Todd Rosenthal Shares Recipes and Secrets of His Four-Step Eating Plan
Todd Rosenthal changed his diet “on a dime” in November 2010, plummeting his fasting blood sugar from 310 to below 100 in a month without drugs. He enjoys sharing his success as we discuss what he’s learned.
Todd ate “the Standard American Diet” growing up. His eating habits deteriorated even more when he began working as a small town journalist. Always on the go to cover the news, Todd consumed a diet he describes as “90% fat.” His favorite foods were barbecued ribs, ice cream, frozen dinners, and snack items. Later, when he switched careers to a family-owned business and then Internet sales, he continued the same food habits. Todd notes “I logged a million miles in the fast food lane.”
One visit to the doctor changed all that. In addition to his scary fasting blood sugar of 310, Todd had numbness in his limbs and extremities, low energy, and a constant grumpy mood. “If you don’t change, you won’t be here in two years,” his doctor advised.
The physician’s idea of change centered on taking lots of meds, but Todd pushed back. He researched the drug side effects and grappled with the need to take them for life.
The timing was perfect for a trip from Todd’s Florida home to visit a San Diego couple who are close friends. Tracy Childs and Steve Sarnoff are long-time vegans who advocate a whole foods, plant-based diet. Tracy gave Todd two books to read during his stay. The first was Dr. Neal Barnard’s Program for Reversing Diabetes, written by the well-known President of Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). The second was my book, The Perfect Formula Diet: How to Lose Weight and Get Healthy Now With Six Kinds of Whole Foods.
Todd wasted no time in formulating and following a plan based on the ideas in these two books. He ended up calling his choice The Home Run Diet. Step one, a single, was to go vegan – that is, eat a 100% plant-based diet
free of meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy.
The double was cutting dietary fat down to 10% of calories. The triple was significantly lowering sodium. Todd could tell that salt made him feel bad and gain weight.
Green smoothies were Todd’s home run. He does not much enjoy greens but knew he wanted to get some into his menu. He discovered that throwing leafy greens into a blender with fruit and water made them taste great.
In order to advance from base to base, Todd had to stay in touch with himself both physically and emotionally. Each of the four steps followed a month or two apart, whenever he felt like his pace of improvement was slowing. “I felt like I was doing a science experiment on myself,” Todd observes.
After getting out of his animal food and processed food rut, Todd felt rejuvenated and his life improved in many ways. In addition to trouncing diabetes without drugs, 90% of the numbness in his limbs went away and he no longer walks “like an old man.” His energy soared and his mood brightened. Even the way he looks at animals and the planet changed as he was able to appreciate the environmental and compassionate reasons to eat animal-free.
In the seven months since he went vegan, Todd has lost 50 pounds. This is an ideal, sustainable pace of weight loss. “I’m back to my high school weight,” he confides.
Todd found the weight loss easy because he did not have to limit food or portion sizes artificially. He eats when he is hungry and stops when he is full. He consumes “huge” bowls of rice and beans, and doesn’t worry if he wants that third piece of fresh fruit.
As another bonus, Todd finds his grocery budget nicely affordable. He usually avoids restaurants because they seldom have the foods he wants. Spending less than $150 a month for food, Todd buys most of his groceries in Walmart. He fills his cart with greens and other veggies, fruit, nori (for snacks), whole oats, brown rice, dried and canned beans, and a wide variety of herbs and spices.
I ask Todd how much he likes his new eating plan. “You can’t sustain it if you don’t enjoy it,” he responds. “My food has to satisfy the fat guy in me.” Todd accomplishes this by experimenting with recipes. He often gets his inspiration from Youtube, searching the site
for ideas on cooking specific kinds of produce, such as beets. He uses many herbs, spices, and flavorful blends (such as Mrs. Dash) to gratify his cravings for delicious tastes. (Use this link to find some of Todd’s favorite breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack recipes.)
“I feel like shouting it from the rooftop,” Todd says of his joy in being vegan. He serves as a role model to educate others. He appreciates it’s difficult to change and notes how important it is to put out information in a friendly, approachable way. Now that he’s hit a home run, Todd is ready to help everyone else do the same.
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Blog posting by Janice Stanger, Ph.D. Janice authored The Perfect Formula Diet: How to Lose Weight and Get Healthy Now With Six Kinds of Whole Foods. This easy-to-follow eating plan is built on sustainable food choices that can prevent, and even reverse, most chronic disease.
Tags: diabetes, Dr. Neal Barnard, getting healthy, green smoothies, home run diet, Janice Stanger, lose weight, making a difference now, Plant-based nutrition, reverse chronic disease, Steve Sarnoff, Todd Rosenthal, Tracy Childs, whole foods, whole foods plant-based diet