on August 15, 2011
I have been buying stuff on amazon forever and this is my first review till date!
I am from India and moved to the US for graduate school 8 years back. I have been brought up vegetarian my entire life and continued to be vegetarian upon moving to the US. I have had issues with my weight from the time I realized it as a teenager. At the highest point in my life following my MS, i weighed 176 pounds. It was really hard for me to step on the scale and admit that i weighed that much. I decided that I will do something about it when I started my PhD. I started eating healthier and exercising regularly and lost 40 lbs bringing me to 137 lbs. I was so proud of my accomplishments until thesis time rolled around and for the past 1.5 years, i have been inhabiting a couch finding ways to cure cancer. I gained 20 of those 40 pounds lost back! Alarm in my head and I wanted to so badly do something about it. But i felt powerless against food, i had very little time, i checked my weight every day, i saw it creep up ever so slowly to the dreaded 155 lbs. I had previously read 'The China Study'- An extremely powerful book. If you are a cancer researcher, you dont want anybody to read this book, because you may lose your job! The cure to cancer is known and known well to all of us! We just need to minimize animal protein in our diet and you are good to go (make it less than 10%).
However, it confounded me following reading 'The china study' and my vegetarianism all my life as to why I had such a tendency to obesity. i felt so powerless with food and felt that it controlled me. I had constant creamy dessert cravings. I had been on weight watchers for the last 6 months with no decrease in my weight. I felt irritated, deprived and with no energy.
One such day, Amazon happened to recommend me this book and in the midst of all the dissertation writing, i read it right away. I realized the golden rule that i have NOT been following all my life even with the healthy Indian diet. I started with carbs with sides of vegetables and proteins (dal). A big no no.
Now, i start with a salad with beans as first course, eat boiled vegetables as my second course and finish it with dessert (fruit shavings or frozen banana 'ice'cream). I dont even want the 1 cup of carbs as allowed in this book. I dont feel 'controlled' by food. What Dr. Campbell puts forth in theory in the China study, Dr. Fuhrman shows you how to do it and do it right. I am not scared by food, i feel energetic like i have never before. I have been on this diet for only 3 days and unlike every other diet in the world i have tried, i dont feel deprived or scared that i cant keep up with this. i feel a zest for life that i havent felt before and i know i am changing my life in a good way! How can you be when you are always FULL! My focus on dissertation has also improved!
Having been a vegetarian and a good cook my entire life, i can whip up some amazing recipes (post 6 week period) following Dr. Fuhrman's guidelines. Given my schedule right now, i cant and i am happy throwing a bag of frozen veggies or a quick salad together for meals. Who said eating healthy has to be tough. Moreover, my spending has gone down due to healthy eating. And the white chocolate bread pudding that i usually crave when i start on a diet DOES NOT call out to me anymore!
The one star off is just because Dr. Fuhrman needs to limit fruits for diabetics, which can be potentially dangerous for them. They cant be eating too much mangoes like i do!
Live your life to the fullest!! Will keep everyone posted on the 6 week update! No doubt, i will be back with my 20 lbs gone along with my PhD! If I can do it in the most stressful time of my dissertation, so can you! It is probably the most important book you will have read and the biggest present you can give yourself and your family!
on September 17, 2007
After three weeks on this diet, here is what I have noticed: I FEEL GREAT! I have more energy. I have lost 16 lbs in three weeks eating as much (allowed) food as I can tuck in me, and have never been hungry. Food cravings left in a few days. I see my salt addiction abating nicely, but it's not disappeared. I think that eating less salt, lots of fiber and lots of raw food is really pleasant now. I am glad it didn't take long to really get myself on board with this.
It's work, though. It takes time and space. It's worth it to be able to lose so much so fast but safely, but it is work. I do not miss meat at all. I am beginning to appreciate the taste of food. My digestive system is not complaining to me and the overall process from start to finish is aestetically much less unpleasant in every way (ya get my drift?).
I don't bother with things if they don't work and work well. I am staying on this because I want to. Suggestion: just pretend that no meat is not a big deal and go for it. You'll be surprised how much of that "I need meat" is just programmed into you and it doesn't really matter as much as you think it will.
