Aarn Farmer – How to Lose 200 Pounds and Keep It Off – Podcast #148

Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Aarn Farmer talk about how to super charge your body to be a fat burning machine. Aarn reviews the bad habits that caused him to gain over 200 pounds of fat as well as the struggle he went through to start creating healthy sustainable habits that allowed his body to start burning his excess fat reserves. 

Creating simple new habits allowed a massive hormonal shift to occur which favored the activation of fat burning hormones and enzymes like hormone sensitive lipase and glucagon while helping to lower his high levels of insulin. 
Listen to this inspiring story and learn how these amazing changes occurred. 

Aarn Farmer

In this episode, we will cover: 

02:12   Bad Habits Leading to Obesity

08:57   Sugar and Weight Loss

13:30   Obesity is Malnourishment

20:12   Small Amounts of Insulin Stops Weight Loss

31:17   Estrogen is a Fat Storage Hormone








Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey, everyone. It’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani here. We got a live podcast today with Aaron Farmer from mysugarfreejourney.com. Aarn has lost over 200 pounds in the last few years and we’re excited to kind of pick his brain a little bit and get some of the brain candy that’s really helped him lose all his weight. So, I’m excited to have that conversation. We’re gonna dig in to the nitty-gritty, and really excited to welcome Aarn to the podcast. Aarn, [inaudible]…

Aarn Farmer: Thank you so much for having me. Thanks. Thank you, Justin. I’m excited about getting to share my story and so, I appreciate you inviting me on.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, thank you. I was on your podcast a few weeks back, and great podcast; lots of great info and knowledge bombs that were dropped. And, we’re gonna…

Aarn Farmer: Absolutely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …drop some today, so very excited.

Aarn Farmer: Yep, absolutely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, first off, I like to kind of just figure out what the habits are that got you to where you were in the first place? So, you were what? Up to 400 and something pounds? Is that correct?

Aarn Farmer: Yeah. I was– I was 400 pounds, and the big issue that I had was my blood pressure. So, my blood pressure was 200/160. I was 400 pounds, and when– when I saw that blood pressure, uhm– and that wasn’t even– that was just kind of my normal blood pressure. It actually spiked even higher than that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow.

Aarn Farmer: On one occasion, it was 237/180, and the [stutter] the paramedics wouldn’t treat me. They wouldn’t do anything with me. They were – they were pretty sure that I wasn’t long for this world. So, when I saw that and I realized that blood pressure had killed both of my maternal grandparents. And then since then, uhm – since all these has happened, my father passed away from a stroke…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh.

Aarn Farmer: …due to, you know, high blood pressure, so I’ve got a really strong family history of blood pressure and obesity and all these things going on. So, I really had to kind of come to grips with the fact that if I didn’t make change that – you know, that I just, I just wasn’t gonna be long for this world. So, I really had to figure out what to do and how to do it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. So, you were very motivated to make these changes. Now let me…

Aarn Farmer: Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …kind of back up. So, walk me through the habits that you had in your life that caused you to put on all this weight. What was your diet like back then and your habits? Can you give me just a– I know on this show we tend to like, “Hey, what’d you eat today?” It’s kind of like a healthy thing…

Aarn Farmer: Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …to model people. Now, we’re kind of going in back– back in time and saying, “What were you eating to get that big? What was your daily routine like?”

Aarn Farmer: The biggest thing – the biggest thing that really, relly got me was I love just my soft drinks. [clears throat] And uhm – I had made the switch at some point over to diet soft drinks, but as we now know that diet soft drinks don’t really do a whole lot for you in terms of keeping you from gaining weight, as opposed to regular soft drinks. Yeah, they have less sugar in it but for whatever reason, every time somebody does some science on it, you see the same weight gain, or lack of weight loss when you switch to diet. So, I had switched over diet but, man, I was drinking– you know. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a Double Big Gulp but it’s like 60 – it’s pretty much a gallon or two liter of coke. And I had to at least one of those a day, if not two. And, you know, then have– you know, snacks, and I was a typical sugar-burner. I was eating food every three or four hours and not– could not really go very long without a snack, and eating, you know, crappy foods. My wife and I, we’re raising four kids, so we were just trying to eat the cheapest food we could possibly eat, which was on, as always, carbohydrates, you know, a lot of potatoes, a lot of rice, a lot of bread. Uhm– and uhm– the uh – but I didn’t– I thought I was eating pretty healthy. I just didn’t know what healthy food was. So, uhm– that was pretty much it. It was just the cheapest food possible and soft drinks.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it. I’m actually going live here on Facebook as we’re chatting, so we got Facebook here, live as well. We’re here with Aarn [crosstalk] Farmer and he has lost 200 pounds. Again, we just talked about Aarn’s habits that caused him to gain that weight in the first place. The couple of big habits were thee soft drinks, the sodas, the excessive carbohydrate, and then also the excessively cheap food. Again, we have cheap food, right? The government subsidizes 20 billion dollars per year for corn, for soy, for grains, so it tends to be a lot of grain-heavy trans-fat kind of junkie nutrient-poor foods. So that’s kind of what your daily routine was, soda, soft drinks. You were a sugar-burner constantly having to eat sugar…

Aarn Farmer: Constantly.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …to you just pumping Insulin all day long.

Aarn Farmer: Hmmn. And that’s– you have to do that if you want to get to 400 pounds. I didn’t know that at the time, but you’ve got to keep your Insulin levels just as high as they can possibly go to get to [crosstalk] 400 pounds.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Do you know your levels were at? You know what your Insulin or blood sugar A1C [inaudible]…

Aarn Farmer: You know, here’s the– here’s the crazy thing is that we got tested every, you know, every year so that we would in and get tested, and my A1C’s– I don’t what they were but every time I get them tested, they were never at a diabetic level because my wife had Type II diabetes. So, hers were getting tested same time and she was creeping up to a diabetic range but my A1Cs were staying – I mean, they were going up but they weren’t to the point where a doctor ever told me, “Hey, you’ve got Type II diabetes.” I did have a doctor tell me that I had metabolic syndrome, which is a little bit different but my A1Cs were not terrible.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, A1Cs weren’t bad. Do you have any fasting Insulin numbers? Any idea what those were like?

Aarn Farmer: No.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: No. Did you ever do a fasting glucose at all?

Aarn Farmer: Nope. No, I wouldn’t fast to– I wouldn’t have done that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it, totally. So, then you gained these 400 pounds over what, a decade? Two decades? What did that look like?

Aarn Farmer: Let’s say, probably two decades, because I really know I was having a problem when I was about 40, but I’ve been – I’m one of those people that have been overweight my entire life.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Aarn Farmer: So, you know, I was overweight in elementary school, in junior high, in high school, in college, and I wasn’t 400 pounds but I was always, you know, one of the bigger kids in the class. So, there’s never been a time that I’ve been, you know, thin.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. And you went from your heaviest to what? What was your heaviest? 400 and what?

Aarn Farmer: Well, [clears throat] I thought it was about 400 pounds but the truth of the matter is – is that my scale only went up to 400 pounds.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow.

Aarn Farmer: So, often it was just e– I was just a big old dude. In fact, uhm – let me show you something here. I keep this around as motivation.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And on your website too, at mysugarfreejourney.com, you have a pretty good before and after up there too. I saw.

Aarn Farmer: Oh, yeah. Yeah. That– I’m sorry, but that’s it. Yeah. So, I put mysugarfreejourney.com. I’ve got a picture of me of what I look like, and I was probably right around 400 pounds at that time. And, just– like I said, just a big old guy. I mean, I was just a– you know, I put a lot of weight, and we put on that much weight, you kind of– oh, I don’t know. You kind of fool yourself into thinking that it’s not that bad, and uh–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Aarn Farmer: …so, you kind of, just kind of justify it, but I’m showing your– your– Oop! [clears throat]. What happened there? Tsk, urrgh! Sometimes, technology just escapes me.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, [crosstalk] no problem.

Aarn Farmer: It’s big, this guy, isn’t it?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow.

Aarn Farmer: That’s me, and that’s my wife. That’s me about 400 pounds. That’s my wife about a hundred pounds heavier than she is now.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You guys lost it together. You guys lost over three hundred pounds together.

Aarn Farmer: Yeah, absolutely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Amazing. That’s good. So, you’re over 400 pounds, and now you’re at 198 today. What was – like, what was that “Aha! Moment” for you? Was it a book that you saw? Was it a gym or podcast?

Aarn Farmer: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Was it a doctor Atkins type of thing? What was that info? What was that flash that uhm– [inaudible]

Aarn Farmer: In the space, two or three weeks, there are three to four things that happened. Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Enough to make me think, “Oh! Well, maybe I should look at this.” So, the first thing that I ever read was a Yohoo – Yahoo, sorry. Yahoo health article, written by woman named Eve Schaub. He wrote a book, “A Year of No Sugar,” and she was telling me about how she went without sugar and all the things that happened because she didn’t have sugar. And the thing, she wasn’t overweight. She just did it to see what would happen. But, in it she– in the article, she mentioned that she– you might lose weight if you go without sugar. And, her book was on sell for, like, three dollars, so I happened to have three to four dollars on an Amazon gift card. I bought her book, and started to read it. And in the book, she mentioned Dr. Lustig’s videos, “Sugar: The Bitter Truth.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Ah. The Bitter Truth, yes.

Aarn Farmer: And I was like– and, boy! That video, he just – Dr. Lustig pretty much just read my mail and he went through everything that I have dealt with. You know, all the stuff that I was messing with in my health, and just said that sugar, sugar, sugar, you know, at the root of all this. So, I decide, “Okay. I’m done with sugar. I’m not gonna eat sugar anymore.” And uh– and uh – So, that’s actually when I started my sugar-free journey. That’s where that name came from, because I just wasn’t gonna eat sugar because I listed that as out. And, the only reason that website existed in the beginning was just so I could start [inaudible] information. You know, I was learning, and I wanted to – I wanted to have one place I could put my thought. Because it really – I mean it was a public blog but I wouldn’t tell anybody about it at the beginning. I just– it was– it was for me. And then, within probably two weeks of me watching that video, I – one of the podcast I listened to was uh– is uh– uhm– smart– Uh, gosh! Smart Passive Income with Pat Flynn.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, yeah. Pat Flynn, yeah.

Aarn Farmer: And so, he had a guy on named Vennie Torturidge.  Vennie Torturidge was talking about how he was having a lot of success having people [inaudible] grains. So, I – I said, “What? You know what? I’m already not eating sugars. Not that big a deal then to cut that grains too, if it will help, it will help. And so, not eating sugars and grains was really the big [inaudible] that started me down the path. [crosstalk] And I probably lost the first hundred pounds or so. Just not eating sugars and grains.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I love that. People…

Aarn Farmer: That’s how it all started.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. People forget like grains convert to sugar. I know a lot of people and like the weight loss community are just conventional health community. They think of like sugar as like, “Oh. It’s refined sugar. It’s got a sate on the back. It’s got a sate sugar. People forget that higher carbohydrate foods like higher fructose fruits or higher starches, especially grains can convert to sugar. Also, the inflammatory effects of grains, right?

Aarn Farmer: Yep.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Grains can also drive a lot of inflammation with the gluten sensitivity which can jack up your Cortisol, too, right?

Aarn Farmer: I didn’t know anything about the inflammation part of it, but I realize very quickly how inflamed I was, but I didn’t put the two together. So, almost three to four months of just not eating grains, I was – I got in the car, and I went to pull on the seatbelt. And my wedding ring flew off of my finger, and lost it. I mean, I still [inaudible]…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow.

Aarn Farmer: …for hours.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …that much weight around your extremities.

Aarn Farmer: But it wasn’t – it wasn’t the weight.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh.

Aarn Farmer: It was the inflammation…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Inflammation of course.

Aarn Farmer: …because I hadn’t lost a lot of weight.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hmm. Yep.

Aarn Farmer: It wasn’t the swelling in my hands that [crosstalk] gone down to point right. The ring got shot off my finger. So, I didn’t realize the reason for that until later. Until I started learning about the inflammatory agents in that grain is. And I realized that I was so inflamed that [inaudible] swell [inaudible]. And now, you know, I look at my hands like [inaudible], like the veins in my hand and my forearm and stuff, I can never see veins or anything. My hands were just too puffy. I can’t see anything like that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. People forget, like think about, you know, you are back to the day maybe you got a blackeye or something. What happens, right, when that inflammatory compounds…

Aarn Farmer: Supposed of.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …you got a less swelling, a histamine comes in that kind vasodilates, so the immune system kind of come in to fight it. Now, imagine like, little microscopic blackeyes throughout your whole body. Histamine’s higher, inflammation’s higher. You got all these Nuclear Factor KappaBbeta into Leukine cytokines. All of these things are driving inflammation. And then inflammation, right, tends to cause Cortisol to come about because Cortisol’s the natural firehose for the fire of inflammation. And Cortisol jacks up your blood sugar even more. So, you get this vicious cycle of having extra sugar in your diet to begin with, and then you were driving it higher with all of the stress hormones from all of the inflammation, right?

Aarn Farmer: Yep, and it was – it was like, you know – it’s a vicious cycle that you don’t realize that you’re in because, you know, just like the frog that’s in the pot of boiling water that heated that degree and the pot just– you know, the fog just stays in there until it boils to death. That’s what happens when you put on late, you know, pound and time, pound and time until– you know. The average American puts on one to three pounds of weight a year. You just don’t notice it when it’s that– when it’s that uhm– what would you call it? When it’s that gradual. Until one day you wake up and you’re, you know a hundred pounds overweight or two hundred pounds overweight, and you’ve realized that – that you’ve really done damage to your body.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, totally. And people forget too that when you – people think well, you know, we have this issue with excess calories and excess nourishment when you’re overweight, or when you’re obese. People don’t understand that you’re actually malnourished. You have so much sugar and so much carbohydrate coming in, your body is in a storage mode, and it can’t– it’s not actually able to tap in to that fuel because Insulin, it’s kind of like, you know– When you’re the conductor on the train tracks, you push it and the train goes one way or the other. When Insulin’s high like that. It’s taking all of that sugar and it’s putting into the fat cell and storing it. And all of that fat that’s in storage– all of those millions of calories of fat can’t be used. Because once the storage track is on, a burning track can’t be on. So, then you got all of this fuel, all of this energy that can’t be used at all. It’s like being– another analogy would be it’s like being a captive at sea, and all those waters around you can’t drink it because there’s too much salt in it, and it will throw off your electrolytes.

Aarn Farmer: I didn’t realize how crazy it was to be as overweight as I was and always hungry. I didn’t put that together, that I had all this extra weight. All this extra energy– and by all rights, I should have never been hungry, but yet I couldn’t put enough food in my mouth. And then as soon as I lowered my Insulin, I don’t get hungry very much at all anymore. [clears throat]

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. It’s amazing, so part of what you done was you modulated your hormones like it wasn’t a calorie thing with you. You modulated your hormones. You dropped Insulin, Insulin that affected Leptins, so then you actually felt satiated, right? So, you could actually take a breath and get a Kale. I feel good. Ghrelin got under checked. So, ghrelin is the stomach growling hormone. So then, your growling’s under checked. Your inflammation’s better, and then your body actually started burning fat for fuels. Is that correct?

Aarn Farmer: Yeah. So, I want to talk about this whole– the calorie idea because if there’s any one thing that I get on Twitter, I get flagged about it and when I talk to, you know, [inaudible] in our field, it really turns into an argument. And, uhm– the idea is that, “Oh. You lost weight. You lost 200 pounds because you cut back calories.” And uh – what most people have to understand is that’s just not true. What I did was, I lowered Insulin, and in the process of lowering Insulin, I eventually got around to cutting out calories because I wasn’t as hungry as much. But cutting out calories was not the cause of my weight loss. It was the effect. It was the thing that came stuck [inaudible].

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bingo! Bingo!

Aarn Farmer: [clears throat] And so, I want to make sure that I’m very, very clear about the cause and effect of my weight loss. I didn’t pursue cutting calories. I pursued lowering my Insulin levels and repairing my Insulin resistance. And then, as soon as I did that, the calories took care of themselves. I never counted a single calorie. I couldn’t care less how many calories I eat during the day. All I want to do is make sure that do not eat foods that cause an Insulin spike or any kind of glucose load on my system. And if I’ll do that, the calories will take care of themselves.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hundred percent. People forget this component, and some of the studies – one of the studies by Christopher Gardner back in 2006 was called the A to Z Study, where they looked at the Atkins versus the Standard American Diet versus the Ornish. One of things that was interesting was – It was ad libitum, so, the “at will”. You can eat as much as you want. And they did find that the people on the Atkins or the lower carbohydrate group did drop their calories. The difference is willpower was not a part of it. We basically upregulated these feedback loop. By dropping the Insulin resistance, we improve Leptin. Leptin’s a signal for satiation, and that part of the transfer’s lateral nucleus in the hypothalamus that tells your body you’re satiated. That then drops down ghrelin. Ghrelin is the stomach growling hormone. So, when your stomach’s not growling and you’re not having cravings, it’s amazing. You start eating the right stuff. And then you have CCK, which gets increased with protein and fat. You have Peptide YY. You’ve add a Panoctine. All of these foods, all of these neurochemicals are stimulated by you choosing the right foods, the healthy proteins and fats, and decreasing the inflammation. So, now you got this feedback loop that gives you the power– gives you the willpower back.

Aarn Farmer: yeah, and this is– a lot of times, if somebody’s doing a study where they’re comparing, you know, a low carb versus a low-fat diet uhm– like, uhm– what’s his name? Gary Taubes. He had a scientific…

 Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

Aarn Farmer: …you know, thing that he did. [crosstalk] Yeah. So, they did– [crosstalk] They did a study there where they were comparing low-carb and low-fat. And– but they held calories constants. So, both groups had to eat the same number of calories.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

Aarn Farmer: And then at the end there like well, you know, there’s no discernable difference. And I was like, “You know, you took out the one thing that makes a high-fat low-carb diet work, which is when you eat– you know, when you eat LCHF, you don’t have to eat it. you don’t have to eat as many carbohydrates. And so, you removed the one thing, you know that [stutter] appetite regulation that makes a low carb diet work. And once you let them go ad libitum, then you start seeing marked differences, not just in– We see simple marked differences in weight, but you see marked differences in calorie consumption. But not if you– not if you chase calorie consumption first. That’s got to be a variable that can rise and fall at will. That’s when you start seeing the difference.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bingo! And then also, you’re body’s spitting out those ketones, right? So…

Aarn Farmer: Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …now, you’re a fat burner. So, it’s like you’re on that train track. The conductor’s kind of have a fork in the road. It can neither be a sugar-burner, which that needs. When you’re burning sugar, that means you’re not burning fat. And if you got like millions of calories of fat, and you only can basically have access to a couple hundred grams of carbohydrate at one time, so then basically, you’re relying on a very macro – small – I mean, micro percentage of your fuel and sugar, right? Because, you only can have about a teaspoon of sugar in your blood at one time. So, when you have a hundred [crosstalk] mg for [incomprehensible] health, that’s one teaspoon. Your liver can store about 65-75 grams of carbohydrate. Your muscle store about 300. The rest goes as fat. So, once you tap in to that sugar, all that fat. All of that, in your case, 200 and something pounds of fat couldn’t even be touched. So, you’re basically flipping the switch on the track. So then, you’re going down that fat-burning track versus the sugar-burning track.

Aarn Farmer: Yep. Yeah, and that’s, yeah. And that’s– that’s so– that’s so keen. It’s so crucial is that– you know, it’s the Insulin. And it just takes a– takes a– an incredibly small amount of sugar to stop weight loss. And, especially if you are morbidly obese, because you have Insulin resistance. So, at the beginning, when I was 400 pounds, 350, 300, I could eat [inaudible] food shop. And I was – I was done losing weight for the week. You know, it just made me dump so much Insulin into my system. It took me a long time. It took me a lot of discipline in my diet. But also, a lot of weight train. A lot of weight-bearing exercises to really conquer my Insulin resistance.  So, you know, when I talk to somebody’s morbidly obese, you know, I have to– I have to tell them their body does not react to carbs the way someone else’s, you know, diet. Or someone else’s body does, you know you’d see people that are doing, like a sweet potato cycling, you know, diet. That’s great if you have 20 pounds to lose. But you got 200 pounds to lose and you eat the sweet potato. You’re not gonna lose weight that way. You know, it’s just– it’s just not going to happen for you. You’ve got to conquer your Insulin resistance first, and then if you want to cycle in a sweet potato once in a while that can’t hurt anything. But you’ve to get that Insulin resistance dealt with…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Aarn Farmer: …in the beginning.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And I think it’s hard because you got a lot of people online, like this higher carb people out there. I mean, let’s just say maybe Chris Kresser or other people like Paul Jaminet. They’re just like– the more leaner they kind of act the more state. They do well with, you know, let’s say a moderate. Kresser’s probably a moderate carb guy, but there are guys like Dean Ornish, or uhm– Nad Yadkin, a guy up in Northern California there. It’ll come to me. But these guys are starch guys. They’ve a lot more Predikins. One of those is well – one more guy. [crosstalk] One more…

Aarn Farmer: Hey, I just watched him on that. What the Health podcast…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes! He was on What the Health. Exactly. I know that he’s clinic’s up at Northern California there. It’ll come to me one second. But these guys are big on starch, like starch is like an essential nutrient for these guys. But when you were Insulin resistant, that means your cells are numb to Insulin, so the amount of Insulin that has to be produced to basically get that sugar into the cell is so much more. Now, I’ll go back to that A to Z study. One thing that Christopher Gardner found in that study, I think, that was profound. He found that the groups that had less than seven units of Insulin lost weight. Whether they were low-carb or low-fat. Now that was profound to me, because the more Insulin sensitive you were, it didn’t necessarily matter what diet you did, right? As long as the calories dropped. Now, the crazy thing was, the group that had the higher levels of Insulin, they only lost the weight when they cut the carbohydrate. So, that’s the profound thing is that when you get a lot of people that are giving advice about diet. And they’re more ectomorphic or more Insulin-sensitive. They may not have the empathy to understand what the Insulin-resistant folks are going through, so I totally get it and I’m kind of on that fence. I do much better with the LCHF or low-carb high-fat kind of moderate protein steak as well. I get that.

Aarn Farmer: And when you– ‘cause I– the [stutter] the big kind of thing to say in the health world is that diet is a– is personally like– You know, everything can be, you know, personalized in what works for this person might not work for that person. And I get what they’re saying in there, but what– the part of the equation that they usually leave out is that the – the one variable [inaudible] Without fail, the one variable that you need to look at first and foremost is Insulin resistance. And once you– once you can determine the level of Insulin resistance, you can– you can figure out what diet will be working– you know, good for them. If someone is Insulin-sensitive, they can go like, you say, they didn’t do almost anything to lose weight. When someone is really, really Insulin-resistant, you’ve got to cut carbs because there’s no other way. That’s what uh– Doctor [inaudible]. He did the– Oh. He just passed away. I can’t think of his name. But he did the uhm– The Insulin Resistance Studies, where he did like a five-hour glucose monitor test, and he put them in four-five different categories, depending on uhm– depending on how Insulin resistant they were.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Aarn Farmer: So, there is a– I forget his name. It’ll come to me, just– but there is a mechanism to determine how Insulin-resistant someone is. And if you can do that test and determine that you– that is the [inaudible] that you can look at to determine which diet is good for you. Or, you can skip all that and just go– just go, you know, low-carb high-fat, and that’ll work for almost– almost everyone. i haven’t really found anyone that it doesn’t work for.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. My wife is pregnant right now. We’re having our first child then next month but we would do functional glucose tolerance testing with her and we’d see how she respond after our meal. But you know, she would be – the goal would be to both be below 120 within two hours. And ideally – ideally, a hundred within two hours but below 120 within two hours in the blood sugar meter. And we should add a little bit of starch in there. It would definitely linger up. Or if she add a little bit of starch but she went for a 30-minute walk after dinner, the blood sugar dropped better then as well. So, we noticed that if she added a little bit of starch, she needed a little bit of walk. And if she wasn’t walking, she’d be really careful with the carbohydrates. So, we could see that with the blood sugar monitoring, which is great.

Aarn Farmer: And, you know, just blood sugar’s a fuel. You know, if it’s in your blood, you’ve got to use it to store it. So, if you give that – that fuel something to do, go for a walk, lift something heavy. You know, do some kind of physical activity. You’re gonna burn off that blood sugar and then get to the point where you are burning fat again.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. Hundred percent. And the starch guy I was thinking, that was Dr. McDougall. McDougall was…

Aarn Farmer: McDougall, that’s exactly right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep, McDougall. Now, the big thing too is – alright, great. So, you lose all this fat. Now, you also got to put muscle on, right? Because, when you’re Insulin-resistant, it’s also hard to put muscle on because your body is in such a stressed-out state, it’s putting on all this fat. It’s gonna also have a hard time putting on muscles. So, a lot of people wo gained fat can also be kind of Sarcopenic, unless they’re doing a lot of lifting and such too. So, getting the lifting going’s important because lifting increases Insulin sensitivity. It increases the amount of GLUT4 receptors, on– in your the body. And GLUT4 helps grab sugar or glucose and pull it in the muscle to be burned. [crosstalk] So, imagine your kid puts a, you know, makes a huge mess on the table. Imagine you have a small little sponge this big or this huge big sponge that you wash your car with, right? The huge [crosstalk] big sponge got to sop up that mess like that. Think of that’s what muscle is for your blood sugar. So, I’m just curious. What’s your take on that and what did you do afterwards to help increase muscle mass. And– and would you notice because of it?

Aarn Farmer: Well, definitely, the muscle mass went up. In fact, the– I was pretty happy, so I do [inaudible] the exercise. I used to do like really heavy lifting, like do strong lifts and everything.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Aarn Farmer: And I just – I got to the point where I was hurting myself a little bit. I thought, “I don’t want to do this anymore.” And, uhm– so, I do – I’ll ride my bike, at least half an hour a day. I walk my dog, and she’s a [inaudible] though. I walk her, you know, for about a half an hour a day. It’s about a mile walk. And then, the weightlifting exercise I do is kettlebell because I can just go grab my kettlebell and stand in my living room and pop that out in 20 or 30 minutes. And it works out my legs. It works out my back. It works out my butt. It works out my arms, my shoulders. And it’s just one motion that does a bunch of different things, [crosstalk] which actually…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love kettlebell. It’s so great.

Aarn Farmer: …because I don’t…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: One thing, It’s awesome.

Aarn Farmer: I don’t want to spend a lot of time doing it, but it does. So, what I’ve noticed was that it was the weight-bearing exercise, more than anything else. It was the weight-bearing exercise that allowed me to really break my Insulin resistance. Not that it’s perfect but, boy, it’s a heck of a lot better now than it was at 400 pounds. In fact, I remember the day I was probably about 230? 230 or 240 pounds or so. We went out to eat and I had some chips and sauce at a little Mexican restaurant. Cheese, a little bit. And so, I expected to not be able to lose weight for, you know, five or six days, usually what it was. And, two days after I had those chips, I was back down to losing weight. And I really, really celebrated that day because that’s when I realize that my Insulin resistance had to reduce, you know, a lot. And the muscle training I was doing was getting me to the point where I was able to eat– not that I really want to eat carbs, but if I did eat carbs, they had some place to go and something to do in my body.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And I’m a big fan. If you’re gonna cheat a little bit, try doing a little bit of resistance training or burst training before. It’s like, ring me off that sponge, and now you can have – you can soak it up a little better. So, I like that. Now, when you were kind of on that journey, did you see any other issues with your thyroid, with any other metabolic issues that you noticed that you had to address as well?

Aarn Farmer: No. My wife had some thyroid issues, and uhm – so we’ve had to – we’ve had to keep that looked at and really kind of monitor closely. Elrest– I don’t know if you’re familiar with her, but she wrote a book, The [inaudible] Solution, I believe is the name of it. And I actually got her on my podcast and kind of grilled her [laughs]. That’s what stuff do to her. She was very, very helpful about some things that we need to do for Diane. And I tell you one thing that might be– your listeners might not– might not know. I guess that’s what I’m trying to say.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Aarn Farmer: Is one of the– one of the things that you can do for thyroid health is, believe it or not, it’s to throw away Morton salt, and switch on to a really high-quality seabed salt, something that has Iodine in it and something that has Potassium chloride and not– where it’s not just Sodium. You’ve actually got these other trace minerals…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Other minerals in there.

Aarn Farmer: It was when we switched from Morton’s over to this real salt, and Himalayan uh – Pink Himalayan salt that we started seeing a little bit of movement in her thyroid. And then we did a couple test to up her – or change her thyroid medicine. I forget what the changes were but that was the only thing that I saw that had to change. But in my own health, no man. I was textbook, man. My triglycerides dropped like a rock. My HTL went up. My LDL went down. My blood pressure went down, you know, 50 points. You know, it was pretty much every good thing that you can think of, you know, to happen to me happened to me. I was predictable. Now, I’m a guy, so you know, it was– guys are a little bit, I think– I have more experience with this, but I think guys are– usually have an easier time losing weight.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Aarn Farmer: Because we don’t have, you know, we don’t have this many hormonal things going on.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Estrogen kind of teams up with Insulin, right? It’s kind of a fat storage hormone as well, where guys have ten times more testosterone. So, that kind of drives more of the muscle growth, which then drives the fats out. Women had this extra kind of variable with estrogen that definitely compacts and makes the Insulin worse for sure.

Aarn Farmer: Yeah, and so, there’s a lot more going on with women than men, so– you know, I’m very sensitive to that too, because, you know, I’d say, hormonally, women are, you know, swiss watches and mini bricks. There’s just not as many moving parts in men that you have to deal with, you know, as compared to women.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. That makes sense. I see that all the time. I’ve primarily treat women, so I get that. Now, walk me through like the biggest, like the three biggest changes. So, you made this, you know, this change. You saw Dr. Ludwig’s – or Dr. Lustig’s video…

Aarn Farmer: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …Sugar: The Bitter, yeah. Dr. Lutwig is another doctor over at Harvard there, so their kind of two of the same. But you mentioned that you saw this video, “Sugar: The Bitter Truth.” Great video to watch. We’ll put it in the show notes. What were the changes outside of cutting some of the carbohydrate and glucose and grains out? What other three changes that you made that really made a difference. You mentioned the sea salt also helped too. What else?

Aarn Farmer: So, I started paying attention to what I was eating because I – what I mean is – is that because I wasn’t eating as much, I need to make sure that what I was eating was the highest quality food that I could afford. So, you know, like when I would eat bacon, I would try to get a Nitrate-free and [crosstalk] sugar-free bacon.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Aarn Farmer: Yeah, Pasteur-fed bacon.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Aarn Farmer: …when I was eating a beef, I was doing my bet to get either grass-fed, or if could afford it, grass-fed and grass-finished. If I, you know– if I could – if I could do that. Uhm– my– I’m really lucky that my next door neighbor, like literally, my next door neighbor sells uh– sells uh– pasteuri– [crosstalk] bad eggs as one tries to say.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Aarn Farmer: So, he sells those for five bucks a dozen.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it.

Aarn Farmer: So, I can get high-quality eggs pretty much everytime that I want.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Great deal.

Aarn Farmer: Uhm– so, told you about salt. So, I really paid attention to the uhm– to my uh – I really paid attention to the quality of food I was putting into not just my body but my wife’s body too. I want to make sure that we were getting the most bang for our buck. I started taking Magnesium. I realized that I was Magnesium-deficient. Uhm – and I started taking a very high-quality Magnesium, which…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Makes sense.

Aarn Farmer: I – you know, I was really surprised at uhm – at the effect the Magnesium had on me, because it was – It was when I started taking Magnesium that I started to see the biggest drops in my blood pressure, because, you know, Magnesium just relaxes you, relaxes your muscles, relaxes your blood vessels. It just – it just relaxes you. And uh – so when I started taking that Magnesium, that was a big factor in my blood pressure dropping. In fact, I think that was a big factor. And why it was so high for so long is…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Aarn Farmer: …because I was eating such crappy food that I was – I was probably, totally deficient in Magnesium. And uh – so that I was glad that – I was glad that I found it. I just got to stumble, you know, on that. And uhm – and then the other thing was just keeping my fats up, you know, I– [stutter] I have focused on fats as the most important part of my diet. I’ve made sure that fat was, you know, I looked at the fat first before I started looking at the other parts of – of you know, of any particular meal that I was eating, and made sure that I was getting enough fat and made sure that at least 60 percent of my diet was fat. So, no carbs, 60 percent of it are [inaudible]…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Then a lot of good healthy [incomprehensible], right?

Aarn Farmer: …carbs. And all of my carbs are complex. But yeah. Monounsaturated fat with olive oil, butter, lots of animal fat, and then, you know, green leafy vegetables and uh–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Aarn Farmer: [inaudible]

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right on. And, any opinion on this coconut kind of stuff, let’s just say, hysteria that’s coming out of the American Heart Association? What do you think about that?

Aarn Farmer: Johnny Sears had a uh – I think that’s his name he had a great video. I don’t know if you saw it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Aarn Farmer: But it is so good, where he had said, “You know, the American [crosstalk] Dietary Association is American, and guess what America doesn’t grow. America doesn’t really grow coconuts. So, there’s no financial incentive to incentivize people to eat coconuts. If you’re an American dietetics so she is because coconuts are an important food. But, guess what America grows a ton of? [crosstalk] It grows a ton of soy bean, weed, corn and there’s a ton of incentive to incentivize people to eat canola oil and, you know, to eat these polyunsaturated fats and corn oil, and cottonseed oil. And that’s, you know, that’s something that we, as Americans, we grow on abundant – in abundance. And, I think it’s really disingenuous, and that really used to be a ricketing with the screw, because the – they’re giving out – I mean, you could – you could forgive them in the beginning because, you know, some of this – there’s a lot of bad information out there. But, you know, were 50 years down the road. I mean, we’ve – Tina – new titles books has been out for a decade now, almost.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Aarn Farmer: There’s really no excuse to not have the science. And if that’s your field, if that’s what you’re all about – is fat and dangers of fat, you need to have kept up with the science. You need to kept up with studies and realize that, you know, the science has moved on. It has left your really terrible advice behind. So, I’m…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Aarn Farmer: …pro coconut oil.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, I am too. I mean, saturated fats tend to be very stable. I’m more concerned about a lot of the refined either, you know, unste – refined polyunsaturated fats, especially the refined omega-6 ones that come from the vegetable oils that tend to be extracted in ways that have lots of heat and come in a very unnatural way that, basically, destroys the fat. And number two, if you look at coconut oil, right? If you look at saturated fat, when you take, it– it may increase your cholesterol a tiny bit if it does. But it will also increase your HTL and decrease your triglycerides. So, you see the improvement in your ratio many times. Your HTL to triglyceride ratio tends to get better less than to or closer to one-to-one. And a lot of the older studies that look at the coconut oil and saturated fat. They don’t really factor out the trans-fats, [crosstalk] so they kind of lump in trans-fat with saturated fat. And once you control for those variables, you take out those confounding variables, you see a massive improvement. And actually, there goes 2010 or 2011, I met Dr. Robert Lustig at [crosstalk] American Heart Association event. It was a fundraiser. I went to it. But again, there’s a lot of funding in and around in the American Heart Association that, you know, may create some conflicts of interest with a lot of processed food companies in United States. So, we got to be careful. We got to look at the confounding variables. I understand people that are in the documentary What the Health, and they talk so poorly about animal products. They don’t really differentiate between CAFO feedlot types of, let’s say, animals and the good grass-fed beef or the Pasteur-fed chickens. They kind of lump it in into all and one big bucket. And we know we kind of have to differentiate that, right?

Aarn Farmer: have you – have you ever had The Vegetarian Myth?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Is that by Lierre Keith?

Aarn Farmer: Lierre Keith, yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes…

Aarn Farmer: Fascinatedly, but I’m actually reading it right now.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …a lot of interviews where she’s broken down a lot of the key concepts and points. But yeah, I’m familiar with Lierre’s work.

Aarn Farmer: So, in the books she – it’s [stutters] even more militant, I guess, is probably…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Aarn Farmer: …the best word of her opinions. And you know, she makes a very, very compelling point that Veganism is killing the planet. That once you start, you know, basically destroying huge slots of the American heartland to plant corn, and you know, these big monocrops. That you are condemning that area to die, and that’s, you know, she makes the point…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Aarn Farmer: …that, you know, the Middle East used to be a garden. You know, there were seeders in Lebanon. There were, you know, it was the garden of – it was the cradle of civilization, and look at it now.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Aarn Farmer: It’s because they– they over-farmed, they over– they, you know. They overconsumed the resources of land and now it’s just a, you know, it’s just a desert. You know, there’s nothing anywhere. And that’s what we’re endangered doing to our self. And so, you know that– what the – that What the Health documentary. The guy that uh – I forget which one. Which, well, Vegan person said it but the – it said that, you know, sugar has no bearing on diabetes, that diabetes is caused by dietary fat. I’m like, “What?” You know, where are you getting this? There’s no, there’s no scientific basis for this…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: What’s the mechanism–

Aarn Farmer: …at all

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: What’s the mechanism? We know the diagnosis of diabetes has to do with your blood sugar being – blood sugar being over a 126 milligrams/deciliter above, and one-tenth for pre-diabetes. So, walk me through the mechanism. Walk me through your thinking at how fat, which has zero sugar in it, the zero – very gluconeogenesis that happens. How does that increase your blood sugar? It doesn’t.

Aarn Farmer: It doesn’t. And so, these doctors are getting on – and you know that –

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Insane.

Aarn Farmer: …they all [incomprehensible] about science. Science progressing one funeral at a time. You know, a lot of these Vegan doctors, unfortunately, are gonna have to, you know, that are gonna have to go away before the next generation of nutritionist are able to stand out and say, “Oh my gosh. We’ve had it wrong for 50 years. We’ve got to – we’ve got to make some serious changes to the what we’re telling the American public.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. And to get adequate proteins at least you have to get to do a lot of food combining, which tends to, you know, to get an adequate amount of protein and being a vegetarian, and not doing protein powders, you typically have to get at least 250 to 300 grams of carbohydrate a day. And if your Insulin resistant, that’s probably gonna be too much. Now, if you’re really [crosstalk] sensitive…

Aarn Farmer: Way too much.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …side and doing a lot of exercise, you may be able to get away with it. again, the benefit that you get from animal proteins is you get really good healthy saturated fats, especially if it’s grass-fed or fish, and such. But then you also get some really good protein with all those sugar and carbohydrate.

Aarn Farmer: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Do you agree?

Aarn Farmer: Absolutely. And that’s, you know, your body is made of fats and proteins. There’s no, you know– there’s no essential carbohydrate.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I know.

Aarn Farmer: You know there’s no need for grains. And you’re not made of grains. You’re made of– you’re an animal. You’re made of animal stuff…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Aarn Farmer: …just to go eat animal stuff. And uh– you know, I was – that was the thing that have really was how quickly my – uh – it may took a three and a half years to lose 200 pounds but how quickly all of the othere markers of metabolic disease…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Aarn Farmer: …just disappeared as soon as I took those sugars and grains out. It just– everything…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Aarn Farmer: Everything evaporated. And I was a much healthier person two weeks after I started this diet. You know, even though you couldn’t see the change in my body, I was a far healthier person. You know, really, really, really early on, just by – just buy eating what I was supposed to eat.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. That makes a lot of sense to me. I think we hit all the key points here.

Aarn Farmer: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Is there anything else you wanted to add here, Aarn?

Aarn Farmer: No, I just – I wanted to invite people to come over to the blog. If they want to come to kind of read what I’m doing. mysugarfreejourney.com, I have a podcast. You can find it there on the front page. Uhm– I do also have a program where I mail at a Ketogenic meal plan every week. If you like to sign up for that, it’s at mysugarfreejourney.com/28day because there’s a 28-day training program that goes on with it. And that get you into a whole like an exclusive Facebook group, with a bunch of peers, about a thousand people in there that are using the Ketogenic diet to lose weight and to restore their health. And were doing some really amazing things in that room. So, you guys can come check that out: my sugarfreejourney.com/28day if you’d like to join us there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I love it. That’s great. And one thing I want to add is– there’s one kind of controversial areas where you have if you go low-carbohydrate and high-fat, there’s some people I find that if they go too low-carb and then maybe more on the Insulin-sensitive side that the potential Cortisol response that they get from being lower carb for too long for them, may cause excess sugar from the Cortisol Response. That’s kind of one variable it’s not with everyone, but I do find the people that may have a negative consequence or negative experience going low-carbohydrate, they may actually find their blood sugar gets better when they gently up some of the carbohydrates. So, kind of mind-default template is: always start lower carb higher fat moderate protein. Hit the wall. Some people never hit the wall, and they just feel great and do great, and some actually, increasing the carbohydrates 10 to 15 grams per week, they may find a sweet spot, where some of the hair loss or cold hands or cold feet or the energy symptoms pick up. So, default is…

Aarn Farmer: Do you ever [incomprehensible]…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Go ahead, yeah.

Aarn Farmer: Do – I was gonna ask if somebody that does that, do you ever find that– that after say – say six months of kind of – of bringing their carbs back up, they fake and then lower the carbs again, and see that once they’ve kind of – they kind of easing into it a little bit. Do you – do you ever find that that – that response goes away over time?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. What tends to happen is: there tends to be like a cyclical thing that happens where they cycle the carbohydrates up a little bit. They tend to be able to go back down and not quite have those symptoms again. So, they may be kind of a cyclical fashion to it. And you know, evolution. Early it makes sense because, you know, there may be some famine. We don’t eat as much. Maybe the carbohydrate’s restricted. Maybe it’s just meat. Maybe it’s the winter time. And then, “Hey. Spring comes.” We got all this berries and things to harvest.

Aarn Farmer: Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: We eat a little bit, and then we go back to this kind of lower carbohydrate mode based on the season. So, it makes sense from that perspective.

Aarn Farmer: Even then, you were talking about complex carbohydrates. You’re not saying I need a piece of bread, or white bread, or something they used to say and eat more, like squash, zucchini, you know, carrots, onions, you know…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Aarn Farmer: Some of the more complex carbohydrates, yeah. [crosstalk] I would– I would agree.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, my recommendations are always anti-inflammatory nutrient-dense, right? Because the nutrient density is important. And the low toxin. So, of course, the carbohydrate should be, you know, maybe some lower fructose fruit, berries, lemon, lime, grape fruit, maybe an orange or apple. And then some of the safer starches: squash, sweet potato, plantains. But then do it incrementally. And even in Atkins in Atkins’ uhm– diet approach. He has, you know, induction, which is the very low carbohydrate ketosis phase. And then he has the OWL, the Ongoing Weight Loss phase, where you hit the wall, you up ten grams of carbs per week. And even Atkins has that kind of calibration thing built into.

Aarn Farmer: Yep, absolutely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, any other comments here? Aarn, you dropped some good knowledge bombs I appreciate you walking us through your experience. Anything else?

Aarn Farmer: Yeah. I think the only other thing I would add, for those of you that’s – if you’re listen to this and you are morbidly obese, I just want to encourage you that you’re not – it’s not hopeless for you. That if I can do it, anyone can do it. And there’s no one more addicted to sugar than me. Uhm – and it just took – it just took a couple things I had to d– make sure that I understood why I was doing it. I was keeping that why in front of me. And you know what, in two or three or four years, you’re gonna be three or four years older anyway. There’s nothing you can do about the march of time. But wouldn’t it be nice if in four years, you were a hundred pounds lighter than you are now? Or two hundred pounds lighter? And you can do it, if you just start making the right choices now. And make commitments. Stick with it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Aarn, I really appreciate you coming on the show. People like you talking to people that have actually gone through that 200-pound journey, it takes a while but you did it. You got the information. You cut through all this exercise more, eat less crap. You got the real information. You did it. You’re living proof. So, I appreciate you know, the results, right here in front of us. That’s great inspiration. So, if you are at that place, where you’re overweight, you know, a hundred pounds or even fifty pounds, we at least went over some things, some action items that we can do. And Aarn, thanks so much for coming on the podcast. I appreciate it.

Aarn Farmer: Hey, it’s a pleasure. I really enjoyed this. Thank you so much for having me on.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Awesome. Thank you. Have a great day.

Aarn Farmer: Thank you. You do the same.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Thanks.




“A Year of No Sugar” by Eve O. Schaub

“Sugar: The Bitter Truth” by Dr. Robert Lustig (videos)

“The Vegetarian Myth” by Lierre Keith

Rachel Adams – Lifestyle strategies to get your health back on track – Podcast #113

Dr. Justin Marchegiani’s guest for this podcast episode is Rachel Adams. Listen as she shares her life journey that will inspire people who are experiencing the same similar issues as she did to really fight and become who they are meant to be. 

