Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
28 Aug

The Look on the Doctor’s Face Was Priceless

My journey started with a diagnosis of Diabetes (type II) on November 17th, 2008. I had some blood work done and the #’s looked like this:

cholesterol  377
trigs 1864 (not a typo)
hdl 28
ldl   could not be calculated due to high trigs
hba1c  11.3

My doctor couldn’t even put a sentence together to explain how unreal these numbers were. So of course the doctor just wanted to medicate the crap out of me and told me to get used to it because I would be on medication for the rest of my life. I left the office feeling as if my life was basically over. I felt immediate depression set in.

When I awoke the next morning I decided that I was going to try to figure out how to beat this or at least live a productive life with diabetes. On to the internet to solve my problems. I was lucky enough to wander upon Dr Eades site and started to identify with what he was writing about in his blog. I was also learning about why my body was reacting the way it was and there were actually people who were able to get healthy again. Well one site led to another and I was convinced on what I had to do.

I also learned of the Paleo diet and started a hybrid low carb paleo way of eating. I went into this with the hope of fixing my blood sugar problems and getting my lipids straightened out. I started that day and after a few days of my body adjusting I started to feel better each day. Oh and I started losing weight and my fasting blood sugar went down immediately. Encouraging signs and I just felt better. I was eating very low carb at this point because I became deathly afraid of anything carb. I was very strict with myself because I knew how easy it could be to fall off the wagon and start chowing Doritos and all that other crap. I watched my fats and started cooking just about every meal I ate. I was working out in some form about five days a week, mostly weights and walking.

I had great success as well as the weight kept coming off and I became more active and had an incredible amount of energy. Like has been said before I started to become more active as I lost weight. I, in the mean time, found Mark’s Daily Apple. I really enjoyed the way you put the information out there. It was easy to understand and was also fun. So March rolled around and it was time to go back to the doctor.

When I had last left the doc I had about 4 different prescriptions and a not so good outlook on life. Oh, and some really bad nutritional advice (lay off the animal fats). So I rolled into his office weighing in at 190 and excited about life. My blood results from blood given two days prior

cholesterol 262
trigs  133
hdl  28
ldl calc  207
hba1c 4.8

Doc was excited to see improvements as was I. Still not where I wanted to be but a lot better than 4 months earlier. He then patted himself on the back and said well I guess the medications are working for you but your cholesterol is much higher than I’d like so I would like you to start taking some statins. Well I was armed with knowledge this time and said no freaking way am I taking that crap! And by the way I stopped taking all my medications after the first month.

The look on his face was priceless.

He then wanted to review the medications I was taking and I told him none. I was simply living primal. He shot me a look of confusion and so I started to explain and he said my cholesterol was suffering for all the animal fat I was eating and that I should really cut down. I was a little frustrated by that comment but thought it was just par for the course for the medical community in general.

I went straight to my parents house to tell them my great results at the doctor.

I should add that my parents were behind me all the way from the beginning of my new lifestyle and saw the success I was having and became fans of it as well and are now living a primal life with me. My mom had been a vegetarian for as long as I could remember and now eats a piece of meat at every meal. Makes those family meals that much better.

By this time I was sold on my lifestyle and wanted to tell everyone. I was surprised by the reactions I got. I think people were starting to think I was crazy. I was touting saturated fat and trying to tell anyone who would listen. I grew up in a small town near Rochester, NY and now live and work in that same small town. So I am well known in the community. Being that I am now 38 yrs old, people had gotten used to me and now I was changing in front of there eyes and quickly. People that I have known all my life now did not recognize me and patients at the office I work at (eye doc) who hadn’t seen me in a year or two did not think I was same guy.

I soon learned not to tell people about this life unless they asked because I just didn’t want to deal with the conversation. Ignorance on their part made for some tough explanations.

So June came around and time to go see the doc again and test that blood.

cholesterol 215
trigs 50 (yeah!)
hdl 58
ldl calc 148
hba1c 4.7 (non-diabetic) was written right next to it

I now weighed 175lbs.

Doctor practically gave me a high five when he entered the office. Said he had never seen anybody with these kind of improvements and was down right giddy. He then asked me what meds I was taking and I once again told him I was taking nothing. He just shook his head. He also said that he has never heard of anyone being cured of diabetes but…Unfortunately still not sold on my eating choices but couldn’t argue it because of my results.

So that is the short version of my great new Primal lifestyle. I could not be happier with my work in progress. I still tell everyone I know and hand out your Grok flyers to anyone interested. Your sight is named great because it really has become my daily apple. I now just do stuff that I would never have done nine months ago. Hiking, sprinting etc. I now look at playgrounds in a whole new way. I pretty much eat what I want (primal of course) and just listen to my body.

