Today on The Clean Body Podcast, Lauren hosts a live Q&A with Whitney Stuart of Whitness Nutrition to breakdown the type 2 diabetes pandemic. During the episode, Lauren and Whitney explain insulin resistance and sensitivity; how gut health impacts diabetes diagnoses; how stress, sleep and hydration can make or break diabetes management; and how listeners can easily make healthier food swaps to better control blood sugar and prevent or reverse a pre-diabetic diagnosis.
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The gut is where all valuable processes happen. And so when we think about what's the relationship with food and our bodies will, if the gut is like the main factory, it has to be running well, or we're going to have breakdowns. And I think patients forget that like their, their intestinal system is affected by anything they put within their body. But when we look at food as a yes and a no, or a calorie only calories in calories out system, it's easy to not really keep track of the quality, right? It's easy to forget that the gut matters. Welcome to the clean body podcast. I'm Lauren Kelly, a certified nutrition therapist, and soon to be specialized holistic cancer coach with a certification in cancer biology from UC Berkeley. I am so grateful that you're here. This podcast introduces you to the souls and brains behind some of the cleanest food beverage and lifestyle products on the market, because what you put on in and around your body matters from cookies, bread, and mushroom superfoods to adaptogenic lozenges, clean medicines, organic mattresses, and fluoride-free toothpaste. We'll explore how the brands came to be how scientific studies drove decisions about ingredients and materials. And most importantly, how the products support all the physical and mental microscopic miracles that occur in your body every minute of every day. Thank you for being here. Let's get this started. Hello everyone. Welcome back to the clean body podcast. I'm your host Lauren Kelly today's episode that I'm releasing is a live recording of a Q and a. I did with Whitney Stewart of witness nutrition. Whitney is a registered dietician, nutritionist and advanced level. Award-winning whole 30 coach. And most importantly, for this episode, a certified diabetic educator focused on real food for real joy, for the real busy her virtual practice witness nutrition provides functional nutritional counseling for anyone ready to radically improve their health through empowered education and implementation of She is a nutrition expert. She was voted best Dallas dietician in 2019, since 2019, she's been featured in media segments for ABC NBC business insider. She is so passionate about diabetes prevention and management and such a wealth of information. So during this episode, we break down, you know what diabetes is, what insulin is, insulin resistance, insulin sensitivity, how diabetes occurs and why the rates of type two diabetes are skyrocketing in America and how lifestyle factors play into that sleep stress, not just what you put in your body, but how you treat your life on a daily basis. We also give healthy food swaps for the last like 10 minutes for all the most favorited popular foods out there right now, like Cheetos, macaroni and cheese pizza, Ritz crackers, you name it. We probably cover it. It is a great episode, especially if you're looking to prevent type two diabetes or manage your own diabetes right now, there are a ton of ways that you can get in touch with Whitney. After this episode, if you're interested, all the links are in the show notes. If you like this episode, please rate, review, subscribe, share it with a friend. Let's make everyone a little bit healthier every single day because everyone's body is worth it. All right. Thanks for being here. Let's jump into this episode, Whitney. Welcome to the clean body podcast. Thank you so much for joining me today for a really important conversation. Yes. Thank you so much for having me. I'm so excited to be here and really ready to talk about a topic that's so relevant and really hits home for so many people. Yeah. So before we really get started, I would love to hear your story first, how you got to health and wellness and what really drove you to get into diabetes. Yeah, so, you know, I think we all have an idea of what our life is going to look like. And when I was in high school, I was very determined to be a doctor or to change lives. And I wanted to be an OB really badly. And my senior year of high school, I was diagnosed with celiac. Um, and it was right before I was getting ready to move across the country. And so I moved to Dallas with a new celiac diagnosis, which is probably the worst place to move with a celiac diagnosis in 2009, because nobody back then knew or cared about what gluten was. Um, and God just seemed to have like a better, more strategic plan for me than I did myself, like a physiology program opened that year. And so I added that to my pre-med studies and really got into nutrition because I was trying to figure out my own stuff. And I realized that if I wanted to have really good patient care that maybe pursuing something that was more passionate, um, and my own story, that I could help others on a more personal level. Um, and your passion, you know, is something that's so much easier to do when you're tired. Um, and you're studying all day if you have that passion project in place. And so, um, I started there and I think that looking back it's been such a beautiful place to be because I see how doctors in our current healthcare system function. And I so lucky to work more closely with patients and develop relationships. And that was always, my goal was to have this interpersonal connection and to be able to build with people because we know that health isn't just about nutrition. It's about a lot of other things. And so having that connection with your patients is so important, um, to be able to actually see change. So, uh, my own diagnosis kind of led me down a new road, but I'm so happy that it did. Yeah. I mean, so did mine. My cancer diagnosis is what got me into health and wellness as well. Anything like that, that is such a big life event is going to create a shift. And I was thinking earlier today when I was running, um, that failure or those shocks to the system are a precursor of growth. And so you can't have one without the other. And so that's why I love to ask people what their health and wellness stories are because they always are profound in their own ways and how they found their way to this industry. I do want to mention really quick for anyone listening and watching right now, you can pop questions into YouTube in the chat and we will get to them at the end of this. Um, but Whitney diabetes is such a huge conversation right now. Um, it is one of the other pandemics in our world not to use that, you know, taboo word, but it is something that is rising quickly and has been for a decade. And you're the expert in, you know, diabetes. And this is the field you've been working in for a long time. So I'd love for you to just share kind of the history and the trends and the patterns that are happening right now, especially in America with diabetes, among our communities. Yeah. So, you know, to give some background and I love the field of diabetes and anybody who's listening to, it has this in their family or that struggles with this, that there is so much hope and joy within the diagnosis of diabetes, which is why I chose to work in that field because there's so much research going on in tech and development, where in other areas we don't see that development. Um, and so in the past five years of working