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February 2011

Updated Calorie and Nutrition Information For Common Fruits and Vegetables

We are in the process of updating our calorie and nutrition information for common fruits and vegetables. With the introduction of the PEERtrainer Cheat System, people have lots of questions. We are going to be providing as much explanation as we can on a food by food basis, along with links to relevant research.

This list will be updated as we update the pages.

















Black Beans








Quinoa (close relative to cruciferous family)

Red Peppers


Sweet Potato




How To Ask Dr. Fuhrman A Question Directly

Most people in PEERtrainer are familiar with the basic ideas of Dr. Joel Fuhrman. We work hard to make sure that people understand his concept of "nutrient density" because it represents a different way of looking at the weight loss process. 

What Is Nutrient Density And Why Is It Important?

If you are not familiar with nutrient density or are unclear what it means, the basic idea is that certain foods have dramatically higher levels of "good stuff" than other foods. When you eat a lot of the "good stuff" a primary benefit is that it makes you less hungry. Your body starts to get the nutrients it needs, and begins to stop sending your brain signals commonly known as "food cravings."

This is a powerful idea, and combined with other core ideas that we promote, has helped to literally transform the lives of thousands of people on PEERtrainer. We get emails every single day thanking us for pointing people in this direction.

Often times, people have a lot of questions once they begin to grasp the basic idea of nutrient density. It has the power to help you reduce your weight, but also put you on the path to better health. One can lose weight pretty quickly, but the health part of the equation can be harder to get back into balance. You can't expect to instantly get into better health after abusing your body for 20 years.

Usually when people are in this process, especially on the health side of the equation, they have many questions.

One resource that you may want to take advantage of, but you likely do not know about, is Dr. Fuhrmans "Ask A Doctor" online forum.

In this forum he has already answered ten thousand questions and both the questions and the results are searchable. In addition, for questions not already answered Dr. Fuhrman answers those each week and posts them.

Access to this information and access to Dr. F is ridiculously cheap- about $15 a month, and less if you buy a year membership. Even if you join for a short amount of time, you can learn a tremendous amount in a short amount of time.

We highly recommend this forum and service. The reason we are creating this blog post is that recently Habib was traveling with Dr. Fuhrman and saw him up at 5 am, going through the forum, answering questions in his forum.  Pretty amazing, even now that Fuhrman has started to become very well known through his deal with Whole Foods, though his books- he is still answering peoples' questions at 5 am.

It is a level of total commitment that we find very impressive.

Here is the link to learn more about this forum:

If you have any questions, please reply in the comments section below or just reply to our email. We'd be glad to help you!

If you are reading this and are already a member, please let us know your experience so far and we will put it right in this post. 

One more thing- if you have ever wanted to meet Dr. Fuhrman, he is holding a "Health Getaway" this summer at Park City, Utah. The event is being mc'd by his friend Marilu Henner, who many of you remember for her role on the TV show "Taxi."  Like us, she is a strong advocate for the work Dr. Fuhrman is doing!


"I recently became a member of Dr. Fuhrman's member center. I was drawn to it because even though I thought I was following the Eat to Live method, I wasn't at the low weight that I had previously achieved. I thought maybe I needed more education on the matter and I joined up. I was right. I really didn't know enough about the method. Once I spent some time in the member center, a lot of my questions were answered and I was refocused. I especially love that I receive one new recipe per day by e-mail from Dr. Fuhrman AND that I can see what other members have to say about that recipe. That helps a lot when cooking as much as I and really what anyone has to do when you elimate most processed food."

Wendy Solganik




Dr Fuhrman Member Center Signup Link

The Important Relationship Between Inflammation, Weight Loss and The Future Of Your Health

We have been focusing a lot recently on the subject of energy at PEERtrainer. The reason we have been doing this is that an overwhelming number of you have been telling us that you are feeling tired. The response has been really great, and we have been sent hundreds of emails thanking us and asking us followup questions.

One of the reasons that the response has been great is that lack of energy is something you feel. It is an obvious thing. So when we send out an email that has a subject line of "4 Supplements That Will Give You More Energy" or some variation of that, the response is great. The emails get opened, the links get clicked on and the articles get read and passed around.

