Brenda – Join the Party at KetoFest

posted in: Health and Nutrition | 32
Dr. Jason Fung: There’s an exciting event happening in New London Connecticut in July 15-16 called Ketofest. It’s a festival for the low carb lifestyle, meaning that it’s not just a conference, but a party. Tickets are ridiculously cheap at $250 for the weekend, and health professionals are free to register! Let me introduce one of the organizers, Brenda. She writes:
My name is Brenda. I am a 53 year old grandmother of six, I ride a dual sport motorcycle, and I lift weights.

And I no longer have diabetes.

Brenda – Before
I am passionate about helping others and currently spend several hours a day facilitating online support groups and forums at www.ketogenicforums.com. I mentor family, friends, and those who reach out to me online. I’ve told my story on the 2 Keto Dudes podcasts (www.2ketodudes.com), episodes 21, 32, and 46.
I feel an urgency to educate – to prevent obesity, dialysis, and amputation. I’ve done it all for no profit, my payment thus far has been the unmatched joy of helping to change lives. Why? Because I will never forget the dark black hole I, myself only emerged from.
I was unhappy and sick for many years. The obese are often mistreated and ridiculed. I felt hopeless – always following my doctor’s instructions, always getting heavier and sicker. I thought it was my fault. At quarterly checkups, my physician always asked if I was following her instructions. I really felt that I was to blame for my increasing poor health. Dr. Jason Fung calls this ‘The Unspoken Accusation’ – the advice is good but I wasn’t following it, so I was to blame. But I was following the ADA’s recommended diet exactly as instructed. I was also taking the maximum dose of metformin, two statins and high blood pressure medication.
I continued to gain weight, I continued to lose energy, and depression set in. My physician always asked me if I was eating whole grains and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, which I had been doing very faithfully. And exercising. And eating low fat, and low sodium. All the things we thought we were supposed to do to be healthy. I didn’t buy butter, I limited red meat, cheese, and eggs. I only used vegetable oils and ate six times a day as instructed – three meals and three snacks.
What a progressive disaster my health became. My A1c was 12 and my triglycerides were 1200. Things were spiraling out of control. Little did I know it was not because I didn’t follow the diet, it was all caused by following the ADA’s insane diabetic diet plan. I had developed neuropathy in my right foot. A large area had become numb. My doctor recommended an injectable that day to help “control my blood sugar”. I just knew I had had enough. I knew something wasn’t right. I was incredibly frustrated and heartbroken. I was looking at the spector of death, dialysis, and amputation… despite my valiant efforts to comply.
I was PISSED. This was all so unfair. Confusing. Frustrating. Why??!!
I refused the medication. I went home and did some serious evaluating.
Seemed to me there were two things going on:
1. Carbohydrates were the problem, so from now on I would eat very little
2. WTF was all this body fat for? Why was it there? It was clear to me it was energy storage. Why wasn’t my body using it???!!
I had zero clue about the mechanisms involved. I hadn’t read any books or articles, I wasn’t even online yet at the time. I was just angry, desperate and ready to try anything. On my own. I stopped seeing my physician and also stopped all my medications
.
I ate once in the morning, then not again until 10 hours later, when I ate trace carbohydrate with my dinner. That was it. I figured my body could access my fat storage if it were hungry in between. And it worked. I quickly dropped 50 pounds and felt fantastic. But then the weight started creeping back.

Fate often drops someone in your path when needed. My friend Dean told me about the book “Wheat Belly”. I read it and began to understand the concepts of high insulin, fat storage, and a low carb diet. Then I joined online LCHF groups, and quickly discovered the ketogenic diet. I thought those keto people were crazy. Ha! But I love a challenge and decided to jump in. Three months later my depression was gone. That alone kept me on plan. By five months ketogenic, my A1c was 6! I have been on the ketogenic diet now since February of 2014.

