The Scope and Purpose of Bright Line Eating

In this week’s vlog, I answer a question from a Bright Lifer who attended the Food Revolution Summit and was inspired to take her Bright Line Eating™ lifestyle to the next level.

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  1. Miriam Lopez

    Nice nutrition and healthy content! Thank you for sharing it! I’ve found some interesting info here

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  2. Meghan

    This vlog really spoke to me. I have a bachelors degree in nutritional science, and love to study and research what’s new in the field…. BUT I DRIVE MYSELF CRAZY! There is always new and wonderful information out there. I don’t know what to stick to, or what to try next. Thank you so much. I needed to hear your perspective on this. Steering right back to Bright Lines so I can stop feeling confused and crazy, and just enjoy the research without trying everything out on myself.

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  3. Caroline

    I really appreciate this video, and many others you have. I don’t follow BLE but I have incorporated some of the information (and purchased a couple of your products!). For me, eating grains keeps the cravings alive. I also hate beans though I’ve tried to like them! My preferred information source is Thomas DeLauer (I also like Dr Berg). He was quite a hefty guy but lost a lot of weight and turned his health around. He advises a low inflammation diet with lots of low starch veggies, no dairy, and low protein (quite similar to BLE but more prescriptive about what to eat and less about how much to eat) . Where he’s very different from what I feel the BLE plan often is, and what works better for me, is the inclusion of lots of fat. He agrees that nutrition is a very individual journey and we all have different foods that inflame us and keep us from losing weight. I know this is integral to BLE, but honestly, I hate the idea of weighing my food or watching the clock – I really prefer a way of eating that makes the cravings go away so I don’t have to deal with that stuff. I’m also worried about infertility as I’m in my late 30s and planning to have kids in next few years, and how high fat eating helps this. Btw, I’m a 9 on your scale. Thanks for all your interesting information, I’m just not completely convinced I need to go with the BLE way to overcome food addiction if I’m eating foods that don’t contribute to cravings. If it doesn’t work I know I might have to try your way 😛

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  4. Jamie Vincent

    I appreciate the framework that Bright Line Eating gives me to adjust my food to my understanding of nutritious food. I found the advice of the experts who spoke at the summit fit comfortably in to my BLE mealplans. I am an omnivore and enjoy meat and fish, but have shifted my consumption to generally use th 80/20 principle by eating more plant based protein while still enjoying meat and fish from time to time. I love that Susan emphasizes her expertise in Neuropsychology of weight loss/food addiction while being honest about the fact the nutrition is not her expertise. Thanks for addressing this question and I felt in no way did you diminish the value of experts in nutrition.

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  5. Jarka

    Hi Carol!
    My favourite speaker of the Food Revolution summit was Anthony William. According to him, the best brain food are wild blueberries.
    If you get them every day in you (either frozen or powder), you have nothing to worry about. 😊 💚

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  6. Lisa Shurtliff

    Just keeping it easy: the only way to do BLE .

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  7. Mary

    And thank you for not stepping into the whole nutrition recommendation minefield. I’m loving that even more than the hair style 😉

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  8. Mary

    Your hair looks beautiful like that. OMG girl you are rocking your scarf in the hair to grow it out game!

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  9. Cat

    Susan, great topic. I have found that the more I listen, read, and worry about all the opinions I hear, not only on the food summit, but on various nutritional sites, the more confused and less successful I have been. You’re right, stick to BLE, simple straightforward and no reason to analyze compare, and ultimately confuse myself about whether there’s a better, simpler way to lose weight exists. It all comes down to common sense and simple easy structures. 4 rules no need to worry excessively.

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  10. riadh ghanma

    simply great

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  11. Paula Brickler

    EXCELLENT response to the question. You made a number of valid points. The story about the three nutritional experts at the OA meeting being unable to agree and one storming out angrily did not surprise me. The current environment, especially online, is just like that. There is so much hostility! PALEO vs. VEGAN. This expert vs. that expert. I admire your approach. BLE can be adapted to any number of different nutritional philosophies. There is a certain amount of flexibility. Thank you so much for addressing this issue. As always, it is a pleasure to listen to your viewpoint.

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  12. Vicki Beard

    Many are debating healthy food choices, but since every person is different and their body and lifestyle need different thing, that debate could take years! But, there is one thing we all need and probably need more than we get. It is also the perfect food for everyone: Fresh, clean WATER!

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  13. Jolanda

    Hallelujah! Too many people try to know it all. Never found so much discussion and fights about food since becoming a nutritionist. I also see a lot of people create a new obsession around food out of fear that they eat the wrong food. Sometimes I think that the overload of information is cause of that. My advice is to keep it simple. So the greens beans and berries caused a sigh of relief with me. Of course there is much more to know and learn around food but only if you want to be an expert.

