ETL Friday! Jacob’s Journey…

Hi, All, Jacob shares how he gained his life back when he decided to take control and gain his health!

Here’s Jacob’s inspiring story of commitment and reward(s) 🙂

I have always struggled with my weight. Well, struggled is probably not the right word. Back when I weighed 275pounds, and during my whole climb up there, I did not fight the gain, I just let it happen.I always knew I was fat and it made me depressed and really damaged my confidence.

Finally, once I capped out at my highest weight, I decided to do something about it. I started to cut out some of the most calorically dense foods in my diet and lost about twenty or twenty-five pounds; quickly, though, I hit a standstill.

Being that this was a point in my life where changes were being made, I decided to become a vegetarian for ethical reasons. As I cut out animal products, my weight began to drop a bit. Then, I started looking into veganism and came across a website called, where I learned about Dr. Fuhrman and also saw many fit and buff vegan athletes.

I appreciate fit bodies and always have, but always thought it impossible for me to have one. I began to believe I could and realized that a vegan diet and the nutritarian way are both great tools for going about this. I implemented some nutritarian concepts and began my journey into veganism.

My weight plummeted and I felt more energetic than I ever have. I stayed at my pseudo-nutritarian diet for a couple of years or so, hitting another standstill after dropping down to 160 pounds, then back up to 180 or so hovering around there for awhile.

After some frustration with my weight again, I decided to adopt the nutritarian lifestyle completely. I stopped eating several small meals a day and switched to three per day with an after workout green smoothie, as well as another green smoothie in the morning. My weight dropped down to 165, my leanest weight yet. At this time, I had more muscle than when I weighed 160, so I looked a lot better.

Also, depression has always been a struggle for me, but when I finally went full-Fuhrman, it went away completely. I am content with myself and my life almost constantly now and each day is a joy and adventure.

The nutritarian diet helped me far beyond just losing weight. My sexual endurance and desire also increased, almost too much, if I do say so myself.

My weight no longer fluctuates and I do not have to watch a scale anymore. Now, if only the lifestyle could do something about excess skin. In time, maybe…

Thanks, Jacob, for showing us how commitment and stick-to-it-iveness leads to rewards beyond expectations.

Personally, I relate a lot to your allusion to contentment: That is often a word I use to describe my sense of peace and satiety with life.

Continued success and more rewards to you! Here’s to healthy body, mind, and soul.

Greens ‘n’ Cheers! 😀

Feel free to contact me 🙂 and contribute to ETL Friday! and inspire Us!


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ETL Friday! Recipes: No-Grain Granola…

~ Update: This NoGrainola is actually excellent with plant-milks; the texture is best described as the texture of “Grapenuts Cereal” if you recall ever eating that. Enjoy 😀 ~


No Grainola with Goji Berries and Walnuts

Hi, Folks. No grain, no sugar, no acrylamides, and low fat ETL-DPYC granola. I thought I’d share one of my recipes that I created, utilizing the humble but versatile garbanzo bean —  grain-allergy free to boot. Feel free to tweak. Let me know if anyone you serve this can tell this is NOT “cereal” (without informing them what it is first, of course!); so far, no one has thought it otherwise.

Oh, and, you can make this with grains if you wish; oats are excellent, as well as wheat germ (see note below recipe)

This can take a lot of tweaking and be just as good — from spicing to lots of additionals to taste, such as dried fruit, nuts, seeds, oats/grains, flavorings, extracts, etc.

For morning cereals with ‘milks (see update above 😉 )– I can’t say with 100% certainty you will like this with nut or seed milk: It will soften, which most cereals do; however, the texture is different, being beans and all. It’s ultimately up to you whether you like it that or not; try it :D. One friend of mine eats this with nut milk, but doesn’t let it sit to get soggy, so….I don’t know. You can spruce it up with berries — fresh and dried — or some banana, of course.

Sweetening can also be adjusted. I think the 1/2 C is a moderate amount, 2/3 C will satisify most; feel free to add more, if needed. Alternatively, if you find it is not sweet enough, or if others need more and others don’t, simple sprinkle in some date sugar, or sweeten your nut-seed milk. You can also spray the granola with water, then sprinkle with date sugar, spray again so it sticks; then pop it back into the dehydrator/oven 🙂

Here are two basic, simple versions; work widdit 😀 :

No-Grain Granola


1 can of salt-free Garbanzo Beans, plain,drained and rinsed very well (or 1 1/2 C home-prepared, plain — sprouted, even better!)

2  tsp vanilla extract

1/2* – 2/3 C Date Sugar, or to taste

2 TB Ground Golden Flax Seed

1-1 1/2 tsp Spice, such as pumpkin pie mix, cinnamon, Or Ginger if you’re a pea picker ;),  etc. (2 tsp Ginger 1/2 tsp Cinnamon is good)

1/2 C Pecans or Walnuts or both, chopped (OR choice of nuts/seeds)

Citrus Zest of 1 fruit (1 orange), Optional

1/2 C dried fruit, Optional

Coconut, flakes, pieces, dried or fresh, Optional


See directions below

I used the entire skin of kumquats for the citrus zest. The skin of kumquats is sweet and edible straight and the inside fruit is tart; so it was easy to just slice up the skin. Use some zest of orange as an alternative. I also threw in chopped up pieces of fresh young coconut and the texture was fantastic; it wasn’t like dried coconut flakes, it was chewy like dried fruit.

*Half cup of date sugar makes this light on sweetness; use 2/3 for a just-right sweetness; more?…at your own risk! ;D .



Basic No Grainola 😉 II



I like the addition of a bit of tahini in this version:

1 Can Garbanzo Beans, unsalted, drained and rinsed well, (or 1 1/2 C home-prepared, plain)

2/3 C Date Sugar, or to taste

1 – 1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon or more (Or others, such as Ginger, Cardamon, etc.)

