Grow Your Movement with Dr. Joel Fuhrman

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On this episode of Juice Guru Radio for entrepreneurs, we talk with world-renowned nutrition expert Dr. Joel Fuhrman. Highlights include: 

  • Dr. Fuhrman’s experience as a competitive figure skater and how it shaped his relationship with health. 
  • The early years of Dr. Fuhrman’s medical practice and publishing his first book. 
  • How a vegan, nutritarian diet can build immunity, reverse disease, and improve health. 
  • What to expect at an Eat To Live Retreat
  • Advice for entrepreneurs in building their brand and business.

About the guest:
Dr. Joel Fuhrman, M.D., is a board-certified family physician and expert on nutrition and natural healing. He’s written seven New York Times best-selling books to spread his educational message. He’s also the President of the Nutritional Research Foundation and on the faculty of Northern Arizona University. He coined the term “Nutritarian” to describe a nutrient-dense eating style designed to prevent cancer, slow again, and extend lifespan. He’s been featured on numerous television specials, including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, and The Today Show. He’s also hosted five PBS specials, which raised over $50 million for public television and brought essential nutritional knowledge to living rooms across America. His work is featured in scientific journal publications and has received numerous medical awards. He operates the Eat To Live Retreat in San Diego, where patients from all over the world participate in his residential recovery and education programs. 

Links:
Juice Guru Radio:
https://juiceguru.com/podcast-shows/

Juice Guru Institute:
https://juiceguru.com

Juice Guru’s Certified Juice Therapist program:
https://juiceguru.com/certified-juice-therapist/

Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s website:
https://www.drfuhrman.com

Dr. Herbert Shelton’s Natural Hygiene works:
https://amzn.to/3GAEBqI

Read The Transcription

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

Don’t care if you’re speaking to 5 people or 25 people or 25,000 people, but get people together and share with them what you’ve accomplished and what you’ve learned. What we say is put on your oxygen mask first and then go out there and reach other people with your superpowers. It’s like take care of yourself first and then help another person take care of themselves and they will then help you be able to get your message out to spread to more people.

Announcer

(Announcer) Welcome to Juice Guru Radio for entrepreneurs. Firestart your own health movement. And now your host, founder of Juice Guru Institute and bestselling author, Steve Prussack.

Steve Prussack

Hello and welcome to the show. I’m your host, Steve Prussack. It’s great to be with you. I’m so excited. We got Dr. Joel Fuhrman, MD, board-certified family physician and nutritional researcher who specializes in preventing and reversing disease through nutritional and natural methods. President of the Nutritional Research Foundation and author of 7 New York Times bestsellers, including some of my favorites, ‘Eat for Life’, ‘Eat to Live’, ‘The End of Diabetes’, ‘The End of Dieting’, ‘The End of Heart Disease’, ‘Super Immunity’, and the ‘Eat to Live Cookbook’. All of them available on his website. We’ll give you the link under the show notes.

Steve Prussack

He’s the firestarter of the Nutritarian Movement. And he’s ready to share the keys to his massive success today. Let’s welcome to the show right now, Dr. Joel Fuhrman.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

Thank you, Steve. Great to be here as always and to speak to you.

Steve Prussack

Thank you for being here. And wow, what an incredible amount of work you’ve done. If we just put everything on pause right now and look at what you’ve created since you dove in, it’s pretty astounding.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

Well, thank you. I really appreciate that. I think, that when I started out with this decision back in the early ’80s to go back to medical school and to pursue a career in nutritional medicine and natural medicine, actually, I always thought I get a lot of personal satisfaction and personal reward from seeing people get well and help aiding them to make recovery from serious illnesses. I knew it would be tremendously satisfying. But of course, never did I expect to have had the opportunities I’ve had that I’m very grateful for. To have been able to reach so many millions of people and to have my television shows been showed around the country and been into that- in millions of people’s homes and just have sold millions of books.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

So I guess, I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve had. And the feeling that all the extra time, and spending late nights, and the work, and the effort really was worth it because I’ve affected a lot of people for the better. And left a mark on humanity to help people have the opportunity to improve their health, and prevent serious illnesses, and medical tragedy, and health tragedies in their lives. I do feel good about that. I feel I’ve accomplished more than what I had intended to accomplish. So obviously, that’s a good feeling.

