Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Almost like clockwork, hitting 40 years old seems to have triggered a series of alarms that I need to watch my health more. Blood tests show various things that I need to watch out for and I continue to be fatter than I should. I used to do low-carb diets when I got overweight, but it seems like a fat/meat diet right now wouldn't be good for my heart and other things.

I was discussing exercise plans and being fat with a friend of mine who recommended that I check out Eat to Live by Dr. Fuhrman. I googled around looking for more information. Wikipedia provided rather bland neutral results. Some people seemed critical of him, but in the comments were blasted by others who disagreed. I couldn't find anything authoritatively negative about this book or Dr. Fuhrman. (I didn't look TOO hard though.)

His website and the book come off a bit salesy, but I tend to expect that from mass market books in the US. I've just started reading the book. I apologize for blogging before I read, but I wanted to post this while I read the book in case anyone had experience with Dr. Fuhrman, his recommendations in his book or thoughts on his assertions.

It is pretty straightforward. Eat lots of fiber. Cut down on meats, fish, oil and carbs. He has a notion of health = nutrition / calories and the importance of focusing on foods that have a high nutrition vs calorie ration. Fruits are OK.

Anyway, I think I'm going to give this a try. It starts with a 6 week aggressive "detox" and then goes into a more forgiving mode that allows you to eat most anything, but requires you to take in large amounts of vegetables and fruits.


Well Joi, I don't know about the "Eat to live" diet, but I do know that exercise is good for you :) Especially low impact since we are getting older and eat too much yummy stuff. I installed a bike like this in our basement storage, and it REALLY works for me... (for mailing and WoWing + working out at the same time ;)

I have a more entrepreneurial solution: get a hardware engineer to hook up a running machine to WoW so that you'll have to run physically to run/ride/fly on Azroth. You'll end up slimmer and with a product line you can sell to gamers who are oddly health-conscious yet chair-bound.

BTW, welcome to the 40s Jon. ;-p

I'll second Don and raise him: what about adjustable settings for the Warcraft exerciser?

  • walking
  • running
  • running with minor speed enchant
  • (significant bump) mount
  • mount with Carrot on a Stick trinket
  • epic mount
  • flying mount

You would have increased load settings for the more effective modes of transportation, so that if you were in a big hurry to get to the Auction House, you'd actually have to pedal, or walk, or stretch more vigorously. . . .


What's working for me is a bet with my dad that we'll each lose 14 pounds in 14 weeks. We're both on track and the final weigh in is next Wednesday! I'm blogging a weekly update with graph. : )


Exercise alone will do the trick. Sure you need to make time for it, but diet alone will make you thin but you may be still as unhealthy. Even if you lose no weight while exercising at least you will be fit and will feel better, and chances are that you WILL lose some weight.

Well, there is no trick to losing weight. It's really as simple as that you have to spend more energy than you take in, and you will loose weight. If you exercise you will spend more energy losing weight faster, and in my experience anaerobic exercise also dampens hunger.

It helps me to keep a structure to eating, so that I eat moderately every 4 hours and try to not eat 2-4 hours before going to bed. It doesn't hurt to take vitamins and "good fats" like Omega 3 either.

And maybe 1 meal a day consisting of a salad would help you get more green stuff into the system.

If you work a lot and travel I guess it can be hard to be very structured, but the things I listed above aren't too hard to follow. Good hotels have places to work out, restaurants offer salads and vitamins and Omega 3 capsules are portable.

I am so definently not an expert, but believe the above is a good way to keep healthy.

Maybe you should venture a social improve-or-maintain-your-health site? ;)

I also recommend checking out Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever by Ray Kurzweil and Terry Grossman, lots of good science.

I also turned 40 recently and understand your issue quite well. Diets are all bad. Eat whatever you like! But reduce the volume of food intake by 10-20% constantly. Especially reduce intake of rice and other carbohydrates. This will do miracles for your weight.

Well, I'm exercising too. I do realize that it is probably more important than the diet. I'm mostly swimming. Was doing 1000 meters 4 times a week until I got sick and started again yesterday.

While this diet that I'm starting is good for losing weight, I think just as important is the detox part. I need to lower various things like my uric acid level, my y-GTP and other things. I agree the exercise is important, but it seems to me that 6 weeks of no alcohol, meats or oil can't be BAD for me and it would be interesting to test the theories in the book. He's says I'll start enjoying fruit (which I rarely eat right now) and veggies (which I leave to last right now.) There isn't a calorie restriction. In fact, the goal seems to be more about trying to eat huge amounts of fresh vegetables.

Anyway, I like challenges, so I'm going to give it a try from today. I finished the book last night. Some bits were a bit tiresome, but his position was clear and not nearly as controversial or scary as Atkins.

I just realized that this diet is really close to traditional Japanese food. Other than the huge amounts of fruit, it's pretty manageable if I don't go eat at Western Restaurants like Morton's. ;-P

Spending a week in Germany after Christmas should be interesting...