2 TB Tahini + 2 TB juice/water, mixed

1/4 tsp Almond Extract

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

2 TB Ground Golden Flax seed

1/2 C Almonds, chopped (or nuts/seeds of choice)

1/2 C Dried Fruit, Other additions, such as coconut, etc., Optional

Zest of 1 Citrus, Optional

1/2 C Creativity 😉 Optional


Beanola 😉  Directions

Drain and rinse very well the Garbanzo beans and drain.

Pulse them in the processor

Dump into a bowl.

Combine tahini-water+ extracts

Then with a fork work in the tahini mixture, taking care not to mash — Just toss, but till thoroughly combined.

Add the Date sugar, cinnamon and flax, fork-tossing in as above.

Add the nuts, and mix.

Pour onto parchment-lined dehydrator sheets or baking sheet. Dehydrate at desired temperature till thoroughly dried; Or, bake at 248-degrees (to avoid acrylamide formation) or at lowest temperature you can in your oven till thoroughly dried and crunchy-yum.

I dehydrate 1 recipe in the Excalibur dehydrator at the highest temperature (155-degrees) for 3-or-so hours; it can actually be eaten at @ 2 hours; however it’s not thoroughly dried to my satisfaction at that point for best crunch factor (or for storing). You’ve probably tasted different granolas and some are super hard, others have a softness to them. You decide.

I’ve done lots of variations; so take your pick.


Note on adding grain and / or Creativity:

If you add the grain, pulse chop rolled oats; if you use quick-cooking oats, you don’t need to pulse them. Start with 1/2 C;  I believe 1/2 C is about right. Try other ingredients such as some carrot pulp, perhaps; or ground nuts/seeds, etc. (Be sure to taste to determine if seasoning needs adjusting.)

And let me know your results 🙂



Above is one using oats (pic before dehydrating). Interestingly, though, those who tasted both had no idea the only-garbanzo one was without any grain.

It has pecans and dried bananas

These mixtures look especially beautiful around the holidays with festive fruits and nuts. Oh, and not to mention a great way to maintain your Eat-To-Live lifestyle during that tough season :).


ETA: Have to add this!  If you are having problem with eating nutritionally/snacking; etc, this may be too “snacky” or contain too much dried fruit (dates ) for you;  it is, however, great for children. Eat responsibly ;^)


Some pics to help with the directions;

Pulse the beans; don’t cream them:



granola-chickpea_pulsed (8)




Granola_chickpea_tahini (3)


Granola_chickpea_tahini (4)


Granola_chickpea_tahini (5)




Oh, and speaking of crunch…Don’t forget my My Kale Chips recipe! For a delicious savory crispy munch 🙂



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Click pic below for a looksee at what else I ETLize to make for family and friends with the incredible, edible chickpea  (and more) 😉



Got recipes to share?

Send ’em to me and I’ll post ’em here on ETL Friday! 😀



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ETL Friday! Staying Positive…

Hi, Everyone! We’ve got another Eat To Live veteran this week! A fellow member at Dr.; she’s a long-term ETLer aka Nutritarian, and all about the positive. This one is educational too, and provides a great tool that we can actually employ to help us — something we all could use, whether for ETL’ing or not 🙂 Love it!

So a very grateful welcome to Isabel 🙂

~ * ~

Staying Positive on Eat to Live with a

Vision Board

Changing your eating can be overwhelming and can lead to your days and nights being filled with a different kind of food obsession and many questions and doubts…what will I eat? Is this enough? What will my family think? Will my mother in law be offended if I don’t eat her dessert?

Often times well meaning family and friends will call us crazy and fear that we’re anorexic or too controlling and they will freely comment. Other times we’ll slip and beat ourselves up. We have lots of opportunities to be negative and doubt ourselves in this journey. That isn’t fun. We need to stay positive and remember why we chose to eat this way and make this our new lifestyle.

I started Eat to Live in order to lose weight and get healthy but it has opened up a whole world of possibilities. Now it is my way of life and helps support me when I face life’s challenges. I have found that a good way to keep looking forward and stay positive was to look at a bigger picture rather than focusing on the numbers on the scale or the last slip. I want to be healthy and have energy so I can one day hike in Morocco or have the strength to mountain bike with my family–this is why I choose to eat this way.

I’m a visual person and I need reminders that invoke feelings and make me smile when I think of the wonderful things to come. How do I stay positive? One of several tricks I have is my vision board. When life gets me down or I wake up dreading another day, my vision board reminds me of my dreams. Eating this way isn’t a goal…it is the way to get to my goals. It supports me and keeps me strong.

What is a vision board? A vision board is a collection of pictures and affirmations that help you focus and remember what you dream of. Chances are you’ve heard of this already and have been thinking of making one. The movie or book “The Secret” mentions a vision board and how it can help you attract what you want. A vision board is a powerful tool to help you focus your attention on what you want and to use the law of attraction to get it. Too out there for you? Don’t worry…even if you find that hard to swallow keep following me. Get some cardboard or a bulletin board and get ready to have some fun with this. Or you can be a bit more technical and make an electronic board.

Let’s say you’re trying to focus on following Eat to Live because you want to be healthy, vibrant, confident and slim. Why not gather a collection of pictures of what that means to you. Try for some pictures that make you happy. How about a lovely picture of a mouth watering salad, some crisp veggies, the beach that you’ll feel confident walking on while wearing an awesome new bathing suit, someone jogging because soon that’s what you’ll have the energy to do, a new bike, a person running after some children…the list is endless.

