This page lists health reports and testimonials of retreat guests.
The October 2014 Retreat
We’ll be adding October 2014 testimonials here after they’ve appeared on the blog.
Joseph N., Houston, TX
Here is Joseph:
The May 2014 Retreat
Joy Norman, Cincinnati, OH
Joy gave us both a video and a written testimonial. Joy’s video:
If you desire …
- to understand the science of good health…
- to learn the practical steps to make it happen in your daily life…
- to prepare delicious food that promotes your optimal health…
- to develop a like-minded community to support you in your journey…
- while spending two-weeks in a beautiful home on one of the most magnificent beaches in the US…
then the Perfect Health Retreat is for you!
I chose to attend the Retreat as a 60th birthday gift to myself – to optimize ‘whatever years I have left’. I left the Retreat convinced that in many ways my life is just beginning. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND making this investment in your life!!
Even though I have read the PHD book, I have found the Perfect Health Retreat to be an invaluable lesson. Between the one-on-one health sessions, cooking classes, and personal training, I have been able to identify many changes that I can make regarding my personal diet, exercise and lifestyle.
The Jaminet’s are very knowledgeable regarding the person as a “whole” and deliver a clear understanding of a wealth of information.
I would recommend the Perfect Health Retreat to anyone who, like me, has tried multiple regimes for better health but has not yet achieved our desired health status. The retreat offers a full complement of all aspects of the Perfect Health Diet and lifestyle.
Thank you Paul and Shou-Ching for sharing and giving me hope.
Judy in Charlotte, NC
PHD has now come alive after the 2014 Retreat at the fabulous NC beach. For two weeks we stayed in a beautiful spacious house with an unbelievable loving and sharing family of 15 attendees and 8 staff.
Paul and Shou-Ching taught us how to easily live PHD daily. Paul taught us the science behind why we need to be eating certain foods and taking recommended supplements. Shou-Ching taught us how to prepare many, many delicious recipes. Not only did she teach us but she let us actually have “Hands On” cooking classes every day. She was amazing and has the patience of an angel.
Paul and Shou-Ching were available every day to talk to us, answer question after question and participate in all our activities. They are so knowledgeable and are great fun to be with.
I had been eating PHD for some time but I was afraid to eat enough food for fear of gaining weight so consequently I was hungry all the time. At the retreat I learned how eating the right foods and enough of them would keep me satisfied and healthy until my first meal. And also that it was o.k. to eat more food in the 8 hour window. Boy was that great!! I didn’t gain an ounce and in fact my clothes were looser when I left. I will never starve myself again. Also my morning temperature was too low when I arrived but now it is very close to normal and I am feeling good and have a lot of energy.
The entire staff was available, helpful and took care of all our needs and wants. You can imagine what that was like for 15 people. They did it with patience, kindness and a smile. I am so enriched by every one that was there and I hope to attend another retreat in the future.
I left with an abundance of knowledge and feel I truly understand the rhythm of PHD life style; the food and meal timing, the physical fitness, the sunshine and temperature control and the glorious sleep.
Thank you to All!! Judy in Charlotte, NC
Robin, Portland, OR
The PHD retreat was an intense period of learning, seeing healthy habits modeled, and practicing those habits. A year’s worth of appointments with holistic health practitioners would not have provided the learning and all-important practice that I got at the Retreat.
I would not have attempted the longer overnight fast at home, but at the retreat I successfully practiced the fast. Now I know I can do it!
The retreat reinforced the importance of consistent daily activity, and I had practice building the exercise habit with the daily exercise sessions. I learned about an appropriate level of exercise that can help increase my fitness but keep me healthy enough to exercise every day. Now I know I can do it!
Before the retreat, I was an inexperienced cook with little confidence. After seeing cooking demonstrations and enjoying the delicious meals that resulted, I am now confident that, given some practice and experience, I can plan and prepare the same delicious meals, no matter how busy my day is. Now I know I can do it!
The atmosphere at the Retreat was warm and supportive. Being surrounded by like-minded people reinforced my resolve to form new habits and retain them when I returned home. Now I know that if others can do it, I can too!
During the Retreat, I lost at least 5 pounds with a corresponding drop in body fat percent (relative to my scale at home). I noticed a significant improvement in a painful skin condition. Now I know that my body likes the changes I made at the retreat. One of the most important things I learned at the retreat is that I can trust my body’s wisdom about what I need to eat and how I need to move.
The 2013 “Pilot” Retreat
The Perfect Health Retreat program was “pilot tested” during a six month period from July 2013 through January 2014 at a property in Austin, Texas. Because the property was zoned for residential use, it could only accept lodgers for 30-day or longer stays. Thus, the “pilot” version of the Perfect Health Retreat was a 30-day program.
Over the “pilot” period, thirteen guests followed the 30 day program. All achieved health improvements. Most agreed to share their experiences. Here are their stories.
Here’s a picture of Rosie:
And here’s her summary of results (my emphasis):
The results I experienced from 26 days at the Perfect Health Retreat were nothing short of miraculous. I had been struggling with chronic fatigue for probably a decade or more. I’d been gaining 5-10 pounds a year and was up to 240 pounds at my heaviest. My sleep cycle was chaotic. I was tired so much of the time that when I did get a burst of energy (usually late at night) I’d often stay up all night at the computer to try to be productive. But then I’d sleep through the entire next day. And some days I’d force myself to function on only 2-3 hours of sleep. I was keeping myself going with Diet Coke, drinking up to 2 liters or more a day. I had been told by my doctor that I was pre-diabetic, my triglycerides and bad cholesterol were too high, my good cholesterol and Vitamin D were too low, and several hormones were out of whack.
In February I quit Diet Coke and cut wheat out of my diet, and the weight started coming off. But I was still feeling lethargic all the time. Then I found out about the PHD and started trying to implement it at home; and made the decision to go to the Perfect Health Retreat for the month of October. Within 3 days after arriving, I was going to bed by 11 or so and waking up at around 7:30 every morning, feeling well-rested, feeling like going out for a jog! (I’d always hated jogging before, but Paul, you inspired me and I’ve really enjoyed jogging in those Vibram Five Fingers shoes.) By the end of the month, my energy level throughout the day was back to about 80% of what it had been when I was at peak health in the past. I’d lost another 11 pounds, for a total of 30 since February. My triglycerides were back in the normal range and all my other biomarkers were moving in the right direction, or at least unchanged.
I’ve been able to keep up the healthy sleep habits since returning home, with the help of modified lighting and blue-blocking goggles. I’m still working on integrating everything I learned about healthy eating and exercise into my life. I no longer feel that it’s an uphill battle like it always used to be. I never had enough energy to get enough exercise or cook healthy meals for myself, but that is no longer the case. There’s certainly more work to do, but I am confident that with just a little tweaking here and there, I can continue the positive journey towards full health.
The Perfect Health Retreat was my 50th birthday present to myself, and it has turned out to be the best investment I’ve ever made in the rest of my life. I’ve heard the expression that “Life begins at 50.” Well, I would modify that slightly (since I have had a pretty great life in spite of my health concerns). I would say rather that for me, “Life begins again at 50.”
Rosie took some blood tests to get before-and-after lab values. Here is a comparative table:
At end of Retreat
|Fasting Glucose (mg/dl)||
|White Blood Cells (10^3/μL)||
|C-reactive protein (mg/L)||
|Vitamin D (ng/ml)||
|Total cholesterol (mg/dl)||
|LDL cholesterol (mg/dl)||
|HDL cholesterol (mg/dl)||
In summary – Rosie went from 20% of normal energy to 80%, fixed her sleep, lost 11 pounds and inches from her waist, greatly reduced markers of infection such as white blood cell count and C-reactive protein, normalized her TSH, reduced triglycerides, normalized vitamin D and LDL cholesterol, and reduced ALT and AST suggesting improved liver health.
