By adopting a healthier plant-based diet and a regular exercise program, Estrella is reversing her diabetes. by Sabrina Petersen


“Mom, you’re putting too much butter on your toast!” my kids used to tell me. Or, “That’s too much mayonnaise!”

I never thought much of it until my doctor told me I had elevated liver enzymes. An ultrasound later confirmed a fatty liver, and soon I had full-blown diabetes.

Little did Estrella, now a grandmother of three, realize the effect that her diet would have on her health and life. After all, she was a vegetarian! Clearly, being a vegetarian had not prevented this predicament. Now her diabetes had accelerated to the point of stopping her from being the grandparent she wanted to be.

“I knew I needed help,” Estrella shares. In her search for solutions, she heard about Hartland’s Lifestyle Education Center (LEC) in Virginia, conveniently close to her children. Her interest was piqued.

“The moment I drove in, I felt a peace about the place,” Estrella explains. After a three-day drive from Chicago, she settled into the session, assured that God had brought her here.

Truly He had, for within the 18-day program, Estrella experienced amazing improvements. She arrived at the LEC with a blood sugar level of 376, but by the end of the session it had dropped to 166!

She pinpoints diet and exercise as key factors in the improvement of her health. She walked three miles a day during her time at the LEC and has now set a goal of four miles.

In the area of diet, Estrella’s eyes were opened to the fact that “fat is a culprit in diabetes.” Having grown up as a Seventh-day Adventist, she was familiar with the health message and plant-based diet. She had even been to other lifestyle centers and followed their healthful recipes. However, she hadn’t recognized that the fat content in so-called “healthy” foods could lead to serious difficulties. Now she has learned to obtain natural fats in moderation from avocados, nuts, and seeds.
Estrella speaks gratefully of the LEC’s impact on her: “I’ve really appreciated the staff’s loving-kindness. It was something I was in much need of, and it has been very nurturing.”

Through the changes made during her time here, Estrella feels much more energetic and functions on a better meal and sleep schedule. The LEC session has motivated her to incorporate better health principles and, above all, has brought her in contact with the mighty Healer of the body and soul.

“I’m glad I found this place,” she states. We’re glad, too, Estrella.