Hi everybody. I'm here with Kirt Tyson today. How are you doing today, Kirt?Kirt:
I'm doing wonderful, and I'm glad to be here.Mike:
Now, just the fact that you are here is quite amazing in itself. You had quite a journey to get here and get on the raw foods lifestyle. Can you tell us a little bit about your history? What brought you to this point?Kirt:
Actually, it really was a tremendous journey. I was diagnosed with what was originally thought to be type II diabetes back in November of 2005. I was hospitalized with glucose levels of 1,200. I had lost 20 lbs. in about a week. I started losing my vision and I was at stage II kidney damage. I was hospitalized for about four days.
When I was lying in the hospital bed, I recalled the nurses and the doctors coming over to me and saying you have diabetes. You are going to have this for the rest of your life, and you will take insulin or some other medication for diabetes for the rest of your life. It hit me hard because I felt like there was nothing I could do about it. Mike:
Yes, were you overweight at that time too may I ask?Kirt:
No, actually I weighed about 174 lbs. at that time. I'm six feet tall so normal body weight, and I exercised. I ran about four miles a day typically. I ate relatively healthy. No red meat and no pork, but I did eat fish and chicken.Mike:
This then came as quite a shock it seems.Kirt:
Extremely shocking because it came out of nowhere. People always came to me as far as health and so forth. Then for me to come down with diabetes
it was at that point, where wow I'm not as healthy as I thought I was.Mike:
What happened next then?Kirt:
Well after that, while I was in the hospital I prayed. I really prayed and I prayed that if God helped me get over this I'd continue to help other people and show that diabetes is curable, so to speak. I had just finished working on a movie so I was online on Craig's List, and I came across an advertisement. It was for a film for people to participate in a documentary who have type II diabetes and see the effects of raw
food on reversing diabetes.
I was like "Oh God this is a sign!" I couldn't believe it. I said okay or fine. They just told me I had type II diabetes. I'm going to apply for this. I sent in their audition tape. It was originally going to be five members for the movie. They decided to include me as a sixth member. Again, it was a blessing. Within about two weeks, they had a film crew out and then in another week I was on my way to Patagonia, Arizona to participate.Mike:
Did you then jump into the raw foods lifestyle there at the Tree of Life? How did that work?
Going raw for 30 daysKirt:
I had no idea of the raw food concept at all and when I looked at it, it was like raw foods. I started doing research on the Internet and I kept thinking raw meat, why would we eat raw meat? I don't want to eat raw meat! That's all I kept thinking of. I saw some stuff. I said okay, you could have raw fruit, raw vegetables, nuts, and seeds. I was skeptical about the raw meat.
When I got to Arizona it was an even bigger shocker because oh great, we weren't eating raw meat but we didn't have fruit either. All we could have was vegetables, nuts, and seeds.Mike:
Yes, welcome to the therapeutic stage of raw foods
Very much so, very much so. It was a huge shocker but eventually within my first two weeks there, I came off my insulin. I detoxed a whole lot. I mean I was extremely tired for about two weeks. I had serious gastrointestinal issues as far as bowel movements and everything. This is typical of detox.Mike:
Did you go through emotional issues at this time too?Kirt:
Not really, most of it was just physical for the beginning stages to where you are just really, really tired and lethargic. The emotional stage happened a little bit later at the detoxing where I had a great deal of mental clarity. I mean a greater connection to God and so forth. It definitely heightened my spirit and my awareness.Mike:
You say you were able to get off insulin then. How did that happen? Was it just gradually or overnight suddenly your body didn't need that additional insulin?Kirt:
Well for me I wanted to take full part in the documentary. The night before I left to Arizona, I took my last shot of insulin. When I got to Arizona, I stopped taking it because I wanted to see what was going to happen.Mike:
You stopped taking it on your own.Kirt:
I stopped taking it on my own.Mike:
When I stopped taking it my blood sugar was about 150, which really isn't that bad because typically on the American Diabetes Association diet
that I was following my blood sugar on insulin was about 500 on average. I was okay with being at 150 without insulin.Mike:
Well that tells you something about their diet doesn't it?Kirt:
It tells you a lot about their diet.Mike:
Yes, you must have been eating a lot of sugars and carbohydrates. How did you get blood sugar so high?Kirt:
Well see that was interesting. They gave me a chart when I left the hospital so I followed the chart and it says it's okay to have two servings of sugar. Of course, you agree. I can have my two servings of sugar. Sometimes you would have normal blood sugar. Sometimes you would not, but overall I tried to follow that diet. The beginning part of being diagnosed I was really off it.
I was not following it because I was angry at the fact that I didn't eat so much stuff and I still got diabetes. I was like "Why am I trying so hard for this?" I might as well just eat what I didn't eat anyway and just eat it just to be eating it! It was a challenge.Mike:
There at the Tree of Life Center in Patagonia, Arizona did you stick 100% with the vegetable diet – the vegetables, nuts, and seeds.Kirt:
Oh at the Tree of Life I was 100% committed to the diet all the way. One hundred percent raw, it did take some getting used to. Having a salad for breakfast is something to acquire especially when you are used to having maybe bacon and eggs – turkey bacon and eggs or something. Switching to salad for breakfast is a mental shift that you have to go through, but I committed 100% to the raw food
At what point did you find out that you actually had type I diabetes?
Learning the sad truth about allopathic medicineKirt:
I found out that I was a type I diabetic after returning to Baltimore. I stayed on the raw food diet phase I, which means no sugar for an additional two months after returning from the Tree of Life. I set up to meet with my primary care physician, and I had the film crew come with me as well.