Best of all, she feels well prepared to live a healthful lifestyle from now on, and can expect to see further significant health improvements.
My husband and I have just concluded a month long stay at the Perfect Health Retreat, which exceeded our expectations in every way and added years to our lives.
We began the Perfect Health Diet four months prior to attending the Retreat, beginning on July 1, 2013, and had already been experiencing amazing health benefits. But until coming to the Retreat, the only instruction I had in following the program was to go “by the book”–a wonderfully rich, informative, compelling book, indeed–but without the benefit of a community of other PHD program participants, experiences, and mentors to bring the program to life and make it second-nature. Now, I can’t imagine living any other way.
After a month of nutritious meals, great sleeping, and daily exercise, plus a stimulating educational program with world class scientist and eminently friendly and approachable Paul Jaminet, PhD, co-creator of the Perfect Health Diet, I feel ten years younger!
It was so easy to get into the “habit” of going outside each day for a jog, or to take in the sunshine for my requisite dose of vitamin D. I enjoyed learning the chef’s secrets and lessons for great PHD meals–including the world’s best bone broth and most nutritious fermented vegetables. We all learned the benefits of intermittent fasting (eating only between noon and 8 p.m.), and delicious morning coffee and broth made it easy.
The Perfect Health Diet is a lifestyle that can add years to one’s life. The Perfect Health Retreat teaches one exactly how to do this in a community where everyone is committed to doing the same thing.
A happy outcome of the diet for me, both before and during our stay at the Retreat, is that I now feel completely satisfied at mealtime, never get hungry before the next meal, but also never feel bloated, too full, or uncomfortable after eating. My body does a “happy dance” each day because it now gets exactly what and how much food it needs, and nothing harmful.
This next unexpected consequence took me completely by surprise. For years I had pain in my neck from what I believed was age-related osteoarthritis. After trying everything (massage, yoga, chiropractic adjustments–all of which provided only partial, temporary relief), I woke up one morning at the Retreat and realized my neck did not hurt any more and I had regained full range of motion. I thought about all the changes I had made in my diet and what might have been THE magic bullet for taking away my chronic inflammation and muscle stiffness, and I decided it didn’t matter because it worked! PHD teaches, and I am living proof, that with the right diet and lifestyle one need not be sick, or chronically inflamed or infected, particularly in later life, just because one is aging.
I am grateful beyond words for what PHD and the Perfect Health Retreat have done for me and my husband Herb, who will relate his own story. Thank you Paul and Shou-Ching Jaminet!
If you are thinking about coming to a Retreat and not sure you can afford the financial or time commitment, think again: ask yourself “how can I afford NOT to come here?” This experience is an affordable vacation in its own right, but think of how much value you get for the money. Think of all the other ways you spend your time and money with no measurable benefit. To attend a Perfect Health Retreat is to give yourself a gift for a lifetime with continuing good health returns. Surely you and your loved-ones are worth that!
If you do come, know that like everything else in life, you get back what you give. Learning a new way of living and eating takes discipline, commitment and trust. The best advice I can offer someone just starting out is this: come with an open mind and an open heart, and be prepared to surrender your old habits and beliefs about what’s “bad” and what’s “good” to eat. Paul Jaminet’s fascinating classes will give you all the understanding you need to grasp the science of the PHD, and the pleasure of feeling great and living the fullest possible life will be your reward.
Dr. Herb Mandell
Herb Mandell, M.D., writes:
My goal in coming to the Perfect Health Retreat was to totally immerse myself in a culture of food, exercise, and circadian entrainment, with like-minded individuals, so that I might emerge with an integrated lifestyle and game plan to work with. Although I am still working on the circadian part, I have made some progress there, and am more than satisfied with my progress in all the other areas. I could not have predicted how helpful the staff, our talks with Dr. Jaminet, and the environment would prove to be. These are tremendously big-hearted people who shared their wealth of knowledge, their Retreat, and their practical experience with us on so many levels. I am also eternally grateful to my lovely wife and lifetime partner, Peggy, who accompanied me on this journey with her quick wit, her deeply reflective insights, and her truly indomitable spirit. I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunities for exercise here, and personally mastered the Primal 7, the bicycle course at the Velopark, and even went on to successfully complete a ten-segment zip line course on a weekend jaunt to nearby Wimberley.
The information that I have absorbed has been nothing short of a huge paradigm shift for me. As a retired physician and medical director of a national children’s charity, I can honestly say that I have never so clearly comprehended the importance and role of diet, exercise, and other lifestyle elements in shaping one’s personal health status. While here I was able to achieve my goal of getting off my protein pump inhibitor medication, which I had taken for over seven years with very mixed results. While on the Perfect Health Diet, my C-Reactive Protein plunged from 35 to 7, and I was able to discontinue my statin medication as well. I have also made significant progress in addressing a chronic fungal infection while being able to cut back on medication for that also.
The other guests here were very interesting folks, and I am sure we will remain friends, at least online, and hopefully again in person.
I can honestly say I feel several years younger, although I celebrated my 64th birthday while at the Retreat.
I would urge anyone who is learning the PHD diet and philosophy to come to the Retreat for the total experience. You cannot put a price tag on your life, your health, or your ability to make the most of both.
Jorjan Cullender Hendrix
Jorjan Cullender Hendrix was the first of our beta participants; she began the program in April 2013 even before I had prepared educational materials. Jorjan writes:
I feel 1000% better than I felt 75 days ago.
I was diagnosed with Sjogrens Syndrome in the fall of 2001. I stayed active and continued to work; however, many nights I would cry myself to sleep in silence and without the ability to make tears. I took solace in Coca Colas and sugary and salty snacks which made me gain 45 lbs. No one in my family knew of my condition until further complications and problems arose. I developed many food allergies, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and bone spurs in my feet, fingers, and neck. I became extremely sensitive to touch and had extremely dry eyes and mouth.
Over the last three years I lost 35 lbs by cutting back on snacks and trying to always eat before 6 pm. However, this had little to no effect on how I felt physically and emotionally. I looked better but still felt like a prisoner to my syndrome. Every day I worried whether I would make it to the next day. Stress took a toll: higher blood pressure, less sleep, and a feeling of total hopelessness.
I needed a cane most days to get around due to a persistent injury to my hip and knee. I was scheduled to have both replaced in January of 2011. However, I lost my Mom, and then when my job status changed I lost my health insurance, so the surgeries were postponed. A true blessing in disguise, as I now see no need for either after being on the Perfect Health Diet.
My blood pressure was always around 154/140 and I was extremely sleep deprived due to stress and constant pain. I could not endure being outside if it was warmer than 8o degrees Fahrenheit. Sometimes just the touch of water from a shower could send me up the wall with sensitivity.
My good friend from college Damon Young invited me to attend the Paleo FX conference with he and his wife in Austin. Dr. Paul Jaminet was staying at their bed and breakfast. I found myself getting to know him and about his and his wife’s self discovery and writing of the Perfect Health Diet. I discovered I might benefit from his Perfect Health Diet. I started PHD on April 1st, supported by Damon and his wife Joyce at Albert Oaks Austin.
I was apprehensive about the intermittent fasting, but after the first few days it was very easy. Giving up the cokes was the hardest part. I still will cheat occasionally and have one, but I’ve noticed I feel aches afterwards.
I started spending more time outdoors and found that working outdoors and staying very active elevated my mood. My energy level has usually been good but I would often after a 10 hour work day crash at 6 pm. Then on the weekends I would stay in bed all weekend. Today, after 75 days on PHD, I can easily do a 10-12 hour work day 7 days a week. My energy level has risen through the roof. I work outdoors 5-6 hours a day and some of that during the heat of the day. For over 10 years I have not been able to endure temperatures over 80 degrees, but now I can tolerate Texas summer midday heat and sun.
Soon I no longer needed my cane to walk, and over the following weeks I was able to reduce and then stop my pain medications. Just a short time earlier, I had thought I would never again walk without pain.
The diet is easy to follow; the food we eat is comparable in quality and taste to what I have eaten in 5-star restaurants. There is so much variety. I am never hungry.
I have learned how to make fermented vegetables and eat them regularly. I am enjoying the outdoors again. I enjoy working in our organic garden and caring for our chickens. I have been allergic to chickens and eggs for years, but now I am showing less sensitivity to eggs.
My excitement increased when three more beta candidates joined our program 30 days ago. I had already seen so much personal improvement I was able to share with them. I would do nightly checks to see if they had on their amber lights and or glasses if they were watching TV. This allowed me to share my excitement about the program and PHD.
We fixed and ate our meals with each other. We did our supplements for the week together. We developed recipes of our own, and kidded each other about foods we were learning to like that we had previously thought we could never eat. We developed a family atmosphere during our video conferences and classes with Dr. Jaminet, as we all sat in a big living room with a big screen TV and it was like family night at home.
Just 3 months ago, I didn’t think I would live many years more. After my last physical, my doctor told me, “You need to quit worrying about your father-in-law and your sister making it to next Christmas, if you have another 2-3 years like the last ones they will need to worry about you.”
Now I know I can look forward to many more years of a healthy and happy life with my children and grandchildren. My son, who is overseas, can’t say enough about how great I sound on the phone. He is now reading Perfect Health Diet because of my “just short of miraculous results.”
Many thanks to my friend Damon for inviting me to the program, to Dr. Paul Jaminet and his wife Shou-Ching Jaminet for writing Perfect Health Diet, and to the Perfect Health Retreat at Albert Oaks Austin. I have a new lease on life, thanks to you all.
Jorjan gave us an update months later, sharing some pictures. She had lost a few more pounds — she was 132 pounds when she adopted PHD on April 1, was 122 pounds when she wrote her first testimonial, and in these pictures weighed in at 118 pounds. She told us that her muscle definition is now better than when she was in high school:
Laura came on the Perfect Health Retreat with the support of her generous boss, who paid her retreat fee and allowed her to telecommute to work during the retreat. Laura’s goal was weight loss:
I wanted to keep my active, adventurous lifestyle but due to my weight it was just getting harder and harder to get out there fishing and camping with my loved ones.
At the Retreat I set the goal of losing 30 lbs. Although I only lost 16 lbs during my time at the Retreat, the change in my body was absolutely noticeable.
The yoga program at Albert Oaks has been very beneficial. I haven’t been able to sit cross-legged in more than a decade but now I can! I’ve never done yoga in my entire life but I bought a two Yoga DVDs and a mat and will continue to when I get home!
As far as the overall health benefits are concerned; I slept better and just seemed to move differently than I did before.
I’m very satisfied in learning how to implement fitness as part of the Perfect Health Diet. The Perfect Health Retreat helped me find MY WAY to weight loss and perfect health while teaching me how to carry over what I had learned into everyday life.
Sixteen pounds is quite an impressive weight loss for a 30 day stay. I spoke with Laura a few months later and she had lost seven more pounds at home.
Jim lost 24 pounds in 30 days. He also increased his energy levels, lowered his cholesterol, and normalized his fasting blood glucose levels.
Before coming on the retreat, Jim had been planning to get gastric bypass surgery. He was pleased to find he could lose weight effectively through natural means, and will not need surgery.
Darlene is very slender and did not come to the Retreat for weight loss; she actually gained muscle and a few pounds at the Retreat, and looked terrific when I saw her. But let me share her story.
Darlene had already been eating PHD for over a year as part of her effort to defeat chronic infections. She has had success using the combination antibiotic protocol described at http://cpnhelp.org, and found that the antibiotics and PHD made a very powerful combination. Her most prominent symptoms have been receding for the last year and some disappeared during her time at the retreat. Thanks to her improvement, when I spoke to her as the retreat concluded she was planning to stop some of her antibiotics.
