January 17, 2023
264: Reclaiming Health with Dr. Judy Brangman | Empowering Marginalized Communities

Dr. Judy Brangman, an Internal Medicine Physician determined to reduce chronic disease, takes an active role in educating and inspiring people to adopt a healthier lifestyle through her Reclaim Your Health Summit and online c...

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Dr. Judy Brangman, an Internal Medicine Physician determined to reduce chronic disease, takes an active role in educating and inspiring people to adopt a healthier lifestyle through her Reclaim Your Health Summit and online course, bridging the health disparities gap. Tune in to know more!

In this episode, you will learn the following:

  • How Dr. Judy Brangman embraced lifestyle medicine and plant-based nutrition
  • The role of healthy eating patterns in empowering people to take control of their health and reduce the burden of chronic disease in America
  • How to bridge the gap between promoting lifestyle modifications and individuals who are just surviving in marginalized communities


Other episodes you'll enjoy:

About Dr. Judy Brangman

Dr. Judy Brangman, MD, DipABLM, is a board-certified Internal Medicine physician. She obtained her Doctor of Medicine degree from Wake Forest School of Medicine and completed her Internal Medicine residency at East Carolina University/Vidant Hospital. She is also certified in Lifestyle  Medicine by the American Board of Lifestyle Medicine and holds a Certificate in Plant Based Nutrition from T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies. She is a frequently sought-after speaker on plant based nutrition and lifestyle medicine and has spoken at conferences, churches, and community events.

She helps women who feel overwhelmed with eating healthier develop healthier, plant forward eating habits.  Judy believes that in order to fully live the life you were intended to live, you need to be in optimum health (physically, emotionally, and spiritually). She is originally from Bermuda and currently resides in Raleigh, NC.

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[00:00:00] Dr. Judy Brangman:People of color tend to have lower access of care in certain communities and distrust the healthcare community due to healthcare biases that exist and racism. But when you adopt a healthier eating pattern, it takes back the ownership of your health or put you in control of your health. That's why my first summit was called Reclaim Your Health so that people could feel empowered that they could do something about their health rather than just leaving it to the hands of the health care system.

[00:00:27] Maya Acosta:You have more power over your health than what you've been told. This is the Healthy Lifestyle Solutions Podcast. I'm Maya Acosta and I'm passionate about finding healthy lifestyle solutions to support optimal human health. If you're willing to go with me together, we can discover how simple lifestyle choices can help improve our quality of life.

[00:00:49] Maya Acosta:An increased longevity in a big way. Let's get started. Friends, today I have Dr. Judy Brangman and I hope that I pronounce that your last name correctly, and you're known as the Plant-Based MD and Dr. Judy, I've known about you probably since maybe 2018, 2019. I ran into you at PCRM'S Annual conference, and I was very excited to meet you.

[00:01:15] Maya Acosta:And there's so many reasons why I wanted you to come on the podcast, and we will talk about all of those reasons why. I'd love for you to, you know, just share who you are, but one of them that really stands out and we will talk about it, is your brand awareness, branding yourself as the plant-based MD, and then all that you've been able to manifest.

[00:01:36] Maya Acosta:As a result of that really stands out and you're doing so much. I was impressed when you came up with your summit, I think it was during the pandemic, to address a need that many people were overlooking. So I really admire you and welcome to the show. 

[00:01:52] Dr. Judy Brangman:Thank you so much, Maya. I am so excited to be here, and I've been following you and your business, your podcast as well for the past couple of years. And I’m so excited to be here on your podcast today. 

[00:02:04] Maya Acosta:Thank you so much. So let's introduce you to my listeners. Uh, like I said, you're known as the Plant-Based MD. I'm interested in knowing how did you come to this way of life, because you are from the Caribbean, and so let's start from there. How did you know you wanted to go into medicine, and then how did you even learn about lifestyle medicine and plant-based nutrition?

[00:02:25] Dr. Judy Brangman:Oh wow. Okay. So yes, I did grow up in Bermuda where I'm from and um, we grew up predominantly vegetarian in a Seven Day Adventist household. So I'm sure many of your listeners may be familiar with the Melinda, the Blue Zones, the Seven Day Adventist. So vegetarianism, veganism, what's something that I was always familiar with, but I was never interested in being fully vegan or fully plant-based.

[00:02:50] Dr. Judy Brangman:We ate meat on occasion and dairy pretty regularly. But it wasn't until when I was in residency when I started to really question the way that we were managing patients and trying to figure out is there a way that we can prevent patients from getting chronic conditions, specifically chronic kidney disease type two diabetes.

[00:03:12] Dr. Judy Brangman:Heart disease, stroke, and all of the complications from it, and I was asking my attendings and I was never given an answer. It was always just, it's genetic or there's nothing that can be done or it's Ill age. And for some reason I was not satisfied with that answer. I didn't know what the answer was, but fast forward to when I was a few years later.