Rachel AdamsDiscover how changing your diet, adjusting sleeping habits, paying close attention to nutrition, and taking time to exercise, even in subtle ways can surely impact your overall health and wellness. Learn practical tips and tricks that you can apply in your life right now to get you moving in the right direction health-wise.

In this episode, topics include:

01:05   Rachel’s story

09:03   The 90-day journey

14:35   Diet changes

28:25   Sleep habits

36:26   Supplements for pain and inflammation







Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Hey there, it’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani. Welcome back to Beyond Wellness Radio. Today we have a really great interview with Rachel Adams. Rachel has a real interesting story. She is an executive, owns four different businesses, is really big in the real estate industry, and she had a health crisis about three years ago. And she’s taken a lot of the health principles that we talk about on the show, sleep, diet, nutrition, exercise, and she’s really turned her health around. I think it’s great for people that are in or were in Rachel’s situation to really have the hope to see someone that’s been where they are now and get out of it. So I’m happy to introduce Rachel to the show. Rachel, how you doin’?

Rachel Adams:  I’m awesome. Thank you so much for having me, happy whatever day today is to you.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Happy Monday, right?

Rachel Adams:  Happy Monday!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Cool. Well, why don’t you share with the listeners your story? I think you have a compelling story—people that are trying to make it, whether it’s they’re executives or entrepreneurs, or just a busy, you know, housewife that’s trying to make it by and has—is struggling with health symptoms. Why don’t you just talk about yourself and your story?

Rachel Adams:  Definitely. Well, you know, I—I really wanted—I’ve always kind of been a person who has struggled a little bit with like weight and body issues and, yeah, I’m 5 feet tall. So I’ve only going to—I’m never gonna grow vertically. I’ll only grow horizontally.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Rachel Adams:  And so for me, weight’s been something I really struggled with, but what happened is that I—I hit top without an agent for the country, for the Wall Street Journal for real estate in three years. And so from the outside looking in, my world looked perfect. Like if you wanna talk about like the Facebook life, right? Because everything you see on Facebook is real.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, exactly.

Rachel Adams:  And so, you know, I had the perfect car, the perfect life, the perfect job, but what people didn’t know if that is that, you know, a lot of times in—in the struggle it takes to—to have such massive success in three years, you give up some stuff. And some of the things that I wasn’t necessarily admitting to people was that in the three years, I had gotten a divorce that I never dealt with.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  I had gained 32 pounds.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  And I was putting everybody else’s needs in front of my own, like family, friends, clients, you name it. And my corporate company, Keller Williams Realty–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Rachel Adams:  They’ve heard there is this young girl, she’s doing big things, like let’s bring her down to Texas, to headquarters, and interview her on how she’s leading this amazing lifestyle and she’s so successful. Because at the time, I’m literally travelling all around the US, like coaching people on how to build a business and work on their mindset. So I go to Texas to shoot this commercial and I’m sitting down with Nina Rowan Heller, and she is an international health and wellness coach. She has coached Matthew McConaughey.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  Founders of Microsoft, like leaders at Keller Williams, and I go there and I, you know, get hair and make-up done, and I’m wearing like the most serious squarest things you could buy.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Rachel Adams:  Kinda like suck it all in, and I go to interview with her and—and I’m used to people asking me questions about real estate, so I’ve got like my normal canned answers. But we’re going through the questions and Nina stops and kinda gives me a funny look and she’s like, “And how does that make you feel?” And I’m like, “Feel?” I mean, you know, bumps and bruises but you do it, too.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  And then we keep talking and she stops again, and she’s like, “And how did that make you feel?” I’m like, “Ah, you know, I mean it was tough, but that’s what happens.” And so we keep talking and she kinda like gets this funny smirk on her face and she’s—she looks at the camera crew and she is like, “Hey guys, can I get you to step outside for a second?” And they step outside and I’m like, “What is going on?” You know? And she takes my hand then she says something to me that I’ll never forget. She said, “Rachel, have you ever heard that your video isn’t matching your audio?” Like what you said or doing–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  It’s clear you’re not doing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  I’m like, “Well, I’ve heard it but not in relation to me.” And she’s like, “Sweetie, what’s really going on?” And I’ll tell you, Justin. It was like in this workout bench, in Texas, in this fancy outfit, I just like burst into tears.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Rachel Adams:  And I just said, “You know what, Nina? I got a divorce and I’ve never dealt with it, and I thought that if I shoved it down far enough, it’d go away.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right. Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  But unfortunately, it’s showing up in different ways. You know, it’s showing up in unhealthy, like you know, unhealthy food habits. It’s showing up in like, I’m like, “Nina, I literally have a headache, but I also didn’t sleep well last night. So I’m taking an Advil with a cup of coffee.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, man.

Rachel Adams:  You know, my–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Your poor gut.

Rachel Adams:  I know. I know. I know. And I’m just like, you know what, I was—I was just—I was happy on the outside because I choose to be happy.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  But when I went home at night like I wasn’t happy, and we end up having—instead of doing this interview, we have this amazing 2-hour conversation about what my life could look like if I was truly leading it with authenticity–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Rachel Adams:  And intention. And instead of feeling like my divorce was something that I needed to be ashamed of–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Rachel Adams:  Know that it’s just part of my journey, and she actually sent me home. I never got to shoot the commercial. I cried for like two days, but I had this moment.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Rachel Adams:  And I had this moment two days later, sitting on my—floor of my living room, and I remember looking up to—to the sky or the roof, to God, whatever you want to call it, and I just said, “I know I’m meant for more.” Like, I can’t have gone through all that I’ve gone through, and have this amazing platform of people that I get to connect with to not be meant for more. So I took a step back and I realize that I had some people in my life, and potentially some things in my life that were actually serving me.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  And so I went on this 90-day journey of self-discovery, and pretty much everything changed.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow!

Rachel Adams:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So you kind of hit rock bottom with this interview, right?

Rachel Adams:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: The lady, it seemed like was asking a lot of questions that were just drawing a lot of introspection, kind of looking at your health, looking at your life. Does that sound right?

Rachel Adams:  A hundred percent.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And what was the first change you made? Okay, so now you’re at rock bottom. What’s the first–

Rachel Adams:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Change you made with your health or your mindset that kind of got this journey going for you?

Rachel Adams:  So I—I look at my life and I said, “Okay, I know that I am not leading my life at the level that I want to, so if I could pick two things to remove from a life, like two distractions if you will–“

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

Rachel Adams:  What are those distractions? Like what—what they—what could they be? And if I remove them what could my life look like? And at the time—a little embarrassing to say—I was actually on three online dating sites–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  And that’s a distracting thing to have. You know, the little pings always coming at you.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Rachel Adams:  And then drinking. So I checked out dating–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Rachel Adams:  And all alcohol for 90 days, just to kind of see what would change for me.

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

Rachel Adams:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And what was the result of that?

Rachel Adams:  And you know, the thing—well, the thing about it like with taking out alcohol for me was a really big deal because it wasn’t like I was drinking every night of the week but I would have you know, happy hours with girlfriends or a cocktail with clients, and you can have the greatest intentions about food for the day, but once you have a couple cocktails in you, you’re like, “Yeah, let’s—with the French fries, sure we can have cheesecake.” You know?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, of course.

Rachel Adams:  So when I checked out alcohol, like I found that I was coming home earlier–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Rachel Adams:  And instead of having a glass of wine at night, I had a cup of tea. And I was having all this time to sit at my house and I was like, “What do I want with my life?” So I started journaling and then I started reading about meditation, and then when you’re not like hungover every morning or any morning rather, you go, “Okay, well, maybe I’ve—I’m gonna go to bed a little earlier.” So if I wake up earlier, what if I start to exercise? So I started doing a morning routine–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  With just like getting out of bed and I made these little rules for myself, and one of my rules was—I feel like so many times people—the very first thing in their body it’s—they put in their body in the morning is coffee.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  When I was—I was one of those people.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  So before I went to bed every night, I put a glass of water by my bed, and my rule was that before my 2 feet hit the floor, I would drink that glass of water because your body naturally dehydrates as you sleep. And so I drink water and then when I got out of bed, I just set this simple exercise routine up where I would drop to the ground then I would do like 22 push-ups, and the simple ab routine, and some squats. And just like something to get my blood moving, and then I would take my journal and I would write three things I was grateful for every morning, and in the beginning it’s like kinda surface-y stuff–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Rachel Adams:  Like I’m grateful for, you know, the air. And then you start to get really deep, and you’re like, “I’m grateful for my struggles.” I’m—I mean I ended up being grateful for my divorce like who knew? You know?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right. Right.

Rachel Adams:  But–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And then what was the best thing for you emotionally? Because as a functional medicine doctor, we—

Rachel Adams:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  You know, we deal with a lot of the metabolic things, right? Diet–

Rachel Adams:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Lifestyle.

Rachel Adams:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  You know, we do fancy lab tests and create protocols. But a lot of what creates dysfunction or dis-ease, right? In someone’s body is a lot of the emotional things that are on process.

Rachel Adams:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And you mentioned the—the divorce and those kind of things. How did you process that? What were the steps that you went through afterwards to help eradicate that?

Rachel Adams:  Well, you know, I didn’t even necessarily know that they were like—they—they didn’t turn into steps for me. I was just—what starts to happen is when you decide you’re gonna commit to, you know, eating clean or—or you’re gonna do an exercise routine, like when you start to feel good—like what happens is you’ll make one good decision, like “Okay, I’m gonna take out drinking for 90 days.” And after you do one good decision then you make another good decision, and you’re like, “Well, maybe I should start to look at what I’m feeling my body with,” because you know, I—I didn’t fit like I—when I was going through the divorce, I was like, “I’m really sad. I should eat comfort food.” I was like, “I’m happy. It’s a great day! I’m goota eat a celebratory meal.” And what I realized for the—like the healing part with divorce is I found some really good books. I found a book called From Me To We—I’m sorry—From We To Me. And I thought that was a really good book. I actually—I started going to a group called Divorce Care and it was through my church. And it was a Divorce Recovery Group and I mean, I was raised Jewish and I was like, “I can’t walk into a Christian church.” I bet they’ll have this worse. But the cool thing was that it was—they were just really nice and accepting, and you know, I realized like I’m not the first person to get divorced, and it was so crazy because I did this 90-day journey, and I’m you know, focusing on like my purpose, like what I really want to do in this world and planning my day better, like respecting my boundaries, and I’m—I’m just, I’m making all of these good decisions, and I remember this like moment where it was like towards the end of the 90 days and I was actually driving up to go visit my parents and they live up in the country, and it’s like a 2½-hour drive and I stopped at a fruit stand. Like I pulled over to stop at a fruit stand to bring fresh fruit home. I remember picking up a peach and—and smelling this peach, and I, for some reason, I just felt so light like I felt so happy. And it was like what the heck is going on, like why do I feel so good? And I realized in that moment that I had forgiven myself for the divorce. And it was like the most powerful thing because I wasn’t—I wa—I didn’t know how much guilt I had around it, but I did. You know? And it wasn’t—it wasn’t that I didn’t try. I tried everything I could have, it was just I saw it as—as failure instead of it just being part of my journey.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it. So if someone’s dealing with emotional stress in your relationship, if you can kinda boil down the biggest, maybe 1 to 3 things, that someone can do to help either, you know, save it and/or recover from it, you know. What would those things the?

Rachel Adams:  You know, one thing I would encourage people to do is to find out really what a good—what a healthy relationship means to them?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Rachel Adams:  So not—not in relation to anyone else, but take—take a piece of paper, or you do—take a computer and—and write out all the words that matter to you in a relationship.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  Like communication, intimacy, a sense of community, like whatever matters to you.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  And next to each word, write a paragraph about what that word means you.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  And I think that it will help you really—it—it’s creating clarity around what you want for yourself but it’s also setting a standard for what you will and you won’t allow in your life. And you know, if you’re in a relationship right now and it—it’s not the one that necessarily fulfils you, then look at this list you’re making and see if this person, if it’s conversations you can have with this person, and say, “Listen, I really have been taking some time to—to really reflect and—and this is what matters.” And see if this person aligns with you because I will tell you that the right people are going to come into your life and the right people are also going to leave your life.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  In something else I would say is, you know, if you’re—if you’re not in a relationship yet, and you wanna get in a relationship, a lot of times people will start a new hobby or they’re like, “I’m gonna lose weight, so I’ll meet the right person.” And they do all these things because they think that that’s gonna be the reason a guy—or you know, someone’s gonna be attracted to them. But the reality is is that when you’re actually, you know, living in your powerful space, when you’re being who you are supposed to be, the person is going to appear. Like I was in—I basically took a three-year break. I mean I dated a lot but from being divorced ‘til being in my next serious relationship, it was three years and the funny thing is it was three months to the day after I met Ryan–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  And he is—he literally is my list. He is everything I’ve ever wanted in a per—like he’s just my best friend and then it’s a bonus that were silly in love and like 38 days ago, not that I’m counting, we got engaged.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, wow! Congratulations!

Rachel Adams:  And—yeah, thank you. But it’s like it is so cool to get to go through such an amazing transformative process and then meet the person that you’re like, “Oh, my gosh, like it really could be this good?” Like how fun can life be now?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, that’s great.

Rachel Adams:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So that’s awesome. So you got your relationship dialed in. You related some soul-searching, figuring out what you wanted so you can kinda–

Rachel Adams:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Create that that magnetic energy to attract it in.

Rachel Adams:  Absolutely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s great. So then what are the next things because we have lots of people listening to this podcast that are—they’re either healthy and they’re—they’re really rocking it in all areas in their life and they are trying to get in the edge, or you have people that are kind of at a baseline of not so happy with their health and they’re trying to make those changes kind of moving forward. So we talked about the morning routine. I’m a big fan of you know, good clean filtered water.

Rachel Adams:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Throw some extra sea salts in there. Get some minerals going in your body.

Rachel Adams:  Love it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Do a little bit of movement. I think that’s great. What’s that next change for you on the diet side? What was that big one feel?

Rachel Adams:  Oh, my gosh. So I am that person who have—I really honestly, I went diet to diet to diet and diet in a bad way because there is such a negative rep on the word diet but in reality diet is just what you eat.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  It’s not what you’re on.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Rachel Adams:  And I mean, I’m not kidding you. I was high carb, low carb, no carb, yo carb, like I—I did any diet that I could think of because I wanted the quick fix. I wanted to find what works for me.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Rachel Adams:  And what happened was when I took out drinking, I also set some other rules out for myself, and I decided that I was gonna take out white flour–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Rachel Adams: White sugar and anything processed.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  No, just simple stuff. Right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Simple stuff, right, just kind of foundational stuff, right?

Rachel Adams:  Nothing too crazy, right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Rachel Adams:  And so what happens when you take out these, I call them distractions and noise—sugar to me is a noise and—and alcohol is a noise. It’s something—it almost numbs your body so you can’t—your taste buds aren’t even alive. They’re like kind of numb. They don’t know what’s going on and so what happened is I took this out and all of a sudden, food started tasting different to me. And so when I would need something, instead of—instead of just eating because I ate, because it was just what I did. I started to eat something and go, “Okay, how does my body feel when I eat this?”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Rachel Adams:  How does my body feel? Do I get energy? Do I feel a little tired? Do I have a—you know, a slump a couple hours later? And what I realized is that my body feels good when I eat a lot of vegetables, when I eat lean proteins, and the other thing that I—that I told myself is like no more restricting because I would go on a diet, the bad kind of diet, and I would say, “Okay,  I can’t eat this. I can eat this. I can eat this.” So I don’t eat and I restrict myself for a long time, and then I get towards the end and I’m like, “I did so great, now I’m gonna eat seven donuts.” Like it is such a weird cycle.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Rachel Adams:  And so what happened is I go, “Okay, how does my body feel?” And you know, I—I really—I honestly, I took a piece of paper and I drew a circle, and the circle to me it could represent a plate for some, for me it represented my daily intake of what I was eating, and down the middle of the plate in a straight line, so slitting the plate or the circle in half, I put a line. And on the left side for me that—half of what I eat in a full day is vegetables, literally vegetables.

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

Rachel Adams:  And then I took the other half and I—I cut that in half. So I now have, and so with those two halves on the right side, one of them I put protein.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  And for me that’s beans, that’s, you know, chicken, fish, tofu, whatever. That’s my lean protein. And then the all—the other one, I—I literally put it in the tiny little slivers, and I had dark chocolate. I had red wine. I—I put cheese on there like all—but it was—it was all the other things that I love in life that I realized like I don’t need huge portions of these. And I implemented another rule that was really big for me. And it’s kind of an opposite of what I think a lot of people think when they eat, but I do breakfast like a queen, lunch like a princess, and then dinner like a pauper.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams: So I’m eating bigger meals earlier in the day.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  Still all good fuel. And it—and then when I go to bed at night, it gives my body time to kind of rest and recuperate, and it’s not working on this huge meal. Could I even eat a really big meal at night? Then it would affect my sleep, you know?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So you feel better having a bigger meal at breakfast and kind of your—your number two at—at lunch from a mealtime perspective.

Rachel Adams:  I do.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  How long would you go between meals?

Rachel Adams:  I do and I eat two snacks, too.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay.

Rachel Adams:  Like two or three hours. I do little snacks.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  I’ll do like a Trader Joe, like I’m big because I—I own four companies so I’m always jamming, like I’m on the road a lot or–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Rachel Adams:  I’m at meetings and I have to prep in order to be successful because if I don’t—I prep meals on Sunday and Wednesday.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Ahh, huh!

Rachel Adams:  And, yeah, so like I always have raw vegetables with me, like I have almonds, like different things. I do—a Trader Joe makes a turkey jerky with low sugar.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Rachel Adams:  And so I do—I have to have fuel with me in order to keep me going and so I just—I just made little rules that every two or three hours I would eat, and I wouldn’t eat if I wasn’t hungry but your body will speak to you. If you take out the distractions, your body is speaking to you. And it’s so just up to you to choose to listen.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. So looking at kind of the meal timing thing, it sounds like you really were doing a good job stabilizing your blood sugar, eating really good, you know, proteins, healthy fats, and you were trying to consume more of your carbohydrates from kind of like non-starchy veggies. Does that sound about right?

Rachel Adams: Yes, definitely. And—but the cool thing is I will tell you, I was like terrified. My whole life was like bread or potatoes. Like I can’t eat them, bad news, can’t do it. But reality is, you can. Just choose a really good whole-grain that doesn’t have a bunch of processed junk in it. And if you’re gonna have a potato, eat a sweet potato, you know? And—and telling myself that I can have stuff and taking out the you can’t have that, it was the most freeing feeling and go figure. I’m not kidding you. I—from the start of my journey to the end, I lost—I started at 162 and when I ended the journey, I was like at 130. And I have a before and after picture on social media, but like my morning routine and my little abs, and these little things that was doing these little small implemental changes, they added up. And I ended the journey feeling so strong and so healthy, and it was—and everybody is like, “What are you doing? Oh, my God. What’s your new diet?” And I’m like, “Oh, my God! We need to talk.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s funny. That’s great. That’s a nice little tip there. So give me a quick rundown. I’ll put you on the spot here. What’s–

Rachel Adams:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: A day in the life like? Well, let’s go. Today what did you have for breakfast?

Rachel Adams:  So this morning I woke up, before again, before my 2 feet hit the floor I have a glass of water, and then dropped to the ground, did my quick little exercise, I—my journal is by my bed. So I write three things that I’m grateful for. I just came off this two-day conference where I spoke a bunch about actually health and my journey, so I was just grateful for the connections I made there. So this morning for breakfast, I had a cup of egg whites.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams: I had half a banana with about a teaspoon of peanut butter and then I had, well, let’s see. I had quite—so I sautéed vegetables.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Rachel Adams:  So this was sautéed from last night.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  So I’ll do half the plate sautéed vegetables and all different kinds. Like I—I don’t really—I’m—I really like vegetables so I don’t limit a ton except for maybe onions in the morning to spare everybody health. And then I’ll do a little bit—I added a little bit of smoked salmon and then I do have a cup of coffee.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay, so you got some good omega 3’s, some good proteins, some good fats.

Rachel Adams:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Awesome. What’s typical lunch look like?

Rachel Adams:  Lunch for me is usually either a salad with some kind of a lean protein or like sautéed veggies or some kind of a lean protein. Sometimes I throw in a little quinoa on there. Sometimes I’ll have a little sweet potato and sometimes I don’t.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So you’re really sure to keep the inflammation down.

Rachel Adams:  Absolutely, yes. And I—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And, uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  I believe in that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Rachel Adams:  Like, see I do a ton of stuff with like—I know you talk about it on your show—but like spices. Like natural–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Rachel Adams:  Curries.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Rachel Adams:  And you know, like I get a lot of my flavor now from spices instead of from like sodium and different salts and stuff like that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Rachel Adams:  Like I think it’s different to put salt in your water versus salt all your food.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and I think also sea salt is totally different than your typical table salt–

Rachel Adams:  The only time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s just Sodium Chloride.

Rachel Adams:  I keep one in my purse.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, that’s great. Yeah, if you can–

Rachel Adams:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: When I was in California at the Whole Foods, they had the—the real salt packs.

Rachel Adams:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Those were awesome because you get like 60-70 minerals versus just the refined sodium chloride.

Rachel Adams: That’s literally what’s in my purse right now.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Rachel Adams:  I take them from Whole Foods.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, that’s great. Yeah, it’s a really good electrolyte support. Awesome! So what other little tips and tricks that you did on—on the diet and lifestyle side that you would say are like in that top 5 that listeners that are making that transition now, what can they do outside of what you already mentioned?

Rachel Adams:  You know, I—so I kind of implement the 85-15, or–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Rachel Adams:  All I know everybody have their different process–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 80-20, 90-10, yeah, I get it.

Rachel Adams:  Yeah, so for me it’s 85-15. So 85 for the—the 85% of the time I eat clean, and then 15% of the time I’ll eat whatever I want. But it—but what—what you find is like so say you love desert. You have a super sweet tooth. You know, like I—I love getting desert at dinner.

Dr. teen Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Rachel Adams:  So perfect. Get desert but share it with a friend and have a couple bites because the first bite tastes amazing. You’re like, “Oh, my gosh! This is so good.” And the second bites tastes pretty freaking good. But then the third or the fourth bite, it doesn’t even—it stops tasting as good, and then you’re kinda eating to eat empty calories.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, totally.

Rachel Adams:  So I—I would encourage you to just really try—like listen to your body, really listen. And then my fiancé, he eats—like he is 6’3” and I’m 5 feet tall. And he can literally eat whatever he wants, but the coolest thing about talking to him about food and his relationship with food–

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

Rachel Adams:  Because he has no emotional relationship with food at all, is he eats really slowly and he chews all his food. He like—I swear he chews like 50 bites, every time, it’s 50 times. But the cool thing is like, so I wanted to pace myself with him because I was like, “Gosh, I wonder, that’s so crazy. He eats so slow.” But I love it because it—it gives you—like you can respect your food. You can respect your meal time, and so many people rush through their food, scarf it as fast as they can to keep moving throughout the day. And what you realize and for me because I was such a driver in my business world, I ate like a driver. I slept like a driver. I mean, and what I mean by that is I was like, “Go, go, go. Sleep—like it’s little sleep. Wake up. Get moving. Go! Quick breakfast.” And there is such a beautiful power in slowing down. So my rule when I eat is they just, it’s simple but I set my fork down in between bites, instead of having my fork always in my hand, I set my fork down in between bites. And that slows me down and really, really was helpful. And then I’d say the last piece to nutrition that’s really helpful for me is if you’re starting at clean eating and you don’t really know what it is, think about when you go to the grocery store, just hanging out on the outside perimeter, like where the vegetables are and the fresh, you know, fresh fruits and the—the lean proteins, because when you get into the center aisle, that’s where all your processed saturated fat, crackers, like that’s where all this stuff is that’s gonna be doing harm to your body and you know, like I said when you start making one good decision, your body is gonna crave it. Like you’re gonna be like, “Are you serious?” Like sometimes I wake up in the morning and I’m craving vegetables. Craving it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Rachel Adams: And it’s a beautiful thing like I just went on this all-inclusive vacation, and I was joking around yesterday, but 85-15 rule was pretty much reversed. Like at 85% of the time I ate whatever I wanted and 15% of the time I was like, “I should probably have a salad.” But the cool thing is when you treat your body really, really well, when you come home you don’t have to go on this crazy diet to restrict to get you back to where you were, you just go back on how you like to eat, what feels good for your body, and all of a sudden you’re like, “Oh, that was just some extra like saltwater, water weight.” And then you’re near back to where you were and it’s—it’s really empowering.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, absolutely. I think that makes a ton of sense. I mean, these are just real practical things that everyone could be doing. I think the timing of food is really important also–

Rachel Adams:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That adage of like, you know, one chew per tooth, right? You have about 32 teeth on average, right? So that’s about 30 chews or so. That gets your food up to that liquid kind of consistency. There’s that old Buddhist proverb saying, “Drink your food and eat your water,” or chewing your food up to a consistency so it’s almost liquid so when you swallow it, it’s a lot of surface area for your enzymes and your hydrochloric acid to work and break it down. And then also when you drink your water, letting it imprint on your saliva so your body can—can process it better. So I think those are some really good things, and also just giving your appetite that appestat, that center of your brain that controls your appetite, time to let the nutrients kinda get into the body so it can sense it and allow you to feel full faster, where if you just scarf that food down its really east to overeat when your appestatic mechanisms that control satiety aren’t working optimally.

Rachel Adams:  Yeah, absolutely. Do you—what is your feeling on drinking like a glass of water before you eat? I’ve heard a lot of people talk about that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I think with hydration with water, hydrating about 10 minutes before is ideal. I mean if you’re gonna drink like an ounce or two, just to help food kind of process down or maybe you’re sipping a little bit of wine or something with your meal, fine. But hydration ideally about 10 minutes or so before meal because their stomach’s really acidic. It needs to be acidic. It’s about a pH of about 2. So hydrochloric acid and can activate a lot of the protein-digesting enzymes and water’s got a pH of 7. So if you’re raising up that pH, that’s gonna lessen your hydrochloric acid levels and lessen your enzymes and create more bloating and burping and belching. So I find 10 minutes or so before meal and/or about an hour or two after a meal is ideal for hydration.

Rachel Adams:  Awesome! Okay.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and I find a lot of people, too—this is a big thing—is the mechanism for like craving food and craving water can be easily mistaken in some individuals. So–

Rachel Adams:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Like before you eat, having like a big glass or two of water, you’d be surprised what happens to your appetite when that meal comes. It’s like you eat less even though you’re not trying to because you’re just giving your brain a chance to catch up with what it really needs.

Rachel Adams:  Absolutely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. So okay we got the alcohol stuff down. We got meal timing. You’re—you’re really doing I think a lot of mindfulness with the chewing and giving your body time to—to process that food. I think that makes a ton of sense. What else? What else is on that big 5 list that you use to help improve your health?

Rachel Adams:  Well, you know, one, a big thing for me was sleep.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, huge.

Rachel Adams:  I—I fought sleep almost my whole life because I always was—even when I was in college, I was like 20 units and 2 jobs. Like I’m just—it’s just how I operate. And I, from 2007 to 2013, I literally took Ambien, the sleep—over-the-counter sleeping pill–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, wow.

Rachel Adams:  Four nights a week. Yeah, 4 nights, and it only was not 7, because I don’t wanna feel like I was addicted.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Rachel Adams:  And when I decided to really take a look at how I—how I slept, I realized that I was doing a disservice to myself and like I said, when I—I found myself home earlier, I was like I wonder if I, you know, I fought sleep always, so I’m—I hadn’t taken a sleeping pill in quite a long time and I’m drinking tea and I almost started to create this like—so you know we talked about a powerful morning routine–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, yeah.

Rachel Adams:  So I decided to create a powerful nighttime routine and it’s been such a huge shift for me, so what happened for me is like when I walk into my bedroom, I look at it and I say, “Okay, I—like so think about going into a spa, that when you go into a spa like you just feel good.” You feel relaxed, right?

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

Rachel Adams:  You feel like you want to unwind. So I—I looked at my bedroom and I said, “Why—why doesn’t my bedroom represent that?” Like if your bedroom is your—so I literally consider my bedroom now my sacred space.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Rachel Adams:  And I changed the paint colors to—to be more like calming colors because I—I had liked red. And that’s not so the most calming color.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Rachel Adams:  So I do a lot of like cream—now is like creams and ivories, and I have a little bit of gold tones, some blue–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  And I don’t have full lights on. So I change my light bulbs in my room, too, so they are dimmer. I had a system that every night before bed I had this folder, and I would watch—it is on my comp—on my phone and I would look at e-news and Facebook and Instagram and Pinterest, and I’m like, “What? He’s dating her?” And you know, my mind is racing. So I implemented a rule and it’s a no tech hour. So before bed, any email, anything I wanna look at in the Internet, any text messaging, anything I wanna do before bed is done one hour before bed. So I unwind from technology a full hour before bed. I do not plug my phone in by my bed.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Rachel Adams:  A lot of people have their phone plugged in by the nightstand. It’s too easy for me to grab it. So I actually plug my phone in by—in my bathroom. And that does one of two things. One it makes it easy so I can’t go grab it to go chat on it, right?

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

Rachel Adams:  And the other thing it does is when my alarm goes off to wake me up, I actually have to get my butt out of bed to go turn it off, because I was like a four-time snoozer. I was like, I just keep it in you know?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Rachel Adams:  And I—I aim for eight hours. I really do. I’m intentional about my—my sleep but the last thing to sleep for me was that sometimes life shows up and sometimes I don’t get eight hours. And I realized there was a mindset shift in here and I can, you know, it—I could either say, “Okay, I’ve got five hours. I’m going to be so freaking tired tomorrow. Tomorrow is gonna suck. I’m gonna need a cup of coffee at 4 PM and I’m gonna drag all day.” Or I can say, “Okay, I’ve got five hours. I’m going to shut down now and when I wake up, I’m gonna feel refreshed and amazing. I’m gonna have the most beautiful restful night’s sleep.” And then I wake up and I do my morning routine, and like mental shift for me was sleep. It was super, super huge. I think the last piece for sleep that really has been helpful is my mind races. Like I, a lot of times, couldn’t fall asleep because I’m thinking about a client I didn’t write back or a blog I need to write or whatever. So I keep a–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Rachel Adams:  Journal by my bed, the same gratitude journal and I call it a mind dump. So something’s happening in my head and I’m not getting sleep, I literally look to my journal and just get it out of my head and once it’s out of my head and on paper, I usually can get back into the place of getting—getting into sleep mode.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I totally agree. I think one of the biggest things—my biggest issue is just getting off technology earlier. The biggest thing I do is—I’m trying to do and working on it is one, throwing your phone or iPad into airplane mode, and then also clicking the night time button.

Rachel Adams:  Oh, good for you.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You know? Throw it in airplane mode.

Rachel Adams:  That is dangerous.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I know it’s hard. Throw it into airplane mode and then also hit the little moon button, half moon button that kills all your notifications, so then you don’t you don’t have like calendar things popping up or you know, your to-do list going off saying, “You gotta do this, you gotta do this.” And then it’s just dead, then your phone’s off. There’s no EMF. I throw my phone all the way across the room, kinda like you mentioned, at least 6 feet–

Rachel Adams:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: But I keep it you know, 25 feet away.

Rachel Adams: You check it?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I just have an end table that’s literally at the polar opposite corner of my bedroom, and then number one when the alarm goes off, it forces me to actually get up.

Rachel Adams:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And then number two, it keeps that EMF away. And then also with the Apples, they have the application, their Night Shift, and I make sure Night Shift is on so it kills all of the blue light, so which—that’s the light that really disrupts melatonin. So kill, putting the Night Shift application on or if you’re Android, there are other applications out there that will kill the blue light which shuts down melatonin.

Rachel Adams:  Yeah, I have that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Rachel Adams:  You know how you said the moon? It—do you have to hit that? Do you hit that again in the morning to take it off?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, you gotta take it off–

Rachel Adams:  Okay.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Or like–

Rachel Adams:  Got it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Your calendar notifications or people call you, it just will go. You won’t even hear it. So it’s great at night because it just, you know, sometimes at night I’d have like calendar stuff popping up. I’m like, “What the heck?” So I just—I use that now and then it’s like, it’s perfect. There’s no more issues, but it takes discipline. It really does.

Rachel Adams:  Yeah, absolutely. It does.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, awesome here. We’ve had a really great talk and I wanted just highlight a little bit more where people can get more Intel and more info on you over at lost2found90.com, like a 90 days to kinda get your health and your life back on track. So I think that’s gonna be some great Intel for people that wanna get more information about how they can get their life back. Also any way else people can get a hold of you or find out more about you, Rachel?

Rachel Adams:  Absolutely, yeah. I’m really active on Facebook so if you do the /racheladamsrealtor, you can find out about me and then my main website that kinda houses everything I do is www.RachelAdamsInspire.com and you can talk to me about speaking. You can see my book and program, real estate coaching, and all fun stuff I’m up to.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: RachelAdamsInspire. Awesome! And the last question that I ask everyone–

Rachel Adams:  Please.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Let’s say you are stuck on a desert island and you only can bring one thing, one supplement with you, what do you bring?

Rachel Adams:  Oh, that’s so good. One supplement. Hmm. So it’s health related? One thing?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, health-related, but you know, if you want to go outside of health related, I’ll—I’ll let you do that, too, as long as we can—as long as you really have a good answer why.

Rachel Adams:  I just—I think I’d bring like a flint to make a fire so that I can cook food and boil water and you know what I mean?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, from a practical standpoint. That—that makes a lot of sense.

Rachel Adams:  Yeah, that would be my go-to, and this horrible—I’m not a fan of it, but my fiancé really likes watching Naked and Afraid–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  So I keep seeing people like going on the shows and doing all these horrible things, but that—that would be my take away.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very cool. And is there one supplement that you’re—you’re doing now or you’ve done in the past that you really like or you’ve gotten some success with?

Rachel Adams:  Well, I’d love it—I’d love to actually hear your feedback on this. So I am training for my first full marathon right now.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Rachel Adams:  And I—I did a half marathon and we were told by some runners to—look, I’m not a big believer—I think that the—the supplement industry from like a GNC standpoint–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Rachel Adams:  Is poison.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, yeah, 95%.

Rachel Adams:  So I steer super clear from those.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  I really—I only do natural supplements in my body.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  But I will tell you turmeric, they told us use turmeric after running to like help restore muscles are something.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Inflammation, yeah.

Rachel Adams:  It freaking made such a difference, I think, but I’m wondering if I—it’s in my head because we honestly like we had a fairly okay healing process for tearing down our muscles as much as we did and I’d love to hear your feedback on that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, turmeric I think, yeah, that’s great.

Rachel Adams:  That’s—that’s one of my favorite.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I think turmeric’s great for inflammation and you know, marathon running can be very inflammatory in the body. Sell for some people if you’re not already healthy it can be—it can be a stressor but for my marathoners, the biggest thing I like is branched-chain amino acids because the body will allow those amino acids to pinch-hit instead of breaking down your muscle and getting more catabolic, i.e. breaking down faster. And then also mitochondrial nutrients like extra CoQ10, carnitine, creatine, ribose, you know those type of nutrients that pinch-hit because the parts of your—little cells of your body, these powerhouse cells, the mitochondria, really use them to generate energy and that’s a big part of you know, that kind of energy systems you’re using when you’re running as well. To those would be my two—branched-chain aminos and mitochondrial nutrients.

Rachel Adams:  Awesome!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, great. Any other parting words you want to leave with the listeners here, Rachel?

Rachel Adams:  No, I think just, you know, the—the one thing I would talk—that I think about a lot is people make such big goals for their lives, and they have these beautiful ambitions, but they forget that they only have one body. They only have one vessel that’s gonna get them there. So I would really encourage you to just remember that if you’re not taking care of you and you’re not making yourself a priority, you’re never going to achieve these big goals that you wanna achieve because you’re not gonna feel good. And in reality it is all about how you feel. So just remember that, you know, you can’t be the best wife, you can’t be mom, you can be husband, dad, all of that if you’re not taking care of number one.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it. Yeah, I think even in the—the Bible, right? It says you gotta love your neighbor as you love yourself.

Rachel Adams:  A hundred percent.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s pre—that’s pre-assuming that you already love yourself, so I think that’s really important. Spiritual text from all religions echoes that as well so I think that’s a really, really great point to—to leave on.

Rachel Adams:  Awesome!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, thanks so much, Rachel. Appreciate your time.

Rachel Adams:  Thank you. I appreciate you have me on.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Thank you. Bye!

Rachel Adams:  Bye!

Estrogen dominance – Podcast #110

Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Evan Brand talk about hormones, their importance and their functions, as well as the symptoms of hormonal imbalance and what causes estrogen dominance. Understanding hormones doesn’t have to be complicated and if you listen to this podcast, you’ll get a clearer picture of what hormones really are and particularly for women. 

estrogen dominance - hormonal imbalanceFind out having balanced hormones is the key to feeling good and having energy. Learn how to avoid any imbalance and how to fix these issues to help you overcome stress. Discover what you can do and gain indispensable knowledge about dealing with hormones especially for females so you can perform at your best and be in optimal function.

In this episode, topics include:

00:42   Hormones

04:30   Symptoms of estrogen dominance

08:13   Causes of estrogen dominance

17:22   Phytoestrogens, stress allocation and avoidance

25:20   Nutrients










Evan Brand:  Dr. J! How’s it going?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Evan, it’s doing great, man! How you doin’?

Evan Brand:  Pretty—pretty well. I’m glad we got this internet thing straightened out. Let’s hit this estrogen dominance topic. People have been asking via email, social media. Clients of ours have been asking about hormones and trying to understand them. There’s so many things in the environment that impact them. Your lifestyle, your diet can impact those and so you and I wanted to outline all this together and talk about what’s affecting your hormones, why is it so complicated in the modern world, what are the new variables that didn’t exist and then what do we do to fix it. So do you wanna start—start us off?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, so hormones are interesting, right? Hormones are these messengers, right? They help with inflammation. They help with growth mediation, i.e., healing and recovering, putting on muscle. They help with reproduction. Not only reproduction like in reproducing ourselves so we heal but also having children and healthy hormone balance is essential to us feeling good, to us having energy, to us being resilient and vital as we—as we age and deal with stressful situation. So hormone balance is really, really important. Now as women—women have 2 different kinds of hormones that are constantly in fluctuation generally speaking, right? Men are kind of this foghorn of hormones throughout the month. Again there’s some fluctuations on a daily basis with cortisol, as are women, but on a monthly basis, you know, men kinda have this flat rhythm regarding testosterone. Women have this kind of symphony of hormonal fluctuations regarding estrogen and progesterone. And I tell my patients estrogen is the hormone that makes you grow. Progesterone is the hormone that makes you grow up. Meaning estrogen just causes cells to just grow bigger, while progesterone helps cells to differentiate and mature, okay? This is important so throughout your cycle, kinda breaking down a woman’s monthly cycle I think is really important for the first place of connecting the dots of where abnormalities happen. So first off, women’s cycle begins with bleeding, with menstruation. Typically about 3-4 days, maybe 5 days long in some extenuating circumstances. That happens because of a drop in progesterone and estrogen. So progesterone and estrogen drop, that signals bleeding. So the uterine lining is now shed over that 3 to 5-day period. The next thing is the follicle starts to grow and that follicle, FSH from the brain is starting to be produced and that causes the follicle to grow. So FSH talks to the follicle, the follicle starts to grow. As the follicle grows, estrogen is produced by the follicle. That’s step 3. As estrogen is being produced, it eventually hits a—a toppling, you know, where it hits its highest level around day 6-9 or 6-10. Then progesterone starts to increase as estrogen tops out, alright? Progesterone is increasing due to LH. LH is luteinizing hormone. That’s a brain hormone. The two brain hormones are FSH and LH. As progesterone topples out around day 20-23 or so, that’s where hormones are at its highest regarding progesterone and then day 27-28, progesterone and estrogen fall. So if we kinda recap it real quick, briefly what’s happening is we have brain hormones causing the follicle to grow. The follicle stimulating estrogen. Estrogen stimulating LH, LH stimulating progesterone. Progesterone and estrogen dropping. And that’s kinda the general dr—gist of the average female cycle, right around 28 days or so, and about day 13-15 is where ovulation happens. That’s right where estrogen tops out and progesterone starts to rise. That’s where that 2-3 window of pregnancy happens. I’ll just take a breath and give you a chance to break it down, Evan.

Evan Brand:  Sure, sure, makes perfect sense. And a lot of women that you and I are working with may be perimenopause or menopausal so we can talk about the ebb and flow and things that change there. So basically as you’ve kinda alluded throughout most of the reproductive years, the estrogen and progesterone are in a pretty good balance, but then if you look at all the information with progesterone and estrogen levels changing, then it looks like the gap becomes bigger where there’s a relatively high estrogen compared to progesterone and that’s what we would call menopause, and then that’s when these symptoms can start to occur. So I guess what I should do now is just go through some of these what consider estrogen dominant symptoms. So this could be allergies. This could be breast tenderness. You have copper–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  yeah.

Evan Brand:  Excess.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Evan Brand:  Which I did a video on copper toxicity and everybody’s like blown away by the idea of too much copper. How about cold hands and cold feet? Decreased sex drive, depression with possibly some anxiety or agitation added to it. Could be dry eyes, fat gains especially around the abdomen, the hips, the thighs, fatigue. Could be brain fog, which sometimes that could be yeast-related as well. Hair loss, headaches, blood sugar issues and fertility, irregular periods. You and I have talked about amenorrhea, just missing your period completely before. Irritability, insomnia, mood swings. I could go on and on. I think that’s a pretty good handful of symptoms though.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, absolutely. So when estrogen’s out of whack, a whole bunch of symptoms happen. The real common ones like you mentioned—most females—these are the ones that I deal with on a daily basis with all my patients, you know, the big complaints. It’s gonna be moodiness. It’s gonna be breast tenderness. It’s gonna be cramping. It’s gonna be back pain. It’s gonna be migraines, moody, sweet cravings or sugar cravings, and I would say like water retention and even weight gain.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, I would say the sex drive one has been something big. I ask that question on my intake, you know. Do you think your libido adequate? And it’s very, very rare to find a women over age 40 who says that her libido is adequate. You know, some women said they haven’t had a libido in 20 years. So I mean, these things can change with hormones and they’re not just gonna magically fall into place by diet and exercise. So eventually you and I are gonna outline what exactly is going on in the external environment that is throwing off this whole hormonal cascade here.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly and typically, as a women ages, menopause is nothing more than the ovaries not functioning like they were when you were cycling and you have a drop in hormones from that. Typically over time, one the big things we see with hormonal—hormonal fluctuations over time is that estrogen drops at about 35% the rate from age 35 to 50, while progesterone can drop at 75% the rate. So this whole podcast is really surrounding the topic of estrogen dominance and part of estrogen dominance is just being exposed to a high amount estrogens in the environment—that we’ll go into in a second. The other half is is progesterone being essentially dropping so fast that estrogen—the ratio of estrogen goes above and beyond what would be normal essentially.

Evan Brand:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So if progesterone starts to drop faster than estrogen, even though you may have more progesterone as a basic flat line number, that’s still gonna be estrogen dominance. I mean, some people say over the course of a whole cycle you’ll have 300 times more progesterone than estrogen. At certain times of the cycle, like depending on where you’re at like let’s say, in the follicular phase you may have as many—as much as 25 times more progesterone to estrogen. So it’s different from the perspective of where you are in your cycle, but in general estrogen and progesterone—progesterone will be about 25 to 300 times more in relationship to estrogen, alright? So if that skew starts to get disrupted and we start to have less progesterone, let’s say below 20, you know, below 15 on average, that may be a big driving factor of estrogen dominance and a lot of the whole PMS symptoms and the symptoms that you just mentioned as well—the brain fog, the libido, dry hair, dry skin, dry nails, cold hand, cold feet, cramping, breast tenderness, all the things we already mentioned.

