How Food Saved Her Husband’s Life
And Confounded All The Doctors


Brandie Schwartz has made powerful changes in her life
through better food.

She may have saved her husband’s life through it. I’ve been following Brandie for quite some time, but only recently did I fully understand from where her passion emanates.

BrandieSchwartz

Her story serves as an outstanding example of what can be accomplished through self-education and small practices that have life-changing impact. It is so compelling to me because she personifies what I try to empower people to do through better food and cooking methods, and she’s accomplished it to incredible results.

I wanted her to share her experience with you, which I’ve condensed into this interview:

Chef Todd MohrChef Todd: “I know you’ve been on a difficult journey, and before we share all the details, what did you take away from the experience?”

BrandieSchwartzBrandie: “Let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food.” It’s a quote associated with Hippocrates, the father of Western Medicine. I say before you reach for a pill or get a needle, try to eat your medicine. You can eat one’s self to life!”

Chef Todd MohrChef Todd: “Are you against Doctors and Western Medicine then?”
BrandieSchwartzBrandie: “No. Western medicine has a very valid place in the process of maintaining health. In particular, modern western medicine is remarkable in its diagnostic capabilities. It is this very strength that led me down the path of holistic health.”

Chef Todd MohrChef Todd: “Your path started with your husband’s health, right?”
BrandieSchwartzBrandie: “In 2008, my husband was getting a head‐to‐toe physical to determine his eligibility for a job. Again, this is a major strength of modern Western medicine. The tests he undertook included echocardiograms, blood sugar urinalysis, and many more.

BearSchwartz1A couple of the tests came back with results that were a bit disconcerting. His A1C, a test that measures a three‐month running average of one’s blood sugar, was dangerously high, measuring at 8.7. Ultimately, the diagnosis came back that he was a Type II Diabetic and suffering from chronic Kidney Disease. It was a matter of time before his kidneys would stop functioning all together. My mission was clear. I had to find a way to heal my husband.”

Chef Todd MohrChef Todd: “What did the doctors say?”
BrandieSchwartzBrandie: “They prescribed 12 different medications, and we received counseling from dialysis nutritionists. The diet that they encouraged my husband to eat was atrocious. Diet soda, white bread, and a host of other processed foods were not only allowed, but encouraged! This didn’t make sense to me and I was going to use all my education and research to the fight we had before us.”

Chef Todd MohrChef Todd: “What is your education?”
BrandieSchwartzBrandie: “Most of my life has been dedicated to the health and care of others. As a teenager, I volunteered at the local hospital in my hometown, Odessa, Texas. I pursued a nursing career and eventually earned a Registered Nurse’s license and a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. For over 16 years, I watched a cornucopia of humanity pass through the hospital doors. I specialized in wound care and ostomy. I noticed that patients who maintained a healthy diet healed quicker and more thoroughly than their counterparts that did not have comparably healthy diets. This fascinated me. My interest in holistic medicine began to captivate me.”

Chef Todd MohrChef Todd: “You were not a stranger to healthcare and research, how did you use your past knowledge and experience to help your husband?”

BrandieSchwartzBrandie: “Slowly, with more and more research, the answers came to me. Simply put, eating real whole food was the answer. This revelation beckoned me to learn more. As a result, I attended the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and started Eat Your Medicine. My husband would be my first client. The results of our hard work would determine the course our future would take.”

Chef Todd MohrChef Todd: “You’ve told me your husband was a big man, around 400 pounds with high cholesterol and other health issues. How do you change the diet of a hungry guy like that?”

BrandieSchwartzBrandie: “The first thing I did was to eliminate processed foods. If I couldn’t pronounce every ingredient in my food, it didn’t go in my pantry. Gluten was eliminated. My studies showed me that it is a tremendous inflammatory. Sugar as we know it was gone. Instead, we went with coconut sugar, honey, molasses, and other natural sweeteners. On the rare occasions when I made pancakes for him, we used pure maple syrup. I could hear the head of his endocrinologist explode as I watched my husband enjoy this wonderful treat.

We went to organic locally‐grown fruits and vegetables. When we ate meats, they would be from grass feed cows, and free‐range pigs and chickens. These meats provide proteins that are devoid of the hormones and antibiotics that are forced into non‐free‐range meats.

Our dairy came straight from the farmer. We ate free‐range eggs, and lots of them! I could feel his doctors cringe as we told them he was eating at least two eggs a day with nitrate‐free bacon. We drank raw milk, complete with all the fat that those wonderful cows give us. We ate raw cheese. The nutritionists and doctors were going to have coronaries of their own when they heard the direction we were taking.”

