How I Regained my Health and Started a Revolution
How it all started
Flashback to 5 years ago….The decades were catching up to me. Slowly I had gained 10 pounds of weight each decade from my 20’s on a steady American diet. I was at least 30 pounds overweight. My annual blood tests showed my Triglycerides were 450. They should be below 150. “We have to put you on Cholesterol lowering drug right away. My doctor told me. “You can have heart attack anytime”
Also, I had heart burn below the ribs most of the time. My doctor blamed it on my heritage saying “Steve, people from your background produce too much acid. We have to put your on the Purple Pill or Zantac. I asked “What are the side effects Doc? He said “Well it can damage your liver. You have fatty liver so we have to monitor it every three months. Also the Cholesterol lowering drug cans cause muscle loss and kidney failure.”
My Heart Sank
My heart sank. I just looked at him in disbelief. I always thought I ate well. I ate at the best restaurants -good lean meat, and fish. Pizza twice a week at work with Buffalo wings, occasional Pastrami Sandwich from the Manhattan Deli. Eggs with spinach, toast and fruit was my breakfast every day. My only vice was caffeine. I was drinking 5 to 7 cups of tea to keep me going all day.
What are my options doc if I don’t want to take the medicines? I asked. He looked at my chart and said “You need to lose at least 30 pounds and then there is no guarantee that your Triglycerides will get to the normal levels. Also, you will have to live with the Zantac for the rest of your life. But we will keep an eye on your liver.”
Request for Nutritionist
I had done some reading on the subject and asked him if I can see the nutritionist to help me lose weight. “You can, but in the meantime until you lose weight you will have to take these drugs.” Reluctantly I agreed.
For the next 4 months I took 8 classes from Cholesterol control, Diabetes & Blood Pressure to Weight Loss etc.” Some of the classes I took twice. Like fat grams and calories.
I studied until I could count the calories in all the food items. I knew that 14 grapes were 80 calories, a slice of bread 100, ½ cup of rice 150 calories, a baked potato 150 calories with no topping and 400 calories when eaten as French fries. And I used to love the bottomless basket of fries at Red Robin with my favorite 900 calories barbequed burger which all came to a whopping 2400 calories meal.
I was shocked when Sharon my nutritionist pointed out that 3 Slices of Pizza that I ate twice a week had 1200 calories. Add to that some Buffalo wings and Garlic breadstick and I was consuming 2800 calories lunches.
1800 Calorie Plan
I was immediately put on 1800 calories a day plan and walking one hour a day in addition to my usual Yoga and stretches. Sharon brought out a basket of make belief food and nicely put it on a plate and said that the two main meals should be 400 calories each. Half the plate should be Vegetables, ¼ starch like brown rice, baked potato or whole grains and ¼ plate protein like Fish, chicken or Lentils if vegetarian. The funny thing was that I felt more satisfied when I ate this combination of 400 calories than the 2800 calories burger and fries which made me tired turning to caffeine to boost my energy.
Research on Acid Reflux & Sinus Infections
I started following the plan and on the side did some research on Acid Reflux to get rid of my purple pill.
Also, my wife and I were always plagued by sinus infections at least 4 or 5 times a year and each time we had to take antibiotics as it turned into bronchitis. The doctor always told us that it is the allergy season or it’s the Santa Ana Winds.
20 Books & Dr. Soni
I bought twenty plus books on food, diet, health and recipes and also went to see, an Ayurvedic doctor who practices modern and traditional Indian medicine in Newport Beach. The doctor looked at the chart I filled out for her of what I ate and the various ailments I was having. She asked me to cut out caffeine, milk and dairy products and see what happens.
That was February five years ago. As soon as my wife and I cut out dairy we got rid of the sinus infections. It’s been five years and we never had to take any antibiotics. Another benefit from cutting out the dairy & caffeine was I got rid of the Purple Pill in 4 weeks.
We both started to lose weight. Soon my triglycerides were down to 225 from 450. My doctor cut my pills in half. I felt better and had more energy. I started going to the gym for some strength training and soon lost more weight. I am happy to say that my Triglycerides are now under150 without any medications.
A few months ago I started a website www.lifechangingtip.org to help others who are in the same boat as I was. We already have 2500 plus followers on Twitter @lifechangingtip
Here is a funny and happy story. I hired a new office manager last year. He is 28 years old, single living with a roommate. In the first few weeks I noticed that he was itching a lot around his neck and hands. He told me he had chronic Eczema for the last ten years and that he was on these heavy medications like Prednisone which is a Steroid that made him nervous and edgy.
Life changing day for my Office Manager
One day he called me in the morning from the hospital. He had an Eczema attack and said that he will come to the office at noon. He walks in at 12.30 with a lunch bag and a drink in his hand. I was almost finished making my marinated Grilled Vegetables with some Red Roasted potatoes in the small convection toaster oven that we have in our office. I asked him what lunch was in his bag. He said “Carl Junior double Cheeseburger with curly fries and Coke. I grabbed the bag from his hand, peeked in and quickly tossed it in the garbage. You should have seen the look on his face.
I said, “Today you are going to eat with me. He could not believe how good the grilled vegetables tasted.”
I told him that he is having lunch with me for the next 5 days. I showed him how to make grilled Asparagus with Zucchini and carrots, Roasted Broccoli with Sweet Potatoes and few other recipes. I told him to bring 3 fruits to the office every day or don’t show up. I also made him promise me that he will make these recipes for himself at night.
Within ten days his Eczema was gone and he did not need any medicine. Within a few months he felt really good and enrolled in an MBA program. His Mom sent me a basket of fruit in appreciation and said that Amit looked healthier than ever.
Since, then like a chain reaction, Amit’s friends saw him cooking and they started to do the same. Last month I hired two of his friends who also changed their eating habits. They bring their fruits and vegetables to the office or they will bring healthy food from Mother’s Market or Whole Foods. I started a revolution. Thanks for letting me share my story.