Next you can make a list of positive affirmations or quotes you like that keep you motivated. Write these out on index cards or nice paper. Glue the pictures and the affirmations randomly to your cardboard or pin them to your bulletin board. I have a bulletin board where I keep a bunch of pictures, affirmations and even a key chain that reminds me of a vacation. I have pictures of my dream car, fit and fabulous looking women, places I want to visit and affirmations that remind me of what I want too.

I keep it in my bathroom and I suggest you place yours anywhere you spend more than 15 minutes at a time everyday. I also have a video vision board so I can see it from anywhere and I’ll often take a look at it while I’m at work. Another thing you can do is make your computer monitor into a mini vision board by placing pictures all around it. Even your fridge will work!

Now that you’ve created it, what do you have to do? Look at it and feel what you’ll feel when you get the bike or have the energy to run after your grandchildren. Imagine what you’ll feel when you’re enjoying that beach vacation in the new bathing suit. Read out your affirmations and SMILE!! Apply focused intent on these things and stay positive. That’s it! The more specific you are and the more consistent you are at focusing on your desires you will attract this into your life.

Still not sure? How about this video vision board for helping you stick to Eat to Live?

Here’s my video vision board that keeps me inspired:

A friend of mine has chosen to plaster most of his house with images rather than just creating one vision board. He has had lots of success by embracing change and even created this movie for what he calls the change series. I liked it and think you might like it too while you’re facing a major change in life….enjoy.

Have fun with this and most of all NEVER GIVE UP!


Awesome!  Before your video vision boards, I  hadn’t thought about how easy it could be by simply doing it on youtube! What a great way to focus, and distract oneself, when feeling pulled by food addictions. There will always be something to do, somewhere to go to; and one can be creative and expressive at the same time — oh, and not to mention re-motivate yourself and remind yourself! How satisfying and self empowering! Thank you so much, Isabel!

For more about Isabel’s amazing “Transformation” check out this video

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This is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense…”

Winston Churchill, Harrow School, 29 October 1941

~ *** ~

Share your vision board with us right here on ETL Friday! Send me your vision! I’ll post it for an upcoming ETL Friday! Share your goals, desires, thoughts about it, and explore what it is you really want; and get it out there! Whether you’re just starting or have one already, let us encourage and support you, while you inspire others too! It can be a video or a picture of one you made 🙂


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ETL Friday!

ETL Friday! is back this week with one of ETL’s Lifers :). Her view of “Nutritional Excellence” gave me another way to look at Eating To Live, and that’s always a good thing!  I can think of few as knowledgeable as Claudia, and I love-love-love what she shares here; it’s truly insightful and wisdom from which we all can benefit.
But , I’ll give you Claudia and stop gibbering :D:

Hello everyone,

I’m here today on ETL Friday to talk about how I discovered the Eat to Live diet-style, and how it has transformed my life.

Most of my life, I have struggled to try and keep my weight down. I did a lot of yo-yo dieting, losing weight only to eventually gain it back again. I always experienced dieting as a form of deprivation which I could not keep up indefinitely. At some point I’d always start to feel too confined and unsatisfied, and fall back into my old habits of eating anything I wanted to, whenever I wanted it.

Before ETL, I was a food addict, and if I went too long without food I became very uncomfortable. My experience of hunger included headaches, weakness, shakiness, and stomach grumbling and discomfort. When I was dieting, I would obsess over food, and think about it all the time. It seems like I was hungry quite often, and always ready for my next meal.

One of the major things that ETL has done for me is to cure me of my food addiction, allowing me to lose all the weight I needed to once and for all, and to permanently maintain an ideal weight without it being such a struggle.

The first time I heard Dr. Fuhrman speak was in Philadelphia’s Chinatown, at a vegan conference on ‘Chinese Plant Based Nutrition and Culture’, where he gave a lecture called ‘Greens: The Super Food’. While I was impressed with his speech, I wasn’t quite ready to make any major lifestyle changes right away. I was just having too much fun enjoying all the great vegan restaurants that Philadelphia has to offer, and my waistline was showing it.

Eventually, I decided that it was time to go on a diet again, but I chose to follow the McDougall plan because eating all the starches seemed more do-able and less confining to me. It really didn’t work out though. Although I managed to lose some weight, I was not so relaxed about it. I was white-knuckling it, and always thinking about my next meal. I was still the same old food addict who was afraid to go too long without food for fear of becoming hungry. Besides the discomfort of being hungry, it tended to cause me to freak out and want to eat anything in sight that wasn’t nailed down. Back in the days that I had followed Weight Watcher’s, I remember they used to tell us that if we went for more than 4 hours without eating, then we were just setting ourselves up for failure. Besides the hunger issue, all of my starch based meals had become rather colorless, and I was also rather pale and colorless as well. Another problem was that my skin become very dry, which I believe was from the lack of any nuts or seeds in the diet.

Meanwhile, I had a health issue that had been brewing for quite some time. I had a fibroid uterus that had grown to the size of a 6 month pregnancy, and I discovered that Dr. Fuhrman was an expert on therapeutic water fasting and had helped women use fasting in order to shrink their fibroids. So, between wanting his advice on my medical issue, and wanting a better diet, I decided that I would become a member of his website in order to get his support. One thing I liked about the member center from the very beginning was the way that Dr. Fuhrman is so totally committed to everyone’s success and has absolute confidence in our ability to achieve it. To make a long story shorter, Dr. Fuhrman told me that I needed to follow his diet, and get close to my ideal weight before he could even consider whether I might be a good candidate for a fast. In the end, fasting did not turn out to be my best option, however, I did end up losing weight faster and more effortlessly than ever before, and the weight has stayed off. Instead of eating a washed out, colorless diet, and being hungry all the time, I now enjoy a delicious, colorful, and satisfying diet, and do not experience the uncomfortable hunger symptoms that I used to have.