[00:03:34] Dr. Judy Brangman:I just discovered plant-based nutrition, and I met someone who had been able to come off all medications for their type two diabetes, and I was blown away. And at first, I thought he was making it up and exaggerating because I had never heard that that was possible. And so after that, I just kind of met down a rabbit hill on PubMed and started looking up a variety of articles and I was blown away by one.

[00:03:59] Dr. Judy Brangman:There are research articles. Plant-based nutrition because I always thought that there wasn't, you know, there was not evidence. It's not evidence-based. That's what I thought, and I was just blown away that not only is there a substantial amount of repeatable studies and evidence there, but there's also, uh, A growing number of people, like real people that have actually had results from changing the way that they eat to a more of a plant-based diet.

[00:04:27] Dr. Judy Brangman:And I had not heard anyone else speak on various results. Anyone in my training, anyone who follows any other diet, I have not heard them consistently saying, yes, when our patients eat this way, they get these results. And so as an internal medicine physician who treats diabetes, hypertension, stroke, those are the big three.

[00:04:48] Dr. Judy Brangman:Heart disease as well, kidney disease on a regular basis. I said to myself, my goodness, if more people knew this information, we could reduce the chronic disease burden in America, which in essence would lower the cost of healthcare, lower the cost of healthcare spending for the individual. And make an impact on the whole country as a whole.

[00:05:10] Dr. Judy Brangman:So to me, it's not even just about the individual. I see it as having an impact on the whole country as a whole. And so that's how I discovered lifestyle medicine and I really have not looked back since. It's changed the way that I practice it. Given me a more hopeful outlook when I have a patient that comes to me with a chronic medical condition in that not only do I prescribe medication, were indicated, but I also address the underlying problem, which is a key difference between practicing as a lifestyle medicine provider versus not.

[00:05:47] Dr. Judy Brangman:You address diet, exercise, sleep, stress, and other lifestyle habits and work with the patient to modify those areas that could be improved so that over time they can improve their blood pressure, improve their blood sugars and lose weight.  

[00:06:05] Maya Acosta:Very impressive. You started Dr. Judy early in your career during residency, kind of having this forward-thinking, questioning what you were being taught.

[00:06:15] Maya Acosta:I often say that, you know, my husband was being told at the time that he was in training that you can't reverse atherosclerosis, and he was learning this at the same time that Dr. Ornish was reversing atherosclerosis. Isn't that interesting? Yes. So you started to question early in your career and you did the research.

[00:06:34] Maya Acosta:I feel like many physicians just kind of go with the flow, and it's not a criticism, it's just that I think, you know, during your training it's so intense and you're just trying to get by and you're trying to do what you've been told is right. But you questioned everything and as a result, I feel like you play a big role in how you're influencing other physicians as well, um, because of this momentum that you have built. Any idea what the prevalence is in Bermuda for some of these conditions that you treat here in the States?

[00:07:06] Dr. Judy Brangman:So I know that in the US for diabetes, the prevalence is about 10%. And Bermuda, it's probably around the same or maybe a little bit higher. They don't have as much. Publicly reported public health data readily available as the US but I think it's probably around the same.

[00:07:23] Dr. Judy Brangman:The obesity rates are rising as well, and as well as heart disease, which heart disease is the number one cause of death in the US and it's a major cause of comorbidity and mortality. And so if we can impact someone's life and help them to improve those modifiable factors, it could really have an impact for their life, but also the life of their children.

[00:07:46] Dr. Judy Brangman:And I think it's really important for physicians to really understand and believe in the power of healthy eating because patients really do take their cues from patients. I mean, doctors, let's just say patients really do take their cues from doctors. 

[00:08:00] Maya Acosta:Yes, yes. I was like, I knew what you were saying. I understood. So you and I recently attended the Lifestyle Medicine Conference in Orlando, Florida, and it was like, yay. It's so exciting to come back together. One thing that really stood out was how important this year it was to focus on the Heal initiative. So health equity. Through lifestyle medicine and I was able to have one of the physicians that spoke on mental health equity on the show before she presented at the conference.

[00:08:31] Maya Acosta:And so what I noticed and really stood out for me, especially when I went to the Heal Meetup group, I wanna say you were probably there, I might have seen you at that, at the member interest group, is that. There's more and more emphasis in outreaching to people that need this information that may not otherwise come into the information unless we educate other physicians that can come in contact with people that are in marginalized communities.

[00:09:00] Maya Acosta:So I was wondering if you'd like to speak about that Heal, for example, and also how you put together your summit during the pandemic to address a need. Many of the people that were highly, highly affected by Covid were people in marginalized communities.

[00:09:14] Dr. Judy Brangman:Yes, absolutely. When the data and statistics were coming out with Covid and how the African-American populations were adversely affected, were having worse outcomes from Covid. I was personally troubled by that information and I wanted to do something about it. And then not only that, going back to medical school, I always remember hearing about whenever they were teaching about any given condition, they would always say, oh, when African Americans have the highest mortality from this condition, African Americans have the worst prognosis.

