6 Week Challenge : Alternatives to Oil (FAT)


Oils are used primarily for two reasons when it comes to our food, sauteing and salad dressings. Both of which add a large portion of fat and calories to our diet. There are many alternatives for both uses that are healthier and that even taste better.See Article on Olive Oil


When you use salad dressings think of things like fruit and nuts as the base of the dressing.
here are some sample dressing recipes

Apple Pie Dressing
2 peeled apples
1cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
cinnamon to taste
Blend together.
I especially like this salad dressing with lettuce, tomatoes, avocados,
walnuts, and raisins. Obviously, if you are trying to lose weight, don’t add
much of the higher-calorie nuts and avocados.

Blueberry Dressing
1/2 pack frozen blueberries
2 dates
2 tbsp. raspberry vinegar
1 tbsp. lemon juice
Blend together

For a complete recipe list and meal plan you can sign up for the 6 week challenge HERE


Keep in mind that when you are sauteing there are other things to consider other then adding more calories and fat.  Oils have what is called a smoke point.  The smoke point is the specific temperature at which the oil starts to break oil smoke pointsdown…or in more technical terms, its molecular structure begins to change. These molecular changes result in changes in flavor, as well as changes in nutritional value…specifically, the nutritional value of the oil starts to degrade.

Here are some alternatives to sauteing with OIL:

  • Water
  • vegetable broth
  • juice
  • Red wine

take the challenge button

What doctors and scientists are saying about Eat to Live.


What doctors and scientists are saying about Eat to Live.

“Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat To Live presents a compelling, scientific, practical approach to weight loss, health and vitality that is a refreshing alternative to the plethora of popular, but largely ineffective diets and weight loss methods. For those who want to make dietary changes that will enable them to enjoy optimum health and appearance, this book is a must.”

James Craner, M.D., M.P.H.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Internal Medicine Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Nevada School of Medicine

“This is the book about achieving optimal health and weight that the scientific community has been waiting for; the “Gold Standard” via which all other diets can be judged. Dr. Fuhrman takes the latest scientific information from thousands of research studies and puts together the most effective and healthiest dietary approach possible. Everything else is just second-rate. All health professionals must read this book. I apply Dr. Fuhrman’s advice to my own life because it not only makes scientific sense, it works!”

Jeffrey Gilbert, M.D.
Medical Director: STD Center for Excellence @ Montefiore Medical Center, Bx Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine: Albert Einstein College of Medicine Assistant Clinical Professor of Ob/Gyn: Albert Einstein College of Medicine Consultant: NYS Department of Health

“Simply a great piece of work. Dr. Fuhrman has painstakingly taken the time to wade through the ever burgeoning mountain of evidence which proves that the American diet and many physician supported fad diets are not only unhealthy but are a contributing if not the direct cause of our enormous public cardiovascular and cancer problem. His references are excellent and exhaustive. As individuals and as a nation we cannot ignore this book. Dr Fuhrman, I commend you.”

Robert J Warren, M.D.
Fellow American College of Surgery Fellow American College of Orthopedic Surgery Meridian Hospital, NJ

“Dr. Fuhrman’s book is a world of nutritional wisdom. He has illustrated a comprehensive familiarity with the world’s scientific literature, weaving in his extensive clinical experience and insight that is a must read for every physician in America. Dr. Fuhrman offers a new, more effective approach to the treatment of various diseases and safe and effective methods of prevention. I recommend everyone remember his health equation and follow it for life.”

Alexander S. Fine, M.D.
Family Physician Champlost Family Practice, PA

“Finally a diet book that looks at the science of eating right in an accurate fashion. Most diet books have little basis in proven physiology. Dr. Fuhrman’s book, Eat to Live deals with why we gain weight, how to lose weight, and how to stay thin and healthy for life, and he backs it up with real scientific data. All controversy ends after you read this book. It will be the final word in diet books and the one I recommend to my patients.”

