Becoming Nutritarian — Week 1

 

So you want to become a Nutritarian?  You’ve read the book and you know what the 6 week plan entails.  Get ready for week #1!  This first week was all about survival and acceptance.  I’m happy to report that when I weighed myself this morning I had lost 7 pounds!  7 pounds in 7 days is amazing and made it all worth it, here is how I did it:

Day 1: WITHDRAW. Like, Seriously.

This is harder than I thought.  My withdrawal symptoms are intense.  I have a headache that I can’t shake and psychologically I have this feeling of fear, dread and being very uncomfortable.  This is what happened today:

Breakfast way okay, I had an apple and a banana and took my vitamins.  I made a large pot of what I call Mexican beans: black, pinto, and kidney beans with onion, garlic, green bell peppers, corn, tomatoes and green chilies.  Now, when I usually make this dish I use olive oil and salt while I cook and then dowse my serving with Chipotle flavored Tabasco sauce–and it is kick ass!  This time I “water sauteed” the veggies and did not add any salt or hot sauce.  The result was NOT kick-ass.

Lunch was, by far, the most difficult meal for me: My husband and mother-in-law were having turkey sandwiches with chips and I was settling down to a large spinach salad with grape tomatoes, chopped crimini mushrooms, red onions, blueberries, pepita seeds and a no-oil sesame dressing I picked up at Whole Foods.  As I shoveled the salad in my mouth, I couldn’t pretend to care about the conversation at the table.  I was fiending–I wanted to use.  I thought back to all the episodes I’ve seen of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew and then I understood what Dr. Fuhrman was saying about most Americans being food addicts.  I surely was reacting to this change like an addict!  Everything in my mind and body was telling me to quit the diet–stop right now!  I was seriously panicked.  As I silently fought off this feeling at lunch, I felt so anxious and annoyed by everyone and everything and my husband described me as being “quiet and in my own world.”  I was fighting myself, talking back to that voice in my head saying: “give up; put it off to start some other day; lets eat pizza for dinner, we earned it for being so good so far–no one would have to know!”  Thank God I had told my husband and mother-in-law about what I wanted to accomplish, it was this self-induced peer pressure that kept me from tossing my salad and beans in the trash and heading for my favorite drug: chips.

I stuck to the plan! I made it through lunch–eating the whole salad and a big bowl of beans.  The food sucked.  I ate two clementine oranges for “dessert” and this fruit settled me down tremendously.  I told my husband and mother-in-law about all the crazy thoughts that had come up in my mind during lunch–talking about how I was feeling helped a lot!  First bit of advice: TELL YOUR FRIENDS AND LOVED ONES WHAT YOU’RE DOING, IT WILL KEEP YOU HONEST.

DAY 2: Motivated & Garlic Breath

After the hell of the first day, I woke up without the throbbing headache!  Don’t get too excited, it was back again before I noshed on my breakfast of banana slices and raw almond butter (1 tbsp.).  Honestly, it was a small price to pay for losing 2 pounds over night!

BAM!  I am back in the game!  Seeing the scale finally budge gave me the motivation I need to make it through today!  Warning: You will now become annoyed by your own garlic breath!  Using fresh garlic in your cooking, like Dr. Fuhrman recommends, really takes a toll on your freshness.  If you feel like you and your husband barely have a chance to smooch as it is, this will seal the no-lip-locking deal!

Another heads up: You will get really annoyed with TV ads.  Well, the fact that more than 50% of the commercials on TV are food related, you can see why.  At least a heroine addict doesn’t get his senses assaulted when he chooses to escape into some bad reality TV, or the latest episode of “Revenge.”  Well, us food addicts can’t catch a break in that department so be ready to look the other way.

DAY 3:  I Made Something That Tastes Good!!!

Big news!  No headaches today–none at all!  The scale keeps moving, more than I could have ever hoped and now I’m feeling invested.  I CAN do this!  I AM doing this!  Breakfast was a banana with 1 tbsp. of raw almond butter and an apple for good measure.  But my highlight was lunch.  I was blessed with baby Kamryn taking an extra-long nap and a spontaneous bout of culinary creativity.  I made a “Stir Fry” with frozen broccoli, peas and tofu, sauteed in vegetable broth with minced garlic (see the featured pic above).  Even without using salt or oil it tasted good!  At the end of the “broth sauteing,” I added a cup of quinoa (remember you can only have 1 cup of a non-veggie carb per day).  I breezed through my salad to get to this delicious stir fry and I actually felt like: I could live this way!