Evan Brand:  And let’s talk about some of the causes here. Birth control being a big one that can contribute because with birth control, you’re basically just keeping your estrogen levels sky high and so this is just a common prescription for many teenage girls, I’ve heard of even girls as young as 12 years old now getting put on birth control pills for their periods, you know, if they’re having really bad periods. So talk us through that. What’s going on with birth control pills? Why are these such an issue?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, birth control pills are nothing more than like synthetic estrogens. You have like Yasmin and these synthetic estradiol compounds and they basically jack up your estrogen level as a female about 4 to 500%, 4 to 5 times. And that’s a problem because hormones, right? If you look at—go to any opera or any symphony, there’s a specific timing and a volume in which everything needs to operate in. If something goes too—too loud or too quiet or something, the timing’s off, you can easily have a beautiful symphony turn into noise pretty darn fast. Now taking that analogy to a hormone cycle, if those things start to go too high because of synthetic hormone overload or too low because of hormone stress driven by inflammation, that can start to create hormonal symptoms. So that’s the big thing right there off the bat. So estrogens are gonna be jacked up way high. Sometimes with the Merena IUD, that’s inter—interuterine compound that’s put up there to prevent the egg from implanting in the uterus lining, that is—that’s actually using synthetic progesterone. So that’s a little bit different. But most of the birth control pills are gonna be synthetic estrogen-based and basically what it’s doing is keeping the estrogen so high all the time so you don’t have that rise in progesterone happening. You don’t have that cycling of hormones. So basically it shuts the HPA axis and because your hormones are so high, the LH and FSH kinda go to sleep because–

Evan Brand:  So the body eats—the body thinks it’s pregnant.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, not necessarily. The body—well, I guess you could say at a certain level. Typically progesterone’s gonna be really high with pregnancy and you’re gonna have HCG off the chart. So you’re not gonna see that because if you ran a pregnancy test while you were on a birth control pill, you wouldn’t come back with a pregnancy test being positive because you’re not making–

Evan Brand:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  The beta HCG. But what it’s doing, it’s shutting down the brain because the brain has this domino rally of FSH raising and then LH raising, so kinda shuts that down, because when the hormones are really high, FSH and LH don’t really have to work as much because the high amount of hormones is just shutting down the whole entire symphony. It’s like going into a symphony and with the foghorn. You just overpower all the instruments, you just can’t hear anything.

Evan Brand:  Makes perfect sense. Let’s talk about the metabolism of these two. That’s something that people do not talk about. There are side-effects that we could go into. We won’t bore you with those today, but there are nutrients—your vitamin C, your magnesium, zinc, and other minerals that are required for metabolizing these pills through your liver. So if you look at someone who has been on birth control for many, many years, mo—more than likely you and I are gonna look at their adrenals. We’ll probably see low function and if we look at like an organic acids test and if we’re looking for vitamin C or other nutritional markers, they’re probably gonna be deficient. Maybe not a—maybe not the only cause would be birth control but it’s definitely a factor. And then now I know we have to mention the environmental part of estrogen still. You know, we’ve talked about adding excess estrogen in via birth control but we have all the xenoestrogens in the environment, and now we’re seeing teenage boys with man boobs and you know, this is not—this is not good. This is not something that would have happened let’s say even 100, maybe 150 years ago with this breast enlargement. Can—can we go through some of those like the, you know, the—the meats, the plastics, the canned goods, all of that stuff?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, exactly. So again, we already kinda mentioned some of the mild to moderate symptoms regarding estrogen dominance and again people that are listening that are familiar with some of the pathological situations like uterine fibroids, endometriosis, fibrocystic breast, polycystic ovarian syndrome, even breast tumors. Those are ultimate, you know, severe more pathological forms of estrogen dominance in action.

Evan Brand:  Right. It makes sense.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And then—yeah, and regarding some of the underlying environmental causes, too much sugar is gonna drive a lot of this because too much sugar is gonna increase insulin. Insulin resistance drives more fat growth. Because if our cells are saturated and we can’t burn sugar in our muscles, well, guess what happens to that sugar? It goes right into fat and fat actually is its own exocrine gland. It produces a hormone that’s gonna cause fats—it’s gonna basically produce leptin which is another hormone that’s gonna decrease our body’s ability to signal satiation and signal that we’re full, which is another thing, and it’s also gonna produce more sex hormones like estrogen. So if we have more fat cells, fat cells will actually produce more hormones and throw us off even more. So driving insulin resistance, driving fat, fat will then drive more estrogen and then also it’s gonna screw up the whole combination here with leptin which is gonna make us feel hungrier and eat more of that same junk that got us there and to begin with. So a lot of these mechanisms that we overlay, you can see there’s almost like this vicious cycle to them where they kinda repeat itself on a loop over and over and over again.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, and then like you mentioned, they could all start with diet or sugar. So I mean, that’s a—that’s a huge one. It’s not something that we wanna skip over but you and I, we hit the diet piece so much that we’re assuming if you’re listening to this show, then you’re generally closer to like an AIP style diet where you’re not eating gluten. Maybe you’re doing a little bit of dairy in the form of like some ghee or some grass-fed butter.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Evan Brand:  But beyond that, you—you gotta have that foundation in place, and then we could go on with the personal care products. You got your pesticides and herbicides.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  yes.

Evan Brand:  But you’re eating organic, you’re avoiding that. You got your makeup for women. So that—that is in the personal care category.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Huge.

Evan Brand:  But think about women that are lathering themselves a lot of times with heavy metals and phthalates and all that, too, in their makeups.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  You also have your pesticides, I mean, a lot of those are estrogenic in origin. Pesticides, fungicides, herbicides. You have a lot of chemicals in the water as well. Remember when you get your water filtered back, the conventional water filtration in your community won’t filter out a lot of the hormones in the water. So you’re getting–

Evan Brand:  Yeah, we—oh yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  The—the trace amounts of pharmaceuticals you’re talking about–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  That people flush down the toilet.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm. Absolutely.

Evan Brand:  Fluoride would be another one that we could talk about.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Evan Brand:  That’s another endocrine disruptor there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, fluoride. Also a lot of these polybrominated diphenyl ethers that are in flame-retardant products and various solvents, definitely not good. Milk if we’re drinking or consuming conventional dairy, a lot of the milks are treated with a Posilac, which is—or similar—no, Similac’s the formula. Yeah.

Evan Brand:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  It’s Posilac. Posilac is the growth hormone given to cows to produce more milk essentially and then we have conventional dairy or conventional meat which could come from cows because cows are gonna be given hormones as well on the meat side, right? You have your Jersey cows which produce the milk. They’re given the Posilac to make more breast milk or make more you know, cow milk, and then we have the cows that are eaten for steaks and meat and those cows are gonna be given more growth hormone and estrogens to make more meat as well. They’re also given mycotoxins, too, to produce more fat to make their meat more marble then they’re given a lot of grains which are loaded with mycotoxins as well to make the meat more marbled. So a lot of different chemical toxins that are coming in on both sides of the fence.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, not even to mention the grain they’re getting fed is likely sprayed with glyphosate or it’s genetically modified grain that these conventional meat products have consumed.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Bingo. Exactly.

Evan Brand:  Yeah. Last thing on—on the, I guess on the xenoestrogen route would be fragrances. So any woman or man wearing you know, perfumes, colognes, air fresheners, using those little trees that people put on their rearview mirror. It’s the worst smell on the world.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, absolute toxins.

Evan Brand:  Don’t use those.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolute toxins. I remember in high school, I used to love having those in my car like the—the vanilla scent one. I thought it was so cool but then the more I studied it, it was just absolute toxins.

Evan Brand:  So were you the guy who when one of the trees ran out of scent, did you go to the car wash and buy another tree and stack it on or did you remove the first one?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, I—I would remove the first one, but I always keep a tree in there to keep it going.

Evan Brand:  Oh, I—I’ve seen people who have 20 trees stacked on one another on their rearview mirror.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I know.

Evan Brand:  They can’t even see out the windshield.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Isn’t that nasty?

Evan Brand:  It’s horrible. Well, actually, Luke who and I were talking about–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  Before the show–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Luke Storey.

Evan Brand:  Luke—he posted something online about he got in an Uber and he posted a picture of a guy who had like 20 of the black trees.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, God.

Evan Brand:  On his g—on his a—and so he had like a little portable ozone generator that he was breathing in in—in the backseat of the car.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, my God. Unreal.

Evan Brand:  Poor Luke.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I know. What you gonna do?

Evan Brand:  Yeah. Let’s talk about phytoestrogens, too, in the food if—I guess we’ll hit the diet piece again. So these are your sources of soy. So mainly we’re talking about soy bean, your tofu, all of that. Something that’s frustrating for me is when you’re looking for a good protein bar, you may—you might find an organic protein bar at your health food store, but typically one of the first ingredients is gonna be soy protein crisp. It’s like come on, that’s not good.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I know. Whatchamacallit, yeah, Clif Bars has got them. Even I think–

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  A lot of the Zone bars, too. There’s only a few bars that actually have decent, clean protein in their bars, but that’s a big one. Soy’s a big phytoestrogen. Outside of miso, natto, or tempeh, soy is—for the most part is not gonna be good. Some menopausal females can get away with a small amount of it, if fermented-wise because it can help modulate their hormones when they’re lower in estrogens, right? Menopausal, but for the most part, people should not be doing soy. It’s not a good thing. It’s—and outside of that, too, we talked about the chemicals. We talked the industrial solvents, the hygiene products. You can always go to the website, skindeep.com or org to look up your products that you use on your face, on your hair, on your skin, your makeup, and see how much chemicals or toxins are in them. Oh, stress! Stress is huge because stress will cause your progesterone which is a major building block of your hormones to go downstream. Meaning it will progesterone and shunt it in the cortisol or stress hormones so you can deal with whatever that stressor is, because your body is hardwired to prioritize stress and inflammation first over recovery and healing and fertility second. And it kinda makes sense because if you’re stressed now, the body wants to deal with that stress, get over it and then because able to repair later, because if it doesn’t deal with the stressor, it may not get to that next point of being–

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Able to heal and recover. So it’s just allocation.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, maybe you’re—maybe you’re dead and because you got eaten by the bear because your body was trying to repair and run at the same time. It can’t do both, so people who are listening, you know, always have the ancestral lens added as filter on to our conversations because this is very new. All this stuff that we’re dealing with, the environment is so new and we still have this ancient wiring systems that’s thinking–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  Okay, there’s a bear coming down my driveway right now, I need to be in Fight or Flight, so recovery is—is not prioritized. And people listening, even just you having a notification sound—Justin and I have talked about this before, but even just having notifications on your smartphone or your computer “Ding!” every time you get an email, that’s triggering a biological response in the brain, that’s a hormonal response. Your body’s thinking, “Oh, what the hell is in that email? Is that a bill? Is that letter from somebody I don’t wanna hear from? What’s in that inbox?” That could be a huge source of stress so you really need to—you could either track your heart rate variability or just track how you feel. If you feel your heart racing or gut hurting after you’re expose to social media, something like that, these are the invisible stressors that can really trigger stuff for people and if you put—well, what does that actually do? You’re just saying this. But what does it do? Well, it inhibits the conversion of—of hormone, your T4 to your active T3, and so then you’re gonna have those hypothyroid symptoms and it could all be due to the stress.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, and just think about it like this, right? If you’re barely getting—barely making enough ends to meet, you know, you’re barely getting enough money to make ends meet, so to speak, right? Do you have enough money to go and start investing in things in the stock market or real estate? Probably not because you’re just so focused on getting the bills paid. That’s all you can focus on. Once the bills are paid, i.e., once you’re able to manage stress and inflammation in your life, then you can think about investments after that, right? Same thing hormonally with how your body is prioritized to allocate bandwidth to essentially.

Evan Brand:  Right, that—yeah, that’s well said.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  You can–

Evan Brand:  Do you want talk about–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  Do you wanna talk about solutions for this? I think avoidance is kind of the—the big one that we could say in one sentence and be done with that, you know? Getting these things out of your life, making sure that you’re eating organic, making sure that you are staying away from the chemicals as much as possible. You’re looking at your skin care products. You’re looking at the makeup, the mascaras, the foundation, all of that crazy stuff that women put on to, you know, they feel like they have to put that on to be beautiful. I promise most women I see, they’re more beautiful without makeup. You look so much better. I tell my wife, “You don’t need it.” Country singers they say—they sing that in their songs like, “Oh, don’t put on makeup.” But it’s a real thing, especially if you have, you know, freckles and—and whatever natural skin pigmentation, that’s pretty. You don’t have to cover that up. So maybe turning off the TV is the first step to get through that process.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Evan Brand:  Because women are brainwashed into thinking they have to—to have caked on xenoestrogens to look pretty and they don’t.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly and that’s part of the whole, you know, brainwashing that Hollywood does, is they try to make most people feel incredibly inadequate about themselves so they can go buy some product and you know, frankly, it works. As much as a lot of women don’t like it and they complain about it, but it works and that’s why they do it.

Evan Brand:  Well, because if—yeah, you’re saying because if one lady is gonna wear makeup, then you don’t wanna be the only one without it?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right. I mean, I—my wife asked me, “Should I wear makeup tonight?” You know, she’s telling—she’s asking me this. I’m like, “No, you shouldn’t.” I like you better without makeup. It’s just—it’s better. It’s healthier.  But–

Evan Brand:  It really is.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  But there are some natural things out there. I know there’s a-

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  There’s some—some mineral-based makeups that you can just kinda touch things up and it’s more mineral and more natural-based and it’s easy and you’re not adding a big toxic load. Those will be if you’re gonna use makeup because some people may not be ready to make that switch, but that’s the better next step to look at.

Evan Brand:  I’ve seen a couple organic mascaras. I don’t know how it could be organic. But Hannah’s purchased a few organic mascaras and then also a few foundations. I don’t know if they were considered organic or they were labeled without phthalates. I can’t think of the brand right now. I wanna say it had the name Doctor in it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Huh.

Evan Brand:  Doctor’s Best or something and it was a brand of makeup. If you look on Amazon, I know there’s a bunch of different companies out there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, absolutely. So diving in here, we talked about the stress allocation and how your bodies and your adrenals can be affected by this whole thing, right? Because of the prioritization of progesterone to cortisol. You also touched in on how that cortisol can affect your thyroid because if your hormones start going off, if progesterone starts going off, that can affect thyroid conversion because if cortisol’s out of balance, that can affect T4 to T3 conversion which is your inactive thyroid hormones, so you’re active thyroid hormone. And also progesterone’s a powerful stimulator of TPO, which is the enzyme that helps bind tyrosine and iodine together to make thyroid hormone. So progesterone is really important to building thyroid hormone. So you can see this is why you don’t just get one symptom when hormones go out of balance because it just has this constellation ripple that can happen and many symptoms can occur because of it.

Evan Brand:  Yup, well said. So avoidance. We talked about lifestyle changes, you know, doing what you can whether it’s a floating tank, whether it’s yoga, tai chi, qigong. There’s meditation. There’s gratitude exercises, journaling. You and I have done entire podcasts dedicated to that. I don’t wanna skim over it but I think there’s so much that said about stress that you—you just have to—you have to do it. And if you say that you don’t have 5 minutes to meditate, well, you probably need quadruple that amount of time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly. Yup, setting a timer like that can be really helpful. Even just sitting and just breathing. Just—just staring literally out—out your window. Just staring and just thinking about the sky or whatever, just clouding your head or just whatever is going on and just think about whatever you’re looking at. That’s why you talk about forest bathing or walking in nature and just being 100% present where you’re at. Oh, look a tree! Oh, look a rock! And all you’re focused on is what your eyes are gazing at.

Evan Brand:  I love it. Yeah, I mean I’m looking outside right now. It’s a beautiful day here. It’s in the mid-60s so it’s getting chilly but the sky is so blue. I mean, I’m so grateful for that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Love it.

Evan Brand:  To not have a cloudy day.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Love it. That’s awesome.

Evan Brand:  Should we talk about nutrients? You wanna go there in terms of like estrogen metabolism support–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  Stuff like that?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, so let’s just kinda dive in the gut because the gut’s really important to the nutrients getting to where they have to go. Would you agree?

Evan Brand:  I, oh—yeah, 100%!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, so we’ve kinda talked about it when we did our dry run round 1 on this podcast on Friday that got—didn’t quite go through on our side, so we’re even more polished for this podcast round 2. We talked about estrogen hormone conjugation, and conjugation is nothing more than putting a straightjacket on the hormone. Okay, so, you know, because we’re talking about estrogen here, estrogen begins with E so we’ll use Evan as our form of estrogen in this analogy.

Evan Brand:  Here we go.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Alright? So E for Evan, E for estrogen. I’m putting a straightjacket on Evan so I can escort him out of let’s say the—the rowdy club, right? He’s—he’s going crazy. He’s fist-pumping. We’re gonna put a straightjacket on him, escort him out of the club. That’s kinda like what our body does to estrogen. It’s done its thing. It’s going. It’s getting shot back out the gallbladder into the gut to get metabolized. We bind these proteins to it. It’s called conjugation or in this analogy, straightjackets on Evan so we can escort it out. The problem is back gut bacteria imbalances meaning more bad bacteria in relationship to good bacteria in your gut—this is called dysbiosis—this upregulates specific enzymes known as β-glucuronidase. You know it’s an enzyme because it ends on the word –ase. This enzyme basically comes over and takes the straightjacket off. So imagine Evan being escorted out of the bar, right? The club. He’s being rowdy. Someone clips open the straightjacket and now he’s loose and he’s—he’s running away from the bouncer or the police. That’s what happens. Estrogen gets unconjugated or deconjugated. Boom! It can go right back into circulation and cause tissue to grow, whether its endometriosis or cause fibroids to occur, or create hormonal imbalances and symptoms and mood swings, and affects your mood and—and cause you to gain weight. All these different things can happen when we have gut bacteria imbalances. So that’s kind of the—the estrogen-gut detox mechanism. And then we also have the fact that if we have malabsorption because we have too much gut bacteria imbalance, more bad than good. We have low stomach acid and low enzyme levels, well, we’re not gonna be able to break down a lot of the nutrients we need to be able to metabolize hormones, whether it’s B6 or zinc and magnesium or various B vitamins that, you know, help with phase 1 and phase 2 detoxification, sulfur-based amino acids. All these things have to be broken down into their constituents so they can be absorbed and get into circulation and also we need to ionize various minerals, like magnesium and zinc. These are really important minerals. We have ionize them. That basically allows these minerals to get soluble. It’s solubilized into the bloodstream so it can do its thing and be utilized.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, so I mean we could add another layer on top of that. Parasites, yeast, we know–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Evan Brand:  With Doctor–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  All these things affect that.

Evan Brand:  Dr. Jonathan Wright’s book, Why Stomach Acid is Good For You. We know that any woman listening over age 30, you have lower levels of hydrochloric acid and enzymes than you did when you were 20. So it’s not to—you don’t have to guess and—and check and think, “Oh, do I low enzymes?” I guarantee it. I would suggest and you tell me if—if you suggest different, but I generally suggest anyone over age 30 especially people that busy or eating in a rush or scrolling–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Big time.

Evan Brand:  Scrolling on their phone while they’re eating which is a big no-no, you gotta have enzymes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  100%.

Evan Brand:  Supplemental enzymes that is.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I mean enzymes and/or hydrochloric acid because hydrochloric acid actually activates enzymes.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Hydrochloric acid activates pepsinogen to pepsin in the stomach and also provides the PA stimulation for the pancreas to produce trypsin, chymotrypsin, lipase, a whole bunch of other proteolytic enzymes that are really important. So without HCl and/or enzymes, you’re gonna be in a world of hurt when it comes to digestion. And most women don’t get this, men as well, but they don’t understand the fact that you can have digestive problems and may not actually have digestive symptoms. People think, “Well, hey I don’t have diarrhea or constipation or bloating, I’m not too gassy, I don’t burp too much, I don’t have any acid reflux, and I got to the bathroom every day. Hey, I don’t have a problem.” Right? But a lot of times, their moodiness, their PMS, they migraines, their other issues in their body–

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Can be driven by the inflammation going in their gut because they’re not—they don’t or they’re not expressing with atypical—I’m sorry, they’re not expressing with typical gas symptoms, bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea. They’re expressing with atypical, outside of the norm symptoms that just are really hard to be connected and their medical doctor they go to won’t ever recognize it because they are great, they’re depressed—could be a hormonal issue, could be a gut issue, but guess what? They’re gonna be put on Wellbutrin–

Evan Brand:  Lexapro.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Lexapro, Paxil. Hey, you know they’re feeling, you know, a little bit anxious. Great, they’re gonna get thrown on Xanax.

Evan Brand:  Ugh.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Hey, you know, they’re feeling like their cycle’s a little unstable, they’re getting thrown on a birth control pill. It could totally be from–

Evan Brand:  That’s horrible.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  All the other dysbiosis and the poor detox happening in their gut.

Evan Brand:  It’s horrible, man. It’s horrible. I had a female last week, she asked me—we found Giardia and Blasto—the double, double trouble there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Double trouble.

Evan Brand:  And she said, “Well, I don’t have any gut symptoms. Do we still have to treat it?” I said, “100%, you can—just because you’re, you know, not running to the bathroom with diarrhea, the typical manifestation of Giardia, it doesn’t mean we can just let it stay there.” Could you—maybe you would have a—a more, a better answer than me. I just said, “Absolutely.” But I know there could be more to that. You can be as long-winded as possible with this.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, I tell people that everyone has the right to be infection-free, right? That’s my goal. To make sure everyone’s infection-free. Now the problem is everyone also has the right to have more than one issue going on at once. So a lot of patients, they have hormonal imbalances, but they also have other issues that are driving the hormonal imbalances that don’t necessarily from bird’s eye view connect, i.e., the Blasto and Giardia and this girl’s female hormone or mood symptoms. So–

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, so anytime there’s a stressor, that’s an issue. It’s like you walk into your house. Okay, let’s say you have a couple of guest bedrooms. Let’s say you don’t go in those guest bedrooms for a while. The guest that was in there last left the water running just a bit. You don’t know it. You don’t hear it. But you get this water bill every month and it’s just a little bit higher than you’re used to and you’re like, “Why the heck is my water bill 30% higher? I’m barely even using it. I’m gone half the month. What’s going on?” And then you look over and you’re like, “Oh, the water in my guest bedroom’s on. That’s what it is. I’m gonna turn it off.” Now what’s this equal? Having water in your guest bedroom on is like having a parasite or a bug stealing your nutrition, pooping inside of you, i.e., creating biotoxins, creating inflammation and maybe even creating leaky gut which is stressing your immune system which takes up energy. All of those stressors like that parasite or infections involved in, toxins, malabsorption, leaky gut, immune activation, that’s nothing more than draining your energy. So instead of your energy being allocated to performance and recovery and healing, right? It’s going towards something else. Just like your water bill’s being sucked towards these guest bedrooms that you don’t even—you’re not even aware of them because you’re not there on a day-to-day basis.

Evan Brand:  Now so from the nervous system perspective, couldn’t we say that you’re gonna be sympathetic dominant, more fight or flight?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  More, 100%. Yeah.

Evan Brand:  Because you’re fighting an internal battle.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Bingo! And the problem, the sympathetic nervous system, the allocation because we’re hardwired this way and it totally makes sense is when the fight or flight, the sympathetic, that’s like the gas, go, go, go, go, go. That’s the gas, the sympathetic fight or flight nervous system shuns blood flow towards the muscles, towards the outer extremities because we have to fight and flee and we need oxygen and nutrition and glucose to get to those outer extremities so we can perform. If the blood glucose is inside the intestines and inside all the organs where they should be and they’re digesting, you will not be able to run as fast. That’s the main reason why activity after your meal is destructive for your digestion, you get an upset stomach. Remember the old analogy of like, “Hey, you shouldn’t go swim. You should wait, what, 2 hours or an hour after you eat to go swimming.” Why is that? It’s because at some point, someone did that and they got a cramp because there wasn’t enough blood flow or they got an upset stomach and got sick.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So–

Evan Brand:  Because you’re trying to rest and digest and be active at the same time. You can’t do it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, and the analogy is this, right? If the sympathetic fight or flight nervous system is your foot in the gas, and if the digestive system and relaxation and repair is the brake pedal, what happens when you hit the gas pedal and brake pedal at the same time?

Evan Brand:  Yeah, it’s not a good—not a good—not a good picture.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  No, no, exactly.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  You’re—you’re spending a lot of time going nowhere fast.

Evan Brand:  Yup, so to wrap this whole segment up of—of this part of the—the conversation. If you’re someone listening, especially female, or you and I are working together, you’re working with Justin already, and you tell us, “Yeah, but my life’s not that stressful. I’m not that stressed.” It doesn’t matter because all of this hormonal imbalance and these symptoms that you have could all be going on due to something in your gut. And Justin, you and I both are—we’ve seen false negatives on stool test results. So sometimes it may take one or two or three times to really find what’s going on. So if you’ve gone to your conventional doctor or even the gastroenterologist, the specialist you’re gonna get referred to that’s gonna throw you on prescription acid blockers, if they run tests on you and how up negative, don’t necessarily take their word for it. I hate to say this that these prestigious hospitals and et cetera are missing infections but you and I see it every single day in the clinic and we’re finding these infections. So if you actually get something on a piece of paper, you’re gonna have a lot more room to work with. So don’t just go buy hormone balancing or hormone this or hormone that supplement. You really need to get to the root of the root which in some cases could be the infection route.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, 100%. And again, really looking at everything holistically is really exactly how you have to do it because of the interplay with body systems that may not typically connect to the average person because you know, they’re not a trained functional medicine clinician and definitely will not connect with the average conventional medical doctor because they’re training is drug symptom, drug symptom, drug symptom, and they don’t look at upstream stressors and body systems that may be out of balance.

Evan Brand:  Sure, so I’ll put it even more—even more direct. If you’re going to your OB-GYN or your endocrinologist, they’re not gonna have a clue about you having a cryptosporidium infection in your gut and giving you an herbal protocol to remove that infection so that your hormones come back into balance.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  100%.

Evan Brand:  It’s never gonna happen. I mean, I will—I will bet you know every silver bar that exists on the planet that—that you’re not gonna get it. If you do, then that doctor, they—they’ve stepped up their game and they’ve done some functional, you know, they’ve taken some functional courses.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And sometimes it’s good like get that workup done. You know, just you know, go with the low-hanging fruit. I find most of the time patients come to see me and that’s already been done–

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And it’s already been missed but hey, always start with what’s the easiest and you know, what I consider to be the low-hanging fruits, that way you know you’ve crossed your T’s and dotted your I’s so to speak and then you can go up the chain regarding the—the functional medicine, you know, ladder so to speak.

Evan Brand:  Sure, and I guess we could briefly talk about, you know, the financial aspect of it, too. If someone does have health insurance or they’re able to go see a doctor through their work and it’s at no charge to them, then you might as well try to milk that for as much as you possibly can, but unfortunately in most cases the lab results that get sent over to you and I that we review, there’s not much evidence there. We can’t really work with that. We really have to do the more functional tests which are an investment but sometimes that’s what it takes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  100%. So looking at this point here. If everyone listening or anyone listening is dealing with a—a hormonal imbalance, whether it’s men and just having low libido and—and poor muscle tone or women having PMS or menopausal symptoms or everything in between that we already mentioned, the whole litany of—of different items there, the next step is gonna be one, digging into the female hormones, right? Testing hormones at the right time of your cycle. We test female hormones typically around Day 20 or so if we’re looking at progesterone to estrogen. Some we even run a month-long cycle to see how the hormones fluctuate every other day. And some will even dig deeper into looking at thyroid as well as a full gut panel. So depending on where you’re at, if you’re having issues and you’ve already kind of ruled out the things we’ve already talked about on the diet and lifestyle, the next step would be to step it up regarding the functional medicine’s options that are available and kind of our—our palette if you will.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So the next step would be to reach out to either myself, to Evan, notjustpaleo, Dr. J myself, justinhealth.com or some other competent trained functional medicine doctor or practitioner to get everything kinda lined up in order based on what we talked about in the podcast today.

Evan Brand:  You hit on the—the last word that I wanted to say is the order.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Evan Brand:  You know, something that is very important for anything, you know. If this is just adrenal problems or just hormone problems or just gut problems, whatever it is, it has to be done in the right order. Please, please, please don’t add to your supplement graveyard because you read about some product on Amazon or you saw it at the health food store and it was in the hormone section. Save your money because if you’re doing things in the wrong order, you’re really just wasting your money. Now I’m not gonna say that taking a zinc supplement is necessarily gonna make you worse because we know that–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  No.

Evan Brand:  70% of women or more are not getting enough zinc, so yeah it’s not going to hurt you. It might help you but why go and spend all this money if it’s not done in the right order because you’re gonna save so much more money in the long run if you do things in the right order by working with a practitioner.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, it’s like baking a cake, right? Let’s just pretend it’s a gluten-free flourless cake for our—for our healthy analogy, right? You have the eggs. You have the—the coconut flour or you have maybe some Stevia in there, whatever else, maybe some grass-fed butter or coconut oil. Well, how we mix things in baking a cake is really important to the outcome of the product, of the outcome of the cake.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So let’s say you—you do start doing a heavy metal cleanse first, gut-killing second. You work on the diet 3 months into it and then you don’t touch the hormones and the thyroid til month 4. Well, you did a lot of things that were supposed to be done but they were just all done in the wrong order. Just like making a cake, you cook it before you mix the eggs and then you add the—the Stevia at the end or whatever. It doesn’t come out to be a nice-looking cake.

Evan Brand:  Yup, yup, Well-said.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Anything else you wanna add, Evan?

Evan Brand:  I don’t think so. I think this is—this has been good coverage. Share this, if you have somebody who’s going through all this stuff. I mean, I could think of 20 people right off the top of my head who I know have problems with estrogen metabolism or estrogen dominance. So sharing is caring. This is the information that has to get out there. We’re gonna continue doing our work, we’ve got, you know, between Justin and I both, we’re over—likely over 6 million. I haven’t counted. I know for sure, 100% guaranteed over 5 million downloads of conversations that we’re having, probably up to 6 million by the 4-year anniversary of my show which is coming up really darn quick. I think it’s November 11th of 2012–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow.

Evan Brand:  Would be the 4-year anniversary. So that’s—that’s a lot of people but that’s still not enough. That—I mean look at the suffering out there. Look at the people that are going and they’re spinning their wheels and they’re buying these diet programs and they’re buying these fitness books and they’re not getting the answers and they’re beating their heads against the walls, and they’re buying you know, diet root beers and look at Pepsi. I mean they had to bring back their aspartame version of their Diet Pepsi because so many people complained about the taste, you know? So don’t prioritize the taste. You know, prioritize the—the quality of your—of your liquids, the quality of your nutrition. Prioritize that better over taste and if you ask me, I think aspartame tastes horrible and it’s a neurotoxin, not to mention. So always look at something through the lens of the quality, not necessarily the taste or the cost or—or all of that, because you’re really gonna save yourself a lot of trouble if you start turning around the boat now as opposed to waiting til when you hit rock bottom and then you’re coming to Justin or myself and then you’re saying, “Look, I’ve had this stuff going on for 20 years.” Well, how long have you known something was wrong? “Well, I knew I should have gotten help you know, back in 2003, but I didn’t.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Evan Brand:  You know, don’t be—don’t be one of those people. Thousands of people have come to our clinics. It’s your turn. If you’re suffering, stop suffering. You don’t need to.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Bingo. Love it, Evan. Well, feel free and reach out to Evan at notjustpaleo.com, Dr. J myself, justinhealth.com or beyondwellnessradio.com. Subscribe to the podcast and the YouTube channel and we look forward to providing more information very soon.

Evan Brand:  Check out Justin’s videos. He’s over 20,000 subscribers on YouTube. He’s gonna be—I’m telling him, he’s gonna be the King of Functional Medicine on YouTube.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Just able to help more people. I love it.

Evan Brand:  Yes, sir. Take care!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Have a good day, Evan.

Evan Brand:  Bye!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Bye!


Using ketosis to lose weight and improve your health – Podcast #109

Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Evan Brand dive into an in-depth discussion about nutritional ketosis and what benefits you can reap from it. This is a podcast episode where you’ll get valuable information about a Ketogenic-Paleo diet, what to eat (and when!) to get the best results.

ketosisLearn why insulin needs to be kept low and the ketones high. Find out how you can keep your diet in check and avoid wasting money when you’re taking exogenous ketones. Discover why carbohydrates are better consumed during night time.

In this episode, topics include:

03:38   What is Ketosis? Who is it for?

08:35   Kinds of ketones

09:50   Ketone supplements

17:36   Using ketones beneficially

28:45   Ketoacidosis vs ketosis








Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Evan, it’s Dr. J! It’s a Monday. How’re we doin’?

Evan Brand:  Hey, I’m doin’ great. What’s up with you?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Hey, it’s good that you survived the weekend.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, it was extremely exciting weekend with the baby—getting a lot of trouble with the baby.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Nice. What’d you guys do?

Evan Brand:  Just hanging out at the park, hanging out outside.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Nice. That’s awesome.

Evan Brand:  You get—you get stopped by a lot of people when you have a baby.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, I know. I just a got a dog a month or two ago and I just—I’ve never realized how many people are dog lovers, but man, we get so much attention when we have our dog. It’s crazy.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, if you were single. That would be the easiest way.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I told my wife that. I said, if I ever—like if something ever happened where I can go back in time—if I were to do it all over again. I would’ve got a dog like right off the bat, like just a really cute, small dog but it’s all good. I’m happy where I’m at.

Evan Brand:  Yup, cool.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  But I wanted to say, we were talking pre-show there that I got a crown today and I go see a holistic dentist in Austin. Her name is Dr Joan Sefcik. I’m gonna actually have her on the podcast real soon. We’re gonna talk about root canals, cavities, crowns, all those things, but I had an issue with my tooth where I needed a crown. About 16 years ago I split my tooth in half when I was really young, just eating a whole bunch of sugar, eating a whole bunch of gluten. Hadn’t really got the message back then about health. Split my tooth but I was actually able to keep it together with some cement, and obviously changed my diet and never had anything like that happened with my tooth again, but I had those—the long-term consequence of that tooth being unstable so we put a crown on it and we actually did some testing, too, to figure out what the best material was and we actually—I think we ended on a cubic zirconia. So right now I have an acrylic crown that’s a temporary one and we got a cubic zirconia one coming in. We had it muscle tested and we called the lab. We—we chose the top 3 materials that test the best based on blood chemistry and then we muscle tested the top 3 and I tested great for all of them which was great, and then the doc said, “Well, you know, this is the one I have the best success with, and because you tested great with all three, we’re gonna go with this one.”

Evan Brand:  So I’m sure people wanna know with holistic dentistry, that’s all cash no insurance for that?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  A little bit. I mean, we have some dental but I—you know, I paid that I think out of pocket. I think it ended up costing me like a thousand bucks for the crown–

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And if I didn’t have insurance, it would have cost me $1500. Something like that.

Evan Brand:  Oh, okay. So insurance kinda works for holistic dentistry.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  A little bit. I mean, the thing is what’s holistic is the material we’re using, right? We’re not using the standard-based crap. I think it’s nickel a lot of times–

Evan Brand:  Yeah, it’s horrible.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Which can screw up with, you know, the conduction of nerves in the body. So that’s the big thing and also she used a lot of ozones as she go in there. She’d use ozone and get in there, like a lot of essential oils. So it was really targeted to kill a lot of the bacteria and crap that could be in there even though she—I actually asked her, she said it was great, which is good. It’s testament to you know, good, clean—clean eating. So we’re gonna have her on the show real soon to talk more about healthy teeth and oral hygiene, so that that’ll be fun.

Evan Brand:  Awesome.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So I’m doin’ pretty good. Not bad. I get to go get my cubic zirconia tooth. My wife was texting me, it’s like, “Is that gonna look like one of those fake diamonds?”

Evan Brand:  Is it?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  In your mouth? No, I don’t think so. I asked. It’s gonna look, you know, it’s gonna look cosmetically in sync with my other teeth. So it’ll be alright.

Evan Brand:  Awesome.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah. So we talked about doing something on ketosis. I’ve had Jimmy Moore on the podcast. I’ve spoken on Livin’ La Vida Low Carb Cruise. We did a podcast a few months ago on Keto OS which is a synthetic ketone supplements and look forward to digging in a little bit more on ketosis.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, there’s a lot of benefits. Ketosis in my opinion is not for everyone at every point in their life. It has a lot of incredible benefits for weight loss but if you have adrenal issues in my experience, some people feel worse. Maybe there is that adjustment period but I find that if people are just they’re afraid of carbs, they can tank out even more. What’s—what’s your experience with adrenal issues and—and ketosis?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So I think ketosis is phenomenal for most people that are out there, especially if you’re dealing with metabolic syndrome, meaning there’s a level of insulin resistance and you’re body is having a difficult time tapping into fat for fuel, ketosis is phenomenal because what you’re doing is imagine fat is like this big branch and we’re trying to throw that branch into the wood chipper and then out of that wood chipper comes these things called ketones, and these ketones can be used by different tissue in the body and the thing is, glucose actually burns dirty. Right? It’s like a diesel fuel. You kinda sm—it’s smells. It’s stinky. If you ever drive by in a diesel car, at least the older ones. But ketones they burn really clean and when I say burn really clean, you don’t get a lot of reactive oxygen species or free radicals afterwards. So it burns really clean like that and also you don’t get the effects of glycation, which is basically all the proteins or tissue in your body gets sugar-coated and that creates basically a m—a magnet for free radicals. So we like ketones because of the stability they give people, right? With sugar, we get this up and down reactive hypoglycemic effect with a lot of people that are doing refined sugar or just higher glycemic foods, meaning they get into your bloodstream really fast. We don’t quite get that with ketones. So the big issue is most people who have metabolic syndrome, big waist, high blood pressure, lots of inflammation, lots of insulin and blood sugar, they can’t get the sugar into their cells and utilize it for fuel optimally. So they can’t—their cells are—are very resistant so they start—one, they get reliant on sugar to burn but two, their cells don’t wanna take it in a lot and actually burn it so they get very tired and a lot of that that gets put in gets stored as fat. So it’s a double edged sword. They’re tired. They don’t wanna exercise. They get cravings. They create more sugar and then when your insulin levels are high, it basically blocks fat from being burned so you’re primarily burning sugar but you can’t get a lot of it to the cells so you’re tired.

Evan Brand:  Right. I’ve heard recently which I’ve read. I can’t remember what I was reading. There’s this kind of—there’s kind of a myth that’s perpetuated where people who are only a fat burner or only a sugar burner and that’s not the case. It seems that most people have the ability to do both and if you wanted to survive in primal times then you would have, you better have that ability to be able to burn glucose or ketones to survive. But I think the goal of that is you just wanna be primarily a fat burner, not primarily a sugar burner which is what would you say, 90% of the population is probably primarily glucose—glucose driven?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I would say at least 75%, and we talk in generalities, right? We’re talking like, “Hey, you know, you’re primarily burning sugar for fuel or primarily burning fat for fuel.” That’s—that’s the thing that we’re kinda get across there and most people, you know, when we talk about calorie partitioning, their partitioning, right? You know, imagine you got a police officer and his siphoning people through, “Go that way. Go that way.” You got all these calories that are going through and the police officer is saying, “Hey, go this way into the fat cell. Get stored as fat and a small amount will actually get burned. So we’re not shunting those calories. “Hey, go to the mitochondria. Get burned. Create energy.” While you’re creating energy, you’re building muscle because you’re doing something that’s creating resistance in the body which builds muscle, whether it’s the piezoelectric effect and you’re building calcium into the bone or whether you’re putting muscle into the muscle belly. So we wanna essentially use that you know, traffic policer officer or that you know, flight tower attendant that’s telling the planes which direction to go. We want tell those calories, “Hey, go to the mitochondria. Get burned versus get stored in the fat cell.” And one the biggest ways we can do that especially with people that have this insulin resistance metabolic syndrome is getting into ketones by cutting carbs.

Evan Brand:  Yup, so–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Typically down to 20-30g is a great starting point for most people. Go ahead.

Evan Brand:  Now, the people actually need to count? I mean, I’m probably in ketosis now at this point because I haven’t had much today. I had some—I had a bison burger and also I had some bison—or no, what did I have for breakfast? Had some kinda meat and—and I can feel that. I know because you can feel your breath start to stink a little bit more. That’s how you know. That’s like the first sign of ketosis or one of the first signs.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, yeah, you get the acetone but I mean, if you’re only at like .5 mmol, I mean that’s not a ton. So maybe your breath gets a little bit fruity, that’s the acetone. So there’s 3 kinds of ketone. There’s acetone. There’s beta-hydroxybutyrate and there’s acetate. So like if you look at the breath meters. The breath meters are really measuring the acetone in the breath and then the blood is measuring the beta-hydroxybutyrate–

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  In the blood.

Evan Brand:  Okay.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right? And then some will actually measure the ketones in the urine, not that efficient because if you’re burning ketones, well, that means if you’re burning them they may not end up in the urine, right? So if you get someone who’s in ketosis, they’re spitting out a whole bunch of ketones but they’re burning them up efficiently they may not pee a lot out. Does that make sense?

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So early on you get a lot of people that are in ketosis but they’re body’s not efficient at burning those ketones so those ketones go in the urine to start.

Evan Brand:  Well, let’s–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  But then later on as they get more efficient, you won’t see them in the urine. That’s why I got my ketone meter right here. I use the Abbott Precision Xtra or Precision Xtra and it’s—I got blood sugar on there as well as ketone strips, too.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, I’ve done the breath. It was by Ketonix.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  I’ve done their breath one. That one was pretty good. I find that I had like a low level of ketones all of the time. Let’s clear something up though. When people hear about ketones, they’ve likely been in the grocery store or Walgreen’s or somewhere and they’ve seen the raspberry ketones as a weight loss supplement. They became very popular over the last probably 5 years. First off, raspberry ketones, they’re not even derived from raspberries when you see those. Most of the time when I’ve looked at the ingredients, a lot of times there’s synthetic chemicals in there. There’s artificial colors, sometimes artificial sweeteners in these raspberry ketones. So I do not recommend them. I don’t actually know enough about what’s actually in there to know what’s actually going to happen but generally just looking at some of the ingredient list on ketones, it—it’s garbage.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, raspberry ketones aren’t necessarily ketones. I mean, if you look at what’s in there, there are these phenolic compounds that aren’t your typical beta-hydroxybutyrate whether it’s calcium or sodium beta-hydroxybutyrate salts. Like if you look at a lot of the ketone products, there’s Keto OS. There’s another one, a Keto Sport I think, and they’re using the beta-hydroxybutyrate salts, calcium or sodium. Those are like the gold standard. Now you can use precursors, right? Kinda like how we use maybe pregnenolone for adrenal support precursors. You can use precursors like medium chain triglycerides which are gonna be primarily C8 and C10. Like the, you know, the brain—the brain ketones are more C8, right? Octanoic acid or I think that’s maybe caprylic, there’s two names. I like the octanoic because it’s more descriptive. The oct–, octo–, octagon, that’s 8—8 carbons. So typically we’ll do ketones that are C8 and C10 because you get the brain effects of ketones but you also get the metabolic effects. So like typically in the morning after I have either a good clean collagen shake or some eggs and I do my butter coffee with high quality MCT oil. I’ll get my ketones up within an hour or 2 to—to .5, .6 mmol and I feel great.

Evan Brand:  Do you measure that?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I measure it, yeah. Now the thing is with the Ketonix, it’s more qualitative. So like that number like let’s say you’re—you’re a different color or light on that variant. That light that you hit one day, you may hit it the next day but your number may have been different if you were measuring it in mmol of ketones. So it’s a good indicator to—to say if you’re in ketosis. It’s not a good quantitative indicator of what exactly were you.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, the other brand that I’ve seen before. I’m looking—trying to find the ingredients right now is Kegenix. So I’m trying to see what’s in here. It’s $200 for a 4-week supply.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, they’re kind of expensive. My biggest thing off the bat is number one, get your diet dialed in. So you talked about carbs. So the first thing is as a macro percentage of nutrients is you wanna get your fat up. Most people screw up in ketosis because they go too high in protein. They’re eating like you know, 30-40% protein. It’s hard to do that much in protein unless you do two things wrong. Number one, you eat lots of lean meat and number two, you do excessive protein powders. So those are the 2 things. Now you can get away, going higher on protein if you’re doing a lot of resistance training, alright? But if you’re not doing a whole bunch of resistance training, you want your macros up around 60-70% fat as a pretty good starting point. So what I recommend is just throw your foods into a MyFitnessPal and if you’re using a Paleo template, so that means you’re gonna be getting most of your meats from animal products. Your carbohydrates, you’re gonna choose obviously more from a non-starchy vegetable sources. A really easy thing is you’ll typically be good around 20-30g and you can just throw in your carbohydrates, a cup of broccoli, a cup of spinach, a cup of kale, maybe you’re doing some asparagus, maybe you do another salad for dinner or lunch. Throw all the vegetables that you do in there, you’re probably find that you sit around 30g of carbohydrate once you factor out the—the fiber, 20-30 is pretty good unless you’re doing a ton of juicing or ton of veggies. You’ll probably be around 20-30 net carbs. That’s a pretty good place to be. So that’s a good starting point and then from there, depending on whether you wanna stay in ketosis—I like to—to keep myself around 40-70 carbs a day and I keep—I get my ketones up to .5 and I feel phenomenal–

Evan Brand:  So you’re—you’re–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  At around .5.

