Let’s all get on the same page about what it means to be a nutritarian!
Sounds like a pretty good idea, right, since this site is all about helping people become (and stay) nutritarian.
There are plenty of reasons why you’re interested in this lifestyle. Some of the most important being to overcome any health issues, protect against disease and reach your ideal weight.
That means if you’re here right now you’re all about living as long as you can with the best possible quality of life!
Hands-down this lifestyle is going to meet your goals.
It’s going to enrich your life and, for many, it’s going to feel like the very first time you’re truly living.
If you’ve struggled with food addiction and binge eating, practicing this lifestyle is going to repair your disordered eating. I’ve experienced the power of this lifestyle to do these things in my own life (and my family’s) and I’ve been at this now for over 4 years because I love how it makes me feel.
So, let’s really take the time right now to define what being nutritarian is.
Cause getting on the same page is going to help you understand what you’re trying to accomplish and how you’re going to get there. And knowing that is going to help you use this site most effectively to reach your goals!
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- a nutritarian overview (get your free printable here!)
- how the nutritarian plan works: nutrient density & crowding out
- what is the nutritarian plan (get another free printable here!)
Your Nutritarian Overview
Let’s start with the basic tenants of the nutritarian lifestyle.
Go ahead and print this out and hang it on your fridge now: Nutritarian Diet Overview Printable
Later on we’ll cover the different types of plans you can chose to use but, for now, let’s just define the overall goals of eating nutritarian.
Very simply, a nutritarian diet means a diet high in the nutrients humans need for maximizing their health.
Dr. Fuhrman outlines the 3 principles of a nutritarian diet as follows:
- adequate nutrient density
- hormonally favorable
- avoiding things that are carcinogenic or toxic
When you meet these 3 principles your body is running optimally. You’re protected from obesity, heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
Yeah, that’s a hell of a lot of state-of-mind right there, don’t you think? Not having to worry about developing these deadly diseases that are ravaging our country.
Not to mention reaching and maintaining your ideal weight–so you can be active, happy, and engaged in your life and with the people you love!
So, exactly how do you get there? What do you have to do daily to meet these three principles?
You meet the nutritarian principles when you:
- eat plant-based–emphasizing raw fruits and vegetables, greens, beans, mushrooms, onions, berries and raw nuts & seeds (high-nutrient foods)
- avoid processed foods and animal products (hormonally unfavorable)
- cook without oil (major caloric load with very low nutrients)
- keep added salt to less than 400mg a day (salt deadens your tastebuds and contributes to food addiction)
- stop snacking between meals (keeps you in the catabolic state of your digestion cycle allowing your cells the ability to clean and repair DNA damage)
And that’s everything in a nutshell! Exactly what you need to do to repair your body and achieve health excellence.
By practicing these 5 actions daily you can cure diet-related diseases, lose weight and protect yourself from cancer.
Now, within this overview there’s a few different approaches, and we’ll get into those when we discuss the nutritarian plan a bit later.
But first, let’s learn exactly how this lifestyle works to optimize your body:
- concentrating on nutrients instead of calories
- crowding out and minimizing the bad stuff
So, let’s delve in a little deeper…
Eat Nutrient-Dense & Forget About Calories (Forever!)
Dr. Furhman’s basic nutritarian principle is to eat according to the nutrient-density of your food–not the calories. That means no counting calories. Ever. Again.
Just hang a note on the door to your brain that says: Calories don’t live here anymore.
And it’s not just calories that you need to forget about. Concerning yourself with carbs, fat and protein and in which proportions they should be consumed, is not what being a nutritarian is about.
Carbs, fat and protein are the macronutrients that provide our bodies with calories. They classify the one of three places that your calories come from. But nutritarians aren’t worried about that either.
Nutritarians are focused on eating foods with the highest micronutrients–the vitamins, minerals, fibers and phytochemicals in our food.
Haven’t heard of “phytochemicals” yet? That’s because you can’t find them in pizza, burgers and chicken wings…
Phytochemicals are complex chemical compounds that occur naturally in plants. And they are badass! They fight aging, free radicals and advanced glycation end products (a fancy term for inflammation, cell damage and premature cell death–I know, scary stuff).
