This episode of Conversations for Health features Dr. Beverly Yates ND, an internationally acclaimed diabetes expert who uses the Yates Protocol to help people get control over their blood sugar, reclaim their energy, and enjoy life again. The Yates Protocol was developed over the course of her 20-plus-year clinical career, using the Systems Approach from her prior career as an MIT-trained Electrical Engineer. Diabetes is on the rise globally, and the Yates Protocol has helped thousands of people around the world with Type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes to get control of their blood sugar and live life the way they want to.
In our conversation, Beverly shares a variety of clinical pearls regarding diabetes and blood sugar. She highlights five key lifestyle aspects that prevent or control diabetes, the lab numbers that are cause for alarm, and the role that culture sensitivity plays in effective practitioner recommendations. She weighs in on the various monitors, diets, medications, and popular hacks that can be used to control blood sugar and offers her wisdom and practical advice for anyone who is struggling to manage their blood sugar more effectively.
I’m your host, Evelyne Lambrecht, thank you for designing a well world with us.
Design for Health Resources:
Research Article: Effects of delta-tocotrienol supplementation on Glycemic Control, oxidative stress, inflammatory biomarkers and miRNA expression in type 2 diabetes mellitus: A randomized control trial
Visit the Designs for Health Research and Education Library which houses medical journals, protocols, webinars, and our blog. Chapters: [2:10] Beverly’s personal illness journey led her to specialize in naturopathic medicine. [5:00] A family history of diabetes in Beverly’s family tree didn’t stop her from taking control of her personal health. [7:44] Awareness of culturally sensitive diets is a key point of effective connection and healing. [10:43] Key lab numbers that should result in sounding the alarm on fasting blood glucose (FBS), fasting insulin, and hemoglobin A1C. [17:03] A comparison of the effectiveness of continuous blood glucose monitors and glucometers and what actions can be taken based on the data results. [20:10] Basic glycemic control is reflected in normal, timely rises and falls in blood sugar levels based on activity level and dietary intake. [21:36] Surprising foods that may cause a spike in blood sugar — and some that don’t. [23:30] Snacking throughout the day is not the answer to controlling blood sugar. [26:04] The Theia Health app can be used by practitioners to collect patient CGM data. [28:18] Beverly’s 4 recommended food combining hacks that can be used to support blood sugar regulation. [32:10] Additional meal timing considerations that have the potential to cause a spike in blood sugar. [35:55] The role of medications including Ozempic and GLP-1 agonists as the answer to Type 2 diabetes and obesity. [43:17] Tactics for practitioners to help manage potential side effects of medications. [46:02] Nutrients and herbs that can help support blood sugar management. [49:50] The role of the gut microbiome in managing diabetes can be impacted by diet and insulin resistance issues. [52:32] Beverly shares her personal favorite supplements, her favorite health practices, and the outdated advice that she has changed her mind about over her years of practice.
Visit the Designs for Health Research and Education Library which houses medical journals, protocols, webinars, and our blog.
[2:10] Beverly’s personal illness journey led her to specialize in naturopathic medicine.
[5:00] A family history of diabetes in Beverly’s family tree didn’t stop her from taking control of her personal health.
[7:44] Awareness of culturally sensitive diets is a key point of effective connection and healing.
[10:43] Key lab numbers that should result in sounding the alarm on fasting blood glucose (FBS), fasting insulin, and hemoglobin A1C.
[17:03] A comparison of the effectiveness of continuous blood glucose monitors and glucometers and what actions can be taken based on the data results.
[20:10] Basic glycemic control is reflected in normal, timely rises and falls in blood sugar levels based on activity level and dietary intake.
[21:36] Surprising foods that may cause a spike in blood sugar — and some that don’t.
[23:30] Snacking throughout the day is not the answer to controlling blood sugar.
[26:04] The Theia Health app can be used by practitioners to collect patient CGM data.
[28:18] Beverly’s 4 recommended food combining hacks that can be used to support blood sugar regulation.
[32:10] Additional meal timing considerations that have the potential to cause a spike in blood sugar.
[35:55] The role of medications including Ozempic and GLP-1 agonists as the answer to Type 2 diabetes and obesity.
[43:17] Tactics for practitioners to help manage potential side effects of medications.
[46:02] Nutrients and herbs that can help support blood sugar management.
[49:50] The role of the gut microbiome in managing diabetes can be impacted by diet and insulin resistance issues.
[52:32] Beverly shares her personal favorite supplements, her favorite health practices, and the outdated advice that she has changed her mind about over her years of practice.
Voiceover: Conversations for Health, dedicated to engaging discussions with industry experts, exploring evidence-based, cutting edge research and practical tips. Our mission is to empower you with knowledge, debunk myths, and provide you with clinical insights. This podcast is provided as an educational resource for healthcare practitioners only. This podcast represents the views and opinions of the host and their guests, and does not represent the views or opinions of Designs for Health Inc. This podcast does not constitute medical advice. The statements contained in this podcast have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Now, let’s embark on a journey towards optimal wellbeing, one conversation at a time. Here’s your host, Evelyne Lambrecht.
Evelyne: Welcome to Conversations for Health. I’m Evelyne and I’m joined here today by Dr. Beverly Yates. Welcome to the show, Beverly.
Beverly Yates: Hey, thank you so much, Evelyne. I really appreciate this invitation. I’m looking forward to our conversation. I hope we can do a great job of bringing clarity and inspiration to the audience.
Evelyne: Thank you. I know we will. I’m so excited for this conversation. So, Dr. Yates is a diabetes expert who has over 27 years of experience working with those who struggle with blood sugar issues and is the creator of the Yates Protocol, a simple and effective lifestyle-based program for people who have type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes to lower blood sugar levels, achieve healthy hemoglobin A1C and fasting blood sugar levels, and have more energy to live life the way they want to. She’s worked with thousands of people and is on a mission to help 3 million people heal from type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes. Dr. Yates is also an internationally recognized speaker and a published author. Her book, Heart Health for Black Women: A Natural Approach to Healing and Preventing Heart Disease is a groundbreaking book and addresses the health disparities African-American women experience in the U.S. medical and healthcare system that lead to delayed assessments, inadequate treatments, and overall worse outcomes compared to other groups. I definitely want to get more into that. So first of all, how did you get into this field and how did you come to specialize in type 2 diabetes?
