Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Limits of chEating

One of the attractive things about the nutritarian life style is that it's flexible, and even allows eating meat. Dr. Fuhrman suggests many people can be completely healthy and still "cheat" up to 10% of the time.

Even the occasional candy bar or ice cream is ok. The key is occasional.

So how do you apply this? What does it mean on a  real-life basis?

Now over the almost three years I've eating this way, I can count on one hand the "normal" meat and potato, processed food type meals I've had, that were my norm before. I just don't like to eat that way any more. But I've enjoyed the flexibility, and it's kept me on track. A more rigid format might have discouraged me.

And even though I'm not perfect, my recovery is good, compared to where I was headed.

It's made it easier for me to do this long term. I enjoy some added calories nearly every day, usually in the form of a few extra nuts or sunflower seeds. Since I don't count calories, but I do weigh in and check by my exercise tolerance my progress every day, I know what works for me.

You could reserve those 10% of calories for a weekly regular meal if you wanted.  That means basically you'd have twenty one meals during the week, and one would be the standard Anerican diet type meal. The other twenty would be full bore nutritarian.

My personal preference is different. What makes it tolerable for me is to do the very best I can at each meal, and in general add a little something every day that makes my food more enjoyable.

I let my weight be my guide. I can tell when I've loosened up too much because I weigh more, and I immediately correct course. Even a couple of extra pounds is a good warning. I consider an extra five pounds to be an all out danger signal, and tells me it's time to buckle down.

Emily Boller, one of Dr. Fuhrman's examples in his book Eat To Live, tells (in a training video by Dr. Furhman) of a friend who eats  nutritarian during the week and regular on the weekends. By my calculation this means her friend takes in about 50% of her calories from low density food.

Emily says her friend has done all the work to learn how to eat right, but she gets none of the benefits. No weight loss, and no difference in health outcomes that her friend can tell. None.

So while nutritarian eating isn't all-or-nothing, I'd hazard an opinion here that it takes 80%+ compliance to make it more than mildly effective. Real effectiveness for difficult conditions doesn't come into play until you're over 90% compliant. Of course, that's not the case for everyone, and the more serious a condition is, the wiser you are to become fully compliant sooner.

The good news is, eating right most of the time, and building in a little cushion, is a delight and a pleasure.

But pleasure has its limits. The best part is, you come to trust that the plan works, every time you work it. And when you don't work it briefly, you just get back on that horse again and ride it, because you know it and you've proved that it works.

The great pleasure of all for me is to be alive, healthy, productive and experiencing this life with my lovely wife.

Which goes a long way towards a happy life.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

A REAL Cure For Heart Disease

I'm a piker when it comes to curing heart disease.

I consider myself on the path to healing, and I do have a significant remission of symptoms that indicates I'm on the path to complete healing.

Others have done better, and my hat's off to them.

Here's an example summarized from Dr. Fuhrman's website. I'll give you the link to the more complete story and the formula. It's what I do, but better. But the best part is it's real life. It illustrates how to succeed quicker than what I've done. In a later article I'll summarize the difference.

Paul S. reversed the same type coronary artery disease I have, but did it within 26 months, not years. He did it by adhering to Dr. Fuhrman's "Six Week Plan." He was running within a year after he started, and has continued on that course for years more. He had a scan 26 months after he started that verified his arteries are clear (the kind of verification I can't afford) and ran two half marathons since then (the kind of verification I can afford).

Here's the link to his story on Dr. Fuhrman's website: www.drfuhrman.com/success/SuccessStory.aspx?id=1214.

Now his cardiologist initially told him it was critical he have angioplasty as soon as possible. He found Dr. Fuhrman's website within a few days, and took immediate, drastic action. He became Dr. Fuhrman's patient, and was coached personally by the best.

He has stayed on that Six Week Plan during the intervening years, proving that radical eating changes are possible, and totally curative in his heart disease situation.  It seems likely it will work in so many others as well.

A miraculous cure? Certainly. But the real miracle is that anyone can do this. It has implications for so many situations, diseases and a vast number of people.

Paul recommends reading three books: Eat To Live, Disease Proof and The End Of Diabetes, all by Dr. Fuhrman, and he says it's all anybody really needs to understand and eat this way.

