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"My doctor's mouth fell open."
Less energy, 'weird spots' under her feet, poor reading ability, and tired, dry eyes. These were all complaints that led to a visit to the GP about a year ago. Anneke Madna (65) turned out to have type 2 diabetes. She was immediately given medication, but it didn't feel satisfactory to her. She started a search for new insights and came across the approach of the Lifestyle Docs and their nutritional method The SSD Plan. She is now diabetes free.
“I can read for a long time again and the neuropathy under my feet is almost completely gone”.
Anneke Madna is an energetic, adventurous woman who loves the outdoors. In 2005 she and her husband moved to Sweden in search of peace, space and more quality of life. “At that time we had five dogs, two Icelandic horses and two Shetland ponies. “Sweden was therefore ideal for us. We have enjoyed long walks and wonderful rides with our horses through the Swedish forests for years”. In addition to the outdoors, Anneke has another passion: reading. Trained as a librarian, she spent her entire working life between books. In recent years she worked as a school librarian in the Swedish municipality of Kinda.
“I read always and everywhere, and always have to have books around me. To me a room without books is like a body without a soul”.
More and more complaintsLast October, Anneke started to notice that she had less energy, and that a number of 'vague' but serious complaints had gradually arisen. “I had some weird spots under my feet, and had some real difficulties reading at times. I also suffered from tired, dry eyes. I went to the doctor, and sure enough: diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. I immediately received a prescription for the diabetes medicine Metformin. I started with one tablet a day, but that quickly became four. Then I also got two other drugs, the blood glucose lowering drugs Jardiance and Trajenta. (These drugs are prescribed in adults with type 2 diabetes when the disease cannot be controlled well enough with one oral anti-diabetic drug). There was no mention of diet and lifestyle. Not once was my living and eating habits asked. It was only said that a 'beneficial side effect' of the tablets was that I would lose weight”.
“I had to tackle my condition with exactly what had caused it: my diet.”
MedicationAnneke was not visibly overweight. She weighed 82 kilos, and with a height of 1.74 m had a BMI of 26. “You would say: that is slightly to moderately overweight. But weight and BMI clearly don't say everything, because I did have type 2 diabetes. That's why I first started taking the medication, but I wasn't that enthusiastic about it. I got less appetite, stomach and intestinal complaints and was often nauseous. In addition, I was, of course, well aware that this type of mediation is only a symptomatic remedy, does not address the underlying cause and therefore is not a path to a real cure. I knew I had to start tackling my condition with the very thing that created it: my diet.”
“It is not the disorders, but the diet and lifestyle that runs in the family. It is passed on from generation to generation.”
Heartburn, Weight Gain and Arthritis“I had been involved in nutrition for a number of years. I often suffered from heartburn, was gaining weight, had massive hot flashes and rheumatoid arthritis. All things that my grandmother and mother also had, and what is said then: well, it runs in the family, so there is nothing you can do about it. It is not the disorders, but the diet and lifestyle that runs in the family. It is passed on from generation to generation. You eat and live as you have been taught. And that's how you keep doing it. With all the associated health problems that entails.”
“It is not the disease, but the diet and lifestyle that runs in the family. It is passed on from generation to generation. You eat and live as you have been taught.”
QuestAnneke had been eating vegetarian for a long time because of her health problems. However, this did not have the satisfactory result. On American websites she came across a lot about whole food plant-based nutrition: unprocessed (or minimally processed) food derived from plants, and no animal proteins such as meat, dairy and eggs. In February she switched completely to plant-based food, and the effect was enormous. From that moment on my blood values got better and better. During my search for tasty recipes and new insights I came across the SSD method. That was the moment that I gained even more insight into the functioning of food and the biochemistry of the body”.
Diabetes freeLast month Anneke's blood was checked. She turned out to be diabetes free. Her doctor was very pleased, and said it was time to adjust the diabetes medication. But Anneke had news for him: she hadn't taken any medicine for months. “I had already decided that I would rely more on my new lifestyle than on medication. His mouth dropped open. He asked what my new eating pattern looked like. I gave him information about the SSD method and showed him the SSD Facebook group where people with various chronic conditions share their daily experiences with this method. His reaction was very positive, he went to look at it. Also to be able to help other patients with this”.
“My husband participates for the most part. His blood pressure is also much better now.”
Anne is feeling better than ever. “I now weigh 69 kilos. I have energy again, feel more positive, can read for a long time again and the neuropathy under my feet is almost completely gone. I don't exercise, but I exercise a lot. Being outdoors, walking, working on our small farm in the garden and horseback riding. At the moment we only have two dogs, but I also walk a lot with them. I will also pick up riding on Icelandic horses again. Lovely drive through the Swedish forests. My husband participates for the most part. His blood pressure is also much better now. Every now and then he jumps out of the band. Then he is in the Netherlands, and he feasts on croquettes, herrings and bread”. I do not do that.
“I love a good green smoothie. That's the start of my day."
With her new lifestyle, simple daily routines have also changed, such as shopping. “I now have a fixed route through the supermarket. I skip most of it. I buy basic products such as beans, shirataki noodles, diced tomatoes, tofu and many spices. In addition, frozen vegetables and fruit (strawberries and blackcurrants). I grow vegetables and fresh herbs myself. I vary by the use of herbs. Sometimes it's Japanese, sometimes Indonesian or Mexican. I avoid ready-made meat substitutes, that is no longer necessary. And I love a good green smoothie, that's my first meal every day. It has now even gone so far that I am busy picking wild. Nettles and dandelions regularly disappear into the smoothie. I start eating at 10am and don't eat anything after 7pm. That has also contributed enormously to weight loss.”
Not a diet, but a lifestyleAnneke emphasizes that SSD is not a diet but a lifestyle. “You live differently, think differently, taste differently. A new world opens up for me. SSD is my life now and always will be. In addition, this way of living is also an ethical choice. I no longer want to contribute to animal suffering and environmental disruption, although I do occasionally fly to the Netherlands. I tell everyone around me about this method, whether they want to know or not haha. Moreover, everyone sees the result! And I invite people to let them taste how it can be done. They are often amazed by the taste sensations, and by how simple and delicious really healthy food can be.”
“SSD is now my life, and always will be!”
Anneke's tipsLearn what diabetes is. Read about this.
Choose an SSD lifestyle and don't hesitate. You can do it rigorously or gradually, but stick to it. And here too the following applies: read, learn, ask!
And to measure is to know, so keep a close eye on your blood sugar levels for the first 3 months. This is with medication.
Get moving. Make sure you find something you can actually stick with. You don't have to go to the gym every day. A nice daily walk or bike ride is enough. And keep doing this!