Steve Prussack

Well, taking us back. I mean, you’ve always been successful pretty much everything you did. I mean, I know your story. I don’t know that our listeners know the ins and outs. But taking us back, you were an athlete to begin with, right?

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

Yes. As I was a teenager and I was a competitive figure skater, I competed in both singles and in pair skating with my younger sister. And as a pair team, we were ranked number 2 in the country in 1973. And then, the number 1 team ahead of us had retired. It was the close event in ’73 when we came in second. I think out of the 9 judges, they won by 5, and we won by 4. And so, we were close to the top of the country about 19- and then I got hurt. I was on crutches.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

And I kind of lost my opportunity to be in the Olympics in ’76, even though I was back on the ice again, because I was on crutches for so long. We only came in 4th in the National Championship that in the top 3 went to the Olympics that year. And then I got a little better shape and continued to get a little better. And then, I came in 3rd in the World Championships, in the World Professional Championships in Jaca, Spain in 1976. And I think at that point- I think soon after that, I retired from competitive figure skating and started to work in my family’s business more.

Steve Prussack

Was it that injury that kind of triggered your own healing or going down this path, back then?

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

Maybe and maybe not. I mean, you know, I was into health and nutrition before I got hurt. And my father was overweight and sickly and he brought a lot of Dr. Herbert Shelton’s books, ‘The Natural Hygiene Works’, into the house which I had read all this hygienic reviews. He wrote a lot of books. I always say, “How does one guy write so many books? This is like amazing.” He’s written 7 or 8 books. Writing a book seem like an overwhelming- and it probably in those days was overwhelming that it took to write a book, more than it is today. 

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

Because today we have Word processors and Microsoft Word. And you write something, you can just delete it and paste and cut and put something in there. When I remember when I was writing back, before we had Word Processing, you had to like these white out and cut and paste the Scotch tape and a scissor and erase things and type it all over again with a regular typewriter. It was like really onerous to write a book. But anyway, I can imagine in those days how much work it’s entailed. Nevertheless, I guess I was into nutrition before my injury and then the time where I was injured and I couldn’t walk for about a year.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

And I had spent time at Dr. Shelton’s Health School in Texas. I’m not sure if my own personal injury and my own personal experience would have changed things, but that’s my life and it’s what happened. When I was down in Texas, fasting around 1974, I guess, I think that they almost fasted me to death. I almost leave there not alive. That’s how long they fasted me. And I was at, like 19 or 20 years old. I didn’t know any better. I was just thinking maybe this could help me walk again from the injury.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

And I think at that point, fasting that long, I didn’t have enough conservative knowledge to know there were risks involved and how there’s a limit. In other words, I was trusting them to give me the right care, and they fasted me so long that it did make me emaciated and weakened for a long time. So that probably was a major factor why I couldn’t perform at my former level of competency in the ice skating world after that long, long fast. 

Steve Prussack

Wow. So they just kind of pushed you to the limit during that fast.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

Yes, I fasted probably until the right to the point where if I fasted a little longer, I would have been dead. 

Steve Prussack

Wow. That’s horrifying. So, once you got out of medical school and you decided- obviously, you had the entrepreneurial bug in a way. You wanted to start your own practice. Is that how it went from there?

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

 Yes. I knew I had to start my own practice. Because I wanted to do things from my background, my knowledge base, and my studies, and my interests. So I, of course, wanted to focus on nutritional excellence and occupy that niche where people would come to me, who want the very best way to get healthy again and get well. And not water down the message to make- because I know that I always knew in ways you could go up to more popularity and more money by watering down the message and making it more acceptable to more people.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

But I wanted to occupy that niche where it would be- because the ideal diet style and food portfolio to slow longevity is also going to be most effective, therapeutically, to reverse disease and to help people recover. So I wanted to occupy that niche and to speak to people who were desperate to get better and willing to do whatever it took, nutritionally, to get better. Not to convince the person to give up pizza and bacon and cheeseburgers, but to say- what I like that person who says to me, “I would eat sawdust, if you can get me better for my rheumatoid arthritis.”