So here's a brief outline of Dr. Fuhrman's Six Week Plan, in general order of how much to eat:
  • Aim to eat a pound or more of fresh (plus anything flash-frozen) non-starchy vegetables a day, emphasizing leafy greens, and the typical things that can go into a salad like lettuce, peas, snow peas, bell peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers and sprouts. In fact, salad is the main dish. No limits, and variety is good with all these healthy foods.
  • Also aim for a pound of more of cooked non-starchy vegetables as in eggplant, mushrooms,peppers, onions, tomatoes, carrots, cauliflower, asparagus, zucchini, kale, collards, cabbage, peppers, mushrooms and tomatoes. While the format isn't critical, soups have advantages for these. Unlimited amounts here too.
  • Eat a cup or more of beans/legumes per day, like black, pinto, red, white and garbanzo beans, lentils, tofu, etc. Soups, chili, whatever is good to you is eligible. Unlimited amounts allowed.
  • Fresh fruit, especially berries, at least four servings per day. Not dried. Not juiced. Not canned. There's a "qualified" recommendation of no limits on these. They're great but not to be as highly emphasized as those listed earlier. Fruits are the "dessert" aspect of eating this way.
  • Eat mushrooms, and cooked is actually better for you than raw. Cheaper types are as good for you as expensive ones.
  • Limited amounts of starchy vegetables and whole grains is allowed, but only one serving per day (roughly 2 slices of bread, one medium bagel or a small-medium baked potato). If you have a tough time losing weight, or a condition like diabetes, ditch these and stick with the higher priority foods.
  • Eat some healthy oils from nuts or seeds, but in limited amounts no more than 1 oz. (one closed-fist handful) per day. Include one tablespoon per day ground flax or other sources of omega-3. Avocados work too.
  • Ditch all animal products for the six weeks, including milk, cheese, yogurt, etc.
  • No added oils, sugars, candy, salt, white flour and processed foods.
So keeping this up for just over 2 years made for a complete reversal of Paul S.'s heart function problems and pain. I eased into it, but I think he's smarter.

Dr. Fuhrman defines what you do long term to eat nutritarian as the "Life Plan." You can, like Paul, do the Six Week Plan for life. But more typical is folks who, like me, get up to 10% of calories from "outside" the Six Week Plan guidelines, either by higher quantities things that would be limited, or just plain things that would be forbidden like animal products or even ice cream.

What I do works for me. But, I'll continue this long term plus keep on learning, and get closer to the Six Week Plan over the long haul. After all, as Dr. Fuhrman says, if you've gone to the effort to change 90% of what you eat, the next 10% isn't that tough.

The long term defines total success, and total healing.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Heart Disease - A Status Report

So this is a personal post about the status of my heart disease.

It's worth doing because it's a summary of major progress and a work in progress. It took me 2 1/2 years to get to my "ideal" weight, from  210 pounds to just over 160 at a height of 5'11" (I used to be 6'1", but aging and a collapsed vertebra will do that).

I've had two heart attacks, the first in May of 2005 of which could have easily killed me, with two 99% blockages in the LAD artery, and two other blockages in two other arteries, at 99% and 80%.

The second at the end of October 2010 involved a new 80% blockage in the same LAD artery.

The best doctors available said my condition was inoperable.

My friend's referral to Eat To Live is responsible for my ongoing survival and healing.

I've seen my doctor twice in the last two years, but I'm not encouraged when I do. He says recovery is impossible. I'm still looking for a personal doctor who is fully informed and buys in to what I'm doing.

But I do love reading of Dr. Fuhrman's materials, both books and website. He says every heart disease patient he treats gets better. I want that, and I believe it's happening with me.

Most important in my recovery is the status check I do six days a week. At first after my 2nd heart attack I walked for a half hour daily. Gradually I've sped up, and now I jog for half an hour every day. I let angina be my guide, and I exercise as hard as I can - without pain - and the occasional push to test my limits.

Now maybe that doesn't sound impressive to you. But for years I tried to lose weight, and never even approached what I've now achieved:
  • Proved it's possible to overcome a strong genetic predisposition to coronary artery disease. 
  • Eliminated 95% of the animal products, refined sugars and extra fats and oils from my diet.
  • Never gone hungry, counted a single calorie or felt deprived.
  • Learned to buy foods, make cost effective substitutions to recipes and grow an appropriate garden, so I spend no more than I did before (and the before was still very cheap!)
  • Changed my taste preferences so I no longer miss the bad things I used to eat.
  • Developed my own recipes and eating patterns so the variety and taste is completely wonderfully satisfying to me.
  • Caught a vision of what this can mean for healing my family, community and world from the unnecessary expense, wasted resources and personal health tragedies that our current health, medical treatment and food culture assumes are normal and unresolvable.
  • The weight loss and health this involves is a big part of my wife's total vocational recovery from a paralyzing back injury (and from diabetes, definitely related to her loss of muscle function). She wasn't expected to walk at first. Then they said she'd never stop being diabetic. But she is now fully functional, in a way her rehab doctor has never seen. That her diabetes is gone the doctor and diabetes educators said was just plain impossible. 
I now have real, immediate and justified hope in areas where I saw no current solutions before. That's really the main miracle here.

