Reversing Type 2 Diabetes & Overcoming Food Addiction

Article written and reviewed by Cyrus Khambatta, PhD and Robby Barbaro, MPH
Published October 27, 2018
Shift Happens – Reversing Type 2 Diabetes and Overcoming Food Addiction

Podcast Transcript

Adam Sud: All of those things have allowed me to become the person that I am today and recognize the amazing gift that this life can be. And one huge thing I've learned is that we are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore is not an act but a habit.

If I get up every single day, and I prepare a meal on a plate that is about health and wellness, that is about creating a healthier version of myself today, than I was the day before. And if I get up every single day, and I'm committed to my recovery, if I can get up every single day and be of service to one other person, and at the end of that day, I am a happy, healthy, sober person who's of service to other people, that is really the type of person that I want to be.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: Welcome to the Mastering Diabetes Audio Experience, where we teach you how to sit in the driver's seat of your diabetes health for the rest of your life. We’ll teach you how to reverse insulin resistance, achieve your ideal body weight, gain energy and get your best A1c following more than 85 years of evidence-based research in the Mastering Diabetes Program.

Robby Barbaro: Our program teaches you how to reverse prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, and how to simplify your life with type 1 diabetes by maximizing your insulin sensitivity, using food as medicine.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: We're on a bold mission to reverse insulin resistance in 1 million people. We're glad to have you joining us.

Robby Barbaro: Welcome to the Mastering Diabetes Podcast. We are glad to have you tuning in. We have another great episode, today we're going to be sharing the audio from a webinar that was presented by our very own Adam Sud. Adam is a Diabetes and Food Addiction Coach in the Mastering Diabetes Program, where he helps our members achieve their ideal weight, reduce their dependence on pharmaceutical medications, and love every meal, and basically just help our members achieve their personal health goals. That's what our program is designed to do.

Now, Adam himself has an incredibly inspiring personal story. He overcame addiction, he reversed his type 2 diabetes, and he's done a lot more. You're going to hear his full story in today's Podcast. And he's also going to cover important topics such as, why you may be addicted to certain foods and how to overcome these addictions, easy techniques to make dietary change simple and sustainable, mental strategies to shift your mindset and set you up for success, and how to lose weight and reverse type 2 diabetes using nutrition.

So, we have a really great show today. I'm confident after you listen all the way to the end, you will realize why we are so grateful, and so proud to have Adam as a coach in our Program. And I'm just personally honored to call Adam a friend. It's always great spending time with him, whether that is that any of our retreats, or when he's visiting LA. He's just a really, really special guy. So, I hope you guys see that, and feel that, and really enjoy today's episode. Alright, let's get into it.

Adam Sud: So, what we're going to cover today is making that personal commitment to change, identifying your “why”, and then understanding your compulsions, and more specifically your food compulsions. And then, how to create an environment for positive change, and I think that that's really important. Understanding the power of one's environment. And then, I'm going to talk about how I was able to reverse my type 2 diabetes along with a lot of other conditions.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: For those of you who may not know me, my name is Cyrus Khambatta, I have been living with type 1 diabetes since I was 22. I developed it in my senior year college at Stanford University. Since that time, after the first year of being diagnosed, I transition to a low-fat, plant-based, whole-food diet, and I was able to reduce my insulin use by 40%. I can now eat very large quantities of carbohydrate. I don't inject very much insulin on a daily basis, and my A1c tends to be in a non-diabetic range. I'm an athlete, I am active every single day, and I'm absolutely loving life. So that's me in a real small nutshell.

Robby Barbaro: Alright, and I'm going to give my story on a quick nutshell as well. I'm living with type 1 diabetes, just like Cyrus I've been following the low-fat, plant-based, whole-food diet for over 11 years now. Right here is a picture of me eating candy stripe figs, which will be coming into season very soon here. I have lots of Black Mission figs right now. And I just love sharing this lifestyle with as many people as possible, and raising awareness that fruits, potatoes, rice, beans, all that stuff is actually the solution for people living with diabetes, and there's so much confusion.

So, that's what I'm doing here. For me, it's made an amazing impact on my life, where I can eat all these foods that I love, have great blood glucose control. Knowing that I am not going to die of heart attack and all these major chronic diseases and really feeling in control of my health. So, that's me in a nutshell, and I'm going to turn it over to Adam.

Adam Sud: Hi everyone. I'm Adam Sud, my Instagram and social media handle is PlantBasedAddict. I reversed my type 2 diabetes, I've lost about 170 pounds, I got off all my oral medications and my food addictions, my depression. My erectile dysfunction, I've completely reversed. And this is my family. So, that's my dad in the middle, of course, and my mom on the right. My little sister, and then I am on the left side of your screen, and my twin brother Bobby is on the right side of your screen. And I am a seventh generation Texas Jew. I grew up eating burgers, and BBQ, and bagels, and blitzes. What I like to call the standard American diet, wearing cowboy boots.

And look, I had a great childhood, I did. I had a lot of friends, I played sports, but I ate the diet of my culture. I ate what with my parents ate, what their parents ate, what their friends ate, why would I question the diet of culture, what was being put in front of my plate, especially by my family. And they didn't know any better. But there are a few things that profoundly affected me. One, relationship with my father. And when my father was 25 years old, he lost his father to colon cancer. And as a result of that trauma, my dad becomes very fearful when he sees people that he loves, engaging in lifestyle behaviors that threaten their health.

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The other thing that happened was that, when I was about 12 years old, I was diagnosed with ADHD, and I was put on Ritalin. And so, I had a very critical father, who would a lot of times criticize me for my food choices. And I didn't understand it, because a lot of the food choices he was criticizing me for, were foods that we had in our home. And I can remember feeling really bad about myself, personally. I thought there was something wrong with me for wanting foods, that I wanted so badly, and didn't understand why there was a problem. And I felt there was something broken about me, and I became a closet eater.

