Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Do you Eat to Live or Live to Eat?

Book Review of Eat to Live
by Joel Fuhrman, M.D.

This was a good book and there were some great takeaways, but it was almost 400 pages!  I listened to it on CD during a long drive, so the time went by quickly. Below are some of my favorite topics it covered.

Eating a vegetarian diet is no guarantee of good health-you can cut out dairy and meat but if you fill up on bread, pasta, bagels and crackers you are still lacking in vitamins and fiber.  Following a strict vegetarian diet is not as important as eating lots of fruits and vegetables.  “A vegetarian whose daily diet is mainly refined grains, cold breakfast cereals, processed health-food-store products, vegetarian fast foods, white rice, and pasta will be worse off than a person who eats a little chicken or eggs, but consumes a large amount of fruits, vegetable and beans.”  Brian & I eat organic meat about 3 meals a week, we are so busy trying to get in all of our fruits & vegetables we don't need meat to fill us up anymore.  Just because there is no animal product, or it's gluten free, or sugar free, or an organic candybar, doesn't mean it's healthy for you.  It's still a candy bar, or it's still full of lots of ingredients that you can't pronounce.  Don't just read the front of the label, read the ingredient list!

Don’t fear carbs-we need carbohydrates more than any other substance in our body, but we need the right carbs……that’s not 3 dinner rolls, or a whole sleeve of crackers.  The calories in fresh fruits, beans, legumes, whole grains and root vegetables mainly come from carbohydrates.  It’s the empty calorie (refined carbs) that give carbs the bad reputation.    

Fruits and vegetables are just more filling.  It only takes 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil to ingest 360 calories.  You would have to eat 10 CUPS of fresh green beans to consume 360 calories.  So it’s no wonder your stomach feels more full when you eat fruits & vegetables as opposed to empty calories.  Your stomach can hold about 1 liter of food, which is 3,000 calories of French fries or 500 calories of beans.  Those beans are going to give you so many other nutrients and sustain you, not to mention you won't feel the guilt after consuming 3,000 calories of greasy french fries. 

The book suggests you set a goal to eat 1 pound of raw and 1 pound of cooked or steamed vegetables daily.  I will be the first to admit I rarely get that many vegetables in daily, but I am definately trying to increase my intake.  One way I am trying to do that is with juicing-Brian & I recently bought a juicer and are looking forward to experimenting with creative ways to add more fresh produce in our diet.  I am sure there will be a post or two about that. 

Stop believing the myth that you need to eat animal products to get protein.  How do you think the hippo, gorilla and elephant are strong and get protein?  They eat vegetables!  I am not going to eat 40 pounds of vegetables daily, but I’m also not a 350 pound gorilla.  You don't need to eat 10 oz. of steak everyday to get protein, just like you don't need to drink 16 oz. of cow's milk to get calcium.  There are proteins & calcium in fruits & vegetables (and very little calories!)
Toxic eating can be just as addictive as smoking or taking drugs.  You need to overcome the addiction.  Stop telling yourself excuses and start making small changes.

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