As a nutrition and health care professional, I hold Ann Louise Gittleman in high regard. Her career as a health and nutrition pioneer spans more than 3 decades. Her wealth of knowledge and healing wisdom has revolutionized the way my colleagues and I approach nutrition. I was honored to sit down with her and discuss her education and her life’s work. What started out as an interview turned quickly into what felt like a conversational walk down memory lane between two old friends.
The year was 1971, and as Ann Louise Gittleman walked across that Connecticut College stage to accept her BA in English, she held in her heart conflicting dreams of becoming an actress
or furthering her education to make a difference in the lives of others. Her altruistic spirit and tenacious work ethic won out over her girlish dreams of hitting the big screen, and she packed her bags for her next educational pursuit.
Her Jewish heritage led her halfway across the world to Hebrew school. In 1976, she earned a Teaching Certificate from Hayim Greenberg Teacher’s College in Jerusalem, Israel. She
settled in New York upon her return to the States, and received her Principal and Teaching Certificate from the New York Federation of Reformed Synagogues that same year. Also in 1976, she discovered her interest in nutrition and earned her Dietetic Technician from the New York Institute of Dietetics.
“After completing the institute’s courses in menu planning, human physiology, nutritional pathology, biochemistry, microbiology, food sanitation, restaurant operation, and therapeutic nutrition, I felt a need to continue my studies and went on to receive a master’s degree in nutrition from Columbia University.”
Nutrition became her first love and she went on to further study at Teachers College, Columbia University, and earned her Masters (M.S.) in Nutrition Education in 1977. Eager to start what would become her life’s work of helping others through nutrition education, Ann Louise became a Nutrition Consultant, and still works in this
capacity today. In 1978, she caught the attention and admiration of Bellevue Hospital in New York City and was hired as the Chief Nutritionist for their Pediatric Clinic.
Longing to get back to her Connecticut home, she relocated to New Haven, Connecticut in 1979 and went to work in a Yale Satellite Clinic as a bilingual Public Health Nutritionist for their WIC food program. Working her way up the nutrition education ladder brought her to Santa Monica, California in 1980 as the Director of Nutrition at
the famous Pritikin Longevity Center.
“After 3 years in the public health field, I was growing frustrated with the apathy toward change regarding the highly saturated fat, high sugar, and low fiber content of the hospital and federal food programs. It all changed in September of 1980. I was at a family gathering where my uncle Jack, a pharmacist, asked for my help in locating hoop cheese and apple butter for a special diet plan.
Knowing how conservative and traditional Uncle Jack was in terms of diet, I was surprised and intrigued by his interest in these unusual foods. When I questioned him, he told me he had placed himself on the Pritikin diet—the ultimate low-to-no fat, high carb diet of the day. The purpose was to help balance his blood sugar, and it was working – he was having excellent results controlling his adult-onset diabetes. He felt better than he had in the previous twenty years!
I became familiar with the diet several years earlier when I read Nathan Pritikin’s first book,. I was impressed with the positive results Pritikin reported that his diet and exercise plan had on the management of coronary disease. It was ironic that Jack’s inquiry would rekindle my interest in the diet-disease connection and ultimately lead me from Connecticut to California, where I would begin working with Nathan Pritikin.
As the director of Nutrition at the Pritikin Center, I was very much a part of the growing self-help health movement that was sweeping the country.”
She left this position in 1982; her perspective on nutrition was changing and was no longer compatible with the Pritikin philosophy. She was a visionary, learning to embrace the leading edge of a new emerging science behind nutrition.
“I left my position as Director of Nutrition
to pursue a wider field of clinical and research interests regarding the underlying causes of degenerative illness. The diet-disease connection was just beginning to explode. There was a whole new world of research findings, which were coming to light about essential fatty acids, food allergies, and Candida albicans, an increasingly prevalent yeast infection, that raised nutritional concerns not covered by the Pritikin prescription.”
In 1987, she took a position as Nutrition Director at Human Environmental Bio-Toxic Reduction in San Diego, California. She was there for less than a year when she got her first big break – in the form of a book. Years of research into leading edge theories and practices of nutrition led her to publish her first book in 1988, Beyond Pritikin.
“At a dinner table one evening in the New York Friars Club, I was the guest of a former Pritikin patient, clothing manufacturer Harry Oliphant and his wife, Ann. After hearing all of the new information I had been gathering over the years, Harry said to me, ‘You’ve gone beyond Pritikin. You’ve got to write your book now.’ So, I wrote my first book naturally titled Beyond Pritikin—and
then over 30 more on diet, detox, weight loss, women’s health, men’s health, anti-aging, and the environment.”
In 1993, she resumed her education, becoming a Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) through the American College of Nutrition, and her PhD in Holistic Nutrition was earned in 2002
through the Clayton College of Natural Health. Throughout her tenure at Clayton
College, the school sought accreditation as a distance learning college. In 2010, Ann Louise joined in the disappointment of over 25,000 other graduates when the school closed without receiving the accreditation they had long been
Once she had the publishing momentum,
she kept it going. This prolific author has written more than 35 books on natural health and nutrition in her 40-year career, and has no plans to stop anytime soon. The Fat Flush Plan, published in 2002, became her first New York Times Bestseller, and she went on to have 2 more Bestsellers – and counting.