And then, I had a doctor telling me there was something about me that didn't operate properly. Something that the world would not agree with. And if I wanted everything to be okay, I just had to take this pill. I was put on Ritalin. So, from that point on, whenever I saw something about myself that other people didn't like, that the world didn't agree with, I look for substance outside of myself to fix that.

And in high school, Ritalin became Adderall, and I can remember the first time I use Adderall recreationally at a party. I was an addict like that. I mean, it solved every problem that I thought I had. I was a little overweight and high school, well, Adderall is pretty much medically pure amphetamine. In fact, if you were to get a generic bottle of Adderall right now, the bottle wouldn't say Adderall, it would say “amphetamines salts”. And it made me not want to eat, it gave me boundless energy, I was the life of the party. It made me be the type of personality that my dad was. My dad and I were not really getting along very well at the time, and I thought, “If I could be more like him, maybe he would accept me”, this magic pill for me was exactly that, it was magic. And it worked.

But in college, things started to take a turn, because I was using more, and more of the drug, and I was needing more, and more of the drug, and I was running out, and needing more of it became more important to me than my classes, my friends, my family. My biggest concern on a daily basis was how much do I have, how long is it going to last, when it runs out where am I going to get it, and how am I going to get the money to get it. And so, as a sophomore in college, I dropped out, moved back to Austin and actually ended up becoming a criminal drug addict.

I was doctor shopping, It’s where you have multiple doctors prescribing you the same medication without them knowing about each other, and it's a felony. I had four doctors at one time prescribing Adderall. I was dealing and buying drugs on the street. I was stealing from people. And I also developed a secondary addiction to fast food. Now, there's a quote that says, “Nothing records the effects of a sad life so graphically as the human body”. Well, this this was me almost six years ago. I was a criminal drug addict. I was a fast food addict, and I weighed over 300 pounds.

Now when I say I was a fast food addict, let me explain you what my diet look like. I would get up in the morning and I would have for potato, egg and cheese breakfast tacos. Then for my first lunch, I would get two double quarter pounder meals from McDonald’s, with the fries and the sodas. For my second lunch, I would go to What-A-Burger and get the honey BBQ chicken strips sandwich meal. For my dinner, I would get an extra-large pizza with beef from Papa John's, with the side of the chicken strips and the honey mustard dipping sauce. Then I would go back to What-A-Burger at about three in the morning and get three of their breakfasts in a bun sandwiches with sausage. During the course of the day, I would drink about 15 sodas.

When I say I was a drug addict, the typical dose for Adderall that’s prescribed to a person is usually between 20 and 40 milligrams, so let's just call it 30 milligrams. For the last five, maybe even more years of my addiction, I was doing 450 milligrams, 24 hour period. I would stay up for six days straight, doing 450 milligrams of Adderall a day, and by day five, without sleeping that long and doing that much drugs, I would enter into a chemically induced state of psychosis. And I would get very, very troubling OCD ticks. One of which was, for whatever reason, feeling the hair on my ear, on my right side, just absolutely bothered me so much that I remember one night I stayed up, brushing my hair forward and back, forward and back so hard, for so many hours, that when I got up to go the bathroom in the morning and looked in the mirror, all of the hair on the side of my head had been brushed away. It was completely bald.

I was having to shop at a place called Casual Male XL, because my waist size was about 50. I wasn't talking to my family, I had no job, I had no self-worth. And I can remember coming home from shopping for clothes, and being so utterly disgusted and embarrassed by myself, and I would go into the bathroom, I would stand in front of the mirror, and I would take my shirt off and I'd look at myself in the mirror, and I'd look at this person that I didn't even recognize as myself, let alone it almost didn't look human. I was looking like a hoarder. I wasn't bathing, I wasn't showering, I wasn't brushing my teeth. I had sores, and stretch marks, and rashes all over my body. And I look at myself in the mirror and I'd start to hit myself as hard as I could over, and over, and over again. Until I collapsed on the floor. I'd be in tears. And I would do this on a week to week basis.

And I was almost 30 years old, I'd already started to develop erectile dysfunction. I had all these cuts and wounds on my legs that weren't healing for reasons I didn't understand at the time. And I mentioned my twin brother earlier, and growing up with him, he and I've shared a lot of our depression together. And in college, I can remember coming up to him saying, “I think that things are getting really bad for me, and I don't think I can survive this life If I ever lose you. If I make a promise to you that no matter how bad things get for me, that I'll never attempt suicide or commit suicide, would you please make that promise to me.” And one night in this apartment, I broke that promise to my brother, and I attempted suicide by overdose.

I grabbed a handful of pills off that table, and I popped them in my mouth, because I felt there was no possible way for things to ever get any better for me. And in order for me to stop being a burden on myself, and the rest of the world, I needed it to end. And I tried to stand up, and I passed out on the floor, and vomited. I somehow regained consciousness in that pile of trash, in a puddle of vomit, surrounded by all of that fast food garbage and empty pill bottles, and realize that no matter what happened to me, if I didn't change anything, the future was going to be my parents spending the rest of their lives asking themselves why I felt I needed to eat and drug myself to death. And I decided I wasn't going to do that.

I checked into rehab, and while I was there I was diagnosed with type two diabetes, my fasting blood glucose with close to 400, I had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, suicidal depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, ADHD, and also sleep disorder. I was put on a cabinet of medications, 2 diabetes medications, blood pressure medication, antidepressants, mood stabilizers, ADHD medication, sleeping medications, anxiety medications, and I felt utterly worthless because my dad had given me the opportunity to go hear Rip Esselstyn speak about a year before my suicide attempt.

Rip Esselstyn is the founder of Engine 2, and he promotes a plant-based diet for the reversal chronic Western disease. And I learned from him that every single one of these chronic disease diagnosis that I was getting was 100% my fault. It was all due to the things I chose to put on my plate, and I took responsibility for the very first time. And I had a phone call with my dad, and he helped me realize that because I was the problem, I get to be the solution. And I decided that I was going to implement a plant-based diet into my addiction recovery in order to survive my recovery. Because look, the facts were, if I just got sober, I was probably going to die in five years from my chronic disease. I certainly wouldn't be living.