Beverly Yates: Okay, so those are both really great questions, and it’s not your average story, that’s for sure. So how I became a licensed doctor of naturopathic medicine was through my own illness journey. And part of recovering my health, the biggest part was through naturopathic medicine, and I’m eternally grateful for that. I was originally an MIT electrical engineer working in Silicon Valley. Yes, that person. The nerd who loves STEM, science, math, all those things. And this was in the late-’80s, mid-’80s, and in that journey, what I found was when I moved from the Silicon Valley to the Silicon Forest, as it’s called in the Pacific Northwest, the Portland=Oregon metro area, that it’s got a lot of mold. Well, it used to be so very rainy and wet there. I’m not sure with climate change what’s happening. But anyway, at that point in time, it was still quite wet. And mold grew on the cement, on concrete, which I had never heard of, but it was so pervasive. Turns out, I’m quite sensitive. Long story short, my fiancé and I were renting a home and discovered that the home had black mold in it and it did not smell musty. We had no clue that there was black mold there. We happened to peel back the carpet by a baseboard and then realize, “Uh-oh.” And because I had this odd symptom where I was so brain fogged, so tired and exhausted. Now, here I was a college athlete, full of energy, suddenly so tired and exhausted, brain fogged, sneezing like crazy, and these deep belly sneezes, and growing up in the northeast, in the Philadelphia area, I had never had a problem before with allergies back there, ragweed and some other things are very common, no problem. Came to the pacific northwest, it almost took me out. I went to see a medical doctor, a conventional allergist, and got allergy shots for about a year. They did that skin scratch test to determine what I was sensitive to, and I thought, “That’s kind of odd, that skin scratch test, because if you scratch your skin it will wheal. So how do you determine objectively what you’re reacting to?” I was like, “Is this science?” I wasn’t sure. So that didn’t work. Being a results-oriented person, an engineer, after about a year of getting shot up, and I asked people, “What’s in these shots? I understand science and big words, tell me.” They would never tell me. And I felt more and more uncomfortable with the whole process. So my husband worked with a guy who also had had similar symptoms to mine and he’d seen a licensed naturopathic physician there in Oregon and it had a remarkable turnaround of his health. And I said, “Well, that’s for me. I don’t care what you call it. I just want to be well.” And I was helped profoundly after a few initial consultations and visits. One of the shocking things was the man actually looked me in the eyes and listened for about an hour. I had never had that happen in the context of medical or health setting, and it was transformative for me. So, long story short, I decided to go back to school, left engineering, went and became a naturopathic physician, and here we are. Now, you asked me another question. If I could just take a moment, because I think this story being more personal might resonate with people there and hopefully you guys will share this podcast, this episode, and let it resonate with others because it’s a personal one. I focus on type 2 diabetes because originally my focus was on cardiovascular disease, heart disease, especially in women. It was on stress, sleep issues, sleep apnea. It was on allergies, gut health, that sort of thing. I switched over to type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes being a focus because as I got reconnected to my father, my biological father’s side of my family, I discovered some really shocking news. My parents divorced when I was about a year old, so I was a baby, and I lost, or he lost contact with me, I should say, because the child doesn’t have this choice, at about three, three and a half years old. So then, later on as an adult, I decided I wanted to try to have a relationship with him and just find out more about that side of the family. Only to come find out, and this was as I was in the midst of my journey to become a licensed naturopathic physician, his family, he was one of 13 siblings, all 13 of them had some kind of diabetes; type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, pre-diabetes. I think in today’s world we diagnose a few of them as type 1.5 diabetes. It is this incredible problem with glycemic regulation. And you don’t usually have in a family 100% prevalence, 100% incidence of an illness. So, I realized that since half of my genetic material came from them, I was like, “I may have a risk here.” Of course, I knew nothing about and I felt like, “Oh, my gosh, that’s mortal jeopardy. That feels a threat.” The other side, there was a blessing in that, and the blessing is now I know. I was quite convinced through the work I was doing in naturopathic medicine that because so much of type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes is lifestyle centric, those five factors of the Yates Protocol; nutrition, stress, sleep, exercise, resistance training, and of course meal timing, you can do something about those things. So, I felt like I wasn’t necessarily doomed by my genes. And so, I’m hoping that people will share this episode, because I know there’s a lot of people out there who have that really powerful self-talk between their ears. They think they’re doomed to get X, Y, Z chronic illness because they have other family members who suffer from it. Friends, I’m going to tell you, much of the time, you can take control and take the power in your hands to either avoid it altogether or to minimize its impact in your life, but you do need to take action. Now, is the time.
Evelyne: Now, thank you so much for sharing both of those stories, very impactful. And I just love that you went from being an engineer to actually going to naturopathic school. That is really cool. And I’m sure that your engineering mind helps you in the way that you approach medicine, right?
Beverly Yates: It does.
Evelyne: That’s awesome. So, when you and I were introduced at the IFM conference in June, I learned that one of your areas of expertise is in culturally sensitive diets, and I’d actually love to start off the conversation with that because it’s not something that I honestly know much about. It’s not talked about much. I got a master’s in nutrition and I don’t really remember that coming up, so can you talk more about that?
Beverly Yates: Sure, I’m happy to. When we think of what’s culturally sensitive, I feel like so much of healthcare, at least here in the U.S., it misses the mark. It’s a missed opportunity for healing when we don’t connect with people and meet them where they’re at. This includes their culture, whatever are the foods that they grew up with, the flavors, the spice palette, the things that they enjoy. And I find often in wellness and diet culture that we demonize certain aspects of food. I’ve never understood why we want to have a war with food or food groups or people who enjoy certain things. I think it’s mean. We look at our health stats, we see it’s ineffective. And I also think on a different level, it sets up this dynamic where people feel like, “Oh, well, if you’ve rejected my cultural foods, then you’re rejecting me.” And so, the person shuts down and is not going to benefit from anything else that you might have to say that’s actually going to be helpful to them. By the same token, I feel for us as practitioners, we need to always have humble pie as our first meal every day, realize we don’t know everything, and that we have to respect what other people bring to the table. Because it’s not like we’re magical beings who know everything, but rather we’re here to serve. And if we’re going to serve, we need to be open-hearted and open-minded. That includes taking into context what people eat and how they eat it, because sometimes there’s great, great foods, maybe they’re just not prepared in the healthiest way. And if you can acknowledge that it is fundamentally a healthy food and help that person to prepare it in a healthy way, you will have gone a long way. You’ve made a friend for life. If you demonize their foods, if you reject their foods, if you tell them they’re bad for eating their foods that their mom made for them, their granddad made for them, their uncle makes special things on holiday, their aunt prepares certain kinds of preserves, if you tell them basically to walk away from all that, where it’s an emotional connection to food, let’s say from childhood, you’ve lost an opportunity to help that person heal. And so, I think we all need to be thoughtful about what comes out of our mouths and what our intentions are, because the things I’ve heard from people over the years sometimes just make me shudder. It’s really a shame. It doesn’t have to be that way, but thank you for bringing that forward, because if it’s not part of your training and if you’re with people that you serve in your audience who are exactly like you, who grew up where you grew up, who eat what you ate, you probably weren’t even aware that this is a problem when someone may have a difference, whether they are an immigrant or whatever the situation may be. I’d say don’t make assumptions about what people eat for food and why they eat it. It could be that it’s a great way to connect and then move them to where they need to be.
Evelyne: Thank you so much for sharing that. These are some amazing clinical pearls for practitioners. So, we know that diabetes rates continue to rise and we are primarily focused on type 2 diabetes here. So, when you are looking at labs for someone, when do you start to sound the alarm, and I’m specifically referring to fasting blood glucose, fasting insulin, and hemoglobin A1C.