But then, I've always had hope. I always knew there'd be answers somewhere in the distant future. I just never thought I'd see 'em.

An if I can see these, maybe you can too.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Nutritarian Summary & Outline

So now with twenty or so blog entries, I'll review some key issues on nutritarian success. Anyone can do it, lots of people have done it, and no one fails who does these things. No one.

Now people do fail for various reasons. I've seen it in my own family. Great excitement about the potential, get the books, even some videos, and then, well, nothing. They don't follow through. They don't try. When they fail, they don't dive in and learn some more and try again.

In other words, the plan doesn't fail when you work it. And when you work it works every time.

So here's my list of success principles, in order of how they've been presented in the blog articles so far:

Annette's Story:
  • Doctors say some illnesses are incurable. And they are, by them, with their standard medical approaches. Doctors don't get any training, peer support, reinforcement or payment for curing or prevention through nutrition. It's not part of their universe. But it should be part of ours.
  • Having said that, medical treatment does have its uses. Diagnosis, confirmation of progress, and all forms of medical support can back up and reconfirm the need for our own efforts. And nutritarian eating is a perfect support of all medical treatment. But in some cases coordination is absolutely necessary. When what you eat makes the need for insulin go away, it needs to be coordinated with your doctor, so you're not overdosing on insulin. Way more detail needed here, read Dr. Fuhrman's book for that.
  • Don't be scared of doing this in spite of a large national association saying officially through their minions that it's impossible to be effective this way. The American Diabetes Association, and lots of others, mean well but they're just ignorant. No offense intended. They raise funds for diabetes, and maybe someday they'll find that elusive cure they constantly talk about needing. Who knows, possibly they'll fund a peer reviewed research project on nutritarian eating and diabetes, that'll be world reknowned and universally applauded. But not as long as they're dependent on the pharmaceutical orientation and industrial food producers for their funding, you can bet on that!
Creamed Kale:
  • Find something you like to eat from the many nutritarian recipes, here, on Dr. Fuhrman's website and books and other places.
  • Simplify the formula, make it your own, find and buy the ingredients in quantities that make it affordable and immediately available.
  • Expand the recipe, create your own interesting variations. There's nothing like your own creative energy fostered by desire, repetition and need.
 The Power of Truth:
  •  Prepare yourself mentally for a radical change in eating. Nobody says that's easy. But lots of folks have done it successfully.  And the more you know, the more you'll want to change, and the more you want to change, the easier it'll be.
  • With that in mind, might want to read a little. The best books are Eat to Live, Super Immunity, and The End of Dieting, all by Dr. Fuhrman. The China Study by T. Colin Campbell and  Thomas M. Campbell, was a key to my understanding.
  • Associate with like-minded people, either by reading or in person. Learn from those who aren't like-minded. Celebrate every friend, relative and person who has died from diabetes, cancer, or heart disease, or a host of others, because by their example, by their sacrifice, they have proved what doesn't work, and you, my friend, don't have to go there, be there, do that.
  • Learn to apply every positive principle you've ever learned to this project. Like, remember the famous, immortal words of Sir Winston Churchill, when he said to Parliament during the blitz-bombing of London, "Nevah, [long pause] nevah, [long pause]nevah [long pause] give up." Repeated three times. Then he sat down. His most famous speech. And it applies here. The only people who fail with nutritarian eating are those who don't stick with and apply this, and never, never give up.
  • It really is lies and death and tradition vs. life and truth and positive change. Prepare yourself to live fully, and long and healthy to the end.
A Second Heart Attack:
  • Be grateful for the opportunity to change, even though change can be, and most often is, uncomfortable and irritating.
  • Be grateful for the Man who said "The truth shall set you free." Even, if you dare, ask Him for the strength to change in accordance with principles of truth.
  • Be dedicated to changing in accordance to the principles of truth, and beware of the tendency we all have to deny truth because we perceive change is too hard. Dying, or even just sickness is harder after all.
A Gift of Truth:
  • Learn from the simplest, easy to remember expressions of nutritional (or any other) truth. Incorporate those true principles in your life, thinking and daily habits.