And so, when I got out of rehab, I moved into sober living, transition to a plant-based diet. In six months, my diabetes was completely gone, my blood pressure was completely reversed, my erectile dysfunction was completely gone. I lost over 100 pounds in 10 months. And within one year, I was off every single medication I was prescribed in rehab, including the antidepressants, the mood stabilizers, the sleeping medications, the anxiety medications and the ADHD medications. My new life is obviously something that I could never have imagined possible. If you would have asked me six years ago where I thought I would be, this would’ve never even entered scope of possibilities.

My new life consists of being able to speak with people, like yourself, right now and be a part of a group called Mastering Diabetes, where I'm a health coach with three of my favorite people on the planet, Robby, Cyrus and Kylie. It's a dream come true to be a speaker for, not only for them, but also for Rip Esselstyn Engine 2 Total Health Immersion and Events. I'm a member of the Total Health Immersion team for Whole Foods Market, that promotes and supports immersion retreats for people to come for seven days and learn how to reverse chronic disease on a plant-based diet.

I'm active every single day, and I'm telling you, today I'm not doing things I never thought of doing, today I'm actually capable of doing things I never thought I would ever be able to do. I have a life goal of eating more sweet potatoes than anyone in history, but I'm pretty sure that Setareh is beating me in that one, by a wide margin.

So, I'm going to tell you guys some of the tools that I use, in order to get from being sick and dying to healthy and thriving. And it started with a personal commitment. And you probably heard it, phrases like “You have to identify your why”, so I looked at my situation, when I moved into sober living and started transitioning this lifestyle, it was not easy. It was really, really difficult. And I had to think about, why was I willing to do this? What motivated you, or what has motivated you to make this change? What motivated me to make this change? Alright, so I didn't want to be a diabetic. Pretty sure a lot of people don't want to be a diabetic. Why not? I didn't want to be overweight. I'm sure if you ask a lot of people who are overweight, “Do you want to be overweight?”, they'll say no. Okay, great. Why not? I also didn't want to die. I don't believe anybody really wants to die. Why not? What about your life do you love enough to make this change, in order to experience it more completely? What were these diagnoses? What was the diabetes, the obesity, and the risk of death threatening to take away from me, that mattered so much to me, that I was going to learn to choose between what I wanted now and what I wanted most. And what you want most is that “why”, and I really believe it's very, very, very important to make sure that you can identify that “why”.

Also I think it's very important to understand your compulsions. Alright, so I'm going to talk about The Pleasure Trap. And The Pleasure Trap is a book that's written by Doug Lisle and Alan Goldhamer, and they write about a question: If we know what to do to be happy and healthy, why is it so difficult to do this? When I was in sober living, I would get up every single day in the beginning of my transition, and I would literally start crying before I ate a meal, because I was facing this question every single day. I knew that the sugary cereals, that the cheeseburgers, that the pizza, if I kept eating it, I was going to die. And if I didn't eat the oatmeal, and the beans, and the broccoli, and the fruit, if I ate those things, I knew if I ate those, my life would get better. Why did I not want to do it? Then I read this book. I'm going to explain to you the basics of it.

So, I think it's important to understand the nature of compulsion. So here's The Pleasure Trap, and the way that this works is, you're going to see this line here on this graph, and you see the line goes up and then down, and then down, and then back up. What that is, is your pleasure response to food. So, in the first section, we're going to see that when all animals on this planet are born, enjoying the foods that they have evolved from nature to eat. So, actually, when we're born, we actually have a taste for plant foods. So this section, you see the normal pleasure response, the normal dopamine response that we get from food. And dopamine is the chemical that is released in the brain, that causes the euphoric experience we would call “pleasure”.

And what I didn't know was that pleasure, the purpose for pleasure, is to indicate to us that we have found something in our environment that is biologically beneficial for us. So, we eat these foods, we eat a whole, natural plant food, we like it, and we get a normal response. But then we're going to do something in phase two, we're going to introduce supernormal foods. Junk food. Pizza, burgers, ice cream, foods that are really, really concentrated in oil, salt, fat, and sugar. Foods that have a lot more calories per bite, and look what happens, there's a lift in the pleasure experience. And your body's going to go, “Wow! That's really good. That must be the right thing to do. We have to keep doing that”.

Everything about your biology, when we eat that first cheeseburger, and we have that first lick of ice cream, your body's biology literally goes “Bra-vo! You keep doing that. Because if you keep doing that, we're going to stay alive. And we're going to be able to procreate, and keep our genes here on the planet”. But what we're going to find out is we don't stay there. We're going to go into Phase Two, and what happened in phase two, is a process called “neural-adaptation of habituation”, anytime the brain experiences a supernormal stimulus. Stimulus that is outside the bounds of normal human experience. Our receptors are going to defend themselves against that supernormal stimulus, and they're going to start to attack them down, and these receptors are going to start to get numb. You can experience this, if you walk into someone's house, and they're cooking some festive food and the smell is really intense for about 15 minutes, then you really don't notice it anymore. That's exactly what we're talking about. So now, to get the normal experience that we always got from food, we have to eat food that's super rich. We have to eat a burger in order to experience pleasure from food.

And you do that for a while, and then you end up in a situation like I was in. Where I was obese, I had diabetes, I had heart disease, I had erectile dysfunction. And I say, “I've got to do something about this”. And luckily I hear someone like Rip Esselstyn, or Robby and Cyrus, Mastering Diabetes. And they say, “Okay, okay, if you do this, your life will get better. Your health will get better. If you stop eating the burgers, and you eat the mangoes, your health will get better”. And this is what happens.

When we switch back to eating whole-plant foods that have a lower dopamine response, and we've been habituated to foods that have a higher dopamine response, we see what happens, we get a low pleasure response from food. And so, now we have the answer to the question that we started with: If we know what to do to be happy and healthy, why is it so difficult to do it? Well, because when we're in phase one, and we go to phase two, when we do the wrong thing, it feels right. And when we're in phase three, we go to phase four, we do the right thing, and it feels wrong. Every single thing about our motivational system, has been turned against us in this situation. The modern environment has designed foods that fool our motivational system into believing we're doing the right thing, when in fact we're doing the wrong thing. Well, how do you get out of it?