Evan Brand:  So you’re basically in some level of ketosis most days.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely. Absolutely. And then like if you listen to guys like Jimmy Moore, Jimmy is around 1, maybe—maybe 1-2. And again, you don’t have to worry about ketoacidosis until you get to about 20. Ketacidosis is potentially what could happen to diabetics type 1 primarily and/or alcoholics that have cirrhosis, with that—they have messed up livers. Essentially ketoacidosis is when your insulin levels are high and your blood sugar’s high. Okay, that typically hard to do because when the insulin goes high, blood sugar goes low.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Alright, so insulin’s high. Blood sugar’s high in the bloodstream but what’s happening is we can’t get the—we can’t get the—the calories or the blood sugar into the cell so the cell’s starving and what happens is the body is trying to generate energy so it spits out a whole bunch of ketones.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, so–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Does that make sense?

Evan Brand:  Yeah, so I was looking at the ingredients here. Basically what this is, it is the beta-hydroxybutyric acid, that’s literally what’s your supplement— supplementing with. That along with some medium train—medium chain triglycerides and then leucine, lysine and isoleucine. That’s it. And then erythritol, some Stevia, some color, things like that. So you’re literally just taking—you’re taking ketones. That’s what it is, right? The—the beta-hydroxybutyric is one type of ketone?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  Is that right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Correct. I wanna go back and correct myself. I misspoke. So regarding the ketoacidosis, it’s the insulin is low. Insulin’s low.

Evan Brand:  So you can’t deal with the blood sugar.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Blood sugar is high so you can’t get it–

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Remember insulin’s the lock or the key that goes into the lock. The—the keyhole is receptor site, whether it’s a GLUT4 key which is that’s allowing sugar into the muscle or whether it’s on the liver and an—various different GLUTs. So imagine the GLUT’s the lock and insulin’s the key. So you can’t use the key to get into the cell. So what happens is all the sugar accumulates in the bloodstream because insulin’s low. So everything I said before is correct except it’s because of low insulin. Think, right? Type 1 diabetics have an issue with low levels of insulin because their—their islets cells in their pancreas, the beta cells have been destroyed by autoimmune attack. So they can’t get that sugar in there, so the body’s freaking out. It’s saying, “Where the heck am I gonna get energy?” So it starts ramping out a whole bunch of ketones. Ketones have an acidic ash to it or an acidic foundation to it so it shifts the pH because of instead of being a nutritional ketosis at .5 mmol or 1 or maybe 2, they are 20-10 x higher and that shifts the pH down. When the pH goes down, they can go into a diabetic coma.

Evan Brand:  Wow. Yeah, I—you said that quickly otherwise, I probably would have caught that. That makes a lot more sense. So insulin’s low, sugar’s high. That’s when you don’t wanna do it and like the supplement says that you cannot use it with type 1 diabetics for that reason.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And I—exactly. And I was listening to a lecture just yesterday talking on the topic and he did the same thing I just did and I—I got his bad habit from it. He said the exact thing I said the first time.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So I got the bad habit by osmosis, but we corrected it here. So think low insulin, high sugar, the cells are starving.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  The body freaks out and it tries to go and generate a whole bunch of ketones but shifts the pH. Now how do we use ketones beneficially? So we can use exogenous precursors like we mentioned, okay? Obviously the diet’s gonna be foundational. Now for some people, there’s a couple of ways of doing it. You can live in ketosis. That can be great for some people. If you have cancer, lot of great studies especially over at Boston College, Dr Veech, NIH guy. He went to school—he studied under Dr Hans Krebs, I mean the guy invented the Kreb cycle, alright? He discovered it, which is how the body generates you know, energy via NA—NADH and FADH redox—redox reactions which then generate ATP in the—in the Kreb cycle as well as the electron transport chain, but this is how our body generates energy and this guy studied with this doctor that created or discovered this stuff. So moral of the story is this is another way the body can generate energy and ketones are really important part of the Kreb cycle and they are really important part of starving out cancer cells. So cancer’s primarily—primary fuel if you look at Otto—Otto Warburg or Otto Van Warburg, a German scientist in the 30s and 40s who got 2 Nobel prizes discovering this physiology around cancer cell metabolism and he found that cancer cells primarily survive on glucose and if you can starve the cancer cells of that metabolic fuel—remember it burns dirty—if we can use ketones, we can essentially starve that type of cell.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, so—I mean, basically you and I both touch in to ketosis. Now I do do some sweet potatoes and things in the evening so I likely pull myself out of that so this is something that this is gonna depend on the person but you can touch in to ketosis—you do some carbs, don’t you? Do you do sweet potatoes with dinners?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I cycle in and out. I cycle in and out. Typically at dinners, I’ll do after a dinner as a treat. I’ll do a handful of berries and maybe some cream.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Or I’ll do some high quality, 90% dark chocolate that’s you know, organic and you know, obviously gluten-free. So it depends. Like this week I did buy some sweet potatoes so at one night, I’ll have that. I mean, you get different diets out there like a cyclical ketogenic diet.

Evan Brand:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  There’s also Jason Seib’s stick on the AltShift Diet, which is I think a 3 days—I think it’s a 5-day low carb, 3-day high carb kinda stick as well. So there’s different things out there where you can cycle in and out and those I think tend to be really good for most people. If you’re more metabolically damaged, ketones, ketosis at that 20-30 induction phase can be pretty good. It depends. Some people I see if they’re in ketosis long-term will start to develop some of those hypothyroid symptoms, losing hair, hair loss, outer third eyebrow, cold hands, cold feet, mood stuff.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And then would just add in just a little bit carbs, small amount, and they’re doing better, so–

Evan Brand:  That’s what I had to do.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, so some people–

Evan Brand:  I crashed.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Do better so I’m not dogmatic at all. There are people out there that do great on that diet and because they’re not clinically oriented, meaning they’re not working with patients that we are, they—they just think well, because they did good on it, the other person out there that’s having a bad response or not as good response must not be doing it wrong.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I’m sorry, must not be doing it right.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Because they’re doing it wrong essentially. So we always just make sure the fat macros are up, the protein macros aren’t too high, and then just make sure the carbs are there and that’s a pretty good sign off the bat and then we can always measure it. Get to a .5 to 1. 1 is pretty good. Cut off. So we can customize it and then we can figure out. Okay, you’re at ketosis. You’ve been there for 2-3 weeks. You’re stabilized now. Okay, you’re already at a healthy weight. You’re feeling good. Your markers look good. Let’s just taper up some of those carbohydrates a little bit, just a little bit. And this is where it’s cool that you can play around with these exogenous ketones, the beta-hydroxybutyrate salts like the calcium and the sodium. This is great to try. Be careful though. Don’t make the mistake of adding these synthetic ketones and eating a whole bunch of sugar. The body is programmed when insulin goes up, typically ketones never should be there, right? Because think about it, right? Insulin has to be low for ketones to be high. Because if high insulin’s present, the body will block fatty acid synthesis. What are fatty acids? That’s the tree branch going into the tree chopper. Out comes the ketones, right? So we wanna keep insulin low so if we eat a whole bunch of sugar, take some exogenous ketones, insulin’s high, guess where those ketones are going, you know?

Evan Brand:  Well, hopefully it’s gonna help go into the mitochondria.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, if insulin’s high and sugar’s high, you’ll actually pee it out. So if you use exogenous ketones, you wanna keep the insulin low still.

Evan Brand:  So if you—so if you’re eating high sugar or you’re eating high carb and then you take ketones, you’re saying waste of money.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Waste of money. And again a lot of the marketings out there because frankly, a lot of these ketone companies, they don’t care if you do it right or wrong.

Evan Brand:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Because they’re getting—they’re getting paid either way.

Evan Brand:  Exactly.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Not saying that’s bad. There’s education that comes into play. So if you’re using exogenous ketones which I think can be great from a performance, neurological standpoint especially if you have issues with Alzheimer’s, things like that. That can be phenomenal because then if you have the right diet in place and then you add some ketones, it’s like bada-bing! You’re there. You know, we call it therapeutic ketone therapy. You know?

Evan Brand:  So basically, don’t waste your money. If you’re gonna do this thing then get the diet straightened out always but then get the—get the cyclical Ketogenic Diet or experiment with that first before you buy ketones.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Experiment.

Evan Brand:  That—that’s expensive. That’s $200 and that’s a—a way to waste it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And you may not have to be you know, full out ketosis. You know, I sit around .5 to 1 and that feels pretty good. I think just spit out some ketones.

Evan Brand:  Okay.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Get to a pretty good place. See if you can test it. Get down to .5 or 1. See how you feel. Stabilize and then taper in some carbs. You know, start off with a little bit of lower sugar, lower fructose fruit, and handful of berries. It’s a pretty good place and then you can always try adding in a little bit of safe starch, sweet potatoes, squash, yams, plantains. Do it at night. Because your body doesn’t need the extra sugar during the day because cortisol’s already there, mobilizing and conducting sugar out of the—out of the glycogen, out of the muscle tissue, or out of the liver. So the glucose is already going where it needs to go because of the high cortisol. Do your carbs at night where that cortisol isn’t as present.

Evan Brand:  This is fun.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, you having a good time here?

Evan Brand:  Yeah, this is fun.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Awesome.

Evan Brand:  Well, just because you know, there—there’s so many different ways to go about this and there’s never—I—I think when people download these episodes, they think there’s gonna be like a single and that’ll be all answer, and that’s never going to exist especially for this ketosis discussion here.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Plus we’re clinicians, so if it were that easy, you know, every patient would be a home run, right?

Evan Brand:  Yeah, exactly.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So we have to put on our clinician cap, you know, so to speak. And we look at the diet, we customize it. So if you’re an endomorph, right? Larger, bigger, you know, wider hips, bigger belly, you know, those type of things, you put on fat easier–

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And it’s harder for you to burn, then you know, you’re gonna really benefit by starting out with a Ketogenic Diet and then customizing and then stack your carbs. When it’s time to stacking your carbs, stack your carbs on at night.

Evan Brand:  Here’s another thing I wanted to mention though, too, that we haven’t brought up yet. And you and I talked about Kalish’s talk I think a few weeks ago together, where if someone has a bigger waist and they have this excess body fat. Even if they go into a ketogenic approach, they may not lose weight because of those toxins that are stored in the fat cells could still disrupt the metabolism, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, so the fat cells are a toxic reservoir for toxins essentially. A lot of our toxins go into the fat cell. They’re–

Evan Brand: So what do we do then if—if you’re going, you’re trying to go super low carb and yet you still just maintain your heavy weight, you cannot burn fat?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, that’s where seeing a good functional medicine practitioner helps so we’d look at organic acids. We would look at how you’re detoxifying via pyroglutamate and sulfate and a lot of these organic acids that look at phase 1 and phase 2 liver detoxification. Phase 1 is taking fat-soluble toxins, right? It’s already there. They’re lipid-soluble. I mean, they’re in the fat cell. We’re liberating them and turning them into water-soluble toxins primarily via B vitamins, antioxidants, and then we facilitate the transfer of these water-soluble toxins out the urine, out the stool, out the breath or skin, right?

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And we do that with sulfur amino acids, right? We’re supporting methylation and—N-acetylation, hydroxylation ,right? Glucuronidation, glutathione, all of these pathways that are shooting it out. So phase 1 is more B vitamin and antioxidant induced. Phase 2 is more sulfur amino acid induced. And then also some people because amino acids make carnitine, carnitine’s a really important compounds that shuttles fat into the mitochondria. It’s literally called the carnitine shuttle. You can Google it. It’s shuttling fat in the mitochondria to be burned so some people will see low carnitine. We’ll see some mitochondrial defects and then we’ll see some detox issues. So that can be something that we–

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Incorporate into someone’s metabolic functional medicine program to help enhance it. So we get the diet dialed in non-dogmatically. Again, if you’re overweight, default to a Ketogenic Diet. That’s pretty safe. A Ketogenic Diet on a Paleo template. Right? Atkins create the—or Atkins made that ketogenic term famous except he used a lot of crappy foods, you know, didn’t differentiate with soy protein, added aspartame and artificial sweeteners. Didn’t care about grass-fed or chemicals or pesticides or Roundup so he kinda stumbled on it by accident–

Evan Brand:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Because he was just looking at it from a sugar and carbohydrate standpoint. He didn’t look at it from the qualitative standpoint of phytonutrients and pesticides and chemicals and—and inflammatory foods and excitotoxins like MSG and aspartame. So we know more. So we kinda add like a—a Ketogenic-Paleo template on to it and then we have tools like the Precision Xtra by Abbott and get it on—I think get it on eBay and buy the strips on eBay. There’s a company out of Australia. You can get a much cheaper—they’re expensive. They’re like $1 or $2 a strip but if you buy them here, they’re like $2 to $3. So you can get them like 50% off. I bought like 100 strips and I just test my ketones a couple times a week to see where I’m at and I pretty much know where I’m at based on what I eat because I’ve tested so many meals. I see a pattern.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So if I’m eating like good, clean eggs or a good clean collagen shake with some good fats, MCT and butter in the morning, I’m sitting around .5.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And I feel pretty damn good with that.

Evan Brand:  Yup, so I know we’re running out of the time but some of the benefits you can expect—I notice mental clarity goes up if I’m pushing towards ketogenic. Weight loss can happen which I don’t need to lose any weight but I am less hungry. I’m able to go little bit longer between meals. I don’t feel like I’m crashing like I was when I was doing more starch. There’s a few benefits for me. Did you wanna say anything on that part?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I think you touched upon it really well. I think a lot of people will hear this especially if they’re medically oriented. People get confused between ketoacidosis and ketosis. So I already kind of touched upon the people that ketoacidosis happens to and typically you’re looking at over 20 mmol/L is gonna be what happens in ketoacidosis and ketosis, you’re gonna you know, .5, 1, that’s totally fine. Now there’s nutritional ketosis which is what we’re focusing on, right? We’re doing it by nutritionally eating an adequate amount of calories because you can go on ketosis by starving and fasting.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right? Because you still drive down your insulin levels because there’s no calories. If there’s no calories, remember insulin’s the door that opens up the cell for the calories to go in. Whether it opens up the mitochondria or the muscle or the fat cell, that’s dependent upon how much insulin is coming in. But you can lower insulin by just going low calorie. So you can be in ketosis via starvation, too. The difference is we’re doing it nutritionally, meaning we’re actually eating foods. They’re real whole foods and we’re getting enough calories so you’re body’s not gonna be eating away lean tissue.

Evan Brand:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Most people confuse it and they think, “Oh, you’re gonna be ripping up your body. You’re destroying your muscle.” It’s like—well, my body’s not stupid. It rather burn the nutrients that are in it versus taking away lean tissue, right?

Evan Brand:  Yeah, so—so don’t starve. This is not starvation–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  They’re confusing the physiology.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, totally.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  They’re confusing it and that happens all the time.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And it drives me nuts so people need to really understand ketoacidosis and nutritional ketosis, and they need to understand ketosis vs fasting vs ketosis vs adequate calories and also ketosis at the acidotic level because of cirrhosis or type 1 diabetes.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, I think that’s pretty good there. If you would have sum it up, what’s the take home, Evan?

Evan Brand:  Well, take home. Try it out. Make sure you’re eating enough food. It’s easy to undereat if you’re basically cutting out, not almost, not an entire food group but essentially, so make sure you are getting enough good fats, enough good proteins, your coconut oils, your avocados, your avocado oils, your good meats, your good veggies. You know, your leafy greens are excellent. Stay away from the chemicals. If you start to crash, if you notice your outer one-third eyebrows going away, if you notice hair loss, if you feel like you’re a little bit more sluggish, you feel like hands and feet are getting cold like you alluded to, get some tests run. You can get some blood panels run for thyroid. You could get your adrenals tested to see if you’re just tanked out. Maybe you can’t go super ketogenic. Maybe that puts an extra stress on the body and you’re—you’re just not ready for that right now. So make sure your adrenals are healthy. Make sure your gut’s healthy and I think you’re gonna be—you’re gonna be on your way to—to weight loss if that’s a goal which is why many people go to—to ketogenic approaches.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So who should do this? Cancer patients, Alzheimer’s patients, anyone with metabolic syndrome, right? Waist size 35 or bigger for a woman, 40 for a man. Blood pressure, you know, in the 140s or up. Any bit of inflammation, chronic pain, any of those symptoms. A good therapeutic trial of a Ketogenic Diet, Paleo style, Paleo template is a great starting point and again if you enjoyed this show and you’re applying the information and loving it, sharing is caring. Also give us a 5-star review. We appreciate it and click below this screen and you can help us out.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Evan, it’s been real, brother.

Evan Brand:  You, too. Take good care.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  You, too. Bye!

Evan Brand:  See ya! Bye!

Other strategies to lose weight and reduce stress – Podcast #92

Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Evan Brand talk about weight loss secrets and weight loss mindset in this podcast episode. They discuss about weight loss being the effect of good health. Get educated about your body so you can effectively lose weight.

weight loss strategyDiscover why weight loss is more challenging for women and how hormones affect it. Learn about how excessive exercise and/or cutting calories can send stress signals to the body. Find out why you need to get nutrients 100% dialed in and eating organic and grass-fed or pasture-fed as much as possible, avoiding hormones and pesticides and GMOs. Learn about forest bathing, the Nature Pyramid, breathing exercises, body fat percentage and body water content, as well as the waist and hip circumference when you listen to this interview.

In this episode, topics include:

02:00   Female hormones

03:50   Stress in women vs stress in men

07:52   Nutrients

10:23   Diet and quality of the macronutrients

13:47   Forest bathing and Nature Pyramid

21:42   Breathing exercises









Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Evan, what’s going on? It’s a fabulous Monday. How you doin’?

Evan Brand:  Hey!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  How’s your weekend?

Evan Brand:  Oh, I’m doing great. Our weather was just incredible. I was outside probably 23 out of 24 hours throughout the weekend and it was just a blast. What about you?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Same here. I was—went for a little hike on Saturday, went on the boat yesterday, did some water skiing, and then went to Whole Foods and get some shopping done. So I’m ready for my week, man.

Evan Brand:  Sweet.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Very cool. Well, we talked pre-show that were gonna touch upon some weight loss secrets and weight loss mindset issues because we have so many patients that come in to us initially really wanting to focus on weight loss and weight loss really is the effect of good health and all the things we’re doing and it may not be the cause. Essentially, we don’t lose weight and then we get healthy. We get healthy and then we lose weight. The problem is a) which is getting healthy and then b) the effect of losing weight, it can be different for some people. Especially women, there can be a lot of lag time between a) getting healthy and b) losing weight. And we have to make sure we have the right mindset so we can stay the course.

Evan Brand:  Definitely, then that’s something that it’s on our Top 5 list for most of the people that we work with, weight loss is a goal, and a lot of times it’s just really an education process for you and I to really tell them, “Look, with this type of adrenal health or with this type of thyroid health, or with this gut infection, etc., it’s gonna be hard for you to lose weight, if not impossible.” And so a lot of times it’s just patience, honestly, and sometimes if people try to bail out too early and they don’t stick through their program to fully get better, the weight loss may never come. So sometimes it does take 3 to 6 months, and that’s pretty good if it took you 40 years to become overweight, if it only takes you six months to start turning, to dial the other way, then that’s pretty good.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely and I would say with a lot of my female patients, because females tend to have a harder time losing weight if they’ve gained weight just because of the fact that hormonally there’s fluctuations that happen throughout the month, especially if they’re still cycling, meaning they’re progesterone and estrogen’s falling, they’re having a period every month or ovulating, it’s gonna be a little more difficult because excessive exercise and/or cutting calories can send stress signals to the body. And when those stress signals happen to the body, that can throw off the hormones, that can cause increase in PMS, lower thyroid function, and just more metabolic stress on the body. With guys, guys can kind of up exercise a bit, maybe even tweak calories down a little bit, maybe even lessen fat a little bit and then really drive weight loss in a more non-sustainable way per se, meaning it’s nothing that you do forever, and they will have less ramifications because of the fertility and the hormonal fluctuations. Men’s hormones are kind of like a foghorn. It just kinda goes, “Eeeee” throughout the month; where women you kinda get this orchestra going on and anything who listens to an orchestra, you know, you have the strings, and you have the—the percussion instruments and the horns and if one of these things is off, that orchestra can really go and sound like noise pretty fast.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, so that’s a good point that you already hit on is there are a lot of sources of stress that women honestly may not be aware of in terms—in terms of the obesogens for example, the hormone-disrupting chemicals that are out there that can cause you to gain weight. Some of the skincare products, that’s something that I always try to get to, maybe it’s not top of the food chain issue, but if you’re somebody listening, maybe you’re working with one of us with a program already, take a look at your skincare products and make sure that all the parabens and all of the thalates and all these other chemicals are gone because that can be roadblock. Maybe not a huge one, but definitely one that I’ve seen.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely and in stress affects women and men differently, right? You know we also talk about women and men they’re equal but not the same, and by—when you mean not the same, there’s different biology and biochemistry happening. So Dr. John Gray talked about this at a lecture I attended recently. He talked about men under stress—and again obviously prolonged stress is gonna affect person. It’s gonna lower their hormones. It’s gonna create a more catabolic environment, meaning more stress hormones and that will eventually drop down their anabolic, they’re rebuilding hormones. So they’re more catabolic, they’re breaking down faster, with less anabolic hormones where they—they don’t heal and repair as fast. So men under stress, they actually can get a bump in testosterone from a little bit of stress. So you get actually a little bit of a boost of their repairing hormones and in the same lecture, Dr. John Gray talked about women under a little bit of stress like that, that can actually drop down their testosterone and may make them a little bit harder to recover and can also decrease their libido and such as well. So we just gotta be careful. There’s a fine balance in which women will be under so much stress where it may start dropping down their anabolic hormones, and again some—with different women, it’s gonna be, you know, different for each. Like I have—my wife for instance is an executive. She runs a massive company and she—when she’s under stress, it affects her just a little bit. It affects her a little bit. Now in the beginning after a vacation, after more meditations and more lifestyle strategies, she can deal with it better but that anabolic hormone definitely declines, her ability to exercise and repair is less. Now I have some women that are attorneys and they work hundred-hour weeks and they can do it up to a period of time. So because of the fluctuations in hormones with women, not everyone is gonna handle that stress the same. So we gotta be careful of how much stress that we’re under at work, and we also have to make sure that the harder we’re working, the harder we’re resting. So there’s that old analogy like “work hard, play hard”. I don’t like that. It’s—it’s “work hard, rest hard, play a little”. So if you’re working hard, especially as a female, because of the hormonal fluctuations you’re under, we just have to be very careful of that. Men don’t have quite the same issues. They do—I mean I see a lot of men who are stressed out but because their hormones aren’t fluctuating as much and because fertility is a little bit easier for a man, because the main goal of fertility is just having good sperm that—that have good shape and a good amount and good movement. Outside of that, we don’t have this beautiful flow of hormones that need to be present to have that—that sperm fertilize that egg and to have it stick. So we gotta be very careful of women and gotta make sure stress is dialed in and the constitution, meaning how much stress we can handle, is different for each person. I see women who are attorneys who work hundred hours a week and their adrenals actually look pretty good, and some women working 40 hours a week and their adrenals look like crap. So it’s different for each person.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, or stay-at-home moms. I’ve seen it both ways–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh!

Evan Brand:  Being completely wrecked or being pretty good.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Being a stay-at-home mom is—is a full-time job especially in the beginning when their sleep is declined. That is like—you might as well be, you know, an executive working a hundred hours a week, because when you’re getting up like that—you might as well be a doctor on call, right? You know, getting called in, because your sleep’s getting interrupted which is gonna throw off your blood sugar and you may not have the time to exercise and move because the baby needs to be fed all the time. So we kinda have a couple of different aspects there. That’s why I said, the harder you’re working, and being a stay-at-home mom especially in that first year, it’s super stressful. We gotta make sure the diet is 100% dialed in and we can’t use the excuse of eating for two is a reason to eat junk food. We gotta make sure you’re like a prized fighter, getting all of the nutrients in that you can.

Evan Brand:  Yup. So that was the first good piece there is—is the stress component, how that could a stall in weight loss, the different sources of stress, the chemicals, etc. Maybe we should talk about some of the nutrients that are helpful, too. You know, some of the zincs and the seleniums and the other, you know, trace minerals that are imp for the thyroid because every time you hear some woman that thinks that they’re overweight, they think, “Oh, there’s something wrong with my thyroid. Do I need to put—be put on thyroid meds?” And a lot of times, that’s not—that’s not the answer, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  We wanna make sure the nutrients, they’re 100%. So when it comes to that fat-soluble nutrients, especially vitamin A are gonna be really important for the thyroid, especially with the thyroid receptor sites. Zinc’s gonna be vitally important so if we have issues with losing our taste, I find a lot of people that are really craving a whole bunch of sugar. What’s happened is their taste buds have downregulated because of deficiencies in zinc and poor digestion and poor HCl and the higher amounts of sugar foods, they don’t even notice the overpowering sugar. Like if I engage in some kind of refined sugar ingestion, I’m just like, “Whoa! What the heck is this? This is so overstimulating, just from a taste perspective, forget a hormone perspective.” And some people I find their taste buds have really downregulated. We get them off of a lot of that sugar and we get them on a good high quality multivitamin with 20-30 mg of zinc in there per day and we get their diet full of really good zinc rich foods, high quality meats, etc. that their taste buds get more sensitive and they need less sugar to have the same type of mouth-feel response.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So we talked about zinc. Selenium is gonna be a big one especially for the thyroid and thyroid conversion, and a lot of women have autoimmune thyroid antibodies, so getting this—the selenium out there where it’s 1-2 Brazil nuts a day is a pretty good backbone. Good quality organ meats, oyster, seafoods are gonna be very helpful to get the selenium and get some of the nutrients in there. Iodine’s helpful but we don’t wanna go too high and if you are autoimmune currently active, we wanna be careful at boosting it up, you know, outside of 500mcg because we don’t wanna stimulate more autoimmune reaction. So the thyroid’s really important for fat loss and energy and the nutrients that connect and help with thyroid function, to name a few are gonna be zinc, to name a few are gonna be magnesium, selenium, vitamin A. We can even throw in copper as long as we’re not getting an excess. Typically, if we’re getting enough selenium, that will help balance the copper out as well.

Evan Brand:  Yup, so what comes next? I mean, is it the nutrition piece? Is it watching out for too many carbs? Is it the exercise, not too intense? Not too long duration, like what’s the next keystone for you?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, I always look at the diet piece first. And we’re always starting with a Paleo template and most people in their head, I say the word Paleo, they go to meat—meat diet. And that’s basically brainwashing from conventional media, so we have to like hit Ctrl-Alt-Delete and put that in the trash right there. So a Paleo template really is just talking about the quality of the macronutrients.  Macronutrients being PFC—proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. So it’s talking about eating organic and grass-fed and pasture-fed as much as possible, avoiding hormones and pesticides and GMOs and then dialing in the macronutrients meaning proteins.  How high are we gonna be? Are we gonna have maybe just a palm serving of meat twice a day? Or are we gonna have 5 full hand servings throughout the day, you know? A full hand, maybe 4 or 5 times throughout the day, like where are we at with that? Also, how much starch can we handle? Can we handle a sweet potato once or twice a day? Or are we gonna primarily be more on a keto or gonna crank the fats super high, 70-80%, keep the vegetables as the majority of our carbohydrates and primarily eat, you know, moderate to lower protein and food? So we have that dialed, the PFC dials there, and we’re gonna dial that up accordingly and just kinda hit that delete button about pro—Paleo meaning high amounts of meat. It can but it also doesn’t have to be.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So that’s important because that aspect right there allows us to have the nutrients coming in. It allows us to not drive inflammation because people forget, right? We’re either driving inflammation or we’re not. So it’s kind of binary. If we’re driving—if we have an inflammatory diet, that’s great. But we’re also not doing something that’s just as important. We’re not driving inflammation which a lot of people are gonna be driving with their typical diet and if we’re stabilizing the blood sugar, we’re also gonna be taking less stress off the adrenal glands, which the more stressed we are, the more we trigger our epigenome, our epigenetics, right? These are the things that turn on our genes to be in a stressed out state. The more stressed out we are, the more we wanna hold on to calories especially as fat so we have them in times of famine if you will.

Evan Brand:  Yup. To me, I mean stress has popped up time and time again in every conversation I think we’ve had. I think honestly, this is probably the biggest root of it, because I feel like a lot of people listening, they already have the diet pretty dialed in, but they’re not resting as much, you know, they’re not resting hard like you say, and maybe not playing enough at all. You could have a perfect diet and a good supplement program, but if you just come home from work and you’re just completely tanked and then you go straight to more emails at home or straight to TV or some other distraction and you’re not really actively resting, your brain is still stuck in that Fight or Flight sympathetic, I feel like that’s gonna be the biggest roadblock that’s gonna make you or break you, it’s the nervous system. I feel like that if your endocrine system is stressed, it’s stressed, no matter how much you tweak your sweet potato or whatever. If you’re stuck in that mode, I feel like you’re gonna continue to struggle.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, that’s why things like stepping out and getting a 5 or 10 medit—5 or 10-minute meditation during the day is helpful. Also you talked a lot about forest bathing, kinda getting out in–

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Nature for a few minutes. You wanna touch upon that?

Evan Brand:  Yeah, I mean, the—the science has proven if in case people want it, but the fact is you’re built to be outside. There used to not be such a thing as indoors, maybe the cave was indoors, but now we have ability to hide ourselves from the outdoor environment which is good if there’s a bad storm, but otherwise we wanna be out there where we’re getting tons of negative ions out there when you’re talking about being around water or sources of trees, you’re gonna get exposed to these phytoncides, these aromatic compounds in nature. Now if you’re—if you only have the beach available, then that’s awesome. If you don’t even have that and you just have the dessert, well, you have to just work with—with what you have. I had people email in, “Well, I don’t have a forest. What am I supposed to do?” Just use the nature that you have around you. But the forest specifically is something that they’re doing a lot of research on. It’s called Shinrin-yoku in Japan, and they’re seeing reductions in cortisol. They’re seeing reductions in blood pressure. They’re seeing all sorts of other biomarkers that are indicative that we’re shifting people into the parasympathetic state, and to me that’s like the biggest top of the food chain issue is whether you’re in the parasympathetic or whether in the sympathetic, and for me modern life it is very tough to stay having a balance between those two. So anything that you take away from it, anytime you’re out, you know, even in the grocery store—let’s say you’re at Costco and there’s tons of people everywhere and it’s madness. You have the ability to respond to that situation with that Fight or Flight mode or you have the ability to say, “Man, we’re spoiled. This is a first world problem that I have to wait in line to buy my organic food.” And then you just shift yourself out of that Fight or Flight, and if you can control your nervous system a little bit better with your mind, that’s gonna help you because everybody’s gonna get exposed to similar forms of stress issue, but if you have built up yourself, whether that’s with the supplements that we talked about, or whether that’s with a mindfulness practice and you have the ability to disengage the trigger so to speak at this loaded gun—that you’re gonna disengage—you know, not gonna pull the trigger of that Fight or Flight, you’re gonna be a lot more powerful that someone else who’s gonna break under a stressful time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I agree. So getting out, like what’s the dose? Are we talking like, something like 5 or 10 minutes even out there, getting out there enough? Is that okay? Or are we talking like we need 20 minutes? How much you think?

Evan Brand:  Yeah, it’s a good question. There’s a cool thing that people should look up and maybe you can put this on the show notes. It’s called a Nature Pyramid, and I’m not sure if this was a national park service or who came up with the Nature Pyramid but it’s kinda like the old food pyramid converted for nature and it shows sort of the dosage of nature that you want. So daily, you know, you wanna be getting exposed to your city parks and your urban environments, and then it goes up to I believe it’s like monthly. You wanna get exposed to like State Parks or National Forest, you know bigger places. And then whether it’s a couple of times a year, you wanna get exposed to even bigger sources of nature, and then at the very tip top of the pyramid, it’s like, you know, National Parks and massive places where you’re just completely in undomesticated wilderness and that’s sort of the top of the food chain. So it’s sort of like you do the best that you can during your normal work life, but you do want to make some time to actually just completely get disconnected from the grid and just go into pure wilderness, you know, as much as possible really but they have kind of a recommendation there that I—I can’t remember right now.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it, because my wife went for a walk this morning pretty early. I think walking can be great. I look at it more as restoration and stress-reducing than exercise to put on muscle per se, you know, I wouldn’t consider that like exercise like going in doing some sprints or doing some kettlebell swings, but I see it more as a restorative type of exercise versus a—a stimulus to build muscle from that sense. Does that make sense?

Evan Brand:  Oh, yeah! You could walk your way to weight loss if you wanted to. You don’t have to beat yourself up and wear silly ankle weights–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  And carry little dumbbells with yourself either. If you just walk, I mean, that’s what you’re designed to do and if you’re not walking, you have a deficiency of walking—let’s say if you like numbers, you’re not getting 6,000 steps a day, you’re getting less, then if you’re hitting that number, you’re gonna guarantee your success rate, you know? It’s gonna go up a lot more than if you’re just being sedentary, I mean, let’s face it, that’s not—that’s not good.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I think it depends, too, where you’re at. Like if you’re getting close—the closer you are getting to the weight you wanna be, those—those last pounds are gonna be harder to come off, so walking may not get you there because of the fact that the muscle that you need to stimulate fat loss and put on muscle, you have to have a higher level of stimulus and especially like the glutes for instance, these are phasic base muscles, meaning you need a lot of hip extension and deep angle at the hip joint to stimulate them. So like a box jump or a sprint where you’re really moving that hip joint through a larger range of motion. Where if you look at a walk, you know, you’re kinda only moving your hip joint through like maybe a 50-degree range of motion, but you look at a sprinter who’s leaning in at a 45-degree angle and that knee coming all the way and then kicking all the way back, it’s just—I mean, you’re almost moving that hip joint at 160 degrees.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, sprints are amazing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, you’re getting a lot more stimulation so I think walking is great, then once you plateau on it, doing a walk, sprint, walk, sprint, even if it’s a few minute walking followed by a 10-second sprint, that is a phenomenal way to go. And if you’re starting out, it could even just be a power walk, like you just going all out for 10 to 20 seconds is helpful, just to get those muscles stimulated because certain muscles are tonic muscles, meaning they’re more endurance, low threshold, low stimulus muscles. Others are gonna be phasic, meaning we need a higher level of stimulation, that’s where box drop—box jumps, plyometrics, sprints, and resistance training with heavier weights is gonna be what’s needed to get those muscle recruited.

Evan Brand:  Yup, and that’s what I do. I mean, I—I do, I’m not currently in a sprint, I mean, I’m pretty lean right now so I’m mainly just lifting weights, but a lot of people, you know, this is also gonna depend on where you’re at in your journey with your adrenals, because you know Justin and I would never recommend going straight into sprints if you’re stage 3 adrenal fatigue. You’re just gonna tear yourself up and make yourself feel awful. So this is sort of like, I don’t know, what would you call it, Justin? Like phase 2 of your program if you’re already kind of working towards health, then you may be ready for the sprints, but right out of the gate it might destroy you.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Correct. If you have symptoms right now of fatigue and sleep issues or mood issues, or inability to perform at work or in—in your house and living, then we wanna always follow my three rules. Number one, choose exercise that allows you to feel good after it. So–

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Again, if you’re going to CrossFit and doing your AMREP, right? As many reps as possible and feeling like really depleted afterwards and not energized, well, that’s already strike one. Number two is you wanna feel light emotionally after you do it, like you wanna be able to step back and say, “Yeah, I could do that again.” Like, “That’s doable. I can do that.” And then number three, if it’s a morning workout, you know, later on that night, how do you feel? Or if it’s an afternoon or night workout, how do you feel that next morning? Do you feel like run over by a bus, or do you feel like, “Yeah, I feel okay.” You know, barring all stressors being stable and sleeping stable, how do you feel? So three positive answers have to be there. Do you feel energized? Can you emotionally repeat the movements? And then number three, how do you feel later on that day or that next morning?

Evan Brand:  Yup, that’s perfect. That—you—you ought to make like a little poster or some type of little visual for that. I think that’d be cool for us to share to people.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I think it’d be good idea. I’ll put that on my queue.

Evan Brand:  Alright.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And then also one last thing to add to that, start out with a restorative. If you’re in doubt, the restorative movements are gonna be walking, and I’m a big fan of like breath walking so it’s kind of a walking meditation where you take 4 breaths into the nose. And then 4 breaths out. Yeah, I like that because nose breathing is very powerful for the parasympathetic stimulation. The olfactory nerve is I think olfactory is either 1 or 2—I think it’s number 1. I think the optic nerve is number 2. But that olfactory nerve, that’s like inside your nose, inside your nasal cavity, and those nerve fibers are actually parasympathetic. You know, they’re helping that rest and digest side of the nervous system, which is great because a lot of people are in the sympathetics and they’re chest breathing, meaning they’re breathing through their neck muscles and their check—their chest, and it’s really simple. You can just put your hand on your—your stomach and your chest and breathe, and see which hand moves first. And a lot of people, their top hand, their chest hand moves first. So that cranial nerve number 1 really is a parasympathetic fiber. So we talk about activating the parasympathetics to rest and digest is really focused on good nose breathing, deep nasal breaths throughout the day.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, you want that diaphragm or the belly, when you’re putting your hand down there to pop out first. I just read a book this weekend called Medical Meditation and it was great, all about like Kundalini yoga and tons of different breathing exercises and different poses that you can do for different things. So balancing out the nervous system was one of them. So if you just, if you’re sitting in a chair, you can do that, too. And you would just put your thumb on your index finger and you would have this pose here, they call it like a—a mudra where you have—put your thumb on the index finger there and you literally can just sit and you have your hands on your knees and you don’t have to be in what they call the easy pose. You can’t just be sitting in a chair, sitting upright with your spine straight. And the breath work for that was just inhaling through the nose, holding for 10, and then exhaling. And that was it and it suggested that you do that for 11 minutes. And so if you just do that, and you turn off that Fight or Flight, in a way maybe we can’t directly prove that you’re gonna start losing weight because of it, but if you can just do these little minor shifts in your nervous system state throughout the day, that can be enough to prevent you from getting into that fat storage mode like you talked about because your body thinks it’s getting chased by a bear and it needs to put you into a storage mode, because you never know when you’re going to eat next. So better store that body fat because you might need it for protection on all sorts of other things. So it is a protective mechanism. Your body’s not stupid and a lot of self-hatred and you know, self-abuse, negative self-talk comes up from this for women when they have excess body fat but the body’s doing what it would have needed to do to keep you alive pre-historically. Now it’s just not cool to store fat, so you know, it’s not sexy to do that in a lot of women have pressure on them. Your body is doing what it’s told to do. So if it’s being told to run from the bear and be in Fight or Flight and store fat, that’s what it’s gonna do. So don’t, you know, beat yourself up, don’t talk down about yourself. You just have to look at what’s going on hormonally and biochemically, and then try to tweak that as best you can.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I like that and that breathing pattern was what again.

Evan Brand:  That breathing pattern is inhaling through the nose, you hold it for a count of 10, which is a little bit long if you’re not used to breathing exercises and then exhaling, and then repeat. And you do that for a total of 11 minutes with the thumb on your index finger and those hands resting on your knees, sitting straight up or sitting in what they call the easy pose where you’re in like Indian style, and you just sit there and that’s it. And I did this morning and it was a trip like I was sitting outside on the chair outside by the patio, just—and by the time I opened my eyes, which is super bright green, the trees were green, the birds sounded louder, like I was tuned in, so I know that I made a significant shift.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s great. And there’s something called box breathing as well which is pretty similar, where you’re doing that 4-second breath in through the nose, 4 in and then it’s a 7-second hold and then an 8-second out. Now the hold is important because you actually ho—by holding, you actually build up CO2 and CO2 is actually a vasodilator to the brain so it actually increases blood flow to the frontal cortex. So that’s why like people that hyperventilate, they actually get too alkaline and that’s why they take the bag and they put the bag over their mouth, and they breathe into the bag because the whole goal is to increase CO2, right? So if you kinda take that concept, people get stressed over breathing, over exhaling, then they get this kind of panic attack going and they use the bag. So, you say, “Okay, now what can we do from a breathing strategy when we’re stressed to help that?” Well, the good deep breath in through the nose that activates the parasympathetic nervous system, the PNS, and then that hold for a bit of time followed by a slow, breathe out so we don’t go too alkaline with getting that CO2 out. Now I find though just focusing on the breathing timing is actually a little bit stressful–

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So I kinda do it, get like a rhythm of what it feels like and then once you understand the feeling of what it feels like, go more of the feeling versus the counting. Because I find if you’re trying to relax, it’s actually stressful trying to count this stuff out. So I kind of just breathe in as deeply and as comfortably as I can through my nose. I try to just have a nice comfortable hold and a nice slow breath out, but count for a bit so you know what it feels like and then go back, reach for the feeling versus the counting number.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, I—I’m glad that you called that out. That’s something I did but I wasn’t aware that—I should have made the distinction there, yeah, definitely for me, once I get in the flow, I don’t ever—number don’t even exist.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.

Evan Brand:  It’s just a matter of feeling your body and you’ll know when you need to exhale.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  You’ll know when you’ll need to take the next breath.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly. And then also I think it’s important that we get a baseline. A lot of women especially, they’re fixated on the scale. I think it’s good to have an idea of where your weight’s at from a starting point, but remember weights on scale, cannot look at the quality of the weight. It does not break up fat from water from muscle. So we gotta keep that in mind. Now if you’re gonna use a scale, a better scale to use is a Tanita scale. That will actually look at fat percentage. It will even look at water percentage. So that’s helpful because if you see you know, someone eating a whole bunch of gluten one day, that will drive inflammation and their water percentage will go up. Women before menstruation, their water percentage will go up. Even potentially around ovulation, things can happen, too. So because of the hormones fluctuating, that can cause fluctuations of water going up which can increase weight 3 or 4 lbs, like that. And then number two, stress will cause water retention. Eating inflammation foods will cause water retention, and we don’t know if we’re putting on muscle because if we started some of these strategies when we’re getting inflamed, our body is in a less stressed out state. The less stressed out we are, the more our body favors putting on muscle, because muscle is very metabolically active. Our body only wants to put muscle on when it’s safe, meaning when there’s an abundance around us because why put calories and nutrients into tissue that’s very metabolically expensive and muscle is very metabolically expensive. So think about it. When you go into debt, the first thing you cut out are gonna be vacations and maybe going out to dinner and extra fun little excursions. Well, think of your muscle as the fun excursions or the nice restaurant, or the vacation. It’s the first thing that gets crossed off the list when you go into debt, or when you go into adrenal debt, or stress debt if you will.

Evan Brand:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Comments on that?

Evan Brand:  No, that was great.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, more analogies. So get the analogy—get the anal—get the analogy down and forget—forget the—the route facts of what’s happening in your body. Get the analogy and you don’t have to worry about memorizing this stuff. That—that’s me and your job, Evan.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, I’m getting better at it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, you’re doing good. So the scale, body fat percentage, also weights—I’m sorry waist and hip circumference. Take the widest part of your waste and the widest part of your hips. A good place to do it around your waist is the belly button because it’s stationary. It’s always there and just make sure the tape that you use is flat and parallel with the ground. I like a tape called MyoTape because it has a set bit of tension to it and that tension allows it to be consistent each time, so parallel MyoTape around the belly button, and then choose the widest part of the hips. Use the MyoTape as well, pull the slack out and let it come to a homeostasis of where it’s naturally at resting tension. Write down that where it’s at. Do it first thing in the morning before water and after your first, you know, morning pee, and then you’re set. So that you have a good baseline.

Evan Brand:  Now did you say something about dividing those numbers like a ratio there?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, you could do that but that’s fine—I’m fine with that. And maybe we know if the numbers go down. Here’s the problem, if your numbers go down equally, well, the ratio stays the same, right?

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So I think it’s still good to look at it, but where the ratio really is helpful is if women typically have that—I think that—the Marilyn Monroe ratio is like 0.78 to 0.8. So meaning your waist is 20% less than your hips. I think that’s kind of the—the overall metric. For men it’s closer to a 1:1. But when your tummy is so big that it’s closer to your hips, that’s where you get closer to a 1:1, right? Like let’s say a 35-inch—let’s do like a 38-inch hips for women with a 38-inch waist, where that’s like a 1:1, right? That’s not good. So you wanna drop the waist in a bit, ideally you know, around 30 or so or even maybe below to get that ratio at, I’d say an upper 0.7 to lower 0.8. Now that’s like optimal, right? Like they’ve gone back and they’ve actually measured a—a lot of the Greek, Roman sculptures of women that were, you know, thousands of years old. They even looked at Marilyn Monroe, right? And she was I think today’s equivalent of like a size 8 or size 10 or 12, like not like your typical 0 or 2, right? But like an 8 or 10 or 12 in that area. And they found that this ratio like 0.78 to 0.8 is like the ideal ratio and they measured all these different sculptures. In ancient Rome, they found this ratio is kinda consistent. So keep that in mind. It’s nice to look at it. Now I like ratios because guess what? As—if you get bigger, if your hips get a little bigger but your waist stays in that ratio, that’s actually a good kind of thing. So it’s not 100% based off of how small you are, but how proportionate you are.