[00:09:50] Dr. Judy Brangman:African Americans have the worst outcomes. And I used to always be like, wow, what is it? You know what can't be done about it? And so I'm not wanting to just talk about the problems sometimes. Most of the time how I am is I want to actually do something about it. And so I knew that it was important because sometimes people of color may not think that plant-based eating is for their culture.

[00:10:13] Dr. Judy Brangman:They may think it's a Caucasian thing or a European thing, or they may think it's not gonna taste good. I needed to present. People of color who eat this way to show other people of color that it's possible, it's doable, it's sustainable. It doesn't have to be expensive. It can taste delicious and it can taste good.

[00:10:35] Dr. Judy Brangman:And then also when you talk about disparities of care. Access to care. People of color tend to have lower access of care in certain communities and distrust of the healthcare community due to healthcare biases that exist and racism. But when you adopt a healthier eating pattern, It sort of takes back the ownership of your health or puts you in control of your health.

[00:11:00] Dr. Judy Brangman:That's why my first summit was called Reclaim Your Health. It was the Reclaim Your Health Summit so that people could feel empowered that they could do something about their health rather than just. Leaving it to the hands of the healthcare system. 

[00:11:14] Maya Acosta:Absolutely. The something that you touched on, the distrust of the medical care system, the healthcare system is so important and not understanding the role that lifestyle modifications can play in preventing and reversing disease.

[00:11:30] Maya Acosta:I mean, how do we learn these things, especially Dr. Judy. We come from, say, cultures, especially my own, where self-care is like the last thing that you consider. You're just on survival mode. So when you have resources in general, whether it be for food or access to quality education or access to quality healthcare, you're just kind of just surviving.

[00:11:53] Maya Acosta:And then suddenly someone comes to you and says, Hey, you know, you can prevent disease by changing the way you eat and exercising and managing your stress. It can be kind of, Why should I believe you? And we've also talked about with other people that I've had on the show, how can we bridge that gap when we're on this side promoting these lifestyle modifications and people on this side just surviving? What is it that we can do from our point, like myself as a podcaster, my listeners, what can we do to help bridge that gap?

[00:12:26] Dr. Judy Brangman:Yes, that's so important. And uh, oftentimes I do feel that the competing voices in the healthcare space, It's very confusing to the general public and the patient. If you go online, you know, I still have people who to this day believe that soy is bad for you or that you know, carbs are bad or you can't eat fruit.

[00:12:48] Dr. Judy Brangman:So it is difficult, and I have found it challenging to kind of counteract those voices that are louder than the whole food, plant-based voices. But, The beauty of social media, as you've discovered with podcasting YouTube, that's why I've really just taken a hold of the online space and creating webinars.

[00:13:09] Dr. Judy Brangman:I have my social media platform, which exists to educate people about the power of lifestyle medicine and plant-based nutrition, and I think each person can start in their own community. Everyone doesn't have to start a podcast or a YouTube or be on social media. Example in your family of healthy living and healthy eating and sharing your story whenever you can.

[00:13:33] Dr. Judy Brangman:We're relevant of how eating healthy has changed your life, I think is a testimony and speaks volumes for people more than anything. Because people just generally just don't know. Even before I discovered the power of healthy eating, I knew and I was taught that healthy eating was important, but I didn't really think it really could make as much of an impact as in literally there's people who within a week of going whole food plant-based at like Dr.

[00:14:05] Dr. Judy Brangman:Ornish's program and those intensive places, I think Dr. Kelly has won Black Hills within a week, their blood sugar is like down and they're having to reduce the patient's blood sugar medicines, what they're taking for diabetes. I didn't know that it was that powerful. I really thought that genetics was the biggest factor.

[00:14:25] Dr. Judy Brangman:In disease. So just getting that message out I think is really important. And so we have to educate not only the patients, but the physicians as well, the dieticians, the nurses, everybody. And there is a huge pull in this country from pharmaceutical companies. to be quite franked. And so you also have to contract that, you know, there's funding, funding for research that comes from pharmaceutical companies.

[00:14:47] Dr. Judy Brangman:So, but just keep pushing the message and you know, more and more people are discovering that there's beauty and there's freedom in eating a whole food, plant-based diet. Mm-hmm. And who doesn't want that? 

[00:15:01] Maya Acosta:Right, exactly. So recently, I was mentioning to you that I was traveling, I traveled after Thanksgiving because my husband was on call during Thanksgiving week. So I, my mom flew out to Houston to see my sisters. We went over there recently and my mom had this whole dilemma about her medication because she suffered three strokes. Now she has type two diabetes, and I've done everything, Dr. Judy, to help because we live in separate states, it's very difficult for me to coach her and guide her and hold her hands, especially when she lives with my sister who is on a ketogenic diet.

