How I reversed Type 2 Diabetes in a Year

September 20, 2022

The other day I had a chat with my GP and he told me my blood sugar levels were normal. He also said that about six months ago. So, what’s the big deal? I was diagnosed as a Type 2 Diabetic one year ago, yes, September, 2021 so to find that I have normal blood sugar levels without meds is amazing! In fact, the GP was amazed too. He asked me what I did to have this happen. I told him I changed my diet and was walking 7 to 8 kilometres a day.

When I tweeted this result I was surprised by the response. I promised I’d write about my experience and hope that it may help others.

Just as there is diversity in our body shape, skin colour, eye shape, facial features – there is diversity amongst people diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. So, what may work for one person may not work for another. What I tell you about my experience is just that – MY experience. There should be no feelings of failure if you try what I describe and the results aren’t the same for you. Maybe something else will work for you.

My GP asked me to get a fasting blood test last year. He said I may be diabetic and a blood test will show if I am. I wasn’t surprised he’d suggest this because there is diabetes in my family. I didn’t eat takeaway food like Maccas or pizzas. I didn’t eat cakes nor lollies because I haven’t got a sweet tooth and I was careful not to eat fatty foods. I also ate only home cooked meals. I love fresh fruit and vegetables and I didn’t drink alcohol. So, how could I be diabetic? Well the results came back and I was diabetic – just crossed the indicator line. 

Freak out time! Shock….what to do? The GP suggested I see a dietitian & a physiotherapist specialising in exercise. This was in Covid times so I didn’t see them face to face – just phone. The info the dietitian gave me I also found online & the exercise guy when he found out I was 69 asked me what did I want to do. I said walking would be great. So that was the end of that consultation. 

I then researched diabetes and found the biggest myth about diet was that fat was the enemy. I found that my love of fruit was also contributing to my diabetes because of the sugar content. I thought I was a good little vegemite with my soups. I’d have an instant soup with noodles and add garlic, peas, cauliflower, spring onion, olive oil & a dash of lemon juice. The noodles are carbs and contribute to diabetes.  

I took on board what the dietician said. I also read Michael Mosley on diabetes. Everything pointed to me losing weight and changing my diet along with some fasting. 

I was brought up in a Greek Orthodox home with my mother ensuring we all followed the strict Orthodox fasting and dietary rules pertaining to holy days. I did this until I left home when I was 18. So the idea of fasting or eating particular foods on certain days wasn’t a big lifestyle program reset.

I’m telling you this so that you may get a glimpse as to why changing my diet wasn’t such a big deal for me because of my previous life experiences.

I need support to watch my diet and ensure that my exercise routine is beneficial to my aims. My aims? To lose weight and to bring my blood sugar levels down. My support comes from today’s incredible technology. I use a smart watch, a smart phone and the apps that go with them. The use of this technology helps me maintain the new routine by providing me with on time feedback concerning what I eat and what I physically do.

Technological Support

The 2 apps I use are Samsung Health and Lifesum. Both of these are connected to my smart watch through bluetooth. I can set my watch to automatically monitor my heart rate, speed of walking, number of steps and blood oxygen. 

Samsung Health app helps me set goals and tracks my physical activity, sleep, weight, heart rate, and other vitals throughout the day. 

Report on the app of my daily walk

Body Composition

The other amazing thing about the Samsung Watch is that it measures your body composition. This means that you can see how much is body fat and how much is muscle. Some say that the induction technology used is not very accurate. I don’t care. It’s better than nothing and all it needs for me to do is to place two fingers on the side of the watch  and I see an estimation of what’s happening to my insides. I have noticed over the year the progressive loss of fat and increase in muscle.

Lifesum helps me track calorie intake and informs me of the nutritional content of the food I eat. I have chosen automatic tracking that’s connected to Samsung Health. This means that the calorie count is accurate because it subtracts the calories burnt during exercise from the amount eaten. It is still only based on what an average person burns during the day but it’s good enough for me to gauge what’s happening with my goals.

Brisk Walking

I found out it is best to walk briskly. Just to walk at an easy pace may be pleasant and familiar because that’s the everyday speed but it won’t help with burning calories. Then there is the moderate pace, the one we use when we’re late. 