You go through a period of time called “Recovery”, where anytime you put sensors under deprivation, they start to regain sensitivity, and healthy food starts to taste good again. It's a process that takes about two to three weeks for it to happen, but it happens to everybody. What I learned from understanding this was that, this was simply a biological problem that had to work itself out. That my compulsions were not a lack of willpower, or moral fiber, they are a normal response to the environment that you've been living in. The reason why I wanted to eat those cheeseburgers every day, it was because my body knew that those were part of my normal environment. I've been eating them whenever I felt sad, or angry, my body said, “Go eat that burger! That's going to make you feel better. You know what to do. Keep doing that”.

And so, it helped me understand that I'm not broken. The reason why I was 300 pounds, and had type 2 diabetes, it wasn't because there's anything wrong with me, it's because that's what happens when you eat 6000 calories of fast food and drink 15 sodas a day. There's nothing wrong with me at all. In fact, my body was functioning normally, given the environment that I chose to live in, there's nothing wrong with you at all, it eventually wouldn't be a chore. Then there will come a day, when I actually was going to look forward to this lifestyle, and eventually I was going to get up, the idea of ever going back to it was going to it, was going to be as difficult as it is right now, at that time, to change to the new diet. And I knew that in order to achieve this, I had to get up and do one thing, and to be comfortable being uncomfortable. If I could do this, I would eventually get to that point where I liked these foods. I knew it was possible, the biology is pretty sound, all I had to do is be comfortable being uncomfortable long enough for it to happen. And that was going to be my goal. And I was going to create an environment for positive change in order to make that happen. So I want to talk a little bit about creating an environment for positive change.

In my opinion, preparation beats motivation any day of the week. I don't care how motivated I am one day, it does not guarantee me that I'm going to be motivated the next day. So, I knew exactly what I was going to eat a day ahead of time, a week ahead of time. I had a written meal plan. I said, “This is what I'm going to eat, and this is how I'm going to be successful”. And that allowed me to rely less on impulse, when I entered the kitchen, and more on a written plan, that I had set forth. There's a lot of research out there that shows that, when we operate from our basal ganglia, which is the part of the brain where habits are formed, that we actually can turn goal directed actions, like preparing a meal, into a habitual response. And I wanted that to happen with me for food. When I walked into the kitchen, I didn't want to think about it. I just wanted to go straight for the fruit, the oats, the beans, and potatoes.

Think of it like this. If you go into your office, and you turn on the light in order to see what's in your office, you do it over, and over, and over again. And then one day you go in, and you turn the light switch, and the light bulb goes out. The next day, you come into your office, what do you do? Flip the light switch. Now, you know, the light bulb was out. You didn't do it because you thought the light bulb would come on again, you did it because it was a habitual response. Your brain had created a habit where, when you enter the room, that's just what you do, you turn the light switch on. I wanted that process to happen for me with food. And in order to do that, I couldn't rely on impulse, I had rely on a plan. And I kept it simple.

I wasn't trying to rely on fancy recipes. In fact, my goal was not to try every low-fat, whole-food, plant-based recipe on the planet. My goal was simply to be successful, and allow my body to show me what it was capable of, if I ate this low-fat, whole-food, plant-based diet, hundred percent of the time.

And so that's what I did. And I saw this is an amazing tool. And I kept it simple in another way. I said, “I'm going to do for seven days. And at the end of that seven days, I'm going to see what I liked, see what I didn't like, I'm going to make adjustments”. I used it as a series of seven day experiments. I was never planning on eating this way for the rest of my life. Because that was irrelevant. As long as I did it today, the rest of my life would take care of itself. That's all I needed to focus on. What do I have to do today? I think of it like climbing a mountain. If you’re going hiking, you're hiking up a mountain, you know, it's never actually necessary to look at the top of the mountain in order to get there. I only have to look at the part of the trail that I have to hike right now. I use that same analogy when it came to conquering my diabetes and obesity. I only have to focus on what I have to do today, in order to be successful. If I do that every day, the rest will take care of itself.

So, regardless of my emotional situation, I was in therapy four or five hours a day, for four months while I was in sober living. And I would come home pissed off at the world, angry at my dad, angry at myself, angry at my therapist for wanting me to accept that I was an angry, entitled, arrogant, spoiled drug addict. And in typical angry, entitled, arrogance, spoiled fashion, I would throw up a finger and start walking out Santa Monica Boulevard. And those days were rough. But I knew, if I had a plant-based environment, at the end of the day, no matter how bad I felt, I was still going to make that change in my life. I knew that I would wake up tomorrow healthier than I was today. And that gave me a lot, a lot of motivation to keep moving forward. And it helped me learn how to create self-care and self-love. And I really believe that what we put on our plate are acts of self-care and self-love. Because self-care and self-love are daily actions. They're not dependent on anybody else's opinion, any successes that you've gotten, they are daily actions that show you that you care about your life, and that you love your life.

When I got up every single day, and I prepared a meal on a plate that was about health and wellness, that was about creating a healthier version of myself today than I was the day before, that was an act of self-care. That was an act of self-love. That was me saying to myself, “Today, I'm choosing to recover.” And believe me, when I got up, I made sure, and I made an affirmation, and set intentions, and said “Today is about recovery. Mind, body, and spirit.” And so, the actions that I put on my plate are going to represent that. And then, I would get out of bed and I would start my day.

I set my intentions from the minute one of the day, on how I was going to act throughout the day, in order to achieve what I wanted most. And they are. Those actions are those affirmations. They’re affirmations through actions that create change.

