Since January twenty-first she has lost 55 pounds. How did she do it? What pill or potion did she use?

Since January twenty-first she has lost 55 pounds.  How did she do it?  What pill or potion did she use?  None of the above; she ate nutrient-rich foods as recommended by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, whom you may have seen on PBS specials.  He says there is no trick or gimmick to getting rid of excess weight.

            Dr. Fuhrman has joined growing numbers of modern doctors who are “thinking outside the box” of mainstream medicine.  Instead of drugs, he agrees with what Hippocrates, the father of medicine said more than 2,000 years ago, “Thy food shall be thy remedy.”  In one of his many books, EAT TO LIVE, he says it is unfortunate that many Americans live to eat.  Eating mostly processed foods has become the favorite pastime. 

            What's missing in all of the popular fad diets is the importance of good nutrition.  No matter how low the calories, foods containing little or no nutrition create toxic hunger.  Weight loss that results from counting calories while eating nutrient deprived foods does nothing but help enslave the participant to cravings for processed foods because the body is not getting the nutrition it needs.  In its wisdom, the body eats more and more trying to fill nutritional deficiencies.  When nutrients are not present in the foods eaten, the cravings increase so much that the person loses control and eats into obesity.  Digestion becomes impaired when real food is replaced by empty, chemical-laden substitutes for food. 

            Our friend who lost 55 pounds in six months has the good news that she does not experience hunger.  Because she eats all the fresh vegetables and fruits she wants, the nutritional needs of her body are met so there is no need for the cravings.  The amazing thing is your taste buds will change!  If you eat real foods for a few months, you enjoy the taste more than you do fast and processed junk food.

            As with most people who think beyond the status quo, Fuhrman has been considered a “quack” by some mainstream doctors.  Food as medicine is seldom considered by the established medical system.  But other forward thinking healthcare people are starting to see the commonsense approach to weight loss and good health.  Just like you can’t fuel a car with muddy water, you can’t fuel a human body with inferior junk and fast food and expect it to be healthy and of normal weight.  

            Fuhrman is a medical doctor, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and he has come to respect the ability of the human body to heal and regulate itself when all aspects of your individual health needs and the ideal balance of nutrients are considered. With his sensible approach to education-based healing, Joel Fuhrman, M.D. has successfully eliminated drugs and pain medication for thousands of patients.

            Sometimes people will say they eat lots of vegetables and fruits and just can’t lose weight.  But what else do you eat?  I heard a nutritionist say years ago that what you eat is not as important as what you don’t eat.  In order to eat healthfully and lose weight, eat one ingredient foods.   If the small ingredient list on a packaged food contains a long list of ingredients, it is best to leave it in the store.

            Supplements are sometimes recommended by Dr. Fuhrman but never are they to take the place of a healthy diet.  You can’t out supplement a poor diet and you cannot out exercise a poor diet.  Supplements are just that; they supplement a healthy lifestyle and can enhance it but they cannot replace a healthy diet.  Exercise is good and we all need it, but it cannot create a sustained healthy normal weight when you are eating fast and processed foods.

            In case you don’t like Joel Fuhrman, you might try Mark Hyman’s program; you can watch Dr. Oz;  your might read Real Food.  If you are religious, you can read What would Jesus Eat? Or you might try What the Bible says about Healthy Living.  The Daniel Plan might appeal to you.  There are literally hundreds of resources that come back to the same truth:  If you want to give yourself a chance for good health and normal weight, eat real food--lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.  Whether or not you eat meat or you are a vegetarian, the message is the same, eat fresh organically grown if possible, vegetables and fruits.

            What are the nutrient rich foods that helped our friend lose 55 pounds in six months?  She says she eats all the fresh vegetables and fruits she possibly can and she has stopped drinking soft drinks, eating sugar, and all packaged processed foods.  She still eats some meat but not in the large quantities that used to make up her diet. It is simple but not always easy and that is why she wants to help others.  With a support group of like-minded people, you can not only acquire a normal weight, you can feel better and get healthy.  If you would like to join her as she loses her last 30 pounds, call 501-365-3434


(Janice Norris lives in Heber Springs, has a B.S. in home economics from Murray State University, owned and operated health food stores in Illinois and Heber Springs, and wrote a weekly column in Illinois for 15 years. She can be reached at