Science has identified 36 vitamins and minerals but there are hundreds of phytochemicals most of which have yet to be discovered. Phytochemicals literally unlock our genetic and immune system’s disease-fighting potential.
“Every strawberry has about 700 different nutrients in it, not just 36. Every piece of broccoli has about 1000 different nutrients in them. And those phytochemicals are not optional, the human body needs these things for a normal functioning of the immune system. Just to be normal, you need hundreds and hundreds of different phytochemicals from an assortment of natural plant foods.” The End of Dieting, How to Prevent Disease by Dr. Joel Fuhrman (7:49 to 8:08).
And that’s how you heal your body and its systems by adopting a nutritarian lifestyle.
Your goal is to eat the foods that are most favorable to your body and its long-term survival. You assess how favorable a food is by how nutrient-dense it is for the calories (or energy) it provides.
Nutrient-Density: How do your favorite health foods stack up?
Dr. Fuhrman made a hand-dandy scoring system (you can see above and print it out here) called the ANDI scoring system. This shows you how nutrient-dense foods are and helps guide you to eat more of the high-scoring foods.
Let’s try an example: edamame and onions vs. feta cheese and chicken breast.
No surprises here folks, edamame (score: 98) and onions (score: 109) are more nutrient-dense than feta cheese (score: 20) and chicken breast (score: 24).
So what does this mean?
It just means that you need to eat more veggies (high-scoring foods) and less meat and dairy (low-scoring foods).
Edamame and onions supply you with more micronutrients and for less calories. Feta cheese and chicken breast provide you with some protein but little else in terms of life-lengthening free-radical fighting power.
You can only get those kinds of goodies from plants!
Turn Up the Food Volume
It’s time to eat up. Like, a lot.
Because portion-control is for the birds!
Cutting down portions doesn’t work in the long-term anyway when you’re eating low-nutrient foods (like the Standard American Diet). Your body is literally starving for those hundreds of phytochemicals it needs to run efficiently.
We’ve established that nutritarians seek out the most micronutrients they can and forget about counting calories. The next major facet of the nutritarian lifestyle is to eat foods that take up a lot of space in the stomach.
These high-volume foods make you feel full and occupy your stomach’s stretch receptors. And guess what? They also happen to be high in nutrients and low in calories. We’re talking raw and cooked veggies, greens, and fresh fruits.
See those three stomachs up there? They demonstrate how food volume works.
“You can only gain weight if you use concentrated calories, mostly animal products, oils, processed carbohydrates, to fit enough calories in the stomach, because the stomach only holds a liter of food. And you can’t put more than 400 or 500 calories at a time into the stomach if you’re eating natural foods. It fills it up too easily. It’s impossible to become overweight cause you can’t get enough calories into the human body if you’re eating natural foods. To become overweight, like all Americans did, they’ve had to have eaten foods whose calories have been artificially concentrated.” The End of Dieting, How to Prevent Disease by Dr. Joel Fuhrman (39:53 to 40:23).
Dr. Fuhrman calls it “crowding out.”
By focusing on eating all those raw fruits and veggies, greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries, raw seeds and raw nuts, you just aren’t going to have enough room left for those detrimental processed foods and animal products.
If you fill up on nutrient-rich, high-volume foods, you crowd out your ability to eat those high-calorie foods you’re used to.
This crowding-out principle is what allows you to lose serious weight while you eat more food.
What is the Nutritarian Plan?
So, there’s more than one plan.
Yup, I know it kinda sucks. Just like everything else in life, there’s a spectrum of nutritarian plans.
That’s why some nutritarians are vegans while others have 2 or 3 servings of animal products (like eggs and fish) weekly. Or some have two salads a day while others only have one. Some nutritarians have small amounts of oil and salt while others abstain.
Don’t worry too much about these distinctions now because my next post in this series is going to break down each nutritarian plan for you in detail.
For now we’re going to concentrate on the two ends of the spectrum:
- the basic nutritarian guidelines
- the aggressive weight-loss 6-week plan
Basic Nutritarian Guidelines
These are the minimum standards to accurately call yourself a nutritarian.
Outlined on pp. 153-157 of The End of Dieting, these basic guidelines are about adding high-nutrient foods into your existing diet.