Thomas Davenport M.D.
Plastic Surgeon Massachusetts General Hospital Fellowship/Harvard University Microsurgery/Aesthetic Surgery Fellowship/Memorial Sloan Kettering Webster International Fellowship/Interplast

“Eat to Live is a comprehensive, valuable, scientifically focused contribution empowering nutrition knowledge and a healthier life.”

Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., M.D.
Preventive Cardiology Consultant Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio

“Dr. Fuhrman comes from a practice of medicine with an excellent knowledge of nutritional science. He has superbly bridged the gap between the highly technical world of science and the real world of everyday health practice. This book is both readable and reliable.”

T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D.
Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry Cornell University-Division of Nutritional Sciences

“Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman, M.D. is a landmark publication, a gimmick-free guide to the food and exercise requirements for a robust life. Introducing the key notion that healthy eating begins with the understanding that Health=Nutrients/Calories, Fuhrman explores all of the virtues of a plant-based diet. The book is meticulously referenced and includes irrefutable evidence that vegetables and fruit, rather than grains, starches, and animal foods define the basis of good nutrition. Fuhrman deftly exposes the high protein and “blood type” diets currently popular, and includes case studies of the gratifying responses of his own patients to his simple food and exercise recommendations.”

William Harris, M.D.
Hawaii Permanente Medical Group, Emergency Department 30 years in practice of Emergency Medicine

“To write a great and informative book on the cutting edge of health care, one that can really help people, it would take a pioneer doctor. Such is the nature of Eat To Live whose author, Dr. Fuhrman, is a hundred years ahead of his time. Fortunate is the reader who happens to come across this book. He or she walks under a lucky star!”

Roy A. Alterwein, M.D.
Gynecologist/Obstetrician 35 years Lifestyle And Wellness Physician Medical Health Publications Author and Video Producer

“I have been a cancer surgeon for the past 15 years and legions of patients under my care have asked, “Doctor, what do I eat now that I have been diagnosed with cancer?” The real question they were asking was, “Doctor, how do I use food to help regain my health?” Intuitively, I knew that food was medicine, but wanted supportive information that had undergone rigorous scientific documentation and was “new age” in its perspective and passion. My readings spanned the gamut from the dogmatic anecdotal accounts of self-healed evangelists and raw foodists to the writings of inflexible, pedantic laboratory scientists. Still, I was unfulfilled. Finally I found Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s book, “Eat to Live” and immediately knew I was in a sacred avant garde stream of information regarding food and chronic degenerative diseases. This book is simply an awesome piece of work and fills the gap between the ivory tower based nutrition research, which is difficult for the average person to interpret and the unsubstantiated claims of new age proponents of nutrition. For me, this is a book that dropped out of heaven.”

Groesbeck P. Parham, M.D.
Professor of Gynecologic Oncology Avon Scholar for Cancer Control University of Alabama Comprehensive Cancer Center

How Does Shakeology fit into the 6 Week Challenge?


I am sure many of you are wondering if Shakeology will fit into the 6 week challenge or in the eat to live lifestyle.  Well let me give you a breake down of why it DOES fit so well into this new way of eating for you.

Here is the concepts that Shakeology as well as the eat to live plan were built on:

  • Fill in as many of the gaps left by the Standard American Diet or the SAD diet.
  • Provide the healthiest meal of the day
  • Give you more Veggies in one meal then most get in a day.
  • Make the healthiest meal of the day also the most convenient meal of the day.
  • It promotes health by giving you over 50 super foods and an abundance of vitamins an minerals.
  • It helps to achieve optimal health which can include weight loss, decrease in Cholesterol, decrease in blood pressure, etc.
  • Decrease cravings by fulfilling the bodies needs at the micro nutrient level.

Not only does shakeology fit into this style of eating but it will actually make it easier.  Eating healthy does take a little more work and preparation so adding this little gem to your healthy arsenal is a great way to help you stay on top of your health.  You will also find that when eating this way you will save money by replacing one meal a day with Shakeology.


What is Shakeology?