I've learned that I've only had two problems in life. One was that I didn't know how to live as a physical person. The only way that I knew how to live as a physical person was killing me, it was causing me to be sick, it was causing me to be obese, and it was giving me heart disease. And I was dying at age 30. I also didn't know how to live as an emotional person. The only way I knew how to live as an emotional person, was making me angry and entitled, and arrogant, and was part of the reasons why I needed to numb myself out with drugs. Once I accepted that I didn't know how to live as a physical or emotional person, and I didn't know any other way to do it, I was able to let my ego, and drop my guard long enough, in order to be vulnerable, and say, “I'm willing to try something else”. And once I did that, I realized that I had incredible potential to make daily positive change.

And I want to say that, when I was doing this, I had a mindset where I wasn't trying to run from my destructive life, it wasn't about hating my way out of a bad situation, it was about accepting my new way of life, and loving myself into a positive situation. Because I know that hate, self-hate, got me into my destructive lifestyle. Self-love was the only thing that was going to get me into a positive and constructive lifestyle.

Expressing gratitude for me is vital. And I'm very grateful that I've ever weighed 300 plus pounds, that I ever had type 2 diabetes, that I ever had heart disease, erectile dysfunction. That I ever had a drug addiction, and even ever attempted suicide. Because all of those things have allowed me to become the person that I am today, and recognize the amazing gift that this life can be.

And one huge thing I've learned is that we are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit. If I get up every single day, and I prepare a meal on a plate, that is about health and wellness, it is about creating a healthier version of myself today than I was the day before. And if I get up every single day, and I'm committed to my recovery, if I can get up every single day, and be of service to another person, and at the end of that day, I am a happy, healthy, sober person, who's of service to other people. And that is really the type of person that I want to be.

And the last thing I've learned is that the simplest change on your fork can make the most profound change of your life. I know it has, for me, I know it can for anybody, because there's nothing that separates me from you. I'm a human, you're a human. What I'm capable of, everyone else is capable of it. Simply identifying what is it that you love enough about your life, that you're willing to be comfortable with being uncomfortable long enough, in order to experience it more completely. I’m telling you that this program works, everybody is capable of it, there's nothing broken about you, your body is operating exactly the way it's supposed to, given the environment that we have created for ourselves. Give your body the opportunity to show you what it's capable of, by changing your environment. Live in plant-based, low-fat environment for just enough time for your body to say, look what they're capable of.

And I'm telling you, you're gonna surprise yourself with what you are actually capable of, with this simple change of what's on your fork. And, I gotta say, it really is the greatest pleasure for me to come in here and share my story, and be of service to you guys, and be of service to Mastering Diabetes, and be of service to myself, because things like this, keep me humble, they keep me sober. This for me, is a lot of my recovery, and I really appreciate the opportunity to be here and share this with you all.

Robby Barbaro: Adam, your story gets me every single time.

Adam Sud: Thank you, Robby.

Robby Barbaro: I mean, it's so good. It's so good. So inspiring, so inspiring.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: Adam, at the very beginning of this whole presentation, you talked about your why. Determining that this was the most important thing for you, and it gave you a very strong conviction to want to follow through, because that's a very, very, very important question to be able to answer very clearly. And the more clear it is for you, I guarantee you, the easier it's going to be for you to follow through in changing your lifestyle, and transforming yourself to be the person that you want to be.

Adam Sud: And I'll give you example, I'll tell you the why that I told myself when I got into it, remember, of course, the goal was not to reverse the diabetes, the heart disease. Those things had to happen in order to achieve the overall goal, which was my why, and that was to be able to be in a room with my parents and my brother, and be the most authentic version of myself. And finally, not try to be taking from somebody else. I wanted to be in a room and experience them from an honest place, and let them experience who I was from an authentic place. I wanted them to know who I could truly be, in order to do that, I needed to reverse diabetes, the obesity, the heart disease, and the addiction, and the self-hatred. It's all those things that were removed by focusing on that overall why. That's how it was going to get there.

It wasn't about “What do I need to do to reverse diabetes?”, it was “What do I need to do to finally be my authentic self?”. And I created these very short-term goals. Like I said, I made it a set of seven day experiments, that strung together 10 months, a year, of recovery. But I was never thinking, “All right, I got to do this for a year”. No, I don’t. I've got to do this today, tomorrow, and that's it. If I keep doing that, I will be successful.

I like to say that I learned how to find the joy in owning my health and wellbeing through a plant-based diet. Because if I can do that, everything else will take care of itself. And that's really the key to it. If you don't love this, if you can't find a way to be inspired and empowered by your own actions, and find a way to, when you look at that that candy stripe fig, your whole world lights up. If you can do that, everything else will fall into place guarantee.

Robby Barbaro: That’s so beautiful. Adam, I just want you to know there was an overwhelming number of comments saying how amazing and touching your presentation was. Clap, clap, clap. People just thanking you for sharing. So, a lot of beautiful feedback here.

Adam Sud: Thank you. I appreciate it.

Robby Barbaro: Alright guys, so, I told you in the beginning here that we have a very, very special offer. I'm going to say about that shortly. Before we get there, we want to explain how our Coaching Program can help you make these “why”s become a reality. These goals that are being written in here. Let's do this together. So, let me explain to you what we've made here.

So, we have first, the Online Group Coaching Program to teach you how to maximize your insulin sensitivity. So, that is exactly what Adam has done here. You saw he lost over 170 pounds, he doesn't need medication anymore, because the insulin his body's producing is now sufficient for him to be not any medication and have perfect blood glucose. And that's where we want to get you guys, okay.

So, what do you get to eat on this program? We're going to make it very simple for you to understand and implement in your life. There's a green light category. This is where you get to eat as much as you want. Your body will tell you when you've had enough. It's very, very difficult, close to impossible, to overeat on these foods. So, we have fruits, then we have non-starchy vegetables. Those are things like zucchini, eggplant, cauliflower, broccoli, all right. Then we go into starchy vegetables. Yes, potatoes, butternut squash, these foods you can eat as much as you want. Yams, okay? Very delicious, very satisfying foods. Now we go into beans, lentils and peas. Black beans, pinto beans, red beans, red lentils, green lentils, green peas, are in this program.