in this industry, there has been huge changes even within five years that has benefited that population. And we see now one in three Americans are pre-diabetic and one in 10, um, are actually diabetic. And so with that in place, we know that some of those numbers come from the fact that there's also more education awareness and testing for that, right. There was a huge part of the population that, um, so we don't know if they are or if they're not, but the fact that we have those numbers and they're so staggering, like 34 million Americans, um, shows that we have a lot of work to do, um, in order to improve the health of that population. I think that's so interesting. You're right. We have more access to information and education and tools and coaches than we ever have before. When you got started your journey in 2009, those things really did not exist. And now we have things you can wear on your body and you can get connected to a coach on your phone and chat with them within like three minutes. And they're, and there's just so much content out there. I think the content piece is a little bit of a problem because there's so much content out there. And a lot of it is, um, in friction with one another. And so it's hard for people to understand what they can do. And then the expense of changing your lifestyle can be a little intimidating as well. Do you experience that with a lot of clients that you work with? They access, um, is really interesting because now I see that with the idea of wearing a continuous glucose monitor or CGM. So we have like levels Libris Dexcom, and we see that patients have access to more data, so they're able to make change, but then I run into the resistance of not being ready to change, right. And like not being really ready to look at those numbers where in the past, your doctor might not have mentioned that you had pre-diabetic values and might not have really said anything in an older population. I have a lot of those patients who say like, I didn't really ever know that I was diabetic until it was like, they were never told prior. So now we have the chance to be more aware and more preventative of our health because we have access to those numbers. But when we start looking at, you know, tech and costs and budget, we start seeing this whole picture prioritization. So the immediate reaction to any CGM or anything is the cost and like, wow, I don't want to spend my money on that. Or, wow. I don't want to buy those foods because they're more expensive, but we forget to look at how that benefits later costs of more or less healthcare visits, more or less medication. And the cost of insulin is one of the most controversial subjects ever. Um, there's a new documentary coming out. Like it has skyrocketed like 50 times the amount it was in the eighties. And so even stepping back and letting patients realize that, yes, they may be spending more money on wellness, but that they're actually been spending less money on reactionary care is really powerful. I love so much that you said that because they literally was talking about that earlier today. And it's something I've said on my podcast. So many times that yes, you are forking out more money upfront, but in the long term, you are going to be saving yourself health bills that are so much more expensive than food. Um, and you'll be living a better quality of life, which you can't really put a price on that. But I think that was important. I'm sorry, guys, if you hear my puppy, I think it's getting home. And so Lee's going nuts. Uh COVID but, um, you know, I thought it was important to touch on those things. So people who are watching, who are dealing with diabetes knows how common this is, and they're not alone. And there are things that can be done. But now I do really want to start digging into kind of the science and go a little deeper into diabetes. I am crazy about gut health. Um, the gut microbiome microbiome is my favorite word. And you have microbiomes all over your body, but specifically the gut is one of my favorite. And so I would love to hear from your experience what the connection is between gut health or leaky gut and diabetes. So this is really interesting that you asked this because I have found that my clinical experience has led to my passion and desire and expertise in a more holistic style, because I have seen be large gaps that are avoided by practitioners that matter. And so about two weeks ago, I had a patient come in who has been drinking seven, seven diet drinks a day chronically for three to five years with, uh, average blood sugar, um, an A1C of seven to eight, which is not optimal for a diabetic and on dual therapy. So on, um, a couple of different drugs. And I have talked extensively about his gut microbiome and the importance of not putting fake sugar into his body and how that causes insulin resistance. But because there is not a mainstream marketing push that says diet Coke causes insulin resistance, right? It's very hard for patients to understand that. Has sugar, right? So that's your calories. So, you know, an aspartame is not something that we talk about, um, in a widespread marketing fashion. And I had an H, he said, his doctor told him to not worry about it. And I was so offended. I pulled like 10 RCT studies research PDFs, pull them out and I emailed them. And I was like, just so that you're aware of the 20, 21 doctrine and can be your best doctor and do no harm to your patients. So that's what we provide. Yeah. That's the plan that every health practitioner takes. Yeah. You're doing harm to your patients. And so it's been really difficult, but also really empowering to know, to sit down with a patient and say, I know that you don't know this and that's okay, but this actually matters. And this is actually something that in the 1980s we said was okay for you to put in your body and we actually know better now. Yeah. But it's a really, it's a really uncomfortable subject because the gut is where all valuable processes happen. And so when we think about what's the relationship with food and our bodies will, if the gut is like the main factory, right. It has to be running well, or we're going to have breakdowns. And I think patients forget that like their, their intestinal system is affected by anything they put within their body. But when we look at food as a yes and a no, or a calorie only calories in calories out system, it's easy to not really keep track of the quality. Right. It's easy to forget that the gut matters. Well, that's a, I mean, that's just something that's so prevalent in our society and in the big food industry is that they don't want us to be empowered. They would prefer, we believe in calorie, in calorie out. Um, I think on Instagram the other day, I posted something that the packaging looked beautiful and it looked healthy and, you know, one would think that it was, but you flip it over and it's full of crap. So I don't care if it's 180 calories for a whole serving or zero sugar, or I'm putting all of these artificial colors, all of these artificial flavors, all of this fake sugar into my body. And then die. That's like one of my biggest pet peeves. I always tell my husband, your fat is going to be blue one day when they die and cut you open and see what happened. If you don't stop drinking Gatorade, um, which there are studies to show that that food coloring has changing the fat in our bodies. And you can only imagine everything else that's occurring with it before we go deeper. I'm curious if we should define insulin resistance and how that occurs just for some people maybe who are pre-diabetic or not as far along in their diabetes journey, or just are trying to