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.
Hurting cystic breasts, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, Catgerine reversed life-long ailments and lost 60 pounds
I had cystic breasts as a young woman and as a result I had many high dose mammograms. My breast pain continued my whole life. At age 53, it was particularly bad. I was under the care of a breast specialist and having multiple scans. While they did not find cancer, I was fearful. My mother had a radical mastectomy when she was near my age and two other relatives on my mom’s side died from cancer. My doctor added up all my risk factors and informed me that I was high risk. There was nothing I could do he said, except to catch it early.
I knew that being overweight was a risk factor and I was overweight. I then went to my primary care physician to discuss weight loss. She told me to eat plenty of lean protein and cut my carbs. Eggs were good she said. Meanwhile, my lab results were showing high cholesterol and she said I needed a statin. Furthermore, she said my blood pressure was also high and I should take medication for that as well. I had other minor complaints such as painful joints- ankle and hips, as well as hemorrhoids. I would need surgery to take care of those.
At age 53, I felt it was a little early to be starting on medications, so I asked her if I could address my blood pressure and cholesterol through diet. She said it was possible but quickly followed by saying no one ever succeeded in sticking to the diet. I told her I would like to try and she said fine but that I must return in 3 months because the blood pressure was dangerous. I left the office anxious because I realized I really did not know what a healthy diet was. Her diet instructions were vague. I went to the library and started looking at books. Boy was it confusing. I read a lot of books! When I found Eat to Live it was like I found the holy grail. I ordered my own copy and read it every day over and over on my lunch break. Each week I determined to make one healthy change. The first thing I did was to quit drinking soda and to replace it with water. That was my pattern. Drop an unhealthy item and replace it with a healthy one. I addressed breakfast next. I dropped commercial cereal and milk and replaced it with oats, soymilk, flax, a few walnuts and a cup of mixed strawberries and blueberries. And so, I continued. For lunch I had a big salad. Ezekiel bread replaced white bread. Lentil pasta was my new pasta. I found an organic tomato sauce with no sugar.
The weight started coming off. I never weighed myself but tried to focus on healthy eating as the book explained. I started a little notebook to keep track of my G-BOMBS. I was feeling better. My hemorrhoids were gone. I had gone from size 14 to size 10. My breasts were not hurting. It was time to go back to the doctor. She was excited that in 3 months I lost 20 pounds and my cholesterol had dropped 70 points. My blood pressure was still high and she told me that would be harder to fix with diet. She said it was hereditary. I was fired up by my new diet and decided to forgo medicine one more time. Again, she told me to return in 3 months for a check.
I kept on with my plan of making one change each week. I was now batch cooking healthy bean chili and adding more veggies. I navigated the holidays with advice from the book and took good care of myself. I was having a lot of fun as my appearance shifted and my figure emerged. At the next doctor appointment, I weighed in to find I had dropped another 20 pounds. It was astonishing really. After a lifetime of struggling with weight, the pounds really did melt off. I did not miss candy, cookies, ice cream, sugar cereal, crackers, pretzels, pizza, French fries, white bread or soda. I was focused now on eating things with good nutrition. What a concept! Still my blood pressure was borderline. I left the doctor feeling sure I was headed in the right direction. I decided to add an exercise routine. I took up running. I bought a Vitamix blender. I was in a happy mood. At first, I thought it was just happiness from shedding excess weight and the breast pain. Later I decided that my mood was actually improved from the new healthy food I was eating. At my next three -month check- up I had lost yet another 20 pounds. My joint pain was gone. I was running 30 minutes per day. My blood pressure was 112/68. The thing that really astounded my doctor (whom I had been seeing for 12 years) was that I grew a half inch. She measured me three times and could not believe it. She figured my spine may have decompressed. I continued my journey. That is how I view it- a journey. I will always have more to learn. I read all the science I can about nutrition now. Eventually I eliminated all eggs, dairy and meat. When I dropped dairy, I noticed a big difference in how I felt. No more stuffy nose. This past year I got a dehydrator and a juicer. I am adding more raw veggies. I started a garden with kale, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, green beans, beets and carrots. I keep reading for inspiration. I have run a couple half marathons and started yoga. I believe my next step will be to find a way to help others.
I got my parents to adopt the Nutritarian lifestyle. They are 80. The both dropped over 20 pounds and got off statins. My dad got off blood pressure medication too! It’s never too late to make a healthy change. This has been very empowering. Fear of cancer got me started but now it is all about feeling good every day! I may still be high risk for cancer from all that radiation exposure, but at least I know I’m doing what I can to beat the odds. My weight has stayed the same. It’s harder to find new things every week but I keep an open mind. At a minimum I add a new recipe or two each month. I have added bicycling into my exercise routine. For me the key is to keep moving forward in a positive direction. Sure, I have had a few injuries from running and had some cravings for salty chips and chocolate. I’m human!
But overall this has been an amazing journey- one which has transformed body, mind and spirit.
Results may vary.