When I was new to ETL, I had to go through a period of missing the old foods that I had always liked, and feeling deprived because I wasn’t eating what everyone around me was having. It made me feel left out. Fortunately, I got over that long ago, replacing the old with the new, and thoroughly enjoying my new diet-style. Now I actually feel sorry for those that still struggle with the food addiction brought on by a SAD diet, and who haven’t had the good fortune to be cured of it by ETL. Ironically, many people see my diet as very limited and even feel sorry for me. With regard to this, I have an analogy that is meaningful to me.

In Anusara yoga, we learn to experience greater freedom (of movement) by having structure and setting boundaries. Its a concept that isn’t intuitively obvious, and sounds paradoxical, but it perfectly describes my experience of ETL.

Instead of just letting everything go lax, we use our muscles to achieve proper alignment of the body, setting boundaries that take us places we’ve never been before. Take a look at the picture of John Friend on the cover of this DVD:

John Friend,

John Friend,

John is doing something that takes balance. Balance is something that doesn’t happen by flopping your body around and relying on flexibility alone. You have to engage your muscles and set boundaries in order to get your body to do things never before imagined. This DVD is called the Dance of Yes and No and is all about the experience of freedom through boundaries

I guess the really cool thing about this for me is that ETL is a real life, ‘off the mat’ experience of what John Friend was trying to teach. For me its kind of like an Aha! moment, but its kind of hard to convey this. Its a really profound and deep thing. From the yoga side alone its difficult to explain to someone who hasn’t experienced it, and from the food side alone, its also hard to explain to someone who hasn’t experienced it. But it is way cool to experience it from both sides, and to realize that it is all connected.

Many SAD eaters feel sorry for me because they think that I have ‘limited’ myself, and that I’m so ‘deprived’. But, what they don’t understand, is that through this ‘limitation’ I am experiencing a freedom far beyond what they can imagine. I am free of food addictions and cravings. I am free of being ‘powerless over food’. I am not constantly controlled by food. I am more relaxed about food. I don’t need to eat as often, and It doesn’t feel like an emergency every time I get hungry. I’m not climbing the walls. I am not in a constant state of hunger, or fear of hunger in which I obsess about having food quickly available at all times. I am free to enjoy a bounty of healthy natural food with a more enhanced level of pleasure than ever before, while also experiencing the joy of having a fit, healthy body. I am not digging my grave with my knife and fork, limiting my enjoyment of life be cutting it short like the SAD eaters.

It’s all a matter of perspective, and while others may see the ‘limits’ I’ve set as self-deprivation, and feel sorry for me, they don’t realize that by doing this I’m achieving greater freedom. I’m achieving the freedom from food addiction.
It is we ETLers who have the real freedom. We have earned it, and it is wondrous.



Claudia in a handstand; Elijah, with hand creating a resistance to press against for greater extension. Photo by “Sheila-Seattle” taken at Dr. Fuhrman’s Utah Getaway

I love the freedom through boundaries analogy and I’ll never forget that description. It’s exactly how I feel.

This is one of the most poignant and relevant benefits for me because it rings so true. Just beautiful! Thank you, Claudia.


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Live Long And Prosper…

… an ETL Friday! Extra 😉

Eating a huge, delicious salad is the secret to successful weight control and a long healthy life.
_Dr. Fuhrman from “Eat To Live


I watched an Oprah episode on “extreme” life extension (note it’s 10 pages) — Watch this short excerpt. I don’t think a video of the entire show is available, watch for a rerun! It was a fantastic show! SO inspiring. I was so excited watching it! I tell ya what, ETL is *the* way to eat for longevity, as prescribed by Dr. Fuhrman in “Eat To Live.” It is as close to exact as you can get to the diet of the longest-lived people in the world. It is a calorie restricted diet, naturally. It also leads into other areas of your life, enhancing it the longer you follow it.

Personally, I really don’t care so much about the numbers — about the years, per se: for me, it’s about QUALITY. Quality of those years. Though extra years ain’t too shabby a perk, don’t you agree?! 😉
I want to be healthy when I die :D. Yes, yes, it’s possible. THAT’S what I want. I want lucidness, clarity, mental strength, as well as happiness and love when I pass. I want it to be a happy passing :D. I don’t want fear, regret, pain…

Many thanks to you, Dr. Fuhrman, for showing me the way. My thoughts on your work are of pure joy and gratitude.

If you’ve never met the longest-lived people on the planet, take a looksee:

If video doesn’t play, GO HERE

They even mention Hara Hachi Bu, which I’ve been practicing for a couple years now…AWESOME! I feel younger already :D. It absolutely becomes normal to eat that way, if you stick to it (just like Eating to live, just like any thing worth doing in life).
What strikes me most — and what I am THOROUGHLY convinced, more and more every single day of its essentialness — is the happiness. Can’t you just see it? See how peaceful they are — from within — it totally exudes from them, even detectable through a video. Amazing. Utterly amazing. I believe this is just as important as nutrition for health. And I believe, even if adopting their diet, but exacting a miserable life of negativity and pettiness and anger and vengeance and jealousy and self-hatred and resentment and on and on, the benefits are diminished, if not moot.

I know, as life is today, we cannot completely avoid negativity and negative people, but we can adopt the “Be the change we want to see” type of outlook, and draw to ourselves positivity. You attract what you give out. So happiness is also a verb 🙂 You have to do it to get it. It doesn’t come to you automatically. Just like love love_hearts🙂

I’m happy when I have the company and support of positive people! I find this happening more and more :D. It feels sooooooo great to attract those kind of people — the kind you respect. Who wants petty gossiping, toxic, etc. people around?! What’s more, who wants to be a petty, gossiping toxic person?!!!