Beverly Yates: Sure. So, let’s look at the fasting morning sugars. So fasting morning glucose, fasting blood sugar, FBS usually denoted as such on most lab reports in U.S., although every once in a while you see it called something else, you would think that wouldn’t be controversial. But fasting blood sugar, I love to see that morning number for adults to be in the range of somewhere between 75 to 90, 94, 95. No higher than 95. Once we get to the 95 to 99 range, and if you see a steady upward trend, like maybe they start at 90, that’s okay; 92, that’s okay; 95 still kind of okay. Now you start to see a 96 and then the next time you see them, it’s a 97 and 98. If it starts to continue to go up, then we want to do some things to bring it back down. We don’t want to see it then suddenly jump, let’s say from 95 to 130, 160, God forbid, 200 or higher, because then we missed it. And I’ve seen sometimes clinically, and I’ve had thousands of patients and clients over the years who’ve said, “Oh, my doctor said let’s just watch your numbers. We’ll just watch it.” I’m like, “What are you watching? You’re watching a train wreck in slow motion.” This is one of the challenges with diabetes and glycemic issues in general, because at first the onset tends to be silent and the symptoms aren’t necessarily clear to people, or they haven’t connected the dots both from what the patient experiences as well as what the clinician can observe, they don’t have a sense of alarm, they don’t take it seriously. As a result, a heck of a lot of damage can occur over the course of years or decades before anybody really takes it seriously, and by then it can be harder to turn the tide back. So anyone listening, the earlier signs are, as things start to creep up, so that’s one clue, the fasting blood sugar. Make sure everybody goes to the lab fasting in the morning, say 7:00 AM to 8:00 AM. Catch all these beautiful hormones early in the day. Now, we’re going to talk next about A1C. As we know, the A1C is something that it makes sense to check every three to four months because your red blood cells turn over, you get a fresh new batch pretty much every three months, every 90 days. So I like to have people checked regularly to be sure they’re still in range, so that if they’re starting to have a problem, again, we get to it sooner rather than later. 5.7 to 6.4 for an A1C is considered in the U.S. to be pre-diabetes. Once a person hits 6.5 for the A1C and higher, that’s considered to be type 2 diabetes. Now, for type 1 diabetes, typically if a person has good glycemic control, their A1C might be in the low to mid-’60s, maybe even the high-fives. I say great, God bless the type 1s, because their challenge is ever more an immediate threat. There’s just a lot going on here. I think when we wish people well who have pre-diabetes, type 2 diabetes, God bless them too, but you’re going to need to be a little bit more vigilant because I don’t think the sense of threat is the same. It often changes though, to be honest with you. When someone has had pre-diabetes for a year and they “suddenly” get that diagnosis, that now it’s a 6.5, and they’re like, “Now, I have type 2 diabetes,” and then here they come running for help. And I’m glad they come running for help, wish they would’ve come sooner. So, you have people in your practice, in your care who are in that zone. Make sure they understand that there’s a real risk. One of the things that goes on with these clinical labs is I’ve observed a lot of people who later show up with Alzheimer’s and dementia. They often have pre-diabetes, not type 2 diabetes. There’s a reason why dementia and Alzheimer’s are considered type 3 diabetes.
Evelyne: I want to go back to insulin. What is your marker for fasting insulin?
Beverly Yates: So fasting insulin, I like to see being in the single digits, so under 10. If it’s around three, or four, or five, or six, people are doing well. This would suggest that their average is such that there’s not a rising tide of blood sugar for them they might be sneaking in during the day or the night. Sometimes people naturally have high levels of cortisol. They may or may not be stressed. Some people just produce more cortisol than others. However, if they’re having struggles with weight control, if they have problems with cravings, with mood, there may be interactive issues that overlap with fasting insulin, let’s say, and leptin and ghrelin. So if fasting insulin is like 15, 16, 17 or higher, then I would consider very much to put that person either on an intermittent fasting plan or a fasting mimicking diet or something like that. And I would also probably put them with a CGM, continuous glucose monitor. Similarly, for the fasting blood sugar number, for the insulin and also for an A1C, because we really want to see real time what’s going on with their blood sugar, my favorite CGM is the Libre three. It’s the Abbott Freestyle Libre 3. That is a mouthful to say. Because it is connected via Bluetooth and an app. And therefore, you don’t have to constantly swipe it in order to get your data.
Evelyne: Oh, I’ve only used the Freestyle 2. I didn’t even realize there was a 3.
Beverly Yates: As for the 3, you’re going to love it. And then that way, you’ll see exactly what’s happening when you’re sound asleep, because some people get that spike around four o’clock in the morning, call this Somogyi phenomenon or dawn phenomenon. Everybody has a little blip, a little extra cortisol at that time of day. It’s going to get you ready to get up a couple hours later, so you don’t fall flat on your face when you get out of bed. Some people, it’s not a little bit, it’s a lot. It’s a surge, and you need to know if that’s happening. Here’s why, that can be a piece of the clue that causes a person to have a higher than normal fasting insulin, even though they may otherwise have healthy habits. There’s plenty of people who have good nutrition, they’re eating quality food, they’re exercising regularly, and they’re still not well. Listen, if it was as simple as that old 1950s advice of eat less and move more, we wouldn’t have this wild really pandemic of the incidents of pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes as an international phenomenon. We have got to be smarter about what we tell people.
Evelyne: Absolutely. I love that you brought up the continuous blood glucose monitors because I want to talk more about those. How do they compare an accuracy to a glucometer? And I’ve tried to use a glucometer. I couldn’t even get one drop of blood to get an accurate measurement. And how are you actually assessing that in your patients? Because I feel like when I’ve done it, I didn’t have a way to share the data and I also didn’t do a great job of… I was like, “Oh, that’s interesting. I ate a croissant. It went up this much.” Rather than actually changing behavior, I need to try it again. I’m sure that with your background as an engineer and you working in Silicon Valley, you probably have a lot of people who just love geeking out about this, right?
Beverly Yates: Yeah. I’m in the land of wearables, for sure. A lot of people are wearables. Their sensors, whether it’s the Oura ring, it’s the CGM, whatever. We’re rocking the tech. That’s true. So with that in mind, there’s a few things to know, and it’s a great question. Thank you for asking that. Generally speaking, from what I’ve seen clinically, and I know other people have looked at this as well, for glucometers versus CGMs, continuous glucose monitor, the data, the gizmo, the difference can be around 10% to 15%, I’d say on average. Which matters, particularly if you have type 1 diabetes, because you need more insight into what’s happening. I don’t think we need to throw any more worry or caution in the direction of my type 1s, so my apologies if I didn’t express that well. When we’re looking at blood sugar control, with that 10% to 15% variance between what a CGM reports versus what you would’ve gotten if you’d done the finger stick, gotten a drop of blood, and tested it via the strip put into the glucometer, just know that there is some calibration that would make sense. So what some people will do is in their first days of using the CGM, they’ll also use the test strip and the glucometer and a drop of blood, and look to see what the difference is. And then, they’ll calibrate it from there. In fact, there’s at least one app now that you can buy and use via a membership subscription, that will allow you to really fine tune this, and this is something that is available specifically to practitioners. So once you’ve got that dialed in, the algorithms can help you. So you can upload a picture of your food, you can say if your moods are a little off or you’re feeling brain foggy or dizzy, you’re feeling angry, hangry, depressed, et cetera, have you been exercising, blah, blah, blah. So when you get your information, then you can put all the pieces of your health puzzle together in terms of your glycemic regulation. Like people who don’t have any kind of diabetes, if they get a CGM, sometimes they completely misinterpret this data. They’ll be all freaked out because their blood sugar rises when they’re exercising, not understanding that active working muscles are blood sugar sponges. And as such, those same muscles want what for their fuel? They want glucose. So, what’s your body going to mobilize? It’s going to mobilize glucose. So after you’re done exercising, your blood sugar should return to a healthy, normal level, if that’s where it started off at, within 30 minutes to an hour after exercising. People get freaked out about the wrong things.