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  14. Judy Carver

    Some of these “nutritionists”, i.e. food pyramid, all governed by the lobbyists. So just eat like Susan says, easy peasy, lemon squeezy

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  15. Jana Warner

    What a lovely message! Disappointing, I’m sure, to the person who wrote in, but so, so wise. Thank-you Susan for staying true to your course, and for not letting us off the hook for our own responsibility to take our own food and health journey into our own hands and make it uniquely OUR OWN. Hard work, but so rewarding!! As my food has gotten simpler and I’ve started to feel better, I’ve become aware of a host of food allergies and intolerances, some going all the way back to childhood. No wonder I was always sick!!! No one, no matter how skilled and knowledgeable can figure this out for me. I will have to “do the work” myself to carve out my own journey to vibrant body and brain health. Ari Whitten (yay Ari!!) recently interviewed Dr. Keith Scott-Mumby, and I’m working my way through his book “Diet Wise”. It’s a very sensible do-it-yourself approach to an elimination diet approach to discover what works for the individual. The list of foods to avoid that I’ve already discovered from doing BLE is kind of long, and it’s looking like the list is going to get longer, but no matter. It’s up to me, and I’m already reaping benefits. Susan, it would be a huge disservice to you, BLE and to all of us if you were to venture off course. Thank-you for remaining the ever constant “captain” of the BLE ship. With love and gratitude, Jana

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  16. Mary Kelm

    Wow!!! This is thePERFECT message for me today! I have been running around in circles trying to figure out the best way for me to lose the enormous amount of weight I have healthfully. It is sooooo confusing and you just made it so straightforward and easy for me. Thank you Susan from the bottom of my heart.

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  17. Gary L. Gibson

    I’ve been BLE 10 months and I’ve lost 45 lbs. All my bloodwork
    numbers came down drastically, except my sugar. I decided, after
    listening to some videos by Dr. Neal Bernard, to eliminate dairy to
    see if that would help lower my sugar. Doing that for the last 18 days
    my blood sugar has already dropped 10 points!!

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  18. Kay

    When I started Brightline Eating, I was also reading everything possible related to brain health due to a recent dementia diagnosis in my family. I found that BLE and what the brain health experts were saying dovetail nicely. It gave me far more motivation to stay with BLE because I was looking at it as a way to not only lose weight, but also to promote brain health for healthier senior living when I get there.
    I have been at my goal weight for 5 months now and continue to remind myself that happy, thin, and free also means that my brain is in good health.
    Quick question? Does the body begin to reapportion weight lost after time? In losing weight, I feel gaunt in the face and bust. I hoped after getting back to exercising and maintaining my weight some fullness would return. Any thoughts?

    Reply ·
    1. Susan Peirce Thompson, PhD

      Kay, yes, the body does rearrange things to flesh out the face and such…but usually within six months. If it’s already been five, you might not expect a lot more change in that regard. 😥

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  19. Nancy

    Susan, you touched upon the other issue with this request which is that everyone’s unique body responds to food differently. We really need to listen to our own body’s response and avoid foods that clearly aren’t meant for our individual needs and stay with those foods that create health and energize us.

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  20. Veronika

    This has peaked my interest lately: There is an ebook to download for more info.
    Where they address the “bio individuality” that Susan mentions, based on each individual’s gut biome.

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  21. Nel

    I’m getting my nutrition information from Dr Joel Fuhrman and Dr Michael Greger. When I first read ‘Eat to Live’ it made total sense to me. I was already a ‘vegetarian,’ because I had heard that ‘you never see an overweight vegetarian.’ Yeah, right. Well, here’s one! I believed everything Dr Furhman said, and thought I was putting it into practice… but I was BLIND until I took Dr Susan Pierce Thompson’s quiz about food addiction. Yeah, all that sugar I was putting in coffee and tea from CHILDHOOD on was ‘not meat’ but it was an addiction I didn’t even know I had. I went through periods of not eating bread, and then one day I’d be tired and hungry and think ‘I can’t be bothered going home and preparing a meal,’ (the will-power thing Dr Susan talks about, that moment of being tired and making a bad choice) and I’d by crackers and cheese or bread and cheese – and then there would be more and more bread in my life as the days went on, until at some point I decided to cut out bread (for religious reasons), dairy, eggs, butter, coffee and tea (and thus the many teaspoons of sugar I was ‘grazing’ on all day long). But I didn’t lose much weight, and I’d go back to all those things as soon as the period of religious abstinence was over, or I had a moment of just being hungry and wanting something quick – a sandwich. Back to bread and cheese, mayo and butter, for meals and between meals, and much more than I needed to eat.