We are saying this because we are going to be shifting the discussion somewhat to the subject of inflammation. We are "caveating" this because inflammation is not something that you generally feel, like you feel when you are tired.

But it is equally as important. If not more important.

What is interesting about inflammation is that there is a PILE of research that specifically links elevated levels of "inflammatory markers" to a whole host of negative health outcomes. We have been looking at studies published by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) that link inflammation to future weight gain, increases in cholesterol levels, as well as raise the risk of stroke and heart disease.

On its face, PEERtrainer is a "weight loss company." But as you know, if you lose weight in a healthy, sustainable and long term way, your health improves. Ever since we met (and worked with) the founder of a large health care company, we have been working hard to make sure that people lose weight in a manner that leads to better health.

This has made things tough for us from a marketing perspective. There are a lot of highly popular ways to lose weight, that unfortunately lead to both people gaining the weight back and harming their health. The typical "yo-yo" diet cycle for example is very tough on your system.

A less popular weight loss marketing message is, "hey take two years of time, totally change your eating habits and become really introspective." That tends to not lead to immediate action.

But, it is pretty much the only way you are going to lose weight for the long haul. We are saying all of this to show, again, how "all this stuff is connected."

Key Point:

If you do the things that lead to long term weight loss, your health will improve. If you do the things that help foster greater health, you are likely to find it easier to lose weight.

So back, to the subject of inflammation....

What is also interesting about inflammation is that there is also a growing body of research that demonstrates the effectiveness of certain herbal substances in reducing inflammation. As well as a very well established set of protocols or "tools" that work to help you get the "fire" of inflammation under control.

We were in Whole Foods today (one of our favorite research labs!) and learned something very interesting. It turns out that the top selling herbal supplement that is sold to "promote healthy inflammation response" is also the most extensively researched.

The supplement is called Zyflamend, and it is the top selling herbal anti-inflammatory supplement in the United States right now. It is made by a company called New Chapter, and you can find it in most places supplements are sold. (It is important to note that New Chapter only sells whole food-based, non-synthetic supplements. If you are familiar with Dr. Fuhrman's urgent warnings on the dangers of synthetic folic acid, New Chapter's multivitamins only contain natural folate. New Chapter is widely regarded as the quality leader in their industry.)

Most herbal supplements rely on history, word of mouth and anecdotal evidence to help promote them. Zyflamend is in a different class because of a recent clinical study performed on it by Columbia University.

In this study they tested Zyflamend on a group of men between 40 and 75 who were at a high level of risk for developing prostate cancer. Over the 18 months that the study took place, half of the subjects had a 25-50% reduction in PSA levels. PSA stands for "Prostate-Specific Antigen", and the basic deal is that as PSA levels rise so do occurrences of prostate cancer.

We began this discussion of inflammation with clinical studies because we wanted to show you how well understood the problem is, as well as help show you how well understood many of the solutions to this problem are.

Now, inflammation is a big and complex subject. Entire books can and have been written on the subject. The purpose of this article is to get you focused on this issue, and also relate it back to your efforts to improve your weight and your fitness. It is intended to be a starting point for this important discussion.


What Are The Roots Of Inflammation And How Does One "Put Out The Fire?"

Chronic inflammation usually has it roots in diet, although a wide array of irritants can also exacerbate the problem. The usual suspects like sugar, processed foods and high amounts of animal fat are widely thought to contribute to inflammation.

A good way of thinking about reducing inflammation, is that you want to "put the fire out."

You need to identify and reduce the foods that help to foster the creation of pro-inflammatory substances. At the same time you want to identify and increase the foods that block these substances and help to reverse the damage done.

A nutrient dense diet, featuring high amounts of greens and cuciferous vegetable forms the base of a diet that will help prevent disease and generally make you feel better. This is the exact same diet approach that one would take to lose weight for the long term.

Hopefully reading this information will help to increase your motivation to consume more greens. 

