In this episode we go into the depth’s of Kelly Schmidt’s life as a type 1 diabetic dietician. It’s jam-packed with stories from growing up with diabetes to helping others overcome various health struggles. Kelly’s perspective is highly unique and you are in for a real treat through her knowledge and first-hand experience.
Connect With Kelly
Website (offering her services): https://www.kellyschmidtwellness.com/
blood sugar, insulin, people, dieticians, dietitian, sugar, diabetes, food, cgm, eating, diet, diagnosed, diabetic, dad, seizures, stevia, kidney failure, starches, insulin pump, specialize
Kelly Schmidt, Boris Berjan
Boris Berjan 00:00
Why don’t we start with? Kelly, Can you give me kind of a brief overview of what you do what you stand for and why?
Kelly Schmidt 00:09
Yeah. And it’s funny you asked me this, today’s date is right around my dad’s kidney, pancreas transplant birthday, it’s a birthday we celebrate every year. It was February 5 2002. And on that day, I was a senior in high school, and I was putting on my uniform getting ready for school. And my mom said, Listen, you’re not going to school. Today, we’re going to go to the hospital instead. And I have type one diabetes, my dad and uncle all had type one diabetes. And I did not know he was in kidney failure. My parents pretty much hid it from us, because they didn’t know if he would get an organ transplant. He’s been on the donor list for years. And they just didn’t know. So they didn’t want to cause worry in us. And I don’t know what the right thing was to be done or is to be done in those situations. But it clearly rocked my world. Not only was I worried to lose my dad, but prior to that I saw him have a heart attack and also in his foot, low blood sugar and awareness and car, among many other complications of type one diabetes, that I was scared to lose them, but I was also foreseen what the disease can do to me. And I kept asking, like, when is this going to happen to me. So I’m in the waiting room with my mom, my siblings were all Irish twins, my sister’s just 11 months older than me. And my siblings were all at college at various University. So I was only one at home. So I went to the hospital kind of gave updates from there. And at the same time, I was filling out college applications and understanding and deciding on a major. And in that waiting room, I decided I want to prevent any little girl or dad to ever be in this position again, and I was like, I want to be creative in the art of eating and be a dietitian, like I just had so much clarity. And that’s in that fear of the day. And lo and behold, I did so and now I’m a dietitian since 2007. I’ve been in private practice helping people with blood sugar control, gut health, quality of life through the medicine of eating, or the art of eating since 2011. So I’ve been in business for over 10 years. And yeah, I’m just doing really fun things now partnering with Thalia, which is just like, something I probably like, had a law of attraction like vision for but didn’t know how it would all come together. Because I’m a type one diabetic, using all the technology, trying to hack blood sugar for my life, my health and for my clients. But I really want to help people that don’t know that they have blood sugar problems. And there’s no other way than throwing on a CGM. See the spikes to to identify. So that’s where things are. Feel free to ask me any questions of that or or beyond that. Thank you.
Boris Berjan 02:49
Yeah, absolutely. And excited to have you on this interview. I think your story’s extremely unique. Because, you know, a lot of people don’t understand the full spectrum of what blood sugar can do to your body. You have that firsthand experience, which, you know, outside and nobody can really match, you know, so like, I have always found your perspective to be super unique in that sense, because you have these nuanced ways of understanding what’s going on in the body. Whereas like, you know, I’ve never been a type one diabetic. Sure, I studied blood sugar and nutrition and stuff like that, but not to the extent of experiencing it day to day, which actually kind of makes me really interested in your upbringing a little bit more. did was it like so you said it was kind of hidden that your father had diabetes? Was Was it as like, was it back then stigmatized to have it that they not want the children to know like, why was that kind of the case?
Kelly Schmidt 03:54
Yeah, diabetes in my dad’s era. My parents had he was in kidney failure. They didn’t necessarily hide he was diabetic. Okay. It was all Jews. Yeah, once I accidentally took his shot. For example, I ate so much ice cream that day, anyways, here nor there. In his era, when he was diagnosed, he was 17 years old. And his doctor said, don’t tell anyone. And his brother was diagnosed at my age. When I was eight years old. My uncle was also eight years old. And he wouldn’t be invited to birthday parties because people thought it was contagious. And, you know, illnesses back then you were quickly labeled as weak. So it was just such a not discussed thing. My dad’s best friend. I remember good friends with him now and he actually was on the nonprofit JDRF board with myself here in the Columbus Ohio area. And he’s like, it was just insane. In high school, they’re playing basketball together. They’re best friends and my dad would like consistently be eating peanut butter crackers and having juice and he just didn’t know why they’re best friends and my dad didn’t share that. And it’s just different disease states like I’m confident to defy the odds, you know, my risk for the kidney failure, the heart disease for cancer, dementia, the list goes on. But I’m eager to defy the odds just with practical solutions, but also better technology and medicine that’s available today. When he was diagnosed, they were using pig insulin. They had no meters, they had to pee on a stick that said, would say hi, if your blood sugar is high. So yes, but it was the kidney disease they had because there was just such an unknown trajectory of what his care was going to be. But not the diabetes that was front and center.