You can print out this plan here: The Basic Nutritarian Guidelines
They don’t focus on restricting and outlining what you can’t have, they just get you into the habit of filling up on micronutrient-dense plant foods first.
The Basic Nutritarian Guidelines are:
1. eat more salad (at least 1 salad as your main course, daily)
2. eat beans daily (at least 1/2 cup)
3. eat one large serving of steamed green veggies daily
4. eat at least 1 ounce of nuts & seeds daily
5. eat mushrooms and onions everyday
6. eat three fresh fruits daily
When to Use the Basic Nutritarian Guidelines:
You should use this plan when you don’t want to be as restrictive as the Aggressive Weight-Loss standards.
If you don’t have any health concerns like pre-diabetes, diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol or high blood pressure, this is a great plan to use to gradually transition into nutritarian living.
If you’ve been vegan or whole-food plant-based, this is a great way to get yourself into the habit of eat nutrient-dense.
Aggressive Weight-Loss 6-Week Plan
This is the strictest form of nutritarianism as outlined on p. 216 of Eat to Live.
You can print out the plan right here: Agressive Weight-Loss Nutritarian Plan
This aggressive plan is the most restrictive but also the fastest way to lose weight and gain health excellence.
My nutritairan recipes follow these stricter guidelines, and this is the plan I used to lose just over 21 pounds in 6 weeks!
The aggressive weight-loss plan adds in these restrictions:
- no eating between meals
- using no more than 400 mg salt daily
- no oil
- no animal products (meat & dairy)
- eating 1 pound of cooked veggies and 1 pound of raw veggies daily
When to Use This Plan
You should use this plan when you’re very serious about losing weight or reversing a food-related health problem.
If you’re not ready to make a 100% commitment to doing this plan then I suggest you start with the basic guidelines instead.
The aggressive plan works by stacking day after day of targeted action till your body has fought through the initial withdrawal symptoms. Your body is flooded with phytonutrients and has undergone a lot of detoxing.
You will lose most of your weight in Week 1 and Week 6, that’s why your 100% commitment is needed to get to that second surge of weight-loss.
No matter which end of the spectrum you decide to start with, you’re a nutritarian!
As a community it’s important for us to be inclusive and encouraging but also understand the differences among us. It’s only through understanding and having a vocabulary for our different nutritarian approaches that we can support each other and encourage others to join us!
So, let’s take a sec to recap exactly what we mean (as a minimum standard) when we talk about being a nutritarian.
This is what all of us try to do, regardless of which plan we follow.
- seek out nutrient-dense calories
- eat primarily plant-based with lots of veggies, fruits, beans, seeds & nuts
- crowd out low-nutrient foods with concentrated calories
If you’re just starting out on your nutritarian journey make sure to head over to the START HERE page for your nutritarian quick-start and a tour of the resources I have ready for you on this site!
Did you’ve find this to be a helpful resource for you? Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think!
Let’s live better together!
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Like Hello Nutritarian on Facebook and join a community of people who want to regain their health with nutritional excellence–there are great giveaways too!
Follow Hello Nutritarian on Pinterest and check out my most popular board, that’s all about nutritarian living: Eat to Live!
Make sure to take the Eat to Live fridge tour! I’ll show you how to have a fridge-tox and the essentials you need in your fridge right now–plus get two free printables for your fridge door!
Are you ready to be an eat to live food prepper? Find out the 8 essentials for weekly food prep using Dr. Fuhrman’s 6-week plan! Get your free printable weekly food prep schedule too!
As always, such good information in a way that makes sense and isn’t scary. Thank you!!!!
Big “YAY!” for not making things scary!!
Kristen, you were my first introduction to being Nutritarian and I’m so grateful!
That is just so awesome to hear! I’m so grateful you made your way here!
Love this article. Thanks!! Lots of good, helpful information.
So glad you liked it and found it helpful!
What a great read! Thank you. It is truly helpful in making my “life” change.
So happy to hear you liked it! I’m so happy you’re starting your nutritarian journey!
I love your site! Thank you so much! I have been stressed about how to get started and you have made me believe it can be done!
Yay! That’s so, so wonderful to hear! It most definitely can be done!
