Reboot Your Mindset with Kevin Geary – Podcast #20

Dr. Justin and Dr. Baris interviewed Kevin Geary, founder of Rebooted Body and discussed the simple principles on how to get and keep the body and life that you love through proper nutrition, functional fitness and behavior psychology.

In this podcast, learn it is not how much you eat but what you eat that makes the difference concerning your health.   Find out how a variety of daily activities you enjoy and love to do can keep you active and healthy with the DWYLT concept.  Also discover how you can align your behavior and mindset to correct your relationship with your food, your body and yourself for a truly rebooted self.


In this episode we cover:

6:35   Downside of willpower

16:41   DWYLT Concept

23:24   Creating margins in life

34:38   Building self-awareness

46:40   Perspective shifts








Baris Harvey:  Welcome to another episode of Beyond Wellness Radio.  We are so pleased that you guys came in to listen today.  Today we have an awesome interview.  But before we get into that I just want to remind our listeners, make sure you go to  That is where you can find all of our episodes, any show notes that we put up.  And we also have links to our sites so if you guys want to come in and contact us we have links to so that is my site where you can find out more about me and any coaching you want to do with me, health-coaching wise.  There are also links to Just In Health which is Dr. Justin’s site.   You know, the free thyroid report for you guys.  So make sure you guys go there.  So on to the interview.  Well, first, how is it going today, Dr. Justin?

Justin Marchegiani:  Baris, it is going really good today.  How was your breakfast this morning?  What did you have?

Baris Harvey:  I have not had anything yet.  I am planning to probably have a giant lunch.

Justin Marchegiani:  There you go.

Baris Harvey:  Just skip the breakfast but I do have some Teriyaki Chicken that I cooked last night.  So, there are some leftover from that.  So I will probably have some of that.  And yourself?

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  I am not doing a fast today.  I had some Bulletproof coffee this morning.  I had a kombucha.  I did about four eggs Rocky style.  So I am ready to go.

Baris Harvey:  Oh, yes, sounds good.  So today’s episode we have Kevin Geary of Rebooted Life.  How is it going today, Kevin?

Kevin Geary:  It is going really well.  How are you?

Baris Harvey:  Doing awesome.   So, the first question that we always ask our guest is what got you started in the world of health and fitness and what is like your personal journey?

Kevin Geary:  Yes, so back in 2009 I was 220+ pounds and struggling with conventional wisdom and Yoyo dieting like you know, most of America and the rest of the world does.  And I was in a physical with a doctor and just getting everything checked up.  My wife had said, “Hey, you might want to go get a physical you have not had one in a while.”  So I went and it just turned out that things were a little worse than I had thought.  So, I had high blood pressure.  They were basically telling me that I was a borderline diabetic and that I needed to make some changes.  And of course, I have other issues at play.   I was having joint pain and some skin issues.  So things just were not, you know, looking up for me.  And it was about that time I went home talked to my wife and it was like, “I got to do something.”  And it is not like I was not trying previously.  So I was dieting, I was trying to lose the excess weight.  I was trying to get in shape but I just was following broken advice.  And I started to just kind of reach out and look for people who are saying something different than what I was already following.  And that kind of became my mantra.  It was like if I come across somebody and they are saying anything that I have tried before I am just going to move on.  I need something that is radically different.  Nothing that I am trying is remotely working.  So, I came across the Ancestral Health space and I started applying a lot of the principles that I was learning there and really good things started to happen in my life.   And I got down to about 175 pounds and then I kind of had a regression.  So I had this period of time where my mindset really affected me.  I had sugar addiction, of course.  I grew up on sugar and processed foods.  So that was coming back into play.  Just a lot of triggers.   Things that were triggering me to, you know, have a disorder relationship with food and not be in control of my eating choices.  And I ended up regressing back to about 190 pounds.  And then I really started to focus on the mindset and the psychology side of things, that is when like all the pieces came together for me and I ended up getting down to about 165 pounds which I have now maintained since then.  And through that process of number one, discovering that I had been lied to and number two, discovering how important psychology is in this process.  I kind of have this epiphany where I was like, okay the rest of the world must be told about this.  We cannot just continue to keep people in the dark.  So I started telling as many people as I knew.  People started coming to me because they have seen my transformation.  I started working with people.  I started a group in Atlanta and designed a curriculum for the group after people told me they wanted to join.  And all of that is how Rebooted Body ended up being born.  And Rebooted Body was kind of like a thought of okay well this is working really well in Atlanta but I do not just want to reboot Atlanta, like I want to reboot a much bigger sphere than that.  And the internet was the obvious place to go to do that.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, definitely.  And by the way, earlier I did said the Rebooted Life because there seems to be so much more than just, you know.

Kevin Geary:  Right, yes, it probably should be called the Rebooted Life.  (Laughs)

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  Definitely.  (Laughs)  So listeners out there, is where you can find the site.  A lot of great information and you have a podcast as well that is where you talk a lot of awesome things.  So on that point, you are talking about the transition to psychology and one thing that I hear a lot is like willpower, right?  About like all you need is just push harder.  And it kind of reminds me of like the Biggest Loser.  Could you tell how your approach is different than that?  And how there can be a lot of negative outcomes to something like the motivational tactics of something like the Biggest Loser versus more of something like you would teach?

Kevin Geary:  Yes, so what I teach is under the umbrella of having a healthy relationship with food.  And the way that willpower fits into this paradigm, first of all it is important to understand how willpower works.  So it is like a cup and people think that okay if I avoid a certain food that might deplete my willpower cup a little bit.  And the truth is that, every decision you make, every time you use your brain for any sort of processing that depletes your willpower cup.  It does not matter if you are avoiding a certain food or you are having a fight with your spouse or you are having a bad day at work, all of that stress and brain power depletes willpower.  So the problem with willpower is that when you need it most in the stressful situations you are probably unlikely to have access to it.  Now the cup stays pretty full for a good 21 to 30 days.  This is why most people can get through that period, that very short like introduction to this new lifestyle with willpower.  So you can use willpower for a short period of time.  The problem is, when people think that willpower is some sort of a long-term tool and it is just not.  It will always fail long-term and I have outlined eight specific eating triggers.  Some of these are physiological triggers, some are psychological triggers that affect people and cause disordered eating habits.  And I have made willpower actually one of the triggers.  Because what happens is you believe that willpower is a long-term tool and you employ it as such and eventually willpower actually becomes the trigger.  Because all that is is a restriction paradigm where you are restricting, restricting, restricting using willpower to continue to restrict something and that ends up in a binge.  So the willpower while it is a helpful tool upfront can actually become a trigger for disordered eating if you try to use it long-term.  So that is how willpower works.  Now, I am sorry, the other half of your question was what again?

Baris Harvey:  Kind of like the opposite or how would you look at the approach of something like the Biggest Loser and what kind of these stereotypical model like America, like what we think that we should be doing?

Kevin Geary:  Right.

Baris Harvey:  Kind of like the go, go, go!

Kevin Geary:  Yes, so people on like the Biggest Loser approach or the typical conventional dieting model would use willpower long-term or believe in the willpower myth.  And the truth is that they have a disordered relationship with food and need to fix the underlying causes of that.  So if they are going to try to use willpower obviously, you know, I believe Biggest Loser there are some contestants that have come out and said, “Yes, this does not work long-term.”  Like they always end up regaining the weight, right?  And one of the examples that I used to prove this and the thing is like willpower also even though it is not a long-term tool, you do not need it.  Because when you fix your relationship with food the need for willpower is completely erased.  And this is the example that I give.  So, some people have a disordered relationship with shopping.  They go to the mall, they walk around the mall and they cannot help but buy stuff, lots of stuff.  They go into debt; they just cannot escape the mall without buying stuff.  They have a disordered relationship with shopping.  Now, myself, I can walk into the mall and I can walk around and look at a whole bunch of stuff and I can make it back to my car every single time without buying a bunch of stuff and without going in debt.  Now, is that because I have a bunch of willpower?  No, it is because I do not have a disordered relationship with shopping.  There are some people who can walk into a buffet and say, “Hmm, I will have a little of this, and a little of that,” and there is no stress and there is no anxiety around that.  And there is no overconsumption.  It is not because they have a lot of willpower.  It is because they do not have a disordered relationship with food.  So if we fix that disordered relationship with food we can forget about the willpower paradigm.  We can forget about the restriction paradigm.  We can just live life and be free of this anxiety.

Justin Marchegiani:  That makes a lot of sense there, Kevin.  And it kind of sounds like you are kind of gearing the mindset up from an inside out approach where you are calibrating kind of your mindset internally and that affects the outward environment where most people are trying to affect the outward environment to then change their internal environment.

Kevin Geary:  Right.  So, everybody says that success in health and fitness is like 70 to 80% what you eat and 20% everything else, right?  And I tell people to let us zoom out from that because that is once circle but there is a bigger circle that encompasses that and that circle would be that this process is 80% psychology and 20% everything else. So if you can fix your brain, your mind and your emotional self then you start to address all of these other stuff you are really actually going to be able to put what you learn and what you know to use.  So right now we have an epidemic of even people who read my blog or read your blog or listen to your podcast or any of the number of resources who are doing amazing work, they are in this inner circle.  Where there is like, “Okay, okay, I got it.  Food, okay.  Exercise and they are trying to apply it.  And they are forgetting that bigger circle of psychology.

Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Kevin Geary:  And you know what is going to happen is they are going to apply what they are learning for a very short period of time and then the wheels are going to come off their bus.  If they would take a step back and work the psychology part first, then everything you are telling them and I am telling them they are going to be able to consistently put to use forever.  And that is where freedom really exists.

Justin Marchegiani:  It makes a lot of sense.  I know in a lot of different spiritual realms or spiritual books they talk about this be-do-have philosophy where you internally change your sense of being on the inside and that then changes your action and then your action then changes what you manifest.  So it sounds like we are trying to really recalibrate our “being-ness” if you will.  And there is a great book that I read earlier on in my career called, “The Schwarzbein Principle”.   And Dr. Diana Schwarzbein, she talked about the fact that most people think they need to lose weight to get healthy.  And she kind of changed the causality of that saying you get healthy and then you lose weight.  And I think there is even one step added on to that, you change the thought process then your actions start to do the right things to be healthy and then you manifest the weight loss.

Kevin Geary:  Yes.  Absolutely.  And if you look at people’s goals they have that same paradigm, they have this all backwards.  They think that when I lose the weight I will be confident.  When I lose the weight I will be happy.  When I lose the weight I will be X, Y or Z.  And the truth is that the weight has nothing to do with that.  So I always tell people if you want to change your life then actually change your life.  Changing your body is like a side thing, okay?  So you are not going to lose weight and suddenly be happier.

Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Kevin Geary:  Or suddenly be confident or any of that.  That is going to happen through doing legitimate work on yourself not just losing arbitrary amounts of weight.  So we have this concept especially in America and in the marketing for all of these programs that if you lose weight you will be happy or X, Y, Z and the truth is that it will do nothing for you.  You will lose weight.  You will be a smaller a person and you will still be a sad person.  You will still be a person riddled with anxiety.

Justin Marchegiani:  Now I am going to challenge you in that concept.

Kevin Geary:  Yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  So, let us say I have a patient whose mindset is there, they are like, “I want to be healthy.”  But then they think that being healthy is cutting calories, cutting fat and eating 12 servings of grains a day.  So how do you apply that philosophy when someone wants to be, and their “being-ness” is there but the doing part is just totally off-base?

Kevin Geary:  Well are they, did they not believe you when you are telling them what to do or giving them an outline?  What is the paradigm behind that?

Justin Marchegiani:  So I would say the person is just under the belief that this is how you do it because they are getting their information from men’s health or the conventional mainstream.  Maybe they have not met someone like me or Baris yet and they are just getting it from the internet or websites that are not as, you know, giving this cutting edge information.

Kevin Geary:  Yes.  So if you have the right mindset and you are still operating with the wrong advice so we have to think of it as a stool, right?  So if you have three legs of a stool and one of those legs is having the right advice, well you have a great mindset and you are doing all of the exercise stuff, let us say you are being active or we can say anti-sedentary.  And then the third leg of the stool is this nutrition component that were totally wrong on, well you only have two legs on your stool that stool is not going to stand up.

Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Kevin Geary:  Advice is really important.  Having the right information is really important.  What I try to teach is that the information is not as important as people make it out to be.  It is not the be-all and end all, right?

Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Kevin Geary:  But absolutely if you have the wrong information you are never going to get there.

Justin Marchegiani:  Got it.  Makes sense.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, definitely.  So I want to slightly shift gears where we were talking about kind of like the Be-Do-Have.  I really like that and that is actually something that I have on my wall.  Like I have a thing that I made and it has that.  So I really like that component.  I think that is very beneficial.

Kevin Geary:  Yeah, me too.

Baris Harvey:  And you talked about changing the relationship when it came to your food.  And I want to kind of think about exercise as well when we talked about this willpower and we talked about willpower with food.  We also talked about how willpower affects like exercise and how do we exercise in order to maintain something that we do want to do.  I know with a lot of my friends they might not always go to the gym but a lot of times they play basketball.  My girlfriend really likes to play soccer.  Like what are some tactics that we can do to like sustain long-term healthy exercise?

Kevin Geary:  Right.  So I recently wrote an article.  I cannot remember the exact title but the concept of the article is called DWYLT.  Do what you love today.  And it was about ditching exercise in general.  And I think we have this, exercise has a negative connotation of beating myself up and slaving away, and gyms where it is almost like my office for exercise where I cannot be healthy and active unless I am in my exercise office called the gym.  And what that does is it creates like a narrow mindset and along with the negative connotation that exercise has.  I have been looking at this and people have a ton of resistance around exercise which leads them to believe that they need all of these tricks and habit tips and all the stuff to make sure that they incorporate it in their life.  And the truth is that we really just need a perspective shift on what activity is and what a healthy active lifestyle looks like.  So I wrote this article of the concept DWYLT.  Do what you love today.  And it is basically making a list of stuff that you love to do that is also active.  Stuff that you seek out not stuff that you have to talk yourself into.  So if you have to talk yourself to go into the gym, if you have to talk yourself into going for a run that stuff should probably be severely limited, if not excluded.  And your list should just be made out of things that you love to do and are drawn to do that are also active.  And then all you do is wake up today and say, “What would I love to do today that is on this list?”  And you go and do it.  It is that simple.  And completely breaks down the resistance around it.  And the other side of this is that all of these things are fulfilling activities.  They are not tearing you down.  You are not slaving away when you do them.  They might be extremely difficult but at the same time they are very fulfilling both mentally and emotionally or spiritually and physically and that is where the real magic happens.  When you talk about creating a healthy lifestyle and I always say if I have a client and I work with them we do a bunch of really good work and they get really good results.  And I call them in 10 years.  I would hate to have them say, “Well, yes, I did not stick with it.  I am back to how I was.”  That would be a complete failure for me.  So where other programs are like yes you know, we are going to take you through 4 months and you are going to have this new body.  And then I am never going to hear from you again.  That is not me.  Like I want to hear from people in 10 years that they are still doing this stuff and their lifestyle has still stuck.  That is really the goal.  So people come to me and they say, “Yes I am doing CrossFit six days a week.”  And I am like, is that really sustainable?

Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Kevin Geary:  Are you going to be doing CrossFit 6 days a week in 10 years?  No!  But DWYLT, you could easily be doing 10 years from now.  Now the things on your list may have changed but that concept will stick with you until the day that you die.  You can be eighty and doing the DWYLT concept.  You cannot be eighty doing CrossFit six days a week.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, definitely.  That sounds awesome.  It is funny that you mentioned that because a lot of clients that I work with just because I work from a long distance I am not there physically training them.  But usually I will look up on Google and find like an MMA Gym or something of that sort.  So that way they can do like kick boxing class so that way they can be active at something that they enjoy as well.  And it is funny because oftentimes we go to the gym for our certain goal and oftentimes it is like what are you training for and you never get to that event.  But if you join that MMA Gym and you do kickboxing like everyday you are training, you are also doing the action or if you are signed up to an adult soccer league like everyday that you are training there and you are practicing but you are also doing the thing.

Kevin Geary:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  Whereas when you are working out you are just kind of going through the motion.  You are training but there is not actually like a goal.

Kevin Geary:  Right.  Absolutely.  And the DWYTL concept also gives you the opportunity to have a ton of variety.   So I actually pulled up the article.  I will just run down my personal list real quick.  So we have walking, sprinting, cycling, swimming, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, taekwondo, MMA, slacklining, rock climbing, hiking, Yoga, running, flag football, ultimate frisbee and sandbag resistance training.  So when I wake up I look at this list and I say, “What would I love to do out of this list today?”  And there is so much variety that I always find something.  And like you said, a lot of these things on this list are things you are actively doing or training for and getting better at or they are challenging. And they are fun, they are sports.  You are competing.  So there is that component as well.  Now, some people might hear that list and say, “Oh, wait a minute.  Kevin, you’ve got exercise stuff in there.”  Like I heard about sprinting, that is just exercise.  I heard about sandbag resistance training, that is just exercise.  And the thing is, sometimes I really love to exercise.  And sometimes I really love to sprint.  Now, if I went out and say, “I am going to sprint every Friday at 1 pm.”  And I get to Friday and I do not feel like sprinting what is going to happen?  It is not going to happen or I may have to use willpower or some other trick to make it happen.  If I do not do it I feel guilty about not doing it.  I will start to beat myself up.  We will have this negative self-talk issue creep in.  Look, DWYLT takes away all that stuff.  You just wake up and say what on this list what I love to do and I go do it.  I do not care what it is, we are just going to go do it and we are going to have fun.

Justin Marchegiani:  And that makes a lot of sense, Kevin.  And like with myself, I find that I just get so busy and so kind of like tunnel vision on what I am doing.  If I do not have something on my schedule, it is just I forget and I just get, “oh!” you know and the day is over.  So how do you deal with people that just need to put it on their schedule?  So they can do it, so that they can make the time for it.  Because the key thing is you need to have the time to do all this things.  How do you handle that?

Kevin Geary:  Right, well, a couple of these things are automatically scheduled for me.  So for instance, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, like I cannot control when I train.  My gym tells me here is your Brazilian Jiu-jitsu time and day and these are your options.  So on a Sunday or something I will kind of look at the week that is ahead of me and I will say, “Alright, I really want to hit a couple of days Brazilian Jiu-jitsu here.”  So, bang!  Like that day and time is already done and I have to schedule and make it available.  Some days, I will wake up, and what I have done is in my schedule, and this is probably a good lesson for people, too.  There is this concept I teach of margin, of creating margin in your life.  And margin is the extra room, right?  And you can fill margin with whatever you would like.  So maybe something pops up and you, you know people always, “Oh, I do not have time for that,” right?   “My schedule is too full.”  And that is like we pass up all of the things that really make us healthy because we have no margin in our life.  So I have a lot of margin in my schedule.  So it is really never an issue where I say, “Well, I just do not have time for something today.”  There is always just this chunk of like time I could do whatever I want with.  So if I do not have anything scheduled for that day, I will stick some walking in there or I will stick a sprint in there or whatever.  And I recommend that people really work to create more margin in their life.  I actually have a free workbook on that that people can do.   It is a huge part of my program as well where we really dive deep and make sure that people do the work in that area because without margin you get all the excuses.  And margin by the way, is not just in time.  There are eight key areas of life where I focus on helping people make margin.  You can make margin in your relationships.  You can make margin in your time.  You can make margin in your finances.  Finances being a good one for being healthy, too.  Because how many times do we hear the excuse, “I do not have enough money to eat healthy, right?”

Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Kevin Geary:  It is too expensive.  Well, if you do not have enough margin in your finances.  If you have more margin in your finances, guess what?  This would not be an issue.  If you have more margin in your time, you would be able to get your walks in and your other activities in.  So this lack of margin is actually another huge epidemic that we are facing in our modern society and it is something I want people to tackle.

Justin Marchegiani:  And how much do you think values and priorities are the problem?  Like the person may have $120 a month IPhone bill or they may go have their Starbucks latte every morning.  And the money is there it is just that priority or value is just lower on the list.  How do we update values?  

Kevin Geary:  Yes.  So this is a huge problem, you know.  We have a lot of people who want stuff; they are just not willing to get it, right?

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Kevin Geary:  And yes, so the first thing I do when people join my program is I have them make what I call “Big Whys”.  And these are whys that they spend a good chunk of time on.  So they inevitably when people signup their little whys are: I want to lose weight.  I want to get healthier.  I want to do this.  And they might even have some specificity to those things.  But those are not big whys.  So the problem people face with motivation is that when the road gets tough and it will get tough, none of this is easy.  I lost 60+ pounds and I can tell you that there is a lot of low points in that process.  So when the going gets tough you are going to have to look at the reasons why you are doing this.  And if your reason for doing this, your biggest reasons for doing this is to get into a bikini for the summer that is not going to cut it, like it is such an easy goal to give up on.  When something goes wrong such an easy goal to just toss up the window, right?  Well I have one of my big whys just to give you an example. When my daughter was born I was looking at these issues again and I was saying, “Wow!  You know, there is a good chance that I am not going to be around to see some of the later years that my daughter has and that would be a tragedy to me.  So every time I am doing something with my body or thinking about nutrition or thinking about activity I am always also thinking about her and aside from that how can I be the best leader for her.  How can I be the best role model for how to live a healthy life?  That is a huge why for me.  And everybody says, “Well, I lost motivation.”  You cannot lose motivation when you have a two year old daughter depending on you.

Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Kevin Geary:  Number one to be there and number two to be a role model.  So that is a huge why.  And I do not think people think about those deep enough and that really helps to get those priorities in order.

Justin Marchegiani:  That makes a lot of sense.  And I want to follow up one last question on that.  So it sounds like you are saying if we make our why bigger the what and the how is not as important.  It is really focusing on that big why, is that correct?

Kevin Geary:  Yes, the big why is the sustainability factor.  The big why is the motivation factor.  I always use the extreme example of people with cancer or diagnosed with cancer and your doctor laid out a plan for you and says, “Look, this is your best shot right here.  If you do this plan there is a good chance that you are going to come out of this.”  And you say, “Okay, doc I am going home.”  Now will this person call the doctor in four weeks and go, “I lost my motivation.  I just do not know what to do.”  Like no!  Their life depends on them following that plan.  It depends on it.

Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Kevin Geary:  There is no way they would lose motivation in that paradigm.  So that is a huge why, right?  Well, we do not have to be diagnosed with cancer to have big whys.  We just have to look a little bit deeper in our life and really sort those priorities out.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-humm.  Definitely.  And I love that example because I actually use that a lot.  I had a client who had PCOS and really, really, really badly wanted to have a baby and tried so many times and could not.  And so when she came to me I knew that she had a big reason why.  Whereas I have had clients before say, “Hey, I have a reunion coming up next month could I drop like x amount of pounds?”  And I am like, “I am sorry and I am not going to work with you.”

Kevin Geary:  Right.

Baris Harvey:  Definitely.  Earlier, you mentioned something that I want to get back to.  You talked about ends.  You said the negative self-thought to automatic negative thoughts, right?

Kevin Geary:  Uh-humm.

Baris Harvey:  Could you go a little bit into what that is?   Because you briefly mentioned it but I want to make sure our listeners know what negative self-thought is.

Kevin Geary:  Yes, anytime thoughts are running through your head where you are kind of tearing yourself down.  So this happens mostly when people get on scales which is why I have not ditched scales.  It also happens when they look at themselves in the mirror.  It happens when they put certain things in their mouth.  So they might walk by the mirror and look in and say, “God, I am so fat.”  Or “God I am so this or that…”, or just any message that goes through their head that is tearing themselves down rather than building themselves up.  And these negative thoughts slowly chip away at you and they manipulate your behavior.  So, one example is when you have a lot of negative self-thought running through your head and you believe or you feel that you are not worth the time and the effort that you are putting in to this.  That is a big reason why people quit.  That is a big reason why people throw in the towel.  It is a big reason why people binge.  So that stuff has to be addressed and healed.  A lot of people especially if they are very low on the self-awareness scale may not even realize how much this is affecting them and manipulating their behavior.  Other people do realize it but they do not know what to do about it.  So those are the exact messages that go through peoples’ head and a lot of these are spawned from these toxic beliefs that people have.  Toxic beliefs are like core visceral beliefs about yourself that trigger this negative self-thought and that is like the root of negative self-thought.  That is how we start addressing it and getting rid of negative self-thought.  That can go all the way back to childhood how your parents talked to you.  How your teachers talked to you.  Any adverse childhood experiences that you had.  So all these stuff had to be sorted out but yes it is a self-sabotage trigger.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, exactly.  One thing that I noticed and might be one of the big self-sabotage triggers at least in our community would probably be perfectionism.

Kevin Geary:  Uh-hmm.

Baris Harvey:  We search out for all these different ideas and how to make sure that we have the perfect food and the perfect exercise and perfect everything.  And sometimes when we do not do what we considered to be perfect we start to almost shame ourselves like, “Wow! Like I just ate this thing that is like not gluten-free or something crazy and you know, blow up and now it really goes downhill.  Could you speak a little bit on perfectionism and how we can kind of adjust our ideas to help us out there?

Kevin Geary:  Yes, again I think it is really important to look at the root of this stuff.  We do not just end up as perfectionists.  There is not just this section of the population that got the perfectionism disease or something.  Unfortunately, our cultural paradigm around raising children causes most of this stuff.  So perfectionism is basically approval seeking, right?  I need to do things perfect so I can get somebody’s approval.  And this goes back to childhood when we are always searching for parents’ approval especially if our parents are operating in this reward-punishment paradigm where love becomes kind of conditional.  You know, based on did you do a good job?  Oh, therefore you get attention.  Did you not do a good job?  Therefore, you get punished or avoided or isolated or something like that.  And the brain starts trying to figure out, “Okay, what do I do to get this approval and this love that I so desperately crave?  And that paradigm is carried into adulthood very easily.  So people are always trying to be perfect continuing to seek that approval and love from others.  It is a very subconscious thing but that is the trigger for it.  So we cannot just say, “Alright, how do I start not caring about the quality of worth or how can I make a little slip up and a mistake and not carry that into a binge because of the shame and the guilt that comes along with it?  We really have to go back and discuss what happened and why we are seeking approval and why we feel like that people do not approve of us or we need their approval.   There are a lot of different paradigms that have to be sorted out there.

Justin Marchegiani:  That is a really an interesting stuff, Kevin and a couple of things that I wanted to address because we are talking about mindset and I think we have not really talked about the subconscious mind.  And it is important because according to research 90% of our thoughts occur in the subconscious mind.  And we know that 90% of our thinking of all thoughts, in general, are negative.  So there are a lot stinking thinking going on and it is tough because a lot of people they just feel like they only can control so little of the conscious.  So what are the things that we can do to help with the subconscious?  And I am just going to throw a couple of things out there.  I personally use hypnosis.  I use self-mastery technology.  I use EFT and various tapping techniques and affirmation and meditation to work on my subconscious because I know it is like a garden.  You never ever have to grow weeds.  Weeds automatically grow and weeds are the negative thoughts.  So I want to get your take on what you do with your clients and yourself to train your subconscious?

Kevin Geary:  Yes.  So a lot of things that you just said I recommend to people and experiment with and see what benefits they can get out of it.  Personally for me and with working with clients especially when we do this online, the best thing that I have found is building more self-awareness.  And the way that we do that is through journaling exercises.  So I want to get the exact messages that are going through peoples’ heads onto paper and then I want to see it.  And I want it to be as raw as possible and as detailed as possible and then that becomes the curriculum.  Like that becomes the material that we work through as far as mindset goes.  And we go back and I give them an adverse childhood experiences survey.  They go down a list and they add up a score based on adverse experiences that they possibly went through in childhood.  We add that into the mix.  We start talking about and bringing awareness to all these stuff.  And then we bring philosophy into the mix.  So philosophy is kind of like finding the truths in life.  A lot of people try to make up this concept of what their life is and the storyline.  And a lot of it is very fictional because the non-fiction side of things the truth is too painful for them to think about and to consider.  So we use philosophy to really go in and say, “Alright, what is the actual truth here?”  Because the truth is the only thing that is going to allow us to do the important work that we need to do to get to freedom.  And if we continue with this fictional account of our life nothing is going to get done, right?  And that is the equivalent to burying your head in the sand.   So the first step is self-awareness.  Do the journaling, getting it as raw and detailed as possible and then using the philosophy to parcel that and really focus on the truth and what the truth means in our life.

Justin Marchegiani:  That makes sense.  I see a lot of that as you are consciously thinking about the things that you journal down.  You are consciously looking at the things that you are responsible for in your life.  Is there anything else that you do on the subconscious level?

Kevin Geary:  No, but I will say that the more self-awareness you build the more you are able to like consciously understand what is happening with your subconscious, right?

Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Kevin Geary:  Like there is a deafness scale to what is going on and how your body is responding to the world around you and so on.  So if you are like a 9 out of 10 you are almost completely deaf to how your subconscious is manipulating your behavior and your conscious thoughts and so on.  Then yes, that is an issue, right?  And the more self-awareness we can build the less deaf you become and the more you can sort this stuff out.

Justin Marchegiani:  Right.  Right.  So philosophy is really important.  Taking accountability seems to be a really, really important thing.   So if someone is listening to the show right now and they feel like their mindset is not 100% on point, what is the best or the easiest thing they can do off the bat to shift their mindset?

Kevin Geary:  There are a couple of things that you do.   One is around food.  The other, so the base technique that I use or the base thing I would recommend would be to start journaling everything that you eat.  Everything that you put in your mouth, just write it down.  That builds awareness around food.  And then aside from that which you are going to run into is when you are eating these thoughts are going to start going to your head.  And I do not know what they are, they are different for everybody.  But these messages are you either going to struggle?  Or you are going to say, “Wow!  This is easier than I thought.”  Or you are going to have other negative self-talk come in.  All of that stuff needs to be journaled and written down.  And what I have them do so one practical exercise is that anytime there is negative self-talk and you have written that down, it is important not at the same time, but that night before you go to bed, you review those messages that you wrote down and you write the truth next to them and you start reprogramming how your brain is thinking during the day.  And after you have done this for a while, you are going to notice the negative self-talk messages decrease in quantity and they even start to be manipulated.   So your brain will like self-correct and it will say, “No, no, no, that’s not the truth.  That’s not the truth.”  And then you will automatically start telling yourself the truth in the moment and that is really important for progress.

Justin Marchegiani:  That makes a lot of sense, too because I have a lot of my patients do food diaries.  And it is very interesting because you always get this belabored like, “Oh, I really, I got to do that?”  And when they do it, it is amazing because it is more for them than it is for me.  It is for me for the accountability aspect and to make sure that they are doing the right thing.  But then they are like, “Wow!  I am going 6 or 7 hours without eating.  My blood sugar is dropping.”  Or, “I noticed that when I eat gluten, you know that next day, I feel like crap.”  Or, “Hey, you know, I am eating really low fat.  I am eating paleo but I am eating boneless skinless chicken breast and I am eating too lean.”  Or they are not eating enough calories in general and it is amazing just writing things down.  It really does bring things more of a conscious mind and creates a high level of awareness.

Kevin Geary:  Yes and when you add the psychology side into that, so you know, people are always in my program they are writing down, “Yes, I am eating boneless chicken breast and the things that you just said.  And then on top of that, they are writing down things like, “I really wish I was eating ice cream right now.”  And I think the reason I wish I was eating ice cream right now is because I am highly stressed, because I just had an argument with my boss and I don’t feel like he is listening to me.  And this stress, I am noticing this stress is triggering this ice cream craving in me.”  And then they just continue to explore that deeper and deeper and deeper and they start to find connections to previous areas of their life and they start to really sort out why triggers happened, when they tend to happen.  That gives us a game plan for navigating around them or making sure they do not happen next time.  So, this is yes, it is like a food journal on steroids, right?

Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-humm.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Kevin Geary:  It just gives us so much more information that we can work with.

Baris Harvey:  It almost sounds like you are kind of being, you are having almost this dialogue with yourself where you are being investigative and asking the question why, more like why I am having this feeling and digging deeper into it versus just, oh, I am craving this food.  I feel bad.  I feel fat versus why do I feel this way and maybe it is more so because of like you mentioned earlier maybe I want somebody’s approval or maybe it is this and this and this.  So that is awesome.

Kevin Geary:  Yes.  One thing I will just interject.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  Go ahead.

Kevin Geary:  You know, people tend to just always be inside themselves.  So when that guilt or that shame pops up they really feel it intensely and then they allow it to manipulate their behavior rather than when you start doing this type of journaling, you kind of almost step outside of your body.  Like you see yourself there eating and you notice in yourself that there is this shame and this guilt but you are able to, like you just said, sort it out and ask why? That is a question people do not ask of themselves a lot.  They are just so intensely feeling what they feel that there is no exploration there.  They just feel it, allow it to manipulate their behavior.  And then they move on to this other tangent of behavior whereas they can learn to just kind of be separated from themselves for a minute, really explore what is going on and get a lot of valuable information out of that.  And that is the side that people are missing.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  I think that is great.  I think it is really important for our listeners to take this advice on journal rather than I feel like, it is almost like you just put your head down and just give up and feel everything and just be in the moment versus kind of like what you said stepping aside and staying away, I can control this and I can have a conversation with myself.  But you know, speaking on that, when people do, I mean fall off the wagon while they are doing their 30-day whatever kind of transition and they feel like they fall off the wagon.  Oftentimes people feel like, “Oh, I am a failure.  I failed.”  They have the shame again.   What are some of the things that you are in for yourself or your clients as well?   When you fall off the wagon, what are some of the things that you do to make sure that you get back on to the right path?

Kevin Geary:  Right.  The concept of falling off the wagon is a little complicated.  And my answer for it is a little abstract.  But a lot of times, the falling off the wagon mindset has to do with the shame and the guilt that is involved in errors and not being perfect and not following the “plan to a tee”.  And they are used to these diets and these models of, “Oh, you are just not doing it well enough that is why you are failing or that is why you are not making x amount of progress.”  And I think when you remove the expectations at the beginning and you remove all shame and guilt triggers, so I am very clear with people that when they do something that they were not necessarily proud of or happy with behavior, they can come to me with it and there is going to be no guilt involved, there is going to be no shame involved.  We are just going to talk it through kind of like we are, again, having that conversation outside of ourselves to just about what happened.  So when there is no shame and there is no guilt involved then people are allowed to be and encouraged to be compassionate for themselves and patient with themselves.  So another problem is setting people up for failure with the concept of how quickly they are going to get to results or promising certain results, right?   So they automatically feel when that does not happen that they are not on track or they are doing something wrong.  All of that stuff has to be removed.  It is more of a concept of we are leading people to failure or setting them up for failure.  We need to make sure that we clear the path of all that nonsense and let them have this understanding that there is no wagon.  Like there are just behaviors day to day, that’s it.  And we just have to look at consistently making better behaviors and better decisions and how do we go about that.  I do not understand the concept of falling off the wagon because it is just life that is all we are dealing.  There is no wagon, right?  It is just life.  Every day you wake up you have an opportunity to make better decisions or new decisions or whatever you want to do.   So it is not like, you know, there is this wagon that is going to leave you behind.  So I just want to change people’s paradigm around that and just have them see that every single day you wake up is an opportunity to make different decisions and different behaviors.  There is no wagon.

Baris Harvey:  Definitely.  Sounds good.  Dr. Justin you want to go ahead and take it from here?

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  Sounds great.  I have a couple more questions here and then we will close things up.  I know I always tell my patients that they are only one decision away from getting back on track.  So let us say they make a bad decision, they are only one decision away from being right back on that path.  And I know I also tell my patients that it takes no more effort to get what you do not want than what it does to get what you do want.  Meaning it is all about habit.  So how much in the thinking and the mindset is your overcoming some habits where the whole idea of habits, our habits are like cobwebs in the beginning and then they turn into chains the more you do it.  So how much of it is just getting things into habitual state?  How much of that are you focusing on here, Kevin?

Kevin Geary:  A lot.  The thing is I do not call them habits and I do this for a reason.  I mean there is a lot of confusion around how habits are made, how long habits take to form, why they are so hard to break and all that.  So I choose a different route.  And my goal is not to get people to new habits.  My goal is to get them into perspective shifts.

Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-humm.

Kevin Geary:  When you have a shift in perspective all the other stuff does not matter, right?

Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Kevin Geary:  And all the science about habits does not matter.  If I have this perspective of this is who I am.  I make these choices in life.  Then those choices are easy to make or their habits or whatever you want to call them.

Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Kevin Geary:  It does not really matter, right?  So the problem is having a perspective of I struggle.  I am overweight.  I am this I am that.  I am not capable.  My body is not set for change.  I do not have a fast metabolism.  Okay all those are different perspectives.  We need to work to get people to the perspective of “I can do this” and then to the perspective of “I am this”.  And when they get to the perspective of “I am this” willpower is not necessary.  This entire lifestyle is very easy to carry out.  So it is not like I wake up in the morning and struggle with what I am going to eat or not eating doughnuts for breakfast.  I used to struggle with that.  I had a completely different perspective on all of these.  Now I have a new perspective and it is very simple and it is very easy.  It is kind of the shopping thing that we talked about.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-humm.

Kevin Geary:  So when perspective changes it is effortless and we do not need to worry about anything else.  So getting them to those perspective shifts are really important.

Baris Harvey:  You know that reminds me, I told somebody kind of something very similar to this.  When it came to me and working out, I tell them well I do not necessarily have to force myself to workout because I am a collegiate football player.  That is just something that I do that is a part of who I am.

Kevin Geary:  Uh-humm.

Baris Harvey:  And I wake up in the morning and say, “Well, if I want to be the best athlete I could be I workout.” And then so it is almost like changing your perspective like you said, you consider yourself like, “Oh, I am a fat kid,” which I used to be.  I used to think like, “Oh well, I am going to go eat Chinese food and eat the entire giant portion that they give me because that is who I am.  I do not do that anymore obviously but that is kind of like the perspective I had because, whoa! That is who I was.

Kevin Geary:  Right.

Baris Harvey:  And it almost changing that like, “Oh, I am a healthy person.  So what does a healthy person do?”

Kevin Geary:  Right.  Yes.  So, I am an entrepreneur, right?  I wake up in the morning and my perspective of life is like, “What am I going to do inside that paradigm?”   What are my behaviors going to be?  And it is just very easy to do it.  If I was stuck in a 9 to 5 job working 40 hours a week and had no autonomy over, you know, some people are able to do that.  Some people love to be in that paradigm.  Some people look at entrepreneurship and go, “Wow!   That is way too risky, I could never do that.”  So going to work for them is very comfortable and it is very easy.  It would be completely uncomfortable for me.  We just have two different perspectives on work, right?  So, you know, do I need willpower, habits and all these other stuff to do what I do as an entrepreneur?  No.  I just love to do it.  I am engaged with it, it is who I am.  Therefore, it gets done.  And the thing that people need to understand, the powerful part of this is that perspectives can change.  So just because you have one perspective now it does not mean you cannot have another perspective later.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-humm.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, that makes a lot of sense.  Well, his name is Kevin Geary and you can find him at  Kevin’s got a blog.  He has got some programs there on the program link.  He has also got some free guides and videos and a podcast.  Feel free and check him out over there.  Kevin, is there any way that our listeners can access more of your information?

Kevin Geary:  Everything is on the website and what I always tell people is if they want to shoot me an email, I respond to all the emails that I get.  People do not believe me sometimes when I say that but I absolutely do.  So if they want to ask a quick question or get some additional insights on anything they are welcome to send me an email.

Justin Marchegiani:  Well, thanks so much, Kevin for coming on the show.  We really appreciate it.

Kevin Geary:  Thank you so much for having me.


Detoxification Issues – Mary Vance – Podcast #19

In this podcast, Dr. Justin and Mary Vance, a holistic nutritionist and wellness coach talked about the importance of functional nutrition and how by determining and addressing the underlying causes of one’s disease rather than simply dealing with it symptomatically can greatly provide relief and make a huge difference in one’s health.

Learn the proper approach to detox and how proteins and amino acids play a vital role in making our detoxification channels run properly.  Also find out what the top three stressors in our detox system and how to avoid it.  Discover the different herbs for detox as well as the healing benefits of essential oils.


In this episode we cover:

06:25   SIBO

09:33   3 Weeks To Vitality

14:18   3 Detox Stressors

19:28   Detoxification pathways

25:12   Herbs for detoxification

43:17   Resistance Starch

43:17   Essential Oils Benefits








Justin Marchegiani:  Welcome back to Beyond Wellness Radio.  This is Dr. Justin Marchegiani here.  Baris Harvey will not be here today but we have an awesome guest in our studio, Mary Vance, NC.  Mary is a Certified Nutritional Consultant in Bauman College.  She has also gone through Dr. Daniel Kalish’s Functional Medicine program.  And Mary has worked with patients; I want to say, for the last five to ten years, Mary?

Mary Vance:  It’s actually been almost 10 years now.  I finished school in 2006.  I started kind of mentoring and working with people, around 2005-ish, so almost 10 years, yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  Wow.  That’s great.

Mary Vance:  Yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  Well, I would love for you to be able to share your story, kind of how you got into the health field with our listeners.

Mary Vance:  Sure.  And you can read kind of a more detailed information on my site which is

Justin Marchegiani:  Okay.

Mary Vance:  But the short story is that I grew up an animal lover and was raising and training show horses and dogs.  And I attended some animal rights workshops and learned about the really deplorable conditions behind factory farming.  And that really horrified me so I became a vegetarian.  And I was about fifteen and I lived essentially on rice and ramen noodles and I became severely anemic.

Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, man.

Mary Vance:  Yes, right.  (Laughs)

Justin Marchegiani:  (Laughs)

Mary Vance:  I mean they were delicious but I became really severely anemic.  And that was kind of the first connection I made that, “Wow! What you eat really dictates the status of your health.”  So you know now, since you and I are working with clients and patients all the time it is kind of a no-brainer for us.  But I think a lot of people still do not really make that connection.  And so that is how it really hit home for me and I started really studying how to be a healthy vegetarian.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  You know, if there is such a thing.  And I just read everything that I can get my hands on.  I was really interested in the connection between nutrition and health.  But then of course, I was eating a lot of soy and thought that I was super healthy because I was a vegetarian.

Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Mary Vance:  And all of the processed soy food obviously kind of messed up my hormones and thyroid.  And that is when I really kind of started pursuing this as a career.   Went back to school and got my education and training and then you know just learned how to rebalance my hormones on my own.  And it all kind of took off from there.

Justin Marchegiani:  Wow! That is great.  Now because you mentioned animals I am going to go into it.  I got a scratch from my cat maybe four days ago and it is kind of swollen up.  And I have done some research it’s a bartonella infection.

Mary Vance:  Oh, wow!

Justin Marchegiani:  I am actually treating it right now with some herbs, with silver, with noni, with neem, cordyceps, a couple of herbal formulas and its actually going down really nicely.  So I may get to avoid the antibiotics.  I am keeping my fingers crossed.  I want to keep my gut flora as healthy as possible.

Mary Vance:  Yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  I know you have the experience working with a lot of people with gut infections.  And I am just curious, people that have animals, do you see a lot of people that are around animals come up with infections?

Mary Vance:  Now that is really an interesting question because one of my closest friend is a naturalist and works with tons of animals and his was the worst parasite test I ever saw.  (Laughs)

Justin Marchegiani:  Gosh.

Mary Vance:  Riddled with stuff and have a lot of GI issues.  And yes, actually one of the more common thing I see and I know you do too is really H. pylori.  And then if you test one person, if they have a partner you always want to run a test on the partner.  And 9 times out of 10, the partner comes up with it, too.  So aside from animals, the moral of the story is check your partners as well.  (Laughs)

Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, absolutely.  My cat gave my fiancée cryptosporidium infection.

Mary Vance:  Oh my gosh!

Justin Marchegiani:  I know.  And speaking of cats, are you familiar with toxoplasmosis?

Mary Vance:  Oh yes.  Yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  So that is an infection that literally changes the person’s brain chemistry to like, I think to actually like urine, like the cat urine.

Mary Vance:  Oh, my God!

Justin Marchegiani:  Isn’t that crazy that it can like change your urges and kind of desires around something like that?  Isn’t that crazy?

Mary Vance:  That is really scary.  I think pigeons carry that, too.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, yes exactly.  So when you deal with these people that have chronic infections, what is the best way to do it?  Do you find going out knocking out the infection right away tend to be the best thing or is there some type of foundation that has to be worked on with these patients before they get to the infections?

Mary Vance:  Well, that is a really good question, too.  And as you know, kind of my favorite repeatable mantra that I tell everyone is that there is never a one-size-fits all approach to any of this stuff.  So if anyone comes to you and they have a bunch of different gut infections or pathogenic infections or parasites going on, I mean sometimes if they are also super toxic, you know when their liver is not working properly because they are super overwhelmed with all the toxins that are admitted due to these gut infections and they are not digesting well and that creates kind of a toxic environment.  And then if you give them herbs or even sometimes the antibiotics or whatever if they have a really severe infection and that can overwhelm their detox system.  And overwhelm them to the point where they would crash and feel incredibly ill.  

Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Mary Vance:  And if their adrenals are not supported, it is really important to make sure that whoever you are working with has the detox channels working properly and they are not super stressed out and their adrenals are kind of working before you can really knock out a lot of the GITs.  And make sure that their diet is pretty stable, too.  Don’t you find that common in your practice, too?  

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  I mean, I find that a lot of people for instance a lot of toxins are eliminated via the hepatobiliary channel system.  So if your gut is backed up then when your liver and gallbladder dump all these stuff up you are just going to reabsorb it.

Mary Vance:  Totally.

Justin Marchegiani:  So definitely making sure like digestion is there, transit time is there.  Getting rid of the dysbiosis and SIBO.

Mary Vance:  Oh yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  That is like, I find that really important.

Mary Vance:  Yes, SIBO is so funny because all of a sudden you hear about SIBO everywhere and its only years ago no one was really talking about it.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  And now it’s… I mean I see it’s a really common cause of constipation and almost everyone I am working with that has GI problems have the tendency towards constipation.  And of course that makes, you know, detox issues much worse if you are backed up but SIBO is really huge right now.  I see a lot of those cases.

Justin Marchegiani:  And what is your opinion with SIBO?  Because I find with some patients that it is just SIBO that is causing the problem.  And then you have other patients where SIBO is kind of a sign of a deeper infection that is like underneath.

Mary Vance:  Oh, yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  And that is kind of like making the outer environment in the gut like more, you know, dysbiotic, if you will.  So what is your take?  Are you seeing more of just SIBO being the problem or SIBO and other infections?

Mary Vance:  Well, I find that with candida most often.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  You know.  If you always see yeast as kind of a secondary infection to other stuff.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, candida.

Mary Vance:  And it seems that way with SIBO as well.  Because yes, obviously the gut terrain is totally altered with these infections and then it causes the secondary infections to crop up.  But it is kind of baffling to me right now.  I don’t know if you have come across this but I will have people that go to their doctors get breath tests for SIBO and they come back negative but they still have all the signs.  And then they start eating you know, according to FODMAP and kind of addressing that, they feel better.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  So I wonder what do you think about the accuracy of those breath tests? 

Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, basically we are on the exact same page.  I tell my patients, one if we see it in the stool test that is great.  But if they see any resolution of going on a Low FODMAP diet and their gas and bloating improves that is diagnostic to me.

Mary Vance:  Oh yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  And then also if adding in a little bit of resistant starch makes the problem worse, I tell them it is like throwing a rock in the beehive and that is diagnostic for SIBO in my ballgame as well.  Because some of these tests can be expensive so we can do objective/subjective testing.  When we add these things and then we see if symptoms go one way or the other.  That can be huge at moving forward and knowing that we have this issue.

Mary Vance:  Yes.  So do you just use the Metametrix tests to see if there’s an overgrowth of good bacteria and that is how you use stool testing to diagnose SIBO?

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, like that or like if you are doing a 401H from BioHealth you will see like Enterobacter or you will see Citrobacter and things like that up in the abundance of the gut bacteria.  So you can see it that way, too.

