Joel and his wife Anna began attending Dinner with the Doctor (DWTD) in February2016. Joel confesses that it took him three meetings before he decided to make some changes.
In September 2015, Joel weighed 384lbs at a doctor's visit. He had Type 1 diabetes, his hemoglobin A1c was 13.7 (normal <5.6), and he was on nearly 250 units of insulin per day. Joel was taking seven blood pressure medications and his blood pressure was still averaging 165/110! He took medication for his elevated cholesterol in addition to fish oil, vitamin C, vitamin D, Vitamin B-12 and a men's vitamin. Joel had been in physical therapy due to hairline fractures in his feet and had been walking with a cane for over a year. He had neuropathy, which meant that he had no feeling in his forearms or his feet up to his mid shin. The diabetes was affecting his kidneys and his endocrinologist told him that he was heading for a kidney transplant.
As Joel reflected on his personal memories of being overweight, he recalls issues with his travel. Joel is a well-traveled person, flying to many areas of the United States each year. However, he notes, he had to reduce his flying because, "I was so big that I could barely fit into a single seat on an airplane and had to have a seat belt extension in order to fasten my seat belt." Joel had been warned by the airlines that he was close to the point of having to purchase an extra ticket because he was too large to fit in one seat.
Joel notes that he avoided pictures for years. Many of his pictures are of Anna without him because he was too big. Referring to his changes in diet, he reports, "I feel that I robbed myself by not starting this earlier in life!"
Joel had been more or less a pescatarian (eating fish but not red meat or poultry) for the year prior to coming to DWTD. He made the full change to plant-based eating in the spring of 2016. In the first 90 days, his insulin requirements reduced daily along with his blood sugar levels. His HbA1c level dropped to 8.2 within 8 months and is now in the normal range.His insulin requirements went from 250 units a day down to 25 units. Joel has dropped 152 pounds and has lost 10 inches off his waist!
"Dinner with the Doctor has been, for me, a valuable resource for learning that I can still enjoy food while eating healthier. DWTD was the catalyst for me." Joel goes on to report, "I feel great! Though I may still have further to go, I already feel so much energy and healthier, it is simply amazing!" Joel's wife, Anna, says that she is grateful for his ever-improving health. Joel shared that she is really thrilled because, "now she can get her arms around me to hug me! She couldn't for years." On a recent commercial airline flight, Joel was apprehensive about his seat belt. However, he was elated to find that, not only could he fasten it with little effort, but he had to adjust it tighter to secure it!
Joel is now sharing his new found health with others. He recently showed a colleague how to prepare healthy food and actually put the first week of meals in containers and gave them to him. His friend reports that his previously high blood sugar is dropping, he feels better, and is loving the new way of eating. Joel has also started his own website www.eat2live.life to show others the way to shop, prepare, and cook healthy meals!
Stories like Joel's are what DWTD is about: teaching and sharing how a whole-food, plant-based approach can prevent, reverse, and treat many chronic diseases. We look forward to hearing more from Joel as he continues on his journey to a healthier life!