“For me, it’s a miracle”

Rosa and her husband

Rosa and her husband

Rosa had tried many types of diets, but her weight increased regardless. Her type 2 diabetes and hypertension was out of control. Tired of being hungry all the time on her other diets, she tried LCHF.

Just two weeks ago she started the journey with her husband… and already, it seems like everything has changed.

The E-mail

Hello Dr. Eenfeldt,

My name is Rosa Brand and I want to tell you my story.

When I first went to your website I was cautiously optimistic. My hesitation to a low-carb high-fat (low-carb) diet was that I had already tried a low-carb high-protein but low fat diet.

I lost over 100 lbs (45 kg) on that diet and although it took me nearly ten years to regain the weight (I only maxed out at 280 lbs (120 kg) rather than the full 340 lbs (154 kg) when I first began my low-carb journey nearly 12 years ago), I remember how tired I was and that I suffered from a lot of constipation (YUCK!). I wasn’t looking forward to going through that again.

What really intrigued me and made me reconsider the challenge was two reasons, 1) you advocate eating fat for energy and 2) you offered solutions for the induction flu (something I had never heard of before but my husband and I definitely experienced many times, which usually made us go back to carbs).

I told my husband about the challenge and given that my health was taking a drastic nose-dive (my last A1C came out at 10.5, with home blood tests coming in from 220 to 310, and my blood pressure was measuring 190/115 on almost a regular basis, plus I was taking up to 20 pills a day, 6 prescription and 14 supplements) and my husband’s last checkup revealed that he had a fatty liver despite being thin all his life, we decided that as a couple we would take on the challenge. I weighed in at 280 lbs and my husband weighed 205 lbs.

The first week was rough. Before, we always ate out, even multiple times a day, because we are two very busy people. So the challenge was difficult for two reasons, removing the starchy carbs in our diet and cooking more at home.

As expected, we had the induction flu for about four days. Because we were armed with the knowledge you provided on your site, we used the bouillon cubes and/or salted water to get us through the rough times and drank what seemed like gallons of water to keep us hydrated.

We ate everything listed on the recommended menu. This was particularly difficult for my husband, because he has been eating cereal for breakfast with milk and a little sugar nearly his entire life. Eggs and bacon for breakfast was, “Too much food.” But bless him, he stuck to it and ate everything I prepared for our meals (you can see why I love this man!).

We loved the pizza, relished the burgers, and enjoyed the chicken (however I prefer using a pressure cooker for meals like the chicken because they come out so moist and infuse the flavors of the herbs and spices). By the end of the week the headaches were gone and we were beginning to feel almost back to normal. My husband still struggled a bit (I think it is because his diet consisted of almost all carbs) and his body is taking longer to recover.

I have gone through this kind of discomfort before so I am used to it to some degree. But what was amazing was that I was able to recover much faster on this diet versus the high-protein low-fat version of the low-carb approach. Plus I felt full faster and was satisfied even through the next day until lunch! Before, on the other diet, I would be starving from the moment I got up until I ate lunch around 11 am. So I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered how much more satisfying the LCHF diet can be.

With week one of the challenge a complete success, we rewarded ourselves by going to a local steakhouse called Texas Roadhouse (Texans know how to do beef!). We were careful, only eating steak and veggies. We didn’t try the compound butters in case the restaurant put more than just the healthy stuff, so we asked for sautéed onions, which they slathered all over our steaks.

My husband had his favorite sirloin steak and I had my favorite, filet mignon (what Texas Roadhouse calls the Dallas, because they’re Texans and, as I said before, they really do know their beef!). I had steamed broccoli, which I love, and my husband had string beans. We discussed the challenge and how things went for the two of us by analyzing the effects on our body and sharing how much weight we had lost

Combined, we lost 30 lbs (14 kg); my husband lost 10 lbs (5 kg) and I lost 20 lbs (9 kg). Our energy levels were vastly improved. I could actually bend down and pick something up from off the floor without any issue, something I couldn’t even imagine doing before. The swelling in my ankles was gone and I could take a deep breath without wheezing for the first time in years. Not bad for just one week!

I asked my husband if he could do this diet long-term. I expected him to say no, but was elated when he said, “Yeah, sure.” Having that support meant so much to me, because I knew it would be so much easier for me to maintain a healthier lifestyle (I did mention I love this man, right?). As soon as I got home I subscribed to your site.