The hardest part was the first day. After the third day it was very easy. I found that I can cheat once a week or so and it doesn't matter, but I don't like the effect it has on me. You can see for yourself how this is for you.
I recommend this book and lifestyle to anyone who wants to see results and that includes the hope that it is a lifestyle that can be maintained.
I don't want to become a wierdo though -- people who are obsessed with their diets are annoying to me. If I start talking about this incessantly, somebody stick a cream puff in my mouth to shut me up.
But I am impressed with how well my body has responded to it.
on March 1, 2009
I actually found this book a bit boring because the information wasn't new to me. I've read all the books by Dr. McDougall and found Eat To Live to just be a updated equivalent with just a different spin on the language used. Dr. McDougall focuses more on a starch based diet, but the info on nutrition is almost identical. You can find similar advice in Dr. Dean Ornish's books as well.
So, if I've read all this info on nutrition, why haven't I lost the weight before? There are two reasons. One, I'm kind of lazy and just didn't put the work in. That was until I read this book. For some reason, reading how much salad and raw veggies I should eat, helped me get on track. Also, reading how much fiber to eat has helped, too. With the McDougall diet, I find I eat too much starch and not enough veggies. Thanks to Eat to Live, I've changed the ratio and eat tons of salad with starch on the side (beans, rice, etc).
The second reason is that I decided I'm finally worth it. I know all this stuff about health, but I've never applied it. My father is getting over having cancer and I wanted to show him how to be healthy. I want to live an example.
I eat fruit in the morning with oatmeal. Then for lunch and dinner, I eat these huge salads with a cup of beans in them. I'm eating 99% vegan and loving it.
Granted, I have cheated and eaten some veggie pizza here and there. Or some ice cream. But I weigh myself daily and lose about 2 pounds a week. I'm sure if I didn't cheat, I'd lose even more weight faster. But I'm happy!
People I see every day are finally starting to notice the weight loss. You can really see it in my face. I've lost 15 pounds so far. I must admit, I had a stomach bug two months ago that caused me to lose 4 pounds. But when I could actually eat again after the bug went through my system, I was eating the Eat to Live way and kept losing more weight.
Strangely, I do not crave junk food anymore. I crave salad! Isn't that weird? I find myself eating junk (the pizza and ice cream) out of habit and for emotional reasons. Yet afterward, I'm not satisfied at all. Also, if I eat pizza for lunch, I'm not hungry for dinner. So I think that helped me not gain additional weight.
I'm very aware now of what makes me feel good after I eat it. Eating the Eat to Live way makes me feel so much better!
What have you to lose except pounds! :) I may write back later with an update about how much more I've lost.
on November 5, 2011
Well, I have read MOST of the book. But I'd already lost about 40 lbs before reading the book. I made many of the changes Dr. Fuhrman suggested by other readings and research (The China Study &The Engine 2 Diet). Then I picked up his book and began to refine my dietary "experiment."
For my part, I've successfully changed my diet to the zone, and a few other diets for short periods. With the zone, I roughly followed it for a year. But they were not so sustainable - for me.
I've been following the ETL principles (namely eating WAY more veggies, fruit, nuts, etc) for almost 2 years now. So far, it is working well. I had some GI distress (gas and bloating from all the beans and cruciferous veggies initially) initially, but over many months, my digestion adjusted. I had to do some fasting and use some prebiotics and probiotics to help. But now my digestion is much better.
If I can look back several years from now, as some posters here report, and still be mainly following etl's recommendations - then I'll say it's sustainable - for me.
But being a Naturopathic Physician, I think ANY significant change in diet MUST be sustainable. Otherwise, it's just another short term fix. That's okay, but ultimately we all want a diet that is pleasurable, satisfying AND health promoting. Those are what ultimately make it sustainable.
I think some reviewers of ETL that are lacking a commitment to make the changes may criticize it unfairly. IMHO, to really test out the diet and see if it in-fact does satisfy - that takes an initial commitment.
From my practice, I know some are too put off by the principles to really try it out. And without trying the diet out for real, I think it's impossible to see if it's a fit, or if it's viable.
