My Trip to Sequim and the Eat To Live Six-Week Challenge

Hello all!  I'm back "home" from visiting Kevin in his hometown of Sequim, WA.  During the trip I stayed with his family and had some difficulties with eating plant-strong because I did not want to seem rude or condescending of their food or eating habits (see the post about my frustrations here).  My future in-laws are wonderful people and ended up being very understanding when I made a trip or two to the local health market for supplies to make salads and to have some extra fresh fruit on hand.  Thank you to those who commented on my last post with advice for me in this difficult situation, it was nice to get some words of encouragement from like-eating-minded people.

Of course, food isn't the center of my life... here are some pictures of the adventures Kevin and I went on while I was in town:
On a sunny day we took a trip to Railroad Bridge Park for some hiking, then we biked the Olympic Discovery Trail from there to Port Angeles.
While hiking we found a beautiful stream where we could see young salmon and I found a few trees with evidence of a beaver.  We realized we were in his dam area and decided to leave so we didn't disturb him.  How cool is that though!?

Biking from Sequim to Port Angeles ended up being about an 18 mile bike ride.  By the time we reached the ocean in Port Angeles I had a very tired butt and Kevin's knees were killing him.

Another day we visited Lake Crescent and took a nearby hike up to this beautiful waterfall.  (Of course no one was around to take our picture together, so this is the best I could do.)

The rest of our trip we enjoyed spending time together eating at a few of our favorite places around town, going to trivia night at a local bar, visiting two great breweries, relaxing in their hot tub, and seeing a bit of wildlife like this toad that we found by the outdoor shower.
Overall, visiting Sequim was so much fun, but it gets even harder every time to leave Kevin.  The count down till the Big Day is at 100 today, so not too much longer!

My plans for now are to be applying for jobs like crazy, both part-time for the short term summer, and full-time careers for the long term.  Wish me luck!  Along with applying for jobs I will be, of course, blogging, making new recipes, and reading the books I have planned for summer reading, which I will discuss in a couple of blog posts.  Click here to see my proposed summer reading list.  I am currently halfway through Super Immunity by Dr. Joel Fuhrman and hope to be done with it and post my thoughts about it by next Friday (in case you are reading along and are interested in the discussion).

Food-wise I will be doing the Six-Week Plan Challenge from Eat To Live by Dr. Joel Fuhrman.  Since traveling so much lately, I feel like my cravings for food have gotten out-of-wack and I want to refocus my eating plan to be only nutrient dense foods.  Also, I am feeling sluggish in my energy and in my weight loss progress.  For those of you who would like to join me in this undertaking, here is what is going to be in my daily eating rules:

  • Unlimited (relatively)
    • raw vegetables
      • eat in unlimited quantities
      • goal: 1 pound daily
      • includes, but not limited to
        • green lettuce, kale, collard greens, snow peas, bell peppers, raw peas, cucumbers, sprouts, carrots, tomatoes
    • steamed or cooked vegetables
      • emphasize green vegetables, as well as non-starchy vegetables
      • goal: 1 pound daily
      • includes, but not limited to
        • string beans, broccoli, artichokes, asparagus, zucchini, kale, collards, cabbage, brussels sprouts, bok choy, okra, swiss chard, turnip greens, escarole, beet greens, spinach, dandelion greens, broccoli raab, cauliflower, eggplant peppers, onions, mushrooms
      • especially include onions and mushrooms for their disease preventing and anti-cancer properties (the onion also adds a lot of flavor, and cooked mushrooms have a great texture)
    • beans or legumes
      • goal: 1 cup daily
      • eat some beans with every lunch (it slows digestion to keep you fuller longer)
      • includes, but not limited to
        • chickpeas, black-eyed peas, black beans, cowpeas, green peas, lima beans, pinto beans, lentils, red kidney beans, soybeans, cannelloni beans, pigeon beans, white beans, navy beans
    • Fresh fruit
      • goal: at least 4 daily
      • no fruit juice (except for salad dressings and cooking)
      • frozen fruit is ok, but avoid canned fruit (get unsweetened if you must)
      • dried fruits off limits for 6 weeks (dried fruits aren't bad for you, they are just more concentrated calories that can often be overeaten)
      • try exotic fruits, and a variety of fruit daily
      • includes, but not limited to:
        • apples, apricots, bananas, blackberries, blueberries, clementines, dates, figs, grapefruits, grapes, kumquats, mangoes, melons, nectarines, oranges, papayas, peaches, pears, persimmons, pineapples, plums, raspberries, starfruit, strawberries, tangerines, watermelon
  • Limited foods
    • whole grains and cooked starchy vegetables
      • goal: no more than 1 cup (1 serving) daily
      • includes, but not limited to
        • butternut squash, acorn squash, corn, potatoes, rice, cooked carrots, sweet potatoes, vegetables, cereals, quinoa, barley, oats, brown rice, yams, pumpkins
    • Raw nuts and seeds
      • goal: no more than 1 oz daily
      • eat only raw unroasted and unsalted nuts and seeds
      • includes, but not limited to
        • almonds, cashews, walnuts, pecans, hickory nuts, macadamias, pistachios, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, flaxseeds
    • Avocado
      • goal: no more than 2 oz daily
    • Ground flaxseed
      • goal: 1 Tbsp daily
      • had many added health benefits
  • Off limits
    • dairy products
      • including low- and non-fat diary
      • milk, cheese, yogurt, etc
    • animal products
      • including lean meats and fish
      • eggs, red meats, poultry, fish, shellfish
    • between-meal snacks- between meal snacks don't allow your body to leave the food digestive stage and enter the catabolic when toxins are removed from your body and fat is used as an energy source
    • no fruit juice or dried fruit
    • added oils
  • other tips
    • spices, herbs, and condiments
      • use all spices and herbs, except salt, sugar, and sugar replacements
      • pickled foods should be avoided
      • try for condiments that are low in sodium (<1 mg sodium per calorie)
    • eat only when you are truly hungry and not just feeling crappy from the catabolic detoxification stage
    • stop eating when you are no longer hungry
  • 10 summary tips for the six-week plan
    1. Remember, the salad is the main dish.  Eat it first at lunch and dinner.
    2. Eat as much fruit as you want, but at least four fresh fruits daily
    3. Variety is the spice of life, particularly when it comes to greens.
    4. Beware of the starchy vegetable, but eat starchy vegetables before grains.
    5. Eat beans or legumes every day.
    6. Eliminate animal and dairy products.
    7. Have a tablespoon of ground flaxseed every day.
    8. Consume nuts and seeds in limited amounts, no more than 1oz/day.
    9. Eat lots of mushrooms (as replacement for meat), and add onions to foods for fast flavor.
    10. Keep it simple
      • breakfast: fresh fruit
      • lunch: salad with beans, more fruit
      • dinner: salad with two cooked vegetables, fruit dessert
These are the rules that I wrote for myself when I tried my first 6-week E2L plan over a year ago.  I made it for about 5 weeks that time, but I plant to make it the whole 6 this time!  As another thing to help me, I also made a new background for my computer screen with these rules summarized.  Below is a smaller version, and then the real size version in case you want to drag and copy for your computer screen!