prevent that. Um, I'm curious how you explain insulin sensitivity or insulin resistance to your. Um, I have a couple of ways. Um, I have some appropriate ways, some inappropriate ways. So, um, they're inappropriate. I always go with inappropriate. So I tell my patients. So the one thing to know is that insulin resistance is not just related to the food that you eat. And this is really important because I think that for a long time, doctors just like really honed in on carbs and demonizing carbs and excessive carbohydrate intake. And we know that insulin resistance is a factor of overall inflammation. And so we know that if you have excessive fat storage on your body, that can come from a lot of reasons. And if you have higher blood pressure and you have uncontrolled stress levels that all of these things can lead to insulin resistance, but we know that cortisol and stress hormones are really involved in this increase of insulin resistance. And so we want to think that we're triggering these insulin receptors to be used so much that they eventually just shut down. And so I always explain this to my patients, as you think, coming around, like, there's this cute girl and she comes over, but then she comes around like every day and you thought she was cute and you were interested, but then you realize that she's like that she's just like your crazy ex. And so your resistance, you're no longer interested in dating her anymore. So like it shuts down. So food then carbohydrate becomes the way that we notice this insulin resistance because carbohydrate comes along knocks on that insulin receptors door and they're like, Hmm, I'm not about it. And they don't respond. We see that the carbohydrate has no care to go. She is naked and alone hanging out in your bloodstream and her pen. So your blood sugar is high chronically because until the FedEx trucks come along. They're orange, just like your triglycerides. They go hang out there for later and your fat storage. But we know that that insulin resistance that built in the first place, it's not her fault. There's other factors that were going on in the body. Um, but we start to see the effects of it. Once we eat refined foods, refined carbohydrates specifically. So when you're dealing with a client and they are chronically stressed, or even have insomnia and fatigue, which can cause cortisol spikes, or sometimes even, you know, I know some people who really don't sleep well at night. And so they're more of like a night bird and they sleep during the day. And that really throws off your circuit, circadian rhythm and all of the hormones that are balanced with day and night, because we are creatures who will evolve outside and we lived by the sun and the moon. Um, so when you're dealing with a client who, you know, has more of these, I wouldn't say they're mental health conditions, but lifestyle, um, condition, mental triggers. Yeah. Do you focus, like, what is your path, would you first try to address that while also trying to stave slowly off some of the poor foods or what's kind of the approach there from a holistic perspective? So my goal is to really build a relationship with at our first appointment, my goal is to make sure that I assess how much margin they have for their health. And then that dictates whether or not we do it all at once. Or if we do a little bit at a time, honestly, I find that most of the patients that I see, I have a lot of healthcare workers that the biggest changes that are going to help is them sleeping well, then figuring out new ways to manage stress that are not related to food. Like I use food as fuel and not comfort. Um, and then also finding ways to connect with people outside of food and excessive alcohol and these tiny shifts of like drinking more water and sleeping do so much more than any restricted diet ever would that I tell them we have to do the foundational work. First. I had a patient that I, I refuse to make dietary interventions for three months because he refused to drink water. And I was like, I'm not going to tell you what to eat because you're not doing the basics. And it made a huge difference, right? Because we know when we're dehydrated, we tend to crave foods that are our natural needs and cue. So why would I, why would I work backwards? So let's talk about those, um, basics. What are the basics outside of drinking water, which is at the 64 ounces that you suggest, or is it more for people who are dealing with diabetes and then what are your suggestions for sleep? So hydration is, um, really unique and based on an individualized number, some patients see more or less. We usually go off of urine color and really their thirst mechanisms. Um, but I also like to make sure that patients have electrolytes onboard. I think we oftentimes think of water is the ultimate solution. When oftentimes I have patients who were over hydrating and then they're depleting their body of sodium magnesium potassium that we need, um, as well. And then they start looking for that in food sources. So 64 ounces is a great number to start with. Um, but then we kind of base that off of, um, urine color and how much they're actually depleting. We want it to be like a light strike yellow, but for other factors, um, sleep matters to me and really the environment in which you sleep, are you sleeping in like a cold, quiet room where there's no devices that are the source of your Winedale process? Can you, can you dig into why that's important because I have this conversation often why cold rooms and quiet rooms are so crucial to your sleep hygiene? Um, so I would love for you to just explain that from your perspective, as it relates to diabetes. So I find it interesting that patients supplement with melatonin cause you had this like match natural melatonin cycle, and we all want to cut into that. And so you're kind of queuing that cycle by fasting two hours before bed, making sure that we're not like keeping the, what I call like the factory awake, right? Like if you're processing food is still open, we want that factory to shut down and to start Qween these mechanisms for that melatonin cycle to kick in so that you have deep REM sleep, you feel rested, you're not triggering your cortisol levels to kick in. And that you can get that really for women. I find that nothing less than seven hours is ever enough, um, that seven to eight hours of sleep. And so that you're waking up and feeling well rested, and that we're not having to utilize excess calories to make up for that deficit that you didn't get with your sleep, because we know that if you don't refuel your tank with sleep, that you're going to have to do it with food. So the foundation just to recap is ensuring that you're hydrated, that you are dealing and managing with your stress and that you are improving your sleep hygiene. And then the next piece of the puzzle is food and what you're putting in your body and the quality of foods that you're putting in the, in your body. So to kick this off, what are the top five no-no foods for people who are ready for that part in their journey, either to prevent, um, or reverse their pre-diabetic, um, diagnosis or to manage their current diabetes diagnosed? So the big ones and I, when I saw this question, I was like, oh no. Cause I, I hate to be like the yes or no person like the, you know, I like to find that like happy medium with every patient and be individualized, but top five big no-nos, um, fast food shelf, stable forever food food that has no expiration, fake sugar diet food, sugar, alcohol is kind of all in one. And then industrial oil foods. So vegetable oils, canola oil, we could throw high fructose corn syrup in there, but, uh, and