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.

Tony's Story


Tony picture

Results may vary.

Tony, a type 1 diabetic lost 20 pounds; loves his intense workouts and feels better than ever  

At age 20 I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I was deathly ill, and admitted myself to the emergency room where they clocked my blood sugar at 1150. I spent two weeks in the hospital recovering and learning how to live with diabetes. I had to move back into my parent’s house for six months while I put a new life together. I became depressed.

Luckily I met a really great doctor who challenged me to try to be healthy. He said that there are two types of diabetics; the ones who think they are cursed to be unhealthy and give up in self-pity, and those who use their diagnosis as an opportunity to learn how their bodies work and become healthier than ever before. I took it to heart. Unfortunately, like a lot of people, I had no idea what eating healthy or even being healthy meant. I grew up in a family that lived on meat and potatoes, and didn't eat anything greener than iceberg lettuce. 

I worked hard to follow the instructions the hospital gave me. The diet the diabetic educators taught me made me fatter and the ups and downs of my blood sugar made it seem impossible to be an active person. By the time I reached thirty years old I was getting kind of pudgy and my cholesterol was getting higher. My blood pressure was also rising, and my doctor wanted me to lose a few pounds. I started working on the road as a successful public speaker, and the life of hotel and airport dining on pulled-pork sandwiches was starting to show. I had no energy, and I was starting to feel pretty feeble. Still, I knew there was a thriving, capable human specimen somewhere in me.

I stumbled upon Eat To Live at a healthy restaurant my girlfriend talked me into. I believed what it said about human nutrition and decided to give it a try for six weeks and see what happened. At the time I weighed about 190 pounds at 6 feet tall, with a noticeable gooey spare tire. Not obese, but what my doctor said was "centrally obese."  My insulin dosage was 30 units of long-acting and about 6 units of fast-acting insulin at mealtimes (depending on the carb count in the meal). I was also taking glucose tablets and eating granola bars to keep my blood sugar up. I had lots of hypoglycemic reactions between meals, but I thought that was a good thing since my blood sugar wasn't high if I was in shock.

The Eat To Live book was a revelation for me and changed the way I thought about everything. I got hooked on the six week program. I loved eating huge quantities of food, and savoring the flavors God intended us to eat, the way they were intended to be eaten. Bell peppers, broccoli, kale, berries, mushrooms, bok choy, and vinegar for dressing became something of a love affair and obsession. I learned to enjoy the feeling of pre-meal hunger, and celebrating victory every time I felt hunger setting in near meals. I thought of my eating plan as a Gorilla diet, and told myself I would have Gorilla strength. I started running, short, winded, pathetic runs at first and then longer faster stronger runs on the hills near my house. I lost twenty pounds quickly and started lifting weights.

So I decided to step up my athletic game. A friend of mine had started a gym that builds performance skills in gymnastics and aerial dance/trapeze type stuff. It is kind of a beginning training ground for circus performers and the like. They offer a class called Monkey Conditioning, which went along nicely with my original concept of gorilla strength. It is an hour of intense interval training, climbing, tumbling, calisthenics, body weight lifting, handstands, and acrobatics. It is a crushing workout if one pushes one's self accurately. When on the road I started using the hotel weight machines. I would often turn hotel furniture into equipment for pull-ups, pushups, and whatever I could imagine. If the weather was nice I would run in the mornings in whatever neighborhoods the hotels were in.

Today this is my lifestyle. I show up in a strange town and quickly determine the best way to turn my hotel into my own personal fitness challenge factory. I go nuts if I don't work out, and it is a key component of my diabetes management.

Following Dr. Fuhrman's advice, I upped my protein with additional seeds and beans. I was scared of adding more calories, but Dr. Fuhrman was right that I needed that food. My workouts improved.  My last measurements had me at 5 percent body fat (I am sure it isn't really that low, but a cool reinforcer for sure).  I weigh about 167 pounds, with 152 pounds of lean muscle. I actually gained muscle mass eating this way, and I like how my abs are turning out. I am down to only 7-10 units of long acting insulin per day (depending on my workout routine) and I only need a small amount of fast-acting insulin with my meals. The biggest challenge I face now is keeping my blood sugar from rising when working out. It seems that the body releases sugar to fuel the workouts if they are hard enough. My fitness is a work in progress, but I am in the best shape of my life right now.

I will forever be indebted to Dr. Fuhrman for his wisdom, his books, his online resources, his supplements, and his tireless effort to enlighten and empower the world with health.

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