[00:15:36] Maya Acosta:So you can understand the frustration. Mm-hmm., so we were trying to help her out. She had problems with her medication, obtaining her medication. She was gonna run out before her next doctor's visit in Phoenix, and it was just a fiasco. And the whole time, while we're in the pharmacy, I'm thinking that the average individual thinks that that is he.

[00:15:55] Maya Acosta:Access to prescription medication, access to doctors. We fight for these rights. We fight for having that, and, but that's not the complete package. You put together an online course that I signed up my mother for without asking her. I just went ahead and, and I purchased a course that you recently released, and then I had to sit down with her and explain to her how to do it because my mother is, you know, doesn't necessarily have all the technical skills, but your program seems to be very easy to go through. So I was wondering if we could talk a little bit about that. How often is, or how available is your online course and who is it designed? 

[00:16:35] Dr. Judy Brangman:Thank you. Yes. I was so excited that your mom signed up, that you signed her up. So we launched the course this year and we launched it twice for helping women adopt more of a plant-based diet. So the women that we enrolled that we, um, targeted were not plant-based eaters. They were wanting to be more plant-based, but they were kind of hesitant. And so it was a seven-week program. And in that you learn the science behind plant-based diets, the benefits you learn, the nutrition about, how to count about protein, fat, and carbs, vitamins, minerals, and nutrient.

[00:17:15] Dr. Judy Brangman:We talked about soy. So there's recorded modules and there's live sessions as well as well as P D F handouts with cheat sheets for pretty much everything that you could need from a grocery shopping guide to rich vegetables are high in calcium and iron so that you know how to get your nutrients, and it was really exciting and rewarding to see at the end.

[00:17:37] Dr. Judy Brangman:We just finished last month and there was one woman in particular. I know at the beginning she was. I know that I need to go plant-based because I have some health challenges, but I just love bacon. I can't stop eating bacon and pork. And then by the end, she was cooking tofu and she had never eaten tofu before.

[00:17:54] Dr. Judy Brangman:Most of the women were like that. They had never cooked tofu before, but I had some cooking demonstrations in there. I did some, and then I had guest chefs do some, as well as some recipes of mine that was a part of it. So that was really exciting at the end that they were comfortable cooking more plant-based meals, that they were also enjoying it as well.

[00:18:16] Dr. Judy Brangman:And some of the results that they received as a result of doing it were weight loss and improved blood pressure and just felt much more confident in their ability to go plant-based. And I teach it as a journey to plant-based. You know, you don't just go plant-based overnight and you stay there. Some might, but most people that come to me, kind of struggle.

[00:18:39] Dr. Judy Brangman:So they kind of go up and down. So that's the market that I target. The people that want to be plant-based, they may not necessarily even wanna be fully plant-based, but they want to eat more plant-based foods because they have a chronic medical problem and they generally want to be healthier and especially people. Minorities. 

[00:18:57] Maya Acosta:Yes, absolutely. And I wanna talk about those culturally appropriate foods that you and I understand are so important when we first are trying to get someone on board and to kind of plant the seed that these are the foods that you want to eat, we have to kind of pick foods that are more relevant to the foods that they would normally eat.

[00:19:17] Maya Acosta:So I was, like I said, in Houston, visiting a sister of mine while my mom was in town and the entire week it was all plant-based, no animal products. Now my sister has not made the change, but her daughter has been very curious and she's now the main cook, and she everything she prepared and we all chipped in and we all helped.

[00:19:37] Maya Acosta:There were no animal products, Dr. Judy, none. And I no longer preach because I realized that I was too aggressive early. So I sat back and I enjoyed and I complimented and I was really impressed that we were having what we as Mexicans love to eat still. So there was rice and there were other traditional dishes, but everything was plant-based.

[00:19:57] Maya Acosta:And so it's not hard. It's just a matter of kind of shifting our perspective about how we flavor our food. What do we still enjoy? That's comforting for us, people of color, you know, the foods that are more traditional to us. So you were having, part of your course was to meet with your group once a week and you were very interactive. Tell us about that was like the support that you were offering.

[00:20:19] Dr. Judy Brangman:So the weekly sessions were coaching, so group coaching to work through their mindset as far as their beliefs about plant-based eating, their beliefs, about their ability to eat healthier, what barriers and challenges that they were having with regards.

[00:20:37] Dr. Judy Brangman:To that it was a safe space for them to get coached. The content and the instruction portion was pre-recorded, and that was in the, in the course portal that we had. And so, yes, it was a great time. It really was looking forward to the sessions. The ladies loved it. It was all women and it definitely was a rewarding experience for them. So that really, really, Great. 

[00:21:02] Maya Acosta:That's awesome. Congratulations and just, I continue to be impressed by all that you're doing, and I know that for you it's like a mission, like you're really not only a physician, but you're really a healer in many ways. And I love that you focus on the community of people of color because there's not enough representation.

