My Story

About Me

On October 21st of 2017 my youngest daughter got married.

Because her husband was from India this was the first of two ceremonies.

The first ceremony was in the United States and the second, in Mumbai, India two weeks later.

Within seconds, the trip went from being one of the happiest times in my life to one of the saddest times of my life

The day before the wedding in India, my wife came to me and told me my sister called.

My mother had suddenly passed away.

And here I was almost 8,000 miles from home.

Anyone who has lost a parent knows the feelings and emotions.

At first, it doesn’t seem real and then numbness sets in.

Though I was shocked, I guess it shouldn’t have been a surprise because for a few years she was treated for high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes and a few days after the US wedding, my sister called to tell me she was on the way to the hospital with my mother.

After going through some tests, a doctor came in and said she was having a heart attack.

She was given medication to stabilize her condition until the cardiologist arrived in the morning.

When the cardiologist arrived, he said they were going to perform a Catheterization to see if she had a blockage and if there was a blockage, they would insert a stent.

Catheterization is a procedure used to diagnose and treat certain cardiovascular conditions. During cardiac catheterization, a long thin tube called a catheter is inserted in an artery or vein in your groin, neck or arm and threaded through your blood vessels to your heart.

When I told him, we should take some time and discuss different options besides a stent, he arrogantly said “what is there to discuss?”

I answered, “we would like to discuss side effects and percentage of risk reduction for future heart attacks.”

His vague reply was, “oh, the percentage is high.”

When I responded with the fact that the risk reduction of a future heart attack or stroke is only 2%, his comeback was, “oh, you’re a numbers guy.”

He was right, I am a numbers guy and also a pro-evidence guy.

I knew that a stent is effective if it’s done within 1 ½ hours of a heart attack and a side effect of trying to open a clogged artery was damage to the artery, or the heart or the area where the catheter is inserted.

The reason I knew this was because for the past few years I’d spent almost 2,000 hours researching and studying chronic disease, nutrition and lifestyle.

  At one time, I was overweight had a high cholesterol level of 225, prostate issues and very low energy. 

Since then, I have lost 44 pounds and kept it off, my cholesterol dropped 75 points and my prostate issues have disappeared.  I didn't get better with medications, I got better eating the right food.

 I am a Certified Food Over Medicine Instructor and have successfully completed the Certification for the Weight Loss Course from Wellness Forum Health under Dr. Pam Popper.

I found out there were doctors who were reversing heart-related disease, type 2 diabetes and many other chronic conditions for their patients.

In many of these cases, these doctors were not only curing their patients, they were reducing or getting their patients off their medications.

They were doing this with diet and lifestyle changes that mimicked populations in the world that not only live the longest but don’t have the diseases that many Americans suffer from.

I knew this was true because when I did the same thing, I not only lost 44 pounds but dropped my cholesterol 75 points, without medication.

I asked the cardiologist if he ever heard of Dr. Caldwell Esslestyn or Dr. Dean Ornish.

He said he only knew of Dean Ornish and then said, “the problem with that kind of treatment was that people will not stick with that type of program.”

His face turned red when I told him it’s a fact that over 50% of patients won’t take the medication you prescribe and patients who were under the care of these doctors who were opting for the diet and lifestyle program have a compliance rate of 90%.

Well, they did find an artery 100% closed and much to our dismay they tried to open it to no avail, even though I thought we were specific when we said we would look at all the options if there was a blockage.

After that, we knew there was only one option because there was no medication that would cure this.

She would be treated the same way Dr. Esslestyn and Dr. Ornish were caring for their patients whose cardiologists had them on various medications, performed multiple bypasses and stents but gave up on them because there was nothing else, they could do.

Esslestyn and Ornish were opening arteries and giving these people their lives back, using Food as Medicine.

When my mom went home, she immediately started a diet aimed at reversing her condition.

Because of the Type 2 diabetes, she checked her glucose levels every day.