Who is going to do this challenge with me?  If not, what are your goals for becoming healthier over the next month or so?


  1. Go Amy - you can do this! Such a great time of year to focus on this - hit up your local farmer's market's for the freshest produce! Please keep us posted with your successes and challenges. Set small rewards (non-food of course) along the way and finish with a big reward.

    1. Thanks so much for the encouragement! I will definitely be trying to get the freshest produce I can, starting in my backyard garden. I have never tasted better spinach than the just-picked stuff I've been having! I'm not quite sure what rewards to set for myself with my goals, maybe I'll take a trip out to a local lake when it's warm enough with some friends. Good old Vitamin D, and I'll hopefully get to show off a slimmer body :). Thanks for reading- Amy

  2. Looks like you had a great time overall. Good that you were able to go and get some fresh salad ingredients and that they took it well! On that subject I just wanted to add that I usually only tell people about how I eat if they ask and are genuinely interested in what I have to say. Like you said, I too try to focus on telling them how great I feel. Some people still glaze over when they hear the quantity of veggies involved, but that's because most people want a magic pill, not veggies, to heal them. And we know that's not going to happen!

    Being new to the ETL program, I just finished my 1st 6 Week Challenge but am pretty much keeping it going, so I will be right there with you! I am also reading Super Immunity. He's gotten quite scientific/technical at times, don't you think? He is a doctor so I guess that's natural.. :)

    A couple questions for you Amy...do you know approx how much 2 oz of avocado is? That is the only thing I have probably been going overboard on...I eat at least 1/2 of a medium avocado every day. Sometimes a whole one!

    The other question involves your wedding (Exciting! You seem super relaxed for it being only a couple months away!). What type of fare are you going to be serving at your reception? I am not married yet but have definitely pondered this dilemma for when I have a wedding...I would want the food to be healthy (ideally vegan) but I feel many people would turn up their noses!

    1. I think I'll stick with your advice to only tell about it if they are genuinely interested. I think that should keep things casual and never make me seem lecturing. Also, I always tried to eat my plant-strong foods out in the common areas with everyone so that they could see how I eat different to make me feel as great as I do.

      Congratulations on finishing your first 6-weeks and going beyond! I bet you feel great! My problem last time I tried was that I caved in a week too early for a bit of cheese on a white flour veggie quesadilla and it set me off with some food addictions again. This time I am making through those six weeks and kicking my food addictions in the butt!

      I've been slowly making my way through Super Immunity as well. From being a science major, I'm pretty used to reading strange-worded stuff, but I agree he gets very technical at times. I find that I make nicknames in my mind for some of the terminology he uses, such as "BC" for beta-carotene. It makes for a bit quicker reading for me.

