If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, then you know that I’m a loyal follower of Dr. Fuhrman’s high-nutrient, plant-based program.
I had been vegan for about three months back in 2010 when I was referred to his book Eat to Live to address my chronic migraines and other health issues (you can read more about my story here).
It was nothing short of a miracle for me that when I cut out the processed foods from my diet and greatly increased my intake of vegetables and other healthy, whole vegan foods, my migraines, allergies, and anxiety disappeared.
For those reasons, I am truly grateful to Dr. Fuhrman and many of the other plant-based advocates for spreading the message about the relationship between nutrition and health.
Dr. Fuhrman’s Annual Health Getaway:
I was lucky enough to attend Dr. Fuhrman’s Annual Health Getaway last week where nearly 300 attendees including my husband and I were treated to inspiring lectures, gourmet food, and camaraderie, all in a beautiful environment on Coronado Island near San Diego, California. (Note: I just wanted to mention that I have no financial interest or agreements with Dr. Fuhrman or his company. I paid for my trip to the event and all of my opinions are my own).
I took a lot of pictures so I could share what the experience was like. Here is a sample collage of some of the breakfasts I enjoyed and the beautiful fruits available. The food items that appear on the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” list were even organic.
My typical breakfast included romaine lettuce with fruit and sliced sweet vegetables, topped with a nut-based sauce like a Lemon Poppyseed Dressing. I also usually had a glass of green smoothie with almond-hemp milk. Talk about starting off your day right (and always after an early morning hour of group exercise including Zumba, strength training, yoga, or walking on the beach).
We ate every meal on the gorgeous patio overlooking Coronado harbor and the spreads were incredible. A beautiful salad bar was at the beginning of the buffet line, with a better variety of sliced vegetables, greens, nuts, seeds, and beans than you could ever imagine. Then, there were usually at least two hot dishes plus a soup to go along with the salad. My plates were always overflowing as these pictures show:
We were also treated to sweet treats after each meal including fruit and some type of date-sweetened dessert like the vanilla sabayon in the top right picture or the thumbprint oat cookies hiding under the fruit in the bottom right picture:
I thought the overall schedule was nice because we exercised in the early mornings (you can see one of the group activity classes in the top left picture), ate all meals on the outdoor patio, had lectures in the mornings, and then usually had free time in the afternoons for adventuring and socializing:
Notes on Food Addiction:
Since I’ve been home now for almost a week, I wanted to share with you the targeted information I gathered on food addiction and how to manage overeating. This is an area that I have struggled with for many, many years, and I got some really good tips from Randi who works in Dr. Fuhrman’s office and manages the Motivational Outreach Program for food addiction.
These are my notes combined from Randi and Dr. Fuhrman. I wrote similar notes from Dr. Fuhrman’s Immersion last December in San Francisco here.
- Don’t be afraid of hunger. Food tastes a lot better if you are hungry. Take a note from babies and kids who refuse to eat when they’re not hungry.
- If you have to ask yourself if you’re hungry or not, then you’re not hungry.
- Stop eating before full or at a hint of fullness.
- Occupy your life with other pursuits other than eating.
- Watch out for trigger foods that lead to overeating including: dried fruits, nuts, breads, and sweet liquids.
- Sweetened drinks are the worst way to consume sweeteners because it goes into your bloodstream the fastest and causes a fast insulin response.
- Food is meant for fuel, not as the primary source of happiness or comfort in our lives. The dopamine response we get from certain foods is fleeting.
- Addiction is a con artist. If you think you can have just a little bit, it can be a slippery slope. Abstinence is best when it comes to trigger foods or food addiction.
- Treat food addiction like alcoholism and abstain completely.
- Consider how long you get pleasure from eating an addictive food (temporary) compared to how long it makes you feel bad about your choice (often days or longer).
- The addictive drive to certain foods will lessen after 12 weeks of abstinence. After that, a date sweetened dessert (average one Medjool date per serving) is appropriate 1-2 days per week if it’s no longer a trigger to overeat.
My Healthy Meals:
My motivation for eating healthfully has been incredible since I got home. Here’s a sampler of some of the salads and dishes I’ve prepared recently including the Zesty Watermelon Gazpacho from the Purely Nourished blog that was featured on Healthy Vegan Fridays recently (top right photo):
I don’t think it is a coincidence that I’ve had more energy in months since I’ve been home from the Getaway. I am already looking forward to next year’s Getaway! If you want to read more about this year’s event, I wrote two other posts here and here. You can also see a list of posts related to all of the Dr. Fuhrman events I’ve attended here.
I have a feeling that this trip is going to be the highlight of my summer and a turning point in my commitment to healthy eating. Thank you for reading and thank you to Dr. Fuhrman and everyone in the nutritarian and plant-based community for inspiring me.
I’ll be back here on Friday with a brand new post. Until then, please do connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, or Google+ and don’t forget to help keep my blog going by downloading my recipe app, Vegan Delish, on the iTunes store here.