Brisk pace should feel like you’re just about to break into a jog. A brisk pace is relative to your fitness level and your level of exertion. For your pace to be considered brisk you need to raise your heart and breathing rate. You may feel slightly out of breath or sweaty when walking briskly.  Just by picking up your pace you can burn 50 percent more calories! It gets your heart rate going and makes you breathe harder and faster and supports healthy blood flow. My watch informs me the speed I am walking at and a brisk pace is about 4.8 – 5.6 kph.

Best Time for Walking

I also walk in the afternoons just after 3.00PM because research has shown that this is the best time to exercise for both performance and building muscle. Research has also shown that lung function is best from 4.00PM – 5.00PM. This may help to reach a more vigorous intensity.

Other Exercise

Before I leave home for the walk I do one set of dumb bell exercises that I found on YouTube. When I reach the first kilometre I stop and meditate for about 15 minutes. During the walk there is a 1 km stretch that’s a walkway with fence posts on either side of the path. To increase my heart rate I do press ups against the larger posts. Since they are lean to press ups they are far easier than horizontal on the ground. I do 100 on the way out and 100 on the way back.

Now for the numbers

Walking about 8kms per day means you are walking just over 10,000 steps. This means that you are burning between 2 – 3,500 extra calories  per week. One kilo of body fat is about 7,000 calories. So depending on your weight,  goals and exercise intensity you could lose about 500 grams a week. 

Walking 8 kms a day at a brisk speed means you can lose half a kilo per week. 

I drink between 2.5 – 3 litres of water per day. It’s been found that drinking 500ml before a meal can help with losing weight.

Lifesum gives a variety of diets to follow and the one I use is the Mediterranean diet because it’s familiar to me. The app gives the approximate calories you need to eat each day. When you enter the foods the app calculates the numbers and during the day subtracts the calories burnt. 

Meal entry on Lifesum

Another wonderful feature of Lifesum app is that you can scan the ID number of foods with your phone in the supermarket and it tells you if it’s OK according to the nutritional properties. I’ve found that even so called health foods, protein bars etc when scanned reveal that the attributes are not what the packaging claims.

The Scanner using your phone camera
Detailed analysis of food scanned
Detailed analysis of food scanned

When I started using the Lifesum app I weighed every bit of food I ate and entered the weight in the app. I did this for every meal. It became a ritual for me and it showed me the amounts of food and the calories associated with the food and the amount. I was also incredibly surprised that bacon and eggs was very good food as was peanut butter. I cut back on the amount of fruit with lots of sucrose and started eating more raw cauliflower and carrots. 

Now, after one year and having lost 14 kgs with my blood sugar levels normal I have decided to not weigh and enter all my meal details into the Lifesum app. I am now doing a daily intermittent fast  of 14 hours and 10 hour eating window. Since I have changed my diet I now just eat the appropriate food only during the eating window. 

The daily walk has become a habit as has my new diet and intermittent fasting.

During my daily walk I take photos of the beautiful scenes I walk through and share these on twitter. I have uploaded most of these here on this blog.

It is possible to have a remission of diabetes using exercise and diet. I also believe that it is possible to reverse diabetes and heal the pancreas after a couple of years doing what I am doing now. When this happens I have no plans to change my diet and exercise routine because I feel so much better doing it.

I hope this post helps you achieve your health aims. By the way I am NOT getting any commissions for citing the apps and the wearable technology. I cite them so that you know what I used. There are brands that can do the same as what I have shown here.


Home Grown Songs from a 1980’s Lounge Room

September 12, 2022

In the 1980’s, as a hobby, I’d write poems & then transform them into lyrics with music making songs. Most of the music was written by a friend, Henry, and there are some I wrote the music. I wasn’t a great guitarist, just knew a few chords & made do with them for my music to the lyrics. Apart from Henry there was also Dennis who played lead guitar and Willie, my brother, who also played guitar.

I scored a cheap Casio player and there are some jams we recorded with me playing the Casio. It was one of the first players that had programmed polyphonic auto accompaniment. “Playing” implies I knew what I was doing. I didn’t. I just pressed some keys in rhythm hoping it’d make some semblance of a tune. It provided the “metronome” drum beat & the programmed beats/notes. These acted as “guard rails” to the jam.