  • Once you've learned the simple principles, creatively and constructively expand your practice, the way you live, with these. Don't get stuck in a rut, thinking there's only one way to eat perfectly, only one way or set of ingredients that make this work. Bend your mind and bend your actions. Remember that the only people who hate the taste of nutritarian food are those who don't spend the time and effort to get used to, search for, and create their own delicious and nutritious solutions.
 The Nutritarian Basis For Ideal Health:
  • Share what you learn. You might just find friends and support in unlikely places.
Nutritarian Principle: Prevention is Treatment:
  • Seek reinforcement and validation in your own experience. We've got that in Annette's diabetes cure, but we also have that in the number of colds, flu-like occurrences, and sick days we've had since we started doing this. Like none. Not a single sick occurrence. Unless you count the day after we let down our guard, two Thanksgivings ago. But even that was just feeling sick, not laying-around-all-day-in-bed sick. And recovery was as simple as eating healthy the next day (but losing the weight put on took longer!).
  • Seek learning and reinforcement in valid studies. Read or re-read Dr. Fuhrman's books or Dr. Campbell's book. Even someone else's success is a valid case study to learn from.
Medical Monitoring Helped Cure Annette's Diabetes:
  • Look for the nutritarian essence in any long-term successful plan. Just as Annette found nutritarian validation in Dr. Neal Barnard's Program for Reversing Diabetes, even before we found Dr. Furhman's stuff, I also found validation in Caldwell Esselstyn's book Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease before I found Dr. Fuhrman. Ditto for his son Rip Esselstyn's book The Engine 2 Diet. Again, Dr. Fuhrman is better versed, research validated and complete in his understanding, writing and overall health program.
  • Appreciate that there are hierarchies of truth. Modern medicine is based on truth, but only as far as they have researched and validated and are now teaching things. Health based on modern medicine is untruth, mostly because valid research is ignored and not taught. I owe my life to the validity of a medical procedure in the stents put in with my  first heart attack. But I owe my longer life to Dr. Fuhrman. I owe the purpose of my longer life  to  an even greater Physician, and I thank him for Dr. Fuhrman, because He is the ultimate source of all truth.  I think He may have predicted Dr. Fuhrman (see my other blog at AMormonNutritarian.BlogSpot.com).
The Disease List, Part 1:
  • Superior nutrition produces superior health, in all respects.
  • Nutritarian eating is best at preventing disease, but it’s effective at curing and reversing many diseases. Sometimes, though, a disease process has gone on too long, done too much damage to be reversed or cured. Even so, it can still be dealt with way, way more effectively than medications alone.
  • While I'm not  seriously saying nutritarian eating prevents, cures and helps with everything, the things it doesn't help appears to be exceptions, not the rule. When you consider that cancer, infectious disease, auto-immune disease, degenerative disease and even birth defects are helped, prevented and even cured, you'll understand why it's important to maintain perspective, look at it carefully, and dive in whole-heartedly all at the same time. And don't give up your day job, er, I mean your doctor and regular medical treatment. At least not until you're cured. The right way. The permanent way. Even if you have to eat different to achieve that, it's a cure.
The Disease List, Part 2:
  • The gastric bypass is the ultimate admission of failure by modern medicine. The ultimate in technology, done laparoscopically now, and among the most drastic of physical alterations. And, it often doesn't even work out that well in too many people. You can eat your way around a gastric bypass, given determination and time. And you can die in the process. And the doctors will blame you, not their own ignorance, stubbornness, and lack of insight. They are, after all, well intended, and victims of a system that rewards compliance, not results (I dedicate this comment to the life and death of a friend). The ridiculous thing here is, if people would eat right, even if only like they teach them to following gastric bypass, they whole thing would be unnecessary.
  • Prescription drugs are poisons. All of 'em. They are not panaceas. Not by a long shot. The advertising that makes 'em look like they are is also one of the signs of an incredibly sick (pun intended) system.
  • Ulcerative colitis is an extremely great motivator to me (see the original article). Look around at your family and friends, and you'll find your own motivators. Examples abound. I'm not referring to ulcerative colitis, but deaths.
  • Weight gain or loss is a sort of talisman here. Nutritarian eating unlocks the key to healthy weight, and as it does so, the key to health. It's not because of, or just an incidental correlation or superficial relationship, it is, it really is, one and the same process.
What If It's True?:
  • If it is, it will win out. Can you afford to be wrong here? Check it out and see!
Cost Effective Health the Nutritarian Way, part 1:
  • Understand what healthy eating consist of. Know the difference between "nutrition" and "nutrient density."