Chronic inflammation can be a difficult and frustrating thing to completely tackle. For many people simply eating more vegetables and reducing gluten, dairy and sugar will not be enough. At least not right away.

You have to realize that a poor diet can take a toll on your body, and most of us have been hammering our bodies for years. You can't expect immediate relief. Yet many people do. 

However, if you take a broad approach to "putting the fire out" you will find that you will have greater control over this as time goes on.

For example in addition to making some shifts in your diet, you are also likely to benefit from a high quality fish oil supplement. You see these everywhere now, and there is a very good reason for that. Fish oil contains very powerful anti-inflammatory properties.

The research behind fish oil is extensive, (here is one example) and we will probably develop an entire article just on this subject alone.

Additionally, there are some herbal blends, like Zyflamend which have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. As you start to stack these different tools together, you are likely to have begun the process of putting yourself on the right track long term.

High doses of vitamins C and B have also been shown by clinical research to play an important role in reducing inflammation. It is important to remember that green vegetables like Broccoli are rich in Vitamin C. We usually think of Vitamin C as something we get from Oranges or Orange Juice. If you try and get some of your Vitamin C from greens, you'll avoid some of the extra fructose which just may help with your weight.

For those of you who are committed meat eaters, free range chicken and grass fed beef and bison are thought to be less inflammatory than traditional meat. We need to do some more research into this, but people like Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum suggest that eating grass fed meat instead of grain fed meat will provide some help.

This whole process is likely to be frustrating, especially if you have been grappling with chronic disease. But if you get a good view of the "playing field" you can begin to get handle on how you can go about tackling this issue.

Again, we'd love to hear your feedback on your experiences. The best content we create is in response to the questions you all have. So keep them coming, keep posting on our Facebook Wall. We are also very interested in Zyflamend, and New Chapter in general. 

Dr. Fuhrman has really sounded the alarm about certain synthetic substances and certain minerals that he feels ought to not be in vitamins and supplements. We have found New Chapter and Dr. Fuhrman to be very much on the same page. We will be working to confirm and verify all of this.



4 Supplements That Most Health Experts Insist Will Boost Your Energy

We came to a very interesting realization recently.

Running PEERtrainer, we are constantly studying different views on nutrition and exercise. What is interesting to us, and probably very frustrating to others, is that there is so much debate and intense disagreement on what foods to eat and what the best way to exercise is.

For example, the current top health bestseller is a book called "The 4-Hour Body" by Tim Ferriss. It is a big book, over 500 pages and we are about 1/3 of the way through it. There are some very interesting (and even brilliant) new ideas in the book, some things that we think are downright stupid based on our experience with PEERtrainer, and some things that we would classify as "interesting and controversial."

One suggestion he makes in his section on weight loss is "Don't Eat Fruit." It is one of only 5 rules that he insists will lead to losing more weight. He asserts that fructose is converted to fat more efficiently than almost any other carbohydrate. What is funny is that this book was published at the same time that Weight Watchers released their new Points Plus System.

A striking new feature is that Weight Watchers now allows people to eat unlimited amounts of fruit.

Pretty hard to reconcile these two views, no?

This is a classic example of the conflicting advice that drives people nuts. (Our own view on fruit is that the truth is somewhere in the middle, and we will be coming out with something in a few days that addresses this specific issue..)

However, we have found almost an opposite phenomenon when it comes to supplements and natural health. This is an issue that we have started to dig into more and more, based largely on our own personal experience. We are in active learning mode here. Our cupboard and fridge right now is packed with small jars.

One interesting thing we are finding is that almost all the "gurus" in this space are largely in agreement, on pretty much everything. We participated in a "product launch" last month for Dr. Stengler. In that process we set out to verify what he was saying.

What we found is a group of very educated and passionate people who have been doing this most of their lives. If you look at their books, they are all saying very similar things. One of our absolute favorite guys is Jonny Bowden. He has written a ton of books and is very detailed. Most importantly he employs easy to understand metaphors to help communicate the value of each of these supplements.

We are focusing on energy here, because this is the #1 single most important issue facing members of the PEERtrainer community, based on recent surveys we have done.

