Talia Fuhrman has a degree in nutritional sciences from Cornell University and has contributed to Vegetarian Times, VegNews, Positive Impact, DiseaseProof.com, CrazySexyLife.com, PyschologyToday.com and more. She lives in Newport Beach, California.
Caryn Hartglass: Hello everybody, I’m Caryn Hartglass. You’re listening to It’s All About Food. Thank you for joining me and let’s just have a little nice talk here.
It’s a very fresh September day and it’s funny cause I’ve been talking -I think it’s funny- I’ve been talking all summer about how hot it is and how unpleasantly hot, never really been brutal although last week we had some pretty hot weather and now all of a sudden just like everybody’s promising, hmm, here it is, cool, fresh, I have to wear long sleeves, and it’s lovely. I love the seasons, I love the change in weather, and especially, I think this is about my favorite time of all. Cool, fresh air; not too cold, not too anything. Just lovely.
And, it’s also a favorite time for me because this is the harvest season. You may have heard people talking about the harvest moon, so we’ve got this big moon sitting in the sky last night and tonight, and this is the time when all of the farms and gardens are really overflowing with my favorite foods -fruits and vegetables. I really like to go out on the east end of Long Island right now, right about now, and drive out to all the organic farms out there. It’s a lovely drive and I love to bring back the squashes that are available, especially the red kiri squash, that’s about one of my favorites and I like to use that around Thanksgiving time, but we’re not quite there yet.
Okay, so here we are, it’s September 9th, 2014, and I want to bring on my first guest. And we’ve got Talia Fuhrman here, and it’s a big day for Talia because her first book is being released today, Love Your Body -we’re going to be talking about that. She has a degree in nutritional sciences from Cornell University and has contributed to Vegetarian Times, VegNews, Positive Impact, DiseaseProof.com, crazysexlife.com, and PsychologyToday.com and more, and she lives in Newport Beach. Hi Talia!
Talia Fuhrman: Hi Caryn, thanks so much for having me on. I am really excited to talk to you today.
Caryn Hartglass: Well you know, it’s a very -I don’t know if you realize this, but I just realized that I went back to review the transcript of our interview that we had two years ago and I discovered two things -crazy coincidences. One is, we spoke exactly two years ago, today -it was actually September 11th that we spoke. And-
Talia Fuhrman: Are you kidding me? Wow!
Caryn Hartglass: No and the other surprise was my second guest today is Miyoko Schinner. I don’t know if you know her but-
Talia Fuhrman: And you interviewed her the same day two years ago-
Caryn Hartglass: Yes! She was on the same show two years ago and I rarely, I haven’t had too many people back for a second or third time, and it’s just, so crazy that both of you are on the show today. So…
Talia Fuhrman: Life is a crazy adventure…
Caryn Hartglass: It is! Anyway, two wonderful people talking about my favorite subject, food, and congratulations, it’s a big day today!
Talia Fuhrman: Today’s a huge day for me and I couldn’t think of a better thing to do than talk to you today.
Caryn Hartglass: Oh I’m very flattered!
Talia Fuhrman: And two years goes by pretty quickly but a lot can happen in two years and I’ve been plugging away at this book, and loving every second of my job for those two years.
Caryn Hartglass: Well you were -you mentioned two years ago that you had started working on this book.
Talia Fuhrman: It’s interesting how life works out and the book itself -you may have to think of the idea first, but- the book has taken its own journey and transformed into a project that I’m really proud of and it just started out as a mostly nutrition book and the book itself just has, the majority of it, just covers most of my favorite nutrition topics and things that I think are really going to fascinate the readers, especially because I discussed some interesting facts about health that my dad hasn’t covered. But I really am proud of how this book has taken a positive psychology and mental health and body image turn. It shows these issues are just as important and it’s just to help people understand how the first step to becoming a healthier human being is taking care of our mental health and that’s the first step -so many people have emotional eating problems…they eat from emotions and if you wake up everyday, and you want to eat healthily, that the first step is loving yourself, and loving your life and feeling confident that you deserve to take care of your health and not get a disease later on and feel the best you can feel -all of those things come with your, how you feel in your head, and your mind.
Caryn Hartglass: Yeah, it’s a great topic, and you know, unfortunately, I think most people have an eating disorder of one kind or another, not that we would go to a doctor and say “I’ve got an eating disorder,” but we’ve all got issues with food. And, we need to work through those issues whether we’re really fat, or just perfect, or overweight, whatever it is, everybody’s got, or most people -I don’t say everyone, but most people- have food issues. What I love about this book is your voice really comes out and it’s young, it’s energetic, it’s refreshing, and many times you manage to sneak in…smart science about nutrition in there in a way I don’t think will scare people off.