Enjoy healthy nutrition RISK FREE for 30 days with our Bottom-of-the-Bag Guarantee

  • If you don’t feel healthier, more energized, and simply amazing, you won’t pay.

You can return Shakeology for any reason and get your money back (less s&h)-

even if the bag is empty!

  • To return, simply make a short call to our friendly Customer Service team                                                   rated “A” by the better Business Bureau®.

  • Get FREE standard shipping with Home Direct**

Why you need Shakeology now*

Shakeology can help you:*

  • Lose weight

  • Reduce cravings

  • Increase energy and stamina

  • Promote healthy digestion and regularity
  • Lower cholesterol1

Tastes delicious, too.

How Shakeology works

  • Ingredients derived from whole-food sources deliver the daily vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients your body needs to curb cravings, allowing it to shed stored fat.

  • More than 20 different antioxidants and phytonutrients help reduce free radical damage that can lead to heart disease, heart attacks, high blood pressure, and stroke.
  • Fiber, prebiotics, and digestive enzymes help your body gently eliminate toxins more efficiently and promote better absorption of nutrients.*

What’s in Shakeology

  • Protein and essential amino acids help build muscles and reduce food cravings.

  • Prebiotics and digestive enzymes aid in improving digestion, regularity, and nutrient absorption.

  • Antioxidants and phytonutrients help counteract free radical damage that can lead to degenerative diseases.

  • A daily dose of vitamins and minerals provides your body what it needs to function for optimal health.

Choose how to purchase Shakeology

  • The Shakeology Convenience Pack contains 24 single-serving packets you can take anywhere.
  • Choose the 30-day supply in a bag to keep in your kitchen.

FREE shipping when you sign up for Home Direct, the monthly autoship program

30-Day Money Back Guarantee

If you don’t start to see and feel the benefits of Shakeology within the first month of using it, or if you’re not 100% satisfied for any reason, just return it within 30 days for a full refund of the purchase price, less s&h—guaranteed. That’s our promise to you.


Ingredients and Nutritional Information for Shakeology Chocolate Flavor


Ingredients and Nutritional Information for Shakeology Greenberry Flavor

Ingredients and Nutritional Information for Shakeology Tropical Strawberry Flavor

Ingredients and Nutritional Information for Shakeology Chocolate Vegan Flavor

Shakeology® FAQs

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


†Free monthly shipping offer applies only when you select basic ship method (outside the continental U.S., a surcharge will apply).

Results may vary.


1In a 90-day study, participants replaced one meal per day with Shakeology, ate a balanced diet, and exercised moderately three times per week. Total cholesterol was reduced on average by 30% and LDL cholesterol reduced on average by 38%.


2Participants followed the Shakeology Program, which included replacing one meal per day with Shakeology, exercising three times a week, and eating a balanced diet.


**With Shakeology Home Direct, you’ll receive this item every 30 days, shipped directly to your door and billed to the credit card used today in the amount of $119.95 a month(or $129.95 if you choose Tropical Strawberry or Chocolate Vegan) and includes FREE shipping to your doorstep. You may cancel at any time to avoid future changes by contacting Customer Service.



6 Week Challenge : Oil From the lips to the hips


An effective way to sabotage your weight-loss goal is with high-fat dressings and sauces. Americans consume 60 grams of added fat in the form of oils, which is over five hundred calories a day from this form of no-fiber, empty calories. 19 Refined or extracted oils, including olive oil, are rich in calories and low in nutrients.
Oils are 100 percent fat. Like all other types of fat, they contain nine calories per gram, compared with four calories per gram for carbohydrates.  There are lots of calories in just a little bit of oil.

Click HERE for some healthy alternatives to olive oil.

Olive oils

Fat, such as olive oil, can be stored on your body within minutes, without costing the body any caloric price; it is just packed away (unchanged) on your hips and waist. If we biopsied your waist fat and looked at it under an electron microscope, we could actually see where the fat came from. It is stored there as pig fat, dairy fat, and olive oil fat—just as it was in the original food. It goes from your lips right to your hips. Actually, more fat from your last meal is deposited around your waist than on your hips, for both men and women.  Analyzing these body-fat deposits is an accurate way for research scientists to discern food intake over time.  Having research subjects remember what they ate (dietary recall analysis) is not as accurate as a tissue biopsy, which reports exactly what was really eaten.

Foods cooked in oil or coated with oils soak up more oil than you think. A low-calorie “healthy” food easily becomes fattening. Most Americans eat negligible amounts of salad vegetables, but when they do eat a small salad,
they consume about three leaves of iceberg lettuce in a small bowl and then proceed to pour three or four tablespoons of oily dressing on top. Since oil is about 120 calories per tablespoon, they consume some 400 (empty) calories from dressing and about 18 from lettuce. They might as well forget the lettuce and just drink the dressing straight from the bottle.

Ounce for ounce, olive oil is one of the most fattening, calorically dense foods on the planet; it packs even more calories per pound than butter (butter: 3,200 calories; olive oil: 4,020).

Thecooking oils bottom line is that oil will add fat to our already plump waistlines, heightening the risk of disease, including diabetes and heart attacks. Olive oil contains 14 percent saturated fat, so you increase the amount of arteryclogging
saturated fat as you consume more of it. I believe consuming more fattening olive oil in your diet will raise your LDL (bad) cholesterol, not lower it. Weight gain raises your cholesterol; unprocessed foods such as nuts, seeds, and vegetables, utilized as a source of fat and calories instead of oil, contain phytosterols and other natural substances that lower cholesterol.  Also, keep in mind that in Italy, where they consume all that supposedly healthy olive oil, people have twice the chance of getting breast cancer as in Japan, where they have a significantly lower fat intake.

How much do you know about nutrition?


How much do you know about nutrition? True or false?

See answers to the Quiz here

1. We need milk to get enough calcium to protect us against osteoporosis.
2. A diet high in protein is healthy.
3. The best source of protein is animal foods such as meat, chicken, eggs, fish, and dairy.
4. Plant foods do not have complete protein.
5. To get adequate protein from a plant-based diet, you should combine certain foods to make sure you receive a complete complement of the necessary amino acids at each meal.
6. We can protect ourselves against cancer by switching to low fat animal foods such as chicken, fish, and skim milk and by omitting red meat.

One day we hear that a high-fat diet causes cancer, and the next day a study shows that those on low-fat diets do not have lower cancer rates. The public is so confused and fed up that they just eat anything, and the number of overweight people continues to grow.

The China Project

Fortunately, evidence from a massive series of scientific investigations has shed some light on the confusion. The China-Cornell-Oxford Project (also known as the China Project) is the most comprehensive study on the connection between diet and disease in medical history. The New York Times called this investigation the “Grand Prix of all epidemiological studies” and “the most comprehensive large study ever undertaken of the relationship between diet and the risk of developing disease.

Spearheaded by T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., of Cornell University, this study has made discoveries that have turned the nutritional community upside down. To the surprise of many, the China Project has revealed many so-called nutritional facts as demonstrably false. For example,

the answer to all the Nutrition Quiz questions above is false.

China was an ideal testing ground for this comprehensive project because the people in one area of China eat a certain diet and the people just a few hundred miles away may eat a completely different diet. Unlike in the West, where we all eat very similarly, rural China is a “living laboratory” for studying the complex relationship between diet and disease.

The China Project was valid because it studied populations with a full range of dietary possibilities: from a completely plant-food diet to diets that included a significant amount of animal foods. Adding small quantities of a variable is how scientists can best detect the risk or value of a dietary practice. It’s the same principle as comparing nonsmokers with those who smoke half a pack a day, to best observe the dangers of smoking. Comparing a fifty-cigarette per day habit with a sixty-cigarette per day habit may not reveal much more additional damage from those last ten cigarettes.

