Posted by: beyonddinner | November 16, 2008

How did I get here?

About two years ago I experienced a shift in my perception of myself and the world. At the time my father had experienced a relapse of an aggressive lymphoma, I had just turned forty and was experiencing some health problems related to being significantly overweight. Between my husband and my immediate families (8 people), we had experience with 7 different kinds of cancer. At the time I could see that I was heading down the same road as my father and I suddenly became interested changing direction. I decided that I needed to learn how to like fruits and vegetables and incorporate them regularly into my life.

All my life I’ve been a picky eater. Getting fruits and vegetables into my system was always a struggle for me and I confess that I hadn’t been a good role model to my two children. I was seriously addicted to diet sodas, sugar and other refined carbs.

While trying to figure out what direction to follow, I came across an open posting about health and fitness at the blog 43folders where I read every single comment. In it, a response mentioned Dr. Joel Fuhrman and a best seller he wrote about a nutritional system that addressed illness. I decided to take a look at that book and got Eat to Live from the library. Pretty quickly I figured out that he was on to something – his book is backed up many, many scientific studies that substantiate that the more nutritionally dense food you eat, the better off you are, and the healthier you become. When I finished the book I immediately purchased a copy for myself and began the process to completely overhaul how I ate.

Over the following year I lost about 60 pounds and my family joined me in eating in this healthy way. I am now a fruit and vegetable lover and am truly happy when we have collard greens and kale for dinner. I cut out most of the meat and animal products in my diet and don’t really miss it. Where I would have meat, cheese or milk products at almost every meal, I now only have them a few times a week or month. I still struggle with my weight and food addictions these days, but I know the foundation of my meals is a lot healthier than it used to be.

After reading Eat to Live, my interest took off in vegan cookbooks and other readings about food and nutrition. It wasn’t long before I read Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma and I became engrossed in issues with our food system. Since then we’ve taken a variety of steps to change our relationship to food systems which I’ll detail along the way in this blog.



  1. Tracy,

    And you inspired others. You and Pat shared the book with us, we changed our diet and became increasingly aware of the issues surrounding the American diet (even though I’d already spent 18 years in the Food & Beverage industry). So much so, that I now find myself launching a food company based upon many of the principles you highlight in your blog. Thank you!

    Joel (

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