Maui Mike is from Minnesota. Mike got his name because he lived on the island of Maui in Hawaii for a period of time. “I also have a blend of coffee named after me called “Maui Mike’s Blend,” he laughed.
Mike is 5′ 11″ tall, and began low carbing in October of 1999 weighing 250 pounds. He now weighs 212, pounds, and is nearing his goal weight of 200. He has trimmed down to size 38 pants from the 44s he used to wear, and is now shooting for a size 36.
My primary goal is to eliminate the sugar and watch the carbohydrate counts
“I don’t follow any particular program,” Mike said. “My primary goal is to eliminate the sugar and watch the carbohydrate counts. The two books that I read are Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution and Protein Power, where I learned the basics of the low carbohydrate way of life/way of eating.”
“I have not made a concentrated effort to lose the last 15 pounds, but wanted to be able to maintain the weight for a period of time. I have been able to hold at 215 pounds from April of 2000 until October of 2001, when I had some family health issues to deal with. (My wife’s parents are elderly and have needed a great deal of help and care as of late.) I haven’t been maintaining my regular schedule or eating the ‘regular way.’ With long days and not eating my ‘regular’ diet (not intentionally), I have managed to lose an additional three pounds without trying! I just make sure that I get my nutritional supplementation and I am okay.”
Mike never had a weight problem until he was in a car accident in November of 1987. “This was an accident I should not have lived through it, but did. It took me nearly 18 months to be able to walk decently again. I still suffer from nerve damage to my right side. Prior to the accident, I was a power lifter. I had also been a wrestler, working with the local wrestling programs, and was an official. I was a 10K runner. (I was slow, never first, but never last, either.) I was what they considered ‘a big little man’ at 5’11 and 217 pounds. I could hold my own with the ‘big guys.’ Of course, after the accident and recovery, I continued to consume food like I was still burning it up. Eventually, it caught up with me, since I couldn’t work out and run anymore. I did do some walking, but not enough.”
Mike made many attempts to get his weight under control again. “The first thing that I tried was counting calories. It worked for a period of time, but I couldn’t handle the restrictions and the weight loss stalls together. I kept it up for about three months.”
Mike tried a low fat diet that didn’t work
Then Mike tried a low fat diet. “I stayed under 25 mg. of fat per day,” he sighed “Another bust, like the low calorie dieting. I just couldn’t live with it. Another three-month failure.”
“I tried about three of the ‘magic diet pill’ things that are out there, the ones you get through the mail. I liked the idea that you could ‘eat anything’ and lose weight. However, I didn’t lose anything except my money. I believe I spent about nine months doing this.”
Exercise programs were pretty much out of the picture for Mike due to the physical damage done to his body from his car accident. “I talked to some orthopedic doctors about this, as I really missed the weight lifting and running. But I was told that, ‘Yes, you can do these things again, but you will be back in for reconstructive surgery and then will most likely have even more limitations.'”
Mike tried chitosan to ‘soak up the fat,’ but did not have much success it either. He tried chitosan for approximately six months.
“The low calorie and low fat programs were the worst,” Mike said. “I was always hungry and tired. I guess I did them initially because the medical community is behind them. The over-the-counter pills and chitosan were just attempts on my part to find the easy way out. Although there were no side affects from them other irritability, I would never recommend any of these to anyone.”
I asked Mike if he felt he was addicted to carbs, and he replied, “Yes and no, which is hard to explain. I believe that I am more addicted to the ‘taste’ and texture of food, which can translate to carbs depending on the mode of preparation and/or the ingredients. But low carb food can be prepared to look, feel, and taste like ‘the real thing.’ Since I was brought up eating certain things, I tend to want these things. If it is low carb and appears the same as what I had ‘before,’ both my body and mind are okay. It is much like those who say they can’t live without bread. As long as they can get a low carb bread, the mind and body can both be happy campers!”