Talia Fuhrman: I agree with you mentioning that. It was so important for me to use as many sciences and references as possible and have them there for anybody to look up on their own. I am a huge advocate of doing as much speaking as possible on what the sciences show in the latest research and there’s so many fad diets out there and I’m going to be sharing my passion for what’s in a certain food or health benefits or eating, let’s say, healthy fats, I want to make sure that it was really solid in science and I remember writing those every chapter of the book and just being riveted by what I was reading and research and I wanted to make people enjoy that information and find it as infatuating as I did. I think that this comes out in my voice in the book.
Caryn Hartglass: Yeah! Well one of the things that has been frustrating me over the decades is that it takes a really long time for the mainstream public to pick up on things and sometimes, it picks up on things that aren’t the right things and that makes things even more complicated, but over time, I think a lot of people have gotten the idea that red meat isn’t healthy and unfortunately, they’ve decided it’s okay to move over to chicken and fish. A lot of their doctors will tell them to do that and fish is getting a lot of press as a health food. I quoted you today on Facebook, where you’re saying in the book, “Do you want to remain quick-witted and dementia-free in your later years? Avoid fish. Can we dish fish?”
Talia Fuhrman: It’s sad that the time that we live in, as human beings, it’s just that the waters are just so polluted and it’s saying if we insisted on cleaning the water thousands of years ago it would be a completely different story but, it’s gross when you think about, even wild fish versus factory-farm fish, most of the fish we consume comes from a fish-farm somewhere very close to how salmon is produced and how the pink dyes that are used and how horrible they are for our bodies and researching that most of the shrimp that we eat comes from China and how gross and polluted the shrimp that we eat here are -probably one of the worst things you can put in your body. So I’m glad to share with what I know with everybody and hopefully, people will think twice before they order fish at a restaurant and don’t buy it.
Caryn Hartglass: Now where, you know I mentioned before, I think we all have a lot of eating disorders, but we’re also a society that is very concerned with how we look -fashion’s very important, and looking good is very important- but what boggles my mind and probably yours too is that the best way to look great, inside and outside, is with a healthy diet and people, most people, don’t get that or want to go for the quick fix and…it just boggles my mind. Is it just because they don’t know?
Talia Fuhrman: You know, every human being is different but I think what’s fascinating is that everything in life is interconnected and the more we feel great about how we look on the outside, the more confident that we’re going to get on the inside and vice versa so, I think a lot of women, even myself if I just didn’t have a very good day, then I put on makeup and have fun with it. It kind of -and I do my hair- it makes me feel better inside when I have fun with fashion and makeup on the outside and the same connection with food is there’s definitely more greens you eat and wide variety of plants you eat -it’s just going to show up in your skin, obviously you’re going to find your ideal weight, all of these things are so connected and I think that people want to learn about this, what we eat will show up in our appearance, I think it’s going to change the mentality and the motivation that people have for eating a plant nutrient or plant-based diet, it’s not just about preventing disease or getting cancer or type II diabetes, no this is for young people everywhere, this is going to help you feel amazing today, you’re going to have more energy, and you’re going to look your best. I always get compliments on the quality and vibrancy of the way my skin looks and it’s not a coincidence, it’s %100 related to taking care of myself and exercising, and eating the right foods.
Caryn Hartglass: It is not a coincidence and the skin is really reflective of what’s going on -it’s the largest organ of our body and people don’t even realize that, and what we put in our bodies will affect our skin, I think much more than we put on our skin. Although that’s important too, but it’s more important what we put in our bodies.
Talia Fuhrman: Right, and our attractiveness is based on a multitude of factors, how we process meeting people, how we come across to others, our impressions, you know, smiling and all of these factors, so when you are feeling healthy, you have a lot of energy, and your skin looks good, that will across in your social attractions and there’s a ripple effect. You’ll be a happier person, happiness and smiles, you’ll become ideally a more charismatic individual when you are proud of what you eat, proud of the way you look, and having a rich social life and looking forward to everyday is also healthy. So all of these, I think that’s what’s very cool about the book, the Love Your Body book, is that it talks about how every action you take can improve your lives, no matter what you’re going through.
Caryn Hartglass: Okay now, I love food, it’s all about food, I love the food that I eat, and sometimes, my partner Gary and I, we sit on the terrace and we have our meals and we look at the food that we’re eating and we just smile at each other and say, “We’re the luckiest people in the world” -nobody eats what we do, the food is so delicious, it’s nutritious, it makes us feel good and I wanted to say you’ve got some pretty awesome recipes in here too.