For my part, I would NEVER had imagined I could eat this way and actually enjoy it. Several years ago, my diet was completely different - much more refined food products, etc. So to see what I'm eating now, and to actually prefer it to my old diet. Well, I could never have imagined that. Thus, it was necessary for me to be make the changes and give them time to see that I too could change my preferences.
But I gradually made the changes and am now looking at adding in even more refinements - given how well it's working out so far.
With diet, some become cynical and fear they won't succeed in making significant changes. Some even generalize that since they fear they can't apply the principles, that the diet itself is not realistic.
However, the great thing is that if you read all the posts here, there is AMPLE evidence that this way of eating CAN be sustained, and pleasurably. That's one of the reasons I have added it into my dietary research - for me and my patients.
By the way, the only criticism I have of ETL is that it doesn't really devote enough text to the option of slow going. In other words, in my patients, I've seen people who want to make changes. However, they often need to do it gradually like I did. True, there are some who do better with the "all or nothing" approach. But I do see many others who need to take on ETL over some time to really integrate it and not feel deprived. Therefore, I would have liked to see more text devoted to pacing oneself.
So when I recommend the book to patients (who are actually interested in a good lifestyle and diet), I often insert my own caveat: "the book is great for it's science and recommendations. But some find it a bit austere at first. Therefore, you MAY find it more useful to trial some of the changes slowly. For some patients, they do better with it cold turkey. So that is up to you. But please don't be put off by all the restrictions - be kind to yourself and find YOUR pace." So I usually recommend the book with the above caveat, and so far, people seem to be doing well with it.
I hope, for those who are looking for a good reference and guide for substantial dietary change, this book is useful for you. If not, there are many others out there - so I encourage people to "read around" and find what fits their needs.
on July 27, 2011
This is a very good book to read on managing your weight.
First I will want to thank Dr Joel Furhman for writing this book.
It confirms what I always thought I knew about for lack of a better word, "dieting".
Dr Furhman believes that a 100% plant based diet is the one and only one diet that is 100% healthful for your healthful longevity. If you were a cancer patient, or morbidly obese or someone with life threatening disease, you would want to know everything Dr Furhman has to teach in this book.
He completely disdains animal products in your diet.
And he begrudgingly will allow you only 12 ounces of animal product in your diet per week.
He also disdains dairy... milk, cheese, anything dairy is out.
100% plant based diet is the one and only one healthful diet.
If you gave this diet a six week faithful effort, you will find that your goals can be reached.
And you will find you will not want to go back to your previously unhealthy eating habits.
Steak will taste awfully gross to you.
He offers plenty of recipes and suggestions for alternatives to unhealthy choices.
If you are just a normal but overweight and need to lose you can learn a lot and benefit from his meal plans.
Personally for me... I am about 85% faithful to his meal plans and I am happy with the benefits I've received.
Will I give up steaks and chicken... no, but I won't eat animal products in the quantity I use to.
The two pound Steaks and chicken won't be the marquee event.... but rather as a side dressing to my plant based meals. Special occasions... just as Dr Furhman suggests...
The only not so positive thing I have to say about the book is that the first 6 chapters can be condensed into a few chapters..... if you can get past the redundant American diet bashing he engages in, and glean the facts, you can speed read thru the first 6 chapters..... If I am reading such a book, I do not need to be sold ad nauseum about the western / American diet. I know it's bad, otherwise I wouldn't be reading his book.
Just feed me the information I need to learn...
Finally, after a lot of page filler...in chapter 7 he delivers the lumber.... straight up in your face.
By the end of chapter 7, you are either going to do this or your not.
You will not be undecided about getting on board with your weight management.
He makes it very clear.... it's your life, your health. You decide how healthy you want to live.
Buy it, read it.
on February 22, 2016
So here's the thing. I want to write a bad review because that is what my toxic food addicted body/brain wants me to do and I almost gave in and did it. Then I stopped, ate some toxic food and went to bed. Woke up and finished the book and then decided to write the truth without regards to my fight against the American toxic diet.
I want to keep eating poorly because it tastes good. I want to eat cheese and as much as I can and at anytime. I want to continue eating luscious breads anytime I want and as much as I want. I want to eat sweets without reserve. I love butter. Cereal and milk. And pizza.
And that is just the short list.