    BUT, when I learned about Bright Lines Eating, and recognized my sugar and flour addictions (which were hidden because I was not someone who would eat until my stomach hurt, or eat huge amounts of sugar – I prefer savories to sweets, apart from really sweet tea or coffee), then I did a two-day water fast, drew bright lines around sugar, flour and dairy (especially cheese), and began eating according to Dr Furhrman’s and Dr Greger’s recommendations – and the weight has just been FALLING off me.

    Marrying ‘Eat to Live’ and the ‘Daily Dozen’ with Bright Lines, and kick-starting it with a water fast – it really works! I’ve wished that Dr Furhman would join with Dr Thompson and give us a plan that combines his nutritional wisdom with her bright lines. And then I realized, ‘I’m already doing it! I don’t need them to partner and make a program for me.

    Reply ·
    1. Jennie

      I love this. I am in the Nutritarian study, and have my Daily Dozen next to my BLE guidelines when meal planning. BLE is what you make it, and I think if those docs (Furman and Greger) started talking about the dangers of sugar and flour it would just send everyone to BLE and in BLE they can decide what type of proteins, veggies and fruits to choose in the BLE plan. I LOVE LOVE LOVE BLE because it is sound advice, but she gives people the freedom to pick their food choices within the framework of BLE…so its really what you make it.

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  22. Christina

    I read a article from you before that you were anti soy. I thought it was great and swapped my soya milk for oat. Here you say soy is ok?? And unfairly snowballed ?

    Reply ·
    1. Patricia Visser

      Even Susan can change her views on topics after she learns new facts. Organic is the key approach to unprocessed soy beans.

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  23. Anne

    I think we need to look at what each dietary recommendations have in common, in other words, keep it positive. I think we’re all smart enough to know that mega doses of soda and chips are not a good piece for good nutrition. I also think you have to listen to your body. If you eat something and find that you feel awful, then it’s not something you will eat, or make a choice about eating it. I agree with Susan, if we obsess about food, then it’s counter productive to living. (Most of us with food issues have obsessed for too long) That’s why what has worked for me is finding the common thread. The areas of agreement are: make your plate mostly fruit and verges,eat as organic, locally grown as possible, and don’t over eat…find a way to be satisfied, whether that is by weighing and or measuring, giving your body a “day off” (if fasting is something you want to try) but as Susan said, we have to find what works for you as an individual ❤️

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  24. Stefi

    Bravo Susan👋

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  25. Katherine Triest

    Thank you for your cognitive expertise and for your stance on not going into the nutrition wars! Not only can the nutritionists not agree, apparently my own brain and my own gut cannot agree! I came across BLE almost 3 years after joining OA, where I had lost 20 lbs., but the BLE ideas (esp. no flour) has done the last bit (c. 10 lbs), as well as making it lots easier to stay non-compulsive. Then after listening to the Food Revolution Summit, I was inspired to make several changes towards veganism, and my gut has rebelled (!) So it is back to the drawing board to get help for my (very long-standing) gut issues. What BLE has made possible, is that if I find out that for my health I need to cut out foods that I am used to or think I “need”, now I can do it.
    The cognitive insights about compulsive eating are for me what make BLE special and effective. Thank you!

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  26. Ann

    Another amazing vlog! I so appreciate the thoughtfulness given to the subject an especially in response to questions.

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  27. Ronna Berezin

    Because nutrition is by definition tied to eating ( like it or not ) it has a big place in any diet, especially when one considers food intolerances, allergies, and various other health issues.; gluten allergy, Hashimotos,, overactive thyroid, et cetera. So at least you qualfy your objectives, but for anyone struggling with overweight your solutions are too simplified in my opinion . Beans, onions, mushrooms,and berries are a challenge for many people with thyroid issues.

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    1. Susan Peirce Thompson, PhD

      I have Hashimotos….the BLE plan has plenty of room for eating or not eating whatever’s needed for any health circumstances. If those foods don’t work, just pick other veggies and other fruits. 😉

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  28. Evelyn

    Thanks Susan!!! When you read the question I was thinking oh no! Susan don’t do it. It would have confused me and I am already doing enough following the plan. I don’t want BLE becoming stricter or limited. I was so glad when you said No way!! You are so wise!!! Stay out of the fray!! Also ignore the two negative comments above. Haters gonna hate!!! Love you so much!!! Thanks for all that you do!