The Casiotone we used was like this. It was the first to have programmed polyphonic auto accompaniment

It was a great way to spend a Friday or Saturday night. We didn’t have any plans to perform, we just liked hanging together making music for ourselves. I’m so glad we took out the microphones to record them on cassette.

It all is SO long ago.

I’m uploading these recordings for posterity sake. No, I’m not putting them up on YouTube or SoundCloud because this blog is good enough for my purpose. My purpose? Why do I bother? Simple – for my kids & grand kids to have easy access to what I was up to, musically. It’s also a part of my Journey in this World Within Worlds.

I have already posted some of the songs’ lyrics so I thought, once I overcame my cringe factor, to complete the outing by posting some of the songs – complete with my singing & mates’ music. Writing a poem is very different to writing a song lyric. Transforming a poem into a song lyric is an interesting exercise, especially if someone else writes the music.

So, step back in time – come into my lounge room & get a taste of some home grown songs from Sydney in 1980’s.

By the way – if there’s anybody interested in updating these songs to 2022 let me know by messaging me at dodona777@yahoo.com.au

I think some of these may work with right mixing even 40 years later.

This is the simple & cheap transformer from cassette tape to mp3 I used to digitise tapes about 40 years old!
“Julia” Words by Stavros, Music by Henry. Recorded on cassette in lounge room.
Stavros – singing, Dennis – Lead Guitar , Henry – Rhythm Guitar
“Prison of Time” Words by Stavros, Music by Henry. Recorded on cassette in lounge room.
Stavros – singing, Dennis – Lead Guitar, Henry – Rhythm Guitar
“Games of Solitaire” Instrumental jam Stavros – Casiotone, Dennis – Lead Guitar, Willie – Rhythm Guitar
“One Son of a Gun” Words & Music by Stavros,
Dennis – Lead Guitar, Stavros – Singing & Rhythm Guitar
“Pilgrimage of Minutes” Words & Music by Stavros,
Dennis – Lead Guitar, Stavros – Singing & Rhythm Guitar
“Lines of Crazy Fortune” Words by Stavros, Music by Henry,
Stavros – singing, Henry – Guitar
“Once” Words & Music by Stavros
Dennis – Lead Guitar, Stavros – Singing & Rhythm Guitar
“Magdalene” Words by Stavros, Music by Henry,
Stavros – singing, Dennis – Lead Guitar, Henry – Rhythm Guitar
“Forgotten Madonna On the Run” Words & Music by Stavros
Dennis – Lead Guitar, Stavros – Singing & Rhythm Guitar
“Do You Remember” Words & Music by Stavros
Dennis – Lead Guitar, Stavros – Singing & Rhythm Guitar
“Fortune of Unloaded Hips” Words by Stavros, Music by Henry,
Henry Singing & Guitar


Some cloud pictures

August 19, 2022

I live near a river that has a large flood plain to the north. We are very lucky because our home is on high ground so when the river floods we have “water views” but we don’t suffer the effects of a flood. The flood plain is quite large and consequently the views are expansive. This makes the sky and the clouds a prominent feature of the landscape.

Below are some photos of the sky above the flood plain with one picture reflecting the sky on the glass top of the river.


Backyard Photos with Night Mode

August 19, 2022

I tried using the Night Mode on my Samsung Ultra 21 recently and was amazed at what it does to simple backyard scenes. The pictures below are from that experiment.


Why Write?

August 3, 2022

Today while on my daily walk a question crab crawled behind my eyes. I was looking at the scenery, taking photos of same, tweeting them and all the while there was this feeling – question  “Why Write?” The question arose because I’ve been working on a book that I want to complete the first draft by the end of this year. In the background there’s another book I started and restarted many times that I also want to write after this one.  A part of me says, just leave them, no one cares if they’re written or not. Why put yourself through all this anguish? Another part of me says, no you have to do it.

But why? Why write?