In China, people live their entire lives in the towns they were born in and rarely migrate, so the dietary effects that researchers looked at were present for the subjects’ entire life. Furthermore, as a result of significant regional
differences in the way people eat, there were dramatic differences in the prevalence of disease from region to region. Cardiovascular disease rates varied twenty fold from one place to another, and certain cancer rates varied by several hundredfold. In America, there is little difference in the way we eat; therefore, we do not see a hundredfold difference in cancer rates between one town and another.

Fascinating findings were made in this study. The data showed huge differences in disease rates based on the amount of plant foods eaten and the availability of animal products. Researchers found that as the amount of animal foods increased in the diet, even in relatively small increments, so did the emergence of the cancers that are common in the West. Most cancers occurred in direct proportion to the quantity of animal foods consumed.

In other words, as animal food consumption approached zero, cancer rates fell. Areas of the country with an extremely low consumption of animal food were virtually free of heart attacks and cancer. An analysis of the mortality
data from 65 counties and 130 villages showed a significant association with animal protein intake (even at relatively low levels) and heart attacks, with a strong protective effect from the consumption of green vegetables.

All animal products are low (or completely lacking) in the nutrients that protect us against cancer and heart attacks fiber, antioxidants, phytochemicals, folate, vitamin E, and plant proteins. They are rich in substances that scientific investigations have shown to be associated with cancer and heart disease incidence: saturated fat, cholesterol, and arachidonic acid.4 Diets rich in animal protein are also associated with high blood levels of the hormone IGF-1, which is a known risk factor for several types of cancer.5 The China Project showed a strong correlation between cancer and the amount of animal protein, not just animal fat, consumed.6 Consumption of  lean meats and poultry still showed a strong correlation with higher cancer incidence. These findings indicate that even low-fat animal foods such as skinless white-meat chicken are implicated in certain cancers.

6 Week Challange FAQ's


Here is a list of some of the most asked questions in regard to this meal plan.

Could restricting my intake of animal products or eating a strict vegetarian diet cause me to develop vitamin deficiencies?

A strict vegetarian diet is deficient in meeting the vitamin B12 needs of some individuals. If you choose to follow a complete vegetarian (vegan) diet, it is imperative that you consume a multivitamin or other source of B12, Like Shakeology or fortified soymilk.

What about drugs for weight loss?

Remember: for anything to be effective, you have to be on it forever. Even if the drugs were remarkably effective, you would have to be prepared to stay on them forever; the minute you stopped, the benefits would slowly be lost.  In the long run, it is still your diet that determines your health and your weight. The amphetamine-related appetite suppressants have received much
press, and they were quite popular until their dangers became more well known. They were never approved for long-term use, so it wasn’t very wise for people to use them.

Can’t I eat chocolate, ice cream, or other junk food ever again?

You can eat anything you desire, on occasion, but just don’t make a habit of it. Try to be very strict the first three months in order to document how much weight you can expect to lose when you eat sensibly. We are all tempted by these treats. It is easier to resist if you get them out of your house completely. All cheats should be done outside of your home. If possible, associate with friends who will support you in recovering your health—or may join you in trying to be healthy.  Once you regain your health and feel great, you are less likely to crave these foods or be so tempted. Then, when you do deviate from a healthful diet, it is likely you will feel poorly, have a persistent dry mouth, and not sleep well. If you go off your diet and eat junk food on occasion, mark it on your calendar and consider it a special occasion that you won’t repeat too often.

Nobody is perfect; however, do not let your weight yo-yo. You must adhere to the plan strictly enough so that you never put back on whatever weight you do take off.

Is exercise essential for success in weight loss, and what type of exercise is best?