then excessive alcohol. So those are my big five. Okay. That makes sense. Where does organic come into the picture here? Um, you know, we spoke about, it can be healthy to start living a healthier lifestyle, and some people can't afford to buy organic and being organic, at least for the dirty dozen. You know, there are lots of studies out there that say how important it is because you are putting these pesticides into your body that is hurting that gut health. It all comes full circle and is impacting your diabetes condition. So what is your advice when it comes to organic for people who are probably trying to manage a, a tighter budget or not spend an obscene amount of money every week? Yeah. So with patients who are budget conscious, which I think we're all budget conscious, but, um, maybe not, I. Am crazy when it comes to food. That's all I spend my money on. It's ridiculous. For those of us that aren't Lauren Kelly. And I tell patients, I tell patients to first focus on the quality of their protein. And so making sure that we are looking at organic grass fed proteins, because we know that the types of, um, processing and pesticides that are going into our meat products are the ones that are most likely to be sustained in your body. And so I love the idea of having organic fruits and vegetables, and even like growing your own Bazell or having your own garden and pulling from that and use seasonally. But if I'm looking at budget conscious patients because meat and protein is such a prevalent part of the American diet, I want to make sure that those are the ones that are quality source. First and foremost, if we're looking at prioritization of what foods to be looked at first. That's great. I think a lot of people listening to this, there's a big conversation around genetics and chronic conditions. And actually the episode I released earlier this morning is all about epigenetics and how your genes are not your destiny. So what is, what is the science there for you in the diabetes field regarding genetics and the onset of diabetes? So, and this to really be the surname we were talking about type two diabetes, that's coming on with the promotion of insulin resistance, not being born with born without leading cell function, um, or any effect of pancreatic insufficiency. Um, but when we look at type two diabetes, because I see 40 patients a week for the past five years, I am always so impressed. And one of the reasons that I stay in this field with patients who are predisposed to diabetes and choose, although it's harder to make a different choice and the different choice that they are up against is not their genetics. Even though genetics loads, the gun, we know the environment pulls the trigger. And so environmental, cultural norms within a family are the hardest thing to break. And so they feel like genetics, but that is not necessarily like you were saying your destiny. So I recently had a patient whose whole family has had bariatric surgery early to have diabetes. And they, because they haven't made actual lifestyle changes. They're still in that place. And being a young woman who is in healthcare, she said like, I don't want this anymore. And she doesn't present like any of her family members, because she does not practice the same beliefs, the same habits, the same activities, the same diet as her family. It's really hard. Like it's more of an emotional struggle than anything else for her. I think, because I don't think she feels connected to them in the same way, because traditions are hard to break, but her diabetes is it manifesting like her family or like she was told it would because of the choices that she's made. Yeah. I love that you say traditions are hard to break in, so our habits. And so I think that is also a big thing that comes into play when someone is trying to improve their health or change their lifestyle is breaking those bad habits that they might have in their life, where they might have had for a very long time. And it's not just a cognitive thing where you want to change it so you can change it. It is so rooted in the chemistry of your body and what's going on and how the habits you've created have ended up changing some of the, the biology of your body and how your brain perceives different foods. You know, like with fake sugar, it purposely the big food companies have made you addicted to this molecule that they put in this food, which is fake sugar, and they can market it as zero calories and zero sugar, but it has an addictive effect on your brain. And so these cravings and these habits that you're having, they're not really your fault. Um, they are an end result of these eating habits or lifestyle habits that you've created over decades. So what are some things that what's some advice you give about breaking habits, establishing new good habits. And then we're going to jump all into cravings because I know lots of people have those. So, um, the first one is similar, um, to what you mentioned earlier, it's not your fault is that I tell every patient who walks in my office. Like you have to know that there's, uh, you know, 3 billion diet and supplement industry out there. And then there's an even bigger food company out there. And we're the only country that markets are pharmaceuticals. And so you're like, there's no shame in this process. And if anything, being open to the idea that research is always innovating and changing. And to know that there's always new, um, doctrine out there around nutrition is a really important thing. And to be open to change, I have a lot of patients who, you know, have been putting in Splenda in their coffees since 1970 and don't plan on stopping anytime soon. Right. And so being open to change, but knowing that there's no shame in what you've been doing before, because you didn't know any better and neither did your doctor. Um, but the other thing is to not do it alone. So when I was diagnosed with celiac, I at the time had made a friend who is now my husband and we, I couldn't have navigated my disease without him because he normalized it for me. And so having those people who are willing to do life with you and say like, it's okay that we're eating this and it's okay, we're going to bed at this time. And it's okay. We're not partaking that so that we can live this bigger, more abundant lifestyle together is really important because I fallacious in health is something that I see often that turns into like disordered eating. And you want to make sure that you're doing abundant life together and that you're not isolating because of your fear around food. How do you define disordered eating? So I see a lot of disordered eating and in my kind of realm of becoming an orthorexic like over obsession with only doing the right to the healthiest food all the time and kind of always eating, um, something for purpose and it completely ignoring maybe like an innate need or desire. So like, I may be craving iron because I'm menstruating and need beef, but I'm not allowed to eat beef because of said rule. And so I'm going to eat kale and said, because Kayla's healthier. So trying to kind of this over fixation, um, with food and its principles. Um, I love the reason I asked that question is because I'm just trying to draw the picture that it is still also interconnected. So you said you can't have shame or guilt around making a mistake or having diabetes. You can't feel, you know, you shouldn't feel bad about that. Um, because a, that will increase cortisol in your body and stress in your body, which we talked about is a foundation of healing. And then the same as the truth with going over the top, when you're living this really restrictive