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    Posted May 21, 2014 by
    Wilmington, North Carolina
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Your 'Aha' weight-loss moments

    How I Tackled A Type II Pre-Diabetes Diagnosis and Won!


    I was a business woman who took the opportunity to go to aerobics and attended body pump classes at least 1 to 2 days per week as my schedule permitted. Granted, my work life was stressful but I loved it. Yet.... pre-diabetes? How did this happen?


    Yes, that was the shocking news my doctor gave me during my check-up in late 2006.  What? Me? I was incredulous and, in fact, I was mad. Surely there was some mistake, or so I thought. No, as she confirmed, the numbers didn't lie and yes, this jolt was the catalyst for a wake-up call.

    So, I set upon the trail of a pre-diabetes abatement  strategy or even a diagnosis reversal. As such,  my doc recommended a class at a lofty medical foundation clinic. I very reluctantly signed up to attend. Somehow I knew from the get-go that this would not work for me.


    Upon entering the classroom I was quite irritated to observe my instructor, an overweight nurse and  in very poor shape. I was aghast that this was the person leading the charge. for the ADA recommended diet protocol. I found myself feeling discouraged and getting disassociated  during the class. I decided right then that there had to be another way.  Yes, the ADA diet protocol works for many people but it clearly was not "my path".

    So disturbed and resolved, I initiated my next steps out of that class and back to my home office where I started researching online alternatives. I wanted to identify what  I could  do and find out as much as possible. I needed to find my best possible method to remediate the early onset of this disease and I needed to do it sooner than later.

    While I believe that stress was the culprit lurking behind my diagnosis as opposed to my diet (which was healthy when I ate), there is a genetic disposition within my family of  Adult On-set of Type II diabetes. Also, my habit of not eating all day, drinking coffee and finally having some dinner around 7 p.m. was not a good idea. My food choices were actually good with the exception of sour dough bread full of gluten.  It was not a matter of what I was eating as much as when I was eating it. People with diabetes or pre-diabetes need to eat smaller meals with some regularity and not starve during the daylight hours only to chow down at supper time.

    Regardless of the causal factors, my numbers were not going in the right direction.
    Upon hearing the news, I immediately started to figure out how I was not only abate this disease but also reverse my numbers to "within normal" range.

    My diabetes awareness journey essentially led me to "tables of life", and  raw-vegan restaurants and "non-cooking" cookbooks.  I heard about some raw-vegan food restaurants in the San Francisco Bay area and I trekked over to Berkeley to try Cafe Gratitude. Summarily, I was smitten. Then I found out about a "Fundamentals of Raw Food" class being held up in Ft. Bragg California. Having traveled to Ft. Bragg on various occasions, I could not imagine how it could be there that I would stay for 10 days....not to mention the ultimate 8 weeks.

    I signed up for the course and found myself heading up the No. California Coast to Ft. Bragg California and to the one-of-a-kind culinary school, "Living Light Culinary Institute", to be more specific." While I only intended to take a basic class in the "Fundamentals of Raw Food", after starting my classes, I got so fascinated and engaged that I extended my education for weeks and became a Certified  Raw Food Instructor.

    As a student, I and my colleagues were tasked each day to learn about nutrition and raw vegan  foods. We would do competitive recipe development along with many other activates around the food. We would always have an incredible bounty at lunch which we all I ate nothing but living organic food recipes from day one. Mind you, the living food is vegetables, nuts and fruits. No meat was anywhere to be seen of course, and that did not bother me in the least. Having grown up with a Mother who was a gardener, I loved fresh veggies, so in my opinion, the more the merrier.

    Here's what happened. My body started detoxing within the first week. A clear indication of this is that the whites of my eyes started to get clearer in the second week and my skin started to have more elasticity. On a more personal note, my elimination was activated.

    As a result, by week 2, I was able to bid farewell to days when my stomach hurt so badly from binding gluten from my fav sour dough bread accented by stress. I used to pop Rolaids in the afternoons because my stomach distress was so high. Also, my energy increased and I started to develop a sense of well being.

    Simply being in the presence of beautiful, organic living food each day and learning its wisdom to your health is amazing and transformational. Cherie Soria, founder of Living Light Culinary Institute http://rawfoodchef.com/ is the poster woman for health and wellness. Well into her 60s, she is limber and flexible a martial arts black belt and great dancer. Another testimonial to her diet of raw, living foods. She is also the author of "Raw Food for Dummies."

