Behind the Scenes: Gary’s Diet and Exercise Regiment Might Change Your Life

Dec 17, 2013 | Family, Health & Happiness, The ONE Thing | 0 comments

Diet isn’t just about physique. No one knows that better than Gary. After learning he had high cholesterol in his early thirties, Gary was put on a prescription for statin to control it. While the drug did lower his cholesterol, it also resulted unwanted side effects. Gary developed extreme pain and spasms in his legs that became so bad even standing during lectures was a challenge.


Faced with a dilemma – needing to lower his cholesterol without medication – Gary turned to the focusing question. What’s the One Thing I can do to lower my cholesterol such that by doing it, the elimination of statin becomes easier or unnecessary?

After a lot of research he found the answer: A new diet.

What we consume has an impact on every facet of our physical health, and our physical health can in turn affect our mental and emotional health. In Gary’s case the leg pain was causing him to lose sleep and kept him from enjoying physical activities that he was accustomed to. But the solution to his problems was right in front of him on his dinner plate.

To improve his cholesterol Gary needed to lower his LDL (low-density lipoproteins) to 200 and raise his HDL (high-density lipoproteins) to 50 or higher. This can be done with prescription drugs, but it can also be accomplished by eating right.  Gary began looking at food as a source of medicine and energy with the end goal of getting his cholesterol levels in check.

Do the Preliminary Work

Before stopping his prescribed solution, Gary did the research to line up his dominoes to a drug-free, top bill of health. What he found were three emerging trends, each linked in some way to lowering LDL levels or raising HDL levels:

  1. Eat More Good Fats & Less Bad Fats – Scientists have distinguished good fats that raise HDL (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) from bad fats that raise LDL (saturated and trans).
  2. Eat More Soluble Fiber – We all understand that insoluble fiber (fruit, leafy vegetables, legumes) is great for the digestive track. Surprisingly, soluble fibers play a similar role cleaning up the blood stream. Long story short, soluble fiber forces the liver to pull LDLs out of the blood stream to replace lost minerals. When you see “heart healthy” foods in the grocery store, soluble fiber is often what they are touting. Studies show that eating 5 to 10 grams daily can reduce LDL levels by as much as 10 to 15%.
  3. Get Your Workout In – Exercise, particularly cardio, is a key to lowering triglycerides (another nasty linked to heart disease) while raising HDL levels.  Weight lifting for as little as 45 minutes three times a week, can reduce LDL levels by as much as 14%. According to the Mayo Clinic, the best bet for increasing HDL levels is to exercise briskly for 30 minutes, five times a week.

Gary made an action plan based on his findings:

  1. Eat Good Fats (monounsaturated / polyunsaturated)
  2. Avoid Bad Fats (saturated fat / transfat)
  3. Avoid Cholesterol (less than 200 mg per day)
  4. Eat soluble fiber
  5. Eat plant sterols

So, what’s on Gary’s new menu? Here’s a quick peek at what the founder of the largest real estate franchise in North America packs on his plate:


Apples*, grapefruit, apricots (dried), figs (dried), prunes (dried), pears and berries (*best)


*Brussels sprouts, broccoli, carrots, sweet potatoes (* twice as good as the rest, so have some with lunch and dinner)


*Black beans, *butter beans, pinto beans, pork & beans (canned), chick peas, kidney beans (* best)


*Sunflower seeds, *sesame seeds, *walnuts, almonds (* best)

Lean Protein

*Fish, skinless chicken, turkey, bison (* best)

Whole Grains & Fiber

*Oat bran with Benecol (butter substitute) & Benefiber (soluble fiber) added. (* best cereal)


Green tea (pill, hot tea bag, the Republic of Tea – bottle), Fiji Water (40-50 ounces daily) or any water low in acidity, unsweetened juice


Ground Psyllium seeds, folic acid, niacin, chromium picolinate (200-400 micrograms), cranberry extract, Xylitol – alternative to sugar

Once his diet was in check, Gary added the exercise portion – 20-30 minutes of cardio six days a week and 40-60 minutes of strength training five days a week.

The results were phenomenal. His LDL went from 260 to 140, and his HDL went from 40 to 59.

Got some life-altering diet and wellness stories of your own? Share your tips here and on Facebook and Twitter, #theONEthing.

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