MDAE E32: The Truth About Protein and Reductionist Nutrition

Article written and reviewed by Cyrus Khambatta, PhD and Robby Barbaro, MPH
Published August 20, 2018
The Truth About Protein

Podcast Transcript

Howard Jacobson: The nutrition is actually a really complex process. And giving people good nutrition by pulling out individual micro nutrients is about as smart as trying to compose a symphony by using as many D flats as Beethoven did.

Cyrus Khambatta: 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: 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 back to the Mastering Diabetes Audio Experience. Today we have a Podcast exclusive with Howard Jacobson. So Howard is the co-founder of the Big Change Program and WellStart Health. He also worked with the legend Dr. T. Colin Campbell, through his second book, Whole: Rethinking The Science of Nutrition. So if you haven't heard of T. Colin Campbell and his book, The China Study, you're definitely going to want to check that out, and get a sneak-peek at how powerful his work is. So, The China Study was a game changer. And his follow book, Whole, is an incredible book that Howard helped write. So you want to check that out.

Howard also helped Dr. Garth Davis write the book Proteinaholic. So you guys may remember Garth Davis from some of our Summit. He was in our 2017 and 2018 Summit. And he has really, really great research on protein. So Howard helped put that together. And you're going to hear him talk about all of this and his experience writing these books and his history in today's episode, so I hope you really enjoy it. I hope you find it valuable. And as always, make sure to share it with anybody you know, who you think could benefit and we would love a review if you're enjoying the Podcast. Okay, that's it. Let's get into the episode.

Howard, it's really great to have you on the Mastering Diabetes Audio Experience. Appreciate you taking the time to join us today.

Howard Jacobson: It is always my pleasure to talk to you and I love being part of an experience.

Robby Barbaro: That’s great! So, why don't you give us just a little background information? How did you get into this whole plant-based lifestyle?

Howard Jacobson: So it started in 1990, right after my father died of a heart attack. I was wandering around a Barnes & Noble. At that point, I had no interest in nutrition and health and any of that stuff. And for some reason, I pulled a book off the shelf, John Robbins, Diet for a New America. And again, no idea. So clearly forces larger than my little ego were at play here. And I devoured it. And I became, I guess you would say whole food, plant-based overnight, although, you know, I was thinking of it like vegan, no oil, no sugar. And I dropped a bunch of weight, I felt great. And I was like, Okay, this is this is the answer, this is the way to live.

And I would love to be able to tell you that it's been that way ever since, but I have this tremendous ability to forget stuff. And by the time, it was 1990, by the time my daughter was born in 1996, I had totally forgotten about this. And I remember, you know, she's, you know, 18 months, two years old, and I was like, trying to get her to eat the cheese on the pizza, like, don't take the cheese off, don't just eat the bread and the sauce. And so I completely eliminated it from my mind. And it took another couple of these sorts of episodes to get me to the place where, it's kind of who I am and what I do. So I have a lot of empathy for people who know the right answer, and still don't do the right answer.

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Robby Barbaro: Yeah. That's a fascinating topic in and of itself, right there. We’ll probably do a whole Podcast episode on that. But I know we have so much important stuff to talk about in regards to your work, and a new project you have coming up. But how long was it when you had that turning point? And you were like, you know what, I'm ready to do this. How long have you really been on the on the bandwagon here?

Howard Jacobson: So, again, these are all embarrassing questions. I was on a again at 2004, when I met T. Colin Campbell at a Vegsource conference, and heard him speak, and then bought this book, The China Study, which no one had ever heard of. And that lasted for about four years. And then I forgot again. And I was living in South Africa with my family, we were taking a year, sabbatical, to travel. And I got an email from Dr. Campbell asking if I wanted to help him edit a new book.

And that experience is what finally solidified it for me, because all the other times I hadn't dove into the research. I just, John Robbins, what a sweetheart, I love him, okay. He says a bunch of stuff, I believe him. Colin Campbell, The China Study. Wow, this guy's really smart. He puts up a lot of graphs and he seems to really care about the world. Okay, I believe him. But it really was kind of, you know, celebrity worship, more than me really looking at the facts for myself.

So, finally, working with Dr. Campbell on Whole, and really diving into the material and seeing the backstory and learning how to read the studies. That is what solidified it for me. It became mine. And so since then, since like, you know, early 2012, I really haven't beard.