    Another bonus was meeting some wonderful people who came there as students from all over the globe. Joining me in my class were people from Japan, Russia, Germany, Antigua, New York, Kansas City, San Diego, Houston, Seattle and San Francisco.
    We had cancer survivors, vegans, conventional food eaters, raw foodists and others seeking healing for various ailments. The stories of how they individually found the school and why they came were quite interesting to me. I actually made a treasured friend who is a cancer survivor and who was in attendance to learn how to stop his Type II diabetes. Since he did a blood stick each day, I got to watch his number drop lower and lower to almost normal ranges. Amazing. This raw food works.

    Anecdotally, after I graduated from the Culinary Institute and met my family for the Christmas holidays, it was very amusing to see their reactions as they "taste tested" the identical soup recipe made  raw and at room temperature as they did the identical soup cooked and hot in a tureen  on the Christmas buffet. Without exception, each family member agreed that they liked the raw soup recipe better than the cooked one. Most of these people were very conventional food eaters. Mmmm .....interesting, yes? No one noticed really that it wasn't "hot"  but really enjoyed the flavor balances which cooking diffuses greatly.

    The truth is that if the raw food recipes are made as delectable as is possible, many people would love to participate. Yes, I did make the flourless raw  organic chocolate cake with raspberry coulee featured  as the featured photo in this report.  Secret ingredients make this cake wonderful and even a child can do it.  I know this is true because I have taught children to make this recipe!

    The only downside that I can think of is that raw food recipes require fresh veggies, fruits, raw  and soaked nuts and organic spices. 'Therefore, there is a lot of chopping and prep in advance of the meal preparation. In other words, someone must think about meals in advance and plan the purchasing of ingredients in advance. However, the end result is absolutely stunning, nutritious and wonderful.

    I think one of my best meals at Living Light was on "graduation day". The staff featured a feast of organic raw buckwheat granola, raw handmade almond milk, fresh organic fruits including appetizing array of kiwis, apples, oranges and bananas, soaked and blanched white raw almonds, freshly made organic "boost" smoothies as well as glass jars of celery and carrot sticks.. The granola was accented with agave sweetener. The table was beautifully appointed with fresh flowers.


    The best word to descibe this table of bounty is simply "wonderful".  As I reflected back on some of the awful conference breakfasts I have had at leading hotels in the USA, I felt some angst for weary travelers who really need some refreshing living food versus a


    I truly wish that busy executives could find something comparable in hotels when they are traveling and attending conferences.  I would be remiss if I did not say that the Health 2.0 Conference  www.health2con.com I  attended in San Francisco  at the Hilton Hotel came the closest to providing "living' food on the breakfast buffet. It was truly refreshing and lovely! Soooo not likely...at least not here in this country. Maybe in Bali or somewhere exotic like that. However, the "life in the food" is great for the overall performance of the human body. Soooo.... I have to wonder about this.


    While this is all good stuff, yes? What then, was the net effect of my 8 week sojourn to Living Light Culinary Arts Institute? Other than the incredible opportunity for the experience of a lifetime, upon returning to the San Francisco Bay area, and seeing my doctor, I received a congratulatory letter extolling the virtues of my "escape" from the pre-diabetes diagnosis.


    She was most impressed and wanted to know what I had done. I told her and her response was that many of her patients had just rather take insulin. I was flabbergasted. Diabetes is a disease that impacts every organ in your body. It can affect your heart, your ability to walk, cause neuropathy in your feet and even cause impotence.. Oh, yes, lest I forget about blindness and amputation of limbs too.


    My goodness, aren't these reasons enough to inspire one to  just try to make a change?

    The even better news is that today in 2014, 7 years later, I am not pre-diabetic or a full on Type II diabetic. This is a wonderful outcome and worth every moment of time and money I invested in my education.


    Today I continue to  experiment with my flax cracker varieties in my "test" kitchen and may some day decide to sell them commercially. I also make mustard,collard and kale chips in my dehydrators which people report are YUM.  Smoothie recipes are forever floating into my mind-stream of health consciousness and I share those too on Facebook.


    If you  are needing inspiration to make the 10% change that will help you change your current downhill slide to Type II diabetes, I suggest that you consider visiting www.facebook.com/vibrantlivngtoday, where I will now be featuring some recipes and encouragement for you. You and your life are worth it!

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