Do I write for fame? Well, that’s a joke, especially for someone my age. Even if I wasn’t old why would I want it? I love my invisibility. I don’t mind occasionally sticking my head out from the cave into the spotlight for a few seconds – a small spotlight, for a good purpose. To have that light on you every day, that would be torture. There’s a lot to be said about using a fake name. This is why I like Twitter. You can be kinda anonymous, say your stuff and just disappear.

Do I write as a side hustle? To make some extra dollars? That’s another joke when you consider that the average book sales in Australia is 813. This figure is the last time the Australian Bureau of Statistics collected comprehensive data on the publishing industry  back in 2003 – 4. In 2015, 20,000 new ISBNs were created of which 390 books sold more than 10,000. Now a best seller, in Australia, is anything over 3000 copies.  Hmm….and then you get 10% royalties on the net profit. So, if you have a best seller and sell, say 5000 & net profit of each book is say $15, you will get about $1.50 per book. You’re looking at about $7,500. Now, this is for a big best seller. If average sales is say 1000 you’d make about $1500. If you self publish the earnings are about 60% of net profit.  I won’t bother going into details but suffice to say you won’t be making a living from it…unless you are lucky and have a super best seller.

It doesn’t look like I want to write to make money because it won’t make money. The other reason is that just making money doesn’t turn me on.

How about spreading a message, you know, changing the world? Telling people my politics and writing the ideas so that people take them on and hoping more people do it so that there’s a change in the world – for good. Yes, that appeals but it doesn’t require the discipline of writing a book to get those ideas out. I wrote an email Call to Action for the Flotillas of Hope to Nauru.  Not a book, just an email. Did it change anything?  Yes. John Howard’s conservative Government released 77 asylum seekers due to the Flotillas of Hope. Ideas do change the world and I can see that it’s a good reason to write. However, given that a best selling book in Australia is about 3,000 the chances of my book changing the world is pretty limited. I’d much rather write an email than a book if my purpose in writing it is to change the world.

What about leaving stories for my family and future generations to know who I was after I die? Yes, that’s a good reason to write. Out of all of the reasons so far, this one resonates. But it’s not enough. It doesn’t answer my question “Why Write?” It gives a partial answer but doesn’t explain this inner need to write that I feel.

What if I spent a few years writing my masterpiece and getting it published in the traditional way and no one buys it except family? Well, say my partner, my kids I don’t think would care. I won’t make money on it. I won’t get fame from it. I won’t change the world through it… and my family won’t really be interested.

If there’s a nano chance of achieving any of the above goals from writing, why write? Especially today with the web, print-on-demand and so so easy self-publishing. All of these self-published and traditionally published books flood the world with at least a million new titles every year. Let me say that again, a million new books, every year!

The question arises – is it a waste of time and effort to write a book if only your partner and maybe two others read it?  According to publishing metrics if only 3 people buy it, the book is a gigantic failure. So, was it worth the effort to write it and then get it published, either traditionally or self published?

Well, something deep inside me is calling out YES! It’s this voice I hear when I write. It’s not logical, reasonable or even smart. It may even be idiotic but I’m subject to idiotic episodes, as my life demonstrates . What is this voice? Who does it belong to? It’s a voice I’ve listened to when I dropped out of uni, hit the road and traveled around Australia with hardly any money, fallen in love, left jobs, changed direction and sailed 8,000 kms with no prior experience in sailing. This voice can be dangerous to listen to but simultaneously can open a door to amazing adventures and emotional journeys. It is the voice of my heart. Heart? That muscle pumping blood? Maybe that’s where this voice resides, like my mind resides in the brain. Anyway, my heart informs me through feeling that I must do what must be done so that I feel OK. When I don’t listen I get depressed, I get a feeling that I’m dying inside. When I listen to its promptings I feel energised, alive and full of purpose. I have meaning in my life. Put a gag on the voice and I die.

So, why do I write? I write so that I answer the call of the heart. The heart may have other names – the Higher Self, the Muse, the inner god, the Wild One. Whatever name it has I have a need to express and this need is the heart calling me to do so.


A Dream

April 2, 2022

I’m walking through a corridor whose walls are plastered with newspapers. I come to the end where there’s an abyss below, empty space above me & nothing to my left or right. I turn to run for safety & just as I turn before me is a gigantic spider with a woman’s & a man’s head joined together at the neck.

