Friday, February 18, 2011

Day 18- Book Review

This will feel like you're watching a commercial or reading an ad. I swear I wasn't paid to write this, nor do I take your reading time lightly. Give yourself a few minutes to read through this. You can ignore what you read afterward or take my words to heart.

"Eat to Live" is what made me lose 25 pounds so far. It's a scary book. It's intimidating. It requires drastic change.  It has cleansed my system. It's made me healthier & happier. I'm trying new foods. I'm cooking new dishes. And it's something that I will hopefully be doing for the rest of my life.

I was first introduced to this book by Melinda, a coworker from the Philadelphia School District after she heard about the Challenge Mike and I were about to partake in.  She simply told me that it had changed her life and she has kept the same lifestyle ever since.  This is what she has to say:

     I first read Eat to Live in 2004. The process that led me to the book was twofold. First, I was watching my father suffer through the health problems that arise from our western animal based diet and I was also continuing a life-long struggle with my weight. While I was never severely overweight, I came from a family background of weight issues and had only remained out of that realm through extreme self discipline. What that meant was that I went to bed every night hungry, spent my day thinking about what I needed to deprive myself of to stay under control, and being consumed with my weight. On the cusp of celebrating my 50th birthday, I decided I simply did not want to spend the rest of my life consumed with how to stay thin and healthy - so I decided to embark on a quest to see if I could find a comprehensive answer to both. 
     I read everything I could get my hands on for six months. During that time, two books were consistently referred to in research, news stories, and other books. Those books were The China Study and Eat to Live. The China Study gives the background and reasoning behind why Eat to Live works so well for health as well as weight control and I highly recommend that book to anyone who is really interested in understanding how the typical western diet affects our health.
     I decided I would do Dr. Fuhrman's eight week plan and see how it worked. I was a purist - I made a cold-turkey move to no animal products and no added fats. I ate a full pound of fresh foods each day as well as a pound of cooked. I sauteed everything in vegetable broth - no fats. At the end of the six weeks I had dropped twenty-five pounds and weighed in at 119 lbs - I'm 5'6" - so that is actually quite thin. 
     After the initial weeks I decided, based on what Dr. Fuhrman said, that I could "incorporate" some other foods back in my diet. What I found was that I could immediately "feel" the difference. Eating the purest form of Eat to Live - fruits and vegetables that are high nutrient, low calorie, I felt better than I had in decades. Seven years later, I still do. 
Trust me, if they are having pizza at the teacher's meeting, I have a slice. It just isn't something I do with any regularity. What I find more and more is that I feel better if I don't, and if I listen to my body and think about how it makes me feel, I really don't have the desire for the foods that I used to believe I wanted.
     As Pooh said, the moment BEFORE you eat the honey is really where the pleasure is - and today I find that most of the foods I used to love and thought I would miss are just NOT as good as I recall when I decide to try them again.
I LOVE eating this way. I am never hungry. I eat like a horse and I feel better than ever. Seven years later, I'm still maintaining the weight loss - tomorrow is my 55th birthday and I weigh what I weighed in high school. 
     I was always a cook - today I am a different cook - there is a wealth of great food out there that enables anyone to establish a healthy lifestyle that is tasty and exciting and limited only by your imagination.
Such a beautiful story! It's so incredible to hear about life-long changes that people make to their habits that aren't crash diets where you gorge on cabbage 30 days straight. It's healthy and your body will love you for it.

My mom also picked up the book last week and already she is seeing results. My father has chronic neck, back and joint pain and my mom, while was losing weight successfully last month, had come to a 2 week stall:
     Thanks for introducing the book to us. Dad's pain in his shoulders is getting better and better. My weight loss stall has stopped and I am continuing to lose again. I noticed a huge improvement in the condition of my hair and my nails are starting to grow again. Keep up the great work the both of you!
It's not just about getting skinny or looking super sculpted. It's about living a lifestyle that will benefit your body, prevent illness, and give you the energy to live a long and happy life!  I was getting chronic migraines since I was 10 (maybe younger...that's 13 years!!!).  For the first time in my life, I no longer get migraines every other day (no exaggeration. I averaged 3-4 migraines a week).  I have been migraine free since the beginning of the month! Saying that actually brings tears to my eyes. I was a prisoner of my own body, unable to live the life I wanted without being chained down by unbearable pain.

If this is convincing enough to you, I really advice you to read "Eat to Live" by Dr. Fuhrman.  Yes, it will scare you. Yes, it will seem impossible.  You groan, say how he's probably wrong and it's just like any other fad diet. But the first 3/4 of his book is the science behind food, what affects it has on our body (good or bad) and studies to show it.  As a physician he has been "prescribing" this lifestyle for thousands of his patients and most have been able to rid their bodies of their diseases, ailments, and pain.

You only have 1 body, 1 life, 1 chance to really live in the skin you were MEANT to live in. Not something that holds you back or hurts you. If you have any extra weight, health problems (physical or mental), this will change you as it changed me and thousands of others (even in the short 18 days I've been doing it.)

But 18 days is a long time to not be in pain. =)
PS The book is not very long at all. I finished it in a few days. I purchased it on my kindle for about $7 and my mom got it for $14.99 at the bookstore.


I know it was a lot to read, but when I experience something that works in a positive, healthy way, I can't help but want to tell you all about it!

Felt: Incredible! I have tons of energy today despite having to be at work at 5:30 am. I also won't get home until 10 tonight but I'm so energized by this beautiful weather!
Ate: B- Banana, orange  L: Vegetable & bean chili, hummus on a corn tortilla, and a handful of cashews. D: Whatever is left in the fridge. I haven't decided. I have some cantaloupe, a bit of green pepper, grapes, maybe a little lettuce, and that's about all. I'll munch on each until I'm full.
Exercise: Pilates and running around the yard with crazy dogs! They're enjoying the weather as well since it's SEVENTY THREE DEGREES!!!! Sweeeeeet.

State park tomorrow!! sans husband (he has to work overnight at the shipyard, bummer). Hopefully I'll have some photos for you.


  1. and this has brought tears to my eyes... to know you are no longer in pain with migraines. For years I watched you lay in pain I held you in the dark on your bed or on the floor of the bathroom, with not one doctor whom could find an answer. They said, "Oh you'll grow out of it" at least a dozen times. To see you enjoying life pain free and being super healthy is a blessing to me. Not to mention the benefits we have achieved from you introducing to the book also. Love you
    Momma K

  2. Lacey - I am so thrilled for you! I always hated to see your comments about having a migraine as I know how debilitating they can be. This is wonderful - imagine all the fabulous things going on in your "new" body that enable you to be pain free! The skinny jeans ARE just the extra!


  3. So, I've basically been stalking your blog for the past month because I have been dying to do a more natural diet, and this post put me over the edge. While I'm not sure if I'm ready to make the leap to this lifestyle, I've definitely decided to go vegetarian for Lent. I want to be very intentional about it too, not just staying away from meat, but limiting processed and unhealthy food (regardless of whether it contains meat or not). I can empathize with your migraines- several times in college, mine were so bad that I had to leave class. I've learned how to spot them and head them off, but it involves popping Excedrin, and I know that excessive amounts of medication is just as bad for my body as the processed food that is probably CAUSING my migraines in the first place!

    This is a super-long comment, but I just wanted to let you know that your 30-day challenge is a big inspiration, and hopefully the jumping off point for me to make some big changes in my lifestyle. Though the plan is to go vegetarian just for Lent, I'm approaching it with the mindset that I will start to feel a difference in the amount of energy I have, which will set me up to continue this lifestyle beyond the end of April. So thanks, Lacey :] You're just as fabulous as ever!