Dinner was not so great because I had to finish my leftovers of Mexican beans from Day 1.  Luckily my hubby helped my finish them off (he had the aid of hot sauce) so now I can make more creative and yummy dishes like I did for lunch.  Fruit Freezer again for dessert.  I’m a survivor!  Queue Beyonce!

DAY 4: TMI Alert & The Power of Fruit

So, I poo a lot now.  I always was very regular but now I’m just proficient.  In the morning and at least once after every meal.  Needless to say my husband is not thrilled about my new bathroom habits.  Unfortunately, my #2s are quite filled with veggie matter and one flush is not always enough–this was politely brought to my attention by my toddler asking: “Daddy, what did Mommy leave in the potty?”  Followed by chuckling.  Some more advice: Be ready to do more “business” and if you’re the kinda gal who doesn’t like to fart, this may not be the right diet for you! 

I also have to report that this way of eating keeps you feeling very even: you’re never full, and when you’re hungry it’s not your-stomach-is-growling-like-a-small-bulldog-puppy kind of hunger.  It is controlled.  I imagine our forefathers (or more accurately, fore-mommas) feeling this sensation and knowing that they either find food for the next meal or go without–their body was equally prepared for either outcome–and so was their mind.  And some of us can’t give up dairy?  Makes you think…

It doesn’t look like much but this smoothie/wannabe yogurt is what gets me through the rough days full of well, roughage!

The highlight of my days are my “fruit freezers” as I call them.  I am was a legend at Yogurtland, so as you can imagine I have a hearty sweet tooth.  I blend frozen mangoes, strawberries, bananas and pineapples with fresh blueberries and 3/4 cup almond milk in my Ninja.  (You can get big bags of frozen organic fruit at Costco and it’s a great value.)  I finish off with a tbsp. of ground flax seeds.  Then, everything makes sense.  The lifeless grazing of my ridiculously large salad, my disappointment at the lack of flavor salt in my cooking, and the realization that: “Oh Laurdy I’s Gots A Long Ways to Go!”  I let go of all the day’s mental struggle and just surrendered to my fruit freezer.

Eat to Live Program Daily Journal Dr Fuhrman Nutritarian Diet PBS Special

DAY 5: Rebellion

Down to a number on my scale that I haven’t seen in almost a year, I got the day going feeling pretty good.  Losing 5 pounds in 5 days is nothing to complain about!  I started off my day with an early breakfast of 1/2 cup oatmeal with 3/4 cup almond milk and 1 tbsp. ground flax seeds.  Everything was fine.  I made everyone else their lunch before I decided to whip mine up.  I was beyond the point of hunger.

All of a sudden, I was just really mad.  Mad that I had to exert so much effort trying to think of some way to make this kind of eating taste better.  Sick of all the flavors I had tasted so far.  It was bad.  But I realize that I shouldn’t have waited till 3 o’clock to eat my lunch.  I was more of a crab than my three-and-a-half-year old coming off a lollipop high and two hours past nap time.  Yup, not a good look.  My husband was not amused by my unamused demeanor.

So, I decided to give something I thought I would never do while on this diet a try: use only vinegar on my ginormous bowl of salad (a.k.a. my main dish).  I was so sick of the Whole Foods Sesame Ginger No Oil dressing that I had been using for the past 4 days that I almost threw up in my mouth at the thought of having to use it again.  Desperate times call for desperate measures.  I bit the bullet and lightly sprinkled some of the Rice vinegar I had picked up at Trader Joe’s.  More advice alert: VINEGAR WILL TRICK YOUR TASTE BUDS INTO THINKING YOU’RE EATING SOMETHING SALTY!  Everyone else in the world may have already known this (duh? Salt and Vinegar potato chips, right?), but when I read that Dr. Fuhrman eats his daily salads with just different vinegars I thought: Yeah right!  Well it works!  It makes it taste better and therefore easier to eat. After lunch I felt much better.

Dinner was more salad (this time drenched in vinegar) with garbanzo beans, chopped raisins, tomatoes, apple slices and sunflower seeds.  Then I made an “Italian” inspired cooked veggie dish of eggplant, Crimini mushrooms, onions, garlic, shallots and basil with no-added-salt tomato chunks.  I flavored it with a salt-free seasoning blend I picked up from Whole Foods.  It was like a non-salted Italian stew without any cheese, sausage (or anything sexy).  It sufficed.  I ate it knowing that I would get my fruit freezer reward!

