Amy was able to put type 2 diabetes in remission with a healthy eating plan that is naturally rich in nutrients and low in fat and calories. Key elements are fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. This plant-based diet is anti-inflammatory and good for everyone.
Food choices matter a lot, and that is especially true for those with type 2 diabetes. Amy found that a healthy plant-based diet was able to allow her to come off of all of her medicine with her healthcare provider’s assistance in only a few months.
By: Amy Johnson
At 45 years old, I was diagnosed officially with Type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol/high triglycerides through a free health screening offered by the school district where I taught middle school English. The prior year, my glucose numbers were within range, and then the next year, my numbers were off the charts. I knew this was coming one day, but I just didn’t know when.
Diabetes and genetics
Sadly, the reason I wasn’t really surprised by the news was because I come from a family riddled with dietary-related diseases. My father has Type 2 diabetes, had a quintuple bypass surgery, is overweight, has high cholesterol, and stage-three kidney disease. And, his father died from a heart attack at a relatively young age. My mother is overweight, has hypertension, high cholesterol, osteoporosis, digestive issues, female issues (fibroids), etc.
In a nutshell, I thought I was “destined” to become sick. Being obese since my late 20s (and seeing my aging parents and grandfather get sick), I knew my health would decline, which is why I went on every diet out there. From low-carb (Atkins, South Beach) to Weight Watchers, to Nutrisystem, to weight-loss pills (fen-phen), etc. I would TRY to count points or restrict calories, but I would end up gaining more weight. I was fighting a futile battle.
Taking diabetes medication
After my diabetes diagnosis, I was prescribed oral medication that I was told to take three times a day, a statin (which caused my legs to ache terribly), and baby aspirin (which I was told would prevent me from having a heart attack or stroke).
I was sent to a diabetes nutrition class and told to be careful about my “carbs.” I continued to gain weight and even though I was on medication, my morning fasting blood sugar levels were never in the normal range. I became depressed and felt hopeless. Being obese and essentially a processed food junkie took its toll on my family, too. I couldn’t be an active mom or wife, which shortchanged everyone in my family.
Diabetes remission with diet
Then one summer, our oldest son (then a sophomore in college) had us watch the documentary Forks Over Knives, and we were all impacted by it and inspired for different reasons. This was the first time we had ever heard that food could be our medicine and that we could prevent and reverse chronic diseases by eating a plant-based diet.
The next day, we went plant-based–COLD TOFU! We literally threw all of the animal products and processed foods into the trash can, grocery shopped for all new plant-based replacements and started searching for tasty recipes to cook.
Getting off of diabetes medication
In the first year (and for the first time in my adult life), I lost and kept off 50 pounds. Also, I was able to get off my diabetes medication (Metformin 3x a day) in only 3 months because my glucose levels were getting too low eating plant-based AND taking medication at the same time. It was like I was double-dosing medication!
In addition, my energy level was off the charts! I didn’t really exercise consistently until I got off that first big chunk of weight. Then, I started walking daily and even started running! I ran my first 5K race at age 51!
Prior to this, I walked with a limp because I had bone loss in my left hip. I had also started to develop neuropathy in my legs from diabetes, which improved greatly in a short time after adopting this lifestyle. We found that the answer is NOT always a pill.
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Diabetes diet resources
Throughout the years, we also watched a lot of other documentaries that further helped us commit to this lifestyle.
Plant-based diet documentaries:
Plant-based diet books:
- Reverse Diabetes Now
- How Not to Die
- How Not to Diet
- Eat to Live
- The End of Heart Disease
- The End of Diabetes
- Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease
- The China Study
When I first became a whole foods plant-based vegan in 2012, there weren’t a lot of websites or cookbooks that offered low-fat, oil-free recipes, which were essential to my success. Thus, for the past 11 years, I have devoted a large chunk of my time to helping others learn to cook healthy, plant-based recipes and understand nutrition better so they could also experience the freedom I had.
Follow Amy aka Mrs. Plant
I started my Mrs. Plant website to spread the good news and support those who needed it. Now, thankfully, there are MANY resources on the Internet as well as in eBook and traditional book formats to choose from. People are hearing the good news and making the excellent decision to move toward living a plant-based lifestyle for better health and wellness.
Plant-based diet resources
- How to Start a Plant-Based Diet
- Insulin Resistance Diet for Diabetes
- The Healthiest Foods to Eat
- Plant-Based Recipes
More diabetes success stories
For those of you new to the whole food plant-based lifestyle, we’ve created a FREE 7-Day Plant-Based Menu Planner to help you get started!