A couple of weeks ago, I shared guest posts by some of my favorite bloggers, and Ryan has been among my favorites since he first appeared in the comment section of my blog about 12 weeks ago. He’s smart, friendly and determined to change his life, and that’s exactly what he’s doing. I’ve talked about him on my blog several times so you may already know him, but if you don’t, read his post then head over to his blog to experience it for yourself. You won’t regret it.
Hi all. I’m Ryan from 1year100pounds.com. I’m relatively new to
For a little background about me, I’m currently in the process of
losing 100 pounds over the course of a year. My journey started on
Aug. 8, 2011, and shortly after that date I drastically changed the
kinds of food I was eating. The result has been 50 pounds lost (so
far) in just over 11 weeks.
The drastic change in the food I am now eating came from reading a
book called “Eat To Live” by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. If you’re at all
interested, you can read my thoughts on the book here…
This book gave me several “aha” moments, and I’d like to share a few
The first thing I learned is why food manufacturers use weight/volume
as a way of measuring fat content. If you are curious, I actually made
a demonstration, a quick 2 minute video on how sneaky this
It’s cool (and scary) to see how you can take a 100% fat product, and
call it 98% fat free.
Another thing I learned is that vegetables have more fat and protein
in them than you might think. For example, broccoli is about 20%
protein, 9% fat, and 71% carbs. Romaine lettuce is around 18% protein,
15% fat, and 67% carbs. The other interesting thing is that these (and
many other vegetables) contain all 9 essential amino acids, which
means your body can get all the essential protein building blocks it
needs from these plant foods.
Now, I know there are SO MANY studies that come out, this one saying
eat this, the next one saying don’t eat that same thing, one touting
the benefits of a food, the other touting the harmful effects of that
same food. It’s a crazy mixed up world.
However, I do think it’s important to try and sift through things as
best as we can, so that we are getting to the facts, rather than the
For example, did you know the “8 glasses of water a day” mantra has
been proven false many times over? This misinformation started in 1945
when the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council
made recommendations that people needed roughly between 64 and 80
ounces of water per day. However, they also stated at the same time
that “most of this quantity comes from prepared foods”, but that fact
seems to have been lost in the interpretation. That initial
recommendation has turned into the “drink 8 glasses of water everyday”
that so many people think is common knowledge, which in fact it’s just
simply not true. Much of the food we eat, especially unprocessed plant
food, has a lot of water in it. We still need to drink water, of
course, but it’s not as much as most people think.
Another interesting thing to note is that much of the “complete
protein” facts we assume is common knowledge (i.e. eggs/meat/etc. are
the best sources of protein) are not necessarily true. A lot of this
information was initially concluded from studies using rats, which
have different nutritional needs than humans. When scientists
reproduced these same studies with humans, they found that meat
sources didn’t score as highly, and they also found that many
vegetables are actually a great source of protein for humans.
At any rate, this is all rather abstract, so here’s the nitty gritty
of why I choose to eat the way I do.
I now eat unprocessed plant food 99% of the time (much of it raw)
– It is the most nutrient dense food I can eat
– I get to eat as much as I want, whenever I want
– I don’t count calories
I’ve learned that honoring my hunger is more important to me than how
many calories I consume. When I make a salad-as-a-meal (6 to 10 or
more ingredients), I don’t need to worry about eating too much, if I’m
hungry, I’ll eat until I’m full. When I make a smoothie, if I’m still
hungry after, I’ll grab a piece of fruit, or some seeds, or some nuts.
I eat beans with my soups/stir-frys/salads and I’m satisfied for
hours. I snack on fruits, seeds, and nuts. If I eat too much, it’s no
big deal (the exception is nuts, eating too many nuts can pack on the
pounds pretty easily. Also, I use very little oil when I cook.).
The biggest change for me with this new way of eating is that I no
longer worry about food. If I’m hungry, I eat, and I don’t measure or
count anything. And I have no fear or worries or stresses. This works
for me, and I know it will work for the rest of my life.
I want to leave you with an introduction to an entertaining and eye-
opening documentary series called “The Truth About Food” that was done
by the BBC. One of the things they did was they took a small group of people
with dangerously high levels of cholesterol, and had them eat mostly
raw plant food for just 12 days. In that short period of time, the
group of volunteers lowered their cholesterol by an average 23%. Also,
salt, insulin, and blood pressure tests all came back as vastly
improved. This was the result of eating differently for just 12 days.
The food we eat plays a critical role in our health! I know when
people hear the word “vegetarian” or “vegan”, there is the real
potential for defenses go up. It’s interesting how the most nutritious
foods on the planet (unprocessed plant foods) get lumped into such a
For anyone eating and moving towards a healthier body, I hope that you
are benefitting from the immense wisdom/power that nature provides in
the produce section of your supermarket! 🙂