lifestyle, you're also creating more stress in your body. Plus nutrient deficiencies, your body is trying to speak to you and tell you what it needs. And you have to kind of establish that relationship to intuitively be able to understand what your body is telling you. So for women who are menstruating and they're craving meat, there's a reason for that, but intuitive eating when you've been on a path of poor eating for a while, can take a while to fine tune and craft and understand because your body is so inflamed and has so much stuff going on. You just, you want the comfort food quote unquote. So how do you suggest creating a healthier relationship with food and building that intuitive relationship towards eating? So add in my practice witnessed nutrition. We have a theme that is like, everything is 80 20, and this is something that I preach for a long time, but never practiced. And, um, I think that we're all harder on ourselves than we are those that we serve and those that we coach and teach. And, um, that has been such a liberating concept because I have patients who finally understand what the 80% is. They understand what real whole nutrient dense food looks like, and they're eating it and they're thriving. And then a cookie comes along and they really want it. And then they feel that they wanted it and then they feel guilt that they ate it and then they eat six. Right? Yeah. And then, and then they late cancel for their appointment and I know what happens. And so when we get into this like beautiful place of eating well, most of the time there is more resilience and leniency for times where we don't need to be perfect, but that 80% can make up for that 20% or really almost be a catch-all for that 20%, because we're not made to be perfect. And if we were, then our body would function optimally at perfection, but it doesn't like you're saying, there's a breakdown. There's that cortisol level of like the stress of being perfect, that actually works against us and not for us. So 80 20 is about three to four meals a week. That aren't your best. So knowing if there's only about three to four, you're good. Yeah. Again, it's not about restricting yourself from the things you want. It's about doing it in moderation and understanding what you're doing to your body. And it's just so funny that this comes up because I'm literally creating a graphic right now that shows my own personal health journey and it goes up and I'm like, yeah, I'm a rock star. I feel great. I'm never going back to my old habits and then it, I'm terrible. I'm so bloated. There's all these things wrong with me. Why can't I just stick to a healthy eating diet and then back up. And that's just the way it goes. And you have to create that acceptance of you're on a journey and you're going to fail and you're going to grow. And it's a long game journey. You can expect to start eating healthy and you're going to do it for a month and everything's going to be reversed and you're going to feel great. It's a commitment for the rest of your life to be on this journey with your body, to come back to your body and understand what it needs. And sometimes it needs a cookie and so eat a cookie, but there are healthier cookie options out there if you use a cookie. So we always, you know, our big thing is making sure that you always need safe food. So if there's foods that do your body harm, that you don't eat those foods, right? Like I'm not going to eat a cookie that has gluten, because like I have celiac and I don't want that. But if I have a patient who has a dairy allergy, same thing, you know, we're going to avoid those foods. Or if you are really insulin resistant, like there are some cookies that have less sugar in them than others that are still going to satisfy that part of your brain, but so much better to be in an 80, 20 state than to be in a zero to a hundred, because this is a whole nother topic. But like diet culture tells you to aim for that a hundred percent. And then when you fail that you need another diet and to restart their program. And that's why diaper rep still exists. Right? Is that, that perfection of the diet culture world, we don't need that. The gray area, the 80 20 is where we find that sustainability of health. That's probably why we feel so angry at ourselves. It's because of the diet industry, because they thought we've heard we had, oh, no, you ate pizza last night. You have to start all over again. I eat pizza every weekend because I love it. And I'm fine. Yeah. And you're healthy. You're fine. Yeah. Yeah. So with those food sensitivities and food allergies or the unsafe foods, do you require that clients get tested for sensitivities or allergies or are there signs and symptoms of sensitivities and allergies that people can cognitively like keep track of when they eat foods and just kind of learn what doesn't work with their biology as they're on their own journey? I, I find that human nature really loves rules. And so I usually don't have people restrict the food group unless they absolutely need to. And so if we're having like consistent bloating or swelling or loose stools or a sign of something, then yes, we go get tested and see what's going on. But it's not until physical need is obvious that I would restrict the food group. So talking about restricting food groups, everyone loves to restrict carbs, but not all carbs are created equal. So break down carbohydrates for me and what you would put in a safe bucket and an unsafe bucket. I know you don't like to draw, you know, for sure for everyone, but just a general outline of what you know, good carbohydrates are and why they're not the devil. So in my office, we call it the carbohydrates conundrum. So all carbohydrates raise blood sugar, but other ones give you benefits as well. So we know that eating corn syrup is going to give you carbs, but not benefit, but we know that eating an apple or blackberries or bananas gives you carbohydrates, but also phytonutrients antioxidants fiber, all of these added bonuses. So we like to get carbs on board that had an added nutrient feature as much as possible. And those really come from our whole foods that are carbohydrates. And so when we're looking at all fruits, I'll start to vegetables. I'm such a big fan of like butternut squash and beets, taro, Buca, like all of these real base vegetables that we've demonized for. So long fruits, whole grains, beans, lagoons that give us so much more benefit than their refined carbohydrates. So we kind of have this line of w did it grow in a box or did it grow in the ground? And that gives us that line of the nutrient density that's attached to it. That's great. I love that. Are there any, like, do you have favorite carbohydrate foods that you recommend to your clients? I don't. Um, I find that I don't demonize foods and I don't glorify them either. So I want them to have a science, but I have patients that will not eat a potato, but they will eat a sweet potato and with their blood sugar and their balance plate. So much of glycaemic control is balancing your blood sugar with other macronutrients. And it pains me to see that because I know that they can eat a potato and a sweet potato and a purple potato, and that they get more benefit to their diet if they do all of them and not just one or the other. So. Well then jumping right off of that. Um, I know you said fast food is, uh, one of the big no-nos, even though you don't like to restrict anything, but yeah, generally speaking, let's get McDonald's. It doesn't taste that good anyways, in my opinion. But, um, are there any fast chain restaurants that you deem okay. For people to eat? Yeah. So, and the big caveat to know here