Exercise is important, but if your ability to be active and exercise is limited, do not despair. The more aggressive menu plans will still enable you to lose weight. Obviously, those unable to exercise require a stricter diet.  Some people have health conditions that preclude them from exercising much.  However, you should still try to devise an exercise prescription to fit your capabilities. Almost everyone can do something; even those who cannot walk can do arm exercises with light weights and use an arm cycle.  Exercise will facilitate your weight loss and make you healthier. Vigorous exercise has a powerful effect on promoting longevity.  If you have the will to adopt this plan and take good care of yourself, you will find the will to exercise. “No time to exercise” is not an excuse. If you have time to brush your teeth, take a shower, or go to the bathroom, you can make some time to exercise. Take frequent five-minute exercise breaks—walk stairs or stand up then sit down slowly in your chair twenty times. Lots of people with no time to exercise or join a health club can usually go up and down stairs in their home or place of work. Try doing as many flights as you can two or three times a day. Walking twenty or more flights a day is an effective way to achieve your goal. Most people have a health club in their house—that is, a stairway leading to the upstairs floor, and most have one going down to the basement as well. Walk up and down the two flights ten times in the morning before they shower and ten times at night. It takes only five minutes, but it really works.

Is a vegetarian or vegan diet healthier than a diet that contains a small amount of animal products?

It is not known for sure.  A preponderance of the evidence suggests that either a near vegetarian diet or a vegetarian diet is the best. In the massive China-Cornell-Oxford Project, reduction in cancer rates continued to be observed as participants reduced their animal-food consumption all the way down to one serving per week. Below this level there is not enough data available. Some smaller studies suggest that some fish added to a vegetarian diet provides benefit, which is likely a result of the increased DHA fat from fish.  This same benefit most likely could be achieved on a strict vegetarian diet by including ground flax seed and nuts that contain omega-3, such as walnuts.

Is a high-nutrient, low-calorie diet the best one for everyone?

The same diet is not for everyone, but the H = N/C formula never changes.

I don’t drink six to eight glasses of water daily. Is that bad?

Only those eating an American-style diet, so high in salt and so low in the high-water-content fruits and vegetables, need to drink that much water.  Three glasses a day is usually sufficient; but if you are exercising or in the heat, then you obviously need to drink more to replenish those liquids lost through perspiration.

How do you modify your recommendations about superior nutrition and disease prevention for children or those not needing to lose weight?

I would expect, as parents, we all have the same goal of trying to get our children to eat more nutritious foods: more vegetables, fruits, raw nuts and seeds, and legumes and beans. However, no child will eat healthfully if he is allowed to eat unhealthy foods on a regular basis.  The only way to have a child eat healthfully is to clear all unhealthful foods out of the house, so when the children are hungry they are forced to pick from healthy choices. They will at least eat healthfully when they are home if they are presented with only healthy food choices.  Nevertheless, the dietary rules in this Plan would be too calorie-restricted and too fat-restricted for a child or thin athlete.  However, the principles for healthy eating and longevity do not change. All that has to be done to increase the caloric density and fat density of the diet is to add more wholesome sources of fat and calories, such as raw nuts and seeds, nutbutters, and avocados. Starchy vegetables and whole grains can be consumed in larger amounts, and vegetable and grain dishes can be flavored with sauces and dressings made with nuts and seeds.

Is it dangerous to eat more fruits and vegetables because of the increased consumption of pesticides? Do I have to buy organic?