  • Know what high nutrient density foods are. Eat them. G-Bombs, that is.
  • Prioritize not only the highest nutrient density, but the cheapest highest nutrient density foods. Nutrient density is what's important, not just nutritional purity. Cost is important too. For some people, more important.
Cost Effective Health the Nutritarian Way, part 2:
  • Grow your own.
  • Grow greens
  • Substitute cheap for high priced.
  • Make a bunch and freeze it. Start with stuff that's freezable.
  • Buy and use bulk dry beans. Food storage is your friend here.
  • Use a cost effective source of healthy oils. Nuts and seeds are super expensive, almost all kinds, almost always. Ground flax, where I buy flax by the 25 pound bag and grind my own, costs me about one tenth to one fifth the cost of nuts and other seeds.
  • When you find a good deal, buy a bunch. Preserve it properly.
  • Be creative, resourceful, and energetic. Test and expand your human potential. Nothing beats the will to succeed, in this as in all things.
Cost Effective Health the Nutritarian Way, part 3:
  • When I had a second heart attack, I couldn't afford nutritional perfection, and I couldn't afford to not dive in to nutritarian eating. Does it make a difference that I don't eat organic foods, almost ever? Perhaps. But one of the great lessons from Dr. Fuhrman is, research the practice, and practice the research. That's what he does. But in regards to eating organic foods, the health benefits are a theory, and the research regarding their effects on health is inconclusive. Just because they mirror popular belief does not mean we should sacrifice the proven, effective means to health (nutritarian eating) in favor of even this practice, reasonable though the theory may be. But the other side is, if we can afford to, and an seasoned research professional like Dr. Fuhrman advises it, why not? Which for me means I'll expand my cost effective nutritarian garden. Thanks for the motivation, Whole Paycheck!
Cost Effective, Delicious/Nutritious Greens: Chinese Cabbage Salad:
  • Less-than-ideal ingredients used sparingly are the "sugar" that makes the medicine go down. I've seen Dr. Fuhrman use parmesan cheese in his "ideal" recipes. And for sugar, dates. But the sugar in dates is still sugar. And the sugar in fruits is still sugar. The oils in seeds and nuts are still oils. Overdone they're bad. In moderation and in combination with the fiber and total package of nutrients they were born with, they're essential. I use a whole tablespoon of brown sugar in this recipe. My rice vinegar has some salt in it (can't speak for yours). The total package isn't perfect, but I call it ideal for my needs.
  • The inverse of this principle is also powerfully instructive about what not to do, and how to get sick while eating what we justify as healthy. What must people call "healthy eating" is to take a standard SAD meal and add a little bit of healthy stuff. Like the lettuce, tomatoes and onions on your Double Big Mac and Cheese with supersized fries and a drink. Or a salad where 95% of the calories are from the dressing. Or a dressing that calls itself "healthy" because they just found out that the oil in the aids absorption of some of the nutrients in the salad greens (any lie will do if it sells). A little bit of truth with a lot of lie equals a lie, almost always. So does a little lie with a lot of truth equal truth? Possibly. In the case of my recipes, absolutely!
The Main Reason Any Disease Won't Be Cured:
  • "I don't want to, and I don't have to. I'm an adult, and you can't make me." The response of a brain receding back into the childhood we call dementia.
  • Start eating right before you're so far gone you don't understand why or how. Otherwise your fate is set, and your memory is lost!
Chunky Chocolate "Ice Cream" Dessert:
  • Frozen bananas are the key to many a nutritarian dream dessert. They work! And while the variety of ice-cream-like desserts is endless, with the bananas providing sweetness, creaminess, fluffiness and fiber, in this variety you also get highest-antioxidant cocoa powder,  highest-nutrient value leafy green spinach, more greens with celery, and nuts and ground flax for healthy and necessary oils.
Zuchini Spaghetti:
  • Super easy, inexpensive, quick and green in more ways than one (uses zucchini that otherwise may get discarded).
Nutritarian Incubator Cell #1:
  • A preliminary plan to reinforce, teach, build, nurture and create a socially fun environment to succeed in nutritarian eating.
Veggie Pizza:
  • A borderline nutritarian food that I don't do often (maybe once a month), but incorporates enough nutritarian principles that it satisfies a need without destroying my health. A good example of taking an otherwise pretty much bad food and making it something good. Not great, but good enough for occasional use.
  • It's also an illustration of why I like weighing in frequently. I want to know if I'm on an even keel health-wise, and my scale is my early warning system. If I'm off  course, I minimize this kind of food.
So there you have it. Way more words than is desirable in a normal blog article. I might try doing a summary at the beginning of each article instead.