Green leafy vegetables. That's things like lettuce, arugula, Swiss chard. Very flavorful greens, especially the stems of Swiss chard can be used in your dressing, and it's giving you a super salty taste. Really, really healthy ways to use these foods. Intact whole grains. That's things like brown rice, quinoa, millet, okay. “Intact” is the key word there. And then herbs and spices. These give your foods a bunch of flavor, a bunch of antioxidants. Cyrus's loves to go to town with his herbs and spices. They're very, very fun.

Now, the yellow light category. This is very important category, and we make it very clear to end any confusion here, so you know exactly what to do. Nuts, seeds, avocados, coconut meat, and olives. These are all whole plant foods that are healthy. They're good. There's benefits to them. But the issue is, you can't eat too much of them, all right? You can't just sit down, and go watch a movie with a bowl of cashews. You're going to eat too many. You could sit down and watch a movie with a bowl of potato fries. No question. Now these foods are simply too high in fat, they should be eaten in smaller quantities. Pastas are okay. Things like brown rice pasta, I'm sure you've all seen it at the grocery store. That's still a healthy food. That's good. It can be part of the Program in reversing insulin resistance, helping you reach your ideal weight. But it's still better to eat the whole food, whatever it was made out of. So, for example, brown rice, whole brown rice would be better in that case.

Breads. A lot of people ask about breads. Breads, if you're going to consume them, here in the yellow light category, they're going to be sprouted breads. So, again, whatever that Bread was made out of, it'd be better to have the original one. So, example oat groats, instead of an oat bread, you'd have oat groat. That's the intact whole grains form, right. And the problem with bread is that, it is higher and calorie density, it's almost double for most of the original intact whole grain, and it's also raises your blood glucose very quickly because of the processing. It's the surface area. Just imagine an analogy. Imagine you looked at a big ice cube sitting on your driveway, just a giant ice cube, and it would slowly melt and eventually the water would just seep into the ground essentially. But, if you took that ice cube, and you broke it up into a bunch of little shards, it was just spread out all over the driveway, it would melt immediately, it would be gone dramatically. That's what's happening when you're processing the bread, and creating all this extra surface area. So, it's not good for managing blood glucose. That's why it's better to eat the whole food.

Now red light category here. These are foods you really want to avoid. All animal products, dairy products, eggs, red and white meat, fish, shellfish, these foods are a problem. Oils of any kind, this is the most processed food on the entire planet. It is the most calorie dense food on the planet, over 4000 calories per pound. And it's very, very troublesome when it comes to insulin resistance. Refined sugars, obviously, those are no good. Nobody's arguing that table sugar is good for somebody’s health. Pastries and breads, those are no good either, there's a bunch of fat, sugar and salt all combined. It's not good. You want to keep that out of your diet.

So, that's really the basic program. These are the fundamental principles that lead Adam to where he is today. And we teach you how to implement them in a very simple way.

Here are pictures of more vibrant meal. So, you have a bean dish in the upper right corner. I think it's a chickpea burger in there. You have some fruit salads, you have a soup, you have a corn dish. These green light foods turn into amazing dishes that are very satisfying. We got one more slide here Adam, more fruit. We are very fruit friendly here at Mastering Diabetes. Adam, I've seen him go to town on fruit. And he doesn't have to think about his blood glucose because he's eating whole fruit, and he has reversed his insulin resistance. And we can help you get there too.

Here's how our Program works. We provide you with three powerful tools. So, the first one is an Online Course, we're going to go into each one of these in detail. And it's laid out in a way that is very simple, step by step. It's not overwhelming, that's the key. The second thing here is, we have a community. So you'll see here, it says a private Facebook community, but we also have a place if you don't use Facebook, to interact with our community and get direct access to our coaches on a daily basis. We're going to go into that in detail in a moment here. And the third tool is we do live Q&A calls. We actually have our next one coming up this Sunday. So, let's talk about each one of these tools in detail.

So the first tool here, the Online Course is accessible on all devices. It's very easy to access. And it's, again, laid out in a super simple, non-overwhelming way. You just take it one step at a time, and you go through it. And it's very easy. The whole point of this lifestyle changes Adam was saying, is to make it simple, and to make it last for the long term. It's not about complex recipes, and buying complex kitchen devices and going out, you know, doing all this crazy stuff. It's very simple. So in the beginning, we're going to start out with just changing breakfast. And that's laying the foundation that's setting your goals. And then once we've mastered breakfast, we're going to move into lunch. And we're giving you recipes all along the way. And tips for how to navigate this meal, whatever meal you're changing in your life. That's the whole point of this Coaching Program, is to cater to you, and your needs, and make this process not overwhelming.

So, as you can see on the screen, we go through the process, we clean out your pantry later in the course. Then, once you've gotten ready to try intermittent fasting, we play around with that. Fitness comes down the line. We don't want to change too many things at once. We get into some logistical Food Buying, and navigating social situations. All in a step by step manner, okay.

So, you got the online course. You have all the information you need, all the tools, all your questions answered there, about the how to do the program. Now, inevitably questions are going to come up. So, we have developed a way for you to get your questions answered within 24 hours. That's the way we set this up. So we are there with you every step of the way. You can do it on Facebook, or you can do it inside the Online Course, you don't need a Facebook account to access our coaches on a daily basis. And Adam is one of our coaches. I was just looking before this webinar, checking on things, and looking inside Teachable and everything. And I saw Adam just answering to a bunch of people. Adam Sud, right here, the guy on this webinar, sharing his experience, and his wisdom with people inside the Teachable Online Course.

So, we have that offering now. It's brand new, and we want everybody to be able to access this information and get their questions answered. And that's the point, so the online course again, it's very simple, easy to understand, but we know you're going to have nuanced questions about you, and your medication, and your work schedule, and the food that's available in your area. And that's why we have this second tool. So you can go to the next slide, Adam.

So, in the Facebook group, for those of you who do use Facebook, you will see lots of success stories. You'll see this inside teachable as well, as you scroll through the forum area. And you'll see success story, after success story, after success story. So, we have over 1400 members now in this Coaching Program. And every day, I'm telling you, we get a new successor. A new person who joined a couple months ago, went to the doctor, got new labs and is happy to report the amazing results. And when you see that, it's very motivated. It's very motivating. It's encouraging, it's inspiring, and helps you get through the tough times, and really get back on track, and stick with it. So, that's a really added benefit here of being a part of a community.

