Gary Kaake, Psy.D. and Bonnie Griffin Kaake (pronounced “cake”)
We are passionate about mental and physical health and cooking. Up until January 2012, we were consuming what we thought was a healthy diet consisting primarily of chicken, fish, fruits, vegetables and grains. Fast food restaurants, highly sweet and heavily processed foods were not part of the Kaake’s routine.
Warning in Fall of 2011
I was on 8 prescription medications was told that my annual doctor visit’s test results tipped me into the obese BMI. As if that was not enough, my doctor told me I was now pre-diabetic as well. This news freaked me out! I have a family history of both diabetes and heart disease. My maternal grandfather and many uncles died of massive heart attacks in their early to mid-fifties. Also, my paternal grandmother and her brothers all died from complications associated with diabetes. This doctor visit was a wake-up call. Now, what to do about it?
I thought long and hard about the difficulties I experienced trying to lose weight over the years. Sadly, I tried everything, both healthy and unhealthy. Some of my attempts included diet pills, a wide variety of diets (Atkins, Weight Watchers, weight loss clinics, etc.), calorie restriction and lots of exercise. Nothing worked for more than a few weeks. One weight loss clinic just about put me in the hospital. Nevertheless, I was now very determined to find some solution to my weight issue, bouts of hypoglycemia and lack of energy. My life depended on it. God only knows, I did not want to add more prescription drugs! Therefore, I told my doctor that I needed some time to figure out what I could do better.
Dr. Gary Kaake
One lucky guy, his weight has been in the healthy range his entire life. You know the type, those that can eat anything but never gain a pound. Nevertheless, Dr. Kaake was taking prescription drugs for high cholesterol and acid reflux. In addition, he often worked with patients with health issues. So, he was also motivated to learn how to be more healthy.
At first, we considered our ages to be a factor in our health challenges. We were not sure we could do much. Then, things changed! It all began with our love of documentaries. As usual, Netflix came to the rescue!
We watched “Forks Over Knives” while eating dinner in Mid-January of 2012. Ironically, we were eating a fillet mignon at the time. We usually avoided red meat but thought once in a while was OK. We knew the movie was about food but were in for a BIG surprise! Following the movie we made a commitment to immediately change our diet to plant-based healthy vegan.
Within three months Dr. Kaake’s cholesterol was on the low side of normal and he no longer needed acid reflux medication. And, at only 5’1″, I had lost 25 pounds and was off seven of the eight prescription medications. Yes, with my medical doctor’s approval and her astonishment. My prescriptions had included those for high cholesterol, acid reflux, high blood pressure, depression and more. Hard to believe, but I was no longer pre-diabetic, was no longer having hypoglycemic or acid reflux attacks. AND, out of the obese BMI. Could this really be the answer long-term?
Incredible, even to me, I feel better than I have in fifteen years. Our little Mini-Schnauzer “Guapo” is thrilled with his now daily walks. Funny, he now walks too slowly for me. I continue to lose a pound once in a while but have not gained back any of my weight. Soon, I hope to be off the last prescription drug for high blood pressure. 30 years is too long to take any drug if you don’t have to. A little bitter-sweet, I am now healthier than my nine brothers and sisters, eight of which are younger. My husband, Dr. Gary Kaake, no longer needs drugs for high cholesterol or acid reflux. He also has a renewed excitement about helping patients be their healthiest possible selves.
My career in marketing and marketing management prepared me well. I worked in marketing for General Electric Company for many years. And, owned my own marketing agency, Innovative Consulting Group, Inc. for 19 years. Writing and public speaking is a passion. My interest in a Whole-Foods, Plant-Based Lifestyle has propelled me in this new direction. In 2014, I earned a Certification in Plant-Based Nutrition from eCornell/T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies. This also fit well with my interest in gardening and volunteering as a Master Gardener in my county. I read and study extensively about health and healthy eating. And, the bookshelf in our kitchen is over-flowing now with health focused books and recipes.
We enjoy organic fruit and vegetable gardening and cooking. The meals we prepare for others are met with rave reviews and requests for recipes from vegans and non-vegans alike. Animals and our environment are important to us as well. We have two cats and a dog and have recently installed solar panels on our home. Dr. Gary and I blog and use social media extensively to encourage others to make healthy changes in their lives and in the world we all live in. We share our experiences with eating out and are quick to review restaurants on social media and our blog. We offer our services to others who are serious about losing weight and becoming healthier.
Please join us on our journey! How can we help?
Eat a Whole-Foods, Plant-Based Diet
Promote Kindness and Respect for Animals
Support an Environmentally Friendly and Sustainable World