[00:21:23] Maya Acosta:And as a matter of fact, you started earlier by saying that some of the conditions that you treat are really found in the African-American or people of color communities like the hypertension and the heart disease and the type two diabetes. Is there, are there any successes that you can share with us about how you've been able to help improve some of those conditions?

[00:21:43] Dr. Judy Brangman:Yeah, so I've had patients who, I talk about nutrition with all of my patients, and I do a quick assessment where I ask them how many fruits and vegetables do they eat in the day? And most people only eat one or two, which is way below what we should be eating, which is at least five or six. I know I've had one patient, she was in her sixties, seventies.

[00:22:08] Dr. Judy Brangman:And had had type two diabetes for probably 10 years. It was her first time seeing me in clinic as our primary care doctor. This was a few years ago, and she was a smoker as well. You know, North Carolina eats pork, bacon, everything, you know, soda. And so I kind of worked with her and inspired her to eat more vegetables and cut back on the bacon.

[00:22:32] Dr. Judy Brangman:Just two simple things, you know, I wasn't trying to. encourage people to try and do everything overnight. I was like, eat more fruits and vegetables. And we came up with a plan as exactly how many she was going to eat. Something so simple and I really wasn't even so sure it would work because I wasn't telling her to go fully plant-based.

[00:22:50] Dr. Judy Brangman:This is just the power of even small changes. And then within three months, her hemoglobin a1c, which is the blood test that we use to assess. How well someone's diabetes is controlled. It had dropped by like three points, which was amazing for her. Hers had been sitting around 10 for a very long time and you know, now she was able to get to like seven, seven or eight with just small changes and so we work farther and was able to get that down.

[00:23:18] Dr. Judy Brangman:So she was really excited. I was able to lower the doses of one of her oral diabetic medications, so that was exciting as well. And. I have many stories like that where people were able to improve. Diabetes. Type two is very easy, type one. You can improve the blood sugar, but you won't be able to get off insulin because you're insulin independent.

[00:23:38] Dr. Judy Brangman:We have type one, so I just wanted to say that difference, but I'm really passionate about type two diabetes because it's completely preventable and, and it's reversible too. So fat and hypertension as a internist. Is what we see pretty much all day, every day. And so, yeah, it's possible. And again, you don't have to be fully plant-based.

[00:23:59] Dr. Judy Brangman:That's another thing that I think differentiates me from the community. They sometimes you may hear, okay, you have to be fully plant-based, but I've had people have results of being able to improve. By going, you know, 60, 70%. So I work with the patient to determine how plant-based they want to be. They may not want to completely be virus, let's just be honest.

[00:24:19] Dr. Judy Brangman:They may not want to necessarily come off all the diabetes medications or when for them might be I take insulin. I take metformin and I take another medicine. If I can get that down to two medicines and get off insulin, I'm good with that. So if that's their goal, that's what we work towards. 

[00:24:37] Maya Acosta:Yes. You're kind of touching on it, a new term that I just became familiar with, that plant-based physicians like yourself are now working towards is deprescribing. So moving patients slowly, taking them off their medications, and that's what you're doing.

[00:24:52] Dr. Judy Brangman:Yes. And I do that with my, uh, virtual telehealth practice that we started this year as well. New all health, uh, lifestyle medicine, working with patients who specifically have a chronic medical condition, particularly either access weight, diabetes, hypertension, history of stroke, and want to work with the holistic lifestyle medicine plant-based physician to improve their numbers, improve their outcomes so that they can essentially improve their overall health and thrive and live well, and of course take less medications where possible. So yes, I am very comfortable deprescribing, and that's one thing as a lifestyle medicine doctor that I actually love to do, instead of just prescribing medicines and saying, you on this forever, come see me in three months for a refill.

[00:25:40] Dr. Judy Brangman:I'm more inclined to kind of, okay, every time the patient comes in, I'm looking at the medication list. Can we discontinue some of these medicines? You know, has the time passed for them to complete it. There are some medicines that people just end up on for years and they're not supposed to be like proton pump inhibitors, for example.

[00:25:59] Dr. Judy Brangman:There's other medicines that sometimes just stay on the patient's medication list, but unless you're actively thinking, okay, do, does the patient still need this medication? You would just end up with like 30 medicines. And, um, polypharmacy, that's what we call it. We see it a lot in the hospital setting. The patient's taking 30 medicines, some of them are duplicates and yeah. 

[00:26:23] Maya Acosta:Yeah. How frustrating. So now you just touched on your telemedicine practice. What states are you licensed in? 

[00:26:30] Dr. Judy Brangman:So right now, I'm just licensed in North Carolina and, um, California, but planning to add more states in the future, are you going to add Texas? Yes. Texas is one of the ones on the list as well. Yeah, Texas is one of the ones on the list. 

