After being diagnosed with Type II Diabetes last February, Darren finally woke up. For years, Darren, father, husband, and entrepreneur, slipped in and out of alcoholism and various addictions, exacerbated by the nature of the international energy business culture in places such as Moscow, London and Amsterdam. Darren topped out at a whopping 365 pounds. While drinking and smoking cigars, signs of sugar imbalances, such as mood swings, fatigue, and foot tingling, began to worsen. His wife, Francesca, relentlessly pleaded for him to consider his health and the effects on his family, but nothing seemed to work.
Darren & Francesca in 2007
Finally after 10-12 years of weight struggle and alcohol abuse, Darren knew if he continued at this rate he was going to die. Darren's mother sent a documentary called "Reversing Diabetes in 30 days on a Raw Food Diet" in an attempt to help. Darren promptly dismissed this as impossible, however, it caught the attention of Francesca who was beginning to think that switching to a raw diet might help take her husband off medication.
After some convincing, Darren noticed that a juice bar opened on his street and started to have vegetable juice once in a while, noticing that he felt somewhat better. By chance, the two were grabbing some things out of storage across the street from OrganicLives on Quebec St. in Vancouver, and Francesca nudged Darren to head over to see if he could pick up a juicer. When Darren walked in that fateful day, he reports, "I just got this overwhelming feeling, something happened. I saw a Feed Life Starve Cancer poster on the wall and something clicked. I knew I needed to look more into it."
Darren booked a personal consultation for the very next day with Preet, OrganicLives CEO and Founder. He decided to take on the 30 day meal plan, agreeing to eat only at OrganicLives and the rest is history. Continue reading to find out how Darren came off medication and jump started his life
Darren in October 2011
OrganicLives: Darren, we are so happy you are open to sharing your journey with our community. So, how did the first consultation with Preet go?
Darren: We spoke for a couple hours, it was a Saturday. Preet had a great approach with me. He has an incredible depth of knowledge that is just unbelievable when it comes to the body and food so it was an unplugging moment for me. I started my diet change that day and did a 30 day juicing challenge. He told me everything that would happen, it was really tough. Detoxing, troubles with bowel movements, and emotional release. I would have vivid dreams about things that happened in the past. It was unbelievable and very intense. It happened that Francesca and my son Antonio went on a planned 2 week vacation to Portugal and I am happy that they were not around for the first phase of the Health Plan as it the detoxing effects led to several emotional outbursts.
Everything that Preet said would happen, happened. He was a great resource for me. The doctors say when you get diabetes you need to build your own "health team." So, the first step was to contact my good friend and personal trainer, Ted Loo (www.tedloofitness.com) and continue my psychological counseling with Dr. Geoffery Carr who I had been going together with Francesca.The final and most important team member was Preet at OrganicLives on what and how to eat. . These three people are the legs to the stool that I am going to build my life upon.
OL: Describe the health regimen you began in July.
Darren: The first 5 days was juice only. The next 5 days were juices and smoothies. The next 5 days were juice, smoothies, and one green salad. Then I reintroduced solid food that was plant based. After a week or two I went back on the 30 day Health Plan. I've been doing the 30 day Health Plan over and over again since then. I also train with my trainer, Ted Lou, 3 times a week.
Francesca: And in the first two weeks of doing the challenge he went off his diabetic medication. He had been working out before July but changing his diet really made the difference when it came to coming off the medication for Diabetes.
Darren: Preet told me that would happen, but I just couldn't believe it. We talked about the diabetic health industry, how they say you can't reverse diabetes and how it's a 40 billion dollar business. I knew I should be skeptical but I just couldn't believe how quickly it happened and I want to share my story with the world.
OL: So what's the diabetes status now after 3 months of making these diet and lifestyle changes?
D: I was 253 pounds when I started the program and within 2 months I was 225 and off medication. It's a combined effort of training 3 times per week with my trainer Ted Loo and the diet changes I've made here at OrganicLives.
OL: Addiction-wise, how have these changes made a difference?
D: As soon as I started to eat this way, I realized you are what you eat. The 100% philosophy has really spoken to me. It's integrity or nothing. It's 100% always now and I'm just going to die trying. Addiction-wise, I have cravings once in a while; however I have the support system to fall back on.
OL: What has been the most difficult part of this process for you? What was your solution?
D: Because I'm social, I'd say it's been hardest dealing with friendships and business relationships - most specifically business lunches and business dinners. I bring OrganicLives to restaurants for business meetings and plate the food now as a solution. Also, traveling in Europe and the Middle East is difficult. Trying to find vegan and vegetarian food while traveling can be a challenge, however I travel with my OrganicLives coconut water and juicer. . It's possible, for sure, it's just about preparation and awareness.
OL: What are you most proud of about this experience?
D: The pride that I have is probably based on having more energy in order to be present for my family. My family is the most important thing to me, I have four children. Seeing my youngest son Antonio's interest in the changes I've made - he's lost weight, he's 12, I feel like a better role model and a better dad.
Francesca: We've always had healthy meals at home but the snacks he used to bring in for the in between times really were the problem. Watching Antonio learn and change as a result of this has been really inspiring.
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