Because there is always hope

I reversed Type II diabetes and wish to share the good news that it's possible as well as recipes and tips. If you wish to share your own story, please get in touch!

Who Makes Money from Diabetes?

Given the enormous upside of type 2 diabetes remission for patients, I’ve been wondering why the idea is so slow to catch on. Here’s a poem that just might explain it.

Note: The poem is based on an early medieval poetic form as found in Gerard Murphy’s book, ‘Early Irish Metrics.’

Who Makes Money from Diabetes? 

Drug purveyors, corporations,
pill for every complication,
physicians, their receptionists,
dieticians, nutritionists,
technicians for dialysis,
blood and urine analysis, 
the nurses and the pharmacists
nephrologists, neurologists,
for eyes, the ophthalmologists,
optometrists, chiropodists,
for joints the rheumatologist,
of course the cardiologists, 
the gastroenterologists,
orthopaedic technologists,
occupational therapists.
No feet? Please see the prosthetist.
Managers, administrators,
life and diet educators,
nurses trained in diabetics,
ambulances, paramedics,
surgeons, endocrinologists,
intensivists and internists, 
for X-rays, radiologists,
the anaesthesiologists,
urologists, oncologists,
podiatrists, pathologists,
the dentists, gynaecologists,
psychiatrists, psychologists.
When stressed, a massage therapist, 
a sleep disorder specialist -
snoring? Buy a respirator.
Shoe and wheelchair fabricators,
physios for exercises,
strips and lancets enterprises,
monitors, logs, magnifiers,
bandages, syringe suppliers,
tracking apps and injectables, 
accountants chase collectables.
Have insurance? Compensation 
keeps the cash in circulation.
Academics, statisticians,
lobbyists, and politicians, 
people writing regulations,
those supported with donations,
fundraisers, associations,
drug purveyors, corporations.

by K. Fionn Murphy

Ancient Irish Poetic Form:
Ollchasbairdne *

Form: 84 84 84 84 **
Rhyme scheme: A B A B 
Dúnad: First word, phrase, or full line (considered best) is repeated at the end of the poem. 
Úaim: Alliteration where possible. The poet in the example below alliterates every non rhyming word with the previous rhyming word.

Example: Rí Achaid Úir ibardraignig/ crathaid in lúin lethanmerlig/ ocon maigin muiredruimnig/ Laigin ina lebargemlib.
* Meaning (perhaps): great bardic craft
** I wasn’t able to manage it completely…  

Source: Early Irish Metrics, by Gerard Murphy

Be Kind

I’ve decided to write a poem on health and diabetes for each of the 84 early Medieval Irish forms given in Gerard Murphy’s book, ‘Early Irish Metrics.’ If you’re interested in trying to write one yourself, see below for the rules of today’s poem. 

Be Kind

Be kind. Too quickly we accuse

our hearts, ourselves, impose pain.

Blind, ashamed, confused, we excuse

self harm as certain, see stains

as lasting when they wash away

like waves. Absolve yourself. Wind

down, let go, watch a doorway

open. The world waits. Be kind.

by K. Fionn Murphy, © 2021

Ancient Irish Poetic Form: Sétnad mór *


Form: 82 71 82 71 **

Rhyme scheme: A B A B 

Dúnad: First word, phrase, or full line (considered best) is repeated at the end of the poem. 

Úaim: Alliteration where possible.


Cráebrúad Chonchobair meic Cathbad

Clár día cingtis curiad cath,

is mó éirned réimned ratha 

asa téiged macha i-mach

* Meaning (perhaps): great treasure poetry. 

** 8 syllables 1st and 3rd line, ending in 2 syllable word, 7 syllables 2nd and 4th line, ending in 1 syllable word.

Source: Early Irish Metrics, by Gerard Murphy

High Blood Sugar? eat More sugar!

Courtesy of and Kraken images

As a patient, much of the health advice around type 2 diabetes seems absurd to the point it might be funny if so many of us weren’t dying young. 

For example, although we suffer from too much blood sugar, they tell us to eat carbohydrates (sugar) – the very thing that causes high blood sugar. Why? To keep our blood sugar high enough so that our medicine doesn’t cause our blood sugar to go too low. As if we should help our medicine, not the other way around. 

Heaven forbid we should simply eat less sugar!

Wisdom of the Blasket Islands

In case you think high fat diets, etc., are brand new, here’s Tomás O’Crohan, the Blasket Island writer, talking about how seal meat, a traditional food for the area, went out of fashion in the late 1800s.