And again, we know lifestyle change is not rainbows and unicorns, there's going to be challenges. We all had our challenges. And I wish I had this type of system when I was making my lifestyle changes 11 years ago. It's a safe place to ask, and reach out, and use it as accountability. That's what we're here for. These are the posts that get the most support, the most interaction. It's really beautiful to see how supportive and loving our community is. It's very well moderated. There's really no rubbish happening in our community. So, it's a safe place.

Okay, our third tool, we have live Q&A calls. So, we use a software called Zoom. And this is where you get to see me, or Cyrus and our coaches. We're on one of these calls, it's on the first and third Sunday. We have another one coming up this Sunday. So, you can come join us this Sunday. We have actually special guests. I can't announce who it is, but we have a very special guest on our live Sunday Q&A call. And what we do here, on these calls, is we answer any question.

There is no question that's off limits in our Facebook group, in our Online Course, or on these calls. And we love to interact, and answer questions that come up. So, some people might be asking me about reducing Metformin, how do you do that? What's a safe way? And we can talk about that on the call, we can share experiences of other clients that we have coached. We're not medical doctors, so we can't actually change your medications. But I will say a quick side note there, we are developing a group of doctors, that we can connect you with, who can work with you remotely. So, we actually just connected a client to a doctor in Florida, and he had an amazing call with the doctor. It was just a video call, and he got some medications they needed, some tests to be run. So that's another thing we're offering and helping you with in our Coaching Program now, is helping you connect with doctors.

So, on these Q&A calls, we can talk about exercise, we can talk about talking to family, and you can hear tips from us. It's really a very fun time. And lot of people come and sometimes just learn, and just listen. And you can do that as well. But they're really, really valuable calls.

So I want to talk about the pricing of this. So, boy, the value of our program is unbelievable. So the Online Course itself, all the hours and years of work Cyrus and I put into building that is worth at least 1200 dollars. The next item here is the coaching. Every single day, 365 days a year, to have a coach answering your questions. I was there on Christmas Day this past year. It doesn't matter what holiday it is. We're there. We love helping you guys, and we're going to be there every step of the way, that's worth at least $1,000. The next item we have on here is the content. So, we are putting out new recipes, new meal tutorials, shopping tips. I just made a video about buying some produce that's coming in season, a couple days ago. We're making these tips run on a regular basis, that's worth at least 1500 dollars. Now the Q&A calls, we have me and Cyrus and other coaches present, and special guests sometimes, that's valued at least $1200 dollars. Add that up, and you get at least $4900. You're going to be amazed at what the actual price is.

But before we get to that we have, like I said, some of the best bonuses ever. So Adam, let's start showing them the bonuses here. So, number one is, we also offer small group coaching. So, this happens every single week, with a very small group of people. So there's no more than 10 people to a coach, usually a little bit less, quite actually. And you have Adam Sud on those calls, and you have Kylie Buckner on those calls as well. Okay, this is a very, very valuable program. It's such a great jumpstart for you to get that accountability week by week, and the coaches really going into detail what's happening for you, they set goals for you. And then the check in next week. You come and report to them, you know what's happening, it's really valuable. This is a great opportunity to jumpstart your program, and take advantage of our small group coaching. So, if you sign up because you're on this webinar, you're going to get that as a bonus for joining our Coaching Program.

Here's the kicker guys. Bonus number two, Adam is going to reveal for us, is the biggest bonus we've ever added here. We're going to give away both of our Summits, the 2017 and 2018 Summit. For those who join our yearly Coaching Program. This is a value over $294 here. These Summits are life changing, the interviews are priceless. It's hard to put a price on it, but we have to. So, you get over 25 hours in the in the 2017. And then in 2018, many new experts, over 35 hours of life changing information on all the nuances in different topics. Teaching about heart disease and cholesterol. And we have Rick Dina talking about essential fatty acids for an entire hour, really getting into the nuances, so you can understand this.

Okay, so if you sign up tonight. Click the link, that we're going to load up here in the offer box, and you will get all of this as a free bonus for joining the Coaching Program. So, let me make sure you have that opportunity to click the link. I'm going to make sure it's here. There we go. So, “Join Now”, it should be a link that popped up. It's $249, you can go the next slide Adam, $249 to be a member of the Coaching Program for the entire year. The whole thing is worth over $5,000. When you add all this together, you go the next slide Adam, but we're going to give it to you for $249. That's literally less than 70 cents per day, to completely take control of your diabetes health.

I mean a lot of cases, you're spending more money on your medication hoping for this, and let alone all the other expenses involved with your health, and not feeling well, not having a community. You get all this, $419 worth of bonuses for $249. And I'm going to tell you guys something here, this price is not going to stay this low for much longer. We've had our Program priced at an incredibly low, affordable rate for about a year now. And that's going to change very soon. So, you really want to take advantage of this offer. This is the best offer we will ever, ever, ever have, I'm not kidding. The pricing structure is going to change. So if you want to take advantage of what we have here, now is the time. Now is the time to jump in, and make the change. Join Adam, join Kylie, join me, join Cyrus, let's do this together. Just click the button in the lower part of your screen, “Join Now”. And you’re going to save a lot of money, you’re saving over 30% on the regular price, and getting $419 worth of bonus material. Take advantage of it guys.

So, Adam, a question for you. What was your most difficult challenge in transitioning to a high-carb, low-fat lifestyle?