Somebody told me that Japanese are short. Because of the food they consume or is it genetic?

Japanese people short: Diet or genes? Both. I get high school students o the train now taller than me (6 foot) thanks to the trickle of western food coming in, but Japanese were meat free until the 1400's (no cows, chickens or pigs on the island). So their intestines are (as alleged by even Japanese doctors) 1 foot longer than "others" (foreigners). But some Japanese are so small no amount of protein from birth would push them up to 6 foot.

Doc, you are basically asking whether it's the engine or the fuel that makes a car go fast when there is a lot more to a car than just engine and fuel. Personally, I think it's the racing girls that make cars go fast.

According to a BBC report today, people with a high IQ go veggie!

Joi, if you've any interest in it, you may want to try a martial arts class for exercise. I lost about 35lbs in 2 months on one, and gained loads of flexibility. Also, lots of water and no soft drinks goes a long way.

Best of luck to you!

Try the diet. It will change your life. My husband and I went on it almost one year ago. He lost 30 lbs and I lost 25. You will feel lighter and maybe other symptoms, like headaches, will go away. Be true to it and don't cheat and the weight will fall off of you. The beginning is hard, but after about a week it gets easy because you stop craving sugar and junk. Giving coffee is the hardest thing for folks and Dr. Fuhrman is understanding and says folks can have one cup a day (and so I do, altho I wish I didn't)

I found your blog by chance.

Good luck to you!

Oh, and read the book before you start. It's critical. It will blow your mind. If you don't read it, you won't be committed.


Read the book and started the diet 3 days ago. I am losing weight, but more striking is the sensation of feeling generally more energetic. The first day was tough, the second day was weird. Today is quite nice.

Also, smells and tastes seem to be much more... enjoyable. I never liked fruit very much, but they're great now. I'll write a proper post about my observations soon, because 3 days isn't such a great sample, but so far it's quite a change.

Quitting all alcohol (again) and exercising is probably amplifying the effect. I realize that doing everything at once isn't a controlled experiment, but doing all at once seemed like the right thing to do from my psychological perspective.

Get a good cross bike and ride a couple of hours at a time. Your weight is supported, you don't hammer your knees and you get to see something. The trip to Inokashira Park from Tomigaya along the river is a nice run and coming back along the Zenfukuji River is a great trip. Find a few routes you like and you will reset your body and it will stay off. At least that worked for me.
Don't ride a bike or run a treadmill behind a screen.
Good luck. Steady at 74 kg for the first time in 20 years.


My guess is that your travel schedule plays into this. You'll have to think hard about what and how you eat on planes, in airports, in hotels, at conferences, etc. You travel more than any other blogger I've ever read!

I've been exercising every day except for one so far and continue to enjoy this thing.

Don, yes, it appears that the logistics of getting a pound or so of vegetables every single day is the hardest part of this diet. ;-)

as long as you go away from the bcc congress center into the town there will be sufficient veggie food available in berlin. stay away from the evil döner while rather cheap and accessible I guess it is no good for any diet. fruit on the other hand are rather sparse over here compared to about any other western country on the planet (so of course you get it as well just not the extreme variety everywhere). And I would suggest not to eat traditional german either except for maybe sauerkraut on its own - makes you surely loose some pounds on the first day :P so rereading my statement I think you are right - it might be not as easy as in japan to stay on a healthy diet but it surely is possible (so the influence from the geeks is also not very helpfull i guess). Maybe there should be a poster with veggie places around the congress center or a project "healthy geeks" or some such...

I would love to find a troop of Vegans at 23C3 to hang out with for meals. I wonder if there is an appropriate place to post it on the wiki...

Joi -- with you all the way! At ICANN meetings we can look for vegetarian alternatives and exercise opportunities. I think you'll find lots of companionship at all the meetings/conferences you go to - stealth geek vegans.

joi, I am doing the "Eat to Live" program. Lost 10 pounds the first week. I love it. It can be challenging at times, but definately worth it. GO YOU!!

Hi, I have been on the Eat To Live program for several months now. I highly recommend it! Once you stop eating junk, salting everything, and learn how to enjoy huge salads full of fresh fruits and vegetables with some legumes, some homemade veggie soups, etc, the weight will wall right off you but the best thing - which I really thought the weight would be the best thing, lol - is how great food tastes now that I've retrained my tastebuds and detoxed from the cravings for unhealthy foods. Fruit satisfies the sweet tooth and prevent cancer and vegetables give so much natural energy plus my skin, I'm 46, looks amazing. I look 15 years younger than most of the people I went to school with. I do deviate from the diet in one aspect. I allow myself one "cheat" each week; usually I eat animal products once a week as that cheat. One week I had lobster tails, another hard boiled eggs with salt, another week I had salmon and another steak.........and I enjoy every single bite without a hint of guilt. I choose to eat animal products once a week for a natural dose of B12. I also take B vitamins and Calcium with D a safeguard. Really, give it a fair chance to work and read the book cover to cover, including the introduction as I find that the introduction in Eat To Live is a great summary of the whole program. You need the knowlege of why it works, not just how, to help stick to it. Good Luck!

