'Nutritional Boot Camp' more than weightloss program

September 29, 2010 5:01:54 PM PDT
It's an aggressive, or as some would say, extreme program to lose weight. It's a "Boot Camp" for people who are overweight and diabetic, but participants are leaving the pounds -- and the health problems -- behind. Elvin Hayes was a Rockets player, a 12-time NBA All-Star, who played pro basketball for 16 years. When he'd finish a game, he'd head for the fast food.

"You ate whatever was open. You didn't really care about what you were eating. You just put fillers in you," he said.

His weight went up to 290 pounds. Then he went to Nutritional Boot Camp and lost 40 pounds in six weeks.

"This program probably would have extended my career," Hayes said. "Instead of playing only 16 years, I would be playing like some of these guys are playing now, playing maybe 20 or 21 years."

Under the Nutritional Boot Camp program, you eat only veggies. No meat, no dairy, no sugar, not even fish or chicken is allowed.

Shirley LaBlanche had diabetes, heart failure, and was on insulin and oxygen.

"I didn't need the medications anymore; not any of them, not even the medications that I had been taking, even the insulin," LaBlanche said of her health state after participating after Boot Camp.

Gene Flores, also known as Santa, was awaiting his amputation when he met the boot camp's Dr. Baxter Montgomery.

"He said, 'Are you ready to get off all your medication?' 'And I said, 'You bet,'" Flores recalled. 'And he said, 'Are you ready today?' And I said, 'Doctor are you sure this is going to work?'"

Flores went on the plant-based diet and dropped 30 pounds in 30 days. Eventually, he lost 67 pounds and saved his leg.

"I never cease to be amazed with the results I see with patients, with severe medical problems, with severe problems they've had for many years and they reverse in a short period of time," Dr. Montgomery said.

In show and tell demos, he teaches people how to cook, how to shop and how to order at restaurants.

Take for example daikon radish. He cuts in spirals and uses it like pasta or noodles.

"We had to eliminate many of the foods we would normally have eaten," participant Mellody Panzer said. "Now we have minimally processed raw fruits and vegetables."

Panzer, her husband Allan and son Robert went to Nutritional Boot Camp together. All lost weight.

"This is not a diet per se," Dr. Montgomery said. "This is an aggressive life style intervention that allows the body to heal itself."

It is a tough program. That's why they call it "boot camp." But when people start dropping the pounds and their medicines after only 30 days, most are motivated to keep going.

"Boot Camp" costs $332 for five Saturday sessions. Click here for more information.

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