There’s an exciting event happening in New London, Connecticut, in July 15-16 called Ketofest. It’s a festival for the low-carb lifestyle, meaning that it’s not just a conference, but a party. Tickets are ridiculously cheap at $250 for the weekend, and health professionals are free to register! Let me introduce one of the organizers, Brenda. She writes:
My name is Brenda. I am a 53-year old grandmother of six, I ride a dual sport motorcycle, and I lift weights.
And I no longer have diabetes.
I am passionate about helping others and currently spend several hours a day facilitating online support groups and forums at www.ketogenicforums.com. I mentor family, friends, and those who reach out to me online. I’ve told my story on the 2 Keto Dudes podcasts (www.2ketodudes.com), episodes 21, 32, and 46.
I feel an urgency to educate – to prevent obesity, dialysis, and amputation. I’ve done it all for no profit, my payment thus far has been the unmatched joy of helping to change lives. Why? Because I will never forget the dark black hole I, myself only emerged from.
I was unhappy and sick for many years. The obese are often mistreated and ridiculed. I felt hopeless – always following my doctor’s instructions, always getting heavier and sicker. I thought it was my fault. At quarterly checkups, my physician always asked if I was following her instructions. I really felt that I was to blame for my increasing poor health. Dr. Jason Fung calls this ‘The Unspoken Accusation’ – the advice is good but I wasn’t following it, so I was to blame. But I was following the ADA’s recommended diet exactly as instructed. I was also taking the maximum dose of metformin, two statins and high blood pressure medication.
I continued to gain weight, I continued to lose energy, and depression set in. My physician always asked me if I was eating whole grains and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, which I had been doing very faithfully. And exercising. And eating low fat, and low sodium. All the things we thought we were supposed to do to be healthy. I didn’t buy butter, I limited red meat, cheese, and eggs. I only used vegetable oils and ate six times a day as instructed – three meals and three snacks.
What a progressive disaster my health became. My A1c was 12 and my triglycerides were 1200. Things were spiraling out of control. Little did I know it was not because I didn’t follow the diet, it was all caused by following the ADA’s insane diabetic diet plan. I had developed neuropathy in my right foot. A large area had become numb. My doctor recommended an injectable that day to help “control my blood sugar”. I just knew I had had enough. I knew something wasn’t right. I was incredibly frustrated and heartbroken. I was looking at the spector of death, dialysis, and amputation… despite my valiant efforts to comply.
I was PISSED. This was all so unfair. Confusing. Frustrating. Why??!!
I refused the medication. I went home and did some serious evaluating.
Seemed to me there were two things going on:
- Carbohydrates were the problem, so from now on I would eat very little.
- WTF was all this body fat for? Why was it there? It was clear to me it was energy storage. Why wasn’t my body using it???!!
I had zero clue about the mechanisms involved. I hadn’t read any books or articles, I wasn’t even online yet at the time. I was just angry, desperate and ready to try anything. On my own. I stopped seeing my physician and also stopped all my medications.
I ate once in the morning, then not again until 10 hours later, when I ate trace carbohydrate with my dinner. That was it. I figured my body could access my fat storage if it were hungry in between. And it worked. I quickly dropped 50 pounds (23 kg) and felt fantastic. But then the weight started creeping back.Fate often drops someone in your path when needed. My friend Dean told me about the book “Wheat Belly“. I read it and began to understand the concepts of high insulin, fat storage, and a low-carb diet. Then I joined online LCHF groups, and quickly discovered the ketogenic diet. I thought those keto people were crazy. Ha! But I love a challenge and decided to jump in. Three months later my depression was gone. That alone kept me on plan. By five months ketogenic, my A1c was 6! I have been on the ketogenic diet now since February of 2014.
I added fasting to my regular health regimen when “The Obesity Code” was published. I was extremely excited to try Dr. Fung’s methods. I had already naturally shifted to intermittent fasting on my ketogenic diet, normally only wanting to eat one meal per day. I loved the idea of increasing my insulin sensitivity with fasting, the benefits of autophagy, and HGH release for building muscle.
Dr. Fung’s book put me at ease as to the safety of fasting. I began with a 48-hour fast. My friend Richard Morris from 2KetoDudes and I did it together. We weren’t sure we could. Now we have fasted three days once a month for over a year, sometimes more often. Known as the “Zornfast” on the ketogenic forum, both Richard and I have completed a ten day fast as well! Fasting has further dramatically improved my health. My fasting insulin number has dropped, and my fasting blood glucose is normal now, between 70-100 mg/dL (3.9-5.6 mmol/L), even in the morning!
To me? This is a miracle. The ketogenic diet and fasting has saved my life. At my sickest point my A1c was 12, my triglycerides 1200 and I had started to develop neuropathy – a large area where I no longer had feeling. It was numb. I was heartbroken, and believed the damage to be permanent and irreversible. (Note – This neuropathy often leads to amputations – Dr. Jason Fung)
Today I am on zero medication. I no longer have hypertension, I lost over 100 pounds (45 kg). I also lift weights, and have a wonderful Lean Body Mass of 127 lbs (58 kg) at 5’7″ (170 cm), age 53 (by DEXA). My A1c just last week measured at 5.5, and my triglycerides at 90.I no longer have neuropathy in my right foot. The day I discovered it was healing was very emotional. Now it is completely healed.
Sitting next to Gary Fettke at a ketogenic dinner (that I helped cook!) in Breckenridge this last February, I told him about my healed foot. Gary is an orthopaedic surgeon who was silenced in Tasmania for helping guide his patients to a path of proper nutrition. He was frustrated with having to amputate diabetic’s limbs when he knew the disease could be easily managed with nutrition. I told Dr. Fettke I had been on the ketogenic diet just over three years, and that my foot had recently completely healed. His eyes lit up, and he smiled and said to me “Do you know how long it takes for the nerves to regrow from your spinal cord to your foot? Three years.”
Life. Is. Good.
You are an amazing woman, Brenda. Just one more success story about how ketogenic/ LCHF diets and intermittent fasting may reverse type 2 diabetes – a feat that most doctors would consider impossible. When asked about her future plans, Brenda replied with this memorable line – “We plan to unf*ck the world. LOL”. I should totally steal that.
You can meet Brenda at the upcoming Ketofest from July 14-16 in New London, Connecticut organized by Richard Morris and Carl Franklin of the 2KetoDudes podcast. In case you don’t know them, Richard Morris is a software developer from Australia, made partner on Wall St by 35, by 38 he had pre-diabetes, so he retired at 40 determined to find out why – and how to reverse the disease. By 48 he’d found a ketogenic diet and 5 months later his diabetes was “cured”.
Carl was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in June 2015. From February 2016 onward, he decided to go ‘full Monty’ into a ketogenic lifestyle with the resulting weight loss and reversal of diabetes. Richard and Carl Franklin are the hosts of the popular 2 Keto Dudes podcast on the subject of curing diabetes.
Together they have organized an entire weekend where Richard and Carl have convinced the town of New London will go Keto. This is not your usual conference. It’s a party. Yes, there will be lecture with science, but what conference do you know has a pig roast? It’ll be fun, with plenty of friendly people. Check it out at www.ketofest.com.
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