Brenda and me in Low Carb Breckenridge
I added fasting to my regular health regimen when “The Obesity Code” was published. I was extremely excited to try Dr. Fung’s methods. I had already naturally shifted to intermittent fasting on my ketogenic diet, normally only wanting to eat one meal per day. I loved the idea of increasing my insulin sensitivity with fasting, the benefits of autophagy, and HGH release for building muscle.

Dr. Fung’s book put me at ease as to the safety of fasting. I began with a 48 hour fast. My friend Richard Morris from 2KetoDudes and I did it together. We weren’t sure we could. Now we have fasted three days once a month for over a year, sometimes more often. Known as the “Zornfast” on the ketogenic forum, both Richard and I have completed a ten day fast as well! Fasting has further dramatically improved my health. My fasting insulin number has dropped, and my fasting blood glucose is normal now, between 70-100 mg/dL, even in the morning!

To me? This is a miracle. The ketogenic diet and fasting has saved my life. At my sickest point my A1c was 12, my triglycerides 1200 and I had started to develop neuropathy – a large area where I no longer had feeling. It was numb. I was heartbroken, and believed the damage to be permanent and irreversible. (Note – This neuropathy often leads to amputations – Dr. Jason Fung)
Today I am on zero medication. I no longer have hypertension, I lost over 100 pounds. I also lift weights, and have a wonderful Lean Body Mass of 127 lbs at 5’7″, age 53 (by DEXA). My A1c just last week measured at 5.5, and my triglycerides at 90.I no longer have neuropathy in my right foot. The day I discovered it was healing was very emotional. Now it is completely healed.
Sitting next to Gary Fettke at a ketogenic dinner (that I helped cook!) in Breckenridge this last February, I told him about my healed foot. Gary is an orthopaedic surgeon who was silenced in Tasmania for helping guide his patients to a path of proper nutrition. He was frustrated with having to amputate diabetic’s limbs when he knew the disease could be easily managed with nutrition. I told Dr. Fettke I had been on the ketogenic diet just over three years, and that my foot had recently completely healed. His eyes lit up,  and he smiled and said to me “Do you know how long it takes for the nerves to regrow from your spinal cord to your foot? Three years.”
Life. Is. Good.
Dr. Jason Fung: You are an amazing woman, Brenda. Just one more success story in how ketogenic/ LCHF diets and intermittent fasting can reverse type 2 diabetes – a feat that most doctors would consider impossible. When asked her future plans, Brenda replied with this memorable line – “We plan to unf*ck the world. LOL”. I should totally steal that.
You can meet Brenda at the upcoming Ketofest from July 14-16 in New London, Connecticut organized by Richard Morris and Carl Franklin of the 2KetoDudes podcast. In case you don’t know them, Richard Morris is a software developer from Australia, made partner on Wall St by 35, by 38 he had pre-diabetes, so he retired at 40 determined to find out why – and how to reverse the disease. By 48 he’d found a ketogenic diet and 5 months later his diabetes was “cured”.
Carl was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in June 2015. From February 2016 onward, he decided to go ‘full Monty’ into a ketogenic lifestyle with the resulting weight loss and reversal of diabetes. Richard and Carl Franklin are the hosts of the popular 2 Keto Dudes podcast on the subject of curing diabetes.
Together they have organized an entire weekend where Richard and Carl have convinced the town of New London will go Keto. This is not your usual conference. It’s a party. Yes, there will be lecture with science, but what conference do you know has a pig roast? It’ll be fun, with plenty of friendly people. Check it out at www.ketofest.com.

32 Responses

  1. Great story Brenda, very inspirational !

    • Brenda Zorn

      Thank you. Dr. Fung is the MAN! I love this keto life 💙

  2. Roxanne

    Thanks to Brenda Zorn, Richard Morris, Carl Franklin, Jason Fung and so many others for all of their efforts to “unf*ck the world”!