Robby Barbaro: Okay. So, I know this is a very fascinating story. How you actually got involved in working with T. Colin Campbell? So, why don't you give us the whole background and how that happened?

Howard Jacobson: Yeah, I think he pulled my name out of the hat. And he'd never heard of me before. No. So, as I mentioned, I'd read The China Study when it first came out. And to give you a sense of how popular a book it was, like, you know, you put a book up on Amazon now, and you're upset if you don't have 50 reviews by the end of the day, right? Because we know how important that is. It was released in December 2004. By the end of January 2005, I finished it. And I went to Amazon to write a review. And I was the third review. So, I wrote a long review. And, the book really changed my life. It was incredibly intellectually fascinating, as well as sort of prescriptive. And so I wrote, like, I wrote my heart out. And I have to say, it was a good review. I've read it, you know, a few times since then, I'm like, yeah, I still believe this, nice turn of phrase Howie, good work.

A few months later, I got a phone call at home from T. Colin Campbell, wanting to know if I was the guy who wrote that review, and how grateful he was, because in the subsequent months, it had become something of a flashpoint for the Weston Price people to bash the book. And the Amazon reviews became this battlefield. And my review kept on getting upvoted so that it, you know, a new review would come bashing in, and then mine would float to the top.

And he kind of saw this metaphorically, like a suit of armor. And so he wanted to thank me. And we, you know, after about 10 minutes on the phone, I was able to make, like, words and sentences, and not just sort of, you know, blabber. Because this guy was like, my hero. And we were going up to Ithaca that summer. And so we arranged to meet and we became friends. And I just sort of, you know, chatted about stuff. And I guess, you know, he'd had it in his mind from that review, and from some other things that I'd written that I might be a good editor, you know, to help in polish this manuscript. So, that's how it began.

Robby Barbaro: Yeah, I mean, look at that, you never know when an Amazon review is going to lead to, you know, collaborating on future books. So, so what was next with you and T. Colin Campbell? What happened next? You started to work on Whole?

Howard Jacobson: Yeah, well, this, I mean, this speaks to his spirit, you know, he sent me a chapter and I sent him four pages back, like, this is the way I think I would work on this, this is great, because, you know, I'm sort of looking for someone just to kind of, you know, polish it a little bit. And I quoted him a price which he immediately rejected and almost doubled, because that's who he is. And we started working. And it quickly became clear that these 19 chapters, which had been written over the course of four years, didn't really make a book.

And so, I printed it all out and kind of going through and like, we agreed that this needed something more, and he was always incredibly open. And I again, I was somewhat cowed by a person of his stature, and experience, and intellect. But he kept on really pressing me, like, what do I think, what do I think about this? And so together, we created the book that turned into Whole. It's all it's all based on, you know, his ideas and understandings and theories, but I was able to put some structure to it.

And at a certain point, he came back to me and said, you know, I'm not happy with our deal, I think you need to be getting some royalties. And a few months later, he came back and said, I'm not happy with our deal, I think you need more royalties. And the final straw was, I'm not happy with our deal, I think you need to be on the cover.

Robby Barbaro: Wow, amazing.

Howard Jacobson: It was amazing, to be validated in that way, by this guy who is, you know, just my intellectual hero.

Robby Barbaro: Yeah. Wow. It's absolutely beautiful. Now, I know the content in the book Whole is really, really important stuff. So, can you tell us what that book is about and how it relates to people living with diabetes?

Howard Jacobson: Sure. So, what Colin wanted to answer in that book is, why aren't we doing anything better, when we know the answers? Like, we know how to reverse type 2 diabetes. We know how to reduce the insulin load for type 1 diabetics by probably 30%. We know how to reverse and prevent heart disease. We know how to prevent most cancers, and reverse, or put in remission some of them. Why is nothing changing?

And in the book, so it arose from this irritation, the book arose from this irritation, like we know what to do already. And we identified two culprits, and the main one is reductionism. And I imagine that everyone who has been given a diagnosis of diabetes from the medical establishment is a victim of reductionism. And I'm sure you can speak to this better than me, but, you know, you find out okay, so the problem is sugar in your diet, right. And diabetes is a disease of too much blood sugar, right? Which is, which is like saying that, you know, that car crash is a disease of have too much telephone pole on your fender, right. Oh, ok, so, the solution is, you know, don't hit telephone poles. Well, thanks, that helps.