And I'm miserable with my weight because of my excess and eating whatever I want. Breads, sweets, dairy, meat sometimes. But my toxic body revels in it. And I am normal, unfortunately. And I want to stay normal at all costs. And yet normal is miserable, for me, at least.
So reading this book for the second time I am faced with the fact that in order to be where I want to be: healthy and fit, I can either change or stay the same or be somewhere in the middle. I usually go for the somewhere in the middle and then end up going back to the same, but I never really change.
This book is about change. It is about eating mainly vegan - no matter what the other reviewers say - it really is about veganism. I have always been jealous of vegans = because it is the hardest thing a normal eating person can be.
This book advises against all animal products - no matter what other reviewers say. Furhman states over and over that animal products are bad for the human body, toxic to the liver, great for cancer and fat, bad for humans. Yes, he does say that over and over, and then a sentence will come up here and there stating you can have a little fish if you are this kind of person or you can have some meat twice a week if you are that person, but really, he wants you to be vegan. No animals products. Sigh. NO CHEESE.
He hates cheese. Really, it really bugs him. Not once does he ever say, you can have cheese if you are that kind of person or this kind of person. I guess cheese is really bad. Uggh. My toxic body is crying - don't stop the cheese, please. I just had a cheese sandwich - luscious bread, too much cheese, swiss and cheddar, some lettuce, a bit of processed turkey, mayo, mustard, italian dressing. Sometimes I add tomato and cucumber (to appease Furhman).
He states over and over a lb of greens and a lb of vegetables per day. He does tend to mix things up and kind of says one thing then changes it a little then goes back to what he said earlier, so he goes in circles at times to where you are not really sure what you should do. That does sort of drive you crazy in trying to figure out what exactly you should do. But I do know this is what he really is trying to say: to be healthy, you must stop the bread, stop the pasta, stop the sweets, stop the cheese, stop the milk, stop the meat, stop the fish, stop oils, stop diet sodas, stop over eating - just stop.
To lose weight: eat vegetables, eat fruit, beans and nuts in smaller amounts, oatmeal is acceptable also (I think). Again, it depends upon the page.
He does sell a lot of products on his website and they are expensive. But it all looks healthy and good.
If you are strong enough this diet/way of life, can really change your life, I truly believe this. I didn't give it 5 stars because it is so restrictive - but that is not necessarily bad, I'm just kinda weak battling my food demons. And I must be jealous of Furhman, in some way, so the penalty is 4 stars when he probably, most likely, deserves 5.
on June 26, 2012
How do we do it? Using some of the book's suggestions, we typically start with a huge veggie/fruit smoothie plus a bowl of hot grain cereal (oat & buckwheat groats) breakfast, homemade black bean dip with fresh veggies on a sandwich plus fruit for lunch, and a hot veggie-loaded soup or savory beans over rice with salad for dinner. Snacks include carrot sticks and cinnamon apple slices. Fresh veggies and fruit are ALWAYS brought along when we travel. We eat no meat or dairy at home, but don't fret about eating some as guests in other homes and at vegetable-challenged restaurants.
on November 26, 2003
I am a medical doctor and I must say this book has soundly convinced me to throw my textbooks on conventional nutritional wisdom and the national dietary guidelines out of the window!
Dr Fuhrman has compiled a comprehensive and near-to-exhaustive review of existing and past research on nutritional science and presented an unbiased, evidence-based critique of the Modern American Diet (MAD), popular weight-loss programs and even the recommendations from professional bodies such as the AHA.
His dietary axiom of Health= Nutrition/Calories are sound and safe. We certainly hope to read published articles of the fantastic results that his patients have achieved with his nutrition excellence program soon.
However, the information can be rather heavy-going and the technical medical lexicon may faze the uninitiated. If you're into nutrition science and don't mind the jargon, this book is a real treasure to keep.
Although I didn't need to lose any weight, I decided to try out some of his recommendations. I put about 1 pound of vegetables into my daily diet and about 5 servings of fruits. Salad was the main course and fish was minimal. I still had polished rice but no dairy, preserved foods, meat, etc. The diet is terrifically tasty and visually stimulating and not as ascetic as one would think. Even the salad tasted great without any dressing at all. After just 5 days of following his guidelines, I could really feel my tastebuds come alive again. I lost about 1-2 kg of weight and could feel my body toning up with my existing daily exercises. Side-effects? Some flatulence and more frequent bowel movements but these resolved quickly in a week. None of the weakness or headaches that Dr Fuhrman reported in some patients.
