Many individuals who follow the Nutritarian diet write to Dr. Fuhrman about their success. Keep in mind that results vary from person to person. As always, consult your physician if you have a medical history and/or condition that may warrant individual recommendations.
Tools Craig Used:Eat to Live Cookbook
After witnessing his father's devastating heart attack Craig is determined not to follow in his footsteps
I spent my early childhood years growing up in the 1960s. My grandma would come over for dinner on Sunday evenings and my mom would fry up chicken in Crisco oil. Yummy, I loved that fried chicken. And nothing was out-of-limits from the grocery store, including Cracker Jacks and Oreo cookies. Occasionally we would eat TV dinners when our parents went out for the evening. My mom mixed dry milk with 2 percent liquid milk to minimize milk cost. We were eating the modern American diet.
My dad had his first heart attack when I was 35 and he was 67 years old. Over the years he has had angioplasty and stents put into his coronary arteries. He had stents put into his leg arteries. Coronary artery disease does not just affect the heart arteries; it affects all the arteries in the body. He’s had micro-strokes in the brain which caused his memory loss. The most dramatic event of his memory loss came 10 years after he had his first heart attack when he forgot to put his plane’s landing gear down. It was a great landing, however; nobody got hurt and the plane was repaired, although my dad never flew again. Today my dad is 93 and a shell of his former self. He was previously a talker with a lot of witticisms. Today he usually does not speak unless spoken to. He sleeps most of the day. Physically, he can barely get out of his chair to make his way to the bathroom. He has been in this compromised and slowly deteriorating state for more than 13 years. He is alive, but not living.
In 2009 my cholesterol was high at 214, above that arbitrary high limit of 200 set by the medical profession. At the time I was running 40 to 60 miles a week and five marathons a year. I usually placed in my age-group. I was extremely fit. Nonetheless, I could not outrun the cholesterol. My doctor told me that coronary artery disease was hereditary and that since my dad had it I would have it too, and for the rest of my life. Without change, I could see that my future would be similar to my dad’s. The only “remedy” my doctor offered was a prescription statin drug, which she told me I would need to take for the rest of my life. She convinced me to take 5 mg Crestor. Statin drugs come with a number of side effects for some people, including memory loss, confusion, kidney damage, and liver damage. The side effect that crippled me was neuromuscular damage. The morning of the LA marathon, six months after starting the statin drug, I was in so much pain from my sciatica nerve I could barely get out of bed. I did not run that day, and I stopped taking the drug. I never again had sciatica nerve pain.
In 2014, my wife and I ran across the book, The China Study and my research on nutrition and disease prevention began. The information in The China Study completely turned my thinking upside down on nutrition, disease, and the whole medical paradigm. Nearly everything I thought I knew about nutrition was simply not true. Shortly after reading the book, on our wedding weekend in Aspen, Colorado, my wife and I ate dinner at Chef Martin Oswald’s The Pyramid Bistro and on display was Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s cookbook, Eat to Live. We bought Fuhrman’s cookbook and immediately adopted a plant-based whole food lifestyle, keeping in mind G-BOMBS or greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries, and seeds.
Plant-based means that our food grows out of the ground, close to the earth. Whole food means that it is unprocessed or minimally processed with no preservatives, no additives, no food colors, no trans fats, no added oils, no (or minimal) added salts, no added sugars, and no unpronounceable ingredients. We refer to this as a lifestyle since we are not counting calories or setting out to achieve any goals (e.g. weight loss). We can eat as much plant-based whole food as we like without gaining weight. One month after adopting our plant-based whole food lifestyle, my cholesterol was measured to be 149 mg/dL and the next year it was 140 mg/dL. The following year, I didn’t bother going to the doctor.
Nine years ago, my doctor told me that heart disease was hereditary and that I would need to take prescription drugs for the rest of my life. Today I have bullet proofed myself from heart disease along with the other leading causes of death in the US, including cancer, stroke, brain diseases, infections, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, arthritis, and iatrogenic causes.
Although I was extremely athletic and fit, I was running with a deadly disease - atherosclerosis or a buildup of plaque in my arteries. I was unhealthy and susceptible to a heart attack or stroke at any time. Exercise is very important and perhaps it kept my arteries open, but what we are putting into our bodies is much more important. If exercise is 20 percent of the physical health equation, then what we consume is 80 percent. There are no side effects to eating plant-based whole foods and it can prevent us from developing a killer disease. What have you got to lose by adopting a plant-based whole food lifestyle? By the way, our Dr. Joel Fuhrman cookbook is well worn, stained, and full of notes. We love his cookbook and his follow up cookbook, Eat to Live, Quick and Easy, which is also receiving a high use of wear, tear, and enjoyment.
Results may vary.