Adam Sud: Well, I have to say, okay, it was a mindset thing, right. So, I was in a sober living facility surrounded by a bunch of 20 something year old guys, probably like anywhere from 10 to 12 at any given time, because people were coming and going. 20 something year olds, eating whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted. And most of them were really fit and healthy looking, and attractive. And I would get up every single day. And I have to be going through not only addiction recovery, and getting off of drugs, but also having to completely change the way I fed myself. And I would look at these people, and I would say to myself, how lucky are they. How lucky are they that they get to eat whatever they want, whenever they want, and they get to look like that. And a lot of it was having to reframe the way that I thought about myself. And I allowed myself to understand how lucky I was, that I was in a situation where my body said, “This is what you're doing to yourself. And if you make this change now, you have so much of your life left to live happy and healthy. You are in this situation as a gift”. And I took every negative situation, every negative thought that came in, and I reframed it in a way that I saw it as an opportunity for me to invite positivity into my life.

The food was… It was difficult, it was. And I kept it very, very, very simple. I literally ate the same food every single day, for every single meal, for 10 months. And I'm not saying that you have to do that. But I'm saying I did that, because I didn't want it to be so complicated. I wanted the food to be the tool that I use to create the life that I want. I didn't want to have the food be necessary for me to enjoy the life that I had. There's a great quote it says that, “We're not so much looking for the meaning of life, as much as we are the experience of being alive”. And I wanted food to create an opportunity for me to feel alive, every single day. And if that meant for one day I had to be really angry, and I had to, you know, throw a temper tantrum and a fit, because I was really dealing, I was an emotional wreck. I had to go through a day where it was really tough, I was going to be willing to do that.

But it's all about how I viewed myself and my situation, and stopped comparing it to others, and the rest of the outside world. Because the outside world was really judging me for wanting to do this. And I had to say, you know, look at me, I'm in this amazing situation where I've heard this message that most of these people haven't heard. I know I'm capable of it, and I can change my life today. If I eat these foods, at the end of the day, I'll be healthier than I was yesterday. And that is an amazing opportunity for me to develop self-worth.

So I wouldn't say it was really the food that was hard, because look, I mean, all of us eat three times a day. Eating is very simple, it's deciding why you want to change what you're eating that was hard. I used to attend Robert Downey Jr's AA meetings, and he used to say that getting sober is easy, staying sober is easy, because all I have to do is not use. Deciding that I want to stay sober was the hard part. And that's when I bring in that “why”, when I can have that at the forefront of my mind, that was why I was going to be willing to do it every single day. And so, I wouldn't say it was any one thing, it was more the daily mental situation that I had to reframe every single day.

Robby Barbaro: It's beautiful. I love it. Okay, we have one person, Susan is asking us, how can she stop beating herself up when she makes an unhealthy choice?

Adam Sud: Well, I would say you, again, offer yourself the opportunity to forgive, nobody's perfect. I'm not perfect, Robby is not perfect. Cyrus isn't perfect. We're all stronger than that, right? You have an opportunity. You've been given this information, you can follow this plan, and you will make mistakes. People make mistakes. But mistakes aren't failures. They're learning opportunities. There are opportunities for you to say, “Okay, what happened right here? Why was I not able to do what I wanted in order to stay in alignment with what I'm trying to achieve? What happened? I'm going to learn from this, this is not a bad thing. This is actually a really good thing that just happened because now I can prepare for it in the future. No one's perfect. I'm not perfect.” Just recognize that mistakes aren't failures, they're learning opportunities.

And it's always the majority of what you do, that will create the life that you live. If you make a mistake every now and then, learn from it. If most of what you do is about creating positivity in your life. At the end of the day, you're going to have a positive life. I really believe that. I think that a lot of when we embark on a lifestyle change, when we embark on a new way of eating, we believe that if we're not doing it perfect 100% of the time, then we're failing. And that's not the case. If all of us were perfect. If this were just a matter of intellect and will, then we wouldn't need this program. But we have this program, and things like this, so that we can help people understand that mistakes are necessary in order to learn how to do it in a healthier way the next time.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: We hope you enjoyed this episode, and can apply some of these principles to your personal life. Now, we have an Online Group Coaching Program that has helped thousands of people living with all forms of diabetes, reverse insulin resistance, drop their A1c, lose weight, and gain tons of energy. And also reduce their need for oral medication and insulin using, their food as medicine.

We like to call ourselves the world's most robust, and ridiculously affordable, Online Coaching Program for people with diabetes. And we've helped people living with type 1 diabetes, type 1.5 diabetes, prediabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes living all around the world.

Now we provide you with three tools that are specifically designed to put you in the driver's seat of your diabetes health. The first is an Online Course that gives you step by step instructions on how to change your diet. Starting with breakfast, then lunch, then dinner.

We teach you exactly which foods to increase, which foods to limit, and which foods to avoid entirely. The course is designed with you in mind. We provide you with relevant information, and we do our best to reduce overwhelm, because we know just how confusing the internet can be these days, when searching for simple ways to improve your blood glucose control.

The second tool is even better than the first. We provide you with access to our online community, with thousands of people that are going through this process with you. You'll be able to interact with our team of coaches, including Kylie Buckner, a Registered Nurse who is brilliant. She also happens to be my wife, and is one of the most kind and compassionate human beings that I've ever met. Adam Sud. He reversed type 2 diabetes. He lost more than 160 pounds and he de-addicted himself from both food and prescription medication at the same time.

You'll also get to interact with Mark Ramirez, who lost more than 50 pounds, reversed type 2 diabetes, and is a certified Food For Life Instructor, through the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. You'll also get the ability to interact with both Robby and myself in the online community. And we guarantee that we’ll answer your question within 24 hours to help you solve problems in real time.

The third tool is a twice monthly Q&A video conference, where you can ask our team of coaches any question that you have about your personal program, and meet others that are going through this process with you. Now, we're proud to say that our coaching program is very popular, and because of that, we've instituted a waiting list to join. The reason we created the waiting list in the first place is because we have more than 2000 active members in our program and want to provide excellent service to our existing members. You can still join the program, but in order to do so you have to put yourself on the waiting list and you'll be notified of when we open next. When we do, we'll send you a personal invitation to join.

To join the waiting list simply go to www.masteringdiabetes.org and click on Coaching in the navigation bar at the top of the screen, or click the link below in the show notes. We can't wait to help you transform your diabetes health from the inside out. We hope to see you on the inside.

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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.