[00:26:47] Maya Acosta:Yeah, and the reason I ask is we're often approached in person, and we're asked about plant-based physicians, and believe it or not, I'm in Dallas. I still don't know another plant-based physician. It's people are not jumping on board so quickly here in Dallas, and so I've been trying to, you know, Continue to have that conversation about how telemedicine can be just as effective, especially if you're working with a plan-based physician, because they take all of the lifestyle modifications and pillars into consideration, right?

[00:27:19] Maya Acosta:As opposed to your physician who might only run the labs and then prescribe you medication, they might not ask you about stress or. Whether you're exercising or anything like that, I don't know, but tell us more about that. How can we help convince people that telemedicine is a good way to go as well?

[00:27:35] Dr. Judy Brangman:Yes. I think for lifestyle medicine, telehealth works really well. You. We'll see your primary doctor, at least for your annual physical or for anything that you need to be seen in person for like acute sick visits. But for the lifestyle medicine piece where the visits need to be longer, 30 minutes is a minimal that is really gonna be effective for lifestyle medicine visit.

[00:27:58] Dr. Judy Brangman:But really even an hour is what most practices have for the initial, and it's what I do as well, an hour for the initial. So you need more time for. . And so it really works well for a telehealth visit because you can see the patient from the comfort of your home. Mm-hmm. And you know, we can order labs through LabCorp just the same way, and that way we can even adjust medications, prescribed medications, deprescribed to the pharmacy.

[00:28:24] Dr. Judy Brangman:So there's a lot that you can do with telehealth and Covid has really opened up the world and people's mind to telehealth as a effective way to receive medical care. You don't have to physically go into the office for mm-hmm. , some of these conditions. 

[00:28:43] Maya Acosta:Yeah, you're right. I mean, the way we learn to think about how we do things differently during the pandemic and I now. I started during the pandemic ordering my groceries like, like a lot of people did, so that I wouldn't go out there and be exposed. And now I find that it's so convenient because I can get more done since I work from home, so someone else could do my groceries and, mm-hmm, drop them off, there's now, well I'm jumping into other topics, but now there's this dog nail trimmer that visits your home so that you can, she can do the trimming at our home.

[00:29:16] Maya Acosta:And so there are all these conveniences that are now available, that people are comfortable with. So why not consider having like a conversation like this via probably Zoom with your physician in the privacy of your own home, in the comfort of your own home? Still, talk about like your health issues and things that you are concerned about.

[00:29:36] Maya Acosta:A couple of other things. So I know you know, hypertension is really prevalent, hypertension and heart disease in communities of color. And the one thing that really surprises me, and I don't know cuz I'm not a doctor obviously, but hypertension is one of those conditions that when you treat it appropriately with medication and with the right foods can actually significantly be improved. Is that right? 

[00:29:59] Dr. Judy Brangman:Yes, definitely. Hypertension is Life's one of this lifestyle-related chronic diseases related to your stress levels. Rather you smoke your diet, whether it's full of salty foods and processed and fatty foods, whether you're eating a lot of meat. Exercise levels also affects your blood pressure as well.

[00:30:20] Dr. Judy Brangman:And then your weight as well. So lifestyle medicine, all the six pillars of lifestyle medicine do help to hypertension. Hypertension is very common, especially in the African American Community as well. And you know, I see patients that are in their twenties and thirties that have hypertension, and one of the complications of hypertension that's uncontrolled is chronic kidney disease as well as stroke.

[00:30:47] Dr. Judy Brangman:So it's really important to have blood pressure that's managed well and working. Uh, nutritionist or a dietician or a lifestyle medicine physician to help change your diet, change some of the things in your lifestyle can really make a huge impact for your viewers, can make a huge impact in your life. hypertension is so common. It feels like everybody has it. 

[00:31:12] Maya Acosta:Exactly, and that's the part that I guess we need to continue to have the conversation that it's not necessarily genetic and that we are at the mercy of these conditions, but that we can actually take control of our health and do something to improve our health.

[00:31:28] Maya Acosta:Yeah. Is there anything else that you'd like to share with my listeners? I have listeners from all walks of life, but mainly women. And we know that women are the ones that tend to look into these kind of resources. And then we bring, mm-hmm. the information to our homes and hopefully help impact everyone else. But what else should we know about health or lifestyle medicine?

[00:31:49] Dr. Judy Brangman:I would say takeaway would be two simple small steps can actually make a big impact in your health over time. So taking an assessment of where you are today as far as your eating healthy, eating, plant-based, eating, and seeing if there's something that you can improve once more change, whether it's the say I'm gonna eat green leafy vegetables every day, one serving, going to eat two more servings of vegetables every day, something.

[00:32:17] Dr. Judy Brangman:Small can actually have an improvement, and you'll notice dramatic improvements over time. So small changes do matter. I also want to add that there's a book that I like called Atomic Habits, and it really, it's by James Claire, and it talks about how to create healthy habits or habits in general. How do you create them?