Talia Fuhrman: The amount of happiness I get from making these recipes and eating them needs to be shared with as many people as possible. They need to know how delicious plant and healthy foods can be. We need to know the idea that you have to eat bland foods like wheat-grass and, I don’t know what else, just, the reputation of healthy being bland and boring is so far from the truth, we have such an array of spices to use, and spices are so good for our bodies, that we have the creativity to play around and make mouthwatering meals is wonderful and I know that a lot of people don’t like to cook, or are intimidated by it-
Caryn Hartglass: Yep
Talia Fuhrman: And I think that’s the problem and to create confidence in the kitchen and know that you don’t even have to spend that much time or money on creating healthy delicious meals is empowering seeing and I think that people just need to give it a shot and realize like “okay, I can try this recipe and let’s see how it will come out” and I did have a lot of fun creating recipes, but it’s a lot easier to follow a recipe than it is to create it so I hope people feel the same way I feel about how absolutely mouthwatering and enjoyable healthy foods can be.
Caryn Hartglass: You know, I didn’t mention before that you’re the daughter of my favorite doctor, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, and of course, you have access to a lot of great resources and information that’s helped you become so knowledgeable about nutrition, but you also mentioned in your book that your dad likes to cook and he’s great at preparing food. It made me stop for a minute because he does so much right now, and he’s so busy, and I thought, “When does he ever have time to make meals?” and apparently he does.
Talia Fuhrman: He does, he’s loved to cook my entire life and you’re right, it doesn’t happen as often as I or the rest of my family would like, because he’s such a creative cook. He’ll just, he doesn’t measure anything, he’ll just swirl things in the blender and make a salad dressing and it’ll be the most delicious salad you’ve ever tasted and I actually haven’t had one of those salads for quite some time because I live on the West Coast and he’s always traveling on the East Coast now but, man do I just get these vivid flashbacks to his amazing, amazing salads. He will, he has so much energy, he will put all of these ingredients, all of these vegetables and even sometimes fruits into his salads and create dressing and he’ll toss this huge salad in like a big bag, or something, so all the dressing gets all over it -it’s a really healthy dressing with, he usually makes nut-based dressings and puts spice on and it’s so good, I could talk about it all day.
Caryn Hartglass: Well I’m sure he doesn’t have a lot of time to cook these days but the fact that he does just shows that anybody who’s busy can find some time to learn how to put some delicious foods together. You just have to want to.
Talia Fuhrman: You have to want to, and it’s honesty never been easier. We didn’t have high-powered blenders, food processors, it could instead of just putting something in the oven and leaving immediately, and so all of these modern-life conveniences -we could just run to a farmer’s market or a whole foods store, pick up the ingredients you need -we could even order online and so it doesn’t have to be difficult and you can have fun. I like to cook while listening to audiobooks or listening to my favorite upbeat music, even sometimes a movie if I’ve made the recipe many times before and I don’t need to pay attention as much, but I, it’s a really pleasurable creative activity that you should enjoy, with other people too so…make it fun.
Caryn Hartglass: Make it fun! Now one of the things that I like in one of your bean dishes is you add a little tahini in it and it makes this wonderful, creamy background to all the great flavors.
Talia Fuhrman: Use some tahini and nutritional yeast, nutritional yeast and tahini together are amazing, you can make creamy sauce, it’s going to taste so good.
Caryn Hartglass: I know, it’s such a great combination. What are people missing -they don’t know that tahini nutrition you’ve experienced.
Talia Fuhrman: And then throw in some Italian spices in there and even tomato sauce. I love Italian food and then you add mushrooms and spinach and some veggies in there. It’s just, I love it, and also people who aren’t used to eating this way, they can start loving it too. I think it’s scary for people to change their habits and our taste buds are completely programmed to the foods that we grew up on and are used to eating. But even if you grew up on a conventional American diet, our taste buds are able to change -it’s just trying foods and making them on a regular basis and then fully, you’ll start to crave new foods just as much as you craved the old foods you enjoyed so I think it’s really important going into this, to have an open mind and just sometimes eat a little bit to tell yourself, “I’m just going to try this, if I don’t like it, that’s okay, I’m going to keep trying new recipes to figure out what I do like more,” and then eating healthier, plant foods, more and more, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing either.
The specialty of my dad is he helps actually, he helps get patients better from Type II diabetes or immune disorders, that sort of thing. But I want to also relate the message that, especially to young people that are healthy, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing to begin with, just try eating more fruits and vegetables, try enjoying healthy fats from avocados, nuts and chia seeds and flaxseeds, all of these things. I’m fascinated by all the micronutrients like vitamins and minerals, these little chemicals inside each of these foods, and the different composition of nutrients, every single plant food that makes them so powerfully disease protective, and is great for every aspect of how we feel. It’s no coincidence that my dad also has so much energy and when you meet him, he’s one of the most passionate people you know -I totally understand why that is and to have a role model like that, and a dad, is just something that is probably one of the greatest gifts I will ever have in my entire life, and I am glad to be able to approach this in a new way.