Evelyne: So when it comes to a blood sugar rise, what is the max that you want to see it go to and what is maybe the time period in which it should drop back down to a normal level?
Beverly Yates: When a person’s eaten food or had something to drink that was other than water, that maybe had some kind of sugar or food content to it, that the tongue and their brain would perceive as being sweet or something like that. I love it if we’re going to have good glycemic control, that their blood sugar doesn’t rise more than 15 to 20 points. That’s people with excellent glycemic control, in my opinion. If it rises 21 to 30, 35 points, I think that’s really good glycemic control, certainly acceptable. If their blood sugar is rising 40 points or more because they had a meal, a snack, or a beverage, you really need to look at what you ate. It would be better to have things that give you that gentle rise, rather than that rocket, that rollercoaster spike up and a crash down. It’s the area under the curve for those of you who are math geeks. The area of the curve matters a lot. And so, if you have a rollercoaster up and a crash down, you can see how much more area there is versus this. Not a lot happened there, right?
Beverly Yates: Same idea.
Evelyne: And what’s the time that it should take, in your opinion, to get back to a normal level?
Beverly Yates: I think after you eat, ideally your blood sugar should return to a healthy range within 30 to 60 minutes.
Evelyne: Okay. Great.
Beverly Yates: It should be able to do it promptly.
Evelyne: And what are some of the foods that you see raise blood sugar that are maybe surprising? Or some things that people would think cause a spike, but maybe don’t?
Beverly Yates: What a great question. Okay, here we go, because I know colleagues are going to have feelings about what I’m getting ready to say. Hey, listen, friends, know what y’all? There’s no such thing as a one size fits all nutrition plan. We are individuals. We have bioindividual responses. There are some foods like quinoa, cauliflower, or blueberries as an example, that some people have this big glycemic spike. They just do. For most people, foods like cauliflower and quinoa and kale, blueberries are fine to eat. They don’t usually cause a problem. Sometimes it’s the food, sometimes it’s the portion, sometimes it’s what it’s combined with. And you could say that the microbiome is probably talking to people, screaming if you will, for certain kinds of foods or food combos. That’s why it’s so vexing, because some people can eat things like white rice and be okay for blood sugar. Other people can’t even look at it, it’s a problem. Similarly, for let’s say white potatoes, ground flour, wheat, rice, if it’s in a flour form, but I’ve seen be consistently a problem for people with few exceptions. Or any things that are, as we know, ultra processed or highly refined. And any foods that I tell my patients and clients, I explain if you can put the food ground up as a flour in your hand and go, blow it away as if it were a powder, that’s going to hit your blood sugar like a dispersed bomb.
Evelyne: I love that.
Beverly Yates: So, if it’s hard for you to remember, just… If you could do that, you probably need to minimize or eliminate it for good blood sugar control. I found that to be something simple people can remember, it’s actionable and it’s accurate for 95% to 97% of us, you know?
Evelyne: Yeah. With the bioindividuality, does it also relate to meal timing? So, my question is are you in the camp of eating multiple meals throughout the day to keep “blood sugar steady” or that we should have three meals per day and we shouldn’t need to snack in between? Because I feel like as a society, we are a society of snackers, including myself.
Beverly Yates: It’s great that you asked that. The other day, I was at the store just looking at all the various snacks right by the checkout counter because they know how much our behaviors are reward driven, dopamine hits. We’re going to grab the snacks because it’s an impulse buy. They know what they’re doing, the way they design these stores, it boosts their sales. So to answer your question, it’s the latter. Particularly for those who have pre-diabetes, type 2 diabetes, or are looking for better glycemic regulation, three meals a day is your friend. No snacking. Here’s why, your body needs time to process and digest what you ate. Keeping your blood sugar level even, no. You want the quality and quantity of food that you eat be what does the heavy lifting, so to speak, to keep you in the green zone in the healthy glycemic range. Trying to rely on that by constantly eating, I’ve never understood what has driven that advice. And I think if someone’s taking it and it actually is working for you, great. I say don’t fix what isn’t broken. That’s engineering me. But if it isn’t working for you, it’s time to reconsider that and consider three meals a day, perhaps even two meals a day, depending on your age and stage of life. As we get older, and my experience has been, is that often people aren’t as eager to eat three big meals a day or even three medium-sized meals. So I’d say let your body talk to you. I think it’s talking to you all the time. Listen. If you don’t feel good with a big breakfast, don’t have one. If you don’t feel good with breakfast at all, don’t eat it. If you feel like you get out of bed in the morning and you are ready to eat a bear, you’re hungry, honor it. By all means, eat. Eat a healthy, wonderful blood sugar meal. I had breakfast just before we came on here. I got delayed this morning because I had a business meeting. I don’t know if this will work, maybe it will. I tried to share with you what I ate. So it was scrambled eggs-
Beverly Yates: … Kalamata olives, green olives, with a Mediterranean North African base to them, with some harissa on it, chopped up flat leaf parsley my husband left. So, flat leaf parsley and garbanzo beans, along with some smoked salmon. So, that’s what I have for breakfast. Now, I know for me that that’s just a joy of love and mix and lifetime of longevity because my blood sugar, nothing happens. I’m all good there.
Evelyne: I love it.
Beverly Yates: Again, half of my genes is diabetic folks, so I got to pay attention.
Evelyne: What a gourmet breakfast. I love it. You mentioned an app where you have access to your patient’s CGM data. What is that app?
Beverly Yates: That app is with a company called Theia Health, and I’ll spell that, theiahealth.ai.
Evelyne: Interesting. Very cool. Thank you.
Beverly Yates: It’s meant for practitioners, to be clear. This is not something that’s for the consumer’s general access. This is meant for practitioners, people who have health practices, whether you are licensed as a doctor, or a nurse, or some other kind of health professional, or if you’re certified as a coach, blah, blah, blah. People who are health professionals, to be able to offer this to your patients and clients with HIPAA certainty. So, we keep everything private and protected, so you can actually see and they can see, which is just as important, what’s going on with their blood sugar. They can just snap and take a picture of their food. So for Theia, I would just add this. It’s just so easy. Just click, take a picture of your food. Anybody who’s ever filled a diet diary, you know people forget to put stuff down. They resent having to do it, just on and on. It’s just so much easier. And then, they can select how are they feeling, did they exercise, all the things for your lifestyle all conveniently in one app. So you have a dashboard that you can go and look at and really see what’s going on for your patient or client and then give them that guidance. Similarly, you could do this if it’s a group format and certainly for yourself. This is the time. This is one of my trend predictions. We’re going to see more things like that, where we bring in people’s health data so they can have the actionable insights and take the power back, so they know what’s going on. And the clinician, with the HIPAA permissions, can also see what’s happening and be smarter about the advice we give. Because right now, honestly, we’re shooting in the dark a lot of the time.
