Five years ago almost to the day, in Apt 2J, I read a book that changed my life and put me on a path to health and wellness. The book was Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s “Eat to Live“. It was the first (of many) books I read on nutrition and health. After reading it, I became a raw vegan. [Sidenote: the raw was really more because of circumstance - small Manhattan studio - used oven for storage]. I lost alot of weight and my energy levels sky-rocketed.
In 2011, when Dr. Fuhrman came out with a new book “Super Immunity“, I had my “know-it-all” pants on. I thought it was probably a re-hash of same info, so I didn’t read it. By then, I had read about every book on nutrition I could get my hands on.
Last year, I went to a Functional Medicine Doctor and became brutally aware of the health issues that came up for me from my mostly-fruit, raw, high sugar (post on this soon) diet. I slowly incorporated some organic, ethically-sourced animal protein and more vegetables – mostly cooked. I dropped the raw and even periods with no salads. Here we are a year later and I have watched my weight increase (grain and gluten-free) and my energy levels go down with a feeling of overall “heaviness”.
Last week, I made Gwyneth Paltrow’s amazingly delicious Chicken Burgers. (sans bread). If you are not vegan: make these.
The next day getting ready for work, I put on a summer skirt – too tight. Another skirt: too tight. Summer pants: too tight. Wth. Where did all this flesh come from?
That evening, I was in Costco (in my loose, shapeless summer skirt) and saw a copy of Dr. Fuhrman’s “Super Immunity”. I got it without hesitation and read it in the next 24 hrs. It was like coming home, only better.
While much of it is not “new” to me, per se – it is often helpful to be reminded of the reasons why we do something and the hard science (from an MD) to back it up. It also had an informative section on viruses and neuropathy (nerve damage), which hit home for me after having Bells Palsy in 2010.
Super Immunity is a nutrition guide for boosting your body’s defenses via a plant-based, oil-free, nutrient dense diet. He also covers in depth: vaccines (for kids?), flu-shots (should you?), contagious diseases, viruses, and cancer. He backs everything up with science – study after study. No matter where you are in your health journey – everyone would benefit from reading this book. Very informative read. Not preachy and not too long.
I, of course, learned a few new things:
- Cruciferous vegetables are twice as powerful as other plant foods. Hello, Broccoli! and Bok-Choy!
- The more cell walls that are broken in these vegetables (ie chopping, chewing, blending, juicing) you maximize the benefits. If you are cooking, under cook them and chop before cooking. Chew, chew & chew! Or, blend away!
- When you eat seeds or nuts with your meals, the fatty acids increase absorption of the micronutrients and phytochemicals significantly (ie – a nut or seed based dressing on a salad = absorb more than 10 times as much of certain nutrients. Wow!
As I write this, it has been 5 days eating plant-based veggies. No fruit. Tons of cruciferous veggies, cooked, raw and blended. No animal protein. Lots of salads with yummy dressings (thank you, Natalia Rose) and vegetables I have never tried before (kelp noodles, anyone?) And, as it was 5 years ago … my energy has gone up and my waist is shrinking. It was time to hit the “reset” button.
So, what does this mean for me? My biggest take away from seeing a Functional Medicine doctor is this: All of our body ecologies are different and there are so many variables in our individual body chemistries. ”Blanket” diets (ie paleo, vegan, etc) do not necessarily work for all. What works for me, might be someone else’s poison or visa versa. For now, The journey continues. I am loving vegetables. Will be interested to see a full blood panel next month.
These 7 words from Michael Pollan sum it up for me:
To our health. xo