Mary Vance:  Yes, yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  And then, you know, sometimes just any breath test and you will see it more of an H. pylori.  But I have just been doing the PODMAP thing and I think it is really diagnostic for patients.

Mary Vance:  Yes, I think so too.  Yes exactly.  If that works right away off the bat it kind of save some people money if they cannot afford a stool test right away.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  And right now you are doing a lot of stuff with detox.  I think you have an e-book and a specific product on your website that you are really kind of putting out there right now.  Can you tell us more about that detoxification product?

Mary Vance:  Yes, so I wrote a book called “Three Weeks To Vitality” and my main goal for writing this book is that one of my colleagues when I used to teach detox workshops which are really fun.  And we would do them right before spring and right before fall because those are kind of the ideal times according to Traditional Chinese Medicine.  That is when the liver and the large intestines are the most active and the weather is warm and those are the best times to detox.  But one of my main things in teaching these workshops and I noticed was that people were doing just these crazy fad cleanses that are really unhealthy.  And using or drinking all kinds of stuff and doing the Master Cleanse for 3 weeks and you know, some people can feel great doing some juice fasting.  But again, if you have underlying hypoglycemia or some other type of issues going on then that can again be really kind of dangerous.  And a lot of people have ended up in the hospital from doing the Master Cleanse because it severely alters their electrolyte level.  So I kind of wanted to educate people on just using food and herbs for safe holistic detoxification and that is kind of the basis for my book.  It gives you a three-week plan.  And week one is the pre-cleanse where you are kind of cleaning up your diet and getting rid of all the junk like gluten and dairy and potential food allergens, soy foods.   

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  The other benefit of it aside from all the education that I kind of provide and the guidelines on this 21-day program is that it is also a great way to test yourself for food allergies. You know, by eliminating potential allergenic foods for a period of time and then adding them back in at the end.  You can tell you know if you start to get symptoms that you might have food allergy issues going on.  And the same thing with coffee and alcohol.  A lot of people are drinking coffee every morning and drinking wine at night and they do not realize the impact that it has until they get rid of it.  And then you know it helps them really identify which habits are not serving them well.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, I think you said some really important things there.  Now you talked about detoxification.  So you are kind of eliminating a lot of the environmental stuff, a lot of the dietary stressors that are coming in your body, is that correct?

Mary Vance:  Yes for sure.  Because our environment is so toxic these days it is really scary.   You know a lot of people say, “Oh, our liver is our own natural detoxifier.”  And you will hear naysayers basically saying you do not need to do detox because your liver does that for you.  But obviously we are bombarded with so many toxins.  And like what we have been talking about if your gut is now working properly, if there are other factors going on.  We have those endogenous toxins, internal and then external.  So just by getting rid of all of the junky stuff that you are eating for 21 days and really eat… There are foods that you can eat to support your liver and herbs you can take.  You know, kind of healing elixirs you can drink to really support liver detox.  So yes, definitely what you are intaking day to day is really important for that but also just kind of making over your life.  That is kind of a whole holistic model, right?  Is that we identify not only just what we are eating but our lifestyle, stress and sleep and all these other factors involved, too.  And kind of look at what are some toxic patterns in your life that are not serving you well.  That is kind of the true path for healing is really looking at all the factors and not just focusing on just diet or just protocol.

Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Mary Vance:  But they are addressing all those factors for health.

Justin Marchegiani:  Right.  And I think a lot of cleanses out there they miss the internal toxins.  You said endotoxins or internal toxins.  Endogenous was the work you used.

Mary Vance:  Yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  And I think it is really important because a lot of infections like for instance we have H. pylori or bacterial issues we are going to see endotoxin which is hepatotoxic.

Mary Vance:  Oh yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  We see a compound known as lithocholic acid which is produced by SIBO.  We see mycotoxins which are produced by fungus. For instance, if we like to do this awesome cleanse and we get all of these nice nutrients and herbs, if we do not get rid of these infections though we are not really getting to the root.  Is that correct?  Is that what I am hearing you say?

Mary Vance:  Yes, totally.  And obviously this cleanse is just designed for people to be able to do this at home.  But I do get a lot of emails from people that say, “Yes, I felt better by cleaning out my diet but is still do not feel great.”  You know, then that is a sign that there is still something going on that you have to test for.  So yes, that was a major issue.  People have adrenal fatigue and they are not going to totally get better until you really resolve some of these underlying, other factors that might be going on that are a huge stress on the body.    

Justin Marchegiani:  So what do you think are the three habits, out of your experience with thousands of patients what are the three biggest habits that are putting stress on our detoxification systems?

Mary Vance:  Well, the biggest one I think and that you would probably agree with I would not say necessarily for the detox system, in general.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance: But one of the biggest things that people do not realize and just a factor of our health is sleep.  I mean, we are still programmed in our society that if we sleep 8 to 10 hours at night that we are lazy and we are not productive.  I was just reading an article the other day that said our ancestors were sleeping 10 to 12 sometimes more hours at night.  And we gradually whittled that down.  And that is one of the gateway first wrongs in the ladder for stress which causes inflammation which then you are kind of off and running.  That is how the disease state begins.   

Justin Marchegiani:  Got it.

Mary Vance:  So sleeping is a huge one.  And then for detox, a lot of it are really focusing on cleaning up your products.  Things that you are slathering on your skin and chemical-filled cleaning products that you are inhaling when you are cleaning your house.  There are just so many chemicals that are used in our lives day to day.  And cleaning all that stuff, just remember anything that you are rubbing on your skin is absorbed and has to be detoxed.  And that includes on your food, pesticides that you are eating or herbicides from non-organic produce and factory farm meat.  Those have a huge impact.  And then of course, people are just like popping pain relievers and drinking alcohol and using over the counter drugs.  And all of those kind of really add up. And your body has this total load threshold and when that is exceeded then these toxins back up in your system and that is when problems start.   

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, those are really, really good points.  Now on top of that you have talked about the Master Cleanse.  I think you were dropping a serious big knowledge bomb back there.  Like that is like blasphemy in the detox world.  Can you go more into the Master Cleanse, if you will?  And just talk about kind of what your take on in this?

Mary Vance:  Yes. The Master Cleanse is very polarizing.  Some people are like they get super upset if you talk about leaving out the Master Cleanse.   

Justin Marchegiani:  Oh yes.

Mary Vance:  But the idea that you drink this lemon water which in and of itself hot water with lemon can be a great detoxifying agent.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  How it like stimulates peristalsis and it really does kind of help bile production.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, it is very alkaline, too.  Right?  Alkalinizing.

Mary Vance:  It is very alkalinizing, yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  So this Master Cleanse they drink that and cayenne pepper which can be thermogenic and help boost fat burning.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  And increase circulation.  And maple syrup and sometimes Epson salt or something, I do not even know.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  But you know if you are drinking this 6 -7 times a day, again like I was saying earlier, if you have underlying health issues you are not aware of or if you have a tendency to hypoglycemia, I mean you are going to really crash and burn.  And people are doing this mostly in my experience when I work with clients and taught these workshops, it is not that people really care so much about being healthier or cleansing their liver.  Specifically, they just want to lose weight.

Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.

Mary Vance:  So you are really going to lose weight but you are mostly losing muscle mass.  You are not burning fat when you are doing the Master Cleanse.  It can really have detrimental effects on some.  And people would be like “Oh, but, I felt amazing!”  And I think that is kind of a false sense of your body’s being stressed out and you are kind of running on adrenalin for a few days and then you just crash.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, it is very addicting to be running on adrenalin, like it feels good.

Mary Vance:  Oh yes, yes totally.  Yes those are some scary stuff.  And some of these cleanses that people are buying on the store they have like really harsh laxative stimulant herbs.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  So there is pooping all the time and they are like, “Oh, I am cleansing, I am on the toilet all day.  But really that is not focusing on liver support at all.  You are just pooping a lot.

Justin Marchegiani:  Right, right.  And I find with my patients or just people in general, the main benefit that people get from doing a Master Cleanse is they are cutting out food allergens but there is no protein in their diet.

Mary Vance:  Oh yes.  Exactly, yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  Like they are just getting a total break from eggs, beef, and chicken.  Even foods that are like Paleo but they are just getting a break from it and their immune system kind of like de-stresses, right?

Mary Vance:  Yes, that is really an excellent point.  And a lot of people if they are feeling really poorly going into it and they are having lots of digestive issues then yes, and that is where people get confused, too.  Is that it is hard for them to determine if they have food allergy or if they are just not digesting food that they are eating well because their digestive system is not working and they are not producing enough enzymes or hydrochloric acid.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  And then they remove all those foods or they remove all food and they are like, “Oh, I feel amazing!”  It is probably like you said they are removing allergens or foods that they are not digesting well.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, that is really a good point.  And also I want you touch upon our cytochrome P450 oxidase pathways.  Phase 1, phase 2, some people say phase 3.  I want you to touch upon that because if I remember correctly from school, it takes protein and amino acids to run those pathways.  So you look at the Master Cleanse you are like wait a minute!  There is no amino acids coming in so how does that actually run our detoxification?  So can you go down and talk about our detoxification pathways?

Mary Vance:  I am really glad you brought that up actually because I think I even mentioned that on my website.  Is that when people are just doing this kind of raw vegan cleanses or whatever like you said, your body synthesizes these potent detoxifier.   And you know these detoxifying agents like glutathione for instance break by it through protein.  By breaking down protein and through amino acids and then the liver synthesizes these really potent N‑acetyl-cysteine and glutathione specifically antioxidants that it uses to boost detoxification.  And if you are deficient in those, you are not going to be detoxing.  And that is why a lot of these combination herbal products or nutrients they contain a lot of these amino acids and glutathione, N‑acetyl-cysteine specifically.  And so many people are deficient in those because again if they are vegetarians, and they are not eating much protein or they are not digesting or breaking down these proteins…

Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Mary Vance:  Then that is one way that you are shortchanging your liver and you are not getting your full detox capacity met. 

Justin Marchegiani:  That is really important.  And I want to just underline one thing you said for the listeners.  Glutathione, our master antioxidant made from proteins, cysteine, glutamine and glycine.  So I think that is really, really important.  So in your detoxification program, do you have some type of general detoxification support that is amino acid based to help push that phase 1 and phase 2 pathways?

Mary Vance:  Oh yes, totally.  So I give people options.  They can remove the food that I suggest and you know there’s protein involved and then if they want to use the supplements, there are a lot of great functional food, the kind of smoothie mixes out there that can be used for detox programs.  And a lot of them, you know, we are talking about heavy metals earlier.  So a lot of them can help chelate some heavy metals out of the body.  They are from any of these companies but you know we use like Designs for Health.  And some of these companies, they have already put together packets that have antioxidants and the herbs in them and then the vitamins and minerals you need for detox and the amino acids.

Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Mary Vance:  Designs for Health have one of those called Amino-D-Tox which is full of amino acids.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  So it is really easy to find a great deal of detox support packets that you can use alongside your cleanse.   And that is when you are really kind of, you know, the food part is great to address of course but if you are also doing the supplemental support and getting fiber and making sure that you are pooping regularly then you have kind of the full spectrum in place there.

Justin Marchegiani:  A very interesting.  So if I am a patient and I want to work with you and want to do a really good cleanse.  Let us say, that my diet is already good.  How would we work together doing this cleanse?  How do we move forward?

Mary Vance:  Yes.  Well, again if you are working with me or a practitioner then you can really personalize it based on what your particular health concerns are.  And sometimes, I know you use the Organix Profile probably in your practice from Metametrix.  And these are really cool test because it gives you an idea exactly if your detox pathways are congested, you know, it will tell you specifically what imbalances you have.  So sometimes, I will recommend that to see exactly what is going on or working with them in terms of any deficiencies or that test can kind of reveal if you have SIBO issues or some gut stuff going on.  Because a lot of times, people think they want to do detox because they are like, “Oh, I am tired and I am bloated, etc.”  But really they need more specialized gut work and maybe do the gut works first and then the detox.  So it really, you know, again kind of depends on the person.  And then you can recommend any testing that might reveal some underlying issues going on and then kind of really personalize it based on what they need.     

Justin Marchegiani:  Got it.  So you have like your general support and then you might customize it based off some lab testing as well to see kind of what pathways maybe are not working.  Is that what you are saying?

Mary Vance:  Yes, exactly.  Or if I kind of flag them as being a potential digestive case then, I recommend some stool testing alongside the Organix Profile and see exactly what is going on and then maybe the detox is not the place to start.  Maybe back up a little bit farther down the road until you clean up the gut or maybe they need some detox and then clean up the gut, you know.  It really depends on what is going on.  

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, yes.  And just for the listeners at home, organic acid testing is the new cutting edge testing that involves looking at these metabolites in our body.  And essentially if we have metabolite A it gets converted to metabolites B, we know there are certain nutrients that are required to help make that A to B conversion.  And if we see a whole lot of A and a small amount of B then we are basically indirectly knowing that the nutrients that convert A to B are low.  And so we are able to come in there. We can look at all the different pathways that our body needs to detoxify and we can really customize things.  And that is kind of what Mary is talking about how she customizes her detoxification programs.

Mary Vance:  Yes, I love that test.  It is really cool.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, yes.  So talk to me about some of your favorite herbs to use when you detoxify patients. 

Mary Vance:  There are a lot of combinations out there.  There are tinctures as well.   And sometimes, if someone is not digesting food well then liquid herbal tinctures are the way to go.  But you will see combination herbal formulas with like Oregon Grape root and milk thistle.

Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Mary Vance:  Of course, those are really great antioxidants and have some liver healing capacity.  Those two are my favorite.  Then you will find like burdock root or ginger sometimes. But what is interesting is some of those herbs are kind of more liver protective and liver regenerative and some of them actually help the cleansing process.  And it helps to actually strengthen detox.  So a lot of people are just buying milk thistle because they have heard that they are great for detox but milk thistle is actually the best detox support.  It is incredibly good in healing for the liver.  But if you combine it with some of these other herbs then you get kind of the liver protective, regenerative and the detoxing herbs.

Justin Marchegiani:  Hmmm, very interesting.  So I am going to switch gears a little bit away from detoxification.

Mary Vance:  Uh-hum. 

Justin Marchegiani:  Now because you worked with so many patients, tell me about the three biggest mistakes most patients, let us say they are Paleo literate.  Let us say that they already know about Paleo.  They already studied it or maybe are already doing some Paleo things like cutting gluten out of their diets and such.  What are the three biggest mistakes you are seeing with patients?

Mary Vance:  Oh, this is a good one.  This is a fun topic.  Well, number one, like I have said earlier, it is always sleep.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  It is so incredibly rare that I find someone who is either sleeping well or sleeping enough or has good sleeping habits.  And my podcast partner Caitlin “Grass Fed Girl” and I have done several podcast just on sleep alone and good sleep hygiene.  And you know people are sleeping with their IPhones next to their head and sleeping with their Wi-Fi routers next to their heads and the TV on.  And you know, there are street noise and their rooms are not dark for their staying up too late, etc.  And that really alters your circadian rhythm and alters your adrenal function and it affects your cortisol levels.  We are just now reading a lot about how lack of sleep can really contribute to weight gain and causes a lot of hormone imbalance.  So that is a huge one.  And people, you still tell them, “Listen, you really have to work on sleep.” And they still do not believe you.  And then some people are really relieved and finally like, “Wow! Okay, great!  I have permission to get more sleep.  But the other big one, especially with the Paleo community, this is really, really common.  I get this a lot with women especially.  It seems to be really more predominantly women.  But they will say, “Oh my neighbor lost 50 pounds in Paleo.  I have gained 20 pounds.  What is going on?        

Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, yes, I hear that a lot.

Mary Vance:  Yes.  And then they are completely baffled because they have read all the amazing testimonials for Paleo online and how it is a panacea, it cures everything, or GI issues, too.  I get that a lot.  But often times again, like I was saying earlier, there is never a one-size-fits-all approach.  So your neighbor’s Paleo diet is not going to be your Paleo Diet.  And often times they are just eating too much of a particular macronutrient for them.  They are eating tons of meat or maybe too much fat for their particular physiology.  Or if they are not digesting it well that can be another issue.  And I still tell people you know, I mean you need a lot of plant.  And obviously there are exceptions to that.  Again, sometimes too much fiber can be irritating to people if they have gut problems.

Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hum.

Mary Vance:  But it is usually, in their cross fitting, they are working out really intensely and that can be an issue, too.  If they have hormonal imbalances and severe adrenal fatigue and they are cross fitting themselves to death then you are going to have some weight loss resistance issues, too.  So sometimes people are not exercising, sometimes they are exercising too much.  They are not sleeping enough.  Or they might be eating Paleo but they have not adjusted their particular macronutrient ratio.  Though they are eating super low carb, you know, they are not getting enough carbohydrates and that can actually affect hormone balance especially for women.  Like I was saying, women have really delicate endocrine system.

Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hum.

Mary Vance:  So if they are eating way too low carbs and that can prevent weight loss and contributes to some hormonal imbalances, too.  Especially, it is seemingly thyroid related.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  Then talk to be about going too low carb.  Now how are you customizing the macronutrients?  Because I would see some people that they do really well doing low carb.

Mary Vance:  Yes. 

Justin Marchegiani:  But others don’t.  So how are you customizing that?  How are looking into adjusting it?

Mary Vance:  Well, yes.  Another thing that is kind of hot right now as everyone wants to try is ketogenic diet.  And again, that seems to work really well with people who have like 50 or more pounds of weight to lose.  And that is as you know is kind of low protein and high fat and really low carb.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  But it is kind of a pain but it is really important information for everyone to track exactly what they are eating everyday and get their macronutrient ratio break down and see, “Okay, well I am only getting 10% of my calories from carbohydrates and that is really low.”  That might be too low for some people.  So it is really kind of takes all the fun out of eating basically to have to like count your carbs and track your percentages of how much protein, fat and carbs you are getting.   But I have people do that at least for a little while just to get a ballpark.  But most people I think for weight loss tend to do well with under a 100 grams of carbohydrates and then again it totally depends on the person. And if they are working to resolve some hormonal imbalances or other issues going on and then again with the ketogenic diet that everyone is kind of hopping on that bandwagon right now.  Like I said, for some reason it seems like people who have not very much weight to lose do not do well on that.  It can really make them feel poorly and people with a lot of weight to lose seem to do well.  What has been your experience with that working with people?

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  I mean, I see men always tend to do very well.

Mary Vance:  Yes. 

Justin Marchegiani:  And then some women will come in and they won’t do as well and there’s typically an underlying thyroid or female hormone issue that tends to, need to be addressed.

Mary Vance:  Yes. 

Justin Marchegiani:  And then also, I think people get the wrong mindset.   They are under the impression that all right, “Well, we are going to lose weight because then we get healthy.”

Mary Vance:  Oh yes. 

Justin Marchegiani:  And I think, I think the causality is reversed, is you get healthy then you lose weight.  And women they just have these beautiful, intricate cycle that is kind of like a symphony that is up then down.  For men, just constant, a straight line like an eeehhh, that is a straight hormone line throughout them hormonally.

Mary Vance:  Laughs. 

Justin Marchegiani:  And then the women have the symphony going on.  So you just take off one instrument out of the symphony or time it up wrong that symphony just sounds like noise.  Or like men just have this fog horn going the whole month.

Mary Vance:  Laughs 

Justin Marchegiani:  So definitely that is one of the big things I see, the hormones.

Mary Vance:  Yes, that is a really great point, too.  Because as you know, I know you specialize and work with Hashimoto’s and hypothyroid cases. 

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  Another thing that really gets me is that I will ask every woman who is either struggling with weight loss or I suspect hormonal imbalance, “when did you have blood work done?”  And then they will always say, “Oh my lab work is normal.  My lab work is normal.”  But you look at the lab work and there’s a huge range for your TSH which is what doctors use to primarily diagnose.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  And let us say their TSH is 4 and you know that is not flagged as abnormal on the lab test.  And as you know, there is an ideal range and then there is this huge range in the lab test.   So you get a lot of people who are like kind of they are flying into the radar and they have T4, T3, TSH imbalances going on.  And that is when you want to do the more sophisticated panels and sometimes that is what some people do.  (Laughs)   

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  Yes, and you want to scratch your head even more because you can take a blood test on the East Coast and your TSH is 5 and you are considered normal because 5.5 is the normal for the East Coast.  And then you go to the West Coast and then it is 4.5 and now you are suddenly hypothyroid.  So I say the easiest cure for hypothyroid is just a plane flight, you know?

Mary Vance:  (Laughs)

Justin Marchegiani:  Just go to from the West Coast to the East Coast.  (Laughs)

Mary Vance:  That is pretty awesome.  And the worst thing is then they give you Synthroid and send you on your way.  And then those were the other people that I got.  They would say, “I have been taking Synthroid and absolutely nothing has happened to me.  I do not feel any better but my lab work is great.”  It is either a Hashimoto situation going on, and then it is not your thyroid’s fault, you know.  It an immune system issue.

Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Mary Vance:  I do not want to talk about leaving out our conventional medical system because obviously it has its strengths.  But that is the one thing that gets me.  I have these people that are so frustrated working with endocrinologists and they never ask them how they are feeling.  They just look at their lab work and send them on their way.  And then people are still feeling really poorly and you know they have autoimmune issues then they are told, “Oh, if you have autoimmune it is still the same treatment,” you know?

Justin Marchegiani:  Right.  Right.  And then like the assumption that we can look at a brain hormone, i.e. TSH.

Mary Vance:  Yes. 

Justin Marchegiani:  And then we can make this general assumption that this is the same thing as thyroid hormone.  Well, we can just test thyroid hormone and we can be very accurate that way.  We can look at T3 and T4 free and total but we will just look at the brain hormone and we will base everything off of that one test, even though it is totally indirect.

Mary Vance:  Yes, exactly, exactly.  And then I have a lot of people too, they will have a full thyroid panel at hand and it say that have their antibodies are really high which indicates Hashimoto’s and no one has told them that.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  No, my endocrinologist never said anything and my doctor never said anything.  I do not know what you are talking about.  You know they have been walking around with Hashimoto’s then it is not being addressed and then it is just, you know, kind of backward.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, and I think it is really important for anyone listening.  Like the training that I have had, the training that you have had, this is not training that is available to people in the conventional mainstream medical school setting.  You really have to go outside, kind of the conventional scope.  You have to go study from doctors that have been in the trenches for decades.  And you take classes with people that are already doing this.  It is not something that is in the conventional setting.  So I think a lot of people just think, “Oh, well my doctor went to this medical school or that medical school.”  These things are not being taught.  It is so cutting edge and for the most part, anything the doctor is learning in medical school is about 20 to 30 years old.  It is very outdated.  Most of what a doctor learns is clinical or in their residency but I think that is an important assumption that people really need to readjust that.

Mary Vance:  Yes.  Those are really good points.  They only have maybe one section that they need to require for nutrition.  And so your endocrinologist is never going to ask you what you are eating.  And many times your doctor is not either.  Or they have such ancient information about what you should be eating for health and there is still kind of the low-fat dogma and exercise more and eat less fat or whatever they are saying. 

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  But yes, I mean that is why this holistic health community and alternative medicine is really, you know, our whole goal here is to find the root cause as well and not just keep treating symptoms.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  And I spoke with a Stanford physician recently.  You know, Stanford is probably in the top 10 for medical schools in the US.  It is pretty renowned.  And I asked her about her nutrition training while in school.  And she had to take I think a two credit class and it was online.  And you did not even have to show up.  You could just take the test at the end.  That was your nutrition class.

Mary Vance:  I know. 

Justin Marchegiani:  And I am like, “Oh my gosh! Like how can this doctor who just studies to know and at the end takes the test, how are they going to have the same kind of knowledge that when you spend thousands of hours I imagine in your nutrition program over at the school you went to?  How can they compare?

Mary Vance:  Well, and the other thing that I just do not understand is people really, I mean disease just does not, I mean in the majority of cases, right?  And the majority of cases disease does not just kind of spontaneously occur, you know.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  There are a thousand factors that go into this and the biggest one I think, one of the biggest ones is what you are eating and what you are putting in your mouth everyday.  And that is going to also impact your stress level and inflammation.  And we know that stress and inflammation are kind of the first parts of imbalance that occur. 

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  You know, I do not understand why we are still going along and that connection is not really being addressed in the conventional medical world?  

Justin Marchegiani:  Well, I know hundreds of people are finding your website, reading your blogs and checking out your podcasts and buying your products so people are I think slowly changing.

Mary Vance:  Yes. 

Justin Marchegiani:  It is just a matter of time before they see five-ten doctors and you know, it is all in their heads.  Or if their hormones are out of balance here some birth control pills.  Or here is an antidepressant or it is you are just getting older.  Don’t you love that one?

Mary Vance:  Oh, my gosh! 

Justin Marchegiani:  You are just getting older.

Mary Vance:  Oh, I know you I am sure get tons of people who, I feel so bad for these people.  They have been through the ringer with like GI doctors, and endoscopies, even colonoscopies, and they have had biopsies and they say, “Yes, they just gave me an IBS diagnosis because they cannot find anything wrong with me.”     

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  And then they send them on their way and the reason that they need that diagnosis just so they can prescribe drugs.  And obviously the drugs are not necessarily going to heal the disease.

Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Mary Vance:  Or the underlying cause but at least the person will be able to function.  And obviously there is something going on.  And that is what they will say, “Well, maybe you should consider an antidepressant.”

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  Exactly and I was watching House, MD.  I am just starting the show.  The show has been on for like 10 years but I got Netflix

Mary Vance:  Yes. 

Justin Marchegiani:  And I get to go through, you know, like just back-to-back-to-back.  You are going to go on like your weekend binge of whatever show you are checking out.

Mary Vance:  Yes. 

Justin Marchegiani:  But in that show, it’s the epitome because one, there was like two really cool things that happened.  If you have not seen the episode, spoiler alert but the girl that has brain issue, it’s a parasite!  Oh, my gosh!  I could not believe it because conventional medicine, you know, their parasites only exist in the third world.  So it was a parasite and it fixed her.  But number two, the other guy that comes that is having all the problems, the fatigue, the soreness.  And he is like, “Oh, it is fibromyalgia, it is chronic fatigue.”  Well, he goes out and he gets these M&M’s, you know like candies that did not have like any, you know, they are just kind of bland looking.  Put them in a bottle and just said it was medication and said here you go.

Mary Vance:  Laughs. 

Justin Marchegiani:  So basically, the message is: if your fatigued, if you are in pain, you are tired; it is all in your head.

Mary Vance:  In your head. 

Justin Marchegiani:  And then at the very end he comes back wanting a prescription refilled, basically proving that he is right.  It is all in our heads.  But if you go on the scientific literature, like low thyroid, adrenal fatigue and gut infections can cause chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia.   So it kind of supports exactly what you are saying.

Mary Vance:  Oh, yes.  And our system is kind of a disease-based model and not preventive-based model.  So those are the people that are flying into the radar because they have these subclinical imbalances or things going on that are not serious enough to prescribe drugs for, be detected and then that is how actual, real more serious diseases take hold if you do not kind of focus on these little underlying imbalances first.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  I totally agree.  Can you tell me more about like who is your ideal patient?  Like who are the people that are coming to see you from all over the world?

Mary Vance: I specialize in Women’s’ Health and hormone balance so I see a lot of digestive cases.  And I do like those cases because those like I was describing that person who has been to five different gastroenterologists and had so many of her tests done and still do not feel better.  Because even making a few dietary changes right away will give them relief while you are kind of working on healing the other stuff.  So a lot of digestive wellness.  And then like you, a lot of immune cases, Hashimoto’s, hypothyroid.  Those are all really satisfying cases to work with because people just feel so much better.  And just educating them about what is going on with them that nobody has told them about and then giving then a good protocol or trying an autoimmune diet.  So it is mostly fertility, women’s health and hormones and digestive wellness.  And of course the detox piece, too.  

Justin Marchegiani:  Got it.   And you mentioned a lot of digestive issues with these female patients.  What percent of the people that are having these infections even have digestive symptoms?

Mary Vance:  Oh, gosh!  That is scary.  If you know that there are, when you run these profiles, or they do not really realize that what they are having are kind of nagging issues that they would not even necessarily, or they can cut normal.  You know, they think they are kind of burping a lot or feeling bloated at the end of the day.  But these food allergy symptoms and digestive issues manifest as different, you know, just being tired all the time can definitely indicate a GI problem as well.  It totally depends on the person, you know?

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  So there is a lot to answer your question.

Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Mary Vance:  Yes, there is a lot of people that do not really have serious GI issues, you know but there is something going on in there and they are not aware of it until you run a test.

Justin Marchegiani:  Hmm, hmm, very interesting.  And what is your experience with resistance starch been like?  That is kind of like a big hoopla in the Paleo community.

Mary Vance:  Yes. 

Justin Marchegiani:  So what is your experience?

Mary Vance:  That has really kind of taken off.    

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  And I have just started sort of researching it and reading about it.  But, obviously, you know, the resistance starches resist digestion.   

Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Mary Vance:  So you know, I think that the people are jumping on that bandwagon because it improves insulin sensitivity, it can lower blood sugar levels.  But I am kind of just starting to do more research on that and I think it can be really useful in a lot of people.  So what have you seen?

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  I mean, I think for me, it has been diagnostic for picking up SIBO.

Mary Vance:  Yes, yes. 

Justin Marchegiani:  I think some people do really well because they can increase butyric acid in the gut.   And butyric acid is really beneficial at lowering the pH and preventing bad bacteria from growing, especially people that are on lower carbohydrate diets.

Mary Vance:  Uh-humm.    

Justin Marchegiani:  There are these certain bacteria called Eubacterium rectale or Roseburia bacteria.  And when you go low carb these things get like really obliterated.  But if you do a little bit of resistant starch even while you keep a low carb diet you can keep that beneficial bacteria up.  So I think there are a lot of good benefits especially if you are someone that goes super low carb and you may get constipated.  In my opinion, that is the reason why people may get constipated on low carbs.  Even if they are not on the veggies and/or that bacteria starts shifting in your colon.

Mary Vance:  Yes, yes.  And I know that people are kind of using raw potato starch. 

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  I definitely think that using it for diagnostic tool is really valuable for SIBO.  But again as we were talking earlier I guess off air about people are going to their doctors and getting tests for this stuff that are not showing up until you either run more sophisticated stool profiles or you are kind of doing these little experiment with their diet and that is helping and it is really going to start to show up.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  And you like potato starch over like plantains or over banana starch?  What is your take on those?

Mary Vance:  Potato starch can actually kind of mess with certain people. 

Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-humm.

Mary Vance:  And so I do not really use that one.  I know that it is kind of a popular one and people are using Bob’s Red Mill, I think. 

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  Potato starch.  Yes I am more inclined to use kind of the ones you suggest and necessarily that would be my go to. But I know with a lot of the articles I read, that is one of the main ones that is recommended.  What do you see with that?   

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  I have seen the same.  Anyone who has autoimmune I always just default to the banana or plantain.

Mary Vance:  Oh yes, because that has some irritants for autoimmune issues, yes. 

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes. I mean you get the alpha-solanine in the potato but some people are like, “Oh, but it makes us better.”  I am like, “All right, well as long as you are not autoimmune then we can try it.”  So I always recommend getting both and see which you gravitate towards.

Mary Vance:  Uh-humm. 

Justin Marchegiani:  I gravitate towards the plantain now or the unripen banana for sure.

Mary Vance:  Yes, and they are also delicious.  (Laughs)  

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  You can just mix it in with your shake, too.

Mary Vance:  Yes, yes. 

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  That’s cool.

Mary Vance:  Yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  Well, tell me about, this maybe like a little bit off topic or it maybe a little difficult for you to pull up the information.  Tell me about your most popular blog post.  Because I know you are a big blogger in the…

Mary Vance:  Uh-humm.    

Justin Marchegiani:  So what is like the things that the people there coming at, what are they looking up?

Mary Vance:  So probably the biggest post, the two biggest posts I can think of, well three, (Laughs) the biggest one is on adrenal fatigue.   

Justin Marchegiani:  Ah, yes.

Mary Vance:  Kind of healing a hormone imbalance.  And I think I even started off even in that post saying that you know most doctors won’t even address, you know, if people go to their physicians and say, their primary care doctors and say, “God I am so tired, you know.”    

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  That is not even really recognized by the conventional medical system at all.   That is a huge post.  Then treating candida.  You know, yeast overgrowth.  I got tons of hits on that blog post.  And then just 10 really easy daily detox tips.  Because after you, let us say, you have done all this work and you have cleaned up your gut and you got your liver detox pathways running smoothly again and you want to make sure, that is another huge question that I get asked.  How do I make sure my hormone levels do not tank again?

Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Mary Vance:  Well, there are daily lifestyle habits that you can do to, just daily detox like dry skin brushing or we were talking about like the hot water with lemon.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  Or including liver friendly foods, sitting in a sauna.  You know, exercise, sweating.  There are tons of ways that you can support your liver daily.  And also if you are working on healing hypothyroidism or hormone imbalances, you know just making sure that your lifestyle factors are in place in the most critical factor.  You can be doing everything right with taking your supplements everyday and eating but if you are staying up all night and chugging coffee and your stress levels up to the roof, you are not going to get well.     

Justin Marchegiani:  Right, right.  And on your site, you talked a lot about essential oil.  I know you like the Young Living Essential Oil company.  Can you tell me more about kind of like your take on essential oils?  Like the biggest three things that you would use them with in your life.

Mary Vance:  Yes.  You know while we were speaking earlier when you are talking about your cat scratch infection.  The Thieves Oil… (Laughs)

Justin Marchegiani:  Thieves, yes, yes.  Actually I have doTerra so I would do on guard.  But yes.

Mary Vance:  Yes.  And you can put that actually directly on it, too.  But I really love using essential oils.  My main caution that I tell people though is that I think that people are using a lot of these oils internally.  And you need to be kind of careful with how you are using them internally because we are still not sure exactly.  You know, there is a lot of evidence that peppermint, which is one of my favorites.  You are asking me about my favorites, peppermint is one of my favorites because it is really uplifting and cooling and it can relieve headaches pretty instantly and it can be very soothing for IBS type people.  Then there is evidence though because it is killing off certain gut bacteria.  And then if someone has SIBO for instance and they have an overgrowth of… That is what SIBO is basically bacteria in the wrong place and overgrowth of what is not considered bad bacteria.  It is just in the wrong place and there is too much of it and it can kill some of that off.  And so we do not know necessarily if it is killing off good gut flora.  So there is a lot of debate out there actually whether or not oils are safe to ingest.  And I think there are several that you can ingest safely.  But I do caution people about, you know you cannot take all these oils internally.  But I am a really big fan of some of these blends.  I have been really kind of focusing on the meditation practice and there are a lot of them that have specific oils in them to help deepen the meditation practice.  There is one that Young Living has the grounding blends and Believe.  And they have like balsam in them and different kinds of frankincense, especially.

Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

Mary Vance:  So I like those blends.  And I love peppermint and lemon oil that can be good for detox.  And I do, I love frankincense and myrrh, too because those are really great for your skin.  So it is super fun to dabble with and I think that diffusing then and inhaling them it can really provide a lot of stress relief for people.  And like I said, using them alongside kind of yoga or meditation practice because they smell nice and they make you feel good.    

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  What is your take on Valor?  You like Valor?

Mary Vance:  Oh Yes.  I love that one.  But Valor is also super popular.  I think they run out of it all the time.  People use that for kind of self-esteem and confidence and again it smelled awesome.  But I heard a lot of people who use that to reduce anxiety. And so yes, I think that they can be really good.  We reviewed this kind of like amazing testimonials about essential oil all the time.   I think that they can be a really good kind of lifestyle habit to help people when they are kind of working on healing.  And they are natural.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Mary Vance:  They are all plant based. 

Justin Marchegiani:  Oh yes.  Absolutely.

Mary Vance:  Yes.  They are really strong and they work pretty well.

Justin Marchegiani:  Very cool.  So is there anything else that you would like the listeners to know about you or anything on your radar screen that is really important to you right now?

Mary Vance:  Well, I would just say, you know if anyone wants to go to my website like you said,, there are tons of resources on there. And I actually recently written about my meditation practice and what I have kind of done to start help maybe get focused and grounded and centered.  And there are all my popular post listed and you can download my e-book.  So yes, I got it all in there and poke around.  It is not only just nutrition articles.  It is obviously, you know, with this holistic model like I was saying, it is lifestyle, wellness, sleep, stress, exercise, emotional well-being and there are recipes and just articles about nutrition on there, too.

Justin Marchegiani:  Very cool.  Her name is Mary Vance.  You can find her at  Feel free and check out her detox program.  Also if you need coaching, she is available as well.  And also Mary has a podcast called HealthNuts podcast.  They are on sabbatical right now while her counterpart finishes her book.

Mary Vance:  Laughs 

Justin Marchegiani:  But feel free to check out lots of great old episodes of really good interviews and check out the Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn and all the good channels there.  Thank you so much, Mary for coming on the show.

Mary Vance:  Yes.  Thanks so much for having me, Justin.  It is always fun to chat about these stuff.

Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely.  Take care.

Mary Vance:  Okay, bye, bye.

Justin Marchegiani:  Bye.

Beyond Training – Ben Greenfield – Podcast #18

In this episode, Dr. Justin and Dr. Baris interviewed Ben Greenfield, the New York Times bestselling author of “Beyond Training”.  He is also a prominent fitness coach, ex-body builder and an Ironman triathlete.  Ben has over a decade of experience training professional, collegiate and recreational athletes through proper nutrition, lifestyle management and wellness to obtain optimal performance.

In this podcast, discover the proper workouts to help improve one’s speed and performance.  Recognize the benefits of combining isometric exercises and electro-stim for greater accumulation of lactic acid as well as improve endurance.  Learn how to maintain ketosis even on a high carb intake.  Also find out the common parasitic infections in triathletes and the natural supplements to deal with it.


In this episode we cover:

08:31   Proper speed training

13:10   Isometric training plus electro-stim

16:41   Lactic acid and growth hormone

22:48   Ketosis

25:52   Parasite infections in triathletes

30:10   Two-A-Day Training










Baris Harvey:  Thank you guys for tuning in to another episode of Beyond Wellness Radio.  And today’s awesome podcast we are interviewing Ben Greenfield.   Ben is a super productive, awesome person.  He had so many different initials behind his name.  So I am going to try to condense his bio real quick.  He is a coach, nutritionist, author, speaker, ex-body builder, Ironman, Spartan Racer, like every fitness thing you can think of he has probably done it.  In addition to that, he is the head coach and nutritionist for a specific elite fitness.  He is a consultant for WellnessFX.  He is the host of the Get-Fit Guy and the Ben Greenfield podcast on ITunes.   And he also just released an awesome book called “Beyond Training”, not to be confused with our Beyond Wellness Radio. (Laughs)  So Ben, how is it going today?

Ben Greenfield:  Actually, I was totally ripping off you guys…

Justin Marchegiani:  Laughs

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Ben Greenfield:  Actually the whole scheme there was… (Laughs)

Baris Harvey:  And no way that we would have even known that, though.  If anything, we are ripping you off.  You are way more…

Ben Greenfield:  That is right!  Actually, because my publisher is the same publisher that published Beyond Bacon, I have not gotten out before their book.  Beyond Bacon, I am like, “Oh, it actually was it.”

Baris Harvey:  And it’s the same people so you know it’s the same thing.

Ben Greenfield:  Yo.

Baris Harvey:  So first question.  I noticed you used to be an ex-body builder. So what got you into the kind of holistic field?  I know with body building, you know you read the muscle magazines, kind of just the generic kind of carb loaded kind of thing.  And the same thing with the Ironman, too.  But what got you into the holistic form of training?

Ben Greenfield:  Well, you know, like, body building is kind of a lot of BroScience like you are definitely delving deeper into especially like nutrition.  Everything from sodium loading to diuretics to a lot of research into supplements.  And so like you kind of start to go down that road.  Grand body building does not look at things through the lens of performance combined with health.  Like I do in my book and like I do now, you know in my own training.  But I think that between body building and then what I got into later which is just the same thing, one of the nerdiest geekiest sports on the face of the planet when it comes to like delving into the nutrition part of things and that is triathlon.   Like between those two, that really got me into looking more deeply into this science of performance more than just like you know, smashing yourself with workouts.  So, I think that the reason for that again is that, body building, there is such a nutrition bend in order for you to really get from 15 down to 10 percent body fat, let us say as a I did.  You can do that just by working out hard and by kind of following your diet.  But then if you drop from like, let us say, 10 percent down to 3 percent.  You got to pull out a lot of stops.

Baris Harvey:  Basically, those are like the, oh, gee kind of biohackers, right?

Ben Greenfield:  Yes, exactly.  Exactly.  And so, like the same thing for triathlon.  In triathlon, you could go out and do like a sprint triathlon and do pretty good by just having done some pretty tough workouts.  But then once you get up in the Ironman and it becomes a sport of attrition or if you run out of muscle glycogen and whatever glycogen you are pretty much screwed.  Then that becomes a little bit more of like a nutrition science sports.  So body building and triathlon shoved me kind of deeper down into the tunnel of nutrition, supplements and the deeper science of performance.  Then going into that got me more into self-quantification.  Going into self-quantification began to help me realize that, “Hey!”  Even though we are going fast and we have got lots of muscle or we are getting good results in races or whatever, we are not actually healthy when you look at cholesterol parameters or inflammatory parameters and stuff like that.  And then that kind of got me into like the whole holistic thing of kind of taking into account everything from sleep to nutrient density to digestibility of foods to Biohacking to everything that I kind of focus on now.  When you look at stress fractures for example, you know, that is a pretty common occurrence especially in female endurance athletes.  That is part of what is called the athletic triad which is basically an eating disorder and that is combined with the amenorrhea and osteoporosis.  So typically, like if we look at those in detail in a female endurance athlete, that first component, eating disorder that I was talking about a little bit earlier like you just need to eat more damn food.  Like so many, like let us use as example like this whole ketogenic diet thing.  Like so many women are like, “I am ready to do this ketogenic diet to lose weight.”  That is not really a weight loss diet.  And a lot of times like carbohydrate restriction especially, drop so low on that diet that women kind of shoot themselves in the foot when it comes to creating basically like either nutrient depletion or carbohydrate depletion by focusing so much on this ketogenic diet when all they really need to focus on is just eating a lot of food when they are hungry if they are like a hard charging female endurance athlete.  And trying to skew a lot of it towards that but not focusing on like the ketosis per se.  We will get the next part, amenorrhea.  In most of the cases of like female athletes, it is usually due to pregnenolone steal and low progesterone from too much of cholesterol and sterol precursors getting shuttled towards cortisol formation.  And so in the case of that, it is a combination of eating a lot of fat, getting a lot of vitamin D, eating a lot of calories period and then focusing on decreasing cortisol using some of those methods that I have talked about earlier.  And the other part of this, osteoporosis.  When you look at that a lot of times it is just straight up mineral depletion.  What I mean by that is when you are constantly perspiring through your inspiration and expiration and also through your sweat.  If you are eating a standard fruit and vegetable-based diet just because of the leeching of minerals from modern farming practices you are not getting typically as many minerals as are necessary to help you out with bone density.  And so most female endurance athletes in addition to decreasing cortisol, increasing fat intake, increasing overall calorie intake, I usually really encourage the use of like Sea Salt mineral supplementation, things of that nature to help out the things from that standpoint.  So those are some of the big winds when you look at that.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, that sounds great.  I wanted to kind of go on to a tangent for a bit.  We are talking about some of the metabolic processes.  Now I want to kind of shift over because I hear you talk a lot about endurance because you are an endurance sport athlete, of course.   But you have such a wealth of knowledge.  And one thing that I have only heard you talked briefly about is more the Fast Twitch kind of athletes.  And now that you are kind of shifting into the sport and racing, I know that that might have play in a little bit more.  So the question that I wanted to go into some of the sports performance kind of thing is what are some of the best ways to improve speed?  I know speed is one of those things that people would say you know you are kind of born with it.  You either have it or you don’t.  Can you possibly increase your speed like a significant amount like someone can increase their strength or their mass?

Ben Greenfield:  Oh, yes.  I mean, you can absolutely increase you speed.  But really the biggest thing or the biggest kind of like misconception that I find is that people, they tend to focus on more kind of like 400 or 800 meter distance, 1 to 2 minute efforts per speed.  You know very glycolytic efforts when really like speed is more about almost like patience when you are trying to tap into that phosphagenic energy pathway that relies primarily upon the splitting of creatine phosphate for very short efforts that are under, usually under 20 seconds in duration and at a very, very high turnover.   So when it comes to training speed, we are talking about short quick efforts with low, low amounts of resistance or force that you are working against with very long recovery periods.   And that is hard for a lot of just like exercise enthusiasts to wrap their heads around because when you are trying to get better or faster you are just thinking you got to be huffing and puffing and breathing hard and feeling the burn the whole time.  When in fact, there is no hydrogen ion accumulation when you are tapping into your creatine phosphagenic pathway.  There is very little fatigue, from like a musculoskeletal standpoint, when you are primarily just taxing your neuromuscular system.  And it is just a totally different type of workout.  So, what I mean by that is like a speed workout might be that you are doing a set of depth jumps, maybe some single leg plyometrics and some quick, very, very short over speed treadmill or downhill repeats and surely not that taxing of a workout.  You are just focusing on from a metabolic standpoint.  It is taxing from a neuro system standpoint but not from a metabolic standpoint.  So you are basically just trying to increase turnover, decrease ground contact time and increase your ability to tap into that phosphagenic pathway.  And it is a style of exercise that is commonly neglected.  I mean, even when you look at it from like a professional sports level, I will see still a lot of coaches like strength conditioning coaches saving these types of workouts for like when the day’s metabolic conditioning is over.  When in fact, and I have talked about this in my book, like if you want to get faster, if you want to get fast feet, if you want to get fast nerves, if you want to get quick reaction time, you do that stuff while you are fresh and preferably also when your reaction time peaks during the day which is typically between 4 and 6 pm in the afternoon.  And that is kind of tough logistically to pull off for a lot of athletes.  What it means is you are going to save your working out until the afternoon.  You are not going to go into a speed workout fatigue and you are going to prioritize speed before you move into any metabolic conditioning.  So if you are looking at this from like, let us say, like the World Cup soccer or leading up to it, so let us say, like a soccer team is prepping for something like this.  Well, ideally what they would do is they would go in.  You do your warm-up; you do your foam rolling.  Then you do all your speed protocols and then you move on into your metabolic conditioning and scrimmage and practice and that type of thing.  So it is just kind of a matter of priority and a matter of knowing the right way to stack your sets and your reps.   And then make sure that you do speed with a low, low amount of resistance.  So typically, if you are doing speed protocols you should not be using anymore of 10% of your total body weight.  So if I am going to go out and do let us say like squat jumps for speed then I am 180 pounds.  So I might be using at most the bar and that’s it.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Ben Greenfield:  So speed is an interesting animal.  They got a lot folks kind of misunderstand how to train properly.

Baris Harvey:  So everybody out there that are listening, do not throw on a 40‑pound weight vest and at the end of your workout try to run the entire football field.

Ben Greenfield:  Yes, that is not speed.  That is all metabolic conditioning.

Justin Marchegiani:  Interesting.   Good points, Ben.  How do you incorporate some of Jay Schroder’s work with the explosive dynamic, isometrics or altitude drops or even just isometric training?  How do you incorporate that into your workout routine?

Ben Greenfield: So the cool thing about electro-stim especially when you combine it with isometrics is that you build up crap loads of lactic acid in the muscle tissue.  So you get a bunch of hydrogen ion build up and you build up your enzyme buffering capacity big time.  And you are able to do it without joint impact and without some of the things that would tend to cause a bigger release in cortisol, longer recovery implications, etc.   So I personally use those types of protocols even though Jay works with like professional football players for example.  I use those protocols for enhancing endurance, like I train 8 to 10 hours last year for Ironman.  Qualified for Ironman World Championships and had some of my best races ever.  And I was doing Jay Schroder’s protocols twice a week.  Meaning that I would get into an isometric position.

Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Ben Greenfield:  Like a squat.  Like a wall squat against the wall.  And I would have electrodes; in this case i just use a unit called the Compex Unit because the ARP wave unit that Jay uses and like what you use, Justin.

Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Ben Greenfield:  It is kind of expensive for just like the general population grab.  So I would hook up that Compex Unit and just put it at a pretty high electro stim setting and just basically feel the burn for 5 minutes.  And you finish up on those sessions and felt like you have ran like two hours.  So you get this lactic acid buffering capacity that just goes through the roof.  And one of the reasons for that is when you are in an isometric position you are now milking lactic acid out of your tissues, it is just accumulating.  Like there is a very, very little occurring, you know like if you are riding a bike and you keep the pedals turning over.  Like that is one of the things that I tell the triathletes that I coach.  You never, never glide.  You never cruise on a bike, like you always pedal even when you are going downhill.  So you are always milking metabolic byproducts out of the tissue.  And when you are in an isometric position and you are holding your joint in a specific position that does not happen.  And the cool thing is even though it hurts like hell because it is burning, you really are building up a really good buffering capacity when you do something like that.  So, I mean you can do just isometrics but when you add the electro stim in, it just gives this compounded effect that is great for squeezing a lot of training in the short period of time.  And I got to the point when I would travel through airports, I would duck into like the, don’t tell any of like the folks in the airport with kids this.  But I would knock into like the family restroom.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Ben Greenfield:  And just like hook up the electro.  And I would do like a 15-20 minute protocols or I do like a pushup-hold, squat-hold and lunge–hold with the electro stim added and you know then I travel with this little action wipes so I can wipe off the sweat and everything when I finish.   I could be travelling internationally and get like a killer workout in doing something like that.  So I like it as biohack to really tap into a ton of fitness in a short period of time.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Justin Marchegiani:  That is great.  And for everyone listening at home, Ben goes in to the detail in that on my topic right there in Chapter 4 of his book.   So if you want more information feel free and check that out.  And what do you think about the lactic acid providing a growth hormone stimulus?  What is your take on growth hormone and lactic acid?

Ben Greenfield:  I have not seen a lot of research on lactic acid and growth hormones stimulus so I cannot really speak to that.  What have you seen?

Justin Marchegiani:  I mean Charles Poliquin talks about that in a lot of his training and I think Doug McGuff has mentioned some stuff, you know creating that lactic acid that has provided a strong growth hormones stimulus.  I have seen that in a handful of places I am just not sure if you had any personal experience with that.

Baris Harvey:  You did have an interview with, forgotten his last name, and it was Peter with NASA and he has the Vasper System.

Ben Greenfield:  Oh yes.

Baris Harvey:  And it is kind of that idea of like holding the lactic acid in a place while you are doing the exercise to release more growth hormones.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Ben Greenfield:  Oh, it is interesting because one of the other things that can increase lactic acid buildup is like a short hypoxic state.  And there is some pretty good evidence out there for hypoxia-based induction of DHEA and growth hormone.  And I actually do that on my recovery days, every Wednesday.  I do a hypoxic session in the pool where I will do 20 repeats of underwater swimming for as long as I can go holding my breath until I am literally about to pass out.  And it is very, very low impact, like you recover from that workout super-duper quick.   The only thing that is taking a hit is your lungs.  But I do that because of that research I have seen on DHEA and growth hormone release related to hypoxia.  So yes, it is possible that a big, big part of that is because of the increased lactic acid that accumulates in the presence of low oxygen.

Justin Marchegiani:  Interesting.      

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  Yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  And it can have a similar effect with EPOC like after your exercise when you get to that state where you are kind of like really reaching for your breath.  That type of exercise excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, can that have a similar stimulus?   

Ben Greenfield:  I do not know.  Because it is a different feeling.  Just like breathing hard after your workout.  It is a different feeling than what I would consider to be true hypoxia where it’s like going blue in the face holding your breath type of thing.  Probably a closer analogy on that would be like using for example, like an elevation training mask during a workout.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Ben Greenfield: Or using, like I got a device out in my garage called the hypoxicle which decreases the partial pressure of oxygen in the air.  And you can like put it next to a bicycle or a treadmill and it will simulate you exercising like 18-20,000 feet.  And the interesting thing about that is that it is kind of hypoxia but it is also decreased partial pressure of oxygen.  So you will also get increased production of erythropoietin which is a red blood cell precursor.  So that is kind of a cool little toy to have around if you want, let us say, compete at altitude or increase your blood’s oxygen carrying capacity.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  And speaking of hypoxia training, you talked about the elevation mask which I guess technically does not change the partial pressure like the other device you have but it is kind of more of a resistance breath kind of training thing.   So I have one of those and also a Powerline but I have been using it during some of my practices.  During some football practices, running routes in the beginning and actually getting pretty fatigued quickly at first but it makes the training without it so much easier.  Can you talk a little bit more about, because I think that is an easy first step for people because it is not that expensive.  Like I think its 80 or 60 bucks something like that.  Can you talk about the elevation mask and how you might use it in you training?

Ben Greenfield: Yes.  The elevation mask like you say is just resisted breathing, really.  It is not reducing the partial pressure of oxygen.  You are just kind of having to breathe through a smaller hole.  It is like breathing through a straw.  So there are a variety of applications for something like that.  I mean my favorite way to use it is just like I do not do as many short quick exercise sessions with it as much as I will rock with it.  Meaning I will put on a weight vest or weighted backpack and do a hard hike in the hills wearing the elevation training mask.  And the thing I like about that is like I can take my kids with me and take my kids out on a hike and whereas normally like going on a hike with your kids, like my kids are six.  Like that would be really easy but it turns into a hard workout.  The other thing that I like to use it for because I am really focusing on slow controlled breathing anyway during this is Yoga.  Just because it takes something like Yoga and turns it into a little bit more metabolically demanding type of routine.  So I have used it for that.  There are a lot of people that like to use it for you know kind of like you are doing running routes or doing like a Burpee based workout or Kettlebell swings, stuff like that.   The only issue I found with that is sometimes I have trouble focusing on quality of form when I feel like I am going blue in the face.   And maybe that is why I like doing it better with things that do not require as much quality attention paid the biomechanics.  But you know if you are able to maintain good biomechanics and good running form and all that jazz while you are using it, then you know it certainly has got some application there, too.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  Definitely when the form starts to go down it is like, “All right, let me take this off of my face so I can breathe and actually focus a bit.”  It is the same thing with like a weighted vest which is probably not that much heavier because it is like 12 to 15-pound kind of thing just for some added resistance.  But yes, definitely like you said not the kind that will throw you off and just start making your form horrible.  Because then, you will be actually going backwards and training yourself to do the wrong thing.

Ben Greenfield: Yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  And Ben, I also see you write a lot about doing a lot of your endurance work.  But you are going into ketosis and I noticed that you said that you can keep your carbs even upwards of 100 to 150 grams of carbohydrates and still be in ketosis.  And most people if they are familiar with ketosis, that is basically your body burning more fat for fuel.  And typically like in an Atkins type of world, that is keeping your carbs below 20.  But Ben has experienced keeping his carbs much higher.  Can you talk more about that?

Ben Greenfield: Yes, just this paradox between trickle down health information coming from people who might be, no offense, wander around Whole Foods,  doing yoga, you know, three times a week versus people who are out there really exercising hard.  Like my experience, primarily my background is working with athletes, people who are really going out there and doing some pretty tough stuff.  In many cases, you know most days of the week.  And when you look at somebody like that who is going through that amount of energy, they can get away with a lot more than the average person can when it comes to things like carbohydrate intake or even total calorie intake.  And when I do blood and breath ketone monitoring when I am in the throes of Ironman training, I can maintain ketosis on a very high level of carbohydrate intake because I am simply using all that carbohydrate very rapidly for formation of ATP.  And elevations in blood glucose really are pretty slight just because glucose is disappearing from the tissues so quickly when you are exercising.  Especially, if your primary carbohydrate intake is coming during periods of time when you have a really high upregulation of non-glucose dependent insulin or non-insulin dependent glucose transport pathways.  Meaning that you are really not putting much of a strain on the pancreas, glucose is getting shoved in the muscle tissue or liver tissue very, very quickly because you are exercising and because you are very insulin sensitive.  And so when you look at a situation like that, you can even get as high as 250 grams of carbohydrates on a tough day and the understanding there is that depending on like the training program that you are doing or what you are eating during exercise, sometimes half to three quarters of that is just stuff that you are taking in during exercise to support, you know, the day’s fueling.  And you know, in a situation like that there is very little happening in terms of elevations in blood glucose and you can still stay in a very concentrated form of ketosis.  And all the more so if you are using things like medium chain triglycerides and things that are going to keep ketones elevated.

Justin Marchegiani:  Interesting, interesting.  Great.  I am going to switch gears here for a second because Ben does a lot of work with functional medicine and he works with WellnessFX, blood panels and those consulting I think across the country?  International?

Ben Greenfield:  Well, I work primarily online.  So yes, like I do most of my consults via Skype and over the phone.

Justin Marchegiani:  That is cool.  And in Ben’s book, he talks about parasites.  He talks about the experience of him getting one or two different parasite infections.  Can you go into that and how that affected your performance?

Ben Greenfield:  Well, you know parasites primarily where you would see that of course, as you would expect would be on a bowel performance level.  But you can also, like for example, I did that completion in Thailand where I got a parasite from basically the stagnant water that we swam in in Thailand.  And initially, it manifested itself as just a little bit of like diarrhea and some bowel upset.  And then like long-term, I had some floral imbalances and issues with constipation about every two weeks like clockwork as these things like hatch inside of you.  You get insomnia.  And so there are some pretty nasty things that are happening.  And interestingly, I test a lot of triathletes, especially.  And they, a lot of them wind up with parasites related to fresh water, the type of parasites that you would find in fresh water or water growing parasites.   And I think that a lot of times when you are looking at gut issues, leaky gut, you know, stomach problems, bloating, poor sleep, and those types of things that you tend to see a lot of times in athletes, and in this case triathletes.  And a lot of cases it can be a parasitic issue.  And there are different things that you can use.  You know in my case, I use the Chinese Herbal extract that was primarily a base of Berberine and the Ayurvedic herb complex Triphala and you know that was and has been pretty efficacious for me for knocking out a parasite.  But yes, it is definitely an issue.  And you know, I do not think that all parasites are bad.  There is definitely that whole healthy hygiene hypothesis that suggests that some amount of dirt and germs and bacteria and viruses and even parasites help to strengthen the immune system.  But I think that there are some that you know, if you are very symptomatic with bowel issues and insomnia and stuff like that, that is a parasite you should probably think about getting rid of.

Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely, and I worked with patients all over the world as well and I see a good amount of these parasite infections they do not even have gut symptoms along with it which is pretty crazy.  I mean just seeing brain fog or hormonal issues or just lower performance because they can just be that kind of silent energy suck out of your adrenal glands where it just lowers that cortisol.  Decreases your ability to recover.  Kind of drains down your sex hormones a little bit.  That is interesting that you had that in your book and then you had an experience with it.  Very cool.

Ben Greenfield:  Yes, yes.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, when I first met you, you are on that herbal extract and you looked like you have something you are putting in there to take that bad boy away.

Ben Greenfield:  Yes, yes.  Well, because parasites can cause gut inflammation, I think in that case I was using the, who is it that makes that; it is the InflamX Meal Replacements.

Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, that is Metagenics.

Ben Greenfield:  It is very, very good with people with Crohn’s or irritable bowel.   Yes, Metagenics, yes.  The Metagenics InflamX is good.  Thorne has one called MediClear, I think.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Ben Greenfield:  But yes, those are good.  They are good for travel, too.   Like a lot of people get stressed out.  This happens to me sometimes when I travel, I will get constipated.  I am travelling with some kind of a meal replacement blend that you use for most of your meals.  Can help out quite a bit in situations like that where you just basically kind of not going for your airplane food or airport food or even hotel food at all.  And you just travel with these meal replacement blends and you go to Starbucks and ask them for a cup with some water and dump it in there and stir it up with a plastic spoon.  And will do that three times a day when I travelling now and it helps up quite a bit.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.  Yes, really smart move.  All right, last question.  Overtraining.  Now this is something that comes up big but at the same time we have people that are CrossFitters that we work with that are pretty darn good at their sport and they do like Two-A-Days. Now, with the world of the neutraceuticals and some of the access to food that we have, is there a way that you can, I guess, push the envelope and possibly do something like a Two-A-Day?  Say I know this is something we do.  As a football athlete, I might do a Two-A-Day.  But CrossFitters and what not, are there ways to kind of improve recovery I think would be the main point not necessarily the ads where people sell these pre-workouts.  I think what is important is the recovery portion.  Is there a way that you think that you can get by doing Two-A-Day at least for a short period of time to increase performance for a sport?        

Ben Greenfield:  Oh, yes.  I mean like I do Two-A-Days with a lot of my clients.  We do in the morning when parasympathetic nervous system is a little bit better branch of the nervous system to go after.  Where you would like easy aerobic movement protocols, a lot of Yoga, we will do foam rolling, inversion, just like a lot of the stuff that is a little bit more like deep restorative exercise.  And then the hard MetCon stuff, high intensity interval training and weight training we do later in the day.  And that works out really well.  I think that a Two-A-Day that includes hard training that is very sympathetic nervous system based earlier in the day is stressful.  I have done it before, I have gone to camps.  Like I will be at SEALFit camp this August and I can guarantee we will be getting up early in the morning and like hitting the grinder with drill sergeants yelling in our faces in the mornings.  And I do not think that is good for the body or the adrenals long term.  One of the reasons I am doing it is because it makes you cut short term and it prepares you for stress short term.  But I think that long term as a habit to do hard morning workouts, I do not think that is an ideal scenario.  I think that the human body does best slowly waking up and getting that parasympathetic nervous system activation and training the body for parasympathetic dominance in the morning and then doing more of the fight and flight later on in the day.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm. Sounds awesome.

Justin Marchegiani:  Good stuff.  Good stuff.  So everyone that is listening here, if you to want to get more information about some of Ben’s work and his New York Times bestselling book, “Beyond Training” feel free and check that out at Amazon.  Ben, tell us about some of your site, your blogs, YouTube channels, your coaching stuff.  Where can our listeners get access to that stuff?

Ben Greenfield:  Yes, I do a lot of blogging and podcasting over at and that is a good place to go to just check out the articles that I write and the audio recordings that I do about twice a week.  And it is basically kind of tapping into some of the stuff that I am talking about.  I am constantly trying to research the best ways to optimize performance and fat loss and health.  And so that’s it.  That is a good place to go, its

Justin Marchegiani:  Thanks so much, Ben.   We appreciate you coming on.

Ben Greenfield:  And thanks for having me on guys.

Baris Harvey:  All right, thank you.

Justin Marchegiani:  Awesome.



How to Heal Your Gut Steve Wright Podcast #16


Dr. Justin and Dr. Baris interviewed health coach Steve Wright, co-founder of the SCD Lifestyle which is a community of health experts dedicated to help people heal their guts and take responsibility for their health and body.    

In this podcast, discover what SCD or Specific Carbohydrate Diet and how to use it to help restore one’s gut health.  Learn the healthier way of dealing with constipation without using Psyllium husk.  Understand why the functional medicine approach to treating patients is much more effective and beneficial than the insurance based approach to treatment.  Also find out about the common gut infections and key lab testings to accurately detect them.


In this episode we cover:

05:44   SCD versus GAPS Diet

14:07   Psyllium Husk and Constipation

31:20   Functional Medicine Model vs. Insurance Model

35:50   Key and Foundational Lab Testings

45:16   Other Clinical Markers for Infections

48:14   SIBO







Baris Harvey:  Welcome to another awesome episode of Beyond Wellness Radio.  In today’s episode we are interviewing Steve Wright of  Steve is a health practitioner.   He is also known as a poop specialist in our space.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Laughs

Baris Harvey:  He struggled with severe IBS and digestive problems and now helps other people fix their guts.  So, how is it going today, Steve?

Steve Wright:  Great man.  Thanks for having me on.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, it is awesome to have you.  How is it going today, Dr. Justin?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  It is going great Baris.  I am really excited for today’s podcast.

Baris Harvey:  Yes definitely.  So Steve, I gave a little quick introduction but for the people out there who do not know about you.  Could you give us a little background about your story?  I know one thing that I like, we actually just did an interview with Garrett and he had a different, like an engineering background and you also did some electrical engineering in the past.  Can you tell me about your background and how you got led into this health space?

Steve Wright:  Yes, definitely.  And that is actually what I tend to call myself, as a digestive engineer or a health engineer.  I have in the past few years worked with people one-on-one but I have recently stopped doing that.   So I guess I am no longer officially any sort of practitioner.  It is sort of everybody’s story of how you ended up in the space.  I had an issue and no one in the modern medicine system was giving me any relief at all.  Not even a small amount.  And so my background from college was electrical engineering and I think what engineering in college does teach you is, it teaches you to be okay with really complex problems and problems that has unknown parts of them.  And so once I really realized that food was a big thing in my digestive issues.  I had a really, really bad IBS with gas and bloating that was like so bad it would make me want to cry.  But then when I farted I would feel so good but it would smell so bad.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Laughs

Baris Harvey:  Laughs

Steve Wright:  It was like those kinds of farts that nobody wants to claim, like you are afraid that something died in you.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Laughs

Steve Wright:  (Laughs) So, it was a very diabolical problem everything I had to eat.  I had all kinds of other symptoms that was just my big pain.  I had cystic acne.  I was 30 pounds overweight, used to be 60 pounds overweight and all these different issues.  And one of my good friend Jordan, my business partner now, he was celiac and he was getting help from gluten-free and a practitioner put him on a Specific Carbohydrate Diet and he stated getting better.  And so in a moment of fury and just tears and “upset-ness” I called him one day and he convinced me to give it a shot.  And in 3 days into changing my diet my gas and bloating was gone.  And so at that point it was when I felt empowered.  And suddenly I had started to take a little bit of responsibility for my own health and not outsource it to cure everything.   And so between kind of being angry and really sick that kind of led me to like sort of own my training and as far as problem solving goes and take responsibility.  And so it has been a 5-6 year process now of, “Okay well, that feels better but how much more energy could I have?  Can I have clearer skin?  You know, could I go from a very strict diet that works very well to a diverse diet that is like 80-20?  You know, can I do a sprint triathlon?  Can I go backpacking for multiple days up in the Rocky Mountains?   And just kind of every layer to sort of getting my health back to levels I never thought existed.  And then each time I find something that works I try to turn around and educate the public about it or create some sort of program to allow people to do it cheaper, better and faster.

Baris Harvey:  Definitely, that sounds good.  That is a good overall view of what happened.  And I like the fact that you had to go on a strict diet because of how much healing you needed in the past but also where now you probably can be a little bit more lenient and not so strict on your diet.  Do you still have to be pretty precise?  Do you notice like a definite change when you eat like maybe the wrong foods?  Or is your body a little bit more shall I say resilient to that now?

Steve Wright:   I definitely have a much more resilient health perspective at this point or health level at this point.  I mean I can eat gluten for like a meal or two.  Anything more than that my skin will like instantly begin to breakout and I will feel some fogginess in my brain sometimes as well.  So I still have sensitivity to some types of foods.  And in general, I eat all whole foods, typically.  If I do go out, I am going out to the best restaurants eating very much it is like Paleo with some Weston A. Price sort of mixed in.  So I will eat legumes like once a week properly prepared.  Obviously, I would eat high quality dairies from time to time.  But in general, 85-90% of my template diet is meats, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats.  You know, that type of thing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That is awesome. That is awesome.  So Steve, this is Justin here.  A couple of questions for you on the SCD diet.  I have used that diet with my patients quite frequently especially the ones that have colitis or Crohn’s disease, etc.  And I also use the GAPS diet or the into phase diet for GAPS.  And I am just curious, when you are working with patients, how would you apply the SCD versus GAPS and when would you choose one over the other?

Steve Wright:   Great question.  So essentially, what we use at SCD lifestyle and what I would use with people is basically the best of both worlds.  So in my opinion, the Specific Carbohydrate Diet as it was written by Dr. Sidney Hass or as it was written by Elaine Gottschall in her very popular book “Breaking the Vicious Cycle” is incomplete.   And the work of Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride has done with the GAPS diet again, all of these people are amazing and they helped saved my life.  So this is not a sort of walking on them.  We need to continue to further the ability to help people.  And so both diets by themselves and silos have disadvantages.  And they do not seem to produce consistent results for the majority of people who tried them.  They seem to maybe only serve 60% or 70% or something like that.

Baris Harvey:  Steve, real quick, I think some listeners might not know kind of the overall, what is, before you kind of go into what you do with clients, could you go to a quick brief overview of what the SCD lifestyle or the SCD diet kind of consist of?  And also what the general basis of a GAPS diet is?

Steve Wright:   Sure.  Sure, yes.  And that is a great point.  We should probably define what we are talking about. 

Baris Harvey:   Yes definitely.

Steve Wright:   Great, great point Baris.  Yes, so the Specific Carbohydrate Diet started in the literature in the 1920’s.    Essentially the diet as it was written through those various evolutions I just mentioned, is a diet that is processed food free, additive free, grain free and polysaccharide or disaccharide free even though that is a little bit of a debate right now if you get into the minutiae.  But essentially, what is allowed on Specific Carbohydrate Diet are properly prepared legumes, some fermented dairies such as cheese or homemade yogurts.  Meat, fruits, vegetables, nuts all of those types of things.  And there are specific, for instance, Elaine Gottschall chose to not include seaweed and multiple other specific parts of fruits that have polysaccharides.  And the basis for that is just that when your gut is really messed up, you cannot breakdown those carbohydrates chains and actually absorbs them and end up feeding bacteria or feeding the gut dysbiosis that might have already be going on.  So, Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride saw the golden SCD and took that and made it as the underlying foundation of GAPS.  And what she did was she essentially innovated on top of it to really help her autistic son.  And so she removed dairy from it because a lot of people have dairy allergies and totally understand that.  She also added in juicing.  She added in like some specific probiotic recommendations.  She did come up with like a lengthy Intro Diet whereas SCD has sort of an initial phase diet like 3 or 5 days whereas the GAPS intro phase can be much longer.    And so both of them have a lot of merit and they help a lot of people.  And I think Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride totally hit on something that we also abide by at SCD lifestyle which is that dairy is very reactive.  And we personally tell everyone no dairy for 30 days.  You know, always be testing it.  And then if you do happen to be okay with dairy, I think it is a really powerful food group that you should not completely exclude.  And so that is one of my sort of beefs with the GAPS diet.  As far as like how do we use either one?  It is a great question.  So, essentially, it comes down to I think creating your own custom diet.  And both diets could get you there.  Might be for GAPS really is that the juicing can be overtaxing if you are already learning how to cook and how to shop again, how to clean up.  And so if you want to add on top of that another layer of juicing, those are more skills and more money where the bang for the buck only seems to be there for a certain set of people who have really bad detoxification issues.  And for other people who have like SIBO, that is small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or other really bad gut dysbiosis the apple juicing can really affect them.  And if you have someone who switches diets in the first week or two and all they do is feel worse they are not going to stick with it.  And so once again I am not against juicing.  I just think it is something that you add later as you begin to jump into this lifestyle.  So basically my overall thing is start with meat, fruits, and vegetables.  Cook everything.  And we have like phasing charts over at but I am kind of staying away from actually like the cruciferous family in the beginning because those can be hard to breakdown because it has a little bit more complex molecules and fibers in those.  And really just starting from a cooking standpoint.   The GAPS intro can be like no fruits and vegetables.  And I think that works for some people but in general from a satiety standpoint and from the ability to stick to a diet, I think there needs to be some sort of compromise there.  And so that is kind of what we are trying to do at SCD Lifestyle.  It was like we saw these people failing in multiple ways and we are like, “Okay, let us just take the best practices and sort of begin to coach people through that.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Awesome.  Those are some great points, Steve.  So looking at the SCD and looking at GAPS, one thing I noticed on the GAPS side is the big emphasis in bone broths.  I do not quite see that on the SCD side.  So I just wanted to kind of figure out how you apply, how you use bone broths.  And just one layer on top of that is I kind of want you to go into FODMAPS.   Because I know even in the GAPS intro they still talk about adding in broccoli and cauliflower and even onions at some points.  And I see in the intro diet they even mention apple cider and things like that in one and two and then avocado I think in phase two or three.  So I want to get your take just to rehash that on when you apply broths and do you ever take FODMAPS 100% out of the equation?  And you probably even want to go into what FODMAPS are, too.

Steve Wright:  Yes, yes that is a lot of stuff to unpack there but great questions, Justin.  So let us start with the bone broth.  Yes, bone broth can be like this amazing human food and I do think it should be very much a part of a healthy person’s or a person who can digest it very much a part of their life.  You know, hopefully having it on a weekly basis if not a more often basis.  Now you know some people love it every day.  And I think it is a great food for that.  So I love the fact that the GAPS diet really elevates bone broths and talked about it a lot because it does seem to be like a needle mover for a lot of people.  And so I think we have to always keep our eyes on the different needle movers because you know something like maybe supplement x is really good for your health but it is maybe not going to like really cause massive change in a month or something like that whereas bone broth could have a potential to do that.  So my thoughts are we typically add it in a little bit later after the first 30 days or so and always looking out for fat malabsorption.  Because there are a lot of IBD people for instance or people who are still misdiagnosed or undiagnosed who have just a really wrecked gut and bone broth for them is like death soup.  Like drinking it just makes them want to cry.  So I think it is worthwhile to let people know that if you cannot tolerate a lot of fatty foods or anything like that, where you have like some really bad gut dysbiosis, sometimes it is better to wait four to eight weeks before you begin to slowly introduce bone broths.  And then the same thing could be said for probiotic foods.  You know GAPS is really, really big on probiotic foods and I love that as well.  But again there are the really, really sick people who need to have a gradual introduction into all of these things.  Like for instance, my business partner Jordan, he had to start with the one strain of sauerkraut per day for like months.  It took him like two or three months to get up to like two or three spoonful or forkfuls of it.    And so that is where I think that first three days is really key for just keeping it really simple and trying to keep the diversity a little high with fruits and vegetables.  But also as you mentioned you know watching out for FODMAPS.  So FODMAPS you know, is a fascinating diet out of Australia.  And I think it is a really cool new take on foods and how they impact us and how the gut flora is impacted from them.  In general, I think a 30,000 foot view, my experience with FODMAPS is that the more intolerant you are to FODMAPS foods the more damaged and the more destroyed your gut is.  And so removing them if you are intolerant to them in the beginning can be sort of like a life changer.  Like your quality of life can immediately go way up.  However, I do not think there are classes of foods that you want to keep out forever.  Like you mentioned, onions and broccoli and cauliflower, these are very powerful great foods.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yes.  Right.

Steve Wright:  That we should use later on in a very healthy diet.  But I think sometimes for those people, they will just have to heal their gut a little bit longer before they can reintroduce those.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Excellent points.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  That makes a lot of sense.  So it is basically a certain level of making sure that you are healthy enough or you take like a more therapeutic approach where maybe you have to kind of babysit, be kind of delicate on what foods you introduced until that gut is kind of cleaned up and now you can actually take some of the nutrients out of these other foods that might be harder to digest.

Steve Wright:  Yes, I mean let’s face it.  The diet that you should be following is like for me is the Steve diet, it’s the Baris diet, it’s the Justin diet.  And your gut flora, my gut flora, our epigenetics, all these things are different.  And they are also different depending on where you are in your health in your life.  So in the beginning, you might have to get a very restrictive diet.  But do not label food just good or bad.  Just label them good for me right now or not good for me right now and based on whether you can digest them or not digest them.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.  Definitely that sounds good.  So you are just talking about how some people have a problem digesting fats.  And it is funny because we also talked about how people can have problems with breaking down the carbohydrates and often times when people are backed up and have constipation.  I know a lot of people they really like to bulk up with like psyllium husk or just pack a bunch of fiber in order to get things moving along.  But I like how you have a little bit of a different perspective.  Could you for the listeners out there who might have some constipation issues and they are just trying to stack up on psyllium husk, can you give some other advice on how they can maybe helped with their constipation issues?

Steve Wright:  Yes, so I guess my counter perspective is that fiber from whole foods is really the kind of fiber you want.  And supplementing with psyllium husk is basically you would try to do the same thing if this analogy makes sense to you this is what you would be doing with psyllium husk.  So let us say, since we are talking about poop, you take a big dump and you clog your toilet.  And you go to flush and yet nothing happens.   Would you pour out more toilet paper and start shoving it in the toilet to make that…

Baris Harvey:  Yes, it would make everything worse.

Steve Wright:  Right, right.  So that is sort of the same thing with psyllium husk.  It is sort of like a plugged toilet in a way.  Would you dump a bunch more of poop basically into your system hoping that it is just going to unclog it?  With some people it works in the short run.  Myself, when how much you will actually experience it is that it is either going to make a bunch of bloating and really hurt or it might work for a week or so.  And then also you will notice you need more, and more and more.  And through this process you might actually be damaging your colon just because you are creating so much feces.  So my take on that is it is not an amount of poop problem that constipated people have, it is the inability to get rid of it.  So there is an evacuation problem going on and not a lack of poop to get rid of.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Steve Wright:  There are lots of ways that we could do this without using psyllium husk and some of the herbal laxatives and enemas and things like that.  And that is through substances that either help with peristalsis which are the waves that actually move the food through your stomach and then obviously get rid of your stool.  And then there are also substances like vitamin C and magnesium which are nutrients that your body could absorb and could help you in that regard.  But when you overdose on them or begin to sort of micro-overdose on them they will actually draw some water into your digestive tract and sort of begin to help move things along or soften the stool and kind of get it along.  So, I really prefer the sort of short term interventions with vitamin C and magnesium and typically magnesium glycinate or citrate.  And then long term thinking about what is going on in here?  Why is peristalsis not happening?   Do you need more probiotics or more fiber from whole foods and begin to try to get to the root cause of why you are constipated in the first place.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Excellent points.  Great points, Steve.  Now I work with a lot of patients and I find gut infections are strongly at play.  Lots of different parasites issues, whether bacterial issues, H. pylori, chronic, fungal overgrowth, SIBO.  And a lot of these infections they produced toxins, right?  So we know endotoxins or lipopolysaccharides. These are produced from a lot of the gram negative bacteria and these can disrupt a lot of those peristaltic waves or kind of like if you would get the last bit of your toothpaste out of your toothpaste you kind of roll it up.  That is kind of how your intestine works.  So can you talk about how kind of in your role working with patients being a clinician, how these infections really kind of muck things up, if you will?

Steve Wright:   So just to clarify, I do not have a medical license or anything.  So I was just a health coach.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Steve Wright:   Yes GI infections are extremely prevalent.  And people are not getting this message or are not hearing this message.  If you sort of  poll the community and I am not sure what percentage you saw, Justin but like Dr. Tom O’Bryan sees 70 to 80% of every person who walks into his clinic whether they are complaining about GI issues or not have a gut infection.  I have heard Dr. Lauren Noel talked about around 80% as well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I agree.

Steve Wright:   Okay cool.  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Totally agree.

Steve Wright:   And that is what we pretty much saw, too.  It is 80-90% for the people that we are working with.  So it is a really high percentage.  And so, yes exactly those infections do a lot of damage.  Number one, they could shut down the peristalsis waves.  Number two, all those toxins are definitely causing inflammation and probably leading to leaky gut.  And it is really the root cause especially constipation.  Like constipation to me is like a huge massive red flag that there is probably some sort of infection that you want to go and get tested for.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  That is great.  And I also have a site called and I talk a lot about thyroid issues.  And I see on your blog here today, you did a blog on, “Is your thyroid destroying your gut function?”  Could you touch base on the thyroid gut connection, Steve?

Steve Wright:   Yes sure.  I am sure you have mentioned this before but every cell in your body needs thyroid hormones. They need at least T3 to function.  And so the thyroid is extremely important.  And if you look in the research, there is a high prevalence of thyroid disorders and inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease and thyroid disorders are very high.  And so it is kind of fascinating to think that there is a gut issue that is diagnosed and then typically or at least you have a much more increased risk of ending up with some sort of thyroid autoimmune disease as well.  And I think a lot of what is going on here is you have a couple of things.  Number one, is that if there is not enough thyroid hormone ending up in your gut cells the peristalsis waves, this is shown in research, the peristalsis waves will be either slowed down or the strength of them, their ability to sort of squeeze out like what you are talking about the toothpaste, will be diminished as well.  And that is just because the cells are not getting enough of the hormone signals to do the job that they are supposed to do.  Now if you are hyperthyroid instead of hypothyroid then you could be causing like diarrhea or something like that.  And you know that the really cool research that is coming out that I am really pumped about now that I would be writing more about in the coming weeks, is that they are now showing that maybe up to 20%.  And this is really new stuff.  But all we really know is that the gut flora plays a big role in the conversion from T4 to T3.  I know this is not perfect science but I think it is easiest to remember T4 is sort of the inactive form or thyroid hormone, more of storage part of the thyroid hormone.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Steve Wright:   And T3 is the one that everybody wants majority of the time.  And so the gut flora helps with not only the conversion of the T4 to T3 but they also store some of the T3.  So if you have a disrupted gut flora you might have, you know, poor conversion.  And then that is going to feed the signal back to begin to make more thyroid hormone and it can continue this bad feedback loops and really begin to cause a bunch of issues.  And conversely, maybe you are eating an SCD diet or a GAPS diet.  You have gotten rid of your gut infection but you are still having to rely on magnesium or vitamin C to have bowel movements when it could be just that you needed some sort of thyroid support or some work up there to actually begin to restore full function to the gut.  Does that make sense?  I do not know if I was talking all around that article.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes absolutely.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, I know that sounds awesome.  I mean like a simple way to think about it and it is so awesome how complex yet amazing our bodies are.  When you see something like hypothyroidism and then slowing down the intestines.  And we know like our thyroid is like our master metabolism kind of gland.  And then we see like, “Oh, if you have hyperthyroid you might have diarrhea.”  And it is kind of like your body telling you like things are hypermobile, it is speeding up.  There is something going wrong.  Or if the inverse is happening through your body and it is kind of obviously telling you something.  And often times it is just so common that we kind of ignore those signals.

Steve Wright:   I mean, I think that is just part of like every system in the body.  Like functional medicine, like everything is just connected to everything.  And so it could be that the gut is messing up in the HPA axis where the thyroid adjusts itself or it could be the other way.  And so I think what you said there is perfect.  Really a lot of this is about becoming aware of our bodies again.  And I know one of the ways in which I got sick was essentially and it is no fault of anybody’s but sounds like humans we get like a manual that says this is how you should relate to your body.  And this is what a perfect poop is.  And this is what a perfect thyroid is, right?  We do not get that.   And typically the process of getting that is through getting back into our bodies and realizing what we are putting in, what we are consuming and then talking to other people who have like a very robust, resilient health: how did they feel?  Like what did they do?  And if you can’t do what they do then you are like, “Oh, interesting.  I wonder why that is?”

Baris Harvey:  Yeah definitely.  So I want to slightly transition.   I was actually on a call.  Somebody called and they are talking about a client going to their doctor after you know they tested these gut panels.  And it is funny because we talked about the infections and parasites and usually people think like unless you are swimming in some dirty water in Thailand, we do not get parasites or infections or things like that in America.  But they also had leaky gut and they went to their doctors and their doctors said well it is not real, right?  It is not a real thing.  I am not going to treat anything like that.   Could you answer this question?  For us, we kind of know this but is leaky gut real?  And how have you seen that in your practice?

Steve Wright:   Yes, this is such a profoundly simple question.  What is real is what is real to us individually.   So in that doctor’s point of view, leaky gut is not real to him.  I do not know what his basis of medicine is or how he functions in this world.  I am not here to judge him.  But let us say for instance, you just went to PubMed which is, and for people to know, that is a big search engine for all the research that is going on in the medical community.  If you type in intestinal permeability which is the medical term for leaky gut; leaky is kind of like the slang term.  You will find well over 10,000 research papers that reference it.  So I do not know, maybe things become real for that doctor at 100,000 references or 12,000, I am not sure.  But what is true is that since the 1980’s, papers have been published since we realized how the gut actually begins to function is through cells that become more permeable depending on the conditions that are present in the body and outside of the body.  And so this is a known fact now that there is such a thing as a permeable gut and that is actually how the gut cells function.  The problem is that this is just beginning to be taught in medical schools and as most people know your average family practitioner and even most gastroenterologists and people like these, they got into school a long time ago.  And to be honest they are not interested in learning new ideas.  They are just interested in going through a yearly conference or two and brushing up on the paradigm that they bought and paid for and work really hard to get.  So I think at this point, the patients out there have to decide whether or not they believe it is real.  If they believe it is real then it is time to fire your doctor and find someone who believes the same thing you believe.  I mean if you believe that you should pay your taxes and your accountant says do not pay your taxes you will probably fire that accountant and go to one that believe what you believe.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Steve Wright:  So the same thing applies to medicine.  Doctors are there to serve you.  And that is not how it always had been portrayed but that is really how the world works.  When you buy a consultant they are there to help you.  So if your consultant is not acting in a way you wish they would it is time to fire them.

Baris Harvey:  Awesome.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Awesome points, yes.  And Steve just so you know, 10, 842 for intestinal permeability on PubMed right now as we speak.

Steve Wright:   That is so awesome.  It is creeping up.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I know.

Steve Wright:   It is going to get to 11,000 real soon.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  (Laughs) I know.  Right.  So, you kind of touching back on the doctor’s paradigm and being a physician myself and working with lots of patients you come to the resolution that what you are learning in school and what you are learning in textbooks is about 20 to 30 years old.  So to be on top of things and to really help your patients, you have to be studying what is clinically working now.  Talking to other doctors, going to cutting edge conferences where you are learning the application of what is happening now.  What are the best tests?  What are the best things we can use supplementally?  Diet wise, lifestyle wise to fix these things.  And also we have to step outside the insurance model because a 5-minute doctor’s visit is not going to be enough to get the information to teach our patients.  So you can talk about kind of the functional medicine model versus the insurance model?

Steve Wright:   Yes. Sure.  So, I love analogies, right?  So I think this is how the insurance model works.  It is much like the public school system.  So if people can think about the public schools system.  They probably thought about that more than the insurance model.  But the teacher and the doctor are the same role.  So in the public school model, the teacher is told exactly what they must teach.  They have exams that their students are measured on.  If they do not get their students through that certain grade then they could be fired.  They get specific kinds of pencils.  They get specific textbooks regardless of what they want to teach.  They are told how they have to teach and what exactly the takeaways are.  Well, that is the exact same thing that is happening in the medicine world.  So I really do not fault the doctors.  I do think that obviously, like you Justin, like you decided that you are going to do something different.  And you have decided to take more responsibility, more investment into your profession.  And there are teachers; they are stand up teachers who do the exact same thing.  They buy their own markers.  They buy their own stuff.  But that takes a really special person.  And so if you want to subsist inside either system you have to realize the standard of care that is practiced there.  And so in the insurance model, the insurance companies dictate exactly how these doctors have to function.  And if they do not follow what the insurance companies said with step one it can go so far as the medical review board could remove their license.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow!

Steve Wright:  So their license is what they paid hundreds of thousands of dollars and eight to ten years of their life to get.  So they are stuck in a really, really rock and a hard place position here.  And so that is where you almost have to step outside of the system and go over to this non-insurance based model where a lot of the functional medicine practitioners practice.  And I think there is another distinction there that we should make which is that, I think the insurance model is really built around symptoms care.  It is about solving the immediate pain but no time is spent on why are you in pain or how did you get here.  Whereas in the functional medicine model, which is typically outside of this insurance model so that physicians like yourself can actually spend 30 minutes, an hour, more time than that.  You actually have time in your day to probably research the tough cases and figure out the newest and best models or reach out to world class practitioners who are doing something different that no one has heard of yet to help these people.  And that model is really about why is this happening in your body.  Because you might have acne and depression and a little bit of constipation and you knee might hurt a little bit.  But in the insurance based model you are probably going to have a physician for each one of those things.  You are going to have a dermatologist.  You are going to have a neurologist.  You are going to have a gastroenterologist and you probably will have some sort of an orthopedic surgeon or something on your team.  And none of these people talk to each other.  And then in the functional medicine model, you can go and see someone and they will be like, “Oh, actually all that stuff is related back to… Oh, looks like your gut and your hormones are off.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Laughs

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Steve Wright:   And so if we fix both of those all that stuff will go away.  And so I think that is also a big distinction between those two models.  One model is silo and specialty focused and the other model is like wait, everything is related.  It is all of the system.  And so if I treat something over here it is going to affect something else over here.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely.  And I am constantly learning and I found the SCD Lifestyle phasing chart through you guys, through your site and I have been using that for my patients for the last year.  And that is where they worked wonders.  I appreciate that.  You know, that contribution you made.

Steve Wright:   Oh, thank you so much.  Yes.  Really and this is probably both of you guys just kind of thought, I just want to create this stuff, you know.  I am in this for myself as well as for everybody else.  But I really want to create tools and blog posts that I wish I would have had 7 years ago.  Because it is inexcusable that more people do not know about these stuff.  So that is kind of like a rule that I have about what products and what things you put on the market.  What blog posts we publish.   If this would not serve me 7 years ago we are not going to do it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Love it, I love it.  And right now, there are a lot of people out there that are trying to get answers, right?  They are trying the diet stuff and they are also curious about functional medicine lab testing.  So I know there are a lot of ways that you can spend a lot of money on lab testing and maybe not accomplish a whole bunch.  So there are certain tests out there that may not get you the underlying cause of what’s driving things.  So, what would you think are the key foundational lab testings that you would recommend?  And again there are exceptions to every rule.  Like a lot of times people think that food allergy testing is a waste but for some people it may be beneficial.  What tests do you think are key and foundational to addressing maybe chronic gut and/or fatigue issues?

Steve Wright:   Yes, yes that is great.  And you are right.  Everything that we talked about in the world there is an outlier.  So from my point of view, again kind of like if you take sort of my engineering mindset, how do we get the most bang for our buck?  And what are the biggest needle movers regarding diet?  And we can apply this for test, too.  And so when it comes to test, I think the first thing is getting a good handle on a salivary adrenal panel, like adrenal stress index is what they are called, for your hormones.  Because we talked about thyroid earlier in this podcast but with a lot of people who are just learning or do not know about it yet, is that as long as you do not have an autoimmune condition with the thyroid a lot of it could be handled just through fixing your adrenal glands.   And then a lot of sort of other sex hormone issues can be taken cared of if you really get those guys working properly and the feedback loop is working properly.  So I think number one, you know working with a physician who can screen you for autoimmune markers.  That is really a needle mover test.  And some people do that through like Cyrex Labs.  Other people can do that through blood testing.  I think those are really big needle mover test because if you find that that is huge in this whole grand scheme of things and what you are going to eat and what you should go after.  I think the salivary index BioHealth is the trusted lab that I like.  I tried a lot of labs out there and I have run panels.  Do you agree?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I agree.  Like a 100% agree.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Steve Wright:   Okay great.  I have run panels and I am not going to name any other labs but almost every other big labs you have ever heard of I run side by side panels and BioHealth always seems to line up with symptomology for people and so that is what I trust for the salivary or hormone stuff.  And then the next big thing is the GI infections test or two.  So here is a fascinating nugget that is not only fascinating but extremely frustrating.  We did over 400 case studies where we have people doing a BioHealth 41H which is a stool test for infections versus other labs stool test.  So we just essentially said this is the model of what we do.  If you want to work with us because of what we have seen you have to do these two tests.  And that means basically double the money.  And we found somewhere around 70% of the time roughly, you know give or take 10% they were off.   And there was one test that caught some bugs, that made sense and the BioHealth did not or the BioHealth caught them and the other test did not.   And so that is a really frustrating but it is a very interesting point which is that you want a practitioner who not only uses sort of the same base testing but also sees a lot of these tests because tests are not perfect.  There is nothing about any medical testing out there that is perfect.  Even cholesterol testing is very imperfect.   And so you need a practitioner that understands the subtleties and the limitations of testing.  So when it comes down to needle mover test, I would definitely go with a BioHealth salivary panel at least the 41H from BioHealth and then combine that with maybe another one out there Genova or Doctor’s Data or something like that or another trusted lab.  And then however your doctor prefers to screen for autoimmunity.

Baris Harvey:  Awesome.  I know you mentioned the false negatives with kind of the GI testing.  I know you might not treat in a specific way if you do not find anything.  But are you still going to kind of go about it the same if somebody is having a lot of symptoms of infection and you are not finding anything.  Or you still might do some kind of protocol that is still geared that way just in case it was a false negative? 

Steve Wright:   Yes, yes definitely.  I definitely talked to people about that in the past.  And I know a lot of high, really respected coach or medicine practitioners do the same thing.  And the issue with that is that you do not know.  You have to then use a sort of like a broad protocol.  You cannot target a specific type of bug for instance if it was H. pylori versus SIBO those are two different programs.   Every one of those infections has a specific protocol that works really well for it.  If you get a false negative but you still think that there is an infection there I think it is still worthwhile at that point to use some sort of broad spectrum based protocol and then follow-up with testing again.  So just because you have one false negative, here’s a crazy story for you guys.  So I have low stomach acids since I started this whole journey.  It was one of the first things that I have figured out and nobody was talking about.  And I am like, “Oh, my gosh!  If I take Betaine HCl like I would start to have these amazing poops.  I don’t burp anymore.  And I do not have indigestion anymore.  It was just an amazing thing.  And so ever since and that was like 7 years ago, I am like Googling and trying to figure out like what causes low stomach acids to be low or to be suppressed.  And you know there are a lot of different things but the main one out there is typically is H. pylori.  And so for years, I am like, “I have H. pylori I know I have it.”  But I have like two and a half years’ worth of tests that are negative, negative, negative.  No H. pylori.  And so we have never treated it because there was never anything there.  And we are talking about all kinds of different labs, all kinds of different ways of testing.  But as I got healthier and healthier, I did another stool test and then eventually I did get a positive for H. pylori.  And treated it and now I do not need any sort of stomach acid boosting support unless I am under a really bad stressful situation.  So the moral of the story here is number one, tests in and of themselves just done once are almost worthless.  You need to continue to do testing overtime.  And there are conditions such as crypt hyperplasia which may have been happening in my case or there is maybe this idea in my head, this theory that as you begin to solve a root problem, as I began to increase my immune system through fixing hormone dysregulation all of a sudden that infection became active enough to actually finding it on the test.   And so I really think it is a fallacy to think that you can test once and figure this all out.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  That is a great point.  And I recommend lab testing just for preventative medicine maintenance just once a year.  At least a gut test even if you are healthy.  I know when I met my fiancée for instance, she had 15 years of IBS issues going to the ER, being scoped many times.  And when I first treated her she had a blastocystis hominis infection.  We removed that infection half of the pain gone.  Then we tested again H. pylori, then it is cryptosporidium, then it was a worm infection, then it was Giardia.  It was 7 or 8 infections layered in the crypt.   So if all of our listeners can just open the palm of their hand, think of the fingers as like the villi and then where the finger gaps meet the palm of the hand, that is like where the crypts are.  And these infections get burrowed up in there.  So based on your experience Steve, what do you think are the most common and most virulent strong infections that you see out there are?

Steve Wright:   Well, I just want to echo exactly the advice that you just gave, Justin.  I do the exact same thing.  I actually just ordered a $2500 worth of preventative testing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Nice.

Steve Wright:   I do it every year.  And that is part of my budget.  That is part of how I look at health care and taking responsibility for my health these days.  I have a catastrophic health insurance policy.  But then I also have that deductible covered in savings.  But every year, I budget two to three thousand dollars’ worth of preventative testing just to make sure I am on the right track.  Because if I can catch this stuff I will never even use that deductible unless it’s some sort of an acute problem that happens through sports or accident or something like that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Love it.

Steve Wright:   So I could not echo that enough.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Love it.