is because I think that, you know, people listen all across the nation and you might have a really great restaurant. That's kind of like a fast casual style. And the things that we're really looking for is the types of oil they're using and the quality of their protein. And so these are the reasons that we push back against fast food is we're saying there's too much, you know, canola oil, that's on board in this product, and it's a low quality chicken and it's been fried and it no longer has nutrient value. And then it's been rolled in three days worth of sodium. So when I look at restaurants, I have patients who are on the go a lot, and I really pushed for them to pack options with them. Um, as much as possible, you can check a bag with food and it doesn't count towards your baggage if you're traveling as a consultant and you're back to work post COVID, but for fast food type restaurants, I usually use cava or Zoe's, and Chipola as my three go tos, because I know that there's at least a vegetable fiber that's there as well. That gives us some sort of real food nutrients that can be paired with the rest of their food that might not be as desirable. And then, and what about supplements? You know, we did talk about the supplement industry being so huge. And so many of them are really just making money off of you because they can't even make it past the acid in your stomach to create any kind of change. So you have to be careful about the quality of supplements you're taking. If you're going to take a supplement because you can't get it from your whole foods diet, but generally speaking in regards to diabetes, are there herbs or supplements that are really useful for the general diabetes population, or is it really, you tried to get everything from whole foods and stay away from, from supplements. So you can't out supplement a bad diet. And I have a lot of patients that take way more supplements than they need. And as the practitioner, I take a probiotic some times and I supplemented a vitamin D deficiency when I had one, but that's it. And so for supplementation, there are alternatives to things like Metformin. If you're currently on Metformin and you don't want to be on it, you can look at taking myo-inositol or berberine, which are wonderful natural supplementations for blood sugar, but other than improving the gut health with somewhat glutamine onboard, which can be naturally sourced from food as well. I really focus on people eating the whole foods diet, because we know that the answer is not in the bottle because the answer wasn't in the bottle from the beginning, and that's something that's created by big pharma. And so I don't pull in supplementation until I have patients that are already doing the foundations of both, you know, pre diet lifestyle, and then also diet. That makes sense. Are there any hacks you have to managing blood sugar? Like I know there are some studies to suggest that apple cider vinegar can help manage, um, blood sugar levels. And obviously I, I personally add flaxseed to everything because fiber, you know, I love fiber and I can't have enough fiber on my food. You can have too much fiber if you have too much fiber. So that was a PSA. You can definitely have too much fiber, but are there any other hacks? Um, obviously eating a whole clean diet is the number one road to achieving optimal health, but just little things that are really easy for people to do, like add spices, herbs, like micro greens, tumeric. What are some suggestions you usually give? So speaking of vinegar, it's not just apple cider vinegar that helps all vinegar helps with postprandial or post-meal blood sugars. I've had, I've tested this with gestational diabetes, since you have a transient insulin resistant population, If my patients douse their meal with like mustard, cause mustard has a vinegar base, they have a lower blood sugars after the meal. So there's a hack from my mama's who were pregnant. If you like mustard, like on your hot dog. For mamas who are pregnant, or that works well. For everyone. But especially when you're pregnant, I feel like there's a random craving. So it's like, if you want that like starchy meal or whatever, like throw some vinegar on it. And that helps. Um, the other thing to know is that, um, the word clean for diet, isn't always going to help you as a diabetic and you have to do more than just eat a clean diet. You have to eat a balanced diet. So there needs to be a macro nutrient balance on your plate. So I tell patients no lonely carbs. So even if you're eating the most beautiful sweet potato, don't eat it by itself. It has to be paired with a protein and a fat if you're eating watermelon wonderful, but it needs to go in like a cucumber fed out watermelon salad. Um, you have to be pairing your carbohydrates that you're eating once your diet Baddeck, and you're really managing blood sugars with things that are also protein and fats to slow down the spike of your blood sugar. So slightly controversial question here. How do you feel about the vegan movement happening right now? So I love that people are eating plants. I don't love people eating foods that are not meat that are not plants. So I don't find that many of my vegans eat more plants than my pescatarians and my regular meat eating patients. I ask all of my patients to eat plants, whether or not they decide to make their protein from plant or animal, but we find often that like my vegetarians are grainitarians and that makes me very concerned for their health. And why is that? Because we find that most benefit of antioxidant, nutrients and fiber and quality is going to come from the actual non-starchy vegetable and not from a refined processed diets. Um, it's really easy as a vegan to eat Oreos and kicks with Oatley, for breakfast and, uh, vegan yogurt for lunch and a sandwich and have had no real nutrient foods. Um, and really something that looks very mirrored to a standard American diet or a sad diet. Yeah. And you just, again, have to be careful when you flip around the ingredient label, because there are hidden refined oils in there. You know, most things have like. You know, keto foods, paleo, like whatever. Yeah. Anything package the front is all marketing, right? The back is where the science isn't even then like you're going to have to search. Um, but they, you know, play into base diet, I think is powerful. But the replacement of quality meat is not something that I'll ever be behind. Um, because the research doesn't show that it's beneficial. And if it did, I would be totally behind it. I want to be science-based. But until then I can't stand behind, you know, soy-based, um, protein to be fillers in the meantime. Absolutely. And to be fair, a lot of the companies who are creating this plant-based meat are pretty transparent when they have conversations that they're not doing it for your health. If you want to eat a kale salad, you should go eat a kale salad. They're doing it for the planet, but you should know, you know, just because you're vegan or just because something is vegan that does not equate to healthy. Just like, just, just like, um, when I was in my twenties and like older twenties, my sister and I would go to whole foods and we'd be like, it's at whole foods it's healthy. Right. No one does not equal the other. This is, it's one of my favorite conversations. My patients are like, well, I had, you know, chocolate pretzels and I'm like, oh, and they're like, but they're from whole foods. And I was like, so they were more expensive, you know? Like that's the only difference. There. Yeah. Um, well obviously I live my life just scouring the grocery store because I love grocery shopping and