Evan Brand:  Exactly.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So I like that, so it—it kinda adds a level of—of individualization to it.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, and you’re not just looking at a poster or a magazine to think you need to look like that and most of the time, they are sickly skinny.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right. Exactly. I think for me, too, there’s like a ratio of like hips to—hips to—to shoulder ratio like 0.9 or something. There’s another—a famous ratio with men but that kind gives you the idea of the ratio. So get your ratios down with measurements, get a good Tanita scale if you’re gonna use it, look more at the body water content as well as body fat content, and just try to exercises that are gonna focus on putting on muscle once you get out of that restorative phase, right? Restorative phase, muscle building second, and then just ask those three questions first.

Evan Brand:  Say the questions again.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Number one, do you feel energized with the exercise? Two, can you emotionally repeat it after a workout? And then number three, how do you feel later on that day or that next day?

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s the word.

Evan Brand:  I just got a—I just an email this morning from a female patient who ran a 10—was it a 10K or a 10-miler, might have been like a 15K, closer to 10-mile—anyway, retested her adrenals significantly backtracked—surprise, surprise—from this race and all the training that she was doing. She was running like 6 or 7 miles a day or something for weeks, I mean, just awful. And I, you know, basically told her, “Look, this is gonna destroy you. But if you wanna do it, then that’s fine, I’ll support you and I’ll let you live out your dream of, you know, completing this race,” and then she emailed me this morning and she says that she threw in the bib. She was gonna run another 10-miler or a 10K or something in a couple of weeks, and she has been convinced and she—she threw in the—the bib and she’s not doing it anymore. So not to say don’t chase your dreams, but I mean, that’s something that is just really unnecessary and is really not gonna help your weight loss. I can’t count the number of massively overweight men and women that I’ve seen and they’re running these long endurance races thinking that it’s gonna help you. It is not gonna help you. It’s gonna destroy you.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I agree and you gotta fine tune, you know, goals and achievement versus what’s sustainable in the long term.

Evan Brand:  Yeah. So–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Because that’s—you gotta have to, you know, you gotta balance that out and figure out what’s more important for you. But getting back on to the calorie standpoint, I know a lot of women that have—may have done the standard American diet or like a WeightWatchers or a low-calorie diet, may have done a lot of the conventional exercises like running marathon-type of training, you know 5, 8, 10 miles a day. And they’re like, “Yeah, I lost a lot of weight,” and that can happen initially. Like I’m not gonna sit here and tell you that type of exercise doesn’t help you lose weight in the short run. I mean, in the first few months you will definitely lose a lot of weight. The question is, is it sustainable? Number two, is it healthy for your hormones? And then number three, does it—is it gonna be something that creates realistic expectations? Meaning, women do it for 3 or 4 months, and then they lose this amount of weight and then what happens is let’s say they’re at 160, and now they’re down to 140 or 130. Now that 130 becomes like the dragon they’re always chasing. That’s like the baseline in their head of where they should be at.

Evan Brand:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And that’s tough because that may not be where your body wants to be when everything else is dialed in. That may be kind of like, you know, a body builder or a fitness trainer, they—they dip down to that weight they wanna be at for competition and then they come out of it. And I think people need to—to realize that you could probably dip down 20 lbs below where you’re at but it wouldn’t be something you’d wanna be at all year-round. So we wanna make sure you have a sustainable weight that you can be at and it’s tough because we have ectomorphs in society that can stay very lean all the time, especially we see it like the runway model-type figure that Hollywood has chosen to be like, you know, what’s hot and sexy, but again it’s a very small amount of people that are this ectomorph body type that they can be less selective of what they eat, less selective on exercise, and they keep this, you know, very tall, lean frame year-round. Now I see a lot of these people, once they hit menopause especially as females, things go downhill fast, and I’ve—I have that perspective of seeing women literally gain 100 lbs over a few years without really doing much different.

Evan Brand:  Wow.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So this can look nice, you know, when you’re below age 50 and you can have a lot of latitude and flexibility, but as you go up in age, that can change. And I see a lot of women do that are at this runway model physique and they have so much gas and bloating and digestive issues that you would think, “Oh wow! They—they must look—they must be healthy because they look, you know, stereotypically healthy but they have a lot of internal health issues and they may even have brain fog and fatigue, so they’re health challenges may be manifesting more internally especially as they’re younger, and then will sometimes express more externally especially once they hit menopause where their hormones significantly shift.

Evan Brand:  That’s a killer point. I’m so glad you brought that up. Just because you look beautiful or you look ripped as guy or something, generally those people are not that healthy. I’ve seen plenty of ripped guys, you know, eating Lucky Charms and you know, Reese Puffs. They look ripped and guys are idolizing them, “Wow!” But I guarantee, their brain probably doesn’t work good. I guarantee their sex drive’s probably not healthy. They probably have some mood issues, depression, anxiety, etc. I’d rather look a little bit like a normal person, still have some muscle, but my brain and my gut work good. Because I’ve been there and done that with IBS for years, and it sucks and I looked better or more ripped and had more muscle when I had the worse of my health issues compared to now, maybe a little less ripped just because I’ve been so busy I’m not working out as much, but my gut’s better and my brain’s working better. So I’m happy to take that sacrifice.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Totally, and I think everyone especially the females because of the—the pressure of society on them, go watch my video on body typing, because you wanna know what kinda body type you are first because that kinda really sets the expectation, to be the ectomorphs which are the—the leaner, you know, it’s so hard to gain weight. These are the runway models, these are the super lean skinny guys. It’s just harder for them to put on weight.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Number two, we have the mesomorph which are kinda like the in-between, they’re kinda like the hybrid. They can kinda go either way so to speak. And then we have the endomorph, these are the people that are definitely more rounder, you know, rotund, you know, people that we would just, you know, typically say I’m big-boned, right? You know, the South Park expression. They’re just easier to keep fat on and when we—when you know what kinda body type you are, you just know that you have a more upward or an uphill battle if you’re an endomorph and you’re trying to get leaner, you’re just gonna have more of an uphill battle and you may have a lot less latitude to cheat. So then when you hang around your ectomorph friends and they’re able to do different things and have not the same result as you, not the same ramifications, you gotta just be realistic at the cards you’re dealt with.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And it doesn’t mean you can’t be healthy though. It doesn’t mean you still can’t perform well. It doesn’t mean you can’t be at your optimal leanness and have good muscle mass. It doesn’t mean that. We just have to know the card you’re dealt with, play them to your best. So if you’re like a—let’s say an endomorph and you oscillate between 160 and 200. Let’s say you’re like a 5’5” frame, well, you know, there’s a lot of things we can do to be at that lower side, but we just gotta make sure you know, if you’re at 160 and then you’re comparing yourself to your ectomorph friend who oscillates between 100 and 130, and you’re comparing their 100 to your 160, right? You know, or let’s say their 130, their bad side of the—of the fence to your good side of the fence, you’re always gonna feel like a failure. So you have to get your mindset, where’s your body type at, and then you gotta get your diet dialed in. So the Paleo template will always be the template and then within that template, we adjust the macronutrients and then we adjust the exercise according to where you’re at and then the next level on top of that is where you see a functional medicine doctor or practitioner to get the hormones and the thyroid and the gut and the detox and the nutrients looked at if we’re still having health challenges beyond that.

Evan Brand:  Absolutely. Great way to summarize there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Any last comment you wanna make? I have one more I wanna make before–

Evan Brand:  Yeah, last one. Drink more water. Dehydration could be an issue and it’s surprising how many people are not drinking enough water because they’re drinking say Bulletproof coffee or herbal teas all the time, so hydration is—is another important factor that you can kinda tweak a little bit and see if anything changes for you.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely and I always say a death rattle for a lot of women is too much fasting.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  If you’re doing a lot of intermittent fasting or fasting that can create a stress response because of the hormonal fluctuation and fertility, that can create some problems with women. So we gotta be very careful. Men can have it, too, but because of the delicate orchestra of female hormones, we gotta be careful with that. The next I will say is counting your calories isn’t important per se. I try to make sure people are getting enough calories, but for the most part, if we’re eating the nutrient dense, low toxin, anti-inflammatory Paleo type of template, we’re—and if we’re using our appetite as a gauge, we’re always gonna get enough calories for the most part. There are exceptions to every rule. Where I get concerned is if people really ramp up the fats too much and they’re having an issue with gaining a little bit of weight, I like to look at the calories, see where the calories are at, total-wise, look and see where your macros are at. So let’s say you’re at like a 20% carb, 15% protein, 50 or 60% fat and your calories are at 2,100 and you’re a female and we found out that based on your height and weight and activity you could probably be at 1,900 to 2,000, we may drop the calories a hundred at a time and just make sure you’re not feeling hungry throughout the day. Make sure you’re not missing meals and sometimes just dropping the calories just a bit like that as long as we’re not getting hungry can make a big difference. So drop the calories a touch, be in touch with yourself. Look at the extra fats like the nut butters, it’s really to overdo those. Maybe putting too much fat in your coffee. Take a look at those but do it with a doctor’s or nutritionist’s support. Because you wanna make sure you’re not starving yourself. You wanna make sure you’ve calculated how many calories you need based on your activity level and then you wanna do an assessment of what your macronutrient percentages are, whether it’s a 20, 15, 60 and then you wanna where your total calories are at and then just try to tweak it down just a little bit per week and see if that makes a difference as well as you know, the exercise should already be dialed in, too.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Any comments on that?

Evan Brand:  No, I think that’s good.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, Evan, anything else you wanna say here?

Evan Brand:  Not today. I mean, that was a lot. That was a lot of information to take in. I think we’ve—I think we’ve—we gave double the amount of info that I thought we may have given. So you may have to go back and listen to this one again.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And we got the transcriptions up here, so go to Evan’s site, NotJustPaleo.com. Go to BeyondWellnessRadio.com. We got the transcriptions. Leave us a review on iTunes. Again there may be one thing in here that resonates with you so try to just pick one thing that works for you. Again, men have these issues, too. And all the strategies that we talked about and we kinda of dialed in and we spoke to maybe more of the female crowd, all men listening, these—these things still apply for you as well. So still, you know, we’re not ignoring you, we’re just really reaching out to the women because I feel like they have a little bit of a harder time in this area but all of these things still apply to all the—the males listening, too.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Alright, Evan. Great show. Anyone that really liked it. Go on iTunes, go to the click below your video or your mp3 listening to on iTunes and just click the review button. That’ll bring you right to the iTunes page and you can leave us a great review. And just you know, sharing is caring. We appreciate it.

Evan Brand:  Definitely. Take care.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Evan, Sound good. Take care, man.

Evan Brand:  Bye.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Bye.

Dr. Peter Osborne – No grain, no pain! – Podcast #88

Dr. Justin Marchegiani interviews Dr. Peter Osborne in today podcast episode where they talk about being true gluten-free and what the gluten-free diet is all about. If you aren’t having the results you are looking for after trying the gluten-free diet, here’s everything you need to know. 

Dr. Peter Osborne Dr. Osborne has a book out right now called No Grain, No Pain. Listen to this podcast and learn how diet becomes a potential cause for autoimmune disease. Discover two common nightshades that most people tend to forget or don’t know about and the need to stay away from these if they are having chronic pain. Find out what highly specialized testings are available that you can take to check if your body tolerates gluten or not.

In this episode, topics include:

01:45   The history of gluten

9:47   Gluten-free diet vs true gluten-free

13:54   Pain and nightshades

16:20   Mechanism of gluten causing pain

25:00   Prescription pain trap

31:44   Summary








Gluten Free Society: https://justinhealth.com/gluten-free-society
No Pain No Grain Book: https://justinhealth.com/no-grain-no-pain
Gluten Free DNA Testing: https://justinhealth.com/gluten-testing



Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Hey, there! It’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani. Welcome back to the show. Today I have an awesome guest, a friend and mentor, Dr. Peter Osborne. Peter’s got a book out right now called No Grain, No Pain, all about reducing chronic pain by making simple dietary changes. And I first heard of Peter about 5 or 6 years ago because I was one of these conventional gluten-free diets and I wasn’t quite having the results I was looking for. I still had some skin issues, some rosacea, some inflammation and he was the first person that put the concept out there that really resonated with me called being true gluten-free and the phenomenon of gluten-free whiplash. So it stuck with me 5 or 6 years ago and Peter’s out there helping thousands of people. He’s reaching out to hundreds of thousands of people via his weekly emails and this new great book that we wanna talk about and get some more information out to all the listeners today. So Peter, welcome to the podcast.

Dr. Peter Osborne:  Hey, Justin! Thanks for having me, it’s great to be here.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  It’s great for you to be here. Before we start, what did you have for breakfast this morning?

Dr. Peter Osborne:  Right out of the gate, well, I had a couple of scrambled eggs and coconut oil with a cabbage salad. I had some purple and green cabbage with some shredded carrots on top, some pecans and some sliced red bell peppers. That was—that was breakfast for—for me this morning.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s great. I was hoping you weren’t say a gluten-free bagel.

Dr. Peter Osborne:  No, I stay away from anything gluten-free. At least labeled gluten-free, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, absolutely.  Now one of the podcasts I first heard of you on a few years back, you kinda talked about the history of gluten. I think it was Dr. Willem Dicke, he was physician over in Holland and how he came about connecting the dots, I think with World War II rationings that grains, especially wheat, barley and rye, and as you put out there in your research, it’s much deeper than that. But can you just go over, just a brief overview of the history of gluten, and how we know it to be, you know, what it is today from a clinic perspective, cutting it out actually helps with a lot of these issues?

Dr. Peter Osborne:  Yeah, this is a really unique story. So, you know the physician was—was treating kids in—in a pediatric ward during World War II and what happened was grain was rationed and so no grain was available as food source for the hospitals, so the kids all went into spontaneous remission.  Now this was at a time in our history where we—we knew of celiac dis—disease, we just didn’t know what caused it.  So here—here all of a sudden, grain’s no longer available, all these kids are healing because celiac disease is—basically it’s a disease, you know, pediatric disease where you vomit and—and diarrhea and until you dehydrate and die. So—so he wrote a paper. It was published in 1952 and the same year, a group of researchers at the University of Alabama Burming—Burmingham did a study on 10 patients with celiac disease. Now here’s the sad part. This study was done on 10 patients. This is the study that isolated the protein that we—we commonly refer to as gluten. This protein is named alpha gliadin.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Peter Osborne:  And they said, “Look, no further, we’ve discovered the cause of celiac disease. It’s alpha gliadin, therefore, all these other things are fine. All we really need to worry about is anything that contains alpha gliadin, and this is where wheat, barley and rye comes from.” Because when we’re referring to gluten in the FDA and the—and the definition in the grocery stores referring only to alpha gliadin, it’s not referring to this family of proteins which gluten is technically, it’s—it’s a family of proteins found within all grains—all grains, meaning corn, meaning rice, and sorghum, and millets. So not just wheat, barley and rye. But again, this study isolated alpha gliadin and it was again, only on 10 patients, but this was kind of a platform moving forward.  And another group of—of physicians did a study and wrote a book on it. It’s called If You’ve—If You’ve Heard Or Read, it’s one of these books—I’m actually pulling it off my library shelf right now, by Sidney Valentine Haas.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mmm.

Dr. Peter Osborne:  It’s called the Management of Celiac Disease and they did this—this study on 600 patients. So again, a comparative, 10 patients versus 600 patients. And what they found is they found that really grain-free was—was actually what led to a remission, and they had a remission in 600 patients.  So 100%—100% remission rate versus today, if you look at the standard gluten-free diet, what is the remission rate if we measure—if we measure the components of celiac disease, which are antibodies, persistent inflammation as well as villous atrophy on biopsy. If we look at how many of the patients with celiac disease actually are cured with a wheat, barley, rye-free diet? It’s in essence, it’s less than 9%.  So it’s about 8%–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Dr. Peter Osborne:  Could actually experience a curative rate.  So—so this was my first kind of techy endeavor into or scientific endeavor into this because for me it was—I was eating all these gluten products just like you—gluten-free products. I was drinking the gluten-free beers. I was eating the gluten-free breads and for me, what—what was happening was I felt worse. I—I could go eat a loaf of wheat bread and feel better than if I ate this gluten—this—this gluten-free rice bread or corn bread, etc. So it—it really started to get me asking different questions and so I started reading about the history of—of grain in and of itself, and TJ Osborne who discovered prolamins. He’s actually the—the—who we call the father of plant biochemistry. He discovered prolamins and classified prolamins, which—prolamins are a form of gluten, and—and so we have gluten being this family of proteins found within grains. Grains are the seeds of grass. Within the seeds of these grass, we have proteins that are storage proteins that are designed to feed the—the embryo of the grains so that it can grow and sprout and to form a new grass, right? So, but also designed to protect the embryo so that predators don’t eat all the seeds, and basically eradicate the species of grass. So these glutens are not only storage proteins but they’re defense mechanism proteins found within grains and the—and—and interesting that the guy who discovered this and classified it shares the same last name with me.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Small world, right?

Dr. Peter Osborne:  Right, right.  I was blown away by it, I mean it certainly I don’t take credit for it, but I—I love that he did that work and—and has that available for us to read and—and to think and ponder on, but so we’ve got these—we’ve got these gluten proteins and there are over—in 2010, there was a study done in Australia by Bob Anderson and his group. They discovered 400 new forms of gluten, and they found that 10% of these forms of gluten were worse than alpha gliadin in terms of celiac patient cells. So they found that 10% of these new discovered gluten proteins actually interacted and caused an inflammatory response in celiac cell lines greater than—than alpha gliadin.  So we know there’s more to this story and I think—I think it’s important to say, Justin, that, you know, I wrote No Grain, No Pain to shed light on this information so that people could think clearly and people could get real scientific information and—and make good smart decisions, and—and right now, with, you know, if people go to the celiac sites and to the—the general GI doctors, what they’re gonna get is they’re gonna get, “Hey, if you have celiac disease, go wheat, barley, rye-free. Don’t worry about oats. Don’t worry about corn. Don’t worry about rice.” And the vast majority of them are not gonna heal, the vast majority of them are gonna go on to develop multiple autoimmune disease as in have a life span that’s 26 years shorter. So I felt like getting that information out there to the world was an extremely important part of my mission.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Love that. And I had a patient just maybe a month or two ago came in with severe RA, had multiple surgeries on her spine and hands because of the actual disfigurement and she had been on gluten-free diets, but then we kind of upped it one notch with a true gluten-free diet or an autoimmune diet following a lot of the same tenets in your book and her pain, 30-year pain, literally vanished in little less than a month. I couldn’t believe it, so this stuff is real. So a lot of the things that you’re talking about should be a first line defense with anyone with chronic pain or joint issues and it’s too bad the rheumatologists out there aren’t holding this book up and giving it to all their patients.

Dr. Peter Osborne:  Yeah, I would love to see it become a primer in—in rheumatology internships and rotations in hospitals across the country, and—and maybe one day we’ll get that to happen. I—I actually, you know, what’s ironic is? I—I started this whole thing started for me in Rheumatology. I—I was fortunate enough to do a rotation in the VA Hospital here in Houston, Texas in the Rheumatology Department.  So what I got to see first-hand was patient after patient on methotrexate, on steroids, on immune-suppressing drugs.  None of them really ever got better.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  It’s terrible.

Dr. Peter Osborne:  It—it was a horrible environment for these people, and then the surgeons would come in on—on one day a week and they would do these surgical consults and it was kind of like a mill. So, you know, the patients would get drugged with immune-suppressants. They really didn’t get better. Their joints continued to deteriorate and then they got surgical consults and got surgical joint replacements and then they were back 10 years later with a—with—with a need for a secondary joint replacement because there other one wore out. And so I got to see kind of all these kinds of patients going through that rotation through the VA Hospital. It was very eye-opening and enlightening for me and it’s actually what led me down the path or even investigating diet as a potential cause for autoimmune disease.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah and a lot of people talk about gluten-free being kind of like a fad, and I think people need to kind of realize if you study the Paleo diet, gluten-free from a true gluten-free perspective that you echo really cutting out the grains in general is not a fad, it’s actually has history of 10-plus thousand years, it being in our, you know, in part of our diet and lifestyle, but really what it is the fad is the gluten-free substitutes that are being added in. I mean, you don’t ever have to put a label on broccoli being gluten-free, but you have to put a label on maybe rice flour or potato flour being gluten-free. So can you just talk briefly about the—the misnomer of gluten-free being a fad and then compare it to the true gluten-free aspects?

Dr. Peter Osborne:  Yeah, so I mean, in—in any diet trend and we’ve seen this with Atkins and—and South Beach and we’ve seen this with—even with Paleo and ketogenic diets and probably the—the most famous of all is the gluten-free diet, right? Because what happens is big business, big companies take advantage of ignorance and—and that’s—they take advantage of ignorance through marketing. So gluten-free is a perfect example of this. We’ve got, you know, tons of companies that are out there. I think—I think some of them really started with good intention, Justin. I think, you know—you know, not really understanding what gluten truly was, they were just trying to create options for people with celiac disease, you know, rice breads, corn breads, and pastas, etc. But I mean, the reality is we have the science and we have the knowledge and—and now that they’re continuing to do that, to me now there’s an ethical and moral obligation for them to reevaluate their business models and to come back and say hey, we need to look at this in a different way. But if you look at what they’re doing, you know, first of all, we’re taking people who are very sick—autoimmune disease, right? Years, decades of damage, and we’re saying, “Hey, cut out gluten but eat crap.” I mean, that’s literally what these marketers are saying is cut out gluten, but here it’s still okay. Coke is gluten-free. Snickers candy bars are gluten-free, and hey, by the way, there’s genetically modified corn that we just shaped into the form of pasta spirals so that you can still eat macaroni and cheese. We want you to go ahead and buy a ton of that for 10 times what you pay for regular macaroni and cheese, it’s not healthy for you but we’re gonna—we’re gonna label it gluten-free and we’re gonna—we’re gonna kind of put the trend out there that gluten-free is healthier, and that’s what marketers have done.  That’s what companies have done, is they’ve created this kind of trend in the market that says, “Hey, gluten-free is better for you.” But the—the problem is that the vast majority of—of people out there are ignorant to the fact of what gluten actually is. So they’re just going out buying gluten-free products, right? They’re eating them and they’re still feeling like crap, and then they’re saying, “Hey, why do I still feel like crap on this gluten-free diet?” It’s because they’re—one, they’re not really on a gluten-free diet. Two, they’re eating food that isn’t good for them, right? And the cardinal rule in nutrition, you can’t get healthy or stay healthy eating food that isn’t healthy regardless of gluten-free status. There are, you know, sugars gluten-free but it isn’t good for you, and so if you’re diet is 60% sugar, you’re still gonna feel bad and you’re still not gonna heal and recover from years of chronic autoimmune damage. So it’s important to understand perspective and perspective for the person who needs this diet is that, “Look, you’ve been sick and you’ve been accumulating damage, inflammatory damage in an—in an overactive immune system for decades.” That requires a degree of stoicism in the diet. That requires a degree of—of discipline. It requires a degree of willpower and change and desire to change if your desire to get healthy is greater than your pain, then you will make these right decisions. If your desire to get healthy is not your priority, then you’ll continue to buy these processed foods, and you’ll continue to—to buy into these marketing hype and you’ll be one of those statistics where—or you’ll be one of those people out there that say, “Yeah, I tried that gluten-free diet thing, it didn’t work for me.”  And it’s not that it doesn’t work, it’s that it didn’t work for you because you didn’t apply it correctly.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly. That makes so much sense. And I have so many patients that we even go grain-free but there’s one element because you talk about the pain in your—in your book, all about pain. I find some patients have to really cut out some of the nightshades, the tomatoes, the potatoes, the eggplants, peppers, and we know there’s a high amount of alpha-solanine and glycoalkaloids that can be very irritating to the joints and cause pain. Can you touch more upon the nightshade piece and pain?

Dr. Peter Osborne:  Yeah, so—I mean, nightshades, in and of themselves, especially for rheumatic-arthritic conditions, we see these more. So like a person with a thyroid condition, we might not see nightshades be as much of a problem, but if somebody is really suffering with joint pain, these compounds in nightshades really have a great tendency. If there’s an intestinal leakage or a leaky gut or a permeability, they have a tendency to travel to the joints and really create a lot of the irritation and breakdown. So this is one food group that really needs to be looked at with aggression at removing and—and I see it in—very chronically and a lot of patients have to remove it indefinitely meaning that it’s not like a, you know, remove it for the next six months and then bring it back in. It’s a remove it because for you, as a unique person, as a unique genetic biochemical individual, this group and this compound of foods it—it irritates your joints. It’s actually we could—we could actually look at nightshades with rheumatic pain and say they’re probably just as much of a problem as grains are and that we really wanna get them out of the diet. Potatoes, peppers, one of the nightshades that people tend to forget about is a goji berry.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Ahh.

Dr. Peter Osborne:  I mean, we—you buy the goji berries in these, you know, you can buy, you go to Whole Foods or like Trader Joe’s and buy the bags and berries frozen to make smoothies and stuff like that, and a lot of times, goji berries are in these mixes. You gotta remember goji berry is a nightshade. Now one of the other nightshades that—that people tend to forget about because you don’t eat it is tobacco because you smoke it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh.

Dr. Peter Osborne:  And so let’s say that you live—and I just had a patient. She’s living in a home, her father smokes, she’s getting exposure to second-hand smoke, she’s got chronic rheumatic pain and what ends up having to happen is we gotta get this girl out of this place and into her own place, so that—and she was an adult, so we—we were able to make that recommendation.  She was able to get out of there and basically was able to recover a little bit better. Now you will see a higher tendency of people who are smokers developing rheumatic-arthritic and that’s one of the reasons why. It’s that tobacco is a nightshade.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, I just learned two new things. Goji berries and tobacco. That’s great. Good clinical call on that one. And what’s the mechanism of gluten actually driving the joint pain. We know we have the underlying leaky gut which can cause all these proteins, undigested proteins to kind of get into the bloodstream. We know the immune system and then maybe the potential molecular mimicry that’s happening where the immune response is calling out an APB for this type of protein and then other tissues kinda get in the way because they look similar. What else is happening just beyond that molecular mimicry mechanism?

Dr. Peter Osborne:  So, okay, you’ve got—you’ve got leaky gut, which like you just said, it allows all these things into the bloodstream that, you know, can travel to the joint, can travel to the muscles and that’s where the inflammation process is occurring. The immune response is occurring and so we’re getting secondary or collateral damage, right? Collateral damage to the tissue as a result of the immune system mounting a response. But one of the other things is just the direct inflammation, so gluten has been shown to cause a number of different pathways in the immune system. It’s been shown to activate a number of different ones. We generally tend when we’re measuring, clinically when we’re measuring to analyze to see where the person’s making antibodies, we measure antibodies to something called an antiendomysial antibodies. We will measure antigliadin antibodies. We’ll measure anti-tissue transglutaminase antibodies. But when we’re doing these measurements, we’re typically only measuring IgG which is one type of antibody or IgA. Now we make also IgM, okay? Which is an antibody that very rarely gets measured. So you’ve got also IgE which is an acute allergic response, and then you’ve T-cell responses and immune complex responses that are also potential pathways where people are reacting to gluten but then you have this whole other pathway that isn’t measurable at this point in time. We don’t have a commercial lab that measures this and this is the innate immune response. So antibody responses are called humoral immunity, it’s—it’s ada—what we call adaptive immunity where people get exposure and they create antibodies to what they’re getting exposure to to protect themselves, so that, you know, the example would be like a virus. You get—get exposed to a virus, your body responds by making these antibodies to protect you. But in the case of a virus, the virus comes, your body attacks it, and the virus goes away. It’s not like gluten where you—gluten comes, your body creates antibodies against it and gluten goes away, because if you keep eating the gluten, you continue to make the antibodies, you continue to battle it. You continue to create inflammation and collateral damage. But, so that’s humoral immunity. Then we have innate immunity. And innate immunity is the immune system you’re born with. Humoral immunity is the immune system you adapt with. So your body gets smart and basically takes the feedback from the environment and makes decisions. Whereas innate immunity is what you’re born with. And so there are specialized immune cells that look—they look at things and they just don’t like them and they’re gonna attack them. And so there’s not a way that we can clinically measure innate immune response specific to gluten or specific to grain. It doesn’t exist. There’s no technology out there at this point in time. Maybe they’ll happen in the next 10 years but as of right now, it doesn’t exist. And so that’s one of the other mechanisms of inflammation damage is an innate immune response. And so what we’ll see is we’ll see people with high levels of interferon gamma or tumor necrosis factor alpha, you know, these are other markers in the blood. You can measure that they’re high. They’re markers of inflammation but again, you—you can’t measure that they’re high because of gluten but—but you can—you can measure them and you can see that their high and then you can take gluten out of the diet and then you can measure them again and see that they come down. So—so does that make sense? So you have these generalized markers of inflammation that you can measure. You can get a baseline and then you can do a follow-up and you can say, “Okay, yeah, we changed your diet and these markers have come down.”  But there’s not a test that says your—your markers are high because of gluten. Because those markers can be high for other reasons, too, Justin. They can be high because you have a bacterial infection or a viral infection. They can be high over trauma, over an ankle sprain, or over liver damage. So there are other reasons why these—these inflammatory markers can be high. So it’s up to the clinician to kind of piece that together when he’s working with a patient. So–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, totally agree with that.

Dr. Peter Osborne:  The other mechanism of damage that we see in—in rheumatic athritity, so in autoimmune arthritis is infection. So when that gut is leaky, we get bacteria that now get access and so some of the bacteria that are notorious for contributing to arthritic pains, Klebsiella and pseudomonas are two different species of bacteria. Another one is Lyme. Lyme is a very, very common cause and mimicker or rheumatoid arthritic symptoms. So you’ve got multiple forms of bacteria, so the other thing that’s important to rule out is infection. So you’ve got food that can cause leaky gut, then the bacteria leaks in, and it can get in—it can get in to the joints and start creating damage, so now you’ve got, you know, food started the problem but bacteria is finishing the problem, so if you just treat the bacteria but you don’t treat the leaky gut, then you still don’t win the war. So all of these things have to be looked at, because it—it’s the old scenario, which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Peter Osborne:  It doesn’t matter. We can’t answer the question but we have to address the chicken and the egg if we’re gonna get the patient better.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Also I think mycoplasma pneumonia is a—a big infection, too, for some of the joint stuff, do you see that, too?

Dr. Peter Osborne:  Yup, yup. It’s another one, Absolutely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And I also notice where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Could we have this systemic inflammation thing happening and pain may be the first indicator for people that have that genetic predisposition, but we also see autoimmune issues, maybe even type I diabetes or MS, so how many other—they call it PGAS or polyglandular autoimmune syndrome and they say, I think 78% of people that have one autoimmune condition, maybe it’s RA or some type of fibromyalgia pain, probably have another one, how much of the people—patients that you’re seeing individually in your office are having more than just the pain? There’s something else right next to it or beside it that’s happening.

Dr. Peter Osborne:  Well, pretty much all of them.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Dr. Peter Osborne:  It’s very rare to see a—a singular autoimmune disease that just presents in solo fashion if you look. Now you know a lot of times, the patient’s symptoms, whatever predominating symptoms they have, those are the ones they bring to the doctor and then the doctor gives them a singular diagnosis. But I find if you’re thorough and ask enough questions, you find that these patients don’t have singular autoimmune conditions, and these can actually be measured, too. You can—there are a number of autoimmune tests that can be run if a person has—if a person doesn’t have a severe immune compromi—compromization, you can run tests that measure different autoimmune responses to different tissues, and you can actually find in many of these patients, 4, 5, 6 different autoimmune reactions going on in multiple tissues. It explains a lot of their other mysterious symptoms. It’s just a lot of times, doctors don’t dive in any deeper than just kind of, patient’s got joint pain, they go to the rheumatologist. They run rheumatoid factor and any nuclear antibodies as tests, and if those come back positive, they give them a diagnosis of lupus or RA or reactive arthritis, and that’s where it ends. You know? And then patient, you know, then they stay putting them on drugs and then you know, maybe that patient’s tired, too. Maybe that patient has other symptoms like chronic brain fog and fatigue, but they never get that piece put together, they never get—they never get tested for brain antibodies or neurological antibodies, so they never even know that that piece is part of their—is part of their underlying autoimmune complex problem. It just ends with the rheumatologist.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly. And then you just kinda talked about the—the dangerous medications that they’re putting a lot of the patients on. What really bothers me a ton is that the first line of therapy that they’re using actually perpetuates the problem even more because you have the NSAIDs which then are gonna create more of a leaky gut. It’s gonna lower glutathione levels, make it harder to detoxify the inflammation to begin with. Typically there’s gonna be gastrointestinal symptoms so they’re gonna be put on a proton pump inhibitor which will then decrease stomach acid which will make it harder to ionize minerals like selenium, calcium, magnesium, iron. They’ll get anemic. They’ll have low B12. That’s gonna create more fatigue, more leaky gut, more brain and mood issues because of the LPS that you mentioned, that lipopolysaccharide. So then now a couple years in, they’re on an antidepressant. They probably have low libido. They’re on a—a proton pump inhibitor. And then they’re on all these dangerous pain medications creating more, more issues decreasing detox. So it’s like conventional medicine is setting these people up for a world of hurt. Can you talk about the conventional approach that I outlined briefly and then your approach to get into the root?

Dr. Peter Osborne:  Yeah, so I actually I call this the protru—the prescription pain trap, because what ultimately happens with chronic pain is you get patients that are put on—they’re—they’re put initially some form of pain reduction medication, typically a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory like an ibuprofen or a—or a Celebrex or a Mobic. You know, one of these—one of these classes of—of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories that will—will erode the mucosal lining of the GI tract and induce a permeability within the gut itself and also induce ulceration within the GI tract. So it starts to affect their nutrition. Now once you start affecting nutrition and you start reducing their ability to absorb and digest, now it’s—it’s even harder for them to heal. So you’ve—you’ve kinda established this—this is why it’s called a trap, because you start with the medication and the medication does reduce the pain. It is effective at that, but it’s effective at keeping the person trapped in a state of always needing the medication and never being able to truly fully heal because of the damage to the GI tract. You’ll also induce vitamin and mineral deficiencies in this way—vitamin C and folate, and as you mentioned, glutathione. These are nutrients that get depleted and that’s just nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. But then we look at some of the other drugs that are used in these patients. The—the steroids, so the steroids themselves which inhibit calcium and magnesium and vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency all by itself can cause an autoimmune condition. So for being put on a drug that causes a deficiency of vitamin D long-term and we’re being treated with an autoimmune condition. We’re just allowing again—we’re allowing vitamin D deficiency to never kind of recoup, and so one of vitamin D’s function is—is it regulates immune response. It regulates how strong immune cells respond to a threat. That’s why vitamin D deficiency can cause a hyperreactive immune system, and so again these steroid medications cause these nutrient deficiencies. They also cause bone loss and water retention and bloating and weight gain. So now you take this person who’s got pain and you’ve just given them a drug that causes them to gain weight and increase their chance of diabetes, and now they’ve got joint pain already, so you’ve increased the physical pressure on their joints because now they weigh more. So now that joint gets eroded and damaged, just having to carry more weight and so that extra weight now causes more erosion.  You see where it’s kind of a bleak scenario, isn’t it?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Dr. Peter Osborne:  And the now we look at other drugs that sometimes get brought in and these drugs are basically severe immune-suppressants like Humira or Enbrel, and these things shut down immune system so now you—you start these medications and you’re on them 5-10 years, now you’re looking at a huge risk, increased risk for cancer and other kinds of infection. Well, we said earlier that infections play a big role, and the by-products of infection is lipopolysaccharides, play a big role in perpetual joint pain.  So it’s—it’s a futile effort in modern rheumatology. It is a futile effort to go that route and expect to get resolution. All you will do is—is fall into that trap. Now how do you get out of that trap? Because a lot of people will say “Well, I can’t get off my methotrexate, or I can’t get off my–”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mmm.

Dr. Peter Osborne:  “My steroid because it hurts so much.” Yes, you can. But it has to be done. It has to be done with scrutiny. It has to be done with intelligence and purpose. The first step is you gotta change your diet. Diet change, first and foremost, has to be implemented because a lot of the inflammation is stemming from the poor diet in the first place. The second step is part of changing the diet is increasing your Omega 3:Omega 6 ratio. You want—for somebody with chronic pain, you want a 2:1 at least Omega 3:Omega 6 ratio of fat–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mmm.

Dr. Peter Osborne:  In your diet. Now that’s really hard to achieve in modern diets today. Most people don’t live on the coast where they have access to fresh coldwater fish–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Peter Osborne:  Where they can get that quantity of Omega 3. So we’re gonna use concentrated EPA and DHA, you know, fish oils, so that we can drive that factor up. And I see working really, really well anywhere from 4 to 8 grams. So a lot of people stop shy of about 2 grams and they never really achieve a therapeutic dose of Omega 3 to switch that—that balance. So we’re looking at 4-6 grams potentially there. Other things that can be done naturally is the use of turmeric. It’s very, very–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Peter Osborne:  Effective at pain control and—and it can be—you can use turmeric to cook with, and so if you—if, you know, a lot of Indian recipes, this is where turmeric hails, a lot of our knowledge from turmeric actually comes from that culture but it’s being—been studied more and more and more. We know it has extremely powerful and potent anti-inflammatory and pain reductive properties so the use of turmeric and I recommend 3-4 grams of turmeric, concentrated turmeric, meaning it should be at least 90% or more concentrated curcurminoid. So it needs to be standardized to contain that, otherwise, you gotta use so much turmeric in your cooking, it’s really, really hard to achieve that level for pain reduction. So if we’re trying to get pharmacological pain reduction, we really gotta go high doses, we can’t go small doses.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And only 15% of that’s absorb, too. I’ve—I’ve seen.

Dr. Peter Osborne:  Right, so you can use things like pepper, black pepper, or BioPerine to enhance absorption then there are also lipophilic forms of curcuminoids, meaning they’re—they’re fat-soluble forms, it get absorbed better than your traditional powder. So those are all things that if you’ve got a good functional medicine doctor to guide you, that—that ultimately is a—is a really smart thing to have. You know one other thing that works extremely well for kind of pain reduction in—in these people, who there’s a couple—I’ll talk about a couple more. One is a proteolytic enzyme. Proteolytic enzymes work extremely well at modulating pain and there are a number of good clinical brands that are out there. I actually have my own formulation called Matrizyme, but they—they work really, really well at pain reduction and inflammation control. You’ve got to get the dose high enough and then the other thing that I find that is very, very helpful is something called an SPM. It’s—SPM stands for specialized pro-resolving mediators and these are by-products of fish oil. So what these are is ultra-concentrated resolvents that are derived from EPA and DHA that have a tendency to shut off the inflammatory cascade when it’s overreactive and so this is—again this is one of those things it can be used, it’s—it’s clinical so you can use it clinically in high doses for several months as you’re trying to get a patient to wean off some of their pain medications and get them moving back in the right direction. So again, if we summarize: the diet’s gotta change, inflammatory foods have to go away, grains gotta come out, nightshades gotta come out, I recommend that dairy comes out, I recommend high levels of—of Omega 3 fatty foods as well as high levels 4-8 grams a day of Omega 3 fatty acids concentrated EPA and DHA, I recommend high levels of turmeric anywhere form 4—3 to 4 grams a day, concentrated curcuminoids at least 90%, I recommend proteolytic enzymes, and I recommend SPMs, specialized pro-resolving mediators, to help with all of these different things to wean that person out of that prescription pain trap.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And you also use Gluten Shield as well, I think, you formulated that. It’s very high in dipeptidyl peptidase-4 to help with any cross-reactive gluten and you also use a lot of anti-inflammatory herbal blends. I think you use like your GI Soothe or your GI Restore, is that true, too?

Dr. Peter Osborne:  I do, yeah. We try to seal the gut, and—and so the difference is, Justin, as you know, when we’re doing a podcast together, we’re trying to give a general—general quantity of information to people. Ultimately what I recommend if somebody has an autoimmune arthritis or an autoimmune condition, really to work with a doctor like yourself or myself or another functional medicine expert who has these things at their disposal and discretion but also the ability to run highly specialized types of tests, because the testing and you know the—we’re do—we’re giving general advice and it’s good advice but highly specialized testing allows us to take the guesswork out, because for some patients—for some patients, it’s not a bacteria at all. It’s a yeast overgrowth and for some it’s not bacteria or yeast. For some patients, it’s that their reac—I had one young child terminal allergic to blueberries, right? And every morning, blueberry smoothie was breakfast, so—so this is the kind of specialization, you can do all these right general things and still be struggling to find an answer, and that’s why taking the guesswork out, you know, sometimes it’s the best thing that you could possibly do.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s great. So in summary, get the food dialed in. Go get a good functional medicine doctor in your corner to get the—the right supplements, whether it’s getting rid of the infections, adding in digestive support whether it’s specific enzymes and hydrochloric acid, anti-inflammatory herbs to help reduce inflammation, anti-inflammatory fats and then healing-repairing nutrients. Is that a good summary to start?

Dr. Peter Osborne:  Yeah, it’s great. Perfect summary.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Good, and then you touched upon the lab testing. You already talked about we have some of the immune testing, IgA, IgG, which is indirect—it’s not looking at things directly, and we know based on whether your weakened immune system, that may even come back a false-negative. You also talked about the conventional testing, looking at endomysial antibodies, transglutaminase, and then also your typical villous atrophy where we need like an 80% reduction in those microvilli in the small intestine to be even be able to pick up celiac which is one out of hundreds of manifestation of gluten-sensitivity, but your big thing is you’ve really gotten into the genetic testing and you’ve laid out the—the conventional HLA-DQ2 and HLA-DQ8 as being the—the celiac. But then you go deeper into the different subtypes, A1, B1, and then all the different subtypes there. Can you just kinda give us an overview with the HLA-DQ genetic typing? I know you do it on your site over at GlutenFreeSociety. We’ll put some links below the video so if anyone’s on the fence and doesn’t know if they have a sensitivity to gluten, they can get the—the tell-tale sign which is the genetic test. Can you go into that, Peter?

Dr. Peter Osborne:  Yeah, so as you—as you mentioned, a lot of these tests they detect late-stage disease. So you’ve gotta have 80% of your villi destroyed before biopsy comes back.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Dr. Peter Osborne:  I actually had a patient, you know, it—it was a 19-year trek for her. She literally had 19 biopsies. The 20th biopsy was positive. The first 19 were negative. And—and so I say it because a lot of people go to the GI doctor, they’re dependent upon this test to give them a definitive answer. And it’s not that you shouldn’t get a biopsy per se, it’s that, look if you get a biopsy and it’s negative and you suspect gluten, you shouldn’t rule gluten out just because the biopsy is negative. You get false-negatives with biopsies very frequently. One of the reason why is the damage has to be severe enough to identify, too.  The intestinal tract is 22-foot long and has a surface area of a tennis court. So when you do a biopsy, you take one little tiny cross-section, one little microscopic—it’s like taking a little tiny pebble off the tennis court and saying this pebble represents the entire tennis court and it doesn’t. And so you can’t rely on that information as definitive. You can rely on it if it’s positive. You can’t rely on it if it’s negative.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Dr. Peter Osborne:  What genetic testing does, HLA-DQ2—there are two genes, there’s HLA-DQ2, alpha 1 and HLA-DQ beta 1—these are immune genes and they’re job is—and they’re on Chromosome 6, their job is to produce an antenna that sits on the surface of the white blood cell, and the—the job of this antenna is to identify what is good versus what is bad. So if the body says, “Hey, we don’t like this.” That antenna says bad guy and then it—it captures it, presents it to the immune system and create some kind of inflammatory reaction. Okay? They’re a variety of different types of inflammatory reactions that can occur as a result of that. So there are certain pattern s on the HLA-DQ2 alpha 1 and beta 1 gene that are gluten-sensitive patterns, meaning if a person has these patterns, their body, their genetic receptor is gonna look at gluten as an enemy not as a friend. And so it doesn’t—so gene—what genetic testing tells us is that they’re going to look at gluten as a friend or an enemy. It doesn’t tell us whether they’re currently reacting to gluten, it tells us whether or not they would react to gluten and to me that is far more variable because you can take somebody who’s chronically, chronically sick, and run a genetic test and not worry about a false-negative, because a lot of these chronically sick people have immune suppression over time.  Their—their IgA levels plummet and—and they’re malnourished, so they don’t have enough protein to generate enough IgG to generate an IgG-positive response. So if we’re using these traditional labs, we have this high tendency towards false-neg—excuse me—false-negative.  Genetic testing doesn’t ever change. You either have the gene pattern for gluten-sensitivity or you don’t. And so again, what it tells us—it doesn’t tell us that it tells that you are reacting to gluten. It tells us that you will or you will not react to gluten. And these genes are activated by gluten exposure, so you know, a lot of people say, “Well, how do you turn these genes on?” Well, you eat gluten and these genes get mad and they activate the immune system and create an inflammatory response. So it allows us to actu—it actually and accurately identify people who should be taking gluten out of their diet and it’s a genetic issue. So gluten—we’ve defined gluten sensitivity as it’s not disease. It’s a state of genetics. If you have the gluten-sensitive gene pattern and you eat gluten, your body’s normal and natural response is gonna be to create inflammation. The more gluten exposure you get over time, the more inflammation you make. The more inflammation you make, the more you perpetuate disease processes and the more sick you become with time. So it’s—it allows us to say, “Look, you could be a little kid who doesn’t have any symptoms, but have gluten-sensitive genes, we can now say, ‘Look, get it out of your diet now, so that in 20 years, you’re not back at my clinic for me to treat your 3 or 4 different autoimmune and disease and 20 or 30 years’ worth of damage.’” We can—we can actually isolate and identify the people who need to get it out of their diet right now regardless of their illness and—and that to me is a much valuable, clinical tool than any other form of blood test because genetics don’t change. Blood tests can vary dramatically.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And I know that the conventional celiac genes are 2 and 8, HLA-DQ2 and HLA-DQ8, which supposedly about 35-40% of the population has those, but when you look at the other HLA-DQ1, 2, and 3, and then 1 breaks down into 5 and 6, and the alpha 1 and beta 1, and 3 breaks down to the 7, 8, 9. According to, I think, Kenneth Fine, he says 90-95% of celiacs have a copy—have at least 1 copy of those genes. So we know it went from 35-40 to 90-95 and then we originally thought well, it was at 1 in 133 people were celiacs, so now we’re starting to see it’s getting the infinites is getting greater and greater and greater.