And so then we're given reductionist solutions. So all the drugs for diabetes are designed to regulate blood sugar. Whether it's Metformin working on the liver, whether it's drugs that use other mechanisms to lower blood sugar, and because it's reductionist, they're all causing other side effects that are generally unwanted, and often inconvenient, or painful, or dangerous, right. And so, you know, I know that when you teach people about type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you explain holistically what is going on, what's the root. And once someone has that empowered cognition of the disease, then they can take smarter steps. You know, the maybe the problem with your car isn't the telephone pole, it's the fact that you were driving sleepy.

Robby Barbaro: There you go. Right, exactly. We're teaching the root cause. And then, the actual side effects are actually benefits, they're beneficial side effects.

Howard Jacobson: Exactly. So basically, nutrition as it has been taught is wrongheaded. That was the central theme of Whole, is that if we think about, you know, vitamins and minerals, and that all we need to do is get lycopene from tomatoes, and beta carotene from carrots then, why don't we just put it all in a pill? Or better yet, why don't we just dump it all in the water supply, and then people can eat whatever they want. That, the nutrition is actually a really complex process. And giving people good nutrition by pulling out individual micro nutrients is about as smart as trying to compose a symphony by using as many D flats as Beethoven did.

Robby Barbaro: Yeah. So I mean, the book Whole, I mean, that's the overarching concept of the book, which I know is, is very powerful, and it's very well laid out in the book. Obviously, we just did a short little summary here. But what else is in that book? Maybe your favorite chapter, something you want to share that our audience here living with diabetes could benefit from.

Howard Jacobson: So, the second part of the book, it gets kind of angry, ‘cause Colin was kind of angry at that point. And so we wanted to kind of target that anger where it was deserved. So the second part of the book is how, we call soft power, essentially, money, moneyed interests, benefit from this reductionism, because reductionism is a really good engine for selling stuff, right? So, like, what you sell to people, there's not that much you can sell to people. You can give them knowledge, you know, maybe you could have some plant-based meals you can give them, but your business model sucks compared to Pharma.

So, those who can and, so, if you're competing for advertising space on you know, Google and Facebook and all the places and billboards, whoever makes the most money gets to have the loudest voice. And so, I really was struck by the chapters on say, the influence of money on organizations that we think of as being, you know, good, for lack of a better word, like the American Diabetes Association. Seeing all the funding that came from businesses, to promote that their foods are good for diabetes including lots of meat, lots of dairy, the sugar free snacks. And looking at the recipes on the American Diabetes Association website, and seeing all the product placement there. So that you know, favorite not in terms of like, joyful beach reading, but in terms of empowering, and making the outrage enough to change certain things about my life. I really like those chapters.

Robby Barbaro: Yeah, I really like that point. For me, I had a personal experience, I read a book called The End of Overeating, by David Kessler. And in that book he talks about the behind the scenes work that happens for these companies, and how they, make their, they spend countless dollars trying to make foods physically addicting. They do research on it. They go far and above, you know, what’s reasonable to really try and trick us. They're really, that’s what they’re trying to do. And once I had that information, I was like, wow, I will not be, I will not be tricked, I will not support that, like that's it's just like a matter of pride, to not put that food in my body and be a part of that. So, I think I can relate to what you're saying there.

Howard Jacobson: I love that! And I one thing I learned from my business partner, Josh LaJaunie, is when people talk about, oh Snickers bars, like, I have all that, you know, it's so hard to resist, I love them so much. Like, to put it in the context that you just mentioned, the David Kessler's book or Michael Moses work with sugar, oil, salt, sugar, fat, salt, whatever, in some order of those three, that you turn around and you get outraged that you've been you know, you've basically been seduced by a pickpocket.

Robby Barbaro: Absolutely.

Howard Jacobson: You can have that moment where you think that they loved you.

Robby Barbaro: Yeah. And you read these books about how they explain, you know, the research studies they do, and the money they invest, like, really, truly to trick you, to convince you to do things that are not good for you, so that they can sell more of their product. And sell it to you like it's good for you. It's very, very frustrating.

Howard Jacobson: Right. And we live in you know a capitalist society, and they're free to do whatever they want to do to enhance shareholder value, and at this point it's up to us to say no, we're not gonna, we're not going to take it anymore. And we're gonna, we're going to, you know, go public and reveal their deception.