Evelyne: Absolutely. It reminds me of a book I read quite a few years ago. It was actually on my shelf, by Eric Topol from Scripps, The Patient Will See You Now. It’s about, if I remember correctly, because it was a long time ago, but it was about all the wearables and how the patients are going to be bringing all the data to practitioners. It was written a while ago, but I feel like we are definitely seeing that trend increase. Very interesting.
Beverly Yates: We are, especially here in Silicon Valley and it’s coming out. We’re coming, folks. We’re coming.
Evelyne: There’s something else interesting you mentioned about food combining, and I definitely see this all over Instagram, the hacks for blood sugar. I’d love to get into those for a second. Are there any hacks that you share with your patients when it comes to blood sugar regulation?
Beverly Yates: Yeah. So for blood sugar regulation, that wonderful thing called glycemic control, what I have found consistently has worked is to make sure that meals carry four food groups and focusing on that at least 80% of the time. Pareto’s rule, 80-20. Okay, here it comes, friends. 80% of the time, if you can get to a 100, great. But it’s about progress, not perfection. Is this, these four food groups. One, protein. Meals that have protein tend to be satisfying. If you can reach satiety, if the person that you are trying to guide can feel full and not hungry, they will more likely stick to whatever it is you are asking them to do. When people feel hungry, you’re going to lose cooperation. Compliance goes right out the window because we don’t enjoy being hungry as humans. And then when we’re in a 24/7 food environment, they’re not going to struggle. So we have to make sure people feel satisfied when they eat. That’s number one, protein. Number two would be, in my opinion, making sure we have healthy fats with our meals. And those can absolutely be plant-based if you like, the nuts and the seeds, the avocados, things like that. A tablespoon of olive oil. As long as they don’t have a big gallbladder or bile issue, that’s absolutely fine. However, you need to do it. I tell people, “Get it in you. Don’t fuss with the detail, just make it happen. We have got to make this simple for people. Number three for good glycemic control, would be the slow burning, resistant starch, complex carbohydrates. Primarily, that’s going to be your beans, peas, and legumes. Those are packed with a combo, as we know, of protein, of fiber, and of the starch that burns quite evenly. It’s not this blood sugar spike roller coaster kind of reaction in our body. It also helps to nourish in a beautiful way, the good, healthy flora in our guts microbiome. And I think that for many people, and if you look in the blue zones around the world, at what people eat, beans are usually a part of that mix in some form. I think there’s a lot of great clues there. The fourth food group, in my opinion, has to be, and I made up this food group, I will claim it. It’s fiber, high fiber foods. So that’s going to be your leafy greens, that’s going to be flax seeds, chia seeds, et cetera. Get them into all your meals, some kind of way. I love it for people to have anywhere from five to 10 servings of the high fiber foods a day, because I really feel like that does a lot of beautiful things for you. Just like I said, active working muscles or blood sugar sponges, it’s also true for those high fiber foods, especially the leafy greens. They give you water, because all the veggies have hydration with them. It’s nutrient dense, that’s for sure. It’s not stripping you of anything. As a blood sugar sponge, it’s also interestingly something that extends or makes bigger your intestines and gives your body that signal. It says, “Hey, we should move our bowels,” because so many people struggle with constipation and it is an unfortunate struggle, and this is a simple solution. It works. Other things, it’ll help to promote a healthier cholesterol profile. So you’re going to boost the HDLs naturally and you’re going to lower the LDLs, especially the fraction of LDL that likes to stick and become a problem in the blood vessels and turn into heart attacks and strokes.
Evelyne: Always a great reminder about the fiber because we know that as a society, we’re not consuming enough fiber.
Beverly Yates: It’s a challenge once you leave your house. Sometimes when I go out to eat, even here in healthy California, we have some amazing foods when we can go out to eat, we often aren’t stuck with junky options. But even when you go to healthy places, it’s still a challenge to get, in my opinion, enough meaningful amount of leafy greens as part of your meal. You’ll always have to order it as sides or reconfigure. It’s challenging.
Evelyne: Right. I agree. So what are some not often thought of considerations also when it comes to blood glucose management? You mentioned the meal timing already, but what are some other things that could cause a spike in blood sugar?
Beverly Yates: Okay, this is another wonderful question. Thank you for asking this. When it comes to meal timing, people often think of it in terms of intermittent fasting, which is a great place to have that conversation, but that’s not the only way meal timing works. What I’ve found for people with pre-diabetes, type 2 diabetes, or looking for better glycemic control in general, could be PCOS, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome is this, number one, don’t make this mistake, make sure you allow at least three to five hours between dinner and bedtime. If somebody eats a heavy meal and then goes right to bed, that is a problem. It’s almost a guarantee for a messed up, really a hijacked blood sugar, because now it’s going to spike and won’t have come down. They won’t have had time to move around during the day and work it off.
You also have put mechanical pressure, now, this is the engineer now, mechanical pressure on your stomach. You eat this big, heavy meal, you then laid down, you’re horizontal. This means then that food, this bolus of food is stuck in your stomach. It’s got to still make its way to the small intestine. It’s got to go through these sphincters. It’s pushing against it, trying to get downstream, except for instead of being upright where gravity helps it move downstream, you’re like this. Therefore, some of it’s going to back up. So that person’s risk of things like heartburn, of gastroesophageal reflux disease, GERD, other things like that, just feeling uncomfortable and full, burping and belching, other uncomfortable, unpleasant, and frankly not attractive GI symptoms. This whole ruckus gets going because they did not allow enough time between dinner and bedtime, along with the loss of good blood sugar control. Because when you go to sleep, you’re not eating, you’re not drinking, you’re fasting. It’s your opportunity every day to hit a massive reset button, massive reset. This is a blessing. Your body’s resetting, your gut’s resetting, your mind’s resetting, your soul’s resetting, your everything’s resetting. And if you screw that up and don’t give yourself enough time between dinner and bedtime, your blood sugar is going to get you, because it didn’t get a chance to reset either.
Evelyne: I love that reminder. And I feel like with sleep, I mean, I know when I don’t sleep enough, I am ravenous the next day.
Beverly Yates: Isn’t that interesting? So, that’s leptin and ghrelin interacting with your cortisol. That’s why you’re so hungry. And again, we are still creatures from thousands of years ago. We haven’t quite fully embraced in terms of our genetics where we are at in this moment in a 24/7 food environment. So if you don’t sleep well, the next morning, leptin and ghrelin are out of balance. Ghrelin, I think of it as the growling hormone, because your stomach is growling, it means you’re hungry. And leptin is the one where you feel full, satiety. And in the case of leptin and ghrelin, I call them the twin gremlins. So ghrelin, stomach growling, satiety. Leptin, hey, stop sign. So with ghrelin, you could tell that you’re hungry, but with leptin, you need to know it’s time to stop. And when they get out of balance with each other, you will be overly hungry, it’ll be harder for you to tell when to stop eating. It’s not fair. And if there isn’t more adding insult to injury, you also will want, preferentially after a bad night’s sleep, I can guarantee this, either more calories of highly savory umami foods, or you just want sweet stuff.