I want to smile every day like the folks in that video; I want people I love around me; I want to die smiling 😀

Think I can do it? 😉 How about you? 🙂


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ETL Friday! “A Life Changed”

Hi, Everyone 🙂 Welcome back. Another fantastic entry. Yurtdwellingmama ‘s gracious contribution is pure ETL inspiration. Get ready to be motivated 😀 Take it away, Debbie:

A Life Changed

by Debbie Warne-Jacobsen (Yurtdwellingmama)

When I started my ETL journey over two years ago I had some pretty clear ideas of how my life would change if I was successful. Primary in my mind was that I would be a better role model for my then three year old daughter. I wanted to lose weight and model a healthful weight and a healthy way of eating. Even though we were already vegetarian, and she had been vegan since birth, I knew we were not eating healthfully. There was French toast made from whole grain bread, soy cheese pizza, tofu fried in oil. Even fast food . . . BK Veggies with French fries (fries are vegan after all), Taco Bell bean burritos. You get the picture.

I hoped I would feel better. I had been experiencing episodes of tachycardia for several months. I had one terrifying episode where my heart was beating so fast, and I was so short of breath, I had to call my mother-in-law home from work, on a day that my husband was out of town, because I feared I would pass out while caring for my daughter.

I also hoped my blood pressure would lower. I had difficulty with my blood pressure throughout the third trimester of my pregnancy, and although it had stabilized to just below borderline since my daughter’s birth, it was for sure too high and out of the optimum range.

Those were my hopes, and that led to an assessment of my reality. I knew I needed to lose 50 lbs. (a difficult thing to admit to myself). I needed to improve my health. I needed to set a better example for my daughter so she would not struggle with her weight and later her health like I had.

As soon as I found Dr. Fuhrman’s plan, I was certain it was the plan for me. I already believed in the fundamentals of the diet, having followed something similar years before (Fit for Life by Harvey Diamond). When I started reading the comprehensive nutritional information that was backed up by study after study in his book Eat to Live, I was sold. I was eager and wanted to lose weight as quickly as I could, so I opted for the most aggressive form of the diet. I decided to follow the vegan program and in addition completely eliminate grains or starchy vegetables from my diet. I would eat nothing but whole foods: fruit, vegetables, beans and nuts.

As Dr. Fuhrman says in his book, I did not try to follow the program. I did follow the program, 100%. I’d never done that before and that in itself was exciting. Why, was I able to stay on this diet when I had been unable to stay committed to other plans? The answer is simple: Results. Not only was the weight falling off (I lost 6 lbs the first week) I was starting to feel good. I mean really good. After a few days initially of feeling headachy and generally poor (detoxing), I started to have more energy, my bouts of tachycardia were fewer and fewer, I no longer woke feeling groggy and unable to face the day.

I was also motivated in a new way to exercise. I started walking. It was the middle of winter, and I live in the northern Midwest, so it was cold. No matter what the weather, I walked. Snowing, I walked. Twenty-five degrees below zero, I walked. I started out walking for about 20 minutes, then leading up to about an hour per day.

After the initial six weeks of the program was complete, I’d lost 23 lbs. It had been a few weeks since I had an episode of tachycardia, and other things started happening in my life too.  Things I didn’t anticipate when I had been imagining what it would be like if I was successful.

I was joyful.  I’ve always been pretty happy in my life. I have a wonderful husband and a daughter, both of whom bring me a great deal of joy. This was different however, this was an inner joy that I was feeling all the time. I was joyful when I was shopping for my food at our local food co-op. I was joyful preparing the beautiful food that I was now eating and serving to my family, and most of all I felt overwhelming joy and satisfaction while eating! Not only was the food healthful, it was fantastic! I didn’t have to give up my love of food! I was enjoying it more than ever.

My journey began to touch the lives of the people I care about. My family was doing the program too. My husband was pretty much 100% also, and even though before being on the program I would have said he did not need to lose any weight, he lost 20 lbs. One day he just looked at me and said, “Thank you, thank you for getting us eating like this.” I nearly cried.

It wasn’t just my own family who was affected. By the time I had lost 30 lbs, people starting asking me about it. By the time I hit 40 lbs, I couldn’t go anywhere without running into someone and having an in depth conversation about my weight loss and how I’d done it. The local co-op starting carrying “Eat to Live,” and they were selling. I was asked to make smoothies at the co-op and give out samples. I later learned that a woman who had a sampled one of my green smoothies was drinking them daily herself, and feeding them to her two year old son!

My mother-in-law, whom we eat dinner with many nights per week, was eating the same dinners we were, and she started noticing a difference with just eating one ETL meal per day. She started telling people about it and several people she knows started following the program.

Even my 80 year old Aunt who lives 2,000 miles away was so excited by my success that she bought the book and started following the plan.

It doesn’t stop there. All kinds of amazing things were happening in my life. I was asked by the Food Co-op to run for their board of directors. I did and I was elected. Of course I was unopposed for my seat :).  My professional life exploded. I’m a freelance graphic and web designer, and I have had about a three month back-log of work for the past two years. How do I attribute that to Eat to Live, you might ask? Well, I think it is several fold. I have more energy. I have more self confidence. I feel empowered. If I could succeed at transforming my diet, my health and ultimately my life, I can succeed at anything. I think people could sense that. Beyond, just commenting that I looked great, people often mentioned how happy I seemed. One person noted that I had so much energy I glowed.

It took me about six months to lose 51 lbs, and what a thrilling ride those six months were. There was not one aspect of my life that was not touched in some way by my transformation. More recently, I’ve been thrilled to learn that my best friend in all the world, and her family have been following the plan. My last update was that they’d lost over 40 lbs between them.

Things now have quieted down, and this now is just my life. I’ve kept the weight off. My blood pressure is well within the optimum range. I have not had a tachycardia episode in nearly two years. I feel good every day. That is worth repeating. It is always the answer I give when people ask me about Eat to Live. I feel good every day.  I feel good EVERY day.