Robby Barbaro: Absolutely, okay. So, we're going to get to talking about Josh LaJaunie and your new business project here, but I want to go in chronological order. So, you work on this book Whole, that comes out, and what comes next?

Howard Jacobson: Well, at that point, having been on the cover, I now was sort of, a semi-known entity in the plant-based world, and I wanted to make a career leap into health. Which is, you know, I've gotten a PhD in Health Studies, and a Master in of Public Health in the late 90s. And I hadn't done anything with it in the field of health. I'd sort of flirted with health, but I went into the online marketing strategy, and business development, and performance coaching. And I really, I did that, I'm still doing it. I'm still, you know, in the process of a full transition.

But with that, what that name on the cover gave me is, now I could start speaking at veggie fests. I was invited to give a talk at the NAVS, the North American Vegetarian Society, in front of you know, hundreds of people, and I was able to network. And at that point, I started the Podcast, Plant Yourself, which originally, the whole purpose of Plant Yourself was to have an excuse to have a conversation with John Robbins. That was my goal, I wanted to be able to call him and say, I want to talk to you for an hour, and it's not just for me, but it really was.

But I found that, interviewing all these people was not only, you know, interesting, but it also created a lot of networking. And so it gave me a lot of opportunities to meet people. I went to a conference led by Engine 2, I gave a talk there, and that's where I met Garth Davis, with whom I collaborated on Proteinaholic. That was, Gosh, three years ago, two and a half, three years ago now. So, you know, sort of like clawing my way to a commercial relationship with health, where I get to do the health stuff and it actually pays my mortgage.

Robby Barbaro: Amazing. Okay, yeah. So, Garth Davis, he's been in both of our summit, 2017, 2018 Summit. He's amazing, his information is really, really powerful. Give us a quick summary of the Proteinaholic book, and how that relates to people living with diabetes.

Howard Jacobson: So Garth, for folks who don't know his story, he’s a top notch bariatric surgeon and he was, himself, following the diet that he recommended to all those patients, and it was making him sicker, and sicker, and sicker, at the point where he took a physical for life insurance policy, shortly before the birth of his first child, and he was basically rejected. Like, you know, survey says, we don't think you're going to live long enough to make this a good bet for us. So that was a wake up call.

And it's like, well, you know, where do people actually live well, and he found the Blue Zones, and he found Joel Fuhrman. And he started, you know, he's a researcher, right? He, the opposite of me, where I just took people at their word, he takes nobody at their word. He dives into the research and, you know, calls B.S., B.S. on everything that he doesn't find supported by evidence. And what he discovered changed his life. And he saw he had the power to change his patients’ lives as well.

So when people came in, either, you know, for post-surgery, consultations, or before surgery, he would tell them like, here's what you should eat, eat an apple, don't worry about the protein, just, you know, eat whole foods, whole plant foods, and that he would get their charts. And they'd come back and he looked at their food diaries, and there was like, not an apple, not a pear, not a salad. But there was plenty of meat, there was plenty of Slim Jims, there was, you know, the turkey bacon, there was the hotdog without the bun, the hamburger without the without the bun. And he's like, what's going on? And they said, Yeah, but protein. And he realized what was going on was basically an addiction to the myth of the necessity of protein. That everything, everything else was secondary to, are we getting enough protein.

So he decided he wanted to write the book that he was basically giving to every single one of his patients as a really long lecture. Like, you know what, I do this every day, it doesn't sink in. Maybe if I go back to the literature and I find 700 peer reviewed articles. And I referenced them all and I put it together in a book, then people will listen to. So that's essentially what Proteinaholic is.

Robby Barbaro: It's a very well researched book but also very easy to read so cannot recommend that enough awesome. Okay so, now you're involved with two major books in the plant-based world here. What happens next?

Howard Jacobson: So then, through Garth, I met Josh LaJaunie, who I think Garth has met through Rich Roll. He'd been on Rich’s Podcast, and there was this, you know, the side by side photo of 420 pound Josh next to Josh crossing the line at a half marathon or something. And looking at that picture, I don't know if you have a picture in your mind's eye.

Robby Barbaro: I have I seen it, I know exactly what you're talking about.