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

And then, of course, my experience and knowledge and expertise started to morph into being able to make the healthiest foods in the world taste great, with great recipes, and being able to expand my ideal way of eating to encompass people that would want to have great flavor, great taste, not feel they’re losing anything, as far as enjoyment of eating. I think that coming from the Natural Hygiene Movement, where the people eat pretty healthily, but they just ate like plain salad on plain fresh fruit as a meal or plain, like very bare, no recipes, nothing fancy.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

And it was too onerous for people to expect to live that way. So I managed to not only fix all the myths and the mistakes in that way of thinking and eating, and to tweak it to really make it the pinnacle of scientific excellence and nutritional excellence, but also to develop and tweak it so people could really enjoy this way of eating and feel it’s something they can stay with a little for the rest of their life to get maximum health advantage from it.

Steve Prussack

What were some of those obstacles at the beginning? I mean, here you are coming with this message where obviously, it wasn’t in the mainstream and exciting to see how it grew with bestselling books and getting on PBS with your message. But what were some of those struggles to begin with when you started to really get this off the ground?

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

The struggles to be good with, had to do with how you pay for medical care and how insurance companies pay for doctor’s visits. Like in those days, I would accept- because you’re starting out a practice, you want to accept insurances, you want to accept Medicare, you want to accept HMOs, like Oxford, US Healthcare. You want to accept all the insurances that- so people have you on their list as a preferred provider. Because you’re starting to practice on your own, you don’t have people just come in.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

You’re not going to have a lot of patients coming in, especially the type of practice that I was doing. So I did accept a lot of- like a person would find out,  “Oh yeah, I can see Dr. Fuhrman with US Healthcare.” They come in and pay their $20-copay. And if that person stayed in your panel, that stayed with you as their primary doctor, you’d make an extra maybe $10 a month from them, if they stayed with you. But they didn’t because they came to me from Philadelphia, from far distances, they drove 3 hours away.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

They switched over to make me their primary care doctor. They paid the $20-copay. They went back home and they switched out of my panel. So I didn’t continue to get repaid from them. Their old local doctor did now. So I only made the $20 for spending an hour with them, which didn’t cover my staff overhead. So for many years in my medical practice, I broke even or did worse than breaking even. You know what I mean? So for a lot of years, I was struggling to make it work.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

I was certainly rewarded in helping people, but it’s very difficult to make it financially successful. I was working probably an 80-hour week. Because if I worked a 40- to a 60-hour week, I wouldn’t just- maybe I’d lose money on a 40- hour week, break even on a 60-hour week, and maybe to make an 80-hour week, maybe make a little income. So it was like working two jobs, for most of my first decade of my medical practice. I think that was the difficulty. And then of course, I used to- then I went home, and I’d start writing a book. My first book was called ‘Fasting and Eating for Health.’

Steve Prussack

I love that one.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

Oh, you read that one? I think that was in 1996 maybe or before that, I don’t even know but. Of course, writing a book while you’re still working an 80-hour week, means I was writing between, like 8 and after you put the kids to bed, writing between 9 and 1 o’clock in the morning. You know what I mean? So it’s like, I kind of had a- and I felt I had to do that. Because when I was advising something so contrary to the conventional medical thought, at the time, and people seeing me as being a quack or this is a fail, whatever they’re calling me or whatever they’re thinking about me, I knew the answer to that was to write a book. 

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

Because there were so many people saying that- making believe or judging me improperly with what you said or think or what your beliefs are. So I figured, you write a book and people know exactly where you stand, know what your practice is about, know what your science that defines your decision making. And through the years, I felt book writing was the most effective way that you can actually see the scientific references to make it impossible for people to really disagree. And I always say, “Don’t believe people for what they say based on who they are. Don’t believe it because Dr. Furman says it. Look at the evidence I’m presenting.”

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

The evidence I’m presenting is overwhelming. Look at the evidence. It’s logical, makes sense, and my judgment after reviewing the content of all the studies that are available is correct and makes the most sense. And I think that that’s where- and I think that contributed to my success. Because really, most people- there’s so many different viewpoints and opinions out there and I think people have- a big audience of individuals have learned to trust my advice. Because they see how careful I am at looking at the big picture, all the evidence and looking in depth at all the studies on both sides of the issues and making sure the weight is given appropriately to the studies that have more credence. 

