Tip Of The Day readers know that I talk about Dr Joel Fuhrman a ton. We met him a couple years ago and really saw first hand his passion for promoting proper nutrition as a tool to lose weight, and also improve your health. In his words "Nutrition Is The Prescription." He showed us, and continues to show us, how certain foods can help you lose a lot of weight but also improve your health. He promotes nutritional excellence as another tool, alongside drugs, to help people regain their health.
Eat To Live
So it was great
to see Alanis Morisette publicly credit
Joel and his book Eat To Live as helping her lose 20 pounds, get more energy and feel better physically. The diet of my family- my husband, and two kids- was permanently changed after meeting him. We incorporate his ideas in every aspect of what we write on PEERtrainer. We also show how adopting his focus along side diets like the new Weight Watchers Momentum program
can make their good diet a ton better.
When Joel came out with this book, he really was attacked by the medical community. I remember showing the book to a very senior doctor/ healthcare executive in New York City. His response to Joel's work was to literally question his medical credentials.
This man (let's call him Ben) started to surf the internet to find out if Dr Fuhrman really was a doctor, if he really graduated from medical school. What Joel was saying in Eat To Live
ran so counter to what the medical establishment was saying that he was branded a quack by many. For Joel to focus
on the role of nutrition in health, not just drugs was heresy. And we know from history that heretics get burnt at the stake.
But Mehmet Oz did not think Joel was a quack, and has publicly backed him every step of the way. Joel gave us a copy of his book for feeding children "Disease Proof Your Child
"- it is on my desk and the very first quote of "praise" on the back cover is from Mehmet Oz. Here is the quote:
"Dr. Fuhrman reveals the success to long-term, sustainable health using diet choices for growing up smart and growing old happy. Take your doctor a copy!"
It is very important to note that these words written by Dr. Oz challenge the assumptions most of us have. We assume that diets can't work in the long run, and we assume getting fat and sick is part of aging. Dr. Fuhrman is begging us to reconsider those assumptions.
Eat For Health
In April of this year we were sent a copy of Eat For Health
, which is Joel's new book that is a bit easier to follow than Eat To Live, is not a strict vegetarian diet, and introduces MANDI points system. This system assigns point values to foods in terms of their nutrient density. It is a very important tool and we immediately had a way of quantifying the level of health promoting foods in our diet. I now use this in combination with portion control in an approach I call "diet fusion." We have developed a simple way to do diet fusion, which we call the PEERtrainer Cheat System
But what was interesting and important is that the entire first chapter of the book is Joel defending himself from the medical community. He has found some excellent and very well respected voices in the community to vouch for him and he does an excellent job in his defense.
He has incredible success stories from people who he has helped improve their entire cardiovascular profile, cure lupus, prevent having to undergo dialysis, help asthma, migranes, high blood pressure, sarcoidosis, psoriasis etc etc.
We actually lent our copy to a doctor friend of ours, someone who recommends diets to her patients. Here
is what she had to say about "Eat For Health":
"Last month, my friends lent me Dr. Joel Fuhrman's book, Eat for Health. Dr Fuhrman has it 100% right. Let me say that again - he has it exactly right. We are all trying to figure out a way to not do what is right, how to get around it. We think that we want to keep eating the over-processed, high calorie, nutrient poor food. He says stop eating the garbage. Eat the good stuff. You will lose weight, get healthier and feel better.
Dr Fuhrman Makes Optimal Eating Easy To Implement
He comes out and says what we all know is true, but don't say or do. He states the obvious: eat more vegetables and fruits. Eat more fiber. Eat less animal products. The result is that you will be healthier and lose weight. He gives easy to implement strategies for how to do this. Why didn't someone think of this sooner and why isn't it a national phenomena?"
Weight Watchers Now Moving In Joel's Direction
It is really important to point out the struggle Joel has had with the medical community and really highlight his leadership role in bringing them around to a greater focus on nutritious foods. So I was extremely interested in the last couple weeks learning the details of Weight Watchers new momentum program.
I read on their site and in other places that they were adjusting their points system to focus not just on fiber but also in the water content of food. Which means a lot more plants. Now they don't seen to be focused on his MANDI points idea yet which promotes massive greens as part of the daily diet. But they are going in the right direction.
And I was able to get confirmation of this from my mom, who is now on the new Momentum Program. She was able to give me some feedback
of their program and did confirm that they have moved away from dairy and low calorie nutrient poor foods towards plant based nutrition. I cannot say for sure that Joel was responsible for this, but I am sure he was a strong influence.
Stronger Diet Recommendations- Some Books, DVD, Free Tools
We pretty much insist you own a copy of either Eat To Live
or Eat For Health
. (Click on the titles for the exact amazon links.) We do find that people want a "baby step" approach to eating a nutrient dense diet, which is why we created the Cheat System
March 2011 Update
It is important to note that if you are extremely overweight, or if you have reached a disease state, you need the nutritional intervention that Dr. Fuhrman outlines. The Cheat System will help, but if you are reading this and are scared about where you are, we STRONGLY recommend that you not only read Fuhrman's books, but that you spend a few weeks in his member center
This is an online forum, which costs about $14 a month to access. You can ask any question you have about your particular situation. There is a deep database of answers to questions, Dr. Fuhrman directly answers questions and you will also get support from others who are using nutrition as part of their plan to get healthy, thin, energized.
We have now known Dr. Fuhrman for 4 years, and we have seen the results in the PEERtrainer community of everything we have outlined in this article. We want to reiterate that if you are sick, please visit the member center. It may be the cheapest and most effective medical care that you'll find.
If you are reading this part of the article and paying close attention to what we are writing here, know that we know what you are going through. You have been to many doctors, and have explored lots of options. You are likely scared and frustrated. In addition to what you are already doing, deeply explore Fuhrman's advice. If you are in the Northeast you can even visit his office and get some one on one. It can be a wait to get an appointment. We have referred people we know to him, and if it is super urgent, mention PEERtrainer, and you might be able to get in quicker. No promises, but we have been able to get people in more quickly.
What Is Unresolved In The Nutrient Dense Diet?
One unresolved issue from our perspective in the nutrient dense diet is the role of organic food. We remember sitting in on a conversation between Joel's marketing team and a senior statesman in the health care industry. This gentleman was enthusiastic about the focus on nutrient density, and dramatically reducing the levels of animal protein in the diet. As a Phd level scientist he also thought that the protein in milk, casein, was wreaking particular havoc among people and might be a contributing factor to breast cancer.
This is a big debate right now and there is a lot to figure out. But some influential people have some strong opinions on this subject, and it will be interesting to see how this debate evolves. Even Weight Watchers seems
to be tiptoeing away from a heavy dairy emphasis, emphasizing foods like avocado and hummus instead of lowfat cheese. This is based on feedback we are getting from people in their new program.
The other big thing the senior statesman said was the importance of organic food. This man has a masters in Physical Chemistry in addition to having done Phd work in Nuclear Physics and run several health companies. A unique perspective. And he was adamant about eating organic food, going on in detail about the organic garden he had set up in his country house. Given that this was the man who introduced us to Joel, we listened carefully and took what he said very seriously.
of My Experience With Eat To Live and Eat For Health