Socially it can be a bit tough but that is okay with me. I now see how lazy people are and it can be tough to find people who can keep up with my energy and good spirits. If you are contemplating a lifestyle change I would say being Primal is a great way to go. Jump in with both feet and live life, it’s great. The community on the internet is a great place to gain knowledge and get different ideas. Part of the fun is trying these things and then figure out what works for you.

Grok on,


You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. ChuckyZ, thanks for sharing your story with us. I feel so hopeful for my non-primal family members everytime I read stories like yours on MDA.

    Statins: $x, medical bills: $y, going Primal: PRICELESS!

    Thank you Mark!

    maba wrote on August 28th, 2009
  2. Those are fantastic results! It’s amazing that even with your success, your doc is still in a state of shock. Why is it that they don’t see the light and start telling all of their patients to eat primal? As an RN, I know though that docs can be a VERY stubborn lot, and that they think that nobody knows more than they do. They will believe the pharaceutical companies though…
    Sometimes I think that patient loads are so high, and there is so much involved with regulations and paperwork, that it’s too much trouble for them to tell people how to eat primal and monitor that. It’s easier to give a drug. The pharmaceutical companies are VERY powerful…
    Again, congrats and keep it up!

    Dave, RN wrote on August 28th, 2009
    • As an RN, you should know just as much as I do (I worked as an MA and then a LA) that doctors get a nice kickback from drug companies. I couldn’t believe the offers of free trips, lunches, and rewards simply for accepting all these drugs. Not to mention that doctors don’t make any money unless patients come back. There’s no money in making people better.

      Piper wrote on August 28th, 2009
      • I don’t really like the last part of your statement.

        “Not to mention that doctors don’t make any money unless patients come back. There’s no money in making people better.”

        It’s very broad and insulting of the integrity of all doctors. These doctors are often overworked in a sickness-care system. Even though the doctor in this story was not a convert to the primal eating he was still extactic to see a patient improve so much and get healthier.

        Claire, future MD wrote on August 28th, 2009
        • I have little compassion for a group of people freely and aggressively touting bad “science” If nutrition was not such a HUGE problem all over the world, and the AMA and ADA was not the MAIN reason behind it, I would feel differently, but alas, that is NOT the case.

          Doctors are not “special” and can and should “take their medicine” just like the rest of us mere mortals…

          Notch wrote on May 13th, 2011
      • Well, that’s one way of looking at it and *might* be how some doctors see it, but I see it like this (I’m not a doctor but if I were…): If I don’t have to see a patient for very long, just to check up with them and see how they are doing and review some labs, that means I can spend less time per patient, which means I can see more patients in my day. So I still make money. Bonus: Not as many doctors are needed if fewer doctors can see more patients. Bingo, no doctor shortage, the labor pool is kept small and therefore doctors’ salaries can remain high.

        Doctors would actually BENEFIT from there being less chronic disease! They just have to think outside the box. And so do we.

        Dana wrote on August 6th, 2011
  3. Way to go ChuckyZ! It is amazing that people don’t believe their eyes and cling to conventional wisdom despite the evidence standing before them.

    DaveFish wrote on August 28th, 2009
  4. WOW! Great Job ChuckyZ! You look amazing!

    Megan wrote on August 28th, 2009
  5. My Dr. told me to start taking medications with slightly elevated cholesterol numbers. I told him to take a flying leap. I went and found a new Dr. that day. We are on the same page with the way that I eat Primally. I just had my blood tested again.
    Total: 208
    HDL: 60
    Tri: 51
    Have never taken any medication. Great job and keep up the good work. Make sure your Dr. is not taking credit for your success. Well done.

    Boyd wrote on August 28th, 2009
  6. Great job on your progress and lifestyle change… truly inspirational!

    Christian Chun wrote on August 28th, 2009
  7. Awesome story and you look awesome man. I can’t even imagine how much better you feel.

    Telling the ignorant doc to shove his drugs & find me a steak has got to feel awesome. I’ve never been back to be able to do that. They were pumping me full of roids oral & injected for inflammation. Solution = eliminate grains.

    RN @Dave has a point. Those physicians are feed so much propaganda day in and day out, that they have a hard time weeding though it just like we used to with diet & exercise before finding MDA. They’re not overly brainy gods. Not any different than us. They are just people with a certificate that most people feel is some sort of golden ticket.

