Book Review: Eat to Live

Daily exposure to illness and chronic disease through my work makes me terrified of developing serious medical problems.  You might think that as a nurse practitioner I would have faith in modern medications to adjust my blood pressure should it spike in the future or lower my blood glucose in the case that I develop diabetes.  I do not.  Rather, I take every patient I meet suffering from these problems as a warning sign...prevention is key.

One of the keys to avoiding chronic disease is maintaining a healthy weight, a struggle for most Americans.  Advertisers market weight loss pills, drinks and supplements but no product ever provides the answer to long-term weight loss and health.  Dr. Joel Fuhrman's book Eat to Live, however provides the answers to weight loss and chronic disease prevention.  He advocates for true lifestyle change rather than presenting the typical fad diet.

Before reading Eat to Live, I thought I was healthy.  And, compared to most Americans I was.  Reading Dr. Fuhrman's book changed my perspective.  Eat to Live provides the perfect mix of research showing the dangers of the American diet while providing a simple solution- namely more fruits and vegetables.  His presentation of the benefits of nutrient-rich foods along with success stories of his patients who seemed overweight lost causes inspires readers to make serious changes.  The main point of his book if not calorie-counting or point-tallying but rather making good food choices- everyday.

Even if you aren't on a personal weight-loss mission or swear you just can't do a diet consisting mainly of plant foods, it is imperative you as a nurse practitioner read this book.  It will open your eyes to the dangers of the foods we eat and present simple (but admittedly not always easy) changes individuals can make to their diets to lose weight and most importantly prevent disease.  Recommend Dr. Fuhrman's book to your patients who want to become healthier but just aren't sure how.  No matter the extent to which you or your patients adopt the lifestyle changes outlined in Eat to Live, incorporating any of these guidelines will improve health.  You will look better, feel better and live healthier by adopting the principles in Dr. Fuhrman's book. 

Swimsuit season is upon us...why not pick up Eat to Live and challenge your patients to do the same.