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  29. Ed

    Actually, there is an excellent science based book by Dr. Mark Hyman, called “Food: What the Heck Should I Eat?” It goes into detail about the science of nutrition concerning different healthy foods. Worth a look for those that feel the need for that information. Since there are a million books about diet and nutrition out there, Susan is probably right that some won’t agree even with this book. I found it helpful. Up to you. Like she said, “It’s an individual journey.”

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  30. Ronda Stocks

    Exactly! We cannot allow scope creep. It is so easy to do that since many of us have spent our entire adult lives learning about nutrition and the latest greatest diets, though. Thank you Susan for steering the ship with wisdom and focus.

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  31. Dawn Johnson

    I attend the Food Revolution Summit to educate how to loose weight that won’t budge. I’ve tried several diets, but nothing is working.

    Reply ·
    1. Kimberly Ward

      Dawn, you might want to try Susan’s program Bright Line Eating. I’ve lost 32lbs in 60 days and my mom has lost over 30 as well. Just a friendly suggestion. 🙂

      Reply ·
      1. Dani

        32 lbs in 60 days is not a healthy (or sustainable) rate of loss.

        Reply ·
        1. Susan Peirce Thompson, PhD

          It’s actualy pretty common if someone is coming from bigger numbers. “Fast weight loss isn’t healthy” is often touted by doctors and nutritionists alike, but research says otherwise.

          Reply ·
  32. Leila

    Good for you Susan! You are absolutely right! My little one (8-y-o) tics and she got sever anxiety a few months ago and after expert tests and scientific findings we figured her Oxalate levels are high and her glutathione very low… like 0!! And really broad stroke “healthy” foods are like poison to her! Things like Avocados for example raise her tics to the roof for almost 2 days… Nuts for example are not good for her…. she can’t have raspberries or quinoa! Quinoa!! So YES! Every body is SOOOOO different if you wanna get into the details.And there is absolutely no such thing as “healthy or nutritional” food for everybody! <3

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    1. Deanna Talor

      You have found food that affects tics?? Can you give me any direction on learning more about that? My daughter has severe tics and anxiety and they are often debilitating.

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  33. Jane Mussey

    Kudos to you for…..everything!! including this
    vlog on expertise. Well, almost everything! I do
    take exception to your opinion on dairy that comes
    across as applying to everyone. Perhaps that us not your jntent. There are plenty
    of people for whom dairy is just fine, and the opinions
    expressed by some food summit faculty cannot be
    made scientifically whole based upon studies to date.
    Some of the correlations I’ve seen (not yours!) have been IMO irresponsible (eg correlating the rise in obesity
    not with sugar/flour consumption but with cheese consumption). As a scientist, you well know that two unrelated phenomena can be statistically correlated entirely without causation. I am now at goal weight after
    relying heavily on cheese as my protein source (60# rekeased!) Not proof
    of any general principle except that I did it. And I’m sure
    there are many others. The future of medicine and nutrition is in understanding individuals. Thank you for all you do, and for the many sacrifices you’ve made so we could run with our personal food revolutions!

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  34. Jacque

    I don’t listen to all your vlogs, however, I have noticed that at the beginning of each one to which I have listened, your attitude is one of being bored with the whole process. It’s like you are saying, “OK, here I am again, just like I promised, but it’s sooo boring, and I’m not sure it’s worth your while to listen, and I’m not sure it’s worth my while to be here speaking.

    Reply ·
    1. Fiona

      That is not at all the case. Susan has explained why she does it the way she does it and has a bit of fun with it. She says she does it because it feels right to her despite some people criticizing it. The intro is the same every week, so when one says something the same every time I can see her point….but the vlogs that follow are all different and she is OBVIOUSLY not bored with the subject matter or doing the vlogs.

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  35. Craig Addy

    I’m so with you on Greger and Katz. I have turned my focus on finding resources that you can trust rather than trying to prove a specific diet. Like Susan, I have all kinds of opinions about it but do not find it fruitful to push them on anyone unless they want it. I’m not familiar with the 3rd person Susan recommends and not quite catching the name. Will listen back. I’m wondering if a Bright Line Facebook group with a special interest in nutrition might be worth considering.

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    1. Sydney

      I think she named Ari Whitten.

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    2. Patricia Visser

      Ari Whiten. The Energy Blueprint.

      Reply ·
  36. Heather Slover

    I am someone who has been in Overeaters anonymous for a year and a half now, and doing ble for almost as long. Ble is also a food plan I recommend to all of my sponsees. You were a bit off on what you said concerning OA though. We DO still have the Dignity of Choice pamphlet that has several different food plans listed on there. I believe what you’re thinking of is what used to be called “gray sheet” which was one standard food plan for everyone to follow. Dignity of Choice came after gray sheet because of the argument you mentioned. Thank you for all you do at BLE!!