Ann Louise has appeared on television news networks including CNN, FOX News, and PBS, and has been a guest on The View, Dr. Phil, Good Morning America, The Early Show, 20/20, Extra, Good Day New York, and The 700 Club. Her work has been featured in magazines including Time, Newsweek, Harper’s Bazaar, Real Simple, The Oprah Magazine, First for Women, Woman’s World, Ladies Home Journal, Family Circle, SELF, Goop, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, InStyle, Fitness, Women of Power, Muscle & Fitness, Runner’s World and more. She has been in newspapers including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, USA Today, and Publisher’s Weekly, and as far around the world as the London Daily Mirror, Australian Woman’s Day and Russian Vogue. Ann Louise is well respected in her field, and was named one of the “Ten Most Knowledgeable Nutritionists” in the US by SELF Magazine and in 2016 received the Humanitarian Award from the Cancer Control Society.
A woman who garners this much positive press and notoriety is bound to also attract controversy, critics and negative naysayers who aren’t ready to move beyond the accepted nutrition and health theories of the day. Her bestselling, highly successful strategy for weight loss, The Fat Flush Plan, was initially criticized as being “pseudoscience” and a “fad diet.” While this weight loss plan does cause many followers to lose weight quickly, in the past fifteen years its three-phase structure has helped dieters transition into a long-term, healthy diet and
lifestyle to produce results for a lifetime. It’s true low carb diets were considered a questionable approach when this health pioneer introduced hers, but now research studies like the DIRECT study has even Harvard researchers concluding they are an effective approach to weight
loss, verified by medical science.
Ann Louise Gittleman, congratulations on your long-standing, noteworthy career in nutrition and
holistic health. Your passion and persistence has inspired and paved the way for women like me to blaze our own trail forward. I believe I speak for many when I say I hope to see much more from you in the years to come.
“I’m excited for all social media has to offer. I’ve combined my love for the big screen with my life’s purpose of helping others look and feel their best and will soon be starting an exciting new adventure. Follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and watch for the big announcement. I look forward to connecting with you soon.”
Her notable works include:
- 2017 Before the Change (Revised and Updated) (HarperSan Francisco)
- 2017 The New Fat Flush Cookbook (McGraw-Hill)
- 2017 The New Fat Flush Journal &
- Shopping Guide (McGraw-Hill)
- 2017 The New Fat Flush Foods (McGraw-Hill)
- 2017 The New Fat Flush Plan (McGraw-Hill)
- 2015 Eat Fat, Lose Weight (Digital)
- (Blue Hills Publishing)
- 2012 Zap Proof Your Home (Digital)
- (HarperOne Selects)
- 2010 Zapped (HarperOne)
- 2010 Fat Flush for Life (DaCapo
- Press) – A Top 10 Notable New Diet Books of 2010 by Time Magazine
- 2008 The Gut Flush Plan (Avery)
- 2008 Get the Sugar Out (Revised
- and Updated) (Crown)
- 2006 The Fast Track Detox Diet (Morgan
- Road Books/Doubleday Broadway) – A USA Today Bestseller
- 2005 Hot Times (Revised
- and Updated) (Avery)
- 2005 The Fast Track One-Day Detox
- Diet (Morgan Road Books/Doubleday Broadway)
- 2004 The Fat Flush Foods (McGraw-Hill)
- 2004 Super Nutrition for Women (Revised
- and Updated) (Bantam)
- 2004 The Fat Flush Fitness Plan (McGraw-Hill)
- 2003 Before the Change (Revised
- and Updated) (Harper San Francisco) – A New York Times Bestseller
- 2003 The Complete Fat Flush Program
- Bundle (McGraw-Hill)
- 2003 The Fat Flush Cookbook (McGraw-Hill)
- 2003 The Fat Flush Journal and
- Shopping Guide (McGraw-Hill)
- 2002 The Fat Flush Plan (McGraw-Hill)
- – A New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly,
- Morning News, and San Francisco Chronicle Bestseller
- 2001 Ann Louise Gittleman’s Guide to
- the 40/30/30 Phenomenon (McGraw-Hill)
- 2001 Guess What Came To Dinner?
- Parasites and Your Health (Revised and Updated) (Avery)
- 2001 Eat Fat, Lose Weight Cookbook (Keats)
- 2000 The Living Beauty Detox Program (Harper
- San Francisco)
- 1999 Why Am I Always So Tired? (Harper
- San Francisco)
- 1999 Super Nutrition for Men (Avery)
- 1999 How to Stay Young and Healthy
- in a Toxic World (Keats)
- 1999 Eat Fat, Lose Weight (Keats)
- 1999 Overcoming Parasites (Avery)
- 1998 Super Nutrition for Menopause (Avery)
- 1998 Beyond Probiotics (Keats)
- 1998 The 40/30/30 Phenomenon (Keats)
- 1998 Hot Times (Avery)
- 1998 Before the Change (Harper
- San Francisco)
- 1997 Your Body Knows Best (Pocket
- 1996 Get the Salt Out (Crown)
- 1996 Get the Sugar Out (Crown)
- 1996 Beyond Pritikin (Revised
- and Updated) (Bantam)
- 1993 Guess What Came To Dinner?
- Parasites and Your Health (Avery)
- 1991 Super Nutrition for Women (Avery)
- 1988 Beyond Pritikin (Bantam)
Writer Bio: Anne Rhody is a certified Physician Assistant specializing in Integrative Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine. She began her medical career 28 years ago in a Level One Trauma Center and worked as an Emergency Medical Technician until graduation from the University of Wisconsin at Madison School of Medicine in 2004. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in Natural Science – Nutritional Science with a minor in Biomolecular Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. She has additional training in Craniosacral Therapy, Applied Kinesiology, Herbal Medicine, Osteopathic Manipulation, and Worksite Wellness. Anne has been a guest on multiple network TV stations, a speaker for the National Wellness Institute, and has been a published writer since 1996.