[00:32:38] Dr. Judy Brangman:So that's a good book to look at, and it talks about essentially, Making that habit easy, accessible, and attractive. So if you are trying to eat healthy, don't have unhealthy food in your house, make it. Accessible for you to eat healthy, especially if you're someone that in the evening may crave unhealthy food, you're less likely to eat the bake chips if you don't have it in the house.

[00:33:03] Dr. Judy Brangman:If you have to get in your car, get dressed, go to the grocery store and get it. You're creating a lot of barriers for you, so that's gonna be better as opposed to having chips in the house. So that's an example that I use. I just don't keep junk in my house. And so yeah, if anyone wants to reach out to me, they can find me on the Plant-based MD on Instagram, Facebook or they can email me info at the Plant-based MD. Again, I'm in North Carolina and I would love to connect with your viewers and help them to get on the path to healthier eating and living. 

[00:33:38] Maya Acosta:Yes. Thank you. And let me ask you for 2023, what can we expect from you and when is your next summit? 

[00:33:45] Dr. Judy Brangman:2020. For 2023, I'm working on some new offers. Actually, the course will be modified a little bit, so we haven't kind of released or announced, you know what the plans will be, but we're working on something new for 2023, so if you just stay updated on what we're releasing and when. Go to my website, the Plant-based MD, and you can subscribe to my email list there.

[00:34:11] Maya Acosta:Okay. Exciting. And I know that I asked you when I saw you in person, I wanna say that I asked you, but is there a podcast on the way for the plant-based MD? 

[00:34:20] Dr. Judy Brangman:Yes, I have been thinking about it and I'm sort of looking into it. I think I was talking with you a little bit about podcasts, actually. So yeah, so podcasts seemingly is the way to go. I've been going back and forth between do I do YouTube or podcasts, but I think I'm gonna do a podcast and just send it to YouTube. 

[00:34:39] Maya Acosta:Yes, exactly. Well, because you already interviewed so many people for your summit and other things, you're so interactive and I consider you a leader in bringing awareness to the community, um, to the groups, um, people of color.

[00:34:53] Maya Acosta:And I'm sorry, but I'm always wanting to say the right term because I know that Yeah, you're right. You know, like I had Rhyan Geiger on the show recently who was part of your summit this year, and so she used bi, I think she said Bipo. Bipo, which I would use. Use. And so I asked her also what it meant to her to be part of your summit.

[00:35:12] Maya Acosta:I was really touched when you first started. I wanna say it was probably in 2020, you had Dr. Columbus Batiste, who is a cardiologist, who came out with a series of addressing what he calls slave food. And that really touched me in a. Made a lot of sense that our communities and, and really people of color sometimes, like I said, may have limited resources maybe on survivor mode.

[00:35:38] Maya Acosta:So for us, it's so hard, and I say us because I did come from poverty and I'm starting to talk more and more about that to my listeners. But you know, you do the best that you can. I've also worked with students when I was an elementary school teacher, you know, of immigrants, Mexican immigrants, and from all Latin America.

[00:35:57] Maya Acosta:And when you're struggling like that, you're just doing the best that you can when it comes to food. You're just buying whatever you can afford to buy. So it's not many times when we wanna talk to these communities, we're not wanting to criticize or attack. What we wanna do is encourage you to go back to your original foods, right Dr. Judy? Yes. The foods that our cultures once embraced that were healthy. Yes, absolutely. 

[00:36:23] Dr. Judy Brangman:That's so important. And it takes a mindset shift, like we mentioned earlier, about what do we view about food. You know, what are our beliefs about plant-based diets, for example, because sometimes people have limiting beliefs about healthy eating? They think healthy food doesn't taste good, or they may think plant-based food doesn't taste good or it's different than their cultural food. But I love when people are able to, Prepare the food in a way that speaks to different ethnic communities. That's really important too. Flavorful, seasoned, you know, using the similar seasonings that they use.

[00:37:03] Dr. Judy Brangman:Like one thing that I do that's like a staple now that people always ask for when I go places, uh, for lunch at friend's house is direct tofu and I don't put it on. Smoker or whatever they cook jack chicken on. I don't know what they cook it on, but I cook it on my stove and a cast iron skillet, but I use a jack seasoning to season the tofu and it tastes really, really good.

[00:37:24] Dr. Judy Brangman:And people that are meat eat just love it. People that are not vegan love it. So that's just one simple way, you know, Cori Tofu for, you know, I'm Caribbean from Bermuda. And so whatever your ethnic background is, take those recipes and substitute the meat. And Google is your friend. My mom is always talking about Google.

[00:37:41] Dr. Judy Brangman:There's like, you can Google anything vegan Alfredo sauce, vegan barbecue and you'll find a recipe and just experiment. And just think of it as an experiment for your health. It may not taste good the first time you make it, but just keep trying, changing the recipe. Trust yourself, taste it, and over time. You'll find that you're getting better and better at cooking it. 

[00:38:05] Maya Acosta:Yeah. I've only learned about Harissa in the last two or three years. The harissa spice. Yeah. And that was because I had ordered a meal plan that was arriving every week, and it introduces you to a variety of spices. And now I keep it at home and I put it on almost everything now.

