How to Achieve a Non-Diabetic HbA1c: The Tami Cockrell Story

​Meet Tami.

When Tami was a teenager, she experienced multiple knee injuries from playing sports all throughout her childhood years. By the time she was 20, she had undergone 2 knee surgeries.

Over time, her pain got worse as she continued to lose cartilage. Over the course of the next 30 years, she wore out her other knee, destroyed the arches in both feet, and developed chronic hip pain.

As a result of these injuries, Tami became inactive and began gaining weight. She also began making excuses for her sedentary lifestyle. “It’s too uncomfortable,” she would say to her friends and family.

Even though she loved hiking, skiing, and biking in her early 30s, she stopped participating in all sports because the pain in her knees, hips, and feet became too severe. 

As the years went on, she continued gaining weight and began to lose faith that she could be a healthy weight ever again.

Throughout her 40s, Tami witnessed family members suffer from heart disease and cancer, requiring invasive surgical interventions like coronary artery bypass surgery. 

It frustrated and devastated her to watch the people she loved struggle with life-threatening diseases, and she became scared that she was next in line.

Tami's Diagnosis with Type 2 Diabetes

When Tami was 52, she got a blood test at a wellness fair. She found out that her HbA1c and lipids were elevated, and after further investigation, she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, fatty liver disease, and vitamin D deficiency.

She was shocked and angry at herself for allowing her health to deteriorate to this point. One of her doctors told her, “Tami, insulin resistance is causing these conditions.”

Intrigued, she began researching insulin resistance online, and found others claiming that they could “reverse insulin resistance and lower their HbA1c through diet.”

Confused, she thought, "Is reversing insulin resistance actually possible?"

In March of 2017, Tami’s HbA1c had hit 7.1%, her total cholesterol was 266 mg/dL, and her triglycerides had climbed to 194 mg/dL. 

She weighed 204 pounds and felt incapable of doing the exercise and outdoor activities she once loved.

Her doctor prescribed her 2000mg of Metformin per day, and she used that to manage her blood glucose, given a lack of other effective options.

Despite this, she was determined to reverse insulin resistance and reduce her HbA1c (as she had read about online). Although she came in “kicking and screaming,” she decided to join the Mastering Diabetes Program.

Tami began learning the pathology of insulin resistance, and learned that a low-fat, plant-based, whole-food lifestyle could not only stop the progression of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, but lower her HbA1c, help her lose weight, help her gain energy, and reduce total body inflammation.

During the first few weeks of the program, she resisted the idea of changing her eating habits. But once she gained faith and started making the recommended changes, Tami began losing weight, gaining energy, and reducing her fasting blood glucose. 

As the weight came off, she began exercising more frequently, and experienced less joint pain than she had over the previous 30 years.

After a few months following the program, there was no mistaking the transformation that was underway in her body. As she continued to lose weight, her HbA1c continued to drop, and her energy levels continued to rise.

She began creating very colorful meals, and adding creativity and charisma to her ever-expanding culinary repertoire, including some of the dishes pictured below:

Tami's Results

Today, after 7 months on the program, Tami is ecstatic to report that her HbA1c is now 5.3%, and that she has officially reversed type 2 diabetes. 

You can now find her back in motion doing activities she loves, such as riding her bike 15 miles or hiking in the hills for 3 miles, without pain or inflammation in her knees, feet, or hips.

In the past 7 months, Tami has lost 35 pounds, from 205 pounds to 170 pounds, and is now able to move her body every day. 

In addition, her cholesterol dropped from 266 mg/dL to 200 mg/dL, and her triglycerides slightly dropped as well, from 194 mg/dL to 185 mg/dL.

Take a look at her before-and-after biomarkers here:


February 2017

September 2017

Weight (lbs)



Triglycerides (mg/dL)



Total Cholesterol (mg/dL)



LDL Cholesterol (mg/dL)



HDL Cholesterol (mg/dL)



HbA1c (%)



Fasting Insulin (mIU/L)



Fasting Blood Glucose (mg/dL)



Metformin Dose P/Day (mg)



Tami believes that she can remain free of type 2 diabetes by keeping her HbA1c value less than 5.7%, simply by continuing with this lifestyle of eating low-fat, plant-based, whole-food diet. 

She is determined to reverse fatty liver, and to continue to increase her insulin sensitivity.

Tami now hopes to be an inspiration to others, and show them that her experience is possible for them, too. She wants to help others living with chronic diseases by teaching them the same things she has learned.

She is passionate that a low-fat, plant-based, whole-food lifestyle has saved her life, and she wants others to know that reversing type 2 diabetes is not only possible, but the most rewarding experience of her life.

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About the Author

Cyrus Khambatta earned a PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry from UC Berkeley after being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in his senior year of college at Stanford University in 2002. He is an internationally recognized nutrition and fitness coach for people living with type 1, type 1.5, prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, and has helped hundreds of people around the world achieve exceptional insulin sensitivity by adopting low-fat, plant-based whole foods nutrition.