Dr. Peter Osborne:  Well, and part of that it has to do with—you know, I—I honestly believe that most people are gonna benefit from a gluten-free diet because most people have a degree of genetic gluten intolerance or gluten sensitivity. Nobody has done enough of broad scale genetic study to confirm that one way or the other, but you know, we’ve got data in our clinic that tends to—tends to go to that direction. But the other factor that you—you have to consider, it’s a—it’s a dose response issue, so the more gluten you eat, the more damage you create. So with some people who don’t eat as much, maybe don’t create as much damage and don’t get quite as sick, but so you’ve got that as an issue, but then you also have certain medications that enhance–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mmm.

Dr. Peter Osborne:  The way we would react to gluten, and so these are what would—and Dr. Fasano refers to these as—as the trick. He says what happens is there’s a trick. There’s basically an event that occurs and then your body starts reacting to the gluten more aggressively to the point where you could identify it almost immediately. Those tricks per se are things like chronic non-steroidal anti-inflammatory use, chronic Nexium or Prilosec or Zantac or you know, antacid–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Dr. Peter Osborne:  Medication use. Chronic antibiotic use, right? Chronic intake of chlorine because you’re drinking chlorinated water which disrupts gut bacteria.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Dr. Peter Osborne:  You know, these are the tricks per se that we now we have an environment—a modern environment that has—we have all these elements that damage our gut and make it more susceptible. So we may already have genetic susceptibility but now you add all these other factors and it accelerates the damage that’s being done to the GI tract so that we’re getting more leaky gut. We’re getting more of these chemicals and bacteria and other things that are leaking through. So we have a modern environment that accelerates the damage that gluten can cause, because that’s one of the big questions I get, what—you know, go—go back in time 50 years ago, why weren’t people quite as reactive? Well, 50 years ago, you didn’t have antibiotics in the major cities’ drinking water on accident, right? Fifty years ago, doctors weren’t just hammering everybody with the antibiotic. You know, you didn’t have ear infections in kids and every other week, the kid’s getting put on a new antibiotics. You didn’t have mother delivering vaginal—or cesarean babies where kids don’t get normal bacterial flora from the vaginal canal when they’re being born. They get nosocomial disease-causing bacteria as the first bacteria that colonize our GI tract. So we have all these other factors that are going on today that enhance gluten sensitivity and make it happen earlier in life, and I think that’s the trend that we’re seeing. But then you also add, Justin, you add to the compo—all that component, you add to the fact that grain is processed with heavy quantities of glyphosate.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Dr. Peter Osborne:  Atrazine is another pesticide that’s used. So these grains are soaked in pesticide. These grains are stored in large bins where they have this tendency to grow heavy quantities of mold which produce mycotoxins.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.

Dr. Peter Osborne:  Okay, and then you also have the fact that grain in and of itself, some of the—some of the grains have been hybridized so that genetically they’re more complex and harder to digest. Some of them have been genetically manipulated and so they actually produce their own chemical toxins and so when we eat them, we’re eating a lot of that. So you’ve got all these different factors that play a role in why we’re seeing people respond so well to going grain-free. That’s why that—that’s why the gluten-free diet trend is there. And if you look at historically at how this is all played out, it really started with Dr. Atkins. You know, he—he challenged the original conventional wisdom and said, “Look, quit eating carbohydrate and he—what he was onto is he was on—I think he was on to two very important things. One, he was onto the burden of—of too much excessive sugar in the diet creates a problem, causes sticky blood and—and damaged blood and it—it causes brain damage and brain fog, and it disrupts mitochondrial function and a number of other things, but I think the other piece that he really stumbled on and—and maybe he was aware of it, maybe not—I never—I never had the chance to talk to him, so I can’t say one way or the other. But I couldn’t detect that he—that he was onto this by reading any of his—his books, is that gluten in and of itself was in all these carbohydrates that people were eating as staple foods, and so just eliminating those two factors, eliminating excessive carbohydrates but also eliminating grain and—and glutens, people were dramatically improving their health and so today we have evolutions of that. We’ve got the gluten-free diet. We’ve got ketogenic diets. We’ve got Paleo diets. All kind of evolutionary diets that have moved in—into a—and they all have the same thing in common, right? And that’s grain-free for the most part.  Let’s get the grain out of the diet and I think that’s why we see that as all those different reasons that we just talked about again. That’s why I wrote No Grain, No Pain. It’s not another gluten-free diet book. So those of you who are out there listening, it’s like you’re tired of hearing about gluten. It’s not another gluten-free diet book. If you really wanna understand this topic and you really wanna be able to apply it to your life intelligently so that you can restore your health, you gotta understand that this book is so much deeper than just a gluten-free diet.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s great. So if anyone’s on the fence about whether or not getting grains or out, you know, are a good thing for you? Definitely get it out, but if you need more, the genetic testing’s gonna be great especially the one that Peter’s talking about because it looks at that alpha 1, beta 1 subtype and we’ll put a link in the podcast and the video description below so people can access it. Now in your testing, you also talk about HLA-DQ4 being the only genotype that technically isn’t a gluten sensitivity genotype but even if you have that, you may still have problems with gluten. Can you talk about that for a second?

Dr. Peter Osborne:  Well, it would—it wouldn’t necessarily be that you had problems with gluten per se as much as it might—is it might be that you have problems with—with grain because of all the unhealthy other factors.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  All the things you mentioned.

Dr. Peter Osborne:  Right. Well, here’s the—here’s another thing. This has been around for a number of years, but it’s really starting to come to head. There are several new classes of proteins found in grain.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mmm.

Dr. Peter Osborne:  That are non-glutens, and one of them is—is called ATI, amylase trypsin inhibitors. These are proteins that shut off your pancreas. So here we’re—we’re saying, we’re shutting off your pancreas, then—then we’re shutting off the digestive function of your pancreas so that when you eat these grains, they’re not being digested because the grain’s goal—it’s a seed, right? It wasn’t to come out. It—it doesn’t wanna be your food. It wants to come out of your butt with poop around it because that’s fertilizer so it can grow.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Dr. Peter Osborne:  So it has developed mechanisms to protect itself from predators and one is to prevent digestion. So this—this family of proteins called ATIs have been shown to shut down pancreatic function. But they’ve also been shown to acti—activate something in the GI tract called the toll-like receptor.  And one of the things that happen when you activate this toll-like receptors is you get an anti-inflammatory pathway or an inflammatory cascade going, and so this ATI has not only created a gastrointestinal inflammation but they also created pancreatic shutdown and these have nothing to do with gluten. So if we’re talking just specifically HLA-DQ testing is—is gonna identify gluten sensitivity where-as grain may be unhealthy for other reasons and I just want—I want the—I want the audience to understand that, and ATI is one of those reasons. I actually—I wrote there’s 5 different—part of the book is I wrote, there’s 5 different classes of new proteins that have been discovered in grains. They’re inherent to protect the grain, and—and so part of their job in protecting the grain is to defend it from us and our ability to digest it and our ability to process it. So you wanna understand that those are part of the problem of grains beyond gluten. Pesticides are part of the problem. Molds and mycotoxins are part of the problem. None of these things have anything to do with gluten.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Dr. Peter Osborne:  And that heavy metals like cadmium and arsenic are part of this problem because especially rice, rice contains high quantities of these. And then you have what Atkins and so many others have discovered is that grains are super high sugar producers.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Dr. Peter Osborne:  You know? So we’re gonna get, you know, the amylopectin which is one of the—one of the elements to grain that causes elevations in blood sugar worse than sugar does. So you’re gonna get carbohydrate load that’s going to induce a diabetic state. So you’ve got all these different reasons. We could—we could say, “Look, regardless of your gluten status, maybe you are HLA-DQ4, but do you really want to eat this grain as a primary staple food in your diet because all of these other things are gonna wreck your health, too.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Totally agree. I got a study here form the Journal of Experimental Medicine that says more over ATIs, that’s the trypsin inhibitors you just mentioned, may fuel inflammation and immune reactions in—in other intestinal and non-intestinal immune disorders. So this is right out there in the literature, everyone. So what we’re talking about really is—is deep and hardcore science.  It’s just most conventional doctors haven’t really got into it yet.

Dr. Peter Osborne:  And that’s the sad part, Justin, is like—look, you know, one of biggest criticisms I take on, you know, and I’m—I’m definitely a leader, a thought leader in this field, I—I know that to be the—the truth, and I don’t say that, I’m not tooting my own horn, but I take on this criticism because I’m a chiropractor, you know, and I’ve got other degrees and diplomas, but my heart is in chiropractic as well, and that because I’m not a medical doctor, so many people say, “Oh, he’s a quack. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about.” But the reality is, I didn’t create any of this information like out of a whim or even out of clinical experience. This information comes directly from the medical literature. The problem is most doctors don’t read their own literature.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Nope.

Dr. Peter Osborne:  I happen to read an extra 15 to 20 hours a week in my spare time so that I can keep up with this type of information because I feel like it’s my job. If I’m gonna help patients get better, I gotta understand the latest and the greatest and the newest and even the oldest and—and if more doctors took time to take that on and take their jobs more seriously, I think a lot of doctors just get into this, you know, this regular routine of just cranking patients through a mill and not really seeing patients, not really hearing patients, just kinda of—just kind of going through the motions with patients. I think that’s a travesty. That’s—that’s one of the hugest problems we face in the United States is that we’ve got doctors who have lost bedside manner, who’ve lost compassion, who are in it for the wrong reasons and I’m—and I’m not categorizing all doctors here. I know there’s a lot of great doctors, too. But look, I wouldn’t have a clinic with 5-month waiting list if those doctors they were out there, for most of the GI doctors that were out there, most of the specialists that were out there, if they actually look the moments and the time to read the literature and to—to apply the literature with their existing patients, I would be out of job. But the fact of the matter is, I’m not out of a job. I’m busier than I’ve ever been in my life because the experts who are supposed to be being the experts, who are supposed to be being the leaders and leading the field, are dropping the ball. So the chiropractor has to pick up the literature and he’s gotta read it and he’s gotta be able to apply it with his patients and he’s gotta be able to apply functional medicine, you know, and I—and I just say that because that—that is one of the things that makes me the maddest, it—it, you know, it’s frustrating to deal with every patient coming through the door who’s so frustrated because they’ve been to 8 to 9 or 10 different doctors who are supposed to be the leading experts. It’s so—so it’s an uphill battle, Justin, as you know, not only do we have to educate our patients, but we’ve got to overcome all the misinformation. And look, a lot of these doctors—I had a patient come in to see me last week, her child had hives—had had hives for years. They didn’t know why. So they were seeing a pediatrician. They were seeing an allergist. The kid had been taking allergy shots for 2 years and the doctor said, “Well, it’s gonna take about 5 years of allergy shots to really get it to clear up.” Now that’s ridiculous, to take 5 years of allergy shots–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, man.

Dr. Peter Osborne:  To clear up hives. We cleared them up in less than months. Now when this woman took her son back to the allergist, she took all the paper work and all lab testing that we did to this allergist and she said—she said, “Here, I just want you to know what we’re doing because he’s better and, you know, we—it’s not like I—I didn’t give you to get him better. We’ve been doing this for 2 years but I wanted to share this with you because I think that if you understand this, you might be able to help other patients.” And this doctor rolled his eyes at her.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Unreal.

Dr. Peter Osborne:  It basically laughed at her and said, “Well, you know, if it’s working, keep doing it, but it isn’t really important,” and it’s like, “Shame on that doctor!” I could tell you something right now from patient who brought in information to me. If I had been treating a patient for 2 years and not been able to get them better, and they—and they came back and said, “Look, I visited another doctor and this is what we did.” And it got me better, you can bet your bottom dollar, I’m gonna be on a the phone with that doctor, as soon as that appointment is over, trying to figure out where he’s doing something that I’m not doing, how could I better improve my own skill set so that I could help more people, you know? But—but the attitude with a lot of these doctors is, look, if it’s not mainstream, it’s quackery, which is—which is BS. And—and if—if he’s a chiropractor, he doesn’t know very much and he’s not qualified which is also, as you know, BS. We have our background and education is—is so advanced compared to what people think that it is and anyway that’s—that’s a horse site, we don’t have time to get on but–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Dr. Peter Osborne:  I just—I just had to say that because, you know, a lot of people that’s—that’s, you know, I would say, “Look, if you—if you doubt the information in this book just because I’m a chiropractor, shame on you.” It’s documented.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Dr. Peter Osborne:  There are 33 pages of medical references. I didn’t create this science. I just interpreted, put it out there for the rest of the world in a manner that’s consistently easy to read so they can be applied. So get out there. If you’re struggling with autoimmunity and you’ve gone through convention and it hasn’t worked for you, you know, get your—get off your high horse and read the book and apply it, and watch miracles happen.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s great. That’s great. And I think a lot of doctors—it—it’s not like this great grand conspiracy but I think a lot of people, a lot of doctors for instance, they are under the impression and most people are, too, that if I didn’t learn it in medical school, it’s not important, and everything in medical school is gonna be all I need to help my patients get better. And that’s I think the grand assumption that most doctors and most people that go the conventional route are under. And you’re really dispelling a lot of that in your book. And—and my last question before we give you a send off, as I heard someone on the podcast just recently talking about, well, you know, get—go gluten-free, cut it out, and then add a little bit back in, and if you don’t have a reaction or a symptom when you add a little bit back in, then you may be able to handle a little bit. So what’s your perspective on just relying off of symptoms and adding a little bit of gluten back in? Is that the best way to do it or should we look deeper?

Dr. Peter Osborne:  Symptomatic response, it’s like saying, don’t exercise tomorrow and if you don’t feel diabetic symptoms tomorrow–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Beautiful.

Dr. Peter Osborne:  That—that, you know what I’m saying? It’s—it’s–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Dr. Peter Osborne:  It’s a ridiculous statement.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  It is.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I don’t know who said that, but shame on them.  Shame on that person. Gluten sensitivity is a very, very serious issue, and if you’re truly gluten-sensitive, you shouldn’t be introducing it back in. So I—I would say, you know, there’s no safe amount of gluten. There’s, you know, not if you’re gluten-sensitive, in fact and as a matter fact, research shows it’s 20 parts per million, which is equivalent to a drop of water to a gallon of water, that—that amount of gluten exposure can create an inflammatory response for up to 2 months.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow.

Dr. Peter Osborne:  So you know, absolutely don’t reintroduce it and try and see if you tolerate it, because what’ll happen is you go gluten-free for 6-8 months, you’re gonna feel dramatically better. Most people do, and when you feel better and your body is now healing, it’s gonna be more adaptive, it’s gonna be more resilient, it’s going to have a greater reserve to combat, you know–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Perfect.

Dr. Peter Osborne:  Environmental problems. It’s part of what we’re after with wellness, is to have good adaptability to the environment without becoming sick, you know? So—so to say, okay, take the gluten out and then start reintroducing it, it’s like saying, okay, take the sugar out and when the diabetes clears up and the blood sugar normalizes, start eating sugar in again, what’ll happen is eventually you’ll start developing diabetes again, so it’s—it’s a ludicrous statement.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Totally agree. And I wanna push everyone to head over to GlutenFreeSociety.org. This is where I got my foundational information about gluten and even being a physician, there’s tons of great info and if even if you’re a layperson just getting into a it, there’s still a ton of great info to kinda get your feet wet and even go beyond that with some of the clinical stuff. So I wanna push everyone to go to GlutenFreeSociety.org. We’ll have some links for the specific lab testing as well. Also head over to DrPeterOsborne.com. Peter’s got his awesome 7 Highly Effective Habits for a Gluten-Free Warrior. Lots of great information there. Anything else Peter that you wanted to kind of leave the listeners with? And then also I’m gonna go purchase my—my copy of your book here, No Grain, No Pain right now and I wanna urge everyone to get their copy as well. Let’s push it on to the New York Times’ List. I know you’re almost right at the 10,000 mark for sales and we’re gonna push it way above it and get you on there so we can get more exposure to people that need access to this information.

Dr. Peter Osborne:  I—I would say I’d leave with your audience, you know, if—if you’re suffering and—and you don’t know why and you’ve gone through convention and it hasn’t worked for you, you don’t’ have anything to lose. Try phase 1 and phase 2, it’s a 30-day plan.  Try it out. Take it for a test spin. You have nothing to lose. You have everything to gain. I would say to any of your listening audience, if you’re a healthcare practitioners or clinicians, and you really wanna get this dialed in and get this information, because part of my goal is to help people get better and part of that is helping physicians, I’ve created a 10-hour post-Graduate course for physicians. If you go to GlutenFreeSociety, there’s a tab that says GF Doctors, click on that and you can learn more about that. Take the course because the information you’ll learn from it, that knowledge you’ll get from it will allow you to help more people get better.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Love it, awesome! Great information and last simple question I ask it to everyone—I almost missed it with you—if you were stuck on a desert island, what supplement or herb would you bring with you or one supplement?

Dr. Peter Osborne:  I—you know, what? I think if I were stuck on a desert island, I would probably take my high-quality multivitamin.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mmm.

Dr. Peter Osborne:  Simply because I want a diverse amount of vitamins and minerals in me and if I’m gonna be foodless or missing certain foods that are gonna be devoid or certain nutrients, I want as much of a variety to prevent major malnourishment diseases like beriberi, pellagra, or scurvy.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Very common sense answer. I appreciate it, Peter. We’re gonna do a video basically summarizing all of the key points with all of the links on the video. Thank you so much, Peter. We really appreciate your time.

Dr. Peter Osborne:  Hey, Justin. Thanks for having me and have a great afternoon.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  You, too. Bye.



Fine tuning your diet for your body type – Podcast #87

Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Evan Brand dig in deeper into calories today where they talk about calorie consumption and some diet stuff. They discuss about the different diets like the Keto and whether to go low carb or high carb. Find out what cutting carbohydrates really does and how your body type should be considered when going on a diet. 

body_types_menLearn about the mechanism of insulin resistance and inflammation and how that affects your body. Discover the various approaches when it comes to choosing a particular diet. Listen to this podcast to know when exactly counting calories does matter and also how you can do an intermittent fast easily. Get the actions steps and a very concise summary on fine tuning your diet in this interview.

In this episode, topics include:

02:44   Calories and the diet piece

7:07   Carbohydrates

13:21   Body types

20:00   Adrenal issues and diet

31:03   Counting calories












Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Evan Brand, what is up? It is Friday.

Evan Brand:  Yes, sir! Ready to dig into a topic that I’ve had this discussion all week, and now I’m gonna have this discussion again about counting things and how it’s a waste of time, so I’m excited about it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Me, too. Me, too. And a couple of things I wanted to chat about—we were gonna talk about calories today, calorie consumption and some diet stuff. Also man, this new Apple thing came out—the iOS update, I think it’s called Shift or Shift Work. It’s a new app that knocks out the blue light.

Evan Brand:  I saw—yeah, I saw–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Night Shift.

Evan Brand:  An article. Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Night Shift. It’s phenomenal.

Evan Brand:  So I saw an—I saw an article about it that says that it’s garbage though and that someone tested—I don’t know how they used it, if it was an imaging device or what they did to find it or figure it out, but that it’s not actually reducing the spectrums of blue that you need to reduce.  It looks like it does but they say it’s actually not, and they’re still saying, you know, and F.lux and the blue blocker glasses are still superior to it. I don’t have an iPhone. I have Android, so I’m not sure.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right. Yeah, I mean if you look at it, there’s some customization on it so you can—you can kind of like tweak and have it do more blue light but I mean it looks, like if you, you know, compare it like your laptop screen when you have F.lux on to this, it—it looks pretty similar so.

Evan Brand:  Wow.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  The nice thing about Apple is they’ll probably just keep on tweaking it to make it better over time.

Evan Brand:  Well, I think the–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   But I like it.

Evan Brand:   The—well, that is a cool thing to hit on the bigger picture is that this stuff has actually entered the mainstream. I mean Apple is a huge company and so for them to have the thought of “Hey, we need to help people block blue light at nighttime,” that’s pretty amazing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly. I think it’s great and I notice the difference on my eyes.  Could it be better? Maybe, but it’s something that we can at least be using and it’s gonna be better than not.

Evan Brand:  Yup, I use Twilight on my Android.  So anybody has Android, Twilight’s the app I use from the Playstore and you’re able to tweak the intensity where you can basically turn your screen almost full red and remove all the blue and white and colors and then you can also change the brightness of the screen, too.  So definitely–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  If you’re breaking the rules and using your phone at nighttime, then that’s what you wanna do.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah, same with mine, too. You can do like more warm or less warm for color temperature and you can almost make it kinda just showing you on the screen now like pretty red—I think it looks really red.  So there’s less blue light there.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   So it’s kinda cool.  So I like that we’re working on our circadian rhythms here today a bit and I know you’ve written a book on sleep so everyone should go to your site,  NotJustPaleo.com, and check out your book on sleep.

Evan Brand:  Yes, sir.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Cool. Well, we talked earlier about—chatting about calories today. Many people are hyped up and—and focused on calories. We’ve done previous podcasts or I did.  I think my first podcast ever like 2 years ago was on calories. So let’s kinda revisit this topic and give it a Dr. J-Evan spin to it. What do you think?

Evan Brand:  Definitely, yeah. So I mean, calories—that’s definitely one thing that people are counting. Carbs, I think are another that people are counting that they really don’t have to especially people doing maybe a Keto style diet or a cyclical carb diet. I don’t have to call out these people. They know who they are, creating diets where they’re keeping people at 30g of carbs or less, assuming that they’re just gonna be able to adapt to it if they have adrenal stress. I personally don’t think that it’s a good idea, so I’m curious to hear what your experience is, too, with patients that if they’re wrecked adrenally, I mean, we can’t just throw them into a keto plan successfully, can we?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So regarding with diet piece—so ketosis, there’s like nutritional ketosis where you’re cutting your carbs down significantly where you’re starting to rely on ketones, these fatty acid esters for fuel. Now for a lot of people who are insulin-resistant, this is actually a great thing, because when you’re insulin-resistant, your cells are numb to insulin, that means it’s very difficult to utilize fats for fuel. So imagine the see-saw, right? As insulin levels go up, your body wants to be a sugar burner, okay? So it’s actually gonna rely more on sugar for burning for fuel while at the same thing though, when you burn sugar for fuel, high levels of insulin also make your tired. So it’s this conundrum, right? As insulin goes up, you get more tired, and you rely more on sugar for fuel.  And if that sugar is not being burned because of that high level of insulin, it’s escorting things into your cell to be stored as fat. High levels of insulin make you tired, so when people eat certain foods that dry up insulin, you have less energy a lot of times. When you have less energy, you’re more likely to not use that energy for activity, so then it goes into fat and it can be stored as fat and actually make you fatter.  That’s why insulin and fat is a strong, strong connection with it. So kinda moving on with my story here, when there’s insulin resistance, going lower carbohydrate and even ketogenic for some people can be a game changer, because you’re sensitizing those receptor sites to insulin so now insulin works better meaning they’re no longer numb because you’re not pouring a whole bunch of insulin on to the receptor site. So it’s kinda like ringing your neighbor’s doorbell if you wanna go to see your neighbor and have a conversation with them, you ring the doorbell, they open up the door, and you guys chat. But if you and you ring in the doorbell every day, and like maybe you’re playing ding dong ditch like when you were a kid, they’re just gonna say, “I’m not opening up the door.” And the same thing happens—the same thing happens with sugar and all that sugar stays in the bloodstream instead of going in the cell and eventually gets stored as fat.

Evan Brand:  So let me ask you this then.  So let’s say we take someone that is pretty insulin-resistant. People say, “Well, how do you know if I’m insulin-resistant?” Just look in the mirror.  If you have some excess weight, we can assume that you have some level of insulin resistance. Now if we take them and we say, we throw them on a ketogenic or a super low carb diet for a while, is that someone that you would keep in place? Would you keep that person at that ultra-low carb or are you gonna do it the sort of jumpstart the spark plugs if you will to increase the sensitivity like you mentioned and then maybe you’ll add more back in? Because for me, I find that when people go super low and then let’s say we investigate their adrenals and their adrenals are real low as well, they start to feel like crap and they honestly kinda tank out and then they feel almost even more tired on that super low carb diet. So I usually tell people to add in, you know, the sweet potato or the rice or something to fuel them back up.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, that’s a great point. So a lot of times when people go low carbohydrate, a couple of things happen to derail them, okay? And we’re talking about calories, right? Calories are attached to nutrients and your body really runs off of nutrients not off of calories. What I mean is you could just give plain white sugar that has no nutrients in it and you know, you’d probably develop lots of malnutrition and disease, scurvy, beriberi, because you have plenty of calories but you have no nutrients. So when we talk about calories, we’re really inferring nutrient-dense calories. So that’s kind of the assumption we’re moving forward on. So regarding the carbohydrate piece, when people start cutting the carbs, a couple of things happen. A lot times they’re already carboholic so when they are changing their diet, now 50-60% of their calories, if we’re talking the food pyramid, now magically go away.  Now the question is, do they replace those calories with other high nutrient-dense foods that aren’t of the super high carbohydrate variety?  And that’s the question. So a lot of people that start going low carb, they actually start cutting their calories by accident, and many will even start going lower fat by accident, too. So if we do go lower carb, meaning we cut out calories—our carb calories to about 10%, we have to make sure we have adequate amount of high quality fat to create satiation and to replace the calories that we’re missing from the carbs.

Evan Brand:  So basically, there’s never gonna be a cookie cutter program for people because depending on your activity level, like me, I mean, maybe I could. Right now I don’t go ketogenic because I don’t feel as well, even though I’ve stuck for it for several weeks, I don’t feel as well especially with my activity level, hiking and biking and long boarding and working out in the gym, I don’t feel as well. So maybe I’m—just didn’t want a long—long enough until I was adapted but for me, it just—it hasn’t worked 100% yet.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And I think it also depends how you’re measuring it. How are you measuring your ketones back then?

Evan Brand:  I was using the breath, the Ketonix. I would always have, I think it was the yellow maybe on the Ketonix breath meter. It was like a light ketones. It wasn’t like a lot. It was just a tiny piece, so maybe that–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  There you go.  That—that could be enough for you. Now typically Jimmy Moore, he’s—I’m a big fan of Jimmy. I’m friends with him, too, personally. I spoke at his low carb cruise last year. He talks about being around 1, I think the—is the 1 millimoles and that’s on the Abbot meter. It’s on the Abbot one. I think it’s the—it’ll come to me. I have it on my desk here on the corner. I’ll dig it up–

Evan Brand:  Is that blood?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   That measures—yeah, it’s a blood—it’s a blood one. Yeah.

Evan Brand:  Oh.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So he likes it around 1 millimoles, that’s a pretty good place to be. Now even if you’re a little bit less, that can be a big—that can still be helpful and people are increasing ketone esters just in their diet therapeutically whether they’re taking caprilic acid or MCT oil because of the benefits that it has cognitively on increasing brain function and also on reducing cancer because ketones don’t really fuel cancer. So anyone that has any cancer issues or history or past, or ones that prevent getting extra ketones in there is a great way to fuel the body and not have it fuel any cancer cells. So when we go back, looking at carbohydrate, my default always is a low carbohydrate diet, okay? I have a very non-dogmatic approach, very like macronutrient agnostic when it comes to diet, but I default to, where I’m a little dogmatic on—and I shouldn’t say dogmatic—it’s just what I—what we see out there is most people are insulin-resistant and overweight, right?  The research kinda says what, 60-80% of people are overweight. So we know if they’re overweight, part of what’s driving that metabolically is the mechanism of insulin resistance and inflammation. So if we know insulin resistance and inflammation’s part of that underlying mechanism, doesn’t it make sense to cut out the foods that are driving inflammation and cut out the foods that are driving insulin secretion, right? Does that make sense?

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay, so we’re on the same page here. So if we can cut out the foods that are driving extra insulin secretion and cut out the foods that are driving inflammation, right? Omega 6 fatty acids like from refined vegetable oils, grains, processed grains, processed sugar.  We can even look at autoimmune foods that are higher in lectins and glycoalkaloids and things like that that could be more inflammatory. If we can do that, now we get people back to baseline and then from there, we can figure out where people feel better. So I tell patients, imagine you got three knobs in front of you.  You have the protein, the carbs, and the fat knob, right? These are your three major macronutrients, and again the assumption already is—I don’t want any—any comments on this afterwards—well, you gotta be organic, of course.  We’re—you’re assuming organic, pasture-fed, high quality, no antibiotics, you know, no hormones, we’re assuming the highest quality with all these macronutrients. You get these three levers now and we can move these levers up and down, back and forth according to how you feel. So my default position for these levers is gonna be lower carbohydrate, probably closer to 50g of carbohydrates. Now if you’re just doing your carbs and you’re just doing non-starchy vegetables, you’ll be somewhere around 20-30g of carbohydrates if your only carbs are non-starchy veggies like broccoli, spinach, kale, asparagus, as long as you’re getting enough protein and fat.  If you’re doing—getting enough fat, 50-60% fat, maybe 15-25% protein, you’ll be somewhere around 20-30g of carbohydrate if you’re just doing veggies for the most part, okay? Now from there we can dial up some starchy veggies, some safe starches to start. And then we can always dial up a little bit of low glycemic fruit, but we start there and then we can move these levers back and forth, and we can see how do you feel, how do you look, how do you perform and if you’re having this adrenal fatigue stuff like you’re mentioning then we definitely can adjust that according to how you feel.

Evan Brand:  Yup.  See?  So that’s—I knew that was the conclusion that we would eventually circle back to, is that it’s gonna be a spectrum. I can’t tell you how tough it is to convey that to people because we’re always having this lens of almost like biodiversity.  You know, everything, everyone’s different—individuality if you will.  And a lot of people, they want something super concrete, just write it out for me, show me the pie graph of exactly what I need, but that’s gonna—that’s gonna depend and so I know sometimes that’s not the answer that people want to hear, you know, which that was kind of a long answer you gave which basically says everyone’s different and we’re gonna have to look at your hormones, we’re gonna have to look at how you feel, how you’re performing in the gym and then we’re going to adjust accordingly but generally speaking, yeah, lower carb is getting. I probably eat 100g of carbs if not more, maybe even 150g and I feel good that way. So it’s just gonna depend. That’s—that’s the long answer made short.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, and there’s a couple of things we can look at, too. What’s your body type? Are you an ectomorph, an endomorph or a mesomorph?

Evan Brand:  I’m a complete ecto.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, ecto are gonna be the leaner, skinnier people, just super hard to even put on muscle, right? They are a hard gainer for muscle but it’s also hard for them to gain fat as well. So these are like the basketball players. People that are—are leaner, a little more lankier. Then you have the mesomorph that are kinda in between. It’s hard for them—they can kinda gain a little bit of gain, but they can also kind of gain a little bit of muscle. They’re kinda like a hybrid. These are like your NFL kinda linebacker people. I’m kind of closer to a meso. I can put on muscle pretty good. But it’s a little bit harder for me to gain weight, but I am still carb-sensitive. So meaning I can’t do too much carbs, so I keep my carbs in that 50-100g level, because I feel good there. Alright, and then you have the endomorph. These are the people that just—they gain weight very easily. Alright, they’re more carb-sensitive, even more than me where they just a little bit higher carbs and they’ll put on weight. These are people that are just thicker. These are like obviously the people that are gonna be your NFL linemen, like that’s the one extreme, right? But then you have people on—in everyday life, they’re kinda like that. So off the bat, if you are an ectomorph and you have metabolic issues, you’re gonna probably be one of these people that goes down to a lower carb diet, gets their stuff straight, get their body more keto adapted and then gradually shift out of it, and find out where their carbohydrates are best. So kinda looking at the Paleo world, this would be someone like a Chris Kresser or a like a Paul Jaminet. People that are like, “Oh, yeah, you know, going too low carb is bad, so we gotta up the carbs a bit,” and you get people that project their own bias because that’s how they feel.

Evan Brand:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s how they perform. So you gotta look at people who are espousing these things. Say, okay what kind of body type do they have? Look at Chris Kresser. He’s a pretty lean, lanky guy, right? Paul Jaminet. These people are espousing 100-150g of carbohydrate a day. They’re talking about glucose being essential nutrient and safe starches and that’s the reason why. So you gotta know what they’re talking about. Number two, you got the endomorph. This would be like a Jimmy Moore. Jimmy Moore has gained a lot of weight in the pre—in the past and he lost 180-190 pounds going on an—an Atkins type of diet. Now the issue with Jimmy is he started gaining weight recently but people say, “Well, you’re gaining weight. This low carb thing doesn’t work,” and here’s the problem. When you’ve gotten to over 400 pounds, you created metabolic damage. Your metabolism is damaged so the ability for your body to be able to stay lean is gonna be harder. So the question is, if you weren’t on that lower carbohydrate diet, how much more would you weigh? So the questions isn’t is it causing it? Is it—the question is, if you weren’t doing that, how much more would be than what you are now?

Evan Brand:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Makes sense?

Evan Brand:  Oh, yeah. That makes sense. And yeah, so to clarify in the beginning I was saying, “Yeah, don’t count. Don’t count.” And here we are throwing out numbers. But just to clarify, I do not anything. I don’t weight anything. I don’t measure anything. I don’t look at nutrition facts and see how much is a half cup of rice in terms of carbs? Until the point now I don’t think about it.  I don’t worry about it. I just eat and if I feel good and I’ve kinda tuned in and I close my eyes and kinda meditate for a minute. I feel good. Okay, good. And if I don’t, then okay, what do I need to do? Maybe I need to up my fat a little bit. I’m gonna add some extra butter to this. Oh, maybe I need to add a little bit more broccoli or maybe I need some rice, or oh, maybe I need a sweet potato tonight. I tune in. So I don’t count anything. So we’re throwing the numbers out there just to help you. If you are in that kinda number phase but eventually I want every single person listening to put minimal RAM, you know, just like your computer, minimal resources of your brain—I want minimal resources to be dedicated to worrying and focusing on this stuff, because I want it to be something that just goes on the backburner and you just do it almost subconsciously it makes people neurotic. And I think it makes people sick when they’re just freaking out and their counting and weighing and measuring. It just gets—I think it’s a whole another type of eating disorder almost.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, there’s a couple of different schools of thought, right? There’s like that that bodybuilder’s school of thought where you’re weighing everything and measuring everything, but then there’s kind of my—my approach is a little bit more practical when it comes to this stuff, is just have a good idea of what you’re eating. One, appetite is gonna almost always give you enough, within reason. We can talk about some of the exceptions here in a bit. Appetite will almost always give you enough. The key things where I think it’s helpful to look is if you are sick or if you were unhealthy, I try to get my patients to that lower carbohydrate level which is somewhere around 50 and it’s pretty simple. You’re just eating non-starchy vegetables, that’ll get you around 30 baseline. Now you don’t even have to count. Really simple, just take a couple of days, plug in all the vegetables that you’re eating, minus out the net carbs. You’ll probably be somewhere around 20-30. It’s just the way it is. It’s just how nature works. You’re not gonna be able to do too much more because you can only eat so many servings of broccoli a day before just the fiber alone fills you up and then if you’re eating enough fats along with that, because remember if you’re not eating carbs, you’re—that means you’re eating more protein and fat which are very satiating and filling. So you’re gonna be more full. So from there, then you can dial that up and add how much? Well, you can do a palm size of sweet potato. How many carbs is that? Probably around 15-25. So you can easily just eye things by saying, “Well, how many palms is it or how many fists is it?” So it’s not a neurotic thing, it’s just like, “Oh, yeah, I’m gonna have 2 fists of, you know, broccoli. I’m gonna have maybe a fist worth of grass-fed meat and I’m gonna put a half of avocado on there.” Now I can tell you off the bat that you probably got about 10g of carbohydrate in that meal. It’s probably about 40-50% fat, maybe about 15-20% protein. Because when we’re eating real foods, these ratios can’t get distorted that much. They’re kinda locked in unless you’re adding a whole bunch of starch or fruit or sugar or bread in there. If we’re eating real whole Paleo kind of template foods, you’re gonna be locked in to that ratio unless you’re dumping in a whole bunch of safe starches on there. So we have this ratio and then we can kinda taper it up and down by either adding in lots of safe starches and more fruit, or we can pull that out and do more veggies. The protein will kinda be the same, right around 15-25, and the fats will be the same unless we’re doing a whole bunch of protein powders and we’re doing a whole bunch of lean cuts of meat. So if we’re doing—if we’re avoiding the lean cuts of meat and we’re doing coconut oil and avocado and full fat, 76% grass-fed meat then the fat will be closer to 40 to 50% and then if we do Bulletproof coffee or add in extra butter or coconut oil on our veggies, then we can bump it up a little bit more into that keto platform.

Evan Brand:  Did you wanna talk for a couple of minutes about how or why you may adjust things if someone does have some adrenal issues?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah, so as we get people—so off the bat, right? We talked about the ectomorphs, those are people that are gonna do better with higher carbohydrate. If they have health issues to begin with, let’s dip back down to that lower carbohydrate place around 50 or so for a few weeks, and see how we feel and then we can gently push them back up, so now when we’re dialing that in, the question is, how do you feel? How’s your temperature? Is your temperature dropping to low 97s, up or 96s? How does your hair look? Do you have drier eyes? Do you have more fatigue during the day? Case in point, a patient last night, we started getting her on a lower carbohydrate diet. She has Hashimoto’s. We dropped the carbs down. She was doing good for a while. She was losing weight and then we hit a plateau and we said, “Okay, let’s take that carb lever and let’s just add one serving of sweet potatoes at night.”  She did it.  She felt a little better. Great! Let’s add one serving to lunch. We increased it a little bit, move that lever up and she feels even better.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And she’s sleeping better as well. So better sleep, better hair, less dry eyes, better mood, and the key to it is if we do too much carbs after a meal, guess what happens? Well, that post prandial blood glucose dip, because the blood sugar goes up from the carbs and then we have this reactive hypoglycemic drop. It’s kinda like in a tug of war, I pull and then you pull back harder, and that’s what happens with our pancreas and insulin and cortisol when we’re too carb-sensitive. Meaning we can’t tolerate too much carbs. We take too much in and boom—we get tired afterwards. So this girl, this patient did much better adding in carbohydrates even once to twice a day. So she did well. So we can take that meter and we can kinda, you know, dial it up, dial it down. It’s simple. You know, I’m just doing palm-sized servings, so it’s really easy. You can eye it—there’s not this kind of analness of like pulling out your scale like when I used to do when I was, you know, more of my bodybuilding days where I do that stuff, and now it’s just—you’re eyeing it. It’s really simple.

Evan Brand:  Yup, that was a good example.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, you wanna make any comments on that?

Evan Brand:  Does she have adrenals issues as well on top of the Hashimoto’s?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, so this person does have adrenal issues and Hashimoto’s. So when we have adrenal issues, I’m a big fan of for the most part doing relatively no carbohydrates in the morning because that’s where cortisol’s the highest throughout the day. So we’re already mobilizing blood sugar at a more optimal rate because cortisol is a glucocorticosteroid, so it’s already mobilizing sugar in the morning. So why add more to it? So I try to just do veggies, or none in the morning and just do protein and fat, and I’m much more a fan of carb backloading.  Do more of your carbs at night because that’s where cortisol’s the lowest and there’s lots of studies that find people that just eat their carbs at night versus spreading them out throughout the day actually lose weight and do better metabolically.

Evan Brand:  Definitely, yeah. That’s exactly what I found, too. The morning getting people whether it’s some leftovers, you know, like sometimes I’ll do some leftover steak, maybe a little bit of broccoli or something in the morning just depending. If not, maybe some sausage. Some—I don’t do eggs. You know, some bacon, something like that, but just the good meats, good fats, some proteins in the morning.  You’re gonna feel the best. Some people may say they feel better if they do more carbs in the morning, like let’s say you’re getting a like, I don’t know, a gluten-free toast or something, you may feel better but it’s gonna be kind of an artificial better. And I find that you’re gonna crash by lunch or 10 or 11AM and you’re gonna be setting up yourself for more cravings and then you’re gonna be more driven to eat a more poor choice that’s gonna make you feel even worse at lunch and then you just get in this vicious cycle. So that’s why you and I both stick to just more fat and protein and then as the day goes on, slowly working in more carbs. I sleep better, too. I feel so good. Like I had some rice for dinner last night. We did steak. We did some rice and then we did some mixed vegetables with a bunch of butter on them and I slept so good and all—earlier this week, we were doing mostly just vegetables, not many carbs and potatoes or anything like that, my sleep wasn’t as good those days. Last night, I slept like a rock with the additional of that rice. So this stuff does work.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s great. And I’ll put this awesome article on ecto, mesomorph, and endomorph from precisionnutrition.com. I don’t agree with some of their carbs. They do a lot of beans and rice and some grain stuff. Not a big fan of that. I much rather default to safer starches, plantains, yucca, sweet potato, squash. I had a nice little dish the other night where it was just grass-fed, some cut-up onions, and it was a hollowed out squash and we just put it in the squash and a little bit of coconut milk mixed in there and it was phenomenal, and you can get a little bit of carbs that way. So I try to because I’m—I have an autoimmune thyroid condition, I try to stay away from grains at all cost. Sometimes a white rice, like a white mochi rice that has the lowest amylase or amylose amount and that’s a starch that people do people do better on that, but if we have autoimmune I try to keep it to the safe starches.

Evan Brand:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Now a couple of things, so talked about who’s gonna do better on these types of diets. So the ectomorphs will probably do better with a little bit more carbs, probably 100-150, maybe more if they’re doing exercise. So look at your body. If you’re that longer, lanky, harder to gain weight but harder to gain muscle, you’re gonna be the ecto category. If you’re a meso, right? Mesomorph is gonna be someone in the middle, right? They can gain weight but they can also gain muscle. They’re kinda in between, then you gotta figure it out, maybe 50-100, maybe 100-150 on your more stressful days. And if you’re an endomorph, bigger, harder to—to lose weight, very easy to gain weight, then we want—wanna be a little bit more lower carbs. So look at your body types. We’ll attach a link in the post here so you can take a look at that. And then also lab work. So if you have a fasting insulin greater than 7, we probably have some insulin resistance and you probably want to go lower carb. There was a great study called the A to Z Study, and it was done by Christopher Gardner over at Stanford. And what Gardner did was he took these different diets, the Atkins diet, the Zone diet, the Ornish diet and the standard American diet. He put people in different groups and he found the Atkins group did the best overall with all markers, right? They lost weight, blood pressure, cholesterol improvements, which wrap your head around that—they’re eating more fat and cholesterol but their cholesterol improves—that’s  a podcast for different time—and overall they’re better. Now what he did was, he took the same people in the Atkins group and put them in—and put—took the people in the Ornish group, the higher carb group and see which ones did better on it on each. Now we found the people in the Ornish group that lost weight, lost weight in the Atkins group as well. And the people that lost weight in the Atkins group—actually some of them actually gained weight in the Ornish group. So the deciding factor was if your insulin was greater than 7 or 8 in the Atkins group, that you actually would gain weight in the Ornish. And if you were in the Ornish group and you lost weight, but your insulin as less than 7 or 8, you could still lose weight in the Atkins group. So the whole idea was if your insulin levels were low, you lost weight in either group. If your insulin levels were higher, you lost weight only in the Atkins group. So what does this mean? You get people that have lower levels of insulin, they’re more insulin-sensitive. That’s means they’re not most apt to store sugar and carbs as fat, they’ll do better on all diets together. So these are the people that are out there that are eating crap, like the guy you mentioned last week with the Rice Crispy treats in his—in his smoothie or the Cocoa Puffs, right? These are the people that will do better on anything, right? And then they go and they—they taut whatever it is and this is the magic key, and it’s like, no. You just got a body type and a hormonal profile that allows you to get results doing anything. And then you get people that are more hormonally sensitive and they don’t have the ability to go up in the higher inflammatory and higher carb foods. So we have to dial that in and we have to know who is our audience and why is that person getting results over the other and if someone who is getting results on a higher carb diet, that’s not gonna be, you know, the gold standard for everyone. So we gotta know the differentiating factors in blood sugar and insulin levels are kind of big thing.

