Whether it’s following a keto, carnivore or vegan diet, with intermittent fasting, many different
potential ways of preventing or better managing diabetes have been making news of late and can be confusing. Kristi Jacques, owner of Diabetes Lifestyle Coaching and founder and executive director of the Diabetes Wellness Council (DWC), both based in Myrtle Beach, can help clients in private phone and Zoom sessions find the right plan for themselves, drawing on continuing research and studying plus personal experiences.
She was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was 12 after her mother recognized the warning signs. Jacques’ doctor told her “I just needed to eat healthy and that ‘everyone should be eating the diabetic diet.’ Over the years, I believe I made just about every mistake possible when it comes to managing blood sugar. Thankfully, I found a way off that roller coaster of highs and lows and feel so much better. My A1C numbers are now normal for a non-diabetic, I’m taking less than half the insulin I was before and my overall health has dramatically improved,” adding she wants others to learn from her journey so they can live the best and healthiest lives.
Specific fruits and vegetables can be integral to a high-protein and low-carb and -sugar diet. “Berries are the lowest in sugars. I do blueberry smoothies all the time. I recommend non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and zucchini.” She says to beware of products that may contain hidden sugars including “ketchups and other condiments. One needs to become a label detective.”
Along with reducing inflammation, studies have shown promise that less sugar intake fortifies the brain on a long-term basis. “Alzheimer’s has been called Type 3 diabetes. The brain can’t process
sugar for so long. Transitioning from high carbs and sugar to high healthy fat and a low-carb diet can be beneficial.”
Signs of possibly being at risk of “Type 2 are different than Type 1, not as pronounced … being thirsty, hungry and tired most of the time, unexpected weight loss, in the bathroom a lot and skin
getting hot and dry.” In those with the ailment, their bodies either don’t make enough insulin or can’t use it as well as it should, robbing energy and causing fatigue.
She is offering free, initial, 30-minute consultations to help those with diabetes try to reverse the side effects which may include reducing or eliminating the need for medications. “Some medications can actually increase blood sugar levels. I look everything up,” says Jacques. “I want to help people form a better relationship with their doctor. Take control, not just manage, and learn why certain things are more important. We talk about different plans and find the best way
She also plans to begin offering in September a six-week online course for those that would prefer learning “at their own pace, from their own home and still get the extra support needed to get through the process.”
She also recognizes that having to do daily testing of blood sugar levels, and in some cases,
self-injecting of insulin, can create anxiety and an emotional toll. “Having a support system can really help mental outlook. There’s no set schedule. We can work out what works best for each individual.”
Affiliated with many manufacturers, she also offers an array of foods, beverages, supplements and seasonings that deliver protein and nutrients without sugar. “I use them all.”
The DWC is a nonprofit organization that focuses on helping improve the health of those struggling with diabetes, prevent complications, live happier lives and prevent diabetes in those that are at risk. “The council will focus even more on reaching the underserved,” she says.
Jacques authored Sweet Surrender, a book that’s meant to “inspire anyone dealing with a recent health diagnosis or for those living with a long-term, chronic condition like diabetes.”
She recently earned a bachelor’s degree in science and nutrition from Purdue University. “I was able to finish it during the pandemic.”
“I like to get to know my clients, build a relationship and the trust factor,” she concludes.
For more information or to make an appointment, call 843-995-3199, email [email protected] or visit KristiJacques.com. See ad, page 24. For more information on the Diabetes Wellness Council, visit DiabetesWellness Council.org.