Boris Berjan 05:38
Gotcha. Gotcha. Yeah. And again, sorry for a miss understood what you said. And like kidney failure was hidden. So in the household growing up, if you got if everybody knew about your dad having diabetes, was it also not talked about in the household? Was it kind of hidden? What was that experience, like?
Kelly Schmidt 06:00
Um, it, again, wasn’t hidden. But a lot of things were so downplayed. I remember, for example, like, we were out to dinner, and there weren’t easily accessible insulin pumps, I think the first insulin pump when I was diagnosed was actually backpack and there’s probably, it was literally a backpack, like a computer, someone would carry around. Yeah, and probably five people in the world had them. But in that day and age, it was shots only. So right now I’m on an insulin pump that has a low amount of specified drip of insulin that goes into me every three minutes or so. And then I take insulin for my meals, but back then you just took a long, long acting shot in the morning, and then you would take shots at your meals. But I remember out to eat and my dad’s like, Oh, I forgot my medicine at home, I’ll just get it when I get home. Where if I wouldn’t forgive I, I hate being high. Like I think today, there’s just so much poor proactivity. And just advocating your needs, but also taking care of yourself. But it also comes down to personality types. And I think again, me being such a child, learning my disease, learning to take it on as my own. It’s through call it high school and college, but just seeing the suffering he’s been through like, I don’t want to I don’t want to flirt with that.
Boris Berjan 07:19
Yeah, that’s understandable. So that, you know, that kind of leads me to exploring the household a little bit. So what was growing up? Did you guys have any correlation to how food affects your body? Was that ever discussed? What was the diet? That’d be interesting to dive into as well? Yeah.
Kelly Schmidt 07:43
So I mentioned I’m one of four. I’m the youngest of the four kids, we’re five years apart. So really close in age, we’re all athletes, mostly on the realm of soccer club soccer, which would include three days, I remember, during camps, we would do weightlifting, soccer practice than running at night. And I think my mom, for the most part, stayed home until I was in elementary school, and it was a lot of frozen food, a lot of like TV dinners, frozen pizzas, fish sticks, very processed. And I might everyone’s like, how did Kelly become such a good cook, because I love cooking. It’s kind of my form of meditation. And that was because the food wasn’t that great in our house, my mom did the best she did. And I honor everything she did. She was such a champion, especially for my diabetes. But our diets weren’t that healthy. And I remember again, when my dad had his heart attack, I remember the hospital or one of his doctors gave him a hand sheet that said, like our worksheet that’s like low sodium diet, this is what you can do for your disease state. And I just thought, wow, we can really manipulate our diet for our quality of life. And I remember I started cooking then, and I was like, Okay, I’m going to try to understand the benefits of this food and that food and how to eat it more. And that’s really where my, my journey began becoming a little cook in the kitchen, our pharmacists in the kitchen using food. But the upgrade was it was very processed, very frozen, reheat quick, always practices at night on the go. And not a lot of connection of how food made you feel. It was more, how’s food, how many, how many grams of sugars in this meal. And even before kind of grams of sugar. It was my first diet was I had to count my starches and my fats. Like as a eight year old, I was counting like, every 15 grams of carbohydrate was my starch. And then I would like get a pat of butter like you get in a restaurant to make sure I got my serving of fat. We’re like that method of controlling blood sugars is so outdated. But at first when I was diagnosed in second grade and you can look at my pictures but like I put on so much weight because they gave me my insulin needs and then they kind of designed my diet with those starches and fats and proteins. to really fit the insulin doses, they were giving a nod my appetite was one big thank you. So I look like I just blew up from second to third grade. I was like a different kid.
Boris Berjan 10:12
That’s interesting. Yeah. Do you feel like the advice you were given back then was helpful for you? When you were first, when you were first diagnosed,
Kelly Schmidt 10:28
I do think when I was diagnosed, I was hospitalized. And most cities contracted in that country states don’t do that. It’s an outpatient diagnosis only. So when I was diagnosed, I was in children’s hospital for over a week. And they really made sure my mom, my parents knew how to dose my medicine and how to prevent lows and understand this food exchange diet I needed to adopt. And I was there a solid plus a week. And now it’s an outpatient only. So I remember, as a little girl injecting insulin into an orange, I remember they had like oranges, and they’re like, We want you to practice injecting sailing into this orange. So you can do that on yourself, or your mom can do it. But I remember going through those I don’t even know if you’d call that occupational therapy or what. But I had really good support to not be scared in that first week. But the actual recommendations I was given were pretty bad. I mean, in my life, especially the first year, I probably had 10 seizures. And most of those seizures were in my sleep. And I’m so grateful like my sister’s a light sleeper across my bedroom. We didn’t have the same room. But she would hear me making weird noises in the night. And if she did it, who knows what would happen, but that was coming off these fruit starch fat exchange, bogusness that I was recommended to fit this wonky as insulin I was taken I was on regular and mph and NPH is a long acting insulin and had like these crazy peaks and valleys. And like if you didn’t know when that valley was coming, you’d have you’d go low. And if you didn’t catch the low, you’d have a seizure. So I almost even forget the first question you asked, but guidance was scary. But I know still today, people who are diagnosed with type one diabetes, like I just had a client last week, he had type one diabetes for three years. And my jaw was on the floor on the on the floor because of the little amount of information he was given, and how he was just trying to like survive on a daily basis. And he was surviving, by taking by eating meals and just taking insulin for high blood sugars. So he was ballparking to sit around 200. We all know the ideal numbers below 85. But here nor there. It’s just interesting. It’s interesting, what recommendations are given today, what support is given today. And when I went to my undergrad to be a dietitian, I remember there is a chapter on the diabetic diet. I’m taking an exam on what the diabetic diet should be. And I remember studying and being like I absolutely follow 0% of this advice. Because I’m more as you know, at first I was such a rule follower. But after so many seizures, you start to learn to chase results instead. And that’s kind of my saying the name of the game today is yes, this is what can work for the average, but we’re gonna chase results for you. And that’s what I do for myself and anyone in our programs and beyond.