    Grok wrote on August 28th, 2009
  8. Great story, ChuckyZ! Congratulations! Perhaps your doctor has never seen anyone reverse diabetes because he’s never taken the time to learn about good nutrition!

    Enjoy your new found health and the potential that it brings! :)

    Vin - NaturalBias wrote on August 28th, 2009
  9. I was just about to “reward” myself with a bowl of bananna-nut crunch for the 30 pounds I dropped in the last 40 days just eating primal, not even working out. Then I read this. Thanks. I WILL CONTINUE TO GROK ON!!!!!! -gonna get some celery and almond butter.

    Marc Johnson wrote on August 28th, 2009
  10. I am giving a presentation at work on the primal diet vs. usda traditional diet. I was looking for some input on how to format the training which will be done via powerpoint. I live the primal lifestyle but always have trouble explaining it…any input will help. also why is animal fat so good for us? sorry i’m uneducated, it works for me so i don’t look for answers.

    johnj wrote on August 28th, 2009
    • Go to the Weston A. Price Foundation website (easily found on Google) and look through all their nutrition pages. Dr. Mary Enig is affiliated with them and she’s one of *the* premier lipid experts in the United States.

      One example: Saturated fat is part of the makeup of our cell membranes (the membrane that keeps in all the contents of your cell–protoplasm, nucleus, mitochondria, etc.). Cholesterol is another important component of cell membranes. One reason a high-plant-oil but low-fat diet temporarily reduces total cholesterol is that your body has to make up the shortfall in saturated fat by forcing more of your serum cholesterol into your cells to shore up those membranes. Not a good scene.

      Animal fat’s also a tremendous source of fat-soluble vitamins as well as making it easier for you to assimilate those vitamins.

      Lots of good stuff there.

      Dana wrote on August 6th, 2011
  11. “What medications are you on?”

    “A nice ribeye fried in lard……”

    Great work!

    How about donating Mark’s book and maybe the Paleo Diet one to your doctor? It must be very difficult to be a doctor and not argue with someone who has had the results counter to the industry hype.

    OnTheBayou wrote on August 28th, 2009
    • I am sorry to say that until medical schools start teaching that food is the best medication, we will never get the doctors to admit to that. That most or all of our ailments can be treated with food alone. I have a daughter who was told she had asthma, she was on every asthma drug known to the Big Pharmas. She just got sicker and sicker. I sent her to see a homeopathic doctor and he said she had Hyper reactive air way syndrome which is caused by allergies. He found out all the things she was allergic to and she went from spending 80% of her life in hospital to not even having to take a puffer let along all the steroids she was on.. and has not been admitted to the hospital for that condition for 20 years.. Was her doctor interested in knowing what the other doctor did for her that she was unable to do? Nope never even asked what he did. In this case foods she didn’t eat cured her. Doctors hardly have two days of their whole medical school training that deals with food and until then, we basically have to cure ourselves.

      Marilyn wrote on September 15th, 2012
  12. Can I just say that I love reading people’s stories of their transition and success! Congratulations, and Grok on!

    Jen wrote on August 28th, 2009
  13. Great job! You look fantastic. I’m looking forward to similar results with my doctor, although he knows I’m not taking any diabetes medications anymore.

    Your story gives me hope that I can do this too.

    Griff wrote on August 28th, 2009
  14. ChuckyZ, you are amazing! What an inspirational story – thanks for sharing!

    Ninja Mom wrote on August 28th, 2009
  15. OH RIGHT ON CHUCKY! SO glad to hear about it! I believe in this and folks think I’m NUTs. Now, nuts are a good thing, butt…well, when it finally starts to WORK, I’ll show ’em. ‘course, I haven’t even gotten the book yet…but I’m psyched. For YOU! And for me.


    Caveman Carrie wrote on August 28th, 2009
  16. ChuckyZ – congrats! I am from around Rochester too! I grew up there and then moved to Florida. Were you at Letchworth State Park in the last 2 pictures you posted?
    It looks just like Letchworth! I just started the program and I feel great too! I wish CW doctors would take the time to study these results and promote “no grains”.

    Colleen wrote on August 28th, 2009
    • Yes, Letchworth is where I was. Nice eye.

      chuckyZ wrote on August 28th, 2009
      • I thought so! I grew up in Livonia so I’ve been there a few times!

        Colleen wrote on September 2nd, 2009
    • Yep, it is Letchworth State Park.