Howard Jacobson: Like I was telling you that, seeing that picture made me go, whoa, I want to meet this guy. So we connected on social media, we were both, It was kind of this awkward dance, because we're both fan blowing each other, because he's like, you helped with Whole, and I'm like, you've had the most of amazing transformation I've ever seen.

So we decided, we talked and we decided we wanted to do a book together. I thought his story was book-worthy. So he came up here, we started, we worked together for about a week, I interviewed him, and recorded it, the way I hear people do, for books like this. You know, with the other two books, the manuscripts were essentially written to some extent. And here it was a blank page, I didn't really know how to do that. So, you know, two and a half years later, I’m still half out there, so clearly I have some learning to do.

But we ended up with me being far more influenced by him, than he was by me. Where all of a sudden, I was like, you know, I've been teaching this stuff, I've been helping people, I've been coaching people, I've been coaching in the business world, it's essentially the same thing. You're just trying to get them to change behaviors to achieve better outcomes. And he had a kind of a secret sauce that he'd stumbled upon all by himself that was beyond anything that I've ever seen, or anything that I've ever studied. And in fact, it contradicted a lot of the lazy beliefs that I had. And this is another theme in my life, that I, something sounds good, and I just glom onto it, and I don't really examine it. And this was another case where all the behavioral science that I'd read really didn't help people very much.

And I saw Josh, as someone who understood things, at a deeper level. So I became his student, I asked him to coach me to run my first 50K, which, which he did, and which I did. And then at that point, we were like, you know, we really want to work on this book, but there's like, no one's paying us to do it. A bunch of editors, and publishers, and agents said, nah you know, you don't have a big enough platform, or come back later. So we decided to, to make some money by teaching.

So we started this thing we call the Big Change Program, and that ended up being the tail that wags the whole dog. Like we got a bunch of people in the Program, people were getting amazing results, not just for, like the things they came in for, you know, weight loss or disease reversal, but really life changing the way my life had been changed by Josh, and the way Josh had turned his own life around. You know, he didn't go from 420 pounds to the cover of Runners World just by, you know, having beans instead of beef, right, there was an entire identity transformation that had to happen. And that's what we started seeing.

So we've been growing that, that's really been our main efforts for the past year and a half. And in April, we joined forces with WellStart Health, which wants to take that program and bring it to corporate America, bring it to large employee groups of people who aren't, you know, whole food shoppers, who aren't Podcast listeners, who aren't bicoastal elites. But, you know, the truck drivers, and the oil rig workers, and the factory workers, and people for whom this kind of information can really move the needle in terms of health, and in terms of reducing healthcare costs for them and for employers.

Robby Barbaro: Okay, this sounds fascinating. So tell us more about the Big Change Program. What is it right now? How can people join it? Tell us everything.

Howard Jacobson: Yeah, so we, as I said, we merged with WellStart Health. And so we're still getting the marketing moved over. But if you go to BigChangeProgram.com, you can read all about it. And it's basically, you know, what I learned from Josh. Josh was living it, but he wasn't able to articulate exactly what he had done, in a way that none of us can exactly see, you know, we're all, we're all in the bottle, we can't read the label. Well, I looked at him and I read the label. And like I get how to systematize this kind of change for people. So we have three elements of the Program menu, movement, mindset.

So we teach people the basics of the plant-based diet. We explain about, you know, it's not so much about exercise, but natural human movement. Like, if you look at any animal, it's got ways of moving that it has to do if it doesn't want to die, or go crazy. Bird swim, bird swim, good, good, sound like birds fly, fish swim, kangaroos hop, snakes slither, and humans move on two legs. So to not have to be a worry about what kind of exercise you're doing. But just get moving, cover your ground, walk your territory to help become more human.

And then the mindset of course, is the biggest piece. And that's all about teaching people that these, the change is about skills. It's more like, learning how to live healthy is more like learning how to play the piano, than a moral imperative. And the people are going to try things, make mistakes, and learn from those mistakes. And everyone who comes to us has stories like, I did this for a while, and I failed, or I tried this diet, or I tried these 19 diets and they didn't stick. And it's because they, you know, it's like, every time they got up to play the piano, and they were trying to play you know, Rachmaninoff, but they'd never had a lesson, and they've never, they've never done scales. And so the Big Change Program really teaches scales. And it teaches that this is a learnable skill, and it's not about you know, character flaws or moral failings or lack of willpower or self-discipline or anything like that.