DAY 6: Saving $$$

So, I’ve already gone to the grocery store twice this week.  I didn’t realize how much salad I would be consuming!  Buying fresh means buying more often.  My husband is always skeptical about how much diets cost (we had an incident on the South Beach Diet back in 2005).  I have to remind him that even though we’ll be going to the grocery store more we will be saving in the end.  I’ve had to remind him of all the dinners out, all the Chipotle lunches (I’ve eaten there so frequently that if a Chipolte recently opened in your area, you’re welcome!) and all the Yougurtland desserts we’d enjoy every month. 

Word of advise: Yes, you will be going to the grocery store more frequently.  So you have to plan your menu and have a strategy.  This is not my strong suit, but I had to break down and come up with a meal plan so I wouldn’t have to “think” about what I was having for a given meal.  And so I wouldn’t be running to Trader Joe’s everyday because I forgot something!  Plan ahead to make it easier to stick to the plan.  Dr. Fuhrman advises doing your cooking on the weekend, making a big pot of soup or stew and having leftovers during the week.

DAY 7: Eat to Live Tailgating

Let’s face it, Super Bowl is just one big excuse to do two of America’s favorite past times: drink & eat.  I saved my best recipe for this day specifically so I wouldn’t feel deprived.  This Thai Curry dish was so fulfilling that I combined both my dinner and lunch meals.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, it will finish off your week the right way!  You can get the recipe here!

OFFICIAL WEIGHT LOST FOR WEEK 1: 7 pounds!

And stay tuned, I will be updating my Eat to Live journal every Monday until I have finished the 6 week plan!

Check out what I ate and how much I lost for Week #2!

Check out what I ate and how much I lost for Week #3!

Check out what I ate and how much I lost for Week #4!

Check out what I ate and how much I lost for Week #5!

Check out what I ate and how much I lost for Week #6!

34 thoughts on “Becoming Nutritarian — Week 1

  1. bellaquest

    Brilliant…exciting news back to vegan…you must feel proud for so much weight lost…the food looks mouthwatering…tmi very funny

    Reply
  2. Guest

    I am so glad I found your site. I am on day 3 and was laughing so hard that I was crying. I am lucky to have my 2 daughters and husband also doing this with me.

    Reply
  3. Maddysnama

    I am so glad I found your site. I am on day 3 and was laughing so hard that I was crying. I am lucky to have my 2 daughters and husband also doing this with me. Thank you for giving me encouragement.

    Reply
    1. Kristen

      Hi! So happy you found us too! Congrats on becoming nutritarian–it it the best thing for my body I have ever done! I am working on my sequel posts to the 6 week plan and there will be more nutritarian-friendly recipes in the coming weeks. Please stop back bye and let us know how you are doing and feeling. After seeing your comment I re-red this first post: I was brutally honest–I’m sure I made Dr. Furhman himself blush :)

      Reply
  4. Ronda

    That could have been me writing the emotional side of withdrawal. I tried the Eat to Live diet once for 2 months and lost close to 25 pounds. It was the ONLY time Ive lost more than 8-10 pounds on a diet(I’m a slow loser and I usually give up). The first 3 days I was just angry. Angry that I had to diet. Angry I had to plan so much. Angry that I couldn’t just grab and go. Angry of what other people were eating. Angry at all the fast food places around. Funny though, if I would eat that hamburger and then see the pictures of the food here I would have wished I had eaten something pictured above instead. A big colorful salad is so delicious when you feel like you don’t HAVE to eat it! I’m getting ready to give it a go again. Your meal ideas are really helping. Anyone starting out the first time it’s easier to think of the first week as the weightloss week and the other weeks as the getting healthier weeks.

    Reply
    1. Kristen

      Ronda, I’m so glad you commented on this! You have no idea how much motivation you have just given me to get back on track!! I started ETL almost a year ago now (Jan. 28th to be exact!). I lost just over 21 pounds doing the 6 week plan to a “t”! I had lots of motivation because I was sooo far from my pre-baby weight I knew I needed a major intervention! So after the 6 weeks went off the plan for a little while. Then I went back on for a few more weeks and lost some more weight! Went off again and on again. Just before Thanksgiving I was within 1 pound of my pre-baby weight and I felt confident I could reach my ideal weight by continuing with the 6 week plan! Then it was all down hill :( From Thanksgiving till today, I have gained 11 pounds and I feel miserable! I tried to start up yesterday and did well until the afternoon when my kids were driving me crazy and I just dove into a bag of tortilla chips. Then my husband had a bad day and wanted to take us out to Cheesecake Factory. Needless to say I am not proud of my decisions, but hearing your experience and knowing you’re about to give this another go because it works, makes me feel fired up!! So thank you so much for taking the time to let us know your experience, you have inspired me and I thank you!! Please let us know how you are doing and I will be updating soon!!