Evan Brand:  This may be a good new intake question. Please read this article. Are you an ecto, a meso, or an endo? And then we’ll have our patients tell us that way we can dial in a little bit more specifically faster.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I agree. And so I don’t think we have to be neurotic on calories, but one of the big things that I do find with patients is because most patients come to me with 50% of their diet being crap to begin with–

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That do you replace the 50% of the calories that are now pulled out? Do you replace that with enough Paleo template calories? That’s the question. And so if patients start feeling tired, one of the first things we’ll do is we’ll throw their food diary into a MyFitnessPal just to one, get a look at their macros, but two, to make they’re getting enough calories in because no matter what you’re doing, with the mitochondrial, adrenal, or thyroid support, if you’re doing low calorie, you’re telling your epigenome that you are in a—a famine, starvation, let’s tone down the energy, let’s tone down the—the fuel going out because we gotta—we gotta conserve.

Evan Brand:  It’s a lot more common than people think to undereat on a whole foods diet.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Evan Brand:  I mean, if you look at some of the stuff, I mean, you could be less than—some of the times like if you go to a restaurant and you see something, say they have like Healthy Menu and it’s like 600 calories, it would be an amazing meal. Like it could be something like a good steak and veggies, but it’s gonna be like 600 calories, and if you just eat that and let’s say you did a shake for breakfast because you were busy or you didn’t feel like eating in the morning, I mean, hell, you may only be at 1200 calories a day or something, which I don’t count, but that’s low so–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s low. I call that Auschwitz diet.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I have patients coming into me that are like, “Yeah, I’m–” and we look at their diet and then I’m like, “Okay, so like how long have you been doing the Auschwitz diet for?” And they look at me, they’re like, “What?” Well, Auschwitz is a concentration camp, I think it was—I think it was in Poland or Austria. I think it was Austria during World War 2, they’re pretty famous. But the amount of calories they would serve their prisoners at the camp were 1200 calories. And everyone can remember back in our history books, right? The pictures of those con—those poor concentration camp victims, they were—they were skin and bones, right? Well, people are doing that daily. The only issue is these people didn’t have a fridge or a restaurant they could go to when they got their cravings or they were stuck eating that way for years on end. So they got emaciated, but we’ll do it, what’s called a yo-yo fashion. We’ll do it for a few days or a few weeks, come out of it, a whole bunch of carbs, and then go back to it, and then come out it. That’s the Yo-Yo Diet.

Evan Brand:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s why we gain 5% when you come off it, because these people—willpower was out of the equation because they didn’t have a choice, right? They were prisoners, but we aren’t.

Evan Brand:  Yes, that’s great.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So now one more other topic I wanna touch upon is when does counting calories matter? Now this is really interesting. So we know if we’re eating good clean proteins and fats that stimulates a whole bunch of appestatic compounds that help tell us we’re full, right? Peptide YY, adiponectin, cholecystokinin—these are all good feedback loops that go tell the—the transverse nucleus of the hypothalamus, right? That part of the brain that controls the—the appetite is called the appestat center that we’re full. Now we don’t quite get that feedback loop with carbs, right? So that’s why we can eat a whole thing of Pringles, right? Remember the commercial in the 90s, once you pop—how does it go?

Evan Brand:  Yeah, you can’t stop. Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  There you go—ah, see! Look at that, you got it right in your head.

Evan Brand:  I know, it’s brainwash.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And then you know, think about people in their college days have ordered a whole pizza and ate it to their—to themselves.

Evan Brand:  Well, yeah, Lay’s, too. I mean their slogan is “Bet you can’t just eat one” or something.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  There you go. So these food companies know this and they understand that there’s a delay kind of feedback loop with carbs and our appetite, right? They know that. So that’s why carbohydrates is super easy to overconsume, so if we choose real foods, we get this really good feedback loop of satiation and also ketones, right? When we make more ketones from keeping the carbs lower and the fat—the fat higher and the protein moderate, that’s actually an appetite suppressant as well. So a lot of people on these types of diets will actually keep their calories in check and maybe even go just a little bit lower because their appetite’s lower. So now here’s the exception. I see it more in women is that if they start gaining weight after a period of time on a Paleo type of template, and we look their carbs and fats and protein ratio, let’s say their carbs are maybe 50-100. They’ve tried tweaking the macros up or down, their proteins right around 15-25%,a and their fats is somewhere between 40-60, and we kinda—we tweak it up and down and we’re still not losing weight, and let’s say the exercise is dialed in, too. The exercise is appropriate. We’ll look at how many calories they’re eating, and then what we’ll  do is we’ll drop our calories by 100 calories, and the goal is do you still feel satiated and full throughout the day? Because there’s a lot of people I find that they can drop their calories just a touch, but they don’t get hungry. Now we can go maybe 100 more and they—they don’t feel hungry. So sometimes with people, I find that they may overeat just a touch, and if they were to cut off maybe 1 or 2 or 300 calories, they wouldn’t feel hungry. So the goal of our type of approach is can we cut the calories without creating that starvation feedback loop, because as soon as we start feeling hungry then we’re telling our epigenome, starvation, famine, decreased energy reserves, right? Get colder, have issues like that, conserve energy which will affect our hormones and thyroid, so can we cut the calories just a touch and still feel satiated and full and not like we’re depriving ourselves?

Evan Brand:  Yeah, I personally never tired that. I did see something interesting.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Well, the thing is, you wouldn’t need to.  You’re an ectomorph.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  This wouldn’t apply to you.

Evan Brand:  Totally. I saw something yesterday in which it’s—it’s a mice study, so I don’t know how direct it’ll apply to humans, but that the cooler the mice were, like their blood temperature, the cooler they were, the longer they lived. So I don’t know though, it’s hard to say, like if you’re in that starvation mode and your body temperature is cooler, would you actually live longer? You know, maybe you’re not burning through things as much because you’re in reserve mode? I don’t know. It’s a good question. But then how is your energy level? I mean, if I can live 5 more years but my energy level is horrible, my whole life is not worth it, you know, so–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, and a lot of that research on like the fasting or the super low calorie, some of that comes from the benefits that you get from maybe an intermittent fast with the cellular autophagy recycling, and I think you can get some of that by doing a little bit of intermittent fasting on non-stressful days to help get that anti-aging benefit. That’s one piece. Also some of it’s on the glycation piece, right? When we glycate, when we sugarcoat our proteins, we create basically a free radical magnet in our body where those proteins attract free radicals and create damage to our DNA and oxidative stress. So if we can keep the carbs under control we’ll have less glycation, right? Well, basically the glycation—what happens on our crème brulee when we go eat it, right? That’s that browning that happens in our arteries and then our cells, that’s inflammation, and if we can—if we can get that dialed in and maybe add in a little bit of intermittent fasting and increase ketones, we may be able to get that same kind of benefit without the, you know, all of the negative effects like you said, the—the fatigue and obviously you’re—you’re starving yourself and remember if you’re eating less calories, that means you’re eating less nutrients.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  We know the more stressed you are and the more you wanna do and achieve and become in life, you need the fuel to get there, right?

Evan Brand:  Yup. I feel like we have said a lot so do you wanna bring us home, give us a good nutshell?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, what I’m—let’s do this. Let me kind of have you outline your nutshell first, because you have a different perspective on things. I wanna hear your nutshell first.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, so my nutshell is prioritizing eating in general, 3 meals a day at least, not skipping meals. If you do have some issues going on where you’re trying to fix your adrenal issues or we’re working together right now, and we’re fixing your adrenals, sometimes with some of those hypoglycemia issues, I may recommend even a snack or two which will total you basically eating 5 meals per day and some of those maybe full meals, some of those maybe small meals. Now those snacks are not bananas and cookies, gluten-free brownies, anything like that. The snacks are still real food—real food, so it could look like something like almond butter. It could look like something that is a shake like a coconut oil, you know, with some grass-fed protein or some type of shake. So we’re still supporting fat and protein but minimum 3 square meals per day because a lot of people including myself today, I haven’t eaten breakfast yet so I can feel my blood sugar getting a little bit low and I likely have some adrenal stuff that I’m still getting back into the perfect rhythm, you don’t wanna skip those meals. So—so that’s kinda my—my main nutshell.  If people just eat real food 3 times a day, most of the time they’re gonna have pretty good success overall, and then obviously there are some of the levers that I’ll tweak, too. Yeah, you need more carbs in the evening. This will help you with sleep. This will help with post-workout recovery, this is will help with weight loss, etc. But to me the skipping meals, that’s the biggest thing that I have to hit on and that’s probably my biggest thing in a nutshell is don’t do that just because a lot of these are broken and they assume that if they just don’t eat, that things will get better. But I think some signal to this whole system you’ve talked about is better than no signal, which is just eating nothing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Totally agree. Get healthy first before you play with intermittent fasting, get healthy first, especially my female patients.  Female’s hormonal fluctuations, they’re more like a symphony in the orchestra, right? And it doesn’t take more than just like the strings being off, or the flute’s being off, right? And that beautiful orchestra sounding like noise. So get healthy is a female first, especially the females because of all the things I mentioned, and then you can tweak around with a little bit of IF, intermittent fasting, on a non-stressful day. If you’re an executive or a teacher or even a stay-at-home and you have a stressful Monday, don’t intermittent fast on Monday.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Choose that Sunday or that Saturday, and you know, stop, have your dinner the night before at 6 and then don’t eat again ‘til 2, right?  That’s a really easy way to do it, and if you wanna have some fat in there, so it’s more of a protein fast, that’s still great, too, in the meantime. Make sure you look at your macronutrient levers.  Get down to a baseline if you’re unhealthy. Get to that lower carbohydrate-Paleo template to start and then we can move those levers in a non-dogmatic, non-analytical way like I mentioned weighing stuff, right? You can just use your fist or your palm or that decker cards mentality to up your carbs. And then also if you’re having a hard time we can also look at portion control, but there’s other things that we need to talk about on the functional medicine side and we’ll go in other podcast on this. I know Evan lost 20 or 30 pounds and you had a parasitic infection. I think you had Giardia and Crypto, right? Two infections. So if you’re having a hard time gaining weight or losing weight, there could be an inflammatory component, either with the microbiome, the gut, or an infection or a hormone issue that may need to be looked at. So we can only do so much with diet, it’s the foundation.  And Evan and I pride ourselves in—and rocking and dialing in the diet first, and then going up to the next level second. So if you’re having an issue, you’re tweaking the diet, you’re listening and you’re applying all the things we’re talking about, the next step would be the functional medicine component where we, you know, look underneath those rocks and see what’s there.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, that–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Any—anything on the functional medicine component you wanna touch upon?

Evan Brand:  Well, that’s—that’s just a good—that’s a good intro to that idea because a lot of what we talked about, people make their entire life, their entire career, their entire business model just tweaking and adjusting the things that you and I talked about today, but that’s literally just the first rock that we’re looking under. There’s so much more to the picture. I mean, no matter what I did with my diet, I was unable to put on weight, and now I found out I had those two parasitic infections and now you and I talked about it and came up with a protocol and now we’re treating them, and I’ve already put on a few pounds. It could just be because I’m eating more, too, because I’m working out more, but I’ve already gained, you know, almost 5 pounds over the last 6 weeks, which makes me feel really good. My strength’s coming back. My hands and feet are a little less cold than they were. So these are the deeper pieces and man, I tell you how good it feels to actually find a reason of why something went crazy. Oh, it’s a good—it’s a relief!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I knew you were looking better on Skype for some reason this morning.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  There’s something about Evan today. I don’t know what it is.

Evan Brand:  Good.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And just so everyone knows at home, Evan’s giving me a big flex right now. He’s looking extra studly, I love it. And then also like one thing, right?  When we look at the diet component, if you’re just looking at the diet, that’s like just looking at the flat tire, okay? So let me give you this analogy. So the diet—the diet, right? If we have a poor diet, so many other things can happen metabolically to our gut and to our hormones and to our thyroid from long-term poor diet, right? Inflammation. Well, the same thing. Imagine you’re driving around on a flat tire, for a long period of time, okay? Well, the axle, the front end, the whole suspension system, right? All these things can get screwed up in the car. Now if we just go and we just change that tire, let’s say a year later, well, all of the collateral damage that happened over the last year doesn’t go away. That’s the key thing. So now let’s take that analogy, interject it back to nutrition. Great. You have this poor diet, your thyroid, your adrenals, your gut’s all screwed up. Great. You changed the diet, but just like changing the tire, you still had to have the mechanic go in and fix all the other parts of the carb that got damaged in the meantime. And it’s the same thing. Just because you changed the diet which is the foundational key underlying cause, you may have to go deeper and have other systems worked on and fixed because of that collateral damage was still on motion.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, and I had a guy that just started working with me last week, and he said—he said, “Evan, when you and Justin said, ‘Everybody needs a coach,’” he said that finally clicked with me because I’ve been doing this thing alone for so long and I know so many people out there listening are doing this thing alone and it’s like I don’t even do this thing alone, you don’t do this thing alone, we consult with each other, we help each other, it’s like if you are doing this thing alone, you’re sacrificing your results and you’re lengthening the time or even reducing the possibility of you getting the type of results that you want if you aren’t working with someone because you can only see what you can only see. So really this is just a pitch for, you know, working with either one of us, but if—if you don’t like us, then fine, but I don’t know why you’ve listened this long but if—if you don’t and you’re going with somebody else, then make sure they know what they’re talking about. Make sure that you’re asking the right questions. Make sure that you’re not just—I had a—Justin, I haven’t told you this.  A lady that just started work with me, she hired a naturopath and she paid him a huge amount of money. Let’s just say you could buy a car with this amount of money that she paid him upfront and she has Hashimoto’s–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mmm.

Evan Brand:  And he told her to go eat peppers because he ran a blood test that showed she had a deficiency in some minerals or vitamins or something and that she can get a lot of really good vitamins or minerals from peppers, but yeah, she’s got Hashimoto’s and–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Ooohh.

Evan Brand:  And she’s like, “Are you sure?” And he goes, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, you’ll—you’ll be fine. Just eat some more peppers.” And so if there’s like crazy stuff that coming out of your practitioner’s mouth, don’t hesitate to get rid of them because hey, you—you and I—Justin and I, we’ll take you on and we’re gonna give you something that actually makes sense.  So that’s my pitch for—for this podcast.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s great and I wanna make one more comment. I have some staff staying with me or they’re visiting in from California at my house over here in Austin and I was making dinner for them the other night and they saw what I was doing at home with my food, nutrition, and supplement plan, and they looked at me.  They’re like, “Wow, you—you really practice what you preach, what you tell your patients.” I’m like, “Yeah!”  I’m like, “This is it! You gotta own this stuff. If you don’t own it, people can smell it a mile away. People can smell it in—inauthenticity a mile away.” So it’s important that your practitioner lives it and practice it, and you should know because you’ll hear them talk about things and you’ll be able to tell if it’s a smokescreen or not, so you wanna make sure the person that you are working with and I know Evan, I’ve seen—we’ve eaten together, too. You practice what you preach, too, and that comes through in the communication because everyone knows when someone’s smoking it, right? Or you know, faking it. That—that BS detector, that Spidey sense kinda comes off.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, and I just watched a video about that the other day, since the Internet has taken off so much, people’s BS detectors are a lot more sensitive now. So you’ll know it and something in your gut’s gonna click. So if your gut feeling just feels weird with your practitioner and they’re telling you to eat peppers when you have an autoimmune disease or something similar—I don’t have any other examples for today—then speak up because that’s just crazy and ultimately, you’re in charge. We’re just here to guide you in the right direction.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Love it, Evan. Great show today, man. High fives all around!

Evan Brand:  High five!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Alright, man, you have a great weekend.

Evan Brand:  Take care.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Take care.

Evan Brand:  Bye.


References: http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-body-type-eating

The good, bad and the ugly of low carb diets – Podcast #76

Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Evan Brand break down everything you need to know about low carbohydrate diets. They talk about popular diets like Atkins, Paleo and Ketogenic, Zone, and Ornish. Discover how you can get satiated after a meal by adding in high quality fat and also not overdoing your proteins. 

Low carb dietsFind out what starchy and non-starchy vegetables are as well as net carbs versus total carbs in this podcast. Learn how you can customize your diet to to make it more suited for your individual needs because not everyone will feel the same about a particular diet. Dr. Justin mentions great points about the A to Z study and explains how some people feel good on some diets while others don’t as well as some people doing okay either way.

In this episode, topics include:

3:30   Low carb diets

8:08   Going gluten-free and Paleo

12:34   Starchy & non-starchy vegetables

16:39   Net carbs and total carbs

21:07   Customizing your diet










Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Evan, it’s Dr. J.  What’s going, man?

Evan Brand:  Happy Friday!  We’re–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Happy Friday to you!

Evan Brand:  Rolling right along. Who knows what day this will go up, but it’s been a great week and ready to provide some more nuggets for people as they enter their weekend or their week start, wherever they are in the world listening at whatever time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah, ooh, we got a dog in the background.

Evan Brand:   Uh-oh, it’s the mailman.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Mailman, nice.  Well, I had a patient this morning–I got a few more this afternoon.  I try to keep my Fridays light; they’ve been a lot heavier than, you know, recent.  I’ve been seeing a full day of patients, you know, 12 patients a day on Friday.  I’m trying to keep it lighter, so we have more room for creativity with the YouTube videos and podcasts.

Evan Brand:   Yeah, I know.  It–it does–you have to balance it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Absolutely.  So anything on your radar screen, clinically, in the clinic that you wanted to mention?

Evan Brand:   The main thing is helping people to understand that emotions tie into your adrenal health–sorry, my mailman, I think he’s leaving now.  Emotions are huge.  I just had a lady this morning and she sent me basically a crisis email where she had an issue with some of her supplement programs and she was not feeling that good.  Alright, so she was having a struggle but everything didn’t add up.  The supplement she was taking, it didn’t add up to the symptoms that she was concerned about.  And so we started digging in a little bit better and found out that she had this huge ordeal with her brother during the holiday season and that had sort of left her in almost like a post-traumatic hypersensitive adrenal burnout state and once we got to work through some of that emotional trauma, she felt immediately better by the end of the call, and then we realized–okay, we’re still going to tweak the supplements a little bit but here’s an emotional thing that was the white elephant in the room and when you look at the symptoms and you look at the protocol, something didn’t add up and then we kinda dug deeper.  So I guess, I don’t know, maybe the clinical nugget there is don’t assume that everything you see in the surface is all that matters when it comes to your health.  Those deeper things totally affect you and tie in to your overall health and vitality and you being able to stick to your program.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   I like that.  One of the biggest couple of themes in the clinic this week is being able to digest protein is essential.  If you can’t break down protein or you’re stressed and you’re breaking down your structural protein, i.e. muscle, that can cause a big problem, because the more catabolic you are, the more you’re taking from your muscle, the more you’re taking from your brain neurotransmitters because those are all made from protein.  So being able to digest protein and being able to supplement specific free form amino acids can make a big difference in people that are stressed.

Evan Brand:   Oh, yeah, we can probably do a whole podcast and we probably should on just that specific topic, protein digestion.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   I know, it’s getting to the point where, you know, I’ve over 250 videos and almost a hundred podcast.  I know you have hundreds of podcasts, too, and it’s like, “Well, I feel like I’ve talked about everything.”  But I guess you can look at different topics, maybe the same topic with a different nuisance or angle, and it kinda changes it a bit.

Evan Brand:   Yeah, I mean, I–I’ve had this feeling way back maybe like when I hit 100 episodes of the podcast.  I’m like, “Oh, my God, there is nothing left to talk about.”  But I’m still amazed at how much info you can put out there but it’s never been presented in a way that someone’s gonna comprehend and how that relates to them.  So I think that’s what we’ll continue to do.  We’ll have content for 50 years.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   I like it.  Well, pre-show we talked about us going into the good, bad, and the ugly of low carb diets.

Evan Brand:   Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   I like this topic.  I spoke on the low carb cruise this year, with Jimmy Moore last year.  It’s 2016 now.  So 2015 and I’m a big fan of low carb diets, with a couple of caveats that will go into today.  I’m a big fan of Jimmy Moore.  I think low carb diets can be great.  I mean, if you follow any of Gary Taubes’s work.  Good calories, bad calories.  We know that low carbohydrate diets for the most part, you’re just excluding a lot of processed food.  It’s hard to eat a bunch of sugar.  It’s hard to eat a bunch of starch.  It’s even hard to eat a bunch of fruit on a low carb diet.  So what’s typically left when you eat lower carbohydrate is going to be vegetables and meat and ideally, lots of high quality fats.  Again, depending on how low carb you wanna go.  If you’re Ketogenic low carb, that is gonna be no fruit at all.  If you’re research low carb–and research low carb being typically a lot of low carb studies say 150 grams which may not even be low carb for most people, that’s why low carb diets may be a little skewed based on the research, it’s because low carb may not be what the real low carb is in the research, is you may be able to have some fruit and some starch.  But typically if you’re going on a low carbohydrate diet, you’re eating vegetables, primarily your green veggies, you’re eating high quality fat and high quality protein and you gotta be careful especially if you’re trying to be Ketogenic not going too high on the protein because protein can be gluconeogenic.  Meaning we can take that protein, those amino acids, and we can shuttle them downstream into glucose.  And we can sometimes, if we’re eating too much protein, increase our glucose via protein, but again anyone that’s having problems with glucose because of protein, well, you’re gonna have a hell of a problem with glucose from actual carbohydrate because it’s way easier for your body to get sugar out of carbohydrate because it’s a much faster conversion than getting sugar or glucose out of protein.

Evan Brand:   Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   That’s a couple of things there.

Evan Brand:   Right, which doesn‘t give you the green light and I just–that was funny you bring that up.  I was just talking to a guy this morning and he was saying how he’ll go and he’ll eat say a 16-oz piece of meat and he’s worried that he’s overdoing it with protein but he’ll leave the dinner table not satiated.  I’m like, “Well, just cut that down.  You can probably get away with an 8-oz steak and just add in some more fats, more butter or coconut oil or something, or some avocado oil or good olive oil.  Add in the extra fat, you’re gonna feel way better and you’re not gonna have to worry about overdoing it with that–what is it–the mTOR pathway.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah, M target of mammalian–M target of mammalian rapamycin, I think.  It’s a–

Evan Brand:   Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   It’s kind of a long one.

Evan Brand:   It’s a weird one.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   And it’s a weird one, but regarding steaks, like the biggest thing is people are just doing super lean cuts of protein.  I guarantee you he wasn’t eating a fillet or rib eye or you know–

Evan Brand:   Don’t think he knows–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   He was probably eating maybe a sirloin or–or even a flank steak, right?  Something like that that’s probably more lean.  If you’re getting the fats in the meats, if you’re–if you’re eating, you know, more full fat cuts of meat, you’re gonna do so much better than doing the extra super lean cuts of meat, and I guarantee you it was a lean cut.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.  Now this is question for you.  If you get say a type of a rib eye or some other type of strip steak or you have that strip of fat, are you gonna eat that if that’s a good organic grass fed source?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah, if it’s good organic and grass-fed, I’m definitely eating that strip of fat without a dime.

Evan Brand:   Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   It has lots of good nutrients in those fats.  Again, toxins tends to accumulate in the fatty tissue, so if you’re doing a lot of conventional steaks, you really wanna be avoiding it.  Like if I go to a really good dry age, you know, steak restaurant like I mentioned in the past, they’re typically still good quality steaks, you know, maybe like, you know, hormone-free kinda thing, but they may not be grass-fed.  They may be corn-fed.  They may be grain-fed.  So it’s probably not the best, but I will still have it because it just tastes so damn good.  But in general though, I’m eating grass-fed steaks, you know, 90%+ of the time.  So I’m kinda in that 80-20, you know, Pareto principle where you’re doing it right 80% of the time, you can kinda cheat a bit.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   So as long as you’re within that range, you’re probably okay.  And I’m not sick.  I’m in really good health, so I have a little bit of leeway with that.  So I’m always trying to choose higher quality of meat so that fat source, any of the–the higher fat portions of that meat won’t be as toxin dense if you will.

Evan Brand:   Yup.  Makes perfect sense.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   So if we look like your typical low carb diet, some of the really good things about it is for the most part you’re going default gluten-free.  Now the problem with people like, you know, the Atkins crew and–and the Ketogenic crew, is they kinda got the gluten-free right by accident.  Meaning just–what with the sheer nature of needing to cut out carbs, well, you kinda have to cut out the grains because they’re high in carbs.

Evan Brand:   Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Now there wasn’t an emphasis on the inflammatory and autoimmune components of wheat and grains in general.  There wasn’t a component of leaky gut and the lectins and the phytates and the oxylates and the molecular mimicry and the autoimmune condition.  They–they got it right by accident.  So it’s good but we also wanna highlight.  That’s why where you talk about low carb, I always like talking about it with the Paleo template attached to it.  So it’s a low carb Paleo diet.  That’s important because well, if we don’t talk about the Paleo element, Paleo adds in the quality element.  It adds in the organic, the free range.  It adds in the element, hey we’re trying to avoid crappy protein sources.  We’re not gonna do the Atkins as far as the head soy protein.  We’re not gonna do a lot of the artificial sweeteners that may have been in a lot of these low carb products so if we talk about it with the Paleo template attached, then we can make sure we’re avoiding the trans fat.  We know why we’re avoiding the grains outside of just the fact that there’s carbs in there.  We’re avoiding the artificial sweeteners and maybe the MSG, any of the processed food diets because the quality portion matters and we’re really focusing on eating real food, and a lot of people get that by accident with the low carb.  It’s not it’s made focus, but we wanna shift that in there because there’s power in why.  If people know why they’re doing what they’re doing, when that new diet comes out or their friends like, “Hey, that’s silly,” or “That’s stupid,” or someone questions why you’re doing what you’re doing, you just don’t fold, because you understand the–the reason why you’re doing it and that creates sustainability.

Evan Brand:   Oh, yeah and the–the artificial sweeteners, that’s huge.  I mean somebody that I was talking to earlier this week, he was like, “Oh, man, I’ve been counting my calories and I’ve been doing a snack as Jell-O.”  I’m like, “How long have you been doing that?”  Like, “Where did that come up into your life?”  I said, “Are you home?”  He’s like, “Yeah.”  I was like, “Go look at the back of the ingredients.”  And we went through ingredient by ingredient of why that is just awful and it was sucralose, Splenda, neurotoxin and other garbage, and I’m glad you–you mentioned adding the Paleo on top of it because it’s really easy to be unhealthy and still be on a low carb diet.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah, I mean, you could be eating a whole bunch of steaks that are grain-fed all the time and are full of hormones.

Evan Brand:   Yeah, you’re low carb and zero fat–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah, I think–

Evan Brand:   Yoghurt.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah, I mean, and you–we could have a whole bunch of artificial sweetener in there, too, and you could be having your soy protein bars but when you add the Paleo element on there, it just creates a, you know, higher level–a higher level filter in which you are choosing your low carbohydrate foods from.

Evan Brand:   That’s the perfect way to phrase it.  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah, so when we look at that, how I apply it from a clinical perspective because we’re always trying to give you the clinical outcome.  Most people that talk about these topics, frankly they are–have not seen a patient in their life.

Evan Brand:   Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   So when it comes to them applying it, they just have their own experience.  So we’re giving you a different perspective here.  So most people that I work with, depending on one, if they’re healthy already, and two, if–are they at a healthy weight.  If they’re at a healthy weight, right?  They’re at a healthy weight, then we don’t necessarily have to go low carb off the bat.  If they’re not at a healthy weight or if they’re inflamed or they have a lot of insulin resistant markers that are high, maybe higher fasting glucose or they have a functional glucose tolerance that’s off, meaning one hour after they eat a meal, they’re blood sugar is higher than 140 or two hours after a meal, it’s higher than 120.  That can be some good reference ranges.  They have fasting insulin greater than 7.  And these are–can be some good markers.  Anyone that’s just carrying a little bit of extra weight has a waist circumference greater than 40 inches for a male or 35 for a female around their waist, that’s a sign that they probably are gonna benefit from a lower carbohydrate Paleo type of diet at least initially.  And for me, I–I do that right, 50 grams of carbohydrate or less.  The reason why I do that, it gives just a little bit of room for some berries.  If you’re typically just doing non-starchy vegetables and we gotta break vegetables up into 2 categories.  We have starchy and non-starchy.  Our non-starchy are like the veggies that our parents said to eat, right?  Broccoli, cauliflower, kale, spinach, right?  All of those things.  And then we have our starchy veggies, which are gonna be our sweet potato, our plantain, our squash, our rudabega, our turnips, right?  Maybe our yuca or jimaca–jicama.  These are our starchy carbs.  So we have non-starchy, starchy.  So if you’re eating just starch–if you’re just–if you’re eating just non-starchy veggies, your carbohydrate typically won’t go higher than 20 or 30.  Won’t go higher than 20 or 30.  So you’re typically okay.  That’s gonna give you that Ketogenic diet and then most people they mess up on the Keto is they just do too much protein.  So if you keep the vegetable there, 20-30, if you do enough fat, pure fat, right?  Whether it’s butter, ghee, coconut oil, higher fat meats like bacon, rib eye, you’re–if you’re–eat chicken it’s gonna be skin on, chicken thigh.  If you’re eating fish, it’s full fat fish, may not be the super lean fish.  You’re just choosing fattier cuts of meat and you’re adding–gonna be adding additional fat, too.  Whether it’s coconut oil, avocado oil, actual avocados, maybe a handful of nuts, so we’re really emphasizing a lot of good fats.  We’re staying away from protein powders when we’re super, super Keto because that may create that extra carbohydrate in sugar from the protein going through gluconeogenis, which is taking that protein and converting it to glucose.  So as long as we do those things right, we can kinda stay in that Ketogenic range.  Most people are consuming 50-60 grams of protein a day when they’re going Keto to keep them in that place.  Any comments, Evan?

Evan Brand:   Well, the fat pieces–awesome, because protein–everyone knows about protein.  You’ll even see mainstream cereal companies now like Cheerios trying to promote like Cheerios plus protein, but you still don’t hear about fat in the mainstream.  So hear that message loud and clear, because you’re gonna get more calories so you’re gonna feel better, you’re gonna have those fatty acids that we talked about in the last podcast helping your brain, helping your hormones.  If you have trouble with sticking to a diet that is lower carb and you feel like you’re getting cravings or you’re feeling those low blood sugar symptoms or you’re just not feeling right, check out your fat intake.  Most of the time you’re gonna see that it’s not enough and sometimes I think Dr. Mercola I think he said he goes through like a pound a week of grass-fed butter.  I mean–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Oh, yeah.

Evan Brand:   You can really go heavy with the fat and that guy stays ripped year-round.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Absolutely.  So if you kinda looked at our carbohydrate curve.  We have that 0 to 50 range or more aptly that Keto range if we’re right around 20 or 30.  That’s gonna be an emphasis primarily on your non-starchy vegetables, virtually zero fructose because we’re not doing any fruit when we go to that type of Keto extreme and we’re primarily focusing on high quality fats and moderate protein.  Higher amounts of fat, moderate protein, probably adding additional fat to the meal just so we can get those extra ketones, get the satiety signaling from the ketones.  Ketones really knock our appetite down and getting just a little bit of protein in there but choosing high quality, organic, free range sources, and probably avoiding some of the protein powders, too.

Evan Brand:   Is that just for allergy or why do you mention the protein powders?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Well, just because you’re gonna be getting a lot of extra protein without the fat.

Evan Brand:   Yeah, right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   So if you’re really trying to get it, that may throw someone out because of that gluconeogenesis.  Now I like to be in the 50-100 range.  For me that works because I want the extra bit of protein, because I–I wanna be able to, you know, be able to work out and get a little bit of extra protein in there.  I want the freedom of having a little bit of low sugar fruit and/or maybe a little bit of safe starch.  So I want that freedom of that, so if I get just my veggies throughout the day, I’m probably sitting at around 20-30 grams of carbohydrate.  Maybe I have a quarter of sweet potato with some grass-fed butter and cinnamon, and maybe a handful of blueberries.  Great!  Now I’m at 60 or 70 grams of carbohydrate.

Evan Brand:   Yummy.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   So I think you’re okay with that.  A lot of people say, well, net carbs, you know, you can’t count your total–you can’t count net carbs, you have to count total carbs.  And–and net carbs are basically subtracting the–the fiber from the carbohydrate.  Now I think you’re okay doing net carbs if you’re just doing vegetables like your non-starchy you’re gonna be pretty okay with that.  You start getting a little bit off when you do it with fruit because of the fructose.  There’s more fructose in there so you can start getting a little bit out of control there with the sugar if you’re just counting net carbs on fruit.  And then also, you can get out of control if you’re doing a lot of Xylitol-based products.  So a lot of sugar alcohol-based products because we don’t count those net carbs.  So if you’re just doing veggies, you’re probably okay.  When you start doing it with fruit and other low carb products that have a lot of sugar alcohols in it, I think you can probably derail yourself from that.

Evan Brand:   Oh, yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   So with the 50-100 range, you have your choice of good quality proteins.  You can use a little bit of protein powder, collagen protein powder, either grass-fed whey or pea or beef, like the–the True Paleo one that I have and the–and the True Beef, those are great ones that we carry in the–our store, and then from there, we can add in a little bit of low sugar fruit, maybe 1-2 servings a day whether it’s berries or lemon or lime or grapefruit or green apples.  I try to put cinnamon on those, too, because it helps with insulin sensitivity and then you can choose abundant amounts of good, organic, clean vegetables; high quality fats whether it’s coconut oil, grass-fed butter, or if you can’t tolerate butter, ghee may be better; avocado oil, I use the Marks Primal Mayo for my mayonnaise because it’s really good mayo with grass-fed eggs and avocado oil versus all the soy in canola; and then you high quality meat.  So you kinda have that Keto and now we have our–our moderate to low carb Paleo which is kinda where I like to live.  I feel the best in that and most people, we start them, if they’re overweight and inflamed and have that large waist size, we start them at the less than 50 level and we dial up to 50-100 later, and some people feel good at that lower level like Jimmy Moore may do better at a Keto level, whereas some people may do better at that 1 level up, that 50-100 where I feel do better at.  So kinda tweaking it and–and adjusting it to your needs works best and if you’re doing a bunch of exercise, you’re gonna probably have to tweak up that carbs a bit, because if you’re just relying on small amount of carbs, your body may have to do more gluconeogenesis which is cortisol-dependent, which means you’re gonna be stimulating your adrenals to get more sugar from that protein and that’s adrenal stimulation.  So if you’re doing more exercise, more CrossFit, more workout–well, workout, you should probably have to get a little more carbs in throughout the day from those safe starchy sources and you’ll definitely wanna do it post-workout to help blunt that cortisol response by upping the insulin.  Insulin can have a really nice effect to knocking cortisol down especially post-workout and if you add some protein with it, that insulin will just suck that protein in and bring it right into the muscles.

Evan Brand:   Great point.  I’m glad you were going there because a lot of people they read books about like Ketogenic athletes and things like that, and for me, a lot of people just don’t seem ready for that because they do have that adrenal stress already and then you add in that super low carb and then you try to do intense exercise and a lot of times, they just get tanked out and they don’t ever know why.  It’s safe.  You’re not gonna–you’re not just gonna ruin everything and blow up like a doughnut if you just start adding in a little bit more carbs.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah, and Keto is kind of relative when it comes to exercise, too.  I had Ben Greenfield in my podcast a few years back and he talked about, you know, being in ketosis with some of his endurance work and he is doing 200 carbs a day.  So, I mean, he was still spitting out ketones with 200 carbs.

Evan Brand:   Wow.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   So that may be relative, so if you’re like trying to do ketosis with that 20-30 carb model, that may be way extreme if you’re doing a lot of exercise where you may even be at 100 or 150, but because you’re burning all that sugar up with that activity, you may still be in ketosis or spitting out ketones even with the higher carb level.  So I see a lot of–because me and you have the ability to see all these people that are doing CrossFit and doing these sports, you know, even professional athletes that we see that are coming in at a high level and bunking or really derailing their health with the exercise and their carbs being too low.  So some people will up their carbs, they’ll still be in a decent ketosis but they‘ll perform better than if they were in that traditional 20-30 carbs a day ketosis.

Evan Brand:   Yup, absolutely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   So in the end, we have these general templates, but then we gotta customize it.  That’s kind of the big thing and, you know, there’s some research with low carbohydrate diets potentially affecting thyroid hormone conversion and I’ve seen that clinically where some patients go super low carb, we get their thyroid hormone better whether it’s through herbs and/or thyroid support.  We measure their temperature.  We measure thyroid hormone levels, T4, T3, and all the other co-factors there, but we’ll see some thyroid symptoms start to creep in whether it’s hair loss on the head or eyebrows or cold fingers or hands or brain fog or constipation and we’ll up the carbs just a touch and we start to see some of these symptoms go away.  And that’s kind of the nice thing about it is we know that that’s improving so we can add that customization level to it, so we have these general templates but then we customize as we go deeper with that patient.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, that’s what–that’s where the magic really happens because a lot of this stuff that you read online, it’s all theory and very cookie cutter and if you‘re trying to take a cookie cutter approach and apply that to yourself and it’s not working, well, that’s why; it’s because it’s cookie cutter and that’s not specifically tuned to you.  I think there’s always gonna be a demand for specialized nutrition programs, specialized supplements, things like that.  I can’t tell you how many times people come in and it’s like, “Here’s the 25 supplements that I’m taking,” and you dig in–I know you see this, too.  It’s like, “Well, why are you taking this?”  Like a random supplement, you know, that doesn’t even–that doesn’t even approach their symptoms, and “Oh, well, I heard it somewhere,” or “I read it on this blog,” or whatever, and then you got all these people that’s confused and I think what happens is you get decision fatigue and then you get an overindulgenece of information and you just really need to zoom out and focus on yourself and not focus about on–on what–what’s working for everyone else.  You gotta focus on you at the end of the day.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah, and one thing to kind of talk about, because this kinda bugs me a lot.  A lot of people are like, “Oh, Atkins screws everyone up.”  Well, if we look at Atkins from a perspective of, you know, a Paleo Atkins or if we just call it a Paleo Ketogenic, you’re gonna do great with that.  The thing that people mess up on Atkins is they look at the induction period of Atkins which is like the 20 carbs a day thing, where he’s trying to get people into ketosis, and they extrapolate that as that’s Atkins and it’s not.  There’s three phases to Atkins.  There’s the phase 1 which is the induction.  That’s kind of the ketosis type of phase.  And then there’s phase 2 which is the OWL phase.  It’s gone on–Ongoing Weight Loss.  It’s the balancing phase where you add 5 grams of carbohydrate and it does net carbs, so I’m find with net carbs as long as you’re not doing all the things I mentioned before.  Increased 5 carbs per week and as long as you’re weight loss isn’t dropping or you’re not gaining weight, then you can continue to increase 5 carbs per week up to about 80 grams of carbohydrate.  So wait a minute, Atkins isn’t, you know, a total low carb diet because you can go up to 80 carbohydrates per day.  So that’s the difference.  You can add customization with Atkins or a low carb Paleo.  Many people don’t know about it.  They bastardize it.  They totally ignore that phase 2 where you add 5 carbs per week, typically when you’re within 10 lbs of weight loss or so or your goal weight, you up it.  So you can kind of find your threshold even through Atkins.  So I’ve read this 10 years ago and it always perplex me how no one talked about it.  It always bugged me.  So I’m using this as my soak tool to kinda get it out but there’s customization even with Atkins and we just add that higher level of Paleo Atkins or low carb Paleo and we can up that 5 carbs per week and figure out what works.  And that way for that thyroid patient that’s having those symptoms of low thyroid, we can up the carbs a little bit and see if that starts to improve.  So we have this ability in functional medicine and functional nutrition to customize and not be dogmatic about what we’re doing.  Just make sure the quality is there and the macronutrients, the protein, the fat and the carbs, we’re totally agnostic about.  Our goal is to find what level works best for you.

Evan Brand:   Uh-hmm.  Great.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   So any comments on that–the OWL phase or that phase 2, that balancing phase?

Evan Brand:   No, that was a great rant.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Okay, good.  I like that.  So looking at that again, if you look at some of these diets, Christopher Gardner did a great study where it’s called the A to Z study, and Christopher Gardner is out at Stanford and we actually were able–I was able to reach out to him at one point because I was living in Silicon Valley for many years and he was just down the road 5 minutes over at Stanford Medical.  And he did the A to Z study where he looked at the Ornish Diet, the Atkins Diet, the–I think your standard American Diet, I think the Zone. And he found that the Atkins really what it was was meat, vegetables and fats, right?  I mean, let’s just–let’s call it what it is, outperformed better in every single statistical category regarding cholesterol, HDL, LDL, blood pressure, hip to waist circumference, a whole bunch of markers, BMI–it improved every single person, you know, better in that group than each other group.  So the–that low carbohydrate group did so much better.  Now here’s the thing though, when we look at the groups in that study, here was the catch.  Everyone in that Atkins group improved, but there were still some people in the other groups that still did well.  Now here’s the catch.  When they controlled for some of the metabolic markers, they found whether the people that were in that low carb group or let’s say in the Zone or in the Ornish that had more carbohydrate, they found that whether they were in Zone or the Atkins, they did the same.  Like it didn’t really matter what diet they were eating when people had insulin levels higher than 7.  So fasting insulin higher than 7; that it didn’t really matter what diet they did.  They did good in both of those groups.  Now here was the catch.  When people had insulin levels less than 7, when they went into the higher carbohydrate groups, they did worse.

Evan Brand:   Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Alright, but they did better in the Atkins group.  So here’s the thing.  You have people that will do good in either one, alright, because they’re eating real food, they’re gonna do good in either one.  The people that are more insulin-resistant, they will do worse in the higher carb group.  So the people that are more insulin-resistant which is a significant portion of the population because of stress, inflammation, and refined carbohydrates and fructose, they do worse when they increase carbs.  So that’s why my default is always going on a lower carbohydrate approach because then we don’t let people slip through the cracks and let’s say someone will do better on higher carbs, well, great.  We’ll cycle them down through that lower carb and bring them up or if they’re already at a healthy weight, we’ll do the moderate carb, 50-100 and have them start to that.  So we can have that customization level, we have to know why would someone do good on low carb and not and why would someone do good on high carb and not, and it really comes down to insulin resistance for the people that gain weight and insulin sensitivity for the people that will do good in either group.

Evan Brand:   Yeah, here’s the 10-second test to tell if you’re insulin-resistant, you’re listening to this.  You look in the mirror, if you have excess weight especially around your hips, you’re likely insulin-resistant.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Or if you–let’s say, you look good and you look healthy, but you know if you start upping carbs a bit, you start gaining weight and you know who you are because you’re–you know, that weight goes up on that scale and you know it, and you know that you do better when you keep the veggies in there versus the carbs and starch, you’re probably insulin-resistant but you’re modulating it with the low carb Paleo diet.

Evan Brand:   Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   So how are you applying this to your patients, Evan, in your practice?

Evan Brand:   Mostly, starting out same thing, lower–I don’t usually say low–I say the same thing as you, lower carb in general to start people out.  I always–I have to harp on the fats.  I mean, you would think how much you and I talk about butter and coconut, that people would eat more fats, but it’s still a struggle to get them to add enough.  So that’s kind of the point that I hinge upon is adding that extra tablespoon of coconut oil if you’re gonna do like a beef protein shake or adding that extra tablespoon of butter on top of your steamed broccoli in your veggies.  To me that’s a game changer after the carbs get dialed in because that’s when they start to lose weight.  That’s when maybe their hair stops falling out as much.  Maybe that’s when their sex drive improves and it’s all due to those good quality fats.  I mean, smother everything with butter–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah.