Robby Barbaro: This is terrific. So you mentioned earlier, there's a little bit of some secret sauce that Josh has, can you share some of that secret sauce with our audience?

Howard Jacobson: Uhm, if I could, I would. I mean, we know we don't keep anything secret behind the paywall of the program, the program is just the experience of working with us. One of the things I would say that, the thing that had the biggest impact on me, we ended up calling Vitamin P for pain, which I think is a bad title. But vitamin D would been better for discomfort. But vitamin D was taken.

So basically, like, I was such a wimp. And this like two years ago. Like I didn't go in the water, because water was cold and wet. And I just, I loved comfort and it didn't occur to me how entrapped I was by my love of comfort. And how not only was I unwilling to go outside of my comfort zone, physically, emotionally, and, you know, in conversations with people. But, that my comfort zone itself was an extremely tense place, because it was so damn narrow. It's like, you know, if your comfort zone is really narrow, it's like trying to walk across a 2 by 4, you know, above the canyon. You can do it, but it's much better to walk across like a, you know, a 2 by 12, or better yet a, you know, a walkway with sides.

And so even while trying to avoid stress of any kind, I was always stressed out. And what Josh showed me is to take pleasure in the discomfort, take pleasure in the experience of growing. And so because, like, here's the big problem, so if you get someone in your program, and they love the food that's gotten it's gotten them sick, let's say they're a type 2 diabetic, so we can do a direct, you know, pointing between the food and, and the disease. And they come in, and they say, but I love, you know, the meat, and the cheese, pizza, the donuts, and all this stuff. And I know I want to get better, but better is in the future, and the binge is in the present. And so, there's something called future discounting or present bias, which means whatever is in front of us looks way bigger than anything in the future.

And so, it's really hard to overcome that to say, well, I want to be healthy in the future, so I'm not going to have this milkshake, and fries, and a burger right now. But if you make it pleasurable to deny yourself, if you make it pleasurable to tough it out, to have a have a little fight, like we were saying about getting angry at the at the Snickers bars and it's making me stronger, then you've flipped the algorithm. You're no longer in present pain for future pleasure, you're now turning that present pain, into present pleasure. You're taking pleasure in you know what, I'm a badass here, I'm going to lick this thing. And that was really the biggest thing that I took from Josh, and that a lot of people take too. Because we it's not a cultural norm to want to embrace discomfort.

Robby Barbaro: Wow, that's really powerful. Well, this is great. So, if people want to find out more about this Program, they can go to bigchangeprogram.com.

Howard Jacobson: Yes. At some point that will redirect, when we get our act together on the WellStart Health platform. But if people are interested, if they’re listening to this, and they're interested in talking about employee programs, they should just go directly to wellstarthealth.com. So, our goal is on an as largest scale, as we can play to put as many chronic diseases as possible out of business.

Robby Barbaro: That's terrific. Okay. And you mentioned that you have a Podcast. So, if people want to connect with your Podcast, how can they find it?

Howard Jacobson: They can find it at plantyourself.com. We're up to episode, I think 271 this week. You and Cyrus have been honored guests, and I'd love to have you back because we didn't scratch the surface. And basically we talked about, you know, food, nutrition, behavior, nature, environment, you know, whatever interests me at the moment. And I did get John Robbins on twice.

Robby Barbaro: It is a terrific podcast. I've listened to several episodes, people definitely go and check that out. We'll link it up in the show notes. We also had one of our Mastering Diabetes team members, Tara Kemp, was on your podcast. That's a great episode.

Howard Jacobson: Yes, oh Gosh. She is so inspiring.

Robby Barbaro: Absolutely, totally. Yeah, we're lucky to have her on our team right now. And I know she's gonna go get a PhD, at Northern Arizona University. So we're super excited for her and definitely, you know, highly suggest people check out that episode. So, this has been great Howard, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us. And I just want to remind people like, check out his podcast, check out the books, I mean Whole, Proteinaholic, he also did the book Low-Carb Fraud with T. Colin Campbell. So, those are great resources, we’ll link them all up in the show notes. It's very powerful information. Do you want to add anything else, before we go?

