We’ve made yet another major change in our eating habits. We’ve been vegan since 1990, but we’ve held the world’s record for vegans eating the fewest vegetables. (In case you don’t know, a vegan diet is one with NO animal products.) That has finally changed. We discovered Eat to Live.

It began with Sheila working with a coach to improve her weight and fitness. The coach questioned the amount of processed soy we were eating. (Soy burgers, fake chicken, protein shakes, etc.) Sheila started doing some research and discovered we were eating wa-a-a-a-y  more than was healthful.

So while trying to get more information, she ended up on Dr. Fuhrman’s website  and read his book Eat to Live. This isn’t a diet as much as a way to eat to fend off most of the major diseases which affect Americans. As Dr. Fuhrman says “taking control of your health destiny.”

It’s pretty basic. You eat mostly vegetables and fruits. There are plenty of nuts, seeds and legumes. But you minimize all starchy vegetables, cereals, breads, and eliminate added salt, oil, and sugar. Pretty much any processed food is out.  Click here to read a PDF of Dr. Fuhrman’s brand new Eat Right America: Scoring Guide for a great overview as well as a nutritional density scoring guide. And if you’d like to watch Dr. Fuhrman on his 4-part PBS special Ocean Robbins over at the Food Revolution Network has posted them for you.

It’s been a huge change. In order to effect the change, we ate a very strict version for 6 weeks. During that time our weight was expected to drop dramatically, then plateau. In fact, I lost 20 pounds and Sheila lost 11 pounds (she’d already lost 9 before starting this program). She is still working to shed another 10 putting us both at our high school weights.

Better than that, we feel healthier. Who wouldn’t? We’re eating huge salads daily, lots and lots of vegetables and fruits. If you looked in our kitchen you’d see stuff that looks like food rather than colorful boxes of instant meals. Plus, we get to eat dessert every evening!! Often that is a homemade chocolate cherry sorbet which is just scrumptious.

Sheila spent a week in Utah at a conference with Dr. Fuhrman and 100 others who Eat to Live. She learned more about what to eat, how to prepare it, and why. Although it was blazingly hot, it was a great opportunity to learn more and reinforce the commitment to ETL. You can click on the thumbnails below to see some photos from the trip. Click here for a file with some favorite recipes. Here are a few tips & goals she brought back:

    • Since I still eat my favorite food, peanut butter, the suggestion is to add in more healthful nut butters (cashew, almond etc) and also to add in some cooked carrots! The result still tastes mostly like peanut butter but it’s a lot healthier.
    • Eat a couple of Brazil nuts every week. They’re the only source of selenium. If you can’t get them in the shell eat more like a dozen.
    • Eat more pumpkin & sunflower seeds instead of cashews & almonds.
    • Eat more cruciferous vegetables, especially kale.

All in all we feel like it’s a good change for us. What’s nice is there’s no calorie counting, no weighing or measuring. It’s REALLY easy which was important for us for it to be sustainable long term. It seems like we can keep it going. As of late January 2008 we’ve both reached our goal weight and sustained it for quite awhile. YEAH!

NOTE: To read about Sheila getting off medications due to ETL click here.

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