Before I scream the spider’s belly rushes at me pushing me into the abyss. In the background I hear Roy Orbison singing “In Dreams”. I fall and fly first up then down, then left then right. I turn to see the spider & it’s sitting in the centre of an immense web. I fly thru fog like smoke spaces between the web threads. The spider’s hairy legs are black against the billion stars. The legs & body of the spider cut a living symmetry in eight diections.

I am dizzy & see the web is everywhere & within each segment of space allocated by the web crossings are smaller webs. Each of these has a spider – webs within webs, worlds within worlds.

As my mind tries calculating factors of relevance, I fall and my back hits a hard surface. It’s wood. I lift my head & I see sails. I’m on a boat. I wake up.


Guardian Angel Counsellors

February 11, 2022

There are times when I need to be counselled, when I need someone to advise me. I need the counsellor to really care and understand my situation. My whole situation – my thoughts, my fears, my hopes, my secret wishes and the open ones. The only being that would be able to counsel me in such a holistic way would have to be an Angel. My Guardian Angel.

I believe that we all have a Guardian Angel whose duty is to ensure the safety of our souls in this “vale of tears” through signs. This sounds romantic, mythical, sounds so melancholic, semiotic and ….idiotic. Behind the verbal veil of “Guardian Angel” lives an organic reality whose form may have more to do with music than feathered wings.

Enough of this. I believe it is possible to commune with one’s Angel. It is the harmonic modality of a sea shell spiraling its smooth textured lines into a web of waves. The secret whisper behind a sigh, the underlying pattern of a coincidence or a splendid deja vu may all be the body language of our Angel. We have to get away from thinking that angel shapes are like apples, stones or trees. An Angelic form is closer to a mathematical proportion or an architectural geometry than to a physical shape of a bird. The Angels in architecture are as intangible  as a proportion. Angelic form is closer to the phi – the Golden Mean.

Nautilus pompilius

At times our Guardian Angel speaks to us in dreams, sometimes through mouths of babes, sometimes through a book or a sound or a song or an email. All of these messages require me to be open to receive the clue. Most of the time I go about my business in an open eyed deep sleep. I think all of us, tall poppies or climbing star jasmines sleep in matter. Occasionally a little ray of light breaks through our slumber and we hear the Angel speak. 

 Now we all know that this doesn’t happen all too often  so we need a way to communicate with our Guardian Angel at will. This requires special devices. These devices are mantic in nature and require intuitive software hard wired in our nervous system. These devices have been known as the Tarot, the I Ching, the divinatory aspect of Astrology, Runes and many others.  

Conversing through the Book of Changes.

Someone lost a feather.

More Photos from my Neighbourhood

November 7, 2021

An Experiment with the Third Mind

July 24, 2021

After reading The Third Mind by Brion Gysin and William Burroughs I thought I’d try my hand at it. The technique uses cut-ups and involves taking texts, cutting the pages, and then rearranging and combining the pieces to form new narratives. I used some of my own spontaneous prose which I cut up and made this.

Doors flower here, my secret parents told me a long time ago.

I was standing outside the driftwood gate near the rusting letter box.

Yes, the one where the letters you sent me didn’t arrive.

Heart trip blue, harbouring despair – smoke symbol outside the drift wood gate near the mountain top.

A show of innocence, Earth moments, Venus breaths and Martian chaos.

A smoke journey, a curling language, a wording made of clip clap foot steps and sacred sighs …

Sadness in the sky, blue Trumpet Justice.

Into the losing night light

he raised the candle

tattooed snow

cobra fish moon mind and my moon vision.


The Calling

July 1, 2021

The possibility that thought was matter and that this equivalence may be divided by a number, made every belief housed in my skull obsolete. Meaning was a promise made by my existence, so I thought. I knew then I had to seek solitude. Why and what solitude meant was just as an unknown as my new predicament. My body at ease and receptive to a message. In this moment recognition crept along my spine. At first it was a tingle, a feather gently stroking my skin. From the small of my back up along the trough following my spine the sensation flowed. A place of warmth emanated from the middle, between my shoulder blades. I didn’t know what was recognised, only that a call had registered through my nervous system. Who or what was calling?