Howard Jacobson: Yeah, I just want to say I was re-watching Forks Over Knives yesterday, in preparation for a discussion with some of our, you know, WellStarts folks. And I watched it all the way to the end, and I saw your name. And I just want to say, as someone who was thanked for being for being part of the film and for making it possible, like Forks Over Knives has changed everything in this movement. And so, I want to thank you, publicly thank you, and Brian, of course, you know, everyone who's worked on it, but, you know, seeing your name at the end made me realize like you, you were, you were there when the seed was planted, that really turned into the giant tree that is protecting and nurturing and energizing this entire movement.

Robby Barbaro: Well, thank you so much. I really, really appreciate that. I worked at Forks Over Knives for six years with Brian, and we had a lot of fun, and made a lot of progress there. And to see the company the Mission Continues succeed and grow in new ways has been super fun for me. So thank you so much for saying that.

Howard Jacobson: Awesome. It's been great talking to you, Robby.

Robby Barbaro: Yeah. Thank you again, and everybody, I hope you enjoyed the show. Make sure to share it with anybody you think who could benefit, and we'll catch the next episode. Bye.

Cyrus Khambatta: Now if you're interested in learning more about the Mastering Diabetes Online Group Coaching Program, visit www.masteringdiabetes.org/coaching, and you can learn all about the tools that we provide to you, which can transform your lifestyle from the inside out. We've worked incredibly hard to make this Program, and we've also worked hard to make it extremely affordable for you.

The Program costs $29 per month, that's less than $1 a day. And for that you have the opportunity to completely transform your lifestyle and completely transform your diabetes health in the process. If you're interested in joining the Mastering Diabetes Online Group Coaching Program, we highly recommend it.

In our Online Group Coaching Program, we provide you with access to three powerful tools. The first tool is a step by step Online Course that's been designed by Robby and myself. And in this online course, you can think of it as your 1-Stop resource for learning exactly what to eat, exactly what not to eat, how to grocery shop, how to move your body, how to manage your blood glucose before, during, and after exercise, and how to learn from your blood glucose patterns, so that you can change your medication doses over the course of time, whether those are oral medications, or whether it's injectable insulin. In this online course, we give you a collection of videos, a collection of recipes, and a collection of PDFs that are designed to make this transition towards a plant-based diet. Simple and highly effective.

Robby Barbaro: I can't tell you the number of people that have said they learned more from this course, especially a lot of type 1s, who've been living with it for a long time, they've worked with their doctors, they say that they have learned more from this Online Course than any other diabetes resource they have had in their entire life. And people just love it. So we are really, really proud. And it's gotten a lot of great feedback on that.

So in addition to the Online Course, we have a private Facebook group. So this is where you come in, and share what's going on, and ask questions. And only the members of the group can see it. So friends and family on Facebook, don't see it. It's a private group. And this is a very, very active group. And every time you post a question, somebody on our team, our admin team, one of our coaches is going to reply within 24 hours. So we really have this setup in a way that we are with you every step of the way, you don't feel lost, you don't feel like you're hanging, you don't feel like you have to wait a week to get a question answered, we are there for you.

We love helping and it's not rainbows and unicorns either. Like it's not just beautiful food pictures, and you know, I'm doing amazing. People are being vulnerable, and honest, and sharing what's going on, so we can help and that's what's really going on this group. It's really powerful, and you're getting support from other people. And that means a lot other people who are going through the program with you. Other people who've already had success, they reduce their medication already, and they can share how they did it. And you can get inspired by that, and you're seeing pictures of others people eating really healthy meals, and reporting what happened on their latest doctor visit. So it's really inspiring and motivating as well.

Cyrus Khambatta: In addition to that, we also have live video conferences that happen twice a month. And in these live video conferences, we provide you with a link in your email, you click on it, and you enter a video conference where you can see and listen to other people that are going through this process with you. One of our coaches, or sometimes multiple of our coaches, are on that phone call learning from you, answering your direct questions, and making sure that you understand exactly what you need to do, in order to keep moving in the right direction.

So, if you have some complex questions that you don't understand about what's happening to your fasting blood glucose, or why your energy levels are low, bring those questions directly to us, interact with us directly, and make sure that you know exactly how to move forward, without there being any question marks.

​We also have small group video conferencing and private coach available as well, so if you're interested in participating in any of our programs, we highly recommend it. Obviously, we're biased, we run this program, we know just how effective it is. Visit www.masteringdiabetes.org/coaching, once again www.masteringdiabetes.org/coaching. Take a look at what you see on that page. If you're interested in getting started. We'll 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.