Boris Berjan 13:19
They’re interesting. Yeah. So I that kind of made me think about something. Do you feel like the technology has caught up? Because you’ve mentioned that a couple of times to a diagnosing be giving medication? See tracking it more accurately and the modern day? But then do you feel like the other end of the spectrum, you as a dietitian, do you think that the food and how to portion food or what to eat has not necessarily caught up from back in the day? Or is there some progress? And it’s but it’s not? You know where you would like it to be personally?
Kelly Schmidt 14:03
Yeah, I think there’s always room for improvement. type one diabetes could never be in the same sentence as easy. Yeah, there’s always room for improvement. Like right now my blood sugar is beeping at me because I ate lunch in 32 seconds. But my insulin pump right now is talking to my CGM on my arm. And it’s got this algorithm and artificial intelligence because it’s the latest version of the Omni pod. And it’s supposed to hold me at ideal blood sugars. But this whole week I’m kind of frustrated as I’m, you know, an entrepreneur working a lot of hours this week. Hoping it takes care of me but I’m sitting at 160 and that’s I don’t like the way I feel when I’m at 160. So there’s definitely room for improvement everywhere. Let that be CGM meters, insulin pumps types of insulin. And then if we’re going to talk about like, pre diabetes or type two diabetes like Good God, the the testing needs to be completely different where Just testing fasting blood glucose and anyone sees but a CGM tells way different story than imperfect agency. And also people aren’t testing enough for insulin. Like when I have new clients and their triglycerides are high and like, yeah, your triggers are high, you probably have high insulin but doctors aren’t proactively testing for that. And obviously, there’s this insurance game that they have to play and see what’s covered and what’s not. But there’s a huge realm of improvement and then when it comes to the nutrition front, granted, I’ve been out of dietetics school since 2006. I think things are evolving, but I think people are also quick to label that dietitians don’t have the right advice. Like I see a lot of bash on dieticians. But we all specialize in very different thing. For example, we’re running a program right now with my CGM with Kel. And I have a dietician asking for my help. Because she doesn’t specialize in blood sugar. She specializes in foodservice. There’s just a lot in my profession that I had to sit down for an exam for that dealt with cancer to transplant to blood sugar, just minute li to food service. There’s just we had to know a lot as our profession obviously took five years of education plus an exam. But I think there’s always room for improvement.
Boris Berjan 16:11
Okay, yeah. So is it fair to say the Tech has caught up? Somewhat, as you said, it’s definitely not. By no means is it easy to pinpoint these things? Or are your blood sugar is by no means is it easy to manage? Right? Because you’re still, like you said, it’s pinging you, you’re trying to manage it, you just ate all, all those things are always at play with you on a day to day basis. From my understanding, it’s just a habit you built, but it’s still not easy. If that’s fair to say.
Kelly Schmidt 16:44
Absolutely. Not. Sugar is 126.
Boris Berjan 16:49
You’re down from 160. So
Kelly Schmidt 16:51
yeah, well, yeah. I was gonna say so there’s statistics showing again, talking about type one diabetes, that on average, I make 180 Extra decisions a day. And even though I’m making 180 Extra decisions today, my life is so much easier since the day I got a CGM like game changing. I think it’s almost I can’t say it’s as important as insulin because insulin is my oxygen. But it’s right up there. My quality of life changed. I could get emotional so much once I threw a CGM on my arm. Especially as a mom, I had a brand new business, a husband who traveled Monday through Friday, and two kids under two when I didn’t have a CGM until the second child, but I’d be running sloughing them everywhere, taking care of the house, making the meals crying children. And I would be able to look down on my watch and see what my blood sugar is versus like, again, maybe flirting with a seizure, or more so trying to protect myself and driving a car having permanent high blood sugars, which was like this client I met last week who’s had type one for three years. So I guess on the front of a CGM, like my life is forever changed. And I’m forever grateful that like, part of my lifetime, this technology has been available.
Boris Berjan 18:03
Okay. Yeah. It sounds like
Kelly Schmidt 18:05
it’s easy to sell your product.
Boris Berjan 18:08
No, it’s that’s, that’s great. Well, it sounds like it’s been that’s been one of the biggest game changers. And I’m gonna, I’m gonna probe to say, is it the fact that and just so people who are listening, a CGM is a continuous glucose monitor. That means it’s, it’s always tracking calories, blood sugars. Is it the fact that you know, almost in real time or closer to real time what’s going on with your body? And you can action if that makes it easier? Or is it some other factor that I’m not I’m not understanding or missing?
Kelly Schmidt 18:45
No, you’re spot on. And it’s, it’s funny, too, when I had the meter only had a meter where I prick my finger. I used to like, wait for it to count down. And I’d always try to guess like, I bet on 142. And like, I got pretty good at guessing because I would have to be so in touch with how I was feeling and what my blood sugar was. And again, I mentioned I’m an athlete was an amateur athlete. Still, I like to think so. But I recall days when I played travel soccer, and I’d be on the field and I’m like, Am I really tired in my tank right now? Or do I need to get a juice box and there’s been times the coach would throw juice box out into the field to me like a little kid he was and I would crush it in two seconds, but like everything is just easier. And again, the fear of my dad’s complications from every single one you can think of he has had I like a tight range or like really tight control. And even if I’m sitting at 160 Some people might be like, God, I hope I’m 160 I know all of us are in different places. But I don’t like the way I feel like my I get brain fog I get moody or I can’t sleep if my blood sugar’s over 120 before going to bed. So yeah, it can help me course correct consistently with small little changes.
Boris Berjan 19:58
That’s amazing. I I’m gonna live back to childhood a little bit more. Yeah. I was curious to know if back then in that day, what was considered healthy it was it was it those TV dinners that were packaged, you know, how do you how do you view the world back then in terms of this is healthy and good for you and how is perceived?
Kelly Schmidt 20:26
Yeah, health was viewed on one similarity today is like, in the diabetic eyes, and the caregivers eyes is like, if it has a lot of sugar was a big thing. But my mom still strived to, you know, take care of my blood sugar as much as possible. But instead of cinnamon roll cinnamon rolls with all the icing on top, I would just get a cinnamon roll. And then today like you can paleo phi, a lot of treats and just make them more with whole real foods like almond meal instead of that highly processed flour that’ll hit blood sugar and cause like a black diamond blood sugar spike. But back in the day, I don’t know it necessarily but I drink a lot of Kool Aid had a lot of sorbitol and aspartame because the go to for type one diabetic was those sugar free things. And now sugar free is not as pushed as much. I don’t think because there’s more information out on artificial sweeteners, but oh my gosh, the amount of sorbitol I consumed as a kid. Yeah. When do I need to nurture gut health now? But
Boris Berjan 21:30
yeah, so yeah, do you feel because this is a topic that’s debated all the time, which is on the one side you have people that say Let’s even say that it’s for weight loss, or or trying to manage blood sugar’s better for diabetics. Please drink diet pop, because if you drink the other kind, which is filled with sugar, high fructose corn syrup, etc. It’s a no, it’s it’s a guaranteed going to be less than impactful result that you want. And then on the other spectrum, it’s, you know, the diet pops, people say, Oh, it’s not proven that they’re messing with your gut biome. It’s not proven that they, you know, cause cancer, all of those studies are here or there. And then the other side is with a lot of the functional medicine community, or people that look at industry differently than Western MDs, say, yeah, it’s, I mean, there’s no way something can be that sweets with zero calories necessarily, and then have no impact on your body. So where do you kind of stand in between those two spectrums? And do you feel like it helped you at some point, get through the process and then learn more and make a different decision? Or what’s your stance on on the diet sugar free stuff in the common day, and then back then?
Kelly Schmidt 22:55
Yeah, I think back then it was I was a rule follower. It goes back to that one comment. And I remember one of my first seizures was before bed, I had sugar free hard candy. And I counted out and looked at the food label, how many grams of carbs or sugar were there to calculate if that could be one of my starches, and it did it. And I crashed, I crashed and burned and I had to get glucagon in my leg and go to children’s hospital overnight. So back then I follow the rules. And today the Diet Coke versus regular Coke is if you can pull anything out of your diet. Coke is addicting. It was originally Coke, Coke. Coca Cola used to be coke. very addicting, and they want it to be addictive. And my clients who consume it, they are just so addicted. And I feel for them because it’s not their fault. There’s a brain chemistry reaction there. But it comes down to let’s first focus on blood sugar control, which can help regulate cravings. And then let’s start manipulating tweaking the diet to be more real food than not fewer chemicals and not overall is where my stance is. I mean, it’s not about eating perfectly. But if you could pull anything out of your diet, it’s certainly Diet Coke, regular Coke and the manmade oils of canola oil and soybean oil and peanut oil. There’s nothing more that makes us more insulin resistant and inflames the cell but there’s where I where I become a little food Nazi and that’s where I’m just a hard nut unfiltered this is what we need to avoid and then otherwise it’s a meet where people are and chase results and that’s not by any means eating perfect.
Boris Berjan 24:33
Hmm, interesting. So I want to I want to net pick your brain on because there’s lots of different sugar alcohols out there now that you know they claim some of them are you know, because they’re synthetically made like an aspartame or sucralose you know, those are not as good as a stevia or Xyla at all or among fruit extract, for example, yeah, do you have an opinion on that? Have you personally experimented with both sets? And you know, where do you land with that discussion?
Kelly Schmidt 25:13
Yeah, I do again lean towards a hard roll of avoid the equal Sweet and Low packets. Even true via at like coffee shops that true via if something’s less than 2% less than 2% in the end consumer product it doesn’t have to be on the label. And that true via there’s a lot of GMOs, there’s a lot of corn. There’s a lot of filler a lot of garbage. But when it comes to sweetening, a treat, or even protein powders, the jury’s still out. These products are new to the consumer. There’s not enough research on them. I scrutinize stevia, but I do personally consume it. I tried to consume it if I do in the purest form, because that’s a better choice for me than straight sugar, because I’m chasing flatline blood sugars. But I would more so prefer like Monk, monk fruit over stevia because I’ve seen worse research on stevia and xylitol. I find as okay, if cleanser like can I have this this or that? It’s it’s all about good, better best. Yeah. And again, reaching for Mother Nature’s sweet food of, you know, fruits and, and whatnot and enjoying the true flavors of Whole Foods. But we need pleasure in our lives. But how can we have pleasures by how we manipulate the order of the food we eat and a meal, bringing a treat with a meal versus just eating a treat in isolation? And how can we adjust the ingredients to work for us better?
Boris Berjan 26:47
Okay, awesome. I’m gonna bring us back to one thing that you mentioned that I noted, which I think is really interesting and not talked about a lot. I share your sentiment that in the market, in general, at least in some pockets of health care dieticians are not looked upon positively, that they they kind of get bucketed at least let’s say in the functional medicine, holistic medicine, like cold body, mind brain connection space, a lot of the time, actual dieticians that went to school, they say that they don’t really know what they’re talking about. They’re always wrong, etc. Why do you think that perception came about? Like where did that opinion come and then kind of proliferate through some of these communities that we we know and are part of?
Kelly Schmidt 27:48
Yeah, I think it’s because one, we had to know a lot. And to specialize in something we need experience and more education on it. So as I pass my rd exam, if I went right into private practice, I probably would have recommended something based on calories in versus calories out. Because that’s what you know, the our textbooks guide, it is on the food pyramid guide it is on. And the food pyramid itself is so political, that at our time is a form of our Bible, of how we guide people. But until you can read between those lines, I think you can really understand how to guide people on this topic, we’re talking about how to help people eat better. And I also think our society wants to point fingers, like if if there’s a problem with nutrition, who’s in charge of nutrition dietitian, so let’s like put the fault on them. But I will say just like a protein powder. There’s some that are really good, really experienced and have a great impact. But there’s also ones that are fresh to the market. Maybe they’re full of heavy metals, and just need more experience or need more practice and that but I think it’s a pointing the finger kind of game. It’s we’re coming out of our careers again, being able to run a hospital food service, but also being able to do public relations for got milk or whatever. The knowledge base we have is obviously took five years to understand from biochemistry to philanthropy. There’s just a lot we need to know. But until we specialize, do we know better, but I don’t think we’re wrong.
Boris Berjan 29:25
Gotcha. So it’s interesting. I’m gonna give you an example. And see what you think about this. My my fiance’s mother, she is a diabetic. So when she went to a dietician, a lot of the recommendations were things like, you should have oatmeal in the morning with blueberries. Sometimes you can add some honey. You should have Greek yogurt with lots of fruit, all these things. And I’m just trying to unpack Is this what they’re taught? Do they ever change their opinions based off data or results. And, you know, if we now know in the modern day or at least, I’m throwing out an assumption that we now know things that spike your blood sugar, where you need to take insulin to reduce it, wouldn’t there be a path now where we’re trying to reduce those types of foods, and make people understand that that’s what’s happening in their body. So I’d really love your, your, you as a dietitian, and as a diabetic, you know, how you view that as a, you know, option, because also, when that person hears from their dietician, this is what you should do. You know, I never interject or tell them otherwise, unless they ask me my opinion of something if, if I would do it differently, right. And so it’s just this really like, delicate balance that I’m trying to understand of how they get that education, how they portray it, and then give it to clients. And then, you know, do they ever change protocols based off what they’re seeing?
Kelly Schmidt 31:03
Yeah, with that story, the first thing I think of is politics, politics of the institution of the University of where that dietitian is working for what hospital it’s related to, what guidelines they have to advocate. And it comes back to the food guide pyramid, the food guide pyramid, the bottom of it was grains. But a guide, the bottom of it was my exchanges of starches. And that’s why I gained 15 pounds. This is a second grader. But I think it just comes back to politics. And I became a dietitian in 2007. I actually worked in public relations. I don’t know if you know this, I actually worked in public relations that I’m just going to put my foot in my mouth. But I realized the politics like I was bright eyed, bushy tailed, ready to change the world one day at a time, so eager to help people, and I still am. So I’m working on these large food accounts. And I see these budget lines of money going towards research of bias, why we need to drink more cow milk, and why we need to eat more chocolate or this than the other. I actually even helped with the Corn Refiners Association to explain that sugar and high fructose corn syrup had no difference. There’s absolutely a huge difference. But there’s just a lot of money in the food game. And there’s a lot of money in food research, there’s a lot of money, there’s so much money in the dietary guidelines. So everything coming out from the government has a hidden agenda. And after three years in that job, I, I noticed that again, I was probably naive to it in the first place. But I learned so much in that. And then when I loved my clinical rotations, so you have various rotations, you have outpatient, which is like private practice one on one coaching, you had clinical where you had every disease state in the hospitals, calculating the tube feedings, and the TPN to keep people alive, because if we’re starved for so long, XY and Z, and I loved it, it was just like so smart. It was it was just a wonderful job. But I never wanted that job. Because I knew I would have to recommend what’s on that worksheet. And that worksheet was designed by the institution and improved so I couldn’t go off script. I mean, maybe. Who knows. But um, it’s not the dieticians ball, it’s institution and no doctor is 17 behind 17 years on average behind in nutrition research, and if you know in that could come from the institution itself and then the the worksheets, I don’t know how often that can be re written and approved. Again, I’m out of the game for a while, but it’s tricky. It’s tricky, but I do I like I get clients and I’m like, Oh my gosh, let me reword this. When you see that oatmeal, with how do you feel what happens? It’s insane to me if you keep trying to repeat and make it work and it doesn’t. Hmm, gotcha. And and you know, the Quaker Oats was one of my favorite dieticians and a spokesperson for her for them. It comes down to politics, it comes down to money, it comes down to funded research, it comes down to the dietary guidelines. I’m now on a soapbox.
Boris Berjan 34:01
Gotcha. And so it’s interesting. Do you feel like if you’re a dietitian and you’re a spokesperson for certain companies, you’re basically saying there’s an inherent bias, that you’re going to want to promote those things like why else would you be a spokesperson? And is that potentially one of the reasons why dieticians will give differing advice? A because they they’re not approved to give anything else or they could be legally liable ie like medical doctors are in that bucket. I always tell people who get mad at doctors or pushing drugs or pills on like they’re legally obliged to only do a certain thing in their practice because it’s such a litigation heavy country, the US especially with doctors and health care, right? So they’re deadly kind of scared, right? So it’s, that person might have the best intentions but they don’t want to lose their job. Do you feel from what you’re saying? Is it sort of similar for dieticians where they’re like, hey, I can only go by these guidelines. And this brand is treating me really well. I eat Quaker Oats could be something else. So I, you know, and I feel like I’m giving good advice. Regardless, is that kind of an okay summary to land at? Or do you feel like there’s a little bit more behind it? I think
Kelly Schmidt 35:26
that’s part of the story. But I also think, you know, as dieticians, I do think genuinely, we care about the public and health. And even with Quaker Oats, that’s going to be a better option than frosted mini loops or whatever. No other highly processed food is because oats are an intact grain, it has a lot of benefits. It has support, it has nutrients, it has vitamins. Yeah, so I think, yeah, so getting paid well. They’re given an opportunity to use their voice and credentials. And their goal is to move people from something more processed. But what if they’re attracting someone that just got diagnosed with type one diabetes, and they want to do better. So they have that bowl of honey and oats as you use as an example, and blood sugar spiking because and then that patient keeps doing it because they’re so scared, and they’re just going to do what the doctor says. It’s where it gets really muddy, because it’s helping one area of people have incredibly processed American diet to someone else who’s newly diagnosed and trying to do better, but they’re just not getting results. So I think we all have the best intentions. I do think that I think everyone does. And everyone’s just also trying to save their bottom line. It just depends who the message is reaching at what time.
Boris Berjan 36:39
Yeah, and that makes a lot of sense. And I always share the same sentiment as you are. It’s you never really know what what other factors are impacting somebody, even on a day to day basis, let alone institutionally that makes them say or not say something, right. So I think that’s a really cool perspective, coming from somebody who is trained in this field, obviously has tons of personal and professional experience training others to get that viewpoint out.
Kelly Schmidt 37:10
Yeah, and all we can do as consumers every day is vote with our dollar and keep the foods that are best on the shelf by what we buy weekly. So that’s
Boris Berjan 37:19
it. Interesting comment. I’m gonna leave leeway that now. I’m gonna, I’m gonna transition that into my one of my other questions, because it fits perfectly on your site, and on a few other places. You mentioned, you’re loyal to other people’s success, but you won’t work harder than them. Yeah. Can you just expand on what that means and why you have that stance?
Kelly Schmidt 37:48
I am very like, again, going back to February 5 2002. What is that 21 years ago, tomorrow. I am like a fire was lit in me and that fire burns only brighter now with a potential I can reach more people at once, especially with the CGM program. And right now, for example, I have a group running, and I have a lady’s blood sugar who’s are going wonky. And she is so dedicated. And she reached out to me, she showed she will do whatever she can to help flatten those lines. And I will go all out, I gave her my personal number, I want to handhold her to bottom line help her health. But I’m not going to go out of my way over and over and over and over again on her if she’s not willing to put in her own sweat. So like I will, my my clients success is my success. But I can never work harder than them. Because then it doesn’t make sense. It won’t stick, it won’t maintain, it won’t progress. So that’s what I always mean, like I want to motivate you, I want to encourage you, and I am ready to go balls to the wall and reach that finish line if there is such a thing with whatever the goal is, and then redesign the goal. But I can’t do it by myself. I can’t pull you along the way. I need people to be motivated. And then what that help and then be curious to learn and see the change.
Boris Berjan 39:06
Gotcha. So there’s a there’s a personal responsibility, you’re saying that people always need to have in order to achieve a result, no matter who’s guiding them.
Kelly Schmidt 39:17
Yeah. And I’ve been in private practice for over 10 years, 11 years this year. And I used to try so much more. And I used to get i emotionally would invest so much. And I still do and my clients that I would feel almost burned because they gave up far more far before I did. And like even as a counsel a coach, like I have to protect my emotions, and I can only give so much away but I need people to meet me halfway or else it doesn’t make sense.
Boris Berjan 39:44
Yeah, that makes sense. And what would you say is, is have you noticed that differences in the clients that skyrocket fix their health are doing much better? sustain it and then the ones that give up? even before you, have you noticed certain traits, or how they started a program or a mindset or anything that you’ve noticed over your 10 plus years of doing this, that makes a difference? Or is it more, you kind of never really know. And you give them the best that you have, and then see where they end up?
Kelly Schmidt 40:22
Yeah, I think with those two categories of clients, you know, I’m a dietician, I stay in my lane. But I often tell my clients in a group or one on one, it’s not always what we’re eating, it’s what’s eating us. And I find those who don’t bring themselves to the table when they want to help, or those struggling with limiting beliefs. So they have other big things that they need to work on, until they’re really ready to feel worthy of change. And I tried to help them there. And I think we all need a village of professionals or support systems. And that might not even be, you know, credentials after our name, but we need a village to help us with our goals. And I will point out to those other people, you know, you need to show up. And also, it’s not the food you’re eating, it’s What’s eating you. So I think it’s a little more, they need to break some glass ceilings before they can actually re approach their health goals is what that’s the first thing that comes to mind.
Boris Berjan 41:17
Now, that’s a very, very interesting perspective. I don’t think that’s discussed nearly enough. Because, well, I only just want to correlate that to any habit change, anything that you want, that people want to do, usually, you know, let me know if you agree with this has to start with some belief that you can do it, if not all out, because it’s kind of you’re starting with an anchor, if you don’t think you can do it. Well, you’re trying to do something, right. And so you’ve you it sounds like you feel like that’s been a huge difference maker and the people that get there and don’t. And if that is true, what is there any tools that you’ve been able to cultivate, and or figure out that can help people make that change or give them you know, that like little bit of boost where they’re like, Okay, I believe in myself now more than before, and so they get some momentum, and it takes off.
Kelly Schmidt 42:17
I love of course, point on evidence based research. And I love telling stories, we learn through stories. And I’ll take research studies and tell them a story. And if you’re like, Kelly, I want to improve my blood sugar, but you you’re in your own way. I’ll provide research based off that I just gave a lunch and learn last month. And one of the points I pointed out was all about personal I’m thinking about what what was the word I use, but basically, it’s mindset. And the mindset is there was a study, it was two groups of women, and they were cleaning ladies in hotels, and they were put on a specific diet. And the researcher said, Okay, we’re going to provide you these meal plans this diet, we want you to follow it to a tee. And to the first group is that this meal plan is really nourishing, it’s going to help you maintain your weight, exactly where you are, is going to really help you be healthy. Go about eating this for eight weeks. So they gave them the food, the meal plan, controlled most things, the their schedule of cleaning the hotel, and so forth. And then the second group, they’re like, exact same meal plan, exact same food sources that said we’re going to have you follow this meal plan for eight weeks, and it’s going to make you lose weight. At the end of those eight weeks. The first group lost five pounds, they still lost weight, the other group lost 20, mindsets, everything. And it has to do with blood sugar control, the ability to make change, small changes, we’re not going to jump in the deep end, it’s all about the 1% change. And it goes back to the book atomic habits. I love that book. I’m sure you’ve read it. It’s clear is the author and he talks about the British cyclists team of like 2007. And a coach came in and said we’re going to change everything by 1%. And they changed their uniforms, their massage gels, they change how they wash their hands to prevent germs, they change the pillows, they slept on the mattresses they used, they painted the inside of the truck that carried the bikes to make sure there’s no dust in there. They said we’re going to change everything by 1%. And the team was so bad. No company would let them use their bikes because it hurt. It hurt the brand. They were horrible. But within five years, they had over at first place metals Tour de France’s and gold medals in the Olympics, just by small change. So I also lean on the 1% change that we want quick fixes, but there are no shortcuts in life. And that comes down to health too. And again, thinking of this client that’s going all in to improve her blood sugar. She’s so nervous. I told her stop being nervous because before we fix our food, she needs to settle her mind and our body and just take the data head on and that’s what we’re doing. And I’m like so excited to see how things come along. Just next week, it’s going to improve. She emailed me probably four times a day and I’m excited about that. I want her to put her skin in the game.
