’m not here to debate whether eating animals is ethical. I used to live on a farm and that’s how we got most of our food. I do think that it’s better for a person to raise their own food if they have the room to be able to do it. I think it’s healthier and that it instills a sense of how much work it takes to raise food and makes you a little more appreciative. That’s about all the soap box that I have on that subject.
I’ve only been on this diet for 3 weeks now and I’m amazed at how good I feel. It only took a week before I felt some very measurable effects on my health. I mentioned in an earlier post about finding this after praying about it and I still think that it was an answer to prayers. First of all, I started having health issues after my second child was born: fatigue, extreme aches and pains, digestive issues, immunity issues, pernicious anemia, chronic epstein barr syndrome. There were probably other issues that weren’t diagnosed. So, for 14 years I’ve been searching for a way to combat this. I’ve tried many different ways of eating. I’ve tried many Chinese herbal supplements and other herbal supplements. I refused to just be put on pain meds. Sometimes the pain was quite bad and I wouldn’t want to get out of bed. I learned to deal with it. I made friends with my heating pad. I have a high threshold of pain, too, so when I say I was in pain, I really was. Some solutions would help a bit. I got a glimmer of hope when I went gluten free about four years ago. The pain was a lot less and I had times when I actually had some energy and some of the digestive issues had cleared up. After a year of being gluten free, some of the symptoms came back even though I was very careful about eating gluten. So, I searched for another way to combat the inflammation and then I went paleo. That helped my immune system because I was really focusing on a good probiotic and healing my gut. But, I was eating a lot of meat. It was healthy and organic and grass fed, but it was meat. And, meat doesn’t combat inflammation. So, this is what brought me to Eat to Live. But let me preface this by saying that I’ve never been a carboholic or junk food junky type of person. If you are, you may have a bit of a problem at the beginning of this diet. All I can say about that is just to hang in there. Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels.
Here are the basics of the Eat to Live diet:
The G-BOMBS is a mnemonic device to help you remember the highest nutrient dense foods:
Greens: Raw leafy greens, kale being the highest nutrient dense food, is a great way to lose weight. you can eat unlimited quantities and they fill you up with fiber and nutrients.
Beans: (and other legumes) are a nutrient dense source of good carbs and the starch is not completely broken down in your digestive system, so the carbs don’t spike your blood sugar.
Onions: (and any allium family vegetables like garlic, shallots, leeks, etc…) They help with you cardiovascular and immune systems, as well as having anti-cancer properties and anti-diabetes effects.
Mushrooms: Great for their anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects.
Berries: Naturally sweet, low in sugar yet high in flavor and loaded with anti-oxidants, berries are just really good for you.
Seeds: Nuts and seeds contain healthy fats and are rich in phytosterols, anti-oxidants, and minerals.
This is his suggestion for amounts to each day of the G-BOMBS:
I can’t say that I follow this diet to a T. I pretty much do, though. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten this many legumes in my life. But, my body seems to like them. I’ve been doing special occasion foods but keeping them vegan (like the pizza crust, which is a Friday night pizza night thing). My body is just functioning a lot better this way. I’ve lost weight even though the only exercise I do is yoga. Now don’t get me wrong. Yes, yoga is an exercise. But, I’ve never been able to lose weight unless I was doing an hour of high intensity cardio each day and burning like 600 calories or more a day. And that was only if I was counting calories. I don’t count calories now. I don’t even really ‘watch what I eat,’ in the sort of American way of thinking about it. I just eat. I try to fill in the parameters, but I just eat. If I feel hungry, I eat a little more. If I feel full, I stop eating. It’s really a simple way to eat. Dr. Fuhrman stresses longevity and I’m on boat with that. You can eat paleo and build some great muscles, but if you’re straining you kidneys and liver, what kind of quality of life are you going to have down the road? This is really a sustainable way to eat. Ask me any questions you have. I’ll try to answer them to the best of my ability.