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

And the things that we apply that are going to be absolutely, either solid science or most likely when the science is not there, it’s going to be the most logical avenue to pursue to get great results because of the logic involved in interpreting that science. And of course, my experience. I have tremendous amount of experience in working with very, very sick people and tens of thousands of cases of sick individuals that came in, that have seen me from those days of the last 3 decades. 

Steve Prussack

Right. So you had that anecdotal evidence. You have those case studies too, to bring to the table right out the gate.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

That’s right. I had the case studies. The vast experience working with lots of sick people with a vast degree of all types of different illnesses. From myasthenia gravis to- we’re talking about essential thrombocytopenia to multiple sclerosis. Not just the basic things that people see, like diabetes and heart disease, and strokes, and cancers but also a lot of unusual autoimmune diseases and people sought me out with all different types of problems. And being a board-certified family physician, gave me an added insight and ability to care for people of all ages with all different diseases.

Steve Prussack

So what was the plan at that point? Once you were working on the book and all that to build this empire. I mean, we can call it an empire because it’s phenomenal. Was that in the plan or the vision at that point? Or where were you going to step out as a celebrity, as a leader, and someone really making a huge difference, not just in New Jersey but all over the world?

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

No, I had absolutely no intention of having any plans like that. I just wanted to do a good job and help people and help my patients recover. That was it. And certainly, I wanted to write a book and influence people to recognize that they can control their health destiny and they don’t have to be sick. And share my wonderful results with people making recoveries from rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, ulcerative colitis. I wanted to be able help people young children, teenagers who were on the national renal transplant list with kidney failure, getting normal again, getting back their kidneys back functioning, with lupus, and autoimmune nephropathies, and all types of unusual autoimmune diseases, mixed connected tissue disease.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

I had such a vast degree of experience caring for people with medical conditions that I wanted to be able to share that and have people avail themselves with the knowledge they can get well and not be sick for the rest of their life. It never had to do with making, having an empire. It had to do with my passion for helping people have the right type of informed consent, so they could potentially reverse their diseases to let people know that they don’t have to stay sick the rest of their life. That’s the only thing that was driving me and always has driven me. 

Steve Prussack

With all this work you’ve done, what would you say to date is your greatest achievement? What are you most proud of at this point?

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

I think, that is my greatest achievement. I think my greatest achievement- I filmed my- I know I’m not answering the question directly, I’m going back to the- but I just filmed my latest PBS show in November of 2019. And now it’s 2020, it was shown in March and in the audience was about 500 people who came from all over the country. And those people who flew in for the filming of that show were people who lost 100 pounds, lost 200 pounds, got well from testicular cancer, reversed their lymphoma, improved- got well from multiple sclerosis and lupus, so we had people who lost weight.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

So, it was seeing and being there with hundreds of people who recovered their health, who I never even met before, who just read my books or learned from me through the TV or through the internet and followed my portfolios. And they represent a small tip of the iceberg of the many thousands who’ve recovered their health around the country, as a result of following my dietary protocols for various diseases. And I think, that’s my greatest achievement. When I stood in front of that audience and they gave me a standing ovation and I’m looking at those people and a lot of them I got to know and became friends with and I can name a lot of people’s names. 

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

And I know that they wouldn’t- and I know that the gratitude they have for having learned this information through me and the personal satisfaction and like you’re saying, my greatest achievement is touching these people’s lives. Because when you have a person who- a lot of these people could’ve, would have been dead by now and a lot of people’s lives were saved. And a lot of people who presented there were told they were going to be dead shortly of heart failure and all types of incredibly dangerous cardiovascular conditions. Some people were shocked back from death and given very little chance, even leave the hospital alive.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

So we’re talking about all these people who reversed their kidney failure, kidney insufficiency, got rid of their autoimmune conditions, reversed their heart disease, got well from type 2 diabetes or given their life back with type 1 diabetes. Because there have been people who have type 1 diabetes with highs and lows and overusing insulin, until they ate right and got rid of their insulin resistance from having type 2 mixed with type 1, because their insulin- resistant type 1s now, having to use a lot of insulin was destroying their lives.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

And so, what I’m saying right now is, when people ask me for that question, I’m thinking of all these people that I’ve helped and how proud I am of that. 

