Friday, July 9, 2010

Eat to Live, Joel Fuhrman

I have never been a fan of the "diet book." Most diets do not recognize a vegan lifestyle. And, in many ways, veganism is diet. After reading Pollen's short manifesto on food I was recommended this diet book, Eat to Live. I was intrigued by the diet's vegetarian perspective.

Most of Fuhrman's method is scare tactic. Much of the book puts a lot of effort into scare tactics. Fuhrman is constantly warning the reader about all the cancer causing effects of eating meat and dairy. I don't disagree with his stance. But, I do disagree with his method. Pollen believes much of America's eating disorder stems from the anxiety and fear nutritionists, doctors, scientists are placing on our food habits.

My biggest complaint with Fuhrman is his fear of oil. He goes so far as to suggest one cook their meal (ie, tofu scramble) in water instead of olive oil or coconut oil. I understand oil isn't the best form of cooking. But, I'm certain oil isn't the worst. Fuhrman goes so far as to suggest oil is the reason we gain the little extra around our waist. By books end, I was ready to ignite a whole new form of eating disorder into my eating habits.

I do appreciate Fuhrman's love of vegetables and fruit. The basic meal plan is to eat as many raw vegetables as you'd like, at least 4 servings of fruit a day, a serving of beans with lunch, a salad with lunch and dinner, 1 tablespoon of flaxseed, and no more than 1 cup of starchy veggies and grains. I admire the specifics of the meal plan without stating 'you must eat exactly this and this.' Fuhrman gives you a basic, easy to follow outline for the day to day meals. I plan to incorporate the beans (as I pretty much follow the other rules).

Had I read Fuhrman's book prior to Pollen's, I imagine I would have felt differently about Fuhrman's method of fear. And, it is strange for me to use Pollen as an example of a perfect tour guide for food practice as I found him a little wishy-washy. But, I guess Pollen stuck with me a little more than I thought.


1 comment:

  1. I think I took away from this book that you could eat what you wanted in moderation. It's not about going 'you CAN'T eat these foods' or cutting things it, but instead encourages you to eat better foods. I appreciated that it was a focus on health first and weight-loss second, but I agree that it's overkill with his point that he's saved numbers of patients who were 'near death.'

    Eating more raw, organic foods as a means to a healthier life isn't rocket science or 'new.' But I enjoy this for the fact that I'm still allowed to eat ice cream or cookies if I desire, but when I do - it's the smallest amount. I also have noticed that by sticking with this, my palette did change and when I get stuck in a rut of fast food, I thoroughly crave lots of greens and beans.

    Having said that, my mother doesn't understand what I eat and I told her 'beans,' and I literally have probably 36 cans of different beans in my pantry. I have a white chicken chili recipe that is amazing for winter time. I'll have to send it to you some time.