[00:38:22] Maya Acosta:But that's how you learn. And when I travel, I travel with a lot of different spices and while people focus on salt and pepper, Has been the main spices I have, like the selection of things that I'm used to cooking with, and my mom's just like, she even says sometimes stop adding spices. And I'm like, no mom.

[00:38:38] Maya Acosta:This is how we eat. Right. Got a flavor it. That's That's right. Yeah. I love that. I have so much fun with this way of living. Dr. Judy, as you know, we're wrapping up. I just kind of wanna emphasize again that what really stood out for me about your offerings and your work is what we call brand awareness.

[00:38:59] Maya Acosta:And many times I have people come on the show, or other leaders in the community that I speak with have so much to offer, but they shy away from social media and I have to always say, How are people gonna know about you if you don't put yourself out there? I know that for physicians just in general, it, it's, you stay busy and then you go back to train to learn about plant-based nutrition and about lifestyle medicine.

[00:39:24] Maya Acosta:So I, I know that sometimes we may be asking for so much, and then of course, having a team that can help you to not only create your content for social media, but just the content in general for your website. So how important, I guess my question is then how important brand awareness for people that are trained in lifestyle medicine and plant-based nutrition?

[00:39:47] Dr. Judy Brangman:I think every physician who really wants to make an impact in the world, whatever area it is, or every person should be on social media. It's free to start an Instagram on a Facebook page, and you can learn. Looking up on Google, how to grow an Instagram page, you know how to create a reel. So it does take time.

[00:40:11] Dr. Judy Brangman:And of course, time is something that physicians don't have a lot of, but you can pay people and hire people to do it. So I actually recently started offering that consult for physicians who are either entrepreneurs, or they want to learn. How to brand themselves, how to grow social media presence, how to start a social media presence, because I did it from scratch and grew it all organically.

[00:40:36] Dr. Judy Brangman:So over the past several years have learned an awful lot about it, and I enjoy it actually. I've always been someone that has been kind of like a forward thinker or entrepreneurial mindset. So it kind of comes naturally to me to do things. That's kind of out the box and also, I'm not afraid to take risk.

[00:40:56] Dr. Judy Brangman:I think that's also one thing that's a concern. They're like, what if I get sued or you know, what would my job think? You know, I don't really worry about those things. I'm just like, this information needs to come out, so I'm gonna start an Instagram page. And that's how I started. I started Instagram. 

[00:41:10] Maya Acosta:Yeah. And like I said, everything that you do, you do well. So tell me a little bit more, I don't know if your program is ready, but you're consulting other physicians on how to have their brand out there. Is that right? 

[00:41:23] Dr. Judy Brangman:No, I'm offering a consult so they can consult me and our consult to evaluate what they're doing as far as their Instagram or questions that they may have about starting Instagram, Facebook, social media, being an influencer, branding, all of those things that come with starting a business. Physicians can consult me for. So I'm offering that as a paid service. 

[00:41:45] Maya Acosta:Wonderful. I'm gonna make sure to include that. That's one thing that I've been working with my husband on is understanding that I once said to him, you know, you're qualified and your peers know that you're qualified, but the rest of us don't because we don't see what you actually do.

[00:42:01] Maya Acosta:And it's, I don't know if that makes sense, what I just said. Yeah, but it's you know. A lot of times people still think he's a cardiologist when he's a vascular surgeon. And why is that? Because we haven't fully painted a picture of what a vascular surgeon does. And how do you learn that? You learn that through social media or looking it up on YouTube, and that's how we learn about things.

[00:42:21] Maya Acosta:And so you do have to sort of put yourself out there, but I'm excited to know that you'll be consulting other physicians who could probably use someone experience like yourself, who's gone through it, who's learned from. and now they can learn how to put themselves out there on Instagram. That is pretty cool.

[00:42:38] Maya Acosta:Yes, absolutely. Thank you. And if you have a specific link for that, please let me know and I'll, I'm gonna make sure to share it because like I said before, everything you do, I feel like you do it well. And, and thank you professional and great quality content that you put together. So I'm excited to see what you're gonna do for 2023.

[00:42:57] Dr. Judy Brangman:Thank you. Yes, everything is on my website, the Plant-based MD dot. com

[00:43:01] Maya Acosta:All right. Well, Dr. Judy, it's been an honor having you on the show and I wish you a happy 2023. 

[00:43:08] Dr. Judy Brangman:Thank you so much, Maya, for having me, and I wish you a happy 2023 as well. 

[00:43:15] Maya Acosta:Thank you. You've been listening to the Healthy Lifestyle Solutions Podcast with your host Maya Acosta. If you've enjoyed this podcast, do us a favor and share with one friend who can benefit from this episode. Feel free to leave us an honest review on Apple Podcast that helps us to spread our message. Thanks for listening.