      Reply
  5. Rayca

    “My husband and mother-in-law were having turkey sandwiches with chips and I was settling down to a large spinach salad with grape tomatoes,…” –I think this says it all. How are you doing with your Nutritarian lifestyle? Still at it? It’s almost impossible to do these radical diets because so few people in the world do. And for good reason. You would need to divorce your husband and marry a vegan. Get new friends. Embrace that whole lifestyle of semi/quasi/mostly/no all-vegan. Because you’re constantly thinking about food. I think there’s a way to incorporate more veg., including salad without going as extreme as Eat to Live. I too lost the most weight I ever have on this diet. But think about it, you’re giving up everything, i.e. dairy, animal protein (including what’s leached from bones and marrow for soup! ), fat, most starchy carbs (or cut back significantly). So what else is left? The nutrition from vegetables is not sustainable for a lifetime. I learned a lot from Dr. Fuhrman. I eat much less animal protein. It’s just a condiment now but it’s every day. I’ve actually increase fat a little bit. I don’t eat nearly as much starchy carbs and I eat a lot of veg. Good luck to all on your weight loss quest.

    Reply
    1. Kristen

      Hi Rayca! I’m so glad you found the blog and shared your experience with Dr. Fuhrman’s plan! Yes, health excellence is a hard daily choice to make especially while most of the people around us don’t see food that way–as a direct link and path to exceptional health. That was really the turning point for me. Nutritarian food helps our bodies function at their best potential and ward off deadly diseases. Of course I miss dairy, meat, processed food and oils and I do have them sometimes. I strive to eat 90/10–90% majority on the 6 week plan. I’m happy to report that my hubby has himself turned into an Eat to Liver and is doing great on the plan! Whatever you take away from the experience is only beneficial to your long term health! And in Dr. Fuhrman’s newer book “The End of Dieting” he gives new recommendations about using meat as a condiment in your cooking! Everything else aside, I agree, eating more raw veggies alone can dramatically improve your health–I always say if there’s one take away from this program, that would be it! Xo, Kristen

      Reply
  6. Anonymous

    Kristen – I am thrilled I came upon your blog. It really helps to know that others share the same struggles. Just seeing your feelings written into words give me hope. I turn to food for everything. Since I am 100 % Italian it goes without saying that food is so important. I was told I am addicted to food.
    I look forward to all the information I can find to help me get thru this. Thank You-Lori

    Reply
    1. Kristen

      Hi Lori! Oh, I’m so glad that the weekly journal has been helping you on your health journey!

      Look, we are ALL addicted to food! Dr. Fuhrman had a food addiction quiz and I am a certified food addict too! It’s good to know what you are up against and it will help your recovery!

      I am so happy to be able to help you along! I do very frequent Eat to Live posts, so stay tuned! And don’t hesitate to reach out to me via the contact form–I am here for you!

      xo, Kristen

      Reply
    1. Kristen

      Hi! No, I did not workout while on the plan my first time! And I don’t recommend it either. Focus on your eating and the weight will come off!

      xo, Kristen

      Reply
  7. Naz

    I just found this blog and I’m inspired. My brother lost a lot of weight sticking to this diet and he does cheat now on the weekends (reintroduced meat only once a week into his diet). I love your honesty and wit because we’ll all feel what you’re feeling. I hope I have the courage to do this! This helps tremendously. Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Kristen

      Hi Naz!! Yay for your brother!! And a big YAY for you!!! I’m so excited you are going to start your health journey with Eat to Live!! It has forever changed my life for the better and I know it will for you too!

      I am here for you! If you need anything (or just someone to talk to) you can email me through the “contact” page!

      xo, Kristen

      Reply
  8. Martha

    My dearest Kristen I am excited to start but I feel that being gluten intolerance and lactose might be a lot . No excuses I always can work around except Dr. Fuhrman wants to make a point to eat mushroom, I happen to have an allergy reaction to them. Can you help me to get a better understanding, I need to feel healthy and also loose some of the weight I gained with my Shoulder Rotator Surgery.

    Reply
    1. Kristen

      Hi Martha!

      If you have a mushroom allergy then leave them out–not a problem!

      The main premise of this plan is to eat more vegetables! Have a large salad before lunch and dinner, cut out dairy and processed carbs. Do as much as you can and give your body time to heal!

      I highly recommend that you read The Eat to Live Food Prep Guide as that will help you learn batch cooking!