Caryn Hartglass: Well, I’m sure your mother and father are both very proud of you. Essentially today, with your book coming out. What’s important about it is young people, it’s probably not on their radar as much as it is with people who are older, chronic diseases, heart disease, diabetes, cancer. When I was in my twenties, I wasn’t really thinking about those things and that’s the time when you should be, I don’t want to say thinking about diseases, but thinking about making your body the best that it can be and that will only make it better for you as you get older -you’re going to look great as you age, and nobody wants to get ill, and the best time to prepare is as soon as you’re conceived obviously. But you don’t have much choice there, and then a lot of us, when we’re being raised, don’t have much choice in what we’re eating, but as soon as we’re young adults, we can totally take over what we’re eating and how we’re taking care of ourselves.
Talia Fuhrman: And this is the time healthcare in America has never been more expensive. I can’t stress enough that A, getting a disease later in your life and having to spend so much money to go to a hospital, that’s shock, there’s a lot of physical and emotional pain, taking care of yourself is also, it’s not just a gift to yourself, it’s a gift to everybody else in your life. To have a family member who has a serious health problem is also emotionally tasking on people who care about you, so I also view taking care of yourself as caring about other people and when you have more energy, you’re able to accomplish more at work and certainly, eating a plant-based, healthy diet can make us feel better than if we eat conventional American diet, in every little way. People will tell me once they’ve improved their diet how much better they feel every single day in the present. So I really can’t stress enough that you think that you feel okay now, that you’re getting by, but maybe you feel like you need coffee everyday, or maybe you feel like a little sluggish or tired and then, all of a sudden you feel lighter after you’ve eaten, you can eat a lot of plant foods diet, if you’re eating a big salad or stew, or whatever it is, you can eat a lot of foods but you can still feel after you’ve eaten like “I feel really good, I feel refreshed, I feel like I have a lot of energy, it’s not weighing me down.” It’s a very different eating experience than somebody who gets a hamburger. It’s not just about preventing diseases later in life, although that’s very catastrophic.
Caryn Hartglass: Do you have any good stories of people’s reactions to your message?
Talia Fuhrman: I think of stories of people’s reactions to my message all the time -I would say the best thing in the world for me is when I hear from somebody who’s about twelve, thirteen years old and they’re just like “Talia, you’re helping me out so much, I’m getting my parents to change and I feel like you’re so such a role model to me, and I’m so excited to start so young.” There’s a lot of smart preteens and teenagers out in the world who are just as excited to eat this information out, and the fact that they can start eating healthily when they’re so young is probably the best news and stories that I have and just to be able to go through my emails and read these stories of appreciation, I don’t think that I can have a better job ever.
Caryn Hartglass: Okay now, what’s next? You’ve got the book, it’s released, and what’s in Talia’s future so that when I talk to you two years from now we can say, “yep, did that”?
Talia Fuhrman: Healthy makeup. I love natural beauty and I’m excited to be doing research and creative writing on chemicals in cosmetics and how they affect our bodies so basically what we put on our skin and how do we create makeup and cosmetics that are high-quality and are actually good for us. There’s always going to be recipes and on my website you’re always going to see more articles on health and nutrition and so my website’s always going to be there and I get a high from my creative writing. So I would say makeup and continuing my passion.
Caryn Hartglass: That sounds pretty good. I have a friend recently who was telling me that she had discovered that all these horrible things are in the products that she had been using and we started having a dialogue back and forth about what kinds of creams and lotions and products you can use on your body but I always like to say that if you can’t eat it, you don’t really want to put it on you.
Talia Fuhrman: No, and there’s really not a makeup product that you can actually eat and, it would work.
Caryn Hartglass: I know, yeah, I mean you don’t want to eat your mascara but you don’t want it to have toxic ingredients in it to put it on your body.
Talia Fuhrman: There’s talk about, there’s actually lead that’s been found in some animal products that were found in makeup. That’s not okay and people should know about that.
Caryn Hartglass: That’s not okay. Okay! I’m very excited about this book and I hope lots of young women and girls read it and learn a lot and get smart and healthy and feel good inside and out, because that’ll make the world a better place.
Talia Fuhrman: Thanks so much for having me Caryn, it was really wonderful to talk to you and share my message with you and the audience.
Caryn Hartglass: I’m sending you a big virtual hug.
Talia Fuhrman: Yes, thank you Caryn, and I’m sending you a virtual hug as well.
Caryn Hartglass: Okay take care!
Talia Fuhrman: Take care! Bye!
Caryn Hartglass: Bye! All right, that was Talia Fuhrman, and you can find out more about Talia at taliafuhrman.com -shall I spell that? T-a-l-i-a, F-u-h-r-m-a-n .com. Love your body! Sounds really good to me! Okay well we’re working on that concept, breathing in, breathing out, and thinking about loving our bodies. Let’s take a break, okay? And we’re going to come back and talk about vegan cheese!