Chef Todd MohrChef Todd: “Did the doctors allow you to do this?”
BrandieSchwartzBrandie: “We were doing it regardless. Our first dreaded meeting with a nutritionist was made at the dialysis center. She ran through a list of FDA mandated dietary guidelines and suggestions. As she spoke, I politely replied, ”No. We will not be doing that.” She became more and more infuriated and frustrated with me until she finally snorted, ”Well, I guess we’ll see when that lab work gets in!” Yes we would. We had one month before the next lab report. We were going to make the most of the time before us.

Chef Todd MohrChef Todd: “So you had a month to test your theory, with your husband’s health lying in the balance?”

BrandieSchwartzBrandie: “During that month, we followed the prescribed plan. Eat real food. That was what this was going to be all about. We ate organic locally‐grown fruits and vegetables, organic free‐range meats, natural sugars, whole grains, and supplements. One of the supplements added was Tumeric, a powerful anti inflammatory. Cinnamon, a wonderful tool in naturally lowering blood sugar, was also added. Probiotics and digestive enzymes were additionally added. And, when we washed down our meals, it was with cool, clear water.

Chef Todd MohrChef Todd: “And your next lab report said…”
BrandieSchwartzBrandie: “First, we lowered his prescription drug intake from twelve drugs to three. His lab work was drawn and the day to meet with our doctor and nutritionist was at hand. The news was remarkable. His blood sugar had gone from 8.7 to 6.3. It was now just above the normal range of 6.0. The argument of not being able to eat something wholesome and sweet was now mute.

BearSchwartz3His cholesterol had gone from a total of 202 to 155. Bacon, eggs, and whole dairy products are not the villain they have been made out to be. It was with no small amount of joy that I received the nutritionist’s comment, ”Well, I guess I can’t tell you anything.” That’s right! I’ll be eating real food!

Chef Todd MohrChef Todd: “Has he maintained these results?”
BrandieSchwartzBrandie: “My husband used to say that after eating a rib‐eye, the thing he likes most for dessert is another rib‐eye. However, when he began to change his eating habits, something quite interesting happened. He started feeling full….and while eating less food! You see, what was happening was that my husband was eating more nutrient‐dense foods. As that started to take hold in his body, his brain started to realize that the body was getting what it needed. As the body was getting what it needed, the brain told the body it was okay to stop eating. As a result, my husband started to drop weight, more than 100 pounds, and he wasn’t really trying very hard at all.”

Chef Todd MohrChef Todd: “It’s amazing to help change someone’s life. When I started filming cooking method videos on YouTube, the tremendous response I got made me want to do even more, and reach more people. What has come from this experience for YOU?”

BrandieSchwartzBrandie: “Our success in managing my husband’s disease has been the catalyst for me to get the message of health through whole foods out to the community. I continue to coach and counsel others in their wellness journeys. Their maladies may be different. But, the treatment is essentially the same. Eat whole foods in their original state. Eat your medicine. Eat yourself to life! And, if you need any help, feel free to contact me through my Facebook page. Look for me on Twitter, too!

Chef Todd MohrChef Todd: “Thank you very much for sharing such an incredible food-related success story with me and all my followers.”

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About Chef Todd

Chef Todd Mohr is a Certified Culinary Educator who has empowered home cooks all over the world with the reliable, dependable, repeatable METHODS behind cooking that build confidence, generate creativity and enable anyone to cook with the ingredients THEY desire.

14 Comments

Leave a Comment

  • Ernest Ayo
    Ernest Ayo
    3:11 PM - 2 August, 2017

    Welcome aboard movement from junk food to good food. You should check out "Plant Paradox" S. Gundry, MD His theory is bad foods are causing the morbid obesity, child diabetes, cardiac problems, etc at levels never before seen. Avoiding these foods, which all have high lectin levels) will reverse these trends. He identifies these foods and suggest recipes.
    America's chefs can go a long way in leading this movement.
    Be one of those chefs!

  • Chef Todd Mohr
    Chef Todd Mohr
    5:11 PM - 11 April, 2017

    Hi Carolyn!
    I'm glad you are fighting back by empowering yourself with the skills and concepts it will take to eat yourself well. When you take control of your cooking, you can take control of your health.

  • Carolyn Gollop
    Carolyn Gollop
    1:37 PM - 11 April, 2017

    I'm actually in the process of healing from a scary cancer diagnosis through alternate therapies which include eating a very clean organic, whole foods diet. Building my immune system through the power of nutrients dense food and saturating my cells with nutrients so they can focus on creating apoptosis and healing. Within one month my weight has dropped 30 lbs, my blood work is perfect and my system is completely alkaline which is necessary to kill cancer cells. I'm consuming 50 ounces of veggie and fruit juices made from fresh organic produce daily. Food is the medicine our bodies are designed to utilize.

