Friday, October 14, 2011

Eat to Live

(Photo source:

I know I have mentioned this several times on the blog, but ever since moving to Asheville, I have been struggling to lose weight.  In fact, I have been struggling not to gain weight.  Typically what happens is that I have a successful week, then I end up eating too much on the weekends.  The weekends in Asheville are usually full of festivals, trips to downtown and other things where I am surrounded by good vegan food.  This has been a struggle since July now.  I have been trying to get it in gear but I just haven’t been successful. 

Where I work, all of the seniors have to do a senior project in order to graduate.  One student is doing her project on the Eat to Live program and she sent out an e-mail asking if any faculty members would participate in the program for 6 weeks so she could keep track of our results.  I knew that Eat to Live was a vegan diet, I knew it was healthy and I had also seen Dr. Fuhrman interviewed in Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and Forks Over Knives.  Because I knew it was vegan and healthy, I decided that this would be the push I needed to get back on track.  Committing to 6 weeks will be a very good thing for me.  Plus, it really came at a perfect time.  I took a trip to see my family last weekend through the beginning part of this week and I knew that I would start Eat to Live as soon as I got back.  I could indulge at the Spiral Diner while I was in Dallas and enjoy some other treats while I was on vacation and then I knew I would have a fresh start with Eat to Live as soon as I got back. 

Also, I knew the plane rides to and from my parents’ house would give me the opportunity to read Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat to Live book.  I wanted to fully understand the program before I jumped in.  I am so glad that I did.  Reading the book from cover to cover gave me such a better understanding of the research and reasoning behind Dr. Fuhrman’s guidelines for the program.  For example, he explains true hunger vs. toxic hunger.  Toxic hunger is often felt due to the body withdrawing from caffeine, other substances, or even nutrient poor food.  He said that many overfed Americans may have never actually experienced true hunger.  I had never heard anything like this before.  Also, Dr. Fuhrman says that even alternative sweeteners such as stevia cause a person to overeat because the sweet taste from sweeteners encourages a person to crave more food.  Coffee and stevia…..two of my main staples.  I knew that starting the Eat to Live program would require some changes to my diet, for sure.  The main areas I knew I would have to work on were:

-Giving up caffeine
-Cutting out stevia
-No in between meal snacking

Other than that, I felt like Eat to Live wasn’t too far off from how I eat already.  But those 3 areas I needed to work on are MAJOR areas.   While I was at my parents’ I started to wean myself off of coffee.  Instead of drinking coffee right when I wake up, I decided to drink a cup later in the day.  I did this for about 3 days.  Yesterday was my first day completely caffeine free.  It was a little rough!  However, I am already feeling better today with just a minor headache.  I know it can take up to a week to completely detox my body off of caffeine so I am trying to be patient with this. 

Also, it was a little rough yesterday not snacking.  But I am trying to remember what Dr. Fuhrman says about toxic hunger and giving myself some time to get used to a different way of eating.  I think this will pass too with time. 

So far, I am feeling pretty optimistic about Eat to Live.  Because not many faculty members are participating, I feel really motivated to stick with it and be successful.  I want to provide reliable data for the student but I also want to work through the 6 weeks of the program and see how I feel.  I think it’s the motivation I need to truly get back on track. 


  1. NO SNACKING?!?!?!?! I would die.

    It sounds like a healthy plan, and I'm sure you'll do really well because you are so motivated. :-)

    Good luck, Katy!

  2. I follow Dr. Fuhrman's plan plus his advice for people with autoimmune disorders which is being gluten-free. It makes a world of difference! Hope it helps you.