It’s from ‘The Islander’ (published as ‘An tOileánach‘ in 1929).

‘No one knows what is good for them to eat; the people who used to eat those things (seal meat & fat) were twice as healthy as those around now. The poor people out in the country used to say that they believed they’d have a heavenly life if they had the food that the people of Dingle had. But the truth of it is that the people who had ‘good’ food are in the grave long since, and the people of the famine are still alive and kicking.’

PS. Mind you, I’m glad we’re not eating seals anymore. 🙂

French Beans with Toasted Almonds

Here’s one of my favourite dishes. Fresh, crunchy, flavourful, and with lots of healthy, filling fat.

Notes: 1. All the ingredients are on the list of low carb foods. 2. I haven’t given amounts for the ingredients to allow for preferences and hunger – you’ll figure it out.


  • French (green) beans
  • Butter
  • Salt
  • Sliced almonds

What To Do

  1. Start a pot of water boiling. Add a tablespoon of salt (seems a lot, but most of it will be tossed with the water). 
  2. While that’s heating up, fry sliced almonds over low heat with plenty of butter until brown, stirring occasionally. 
  3. While that’s happening, stem the beans (if there are any). Keep an eye on the almonds to make sure they don’t burn. 
  4. When light brown, immediately take almonds off the heat and transfer to another bowl to stop them cooking. Toss with a bit of salt. (Note from experience: Beware of snacking on them right away – they are extremely hot and will burn your mouth). 
  5. Blanch the green beans in the boiling water for 2 minutes (if they are very thin, 1 minute should be enough). They should turn a nice, brilliant green. 
  6. Drain the water and add a big knob of butter to the beans in the drained pot. 
  7. Fry the beans over medium heat, tossing until the butter is melted and coats the beans. If you like them soft, keep going – the longer you go, the more cooked they will be. I prefer to keep it short – just enough to melt the butter. 
  8. Serve with the almonds, which should now be cool and crunchy. 


Real Meal Revolution Review

I just finished ‘The Real Meal Revolution,’ a book suggested by a member over on the Mission Remission Facebook group. I second the recommendation.

It contains good recipes written by a chef, which is a big plus, has a clearly explained history of how obesity became a problem, a explanation of why low carb works, and many interesting tidbits of information.

One of the tidbits is reference to a study by Drs Volek, Phinney, and Westman that shows a low carb diet not only helps with blood glucose (which I think is pretty well accepted), but that lower blood glucose helps with a range of other diseases and markers, including the big one – heart disease. According to them, high blood glucose increases the risk of a heart attack as much as sevenfold.

I’ve known that diabetes increases risks of other diseases dramatically, but I’ve never seen the benefits of remission laid out as clearly.

One other item of note is an explanation that our ability to return to carbohydrates once we have achieved remission depends on our insulin resistance. People with high insulin resistance might need to keep their carbohydrate intake at keto levels (less than 50gm/day and ideally less than 30gm).

The way of telling what’s right for you, according to Tim Noakes, is the point of carb consumption at which you start gaining weight again.

It’s a book that’s certainly worth a look.

Top 10 Pieces of Kit to Help Remission

Here’s my top 10 pieces of kit to help with remission:

  1. A belt. Since t2 diabetes is closely tied to abdominal fat, keeping track of holes on a belt is a great way to track losing weight and to make sure it stays off when it’s gone.
Belt showing weightloss
  1. Carbs and Cals – either the book or the app. It’s so important to know how much sugar is in various foods.
  2. Bathroom scale. Like the belt, weight is a good benchmark. I use my scale every time I take a shower (clothes can change the results, so best to weigh without).
  3. Kitchen scale (it should be able to do 1gm increments). It’s great to know how much sugar is in 100gm of any food, but what does 100gm look like?
Kitchen scale
Kitchen scale
  1. Spice grinder. I use mine to grind chia seeds for pudding and to make nut butter. Here are some options.
  2. Mixing stick. Handy for soups, broths, etc. Mine has a whisk attachment as well for super-smooth cream.
  3. Food processor. Handy for making everything from low carb bread to salmon cream cheese to mashed cauliflower to pesto.
  4. Ramekins. I have a set of 200ml ramekins and use them every day. They are an excellent way to portion and to bake single-serve anything.
  1. Step counter. If you have one on the phone, great – use it. Otherwise invest in one.
  2. Gratitude diary. Each night, write 3 good things that happened in the day. Or meditate. Or both. Keeping stress low and taking care of mental health high is half the battle.

