Dr. Fuhrman lecture in Clearwater, FL

By coincidence I planned my vacation to Florida when Dr. Fuhrman was speaking in Clearwater, so I attended his lecture there. I also got to meet Holly from Milwaukee who I'd met online (Furhman forums) but not in person yet. So it was funny that our first "meetup" is in Florida. I also saw Lynn, June and Arnell. We heard about the lecture from Arnell, who arranged it. She has created this amazing community of people who attend her lectures and potlucks centered around Dr. Fuhrman's plan. The talk was sold out and there were over 400 people there. The audience was well-informed too. I was just amazed. I was amazed by Arnell and how she has transformed a community! And then there was the lecture. It was just great, with lots of jokes and interaction with the audience. Dr. Fuhrman had to talk fast to get all the information in and that was part of the fun as he rattled off all the things that will go wrong with you when you eat the Standard American Diet (SAD), among other things. His answer to the himalayan salt question was hilarious (non-funny version: it's bad for you). I got at least 3 useful things out of the lecture: 1) reinforcement of information I knew pretty well; 2) some new information about heart disease that explains my family history some more; and 3) Good old fashioned motivation and reinforcement that this is the greatest way to eat on earth, and to resist feeling different and funny about it.

Regarding point #2, Dr. Fuhrman said that heart disease doesn't affect everything at once, but starts first in the places with the most turbulence. So that got me thinking, my mother and I both have heart murmurs (mitral valve prolapse). My mother had a heart attack in her late 60s, a day after running 5 miles. She prided herself on eating healthy and being an avid jogger. She wasn't overweight by American standards. When that happened, I concluded that what you eat has no effect on your health because I thought she was a healthy eater. Well, by Dr. Fuhrman's standards she wasn't a healthy eater and she was overweight. Plus, I wonder if the heart murmur contributed to more heart disease because that causes more turbulence in that valve. She had atrial fibrillation which was either the cause or consequence of the heart attack. Well, before I started eating healthy, about 5-10 years ago, I was getting more and more of these irregular heartbeats. And I didn't seem to have as much oxygen capacity as others when I exercised. I told people that I know how I"m going to die: of a heart attack; hopefully at a late age, but that appeared to be my weak link. Of course, little did I know there are many other things that can kill you from the American diet, like cancer. Now I have great aerobic capacity (it's my muscles that give out first), and no irregular heartbeats. I'm so glad I accidentally discovered how to eat healthy because it will definitely mitigate the consequences of this heart murmur I have.

Regarding point #3 about motivation: While I was just posting about what I am eating on this trip, I was thinking, people who read this are going to think I'm crazy, eating salads while on vacation instead of enjoying food at restaurants. But Dr. Fuhrman reminded me, nope, I'm not crazy, I'm healthy! I'm kayaking and mountain biking and hiking and running on this vacation. I'm not hobbling around, overweight, taking pills for my cholesterol, diabetes, and high blood pressure (not that I feel superior, I don't! just lucky...). Those are the direct consequences of eating the Yucky American Diet (I think we should start calling it the YAD instead of the SAD). All that packaged processed "food," isn't real food, because it has no nutritional value and is addictive. It's poison! So yeah, I'm weird, but I'm not crazy. Sometimes I think I'm crazy because I'm different from everyone else. So it was fun in the lecture to see that I'm not different from Dr. Fuhrman and at least 100 other people in that audience.