Great read and write up Kristen! Wow what an amazing knowledge of how we should be eating to love a healthier and longer life. Beautifully written
Thanks so much for your kind words and I’m so glad you found the article helpful in understanding the nutritarian lifestyle!
Being a Nutritarian , for me is that most wonderful feeling of being Clean! The awesome recipes, and the yummy pictures, guidance you give with meal preps & storage, make this life changing “plan”, top notch, which I am deeply Grateful to be part of! <3
I absolutely agree! It’s the feeling that keeps me doing this!!
This is such a great blog post. Thank you for all the information. I always love looking at the pictures of your refrigerator on Facebook. I know a lot of work and detail goes into cutting up all those good for us foods. You are an inspiration to me and many other people. I love Dr. Fuhrman and believe his Nutritarian lifestyle is the answer to ending a lot of diseases and living the best, healthiest life possible. Thank you for showing so many of us the way to do that. You’re the best. 🙂
I completely agree on how amazing the nutritarian lifestyle is at transforming people for the better! I’m so happy to be able to share the information Dr. Fuhrman has done such an amazing job compiling!
Love all the amazing photos & practical ideas! Thank you!
Still loving all your info. Your new page is just gorgeous! This is my second time around trying for these jars lol. 😉 Keep up the beautiful work!
You’re helping me stay on track! Thank you!
Yay!! That’s like music to my ears Dee!
Amazing article! You always keep me centered on the plan, and help me avoid the social media diet distractions. Nutritarian is what’s best for our bodies.
Thank you so much Kimberley, that is seriously the greatest compliment I could get!!
Keep this great blog going!!
Thanks so much, Diana!
I most definitely plan to!
First of all, your site is gorgeous. The photography is wonderful and makes me want to immediately try *all* the recipes! Thank you for the detailed info on what a nutritarian is. I’m four weeks into whole food, plant-based eating (no SOS) and feel better physically than I have in years. I’m so glad I made this lifestyle change.
I’m beyond excited right now! I’ve been working my way towards this diet without ever having heard of it…..I’m so ready! Thank you❤
WOW!! This material is fabulous!! Thank you soooooooo much for making this lifestyle a bit easier to navigate through. You have appealed to my sense of organization and order!!!! I 💜 it!! Keep it coming, girl!!!!
Kristen, I am so very glad to have found your website! I have toyed with becoming a nutritarian for years, but just couldn’t find the motivation to make the leap. I feel that your website has been what I needed. Thank you for providing such excellent information and insight in a straight-forward and doable format. You’re wonderful! Now, as for me, onward & upward!
I’ve just started & am finding all this information SO helpful!! Thank you!
Kristen, this is excellent information! I am new to this and have read almost everything posted here. I am not quite a week into the lifestyle, but I am already experiencing changes for the better. Thank you for sharing and not minding my questions! Hugs!!
Your information is so awesome! It has really helped me get and stay on track! Definitely loving your recipes!! Thank you so much for sharing!!!
I love your blog! So much great information all summed up perfectly! Thank you for all of your help! You said it all with, “I love the way it makes me feel!” 🙂
I have been taken off all of my medications too! 🙂
I discovered your blog last week and just finished the 7 day salad cleanse yesterday – I lost 6 lbs and feel great! Can’t wait to get started on the 6 week aggressive plan starting today 🙂 Great blog post, I have lots of great info and new printables to post on my fridge!!
WOW!! That is amazing success on The 7 Day Salad Cleanse!!
I’m so excited for you to continue on your nutritarian journey–you got it girl!!
Hi! First of all let me say, I love the design and color palette of your website. It’s modern, clean and easy to use.
I am so happy I found you! After reading Eat to Live, I immediately bought the Audible book for my parents to listen to in the car (that way I know they’ll actually read it!) I’ve been looking for recipes and support as I transition my family into this style of eating. Finding you here and on Facebook and Pinterest has been a blessing. Thanks so much for organizing and putting all this information out there for all of us!
So wonderful to meet you JodiAnn!
I’m so, so happy to hear that you’ve begun your nutritarian journey and that you’re finding the site helpful!!
That just makes me feel so good to know!!!
I’m so excited for you!!
I appreciate your blog so much. You take the intimidation out of being nutritarian!
