3 Simple Steps to Help Control (or Even Reverse) Type 2 DiabetesJul 01, 2022
Each month, we select one of our Impact Tribe members to be our “Daring Member of the Month.”
This month, I’m highlighting someone who has been an incredible asset to our community since she joined us this year. She has warmed our hearts and touched our spirits with her genuine, sweet soul. And, she has been an open book to learning as much as she possibly can about building her business, and it shows – she’s created so much with us in just the past six months! I’m so pleased to introduce you to Dr. Jelina Shah!
Today, Jelina and I will be discussing how you can:
- Manage stress to live a happier, more confident life.
- Sleep better so you can have more energy throughout your day.
- Eat healthier and balance your blood sugars so diabetes doesn't control your life.
Meet Dr. Jelina Shah
Dr. Jelina Shah is a Clinical Pharmacist and Holistic Diabetes Health Coach for people with Type 2 diabetes or prediabetes. Jelina specializes in diabetes-related holistic health and has successfully helped hundreds of patients decrease their blood sugars, have more energy, feel confident about their food choices, and be educated about their medications.
After over 15 years working in the Healthcare system, Jelina has witnessed many diabetes patients struggle with the lack of guidance they receive about how to live with diabetes. They are given medications and advised to “eat healthier and exercise” without any education on how to do this successfully.
Jelina approaches Type 2 diabetes differently. Not only does she address the medications and the health risks associated with diabetes, but she also focuses on the root causes by attending to the emotional and mental aspects of the disease.
By tackling the reason behind why we eat and how we eat, she can help patients sustain lower blood sugars, lose weight and even take fewer medications so they can live their happiest, healthiest lives.
Q: How did you get into this line of work?
Jelina has a family history of diabetes, which increases her risk significantly. She had a moment of realization in a doctor’s office, 60 pounds heavier, when the doctor walked into the room shaking her head and said, “it’s not a matter of if you’re going to get it. It’s a matter of when you’re going to get diabetes.” She mentions that she felt so ashamed, powerless, and overwhelmed, not even knowing where to start. She knew that the decisions she’d made up to that point weren’t in service to her health – so she decided to make a change.
Practicing the traditional, mainstream weight loss techniques worked in the beginning, but once they started stagnating, she decided to go back to the drawing board. What really ended up working for her was learning how to connect her mindset to what, when, and why she was eating – and now she wants to help others who are struggling in this way overcome it for themselves.
Q: Who is your ideal client and what are some common challenges you see them facing?
Jelina works with people who have pre-diabetes or Type 2 diabetes – meaning people who make the necessary hormone insulin, but whose insulin is not working properly. This is manageable because we can balance the amount of sugar we consume with the capacity of our insulin.
We have SO much access to information online, to the point where it can be incredibly overwhelming and hard to distinguish what’s true or not. Jelina aims to help people who are feeling overwhelmed or frustrated to figure out where to start and what is actually going to work for them.
Q: What does your holistic approach look like in your practice?
Jelina believes, and has seen from her many years as a clinical pharmacist, that healthcare only focuses on the biological aspect of the disease. We often have tunnel vision, and end up thinking that if we solve this one problem, or this one organ, we can overcome the disease.
But, we are not just a heart, or a lung. When it comes to the body, we have to remember that it’s ALL of us composing our body – and we have to address ALL aspects of ourselves when it comes to treating conditions, especially chronic conditions.
In her unique approach, Jelina looks at social aspects, psychological, mental, emotional, and so much more beyond just the biology of the disease. While you can just take a medication to lower your blood sugars, that doesn’t actually address the root of the problem. One of her main goals is to get to the root of your problem and overcome it so you can truly be a happier, healthier person. When you identify with being those things, you are more likely to actually become that person.
Q: If someone is experiencing diabetes and looking for a way to help themselves, what are some tools they can use to do that?
Aside from going to work with Dr. Jelina one-on-one and having her in-depth help, I wanted to have her also share some things that you can start doing on your own today if you are looking for a way to manage, or even reverse, pre-diabetes or Type 2 diabetes.
Jelina mentions that anyone can get Type 2 diabetes, regardless if you have a genetic predisposition or not.
One thing we can do, especially as busy female entrepreneurs, is manage our stress. High stress levels make blood sugar VERY difficult to control. Because of the hormones released in our body when we’re stressed, and the physiological process that happens – controlling our stress is paramount to keeping blood sugar levels in check.
She loves to tell her patients that, whether they have diabetes or not, they NEED to take the time to take care of themselves. Journal, take a walk in nature, meditate, find time to sleep, reach out to friends and have a sense of community.
Oftentimes, we eat when we’re stressed instead of seeking out resources that will actually take care of what we are feeling. Jelina teaches all of her patients that there are so many ways to handle stress other than food.
Having the ability to manage our stress is the key! While you aren’t going to eliminate all stressors in your life, there are ways you can manage it so that you can show up as your best self.
The other thing we so often overlook is sleep. Sleep deprivation can actually cause insulin resistance, and it only takes about 4-5 days of improper sleep to cause a 25-30% drop in your insulin levels.
Plus, when we don’t sleep enough, we often need extra coffee, crave sugar-y, processed foods, and find ways to give our body energy in unnatural ways. To keep your body working to its full capacity, you NEED good sleep hygiene.
Dr. Jelina recommends a few things for anyone struggling to sleep. Keep your body temperature cool, soak your feet in warm water before bed for 10-15 minutes, keep your room as dark as possible, don’t look at your phone or watch TV while trying to fall asleep, and don’t eat three hours before going to bed.
While asleep, our bodies clean out the toxins from our brains – so by allowing your body to fully dedicate its resources to detoxifying your brain, rather than digesting food, we can actually sharpen our minds also.
Diabetes is a metabolic disease, meaning it affects the process of how food turns into energy on a cellular level. The absolute number one way to reduce diabetes is to eat healthy. This is WAY more powerful than any medication out there, or anything else you can do.
The strategy she recommends for healthy eating, even if your purpose is just to lose a few pounds, is this. Take a 9” plate, and dedicate half of that space to non-starchy vegetables (kale, greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc.). Then ¼ of the plate should be a protein (vegetarian or meat), and then the final ¼ of your plate can contain carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates, because they turn into sugar so quickly in the body, are incredibly important to control. We eat so much more carbohydrates than our body needs, which can actually cause a spike, and subsequent crash in our blood sugars.
She also recommends eating full-fat options as opposed to low-fat options. Low-fat options are likely packed with sugar. PLUS, full-fat options keep you full longer because they take so long to break down in your body. Eating healthy fats like avocados, nuts, eggs, olive oils, etc., is a great way to make sure you stay full longer and even help you lose weight.
When we eat better, we feel better. There is a direct link between our stomachs and our brains (did you know there’s serotonin receptors in our stomachs?!).
Q: What does “daring” mean to you?
Daring, for Jelina, means to be especially courageous when you’re standing in your vulnerability. Being courageous when you’re vulnerable is one of the most daring things you can do.
Q: What are you most excited about in your business right now?
Jelina JUST launched her brand new website! She's also excited about the free gift she recently created: A visual and tactical breakdown of how you can eat healthier, and what to include in each of your meals to keep you full longer and feeling better.
If you want to join Jelina and other amazing members in the Impact Tribe, we would love to have you! When you join the Impact Tribe, you get access to a library of biz-booming courses, next-level coaching, and an inspiring, uplifting community of women on a similar path as you. Learn more and join us today at this link.