  3. I’ve looked a that keto fest multiple times. I live about 1.5 hours away. I find it difficult to pay $250/person when I really only want to go on Sunday. (Well, I’d go both days, but that’s too much time away from the family.) I’d like my wife to come too, but the cost is too high, not to mention there’s no way for our kids to come. Also, traveling south through Connecticut on Sunday evening on a weekend in the summer…Let’s just say you’d rather have a root canal without pain killers.

    • Brenda Zorn

      We plan to have this festival next year as well. Most of the discounts and single day passes were offered early. Sorry you cannot be there this year.

  4. Donna L.

    I am proud to have been Brenda’s friend for these years. I am always truly inspired by her. Thanks for always being awesome, Brenda <3

    • Brenda Zorn

      I LOVE YOU DONNA 💝
      Donna has been a great support to ME these last three years!

  5. Grande depoimento Brenda!
    Sou do Brasil, acompanho todas as publicações do DR. JASON FUNG.
    Não sou diabética, tenho meus níveis de glicose e insulina normais para toda a vida.
    Mas tinha uma OBESIDADE severa e um quadro preocupante de LIPEDEMA.
    Consegui perder peso e ter uma melhora significativa da Lipedema, sigo uma dieta LOWCARB e jejum com uma refeição só por dia.
    Obrigado a todos!

    • Brenda Zorn

      Translated from Portuguese:
      “Great testimonial Brenda!
      I am from Brazil, I am following all the publications of DR. JASON FUNG.
      I’m not diabetic, I have my normal glucose and insulin levels for life.
      But he had a severe OBESITY and a worrisome picture of LIPEDEMA.
      I was able to lose weight and have a significant improvement in Lipedema, I follow a LOWCARB diet and fast with one meal a day.
      Thank you all!”

      My response to Anaide, hope I translated properly and didn’t say something bad! Lol:

      Estou tão feliz que você melhorou sua saúde Anaide! Adoro comer baixo teor de carboidratos, e amo o jejum ainda mais! Eu também sou um seguidor do trabalho do Dr. Fung, e tive o prazer de conhecê-lo na Conferência Low Carb Breckenridge em fevereiro passado. -Brenda 💖

  6. DebbieC

    Wow, sounds like a fun event! If I was still living in NJ I would definitely sign up, but it’s just too far from my current home in Florida. After breaking my wrist last summer I spiraled into a black hole, went off my eating plan, blood sugars soaring. Gained nearly 40 pounds. Then in April I developed a bad UTI, and the PA at my doctor’s office – who works with a research lab – recommended that I get into the diabetes trial they were running, testing a new drug vs. an old one. The new drug is designed to *increase* your insulin, and the comparison drug was Invokana!

    I really didn’t want MORE drugs in my life and decided to take control of my life. I had not even checked my BG in months as I was too depressed to care. So that first morning I tested and it was 310! I began strict LCHF with IF. After my first 48-hour fast my FBG had come down to 165. I’ve also lost 15 pounds. Obviously I have a long way to go, and BG still bounces up and down, but has never hit 300 since that first day. This won’t happen overnight but I’m working on it.

    When I told the research director that I would not participate in her study, citing stuff from Dr. Fung, she replied that there is no such thing as reversing diabetes, and that there was a lot missing and wrong in the information I quoted to her, which could be very dangerous for some people.

    I admit I do wish I knew what she considered missing or wrong, but still feel LCHF and IF are a better way to go than the two drugs she is testing. 36 hours into my current fast and feeling good! 🙂

    • Brenda Zorn

      Oh wow. Fantastic Debbie! Nothing missing or wrong. Read Dr Fung’s “The Obesity Code” and see your physician with any concerns. I bet you do great! It does take time, and patience. You need to have a “F*cking Fierce Self Love”! That’s a phrase I coined, and my friend Kassie Ewers made a tshirt for me! Be gentle with yourself. You can do this! And poke me on the forum with any questions just type @brenda or message me 💟