Evan Brand:   I promise.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah.

Evan Brand:   It’s gonna help you.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Now, here’s where low carb diets fail.  Exactly what you said you don’t go high enough on the fats.  Number two is if you have a gut infection that is preventing you from breaking down protein and fats, oh my gosh, that’s primarily what you’re eating more of in these diets.  So if you can’t break it down, it makes sense.  These foods act like a brick in your stomach and may ferment and rot and rancidify and putrefy and create more inflammation.  So if you’re not doing well on it, you gotta look deeper at the gut for infection, SIBO, parasites, fungal overgrowth, and you have to have that looked at.  You may do better with–the time being–with hydrochloric acid and enzymes and/or extra bile salts especially if you don’t have a gallbladder.  So you gotta look at are you making the digestive secretions to break the food you’re eating down, if you’re not, well, that’s strike one.  If you have a gut infection that’s compounding that, that’s strike two.  And then if–if you’re in that fight or flight because your adrenals are really stressed out, that will turn off your digestion, too.  So you may have to look deeper at the adrenals and your stress response.

Evan Brand:   Absolutely.  So many people don’t eat in a relaxed state.  You’re wasting your hard-earned money on that food.  Chill out, get off the phone, relax, chew it, breathe, give yourself a couple minute buffer time before and after meals.  That’s what I always recommended.  Just sit there–ahh, okay–not finish that last bite as you’re merging on to the highway.  That’s not optimal digestion conducive.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Exactly.  And one last thing.  I’ve alluded to on the–on the A to Z study, alluded about it regarding why people who are on the high carb group still felt good, well, again, a message to all you vegans or high carbers out there.  Don’t demonize people who are low carb just because you can do well on both.  Just because you can do well on high carb, don’t extrapolate that to, well, that’s how it should be for everyone because it’s not.  I see a lot of people say, “Well, I can do 300 or 400 carbs a day.”  Well, most of the time, you’re probably genetically lean anyway.  You probably also do a lot of exercise, because people that can handle a lot of carbs, carbs create energy in those people.  People that are insulin-resistant, carbs create fatigue because insulin drives lipogenesis in insulin-resistant people.  That means you’re making fat.  When you’re making fat, you’re taking calories and you’re storing it, not burning it.  Thus, so it creates fatigue in those people.  So be understanding.  Be compassionate.  People that have issues with lower carbs–I mean with higher carbs, they have to eat a diet that’s more insulin-sensitive so that it helps reduce their insulin resistance so they can basically do more metabolically by shifting their body to burn their calories by decreasing their insulin level.  So have a little compassion.  Just remember, you know, N equals 1.  Just because you can do it, it doesn’t mean it’s the same.  You may be the exception for the rule.  When I see a lot of people commenting on my videos saying this stuff, but you’re just the exception.  That’s it.

Evan Brand:  Absolutely. Well-said.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Any last comments, Evan?

Evan Brand:   No, that’s it, man.  That was a great coverage and that was a good way to wrap it up.  I will restate that though for people that are dealing with insulin problems.  When you add carbs up, your energy drops.  And if your insulin is too high and you’re insulin-resistant, when you drop the carbs, you get more energy because your insulin’s coming down.  Did I re-state that accurately?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yes, exactly.  Well, a lot of people, too.  Even if they’re carbs, yes, if you’re–if you’re insulin-resistant, yes, that’s exactly how it’ll go.  The people that are insulin-sensitive, right?  Meaning they can–they don’t have that receptor site downregulation from the insulin response, it doesn’t matter either way.  And they’ll typically feel better with the higher carb.  Correct.

Evan Brand:   Got it. That’s great.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Alright, well, this is a podcast that I think we gotta listen to a few times.  A lot of the things we talked about just clinically individualize yourself if you’re having a hard time with the diet piece, that’s where you reach out to Dr. J or Evan and then we can dig in and customize things, and if you’re having problems with the diet piece like the digestion component or the stress component or you’re not breaking things down appropriately, constipation, just your stools like they’re a mess, that’s where you gotta dig in and find a good functional medicine doctor to get to the root issue here.

Evan Brand:   Yup, absolutely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Alright, Evan, great talk.  Have a good weekend!

Evan Brand:   Take care, bye!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Bye!

Marna Thall and Emotional Eating Solutions – Podcast #72

Dr. Justin’s special guest for this podcast episode is Marna Thall of ThinWithin.com who shares her journey on losing weight from a psychological and physiological standpoint. Marna, aka the No Diet Coach, tells us about her specialty and her passion in the health field. Learn how you can manage emotional eating so you can also lose weight when you listen to this interview.

salt_and_sand_by_cocorie-d7qgo0oBe inspired to think like a naturally thin person when it comes to eating. Discover the ways how you can lose weight like Marna did by rewiring your brain to think differently, eat differently, and feel differently. Learn how you don’t have to say no to your body and instead try to look for ways on how not to deprive yourself of the foods you love by just substituting them.

In this episode, topics include:

2:04   Emotional eating and weight loss

7:25   Beliefs

12:48   Relationship with food and yourself

15:42   Studying the naturally thin

20:57   Exercise

24:05   Food shifts











Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Hey, there! It’s Dr. J.  Today we have Marna Thall on the podcast.  We’re really excited to have her on.  Her website is ThinWithin.com, nice little poetry there.  I like it.  Marna, welcome to the show!

Marna Thall:  Thank you so much!  Thanks, Justin, for having me.  I’m excited to be here with you.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Great! Well, why don’t you tell the little–why don’t–why don’t you tell the listeners a little bit about yourself and what you specialize in and what your passion is really in the health field?

Marna Thall: Yeah, so I’ve been known as the No Diet Coach for–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-huh.

Marna Thall:  Almost 20 years now.  I was really, you know, about–let’s see–I was 12 years when my mom was in a car accident and my dad fell from a ladder.  My parents owned a flower shop and he fell from–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Oh.

Marna Thall:  A ladder putting away a wedding one night and it landed both of them in the hospital and at age 12, I started the year as a thin kid but by the end of 12, I would put on a lot of weight.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mmm.

Marna Thall:  And in trying to get that weight off, I tried what most people do, you know, it sort of took me 6 years to just try to figure out what I was doing and I tried every diet under the sun that I thought of and I really just struggled with the willpower to stay on a diet.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  It really was hard for me to do that because I just have this personality type that if you tell me what to do and how to eat, I’m gonna do the exact opposite.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Marna Thall:  And so it wasn’t until I was 18, I was in college, and I thought, “Oh, God, you know what?  Like here are all of these beautiful thin people around me,” and I thought, “You know what, if wanted to get rich, I’d study the–the wealthy, and here I am struggling with weight.  Maybe I’m gonna start struggling–I’ll start learning from the naturally thin.”  And being that I was a psychology student, it made a lot of sense for me.  I was always very interested in the mindset of people–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  Who are successful.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  So that’s what I did.  I started studying the thin and I really understood and–and learning from the naturally thin that I was an emotional eater and I needed to learn ways to manage that emotional eating.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  So that and when I did, it helped me lose weight.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it.  Yeah, it seems like every really good practitioner or healthcare provider, they have some kind of struggle themselves that really got them into this field, got them reaching for answers, and it sounds like this was the path that you watched which you–you had to walk which is now helping so many of your–your clients and also you do a lot of summits as well yearly and you’re helping tens of thousands of people yearly with that, too.  Is that right?

Marna Thall:   Yeah, I mean, I just–it’s things, you know, I’ve been doing it for like I said almost 20 years, so yeah, it’s been–I’m so blessed.  I have a great number of people that I–we get to work with every year and I have coaches on board now that–that help and–and work with me and it was just really–we’re really blessed to continue to grow and reach more people.  But you are right.  I had no idea that I was gonna be starting and working in the area of weight loss.  No clue.  But yeah, my own personal journey is what has led me here.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s great.  So the average person that reaches out to you online or attends your summits or works with you one on one, what are their big 3 issues that they have and–and what are the–the big couple of things that you’re doing with them from a foundational perspective to bring some balance back into their life?

Marna Thall:  Yeah, so the big 3 areas:  They wanna lose weight–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  But they don’t wanna diet.  They’re sick of–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  Dieting.  They are emotional eaters and they want strategies.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  And so a big piece of what I do is around rewiring their brain to really think differently–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  About themselves.  Eat differently and feel differently about who they are and what they desire.  So I–you know, I split it up in these different–these 3 different realms.  I don’t really base in my research looking at how the naturally thin eat, think, and live to stay thin and so I sort take that information with a client’s information and blend these two worlds together which creates a really beautiful weight loss, when we’re de–getting to the source of what’s going on.  I mean, I think that that’s a big piece for people is really get to the source of why they’re eating.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  What’s really going.  In fact, I had a client who said, “You know what, when I was–when I was growing up, my dad always said the one who eats the most gets the most in life.” And can you imagine doing that?  So–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  So no wonder why she was struggling with the weight.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  Because she would hear all the time, the person who gets the most–you know, eats the most gets the most in life, you know.  So we look at where these things come from and start to give them strategies to help heal that emotional eating piece or overeating piece.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it.  How much does blood sugar play into that?

Marna Thall:  You know, that’s really where I would say you’re–where you specify–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  And where you’re much more specialized in that, and where I’m more on the emotional side, so I don’t look so much at blood sugar really at all–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  Because I’m coming from a more psychological standpoint.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay, so what are those big psychological changes that you’re–you’re trying to re-wire?  So like you mentioned a few, like if there’s one thing right now that someone’s coming to see off of maybe a lot of yo-yo dieting, they’re maybe of a history of counting calories, what’s that first step they can take to start rewiring their brain?

Marna Thall:  Yeah, so from a food standpoint, one of the things that they can start doing is to relate to food in a really different way.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay.

Marna Thall:  So instead of the shoulds and have tos, instead of rules and like I said earlier, rules to me–I’m not great with rules.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  And they make me run the other way, so really starting to have people listen in to their bodies.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  Listen to hunger.  Listen to satisfaction.  Listen to what foods are working and what foods aren’t.  So in others if someone has a cup of coffee and they’re tired 5 seconds, you know, an hour later or their energy is totally drained, to listen to that, because each body is different.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  And instead of coming from these are the rules that I have to do, when you start listening to your body and go, “Hey, you know what, every time I have cheese, I have a headache.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah.

Marna Thall:  I always feel so hot, then let’s look at different ways you can still have that texture and that taste and that cheese-like sensation without maybe having that cheese.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  So that I never like people to feel like they have to give up anything but more–more how do we make it so that they still get that sensation in a way that work for their bodies.  So I’m very much looking at how, what’s getting–what’s going on in someone’s body.  And the only way to really do that is to have them and myself get really curious about how foods are impacting them, how their beliefs are impacting them–so that’s another area–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  I look at beliefs.  What are their beliefs?  What did they grow up hearing?  What’s–what are they–what are they carrying with around as it relates to food and is that serving them mentally, you know.  So I don’t look at just the food-mood connection.  I’m looking at the mood-mood connection.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  Like what are the thoughts that’s someone saying to themselves?  What are the beliefs they have and do we need to make some adjustments there?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, and what do you feel are the major limiting beliefs that most people walk into your clinic with?

Marna Thall:  There’s something wrong with me.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  I think–I think there’s this overarching belief that people are carrying around that there’s something wrong with them.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Do you feel like some of that is connected from just what the media puts out there to be a so-called healthy person, you know, someone who’s very, very tall–maybe as a female perspective maybe 5’8”, 5’9”, maybe a very skinny or wiry petite bone structure and then also very light where maybe the majority 90+% of the population just don’t even have that bone structure and can never look that way.  How much is unrealistic expectations playing into this?

Marna Thall:  You know, I think a lot of it does have to do with what we see from a media standpoint.  There’s no question and I think we, and we start carrying these beliefs that “Oh, there’s something wrong with me.  My stomach’s too big.  My legs are too wide.  My–my life isn’t good enough.  I’m not good enough.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right, right.

Marna Thall:  So we start carrying that out, especially as it relates to weight.  I see a lot where people say–have this, if you struggle with weight for any length of time, what happens is you start saying, “I need lose weight.  I need lose weight.  I need lose weight.”  And that literally creates neural connections in your brain that give you the sense there’s something wrong with me; I need lose weight.   And–and I like to look at it, “Well what do you get?  What do you wanna get in your life out of losing weight?”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  To go even deeper.  What will it give you?  And then start being that person without having the weight.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right, right.

Marna Thall:  A lot times we put our lives on hold until we–and then we never get to that point.  But if you start being that person, what happens is it shifts who you are from a neurochemistry standpoint and that creates different actions and you relate to food in a different way.  So if I wanna stand up, you can–and everybody can do this with me, like if you even just stand up and arch your back, if you wanna stand up–if you think about being thinner, being lighter and leaner and taller, and having a better posture, you can already, you already start to feel your body lightening up, and that changes then how you’re gonna go to fridge.  It’s gonna change how you feel.  It’s gonna change how you relate to food.  Just by the posture and how we start to position our bodies in relationship to–to eating and to being thin and to being light.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.  And I think a lot of people, too, they–they kinda have the mindset of food maybe is fuel or–or calorie is a calorie and then that kinda gets people on well, we’re just focused on calories, it’s like a car.  It just runs on what it–what you stick in it, right?  Whether it’s unleaded, leaded, diesel, et cetera.  But I think the key focus that I look at with a lot of my patients is that food actually becomes you.  It’s not like you run on that.  All of your cells need the vitamins and nutrients and the building blocks to turn over the tissue in your body.  So again, like the programming, crap in, crap out, same thing with building your body, bones and neurochemicals and hormones and tissue.  Healthy food in, healthy food out.  Any thoughts on that?

Marna Thall:    Yeah, I mean, what I see it is a layering approach.  So I think that sometimes, you know, every–every person who has ever struggled with weight, we’ve heard, you know, yes, we should be eating whole foods, right?  We should be getting–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Marna Thall:  Really good foods in our bodies.  It’s not something that we haven’t heard before.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Marna Thall:  So then I like to go, “Well, why are then we making a choice to put other foods in?  What is that giving people?  What, you know, when I have the sweets or when I have the–the dairy or when I’m, you know, sitting at night and having a bowl of ice cream, what is that giving you?”  When we can start to look at that, then it makes it easier to start to put in really good food in your body–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  By understanding what the actual need is, so I’m taking it more on the emotional side of looking, “Okay, what’s underneath the surface of craving that chocolate or wanting all the sweets?  What are you actually really wanting?”  And it’s typically, you know, maybe on the surface level, it’s like, “Well, I’m addicted to sugar. I just want sugar.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  But–but usually there’s something a little bit deeper under the surface like I need to feel love or I need more connection or I’m not feeling really good about myself or how I look.  So I need to feel pretty.  You know, there’s usually things underneath that we can dive in so that it feels inspiring and exciting to eat whole foods–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it

Marna Thall:  And to give our bodies the good great food that–that then I would then, you know, refer them to you, just say, “Okay, then start talking about food and all of that with you–“

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  Because I don’t really talk about food.  I talk about the relationship with food and yourself.  So–but of course, whole food is gonna make you feel much more alive and beautiful but a lot of times when we struggle with weight, it’s–it’s hard to get–if we don’t feel like we deserve it–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  And we feel like there’s something inherently wrong with us on an emotional level and maybe a physical level, and we’ve heard a lot of rules about what we should and should need.  Sometimes it’s hard to get that motivation to keep–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  To–to eat that really good food or that whole food and we don’t, you know, so alright, just eat the stuff that we like because that’s just is–is easier.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  Right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right. What’s the big–what’s the second big belief?  You went over the first one there.  What’s the second one that you say the most?

Marna Thall:  The second big thing I–I get a lot is this is hard.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mmm.

Marna Thall:  I can’t do it.  It’s just hard. Getting thin is hard.  Losing weight is hard and the reality is it’s hard to live in a body and hate it every day.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  Right?  Yes, you can do a little bit of work.  It takes a little bit of processing and information and–and gathering some information, but that’s actually the easy part.  The harder is part is living in a body that you can’t stand and not having energy–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, yeah.

Marna Thall:  And isolating and feeling–feeling deprived and feeling like you’re not being–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  The you that you could be, right?

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

Marna Thall:  So–so I think–I think turning that around instead of, it’s–it’s actually not that hard to lose weight.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  It takes a little bit of dedication, a little bit of focus, a little bit of asking yourself some questions and because I come from an emotional eating standpoint, it takes looking at why.  So that takes a little time, right?  Til I get–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  “Whoa, I want this food. Why am I wanting it?  What do I actually need instead?”  That takes a minute of your time, right?  To kinda look at that versus just going and eating.  But by understanding that and seeing patterns and creating a new way to relate to food, it actually gives you time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Got it.

Marna Thall:  So the time we’re spending eating when we should be doing something else and not living, that actually takes time, too.

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

Marna Thall:  So I think it’s a–I think it’s–it’s cognitively shifting the belief that it’s hard and I can’t do it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mmm.  Do you deal with a lot of clients that come to you that may have their–everyone has a friend or so that can just eat whatever they want and they just stay super lean and have no weight issues.  How do you deal with people that–that have that kind of frustration kinda–they’re coming into that kind of frustration?

Marna Thall:  Well, a lotta–you know, so in my–in my research I studied 2 different type of people.  I study the naturally thin who do make the thin look and–and are–are just naturally thin.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Marna Thall: And actually those are a lot of the people that I do study and I do think have a lot of interesting things from a physiology standpoint but also a psychological standpoint going for them.  So there’s actually some really great things to learn from our naturally thin friends.  It’s actually what helped me lose over 40 pounds by actually doing and thinking and–and acting in the way that they act and do and think around food.  So there’s, you know, yes, some people, you know, I’m 5’4”.  I’m never gonna be 5’10”, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, yeah.

Marna Thall:  So there’s some–there’s some things.  I have a bigger booty and legs, you know.  That’s just my shape.  That’s my shape.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  That’s cer–part of accepting my actual shape and–and there’s a lot we can learn from the naturally thin, like eating when they’re hungry.  They’re really–when I ask them, “Why do you eat?”  It’s very different if you put a–a–an overweight person and a thin person.  You get very different answers.

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

Marna Thall:  You know, you’ll get from a naturally thin person and I’ve studied, you know, I’ve asked this question to hundreds of naturally thin people and they’ve said, you know, they sometimes look at me crossing a “What?” but they’ll say, “I’ll eat when I’m hungry.  What do you mean?”  They often are eat–they’re eating because they’re body inside them, they have an connection to it and it’s telling them, “I need fuel.  I need food.”  Where–where somebody who’s struggling with weight, not always, but often will say, “Well, because it’s time,” or “Because I should,” or “Because I’m bored.”  Or they’ll give, you know, a hundred other emotional reasons why they may be connecting food to something outside of their body, or an emotional reason.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it.  Is there anything else you learn from the naturally thin?

Marna Thall:  Yeah, tons! So the naturally thin definitely stop eating when they’re body no longer is hungry.  So that–so we’d often hear, you know, when I was struggling with weight, I hear people say, “Oh, I eat until I’m full.”  Okay.  My full as an overweight person was very different than the naturally thin’s full.  So to make it clear, a naturally thin stops eating when they’re hunger goes away, when their hunger is satisfied, when they have a sense of neutrality in their feeling, in their body.  Where I would eat until I felt my stomach pop a little bit, til I felt a little–that really heavy fullness inside my body.  Very different experience than the naturally thin.  They want to feel that heaviness. They don’t wanna feel that bogged down because that would leave them oftentimes feeling tired and exhausted and–and uncomfortable.  Where I found it sort of normal.  A naturally–naturally thin people are very aware of the impact food is having on their body.  So they, you know, like I was saying earlier, they may eat something and go, “God, that made me bloated or feel really uncomfortable or give me a, you know, really distended belly or a headache.”  Where somebody oftentimes, like myself, I wouldn’t notice those nuisances or I wouldn’t attribute it to necessarily to food where they’re a little bit better at–at paying attention to the food’s impact on their body, both during a meal and after a meal.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it.

Marna Thall:  The naturally thin also are really great in their conversation.  No, they don’t all think that they’re perfect.  No, they don’t all have wonderful, amazing, perfect lives.  Nah–not at all.  But there is a sense that they can keep their body thin and lean and light. There’s an enjoyment with food.  They’re actually much slower in eating than–than the average overweight person.  I’m much faster.  I’ve had to train myself to be much slower.  They actually get–it’s funny because you’d say, I–I’ve asked overweight people, “You know, well, why do you, you know, why do you think this is?  Why do you think you struggle with–with weight?”  And they say, “Oh, I just love food so much.”  I’ve actually found the naturally thin actually are more connected and present to food and eating more than the overweight.  So it’s–they–they savor food oftentimes much more so they’re much more connected and–and enjoy meals.  There’s no–there’s no reason to rush through a meal oftentimes.  No, not every naturally thin person is–is a slower eater. There are many that are fast and not all are 100% conscious but as a–as a whole, if we’re looking at a median, a big group is they are–they are connected.  They’re slower.  They take their time.  That’s also why they can feel when something doesn’t work inside their body.  Something is not working or feeling as good inside their system.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So how does exercise connect in with this?  What do the naturally thin do regarding exercise?

Marna Thall:  Yeah, great question.  So I found a huge range.  Some are active, really active, like athletes and whatnot, and food then plays a slightly different for them because instead of more performance-based for them.  So you have some people who are active, really active, and athletic and you have people who are also not, you know.  Some–some naturally thin people don’t exercise any more, any less than an overweight person.  So there’s a big range.  I–I interviewed people who said, “Oh yeah, I move every day, absolutely.  It’s a requirement for me.”  And then I’ve interviewed other people who say, “You know, sometimes.  I walk with and I play with my kids.”  I would say on an average there’s more activity in the way of not necessarily like laying on the couch and–and living life from–from sort of a couch.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it.

Marna Thall:  There’s more activity in the way of going to play with kids or going to the park or going and doing little things here and there, but not all naturally thin people are, you know, hitting the gym all the time or are–are these great athletes.  So I thought they would be, so that’s where I was coming from the vantage point of “Oh, my gosh, I’m gonna interview these naturally fit people.”  I’d go, “Oh, my.”  You know, what are they doing physically that I’m not doing?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   And what percent of that is just genetic?  Like if you just–the other person to be exact same things, how much of that would be the genetics and how much of that would be the mindset or the–the actual exercise or food part?

Marna Thall:  I would say that there–there’s probably, you know, there’s probably a genetic component but–but many of the behaviors of the naturally thin are, you know, it’s hard to know, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  They’ve been doing it since they were born.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it.

Marna Thall:  They didn’t have–I didn’t–I wasn’t interviewing people who had gained weight and then lost weight, you know. So it’s a different group.  It’s a group of people who have always been naturally thin from the time they were little until they were, you know.  I’ve interviewed some of the people who are 70, 80 years old.  And so is there a genetic component?  Sure but I also see in my practice that there’s a huge component of, you know, there’s many people that when they take on these similar behaviors, they will absolutely lose weight.  If they don’t, then we look at things like you’re so brilliant at, like thyroid or inflammation or how foods, you know–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it.

Marna Thall:  Maybe a sensitivity or some of these other things that are going on.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it.  Well, you described a lot how your mindset shifted and you mentioned on your site that you went from a size 16 to a size 6. That’s quite a big jump.  You must be super proud of yourself for that.  So I give you a pat on the back.  But what are the big–what were the big food shifts?  We know you made a lot of mindset shifts.  What were the big food shifts, just so people can kinda wrap your head around–wrap their head around where you were before from a food perspective to where you were at a size 6, you know, 10 sizes later.

Marna Thall:  Awesome!  That’s such a great question.  Nobody has ever asked that.  So okay, the food shift.  The big thing for me food-wise is I ne–before when I was struggling with weight, I never tuned in to hunger.  I never knew–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  When to eat.  I just ate.  If somebody was going out to eat, I was totally–I was totally–

Dr. Jusin Marchegiani:  Yeah

Marna Thall:  I wouldn’t say that I was a sure thing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Marna Thall:  Like I was just a sure thing.  I love to what–you know, socializing and eating and I still do.  But I didn’t realize that it–I really had no idea from that time that I was 12 where my parents had the accident, I started to turn to food–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mmm.

Marna Thall:  In a way to relate to my pains, my frustrations, my anger of being a 12-year-old with parents that were the way I wanted them to be, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it.

Marna Thall:  So–so that was a big shift.  When I started to tune in to my body and feel hunger for the first time, I was in college and I remember I spent a lot of time actually by myself trying to figure it out and to figure out what my body was doing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  So the big thing I shifted is now–if I’m going to a dinner, let’s say.  Let’s say we have an event tonight which we actually do.  We are gonna go over to a friend’s house and–and if I’m hungry, great, I will eat. But if I’m not hungry, I’m happy to have a glass of wine and then some water and a glass of wine.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  Maybe have a couple of bites.  It’s really shifted my quantity which–which then obviously shifted my body.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  There have been times I’ve been–so–so there’s the front end of a meal for me.  I now listen–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup, got it.

Marna Thall:  To when to eat now from a–from a different standpoint.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Is there a time-wise that you find that you go between meals?  5 hours or 6 hours, is it–just on average, is there a time?

Marna Thall:  So typically, I’m hungry when I wake up.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it.

Marna Thall:  So I’m hungry, so I–I get up and I got out and typically that looks like potent–you know, sometimes it’s a couple legs, sometimes it’s gonna be still cut outs and I throw in some protein powder.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall: You know, it could–it could vary.  I notice from listening to my body, it does not do well with things like bagels.  So–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Marna Thall:  I don’t eat bagels even though my head loves them–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  But my body doesn’t.  And I’ve learned from the naturally thin that that a meal should compo–should have 2 components.  Psychological and physiological–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mmm.

Marna Thall:  Satisfaction.  Especially for someone who struggles with weight.  I need to feel in my head that I need–I need for it to light up something in my brain so–so I still wanna like it.  I just don’t–I just–but I want my body to like it, too.  So–so–and then, you know, I’m probably not–I may be hungry 2 or it just depends.  Sometimes I’m hungry at 10 o’clock and my lunch looks like 10:30, I’m having lunch where at 7:30 I was having breakfast.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  And then I may have something at 3:30 and then another meal again.  There are other times there are certain foods that just take longer to work in my body and like I had something earlier and it has been, let’s see, like, yeah, it’s been 5 hours so it typically varies–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  But I would say, most days I’m eating 3 to 4 meals a day.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mmm.

Marna Thall:  And they’re smaller than they were before.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, it sounds like you have a really good natural inclination to stabilize your blood sugar which is great.  Did you notice any food allergens that you pulled out of your diet?  I mean, you mentioned the bagels so you’re kinda alluding to some gluten there.  Was there anything else that you just found that you pulled out because you were reacting to it some way?

Marna Thall:   Yeah, so I also am aware I don’t totally cut out dairy, I just–I’ve substituted like regular milk, let’s say for almond milk, I–I don’t know, I–I definitely do a lot of almond milk.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  I–I like–I love cheese and so–but I have to watch how much I have in it because it will make gassy, bloated, uncomfortable.  I feel not so–I feel heavy.  And–and so I–I watch my dairy and those are the main ones.  I do watch my coffee intake–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:    Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  Because I will find sometimes that I’ll–I love it and I’ll like crave it like crazy and I know that it’s just like not a natural craving.  It’s sort of like an addiction.  So then I’ll do things like I still want that coffee taste, and so I’ll do like 100% chicory.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, okay.  Interesting.

Marna Thall:  And I’ll steam it.  Yeah, I’ll steam some like, some almond milk, put a little maybe Stevia or something and–and that’s how I’ll shift that up.  So sometimes I’m drinking coffee, sometimes I’m totally off or doing tea and just 100% chicory, just because it’s good for you, too.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s great.

Marna Thall:  And it gives–it gives me a little bit of that taste.  So I will substitute.  I never wanna say no to myself.  So I always am finding ways to say yes in a way that works for my body.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Nice.  Now I find a lot of my patients that have come from eating issues in the past, I mean, we’re so ingrained in our culture that fat’s bad, right?  Or at least in the 70s and 80sm even the 90s we’d be–

Marna Thall:  Totally.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  We were just–that was just like literally just jammed in our ear and I can just hear, you know, the fat you eat is the fat you wear.  But we know fat is so important for our hormones and every single cell in our body has this little lipid bilayer.  It’s important for hydration and our skin and nails.  How do you adjust a lot of the people you’re seeing?  How do you adjust the relationship with fats?  That they’re maybe not a bad thing.  Maybe they’re actually essential and really important for our health.

Marna Thall:  So I’m always coming from “How does that make you feel?”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  Like, okay, you know, it’s because–because people were coming to me have those tons of rules, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  They know a whole lot more about things than I do typically around food rules and what you should and shouldn’t do.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  So they’re coming to me, so I like to come from, “Well, how do you feel?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  Because if you’re feeling good, if you’re having fats, if you’re having avocados, they’re like, “Oh, my God, I’m worried about having avocados. I’m worried about, you know, too much oil in my, you know.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  Then we’ll say, “You know what, let’s try it and see how you feel and how you look and how’s your hair.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.  Exactly.

Marna Thall:  So then it’s empowering and inspiring when it’s not coming from what I should do, what–what Marna says I should do, but more, “How is this helping me?  How do I feel?  Does–Do I look good?”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  You know, I love–I mean, I ate a ton of salmon.  I love it.  I love what it does for my skin.  I love what it does for my hair but if I was eating it and I was going, “God, I feel awful.  I don’t like it.”  Then I would that that’s not the right item for me and my body.  I may look at other ways to get, you know, get–get fats or get proteins or–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  Whatever or whatever it is, you know.  So yeah, I think–and people do come to me a lot from different diets where they’ve had to count calories or where they’ve really established this good food/bad food mentality and some of that creates binges.  And so I’m always very careful about being aware of that and I find that the strategy I use of like let’s see how it works for you–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.

Marna Thall: Let’s see how it works for your body.  What that does is it–it avoids a lot of the binges because–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  It’s empowering clients to feel, you know, to–to take–to take ownership of their health and their body.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I think of that old expression, too.  I think it goes, “Nothing feels–nothing tastes as good as thin feels.”  So you get a lot of people that they’re engaging their motivation on how they’re doing on a number on a scale versus how that food is actually make them feel.  So how do you recalibrate them to not about not feeling good about the actual result of them feeling thin?  But actually doing the right thing with the relationship with food and then combining that with, you know, losing weight and feeling better that way, too.

Marna Thall:  I think it’s very holistic.  I mean, it’s I-it’s a big holistic piece.  It’s interesting that saying, you know, when you said it, I was thinking, you know, a lot of clients that come to me, don’t know how thin feels.  So it’s this abstract idea of what they think it’s going to be.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  So you know, in the moment, chocolate is very exciting or whatever their trigger, you know, whatever every–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  Body’s trigger food is, is better than this sort of idea of what thin is, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  If you’ve never experienced it or if it’s been many, many years, then the instant gratification is quite different, so–so I say the way I balance it and look at all of it is–is one, knowing the person, really getting a sense of who this person is that they’re not just–I’m not just putting them through a system without knowing who they are and then looking at these different components and trying to balance them on and–and calibrate them because most people, they’re usually just a few tweaks.  Don’t you find this?  They’re usually just a few tweaks that we can make to really make a huge dent in how they look, how they feel, how they relate to food, and how they lose weight.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So true, absolutely.

Marna Thall:  You know.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, you–you really gave us a lot of good information here.  That’s awesome.  Is there anything else that you want to share with the listeners that’s powerful, that maybe you haven’t touched upon yet?

Marna Thall:  I would say just, you know, get support.  One of the things that I didn’t–I didn’t know was available to me at that time, I mean, this was a long time ago, but when I was trying to lose weight is I didn’t know that there were people–I didn’t reach out in a way that I should have to really get the support, you know, whether it’s Dr. J or myself–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  Get support with people who–who really get to know you and understand you or are asking you some questions that go underneath the surface.  That will help you know that they’re really–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  Caring versus–versus just like you checking off a list and a–and a quick diagnosis and what not.  I would also say there’s nothing wrong with you.  There are some small tweaks that you can make to make your life, your health, your–you know, in my area, you’re emotional eating or you’re–how you relate to food much better and much more joyous for your life but there–you’re not broken. There’s just a few things you need to do or may–you know, can try to do that will be life changing for your weight and your body.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it. That’s great.  So if anyone’s listened to this show and maybe they’re feeling a little overwhelmed, a lot of stuff was thrown at them, can you just give me the big top 3 things that someone listening to the show right now could do to just kick more butt and just feel better regarding their weight or relationship with food?  What are those big 3?  Just kinda one sentence answers for each.

Marna Thall:  Understand why you wanna lose weight.  Get clear of that.  Two, start listening to your body.  Eat when you’re hungry.  Stop when you’re satisfied.  And know why you’re eating and start ticking those reasons of why you’re eating to get just a hunger.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s great. And you also mentioned one more thing–gotta ask you.  You said, I think, you gave the analogy about cheese, then you said, “Well, what’s that mouth feel?  What’s that feel that I’m looking for?”  So if people are–are craving something that, you know, you may consider not to be that healthy, do you find alternatives that will give them that same kinda sensation and feel that maybe have less sugar or less of a–a bad food in it, a bad, you know, like gluten or something like that that’s maybe healthier but gives them that same feel and sensation?

Marna Thall:  Only through exploring.  So I don’t have the answers for that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay.

Marna Thall:  We may–no, let’s say, you know, someone–if someone’s saying cheese, you know, I know for me what would be an alternative.  You know, like I like goat cheese and I can–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay.

Marna Thall:  I can go with that kinda and that works a little bit better in my system.  Or I can find a vegan option that can work really well in my system, but it’s different.  Somebody else may go, “That is disgusting. It’s nasty.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  So–So I can’t give you the, “Yes, this is the thing.”  But I will say that when–when instead of saying “No” to yourself, if you can say, “Yes, I will find what does work and what will work and I’ll–and I will,” you know, if you have to try 15 different types of cheese that work well for your body, it’s worth it because then you’ll go, “Oh, I can have cheese and this is how it tastes and this is what works and it feels good and it makes me look amazing, too.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Very cool, and last question for you.  If you were stuck on a desert island, what supplement or herb would you bring with you?  If you only could choose one.

Marna Thall:  Great question.  I’d bring D.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Vitamin D.

Marna Thall:  Yup.  I’d bring D.  Me personally, I need more vitamin D.  I don’t have a thyroid and sometimes my D is low, so I would say vitamin D for me for sure gives me the energy and the vitality that just really, just–it just works great for me.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s great.  And you have your site over at ThinWithin.com.  If someone’s listening to this and wants to work with you, how do they get a hold of you?  Just email you or?

Marna Thall:  Yeah, you can always email me at marna@thinwithin.com.  I say the best thing to do is we have an assessment there where you start to look at why do you eat.  It’s called Why Do You Eat, you know, it’s an assessment, and that will give you some answers.  What happens when you fill that out, I get your answers, too, and then we can go from there to start looking at why you eat and start to create a plan to help start to diminish some of those reasons, lessen those reasons, so you really start to get to the real–if you’re dealing with your emotions in an emotional way and your physicality in a physical way, and–and we’ll start separating food from mood, food from emotions.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And it seems you also have a coaching program there for practitioners, too.

Marna Thall:  I do.  I do.  You know, so I’m doing this work and I don’t know, maybe 8-10 years ago, someone said, “Marna, Marna, I really wanna know how’d–I wanna do the same work that you do.  I love what you do.  I wanna do it.”  And so out of that, I created a practitioner program because the–the demand was there and so I don’t do it for tons of people every year but once–once a year I offer it up and it’s a pretty cool program.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Very cool and you also have your summit, too, that I had the awesome opportunity to take part of.  Do you wanna mention your summit, too?

Marna Thall:  Oh, once a year, well, you were fantastic.  You were one of my favorite guests.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Thanks.

Marna Thall:  Once a year, I do what’s called Rewire Your Brain To Think Thin Training series where I gather together people in the area of–the different areas that personally I’m interested and I know my clients are interested in, and we do–we do training sessions for 2 weeks and it’s so cool because we focus on these different areas.  Tapping, we do EFT–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s great.

Marna Thall:  NLP, you talked about the thyroid which is so–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  Super cool.  We talked about these different areas to help people rewire their brain to think, eat, and live differently.  And–and it’s always a–it just continues to grow.  It’s such a big success.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Can people sign up to get access to the summit for this year or is it too late?

Marna Thall:  It’s–it’s over this year.  But next year if you’re on–if you’re on my list, if you go to ThinWithin.com, you’ll hear about when next year’s is and you’ll get access for free.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Awesome.  Well, thank you so much Marna, you were an awesome guest.

Marna Thall:  Oh, good!  Thank you so much for having me.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Thank you.


How Gut Bacteria Can Help You With Weight Loss?

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Bacteria line your intestines and help you digest food. During digestion, they make vitamins that are vital for life, send signals to the immune system, and make small molecules that can help your brain work. If you have frequent digestive symptoms and/or discomfort, you likely have an issue with the balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut.

Today’s talk is going to be on bacteria balance and weight loss.  I had a patient come to me just the other day.  We were knocking out infection in their gut. I noticed a significant amount of weight loss above and beyond the last few months with their healthy diet, healthy eating, sleep, and exercise.  They just noticed a 5-pound reduction in their weight and nothing else changed.  And I said, “What’s going on?”  And we looked through the program and the protocol, and it was really the fact that we were knocking out a couple of infections, H. pylori, but also some dysbiotic bacteria. Also, we saw some weight loss. So I’m going to break that down for all the listeners so they can understand what’s happening inside the guts.

Gut Bacteria: Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes

Gut bacteria can affect weight loss.  So we have two different families or phylum. We have the bacteroidetes and the firmicutes.  So easy way to remember this–firmicutes is gonna be higher in people that are heavier or more obese.  Bacteroidetes is better.  B for better.  F for fatter or more obese.  We’re going to see more people that are lean having more of the bacteroidetes. A lot of the trials and the studies that have happened, they saw more of the bacteroidetes being at higher level with the leaner people. And they saw lower bacteroidetes and higher firmicutes with the more obese people.  Part of the philosophy and theory behind that is that firmicutes is involved with more calorie extraction and that can cause more calorie absorption.

Good and Bad Bacteria Balance

But we also know that bacteria affects different things in the gut.  So good beneficial bacteria is when we have a healthy bacteria balance.  So for instance, we should have this 80-20 kind of schtick happening here where here is our good bacteria.  Here’s a good bacteria and then here’s our bad bacteria.   And here’s my little see-saw effect here so you can see we typically want to have more of the good stuff.

So the good stuff is weighted down here. We have more good and less bad, and that’s kind of how we want it, about an 80%, 90% good to 20% bad.  Good bacteria actually provides nutrients, Vitamin K, various B vitamins.  We also have things like butyrate and various acids that come off to keep the colon in a really good place and prevent a lot of the bad bacteria from migrating up from the colon into the small intestine.  So we want this nice good ratio.

Most people are totally flipped where it’s actually the other way around. We have a lot of the bad stuff here.  The bad stuff is a lot higher and then we see the good stuff a lot lower. Most people are in this place.  Why is that?  Sugar, antibiotics, antibiotics in essentially a lot of the meats, the conventional foods, pesticides, chlorine in the drinking water that’s not filtered.  A lot of these and stress can always throw the bacteria ratios off.  So one of the things that we see here in the population is this nice bacteroidetes being higher in the lean. And ideally, the firmicutes being lower, and that switches when we get more obese.

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Studies and Research

Now there’s been some rat studies on this.  In the rat studies where they implant the bacteria from one rat that’s obese into the lean rat, and the rat becomes obese that was lean. This hadn’t quite shown that replicated in a lot of the human trials. There’s one study I looked at where they give you specific bacteria in this fermented milk culture and they saw an 8.6% reduction in the group that had the beneficial bacteria.  So there is some research showing that you can see a significant reduction in weight loss.

How To Get Rid of Bad Bacteria in The Gut

If we have a significant amount of bad bacteria in the gut, it’s like gardening. It’s like washing your car.  You don’t get your car waxed before you get it washed.  You don’t throw down a whole bunch of seeds before you do the weeding.  So in garden analogy, you get the garden tilled.  You get the weeds pulled, then you put the seeds down.  When you go to the carwash, you get your car washed and then you get it waxed.  You don’t want to put a whole bunch of wax on a dirty car.  That’s not the way to do it.  Same thing with our gut bacteria.

Antimicrobial Herbal Medicines

We want to take specific antimicrobial herbal medicines.  Herbs tend to be nicer because we have less side effects.  We can take them longer, which is one of the benefits that we don’t get in antibiotics. And they tend to be more cost-effective.  So with specific herbs we can take them for a period time.  Knock down that bad bacteria.  There may even be an infection like H. pylori or a parasite or a fungal overgrowth, too, and knocking that down can significantly allow more space for the good bacteria.

Beneficial Bacteria in Probiotics

And that one trial I mentioned before, this group lost 8.5% taking this fermented milk culture, so there is some evidence. Now I find a lot of people do better if their gut is full of bad bacteria. They could have this histamine response and they may actually feel worse after taking probiotics when their gut is out of balance. So we clean out the gut, they are much more responsive to the beneficial bacteria.  And depending on how sick some individuals are, they may even benefit by taking a soil-based probiotic, tend to be a little bit more gentle and little less histamine response.

Bacteria Effects on our Bodies

We talked about the good bacteria and the bad bacteria. That’s really important. Butyrate keeps the colon nice and acidic, keeps the bad stuff from growing.  Again nutrients, the vitamin K, the B vitamins, a lot of the nutrients that come from that.

Gut Integrity

Good bacteria is going to keep that gut from being leaky.  A good healthy gut function is going to be with your fingers nice and tight.  Inside here is the inside part of your stomach. Outside part is outside of your stomach.  And again, more stress, bad bacteria means more infections.  Pull those fingers apart, show some daylight.

Immune Function

That’s what’s happening in a leaky gut at a microscopic level. Immune function and bacteria has a major effect on your immune system.  Again, your immune system essentially is located in your gut. 70 to 80% in your MALT, in your GALT.  GALT stands for gastric associated lymphoid tissue, and MALT, mucosal associated lymphoid tissue.  GALT’s in the stomach.  MALT’s in the small intestine. A lot of the immune cells live there, so healthy gut bacteria interplays directly with the immune system

Metabolic Syndrome

Lots of studies of people that have bacteria imbalances and have metabolic syndrome have high levels of insulin, high levels of inflammation, and skewed blood sugar levels.

Brain & Inflammation

We know fire in the gut equals fire in the brain.  When we have inflammation especially things like endotoxin and lipopolysaccharides, these tend to be the by-product of a lot of the bad bacteria.  So part of the bad bacteria, we see things like LPS.  Nasty.  We see things like lithocholic acid that unconjugates bile.  Not good.  We see things like mycotoxins.  Not good.  We see other biotoxins that come from various infections. I mean critters when they’re being killed, they produce chemicals that make you crave sugar and make you crave the bad foods.  It’s kind of their last way of kind of getting a hold of you. So they can get a breath, kind of breathe into them so they can continue to live on.

Skin Benefits

Now this case study with this patient that I alluded to in the interlude or the first part of the video here. This person’s skin significantly cleared up. We thought their skin was caused potentially by some food allergens and some hormonal issues and adrenal stuff. It may have been but we really had the breakthrough when we actually cut out almonds for a period of time. And also, when we really upped a lot of the antimicrobials, the skin cleared right up.

Again, the skin is the mirror of the gut. Skin is the mirror of the gut.  It’s the largest organ in the body and when the body’s having a hard time detoxing or there’s a lot of intestinal stress, we’ll see it through the skin.

Weight Loss

We also have weight loss.  This person lost 5 pounds and I don’t go around promoting probiotics in gut cleansing programs and knocking out infections as being like the root cause of weight loss. It’s because everyone’s weight loss can be from different reasons.

Some could be from insulin resistance and too much carbohydrates.  Others could be from sleep, stress, adrenal fatigue, low thyroid, you name it, so it’s hard to know.  But in functional medicine world, we do see common things happen. I have seen a lot of gut bacteria killing programs really help individuals lose weight.  Can’t say it every time, but I’ve seen it clinically.  The research is coming and showing that.  We see animal studies.  We see some human studies and there is a connection.

So maybe if you’re struggling with your gut, struggling with weight loss, maybe looking at the gut will be a really good step.  And if you have any gut or hormone issues and you’re not quite sure the next step to go.  Feel free and click on screen to get more help, and subscribe so you can get more info right away.


The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of Dr. Justin Marchegiani unless otherwise noted. Individual articles are based upon the opinions of the respective author, who retains copyright as marked. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Justin and his community. Dr. Justin encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified healthcare professional. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Marchegiani’s products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using any products.