What more can you want than that?

What an awesome testimony!

Thank you so much Debbie. I can only imagine how many more people you will positively affect with your life. I so admire and respect your steely resolve.

Eat To Live For Life and feel good every day! 😀


Feel free to contact me if you wish to contribute :)

sm row smiles

ETL Friday! DPYC Series…

Well, it’s just me this time ;). Instead of rambling, I’ve decided to start the DPYC Series this week with a couple ETL-friendly recipes. The first of these, anyone will like, not just children. I mentioned child-friendly ideas over at forums (hint) So far, no entries :(.

green-twist-roll SO, I decided to kick it off myself and  just post a couple DPYC-friendly recipes that I make for family and friends 🙂 . And, anyway, with no children of my own, I can’t really write anything more about it than recipes, haha. So, if you’re a parent and have a fun story, hints, suggestions, strategies, experiences, etc., etc., please send them to me! I’m sure lots of parents would benefit from your experiences — Doesn’t have to be a big-time production or long or complicated. 😀

Oh, and don’t worry, we’re back to guest bloggers for ETL Friday! next installment 😉

Okay, here we go….


The original of this recipe by Eriann Hullquist calls for 1 1/4 C total sweetener, salt, and starch. I revised it, tweaked the flavoring, and it tastes the same. It’s one of my most requested sweet things. Never has anyone guessed it is made with carrots!

Butterscotch Pudding

1 lb cooked, good-quality carrots (weight after prep @ 5 carrots) or 3 full cups of chunked carrots

4-8, large, pitted, Medjool Dates (2 1/4 – 4 1/2-ounces, pitted) or to taste

1 TB Vanilla Extract

1/4 tsp + 1/8 tsp Walnut Extract*

1/4 C (1 oz) Cashews

1/2 C water

Steam the carrots in water till done; While hot, ladle carrots into the blender with the extracts and blend for a minute. (Be sure to put the lid on, but leave off the cap to allow air to escape; hold a cloth over it to avoid sputtering and getting burnt.)

Add dates, and blend, adding water.

Then add the cashews and blend until completely smooth and creamy.

Is ready to eat, warm, if you like; but it’s better after it sits a while and flavors marry. Tastes better the next day, and will also set up to a more pudding density after refrigerated.


Makes 3 Cups

Substitutions: * Here are some variations, if you can’t find walnut extract:

If you have limited access to flavorings, you can simply use the Vanilla; it makes a nice, more caramel-tasting pudding combined with dates 🙂

If you can find a good-quality butterscotch extract, start with1/4 tsp + vanilla (start with 1 tsp) and work from there. As well if you can find a good-quality maple extract, start with 1/2 tsp + butterscotch + vanilla.

If no butterscotch, just use the maple + vanilla.

~ *** ~

Notes: Regarding the hot carrots, this is done with very hot carrots in order to temper the off-taste of some extracts. If you are using cold carrots, just heat them first in the microwave, or “cook” it in a power blender by letting it run on, “high” for several minutes, until very hot. In some recipes, extracts need to be cooked.

~ *** ~


Non-Toxic Play Doh!

Okay, so you can’t eat this; but it’s in step with keeping your child safe and employing environmentally friendly, inexpensive, interactive play time. This is super easy and fun for you — uhh, I mean — children to make!

See “Dough Notes” for more play dough info 🙂

When I recently wanted to make these, I had neither flour nor regular salt! It was an odd feeling — one, going into a regular grocery store into the non-produce section;  and, two, buying cheap veg oil, salt and flour! I think I was able to slip out, undetected; however, the cameras may come back to haunt me some day! 😀

First, “classic play-doh” using regular ol’  white flour came out best of all the dohs.

Here is how it goes…

Combine dry ingredients, whisk well:


Add Liquid Ingredients:


Stir Well:




Oops, I fogot the oil…that’s okay…


Mix thoroughly:


Pour into saucepan:


Forgive the bad quality of these next pics; I don’t get good natural light in some parts of my home, over the stove, being one of them!

Stir over heat:




It starts to coagulate:


Keep stirring! Elbow, grease, elbow grease!


Comes to a ball when done:


Let cool till you’re able to handle (not long)  and knead, as you would bread,  into a ball:


Here you can see slight differences in shades. It’s nice to be able to adjust it:


~ resized

A lighter yellow:


You can easily use whatever you have around the house to decorate. I used a whole clove for the nose, and two coriander seeds for eyes on this fella :^)


Dough Notes:

Age appropriateness for the original Play-Doh product is set at 2 and up; ultimately, it is up to and the sole responsibility of the parents as to when their child can play with it. Personally, since I don’t have children, I cannot really gauge; But, for sure, I would provide supervision with a child that young.

The original Play-Doh product is also a flour, salt, and water emulsion; however, the entire list of ingredients is confidential, apparently — wouldn’t want those evildoers getting their hands on Our Play-Doh!  It is free from peanuts and “milk”; but no indication it is dairy-free — I assume not, or it would be expressed. Most likely there is casein for texture; it is the component which gives cheese(s) its stretch. Original Play-Doh purports to be “non-toxic,” as well.

I tried different play dough recipes from the web, calling for varying amounts of the same basic ingredients. I adapted the thriftiest of them, and it actually came out better than the ones calling for more oil and cream of tartar (which is not inexpensive).

This will clean up fine; however, you may not want to use your very best pot. Whatever you use, filling with water right away to sit for a bit before washing will help — it will come right off. You then won’t  have to scrape, avoiding any scratching. Additionally, a wooden spoon or utensil or a heat resistant spoon (such as the silicone ware) will not scratch surfaces.