Steve Prussack

Yes. Let’s talk about the Nutritarian Diet. So what makes that unique? How did it come about? Did it come about in practice or-? Let’s talk a little more about that.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

You know, I was advising people to eat a certain diet. But as I’m formulating the concept to put it into a book form and really putting together the science, it was able to crystallize the explanation of what it is that I’m actually doing to make it more explainable for people. This concept of the most proven methodology to slow down aging and extend lifespan is moderate caloric restriction in the context of micronutrient excellence. That’s the first principle of the nutritarian diet represented by the equation H equals N over C. Which means your healthy life expectancy is proportional to the micronutrient bang per caloric buck of your diet all through life. Not only the amount of micronutrients you consume soon, but the full variety and breadth, and that micronutrient exposure, while overeating calories and especially calories that do not contain nutrients, is going to accelerate our aging and create chronic disease.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

I’m going to say that one more time, there’s a few 6 or 7 words, I’m going to repeat again, and that is- so people maybe want to write it down, “Moderate caloric restriction in the context of micronutrient excellence.” That’s the primary and overwhelming principle between a nutritarian diet. The world ‘nutritarian’ just means nutritionally-rich and designed to be the healthiest diet you can eat. A real diet that make manifest- enable people to manifest superior health.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

And accordingly, I now have over the years, developed further- refine that principle to include the micronutrient adequacy of not being low in anything the body may need, having the full comprehensive exposure to all the nutrients humans need and to avoid toxic substances. And also, of course, to be hormonally favorable to make sure your hormone- and of course, to be weight favorable.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

And I’m also teaching that, micronutrient adequacy also helps you control your ravenous appetite or calorie consuming monster. And the people that don’t consume enough nutrients and don’t eat healthfully have trouble not getting rid of food addictions, and getting rid of their overeating behavior, and their emotional overeating and their biological overeating. So of course, we’re saying is it’s so hard for people to stay on a style of eating that’s going to keep them healthy and slim and free of disease for the rest of their life. It’s almost impossible for people to achieve and enjoy compliance with such healthy eating, when they’re not eating healthily because you get physical symptoms that drive you to overconsume calories when you don’t eat healthily.

Steve Prussack

What have you seen as some of the benefits of the nutritarian diet? Because you talk about disease prevention, the end of dieting, things like that,  super immunity. Does this tie into everything?

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

 It ties into everything but today’s world with the Covid-19 crisis, if there was ever a time when you were trying to convince people not to get cancer. We can win the war on cancer, right now, with this nutritarian diet style designed with the full portfolio of anticancer foods, with foods and those proven anticancer benefits. And saying, “Why not not have a heart attack and not have a stroke and not get cancer?” But people don’t look that far into the future very often. They look into the now and because they’re feeling okay right now and they’re still enjoying eating poorly, they’re not going to think about improving their diet until they get to that life-threatening condition, in many cases.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

But now everybody who eats poorly is in a life-threatening condition, could be in a life-threatening situation with Covid-19. So instead of- so the same dietary portfolio that was going to prevent you from getting breast cancer, is going to keep you alive and not suffering a hospitalization, when you get exposed to Covid-19 virus. So now more than ever before, how could you possibly not follow a nutritarian diet? Because everything else is not as good and not going to be protective. What I’m saying right now is that, I think that the time is right for people to realize we can take charge our health destiny. And do it now before you get in trouble, perhaps lose your life over this.

Steve Prussack

There’s a lot of mixed messages in the media. I know, Canada put some statement out the health board there that, “Building your immunity won’t help you with the coronavirus and things.” What do you think of things like that when there are messages coming out from some government saying, “Don’t worry, you can eat what you want because it’s not going to help you anyway.” What do you think of that?