Beverly Yates: You mentioned that, croissant, right?
Beverly Yates: Croissants, danishes, donuts, add lots of sugar to a coffee or a tea, you got a latte and you’re just pouring in that simple syrup, whatever it is. And I know some of you are nodding your heads, I’m talking to you right now. That’s what’s going on.
Evelyne: Thank you for sharing about ghrelin and leptin too. I wanted to get into those. I also want to talk about the elephant in the room. I feel like people have probably thought, “Okay, are they going to talk about this?” When it comes to these medications like Ozempic-
Beverly Yates: Oh, yeah.
Evelyne: Yes. Ozempic, Wegovy, compounded semaglutide, which a lot of practitioners are using. Can you share how they work? What does it mean to be a GLP-1 agonist? And do you think that they are the answer to type 2 diabetes and obesity, because I’m seeing articles every day, even just in the New York Times this week or last week, about it improving heart failure in-
Beverly Yates: I saw that article too.
Evelyne: … in patients.
Beverly Yates: So, this is a fascinating time to be alive. I want to say a few things about this. There are a number of class of drugs and a number of class of processes in general that affect those GLP-1 receptors. So, we know that with the way we actually are, we need to do something to help people get better control. Some people just don’t have good control. And for all of you who are a fan of the concept of willpower, I want to remind you, the science has said very clearly, we have 15 minutes a day out of a 24-hour day, that’s right, a quarter of one hour of willpower. So, asking people to muscle through is not a recipe for success. Again, if, like its partner, the 1950s advice of eat less and move more were adequate, we wouldn’t have this rampant rise in pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Similarly, if just willpower would work, that wouldn’t do it. Some of the people I’ve seen who’ve worked the hardest, including my dear best friend who recently passed away, that approach doesn’t work. It’s not effective. Some people clearly have more food noise, I don’t know how else to put it, perhaps in their brain, and they can’t stop thinking about food. It’s their thought all day long. And this class of drugs makes the difference for them to not be so focused on it. And I feel like if we clinically are okay, and I feel like we should be okay with making sure that someone who has asthma has whatever medications they need to get out of trouble while we work on the other lifestyle things that maybe we’ll make it so they don’t so frequently have to rely, let’s say, on a rescue inhaler, but we don’t shame them and blame them along the way. We might recognize, “They need help.” We need to bring that same attitude. They need to see that same energy, friends, when it comes to pre-diabetes, type 2 diabetes, obesity, insulin resistance, et cetera, because some of these folks are working their asses off. They are trying really hard. If you interview people and you’re hearing they’re working out at the gym, they really are going there, they’re not lying, they’re there 90 minutes, two hours a day. And often, we are so judgmental to make the assumption around this. So in terms of the action of the drug, it is clearly interacting with that person’s physiology. So now that their desire to eat drops and they don’t feel compelled to eat, they can now put that energy on other things in their life. Some people have talked about it being life changing and life giving, and I feel when it’s prescribed for the right reason, it’s buying people time. You and I both know though, that from a clinical point of view, many people, if not most, do not get the real support they need. They don’t learn about the nutrition that’s specific for their blood sugar. They don’t get the prescriptions that they need for the CGM, so they can get the data. They aren’t given the clarity around meal timing so that they can have better blood sugar control and hopefully go to fat burning and leave fat storage mode. They also aren’t getting good information on the impact of stress. Stress because of the effects it has with adrenaline and with cortisol, rises blood sugar, if you have a lot of stress, your blood sugar’s up. Why? Because your body wants to feed what? Active working muscles. Stress primes you to be ready to fight, flee, or freeze. All of which raise your blood sugar so you’re ready to take action, not sit on your butt. So if you’re chronically stressed and you’re sitting on your butt, you’re in a sedentary job, you’re trapped somewhere, whatever the emotional world may be, and you’re not able to burn those chemicals off, this is the damage that that does. What about sleep? What if your sleep’s really poor for whatever reason? Maybe your bedroom is too warm, maybe there’s a lot of light or noise that’s coming in, things of that nature. There’s a lot of things that go on when people sleep. What if you are a perimenopausal or a menopausal woman who’s going through that transition and having a hell of a time? There’s a lot of reasons sleep gets disrupted for people of any gender. How about if you have a lot of financial stress and turmoil? That can make a difference with your ability to sleep and sleep well. And then, of course, exercise. Are you exercising enough and is it the right kind? Are you doing strength training? How frequently do you do it? Are you maybe working out too hard? I have seen, for some people, I have to tell them, “You got to do less,” and then things work better for them. Other people, I’m like, “Nope. It needs to be more vigorous.” It just depends. You cannot assume. You have to meet people where they’re at and address the needs of an individual. And if you hit those five pillars; the nutrition, then meal timing, sleep and stress, exercise with resistance training, bring them all together, if we really supported people in that way, I would bet probably half, maybe a little bit more of the people who currently are on things like Ozempic and Wegovy and other of these GLP-1 drugs, wouldn’t have the same need for them. But let’s be fair, most of these people are not getting that support. They never were. And that’s part of the problem. So, I’ve had a chance recently to work with people who are on these drugs, and they’ve come to me because they’re on the drugs, they’ve gotten some benefit, the food noise has quieted, they are still tired, they are still feeling really depressed, and they’re still struggling with wild cravings. So, we get to work, using what I’ve packaged up as the Yates Protocol. And in working with them, the things that have happened are their energy comes back, their desire for self-care is restored. Now, this person who just went from… I’m thinking of this one patient, I just so admire her. She literally told me during one of her visits that she went from craving crackers and crapola to craving three bean salad. And she’s so, so happy. She’s energized now. She’s back at the gym, working with her personal trainer. She has lost weight. She’s like all the things. It’s awesome. And in this work with her, she’s like the thing that was missing for her was energy, that led to her caring for herself and resuming cooking again. She lives on her own and now she’s like, “So what? I still need to love and nourish myself.” She’s turned that corner. And just as importantly, in her case, she just feels so capable. Her health journey has completely turned around. She’s on Mounjaro, and she continues to take it. She’s continuing to get the weight loss. She’s now exercising again. So, she’s restoring that precious, beautiful muscle mass, because that made her a believer around, no matter what medications you’re on, you have got to get your muscles put back together, so that as you age, you don’t have that risk of falling. And all the things that happened when people get older and falling. She’s a person who’s had type 2 diabetes for over 25 years. Good for her, that she didn’t give up and she reached out for help. So colleagues, I beg you, please welcome people, meet them where they’re at, and help them where they need to go. Because some of us, the way we interact, the way we message stuff, I’m telling you, people feel so shamed and blamed and demonized. They will never reach out for your help that might be amazing for them unless you figure out how to meet them where they’re at and embrace them and show them what you have without making them feel like they’re the bad guy.
Evelyne: Thank you so much for sharing that story. And when it comes to these medications, we have a wide variety of types of practitioners listening, some who may prescribe it, some of who may not. And I actually get this question quite often, especially in the last probably few months this year, but, “How can I support my patients or clients who are on these medications?” And I think you already kind of went into it, but I also get it a lot with side effect management from these, because I do hear quite a bit about that. Can you talk about that?
