28. Wendy Lopez and Jessica Jones, Diabetes Digital

Wendy Lopez and Jessica Jones are nationally recognized Registered Dietitians and Certified Diabetes Educators. They are the founders of Food Heaven – a multimedia platform originally founded for women and communities of color experiencing barriers to food, healthcare and nutrition education - and the newly launched Diabetes Digital - a trusted source for virtual personalized nutrition counseling dedicated to diabetes and prediabetes. In their highly successful podcast, videos, books and more, they dive deep into health and wellness topics with a lens on inclusivity and cultural competency.

Wendy Lopez: “Needs vary based on what community you're talking about, what country you're in, what neighborhood you're in. Talking to the people that are impacted the most by the food system to learn more about what their needs are, what they would want out of a food system, is really important because they're the main stakeholders.”

Jessica Jones: “It's also making sure that people have access not only to health promoting foods, but also culturally relevant foods. Because so often people want to come into communities and say, you should be doing this, or, these are the foods that are helpful. And it's like one list. But it's more effective, and we've seen this firsthand, trying to incorporate foods that people enjoy that are part of their cultures and not demonizing those foods.”

00:12 Intro to Wendy and Jess
01:55 The evolution of Food Heaven to Diabetes Digital
03:46 How prioritizing cultural relevance builds inclusive, sustainable food systems
06:35 Celebrating diversity to reduce stigma and shame
08:09 Socioeconomic and cultural factors influence on choice
10:42 Improving access to healthy, sustainable foods 
12:50 Building trust through science and lived experiences
15:01 How motivational interviewing balances nutrition advice and personal preferences 
18:11 Embracing life’s fluctuations
21:08 Why growing a diverse support community can enhance impact
24:14 The importance of embracing “fun” in business development
26:47 Takeaways for changemakers


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*The views expressed by the guests in this podcast don't necessarily represent the host’s views, nor those of his employer.

28. Wendy Lopez and Jessica Jones, Diabetes Digital
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