Steve Wright:   So back to common infections.  So I would say like out of the 600 or so case examples I can poll from blastocystis hominis as a huge one.  See what else, H. pylori was another really, really common one.  Entamoeba coli is another really common.   I would say those three are probably the most common that I saw on a regular basis along with SIBO.  Excuse me, I should definitely throw small intestinal bacterial overgrowth in there because that is super common.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, yes.  And then when you are looking at patients because I have the same thing where sometimes the lab work does not come out positive, you know, like what are you going to do?  What are the clinical markers and signs that you may look to say, “Well, there are still something wrong.”  Maybe they have cut out FODMAPS and they have an improvement.   What are the other clinical markers would you look at outside of just lab testing?

Steve Wright:   Yes, I would look at number one, any gas or bloating at all is an indication to me that there is likely low stomach acid plus some sort of overgrowth.  Those are really big red flags for either or both conditions because they sort of feed each other.  I would guess like, okay so if you are using supplements that physically alter the way in which the intestines work that would be things like digestive enzymes, Betaine HCl, ox bile, vitamin C, magnesium if you want.  So like the first three are more about like stopping diarrhea or helping constipation.  And magnesium, vitamin C, laxatives things that improve constipation.  If you are not having perfect poops on a really healthy diet like a whole foods diet or like any of the diets we have talked so far you are still having loose stools or constipated tools that is all we really need right there.  The other thing is if there are any autoimmune markers at all I am automatically thinking GI infection and yes I would say any autoimmunity, any sort of GI distress at all.  And then lastly like, if things just seem complex, like you have been sick for a really long time, then typically I am assuming you have multiple areas of your body that have been down regulated overtime and part of that is just going to be the gut.  So maybe it was not always the gut.  Maybe it started with some thyroid and adrenal stress and then you have lost your immunity and then you just picked up a gut infection.  So now you are presenting as chronic fatigue or multiple chemical sensitivity or fibromyalgia.  And you know, for instance, fibromyalgia.  Essentially 70% of people with fibromyalgia have SIBO.  So any of these sort of complex syndromes and undiagnosed problems like IBS immediately I am thinking this person has a high, high chance of having a gut infection of some type.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Baris Harvey:  Yes definitely.  That makes a lot of sense.  And real briefly, I know we are coming close to the end of our episode but if you can go over because I know SIBO is really a big issue that is starting to pop up a lot more now.  For those of our listeners who are not too familiar with it.  I know Dr. Justin you recently did a video on SIBO.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Baris Harvey:   Could you go a little bit more into SIBO and just talk about how you might get this overgrowth and kind of like what is a little bit behind the mechanisms and maybe some ideas on how you get rid of it as well?

Steve Wright:  Yes sure.  So small intestinal bacterial overgrowth is essentially you are having too much bacteria in the small intestine.  It could be beneficial strains bacteria, could be just neutral bacteria or even bad bacteria that have overgrown.  Essentially what has happened is most of your bacterial growth should be in the large intestines not in the small and somehow you now have a colony in the small intestine that is essentially producing a lot of gas.  They are just being bacteria.  Bacteria very, very simple.  I mean they eat and they give up a by-product.  But the symptoms that it causes are very intense and can be very debilitating depending on the level of the overgrowth and the length of time.  So the ways in which you get it are almost too numerous for us to even go into on the show.  It is a wonder that your average sick person in America has not gotten it.  A lot of people do have it.  But essentially, once you combine stress with one bout of gastroenteritis or just like food poisoning or something like that your chances of having SIBO go through the roof.   And some of the new research is starting to talk about the fact that just one round of gastroenteritis something like that, every time you have one of those, your chances of SIBO go through the roof.  But there are lots of other things you can have.  Valve malfunctions in your intestines; low stomach acid really feeds into it.  Essentially, how are you going to beat it is that those bacteria need a food source.  So it is just like if you dropped a spoonful of peanut butter on a side walk, the ants and the animals are going to come running.  And so that is essentially what is happening with the small intestines.  There is a food source and biology is just taking over.  Like there is going to be something that is going to step up and fill that role in the community.  And so reducing the food source through diets like the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, through the GAPS Diet is one way to begin to lower the community.  But a lot of people would need either an antibiotic protocol with typically Rifaximin, maybe some other add‑ons or maybe an herbal protocol to really get rid of it.  And from my personal opinion, and as I guess one of the leaders behind the Specific Carbohydrate Diet at this point in time, I do not believe that you can starve out SIBO.  I have been working on it with myself, and working with people for over 6 years now and this idea that you can starve out SIBO thing or candida thing infection I think it is just a giant myth.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I totally agree with that.  I see that all the time with my patients.  We have to use a combination of herbal medicines whether higher dose or the oregano or berberine and Goldenseal or higher dose Artemisia, I 100% agree with that.

Steve Wright:   Awesome.  And I want to say that if people who are listening to us are like, “Man, I did that, too and it came back.”  The first thing I am thinking is your immune system is suppressed and it is probably your hormones.  So I think a lot of the recurrent candida people or the recurrent SIBO people out there if your functional medicine practitioner has not been focusing on your hormones and your immune system I think that is why a lot of the reinfections are or the colony just overgrows again.

Baris Harvey:   Uh-hmm.  Definitely.  I like the analogy made earlier with the you know, you dropped something on the floor and all the bugs and the ants are going to eat it.  It is kind of like if your body is unable to breakdown what you have then something else will and then so yes and it is hard to say, “Oh, we’ll starve it out.”  While they are still there you still have to find a way to get rid of them.  So definitely, I have looked and have researched and I have seen the same thing.

Steve Wright:   Yes, I would totally encourage people to check out Dr. Allison Siebecker over at  She has proven that these bacteria can live on fats.  They can live on proteins.  They can live on the mucus that we generate.  So this idea of starving them out is not a reality based on the new science.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.  Well, his name is Steve Wright.  You can find him at  As a physician myself, I highly recommend everyone to go and download Steve’s free quick start guide.  I use it with my patients.  I recommend it to all my patients.  So everyone go out there and get that right away.  Steve, are there any other ways our listeners and viewers can find out more about what you do?

Steve Wright:   Yes, I mean if you are looking at starting the SCD or GAPS or something like that or having a lot of that stuff I think the quick start guide is great.  If you are someone who is beyond that at this point and you have already tried these types of diets and you are looking for the next level of information, we recently created a new site called and on it you can go there and you can take a free quiz.  Sort of taking your risk factors into account to see what your chances of having a leaky gut are.  And at the end of the quiz you will answer a question about what is your number one complaint right now.  Is it digestive related?  Is it hormones?  Is it energy?  Skin? That type of thing.  And when you take the quiz you will get the results for free but you also will get a 60-minute interview on whatever your top health complaint is.  I would say that what we trying to do is kind of create two different sites.   One site for the people who are sort of just getting started with this more of the beginner stuff for free.  And then solving leaky gut is more for the advanced people who are on the train of autoimmunity and have had gut issues for a long time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Thanks so much, Steve.  We appreciate it.

Steve Wright:   Thank you so much for having me on the podcast.  It has been a great discussion.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  You are welcome.  We will have you back very soon. 




Hacking Your Nervous System with Garrett Salpeter Podcast #15

Dr. Justin and Dr. Baris interviewed Garrett Salpeter, known as a health engineer of ARPwave Austin which essentially focuses on strengthening the nervous system through electrotherapy and exercise.

In this podcast, Garrett Salpeter will talk about a new perspective on training and physical therapy through nervous system activation for fitness, faster healing and reducing risks of injuries.  Find out how the ARP wave technology as well as other techniques work for you for optimal performance.


In this episode we cover:

01:54   Garrett’s Story

04:14   ARPwave System:  How does it work?

11:17   Muscular and neurological strength

35:50   Neurological training for optimal function

45:54   Iso Extreme, Altitude Drop Techniques









Baris Harvey:  Thank you guys for tuning in to another episode of Beyond Wellness Radio.  In today’s podcast we have an awesome interview with Garrett Salpeter.  Garrett, we call him the health engineer.  He had a Bachelor’s Degree in Physics and a Master’s Degree in Engineering.   Garrett, how is it going today?

Garrett Salpeter:  Pretty good, Baris.  Thank you for having me.  I am excited to be here.

Baris Harvey:   Awesome.  How is it going today, Dr. Justin?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  It is going great.  I am excited for this interview as well.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, it is definitely an awesome interview that we are going to have today because Garrett is an expert in injury prevention.  Helping people recover from their injuries and also for performance.  Because we have a lot of athletes listening to the show and also a lot of former athletes with some injury problems and want to kind of become healthier or also make a quicker recovery in order to continue competing on some type of level.  So Garrett, what actually got you into health?  Because I think I still kind of botched the title of your degree name, your Master’s Degree.  But what got you into like going from physics and mechanical engineering into the health field?

Garrett Salpeter:  Yes, of course.  So I have been an athlete my whole life focusing primarily on playing ice hockey.  And I also had gone to school and had a Physics Degree.  And even though I enjoyed hockey and I was very passionate about training, I kind of thought that that area of my life would just remain a hobby.  And towards the end of my time in college I was set to go to engineering school.  That is what actually brought me down here to the University of Texas, how I got to Austin.  And as I was already on that path set to come here I had an injury towards the end of my time playing hockey in college and I used the ARPwave System actually to heal from some torn ligaments that I had in my wrist.  And it helped me avoid a surgery, get back in a week’s or even months’ ahead of schedule.  And it brought together a lot of different concepts for me that I have been wondering how to apply in my own training and in “rehab-ing” from previous injuries.  And it made a lot of sense in a way that many of the other traditional therapies and traditional methods of training, they did not quite add up.  So it really sort of re-ignited my interest in this whole field of physiology and human performance and made me think that, “Oh, maybe there is something here that I could pursue in a more real concrete way.”  And so as I was down here still already set to go to Engineering School.  And as I was down here, I ended up just getting more and more into it and I decided to leave my Engineering School early.  I was supposed to get a PhD but I decided to take my Master’s and leave early and open up my clinic here and that is a little over 5 years ago.  So I have been running this clinic for 5 years now and we have been getting great results.  It has been very rewarding and very exciting and that is a good spring board to kind of explore the things that we are talking about here and hopefully continue to improve upon them and push the envelope forward.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, that is awesome.  You know what is great about that is that it gives you a different perspective than most people in the health field.  That you studied in a different way that you can look at the body in such a unique fashion.

Garrett Salpeter:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Very cool.  So, Garrett this is Dr. Justin here.  You mentioned the ARPwave and I am just curious. I use the ARPwave in my practice as well.  And I know with your electrical/engineering background you probably have some inside information of what is really happening when you are using the ARPwave to help heal injuries.  Can you go into more the electrical/technical side of things?

Garrett Salpeter:  Yes.  Absolutely.  And one of the things that I first got very excited about was seeing how this, you know again like I mentioned, it kind of brought together a lot of different things that I have been interested in and passionate about.   And so essentially, there is a little bit of physiology that we would have to review in order to understand how the electrical component is actually beneficial.  And the physiology is around the cause of injury and why injuries happen in the first place.  And essentially, whether you are sprinting down the field of international football league or carrying your small child or carrying groceries in from the car or you are just out for a stroll, force is always entering your body.  Your muscles have to be able to absorb the force of that activity.  They have to act like shock absorbers to protect your joints, protect the other more passive structures and more passive tissues.  And when they do their job correctly you can have a long career in the NFL or you can do all these other activities in daily life without pain, without any problems.   And so the main limiting factors in how well muscles can work to protect you is how much force they can absorb and how quickly they can absorb it.  So in order to absorb force, your muscles have to be able to eccentrically contract or in everyday language they have to be able to lengthen.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Garrett Salpeter:  So, you have to lengthen fast enough to absorb the force that they are encountering and with enough tension or strength.  And you know there are some things like a car accident or falling from four stories up that we may not be able to ever prepare the muscles to absorb that amount of force.  But everything else that we are encountering in daily life absolutely we should be able to absorb that force with our muscles to keep us safe.  So the other issue is how quickly they can turn on to absorb that force.  And that is the notion of, well, if I am running or if I am jumping and I land between each running stride that my foot is coming down and having to absorb several times my body weight in one tenth or two tenth of a second.  So not only does it have to absorb many times my body weight, 500 to 1000 pounds of force but it has to do so in a fraction of a second.  So in order to coordinate something like that the underlying software, the neurological signals have to be extremely efficient.  They have to be able to exert a very high level of control to maximally engage all those muscles in the correct coordinated pattern at the right time with the right amount of force in order to cause this whole process to work efficiently and allow the muscles to work as they should.  And so there’s lot that really goes in to having to absorb force and we go back up one more point when I mentioned a moment ago that muscles have to be able to lengthen to absorb force.  And so where the ARP comes in is the ARP is essentially a very effective you could call it a clean wave form that is able to exactly mimic the neurological signals that the body is sending already.  And this is where the electronic component ties in with the physiological component that we were just discussing.  So most types of electric stimulation for one reason or another they are going to be perceived by the body as foreign.  And when that happens, the muscles that are being stimulated by that current, they are going into a protective contraction.  They are going to be shortening whereas again we need to be lengthening.  What the ARP is able to do is exactly mimic the body’s own neurological signals.  It does not cause these protective contractions.   What actually happens when the ARP is on the muscle it mimics the signal that is coming from what is called the muscle spindle.  Not to get too technical for all the listeners here but essentially there is a sensor inside of every single muscle that we have and that sensor detects changes in lengths.  So when muscles are lengthening which they have to do in order to absorb force, when they are lengthening these muscle spindle receptors are stimulated.  They send signals back to the spine and the brain.  And the ARP, all that it is really doing is mimicking those same signals.    So when we stimulate different muscles our brain and our spinal cords, all these signals that are being received there they would think, “Oh, these muscles are lengthening just the same way as it would if I am running or if I am doing these other activities.”  And so by sending those same signals we can see which muscles are efficient at lengthening to absorb force and which ones are not.  And when we find the ones that are not we know, “Oh my goodness!  Oh, that muscle is not working in this realm that it needs to in order to be able to protect me from injury.” Therefore, it could very well be part of the underlying problem and that is something we are going to want to work on and the one that we are going to address if we want to have a chance of actually solving this particular pain or injury problem.

Baris Harvey:   Definitely.  So as a follow-up question on that.  You know you talked about the muscle spindles and how it could get a little complex.  But it seems to me that there is a little bit difference of just overall muscular strength and this kind of protective nervous system communication that people really do not normally see.   It seems like it is a bit simpler like, “Oh muscles either contract or relax.”  And so for example, I can deadlift a lot of weight.  Like I have some pretty strong legs but the other day I kind of tweaked my hamstring running after the ball and kind of hyper extending my leg and kind of felt like I tweaked my hamstring.  So you guys tested me before and noticed some issues with like my nervous system and some certain problematic areas.  Could you kind of talk about how just for an example of an injury of how maybe somebody could strain their hamstring or how that works or how that kind of injury occurs?  And what is the difference between just being muscularly strong and neurologically strong?

Baris Harvey:   Absolutely Baris.  You brought up a fabulous point.  And this is one of the biggest things that I try to get across to the people that I work with here in my facility because it really is one of the most common myths or misunderstandings in the training world today and in the world of athletic preparation and also in injury rehabilitation.  And we could phrase it as simply as this:  Let us say you have a 600 lb. deadlift.  How long is it going to take you to execute that lift?  On average, on a power lifting meet, when someone’s doing their max deadlift they are grinding out a rep.  It is going to be 2 or 3, 5-6-7, maybe up to 10 seconds per a rep, is that right?

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  And usually it takes a little while to lift that weight that heavy and then going to the bottom and you see people go kind of slow on their way up and then finally hitting it at the top.  Yes.

Garrett Salpeter:  Absolutely, absolutely.  And let us contrast that with what happens when you are on the football field.  When you are sprinting down running your pattern as a wide receiver, each stride your entire body weight is coming down on one leg and you have to absorb that then propel yourself for the next stride all in less than two-tenths of a second.

Baris Harvey:   Second, yes.  Exactly.

Garrett Salpeter:  So, essentially, you are running a completely different software pattern.  In one, in the maximal lift that you are doing in the gym, granted you are engaging a lot of muscles and it is a good thing.  It has some potential benefits for sure.  But you are trying to do it in no matter how much time it takes several seconds whereas when you are doing it on the field you have to be able to do it time after time after time in a fraction of a second precisely and very, very quickly.  And I am sure based on that you can see how one may not necessarily be adequate preparation for another.  So the neurological coordination that is necessary in order to execute these movements in two-tenths of a second as opposed to five to ten seconds completely different.  And physiologically a big part of the difference is in the coordination between opposing muscles.  Because when you are deadlifting you are pretty much trying to just fire everything that you can as hard as you can.  If you do that in running you are going to have some problems.  In running, when your leg is in the pawback action, when your leg is being pulled back from the top through the ground contact and then extending back behind you as everything along the back side of the body, your glute and hamstring in particular, as they are all contracting to pull your leg into the ground, you know your hip flexors need to elongate.  The thing is the muscles in front of your body need to elongate and there is this very precise, extremely high level of coordination that is necessary in order for that movement to be effective that you completely miss out on the way that most people are training in the gym. They think that because I added 100 lbs. on my bench press all of a sudden I am better prepared to go out and do this other activity but in reality based on what we just talked about the coordination scheme can be completely different.  There is no need to actually relax some muscles while others are contracting.     

Baris Harvey:   Yes, so to put that into simple terms for our listeners, it is two different kind of communication thing going on with our body where one is like send and recruit as much energy here as possible and the other one is kind of more let us say kind of back and forth communication of this needs to contract but this has to relax at the same time at a high speed kind of activity.

Garrett Salpeter:  Absolutely, yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Interesting.  Well, I think you made some really great points there.  I like the hardware-software analogy.  So it seems like the hardware is somewhat important in sports.  I mean, for instance, if I am not 7 feet tall I may not be a great center in the NBA or I if am not weighing 230 or 250 lbs. I may not be a good linebacker.  So hardware is interesting.  But you also mentioned a lot about software.  I think you know everyone has had the analogy of owning a Windows Vista and having maybe a really good processor and lots of RAM but the computer stinks because the software or the operating system stinks.  So I have seen people in the gym that are not that big but they lift a lot of weight and they are really fast and they perform well.  So that feels like maybe they have a software, they have an enhanced software.  So can you talk about that software analogy and can you talk how you assess that?  How do you go about kind of looking and seeing if the software is working and how would you make the software better?

Garrett Salpeter:  Yes, absolutely.  So I am glad you caught on to that analogy there because I really believe that that is one of the keys in all of these processes that we are talking about.  Whether it be enhancing performance or overcoming injury or any other or anything else in the range here.  And it is really a good analogy because most people think that if I want to get stronger well I need more muscle.  But in reality, most people are only able to activate 30% maybe 50% of the muscle they already have.  So without having to add a single additional muscle fiber you can gain 50-70% strength just by tapping into more of the potential that is already there inside of you.  It seems kind of foolish to go and try and buy a V8 to replace your V6.  The real problem with your V6 is that 3 of the cylinders are not working.  You can just repair those other 3 cylinders and you will just see some significant improvement in the performance in your engine.  And there’s a couple of ways to assess it particularly when we are talking about working with people who are in pain or have been recently injured.  The two big tools that we use for assessment are one, is the imbalance assessment, the manual muscle tests.  And those are very simple, Dr. Justin I know you do these in your practice and I obviously do in mine as well.  You know it is pretty common to test in the vein of applied kinesiology.  So I am sure several of your listeners well have experienced this.  And essentially, you lay down on the table and you will hold your leg up and I will push you down, I will introduce force with my hand and I am testing your ability to absorb that force, to hold your leg in place, to engage the muscles at the correct time with enough force to resist me and if they can do that then that is good.  We can move on.  If they cannot, then that indicates that something is being inhibited or shut down.  The neurological signal is not reaching that area because there is a problem in the software program somewhere.  So then we have to go around and see where those problems are and through various tests and changing positions and introducing feedback in certain areas, we can discover where that problem really is.  And another tool for assessment is the ARP.  And I mentioned earlier using the ARP to move around on people’s bodies when they are injured.  Let us say you have a knee injury, we can start in the area where the pain is on the knee and the same level of current will feel relatively mild, not very intense.  Then we will start searching around the different muscles and all of a sudden we may get to one muscle in the quad or one muscle in the hamstring and they may have a more intense reaction.  And that again is because that signal from the ARP is duplicating the exact neurological signals that are being sent by that person’s muscle spindle, the length sensing mechanism in that muscle.  That person’s brain perceives that well that muscle has not been doing that, has not been lengthening either to absorb that much force or to do so at the velocity, has not been doing this in the recent past and therefore, I, that person’s brain says, “Therefore, I have to lock down this area.  I need to protect it.  Just give me a chance to figure out what the heck is going on to sort this thing because, you know, something new is happening.”  And so it is a good way to assess what is working and what is not working.  And between both of these tools, we are able to get a really good sense of where we need to go.  And often times it has been a much different direction than you would go in traditional physical therapy or the other types of rehabilitation that are common out there.  So the imbalance, the manual techniques are really, I would say, a foundation just to make sure that the muscles are capable of working and that the signals actually can get there in the first place.  And then with the ARP we are doing an additional assessment that is kind of a more dialed in, more refined, where we are looking for.  “Okay, we know all the signals can reach this area, now which ones can work at a high level or at the level necessary for whatever that person’s activity is.  Which ones can work and which ones are not up to the challenge.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That is really interesting, Garrett.  And I have seen you and I have had the same experience, too.  I know you have as well working with Olympians or professional athletes that are at the highest level in their field and you will do a simple let us say a rectus femoris muscle test and you have this athlete that literally could squat 500 pounds but the 15 or 20 pounds of pressure from your hand you can move his leg down like nothing.  Can you talk about that aspect?  Because it is like I see these athletes they are like, “What the heck did you just do?”  And it has to do more with the software.  Can you talk more about your experience with that?

Garrett Salpeter:  Yes, Absolutely.  And it’s an experience I have had many times and one that can be very surprising to the person on the table because just like you said they are thinking, “How the heck can I not hold my leg up on this test if am able to go and perform this at some high level of that and some high level and my counter to that would be, “Well if you are able to do that but you can’t do this simple test you are absorbing this like you said 15 or 20 pounds of force then imagine what kind of compensations you are having to make.  Imagine what other muscles on other areas you are having to call upon because this one is not up to the simple challenge.  There is no way it is up to the task of what it needs to do to officially complete these other activities.  So imagine what kind of stresses you are imposing on other areas to complete those tasks.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmmm.  Definitely.  Now real quick just because Dr. Justin did not simplify it for the listeners you just basically talked about one of the quadriceps muscles.  Is that what you said the rectus femoris?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, it would be that hip flexor muscle that kind of allows you to raise your knee up.

Baris Harvey:  Exactly.  And I have done this test and for the listeners out there to know that is how I met Dr. Justin was as a client.  And when you do it you will feel pretty odd like, “Oh, my leg muscles are way stronger than Dr. Justin’s arm but he is able to push it down.”  What is going on here?  I like what you mentioned earlier, Garrett about the potential of the muscle.  And we can actually increase our strength, our speed and our coordination by a lot without necessarily having to gain muscles.  It is almost this idea the more muscle you have the stronger you can be but not necessarily the stronger you are.  Now we see the body builders and that does not mean they are super strong.  They can be but there is more space for potential.  And I guess a good example would be the Olympians, like gymnasts or boxers or wrestlers that actually want to stay in a lower weight class.  So that way they actually need to be stronger but to limit how much weight they put on.  So can we talk about maybe how somebody can maximize and optimize getting that muscle recruitment and making them stronger without necessarily meaning to I guess gain a bunch of muscle mass necessarily and then we can follow that up with also just the injury that you mentioned getting injured.  You know, making sure we are communicating with the muscles correctly and preventing injury, could we go into kind of both of those in a free-flowing state?

Garrett Salpeter:  Yes.  Absolutely.  I really like a lot of those examples that you brought up people like gymnasts, boxers, wrestlers who have to maintain very high levels of strength but they cannot do it by necessarily always adding muscles because that would sent them out of their weight class.  Or the example of comparing body builders and power lifters, you can have two people who are the same weight, a body builder and a power lifter and yet the other one can lift two to three times more because of the way that they are training.  And I think a good overlying theme here that will answer these questions that you are bringing up is to think of our brains as governors.  So the biggest thing that our brains do for us is protect us.  They attempt to limit our output in order to keep us safe.  They want to make sure that we live to see tomorrow. They want to make sure we do not expend too much energy.  They want to make sure that we do not fire our muscles too hard and risk pulling them or tearing tendons off of our bones.  Our brains are really set up to protect us.  And so in order to tap in to this greater level of potential we need commands to the brain or techniques that allow us to tell the brain to, “No, no, it is okay.  You can allow this to happen.  You can allow this level greater of force or this greater display of velocity.  You can allow these other things to happen.”  And so there are a lot of techniques that we can use to send those commands to the brain to allow the brain to just kind of ease off on the break to not have to limit our effort so much.  I know a couple of examples I will share.  One would be something like the ARP machine where able to send a signal to the brain that these muscles are working at a certain level.  That could be lifting a certain load, moving at a certain velocity.  And initially like what we have talked before, in that in some areas at least can elicit a protective response and that basically the brain saying, “Whoa, whoa, whoa!  No, no, no!  We are not up to working at this particular level of challenge.”  But a very cool thing will happen.  If you leave the current in that level and you move and you do other things to say, “Okay brain, it is okay.  We are not going to die here.  We are going to make it through this.”  All of a sudden it will start to ease off on the brake and say, “Okay, we will allow this.”  And then you can do something really cool.  You can turn the current up and you can repeat that process and you can keep doing that until all of a sudden you have been able to tell your brain to ease off on that brake enough that all of a sudden its allowing you to perform at a much higher level and you are able to tap in to more of that potential that you already have inside of you.  And in the context of injury obviously the risk of injury is a great motivating factor for why the brain would want to limit output in the first place.  It is going to think again we do not want to do this because you can get hurt.  And one of the biggest problems with injury in general in the way that we work to treat injuries commonly is that these different compensations from previous injuries are never fully address.  And so what I mean by that is if someone has a sprained ankle, the swelling may go down, the black and blue may go away, the pain may go away and they will be declared cleared to return to play.  But if the brain still senses that ankle is not quite up to a 100%, you know let us say that is your right ankle, every time you put your right foot down when you are sprinting in a football field that signal from your ankle is going to say, “Well, we are not 100% stable.”  So your brain is going to say, “Whoa! Guys we do not have a stable foundation here.” And so it is going to limit the output to your quad, to your calf, to your hamstring, to your glute because it does not want to put more force to that leg than can be handled by the ankle.  And so that is kind of another example of where this idea of the brain working as the governor or putting the breaks on can happen because of inappropriate rehabilitation from previous injuries.  And so that is another reason that we have been able to be very successful in working with injuries because we are able to find where these compensations are taking place and actually address them if not just, “okay, these ligaments got stretched out, they got sprained.  We need to work to heal those ligaments.”  It is yes we want to accelerate the healing of the ligaments but we want to, more importantly, look at why that injury happened in the first place and what needs to happen in order to allow that to get back to working at its highest level again going forward.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, definitely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So, Garrett it sounded like just to clarify one point.  It sounded like most people are cleared to play again, most athletes are cleared to play again based upon their hardware being okay but there are no software clearance.  What you are saying is the software is never cleared back in the game but just the hardware is.  Is that correct?

Garrett Salpeter:  Yes.  For instance, and a good example of that I just saw a paper which is a really good example.  I can pull it up for if anyone is curious and feedback for show notes here.  I can always post the reference.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, you can just send that to us.  Yes. 

Garrett Salpeter:  But it was a good paper.  Several months after an ACL surgery, when people are going through rehabilitation that athletes will be cleared to play but their rate and force development is still way behind where it should be or where it is on the other leg even.  And what that means is there is still some inhibitory influence. You know, some influence from that injury is left over.  A little bit of that brain applying the brake pedal.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Garrett Salpeter:  Where they are able to engage all of their muscle fast enough to actually turn on at the type of speed that they need to perform on the field or on the ice or on the court.  And so therefore, it indicates very clearly a deficiency in the rehabilitation process because they are not fully prepared to go back out and meet the demands of their sport.  And it is no wonder therefore you know that there is a huge rate of second and third tears and re-injuries and other injuries from various compensations around the first one that was never fully addressed.  So, yes there are a lot of interesting issues and interesting considerations there for sure.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, awesome.  So I want to kind of clarify this for the listeners is so if you possibly sprained your ankle or pull your hamstring you kind of have this compensation pattern where you are limping and it is obvious that you are not going to be able to run your 40 in the same amount of speed but oftentimes we feel like, “Oh, I am able to run in a nice pattern but we still have this kind of I guess micro-compensation where if you would actually test our total output it would not be at our max performance.  But it is small so we do not really notice it and it can cause this continuous, where we sprained another ankle or we pull another hamstring and all these compensation patterns start to add up.  And we start to see these movement problems and these people have become, while nobody can see my air quotes, but they become injury prone, right?

Garrett Salpeter:  Yes, yes.  Absolutely that is exactly what we are talking about there and I like the way you clarified that.  And injury prone I really like that, too.  Because Dr. Justin I am sure in your functional medicine work that you see all sorts of different things that people are dealing with where you know that if they had addressed the underlying cause or underlying problems that made them susceptible.  They probably would not have these digestive or hormonal or infectious issues or things of that nature.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely.

Garrett Salpeter:  And it is never just the pathogen, it is the pathogen and how it interacts with environment of that person’s body, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.

Garrett Salpeter:  And the same kind of thing on the field of play.  If everyone is playing the same game and everyone is having to deal with the fact that players are now bigger, now faster, and now are stronger and we think that that makes injuries common or inevitable because players are so much bigger and the collisions are so more aggressive now.  And we think that injuries are just part of the game.  But there are these things, you know, injury-prone I like that phrase.  Again, Baris and we will come back to that.  There are these things, these underlying factors that if they are not working as effectively as they should then someone is going to be at a greater risk of injury than someone who is working more efficiently, has a better foundation.  They are going to be more prepared to handle the rigors of whatever is occurring out there and they are going to have fewer injuries and you will see now some guys spend their whole careers on the disabled list and other guys are able to play with little to no injury for many years over a whole career.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Made some good points there, Garrett.  You know one of the big things I think a lot of people can empathize with is maybe being a high school athlete.  Maybe they did go to the college level but I find a lot of strength and conditioning at the high school level and maybe even at the college level.  It is like we just have to condition you so you get tougher.  We got to make it so you throw up afterwards.  We practice the whole time and then at the very end we throw in our conditioning when we are super tired.  Can you talk about this working harder over working smarter mentality?  Can you talk about what training in nervous system to make it optimal in regards to getting the best software?  How that compares in contrast?   What is typically done?

Garrett Salpeter:  Yes, absolutely.  And that is a fabulous point.  And I like that you used the word optimal because the way that most people think about conditioning is more is better.  If we just drive our athletes into the ground you know, we make them work, they are going to come out of it tougher and they will have miraculously achieved all of the benefits that we are looking for because we just pushed them pretty darn hard.  In reality, it is optimal and not maximal that we are looking for.  And yes we want to work hard and yes we want to work smart.  And the way to balance all of these factors is through, a one good framework would be the inverted U curve or the bell curve. If you have a peak in the middle on the left side, you are going from left to right you are working your way up towards the peak, you reach the peak and then pass the peak it starts to go downhill again.  So the inverted U curve or the bell curve.  And so people are way on the left side where they just do not do enough of anything to achieve results.   And that is a pretty easy one to address.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Garrett Salpeter:  And then some people on the far right where they have done so much more than they are capable of doing at a high quality that they have broken down, they are causing things to really move backwards.  And somewhere in the middle is that optimal level.  And there are some very clear and interesting ways to determine when you are working at that optimal level.  And so basically finding the optimal level of training that needs to be done is a point at which the stresses are as such that they are challenging, they are causing someone to work at a higher level but they are not crossing over the threshold where they are causing that person to breakdown.  And by that, I mean they are breaking down, they cannot maintain a good position, they are running hunched over or they are having a fault in their position when they are doing their 10th sprint or their 20th sprint or their 50th sprint.  Or if they are lifting, you know, you see guys in a high school gym doing power clean.  And if you are watching some of the positions that they are doing and it makes me…

Baris Harvey:  (Laughs) It is scary.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  You think they are having a seizure.  I know.

Garrett Salpeter:  So essentially, it is choosing the right amount where you are pushing someone but not causing them to breakdown because they are excessively fatigued.  So, a simple example, you know Dr. Justin, you are talking about most coaches would want to do the conditioning at the end of practice.  So let us say, they have their athletes running 10 sprints.  Well, you know, maybe, maybe the first one or two are going to be at maximum velocity.  They are going to be giving their all, doing the best of which they are capable and after that the next 7, 8, 9 maybe all 10 they are not going to be able to perform at their max because they are fatigued.  And when they are not able to perform at their max because of fatigue they are going to be running slower, they are going to use their bodies differently.  They are going to be using their muscles differently.  Their running form and position will change.  The sequence of muscles, there are many things that are going to change and because that is what they are doing that is what they are going to adapt to.  And if they are adapting to working at this lower level.  It is no wonder that people most people go through high school and college and they end up staying the same or getting worse.  These are the years where they should be making huge enormous strides in their athletic abilities but a lot of guys come out of college either slower or only running just as fast as when they entered college.  And this is big part of the reason why because they are spending so much time adapting to, you know, moving at less than their maximal speed because very simply they are just so fatigued from running all these sprints that they cannot possibly work at this highest level.  So they are down on the right, on the downward slope of this inverted U curve.  And so when we are training people we want to make sure that we are doing everything right at the highest possible quality and we are pushing people as far as they can go while maintaining that highest possible quality of work.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And you also talked about being specific.  And I know my experience in high school playing sports.  Let us talk about football for instance, you have got a running back and you have a line man.  And it is crazy because those two positions have two different demands and two different body types.  And to force and impart you know you guys have to do the same kind of run and the same kind of time and the same kind of recovery.  It is crazy to have these same expectations and recovery time for each.  So can you go into more of the specific sides of it?  And can you also talk about how a lot of the movement patterns that you are doing would be different and you probably would not even have them do the movements at the very end.  You probably want to do it when they are as fresh as possible, too.  So can you  touch upon that?

Garrett Salpeter:  Well, in some parts of what you said I definitely would agree with wholeheartedly.  There is a little bit of a distinction that I would like to make on the issue of specificity because in some ways I would argue that most athletes really need the same things.  We all have the same muscles that have to be coordinated in the same way.  And to work at a high level they all need the same high levels of coordination and speed and power and stamina and range of motion and all these other things.  And so most training today does not even build enough of the foundation in all of these areas that it is really worth going forward and getting specific.  So in general, I would say yes to what you said with the qualification that we need to do a better job of preparing all of the underlying systems of the body so everything is efficient.  All of the energy systems can support long amounts of work for the entire game whether you are a line man or a running back.  No matter your position, your energy systems need to support you working at your highest level the whole game.  You have to be strong enough to handle all the rigors of the sport regardless of your position.  Obviously they will change a little bit but a lot of these same things people are going to need.  These abilities of all your muscles to coordinate and be able to lengthen to absorb force to protect you against injury.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  But how would you manage the recovery aspect?  If someone’s nervous system is not quite as adapted, they may need a little bit more time in regards to recovery.  So how do you handle that aspect?

Garrett Salpeter:  That is a very good question.  And so there are a lot different things out there.  One of the biggest…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Are you using heart rate?  Are you just doing kind of just trying to find the magic number where they can get back into perfect form again?

Garrett Salpeter:  Oh, so between, you are talking about between sets or between reps or sprints or things like that?  Okay.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes exactly.

Garrett Salpeter:  So essentially if you want to have someone being able to sprint at a their highest level then you need to be able to wait to let them recover in between until their heart rates are coming back down below a hundred.  They are coming back down near to where they are at rest.  If not all the way to where they were at rest, you know.  Whether it be in the 70s or the 80s.  And that simply in this context, the heart rate is a measure of how hard they are working.  How much the body perceives it needs to elevate the energetic output to meet the demands of the task at hand.  And once the heart rate comes back down that is a good sign that okay energy has been restored and work can continue.  So yes absolutely.  And some people will recover a lot faster than others and they will be able to sprint again sooner than some of their team mates. But yes, you definitely would want to wait until they come back down.  In this specific example sprints, you know that they have restored enough of their energy so that they can perform at their highest level possible.  Yes, absolutely.

Baris Harvey:  Sounds great.  So we talked about athletes and basically some of the flaws in the training.  We want to make sure that we are tapping into the nervous system and training the muscles and the recruitment patterns.  We mentioned the ARPwave.  There are also some things that we could possibly do maybe like negative trainings or you know maybe using resistance bands to get kind of deeper.  I know sometimes the body builders they will do like the drop sets to where they are grabbing a heavy weight and once they are fatigued they might use a lower weight so that way they can get muscle recruitment.  What are some other ways to some that we can do this on our own and what are some of the technology that we have out here?  I know like Keith Norris has like the ARX device and you have the ARPwave and also the POV.  What are some of the ways that we can do this at our home?  What are some of the technologies that we can do to tap into this deeper stimulation of our muscles?

Garrett Salpeter:  That is a very good question because in order to enhance neurological efficiency and ultimately quality of life that really is the question to ask. And the biggest thing that needed to happen is we need to be in good position so we can be sure all of our muscles are working and that everything is coordinated and that all of the feedback from movement back to the sensory signal that comeback from the body to the brain, they are all coordinated in such a way that they are going to cause the brain to work at a higher level.  So this is a very important topic.  And essentially, as long that you can make sure that you are in position and you are turning your muscles on as aggressively as you can, you are challenging your nervous system and therefore causing it to improve and you are making progress.  So there is a couple of techniques and one of the things that we use in therapy here and in training as well is the Iso Extreme Technique and that is a technique that was developed and named by Jay Schroeder and it can be a very grueling technique even though it looks like you are just to the outside observer..

Baris Harvey:  Standing, right.  (Laughs)

Garrett Salpeter:  Yes.  It looks like you are just holding a lunge or a squat position or something.  Looks like maybe you are holding a yoga pose but in reality what you are attempting to do is pull in to position constantly such that you are continually attempting to get lower and lower and lower and lower always using the appropriate muscle to pull in to position.  And when you are doing that you are challenging the ability of your nervous system to coordinate all of these muscles in the way that we talked about where some are having to shorten and others are having to lengthen.  And as you fuel these signals these reflexes overtime you are constantly having to put out energy, you are constantly having to send these signals and when you do it for an extended period of time you end up being very, very, very neurologically and energetically efficient.  So that is one thing that can allow you to tap in to these higher levels of performance.  And the Iso Extreme is a scheme of coordination in which you are actively pulling into position.  So let us take the squat for example.  The squat you can do it as a wall squat or a hand supported squat where you are holding on to some handles for balance.  Essentially, you want to pull yourself down to the squat position.  That means actively using your hamstrings to execute knee flexion and you are basically trying to stay erect in your torso, keep your shins perpendicular and try to pull yourself down actively, aggressively as low as you can and continue to pull for whatever the amount of time is that you are doing it for.  And that is a coordination scheme that is kind of counter intuitive to some people because you are thinking in a squat, “Well, my quads and glutes are working.”

Baris Harvey:  Exactly.

Garrett Salpeter:  And in reality, of course they are working because they are holding you up, if they were not working you would fall over.  But the distinction here is that your pulling in with the opposing muscles you are completely changing the neurological signal.  Instead of raising and shortening in the quad and glute by engaging their opposing muscles to pull you into position you are using your quad and glute eccentrically do lengthening so they are learning to absorb force.  They are learning to work in such a way that they can protect your knee and hip joints and at the same time as they are lengthening out they are preparing to work so they can maximally create force so that they can push you into the ground to propel you further or faster or higher.  And you end up getting the opportunity for performance benefits at the same time as you are training yourself to be more resistant to injuries.  So it is very cool and very efficient.  And it is also a foundation to work into some of these other techniques that we can introduce.  So for instance, in here one other aspect of this is that by pulling into the ground you are actually amplifying the effect of gravity which is again a kind of counter intuitive notion that can cause someone to question or take a moment to kind of ponder.  And you are in position you could just be bracing there holding up your body weight or you could be attempting to pull down so the muscles that are working are having to not only hold up your body weight but also lengthen to absorb the force of the opposing muscles.  You are kind of amplifying or making harder this exercise.  And another way to do that is to do something called an altitude drop.  And altitude drops using the same squat as an example, you could step off you know start with a 12- or 18-inch box and what you do is step off and then land in a squat position.  Trying to make it you know a good squat position like you are doing in that Iso Extreme squat that we just described.  So when you land in that squat position you are taking that coordination scheme that you developed and you are having to turn it on, if you will.  You are taking that coordination scheme and you are activating it in a fraction of a second to absorb the force of your body falling before you hit the ground or before your joints get hurt or something like that.  And so this is a technique that can be very, very, very powerful.  Because as you get good at this and I certainly do not want your listeners trying this right away but you can go up higher and higher boxes.  You can work your way up to 36, 48 inches, 6 feet, 8 feet.  And if you are dropping off on an 8-foot ledge, when you are landing you are having to turn on in several one hundredth of a second a very short period of time to absorb 10, 12, 14,000 pounds of force and your brain is going to say, “Holy smokes, we are falling from this height.  We better turn on every single thing that we can in order to protect ourselves.”  So you are taking that notion that the brain working as a governor whereas that usually works against us, now we are taking that and using it so it is working for us.  And you are using your brain to activate everything that you have inside of you so that you are starting to be able to tap into some of these potential and you start to get more out of yourself like you were talking about in your question.  And so there are other techniques like using the ARP, like using some of those things that you mentioned, the ARX.  And there are other techniques that can probably match some aspects of this.  But I can tell you that if you are able to do this well then you are really fully prepared for any of the other stresses that you are going to meet on the athletic field or in daily life.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, because we know that our eccentric movements have a higher capacity than our concentric movements.  And like you said like jumping off an 8-foot like something that high and creating that much force it is going to be a lot more than you can possibly deadlift as well.  And you mention too that it is really kind of counter intuitive to actually work on the antagonist muscle of what is going on.  But like you said, I guess I will clarify it for the listeners kind of amps and get your body ready for performance.  I guess for an example, often times before I do like the bench press I know I am always pulling on the bar kind of engaging my back muscle before I go to start my bench press.  Is that kind of the same idea with the antagonist muscle to kind of loading up and getting ready to help out with I guess the main mover?

Garrett Salpeter:  Yes, absolutely.  And all I would add to that is take it further, you know.  When you actually unrack the bar in your bench press you want to pull the bar down the whole way.  Use your latch pull the bar down from the top all the way down to the chest and when you do that all the muscles that you need for pressing, your pecs, your anterior deltoids, your triceps, everything is going to be lengthened out so it is better prepared.  And the analogy that I really like is the bow and arrow.  When you pull the bow back you are using a lot of energy and force to load that bow.  But when it is back there when the string is taut, it is loaded, it is ready to go.  When you release that that arrow just flies out of there because there is just so much force loaded in, it is just loaded up, it is ready to go.  It is like a loaded spring.  Most people when they bench press they are just resisting with their pecs on the way down.  And so when they get to the bottom it is like a half-loaded bow and arrow.  But if you pull down then those muscles are really lengthened out and they are ready to just explode back up.  And everything is going to work a lot more efficiently.  From the perspective of injury, if those muscles are lengthened out they are better absorbing the force of the bar on the way down so less of that force will be at risk of transferring into your shoulder joint or elbow joint so you are dramatically reducing the risk of injury and at the same time by preparing those muscles you are also dramatically accelerating the opportunity to put force back out on the way out so you can lift that bar a lot more easily.  And just by making a shift like that oftentimes people can add some weight under their bench press as well.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.  And a quick follow up too because this is kind of like I do not know it is probably training, it is just two different types of training.  Because I know there is like the super slow kind of idea in which you are bringing it down on the negative as slow as you can to fatigue that muscle.  And obviously when you do bring it down slowly sometimes it is hard to bring it back up because you fatigued it further.  Are these almost training like two different pathways where one is more training your nervous system and one is more just like metabolically demanding for muscular growth?

Garrett Salpeter:  That is a good question and an interesting distinction.  And the super slow reps as they are practiced in general would be typically correct me if I am wrong, something like 20 or 30 seconds per repetition?  Is that about right?

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I think it is about 8 seconds.

Baris Harvey:  10 down maybe the most.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I think yes.  If you read Dr. Doug McGuff’s book “Body by Science”, I think it is 7-8 secondish.

Garrett Salpeter:  And so when do one like that we would have you actually load up the bar and we have you pulling into position for 3 to 5 minutes.  So we are spending an extended period of time where we are having to fire that same neurological pathway over and over and over and over and over and over again to have to lengthen out all the muscle that you need for pressing.  So you are preparing this bow and arrow mechanism.  And so we do some of that super slow I guess…        

Baris Harvey:  Sorry.  Sorry to cut you off.  When you say you are pulling down for like 5 minutes are you saying like if I am doing a bench press, am I actively pulling down but also because if I am just going to pull down it is going to go straight down.  Am I also actively engaging my chest muscles and pushing that back so that way it is a slow process but still focusing on that back muscles?

Garrett Salpeter:  Exactly.  Yes if you are just pulling it down it would go right away.  So you are resisting that with your pecs.  The key is that by pulling with the opposing muscles, by pulling with muscles of the upper back, by pulling with your bicep you are engaging those muscles to work in a completely different way.  Instead of shortening and resisting the bar and in shortening I mean concentric contraction were those muscles are not going to be able to absorb force.  That force is going to go to the shoulder and elbow joints.  By doing it this way, as you are actively pulling down from the top to the bottom over this much longer period of time, the pressing muscles that are resisting that there is lengthening the whole time.  So they are learning how to coordinate in this very particular way throughout that entire range of motion.  If you think about movement as a skill just the same way as anything else, you got to practice how to move correctly.  So if your brain has an opportunity to see every little fraction of an inch of that range of motion to see how to coordinate that correctly then it is going to be able to learn that faster or learn it at all.  Whereas other ways would not be able to really learn that at all.     

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Awesome.  Very good points.  We are getting close to the end of the show here.  I just want to make a couple of clarifications and give you an opportunity to respond.  But I think it is really important too to know that we want to make sure people as they are engaging in maybe these more intense styles of training that they are in balance.  That their nervous system and/or software is working optimally.  I know we have similar mentors Dr. J. Pietila.  Actually he was invited to the World Cup.  And he was the team doctor for Italy.  I know he was worked with the Italian National Soccer teams in the last few years.  And according to him, injuries have gone down from 24 injuries per 1000 minutes to 3 injuries.  So that is like 800%.  That is pretty insane.  So I know making sure that people are in balance is very, very important.  So can you just talk about you know making sure the in balance foundation on top of the training?

Garrett Salpeter:  Yes. Absolutely.  And it is kind of the old question about, “Well, you know I want to start working out.  I want to get healthy but my knee hurts or my back hurts.”  All that I am sure we have all heard that same story many times.  And it is important to have a foundation.  Your muscles have to be able to work to keep you safe in order to be able to perform even the most entry level of activities.  Because if you get hurt you are not going to be able to stick with your program long enough to see results for sure.  So it is a very important prerequisite that you have a foundation like this where at least you are confident things are able to work so you have an opportunity to actually push yourself.  Without knowing that, “Oh, man I am going to be hurt for two weeks.  I might not be able get back to training for another two to three weeks.”  So yes you got to definitely have somebody’s prerequisites in place.  So if any of the listeners here have access to either Dr. Justin or myself or other people who do this type of work, you know get in check in a way like that is very beneficial and very useful and can lay a foundation for a lot of good things after.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That is great.  Well, his name is Garrett Salpeter.  Again Garrett has a practice down here in Austin Texas.  His website is  Garrett, are there more ways people can get a hold of you?  I know you are able to see people via Skype.  I know you are able to work with people remotely by mailing and shipping out ARPs all across the country and working with them via the internet.  But also are there any special promotions you have available for any people that are listening to the show and want to come down there and work with you?  Are there any options here?

