Yes, my wife Jo and I have been converted! We are now Nutritarians. "What's a Nutritarian?" you ask. Technically, it's someone who prefers to consume foods high in micro-nutrients. The word was coined by Dr. Joel Fuhrman in his book, Eat To Live. But I believe it also accurately describes a person who denounces the culturally conditioned fleeting pleasure of consuming nutritionally empty processed foods, and instead, chooses to experience the sublime joy of satisfying the body's real need for nutritional sustenance. The many benefits include:
- Improving one's general health and well-being.
- Being freed from chronic pain and discomfort, along with the associated drugs.
- Strengthening the immune system.
- Reducing the likelihood of contracting various debilitating diseases, along with the costs of treating them.
- Boosting vitality and mitigating the effects of advancing age.
- Removing years from one's appearance.
- Improving the chances of living well longer.
Even though Jo and I have been vegetarians for many years (mainly because of our belief that animals have a right not to become food for humans), we haven't been overly concerned about what else went into our mouths and stomachs. We have been unapologetic cake and ice cream "affectionados," and I also admit to being a bonafide bread and pasta junkie.
This past year, I went on an 800-calorie-per-day, medically-supervised diet, which did lighten me by 100 lbs. But while feeling really good about the effects of that weight loss, I still felt a need to do more about my overall health. Like many others, my wife and I have become increasingly aware of the damage being done by the typical patterns of food consumption in the U.S., and have felt a growing desire to break free from our dangerous addiction to processed and synthetic foods.
Oh. And did I mention we're both over 60? Fortunately, I have no major health issues--just annoyingly arthritic knees. Jo, however, is facing major surgery--which is another reason to maximize the body's natural healing abilities. But aside from those challenges, the awareness of growing older has simply sharpened our focus on making the most of what we have for as long as we can.
We Have a Teacher to Thank.
Alas, when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. In this case the teacher appeared on a public-television (PBS) fundraising special in the form of Dr. Joel Fuhrman. We'd been aware of his presence during past pledge periods, but had never been inclined to listen. This time we did, and, boy, did we get an earful! We are now enthusiastic converts.
I plan to write about our experience in implementing the plan Dr. Fuhrman prescribed, which started with a six-week regimen designed to wean us from the processed food teat and acclimate the digestive system to proper nutrition.
It will be a challenge to stay on the Nutritarian path, because it involves something called "cooking," an activity normally shunned in our household. But we're actually looking forward to it. We've been busy organizing the menu and anticipating all the new taste experiences coming our way.
Our progress as nutritional pilgrims can be followed on my blog at Becoming Nutritarian. Best wishes for peace, love and good health.