      Sharon wrote on August 29th, 2009
  17. ChuckyZ how much did you weigh in the first photo? At the ball park? Oh and if you still like a beer once in a whil check out a beer called “Green’s Quest”, had some the other night, good stuff. Gluten free, wheat free, soy free, rice free, made from millet and barley…and the 3 beers they produce range from 7%-9%alc. After going primal it only takes one of these before your buzzed. Ahhhh primal, where have you been all my life. Thanks for the story, keep it up!

    Cheers! Well done, truely inspirational.


    888 wrote on August 28th, 2009
    • I do miss beer. I will look into that. A place called beers of the world is near by. I will check it out. Your not kidding on the tolerance issue. Much different!

      chuckyZ wrote on August 28th, 2009
  18. This story is hard to read…it makes me think my dad would still be here today if this site was known to him.

    All the doctors could tell him were to eat less red meat and sat. fat and to excersize…

    He died of complications of diabetes (a slow agonizing way to die) at the age of 53 though he looked like he was 70.

    Rock on CHUCKYZ

    and Thanks Mark…This site is sooo important….


    Joseph Michael wrote on August 28th, 2009
  19. That is an amazing transformation! Congrats! I am sharing this with my dad. :)

    Jennifer Armstrong wrote on August 28th, 2009
  20. Hoooray for Rochester, NY, and congrats on your change man.

    rafiki wrote on August 28th, 2009
  21. Congrats!

    It’s so fun to see how different people look in their after pictures. It’s like we all have two potential manifestations: the CW-self and the Grok-self.

    Bourgogne wrote on August 28th, 2009
  22. Awesomesauce.

    Robert M. wrote on August 28th, 2009
  23. I wonder how long till they start teaching Paleodiet at med school? I’m betting at least a decade, but things can change faster these days?

    A note on page layout. The paragraph ends with “I felt immediate depression set in.” And then the first two pictures, and I’m thinking damn if that’s ChuckyZ’s depressed face, I’d love to see his happy face. I want to party with this guy.

    Paulie wrote on August 28th, 2009
  24. I love the website and I am a fan. If this story is true, I say…great! But I must admit I find it a little hard to believe. Moving an A1C (and I am diabetic) to a 4.7 from 11.3 without very strong medication is really…and I mean really, unheard of. If there are others with these results, you owe it to us T2s to publish exactly what you are eating and doing. This is life or death for us…and I have never heard of such results…particularly in such a time frame. And I have been reading this stuff a long time. The lipids…no problem believing those. Mine are actually better. The A1C…something is wrong with that story. You either were not diabetic (and 11.3 is definitely diabetic!) OR

    Ryan Lanham wrote on August 28th, 2009
    • Paulie–I had an A1C of 10.4 and dropped to a 6.3 in four months by following something very similar to the Primal diet. It can be done. I’m DEFINITELY diabetic, but my numbers stay in the 5-6 range, and will probably go lower as I lose more weight.

      Auntie M wrote on August 28th, 2009
    • A healthy body maintains a fasting glucose the equivalent of about one teaspoon of sugar for the entire body. If your A1C is over normal range, either you’re getting bloodwork done while anemic or dehydrated, or you’re eating things that keep your blood sugar high. It does not matter where the carbohydrate comes from–you *can not* eat what is considered a normal level of digestible carbohydrate as a diabetic and then expect that your meds will just cover it. You *must* get more of your nutrition from animal proteins and fats, and keep your plant starches and sugars to an absolute minimum.

      If you’re keeping digestible carb low, and not eating too much protein (which can also jack up your blood sugar if you go too far with it), and your A1Cs are still way high without medication, another possibility is your liver is not behaving. I cannot remember the exact specifics but I know someone who’s a low-carber–not a diabetic, but with over-sensitive blood sugar levels and a tendency to overweight–whose liver likes to dump sugar into her bloodstream at random times. She tends to wake up with a higher than normal fasting sugar (though not diabetic level) and I believe she has other endocrine issues as well, which are probably not helping the situation.

      Don’t settle for your doctor telling you “oh just change your meds dose”. If you haven’t seen an endocrinologist, you should ask for a referral. You may have to shuffle around a bit til you can find one who’s not meds crazy, but a good endo might help you get to the bottom of whatever’s causing your blood sugar control to be wonky.

      Dana wrote on August 6th, 2011
  25. I have come across people who have achieved similar results by following a very low carb Diet.

    I myself went from a hba1c of 11 to 6, in 3 months, down to 5.3 a month later,again without any medication.

    2 stone vanished almost overnight, and this was before I really started to exercise seriously. I also lost around 6 inches from my waist.

    I have never managed to get my hba1c below 5, but believe it is possible with refinement to my diet and exercise regime.