      Wishing you every success! xo, Kristen

      Reply
  9. Kristen J

    I recently started Eat to Live and have been really struggling with the “big salad” concept. The first day I put a super small amount of normal dressing and could barely finish the thing. It was so bad I almost felt nauseous to keep eating it. So that’s when I went online to look for advice, and came across this blog post & read about the vinegar. Thank you sooooo much for sharing that tip – it makes the salad a million times better to eat. Currently chowing down a huge salad loaded with balsamic & dijon — and actually enjoying it. Thanks!!!

    Reply
    1. Kristen

      Hi Kristen (lovely name BTW),

      Yay!! I’m so, so happy you decided to embark on your nutritarian journey and that you found the blog!

      As your taste buds change you can start making some great no-oil dressings and there are plenty on the blog just search for “dressings”!

      Wishing you the best success on your 6 weeks!

      xo, Kristen

      Reply
  10. Cassie

    Hi Kristen,

    I am on day 3 of Eat to Live, and I am pretty proud of myself! I resisted pizza at a party today, and although I have had snacks a couple of times, I have completely stopped eating all of the foods that are forbidden from the diet. I also have a killer headache like you did, and I’m hoping it will go away soon.

    This post is really helpful, it is nice to know that beginning this diet is not a breeze…I did not think I had it in me but there is no going back now. :)

    Reply
    1. Kristen

      Hi Cassie!

      YAY!! So happy for you completing your third day!

      Oh boy, those withdrawal headaches are just awful, I know!

      You’ve got this–you are going to feel freakin’ amazing after your 6 weeks!

      xo, Kristen

      Reply
      1. Cassie

        Hi Kristen,

        Thanks! I am still going at it on day 5 now. :) Headaches are gone and I feel great in general already. I am also starting to inspire my friends and family to eat better, since they are seeing me eat salad all the time.

        Did you feel like you were hungry all the time during your first week? It is probably because my diet has changed so rapidly, but I feel perpetually hungry and not always satisfied by my salads. I do need to get more creative with my meals as well though. I cooked the bean enchiladas recipe from the Eat to Live book last night and they were amazing.

        I really appreciate your whole food prep post, I have had no time to do it lately but I’m hoping to have a day dedicated to prepping food this weekend!

        Reply
        1. Kristen

          Cassie:

          Yay!! Already at day 5–woop, woop!! So glad headaches are gone!

          Yes, I felt hungry a lot in the beginning but I didn’t really have the right proportions of everything going on yet. I definitely recommend beans in every salad and either raw sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds–it will give you that extra fiber!

          Just finished my own weekly food prep yesterday–it makes a huge difference for me!

          xo, Kristen

          Reply
  11. Alyssa

    THANK YOU!! I’ve been struggling to get back on the Nutritarian Band Wagon for some time now, your real life experiences, delicious looking meals and reminder that this program DOES work when you put your effort into it is what I need to re-focus. Great blog!!!

    Reply
    1. Kristen

      Hi Alyssa!

      So happy you found the blog and some new inspiration for jumping back into your Nutritarian lifestyle!

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and for your kind words!

      xo, Kristen

      Reply
  12. Michelle

    HELP! I’m getting ready to start my First week with the 7 Day cleans. I have No problem with the 7Day Cleanse menu. My problem is with what to drink during the day. I take a lot of different medications and I get cooton mouth consistently throughout the day so I constantly have to have a beverage within reach all day. A lot of “beverages” give me heartburn, especially plain water. I have found a Lipton Berry tea that I can drink, it does have caffeine iin it. I am currently reading the Eat to Live book by Dr. Fuhrman, and I understand the nutritarian way of eating, I just need help on daily beverage iideas. Good News, I have given up my Strawberry Crush soda, completely.

    Please Help, any suggestions welcomed.

    Reply
    1. Kristen

      Hi Michelle!

      Welcome to MMTM! Are you talking about The 7 Day Salad cleanse?

      That is awesome that you’ve given up soda!! Huge first step!! I think you should try your hardest to get to a place where you can drink water comfortably. Just know that heartburn can be caused by lots of different factors that you may want to rule out first. I would go for a soothing tea like chamomile and drink that through the day–try your best not to use a sweetner!

      But focus on making one or two changes every two weeks and just get consistent with them!

      Wishing you all the best!

      xo, Kristen

      Reply
  13. Carla

    Discovered your blog yesterday. I’m seriously considering this lifestyle change, but my sugar-addicted self is struggling to make the commitment. Your honesty, advice and recipes are super helpful!

    Reply
    1. Kristen

      So nice to meet you, Carla!

      Sugar addiction is real but if you follow this lifestyle you can kick the habit!!

      So happy you’re finding the site helpful and I’m wishing you the absolute best!

      xo, Kristen

      Reply

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