Raw Bok Choy and Day 1 of Fuhrman Holiday Challenge

I survived day 1 of Dr. Fuhrman’s Holiday Challenge! Honestly, it wasn’t hard at all. Since I’ve been following his eating plan for a year now, I’m pretty well-versed in how to do it. I’m taking this opportunity to do the Challenge to incorporate even more vegetables into my diet, lose some excess body fat and resolve some lingering health issues like regulating my hormones and managing my seasonal allergies.

In case you don’t know about Dr. Fuhrman, he is a medical doctor who wrote the ground-breaking book Eat to Live. The book is based on science and his clinical experience and promotes a whole-foods, plant-based diet for disease-proof, optimal health. His 6-week plan includes eating DAILY around 1 lb. each of raw and cooked vegetables (emphasis on green veggies), 1 cup of beans or tofu and 4 pieces of fresh fruit. It also includes daily consumption of ground flax meal (1 tablespoon), and limited intake of avocado, nuts, seeds, starchy vegetables and whole grains (up to 1 cup daily of the starchy vegs or grains). Off-limits for the 6 weeks are dairy products, animal products, between-meal snacks, fruit juice and oils. Oh yes, and preferably no alcohol or caffeine.

This year is already easier for me because I have been caffeine-free for at least 6 months and I already eat a vegan, whole-foods diet. What is different is that I’m really trying to increase my raw and cooked vegetable intake while decreasing my intake of dried fruit and nuts.

One change I made today for lunch was to use my food processor to chop up some raw vegetables including carrots and bok choy. Since my husband is battling osteoporosis (likely from years of smoking in his previous life…BAD!), I’ve been trying to incorporate more calcium-rich foods into our diet and bok choy is one of them. For more about the health attributes of bok choy, click here.

The chopping was easy thanks to the processor. It took only seconds to go from this:

To this:

I served the shredded carrots and bok choy with my regular salad (also included were onions, microwaved frozen asparagus and about 1/4 of a large avocado):

The raw bok choy tasted, well, raw. It helped that I had some extra Creamy Avocado Dressing to mix with it. I also served the salad with a side of edamame, another excellent source of calcium. This lunch was so filling that I didn’t even have room for the watermelon!

If you are doing the Challenge, how was your first day? I find that planning meals at least one day ahead of time is crucial. Also, don’t underestimate the power of fresh fruit to satisfy any sugar cravings. Fruit is nature’s dessert!

Any questions or comments about this way of eating? Please ask me here or e-mail me at carrieonvegan @ gmail.com

And, as long as you promise not to eat the whole box in one sitting, don’t forget to enter my Lollihop Snack Box giveaway here. I’ll pick a winner at random this Saturday, 11/26/11.


  1. Theresa Anderson says

    Hi Carrie…Looks really good! I am not doing the challenge this year, but I sure wish I could. I just don’t see how with all the dynamics of my life right now, but I am a nutritarian and like you, I am trying to get those greens in and the crucies also.
    I will be on the sidelines, cheering everyone on! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
    Oh, and I too have an extra 10 lbs or so. I am going to do my own personal challenge and see if like you, by the end of the 6 weeks I’ll be looking at a whole new number on my scale!
    Best wishes for health and well-being..

    • says

      Thanks for the comment, Theresa! If you discover some tips on how to eat healthy in the midst of a busy life, please do share. I find it’s tough to put myself first and focus on what I’m eating, but I’m hopeful that the results will be worth it. I also love the idea of really focusing for 6 weeks and then just trying to maintain during the rest of the year.

  2. says

    I’m doing the challenge as well, Carrie! Although, like you, I’ve been doing this for a while now. The challenge for me is mostly about staying the course with the added stress of having my mother-in-law visiting us for two months. That’s stressful enough on it’s own, as you might imagine, but added to that is the fact that she’s a meat-and-potatoes person and is very resistant to our lifestyle. But she’s on about twenty different medications to combat her diabetes, cholesterol, blood pressure, etc. It’s, well, difficult. Trying to lead gently be example, rather than hitting her over the head with ETL, The China Study, and Esselstyn’s book!

    • says

      Hi Karena. Oh dear, you do have your work cut out for you. 🙂 One thing I’ve noticed recently is I’ve stopped caring about what other people think about my diet since I know it works for me. It’s a very liberating feeling but it takes energy to not be influenced by others. Good luck and just take it one day or meal at a time. And, I agree with you whole-heartedly that leading by example is the best way to show people how healthy and delicious plant-based living can be.

  3. says

    I’m just reading eat to live now. Thanks for posting what you’ve been having, it makes it seem so much easier 🙂 Good luck with the 6 week challenge! xxx

  4. says

    This sounds great! I went vegan (and my husband is vegan at home and pescatarian outside our house, though roaming every gently towards veganism) about 7 months ago. Initially I was having weak fingernails, but as soon as I started having mucho greens everyday, I started noticing how strong they became! Greens are amazing and I find I start craving them now. I have to have them every day or I feel grumpy! 🙂 Keep blogging about this! It’s fun to read!

    • says

      Thanks Katrina, that’s a cool story about your nails getting stronger. I also love my greens now and feel healthier as a result of eating so many. Keep up the good work!

  5. says

    I’m a big fan of Dr. Fuhrman—this does sound like a great plan! It always helps me to have a plan to follow with specific things to focus on!
    I hope you post updates about how it goes 🙂
    I’ve always wanted to try bok choy, but just haven’t gotten to it—I never thought of eating it raw!

  6. Gina says

    Hi Carrie,
    I’m so excited that I found your blog just as you’re starting Dr. Fuhrman’s Holiday Challenge. I just saw him on one of our PBS stations and am now waiting to get ‘Eat to Live’ from my local library. I have a lot of weight to lose and am hoping his plan will help. I’m already a vegan (about 8 months now) but haven’t lost any weight (I’m sure it’s too much fat, salt, refined carbs, etc.). As you progress through your 21 days, it will give me an idea of what kinds of things to eat when I start my journey (after the holidays). Good luck and thanks for sharing!!

    • says

      Thanks for visiting Gina! The Holiday Challenge is actually 6 weeks so I’ll be doing it through the end of the year. It’s not to late too join!!! 🙂 But, it’s probably better that you read the book first. If you have any questions, just shoot me an e-mail or comment on my blog and I’ll do my best to answer them. Dr. F’s program is fabulous for helping people to lose weight because you simply don’t have to be hungry because you are fueling your body with all kinds of wonderful fruits, vegetables, healthy fats and plant-based protein sources. Oh yeah, and at the same time you can reverse and prevent disease. It’s a win-win!

  7. Christy says

    Hi Carrie,

    You’ve re-motivated me to get back on track with Dr. Fuhrman’s plan. I’ll be getting my Eat to Live and Eat for Health books out today and making a grocery list. Look forward to following you. I love the pictures with the post!


    • says

      Keep up the good work, Renee, you can do it! It’s worth it, it really is. And, it gets easier. What week are you on? The first several weeks are definitely the hardest.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *