If you are a woman with Type 2 Diabetes, want to follow a plant-based approach, and need help, consider Enlighten Health & Wellness. I do not regret working with the Zamans one bit and would do it again. This is not a sponsored post.
The end of 2017 was hard, y’all. My blood pressure was not changing, I developed Type 2 Diabetes, and was not getting inflammation or weight under control. While I was not gaining weight, I was not losing, either (just the same 5 pound every month). I knew I needed help, but there is no local plant-based Diabetes education class offered in Charleston (I’m working on this, so stay tuned). I went to Facebook and found a plant-based Diabetics group and visited daily. I discovered that I was not alone in the struggle and found some comfort in that. I also found the woman who changed my life. I responded to her post about a coaching program and was excited when selected to participate. I’ve been working with her for a few months and have seen my A1C, cholesterol, triglycerides, and weight come down. I’ve also come off of Metformin and had my blood pressure medication dosage reduced.
Thinking and writing about this course makes me teary. Bear with me.
Marie Howe Zaman is the coach who helped inspire and encourage me. She gave me tough love when needed and made me work. She is the coach and co-founder of Enlighten Health and Wellness and the Enlighten for Diabetics program. I believe it is the main reason I finally saw a difference. The program is for women with Type 2 Diabetes and is worth the time, effort, and work. The focus is not just on food, and that is key. Diabetes education, fitness, food, accountability, and support make this program invaluable.
It started with a call and goal setting. Once my specific and attainable goals were set, the work began. There were articles, videos, and quizzes. Yes, I had to work, but the work is what made the difference for me. I learned more about myself, my motivations, and reasons why I easily fall off track. These lessons gave me focus and a way to combat my demons.
While the lessons helped me get my mind right, the food and activity portions of the program also played a role in my success. While I had a fitness tracker, it was not compatible with the app that gave Marie insight into my food, activity, and sleep. I found a Fitbit Flex at Marshalls for a steal and it worked just fine without connecting multiple apps or any hassles. The only time I needed to take additional steps was when my Fitbit was charging and I used my other tracker. Tracking was easy and the app provided a direct line to Marie whenever I needed an ear or had questions.
I’m still torn between a Fitbit and Garmin as my reward for hitting my 2018 goals at the end of the year. Which do you prefer? Sleep and heart rate tracking are a must-have feature.
Access to a cooking course and meal planner are included with the course. I thought my cooking game was on point, but I still learned a few things. And I have not purchased any commercial vegan mayo or salad dressing since starting the cooking course. While I had several recipes for substitutes at hand, I was not ready to let go. If you know me, you know this is huge. I love my condiments, but they don’t always love me. I’ve known that for a while and have finally made the switch. It does not take much time to whip up the cashew (and white bean) sour cream that I use as mayo and a yogurt substitute and I truly love the taste.
In addition to access to a coach, whole food plant-based cooking course, meal planner, tracking app, and courses, there were bi-weekly one-one-one meetings with Marie and bi-weekly group meetings with a small group. I loved seeing how my fellow students were doing and especially appreciated the Q&A sessions with Dr. Tarique Zaman, MD, MPH. Dr. Zaman is Marie’s husband and another driving force behind the program. His input adds even more value to the program and helped make lessons stick.
As it is a 12-week program, I’m a little sad to see it end, but it isn’t over. I have no plans to stop working the program and will keep in touch with the Zamans as I continue to see progress. As I told Marie, she should prepare to be Facebook stalked, lol. Not in a scary way. I’m a member of her Beat T2D Naturally Women’s Support Group and have no plans to leave. Apply for membership if you want to learn a little more about her approach.
Before you say anything, yes, occasional setbacks are still progress. It helps me see when I fall off course and paints a clear picture of the need for a change somewhere.
I am so happy that I reached out to Marie in December 2017. I feel fantastic and she is a huge part of why. Thank you so much, Marie!