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    1. Susan Peirce Thompson, PhD

      Wow! It must have come back! For many years it was not allowed. I stand corrected…thanks for letting me know! 👍👍👍

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      1. SIMONE Plaut

        Hi Susan ,
        The nutritionists definitely don’t agree! I studied to MSc level and “food allergy addiction ” was hardly covered. The course trainers had no idea what it’s like as they’d never experienced the problem!
        Totally with you and the individual allergy / addiction issues are for sure the huge confounding problem with people who are diet or nutrition experts: they simply don’t get that some peoples weight management journey can be derailed by an unnoticed “individual binge food ” that’s still in there . What I’ve found on my own journey is the cleaner your plan the easier to spot the IBF s that may still be in there.

        Just a point: Michael Greger’s daily dozen app includes linseeds daily for omega 3 fatty acids ( he eats vegetarian so no oily fish) . Those are vital for brain health. Post birth “baby brain” that so many of us experience after the birth of a baby is due to the baby borrowing omega : fats from their mothers brain and they have to be made up after birth.
        You are doing an awesome job! Loved your book and recommended it widely to many friends some have joined your movement.

        Reply ·
  37. Cilla

    Keep doing what you are best at Susan!
    It works.

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  38. Leisa Tremblay

    As a businessperson, I truly admire the way you analyze every possibility through the lens of the mission and vision of Bright Line Eating in order to make sure you are not broadening the scope beyond what is meaningful and well done by your organization, while maintaining the flexibility of the program to allow us to do our own “research” within the protective confines of the four bright lines. There is so much room for variation, and there has been profound successes through multiple “flavors” or “flairs” of how people are working their program and living their truth in the Bright Lines.

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  39. Sally Stephenson

    As a dietitian in training after a mid life career change – I take extreme offense at you diminishing the importance of my field down to “greens, beans and berries, baby.” Thanks.

    Reply ·
    1. Cynthia

      Good luck in your career. She said Nutrition is complex and individual and requires a high level of expertise. The “greens, beans, and berries” were the specific recommendation of a particular food expert who says to eat more of those things. You may need to listen again to pick that up and you will no longer be “extremely offended.”

      Reply ·
    2. Elizabeth

      I actually thought she was indicating that your field of nutrition/ being a dietician is so important that she didn’t want to diminish it by advising in that area since she doesn’t have the expertise so many others have, not that she was belittling your field.

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    3. Kimberly Ward

      Dr. Fuhrman has been studying nutrition and its effects nearly forty years and he basically says the same thing. He calls his GBOMBS which is greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries, and seeds/nuts. It’s also known as keeping it simple for those of us that are not nutritionist! You actually made Susan’s point with your comment. She merely quoted a nutrition expert and she is getting flack which is exactly why she doesn’t turn BLE into a nutrition program.

      Reply ·
    4. Stefi

      I agree with Cynthia Elizabeth and Kimberly ! just seeing your Facebook picture ( twisted “fake ” face ) makes me have no trust in your credibility

      Reply ·
    5. Trisha

      You must be extremely sensitive to be offended by her remark. I thought it to be very informative and she actually acknowledged how difficult your area of study is.

      Reply ·
    6. SIMONE Plaut

      Are you a bright line eater?
      It’s very much more than that!
      Rainbow coloured vegetables, massive amounts of healthful plant fibre and eliminating sugar and flour are just the beginning .
      I can totally empathise with your experiencing offence over a throw away sound bite but you need to consider it in context of the rest of the bright line plan which few nutrition experts would argue with.
      Simone Plaut MSc ( nutrition)

      Reply ·
    7. Amy

      I disagree that Susan diminishes the field of dietary nutrition. She literally says she has nowhere near the expertise that someone like you has and that she isn’t trying to pass off BLE as such.

      Reply ·
  40. Julia Carol

    As always, this Vlog is real and honest and very intelligent. Thank you for your expertise, and for being an advocate of looking at the brain science part of our food issues. I continue to be grateful to you every hour of my life. I’m almost 2 years at goal weight after almost 60 years of obesity from being a Bright Line Eater, I bow to your wisdom on this and so many other issues.

    Reply ·
    1. Karen

      I agree. I have just ‘celebrated’ 12 months doing BLE. I have been at or very close to my goal weight since August last year. Finally, something that works and that I know is helping me to be healthy on the outside (mentally) and inside (my physical body).

      Reply ·
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