finding brands that are doing it right. And doing it clean. And so before I quick, I quiz you because I asked a bunch of people on Instagram, what their favorite foods were and what they wanted healthy swaps for. And, oh my gosh, I got so many submissions. We have a lot to go through, but before we get to that, what are some brands that you do stand behind that are packaged, but they are healthier options or you support your clients buying. Yeah. Um, so fun fact, I actually am so obsessed with new food finds that we created a series on Instagram called five new foods Friday. And every other Friday, I highlight literally brands that have like, I've had one, one time. I had like 14 followers. Like I was like, hi, I saw your product. And it's amazing. I would try it. You're like, we're not even sipping yet, but I love supporting brands from the beginning that are doing it. Right. Like you say, and they don't have a big marketing push, like big companies do. And so I love. You even get into grocery stores sometimes cause politics and big food. Yeah. So I actually like bought Bond's a pasta when it was on shark tank. Like I bought it on the Kickstarter. Um, but now some of my favorites, um, I love Kaleena yogurt. Um, full-fat coconut milk yogurt, um, for a dairy population that had never had yogurt that didn't have refined sugar in it. Game changer for me, um, really love primal palate and their spice blends. So impressed by like their different AIP protocols and just the incredible amount of information and free recipe planners that they have online. And they're so educational, um, eat pre for their grass fed meat and the education they put behind grass fed meat and why that's important. Um, CSA and the whole family dynamic shifts. Uh, I love, I love their polyp Pena, but changing their whole family traditions for auto-immune is just incredible and really inspiring for somebody who has that herself. Um, and then two Betty's is wonderful and they make a grain-free mini donut and it's a mom daughter combo and she created it in college, um, out of like a necessity for like long, long fuel sources during classes. Um, BTR bar is the best freaking protein bar on the market. No natural flavors for the first time ever. I think in a protein bar, no soy, no grains. Um, her parents both died of cancer in the same week here. And she lived to sell their legacy. Um, so many people that I could talk about, like the story behind it is always so incredible. Yeah. I feel like if we ever hung out, our Hangouts would be going to the grocery store and finding those like new little things on the shelves that we could geek out about because they enlisted beautiful. Ma'am ma'am you need to leave. Yeah. I'm I'm, I've probably gotten close to that point. I shut the grocery store down. I used to go in college. I would go like Friday nights at like seven, you know, like, no, one's there, everyone's out partying. And I'm like, oh look, all this new stuff. Yeah. It's a favorite pastime of mine. Okay. Let's hop into some of these healthy swaps. I'm pulling up my Instagram story. So. I'm so happy you ask these. These are my all time favorite question ever, but it would be awkward if that's all I asked on mine. So. I was shocked by how many responses I got, but it was great. So the first one we've got is Cheetos. Ooh. I know these are hard and I'm just like. Lesser evil foods, paleo puffs. That's a great one. Someone asked me about that brand last night and I gave it the thumbs up a pizza. I really love Mikey's pizza crest. The frozen version is so good. They're actually a Arizona company. Um, and Capello's. What about donuts? You named you named two Betty's right. I hadn't heard of that. Yeah. Okay. Two buddies. It's not going to taste like a doughnut. I'm just being honest, but they're super good. Um, dang. I don't know for like real, I haven't found a real deal donut. Usually what I'll do is I'll find like a better a cafe, a small cafe boutique cafe. That's doing it. And so they're using whole ingredients. Like there's a place if you're in Arizona called perception and they make these old fashioned sourdough lemon, poppy donuts, and it's all local, uh, sole locally sourced. Yes. And it's so delicious. And so I usually just try to find like little small mom and pop places that are using whole ingredients. If I really want a donut. I know I was like protein donuts online, but honestly looking at the ingredients, I would so much rather donuts be like, you're 20% food. Then you try to eat like a, I dunno, whey protein doughnut that doesn't taste good either. Yeah. Or get super sugary protein powders that are supposed to do like donuts or something like that. Just stay away. Pop tarts. Ooh. I recently seen some healthier looking pop tarts, but I can't. Right. Okay. Uh, Bobos makes a pop tart that is better whole grain almond butter in the middle. They came out with pop tarts. Wow. They make oat bars. Okay. Okay. Um, energy drinks. I'll name, nuMe drink. nuMe. Is it better for you? One? Yeah. The other one that I have had patients and utilize is fit aid. So they use, um, a little bit of like a Gavi in there, but it's like five, it's like less than five grams of sugar per I think, um, no real like dangerous ingredients, which I like. And honestly, for like pre-workout energy drinks, like just drink espresso. It works great over ice. You're set. So you're a coffee person then you're good with coffee. I'm from Seattle. I have to be fair. I haven't given up coffee either. Every like study I read that puts it down. I'm like, ah, you got to give me some things in life. Another study that comes out that says it's good though. So you're like, okay. Moderate. Moderation. And if you're going to put milk in it, make sure it's a clean milk, like malt or good milk and or organic who I. I put on my list. Yeah. Plain half and half. Great. So that you like don't drink coffee on an empty stomach is the first thing in the morning. Please, please, please. For your hormone levels, like add full fat to it or have it with a meal or have it after you've gone outside and normalize your circadian rhythm with sunlight. Yeah, the thing I usually do, I do go out. I lay right now, we just moved recently and I don't have, um, any patio furniture. So I lay on my diving board every morning. My neighbors probably think I'm crazy. Cause I'm just every morning laying on my diving board stretching. Um, but then my coffees are usually the go-to is our coconut oil and lion's mane and you blend it up or organic, uh, cream, depending on how I'm feeling. And then today I tried human improvement, cricket protein, and I blended that in the coffee without anything else just to see how it was good. I was actually really surprised. Don't bail right now. So I of want to. Don't too, because there's like in a smoothie, you can't tell that there's a texture. There's a little bit of a texture since it's just like pure liquid. So just swallow the coffee. Don't try to chew the coffee because then you'll think of cricket legs. But besides that, it's good. I'm still, uh, an advocate. Um, okay. Next one is chips. So CSA chips I think are great. Um, I think that those are really great replacement. I say that with the caveat of like chips are always going to be chips. If you're looking for something that's low carb will, the chips are expensive enough to remind you that the serving size is not the whole bag and they are delicious. I also like bar Nana, um, plantain chips, but only the tortilla ones. I don't like the rough days ones. Yeah. For like, I think those NCSA chips for like glycaemic levels are about the same. And then we'll be as like its own category. It's like peer to peer