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

Well, all through my career, I’ve had a unique way of presenting the science, interpreting it, and examining that science in detail to seek the details. So I think that, it’s consistent that you can’t expect governments, the conventional medical authorities who are always- or conventional television programs, really, because don’t forget all these authorities, authoritative people are being governed by bodies that are being affected by the pharmaceutical industry, and the food industry, and the economic power of billions and billions and billions of dollars that go against people taking control of their health and thinking that they don’t- with this idea of removing the fast food, the oils, the sweets, the honey, the sodas, the sugars, the meats and making of the diet of plant foods that you grow yourself or you grow organically and make you think it tastes great.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

I mean, I recognize that the authorities are not going to come out supporting the nutritarian diet. But they don’t have to. Because if you follow the way- if you do what other people do, you’re going to get what other people get. Look what they’re getting. They’re getting a nation with a cancer epidemic. With the most overweight population in the history of the human race, where a person dies of a heart attack every 30 seconds across this country. And now people are dying like flies of a simple Coronavirus because their immune systems are so weakened.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

And they’re saying that we can’t eat to prevent cancer, we can’t eat to prevent heart attacks. Drugs are the answer. And you can’t eat to save your life against the Coronavirus. That using food and the conservative use of supplements, whatever you want is not going to have an effect. That’s just absolute ridiculousness. And the reason they can say that is because they look at these isolated studies that people who make one small change or make or take one supplement, they don’t really look- they’re not studying people who are following my nutritarian approach, which is so profound and deep in the way it supplies the body with such a comprehensive array of nutrients that work synergistically with each other to maximize human immune function and protection.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

So, why would we expect them to see that or to respect that if they’ve never studied it or looked at it?

Steve Prussack

What other thoughts do you have on Coronavirus? How worried do you think people should be?

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

I think they should start immediately following my plan for super immunity, and then they don’t have to worry at all. What I’m saying right now is, I think a healthy person they need not fear Coronavirus. I think they should be worried – yes, super lot, if they’re overweight and eating like other people eat, they should really be worried because being overweight increases your risk of death from infection by 700%. We’re talking here- so yeah, if you’re in the 89% of Americans who have a BMI above 23. The only reason that the authorities tell you 75% are overweight, not 89% is because they use a BMI of 25 as the demarcation line between a normal weight.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

And so even the people that are normal weight, of course, are usually a normal weight because they’re alcoholics or cigarette smokers, or they have some other disease keeping them thin. It’s only 2.4% of Americans that have a normal weight because they eat healthily, relatively healthily and exercise regularly. So it’s only 2.4% of Americans that we should expect to be safe from the Coronavirus, and that could occur at any age. But of course, eating healthily and maintaining a favorable weight is essential for your life right now.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

But I’m also saying that if you’re 100 pounds overweight or 50 pounds overweight or 30 pounds overweight, even though you’re at increased risk, if you’re following this program and dropping 2 to 3 pounds a week, which is what usually happens. Then immediately within a few weeks, your risk of- your immune system will have a tremendous boost and ability to respond appropriately to prevent viral replication and invasion and to reduce cytokine storm that creates excessive inflammation in response to viral replication. So what I’m saying right now, is the G-BOMBS: the greens, the beans, the onions, the mushrooms, the berries, the seeds, all these foods with all these nutrients we’re talking about, work to establish a normal and heightened immune response to prevent viral replication, but they also prevent the body overreacting. 

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

Because it’s fat cells that predominantly exude and spew out cytokines that inflame the body’s response to viruses. But what I’m saying is that, as the person is losing weight, we’re seeing tremendous improvement in immune function even while they’re still overweight. So a nutritarian, is either at an ideal weight or they’re overweight yet moving towards their ideal weight, losing at least a pound every 3 days as they cultivate and practice this way of nutritional excellence.

Steve Prussack

So, ‘Super Immunity’ is a great one to start with, especially in this day and age,  and what’s happening right now.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

Yes but I think my book, ‘Eat for Life’, too because it’s the newest and most updated. It’s is also very appropriate for people to get all those medical references with the most updated ones because ‘Super Immunity’ was written a few years ago. But yeah, it’s amazing. I guess I’m just proud of the fact in ‘Super Immunity’ I talked about this, like I didn’t mention Covid-19, but I talked about how viruses can take more pathogenic forms, can cause damage, can cause excessive inflammation. I talked about all how individual nutrient deficiencies or broad-spectrum phytonutrient deficiencies lead to serious effects of billions of infections to create problems and even death, and paralysis, and dangers when you have a nutritionally-insufficient host.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

