I first read Joel Fuhrman, M.D.'s book "Eat To Live" May 2007 after my father died of heart disease. I have always been a vegetarian but I have always been overweight as well. I had 50 extra pounds to lose and my main goal has always been health over looks. I learned from his book that being a Vegan also means no processed foods or animal products of any kind. I love that book and lost those 50 pounds that I had never been able to lose before age 42.
After a year living the "Eat To Live" plan I read "Eat For Health" twice. The differences are huge. The biggest difference is that Dr. Fuhrman takes us Americans through 4 stages of gradual eating changes by doing some food exercises and stepping down animal products and processed foods. The only foods he asks us to eliminate immediately are all cheese, butter and transfats. I can see why he changed his point-of-view to gradually add vegetables, fruits and beans to our diets because otherwise it can be a shock to our typical way of eating and most people will reject it as they did in his book, "Eat To Live."
I find I need the extreme approach right off the starting line and I have learned to love vegetables and fruits. I feel that his gradual steps to eliminate meat and processed foods and grains was backpedaling from his original book, but on the other hand I fully understand why he did it and that was to reach as many people to change their eating habits as possible and so in this content, it makes perfect sense. Before May 2007 I was a vegan who rarely ate fruits and vegetables thinking cereal and popcorn was healthy, now I thrive on those foods and have kept my weight down to near ideal with no effort at all.
I have always loved reading nutrition books and before Joel Fuhrman, M.D. I thought Dr. Dean Ornish and Dr. Oz were the best, but now I see that they both focus far too heavily on whole grains, which Dr. Fuhrman says to eat very little of because they are not dense in nutrition. The rule of this plan is to eat foods highest on the nutrient index and avoid foods with little nutritional value all-together.
Here's a list of the foods he says we can eat from his book in unlimited quantities, and these are the only foods I eat myself. This plan is the only book that made perfect sense to me and I knew in my core that this is the only choice I would make for optimal health and wellness.
HIGH-NUTRIENT FOODS THAT CAN BE EATEN
IN UNLIMITED QUANITIES
LEAFY GREEN VEGATABLES
romaine lettuce, leaf lettuces, kale, collards, Swiss chard, cabbage, spinach, bok choy.
SOLID GREEN VEGATABLES
artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, celery, cucumber, peas,
Green peppers, string beans, zucchini.
NON-GREEN, HIGH NUTRIENT VEGATABLES
beets, eggplant, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, peppers, water chestnuts, cauliflower,
BEANS AND LEGUMES
red kidney beans, pinto beans, soybeans, lentils, black-eyed peas, black beans.
apples, apricots, blackberries, blueberries, grapefruit, grapes, kiwis, mangoes, nectarines,
all melons, oranges, peaches, pears, pineapples, plums, strawberries, tangerines.