      As for the 2 oz of avocado, that is a good question I've been wondering the same thing. From doing some research and calculating I found that 2 oz is about 1/4 of a cup of avocado. I got the weight per cup of avocado from this link: http://caloriecount.about.com/calories-avocados-i9038?size_grams=230.0
      Then, I converted 230 grams to ounces, which turned out to be 8.113... ounces per cup of mashed avocado. So, if you shoot for 1/4 cup you should get pretty close to that amount.

      I'm very excited for our wedding! I may seem calm over the blog, but I am planning like crazy to get things together! As for the catering for our wedding, Kevin and I understand that most people aren't vegan and would like to provide options for everyone. We are planning on featuring a chicken and broccoli dish with pasta, another pasta dish with seafood, and then a vegetarian (hopefully vegan) option we have yet to pick. I'm half thinking of pre-making AJ's disappearing lasagna, freezing it, then reheating it at the venue to serve to the very few people that will be eating vegetarian. We will also be having a large garden salad with many dressing options (I'll probably make one for any vegans), and we will have large veggie and fruit tray. Not plant-perfect necessarily, but definitely shooting for plant-strong!

      Thanks for reading- Amy

    2. Wow, thanks for the avocado calculations :-) 1/4 C sounds about right, so I think I need to cut way down. Good luck with all your wedding planning...and the lasagna sounds like a great idea! Can't wait to see your pictures!

  3. How exciting!!! Good luck with the 6-Week Challenge. I've been following Dr. F's plan for about a year and a half now. I'm finally getting close to my goal weight, but the best part is that I feel fantastic and my health problems have literally disappeared. Can't wait to hear more about your journey.

    1. Thanks for the luck Carrie, and congratulations on being so successful on the E2L plan! I'm looking forward to finally feeling like I am at a weight I should be, as well as finally ridding myself of food addictions. I'll keep everyone posted about my progress over the next month or so :) - Amy

  4. You're on! I've been a bit shaky recently so a re-boot sounds like a great plan to me :)
    & I love your desktop idea, I've nabbed a copy for myself- thanks!

    1. Claire, I think we all have times of deviating from a lifestyle we know is healthy for us, and we just need to start over. I'm glad you're joining me on this re-boot of your system with wonderful nutritious foods! Happy to hear that the desktop background is being used :)- Amy

  5. This diet sounds great I love all of these foods so I am hoping it is really easy. I am having trouble with two things...first giving up diet soda. Can I still have 1 or 2 a day? Also just water or are teas ok to drink as long as they are not sweetened?
    One more...salad sounds great what can I use for a salad dressing! I liek many love my ranch!
    Thanks Sarah

  6. I just last night decided to try to do a 6 week Dr. Furhman diet and see how felt and how much weight i lost. I am about 80 lbs overweight and feel exhausted all the time. I don't currently have the cash to buy all his books and be a memeber of his website etc. So... i was wondering how i could possibly conquer this challenge. Where would i get the information etc. Well... i so gladly stumbled upon your site which seems to give me all the info i need... Thanks for posting.
    Also, do you know if smoothies (fruit/veggie/almond milk) are ok on the furhman diet?

    1. That is wonderful that you are deciding to make this wonderful change! I understand being limited on money (I just graduated from college and feel like money is in short supply!), and eating a vegan/nutritarian diet can actually be very affordable. Above is the rules that I use to do a 6- week plan, but I would also suggest that you give Eat To Live by Dr. Fuhrman a read. It explains a lot of the faults with the American way of eating, while also comparing itself to traditional diets and why we tend to fail on them. If you would not like to purchase the book, maybe try looking for it at your local library.

      Yes, smoothies are ok to have on the Dr. Fuhrman diet, but do not let it be a replacement for eating a full salad at meals, or 4 fresh fruits daily. I like to have green smoothies in the morning which consists of 4 cups of dark greens (spinach, kale, collard greens), 1 frozen banana, 1 cup of fresh fruit (usually blueberries or another type of berry), 1 Tbsp of ground flax seeds, and enough almond milk to get it to the right consistency.

      Good luck and feel free to email me if you have any more questions at amysnutritariankitchen@gmail.com


  7. Hi Amy, I ran across your blog when I googled Dr Fuhrmans 6 week plan. I am going to do this for at least 6 weeks and then maybe an additional 6 weeks. I was wondering if it was okay to put your background you created on Facebook to show others what I am going to be doing and also to maybe encourage other in this plan.

    1. Absolutely! I created the image and there are no copyright issues :) Good luck and please keep me updated with how things go for you! -Amy

  8. Hey. I am doing the 6 week challenge starting today. I look forward to reading your blog for encouragement and education! Good luck to both of us. :-)

  9. It's seems like I'm pretty late lol, but I just finished my 6 Weeks this past Saturday. I'm 21 pounds down with ETL and 41 pounds all together since February of this year. I had a cheat weekend,but I started back up Monday :) How did your 6 weeks go?