So the ‘Super Immunity’ book talked about that for years, when I wrote it 3 or 4 years ago, it talked about it back then. And gave the reasons why people were putting themselves at risk of infection. And of course- and then using supplements appropriately with a little extra Zinc, if you’re on a plant-based diet, the DHA, the Zinc, the B12, the vitamin D, making sure you have adequate iodine, all these accessory nutrients to make sure you’re achieving right at the level of optimal. And not too much and too little, not using taking- synthetic folic acid, not taking in synthetic vitamin E or beta-carotene, but using the real food there. Getting your folate, carotenoids, and phytonutrients from real food and only using supplements very conservatively to fill in some gaps where the diet might be suboptimal. So I think, this full design of the nutritarian diet comprehensively assures nutritional adequacy and leaves no person- doesn’t leave some people that’s in trouble because of insufficient attention to the details.

Steve Prussack

Well, another incredible achievement is the ‘Eat to Live Retreat’. We’ll talk about what goes on there because I’ve been lucky to see, but what led to that idea to create a retreat? And how did that all come about?

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

No, it’s funny because I’ve been talking about this and planning this for like 20 years, even though it only came about a few years ago. I’ve always wanted to do something like this. It just was unaffordable. And the reason I always wanted to do something, is because through my medical career, I’ve seen so many people who could have gotten well and would have gotten well, if I gave them a little more professional help that I couldn’t do in the outpatient setting. They really needed a place where I could house them to assure compliance, so they can abstain from their addictive food triggers long enough. And get the education, information about addiction or emotional overeating, at the same time, and allow their taste buds to change and their dopamine insensitivity and their addiction driver to normalize.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

So I knew that this would be helpful for people. And so the fact that- because I was always in touch with a group of individuals who I couldn’t reach. You know, a lot of people can get well from reading my books and watching the videos and hearing me and speaking online and all this stuff. But so many people just- they have negative social environments, their addictions are powerful, they don’t have the support systems at home, they don’t have the ability, the attention to put there to learn enough, whatever it is – I knew that I could help more people if I had a place like this, where I could house people.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

Like a drug addiction place with cocaine where people come for a few months and people come here who are overweight, food addicts or who are not, who are medical conditions, who get my personal care and guidance to gradually wean them off their drugs, and get them well again or get them- so they leave here not just in better condition, but with the skills they know and the food preferences, with the obstacles solved, so they know they can do this at home and continue to do this at home.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

 Like the goal here, like for example, Nicole came here and while she was here for 6 weeks she lost about 50 pounds, believe it or not. But she was super heavy, like close to 400 pounds. But she went home and she lost another 150 pounds over the next 15 months or 13 months after she left. In other words, she learned what to do, so she could continue the process when she got home. And she says, “I wouldn’t think of doing anything else or living any other way. This way works. It tastes great. It’s the way I prefer to eat at this point. I could have never done it had I not come to the retreat and stayed there and seen how pleasurable this can be.”

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

 And of course, I’m really proud of the great chefs we have here that they make food taste so great, the healthy food taste so great. And of course, this is a wonderful place to heal and get well. And I always thought I’d enjoy doing this extra type of care, so I can even have some skilled facility like this, where people can get the extra help they need and get a place of safety. Because everywhere you look, people are trying to put French fries and donuts, and spare ribs, and hot dogs in your face. And for a person that’s a food addict, they just can’t do it. 

Steve Prussack

Well, it’s an immersive experience and you can even see the organic garden. You can see the dream’s been realized with what you’ve created there. You guys are actually growing your own food right there, aren’t you?

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

It’s so cool because people don’t realize that it’s not just the food, but you have to put good soil down. Growing the own food where I can control the soil means that it’s better than organic. It’s nutrient-rich organic. And I’m not even using commercial manure from commercially-fed cows, which can put more chemicals into the organic fertilizers. This is an incredibly powerful experience, giving you connectivity with nature here. We have natural soils with compost and biochar, and earthworm castings, and bat guano in there. So it’s incredible soils and the ability of the climate here to grow so much fruits and vegetables. And so it really is a blessing here to- I’m very lucky to have the opportunity to do this year.

Steve Prussack

But what is the experience? So somebody comes there, we check in, what can we expect on a typical visit to the retreat?