The 4 Supplements That Will Boost Your Energy:

1. Coenzyme Q10 

According to Jonny Bowden, this "might be the most important nutrient you have never heard of." The science of why this is important is pretty complicated. But the basic idea here is that your body uses enzymes for metabolic processes including the conversion of food into nutrients, and the creation of energy in cells.

A coenzyme is something that boosts the action of an enzyme. Bowden's analogy is that this is "much like a spark plug is to a piston" and that CoQ10 is the "MacDaddy" of coenzymes.

Why should one take CoQ10 in supplement form?

The basic reason that Bowden and others suggest taking CoQ10 is that while the body does make this on its own, the production decreases as one ages. Additionally, successful internal production requires an extremely robust amount of vitamins, minerals and trace elements. Likely if you are not eating like Dr. Fuhrman, these amounts will be low in most people.

Further, it is tough to get additional CoQ10 from food because optimal amounts are largely found in organ meats such as liver, heart and kidney. Not something most of us eat a lot of!

For more information on CoQ10 refer to pages 123-126 of "The 150 Most Effective Ways To Boost Your Energy."

Which Brand CoQ10 do we recommend?

We really have no preference. We did a search on both popularity and high ratings on and this brand came up #1 both times. It also appears to be a relatively inexpensive supplement.

2. D-Ribose

This is another supplement that we see recommended across the board. We have seen it used to help treat people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Most interestingly we also see this used by performance athletes to help with muscle recovery.

We walked into our local Whole Foods where we live in Boulder, Co. This is an interesting town because it is home to many of the top performance athletes in the world. Cyclists, runners, Iron people live here because they can train year round, at a high altitude.

We asked the person at Whole Foods about D-Ribose, and they said that yes, it is very popular among athletes. Specifically, we were told that cyclists mix it with their water that they drink during their rides. We have started to take this daily, and have this brand in our house now, which is the one they sell at Whole Foods.

The science behind why D-Ribose works to boost energy is complex and evolving. But the bottom line is that if your body is under stress or you are experiencing fatigue, D-Ribose can probably help as part of an overall plan to boost your energy.


EGCG is an acronym of a compound found in green tea, that has been isolated and tested extensively. At PEERtrainer we have long recommended swapping coffee for green tea. Green Tea is something that we all know or have heard "is good for us."

But the details of how and why are interesting. According to Bowden, "EGCG sparks a process in the body known as thermogenesis, or heat production. You may know the process of thermogenesis by its more common term, "fat burning."

Additionally, "traditional Chinese medicine has long recommended green tea for all sorts of ailments..including headaches, body aches and pains, digestion, depression, immune enhancement, detoxification and as an energizer!"

If you are like most people, your Green Tea consumption ebbs and flows. We find that a very flavorful green tea is helpful to get back in the habit. One of our favorites so far is Mighty Leaf Organic Hojicha Green Tea.

4. L-carnitine

This is one that we need to do some more work with, yet we see it on literally every list of things to help boost your energy.

Jonny Bowden explains that L-carnitine is like the shuttle bus that transports you from a parking lot to an attraction. "Except, instead of taking guests to a party, it takes fatty acids into the part of the cell where they can be burned for energy. Carnitine is literally the transport mechanism by which fat gets escorted into little energy factories inside the cell....where all the fat burning and energy production takes place."

L-Carnitine, in addition to D-Ribose and CoQ10 are all considered tremendous supplements for heart health. A quick search on Amazon shows that this brand is the top seller. 

You can read more about L-Carnitine on pages 126-128 of "The 150 Most Effective Ways To Boost Your Energy." (Which you can get used on Amazon for about $5!)


We have heard from many of you that you appreciate that we are digging into this subject. Your feedback is critical for the content that we create. We are curious what questions you have, and most importantly what your experience in this area has been. What has helped you, what do you take on a regular basis? What brands have you developed an appreciation for?

Please feel free to reply to any of the emails we send out (we read every one of them!) Even better, please post a comment or question on the PEERtrainer Facebook Wall.




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