chicken. It's crazy. What about cereals. For cereals? I thought I made a list here. Um, I recently tried Catalina crunch. The ingredients are it's processed because they have a, like a protein, like a pea protein that they're using in their cereal. But it's one of those things where there's it's uh, it tastes like a golden gram it's was pretty delicious. I was impressed. Um, and the owner is type one diabetic, which is interesting. Um, their sweetener of choice was Monkfruit, which I was like, okay, there's not any research on this yet. So we'll see how long that lasts. Um, but, uh, for, uh, just a really basic cereal, I really like, um, [inaudible] they make like a, just really like classic, plain, um, kind of, uh, Cheerios type replacement. That's good. Seven Sundays, second and Sundays. And lovebirds is the ones I've recently been looking at. Lovebirds is smaller. I did a project with seven Sundays and forger over COVID. That was really fun. And did some recipe development for them for like a local broadcast here. Um, and both of the companies have like a really impressive story behind them. And seven Sundays is awesome. Like they're making muesli type products, like a New Zealand based, um, really good mix. That's awesome. Uh, well, since we talked about it cookies. Ooh. Okay. So I really love simple mills cookies. I think that the, the base of almond flour that they're using gives you a really nice dose of a fat to stabilize blood sugar. And you're not going to see an inherent spike, like you would with a white refined flour. Um, and they taste really good. I'll have to try those. What about Hughes kitchen or Emmy's organics? Have you looked into those at all? What was the second one? Emmys. Emmys organics. I don't think any tastes good. And I think the mouth feel is weird. I don't think they taste like a cookie. It doesn't work for me. Well, that's okay. I love food. So it's a raw food cookie. So the texture is different. So like hail Mary is similar to that. They make macrons, they're a Dallas concept and I liked them, but I have to remind myself like they don't, they don't replace my cookie Grady. Hmm. Um, Hugh is great. They have great cookies. And I really liked their chocolate though. Like their chocolate is my favorite. If I'm going to choose anything from them, it's there. There are so many chocolate brands coming out who are doing it better. Like, like Theo's evolved chocolate. Um. I'm trying to, those are the two that I wrote down. So Theo is out of, um, I think, um, and they have a factory that you can tour there. And that has always been kind of the hack about sweets is that chocolate is cocoa butter based. And so if you get a good chocolate, you have as good amount of healthy fat onboard to stabilize blood sugars. So when you're choosing between something like Skittles or chocolate, like choose the dark chocolate, get that, you know, 70% or more cacao. And you're doing your body a little bit of favors. Yeah. The other one, I don't know if you've tried it yet, but it's honey. Mama's. I haven't tried it. Oh. Gosh. It's so good. It's delicious. It's like a mix between a chocolate and a truffle because the consistency is a little different, but it is glorious. It is wonderful. So. Are similar to Coca cau. It's a company out of Portland and they make something similar. It has coconut whale in it. So it's like really good nosh tight. It's really good. We're going to have to start like Whitney and Lawrence directory of brands or something. Cause we're just rattling them off. Okay. I'm only going to do two more. I told you I got a lot, um, so that we can wrap this thing up. But the second to last is Oreos. This is super hard. Um, I don't, I don't know if there's an Oreo replacement. The one thing I'll say I really like to eat, like the good chocolate makes these squares and they come in single serves and you can get like a box of 12. So when I'm, you know, menstruating, I just order one and I just eat one piece every day and I put like cashew butter on top of it. And I feel like that's my like Oreo fix. Cause it's like sweet, salty, crunchy. All-in-one I don't know. It works for me. I feel like maybe you could like freeze coconut cream too, and then like pop it out of the freezer and maybe like put it in between to better for you chocolate cookies or something and make your own Oreo. Yeah. I do think that simple mills, like little double chocolate cookies would be perfect for that. And you could put something in between it. I'm going to try that out with some cinnamon, maybe a little you're welcome. We just created an Oreo for you guys. And last one, because this is also near and dear to my heart and I have found workarounds for this, but macaroni and cheese. Um, for macaroni and cheese, I would pick, I really like, uh, bean based pasta. So like bonds, but bonds is Mac and cheese is not there yet. So I would say to make your own real deal cheese sauce, or since I can't do dairy, I take the white Tisa from CSA. And I use that as my sauce on bonds and pasta. And it's fricking bomb. I have never thought of that, but their CA their cases are delicious. I usually also use chickpea pasta, and I have raw cheese from raw farms as a brand. And I put that in with some organic grass fed, um, cream and maybe a little bit of butter and salt, and it's good to go and just like mixing it in a pot. And I've got my Mac and cheese that I feel better about. It's not the healthiest thing in the world, because. A little bit, a little bit goes a long ways and you get really good quality. And plus, you know, there's some healthy fats in some fiber in there. So I felt good about it. Yeah. That the bean based pastas are a total game changer. Yeah. But look at your ingredient labels for those two bonds up Berea is doing it well as well. Um, I'm not a super fan of some of the other ones that are out there, like the lentil pasta as they get a little mushy, but yeah, there's definitely a four, they just add a bunch of. Starch as their first ingredient. And then they tell you that there's some beans in there too. So you have to look at prevalence. Yeah. Well, thank you, Whitney. We went an hour and two minutes, but this was such a great conversation. And I'm sure everyone's wondering how they can learn more about you and connect with you and learn more about witness nutrition. Yeah. So I'm an online virtual practice. I mix up the patients as of August, but we focus on real food for real joy. So you can follow [email protected] Um, there'll be a link to sign up for our pearls of blood sugar control. So if you have any questions or concerns, I'll drop a bunch of feedback there, but don't hesitate to drop into our DMS and respond there. I'm obviously super passionate about helping others find their way in this field. And just to make sure you all can find her that's witness. W H I T N E S S like her name Whitney. Well, thank you so much, Whitney. I mean the YouTube notes right now, there are already links to, um, Whitney's website, Instagram and her newsletter. So definitely check that out. And then when this goes up onto the podcast platforms, I'll have so many links in my show notes, because I feel like I'm going to have to link to some of the brands. So it's going to be a linking extravagance, but This is wonderful. And if anyone has questions, hi, again, I hope you enjoyed that interview. As a reminder, this podcast is for educational purposes. Only. It is not a substitute for professional care from a doctor, otherwise qualified health professional. This podcast is provided on the understanding that medical or other health related services. If you're looking for help in your journey, seek out we'll see you next week.