I had blood work drawn, and I wanted the blood work to be presented while the film crew was there. Speaking with my primary care physician she came in and she said to me that "Your blood work is beautiful. I see the insulin is working well for you."Mike:
Of course she didn't know you weren't taking insulin.Kirt:
No, I smiled at her and I told her actually I'm not taking any insulin or any medication at all. She shook her head in disbelief and said I don't understand it. She sat down next to me. I told her I'm doing a raw food diet and eliminated sugar.
She said "But even still this should not be possible. When I looked over your blood work from when you came in December I saw that your C-peptide level was low." C-peptide is simply a marker to show how much insulin your body produces.
If you have a low C-peptide that's indicative of type I diabetes. She said, "Well, based off your C-peptide I had you considered a candidate for the insulin pump." I looked at her and I said I couldn't believe this.
The treatment modality that you all were looking to suggest was an insulin pump when there is something more alternative to give me the same effects by just simply changing my diet to something that's a lot more beneficial to my body. That's when I found I was type I.Mike:
What did that do to your belief in conventional medicine too to have the realization that they didn't really have solutions for you?Kirt:
Well that really gave me a blow because I originally was going to go to an allopathic medical school. At that point I really felt that I was not going to learn what I needed to there. I didn't want to do medicine. Everything happens for a reason. I was at a graduation party, and I was telling my story about diabetes.
Someone said well have you thought of holistic medicine or naturopathic medicine and I left there and I looked into it. I came across a school in Tempe, Arizona, which is a naturopathic medical school. I actually attend a naturopathic medical school. I'm working on my doctorate to be a naturopathic physician.Mike:
Oh, that's fantastic. Wow, this whole experience put you on this path to being a naturopath.Kirt:
This path, right.Mike:
Wow. Now, of course, you can speak from personal experience.Kirt:
Right, and I can offer a modality that's different because I have experienced it. I have seen the power of raw food and nutrition when reversing chronic disease that we typically have no hope of reversing.Mike:
What would you say to others who are struggling with type II diabetes or even type I whose primary care physicians have told them they have to be on insulin for the rest of their lives? What would you say to them?Kirt:
The first thing I tell people is you have to believe that this is reversible. The body is capable of healing itself, but you have to give it the nutrition that it needs and that it's looking for. On this raw food diet you are able to accomplish that.
Continuing on the raw foods lifestyleMike:
How is your blood sugar right now? Do you still monitor it at all?Kirt:
I monitor my blood sugar every day. For the past three to four months consistently it has been about 80 to 90 and that's considering me being 95% raw. Occasionally if I go out with my friends to the Cheesecake Factory I do eat cheesecake. Even still my blood sugar is within a normal range for fasting levels.Mike:
You can still deviate slightly outside the diet and enjoy a few things now and then because your body is so healthy and so stabilized from the raw foods that it can handle those stresses, right?Kirt:
Yes, I'm still able to experience some of the things that I ate before and maintain normal blood sugar, but my overall clarity is heightened on the raw food diet so my preference is to stay raw.Mike:
Can you describe your diet briefly? What exactly are you eating right now? I mean today.Kirt:
My typical breakfast consists of raw granola that I make out of almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts, pecans and Yacon syrup with coconut oil
and so forth. Then I make almond nut milk for a bowl of cereal. Everything is made by me. For lunch I typically make a salad consisting of broccoli, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, olives, cucumbers, a little bit of lemon juice. I make a raw sunflower pâté with guacamole and salsa.
That's typically my lunch. For dinner I may have a raw nut burger that I make out of walnuts and different seasoning with some soup that I may make. Typically I make a Miso soup for dinner and I snack on things like almonds and sunflower seeds throughout the day too.Mike:
You are eating many raw, unprocessed fats.Kirt:
Nuts and seeds, vegetables, do you exercise much? What is your exercise schedule like?Kirt:
My exercise regimen is actually a lot less than previously. It's weird because before I used to run about four miles a day and I hardly exercise now and I feel much better than I did when I used to run that often.
The take-home messageMike:
That's very interesting. Do you have a website or a blog, anything like that, that you would like to share?Kirt:
I do have a website for the movie, which is www.RawFor30Days.com
. That's the link for the movie. I don't really have a blog except for my Myspace, which is www.Myspace.com/KirtTyson
That's fantastic. You are going to be posting updates on your Myspace page about your experience here?Kirt:
I definitely will be posting my experience at the raw food and I also post my experiences that I'm going through right now in naturopathic medical school with the different treatment modalities including cancer, which we are… you are really addressing in allopathic medicine to a great extent.Mike:
I really like to hear you say that. It's a favorite topic of mine. Not only preventing it but also reversing cancers with naturopathic medicine.Kirt:
Well Kirt it's very inspiring to talk with you and I really want to keep in touch with you and interview you in the future and talk to you about your journey.Kirt:
I really appreciate you taking the time to even talk with me and allow me the opportunity to share my story. I hope that my story will give hope to other people and realize that they are able to heal from chronic illness. It takes a large part of you, and it takes a mental stance and a lot of determination.Mike:
Well that's the main message for those listening. Again, that when conventional medicine tells you that you have six months to live or that you are going to have to be on medication for the rest of your life or that you have a disease that's irreversible keep in mind that sometimes that's just brainwashing.
That causes harm right there. Those statements from those doctors cause harm because they change your beliefs. They make you think you cannot change it, but as we have heard from Kirt here when you have the courage and willpower to approach this from a different point of view you can make those changes. Anything you want to add to that?Kirt:
I think you hit it right on the head.Mike:
That's an excellent statement. I totally agree 100%.Mike:
Well thank you Kirt for taking the time here today.Kirt:
Thank you so much for having me.