Garrett Salpeter:  Yes, for sure.  As Dr. Justin mentioned, my facility is here in Austin, Texas.  And anyone who wants to come in and try it out, if you mention the radio show we would be happy to do your first session with you for $50 which is a significant reduction from our usual initial evaluation fee.  And hopefully that will make it more accessible if you are on the fence about you know if you think some of these sounds interesting and you kind of want to try it out.  Hopefully that would make it a little bit more accessible.  And then the subsequent sessions after that depending on what people need to do we will be happy to offer a 15% just straight off the top discount again for anyone who mentions the radio show.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That is great, Garret.  We all appreciate it.  Anyone that is trying to get to the next level performance wise or has suffered from chronic injuries this is definitely an opportunity you do not want to ignore.

Garrett Salpeter:  Thank you guys.  It has been a pleasure.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Thanks so much, Garrett appreciate having you on.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Thanks.  Take care.





Keto Clarity with Jimmy Moore Podcast #14

In this podcast, Dr. Justin interviewed Jimmy Moore co-author of Keto Clarity who phenomenally lost 180 pounds through low carb dieting and progressed towards attaining nutritional ketosis.

Jimmy emphasized the importance of consuming high amounts of saturated and monounsaturated fats to satiety, moderating the protein intake along with the low carb to be in a state of ketosis.

He also explained that there is no set ratio or measurement that would work for everyone but people need to find their own personal carb tolerance and protein threshold levels to make it work.

Discover the different tests to measuring ketone levels and which is the most accurate to know if one is in ketosis.


In this episode we cover:

10:00   Top 5 Foods that induce ketosis

18:47   Dairy sensitivity can cause insulinogenic response

23:47   Importance of insulin levels in ketosis

25:42   Keto Adaptation

33:47   Ketoacidosis

38:03   Testings for Nutritional Ketosis

45:10   Atkins Diet vs. Ketogenic Diet









Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Hi, this is Dr. Justin Marchegiani and we are back with Beyond Wellness Radio.  Again, Baris Harvey will not be here today but I will be joined by Jimmy Moore.  And again, Jimmy Moore I do not think really needs an introduction.  He has got the biggest Low Carbohydrate blog on the internet.  He also has a couple of new books out.    One book last year was Cholesterol Clarity and he teamed up again with Dr. Eric Westman to write Keto Clarity.  Jimmy welcome to the show. 

Jimmy Moore:  Hey, Justin.  What is going on, man?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Not too much.  I am really excited to get some more information about ketones and ketosis.  There are a lot of myths out there.

Jimmy Moore:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And I have a lot of my patients that are, you know, they are using Ketostix or ketosis as a way of losing weight.  There are also many other health benefits that come from being in ketosis.  It almost sounds like it is too good to be true.   

Jimmy Moore:  Laughs

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I will put the ball in your court.  There are so many benefits out there.  Why don’t you tell us about a couple of them and why they seem so good to be true?

Jimmy Moore:  You know it is funny because people they look for a miracle pill.  They are looking for all the right health that comes in a pill.  Let me just give you a stark shake back into reality people, there is no such thing as health in a pill.  Health comes from nutrition and the right nutrition.  And unfortunately we have been given the wrong nutrition for far too long and people think healthy means, “Oh, that’s low fat.  That’s low calorie.  That’s exercising on the treadmill for hours a day on and on and on.  And yet what we are trying to communicate with Keto Clarity is hey, there is a new way to look at things from kind of a low carb high fat perspective.  And the high fat is kind of a new concept for a lot of people, Justin.  They were like, “With a minute!  I understand low carb but what is with this high fat thing?”  So when you cut carbs and you are trying to be ketogenic which in a nut shell basically, ketogenic means you are trying to be a fat burner not a sugar burner.  99% of the world’s population right now is burning sugar for fuel.  But if you want to optimize your health and get these benefits from the ketones that we are about to tell you, you really got to shift your carbs down to your personal tolerance level, moderate your protein intake and we can talk about that in a second.  And then eat more fat probably than you ever thought about eating in your life.  When I refer to fat, I am talking about saturated and monounsaturated fats primarily.  Of course, the omega 3 fats thrown in there as well.            

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Jimmy Moore:  But when I am talking about vegetable oils, do not drink the vegetable oils.  I know that is what they tell you, it is the healthy oils but they are not healthy.  They are cause inflammation which we talked about in Cholesterol Clarity.  But you asked about the health benefits that come from being in ketosis.  And one of the biggest ones and this is a big sign that your diet is the right one is you have natural appetite control.  You do not have hunger pangs two hours after having that oatmeal with margarine on top with berries and a glass of orange juice for breakfast.  Why are you hungy two hours later if that is a satiating, well-nutrient dense meal for you?  Why are you hungry?  Hunger is one of the first signs you are missing something in your diet- either macro or micronutrient wise.  So that is a big one, Justin.  The mental clarity that I get from having ketones, I mean, I can tell when I am out of ketosis because I will start getting that kind of brain fog.  You know you see those cartoons with the little lightning bolt and a cloud over their head?  You know, people they walk around that is how they feel and yet it is almost like haahh…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Jimmy Moore:  The skies open up and the sun shines out you know.  And ketones provide that.  Why does that happen?  Well, your brain, 25% of the fat in your body is in that brain.  They call us a fat head for a reason.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Uh-hmm.

Jimmy Moore:  We are fat heads and if we are not feeding it fat which in turn turns to ketones then you are not feeding it what it wants and it will just scream at you, “Please feed me more fat.”  You know, I often wonder sometimes these low fat vegans that are out there that are very militant and have anger issues and they are always really mad at everything, I wonder is it a lack of fat in their diet?  And that is not a criticism of them.  I am honestly wondering is their behavior because they are not consuming enough fats. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   That’s a really good point.

Jimmy Moore:  I mean I could go on and on.  Stabilized blood sugar happens. Your insulin sensitivity is restored when you are in ketosis.  Inflammation levels are down.  All of these things contribute to optimized health and that is what we are hopefully all striving for.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That is great.  I think it was a movie in the 80’s or the 90’s with Meryl Streep called “Do No Harm” and were not they talking about a ketogenic diet in that movie in helping to cure epilepsy?

Jimmy Moore:  Yes, we actually provide a link to it in the book itself, in “Keto Clarity”.  It is called, “First Do No Harm” and you can actually watch it for free on YouTube.  So if you go to type in First Do No Harm Meryl Streep you will be able to find that and it is the whole movie.  My wife Christine and I actually watched that just a few months back.  But yes it was all about probably what the ketogenic diet is most famous for.  No, it is not Dr. Atkins’ weight loss diet.    

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Jimmy Moore:  It is actually most famous for being one of the longest running,  well-studied ways to control epileptic seizures.  And I will tell you what, Justin, I thought I ate pretty hard core ketogenic, this diet is pretty darn hard core. (Laughs)

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  (Laughs)

Jimmy Moore:  I was looking at it in preparation for this book and it is a 4:1 ratio of fat to the combined carbohydrate and protein.  So the fat intake for example could be like 80% of the diet and then the other 20% is the combined protein and carbohydrate.  So these kids that have epilepsy they are showing dramatic improvements eating this way.  It is not a cure all for everybody that has epilepsy that has seizures.  But it sure does work in a whole lot of people that definitely makes it worth giving it a go if you have a child especially with epilepsy.  I mean you sit there in the movie; it was funny when they started feeding the kid, who was a wonderful actor by the way and did not have epilepsy but you would believe that he did with all the seizures.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Laughs

Jimmy Moore:  The way he dramatically interpreted those it was awesome.  But he had bacon and eggs you know for breakfast with lots of fat on top and it was like, “Hey, that is like my breakfast!”  (Laughs)

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, wow!  Now imagine with these diets from what I understand back in the 20’s the Mayo Clinic was using ketogenic diets for epilepsy and they were having I think an 80% cure rate which is unreal.

Jimmy Moore:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And it is just like cream and eggs and full fat meats like rib eye.  What would the typical diet be like for these kids with epilepsy?

Jimmy Moore:  Well, and let me be very clear.  They actually have made “The Ketogenic Diet”, they differentiate that from like an Atkins.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Jimmy Moore:   Describing itself as ketogenic because they want people to know this is therapeutic for seizure control.  And even now there are researchers out there, Dr. Eric Kossoff most famous at Johns Hopkins University who is using this and they are calling it a modified Atkins Diet.  Basically a much more ketogenic inducing diet which we are going to talk about here in a second why Atkins may not be ketogenic inducing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmmm.

Jimmy Moore:  But what you want to do is produce those ketones.  They measure off exact measurements of fat, exact measurements of carbohydrate and exact measurements of protein because they do not want these kids to not get those therapeutic benefits.  That is one thing we tried to do in Keto Clarity is say: Okay, if you want to know what that right formula is for you, here is how you figure it out.  There is no macronutrient ratio that is magical that is going to work for everybody.  You are not going to sit here and say, “Oh yes, 80% of your diet is fat.  15% of your diet as protein and 5% of your diet as carbohydrate and you will magically be in ketosis.” 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Jimmy Moore:  Well, not everybody needs to do necessarily that ratio.  And that does that even bring into the equation calories and it also neglects that some people are little more sensitive to carbohydrates and proteins that others.  And so there is no magic pill.  You kind of have to figure it out.  No magic formula.  You have to figure it out for yourself what is right for you to get into ketosis.  And we help you do that in Keto Clarity.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That is great.  And what would you say that the top five biggest whole foods sources are for inducing ketosis?

Jimmy Moore:  Laughs

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And I understand that is a loaded question because if you are eating a whole bunch of carbohydrate with it…

Jimmy Moore:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  It does not matter what you eat but just based on your experience.

Jimmy Moore:  Well, let us assume that you have dialed in your carbs to your tolerance level which for me personally, Justin is about 30 grams.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  30.

Jimmy Moore:  And then dial in your protein.  If you are real sensitive to carbs guess what?  Newsflash!!  You are also going to be sensitive to protein because there is this long G word that we talked about in the book called gluconeogenesis.  Basically that is where you have excess protein and it gets converted into sugar by the liver.  And so people do not realize that they have always heard, “Oh ketogenic diet, high protein low carb.  No it is not.  It is high fats, moderate in protein and low in carb.  So let us get right into the fats then because if you got your carbs dialed in, 30 grams there for me and your protein moderated down and for me protein is around 80 to 100 grams a day which translates to about 6 ounces of like a steak or something like that.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Jimmy Moore:  Four eggs and 3 ounces of meat or something like that and then the rest is fat.  So that is going to be the magical part of getting into ketosis.  So what are those fats that you can consume?  Dude, I so love grass-fed butter.  I mean.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  (Laughs) Yes.

Jimmy Moore:  I am like infamous at these Paleo conferences and on the low carb cruise.  I bring my own Kerrygold Butter and I am literally eating a little bit of butter in every bite of food that I have.  And people kind of look at you when you do that but for me that is the way I know I have to eat to get all those benefits we just talked about and we list a whole slew of benefits on page 37 when people get the book.  So grass-fed butter number one.  You said five.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, top five.

Jimmy Moore:  Coconut oil is another fabulous, fabulous fat.  It is 90% saturated fat.  You know people freak out about saturated fat.  We do a whole chapter on fat and why you got to get over your fat phobia.  You know, if people are worried about raising their LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol and getting heart disease and clogging your arteries and all that please go read my last book, “Cholesterol Clarity” because we put that one hopefully to rest.  So now that we are talking about high fat diets you should not be freaked out about that.  So coconut oil, number two. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it.

Jimmy Moore:  Full fat meats.  People forget chicken breast is not a health food, people.  I am sorry.  It is just not especially if it is from the T company.  (Laughs)

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes. 

Jimmy Moore:  The Tyson Company does not care about your health.  All they care about is their bottom line profits.  And it sickens me that the number one meat sold in America is chicken breast.  Let us stop buying those stupid things because they are only giving you way too much protein kicking in that gluconeogenesis that we were talking about.  It is not healthy.  So you want to try to pick the fattier cuts of meat.  In fact, go to your butcher, you know, or go to your local farm.  If you are going to get some meat get a good grass-fed meat but ask for the extra fat that comes with it.  Because they usually trim it off.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Jimmy Moore:  Thinking people do not want that.  They might even sell that to you at a dirt cheap price. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, yes.

Jimmy Moore:  You want that fat.  And on that note number four, pork lard is really incredible as well.  If you are not cooking with butter or coconut oil try lard.  And again, it is that whole imagery of you know we have heard lard butt you know kind of as a slur.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Jimmy Moore:  Well, I am sorry.  Lard does not give you a butt. (Laughs)  It really does not.  If you are keeping your carbs limited and you are trying to be ketotic, lard is probably one of the healthiest things that you could consume.  Then if I have to do one more food to induce ketosis, the thing that helps me a lot and it is only because I can tolerate it is full fat dairy. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Hmmm.

Jimmy Moore:  So things like cream, full fat cheeses.  Please stay away from American cheese that is not cheese.  I do not care how low in carbs it is.  It is not cheese.  Neither is Velveeta, please stay away from that plastic crap.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, absolutely.

Jimmy Moore:  And get real whole food cheese.  Real raw sources of dairy if you can.  I know here in South Carolina where I live you can get raw dairy and it is legal here in this state.  I think its 10 states that it is legal in still.  So find the best quality sources of bull fat.  Greek yogurt is really amazing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Hmm.

Jimmy Moore:  So anything that is going to have like, you know I turn to the nutritional label on the back, Justin and I will look first at the fat.  I want to see is it like big time double digit fat.  Okay good.  Then I immediately go down to the protein and if the protein is like half the number of the fat okay that is not too bad.  I prefer it to be like a fourth of the fat.  And that is optimal.  And then of course, carbohydrates in whatever that product is need to be pretty darn low as well.  So that is my five and I am sticking to them.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I love it.  And a couple of follow-ups right off the bat, what are your takes, I think you mentioned grass-fed meat, correct?

Jimmy Moore:  I did.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Do you have any favorite steaks like Delmonico, Ribeyes, New York?  Do you have any steak faves in there?

Jimmy Moore:  Yes. The kind that does not go “moo” anymore.  I do not really care.  (Laughs)  You know, really any of them that have a nice marble.  I am a sucker for you know a really good filet mignon when it is done well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh yes.

Jimmy Moore:  And then instead of steak sauce… People like, “Oh, what do you eat with your steak if you do not have sugar because A1 has sugar in it?”  Well, guess what?  The best steak sauce I found is garlic butter.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Laughs.

Jimmy Moore:  I tell you what man, you put garlic butter on top of a steak you know and then maybe a little sour cream too, “oohh!”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, my gosh!

Jimmy Moore:  It’s so luscious.  It’s so good.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I was at a steakhouse here in Austin just the other day and I was having a steak, ribeye and I asked the lady for a side of butter.  And I was putting the butter on the steak and I just had a little small thing of broccoli and everyone was looking at me like I had ten heads.  I am like, “No, this is good.  This is good.”

Jimmy Moore:  (Laughs) I tell a story in Keto Clarity.  When I go out to eat I look at the server and I said, “Do you have real butter?”  So once I ascertain that they have real butter which you have to know what that means.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Jimmy Moore:  And I will say, “Okay, bring me more butter than you ever brought any human being in your life.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Laughs

Jimmy Moore:  And you know they think I am joking but my wife, Christine says, “He is not kidding.”  (Laughs)  So I have got as little as two pats at a restaurant to actually your hometown of Austin Texas holds the record the 24 Diner.  I went to Paleo FX a couple of years ago in the 24 Diner that poor server brought me sixteen pats of butter.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh my gosh.

Jimmy Moore:  I ate every single one of them with my breakfast that I had that day.  You know, I could see him over there in the corner.  They were like all huddled up looking at, “He just ate number eight!  He just ate the eighth one!”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Laughs

Jimmy Moore:  And it was like a sport watching me eat butter.  Yes it looks weird but I know that is what I need to do to get those benefits that come from nutritional ketosis.  Now, does everybody need to eat that much butter?  Probably not. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Jimmy Moore:  I just know for me, if I eat that way and that was the only meal had all day that I was able to go through the whole conference at Paleo FX and not be hungry and you know fully engaged, fully energetic all those time.  Did not feel like that orange juice and oatmeal story that I gave earlier that I had to eat two hours later.  You know, that is what I know it takes to keep me satiated as the ketones that do that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And again, I imagine you put out there one caveat will be you do not want to have a lot of sugar if you are going to be eating all that fat.  You want to make sure it is fat.    

Jimmy Moore:  Exactly. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Without all the extra carbs.

Jimmy Moore:  Yes, dialed in your carb tolerance level and it is definitely not going to include sugar. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Those are great points there.   I know Gary Taubes has mentioned this.  I think a couple of other low carb docs have mentioned this, too; that dairy with some people can be insulin producing.  What are your thoughts on that some people being dairy sensitive and creating more of an insulinogenic response?

Jimmy Moore:  Yes, I believe it can happen.  My own wife, Christine actually has had to give up a lot of the dairy she used to eat.  Because I get away with a lot of dairy.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Jimmy Moore:  I can consume it and it does not seem to be problematic for me in terms of fasting insulin levels.  But for her, her fasting insulin levels start to getting up there a little bit.  We could not figure it out because she was in ketosis and she was eating low carb and doing all the things that she needs to do and yet she still was seeing this fasting insulin levels go up.  So we have switched over from putting like heavy cream in her latte in the morning to now using coconut milk in her latte.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Ahh…

Jimmy Moore:  So you make little changes here and there and then you just kind of figure that out for yourself.  Again it is part of that testing process.  Try no dairy and see how you feel and then maybe introduce it back in.  Some of these elimination diets are really good.  The Whole30 from Dallas and Melissa Hartwig is really fabulous.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Jimmy Moore:   “It Starts With Food”, their overwhelming New York Times bestselling book, check that out because it really does help you identify what it is that you are sensitive to.  So figure that out.  Maybe dairy is good for you maybe it is not.  So that is kind of the difference between Paleo and Primal.  Paleo is no dairy.  Primal is kind of into the high fat dairy.  I label what I do to kind of a Primaleo Ketogenic.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  (Laughs)  I love it.  I love it.  That is great.  So what is your take on Bulletproof Coffee?  Have you tried adding butter and MCT oil to your coffee as a way of inducing more ketones in the blood stream?

Jimmy Moore:  I have interviewed the man himself, Doctor… He would kill me if I call him doctor. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Dave Asprey.

Jimmy Moore:  Dave Asprey from the Bulletproof Executive who came up with that.  And I remembered when I interviewed him for the first time I told him I said, “Dude, I hate coffee.  It is the most disgusting thing in the world to me.”  And he was like, “Oh, but you will love my coffee.”  And so he sends me some of his coffee and I go buy this fancy coffee machine and I do the blender and all the stuff with MCT oil and all that.  And I drink it and I spit it out because it’s the most disgusting thing.  So I am the wrong person to ask about Bulletproof Coffee.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it.

Jimmy Moore:  Because I hate coffee.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  In general.  Got it.

Jimmy Moore:  With that said, anybody that wants to get more fat in their diet that does like coffee, definitely I can see Bulletproof Coffee being a great way to do that.  Now, I know there has been some criticisms about Bulletproof Coffee, its excessive calories and what about the fat.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Jimmy Moore:  And it is going to cause dyslipidemia and all these kind of stuff that has been put out there.  You know, to me if your goal is ketosis, basically Bulletproof Coffee is all fat.  There is no protein and no carbs in it at all.  It is all fat.  What is the harm in kind of getting ketosis jumpstarted in the morning with a cup of Joe that has a lot of fat in it?  I see no downside if you like coffee.  Again, that caveat.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Jimmy Moore:  I do not.  You know, I would much rather just eat the butter straight up.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  (Laughs)  I love it.

Jimmy Moore:  You know this stick of butter just take it and just gnaw on it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I love it.  Yes, I personally see coffee and vegetables as basically put on this earth to be…

Jimmy Moore:  Conduits for the butter.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, to conduits of the butter to get it down.  I just love it.  It just gets it in there.

Jimmy Moore:  (Laughs)  That is right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Very cool.  And what I am really waiting for, I am waiting for a blood sugar meter to test ketones and insulin together.  

Jimmy Moore:  You know, you are living in my dream world because that is what I am looking for.  You know I think what is going to happen, Justin?  We will see it in a medical device attached to a smart phone eventually.  I think someday that is where it is going to move.  I do not think there will be a device per se that will do all that.  But trust me I as a quantified sulfur N=1 or I would love to have a fasting insulin test at home.  A ketone, blood sugar all in one with the same blood drop that would be awesome.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, that would be amazing.   

Jimmy Moore:  Laughs

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Because I see so many people with okay blood sugar, you know.

Jimmy Moore:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  But again we look at their insulin levels on a glucose intolerance, their insulin is so high to get their blood sugar down there in that safe level.  So if you did not have the insulin there they will fall under the radar.  So many people I feel like without the insulin they could escape underneath the radar.  

Jimmy Moore:  Yes, indeed and thank you for bringing that up because I think people think, “Well, my blood sugar is normal according to what my doctor said.  Anything under 100 is normal but 99 blood sugar but your fasting insulin is say 14.  That is not real good.   You need to kind of figure out why is the fasting insulin so high and you would not know that unless you test it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Love it.  And how important is having the right insulin level to being in ketosis?  How important is that?

Jimmy Moore:  You know I often put out there that blood sugar that is elevated is the quickest way to kill your ketones.  And the same goes for insulin.  Insulin levels that are up means ketone levels will be down.  You really have to control the blood sugar and the insulin which incidentally, Justin… (Laughs) It just so happens that when you put your body into a ketogenic state guess what happens to blood sugar and guess what happens to insulin levels?  (Whistles)

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  They all normalize.

Jimmy Moore:  They go down. They normalize, that is right.  And even better than normalize because when your ketone levels go up something interesting happens to your blood sugar levels.  I am not sure what happens to the insulin but blood sugar levels will be correlated going down the higher your blood ketone levels go up.  So one time I had, the highest reading I ever got on the blood ketone meter 6.7 mmol/L which is really high.  But at the same time my blood sugar level was 62 and I was completely cognizant.  There were no signs of like hypoglycemia.  But people would see a 62 blood sugar, I have even been in the 50s before completely aware but because the ketones were higher they were stepping into the place of where the blood sugar would be in the blood stream and totally normal.  So we kind of have to shift our paradigm of what we see as normal.  You know most doctors say, “Well, anything kind of under a hundred is a good blood sugar.” 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Jimmy Moore:  Well, if you are in nutritional ketosis and you got a 99 or 100 blood sugar, guess what?  You probably are not in nutritional ketosis because that is almost impossible to have simultaneously high blood sugar levels and higher blood ketone levels. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Good point.  Now can you talk about the process of getting into ketosis?  Now this is known as Keto adaptation.

Jimmy Moore:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And I heard it takes about one to two weeks.  I have seen it in myself and my patients.  Talked about that and I find this one to two-week time frame depending on the individual can really make it so someone does not get into that ketosis state because they just cannot take the cravings and such.

Jimmy Moore:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Can you talk more about that and tricks to get in there better and faster?  

Jimmy Moore:  Sure.  Well, that’s a lot of questions you threw at me there.  So, you know, basically the one to two weeks, I would say, if you already generally eat a low carb diet, within one to two weeks you probably should be there.  If you are coming from the SAD diet where you are eating a lot of carbs it may take upwards to four to six weeks.  I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news but it does take time for the body to make that shift from being a sugar burner into a carb burner.  You know, I think about 410 pounds Jimmy Moore back in 2004 who just came off of drinking 16 cans of coca cola a day.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Gosh!

Jimmy Moore:  Two boxes of Little Devil snack cakes a day.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  (Whistles)

Jimmy Moore:  Big plates of pasta.  I mean I was a carboholic, Justin.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow!

Jimmy Moore:  Probably 1500 grams of carbohydrates a day I was consuming.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow!

Jimmy Moore:  And that Jimmy Moore would not have gotten Keto adapted in one to two weeks.  (Laughs)  He probably would have been at least one to two months before he got there.  But we can all get there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Jimmy Moore:  And you asked how.  So there is kind of a three-legged stool as to how you can get there.  In the book, we actually created this acronym that hopefully will be some of the people can like print out and put up on their refrigerator.  But the acronym is KETO.  K stands for Keep carbs low.  And low is going to be relative.  You got to figure out what your carb tolerance level is first.  And once you get the carb tolerance level and we will show you how to do that with the blood sugar monitor.  Triglyceride is kind of a good tell-tale sign. If you got trigs on your cholesterol panel that are over 100, guess what that means?  You are probably eating a few too many carbs for your carb tolerance levels.  So back off on the carbs and that trigs number will go back below a hundred which you are better of metabolically that way anyway. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Jimmy Moore:  The E in KETO stands for eat more fat. We kind of talked about this already.  The saturated and monounsaturated fats.  Avocados are great monounsaturated fats.  Of course, saturated fat we have already talked about all these foods earlier.  T is for test ketones often and this is one that we can kind of expand upon here in a minute if you want to.  But basically there are three different ways you can test now.  Traditionally, it has been the urine test.  The gold standard right now is kind of the blood ketone test.  That is that 6.7 that I was just telling you about.  And then there is an emerging technology that is coming with breath ketone meters and we can talk about that in a second.    

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Jimmy Moore:  But the last letter in the KETO in the acronym O – overdoing protein is bad.  So you want to moderate down that protein to your personal threshold level and again you kind of have to test to see.  And we show you how to do that in the book.  So the three-legged stool is control your carbs to your tolerance.  Moderate your protein to your personal threshold level.  Eat fat to satiety mostly saturated and monounsaturated fats.  You do those three things and then test for those ketones and you are going to be gold.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Great points.  I know a lot of people that are kind of against the low carb ketogenic type of eating.  One of the biggest things they talk about is constipation.  I know there has been some new research out there regarding resistance starch in the blogosphere talking about these low carb eating plans.

Jimmy Moore:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  We decrease certain bacteria in our gut especially the E. rectale and roseburia bacteria.  And again these bacteria they produce butyrate which is the same fat that we have been eating anyway which is quite interesting.    

Jimmy Moore:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So can you talk about resistance starch and is it possible to include resistance starch in your eating plan and still be low carb and ketogenic?

Jimmy Moore:  Let me address the constipation thing first because when you said that I thought about my interview.  I had a very famous interview with the vegan doctor Dr. John McDougall.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Jimmy Moore:  And I remember at one point in the conversation he was very belligerent by the way.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  He was.

Jimmy Moore:  If you want to go have some fun go Google John McDougall and Jimmy Moore and you will find that interview.  But yes, he said, “So how’s the constipation?”  And I said, “I am not having constipation.”  “Oh, well Dr. Atkins himself said that you are having constipation.”  And I am like I drink plenty of water and eat enough vegetables that I do not have an issue with constipation.  So it is kind of funny.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Jimmy Moore:  But that is kind of put out there as a kind of a meme if, “Well, do not eat low carb or you are going to get constipated.”  I have never had that problem if you just drink enough.  So you asked about resistance starch. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Jimmy Moore:  We do address this in the book, surprisingly.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, great!

Jimmy Moore:  Because it is an unknown right now.  Nobody has really done any controlled randomized clinical trials of this yet.  So we just do not know.  I think it is another one of those things of test and see if you feel like you want to try it and see.  I know my wife, Christine actually wants to test resistance starch.  She stays pretty ketogenic all the time but she is interested in maybe trying to optimize the microbiota in the inner gut and see what this would do.  So I am very curious about it and I am urging other people.  I actually had on The Livin La Vida Low-Carb Show, my podcast; I had Richard Nikoley and some other people, my friend Tom Naughton from the Fat Head movie.  You know, they are communicating, hey this is working for some people and it is helping to restore that gut health.  Give it a go.  If you are having issues in your health that maybe the Ketogenic diet is not helping by itself maybe this is something else.  And the interesting thing about resistant starch is ketosis and resistance starch are not necessarily mutually exclusive.  You can be both.  And not necessarily everybody but I think a good chunk of people could indeed become ketogenic using resistant starch because the resistance starch actually turns into the fat that would turn into ketones in the body.   

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Jimmy Moore:  So I am not anti-resistance starch.  I personally have not done it simply because I am doing okay with what I am doing now staying in ketosis all the time nutritionally without it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  It ain’t broke don’t fix it, right?

Jimmy Moore:  Exactly.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Love it, love it.  And myself I do well on ketogenic diet. But I do some cross fit, I do some high intensity movements so I find doing a cyclical ketogenic diet where I kind of in it for a couple of days and then come out.  What is your take on cyclical ketogenic diets?

Jimmy Moore:  Yes, again, that I think is one of those things you will just have to kind of figure out what works for you.  And Justin, you certainly figured that out that that is a good approach for you.  I do not personally cycle carbs.  I know John Kiefer one of my experts in the book; you know he is a big fan of kind of doing this back-loading of carbohydrates after a workout.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Carb nite.

Jimmy Moore:  Yes, and the carb nite solution.  You know it is one of those things and I sound like a broken record but it is a key thing to how Keto Clarity is.  You got to figure out what works for you.  And I cannot tell you what your macronutrient ratio is.  I cannot tell you if resistance starch is good for you.  I cannot tell you if cycling the carbs every couple of days like Justin does is going to work for you.  You just got to kind of tinker around.  There is no shame in trying something and it does not work.  You just go back to what does work.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right, right.  Exactly.  There are a couple of myths out there I hear all the time with dieticians.  When the word ketosis gets brought up it is like a switch goes off in that person’s head may just think ketoacidosis.  Can we talk about the difference, Jimmy?   

Jimmy Moore:  They go bat crap crazy, don’t they?   (Laughs)

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, my gosh!  It is just insane.

Jimmy Moore:  This is my favorite question.  So thank you for asking this one.  And it was so important, Justin that we not only address it one time in the book.  I think we addressed it about six or seven times at least in the book.  We just want to remind you in case you missed it the first six times, we are going to tell you again.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay.

Jimmy Moore:  So the difference between nutritional ketosis which is kind of what we are talking about in Keto Clarity and diabetic ketoacidosis could not be more night and day.  And unfortunately, the problem that comes into play it is kind of like the problem with fat.  Fat makes you fat.  Fat clogs your artery, you know.  There’s kind of this negative connotation with fat even though fat is not the enemy.  The same goes with ketosis and ketoacidosis.  They sound similar.  But here is the deal.  Diabetic ketoacidosis can only happen in people with type 1 diabetes or those type 2 diabetic that are truly insulin dependent they have lost all beta cell functioning, cannot make insulin at all.  If you live on this planet and you can at least make a little bit of insulin it is impossible for you to have diabetic ketoacidosis.  I cannot emphasize that enough.  People that have some insulin ability there is no way you can get diabetic ketoacidosis.  But it does not happen as a result of consuming a low carb high fat diet.  Diabetic ketoacidosis happens from eating too many carbs and not putting insulin in your body to handle those carbs.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Jimmy Moore:  So your blood sugar in that type 1 diabetic and the insulin dependent type 2 diabetics your blood sugar goes up and up and up in excess of 240 and the body, and that person then starts kind of freaking out and it is like, “Oh we need energy.  We do not have any energy.” Even though there’s plenty of energy with the blood sugar.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Jimmy Moore:  We need energy so it starts creating ketone bodies at the same time that blood sugar is going up.  So diabetic ketoacidosis is, the hallmark of it is very high blood sugar in excess of 240, very extremely high levels of blood ketones.  Now I told you the highest I have ever gotten is 6.7, right?  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Jimmy Moore:  I did that one time.  It is usually way down like two or three at the very highest now.  What we are talking about diabetic ketoacidosis is closer to 20mmol/L.  So even at my highest I was still about less than a third of what would be considered diabetic ketoacidosis levels of ketones.  But remember, my blood sugar at that time was 62.  Diabetic ketoacidosis is well in excess of 240.  So nutritionally, if you are eating a low carb, moderated protein, high fat diet you should never, ever, ever, ever, ever… Did I say ever?  Ever get diabetic ketoacidosis because the hallmark of nutritional ketosis is moderately high levels of ketones but a simultaneously lowering of that blood sugar like what we talked about a while ago.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And I liked how you are putting that meme out there nutritional ketosis.  Because that needs to be there because we can go to a ketosis through starvation, right?

Jimmy Moore:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So it talks about really having a good diet behind it that is ideally nutrient dense as well that is allowing that ketosis to facilitate itself, correct?

Jimmy Moore:  That is right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Great.  And then regarding the ketones, you mentioned the 6.0, the mmol/L type of standard deviation there.  If we are talking about Ketostix that I think are mg/dL, what number would you see on there to indicate ketoacidosis?

Jimmy Moore:  You know I am not sure because that is kind of what their purpose is or was when they first came out.  I would think it would be anything that would be on that darker purple and I do not have the number.  But I think it would be like well, well in excess of that 160 that is on the urine ketone sticks.  You kind of threw me for a loop there when you threw the ketoacidosis in there. (Laughs)

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it.

Jimmy Moore:  But we have not talked about the different tests.  Would you like to cover the various ways of testing for nutritional ketosis?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Love to, that is a great segue.

Jimmy Moore:  Yes, so there are three different types of ketone bodies in the body.  And the one that everybody knows about is the one that you just talked about and that is acetoacetate.  That is the ketone body that is in the urine.  And so you usually pee on the stick that you are just talking about.  And you get anywhere from starts at beige with no ketones, from pink to purple and even darker than that.  And people get all excited when it turns really dark, “Whoa, I am in deep, deep ketosis!”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Jimmy Moore:  You know, and if you are just starting off, those are probably okay.  You know, you can buy a bottle of 50 of those for like $15 at your drugstore.  So really kind of a good way early on to kind of reassure yourself that okay I am on the right track.  I am producing, I am at least spilling ketones into my urine.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Jimmy Moore:  But the problem that comes into play, Justin is once you become keto adapted.  So after that one to two week period for the people that are already probably eat pretty low carb, or that four to six week period or maybe four to six months for that Jimmy Moore who was eating 1500 grams of carbs. (Laughs)   You know, the period of adaptation you might lose your urine ketones.  Now does that mean you have done something wrong?  No, it means you have done something very right. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Hmmm.

Jimmy Moore:  But unfortunately, people that are peeing on the urine sticks are saying, “What the heck, I am eating low carb, I am feeling great.  I feel like I am in ketosis but I am not showing any on the acetoacetate measuring sticks anymore.  What is going on?”  Well, here is what is going on.  The acetoacetate becomes converted into beta hydroxybutyrate which is the active ketone in the blood.  So that is why measuring for blood ketones is probably going to be the best way to know where you stand in nutritional ketosis.  So the blood ketone meters, there are two of them out there.  One is called Nova Max Plus.  It is okay but there are some discrepancies when you are in the lower levels of ketosis.  It just gives you a low.  It does not really give you an actual number.  So that does not help people.  The one that I promote to people is called Precision Xtra.  And it is about $15 or $20 for the device itself.  Where they get you, Justin, is the strips. (Laughs)

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it.

Jimmy Moore:  In America, those strips can cost upwards of $3 to $5 a piece.  Now I was testing day and night for a year and sometimes every hour on the hour in some of those days.  That is expensive if you are getting them from America.  So Canadian pharmacies have them for about $2 a piece.  I got a friend that lives in Australia and he is like, “Hi Mike, you can get those for 70 cents here.”  And I am going, “Ah, can you hook up, too?”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That is great.  So Precision Xtra and Nova Max.  Those are the big ones.

Jimmy Moore:  Those are the two and I would not recommend the Nova Max at all because of just the discrepancies in the lower levels of ketosis.  You do not want to be discouraged when you start this.  You want to have every, I guess, reinforcement of what you are doing.  And if the meter is saying they are telling you low when you could be let us say a 0.8 or a 0.9 which would be in ketosis and it is saying low, that could discourage you.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Ahh.

Jimmy Moore:  And so one thing we have not said, the range on the blood ketone monitor, 0.5 is kind of the very, very low end of nutritional ketosis.  So that is kind of where it starts.  And then the benefits according to Jeff Volek and Steve Phinney, two great researchers in this realm, go all the way to 3.0 mmol/L and once you hit 3.0 in the blood ketone meter there is really no added benefit to being higher than that.  So blood ketones are a great way to measure. Now again, the cost issue with testing is the big problem.  So that is why I am really excited and we shared about this in the book of the emerging technology with the third ketone body.  This is the last one that is in the body.  It is called acetone.  And that is in the breath.  And some people like well if acetoacetate disappears in the urine does not acetone disappear in the breath once you become keto adapted?  The answer is no.  There have been two really good studies that have correlated beta hydroxybutyrate levels in the blood with acetone levels in the breath.  They correlate pretty well and I actually have a breath ketone meter.  There is one right now that is commercially available. It is called Ketonix.  And basically it is a USB device that you plug in and you blow into it for 15 seconds and then it gives you a color change.  You can kind of see your level of ketosis.  Now there are a bunch more on the way.  There is one now in Arizona right now being developed by a company called Invoy Technologies.  I was actually a study participant with them because they wanted people that were already in ketosis and could show ketones on the meter.  I can do that.  (Laughs)      

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Laughs

Jimmy Moore:  So I blew into a bunch of bags for them but I have not seen the actual meter.  I know they are trying to get FDA approval right now so that is kind of what we are waiting on.  Once they get the FDA approval I would be able to see the meter itself.  I am not sure but it will have a digital reader.  I am not sure anything about it other than it is coming. (Laughs)

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Nice.

Jimmy Moore:  So hopefully by this fall that will be out.  And I know Japanese researchers are currently working on an iPhone app that would enable you to blow into it and see your acetone levels.  And I am not sure when that will be developed but I predicted in Keto Clarity that by the year 2016 we will be seeing some kind of a breath ketone meter available commercially in stores.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That is great.  And if you are to just buy one right now, what would you recommend?  If there’s more then just get one monitoring system.

Jimmy Moore:  Just one monitoring system?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Jimmy Moore:  If you want accuracy you got to get the Precision Xtra.  The blood ketone meter.  That is going to be the best way to be absolutely accurate.  I love my Ketonix and I did not tell you the price that Ketonix meter is only $100.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Hmm.

Jimmy Moore:  It is a guy in Sweden that developed it.  He has epilepsy, speaking of epilepsy.  He has epilepsy and he is trying to control his seizures with a ketogenic diet.  So he needed a way.  He thought urine ketones strips were too messy and not accurate and then the blood ketone was too painful pricking yourself.  So if you freak out about pricking your finger maybe the Ketonix is a way to at least give you a yes-no answer whether you are in ketosis or not.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it.  Got it.  So quick review for all of our listeners: What Jimmy said there, first method is using the acetoacetate where we are testing it in the urine.  The second is we are doing the beta hydroxybutyrate in the blood and then the acetone in the breath.  So those are the three main methods there.  Anything I missed Jimmy?

Jimmy Moore:  No that is it, spot on.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Great, great.  So talk about the difference between Atkins and the Ketogenic Diet that you recommending here?  How are they different?

Jimmy Moore:  Yes, I am most famous for being a big success story on the Atkins Diet back in 2004.  Lost 180 pounds on it.  I love Dr. Atkins.  I think what he did for nutrition is still under appreciated in the world today.  I think he is going to get a posthumous Nobel Prize one of these days, at least he should.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Hope so.

Jimmy Moore:  Because he put on the map this idea of limiting carbohydrates and eating more fat.  And so what is the different between that that he promoted and a ketogenic diet?  Well, you can do an Atkins style diet and not be ketogenic.  And that is kind of surprising to a lot of people because sometimes Justin you will hear people say, “Oh the low carb ketogenic diet.”  And then my question to those people that describe a diet that way is, “So how are you measuring for ketones?”  And they are like, “What do you mean?  Low carb is ketogenic.”  I am like, “No, it is not.”  Low carb is one aspect of what it takes to get into ketosis but it is not the only aspect as we have been talking about moderating the protein and eating more fat.  You really have to be skilled at kind of using the technologies we were just talking about to really know if you are in ketosis or not.  So the problem with the Atkins Diet is it is not necessarily ketogenic.  And you know Dr. Atkins would put the emphasis on carbohydrate restriction but then he would say eat protein and fat to satiety.  So he threw the protein in there and I think that was a mistake for people that are trying to get into ketosis.  Now some people can reach ketosis and get those ketone levels on that blood meter or the breath meter that we were just talking about.  You know they can get it eating an Atkins diet but it is because their tolerance level for the protein and the threshold of the protein is probably higher.  But if you got that real sensitivity to carbs and protein like I do…  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Jimmy Moore:  You know, maybe Atkins is not enough.  And you need to go full out ketogenic.  I would say the best way to describe it is it is fattier- the Ketogenic Diet.  You really have that up the bat probably a lot more than what Dr. Atkins even promoted in his book.  And I know he got raked over the coals for his high fat diet, high protein diet, you know.  But he really kind of started this whole look into the therapeutic use of ketosis in health and that is kind of the heartbeat of what we are trying to do in Keto Clarity.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Ah, great points.  Great points on there.  Wow!  Excuse me, my head is spinning right now with all the information.  I learned a lot of new things already here.  So what would you say is your biggest three criticisms are regarding the Ketogenic Diet?

Jimmy Moore:  (Laughs)  So you know, I know there are criticisms from all angles and that is what is kind of funny about this.  I dibble dabble in the low carb and Paleo communities and one of the interesting ones from the Paleo community is, “Oh, very low carb ketogenic diet is going to induce hypothyroidism.”  Which is kind of always been funny to me.  People like Chris Kresser and Paul Jaminet, you know they are doing great work and I have great respect for what they are doing.  But quite frankly they are putting out that information.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Jimmy Moore:  And it is not fair to the ketogenic diet to have that label, that scarlet letter so to speak that it induces hypothyroidism because I get emails all the time and people are like, “You know, I tried that ketosis that you talked about unfortunately it is going to give me hypothyroidism because Chris Kresser and Paul Jaminet say it will.”  I am going, “Ugh, please.”  The problem that comes into play here is this, Justin.  They are predicating that conclusion on some studies that yes they were low carb ketogenic diets but guess what else they were?  They were hypocaloric.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Ahh…

Jimmy Moore:  In other words, low calorie diets and you know you are the thyroid expert.  You know about this stuff.  You got to eat adequate calories or the thyroid starts doing stuff.   

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely.  Absolutely.

Jimmy Moore:  And so that is a big one.  That is a huge criticism that is unfounded.  And anybody just thinking about doing a ketogenic diet and you are worried about your thyroid I would say give it a go but make sure you are eating plenty of calories.  And guess how you can get more calories?  Eat more fat!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely.

Jimmy Moore:  That is the easiest way to get more calories and if you do that you will be able to be just fine with your thyroid.  I have never had any issues at least outwardly.  No symptoms that I have any kind of thyroid issues and I eat 30 grams of carbs a day.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Have you done any thyroid testing on yourself at all?

Jimmy Moore:  I have and we actually addressed this point in the book as well.  My levels of different things are a bit lower.  But maybe the people who have the higher levels of thyroid and this is your territory so you correct me if I am wrong.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Jimmy Moore:  Higher levels of various thyroid things on their panel perhaps those are the ones that are high and the people that are on a ketogenic diet are the normal ones.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Hmm… hmmm.  Interesting points there.  And I know that the amount of carbs that you need in ketosis will vary depending on your activity level.  I have heard Ben Greenfield talk about having up to 200 carbs a day and he is doing Ironman type of activities and still being in ketosis.  So can you talk about where too much exercise ketosis may not be the best thing but also some people may need more carbs and still be able to stay in ketosis while exercising more.  Can you touch more on those issues?  

Jimmy Moore:  Yes, rock on Ben Greenfield.  He was one of my experts in Keto Clarity and he is exactly right.  When you are able to use those strategically in competition and in exercise performance and you are able to still burn fat for fuel, eating that many carbs, he is a well-oiled machine when it comes to this. Again it goes back to the individual.  You got to figure out if that works for you and what your goal is.  Your goal is exercise performance, you know in your training you are able to be fat adapted and keto adapted and then on race day up the carbs a bit.  And you are able to do well and be fully fat adapted, go for it.  There is definitely nothing wrong with that and it is going to be a tinkering around process.  There is no perfect formula for this is what everybody should do for whatever the activity is.  You just got to figure it out and it is going to be different from person to person. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That is great.  That is great.  I want to wrap up here and one last question so people can get a sense of what a day in a life of Jimmy Moore is like.  Can you walk us through what you would eat on a typical day in breakfast, lunch and dinner?

Jimmy Moore:  The important thing is there is no such thing as a typical day.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Laughs

Jimmy Moore:  Because you know we live in a society where we eat breakfast – snack, lunch – snack, dinner – snack, midnight snack.  We are like grazing all day long.  I have not eaten that way in years.  I do not even remember the last time that I had more than a couple of meals in one day.  Typically, it is one to two meals a day.  And we often hear breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  I could not agree more except I do not agree it has to be in the morning.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Jimmy Moore:  Because look at the word breakfast, what does it mean?  Break the fast, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Jimmy Moore:  So if you are fasting overnight which everybody is when their sleeping unless you are sleep-eating somehow.  You are going to wake up in the morning and if you are not hungy why would you eat?  Why would you eat if you are not hungry in the morning?  So break the fast when you get hungry.  And that could be 1 o’clock in the afternoon.   And so breakfast is the most important meal of the day but it is only when you break that fast and that could be midday.  So I probably could eat somewhere around midday at like 1 or 2 o’clock and I can have eggs cooked in butter.  I like to throw some sour cream on top of that with some cheese and cold avocado on the side.  Maybe some bacon, yes it’s very fat.  Bacon or sausage and then sometimes I will get even some more butter and take a little bite of butter with each bite of food.  And then that meal will hold me upwards to 12, 16 sometimes as much as the 24 hours until the next day.  So that is an example of something that I will have on a typical day.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That is great.  And what is your favorite ketogenic dessert that won’t throw you out?

Jimmy Moore:  (Laughs) The ketogenic dessert that would not throw me out of ketosis does not exist.   

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Hmm.

Jimmy Moore:  Because for me I am so sensitive to carbohydrates that I have to be extremely careful.  I guess if I have to choose a “dessert” it would be dark chocolate and cream cheese.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Hmm, that sounds great.

Jimmy Moore:  So, 85% dark chocolate and you put some cream cheese on it.  Give a little more fat.  Dark chocolate actually is really, really high in fat if you ever look at a true dark chocolate.  And I am not talking Hershey’s Special you people that is not dark chocolate.  There is a brand I like called Taza brand.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Jimmy Moore:  It is really nice, they put little cacao nibs in the chocolate, it is so good.  But it gives you that chocolaty flavor, really rich, deep chocolaty flavor, you know.  And then you add the extra cream cheese it’s a little bit of a creaminess almost like a pie consistency.  So that is, I guess, a ketogenic dessert.  But try to stay away from sweet things especially if you still have the carb cravings and you are not able to control your blood sugar that well yet.  Let us get that under control first before you start worrying about low carb ketogenic desserts. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That makes a lot of sense.  Excellent.  Well, his name is Jimmy Moore.  He has a new book coming out next week August 5, called Keto Clarity.  Jimmy can you tell us more where my listeners can find out more information about you and all of your podcasts and blogs and such?

Jimmy Moore:  Sure and thank you for having me on your show.  Yes, it is actually going to be in hardback, a Kindle e-book and the audible audio book.  When I did “Cholesterol Clarity” last year, Justin people were like, “Where is the audio book?”  And I am like, “What do you mean an audio book?”  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  (Laughs)

Jimmy Moore:  They are like, “You got to have an audio book.”  I am like, “Okay.”  And then they are like, “You’ve got to read it.”  “What? I have never done that before.”  (Laughs)  So being a podcaster that people know my voice.  I have done well over a thousand episodes of my podcasts combined.  I guess people want to hear my voice.   So we did Keto Clarity in audio book as well.  So all three of those will be available, is the website if you want to learn more information about it.  We have sample chapters and things like that in there. How do you find me?  You can go to and if that is too much to remember you can just type in Jimmy Moore in a Google search and I think I am the whole first page.  Everything on that first page is all my stuff.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That is great.  Awesome.  Thank you so much Jimmy.

Jimmy Moore:  Thank you sir.

