The Daily Beet

21 Sep Jonathon’s Story: What Happened in 3 Months.

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A1C before and after!

Three months on our new plan I’ve been through highs and lows on the Forks Over Knives / Engine 2 plan / Plant-based eating plan. Some days I am discouraged that I haven’t lost more weight, others I am disappointed when trying to eat around others. A couple of days ago, I changed my outlook.

I am a late onset, type 1 diabetic. Over the last 7 years, my sugars run the gauntlet from controlled, to okay, to wildly out of control. Three months ago, my A1C was at 9.5. A1C represents a three-month average of your blood sugar level. The target for diabetics is below 7. She wrote the 9.5 and the big blue line. My Endo was a bit disappointed, talked to me about control and if I wanted to start on a pump. I mentioned starting an Engine 2 style of eating but she didn’t seem too interested. I left a bit down but still determined to see how well the ForksOverKnives and Engine 2 eating plan would work.

My next appointment included my yearly full blood work up including cholesterol and a bunch of other things that my wife can pronounce but I cannot. My doc walked in and seemed a bit more excited. She noticed I lost 20lbs over the last three months. She started talking to me about my blood sugar control and I mentioned having a number of lows over the last three months. Too low, feel faint She started typing away, frowning a bit, and asked me about the pump again. She then started going over my blood work. She started nodding and said that, “everything looked pretty good.” I reduced my LDL from 111 to 64, my cholesterol risk ratio was very good at 2.8, and my overall cholesterol was 118. All good. For some reason she seemed stoic about the whole list. She called her assistant in and asked her to do an A1C on me. A few minutes later, we received the results. I noticed that she perked up a bit and looked at me with a smile. She said, “Your A1C is 5.7.” I was floored, from 9.5 to 5.7 in three months?

My A1C was in the range of non-diabetics? YES! She said that in her years of practice she had never seen an established diabetic drop their A1C that much in three months. We went on to talk about the details of my eating plan. I mentioned that we use recipes from the Engine 2 site and kicked off our new plan by watching the Forks Over Knives movie. I spoke about other research we’ve done to make sure the whole family is okay on the plan. She started getting more into our discussion, mentioning that current studies show that a low-fat vegetable and fruit-based diet shows no drawbacks for children. She then asked how extreme I became with my eating.

I mentioned that if you asked me three months ago, very extreme. Now that I taste the food I used to eat, see the benefits, and notice our kids loving the fruits and vegetables, I don’t believe I am extreme.  I went on to mention that I cut out both refined and artificial sweeteners, try to live without sodium, and do not use oil. She seemed surprised but given the results, I should tell others about the changes we made. I’ve called my dad (who said he is now convinced), spoke with my mom, spread the story around our church, and surprised a few others with my story. Most people want to know more and ask for the Engine 2 site and the name of the Forks Over Knives movie. Our shopping lists and dining out places look different, but given the results, I believe our plan continues to move us in the right direction.

Congratulations Jonathon!

Be sure to leave some plant-strong encouragement in the comments for Jonathon!

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Engine 2 Team
Engine 2 Team

The Engine 2 Team is dedicated to helping you become plant-strong! Each of us are on the plant-strong journey right along side of you!

  • Kirsten
    Posted at 05:52h, 21 September

    Jon, congratulations on your results! This again is an awesome tribute the all the good that a plant strong diet can you…and you are walking, breathing proof! Keep up the great work…it’s very inspiring!

  • Ami Mackey
    Posted at 07:39h, 21 September

    That’s great news Jonathon! Keep up the good work and keep spreading the news by being the example!

  • JenO
    Posted at 09:21h, 21 September

    Awesome Jonathon! Great to hear that your entire family has adopted this – major acomplishment that you should be so proud of! Stick to your guns…appreciate you sharing your story as it is very motivating!

  • Sara Mader
    Posted at 10:00h, 21 September

    That’s great! My father also has type 1 diabetes. He has had it for 31 years and has had all kinds of dietary advice from doctors and nutritionists. I asked him to cut out his 2 glasses of milk a day and replace with almond milk. He has done that and is vegan for breakfast and lunch. I think he still eats meat at dinner but not everyday and not much. His A1C was below 7 last time he went to the doctor as well! And he said that between breakfast and lunch his blood sugars are much more stable. (Additionally, he is on the pump and loves it). I am hoping for both of you that this diet continues to make a difference!

  • KarinMarie Plunkett
    Posted at 14:25h, 21 September

    Very inspiring, Jonathon! Impressive numbers!!!

  • alisa
    Posted at 14:36h, 21 September

    That’s amazing! I love stories like this. Especially a T1 diabetic. Usually you hear about T2s. Great job!

  • Kimmy Plunkett Holman
    Posted at 14:45h, 21 September

    That is so exciting!!! Just the story I need to inspire me to get started on my Plant Strong journey

  • Elizabeth
    Posted at 15:15h, 21 September

    Plant-strong rocks! Good luck on your journey to good health!

  • Yvonne
    Posted at 16:00h, 21 September

    Very inspiring Jonathan!

  • shirley
    Posted at 16:36h, 21 September

    Way to go, Jonathan! I’ve been plant-based for 4+ years and went from Type II Diabetic to No Diabetes !!! in just three weeks! Feels darn good, doesn’t it??

  • plantstrongS
    Posted at 19:52h, 21 September

    Great job, Jonathon! That was very encouraging. Keep eating plant-strong!

  • Colleen
    Posted at 20:23h, 21 September

    Rock On Jonathon! Thanks so much for sharing your success and struggles. They are a true encouragement!

    Posted at 22:06h, 21 September


  • Jennifer Williams
    Posted at 07:46h, 22 September

    That is awesome! Stay Plant Strong!

  • Marg
    Posted at 10:41h, 23 September

    You are doing sacred work by honouring and respecting what your body is telling you! This is amazing!

  • logib
    Posted at 07:55h, 24 September

    Great work, millions of people need to hear your story !!!

  • Denise
    Posted at 10:41h, 26 September

    Great work! Seeing the numbers change really is proof that all of your hard work made the difference! Keep it up. Good for you for getting your family headed in the right direction.

  • VC
    Posted at 19:50h, 01 October

    Great work Jonathan! This is day 1 of our 28 day challenge (rest of life). My husband is a type 2 diabetic and my 9 year old daughter with Down syndrome is overweight and unhealthy. This is a lifestyle change for the entire family. Your story gives me the hope to keep them motivated! Thanks for sharing!

  • LP
    Posted at 17:04h, 25 March

    Hi Johathan! Congratulations! I am also a type 1, and wondering how you cover your additional carbohydrates? Are you planning ahead and covering 30 minutes or so before a meal? Do you have any tips for other type 1’s that are embarking on this plant based trek?

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