    Once you get used to the absence of grains, sugar and starch from your diet its surprisingly easy to maintain and a very satisfying diet. In reality its much more varied than my formed wholegrain low fat diet used to be.

    Personally I would be very interested to see a typical days meal plan looks like?

    I am begining to think its not just the amount of carbs but the type and maybe the same applies to the fat and protein components of the diet.

    I think its important to remember that for many type 2 diabetics the problem isn’t too little but rather too much insulin floating around. Reduce carbs and ypu reduce insulin: fat becomes available as a fuel source and the body becomes more insulin sensitive at the same time.

    Paul Anderson.

    Paul Anderson wrote on August 28th, 2009
  26. Wow, great results! I hear ya on people turning a deaf ear to you when you start talking primal. I was describing Larabars to a friend when another friend butted in with, “and tasteless,” as he sat there munching his Cheez-Its and Pop-Tarts! Unbelievable!

    @Marc Johnson: I’ve noticed that sometimes I decide to treat myself to a meal with rice, or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or something totally not primal, and then realize that I actually don’t want it and go eat some beef jerky or something instead. Amazing how I crave garbage less and less the less I eat it!

    @888: I do actually love how eating primal has lowered my alcohol tolerance! I thought it was just from lack of consumption, so it’s good to know I’m not the only one who noticed a change.

    Deanna wrote on August 28th, 2009
    • Goodness Sakes! My alcohol tolerance has taken a serious nose dive too…probably the only thing bad carbs are good for…soaking up the alcohol! Painful lesson I had to learn. Painful!

      she-bondi wrote on August 28th, 2009
  27. And ps – congratulations Chuck on your success thus far.

    Paul Anderson wrote on August 28th, 2009
  28. Outstanding story!

    Mark wrote on August 28th, 2009
  29. Congratulations, what a great story. I definitely can relate to the difficulties of explaining this way of life to friends and family. You are walking proof though!

    Mikeythehealthycaveman wrote on August 28th, 2009
  30. WOW!!! I know myself how great primal living is and the drastic changes you can make but this story is amazing, you look awesome and those numbers…wohoo!!

    Dollface wrote on August 28th, 2009
  31. Great googly moogly!!!!! You are THE MAN!

    Absolutely amazing. Great job!

    Althaur wrote on August 28th, 2009
  32. Incredible story. You are an inspiration, and seem to be a walking advertisement in your town for the primal lifestyle. Way to go!

    Annika wrote on August 28th, 2009
  33. JM: Like you, Oh how i wish i knew this a few years before..

    Ya great job ChuckyZ, very inspirational, i really wish others could benefit on these information as well,if they are more open/receptive about it..

    Luyi wrote on August 28th, 2009
  34. Bravo!


    Ecala wrote on August 28th, 2009
  35. This community is the best. Primal, Paleo or whole food low carb. Everyone is encouraging and I think can relate because we are living it and can feel the difference. Good luck too all who have started their journey and just keep with it. I eat very low carb in general because of my blood sugar issues. I don’t mind and my body has told me this is best for me. Thank you for all the kind words.

    chuckyZ wrote on August 28th, 2009
  36. Great to see chuck, I’ve been at it for about 8 months now, I’m in the Aussie Army and was struggling to pass the basic fitness tests at forty.

    Now this tuesday I will be attempting and am confident of passing the top level personal incentive levels set by the army.

    The change to whole paleo type foods set the foundations, I now out perform a lot of the younger fellows, however they think I’m completely out of my tree with my diet recommendations.

    Grok on brothers and sisters

    freeagent wrote on August 28th, 2009
  37. ChuckyZ, your story is awesome, buddy! Super for you!!!!

    DebFM wrote on August 28th, 2009
  38. This story is the bomb. Not long ago, I told my daughter that medecine does not cure disease. Diet, the food we eat is what cures us and keeps us healthy. I believe that the most important nutrient that we consume is saturated fats. It is our natural medecine.Chucky, love this story I am going to share it on another site. Keep on Keepin’ on.

    Mary Titus wrote on August 28th, 2009
  39. You are amazing.
    Like other commentors, I have to say that this story is inspiring, not only for those already living primal, but for family members with medical conditions, under the hopeless care of medical ‘professionals’ today.
    Congratulations and keep up the awesomeness.

    Iceskater wrote on August 28th, 2009
  40. Great story of living what I call ‘above the line’ by taking ownership, accountability and responsibility for your own health.
    I sincerely hope this inspires everyone who reads this not to hand your health and well being over entirely to your medical practioner but take action.

    Stephen Guy-Clarke wrote on August 29th, 2009

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