Beyond Wellness Radio Q&A Podcast #13

In this podcast, Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Baris Harvey did a Q&A episode as they answer questions regarding various health issues and challenges from our radio show listeners as well as from the forum.  

Concerns on hypothyroidism, adrenal fatigue, hormonal imbalances as well as allergies were just some of the issues that were addressed in this episode.   Know more about the benefits of resistant starch.  Also learn about how the Paleo Diet help to reduce anxiety and improve one’s mood.



In this episode we cover:

08:52   Amenorrhea, hypothyroid and adrenal fatigue

16:51   Benefits of resistant starch

21:30   Stomach pain from kefir

26:51   Marked improvement doing Paleo

36:01   How to gain facial fat?

39:31   How long does Vitamin D last in the body?

42:12   Seafood allergy and hormone imbalance








Baris Harvey:  Welcome to another episode of Beyond Wellness Radio.  In today’s show we are going to do a Q & A.  So this is from our listeners and also from the forum.  So first thing is make sure you guys go to ITunes and leave a review.  It really helps us out with the rankings in getting this message out.  The second thing is to make sure you continue to send your questions to And we have two from listeners that were courageous enough to send us a question but also we have some from forums as well.  So first of all, how is it going today, Dr. Justin?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Baris it is going really good.  How are you doing today?

Baris Harvey:  I am doing really good.  So first question as always, what did you have for breakfast?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, I am actually doing a little experiment and kind of get a little bio-hacker crazy right now.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So I am actually doing a 21-day HCG program where I am injecting myself with HCG in the morning and I am eating a 500-calorie/day diet.  Very, very specific for the next three weeks.

Baris Harvey:  HCG.  So could you explain for the people that are not well aware of HCG because this one is kind of interesting and what that is and where that comes from.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Great question.  HCG stands for human chorionic gonadotropin.  It is a pregnancy hormone and the whole gist of it, an endocrinologist from the 50’s and 60’s named A.T. Simeons, a British endocrinologist used this essentially as a metabolic reset to reset the hypothalamus and kick starting the body to burn more fat.  And he uses on various patients this 23-day protocol using HCG injections 30 units per day or I think 150 i.u over the course of 23 days.  And there was a specific diet that follow it as well those 500 calories very extreme. But the science behind it is the HCG is present in pregnant women.     

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   And with that phenomenon the HCG is mobilizing extra fat that is why women in the third world countries who are malnourished will still be able to bring about a healthy pregnancy even with starvation level of calories.  The question is why?  And the HCG is able to tap into that storage, that secure storage from a fat that normally would not come off but would come off with the levels of HCG that are there and then those calories can be used for fuel.  Now I have used this twice with my patients.  I have used this with my fiancée as well and with great success.  And again the key is you want to really come off with a good diet afterwards and you want to have a good diet before.  If you are already eating like crap and you are not doing good and you have infections and adrenal fatigue and thyroid issues it is not for you.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So you really want to make sure you have are already done the right things.  I think it is a really cool little boost to add in there.  And you want to make sure when you come off that you progress back into a healthy anti-inflammatory, low toxin diet eating plan with adequate nutrition and calories.  Doing this type of diet without the HCG would be devastating and destroy your thyroid.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I can tell you right now, having done it for almost a week I have no hunger pangs at all.  I am not hungry at all which is unbelievable.  

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  The only difference is I am not used to my stomach being like, my stomach is not like full.  Like when I eat a meal out, eat light it feels full.

Baris Harvey:  Laughs

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I do not have that full feeling but at the same time I am not hungry either.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, definitely.  It is funny because a lot these extreme kind of things people do when they are like for their last option kind of thing.   We see the TV shows and when people are like really, really overweight or really have a problem then that is when they try to do the extreme stuff and it is usually the healthier people that can handle something more extreme whereas it should not be like oh, this 21-day detox crazy all out thing or what is the TV show where with like Jillian Michaels, the Biggest Loser, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes, Biggest Loser.  Exactly.

Baris Harvey:  And they try to do like these exercise programs that is very strenuous and extremely difficult.  And it is like if I am a healthy person I might be able to handle that, you know.  But you are not going to take those same people and like, “Oh well, let us put you through a Sil Fit exercise.”  Like, no!  You know what I mean?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.

Baris Harvey:  It is the same thing here.  So you want to make sure if you want to do something like this make sure that you are healthy enough and able to handle all of the stressors that can be.  But it looks like Dr. Justin is going to be ah, what is it called?  Like Arnold Schwarzenegger in tricking his body thinking he is pregnant, right?  (Laughs)

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I know.  I know.  The thing is this is always the last thing anyone should ever do.  I am tinkering and experimenting with cutting edge techniques to see just what kind of results that I can possibly get.  But this is always the last resort.  And I do not recommend anyone doing it that has an active autoimmune or thyroid or adrenal fatigue or gut issue that is not under control yet. 

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.  Yes definitely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I think maybe at some point we can do a show on this topic and we go a little bit deeper into it because it is really fascinating.  And I see this as a really good opportunity to reset the metabolism because we know metabolism gets screwed up with sugar and toxins and stress.  This could be a good therapeutic thing to add in there.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, so this is basically why a healthy woman probably is able to, after her pregnancy, go back to normal weight probably as well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, I imagine as well. 

Baris Harvey:  So are you getting that from like pregnant women urine?  (Laughs) or where is this coming from?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes. It is coming from a compound pharmacy in San Antonio, Texas but it comes from, extracted from pregnant women’s urine and they put it into a powder and you dilute it with some bacteriostatic water about 10 mL and inject 30 mL per day subcutaneously.  I am doing it right now with my fiancée and she has done it probably once every two years she does it.  She gets amazing results.  And she is able to keep her weight off for about two to two and a half years. 

Baris Harvey:  Wow! Yes, sounds awesome.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  It is not like one of those things where it comes back right away.  It takes about two years for it to slowly creep up.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, take advantage of trying to be as natural as possible and scient at the same.  Like where you try to find the balance you know what I mean?  So we are not just trying to go full 100% hippie and just say you know do not touch anything out there because there might be some awesome things that can make us live longer than what biology just wants us to have kids and then get out of here.  But you know we want to live as long as possible so we try to find out not just what would make us really healthy but what is also really good for longevity as well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, yes.

Baris Harvey:  But at the same time be very smart and careful as well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  And I want to be sure there is no substitute for anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense, low toxin diet with blood sugar stability involved in it.  So there is no substitute for that ever.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, definitely.  Well, me I was a lot simpler.  I just basically had some Chameleon Cold Brew.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Nice.

Baris Harvey:  With some raw cream from the Farmer’s market yesterday.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, great.

Baris Harvey:  It’s a lot more expensive.  It is almost double the price but I try to get like the grass fed really healthy cream versus this grass fed really healthy raw cream and it just makes so much of a difference.   I can try and like hmm and may save a lot of money but it just does not compare.  Like this is so much better.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely.  Love it. Love it.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, definitely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Love it. Love it.

Baris Harvey:  So let us get to our Q & A.  We have a couple of questions here so I am going to scroll over and go to the first question.  This is from Keera.  She says, “Great podcast.  I have listened to a few of them but this is one of the few that breaks things down in a digestible manner.  I have a secondary amenorrhea, hypothyroid and adrenal fatigue issue.  Taking Armour with T3 and bioidentical bio-estrogen, progesterone and DHEA.  Having worked with a few practitioners, I still cannot get my thyroid and period to function properly.  And the only solution I am offered is to up the dose on all of them.  And this is still not helping.  Everyone agrees that the dose is too high already but are lost as to why there are not any results.  Any suggestions?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, I love questions like this.  Because it really kind of makes me put on my thinking cap.  So I am going to kind of break a couple of things down.  And Baris if I need to decipher anything or I do not break it down enough you can come in there and kind of break it down more, okay?

Baris Harvey:  Yes, definitely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So let us go over a couple of things.  Secondary amenorrhea; that is basically losing your period before menopause.  So this girl has lost her period.  She has got some low thyroid issues, some adrenal fatigue.  And typically, when we have thyroid issues and adrenal fatigue they tend to connect together.  So she is using thyroid support, Armour T4 and T3 and bioidentical Bi-Est.  Now what a Bi-Est is, it is typically a combination of 80% estriol and 20% estradiol.  And again the work of Dr. Jonathan Wright, he found that majority of healthy women in their 20’s and 30’s had higher amounts of estriol than estradiol.  So the Bi-Est has 80% estriol E3 and 20% estradiol.  She was also adding some progesterone in there and some DHEA and she is working with some practitioners, okay.  So again, she is concerned it is not helping.  So, first things first.  When we see hormonal issues we always want to make sure the diet is dialed in.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  We could be eating a crappy diet, we could be skipping meals, we could be having blood sugar swings up and down but the biggest stressor on our hormonal system is blood sugar stability, right?

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  The adrenal glands will pump out cortisol and it will shut progesterone downstream and then will go into the stressed out state where we are making more stress hormones and sacrificing the sex hormones.  So making sure not going more than 3 to 5 hours without eating and then when she is eating she should not be starving.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   She should be comfortably ready to eat.  So enough protein, enough fat and enough healthy carbohydrates for her.  Now if she is really skinny and fatigued which I imagine she probably is.  People on the amenorrhea side especially the female triad, the runners, the low fat people they tend to be more on the leaner side.  So if she is leaner you want to really get those carbs up.  Healthy safe starches will be a good start. 

Baris Harvey:  Exactly.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Again my problem with a lot of people that use DHEA they do higher amounts same with progesterone and estrogen.  So I want to make sure they are reasonable doses.  I would not recommend going above 10 mg/day on DHEA.  And I want to make sure that all the hormones she is using especially the DHEA, the progesterone, the Bi-Est that they are all ideally sublingual.  That tends to be the best.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I mean you can get some creams that work really well in the vaginal area because there is no mucosal, you know, fat there really.  It goes right to the blood stream. But my bias is more towards drops.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Definitely towards drops.  So I want to know is she Hashimoto’s?  That is a big thing as well.  That is really important.  And I find there is an infection connection, there is a chronic infection link with a lot of what is happening.  When people are not getting the results and they are using specific hormones and they are supporting their thyroid and supporting their adrenals a lot of times there is a chronic infection connection there.  And we want to look a little bit at digestion, bloating, gas.  Is she absorbing her foods?  Is she having bowel movements regularly?  I want to look closer at infection and make sure that there is nothing there.  And also I want to make sure she is properly being dosed with her thyroid.  If she really needs thyroid well we should use some temperature testing to evaluate her thyroid levels, get her into the 97.8 to 98.2 range with a good armpit temperature first thing in the morning.  That can be a great way to assess thyroid function. 

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And also if she is Hashimoto’s, it is a strong infection connection link like I already mentioned. Yersinia is connected, H. pylori is connected, Epstein-Barr, cytomegalovirus, Lyme disease.  There is so many different things there.  So I would start at those.  And if Keera wants to reach out to us or schedule a quick consult to review those labs we can always take a look and give her more specific advice.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, definitely.  You mentioned making sure that you might need a little bit extra carbohydrates specifically maybe more towards the later part of the day.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Baris Harvey:  Especially when it helps with the thyroid often a lot.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  And you mentioned too with the amenorrhea, a lot of these athletic women tend to go towards the hypothyroid amenorrhea situation because they are very lean.  She did not talk about her exercise but we can probably guess that maybe she is exercising heavily maybe to reduce.  I know like it is always hard for people that are really active and fit like myself, I play football.  So tell don’t me, “Hey, you have to work out less.”  Like it sounds good but it is like I want to be able to compete.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Baris Harvey:  So sometimes you might either kind of have to back that down a little bit or up the carbohydrates a little bit later on in the day so you can still stay kind of lower carb later on in the day with dinner maybe having a little bit more carbohydrates to make sure that you are boosting that thyroid function.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, there was also a study, too the American Journal of Physiology, they did a study back in 1994 finding that they have low T3 syndrome so lower T3 levels that is our active thyroid hormone in exercising women.  So when they get above a certain aerobic threshold they found it will actually lower their T3.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  Do not push yourself too hard.  Yes, basically.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.

Baris Harvey:  And one that often is like harder for people to usually go just because of the taste but organ meats like make a big difference.  Like that is an easy way to get some naturally occurring hormones in there.  So some of the liver really helps with the thyroid.  I can probably find and may be linked into this but there is a, I think it is called Thyro-Gold but is it basically just glandular.  So making sure that you are getting those glandulars as well.  And you can also get something like desiccated liver if you do not want the taste of liver.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely.  This girl here is already on Armour so it seems like that is already covered.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  But also too that is really important a lot of times this gets ignored by practitioners, is progesterone should be cycled.  Because typically in a cycling woman, progesterone is going to predominate in the luteal phase or the second half of your cycle.  So if day 1 is the first day you bleed, typically progesterone should only be used on day 15 and 27.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So if this girl is not menstruating we want to start creating a cycle out of her.  

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So using progesterone in a cyclical level upping the dose, reaching the climax and dropping the dose over that 15 to 27th day is important.  And I would also be using some upstream adaptogenic support such as chaste tree and such to help with the HPA axis side of it.  Because we are doing the hormone side but we also want to get the brain connected again.

Baris Harvey:  Exactly, exactly.  Alright.  Hopefully that was helpful Keera.  And I will go ahead and send that to you.  We have another question here from Michael or Mitchel but I think it is Michael.  He says, “Can you tell me how to include potato starch in your diet?  I am looking at the bag of powder I bought and I will love to enjoy the benefits of resistance starch.  But how do I take a teaspoon of dry powder?  I have tried adding it to foods but it does not dissolve well.  I am not a fan of smoothies so what do you suggest?”  So it is a pretty simple question but just in case anybody else had a similar question like this one, we will go ahead and tell them how to use resistance starch.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Alright.  Good question here.  So again, resistance starch this is a specific type of carbohydrate that does not get broken down by our body fully but the bacteria in our guts love it.  Our microbes, various microbes love it especially the E. rectale and roseburia bacteria they love that.  When you are on a low carbohydrate diet the research shows that these types of bacteria can drop.  So if you are dropping carbohydrates, and you know you are doing a good Paleo type of approach and you are having issues digestive wise, adding these starches in can be helpful because it will feed some of those bacteria.  So recapping resistance starch type 2 that is like your unripen plantain or banana flour, that is really good. 

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I am a big fan of that.  I have been using that more over than the potato starch just because I encounter a lot of autoimmune patients and frankly I am not convinced that the potato starch is free of alpha-Solanine.  Alpha-Solanine is a night shade.  It is a compound that makes the night shade irritating and potentially an autoimmune risk.  So I have been going more towards the unripen banana just because I can be more certain that there is not an alpha-Solanine component in there.  Now I have not read anything definitive on that but right now I am just playing it safe.  So I have both and I kind of go back and forth and I recommend both to my patients so I am able to have a lot of data points to pool from.


Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.


Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I have some people that have Hashimoto’s and we will do the potato flour and they will get a little bit stimulated and they will notice their sleep that night is a little bit rocky.  

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So I recommend get to play around with it and see how you feel.  So, the unripen banana flour can be purchased, the company is called Wedo.  I will also put it on my Amazon store, too.  And then the Bob’s Red Mill Potato flour.  That is Bob’s brand and that is a good one as well.

Baris Harvey:   Okay.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Go ahead.

Baris Harvey:  Oh yes, I was going to say yes and you just go ahead and put that in water?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, you just mix that in with water.  So there are a lot of people that can be sensitive because the bacteria kind of has a field day when they take this in and they can produce a lot of CO2 and various gas and if it is pathogenic bacteria, even methane.  So first off, if you react to probiotics and you get really gassy and you have probiotic intolerance is what I call it, I strongly recommend start at the smallest possible dose.  Start at about a teaspoon.  If you have any reaction at all, continue to half the dose until you find the dose that works for you.  I mean you may have to get down to literally a quarter or eighth or sixteenth of a teaspoon but once you find it, work your way back up.  So the easiest way really is you just got to kind of put it in some water, suck it up and just shoot it down and then chase it with some more water.  And that can really be an easy way to do it.  That is how I do it.  It does not taste that good but neither does cod liver oil and neither does a couple of other things that we eat every now and then.  So we just kind of have to look at it as you know a medicine and get it into the system to help the gut microbes out.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, definitely.  Sounds good.  Hopefully I pronounced your name right, Michael of Mitchel but hopefully that answers your question.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I want to add one more thing.

Baris Harvey:  Yes go for it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So if you also find that you are still having issues with that more than likely a definitive sign for me clinically that there is small intestinal bacterial overgrowth issue, right?  This is when these various pathogenic bacteria like clostridium, Escherichia coli, Enterobacter, Citrobacter, a lot of these gram negative bacteria accumulate upward from the colon because of the various stress and such.  And so some people need an antimicrobial program to wipe these things out first.  And they also may need to go on some type of a stricter diet that is Paleo/FODMAP-free that helps kind of restrict a lot of these carbohydrates that feed these critters as well.  So if you may need to go an extra approach and pulling out the FODMAPS and getting assessed what kind of infections and what kind of herbal medicines you may do that as well.  

Baris Harvey:  Yes, definitely.  And that question kind of leads up into our next one.  Well, technically it is the last one but I will go ahead and pull this one up.  This is from well, it is a username because we are now on the forum, Mick Jagger.  But it says reason for stomach pain from kefir.  “I have been experiencing bouts of pretty intense upper abdominal pain and pain contingent to my diet.   It seems that the common factor is kefir.  I only tried kefir for the first time a few months ago and it was awesome but it always seems to give me a really bad stomach pain.  I have tried three different organic brands and they all seem to have the same effect.  I was not regular taking any kind of probiotics before but yogurt and other fermented foods have never given me any trouble.  Has anyone know a possible reason for this reaction?  Has anyone ever experienced this?  I probably will stick to the other fermented foods from now on but man, kefir tastes awesome!” Sad face. (Laughs)

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  (Laughs) So Baris, do you have any information on what kind of kefir?  Is it based on dairy or coconut-based?

Baris Harvey:  No, it does not say here but just three different kinds of brands so we can I guess assume dairy, water and coconut?  Because they have water kefir as well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay.

Baris Harvey:  So those three.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay.  So a couple things.  There could be some probiotic intolerance.  It is hard to say.  You know, are we getting the same exact strains of probiotics in each of these things?  There could be different strains of probiotics coming from the kefir that she is having an issue with.  So it is really hard to say.  There could be a probiotic intolerance happening with the strains that she is getting.  I also want to know does she have any digestive issues in general.  How is gas?  How is bloating?  How is digestion?  How is bowel movement?  Things like that.  So I want to know that first.  But depending on that information there could be a SIBO, a small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.  There also could be that the specific probiotic strains are pushing some of the bad guys out and it could be more of a detox or a Herxheimer’s type of reaction.   So one, if she reacts to other foods or Mick Jagger, whoever this fictitious person is reacts to these other foods it really just could be a probiotic intolerance just to those specific strains and nuts.  But if there were issues, I would recommend you know, embarking on a really good antimicrobial cleanse and really reinoculating things with good quality probiotics and even soil-based probiotics after the fact. 

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And then eventually adding in some resistance starch and then slowly adding the kefir back in as well and see how that takes.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  I am really trying to figure out if it was like a coconut.  Because I have had a coconut water kefir and it tastes good but I mean it could be that it is not just pure dairy kefir just because like you said it tastes good. And I have had plain dairy kefir before.  To me it does not taste good.  The ones that taste good are like the flavored ones with you know the carrageenan and all these other additives.  So it could be the additives if you already have some kind of IBS and some kind of gut inflammation.  Some of these additives could be problematic.  And so making sure that you are getting something with like just the ingredient is the fermented product and nothing else no flavors could be an important thing.  So making sure that you are getting one that is just that not peach flavor and all these other things.  If you want to make that, you know, try it yourself and like you have mentioned before, if you are making your own and putting fruit in it if you have something like SIBO you might be having some issues digesting that fructose and this can be some of the problems.  Or just like you mentioned before, you might just have to start off with really smaller doses and your body is just having a problem taking in all those probiotics at the same time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  It probably is based on you know her saying how good it taste.  There is probably some type of potential FODMAP additive into that that could setting things off, too.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.  Yes, because I mean just like straight dairy kefir.  I do not know about you but it tastes kind of funky to me.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, it is a little sour for sure. 

Baris Harvey:  It is a little sour.  So yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I had an experience one time with the organic pasture’s kefir drink and I had a really tough time with it.

Baris Harvey:  Oh yes and that is the raw.  Everything, right?  The raw milk…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That is the raw everything.  I am not sure what is happening if that is having a detox reaction where it is pushing things out or it could be just the fact that there is some casein in there and my body is a little bit irritated with some of the casein.  There are so many variables so it is really hard.  Because I do not really react to any types of probiotics and I take lots of it in at a hundred billion.  And right now, I am doing a couple of hundred billion a day and I have no problem with the various strains I am taking.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  Try a water coconut kefir that is usually a little bit easier and still at a smaller dose, too.  Because I remember when I started and I can drink a lot.  And the first time that would be kind of gassy because I would drink like five servings.  Because it is like you would just take two ounces and I am like, “Ah, I can drink a lot more.”  Might get a little gassy from that just because there are a lot of probiotics.  But if you just take the recommended dose you usually do not have too many issues.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly, exactly.

Baris Harvey:  Awesome.  So the next question.  Looks like it says, “You okay?  I am hoping.”  (Laughs)  It says personality changes from doing Paleo.  “I have been at this for about five weeks now which I think is long enough for me to confirm that there is a marked difference in my personality on Paleo.  Mostly it has to do with the lack of the low level anxiety and worry that used to pervade my days.  I also generally feel happier, and more optimistic and friendlier.  Another thing that I have never really realized is that I used to have a slight fear of people or would often feel awkward around people especially strangers.  Now I find myself striking up conversations with anyone and everyone rather than the extreme hi and hellos.  I tend to be more even-keeled and balanced.   It is truly amazing.  Has anyone else experienced the same positive benefits from Paleo?  I would be curious to hear your story.”  So, it is kind of more of a wanting some confirmation if his diet made a difference in his mood.  And I am pretty sure that there is a book called, “The Mood Cure” that probably confirm this as well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, absolutely.  So this is actually 100% true.  I have seen it in patients all the time.  There is also a really good study on this.  It is basically from the Neuroendocrinology Letters 2008 called The Gut-brain barrier in major depression.  And it talks about intestinal mucosal dysfunction with an increased translocation or LPS; that is the outer coating of the bacteria.  It is really toxic and how it may play an inflammatory pathophysiology role in depression.  So again what happens is when we are systemically inflamed the tight junctions in our gut, these are like the little epithelial tissue that kind of keep the food on the inside and the blood on the outside.  Well, these zippers kind of get unzipped when you have extra stress and inflammation.  And it can allow a lot of the SIBO or the bacteria in our gut that maybe dysbiotic.   This means more bad stuff than good stuff.  Typically there should be more good than bad but when it is flipped that LPS which is like the outer spiny coat of this bacteria can translocate through into the blood stream and it can play a pathological role, it can affect mood.  I mean depression is just one symptom of mood, right?

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  There is a spectrum there, right?  There is anxiety.  There are attention issues.  There is a whole bunch of spectrum issues there.  But again what they found was that when they had higher amounts of lipopolysaccharide IgM and IgA they have more fatigue, they have more gastrointestinal symptoms and they also have more inflammation and depression.  Basically the study suggested that increased LPS translocation may mount an immune attack.  And this immune attack in the brain can basically cause depression.  So from what I understand and from the physiology that we are aware of in our textbooks is our brain, half the cells in our brain are immune cells, right?

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And these cells are called microglial cells.  And inflammation can turn these cells on.  So it is like, Tom O’Brien has a good analogy of throwing, imagine a football field full of mouse traps. 

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  You throw one tennis ball out there and hits one mouse trap and it goes pop! Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop!  More hit, more hit and then the initial cascade ripples, and ripples and ripples and creates a cascade of more mouse traps being activated.  And that is kind of how your brain works.  You have a little bit of inflammation.  There are some gluten or some SIBO and this leaky gut happening, it can turn some of this cells on and we get this pop! Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop! Kind of reaction of these microglial cells being activated.  So this is huge because one of the strongest stimulators of leaky gut which is the first domino of all of these critters and all of these compounds getting into the blood stream is gluten.  Gluten is one of the biggest, biggest, biggest stimulators.  And again gluten stimulates zonulin.  And zonulin is basically pulling your zippers down in the gut and allowing these particles to kind of float through without any issues.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That makes sense?

Baris Harvey:  Yes, makes sense.  Definitely makes sense.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So exactly what this person is experiencing is a 100% real.  I see so many people have this experience.  I had it myself and again it is so freeing to know that you are not just have to be on an antidepressant for life.  If there really are deeper causes to what is addressing these things and it freaks people out that diet in your gut can actually affect your brain because we just think like they are mutually exclusive things.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, they definitely are. I mean often times what happens when you feel anxious?  You usually feel like butterflies or you feel this like cringe in your stomach, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes. 

Baris Harvey:  Or people when they get stage fright and they go like, “Oh, I need to throw up.”  And it is like well, why did that connection get made?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes. 

Baris Harvey:  And we think it is just a one way path but it goes both ways.  So the same way that your mind can affect your gut, your gut can also affect your brain.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  And I mentioned before I did not really say the author’s name by Julia Ross actually has a book called “The Mood Cure” and talked about the different foods and also the different amino acids that help with the depression and anxiety and insomnia and all these different personality traits.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes exactly.  And again these other studies the Journal of Affective Disorders increased IgA and IgM response regarding these various bacteria, LPS in chronic depression.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Talking about connecting it to a leaky gut.  You know I will go out there on a limb.  This may sound controversial but what the heck.  The field of psychiatric medicine is just way, way behind the times, absolute decade behind the times.  There may be benefits with psychiatric medicine in the short run.  If someone is in a suicidal risk just to stabilize them and to get them you know to kind of calm down and relax.  But most people are stuck on these psychiatric medications for life.  And the people that are working with them and managing them are not looking at diet.  They are not looking at the gut.  They are not looking at nutritional deficiencies.  They are not looking at digestion.  And it is doing a really huge disservice to the people in the mental health field, the patients.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, can you imagine if this was just like as simple as a vitamin a D deficiency?  (Laughs)

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  Can you imagine like if we just did a panel and it is like, “Oh look!  You need to get out in the sun more and maybe take the vitamin D.”  And all of the sudden your problems fixed.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  Not that it is always the case.  Yes, there are way more complications and there are certain kinds from medicines.  But I mean it was that simple there are still probably a lot of people that might have just something small underlying foundation missing.  Maybe they are just not eating the right food.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  So making sure that you get that foundation first before you go and reach for the medicine.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes I agree.  There is no major conspiracy theory behind this.  We do have a lot of well-intentioned doctors that are out there.  But these doctors get stuck in a model that is they are working 80 to 100 hours a week.  They are getting stuck in residencies in medical schools that are just pretty much funded by drug companies.  And the drug companies are putting money there because they want them to have an allopathic pharmaceutical intervention.  And that is where their interests are.  They are funding it because they want to use medications for interventions.  But it is hard.  If you have a medication that you are spending billions of dollars on and you are going to school for ten years for and then you have this thing of like, wow! Vitamin D and like avoid gluten and it is like almost free.  Like you can see there is major competition there.  And there is not much profit to be made there either, too with the vitamin D and gluten.  And a lot of these things are simple and easy.  So you can see what happened, we have a lot of conflicts of interest.  When people are trying to find doctors you really want to make sure you are finding someone that is going outside of the pharmaceutical spectrum.  Pharmaceuticals can be great during trauma and maybe an acute infection or maybe a car accident or things that are really you know intense and acute.  But long term, it tends to not be the best solution.  And you know frankly, the number six cause of death I think, iatrogenic-induced deaths.  That is I think 150,000 people dying a year taking medications properly.  So when it comes to chronic medication use, we always want to look at the underlying cause and see if that medication can be substituted with diet and lifestyle or even natural nutrient or herbal medicine intervention.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  It is usually harder for somebody to sell vitamin D which they can pick up for like five bucks at the vitamin shop, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, exactly, exactly.

Baris Harvey:  Okay let us see.  Next question is from Amy28.  She says, this is an interesting question I am testing Dr. Justin to see if he has any insight on this.  “How can I gain facial fat?”  Now that is interesting.  “I am 5 feet and 95 pounds and I am happy with my body.  I used to be 110 pounds but I lost 15 pounds over the last few months without even trying just by cutting out the junk food.  My body looks very good now but my God, my face (sad face).  I used to have a baby face and relatively chubby cheeks which I liked because it made me look younger.  I look older now because my face is so ‘wrung’” I think is the word?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.  Uh-hmm.

Baris Harvey:  “I want to try Paleo for the rest of the year and see how I feel on it.  Does anyone have any tip to gain weight on my face without regaining the weight on my body?  Thanks.  Good luck.”  (Laughs)

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Alright.  That is an interesting one.  So what was her weight, Baris?

Baris Harvey:  She is currently 95 pounds and she is 5 feet tall.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Alright, well that explains all of it.  So a couple of things.  I did an Atkins diet when I was like 18.  I was experimenting with it.  I did it all wrong because I went high protein, low carb and low fat.  And that is like a big mistake that a lot of people make.  And I remember my cheek bones being like so sucked in and looking so malnourished that people would say, “What happened to your face?”  It was not a bad thing, my face is more chiseled and cut but I noticed when I cut the fat out and the carbs, I lost a lot in my face.  So I would first say make sure you are having an adequate amounts of fat.  And because of your weight, I would really up the carbs.  I mean I would use some sweet potatoes, yams in there.  I will get some nice healthy safe starches in there and see how you look and feel and perform and kind of just test that first.  That will be like one of the first things I do.  Now on top of that, we have therapeutic things, right?  These are things outside of just diet.  So you can also supplement and get some really good high collagen powder in there.  That can be excellent just to get extra precursors for skin and for nutrients and help tighten the skin up that can be helpful.  I also use a stem cell based cream called J-Bio Serum.  I think they even have the ability to inject as well. But this cream is excellent because they basically go to the skin banks and they spin off the stem cells or the cytokines from the fat tissue and they pull those cytokines out and they compound it into a cream.  And it works very, very well at skin health.  It works very well at sunburns.  They use it in a fair amount of hospitals across the country with unburned victims.  So I see it helping a ton for skin health and potentially adding that extra collagen in support there.  It is definitely worth a try.  I use it 3 or 4 times a week just for anti-aging on my skin.  For sunspots and wrinkles just to prevent all that.  But that will be something worth trying.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  Awesome.  I was just going to say do not be afraid to gain a little bit of weight.  (Laughs)

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  The 95 pounds and was she is 5’3?

Baris Harvey:  5 feet.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  5 so she is still a little bit small.  But 95 pounds is still a little too small especially if she is active.  I would up the carbs a little bit and make sure there is enough healthy fat in there.  Get some bone broths add some collagen.  If you want to go the extra mile try the extra intervention stem cell creams that I mentioned.

Baris Harvey:  Yes. Definitely.  Sounds good.  Let me go to the next question.  This is from Tim 31.  And it says how long would it take to become vitamin D deficient?  And then he says, “Or how long do healthy stocks of vitamin D last in the body?”  Quite a while I imagine but just wondering if there were any studies on how long vitamin D last in the body.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, I am not sure about studies I will just give you clinical experience.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I find it takes about six months to a year if someone stopped taking vitamin D for it to drop. 

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Now again this is going to be different because people that are inflamed they just need more vitamin D because they have a harder time absorbing it.    

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So that is the big thing.  If you are inflamed and you are overweight you may have a hard time converting this vitamin D.  Vitamin D3 we get half that gets converted to calcitriol; that is the active vitamin D.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I think it goes to the liver first and then to the kidneys.  So the kidneys are what really activates vitamin D.  The vitamin D that we are taking is not really even active.  It has to get converted. 

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Vitamin D3 gets converted and then to the active hormone calcitriol.  So again, I would say six months to a year would be a good recommendation.  And everyone is different so test.  Go on Vitamin D supplementation throughout the winter months or before you go into the winter test and see where you are at.  And after you come out of the winter without taking any of it you could test again.  Do it monthly and see where you are at.  Again it is so individualized for every person.  So it is hard to say but I would say six months to a year.  Good general recommendation is about 1000 i.u/25 pounds is a good general recommendation.  Being above 50 is good.  If you have an autoimmune condition I recommend being between 70 to 100.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  Yes.  And like we mentioned before vitamin D supplementation is not really that expensive.  Like the most you can spend is like probably 20 bucks at the most.  So definitely that sounds like basically a pretty good answer.  And testing for vitamin D levels is not that expensive as well.  So make sure that you are getting tested so that way you are not guessing what is going on.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.

Baris Harvey:  So the next and last question we have for today’s podcast is from let us see, Megan or Megiani01 something like that.  It is a username.  So do not get offended if it is wrong.  Fish/seafood allergy.  Suboptimal omega 3 to 6 ratio and hormonal imbalance.  She says, “I have had a severe fish/seafood allergy my entire life.  It sucks.  Basically, I have been severely omega 3 deficient since birth.  I am trying to correct some hormonal imbalances and trying to optimize my omega 3 to 6 ratio.  And I am not sure the best way to go about it with this allergy.  I take DHA from algae very expensive and I do not take enough as a result.  I limit exposure to seed and vegetable oils.  What else can I do?  I have heard some people who are allergic to fish can handle fish oil.  I can eat fish sauce made from bones not proteins which is the allergens.  Thoughts?”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So typically most people that have allergies they are typically allergic to a protein.  The protein tends to be the issue when we are dealing with allergies.  That is why many people that have a dairy allergy have no problem with butter or people that are autoimmune or even sensitive to butter have no problem with ghee because ghee is pure fat.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So typically the halves in or the antibody and the antigen.  The antibody is protein-based so we need protein to actually build our antibodies.  But our antibodies they are actually responding to protein.  And if we look at gluten, gluten is not really gluten it is gliadin.  Gliadin is the protein that we are responding to.  Gluten is kind of like an overarching…

Baris Harvey:  Slang term.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Slang term for that.  Because “glue in”, they call it gluten because it is like glue.  So that is kind of you know the whole term there.  And then again the other grain, the other prolamins which are proteins in grains.  All those grains like rice have various proteins.  Corn has zein.  Oats have avenin.  I think rye has orzenin.  So these are different proteins.  So it is the immune system responding to proteins.  So in my opinion, I think if your gut is healthy and there are no gut issues and you are having adequate amounts of hydrochloric acid as well as bile salts and there are no bile or gallbladder problems there should not be an issue in taking an oil.  Now I do not know her history 100%.  Maybe she has tried this.  Maybe that is just how it is with her.  But personally, I find allergies tend to be off protein based.  Just like intolerances tend to be more FODMAP or sugar based, right?      

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  We look at the carbohydrate people have lactose intolerance.  What is lactose?  That is sugar.  People have FODMAP issues.  FODMAPS are all types of sugars, right?  The fermentable or the disaccharide, mono and poly.  These are all sugars.  So intolerance tends to be sugars.  Allergies tend to be proteins.  And if we are seeing fat issues I would just want to look a little bit deeper at how her gallbladder is functioning and how her gut is functioning and make sure she is able to break that down properly.  Because if we are eating foods and they are sitting in our gut and they are fermenting and they are rancidifying which is basically fat rotting.  Well, we may have symptoms that we correlate to allergies and it may not be.   

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   But on that same standpoint, I would switch it up.  I would try salmon oil, tuna oil.  My favorite is cod liver because you get a glandular cod product from a liver of a fish.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And is also high in vitamin A as well.  So you get the vitamin A plus the EPA and DHA.  So switch up the fish.  See if it is across the board.  I mean see how you feel.  You could do some kinesiological testing.  If that is a value, I am not sure if you get that type of lab testing you need to look at that.  But I would just try experiment and see how you feel, look and perform afterwards.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, sounds great.  Hopefully that was beneficial and sounds really good because I know it is important to have that nice balance.  It is a lot harder these days when we have a lot of the refined foods boosting up the omega 6 ratio.  And we want to try to find a way to balance it.  Yes, if you can get that in without having a reaction that would be awesome.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And I would also just go for super high quality brand.  I would use something like Pure Encapsulations.  Use something that is like it is extra filtered, extra pure because there could be some type of protein contamination in there.  So I would really look at maybe Nordic Naturals, Carlson’s, Pure Encapsulations.  I would go to something that is super pure that you know there is no protein that is getting in there.  I imagine you probably be okay with that.  

Baris Harvey:  Yes, definitely.  Perfect answer.  Anything else to add in today?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  No, today was a good show again without having a back and forth conversation.  I just take everything with a grain of salt.  If someone hears these questions and want some more feedback or likes the direction it is going, feel free and reach out so we can apply and give more clarity and just know that we are not really giving any medical advice that we want people to just follow through with blindly because it may not be the right thing for you because anyone is an individual.  So if it sounds like your situation, you know, if you do it you would say you know you are embarking at your own risk.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, definitely.  If you guys want to talk more to us again you guys can shoot us an email.  Go to contacts.  I even do a consultation.  So yes, definitely if you guys want to talk more about your specific individualized situation let us know.  And also make sure that you go to ITunes and leave a review.  This helps us spread the message and spread the word.  And we would really appreciate it.  And also like I just mentioned then you send in your questions as well so we can have these Q & A discussion.  So go to  And thank you guys for tuning in to another episode and see you guys next time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Thanks, Baris.

Baris Harvey:  Thank you.



Blood Sugar Regulation Podcast #12

In this podcast, Dr. Justin Marchegiani explains in depth the different mechanisms of blood sugar regulation.   He also discussed the negative effects of having very high and super low blood sugar measurements in our body and how important it is to stabilize one’s blood sugar.

Learn the different blood sugar thresholds, how to use a monitoring device and why constant testing is necessary for blood sugar control.  Also find out how a low-carb, high fat diet as well as some herbs and nutrients such as alpha-lipoic acid, Gymnema, cinnamon, vanadium and chromium help with blood sugar stability.


In this episode we cover:

02:40   What is a healthy blood sugar?

08:46   Monitoring blood sugar

13:10   Hypoglycemia

29:03   Hemoglobin A1C test

34:31   Exercise for blood sugar regulation









Baris Harvey:  Thank you guys for tuning in to another episode of Beyond Wellness Radio.  Today we have an awesome podcast for you guys all about blood sugar regulation.  There has been a lot of increasing population of type 1 and type 2 diabetes and there are more other issues with blood sugar.  So we want to go ahead and combat that as much as we possibly can.  So first of all, how is it going today, Dr. Justin?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Baris it is going great.  How are you doing today?

Baris Harvey:  I am doing very well.  It is bright and early over here in Sta. Cruz.  It is not as sunny as it usually is but you know I feel great.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That is good.  And by the way, what did you have for breakfast this morning?

Baris Harvey:  Basically, I am making my blood sugar regulated, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  I actually did not eat anything this morning.  I was going to wake up at 5 for a workout, woke up in the middle of the night for a little bit so that kind of threw that off.  So I just basically rolled out of bed, brushed my teeth and got ready for this podcast.  What about yourself?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Great.  I actually got off I had about 30 grams of grass fed whey protein and about 20 grams of collagen.  I did a 5-minute Tabata workout, little interval burst training.  And I had three raw eggs and some coffee, some MCT oil and some grass fed butter all blended together.

Baris Harvey:  Sounds delicious.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Really good. 

Baris Harvey:  You put in any chocolate in there or something to sweeten?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I put a little bit of vanilla powder in there.

Baris Harvey:  Okay, there you go.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Some of Dave Asprey’s upgraded vanilla.

Baris Harvey:  The way to do it.  Now I have one question for you.  This is the awesome part.  How many dishes did you have to clean?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  None.  Just the little shaker cup and that was it.

Baris Harvey:  That sounds beautiful.  (Laughs)

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Love it.  Absolutely.  (Laughs)

Baris Harvey:  So, I would like to put this one on you and ask what is healthy blood sugar?  And what are the mechanisms behind blood sugar regulation?  So you can answer both of those questions.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Perfect.  So just looking at it from a laboratory range.  Conventional medicine kind of looks at it as typically between 70 and 110 or I would say even 105 these days where outside of the 105, 110 may call that metabolic syndrome, if you will.  And if you go below that 70 or so it is considered hypoglycemia.  Now, in functional medicine world we use more sensitive ranges because we want to pick things up before there is a problem.  And there is a lot of research that blood sugar over 100 is starting to become a problem.   And then blood sugar in my opinion if it starts to go below 80, it is a potential hypoglycemia.  And we will talk about the two kinds of blood sugar patients.  But those are key issues.  We have the high side and we have the low side.  And when we talk about blood sugar regulation prehistorically or just evolution we were around lots of famines and fasting periods where food was scarce.  So if you will look at all the hormones we have, we have a lot of hormones that actually bring blood sugar up.  We have cortisol, we have norepinephrine, epinephrine, somatostatin.  We have glucagon.  We have potentially thyroid hormone, growth hormone, IGF-1.  So lots of hormones actually bring blood sugar up and we only actually have one hormone that really brings blood sugar down and that is insulin.  And the problem with that is as we gotten overexposed to sugar and sugar is the main stimulator of carbohydrates, the main stimulator of insulin we develop insulin resistance.  So that is kind of a big word.  What does that mean?  Well, if any rebels in the crowd here they could think back to their youth maybe they did a little ding dong ditch on their neighbor next door and they went up and rang their doorbell.  What you may find is their neighbor opens the door once, looks around, yeah, those next door kids, you know, punks whatever.  Close the door and go back up.  You knock on the door again they open up or maybe they do not even open up this time because they know that kids are playing tricks on them so they are not going to waste their time.  And the same thing with blood sugar stability is your receptor, your cell does not open up and take the blood sugar into the cell and to use it for fuel.  So all of that blood sugar sits in the blood stream and accumulates and accumulates and accumulates.  And again here is a question that most people just are not aware of.   Baris, do you know how many teaspoons of sugar are actually in your blood stream right now or the healthy level? 

Baris Harvey:  Yes, in about 1.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  1 teaspoon of sugar. 

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So not much.  So next time you put like 3, 4, 5 teaspoons in your coffee or drink, not you but maybe people listening.

Baris Harvey:  (Laughs)

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Our listeners are pretty smart so maybe they are not even in that area.  Or you go look at like you know the average Coke with this 30 or 40 grams which is about 8 or 9 or 10 tablespoons!  You would think like, wow!  Like you are really putting a lot of stress on your liver because your liver has to soak that up and then your pancreas had to push out a whole bunch of insulin.  So it is really, really stressful on your body.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.  And that kind of flies in the face of conventional wisdom as we kind of have to do this self-regulation of our blood sugar.  We are told that yes we need to make sure that we are eating complex carbohydrates, right?  Every three to four hours.  And if we really have a teaspoon of sugar in our blood I mean our body has the ability to basically hold on to whatever carbohydrate we may have or even (inaudible) or turned into glucose if it has to.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.  We have other mechanisms of stabilizing blood sugar.  We can use ketones which come from fatty acids.  We can use a process called gluconeogenesis.  Big word, you break it down.  Glucose new forming.  So it is basically forming new glucose from protein.  So we can actually take protein, break it up into glucose.  So we have to make sure we are eating enough protein if not, that protein comes from our muscle not our diet. But a couple of those mechanisms though they actually can be a little bit stressful on the adrenal glands.  So you can go into ketosis by just going really low carb and having a good high fat diet.  That is a great way of going into ketosis so you at least will have enough fatty acids for your brain and for metabolism.  And you have enough protein in the diet so you are not catabolizing your muscle.  But at the same standpoint, some people especially people that have fried adrenal glands, gluconeogenesis are forming glucose from protein is actually cortisol dependent.  So we need that hormone cortisol.  So if you are adrenally fatigued potentially going super low carb for a long period of time may not be the best for you.  You maybe better cycling in and out.  Or it may not be the best for you to be doing intermittent fasting routinely or saving that intermittent fasting for less stressful days. Because we need stress hormones to actually go into this modified type of fasting.  Even though you are not fasting because food is coming in, your body thinks you are fasting and will be breaking down amino acids.  We just want to make sure it is coming from your diet and not your muscle.     

Baris Harvey:  Yes, perfect.  So we talked a little bit about gluconeogenesis, about how our body can make sugar from other things like proteins and how that can be stressful if your health is not at the top shape.  Can you talk a little bit about like post meal?  Like what is a good way for people to measure their blood sugar?  I mean a lot of things, we have to go and take a lab test and do this expensive things but what about getting a blood sugar monitor?  Like how do we use one of these simple $25 to $50 devices to monitor our blood sugar?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes. I actually have a blood sugar monitor myself and I use it quite frequently.  And basically my fasting blood sugar should always be under 100.  That is kind of a key thing.  But even more importantly what is your blood sugar 1 hour or 2 hour after a meal?  That is really helpful to make sure you are not increasing this glycation, the advanced glycation end-products which comes from sugar coating our blood sugar.  Because I worked in the hospital for a long period of time and I would be the person that would hold the legs of the amputee patients that were diabetics and I would bring their legs and limbs down to the morgue.  And it was really a sad experience in that all that damage was caused by high blood sugar.  And I even saw people go blind.  So blood sugar can be very, very damaging.  So research show once your blood sugar starts going over 140mg/dL that is causing organ damage.  We want to be very, very careful in looking at our blood sugar monitor.  You know, you can get one like at CDS or your typical pharmacy.  Your blood sugar should never go over 140.  So 1 hour after a meal you should not be over 140.  And ideally 2 hours after a meal you should be under 120.  And ideally 3 hours you should be just about back to fasting well under 100 or right around below 90’s.     

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  (Inaudible)

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Say that one more time for me, Baris?

Baris Harvey:  Yes, so you said immediately after or 1 hour after your blood sugar should be under 140?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So, like within 1 hour it should be under 140.  Blood sugar typically peaks at about 45 minutes after a meal.  So 45 minutes to an hour you are going to get a good idea what your max blood sugar would be from that meal. 

Baris Harvey:  Okay.  So you tell people that we should not have over 140 kind of as max.  After that it can be damaging.  Is there like an optimal range or should it just be somewhere under that and you are good?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  Under 140 is going to be a really good place.  I mean like myself, my blood sugar never goes above I would say 110.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So will run my blood sugar after a meal and it will be right around 105, 108, 110. That is good, you know.  I have good strong adrenal glands, good strong pancreas, I can manage that.  But again, the healthier you are the better your hormones are to regulate blood sugar.  But that is just kind of a good spectrum where if you are over that 140 hey, you know there are some problems and you are causing damage according to the research.  So that gives you an idea that what you are eating is kryptonite for you essentially.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.  So you really need to go back to the meal you just ate.  You can try to test things out if you can get a little bit more carbohydrates into your diet and see if it is working for you or not.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.  And then you can try customizing it to and for you.  So again, if you are super heavy and super overweight and your hormonal system has been damaged to a certain degree, you may have to be very, very low carb.  Maybe to be like Atkins induction level like under 20 grams of carbs and be very careful just because the damage has been done.  I mean look at guys like Jimmy Moore for instance.  I was just on his podcast.  And Jimmy has had great success on a ketogenic diet which is keeping his carbs 20 or below.  And he needs to be at that level.  And people may say well you know, Jimmy has not lost all of the weight but he has lost well over 200 pounds which is amazing.  The question is if Jimmy added the carbs back in where would he be?  That is the question.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Because like you know he has damaged his metabolism from the years of higher carbohydrate so for him being where he is at now at his body type is going to be optimized by him keeping the carbs at that level.  So some people like Jimmy have to be at that super ketogenic level.  Other people have a little more latitude.  It just really depends how much damage you created due to high blood sugar and how long.  

Baris Harvey:  Yes. Perfect.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And also the genetic predisposition for that.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, definitely.  Let us talk a little bit about hypoglycemia.  What would kind of the abnormally low number?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So when people start going beneath 80 that is starting to become a problem for me.  You know we start to see mid 70’s that starts to become a problem.  And you know I will typically have patients test their blood sugar throughout the day and you can kind of do a nice little simple questionnaire, too.  We start seeing sweet cravings, anxiety, jitteriness, those are like strong adrenal symptoms where low blood sugar is there.  People that tend to be on the hypoglycemic side, the chronic hypoglycemia, they tend to be more insulin sensitive.  Meaning they do not get that numbness effect.  So when they eat a whole bunch of blood sugar or sugar I should say, that converts to blood sugar, they develop this phenomenon known as reactive hypoglycemia.  Reactive meaning the pancreas reacts by producing a whole bunch of insulin which drops that blood sugar too low.    

