Down to Almost No Meds, Sleeping Better, and Feeling Better! Richard’s Story

Article written and reviewed by Cyrus Khambatta, PhD and Robby Barbaro, MPH
Published January 24, 2023

Off Meds, Sleeping Better, and Feeling Better! Richard's Story

“You love mangos, but you’re blaming it, the bananas, and all your fruit for the challenges of your diabetes.”

For Richard, seeing Cyrus and Robby on screen talking about how so many people blamed fruits for their problems with diabetes was a revelation. “Wait, that’s me!” he said, and that got him thinking. 

A few months later, after dropping his A1c from 7.0% to 5.6%, dropping 60 lbs, and feeling more satisfied than he’s ever been, he realized that maybe fruits weren’t such bad guys after all… and could actually fuel a total life transformation! 

Oh, Richard has also halved his basal insulin from 28 to 14 units (which is still coming down), his bolus insulin is now 27:1 carbohydrates to one unit of insulin, down from 10:1. His sleeping has also improved, he feels like he’s got loads of energy, goes running frequently, has no more brain fog, has kicked all signs of peripheral neuropathy, and no longer struggles with cholesterol and blood pressure. 

But it wasn’t always that easy for him!

A Tricky Start to the Journey

Richard was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 23, and made the decision to be intensive and incredibly strict with his diet and habits. But unfortunately, Richard was a victim of the same misinformation that so many are – that carbohydrates were evil, and a low-carb diet was the only salvation for people with diabetes. 

But a few years later as the pandemic started, Richard was frustrated. He’d done everything right, but his results had been lacking, and he felt like he had no consistent control over his blood sugar and body. 

That was when Richard went to his doctor, who mentioned Drew Harrisburg. Richard followed the trail of plant advocates through Simon Hill, who then referenced Robby and Cyrus and their research. 

And when Richard found Mastering Diabetes, he was shocked. Hearing Cyrus’s story about how much he loves mangoes, and how they got a bad rap immediately set Richard thinking about his own habits. 

Diving into the Lifestyle

Richard went back through the podcast, back to other plant based experts, and discovered the preponderance of evidence supporting whole-food, plant-based diets – the complete opposite of Richard’s own meat-based lifestyle. 

But the overwhelming research was enough to convince Richard. He was already trying to lose weight, and went wholeheartedly into the Mastering Diabetes method – and the rest is history!

A1c down from 7% to 5.6%. Energy for walks, sports, moving on a daily basis. A blood glucose cut nearly in half, down to nondiabetic ranges, and time in a range of 80%+, with insulin use way down, especially compared to his carbohydrate intake. 

And the lifestyle changes is something Richard has really emphasized. Now he sleeps fantastically, has warded off any signs of peripheral neuropathy, and gotten entirely off of cholesterol and blood pressure medication (and has levels perfectly in range without meds). 

Where he used to be a huge meat eater, now he jokes that there is a whole vegetable patch on his plate, and he has a new addiction to banana nice cream (even with a spoonful of peanut butter here and there)!

The Final Word

Richard used to be a huge meat eater, and was incredibly committed to a carnivorous lifestyle, and at times he considered going back to eating meat. But the frustration of unexplainable highs, when you think you’ve done everything right and still see poor results is just too much. 

Learning that he was wrong for ‘blaming the banana’ was a game changer, and while his children (20 and 22) ask him “when are you going back to meat all the time,” Richard doesn’t feel all that tempted. .

Predictable health effects, control over your body – to Richard, that’s the most amazing thing, and while he might consider a bite of meat again one day, he knows that he’ll be low-fat, plant-based, whole foods forever. 

About the author 

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD and Robby Barbaro, MPH

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD, and Robby Barbaro, MPH are the coauthors of the New York Times bestselling book Mastering Diabetes: The Revolutionary Method to Reverse Insulin Resistance Permanently in Type 1, Type 1.5, Type 2, Prediabetes, and Gestational Diabetes. They are the cofounders of Mastering Diabetes, a coaching platform that teaches people how to reverse insulin resistance via low-fat, plant-based, whole-food nutrition. Cyrus has been living with type 1 diabetes since 2002, and has an undergraduate degree from Stanford University and a PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry from UC Berkeley. Robby was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2000, and has been living a plant-based lifestyle since 2006. He worked at Forks Over Knives for 6 years, and earned a Master’s in Public Health in 2019.