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Taking Stock

March 9, 2011 by Laura

My conversation with Amos yesterday:

Mommy? why are you so fat?

I’m not fat, Amos.

Yes you are. Your belly’s fat.

Oh, that’s because there was a baby in my belly & it takes a while for it to go back.

No, I think you ate too much food.

And then I locked him in the back of my truck overnight. No, I didn’t. Nice kid. He went off to play with imaginary guns, and I promised to add extra kale to his smoothie. grrrrrrrrrr

When I joined with the Nutritarians, I signed up as a subscribing member on the Eat Right America web site. This provided me with a 28 day meal plan and nutritional program to get me on my way. I just received the e-notice that I “made it!” through my first 28 days. In truth I started about a week before I signed up. Here’s what they say I’ve accomplished:

Day 1 to Day 7: You started the process of adding health-promoting foods to your way of eating.

Day 8 to Day 14: You moderated you intake of certain foods (e.g. meat, eggs) and switched to healthier options.

Day 15 to Day 21: You challenged conventional myths you have been told such as benefits of milk, olive oil, snacking, meat protein, etc.

Day 22 to Day 28: You are embracing the Nutritarian Lifestlye and making it an everyday part of your life.

Yeah, yeah, all that’s true, but that’s not what you care about is it? You want to know just how hard it is and how much weight I’ve actually lost, don’t you?

Ok, for those who don’t know me, I’m 5’4″ tall. When I started this around January 28th, I weighed 1p3 pounds. This morning I weighed 1r9 where p-r=10. Therefore, I have lost (not quite) 14 pounds. There’s a little slush in my numbers, but it is definitely one full pants size. I have about 21 pounds to go.

Mostly, it’s been painless. When you sign up, you learn about true hunger and toxic hunger. Toxic hunger is what most of us think of as hunger: the gnawing feeling in your stomach and low-blood-sugar feeling in the head that steers you toward chips or a Twix bar. In fact, says Dr. Joel Fuhrman, MD, that miserable feeling is toxic hunger, which is basically addictive withdrawal. The first week or so of eating mega-veggies, I definitely felt the withdrawal. I was having croque monsieur dreams.

Since then it’s been a breeze. No, really. Why is it so easy? Because I can eat a lot of food and go to Farmer’s Markets all the time. I get to eat lots of very beautiful food grown by my neighbors. It’s also been easy, because I no longer feel crummy if I haven’t eaten for 2 or 3 hours. I might feel hungry, but I don’t feel crazy hungry.

My favorite part of this is trying to figure out new recipes and ways of cooking all these lovely veggies. My least favorite part is also trying to figure out new recipes and ways of cooking all these lovely veggies. I confess, there are days when I just want to go out and pick up a roast chicken.

Here is what happens now in order to maintain my status among the Nutritarians:

Your Action Plan: Continue to embrace the five cornerstones of healthy eating:

  1. A large salad every day
  2. At least a half-cup serving of beans/legumes in soup, salad or a dish once daily
  3. At least 3 fresh fruits a day
  4. At least one ounce of raw nuts and seeds a day
  5. At least one large (double-size) serving of steamed green vegetables daily

That’s pretty easy. If I do that every day — and I have been — I won’t have room for the other stuff. Like salami and cheese.

Here is a video of a lecture by Dr. Fuhrman about toxic hunger and food addiction. It’s long, but I had it playing in the background while I did other things. Also, please check out some of the links on the sidebar if you haven’t already.


  1. Ben says:

    p+4 lbs! That’s amazing! Oh, and all that vegetable and cheese stuff is interesting too.

  2. Craig says:

    Ah, p-r would have to equal 20 for your math to work. If p-r only equaled 10 then 1p3 – 1r9 would equal 4.

    I.e.: 123-119=4

  3. Craig says:

    I’m interested in the concept of “toxic hunger.” I’ve discovered a similar concept myself, mostly through numinent observation of myself. In periods of my life where I’ve been successful at keeping the weight down, I have learned to enjoy the feeling of being empty (as opposed to hungry). Indeed, my body performs best when it’s more empty than full.

    By the way, does your book discuss the influence of fatigue on eating? I think that, especially for working parents with young kids, fatigue is a constant companion and it can exacerbate “toxic” eating.

  4. slow engine says:

    Here’s to Laura H. Lean and not so mean.

  5. Banana says:

    You must feel so fit! Al and I are beginning to look at food in a new way. He is now actually interested in what veggies we are eating. Looking forward to eating healthfully with you next week.

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