Boris Berjan 45:00
but very cool, a few more things. And then we’ll wrap up, we could do this for probably six more hours. But I wanted to loop a little bit back to something that you said that I thought I thought was interesting. You know, the standard American diet, which, up until recently, they just changed that I know, they now want you to have a baseline of vegetables and less meat and stuff like that, which, you know, a lot of people also argues completely political. And then other people say, No, this is what it should be. Which, again, opinions differ all the time, depending on who you ask, and how you interpret data and stuff like that. You know, I wanted to get it from you your perspective, if you is it actually that the standard American diet was so poor for our health? Or was it that the way products are marketed, tried to fit into that, but were actually way less healthy. And so just to give like a black and white example, oh, you should eat six to 10 greens a day, or whatever it was, I forget now the exact number as your baseline. And then Kellogg’s comes out and says, Oh, get your three to four servings of grains with our cereal, not mentioning that there’s 80 grams of extra sugar in there on top of those grains, right? And so and then you’re adding milk, which also has sugar, for example. So is it that these companies came and marketed things to fit inside the mold of what might have even been not so bad for us, which is like, hey, even if you ate, let’s say, I’m just gonna, I know people are gonna roast this, but I’m just giving a hypothetical example. Let’s just say we ate bread and grains and pasture and whatever. But then you also ate six to 10 vegetables a day, which we, you know, I think statistically, nobody does in the US, who actually ate three or four fruit like Whole Foods, not, you know, have this orange juice, and it’s your one fruit serving or whatever. But it’s all sugar. Right? Do you feel like if we actually follow that in a whole food system, that it could have, you know, changed the trajectory of the health care system? And you know, how our people are nowadays in terms of extremely metabolically unhealthy? Or is your opinions very much still? Maybe it’s better, but you know, having the baseline of that many carbohydrates is probably not something that’s conducive to us long term.
Kelly Schmidt 47:34
Yeah, I don’t think carbs my opinion has changed over the years. But I don’t think carbs are the problem. I think I think the number one problem with metabolic health is stress. And America, stress is the number one driver for emotional eating. The number one driver for needing processed foods, something on the go. Multitasking, if we eat when we’re multitasking, we don’t absorb nearly close to the amount of nutrients we normally would if we sat down doing one thing. No one does that. I ate my lunch and 32 seconds, I think stress is the number one number two in the 1970s, we started making more shelf stable products, and therefore Americans started eating more hours of the day. So I think that’s a problem. I think that what we eat and when we are just as important, if I eat the same meal at dinner, excuse me, at 6pm for dinner, versus dinner, same meal at 9pm. At dinner, I need three times more insulin at 9pm. Because it’s competing with melatonin and cortisol. So it’s a hormonal thing. So I think timing of food stress that’s driving is eat more processed food, and basically just produce more cortisol and insulin resistance is a driver. And just more processed food in general, I don’t think carbs are the one to demonize. And I think we all have very unique carbon needs. I don’t think lower is better. But I think we just need to step back, take a deep breath, and try to reach for more real food. And that’s eat naked carbs.
Boris Berjan 49:01
Gotcha. Okay. Awesome. So we’ll, we’ll do a final segment here. I’d love for you to share what you’re currently working on. What you’re excited about how you’re doing it. And you know what, what you’re looking forward to?
Kelly Schmidt 49:20
Yeah, so in my private practice, I have a lot of spinning plates in it. It’s very exciting. And I think the most exciting year I’ve ever had, again, I’m just so appreciative to work with a company like yours. They and I felt like we came together at the perfect time. I really want to help people understand how they can optimize their health, their life, their fertility, their blood sugars, and live longer. So I’m doing that CGM with Cal it’s a four week program. And I’m running that most months not every month of the year, but most of them along with that I have a membership to really help people understand the truth about health and wellness, because there’s so much information to know a lot of data in the media. media that’s paralyzing or confusing. So I have a membership to guide people on a true philosophy of what wellness is. And that comes with weekly touchpoints and a group call. And then I run a few programs, my most foundational programs a two week cleanse because healthy liver is so important for metabolism, but also healthy blood sugars, especially fasting blood sugars, and many other programs in the works. One specifically I’ve been doodling on for over a year, is helping people understand their carb threshold. So a lot of good things to come. And I’m just so excited to just reach more people more audiences, including like public speaking, I have quite a few events this month. And who knows maybe a book in the next five years. That’s right on my my wish list. I mean, I wrote one and 23rd season 16 I don’t know if you knew that I wrote a book in 2016. A company came to me and it’s on the Paleo diet but I really want to write one more specific to blood sugar.
Boris Berjan 51:00
Amazing. So thank you for doing this and being on this interview. It was you gave a masterclass on a bunch of different topics like I said we could have gone for six more hours. I obviously highly recommend anybody looking to work with a dietitian whether diabetic or not Kelly’s amazing I know her personally. I’ve linked all her links, social media, website, etc down below so feel free to check her out and go follow her. Just do it right now. You won’t regret it. And Thank you Kelly. Anything else that you want to add before we hop off?
Kelly Schmidt 51:36
Just strive for progress, not perfection.