Then Maui Mike Found the Low-Carb Lifestyle & Low-Carb Success
“Having tried several ways to lose weight,” Mike continued, “I had pretty much given up and I figured that I would never make it on a diet. I just bought bigger clothes as I got bigger and BIGGER. But one ‘odd’ thing does come to mind now that I’ve found low carbohydrate eating: As I traveled around the world, I remember that there were a couple of places that I traveled to where I had great food. I also noticed that in these places, I never got hungry even though I lost between 15 and 30 pounds over a six to eight week period.”
“The places where I lost weight without trying to were mainland China, Southeast Asia, and South America (Brazil, Argentina, Chili, and Venezuela). I have thought about what I ate in these locations, an it was mostly meats, seafood, and vegetables. Guess what? LOW CARB. I was on a low carb diet and didn’t know it!”
“Most people don’t know this, but rice is generally NOT served with meals in mainland China, unlike at Chinese restaurants in the United States, where it is always served. In mainland China, the only reason you eat rice is to fill up if you are still hungry after the meal.
“Putting it all together, and reading Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution and Protein Power made it all make sense to me. I had also watched others suffer, as I had, with the recommended ‘doctor and nutritionist diets,’ Slim Fast, Weight Watchers, Body Solutions, etc. All of these failed, mainly because once the individual had lost the weight, they were under the mistaken impression that they could go back to eating as they did before. The low carbohydrate way of eating/way of life is a total solution. It’s basically the same food, prepared pretty much the same way, but with different ingredients – mainly absence of sugar and grains. Follow a low carbohydrate lifestyle, and there you are!”
Mike said the most positive aspect of low carbing is the weight loss. “In my case, this is a real plus because it takes the weight strain off my damaged body parts. There is also a general feeling of well being, not to mention looking better. Low carbing also helps the body by not putting in all the ‘bad things,’ mainly sugar.”
“I can’t think of any ‘bad parts’ to low carbing. There is a learning curve you need to go through when buying groceries and baking goods, etc., of course. You have to spend some time at it, but once that is done, you are pretty much ‘good to go.’ I have found it rather easy when traveling and eating out to find things to eat, and I eat well! I do NOT consider this a diet; it is a way of life. It is very easy to follow! I will NEVER go back to the ‘old way.'”
The Many Health Benefits of Low Carb
Mike told me that the health benefits from this way of life include most probably living longer and having fewer health problems, especially since he had been ‘physically beaten up’ in his accident. “I never had any health problems before my accident,” he explained, “and I still don’t.”
Mike is also a strong proponent of nutritional supplementation. “In addition to low carbing, I also follow a nutritional supplementation regime from Puritans Pride. I take MSM (Methylsulfonylmethene) 750 mg. capsules, Green Source/Iron free Multivitamin (essential vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, plus herbs, essential oils, and other naturally occurring active food factors), Ester-C with Bioflavoniods, 100mg tablets, and a vitamin C that is so efficient and powerful that it has its own US patent number! These supplements should be taken three times a day with meals. There may be fatigue and tiredness associated with doing this as the body detoxifies itself and begins the healing process, and it takes somewhere between 30 to 90 days to complete the detoxification process. The supplements need to become a lifetime commitment as the foods you consume do not always have the optimum nutrients. This is how you get to where the problems start. I also use personal hygiene and home care products from Meladeuca, Inc. They are all natural and contain no toxins.”
Mike feels the emotional benefits of low carbohydrate eating are looking and feeling both better and lighter. “My family has seen the benefits and are now switching to low carbohydrate eating and are taking nutritional supplements. My coworkers think I am a nut case, even though they have seen the benefits I have experienced. But some have switched to the nutritional supplements and are beginning to discuss carbs!”
“The low-carb-recipe-exchange on Yahoo groups has been a great group for obtaining both information and recipes. I do get several newsletters from health groups, too. I try to stay up on the latest in herbs and alternative medicine, as natural medicine is a passion of mine and part of my heritage.”
Finally, Mike wanted to add, “Low carb and nutritional supplementation, how much simpler can it get? It is just unbelievable that the medical establishment shuns both! People could have such a better quality of life by just doing these two things. My main goal in life is to die feeling as young as possible – at the oldest possible age! If it were not for the low carbohydrate way of life and nutritional supplements, I think I would be in real trouble.”
The low-carb-recipe-exchange can be found at: