No gain without pain

August 2023


My name is Charles McMonagle and I am 70 years old, I have had high cholesterol for the last twenty odd years and put on weight once I passed my fifties but as they say time catches up with you. I have been under Dr Kim Andrews care for the last three years and she had preached to me that I had to lose weight as I reached 16st 10lb and was border diabetic, at first I took it with a pinch of salt and not serious but last year around June my wife started to worry too and told me to take what my doctor said serious so I did and not only did I join the Low Carb Group where I met the lovely Daryl but I started keto, cutting all carbs out and to be happiest it meant a new life style!

I must admit it was very hard for the first three weeks knowing you cannot eat pasta, bread, pizza, no milk, no cappuccino nothing with sugar in and no processed food but with my wife and my Dr Andrews and Daryl barking at me I persevered and also joined the Saturday morning park run at Marks Hall Estate.

One year on and I have lost over three stone (now 13st 3lbs). I am not diabetic, blood pressure is super my cholesterol is down, have stopped having heartburn, sleeping much better and deeper.

For anyone who is thinking of doing this or needs to do it I recommend you to take it seriously and you will achieve your target. As they say 'No gain without pain'!

I hope this will help someone to achieve their goals.

Lost 7 stone 6lbs

July 2023


I have been following Freshwell for nearly a year now, I started 1st August last year. I have lost 7 stone 6lbs. I'm feeling much healthier and I have completely changed my diet and lifestyle. I've loved the recipes, I often recommend the plan/ app to friends, family and patients. I’ve recently started an Instagram page where I share the food I’ve made, before and after photos and motivational posts. jess_lowcarblife_

Thanks so much for the great advice and recipes that’s helped me lose this weight.

Low carb mentor!

20th January 2021


I have been a vegetarian for practically all of my adult life. I started to slowly gain weight in my late twenties and had the usual experience of yo-yo dieting. I had been obese for about twenty years before finding out about low carb from the Freshwell surgery and my husband and I made the switch to a low carb lifestyle together.

Initially we just cut back on starchy carbs - there didn’t seem to be any guidance for how to be low carb AND vegetarian. Cutting out wholegrains went against the traditional advice for vegetarians who are told to combine pulses with wholegrains to obtain complete proteins from plants. I did some research and found out that small seeds (flax, hemp, sesame, chia etc) are not only low carb, they have a better nutritional profile than starchy grains and they are at least as good in complementing the profile of amino acids in pulses.


Low carb has been transformational for me. I have lost over 6 stone, feel a lot younger and am now in the healthy weight range. My IBS symptoms have disappeared, I have been deprescribed most of my blood pressure medicine and I no longer have arthritis pain in my knee. As my way of saying thank you, I now help others on their low carb journey.

Type 2 diabetes remission!

September 21st 2020

We are delighted for this patient of ours who has already put his Type 2 Diabetes into remission, having been newly diagnosed only 4 MONTHS AGO. We use the HbA1c blood test to diagnose and monitor Type 2 Diabetes. A level of 42 mmol/mol is considered pre-diabetic and level of 48 is diagnostic of Type 2 Diabetes. His HbA1c started at 114 (extremely poor control). He started low carb (with NO MEDICATION) and he has already achieved reduced his HbA1c level of 41 (below the pre-diabetic threshold).

He has also lost 16kg (2 stone 7 pounds) so far in that short space of time, lighter than he has been for decades. He hasn’t counted calories and he hasn’t felt hungry. He is full of energy that he hasn’t had for a long time.

His initial blood tests indicated fatty liver disease (NAFLD). His liver function blood tests (ALT and Gamma GT) indicated that this had resolved WITHIN THE FIRST MONTH and keeps getting better.

Also after only a month his cholesterol profile was also much better, in particular, his triglycerides plummeted from a starting 4.25 to 0.75 mmol/l (376 to 66 mg/dl) and his Total Chol : HDL profile went from 5.5 to 3.4. The LDL also improved.

All in all, this is a stunning set of results with huge health benefits. All potentially achievable with lifestyle changes without medication.


February motivation!

February 9th 2020


So here’s Dr Andrews’ first success story for February 2020 and probably her favourite so far! In June 2019, this 64 year old male weighed 93kg ( 14 stone 9 lbs) with a BMI of 29, total cholesterol : HDL ratio of 2.8, HbA1c of 55 mmol/mol, on Insulin for 12 years, 72 units daily!

In February 2020, with Dr Andrews’ help, he weighed 78kg (12 stone 4 lbs) – weight loss 15kg (2 stone 5 lbs) with a BMI of 24, an improved total cholesterol : HDL ratio, down to 2.3, HbA1c reduced 42 mmol/mol, on ZERO Insulin!

Wow – incredible! Wonderful news for doctor and patient!

First success story for 2020!


First success story for 2020! 65 yo male started LCHF in Feb 2019 – recently weight down 105kg to 85kg, BMI 32 to 26, HDL up from 1.2 to 1.4, BP down to 124/78. 5 inches of waist and off 2 BP pills = happy patient and happy doctor!

A message from a former colleague – keep spreading the word!

Dr Andrews received a message from a GP training colleague she hasn’t seen for 15 years... keep spreading the word people – it’s working!

Hi Kim, just wanted to say hi and thank you for all your postings about keto diets and amazing foods... And the amazing job you’re doing at your surgery... Having been inspired by you, I took the challenge and am enjoying being back to pre children size and postponing the diabetes for as long as possible.

The whole family are on board and we are finding new recipes that are LCHF to change our lifestyle totally... And I’m recruiting extended family into doing it as well... My own little circle ripple...

Patient testimonial from 2019 – amazing job!


A huge congratulations to our patient who has embraced a low carb lifestyle! In 6 months she has lost 25kg and now has a normal BMI, a low BP, and has reduced her A1c from 44 to 35 and her cholesterol ratio from 4.5 to 3. Amazing job!

Mr Len Andrews

20th June 2019


On the 7th of January this year when I was visiting my family in the UK and not feeling good about myself, I weighed in at 16st 2lb. I was looking forward to my annual trip to Malaysia knowing that I would probably put on weight because of my love of the food there. My daughter (a GP in Finchingfield) suggested I consider a low carbohydrate diet as she knew that I loved meat, cheese and eggs and that this could work for me.

I have tried many diets before including the Cabbage Diet and the Slimfast plan. The Cabbage Diet worked well and I did lose weight, but once off the diet, the weight crept back on again.

The best thing for me about the low carbohydrate diet is that it was simple – I just had to cut out flour products, rice, pasta and potatoes and could eat fat and protein which taste good. The first few weeks the weight just fell off, then it started to slow down until I reached my target weight of 13 stone on the 6th of May. I now feel so much better in myself and have bought new clothes and am always looking in the mirror at myself and asking myself “Where has that belly gone?!”. I can honestly say since I have been low carb I have not felt hungry at all and I have passed the information on to a few of my friends (also despondent about their weight) who have also had excellent results.

Lastly, I am also off my blood pressure tablets as they are no longer needed. If you are struggling to lose weight or want to try and reduce your medication I would highly recommend you give the low carb lifestyle a go – it has changed my life.

Dr David Oliver

June 9th 2019

I am a 52 year old GP working at Freshwell Health Centre. As I have been recommending the low carb lifestyle to my patients, I thought I’d better try it myself. This is a way better idea than trying out their tablets! I have enjoyed long distance running for many years, but even with all that exercise (typically 30 miles a week), I have never managed get get down to my target “racing weight” (as I call it) of 11st 2lb (BMI -21.6). I hovered around 12st 2lb instead – BMI (23.5) but not “overweight”.

I’ve now been living a low carb lifestyle for only a few weeks and I have also been experimenting with time restricted eating. I am already down to my target “racing weight”. I was never fat on the outside, so I can only assume that I must have been Thin on the Outside Fat on the Inside (“TOFI”). One stone of fat seems like an awful lot of fat to pack around your internal organs. We know that the presence of “visceral” (internal organ)” fat is a significant risk factor for many chronic diseases.

It’s early days, but I am quite staggered by the transformation I feel in other ways too. I feel healthy, younger and I have so much more energy than I have had for years. I don’t get gastric reflux any more. My blood pressure was borderline for a while but has now normalised. My muscles hurt much less when I run. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens when I run my next marathon burning fat not carbs. A low carb lifestyle is so much more than just losing weight. I’m hooked!