The effects of ingesting pesticides in the very small amounts present in vegetation are unknown. Bruce Ames, Ph.D., director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Center at the University of California at Berkeley, who has devoted his career to examining this question, believes these minute amounts pose no risk at all.  He and other scientists support this view because humans and other animals are exposed to small amounts of naturally occurring toxins with every mouthful of organically grown, natural food. The body normally breaks down self-produced metabolic wastes and naturally occurring carcinogens in foods, as well as pesticides, and excretes these harmful substances every minute.   Since 99.99 percent of the potential carcinogenic chemicals consumed are naturally present in all food, reducing our exposure to the 0.01 percent that are synthetic will not reduce cancer rates.  These scientists argue that humans ingest thousands of natural chemicals that typically have a greater toxicity and are present at higher doses than the very minute amount of pesticide residue that remains on food. Furthermore,animal studies on the carcinogenic potential in synthetic chemicals are done at doses a thousandfold higher than what is ingested in food. Ames argues that a high percentage of all chemicals, natural or not, are potentially toxic in high doses—“the dose makes the poison”—and that there is no evidence of possible cancer hazards from the tiny chemical residue remaining on produce.  Others believe a slight risk may be present, though that risk may be difficult to prove. There certainly is a justifiable concern that some chemicals have increased toxicity and are potentially harmful at lower doses than are used in rodent experiments. No scientist believes that this means we should reduce our consumption of vegetation, but many (including me) believe it prudent to reduce our exposure to the multiple toxic residues present in our food supply. I certainly advocate avoiding the skins of foods that are reported to have the most pesticide residue. And, of course, all fruits and vegetables should be washed before eating.If you are concerned about pesticides and chemicals, keep in mind that animal products, such as dairy and beef, contain the most toxic pesticide residues. Because cows and steers eat large amounts of tainted feed, certain pesticides and dangerous chemicals are found in higher concentrations in animal foods. For example, dioxin, which is predominantly found in fatty meats and dairy products, is one of the most potent toxins linked to several cancers in humans, including lymphomas.  By basing your diet on unrefined plant foods, you automatically reduce your exposure to the most dangerous chemicals.  According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (www.fda.gov), the most contaminated produce, ranked from highest to lowest, are:

Rank Score (200 – Most Toxic)
1 strawberries 189
2 green and red bell peppers 155
3 spinach 155
4 cherries (USA) 154
5 peaches 150
6 cantaloupe (Mexico) 142
7 celery 129
8 apples 124
9 apricots 123
10 green beans 122
11 grapes (Chile) 118
12 cucumbers 117

Source: Environmental Working Group, compiled from FDA and EPA data


These twelve foods account for more than half of the total pesticide exposure. They are the key foods to avoid (unless you purchase organically grown ones).  It makes common sense to peel fruits, if possible, and not to eat potatoskins unless you are able to purchase them pesticide-free. Remove and discard the outermost leaves of lettuce and cabbage, if not organically grown; other surfaces that cannot be peeled can be washed with soap and water or a

commercial vegetable wash. Washing with plain water removes 25–50 percent of the pesticide residue. Some people avoid strawberries completely unless you purchase organic—frozen organic strawberries from the health-food store are a great option.  Every study done to date on the consumption of food and its relation to cancer, though, has shown that the more fruits and vegetables people eat, the less cancer and heart disease they have. All these studies were done on people eating conventionally grown, not organic, produce. So, clearly, the benefit of conventional produce outweighs any hypothetical risk.

What about the argument about our ancestors being huntergatherers who ate lots of meat?

Of course there were primitive populations who ate high-meat diets and there were primitive people who ate plant-predominant diets. Humans were desperate for calories, so they ate whatever they could get their hands on.  The two questions we have to look at are: How long did they live on that diet?  What diet for humans gives them the best protection against disease and the greatest chance for longevity in modern times?  Personally, I want to do a lot better than our prehistoric ancestors did. A comprehensive overview and a sensible interpretation of the scientific evidence support the conclusion that we can increase human longevity and prevent disease if we make specific food choices. We still retain our primate physiology, a physiology that has a dependence on high vegetation consumption, that is relevant to explain our ability to thrive on a plantpredominant diet.

I know butter or margarine is not recommended, so what do we put on bread, vegetables, or corn?

Butter is loaded with a dangerous amount of saturated fat, but stick margarines have hydrogenated oils that contain trans fats that raise LDL, the bad cholesterol. Adjusting the type of fat consumed, researchers found that butter caused the highest cholesterol level and that varying amounts of margarines and oils had various harmful effects.14 The best answer is to use nothing, or buy whole-grain bread that tastes good without adding a greasy topping. If you love the flavor of butter, try Butter Buds or sparingly use a spread that contains no hydrogenated oil, such as Spectrum Essential Omega Spread, instead. Lots of my patients like no-salt tomato sauce on bread, or a tomato-salsa blend, avocado, or stewed mushrooms. Of course, the best way to get out of the habit of eating those greasy toppings is not to eat bread at all.

Are soy products and soybeans a healthy food to eat?