The next week went a lot easier. I adapted some of the recipes to more of the kind of cookware I usually use, such as my pressure cooker and slow cooker. I started out using the same menu but as the week wore on I incorporated other recipes from your site and even took some of the recipes from my favorite cookbooks and removed the starchy carb portions and replaced them with things like parmesan cheese or more butter.

For instance, I made mozzarella stuffed meatballs but instead of adding breadcrumbs, I grated fresh parmesan cheese with my KitchenAid food processor (love that thing!) and used that instead. I added the other herbs and spices (basil, oregano, garlic, etc.), put a square of mozzarella in a well I formed with my thumb and then closed up, and baked them while I made homemade marinara sauce with fresh roma tomatoes, a can of diced tomatoes and tomato paste (only one brand actually contains no sugar or fillers, just pureed tomatoes and citric acid), and of course added herbs and spices like fresh garlic and basil.

I served that with riced cauliflower prepared in the skillet with chicken stock and bullion, a whole lot of butter, and herbs and spices, which came out like a rice pilaf. Talk about yummy!!! So basically I was able to read the recipes on your site to determine what ingredients are the best for the diet and started making my own dishes.

On Sunday we hit a milestone—two full weeks of eating no starchy carbs. Wow!!! I was so proud of my husband, because he stuck to it despite strong cravings for carbs and the fact he is pretty much a thin guy (what many would consider healthy).

The only reason we picked up Ketostix was because he insisted we check to ensure we were burning fat instead of carbs. He’s really taken to this lifestyle unlike anything else we’ve tried before. I attribute that to how informative your website is for those seeking lasting good health. He and I watched many of your videos, learning a plethora of information from how to reverse diabetes to what starchy carbs do to your body and brain to the benefits of intermittent fasting.

We’ve already planned when we would enjoy a feast with carbs, which is restricted to birthdays and holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas, specifically). Making plans like this as you suggest (cheating smart) helps to give us attainable goals and feel as though we aren’t depriving ourselves of things we enjoy. Plus, we get to eat great food every day. So it’s a win all around.

We concluded the challenge by discussions the pros and cons, objectively. After sharing our individual experiences, we decided this was the diet for us. By the end of week two, we both felt a lot better physically and even emotionally. My husband is still struggling with a little bit of brain fogginess, but I am confident it will go away by week four.

I’ve gone down a dress size and am almost down one more. We’re going back to my husband’s homeland, South Africa, in October. We’ve already planned our menu for the trip, having discussed with family what we’re doing. They’re so supportive and I can’t wait to share these dishes with them.

I guess what I really want to say is thank you. What you have done by bringing this website to us is to change our lives. We couldn’t have done this without you. Our journey to a happy, healthier life began the day we accepted the challenge.

We didn’t feel pressure or have to worry about weighing in or counting calories. We simply stuck to the plan. For me, it’s a miracle. My latest readings on the home sugar blood meter is 190 and my blood pressure is down to 145/96, this is without meds! It’s not great, but it’s going in the right direction.

I spoke with my doctor about this diet (I saw her a week ago). She was excited for me, however, she strongly recommended I not eat a lot of fat and to stay away from red meat. She’s a great doctor, whom I love, because she’s been with me from the beginning trying to help me get healthier. I listened to what she had to say, but she agreed that although my numbers aren’t great that I should wait another three to four months on this diet to see how my body responds.

Once I complete my health goals (not necessarily my weight goals as much as my A1C and blood pressure goals) I plan to give her some reading material to help inform her of the latest scientific tests and studies that helped me.

Thanks to your site, I am armed with information, giving me the confidence to press on despite all of the contrary advice against a LCHF. I know you probably didn’t start the site to make miracles, but that’s what you’re doing.

I’ve taken “before” shots of my husband and I so that when we reach our goals we can share it with the world. I’ve chronicled our experience on my Facebook page, posting each day about what we experienced and some of the foods we prepared. I’ve shared your site and have tagged the Diet Doctor Facebook page so people can learn for themselves how to reach their health goals and finally have the lives they were meant to live.

Bless you, Dr. Eenfeldt, all of your colleagues and the other doctors you’ve interviewed who have shared their wisdom and knowledge. May all of your good works come back to you tenfold. Most of all, I hope your website reaches every single person on this planet. Wouldn’t it be a wondrous world if we all lived by the principles advocated on your site?

That is my hope and a dream I plan to share with everyone I know throughout my journey to better health. Heck, if I can do it, anyone can!



Congratulations to starting on this journey Rosa, best of luck!

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