    • Keep on keeping on, Debbie. I have lost 30 lbs in 10 weeks on the ketogenic diet along with extended and intermittent fasting. Do not listen to misinformed doctors! Follow doctor Fung’s advice. He is a savior. And if you need support, listen to podcasts about the ketogenic diet, including FAST TALK with Dr. Fung, Megan Ramos, and Jimmy Moore. Moore has two more great podcasts. As you change your lifestyle, you may need some help with reorganizing your pantry and knowing what to eat and what not to eat. The best podcast on the air for that advice is ketovangelistkitchen.com. A classically trained chef named #Carrie Brown now devotes her career to developing recipes for us to cook and teaches us about healthy ingredients we can substitute to make dishes we have always loved but think we can’t eat–like 30 scrumptious ice cream recipes! She keeps it simple but insanely delicious. So don’t waiver from your goal of becoming a healthy woman with a vibrant life to live. I will be cheering for you!

  7. ROBERTA RANKIN

    I AM VERY PROUD OF MY DAUGHTER BRENDA, SHE HAS OVERCOME MUCH MORE THAT SHE EXPLAINS IN THIS ARTICLE, BUT SHE HAS COME OUT ON TOP TOP TOP. BRENDA IS PROOF THAT YOU CAN CHANGE IF YOU HAVE THE DESIRE AND WILL.
    YOU CAN TOO. BOBBI

    • Brenda Zorn

      Thank you Mom. I love you!
      Mom is a kind, bright, spirited soul who loves me unconditionally and always has. She’s my #1 fan. She has been dealing with multiple sclerosis for nearly 30 years. She is a huge source of inspiration, taught me self respect, and dignity. (The talk to text app used types in all caps, fyi.)

      My mother is tough as nails and don’t take no sh*t. Thank you for being my source of strength Mom!

  8. Well done Brenda, and thanks for sharing your inspiring story.

    My own experience is similar (patient profile in February 2015 in this blog). I recognise your anger. Even now I encounter doctors, nurses and dieticians who dismiss LCHF because ” there isn’t enough evidence that it will be safe in the long term”. It destroyed my faith in the medical profession and it is only the selfless work of real Doctors (using the literal meaning for the title – “teacher”) like Jason Fung that has restored my ability to trust the advice of some of the profession.

    You have motivated to spread the message wherever I can.

    • Brenda Zorn

      I read your story John. So glad you found this path as well. If I motivated you to spread the message, my work is done here! Lol. Great work! KCKO

  9. Michèle Wilcox

    I loved reading this story!
    I don’t have health issues myself, but yesterday I was excited because I gave my first recommendation to a patient (I’m a nurse at an ENT office) to check out the dietdoctor website. The patient was taking a few minutes to recover from a procedure and I chatted with him about this and that. He told me he’d just come from his GP’s office where he’d been given medicine for high blood pressure. I took a deep breath and decided to say something.

    4-5 years ago Wheat Belly was the first book I read on the subject because an elderly patient (like 80) had lost a LOT of weight after applying the principles. I realized something was wrong and my read-a-thon started. It’s definitely time to unf*ck the world. I’m going to do my best to get as many nurses involved as possible. So, Go Brenda! Wish I could make it to the party but I’ll have to settle with saying hello from Sweden!

    • Brenda Zorn

      Thank you Michéle.
      The health care professionals are a secret portal in to unf*cking the world with LCHF. That and medical insurace.

  10. Wondering if there are any LCHF cookbooks written around low income families or retired persons on very low fixed income? Facing retirement soon with this very concern. Thank you! Kathy

    • Brenda Zorn

      There could be. I have not looked, though for me? Eating ketogenically has been more inexpensive than the standard American diet. I eat less and eat less often, I buy almost no processed food. I buy very basic meat, eggs, cheese, butter and low carb berries, vegetables/greens. I stock up on sale items and shop at farmers markets.
      Only special low carb treats require costly ingredients such as almond flour.

  11. Ron Hunter

    Wow! Big congratulations on taking charge of your health and for helping spread the word on the benefits of the keto lifestyle. I’m trying to do my part to help stave off this diabetes epidemic that is going worldwide. Thanks also to Dr. Fung for his post promoting your event.