After about three days of her new diet she couldn’t wait to tell me that her sugar level went from 129 to 85.

She was so happy and better yet, she was buying into the diet thing and I was happy too because the next day I was leaving for India.

The day I left, I went to my mom’s house and when I was leaving, with so much joy in her voice she said, “You have a great time!

These were to be her last words to me.

My mother was a loving, kind, giving and extremely supportive person, who was ALWAYS there for ANYONE if they ever needed ANYTHING.

She was always proud of the fact that she could take care of herself because one of the things that was always important to her was, she never wanted to be a burden to us.

My mom was a hard-working, energetic and fiercely independent mom who was divorced from my father when I was 4 years old.

She raised my sister and myself without any support from my father, whatsoever.

As a young kid, I remember her leaving in the morning to walk a mile to and from the bus stop whether it was raining, snowing, bitter cold or sweltering hot to get to her job as a dental assistant in a neighboring town to support us.

After working 20 years as a dental assistant, she was chosen to run the newly-formed dental assistant program in our community college.

During this time, she went to college at night where she received her bachelor degree…

…a pretty good accomplishment considering she was in her 50’s.

After 20 plus years she retired from her college position and started a new career in real estate and at the age of 75 took a position as a substitute teacher in a local elementary school.

I told you she was hard-working and energetic.

In 2013 at the age of 82 she decided to retire and this when it seemed she was slowing down a bit.

Most people would blame it on old age, but I think there was more to it than that.

When cleaning out her house, I found some of her medical records and was surprised and disgusted to see how many medications she was on.

No wonder she was slowing down. All the medications she took had side effects and the one common side effect of all the meds she was taking was fatigue.

Too add insult to injury, it was obvious these meds did nothing to cure her conditions.

She was also suffering from the side effects of not being fully informed by her doctors.

This happens way too often.

When she was in the hospital, I emailed an out of state doctor I knew and asked for her opinion of the drugs my mom was taking.

Here was her reply:

"It is very common to over-medicate seniors, and it happens for several reasons.

 There is no acknowledgement that bio-markers increase slightly with age, even for healthy people.

And the assumption is often that all older people need meds;

 I know this because doctors keep trying to give my dad meds and he is in perfect health at the age of 86.

 For this reason, my dad does not visit doctors without my sister and I with him and we have power of attorney over all medical decision-making (he voluntarily signed the document, and it gives us access to everything).

 I’d start by asking the doc what your mom’s numbers were before medication.

 He should also be concerned that her blood pressure is spiking, which means that the blood pressure drug is not working.

Why is this happening? Is this a result of stress?

How much fluid she retaining – could another blood pressure drug be used (hopefully potassium-sparing)?

 For every medication – what are the risks of discontinuing this drug?

 If you are not happy with this guy, fire him – we did this with my dad’s doctor and the new one tells him to stay off meds and not come back unless he is dropping in to deliver flowers or take the staff to lunch."

 Too many people that I know, struggle with their fitness and health.

They are either overweight, have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, Type 2 diabetes and many other issues.

They go to their doctors, try diet after diet and research the internet for answers.

No matter how hard they try, they seem to be spinning their wheels and getting nowhere, never getting better.

After all of this fails to help them, they throw up their hands and give up and blame it on old age.

Do you want to know why nothing helps?

The answers they get are a lot of bullshit.

This is what makes people get old.

 What happened to my mother doesn’t have happen to you.

 I want to be a difference-maker to help you age without getting old.

To help you break the chains of poor fitness, bad health and mental stress that can and will keep you from enjoying life to the fullest and do the fun things in life with the people you love and care about.

The last thing you want to do is place the burden of worry and guilt on your kids about having to make a decision about what to do with you.

Raise your hand if you want them to have peace of mind and pride of having a parent who is independent and dignified.

By the way, the wedding in India went on as scheduled, just the way my mother would have wanted because she never wanted to be a burden.

Ma, you never were!

 Live the life that you were meant to live.

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