So, what is a “Nutritarian” anyway?
Created by Dr. Joel Furhman, author of the book “Eat to Live,” a Nutritarian is a person who bases their dietary decisions on those foods that have the most micro-nutrients per calorie. Macro-nutrients are the things we all know (fat, protein and carbohydrates) that provide us with calories or the energy to live. Micro-nutrients, on the other hand, are the vitamins, minerals, fibers and phytochemicals that can have a profound effect on our health, either for the better or for the worse.
You see our body’s cells actually require phytochemicals just as much as they require fat, proteins and carbs, it’s what our bodies drive us to eat. The problem is that the SAD (or Standard American Diet) is deficient in phytochemicals and this causes us to overeat (our body is searching for those vitamins and minerals) and since fiber is lacking in diet of processed foods, there is nothing there to tell us that we are full! So, the idea is easy: Flood your body with phytochemicals and fiber from veggies and fruits,and watch the fat fall off!
I love this new classification that Dr. Fuhrman bestows upon the dietary landscape! I’ve been a vegetarian, I’ve been a vegan, I’ve been a carnivore and an omnivore–heck! I’ve been all of them inside of a year! But I’ve never stopped to think about food in this way before: Base my choices on which food will give me the most phytochemicals (or vitamins, minerals and fiber) instead of worrying about the carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
If you haven’t already, BUY THIS BOOK! It will change forever the way you think about food! With a forward written by the famous Dr. Mehmet Oz (not to mention he’s had Dr. Fuhrman on his show six times and counting), and 45 pages of notes on the scientific studies and data cited–this is the real dietary deal!
What is the 6 Week Plan?
Eat these as much as you want:
- all raw vegetables (goal 1 lb.)
- cooked green and non-green nutrient-rich vegetables (goal: 1 lb.)
- beans, legumes, bean sprouts, and tofu (goal: 1 cup)
- fresh fruit (min. 4 daily)
- cooked starchy vegetables and whole grains (max. 1 cup)
- raw nuts and seeds (max 1 oz.)
- avocado (max 2 oz.)
- dried fruit (max 2 tbsp.)
- ground flaxseeds (max 1 tbsp.)
Do Not Eat:
- meat / Animal products
- between-meal snacks
- fruit juice
- added salt
Why adopt the Eat to Live lifestyle?
If you adopt the 6 week plan, Dr. Fuhrman promises a self-healing process with “subtle changes in physical and emotional well being.” He claims that most people get so excited with their results during the six-week “trail” that they are motivated to keep going until they reach their ideal weight. And reaching your ideal weight is what this book is all about!
Our risk of disease, cancer and death are all correlated to our ideal weight. The bigger your middle the shorter your life span. Dr. Fuhrman advocates adopting the 6 week plan until you stop losing weight and therefore have reached your ideal weight. (I haven’t been at mine since my last year of undergrad!)
This diet makes sense to me. The fact that it is vegan is not a big surprise–I lost a ton of weight going vegan for my wedding and have always weighed the least when I was vegan. What DID surprise me was that oil is banned. Dr. Fuhrman reminds us that oil is just fat–yes, even my beloved olive oil! The reasoning is that we should get our fat intake from avocado and raw nuts and seeds instead of oils. Why? Because the human body can store 100 calories of fat very efficiently–it only costs us 3 calories to do so. Whereas our bodies have to first process the fibers (in the avocado and nuts and seeds) before it is able to be stored as fat. (Check out pages 44 – 46 for more info on oils and fats).
The other surprise for me was the emphasis on raw foods. But this is another example of getting the most bang for your caloric buck. Raw foods actually have a negative caloric effect, which means that it costs our bodies so many calories to process them that it out weighs the number of calories in the raw veggies themselves! (See p. 50)
Finally, I was amazed by the fact that you can have unlimited fresh fruits daily! How many times have you heard that diet myth that bananas make you fat?! Not any more! Because fruits have so much fiber and micronutrients, their benefits outweigh the high-caloric cost–so eat up! Plus, you have to have something to live for on this diet, right?!
Why am I going to do the 6 Week Plan?
After gaining more than my fair share of pregnancy weight, it’s been slow going getting the weight back off. After I saw the amazing results my mother achieved by (partially) adopting Dr. Fuhrman’s “Eat to Live” lifestyle a few years ago, I decided, while I was still pregnant, that I would go on his 6 week plan when my daughter turned 6-months-old.
Well, I would try and then there was Thanksgiving, and then I would try again and then there was Christmas (you get the idea). So, now the time is upon me! My daughter turns 1/2 a year old on January 28th (conveniently a Monday) and I will be adopting the “Eat to Live” high-nutrient aggressive weight loss plan invented by Dr. Joel Fuhrman!
** UPDATE: The Results Are In:
Make sure to take the Eat to Live fridge tour! I’ll show you how to have a “fridge-tox,” the essentials you need in your fridge right now, and two free printables you’re going to love!
Find out the 8 essentials for Eat to Live food prepping using Dr. Fuhrman’s 6 week plan! Get your free printable weekly food prep schedule too!
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