Here is how she described her experience:
I came to the Retreat because I wanted to really learn the Perfect Health Diet from a scientific standpoint. The access I got to Paul Jaminet was a great asset in gaining this expertise and achieving my goals. Daily discussions were perfect for reviewing previous material and getting to ask Paul questions directly. One problem I had before coming to the Perfect Health Retreat was trouble sleeping. I would wake up at 4AM but then go back to sleep at 7AM. I wanted to explore and learn more about circadian rhythms and that’s a big part of the environment that the Perfect Health Retreat strives to create. Things like bright daytime lighting, red-yellow lighting and anti-blue light glasses at night, temperature control, and meal timing helped me reset my sleep and also taught me how to set up my home environment to maintain improved rhythms. I also liked the onsite Primal 7 workout equipment. It was useful in targeting muscle groups that I have had trouble working out before. The food was exceptional and tasty but possibly the best part of staying at the Perfect Health Retreat was the wonderful people. It really is a community of like-minded individuals who want to see you reach your goals and accomplish all you can.
My name is Ruth Slattery. I am a sixty year old wife and mother of five sons all born at home.
I have always believed in a natural, whole foods approach to life. Having a degree in anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin made understanding and accepting the philosophy and science of the Perfect Health Diet by Paul and Shou-Ching Jaminet logical and easy.
At Albert Oaks one learns the importance of proper light exposure, sleep, exercise and nutrition in acquiring and maintaining good health. Teleconferencing with Dr. Jaminet on a regular basis is very helpful in clearing up any questions and really understanding the total concept of the PHD.
I was diagnosed with lupus nine years ago and am affected with chronic muscle and joint pain and chronic fatigue. For the past year and a half, I have been participating in a lupus clinical trial with no obvious improvement.
Since following the PHD lifestyle suggestions, my joint pain, fatigue and range of motion have definitely improved and I have lost four pounds and an inch around the waist! I would recommend this lifestyle philosophy for everyone-no matter what or if there is a health or weight issue involved.
Charles Kevin Rackley
I had been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes a little over a year before beginning the Perfect Health Diet, though my glucose had been high for some time before. I did not achieve any level of blood glucose control during that time. Meanwhile, neuropathy in my feet was steadily getting worse.
Following the program at the Retreat was easier than anticipated. Although I was working full-time, I was easily able to adapt the concepts of intermittent fasting to my needs. The satisfying meals and daily exercise became second nature, and the comfort of the facility and the attentiveness of the staff made it a pleasure just to be there.
The results of my month at Albert Oaks were startling. The eight-pound weight loss was welcome, though not extraordinary in itself. The four inch reduction in my waist line was very welcome. More importantly, my glucose levels plummeted into the normal range, for the first time in over a decade. Though I am still taking my medication for now, it is not unreasonable to think I may be able to revisit that issue with my physician in the near future.
Now back at home, I am excited about finding new ways to employ the principles of the Perfect Health Diet. I was at a family dinner at a restaurant this week, and it was simple to make good choices. I am eager to explore this new, healthy direction in my life.
Charles’s fasting blood glucose dropped from 160 to 95 mg/dl – severely diabetic to normal – in about a month.
Eva Jo Scott
At the end of the 30 day Retreat, I have seen an increase of energy, weight loss and reduced waist size, and decrease of pain medication.
At the beginning of the plan, my energy level was so low that I required naps several times a day. I still do not fully understand the science of PHD but the results are amazing. By eating a balanced diet and having exercise planned around my physical disabilities (my knees need replacing, they currently are bone to bone), I am able to move around more and I have more energy.
I went from taking 6 pain pills a day at the beginning, to taking 2-3 a day towards the end of the month. Exercise and diet for the thirty days left me 6 pounds lighter and two inches smaller around the waist. The group setting was very helpful because we developed personal friendships. We were there for each other when a shoulder was needed.