What the Plant-Based Doctors Say About Type 2 Diabetes

The following is a letter written to a friend about a type two diabetes diagnosis based on my courses in plant-based nutrition. 

Dear Kathryn ,

After our last phone call about your diagnosis, I began to do some research into Type 2 Diabetes. It seems that the rate of Type 2 Diabetes has tripled in the last thirty years, and there are links between obesity and diabetes. Namely, people who are overweight are seven times more likely to get diabetes. Dean Ornish, M.D. and Caldwell Esselstyn, M.D. have both demonstrated in published studies that people who switch to a whole foods plant-based diet lose (and keep off) on average about 20 lbs. There is also evidence that a plant-based diet may help heal or sometimes cure Type 2 Diabetes. For the last 80 years, observational research has shown that a low fat, high complex carbohydrate diet, such as diets eaten in Japan, produced less diabetic deaths and lower rates of diabetes. Some research has shown examples of people getting off of...

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The Japanese Master and the House

About twenty years ago, my architect brother shared with me a legend from the Japanese tradition that was meaningful to him. This story made a big impact on me as well, and I have shared it many times over. This is the story:

“A long time ago In Japan, there was a seeker who went to an
enlightened master. The master told him to build a house. He worked
really hard, and it took him a long time. Finally, it was finished.

Shockingly, after looking at the house from top to bottom, the master told him to tear the house down. The seeker was crushed and confused, but he grudgingly tore it down. After a few days, the master told him to build the house again.

The seeker rolled up his sleeves and put his whole heart and mind into it. The thatched roof curved gently up to the heavens.  The interior was made of fine wood, bamboo, silk, and rice straw mats. He knew that he master would be most pleased.

The master came to see this new house, nodded to himself as if he was in a...

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Sattvic Food

In yoga philosophy, all matter including food is organized into three Gunas:

  • sattvic - promoting goodness
  • rajasic - promoting passion
  • tamasic - promoting darkness

A yogic diet consists of sattvic [pure] foods that calm the mind and sharpen the intellect. These are pure, wholesome, and naturally delicious, without preservatives or artificial flavorings. They include fresh and dried fruits and berries, pure fruit juices, raw or lightly cooked vegetables, salads, grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole-grain breads, honey, fresh herbs, and herbal teas. In the book Yoga, Mind and Body it says, "A sattvic diet is easily digested and supplies maximum energy, increasing vitality, strength, and endurance. It will help eliminate fatigue, even for those who undertake strenuous and difficult work. Yogis believe that people’s food preferences reflect their level of mental purity and that these preferences alter as they...

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