Daniel Rojas, a 34-year-old father of two daughters, was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes on January 18, 2019. His A1C was at 8.2, above the limit for normal blood sugar; he had fatty liver disease and high blood pressure.
“My doctor told me that I could correct everything that was going on, if I was diligent, in about one year’s time, and luckily enough gave me a choice as to how to proceed,” said Rojas.
His doctor suggested he could go on Metformin but was honest in adding that if he started the medication without any further action, he wouldn’t be able to come off it. The second option was to change his lifestyle and come back for a checkup in a month. Rojas chose the latter option, which included the advice that he try a keto lifestyle. He immediately went home and started doing research on YouTube.
“I stumbled onto one of Dr. Berg’s videos and that led to several other videos that he produced,” he said. “There is a lot of information that he put out but the two main things that I took away from him were: get healthy to lose weight and make sure I was eating a whole-food, plant-based diet.” [Dr. Berg recommends Healthy Keto™ — a diet rich in whole foods, including plenty of fresh high-quality vegetables as well as animal fats and proteins.]
The support he received from his wife helped Rojas through the process. Feeling results, right from the get-go, kept him motivated.
“I felt so good all the time and when I did stray and eat carbs I felt lethargic and unwell,” he said. “When I did have moments of weakness I always brought it back to why I started. I was very sick and my kids deserve to have a father around who can keep up with them for as long as I can.”
In his first month of keto, Rojas lost 15 pounds (7 kg). His liver enzymes and fasting blood sugar dropped dramatically as well. In the months to follow, he continued to lose weight and feel better.
“I feel amazing. I have so much more energy and feel more in tune with the signals my body tells me,” he said. “The hardest part was, of course, saying no to things that I loved like pizza and candy.”
By sticking with keto, Rojas eventually lost 62 pounds (28 kg) in four months and now just works to maintain his good health.
“The best part is waking up every day and not feeling like an old man. I don't hurt like I used to. I enjoy food so much more than I used to. And, of course [I enjoy] the boundless energy I have now,” he said. “Small choices every day can have far-reaching and even transcendent effects on your life. Going through this experience has shown me potential I never knew I possessed.”
Favorite Way to Exercise: “I have always loved calisthenics. A wide variety of pushups and abdominal exercises mostly,” said Rojas. “I have not stepped foot into a gym.”
Favorite Keto Recipe: “I call it my tray of greens,” he said. “I put asparagus, Brussel sprouts, and broccoli onto a cookie sheet, put some olive and coconut oil on them, season [them] how I like, and put some parmesan on the sprouts, [then roast] at 425 degrees F for 20 minutes. You can make salmon, tuna, NY strip, or chicken breast while the tray of greens is baking. It is amazing every time.”