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

Well, most people go into a private room with overlooks. They have their own, usually sliding glass doors that open out into the room, have their own bath. So it’s a beautiful place and there’s a beautiful saltwater pool and a sand volleyball, people exercise on the sand, and there’s beautiful hiking and biking. And we’re surrounded in an area of the country where you can look at the 200-acre park with hiking trails and creeks and a lake. And so it’s just the most beautiful place to be.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

And they’re getting counseling on food addiction and food eating. They’re getting my particular lectures and my guidance on the medications. They have a nurse on premise. They’re working with the nurse to reduce their medications, to advise me it’s the appropriate time to cut back, to get them off the medication gradually. And so we have the chefs to do cooking classes. So they’re having some exercise classes, some lectures, some group learning ,and some fun and the opportunity to be here in an environment where you can be outdoors and be in the beautiful- have good weather all year round here in San Diego. So I was going to do it in New Jersey, but then it’s just so much better out here to do something like this in Southern California.

Steve Prussack

 Yeah. We love having you out here. So, with this body of work and this movement you’ve created and all these achievements, what was the biggest transformation that happened personally? Maybe something you didn’t expect. What would you say was the biggest transformation in all this work you’ve done?

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

Well, the biggest transformation was at some point in my career, making a decision to stop seeing patients to 80 hours of the week and taking all those insurance companies and to move my practice and see less people and start to spend more time developing an internet practice, so I can get the information and answer people’s questions over the internet. So I think the biggest decision was being able to actually see less people one-on-one, where I’m limited to repeating- for an hour or an hour and a half to repeat the same information. And to start spending more of my time writing, and speaking, and being interviewed like this, and working on an internet connectivity where people can ask me questions through the website.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

And I can advise them through articles, and position papers, and lectures over the Internet, so I can reach a larger number of people using media as opposed to just repeating the same message and convincing people one-on-one, I’m able to speak to people in groups. I’m able to get the message out to a larger audience. So it was getting that message out to a larger audience. And don’t forget when I did that, when I wrote Eat to Live, for example, and started touring around the country and stopped seeing patients, so I could tour around the country and then speak and lecture – it was a very difficult time because there was no income coming.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

I was losing the income from the medical practice and certainly ‘Eat to Live’ did not become a best seller until years, years and years after that. So, I was making that decision in spite of the financial difficulty and at that point we were concerned about losing our house. And we would say, “We’ll just get a small apartment. We’ll sell the house or whatever”. You know what I mean? But it was just going ahead and making that leap to try to promote my work and not spend my whole wake- every waking hours seeing patients. And I think that was a major decision that was difficult at first, but eventually, obviously paid off.

Steve Prussack

In your advice to those that want to lead get this message out. We have our certification program, but in our program we recommend your Nutritarian Certification. So any of our Certified Juice Therapists out there, make sure to watch that video, Dr. Fuhrman, so you can get certified as a Nutritarian and bring that into your practice. What’s your advice for those that really want to ignite their own movement and get this message out there all over the world?

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

My advice is first, be a role model, of an example of great help yourself. You got to walk the walk and will talk the talk. And then second, don’t care if you’re speaking to five people or 25 people or 25,000 people, but get people together and share with them what you’ve accomplished and what you’ve learned. What we say is put on your oxygen mask first and then go out there and reach other people with your superpowers. When I talked about all these people who’ve made recoveries from serious illnesses around the country, that’s how you succeed.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

You develop your- few people that you’ve helped that made recoveries. And then they help you get the message out with those successes which you can use to help promote yourself and your ability to reach other people. In medical school they say, “See one, do one teach one”. In other words, we were trying to teach people in this way – it’s like take care of yourself first and then help another person take care of themselves and they will then help you be able to get your message out, to spread to more people. 

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

And get that message out and it doesn’t matter- it’s not wasting your time to speak to a small number of people because you don’t need a large number of people, you just need a small number of people who got great success, so that you can be a success.

Steve Prussack

Great advice. The website drfuhrman.com. Lots of recipes up there and you can find all his books, too. Dr. Furman, it’s been great. I’ve been really wanting to learn more about you and your career in this way. Thank you for sharing. I haven’t heard an interview like this, so thank you for being here.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

My pleasure. Thank you, Steven. Of course, best of health and much success to all people that are listening and keep safe.

Steve Prussack

Dr. Joel Fuhrman right here on Juicingpreneur Radio.

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