I am starting the "Eat to Live" today - It is great to read about the successes of other people...thanks for the info.

Ok, I started yesterday and I'm just on day two. I, like Joi, was looking for negative feedback because today I don't feel so great :( BUT....I'm keeping on. Hopefully, tomorrow I will only feel "weird" as Joi says. Ok, time to get away from the computer and do something.

I read Eat to Live in November and since have lost 16 lbs (8 lbs in the first 10 days), just by eating healthier based upon the simple common-sense nutritional concepts. I think I lost so much the first week because I was on a surf trip in Mexico, surfing 2-3 sessions a day for the whole week. Since the trip I've definitely noticed that exercise increases weight loss (no one will argue this), but that simply eating nutritionally dense meals I'm also losing weight.

I was turned on to the book after my mom took me to go see him speak in Santa Rosa. I liked that everything he was talking about was simple common-sense nutritional information (eat more fruits and veggies, less refined/rich/processed/fatty/meat/dairy) and that he wasn't trying to sell any pills or cure-all tonics. I rather respected that he was simply reporting fact about how the body works and the nutrients it needs in order to thrive.

I agree the book and the website are a little "salesy" but he is definitely, but I think this is because he is attempting to compete with other diet books, which are a bit salesy. If I had the time, I'd love to assist him with an update to his site to make a more rich web experience like we find on more of the modern highly interactive sites we're so familiar with.

Noticed this post was from about 2 years ago, are you still following the diet?

Yes. I'm mostly on the diet. I eat a bit more simple carbs like pasta and rice and some oil when I travel, but when I'm hope I try to stick to it fairly strictly. I occasionally eat fish too.

However, when I start feeling "bad" I detox and do a strict diet again for a few weeks. It's hard to follow sometimes when I'm traveling and eating out, but for the most part, I'm still following it.

I've gained a little of the weight back that I lost, but I'm about 12kg lighter than when I started this diet over 2 years ago.

Also, I don't think I've caught a single common cold since I stopped eating meat.

I am a dropout of all the alternative diet plans, Fat Flush, Rosedale, Zone, etc.
I was a vegetarian for a year & ½ back in the 90's and almost ruined my health. I kept losing more and more strength, and hair. In spite of starting out with a heavy exercise regime, the diet forced me to keep reducing it. At the end, I could hardly exercise at all, and food was passing through me, whole and undigested, in about 4 hours. (The first strawberries of the season prooved this to me.) I researched everything I could about how to get proteins into me without consuming processed foods (isolated soy protein) or animal proteins, but it just did not work for me. I found that the only good plant source for the essential amino acid, methionine, was brazil nuts or sesame seeds. I mail ordered those and began to consume them in spite of the fact that I didn't like them much.

What are the sources of protein in this plan? I did get better when I started to consume meat again, but only for a while. Now I have the typical SAD diet symptoms again. I would really like to change this permanently, but so far I've discovered nothing that actually works for me long term. BTW, I was happy being a vegetarian, no issues at all with the eating style. I only went back to meat because I was destroying myself being a vegetarian.

How long have each of you people been on this plan? Are you maintaining your strength? Have you lost condition otherwise (skin, hair, mental facilities, etc.)

Vegetables have lots of protein. I think broccoli has more protein per calorie than a steak does. It is just that when you eat veggies, you are on a low-fat diet so you have to eat a lot more. The calories aren't as dense. Some say you have to eat about 25 times as much food as you do if you're eating simple starches and oils. Also, if you're eating pasta, white rice, white bread, etc., you're eating blank calories in the form of non-nutritious starches/carbs and this will give you a very bad protein/calorie balance.

I personally feel MUCH MORE energetic and my exercise power has gone up substantially since I've become vegan. There are quite a few books by athletes on this topic as well. Thrive is a good book about a triathlete vegan diet.

Hi Joi,

I am very excited to get to the end of your blog and see that you are vegan! I have been researching veganism and raw foodism lately and came across Dr. Fuhrman. I am very interested to know more about EAT TO LIVE and EAT FOR HEALTH (have you read that one?). Does the book go into detail of how to prepare foods? Does it address a raw diet? Is there ways to season food? Is there ways in which to combine foods? ANy info you could provide would be great.


I haven't read Eat for Health. Eat to Live does have some recipes, but I've found that we've been developing our own based on the vegetables and spices available locally. One thing that we've been doing since I started this diet is to focus a lot of energy on our garden which now produces a substantial part of my diet when I am in Japan. I'll have to figure out a new system in Dubai...

This video shows 6 people who were cured from diabetes and living insulin free in less than 30 days. They were part of a 30 day raw food challenge which Dr Fuhrman was involved in from a medical side. If your interested to know more, check out the website. It is where i learned about Dr Fuhrman.