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So your typical person that has insulin resistance their pancreas may react with the whole bunch of insulin but the cells are numb to it so would not be able to break it down.  But these people their cells are more sensitive so when that pancreas responds it just drops that blood sugar like a roller coaster ride.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.  Because it is not that steady.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, so most people start off with that.  That reactive type of thing and eventually they do not have to dip anymore and it just stays high.  Others do the genetic predisposition, their cells are just more sensitive and it just drops right down.  And that actually predisposes lots of women to PCOS.  We have two kinds of PCOS patients they all have to do with blood sugar.  We have the ones that are overweight.  Those are the insulin resistant ones, the high blood sugar.  And the ones that are skinnier, the hypo reactive glycemic patients those are the ones that have low blood sugar.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.  Yes definitely.  Okay now there are another two areas of blood sugar.  Again there is the Type 2 diabetics, one onset and then the Type 1.  It is funny because the names used to be called something else.  Used to be late onset adult type but now kids are getting it so they changed it to Type 2.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   I know.  Crazy.

Baris Harvey:  It seems like a lot of what you are explaining is more of the Type 2, correct?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, so Type 2 is going to be like the insulin resistance and we already talked about that.  And again with parents having blood sugar issues, guess what?  We turn on epigenetics that predispose our kids so that is why our kids are so susceptible.  Because when so many women are having gestational diabetes which is again the worst thing you could ever do because you are turning on genes in your child that are predisposing them.  And I think if more parents have the conversation with their doctors about epigenetics and how their diet literally is turning on genes in their kids they would really think twice.  Because I see too many women that think pregnancy is a free-for-all.  Oh, I am eating for two.  I can do all these things.  I can fulfill all my cravings.  That is really not a good approach because you are building something inside of you and you are turning on genes that could predispose that child for lots of things.  I know that is kind of controversial.  I mean you can go and look at Chris Kresser’s “Healthy Baby Code” or Dave Asprey’s book “The Better Baby Book” and there is lots of research backing this up.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, and..

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Go ahead, yes.

Baris Harvey:  Yes I was just going to say, we should have to eat a bunch more versus yes we should be more responsible because what goes into your body also can be the formation of this new baby.  So it is like your stomach is not a garbage can and you cannot just dump more stuff in in because that is what your building your baby’s brain cells and its DNA and its genes and exactly what it needs to deal when it comes out to this new world.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly, exactly.  I did not answer the last half of that question and that was a good point.  Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition and that is where the beta cells of the pancreas are actually destroyed via the immune system.  So the immune system is literally attacking those cells, the beta cells of the pancreas that produce insulin.  And then our bodies do not have the ability to produce insulin so our blood sugar cannot get into the cell because insulin is the key that opens the door to the cell.  Right?  But if you cannot bring that sugar into the cell the sugar accumulates.  And again this autoimmunity, this autoimmune condition really starts at, you know, right out at the gate at the age right at birth, 1, 2, 3.  And if you are exposing your kid research shows to cow albumin, cow’s milk or albumin. If you would ask, that is the protein molecule before the age of 5 there is, from what I understand, an 80% chance that, an 80% increased risk that your kid will get Type 1 diabetes due to this concept of molecular mimicry that the cow albumin looks similar to the beta cells of the pancreas and that our immune system will start attacking that cow albumin and then create antibodies that will then go by accident, right?  Mistaken identity starts attacking the beta cells of the pancreas.

Baris Harvey:  (Inaudible) I grew up in farms and that I am like really strong and fit and healthy and probably drink milk at a young age.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, so your question was about A1 and A2 milk?

Baris Harvey:  Yes. I am just wondering if that had anything to do with it or the type of milk made a difference?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  Type of milk does make a difference.  I mean you have like raw milk, etc.  All those things are really important.  But I would even suggest cutting out all milk just use breast milk at least for the first year to potentially even 2 years depending on how much, you know what the woman’s responsibilities at work and the household.  But ideally, at least one year would be ideal.

Baris Harvey:  Right, yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And just having that high quality breast milk and nothing else.  And again if you have to make the formula, the second best formula to make outside of human breast milk would be high quality goat’s milk.  And if you look at the Weston A. Price site, just Google Weston A. Price formula what you are going to find is combining goat’s milk with some liver or some cod liver oil.  Those things are going to be amazing for your child.  And ideally making sure it is raw goat’s milk.  But raw milk is going to be better but still off the bat I would still suggest just trying to do only breast milk.

Baris Harvey:  Okay cool.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Especially..  Go ahead.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, yes go ahead.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I was just saying that if you have autoimmune conditions in your family, if you have people with conditions like Hashimoto’s or other things around the family I would totally avoid cow’s milk, even raw milk off the bat just in case.  

Baris Harvey:  Yes, better to be safe than sorry.  So back on to Type 1 diabetes. Are these people basically doomed and they just kind of need that medical intervention or are there other ways where they can improve their condition so that way they will be a little less dependent on their insulin from external source?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, so we have Type 1 diabetics you know that they were diagnosed typically between the age 10 and 15 because of that autoimmune condition that really happens around like 2 or 3 it kind of starts.  So if the immune system has gotten wound up and has essentially you know beaten up the pancreas to the point where it cannot produce insulin, yes you are probably going to need insulin.  The question is now how much insulin are you going to need?  Now what is kind of put out there by conventional medicine and doctors is that: “Oh, you can eat whatever you want just make sure you know you pop out enough insulin to absorb the carbohydrates you are taking in.”  So what they are really saying is this: cover up your carbs with insulin.  And the problem is insulin in itself is still damaging.  High blood sugar is more damaging but insulin is still damaging.  So if you are popping out a whole bunch of blood sugar you are still going to be creating some oxidative stress.  And if you go into PubMed or go to the Google machine and you type in hyperinsulinism, hyper insulin, high amounts of insulin and whatever disease you want, fill in the blank, cancer, heart disease, right?  Stress, inflammation, autoimmune condition, you are going to see a strong link between high levels of insulin in almost all chronic degenerative disease because insulin cause cells to grow.  So think cancer when you think cell growth.  So getting back to your original question, I kind of went a little bit off tangent, but if you have Type 1 diabetes and you actually need it because there has been destruction of that pancreas and there is not much function left to it, then you are going to have to get your carbohydrates down as low as possible so you can use the least amount of insulin as possible.  So testing your blood sugar, seeing how you respond, finding how many units of insulin you need per carbohydrate and just trying to get down the insulin to the lowest amount possible you know per the highest amount of carbohydrates.  So some people start at like 1-unit-per-10 carbs or 15 carbs or 20 carbs.  So ideally, getting the carbs down as low as possible so you need the least amount of insulin and then just always be confirming and checking with your blood sugar monitor so your blood sugar is not going too high because if you are not getting enough insulin, your blood sugar may go up too much.  And if you get too much then you can go into low blood sugar which can cause even more problems with that.  So just keep an eye on your blood sugar and try to go good quality fats, good quality proteins, low carbs and try to use the least amount of insulin you know for the amount of carbs you are taking in.  That is only going to be done by keeping the carbs down.  But you can also use herbs and nutrients like Gymnema, like alpha-lipoic acid, cinnamon, vanadium lot of natural compounds.  Chromium for instance, that would help with blood sugar stability.  So if you add that on board too with the insulin you may be able to lower your insulin.  So you need less amount of insulin per carbohydrate which is where you want to be but always default to your blood sugar, always be testing the blood sugar.  Test, test, test never guess.

Baris Harvey:  Yes definitely.  So just to take some of these GTF these glucose tolerance factor kind of neutraceuticals can be beneficial.  Like you said the chromium, the cinnamon those kind of things.  One thing this is totally off tangent but I thought of a story that just sounded perfect.  I was training with my bodybuilder friend and he was actually my mentor and he was telling me about because he has even more bodybuilding friends but he is all-natural.  He had a friend that you know after their super intense workout, leg workout the guy would go into the car and drink and entire bottle of sprite, a 2L and then inject himself with insulin to get those sugars into the muscle cells.  So that is just an idea, the mechanisms behind you know the original bio-hackers for the bodybuilders.  And that was like super-duper!  That is probably more dangerous than just taking steroids.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, I agree.  I have known people that have actually done that myself where they used insulin because insulin is very anabolic.  It brings things into the cell.  The only problem is if you just give yourself just a little bit too much insulin you are going to go into a hypoglycemic shock and if you are by yourself you can literally pass out and go into a coma because your blood sugar has gotten too low.  So very, very, very dangerous.  I do not recommend that.  At least with steroids there are some ramifications there but you are not kind of just go out into a low blood sugar, potential diabetic or hypoglycemic coma like you would there.  So be very, very careful with that.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  Definitely not a recommendation at all.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  No!  Not a recommendation.

Baris Harvey:  It is just a story.  In fact the precursor to that story was somebody telling me about that experience that is worse than steroids.  Basically what he was saying is like,” I know people that do things that are even worse than that.”  And those are examples of super dangerous things, nobody do that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  And I know people that have been diabetics and the problem with being a diabetic Type 1 for instance is they can be skinny, and why?  Because they cannot control how much insulin is in their bodies.  And I have known people and if you go look and just Google like Type 1 diabetics in the early 1900’s and 1920’s before insulin was created they literally looked like concentration camp victims because insulin is needed to bring fuel into the cell.  So if we do not have insulin all that stuff stays in our blood streams and never gets into the cell.  So the problem with that is it will actually go into the urine, too.  People use that to test and used to diagnose diabetes because they would literally drink their urine and it would taste sweet.  That is why diabetes was diabetes mellitus for instance which basically means sweet urine, if I understand that correctly.  So I have known people they would not give themselves the right amount of insulin because they knew if they started giving themselves more insulin they would actually get bigger and bigger and bigger because that would suck the sugar from the blood stream into the cell.  So they would eat a whole bunch of junk and stay super lean and ripped up but then you look at their blood sugar and they are like a 250, 280 and it is like hey man!  If you keep that up you are going to have gangrene in those legs.  You are going to start to have eye problems, double vision; all kinds of other eye issues because of the capillaries get affected by all the glycation end products.  So you can play that game into Type 1 diabetic for a while when you are young but it comes back with a vengeance later on.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.  All that sugar is bouncing around in the blood stream is not the best idea.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes and then we could do test like hemoglobin A1c which will actually measure how much that sugar is coated.  So there is a specific hemoglobin, the C portion of it.  So hemoglobin carries oxygen and stuff.  You have a red blood cell, red blood cell attach to that the hemoglobin molecule.  We have the C branch of that hemoglobin which gets coated with sugar.  And so the longer, the more sugar in our blood stream the thicker that coat on that outside of the wall the hemoglobin gets.  And we can actually measure that.  And what you will find in these Type 1 diabetics that have not been managing their blood sugar properly we will see their hemoglobin A1c through the roof which just means that blood sugar has just been coating all of that protein and creating all kinds of AGEs which literally ages you and then kind of create the free-radical magnet which just allows all those free radicals to come in there and just attack the DNA.  And essentially it is creating an oxidation reaction which is take a peeled apple, leave it on your counter it starts to brown, that is oxidation, right?  

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Nail outside the rain, it rusts.  That is oxidation.  That same type of reaction that is happening inside of you, to your blood vessels, to your cells, to your capillaries and basically aging you faster.  Advanced glycation end products ages you. So it kind of fits itself with the acronym there.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm. Can you talk for just a little bit just in case our listeners are not sure about well, like the measuring of the A1c is and then what a good reading would be?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So typically, A1c you have like 6.1 to 6.4 is like your pre-diabetic range.  Over 6.4 is kind of your diabetic range.  I like the mid to low 5 range.  And again that system measurement is your red blood cell has a hemoglobin attached to it which carries oxygen.  We need oxygen, right?  Go back to the science experiment in high school where you take a candle.  If you were robbed with that experience you can feel free to do it at your house.

Baris Harvey:  Laughs

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Take a candle, take a glass, mason jar so you do not start a fire and just cover up that candle.  What happens is the candle goes out because the candle needs oxygen for that fire to go.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   So that oxygen is again we have the red blood cell, we have the hemoglobin which carries the oxygen but it also has that C component that gets blood sugar accumulated.  And we can measure that and see how accumulated it has gone.  Because some people out there can actually make a whole bunch of insulin to keep their blood sugar low, alright?  So we may not pick them up on a conventional fasting blood sugar because their blood sugar has dropped down because they have good insulin.  But if their blood sugar has been high throughout that period before they fasted let us say one, two, three hours after a meal, that can cause that hemoglobin to thicken with blood sugar and it may show up on the hemoglobin A1c test.

Baris Harvey:  Okay.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  You may see it above that 5.9 – 6 range and that is an indicator that maybe blood sugar is a little bit too out of balance.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  Yes, that definitely helps.  Okay and another question.  Now I am just taking from some of the questions that I got from some clients.  But I have had a client tell me that they were told that their doctor thinks that the high blood sugar levels are good enough for diabetics.  That is what I have heard before from clients.  And you were in kind of the Western medicine for a while there learning kind of the behind the scene, is this the case?  And if so, why are they told that it is okay for these other people to have higher blood sugar numbers?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, I think a lot of people in the conventional medicine field have just dealt with a lot of people that are not really willing to make changes.  So they are just kind of like, hey, this is what you got to do.  Just take the insulin, get your blood sugar down.  Does not really matter how much or what you eat because they are just looking to manage the condition.  Like the side effects and all of the sequelae of things that happen to Type 1 diabetics, it is just kind of expected to be normal.  So they just kind of written it off that this is how it is going to be for most people.  But you got doctors like Dr. Bernstein who has been eating low carbs.  I think he is in his 70’s and virtually no Type 1 diabetic symptoms and he is doing great.  So you can mitigate all of those side effects.  The problem is conventional medicine really has not come to that decision yet because they would have to put more focus on diet and nutrition.  And that makes it really tough because a lot of that industry is primarily sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry.  So it is very, very difficult for people to get that realization now when the industry is sponsored by so much money pointing it in the other direction.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And then we look at the strong alliance between the drug companies and the junk food industry.  And let us face it, all of the junk food that has the highest profit margins and the longest shelf life are the junky carbohydrate sugar foods, right?  High fructose corn syrup is really, really sweet and really cheap, too.  So again these foods they have long shelf life, their cheap, their profit margins up through the roof.  People think now calories are important so they now can actually give you these 100-calorie snack packs.  Give you less food, charge you more because it is healthy.  Have shelf life that lasts forever so the profit margin is through the roof.  And this is kind of unholy alliance with the drug company and the food industry.  And it is just the way it is right now and that is what is driving a lot of the conventional, medical education.  So doctors walk out and they are not educated in nutrition.  They are not educated in diet.  And frankly most of them have terrible diets themselves because they went through residency programs where they were working 80 to 100 hours a week.  I mean do you have time to go out and buy grass fed meat, eat good foods when you are working in those kind of hours and staying up all night?

Baris Harvey:   Probably not.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  No!  It is super hard.

Baris Harvey:  It would be extremely difficult.  And by the way, for those of your out there, what Dr. Justin said, those 100-calorie snack packs they could sell it like that because they are healthy, you might have missed the air quotes. (Laughs)

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  (Laughs) Yes.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, definitely.  Not healthy.  So yes before we go too long and I know you have a full schedule today with your clients to work with.  Just real quick, what are some of the best practices, something that can help if they are diabetic or even if they are not but they have some blood sugar issues?  Some of these practices that they can do like what kind of exercise, foods, supplements?  What are going to be the best things for them to do to keep their blood sugar in check?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So when I see people that have blood sugar issues, I look at exercise as a means to make your body more sensitive to insulin and I also look at exercise as a means to build more reservoirs for blood sugar.  So what I mean by that is, the average person stores about I say 300 to 330 grams of carbs in your muscle and about 70 carbs in your liver.  So you have about 400 grams of carbohydrates storage in your liver and muscles, mostly in your muscles.  So it makes sense if you can put on a little bit more muscle you make your body more sensitive to insulin.  You do not need as much insulin.  Remember insulin and those deleterious side effects and you have more reservoirs for blood sugar.  So if you can use exercise to build more storage sites for blood sugar and you can make yourself more insulin sensitive that is a plus.  But outside of that, you know eating every 4 to 5 hours high quality protein, high quality fats and try to get more of your carbs from vegetable sources.  If you are more carbohydrate sensitive, right?  If you are at a healthy weight, if you are a man with a waist size ideally below 40 inches maybe even less.  A woman under 35 that is a sign that you are going to be more insulin sensitive because your tummy is a blood sugar meter then maybe you can add some carbs from low glycemic fruits like berries or grapefruit or lemon, lime or the berries like I mentioned raspberries, etc. Strawberries.  That could be a good way to kind of dose in some of the carbs.  Maybe you can have some safe starches like squash, maybe a little bit of sweet potatoes.  Again it is all going to be dependent upon how insulin resistant or how insulin sensitive you are.  So I kind of individualize it.  If you are very overweight you want to default with that low carbohydrate diet.  If you are exercising a little bit more dose in the carbs.  Some people are super adrenal fatigued so they may have a harder time going really low carb.  So just kind of figure out what works best for you.  Use a blood sugar meter, kind of use that 1 hour after a meal.  Your blood sugar should not go over 140.  So try eating a couple of things.  Even try eating some bad meals and some good meals and see how your blood sugar is affected so it is catered and specific to what your needs are.  And then you can also try using some blood sugar support like the alpha-lipoic acid, like the chromium, the vanadium, the Gymnema, the Banaba, the bitter melon, cinnamon.  All of these herbs and nutrients are really good for blood sugar stability and regulation.  That is a good start for anyone right there.  But if you are having a hard time with it still, looking at the adrenal glands are going to be vitally important because that is a big part of blood sugar stability and regulation.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.  Awesome.  Well, that was a great episode and great information Dr. Justin, like always we truly appreciate it.  To get more go to and if you want to ask questions  We will provide you with notes, links also we can answer your questions there.  I highly recommend you go back there and do us a favor go to ITunes and give us a good rating.  That will be helpful in getting this message out to the masses.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely.  And I wanted to end with one last anecdote, Baris before we go here.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, no problem.  I would love to.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Great.  There is a study by Christopher Gardner.  It was called the A-Z Study.  And Christopher Gardner, he is a Stanford researcher. And what he did was he looked at people that were on like an Atkins type of diet, an Ornish type of diet, like your standard American diet and I think one more like a Dash diet or something like that.  And what he found was the people that went on the Atkins low carb, high fat type of diet they actually had the best improvements in all parameters.  So lowest blood pressure, you know improvements in the HDLs, see lower weight circumference, better compliance like the whole nine yards.  They just saw massive, massive improvements all around.  Now one thing that he looked at, there were people that were on the Ornish diet which is kind of like your low fat, high carbohydrate diet and he kind of asked the question why did the majority of people on the Atkins get results but why would there still people on the Ornish diet that still got results?  And you know what he found, Baris?    

Baris Harvey:  What was that?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  He found that the people on the Ornish diet that still got great results those were the people that were more insulin sensitive.  They were more sensitive to insulin so their insulin did not go as high and because their insulin did not go as high, guess what?  They could still do well.  But the people that were more insulin resistant those were the people that had significantly more problems.  They did not lose weight on the Ornish Diet they actually gained weight and they actually needed to go on that low carb, high fat type of diet to actually keep their weight down.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  It is pretty astounding.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Isn’t that crazy though?  I could not believe that and I think the threshold was right around 8 grams or 8 units of insulin.  Once you are over that mark you know you are going to do better on the low carbohydrate diet.  So I always measure fasting insulin because blood sugar can be normal but you do not know how much insulin is being pumped out to keep it normal.  And if too much insulin is being pumped out a lot of that sugar that was there and is now inside the cell maybe being shunted towards fat.  So you have to go be careful with that.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, definitely, definitely very, very good information.  Again thank you guys for listening and for more information go to or I am sorry rather go to, I should say.  Alright, Dr. Justin.  You have it going.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  You too, Baris.  Take care.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, bye.


Beyond Wellness Radio Q&A Forum Dominator 2 Podcast #11

In this podcast, Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Baris Harvey did another Forum Dominator where questions from the Paleo Hacks community were taken and addressed by providing interesting insights, useful tips and clear, detailed answers concerning various health issues. 

Listen as Dr. Justin and Baris tackled topics like tannin sensitivity, increased sex drive through Paleo diet and trace minerals in reverse osmosis water.  Dr. Justin also explained in depth the issue of low breast milk supply and how to properly address this problem through hormone testing, diet and supplementation.   


In this episode we cover:

01:41   Tannin Sensitivity

07:20   Paleo Diet/Lifestyle and Sex Drive

13:36   Probiotic Supplements as Rectal Suppository or Enema

21:54   Trace Minerals in Reverse Osmosis Water

26:39   Low Breast Milk Supply

38:24   Yellow Tongue/Fungal Infections










Baris Harvey:  Thank you guys for tuning on to another episode of Beyond Wellness Radio.  Today is another Forum Dominator where we go to Paleo hacks and we take a bunch of awesome questions and we have Dr. Justin go and tackle them.  So first of all, how is it going today, Dr. Justin?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Great Baris! How are you doing today?

Baris Harvey:  I am doing very well.  Excited to do this.  It was a lot of fun doing it the last time and so I thought why not do it again and give people some really good solutions to some of the problems that they are facing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, and also people can ask their questions individually at

Baris Harvey:  That is true.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  They can put their own personal questions in, too.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, definitely and we will go ahead and answer those for you.  So let us just get straight to it.  So the first question that I have here, let me just pull it up.  I had it actually backwards.  And for anybody out there my mic stand is messed up right now and I am holding my mic so if I get a little messed up my bad.  So first question will start off from the Morning Bug is: Symptoms associated with tannin sensitivity.   He asked, “I have been trying to understand the possible ill-effects of tannins but have some trouble pinning down typical symptoms.  It seems like there is not a ton of information online aside from concentration of info on tannins and headaches/migraines.  If you have a tannin sensitivity what kind of effects do you feel from it and to what extent do you need to limit them from your diet?  I have been trying to pinpoint any possible sources of joint and muscle pain and muscle weakness as well as GI issues.  I recently realized that two items I have yet to eliminate from my diet, chocolate and coffee and both are high in tannins.  Do you want to go ahead and answer that?       

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So regarding that question.  I mean tannins and a lot of these compounds such as coffee and tea they can be high with a lot various bioflavonoids.  And some people that are autoimmune or have an autoimmune type of conditions like Hashimoto’s or Crohn’s or maybe celiac disease, these different compounds can actually push the immune system in one direction.  And for most people it is not going to be a problem, right?  So the tannins can kind of give that bitterness.  It is also known that they can kind of bind up to certain nutrients.  They may have things like oxalates or various phytic acids like in the Paleo community we know them as anti-nutrients.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Now for most people it may not be a big deal because they are getting nutrition in their diets.  Like you know, green tea I find there are enough benefits by taking that in because you are getting a lot of other good stuff in there, too. 

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Especially if it is a high quality green tea.  But for some people it may push them over the edge if they have an autoimmune condition.  I am not a big fan of the TH1 or TH2 type of hypothesis but basically you have two main branches of your immune system.  The TH1 branch that is kind of the branch of your immune system that attacks the invader as soon as it comes into the body.  It is the branch where you have the natural killer cells if you will.  It is like the special forces of the Army or the navy or you know the navy Seals if you will.  They are there, your frontline defense that attack invaders.  And then you have the TH2 it is known as your humoral immune system, the humoral branch.  Basically that branch produces antibodies.  So antibodies are more of a delayed type of reaction.  They tend to come and support the immune system usually a week or two or more of a prolonged immune response, they come to the battle.  So you have like your immediate battle guys or the TH1 and then you have your delayed battle guys those are your TH2.  And there is a lot of research showing that a lot of the antioxidants and a lot of the flavonoids in tea can push that TH2 side of the immune system.  And some people maybe sensitive if you have an autoimmune condition and you are already high in that TH2 branch.  They may not feel too well.  So typically people that drink tea and maybe are not healthy to begin with, maybe have an autoimmune condition because so many people do and do not even know it.  If you do not feel too good it is a good chance that that is what is happening and you are pushing that TH2 branch of the immune system. But again it is really on an individual basis.  Get healthy, you know go autoimmune for a month, autoimmune Paleo.  So cut out all the nuts, the seeds the night shades.  Cut out the chocolate and the tea and the coffee for a month and then slowly add things in one at a time every four days and see how you feel.  I am much more a fan of an individualized approach versus a dogmatic approach.

Baris Harvey:  Yes. Definitely.  And for people wondering what tannins are.  These are plant compounds that can be negative to some people.  Usually like you said it is the bitter part of the fruit sometimes.  Like if you are biting into a grape and it is sweet then you get that bitter taste.  Same thing with like tomatoes that is why sometimes when people cook they will remove the seed because they would get that bitterness.  So yes, for most people like you mentioned it is probably not an issue.  But if you think you may have a tannin sensitivity you might as well go for Paleo autoimmune I mean just to rule out that just because it is such a small degree that it could be other things that could be also causing these problems.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely.  You know individualizing it is important.  Not everyone is autoimmune sensitive where it is not going to be much of an issue.  I do think the benefit of drinking a little bit of tea outweighs the problem that you may get with tannins.  But if you are on the sicker side and you are more of a TH2 dominant person, and I do not think autoimmune conditions should really be put into that simple of a category.  Oh, for TH1 dominant you need to just push the TH2 side.  If you are TH2 dominant you just need to push the TH1 side.  I think there is a reason why your immune system shifts into one side to the other.  And by directing the diet, addressing stress and blood sugar and addressing chronic infection the immune system tend to naturally level out when you take stress off of it.  So I am not a big fan of just give an herb or supplement to push the immune system on one side of the other but look at it from a more individualized approach to what is pushing you in that direction versus just this reductionistic supplement approach.    

Baris Harvey:  Awesome answer.  Hope that helps.  So our second question is well actually a small question but it is more of a statement that he wants some extra I guess confirmation of.  So I think it is, Branton asked Paleo Diet/lifestyle and sex drive.  Do you notice a qualitative or quantitative difference in you sex drive since going Paleo?  Has been eating mainly Paleo for a couple of months and did notice an increased sex drive.  I assume it has to do with the increase in saturated fat necessary to synthesize testosterone, decreased inflammation and better blood circulation from fish oil, etc.  As well as an increased consumption of zinc and arginine from meats and nuts.  I have not added resistance training to my routine yet.  Does it make a noticeable difference?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So the main question just to summarize it back, he was basically asking about things that he can do to improve the sex drive on top of the Paleo diet?  Or regarding the Paleo diet just improving his sex drive?  I did not quite catch the question on that.

Baris Harvey:  Okay so he said that it improved his sex drive and he is just measuring some of the things that he did why he assume that he did and he is looking for a confirmation I believe?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it.

Baris Harvey:  And then he also said that he has not added resistance training though.  And does resistance training make a noticeable difference?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay, got it, got it.  Alright, so we look at hormones, we look at improving your hormones.  And again there are two kinds of hormones.  There are hormones that build you up, these are anabolic hormones:  testosterone, progesterone, estrogen and even insulin.  And there are hormones that break you down:  those are more of your adrenalin, your catecholamines, your corticosteroids like cortisol if you will.  So ideally, we are trying to use a Paleo type of diet or an anti-inflammatory low-toxin, nutrient-dense diet that is really what a Paleo diet is, right?   Low-toxin, nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory.  We are using that as a way to supply the body with all of the substrate and the raw materials so we can build ourselves up and heal.  And as we start healing and building ourselves back up, we start shifting a lot of our hormonal substrate to these anabolic hormones just naturally.  So we look at providing the raw materials, the building blocks that is where the diet comes in.  That is where supplementing with certain nutrient-deficient compounds like if you are lower in selenium, if you are lower in zinc.  If you are low in hydrochloric acid and you are not able to break down these minerals, you may have good supply of zinc or a good supply of selenium in your diet but if you cannot break it down and absorb it there is going to be a problem.  If there is a hidden infection inside your tummy or your gut that is keeping your body in a stressed out state your body is going to be creating a lot of corticosteroids to basically put out the inflammation.  So imagine your body just shooting out a whole bunch of water out of the fire hose to put out the fire.  So we want to make sure we are driving the raw material part of the system to be able to build back up.  That is the most important thing.  So making sure the adrenals are strong.  We could easily look at some lab markers looking at DHEA-sulfate; it is a great marker for precursors to these hormones.  We can look at free and total testosterones.  We can look at a nice cortisol rhythm.  We can look at sex hormone binding globulin.  We can look at all of these markers and that gives us a good indicator if we are having the right amount of hormonal exposure just to could give us the ability to build back up.  Now once you have the raw materials, the building blocks, the nutrients, the ability to digest and breakdown things and you are infection-free now we can look at the other side of the coin which is how can we stimulate our hormones more.  Now stimulation typically comes through exercise, right?  Really important though, we do not want to stimulate, we do not want to whip a tired horse.  If that horse is already super tired we do not want to be whipping it with a whole bunch of exercise.  We want to make sure that we choose an exercise ideally that has a punctuated high intensity and ideally something that is fun to do.  Even functional movement is usually great.  CrossFit can be good for people that are healthy.  CrossFit maybe too much stimulation for a good percentage of the population especially if you have been sedentary for a while.  So finding the right kind of exercise.  If you are new, doing the Tabata can be really helpful because it is that 20-second high intensity to 10-second rest period.  You can easily do that on a non-compression type of movement like a bicycle or an elliptical.  It may not be that functional but at least provide the stimulation and make more growth hormone and to make more testosterone or progesterone.  So those are different ways to do it regarding exercise.  Again it should be customized.  If you have more experience, if you are an avid weightlifter or you experienced lifting weights you can use circuits.  You can do functional movements.  You can do CrossFit.  If you are just starting out, I recommend some type of a Peak 8 training or some type of a Tabata where it is a set cardio device where you can use the high intensity as a means to start out.  And then once you have more experience, seeking out a good trainer can help you incorporate the movement patterns for optimal health as a longer term means of exercise sport.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, definitely.  Totally agree.  And the simple answer is yes if you have the energy to do it.  There is nothing like heavy deadlifts or heavy squats.  And then you can definitely notice the energetic effect.  Of course not if you are just like pinning yourself up.  But if you have good form and you do some high intensity deadlifts you will definitely notice just this surge of hormonal impact that your body goes through.  And it is really awesome.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely.  Absolutely.  So focus on the diet side, the sleep side, the food side.  And if you are really fatigued potentially adding in specific herbs and nutrients and maybe even adding in a little bit of sublingual DHEA may be appropriate.  But that is on an individual basis.  I cannot just say, “Hey, if you have this issue you do that.”  You really want to individualize it.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, definitely.  Question number 3.  This is a good one.  Nursling I think is the name.  Asked can you use a probiotic capsule as a rectal suppository?  I am not sure if I believe that probiotic supplements ever make it past the stomach much less into the colon.  Since starting Paleo low carb and stopping caffeine I am constipated and fermented foods and drinks and probiotic supplements had done nothing.  I eat vegetables and they also do not help.  I think the bacteria in my colon is under populated and so I was also wondering if I can use a probiotic supplement as a suppository or enema.  This seems like it could go great or perhaps it could go disastrously wrong.  What do you think?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So when I deal with patients, one of the first things I have to look at is compliance.  (Laughs)

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So if I have this magic pill which I do not believe there is any magic pill out there just so you know.

Baris Harvey:  Unfortunately.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I know.  I wish, right?  So let us pretend we have this magic pill here that really does not exist but for the sake of this conversation it does.  If you cannot take that magic pill you will not get any of the benefit, right?  So my goal is well, what can you do that you are actually going to be able to do consistently on a daily basis that is going to provide you benefit?  Well, personally the average person that I see is not going to do a rectal suppository for probiotics.  It is just not going to happen.  So from a compliance level, we already got two strikes against us.  Now you got patients that are sick, right?  They may go to a greater extreme and do that.   That is possible.  I find personally people that have a problem with probiotics, is their guts are already in a super dysbiotic balance, right?  They already have a ton amount of bad bacteria in relation to good bacteria.  And they are just trying to throw a whole bunch of good stuff in there and it is almost like a war happening with all these bad bacteria and all the good bacteria.  A big war happening.  So I find it is much better off to go in there to level out the playing field, to kill all the bad bacteria first and then you have less competition for the good stuff coming in.  And people tend to have die -off reaction when this happens so using high quality ginger tea, using biofilm busters if you will could be really helpful.  Some really good biofilm busters or maybe the eleuthero, N-acetyl-cysteine, andrographis, monoluarin, oregano oil.  These are things that can help basically knock down the biofilms.  These are like the protective shield that most of the bacteria and critters in your tummy have.     

Baris Harvey:  So basically the plaque, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes. I mean a lot of times these guys can even use metals and stuff.  It incorporates that into the biofilm.  So there are a couple of great biofilm busters that may use a chelating agent like EDTA and such to help pull out some of those metals to make that resistant shield that the bacteria may use less potent.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So kind of recapping things, the analogy that I created that really works well and kind of creates the, “Aha!” moment with most patients is I actually answer their question with a question.  The question is do you get your car washed first or do you get it waxed first?   

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And then most people…

Baris Harvey:  You wash first.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  You wash it.  But then once I say, “well, why?”  Then it is like well you do not want to wax dirt onto the car because then you trap all the dirt underneath the wax, right?  

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  Exactly.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So it is the same thing with probiotics and a dysbiotic gut.  You do not want to just throw a whole bunch of good stuff then and it creates a big problem when you trap it all in there.  So you are much better off using biofilm agents, antimicrobial agents, things like ginger as well.  Ginger tea can be very powerful.  I have a great ginger tea recipe that I use because it is great with helping the coagulation and helping the body drain all of these things out and help with the detoxification.  And then coming in afterwards you have a much better chance of adding in some of the good bacteria.  And some people are more sensitive and you may have to use more of a soil-based probiotics.  Some I find can do a broad spectrum.  It really is on an individual basis. 

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.  Definitely.  So that brings up another question that I have so what do you think about colon hydrotherapy and then doing something like the high-dose probiotics on an individual basis?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I do not have a ton of experience with colon hydrotherapy.  I have spoken to many hydro therapists and asked so many questions about that.  My opinion is I am not sure what type of effect you are going to have just flushing some water up there regarding pulling or destroying or shifting bacteria level.  I am not sure how much you can really shift bacteria with a good colon hydrotherapy session.  I think you may if someone is really backed up or chronically constipated it can be a great way to kind of jump start things.  I just do not think it addresses the root cause.    

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Now that does not mean it is not therapeutic.  It does not mean it is not beneficial.  I just do not think from an underlying causal standpoint when you look at what is the mechanism I do not think it fixes the mechanism and the mechanism is dysbiotic bacteria, chronic gut infections, lower amounts of good bacteria and we actually have to fix that.  Now I think if you can do that in conjunction with the comprehensive program I think it is totally fine.  But again I will put it out there as a disclaimer, I do not have a ton of experience with that so I cannot really go out on the pedestal and you know really say no or yes against it.  

Baris Harvey:  Yes, yes exactly.  Yes same thing here.  I was just kind of curious like, “Hmm, that always comes up and it is just like I am not 100% sure, maybe, maybe not.  Because just like you said I have the same concerns.  Okay.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And I will always, I will always tell you, too if I am not 100% confident.  I will put it out there with a disclaimer because I really want to make sure all the listeners get good quality information.   

Baris Harvey:  Yes, definitely.  Okay just to kind of give a stamp on this one, if this person was like compliant, that would do something like this every day, would doing a probiotic enema be beneficial?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, here is the thing, in my opinion it sounds like the symptoms that this person is having is due to a significant dysbiotic bacteria in the gut and potentially a gut infection.  Now I looked at a lot of dysbiotic bacteria in the gut, if it is chronically dysbiotic all that means is higher amounts of bad stuff in relation to good.  It is usually some kind of infection.  So I would look at just throwing a whole bunch of probiotics in there like pulling a weed out at the surface of the ground and not pulling it out at the root.  So you can pull weeds out of the surface but they grow back.  And I think that is kind of what they are doing here, is they are just fixing it at the ground level and not at the root level.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So I think this person would benefit actually getting to the root knocking down the infection.  Making sure the diet is changed so they are not feeding the bad stuff to come back and then adding in some of the good stuff.  And maybe this person wants to do it rectally that is fine, too.  I mean, pun intended that sounded like a pain in the ass doing that every day.

Baris Harvey:  (Laughs)

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I mean compliance is going to be low.  But feel free get to the root cause.  In my opinion, the root is going to be dysbiotic bacteria to begin with.  So get that wiped out.  Get that cleaned out.  Then you can do a lot of the good stuff.  And then if you want to do it rectally or orally I am totally fine.

Baris Harvey:  Alright.  Hope that helps, Nursling.  Next question is from Berge6Dad.  Trace minerals for someone drinking reverse osmosis water, sugar cravings, anxiety and depression.  “I drink reverse osmosis water exclusively and dealing with anxiety, depression and sugar cravings.  What trace minerals do you recommend?  I am otherwise healthy and in normal weight.  Been doing bone broth five times a week.  I have cut down on grains and sugar but the cravings are driving me berserk.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  There are a couple of parts in that question so I will hit them one by one.  So I have had reverse osmosis filter for many years.  I also have carbon-based filters.  Right now, I am having a whole house water filtration system put in.  The first part of the water filtration is a carbon-based filter.  The second part is a bone char filter that is specific to fluoride.  So I have a lot of experience, lot of research with water filters.  Reverse osmosis filters are actually very wasteful.  If you look how much water is wasted, about 75% of the water that goes through it is actually wasted.  That is something that I have observed.  So it is not, you know, from an environmental standpoint it is not the best.  It does filter out the water very, very good but again it strips a lot of the minerals out.  So there are a couple of easy things that you can do.  You can just get a good high quality sea salt and you can kind of pinch it into the water just enough so you cannot taste it.  That can really be a good option.  I start my day with, I literally just get up and I grab a big glass of water and I take the salt shaker and I just literally put it into my mouth like I am salting my mouth.  And I do about 4 or 5 shakes and then I just drink a whole bunch of water and I do that twice a day.  Now, a lot of people that is going to be way too much, you know it is a bit too intense.  And then you just maybe put a little thing of salt out, you grab a pinch of it and you put it in your water and you do it that way.  That can be a good option.  And there are also a couple of products out there.  I know Trace Mineral Research has a really good liquid product where you can just put it in your water.  BioPure has a really good product called MicroMinerals; that is a really good liquid mineral product that you can just put in your water.  Those are great ways to make sure that you get enough minerals.  Dr. Brownstein has a book called, “Salt Your Way To Health”.  I believe salt is very important.  Just using unrefined high quality sea salt.  My favorite brands are either Celtic Sea Salt, Real Salt, and also Himalayan Pink salt.  Those are my favorite.  And I kind oscillate between the two.

Baris Harvey:  I have all three of those.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yes, yes.  They are really good.  That is a great way.  I think I answered the first part of that question.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, definitely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Now the last part of the question regarding sugar cravings, I find sugar cravings tend to be related upon blood sugar.  So making sure blood sugar is stabilized in the morning is very important.  Not having a good stable blood sugar in the morning, what I mean by that is it is not putting enough proteins, fat and healthy carbs on the fire, metabolic fire in the morning can set yourself up of yo-yos. So get in the right amount of protein, fat and carbs in the morning and then making sure you fuel that every four to five hours can be helpful.  Most sweet cravings happen because the blood sugar oscillates up and down.  That is when blood sugar cravings occur.  Now there are also supplements you can use as well.  You can use sea salts, you can use chromium.  I am a big fan of using a combination of 5HTP and L-Tyrosine for patients that have really bad cravings.  There are adaptogenic herbs that you can use like rhodiola those can be really helpful.  Adrenal support can be helpful because the adrenal do help stabilize blood sugar.  But first thing is just stabilize the blood sugar first.  Making sure you are getting enough protein and fat in every 3 to 5 hours especially if you are adrenal fatigued.  You have to be more on top of your meal timing.  And protein and fat are going to be perfect for stabilizing your blood sugar.  And then just adding the carbohydrate into your diet based upon your activity level and your metabolic profile.  If you are super overweight, you may have to cut down on the carbs. If you are more sedentary cut down on the carbs.  If you are more active and more healthy and more lean and do more exercise then you increase the carbs.  And try to use the safer starches.  If you are going to do starches then try to always stay away from the gluten.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, that sounds good.  And back to the trace elements research, do not use the full serving size in the salting your water will taste disgusting.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  Just a couple of drops if you do purchase that product because your water will taste like liquid metal basically.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh yes, absolutely.  And then use Pellegrino or Voss or Fiji water, Evian water those can really be good too because they do have a really nice total dissolved solids around 200 ppm.  So it is just enough to give you the minerals you need.

Baris Harvey: Yes, definitely.  Alright.  Hopefully that helps.  Let’s go to the next question.  The next question is from Jessica 30.  Right here it says, Breast feeding mamas.  “Do you have issues with low milk supply on Paleo?  Here is a long one.  Here we go.  So I was thinking that my milk this time around with baby number 2 would be awesome.  I mean what can be better than a Paleo fed baby, right?  I did a placenta encapsulation.  I have been drinking mother’s milk tea, taking fenugreek, blessed thistle and brewer’s yeast daily.  I have been eating a lot of carrots and coconut oil and just add it in bone broth.  And I know this is not Paleo but I have been drinking about a quart of milk per day, Weston A. Price suggested for nursing mothers and my supply is just enough to feed our little one.  There is no extra pump out afterwards to save up for the days when I have to return to work.  What gives because when we have a cheat day my milk supply jumps up to where I will get about 5 extra ounces that day to freeze for future use.  I just do not get it.  I know the problem is not calories because I eat more fat on a Paleo than I do when I am not Paleo.  I thought it might be carbs but I drink so much milk and eat so much fruits throughout the day that I just did not think that would be the problem either.  Anyone else has this problem?  It was suggested to me to try the soaked steel oats and eat them daily to help out a bit but I just do not want to add any grains if there really is no nutritional value to them.”  Dr. Justin, it is on you.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Alright.  When we deal with these issues, the diet is really important, right?  We need to make sure we have the raw material to make the milk.  So when we look at breast milk, the composition of breast milk is relatively about 55% fat.  I want to say 35 or 30% sugar or carbohydrates.  I want to say about 15 to 20% protein.  I maybe a little over a hundred there.

Baris Harvey:  I think…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Go ahead.

Baris Harvey:  It is about right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  It is about right.  It’s right in that area.  It is over half fat.  That is the key component.  So you want to make sure one, that there is enough of the raw material ideally in those types of ratio to provide for the baby.  So that is really important.  Making sure the macronutrients are there.  It sounds like she is doing a really good job at that.  The next thing I would say is she breaking them down?  Just because she eats the food does not guarantee that you are absorbing, breaking them down, assimilating, utilizing, you know doing all of those things.  So let me just go into it from a preventative standpoint.  So anyone that is looking at this situation and wants to prevent from getting into this situation when they get pregnant is make sure your digestion is really working.  Go work with a functional medicine doctor before you get pregnant.  Make sure your digestion is on tract.  Make sure you are infection free in your digestive tract.  Make sure there are no stressors there that could be affecting absorption.  Okay.  Now with that being said, this girl is breast feeding.  She is already doing it now so you do not want to be knocking out any infections.  You do not want to be doing any detox stuff while you are breastfeeding.  That is disclaimer number one.  Now I would be comfortable adding in some hydrochloric acid, and some enzymes and some bile salts if they are having any issue just an insurance policy to make sure that she is breaking everything down.  But I would say do the HCL tolerance test.  Add some hydrochloric acid.  Add some enzymes.  Add some bile salts.  Find out the level that is just causing a little bit of warmness in your tummy and then back off that per meal.  That at least ensures that you are breaking everything down, utilizing it and assimilating it.  Making sure you are not drinking too much fluid with your meals but hydrate in between meals and then doing your best to manage stress as much as possible.  Those are going to be the first things.  And then obviously doing all the supplements stuff: there are hops, there is fenugreek.  Sound like she is doing some tea.  There are some good quality products out there that can be used supplementally outside of the tea that can also be helpful as well like the fenugreek and the hops are a couple of products that are really good.

Baris Harvey:  Yes. And looks like she said she is taking the fenugreek and the mother’s milk tea.  And yes that makes a lot of sense that maybe it is just her digestive system not being able to breakdown the foods properly because she said she does not think it is a carbs issue or a calories issue.  Maybe she actually needs to measure just because sometimes you might assume that you are eating more fat but maybe she said on a cheat meal she gets more milk.  Well, usually that cheat meal or that cheat day she is going to be eating more processed foods and those processed foods are already broken down because they are processed and she is using more of those energy sources and there is not going to be more nutrition in there but that could be the same way like you mentioned maybe her body is just having a hard time breaking down more of the Paleo kind of foods.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, if she was my patient what I would recommend, Herb Pharm makes a really good lactation tonic dipped in herbal tincture.  I would do that.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Fenugreek, there is fennel.  It has got some chaste tree in there.   Vitanica makes a really good lactation blends.  I would make sure she has enough therapeutic herbs outside of just tea.  I would do that as well.  I would experiment with upping her carbs.  I mean I will keep the fat up there but I would also try upping the carbs a little bit.  I would add some more sweet potatoes, add some more healthy starches and see what happens.  I would make sure the digestion is there.  Make sure the enzymes, bile salts especially if she has a history of digestion issues or if she gets gassy or bloaty or belchy at all.  That is a sign that that needs to be addressed.  So, digestion, making sure the right foods are there.  Using the right supplements at a therapeutic level and then just tweaking the carbs, alright?  I mean my approach is very individualized.  I am not going to say high carb, low carb, high fat, low fat.  I do believe the fat should be higher when you are pregnant.  There is research that the fetus will literally act like a magnet and potentially pull fat out from the mother’s brain.  And it is possible that post-partum depression is caused by a lack of fat being pulled out by the fetus and the baby.  So I do believe that the fat should be a primary part of the diet.  I would even add organ meats in.  Bone marrow, collagen, all of those good things and get it dialed in and just experiment.  Try it for a week see what happens.  Take a food journal, notate what you are doing.  Make sure you are consuming enough calories.  Use the, there are a couple of apps out there, MyFitnessPal, another one, is another one.  Just make sure you are consuming enough calories and not just for you but for you and your baby, too.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  Definitely.  That sounds like a good idea.  And like you said, possibly upping the carbs because it is already like broken down will help a lot.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes and also, too like if you are a female getting ready obviously a female, right?  But if you are getting ready to get pregnant it is really, really important to take 6 months of minimum look at heavy metals.  Make sure heavy metals are pushed down as much as possible.  Before heavy metals look at your adrenals, look at hormones, look at gut function.  Always take care of that before you go into any crazy detoxification whether it be with chemicals or heavy metals.  Make sure that gut is working good, digestion is working good.  Make sure your adrenal is just fine.  And then take a look at heavy metals and/or detoxification pathways.  And then once you are there then you can go onto pregnancy.  And I think you would have a decreased chance of having these problems.  But you got it now, so this is what I would at least do from a conservative thing that is not going to hurt your child.

Baris Harvey:  Okay.  Definitely.  Sounds good.  Last but not the least question.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, I want to say one more thing on that.  Sorry to cut you off. 