I really like the idea of helping my body help itself by eating real foods instead of processed items! Thanks for this information!
You provide SOOO much information and the printable are so useful. Thank you and I can’t wait to try so many recipes, especially the dressings!!
I love simple the Nutritarian way of eating can be. I download the “aggressive weight loss” plan and was really delighted that it was just one page!
I love the pictures of your fridge (here and on instagram)! They are so inspiring
New to this way of eating. On Day 6. My hubby and I are looking forward to becoming healthier. Having your resources is extremely helpful. Having the glass jars would be helpful as we are still acquiring the tools we need to be successful. Please keep educating us!
Your website is amazing!
Great article. I took some screenshots because I have lost 43 lbs on this lifestyle, many people are coming to me for support. They just don’t want to read the books and gain the knowledge I have about food.
I did the 7 day salad challenge and lost the bloat that had been bothering me for over 1 year. Thank you!
Great post & printables. Your site is so encouraging and beautiful.
I’ve been following the nutritarian plan for some time now and I can’t believe how much better I feel. I’m so happy I had come across your site that day. I share it with everyone I know. It’s also beautifully set up and your pictures are great! Thanks so much, Jennifer – Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Dr Fuhrman! Love his research and protocol 🙂
Lots of great information in thisnpost!! Thank you for breaking it all down and compiling into a concise explanation of what it means to be nutritarian! I will be sharing this with my friends!
I have been around two months , learning , changing… Still need to do more but with the changes I have done I am feeling so good already. Have not lost much weight and I know is the starch items I still eat ,even though I changed to whole grain .But I come from this messy way changing from one majic diet to anotherso I can’t change cold turkey.Baby steps.Some things still confuse me like if I have oatmeal then no sweet potato or yes I can. Also ,from the allowed veggies ,beans and fruits,are they truly unlimited? I would be happy to win the containers, would be a great help!
I have tried being nutritarian without success several times. I think following your blog I might just be able to!
Kristen, I LOVE LOVE LOVE YOU FOR CREATING THIS WEBSITE TO SHARE YOUR MASSIVE KNOWLEDGE OF LIVING A NUTRITARIAN LIFESTYLE!!!
I purchased your premium food prep program and absolutely LOVE IT!!! I also LOVE the 7 Day Salad Cleanse ebook!!!
I have been trying to become 100% nutritarian for about a decade. During that time, I have lost from 293 lbs. to 180 lbs. from reading Dr. Fuhrman’s books and watching his videos, etc., and I have LOVED it, but it always seemed so complicated, time-consuming and expensive so sadly I haven’t done it 100% or even close to that.
Two weeks ago yesterday, my husband FINALLY agreed to join me!!! He is 74 years old and I am 69, and we have BOTH had numerous SERIOUS medical conditions… him MUCH worse than mine. So I got online and VERY HAPPILY AND GRATEFULLY FOUND YOU!!!
Even after this brief period of time, I KNOW I can commit to being 100% nutritarian for the rest of my increasingly healthy and happy life AND YOU AND YOUR INFORMATION ARE A BIG REASON WHY!!! I have gone from trying to DOING IT!!! I still need to lose about 65 lbs., but I am off MOST of my medications already and KNOW I will get off the rest soon.
My husband is not yet committed, but he IS willing to eat what I prepare and HE HAS LOVED EVERY RECIPE SO FAR!! He has lost 12 lbs. in just 2 weeks, but still has MUCH weight to lose. He has cut dosages WITH his doc’s help on several of his medications, and is feeling MUCH less depressed even with his antidepressant med cut in half already!!!
I look forward to continuing to learn from you for a LONG time!!!
MANY BLESSINGS TO YOU!!!
“By practicing these 5 actions daily you can cure diet-related diseases, lose weight and protect yourself from cancer.” I can attest to this. After only a week, my reflux and my plantar fasciitis were gone!!! And I’m down 12 pounds.
You made it possible for me to start dabbling in this. Now that I have dabbled I feel better and am actively trying to get my family on board.