The Recipe:


Traditional Play Dough, My Way

1 cup flour

1 cup colored water*(see Natural  Coloring, below)

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 teaspoon plain vegetable oil

1/4 cup salt

Combine in a saucepan, all the dry ingredients, whisk together.

combine water and coloring to equal 1 C. Whisk in the oil.

Add liquid to the dry ingredients and stir together till smooth.

Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, paying attention to the bottom sides of the pan. Keep it moving continuously so it doesn’t burn.

When it comes to a ball, and is stiff, remove from heat and continue to move it around for a minute.

Let cool till can handle comfortably. Knead on clean, even surface, like bread dough 🙂

Done! Safe play doh 😀

Wrap in plastic, place in plastic bag or airtight container to store. Refrigeration extends shelf life.

~ *** ~

And, then I started to wonder…what about the micro? Yep! It works. Good way to make play dough if need to make a lot and quickly, or making for others (great, easy, inexpensive gift for children, by the way!)  Clean up is WAY better this way! You won’t have to worry about scrubbing your good pots.

There is an extra step for microwave play dough*:

Microwave ‘Doh

Combine ingredients…




*Scrape the quick-cooking sides well…


Mix it up…


Getting thicker still…




At this point (@ the 2-minute mark), spread toward the sides making it more shallow in the center, since it cooks faster there, so all the dough gets cooked through:


Continue mixing/kneading with a utensil (it’s hot!)


Ah, coming together…








Check out the easy-peasy cleanup!..


No pots or pans to scrub 🙂


The Recipe

Microwave Play Dough:

Here is one I tried with blueberry juice — 2 TB + a bit more — it made a nice purplish. (blue is a primary color and I’ve yet to have success with it) More would have made a deeper purple. Note: when using a natural colorant, more than a tsp or so, add it first to the measuring cup, then add water to equal the total amount of liquid for the recipe; otherwise it’s too much liquid.


My Microwave Play Dough

Store in a plastic bag,or in plastic wrap. It will last quite a bit in a cool place; or refrigerate for longer shelf life.

1 cup flour

1 cup colored water

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 teaspoon plain, vegetable oil

1/4 cup salt

Combine dry ingredients in a microwave-safe glass bowl; whisk well.

Add cool or room temperature liquid and oil. Mix thoroughly.

Cook on “High” at 30-second intervals, stirring well in between.

At about the 2-minute mark, it is becoming solid, so make sure to spread the dough, so it’s not in a ball or pile in the center — the sides cook first and you will have it hard on the sides and undone in the center. Spreading helps to cook it evenly (see pics).

~ Important: Do not over-cook these in the micro; your end product will become rubbery.

This should take a total of 3 1/2 minutes — your micro’s “high” may be more or less, but it should not be too much more or less than that . My pictures may help. And remember that things continue to cook when removed from the microwave.

~ Also, dough is very hot from the microwave; use caution when touching. Knead with the spatuala until cool enough to handle ~

*The extra step

…is that microwaved play doh forms a white dusting, fairly quickly after cooling:


Best solution is the following:

Add Oil: You can put a teaspoon or so in the palm of your hand and spread it on; I just poured it on in order to photograph it 😉


Spread oil all over the surface only, first.


Now knead it…


Good as new!


With the small amount of oil used, it won’t be greasy. It may dry out a bit again, but not as bad; repeat with (small amount of) oil, or simply knead again to replenish 🙂 Wrap in plastic wrap as soon as done playing with it to keep it from drying.


The following is what I did the first time, and, is a second option:

If you don’t have the oil with you, simply knead it…


Depending on how fast you get to it, it may leave a bit of texture from having hardened too much, as in the above doughs; but that’s no big deal. The more you knead, the better.

Not too shabby:


AND don’t forget to store, wrapped in plastic wrap. 🙂

*Natural Coloring:

You can buy some or combine vegetables and fruits to make your own:

Red: Beets

Purple: Blueberry juice (I don’t even juice them. I simply drain the bag of frozen blueberries. There is always at least 2 TB of juice; it’s not ice!)

Green: green powder, such as spinach powder or spirulina or chlorella powder (you can find these in some vitamin shops in bulk bins; it costs MUCH less to get a tablespoon of this stuff for projects. I wouldn’t consume algaes that came from a bulk bin, though!); OR leafy greens pulse-blended with water (parsley is good; has a more pleasant fragrance than cruciferous)

Yellow: Tumeric (1 tsp makes the dark yellow above), Safflowers or  Annatto (both inexpensive, found in the South American Foods section in little clear  packages)

Orange: (I think I tried using carrots at one point…but I do know I combined red with tumeric and got the dark orange! Sigh.. so many experiments, I forgot and can’t seem to find it in my notes 😦 . I’m doh confuuuused! 😀

Combinations: Orange = Red + Yellow

Lime Green = Yellow + Green

PLUS, you get varying shades and hues — some really pretty: With beets, for example, you can get many shades of pink. Cranberries work too.

Experimenting might be part of the fun too, mixing and matching fruits and veggies 😉

A tip: Instead of using whole fruits/veggies, save the pulp from juicing or scraps from prepping and add water, pulse-blend and strain. This is actually better than putting whole juices or whole veggies into the mixture. It’s best NOT to blend too smooth or the bits will end up in your mixture (and smell/rot); instead, use the lower level on your blender to break it up; it colors the water.


Parsley, pulse-blended with water…



: green-coloring_parsley_strain



Here is a pic of doh made with the parsley water…


~ *** ~

Other Safe Play Dohs

There is organic tapioca starch available, and

cornstarch: “Let’s Do Organic” by Edward and Sons has both, and Rapunzel’s cornstarch is organic, as well.