Baris Harvey:  Yes. Yes no problem.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And let us say you are a female and you have exhausted all of your options.  Like you are doing the supplements, you are managing stress, you try to do sleep, and you are drinking enough quality water throughout the day minimum half of your body weight in ounces.  You are getting the fat in, you are adding the enzymes, you are adding the extra supplements and yet you are still having a problem.   Well, continue to do your best but at that same standpoint, there are good formulas that you can make at home whether you are using raw goat’s milk.  There is a couple of Weston A. Price formulas that involved combining liver with cod liver oil and raw goat’s milk or raw cow’s milk.  Raw goat’s milk tends to have a better profile for pregnant women because it tends to be more similar to our breast milk.  So just keep that in mind.  Even if you have exhausted all your options, you know you have spoken with someone from the La Leche League or a lactation consultant do your best to get your kid breast milk.  If you can purchase someone else’s breast milk it is that like important I would look into that.  You can literally buy breast milk from other women.  I am not sure the exact process.  I have never had to do that but I know it is an option.  Talk to a lactation consultant.  Worse off, you use these formulas to make your own breast milk.  Do not go the conventional formula route.  I would do everything we possibly can to avoid that route at the worst case scenario.  Use a Weston A. Price formula to make your formula.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.  Definitely because when you are getting the formula you are not getting a lot of other beneficial things like colostrum that is in breast milk.  There is just so much bad things in formulas that we could use a whole another podcast just to talk about how bad formula is.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And again women that are healthy hormonally they are going to be in better shape hormonally to produce milk, right?  Oxytocin is stimulated by nipple sensation with the baby latching onto the nipples it stimulates oxytocin.  Oxytocin then stimulates that whole let-down reflex.  So women that are more hormonally healthy in my opinion are going to do better at breastfeeding.  So get your hormones like if you are a woman and you are like, “Alright, I want to get preggy.”  Get your hormones looked at a year before, 6 months before, make sure that your progesterone levels are good.  Make sure your adrenals are strong.  Do what you got to do to prepare ahead of time.  And all of the preparation once you have the problem it is a lot harder to treat in the moment than if you can prepare six months to a year.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  Definitely.  One thing that I guess I thought of because you are talking about the broken down food, just because they would benefit using bio-available way to get nutrient we are taking like a mineral replacement or a high quality like protein powder might that be beneficial to get in more nutrients just because lactation is a very calorie intensive process?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I think that could definitely be beneficial.  If the woman is autoimmune though, you may want to go with a more hypoallergenic Pea Protein.  If you are pretty healthy you could probably add in some high quality grass fed whey protein and you can mix up the protein.  I think that is a very good option getting some free form amino acids in there.  Adding in some hydrolyzed collagen can be really helpful too, absolutely.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.  Definitely.  Okay last but not least.  Roger says, “Why is my tongue yellow?  I have been to an ENT, two family doctors and a dentist and they said there is nothing much although I did get prescribed Nystatin, did nothing.   But I am not satisfied with having a yellow tongue.  Here is a picture.” And yes, so a link to a picture of his yellow tongue.  “Has anyone experienced this?  I eat Paleo.  Obviously.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.  So a couple of questions that I want to ask him first.  I want to know how his digestion is.  Does he get gassy?  Does he get bloaty?  Is he constipated?  If he has at least one bowel movement a day?  What is his history?  Has he ever had any infections at all?  If he ever got sick abroad?  Once I pared out a lot of that information that will be helpful.  I also want to look at his skin make sure he has no rashes you know, whether its psoriasis, dermatitis, dry skin.  I want to look at his finger nails and toe nails.


Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.


Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Are there ridges in his nails?  Does he have a fungal toenail?  Fungal foot nails if you will.  So you want to look at both the hands and the feet.  I want to look at the quality of skin.  Now once I look at that this for me this looks like a fungal issue.  Typically, it is caused by candidiasis.  Candida if you will.   

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  There is couple of ways.  You can clinically diagnose candida.  I think there is enough here to diagnose candida without running any lab work.  I also want to run a comprehensive stool test.  We can run some blood antibodies for candida.  We can also run a nice stool test to look for fungal issues as well as chronic infection.  Now some people that have chronic fungal issues it can be driven by just having a chronic gut infection whether it is bacterial infection or parasitic infection.  So a lot of times this fungus maybe like the weed.  You are ripping the weed out at the surface and you are not quite ripping it deeper at the root.  So looking and then making sure that the root is being pulled out.  And for some people it may be just an isolated fungal issue. For others it may be a deeper issue.  So typically when we address these things making sure they are on an antifungal diet which is typically a Paleo diet.  And if you read Doug Kaufmann’s book, “The Fungal Link” that can be helpful.

Baris Harvey:   Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  But basically meat, vegetables, only low glycemic fruits, no mycotoxin-free coffee all that stuff.  And then from there you can use the right herbs to wipe out the infection and then follow-up right afterwards with high quality probiotics.  Because if you just come in and use the herbs and you do not follow-up right afterwards with the probiotics you can get what is called a rebound fungal overgrowth.  A lot of people get fungal overgrowths primarily they are going antibiotics and they never comeback in with good quality probiotics.  And the average person has had antibiotic exposures multiple times so that is probably something that you would pick up in the history if you ask this gentleman what his history with antibiotics like and you will probably see something in there like that.  

Baris Harvey:  Yes, definitely.  What happens with a lot of these people like you mentioned they will clear everything else, they will take antibiotics and they will clear everything but then there is no repopulation of the good guys and now you have a clean slate and then the bad guys will just say, “Well, there is still nobody here let us just go back.”  And then basically, you killed all the invaders but you did not close up the gaps for them to get right back in there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely.  And the big thing too is a lot of people forget this but people that have these issues can be hypochlorhydric.  They can have low stomach acid.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And low enzymes, too because of all the stress from the infection.  So looking at that part of the fence can be helpful.  And that is why just using a Nystatin there or ketoconazole or fluconazole to eliminate that fungal typically would not get the job done.  Having a more holistic approach, where you address the diet which sounds like he has done but also address the digestion, address the deeper chronic infection.  Follow it up with the probiotics really would be the best way to deal with it.   

Baris Harvey:  Yes definitely good.  It is not just going to go away by using a tongue scraper. That is definitely for sure.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   No.   No it is just like using Clearasil to treat a pimple.  That is just a manifestation of a deeper problem.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.  Exactly.  Well, thank you guys for listening to another episode of Beyond Wellness Radio.  We love doing these types of podcasts so that we can get your questions and answer them.  If you guys wanted to leave a question that you have for us you can go to beyondwellnessradio/questions.  We have or going to be putting up show notes and a lot of other info for you guys soon to go along with these podcasts so you can go ahead and go to and you can find everything there and you can contact me or Dr. Justin in case you guys wanted to take the step further and work with us to bypass all the running around chasing symptoms when we can definitely help you get to feeling awesome in less time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely.  And feel free and go to the website and sign up for show updates.  Any show that comes up you get an email so you will be the first person to know about it.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, definitely.  Alright, Dr. Justin.  You have it going.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay, Baris, you too, man.

Baris Harvey:  Right, goodbye.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Bye.



Sleep Podcast #10

In this podcast, Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Baris Harvey emphasize the importance of getting enough sleep and how it affects a person’s brain function, performance and overall health.  Listen as Dr. Justin explains in detail the phases of sleep, and the adverse effects of sleep deprivation on one’s metabolism and blood sugar regulation.

Learn the different strategies and tips for better sleep and for staying asleep, the different adaptogenic herbs to support our sleep as well as the importance of magnesium supplementation.


In this episode we cover:

04:06   How sleep works

08:35   Effects of sleep in metabolism

12:32   Sleep hygiene

17:20   Magnesium supplements for sleep

24:58   Tips and strategies for better sleep

27:11   Adaptogenic herbs

47:26   Valerian Root, Hops and L-theanine









Baris Harvey:  Thank you guys for tuning in to another episode of Beyond Wellness Radio.  To continue to have a lot of these audio straight to you make sure that you go to and subscribe.  So that way you guys do not miss an episode.  So first of all, how is it going today, Dr. Justin?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Baris, it is going great man.  I probably had about seen a full day of patients so I am ready to do the show.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, sounds awesome.  When it comes to sleep, this is going to be the topic today.  It is super-duper important.  And I actually just recorded an episode on sleep on my other podcast about sleep because it is so important. And I have had a lot of questions from different clients and different listeners about sleep and I am pretty sure you know throughout a full day of clients you probably talked about the topic at least several times today.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely.  Absolutely.  Yes. It actually makes me sleepy taking about sleep, you know can you believe it?

Baris Harvey:  It actually really does.  I usually do podcast early in the morning and last night I didn’t sleep so I am messing up already.  And did a podcast about sleep and man it might have been a little bit of the train wreck but I started getting sleepy throughout and started you know a bit forgetful.  But it was all good.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Nice.

Baris Harvey:  So yes, today we are going to go into sleep.  But before we do that you know we usually do this super early.  Today right now it is about 2 o’clock my time and Dr. Justin is probably what, 4 over there for you?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Just about 4.  How about we talk about lunch today?

Baris Harvey:  So lunch now rather than breakfast.  For me I had some, I actually had a little bit of leftover ribs.  I did a football workout in the morning and so I had some scrambled eggs with some ham and bacon and some green onions and then also some potatoes as well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Nice.  You have a little bit of carb back loading there after the workout.  I like it.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, definitely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Very good.  So myself I did some kielbasa which was really awesome.  I heated it up.  I had some great German mustard which had like a little bit of apple cider vinegar in it.  I had maybe 6 or 7 strawberries for dessert but I also had a carrot along with it and it was just scrumptious.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  You mentioned the mustard.  I do not see it in my line of view right now.  I can look into the kitchen but I cannot see.  I had this specific kind of mustard but it is so delicious.  It is like a smoked maple mustard.  Man!  It is off the hook, it is amazing.  Yes, it makes everything taste better.  And I am actually right now as we speak I have a crock-pot on and I have some pork ribs in the crock-pot slow cooking with some of that as well as some other all-natural barbeque sauce as well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Man after my own heart, Baris.  I love it.

Baris Harvey:  Right, exactly.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Awesome.

Baris Harvey:  So let us get the podcast rolling.  We have questions about sleep all the time so I know this will be extremely valuable for our listeners and our clients as well.  So just to start off, sleep is super important and I think one of the most important thing is understanding how important it is.  Sometimes we do not really prioritize it and that is why it shuts down.  So to start off, could you just tell us why it is so important and what are some of the mechanisms that are happening during sleep?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So sleep is really important because one, it is how we recharge our body.  So there are a couple of different phases of sleep and we will break it down.  So sleep basically, our hormones run on a circadian rhythm or a sleep and wake cycle.  So essentially, when the sun comes up that stimulates cortisol.  Cortisol is a stress hormone but it is important that we activate our sympathetic nervous system.  We get up or out of that, right?  Cortisol gets it up.  It is a glucocorticosteroids.  So it helps mobilize blood glucose and allow us to have energy.  Again it also helps with inflammation and stress.  So we get up.  We are ready to go and that cortisol drops throughout the day kind of like you were on a roller coaster ride.  You are at the top of the day, the top of the roller coaster where you are crashing down in the morning and that cortisol drops throughout the whole entire day and goes down at night.  And that is important because we also have this phenomenon known as the melatonin-cortisol rhythm.  So melatonin goes up as cortisol drops.  So kind of makes an X.  So as cortisol drops at night melatonin comes up.  That is important because melatonin is a powerful sleep hormone, produced from the pineal gland which is kind of right between your eyes back a few inches.  And again it is very powerful because it is an antioxidant and it helps you get to sleep.  It helps you get the deep phases of sleep.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.  Definitely.  It is funny that you mentioned like the deep phases of sleep because I know you probably have some clients that have some issues with sleep and have been put on different medications and one common medication is Ambien, I hear.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So Baris when we talked about our cortisol rhythm we also have a sleep rhythm, too.  As we kind of were alluding to earlier.  And what happens in the sleep rhythm is through at around the hours of 10 pm to 2 am that is where the growth hormone is at its highest.  So it is really important that we are in bed at or around that time so we can access or tap into that growth hormone stimulation.  And if we are not asleep at that time we won’t be able to plug into it.  So we really want to make sure we do our best to plug into the growth hormone because that really helps repair muscles, repair our body, definitely on the structural side it is very, very powerful.  And as we get deeper into the night, typically around 2 am to 6 am, that is where we start getting into our psychological repair and turnover of our neurotransmitters.  That is why if we get to sleep typically around you know 1 or 2 at night, you may not feel great physically the next day but typically you can still think.  So we want to make sure we tap into both of those.  And that is why most people say the hours before midnight count as double because we are tapping into the growth hormone and all of the extra hormones that are helping our body stay strong and getting the sleep as well.  We combine that with our neurogenic repair so we repair a lot of the neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin and GABA and such to help us stay relaxed and focused and happy and in a good mood.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  And it is super obvious one of those common sense thing that sometimes we do not pay attention to but I mean, you can go a couple of days without food but go one night without sleep and you are a zombie, right?  And we noticed that we really need that to have, I mean one of the biggest things when somebody kind of approaches you and say, “Hey, I want help and I have poor energy.”  And you noticed that they are only sleeping you know maybe 5 to 6 hours at night sometimes that is even by choice.  Like they choose to watch TV and they stay up and it is like, “Well, how can you have energy if you are not getting sleep?”  But sometimes it is not always by choice.  So for the people that are actually having difficulties falling asleep, let us kind of help them out.  Then also staying asleep as well because those can be some issues and we probably do not have to rehash why sleep is so important.  We know that there are just so many reasons and we can talk about metabolism, we can talk about leptin and ghrelin and some of these hormones that basically are influenced by sleep.  So I actually I am going to switch over.  Right before we get to kind of what are some of the things that we can do to improve, getting the sleep and staying asleep.  Actually go over that real quick about basically how our metabolism is influenced by sleep and probably why that happens as well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So again our metabolism is affected by sleep because not getting enough sleep literally can create an insulin resistant state.  So you can go out there and Google.  There are many studies on this where you look at sleep, just go on to Google right now.  I will do it in a chat, type in sleep deprivation and insulin resistance.  I am doing it right now.  What you are going to find is a handful of studies out there.  There is one study for instance where they took college students that were healthy, no problems.  They sleep deprived them I think three or four hours at night or four hours at night sleep for, I want to say, two weeks.  And then in that two-week time period, what they found was they were literally pre-diabetic, they were nearly insulin resistant.   

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  This is called the finals, right?  (Laughs)

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  They are in finals time so that is probably when they gain their freshmen at 15 and also all the others are just probably from staying up.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  So I have the study right here.  Actually, I pulled it up.  I cannot believe I did it that fast.   Typically when you go to PubMed it takes a little bit of time finding the studies.  But this study was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 2010.  The study was called, it is actually a single night, I have seen one of two weeks though, this is a single night of partial sleep deprivation and how it induces insulin resistance.  So what they did was they took, I want to say, some colleges students in this study.  Nine healthy subjects five were men and four women.  And what they did was they allowed them to sleep from 2:30 in the morning to 7:30; 2:30 to 7:30 and what they found was they were measuring insulin sensitivity.  And the results of the study they found that partial sleep deprivation of four hours of night sleep on a single night induced insulin resistance in multiple metabolic pathways.    

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And basically they are correlating this study and just saying that the physiological observations maybe relevant when you are dealing with glucose in patients who are Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics.  So this is really important.  If you are dealing with someone who is a clinician and who is dealing with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetic patients that have glucose problems already, well before we look at metformin and all the other drugs out there or even nutrients like you know, herbs like bitter melon or alpha-lipoic acid and cinnamon which I think are great, work on the foundational stuff, too.  Like sleep.  And that is where I think it is important because we know when insulin resistance gets kind of messed up that is the first domino that falls.  Then we will start seeing leptin resistance and leptin controls satiety.  And then we will see issues with other satiating hormones like peptide yy and adipopectin and ghrelin and the whole nine yards.  And this can set us up for just the inability to really feel satiated after meals and it just creates a cascade of becoming more of a fat storer than a fat burner, right?  We are relying more on sugar for fuel which really sets us up for a whole bunch of impaired performance regarding how we think, feel and look.

Baris Harvey:  Wow!  Yes that is wow! And that is only after one night, too.  So I mean just the next day your body is going to have more issue handling sugar than the day before just by staying out late and maybe it could just be because of work sometimes or maybe you are studying but you have to understand how important that sleep is.  So for people having trouble with sleep, of course, one of the easiest thing to do is kind of regulate sleep hygiene.  And it do not necessarily mean just like you know being clean but just the environment because we are creatures of our environment.  So could you kind of give us some kind of tips or strategies on how we can improve and the foundational stuff before we start kind of tinkering with other things?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay, so again we know that light stimulates cortisol, right?

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And cortisol and melatonin have inverse relationships.  So by just getting exposed to light I mean seriously you are shutting down your melatonin.  So I one of the first things you can do is just get your house ready.  So like at night time come 8 or 9 o’clock get those lights turned down.  If you want, you can be super cool like myself and my fiancée rocking our blue blocking sunglasses at night.  Sitting there with our sunglasses on and rocking that.  That can be helpful, too.  I actually just purchased one of Dave Asprey’s blue night lights.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  It is one of the light bulbs from his website that does not have the blue light in it.  So it is like the blue blocking night light.  And I have that in my bathroom.  So I keep that on only if I have to go in there at night.  And I use the sunglasses and I keep my lights down low and that is kind of like getting my hygiene really ready for bed.  So 1 to 2 hours of just keeping the light down; keeping the stimulation on my pineal gland off so the melatonin can be really, really strong.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, that is super important just keeping the blue light.  And I also have one of those lights in my bathroom.  It is kind of like an amber glow.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  The same kind of light as if you had a candle lit.  And I am pretty sure our ancestors might have lit fires but it is not going to interfere and have that blue light that kind of stimulate us to wake up.  You are not around the campfire like, “Oh, I have a bunch of energy now.”  And like you are still kind of wind down.   And it is funny how if you go camping or there is a power outage naturally you are going to be going to sleep a little bit earlier.  But now when you are in your house and you have the lights on you are going to stay up as long as I guess as you please.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely.  So that is one of the first things that I do.  Also, there are a lot of different things in functional medicine land that we can do to help with sleep.  One of the first things is we just want to make sure people’s diets are dialed in.  So good quality protein and fat and making sure your blood sugar is not going too high up or too low before bed.  Typically in functional medicine it is kind of good training type of idea if we are seeing patients that are having a hard time going to sleep, we are always thinking high cortisol at night.  And high cortisol is going to happen for a couple of different reasons, right?  Stress, you know eating too much refined sugar before bed.  So making sure diet is dialed in where there’s appropriate amount of healthy fat, healthy protein and maybe just enough carbohydrate for your metabolic needs.  That can be helpful.  Also when we see high cortisol we may bring in things that are adaptogenic, these herbs, these herbal medicines that are called adaptogens can be really helpful in getting that cortisol down or at a moderate level.  Typically 1.5 units around bed time so we can get to sleep.  So one of my favorite things that I do is I use Tulsi Tea which is a brand from the organic Indian company that uses holy basil.  And again holy basil is an adaptogenic herb.  And they called it holy basil because typically when it was discovered years ago, I think in Egypt, the Egyptians would say that they felt like they were one with the gods when they would take this herbs.  That is kind of how it got that name which is pretty interesting.  You will never forget it once you hear it in that context.  So I take holy basil before bed and I have different flavors.  They have sweet rose, they have lemon ginger, they have honey chamomile.  I kind of have four or five of them and I rotate between each of them every night.  And that just kind of helps get my brain and the cortisol and my HPA axis kind of more dampened so it is ready for a good night’s sleep.  That is a really simple thing hygiene wise, the good night’s relaxing tea, the blue blocking sunglasses, turning the lights out and just really getting your atmosphere kind of in a more relaxed fashion.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  I also have Tulsi Tea and it is really, really good for that and it just tastes good, too.  And it is a really good routine as well.  It kind of gets your body into a state where the same way people kind of might even start to feel awake whenever they walk to a coffee shop because they know, “Hey, I am about to get my coffee.” And their brain kind of remembers this routine and starts to energize.  You might do the same thing with the tea where you get it and you know that, “Hey this is my time to wind down and to relax.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, definitely.  Another really good way to do it is to take a magnesium bath, so using Epsom salts or magnesium flakes and taking a bath and to feel relaxed.  And this might not be something you do every night but can be beneficial.  I will let Dr. Justin kind of go into the reasons why using magnesium transdermally could be beneficial to you before you go to sleep.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So magnesium is probably one of the most efficient nutrients in our food supply.  And there are many, many studies on that.  Go to PubMed and just type in magnesium deficiency in food, it is ridiculous and it is one of the cheapest products out there, too.  Now I am a big fan of using a good quality chelative magnesium.  I like the magnesium dimalate or glycinate.  These are really good.  They are highly absorbable.  Typically, if you are doing citrate or oxide, they can be used better for constipation.  But again the chelative ones tend to be best.  Now again, magnesium helps kind of get the parasympathetic nervous system going, it helps relax the body.  So there are a handful of studies, I just have a few in front of me.  One is called the Effects of a Magnesium Deficient Diet on Sleep Organization in Rats.  And what they found as they did these brain scans, kind of these EEGs of the brains to look at the electrical patterns in the brain.  And what they found were the more aberrant the electric patterns were, were basically a sign of the more deficient magnesium was in the diet.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And they found that when they repaired or when they got the magnesium levels back up these patterns, they call them ECoG patterns, basically repair themselves.  And they also mentioned that magnesium is neuroprotective and they found the most deficiency in neurological disorders like epilepsy.   So really important to think of magnesium as protection for the brain but it also helps get the parasympathetic nervous system on.  And we need the parasympathetic so we can rest and digest.  So typically, we are either sympathetic where we are going, going, going and or parasympathetic.   So magnesium is one of those nutrients, it has got 300 different roles in the body.   Now I think personally, this is why sleep issues can cause magnesium problems.  Magnesium is highly important for blood sugar stability and blood sugar regulation.  So if we are not getting the sleep and sleep is making us insulin resistant and insulin resistance is causing problems with blood sugar metabolism, well it is further inducing more magnesium deficiency.  So we need to run through our magnesium more to help process and metabolize our blood sugar imbalances thus having more sleep.  So when we see this it is like, whoa! It is like if we have these problems, it literally compounds and makes our sleep problems worse and worse and worse overtime.  And then we will try to grab Lunesta or Wellbutrin or Ambien or some type of medication that is not getting to the root of the problem and making you feel like you are walking around like you are knocked out like you mentioned earlier, Baris.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.  Definitely.  And for people that just want to test it, you can go to a natural food store and get yourself like a small packet of something called Natural Calm which is just a magnesium citrate that is really simple.  You can grab like a packet or I know they have like a 5-packet samples sizes for like a buck, maybe $2, $3.  And you can try it for yourself and just take one of those packets with some water and drink it before you go to bed and you will notice an improvement in your sleep.  And that improvement might signal you that you might have a deficiency in magnesium.  And it is one of the easiest and simplest things you can do.  And then like we mentioned Epsom salts or magnesium chloride which is magnesium flakes can even be more beneficial because you are going to get it transdermally.  And you can also make an oil or buy an oil form of it as well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, I love it.  I love it.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  There is another excellent study out there I will share with the listeners.  It is called the effects of chronic sleep basically on HRV or heart rate variability on catecholamines.  This is adrenalin and then also intracellular magnesium levels.  We will put a copy of it in the show notes.  But again HRV is really cool because that is basically looking at the unevenness between heartbeats.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   So if you have the emWave or emWave2; that is kind of like looking at the heart rate variability.  And it said that the higher heart rate variability you have it is just a sign of a really good health, right?  And what they studied there they looked at the students during final exams. They looked at 30 healthy males of college age.  They took this study four weeks.  So they took it during and after the exams.  And what they found was, their HRV went down, HRV function went down as they had more sleep debt, their magnesium deficiency decreased, that is a red blood cell magnesium and their epinephrine went up as they had more and more sleep issues.  So it is not really causative but clinically we see that we improve magnesium, we improve sleep quality.  And that magnesium could also be a support for adrenal fatigue and we are seeing more and more adrenalin come up the more we have sleep issues.  So if you think you are adrenally fatigued getting some good magnesium on board they will be helpful because it will help reduce your adrenals from whipping out all that adrenalin which is norepinephrine and epinephrine and that will help your body heal.  Because the more we are in fight or flight and breaking down the less we are going to be producing good quality sex hormones on the flipside.   

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.  And isn’t it funny that magnesium is also required for proper glucose utilization and signaling insulin.  Like we know that if we do not go to sleep on time it is going to interfere with our insulin and will be more insulin resistant the next day from the study that Dr. Justin just mentioned.  But also if our intracellular magnesium is low, it is going to make it even harder and it is going to throw up our blood sugar regulation which Dr. Justin mentioned is going to require more cortisol.  So basically, I will break it down for the listeners and make it a little bit more understandable.  But basically if you are going to sleep late you are going to throw off your blood sugar.  You are going to throw off your insulin and you will probably throw off your magnesium.  You will need more of this stuff to operate better.  And when your magnesium is lower it also makes it harder to utilize your blood sugar, so thus making it even harder.  So you get into this vicious cycle.  So making sure that you are going to sleep on time and maybe using and including some extra magnesium will help get you back rolling on the right track versus this vicious cycle of getting worse and worse.  And like we mentioned, sleep is so important and so making sure that we actually value that as going to be priority number one.  Because we talked about nutrition and exercise all the time but making sure that bringing our sleep in there is also extremely important.   So for the people that are doing all the things or at least they believe they are doing all the right things, they are trying to go to sleep on time but they are still having issues, what are some of the things that they can do?  What are some strategies that they can use in order to fall asleep?  I know some patients and some of our clients have a real difficulty falling asleep.  They say they lay in bed and they toss and turn or they need to watch TV you know with air quotes and to fall asleep.  But they are watching like an hour show they do not fall asleep until the end anyway.  What are some of the things that they can do to help influence them to go to sleep quicker?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, one make sure if you are going to watch some TV before bed you kind of give yourself that last half hour or so to go up to your room meditate, read a book, relax, chat with your partner, try to keep the conversation light.  Do not bring up taxes, and bills and stuff.

Baris Harvey:  Laughs

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Keep it like gentle conversation.  Keep it really light, that is important.  Make sure the last show that you are watching, you know, or at least you are not watching it up until you sleep.  Make sure you are not watching the Walking Dead or like True Blood or something and get you all riled up that is just going to increase your cortisol by itself.  So your question was things that we can do.  So one, if you are having a hard time going to sleep make sure your blood sugar is dialed in.  Take an audit of what you are eating, protein, fat and carbs.  Make sure you are not going four or five hours before bed without eating.  I mean there is an old kind of an analogy that is out there, “Oh, your last meal should be you know about 5 or 6 o’clock.”  I do not know where these things come from?

Baris Harvey:  Laughs.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  But it is not good.  Because if it is at 6 and then you are sleeping until 7 or 8 the next day and you got 13 or 14 hours and you already have adrenal fatigue, well that is not good because your blood sugar is going to drop and that is going to cause your adrenals to wake you up throughout the night.  So we want to make sure we eat within that 1 to 2 hours.  Keep the meal a little bit lighter but a little bit of protein, little fat, maybe a little bit of carbs and keep that dialed in.  And a typically cause if we are waking up in the middle of the night, it tends to be that low blood sugar at night.  So our blood sugar will drop at night and we would get woken up because our adrenalin has to keep the blood sugar up because blood sugar is really important.  It is the biggest stressor on the hormonal systems.  But if blood sugar drops our adrenals will bring up that adrenalin to bring it back up.  So we want to make sure adequate levels of cortisol there.  Cortisol is too low our blood sugar goes low then our adrenalin gets called for the action, right?  Our adrenalin or our adrenals producing adrenalin gets called.  And if it goes too high you may never get relaxed and be able to go to bed.  So we kind of want the happy medium.  Do your best with diet to help facilitate that.  That is step one.  Do you want to comment on that, Baris?

Baris Harvey:  That is perfect.  I think that makes total sense.  So let us go right on step two.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So next, we can use adaptogenic herbs.  So the holy basil and Tulsi Tea can be helpful an hour or two ahead of time.  Some people that have higher levels of cortisol they will do better with phosphorylated serine which helps get the hypothalamus sensitized to or helps get the cortisol kind of more sensitized to the hypothalamus.  So essentially, what that means is your brain is basically kind of regulating cortisol by just kind of like a thermostat with temperature.  So imagine the thermostat set at 70; temperature goes to 73, right?  Typically, the AC should kick on but it is not.  It is not sensitive.  So the phosphorylated serine can basically make the HPA axis get a little more sensitive so then it says, “Oh, that cortisol is a little bit too high, let us bring it down a little bit.”  It is like it sees it now and it fixed it and just dials it back in then we can start bringing that cortisol down.  And that typically gets dysregulated.  We call it HPA axis dysfunction, hypothalamus, pituitary our brain, adrenal HPA, adrenal axis dysfunction, so that thermostat in our brain gets broken.  And using some of these adaptogenic herbs like phosphorylated serine that is more of an adaptogenic nutrient but that can help lower the cortisol.  We can also use various herbs throughout the day to help with our cortisol.  Ashwagandha is very powerful to use throughout the day that could help restore sleep as well.  I do not recommend taking ashwagandha after 4 pm but taking it throughout the day can be very helpful at normalizing that cortisol rhythm so we can ensure that our cortisol is not coming up at night like it should be.  It should be coming down at night and that way we can make sure it keeps that rhythm back on track.  And if you are a little bit curious to see, you know is your cortisol rhythm off or on, we can always do a salivary cortisol test. Where we spit in a vial four times throughout the day: in the morning, afternoon, late afternoon and night and then we can see and we can actually map that out.  And if it is off we can use various nutrients and herbs and dietary and lifestyle strategies to get it back on track.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.  Yes, definitely.  So it is funny that you mentioned the ashwagandha, too because I actually took some before we did this recording.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  It is one of my favorite adaptogens.  I love it.

Baris Harvey:  Yes it is really awesome.  So you mentioned we want to make sure that you know we can do some testing with salivary testing in order to measure our cortisol and how the curve is and not just doing a one-time test but also to see how is it in the morning, in the noon, the afternoon and at night.  Are you noticing in your practice patients having a hard time?  Let us look at the people that are having a hard time waking up and maybe they also have problems with sleep.  And you know that it seems that maybe bringing that cortisol up in the morning might be beneficial because I see a lot of people that have low cortisol in the morning and we kind of cured this.  If you go on a holistic, all-natural blog, you might hear sometimes like cortisol is like evil stress hormone you need to get rid of it and get is as low as possible.  But just like any hormone it is there for a reason and we need it.  We just want it to be in balance, correct?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  Cortisol is really important.  Again it is a stress hormone but it also helps with inflammation.  So if you are chronically in pain, you can pretty much assume that there is probably an adrenal fatigue going on.  And it is important because cortisol, it sounds like cortisone that is its sister.  And cortisone can be injected into various areas.   I do not recommend that because after two or three injections the doctor will say, “Yes, we have to stop because this is going to break down your ligaments and tendons.”  So it does not fix the problem.  But if you are adrenally fatigued and your body cannot regulate inflammation on its own a typical cause is because your adrenals are not doing the job at keeping that fire down.  So it starts smoldering.  And where you see smoke there is probably fire.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.  So is there a way without having to let me see, I guess you do not want to have too much cortisol just overall running.  But what if your cortisol is low in the morning?  Is there a way you can keep that higher in the morning so that way when we get to bed it can possibly be lower?  Because I have seen people with not necessarily high but relatively high at night and have some people that are really low like they did not have any, like the stress hormones is the same as you know even like you said it happens when there is more inflammation as well and so our natural pain killer as well as kind of like our energy supply.  So if we do not have much in the morning we could be sluggish.  Are there ways that we can kind of bring that up in the morning while keeping it lower at night?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, so I would recommend hitting up specific herbs like ashwagandha first thing in the morning that is very powerful.  We could even use some licorice roots first thing in the morning to kind of well, the ashwagandha is going to get the HPA axis kind of in sync.   And the licorice basically helps extend the half-life of cortisol.  Licorice does not have that same type of HPA axis type of effect but it extends the half-life of cortisol and inhibits the enzyme that breaks down or metabolizes cortisol.  So having licorice there could help allow our body to kind of allow our cortisol that is naturally there to just stay around or linger longer which has a good effect because our body can utilize that cortisol more.  That can be another good effect.  Even taking in a glandular depending on how fatigued someone is.  They may need a little bit of glandular with some bioidentical cortisol in there because they are so fatigued.  And that could be helpful to kind of jumpstart the HPA axis for a period of time.  And again a lot of the strategies that I am talking about are really dependent upon lab results.  So we take a look at their history, their labs, their blood work and that gives us a really good indicator of what is going on.  And so for instance, when we run blood panels, we will run a red blood cell magnesium and we will see if it is below 5 and a half that is kind of on the low side.  Typically, I like the top third of the reference range which 6 or above that we know that they will definitely benefit with a therapeutic dose of magnesium and they would use some really good adrenal adaptogenic herbs.  Another one of my favorite is Eleuthero.  Eleuthero can be pretty stimulatory as well and it also supports the sex hormones, too.  So as we get more sleep deprived our body is making more stress hormones.  And as we have that HPA axis dysfunction those stress hormones can actually start going down and then we start getting fatigued.  And taking these herbs can help bring some of those stress hormones back up but also modulate the stresses itself by getting the brain and that thermostat back on track.  And again, we want to make sure we are never giving these things in isolation.  Meaning we are never giving these supports without fixing these physical, chemical and emotional stress that cause the problem in the first place.  We always want to make sure that the root cause has been addressed and assessed and we want to make sure the person’s diet is on track.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.  Definitely.  So one common thing that I have noticed is people waking up around the hours of 2 and like 4.  Like they wake up at 2 or 3 and for some reason it is always between these hours.  Could you kind of chime in and kind of maybe talk about what can be causing that and how to improve that?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  So there are certain times throughout the day, you know, we have what is called the Traditional Chinese Medicine, a 24-hour Organ or Chi cycle.  You can easily go online and do a Google image search of it.  But typically between 1 and 3 am is where we have the liver hour.  And the liver is most active at dumping out toxins at that time.  And the gallbladder between 11 and 1.  So that 11 to 3 is typically that liver-gallbladder hour.  So for having problems in that time frame it could easily be from our body detoxifying, very possible.  So again, make sure your diet is low in toxins, anti-inflammatory and nutrient dense, some type of Paleo version with the macronutrients customized to you.  Making sure that your food is organic.  Making sure the pesticides and chemicals are out and the artificial sweeteners and crap are out of there, too.  That is going to be important.  Now some people also have a lot of internal toxins like parasites and SIBO and bacterial overgrowth and fungus.  These toxins actually produce lots of endotoxins or internal toxins.  They are produced inside of your body.  So we have like the environmental toxins like BPA and phthalates and pesticides and chemicals on the outside, those are environmental.  And then we have our endo or internal toxins and bacteria that produce various toxins such as lipopolysaccharide.  We have different toxins that are produced by our small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.  We have various microbes that can stimulate the immune system and wake us up.  So a lot of these things can be a problem.  And again, these infections or these microbes that are there they have opposite sleep and wake cycles that we have.  So what that means is when they are more active, we can basically see an increase surge of cortisol because of all the inflammation and damage that is being done.  So one of the main things that we will see on adrenal-cortisol rhythm is we will see high levels of cortisol in the morning coming off of a party night of these various microbes kind of partying up inside your intestinal tract.   Concomitantly, we will see higher levels of cortisol in the morning after your little gut friends have had a night out in the town, if you will.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.  And do you notice this more on certain days?  I have heard of and I do not know if there is any truth to this.  But on certain times of the month maybe on a lunar cycle just because of the effects of, the same way our body kind of regulates itself in a sleep cycle depending on circadian rhythm and the sun, I have also heard of parasites possibly and other gut issues kind of relating to the lunar cycle.  Is there any truth to that or is that kind of like hippie mumbo jumbo?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I think there is some truth to it.  I see some people correlate you know looking at the lunar calendar and looking at the full moon time and such and seeing more symptoms or more die-off issues at that time.  I mean again, it is individualized.  Unless there is evidence to the contrary, I think there is a lot of empirical evidence that people had just noticed and observed.  And you know, frankly no one is going to do a multi-million dollar study to figure this out.

Baris Harvey:  Laughs

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So there is no drug to be made of it.  So we are just very empirical and try to be as subjective as possible.  I think I have encountered a fair amount of people that notice that.

Baris Harvey:  Yes. Definitely, I have heard that many times but it is just hard to quantify it.  So it is easy for somebody kind of on the outside who is not really into, more into like the left-brain stuff not really into like the “feeling” kind of way.  The same way you know we have to be able to feel what foods are good for us.  People that are more left-brained sometimes do not really kind of understand that portion.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  They will kind of throw that out of the window.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes. 

Baris Harvey:  Yes so what are… Oh, yes go ahead.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So it is great to have research.  Well, we have research on magnesium and other nutrients.  It is great to have research.  When we have research we use it.  The problem with researches today is we have lots of nutrients and things that are not really marketable.  We cannot make the billion or millions of dollars like the drug companies can.  So you are not going to get all these funding.  You are going to see some independent universities doing things and doctors like myself will look at that and use that evidence to support it.  But again, we do not have the billion dollar payroll so we are not going to be able to do a study on every single thing.  So in my opinion, clinical evidence, doing things, trying it, looking how, you observe, you know, N=1. Myself, I have, you know, hundreds if not thousands of patients I am working with that I can kind of draw influence from and do various things and have them report back to me.  And we can always you know see if we are seeing a beneficial effect.  So again, just because we do not have a study for everything it is not the way to go.   And again, we have most studies out there all industry funded. And when the industry like the drug company or like we can look at aspartame or artificial sweeteners, when they fund studies they are 99.9% in favor.  So you also have to look at who is funding the studies.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So ideally, independent studies are the best but frankly you are just not going to get a ton of them because there is not a whole bunch off money to make off of a $10 jug of you know Natural Calm, frankly. (Laughs)

Baris Harvey:   (Laughs)  Yes, right.  Exactly.  Yes, it is so true.  So what are some of the things that we can do in case you have any of these party animals down in your gut?  What are some of the things that we can do to kind of hush that down, get them out?  So that way they are not causing stress and they are not causing the cortisol splurge in the middle of the night.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So again, if someone is having these issues, I am working with a handful of patients right now with these exact problems.  We want to identify the infections.  Some people have more than one infection and it takes multiple treatments to get to them all.  We could see small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, various SIBO type of bacteria that is overgrown.  We can see various parasites: giardia, E. histo, Enterobacter bacteria, cryptosporidium, you know various amoebas.  These can cause stress at night as well.  So we want to identify what the infection is ideally and use some type of broad spectrum antimicrobial on it.  And again, the dosage is so important.  Like I mentioned a lot of the herbs, you can have a really good herb.  But if the quality is not there of the herb, like if it is just a cheap you know crappy supply of it or if you are not using it in the right therapeutic dosage, you may not have the same effect.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, and that is what is important about either going to you know high quality like natural food store that might have high quality supplements.  We are getting like practitioner grade supplements to kind of avoid some of those problems I have noticed.  And again some of these companies because there is not too much regulation by the FDA like there are a lot of rules set but it does not mean it is super.  Just because there is a speed limit it does not mean everybody follows the rule, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes. 

Baris Harvey:  So there are companies that might claim to have x amount in their supply and they don’t.  And another thing is some companies just add stuff in there and they might say like a proprietary blend if you look at kind of like the energy drinks.  I mean they are probably just dumping a bunch of caffeine but they will say like, “Oh, B vitamin.” Or maybe some taurine or some other amino acids but the dose is probably like super small.  They just put a tiny bit amount just to claim that that substance is in there but that does not necessary mean it is in there and doing anything.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right, is it actually functional?  Yes, I totally agree.  I am a big fan of using a practitioner line because a lot of the practitioner lines they hold themselves up to a higher standard than what the FDA would.  And again, I am not a big fan of the FDA just because ah, that is a whole other podcast.    

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   But essentially, there is massive connection between the drug companies and the FDA.  There are a lot of documentaries on that.  But essentially, I like it when supplement companies hold themselves up to a higher standard and say we are going to do this.  We are going to have independent studies, independent, you know, companies come in and test our sourcing and make sure what is in there is in there.  Make sure the contaminants and the junk is not in there.  And there are all kind of scandals, too where companies over in Japan and China are slapping labels of good quality products on crappy supplies.  We want to make sure what we are getting is direct from the source as possible so we can ensure potency and ensure quality.  Because the most expensive supplement or product is the one that is just not working or is just not what it is supposed to be.

Baris Harvey:   Exactly.  Exactly.   So we went over a lot of stuff, a lot of different tactics.  But let us kind of go full circle and kind of bring it back.  And we talked a little bit about food.  Let us make it a little bit more tactical for people.  Maybe it is around after dinner time they already have eaten but now they are getting a little bit of craving again.  What is like a go-to snack that can not only help or should I say not destroy their sleep but also might be beneficial to their sleep.  What would be one of your snacks?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, depending on how sensitive they are, some decent good quality dark chocolate can be helpful because dark chocolate is high in magnesium.  You just have to be careful there can be a little bit of caffeine in there.  So you have to figure out how caffeine sensitive you are.  So also on that note, on that thread right there, making sure no caffeine is consumed after noontime can be really helpful because caffeine does breakdown over like an 8-hour period.  So the caffeine is really important.  And a little bit of dark chocolate can be helpful after a meal.  I am talking upwards of upper 70s, low 80s.  I even go up to 90% dark chocolate can be helpful because of its magnesium content.  It gives you that good mouth feel like you have a nice little cheat.  So I like that.   

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I would do like after a meal, I will do a little bit of carbs.  Like if I have a good solid grass-fed meat and some vegetables, I will go steam a nice sweet potato and put some grass-fed butter on there and some cinnamon to get a little bit of carbs in.  And again, we need a little bit of insulin to get that tryptophan across that blood-brain barrier.  So that is where it comes down to having a really good digestion and making sure we are eating enough protein.  Because our amino acids especially if the amino acid L‑tryptophan gets broken down into 5-HTP which crosses the blood-brain barrier and then gets converted to serotonin in the brain via 5-HTP.  So we want to make sure that we are eating good proteins and that we are crossing that blood-brain barrier and converting over.  So that 5-HTP gets converted to serotonin.  That serotonin then gets converted to melatonin.  And that is really important for sleep.  So making sure protein is there and digestion is there.  And if you are having reflux or GERD or bloating or gas issues there is probably a good chance that you are not digesting and breaking down your proteins which could cause a deficit in the supply chain.        

Baris Harvey:  Wow!  That is really good.  Really a lot of good information.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So looking back, if someone is…

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So looking back, getting in some good turkey in there with some skin on it can be really helpful.  Maybe having a little bit of carbs with that to help bring up that insulin and help shuttle that serotonin or 5-HTP across the blood-brain barrier can be very helpful from a dietary perspective.  

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  Let us do one more because I do not want, because I love the snack thing and I think that is awesome.  And we talked about some of the herbs, talked about magnesium.  What is one other maybe amino acid supplement or maybe we have talked about tea maybe some kind of herb that is specifically meant for sleep?  Is there one thing that you might go to like a little hack that you might have?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So there are people out there that may have experimented with a benzodiazepine type of drug or something like a Xanax if you will.  This family of medications upregulate the GABA receptors and GABA kind of helps your brain relax.  So a couple of things that are really good at upregulating GABA are valerian root.  Valerian root is very powerful.  Hops, hops are very powerful.  L-theanine, this is an amino acid found in green tea.  That is why green tea can be very beneficial because you have a little bit of caffeine but again you have the L-theanine that can also have that relaxing effect.   So people that maybe need that stimulant effect but they have adrenal fatigue maybe do better with some Tulsi green tea with the adaptogens because they get the GABA and they get the anti-cortisol effects there.  But adding in the L-theanine, adding in the valerian, the hops, passion flower, lemon balm, these are great herbs that help kind of upregulate those GABA receptors potentially even adding in some GABA itself.  There is a little controversy in that, people say well if you do not have a leaky brain GABA is too big to cross it.  So, there is a little controversy there but when in doubt some of the herbs like valerian and passion flower and hops and lemon balm and L-theanine all will definitely do the job.  

Baris Harvey:  Yes, well great information.  And for the folks at home I want you guys to be able to listen to this and make sure that you send this out to people that might be having difficulties with sleep.  For more information make sure you go to

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Baris, can I add one more thing in?  I am sorry to cut you off.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  This is important.

Baris Harvey:  Oh no, no.  Yes, I just want to make sure to put the website in there one more time just in case people are listening to their phones you can always go to for much more and then you can ask us questions if you have any questions about sleep.  Yes, we are going to probably make a couple more about sleep because I still have a lot of questions and I have a lot of questions from different clients.  But yes go add one more thing for this episode.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Sure.  So really important there are people out there that has probably used melatonin.  Now I am very careful at using hormones unless we have testing.  Now some people we actually get testing back and their melatonin is low and that is where it may be beneficial to add that in.  But again, if you are seeing melatonin low we have to look where does melatonin come from?  Well, it comes from L-tryptophan that is an amino acid.  So is your digestion working?  So if you are noticing low melatonin on your blood work or saliva test, think digestion, right?  Next, if you are finding yourself having to use melatonin every night try using some of the more natural things and are more nutrient-based or herbal-based to help you fall asleep.  So we do not want to be dependent upon a hormone.  And thirdly, I do use melatonin from time to time.  I use it to reset my cycle after the weekend.  I find on the weekend time, when you are up later and maybe you sleep in a little bit that can throw off your rhythm just a little bit.  Taking melatonin on Sunday night can help reset my cycle, doing it an hour or two before sleep can help get my cycle reset.  So I recommend if you are going to use it, use it reset, to hack yourself when you are flying or when you are switching time zones or you are jet lagged or you are staying up a little bit later on the weekend to start your week.  But then make sure you go back to using more of the lifestyle and nutritional and herbal options to get you back on track so you are not leaning on melatonin as a crutch every night.   

Baris Harvey:  Yes, I am glad you brought up that point.  It is really important and I bet we would have a lot of questions about melatonin if you did not address it.  But I know one other question might pop up from that so what are the doses you might recommend?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Awesome.  I always recommend starting at the lowest dose possible.  I am a big fan of starting off with a sublingual melatonin between a half of milligram to one milligram to start.  Let it dissolve under your tongue so you can absorb it that way.  Some people may go up to 3 but you do not know.  If you just start at 3 you maybe be able to get away with a lot less.  And some people if they are constantly waking up throughout the night they may benefit from a time release melatonin that breaks down in a cellulose capsule over a 4-to 6-to 8-hour period so they get that slow release throughout the whole night.  So it would depend on what the issues are.  If it is going to sleep the sublingual would be best.  If it is staying asleep the prolonged release, sustained release would be best.  

Baris Harvey:  Yes, sounds awesome.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  One half of milligram to one milligram to start would be a good starting dose and then working up, titrating up slowly from there.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, that is what I have.  I have a 1 mg sublingual for times that maybe after the weekend, and I was up super late or even when I travel on a different time zone that is something awesome to use definitely.  So any last little notes maybe?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Meditation before bed can also be helpful, too.  I listen to various delta or theta wavelengths, these various CDs before bed to get my brain into those deeper, deeper type of electrical pattern so I can relax and wind down that can be helpful.  Dr. Jeffrey Thompson has some really good CDs to help put your brain into that type of state.  So that can be helpful if you just do not even want to take anything and maybe you are more of in the right‑brain and you want to listen to some music, those CDs can be helpful if you do not want to take a supplement.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, awesome.  So we are definitely not done on the topic of sleep.  And we will record more strategies, more tips for you.  And to stay in contact with us to make sure that you are getting these updates make sure you go to  You can enter in your email there so that way you can stay and be ready for the latest episode.  Make sure you also go to ITunes and give us a 5-star review.  We really appreciate it and cannot wait to hear from you guys and your feedback and we love addressing your questions.  So if you guys have any questions as well you guys can go to our contact box as well.   So thank you, Dr. Justin for coming on to the show today and again we will continue to put out more and more and more especially on sleep because sleep is super important.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, Baris.  Thanks.  The show is great, man.  Let us keep it up.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, sounds good.  Yes.  And I will hear from you, Dr. Justin next week and we will go ahead and put another one out for you guys next week.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Great.  Everyone you take care.

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