Love your site. Can’t wait to start making changes in my diet
I absolutely LOVE the gorgeous food pictures and also getting ideas about products like the nut tacos. I have read Eat To Live and The End of Dieting and am starting my nutritarian lifestyle this week. Keep the great recipes coming!!! 🍎🥒🍉🥑
Thank you so much for breaking this down into an easier to follow lifestyle. I found you through your Pinterest fridge tour which was just jaw dropping! Looking froward to more of your tips!
Stumbled on your site while looking up more info on Gbombs and love it-will definitely be visiting often 🙂 I’m 4 years into maintaining a largish weight loss, just by doing the whole calorie counting thing, and while my latest blood work panels are great I’m feeling led more and more to focus on the long term, and doing what I can do now in my late 30s on, that will give me continued good health outcomes down the road. Finished reading one of Dr. Fuhrman’s books a few days ago and I’m hooked 🙂
So, so wonderful to have you here Sara!!
Huge congratulations on your weight loss and I’m so happy that you’re being proactive with your health–Dr. Fuhrman’s lifestyle is an absolute blessing!
This past week was my first real nutritarian week (with a few Oreos slipped in lol), and I tried to let go of the calorie counting mentality-but it’s been such a big part of my life that I still did some mental calorie math throughout the week. Ended the week still solidly within my maintenance weight range, even eating a much larger quantity of food, so over the next few weeks I’ll work on focusing less and less on doing the math and just enjoying the food 🙂 I’m hoping Dr. Fuhrman’s plan, along with my daily weigh-ins, will be all the check’s n balances I need to continue my weight management plan!
Love the look and feel of your site. Definitely going to try this, been looking for something like this for a while. Thanks for keeping it simple and non-scary.
So wonderful to meet you Liezl!
I’m so happy you’re finding the site helpful and I’m wishing you an amazing nutritarian journey to come!
I love the principles of this however, I have a problem with fructose and onions are the worst offenders for me so I don’t eat them (unfortunately as I love them) and I really don’t like mushrooms at all. One of the principles is to eat both daily. What would you suggest to do as I can’t and won’t eat either.
Even if you don’t eat onions or mushrooms, you will still be getting an incredible amount of nutrients and phytochemicals that will aid in healing your body and preventing disease! I would definitely recommend you eat at least berries because they have less fructose than other fruits and they are packed with cancer-and-free-radical-fighting phytonutrients!!
Hi Kristen! Thank you so much for this wonderful website! I have been struggling with my addictions to bad foods and my obesity for decades. I know that the nutritarian way is what my body loves and wants and needs. I found Dr. Fuhrman about 10 years ago and I purchased Eat to Live. I started my nutritarian lifestyle and was amazed at what it did for my body. Unfortunately, I kept falling off and going back to the SAD eating much to my body’s disappointment. I will not give up. I will continue to strive to be 100% nutritarian. Back when I first discovered Dr. Fuhrman, he was the only website available. Then a couple years later, there was another lame one. This website lights the fire for me again! THANK YOU!!! I’m going to be using this bright colorful site a lot. It gets me excited about this way of life again. Please keep it going!
Thanks for your amazing posts! Does it matter what and how much you eat for dinner? I was watching a few things on this nutritarian diet and it still felt restrictive to me.
It can feel quite restrictive when you’re just starting out.
The goal is to eat 1 pound raw and 1 pound cooked veggies daily.
I have over 60 days of nutritarian days you can take a look at here.
This will give you some great ideas for dinners!
do you take supplements?
Yes, I do take supplements! I have an article that covers the topic here: https://hellonutritarian.com/nutritarian-vitamin-guide/
I’m glad I found you on Pinterest…. I am so happy to read your article… very informative, thank you so much!
Oh I’m so happy you made your way here from Pinterest, Marie!
Wishing you all the best on your journey!
Saw you on Chef AJ and ordered your book. Saw Chef AJ on Rich Roll and I was hooked!! Sooo happy to have you as an influence in my new way of life! With gratitude from Toronto Canada
Thank you SO very much for the support in getting Fridge Love, Lynn! So grateful to Chef AJ for having me on too!
I’m ready to get back on the nutrition program.
LOVE hearing that, Nina! Wishing you the best on your journey!
I would like to join a support group in order to improve my health and that of my family. I am going to do the 7-day salad diet first.
If you’ve joined the prep program you can request to join the Facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/538069599723272/
So happy to have you with us!