Soy products such as soy burgers, soymilk, and soy cheeses are much more popular and available today. Recently, the FDA approved soy-containing products as heart-healthy and allowed health claims for soy protein.  Studies have shown soy’s beneficial effects on cholesterol and other cardiovascular risk factors. However, there is no reason not to expect the same results from beans of any type—it’s merely that more studies have been done on soy than on other beans. You should be aware that soy nuts, soymilk, and other processed soyproducts do not retain much of the beneficial compounds and omega-3 fats that are in the natural bean.

How much salt is permissible on this nutritional program?

This Plan is designed for those who want to lose weight and for those who want to maintain in excellent health and prevent disease. Any excess salt added to food, outside of what is contained in natural foods, is likely to increase your risk of developing disease. Salt consumption is linked to both stomach cancer and hypertension.  For optimal health, I recommend that no salt at all be added to any food. The famous DASH study clearly indicates that Americans consume five to ten times as much sodium as they need and that high sodium levels over the years has a predictable effect on raising blood pressure.

What about coffee?

Clearly, excessive consumption of caffeinated beverages is dangerous.  Caffeine addicts are at higher risk of cardiac arrhythmias that could precipitate sudden death.  Coffee raises blood pressure and raises both cholesterol and homocysteine, two risk factors for heart disease. One cup of coffee per day is not likely to cause a significant risk, butdrinking more than this one-cup maximum can interfere with your health and even your weight-loss goals.

How much alcohol is permissible?

Moderate drinking has been associated with a lower incidence of coronary heart disease in more than forty prospective studies. This only applies to moderate drinking—defined as one drink or less per day for women, and two drinks or less for men. More than this is associated with increased fat around the waist and other potential problems.  . One glass of wine per day is likely insignificant, but it is not recommended to take higher levels of alcohol consumption.

I feel best when I eat a high-protein diet, with plenty of animal products. Does that mean these recommendations, to eat a plant-based diet, are not for me?

 The main reasons for this are as follows:

A diet heavily burdened with animal products places a toxic stress on the detoxification systems of the body. As with stopping caffeine, cigarettes, and heroin, many observe withdrawal symptoms for a short period, usually including fatigue, weakness, headaches, or loose stools. In 95 percent of these cases, these symptoms resolve within two weeks. It is more common that the temporary adjustment period lasts less than a week, in which you might feel fatigue, have headaches or gas, or experience other mild symptoms as your body withdraws from your prior toxic habits.  Don’t buy the fallacy that you “need more protein.” The menus in this plan offer sufficient protein—and protein deficiency does not cause fatigue. Even the vegan menus supply about 50 grams of protein per 1,000 calories, a whopping amount. Stopping dangerous but stimulating foods causes temporary fatigue.

Do you recommend low-calorie or no calorie sweeteners?

Sweetening agents, such as NutraSweet (aspartame), are added to more than six thousand foods and drugs. Many people use these sweeteners in an effort to control their weight. It doesn’t work; it just perpetuates your desire for unhealthy food. When researchers compared the caloric intake of women fed aspartame-sweetened drinks with women given higher-calorie beverages, the women given the aspartame merely consumed more calories later.  It is not the solution.

Bottom line: try to enjoy your food choices without sweeteners. Fresh fruit and occasionally a little date sugar or ground dates is the safest way to go. It is recommended to drop colas, sodas, sweetened teas, and juices. If theydon’t contain artificial sweeteners, they are loaded with sugar.

I eat out frequently, which makes sticking with this plan very difficult. How can I make the transition easier?

Choose restaurants that have healthful options, and know the places that will cater to your needs. When possible, speak to the management or chef in advance. When traveling, look for restaurants that have salad bars. This is notan all-or-nothing plan. Every person exposed to these ideas can improve over his or her current diet. People have a tendency to like best the foods to which they have become accustomed. So, keep in mind that eventually you will lose

the desire for some of the unhealthful foods you are eating now and you will enjoy the pleasures of healthy, natural foods more.