Eat to Live, don’t Live to Eat!
This is a wonderfully ubiquitous phrase. So many people offer it up as diet advice – “You just have to eat to live, not live to eat”…that’s akin to telling a kid “do better at math”.
It’s a nice sound bite, and when you understand the foundations of nutrition and the psychology behind eating, it’s a nice phrase to give you a boost when you need it. To continue our analogy, it’s like telling someone who understands complex differential equations that they’ve gotten lazy and need to do better next time – the phrase is more helpful in that context.
So why am I spewing out these wildly entertaining analogies? Because I have begun eating to live. For the longest time, I lived to eat. I was a cook – often I say I am a chef, but technically that would be incorrect – since the age of 13. Many would say I was destined to be a chef, though.
- I was accepted to culinary school with a scholarship
- I cooked for all of my parents special occasions
- I mastered truly difficult concepts and cuisines with little more than the food network to guide me (we’re talking chocolate truffles, smoked barbecue, homemade pastas, homemade breads/pizzas, Mexican Indian Italian, French, English, German, pastries. I nailed it all!)
- I was even featured on a 30 minute episode on the Food Network
Eating to Live – Enter the Nutritarian
- Eat to Live: The Amazing Nutrient-Rich Program for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss, Revised Edition
- Eat For Health
Fair Disclosure: I get a cut if you click on one of these links and buy something, though it won’t cost you any extra.
Now, I’m not a Doctor, but Dr. Fuhrman is. He’s been a family physician for 20 years. He has guided thousands of patients on this journey, and he has reviewed over 20,000 medical and nutritional papers while developing this program. He knows his stuff.
Eat for Health? I Just Want to Lose Weight
- Start getting sick in your 50’s, with major medical issues in your 60’s. Die in your 70’s…maybe 80’s if you are lucky, and don’t die of heart disease or cancer first
- Feel vibrant at 50, strong at 60, healthy at 70, still strong at 80, and be able to do your own yard work and work on your house in your 90’s
- Scenario 1 (painful, early death) is tied to the Standard American Diet (SAD) and even the diet of many Mediteranean countries now
- Scenario 2 is related to a diet that is focused on whole, nutrient dense plant foods.
Healthy Food Tastes Like Cardboard Though!
Let me repeat that. Eating whole, nutrient-dense foods has made me feel more full, and more satisfied, than ever before.
How can YOU Eat to Live?
The Nutritarian lifestyle (aka the Eat to Live plan by Dr. Joel Fuhrman)
- All raw vegetables, with an emphasis on greens (goal: 1 lb. daily)
- Cooked green vegetables and non-green nutrient dense vegetables (goal: 1 lb. daily)
- The non-green nutrient vegetables are: Eggplant, Mushroom, Peppers, Onions, Tomato, and other non-starchy vegetables
- Fresh Fruit (at least 4 daily)
- Beans, Legumes, Bean Sprouts (minimum 1 cup daily total)
- Cooked starchy vegetables OR whole grains – (MAX: 1 cup daily)
- This includes: butternut or acorn squash, corn, sweet potato, brown rice, cooked carrots, whole grain breads, whole grain cereals (avoid the bread and cereals as much as possible)
- Raw nuts and seeds (1 oz daily) or 2 ounces avocado
- Ground Flaxseed (1 tablespoon daily – you should strive for this)
- Soymilk, low-sugar preferred (MAX: 1 cup daily)
- I try not to eat or drink anything soy, because I feel the jury is still out on the safety of soy in large doses
OFF LIMITS (That means NONE)
- Dairy Products
- Animal Products
- Between Meal Snacks
- Fruit Juice, dried fruits
- Salt, Sugar
I thought Fruit was Bad – It has Sugar
He is in his 70’s. Wouldn’t you like to look that good in your 70’s?
100 Calories of Broccoli has more Protein than 100 Calories of Steak
Excuse my french, but bullshit. There have been countless studies that have shown that not only is a vegan diet rich in protein, but that animal protein in the quantities most people consume it is actually detrimental to your health in a big way.
I don’t think I can do it
When I was home for the weekend, I cooked a few meals based on this lifestyle. My parents ate it, and loved it. Here’s what my dad told me the next week.
“You know, I ate the vegetable heavy foods you made last weekend, and I felt really great. It’s not like I even stopped eating the other stuff, but I felt so different – in a good way. I wasn’t hungry after eating that veggie lasagna until the next day at lunch!
A couple of days later, after eating the junk again, I could feel it slowing me down”
I’m hoping my parents will join me on this food journey – I’d certainly like to see them live vibrantly into their 90’s. So join us on this journey. Read the book – at the very least, you’ll learn something, and in the best case, you’ll change your life forever.