It was strange how this new ignorance appeared. The recognition was sensed complete with a set of meanings ascribed to without consent of my mind. Could this new ignorance be old knowledge long forgotten? Deep down, beneathe layers of thought matter was the hidden destiny. This is what I felt. It didn’t matter whether it was a long forgotten bone buried by a long forgotten god, or just an abstraction to humour me. This hidden destiny pointed in a direction away from thought.

I lit another cigarette and walked over to the window. The sky was clear, the thunder clouds were swept away by the afternoon breeze. What was this call that began to sound in my secret emptiness? “Surely bones don’t shape one’s destiny!” I said aloud. Perhaps destiny was too big a word. My skin felt warmer all over, I closed my eyes and concentrated on an image of a candle flame. This was something I did when I was a kid before falling asleep. I felt the in and out of warm and cool air through my nostrils. Deep inside my chest, the flame burnt steadily. Gentle candle smoke rose and insinuated itself along fissures and walls of my skull. My feet and hands became an extension of an invisible stranger that uses flesh and bone as a gardener uses a spade.

A snake slithered through sounds in the air. Its presence a mere hiss of silence, a soft scrape against a wall. As I looked down onto my hand resting on the window sill I recognised the snake curled up in gold around my Holy Ghost finger, a ring, a gift from a long lost friend.

“Babylon is burning at the end of your cigarette,” she said. She appeared before me with a pitcher of water in one hand and the other holding a glass. The air around me crackled. She whispered, “Tell me, what is a man? Wind blown dust swirling into a cone of events, swinging to and fro, like a pendulum across the arc of his life?” By now she had me in her gaze.

I replied, “I take refuge in my beliefs…..” I repeat this over and over in my mind, a merry-go -round mantra. The guns of doubt click and explode in Russian roulette timing: silent movies, iceberg expectations, half life relics, pantomime gestures. Bang! Frame by frame, every movement a question mark in human animation, every frame subtitled, ” I think, therefore I am.”. The soundtrack ever repeating “I take refuge in my beliefs”.

She placed the pitcher on the table and took a sip from the half empty glass. “You think that the real, natural heart’s,” she pointed with her long finger , “that thing pumping in your chest. You are seriously mistaken.”

She flicked some hair away from her eyes as she spread the feathers of one of her wings. Each feather had inscriptions that looked alternatively Cyrillic then Chinese with Arabic curves, Hebrew endings and Greek beginnings. All this however was just guess work for in truth I had no idea what was written. For all I knew each feather could have been a letter in this alphabet of feathers and the whole word wing a verb. Perhaps the split between subject and object wasn’t even in this grammar – I was illiterate in the language of angels. I found myself mesmerized by the area of her wing immediately to the left of her elbow. The letters or patterns were themselves hieroglyphs, or so I thought. I felt here was a mystery – how could something be itself and yet point to something else for its identity?

“This is not the time to labour the point. The whole three dimensional world presented to your senses five is a total illusion. If you could slow this holographic movie down to nearly zero you would find flesh and blood is one step removed from your real body. This real body which you fail to recognise is imperishable. It’s the same with your mind. You think that you think, that you set the perceptual and then the conceptual parameters, that the images and ideas in that psychological space are yours. They are just as synthetic as your heart.”

She stopped talking and stroked the rim of the glass with her index finger. A low hum came from the glass punctuating the silence. She began talking again in a slightly louder whisper, “In fact your thinking is the thinking of someone else that has passed through your mind. You are property. Thoughts that cruise and fly by in your mind are visitors and have nothing to do with your volition. They enter, stay and leave, sometimes become squatters on their own accord. The cube of mind, a stage and a corridor, a cage and a peeping Tom show through cracks of vision, sound, smell, taste and sensation .”

Her countenace slowly began to fracture and crumble. Gradually her form shattered into many more countless pieces. She became a mosaic of color merging with the window. Like salt in water she dissolved through the glass and became orange streaked twilight dusk.

A snail slithers across the dome skull of history. Echoes, of prophets wailing, a curling shell. Cochlea. Earth. I heard the calling, (my) intent unknown.


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