  • Chef Todd Mohr
    Chef Todd Mohr
    3:28 PM - 1 April, 2017

    Hi Lauren!
    I'm always surprised that no doctor has ever asked me about my diet.

  • Lauren Finn-Jesus
    Lauren Finn-Jesus
    2:27 PM - 1 April, 2017

    What a great story! Thank you Brandi for sharing it. My husband and I have discovered the difference eating Whole Food makes. My diabetes is well controlled and we have both lost weight and now maintain a healthy weight. Thank you Chef Todd for publishing Brandi's story, as well as helping us all on the journey to make healthy, delicious food!!!

  • Lauren Wolcott
    Lauren Wolcott
    4:49 AM - 1 April, 2017

    Chef,
    I had a very similar experience years ago when I started running decided to get my health s**t together.

    Although I didn't have a frightful diagnosis, I did have one doctor tell me when I went to him concerned about my weight, that I might just be one of those people who should be fat. Well, I also felt terrible, had no energy, and was having an increasingly hard time going up and down stairs, etc.

    I made changes very similar to this woman's changes. My husband joined in, and we also both felt more satisfied with better quality, free range, grass-fed meats, little or no gluten, fresh, organic produce and whole organic milk, and so on.

    I am flabbergasted that the nutrition suggestions were so off the chart. But that reminds me that my aunt has been a whole food advocate for years, falling under the laughs and finger pointing of many. She is so very healthy and heading toward 70, and my father, her brother, not so much.

    The point is, however, that my aunt mentioned that doctors don't talk about the quality of food and how nutrition affects disease and/or recovery much any more, something she noticed when a couple friends of hers feel very ill. When she asked them what the doctors recommended to change in terms of nutrition, they said they didn't recommend any changes. They did, however, prescribe a bunch of pills.

    I seem to recall a time thirty, forty, or more years ago, when nutrition was discussed. And, although it wasn't a perfect pearl, fueling the human body was still an important part of healing and health.

    We have to all educate ourselves and be strong in our choices. And show people the true power of great food.

  • Maria
    Maria
    10:41 PM - 31 March, 2017

    Beautiful story! Very inspiring! Bless you for caring and sharing this article! Thank you Chef Todd! You are amazing!

  • Bill
    Bill
    3:23 PM - 31 March, 2017

    Great story.

  • Chef Todd Mohr
    Chef Todd Mohr
    1:43 PM - 9 April, 2014

    Hey Robert!
    Thank you for your kind comment. Yes, YOU control your food choices when you cook food yourself. The problem is that many people are not confident in following recipes. They search for specific "healthy" recipes and they never come out like the cookbook photo. You can avoid all these issues by concentrating on HOW to cook something, the basic methods behind all recipes. Once you know the steps in saute, grilling, roasting, broiling, steaming, poaching, then you can cook anything with confidence.

  • Chef Todd Mohr
    Chef Todd Mohr
    1:41 PM - 9 April, 2014

    Hey Doug!
    From my perspective, ALL cooking is healthy cooking. ALL cooking can also be unhealthy cooking. The common denominator is cooking. Once you discover the METHODS behind cooking, then YOU decide to use healthy whole foods....or not. HOW you cook enables you to decide WHAT you cook.

    If you want to go even deeper, you can look into my "How To Cook Fresh" video series. I'll show you how to choose the freshest ingredients and then apply easy simple cooking methods to them.

  • Chef Todd Mohr
    Chef Todd Mohr
    1:30 PM - 9 April, 2014

    Hi Margaret!
    Thank you for your kind comment. Keep in mind that doctors concentrate on fixing a problem AFTER it happens. You can take control BEFORE it happens with wholesome foods. Prevention over prescription! I'm proud of you for making positive changes in your life through better food.

  • Doug
    Doug
    1:30 PM - 9 April, 2014

    Chef - do you have a course or book on cooking healthy using whole foods? Thanks

  • Robert
    Robert
    1:29 PM - 9 April, 2014

    I originally found your website because I was a single guy that was eating way too much take-out (and putting on the lbs). My doctor recommended that I learn to cook and the rest is history. Thanks Chef Todd!

  • Margaret
    Margaret
    1:27 PM - 9 April, 2014

    Thank you for this interview! I have a similar story in that I was told that my cholesterol was dangerously close to the point that I would need medication. The doctor put me on a "low-cholesterol" diet that was full of "sugar-free", "low-fat" processed foods. At the recommendation of a friend, I tried to do something different by cutting out all packaged foods from my diet and ONLY eating whole foods. It worked for me and lowered my cholesterol back to normal levels without medication that brings side effects. It was actually during that time I found your website because I needed to learn how to cook all of this whole food. Thanks for all you've done for me and others.

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