  12. Gary cheng

    Hi

    I m from malaysia. Hope i can have some help and advise from you.

    Thanks

    Gary Cheng

  13. Steve Kidd

    I’m going off topic for a minute but it will relate at the end. We have always had conspiracy theories throughout time. Most all of it is influenced by MONEY & POLITICS. Whether it be the price if oil or gold, JFK assassination, Watergate, the Clintons/Obama/Trump, whatever… I honestly believe “Big Pharma” is the leader in deceiving the average person today. Yes, I believe they all want us to live long  but not out of caring for our well being but to have life long customers. There is little money in 1 time cures but there is an infinite amount of money in lifelong customers.

    My wife Tammy Kidd started keto a few years ago. I watched passively for about 6 months and then slowly followed along. She has become a walking encyclopedia of knowledge on nutrition and keto with her passionate research. Between Brenda Zorn, Dr fung, 2ketodudes, I think I am ranked at 4th now when it’s my turn to speak, but it’s all good. Lol
    In short, my dad was gone at 52 because of diabetes. I grew up watching him take insulin shots and meds to the end all while following the Dr’s and ADA’s instruction. Why was there no cure? Why was there no goal of being independent from all daily medicine? MONEY, that’s why. Like stated above, there is little money in cures, the money is in lifelong customers.

    Two keto years later for us and we are both down 40 pounds and medicine free at 50 yro . Lab blood work at Dr is perfect as she has completely reversed her diabetes and I have held off what I thought was hereditary and inevitable.

    We are now entering the home stretch looking at early retirement. Not being healthy, obese, or on several hundred dollars a month worth of daily meds makes a whole new look at retirement age. We don’t need to work til near death and receiving Medicare. With a combination of a lifetime of investing 10% of paycheck for retirement and realizing before it was too late that YOUR HEALTH IS YOUR BIGGEST INVESTMENT IN LIFE, we plan on being retired by 57 with full health and control of our lives.

    • Brenda Zorn

      Steve! That is an excellent write up! Thank you. Yes, I love your wife. Her and I hit it off long ago, and solidified that bond at the Missouri meat up (or was I in Illinois? IDK. Lol.)

      Please consider posting your story on our forum. I’ll be glad to help you with that. We have a Type 2 diabetes section. You guys would also be great podcast guest material.

      Thank you for your awesome comment. Give Tammy a hug from me. I may meet you soon. I’m doing a lot of couch surfing this summer on my bike trips.

  14. Hi Brenda, great story.

    I agree with Bob that I would be most interested in Friday and Sunday.

    Also, I know a number of people in health care, not sure why you want speech and occupational therapists to attend but do not mention either dentists (diabetes and the associated mainstream medication can necessitate more trips to the dentist) or optometrists (diabetic eye problems and vision changes) and probably the category that most needs to attend, NUTRITION experts! Also, many solo practitioners I know just have a regular gmail or (if older) aol.

    • Brenda Zorn

      Lori,
      Other health professionals are welcome to come. You have a good point about dentists and optometrists.
      Have them submit a request.

      For everyone else, unfortunately one day passes were only offered early on, during our Kickstarter campaign. 🙁

  15. GREAT story, GREAT inspiration!! Thank you Brenda! I am committed to spread this message as far and as wide as I can!
    Every time we spread this message, we light a candle! Eventually, all these candles will become like a rising SUN!
    Going ketogenic 9 months ago has also cured my diabetes, my A1c is down from 8.2 to 4.8, I have lost 42 KG, and my life at age 60 is simply worth living again!

  16. Such an inspiration. Please bring this festival to Charlotte, North Carolina! This will be an amazing party. Thank you for all that you do in this world.

  17. Steve McGovern

    I had type 2 Diabetes for 13yrs and through diet and exercise, I been Diabetes free for 18 months now!

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