Friday, April 25, 2008

Why I started this

As the editor of, I try to keep up on all the latest treatments, products, discoveries on the diabetes landscape.

I do what I'm told - follow a diabetes diet, take my medications, check my levels, and try to keep my blood sugar values in the accepted range. I have had diabetes for 15 years and for 15 years have had no serious complications from diabetes (knock on wood).

However, as I've been getting closer to 40, it seems like I've been really feeling my age (feeling OLDER actually) and new health issues are popping up. I know I have to get my weight down and optimally reduce or eliminate my medications, but that has been easier said than done. I've tried all sorts of diets - Adkins, South Beach, grapefruit diet, cabbage soup diet, zone diet, Slim Fast, Weight Watchers, diet pills, hypnotism, nutritionists, etc. I've done all sorts of exercise - gym memberships, personal training, jogging, training for and completing a 5K, training for a half-marathon (halted by injury), etc.I usually notice health improvements. And my body composition changes. However, I don't really lose a lot of weight - especially none of my visceral intra-abdominal fat.

I have no doubt that I have willpower - because I have always given these things a really good try and have been very good. However, I stop out of frustration when months pass and I see no results on the scale at all. Or I get injured or sick from overdoing it, and have to stop with a loss of motivation.

The past few years, I have been in a cycle - I try really hard but when nothing happens, I give up and figure why try at all. This year, I had pretty much given up. I drive a carpool, and the father of the girls I drive home often tries to give me diabetes advice. If you are a diabetic, you know how this is. Often the advice you get from non-diabetics is cockamamie. Or they will say things like, "You know, you JUST gotta lose weight and your diabetes will go away." I won't go into that now.

Basically a type 2 diabetes body has been modified into a fat-storing machine, it is streamlined for times of famine. We can make due on less. Well, I can't remember the last time we had a good famine here, but my body is busy storing away. Our hormonal system sends out chemical messages to the rest of the body - Don't release the fat! I want carbs! It's the same as if we took a pill, we are drugged by our own bodies. friend kept giving me advice, and I'd smile and say, I'll look into that, and drive away. One day he came out with a flyer for a talk about diabetes. He told me he knew the speaker personally, and that he has "cured diabetes by giving people a bunch of green juices - made diabetics lose weight and all beautiful and everything." I asked myself, "Is he not only saying I'm fat but ugly too?" I smiled and said thanks, I'll check it out.

Not too long after, my online gaming friend Kurt decided to do some research for me after hearing me complain about diabetes. He's not a doctor, but he's a smart guy. He told me he read that I should be eating vegan, and mostly raw, and cut out cheese. Hmmmm, was it a sign to at least give it a try?

So I looked at that ad again. It was for a seminar by Gabriel Cousens, M.D., and it looked like he was promoting his book "There Is a Cure for Diabetes: The Tree of Life 21-Day+Program

I looked up that book online. I discovered the book explained how diabetics could "cure" diabetes with a raw vegan diet...WHAT? Raw Vegan diet - F THAT! So I forgot about it for a couple days.

I also didn't like that they used the word "cure." To me "cure" means that it's gone and you don't have to worry about it anymore. This program is more about gaining control - and managing with diet and exercise. To it's credit, it's not easy at all to control diabetes with diet and exercise, and often you aren't successful and then have to add in medications, but this is a way of life that almost guarantees you will get control.

In spite of my doubts, I began to wonder if I might benefit from just a vegetarian diet. So I started to surf around the net and somehow ended up watching some videos by Philip McCluskey of

For some reason I really related to him in this video. He had lost a lot of weight, was happy and healthy. He was eating a raw vegan diet and was loving it. I wanted to be there too.

So I surfed around some more and was amazed and flabbergasted by some of the blogs, testimonials, and before/after pics I was coming across. Everyone seemed so happy, so energized. It was like you see in movies and read in books when someone becomes a vampire - they are transformed into an extraordinarily beautiful person. I'm serious, many of the blogs I found showed pictures like that. Google "raw food before and after" or "juice feast before and after."

I bought a couple books - Ani's Raw Food Kitchen: Easy, Delectable Living Foods Recipes by Ani Phyo and Raw Food Life Force Energy: Enter a Totally New Stratosphere of Weight Loss, Beauty, and Health by Natalia Rose. These were great books and got me excited about raw/living foods. I tried a couple recipes from Ani's book - and even got my son to eat one of her oatmeal recipes - very willingly.

Since then I've bought a LOT more books and will share my favorites later.

Anyway, this inspired me to at least give it a try. I never intended, and will never force myself to go 100% raw, but I try to aim for around 80% - so I still get to have my favorites once in a while.

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