One Year in Remission: 10 Things I’ve Learned

Today, a year ago, I received my blood results, confirming that I had put my diabetes into remission. Finally, I could start to recover from the fear and shock of the diagnosis.

Here are some things I have learned:

1. Contrary to what people say, I did NOT gain back the weight (I originally lost 23KG). My lowest weight was 69KG. It then stayed at 70KG for a while. I then gained back 2KG to 72KG, which seems to be the weight at which my body is happy, for it stayed there most of the year. At one point, it climbed to 74KG, but I did three alternate days of fasting, and it came back down.

2. Most of the battles are mental. Not eating sugar seemed impossible until I did it. I found a sixteen-hour fast impossible until I did it. Then it seemed totally normal and a 24 hour fast impossible until I did it, and so forth. It also seemed impossible to give up wheat bread until I did. Keeping focused on what I wanted to accomplish (remission) and also why I wanted it (to be there for my daughter and wife) were key for me.

3. Stress is a killer and makes losing weight far more difficult. I learned to meditate, practise gratitude and find other ways to keep stress at bay. When stress crept back in, I found everything harder to do.

4. Contrary to what people say, I don’t feel like exercise helped me lose weight or even keep it off, but there are many health reasons to exercise. It certainly makes me feel much better, both physically and especially mentally. For this reason, I keep it up as part of my lifestyle and suggest it to anyone… I do think, however, that it should be done for the joy of doing it rather than to punish yourself for any perceived lapses.

5. Sharing the process helped. I had a friend who was there for me when I needed him. My wife was also very supportive. I felt a lot of shame about the weight and the diagnosis, so sharing wasn’t easy, especially when I wasn’t sure I’d succeed. However, doing so with those close to me made things easier.

6. I have stayed with the low carb diet, even though from my studies, it seems like I probably could up the carbs a fair bit. There are two reasons for this – 1. I figure carbs made me sick in the first place, and I don’t want to go back there, and 2. I hardly ever crave them anymore. When I do, it’s the memory of eating experiences rather than the need to eat any given item. When I have eaten whatever it was I craved, it hasn’t given me satisfaction.

7. I believe enough fat is the key to success with low carb. Not only is it filling, but it is luxurious and makes food more enjoyable. I love food, so I had to find ways to enjoy it to keep going. Fat really helps. Spinach tossed in a pan with a pile of Irish butter is better than spinach. Cauliflower whipped with obscene amounts of cream and then baked with a cheddar layer on top is better than plain cauliflower. You get the idea…

8. Sweet things are WAY too sweet for me now. My daughter is an avid baker, and I’ve tasted some of her efforts. Even a small tastes unpleasantly sweet to my adjusted palate. The sweetness of cream or 90% dark chocolate is about right for me now, and I can enjoy them without worry.

9. Focusing on what I have rather than what I have given up helps me keep my head straight. In other words, rather than moan about not eating the croissant at the coffee shop, I try to enjoy every bit of the coffee and every bit of the company of those with me.

10. There are many benefits for being in remission besides the obvious avoiding of the terrible diabetes outcomes. These include feeling happier, more energy, better sleep (no longer snoring or waking up to pee), less anger, exercise is easier (don’t have to carry around excess weight), head is clearer, etc. I feel better all around and want to keep it that way.

Upwards and onwards!

Easy, Cheesy Baked Crab Pot

I don’t think that denial and deprivation is a long term recipe for diet success. In that spirit, I’m posting a recipe for one of my favourite, luxury, low-carb treats. Eating this, for me, makes everything right in the world.

Crab is on the list of 125 low carb foods.

Notes: 1. I haven’t added quantities since crab meat can come in all sizes, and most of the rest of it is to taste. 2. This dish will be as good as the crab, so make sure it’s fresh and tasty.


  • Fresh crab
  • Butter
  • Garlic
  • Nutmeg
  • Cream
  • Gruyère cheese

What to do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C
  2. Finely chop or crush garlic using a press and fry in plenty of butter until golden brown.
  3. Stir in the crab, coating the meat with the garlicky butter.
  4. Add nutmeg to taste (note: nutmeg is a strong spice!).
  5. Spoon into a ramekin (s), filling 2/3 to the top.
  6. Pour in some full-fat cream (it should fill in all the gaps, not raise the level – it should still be 2/3 full.
  7. Grate or chop some Gruyère and place on top of the crab/cream mixture.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes or so – the cheese should be melted and the cream bubbling.

#keto #T2D #Recipes