Beverly Yates: So, I think that side effect management is a tough one. So a few things I will say, I’m pretty sure this is the case, but this is certainly how I’ve operated, if you didn’t prescribe it, you can’t change the prescription. I don’t think it’s fair ethically, it’s not legal, et cetera. And I don’t think it’s helpful to throw shade on it. I do think it’s fine to be clarifying and to give people great info about pluses and minuses. And if somebody’s there because of side effect issues, but otherwise they’re getting some benefits, so it’s a mix, then it’s even more incumbent on you to make sure you’ve got your side of the equation working, that you’re helping them uncover what is that healthy nutrition for them, dealing with any oddball bioindividual responses. So in case they’re having a blood sugar spike to an otherwise healthy food, you’ve got a plan for that. So practical food swaps, healthy ways to prepare their meals, same foods that are satisfying. That’s why I talk about those four food groups, because when you put them together, it’s very satisfying. Blood sugar stays even. You keep people away from the chip aisle, they’re not interested in that stuff. That’s one. The next thing that you would need to do for side effect management is quickly get them on the rest of the lifestyle pieces. So nutrition obviously is a bull’s eye target. It’s going to be making sure they have great quality sleep. The patient that I was describing earlier, her sleep had been really a problem for years, and she was on a med and doing fine on the med, so we did not mess around with the sleep. I say, “If it isn’t broken, we don’t fix it. Leave it alone.” Stress, find out what they’re doing for stress relief, because stress happens. Nobody schedules stress. Stress happens. What are you going to do? Make sure they have a plan. So just like you shared, you had a poor night’s sleep and you noticed you were more hungry. Part of our work together, and I encourage all of you to do it, is to create a plan. Have them put it on their refrigerator, have them put it on their phone, on the apps, the notes or whatever it is. It could be something that is an alarm. “Hey, I had a bad night’s sleep. I have a plan.” And they know exactly what they’re going to eat and they have that available at all times. They’re going to have a great breakfast, super healthy, and they’re going to have a great lunch, super healthy. Get them through those first two meals, and usually they’re going to be fine by the time it’s dinner. Whatever you do, make sure that people don’t skip lunch, because that’s a mistake. If you eat breakfast, skip lunch, by the time you get to dinner, the likelihood that you’re going to make healthy choices is much, much, much lower. It’s just real.
Evelyne: Thank you for sharing all that. I have two more questions for you regarding these topics. So, what are some of your favorite nutrients and herbs to support with blood sugar management for a few months there? I’m not on TikTok, but apparently on TikTok, everybody was talking about berberine and calling it nature’s Ozempic. It was published in a lot of news outlets. And we know that’s an exaggeration of course-
Beverly Yates: It is an exaggeration.
Evelyne: … but I’d love for you to talk about berberine and maybe some other things that you like to use with patients.
Beverly Yates: So, some of my favorite nutrients are gymnema. I’ve seen that be really helpful. I’ve also seen banaba be helpful, berberine to be helpful, fennel can be really helpful. And I think it in part depends on whether people are driven by cravings, or if they’re driven by portion control, or is it like mouthfeel or things like that. I have found anything that helps to calm down the sweet taste receptors on the tongue, so that they aren’t quite so active, is really, really helpful. And instead, it buys that person time. So then they realize, “Oh, you know what? I could have two of this. I don’t need to have eight of them.” And after a while, people find, like this patient story I shared of the lady who’s on Mounjaro, who’s doing all of the lifestyle pieces of the Yates Protocol, the thing for her is now she just doesn’t want the junk at all. She’s like, “I’m just not even interested in it.” Whereas before, the Mounjaro alone was not giving her that peace. It was interesting, because for a lot of people, it is supposed to give them that peace. It should quiet that food noise. And for her, it wasn’t working like that. So, it seems that we’ve gotten enough other pieces put together, so that that’s helpful. Now, I do want to take a moment to chat about berberine because I find that some clinicians are hesitant to recommend it or to prescribe it. I think in today’s world, I think it’s okay to have people use it for a longer period of time than I probably would’ve said several years ago or even a decade or two ago. In the 30 plus year career, I’ve definitely changed some things and evolved in my own thinking. When I went to naturopathic medical school, my school was National College of Naturopathic Medicine. It had a name change to the National University of National Medicine. And now, it’s going from the National University of Natural Medicine to being partnered with Bastyr University. So back in the day, we were taught that berberine was something you had to be very careful with using at all because it was thought to be too powerful of an antimicrobial and it might cause an upset in the microbiota, the healthy microbial flora of the gut. So it was thought it might be disruptive to the microbiome in a way that could be negative to the person we were trying to help. And that over the years, it was better to maybe do it for a month or two and not longer than that. So some of us who are licensed as MDs might be hesitant about berberine. I found clinically that a longer-term use, I think so far has been okay. I used to use it back in the day to help people who had cardiovascular problems. And again, I have not seen any adverse effects in the patient populations that I’ve served. So, I think people have to do what they feel is best around what they recommend and/or prescribe, but just know sometimes they can be controversial, and understand that social media driven trends may not be based on science. I just wanted to say that out loud because sometimes people, they see something on TikTok or wherever, and I’m like, “I don’t even know why any of us try so hard with our expertise and our licenses and our certifications and all. And then, it’s like the person who does the mani-pedis or the car mechanic is now giving me advice on TikTok and people want to go with that.” It’s just such an upside down time right now. It just is.
Evelyne: Yeah. Since you brought up the microbiome, so what is the role of the microbiome in diabetes? I feel like generally in medicine, in functional medicine, we say always start with the gut, and maybe you start with blood sugar regulation, but if you start with the gut, you’re probably affecting blood sugar. And then, we know that foods have an impact on the gut microbiota. So, are there particular strains of bugs in our gut that have a positive or a negative effect on blood sugar regulation?
Beverly Yates: Yeah. So the microbiome I think is a very important player when it comes to glycemic control. And one of the things that I’ve noticed is if someone has a repeated series of antibiotics over a short period of time, let’s say they have been prescribed antibiotics over the course of six months, and they’ve taken them for six months to a year, or god forbid, a few years, I do know some people with that history, they often show up with glycemic regulation problems and/or profound insulin resistance. I think it is a way in which we don’t talk about insulin resistance, but from what I’ve seen clinically, the chronic use of antibiotics, or an extended use for whatever reason, really, really is a problem and can make people far more vulnerable, either in the short-term or longer-term for insulin resistance issues and/or the formation of type 2 diabetes, pre-diabetes later in life. That they might not have otherwise had. Other things about the microbiome are, is that we can replenish it. That’s so important. Eating the fermented foods of whatever cultural group you’re from. And if you don’t like the fermented foods from your cultural group, borrow somebody else’s. They’re all good. So whether it’s apple cider vinegar, maybe it’s kimchi, maybe it’s poi, maybe it’s sauerkraut. There’s lots and lots of ways to get fermented foods in kombucha. I mean, anywhere on the planet. It’s so interesting to me, I realized this a while ago, is that every culture has something they ferment, whether it’s for the alcohol or to take as a digestive. We figured something out as people on this planet that’s real smart, so we should do that. Certain strain, I will have to admit, I’m not necessarily deep on the science of certain strains for the gut’s microbiome and how they interact with blood sugar. I still think that’s an emerging science. And again, I feel like it’s in the category of test, don’t guess. Find out if something works well for you and your gut, or your patient’s gut, your client’s gut, because people have so many other things that are affecting them and diabetes, and glycemic control, blood sugar management, they’re complex. They’re complex. So the shaming, the blaming, the demonization and discouragement, the judgment is just not helpful. It’s confusing.
