Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Salad IS the Main Course

I love to read and I read a lot. (Can someone just pay me to read? please?) I never really cared for nonfiction. (I think all the terrible nonfiction we were made to read in school was a complete turnoff.) Typically, YA lit is my jam and what I pick up from the library. Almost a year ago, I watched a documentary on Netflix called Forks over Knives. It really changed my thinking about food and made me want to learn more. Like any good former English major, I started to do some research and since then have read as many books as I can on plant based nutrition. And have gained a new appreciation for nonfiction. (It is not all as boring as the nonfiction we were forced to read in school!)

I just finished up Eat to Live by Dr. Joel Furhman. He believes in reversing (and preventing) disease through nutrition and other natural methods. Basically following what good old Hippocrates (you know the guy the some consider to be the father of Western medicine, they Hippocratic Oath and all that?) told us even before baby Jesus was born.

So if he knew this then, how did we manage to screw it up so royally? Clearly the way we eat now is not working. Look at the stats on Americans. Obesity. Blood Pressure. Heart Disease. Diabetes. We are in a serious mess. So Dr. Fuhrman recommends that we just try what he believes for six little weeks.  Compared to a year (or a lifetime) giving six weeks to something isn't that long.

Anyway...for six weeks the goal is to eat:

raw veggies
steamed veggies (green and non-green nutrient rich)
beans, legumes, bean sprouts and tofu
fresh fruits

And to limit:

Cooked starchy veggies
whole grains
raw nuts/seeds
dried fruit

Completely off limits:

animal products
snacks between meals
fruit juice

Of course his book goes into the details of this including the serving size and the method behind his madness.

In addition to describing this six week trial, his book addresses the reasoning behind his philosophy which I can totally appreciate. There is a huge focus on nutrient per calorie and getting the most bang for your caloric buck. He is a doctor so his book is full of lots of medical jargon and numbers. Statistics, blood pressure readings, patient labs, blah. I kind of skimmed through all of this as I am not a numbers girl (but if you are a numbers junkie this book is right up your alley.)   He is basically a groupie for green leafy veggies and beans. Raw veggies are rockstars and steamed veggies come a close second. The buzz words in this book are nutrient rich, plant based and real foods. He devotes a lot of space in his book to talking about heart disease and diabetes. He also addresses how his plan will address these medical concerns while also cautioning to talk to your own doctor about these things. (Again stuff I kind of skimmed since that is not my main concern right now.)

My overal takeaway from this book. Eat more veggies. Lots and lots of veggies. And really think about how many nutrients are in each calorie you eat. Food is nutrition. We should be getting our nutrients from food not supplements. His book supports my belief that real plant based food is best.

My favorite thing in this book -

I may have to post that in my dining room on a pretty canvas or something. Yay modge podge!

To learn more about Dr. Fuhrman please visit his website at www.drfuhrman.com

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