Gluten-Allergy-Free Play-Dohs:

We tried a LOT of various recipes for allergy-free ‘dohs and, ultimately, most remained sticky. Some were better than others. The best were ones using cornstarch (more on an alternative, if you have a corn allergy, below). Some come out with a gelly-like look and texture (not like play-doh at all, but still may be liked by children) and others look a lot like play doh.

What I found is, whichever you choose to make, you need to knead it with more of the “flour” you chose to remove the stickiness. The dough feels great at first, but as the warmth from your hands as you’re playing with it makes it sticky and leaves it on your hands and fingers — probably not something you want little  hands deposiiting all over the house :). So, it may take kneading it every so often.

These also decay faster and are better kept in the fridge. Those made with flour, for some reason, lasted weeks out of refrigeration, wrapped in plastic, while the others molded.

We tried all combos and found this one the better gluten-free play doh:

I found this recipe online and decided to give it a go:


1/2 cup rice flour

1/2 cup corn starch

1/2 cup salt

2 tsp cream of tarter

1 cup water

1 tsp cooking oil

Food coloring


Mix ingredients. Cook and stir on low heat for 3 minutes or until mixture forms a ball. Cool completely before storing in a sealable plastic bag.


Sometimes the doughs begin to smoke a bit but, that is okay (it won’t burn as long as you keep it moving, and lift from the heat source, occasionally, if necessary).

The little blue pieces are some cornflowers I added…


Here is a look at the pan after making a gluten-free dough — not pretty! The starch dohs are not as easy to clean; so soak your pan as quickly as possible…


You can try adding things like flowers, small toys, etc., to make it more creative and fun.

Some fragrance works nicely too. Vanilla is nice. But some essential oil of peppermint or cinnamon, etc., is nice too.

Here is another example (with a different dough experiment); I used safflowers in this one:


~ *** ~

Next up, I decided to try another one, without corn.  I (we) did a lot of experimenting (it was a nut-house here!) and came out with, surprisingly, many that actually worked. But, this one I came up with came out best (if anyone would like another option, let me know; I probably tried it! It’s just too much to post here):

My Tapioc-Oat Doh-(say that 5 times 😉 )


Oat doughs — I thought this was interesting. I found some recipes online; Of course, they call for regular white flour (wheat). I tried it with various techniques and different flours and starches, and none worked without the gluten of wheat.

So I came up with this, and it worked quite well. Of course, it has texture! You will get some crumbles — shouldn’t be too much of a problem. I have three versions for your choosing 😀

*Oat dohs need to be refrigerated when not in use*

The oat dohs will go bad quicker than other dohs.

This takes minutes, is easy, and is a no-cook allergy-free doh:

Tapioc-Oat Doh

2/3 C Quick-Cooking Oatmeal, Organic

1/3 C  Organic Tapioca Starch

1 TB plain vegetable oil

1 TB Guar Gum

1/2 C Water, (colored, Optiona)

Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix well.

Make a well in the center of the mixture.

Add water and oil into the center and work in the flour with a fork.

When it comes to a ball, remove from bowl and knead thoroughly a few minutes.

Makes 1 ball

This is for one ball of dough. If you want to make a large batch, then quadruple the recipe, and do not color your water. Additionally, be aware that the resultant color of  Tapioc-Oat Doh will be diluted by the natural color of the oats. Have four, 1/2-Cups of color water desired ready and give each person a bowl of the divided dough mixture. Everyone mixes their own.

OR, if using a dye, make the Tapioc-Oat doh with water. Divide the dough into equal sized balls. Choose dye you wish, and, with your thumb, make a small indention into the  center of the dough Squirt a drop of dye into it. Knead the dough till the color disperses throughout.


My Tapioc-Oat Doh, using rolled oats (regular oatmeal flakes) and a version with steel cut oats (good for leftovers!)


Tapioc-Oat Doh, Rolled Oats (regular oatmeal):

2/3 C Rolled Oats Oatmeal, Organic

1/3 C Organic Tapioca Starch

1 TB Guar Gum

1 TB plain Vegetable Oil

1/2 C hot water (micro 1 min)

Combine rolled oats and hot water and oil.

Combine tapioca starch and guar gum, mix well.

Add dry ingredients to the oat mixture. Mix well.

Knead into a ball, adding additional tapioca flour as needed (@ 2TB is all I needed).

These are ready to play with, but benefit from sitting. As well, after playing with it a bit, as I noted above, additional tapioca flour may be needed if it becomes sticky from the warmth of the hands. ‘

Alternatively, with the oatmeals, you can used cooked oatmeal; just omit liquid.


Tapioc-Oat Doh, Steel-Cut:


Combine, well  in a bowl:

2/3 C packed, plain, cooked steel-cut oats, Organic

1 TB Vegetable Oil

Then combine:

1/3 heaping C Organic Tapioca Starch

1 TB Guar Gum

Add the dry ingredients to the oat mixture.

Mix thoroughly Knead a couple of minutes, using more tapioca flour if too moist.

As I mentioned, don’t expect any of these to be exactly like “Play-Doh”; they will crumble a bit.  Best fixative with ANY of the play doughs is to add a bit of oil, either for drying, dust formation or for crumbling. For the oat-dohs, it will help it stick when it starts to crumble. Reknead, and, of course storing in plastic when not in use extends the doh’s life 🙂

Here are some more pics:

Here are the rolled oats (L) and the steel cut (R), side by side:



Here, you can see the textures are quite nice…



Okay, and now for a little artwork 😉







There are also some available for purchase, but why when they are so inexpensive; fun; fast and easy to make; and something you can do with your children? 😉

But here you go…

Soy-Yer Dough

Gluten-Free Playdough

Aroma Dough Playdough

Gluten and Wheat-Free Play Doh

I hope you enjoy these recipes and that it was helpful, and will inspire you parents to join in and contribute to DPYC soon! If not, I’m gonna run outta recipescutie_blush


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