One idea that truly impressed me was the fact that Dr Fuhrman does not presuppose that masses of the population will adhere to his recommendation. This program requires the individual to have self-awareness about his current disease-causing diet, the commitment and resolve to radically change his dietary habits, motivation and support from a coach or family and accessibility to the healthy food choices. Everyone CAN definitely benefit greatly from ETL but not everyone WILL.
Eat to Live!
on November 16, 2010
I'm 46 years old, overweight and tired of it. I went to my doctor for a routine visit and I brought up that I'm tired of being overweight and knew that I need to do something about it. He asked me if I ready to make a change and I said yes. He told me to buy this book, follow the steps and watch the weight fall off. I did and he's right!!! The first two weeks I was totally faithful to the 6 week plan and lost 12 pounds. When you see results daily it makes a huge difference. The secret? Go to Costco, buy a big tub of fresh spinanch, top with veggies AND fruit of your choice. For the dressing I use balasmic vingear, no oil...tastes great. Breakfast is oatmeal and fruit. I love to eat and this diet works for me!!! Good luck
on March 9, 2004
I got the book yesterday and read it cover-to-cover in a few hours - it is an easy and fast read. The instructions are straightforward, and he explains the reasons behind his instructions well enough to satisfy. For those that are sticklers for sources, he provides plenty of them as well, though I doubt I will check up on them myself.
Good Points of the Book: Easy to read, simple instructions, clear explanations. A good list of the (new) staples you will need, some diet plans, some recipes (though if you undertake this diet, you will want some decent vegan recipe books with nutrition information!)
Bad points of the book: A lot of repitition, a lot of lecturing, and some strongly worded passages (especially about the other diets, borderline rants in my opinion - justified, but rants nonetheless!)
Now for the Diet ....
What is the skinny (pun intended) of the diet? Well, you probably should buy the book if you are interested, but the gist of it as I see it is the following: High bulk, high nutrition vegetables in copious quantities, small amount of fat, small amount of animal products eventually (he allows for it but clearly thinks it is not required). Think, lots of salads ("Salads are the main part of the meal") with vingegar or just a tiny amount of oil, think vegetarian cuisine. For example: He has a 1 pound - 1 pound rule: Goal of 1 pound of raw vegetables and 1 pound cooked vegetables per day. Whew. Won't be hungry - and may not be able to finish all of that, either...
The 6 week plan he has you go on to start-up his regime is about as strict a vegan diet as I have ever seen. If you get through the 6 weeks, you re-introduce some fats, some animal products (fish mostly, but all of that is occasional - like 3 oz. of fish, 1-2 times a week).
The good news: You aren't measuring portions for most of your diet, certainly not strictly, and you won't be hungry at all. And you will lose weight - possibly quite a lot of it. If his book is to believed, you will also be in excellent health at a new lower weight.
The bad news: The 6 weeks could be difficult if you aren't inclined to 'eat your vegetables.'
In conclusion: This is a new take on diets in general. It blows away the notion that you have to reduce the amount of food you eat to get thin. The problem of people feeling like they are starving as they diet will go away. This is a real Lateral thinking approach to the problem of hunger AND reducing calories.
Notes and personal editorial:
I am skpetical that this diet will be stuck to by most Americans for cultural reasons - since it will be difficult to eat at many restaurants, and most people are not comfirtable enough in the kitchen to make tasty enough dishes to hold interest (I think that the vast majority of dieters will be eating the same iceberg-lettuce-tomato-and-vinegar salad in general 6-8 weeks later as on the first day, even though most healthy meals are easy and not bland!)
Overall, this is a diet I will give a try - I will do the 6 weeks, and if I feel better, lose weight, and attain my health goals through it, will be worth the change in diet and lifestyle for me. For the prospective reader and participant - you will have to decide for yourself - since this is on the cutting edge of the vegetarian diet becoming mainstream. Now for some good vegan cookbooks .....