Evelyne: Yeah. I love that you shared that, and thank you also for sharing those personal stories, and so many clinical pearls. I’d love to ask you some questions that we ask every guest from Conversations for Health.
Beverly Yates: Sure.
Evelyne: What are your three favorite supplements that you take?
Beverly Yates: Three favorite supplements that I take, let’s see. One of them is ubiquinol. I love ubiquinol because I feel like it is such an important partner with nourishing our cellular mitochondrial health. My mother’s side of my family has an incredible prevalence of heart disease, along with cancer. And so, I care about my mitochondrial health and inflammation in general. And so, I find ubiquinol, because it is the downstream form of coenzyme Q10, we’re not looking for any more conversion there. We’ve already got the form that the cell wants. I have found that to be really helpful for myself personally, and it’s certainly something I’ve recommended with my patients now for decades; safely, calmly, with wonderful results. So that’s one that I take myself personally. Another is rhodiola rosea. I take rhodiola rosea as a stress resilience supporter and an adaptogenic herb. There are times when I personally feel stressed, whether it’s stuff I’ve seen on the news, things that go on in the U.S. that are so harmful to African American people or people who look like myself, I just never know what to expect day to day. All of these things have their effect on me, and I’m trying to live a long life, live well. And for me to reach that goal, I have to have more buffers, because I can’t control the nonsense that happens outside of me, so that’s one. And a third one that I take quite regularly. In my case, I’m just trying to think through here, I feel like I’m missing something obvious. What is it? I had… Oh, one of them that I take, that’s probably because I eat a lot of seafood, is fish oil, just to make sure that I have good hormonal regulation. And I’m doing all I can, again, for inflammation and avoiding clots and stuff like that. Again, trying to manage the cardiovascular cancer risk side of the family. My diabetes strategy, actually, in my case, I don’t necessarily personally use a lot of supplements for that, because I’ve got those five lifestyle things on point. I’ve got that toweled in. I’m letting that do the heavy lifting for the most part. So, those are three of the things I regularly take.
Evelyne: Love it. I’m a big fan of rhodiola as well. Great herb. The next question is, what are your favorite health practices that keep you healthy, resilient, and balanced?
Beverly Yates: One of them is making sure I get outside and get sunshine and fresh air every day. And just with a grateful, joyful heart go out, or even if I’m feeling kind of down and bummed or worried about something I just heard about, whatever. Just trying to make sure I get out into nature even if the weather is not wonderful. And I’m fortunate to live here in California, the weather is often wonderful, but it’s not always wonderful, but I get out there anyway. So, that’s one. Another is I make it a point to make use of my spin bike, particularly if I’m feeling stressed, so I’m burning off the cortisol, because it just makes that easier. That way, if traffic’s a little crazy or whatever, I’m still using those big muscles and spinning. And then my third one, the one that I probably enjoy the most really, if I’m honest, that’s just the athlete in me, is this. I enjoy strength training, resistance training a lot. And so, sometimes I’ll do this with patients and clients when we are meeting online, now that my practice is 100% online. Or in the middle of a meeting, a business meeting, I’ve been known to bust out-
Evelyne: Pull out your kettlebell.
Beverly Yates: Kettlebell, right. Get that blood moving, et cetera, because I just think it’s so, so important to preserve your muscle mass, especially if you’re a woman. In my case, I’m an athlete, so I already came into my adult years with an amazing musculature, and I’ve been able to preserve it, and I fully intend to hang onto it, because I’m really clear that without that you’re not going to have good blood sugar control. It’s a great way to help manage your moods and be able to burn off any aggravation that might be hanging out, and also avoid those falls and the loss of proprioceptive control, that feedback that you need with your proprioceptive centers. If you get weak, it’s going to be a problem getting older. You see how many people break their hips, you see how many problems people have. My God, that could have been avoided. So I’d say for those of you who are younger, it’s not too early to start. And those of you who are older, it’s not too late. Folks, get your muscles moving.
Evelyne: I love that. So true. And then, the last question, which you sort of answered, but maybe there’s something else that comes to mind, what is something you’ve changed your mind about through your years in practice, maybe other than the berberine story?
Beverly Yates: Yeah. I have changed my mind about this whole concept, which I was on board with for a minute, of eat less and move more as being the solution to type 2 diabetes, because I’ve just run into thousands and thousands of people for whom that’s not working. It’s just not working. We have got to be more nuanced and acknowledge that we are in a high paced, stressed out, non-relaxing, no downtime kind of world. The fact that people on their email autoresponders when they are out of the office or away on vacation have to put on, “No access to email,” tells you how crazy people have gotten. When you’re on vacation, you’re on holiday, you shouldn’t have to say-
Evelyne: Some people say, “I’ll be checking it while on holiday.”
Beverly Yates: Yeah, some people say they’ll be checking. I’m like, “Ooh, are you sure?” I think everyone needs downtime. I personally think that’s not a good thing. So, what can I say? Easy for me to say.
Evelyne: Yeah, I love it. Beverly, where can people find more information about you?
Beverly Yates: Sure. They’re welcome to go to my website. There’s currently two, and we’re doing a beautiful glow up. I’m sure by the time this airs-
Evelyne: Glow up, I love it.
Beverly Yates: … this one will be amazing. So, if they go to naturalhealthcare.com, you-
Evelyne: Did you buy that when the internet started?
Beverly Yates: I did. I bought it back in 1996 or ’97. I saw this coming.
Evelyne: Wow. I love it.
Beverly Yates: I am an OG. The other one is my name, drbeverlyyates.com.
Evelyne: Awesome. Well, thank you so much for being here. This has been a fascinating conversation. I so appreciate everything that you do. Did I also hear you’re writing a new book?
Beverly Yates: I am writing a book. We’re in the process now of, let’s see, we’ve gone through the second draft. The literary agent loves it, so we’re going to put it out to the publishers here in a few months. And let me be sure, we have updated the title, I want to give you the correct title. We will absolutely be looking for people to help us get the word out once it is ready. It’s been such a beautiful thing to do because if you had asked me many years ago when I was a kid, if I was ever going to write a book, I wouldn’t have never thought I’d be an author, and now I’m an author of multiple books, and co-author and whatnot. So this one will be The Yates Protocol: Five No Shame Steps to Fix Your Blood Sugar and Eat the Food You Love.
Evelyne: I love it. Congratulations.
Beverly Yates: Thank you.
Evelyne: That’s really awesome. Thank you again for being here and thank you for tuning in to Conversations for Health. Check out the show notes for any resources from our conversation today, and please share this podcast with your colleagues. Follow, rate, or leave a review wherever you listen. And thank you for designing a well world with us.
Voiceover: This is Conversations for Health with Evelyne Lambrecht, dedicated to engaging discussions with industry experts, exploring evidence-based, cutting edge research and practical tips.
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